Monday, February 28, 2022

Who wants to be a "Phantom Honker"?


I had to laugh out loud as I read this report from CBC on the aftermath of the truckers' protest in Canada's capital city.

The trucks [in Ottawa] have ... been removed, with police pushing the majority of protesters outside of the downtown core over the Family Day long weekend. Even still, some downtown residents say they're haunted by "phantom honking" — what sounds like blaring truck horns, but no actual sounds are there.

"When you hear that noise, it's like, 'Oh, are they back? Is there a road convoy coming back, right?'" said Sean Flynn, who lives about three kilometres from downtown but could still hear the horns inside his home during the protests.

"'I felt I was constantly doing these sort of double takes ... it almost feels a bit re-traumatizing."

Flynn isn't alone. Downtown resident Zakir Virani said he hears phantom honking, too, usually at night, which keeps him awake.

"It's hard to explain because I think with any post-traumatic stress-induced thinking, it's not very rational. You're not actually hearing honking," he said, adding he experiences "constant on-edgeness" and "fear" any time he steps outside since the protests.

"It's not good for anyone to feel that way."

There's more at the link.

I suggest that freedom-loving Canadians should consider their own form of aversion therapy:  letting victims of "phantom honking" become better acclimatized to the sound.  After all, if they can get used to Canadian geese honking, they can get used to the road-going sound too, surely?

Amazon can help.  There are dozens of electrically- and pneumatically-powered truck-type air horns that can be fitted to an ordinary car, SUV or minivan, out of sight and out of mind until needed.  Some are small enough that they can even be carried in a backpack or waist pouch (at the expense of sound volume, of course).  I'm sure other suppliers offer a similar selection, and they don't appear to be very expensive.

Were I a freedom-loving Canadian, I'd be getting together with my friends to fit these to as many of our vehicles as possible, then driving through the neighborhoods where truckers were most in evidence.  A gentle "toot" or two as one went down the street might remind people why the truckers were there, and that they - and their cause - have not gone away.  What's more, if no horns are in evidence, how will anyone in authority know who's responsible or who to stop?  If the horn's in a cyclist's backpack, that's even less likely to attract the attention of the authorities.

I see possibilities here . . .


The Ukraine War: Take everything you hear from both sides with a very large pinch of salt


The propaganda is flying thick and fast over the war in Ukraine.  The US mainstream media are apparently bending over backwards to publicize and popularize the talking points of the Biden administration, and the hawks in both the Republican and Democratic parties (who basically never met a war they didn't like) are beating their drums more and more stridently in an effort to portray Ukraine as a vital US strategic interest.  It isn't (as I pointed out some time ago) - but that hasn't stopped them.  They see it as an opportunity to galvanize public opinion into supporting them.

As a result, we aren't getting any straight answers on the situation in Ukraine.  The battlefield(s) are shrouded in propaganda fog, and we don't know what's actually happening on the ground.  As usual in such situations, it'll probably take years before an accurate account of the fighting becomes available.  Meanwhile, we should be very cautious about believing anything we hear about the war, and check and double-check anyone's and everyone's claims about it.  The mere fact that certain media outlets are repeating a given "fact" or "facts" parrot-fashion is not confirmation that those "facts" are true.  More likely, it means that those outlets are listening to the same paymaster and obeying its wishes.

Here are a few articles I've found useful and timely when considering the war.  Click on any headline to be taken to that article.

Neil Oliver: We watch Ukraine and Russia - but at the same time we should watch what our leaders are up to here in the West

I’ll be honest. I don’t know what’s happening in Ukraine. I don’t understand it either.

I ignore most of the mainstream media because I don’t trust it. In the Wild West world of online, where I graze widely, it feels like there are as many different assessments and explanations of the situation in Ukraine as there are people with keyboards and phones.

What I do know is that truth is rarer than gold, and therefore harder to find.

I also know that whatever Vladimir Putin is up to in Ukraine, the West must accept responsibility for a share of the blame for what is now being suffered and endured by ordinary people there ... I do know that I don’t trust Putin and I don’t trust our leaders or our government, or Europe’s governments or the governments of North America either – I certainly don’t trust any of them to tell the truth.

Crony capitalism, in one form or another, has seen governments and corporate entities – some corporates so vast they have more clout than nation states, anyway – slide into bed together for the making of profits and the keeping of power. Too many people with fingers in each other’s pies, amassing wealth at the expense of the wellbeing of the rest of us. I don’t trust the lot of them as far as I could throw them.

. . .

I do know this has happened because here in the West we have stood fiddling while Rome burns. We have watched the erosion of our freedom. We have watched while the very idea of liberal democracy is hollowed out, filleted, to leave behind nothing but an empty shell ... Putin is in part our fault, just as Trudeau and Macron are our fault.

We watch Ukraine and Russia. But at the same time we should watch what our leaders are up to here in the West.

Putin Goes All-in Beyond Eastern Ukraine, Tactically Appearing to Advance for All Ukraine

In many ways Ukraine is a vassal state of U.S. leftist politics.

Ukraine has been a satellite operation for the U.S. State Department for approximately 15 to 20 years.  The U.S. has held control over Ukraine, and manipulated every political outcome inside Ukraine, for well over a decade.  This reality is the source of Vladimir Putin’s angst toward the west for the same amount of time, and it’s the same reason why the EU, specifically Germany, is tenuous in any collaborative response.

. . .

Vladimir Putin seeking to take the entire country of Ukraine back under his control – highlights, at least to me, that when Joe Biden took office, the scale of U.S. manipulation and influence went back to maximum levels.  This is in contrast to four years of President Trump not manipulating Ukraine or trying to use Ukraine as a vassal for U.S. foreign policy interests. Obviously, this puts the DC and Deep State (CIA and State Dept) attack on Trump, using Ukraine, into a specific context.

While there is no justification for President Putin to take all of Ukraine, an independent nation under Russian control, the Occam’s Razor geopolitical explanation would indicate Putin just reached a point where enough was enough.  Taking all of Ukraine away from U.S. control puts a stop to our using the Russian border state for our own interests.

Again, the scale and scope of Putin’s commitment here shows a particular radically strong motive to cut out what he sees as the U.S. cancer completely. This is the aspect I did not anticipate.  I expected Putin to throw a strong brush back pitch against the U.S. and retake control over eastern Ukraine, where he is appreciated.  I did not expect Putin to throw multiple fast balls directly at the head of team U.S.A.

Ukraine’s Deadly Gamble

Yes, the Ukrainian soldiers standing up to Putin are very brave, but it was Americans that put them in harm’s way by using their country as a weapon, first against Russia and then against each other, with little consideration for the Ukrainian people who are now paying the price for America’s folly.

. . .

Yes, Putin wants to prevent NATO from expanding to Russia’s border. But the larger answer is that he finds the U.S. government’s relationship with Ukraine genuinely threatening. That’s because for nearly two decades, the U.S. national security establishment under both Democratic and Republican administrations has used Ukraine as an instrument to destabilize Russia, and specifically to target Putin.

