Archive for the 'Politics' Category



Governor Greg Abbot Announces School Safety Plan And Proposed Changes To Gun Laws

BY Herschel Smith
2 weeks, 4 days ago

Via The Texas Tribune, here is the plan (PDF).

Here are my problems with it.  Money, money, money, money, money, and more money.

And a hefty dose of predictive behavior modification from the department of pre-crime.  And then there is this special program.

The Telemedicine Wellness Intervention Triage and Referral (TWITR) Project has created a model for identifying students at risk for committing school violence and intervening with those students before acts of violence occur.

[ … ]

Students are identified by trained school staff and screened for risk-based behaviors by Licensed Professional Counselors in schools then provided psychiatric services by Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) over a telemedicine link. Two telemedicine psychiatry sessions are provided through the project. If, through the assessment, a student is identified as requiring mental health care, either a referral for individual and/or family counseling is made or the student is referred to a medical school department of psychiatry for additional telemedicine psychiatric services

How nice.  The village witchdoctor will take a child aside, regardless of whether approved by parents, if s/he meets some criteria set up by … the village witchdoctors.

There is also a proposal to protect the identity of “tipsters.”  Great.  I can’t see such a thing being abused by school kids at all.

There’s more, from “red flag” laws to “Strengthening the Safe Firearm Storage Law.”  It’s a statists wet dream come true.

Common Sense Politician Control

BY Herschel Smith
2 weeks, 6 days ago

Georgiaboy61:

How about this for an idea? A citizen-searchable database on the associations (legit and otherwise) of elected representatives such as Leahy and Nelson, as well as a list of campaign donors? As well as data on their FA ownership, possession of CCW permits, and other relevant similar information? Transparency is good, right, and what’s good for the proverbial goose is good for the gander. Oh, and if FAs are bad then we the people fully-expect that you and yours, Senators, will be surrendering your taxpayer-funded armed security details at the earliest opportunity. Remember, it’s for the children….

How could any politician refuse when it’s for the children?

Three Women In Paddock’s Room?

BY Herschel Smith
3 weeks ago

Laura Loomer:

Recent documents released regarding the the October 1, 2017 Las Vegas Shooting are beginning to shed light on more discrepancies and abnormalities surrounding the official timeline and narrative of the tragedy as originally stated by Sheriff Joe Lombardo and Special Agent Aaron Rouse of the Las Vegas FBI , including documentation that three women were found in the alleged shooter’s room.

The most recent batch of documents that were released include witness reports, dispatch logs, and officer reports that recount the events that took place that night and further reveal that Paddock was not alone in his room as was was first stated by Sheriff Lombardo.

Page 26 of the dispatch logs that were released by LVMPD details the moments when the alleged shooter, Stephen Paddock, was located by a security detail at the Mandalay Bay. As actions were taken to assemble a team of officers to apprehend the suspect, a dispatcher shared the name of the alleged shooter located in Room 32-135, along with three females that were reported to be in the room with Mr. Paddock. However, the names of those three women are redacted from the report …

No wonder the FBI and LVPD didn’t want these documents released.  So here’s a question to ponder.  How many MSM outlets will investigate this?

The Unfolding Wickedness Of The Deep State

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 2 weeks ago

Mark Tapscott:

Virtually everybody in the nation’s capital is waiting either in fear or in eager anticipation for the upcoming investigative report of Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz.

Horowitz is among the most respected and effective IGs ever appointed, but former President Barack Obama, who nominated him in 2011, may consider that decision among the most regrettable from his eight years in the White House.

Here’s why: The Inspectors General Act of 1978 authorizes the IGs and their investigators and auditors to obtain and examine any official document necessary to carrying out their responsibilities in fighting waste, fraud and corruption in government. Presidents appoint IGs — but those IGs report to Congress, making them an important component of congressional oversight of the executive branch.

