Of Guns and Men

So  Alicia Colon wrote about guns on American Thinker yesterday. It’s actually pretty good. So read it.

If there were ever a survey asking gun owners why they buy guns, I’d wager the majority of them would say that it basically is for protection. The Second Amendment was not written for hunters but for the people’s self-protection, including protection from tyranny. The first thing smart dictators do is remove guns from registered owners.

Well, yeah, but even hunting can be seen as an act of independence, protection against hunger itself. And any act of independence is anathema to those who would rule us.

Hunter Lovell in the Washington Examiner:

The South Carolina senator made the comments to reporters aboard Air Force One that he maintains an AR-15 in case “there’s a hurricane, a natural disaster, no power, no cops, no anything.”

His remarks were first revealed by Voice of America on Twitter. A reporter then asked him to clarify if he meant the semiautomatic rifle was for looters.

“Yeah, people, they’re not going to come to the AR-15 home,” Graham responded. “Well, I think if you show up on the porch with an AR-15, they’ll probably go down the street.”

One of the survivors of the awful El Paso massacre, Christopher Grant, a black man, told CNN’s Chris Cuomo that he was surprised his mother didn’t have her gun with her : “I ran towards my mother to try and shield her. And I’m like ‘mom.’ Cause my mom is a gun-wielding grandma. She carries a snub-nose Smith and Wesson, 38 special with a built in scope in it — everywhere she goes.”

This was probably not something CNN wanted to report while visiting survivors in hospital. Why did this black woman carry a gun? For protection, of course.

It still has not occurred to the Left that gun laws only impact the law-abiding. Criminals break these laws all the time but politicians continue to ignore the fact that good people with guns prevent more mass shootings than gun-free zones. In fact, gun-free zones only place targets on the backs of the innocent humans there.

I think they know it well, and there are plenty of reporters who are capable of reporting it. But it will never happen. When we say “It doesn’t fit the narrative”, what we really mean is that the Dem, the left generally, and the press ( Yes, I repeat my self, they are all the same insidious block) will never report this, it will reduce dependency on them. The blacks aren’t the only slaves on the plantation, after all. And nothing is more liberating than the heft of a loaded gun in your hand, no longer a slave, you become a man or woman who has at least something to say about your future.

You know, in thinking about it, this may be part of the cause of these mass shootings, we have emasculated boys in our culture, maybe this is a perverted (because of the lack of father figures) grasp at agency over their life. Hard to say, and I’m no social scientist. But I know this when I pick up a gun, just like for me when I pick up a pair of Kleins, or a screwdriver, or meter, I become not some random opinionated guy on the internet, but an expert, a guy that knows how to do it, and more to the point, how not to do it.

I think somebody said this sometime, if they didn’t, they should have, and now I did.

We form our tools, and then they form us.

That is true whether it is a  screwdriver, a truck, a rifle, an MBT, or anything else. But tools are objective, they do not know good from evil, they can form either, that’s on us. And we are failing.

Hong Kong, Updated

The protests in Hong Kong continue, and in fact increase, the airport was shut down by them earlier this week, even as Chinese forces gather on the border. It is a dangerous time to be a Hong Konger. They fight for the same thing we fought Britain for long ago, and the same things that have underlaid almost every one of our wars. The Star-Spangled Banner and our anthem have joined with the flag of the Royal Colony of Hong Kong and the British Union Flag to mark the protestors. It is something we should be proud of.

I suspect most of us are, this is the sign of the world the Anglosphere has built. Not all that long ago, in 1941, if you were free, English was your native language, and yes, Hong Kong was amongst us, although they would soon be occupied by Imperial Japan. I think they learned the lesson.

But we were the first, the original revolutionaries, who continue the revolution, the keepers of the flame that illuminate the City on the Hill, and guides all who would be free. But as we have learned that doesn’t mean that the US can make everyone free, we have certainly learned that lesson to our cost in the last twenty years. It truly is as Secretary of State John Quincy Adams said back in 1821:

Wherever the standard of freedom and independence has been or shall be unfurled, there will her heart, her benedictions and her prayers be. But she goes not abroad in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own. She will recommend the general cause, by the countenance of her voice, and the benignant sympathy of her example.

