Duke University’s Arguments Against A Statutory Second Amendment

Herschel Smith · 22 May 2022 · 14 Comments

The Regulatory Review links a paper by Joseph Blocher of Duke University arguing against state preemption laws that prohibit more restrictive gun control statutes by cities and counties than instituted by the state itself.  The paper is entitled "Cities, Preemption, and the Statutory Second Amendment." He argues: As a practical matter, though, nothing has done more to shape contemporary gun regulation than state preemption laws, which fully or partially eliminate cities’ ability to…… [read more]

It’s Different This Time

BY PGF
1 day, 18 hours ago

The headline is a ruse; it’s actually the same this time. The times it was different were in 1987, 2000, and 2008. We’re talking about the economy and stock market crashes, of course. In all three of those recessions, there was a so-called V-shaped recovery in which the economy and the market bounced back fairly quickly. Those times were different and not the norm at all. What’s coming now is much more akin to serious historical economic problems.

In 1987 was the Saving and Loan crisis. Instead of bailing out the failed Savings and Loan banks, the government insured the depositors. That’s the exact opposite of what they did in the 2008 housing crash when they bailed out all of Wall Street. In the 2000 technology crash and in 2008, we had disinflation, the definition for which is not very good. We got disinflation by shipping manufacturing and production overseas; prices on many things stayed flat relative to inflation in domestic items and services. Technology is the best example; computing power has doubled several times in the last 20 years, but the price of a PC is still 600 to 1000 bucks. T-shirts at Walmart are another good example; they are (were) still 7.99 to 12.99 and have been for decades. But those prices are now on the rise.

The point of that boring background is to say this: the economy is in real trouble this time, something America hasn’t seen since the 1970s, two generations ago, and governmental mismanagement is exacerbating the conditions of the setup.

Steve Forbes isn’t wrong, but he is part of the supply-side establishment that got us into this mess.

The ‘real cure’ for inflation has gone ignored, Steve Forbes says

In focusing on raising interest rates to cool inflation, central banks and governments have overlooked the importance of maintaining stable currencies, said Steve Forbes, chair of Forbes Media.

[…]

“Today, unfortunately, not only is the Biden administration putting up obstacles to deal with supply-side problems, but also the Federal Reserve and other central banks think you have to depress the economy to bring inflation down,” he said, disputing the idea that a recession is the only solution to combating inflation.

“They do it by artificially raising interest rates. So they have fewer people employed … that is not the real cure,” he said.

“The real cure is to stabilize the currency. You don’t have to make people poor to conquer inflation.”

The money printing started a century ago, but the profligate printing started by Trump bailout checks and continued by Biden’s democratic policies to “recover” the economy from the “pandemic” is backfiring. There’s no more disinflation to cover the cost of money printing. The lowest practical overseas wage has been realized. Moving manufacturing to Africa is not a viable solution, so there’s nowhere else to seek lower wages. That’s but one set of problems. The war in Europe is another thing. But the worst problem is cutting off domestic energy and food production coupled with hyper-regulation of mineral exploitation and use; those choices will be crushing.

The conditions are not favorable at all for an easy recession that recovers quickly. Those last crashes were sudden; this time, it’s coming on slowly and will likely be long and grinding. Tell your family you love them.

Whom does the United States owe nearly $31 trillion in debt?

BY PGF
1 week, 3 days ago

Proverbs 22:7 comes to mind. Source:

The U.S. has about $30.9 trillion in national debt, according to the latest data from Treasury Department, and that total will reach a record $31 trillion as early as later in the month.

Roughly $24.3 trillion of America’s total public debt outstanding consists of debt held by the public, and $6.6 trillion is intragovernmental holdings, according to Monday data from the Treasury Department.

Intragovernmental holdings include federal trust funds, revolving funds and special funds, as well as Federal Financing Bank securities, the Treasury Department said on its website.

You can be sure that nobody will pay this “intragovermental holdings” debt but you, dear reader.

Debt held by the public consists of all national debt “held by any person or entity that is not a U.S. federal government agency,” according to the Treasury Department. That includes corporations, domestic individual investors, local or state governments, Federal Reserve banks, foreign investors, foreign governments and other entities.