But a few months before Horowitz was sworn into the job in 2012, Eric Holder, Obama’s attorney general and previously deputy attorney general under President Bill Clinton, gutted the IG act provision that mandates their access to all necessary documents. Holder acted at the behest of then-FBI Director Robert Mueller and others at the bureau.

Holder — who would subsequently be held in contempt by Congress for refusing to turn over subpoenaed documents in the “Fast and Furious” scandal — thus forced Horowitz to request in writing any documents he sought from the bureau.

There then ensued a three-year struggle in Congress and the media that culminated in Obama having no choice but to sign the Inspector General Empowerment Act of 2016, which removed all doubt about the IG’s access.

During the three years between Holder’s blatant subversion of the 1978 Inspectors General Act and passage of the 2016 law, James Comey succeeded Mueller as FBI chief. He continued, however, to wall off Horowitz’s access to documents essential to doing his job until the new law was passed.

Horowitz has been investigating the FBI’s conduct in its investigation of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s use of a private server and email system to conduct official business as America’s chief diplomat. He’s also probing the bureau’s investigation of allegations of collusion between President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign and elements linked to the Russian government.

In the course of those two investigations, Horowitz has obtained and reviewed an estimated 1.2 million documents. There is an old saying in Washington that “things that go around have a way of coming back around.”

As more facts are uncovered about the lengths to which former FBI Director James Comey, his then-Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, and a half-dozen other pro-Hillary Clinton bureau insiders went to protect the Democratic nominee in her email scandal, the least discussed element is Obama’s role in the affair.

But former Attorney General Michael Mukasey and former U.S. Attorney Andrew McCarthy make persuasive cases that protecting Obama in the Clinton email scandal was key to the FBI’s clearly bungled investigation.

Remember Comey’s July 2016 nationally televised announcement that he would not recommend prosecution of Clinton despite her “extreme carelessness” in handling super secret classified national security information?

One of the drafts of Comey’s announcement referred to Clinton emails between her and “the president.” But, as McCarthy recently pointed out, “a revised draft of Comey’s remarks was circulated by his chief of staff, Jim Rybicki. It replaced ‘the president’ with ‘another senior government official.'”

Mukasey recently explained on “The Ingraham Angle” why that change made a huge difference in understanding the Clinton email scandal:

“President Obama was sending messages and receiving messages on Hillary Clinton’s private email server. Jim Comey knew that, and when President Obama went on television and said, ‘There’s no issue here, she didn’t really intend to cause harm,’ what he was really saying in essence is, ‘You’d better let her off, because if you wind up accusing her, you wind up accusing me.’

“Comey followed that lead. And the notion that this was somehow something that he had to do for the welfare of the country, there’s a lot of disingenuous claptrap.” In other words, preserving Obama’s “plausible deniability” was priority number one.

Several observations.  First of all, regardless of the involvement of the IG as we speak, Holder and the DoJ still hasn’t been held accountable for Fast & Furious, and probably never will be.  Moreover, we will likely never read all of the documents pertaining to that scandal.  I think Tapscott’s assessment lacks the moderation this fact demands.

Second, if the IG investigation means turning charges over to a court, the progressives own most of the judicial system.  Nothing will be done.  If the IG investigation means turning the findings over to Congress or the Senate, we all know with surety that nothing will be done.  The current Legislative Branch in the main contains the most self serving gaggle of spineless vipers ever to slither the earth excepting the deep state itself (Of course, there are good men like Louis Gohmert, Walter Jones and Thomas Massie, but they lack the power to make a difference).  Finally, many members of the Legislative branch are themselves in the deep state or the coverup (e.g., John McCain, Lindsey Graham, Richard Burr, etc.).

Third, I don’t believe for one second that priority number one for all or even any of their actions was protection of Obama.  Comey and McCabe are attempting to throw each other under the bus, and you must remember that there is no honor among criminals.  Self protection was the goal of their actions, not some sort of honorable, altruistic self sacrifice.  Thus I reject Tapscott’s main presupposition.

