The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

‘A Year Without Christmas’

Posted on | November 22, 2020 | No Comments

Democrats everywhere are using COVID-19 as a pretext to shut down business. Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney is playing the Grinch:

The City of Philadelphia imposed new business restrictions on Monday that will go into effect at the end of the week. Sectors of the local economy will be required to shut down or severely curtail operations until at least Jan. 1.
“For millions of people, this could be the year without a Christmas,” said Stephen Mullin, principal at Econsult Solutions and a former city director of commerce during the Rendell administration. “We’ll see unemployment bouncing up significantly again.”
The poor will be hit disproportionately as minimum wage jobs in retail, hospitality, and restaurants disappear, he predicted. The next six weeks will be tougher than in the spring and will probably endure into the new year. And businesses are pushing back and taking their complaints directly to City Hall.

Dana Pico comments bitterly: “With a salary of $218,000, Mr Kenney isn’t worried that COVID-19 shutdowns will put him in the poorhouse; that’s reserved for the working class people.”

No matter what the media say, there is no “science” that justifies this. If lockdowns could stop the virus, we wouldn’t need more lockdowns. The original logic — first “two weeks to slow the spread,” in March, then “30 days to flatten the curve” in April — were that these measures were necessary to prevent an emergency that would overwhelm the health care system. That succeeded. The shrieking from Andrew Cuomo about a potential ventilator shortage proved to be a false alarm.

Despite what is being said about a “surge” of cases now, hospitals are not being inundated with COVID-19 patients. Doctors have developed effective therapeutic treatments; we have learned that almost no one under age 70 is at risk of dying from the disease. Why are the media and politicians inciting panic and trying to destroy the economy?




 

 

DNA of the Doomed

Posted on | November 21, 2020 | 2 Comments

Let’s think about the word misbegotten. Originally, it implied bastardy — “a misbegotten child” was illegitimate — but attained also a connotation of deformed or defective, and the word was generalized to apply to anything “having a disreputable or improper origin.”

“Misbegotten” comes to mind whenever I think of Lena Dunham, the weirdly shaped potato-looking person who soared to celebrity status on the basis of the six-season run of the HBO series Girls. This series was sometimes described as a “comedy,” but after trying to watch a few episodes, I can tell you that this description was a lie. Anyone who found Girls to be funny is almost certainly suffering from mental illness and — oh, by the way — did I mention that Dunham suffers from mental illness? She was addicted to the anti-anxiety drug Klonopin, of all things. Like, if you’re going to be an addict, wouldn’t it be better to become addicted to something fun? Nobody ever took Klonopin for fun.

Lena Dunham made herself infamous in 2014, when she deliberately smeared a former Oberlin College student as a rapist. This heinous lie involved using the first name (“Barry”) of a student who was a conservative activist at Oberlin during Dunham’s years on campus, claiming in her memoir that this Republican student raped her. After John Nolte of Breitbart proved this to be false — the aforesaid “Barry” didn’t know Dunham at all, and she only knew him by reputation — Dunham apologized. What happened next was that a reporter from Gawker did a close reading of the draft proposal for her memoir and noted that the description she gave matched another Oberlin student, a Jewish Democrat who happened to be the son of a former NPR host. Because we have no way of verifying Dunham’s accusation against this former classmate (or anyone else, for that matter) it is simply impossible to know if Dunham was ever raped at Oberlin and, on balance, there are many reasons to surmise the whole tale was a lie from start to finish.

The “success” of Girls was also a lie from start to finish. Nobody ever subscribed to HBO because they wanted to watch Dunham’s lousy show. No, the reason Dunham and Girls got so much publicity was not because of the size of the show’s audience (its ratings were never impressive), but because the show had a special appeal to the Manhattan media elite, reflecting their peculiar sensibilities. Before he died in 2015 at age 58, New York Times columnist David Carr was credited with making Lena Dunham a celebrity because of his glowing 1,000-word feature review of Dunham’s 2010 film Tiny Furniture.