But still, our sympathy and perhaps some measure of our nonmilitary power should be engaged here. These people understand the dream, from its founding. Their original cause was an extradition treaty that would have found them in front of Chinese kangaroo courts. How different from that is this:

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

or

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:

Or even this:

No freemen shall be taken or imprisoned or disseised or exiled or in any way destroyed, nor will we go upon him nor send upon him, except by the lawful judgment of his peers or by the law of the land.

That is article 39 of Magna Charta, dating from 1215, part of the ultimate bedrock of individual freedom for America as it is for all Anglophone countries

So yes, we should be supporting the Hong Kongers, although I do not think we should get ourselves into a war with China over it. There are, of course, other means. And we should use them. Dr. Nikolai G. Wenzel writes in Law and Liberty:

But this afternoon, things are different.  I’m joining my former student and her friends for a protest in support of liberty in Hong Kong.  When I first heard of the troubles in Hong Kong, I initially thought I’d play it safe. This was not my fight, and there wasn’t much I could do.  I would teach my classes and stay away from demonstrations.  But I was faced with a moral choice. Hong Kong has a tradition of rule of law, Hong Kong is a land of liberty, Hong Kong has become a second home.

I had reached out to my former student for our annual dinner in the Fragrant Harbor – we’ll call her V (for obvious reasons, I will not share her identity).  We made dinner plans. She also invited me to a protest.  At first, I wasn’t sure.  What if facial recognition technology led to a lost work visa for next year’s class?  What if I found myself detained during the march, and missed my class the next day?  I was embarrassed at my first reaction.  I have been teaching liberty and preaching the gospel according to Hayek for the past decade.  Yet, presented with an opportunity to support true freedom fighters, I found myself balking, and thinking of admittedly bourgeois consideration. However, these are the very same bourgeois considerations Hong Kongers want to defend:  life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  So what if I lose my visa for next year.  So what if I miss a class because I am briefly detained by the police.  These people are fighting – desperately – for their lost liberties.  So I decided to march, and set aside my petty worries.

When Hong Kong was handed from the UK to China in 1997, the agreement included basic legal and political guarantees.  First, Hong Kong would not be swallowed into the People’s Republic of China, but administered as a Special Administrative Region (SAR), under the policy of “one country, two systems.”  Second, the rights of the people of Hong Kong would be guaranteed under a Basic Law, which includes democracy, rule of law, and individual rights.

Keep reading, and yes, I admire him. It takes guts to put our butts where our mouth is, and more of us should be making noise about this. The Hong Kongers are right to use American and British symbols in their fight. As we have seen this has been our battle since before the days of King John.

And you know, we hear much about the evils of British and US colonialism, here is portrayed the other side, that you will not hear in the media or the schools, or from the Democrats (or Labour), this is also about how we taught the world what it is to be a free man, and many of them learned the lesson well.

God bless and keep Hong Kong free.

Is a Trade Deal a Panacea?

About this Anglo-American trade deal, which John Bolton says will be a reality. Actually, he says we can do a lot of mini ones, sector by sector, sounds good to me, as it does to a lot of Brits. A bit of a dark cloud over it comes from Stumbling and Mumbling via our friends at Notes on Liberty.  They say this:

Brute facts tell us this. As part of the EU, the UK and Germany have the same trading rules. Last year, however, Germany exported $134bn of goods to the US whereas the UK exported only $65.3bn. Per head of population, Germany’s exports to the US were therefore 60% higher than the UK’s. Much the same is true for other non-EU nations. Last year Germany exported $11.8bn to Australia whilst the UK exported just $5.9bn, a per capita difference of over 50%. German exports to Canada were $12bn whilst the UK’s were $7.3bn, a 28% per capita difference. German exports to Japan, at $24.1bn were 2.2 times as great per head as the UK’s. And German exports to China, at $109.9bn were three times as great per capita as the UK’s $27.7bn.

Now, these numbers refer only to goods where Germany has a comparative advantage over the UK. But they tell us something important. Whatever else is holding back UK exports, it is not trade rules. Germany exports far more than the UK under the same rules.

As for what it is that is holding back exports, there are countless candidates – the same ones that help explain the UK’s relative industrial weakness: poor management; a lack of vocational training; lack of finance or entrepreneurship; the diversion of talent from manufacturing to a bloated financial sector; the legacy of an overvalued exchange rate. And so on.