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Commoditization of Labor

BY PGF
2 weeks, 2 days ago

Chart via Charles Hugh Smith.

Quiet quitting is giving up on your job and your company without actually resigning because it’s been made clear that it’s a hopeless endeavor to effect change that satisfies the human desire for the accomplishment which drives self-worth.

All job slots are being turned into a commodity. Fill a role, and follow the rules. Try to advance; no is the answer. Try a lateral move; no. Make a suggestion; follow the guidelines like a good monkey is all you get. Procedure-driven cost reduction has turned work into a nightmare for younger workers. A profit-driven race to the bottom doesn’t include learning, growing, or contributing. A worker is a unit of production cost in the global communist drive to equalization of all assets, of which an employee is merely an interchangeable byte. This communist equality in the workplace includes salaries, options, and ever-repressive systematized drudgery based on computational algorithms to maximize profit. The American job place is demeaning to the spirit which God has given men to conquer in dominion that which He has blessed them to take charge over. The divide is not generational; the businesses have changed to garbage in –  garbage out workaday soul-crushing slogs. Every employee is a mere cog in the global communist New Order. Creativity is frowned upon as cost competition with foreign sweatshops demands throwaway products, services, and people. Companies complain they can’t find workers, and customers complain that all the products, services, and people delivering them are ineffective or worse. The companies want them that way; they have no more small business competition nipping at their heels. Lobbyists have solved that pesky problem; what do global corporations care for the customer? And therefore, an employee is also a throwaway component. Every specialization is being absorbed into the global equality blob of gray meaninglessness. The worker never sees a customer’s smiling face at a wonderful product or service delivered; all they hear are complaints that they have no power to correct. Imagine spending half your day apologizing for C-suite masters you’ve never met because your work peer is somebody who doesn’t speak English working for a bowl of rice a day in some place you can’t pronounce or find on a map. And then, they tell you to train your foreign replacement, although they don’t say it that directly. The younger generation can’t express these things because they’ve been purposefully dumbed down. Oh well, give ’em the shot; the New Order doesn’t need them anyway.

King Chuck III

BY PGF
2 weeks, 4 days ago

In his “Time has run out” speech, then Prince Charles laid out a roadmap to enslave all of humanity. To understand their desire to monetize “carbon,” you must realize that all life as we know it is so-called carbon-based, especially you. In calling for enterprises to have a system by which to value carbon, what they are doing is enslaving you to corporate masters. You have a monetary value placed upon your work for their common good.

We could easily argue that this is fascism but indeed, the powers that be are communistic. History books will one day reflect that a new brand of totalitarianism was created out of the climate cult in the 21st century.

If you don’t function to serve one of the major global companies to their desired benefit, you must be eliminated. No old people can be allowed, no rebels, no independents, and limited new births of only the mental and physical characteristics desired to fulfill the needs of the plantation owners. Some of these items are from the Nazi program of eugenics that the communists will weave into their global collective.

The drive to zero-based wages is this: to pay you just enough to keep you from being free while ever tightening the physical and intellectual distance you are allowed to travel. In short, it’s a global, corporate-run slave plantation. Live in the pod, eat your bugs, and lights out at ten. Missing too much work or desiring a better life gets you fired; no job, no income, and no way to survive or move about. Social credit is simply a way to keep compliance by weeding out the uppity types like you.

Money is the reason King Chuck III and his pals need the corporations on board. The corporations control the money. Don’t be confused; they don’t own the global money supply and in no way run the banking cartel; quite the opposite is true. No, the large firms control how much money you get; they control you by the money, and the appetite of the globalists is to leverage all you do for their profit and your compliance.

This is what King Chuck is actually saying, between the lines, to his pals. And now you know. This is agenda 2030 or whatever they’re calling it today. It appears increasingly so that the Covid-19 hoax was a submission test. Either way, they have results that educate to that end. I’d say they know what they have, don’t have, and how they’ll proceed from here. But remember, we learned some things too, and in the US, at least, we still have one box left to stand upon.