Carr’s name came to mind the other day because of something Ed Driscoll linked about Ta-Nehisi Coates, who considered Carr a mentor. If you follow back through some of Ed’s links — he is custodian of the institutional memory of the blogosphere — you will eventually arrive at a 2011 episode of Bill Maher’s program in which David Carr said:

“If it’s Kansas, Missouri, no big deal. You know, that’s the dance of the low-sloping foreheads. The middle places, right? …Did I just say that aloud?”

This phrase, “the dance of the low-sloping foreheads,” is one that Carr used repeatedly to describe Middle America, and this contemptuous disdain is a problem among our cultural elite that has drawn critical attention from the leftist journal In These Times. The idea that Americans in “flyover country” are inferior, so that their beliefs, aspirations and lifestyle deserve to be mocked and ridiculed, is so prevalent in the institutions controlled by the Democratic Party — including academia and the entertainment industry — that it is never even questioned, but rather taken as a self-evident fact. Our elite routinely disparage the intelligence of people in Middle America in a way that they would never disparage any other group, and why? Because the people in Middle America vote Republican. But I digress . . . Read more

The ‘Sovereign Citizen’ Movement Is Dangerous, and Yet Often Hilarious

Posted on | November 21, 2020 | 1 Comment

If you never heard of the “sovereign citizen” movement, these are a species of kook who are, in fact, the domestic terrorist movement that most concerns law enforcement officers, because cops have to deal with these idiots who imagine themselves exempt from the law.

The “sovereign citizen” claims to be in possession of “rights” that have no basis in law, as for example they routinely claim that they don’t need drivers licenses and don’t have to comply with orders from the police. Here I could digress to deliver a brief lecture on the origins of law — including laws requiring that motorists carry a license and provide it to police when asked — and the obvious fact that law has no meaning or purpose if the government has no means of enforcing the law. The police are sworn to uphold the law, and their actions are governed by the law, and if you don’t like being required to show your license to the cops when they ask for it, perhaps you should take this up with your state legislature. The “consent of the governed” being the ultimate foundation of law, you could conceivably elect people to the legislature who would say, “Licenses? We don’t need no licenses!” And then the roads would be full of lunatics driving any which way they want, because democracy!

The fact that every state requires licenses to drive can be interpreted as a loud and unanimous “HELL, NO” to such a proposition, but these “sovereign citizen” types don’t seem to get this point. Every time they get pulled over by the cops, they initiate a futile confrontation, lecturing the cop about how their “rights” are being violated, etc. One of their classic questions is, “Am I being detained?” The minute a cop hears this, he knows he’s probably dealing with a kook who will next demand that the officer call his supervisor. When the kook’s non-compliance leads to his arrest — because refusing to show your license is itself a crime — it sometimes requires three or four officers to wrestle the kook out of his car and put him in cuffs. Let’s play “Sovereign Citizen Bingo”:

 

Notice that in this case, the police were more interested in the male passenger than in the female driver. My guess — and it’s only a guess — is that the passenger had warrants for his arrest. This is a common situation in traffic stops that “go bad.” If you’re not doing anything wrong, why would you refuse to show the cops your ID? But if you’ve got warrants, or if you’ve got weed or a gun in the car, or if you’re violating the terms of your probation, that’s when you start causing trouble. In such cases, the “sovereign citizen” rant is just a convenient pretext for non-compliance, rather than an abstract philosophical discourse.

What we are dealing with, really, is the consequence of a failed education system. If public schools teach nothing else, shouldn’t they at least teach respect for the law? What is the point of taxpayers spending billions of dollars annually to fund public schools, if these schools cannot even teach kids the most basic duties of citizenship? But I digress . . .

The “sovereign citizen” movement is a menace to public safety, and symptomatic of profound problems in our society. At the same time, however, it is vastly entertaining to watch these geniuses get completely wrecked by cops, which is how these confrontations typically end:

 

Something else about this: Why do these people imagine that a police officer will be impressed with their lectures about their “rights”?

