January 31, 2020
January 29, 2020
The territory of Puerto Rico has suffered multiple earthquakes of increasing intensity over the last few weeks and this has wrought havoc upon the island which was already suffering a slow recovery from .
First some background. As many of you may remember the recovery from the monstrous Hurricane, Maria, (which razed the island 3 years ago was agonizingly slow).The previous governor was ousted last year when it was revealed that vast quantities of federal aid for the rebuilding had, in fact, been delivered (despite his claims to the contrary) and was sitting in warehouses, not quite accounted for on the Puerto Rican end. There were also allegations of more general corruption. For instance, last year there was a brief outcry when the H.U.D. under secretary Carson withheld aid on the grounds that it had given the governor money and materials to replace 20,000 roofs and after two years of prodding the governor announced that they'd have the first 180 houses roofed "soon". Thus things stood until the middle of last year when Governor Ricardo Antonio Rosselló Nevares was caught on a hot-mic making unflattering and misogynistic comments about his Secretary of Justice and the Mayor of San Juan, as well as comments that were described as homophobic. In stark contrast to the mere misappropriation of aid to the poor and keeping 20,00 families without power, and roofless for two years in a nation plagued by mosquito-borne illness, being un-woke is quite unforgivable in the eyes of the New Progressive Party and he was forced to resign. There was then some confusion regarding the line of succession as the next in line (the Secretary of State) was serving in an "acting" capacity and had not been confirmed by the territorial senate...which resulted in months of court battles while nothing was done about 20,000 families without roofs a few hundred miles south of the Tropic of Cancer.
Finally, Wanda Vasquez, the Secretary of Justice was appointed by the courts to be governor. The newly appointed Governor then got to work arranging to do jack all with the federal aid which sat in warehouses, just in larger quantities until the recent spate of earthquakes hit. The recovery from which has barely begun.
Which brings us to this.
In which the good citizens of Puerto Rico have built a guillotine outside the governors offices.
"So yeah...The boogaloo can happen where you least expect it"
Good on them. May they use it well.
There's more here and here.
Of course, this may correct itself now that the citizenry are mobilized and they've got the guillotine involved, but this has gone on for FAR too long. and the general lack of coverage is inexcusable.
In fairness, it's not like this has been a slow news month, what with the impeachment jackassery, Winnie the Flu, The Mideast Peace Effort, The killing of Solomani, Ebola's recent resurgence, the Committee of Public safety Setting up in the Virginia House of Delegates, The death of a basketball player, the coming showdown between the Maoists, the Bolsheviks, The Menchkeviks and the Trotskyites.
However, a lack of media coverage does not affect daily NATSEC briefings. While largely the fault of the Puerto Rican governors, this situation is intolerable, and it needs to be addressed and frankly, the buck stops on Resolute Desk.
These are American Citizens who are suffering mightily. Given that the executive branch of the territorial government appears to be fractally corrupt, the best option may be for the President to invoke the Insurrection Act and bypass the local bureaucracies to get the aid where it needs to go and let the contractors do their jobs.
So, Mr. President, fix this.
January 26, 2020
Threats and harassment of certain officials and property; venue. Provides that certain crimes relating to threats and harassment may be prosecuted in the City of Richmond if the victim is the Governor, Governor-elect, Lieutenant Governor, Lieutenant Governor-elect, Attorney General, or Attorney General-elect, a member or employee of the General Assembly, a justice of the Supreme Court of Virginia, or a judge of the Court of Appeals of Virginia. In addition, threats to damage property may be prosecuted in the City of Richmond if the property is owned by the Commonwealth and located in the Capitol District.
The full text is here, and while the bit about true threats is reasonable on its face, THAT'S ALREADY ILLEGAL. It should not be extra grave to do so to an elected official...they aren't royalty.
It gets worse:
§ 18.2-152.7:1. Harassment by computer; penalty.
If any person, with the intent to coerce, intimidate, or harass any person, shall use a computer or computer network to communicate obscene, vulgar, profane, lewd, lascivious, or indecent language, or make any suggestion or proposal of an obscene nature, or threaten any illegal or immoral act, he shall be is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. A violation of this section may be prosecuted in the jurisdiction in which the communication was made or received or in the City of Richmond if the person subjected to the act is one of the following officials or employees of the Commonwealth: the Governor, Governor-elect, Lieutenant Governor, Lieutenant Governor-elect, Attorney General, or Attorney General-elect, a member or employee of the General Assembly, a justice of the Supreme Court of Virginia, or a judge of the Court of Appeals of Virginia
No making fun of the Politburo !
Dank memes are outlawed! That means any mention of blackface is right out!
