Archive for the ‘Progressives and Left’ Category

I’ve been reading about this and listening to this for a while, and as someone who’s had to fight in the Middle East before, I’m hearing a replay of 2002-2003, but a much worse one, with an imperial president who ignores the law as opposed to a neocon president who even his staunchest critics when confronted with the data can see at least jumped through the required hoops.

So far, it’s heavily suspected that Syria has used chemical weapons on its own rebels and population, though it’s also possible that the rebels themselves (who are affiliated with Al Qaeda) may have used them to garner international sympathy – mideast terrorist groups and their allies do use propaganda, after all.   Reuters even has rebels saying it was rebels (but Reuters in the mideast isn’t exactly trustworthy, as is evidenced one link ago). The use of chemical weapons is pretty much accepted, but by whom isn’t wholly decided.

The Obama administration has attacked Bashar Assad’s credibility when asked for proof.  If you’ve heard the audio (Charley Jones on 1080 KRLD played some of it last night), you know it starts off with a question asking about where the proof is that chemical weapons were used by the Assad regime, and sounds even less convincing when spoken than written.

Q:   But based on the President’s own criticism of the previous administration, not being able to clearly establish the use of WMD — if you’re now acknowledging the U.N. doesn’t have the mandate to determine that anyway, what will the President use to decide whether or not to take U.S. military action –

MR. CARNEY:  Again, we are continuing to assess the matter of culpability.  We believe, and I think the evidence is overwhelming, that there is very little doubt that the Syrian regime is culpable.  But we will continue to establish, or assess the incident, and we’ll have more information for you, as Secretary Kerry mentioned, in the coming days about that matter.

But, in the meantime, we should make clear from here and from the State Department and elsewhere, and in capitals around the world, that the Syrian regime has very little credibility on this matter.  If the Syrian regime had any interest, as Secretary Kerry said earlier, in proving that they were not culpable, they had the opportunity to allow that U.N. inspection team to visit the site immediately.  Instead, they blocked access for five days while they shelled the neighborhood, killing more innocent civilians, in an attempt to destroy evidence.

And even today, when the inspection team began its trip to the region where the attack occurred, its convoy was attacked.  They had to turn back.  And then they were able to make it later into the region.  After they left, the Syrian regime started shelling again.  The credibility here does not exist.

Except saying Assad is an uncooperative liar doesn’t mean Obama has definitive proof.  Saying “we have evidence from sources on the ground and from surveillance” would be a point.  Saying “we are assessing culpability” isn’t the same.  Considering the numerous resolutions against Saddam Hussein’s WMDs and ultimately action taken because of them, Obama is setting us up for the very same thing he railed against and ran on as a presidential candidate and president.  But Democrats are always against terrorist regimes before they’re for giving up and abandoning the efforts against terrorist regimes:

The Syrians have allies in Iran and Russia and Hezbollah, and the rebels are allied with and often part of Al Qaeda.  There are arguments by interventionists that some rebels are regionally different, but ultimately it doesn’t matter.  All sides involved are villainous.  There’s no reason for the US to get involved.  Neither side winning is good for the US.

If Syria wins, America’s adversaries in Russia, Iran, and China as well get strengthened in the region.  If the rebels win, Al Qaeda and other extremist forces will take over… just like happened in Egypt and much of Libya.  Either way, non-combatants in Syria suffer.

But speaking of Libya, the reason Ambassador Chris Stevens is dead is most likely because he was out in the middle of nowhere in Benghazi trying to secure weapons for the Syrian rebels.

Lawmakers also want to know about the weapons in Libya, and what happened to them.

Speculation on Capitol Hill has included the possibility the U.S. agencies operating in Benghazi were secretly helping to move surface-to-air missiles out of Libya, through Turkey, and into the hands of Syrian rebels.

That’s from a while ago.  Realistically, we’ve probably been supporting Syrian rebels since then.

The problem is that as we’re supporing the Free Syrian Army, we’re supporting the same allies of Al Qaeda that we’ve been fighting since at least the 1993 WTC bombing, and for no particular reason.

One question that hasn’t been answered adequately is that if we intervene, who will end up with those 1000 tons of chemical weapons that Syria has?  If the rebels win, are we handing Al Qaeda 1000 tons of sarin or VX?

If we act against Syria, will they use chemical weapons on their neighbors in Israel and Jordan and Turkey?  Is that part of why Turkey, who got involved in Syria a bit, stopped getting involved?

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So far the hypothesis has been that in a few days of air attacks, we could seriously degrade the Syrian air force and reduce Assad’s capability to fight significantly.  If we were to do that, basically providing Al Qaeda the use of our air force, and ultimately leading to an AQ/rebel victory and our actions were to protect the world from chemical weapons… then what do we do once they have those chemical weapons?  The answer ends up being boots on the ground.

There are only a few options in Syria:

  • We don’t get involved.
  • We support Syria’s government and push for stability against AQ.
  • We support Syria’s rebels and push for regime change and a new stable state that magically doesn’t turn into an AQ-state or Egypt redux.
  • We get involved and crush both sides, secure WMDs, and leave with them secured or destroyed.
  • We get involved and crush both sides, secure WMDs, and stay and nation build.

Carl Von Clausewitz stated as his elegant definition of war:

War therefore is an act of violence intended to compel our opponent to fulfill our will.

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So what is our will in Syria?  To stop the use of WMDs?

There have been tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands killed in Syria’s civil war by conventional violence.  Why were those deaths less important than the ones killed by a nerve agent?

To control WMD proliferation and keep WMDs out of the hands of groups that would threaten the US and our allies?  Supporting Syria would lead to stabilization and keep weapons out of terrorist hands – because a regime like Syria is a nation-state with something to lose if it uses WMDs against us.  A stateless organization like Al Qaeda doesn’t care.