This is where sentimental notions of “equality” have led us, to a society in which people refuse to recognize superior authority, because they have not been taught anything about the nature of authority — why does a cop have the power to arrest people? — and because they don’t even recognize the concept of superiority. If everybody is equal (as they have been taught) then the police officer cannot possibly be superior to anyone else in terms of, for example, his knowledge of law. The police officer or sheriff’s deputy has gone through a process of selection and training. The sheriff or police chief, as the executive of the department, bears responsibility if his officers do not do follow proper legal procedures. While there are “bad apples” among cops, and even a good cop may occasionally make a mistake, there is no reason to imagine that the police officer who pulls you over for a traffic violation is in need of a lecture about your “rights,” based on some nonsense you saw on Facebook.

 

Crazy People Are Dangerous.




 

In The Mailbox: 11.20.20 (Evening Edition)

Posted on | November 20, 2020 | 1 Comment

— compiled by Wombat-socho

Usual deadlines for the usual weekend linkagery are in effect.
Ceterum autem censeo Silicon Valley esse delendam.

OVER THE TRANSOM
357 Magnum: Some Predators Have Four Legs
Bacon Time: A New Holster
EBL: Space X Launch
Twitchy: GOP-Controlled Board Votes To Certify Results From Maricopa County AZ
Louder With Crowder: Lindsey Graham Tells The Squad Where To Stick Their Resignation Calls
Vox Popoli: We Will Not Back Down, also, At The Rubicon
According To Hoyt: HAS EVERYONE LOST THEIR MINDS?
Monster Hunter Nation: Monster Hunter Bloodlines Available For Pre-Order

RIPPED FROM THE HEADLINES
American Conservative: The Urban Fantasy Of American Universities
American Greatness: Dominion Voting Systems Lawyers Up, Abruptly Backs Out Of PA State House Hearing, also, Emmy Award Recognizing “Leadership During COVID-19 Pandemic” Goes To…Governor Cuomo?
American Power: The GULAG Archipelago
American Thinker: The Left’s Utter Nonsense
Animal Magnetism: Rule Five Great Unifier Friday
Babalu Blog: The Freedom Squad
BattleSwarm: LinkSwarm For November 20
Cafe Hayek: On The Logic Of Universal Free Trade
CDR Salamander: Fullbore Friday
Da Tech Guy: “Senator, If The Hair On My Head Knew My Plans, I Would Cut It Off”
Don Surber: Cucker Tarlson Sells Out
First Street Journal: It’s So Easy For State Governors To Order Other People To Lose Their Jobs
Fred On Everything: The Godding Of Dullards, The Death Of Math, & The Fall Of America’s Premier High School
The Geller Report: Why Is GA Shredding Election Documents At Cobb County Election HQ? also, Registered Democrat Arrested For Threatening To Kill DeSantis, Rubio, & Scott
Hogewash: Team Kimberlin Post Of The Day, also, Control of The House
Hollywood In Toto: George Clooney, The Incredible Shrinking Movie Star
JustOneMinute: Affidavit From The North Country
The Lid: Unhinged leftists’ New Grand Idea – Deprogramming Trump Supporters
Legal Insurrection: Megyn Kelly Pulls Her Kids out Of NYC Schools Over Leftist Indoctrination, also, Rising Democratic Star & Stockton Mayor Loses To Veteran
Nebraska Energy Observer: Friday Report
Power Line: A Vast International Leftist Conspiracy? also, Do Trump’s Lawyers Know What They Are Doing?
Shark Tank: Murphy Slams Congress For Inaction On COVID Relief
Shot In The Dark: Further Proof
The Political Hat: Antiracist Baby
This Ain’t Hell: LT Bobulinski’s Honorable Navy Career, also, Valor Friday
Victory Girls: Trump Voters Abandoned BY GOP?
Volokh Conspiracy: State Legislatures & Presidential Electors
Weasel Zippers: Kelly Ward Exposes Dominion Voting Scam, also, Fox & Friendless
The Federalist: Your Political Leaders hate You And Think You’re Stupid, also, Politicians Aren’t Canceling Their Celebrations & Gatherings, And Neither Am I
Mark Steyn: A Whale Of A Tale

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In The Mailbox: 11.20.20 (Morning Edition)

Posted on | November 20, 2020 | No Comments

— compiled by Wombat-socho

I had hoped to get all caught up on the linkagery yesterday after getting back from Las Vegas, but I ran out of energy after the first post. Sorry.
Ceterum autem censeo Silicon Valley esse delendam.