It’s not wise to expect too much from the most prominent global businesses in the way of pushback. With the stroke of a pen, whole industries can be eliminated. Some on wall street, and probably the majority, don’t want what the globalists have planned. There is some resistance to ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance). The “sustainability and ethical impact” that establishments thought was good is not a money maker because it makes them less competitive. On top of these policies having no financial value, now Wall Street is realizing that most people don’t want corporate social agendas.

People want to belong to something bigger than themselves. This othering that’s been going on will lead to war. ESG is only othering by a fancy new title; it’s bullying.

The interest-free cash dump of money to Wall Street enticed them into ESG. Money was free, times were good, and buying back their own stock while pretending to make real profits was easy. That’s all ending. Now they see ESG as a liability. But they fell for Bankers at every turn since FDR. We hold little hope for actual “corporate excellence” to replace ESG. They shipped all the manufacturing overseas for “shareholder value.” What happened to American excellence and American value?

The mercantilist business class that are the nuts and bolts of Wall Street are good folks who support America First, and many of them have been raving against the Fed and easy money for years or decades. They’ve seen all this coming. Those guys and gals are not the communist chattering classes New York City is famous for. NYC has its balkanization problems and not just ethnicity.

If the globalists had cared about the environment, they would have left the West as the industrial base of the world and let the third world be. The government lied then and is lying now. CEOs and would-be moguls at the direction of global banking and self-proclaimed government elites wanted cheap labor while keeping prices flat, to maximize profits wrecking your children’s future.

People want good and interesting jobs with future prospects of clever inventions and better quality of life. Men have tasted the opportunity technology has afforded, especially the option of leisure time.

They need you to have taken to the good life so thoroughly that you refuse to leave leisure and quality of life, get hard, and fight back by forsaking all for future generations. Humans, and all life, take the path of least resistance. But that direct course for us leads to the allotted daily portion of bug meal protein while you’re stuffed into a pod, provided you’re still able to get up in the morning and work until you drop.

“He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed. Evil pursueth sinners: but to the righteous good shall be repayed.” – Proverbs 13:20-21

Your plan must include a spiritual aspect. You want wisdom, the proverb says; make the wise your friend. If you seek to have faith that we’ll win, take up with the faithful. If you want righteousness, turn unto God, for He is the only righteous and wise King.

Ninety percent of the people in the world will follow the power, and strength of character is what’s lacking most today. We must prove ourselves strong, determined to win, and steadfast in the knowledge that sinners will be overtaken by their evil; God repays the righteous with good. Every month eliminate one corrupt evil from your life; tv, toxic “friends,” pornography, cussing, lying, stealing, cheating, drug and alcohol abuse, wasting time, etc. (There are many ways we steal and cheat, and boy, is time wasting a problem these days.) This is just as important, as the Bible says, perhaps more important than physical training and preparation.

“And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.” – Job 28:28

The wicked are a dime a dozen; be someone worth knowing, worth fighting beside, worth following.

The System Is Busy Cannibalizing Itself

BY PGF
3 weeks, 6 days ago

Charles Hugh Smith discusses how the Air Force cannibalizes to keep the illusion of a fully functional Flightline. He also shows what’s being done to the American healthcare system through this hollowing out. You’ll undoubtedly learn something from the article. This general definition is offered. (Bold in the original.)

Cannibalize is an interesting word. It is a remarkably graphic way to describe the self-inflicted destruction of a system by stripping previously functional subsystems to sustain the illusion of system functionality.

Wall street does this all the time. Investors don’t care if a company does it because the stock price keeps rising for a time. More often, they sell the lower profit-producing business units first. But sometimes, in an act of cannibalistic suicide, they will sell the money makers and bankrupt the company. This point is well taken.

An enterprise maintains a substantial cash position even as it loses money every quarter by quietly selling off its most valuable assets. This maintains the illusion of financial strength even as the enterprise is being hollowed out.