And that little strike through of "shall be" replacing it with "is" is present in several of these bills. I'm not a lawyer, but it worries me.
Now, having removed our ability to defend ourselves or criticize elected officials in a meaningful way, the Democrats are finally able to deal with the greatest threat facing the Commonwealth and its citizens subjects.
No really, 2,500 dollar fine and 10 hours of community service for releasing Balloons.
Kids, your birthday parties will suck from now on.
While this fiasco ranges from the horrifying to the ridiculous, it does provide some object lessons:
1: To those in what are still free states, today's Democrats are stark raving cuckoo for cocoa puffs. And once you get them it's like bedbugs.
2: For those of us trapped between the Patomac and 36° 30′ north, we now know what dread haunts the progressive's nightmares.
They've let slip what it is they most fear....
(and who is not responsible for the context of her chibi)
January 20, 2020
January 13, 2020
Well, I forgot something, so let's try that again.
As we mentioned earlier, Virginia went Democrat (Barely, its really a matter of a very few seats in the legislature and the Executive) due to a confluence of factors. There was a huge infusion of outside money from Bloomberg and others, a vast wave of immigration both legal and illegal as well as refugees that were settled here by the Obama administration and a large number of migrants from California and the Northeast who were horrified by what became of their homes...but not so much as to stop voting for the policies that caused it.
There was also the utter faceplant of the VA Republican party, which, being so close to DC has a huge portion of its administrators bigwigs and decision makers, people who are in the Republican establishment's anti-Trump wing. That group has some decent people in it but mostly they are political pilotfish who mobilized to defend their rice bowels against their constituents with a verve they seldome displayed previously. Many of the DC Republicans have grown to despise their constituents who they feel have betrayed them by voting for reform. For years they talked of securing the border but now openly call anyone who does so racist. The people they are, in theory working for, now feel the same way and the bad blood there that has developed over the last few years is as heatbreaking as it is profound, Thus, the state party is involved in something of a circular firing squad.
There was also the vast increase of the federal civil service under Obama which resulted in suburban sprawl of what became under him the richest counties in the country populated with high level civil servants... people whose lavish lifestyles depend on big government.
Finally, there's something that I'd stupidly forgotten to mention in the earlier post, but is quite significant Northam's predecessor pardoned 200,000 felons which is several times the margin of victory in the last governors race. The 200,000 former felons and the huge amount of immigration into Northern Virginia combined with incumbent advantage DO make any corrective action at the ballot box a very challenging prospect, but it should be noted that even with this perfect storm crashing on the Repoublicans and blowing into the Democrat's sails the Dems only have the slimmest of majorities which may be a factor in their attempt to lock everything down.
Northam for his part, is going all in for this partly because he has two scandals...one he advocated for post partum (post birth) abortion and he has an epic blackface scandal, unlike Canada (apparently) this is serious business here, or was, until it wasn't...and it wasn't when Northam began pushing this so his political future depends on this. Given his stance on 10th month abortion the potential for death is probably not a consideration for him. Now, I don't generally think that people on the other side of the aisle who aren't Antifa adjacent, no matter how wrongheaded they might be, are evil...but I really have doubts regarding Northam. Unlike many provincial urbanites with delusions of cosmopolitanism, Northam is from here and he KNOWS what a powder keg he's lighting the firecrackers on.
I've seen it suggested that the Democrats didn't expect the backlash they are getting. Having a cursory knowledge of the politicians involved, I'm pretty sure that many of the senior VA legislators like Northam understand completely. To us on the right, this is akin to Lexington and Concord, with the caveat that we can still end the oppression at the ballot box. The Dems seem to WANT a standoff to portray gun owners as racist violent hicks a'la WACO and the media is quite firmly on their side. If the Democrats bring this to a head they will have the full cooperation of Bloomberg and the rest of the media to paint the 2nd Amendment people as very much what Antifa actually is.
While the National Guard takes oaths to defend the constitution (which to the shock of many includes the second and fourth amendments) and is made up of the sorts of people who dislike being the baddies if it comes to the rumored (and verified) calls to use the state's military to go door to door, this reluctance will not gain much time for the citizenry. You see, If it comes to that, the governor will fire national guard generals until he gets one who will comply. They'll put together loyal units and after a few bloodbaths will parade the flag draped coffins of any dead soldiers or state troopers as martyrs...Black Lives Matter will, of course, not get a platform for a little while as Bloomberg, CNN and the rest of the media play up the death of these soldiers and cops and the Dems will weep crocodile tears most convincingly. A lot of Republicans based in DC (the opposite of based) would conceivably react to this hypothetical Horst Wessel moment by "heroically" reaching across the aisle in solidarity against "extremism" at which point in this hypothetical things would proceed to go spectacularly pear shaped in a way unlikely to be confined to The Old Dominion.