Or is our will just so Obama can say his “red line” means something and not look like a complete weakling in front of Putin and China?  Too late, they know our president is weak on US interests and more concerned with instituting self-destructive policies within the US.  Any angry, self-righteous response against Syria is just going to look like Obama going “oh yeah, I’ll show you guys!” and they’ll still think him weak, because he is.  Obama doesn’t care about US interests.  He does care about himself, but that’s not strength, that’s vanity.

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The progressive left is interventionist, though.  They have been since the days when Woodrow Wilson dragged us into WWI, and before then the progressives under Teddy Roosevelt on the right dragged us all into other wars.

Consider this NYT editorial, titled “Bomb Syria, Even if It Is Illegal”:

The latest atrocities in the Syrian civil war, which has killed more than 100,000 people, demand an urgent response to deter further massacres and to punish President Bashar al-Assad.

They don’t want to be the world’s policeman enforcing the law, they want to be the world’s angry disciplinarian out castigating people for things they don’t like.

But there is widespread confusion over the legal basis for the use of force in these terrible circumstances. As a legal matter, the Syrian government’s use of chemical weapons does not automatically justify armed intervention by the United States.

There are moral reasons for disregarding the law, and I believe the Obama administration should intervene in Syria. But it should not pretend that there is a legal justification in existing law. Secretary of State John Kerry seemed to do just that on Monday, when he said of the use of chemical weapons, “This international norm cannot be violated without consequences.” His use of the word “norm,” instead of “law,” is telling.

There’s currently a big push by the administration to say that Syria is violating international norms and must be punished.  You’ll hear the word in news reports a lot as a new narrative is made.  Sort of like hearing about the hun.

Syria is a party to neither the Biological Weapons Convention of 1972 nor the Chemical Weapons Convention of 1993, and even if it were, the treaties rely on the United Nations Security Council to enforce them — a major flaw. Syria is a party to the Geneva Protocol, a 1925 treaty that bans the use of toxic gases in wars. But this treaty was designed after World War I with international war in mind, not internal conflicts.

Not only will Russia and China block any UN resolutions, it doesn’t matter, because there is no authority to something Syria isn’t a signatory to.  This is the very unilateralism the left railed against.

What about the claim that, treaties aside, chemical weapons are inherently prohibited? While some acts — genocide, slavery and piracy — are considered unlawful regardless of treaties, chemical weapons are not yet in this category.

Some acts are unlawful regardless of treaties?  What a joke.  Sudan is on the UN Human Rights Commission even though they were and are engaged in genocide.

If there is no law, they are by definition not unlawful.

…if the White House takes international law seriously — as the State Department does — it cannot try to have it both ways. It must either argue that an “illegal but legitimate” intervention is better than doing nothing, or assert that international law has changed — strategies that I call “constructive noncompliance.” In the case of Syria, I vote for the latter.

Since Russia and China won’t help, Mr. Obama and allied leaders should declare that international law has evolved and that they don’t need Security Council approval to intervene in Syria.

This would be popular in many quarters, and I believe it’s the right thing to do. But if the American government accepts that the rule of law is the foundation of civilized society, it must be clear that this represents a new legal path.

This can be summed up simply:

There is no law in this administration, there is only what people in power feel like doing, and whatever complex mental and linguistic gymnastics they can do to justify acting out how they feel.

Under Bush, the administration went through the processes that were necessary, getting approval along the way before acting on a perceived threat, regardless of the haste or individual opinions on the wisdom of those actions.  Under Obama, we have leftists actively advocating for ignoring laws they agree to with their wonderful UN-consensus ideals because it’s now magically moral to break the law, to do what feels good even though it’s illegal.

The rule of law is the foundation of a civilized society, but we have the rule of men, and of a man who feels what he’s doing is right means more than the law.  I’m sure Assad would agree with the decisions to ignore legality and do what you want as a ruler.

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As a final note, I heard or read this story not too long ago:  A bartender saw a boyfriend and girlfriend fighting across the bar and saw the boyfriend slapping the girlfriend.  The bartender decided this was wrong, and he had to get involved and separate the two.  He stepped around the bar and got them apart, and the girlfriend then broke a beer bottle over the bartenders head.

As of right now, with no real evidence of a threat to the US or US interests, there’s no reason to get involved.

This is a cluster of our enemies fighting each other.  It’s tragic what’s happening to the non-combatants, but unless we want to wage a massive, all out campaign to suppress the rest of the world and pacify them, we can’t change that.

Away from wartime, we can change things through trade and commerce, but in wartime, there’s little we can do unless we go all-out.  And there’s while there may be some broader humanitarian desire to act, there’s really little reason to get involved, as both potential victors in the only likely outcomes are villains.

From Time:

Robert Maginnis, a retired Army lieutenant colonel and West Point graduate, fears that won’t happen. He spells out what he sees as the dangers of opening combat billets to women in his new book, Deadly Consequences: How Cowards Are Pushing Women into Combat. His key concern is that, under political pressure, the military will ease its standards, resulting in a less-capable force. Battleland recently conducted this email chat with him. …

What do you see as the three biggest risks to letting women serve in the combat arms?

There are a multitude of risks—far more than most people realize, especially those without military experience. Among the many risks I discuss in “Deadly Consequences” are these three:

– First, standards will be lowered. As a practical matter, there has to be a certain minimum number of women in combat units for the policy to succeed. That can be accomplished only by “gender norming” the standards for combat service. Lower standards will inevitably degrade combat effectiveness, and the nation will be less secure. There is also good evidence that the policy will harm military recruitment and retention.

