#WalkAway from Corruption

I want to talk a bit about the revelations about the Biden family this week, and will under the fold.

But first I’d very much like you to watch this video. This a young woman’s walk away story and she is very impressive. Yes, the video is a bit long, but that also means it’s pretty thorough.

I’ve said many times that my dad, while actually pretty conservative, was a New Dealer, and I cannot fault why he was and was probably right to be. But I was also right to walk away from the Democrats clean back in High School because they just did not make sense in my world. Only in the reign of Obama, however, have I come to believe the Republican Party may well be America’s deliverance once again, but only if we conservatives force them to be.

Here’s the video

See what I mean, this is powerful stuff, I think, for any Democrat who still has a residual ability to think for themself.

OK, on to Biden et. al. The NY Post (one of the very few newspapers who retain any credibility whatsoever) broke a story on Wednesday about the corruption emanating from Joe Biden’s family. It is based on a copy of a computer hard drive found by a Maryland computer repairman and turned over to the FBI last year. One of the very interesting questions raised is just what the FBI has been doing with it for almost a year, or was it just used as a seat cushion. I suspect many of us know the answer to that.

It is seemingly pretty damning about Hunter’s activities in Ukraine and China. To me, it looks like corroboration more than anything we haven’t already suspected. But it is interesting that supposedly Joe required his family to kick back 50% of their ill-gotten gains which makes the Mafia look like pikers. Like I said, very interesting but nothing much all that new. And in fact, Biden’s campaign hasn’t denied it so much as attempted to spin it.

But the real story here is that Twitter suspended the Post and removed the Tweets associated with the story, suspended the Editor of the Post, suspended the official Trump campaign site,  locked White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany’s account, and blocked links to the official US Senate Judiciary Committee Republicans on the matter.

Facebook while somewhat more measured has also restricted access to the material.

Senator Ted Cruz’s questions are appropriate,

1. Who made the decision to prevent users from sharing this story? On what basis did they make that decision?

2. When was the New York Post made aware of Twitter’s decision and what process was afforded to it to contest the censorship?

3. Has Twitter prevented the New York TimesWashington Post, or any other major news outlet from posting its own reporting? If so, when?

4. If Twitter did not prevent Buzzfeed from sharing its reporting on the Steele dossier or the New York Times reporting on President Trump’s tax returns, please explain a politically neutral principle for why the reporting is treated differently?

5. Has Twitter ever restricted a story published by a major news outlet about Donald J. Trump during his four years as President of the United States?

6. Have Twitter or any of its employees involved in the decision to censor this reporting been in contact in any capacity with the Biden-Harris campaign or any of its representatives regarding this reporting or the allegations contained therein?

Meanwhile, Senator Josh Hawley  Tweeted this:

Once again, the coverup is poised to do more damage to the perpetrators than the alleged crime(s).

If we hold the Senate, and/or take the House, which is our part in curbing this corrupt nonsense, then the Article 230 status of big digital media is in play, and they are likely to lose, being held to the standards of publishers, and likely convicted of election interference on a scale that Russia and China have never even dreamed of.

It’s an ill wind …

Eternal Lessons from History

It’s funny, somebody posts something interesting somewhere more or less out of the blue, and then others completely unrelated show up with something that builds on the first one. So it is here.

Our friend (and co-contributor at AATW) wrote on Sunday that modern history begins in the Peloponnesian War, as it does, saying this:

I am not the most conservative author here, but, unlike many others, in history I am so conservative as to consider that modernity begins with the classical period of Greece, particularly the aftermath of the Peloponnesian War. Although for much of history the rate of change has generally been very slow, especially compared with recent years, and although the cultures we see in the New Testament are, in many respects, far removed from our own, the New Testament has an immediacy about it that comes from its proximity to us on various basic levels.

The same is not necessarily true of the Old Testament, which reveals Bronze Age culture to us (and then goes into the Iron Age). This is a very different world and we have to work hard with ancient complementary sources to really understand it. This Bronze Age world is weird and exotic to our modern eyes.