While the timing of Putin’s attack on Ukraine is no doubt connected to a variety of factors, including the Russian dictator’s read on U.S. domestic politics and the preferences of his own superpower sponsor in Beijing, the sense that Ukraine poses a meaningful threat to Russia is not a product of Putin’s paranoia—or of a sudden desire to restore the power and prestige of the Soviet Union, however much Putin might wish for that to happen. Rather, it is a geopolitical threat that has grown steadily more pressing and been employed with greater recklessness by Americans and Ukrainians alike over the past decade.

War Propaganda About Ukraine Becoming More Militaristic, Authoritarian, and Reckless

There is a ... climate that arises whenever a new war erupts, instantly creating propaganda-driven, dissent-free consensus. There is no propaganda as potent or powerful as war propaganda. It seems that one must have lived through it at least once, as an engaged adult, to understand how it functions, how it manipulates and distorts, and how one can resist being consumed by it ... war propaganda stimulates the most powerful aspects of our psyche, our subconscious, our instinctive drives. It causes us, by design, to abandon reason. It provokes a surge in tribalism, jingoism, moral righteousness and emotionalism: all powerful drives embedded through millennia of evolution. The more unity that emerges in support of an overarching moral narrative, the more difficult it becomes for anyone to critically evaluate it. The more closed the propaganda system is — either because any dissent from it is excluded by brute censorship or so effectively demonized through accusations of treason and disloyalty — the more difficult it is for anyone, all of us, even to recognize one is in the middle of it.

When critical faculties are deliberately turned off based on a belief that absolute moral certainty has been attained, the parts of our brain armed with the capacity of reason are disabled.

. . .

It is genuinely hard to overstate how overwhelming the unity and consensus in U.S. political and media circles is. It is as close to a unanimous and dissent-free discourse as anything in memory, certainly since the days following 9/11 ... And U.S. public opinion has consequently undergone a radical and rapid change; while recent polling had shown large majorities of Americans opposed to any major U.S. role in Ukraine, a new Gallup poll released on Friday found that “52% of Americans see the conflict between Russia and Ukraine as a critical threat to U.S. vital interests” with almost no partisan division (56% of Republicans and 61% of Democrats), while “85% of Americans now view [Russia] unfavorably while 15% have a positive opinion of it.”

The purpose of these points, and indeed of this article, is not to persuade anyone that they have formed moral, geopolitical and strategic views about Russia and Ukraine that are inaccurate. It is, instead, to highlight what a radically closed and homogenized information system most Americans are consuming. No matter how convinced one is of the righteousness of one's views on any topic, there should still be a wariness about how easily that righteousness can be exploited to ensure that no dissent is considered or even heard, an awareness of how often such overwhelming societal consensus is manipulated to lead one to believe untrue claims and embrace horribly misguided responses.

And finally, a reminder that the Ukraine conflict has the potential to dramatically increase the price - and reduce the availability - of food worldwide.  Allied to drastic increases in price and shortage of supply of fertilizers, this could be the tipping point for genuine food shortages, even famines in poorer countries.  Two reports make that very clear.

How a Russian invasion of Ukraine, the ‘breadbasket of Europe,’ could hit supply chains

From wheat to barley, and copper to nickel, analysts tell CNBC that supply chains are set to be disrupted as the crisis takes a turn for the worse.

Ukraine is considered the “breadbasket of Europe,” and an invasion would result in the food supply chain getting “hit hard,” said Alan Holland, CEO and founder at sourcing technology company Keelvar.

. . .

Ukraine produces wheat, barley and rye that much of Europe relies on, analysts said. It’s also a big producer of corn ... In fact, it’s not just the European Union that will be hit — many nations in the Middle East and Africa also rely on Ukranian wheat and corn, and disruptions to that supply could affect food security in those regions, said Dawn Tiura, president at Sourcing Industry Group.

“China is also a big recipient of Ukrainian corn — in fact, Ukraine replaced the U.S. as China’s top corn supplier in 2021,” she said.

Wheat and corn prices were already soaring. Wheat futures traded in Chicago have jumped about 12% since the start of this year, while corn futures spiked 14.5% in the same period.

Food inflation has been rising, and could worsen if an armed conflict erupts.

. . .

Russia is also the world’s top wheat exporter. Together with Ukraine, both account for roughly 29% of the global wheat export market.

Michael Yon puts that harsh reality in perspective.

Global Food Supply: CRITICAL

We never have experienced a global famine. Conditions are set.

Food Security has been divided into 5 Levels:

1) Minimal (January 2020, the world was at this level)

2) Stressed (by mid to late 2020, the world on whole was here)

3) Crisis (We are here)

4) Emergency (later this year)

5) Famine (scattered later this year, and severe risk globally in 2023)

This simply cannot be overstressed. If you have not already, you MUST stock up. Encourage as many people as possible to stock up. Threat Level is CRITICAL.

Most famines do not last more than two years. However…this one has great potential to be a doozy. Everything you buy now is far more expensive than in 2020, but “on sale” compared to what you will pay later this year.

All the above articles provide food for thought.  I can only suggest that you read them in full, and think about them - particularly the last two.

Finally, I repeat:  DON'T TRUST ANY NEWS MEDIA REPORTS ABOUT WHAT'S HAPPENING IN UKRAINE OR WHAT IT MEANS.  Nobody knows for sure what's happening, and we won't know for some time to come.  In the meantime, if the news media are untrustworthy about what's going on, politicians are even less trustworthy.  Take anything they say with a double pinch of salt, and if they all agree with each other, take it for granted that they're lying and/or trying to mislead you - probably both.


Memes that made me laugh 98


Gathered from around the Internet over the past week.  There are fewer than usual, thanks to a three-day road trip to attend the wedding of a friend, during which time I had limited Internet access.  Click any image for a larger view.

Friday, February 25, 2022

On the road again


Miss D. and I will be on the road this weekend, traveling to and from the wedding of friends a few hundred miles away.  I probably won't have time to blog, so don't expect to see the usual Saturday Snippet and/or Sunday Morning Music posts over the next two days.  Regular blogging will resume (God willing) on Monday.

In the meantime, please amuse yourselves with the bloggers listed in the sidebar.  They write good too!

Prayers for traveling mercies are, as always, appreciated.  Thanks.


Is this peak moonbat stupidity over Ukraine?


If it isn't, it'll do until something even more spectacularly bone-headed comes along.  Click the image for a larger view.

Dear Ms. Forsythe,

For your information, as far as I'm aware, there are vanishingly few (if any) authentically black or brown ethnic Russians.  Their native genes (you should pardon the expression) don't contain the necessary color-coding.  Therefore, the chances of a black or brown Russian running that country are so slim as to be effectively non-existent.  "White privilege" and "white supremacy" simply aren't relevant factors there.  To pretend otherwise would be un-ethnical.

However, your unblinking focus on racial animosity and hostility probably won't allow you to acknowledge that.  Perhaps you should try thinking outside the racial box once in a while?


Your blogger-mentor in international genetics.

(In the light of your views, perhaps he should acknowledge [while pretending to hang his head in simulated shame] that he's your non-Russian, African-born-and-bred [hence far more African than most Americans using that label], Caucasian [i.e. white] mentor).

