Archive for the 'Politics' Category

Magazine Export Ban By State Department

BY Herschel Smith
3 days, 3 hours ago

David Codrea:

“In terms of ‘why,’ the State Department has authority under the statute (the Arms Export Control Act) to govern exports ‘in furtherance of world peace and the security and foreign policy of the U.S.,’” Reeves elaborated. “Under the law they do not have to get more specific, although sometimes they may give more information concerning a specific export. The courts have held there is no constitutional right to engage in exports or imports, and there is considerable deference granted to the State Department for making national security or foreign policy decisions.”

[ … ]

It would be an overdue gesture of support to see the president actually do something pro-active to advance the interests of the firearms community. It would be a welcome reversal of some baffling “concessions” the president has made on “bump stocks,” on “red flags,” and most recently, on suppressors.

As scary as the thought of Democrats taking over in 2020 is, talk is now coming from some with national voices about the possibility of a critical mass of thoroughly disillusioned gun owners sitting things out. And this isn’t a matter of “Would you rather have Biden?” or Harris or Buttigieg, as the “Hear No Evil/3D chess” Trump apologists angrily challenge back.

I simply don’t buy that this is merely a function of the administrative state, owned and operated by progressives for progressives.  No, this administrative state is owned by Donald Trump.  He could have put anyone he wanted in charge of the State Department, and apparently someone is in charge who doesn’t care to change these things.

What Rex Tillerson did was just a start.  The vast majority of the statist apparatchiks there need to be given their pink slips and told to find real work.  Then they may not be able to find the time to undermine the country and interfere with free trade.

This Man Didn’t Raise No Liberal

BY Herschel Smith
1 week ago

This is a very recent picture of my son in Austin, Texas.

You’ve got to give them both credit.  Austin is a happening place to be if you want the front lines of the culture war.

Prescription For Violence: The Corresponding Rise Of Antidepressants, SSRIs & Mass Shootings

BY Herschel Smith
1 month ago

Alex at sent this article my way, and I haven’t ignored it.  I had to ponder it a bit before weighing in.

Regardless if depression is overdiagnosed and America has a habit of over-prescribing mind-altering medications, there’s little doubt that SSRIs have a risk of increasing violence in patients, even in patients who have no previous history of violence or aggression before taking the medication.

This risk of violent behavior, both to the individual taking the medication and those around them, is so significant, it has led to the FDA mandating a black box warning on all SSRI medications. These black box warnings are designed to provide information and draw attention to the fact that the medication has serious and life-threatening risks.

As of 2004, all antidepressants in the U.S. are labeled:

“Anxiety, agitation, panic attacks, insomnia, irritability, hostility, aggressiveness, impulsivity, akathisia, hypomania, and mania have been reported in adult and pediatric patients being treated with antidepressants for major depressive disorder as well as for indications, both psychiatric and nonpsychiatric.”

[ … ]

Some of the side effects caused by SSRIs can increase the risk of violence against others. Perhaps the most risky, emotional blunting (or detachment) has been linked to SSRI use and many people who’ve taken the drugs report “not feeling” or “not caring” about anything. There’s also been an established causal relationship between SSRI use and psychosis and hallucinations, both of which are known to increase the risk of violence in individuals.

[ … ]

In most cases, the vast majority of people who suffer from mental illness are nonviolent. Even those who self-harm are highly unlikely to hurt others. In fact, these individuals are more likely to become victims of violent crimes than the general public.

Yet after each mass shooting tragedy, the media fills with psychiatrists who say that the individual didn’t seek the help they needed and that with the proper treatment, the tragedy may have been prevented. But research doesn’t support that philosophy.

In fact, depression in particular doesn’t lead to violence, yet since the increase in SSRI antidepressants being widely prescribed, the rise in mass shootings has increased right along with it. And evidence shows that many mass shooters were either taking or had recently taken SSRIs.

He gives a number of examples, and the number of examples he gives isn’t trivial.  So the initial reaction to all of this could be, “Well, if SSRIs can cause violence behavior, then put them on a list and prevent them from purchasing guns.”

But lists are exactly what the controllers want, and even more to the point, it’s exactly what the controllers want the soccer moms to admit that we need.  And the only ones who could manage such a list?  Why, it would be FedGov.  Presto.  More power for the controllers, and after the soccer moms admit that lists are needful, it’s a simple thing to keep adding to that list.

I am not asserting that there is no danger in SSRIs.  Anything that powerful to affect your psyche must be managed properly.  And there is no doubt that such things are over-prescribed today by doctors in America.  The flip side of the coin is that such medications do help with pain management, and there are certainly patients who do okay with them – for a while.

