20200529

I'd have to rate local police support as 'questionable' or 'disloyal'

Riots in Minneapolis, shots fired outside Capitol in Denver, Phoenix cops warning pedestrians out of certain areas, and the Ohio Capitol being overrun.

Reminds me of my days as a Physical Security Officer for my alma mater.  In accordance with AR 190-13, I had to be briefed by the State intel guys about the reliability and effectiveness of local police departments, in case I needed their diligence to protect our modest arms room of 22 sidearms and so many (few?) rounds of 9mm ball for each. 

If intel thought the local constabulary had a good handle on local threats, and could respond to them if they showed a hankering for my unit's 22 Berettas, I could rate them as a 5 or better, and didn't have to work so hard with other measures to protect them. 

I can think of four cities where the rating would have to be 1 or 2, and arms rooms should be issuing those sidearms instead of keeping them locked up, because the only thing to make sure those pieces didn't fall into the hands of gang bangers were my own frigging Soldiers and Airmen. 

In related news, I commented over at Instapundit that the Left's boogaloo is underway.  I failed to note that the only thing missing was AntiFa.  I'm reluctant to ever again say or even think, 'Damn, they've been strangely quiet.'

20200415

Elections are sortition, in a limited government

'Sortition' is proposed as a better way than elections to choose government officials, who will then make critical, less-critical, decisions for the entire government.
Some political theorists and others have long argued that we should at least partially replace conventional democratic elections with decision-making through "sortition"—using randomly selected groups of voters to either elect government officials or make at least some types of policy decisions directly.
Our Founders already addressed this, building on our inheritance of English law.  They determined that most decisions affecting Americans' daily lives would be taken by, um, Americans, not a monarch.

Some decisions have to be taken collectively.  We empower a government, in fact several governments at different scales, each accountable in some way to the people governed by them, but empowered to take certain actions in only certain matters.

We also empanel randomly-selected juries to make very specific determinations: guilt of a specific charged individual for a specific crime.  One could dispute how well that random selection is working, and what constitutes a 'peer,' but there that is.

Yet sortition proponents suggest that a model nation-state use it to select its chief executive:
If, for example, ... they were part of a carefully chosen (albeit random) group of, say, 2000 Americans, to pick the next president, and if in addition there were "hearings" at which the candidates would speak and be subject to careful cross-examination concerning their views, there is every reason to trust that the choice would be well within the "margins of error" . . .
Academic study of the virtues and disadvantages of sortition versus election assumes that government officials are routinely making decisions of nation-state scale and importance, and by golly if we've elected a Bad Orange Man---or a community organizer groomed by the corrupt Chicago political machine---that constitutes an error with a wider margin than we sober contemplative folk can accept.  You in Flyover Country have to concede you're not very good at this.  Let's instead select better people to make these world-shaking decisions for us all, using a process less dependent on name-recognition, and the fund-raising necessary to achieve it, to select them . . . .

. . .instead of leaving more of those decisions, and allocations of resources, to individuals or to emergent orders arising among individuals. 

The posters being law professors and perhaps political scientists, it's not surprising that the solution they propose sounds a lot like a university's search committee.

Of course thumbs will be pressed on the scales:  who will be carefully chosen, how to disqualify members on what criteria after having been chosen, how the "hearings" are conducted, who cross-examines, which questions are out of bounds, how to strike sustained objections from the record but not from the memories of the empaneled.  The thumbs will never be held accountable.  Who chooses the thumbs? 
 . . what might be termed a certain kind of "fetishism" that views our standard reliance on certain forms of election as the one true way of selecting leaders in a "representative democracy…."
Arguments for sortition are to me a fetishization of the powers of government, much like fetishization of socialism, or of universities.  If only the right people were put in charge.

20200319

as a blizzard moves into SE Wyoming . . .

TWTR is bouncing between $22 and $23 a share.

We'll have a whole new generation of preppers, now that toilet-paper hysteria has shifted into shelf-life staples, generators, and chest freezers.  And a new subpopulation of gun owners.

