Civil Liberties

Overreacting To Domestic Terrorism Makes It Worse

Targeting “extremists” threatens civil liberties while increasing the stresses that lead to violence.

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Another day, another federal warning about a looming threat to the republic. The wheel of fear has spun, once again, to "domestic terrorism," that much-favored concern of politicians and national-security bureaucrats who want to keep us frightened and desperate to be saved. This isn't to say there are no dangers in the world around us, but those risks pale in comparison to government officials seeking excuses to expand their power and who risk worsening the situation.

"The Homeland is facing threats that have evolved significantly and become increasingly complex and volatile in 2021," the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) warned in a May 14 National Terrorism Advisory System Bulletin. "These threats include those posed by domestic terrorists, individuals and groups engaged in grievance-based violence, and those inspired or influenced by foreign terrorists and other malign foreign influences. Social media and online forums are increasingly exploited by these actors to influence and spread violent extremist narratives and activity. Such threats also are exacerbated by the impacts from the ongoing global pandemic."

Simultaneously with the release of the bulletin, DHS and the FBI jointly published a congressionally mandated 40-page Strategic Intelligence Assessment and Data on Domestic Terrorism which summarizes domestic terrorism investigations from 2017 through 2019. While the bulletin talks of potential threats to come, the assessment discusses what has actually occurred.

Interestingly, while the bulletin is vague about the source of the danger even as it implies we should be wary of organized efforts including "small violent extremist cells," the assessment clearly notes that "lone offenders acting independently and without direction from specific groups have been the primary actor in DT [domestic terrorism] lethal attacks." That matters, because individuals acting on their own are a lot more difficult to target than are terrorist organizations. "The FBI and DHS assessed lone offenders would continue to be the primary actor in these attacks, and would continue to pose significant mitigation challenges due to their capacity for independent radicalization and mobilization and preference for easily accessible weapons," the assessment adds.

The two documents also disagree about the treatment of extremist speech.

"[W]e use the words 'violent extremism' to define DT threats because mere advocacy of political or social positions, political activism, use of strong rhetoric, or generalized philosophic embrace of violent tactics may not constitute violent extremism, and may be constitutionally protected," the assessment acknowledges.

By contrast, the bulletin cautions that "Ideologically-motivated violent extremists fueled by perceived grievances, false narratives, and conspiracy theories continue to share information online with the intent to incite violence." It adds that "DHS is collaborating with industry partners to identify and respond to those individuals encouraging violence and attempting to radicalize others through spreading disinformation, conspiracy theories, and false narratives on social media and other online platforms."

That suggests federal officials are focusing on speech, as does the separate announcement of a new Center for Prevention Programs and Partnerships. The language evokes recent reports about DHS partnering with private companies that aren't constrained by constitutional considerations.

"The Biden administration is considering using outside firms to track extremist chatter by Americans online," according to CNN's Zachary Cohen and Katie Bo Williams. They add that "federal authorities can only browse through unprotected information on social media sites like Twitter and Facebook and other open online platforms….The plan being discussed inside DHS, according to multiple sources, would, in effect, allow the department to circumvent those limits."

"This is false," a DHS representative told me. "DHS is not partnering with private firms to surveil suspected domestic terrorists online. It is also blatantly false to suggest that the Department is using outside firms to circumvent its legal limits."

But if DHS is not looking to partner with private entities that can end-run constitutional constraints, it would be an anomaly among government agencies. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Internal Revenue Service track people by purchasing location data generated by cell phones and the apps installed on those phones. Federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies use private facial recognition and license plate recognition systems with sketchy reputations (Clearview AI scrapes social media sites to add to its database and Vigilant Solutions similarly stocks its repository for identifying motor vehicles). But sure, maybe DHS is the holdout here, despite the language in the May 14 bulletin.

So if domestic terrorism is a looming threat, when and where should we be on our guard?

"Violent extremists may seek to exploit the easing of COVID-19-related restrictions across the United States to conduct attacks against a broader range of targets after previous public capacity limits reduced opportunities for lethal attacks," warns the bulletin.