I don't suppose it'll do much good, but in the interest of positive race relations, one has to try.



The Devil's Panties school of domestic reorganization


I hate to admit how much I occasionally sometimes often resemble this cartoon in the way I clean up my office and around the house.  Click the image to be taken to a larger view at the Web page of The Devil's Panties.

If you aren't already reading The Devil's Panties, it's one of my daily stops.  Sometimes Jennie Breeden hits the comic nail firmly on the head.


Thursday, February 24, 2022

A parental advisory from Lawdog


Our good friend Lawdog posted this warning on MeWe a couple of days ago.  I re-post it here, with his permission.

I don't know who needs to hear this, but:

Anytime someone who is not a blood relative tells your child, "You can't tell your parents about this" that should be an immediate red flag.

Your child should immediately be removed from that person's influence, and that person should be driven from their position of power.

Yes, I am talking about teachers. And doctors. And priests. And nurses. And politicians. And police.

There can be an innocent reason for a blood relative to want parents not to know about a forbidden movie, or a dessert, or a range trip, or a thrill ride, or any number of other things.

There can also be terrible reasons for blood relatives to want parents not to know, but those aren't the point of this post.



People who request that of your children are a threat, and your children are not safe in their presence.

Period. Full stop. End of story.

I couldn't agree more.  Thanks, Lawdog, for a timely reminder.


Trudeau of Canada: The emperor's emergency clothes are shredded


Kudos to Sundance at The Last Refuge for three very insightful articles about what's going on in Canada right now.  Click on the headlines below to go to each article and read it in full.  In chronological order:

A Major Backfire – Is the Canadian Financial and Banking System in Serious Trouble as a Result of Their Attack on Private Bank Accounts?

Central banking finance ministers around the world ... and ... people in the World Economic Forum (WEF) group, International Monetary Fund (IMF) and central bankers ... would not be happy about the Canadian government showing just how easy it is to snatch money out of the hands of citizens.

These tools of citizen control are things well known to the central bankers and control agents of finance, but they are never spoken about in polite company – let alone publicized, promoted and openly bragged about.

Justin Trudeau and Chrystia Freeland essentially broke the financial code of Omerta, by highlighting how easy it is for government to seize your bank accounts, credit cards, retirement accounts, insurance, mortgages, loan access and cut you off from money.

Worse yet, the short-sighted Canadian government via Minister Freeland announced their ability to control cryptocurrency exchanges in their country and block access within a financial mechanism that exists almost entirely as an insurance policy and hedge against the exact actions the government was taking.

Facing Financial Peril and a Pending Senate Rebuke, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Revokes Emergency War Measures Act

Trudeau was softly questioned about internal documents discovered by the Canadian Senate that point toward Trudeau’s cabinet discussing the political benefits they would gain by invoking the Emergency Act.  The prime minister dodged the question twice, instead saying a parliamentary investigation will review why the Emergency Act was needed.

Keep an eye on the story of this Senate discovery.  From all indications, even the liberal allies of Trudeau in the Senate were unable to support the Emergency Act after they reviewed the non-public documents.  There’s something very damaging in those documents, likely internal emails between Trudeau and his various ministers.

BOOM, Trudeau Reversal Motive Surfaces – Canadian Banking Association Was Approved by World Economic Forum To Lead the Digital ID Creation

When Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland announced they would use the Emergency Act declaration to target the financial support systems, banks and accounts of the people who were protesting against COVID mandates, they not only undermined the integrity of the Canadian banking system – but they also inadvertently stuck a wrench into the plans of the World Economic Forum and the collaborative use of the Canadian Bankers Association to create a digital id.

If the CBA digital identity were in place, the same people targeted by Trudeau’s use of the Emergency Act would have their entire identity blocked by the same government measures.  The realization of the issue, reflected by a severe undermining of faith in the banking system, is a dramatic problem for those working to create and promote the Digital ID.

However, this undermined confidence and faith in the banking system cannot be restored quickly.  The toothpaste cannot be put back into the tube. The horse has left the barn.  This is now a moment for damage control by the Canadian government. That is why Justin Trudeau just dropped the declaration of the Emergency Act.

It all makes sense now.  All of it.

My hat's off to Sundance and his collaborators.  They have an uncanny instinct for when something fishy is going on, and they aren't afraid to dig and dig and dig until they've uncovered it.  I wish there were more like them.  My heartfelt and grateful thanks to the team over at The Last Refuge.


The Ukraine war: "The mistakes that have been committed in foreign policy are not, as a rule, apparent to the public until a generation afterwards"


That's a quotation by Otto von Bismarck, first Chancellor of a united Germany in the 19th century.  I've been struck by its relevance to what's going on in Ukraine, now that President Putin of Russia has taken off the gloves and turned loose his armed forces to obtain by military might what he could not achieve through diplomacy.

I pointed out yesterday that during the dissolution of the Soviet Union, promises were, indeed, made by the West that NATO would not expand eastward into the former Soviet sphere of influence.  Those promises were ignored by the West almost as soon as they were made.  In the process, the advance of European and US influence was seen as an ever-increasing, ever-encroaching threat by Putin and Russia.  It's hard to disagree with them from a geographic perspective.

Here's a very useful map from the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, dated 2018.  Click the image for a much larger view.

The blue shading indicates NATO's borders before the dissolution of the Soviet Union.  The dark green shading indicates NATO's expansion since then.  If you take similar distances and areas, and put them on the map of North and South America below the US border with Mexico . . . wouldn't we be getting a bit paranoid about such expansion by a former enemy towards us, too?  It would look pretty threatening, no matter how much or how often whoever was doing it swore that there was no threat intended.

That's what has led directly to Russia's actions in Ukraine today - that, and NATO's (and the USA's) refusal to keep their earlier promises about non-expansion and to face geopolitical reality.  President Putin has come to viscerally distrust anything the West has to say about the matter.  I can't blame him.  In his shoes, I'd see things that way, too.  Therefore, he's stopped talking and started doing something about it.

A major problem for this country is that President Biden is illegitimate, incompetent and incapable of directing a US response.  We all know this.  His television and other appearances show a man who's increasingly in decline, mentally handicapped by the onset of some form of senile dementia.  He's literally not capable of formulating or carrying out a cohesive US foreign policy.  That means his words and actions are being formulated and directed by others.  President Biden is no more than a puppet on their strings.  He's a victim of elder abuse by those who are exploiting his mental and physical decline, and he deserves our pity - but he'll get none from President Putin, or from President Xi in China.  They're going to carpe diem and wring every advantage they can from the US's leadership vacuum and lack of strategic vision.  That's realpolitik - and they're both very good at it.

US military intervention in Ukraine is all but impossible right now.  The Biden administration - and the Obama administration before it - have politicized and ideologically hamstrung our armed forces until they're dissipating their focus into all sorts of areas that have nothing to do with their designated mission.

