03 Jun 2020

Helpless and Besieged in Midtown Manhattan

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Looters running out of the Moose Knuckles store at 57 Greene St. in New York City.

Sohrab Ahmari spent an evening besieged by roving gangs of looters at 55th & Lex. NYC’s strict Gun Control laws, and prevailing hoplophobia, assured that he would be unarmed and defenseless.

As every parent knows, children can sleep through anything when they’re tired enough. So it was with our two kids Monday night. They snored away, oblivious to the buzz of helicopters overhead, the constant wail of sirens — and the distinct crack of gunshots that rang out at around 10:40 somewhere in Midtown East, where we live. Their parents, on the other hand, were bundles of racked nerves.

I went downstairs to see for myself. In the four hours that followed, I felt the insecurity of lawlessness and disorder more acutely than I ever had before — and I’ve filed datelines all over the Middle East, including from the front line of the Iraqi Kurdish war against the Islamic State.

But I wasn’t the hero of these four hours. That role belonged to our two doormen, whom I will call Alfonso and Johnny — unarmed, upright, working-class people of color who were all that stood between the families in our building and the savagery of a depraved mob below.

I’d ventured out earlier, before the 11 p.m. curfew, which we’d soon learn was a toothless fiction. At the corner of Lex and 55th, a few neighbors and I watched young men and a few women heading somewhere, typically in packs of four or five. A Cohen’s Optical and a Verizon store were already smashed in, and some of the, er, protesters would walk through the broken glass and loot whatever struck their fancy; we avoided eye contact.

The NYPD had a presence at that corner, mind you: A regular squad car had blocked off 55th westbound, and we saw police vans going about this way and that. At one point, riot cops even got out of two of their vehicles and geared up, but then they got right back in and drove away. Not one officer confronted the ongoing looting, either because they feared being overwhelmed, I suppose, or because they had bigger fish to fry elsewhere.

They won’t come to our block, I thought. We have no sexy stores to loot.

My optimism was misplaced. When I went downstairs that second time, Alfonso looked alarmed: “Unless you absolutely have to go out,” he said, “please stay inside.” He needn’t have said anything: Instantly, I spotted more of those roving packs walking, sometimes running down our block, some heading west, some east — and some staying put and observing us through our glass entrance before moving on.

As I arrived, Alfonso’s shift was about to end and Johnny’s was about to begin. Johnny, it seemed, had no idea what was awaiting him. An agreement was reached: Alfonso would stay for an extra hour, partly to buck up and prep Johnny, partly because he wasn’t sure it was safe for him to go home (in a different borough). I decided to stay, too.

“Can we lock the doors?” I asked.

“Well, sure,” replied Alfonso. “But if they wanted, you know they can just break the glass and walk in, right?”

RTWT

03 Jun 2020

ANTIFA Visits the Suburbs in Yucaipa, California

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02 Jun 2020

ANTIFA Threatens to Move Rioting into the Suburbs

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There were several threats yesterday about ANTIFA moving its violent protests, the looting and burnings, out of the cities into the residential suburbs.

Brandon Morse warns that trying that, in America, would be a VERY BAD IDEA.

Rioting in a city is, for all intents and purposes, safe for the rioter. Even if you do have a confrontation with police, you’re more than likely going to get a few bumps and bruises. At worst, some blood might be drawn from superficial wounds. The worst that may befall you is if your fellow rioters turn on you for any reason. Then you’ll really face serious injury, though more than likely, you’re just going to riot, loot, destroy, and go home.

The rules change in the suburbs. You’re not robbing a private store and destroying public property anymore. Now you’re in home territory. The house is full of valuable possessions and luxuries, yes, but more than that, this location has family members in it. Wives, children, and even beloved pets.

You’re in a different playing field now. Here the stakes are a lot higher for the victims of rioters, and as such, the stakes will rise for you. You’re no longer just facing an arrest charge or a few bumps and bruises. You’re now playing with your life.

I want anyone in Antifa or rioting groups to know that it was estimated that there were 350 million guns in America…back in 2017. Also, that was the conservative estimate. The number is more likely double that, and with more being added to the count every day.

Events big and small cause gun sales to skyrocket. Former President Obama could just glance at a gun and it’d cause people to purchase one. Recently, gun sales shot up thanks to the pandemic due to the idea that supplies may run out and people would have to defend their homes, families, and possessions.

The question you have to ask yourself is whether or not the person on the other side of the door that you’re about to try to break down is one of those people who purchased a firearm. Every home you try to gain access to is a roll of the dice, and the odds don’t look good for you.

