The Paradox and Absurdities of Carbon-Fretting and Rewilding

Herschel Smith · 28 Jan 2024 · 4 Comments

The Bureau of Land Management is planning a truly boneheaded move, angering some conservationists over the affects to herd populations and migration routes.  From Field & Stream. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) recently released a draft plan outlining potential solar energy development in the West. The proposal is an update of the BLM’s 2012 Western Solar Plan. It adds five new states—Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming—to a list of 11 western states already earmarked…… [read more]

L.A. Cops Shoot At Pit Bull And Instead Kill Teenager

BY Herschel Smith
6 years, 11 months ago

News from L.A.:

Amber Alcantar woke early Thursday morning to a knock at the door.

Before her stood a friend of her nephew, 17-year-old Armando Garcia-Muro. The young man was frantically searching for Garcia-Muro’s mother, Alcantar told the Los Angeles Times. In his hands were bloody shoes.

“Obviously something was wrong,” Alcantar said.

What had just unfolded outside an apartment complex in Palmdale, Calif., would later be described by authorities as an “extremely, extremely unfortunate incident” and by his family as the tragic loss of an animal-loving teen. While trying to shoot a dog that had attacked an officer, deputies from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office instead struck Garcia-Muro.

Their bullets ricocheted off the driveway, authorities said, and one hit the teen’s chest. He later died at a hospital.

[ … ]

According to the police account, deputies were called to an apartment in Palmdale, a city 60 miles north of Los Angeles, just before 4 a.m. Thursday to investigate a report of “loud music.” They approached the apartment in question and were “aggressively charged” by a 60 to 65-pound pit bull, authorities said. The dog bit one of the deputies on the knee.

At that time, a “male Hispanic juvenile” emerged from behind the apartment, restrained the dog and took him back to the rear of the complex. Deputies “retreated back onto the street for safety,” treated the injured officer and called paramedics.

As they waited for help to arrive, the dog returned and charged the deputies again, authorities said. Two officers shot at the dog from a distance of five to seven feet and it returned to a carport area behind the complex.

Deputies followed the dog to trap it and “prevent additional victims” but in the carport area, they found the young teen bleeding on the ground from “what appeared to be a gunshot wound to the chest.” Deputies provided medical attention until paramedics transported the boy to a local hospital, where he died.

Now, let’s play a little thought experiment, boys and girls.  What if I was walking down the sidewalk and a dog lunged after me, and I shot at the dog, and ended up killing a human.  What do you think the reaction would be?  Would it all be just a big mistake, or would I go to prison for a very long time?

In another city, cops just couldn’t stand being proven wrong.

A Florida man spent 90 days in jail after police officers who stopped him for driving without headlights said white powder found in his car was cocaine.

But Karlos Cashe walked out of jail last week after lab results determined the powder in the handyman’s car was actually drywall.

Cashe tells WFTV he repeatedly told officers in Oviedo the substance was drywall. But after running a check they found he was on probation for marijuana and cocaine charges in 2015. Cashe says a K-9 alerted on his vehicle and an officer’s field test was positive for cocaine.

[ … ]

It took nearly three months for lab test results, which were negative for cocaine.

In the first instance, it never occurred to the LEOs to use OC spray and get the dog’s owner to restrain the dog.  In the second instance, they left the man in prison for three months before they got the lab results back.  Three months.

This is two more for the annals of “Cops are just like us, only smarter and better.”

But No Civilian Actually Needs An AR-15, Do They?

BY Herschel Smith
6 years, 11 months ago


After some 60 hours on the run, a pair of escaped Georgia inmates wanted for gunning down two correctional officers were caught Thursday night in Tennessee. The pair’s capture was as dramatic as their brazen escape – complete with a home invasion, a police chase, a shootout and a civilian armed with an AR-15.

[ … ]

They stumbled out of the woods and ran into a man in his yard armed with an AR-15. He held the two at gunpoint until authorities arrived.

Did you know that Patrick Hale used an AR-15 to hold the criminals?  It’s good he didn’t have to engage in a gun battle like Mr. Stephen Bayezes who had to use an AR-15 and engage in a massive gun fight with criminals to save his life and the life of his wife.

But remember boys and girls.  The controllers want you to know that no one actually needs an AR-15.  If something bad ever happens, just call 911 and wait for about fifteen minutes if you live in an urban area, longer if not.  In the mean time, just run and hide, I guess.

