Ammo.com: The Prelude to World War II – The Spanish Civil War and Today’s America

Today’s article comes from Ammo.com via American Partisan, The Prelude to World War II: The Spanish Civil War and Today’s America. There are many different historical precedents to examine which bear similarity to current political conditions. Last year I gave a short talk which compared some events leading up to the Civil War which bear some semblance to current happenings. This article examines the Spanish Civil War and compares conditions in the US.

America is definitely not Europe, but we can find a number of parallels between European history and contemporary America. For example, we’ve previously written about the Italian Years of Lead as a possible template for urban unrest and low-level inter-tribal warfare in the United States. Another example of how things might play out in the United States is the Spanish Civil War.

The Spanish Civil War is known to historians, amateur and professional alike, as the “dress rehearsal for the Second World War.” It is so termed because it pitted one side – which was equipped, armed and funded by Europe’s fascist regimes (Germany and Italy) – against a government largely funded and propped up by the Soviet Union. However, it is worth noting that General Francisco Franco’s nationalist forces were not themselves fascist (though there were fascists within their ranks) and that Spain remained neutral during the Second World War, later becoming a close ally of the United States in the fight against Communism internationally.

While there are few perfect analogs to be found anywhere in world history, there are parallels between the contemporary domestic political situation in the United States and the period immediately before and during the Spanish Civil War. And while the situation in the United States might play out in a much similar way to the Spanish Civil War, it is worth noting that our previous Civil War was the bloodiest in human history. There is little doubt that a Second American Civil War would not be significantly more destructive.

Prologue: The Situation in Spain Prior to the Civil War

The Prelude to World War II: The Spanish Civil War and Today's AmericaAs we talk about the leadup to the Spanish Civil War, the situation will begin very much unlike modern-day America, however, it will become more like the contemporary domestic situation as time goes on.

The main difference, of course, is that Spain was a monarchy for almost all of its existence until 1931. A republic was briefly declared during the years 1873 and 1874, but it didn’t have much staying power and ultimately was not a transformative government in Spain. Following the First World War, the corrupt central government of Spain became increasingly unpopular and a military dictatorship, that of Miguel Primo de Rivera y Orbaneja, 2nd Marquess of Estella, 22nd Count of Sobremonte, arose. This fell in 1930, along with the abdication of the deeply unpopular King Alfonso XIII.

This led to the creation of the Second Spanish Republic and a new constitution in 1931. It was a radically leftist constitution in a largely conservative and Catholic country. Women’s suffrage, civil marriage, compulsory universal education, the nationalization of Catholic Church properties, the prohibition of Catholic religious orders from teaching in schools (and the Jesuit order entirely), as well as a provision allowing for the nationalization of any property that was for the “public good” were all components of the new Spanish constitution. In many ways it resembled the constitution of Weimar Germany, in that it was an attempt by the left to radically remake a country through constitutional means.

The first election saw leftist elements firmly in the saddle, but the second, in 1933, was a major victory for forces of the right. However, because the conservative party had won a plurality in the parliament, and not a majority, the left-wing president of Spain invited the centrist party to form a government. Meanwhile the socialist government alleged electoral fraud, which caused them to become further radicalized. On the ground, a radical working-class movement became hostile toward the ostensibly left-wing government after the movement was suppressed violently by the military.

Monarchist forces, with the explicit backing of Benito Mussolini and the implicit backing of King Alfonso XIII, as well as ideologically fascist forces led by José Antonio Primo de Rivera, began military drills, preparing for war. The streets of Spain became battlegrounds, with 330 assassinations, 213 failed assassination attempts and 160 religious buildings destroyed, with arson being the primary means of their destruction. The Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party, formerly a fairly standard European social democratic party, began to cleave between forces who favored moderation and those who sought a more explicitly Bolshevik party.

The Coup d’Etat of July 1936

Much as the War Between the States began with the attack on Fort Sumter, so did the Spanish Civil War begin with the Coup d’Etat of July 1936. This was effectively an uprising by all forces of the Spanish right, which included two different factions of monarchists, nationalists, fascists (known in Spain as Falangists) and conservatives.

The igniting event was the election of 1936. This saw a very, very slim (less than 1 percent of the vote) victory of the Spanish left (socialists, Communists and anarchists) over the Spanish right. The right wing in Spain stopped planning to take over the Spanish Republic and instead decided that they were going to overthrow it.

The central republican government of Spain was very weak and had been making attempts to purge suspect right-wing generals from its ranks. To that end, General Francisco Franco, who ended up becoming dictator of Spain until 1976, was removed from his office as chief of staff and put out to pasture in the Canary Islands. When the uprising began, the nationalist rebels had the unanimous support of the Army of Africa, a 30,000-strong force that boasted some of the hardest core soldiers Spain had to offer. Many of these troops were Muslims from Morocco, who had been told that the republic planned to outlaw worship of Allah.

Indeed, Spanish Morocco was the base of operations for the rebels, with Generals Franco and Goded taking control of the Canary and the Balearic Islands, respectively. Any opposition in the Spanish colonial empire was quickly crushed with leading trade unionists and leftists simply executed by the rebel forces. The two trade union federations in Spain offered to help crush the uprising, but were told that there was nothing to worry about as the uprising was confined to Morocco and other overseas possessions.

The coup was less than a rousing success for the nationalist rebels, who invaded from their overseas bases. They failed to capture any major cities, which remained significant bases of support for the republican government. The republican government remained in possession of the lion’s share of Spanish territory. However, the republican government was at a disadvantage for two reasons: First, the nationalists had split the territory of peninsular Spain in half, dividing the country between republicans in the north and south while they controlled the middle.

Second, the republican government responded to the crisis by effectively mobilizing the far left in Spain as shock troops to terrorize the population into submission. Communists in particular were unleashed to execute and torture anyone even suspected of being a nationalist sympathizer. It didn’t help that the clergy bore the brunt of this, with nuns gang raped before being summarily executed. The republicans went so far as to exhume the bodies of dead religious figures and desecrate their corpses.

The Spanish Red Terror

The Prelude to World War II: The Spanish Civil War and Today's AmericaThe Spanish Civil War continues to have a sort of romantic quality among the left, many of whom see the Civil War-era republican government as an example of “real” socialism in action or, at the very least, something close to it. However, the Spanish republican left were less bloody than their more famous Communist counterparts in Russia, China and the Eastern Bloc only due to a lack of scale and a limited time frame on which they operated.

The Red Terror in Spain predates the nationalist rebellion and was, indeed, one of the primary motivations for the uprising. It is generally agreed that the Spanish Red Terror began during an Asturian miners’ strike in 1934. Priests and the religious were targeted in what was not simply a strike, but a rebellion against the government. Supporters of the rebellion targeted clergy and religious figures, resulting in the destruction of 58 churches and convents during a period of a little more than two weeks. Ironically, the rebellion was put down by Goded and Franco at the behest of the republican government.

Once the rebellion began, the Catholic Church – its clergy, its religious orders and its lay faithful – were largely seen as fair game by supporters of the republic. The comparison between the Church in Spain 1936 and white Americans in 2020 isn’t much of a stretch. Much of the violence directed against the Church was predicated on the basis that they “deserved” this as payback for historical crimes. All told, 3,400 priests, monks and nuns were murdered during the first two months of the Spanish Civil War. Indeed, most of the deaths during the early months of the Civil War were not because of deaths on the battlefield, but rather because of targeted executions against enemies of the Spanish Republic.

In addition to the atrocity against nuns, there were a number of horrific incidents mostly involving clergy. The parish priest of Navalmoral was forced to undergo a parody of the Passion of Christ, ending with a vigorous debate about whether or not to actually crucify the priest at the end. They “mercifully” decided to just shoot the man. The priest of Ciempozuelos was thrown to fighting bulls and had his ear cut off at the end of the spectacle. In Ciudad Real, a priest was castrated and had his penis and testicles put in his mouth. People were forced at gunpoint to swallow their own rosaries. Others were thrown down mine shafts or forced to dig their own graves prior to summary execution. A Madrid nun was executed for the crime of refusing a marriage proposal from a militiaman who had participated in the sacking of her convent.

All told, the republicans destroyed over 20,000 churches and other religious sites during the war. Unsurprisingly, Spanish Catholics overwhelmingly supported the nationalist effort during the Civil War. Even among conservative allies of the republic (for example, conservative Catalan nationalists), support for the republican cause was lukewarm at best, thanks to the Spanish Red Terror.

The Red Terror’s victims are not limited to Catholics or nationalists. As the war progressed and the Communists came to have greater power in the republic (for example, when they were given the Interior Ministry and when the militias were put under centralized control), they also turned their fire on anarchists, socialists and Trotskyists. This move against the non-Communist elements of the Spanish left is detailed in later chapters of George Orwell’s memoir, An Homage to Catalonia.

A Spanish White Terror?

Some attempts have been made to create an equivalence between the Red Terror in Spain and the Francoist repression at the end of the war. There certainly were atrocities committed by the Francoist forces during the course of the war. Indeed, it would be a bit strange if there weren’t, as such atrocities are a hallmark of modern warfare. Specifically, the Francoist forces engaged in war rape and frequently confiscated babies from republican women prior to their execution. These babies were then placed with Francoist families.

However, there are also some important differences between the terror engaged in by the Francoist forces and their republican adversaries. The Francoist repression wasn’t indiscriminately targeted at the friends, family and acquaintances of anyone who fought on the republican side. It was directed squarely at people who had committed atrocities in the name of the republican regime. The large numbers run up by the Francoist forces aren’t a function of the bloodthirsty nature of the victorious nationalist forces – on the contrary, they were quite conciliatory and looking to get the country moving again after a highly destructive war. Rather, it’s because the atrocities committed by the republican forces during the Civil War were so widespread. Those executed generally received trials unlike those summarily executed by the republicans.

Forced labor was employed for projects such as draining swamps, digging canals and building national railway systems. But again, it is worth noting that the people who were being conscripted for labor were considered criminals by the new regime. Indeed, any participation in the Popular Front government of the republic was criminalized by the Law of Political Responsibility, enacted two months after the end of the war. What’s more, this forced labor is not comparable to gulag labor where the intent was to work the victims to death.

As with any fight against Communist forces, it is worth asking a simple question: What would Spain have looked like if the Communists had won? We have ample examples of what Communist regimes look like – in Eastern Europe, in Asia and in Latin America. There is little reason to believe that a Communist regime in Spain would not have been as bloodthirsty and ruthless as other Communist regimes. Indeed, the experience of the Civil War shows that a Spanish Communist regime would have been quite destructive and, it is fair to say, vindictive in its victory.

The Course of the War

The Prelude to World War II: The Spanish Civil War and Today's AmericaWithout getting too bogged down into the details of the war, the Civil War is largely the story of the nationalist forces winning victory after victory until the end of the war. This is largely because the republican military wasn’t centralized. Instead, most of the military decisions were delegated to individual autonomous militias who elected their own officers and operated on a democratic basis. Nationalist forces were unified under Franco very quickly, with everyone from conservatives to monarchists to fascists all forced to play nice in service of the nationalist cause. Such centralization did not come for the republicans until the very end of the war, and by then it was too little, too late – and also largely a power play by Moscow’s forces in the Communist Party.

The only major republican victory during the war was the Battle of Guadalajara. This was not a successful republican offensive, however – it was a successful repulsion of a nationalist attack. What’s more, the republicans didn’t even defeat a Spanish military force. They were fighting instead primarily volunteers from fascist Italy. The main impact of this loss was that the nationalists stopped trying to end the war with one big battle and instead focused on chipping away at vulnerable parts of republican Spain.

In 1939, Catalonia, the strongest base of republican support, fell to the nationalists and it was mostly all over but for the shouting. While there were major cities still under the control of the republicans (such as the capital, Madrid), everything from here on out was largely a mop-up operation for the nationalists. The republican government was in total disarray and attempted to negotiate a peace settlement with Franco, but the Generalissimo would only accept an unconditional surrender from the republicans.

Franco declared victory in a radio address on April 1, 1939. Over 500,000 republicans fled to France, where they were largely held in squalid internment camps. Some stragglers continued to fight guerilla warfare against the Francoist government even into the 1950s, but there was no significant impact. In 1944, some republican veterans who had been fighting with the French Resistance attempted to invade Catalonia from France, but the attack was repelled within 10 days.

The Relevance of the Spanish Civil War Today

So what does a European civil war that ended 70 years ago have to do with anything going on in America today? A lot, actually.

First, there is the intense political polarization of the United States. A significant portion of the country champions changing the United States into a radical liberal nation with greater centralized control and a firm Constitutional commitment to leftist social justice causes. Another significant portion of the country is opposed to any further changes to the United States Constitution and is openly hostile toward leftist egalitarian principles.

What’s more, we are already beginning to see street battles not dissimilar to those that happened in Spain in the lead up to the Civil War. It is also worth noting that the anarcho-communist ideology, which held great sway among the partisans of the Second Spanish Republic, likewise informs the insurrectionary elements of the American left that began rioting and burning down American cities in the summer of 2020.