You may be able to get away with throwing rocks at windows, maybe even smash up a few vehicles on the street. You might bust up a few light posts and trash someone’s yard. That you’ll leave a mess and get away safely is probably true, provided you don’t run into an armed homeowner who doesn’t know the gun laws in his state well.

But rest assured, they’ll be watching your every move and the vast majority of people watching you will have a firearm in their hand, ready to use it. The moment you cross the threshold, your life is forfeit. You start trying to set someone’s home on fire, your life is forfeit. You begin attempting to bring harm to residents inside a home, your life is forfeit.

You’re far more likely to die in the suburbs than in the city in this situation. You may think moving the riots into neighborhoods is going to play out the same way. It’s not. You’re at a massive tactical disadvantage. The residents know these streets, the layout of their homes, and the defense capabilities of their residence and themselves.

You don’t. Each home will be different, each resident will have different approaches, and each home may have more than one or two gun wielders inside. The goal isn’t non-violent control of the situation now. It’s not about tear gas and high-pressure hoses now. Now it’s deadly force.

RTWT

02 Jun 2020

“You Can’t Loot Us, We’re Progressives!”

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John Hinderaker finds it hilarious that community of fashion bouzhie poseurs will root enthusiastically for the Revolution, not realizing in the least that it’s coming for them, too, in the end.

There is nothing good about rioting, looting and burning, but these evils sometimes provide clarifying moments. Such as when progressives realize that the looters are coming for them, too. It shouldn’t be a news flash, but progressives are often surprised to learn that their support for left-wing causes, including criminal activity, doesn’t accord them any special status.

A case in point, from North Carolina’s Post Millenial: “Editor of progressive newspaper celebrated protestors—then they stormed and trashed her office.” The editor is named Leigh Tauss. She initially cheered on anti-police protesters.

RTWT

01 Jun 2020

The First Marines on Peleliu

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Robert Leckie, Helmet for my Pillow, 1957:

We were leaving. The battle had been won. Extermination had come to the Japanese ten thousand on Peleliu and my regiment — the First — was licking its wounds on the beach. Of my battalion — a force of some fifteen hundred men — there remained but twenty-eight effectives when the command came for the last assault on that honeycomb of caves and pillboxes which the Japanese had carved into Bloody Nose Ridge — in men and blood and agony the most costly spit of land in the wide Pacific. When the command came, they rose from their holes like shades from sepulchers … and advanced. They could not run, they could barely walk — and they dragged their weapons. But they obeyed and they attacked.

01 Jun 2020

We Need to Explain the Difference

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Ross Clark notes that an explanation, other than politics, is required to account for the difference in the impact of the COVID-19 virus in Asia from the toll it’s taken in Europe and the United States.

Japan… has not used any of the standard measures for tackling Covid-19 – lockdown, test, track and trace – with any great vigour. Neither has it succeeded in snuffing out the virus by any other means. If you think Boris Johnson or Donald Trump have been reckless in some way, you ought to be berating the Japanese government far more. But you won’t because Japan, in spite of its laissez-faire attitude, has had remarkably few deaths: seven for every million citizens, compared with 567 in the UK. Even Europe’s Covid pin-up – Germany – has suffered a death rate that is multiples that of Japan: 103 per million.

But then again, if you compared Japan with its Far Eastern neighbours, you could establish a case that Japan has been reckless: South Korea and Taiwan have even lower death rates at 5 per million and 0.3 per million respectively.

This brings one to an inescapable conclusion that has been obvious since mid-March, at least to anyone who has been prepared to see it: that there is a fundamental difference in the way that this virus has behaved in the Far East compared with Europe and America. It has been far, far deadlier in the latter two, and in a way which cannot even nearly be explained by the way different governments have handled the epidemic. This raises two possibilities: either there is a difference in the virus that has been attacking Western countries or there is a difference in the human populations.

RTWT

01 Jun 2020

Rioting as a Pose

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Ross Clark, in the Spectator, remarks on the irony inherent in revolutionary looting as a collaborative activity involving the National Elite Establishment and the urban canaille. Of course, what we are seeing here is, when you come right down to it, the active physical manifestation of everything today’s democrat party stands for.

That LEGO set or Louis Vuitton bag you’ve always wanted can be yours free if you just wait for the next black suspect to die in police custody. That’s the lesson so far from the riots in Minneapolis, Portland, Atlanta and elsewhere following the death of George Floyd. Arson and luxury looting are not the most obvious ways of fighting racism or police brutality, but at this point riots are a ritual. ‘Antifa’ means bourgeois bolshevism — college-educated mock revolutionaries performing to a predictable script.

