Howdy All, a few Interesting Items for your information. Enjoy –
In this issue:
1. Podcasts. One of my readers generally converts Interesting Items into a podcast and listens to that rather than reading each issue. He suggested I get into the podcasting business, so I have. As of last week, have Items 06/08 and 06/15 up as podcasts on the Interesting Items web site. Both written and podcasts are available. This is in the early stages, and I haven’t figured a lot out yet, but at least it works, however poorly. Will spend the rest of the year turning it into a polished product. Conversion is done by an online product named Speechelo. Spoken word is generated by an AI. There are multiple voices available that I plan on playing with on and off over the upcoming months. Because it is an AI, it handles spaces, carriage returns and blanks oddly, which will take a while to figure out. Please bear with me over this transition. The written product was not polished when I started writing it in 1997, but it got better over time. While the podcasts won’t take that long to beat into submission, it will take at least a little while. Please let me know what you think.
2. Police. Last week saw the ethnic cleansing woke mob target law enforcement. President Trump met with a number of families of people who were killed by police and released an Executive Order on the topic. Essentially it sets up a national certification and credentialing activity. It bans chokeholds. It mandates setting up a database to share information on complaints of excessive force against law enforcement at all levels in every state. The database is an acknowledgement that we do not have good data on these things. And in a nation ostensibly set up to make rational decisions from data, having an actual database of this stuff for the first time in history is probably a good thing. The EO notes that substance abuse, addiction and mental illness are problems and there ought to be better training in recognizing it and how to deal with it. The EO ends with a call for legislation and grants to improve training and build public engagement. While some (all?) of this may violate federalism, if this is being treated as a national problem, perhaps we should at least put the structure in place so that problem is no longer a national one. Senate legislation goes in a similar direction, banning chokeholds, reporting no-knock warrants, grant programs for body cameras, and penalties for poor reporting. It does a foolish thing making lynching a federal hate crime. The House version of this bans chokeholds, bans no-knock raids, make it easier to prosecute officers for misconduct. While I hesitate to call for a middle ground, there are a number of things that can and should be done via this legislation. For instance, I would require body cams for everyone at all levels – city, state and feds with severe penalties for turning them off. I would eliminate qualified immunity for law enforcement, substituting liability insurance coverage for that immunity. It is available in group rates in places for $30/mo. I would shut down police and fire unions nationwide. It appears that the worst law enforcement problem out there is in the one-party, unionized blue cities and states. You solve that problem by removing the police from the political wars via removing their ability to organize. I would embrace the elimination of no-knock raids at all levels, which would really kneecap the gun grabbers who show up in early morning on a Red Flag warrant to seize firearms. Don’t think Pelosi’s democrats understand what they are asking for as yet. I would agree with them on that point immediately and apply it everywhere before they figure it out. There are a couple lessons out of these festivities that everyone needs to learn:
- Never, ever resist arrest.
- Never, ever point a weapon at law enforcement, especially if it is their weapon
And the government officials who have thrown their departments under the bus like they’ve done in NYC and ATL are going to regret their actions. Because like we’ve seen in Baltimore, the calls aren’t going to be answered in a timely basis anymore.
3. SCOTUS. The fledgling Kritarchy (Kritocracy) led by Chief Justice John Roberts had itself quite a week last week, handing down a pair of outrageous opinions and refusing to take up a pair of what should have been slam-dunk wins for President Trump last week. They chose to allow a Ninth Circus opinion in support of sanctuary cities to stand. They also refused to hear a number of Second Amendment cases. They left 10 cases standing. Worse, a 6 – 3 majority with Justice Gorsuch writing the majority opinion expanded the 1964 Civil Rights Law to include LGBTQWTF. Our leading textualist found himself some text in the original legislation and arguments in support of its passage to include things that didn’t even exist in 1964 (Trans). Of course, Chief Justice Roberts joined the 4 liberals. It was followed a day or so later with an opinion that did not allow President Trump to reverse O’Bama’s illegal DACA program. They said that Trump did not sufficiently justify his decision and remanded it back to a lower court for the President to come up with better rationale that they will turn down at their earliest opportunity. Conservatives were just heartbroken at all of this. We bust our backsides getting conservatives elected and a good 50% of them go off the reservation while every single lefty understands their job and votes in lockstep. What do we do? Daniel Horowitz writing in Conservative Review suggests an approach. In these opinions, the SCOTUS itself is defying not only the Constitution but 130 years of their own settled case law. Normally, the SCOTUS rules to protect an individual from execution of the law as written (for example, an execution reprieve). In the case of the DACA opinion, the court is demanding the Executive take action contrary to the law. It does not have the ability to enforce this opinion. This is the difference between judicial supremacy (DACA ruling) and judicial review. They have not yet invented a fundamental right for illegals to obtain amnesty. It is up to Trump to draw his line in the sand against the court. He should have his Attorney General uphold the law as written regardless of what the SCOTUS is saying. He should do the same thing with the census question. There is no sense getting elected if both congress and the executive allow the SCOTUS to dabble in judicial supremacy, which is not found in the constitution at all.
