Pet Issues and Precedent, Continued

Alan Dershowitz illustrates my concern about the Texas abortion legislation being used as precedent for other issues, in Democratic monopoly states:

Consider this out-of-the-box proposal: Liberal, pro-gun-control states could apply the Texas bounty approach to gun control. New York or Illinois, for example, could declare that gun crime has gotten so serious that the private ownership of most handguns should be deterred. It would be unconstitutional for the state to authorize the criminal prosecution of those who facilitate constitutionally protected gun ownership. But the state could, instead, enact a gun-bounty civil law modeled on the Texas abortion law. It would empower any citizen to sue for $10,000 anyone who facilitates the sale or ownership of handguns.

Gun-ownership advocates would rail against such a law as circumventing Heller, just as abortion advocates are railing against the Texas law as circumventing Roe. But it would be hard for the courts to uphold the civil mechanism of the anti-abortion law without also upholding the identical mechanism in the anti-gun law.

Creating this “shoe on the other foot” challenge would bring home the dangerous implications of the Texas bounty approach which, if not stopped, could undercut the authority of the Supreme Court to enforce other constitutional rights.

Texas could, for example, next apply it to gay marriage — any private citizen could sue anyone who performed or facilitated same-sex marriages — thus circumventing Obergefell v. Hodges. New York could then apply it to Citizens United v. FCC and offer a civil bounty to sue any media outlet that ran corporate political ads. Any state could simply target any Supreme Court precedent it doesn’t like and deter its enforcement by authorizing citizens who oppose it to sue. This would empower every state to effectively overrule Supreme Court decisions, as some southern states unsuccessfully tried to do following Brown v Board of Education in 1954.

Apparently, I’m a Domestic Terrorist. Sweet!

Earlier this year, the anti-Civil Rights group “Coalition to Stop Gun Violence” issued a press release in support of Terry McAuliffe’s run [again] for Governor of my adopted state of Virginia.

In this now deleted release [the internet is forever geniuses], they rail against the GOP challenger [who doesn’t really seem to stand for anything, based on his TV ads] by stating:

“His willingness to say anything for a vote is deeply troubling, as we’ve already seen him cozying up to those with deep ties to those at the forefront of the insurrectionist movement, like Senator Amanda Chase and the domestic terror organization, the Virginia Citizens Defense League.”

As a member in good standing of said Virginia Citizen’s Defense League, apparently that makes me a domestic terrorist. Knowing the source, I guess I’ll wear that label with some amount of pride.

Honestly, I’m more upset at being implicated in the same sentence as batshit crazy Amanda Chase.

Pet Issues and Precedent

I’m watching in fascination, both the various legal analyses of the newly implemented Texas abortion law….and the even newer pursuit of one-upsmanship on the part of a couple of other states.

Whether it’s the Left on issues like gun control or the Right with abortion……one wonders if they ever stop to calculate the second and third order effects……as well as the very real fact that their legal victories…..can serve as precedent when tables are turned, or in jurisdictions where they aren’t in the majority.

To this end, an OpEd in the WSJ notes:

“This one delegates exclusive enforcement to private citizens, who are authorized to sue anyone who “aids or abets” an abortion after six weeks. Citizens who prevail in their civil lawsuits are entitled to at least $10,000 per abortion along with legal costs.”

The law sets an awful precedent that conservatives should hate. Could California allow private citizens to sue individuals for hate speech? Or New York deputize private lawsuits against gun owners? Texas argues that abortion providers don’t have standing to challenge the law because the state isn’t enforcing it and neither at this point is any private citizen. Thus there is no case or controversy, which is what courts are supposed to settle. This is technically correct and it is why the five Justices declined to enjoin the law.

The entire article is behind a paywall, but this and another snippet can be found here.

I have little doubt that this law will be struck down, not because it effectively skirts settled law, but for the manner in which it does…..and the horrible precedent it sets. Snitch lines/website? Blanket legal standing for unaffected Citizens to sue?

This is a dangerous road that political myopia built.

Reasons Why I Carry – Example#….OK, I Lost Count

“I’m going in there with 20 strong men, I’m going to speak to the school board and I’m going to give them an option. They can leave or they can be removed ” said Steve Lynch who is running for PA Governor, “Make men men again”, he said during Freedom Rally today.

And….

At protest in Santa Monica today before the vote on mask-mandate, Jason Lefkowitz has the home addresses of each LA City Council member on his sign. He says they are going to the homes of whoever votes for it, and if it passes, it’s “civil war, get your guns.” From @chadloder

Soon is coming the time for patriots to grab muskets from over the mantle, secure shot and ball, and prepare to defend our nation from the Cult of the Unmitigated Asshole. Those self-aggrandized snowflakes who allow their impotent rage to convince them that they’re victims because of <insert baseless reason here>.