As we prepare for the 2020 Presidential election, it is clear that whoever loses will not only be unhappy with the results, but will probably consider them to be illegitimate. On the left, there is the Russiagate hoax, the leftist conspiracy theory that alleges that the Russian intelligence services “stole” the election for President Donald Trump in 2016. On the right, there is the very reasonable fear that there will be a variety of electoral chicanery, including mass mail-in balloting, voting by dead people, voting by pets, voting by dead pets and outright fabrication of ballots from largely Democratic-controlled urban areas in swing states. Indeed, a Bloomberg article seems to be preparing the American public for a stolen election, stating that while it might “appear” that Donald Trump will win reelection in a landslide the night of the election, that further months and weeks will reveal that he did not, in fact, win as the aforementioned mail-in ballots come in.

An article from the Washington Post states that any outcome but a Biden landslide will result in massive violence and civil unrest. While Jeff Bezos’ vanity blog certainly has their reasons for promoting this notion, it’s not entirely without merit. If the president is reelected, no matter how big the margin, there will likely be another wave of urban unrest that will dwarf the events of the summer of 2020. If Biden wins by a slim margin, there will be accusations of fraud and likely more confrontations in the streets, albeit more two-sided. It seems that the only result that would be accepted as “legitimate,” particularly by the press and the American left, is one where Biden wins dramatically.

It is worth briefly considering the other side of the equation. The American Conservative ran a column in July 2020 discussing the very real phenomenon of the American right’s increasing impatience not with democracy, but with liberalism. This is a phenomenon known as “illiberal democracy,” where the forms of democracy persist, but are used for anti-liberal means. Put in simple terms: How many on the American right – even the mainstream American right – would be terribly bothered by the president taking extreme action against an insurrectionary left?

No one has a crystal ball to see the future. However, it is not a wild assertion to suggest that the real violence in America is coming after the election.

Independent Institute: Replacing RBG — A Lesson in Politics

Randall Holcombe writing at the Independent Institute reminds us that politics is adversarial whereas markets are based on agreement and mutual benefit. Better to rely on markets than politics for more of what we do. Replacing RBG: A Lesson in Politics

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death on September 18, less than two months before the upcoming presidential election, set off a major political controversy. Democrats argued that the appointment of her successor should wait until after the election and be made by the winner of the election. Most (but not all) Republicans argued the appointment should be made now, before the election.

When Justice Antonin Scalia passed away in the last year of President Obama’s administration, Obama nominated Merrick Garland to fill Scalia’s seat, but the Republican Senate refused to give his nomination a hearing, arguing (as the Democrats are now) that any Supreme Court appointment should be made after the election, by the winner of the election.

According to the Constitution, President Trump has the power to nominate Justice Ginsburg’s successor immediately, “with the advice and consent of the Senate.” The election year argument against making the appointment is somewhat weakened because President Obama nominated Garland in an election year, although the Republican Senate did not confirm him. But arguments about whether President Trump “should” make a nomination are pretty much irrelevant, except for their rhetorical value, because he has the constitutional power to do so.

While Garland’s nomination stalled, a nomination by President Trump likely would not be, unless a sufficient number of Republican Senators declared their opposition.

The biggest difference between Obama’s nomination and Trump’s is that Obama was facing a Senate with his party in the minority, whereas Trump is facing a Senate with his party in the majority. He likely has the votes to get his nominee confirmed, whereas President Obama did not.

Even if Trump wins the election, waiting to make a nomination could make things more difficult for him, especially if the Democrats were to gain a majority in the Senate. If he wants to “win” on this issue, he should make the nomination now.

Another factor to consider is that if the election is contested, its ultimate outcome might be decided by the Supreme Court, as the presidential election of 2000 was. Trump might like to have another friendly Justice on the Court were that to occur.

I’m not passing judgment on whether nominating a candidate now would be the “right” thing to do, or whether waiting would be the “right” thing. In politics, that’s pretty much irrelevant. You take whatever opportunities you have to “win,” because in politics some win while others lose, and politicians naturally want to avoid being on the losing end.

There is a larger lesson that is playing out in this one specific issue, which is that politics is adversarial, and any political decision produces winners and losers. Thus, politicians have the incentive to take whatever opportunities are offered to put themselves on the winning side of issues.

This contrasts sharply with market activities, in which people transact voluntarily with each other for their mutual gain. Nobody has to engage in a market transaction, so individuals in markets naturally want to entice others into making mutually advantageous exchanges by offering them a chance to increase their well-being by participating in transaction.

Market activity is based on agreement and mutual benefit. Politics is based on conflict, and trying to win by preventing others from getting what they want. The more we rely on markets and the less we rely on politics in our interactions, the more peaceful and harmonious will be our society.

President Trump will make a Supreme Court nomination, not because it is the right (or wrong) thing to do, but because the Republican Senate gives him the opportunity for a win—an opportunity that might not exist after the election. That’s politics. Any other arguments for or against simply amount to empty rhetoric.

Homeland Security Today: Community Preparedness Starts with Your Family

Don’t forget that it is still National Preparedness Month. From Homeland Security Today, Community Preparedness Starts with Your Family.

Disaster preparedness can be the difference between life and death. Running a Facebook Community group for anyone who knows what disaster preparedness means can be the key to keeping your community informed – and alive – when a disaster strikes.

The first thing I tell my community is regardless what disaster strikes, have a plan and make sure your entire family knows that plan. Within that plan, everyone should know where to meet, and have an out-of-state contact so when someone is missing everyone knows to call that contact to check in.

Try out some disaster drills. Take the family on a picnic and go down some roads that could be possible evacuation routes. Some roads have gates and you want to know before disaster strikes which roads may be blocked off, and this is a good time to get the kids involved. Make this trip a picnic at a spot the entire family can enjoy while at the same time learning where to go at a higher elevation should the need arise.

In my community there are five dams, so finding that safe evacuation route is important. We also have two volcanoes, landslide threats, flooding, and potential for an intense seismic event with the Cascadia Subduction Zone here in the Pacific Northwest – so again, to me, having that plan is important.

What I also encourage is having that briefcase ready to grab that has all the important documents. Many people don’t remember the insurance paperwork, titles to vehicles, VA paperwork if you are a veteran or Social Security documentation if you are in SSI or SSD. I have a briefcase with all this information I can just grab and go. I also encourage taking pictures of high-value items on a memory card you can access in any computer for when claims need to be filed, or in the event if a theft.

Finally, that go-bag: Do you stay in the house or do you head for the hills? We have power outages here in my community during winter storms that can last up to a week or longer and if the Army taught me one thing it is always to have a Plan A, B, C, and D and if those plans don’t work, you have backups for backups. When storms hit, we settle in. Power goes out, we had for a trailer that still has heat. We have a barbecue grill we can cook on, water stored in containers for drinking and cooking, and we make it a fun event. Many folks forget that on a well there is no power to the pump, so you will be out of water and this hinders your sanitation as well.

When it comes to the evacuation, we make it a point of always maintaining at a minimum a half a tank of gas in the vehicle as you never know when you may have to go farther to get to your destination when an event happens. I also suggest maintaining at least a week’s supply of food and water for your family as most disasters will take longer than three days for rescue to get to your community. I have a 72-hour pack I take with me everywhere, reminiscent of both my Army and my search-and-rescue days, and it carries enough for myself and one other for up to three days but longer if necessary.

First aid is another area many forget, but as a former combat medic my kit is above and beyond and stays in my truck. I do not carry more than what my civilian skill legally will allow. In the Army I stuck IVs, chest tubes, and whatever else needed to be done to keep a soldier alive, things I cannot do now without getting in legal trouble, so I do not carry those supplies. I do encourage anyone to at least learn basic first aid and CPR and learn how to take basic vital signs. You can pick up a basic blood pressure cuff and stethoscope in many medical supply stores and learn how to use them. Breathing, blood loss, and shock are the three main killers but knowing CPR, how to stop bleeding, and shock signs and symptoms and treatment are fundamental to learn and will benefit your family and community.

Lastly, Washington state has a program called Map Your Neighborhood. It is a great program for any community and helps in meeting your neighbors, knowing their skills, and identifying the elderly and disabled as the first ones you need to check on. You can find more information on this program on the internet and see about applying this to your community.

In the end, it is your family and your community who will be there to help you through a crisis event, and knowing what the threats are in your state and community will help you in staying prepared and knowing how to respond, which is a mitigation to the threat. Stay safe out there and keep your communities safe.

The American Mind: “They’re Not Gonna Stop”

Senior analyst for homeland security and counterterrorism at the Center for Security Policy Kyle Shideler writes at The American Mind They’re Not Gonna Stop, referencing a quote from Kamala Harris in regards to rioting.

The deal with the devil is made. Kamala Harris is determined to see it through.

Everyone beware because they’re not gonna stop. They’re not gonna stop before election day in November, and they’re not going to stop after election day. And everyone should take note of that…they’re not going to let up—and they should not. And we should not.

Kamala Harris

It would seem that Kamala Harris and Joe Biden have now made explicit what was always implied in their campaign: as Joe becomes less and less compos mentis, the Democratic proposition on the table becomes, in the words of the candidates themselves, a “Harris-Biden administration.” So it behooves the American people to be as clear as possible not only about who Biden is, but who his VP (read: replacement) pick really is.

Both Biden and Harris have recently issued tepid, nonspecific calls for an end to ongoing street violence. They don’t really mean it of course, which is why they couldn’t bring themselves to explicitly name Black Lives Matter or Antifa as the perpetrators and organizers of the ongoing civil unrest.

The reality is that Biden has no ability to fulfill this promise. The nature of extortion requires the victim have some reasonable assurance that you really can keep his store from burning down. But Biden could not call off the dogs even if he wanted to, as his own vice-presidential candidate has already told us.

In her June 18 interview with Stephen Colbert, Harris committed the classic “Kinsley gaffe”: she accidentally said something she knew to be true. She knows that the BLM “protests” (i.e., the deadly riots) will not stop, even after the election.

“Everyone beware,” She told Colbert with an uncomfortably massive grin that seemed oddly incongruent with her words, “because they’re not gonna stop.”

When, as expected, they did not stop, she and her running mate were forced onto the defensive. Harris warned against confusing ”peaceful protests and peaceful protestors” with “those” persons—conspicuously unidentified—who are “looting and committing acts of violence,” such as burning down family businesses and executing innocent Trump supporters, crimes conspicuously unnamed. Rather than singling out Antifa and BLM for condemnation, Harris instead mentioned “the shooter who was arrested for murder,” namely Kyle Rittenhouse, who defended himself from imminent murder at the hands of Antifa criminals.

Harris left no doubt as to how her remarks were to be interpreted. “The reality,” she claimed, in a characteristically bald-faced lie, “is the life of a Black person in America has never been treated as fully human.” Translation: America, not Antifa, deserves the greater blame.

Just a week after Harris’s Kinsley gaffe, CNN’s Don Lemon warned that the riots were not polling well and needed to come to an end. That a CNN anchor believes the BLM/Antifa insurgents burning cities from Portland to Kenosha care about how their violence impacts the media’s preferred candidate goes to show how self-deluded some have become about our dangerous and revolutionary situation.

But Harris herself clearly has no such delusions, and she’s already made her choice. The Democrat vice presidential candidate’s background as a prosecutor made her so unpalatable to the Democrats’ radicalized base that she failed to pick up a single delegate during her own presidential bid. Sanders’s delegates in California even vocally opposed Harris getting the VP nod. But just three days after the Minneapolis 3rd police precinct was burned to the ground by BLM/Antifa rioters, “Kamala the Cop” called for donations for the bail fund responsible for springing alleged murderers, rapists, and rioters from behind bars.

Senator Bernie Sanders—whose own campaign workers threatened violence if he were not nominated—recently confirmed Harris’s view when he intimated that the campaign to pressure the Democrat ticket further leftward would continue well after the election: “the day after [Biden] is inaugurated we are going to rally the American people to make certain that we implement the most progressive agenda in modern American history.”

It seems like bold talk for Sanders, whose own primary bid was headed off after establishment Democrats fled to the perceived safety of Joe from Scranton. But note that despite agreeing to settle for Biden, the establishment Left still finds the streets of their Blue cities awash in revolutionary violence.

Sanders is on to something, as was ex-Black Panther Angela Davis when she wagered Biden could be “most effectively pressured” to do what she and her comrades want. Biden, who has held government power for over half a century and was the author of the 1994 Crime Bill, and Harris, a former prosecutor, are turning over the policy agenda of their prospective administration to revolutionaries and insurrectionists who viscerally despise them, in hopes that those Marxist brownshirts will threaten the American public into electoral submission.

This may be one of the most cynical quid pro quos in modern political history: You give me position and prestige, I’ll give you power to terrorize the American people and eat them alive.

It would certainly not be the first time that a sclerotic elite disastrously misjudged their own ability to harness revolutionary energy to their advantage. The nature of revolutions is inherently cyclical: always turning inward on itself, picking up steam. The cycle of revolution continuously winnows down and purges the least radical among the ranks. As Lenin wrote in his 1903 What is to be Done?, “the opportunist rearguard will be ‘replaced’ by the genuine vanguard of the most revolutionary class.”