There is truth in that, but I don’t think it’s the whole truth. One, Germany is something of an outlier, it has designed itself to be dependent on exports, in a sense it is like China that way. And also like China, that makes it vulnerable to events elsewhere.

But there is something else that bothers me with the UK, yes, but even more with all of Europe. They appear to have no confidence in themselves, the EU is essentially an economic Maginot line, not designed to make the members more profitable but to prevent them from going broke.

I pay more attention to the UK, so I see it more there, but I think it pervasive. I see few innovations coming out of any of these countries. The British, like us, used to idolize their inventors and entrepreneurs, now they seem to envy them and attempt to destroy them. And above all, they appear to have become welfare babies, completely unwilling to take a risk, no matter how well-considered. This is especially prevalent in the political realm where absolutely no one will call out the politically correct nonsense that Westminster insists on. This is the primary reason for the Brexit debacle, and perhaps including a fair amount of corruption, as well. Even to the point where the British are losing essential freedoms, like speech, as the government tries to protect the useless mouths. And then there is the seditious BBC (and Channel 4), if you think CNN is fake news, you should try these!

Now mind, this is probably not a majority of Britons (or quite a few other nationalities in Europe) but it does appear to be a majority in the City of London/Westminster, in other words in the political/government/big business sphere. For Britain to truly prosper as it once did, it will somehow have to overcome the blob that is holding it back.

That is something a trade deal cannot do for the British. In truth, we’re fighting the same battle.

The Wednesday Compendium

Richard Gere visited that refugee ship that the Italians are preventing form landing its passengers (good for them, in my opinion). Weasel Zippers tells us this.

He [Gere] compared the political situation in Italy, where League leader and Interior Minister Matteo Salvini has repeatedly refused requests by migrant ships to dock, to that of the U.S. administration of Donald Trump.

“We have our problems with refugees coming from Honduras, Salavador, Nicaragua, Mexico… It’s very similar to what you are going through here,” he said, accusing politicians in both Italy and the United States of demonising migrants.

Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini came very close to winning the internet with his response.

“Given this generous millionaire is voicing concern for the fate of the Open Arms migrants, we thank him: he can take back to Hollywood, on his private plane, all the people aboard and support them in his villas. Thank you Richard!” he said in a statement.

Well done, Minister Salvini. Sounds like something we’ve all thought, and perhaps said, more than once, doesn’t it?


National Security Advisor John Bolton is currently in London, talking to the British about Brexit and how it will affect our relationship. According to Guido, he said this:

He makes clear the US would “enthusiastically” support the UK if it left with no deal:

“If that is the decision of the British government, we will support it enthusiastically. That is the message I am bringing: we are with you. Britain’s success in successfully exiting the EU is a statement about democratic rule and constitutional government that is important for Britain but for the US too.”

Which is exactly what I’ve wanted ever since British Independence Day back on  23 June 2016. That it has taken over three years to finally get to this point makes it clear that Theresa May was the worst Prime Minister since at least Lord North.  As somebody said, Lord North only lost America, Theresa May did her best to lose Britain itself. Thank God for Boris Johnson, and may he steer a proper course back to independence. Somebody, back in some dangerous time, signaled, “England expects that every man will do his duty” Nothing much has changed in that regard since 23 October 1805.

This is part of the reason it is so important. From Mr. Bolton.

“The fashion in the European Union when the people vote the wrong way from the way the elites want to go, is make the peasants vote again and again until they get it right.”

Bolton, like many in the Trump administration, is an ideological supporter of Brexit as well as a pragmatic one. Remainers can complain all they like but it’s not a bad thing to have in your closest ally at this moment in time…

There are a lot of Americans (including me) who think that way, and some 16.7 million Britons as well.


Over at American Thinker, Eileen F. Toplansky wants to know why blacks are relinquishing their birthright. It’s a good question. Here is some of her article.

The Democrat Party knows only one way to reach the Black population in this country. They race-bait; they lie; they foment change that never actually helps Black people. They engage in covert racism against the very people they claim to want to help.

Cities that are Democratically-controlled have an abysmal record of assisting Black citizens. Yet, when election time comes around, the Democrats swoop in with their promises only to leave when the television cameras cease running.

She then talks about The Freedmen’s Bureau established in the War Department during Reconstruction.

On April 19, 1866, former slaves Benjamin Berry Manson and Sarah Ann Benton White received an official marriage certificate from the Freedmen’s Bureau, officially known as the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands.