However, he has done a good job of connecting the dots.  Read the balance of the report.

Democratic House Would Make Gun Control A Top Priority

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 3 weeks ago

Roll Call:

If Democrats control the House in 2019 they would quickly schedule floor action on gun violence prevention, protections for “Dreamers” and infrastructure, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said Tuesday.

“When we win and we take over in January, some of the issues that will come up soon are the issues we are asking the speaker to take up now,” Pelosi said, naming those three issues.

Speaking during a town hall event with students at Georgetown University, the California Democrat several times used phrasing that suggests she’s not thinking about “if” Democrats retake the House but “when.“

She’s right, I’m certain, it’s not if but just a matter of when.  And they’re not even waiting until they have a democratic president.  They want it now.

What do you think will happen if the democratic house hands Mr. Donald “Ban the bump stocks take the guns first” Trump a spending bill with gun control attached to it?  For the answer, consider what he did when a republican congress did that very thing with CDC spending for “gun studies,” support for a bump stock ban and Fix-NICS.

The Escalating City-State Battle Over Guns

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 3 weeks ago

Citylab:

This month, the South Carolina House of Representatives made it clear that they don’t want anyone’s hands on their guns—not national leaders, and certainly not local ones. To keep Washington’s interference at bay, representatives introduced a bill that would let the state consider seceding from the country if the federal government were to start confiscating legally purchased firearms. But they also launched an inward-facing attack, introducing a “Second Amendment Protection Act” that would enforce extra punishments on cities that act to “restrict [gun] access beyond that which is provided by state law.”

South Carolina already has harsh state preemption policies that weaken localities’ ability to pass their own gun regulations, as do 42 other states. So why is it passing a new one?

The answer may lie in a bold piece of legislation passed this December by the city of Columbia, in what has become the most recent manifestation of a city-state battle over guns—waged while the federal government sits most of it out.

[ … ]

To challenge these sweeping allowances, some cities are quietly—and elsewhere, loudly—pushing their own gun reform agendas. In March, Lincoln, Nebraska, followed Columbia to become the second city to ban bump stocks. (City council members called the ban a largely symbolic move, but one that brings them closer to becoming a safer “city of law and order.”) And on April 3, Deerfield, Illinois passed a bill prohibiting the possession, sale, or manufacturing of assault weapons and high-capacity magazines—to the dismay of the NRA. Gun owners in the city have until June 13 to get rid of their assault rifles, or face steep fines.

Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin will take the helm of the U.S. Council of Mayors as president in May, and has already expressed a commitment to making city-level gun control a priority. He’s been strategizing with mayors from Little Rock, Arkansas; Chattanooga, Tennessee; and Orlando, Florida, which just voted to join the lawsuit against Governor Rick Scott over preemption. “I think you’re going to see an interesting, thoughtful wave of policy-making [next year],” said Benjamin. “Creative policy-making, and litigation strategies that will allow us to do our jobs.”

Hey, it’s almost as if there is no more South and the culture has gone.  And the American culture has completed fractured into a million pieces.  And families are far-flung, and there is no national recognition of liberty and rights, much less state or even city, with whomever wants doing whatever is right in his own eyes.

And its almost as if America is a disaggregated collection of disparate, unconnected and unrelated self-serving entities vying for position and power, as if the only thing left is family (if we can bring them back together), community and tribe.

I wonder just how that happened?

Alex Jones Of Infowars Sued By Sandy Hook Parents In Defamation Lawsuits

BY Herschel Smith
2 months ago

NBC News:

Three parents whose children were killed in the Sandy Hook school shooting have filed defamation lawsuits against Alex Jones, the controversial conspiracy theorist and Infowars host who has falsely claimed the 2012 massacre was faked.

The two lawsuits were filed on Monday afternoon by Leonard Pozner and Veronique De La Rosa, the parents of 6-year-old Noah Pozner, and by Neil Heslin, the father of 6-year-old Jesse Heslin.