OVER THE TRANSOM
Red Pilled Jew: Wednesday Whittle
357 Magnum: Why “Shoot ‘Em In The Leg” Is A Bad Idea
EBL: November 1620
Twitchy: Trump Attorney Dares Lincoln Project To Try & Bully Him After Filing Nevada Election Lawsuit
Louder With Crowder: “Experts” Advised DiBlasio Not To Close NYC Schools, And He Ignored Them
Vox Popoli: Wikipedia Is Not Science, also, Every City & Every Suburb
Stoic Observations: Taking Music For Granted

RIPPED FROM THE HEADLINES
American Conservative: No U-Turns To Bushism
American Greatness: Wayne County GOP Election Canvassers Rescind Certifications, also, GA Recount Observers Allege Massive Fraud Favoring Biden In New Court Filing
American Power: Between Freedom And Communism
American Thinker: Why I Left Facebook, And Why You Should Too, also, Tell Us Again Why Mail-In Voting Was So Important
Animal Magnetism: Animal’s Daily Debt Cancellation News
Babalu Blog: Rep. Diaz-Balart – Biden Will Take The U.S. Back To Obama’s Failed Cuba Policy
BattleSwarm: A Look At The State-Level Democratic Crash
Cafe Hayek: See Beyond The Obvious
CDR Salamander: Diversity Thursday
Da Tech Guy: Guess Who’s Locked Out Of Twitter Again? also, Gov. Baker, Your Latest Edicts Are Tyrannical & Not Based On Science
Don Surber: Twitter’s Censorship Problem Is On The Left
First Street Journal: Dictators Gotta Dictate!
The Geller Report: Team Trump Election Fraud Press Conference, also, Rural Oregon Counties Vote to Discuss Seceding From State, Joining Idaho
Hogewash: Team Kimberlin Post Of the Day, also, “Shooting A Possible”
Hollywood In Toto: Liberal Late Night Hosts Hurt The Nation – Here’s How
JustOneMinute: Running The Double-Reverse
The Lid: MI Republicans Introduce Resolution Of Impeachment Against Gov. Whitmer
Legal Insurrection: Philly Lawyer Representing Trump Placed Under Protection After Threats Of Harm, also, Pompeo Declares BDS Movement Antisemitic, Seeks Defunding
Nebraska Energy Observer: Who Was He?
Power Line: Fort Apache, Minneapolis, also, Psychotic Break At The NY Times
Shark Tank: Rick Scott Announces Major Shake-Up In His Office
Shot In The Dark: There Was A Time, also, Can You Feel The #Unity, Here In #OneMinnesota?
The Political Hat: Woke Racebending
This Ain’t Hell: WW2 Soldier Returns War Trophy To France 75 Years Later, also, Racist Rock
Victory Girls: Study Says Masks Don’t Protect From COVID-19
Volokh Conspiracy: The Patron Saint Of Lawyers
Weasel Zippers: CA DNC Member Calls For “Reeducation Camps” For Republicans, also, GA Dem Senate Candidate – Nobody Can Serve God & The U.S. Military
The Federalist: After Insulting Trump Voters For Years, NYT Writer Complains Reaching Out Is “A Waste Of Time”, also, Democrats & Media Reaping The Fruit Of Four Years Of Anti-Trump Conspiracy Theories
Mark Steyn: Building Back “Better”, also, The Decapitator’s Veto

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Kenosha: Joseph ‘JoJo’ Rosenbaum and the Problem of White Trash America