Downside: one older fellow at Big Box yesterday was prying his debit card out of his wallet.  He licked his thumb to get more traction on the card, then showed it into the pinpad.  The manager was initially resistant to my idea of using a marked-down pressure washer to decon all the shopping carts, but maybe is warming to it.  The pinpads won't tolerate that treatment. 

Maybe UV will kill everything on cash.  Wouldn't be hard to rig a UV diode and biscuit fan in the tills to handle that long-term. 

The Rock Chucker is back from depot overhaul with a few new parts and fresh lube, and a brand new primer catcher.

Not too happy with the FedGov eager to print a few more trillion to bail out people who are close to the edge from market tumbles---plus airlines and cruise lines---but you go with the FDR you have and thank G-d the Wilsonians are writing off the BernieBros and breaking their backs (or their SKEDCO) dragging Sundown Joe to the finish line.  Hillary is the chest-buster inside Joe, as Kurt Schlichter puts it, and she was with the Donkeys all the way. 

Trump is signing the package he can get out of a dysfunctional Congress.  That's where the work must be done.  CDC deserves a good spanking and a mass depopulation after we find that They Had Only One Job and they weren't ready for it. 


20200314

it's time to buy when blood is flowing in the streets (updated)

 . . . a wise fellow once said.

Gun Lobby:  

TWTR is loitering around $[correction: 29]. For the price of one box of premium cartridges for your carry piece, you can own a piece of the Left.

Then give your proxy to Neal Knox's son, or to Elliott Management.

I'm watching. Update:  Monday morning, it's around $26. 

20200313

today's panic buying, 20200311

Big Box Home Improvement Retail Operation put about 8 cases of a spray disinfectant on prominent display, at regular price. 

It began disappearing 2, then 6, cans at a time.  BTW we were notching off calls and requests for toilet paper.  By closing, we had about 70. 

Then one female customer loaded the entire remaining stock of disinfectant---maybe 3 cases---can by can into her cart and approached the cashier next to me. 

The partner was appalled.  "You know you're just hoarding this.  Other people might need some."

(HQ has taken the position that we'll not put limits on any product under these circumstances because it might signal panic or elicit complaints of price-gouging.)

The customer's simple reply:  "I don't care." 

Our partner needed some calming down.  We couldn't offer it.  We admit, we've never been good at that.  We also regard price as a signal, communication that must not be impaired, as sacrosanct as the freedom of speech.  My employer should consider pricing products according to shifts in supply and demand.  Such a shift has been staring us in the face, and if we don't respond to it, our suppliers surely will.  This alone ill-equips us to calm down our distressed partner watching the opportunism of human nature. 

Instead I told her about Gray Goose Nan's attempt to undermine the Hyde Amendment in the Federal coronavirus spending bill. 

Say what you will about the argued right to abortion, but the people have spoken that they do not approve of Federal funding for it, and when we discuss Federal funding for elective medical procedures, we're not talking about rights. 

20200312

Joe Huffman asks:

It really is a states issue to bring the Feds back in line with the Constitution [on individual firearm rights]. But it’s going to take more than one state to do it. I wouldn’t be surprised if it requires a constitutional convention of the states. And that gets us into scary territory. The second best approach I see is the sanctuary movement and related activities.
 Firearms Freedom Acts.  Enforced vigorously by the States.

20200311

Roundup

We find that, sadly, we did not coin the hashtag #SundownJoe .  Somebody else on Twtr coined it about 24 hours before we tried to.  Meanwhile,



Commenting at Volokh:
“The court system should seek ways to shrink the cost of ending a failed marriage.”
Let’s not concede this too hastily. The costs of ending a marriage, failed or not, fall mostly on the rest of society, not on the two former spouses . .

A discussion on Instapundit regarding earlier action against rapid spread of a communicable disease, versus its consequences to businesses:
I'm old enough to remember when economics was taught to be a science wherein it is impossible to conduct experiments ('the dismal science'), so we had to test our models through study of real-world events. Well, here we have a few, regarding mobility of labor and/or capital, and nation-states, with varying levels of trust in their institutions, acting in various ways to prevent potential collapse. Let's pay attention and watch, say, Mercatus Center tease out the conclusions.