1. 1

    Excerpt from New York state law, Section 400:

    Applications shall be made and renewed, in the case of a license to carry or possess a pistol or revolver, to the licensing officer in the city or county, as the case may be, where the applicant resides… Before a license is issued or renewed, there shall be an investigation of all statements required in the application by the duly constituted police authorities of the locality where such application is made, including but not limited to such records as may be accessible to the division of state police or division of criminal justice services pursuant to section 400.02 of this article… Applications for licenses shall be accepted for processing by the licensing officer at the time of presentment. Except upon written notice to the applicant specifically stating the reasons for any delay, in each case the licensing officer shall act upon any application for a license pursuant to this section within six months of the date of presentment of such an application to the appropriate authority…

    A license [to own a handgun] may be revoked and cancelled… by any judge or justice of a court of record; a license issued pursuant to section 400.01 of this article may be revoked and cancelled at any time by the licensing officer or any judge or justice of a court of record. The official revoking a license shall give written notice thereof without unnecessary delay to the executive department, division of state police, Albany, and shall also notify immediately the duly constituted police authorities of the locality.

    1. 2

      That story scares the hell out of me.

      1. 1

        That story scares the hell out of me.

        As it should! A story like this should be plastered on the cover of Time magazine. But it’s not.

        It reminds me of Rod Dreher’s excellent and disturbing essay about the Catholic Jesuit magazine “America” trying to rehab Communism. Dreher didn’t go into theology or the theory of Communism. Instead he showed how Communism directly hurt people, real people, identifiable people, with photos. Some did not survive the encounter.

        This works better than a policy analysis (of Medicare or Communism) that nobody will ever read. When Rod Dreher is right, he’s very, very right.

      1. 1

        Excerpt:

        This cheap money is rewarding asset holders more than wage earners (particularly asset-lite or asset-less young adults who comprise the childbearing population). These policies of inflating asset prices are rewarding elderly and institutions who own the bulk of assets over the young adults who are being penalized with record rents, home prices, insurance, medical costs, day care costs, and student loans, etc.. All this is further delaying marriage and family formation and only pushing fertility rates toward the low variant. The global population is set to peak far sooner and more dramatically than the UN’s current 2100’ish date.

        I don’t see anything obviously incorrect in the above excerpt. It reminds me a little of the happy times when your house value goes up and up and up as the bubbles froth and the froth bubbles: you can borrow more, you can spend more. All is well–until the crash happens.

        If the carnage is international, and not limited only to this country, then things could get pretty bad.

          1. 1

            And Kamala Harris is the favorite to win the Democratic nomination, according to the Betfair.com betting market.

            I somehow get the impression you’re not a fan of the junior senator from California, who praised Rep. Swalwell’s (remember him?) mandatory gun buyback as a “great” idea, and promised to “take executive action” if Congress doesn’t.

            But how much of this is familiarity with her record because you’re in California? Would Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden, or Cory Booker be any better in terms of policies? Or honesty? Remember Biden telling his audience that Mitt Romney would “put you all back in chains?”

            1. 1

              Here’s the text of Matt Drudge’s 1998 speech: https://americanrhetoric.com/speeches/mattdrugdenationalpressclub.htm

              It holds up well 21 years later. Though at the time, the legacy media (#mediajackals!) used to try to ignore dissident conservative/libertarian online media. This has changed. It took a while, but they now have some helpful allies in this campaign against dissident voices.

                1. 2

                  I remember NPR analyst Juan Williams, all the way back in 2010, saying that the Gadsden flag is “the same imagery that was on Timothy McVeigh.”

                  My guess is that some folks (#mediajackals alert!) simply don’t like the message. So suitable complaints will be manufactured.

                  1. 1

                    I wonder if we need an animal rights tag? My inclination is to wait and see if one is truly necessary…

                    1. 1

                      There seems to be a bit of denial here. From the article:

                      “I am frankly tired of hearing how people in the state of California are leaving,” Sen. [Hannah-Beth Jackson] said. Jackson added that when people are stuck in legendary traffic on the 405 in Los Angeles, or on the 101 in Santa Barbara County, “people aren’t leaving the state. They are going from place to place.”

