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Tuesday, January 24, 2023


I lay down to rest after lunch today and nodded off to sleep with the television set on. I awoke to reports of classified documents found in Mike Pence's home.  All that was missing were angels with harps singing "Nearer my God to thee."


anon. said...

Hypothesis: given the enormous number of documents, notes, etc. that have been classified in the post-WW Two, cold war, war against drugs/terror, you name it era, almost everyone in some position of political power and influence will have received lots of them, and many of the recipients will have cast them aside in some drawer or box to be dealt with later since most of their contents are trivial despite their classified nature. Hence, it is to be expected that almost every one of those now or formerly powerful people will have a cache of classified documents in their garages, basements, or attics.

Should my hypothesis be correct, an FBI search of the residences and storage units of the formerly powerful is likely to come upon classified documents. Look out Henry Kissinger, Bill Clinton, etc. etc. etc.

Marc Susselman said...

Prof. Wolff,

Have you checked your garage and attic?

You never had access to any classified documents, so you cannot possibly have any? But remember those tribbles.

On a separate, imperative subject, those of us who may have some spare time to devote to a worthy cause, it is becoming more and more apparent that massive social demand for more stringent gun laws has to be mounted, before each of us experiences the tragic loss of a friend or loved one to gun violence. The time has come to start marching in the streets, marching on Washington, and demanding that Congress do something serious about this epidemic, which is threatening all of us. Even marching in the street makes us potential victims of some lunatic who is unhappy about his/her lot in life and takes it out on society, but the risk must be taken, or we will be condemned to staying locked up in our homes just to stay alive.

anon. said...

there are many many things to be deeply distressed about

addendum to hypothesis, a study from quite long ago:

aaall said...

Marc, the only way we get appropriate (not incremental) firearms legislation is electing a Democratic president along with a seriously Democratic House and Senate along with flipping a great number of state and local offices. Absent those, all the marching will merely be physical exercise.

since the Biden thing broke I've assumed folks going back to at least the Bush years have been going through their papers. Also shredders and fireplaces for some.

LFC said...

I think anon.'s hypothesis may well be correct.

Ahmed Fares said...

Brother And Son

The problem for the Bidens was two-fold. One they did not have a foundation to launder money through, so they had to produce some new conduit. The other is Hunter was a crackhead and Jim has no useful skills other than being Joe’s brother. If they start getting hired to do speeches, people will notice. It is beginning to look like the plan was to have these two idiots get big contracts and consulting gigs with foreign players, in exchange for something more than access.

This is why Joe Biden was sprinkling secret documents all over the place. You see, his son and brother had access to the family homes and offices. If Joe were to carelessly leave secret documents at these places, totally by accident because he is getting old and forgetful, Hunter and Jim could accidentally stumble upon them. Maybe they would see something in those files that they could use in their dealings with the foreign players like China and Ukraine.

Do read the whole article.

LFC said...

There's no evidence that Biden "was sprinkling secret documents all over the place."

Having documents locked in a garage and an office is not "sprinkling them all over the place."

There's about as much evidence that Biden was "sprinkling documents all over the place" as there is evidence that Trump won the 2020 election, i.e., none.

Marc Susselman said...


That could take another century. In the meantime, thousands more will die. It worked for the suffragettes. It worked for Martin Luther King. Nothing ventured, noting gained.

aaall said...

Marc, A century seems unlikely, life happens. In September 1929 Melon, Capital, etc. were riding high; In less then a decade we had Social Security, unemployment insurance, the Wagner Act, etc. The current Republican Party sees all those deaths as freedom being messy. Protests without a political strategy will be pointless.

MLK was at the tail end of a century of work and the claw-back by Reaction began almost immediately and continues to this day (Shelby county, Rufo and CRT, etc.). Women's suffrage took about as long and we won't have Wyoming and Texas for guns (and there is still grousing on the Right). The best the Dems could do in 1994 was a 10 year ban which merely stoked demand.

aaall said...

BTW, the recent arrest of Charles McGonigal raises questions over the NYT and the Trump campaign back in 2016.

LFC said...

I think aaall's exclusive focus on electoral politics is a misunderstanding of how social change happens, at least in this country. Electoral politics has to go in tandem w extra-electoral mass pressure. That's certainly the lesson of, for instance, the civil rights movement or the anti-abortion movement.