This is the most sterile rebellion any country has ever seen. Far from terrifying the establishment, it reflects exactly what is taught in schools and preached over the airwaves and in respectable op-eds. Academics and celebrities have taken to Twitter to assure these wonderful young louts that riots really do reform politics and the civil rights movement was about violence from the beginning. Don’t worry: you’re saving black lives by throwing that brick through a window and lighting a liquor store on fire. You’re just like the Boston Tea Party — only not racist.

This is what significant portions of the opinion-forming classes in America actually believe. There is a spectrum, of course. Some thought leaders cavil more than others about the uncouthness of it all. But even the most delicate of pundits isn’t as bothered by the firebombs and pillaging as he is by Donald Trump’s next tweet: that’s real violence.

RTWT

31 May 2020

How About That?

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31 May 2020

Two Different Responses to Looting

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Husband and wife beaten with 2x4s for trying to defend store in Rochester, NY.

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Different ending in San Antonio, Texas. Some store owner had a gun and used it.

31 May 2020

The Grieving Crowd

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30 May 2020

Roger Pinckney Daufuskie: “Most Folks Fail to Realize That Stealing a Flat Screen TV is a Natural Part of the Grieving Process….”

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An email from commenter Marion Stinett to Vanderleun describes Minneapolis today:

Everyone has seen the videos of the Minneapolis police officer kneeling on the neck of a hapless petty criminal. And now looting and arson are happening all over the city. How did a very civilized city come to this?

Well, progressives, of course. But beyond that, do folks know the City of Minneapolis operates a protection racket?

All of the adults on the city council have retired or been voted out, and the council is now composed of earnest young progressives like our boy mayor Jacob Frey. And what does every young progressive like Jacob fear the most? Being called a racist. We also have a few AOC types who want to seize the Lake of the Isles mansions for the (well-connected) people.

Generous welfare benefits combined with importing a few hundred thousand East Africans means that Mary Tyler Moore’s clean, well-run hub of tech, manufacturing, and agriculture is now rather troublesome. The Somalis were actually welcomed for their work ethic and strong family ties. But the next generation–this always happens with any ethnic group imported into a different culture–doesn’t remember what a hell hole they left, and resent that they’re not doing coke off Amber Heard’s tits like all the white people are.

So they get restive and look for opportunities for trouble.

Retail stores are soon found to be easy targets. Chain stores are the easiest. CVS and Walgreens and Chipotle will absolutely fire any employee who looks at a petty criminal in a mean way. The store manager is held responsible for shrinkage –loss due to theft– but if the manager even attempts to stop theft, he or she will be fired.

Now one might wonder how those two drug giants keep the doors open. The answer is the pharmacies. Those make so much money that the retail floor can lose quite a bit. It’s not unlimited; CVS just closed four or five stores in the highest theft areas. But they’ll suffer a fair amount.

Now add in the great progressive paranoia: I cannot stand to be called a racist.

So rather than risk that city and county officials decided to stop enforcing laws against retail theft. Remember that video from a San Francisco store of thieves cleaning out all the makeup in a drugstore in broad daylight? It happens here in Minneapolis also.

Here the thieves will grab a box of trash bags off the shelf, pull out a couple, and fill it with easily fenced stuff like Tide detergent, diapers, and small electronics. If there are cigarettes, they’ll jump over the counter and grab them, along with Similac baby food (that’s already behind the counter due to high theft). Then they will walk out, and if you stand in their way, you may get shoved down. Certainly all of the “Sir, please, stop” which is the corporate recommended solution, will not slow them down.

The really great thing is, a merchant can call the police while burning a DVD of the perp’s faces, and the cops probably will not show up. If someone is injured by the bad guys, probably someone will come and hand the manager a card with a case number, but that is all that will happen. I have seen this many times in many stores.

When this virus thing happened, the city actually announced that they would not prosecute retail theft and transit fare jumping, among other things.

So what is a merchant to do? Well, you have to pay protection, of course. Private security cannot do any more than talk to the thieves. But you can hire a member of the Badge Gang: an off-duty Minneapolis police officer.

This is very expensive. Cops here make 25 or more an hour in a regular workweek. But now it’s overtime, plus whatever “administrative” fees the city chooses to add. And they’re going to add it because these off-duty hours count toward retirement pay. Merchants have to raise prices, and you know that’s racist too.

Of course, the fact that the Auto Zone car parts store, across the street from the 3rd Precinct, has been paying protection for years didn’t help them last night when Arsonists For Justice showed up. The police say they will protect lives and property. However, the council members have made it crystal clear that they expect the cops to hunker down and take the medicine. So Minneapolis PD will not risk those lovely-retire-at-42-pensions.

29 May 2020

Tweet of the Day

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