This how bad it could get. I'm not sure it will and hope it doesn't, but this affair is now a dry run for the progressives regarding what they intend for the country.
We must not loose sight of the fact that unlike at Lexington and Concord, we have the option of fixing this in November and in the 2021 State election. However, there remains the frighteningly real possibility that during the intervening 22 months before Northam is gone*, that this will not only end in blood, but massively advance the goals of those who see the citizenry as an impediment to their ambitions.
The Dems just effectively banned shooting ranges.
Map of second amendment sanctuaries as of last Monday .
How crazy are the new rules ? Proposed in paragraph 4 of VA Bill 18.2-308.8 is this bizarre gem of specificity in its vague word salad of what constitutes a prohibited 'assault' pistol.
A semi-automatic center-fire pistol that expels single or multiple projectiles by action of an explosion of a combustible material that has the ability to accept a detachable magazine and has one of the following characteristics: (i) a folding or telescoping stock; (ii) a thumbhole stock; (iii) a second handgrip or a protruding grip that can be held by the non-trigger hand; (iv) the capacity to accept a magazine that attaches to the pistol outside of the pistol grip; (v) a shroud that is attached to, or partially or completely encircles, the barrel and that permits the shooter to hold the pistol with the non-trigger hand without being burned; (vi) a manufactured weight of 50 ounces or more when the pistol is unloaded; (vii) a threaded barrel capable of accepting (a) a silencer, (b) a flash suppressor, (c) a barrel extender, or (d) a forward handgrip; or (viii) any characteristic of like kind as enumerated in clauses (i) through (vii);
Emphasis mine. They are banning guns by weight!?
If it's more than 50 ounces...it's DANGEROUS!
There is an interesting twist on the Second Amendment Sanctuary movement afoot which is being discussed and already has two variations enacted. Tazewell County has announced that it will raise a militia of all citizens without felonies and Cullpepper County's police dept. is saying that they will deputize as reserve police officers, any citizen that wants to concealed carry and takes the currently standard concealed carry course...which they will provide. Note that both of these actions are explicitly allowed by the state constitution (as opposed to the second amendment sanctuaries which are implicitly tolerated under the rubric of law enforcement discretion and the fact that no one has shut down the immigration sanctuaries) . Stopping actions like Cullpepper and Tazewell counties require a full state constitutional amendment disallowing localities to raise local forces for emergencies...such an amendment is unlikely to pass. Note that there really is very little info on the Tazewell and Culpepper situations which is why my citations are a local news channel and a rural paper from Vermont.
UPDATE: In the comments J.Greely links to an excellent piece over at Sacred Cow Slaughterhouse which goes into the weeds of the legalities and logistics of using National Guard weapons (which are federal property, subject to Posse' Comitatus restrictions) here is an excerpt, but read the whole thing.
The National Guard does not keep ammo on hand in any relevant quantities. A small amount for training is it.
Per US Constitution and federal law, the governor CANNOT arm the NATIONAL Guard with federally owned weapons and ammo. He'd have to provide that.
Nor can he arm them without consent of the feds anyway. There are reasons for this. This is one of those reasons. It is not a bona fide emergency that does not permit of delay.
And the threat to do so is LITERALLY WHY WE HAVE THE SECOND AMENDMENT. Congrats, jerkwad! You've actually threatened to have the military repress people, and you're surprised that they're going to oppose you? EVERYONE should be opposing you. It's outrageous of itself, and outrageous precedent if allowed.
It's a very good overview, and a welcome bit of good news, but if you'll allow me to put on my little horned Devil's Advocate hat for a moment.......the fact that state legislators brought this up as a first ditch scenario indicates that they are little inhibited by legal propriety or conscience in these matters, and if things go their way in the next federal election there will be no check or balance on their ambitions. Way down the probability curve, there is also the matter of the VDF which is State owned an equipped, though, to be fair it is unlikely to have more than a few hundred ARs (if that). I believe half of it consists of MPs as it is intended to stand in for the VNG when that force is deployed overseas. However, I really don't see the VDF being at all willing or even able to step up to the plate on this. For one thing, they probably don't have more than a couple of hundred AR's in the whole force if that and it is, even more than the VNG, staffed by rural Virginia gun owners.
In any event, Mr. Williamson's overview of what every National Guard Adjunct and J.A.G. officer in the 55 states and territories is contemplating right now and the personal ramifications for them depending on what they decide is certainly food for thought and worthy of a read.
* Virginia governors are term limited to one term.
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