Apparently, after the politically motivated violence of the last year (not yet covered in a domestic terrorism assessment) it's reopening night clubs that will be the death of us all. But that's ludicrous, given that the pandemic lockdowns and economic displacement imposed by the government were themselves important spurs to violence—as predicted. "Unemployment, impoverishment, and despair are frightening outcomes in themselves," I wrote last March. "They're also a recipe for social unrest that will afflict even those of us who weather both the pandemic and the accompanying economic storm."

Just as concerning, with their eagerness for new domestic terrorism legislation and high-profile programs to identify and target "extremists," federal officials risk driving people to violence.

"[M]any terrorists actually hope to elicit government overreactions in order to increase membership rosters," Max Abrahms, a Northeastern University professor who focuses on political violence, cautioned in Reason in January. "[S]uch overreactions give people an incentive to become terrorists—not only by creating grievances but also by reducing the relative risks of turning to violence…if the government is going to treat innocent people like terrorists anyway, then no additional risk is incurred."

We live in a fragmented country whose residents are increasingly at odds—sometimes violently. But the people issuing warnings about "domestic terrorism" helped to create this situation. Rather than settle tensions, our would-be protectors are more likely to make them worse.

NEXT: Brickbat: That Sucks

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  1. “…the people issuing warnings about “domestic terrorism” helped to create this situation. Rather than settle tensions, our would-be protectors are more likely to make them worse.”

    Which begs the question: Isn’t making them appear “worse” the goal? No government is as entrenched as the government which claims to be responding to a threat.

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    1. Hasn’t reason repeated the narrative of the deadly jan 6th attacks multiple times to help push the narrative of domestic terrorism?

      1. Hey Jesse — you miss my point. Every journalist out there is “pushing” a narrative. It’s not only their job, but, collectively, as part of a free press, meaning that a wide variety of viewpoints should be shared, one could even say that it is a sort of collective “duty” to push a narrative.

        The difference is that governments pass laws and develop policies to promote uneasiness and unrest to maintain their power — at the same time claiming they are the ones who can “fix” the problem. No politician, of any stripe, will let a perceived “emergency” go to waste when it can be used to promote themselves as the “solution.”

        For the record, when I hear of “domestic terrorism,” I am much more inclined to think of The Weather Underground or the KKK than the latest unrest — be it the fringe factions in Portland or the Capitol, both of which remind me more of the Vietnam war era protests than “terrorism.”

        1. Oops.. meant for JesseAz….

        2. Don’t mistake JesseAz for someone who argues in good faith.

          1. LOL. your comment has no actual bearing to the discussion at hand. Man you’re broken.

          2. Super weird to comment on a conversation between two people, when you’ve muted one of them.

            1. You mean “muted” ?

          3. Yes, he’s proven time and time again that he is not interested in truth, or learning anything, or admitting when he is wrong about something. He just wants to “win” Internet pissing contests.

            1. Says the guy who created a sock and lied about who he was, refusing to acknowledge the blm riots.

              Lol. God damn.

        3. “For the record, when I hear of “domestic terrorism,” I am much more inclined to think of The Weather Underground or the KKK than the latest unrest…”

          Many people will think of actual terrorists – people who use violence – including murder, or loot, or burn. Like Antifa or BLM.

          And Reason conveniently wants you to know there are dangers of going overboard when going after such harmful behaviors.

          Concerns they not only didn’t show, but actually showed quite the opposite when they were reacting to the “insurrection” of January 6th.

          Behind every apparent double standard is one standard and the ‘libertarians’ at Reason have displayed their quite clearly.

          1. I am assuming that you are not claiming that the members of the Weather Underground or the KKK were not “actual” terrorists?

            I tend to not generally describe “rioters” who sometimes get violent, as “terrorists,” whether in Portland or in DC. That being said, there is no guarantee that any crowd of protesters might contain a “terrorist” or two.

            1. “I am assuming that you are not claiming that the members of the Weather Underground or the KKK were not “actual” terrorists?”

              No need to assume anything it was an implicit equating of all four groups.