Of course, Lenin was speaking about infighting within the Russian Social Democrat Party, and it would be twelve long years before that he achieved his victory. But his logic was sound. It is ultimately the hardest of hard-core revolutionaries who win intraparty fights during revolutionary periods. And after many failed attempts, this time the revolutionaries may have found their moment—much to the chagrin of Biden and Harris, who definitively epitomize “rearguard” and “opportunist,” respectively.

Having invited into their midst genuine revolutionaries—desirous of their ability to organize, their enthusiasm, and ultimately, drawn to their willingness to project power through violence—Biden and Harris are beginning to see there is no going back. The Democrats—win, lose, or draw—are the BLM/Antifa party now. The party of tearing down statues and launching public struggle sessions against innocent restaurant patrons.

As a vandal in Portland helpfully recorded, the BLM/Antifa insurgents will happily proclaim that “Liberals Get the Bullet Too.” But for Kamala Harris and today’s modern Democrats, ousting Trump and getting to cling—however briefly—to that brass ring of power is worth it. Even though one day, the name being purged will be their own.

Like drug addicts, Democrats promise they can quit their craving for political violence any time they want. But every few decades, they have a relapse. This time, they’re not gonna stop—until they O.D.

Publius Huldah: Mail-in voting? A “political question” which only State Legislatures and Congress may decide

Publius Huldah opines on the legalities of mail-in voting. Mail-in voting? A “political question” which only State Legislatures and Congress may decide

It has become obvious that one of the purposes of the COVID-19 scam is to bring about unrestricted mail-in voting in the toss-up and Red States so that the upcoming presidential election can be stolen by the Left for the senile Joe Biden and his constitutionally ineligible running mate, Kamala Harris.

On September 9, 2020, the Left achieved their goal for the Red State of Tennessee – unless the Tennessee State government enforces the US Constitution and rejects the federal judge’s unconstitutional order.

1. The absurd Order from the US District Court, Middle District of Tennessee

The Tennessee Code permits mail-in voting for certain categories of people [Tenn. Code § 2-6-201]; but requires those who register by mail to appear in person at the official place of voting and bring proof of identity when they vote for the first time [Tenn. Code § 2-2-115 (b) (7)].

Our elections are already tainted by the “ghost voters” described in Deroy Murdock’s article (published 2017) [here]. Murdock showed that throughout the United States, over 3.5 million persons who didn’t exist were registered to vote. But that number wasn’t sufficient to elect Hillary Clinton; so the Left needs more ghost voters. With mail-in voter registration, dead people can be registered to vote; and with unrestricted mail-in voting, those dead people can vote forever.

The Plaintiffs in this action claim to be distressed about the statutory requirement that first-time voters (who registered by mail) appear in person to vote because it forces them to choose between their “health” [they might catch COVID-19 if they go to the polls] and their right to vote. 1

On September 9, 2020, federal judge Eli Richardson issued a preliminary injunction which has the effect of setting aside, for the upcoming presidential election, the statutory requirement – established by the Tennessee Legislature – that persons who registered by mail, show up in person the first time they vote.

Here is Richardson’s 29 page Order.

So let’s cut 29 pages of bunk down to its essence: Richardson ruled that the Tennessee Legislature’s requirement that the first-time voters (who registered by mail) physically appear at the polls, imposes a “moderate burden” on voting rights; and the State failed to show the Court that Tennessee has a “legitimate state interest” to justify that burden. 2

Even worse: Throughout his Order, Richardson writes repeatedly [some 20 times] of Plaintiffs’ “First Amendment right to vote”; and says at the end of para 31 of his Order,

“…it is likely that Plaintiffs will prevail on their claim that the first-time voter requirement violates the First Amendment right to vote…”

But the First Amendment makes no mention of a “right to vote”. 3 Furthermore, in footnote 22 of his Order, the Judge says:

“In a prior order, the Court declined to address any suggestion that there is no First Amendment right to vote, for any purposes at all, by mail in particular… The Court was well aware that McDonald supports such a suggestion, but the Court simply did not need to opine on that matter. The Court likewise does not need to do so here…”

What? The Judge declined to address whether or not a First Amendment right to vote actually exists even though he has already determined that Plaintiffs are likely to prevail on their claim that the requirement that first-time voters (who registered by mail) show up in person to vote “violates the First Amendment right to vote”!

2. Why do Plaintiffs and the Judge repeatedly speak of a “First Amendment right to vote”, when the Judge isn’t prepared to say that such a right even exists?

They may be aware that the federal court has no jurisdiction over this case; but are attempting to fake it by claiming that the case “arises under the Constitution” via the First Amendment.4

The judicial power of the federal courts is limited to those few categories of cases enumerated at Article III, §2, clause 1, US Constitution. Not one of the categories invests the federal court with jurisdiction over this case. This case can’t be said to “arise under the Constitution” because there is no “right to vote” in the US Constitution; and the remaining categories listed in Article III, §2 are clearly inapplicable.

So it appears that Plaintiffs have fabricated a mythical “First Amendment right to vote” in order to provide a pretext for the federal court to exercise jurisdiction in this case – and that the federal judge let them get away with it.

3. Article I, §2, clause 1, US Constitution, negates the absurd claim that there exists a federal constitutional right to vote.

At Article I, §2, cl. 1, the States expressly retained their pre-existing power to determine the qualifications of voters:

“The House of Representatives shall be composed of Members chosen every second Year by the People of the several States, and the Electors in each State shall have the Qualifications requisite for Electors of the most numerous Branch of the State Legislature.” [italics added]

Accordingly, those who are eligible to vote for Representatives to their State Legislature are the ones eligible to vote for Members of the federal House of Representatives. 5

With four later Amendments, the States agreed that they would not deny eligibility to vote to Citizens on account of race (15th Amendment), sex (19th Amendment), failure to pay a tax (24th Amendment), and for those 18 years of age or older on account of age (26th Amendment). It is important to note that these four amendments do not grant the “right” to vote to the persons described in the Amendments – merely that the suffrage will not be denied to those persons on account of their race, sex, etc.

So the States retained their original authority to set whatever qualifications for voting they deem appropriate, subject to their agreement that they would not deny suffrage on account of a Citizen’s being in one of those four categories.

So there is no “right to vote” set forth in the US Constitution. To the contrary, voting is a privilege granted or denied on the basis of whether applicants meet the qualifications for voting set forth within their State Constitution. 6

4. What does our Constitution say about how the President and Vice President are to be elected?

Article II, §1, cl. 2 and the 12th Amendment set forth the procedures for electing President and Vice President. Those procedures are described here under the subheadings, “Electors appointed by States were to choose the President” and “The 12th Amendment establishes procedures for voting by Electors”.

Our current procedures bear no resemblance to the Constitutional requirements. 7 It’s too late to obey the Constitution for the upcoming presidential election; so let’s see what our Constitution says about the federal elections to Congress.

5. US Constitution: the “times, places and manner” clause

Pursuant to Article I, §4, clause 1, State Legislatures have the power to prescribe the Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for US Representatives 8 and US Senators.9

This clause also provides that Congress may make laws which override such State laws.

So the power to determine the time, place and manner of holding such federal elections is delegated exclusively to the Legislative Branches of the State and federal governments.

It is up to the State Legislatures to decide which “burdens” are appropriate with respect to the place of voting – with Congress having power to override what a State Legislature decides. The Judicial Branches of the state and federal governments may not substitute their views as to which “burdens” are appropriate and which are not. These are “political questions” granted to the Legislative Branches to decide; and the Judicial Branches – state and federal – may not lawfully interfere. 10

It is clear that “manner of voting” includes such matters as a requirement of personal presence at the place of voting. This is what our Framers contemplated, as shown by their words quoted in footnote 8 below. When a State legislature decides that personal presence is required – that decision can be overturned only by Congress.

So Judge Richardson’s view that the Tennessee Legislature doesn’t have a good reason for requiring first time voters (who registered by mail) to vote in person and present ID is irrelevant, and his Order is ultra vires.

6. What is the State’s remedy against the unlawful Court order?

So! You have seen that determining the “place and manner of voting” is a political power delegated exclusively to the State and federal Legislatures. It is thus a “political question”; and the federal [and state] Judicial Branches may not substitute their views for those of the Legislative Branches.

And since there is no “right to vote” contained in the US Constitution, the Federal District Court has no jurisdiction over this case. This case doesn’t “arise under the Constitution” or fit within any of the other categories of cases enumerated at Article III, §2, cl.1, US Constitution.

So the pretended Order of September 9, 2020, is ultra vires and lawless, and the State of Tennessee has no obligation to obey it.

The duty of the elected and appointed State and local officials is to obey the US Constitution. When the dictates of a federal [or State] judge contradict the Constitution, State officials must side with the Constitution and against the judge. 11

And what will happen if the State of Tennessee refuses to comply with the Judge’s order? The Judge can’t enforce his Order. He has to depend on the Executive Branch of the federal government to enforce it. 12 Do you believe that President Trump will send in federal troops to force the State of Tennessee to comply with Judge Richardson’s ultra vires Order?

Note:  In addition to the Offices of President & Vice-President, many other offices will also be on the Ballot:  the entire US House of Representatives is up for grabs.  So is the House in the State Legislatures all over the Country.  1/3 of the US Senate will be on the ballot; and a proportional number of Senate Seats on State Legislatures throughout the Country will be on the ballot.

EVERY REPUBLICAN LEGISLATOR NEEDS TO UNDERSTAND:  Your Seat is likely to be stolen in this upcoming election.

So you better wake up and get your State Legislature to smack down the federal & state judges who are assisting the Left in stealing your Seat.  And if Congress doesn’t act, they will lose control of the Senate and most likely every seat in the House.

Why should the Left stop with stealing only the Presidential election when they can also steal YOUR seat?

Endnotes:

1 How do they get their groceries?

2 Order at paras 29 – 31.

3 The First Amendment says,

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

The First Amendment is a limitation on Congress’ powers to make laws – it doesn’t grant a “right” to vote!

4 In Federalist No. 80 (2nd para), Hamilton states that cases “arising under the Constitution” concern

“…the execution of the provisions expressly contained in the articles of Union [the US Constitution]…” [boldface added].

In the 3rd & 13th paras, Hamilton illustrates what “arising under the Constitution” means: He points to the restrictions on the power of the States listed at Art. I, §10 and shows that if a State exercises any of those powers, and the fed. gov’t sues the State, the federal courts have authority to hear the case.

5 The 17th Amendment [ratified 1913] provides that those who are eligible to vote for Representatives to the US House are eligible to vote for US Senators.

6 With the National Voter Registration Act of 1993, Congress usurped the retained power of the States to set and enforce eligibility standards for voting. In a series of 3 papers, the last of which is here, I show how the assertions about The Federalist Papers made by the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court, in their attempts to justify their unconstitutional judgments, are false.

7 Our disregard of these constitutional provisions doubtless contributed to the creation of the current chaos.

8 Our Framers told us what “times”, “places” and “manner” mean:

In Federalist No. 61 (4th & 5th paras), Alexander Hamilton shows that “Time” refers to when elections are held. He explains that under the Articles of Confederation [our 1st Constitution], States had been conducting elections from March to November; and that uniformity in the time of elections is necessary “for conveniently assembling the [federal] legislature at a stated period in each year”.

“Place”: Hamilton also points out that the suffrages of citizens living in certain parts of the States could be defeated by restricting the place of election for Representatives in the House to “an INCONVENIENT DISTANCE from the elector” (2nd para). [caps are Hamilton’s].

“Manner” of holding Elections refers to such things as paper ballots or show of hands, the place of voting, and whether the States will be divided into congressional districts for purposes of electing Representatives. James Madison discusses the “Manner” of holding Elections in The Records of the Federal Convention of 1787, vol. 2, August 9, 1787:

“Mr. Madison: … the Legislatures of the States ought not to have the uncontrouled right of regulating the times places & manner of holding elections. These were words of great latitude. It was impossible to foresee all the abuses that might be made of the discretionary power. Whether the electors should vote by ballot or vivâ voce, should assemble at this place or that place; should be divided into districts or all meet at one place, shd all vote for all the representatives; or all in a district vote for a number allotted to the district; these & many other points would depend on the Legislatures and might materially affect the appointments …. what danger could there be in giving a controuling power to the Natl. Legislature? Of whom was it to consist? 1. of a Senate to be chosen by the State Legislatures … 2. of Representatives elected by the same people who elect the State Legislatures…” [emphasis added]

Rufus King in the Massachusetts Convention said in The Records of the Federal Convention of 1787, vol. 3, January 21, 1788:

“Hon. Mr. King rose … It was to be observed, he said, that in the Constitution of Massachusetts, and other States, the manner and place of elections were provided for; the manner was by ballot, and the places towns; for, said he, we happened to settle originally in townships…” [emphasis added]

9 When Art. I, §4, cl. 1 was drafted, the State Legislatures were to choose the State’s Senators to the US Congress – so the “place” of choosing the US Senators would be wherever the Legislature met. With ratification of the 17th Amendment, Congress gained oversight over State laws addressing the “place” of election of US Senators.