A reckoning is indeed coming, but they mistakenly reckon that the cause of Patriots is on their side.

They will be proven wrong.

The Absolute Absurdity that is MTG *Updated*

We don’t need the daily does of Trumpy-thought directly from the source anymore…..there are minions who have stepped into that role nicely. Prolific among them, is one Marjorie Taylor Greene, who today proffered the following statement:

“Do you want to know why you are at home right now being overwhelmed with the news, overwhelmed that the Pfizer vaccine has been FDA approved early?”…….”It was supposed to be approved after Labor Day but magically is being approved today because President Joe Biden said to speed it up. Speed it up.”

Not “I think” or “I believe”….or “it’s possible”. But a bold, definitive statement claiming an action by another. Now, if she had some….any….proof, she would have offered that as evidence. But, alas….she did not, because she does not.

Allow me to play devils advocate for a moment and employ a sad, lazy crutch….just for funsies: “Marjorie Taylor Greene is a liar” – Prove Me Wrong.

Yeah, I still don’t get the fetish with that.

Update: The perpetual motion idiot machine that she is, now decides that since Kamala Harris hasn’t personally flown over to Afghanistan (because that security nightmare would make things better), that she should be impeached…..also. Because….. reasons? Idiocy….yeah.

Gilbert and Sullivan Come to Afghanistan

Having several conversations online with multiple people of differing perspectives and ideologies, regarding Afghanistan….one theme has struck me as consistent: Most Americans don’t really understand the factors of our involvement [from invasion to regime change to nation building to peace negotiations to withdrawal]. Most have no knowledge of Divestment and Foreign Military Sales [much of the reason behind the boon of armaments that the Taliban found in their lap]; or the tribal/clan culture in the region [not necessarily the nation] of Afghanistan; or the tactical and operational considerations behind our actions, for better or for worse.

Part of this can be easily explained away…..our media [both Left and Right oriented] do a consistently abysmal job of education our society on that which our government and military does in it’s name. But the blame shouldn’t just lie there. There are plenty of sources to dive into, to gain a comprehensive understanding, from the layman’s point of view. And plenty of Veterans to query. It takes a bare modicum of effort to increase one’s knowledge on a given topic these days.

But, as to be expected, political narratives usually win the day….exemplified in the photo meme I posted the other day. Sad, but not unexpected.

Over at the Unz Report, there’s a long comparative article, illustrating both Saigon and Kabul, and our social view of overseas military engagements. I’ve left out the Vietnam analysis as not being strictly germane to the current issue, but am posting the following, as I think it’s pretty insightful.

America invaded a country of another race, utterly different culture, practicing religions GIs had never heard of, speaking a language virtually no Americans spoke, a country exceedingly sick of being invaded by foreigners, most of them white. in Afghanistan the designated evil was terrorism, in in Viet Nam communism, but the choice of evils doesn’t matter. You have to tell the rubes at home something noble sounding.

Then the Americans did as they always do, training the ARVN, the Army of the Republic of Vietnam, to fight the communists to impose democracy, which the Viets had not asked them to do. But when you ask some Viets (Bodes, Laos, Iraqis, Afghans) to fight other Viets (Bodes, etc.) to kill their own people for the benefit of the invaders, they are not greatly charmed. With a predictability that makes sunrise seem chancy, they desert, fight lackadaisically, with officers charging the US pay for soldiers who do not exist, and probably go over to the other side en masse when the collapse comes. Which latter the Afghan army just did. Duh, as the kids say.

The speed of the Taliban advance took Americans by surprise because officers are liars and had been hiding the deplorable state of the “Afghan” army, its numbers, morale, degree of training, and phenomenal rates of desertion. Often the American officer corps thinks that if it can just have a little more time, they can win, so lying is a part of the war effort. Biden bought into this, announcing that the Afghan army vastly outnumbered the Taliban and was better armed and trained and the insurgents couldn’t possibly do what they proceeded to do.

Another reason is that the American style of war recruits its enemies. Soldiers are not the Boy Scout defenders of civilization that so many like to imagine. They kill a lot of civilians, many tens of thousands in the bombing of cities such as Baghdad and Hanoi. Ground troops come to detest the natives whom they designate gooks, zipperheads, sand niggers, camel jockeys, and the like. They commit war crimes that, when discovered, are called “isolated incidents,” when in fact they are common.

Fragmentation bombs produce such things as a little girl crying with her belly torn open and intestines falling out while her mother goes stark raving bugfuck mad watching her daughter bleed to death and she can do nothing about it. But it is for democracy and American values, and anyway the ragheads breed like flies, and besides, CNN won’t air it. Today drone strikes hit weddings and other gatherings. When you kill people in a village, the young men join the insurgents, wanting revenge. When a few thousands were killed in Nine-Eleven, Americans exploded in rage. Three thousand is a small fraction of the numbers killed in, say, the attack on Baghdad. The Iraqi soldiers killed in a hopeless attempt to defeat the Americans were sons, fathers, husbands, brothers of other Iraqis. How much love do we think it engendered in Iraqis? This seems not to occur to Washington.