– Second, women who serve as ground combatants, whether by choice or under compulsion, will suffer disproportionate physical and psychological harm.

– Third, the already serious problem of sexual assault in the military will get worse. Notwithstanding the Administration’s wishful thinking, this prediction is borne out by the statistics.

His points in general are the same ones hit on here in previous posts here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5.

There is nothing to gain from this.  There is much to lose.

On the battlefield, there is no agency to appeal to for gender bias.  The enemy, the weather, the conditions, the misery do not care that things aren’t fair.

Torsion bars don’t care if you’re too weak to change them.  Track doesn’t care if you’re too weak to break it and rebuild it.

breaking_track mlrs

You can yell at artillery shells all you want that they’re sexist for weighing too much, but they will not care.

155 shells

90 pounds of gear on your back does not care… and the inability to do any combat job gets passed on to someone more competent, who then has to carry two loads instead of one.

US infantry

Your buddy who needs your help does not get lighter just because you’re a girl (or a weak man who only meets a girls’ standard).

Fireman_carry_Army

Men who do these jobs have to be physically strong athletes.  Those who can’t meet the standard are a continuing drag on their unit and/or are mustered out.

The few individual women who could meet the standard (and could probably get waivers and be welcomed into units that might find utility for them) are not who is being looked at here.  This is a push for cocktail party circuit politicians to say “look at the good social justice thing I did for women” that will put girls into positions that break many men, and will break women much faster and much worse.

Via Jawa Report, from FOX:

The federal government is hiring what it calls a “Behavioral Insights Team” that will look for ways to subtly influence people’s behavior, according to a document describing the program obtained by FoxNews.com. Critics warn there could be unintended consequences to such policies, while supporters say the team could make government and society more efficient.

To make society more efficient – because you don’t know how to make your own decisions, they will manipulate you into their chosen path.  They will adjust your choices, and create you into their image of the perfect efficient serf.

Milton Friedman famously said that we should be thankful for government inefficiency, because without it, we’d all be slaves.

Such policies — which encourage behavior subtly rather than outright require it — have come to be known as “nudges,” after an influential 2008 book titled “Nudge” by former Obama regulatory czar Cass Sunstein and Chicago Booth School of Business professor Richard Thaler popularized the term.

The term “nudge” has already been associated with the new program, as one professor who received Shankar’s email forwarded it to others with the note: “Anyone interested in working for the White House in a ‘nudge’ squad? The UK has one and it’s been extraordinarily successful.”

Cass Sunstein is one of the most vile men on the planet, who desires to corrupt institutions made to serve the people into institutions that control the people.  It’s for your own good, you stupid peasant.

Richard Thaler told FoxNews.com that the new program sounds good.

“I don’t know who those people are who would not want such a program, but they must either be misinformed or misguided,” he said.

“The goal is to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of government by using scientifically collected evidence to inform policy designs. What is the alternative? The only alternatives I know are hunches, tradition, and ideology (either left or right.)”

“Misguided” to this master of puppets is anyone who opposes him.  “MIsinformed” means you haven’t been properly indoctrinated to accept him as your master, as someone who knows better than him.

The goal is to control people, to force them to make decisions they otherwise wouldn’t, to use a government instituted by the people as a tool to preserve freedom as a tool to coerce behavior.  It is the antithesis of freedom, and it is the most insidious form of tyranny.

Thaler is a would-be master of men, and a liar of the first order.

The alternative is that individuals make decisions for themselves, because no luciferian social scientist knows better than any individual in their own life.  He doesn’t know what’s best for you.  You have your own individual life full of information that you’ve collected that makes a difference in your own life that should inform your own decisions.  The “ideology” tack at the end is just to make him seem so “moderate” and “reasonable” by saying he dismisses both sides with his third way… of government leading you, you stupid, contemptible peon.  He mocks any other ideas as hunches, too, as though people don’t make their own decisions.

His ridicule of tradition is easily shot down by a man much wiser – Thomas Sowell:

“For the anointed, traditions are likely to be seen as the dead hand of the past, relics of a less enlightened age, and not as the distilled experience of millions who faced similar human vicissitudes before.”

But they are your masters, and they will lead, and they will educate you into believing that following is your natural condition, your correct place in life, and ultimately that it’s for your own good that you’re a serf.

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There’ve been a cluster of these stories coming pretty fast as the Gang of 8 pushes for amnesty for illegal aliens.

First, from FOX, the Kansas Secretary of State’s home was mobbed by illegal alien supporters.  To the left, it’s completely justified in targeting someone’s home and family:

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach is calling for a criminal investigation after a huge mob of illegal alien supporters surrounded his private home Saturday and held a rally on his front porch.

At least 200 members of Sunflower Community Action were bused into Kobach’s Kansas City-area neighborhood on Saturday – to protest his staunch anti-illegal alien views.

“I was just appalled,” Kobach told Fox News. “They have a right to protest at my office or at public places – that’s fine. But they don’t have a right to enter someone’s private property and engage in this kind of intimidation.”

“I have four little girls and they would have been terrified to see 200 protesters shouting at their daddy on megaphones on the front lawn,” he said.

Kobach noted there’s a solution to the left’s standard tactics of mob invasion.

The secretary of state is a staunch supporter of the Second Amendment – and he said the incident at his home is an example of why Americans should bear arms.

“If we had been in the home and not been armed, I would have felt very afraid – because it took the police 15 minutes to show up,” he said. “It’s important we recognize there’s a reason we have the Second Amendment. There are situations like this where you have a mob and you do need to be able to protect yourself.”

He said had they been home and the mob had gotten out of hand, his family would have been in “grave jeopardy.”

“The Second Amendment is the private property owner’s last resort,” he said.