The Wilson County, Tennessee couple had lived as slave man and wife since October 28, 1843, and for the first time in more than two decades their marriage had finally received legal recognition. The Freedmen’s Bureau — established in the War Department by an act of Congress on March 3, 1865 … provided freed people with food and clothing, medical attention, employment, support for education, help with military claims, and a host of other socially related services — including assisting ex-slave couples in formalizing marriages they had entered into during slavery.

For the Mansons — who had lived intermittently on separate farms — the marriage certificate issued by the Freedmen’s Bureau was more than a document ‘legally’ sealing the sacred bonds of holy matrimony. Listing the names and ages of 9 of their 16 children, it was for them a symbol of freedom and the long-held hope that they and their children would one day live free as a family in the same household.

Benjamin and Sarah Manson were not alone in their quest to put their slave marriage on a legal footing. When freedom came, tens of thousands of former slave men and women — some seeking to marry for the first time and others attempting to solemnize long-standing relationships — sought help from Union Army clergy, provost marshals, northern missionaries, and the Freedmen’s Bureau.

We don’t talk enough about how we tried to help the former slaves and accomplished quite a lot.

Regarding education, how is it that so many black students are not excelling in school?  Frederick Douglass innately understood that slavery and education are incompatible because ignorance is one way slave-owners kept their slaves manageable.  Why aren’t black students demanding that they be taught the basics and not a slew of left-wing indoctrination meant to divide people and keep them down?

While no one is in actual iron chains, the Democratic Party keeps black people manageable because they have been denied the tools to succeed in reading, writing, and ‘rithmetic.  If you can barely read, you are ripe for the indoctrination and emotional angst the Democrats whip up.  If you are praised when you speak street talk in an effort to avoid appearing educated, what kind of gift is that?  If Democrats — now diehard leftists — use “white privilege” arguments in order to lure in naïve black students, these students have become useful tools to the left-wing Democratic Party.

As Thomas Sowell has written, “[d]uring the half century following the Civil War, an estimated $57 million was contributed from the North to educate black students in the South and blacks themselves contributed an additional $24 million.  But the Southern states dragged their feet on creating schools — and especially high schools — for black children.”

In fact, it was the Southern Democrats who were determined not to let black children realize their full potential.

Read it all. She is completely, thoroughly, and unequivocally correct. It’s a shame that Johnson and his heirs have so suborned the blacks that they actually do believe that their oppressors are their friends. I suspect than when the scales drop from their eyes, there will be hell to pay. I hope it comes soon because the longer it takes, the worse it will be, both for them now and for us all later.

Not for nothing did President Kennedy say:

Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.

And that applies to all three stories we have here today.

Epstein

Like so many others, I’m having trouble taking Jeffrey Epstein’s suicide seriously. Yes, we should, of course, but my word…

Steven Hayward pretty much nailed it on Twitter:

And

That pretty well sums it up, doesn’t it? Everything we know tells us Epstein was a bad man, but how in the world does the main witness in one of the most important cases the government has manage to hang himself. In short, it has been a very long time since the government has encouraged us to have confidence in it. And this event has made it quite a bit worse.

Steven also says this in his article:

Attorney General Barr is asking for an FBI investigation and and Inspector General investigation. Why an IG investigation, too? Maybe he doesn’t trust the Clinton-friendly FBI? (On the other hand, if this IG report takes as long as most of them do to finish, we’ll be dead from global warming before we see it.)

Yep.

Jonathan Turley adds:

The suicide comes a day after the release of documents implicating an array of powerful figures around the world. Epstein catered to friends from Bill Clinton to Prince Andrew. The timing has already caused some to question whether this was a true suicide or an effort to get rid of a man who was becoming a major threat to major players in politics and business. Given the low likelihood of success for Epstein, 66, in his criminal case and the prospect of spending the rest of his life in jail, a suicide attempt was likely. However, that raises the question of how a man who was once on a suicide watch could be allowed the material, let alone the opportunity, for a suicide.

And if I understand the timeline, only a few hours after he was taken off suicide watch. Which doesn’t explain why nobody checked on him for at least several hours that night.

Prison officials say that Epstein was declared dead at 6:30 am. They say the cause was cardiac arrest but reports indicate it was a suicide. Two weeks ago, Epstein was was found nearly unconscious in his cell with injuries to his neck.