Militaries at bottom are amoral. Afghans know of the torture operations at Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib. Americans seem to dismiss such things as minor. They are not. Afghans seeing Moslems lying in pools of blood at Abu Ghraib, or being paraded around naked in hoods, are going to want to kill someone. Guess who.

American wars last a long time because no one has an incentive to end them. American casualties are low, especially now with the killing mostly done from the air against peasants with no defenses. No important American ever gets killed. American wars are all class wars, with the dying being done by blue-collar suckers from Kansas or the deep South, not by Bush II, Hillary, the other Clinton, Bolton, Bannon, Obama, Blinken, Biden, Cheney, Kamala, Trump, and the rest of those not required to fight. The US public has little idea of what goes on in its wars because the corporate media hide them. the Pentagon having learned that the media are their worst enemy, not the Taliban. It would not surprise me if one unfettered camera crew, filming the corpses and mutilated children and devastation, could force an end to such a war.

Americans are not heartless but calculatedly uninformed. Wars are also extremely profitable for those who provide the bombs, fuel, vehicles, and so on. If the US loses a war, the contracts stop, and equally if it wins. Keeping it going for decades provides a steady revenue stream. What’s not to like?

Finally, or as much as I am going to worry about, there is the 1955 Syndrome, the engrained belief that America is all powerful. This is arrogance and self-delusion. In the Pentagon you encounter a mandatory can-do attitude a belief that the US military is indomitable, the best trained, armed, and led force in this or any nearby galaxy. In one sense this is necessary: You can’t tell the Marines that they are mediocre light infantry or sailors that their aircraft are rapidly obsolescing, their ships sitting ducks in a changing military world, and that the whole military enterprise is rotted by social engineering, profiteering, and careerism.

But look around: The US has failed to intimidate North Korea, chase the Chinese out of its islands in the South China Sea, retrieve the Crimea from Russia, can’t intimidate Iran, just got run out of Afghanistan, remains mired in Iraq and Syria, failed to block Nordstream II despite a desperate effort, and couldn’t keep Turkey from buying the S-400. The Pentagon plans for the wars it wants to fight, not the wars it does fight. The most dangerous weapons of the modern world are not nukes, but the Ak-47, the RPG, and the IED. Figure it out.

And now the US comes home, leaving Afghanistan in ruins for decades. Use and discard.

*Post title from the sub-title of the linked article

What’s the Deal with the “Prove Me Wrong” Schtick?

I’ve observed a recent addition to the lexicon of right-wing bloggers – the stating of an opinion, followed by “prove me wrong“.

I’m fascinated by social norms and rhetorical devices which have have no value added. With regard to social norms, my all-time favorite is the reflexive need for many people to say “bless you/god bless you” after someone sneezes. This is often employed even by the decidedly non-religious. There’s no reason for it, and no value added…yet it persists.

Likewise for the “prove me wrong” exhortation after stating an opinion. In most cases [in my experience] this rhetorical device is employed by those who don’t actually desire to engage in reasonable discourse….but rather seems to be merely a middle finger to any who would disagree with what are [again, in my opinion] mostly specious, baseless and simplistically subjective statements.

Further, they are most often found [again, by me] in echo chambers of like-minded bloggers/commenters. So…..to what end? What value added? Bolstering the writers self esteem? I would love to know the thought process behind it’s use.

Biden Endorses Right-Wing Gun Position

So, Biden hypes a ‘massive’ effort to curb violent crime and crime involving firearms yesterday. After careful review of his statements….they can be summed up as…….actually enforcing existing gun laws. A position that the political Right has long advocated for. My, what courage……

Now, being the uncompliant and obstinate Libertarian that I am, I believe that nearly every firearm prohibition should be removed, beginning with the abysmal NFA.

P.S. – In another ironic tidbit….many GOP elected representatives – after having voted against a commission to illuminate the events behind the Jan 6th insurrection – are now calling for that very event, having bought into the specious allegation that the FBI coordinated and enabled the event; which was carried out by Trump cultists.

Wow, I actually agree with Cultist MTG

Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) on Thursday introduce House Resolution 3960, known as the “Brian A. Terry Memorial Eliminate the ATF Act.…

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene Introduces a Bill to Abolish The ATF

Of course, this position against an unconstitutional agency notwithstanding, she’s still a perfidious piece of shit cultist. And the bill will go absolutely nowhere, but good on her for trying anyway. This bill wouldn’t have passed when the last Administration held the White House and both houses of Congress…….