10 In Marbury v. Madison [link], decided 1803, the Supreme Court explained the concept of “political powers” and that the manner in which political powers are exercised is beyond the reach of the courts:

“By the Constitution of the United States, the President is invested with certain important political powers, in the exercise of which he is to use his own discretion, and is accountable only to his country in his political character and to his own conscience. …whatever opinion may be entertained of the manner in which executive discretion may be used, still there exists, and can exist, no power to control that discretion. The subjects are political. They respect the nation, not individual rights, and, being entrusted to the Executive, the decision of the Executive is conclusive … [and] can never be examinable by the Courts.”

Marbury addresses the political powers exercised by the President. That same deference to the exercise of political powers has long been extended to the acts of the other political branch, Congress. Where the Constitution grants a political power to Congress, the manner in which Congress exercises the discretion is also beyond the reach of the Courts. So, for example, if Congress were to exercise the power granted to it by Article I, § 4, clause 1, to make a law banning mail-in voting; its action can never be examined by the Courts – the Courts may not substitute their views for those of Congress.

11 Marbury v. Madison also stands for the Great Principle that when an Act of one branch of government violates the Constitution, the other Branches must obey the Constitution and not the unlawful Act.

12 Alexander Hamilton made this same point over 200 years ago – see Federalist No. 78 (6th para). If law schools had made The Federalist Papers required reading, our Country wouldn’t now be in such a mess

Tenth Amendment Center: The Constitutionality of a National Bank – Hamilton vs. Jefferson

Here another US government history article. From Mike Maharrey at The Tenth Amendment Center, The Constitutionality of a National Bank: Hamilton vs. Jefferson.

The First Bank of the United States was charted for a period of 20 years by Congress on Feb. 25, 1791. Alexander Hamilton championed the bank, but it wasn’t without its detractors. One of the most vocal opponents of the bank was Thomas Jefferson who argued that it was unconstitutional.

The debate was really about more than chartering a bank. At its core, it was an argument about the extent of federal power. Jefferson held to the promise of the ratification debates – that federal authority would remain carefully circumscribed by the enumerated delegated powers. Given that the Constitution doesn’t authorize Congress to charter corporations, much less a national bank, Jefferson argued that it was an unconstitutional act.

On the other hand, Hamilton pivoted from the position he took during the ratification debates and justified his project by invoking the doctrine of “implied powers.” His arguments foreshadowed how federal policies of every imaginable stripe would be justified moving forward. Arguably, Hamilton’s arguments for the First Bank of the United States set the foundation for much of the federal overreach we have today.

Jefferson and Hamilton both wrote documents making their cases for the establishment of the bank. Jefferson wrote his Opinion on the Constitutionality of a National Bank first.

He rested his argument on the Tenth Amendment, writing:

“I consider the foundation of the Constitution as laid on this ground: That  ‘all powers not delegated to the United States, by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States or to the people.’ [XIIth amendment.] To take a single step beyond the boundaries thus specially drawn around the powers of Congress, is to take possession of a boundless field of power, no longer susceptible of any definition.”

He then succinctly stated his conclusion.

“The incorporation of a bank, and the powers assumed by this bill, have not, in my opinion, been delegated to the United States, by the Constitution.”

Jefferson proceeded to outline the various clauses of the Constitution supporters of the bank used to constitutionally justify and explained why they failed to bear the burden of that power.

The primary justification was the Commerce Clause, but Jefferson argued that “to erect a bank, and to regulate commerce, are very different acts.” Erecting a bank actually creates an institution of commerce, and as Jefferson pointed out, “to make a thing which may be bought and sold, is not to prescribe regulations for buying and selling.”

He went on to argue that if erecting a bank is an exercise of the commerce power, it would be void because it would also impact commerce within individual states.

“For the power given to Congress by the Constitution does not extend to the internal regulation of the commerce of a State, (that is to say of the commerce between citizen and citizen,) which remain exclusively with its own legislature; but to its external commerce only, that is to say, its commerce with another State, or with foreign nations, or with the Indian tribes.”

Next Jefferson tackled the General Welfare Clause, pointing out that Congress cannot lay and collect taxes for any purpose it pleases, “but only to pay the debts or provide for the welfare of the Union.” Likewise, Congress can’t do anything it pleases to promote the “general welfare.” It can only further the general welfare by laying taxes and acting within its enumerated powers.

“In like manner, they are not to do anything they please to provide for the general welfare, but only to lay taxes for that purpose. To consider the latter phrase, not as describing the purpose of the first, but as giving a distinct and independent power to do any act they please, which might be for the good of the Union, would render all the preceding and subsequent enumerations of power completely useless. It would reduce the whole instrument to a single phrase, that of instituting a Congress with power to do whatever would be for the good of the United States; and, as they would be the sole judges of the good or evil, it would be also a power to do whatever evil they please. It is an established rule of construction where a phrase will bear either of two meanings, to give it that which will allow some meaning to the other parts of the instrument, and not that which would render all the others useless. Certainly no such universal power was meant to be given them. It was intended to lacce them up straitly within the enumerated powers, and those without which, as means, these powers could not be carried into effect.” [Emphasis original]

Jefferson drove his point home by pointing out a very inconvenient fact for Hamilton – the Philadelphia Convention debated and rejected delegating the power to charter corporations.

On one of the final days of the convention, James Madison proposed the federal government be delegated the authority “to grant charters of incorporation where the interest of the U.S. might require & the legislative provisions of individual State may be incompetent.”

Rufus King of Massachusetts objected specifically on the grounds that “It will be referred to the establishment of a Bank, which has been a subject of contention in those Cities (New York and Philadelphia). He also warned that “In other places it will be referred to mercantile monopolies.”

George Mason of Virginia proposed limiting the power to charting corporations for the construction of canals. “He was afraid of monopolies of every sort, which he did not think were by any means already implied by the Constitution as supposed by Mr. Wilson.”

Ultimately, the convention rejected the proposal completely. Historian Dave Benner wrote, “This casts overwhelming doubt on the notion that the Constitution allowed Congress to form such monopolies. No enumerated power to grant monopolies and corporate charters was ever included in the document, and during the ratification campaign, none of the Constitution’s advocates cited the presence of such a power.”

But Hamilton’s arguments didn’t rely on the existence of any delegated power. Instead, he appealed to the existence of unwritten “implied powers.”

In response to Jefferson’s appeal to the Tenth Amendment and that the federal government can only exercise delegated powers, Hamilton affirmed it, and then effectively nullified its limiting force. He wrote, “The main proposition here laid down, in its true signification is not to be questioned.” But he continued, insisting, “It is not denied that there are implied well as express powers, and that the former are as effectually delegated as the latter.”

But who decides the extent of these implied powers? Who determines their limits? In effect, Hamilton sets up an almost unlimited reservoir of power the general government can dip into in order to take whatever actions it deems appropriate. This was a 180-degree reversal from the position he took during the ratification debates when he insisted that the new general government would only exercise limited powers.

Hamilton primarily based his defense of the national bank on the “necessary and proper clause,” citing it as the source of these “implied” powers. While Jefferson relied on a very narrow definition of “necessary and proper,” Hamilton used the phrase to milk implied powers out of the Constitution.

The debate centered on the meaning of the word necessary. Jefferson took a very narrow view, arguing that the government can carry out all of its enumerated powers without a national bank. “A bank therefore is not necessary, and consequently not authorized by this phrase.”

“It has been urged that a bank will give great facility or convenience in the collection of taxes, Suppose this were true: yet the Constitution allows only the means which are ‘necessary,’ not those which are merely ‘convenient’ for effecting the enumerated powers. If such a latitude of construction be allowed to this phrase as to give any non-enumerated power, it will go to everyone, for there is not one which ingenuity may not torture into a convenience in some instance or other, to some one of so long a list of enumerated powers. It would swallow up all the delegated powers, and reduce the whole to one power, as before observed. Therefore it was that the Constitution restrained them to the necessary means, that is to say, to those means without which the grant of power would be nugatory.”

Hamilton found this view too limiting. He wrote, “It is certain that neither the grammatical nor popular sense of the term requires that construction. According to both, necessary often means no more than needful, requisite, incidental, useful, or conducive to.”

“It is a common mode of expression to say, that it is necessary for a government or a person to do this or that thing, when nothing more is intended or understood, than that the interests of the government or person require, or will be promoted by, the doing of this or that thing. … To understand the word as the Secretary of State does, would be to depart from its obvious and popular sense, and to give it a restrictive operation, an idea never before entertained. It would be to give it the same force as if the word absolutely or indispensably had been prefixed to it.”

Jefferson hit the problem with Hamilton’s view on the head. It opens up a door to virtually unlimited government power. This runs counter to James Madison’s assurance in Federalist #45 that “the powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined.” [Emphasis added]

Under Hamilton’s “implied power” doctrine and his loose reading of the necessary and proper clause, there is very little the federal government can’t do. After all, virtually anything could be defined as “needful” or “useful” to the government. During the ratification debates, opponents of the Constitution worried that the necessary and proper clause would be construed exactly as Hamilton read it. At the time, Hamilton swore they had nothing to worry about. In Federalist #33, he wrote, “It may be affirmed with perfect confidence that the constitutional operation of the intended government would be precisely the same, if these clauses [necessary and proper and the supremacy clause] were entirely obliterated, as if they were repeated in every article. They are only declaratory of a truth which would have resulted by necessary and unavoidable implication from the very act of constituting a federal government, and vesting it with certain specified powers.” [Emphasis added]

Hamilton pivoted from “specified powers” in 1788 to “implied powers” just three years later.

In his push for a bank, Hamilton also invoked a rule of construction very favorable to the government. He wrote, “This restrictive interpretation of the word necessary is also contrary to this sound maxim of construction, namely, that the powers contained in a constitution of government, especially those which concern the general administration of the affairs of a country, its finances, trade, defense, etc., ought to be construed liberally in advancement of the public good.”

This was not “a sound maxim of construction” at the time.

St. George Tucker was an influential lawyer and jurist, and he wrote the first systematic commentary on the Constitution. Published in 1803, View of the Constitution of the United States served as an important law book, informing the opinions of judges, lawyers and politicians for the next 50 years. He explained that we should always construe federal power in the most limited sense possible.

 “The powers delegated to the federal government, are, in all cases, to receive the most strict construction that the instrument will bear, where the rights of a state or of the people, either collectively or individually, may be drawn in question.”

This is the exact opposite of Hamilton’s maxim. As “Light Horse” Harry Lee put it during the Virginia ratifying convention, “When a question arises with respect to the legality of any power, exercised or assumed by Congress, it is plain on the side of the governed. Is it enumerated in the Constitution? If it be, it is legal and just. It is otherwise arbitrary and unconstitutional.”

When political power resides in the people, the default position should always be to assume the most limited government power possible – not the most liberal reading as Hamilton insisted.

Later in his life, Jefferson made a similar point in a letter to William Johnson.

“On every question of construction let us carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates, and instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text, or intended against it, conform to the probable one in which it was passed.”

There was no probable construction authorizing charting a national bank.

Reading Hamilton’s arguments for the bank, it becomes clear he was trying to “squeeze” meaning – and power – out of the Constitution. Under the limited general government promised by supporters of the Constitution during ratification, including Alexander Hamilton, there would have been no national bank.

Hamilton’s twisting of the Constitution to wring out new powers set the stage for all the federal overreach that would follow. It was the “foundation” for the “living breathing” Constitution we live under today.

Organic Prepper: A Personal Letter to Stressed Out Preppers

Daisy Luther at The Organic Prepper writes A Personal Letter to Stressed Out Preppers Who Are TIRED of This Apocalypse

Dear Friends:

2020 has certainly been quite a year so far, and a defining one for the preparedness movement. No longer are our stockpiles of rice, beans, and hand sanitizer objects that make us strange. Our stashes of TP would make us the envy of the neighborhood if, of course, anybody knew we had it.

So many of the things and beliefs that made us figures of mockery in the past are now proving their value. We’re learning, with a mixture of relief and perhaps dismay, that we weren’t so crazy after all.

When the first lockdown began, we weren’t out there emptying the shelves in the frenzied throng (even though we’re the ones who got blamed for it.) We were watchful but for the most part, comfortable with our preparations. We understood before things went sideways that extended events can result in civil unrest, crime sprees, and chaos. We realized that we could be facing shortages.

And then time went on.

And on.

And on.

This has been a year in which so many things have occurred that proved preppers have things right that it’s positively exhausting. We’ve had a pandemic, civil unrest, food shortages, increases in crime, exorbitant unemployment, and we’re facing an economic collapse, or at the very least, an economic crisis.

And we’re tired.

Maybe everyone doesn’t feel this way. Maybe you’re perfectly fine and you live on your back 40 and have been completely untouched by any of the above-mentioned crises. Maybe your finances are just fine, you never got out much anyway, and you’ve still got 8 years’ worth of food socked away to supplement the things you grow. Maybe you’re reading this as you spin goat hair into yarn from which you’ll make this year’s mittens. Maybe you have no relatives, friends, or loved ones in the path of danger. Maybe your area isn’t prone to a single natural disaster.

If this is the case, I salute you. I really do. Good for you.

But for most of us, this is not the case. A lot of us are tired.

And I mean tired.

