Archive for the ‘Veterans’ Category

From Daily Caller:

Senate Republicans were unable to stop military pension cuts when Senate Democrats blocked a vote on an amendment to prevent the cuts by closing a welfare loophole for illegal immigrants Tuesday evening.

The two-year budget deal brokered by Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray and House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, would cut military pensions by $6 billion over ten years, leaving some Senate Republicans scrambling to stop the cuts.

“Removing this unbalanced treatment of our military retirees ought to be one of the key actions we should take before this legislation moves forward. In fact, greater savings than this can be achieved by passing a legislative fix recommended by the Inspector General of the U.S. Treasury that would stop the IRS from improperly providing tax credits to illegal aliens,” Alabama Republican Jeff Sessions said Monday, announcing his co-sponsorship of Mississippi Republican Sen. Roger Wicker’s amendment to restore the military retirement benefits Monday.  …

In 2011, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration found that “individuals who are not authorized to work in the United States” and therefore did not have a valid Social Security number were still able to obtain billions in Additional Child Tax Credits by filing returns with an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number.

But as usual, Democrats turned out to vote against veterans and for illegal aliens, again voting for evil, failed, and wrong.

And this isn’t just retirees – it’s disabled vets:

The Free Beaconpreviously reported that military retirees under the age of 62 would receive 1 percentage point less in their annual cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) in the plan crafted by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R., Wis.) and Senate Budget Committee Chairman Patty Murray (D., Wash.).

The section of the U.S. code that has been altered also applies to disabled servicemembers, many of whom have been wounded in combat.

Doesn’t seem like a lot of money, until you’re on a fixed income.  Or until it gets adjusted again.

An original copy of a summary of the budget agreement, obtained by the Free Beacon,explicitly stated that disabled veterans would be exempt.

“This provision modifies the annual cost-of-living adjustment for working-age military retirees by making the adjustments equal to inflation minus 1 percent,” reads the summary, which was sent on Dec. 10. “This change would be gradually phased in, with no change for the current year, a 0.25 percent decrease in December 2014, and a 0.5 percent decrease in December 2015.

“This would not affect servicemembers who retired because of disability or injury.”

The summary now posted on the House Budget Committee website removed the sentence relating to disabled retirees.

Republicans may suck, but they did try to stop this…. and failed.

“By blocking my amendment, they voted to cut pensions for wounded warriors,” he said afterwards. “Senators in this chamber have many valid ideas for replacing these pension cuts, including my proposal to close the tax welfare loophole for illegal filers, and all deserved a fair and open hearing. But they were denied.”

Sessions’ office claimed the vote Tuesday to block the amendment was a vote to “cut military pensions instead of cutting welfare for illegal immigrants.”

Problem is that veterans don’t vote for Democrats in the same percentages as illegal aliens and their supporters do.

No, it’s not Army Lt. Col. Robert “We Will Pry The Gun From Your Cold Dead Hands And Then Round You Up Into Camps” Bateman… but it is a military guy.

Here are some choice quotes from this guy’s announcement, maybe they’ll help you guess:

I believe in responsible firearms ownership, and that Americans should be able to responsibly enjoy the sport.

Thinks the Natural Law right of self-defense that is the Right to Keep and Bear Arms recognized as a restriction on government to stop infringments and thus written down as the Second Amendment is a “sport”.  Got it.

We can’t bury our heads in the sand when it comes to firearms legislation. The NRA needs to actively participate in the legislative process not dodge it.

But the NRA-ILA already does that.  Well, let’s see what else he has to say…

I don’t think idiots should be allowed to purchase or own firearms…more to come later.

Responsible gun ownership is taking an NRA or equivalent firearms safety course to learn how to handle a firearm safely. Over 50% of my range visits in Nevada I’ve encountered unsafe handling of firearms.

Universal firearms initial safety training and all state CCW should be a no brainer. Just like LEOs need to standardize training methodology.