                      State senator Jackson is a Democrat representing the area near Santa Barbara. She is a lawyer and former California government employee (as a prosector). Her official bio says:

                      During her time in the Legislature, Hannah-Beth has become known as an effective advocate for protecting the rights and privacy of Californians, protecting the environment, advancing legislation to reduce gun violence, supporting access to justice for all Californians, championing equality for women, advocating for commuter rail, improving access to early childhood education, and supporting veterans and veterans treatment courts, among other issues. She is the author of Senate Bill 358, the California Fair Pay Act… she helped establish Women Against Gun Violence…

                      Now that’s all very well and good if you’re State Senator Jackson. It certainly makes for good resume material. But have her accomplishments made it easier or harder for, say, young parents to buy houses? Have they expanded or circumscribed religious freedom? How many workers in, say, the central valley are helped by “advocating for commuter rail?” Does “protecting the rights” of Californians include protecting their rights to keep and bear arms? How about voting for tax reform, so California no longer ranks #50 of #50 for highest tax burden?

                      I don’t mean to pick on State senator Jackson. She seems to be an able advocate for her point of view. But she has earned a 0 rating from the Chamber of Commerce, and multiplied by the 120-or-so members of the state legislature, you can see why many Californians may choose to leave.

                      Or companies may choose not to start in California at all. I’m reminded of what investor Balaji S. Srinivasan said last week: “Choosing San Francisco in 2020 is like choosing Java in 2010. You can do it, you might even be able to build a great company with it, but it’s a legacy choice.”

                      1. 2

                        There is another observation to be made from this article. When we look at the erosion of a particular right, the first objective by the opponents of the right is to make exercise of the right subject to public disproval.

                        This is especially true if an outright ban would be difficult. Notice that in the gun culture, people will go to extraordinary lengths to not end up on a list. Strong proponents of the 2nd Amendment won’t join the NRA. They will look for ways to avoid registering guns, or outright defy being placed on a list of assault weapon owners. Smokers are banished to the outdoors (personally I don’t mind this, but it should be up to the property owner.) I’m sure there are other examples.

                        And now we have educated, well-paid, American workers, afraid to join Republican clubs at their work out of fear that they will not get that next promotion or raise, or worse, get fired.

                        One thing that data technology has accomplished very well is the sorting of people and things into categories. There is a Kafka story in there somewhere about a social justice warrior who, due to a dropped decimal point, is categorized as a white, hetero-sexual, conservative, meat-eating hunter whose life gets turned upside down.

                        1. 1

                          This is sad but true.

                          I imagine employees of Certain Large Technology Companies That Shall Remain Unnamed who joined any Republicans@TechCo mailing list may be a bit nervous right about now, in this post-Damore era. It’s not just James Damore: there’s also the Pinterest engineer (now former Pinterest engineer) and Google engineer Mike Wacker (now former Google engineer Mike Wacker) as examples.

                          At the very least, HR and ideological enemies of Republicans are probably lurking on those Republicans@TechCo mailing lists looking for excuses to act. (Which, given that engineers are savvy about these things, will lead to discussions taking place on private servers on non-company owned devices…)

                          This doesn’t say much about the state of tolerance in Silicon Valley today.

                          Worse, it will lead to more polarization inside the workplace. If, say, 40% of employees are publicly conservative, and 60% of employees are publicly left-leaning, the majority might be inclined to recognize that their colleagues can’t all be bad people, are unlikely to all actually be Nazis, etc. There might be some honest discussions and common ground found over drinks after work. Maybe, optimistically, there might even be tolerance for different points of view.

                          But if 60% of employees are publicly left-leaning, and only 2% of employees are publicly conservative, and the rest just remain quiet, the majority might be less inclined to actually have discussions and more likely to wield their power. Maybe I’m not phrasing this very well, but there seems to be an unfortunate trend here, which I suspect will not end well.

                        1. 1

                          This is run-of-the-mill stuff. I was hoping for more given the article’s headline.