Meanwhile, developments outside the U.S., such as the ongoing catastrophe in Haiti, aren't getting enough attention.

s. wallerstein said...

Is U.S. media covering what's happening in Peru?

I don't read U.S. media and I've seen some coverage of it in The Guardian.

There are at least 60 deaths in mass demonstrations against the government, mostly demonstrators killed by police bullets.,some%20individuals%20killed%20being%20bystanders.

Marc Susselman said...

aalll, LFC and others,

I am quite serious about this. It is time to get militaristic about the gun violence which is plaguing this country. We all have a civil right not to live in fear, to be able to go out in public, to go to a baseball game, to a political rally, to a restaurant, to a dance hall, without fearing that we, or someone we love will wind up dead or maimed for life. This is as important a civil right – guaranteed by the 5th and 14th Amendments to life and liberty – as the right to vote. It is time for a call for non-arms! We should march on Washington, picket the Republican senators’ offices, have sit-in strikes in front of their offices, get arrested and crowd the jails with protesters. Picket the factories where these weapons of mass destruction are manufactured. This is the only way it is going to get done. How many more of our friends, family, loved ones have to die or be seriously injured before Congress takes action? Militaristic peaceful disobedience is the only answer!

s. wallerstein said...


You've found your cause!!!

I don't believe anyone here is going to argue with your campaign against gun violence.

It all started here on January 24, 2023.

Good luck!!!

anon. said...

addendum 2, retroactive classification and declassification followed by reclassification:

not to mention the sort of classification that has resulted in the brutal mistreatment of Julian Assange and other whistleblowers; the way things are going even to mention whictleblowers will be classified and punished by extraordinarily long prison terms

Marc Susselman said...

Watch this, especially from 4:50 forward:

Let's put an end to this insanity. We can do it if we act together, in militaristic civil disobedience. The time has come for unified action!

Anonymous said...

what on earth would "militaristic civil disobedience" look like? bodies in the street?

aaall said...

LFC & Marc: Social change and politics. Here is the Congress we had back in the day:

These and others (it took the 1960s three prominent assassinations to pass the 1968 Gun Control Act) were passed in the wake of Kennedy's assassination and the 1964 election - unique and prior to the '70s neo-liberal heel turn (BTW, not exact, of course, but with racism being out of fashion, having abortion to oppose was quite convenient - sort of like 303, etc. today). None of those bills and more could pass with today's party alignment regardless of how much of a fuss was made. If the stars align then mass action can produce results. Otherwise NSM.

Even if Congress were to pass effective firearms legislation we have a Supreme Court that would probably nix it. Want good things - elect enough folks to fix the courts as well as pass laws.

"what on earth would "militaristic civil disobedience" look like?"

Sounds like some flavor of the ever elusive general strike. We don't do those.

Marc Susselman said...

Militaristic civil disobedience looks like the restaurant sit-ins and college office occupations which were conducted during the Civil Rights movement and Vietnam War protests – but conduced in the hallways of Congress and the offices of pro-gun Republican Senators and Representatives. A majority of Americans support tougher gun laws. If enough of them march on Congress and get arrested, they can bring government to a stand-still until this insanity of manufacturing and selling automatic and semi-automatic rifles, and high capacity magazines, are outlawed.

Anonymous said...

Maybe you mean militant civil disobedience?

"Having a combative character; aggressive, especially in the service of a cause."

Marc Susselman said...


A synonym for "militaristic" is "aggressive." That said, I agree that "militant" would be more appropriate.

LFC said...

Clearly, Marc means "militant." I was going to point that out upthread but decided not to bc (1) I thought his meaning was clear even if he chose the wrong adjective, and (2) I didn't want to reinforce my image of someone frequently issuing corrections. But yes, he means "militant."

LFC said...

Sorry, posted before seeing Marc's @8:17.

Marc Susselman said...


Beat you to it, for a change.

s. wallerstein said...


If I were starting a social movement in 2023, I'd study Greta Thunberg as a model, not Martin Luther King because today you have to know how to use social media and Greta does that well.

In any case, as you probably saw, she just got arrested in Germany protesting against a coal mine and so she does not avoid classic demonstrations and/or civil disobedience.

Anonymous said...