He’s correct, of course. The Lutheran Study Bible specifies that the Books of History in the Old Testament are those from Josua to Esther. Esther is usually considered to be set in the reign of Xerxes I who ruled from  486 to 465 BC, so predating the Peloponnesian War. So it’s a fairly short break, but a decisive one.

So, I’m reading my way around the net this morning and what shows up from Michael McManus writing at The Conservative Woman but a quote from Thucydides, the historian of, and a victim himself, of that war from Book 3 of his history in paragraphs 82-85, edited by the link’s author:

‘The sufferings which the war inflicted upon the cities were many and terrible, such as have occurred and always will occur, human nature being what it is. War is a rough teacher. Words changed their meanings to accommodate the changed situation. Callous aggression came to be regarded as courage; prudence became weakness; moderation became timidity; willingness to consider evidence and look at all sides of a question became nervousness; fanatical thuggery and treachery became righteous actions. The ideological extremist was trusted while those who urged restraint became the enemy. If someone made a reasonable suggestion, his opponents sought to cover it up or distort its meaning.

‘Ambition, greed and the craving for power caused these evils and intensified the violence. Those in contention were full of fine words and noble expressions: some spoke of equality and political liberty for the people; others spoke of the safety, stability and trustworthiness of sound aristocratic government. Both sides stopped at nothing to get their way. No one wanted to listen to reason but sought fine arguments to justify vile deeds. Meanwhile, ordinary, sensible citizens were trapped between the two: even their quietness was taken as evidence of guilt.

‘The character of the Greeks went from bad to worse. The simple life of honour and decency was laughed at and society divided into hostile camps whose promises were no longer trusted. The less intelligent prospered: knowing their weaknesses and expecting to be defeated in debate they resorted to intimidation and violence. The more intelligent, foolishly confident that reason and evidence would prevail, were caught off-guard and vanquished. Those who were envious of their neighbours engaged in savage and pitiless actions. No longer restrained by convention and law, human nature showed itself to be ungovernable in its passionate disregard for justice, and its hatred of anything superior to itself.’

I think he’d feel right at home in our countries in 2020, don’t you?

And that is kind of the point, while the Old Testament feels exotic to us, we see the same motives there that Thucydides wrote about in ancient Greece, that the American Founders sought to guard against in our founding documents – now endangered, and that we see forthrightly in our governments and on our streets today. We somewhat facilely say that our founder’s sought to guard against Original Sin, well we are not wrong, for that is human nature, sometimes achieving amazing feats and goodness approaching the angels, and sometimes veritable ogres, destroying wantonly and with no less amazing cruelty.

And that is the genius of the English speaking people and especially the United States, to set the bad sides of our nature against our opponents’ bad sides to achieve lasting freedom. We need to guard our heritage fiercely.

The Law of the Pursuer

If like many of us, you have taken defensive weapons training, you know that while (in certain circumstances, that vary from state to state) you may use deadly force to defend yourself or another person and sometimes property as well. You also know that you may not pursue your assailant if he retreats. That retreat ends the confrontation, and if you pursue you become the assailant.

This is a very old concept called din rodef, “the law of the pursuer.”

This is what came into play in Kenosha last week when Kyle Rittenhouse, shot three felons, two fatally, who were pursuing him. The best article I’ve seen on this is by Civis Americanus in American Thinker, let’s have a look.

A rodef (plural rodfim) is somebody who pursues somebody else with the objective of causing death or serious physical injury. Din rodef entitles the one pursued, or a bystander, to use reasonable force, up to and including deadly force, to stop the rodef from completing the intended violent crime. The principle is actually very similar to most modern laws. Deadly force cannot be used if lesser force will suffice, and the rodef ceases to be a rodef the instant he desists from his violent actions. Din rodef is also reflected by the modern adages (in the context of a fight or argument) such as “Never follow anybody into the parking lot” and “Never follow the other guy home” because these are prima facie evidence of malicious and violent intent. It’s hard for a rodef to claim innocence or self-defense when things go bad.