                          If company X has a perceived scandal that’s in the news, a senator is probably going to ask a company X representative about it if company X shows up at a hearing that week. This happens every day. I’ve seen this firsthand at dozens of hearings.

                          It would be more newsworthy if it didn’t happen. It’s not unique to Silicon Valley.

                          1. 1

                            Physician, heal thyself?

                            The linked article says:

                            According to its 2018 Stress in America survey, 62 percent of Americans say the current political climate is “a significant stressor” for them; more than two-thirds say the nation’s future is stressing them out—a “significant increase” from 2017…

                            My guess is that a lot of those 62 percent could be Trump voters who also find the current political climate to be “a significant stressor,” given the state of the culture wars, the constant investigations into the White House’s alleged perfidy, etc. Of course we could work together as a society to find ways to de-escalate political tensions, to learn to live and let live, to tolerate views that are different from ours, to devolve power from the federal government, to not turn so many things into federal cases…

                            Nah, that’s crazy talk. Guess things will just keep getting worse!

                            1. 2

                              I don’t know how stressed Trump supporters are at the moment but that could change with the election of President Warren/Harris.

                              1. 1

                                Yup. If that happens, I predict gun manufacturers reporting their best three months of sales in a generation or more…

                            1. 1

                              These are good and worthwhile questions to ask.

                              I can understand open borders advocates who say “abolish the welfare state, then have open borders.” I’m not saying I necessarily agree or that I’ve even thought through all of the implications, but I do think that it hangs together as a coherent argument.

                              What I don’t understand is the logic chain in “the open borders right now!” arguments. But they seem to be pretty common among think tank and academic types:

                              Forget the Wall Already, It’s Time for the U.S. to Have Open Borders https://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/forget-wall-already-its-time-us-have-open-borders

                              The Jewish Case for Open Borders https://jewishcurrents.org/the-jewish-case-for-open-borders/

                              There Is a Strong Case for Open Borders https://fee.org/articles/there-is-a-strong-case-for-open-borders/

                              Open Borders: In Defense of Free Movement https://www2.hawaii.edu/~reecej/Open%20Borders.html

                              I do think there’s a bit of language mismatch. Nobody I’m aware of is in favor of closed borders, or even uses the term: that seems to mean that nobody can enter or exit the country (or perhaps only U.S. citizens can exit and reenter). So the debate is not between open border advocates vs. closed border advocates. It’s between open borders advocates vs. controlled border advocates. (There may be a better term than this.)

                              1. 2

                                All good points. What annoys me is that everybody in this debate is too busy name-calling to discuss the hard questions.

                                1. 1

                                  One reason (this is just speculation) is that effective border enforcement has been off-limits is because it has been viewed as politically incorrect to discuss what you call “hard questions.” You might get called a racist or worse.

                                  My hunch is that this changed when President Trump took office, and Brexit may have helped as well. Right now, for instance, the first National Conservatism conference is taking place in DC with an agenda showing speakers talking about greater immigration restrictions on assimilation and economic grounds.

                                  I remember Bernie Sanders saying in an interview in 2015: “Open borders? That’s a Koch brothers proposal!” He went on to add something to the effect that right-wingers would love to import cheap labor to work at $2-$3 an hour. Open borders, he said, means the nation-state could not exist.

                                  I wonder if Bernie would say the same thing today.

                              1. 2

                                Maureen has to regret giving Trump cover in this piece. Nyet?

                                1. 1

                                  Hmm. The column was published on Saturday so probably written on Friday. That was before President Trump’s tweets on Saturday including: “These places need your help badly, you can’t leave fast enough. I’m sure that Nancy Pelosi would be very happy to quickly work out free travel arrangements!”

                                  I think you gotta write what you have with the deadline you’re given. It would be interesting to see if Maureen Dowd returns to this topic in her next column (personally, I would).

                                  1. 2

                                    Especially love this line: “A.O.C. should consider the possibility that people who disagree with her do not disagree with her color.” Beautiful defense of Trump, even before Trump said some dumb stuff that needed defending.

                                1. 1

                                  So I’ve just been informed that Murphy is from Connecticut. My bad.