            2. The KKK has mostly been a fiction for many years. The Weather Underground has gone mainstream, in public schools, universities, media, D. A offices and now corporations. They even had links to the presidency in 2008.

          2. Terrorism is using violence to achieve political goals.

            Rioters aren’t terrorists. They’re opportunists.

            1. Sometimes. The folks in Portland and elsewhere certainly were politically motivated, as were the folks in DC. I still hesitate to call such events “terrorism.” There are other labels that might apply to the individuals involved — including stupid, misguided, and sometimes, “criminal.”

            2. Antifa people are pretty open about using violence for political ends. A lot of the looting/rioting was just opportunistic, I’m sure. But some is planned political violence. I don’t know how it breaks down and I’d much rather just get an accurate description of events so I can decide for myself than argue over whether a particular label fits or not.

              1. I don’t know how it breaks down and I’d much rather just get an accurate description of events so I can decide for myself than argue over whether a particular label fits or not.

                Point taken. Though that breakdown is likely impossible to answer.

              2. There’s considerable evidence that much of the looting was planned, too. In some instances caravans of looters showed up and went at it systematically.

                Indeed, I’m a bit worried that the looting/rioting became a profit center for Antifa.

                1. I have no doubt that some of it was planned. Heck, the Weather Underground started as an “offshoot” of the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), IIRC. The few SDS “fans” I knew back then (I don’t know if they were actually members of anything), while radical, and active protesters, shunned violence. (Of the couple I kept in touch with for a time, one became a pharmacist, and another sold insurance.) So much for all the radicalism.

            3. I like how sarcasmic doesn’t think BLM and antifa have political goals.

              Such an idiot.

              1. They’re the literal definition of terrorists.

                1. The vikings were misunderstood. They didn’t rape and pillage for political reasons, they just took advantage of opportunities. See crusades, imperialism, etc.

        4. The problem is that the ruling elites are picking and choosing what their domestic terrorism cases are. This also happened in the cases you state, such as the south’s political use of the KKK as a party to control political outcomes and social interactions.

          But let us be clear here. BLM/Antifa are not being declared domestic terrorists because it is helpful to the left. The FBI didn’t declare Scalise shooting as terrorism until this week.

          Right now the declaration of domestic terrorism is solely used to push a narrative of right wing violence. That is the issue.

          1. “Right now the declaration of domestic terrorism is solely used to push a narrative of right wing violence. That is the issue.”

            While I may not agree 100% with you on this, I certainly don’t dismiss it — few politicians would ignore this “opportunity.”

    2. Domestic terrorism is the one that can always be considered an eminent threat forever unlike international terrorism which requires and actual attack, domestic terrorist can exist in minds alone without actually doing anything. its a buracratic dream for forever oppression

      1. Yeppers.

  2. “[W]e use the words ‘violent extremism’ to define DT threats because mere advocacy of political or social positions, political activism, use of strong rhetoric, or generalized philosophic embrace of violent tactics may not constitute violent extremism, and may be constitutionally protected,”

    So Trump’s speech was actually OK?

    1. In other words, burning down and looting stores, vandalizing and destroying public buildings, assaulting and killing citizens, etc. is not domestic terrorism if it’s done in the name of social justice or some other liberal cause de jure.

      1. 95% of BLM protests are completely peaceful and the riotous behaviour you fixate upon is committed by so few individuals.

        1. 95% of armed robberies end without someone being shot.

          Just ignore the 2 billion in damage, hundreds of assaults, 30 deaths linked, etc.

        2. “95% of BLM protests are completely peaceful and the riotous behaviour you fixate upon is committed by so few individuals.”

          Do this with Jan 6 and the rest of the Trump supporters.

          1. I believe this is the case. No one is complaining about January 6th protesters on the Mall. The concern is focused on protesters who entered the Capital illegally and especially those who committed acts of violence against property and people inside the Capital.

            Those in the Capital who were not committing acts of violence should be treated in the same manner as the Catholic Nuns arrested on February 27, 2018 for praying in the rotunda. Those committing violent acts should be arrested and prosecuted for those acts.

            All seems reasonable.