The first Rittenhouse video shows clearly that he was running away from another man, presumably Joseph Rosenbaum, who apparently threw something at him. Rittenhouse was therefore trying to avoid a violent confrontation while Rosenbaum, as best I can tell from the video, was the rodef who insisted on having it. He got what he wanted as in, “Stupid game, stupid prize.” The following opinions are based solely on what can be seen from the videos, and there may well be additional evidence. If I were on the jury I would, on the basis of just the video, toss the charges against Rittenhouse unless the prosecutor could show me very convincing evidence that the incident was not as it seemed.

First, I find it debatable that Mr. Rittenhouse who is 17 should have been in Kenosha at all, let alone with a weapon that is unlawful for him to carry in Wisconsin. But that is a separate matter. He is an incredible marksman under enormous stress, in truth he is an American hero, protecting himself and others. But legalities.

You can easily find the crimes (on the internet) that his pursuers had committed and been found guilty of. They are far more than traffic tickets. Gaige Grosskreutz, the wounded attacker was, as with all three, a convicted felon and not entitled anywhere in the US to be in possession of a gun. He got lucky, he’s alive.

This may well be the first skirmish as American citizens start taking back our cities, time will tell. But few of us will forget Kyle Rittenhouse, who did so much better than many of us could hope to in similar circumstances.

I note that Lin Wood (who represented Nick Sandman) is coordinating fundraising for his defense. Good, and I suggest that his criminal counsel will make a laughingstock of the Kenosha prosecutor who played to the left base with 1st-degree murder charges. Kyle is currently represented by John Pierce.

I further note that if the Kenosha police were allowed to do their jobs and the prosecutor’s office and the courts did their’s, this never would have happened.

Two pieces of old American folk wisdom come to mind.

  1. Play stupid games, win stupid prizes, and
  2. Taking out the trash.

Sir Robert Peel, the Ruling Elite, and Antifa

Sir Robert Peel, Home Secretary under the Duke of Wellington, formed the London Metropolitan Police in 1829. He was also instrumental in the establishment of the Royal Ulster Constabulary. He thus became the ‘Mother of modern policing’ upon which policing in the Anglosphere (and elsewhere) is based.

He left us nine principles of modern policing which are the key to the successful policing of a democracy (or a constitutional republic). They are:

  1. To prevent crime and disorder, as an alternative to their repression by military force and severity of legal punishment.
  2. To recognize always that the power of the police to fulfill their functions and duties is dependent on public approval of their existence, actions and behavior, and on their ability to secure and maintain public respect.
  3. To recognize always that to secure and maintain the respect and approval of the public means also the securing of the willing cooperation of the public in the task of securing observance of laws.
  4. To recognize always that the extent to which the cooperation of the public can be secured diminishes proportionately the necessity of the use of physical force and compulsion for achieving police objectives.
  5. To seek and preserve public favor, not by pandering to public opinion, but by constantly demonstrating absolute impartial service to law, in complete independence of policy, and without regard to the justice or injustice of the substance of individual laws, by ready offering of individual service and friendship to all members of the public without regard to their wealth or social standing, by ready exercise of courtesy and friendly good humor, and by ready offering of individual sacrifice in protecting and preserving life.
  6. To use physical force only when the exercise of persuasion, advice and warning is found to be insufficient to obtain public cooperation to an extent necessary to secure observance of law or to restore order, and to use only the minimum degree of physical force which is necessary on any particular occasion for achieving a police objective.
  7. To maintain at all times a relationship with the public that gives reality to the historic tradition that the police are the public and that the public are the police, the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full-time attention to duties which are incumbent on every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence.
  8. To recognize always the need for strict adherence to police-executive functions, and to refrain from even seeming to usurp the powers of the judiciary of avenging individuals or the State, and of authoritatively judging guilt and punishing the guilty.
  9. To recognize always that the test of police efficiency is the absence of crime and disorder, and not the visible evidence of police action in dealing with them.

Those are the principles upon which American police forces are based, and like the Met, some are coming into disrepute recently with the citizens, usually especially principles 5, 7, and 8 recently.