“The statements were a continuation and elaboration of a years-long campaign to falsely attack the honesty of the Sandy Hook parents, casting them as participants in a ghastly conspiracy and cover-up,” the plaintiffs said in their suits.

Jones has repeatedly questioned whether 20 children and six adults were gunned down in Newtown, Connecticut, on Dec. 14, 2012, deriding the shooting as a “hoax” concocted to chip away at Second Amendment rights. The gunman, Adam Lanza, killed himself as police arrived at the school, but a clear motive for the rampage has never been identified.

In a broadcast last year called “Sandy Hook Vampires Exposed,” Jones suggested a CNN interview with De La Rosa was faked — a claim that her lawsuit blasts as a “sick lie.”

Hey, why does Alex Jones get all the credit and attention?  So let me say this one more time, as if a dozen isn’t enough.

Sandy Hook was a hoax, fraud and fake perpetrated on the American people concocted to chip away at gun rights and liberties in America.

If you dispute what I’m saying, show me the autopsy reports by a licensed medical examiner.  Show them to me now, please.  Not later, now.

I would link the YouTube video on the Sandy Hook hoax again, but as you might have expected, Google has taken it down for “violating the terms of service.”  In other words, they didn’t like what the authors had to say.

Because Google.

Comments On ATF Bump Stock Ban

BY Herschel Smith
2 months, 1 week ago

James Wesley Rawles at Survival Blog has done a simply magnificent job of upbraiding the ATF.  It’s an absolute throw-down of blood and gore and broken bones when Rawles gets through with the ATF.  If you like seeing the FedGov slapped around, visit Survival Blog.  Here is a taste.

My specific objections are as follows. Note: I reserve the right to litigate on any or all of these. Furthermore EACH of the following numbered items are distinct separate objections and must be addressed individually with logical and complete specificity by the BATFE before the proposed rule is put into force:

1.) To declare existing privately owned devices contraband machineguns with no available method of registering them as machineguns constitutes an uncompensated taking.

2.) To declare existing privately owned devices contraband machineguns with no Grandfather Clause flies in the face of many decades of Federal case law, under Federal Jurisprudence. This also constitutes an uncompensated taking.

3.) The proposed redefinition of “machinegun” (per 26 U.S.C. 5845(b)) is vaguely worded. For example: What is meant by “function of the trigger”? Does that mean a trigger pull (only)? Does that mean a trigger release? Does that mean a pull OR release of a trigger? Or does that mean a pull AND release of a trigger? Does a partial pull of a trigger still constitute a function? Or must a pull of a trigger be through its entire arc to a stopping point to constitute a function?   Or must a pull of a trigger be through its entire arc to a stopping point and then a release to a reset point to constitute a function?   Or does a release of a trigger from a stopping point to a reset point to constitute a function? Or does a release of a trigger from a partially-pulled position to a reset point to constitute a function?

4.) More than a mere interpretation, it REDEFINES, AMPLIFIES and EXPANDS the wording of the NFA-’34 (26 U.S.C. 5845(b)). This is clearly bureaucratic overreach by the Executive Branch. Per the Constitution, only congress can MAKE laws. The executive branch and agencies can only ENFORCE already legislated and duly enacted laws.

5.) How can the BATFE redefine the meaning of the phrase “single function of the trigger” (per 26 U.S.C. 5845(b)) without the consent of congress?

6.) How can the BATFE further restrict the possession of Militia Weapons without a modification or repeal of the 2nd Amendment?

7.) By declaring a previously legal and constitutionally-protected “arm” suddenly “illegal” and “contraband” is a violation of the 2nd Amendment

8.) By declaring a previously legal and constitutionally-protected “arm” suddenly “illegal” and “contraband” and mandating its surrender to authorities would IDENTIFY the owner is thus a violation of the 5th Amendment protection from self-incrimination. It would also violate the 5th Amendment’s “taking” clause.

