Thursday, September 9, 2021

The Bizarreness of the Woke Part 2

 I said that:

A black and a Hispanic, unless she is pretty much 100% indigenous to the Americas, is about as "Colonising" as you can get.

Now Mexico City has removed the statue of Christopher Columbus. The bronze Columbus statue was featured prominently on Paseo de la Reforma, Mexico City’s main avenue since the late 19th century. The reason for this:

Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum made an announcement on Sunday, the Day of the Indigenous Woman, said the Italian colonizer’s legacy is seen through “two visions”: One that is Euro-Centric, and another that recognizes that civilizations existed in the Americas long before Columbus arrived.

As I also pointed out in the original post that just having a "Latina" in the role doesn't eliminate the "colonising" aspect since just being Hispanic doesn't remove the colonialising aspect: One would have to be pretty much 100% indigenous. Not all Hispanics born in this hemisphere were kind to the indigenous people. Some were downright cruel.

The problem is that unless someone is writing in  an indigenous language (i.e., not Spanish, English, French, Portuguese, Swedish, Dutch, Russian, or Danish), they are acting in a colonialising way. Any of the aforementioned languages were all those of countries which had Colonies in the Western Hemishphere.

We could get into that no one is native to the Western Hemisphere since there is the theory that the Native Americans migrated from Asia. How long does one's ancestry need to go back to be "native"?

I'm not a fan of Christopher Columbus. His real role was to open the Western Hemisphere to Spanish colonialisation. We can get into other European settlements, but none were as extensive as the Spanish was in post-Columbian history. Which makes any comment about "HIspanic Culture" somehow not being "colonising" an absurdity.

The culture of the Western Hemisphere is pretty much a result of "Colonisation".

Monday, September 6, 2021

The Bizarreness of the Woke.

 Is all too evident in this headline:

Billy Porter’s fairy godmother sweeps out colonizer morals in inclusive ‘Cinderella’

This is a serious "What the fuck moment" because the reasoning behind this is something along the lines of a black and hispanic/Latina in a gender fluid fairy tale, which just happens to come from Europe I might add, somehow is anti-colonialism.

A black and a Hispanic, unless she is pretty much 100% indigenous to the Americas, is about as "Colonising" as you can get. The Spanish were responsible for colonising most of the Americas. And Blacks were brought to the Americas by the Portuguese and Spanish in the 15th Century. 
They might want to learn the actual meaning of the buzzwords they use instead of mindlessly parroting them. Additionally, They might want to learn something about the Spanish colonisation of the Americas before making silly statements.  Spanish culture is controversial amongst Latinos who are well aware of their history since some Conquistadores were born in the Western Hemisphere. Not all "Native" Latinos were kind to the indigenous peoples of North America.
Given "Western Culture" in and of itself makes any reference to colonialism pretty much a thing for the Americas since most of Europe happens to be in the EASTERN Hemishphere. And some of Africa happens to be in the Western Hemisphere as well. But the Americas are firmly in the Western Hemishpere.

The problem with trying to paint "European Culture" as somehow being removed from influences of other cultures is silly as the above map also points out. Europe is right above Africa. There has had contact with between Europe, Asia, and Africa since Ancient times. In fact, the oldest known oral version of the Cinderella story is the ancient Greek story of Rhodopis, a Greek courtesan living in the colony of Naucratis in Egypt, whose name means "Rosy-Cheeks". The story is first recorded by the Ancient  Greek geographer Strabo in his Geographica  sometime between around 7 BC and AD 23.

"When she was bathing, an eagle snatched one of her sandals from her maid and carried it to Memphis; and while the king was administering justice in the open air, the eagle, when it arrived above his head, flung the sandal into his lap; and the king, stirred both by the beautiful shape of the sandal and by the strangeness of the occurrence, sent men in all directions into the country in quest of the woman who wore the sandal; and when she was found in the city of Naucratis, she was brought up to Memphis, and became the wife of the king."

There are around 500 varients of the Cinderella story just in Europe. It is a common theme throughout the world. But the familiar one, which this article mentions, is firmly from the European tradition.
Their ignorance made me laugh uncontrollably.

Assault Rifles won't be going away anytime soon.

This goes back to the joke about the World Famous French lover who was on a game show as a lifeline. The punch line is that he wouldn't have done anything the contestant suggested. The "gun violence" situations is really like that. With pretty much everyone knowing that the US needs to rein in the weapons.

Yet nobody is doing anything about it.

Come on! You are worried that assault weapons are going to be banned whether you are "pro" or "anti". The pro-AW crowd is hording the things knowing that there will be a huge rise in their price the next time they get banned. That is if the current ones aren't removed from circulation. But I doubt that will happen.

I think the ones in circulation will be "grandfathered" and remain in circulation.

Any gun buyback would cost a lot in the US because the situation was allowed to get out of control.

And the current situation of US politics has ensured that guns will be a problem.

This is worth a read since it gets into the problems this issue raises:

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

I'm glad I never worked for the CIA.

Never as far as I know.

I do have to admit that I like reading foreign language newspapers. It would have been super to have a job where they sent me to exotic places to meet people and get them to provide us with sensitive information.

On the other hand, I have been saying that it is idiotic to ignore Islamic Fundamentalism for a long time: especially before the fall of the Shah. I remember the Iranian Protesters who camped out in front of Foyles in London showing pictures of SAVAK brutality. I always wanted to ask them if they were sorry the Shah Fell, but never did.

Charlie Wilson's War was a recipe for failure, yet no one had the balls to come out and say it. Well, other than me, but I have never been in that much of a position of power to do that much. I can write things, but they have about as much of an effect on policy as my blog posts.

On the other hand, I am pretty sure Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders are happy they didn't get (re)elected president. I know I am happy I never made it with the CIA since they have shown what clowns they are.

I am amazed that anyone would admit to working for them these days because what happened was pretty obvious. It has been obvious it was coming for a long time.

Unfortunately, it's like the joke about the World Famous French lover who was on a game show as a lifeline. The punch line is that he wouldn't have done anything the contestant suggested.

Maybe they need to go and find some experts.

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

It was going to be a failure.

Take a country which went "Socialist" and then was "invaded" by the Soviet Union during the cold war. Forget that the country in question is next door to an Islamic Fundamentalist state (Iran), or at least one that had a problem with Islamic Fundamentalists. Toss in Cold War blindness that the Soviet Union is "the Evil Empire". Then fund Islamist warriors, the Mujahideen, to fight in that country.

And you have a recipe for disaster.

Especially since the Mujahideen dislike the United States as much as they hated the Soviet Union. To them, the "West" was the "Evil Empire", which included the idiots who were funding their battle in Afghanistan.

This was the confrontation of Realpolitik and Idealism. Which is worse, communism or Islamic Fundamentalism which has the goal of destroying the west?

The blowback happened on 9-11 and 7/7 along with other Islamic Attacks in London and France. The Zastava AKSU used at the Bataclan was bought legally from Florida.

The Taliban doing their impression of US Militia Members on 6 Jan 2021

Not that gun control will totally disarm the Islamic fighters since they have the technology to keep cranking out guns. Sort of like the AR15 underground can keep cranking out AR15s for as long as the 80% receivers are lying about. Unfortunately, like the problem with Islamic Fundamentalism, the US gun problem was allowed to fester due to the same mistakes in judgement which allowed Islamic Fundamentalism to get out of hand.

I look at the pictures of the Taliban with their assault rifles and beards and it reminds me of the current state of US politics. What will the outcome of the mess that the world finds itself in?

Monday, August 2, 2021

Oligarchies are also totaliaraian states.

While someone may not like "collectivist" belief such as socialism or communism, they should start to realise that monopoly capitalism and Oligarchic societies are just as dangerous a proposition. In this case, I am referring to "Big Tech".

I left Fesses de Bouc in late July because I was getting tired of its attempts to control my opinions. I have long disliked Microsoft and Google for various reasons, mostly due to their poor quality products.

Yes, there is an alternative, but I'm not really happy with Ubuntu 20.04. The misspellings this time are due to the fact that the mouse is out of whack in this iteration of Ubuntu. That means the zoom is also.

I am writing on a nearly microscopic screen.

But, that's an aside.

Youtube is censoring various news sources, usually right wing ones. I may not agree with Skynews Australia on most points, but it's one of the only places to get dissenting opinions about the Biden Administration. They have been shutdown from posting for the last few days by Youtube, which is part of Google's empire.