The cultural problem of inattention to warfighting proficiency ... comes from the top. The Biden administration is channeling its energy to other priorities: its Interim National Security Strategic Guidance, issued last March, prioritizes “a global pandemic, a crushing economic downturn, a crisis of racial justice, and a deepening climate emergency.” When announcing Lloyd Austin as his nominee for defense secretary, Biden extolled the need for the military to distribute vaccines. Defense Department social media accounts stress the agency’s commitment to expanding diversity, ending sexual harassment, and tackling climate damage. These are all important issues, but they are not the reasons the United States has a military. Nor is there adequate funding in the Pentagon’s budget to include them without further displacing money needed for personnel, equipment, and operations. The Pentagon’s embrace of what it calls “integrated deterrence” emphasizes economic and diplomatic tools of defense and sounds a lot like a justification for not using military power to deter adversaries.

Biden’s security strategy pledges to make sure that “the U.S. Armed Forces remain the best trained and equipped force in the world,” but current funding for those forces calls into question that commitment ... The United States has for nearly two decades tolerated a growing gap between its military means and its stated strategy. Biden is not wholly responsible for the problem, but it falls to his administration to manage it. And managing it will require Washington to constrict its aims, increase its spending, or find revolutionary ways to improve military performance.

There's more at the link.  Bold, underlined text is my emphasis.

Given that politicization of our armed forces, and the fact that for two decades they've been fighting a war against low-intensity, low-technology terrorism rather than against a peer adversary, they're ill-prepared and ill-equipped to fight a Russia or a China on even terms.  I simply don't see conventional US military intervention in Ukraine as feasible.  Nuclear weapons are a different story, but to go that route would be criminal folly, because nobody knows how far it would escalate or where it would end.  The human race can't afford that, let alone the US people.

This won't end when the fighting in Ukraine stops.  I fully expect President Xi to take advantage of the shift in world attention to that part of the world to launch his own attempt to take over Taiwan.  That's very likely to disrupt, if not destroy, half of the computer-chip-making capacity of the entire world.  That would have absolutely disastrous consequences for every country on earth, because almost every modern machine, vehicle or system uses such chips, and we no longer have access to the earlier technologies that didn't need them.  The machines and factories that used to make them have long since been torn down or scrapped to make room for newer, more modern replacements.  Quite literally, we'd see massive starvation (due to the collapse of computer-aided agriculture) and immense commercial and social disruption (because our modern way of life depends on computers and the Internet - without them, most of the companies and suppliers on whom we rely will close their doors.)

Will that happen?  I don't know . . . but the USA and NATO may have brought us to the brink of that through their feckless, reckless handling of the Ukraine situation.  President Putin has realized he can't trust the West to keep its word, so he's doing something about it.  I'll be very, very surprised if China doesn't do the same, taking advantage of the USA's current lack of leadership and preoccupation with internal matters to achieve its geopolitical ends.  There's little we can do to stop that happening.

Otto von Bismarck was right.  What we're seeing in Ukraine, and globally, is the result of a whole generation of foreign policy blunders, failures and missteps.  They've happened under both Republican and Democratic presidents, and neither party can be trusted to fix them now.  Every denizen of Washington D.C., almost without exception, is part of the problem rather than the solution.

Tulsi Gabbard, one of the few Democratic Party politicians who's consistently honest and forthright, is correct.  (Click either image to be taken to the original tweet.)

I'm reminded of the words of Sir Edward Grey, British Foreign Secretary in 1914, at the outbreak of World War I.

A friend came to see me on one of the evenings of the last week — he thinks it was on Monday, August 3rd. We were standing at a window of my room in the Foreign Office. It was getting dusk, and the lamps were being lit in the space below on which we were looking. My friend recalls that I remarked on this with the words: "The lamps are going out all over Europe, we shall not see them lit again in our life-time."

We should all hope and pray, very sincerely, that we aren't facing a similar prospect right now.


Wednesday, February 23, 2022

"The 1 % of the population accountable for 63 % of all violent crime convictions"


That's the title of an article about Swedish research into violent crime in that country.  In the light of our discussion yesterday about violent crime in Washington D.C. and other US cities, I found its conclusions very interesting.  Here's the abstract (i.e. executive summary) from the article.  Bold, underlined text is my emphasis.


Population-based studies on violent crime and background factors may provide an understanding of the relationships between susceptibility factors and crime. We aimed to determine the distribution of violent crime convictions in the Swedish population 1973–2004 and to identify criminal, academic, parental, and psychiatric risk factors for persistence in violent crime.


The nationwide multi-generation register was used with many other linked nationwide registers to select participants. All individuals born in 1958–1980 (2,393,765 individuals) were included. Persistent violent offenders (those with a lifetime history of three or more violent crime convictions) were compared with individuals having one or two such convictions, and to matched non-offenders. Independent variables were gender, age of first conviction for a violent crime, nonviolent crime convictions, and diagnoses for major mental disorders, personality disorders, and substance use disorders.


A total of 93,642 individuals (3.9 %) had at least one violent conviction. The distribution of convictions was highly skewed; 24,342 persistent violent offenders (1.0 % of the total population) accounted for 63.2 % of all convictions. Persistence in violence was associated with male sex, personality disorder, violent crime conviction before age 19, drug-related offenses, nonviolent criminality, substance use disorder, and major mental disorder.


The majority of violent crimes are perpetrated by a small number of persistent violent offenders, typically males, characterized by early onset of violent criminality, substance abuse, personality disorders, and nonviolent criminality.

There's much more at the link.  Highly recommended reading for those in the field of crime prevention, investigation and prosecution.

Based upon my (admittedly subjective and anecdotal) experience as a prison chaplain, I'd say that seems accurate.  A small minority of criminals perpetrate most of the crimes (and cause most of the trouble behind bars).  The "hard core" really is a hard core, dominating criminal society in and out of prison by their sheer ruthlessness and uncaring brutality towards anyone they consider a threat or a rival.  Here's an excerpt from my memoir of prison chaplaincy, "Walls, Wire, Bars and Souls", to illustrate at least part of the problem in action.

Violence is a constant undercurrent to life in a high-security institution. Most of the inmates are predators, after all, and our rules and regulations can’t change that deep-rooted reality. They're going to go on looking for prey — and in the absence of innocent victims, they'll prey on each other. Many of them are members of various gangs (of which more later), or join gangs once they’re incarcerated. The gangs act like packs of predators, preying on individuals, other gangs and anyone else available.

There are also particularly dangerous individuals who hold themselves aloof from gangs. We shipped one off to Supermax after holding him in isolation in SHU for a long time. He’d murdered his cellmate, and used to boast that he was going to kill one of the staff before he left. He had nothing to lose, after all. He’s going to be in prison until he dies. If he succeeded in killing a staff member, how could we punish him? Another life sentence wouldn’t make any difference, and the death penalty would actually be merciful compared to the many decades he faces behind bars. You may be sure that we were very careful in how we handled him. He never left his cell without being shackled hand and foot, and guarded by a three-person escort under the command of a Lieutenant. We all breathed a sigh of relief when he left us — all except the crew assigned to escort him to Supermax. Their language reportedly scorched paint from the nearest wall when they were informed of their selection! (I’m pleased to report that they made it back safely.)