Why? Well, Colonel Schlichter has some thoughts:

Rioters and criminals get released with a wave and a smile; cops get threatened with death row for fighting back when a career criminal tries to taser them. It’s all a lie and a scam.

This is all part and parcel of a strategy to strip us of any kind of refuge or recourse from abuse. We cannot look to the marketplace of ideas to make our case because our case has been declared verboten. The institutions are arrayed against us. The law means nothing because it will not be enforced neutrally. So why again do we consider ourselves bound by the social contract the establishment has been using like Charmin?

What we are seeing is the elite’s ruthless pursuit of the power we stripped them of back in 2016 when we made the Hillary fans cry. And since then, despite it all, we have made progress – some good judges, no more wars, trade realism with China. But this is intolerable to the leftist Establishment.

I find it very difficult to disagree with him, as do many Americans, which is why May was the best ever month for gun sales, and June is expected to top that. That has much to do with the threats that Antifa is making to spread out from the ‘blue cities’, which America as a whole will not tolerate. We have too much to lose. So if the police abdicate the trust we’ve tried to have in them, as many are doing and/or if a two-tiered level of justice continues for much longer, we might as well disestablish the police forces, for then the rights, and the obligations, delineated in the constitution, the courts, and the police, will devolve back to the citizenry at large. Kurt may or may not be correct that this is a coup of the elite against the people, it doesn’t matter. That is the perception many (maybe most) of us have been given, and the sovereign American people will act accordingly. The police at all levels become something between superfluous to an enemy of the people.

I suggest that it is a very bad outcome, even if we win, and we would.

The American People Take Control

The other day, Ben Domenech of The Federalist titled his post “Americans Will Decide When Lockdown Is Over“. As always, he makes a good case…

As a legal matter, Trump assuredly does not have the power to order states to do such things or overrule their governors on the matter without provoking a major legal fight. But all of this talk about whose authority must be respected leaves out the practical reality at play here: the American people will decide when the economy is reopened. Until their fears fade, you can’t just flip a switch and make them go out to eat or interact or buy luxury goods. As Chris Jacobs notes: “Just because the Trump administration gives word that individuals and businesses can reopen doesn’t mean that most, or even any, of them will do so.”

That, of course, is simply common sense. You can maybe, given sufficient cause, tell Americans they can not do something, and most will likely comply, even as we have with the soemtimes nonsensical rules imposed during this [perhaps] epidemic. If you work hard enough at scaring us anyway. For a while – maybe.

It’s another kettle of fish if you’re going to try to tell us we have to start doing all the things we did before. Ever tried to tell your stubborn uncle that he has to do something? Yeah, worked out well didn’t it? Uncle Sam’s nephews are a stubborn lot at best and don’t coerce worth a damn.

The other thing Ben is right about, and I do urge you to follow the link above is that when we decide it’s time to get back to work, play, worship, whatever; we will do so, and no government will ever be able to stop us.

Remember when the authorities closed the Port of Boston? Yeah, what happened? The United States happened. Perhaps we are really dumbed down sheep these days, but I don’t think so, I think we’re complacent, overly comfortable, and afraid that asserting ourselves might get the china broken. But I think under that we are the same people as we were then, and woe betide any would-be dictator.

The other thing is this, from Jack Dunphy at PJ Media via Second City Cop, who says this:

  • I’ve been a cop for nearly 40 years. For the last 20 of them, I’ve had the good fortune of being granted the platform, first at National Review Online, later at City Journal, Ricochet, and here at PJ Media, to write on behalf of my fellow police officers when their actions came under what I considered to be unfair criticism. Police work has grown more difficult since I began, all the more so when cops’ split-second decisions are scrutinized by an uninformed public after having been mischaracterized in the media, sometimes deliberately.

    So it saddens me to observe some of the asininity on display among some of my fellow police officers in recent days as fear of the coronavirus pandemic brings the country to its knees. Reason and common sense have in some places been abandoned in favor of a level of social control rarely seen in any country that calls itself free, much less in the United States of America. Here in Southern California, we have seen police officers ticketing a surfer on an otherwise empty beach, citing people for sitting in parked cars while watching a sunset, and, in what may be the most farcical display of them all, using not just one but two boats to corral and arrest a lone paddleboarder off the coast of Malibu.