Posted on | November 20, 2020 | No Comments

Nearly three months ago, I wrote a post about Joseph “JoJo” Rosenbaum, the convicted child molester whose attack on Kyle Rittenhouse precipitated the shootings during the Kenosha riot that left Rosenbaum and another rioter dead, wounded a third rioter, and has Rittenhouse facing murder charges as a result. At that point — just three days after the incident — there was not much background information available. However, in October, while my mind was focused on the presidential campaign, the Washington Post published a very detailed report on who JoJo Rosenbaum was, a report that also included important background on the other dead rioter, Anthony Huber, and details of events preceding the shooting. The Post is to be commended for doing this work, which includes this information:

Joseph Rosenbaum — depressed, homeless and alone . . . had spent most of his adult life in prison for sexual conduct with children when he was 18 and struggled with bipolar disorder. That day, Aug. 25, Rosenbaum was discharged from a Milwaukee hospital following his second suicide attempt in as many months and dumped on the streets of Kenosha. . . .
Hours after he was released from the hospital, Rosenbaum stopped by a pharmacy in Kenosha to pick up medication for his bipolar disorder, only to discover that it had closed early because of the unrest.
He visited his fiancee, who was living in a cheap motel room, but she told him he couldn’t stay the night. She had pressed charges against him a month earlier after a fight in which he knocked her down and bloodied her mouth. If Rosenbaum violated his no-contact order, she warned, he could be sent back to jail. . . .
The weeks leading up to Rosenbaum’s death had been as chaotic as his life. Raised in Texas and Arizona, Rosenbaum met his father only twice and told his mother that he was molested by his alcoholic stepfather “on an almost daily basis,” according to court documents.
When he was 13 his mother was sent to prison for two years, and Rosenbaum was sent off to a group home, where he began using heroin and methamphetamine, according to court documents. By 18, he was in prison for sexual conduct with five preteen boys, the children of people who had taken him in after his mother told him to leave her house, according to a presentencing report. He spent most of the next 14 years behind bars.
Not long after he was released in 2016, he met a woman in Arizona and fathered a child, but the relationship didn’t last. When the woman fled to Kenosha, Rosenbaum chased her. . . .
[In December 2019] he and his new fiancee, whom he met in a Wisconsin hospital, were braving the winter in a tent they had pitched in an overgrown lot behind an abandoned department store. . . .
They spent their days at nearby fast-food restaurants where the staff sometimes gave them free meals. At night Rosenbaum, his fiancee and her cat huddled under piles of blankets. “We lived off of each other’s body heat,” she said.
In the spring, the police confiscated their tent, so they slept for a while behind dumpsters in town. Eventually, the county’s social services department helped them get a room at a cut-rate motel . . .
Aside from one supervised visit, he never saw the child for whom he had moved to Kenosha. In June, he attempted suicide by overdosing on pills. A month later, his fiancee confronted him after finding pornography on his phone. Rosenbaum body-slammed her, according to police, who took him to jail and then released him.
One week later, Rosenbaum called a suicide crisis line. Police found him vomiting and having convulsions outside a McDonald’s. He spent a few days in the hospital followed by a few more days in jail for violating the no-contact order with his former girlfriend. Then he was sent for more treatment to the mental hospital in Milwaukee.
Two hours before he was killed, Rosenbaum left his fiancee’s motel room and caught a bus for downtown, where a second night of protests had erupted.

JoJo was a product of the White Trash American Lifestyle — no dad, no family, no home, prison record, sexual perversion, domestic violence.

He “met his father only twice”? Can you even imagine that? It boggles my mind, almost as much as the claim that Rosenbaum was repeatedly molested as a boy by his “alcoholic stepfather.” You have to figure Rosenbaum’s mother was a loser to make such disastrous choices of male companions. The picture of Rosenbaum’s “chaotic” life is, alas, increasingly common with the breakdown of family life in America. There’s lots of riffraff out there, children of single moms, raised without the security of the kind of stable family life that Christopher Lasch called Haven in a Heartless World. You don’t have to be rich to give your kids that kind of security; you just have to keep your marriage together. But the sensibility that fosters stable marriages — the ability to recognize your own faults and errors, to forgive the faults of others, to refrain from cruelty and selfishness — has been wiped out by the storm of hedonism that has crashed through our culture. Too many people have lost their sense of self-respect and basic decency; they’ve become trash.