            1. And nobody got arrested for storming in during the Kavanaugh hearings. Also people that never entered the capitol are being arrested. The criteria isnt entered the capitol, the criteria for arrest is being a republican in DC. If you were a moderate that would concern you, but despite you user name you conciders Mao a moderate.

              1. First I am going to set a standard that the entered the Capital will include individuals entering any restricted space on the Capital grounds. So climbing the scaffolding for the Inauguration will count as entering. That said can you provide example of individuals that did not enter restricted area of the Capital, essentially those remaining on the Mall, that were arrested?

            2. Wrong. The Capital protestors did nothing wrong and are being prosecuted for political reasons, while every single last person who showed up to a BLM march should be shot. Don’t you know anything?

              1. You are really good at strawman since you never have an intelligent argument.

              2. You are also 100% full of shit.

            3. Except multiple videos actually show Capitol Police saying they could go in.

              https://amgreatness.com/2021/05/16/video-shows-u-s-capitol-police-gave-protesters-ok-to-enter/

              1. Imagine what we would see if the democrats would release all fourteen thousand hours of video.

        3. Same is true of the Jan 6 rally. Probably more than 95% peaceful.
          And 5% of events that are happening in pretty much every city and town in the country is still a lot.

        4. “95% of BLM protests are completely peaceful and the riotous behaviour you fixate upon is committed by so few individuals.”

          You are 100% full of shit.

        5. If protesters were not okay with the violence they would stop protesting but instead they protect the rioters with numbers so after the first protest broke down ok but after that they are willful participants in the riot.

          1. You are applying this vague standard to anyone who shows up at a BLM event or protest, with no specific knowledge of what that person knows about past rioting or whether the event they are attending has some substantial overlap of time, place, or people? Seems overly broad.

  3. Another day, another federal warning about a looming threat to the republic.

    Actually, if one pays attention to the rhetoric, the threats are more to “our democracy”.

  4. This entire bulletin and article could be about antifa, and it would actually be more accurate.

    “Ideologically-motivated violent extremists fueled by perceived grievances, false narratives, and conspiracy theories continue to share information online with the intent to incite violence.”

    terrorists actually hope to elicit government overreactions in order to increase membership rosters

    . . . etc. But we know that’s not who they are talking about.

    1. That “false narratives” line fits BLM to a “T” too. “I can’t breath, hands up don’t shoot, etc,…

    2. It is bad policy to target your own stormtroopers. It hurts recruiting.

  5. Could this same article have been written about right wing Congress people and
    right wing media exchanging the words “domestic terrorist” for “MLB” or “Antifa”? Is calling out “domestic terrorist” any more likely to increase their numbers, than a constant drum beat that “MLB/Antifa” is out to get you? There is a need to bring down the rhetoric but it need to be broadly done.

    1. Major League Baseball are domestic terrorists?

      1. Just those who support the DH.

        1. Why do you want to see a pitcher attempt to hit? Do you also watch the special Olympics for the athleticism?

          1. Micah owens used to hit bombs as a pitcher.

            But having the pitcher hit adds actual strategy to the bottom of the order.

            1. Didn’t used to be that way. Braves pitcherTony Cloninger hit two grand slams in one game. That was in 1966, but…

          2. Also why not apply it to every position then. Have 9 fielders and 9 hitters. Some short stops hit near .200.

            1. Catchers too. Used to love watching Bob Boone call a game and frame pitches. With who he had to work with on the Angels a lot of the time, he had to.

          3. Shohei. Ohtani.

          4. Last I checked a pitcher was leading the league in homers.

            1. Yeah, but Ohtani is a unicorn, and he’s essentially a 5th starter now because the Angels don’t want to aggravate his elbow injury. With rare exceptions like Babe Ruth or Mike Hampton, most pitchers are pretty crappy hitters, just by virtue of the fact that they don’t get to do it regularly coming up through the minors.

        2. +

      2. M4E never claimed to be bright.

        1. Certainly not here. Sorry should check this better.

  6. online forums are increasingly exploited by these actors to influence and spread violent extremist narratives and activity.

    PSA: Preet Bharara is watching everything you post here.