    I do not discount the seriousness of the coronavirus pandemic. Indeed, I am of a sufficiently advanced age to be considered a high-risk patient if I were to contract the disease. But neither do I discount the genuine threat to liberty posed by the various orders, decrees, edicts, and mandates lately imposed by the nation’s governors, mayors, health commissioners, and every other sort of government functionary exercising their newly discovered power to limit the freedom of their fellow citizens. In the case of the people being hassled for watching the sunset, cited above, the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department was so proud of this exercise of authority that they made it their pinned tweet on their Twitter account.

He (and we) are of a generation of cops who remember exactly what the oath was we took years ago, and it wasn’t to be petty tyrants in the service of political agendas.
And that’s important, there are some bad apples in the police department barrel, just like all the other barrels, but in general, the police officers we see in the street are not the problem. They too are victims, as they do their best to enforce the law, stay out of jail, and still keep their job and self-respect. A lot of the time, they are the guys and gals stuck in the middle, just trying to get through the day. We make a mistake if we make them the enemy instead of the politicians who are so greatly exceeding their authority.
Ben makes another  point:
And on the other hand, those who desperately want to reopen and exchange in goods and services will do so in spite of any regulatory burden that is not delivered at the end of a gun. Just go to any mid-sized neighborhood and you’ll see that the number of small businesses that are quietly reopening, despite not offering an essential service, is growing every day. They are testing the limits of the willingness of police to shut them down. And really, unless they end up going viral, the cops are looking the other way.
Life will go on, and the police (in the street, anyway) realize just like the rest of us, that in large measure we have been lied to (again) and that there will be a tomorrow, and if we are going to live in that world, we’d be wise not to make everyone an enemy. After all, we have politicians to do that for us. Frankly, out here, I doubt very much if there is a business, or indeed church, who isn’t quietly breaking the rules. They have to be, if life is to go on, and Americans are above all pragmatic. The question always is, “Will it work?” and the answer when the question is committing economic suicide to prevent some flu deaths is a resounding “NO!”
Long ago, centuries before “Governor Blackface” was in office, a Governor of Virginia knew his people very well. His comment in another crisis was

Give me liberty or give me death

I too qualify as an at risk person and Governor Patrick Henry speaks for me and I think most Americans, even when the Chinese Flu threatens.

Land of Heroes

Sometimes we forget to acknowledge across the partisan divide, when someone on the other side, does the right thing. Well, today I want to take the time.

First, Representative Tulsi Gabbard, who is running for President, but did the right (and nice) thing earlier this week when she heard about Rush Linbaugh’s cancer. She Tweeted:

That was both nice and kind of her, alone of the Presidential candidates, and she paid a pretty high price for it (at least on Twitter). Her politics are often as bad as the rest, but Rep. Gabbard seems like she is a very nice human being, which is, of course, why I, like so many conservatives, like her even as we disagree with much of what she says.

Thank you, ma’am.

Another one who has surprised me greatly is Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D- AZ). When she was running she seemed much like just another Democrat flake (pun there but not intended). As she demonstrated at the State of the Union, she has proved to be what a Senator should be, an advocate for her constituents. If you were watching, you saw her standing out often, as she applauded things that she thinks are good for Arizona, and many, many of those were the same thing that left the harpies in white sitting on their hands.

As Gabby Hoffman said on RedState, “Be a Kyrsten Sinema not a Nancy Pelosi.”

These two young women give me hope that American politics may yet recover, but that day is not today. But we should notice and comment when an opponent does the right thing regardless of the political consequences. We should also emulate them, not in what we believe but in how we treat people.

On the other hand, Pelosi’s harpies in white sat there stone faced when the President said this:

And yet, historically this is what the Democrats, as well as the Republicans, believed. Well, it makes the choice pretty clear, you can be pro America, or you can vote Democrat. It takes an exceptional person to combine them, a few still exist, and we honor them, but they are a species on the verge of extinction.

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