Sorry, worthless, lowdown, no-account white trash, sleeping behind a dumpster, then getting a cheap motel room with the help of the local welfare office, but JoJo couldn’t even keep that, because he beat up his girlfriend after she found porn on his phone. Priorities, you see — can’t be doing something useful like looking for a job, because you’re too busy downloading porn on your phone. A real menace to society, this JoJo character, yet I suppose many people will feel sympathy for him because he had a hard life, but whose fault is that? That is to say, there can be no personal responsibility in a culture that treats even convicted child rapists as helpless victims of society. This tale could be taught as a lesson to young people — don’t be white trash, kids — but our culture denies that people have it within their power to avoid the kinds of behavior that result in people living and dying the way JoJo Rosenbaum did.

The Washington Post has now produced a 22-minute video telling the story of what happened in Kenosha. You should watch it.




 

In The Mailbox: 11.19.20 (Afternoon Edition)

Posted on | November 19, 2020 | No Comments

— compiled by Wombat-socho

Silicon Valley delenda est.

OVER THE TRANSOM
357 Magnum: People Buy Security Cameras To Increase Security
Red Pilled Jew: Divorce Or War – These Disunited States
Ninety Miles From Tyranny: The 90 Miles Mystery Box, Episode #1175
EBL: While CA Small Businesses Are Shut Down, Gov. Newsom Schmoozes With Lobbyist At $850/Plate Dinner In Napa
Twitchy: Alt-Right Senator Tom “Jedediah Klansman” Cotton Under Fire For Denying Pilgrim Story Is A Myth
Louder With Crowder: Joe Biden Goes Public, Wants To Limit Who You Can Have For Thanksgiving
Vox Popoli: DC Dead In Six Months? also, They’re Starting To Worry

RIPPED FROM THE HEADLINES
Adam Piggott: Don’t Look Down
American Conservative: Why Google Didn’t Challenge The DOJ’s Antitrust Charges
American Greatness: If Biden Can Take Power By Fraud, The American Republic Has Abolished Itself
American Power: Alex Berenson, Unreported Truths Abotu COVID-19 & Lockdowns
American Thinker: Red Flags In Minnesota & Wisconsin
Animal Magnetism: Animal’s Hump Day News
Babalu Blog: Most Idiotic claim Of The Day – WV Man Claims Cuba’s Elections Far Superior To Those In U.S.
BattleSwarm: Flicker Of Hope In Wayne County – And It’s Out
Cafe Hayek: Safe & Effective
CDR Salamander: Bit By Bit An ABM Capability Grows, also, Who’s Going To Have A New Cruiser Design In The Water First?
Da Tech Guy: “Why Bataan? Why Corregidor? Maybe They Were All Nuts,” also, The Pandemic Hit To Higher Education
Don Surber: House Democrats Learned Nothing From The Election, also, Only 55% Say Election Was Legit
The Geller Report: Georgia Has Numerous Boxes Of Preprinted Ballots – 100% For Biden, also, Lin Wood – Team Has “Smoking Guns” To Prove Trump Won
Hogewash: Team Kimberlin Post of The Day, also, Acting Like Winners NOT!
Hollywood In Toto: Jackie Chan’s Vanguard Is Fast, Not Furious
JustOneMinute: Flood The Swamp
The Lid: The 2020 Stupid Politically Correct Atheists Fighting Christmas Has Started
Legal Insurrection: Senator Who Lied About Vietnam Service Wants Facebook To Ban Steve Bannon, also, Then The Deplatformers Came For Dan Bongino
Nebraska Energy Observer: The Suicide Of Fox News – Now What?
Power Line: Mask This, also, Black Legislator Skates On Conspiracy To Damage Monument Charges
Shark Tank: Matt Gaetz – “Dead People Don’t Always Vote, When They Do, They Prefer To Vote By Mail”
Shot In The Dark: Jackpine Snipers
STUMP: Reading The News With Meep
The Political Hat: Berkeley Professor Supports Book Burning
This Ain’t Hell: Navy Shoots Down ICBM In Space, also, Highest Military Rank – General “D”
Victory Girls: Pascrell & Democrats Prove They Can’t Put Trump Behind Them
Volokh Conspiracy: Two Men Charged With Submitting Over 8000 Fraudulent Ballots To Get One Elected Mayor
Weasel Zippers: MN Gov Announces Lockdowns To Close Pretty Much The Entire State, also, FL & TX Announce They Won’t Do Any More Lockdowns – Period
The Federalist: In Nevada, A Corrupt Cash For Votes Scheme Is Hiding In Plain Sight, also, MI Democrat Doxxes Children Of Wayne County Election Official
Mark Steyn: Global Domination By Algorithm