Short version:

get off my lawn-

The CBO has stated that the new “Gang of 8″ bill will simply create more illegal immigration by encouraging violations of the law.  Naw, ya think?

…the CBO report also found that the bill, which takes steps to prevent people coming to the U.S. illegally while offering the hope of citizenship to some 11 million people already here without authorization, does not come close to ending illegal immigration. Indeed some aspects of the bill would make the problem worse, the report said.

“Unauthorized residents would find it harder both to enter the country and to find employment while unauthorized. However, other aspects of the bill would probably increase the number of unauthorized residents — in particular, people overstaying their visas issued under the new programs for temporary workers,” the CBO report said, adding that the net annual flow of unauthorized residents would decrease by about 25 percent compared to current law.

A bit more on this at NRO’s the Corner.

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HotAir did illegal immigration as their “quotes of the day” theme yesterday.

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Finally, J. Christian Adams at PJ Media takes a counterpoint to the Arizona voter ID law ruling by SCOTUS:

Something perverse happened after the Supreme Court’s decision today invalidating citizenship-verification requirements in Arizona for registrants who use the federal voter registration form. The Left knows they lost most of the battle, but are still claiming victory. That’s what they do. Election-integrity proponents and the states are saying they lost, but don’t realize they really won.

So far I’ve been of the opinion that election integrity is being stomped.  But Adams makes a point:

Arizona can simply push the state forms in all state offices and online, and keep those federal forms in the back room gathering dust. When you submit a state form, you have to prove citizenship.  …

After the decision today, states have a green light to do double- and triple-checking even if a registrant uses the federal form. The Left wanted the submission of a federal form to mean automatic no-questions-asked registration. This is a big loss for the Left because now states can put suspect forms in limbo while they run checks against non-citizen databases and jury-response forms. Another significant victory in today’s decision. The Left wanted to strip them of that double-checking power.

He lists five different things the left wanted and notes that some state forms stay active, which means there may be a way to actually begin to enforce citizenship as a condition of voting by allowing for state forms to take precedence.

I’m still skeptical, but he makes a point.

From Patriot Update:

What the IRS was doing behind closed doors may soon be official policy in California. Last week, the State Senate voted to revoke the nonprofit status of any group within the state that does not allow full participation of homosexuals, a move aimed directly at the Boy Scouts of America. According to the Associated Press, the bill “would require those organizations to pay corporate taxes on donations, membership dues, camp fees and other sources of income, and to obtain sellers permits and pay sales taxes on food, beverages and homemade items sold at fundraisers.” Groups that sponsor troops would also have their tax returns and membership policies scrutinized by the Franchise Tax Board, California’s version of the IRS.

The thread that connects California’s proposed tax policy with the IRS scandal of recent weeks is the unmistakable trend toward weaponizing the tax code. What was once a neutral instrument used for the purpose of collecting revenue for legitimate governmental functions is now employed to punish behavior that powerful people don’t like.  …

The government can indeed punish citizens monetarily. Until recently, monetary punishments were called “fines” and they were extracted for offenses such as parking in front of a fire hydrant. California cannot however, fine the Boy Scouts for their membership policy. Thirteen years ago the Boy Scouts fought and won a legal case called Boy Scouts v. Dale, which affirmed the organization’s right to freely associate. Private organizations are private and, as such, have the right to set their own membership requirements. Membership in a private club is not an equal rights issue.

Yet the totalitarian impulse of Left Coast liberals knows no bounds. What was once called a “fine” is now called a “tax” and is specifically targeted at ostracized groups such as the Boy Scouts, even if what they are doing has been upheld as constitutionally protected behavior by the Supreme Court. If the tax code were an “assault rifle,” the Boy Scouts would be looking down the barrel of it.

To cite just a few examples, the IRS required pro-life groups to provide information on “both sides” of the abortion issue, as well as to pledge not to picket Planned Parenthood. They even asked the Albuquerque Tea Party why they weren’t having a rally for the Democratic candidate for governor! The IRS was out of line in these cases for two reasons. First, because no private organization should face a fine—er, tax—for exercising their rights, and second because the same treatment was never applied to groups on the left.

But at least the IRS had the good sense to hide their tyrannical machinations. The California Senate wants to do the same thing, right out in the open. The right of private organizations to exclude anyone they want is well established and there’s nothing California can do to stop them; nothing, that is, except to extract a punitive “tax.”

Some of this really isn’t that new.  There have been punitive taxes and excise taxes levied against all forms of things that progressives in government dislike, from liquor to tobacco taxes to beer taxes to gun taxes to gas and car taxes.

Someone in government decides what they think is good, and they “nudge” you by inflicting crippling taxes.  Your behavior gets modified by some Cass Sunsteinesque soft tyrant who will simply make it financially burdensome to engage in an activity they have deemed is unsuitable for you.  If you’re filthy rich, the taxes are meaningless, but if you’re Joe or Jane Average, the taxes are behavior modification punishments intended for you.  You are being dictated to by a bureaucrat who’s decided that you need to be fundamentally changed.

The function of government is not to tell you how to live – the function of government is well-outlined by the Constitution as an entity that exists to preserve your freedoms to make decisions.  “Freedom” to be steered one way or the other by some progressive with the ability to tax your decisions away with “choice architecture” is simply a return to tyranny – a coercive paternalism that most on the left favor.  You aren’t doing what they want, and they will use every tool to make you do what they want.

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This story isn’t about the Boy Scouts, it’s about government and government interference in free association.  But there is one overlooked point in the gay scouting controversy well addressed by Dr. Rusty at Jawa Report:

So, the Boy Scouts of America is contemplating letting openly gay men serve as Scout leaders?

This is the dumbest thing I’ve heard gay rights advocates push for — ever.