                                  1. 1

                                    Yup. For better for worse, the Free State Project in New Hampshire isn’t responsible for this particular anti-gun politician remaining in office…

                                    1. 1

                                      For some reason I complete missed that Murphy was from CT, not NH. Still CT was full of patriots at one time.

                                  1. 1

                                    Here’s some more background from this article, below. It sounds like Walmart is OK with selling firearms in New Mexico (at least shotguns and rifles that aren’t black and scary).

                                    But they don’t want to have to deal with being an intermediary for private party sales. So they stopped selling firearms. Now, the new state law could have been written in a way that let firearm dealers choose whether or not they wanted to handle private party transfers. It was not. So fewer guns will be sold. Which seems to be precisely the point.

                                    Currently, Walmart stores conduct federally-mandated background checks when they sell hunting rifles and shotguns. Under the new law, the big-box retailer would have to facilitate background checks for people without federal licenses, including the sale of handguns and modern sporting rifles, such as AR-15s. So Walmart is getting out of the gun business in New Mexico.

                                    Walmart Communications Director Tiffany Wilson said complying with the new background check laws would pose “a safety issue for both our associates and our customers.”

                                    “The new law would require our associates to handle — and potentially store — handguns and modern sporting rifles, which are the kinds of firearms we don’t sell,” Wilson told InsideSources. “And because we don’t sell those types of firearms our associates are not trained to handle them or render them safe. So, if someone walked into the store, for example, with an AR-15 or a handgun, it just poses a safety risk to them.”

                                    Wilson said the appearance of firearms also could spook customers.

                                    “We are a retailer of lots of different types of merchandise … and our customers aren’t used to seeing other customers coming into a store with firearms — especially multiple firearms, potentially — and it could be confusing,” she said.

                                    “Our sporting goods section is typically located in the back of the store and there are multiple entrances to our stores,” Wilson said. “So someone could come through the garden center, through the pharmacy area, through groceries — potentially pushing a cartful of firearms…

                                    1. 1

                                      This seems to be the final version of the New Mexico bill, SB 8, which took effect on July 1: https://nmlegis.gov/Sessions/19%20Regular/final/SB0008.pdf

                                      Legislative history of SB 8: https://nmlegis.gov/Legislation/Legislation?Chamber=S&LegType=B&LegNo=8&year=19

                                      The primary impact seems to be that private party sales (except family, law enforcement) are banned. But the odd thing is that SB 8 doesn’t seem to change much, if anything, from the perspective of a firearm retailer.

                                      Am I missing something? Or is there another separate law that also took effect July 1?

                                      1. 2

                                        You’re not missing anything. But the ideas that ”commerce” should only take place in government approved stores is an idea worthy of being discredited, every bit as much as nonsense gun control measures.

                                      1. 1

                                        Good point. A few thoughts:

                                        • Party discipline is weaker now than in recent memory. This is probably due to interest groups, SuperPACs, and mainstream media (#mediajackals!). Also direct primaries vs. party bosses picking candidates.

                                        • Rep. Pelosi has 2.6M followers on Twitter; Rep. Ocasio-Cortez has 4.6M, accumulated over a much briefer period of time. Rep. Ocasio-Cortez can bypass the party and appeal directly to her base, which is probably national, not local.

                                        • It’s a long way to November 2020, but Sen. Kamala Harris seems to be her party’s frontrunner. The Senate is currently 53-47. If she wins the presidency, the Democrats would need to gain three seats to retake control (because they’d have the VP). Let’s say the Dems pick up Colorado, Maine, and Arizona.

                                        If the Democrats have the House, Senate, White House, and a SCOTUS chief justice willing to cough up creative 5-4 rulings when necessary, how does your scenario play out?

                                        1. 1

                                          Not well. Scenario #1 - DEMs win the political branches of Federal Gov’t fair and square, without a hint of voter fraud. This means that the founding principles of this country are no longer important to the voters. (Nor to the people who aren’t bothering to vote.) Liberty will take a holiday and America will get an up close look at a 21st Century version of the French Revolution.