With some tactical variation, this is more or less what Cerberus Capital Management did to Remington. The Cerberus web page touts: ” Your partner to improve performance and drive value. Learn how Cerberus creates an edge for our investors and business partners worldwide.” Uh-huh?

Turning small-scale, localized finance into centralized / globalized hyper-financialization cannibalizes finance to benefit the few with unlimited access to credit, leverage and monopoly. First you borrow vast sums at low rates of interest that are inaccessible to mere mortals, take a corporation private, indebt the company and use the funds to accumulate mountains of derivatives that leverage the debt 10-fold or even 100-fold, then take the corporation public again, goose the stock and then cash out all the leveraged gains.

The newly public company has been stripmined of core assets and burdened by debt. The financiers cannibalized the corporation to benefit themselves at the expense of everyone else with a stake in the business and the future viability of the enterprise.

Food is also discussed.

Highly processed products are simulacra of food that hijack our hardwired pleasure responses to heavy concentrations of salt, sweets, fat and spice and crunchy/chewy mouthfeel. The nutritional content of these products is so low and the fat-salt-sugar content so high that they are severely damaging to health on multiple levels.

The unwary consumer who stuffs themselves with these simulacra of food (shall we call it “fud”?) feels full even as their body and brain are starved for real nutritional content and real-food fiber.

A high sugar intake means gaining weight in fat. But few understand that anything that tastes like food but delivers minimal nutrition makes people fat. The reason is that your body releases enzymes and other chemical reactions to process the food; your digestive system then looks for particular nutrients found in the food based on that taste. But, with processed food, the nutrients aren’t there, so your body ‘thinks’ that something is wrong with its ability to absorb nutrients, so it starts packing on fat. Before processed foods, this is an excellent function for the body to have. In lean years and drought, this functionality ensures the body can make it through seasons, or a year, of low-quality foodstuffs until a better harvest. Lean times may well be approaching. Understanding how your digestive system is supposed to work may come in handy.

The linked article also appeared at WRSA.

Deepening Recession

BY PGF
4 weeks, 1 day ago

I appreciate Herschel allowing the leeway to post items about the economy. Instead of posting articles about the sky falling and The Big Crash that’s always about to happen any day now (one day, those folks will be correct), we’ve tried to provide actionable forward-looking information to give you an indicator of what’s around the corner for the markets that affect you and your family. The object is to offer education and insight into the next several months so you can plan and prepare.

We’ve written a few posts, two here and here, using technical market analysis that pointed to the current recession. This recession we warned you about in the spring is underway (despite the fascists ‘official’ pronouncements to the contrary) and will worsen in the coming months. We predicted the current market downturn and recession based on the analysis of inflation and the formation of technical market patterns.

This time we’re looking at historical information. We’re predicting a stock market second leg lower soon, coupled with a marked economic downturn in the coming four to six months, give or take. The history is boring, and only wonks care, but the fed has been raising interest rates in recent months from the floor of near zero. This will cause a sharper downturn in the coming months into next year. Of course, everything could change tomorrow, but lower stocks and a deeper recession loom.

We think the last month or so in the stock markets have only been a short-term bounce in the ongoing drawdown, and new lows will be seen in the coming several months. As we’ve mentioned here at TCJ, these things create a feedback loop. Cause and effect get muddled, but the trend remains downward, as far as we can tell.

So far, the housing market has remained strong. We don’t think this will hold, again, using historical information. In my area, the housing market has been white hot. I know one gentleman who got 50k over asking before listing. The housing market has been pretty exuberant for the past couple of years in the country’s growing regions. That can’t last indefinitely. Housing is very likely to fall soon as well. Note: often, housing as a market falls relative to itself, which means that it levels off or goes to near zero growth in either existing home sales, new home builds, or both.

We just thought you should know so you can prepare.

———————-

More items of interest in economics:

This article at CNBC constitutes an informal pre-announcement from government outlets of the deepening recession.