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Crazy People Are Dangerous: Florida Kook Murdered by Deranged ‘QAnon Mom’

Posted on | November 19, 2020 | No Comments

“Florida man with ‘sovereign citizen’ views shot to death by woman, police say,” is the headline in the Tampa Bay Times:

A Florida man who questioned government authority over individuals living in the U.S. through an online forum was fatally shot, allegedly by a woman who has espoused similar “sovereign citizen” views, police said Tuesday.
The Marion County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release that Neely Petrie-Blanchard was arrested in Georgia one day after the killing of Christopher Hallett in his Ocala-area home. Witnesses to the shooting said Petrie-Blanchard accused Hallett of working with the government to deny her custody of her children.
Hallett, 50, ran an entity called E-Clause LLC that featured a Facebook page filled with documents, graphics and articles about whether governments have authority in many instances over individuals. This viewpoint is frequently summarized as the “sovereign citizen” movement.
Petrie-Blanchard, who turns 34 on Thursday, was being held without bail Tuesday in a jail in Lowndes County, Georgia. It was not clear if she had a lawyer to represent her.
Lowndes County Sheriff Ashley Paulk said Petrie-Blanchard, after her arrest, began questioning whether his office had authority to detain her.
“She’s one of these people who claim they’re not part of the United States — sovereign people,” Paulk said. “They don’t believe any of the laws apply to them. Obviously, she’s not leaving.”

There is more to this story — much, much more — including the fact that Hallett was a podcast partner with Kirk Pendergrass, who is not a lawyer but who presumes to teach law on Facebook. When he learned of Hallett’s death, Pendergrass did a memorial livestream on Facebook claiming Hallett was a victim of the “Deep State” and concluding with an appeal for people to send him money. Because that’s what the “sovereign citizen” movement actually is, a way for dimwit kooks to cash in by selling conspiracy theories to people even dumber than they are, and trust me, they’re plenty stupid. Now to continue the story:

In another twist, court records in Logan County, Kentucky, show Petrie-Blanchard was indicted by a grand jury Tuesday on charges related to the abduction last March of her twin daughters from their grandmother’s home. Petrie-Blanchard only had permission for supervised visits.
When Kentucky authorities were searching for the two girls, they said Petrie-Blanchard was driving a Ford Escape with a license plate that read, “ECLAUSE,” according to an Amber Alert issued at the time.
The Kentucky records show Petrie-Blanchard is charged there with two counts of custodial interference and one count of being a persistent felony offender. She faces a Jan. 28 arraignment date.
Petrie-Blanchard was free on $10,000 bail in the Kentucky case when Hallett was killed. The child custody issue appears to have been behind the slaying of Hallett in Florida, investigators said in a probable cause affidavit.
Witnesses to the shooting said it occurred “due to her (Petrie-Blanchard) belief that the victim might have been working against her or working to assist the government, in keeping her children away from her.”