The concept of Free Speech is to allow for dissenting opinions in the marketplace of ideas. Shutting down dissenting opinions, especially ones which aren't commonly held is dangerous to society.

Creepy Joe and Horrible Harris probably wouldn't be in charge of the show had the dirt on them been aired early on. Now, it's looking like there will be a republican party landslide. "Another 1994".

Update: Sky News was banned by Youtube for alleged violation of its Covid-19 policies.

Saturday, July 10, 2021

Critical Race Theory, Systemic Racism, and People's reactions to it.

OK, I am sure the fans of "Critical Race Theory" want to tell me how I am an oversensitive white person who is feeling threatened instead of wanting to admit that their basic premise may be seriously flawed. Let's take this quote about the racist nature of slavery:

And while slavery is over, a racist society continues to exert dominion over black men and their maleness in ways more subtle but hardly less castrating than during slavery...

Which rates an overwhelming "what the fuck?" from me.

This is because, as a European, I am very familiar with "systemic racism".

There wouldn't be a "race issue" were slavery anything vaguely like the genocides perpetrated in other countries. That's because instead of the mental castration which blacks feel due to slavery, even though NONE of them have been slaves, actual genocides result in the killing of people.

Part of Eastern Europe which were once centres of Jewish Culture, such as Vilnius, were purged of any Jewish influence during the Holocaust. Were US slaves actually castrated, there probably wouldn't be any blacks in the US. And were the slaves treated as the slave labour was in Auschwitz? Auschwitz's purpose was to supply workers for the I.G. Farben factory: it wasn't predominantly a Vernichtunglager like Belzec, Treblinka, Sobibor, and Majdenek.

Well, you get the picture.

The slave labour in concentration camps was barely fed. Even the prisoners who worked on Operation Barhard, the operation to forge British Banknotes, were poorly fed. They also suffered from the diseases caused by poor sanitation in the camps. And these were skilled labour!

US Slavery was bad, but the owners saw an economic purpose to their slaves. Slaves were like livestock and had value. They were fed and probably cared for when ill. The Jews, Armenians, and other victims of genocide aren't valuable. The victims of a real genocide are exterminated like vermin.

Additionally, true systemic racism doesn't allow the oppressed race to have positions of power. We would not have blacks who were in positions of power, such as CEOs, legislators, or the head of State, let alone people who wish to teach these theories in classrooms. Idi Amin ordered the expulsion  of some 50,000 Indians from Uganda and told them to leave in 90 days.

There is a big difference between a "systemically racist" nation and the United States. I guess that having had more than 50 years of desegregation has caused an amnesia for some people of what things were like.

Remember the graffiti from Baltimore that said "blacks killing blacks" was genocide. Maybe it's time that blacks started taking responsibility for their own community instead of blaming "whippl" for what is going on in their communities.

Thursday, July 8, 2021

Windows and Bridges

I am an unabashed fan of the Euro. I think it's the best thing about the European Union next to the right of free movement.

The coins are really cool with national designs that distinguish one nation's from another.

On the other hand, the notes are pretty boring. They are architectural designs of windows and bridges. But there is a reason for this: one nation's important person might piss off another's. Who do you put on the note so that everyone will like it?


Instead the architectural motif, which is OK since most people use other methods than currency to pay for things. Let the drug dealers use the notes.

Hey, I live near that bridge!

The reason I mention this is that there is a battle over the US $20 Note. Current personality is Andrew Jackson, a person who makes Donald Trump seem palatable: even for the people who suffer from Trump Derangement Syndrome. Some people want to replace Andy with Harriet Tubman, who has a picture that looks like Don Warrington in drag.

The big issue here is racism. Jackson sold and owned slaves. Tubman was a slave who helped some of them escape to Canada and Freedom. Some people have issues with both personalities. I would just like a different picture of Tubman if you're going to use her.

The Euro has a solution to this problem: scratch the people and use something inanimate. There's a point to being boring.

BTW, More on Andrew Jackson:

Saturday, July 3, 2021

Why I am on the "outs" with most of the "Gun Violence Prevention Organisations"

Actually, I should say most "legacy" advocacy groups since the issue is less whether I agree with their position on the issue and more that I disagree with their becoming partisan (and it's more than just GVP groups that are guilty of doing this). The partisan aspect not only has caused the groups to support and reinforce a system which is toxic: it has caused these groups to stray from addressing the issues they SHOULD be addressing. That makes these groups totally ineffective and counterproductive.

I'm finally getting to this since I have been receiving a lot of "Trump  is bad" campaigns instead of something relating to the issues in question. First off, I never suffered from Trump Derangement Syndrome the way a lot of people on the left have. Trump isn't the problem: he's very much a symptom of a terminal illness which is US politics.

And one which most of the groups trying to get people to act viscerally have contributed to way more than they should.

"Gun Violence Prevention" isn't on the top of my list. On the other hand, a lot of groups on which it should be a priority are ignoring it, or just making the situation worse. I would agree that people shouldn't have "assault rifles" under most circumstances, but that changes a lot when people are in Cloud Cuckoo Land about the nature of the "peaceful protests" and saying "defund the police".

Patricia and Mark McCloskey should not be laughed at or prosecuted, but should have been given compassion. Especially since I think they represent a good portion of urbanites who are feeling under siege. You don't have an apartment building a few blocks away from where you live burn and not feel a twinge of concern. Saying "defund the police" is total insanity.

The problem is that society is  polarised and the advocacy groups aren't helping things if they join the fray. They should be trying to figure out how to make progress, not make the situation worse. We should be talking to each other, not entrenching ourselves in untenable positions. I'm supporting the non-partisan, not the partisan.

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Are reparations for slavery an anglophone thing?

Serious question since a majority of the francophone world is black (African and the Caribbean). I note that slavery is mentioned in the news, but that aspect of the racial question is decidedly absent. Then again, a good portion of francophones are Africans.

There were "Black Lives Matter" protests in France last year, but nothing to the extent of the US. Some french actors did their virtue signalling. But there was nothing like the "peaceful protests" in the States.

On the other hand, the US and Britain are dealing with the issue of reparations with some interesting results such as this opinion from Jamaica.  

It’s a cheap shot to blame Jamaica’s economic malaise entirely on the evil white bogeyman when successive post-independence administrations have overseen an economy with annual growth of less than 1% for the past four decades and a currency in freefall. Social dysfunction is rife, with murders ballooning 20% so far this year and youth unemployment nearing 40%. 

Jamaica – and the wider anglophone Caribbean – must come to terms with the inconvenient truth that, though the British slave masters were barbarous, when polled a couple of years ago the majority of Jamaicans said the country would have been better off if it had remained a UK colony. That indictment lies at the feet of Jamaica’s black governing class. 

I've said it before, it hard to say there is "systemic racism" when the people claiming that play a significant role in the system.

Sunday, June 13, 2021

Critical Race Theory: it shouldn't just be "wippl" who are getting uncomfortable talking about race.

Hey, Bring it if we are going to have an open, honest, and unbiased discussion of race in the US. But the object here isn't to do that: the object is to make "wippl" uncomfortable. But before we start having this discussion, we need to have a definition of what exactly "racism" happens to be since I'm seeing that some people are unclear on the subject:

racism rā′sĭz″əmn.

  • n. The belief that race accounts for differences in human character or ability and that a particular race is superior to others.
  • n.Discrimination or prejudice based on race.
  • n.The belief that each race has distinct and intrinsic attributes.

 So, we might want to have some self-examination before we start criticising.

I was tempted to call this "CRT, BLM, and Black Conservatives" since not all black people like CRT. Except not all the black people who dislike this theory happen to be conservatives. In fact, there are  a couple of different critiques of CRT in the black community, which I'm not going to discuss here (I've done it a bit in other posts).

Additionally, Critical Race Theory came from something called Critical theory. Critical Theory believes that everything in our world is power. Systems and structures are created to maintain and build upon that power. Governments, organizations, businesses, and even hobby clubs exist solely to maintain and build power. Critical Theory’s goal is to intellectually emancipate society from oppression. 

Take it or leave it.

Critical Race Theory takes this argument and posits that power struggle is limited solely to race. Although true CRT looks at ALL races. The problem with CRT is that it's nebulous, sort of like "Black Lives Matters". Both are things which are out there, but no one has a real understanding what the fuck either one actually happens to be. To be quite honest, a racist organisation could take over the slogan "black lives matter" for their program of genocide. 