    1. Preet or someone like him.

    2. So is the Postal Service, for some reason.

    3. If I type

      WOODCHIPPER
      WOODCHIPPER
      WOODCHIPPER

      will he suddenly appear?

  7. It all depends on if one views “Domestic” as a Nazi Camp (def; National Socialism) or the USA now doesn’t it…

    Last Administration had insurrections (CHAZ) demanding National Socialist policy. Police Departments actually ran-away. Building burned to the ground, etc, etc, etc…. all conceived as “protesting”.

  8. https://twitter.com/robbysoave/status/1394769043530391552?s=19

    That’s ridiculous
    “House GOP Whip Scalise announces Republicans WILL whip GOP Members to vote AGAINST the creation of a bipartisan National Commission to Investigate the January 6th Attack”

    1. Robbie is also the guy who said he would go back and vote for the drag queen Story hour asshats just to stick it to some boogeyman in his head. That tweet will hold up as well as his change vote wish

    2. Libertarians for congressional show trials!

    3. Good. Why invite the terrorists to investigate themselves?

  9. The problem is, they’re NOT reacting to domestic terrorism. It’s not like they’re launching a major campaign to track down and jail Antifa and BLM, the primary sources of actual, flaming buildings and people dying, domestic terrorism last year.

    They’re using the pretext of going after domestic terrorism to target their political opposition.

    It’s not an over-reaction to the real terrorism at all.

    1. +1

      1. Yes, +1.
        Come on Reason. Please add an upvote option. You can skip the down vote if you don’t want people being mean, but at least allow us to upvote. It would save so much space.

        1. +1 to this and the OP

    2. Yeah, seems that way. My first thought is “what domestic terrorism”? I’m sure there are incidents that can be called that, but it’s hardly the major problem right now. It seems to largely be about controlling information. They are always talking about “online misinformation”. This is about controlling what is acceptable to think.

    3. Who’s “they”? Trump was President last year during this so called “Antifa reign of terrorism” so how you square your braindead conspiracy that “they” are only after rightwingers? The truth is that the rightwing propaganda media poisoned your mind with lies and that’s why you bs stories don’t make any sense.

      1. “they” = Current Democratic Administration. Did you see Trump and his administration running all over the media talking about a must-have war on “Domestic Terror”??? I heard him tell the Democratic State’s letting insurrection happen (i.e. CHAZ) to get their act together and protecting federal property from vandalism.

        YOU are the one who is full of left-wing brain-dead conspiracy theory and you make no sense at all by pretending you don’t know who “they” is. Any non-partisan THINKING person knows exactly who “they” are.

      2. The right wing propaganda media poisoned our minds with images of riots, fires, looting, court houses under siege, lasers being used to blind police, mostly peaceful protesters throwing bricks, frozen water bottles, cans of food. Industrial fireworks fired at cops. Shootings. Skateboards being used as weapons. Thugs declaring their “autonomous zones” were no longer part of the US.

        CNN, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, NYT(fn), WaPO. The list of right wing propaganda media outlets goes on and on and on …

      3. Found Jerry Nadler’s stupid second cousin.

      4. The lack of self-awareness in your comment is amazing. You argue against conspiracy and propaganda by using conspiracy and propaganda.

        I bet you also believe that using racism to fight racism is appropriate.

      5. Here, Sir Strudel is questioning why Trump didn’t send federal authorities into Democrat jurisdictions against their wishes.

      6. If that’s how you’ve parsed the events that started last year, sounds like you might have a bad case of cranial rectitis.

  10. “Violent extremists may seek to exploit the easing of COVID-19-related restrictions across the United States to conduct attacks against a broader range of targets after previous public capacity limits reduced opportunities for lethal attacks,” warns the bulletin.

    Translation: Treat the country like a prison on lockdown, and we’ll all be safe.

    1. You preferred this outcome. This is the consequences of your choices.

  11. Funny, I don’t see the plaintiff mewling of “Ashli Babbit! Ashli Babbit!”

    1. And by “funny” you mean not funny and boring. You should stick to talking about ideas, like you lie that you do.

    2. Funny, ashli babbitt is the oy person killed by cops you dont spittle and rage about.

  12. “Ideologically-motivated violent extremists fueled by perceived grievances, false narratives, and conspiracy theories continue to share information online with the intent to incite violence.”