Steve Hanke [Johns Hopkins University Economist ] says we’re going to have one ‘whopper’ of a recession in 2023

  • The U.S. economy is going to fall into a recession next year, according to Steve Hanke, a professor of applied economics at Johns Hopkins University, and that’s not necessarily because of higher interest rates.
  • “We will have a recession because we’ve had five months of zero M2 [ definition ] growth, money supply growth, and the Fed isn’t even looking at it,” he told CNBC’s “Street Signs Asia” on Monday.
  • Meanwhile, inflation is going to remain high because of “unprecedented growth” in money supply in the United States, Hanke said.

Hanke probably isn’t wrong, but he’s also running cover for the Fed. So, existing money supply problems will cause a deepening recession, coupled with, as we’ve pointed out at the top, rising interest rates just for fun.

Next, Oh, Look, Fox Business says digital infrastructure is arriving just in time; what a ‘coincidence.’

Federal Reserve says real-time payment system could begin as early as May 2023

A Federal Reserve official said the agency’s new real-time payments system FedNow is slated to launch as early as May 2023.

FedNow has been in development for around a decade and is supposed to allow banks to send payments to each other in real-time, thus allowing bank customers to send real-time payments to each other as well.

The system, which will operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, is expected to be less expensive than wire transfer or debit card transaction fees.

But while FedNow has been in development, other banks and the cryptocurrency industry have been looking for other alternatives for real-time payments.

Just because the velocity of money will go real-time doesn’t mean anything will improve; in fact, crashes will be more sudden, if anything. And don’t try to withdraw all your money at once in real time. They say that’s a run on money, and very bad, so whatever you do, never use cash! Got it?

Tell your family you love them.

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A Tale of Two Recessions: One Excellent, One Tumultuous

BY PGF
1 month, 2 weeks ago

Source: (Italics and Bold in the original)

Events may show that there are no winners, only survivors and those who failed to adapt.

Some recessions are brief, necessary cleansings in which extremes of leverage and speculation are unwound via painful defaults, reductions of risk and bear markets.

Some are reactions to exogenous shocks such as war or pandemic. The uncertainty triggers a mass reduction of risk which recedes once the worst is known and priced in.

Far less frequently, structural recessions are lengthy, tumultuous upheavals that can set the stage for excellent long-term expansion or unraveling and collapse. In these structural recessions, 10% to 20% of the workforce loses their jobs as entire sectors are obsoleted and jobs that depend on excesses of debt and speculation go away.

In the U.S. economy of today, this would translate into a minimum of 14 million jobs vanishing, never to return in their previous form and compensation.

The old jobs don’t come back and new jobs demand different enterprises, training and skills. Unemployment remains elevated, spending is weak and productivity is low for years as enterprises and workers have to adjust to radically different conditions. If the economy and society persevere through this transition, the stage is set for the reworked economy to enjoy an era of renewed prosperity and opportunity.

If an economy and society can’t complete this transition, stagnation decays into collapse.

I’ve annotated a St. Louis Federal Reserve chart of U.S. recessions since 1970 to show the taxonomy described above.

The drive to never have any pain through natural times of pruning economic inefficiencies will cause the final and total collapse of the system. This article is a pretty good background as a way to understand the economic environment, the crises created by trying to fix problems, and the worse pain of never wanting any difficulties. Of course, we’re a little more jaded about the motivations of those claiming they are just trying to help. You can see the chart and analysis on that website.

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The US is about to go full Louis XVI

BY PGF
1 month, 2 weeks ago

Via WRSA, Ukraine may be America’s Lious XVI moment. It’s cautionary to learn history, but governments never realize what they are doing. Maybe this one does and is satisfied with destroying us. The article is about the new swarm of IRS agents being hired. But, interesting and worth understanding is the parallel to France at the close of the US Revolution.

The cost/benefit just doesn’t compute. And that’s why healthy, prosperous nations don’t engage in such absurd activities. They don’t need to.

Taxes ultimately represent the government’s ‘slice’ of an economic pie. So when a country is prosperous and an economy is strong, the government’s slice continues to grow because the overall economic pie is constantly getting bigger.

But nations in decline don’t see it this way. For them, the pie is shrinking. So they think the only way to increase their slice is to go after other people’s crumbs.