In other words, these two concepts are out there and they are whatever the fuck anyone wants to make of them. Worse, they attack anyone who questions them, which is amusing. But as I point out, proper CRT looks at all races, not just "wippl", but that's not what is going on here.

In fact, the honest assessment of the racial situation isn't happening. If anything, this is a sick parody of the situation.

After all, how does one account for systemic racism if blacks are a significant part of the system? Additionally, how does one account for the current situation if that has been the case for 50 years or so (possibly more)?

Monday, June 7, 2021

Why the "Tulsa Massacre" will be a blip on the screen if even that

People need to remember I support regulating firearms, even if I am on the outs with a good portion of the GVP crowd these days (there's a post about that simmering). Look at this from the point of how common mass shootings happen to be in the US.

And then toss in that the blacks being armed may have been a contributing factor to all this.

Are you really serious that you think people are going to care about this in the long run?

Come on!

Other countries may react to mass shooting, but they are just another day in America. Especially if blacks are involved.

Fuck a shitload of white pre-schoolers were slaughtered at Sandy Hook and fuck all happened (so much for "pro-life"). And Las Vegas, a whole lot of whippl got capped at a country music concert and nothing happened. And let's not forget that a bunch of US legislators were capped with the usual result (that is fuck all happened). Well, they use it as a talking point...

So, do you think that anyone other than virtue signalling SJWs are going to keep this in their consciousness for much longer, if it is still there?  

Get real. It will be as much in the consciousness as the Colfax Massacre in another 15 minutes.

Sunday, June 6, 2021

Hey, Lucian Truscott, you didn't fall too far from the tree.

 I know your pedigree since you spout it anytime and anywhere.

On the other hand, I am a first generation US Citizen on my father's side, My mother's family has been here longer with her mother being first generation from Germany on my great-grandfather's side and Second Generation French on her great great great, grandmother's side.

My mother's father was a different story. His family has been here since the 1600s. I am descended from Mayflower Compact signer Edward Fuller (um, those comments I made about native Americans eating the settlers....). I had ancestors who were in Virginia in the early 1600s, but I don't know if they participated in Bacon's Rebellion, but, boy, would I be shouting it out if they had been some of the "indentured servants" who fought alongside the slaves in that rebellion (same applies for transported convicts).

I AM descended from Felix and Jakob Huber, two soldiers who fought in the Pennsylvania line. They were at Valley Forge and Morristown.

Yes, that Pennsylvania Line. The one that insisted that their three-year enlistments had expired, killed three officers in a drunken rage and abandoned the Continental Army’s winter camp at Morristown, New Jersey. I used to visit Morristown when I was at Fort Monmouth before I knew about my ancestor or the mutiny and thought that they should have continued the mutiny. I regret they didn't: especially when I read the shit you write defending "critical race theory".

That's because  they were in no way slave owners. they weren't the wealthy  assholes, which included the southern planters, who wouldn't foot the bill for the war George Washington caused, like your ancestor, Thomas Jefferson, which was another reason for the revolution besides slavery.In fact, there were quite a few reasons other than slavery that led to the War for Independence. 

No, My ancestors were the ones who bore the costs of war that your ancestor caused.

Pennsylvania is home to the abolitionist movement that was started by the Pennsylvania Germans. The 1688 Germantown Quaker Petition Against Slavery wrote the first protest against enslavement of Africans made by a religious body in the Thirteen Colonies. Sure, it didn't go far, but the seed was sown for a movement. On the other hand, the War for Independence would have fizzled out pretty quickly had people in the North made slavery an issue.

Which gets to the issue of your ancestor, Thomas Jefferson. Someone I know was a complete scumbag, and you admit that was the case. He was fucking his slave Sally Hemmings while he was penning that bullshit about "We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights". You didn't fall too far from the tree.

Well, at least Jefferson. Your grandfather who shares your name would probably be profusely apologising for you're being a total fuckwit from what I've heard. He would understand exactly what I am saying. And it wouldn't be the first time he apologised to dead soldiers.

You are a shame to his name. My sincerest apologies to him for having a descendant who would have been locked away at one time instead of foisting himself in the public eye at every opportunity. I am sorry that he has you piling shit upon his name.

Like Vietnam, the people who fought in the War for Independence were the poor kids who couldn't avoid the draft. Or go to a military academy on the public dime and then get tossed from the service. 

My ancestor was one of the soldiers who went AWOL to tend the farm during those cold winters Thomas Paine talked about. I wish they had just told their leaders to go fuck themselves when I read the crap you write. Instead, they capitulated too many times and the war went on for another 6-7 years.

After having started yet another war that the colonies couldn't pay for, your ancestor wrote off the protests of the veterans as "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." and "The remedy is to set them right as to facts, pardon and pacify them." And your comments about that war being fought for slavery is a further insult.

Of course, Tommy changed his tune when he saw the French Revolution up close and personal.

So, Truscott, I don't appreciate the war your ancestor caused and the shit it brought with it. Likewise, I KNOW my ancestors would be even more unpleasant in their comments to you were they alive and heard the shit you say.

After all, they killed three officers at Morristown. Too bad Jefferson's head wasn't hoisted on a pole for being a traitor and causing a pointless war by mine, but he did die bankrupt.

You can piss on the graves of the soldiers who weren't as fortunate as you and went to 'Nam, but don't piss on the graves of the soldiers who fought to create this country in a war your ancestor created.

Because you are just proving how right I was when I thought they shouldn't have stopped the mutiny until the war ended.

Saturday, June 5, 2021

Why is the problematic "Critical Race Theory" being pushed on us

Oh, boy. Yet another way to divide the nation!

 And it's not just the right wing Trump supporters who dislike this theory. 

This pretty much sums up the intent of  "Critical Race Theory" and the 1619 Project:

It's no criticism of the show, generally credited with handling the harrowing events respectfully, to acknowledge that "what white people are comfortable with" can't be the criterion for what history is allowed to enter public discourse and to shape it.

It's perfect that comes from coverage on Tulsa because that incident is one that is worth examining. And examining in an unbiased manner. Like Juneteenth, Tulsa has been sitting around, but few people knew about it. My guess on the reason is that there was culpability on both sides.

So, History isn't just what "what white people are comfortable with", or even black people are comfortable with. There is a lot of shit out there that won't make you feel good.

See, I have a problem with all this "systemic racism" shit and that's Barack Obama. Or maybe I should say Michele Obama. And the reason I say that is that her husband was a first an Illinois then US Senator and finally President of the United States. 

But first a story about when I was practising law in Philadelphia. My client was a young black kid charged with a gun crime because he threatened another child with an umbrella handle he said was a gun. His mother started yelling that the system was "racist". Well, he was black, his alleged victim was black, the police who arrested him were black, the DA was black, as was the judge. The only white person who was involved was me and I was doing everything in my power to try and get the kid a good deal.

But my point is that it's hard to allege "systemic racism" if a lot of the people in the system happen to be black. I was going to say doesn't that mean that anyone in the system happens to be racist. But we know the answer to that question is a resounding "YES!!!". And you are a confirmed racist if you somehow dare to question your being a racist! So, why should whippl want to help if we are already classified as racist?

The bottom line here is that a good portion of these gripes are over 50 years old now. Even more importantly, blacks have achieved positions of power in that time. There are blacks in the system. One of which made it to be President of the USA.

And Ms. Obama might want to rethink the accusations of "systemic racism" for a myriad of reasons. The major one is that YOU ARE THE SYSTEM.

Thursday, June 3, 2021

Why I don't support Black Lives Matter.

OK, I am going to start this off by saying I was totally supportive of BLM when it was about Trayvon Martin, Jordan David, and "Stand Your Ground" Laws. In fact, my attitude about current events is totally related to my attitude about "Gun Violence Prevention". Which is why an interaction which started with the following post in a Facebook Group, possibly something called Occupy the NRA, led to my distrust for the group:

OK, you can guess how this interaction is going to turn out and I don't need to say more, but there is more. I wanted to know who the fuck this guy was, especially since he was posting in a GVP group. Alas. I didn't screencap very much of this and I either left the GVP group or was thrown out of it. The next cap of a conversation with someone else who was a party to this is useful since this has become pretty much hearsay.