    And we all know that systemic racism isn’t merely a perceived grievance, 1619 isn’t a false narrative, and all cops being racists slaughtering thousands of innocent black men isn’t a conspiracy theory.

    We all know who they’re talking about here – people aggrieved by the false perception that their government doesn’t love them and care deeply about them, who wrongly believe that government is somehow too big and too powerful and too expensive, who believe the nonsense that there’s a “Deep State” of entrenched bureaucrats who care more about their own self-aggrandizement than the public weal.

    A lack of trust in government is the most dangerous threat to our republic, and we must use all means necessary to ferret out these people who don’t trust the government and silence them, arrest them, jail them, cancel them, kill them if necessary, to stop them from spreading their pernicious nonsense that the government is untrustworthy.

    1. Or at least take their guns away.
      BTW, corporate America is in a bind with the latest BLM statement on overthrowing white supremacy around the world (Israel Palestine). A true Frankenstein of the Fortune 500, NYT, WaPo, CNN, MSNBC and most of the rest of them.
      There’s no spin left on this systemic racism thing.

      1. I forgot Reason

  13. “The Biden administration is considering using outside firms to track extremist chatter by Americans online,” according to CNN’s Zachary Cohen and Katie Bo Williams. “[Federal authorities can only browse through unprotected information on social media sites like Twitter and Facebook and other open online platforms … The plan being discussed inside DHS, according to multiple sources, would, in effect, allow the department to circumvent those limits.”

    Snowden warned us; did you think they would give up that easily?

    1. From the Daily Fail:

      “The Pentagon is planning to ‘continuously’ trawl the social media accounts of military personnel for ‘extremist behavior and views’ – and will use a private security company to shield itself from concerns that it’s violating First Amendment rights.

      The pilot program, which is being created as part of the Biden administration’s plan to crack down on domestic extremism, will result in the ongoing monitoring of military personnel for ‘concerning behaviors’, according to sources and internal documents obtained by The Intercept.

      The so-called ‘concerning behaviors’ haven’t been explicitly identified, leading to concerns that social media commissars could squash protected free speech – just as ‘Big Tech’ has in some cases shut down opinion, such as when Facebook locked former President Donald Trump’s accounts or when Amazon yanked hosting services from Parler, a social site frequented by conservatives.

      The program is being spearheaded by Bishop Garrison, a senior adviser to President Biden’s Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, who has previously said Trump and his supporters are racist and is an advocate for Critical Race Theory and the 1619 Project, which teaches that America is an inherently racist nation founded on slavery.

      Garrison, a former foreign policy adviser on Hillary Clinton’s unsuccessful presidential campaign, is a director of Human Rights First, a nonprofit that wants to ‘demilitarize and promote racial justice’ in law-enforcement agencies and pushes for refugee protection and asylum, among other things.

      The Pentagon social media monitoring program has already sparked backlash over concerns about free speech and fears military members could be targeted for ‘lack of wokeness’.”

  14. I first read “small violent extremist cells” as “small rodent extremist cells”.

  15. Well there’s a huge difference how they treat left/right here. Leftists who terrorized, rioted, burned, looted, and murdered got slapped on the wrist. Right wingers who walked through a building, sat on chairs, and mostly took selfies are getting months in solitary.

    Pretty clear from the actual data and our own eyes, but again certain people here like screetch and lard strudel attempt gaslighting as they are paid trolls.

    1. White Colonizers is the party line.

    2. What leftist tried to overthrow an election?

  16. Democrat Supremacists are Social Terrorists.

  17. I have a feeling BLM (or Grifter Marxists Inc.) will suddenly, in lockstep, be demoted on the corporate and media agenda. Although they have the US military and cabinet positions within the Democrats.