9.) By declaring a previously legal and constitutionally-protected “arm” suddenly “illegal” and “contraband” and mandating its surrender to authorities would violate the 4th Amendment protection from seizure without due process.

10.) I take exception to this wording: “Because such devices allow a shooter of a semiautomatic firearm to initiate a continuous firing cycle”. That is vague.

11.) I take exception to this wording: “…initiate a continuous firing cycle with a single pull of the trigger.” That is grossly vague and violates the plain simple, Black Letter Law and the manifold intent of congress when it enacted NFA-’34 See: 26 U.S.C. 5845(b))

12.) I take exception to this wording: “…these devices convert…” It is not a conversion to the operating mechanism. Rather, it is either an adjunct or a firing technique, or both.

13.) I take exception to this wording: “…these devices convert an otherwise semiautomatic firearm into a machinegun.”   By your new definition, then so does holding your your thumb in your belt-loop when firing from the hip!

14.) I take exception to this wording: “…these devices convert an otherwise semiautomatic firearm into a machinegun.”   By your new definition, then so does holding the buttstock of a rifle a short distance from your shoulder when firing!

15.) I take exception to this wording: “…these devices convert an otherwise semiautomatic firearm into a machinegun.”   By your new definition, then so does holding a rifle loosely at either shoulder level or hip level when firing! See: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7RdAhTxyP64

16.) I take exception to this wording: “harnesses the recoil energy of the semiautomatic firearm in a manner that allows the trigger to reset and continue firing without additional physical manipulation of the trigger by the shooter.” The reset IS indeed physical manipulation of the trigger by the shooter because BOTH the shooter’s body (including the trigger finger) and the gun itself (including the trigger itself) are in motion, when under the force of recoil.

17.) I take exception to this wording: “Hence, a semiautomatic firearm to which a bump-stock-type device is attached is able to produce automatic fire with a single pull of the trigger.” It is NOT automatic fire, as defined by congress in NFA-’34.

18.) I take exception to this wording: “Hence, a semiautomatic firearm to which a bump-stock-type device is attached is able to produce automatic fire with a single pull of the trigger.” It is not producing automatic fire. The shooter’s trigger finger is still producing the fire, one shot at a time.

19.) I take exception to this wording: “With limited exceptions, primarily as to government agencies, the GCA makes it unlawful for any person to transfer or possess a machinegun unless it was lawfully possessed prior to the effective date of the statute.” The Hughes Amendment to FOPA restricts only machineguns, not semi-automatics. Only congress can redefine the word “machinegun”.

20.) I take exception to this wording: “Consequently, current possessors of these devices would be required to surrender them, destroy them, or otherwise render them permanently inoperable upon the effective date of the final rule.” To “surrender them, destroy them, or otherwise render them permanently inoperable” would constitute an uncompensated “taking” which is not allowable under Federal jurisprudence.

21.) I take exception to this wording: “The bump-stock-type devices covered by this proposed rule were not in existence prior to the GCA’s effective date, and therefore would fall within the prohibition on machineguns if this Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) is implemented.” That is fallacious. Stocks that were spring-loaded or hydraulically buffered (to absorb recoil–but that unintendedly can create a bumpfire condition) did indeed exist and were on the open market before FOPA 1986. For example, Winchester’s Hydra-Coil stock was invented and produced starting in the early 1960s. It was made for variety of guns, including some semi-autos including the Remington Model 58 semiautomatic shotgun and the Remington Model 742 semiautomatic rifle (with a detachable magazine). See: https://www.si.com/vault/1963/09/09/596517/an-inventor-takes-the-kick-out-of-shooting

James goes on through number 42.  It’s just a bloodbath, frankly.  He’s not a lawyer and clearly much smarter than anyone who works with the DoJ or ATF.

Closer to home, our own Fred Tippens writes the ATF with the following.