Now, I need to make a historical explanation if people wonder about my attitude toward Tulsa and all this. First off, I have a problem with the black victimhood narrative. If anything, that is the racist narrative straight out of D.W. Griffith's Birth of a Nation where the blacks are all cowering as the KKK rides to terrorise them.

And it's not exactly true. Blacks did fight back. The Colfax Massacre is one instance that comes to mind, which led to first Second Amendment case of US v. Cruikshank, 92 U.S. 542 (1876), Which is an aside, but blacks did fight back with varying success. But my opinion of armed resistance is that it is counterproductive, which is probably why the Tulsa thing will probably evaporate as will reparations. 

The gist of all this is that the post in question happened after the Charleston Church Shooting (18 June 2015). The topic of armed resistance was brought up with hashtags such as the ones mentioned. Lots of reasons why I would react the way I did to the post. In fact, I was surprised that very few people were questioning what was said since having GVP people appear to approve of "armed resistance" could be used against the GVP movement.

In fact, as someone on the left, I question any time anyone on the left advocates violence since they could be an agent provacateur. Or at least someone who wants to discredit the movement. And yeah, as the person I was discussing this with said, I am quite willing to speak my mind, which I did to Dante.

OK, I'm a racist in the minds of people like Dante and nothing I will say really matters: no matter how factually based it may be. But gun violence is something which is hurting the black community. A lot of the critics of the BLM movement point out the innocent children killed in the crossfire.

I'm more than willing to call it out if blacks contributed to the escalation of violence in Tulsa. In fact, maybe we should be looking at the restoration period and how and why it led to Jim Crow. Henry Louis Gates Jr. PBS series for an eye opener on the topic of reconstruction.

Anyway, not much is going to happen if there is name calling and antagonism when we are trying to have a discussion to solve this issue. In fact, it probably won't get solved if we don't simmer down and talk with cool heads.

Evanston, Illionois tries reparations with predictable results.

I had to check out the story when I heard that Evanston, IL actually decided to try and implement reparations. Then I decided I was going to do a post about what a failure it was. This is the perfect headline:

The story is pretty good:

Recently, Priscilla Giles, a retired teacher of English as a second language in Chicago Public Schools, said she has been feeling something “between sad and angry.”

Three months ago the city of Evanston, Illinois, where Giles was born and raised, approved the first local reparations program in the country. The city announced its first phase would pay Black Evanston residents who experienced housing discrimination $25,000 in the form of home improvement costs, down payment and closing cost assistance, and mortgage payments.

Since Giles is Black and lived in the city from 1919 to 1969, she is automatically eligible, but she said she is reluctant to apply. “It’s not reparations,” she said. “And that’s for sure.”

Evanston residents have been debating the details of its current reparations program for more than three years. When the legislation passed, it was deemed a “blueprint” for the rest of the country. Yet a few months into the first initiative, frustration and legal pressure have clouded the city’s pioneering vision.

Maybe reparations should be in the form of some accurate history about slavery, reconstruction, and the "Jim Crow" era. Especially since reparations have been tried before.

And, like Evanston's experiment, they failed miserably despite great promise. That's because reparations have always been problematic. In this case the offer was for up to $25,000 in "home improvement costs" and only about 16 families ended up being eligible for the "reparations". This was despite the fact that the tax on recreational marijuana would foot the bill. 

The problem with people who are demanding, or even discussing, reparations is that most of them do it with historical ignorance. Or they do it from the wrong perspective.

So, maybe a course in "black history" which is accurate and not with an agenda, like the 1619 Project happened to be, should be the form that reparations take. Especially since that information would have prevented the disappointment that a lot of people are feeling right now.

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

The 1921 Tulsa Riots: was there culpability on both sides?

I'm enough of a historian to know about the whatever you want to call what happened in Tulsa 100 years ago. Additionally, I have enough skills that I could  research the incident. I do have to add that some of the primary source material has been deleted. I would also add that maybe a lot of that material has been deleted. Additionally, the neglect of the incident allows for some details to be ignored.

One of which is particularly troublesome to me is that both blacks and whites were armed. The source for the passages is Wikipedia, but it's probably the most unbiased:

A few blocks away on Greenwood Avenue, members of the Black community gathered to discuss the situation at Gurley's Hotel.Given the recent lynching of Belton, a White man accused of murder, they believed that Rowland was greatly at risk. Many Black residents were determined to prevent the crowd from lynching Rowland, but they were divided about tactics. Young World War I veterans prepared for a battle by collecting guns and ammunition. Older, more prosperous men feared a destructive confrontation that likely would cost them dearly. O. W. Gurley stated that he had tried to convince the men that there would be no lynching, but the crowd responded that Sheriff McCullough had personally told them their presence was required. About 9:30 p.m., a group of approximately 50–60 Black men, armed with rifles and shotguns, arrived at the jail to support the sheriff and his deputies in defending Rowland from the mob.
I think the previous passage is important to understanding the events of those days because the sight of armed blacks led to whites feeling the need to "tool up". That is important for a lot of reasons, especially given the debate about firearms in US society. But the people you would think would raise this issue, the "gun violence prevention" crowd are oddly silent about this. Anyway, armed blacks led to the following.
Having seen the armed Black men, some of the more than 1,000 Whites who had been at the courthouse went home for their own guns. Others headed for the National Guard armory at the corner of Sixth Street and Norfolk Avenue, where they planned to arm themselves. The armory contained a supply of small arms and ammunition. Major James Bell of the 180th Infantry Regiment learned of the mounting situation downtown and the possibility of a break-in, and he consequently took measures to prevent. He called the commanders of the three National Guard units in Tulsa, who ordered all the Guard members to put on their uniforms and report quickly to the armory. When a group of Whites arrived and began pulling at the grating over a window, Bell went outside to confront the crowd of 300 to 400 men. Bell told them that the Guard members inside were armed and prepared to shoot anyone who tried to enter. After this show of force, the crowd withdrew from the armory.
OK, I don't really want to point fingers here as to who was responsible especially since it is unclear how the violence escalated. But, as I pointed out, the "gun violence prevention" crowd is silent about this aspect of the incident. That is strange since the escalation of violence was a definite factor in the massacre. The following is conjecture, but it is the closest I have seen to what may have happened.

Shortly after 10 p.m., a second, larger group of approximately 75 armed Black men decided to go to the courthouse. They offered their support to the sheriff, who declined their help. According to witnesses, a White man is alleged to have told one of the armed Black men to surrender his pistol. The man refused, and a shot was fired. That first shot might have been accidental, or meant as a warning; it was a catalyst for an exchange of gunfire.

Now, firearms violence doesn't happen when firearms aren't present. That is a simple fact that when something doesn't exist, it can't effect anything. On the other hand there was a combination of hot heads and firearms. There is something called the "weapons effect" which is where the mere presence of weapons may increase aggression. Wouldn't you think the GVP crowd would be mentioning this? Especially since this pretty much makes their argument.

The upshot was that the gunshots led to an immediate escalation of violence with both sides firing on the other. The first "battle" was said to last a few seconds but  resulted in ten Whites and two Black men lying dead or dying in the street.

The Black men who had offered to provide security at the jail ended up retreating toward Greenwood. A rolling gunfight between both sides ensued. The armed White mob pursued the Black contingent toward Greenwood, with many stopping to loot local stores for additional weapons and ammunition. Panic set in as the White mob began firing on any Black people in the crowd. The White mob also shot and killed at least one White man in the confusion. The two groups squared off in gunfights throughout the night. At around 1 a.m., the White mob began setting fires, mainly in businesses on commercial Archer Street at the southern edge of the Greenwood district.

The problem with this is that the incident is covered, but not very well. There was a Grand Jury investigation into this in 1921, but I don't think it led to much. Although it does make interesting reading. There are lots of gaps in what is known. 

There were no convictions for any of the charges related to violence. The  silence about the terror, violence, and losses of this event went on for decades. The riot has been omitted from most local, state and national histories: It was not recognized in the Tulsa Tribune feature of "Fifteen Years Ago Today" or "Twenty-five Years Ago Today". A 2017 report detailing the history of the Tulsa Fire Department from 1897 until 2017 makes no mention of the 1921 massacre.

"The Tulsa race riot of 1921 was rarely mentioned in history books, classrooms or even in private. Black and White people alike grew into middle age unaware of what had taken place".