The idea that a gay man should go camping with a bunch of teenage boys? Yeah, that’s insane.

Not because homosexuals are predatory by nature. Not because they are going to lure impressionable youths into the gay lifestyle. Foolishness, all.

Gays aren’t any worse than the next man when it comes to normal human impulses. But they certainly aren’t any better.

Would you let me take your 14 year old daughter camping? Kind of seems inappropriate.

So, you acknowledge that no matter how decent of a guy I might be, because I am a normal man subject to normal male passions, it’s probably not a great idea for me and my buddy — let’s say, Howie — to take a group of 14 – 15 year old girls on a camp out. Don’t forget to bring a pillow for the mandatory pillow fight!

Read the whole post here, and remember that the government is trying to force that situation by using weaponized taxation against the Boy Scouts.  The progressives have decided that it is a Greater Good, and to hell with any group that would disagree with their worldview.

Those inflicting the taxation will never have to deal with the consequences of their actions, because they’re hidden several layers away from their intended target.  If a boy scout is molested by a gay scout leader (who is an authority figure in the organization, remember), it won’t be the California taxation official who will be held to task for creating the situation – it will be the Boy Scouts.  Heck, the ensuing crisis that would push people away from scouting may even be the objective of the leftist government – to simply destroy the scouts by making them live under nonsense rulings that lead to their own demise.  It’s a win-win-win for the progressive – the scouts are financially punished, forced into the mold of what the progressive desires for society, or destroyed by the leftist demands that are incompatible not only with scouting, but with human nature.

From the Washington Times:

Before the Boston Marathon bombings, the Obama administration argued for years that there is a big difference between terrorists and the tenets of Islam.

A senior White House aide in 2009 publicly urged Washington to cease using the term “jihadist” — asserting that terrorists are simply extremists. Two years later, the White House ordered a cleansing of training materials that Islamic groups deemed offensive.

Now, some analysts are asking whether the 2009 edict and others that followed have dampened law enforcement’s appetite to thoroughly investigate terrorism suspects for fear of offending higher-ups or the American Muslim lobby.

It’s not just suspected.  The most recent fedgov-sponsored anti-terrorism course I took spent the first few hours going over the SPLC’s laundry list of evil white terrorist organizations that to any sane person, aren’t more than a footnote.

In October 2011, 57 Islamic groups wrote a letter to John O. Brennan, now CIA director, but then President Obama’s chief counterterrorism adviser.

Citing news reports, the groups complained of “biased, false and highly offensive training materials about Muslims and Islam” inside the federal government’s instructional halls.

“While recent news reports have highlighted the FBI’s use of biased experts and training materials, we have learned that this problem extends far beyond the FBI and has infected other government agencies, including the U.S. Attorney’s Anti-Terrorism Advisory Councils, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and the U.S. Army,” the letter read.

Muslims objected to several training guides, such as a 2009 report produced at the Army Command and General Staff at the Fort Leavenworth School of Advanced Military Studies.

“Moderate Muslims are not exercising moderation; they are simply applying other means to accomplish the same goal of establishing global Islamic dominance,” it quoted the report as saying.

At least two of the 57 groups were listed by the Justice Department as unindicted co-conspirators and as being connected to the Muslim Brotherhood in the prosecution of a Texas charity for funding Hamas, a U.S.-designated terrorist organization. The groups are the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the Islamic Society of North America.

The organizations’ letter demanded that biased trainers be disciplined, that all instructors undergo retraining and that materials deemed offensive by Muslim activists be purged.

Want to know why we can’t effectively fight jihadi terrorists?  Why we keep having Fort Hoods and Bostons?

If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles.  If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat.  If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.

- Sun Tzu

Sun Tzu’s reflections on the Obama administration would probably be something like: “If you deny yourself knowledge of the enemy and even deny the enemy’s existence because you don’t want to offend the enemy, you have already been defeated.

John Guandolo, a former FBI counterterrorism agent, has spent years studying the global Muslim Brotherhood movement and its links to American Islamic groups. The FBI relies on some of them to guide its training. The political left has branded Mr. Guandolo an “Islamophobe.”

“There is no strategy in the FBI,” he told The Times. “At FBI headquarters, it is a daily fire drill. The threats come in, and they run around to deal with them and run them down. But because none of it can have anything to do with the Muslim Brotherhood’s movement in the U.S. or Islam, they never address the root cause and common investigative realities.”

Mr. Emerson, who maintains back-channel ties to law enforcement, said any slide presentation on Islamic extremism now has to be submitted to a special Justice Department panel.

He said one slide that was required to be omitted showed the famous photo of captured Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed. The photo of a disheveled and unshaven Mohammed was deemed “offensive to Islam,” Mr. Emerson said.

There is a strategy in the FBI.  It’s a strategy of concession and defeat.

… the president does not “see this challenge as a fight against ‘jihadists.’ Describing terrorists in this way — using a legitimate term, jihad, meaning to purify oneself or to wage a holy struggle for a moral goal — risks giving these murderers the religious legitimacy they desperately seek but in no way deserve.”

Some analysts disagree with that interpretation, saying the Koran clearly states that jihad is a “holy war.”

Jihad is war.

Denying it and pretending that it’s simply “internal jihad” denies reality.  The struggle in Islam is further submission to the will of Allah – Islam means submission.  Salaam and the peace of Allah is all about submission to Allah’s will.  People with an internal “my struggle” tend to be types who are worth keeping an eye on anyway.

Beyond that point, it doesn’t actually matter what the US says.  Contrary to American popular belief, the world does not actually revolve around us.  The right knows we’re big and important and we have an important role to play, but we’re ultimately not everything; the left mocks our actual importance, but then thinks every evil in the world is caused by our interference and instead blames America for everything as though we are the cause of all evil in the world – a far more powerful egocentric belief.