It is the timing that is likely to spur conspiracy theories. Documents released yesterday detail allegations by Virginia Giuffre that she was told to have sex with an assortment of Epstein’s friends, including former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, former U.S. Senator George Mitchell; asset manager Glenn Dubin, modeling executive Jean Luc Brunel, the late MIT scientist Marvin Minsky, Prince Andrew and Harvard University law professor Alan Dershowitz. The next day, Epstein is dead.

Unless one counts revenge on his so-called friends, it is rather hard to see what Epstein had to live for, looking at a long criminal proceeding and then most likely life in prison, but:

Yet, how could such a high suicide risk be allowed the opportunity for a suicide? At a minimum, a suicide would indicate gross negligence by the prison officials in Manhattan. Much like the murder of Whitey Bulgar at Hazelton, the death would only be possible with an utter lack of competence by correctional management and staff.

This is how huge conspiracy theories start when nothing at all makes sense. Attorney General Barr would be well advised to build a hot enough fire under his subordinates to get some answers rather quickly because I can’t think of anyone who believes the government’s story at this point. All I’m hearing is a disagreement on whether it was the Clinton Crime Family or the Deep State if there is either a distinction or a difference between them.

This is one of those times when justice delayed is decidedly justice denied, and the American people are pretty much fed up with the bullshit.

A Cold Civil War?

Ugh!

I very much fear that J. J. Sefton’s Morning Report at Ace’s yesterday is spot on.

Good morning, kids. A commenter, whose name I apologize for not remembering, remarked yesterday evening (paraphrasing) “we wake up, have bacon and eggs, send the kids to school, walk the dog, go to work, come home and everything seems just fine, and then we turn on the internet to find out we’re on the verge of civil war.” Well, that is exactly right. Unfortunately both parts of that observation are indeed happening and they are not in the least contradictory. At the risk of repeating myself from yesterday, in 2016 we the people elected Trump to stop the madness of the 100-year project to fundamentally destroy the nation as founded, and for that mortal sin, we are witnessing the reaction to that rejection by the Democrat-Left-Media-Globalist-Deep State Complex. The question is, is it their death rattle (to the extent that the underlying evil that infects their core beliefs can ever be killed off) or the hours before an imminent banzai charge?

Whatever it is, there is no doubt that the ramping up of violent rhetoric and the concomitant violence it has engendered since Trump was elected and arguably going further back into the Obama eight-year reign of error can be 100% laid at the feet of the Left. And by that I mean its political and media leadership. From typical smear tactics and mere lying to the never-before treasonous abuse of the instrumentalities of government to overthrow this president and undo a legal election, everything they have used to thwart this President’s legal ascension to the office has failed, and spectacularly so. The horrific shootings in Texas and Ohio have now sent them over the edge, both in terms of a new tack in attempting to take him down by pimping him as the leader of some mythical “white supremacist” movement and conveniently as yet another pretext to destroy the Second Amendment. And the GOP-e, true to form, is reverting to its usual position of curling up into a ball and letting the left stomp all over it. More on that in a bit.

Rush Limbaugh has been saying for the past three years that regarding Trump, this is what fighting back in the rhetorical sense looks like. It’s not pretty, (although his Tweets and retorts are glorious after decades of Republicans just taking their lumps) but it sure as hell is effective. With the media now denuded of the ability to take him down and what there was of its credibility in tatters, and the Democrat Party completely off the rails in terms of anything remotely resembling sane policy proposals or reasoned criticism of their opponents, they can collectively do one of two things: Admit defeat and enter into a period of introspection and reform, or hit the accelerator into “Ludicrous Speed.” Guess which one they’ll choose.

Keep reading.

This has gone beyond the point of disagreement, and since we know how unlawful the Democrats have become, any so-called ‘Red Flag Laws’ or pretty much anything else, are now beyond the pale. In an environment of lawful enforcement, they might be a fair idea, with careful drafting, but as it is today, if they are not misused on day one they will be on day two. So the answer is no. And for me, at least, this is a must. If the President supports such a thing, he loses my support.

Somebody yesterday said we are in the opening stages of a cold civil war. I fear they are correct, but this will not be like the first with maneuvering armies and battles lost and won, this will be a partisan war on both sides.

It’s the worst prospect in the world for the end of the United States, but avoiding reality does no good at all.

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