I'm not going to get into the details about this since they are quite frankly under dispute. Neither side is very helpful since copies of one of the newspapers involved have pretty much vanished from the face of the earth. There was a reward offer for copies of this newspaper during the 1990s investigation, but none could be found. Likewise, the reports of mass graves are being investigated, but it sounds like these may indeed rumours.

Anyway, it seems odd that an armed group of black people are marching on Tulsa to commemorate this event. I have to wonder how much of what happened was due to an armed populace and hot heads. Dick Rowland, the person whose arrest started this chain of events, was well known among attorneys and other legal professionals within the city, many of whom knew Rowland through his work as a shoeshiner. Some witnesses later recounted hearing several attorneys defend Rowland in their conversations with one another. One of the men said, "Why, I know that boy, and have known him a good while. That's not in him."

On June 3, 1921, a group of over 1,000 businessmen and civic leaders met, resolving to form a committee to raise funds and aid in rebuilding Greenwood. Judge J. Martin, a former mayor of Tulsa, was chosen as the chairman of the group. He said at the mass meeting:

Tulsa can only redeem herself from the country-wide shame and humiliation into which she is today plunged by complete restitution and rehabilitation of the destroyed black belt. The rest of the United States must know that the real citizenship of Tulsa weeps at this unspeakable crime and will make good the damage, so far as it can be done, to the last penny.

Sadly, Most of the promised funding was never raised for the Black residents, and they struggled to rebuild after the violence.

Virtue signalling doesn't cost anything, real actions do.  Additionally, there is a certain irony here of an armed black parade in commemoration if a major factor in the incident was that the blacks had chosen to arm themselves 100 years ago.

Monday, May 31, 2021

You know I'm not a fan of bitcoin or cryptocurrencies: here is the best argument about why you shouldn't be as well.

I just finished watching Russell Brand discuss bitcoin, which he didn't understand. The concept intrigued him for the obvious reasons--cryptocurrency poses as something which is outside the banking and economic system.

That's not really true. I know enough about these things to know that they are not what they pretend to be. Which is why I suggest this e-book on the subject:

The person who wrote this knows a whole lot more about the subject than I do, which is why I recommend it. You don't really need to know a lot about the topic to sense that it is not what it purports to be.

On the other hand, knowing what exactly it is makes it far more scary than fiat currencies.

Bottom line is that commodity based currencies are volatile. Fiat based currencies values are determined by central banks. But cryptocurrencies aren't really either. If anything they combine the worst of both worlds.

But, hey, it's your money: not mine.

Thursday, May 27, 2021

Left wing critiques on the 1619 Project.

Journalist Zaid Jilani weighs in on the controversy over the Pulitzer Prize winning 1619 Project.

 I may have mentioned the judgement in Somersetts case, but that would not have impacted colonies such as Pennsylvania, New York, and New England.

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Let's dredge out the dirt on all of The Western Hemispheres ethnicities!

OK, "Columbus Day" is unacceptable, but people in the US aren't going to be like Canadians and call it "Thanksgiving". That would mean there would be two Thanksgivings in the US. We can argue over who "discovered" the Western Hemisphere, which can get interesting.

On the other hand, there pretty much isn't any group in the Western Hemisphere which isn't without some dirt, or gripes. That's why the concept of reparations starts getting interesting. Trust me: reparations have long been discussed and rejected as impossible to implement. And any implementation gets more impossible with the passage of time.

This leaves us with two options.

  1. Have a frank and open discussion of race and oppression in the Western Hemisphere.
  2. Trying to accept people for who they are and not what they are.

I go for the second since option 1 has been tried and found to be a failure.

Monday, May 24, 2021

Still More on Critical Race Theory

 Or the more I learn about it, the worse it sounds. This comes from a source friendly to the concept: Politifact:

Critical race theory — a broad set of ideas about systemic bias and privilege — might have its roots in legal academia, but it is fast becoming one of the more explosive flashpoints in America’s state legislatures...

Critical race theory isn’t one set thing, but more a changing package of ideas.

Legal scholars, such as Kimberlé Crenshaw, Neil Gotanda, Gary Peller and Kendall Thomas, developed Bell’s ideas further. In a 1995 book, they wrote that critical race theory is rooted in the desire "to understand how a regime of white supremacy and its subordination of people of color have been created and maintained in America." 

They said that the fundamental problem was the "distribution of political and economic power." And they defined their movement as one that was "race conscious" and was committed to change.

Let's toss in this article from a Journal I once had high regard for, the Economist, Jason Stanley on critical race theory and why it matters.

There are a couple of metrics set by Martin Luther King which I am going to use here. The first is that racism is making one group more powerful than another based upon race. The Second is that racism will be overcome once there is a black president.

Now, I have a problem when people like Ursula Burns, Michele Obama, Megan Markel, Oprah Winfrey, and other black people with money and power want to lecture me on how they are somehow oppressed.  There is this set of blinders which says that white people are somehow privileged and don't suffer from the same issues black people do.

People who say that need to take a trip to Appalachia.

The problem with reparations is that they have been discussed since the Emancipation Proclamation was promulgated. Besides Bacon's Rebellion any serious discussion of this topic needs to look at the Reconstruction Period. I suggest Henry Louis Gates Jr.PBS series for an eye opener on this topic.

The real bottom line here is that any serious discussion of this topic needs to be (1) colour blind (2) all encompassing and (3) informed. 

Right now the issue is that Critical Race Theory wants to place blacks as the victims of a system which lasted 244 years (1619-1863), if even that long. The largest numbers of slaves were taken to the Americas during the 18th century, when, according to historians’ estimates, nearly three-fifths of the total volume of the transatlantic slave trade took place. We need to factor in that this trade also included the Caribbean and South America: which is another factor in having this be colour blind and all encompassing.

As I have pointed out, slavery ended  156 years ago if we use the "Juneteenth" date. Although some say slavery still exists in the US, but that makes this a really interesting topic.

But I seriously question this concept when I see "people of colour" in positions of power. Especially when they want to tell me that I am the one with "privilege".


The Concept of Gun Rights is based upon fantasy, not reality.

OK, I know you won't bother to fact check and do some real research on this issue,  especially since seeing the words "the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed" get your infantile minds thinking that you can own whatever weapon you want.

Never mind that is a quote taken out of context since the Second Amendment needs to be read as a complete sentence: "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed." Which means asking "What don't you understand about 'shall not be infringed'?" Is like a dementia patient repeating the last few words said to them.

The first sign that bad news is on the way comes from DC v Heller

Like most rights, the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited. From Blackstone through the 19th-century cases, commentators and courts routinely explained that the right was not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose.--District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008)
But the problem comes from the fact that this insanity comes from an infantile mind which doesn't quite comprehend what the reality of the situation happens to be. “An armed society is a polite society” comes from Robert Heinlein’s “Beyond This Horizon”. If you are unaware, this is a novel where duels may easily occur when someone feels that they have been wronged or insulted that is attributed as a custom that keeps order and politeness.

 Now, let's go back to the   State v. Chandler, 5 La. Ann. 489, 52 Am. Dec. 599 (1850) quote where it says. "This law became absolutely necessary to counteract a vicious state of society, growing out of the habit of carrying concealed weapons, and to prevent bloodshed and assassinations committed upon unsuspecting persons. It interfered with no man's right to carry arms (to use its words) "in full open view," which places men upon an equality. This is the right guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States, and which is calculated to incite men to a manly and noble defence of themselves, if necessary, and of their country, without any tendency to secret advantages and unmanly assassinations." 

I made a tongue in cheek comment about the gun rights crowd having to push for open carry, but that is what you are going to have to do if you are going to try and take the Second Amendment literally. So, you can have your “Beyond This Horizon” fantasy, but anyone not strapping is wearing their yellow brassard.

And the reality is they are the ones who going to be in the majority: especially after the dueling idiots kill themselves off.

The bad news is that People carrying weapons in public is not a right (Presser v. Illinois, 116 U.S. 252 (1886), Robertson v. Baldwin,165 U.S. 275 (1897) at 282  and DC V Heller, 554 U.S. 570, (2008)). Heller mentions Rawle, which says:

This right ought not, however, in any government, to be abused to the disturbance of the public peace.
An assemblage of persons with arms, for an unlawful purpose, is an indictable offence, and even the carrying of arms abroad by a single individual, attended with circumstances giving just reason to fear that he purposes to make an unlawful use of them, would be sufficient cause to require him to give surety of the peace. If he refused he would be liable to imprisonment.