4. Cleansing. Ethnic cleansing of American history continued last week with statues nationwide coming down. Cowards at the corporate level pitched right in, removing the visage of Aunt Jemima, Uncle Ben, Eskimo Pie from food products, joining the Indian maiden removed from Land O Lakes butter. Interestingly, the family of the second Aunt Jemima is quite put out, as the company was paying royalties for using her visage, once it is gone, they no longer write checks. The original lady was one of the first black millionaires in the US. So much for celebrating black history. Here in Anchorage, Mayor Berkowitz is strongly considering removing the Captain Cook statue from town. Offensive, of course. I wrote last week about NASCAR removing the Battle Flag of the Army of Northern Virginia (aka the Confederate flag) from all NASCAR events. This was met with cheers in support from all the usual suspects. But if you don’t know history, you don’t know why it flies. It was adopted by many in the south as simply a FU to their “betters” in both the media and those outside the south. It didn’t have anything to do with either the cause of slavery or state’s rights. It was (and continues to be) a simple FU, a protest, if you will. I thought protests were all the rage these days. Apparently only the politically correct protests are acceptable anymore. Final note comes out of VDH who on either Tucker or Sean Hannity last week noted that the real reason that southern bases were named after famous (and not so famous) Confederates was a wink and nod agreement to allow the north to garrison tens of thousands of federal troops in the south so that the recent unpleasantness couldn’t happen again. In return, the southerners got to name the bases. Sounds like the idea worked pretty well, as the only secession going on is in the blue cities (Antifastan).
5. Election. One of the things I’ve been scratching my head about over the last few weeks is what the appeal of Joe Biden is. I know what his appeal is to democrats. Like, O’Bama, he is an empty vessel, a vehicle they can pour all their hopes and dreams into. Better yet, he is old and infirm enough so that he either won’t last all that long or if he does, the people around him will run the show not unlike how Edith Wilson did following Woodrow Wilson’s stroke in 1919. For Republicans, he is thought to be the face of a faceless beast, once again, not unlike what O’Bama and Clinton were. For those in the middle, I worry a bit. Because people want peace, quiet, and to mostly get along. I worry that because every single instant of the Trump presidency has been a fistfight, there will be a growing number of people tired of that fistfight, opting instead for quiet. Problem with this worldview, is that quiet is not in our future, as the left once again thinks it is on the precipice of getting their hot little hands on everything for 4 – 12 years. Putting them in charge because you think it will quiet the tantrums is the functional equivalent of feeding a crocodile in hopes that it will eat you last. The leftist mob will never be quiet. It, like the Terminator will never stop, never get tired, never turn from its mission. I have seen multiple pieces in conservative media describing a new silent majority, Trump supporters who have been cowed into silence by the ongoing festivities, mob, violence, etc. While hopeful, I remain skeptical, wondering if this is more whistling bast the graveyard than anything else. Have no idea, as we are in the fog of war portion of the campaign. Final observation is that I am a Rush fan. Have been listening to him since the Clarence Thomas hearings. He has been pretty wired over the course of the last month. Last week was particularly difficult. I don’t think this is due to the political state of the nation. Rather, I believe it is concern with his ongoing battle with lung cancer. The other guy I listen to regularly is Scott Adams. There was about a month-long period mid-April – Mid-May when he was terrible, awful. And it was because he was terrified by the disease, afraid of his mortality, convinced he was going to die. He has since come out of that particular worldview and is enjoyable listening to. From the sound of it, Rush is in the middle of the worst of his treatment and worried. Up to us to keep his spirits up and in our prayers. He has done a lot for all of us conservatives. Time to do something for him.
6. Bolton. John Bolton won his court case last week when Judge Royce Lamberth refused to block publication of his tell-all book on the Trump presidency. This was not a clean win, as Lamberth found that Bolton was liable for civil and / or criminal penalties for refusing to get the contents of the book reviewed before publication. Expect DoJ to take him to court and garnish every penny he makes from book sales. Bolton’s trick was to deliver the completed book to the publisher before notifying anyone in his former business for approval. As such, the horse was already out of the barn. Expect Bolton’s book to hit the NYT bestseller list and stay there for a while and the left to make it into everything they want it to be. His problem is that everyone is going to hate him for this book. The right will hate him for publishing it and lying about what took place. The left will hate him for refusing to testify before their impeachment committees. Happily (at least for the democrats), Schiff and Nadler are already making noises about subpoenaing Bolton after the book comes out. Final bit of news for Bolton comes from Richard Grenell, who made the rounds of FNC last week after the Lamberth opinion was released. Grenell noted that during his time in the NSC, the NSC leaked about everything all the time. None of the new salacious claims from his book ever came out of that sieve. I don’t expect Grenell to be the only one with similar observations.
More later –