In every Federal penitentiary there’s what’s known as the ‘Posted Picture File’ or PPF. It used to be on paper in multiple files, kept in the Lieutenant’s Office and updated frequently, but is now often online. Every member of staff is required to read it on a regular basis, and certify that they’ve done so. It contains a page for every inmate regarded as dangerous, with his photograph, a description of the crime(s) for which he’s been incarcerated, and the reason(s) he’s considered a threat. Prior to its automation, our institution’s paper PPF filled two thick binders to capacity. They contained records for a very significant proportion of our inmate population. Their history of attempts (many of them successful) to suborn or seduce or assault or murder prison staff and inmates, their vicious attacks on fellow convicts, and their conspiracies with those outside prison to target others (including the families of other inmates and prison staff), made for very chilling reading indeed. We don’t get complacent inside the walls, believe me.

I described one such inmate in more detail (using a pseudonym for him, of course, to protect his identity).

Finally, let’s take Howard. He got drunk one night and began to smash the furniture and fittings in his uncle’s home. His uncle tried to stop him… a fatal mistake. Howard beat him until he collapsed, then for two days and nights drank himself into a stupor, periodically getting up to kick and stomp his uncle as he lay moaning on the floor. Howard eventually passed out. He was found next morning, unconscious at the table, with his uncle dead on the floor beside him. He’d been in enough trouble with the law on previous occasions that this crime earned him a life sentence without parole. He’s still a relatively young man, and still just as violent. He’s been known to get bombed out of his skull on prison hooch (of which more later). When he gets that way, everyone steers clear of him, even the prison ‘hard men’ — all except the reaction squad, who have to subdue him and put him in the Hole to sober up. He’s quite capable of killing anyone who crosses him.

Howard’s eyes scare me. They’re pitch-black and utterly lifeless. When one looks into them, one strives to detect a spark of life, of humanity, of the person inside the body… but it’s not there. I’ve never looked into the bottomless pits of Hell, but I’ve got a good idea what they must be like after working with Howard. He’s one of the few convicts who genuinely frightens me. I take care not to show it, but I also try to have support available if I’ve got to see him about something. He could snap at any moment (and has in the past). I want to make sure that if he does so while I’m around, I have the best possible chance of coming out of it relatively unscathed.

I've met too many like Howard, and I take their threat very seriously.  It's one reason I carry a gun, because I know they're out there.  For every one behind bars, I'd guesstimate there are at least two or three on the street.

Go read the Swedish report for yourself.  I think it's very applicable to the US criminal community as well.


Russia, the Ukraine, and US interests - the reality


Well, as was all too predictable, Russia has recognized the independence of the breakaway Ukrainian regions of Donetsk and Luhansk, and has sent troops "at their request" to "safeguard Russian people within their borders" - or whatever the excuse du jour may be.

Frankly, I don't blame the Russians.  I'm not saying I support them, but I understand why President Putin has done this.  Last year he published an article titled "On the Historical Unity of Russians and Ukrainians", in which he analyzed in depth - from the Russian point of view, of course - why Ukraine was a natural partner of Russia, and denounced the deliberate efforts made by outside influences (take a bow, President Obama) to drive a wedge between them.  It's worth reading that article in full to get some background on his position, and Russia's.  I don't think it's all true - there's as much propaganda in it as there is in the yammering of the Biden administration about the issue - but there's nevertheless a great deal of fact in it, which we'd do well to remember.  Read it with a discriminating, informed eye.

It's undeniable that the USA played a major role in fomenting the 2014 coup that overthrew the democratically elected President of Ukraine and replaced him with a far more pro-Western figure.  For more information, see a very in-depth article (undoubtedly biased towards the Russian point of view, but nevertheless containing a lot of solid, hard fact that can be verified) titled "How and why the U.S. Government Perpetrated the 2014 Coup in Ukraine".  The role of Senators McCain and Murphy, Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and US Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt, has been openly discussed for years.

It's not the first time this country interfered in post-Soviet Eastern Europe, and it certainly wasn't the last.  The most recent example appears to have been the failed "color revolution" attempt in Kazakhstan at the beginning of this year.

Virtually no one knows about it. But last December, another coup was discreetly thwarted in the Kyrgyz capital, Bishkek. Kyrgyz intel sources attribute the engineering to a rash of NGOs linked with Britain and Turkey.

That introduces an absolutely key facet of The Big Picture: NATO-linked intel and their assets may have been preparing a simultaneous color revolution offensive across Central Asia.

On my Central Asia travels in late 2019, pre-Covid, it was plain to see how western NGOs – Hybrid War fronts – remained extremely powerful in both Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan.

Yet, they are just one nexus in a western nebulae of Hybrid War fog deployed across Central Asia, and West Asia for that matter. Here we see the CIA and the US Deep State crisscrossing MI6 and different strands of Turkish intel.

There's more at the link.  Again, it's a pro-Russian source, but concentrate on the hard facts that can be verified.  They add up to a mountain of evidence.  If you follow the work of US and European NGO's (non-governmental organizations), it's very clear many of them are being financed by the same sources and working to a coordinated plan of action.  They're not just working for the good of the local people, but for unnamed, invisible influences elsewhere.

Given the torrents of propaganda being unleashed by both sides in the Ukraine imbroglio, it's very difficult to know which side is "right" and which is "wrong".  As far as I'm concerned, Ukraine is so endemically corrupt that it's impossible to trust or believe anything its government says.  Never forget that President Biden and his family made at least millions, and potentially hundreds of millions, out of that nation through bribery, corruption and influence-peddling.  Remember what Biden said about his strong-arming the government there to abandon its investigation of his son's corruption?

(If the embedding doesn't work, you'll find the video here.)

Put that alongside Hunter Biden's infamous demand for "10% for the big guy" in connection with a Chinese business deal, and a lot of things become clearer.  It's not just the Bidens, either.  As Sundance notes (bold, underlined text is my emphasis):

In the bigger picture I don’t think many Americans outside the DC beltway give a flip about internal Ukrainian squabbles and Russia’s support for the Eastern Ukrainian independence effort.  However, inside the DC beltway Ukraine is very important, stunningly important, because Ukraine functions as the corrupt money laundry operation for DC politicians to receive taxpayer kickbacks from their financial support into Ukraine.

Quite so.  If you want to know why the USA is so deeply invested in maintaining the current administration in Ukraine, follow the money - particularly the corrupt money - flowing to politicians and their families in the USA.  Look into how many children of US politicians are working in, with or for Ukrainian companies.  We're talking potentially billions of dollars in ill-gotten gains.

Contrast that with President Putin's statement on Russia's recognition of the breakaway regions of Ukraine.  Go read it in full.  Sure, he's peddling propaganda talking points along with facts - just like everybody else is doing.  Sift through the propaganda, ferret out the facts, and verify them.  (A good example of independent fact-checking and propaganda-debunking over the current situation in Donetsk and Luhansk may be found here.  It's worth reading.)

Read Putin's statement in the light of recent German revelations that Russia was, indeed, promised by the West in the early 1990's that NATO would not expand eastward - a promise that was violated almost from the moment it was made.  For more information, see:

If I were in Russia's shoes right now, I'd be feeling very threatened by European and American advances through Eastern Europe to my borders, despite those promises.  Ukraine would look like the last major domino to fall before potentially hostile forces lined my entire western border.  I'd do everything I could to prevent that, in my own national interest - so it's very hard to blame President Putin for doing precisely that.