I wouldn't get my hopes up about New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Corlett because the Supreme Court would have to go against its own precedent. It already said in Robertson v. Baldwin, 165 U.S. 275 (1897) that "the right of the people to keep and bear arms (Art. II) is not infringed by laws prohibiting the carrying of concealed weapons;"

Let's not forget that the practise of carrying concealed weapons has long been discouraged in law and society. 

New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Corlett may be the long hoped for bridge too far for the "gun rights" insanity.

Sorry, there are no Tooth Fairy, Easter bunny, Santa Claus, or Gun Rights. Get over it.

Rights come with responsibilities as well.

Saturday, May 22, 2021

Tired of being called a racist by ignorant f---s?

Next time the Politically Correct crowd want you to read a "black author" ask to read something by Alexandre Dumas.

And the more European the title sounds the better, but any of the Three Musketeers/The D'Artagnan Romances series (The Three Musketeers, Twenty Years After, and The Vicomte of Bragelonne: Ten Years Later) would be the best bet.  There was a reason the BBC case a mixed race actor to play Porthos in their version of the books.

Alexandre Dumas, AKA Alexandre Dumas père, author of The Three Musketeers and The Count of Monte Cristo (and father of Alexandre Dumas fils, who wrote La Dame aux Camélias). Alexandre père's father (or, if you prefer, the père's père), General Alexandre (Alex) Dumas, was black Haitian, the son of an aristocratic French father, Marquis Alexandre Davy de la Pailleterie, and a freed slave, Marie-Cesette Dumas. Toss in that the father was a general in Napoleon's grande armée!

The writer's father's dad sold the boy as a slave to pay for his passage to France (that's remedial parenting classes for you, Marquis de la Pailleterie) before buying his freedom. Later, Alex rose through the ranks of the army to become a general before he was 30. He was so effective that that the Austrians called him Der schwarze Teufel ("the Black Devil"). During the French revolution fought with other black men in a unit called the African Legion.

Study up on this French writer and have a great time challenging people's stereotypes on race.

Thursday, May 20, 2021

Critical Race Theory: doomed to failure.

There are two bullshit theories out there which somehow have traction:

Gun Rights and Critical Race Theory.

Neither of which have any real basis in reality. Critical Race Theory is what is behind the 1619 Project despite the fact that historians criticise it. Of course, not many people will come out against this shit.

But, I am happy to knock down bullshit theories.

The problem is where to start with Critical Race Theory since I am in agreement that black history needs to be seriously studied. But we diverge pretty wildly when that is put into practise. US Black history should have a basis in African Cultures such as the Mali Empire and the Kingdom of Benin (not the modern country). Likewise, there should be an examination of the practise of penal transportation from England and the practise of indentured servitude.

That would mean a unit on Bacon's Rebellion and the similar rebellion which occurred in Maryland, especially if one is going to go back to 1619. These rebellions are important since there was an alliance between European indentured servants and Africans (a mix of indentured, enslaved, and free blacks) disturbed the colonial upper class. They responded by hardening the racial caste of slavery in an attempt to divide the two races from subsequent united uprisings with the passage of the Virginia Slave Codes of 1705.

One of the main problems with trying to push black slavery while ignoring penal transportation and indentured servitude is that it neglects the class difference which existed. Choosing to segregate by race is one of the best tools there could be for repression. I have a theory about why Fred Hampton was assassinated while other black panthers could run wild: Hampton wanted to unite the poor regardless of race. That was a common there with Martin Luther King and Malcolm X. Malcolm X had an epiphany when he made the Hajj which made him dangerous.

Another problem with this theory is that it neglects black complicity in the ethnic cleansing of Hispanics (US-Mexico War, etc.) and Native Americans. A laughable headline from the 1619 Project was that I was stuck in a traffic jam because of "racism". Well, I am able to walk when I am in the states and prefer public transportation. Not to mention there are highways in the US which date back to pre-European settlement: Bethlehem Pike began as a Native American path called the Minsi Trail which developed into a colonial highway. Likewise, New York's Mohawk trail, which is a part of Routes 2 and 2A. follows much of the original Indian trail, from Westminster, Massachusetts to Williamstown, Massachusetts. I believe US 9 in New York was also a Native American trade route. There is a whole book about these routes in Pennsylvania and here's a link to six of them. And this link to a paper on Trade Routes in the Americas before Columbus as one of many papers on trade before Europeans arrived.

So, Like Rick Santorum making the statement that there wasn't much of anything in the Western Hemisphere prior to the Europeans, the 1619 project does a similar faux pas in neglecting other cultures and their repression.  The repression of Native Americans is one example which glares in my mind. And I have no time for you if you are not aware of the repression of the Native American peoples.

I appreciate culture and civilisation in non-European regions, but I am a lot better informed about them than most people. Not to mention my centre of gravity is Europe, but that's got zip to do with race. Especially since I know that Europe is connected to Asia and Africa and has been trading with both regions for millennia. 

But the biggest problem with Critical Race Theory is that it seeks to exonerate one race to the detriment of other races. The upshot of this is that Critical Race Theory demonstrates pretty much all the characteristics of what it claims to be combating. 

It forgets that "separate but equal" turned out to be everything but.

Additionally, any discussion of this topic needs to be based in reality and try to steer clear of blame. 

Especially since no one is without sin in this discussion.

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Oh, Ye of Undetermined Gender part II

I know these posts sound snarky, but...

First off, English is technically a gender neutral langauge. There are two choices here which are to use the male gender as the neutral, which is sort of what happens when the singular "they" is used. There is also the neuter pronoun "it".

Likewise, the abbreviation "Mrs." at one time referred to "mistress" and didn't relate to a woman's marital status.

Secondly, I point out in one of my posts on this topic that Chinese, Finnish, and Swedish are "gender neutral".

So, you want to make an argument that Chinese culture is somehow good in relation to not being sexist or being tolerant to "non-binary" people? Likewise, Finnish is a pretty sexist culture.

The upshot is that if you don't want to exist in a binary world: stop using computers.

Saturday, May 15, 2021

How gun buybacks would work

I seriously doubt there will ever be gun confiscation in the US short of the red flag laws, where a specific person who is deemed dangerous by a court can have their guns confiscated.

First off, any straight off confiscation would be unrealistic for a myriad of reasons. The closest the US would come would be mandatory buybacks, but again, those would be difficult to enact. The mandatory buyback comes from Australia which has a stricter "takings" provision in their constitution than the US does. Takings being where the government can acquire private property for public use. The Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution mandates that if the government takes private property for public use, the government must provide "just compensation." Typically, a "just compensation" is determined by an appraisal of the property's fair market value.

Now, just imagine how much it will cost to buyback the firearms of anyone willing to turn them in for a fair market value: i.e., bluebook cost.

Sorry, not illegal or unconstitutional since buying back is provided for in the US Constitution, which is something people claim to believe in. Yet they have no idea what it actually says.

The main factor in getting people to turn in their guns for payment would be criminal prosecution and that any amnesty after the buyback period would be a definite turn in your guns for nothing. Well, the something would be that you wouldn't be prosecuted for having it.

Another option to a buyback would be mandatory registration under the NFA. Any luck the registration would be less expensive and not as restrictive (e.g. not requiring someone to sell the gun in the registered state or go through a lot of paperwork to do it).

That means your choices would be: register your firearms, sell them back to the government for a fair price, or run afoul of the gun laws and never have a hope in hell of ever owning one legally.

Friday, May 14, 2021

The Myth of Guns

His answer relates to a survey that was made by sociologist David Yamane which says that people who are undecided are what is driving sales.

My answer is much more simple: it's the myth of guns.

That is Guns are the best way to defend yourself.

You won't be a victim if you have a gun is the basic premise of the "gun rights" movement.

It's the image shown in this Tommy Gun ad, where the rancher single handedly fights off the band of desperados. While the NFA made fully automatic weapons hard to come by, there is the semi-automatic substitute out there. Sure that is hard for lazy ass Americans to tolerate since they have to pull the trigger for each round fired, but what the fuck the things have worked well in mass shootings.

The peaceful protests were the best thing that could have ever happened for the firearms industry and the "gun rights movement" since one of the chants was a variation on the theme of "defunding the police". That leads to the question of who are you going to look to to protect yourself if the cops aren't around.

Or they send a social worker to your house.