Jihadis who are willing to kill themselves to strike a blow against the West in a desire to further the plans for the caliphate do not care what you or I think of them.  The US saying “Islamic jihadi terrorists are Islamic jihadi terrorists” doesn’t change much.

They don’t need our opinion to make themselves legitimate.  They are, by their own actions, legitimating themselves.  They strike terror against the west and they prove they are jihadis.  The US understanding and saying “they’re jihadis” does not magically make them jihadis.  That they are blowing themselves up for jihad makes them jihadis.  This is a question of acknowledging reality.  They aren’t seeking our approval to make them jihadis.

For your nation to protect itself does demand that it acknowledge what it is fighting.

“When people see a strong horse and a weak horse, by nature, they will like the strong horse.”

- Osama bin Laden

Frankly, when we’re acting befuddled because we can’t understand jihad, it doesn’t make us the strong horse.  When our government, filled with mush-brained liberals at best; and jihad-allies leftists as well, tells you with their rose-colored glasses and romantic worldview (or straight up leftist redistributive propaganda) that these are a peaceful, peaceable, highly spiritual wise people with a history that goes back thousands of years, wise exotic mystics who travel the deserts and kept alive the knowledge that racist bigoted white European Christians threw away, and then were attacked by ruthless murderous Christian fundamentalist Crusaders who sought to kill them for some reason… it sets up a ridiculous worldview.

The leftist worldview doesn’t allow for acknowledging who the enemy is.

“They say our enemy is violent extremism,” Mr. Lieberman said. “It’s not. It’s not animal rights extremists or white supremacy extremists. It’s Islamic extremism.”

Lieberman’s one redeeming virtue is that he somewhat understands this.  At the same time, it’s not extremism.

This is extremism:

Rubio also has part of the problem recognized, but this is still a problem:

Sen. Marco Rubio, Florida Republican, told Fox News this week that the administration will not recognize the terrorists for what they are — radicalized Islamists.

These are radical muslims:

Notably, those muslim snowboarders aren’t jihadis.  Or at least, probably not (Tamerlan Tsarnaev was a Golden Gloves boxer, after all).

“My problem with this administration is they refuse to acknowledge the existence of this kind of terrorism,” Mr. Rubio said.

He noted that after the Sept. 11 terrorist attack on the U.S. diplomatic complex in Benghazi, Libya, the White House refused to call it terrorism and blamed it on everyday demonstrators.

To really explain that further, the White House’s so-called “demonstrators” brought mortars.  The White House story is that they brought fire support to yell about a video that no one had ever seen.

You don’t bring indirect fire area-effect weapons to a protest.

Enduring Freedom mortars

I voice my continued objection to the new zoning regulations! No new strip centers!

This is a Second Amendment protest – a protest about guns and the right of the people too keep and bear arms in order to throw off oppression – up to and including possibly overthrowing a corrupt government:

guns across america austin tx 6

And they didn’t bring any artillery.  They also aren’t jihadis.

Update: It also looks like the Tsarnaevs’ bombs required some additional training and expertise to make, as though they might not be a “lone wolf” operation as the administration claims, as though there might actually be some kind of global movement that’s doing this bombing extremist stuff (for no discernable reason)… like there’s maybe a group of people who believe in the same thing (extremism and radicalness, sayeth the administration) and are out to spread terrorism for the sake of terrorism.  Whoa.  (How you can have two people working together and still call them a “lone” wolf ignores what the word “lone” means, but I digress.)

Via Drudge, from Real Clear Politics:

Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nevada) mocked Second Amendment rights activists while announcing his support for a ban on assault weapons and limits to high-capacity magazine clips on the Senate floor today.

REID: In the 1920s, organized crime was committing murders with machine guns. So Congress dramatically limited the sale and transfer of machine guns. As a result, machine guns all but disappeared from the streets. We can and should take the same common-sense approach to safeguard Americans from modern weapons of war.

Starting from the end of this statement and working back, modern weapons of war aren’t legal (without a lot of licensing) precisely because of the National Firearms Act of 1934 that Reid is alluding to.  But wait, you say – the National Firearms Act came out in 1934?  Yes, yes it did.

Organized crime became an issue in the 1920s because of a great early Progressive idea to make people better: Prohibition.  Prohibition was so important to those who “know what’s best” that the government went out and poisoned US citizens intentionally:

Frustrated that people continued to consume so much alcohol even after it was banned, federal officials had decided to try a different kind of enforcement. They ordered the poisoning of industrial alcohols manufactured in the United States, products regularly stolen by bootleggers and resold as drinkable spirits. The idea was to scare people into giving up illicit drinking. Instead, by the time Prohibition ended in 1933, the federal poisoning program, by some estimates, had killed at least 10,000 people.

Although mostly forgotten today, the “chemist’s war of Prohibition” remains one of the strangest and most deadly decisions in American law-enforcement history. As one of its most outspoken opponents, Charles Norris, the chief medical examiner of New York City during the 1920s, liked to say, it was “our national experiment in extermination.”

Early progressives had decided that intemperance needed to be squashed, even if it meant murdering some 10,000 citizens who drink by having government poison them.

The 21st Amendment repealed Prohibition in 1933, and just like that, the revenue stream for bootleggers and organized crime evaporated overnight.  Coupled with the beginning of the Great Depression exacerbated by FDR’s policies impacting the entire economy, organized crime wasn’t making the same kind of money and thus it wasn’t the same threat it was in the 1920s.