Some weeks ago I asked, "Someone please tell me: what compelling national security interest does the USA have in Ukraine???"  Nobody has yet answered that question to my satisfaction - probably because there isn't a satisfactory answer.  Michael Yon has gone so far as to call the Ukraine crisis "a diversion" from our myriad internal problems.  I agree with him.  Just as President Xi can use Taiwan to distract Chinese from their country's internal problems, and President Putin can use Ukraine for the same purpose, so the Biden administration is using it to drown out the other issues that plague us, and which they're powerless and/or incompetent to solve.

I'll leave the last word to Miggy at Gun Free Zone.

If I may make a suggestion, Could we send to Ukraine all those new military people with special adjective and pronouns with training in Gender Fluidity and Anti Transphobic legislation who are supposed to be better than true soldiers? The proof is in the pudding or rather, the battlefield.

Uh-huh.  From a previous post, here you are, Miggy:


I wonder how these would cope with snow and ice?


I did a double-take when I saw this photograph on MeWe of a modern interpretation (complete with stiletto heels) of a pair of sabatons.  Click the image for a larger view.

Sabatons were part of military armor for centuries, evolving from the pointed style shown (sometimes called sollerets) to a flatter, blunt-toed style in the sixteenth century.  They were de rigeur for knights, and also worn by men-at-arms (usually of the gentlemanly class) who could afford them, or captured them from an enemy. (A good suit of armor would cost many years' wages for a peasant or common soldier, so they had to make do with padded cloth and leather.)

It's amusing to look at those modern works of "fashion" while imagining someone trying to walk in them down an icy, snowy sidewalk.  I reckon the slipping and sliding would be epic!  However, I tried to imagine what it must have been like to actually fight in them (without the stiletto heels, of course).  On horseback they'd be essential to protect the wearer's foot from blows delivered by infantrymen trying to stop him;  but if the knight fought on the ground (as was common in, for example, the Wars of the Roses), that same slipperiness would have made them more of a liability than an asset in wet or muddy conditions.  How would they - how did they - keep their footing?

I can see them being left off in favor of heavy leather boots for fighting on foot, because for an enemy to bend down to strike at one's feet would leave them very vulnerable to a counter-stroke;  but I can also see that other battlefield hazards (e.g. sharp caltrops scattered by an enemy, or spears wielded by footmen) would render boots as dangerous as sabatons for their wearer.  Also, what if one had to fight first on horseback (e.g. in a charge), then on foot if one's horse was injured or killed?  The sabatons might change from an asset to a liability in a matter of seconds.

I simply don't know.  I've read something of the period, but not enough to be able to answer my mental questions.  What about you, readers?  Has anyone gone into this subject in more detail, to provide us with a better answer?  If so, please let us know in Comments.  Thanks!


Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Well, good for her!


In the preceding article, I quoted the Bible about how to raise children:  "Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it".

It sounds like this mother had done her best to "train up her child" in the right way, but he decided not to listen - so last week she taught him a brutally hard lesson.

A Loyola University student on his way to school robbed a Metra conductor at gunpoint Tuesday afternoon because he was hungry and needed money to get some food before class — and that’s according to his defense attorney.

Zion Brown, 18, was arrested later that night after his mother recognized him in news coverage of the robbery and drove him to the Calumet City police department to surrender, prosecutors said.

There's more at the link.

Just think how much better life would be in our cities if all mothers treated their criminal children in the same way!  Full marks to her for taking her parenting duties seriously.

One wishes the kid's lawyer had learned something about "tough love" in his younger days.  Judging by his comments to the judge, he didn't, and I suppose it's too late to teach him now.


It's not just Washington D.C. - it's every major city


A recent study points out the reality behind violent crime in our nation's capital.

Every year, about 500 identifiable people in D.C. drive as much as 70% of the city’s gun violence, according to a new report commissioned by the city.

The study was authored by the National Institute for Criminal Justice Reform, which has been working with the District to come up with a strategic plan for reducing gun violence. It found that a relatively small group of people — likely as little as 200 people at any one point in time — are driving a majority of homicides and shootings in the city. And the study echoes an argument that community leaders in the neighborhoods most affected by violence have long put forward: If the government and community groups can come together to reach those high-risk people, invest in them, and make intensive intervention efforts, the city can reduce homicides and help save lives.

“In Washington, D.C., most gun violence is very tightly concentrated on a small number of very high risk young Black male adults that have a shared set of common risk factors,” says David Muhammad, the executive director of the National Institute for Criminal Justice Reform. “This very small number of high risk individuals are identifiable. Their violence is predictable and therefore it is preventable.”

There's more at the link.

I could have told them that.  Any experienced corrections officer, dealing with inmates in any big prison or jail in the country, could have told them that.  It was our common experience - and, I'm sure, still is for those still working in that field - that the leaders in prison gangs and crime behind bars were those who'd led criminal gangs and activities outside the walls before being arrested.  Once incarcerated, they didn't stop their lives of crime;  they merely continued them by preying on the other criminals around them, and (of course) on the corrections officers who had to supervise them.  When they'd served their sentences, many of the prison gang leaders went back to their lives of crime once more.  They were "lead predators", super-criminals who dominated those around them and led and focused their activities on what they wanted.

They were (and probably still are) overwhelmingly black, with a strong hispanic minority component.  Rivalry between the groups was a given, and often turned deadly.  White criminals were not so likely to wield the same "command influence" except among their own race - it didn't cross color lines in prison.  Race was a defining criteria of the "in crowd" and the "out crowd" in every institution.  There are those who object that there are far more black prison inmates than the proportion of their race to the national population should predict, and this demonstrates that the criminal justice system is racist.  Unfortunately, such pontifications ignore the fact that blacks commit a vastly greater proportion of crimes, relative to their numbers, than do other races.  That's objective, undeniable fact.  The FBI has documented it for almost a century.

The report notes:

While many point to programs for youth as a solution to violence, Muhammad says the city also needs to be extremely focused on reaching older young adults.

“It’s extremely difficult engaging a 25-year-old who has seven previous adult arrests, who is an avowed member of his neighborhood clique, who’s not currently interested in services, but that is the individual we have to serve. That’s the individual we have to pour resources into,” he says.

It sounds nice . . . but I fear it's doomed to failure.  It was my experience as a prison chaplain that by the time a hardened criminal had reached his mid to late 20's, he was usually beyond saving.  There were exceptions, of course - they were the reason I was there, after all - but I doubt whether even as many as one in twenty qualified for that label, particularly in a high-security penitentiary.  (In a low-security institution for less hardened offenders, perhaps one in ten might qualify.)

The Bible tells us to "Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it".  Well, the streets "train up" a child too, even if it's not in the way he should go.  It's incredibly difficult to break that kind of youthful conditioning, particularly when the individual in question has had friends killed around him, and may have killed more than once himself.  (The worst, most hardened gang-bangers usually have, even if they've never been charged with murder or any related crime.  Killing comes all too easily in the inner-city streets, and life is cheap, and "snitches get stitches and end up in ditches", so nobody talks to the cops about who did it - not if they value their hides.  If you doubt that, just look at the number of pointless, casual, drive-by assaults with deadly weapons and murders in our cities every day.  You'll find plenty of reports in the newspapers.)