Never mind all the studies out there about how having a gun really isn't good on the self-defence front. And that it is idiotic to NOT be regulating who can get their hands on them.

Seriously, nothing like getting killed with the gun you bought for self-defence, which was what the studies were showing before the freeze on "gun violence research".

The problem is that the debate on this issue has not been fueled with accurate information. It has been highly emotionally based if anything which is as far from facts as you can get. That is the real point of mikethegunguy's post and this one.

Sunday, May 9, 2021

Oh, ye of undetermined gender

 I think what is bothering me about the "woke" trend of listing your pronouns is that a lot of the people doing it are "CIS Gendered". That is they identify with their birth gender. The bit with listing pronouns came with the people who are "non-binary", or haven't quite figured out what exactly they are.

Hence, they need to tell people what pronouns to refer to them as. And they dislike the English gender neutral pronoun "it".

I do know this has been going on for a while now, but I don't think that someone who has to worry about what pronoun someone will use to describe them (he/her/it) will ever really be truly satisfied.

Friday, May 7, 2021

My pronouns are we/our and fuck you peasants....

Ok, I have come at the English language as someone who speaks it as a second language, even though technically it is my "maternal" language. I am tempted to say the next sentence in German, but German is the language that comes most naturally to me. People literally think I am German. Unlike in France, Germans will speak German to me.

I am indeed multilingual speaking English, French, German, and Dutch/Flemish. English is my "lazy language", but German comes a close second.

I have a serious problem with "gender neutral language". Does the modification of pronouns really change much about society?

Oddly enough, according to the grammarians, the first gender-neutral pronoun was generic he. How can he be gender neutral?

In 1542, William Lily wrote a Latin grammar, in English, proclaiming the ancient doctrine called the worthiness of the genders: “The Masculine Gender is more worthy than the Feminine, and the Feminine more worthy than the Neuter.” Henry VIII made Lily’s Latin the official grammar of all English schools. At the time, English was not considered a language worthy enough to have a grammar. But that soon changed, and when English grammars started to appear a century later, that worthiness doctrine led English grammarians to promote generic he. If you didn’t know the gender of an indefinite like someone or anyone, or a member of a class, like the reader or the student or the grammarian, grammar books—even a popular 18th-century grammar written by Ann Fisher—said we must refer to that person with the generic he.

I'm not sure what the story is, but the "masculine" is also the neuter in French.

Anyway, while people claim that changing pronouns can somehow change attitudes: that doesn't seem to really be the case. Genderless languages: Chinese, Estonian, Finnish, and other languages don’t categorize any nouns as feminine or masculine, and use the same word for he or she in regards to humans. 

As I said, technically, the English language is supposedly "gender neutral", yet some people object to its "binary" nature despite its "gender neutrality".

When this shit started somebody posted something idiotic about pronouns. My comment to which went something like: "if pronouns determine gender, then maybe we should get rid of pronouns and get rid of people". A lesbian friend said that some woman wrote that, to which I replied it was me!

The issue is that "gender neutrality" has been attempted for quite some time.

It seems to do fuck all to end whatever issue some people have with pronouns.

Oh, and a hat tip to Dennis Baron, who I think is a brilliant grammarian for his work on parsing the Second Amendment and a couple of super paragraphs that I grabbed to use here. I'm not sure what my linguistic skills are other than I speak/use languages (machine and natural), but I think he is really bang on.

Friday, April 30, 2021

An opinion from 1850 on concealed weapons

 "The act of the 25th of March, 1813, makes it a misdemeanor to be "found with a concealed weapon, such as a dirk, dagger, knife, pistol, or any other deadly weapon concealed in his bosom, coat, or any other place about him, that does not appear in full view." This law became absolutely necessary to counteract a vicious state of society, growing out of the habit of carrying concealed weapons, and to prevent bloodshed and assassinations committed upon unsuspecting persons. It interfered with no man's right to carry arms (to use its words) "in full open view," which places men upon an equality. This is the right guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States, and which is calculated to incite men to a manly and noble defence of themselves, if necessary, and of their country, without any tendency to secret advantages and unmanly assassinations." 

 State v. Chandler, 5 La. Ann. 489, 52 Am. Dec. 599 (1850).

I guess the "Gun Rights Crowd" are going to have to push for open carry.

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

More thoughts on New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. Corlett

I'm reading Carlton Larson's Four Exceptions in Search of a Theory: District of Columbia v. Heller and Judicial Ipse Dixit from the Hastings Law Review and he's pretty much saying what I am saying. that is the US Supreme Court has pretty much said in the dicta to Robertson v. Baldwin, 165 U.S. 275 (1897) that "the right of the people to keep and bear arms (Art. II) is not infringed by laws prohibiting the carrying of concealed weapons;"

The Court described exceptions to the Second Amendment in Heller as "presumptively lawful regulatory measures," and it is hard to imagine the Court invalidating them in a future case.' For all practical purposes, these issues have been decided-and decided in favour of constitutionality. And one of those exceptions was concealed carry with the statement "For example, the majority of the 19th-century courts to consider the question held that prohibitions on carrying concealed weapons were lawful under the Second Amendment or state analogues."

As I pointed out earlier, one of those courts was the US Supreme Court. Even though that statement was made in the dicta to Robertson v Baldwin. If using the dicta in Dred Scott v Sanford is OK to establish this right, then using the dicta in another Supreme Court case should be more than acceptable to limit that right.

The problem is that DC v Heller was in no way a case of first impression with multiple statement such as this from Justice William O. Douglas, who was on the court when Miller was decided. He did a gloss of this Second Amendment jurisprudence in his dissent in Adams v. Williams, 407 U.S 143, 150 -51 (1972):

The leading case is United States v. Miller, 307 U.S. 174, upholding a federal law making criminal the shipment in interstate commerce of a sawed-off shotgun. The law was upheld, there being no evidence that a sawed-off shotgun had “some reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia.” Id., at 178. The Second Amendment, it was held, “must be interpreted and applied” with the view of maintaining a “militia.”
“The Militia which the States were expected to maintain and train is set in contrast with Troops which they were forbidden to keep without the consent of Congress. The sentiment of the time strongly disfavored standing armies; the common view was that adequate defense of country and laws could be secured through the Militia – civilians primarily, soldiers on occasion.” Id., at 178-179.

But that was pretty much dicta even though it was from someone who was on the court when US v Miller was decided. US v. Cruikshank, 92 U.S. 542 (1875) wasn’t very helpful since it addressed private action, Cruikshank did point out that the Second Amendment was only a limitation on Congress' power under Article I, Section 8, Clause 16. But Presser v. Illinois, 116 U.S. 252 (1886) and US v. Miller, 307 U.S. 174 (1939) both made it clear that the Second Amendment related to the Militia. Presser pointed out that States had a definite interest in regulating the carrying of weapons:

It cannot be successfully questioned that the state governments, unless restrained by their own constitutions, have the power to regulate or prohibit associations and meetings of the people, except in the case of peaceable assemblies to perform the duties or exercise the privileges of citizens of the United States, and have also the power to control and regulate the organization, drilling, and parading of military bodies and associations, except when such bodies or associations, are authorized by the militia laws of the United States. The exercise of this power by the states is necessary to the public peace, safety, and good order. To deny the power would be to deny the right of the state to disperse assemblages organized for sedition and treason, and the right to suppress armed mobs bent on riot and rapine

While the issue in Presser would go to the argument about the Second Amendment right applying to people who were not part of the organised/enrolled militia (what is now called the national guard). It does address the carrying of weapons outside of the militia, or common defence, purposes.

The US Supreme Court acted outside its powers in promulgating the Heller and McDonald decisions. First off, there is no constitutional provision for judicial review: that comes from Marbury v Madison. Unfortunately, there is also no recourse if the court starts creating law: especially when those decisions become political. 

Likewise, there is no constitutional limit as to how many justices may be on the court. The Constitution gives Congress the power to increase the number of Supreme Court justices, and it does not appear to restrict the reasons why Congress may increase that number. Thus, Congress may increase the number of Supreme Court justices, even if its purpose is to change how the Supreme Court resolves cases.

Justices Scalia and Alito may have thought that ignoring precedent and the constitution were acceptable, I believe Justice Coney Barrett may as well, but they may see their power diminished if the result is to politicise the court.