Tim Lynch On What We Should Have Done In Afghanistan

BY Herschel Smith
6 years, 11 months ago

Free Range International:

Killing Osama and ending our intervention in Afghanistan then and then would have been worth 10 Mogadishu’s. The only senior player in theater who recognized that was a young Marine general named Jim Mattis who was begging to throw his Marines into the mountains to block bin Laden. That he, as the current Secretary of Defense, is the guy left holding the bag is a bitter irony that is lost on virtually everyone. But not me and now not you either.

I had long ago said that the war should have been comprised of battling the Taliban and AQ out of their positions and then dropping several MAGTF of the U.S. Marines near the Pakistani border (perhaps along with the 82nd or 101st Airborne divisions if necessary, all reporting to the Marines for purposes of ensuring consistency of the task force) and blocking the escape of the worst actors and killing them all – not capturing them or making peace with them, but killing them, even if they surrendered.

But Mr. Bush had to play armed social science, so here we are today with an abject failure on our hands.  My way is vicious and brutal.  Bush’s and Obama’s way lost.  By the way, Tim has a nice video embedded in this post that is worth your time.  Again, no one knows more about Afghanistan and our war there than Tim Lynch.

Guns Cause All Of Our Problems

BY Herschel Smith
6 years, 11 months ago

According to Josh Marshall:

Earlier I noted that events like this remind us that America is a uniquely violent society when judged against societies and states which have had relative political stability over the last two centuries. As I noted, four of 45 US Presidents have been murdered in office and more than that number again have survived serious assassination attempts. No other countries which have comparable histories over the same period come even close.

But I got an interesting email from TPM Reader VB in Germany.

I still think the overall point holds up well. But VB notes a pretty telling detail. He listed off five attempted or successful assassinations of German politicians or high ranking government leaders since 1990. (He actually noted six but I think the sixth is better termed a government employee.) They weren’t heads of state. They ranged from prominent national politicians to people running for Mayor. Only one of the five died.

The key is that 3 of the 5 attempted killings were stabbings. Those three survived. Of the shootings, current Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble survived a 1990 assassination attempt but was permanently paralyzed. Detlev Karsten Rohwedder, then in charge of privatization of East German state assets, was assassinated by the Red Army Faction in 1991. That was arguably more successful because it was the work of an organized paramilitary group rather than a single assailant.

It is hard to draw too general a conclusion. But it does seem like at least a significant part of the equation is the prevalence of guns. Just to state the obvious, stabbings tend to be easier to survive.

[ … ]

These observations don’t have immediate or obvious policy solutions which seem at all feasible or realistic in anything like our current political reality. Most European countries radically constrain the ability of private individuals to own guns, especially for self-defense. Gun ownership is tightly regulated in Germany. But firearms ownership is actually widespread – mainly for competitive shooting and hunting.

The basic fact is simple and obvious. The widespread presence of guns dramatically magnifies the lethality of the range of mental illness, political dispute, personal vendetta and untethered anger that is more or less universal in modern societies and frankly the human condition. Certainly this would all be different if firearms were not so widespread in the United States, easy to acquire and so deeply imbedded in American culture.

Supposedly an easy analysis if you don’t roll in sin as the reason for misuse of the weapon to begin with, combined with violence perpetrated by the government (because only the government has weapons) such as Stalin’s purge, Idi Amin’s genocide in Uganda, Pol Pot’s genocide in Cambodia or the Armenian genocide.

Gratuitous and self-serving too.

ISIS On Gun Carry Reciprocity According To Cy Vance

BY Herschel Smith
6 years, 11 months ago

The Hill:

New York County District Attorney Cy Vance in an interview aired Sunday blasted a GOP plan that would allow qualified owners to carry concealed handguns in other states that allow individuals to carry concealed firearms.

Speaking to radio host John Catsimatidis on AM 970 in New York, Vance argued that the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act introduced earlier this year would only put New York City at risk of violence.

“If that bill passes, I believe the safety, and the greater safety we have achieved will be at risk,” he said.

The bill, which was introduced in the House by Rep. Richard Hudson (R-N.C.) and a version in the Senate by Sen. John Cornyn , would allow concealed carry owners to carry in any state that permits the practice as long as they qualify to concealed carry in their home state.