“Turning law abiding patriotic Americans, veterans, suburban moms, and men just trying to raise their families into criminals? Really? Why would I give a flying rat’s backside about a country that does this? Why? Why would I have any loyalty to this country if its government simply takes whatever it wants? I’m sure the irony is completely lost on you but are you going to send men with guns to take them? If you’re going to just up and ban things don’t you make the case for us to stockpile weapons and ammo? Do you know the definition of irony? The courts won’t help. The congress won’t help. The executive won’t help. What redress do we have? Why not just redefine and then ban all of the component parts and accessories of the common rifle? Are you going to ban them one at a time and hope that nobody will notice? Is this not tyranny? Do you want war with your own neighbors? Seriously? I’m only writing this so that I know I’ve done my part to avoid civil war. Now do your part, be for liberty…. I don’t want war so it’s your war to start or avoid. Please choose wisely.”

I have yet to come to terms with writing again.  They clearly didn’t engage what I wrote earlier and have no intention of engaging my points in the future.

I will point out one more thing about this ban.  The GOP establishment is clearly very good at playing the long game.  Trump won, but the GOP establishment is burning the place down, not Trump.

There was no logical or necessary reason to pack the Omnibus bill with spending for Planned Parenthood or for the CDC to issue gun control studies.  They have cut his support from two main constituencies: [1] right to life, and [2] gun rights.

Trump cannot win again without those two constituencies.  I’ve already heard folks in both camps tell me that they won’t vote for Trump again if hell freezes over.  Among pro-life workers (I know some) there was great sadness over the monies given to PP.

Thus the GOP has done two things it wanted to do.  They’ve got their gun control to run on in the next election without having to vote on it themselves (they are cowards).  They got the ATF to do the dishonest work for them.  Second, they have ensured that Trump is a one-term president.

As I said, it is the GOP establishment and not Trump who is burning the place down.

Sending Political Messages

BY Herschel Smith
2 months, 3 weeks ago

David Codrea:

OK, so a picture of an AR-15 with the words “MOLON LABE!” is probably out. And even with Supreme Court decisions in Heller and McDonald, chances are anything specifially Second Amendment-related would get the boot. Even though you and I might not find it “controversial,” the court was divided five to four in each case. Hell, let’s just stipulate all the lies and manipulation have succeeded in creating an unbridgeable gulf between those demanding citizen disarmament and those who believe the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

OK, so how close to the edge can a kid get?

That’s a good question, and that line changes with each passing day, getting closer and closer so that there is no more liberty.

I think it’s a fair statement that “all the lies and manipulation have succeeded in creating an unbridgeable gulf between those demanding citizen disarmament and those who believe the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”  In fact, I don’t think it takes lies and manipulation to do that.  I think it just takes a belief in the right things.

Belief isn’t something the public school system can abide.  What we have in place now was essentially created by John Dewey, and children are treated as a tabula rasa, with the values of the state poured into their soul day after day, year after year.  That blank tablet doesn’t stay blank for long.  It’s not by accident – it’s by design, or another way of saying it is that Dewey didn’t see children as a blank tablet being a detriment, but as the entry point of how the state can socialize them.  It’s a good thing to Dewey, this nexus of state values and children in school.

Given that, why would you want to educate your children in the public school system?

Unfunded Liabilities In Small Government

BY Herschel Smith
4 months ago

Via WRSA, this post continues on a theme I’ve worked before here at this web site, to wit, that unfunded liabilities will affect the smallest governments first and worst because small government cannot print fiat money to keep itself afloat.

I’m not sure we learn anything new from the article except for the shear magnitude of the problem, but there is this link in the comments on such a thing happening to a small town in Alabama in 2010.  I’ve also pointed out before that unfunded pensions has led to the inability to keep the police departments in Memphis and Miami-Dade afloat without massive changes.

It’s happening not just with small municipalities and towns, but with medium size and larger cities as well.  That which cannot continue, won’t.


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