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. Corlett

Talk about shooting yourself in the foot. The petition for cert in this case says:

Perhaps the single most important unresolved Second Amendment question after this Court’s landmark decisions in District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008), and McDonald v. City of Chicago, 561 U.S. 742 (2010), is whether the Second Amendment secures the individual right to bear arms for self-defense where confrontations often occur: outside the home.

This gets right to the heart of the matter as to why concealed weapons had a long standing status of being prohibited. Having those confrontations turn deadly.

What seems to be seriously neglected in all this debate is not only does the US Constitution NOT mention self-defence, the use of deadly force was seriously proscribed at the time the US Constitution was drafted.

I'm disappointed at the State of New York's petition against the granting of cert because it fails to mention that the Heller decision clearly stated that prohibitions on concealed weapons were acceptable under the Second Amendment. Not only that but the US Supreme Court already stated in the dicta to Robertson v. Baldwin, 165 U.S. 275 (1897) that "the right of the people to keep and bear arms (Art. II) is not infringed by laws prohibiting the carrying of concealed weapons;"

If using the dicta in Dred Scott v Sanford is OK to establish this right, then using the dicta in another Supreme Court case should be more than acceptable to limit that right.

The problem here is that New York's law was adopted in 1913 and is one of the "presumptively lawful regulatory measures" that fall under the scope of acceptable limitations on their reinterpretation of the Second Amendment. I would add that Heller and McDonald were not cases of first impression despite the courts pretence that they were.

The problem with this case is that there is (1) a long standing law which is being challenged and (2) there is a substantial public purpose for that law.

But then again, my blognomen does come from the fact that my dog had been in court far more than Harriet Miers ever had. I don't have too much respect for what finds itself on the court.

Guns, CCTV, and the Surveillance State

ADT had an ad almost 30 years ago that compared a handgun to a burglar alarm. It pointed out that the alarm would call the cops while the gun was sitting in a drawer or safe. In other words, the alarm could protect your home when you weren't there.

I've had enough experiences over that period between my private life and my work in the criminal justice system to come to the conclusion that CCTV is much better at stopping, or at least deterring, crime than any firearm. Not to mention much safer: unless you are installing it yourself and you have no idea what you are doing.

Having a firearm is probably more of an advertisement to get robbed than having an alarm or CCTV since you have a valuable commodity (or commodities) to the criminal fraternity.

As the gun crowd likes to point out: criminals don't respect the law. And how else are they going to get their guns other than breaking the law?

CCTV images of 2011 UK Rioters

On the other hand, CCTV does indeed stop crime. Likewise, the footage can be stored remotely and shared. Mine is hi-def quality and stored for a month. Any clip I make is stored until I delete it. The best part is that I don't need to be at home for the camera to work since the product is stored on the internet. I can be anywhere there is internet access and flip through the footage. I can share the clip with the law enforcement using a link.

I would also add that my clips use facial recognition. Which is actually sophisticated enough that it can catch someone trying to obscure their face.

And, yes, I have shared my video with LE since my camera is registered with the local police.

While some people may believe that CCTV isn't that much of a deterrent, especially if used by the government, that isn't the case when individuals share the information between themselves and/or law enforcement. Also, the issue about "government intrusion" can be limited if the CCTV info comes from individuals instead of the government or business.

Anyway, CCTV is definitely a crime solver and deterrent where I actually live with quite a few high profile cases being solved using CCTV information. The reason I'm posting this is that my footage has helped apprehend a criminal even though I wasn't home at the time.

The real issue is whether the prosecution want to use CCTV information. Compare the UK's use of CCTV after the 2011 and that of in the US to catch the "peaceful protesters". With the exception of the person who set fire to the police car in Philly, most of the protesters have gotten away with it due to prosecutorial inaction.

The issue is that the surveillance economy is already here. We may as well make it work for the benefit of society.

See also:

Monday, April 26, 2021

Comedy is much better at making points than argument...

 I'm having a big problem right now with the accusations of racism and white privilege. For example, CNN legal analyst Areva Martin slammed David Webb for his white privilege...

The problem is that people can't use the term racist without really considering what it means. Worse, saying that only white people (especially white males) are racist is about as false as it gets.

And racist too!

"Blacks are never racists..."

Definition of "woke person" : a "racist person" with an Inferiority Complex. Definition of "racist person" : a "woke person" with a Superiority Complex

There is a test where you switch a comment such as "all white people are racists". Better yet "all whippl are racists" with some other group as see how racist that sounds.

After all, how much difference is it between calling white people "whippl" and blacks, or any other minority, something offensive?

Maybe we can move on to some substance, but it won't happen on Facebook. Let's hope it will happen in reality.

Oh, boy! SCOTUS granted cert to New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Corlett!

 And the gun regulation crowd is in freak out mode. I should add that Gene Volokh is being pessimistic. Part of me wonders if he regrets not letting on someone with my background to the Volokh Circle Jerk, but I wouldn't join if he learned Ukrainian.  Anyway...

A recap of my comment on the Giffords Facebook page with some additions:

Heller and McDonald were both very amicable to regulation with this statment being made in Heller:
"Like most rights, the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited. From Blackstone through the 19th-century cases, commentators and courts routinely explained that the right was not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose. See, e.g., Sheldon, in 5 Blume 346; Rawle 123; Pomeroy 152–153; Abbott 333. For example, the majority of the 19th-century courts to consider the question held that prohibitions on carrying concealed weapons were lawful under the Second Amendment or state analogues. See, e.g., State v. Chandler, 5 La. Ann., at 489–490; Nunn v. State, 1 Ga., at 251; see generally 2 Kent *340, n. 2; The American Students’ Blackstone 84, n. 11 (G. Chase ed. 1884)."
I'm going to add that one of the courts which held that laws prohibiting concealed carry of weapons happened to be the US Supreme Court in Robertson v. Baldwin, 165 U.S. 275 (1897):
The right of the people to keep and bear arms (Art. II) is not infringed by laws prohibiting the carrying of concealed weapons; 165 U. S. 281-2
It doesn't take too much research to come up with precedent showing that the practise of carrying concealed weapons (as opposed to open carry) was not accepted. The court cases which address this issue clearly make the distinction. Likewise, we had the statement of Then-NRA President and lawyer Karl T. Frederick from the NFA adoption hearings:
MR. FREDERICK: ... "I have never believed in the general practice of carrying weapons. I seldom carry one. ... I do not believe in the general promiscuous toting of guns. I think it should be sharply restricted and only under licenses"
Some very good and serious researchers can come up with more than enough material denouncing concealed-carry practice as, among other things, "dangerous," "cowardly," "detestable and heathenish," and "provocative of violence and murder." There is a lot of disgust for the practise of carrying concealed weapons and expanding the right to "bear" is even crazier than what came out of Heller-McDonald.
People carrying concealed weapons were considered cowards because most frontier settlers believed it honourable to give foes "fair warning." Openly carried weapons were the accepted norm, with a holstered pistol being the recommended accoutrement for those bearing arms. Moreover, concealed weapons were perceived to perpetuate crime, "because persons becoming suddenly angered and having such a weapon in their pocket, would be likely to use it, which in their sober moments they would not have done, and which could not have been done had not the weapon been upon their person."
Anyone familiar with me knows I  am super at research, but I was being lazy here. Any clown who claims to be a scholar who want to push the idea of carrying concealed weapons is a fraud. I came up with the above material in about 5 minutes and would bury you in authority that the practise of concealed carry was highly disapproved of if I had the Library of Congress and some good researchers.

Any decision by the SCOTUS which find the practise of concealed carry was somehow "acceptable" or contemplated by the founders will run afoul of the Heller decision which said:
"nothing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms" And that list was in no way exhaustive."
Given that NY's law is over 100 years old now, they would be overturning well settled law. Anyway I wouldn't be too worried if the court actually follows its own precedent. Remember Heller's actual holding:
"In sum, we hold that the District’s ban on handgun possession in the home violates the Second Amendment, as does its prohibition against rendering any lawful firearm in the home operable for the purpose of immediate self-defense. Assuming that Heller is not disqualified from the exercise of Second Amendment rights{1}, the District must permit him to register his handgun{2} and must issue him a license to carry it in the home [3}."
I pointed out three measures which this holding finds Constitutionally permissible:
1 Background check
2 registration
3 Licensing
"Constitutional Carry" is a fantasy. So you're out of luck even if you want to carry an H&K SP5 pistol in your car at the ready if stopped by "peaceful protesters".

You're going to have to get a permit to do that.