                                          Scenario #2 — DEMs win, but with significant evidence of voter fraud and election tampering. (This tactic is, after all, from their playbook.) The militant normals don’t accept the results, but with #mediajackals supporting them, DEMs will rush through “emergency” legislation to impose their version of order. Schumer - Senate Majority Leader AOC - Speaker of the House Filibuster - dead. SCOTUS - 8 new justices. Eric Swalwell - Director BATFE. Kamala Harris - Director FBI. Borders - Open Healthcare - Nationalized Regional Crisis (Temporary) Management Districts created. NY’s Gov. Cuomo heads N.E., Mayor DeBlasio heads mid-Atlantic, Stacy Abrams heads S.E., CA.s Gavin Newsom heads Pacific, etc… Dogs and Cats living together!

                                          Basically both scenarios play out the same way, with #1 playing out slower and more deliberate. Under #2, the petty tyrants will know they have limited time and therefore act with speed and without caution.

                                          1. 1

                                            There’s something to the interplay between social media and politics that I haven’t quite put my finger on, beyond bypassing party elites (and #mediajackals).

                                            I think it’s that social media rewards extremism. It creates a positive feedback loop where posting extreme remarks leads to greater “engagement,” creating an incentive to post even more extreme remarks. Writing “both sides make reasonable points, and here’s some potential common ground” doesn’t get much likes.

                                            This is a form of radicalization. It was bad enough when it was just the blue checkmark brigade #mediajackals on Twitter. Now politicians have succumbed to it. This might explain why one presidential candidate talked casually about nuking his political enemies, and a sitting member of Congress started talking about WWII-era concentration camps. I’m not saying that social media alone contributes to this, but when echoed in news reports, it seems to play a role.

                                            I just did a search and I’m not the first to come up with this explanation. Damon Linker wrote a good piece in The Week in January 2019:

                                            Extreme partisan polarization is combining with the technology of social media, and especially Twitter, to provoke a form of recurrent political madness among members of the country’s cultural and intellectual elite… That’s a huge psychological incentive to escalate the denunciation of political enemies. The more one expresses outrage at the evils of others, the more one gets to enjoy the adulation of the virtual mob…

                                            And of course, Twitter is now intentionally inserting incendiary tweets into your timeline. More engagement, right?

                                            Another partial explanation appears in this report from Data for Progress and the Justice Democrats:

                                            This report shows that a pivot toward the “center” is poison with the Democratic primary electorate, using historical data to show the increasing liberalism of Democratic voters on core progressive values.

                                            This report shows that marginal voters and nonvoters support key progressive policies and could form a durable base for the Democratic Party.

                                            This report shows that many Democratic incumbents are failing their constituents by opposing progressive policies with broad-based support.

                                            What’s interesting is that this report recites the usual list of lefty demands: Medicare for all, “free” college, raising the minimum wage, higher taxes, more regulations on banks, taxpayer-funded abortion on demand, etc. But it does not mention repealing the Second Amendment, gun restrictions, or confiscating firearms.

                                            My guess is that this is simply a matter of elapsed time. The report was published in April 2018 (and presumably written in early 2018). By July 2019, the feedback loop of political radicalization has made acceptable talk about mandatory confiscation that would have been beyond the pale 18 months earlier. It’s been only three years, or a lifetime, since President Obama’s tearful “I believe in the Second Amendment.”

                                            Happy Election Day 2020!

                                          1. 2

                                            Some good evidence in this article, but I don’t think it lives up to the title’s claim of “widespread.” But too much support for Antifa in SV, for sure.

                                            1. 1

                                              Good point. It depends on your definition of widespread.

                                              One definition might be: a significant fraction of employees at large internet companies, at least double digits and perhaps a quarter. By that definition, the headline fails. Now, the claim may yet be true, but the article fails to make the case for it.

                                              A second definition focuses not on numbers but on influence. Is it socially acceptable to support antifa if you’re working at one of these large internet companies? Are pro antifa postings, on private internal discussion groups and public groups, allowed while pro-conservative postings are not? The article makes a better case for this being the situation. There may not be a tremendous number of supporters, but they may have an outsize influence.

                                              1. 2

                                                GREAT clarifications!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Right on.