I’m sure there will be plenty of folks in the comments who say, “Daisy Luther is such a whiner” but whatever. I’m just going to come right out and tell you how I feel about this.

This year has been difficult.

My life changed completely. The lives of people I love changed completely. I lost some people I cared for deeply to the virus. I watched people in my family frolic around blithely ignoring the virus for which they’re in a peak risk group for death. I watched my country get torn asunder by everything from the pandemic response to racial injustice to perceived insults or losses of rights. I have a family member who lives in a riot zone but due to work and finances, can’t just relocate. (Although those folks on the internet always make it sound so damned easy to just quit your job then up and move to the boondocks to raise sheep.)

I have friends who have developed such extreme political views on either side that I don’t even know what to say to them anymore. I still love them. I still know they’re good people or we wouldn’t have been friends in the first place. But what the heck, y’all?

Then we’ve got hurricanes and the worst wildfires ever in history and floods and droughts and snow in September and murder hornets and the Olympics got canceled and there was some radiation leak in Russia and police brutality, which you will say is alleged or real, depending on your personal perspective. Oh yeah, and the US Postal Service has gone to heck, a lot of kids can’t go back to school so they’re surfing the net while they’re supposed to be “distance learning” online, and Netflix is playing a child porn movie to prove that kids are getting sexually exploited. Our system is going downhill on a greasy slide.

Our presidential candidates are (in my humble opinion) like a choice between your favorite sexually transmitted infection, syphillis or gonhorrhea. And regardless of whether syphilis or gonorrhea wins, all hell’s going to break loose (or break looser because it’s already pretty freakin’ bad in a lot of places) before and after the election that may not even happen the regular way because of the pandemic.

And we preppers who were ready for an emergency are sitting here scratching our heads thinking, “Heck fire, I wasn’t actually prepared for ALL OF THE EMERGENCIES AT ONCE.”

And it’s going on and on and on.

And that’s the other thing.

This stuff is going on and on and on forever. Ad infinitum. We are still in the middle of a global viral outbreak that we don’t completely understand and lots of places are still under major restrictions. A lot of folks don’t have their jobs back and a lot never will. We have been dealing with this particular disaster since at least February and the mental toll of dealing with the restrictions, the loss of income, the isolation, and the loss of freedom has been harsh for many people. There are folks who are just plain mad that they didn’t get the apocalypse they signed up for and they haven’t gotten to shoot any marauders and quite frankly, lockdown is boring as heck.

Lots of us have family members and people in our inner circles who are chomping at the bit to get back to “normal” when things simply are not normal. We’ve got loved ones who want to head out to parties and who want to throw caution to the wind and who flat don’t give a hoot what they bring home to Grandma. We’ve got loved ones who are using this entire scenario to say how we’ve overreacted. We’ve got loved ones who still get aggravated when we bring home more toilet paper.

When we were prepping for all this stuff most of us never expected that our families who were also prepping for this stuff might not be on board with this specific scenario. We never thought we’d have to argue with children and spouses and friends and lovers about things like quarantines and masks and not eating all five years’ worth of the good snacks like Oreos in the first 6 months. We didn’t consider that we might not be able to replace our Bluetooth headsets or that we’d need them for work or that we’d have to have our offices in our homes or that our kids’ teachers might see their BB guns in their bedrooms and send the SWAT teams after us.

We can’t go to church but we can go to riots. We aren’t supposed to travel yet mysterious busloads full of “protesters” show up in other states and that’s just hunky-dory. The borders are closed except they’re not really and the restaurants can’t serve you except they can sort of and we can’t go to the beach but we can line up for a vaccine once the promised injection, untested for long-term side effects, is ready.

This is the worst apocalypse ever because it’s so dad-gum boring and it’s going on for-freaking-ever. That’s the thing that nobody warned us about. This monotony just goes on and on and on. It would be one thing if we were out there fighting for resources but in reality, we’re all just standin’ in line at Wal-Mart with our masks on waiting for our turn to get zapped with a thermometer to see if we are allowed to go inside. If it weren’t for wifi we’d all be crazy by now. Or – let’s be real for a moment – maybe it’s because of wifi so many people are crazy right now. Social media is a jungle – an outright vicious and bloody jungle – and may the most audacious mofo win because those of us who still retain our human decency are not going to be able to hang with the people out there flinging wild ungrounded insults like poop in the monkey cages at the zoo.

And folks – I hate to say it but we’re still on Round One.

We’re going to be dealing with this bizarre altered reality for quite some time. This virus ain’t over yet or if you don’t believe in the virus, then consider that this government response isn’t over yet. We’re never “getting back to normal” and we’re going to have to adapt. We’re going to have to hope our children who are going to school in personal bubbles aren’t going to have OCD and chronic anxiety for the rest of their lives. We’re going to have to learn to make do without all the imports that no longer seem to be populating stores.

We never really expected that a huge part of survival would just be waiting and adapting to the new world around us. Not this new world anyway. This isn’t one we can shoot our way out of or buy our way out of or wait our way out of.  We have to adapt to the new economy, the new precautions, and the new suspicions. We have to adapt to a different type of supply chain.  We have to move into survival mode as we watch civil unrest and riots break out in the most unlikely places, although it’s not really the survival mode we ever expected. We have to adjust to the nearly constant state of offense and unrest. We’re going to have to teach our children to be bold and fearless despite a system that wants them to be afraid. We’re going to have to forge a path through a labyrinth that is nothing like the one we expected when we began prepping for serious events because this event was so wildly unpredictable that nobody could have seen it happening the way it did.

But this is what we do.

We’re preppers. Preparing for the unexpected is our thing. Even when the unexpected is long-lasting, monotonous, boring, and stifling. Even when our family thinks we’re overreacting. Even when everything changes and things don’t get back to “normal.” Even when we’re just sitting there right on the edge of chaos wondering if today is the day that things will erupt in our neck of the woods.

Every.

Single.

Day.

For.

Months.

The way this unfolded isn’t the disaster any of us expected but it’s the hand we’ve been dealt. How well we’re able to handle it will tell us a lot about how mentally prepared we actually are. How we manage our friends, families, and expectations will help us determine how things might go in a future, more Mad-Max variety of apocalypse.

Take this as the learning experience that it is. And don’t be lulled by the boredom into a false sense of security.

Because this is not over. Not by a long shot.

Hang in there, my friends. Whether we have to pull our loved ones along by their collars, whether we have to buy our supplies and stash them away on the sly, whether we have to prepare all on our own, we have to deal with the apocalypse we’ve been given, emotionally and physically.

It’s going to be a long haul, but we’ve got this. I don’t know if you’re feeling the same way that I am, but just in case you are, I wanted you to know – you’re not alone.

Daisy

Black Man With a Gun: Dear White Man

Kenn Blanchard at Black Man With a Gun writes an open letter – Dear White Man.

Dear White Man,

I’m writing to you today because of all that’s going on in the nation. I thought you might need to hear a few words of encouragement from your friend and your brother from another mother. You and I have been pretty close since 2007, when I started my podcast in the basement of my house. You’ve invited me to your home. We’ve broken bread together. We’ve laughed, hugged, even. We’ve smoked cigars. We’ve shared in this Second Amendment fight. We’ve been to speeches. I’ve been a speaker at different events with you. You’ve heard my sermons in church. You’ve introduced me to your family, to your kids. We’ve come through a lot of stuff in these last twenty years or so. Some of us have been together even longer than that. We met, maybe, at the Second Amendment Foundation’s annual meeting, or the National Rifle Association’s meeting across the country, or occasionally you caught me at SHOT Show. We laughed and had some good times.

Well, my white brother, the time’s they are a’changin’. I see your frustration. I hear your anger. I read what you write in your posts. I see the memes you make. Or, I’ve noticed your absence online or in comments. Well, you know me. I haven’t changed. I never run from a fight. I’m talking more about love. Like the song that says nobody’s interested in learning it, but the teacher, it seems.

We got segregation, determination, demonstrations, integration, aggravation, humiliation, and no obligation to our nation. It’s a ball of confusion right now. That’s what the world is today. Yeah.
You got young folks walking around with their heads in the sky and cities aflame in the summertime. And though, the beat goes on. I think yesterday was the eve of destruction. We’re still looking for tax deductions and city inspectors, and Bill the collector, evolution, revolution, gun control, and the sound of soul. They’re still shooting rockets to the moon, but kids are still growing up too soon. It’s a Ball of Confusion, baby.

And I feel you. I understand where you’re coming from.

So, my white brother, I’m just here to tell you that I understand. I’m just giving you a shoutout that I don’t blame you for squat. I don’t. I know who you are. You’ve been the same with me since the beginning. Back when I was the lone brother out here. I was never totally alone, but I was pretty much the singleton. I remember how you treated me and my family, and then my friends, and then my club, and then as I grew my own advocacy and activism, and I grew, and you kept asking me, “How can I get more people of color into my group? How can I get more folks like you in my range?” And we just continued to push on. I know your heart. I know you’re not a racist. I know where you’re coming from, and I ain’t afraid to tell it, truth be told. I’ll still stand with you, even though right now some of you got your war face on. Yeah, you do. Let me tell you about anger.

There are three types of anger that the psychologists can recognize pretty easily. The first is the hasty and sudden anger, and it’s all connected to self-preservation. You think everybody’s after you, so you’re striking out at everybody else. I’m just here to tell you that it’s not me. Remember, we’ve been together a long time. I know who you are, really. The second type is the settled and deliberate anger — a reactionary thing. It’s the deliberate harm or unfair treatment of others. It’s an episodic type of anger. I know that’s not you. And, the third is a dispositional anger. It’s related more to a character trait. It means something’s wrong with you. You’re irritable, sullen. There’s some stuff wrong. Anger can potential mobilize psychological resources and boost the determination toward correction of wrong behaviors, like the promotion of social justice and the communication of negative sentiment and redress of grievances. It can also facilitate patience. In contrast, anger can be destructive when it does not find its appropriate outlet in expression.

Some of you guys are angry white men. And, you’re having a hard time navigating the situation. What happens? The angry person loses their objectivity, your empathy — which you had so much of before — your prudence or your thoughtfulness that you had, that you showed me. And sometimes you can get so pissed off you harm yourself. To all my angry white brothers out there, step back, and take a breath. One of the things I know about anger is that it can get you out of sorts. It can trigger some other stuff. It can make you rely more on stereotypes, and pay less attention to details and more attention to the superficial. That’s what I’m seeing in the memes. Anger is like any other negative emotion, like sadness or fear. Anger can mess up your analytical thinking. One of the things I liked about you before was you’re smart. Now, you’re sayin’ stupid stuff. If it’s not you, it’s the guy next to you. I know it’s tight, but it’s right. Why are you angry?

Because, hey, there’s fear in the air. There’s tension everywhere. Unemployment’s rising fast, and the band played on. Population’s out of hand, suicide, too many bills, hippies movin’ to the hills, people all over the world are shouting, “End the war!” And, the band played on.

Don’t you hear me talking to you? Do you know what one of the greatest motivators in the world is? Loss. Nobody likes to lose anything. So, what’s wrong with America right now? Folks have lost what they used to have — lack of leadership, the polarization of our nation, irresponsibility, the adoption of extremist philosophies, domestic terrorism, erosions of the right to be politically correct. Convenient truths, the rewriting of history for personal gain, the sense of entitlement, the fact that we kicked God out of almost everything we do. The end of “live and let live.” That whole tolerance thing, that politicians are just in it for the money, plain old complacency — what Martin Luther King called “indifference.” Nihilism. That’s a big word. Lack of good jobs. Fidelity….where did she go? Worship of the state, and a plain old loss of respect for other people?

I know you know this, I’m just here to remind you that I feel your pain, that I understand what you’re mad about. I’m just here to tell you that I know who you are. I still like you. Back in 1999, I created a website called Black Man with a Gun . I thought I’d be ostracized and kicked out by the whole world except for a few other radically black people like me. Yeah. I was woke before folks was born. But, you who was awoke before I was? You were. Some of you actually told me about the Deacons of Defense and Justice. Some of you told me about Ossian Sweet. Some of you told me about my own history. I had to go learn about it, and research it and find out about all my relatives, and how I was connected to it. My whole life, I’d been around it, but I missed it. You helped me realize that nobody knows everything, and all of us make mistakes. So, I took my militant butt to the wood shed, and learned some history. And, when I learned, I was on fire for this thing, and decided I was going to teach my world what I learned. I was going to share my knowledge with as many people as I could. And, you still supported me. You didn’t even see me. You didn’t see me get jumped in the church. You didn’t see me get beat down on the street corner. You didn’t hear about what happened after we testified in court in Baltimore or Annapolis — how the Mothers Against Guns ganged up on me, and how, through the grace of God, I was able to let them see the truth, the real truth. You supported me during evangelism for the right to keep and bear arms for almost twenty years. I was doing this crap before we had Google and Instagram and Facebook, but I’m actually kind of tired right now — tired of defending, tired of arguing the same old argument, but luckily, there’s quite a few younger people, younger brothers and sisters that are doing it! And I got nothing but praise for them, except for when they think they’ve created something that’s new and original. Then, they forget where they’ve come from.