Reid continued saying he’d vote for Feinstein’s “Assault” Weapons Ban:

That is why I will vote for Senator Dianne Feinstein’s assault weapons ban – because we must strike a better balance between the right to defend ourselves and the right of every child in America to grow up safe from gun violence. I will vote for the ban because maintaining law and order is more important than satisfying conspiracy theorists who believe in black helicopters and false flags. I will vote for the ban because saving the lives of young police officers and innocent civilians is more important than preventing imagined tyranny.

There is no “balance” as you move towards tyranny, even if you mock those who warn of tyranny.  There can be no right to grow up safe.  These are wonderful abstract concepts that are high-minded, but impossible.  You cannot “grow up safe”.  The world cannot be made into a safe place.

“Maintaining law and order” would mean enforcing laws first.  Obama doesn’t even enforce gun laws.  Mocking people who oppose the bill as conspiracy theorists just means you don’t have an argument.

The Obama administration has actively engaged in a conspiracy against the Second Amendment by shipping guns to narcoterrorist cartels in Mexico.  You can read all about it.

Lastly, Reid claiming to want to save the lives of young police officers by destroying the Second Amendment they swear an oath to – as part of the Constitution, just means that he cares about protecting organs of the state but not about the rights of the people – the same rights that cop swears to uphold.

As to “saving the lives of innocent civilians” being more important that “preventing imagined tyranny”, scroll back up and read about the Chemist’s War.  The US government actively poisoned people in order to push its Progressive “good idea” of Prohibition, whether people wanted it or not.  The same time that the Senate was looking at banning machineguns, the same government was poisoning people.  Also in the early 1930s, not only was the government banning the right to own machineguns “for the greater good”, they were also infecting black people with syphilis as guinea pigs in the Tuskegee experiment.  There were also forced sterilizations and such going on in the name of eugenic racial improvement, another Progressive idea, all “for the greater good”.

Reid, just like politicians at that time would’ve, is arguing that people should surrender their rights for their own good because government really wants to help them… It wants to help them so much it murders them for their own good – from poisoning people to support Prohibition to sending guns to narcoterrorist cartels to kill people to support gun control.

There is no “imagined tyranny”, there are just increasing levels of tyranny.  With history as our guide, we know we need to stay well-armed to stay safe, and we know that a government that mocks us ultimately means us harm.  They aren’t by, for, and of the people.

Harry Reid is also indulging in the Broken Window Fallacy.  The complaints he makes today about protecting children and cops are ones that are visible.  The tyranny that others warn against isn’t here yet, and takes time to materialize.  But this isn’t some Manbearpig fantasy, we have all of human history to see the repetition of tyranny as Innocents Betrayed illustrates above.  We know what happens when governments get powerful.  We have seen the US government in the last four years send guns to narcoterrorist cartels and hush it up afterwards.  We have seen the US government poison over 10,000 people just to push Prohibition.

There is no imagined tyranny.  It exists, creeping, always encroaching, and always there.

The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.

A few days ago, I wrote about how a few of the Newtown families have taken on a lifelong mission, and then yesterday about how reports came out that some of those families have actively decided to shack up with leftist political advisors who are using that personal tragedy as a political prop to bring down the Bill of Rights.  They’re pushing against citizens’ rights with the White House propaganda slogan “now is the time”.  In even greater response:

I’m a veteran.  When I write things like “for those who’ve fought for it, freedom has a flavor the protected will never know”, I mean it.  It’s not a cliche, it’s a reality.  There are a lot of people, myself included, who fought for our rights and our Constitution.  Our nation is unique in that we don’t swear an allegiance to a president or a king or an autocrat.  We swear our oath to a piece of paper.  We swear it to a contract made by free people to create a government that serves us.  We swear our oaths to that Constitution and the protection of those natural rights it guarantees.

The natural right to self defense against oppression, against tyranny large and small, whether it be a dictatorial government or a lone criminal, is something that many men and women have fought and died for.  The forces against the natural right to self defense are those who would be our masters, who demand autocracy and think they know best and should tell us how to live – tyrants.

The demand that we surrender rights that our forefathers and sometimes our friends fought and died for is unacceptable.

arlington cemetery

Those rights were fought for, and men and women died for those rights, so that people back home could be safe with the protections those natural rights provide.  They the honored dead and we the veterans did not fight for those rights so that those rights could be hastily abandoned to a political cry of “now is the time”.

No.  Never is the time.

The Newtown families, if truly driven by grief, will still have my sympathy, but what they demand in the name of children and family who would not even be protected by the unconstitutional laws they demand is both anathema and wholly unacceptable to those who have served and those who remember our honored dead who fought for those rights.  The contract that our honored dead and we the veterans signed was to protect those rights.  Against more than two hundred years of adversaries within and without we’ve fought to preserve those rights with millions of men and women who’ve served and hundreds of thousands who’ve died in service – all to protect those rights.

normandy american cemetery

The emotional demand that one tragedy, manipulated by fiendish politicians for their own power and demand to control the American people, mean that we the citizens give up the rights bought and paid for in blood by our honored dead and our veterans and often ourselves as veterans is one that can only be answered with a resounding no.

Today those demanding the surrender of our rights and our arms do so with words, because we have arms.  With history as our guide, when we have no arms, they won’t use words to take our rights.  This is again why we have fought for those rights.

-

There may be solutions to limit the horrors in the world, but abrogating the right of self defense that is intrinsic to the contract of our safe and secure society is not an option.  We may still have individual madmen and criminals – and we have fewer of them when we can fight back; but we have no tyrants here – our tragedies are counted in ones and tens but never in millions.

Stalin famously said that a single death is a tragedy, a million is a statistic.  To a dictator’s perspective, he’s right.