Vance argued that the bill would allow people to bring guns from states with lax gun laws to New York, where gun restrictions are much tighter.

“It would be completely legal for a person to bring a loaded gun or guns in New York as long as it was legal to possess them in the person’s home state,” Vance explained.

“A guy from Idaho, where there’s no permitting requirement whatsoever, could carry his gun into New York city loaded, into Times Square.”

The district attorney warned lawmakers that they were “playing into the hand” of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and other terrorists, pointing to ISIS publications describing the ease of buying guns in some American states.

“This bill is supported, I’m sure, by ISIS,” Vance said.

So according to Cy Vance, ISIS has been waiting in the wings for national carry reciprocity so they can legally carry weapons into New York to perpetrate acts of terror.  There is celebrating in Raqqa tonight.

Cy Vance is of the school of thought that goes something like this: “If you don’t know what else to do, just make up some shit and say, ‘The boogey man is gonna getcha!'”

Boo! Hold me uncle Bob!  I’m askeerd! Boo!

Australian Gun Owners Should Consider The Source Of Their Rights

BY Herschel Smith
6 years, 11 months ago


I’m in favor of the right to bear arms, even though they don’t apply in Australia, but when making the argument against gun control being ineffective you must consider that the countries in this world aren’t completely isolated entities and the freedom one allows for firearm ownership can impact the ability for another to enforce a stricter control.

In a perfect world, I believe we would all be best served with an international standard minimum level of registration …

Hold it right there.  The reader David quotes has just run off the rails.  It wasn’t intentional, there was no malice of forethought.  But he’s off the rails nonetheless.

This is a well done commentary by David and a heavily commented one.  It’s worth your time to read it all, including the comments.  David points out in his column that rights don’t come from the government, but I must emphasize that only by understanding that the very basis of your existence, and certainly of your rights, depends upon the only sovereign God in heaven, can one understand that gun control is wicked.

At its root, gun control is usurpation, a replacement of man’s right with God’s right to dictate the terms of our existence.  It is a corollary of what caused the fallen world to begin with, i.e., the man who would be like God.

Are North Carolina Republicans Working To Kill Constitutional Carry?

BY Herschel Smith
6 years, 11 months ago

Duncan Johnson at Ammoland:

After pro-gun posturing by Republicans in the NC Senate, it turns out they may never have had any intention of voting with gun owners on HB746. Senate leadership insisted, as long as gun owners were patient, as long as we were quiet, and we minded our “Ps&Qs,” we could count on the Senate to uphold their own Party platform, live up to campaign rhetoric, and push Constitutional Carry to the governor’s desk.

Of course the GOP has tried to kill constitutional carry, just like they tried to kill open carry in the South Carolina senate.

What’s worse, in the previous N.C. legislative session they gave CLEOs even more power than before rather than reversing the antiquated gun permitting process.  Heretofore, only CHP holders had to submit their medical records to CLEOs.  Now, every handgun purchase requires that, whether the buyer is a CHP holder or not.

Unfortunately, the only recourse for peaceable men is the ballot box.  Take action if you live in one of these two states.

St. Louis Cop Shoots One Of Their Own

BY Herschel Smith
6 years, 11 months ago


A black off-duty officer was shot by a colleague in his St. Louis neighborhood Wednesday night, the Missouri city’s police department confirms.

The city’s Metropolitan Police Department said in a statement that officers were responding to a possible car theft after a recognition software flagged a license plate. Suspects shot at the police officers after the car was stopped with spike strips and the off-duty officer, an 11-year department veteran who lives nearby, came out with his firearm to offer assistance, according to the statement.

The on-duty officers had asked the 38-year-old to get on the ground and he complied, but then they recognized him and told him to stand up and walk toward him.

“At this time, a responding officer (36-year old white male with over 8 years of service) just arriving in the area observed this and fearing for his safety and apparently not recognizing the off-duty officer, discharged a shot, striking the off-duty officer in the arm,” the statement says.

The victim was treated in hospital but has since been released, police confirmed. His lawyer, Rufus J. Tate Jr., told local news outlets that he considers the incident more severe than an accident. The police department has given no description of a threat, he said.