Other than pain management, I see this as a reflection of the depression not of individuals, but an entire society which has rejected God, His holy law for our lives, and the saving grace bestowed in His only Son.  My former (and now decreased) professor, Dr. C. Gregg Singer, wrote in the preface of his book “From Rationalism to Irrationality,” that the west is sick unto death.  That was decades ago.

The society reflects its individuals, and individuals make the society.  The world and life view of modernism has led us to where we are today, and lists won’t be of any help getting us back.  Lists will help the controllers be more controlling, and we all know about mass shootings on behalf of the state and what that did to the world in the twentieth century (170,000,000 dead).

As for what to do, if someone calls for lists, its as out of balance as our society is.  God’s economy is three-pronged: the state, the church, and the family.  None are supposed to be subservient to the other.  The solution lies in something other than lists, and thus I’m where David Codrea is on this: “Anyone who can’t be trusted with a gun can’t be trusted without a custodian.”

Exactly what form that takes is another discussion, but a ban-list for guns for some SSRI patients isn’t nearly enough, as they can always go to the local tractor supply for several loads of fertilizer.  And that doesn’t help the SSRI patients who do okay on the medications one whit.

Idaho: Making Things Better

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 1 week ago

News from Idaho:

Something rather remarkable just happened in Idaho. The state legislature opted to—in essence—repeal the entire state regulatory code. The cause may have been dysfunction across legislative chambers, but the result is serendipitous. A new governor is presented with an unprecedented opportunity to repeal an outdated and burdensome regulatory code and replace it with a more streamlined and sensible set of rules. Other states should be paying close attention.

The situation came about due to the somewhat unconventional nature of Idaho’s regulatory process. Each year, the state’s entire existing body of regulations expires unless reauthorized for an additional year by the legislature. In most years, reauthorization happens smoothly, but not this year.

Instead, the legislature wrapped up an acrimonious session in April without passing a rule-reauthorization bill. As a result, come July 1, some 8,200 pages of regulations containing 736 chapters of state rules will expire. Any rules the governor opts to keep will have to be implemented as emergency regulations, and the legislature will consider them anew when it returns next January.

Governor Brad Little, sworn into office in January, already had a nascent red tape cutting effort underway, but the impending regulatory cliff creates some new dynamics. Previously, each rule the governor wanted cut would have had to be justified as a new rulemaking action; now, every regulation that agencies want to keep has to be justified. The burden of proof has switched.

The new scenario creates multiple touch points when rules could end up on the cutting room floor. First, when regulations expire on July 1, many will not be refiled. Second, the public will have the opportunity to comment on regulations that are resubmitted. In some cases, public hearings are likely to take place, presenting another opportunity to reshape, and cut, some regulations. Finally, when the legislature returns next year, it will need to pass a reauthorization bill for those regulations Governor Little’s administration wants kept. Even more red tape can be trimmed then.

Good idea.  Throw everything away and start over.  I’m sure the pit vipers sitting in the capital will find a way to foist unnecessary regulations on their constituency, as they always do.  But in this case at least there’s a chance of turning these back.

Now, if we could just convince the other 49 states to do the same thing.  And if libertarians and conservatives just cared enough to get involved in the process.

Colorado School Shooting

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 1 week ago

News from Colorado:

The school does not have a school resource officer, but the school does have private security, Kluth said. School staff notified emergency dispatchers “almost immediately” after the first gunshots were fired, and deputies were on scene within two minutes and engaged the suspects, Spurlock said.

Sorry folks, but that’s not nearly fast enough as this incident goes to show.  A lot of people can get hurt in two minutes, and that’s a fast response time for most PDs.

This recapitulates a conversation I had with someone on Sunday, after I heard a pastor say of the police on campus, “They are here to protect you and keep you safe.”

That’s a lie.  The police know it, and the congregation should be told the truth.  This is especially true of small congregations who don’t have the financial resources to hire cops to sit or stand around.

The job of keeping families safe falls to the same people who provide for them, teach them and nurture them: heads of families and their spouses.

And note again that this was a gun free zone, a soft target, just like many church congregations are on Sunday.  It’ll keep happening until people learn to protect themselves and those for whom they have been given charge.

Democrat Hypocrisy On Executive Privilege Recalls Different “Gunwalker” Reaction

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 3 weeks ago

David Codrea:

What’s going on is obvious. After spending almost two years and millions of dollars, the once much-touted Mueller investigation came up empty, with no evidence of Russian collusion, the ostensible reason for the investigation in the first place, and no criminal charges for the president on obstruction of justice. Those behind the failed coup are furious and bent both on revenge and on diverting attention from the potential for new investigations that could uncover their own criminal culpability.