So, my angry white brother, failure isn’t final. You know it’s interesting that failing and falling both begin with the same letter. Now, if you’ve gotten mad when you fell, you probably wouldn’t try to stand up anymore. But, if you looked at the fall and the sequence as just something that is — is it what it is — it becomes what you make of it. And, you looked at it as opportunity to learn, which, you did, as a baby, ok? Every baby does. And, what do we do? We get right back up, regardless of failing, and try it again, and you keep doing it until that one day, when you’re walking. Well, right now, we’re falling a lot. We got folks who thing they know stuff they don’t. We got people who are in charge who shouldn’t be, but the brain does not learn from success. The brain learns from the intense scrutiny after the failure to chunk whatever you’re trying to do into it with four or five different parts, and try to figure out the sequence that does work right. And, then it’s going to fire all those circles again. We learn very little from success. So, right now, we’re failing a lot. It looks like Hell warmed over, but be patient. We’ve been here before. The only bad part is people don’t remember the late 60’s, the early 70’s which would soon come — leaders and carpetbaggers, and all of that. We’ve gone through this before.

Folks were taking drugs back in the 60’s trying to take the pain out of living. Now, they just go ahead and kill themselves outright. We need to take more care of our neighbors. We need to take more care of ourselves. We need to watch what we put into our heads — junk in, junk out. We need to realize that all of this stuff is temporary. No storm lasts forever. And, it’s okay to be angry. You can be an angry, white man. Just don’t be angry at me. I didn’t cause none of this trouble! Some of it is good trouble. Some of it’s B.S. Right now that Serenity Prayer is pretty tight, but its right. Where it says,

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

That’s how we’re going to get out of this funk, white man! white woman! And for those who are not white who listen to your friend and brother from another mother, I just gave you somebody’s else side for you to think about before you judge them. We all live in a pluralistic society. I really didn’t even know what that was until recently, but I want you to look that up.

We all are born and we grow with different natures which, in return, leads us to have different likes and dislikes, inclinations and disinclinations, temptations and abilities to perform and act. I’m asking you today — white or black, brown, yellow, pink, or multi-colored, to try to understand somebody else. Avoid blaming people. You must understand that people don’t care about you. This isn’t because people are mean or hurtful, it’s just because they’re always focused on themselves. You don’t figure in as their priority. In their process, most of their thoughts are self-directed.

Everybody’s thinking, “My goals. My problems. My feelings.” Yeah. All of us are like that. Mostly, we are all self-centered, but you have to be morally accountable for your actions in this day-to-day life. Keep on understanding that people who appear to be mean or hurtful do not usually do it intentionally, unless they’re sociopathic. It should not deviate you from your appropriate conduct. To say everyone is completely selfish is a gross exaggeration that ignores all the kinds of acts of kindness, sacrifice and love that make this damn world work. Believe it or not, everyone is emotional, and that’s not an exaggeration. We look for reliability in the process of sharing where their strong feelings or points of view are paid due attention, but it’s important to find common ground when you try to interact with people. Understanding is everything. Communication is the secret sauce of the world. Believe it or not, people have short memories. You think they remember your birthday or event? Nah. Most people don’t recollect instances that don’t have anything to do with them. It’s just how we are. They do remember, most likely, similarities or approaches to things that are like theirs. Thats’ how I can say what I’m saying right now, because I’ve been around like fifty-eight years.

Almost forty of those years have been involved in this Second Amendment thing, in some way or another. Almost. Learn to have passion to listen to others. When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen, but when you’re a good listener, you can develop a better rapport with other people. Now, why am I telling you this? I know you’re grown. You’re old enough to do what the Hell you want, I know. But, who else is going to tell you that you might have a chance to listen? I know you know it — I’m just here to remind you. Develop that animal instinct. You know, it’s really interesting to learn from animals sometimes. They create new life with a purpose, and learn to survive. We have to keep on understanding at each level of a relationship to survive and procreate. You don’t have to read too much into the process of dealing with others to survive and procreate. Sometimes, we think too much. Just do the right thing. Spike Lee was right on that one. Understanding people who don’t look like you is a process of growing. It involves traveling down a path of your lives and making decisions. There will be mistakes, which everyone makes. The importance lies in learning from them to grow stronger. It also guides you to be true to you.

I’m not apologizing for anything except my own behavior. I wrote this letter because we have a problem. We’re more divided than ever, and some folks like it. You know, there’s power in segregation, hate, bigotry, and fear. Those who spread it, share it, joke about it, help it. Everybody who’s gone through something, it has changed them in a way they should never go back to the person they once were. Everybody.

So, walk a mile in someone else’s shoes, and see what they see, hear what they hear, feel what they feel. Then, maybe you’ll understand — me, too! — why I do what I do. You know my name, but not my story. You’ve heard what I’ve done, but not what I’ve been through. The most difficult thing in this life is to know yourself. We’re all going through something right now. It’s an opportunity to do better, to mend a fence, build a bridge, start over if you messed up. Having good morals is still a good thing. Having some core values is still a good thing. Having some wisdom is still a good thing. Thinking before you speak is still a good thing. Check your anger. Check your resources. Check how you’re rollin’. Are you acting like someone else? Or are you acting like you? We can all get this thing back on track if we first take care of our own selves. And, that’s it for this. I’m going to call it quits right there.

You know, at the end of every show, I always say, “just in case nobody has told you this today: I love you.” Well, if you’re wondering how I can love you, and I don’t even know you, check this: Some people hate me, and they don’t know me either. I choose to love.

Shalom baby,

Kenn

Mises Institute: Too Much Centralization Is Turning Everything into a Political Crisis

 

Porter Burkett writing at The Mises Institute asks if Too Much Centralization Is Turning Everything into a Political Crisis. When the federal government sticks it fingers into every action of your day, then everything becomes a political battle.

Is American politics reaching a breaking point? A recent study by researchers from Brown and Stanford Universities certainly paints a grim picture of the state of the national discourse. The study attempts to measure “affective polarization,” defined as the extent to which citizens feel more negatively toward other political parties than their own, in nine developed countries, including the United States. The study authors concluded that affective polarization has risen much faster and more drastically in the United States than in any of the other countries they studied (figure 1). They then speculated on possible explanations of increasing polarization, suggesting that changing party composition, increasing racial division, and 24-hour partisan cable news are convincing possible causes. Notably, the research was completed before the coronavirus pandemic or the police killing of George Floyd, two events that have only deepened political division.

While the study is interesting and well written, the authors completely fail to consider a more fundamental potential explanation of increasing polarization, one that is likely to be understood well by libertarians and federalists, who have long railed against the trend toward ever more usurpation of local and state sovereignty in American politics. I propose that the real culprit behind worsening polarization is the gargantuan federal government that has turned the entire country into an unceasing political battleground. When virtually all political issues are settled at the national level, the whole nation becomes a source of potential political opponents. Centralization changes the scale and with it the locus of political debate and conflict. For the average political participant, it is probably true that people with differing ideas live near you, in your city or state, but the mathematical reality is that the vast majority of your political opponents live relatively far away (spread throughout the rest of the country) and thus have no material connection to your life or your community. Political opposition becomes just numbers on a cable news screen: 49 percent for this, 51 percent for that. Sixty-two million votes for one candidate, 65 million for another. These numbers, without names or faces, become simple objects; some are pawns to be moved around, while others are obstacles to be pushed aside. This is not just speculation: previous research has indicated that partisanship is correlated with the use of tactics to dehumanize political opponents. Centralized political decision-making amounts to a systematic dehumanization of anyone who might participate in the political process.

The effects of such a disastrous form of organization are already evident. Political polarization is not confined to academic papers, but has now manifested in the streets of Kenosha and Portland. As the 2020 election approaches, politically charged killings between members of rival factions will only become more likely. What was formerly a central promise of democratic politics—the peaceful transfer of power—has been abandoned in favor of direct action and blood.

If centralization is the cause of our problems, then decentralization is the cure. Pushing decision-making power down to state and local levels as much as possible, closer to the people actually affected by the decisions, is the only way forward. Of course, it will not solve all the problems of political culture today. Policy debates and disagreements could still be just as intense at the local level as at the federal. But it is harder to dehumanize someone who might be a part of your community. Those numbers on the screen are on your local news now, not the national news. Those percentages and vote tallies might include your neighbor down the street, your Uber driver, the person ahead of you in line at the grocery store, or the old man you saw out walking his dog this morning. Technically, this has always been true, and we would do well to remember the humanity of the people we disagree with even while political focus is at the national level. This fact is simply harder to ignore when the primary nexus for political decisions is more immediate and local.

Admittedly, I do not know exactly how decentralization can happen. There is no magic blueprint. Maybe the worst pessimists are right, and we are doomed to fight some sort of second civil war before we remember that those with whom we disagree are people too. I think the future is brighter than that. Perhaps, as Mises Institute president Jeff Deist has pointed out, de facto decentralization has already begun. Fortunately, nobody has to know exactly what the new political structure will look like, and—arguably the best part of decentralization—it does not have to look the same everywhere. Both major parties, and people of all ideological persuasions, will probably have to give up some preferred victory or vanquishing of the “other side.” Many Democrats would love to prevent all abortion laws in the state of Georgia for the rest of time. Some Republicans would love to lock down California’s southern border with an airtight seal. A new era of decentralization means that neither of these things can be accomplished by federal imposition, and their proponents are not going to be happy about that. The task ahead is to demonstrate that whatever the sacrifices required to

Daily Caller: Dems Threaten To Expand Court If R’s Vote On Supreme Ct Nominee This Year

From Daily Caller, Democrats Threaten To Pack Court If Republicans Vote On Ginsburg Replacement This Year.

  • Democrats are threatening to pack the Supreme Court if Republicans fill the vacancy left by liberal Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death on Friday. 
  • “Congress would have to act and expanding the court would be the right place to start,” House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler wrote on Twitter. 
  • Ginsburg herself pushed back against the idea of packing the court when asked about it last year. 

Prominent Democrats are threatening to expand the size of the Supreme Court to cancel out President Donald Trump’s court picks if Republicans vote on late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s replacement this year.

Left-wing activists have been pushing Democratic politicians to endorse court-packing since Justice Anthony Kennedy’s 2018 retirement cleared the way for Justice Brett Kavanaugh to join the high court. Some congressional Democrats embraced the idea following Ginsburg’s death Friday night.

“If Sen. McConnell and @SenateGOP were to force through a nominee during the lame duck session—before a new Senate and President can take office—then the incoming Senate should immediately move to expand the Supreme Court,” House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler wrote on Twitter Saturday.

“Filling the SCOTUS vacancy during a lame duck session, after the American people have voted for new leadership, is undemocratic and a clear violation of the public trust in elected officials,” added Nadler, a Democrat from New York.

“Congress would have to act and expanding the court would be the right place to start,” he said. (RELATED: Prominent Democrats Keep Destroying Norms To Go After Trump)

“If he holds a vote in 2020, we pack the court in 2021,” Democratic Mass. Rep. Joe Kennedy tweeted on Saturday. “It’s that simple.”

Democratic Mass. Sen. Ed Markey asserted in a tweet Friday night that if Republicans fill the Supreme Court vacancy, then “when Democrats control the Senate in the next Congress, we must abolish the filibuster and expand the Supreme Court.”

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer told his fellow Senate Democrats on Saturday that “nothing is off the table for next year” if Republicans move to fill the vacant seat, CBS News reported.

Democratic Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal echoed Schumer’s rhetoric, tweeting Saturday: “If Republicans recklessly & reprehensibly force a SCOTUS vote before the election—nothing is off the table.”

Trump promised Saturday morning to nominate a new justice “without delay.”

Conservatives on Saturday pushed back on the idea of expanding and packing the Supreme Court.

Republican Tennessee Rep. Chuck Fleischmann warned that packing the court would be “dangerous” and undermine the court as an institution.

“Court packing is a dangerous and shortsighted idea that will delegitimize our institutions — and that’s what the Dems are threatening to do if they don’t get their way,” Fleischmann wrote in a tweet.

“Packing the court would be a greater blow to norms, legitimacy, and our system of government than *anything* Trump has said or done,” National Review editor Rich Lowry wrote on Twitter.

Some liberal voices in the media have expressed support for packing the court.

“So Democrats should threaten to pack the court,” left-wing writer Jill Filopovic argued in a Washington Post op-ed Saturday. “And, if McConnell pushes through a new justice and then Joe Biden wins, they should follow through,” she added.

“One way for Democrats to make clear they will not tolerate Republicans trying to fill this seat in advance of the election would be for them to pledge that, if they take the White House and Senate in November, they will increase the size of the Supreme Court to 13 justices,” University of California, Berkeley School of Law Dean Erwin Chemerinsky wrote in a Los Angeles Times op-ed Saturday.

“Democrats have no choice but to implement structural reforms to the judiciary if they hope to prevent decades of rule by the alt-right in America,” HuffPost reporter Zach Carter wrote in a June 2018 piece following Kennedy’s retirement.

“At a minimum, that will mean expanding the Supreme Court bench to 11 justices under the next Democratic president. Other reforms, including term limits to remove aging conservatives, may well be appropriate,” he added.