This is the first time that we are aware, that a black professional, in law enforcement, himself being shot and treated as an ordinary black guy on the street,” Tate told Fox News. “This is a real problem.”

Oh, now trigger happy police are a problem, when one of their own gets shot.  I see.  I doubt this has anything to do with the color of his skin, but everything to do with the fact that the police are rarely held accountable for discharging their weapons like I would be.

It’s a problem when it’s one of their own.  It all depends on whose Ox is gored.

The Hearing Protection Act And ‘Silencers’

BY Herschel Smith
6 years, 11 months ago

David Kopel:

In the early 20th century, the most influential advocate for banning many firearms and accessories was William T. Hornaday, director of the Bronx Zoo. Using the resources of the Bronx Zoo and others for conservation, Hornaday helped save the American bison from extinction.

Hornaday’s 1913 book, “Our Vanishing Wildlife: Its Extermination and Preservation,” warned that over-hunting was wiping out American wildlife. According to Hornaday, one problem was that modern guns were too accurate. Also, hunters now had better scopes and binoculars. In Wyoming, hunters were using silencers so one shot didn’t frighten away other game.

Even worse, in Hornaday’s view, was who was hunting. Namely, lower-class Americans and immigrants. He urged new laws to “prohibit the use of firearms by any naturalized alien from southern Europe until after a 10-years’ residence in America.” Wildlife was vanishing because “the Italians are spreading, spreading, spreading. If you are without them to-day, to-morrow they will be around you. Meet them at the threshold with drastic laws, thoroughly enforced.”

In the South, Hornaday argued, the problem was hunting by “poor white trash” and blacks. In an earlier time, black Americans “were too poor to own guns.” But “the time came when . . . single-shot breech-loading guns went down to five dollars a piece. The negro had money now, and the merchants . . . sold him the guns, a gun for every black idler, man and boy, in all the South.” Hornaday favored an Alabama proposal for an annual tax of at least $5 a year on every firearm, to prevent poor people from owning inexpensive guns.

Hornaday argued that all pump-action guns should be banned, as should all semi-automatics and all “silencers.” Some of Hornaday’s proposals did become law, in attenuated form. For example, states did not ban hunting by immigrant citizens, but they did enact laws against hunting or firearms possession by legal resident aliens. North Carolina enacted a statute (later repealed) that required a license for purchasing a pump action gun. (These laws are described in my article in the Harvard Journal on Legislation, Background Checks for Firearms Sales and Loans: Law, History, and Policy.)

The National Firearms Act of 1934. In 1934, Congress enacted the National Firearms Act, which used the tax power to set up a tax and registration system for certain arms and accessories. As enacted, the NFA applies to machine guns, short-barreled shotguns and rifles, “silencers,” grenades, mortars and various other devices.

Kopel has done a very nice job of outlining the history and technology of suppressors.  I would never actually recommend that someone visit The Washington Post and push traffic their direction except for The Volokh Conspiracy when writing about gun rights.  But this one is so well done it’s worth it.

Prior: Revisiting The National Firearms Act

Josh Horwitz On Insurrectionist Rhetoric

BY Herschel Smith
6 years, 12 months ago

Josh Horwitz at The Hill:

No matter the political leanings of the perpetrator, no matter the political climate, political violence is never acceptable.

And while language alone is not to blame for this vicious shooting (see: weak laws that allow domestic abusers to purchase and possess highly lethal weapons), we must acknowledge that rhetoric — especially rhetoric espousing a violent political philosophy — can inspire such attacks.

If Republicans truly want to address such rhetoric, however, they need to start in their own camp. Because in mainstream American politics, there is no more violent philosophy than the National Rifle Association’s longstanding embrace of insurrectionism.

I have been studying, tracking, and writing about insurrectionism  —  violent revolt against one’s government  — for years.

In my 2009 book, “Guns, Democracy and the Insurrectionist Idea,” co-author Casey Anderson and I dissect the NRA’s belief that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual right to commit acts of violence — specifically gun violence — against government officials.

The NRA marketed this anti-democratic, insurrectionist philosophy aggressively during President Barack Obama’s time in officer.

Using myth-based fear-mongering and race-baiting, NRA leadership perpetuated the myth that Obama was planning to confiscate guns.

Gun sales soared.

Then the NRA indoctrinated GOP leaders, asking them to buy into the concept of armed political violence and spread it to their constituents.