To a free man’s perspective and to a patriot perspective, that’s not the case.  A single death is a tragedy, and a million deaths is a million individual tragedies.  The twenty-six individual tragedies at Sandy Hook do not outweigh the incomprehensible human suffering and death endured by millions of individual citizens who fought and so often died so that we could live free covered by the protections of the natural rights our Constitution provides.  The willing and also unwilling sacrafices of those millions of individual tragedies and sufferings thus prevented millions more individual tragedies.  Those who fought and died knew that they fought for that piece of paper and the rights it guaranteed.

Gardens-of-Stone arlington cemetery

The actions of one madman and the desire to correct those twenty-six tragedies can be understood.  They are fathomable.  The rows upon rows of graves of those who fought to prevent greater tragedies are often beyond comprehension and thus some folks can miss the far bigger picture.  They aren’t seen as a million individual tragedies and lives of suffering undertaken for a larger cause to ensure greater rights that ultimately protect us all – those lost lives are right in front of us and yet some forget both those lost lives and the payments in blood they made on liberties.

Each one is an individual tragedy.

iraq war cemetery cr

Each individual tragedy was undertaken as an oath to protect and defend the Constitution.

arlington 2003 cr

And yet there are those who would still trade away that liberty bought at so dear a price for temporary security… and they would soon find themselves with neither.

First she said that children are property of the community.

Now she says you have the right to have all your needs fulfilled at all times.

You can feel like you earn more, to pretend to have meritocracy, but really, everyone needs all of their needs cared for at all times.  The doctor has no right to his labor – he has to labor for the community good.  The farmer has no right to his crops – he is there to provide for the eaters.  The builder has no right to the house he builds – he is there to provide for those who want houses.  The woman has no right to herself – she is there to provide for men who need her body.  The healthy man has no right to his parts – he is there to be disassembled and harvested by those who need his organs.

To each according to your ability, to each according to your need!  Eat the rich!

Via the People’s Cube:

communal children perry peoplescube

From the DenverPost:

WASHINGTON — Democratic Rep. Diana DeGette has been the lead sponsor on a federal ban on high-capacity ammunition magazines in two Congresses, saying it’s one of her top priorities.  …

But she doesn’t understand how magazines work.

Asked how a ban on magazines holding more than 15 rounds would be effective in reducing gun violence, DeGette said:

I will tell you these are ammunition, they’re bullets, so the people who have those know they’re going to shoot them, so if you ban them in the future, the number of these high capacity magazines is going to decrease dramatically over time because the bullets will have been shot and there won’t be any more available.

Magazines don’t work like that.  They’re like a gas tank.  Just because you use the gas in the tank, doesn’t mean the tank is useless.  You just put gas back in the tank.

As usual, legislators are going after things they don’t understand – they just know all guns need to be banned, and this is a step towards that.  Like Carolyn McCarthy and the “shoulder thing that goes up”, they don’t need to know what it is to ban it, they just know it has to do with guns, and guns must be banned.  For those who missed “the shoulder thing that goes up”…

But of course, DeGette isn’t an idiot, she merely “misspoke”:

DeGette’s spokeswoman Juliet Johnson issued a statement Wednesday, saying the congresswoman mispoke.

“The Congresswoman has been working on a high-capacity assault magazine ban for years, and has been deeply involved in the issue; she simply misspoke in referring to ‘magazines’ when she should have referred to ‘clips,’ which cannot be reused because they don’t have a feeding mechanism,” Johnson said. “Quite frankly, this is just another example of opponents of common-sense gun violence prevention trying to manipulate the facts to distract from the critical issue of keeping our children safe and keeping killing machines out of the hands of disturbed individuals. It’s more political gamesmanship that stands in the way of responsible solutions.”

It is kinda neat to see how many yapping leftist nonsense talking points can be cranked out in those few sentences: “common-sense” by someone who doesn’t understand what they’re trying to ban, and can’t understand that criminals don’t follow the law; “gun violence prevention” that only effects people who don’t commit violent acts to begin with; “manipulate the facts” being someone calling DeGette on her complete nonsense statements; “distract from the critical issue” being presenting opposing points and data that show her to be a clueless idiot; and “keeping our children safe” by, as Bill Whittle puts it “protecting the gazelle from the lion by taking the horns from the gazelle”; and “keeping killing machines out of the hands of disturbed individuals” which means banning everything from citizen use while guaranteeing that criminals will continue to enjoy greater power over their victims; “political gamesmanship” as a finger-pointing game against people who call her on her BS (again); and “responsible solutions” by which she means empowering the state and ignoring the Constitution and destroying citizens rights.

No, she isn’t just an idiot, she’s an ideologue anti-gun super-idiot, with ideologue anti-gun super-idiots on her staff.  Clips are also totally and completely reusable:

From M1 Garands to Lee Enfields to SKSes to revolver moon-clips, pretty much every clip I can think of is reusable.  I’m sure there are some obscure ones that can’t be, and clips like those that M16/M4 M855 ammo comes on are somewhat silly to reuse, but they can be reused.

m16 stripper clips

But all of that doesn’t matter anyway, because if you need a gun and call for the police, you’ll probably be dead anyway.

“My question is: What about me?” the Denver citizen asked Rep. DeGette, arguing against limiting magazine capacity. “There may not be one bad guy that comes into my house… I have to change magazines? I am a serious disadvantage.”

“What about me?” he repeated.

After arrogantly smirking at his question, DeGette replied: “The good news for you, you live in Denver. The [Denver Police Department] would be there within minutes.”

You’d probably be dead anyway if they had that kind of firepower.”

When seconds count, the cops are only minutes away, so that’s probably the case.  At least she’s honest about how much she cares about her constituency.  Disarmament equals death at the hands of an apathetic state.  Just another reminder.