Victory Lap

I was happy and relieved at the verdict yesterday in the Rittenhouse trial. Of course you have plenty of ridiculous takes on the trial out there like this:

I have spent an inordinate amount of time following this trial and spent my evenings watching the proceedings. Which reminds me that we need to start having cameras in federal courtrooms, but that is a different subject.

It’s breathtaking how none of the screaming loons like Newsom looked at one minute of these proceedings, looked at not one exhibit of evidence or even bothered to look at all of the video that is out there everywhere. Why are there even sides on the right to defend yourself?

This is a great time to have conversations about prosecutorial misconduct, the Constitution and self defense and instead it is just all rank bullshit. Imagine all of the innocent poor people rotting in jail because they took the deals due to prosecutorial misconduct. Kyle had people setting up defense funds or he would be there too. Especially if there wasn’t video.

The left in this country are absolute trash. I hope Kyle is able to somehow get on with his life and live it in a somewhat normal fashion after this all blows over. Oh and also after he is done suing everyone who called him a white supremacist, murderer, and all the rest. He could start with “Biden” but there is probably lower hanging fruit out there for some quick settlements. I’m sure there are a lot of people scrubbing their social media as I write this, but the internet never forgets. Just ask Nick Sandmann.

Dilèm Aksyon Kolektif nan Matisan

Generatim discite cultus

(Learn the culture proper to each after its kind)

— Virgil, Georgics II

Stephen Biddle, Nonstate Warfare: the Military Methods of Guerrillas, Warlords, and Militias (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2021)

one-to-many entity-relationship symbol superposed over map of Martissant, Haiti

By way of making this more than a merely armchair review, I will be discussing the developing situation of state failure in Haiti, which is providing a personally harrowing example of the phenomena theorized and studied in this book. NB: additional situation reports like the one I quote from below will appear at this OCHA webpage.

I. Increasingly Scale-Free Military Activity in the 21st Century

In this follow-up to 2004’s Military Power: Explaining Victory and Defeat in Modern Battle (also from Princeton), Stephen Biddle continues to elucidate the many ramifications of the one-to-many relationship which came to dominate the battlefield between the Napoleonic Wars and World War I. Over that century and in the decades that followed, individual-service weapons increased in rate of fire from a (very) few rounds per minute to ~10 rounds per second, in effective range from ~100 to >300 meters, and in accuracy from (optimistically) 10 to 1.5 milliradians. Say 2½ orders of magnitude improvement in RoF, half an order of magnitude in range, and one order of magnitude in accuracy; multiplying these together to create a sort of index of effectiveness, I get an overall change of 4 orders of magnitude, with stark implications for battlefield environments.

Read more

“Twitter Rolls Out New Feature That Auto-Posts ‘Ban Assault Rifles!’ From Your Account Any Time a Mass Shooting Hashtag Starts Trending”

Don’t give them ideas:

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said he was “excited” about the rollout of the new feature.
 
“For at least 2 years now, maybe even longer, America has been faced with the tragedy of mass shootings,” said Dorsey. “While some people waste time considering the feelings of the victims and their families, others do the smart thing and start offering solutions to the problem. Now, the only solution that would have any effect – at least according to all the angry tweets I’ve read on the topic – is a complete ban on assault rifles. The problem is, not everyone is doing all they can to spread that message – like those ‘why don’t we discuss this calmly and study our options’ morons.”

UPDATE: This is satire.

“Red Flag” Laws

From this helpful summary of recent trends in US gun laws at Ammo.com:

After a wave of mass shootings in 2017 and 2018, one of the most fashionable pushes for gun control was the rise of so-called “red flag” laws, or Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPOs).
 
[. . .]
 
Red flag laws enable law enforcement to confiscate firearms from an individual who is considered a threat to themselves or others. However, these confiscatory actions can be taken based on simple allegations. An accusation from a family member, friend, or associate is enough of a justification for law enforcement officers to seize an individual’s firearms.
 
Potential for due process violations has emerged since red flag laws started gaining traction. Even the American Civil Liberties Union, who views the Second Amendment as a collective right as opposed to an individual right, has expressed concern about how red flags will essentially create Minority Report-like scenarios in America. Individuals could see their rights stripped just based on speculation on the part of petitioners and a judge.
 
Subsequently, the accused are compelled to take their accusers to court, even though the accused has never been charged with or convicted of a crime. To make matters worse, the defendant could have their weapons seized without even a hearing before a judge. Months could go by before a gun owner wins back his gun rights in court.

It seems likely that govt officials will use red flag laws to harass unpopular people. It seems likely that red flag laws will have perverse unintended consequences such as ex-girlfriend empowerment. Red flag laws will be enforced by the same institutions and officials whose inability to prevent or stop mass shootings is used as an argument for passing red flag laws.

In politics, if it feels good, if it’s fashionable, if it’s glib, if everyone seems to want it, it’s probably a bad idea.