So, the “sovereign citizen” kook Hallett was allegedly trying to help this deluded woman, who was so paranoid she believed that he was part of the government conspiracy against her. Moral of the story: Live by the conspiracy theory, die by the conspiracy theory. But wait — there’s more!

Both Petrie-Blanchard and Hallett belonged to a clandestine network of QAnon believers and fringe legal theorists focused on child custody battles. As The Daily Beast reported in August, the group has incited mothers who have lost custody of their children to plot to kidnap them from relatives or foster homes, egging them on with fictitious QAnon tales about a nefarious “cabal” that teams up with child protective services to abuse children. . . .
Hallett, 50, had become a key part of the YouTube QAnon network, streaming his fake legal claims with his on-and-off business partner Kirk Pendergrass. While neither man is registered as a lawyer in their home states or appears to have any legitimate legal education, they promoted their services on QAnon YouTube shows to build a following among a community of desperate mothers who had lost their children, and solicited donations for their services.
Hallett’s legal services appear to have universally failed when they managed to reach the courts.

Imagine that — you’re getting legal advice from someone who is not a lawyer, and this results in you losing court cases. (Bill Schmalfeldt could not be reached for comment.) But the key here is that these “sovereign citizen” kooks had recognized non-custodial mothers as potential clients, which is a rather volatile combination. Think about what must be involved for a court to deprive a woman of custody of her own children. Such a woman must be seriously dangerous — a drug addict, perhaps, but maybe also mentally ill — and when you put her in contact with a bunch of “sovereign citizen” types, bad results are not surprising.

The sad thing is that custody battles are always bad for children and it’s not a conspiracy theory to say that children involved in such custody fights often do endure abusive treatment. Nobody would want their children dumped into the foster-care system, but that wasn’t the case with Petrie-Blanchard, whose own mother had custody of her kids. Petrie-Blanchard was a special kind of a crazy, the kind Hallett attracted:

Hallett’s reputation in the world of aggrieved QAnon mothers grew large enough that a fugitive on the run from the FBI traveled to his home in Ocala, Florida, to get his help on her custody case. Like Petrie-Blanchard, Colorado mother Cyndie Abcug had fallen under the sway of Hallett and his YouTube allies, convinced that QAnon believers could help win her son back from a foster home. According to a police report, Abcug was plotting an armed assault on the foster home with fellow armed QAnon supporters, convinced by QAnon claims that the foster parents were “pedophiles.”
Abcug’s teenage daughter allegedly tipped off the police to the plot. But Abcug fled the state ahead of her arrest and became a cross-country fugitive with help from QAnon supporters. She eventually made her way to Hallett, convinced that he could help her regain custody of her son. But Abcug eventually grew disillusioned with Hallett’s supposed legal abilities, according to one of her traveling companions, and was later arrested by the FBI in Montana while still on the run.
Petrie-Blanchard, by comparison, appears to have remained convinced that E-Clause could help her win back custody of her daughters. On her Facebook page, she even described herself as an “E-Clause agent.”
But their relationship appears to have turned fatal, allegedly fueled by Petrie-Blanchard’s imagining of a QAnon-style government conspiracy.
According to a police report, an unnamed female witness and her daughter were in Hallett’s house when the incident occurred on Sunday. When the witness heard what sounded like a firecracker go off in the kitchen, both she and her daughter investigated the noise. They saw Hallett standing with a “pained look on his face,” and Petrie-Blanchard standing behind him holding a pistol that appeared to have been fired and jammed, according to a witness statement.
“Oh shit, oh God, please, no,” Hallett said, according to the witness.
“You’re hurting my children, you bastard,” Petrie-Blanchard said, according to the witness’s daughter’s statement to police, before allegedly aiming the gun at the witness and her daughter.
As the witness and her daughter fled to the back of the house, they heard more shots fired into Hallett. When sheriff’s deputies investigating the gunshots arrived on the scene, they found Hallett “obviously deceased from numerous gunshot wounds,” and shell cases and live bullets scattered around the house.

File this one under “ironic justice.”



 

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