But Ginsburg herself rejected packing the court when asked about it last year.

“Nine seems to be a good number. It’s been that way for a long time,” she told NPR in July 2019. “I think it was a bad idea when President Franklin Roosevelt tried to pack the court.”

Zero Hedge: Empty Supreme Court Seat “Resets the Race” for President

Yesterday evening Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed away. This event will change the Presidential race and perhaps further fan the flames of division around the country. Expect to see and hear much commentary/propaganda in the months ahead. Here is a collection of commentary over at Zero Hedge – “This Resets The Race” – SCOTUS Opening Creates Opportunity For Trump To ‘Change The Subject’ Before Nov. 3

We’re still waiting for the ‘October Surprise’ that Democrats are hoping will derail Trump’s quest for a second term (although it didn’t exactly work out that way back in 2016), but the passing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg last night has certainly shaken things up, with only 45 days left until the election.

 

VP Joe Biden sounded dejected last night as he delivered his statement on Ginsburg’s passing.

Biden, and his former boss, Barack Obama, have urged the GOP to wait until after the election to move ahead with the next SCOTUS nominee. As Biden said in the clip above: “There is no doubt – let me be clear – that the voters should pick the president and the president should pick the justice for the Senate to consider,” Biden told reporters late Friday. “This was the position that the Republican Senate took in 2016” and “that’s the position the United States Senate must take today and the election’s only 46 days off.”

According to Bloomberg, GOP strategists are already chattering about how the SCOTUS situation will give Trump the opportunity to change the subject away from the coronavirus outbreak that’s hobbled his economy, and toward what has been on of the GOP’s biggest accomplishments over the past 10 years: packing the federal courts with conservative justices.

It’s an area where Dems have ceded far too much ground, allowing the Federalist Society to work in concert with successive Republican administrations to ensure a steady supply of ideologically-tested conservative justices.

Ironically, Bloomberg quoted a top aide to former Democratic Senate leader Harry Reid saying that Dems need to “wake up” to the importance of the judicial branch. Of course, as we reported earlier, it was Reid who opened the door to the “nuclear option” by changing the Senate rules to allow President Obama to confirm cabinet appointments with a simple majority.

For Trump and his Republican allies in the Senate, the vacancy lets him change the subject away from the coronavirus pandemic that has imperiled his odds for winning a second term. Now, they can offer their base a chance to tighten the conservative majority on the high court for years to come.

Yet Biden and Democrats can seize on the moment, too, invoking Ginsburg’s legacy to spur turnout on Nov. 3 and give liberals a fresh reason to vote out Trump. Democrats had contributed more than $20 million to ActBlue in four hours after Ginsburg’s death was announced.

Jim Manley, a former top aide to ex-Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid, said he hopes Democrats “wake up” to the importance of the Supreme Court.

The reality is that Republicans have always taken judicial nominations more seriously than Democrats,” he said. “My hope is that that actually changes with this shocking news. Whether it does or not remains to be seen.”

Mitch McConnell didn’t waste any time Friday night. Mere hours after RBG’s death, McConnell released a statement promising a vote on the Senate floor and calling on GOP Senators to back whoever is appointed by Trump to fill the vacancy. Right now, the smart money is on 7th Circuit judge Amy Coney Barrett, a conservative Catholic and a runner-up during Trump’s last two nominations.

GOP strategists are heralding this as an opportunity for Trump to flip the script, and put Democrats on the defensive.

“This resets the race,” said Republican donor Dan Eberhart. “We are not running solely on the Covid response and the economy anymore.”

Biden has rarely spoken about the Supreme Court except to commit to nominating a Black woman to the bench if he gets the opportunity.

Now he has to seize on the issue as well, and Democrats were already showing signs they were willing to join him.

Trump was widely expected to move ahead with a nomination, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell quickly vowed that the Senate would vote on it.

To be sure, there’s also a strong possibility that RBG’s death motivates more Democratic voters to turn out to the polls. Few things can cut through the noise like the creation of another ‘martyr’.

Early reports suggest RBG’s death triggered a flood of donations to Democratic groups like ActBlue and “Demand Justice”, with tens of millions of dollars flowing into their coffers overnight. GOP pollster and Trump critic Ed Rollins told Bloomberg that the gravity of the issue could drive voters to the polls in massive numbers. Typically, higher turnout is seen as a negative for Republicans.

It could also motivate more GOP voters to come vote in critical swing-state races down-ticket, including for the Senate.

“This will be the overarching issue in not just the 2020 presidential election, but also in several Senate races that may decide who controls the Senate in the future,” said Ed Rollins, a Republican strategist who heads the pro-Trump Great America PAC.

“This will drive voters to the polls in massive numbers on both sides,” Rollins said. “It will also dominate the airways and certainly will be a major factor for the rest of this campaign.”

Still, the vacancy may not necessarily be a boon for Trump because it is likely to galvanize voters on both sides of the aisle, said Brendan Buck, a Republican strategist.

“It will help shore up constituencies he needs. Battle lines are going to be drawn. But it will fire up folks on both sides, and my guess is it’s a wash at best for the president,” he said.

The Hill was slightly more pessimistic, pointing out that several influential Republican Senators were conspicuously silent last night, while others promised to back Trump’s nominee without delay.

McConnell can’t afford to lose three GOP votes in what could be remembered as one of the most important votes in that chamber in history. Two GOP senators – Alasaka’s Lisa Murkowski and Maine’s Susan Collins – released statements mourning Ginsburg…

…but saying nothing about whether they intend to back McConnell and Trump. Both Collins and Murkowski were among a group of moderate senators who initially expressed doubts about Trump nominee Brett Kavanaugh, and later enabled Democrats to move ahead with a formal inquiry into allegations of sexually inappropriate behavior by Kavanaugh when he was in high school and an undergraduate student at Yale. Both have said previously that they wouldn’t support a SCOTUS vote so close to an election. Collins is facing tough reelection odds, as her vote in favor of Kavanaugh has been wielded effectively against her by her Democratic opponent, who is reportedly ahead in the polls. Maine House Speaker Sara Gideon currently holds 49% to the senator’s 44%, according to the Hill.

Murkowski has a long history of speaking out against a “double standard” of SCOTUS confirmation votes during an election year.

Murkowski told The Hill over the summer that attempting to fill a Supreme Court vacancy right before the November election or during a lame-duck session in December would create “a double standard” and she “would not support it.”

Murkowski pointed to Senate Republicans’ decision in 2016 to keep vacant the seat of late conservative Justice Antonin Scalia until a new president was elected in that year’s election. Then-President Obama nominated D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Merrick Garland to fill Scalia’s vacant seat in March of 2016 but he never received a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing or a vote.

“When Republicans held off Merrick Garland it was because nine months prior to the election was too close, we needed to let people decide. And I agreed to do that. If we now say that months prior to the election is OK when nine months was not, that is a double standard and I don’t believe we should do it,” Murkowski said. “So I would not support it.”

Another key vote is Sen. Mitt Romney (Utah), the only Senate Republican to vote to convict Trump on an article of impeachment.

Though he declined to speculate about what he might do if a vacancy emerged on the court in the months before the Nov. 3 vote, Sen. Mitt Romney could provide a third vote against Trump’s nominee (though a tie would of course be broken by VP Mike Pence).

A 4th GOP defection would sink the vote, assuming no swing-vote Dems step up and defect to the other side. However, that’s not exactly guaranteed. West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin backed Kavanaugh, a vote that has proven tremendously popular in his home state of West Virginia.

Several reliably GOP senators will likely have their past statements used against them. Perhaps the most notable example of this is Lindsey Graham.

However, Graham has said he’s open to backing Trump’s nominee after getting some input from his constituents, of course. Chuck Grassley, who led the Judiciary Committee when it sunk Garland’s nomination, said at the time that he would do the same thing if the shoe were on the other foot. However, he too is expected to back Trump’s nominee.

After all, Trump has a powerful argument for filling the seat. A deadlocked Supreme Court ahead of what could be a contested election could risk a constitutional crisis that could have ramifications for societal cohesion.

Time is also an issue: It has taken an average of 74 days to confirm the last 10 justices appointed to the Supreme Court, ranging from 99 days for Clarence Thomas in 1991 (a process that was elongated by the Anita Hill scandal) to 50 days for Ginsburg in 1993.

Election Day is 45 days away, and the next Congress isn’t scheduled to take its seats for another 106 days. And given the general state of things in America right now, a lot could change in that time.

International Man: Six Reasons Why the Wrong Party Will Win the Most Important US Election Since 1860

Doug Casey at International Man writes his thoughts on the 2020 election in Six Reasons Why the Wrong Party Will Win the Most Important US Election Since 1860

The upcoming election may be the most important in US history. At least as important as that of 1860, which led directly to the War Between the States. In 2016 I believed Trump would win and placed a money bet on him. This time I’m not so sure, despite Trump’s “incumbent advantage” and the fact the Democrats could hardly have picked two worse candidates.

I see at least six reasons why this is true, namely:

  • The Virus
  • The economy
  • Demographics
  • Moral collapse of the old order
  • The Deep State
  • Cheating

The consequences of a Democrat victory will be momentous. Let’s look at why it’s likely.

1. The Virus

Despite the fact COVID is only marginally more deadly than the annual flu, and the fact it’s only a danger to the very old (median death age 80), the hysteria around it is changing the nature of life itself. It’s proven much less serious than the Asian flu of the late ’60s or the Hong Kong flu of the late ’50s. And not even remotely comparable to the Spanish flu of 1918-19. None of those had any discernable effect on the economy or politics. COVID is a trivial medical event but has created a gigantic psychological hysteria.

The virus hysteria is, however, a disaster from Trump’s point of view for several reasons. None of them have anything to do with his “handling” of the virus—apart from the fact that medical issues should be a matter between a patient and his doctor, not bureaucrats and politicians.

First, the virus hysteria is severely limiting the number and size of Trump’s rallies, which he relies on to keep enthusiasm up.

Second, more people are staying at home and watching television than ever before. However, unless they glue their dial to Fox, they’ll gravitate towards the mainstream media, which is stridently anti-Trump. People who are on the fence (and most voters are always in the wishy-washy middle) will mostly hear authoritative-sounding anti-Trump talking heads on television, and they’ll be influenced away from Trump.

Third, older people have by far the heaviest voter turnout, but roughly 80% of the casualties of the virus are elderly. And over 90% of those deaths are related to some other condition. Be that as it may, fear will make older people less likely to vote in this election. The COVID hysteria will still be with us in November. Older people tend to be culturally conservative and are most likely Trumpers.

Fourth, in today’s highly politicized world, the government is supposed to be in charge of everything. Despite the fact there are thousands of viruses, and they’ve been with us thousands of years, this one is blamed on the current government. Boobus americanus will tend to vote accordingly.

2. The Economy

Keeping his voters at home is one thing. But the effects the hysteria is having on the economy are even more important. The effect of COVID on the economy should be trivial since only a small fraction of the relatively few Covid deaths are among people who are economically active.

Presidents always take credit when the economy is good and are berated when it’s bad on their watch, regardless of whether they had anything to do with it. If the economy is still bad in November—and I’ll wager it’s going to be much worse, despite the Fed creating trillions of new dollars, and the government handouts—many people will reflexively vote against Trump.

In February, before the lockdown, there were about 3.2 million people collecting unemployment. Now, there are about 30 million. So it seems we have over 30 million working-age people who are . . . displaced. That doesn’t count part-time workers, who aren’t eligible for unemployment but are no longer working.

The supplementary benefits have ended. If they return, it will be at lower levels. The artificial good times brought on by free money will end too. It will be blamed on the Republicans.

Worse, the public has come to the conclusion that a guaranteed annual income works. This virus hysteria has provided a kind of test for both Universal Basic Income and Modern Monetary Theory—helicopter money. So far, anyway, it seems you really can get something for nothing.

An important note here: Trump—whatever his virtues—is an economic ignoramus. He’s supported both helicopter money and artificially low-interest rates since he’s been in office. But especially now, because he knows it’s all over if today’s financial house of cards collapses on his watch.

I’ll wager that, out of the 160 million work-force Americans, 30 million will still be out of work by voting day. The recognition that the country is in a depression will sink in. The virus hysteria was just the pin—or sledgehammer, perhaps—that broke the bubble. But that’s another story. What’s for sure is that the average American will look for somebody to blame. As things get seriously bad, people will want to change the system itself, as was true in the 1930s.

The only economic bright spot for Trump is the stock market. But it’s at bubble levels. Not because the economy is doing well, but because of the avalanche of money being printed. Where it is in November is a question of how much more money the Fed will print, and how much of it flows into the stock market. Even then, there’s an excellent chance it could collapse between now and the election.

For reasons I’ve detailed in the past, the economy is now entering the trailing edge of a gigantic financial and economic hurricane. The Greater Depression will be much different, longer-lasting, and nastier than the unpleasantness of 1929-1946. And people vote their pocketbook. Bill Clinton was right when he said, “It’s the economy, stupid.” If stocks fall, it will compound this effect. A high stock market just gives the illusion of prosperity. And, at least while stocks are up, contributes to the atmosphere of class warfare. Poor people don’t own stocks.