I entirely agree with the report that those behind the majority of deadly crimes in any city are a relatively small, identifiable group.  However, when it comes to preventing their violence, I doubt very much that "services" or "reaching out to them" will get anywhere.  Locking them up permanently, and throwing away the key?  Yes, that will work.  Taking strong, direct action against perpetrators of such crimes, not handling them with kid gloves as the current criminal justice system all too often does, but being ruthless in giving them a choice between real, lasting change, or never being a free man again?  That'll work too - but we have to follow through on that, and actually do what we threaten to do.  These people are experts in threatening others, and they know bluff when they see it.  All too often, they see bluff in the criminal justice system.  If they have nothing to be afraid of, and no consequences to speak of because our threats are empty, then why should they listen or reform?

Another factor - politically incorrect, but undeniable - is that when their intended victims are ready, willing and able to defend themselves against attack, such criminals learn the hard way that they're vulnerable.  As the late, great Jeff Cooper put it:

We continue to be exasperated by the view, apparently gaining momentum in certain circles, that armed robbery is okay as long as nobody gets hurt! The proper solution to armed robbery is a dead robber, on the scene.

That'll work as well as, and probably a lot better than, even the best programs.


Rep. Thomas Massie for the win


Two spot-on tweets from the representative for Kentucky's 4th Congressional district.  Click either image for a larger view.

Short, pithy and to the point.  I wish more politicians would follow his example, and be as realistic about current events.

Now that more than half the Members of the Canadian Parliament have voted to support Prime Minister Trudeau (a.k.a. "Mini-Me Castreau") in his assumption of emergency powers, they might do well to read the second tweet above and ponder it.  I suspect a number of them won't retain their seats at the next election, because their constituents will be keeping it firmly in mind.


Monday, February 21, 2022

"Titanic" - with cat


This re-imagining (and clever editing) of the trailer for the movie "Titanic", to include a cat, had me laughing out loud.

Is that really Leonardo Di-cat-rio?


Fascism comes to Canada. Next stop: the USA.


We're watching an existential struggle for democracy in Canada right now, unfolding before our eyes.  Bear in mind that the word "existential" means "relating to human existence and experience".  It's not theoretical:  it's extremely practical.  In Canada, we're seeing a very practical conflict between democracy, freedom and the will of the people on the one hand, versus totalitarianism and tyranny on the other (words defined at the links, so we're clear what we're talking about).

I could spout on and on about what I think this means;  but many others have been talking as well, and I think they've said what's necessary.  Here are a few of them, with snippets from longer pieces.  I strongly urge you to follow each of the links provided, and read more of what they have to say.

When Fascism Comes To America, It Will Look Like Justin Trudeau’s Canada - Legal Insurrection.

Justin Trudeau ... suspended civil liberties in Canada, targeting peaceful protesters and anyone who supports them. Not because those supporters committed a crime, but because they supported the political opposition to Trudeau’s government.

Trudeau ordered all financial institutions to freeze the assets of his political opposition without court order and with full immunity from liability, and no financial asset was spared ... Trudeau has weaponized and commanded the private sector to do the government’s bidding in crushing political dissent ... The goal is not just to crush political dissent, it’s to crush the opposition’s spirit by depriving them of their livelihoods, ability to survive financially, and even taking their pets.

Trudeau is dangerous not just because he’s abusing Canadians, but because he is providing the wish list for crackdowns by Democrats in the U.S. ... Removing the political opposition from the modern financial and technology systems is what Justin Trudeau is doing, and it’s the dream of the political progressives in the U.S. It’s already happening here, though not with the brazenness of Trudeau. The Biden administration gives cover to and enourages every one of the actions ... by declaring political opposition domestic terrorists (even parents at school boards), and by broadly blurring the distinction between policial dissent and terrorism.

Trudeau’s totalitarian turn: The Canadian PM is desperate for his own 6 January moment - The American Spectator

Trudeau waited for the moment when he felt he would have enough support in the echelons of power to silence dissenters, seizing control over everyone’s bank account while he was at it.

These are totalitarian methods, not the methods of a justly governed, civilised nation. What is particularly notable in government discourse over the last couple of weeks is that Covid has become an afterthought. Nobody in power appears genuinely concerned about anything other than maintaining control and saving face ... The message is plain: participation in normal life is a privilege, not a default. Only those 'in compliance' get to participate.

The Naked Face of New Normal Fascism - The Consent Factory

I have been describing the New Normal as a new form of totalitarianism (or fascism, if you prefer) for the past two years ... The official narrative is rapidly dissolving, rendering the fascism of the New Normal visible. This is happening now because those of us who have seen it from the beginning — and have been resisting it all along — have held out long enough to run out the clock. GloboCap can’t keep the narrative going, so all they have left is brute fascist force.

Ottawa is not the end. It is just the beginning. Protests and other forms of civil disobedience are growing all around the world ... That does not mean it is time to relax. On the contrary, it is time to step up the pressure. It is time to make the monster show itself, in all its naked fascist ugliness, and to force everyone to pick a side.

There are only two sides ... fascism or freedom.

The Fall of Canada, The Danger in the US: Understanding Martial Law - Naomi Wolf

Parliamentarians in Canada do not seem to understand that now their former colleague, Justin Trudeau, can arrest not just truckers, whose lawful protest has been declared illegal, but also the Parliamentarians themselves. This is, sadly, the next step in this kind of drama, historically ... Justin Trudeau is by definition now in fact a dictator ... Historically, when a would-be dictator has reached this point in the suspension of democratic processes and has sought this level of a power grab, his arrests of the opposition’s leaders, on trumped-up charges, come next. Also arrested at this point are labor leaders, outspoken members of the clergy, and independent journalists and editors ... the next stage is an edict that casts criticism of what Trudeau is doing, as a crime, or an act of violence.

At this point in a power grab, either Parliamentarians and patriotic heads of the military peacefully arrest an out-of-control leader who has sought to overthrow a democracy, or else they must be aware that history shows that their own arrests may be nigh.

I also note that we down South of the Canadian border are far from safe ... the Biden administration is seeking to extend our own state of emergency ... We are in a highly precarious situation in the US, when it comes to the restoration of the rule of law ... The people’s mass noncompliance, the leadership of the opposition in taking on tyrants, and hopefully too the people’s quickly-mastered knowledge of their own Constitution, their own Charter of Rights, and their own legislative processes, alone can save us all.

To Serve and Protect - Bitter Centurion (a former Canadian police officer)

In one ****ing weekend, these psychotic knuckle dragging 'shaved apes' in Ottawa managed to do more irreparable harm to the image and institution of policing than the media, the politicians, BLM/ANTIFA, and all of George Soros's money could in several years.

Then, these ****ing prima-donnas in the ****ing musical ride, of all places, casually laugh about it and brag about how "these protestors are gonna hear our jackboots come down" and make fun of Ms. Paulsen getting trampled by a horse....God damn each and every one of you.