  18. Twilight Zones alone foretold this. Not to mention the million other portends.

  19. Well, I will be voting in the democrat primary here in a few weeks (have no choice because it’s the only way to vote out the turd mayor and city council) and I voted in the 2020 dem primary in order to vote against Bloomberg. That should prevent my name going on any domestic terrorist list for now.

  20. Some fools broke down the Congress’ door
    And wandered ’round the Senate floor
    They showed disaffection with Joe Biden’s election
    And the left started shouting out in-sur-rec-tion!

    (or with a comma when the feeling’s not as strong)

    1. “Stop the steal! Stop the steal!”

      That’s what them right-wingers squeal!

      1. What Schoolhouse Rock song is that from?

        1. The story of Al Gore and the 2000 election.

        2. None, that’s just one of sarc’s canned responses.

  21. I’ve noticed over the last 25 or so years that the definition of “terrorism” keeps getting changed and broadened to include whatever acts the speakers/writers disagree with. During the same period, the American Left has increasingly used the word “extremist” to describe more and more of what they disagree with. Usually what they find most (politically) threatening to their own agenda.

    1. And, as with any overused word, it loses all meaning

    2. Just as the libertarians were saying would happen when the USA PATRIOT Act was passed.

  22. There may be a 200 year flaw in the American system. Only the Judicial Branch courts, led by the U.S. Supreme Court, has final “judicial review” authority to interpret the constitutional-out-of-bounds for “The Supreme Law of the United States” (Article VI).

    The fatal flaw is there are no Judicial Branch “police” to enforce the supreme law of the land. Presidents and Congress (state/local government) ignore court rulings for 10 or 20 years. It’s illegal for Congress to pass laws or retain laws that the Judicial Branch courts have deemed unconstitutional.

    Every government employee and contractor swears an Oath of Office to uphold the U.S. Constitution (as interpreted by the Judicial Branch).

    There is no real risk of legal penalty for constitutional law breakers, which is an incentive to violate court rulings. There is no enforcement mechanism and citizens become cynical about the whole justice system since it’s selective laws and selective enforcement. Adding “enforcement” is vitally needed.

    1. See Trail of Tears.

    2. You’d be throwing away some valuable aspects of the judicial branch. It is the only branch of government that must rely on persuasion and earning respect, the only one that has a tradition of learning and meritocracy.

  23. All this nonsense about Antifa is just a smokescreen. When we talk about domestic terrorists, it’s the people living in Pennsyltucky, training their militias and arming themselves to the teeth so they can commit violence against the government or against people they disagree with. It’s the Timothy McVeigh types and the guy who planted pipe bombs at the Jan 6 insurrection, and the subset of insurrectionists who showed up planning to Ziptie congressmen.

    It’s definitely the number one threat to America.

    1. Arming themselves against the Nazi take over is more like it.

      Funny how the USA’s founding fathers were “violence against the government” of Great Britain’s government and I don’t see you calling them “Timothy McVeigh” types.

      Your #1 problem is you are Anti-American and you and your lefty Nazi (def; National Socialist) supporters should MOVE to your dream utopia country instead of compulsively trying to ‘change’ or ‘progress’ the USA into a country of Nazism.

      1. Under what scenario would it not be OK to start murdering Democrats in January 2025?

        1. It’s a matter of defensive or aggressive. When Democrats are using Gov-Guns aggressively its patriotic to defend yourself and your individual rights and the USA (as defined by the US Constitution).

          Of course this is a no-brainier given; that if “Democrats” weren’t using Gov-Guns and were instead a co-op, community or etc…. that didn’t USE *FORCE* of Gov-Guns then the aggressor would be those murdering Democrats.

          Now think about that for a few seconds. I’m sure if your IQ is higher than 10 it will materialize into a lesson all Democratic supporters need to acknowledge. Democrats “feelings” about how their world should be or how their neighbors should act doesn’t constitute the use of threats from Gov-Guns.

          1. So you feel it’s OK to start murdering Democrats because they do not subscribe to your political philosophy.

            1. If they’re pointing Gov-Guns at me and I defend my individual rights by shooting them. YES; It’s Okay to use Gun-Force in Self-Defense.

              1. Says who? What gives you the right to murder people? The fact that you possess guns?

                Government has more guns. I guess that means they have the right to murder you real hard.