History shows this is absolutely the wrong move. Raising tax rates, inventing new taxes, and recruiting armies of tax collectors only makes the pie shrink even more.

Their efforts, instead, should be focused on making the pie bigger. But they don’t think that way.

Bear in mind this is all brought to you by the same people who are shoveling your tax dollars out the door to Ukraine $50 billion at a time. It’s very ‘Louis XVI’ of them.

All of these trends—the cannibalistic surge in tax authorities, the anti-productive regulations, the economic scarcity mentality—are all hallmarks of an empire in decline.

Rather Than Focus on What You Don’t Control, Focus on What You Do Control

BY PGF
1 month, 3 weeks ago

Though not a fan of precious metals, this article, via WRSA, points in the right direction. Likely before my lifetime, I did not know that cities once grew up to half of their own food. Localized Production is, beyond any doubt, a foundation of national security. (Bold in the original.)

Now that globalization and financialization are finally unraveling, people are slowly awakening to the national security foundations of localizing production. Home gardens were called Victory Gardens in World War II for a reason. Reducing dependency and increasing local production is national security in a nutshell.

Which makes more sense–air freighting tomatoes thousands of miles or growing your own? Globalization and financialization have so distorted our economy that if it’s cheaper to fly in tomatoes then that’s the “most profitable choice.”

But is maximizing profit really the only “value” we should be calculating? Thanks to an obsessive focus on maximizing profits, our economy has been stripmined of essential production because it’s always cheaper to produce stuff somewhere else where labor and bribes are cheap and environmental controls non-existent.

Localizing Production doesn’t mean just food. Sustainability is a Globalist buzzword for you owning nothing and eating bugs. Real sustainability is your family, friends, church, and team moving to self-sufficiency. Not simply stockpiling goods but production of anything a smithy, craftsman, and what was called home economics can produce. The results of your ability to move in this direction as much as possible may one day soon be tested. But overall, it’s a better life, I say again: it’s a better life, a more meaningful and fulfilling existence locally.

Economic “Collapse”

BY PGF
1 month, 4 weeks ago

We told you here at TCJ 4 months ago that potential economic trouble was brewing, and confirmed a coming recession three months ago.

One day the US economy will collapse. When you print money to infinity, that’s precisely what happens. The predictions have been wrong so far, except for ’39. Of course, when your personal economy collapses, the rest doesn’t matter. Layoffs and firings during inflation are a feedback loop of economic trouble.

Three reads about the recession, maybe collapse.

Armstrong Economics is worth checking periodically when turmoil starts to appear. First, Argentina, which seemingly collapses twice a decade but, this is on the heels of the recent Sri Lanka collapse. One day, perhaps soon, this is our future.

Argentina’s economy has collapsed. Around 57% of adults in the nation are currently unemployed. The Socialist nation has programs in place to compensate, costing the country around $6 million daily. However, socialism no longer works when you run out of other people’s money. July’s inflation report showed an uptick over 60%.

Next 14 signs the US is about to crash.

It looks like we are going to get official confirmation that a recession has already begun when the GDP number for the second quarter comes out later this week. [Fox News has confirmed]  But that isn’t what we should be focusing on.  Yes, things weren’t great during the first half of 2022, but they are going to be significantly worse during the second half.  Small businesses are starting to fail all over the country, a housing crash of potentially epic proportions has started, layoffs are on the rise from coast to coast and economic activity is really slowing down all around us.  So if you think that things are bad now, just wait, because they will soon be a whole lot more painful.

In recent days we have gotten more new numbers which seem to confirm that a major economic slowdown is upon us.  The following are 14 signs that the U.S. economy is poised to crash really hard during the second half of 2022…

And, The Federalist figures it’ll be worse than you think, which is funny because, although you can’t be entirely prepared for such a thing, anybody paying attention has been waiting for The Big Collapse for years, if not decades.

Some experts believe that recent interest rate hikes will translate into a modest decline in growth, but such claims lack evidential support.

Hold your loved ones close, spend time with them now, tell them you love them, and look heavenward to the author and finisher of our faith, Christ Jesus. God will get His glory.


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