Curiously, Nadler, fellow Democrats and most of the DSM contained their outrage and instead provided cover for the Obama administration’s obstruction of justice in the Operation Fast and Furious investigations conducted by the Senate Judiciary Committee and the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

That’s because they have no scruples except power.  They make Machiavelli proud.  Recall when the progressives hated the CIA, FBI and law enforcement?  I do.  They don’t hate them now because they are them.  All institutions of the FedGov are shot through with progressives, meaning that they don’t mind using that power to effect their own gain and press their own world view.

It’s the same with executive privilege under Obama and Trump.  It’s good for Obama if he was using it to hide sending guns South of the border in a scheme to bolster gun control in America.  It’s bad for Trump if they hate him and want to know more about him.

It all has nothing whatsoever to do with what’s right and wrong, or just and unjust.

Notre Dame Fire “Computer Glitch”

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 4 weeks ago

News from AP:

The cathedral’s rector said a “computer glitch” may have played a role in the rapidly spreading blaze that devastated the 850-year-old architectural masterpiece.

[ … ]

Paris police investigators said they believe an electrical short-circuit most likely caused the fire. It’s believed to be one of multiple leads being investigated.

Um … what?  A “computer glitch” isn’t an electrical short.  The two are very different things.  So if you think this is all from a “computer glitch,” send the coding our way.  I have readers who understand C++, and I can code in FORTRAN.  I think we can help.

I’m not getting that good warm fuzzy feeling that they’re taking this seriously and being forthcoming and honest about it.

Understanding Who Was Responsible For The Burning Of Notre Dame

BY Herschel Smith
2 months ago

As a brief followup to my observations on The Burning Of Notre Dame, I thought I’d point out what it would take to make me happy concerning the post-mortem and investigation.

If the investigation is conducted by local fire department folks, it’s meaningless to me.  Even if the investigation is conducted by French fire engineers, it’s still meaningless.

No offense, but I’m completely uninterested in what fire fighters have to say about what happened.  I would like to see fully independent fire engineers, preferably not French engineers, conduct a thorough investigation and publish a fully peer reviewed report, unredacted, for my review.  In this case, fully peer reviewed means yet another independent set of eyes on the problem, with full concurrence in the conclusions before they are published, except for cases where disagreement exists, with those disagreements fully outlined as part of or an appendix to the main report.

Only then will I take the investigation seriously.

The U.S. Without The Electoral College

BY Herschel Smith
2 months ago

Eric Swalwell Plans On Coming To Your Home To Confiscate Your Firearms

BY Herschel Smith
2 months ago

The awful and childish Jake Tapper interviewed Eric Swalwell on guns.

California Rep. Eric Swalwell — a recently announced Democratic presidential candidate — said Sunday his call for a ban on assault weapons was not a step toward broader gun bans.

“You know, keep your pistols, keep your long rifles, keep your shotguns,” Swalwell said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union” with Jake Tapper when asked about anxiety from gun owners that an assault weapons ban could be an incremental step to a larger gun ban.

He continued, “I want the most dangerous weapons, these weapons of war, out of the hands of the most dangerous people.”

Swalwell announced last Monday he would join the widening Democratic presidential field and scheduled his first event at a town hall near Parkland’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida, the site of a deadly school shooting last year.

He has called for a ban on “military-style semiautomatic assault weapons” with a buy-back program.
In Sunday’s interview, Swalwell said the ban would come with criminal consequences for people who did not participate in the buy-back, but also suggested an “alternative, which would be to keep them at a hunting club or a shooting range.”
He said that the US should follow Australia and New Zealand, which both moved quickly to put in place new gun measures after deadly shootings and that the weapons covered under his policy were “devastating” and inspired fear.
“It’s not just the violence that they’ve caused, it’s the fear, the immeasurable fear that our children live in because they are still on our streets,” Swalwell said. “I want to get rid of that fear.”

Oh, is that it, Jake?  Is the only objectionable thing about a renewed “assault weapons ban” that it might be an incremental step towards a larger gun ban?  Do they pay you actual money for these tough questions?

How about this one, Jake – ask Eric this one.  “Do you plan on confiscating those ARs yourself, Eric, or are you going to send law enforcement door-to-door to collect tens of millions of semi-automatic guns from people who don’t intend on giving them up?”  Or this one.  ” Do you really, honestly think that Americans would allow their guns or any other personal property to be kept at a range instead of in their home?  Really?”

Are these guys insulated from working class, flyover America, or what?

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