                1. “Says who?” — USA Patriots; that’s who… And it won’t be the first time they’ve used their guns to defend their individual liberty.. This WHOLE ENTIRE NATION was founded by such individuals.

                  And as much as they don’t like to use their guns; Dictators like you and your ilk keep popping up wanting to *force* your utopian *STEAL from THEM* delusions on everyone around you (can’t mind your own GD business) or pay any respect to individual freedom and will.

                  1. I’ve only ever advocated for republicanism, far as I know. You?

  24. Who, exactly, are they talking about. The FBI’s 10 most wanted list isn’t “keep an eye out for bad guys” repeated 10 times.

  25. The real problem isn’t overreaction to terrorism. It’s targeted misuse of police resources and a criminally wrong set of priorities.

    The FBI and DHS, like a lot of state and city police departments, have gone out of their way to deliberately let Antifa and BLM terrorists rape, loot, pillage, burn, and murder their way through our major cities for the past year plus. Most of them have even “taken the knee” to BLM terrorists, and the lying Big Media aid and abet this outrage by calling the terrorists “peaceful protestors.” Meanwhile, whenever anyone on the Right engages in peaceful protesting they get smeared and persecuted as terrorists and “insurrectionists.”

    Reason, stop helping the terrorists spread these lies. You’re not helping. We’re in a shooting war, and real Americans need to start shooting back, including at cops who have sided with the terrorists.

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  27. It’s a sticky situation, no doubt about it.

    Of course, they hardly need a new excuse to start murdering people and overthrowing elections, since the last time they tried their excuse was “My sources of news lied to me about the outcome of the election.” Also, “Donald Trump is right about everything because Facebook told me so.”

    If it were Iran sending anti-American propaganda to domestic Muslims, you’d all have a very different attitude about all of this. Are we pretending otherwise?

    It’s Russia and China sending anti-American propaganda to white evangelicals, and since you perceive them as part of your tribe, you’ll follow them to hell.

    It’s not that it’s about racism. It’s about the odd little feature of the human brain where people who live in fear pick their tribes, and nothing matters except tribe.

    When you are made afraid (say, by a shrieking propagandist on FOX News), your human thinking brain turns off and your fight-or-flight animal brain turns on. Gray areas disappear, and it’s about us vs. them. Cynical politicians and religious leaders have been exploiting this forever.

    The only solution I see that is appropriately kid-gloves, since we are talking white people after all, is to hold them off in elections by whatever means necessary until they die off in sufficient numbers.

    Though I am more sympathetic to the “heighten the contradictions” tactic championed by the far left, after Trump. This country, and this species, doesn’t do the right thing until the wrong thing kills millions of people, usually.

    And since we didn’t do any real deterrence after the insurrection, more people will die thanks to right-wing lies in the media. Eventually you psychopathic morons won’t be able to mealy-mouth your way out of it. Nazis never win, because Nazis are dumb.

  28. Silly Reason, tried to bring logic to a “Narrative at all costs” fight.

  29. “Extremism’ is a word deliberately chosen for its vagueness and used by intellectual slobs who are too desperate, sneaky or lazy to say exactly what they mean. Its only purpose is to deliberately try to confuse the difference between people who are extremely good (usually because of devotion to their principles) with people who are extremely bad. The sleazeballs who use this supposedly scary, yet undefined word are not only trying to smear people of conviction and integrity, but they’re also trying to divert attention away from the fact that they are obviously not people of principle themselves.” ~ Rick Gaber

    1. “People of principle.”

      Which principles are we talking about?

      I know what is meant by extremist, but I like the attitude of challenging terms.

      An extremist is someone willing to kill for their beliefs and who doesn’t wear a uniform.

  30. You know, many of the paid writers for this publication have become selectively libertarian (many have already pointed out the general defense of the BLM/Antifa crap alongside the condemnation of January 6), but the discussion threads are often compelling. The comments here are far more compelling that the article (although I’d prefer not to have to wade through so much childish name-calling and such).

    The writers need to read the ideas of their readers.

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