It was all for nothing.

All the good work that I, and the good, honest, decent people I KNOW are out there wearing a police uniform, have put an honest effort into doing was for absolutely nothing.  Speaking for myself, a lot of the work I did, in the course of my duties, was repair already damaged public/police relations.  It was something I enjoyed doing and I did a fairly decent job at it.

But....all it took was this ****ing trash to come along and **** and **** all over that work.  And of course they did, and of course they could....because, quite obviously, that's not the reason they put the uniform on in the first place. Clearly, they not only don't care about the public, but believe it is their privilege to terrorize and abuse them at their whim and get paid 'double bubble' for it to boot.

One of these nutjobs talked about 'living the dream'.  Right....beating the everloving **** out of people YOU SWORE AN OATH TO SERVE AND PROTECT is 'living the dream'.  Funny, because taking down monsters like that and protecting innocent, defenseless people was always my dream.  But this is Trudeau's Canada now, isn't it?  Up is down, black is white.

I hope these stupid ****s all know that they've just turned that police uniform into a veritable bullseye.  It's probably going to be VERY dangerous to be a cop in this country, from here on in ... Public trust?  Forget about it.  It's gone.  Those punks gleefully killed that with their fists and their truncheons.

Be in no doubt - none whatsoever - that we're going to see the same fascist reaction to the will of the people from the powers that be in Washington D.C. (and those behind them:  the extremists, the oligarchs, and the totalitarians who've carefully manipulated our country into its present impasse).  Those powers are not going to meekly back down from their extremist position, because they know they're going to be held accountable for their crimes and misdeeds if they lose power.  They're bound and determined to prevent that, by any and all means necessary.

Terry Paulding reminds us:

Our government is a joke. We have a non-functional executive branch run by a jaded bureaucracy, angling for a Russian war to distract us from their failures. We have blatant liars in Congress, on both sides of the aisle, in it for power and money and certainly not to serve their constituents. We have willfully ignorant Supreme Court justices who refuse to properly do their jobs or even research facts. They just hold a finger up to determine the political wind. We have a Justice Department that keeps political prisoners in deplorable conditions, and we are so non-functional as a government that we can’t even find a way to end that travesty.

We have lost freedom, lost our ability to make a living in many cases, and lost our money to rampant inflation that has been caused by bad policy. Oil and commodity prices are going to keep rising. Will wages follow?

We watch as the government of Canada, once a freedom-loving neighbor, turns on its own. We watch Trudeau form a police state, taking over without effective government opposition. In the name of saving people from a virus that kills almost nobody who is healthy, we now have a great swath of humanity deprived of the right to make a living and, soon, deprived of their assets, their property, even their children and pets. Could that happen here?

January 6th is proof it could. Hyped as a major crisis, we who watched know the participants’ intent. It was mostly a peaceful demonstration of our citizens’ right to be heard. They were manipulated, ushered in, and even riled up by planted provocateurs trying to make violence happen. Our concerned citizens walked into the People’s house, through opened doors, and wandered around. Hardly more alarming than a bunch of tourists taking in the sights. Until Ashli Babbitt was murdered and some planted provocateurs started riling up people to get the desired result.

There's more at the link.

We're about to see this in action with the departure on Wednesday this week of the so-called "People's Convoy", from California to Washington D.C. (and from other points as well, all converging on Washington).  American truckers are following the lead provided by their Canadian brothers and sisters, and taking our concerns about democracy and freedom to our nation's capital.

For an accurate, independent account of the convoy's progress, I suggest you follow Michael Yon at the special Web site he's established for the purpose.  A lot of the coverage, both from the mainstream media and from individuals, is likely to be biased and inaccurate.  I think Mr. Yon's credentials as an independent, objective, accurate reporter are so well established by now as to be beyond doubt.  He's likely to be a trustworthy source.

The thing is, the powers that be in the USA are no more willing to tolerate this level of civil disobedience and protest than Justin Trudeau and his jackbooted thugs were prepared to tolerate it in Canada.  They have to crack down on it, or watch as a groundswell of popular protest builds up until it overwhelms them.  The only question is, how will they go about it?

One quick answer comes from traffic authorities.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is partnering with Arizona Department of Public Safety (AZDPS) to conduct a major enforcement operation next week.

According to AZDPS, Operation Southern Shield 2022 will take place from Tuesday, February 22, through Friday, February 25.

“The focus of this operation is to target hazardous driving violations, conduct commercial motor vehicle (CMV) inspections, and educate drivers on safe and compliant operation in an effort to reduce crashes involving commercial motor vehicles,” AZDPS said. “Non-commercial vehicles that operate unsafely around CMVs will also be stopped.”

The blitz will be conducted on Interstate 10 from Phoenix to the New Mexico state line, and on Interstate 19 to the international border.

Again, more at the link.

If you think that the timing of this "major enforcement operation", and its operation along the route that the People's Convoy will follow, is purely coincidental or accidental, I have a bridge in Brooklyn, NYC I'd like to sell you.  Cash only, please, and in small bills.  What's more, I'm willing to bet we'll see similar "major enforcement operations" in almost every state through which the People's Convoy will pass.  They'll be harassed, annoyed, tormented, badgered and persecuted in every possible way.  The "inspections" can (and probably will) be slow-rolled to delay the vehicles in the convoy for hours, even days.  The slightest defect in their vehicles ("You've got dust on your reflectors!") will be used as an excuse to take them off the road as "unsafe".

Meanwhile, the organizers of the People's Convoy are likely to find themselves personally targeted and harassed.  Their families may come in for the same treatment.  Those contributing to the convoy's costs may find themselves targeted in the same way that supporters of the Canadian truckers have been.  Nobody knows all the ways in which the powers that be will try to interfere - but that they will try is beyond any possible doubt.  They cannot afford to allow the People's Convoy to succeed.  It's too great a threat to their power.  They must and will crack down.  The only question is, how far are they prepared to go?

Bear in mind, too, that many of their reactions will be "unofficial".  If a "spontaneous" mob of Black Lives Matter and/or Antifa rioters demonstrators happen to obstruct the passage of the convoy, one can't blame the government, can one?  (And if cops don't show up to protect the truckers, well, they were busy elsewhere - that's not their fault!)  And if the trucks' tires are slashed in the process, or their brake lines cut, or other damage done, well, that's wrong, and criminal, and I'm sure the authorities will do their best to find and prosecute those responsible.  What am I bet that they'll "discover" local conservatives, right-wingers, "bitter clingers" and (Gasp! Shock! Horror!) white supremacists were to blame?  (Meanwhile, of course, the trucks will be officially taken off the road until repairs are complete - and what's the betting that the parts needed to do so will suddenly and mysteriously be "delayed in transit", perhaps indefinitely?)

As Michael Yon sums up:

I sense we are headed deeper into a more obvious civil war. As a war correspondent, I hoped this would never happen in my own country. Many Americans, Canadians, Kiwis, Aussies, and more, are finally pushing back against tyranny.

Canadian tyrants and others are responding in the way tyrants respond — more tyranny.

I find it impossible to disagree with him.  All I can say is . . . we'd better not lose.