3. Demographics

Since the gigantic political, economic, and social crisis we’re in will be even more obvious come November, people will want a radical change. Since that—plus lots of free stuff—is what the Democrats are promising, they’re likely to win. But there are other factors.

The last election was close enough, but now, four years later, there are four more cohorts of kids that have gone through high school and college and have been indoctrinated by their uniformly left-wing teachers. They’re going to vote Democrat overwhelmingly.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC), and people like her, are both the current reality and the future of the Democratic Party—and of the US itself. She knows how to capitalize on envy and resentment. The Black Lives Matter and Antifa movements have added the flavor of a race war to the mix. Racial antagonism will become more pronounced as whites lose their majority status over the next 30 years.

Nobody, except for a few libertarians and conservatives, is countering the purposefully destructive ideas AOC represents. But they have a very limited audience and not much of a platform. Arguing for sound money and limited government makes them seem like Old Testament prophets to Millenials. Collectivism and statism are overwhelming the values of individualism and liberty.

It’s exactly the type of thing the Founders tried to guard against by restricting the vote to property owners over 21, going through the Electoral College. Now, welfare recipients who are only 18 can vote, and the Electoral College is toothless.

For the last couple of generations, everybody who’s gone to college has been indoctrinated with leftist ideas. Almost all of the professors hold these ideas—as well as high school and grade school instructors. They place an intellectual patina on top of emotional, fantasy-driven leftist ideas.

When the economy collapses in earnest, everybody will blame capitalism. Because Trump is rich, he’s incorrectly associated with capitalism. The country—especially the young, the poor, and the non-white—will look to the government to “do something.” They see the government as a cornucopia.

A majority of Millennials are in favor of socialism, as are so-called People of Color. By 2050, whites will be a minority in the US. A straw in the wind is that a large majority of the people who commit suicide each year are middle-class white males—essentially, Trump supporters. The demographic handwriting is on the wall. Trump’s election in 2016 was an anomaly. No more than a Last Hurrah.

4. Moral Collapse

There’s now a lot of antagonism toward both free minds and free markets. A majority of Americans appear to actually support BLM, an openly Marxist movement. Forget about free minds—someone might be offended, and you’ll be pilloried by the mob. Forget about free markets—they’re blamed for all the economic problems, even though it’s the lack of them that caused the problem. The idea of capitalism is now considered undefendable.

Widespread dissatisfaction with the system is obviously bad for the Republicans and good for the Democrats, who promote themselves as the party of change.

It used to be pretty simple—the Republicans and the Democrats were just two sides of the same coin, like Tweedledee and Tweedledum. Traditionally, one promoted the warfare state more, the other the welfare state. But it was mostly rhetoric; they were pretty collegial. Now, both the welfare and the warfare state have been accepted as part of the cosmic firmament by both parties. The difference between them is now about cultural issues. Except that polite disagreement has turned into visceral hatred.

The Dems at least stand for some ideas—although they’re all bad ideas. The Republicans have never stood for any principles; they just said the Dems wanted too much socialism, too fast, which is why they were always perceived—correctly—as hypocrites. Antagonism between the right and the left is no longer political or economic—it’s cultural. That’s much more serious…(continues)

AIER: Fed District Court Holds Stay at Home Orders Unconstitutional

AIER has an article on a recent court decision from the federal District of Western Pennsylvania – Federal Court Holds “Stay-at-Home” Orders and Mandatory Business Closures Unconstitutional. The author hopes that the judicial branch is here to finally save people from executive overreach, but there is a way to go before one district court decision spreads across the land.

or six months, Americans in 43 states have lived under unprecedented executive orders restricting freedoms as basic as whether they can work, leave their homes, and expose their faces in public. These mandates are not duly enacted laws — they are orders issued by one of the three branches of government. They constitute a system of one-person rule — something none of us expected could ever happen in the United States — and no one, apart from the 43 newfound state dictators, is sure when it will expire.

Today, after six months of this, a Pennsylvania Federal Court in Butler County v. Wolf reviewed the indefinite “emergency” restrictions imposed by the executive branch of Pennsylvania government, declaring limitations on gathering size, “stay-at-home orders,” and mandatory business closures unconstitutional. Refusing to accept the alleged need for a “new normal,” the Court stated that an “independent judiciary [is needed] to serve as a check on the exercise of emergency government power.”

About time. The Judicial Branch is coming to save us.

The Judicial Branch exists to check Executive authority even in times of emergency.

Abraham Lincoln once said, “Our safety, our liberty, depends upon preserving the Constitution of the United States as our fathers made it inviolate. The people of the United States are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts, not to overthrow the Constitution, but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution.” In 2020, sad to say, there are numerous governors across this nation who have perverted the Constitution — New Jersey’s Phil Murphy even declared its interpretation “above his pay grade” — with unprecedented orders restricting Americans’ rights to peaceably assemble, practice their religions, earn a living, travel freely, engage in commerce, and even manage their own health and exposure to risk. While global pandemics pose challenges for governors — particularly when the population is panicked by a hysterical mass media — entire populations cannot be indefinitely subjected to tyranny and deprived of fundamental rights and liberties. As the Court said today:

“There is no question that our founders abhorred the concept of one-person rule. They decried government by fiat. Absent a robust system of checks and balances, the guarantees of liberty set forth in the Constitution are just ink on parchment.”

We cannot allow our freedom to become “ink on parchment.” Many of our governors seek to do just that — they won’t even designate an endpoint to their “emergency” powers. When does the “emergency” end? This should be easy to say — X number of deaths per million, X number of deaths over X number of weeks — yet they will not say it. They want us to live under the constant threat of house arrest and livelihood deprivation, even though all we ever agreed to was a two-week effort to “flatten the curve.” We never agreed to an indefinite or permanent “new normal,” or to do whatever our wise governor dreams up and declares necessary to “eliminate infections.”

“In times of crisis, even a vigilant public may let down its guard over its constitutional liberties only to find that liberties, once relinquished, are hard to recoup and that restrictions — while expedient in the face of an emergency situation — may persist long after immediate danger has passed.”

Thank you, Judge Stickman, for recognizing our predicament, and for taking the first step towards restoring our freedom today by reminding those with authoritarian leanings that “governors cannot be given carte blanche to disregard the Constitution for as long as the medical problem persists.” The response to an emergency cannot undermine our system of constitutional liberties, or the system of checks and balances protecting those liberties. Liberty before “governor-guaranteed safety” — this is the American way, famously stated by Benjamin Franklin: “Those who would give up essential liberty, to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

“Stay-at-home orders” are so draconian as to be presumptively unconstitutional.

Substantive due process is “a recognition that the government may not infringe upon certain freedoms enjoyed by the people as a component of a system of ordered liberty.” Plaintiffs in Butler County v. Wolf argued that the governor’s “stay-at-home order” violated substantive due process in restricting intrastate travel and freedom of movement in a manner that exceeded legitimate government need and authority. Incredibly, Governor Wolf responded that his stay-at-home orders are “not actually orders at all, but merely recommendations,” and that they are constitutional because they do not “shock the conscience.” I’m willing to bet that Pennsylvania citizens would beg to differ.

In analyzing the constitutionality of “lockdowns,” the Court first traced the origin of the concept to its source — Wuhan, China — and recognized that population-wide lockdowns are “unprecedented in American law.” Even during the Spanish Flu, the deadliest pandemic in history by far, “nothing remotely approximating lockdowns were imposed.” Although the United States has faced many epidemics and pandemics, “there have never previously been lockdowns of entire populations — much less for lengthy and indefinite periods of time.” Quarantines are legally recognized, but refer to the isolation of sick people and those known to have been directly exposed to sick people. They are statutorily limited to the duration of the incubation period of the disease — a period which Governor Wolf’s “lockdown” plainly exceeded.

Not only have lockdowns never been imposed in American history, but they are not even mentioned in recent pandemic management guidance offered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”). In its 2017 guidelines for managing pandemics, the CDC recommends numerous protective measures such as hand washing, limited-duration school closures, and cancellations of mass gatherings, but nothing “even approximating the imposition of statewide (or even community-wide) stay at home orders or the closure of all [‘non-essential’] businesses.” Even for pandemics of “Very High Severity,” the CDC recommends only voluntary isolation of sick persons and their household members. “This is a far, far cry from a statewide lockdown such as the one imposed by [Governor Wolf’s] stay-at-home order.”

The Court speculates that United States lockdowns were imposed due to a “domino effect” instigated by China, a nation “unconstrained by concern for civil liberties and constitutional norms.” In the United States, by contrast, the default concept is liberty of movement. Our government has never before dreamt of implementing mandatory house arrest, no matter the threat — it has always used far less restrictive, voluntary means to manage pandemics, similar to those used by Sweden during COVID19. (Notably, Sweden has lower per-capita mortality for weeks 1-33 of 2020 than it did for weeks 1-33 of 2015 — a far better mortality outcome than heavily locked-down U.S. States such as NJ, NY, and MI).

Ultimately, the Court concludes that lockdowns are so draconian that they are nearly “presumptively unconstitutional”:

“The stay-at-home components of Defendant’s orders were and are unconstitutional. Broad population-wide lockdowns are such a dramatic inversion of the concept of liberty in a free society as to be nearly presumptively unconstitutional unless the government can truly demonstrate that they burden no more liberty than is reasonably necessary to achieve an important government end. The draconian nature of lockdown may render this a high bar, indeed.”

This bears repeating: the burden of proof that “lockdown” is absolutely crucial to achieve a scientifically-substantiated goal rests with the government. The burden does not rest with the people to disprove the necessity of lockdown. Liberty is the default!

Mandatory business closures violate the Fourteenth Amendment’s guarantee that every citizen may support himself in an occupation of his choosing.

Mandatory business closures, like “stay-at-home” orders, are utterly unprecedented in American law. There is not even any historical jurisprudence for the Court to consider in its analysis of the issue — a rare event, indeed…(continues)

WA Examiner: Fox News Silences Gingrinch on District Attorneys Funded by Soros

From Washington Examiner, Fox News panel reprimands Newt Gingrich for mentioning George Soros in discussion about BLM riots

A Fox News panel scolded and cut away from former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich after he linked liberal billionaire George Soros to the violent riots that have caused damage across the country over the last few months.

“The No. 1 problem in almost all the cities is George Soros-elected, left-wing, anti-police, pro-criminal district attorneys who refuse to keep people locked up,” Gingrich said to a panel on Fox News’s Outnumbered on Wednesday. “Both Harris and Biden have talked very proudly about what they call progressive district attorneys. Progressive district attorneys are anti-police, pro-criminal, and overwhelmingly elected with George Soros’s money. And they are a major cause of the violence we are seeing because they keep putting the violent criminals back on the street.”

Host Melissa Francis pushed back immediately, telling Gingrich, “I’m not sure we need to bring George Soros into this.”

“He paid for it,” Gingrich responded, prompting host Marie Harf to defend Francis.

“No he didn’t,” Harf claimed. “I agree with Melissa, George Soros doesn’t need to be part of this conversation.”

“OK?” a puzzled Gingrich said after an awkward silence. “So it’s verboten?”

A longer silent pause then ensued before host Harris Faulkner ended the segment.

“OK, we’re going to move on.”

Soros, a Hungarian-born billionaire and philanthropist, has long been financially tied to both groups and politicians with the same social justice mission as the Black Lives Matter movement. “If we’re going to say ‘black lives matter,’ we need to say ‘black organizations and structures matter,’” Patrick Gaspard, the president of the Soros funded Open Society Foundations said.

In addition to political lobbying, which Soros reportedly spent at least $48 million on in 2019 alone, the 90-year-old with a net worth of roughly $8 billion, has poured tens of millions into political campaigns across the country, specifically in races for district attorney.

Soros supported the campaign of St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner, who released arrested rioters and looters back onto the streets citing lack of evidence in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd on May 25.

Gardner was also involved in the decision to charge a white St. Louis couple with a felony for standing outside their property holding a rifle while Black Lives Matter protesters stormed through a gate and antagonized them.

Soros donated over $100,000 to a super PAC supporting Gardner in July.

“Why are some in the left so afraid of our mentioning George Soros’ name that they scream anti-semitic?” Gingrich tweeted earlier this month. “It IS his name. He IS funding pro-criminal,anti police district attorneys. Why is the left afraid of the facts?”

See also SHTFPlan ALL Of MSM Is In On It! Fox News Host Stops Gingrich From Talking About Soros-Elected DAs

And more on the topic from ZeroHedge “Not Ideal” – Fox Offers Non-Apology To Newt Gingrich After Awkward George Soros Rebuke

And some words from Newt Gingrich himself at The American Mind, The Soros Cover-Up

Bjorn Andreas Bull-Hansen: Civil War Comes to USA – BLM Riots, Trump Biden Election, Coronavirus and Covid-19

Norwegian novelist and bushcrafter Bjorn Andreas Bull-Hansen sees a civil war happening in the US and gives his reasons why, going through a list of factors that he feels are necessary as a foundation to civil war. It’s interesting to see a take from the other side of the ocean; he can see the media/big tech propaganda in the US and laughs about the unreliability of CNN.