Instead of the massive effort to mobilize the population, why not just have the government nationalize the gun industry? From there, one can then control sale and access without 2nd A. nullification.

Marc Susselman said...


Good luck on that. The 5th and 14th Amendments protects private property from confiscation or nationalization. President Truman was taught that lesson by the S. Ct. when he tried to nationalize the coal industry.

LFC said...


That would not get around any Second Amendment issues. Just as legislation is subject to constitutional challenge, so too is executive/govt action.

LFC said...

Even if the govt successfully nationalized the gun industry, the Second Amendment issues, whatever they may be, would not have magically disappeared. The Second Amendment refers to a right to bear arms in its second clause, and that right, however the courts decide to construe it, applies just as much vs. the actions of a nationalized industry, because those would constitute "state action," as it does vs the direct acts of a govt or legislative body.

aaall said...

"...selling automatic and semi-automatic rifles..."

Fully automatic firearms are already tightly controlled. Only
those manufactured before May 19, 1986 can be privately possessed and transferring those requires an involved process with ATF and paying a transfer tax (also the laws of the state of residence must allow such possession). One result of the 1986 law was that the prices of quality machine guns are usually five and even six figures (even "junk" will be solid four figures) so those firearms aren't a problem. Semi-automatic center fire rifles weren't much of a thing in the 1960s and the 1968 GCA should have included them as should have the 1986 act. 1994's ten year ban was legislative malpractice.

All House and Senate office buildings have easily controlled entrances. As long as we have district seats and a Senate targeting legislators (exceptions, of course) will have limited utility.

Michael Llenos said...

Professor Wolff,

I am sure the angels were singing your praises as they sang: "Nearer my God to thee," as they saw you follow in the footsteps of St. Augustine. Joking aside, this is what was bound to happen (& maybe more to come) when you carefully take the time, every now & then, to read the King James Version of the Bible...

BTW, if no one knows who Augustine was, he was a 5th century Bishop of North Africa & a Christian philosopher who, before his famous 'conversion,' was a Professor of Rhetoric in Italy for many years.

Here's a quote from his Confessions at the end of Bk. 8 that describes his fateful conversion:

"So was I speaking and weeping in the most bitter contrition of my heart, when, lo! I heard from a neighbouring house a voice, as of boy or girl, I know not, chanting, and oft repeating, "Take up and read; Take up and read." Instantly, my countenance altered, I began to think most intently whether children were wont in any kind of play to sing such words: nor could I remember ever to have heard the like. So checking the torrent of my tears, I arose; interpreting it to be no other than a command from God to open the book, and read the first chapter I should find. For I had heard of Antony, that coming in during the reading of the Gospel, he received the admonition, as if what was being read was spoken to him: Go, sell all that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven, and come and follow me: and by such oracle he was forthwith converted unto Thee. Eagerly then I returned to the place where Alypius was sitting; for there had I laid the volume of the Apostle when I arose thence. I seized, opened, and in silence read that section on which my eyes first fell: Not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying; but put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, in concupiscence. No further would I read; nor needed I: for instantly at the end of this sentence, by a light as it were of serenity infused into my heart, all the darkness of doubt vanished away.

Then putting my finger between, or some other mark, I shut the volume, and with a calmed countenance made it known to Alypius. And what was wrought in him, which I knew not, he thus showed me. He asked to see what I had read: I showed him; and he looked even further than I had read, and I knew not what followed. This followed, him that is weak in the faith, receive; which he applied to himself, and disclosed to me. And by this admonition was he strengthened; and by a good resolution and purpose, and most corresponding to his character, wherein he did always very far differ from me, for the better, without any turbulent delay he joined me. Thence we go in to my mother; we tell her; she rejoiceth: we relate in order how it took place; she leaps for joy, and triumpheth, and blesseth Thee, Who are able to do above that which we ask or think; for she perceived that Thou hadst given her more for me, than she was wont to beg by her pitiful and most sorrowful groanings. For thou convertedst me unto Thyself, so that I sought neither wife, nor any hope of this world, standing in that rule of faith, where Thou hadst showed me unto her in a vision, so many years before. And Thou didst convert her mourning into joy, much more plentiful than she had desired, and in a much more precious and purer way than she erst required, by having grandchildren of my body."