Republicans complied …

The gunman in Alexandria resorted to “Second Amendment remedies” to deal with the tyranny he perceived under the Trump administration and the current Congress.

There is a clear parallel between the NRA’s reprehensible philosophy of insurrectionism and gunman’s horrific act of violence — the only difference is the political affiliation.

Sure.  We all jump when the NRA says so.  This is beginning rather stupidly, but okay, if you want to discuss insurrection, let’s do that.

All relationships on earth now and forever, whether economics, marriage, church or government, should be seen in terms of covenant.  When the covenant is broken, the agreement is null and void.  Furthermore, breakage of covenants doesn’t simply exonerate the guilty.  There are blessings for oath-keepers and curses for the guilty.  Breakage of covenant invokes said curses, whether enforced by man, God or both.

We do not obtain or receive our rights from any piece of parchment.  Our rights are granted by God, and are to be recognized by men in their covenants with one another.  That’s what the constitution is – a covenant.  It has both blessings and curses appurtenant to it.

If you’ve heard what you consider to be “insurrectionist” talk of second amendment remedies by anyone today, it’s likely not associated with people like the murderer Hodgkinson.  He was a fanboi of Rachel Maddow and a progressive willing to kill people in order to increase state control.  Again, let’s rehearse what the second amendment remedy is all about.

Their experience in Presbyterian polity – with its doctrine of the headship of Christ over the church, the two-powers doctrine giving the church and state equal standing (so that the church’s power is not seen as flowing from the state), and the consequent right of the people to civil resistance in accordance with higher divine law – was a major ingredient in the development of the American approach to church-state relations and the underlying questions of law, authority, order and rights.

[ … ]

It was largely from the congregation polity of these New England puritans that there came the American concept and practice of government by covenant – that is to say: constitutional structure, limited by divine law and based on the consent of the people, with a lasting right in the people to resist tyranny.

Does that sound like Hodgkinson?  No, it’s directly contrary to his world and life view, and ideas matter.  The right to resist tyranny isn’t the same thing as the alleged right to impose tyranny of which Horwitz speaks, and this redounds to more than just his party affiliation.

Above I said that Hodgkinson was willing to kill people to impose tyranny.  Was he really, or was this a front for something else?

Teenager Cathy Rainbolt told a judge her foster father hit her in the face when she failed to mow the lawn correctly. She got hit in the face when she argued. She got hit and dragged by the hair when she tried to get away.

Her foster father was James “Tom” Hodgkinson, who is now infamous after shooting U.S. House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, two police officers and a staffer on a Virginia ballfield Wednesday. Rainbolt told the judge that Hodgkinson drank every day.

“I didn’t mark a time when (Hodgkinson) started hitting me,” Rainbolt told St. Clair County Circuit Judge James Radcliffe during a hearing Nov. 21, 2006. “It’s been hard to live with (an alcoholic) and how (he) treated me,” Rainbolt said.

[ … ]

Cathy was the first of two Hodgkinson foster children to die young. In 1996, 17-year-old Wanda Ashley Stock, who had been living with the Hodgkinsons in Belleville for just three months, drove to a lonely rural road, doused herself with gasoline and set herself on fire.

It’s fairly well known that Scalise was after human traffickers and abusers.  Was this an attempted assassination because of that?  We’ll never know, but one thing is certain, morals matter.

I’ll put the collective moral constitution of the American founders up against the creepy pervert and abuser Hodgkinson any day.  Despite Horwitz’ attempt at moral equivalence, he has hung himself on his own petard.  His selection of a hero of the left for his points about insurrection make him look like the fool and ass clown he really is.  He chose a pervert, child abuser and murderer for his moral equivalence.

That’s enough, except we are informed once again what Horwitz would do in the case of governmental genocide.  He makes it clear: “No matter the political leanings of the perpetrator, no matter the political climate, political violence is never acceptable.”

Never, says he.  Not in the case of the Armenian genocide, not to save the millions of people Stalin starved out of the Ukraine, not to save the Jews and Christians killed by Hitler’s minions, not to save the Christians who have been slaughtered in Mesopotamia.

Never.  And thus we learn all we ever really need to know about the moral constitution inside Josh Horwitz.  It’s very dark, and we’re best to stick with better men and better ideas.

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