Maybe a friend of Harry Reid’s from Nevada?

If my professional accomplishments and expertise … don’t qualify me to some degree then I don’t know what to tell you.

Well, he has professional accomplishments… maybe some military experience.  Y’know, McCain has military experience, and he supports compromise and being a “maverick” by supporting the other side a lot.  Good thing this guy isn’t all about pissing off people who he claims to want to represent.

If you’re not pissing some people off then you don’t stand for anything.

Oh.  I guess not.

Much of the problem is that he won’t tell readers where he stands, instead making an announcement to run and following it with things like this when asked to outline his positions:

I’ll do that once I’m ready and have my package.

You are joining the ranks of those on here who’ve made ungrounded statements. I’ve read and defended the US Constitution. When I run I’ll outline my position in detail, members will vote, and that will be that.

Because it’s not something I can address in detail in five minutes. I have a family, a business, and a book I’m on deadline to finish. Out here.

A very sharp commenter named Christina Hernandez responded: “…really? I guess we’ll all have to play the fool, and vote for you to find out what’s in you..”

And the response is thus: “what didn’t you understand about me explaining my position in detail once I start my run in 2015?”  Because it’s sooo hard to explain a position more than just say things like compromise and get common sense gun laws, and cite his credentials that are ultimately unrelated to an understanding of the Constitution.  But I suppose explaining positions is more difficult than getting snippy and saying you’re too busy to talk to the little people.

…being a citizen and a member of the NRA qualify me to run for a board seat. I’ve never advocated for “new legislation” I only said that the NRA needs to take an active role in the national conversation instead of sticking its collective head in the sand. I’m a gun owner and believe in the 2nd amendment.

Never advocated… except in the same string of posts where he says that it’s time to compromise and create gun legislation.

Not participating in the process is a mistake. The NRA has taken the position of the Sierra club…not willing to compromise and create gun legislation that makes sense. If you refuse to participate then you end up with silly laws that end up hurting responsible gun owners.

I’m not advocating more gun laws, and compromise comes in many forms.

He has some interesting comments on that:

Compromise comes in many forms. I fought the Sierra Club for a gun range in CA in 2007. They would not even sit down and here us out. If they did it would have been a “compromise”, I don’t think it’s in any organizations best interests, including the NRA, to be uncompromising when it comes to having an intelligent conversation about major issues, guns included.

Sitting down and hearing someone out if you don’t have to is a waste of compromise.  If the Sierra Club can get their way 100% in that case, why should they sit down and compromise?  All they would be doing would be giving up something they want.  If they didn’t need to sit down and talk because they held all the cards, why should they compromise?  It’s in their best interest, and their specific interest, to get what they set out to do, not to surrender part of what they already have.

Why would you have a conversation with someone in order to compromise if you don’t have to?  That’s voluntary surrender.

His responses to those critical of his “common sense compromise” and “I won’t give details” are mostly a variation of “You’re stupid and you can’t fix stupid.”

Man, I wonder what he thinks of the NRA?  Oh, this:

From my perspective the NRA is great at drumming up hard core right wing support through sensationalizing the “gun issue” with the main incentive of driving membership revenue…. AND they have been great at waving the flag when it suits their purpose.

So you must be wondering who it is… maybe Joe Manchin?  Matt Damon?  Michael Moore?

Who is it?  Why it’s Brandon Webb, Navy SEAL sniper and SOFREP writer, who announced his decision to run for the NRA board of directors.  His first exchange highlights who and what he is, if the quotes above (all in that same FB post) seemed strange, you can read them in context and see how he responded to a very early question about the Second Amendment as a tool against tyranny:

webb 11

But if you question him and his desire for “compromise”, you’re a “crazy”:

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Navy SEAL, SOFREP guy, frequent guest and on-air buddy of real conservative Andrew Wilkow, what could go wrong?  Except that Webb won’t explain his positions, talks surrender with the other side, gets snippy and angry at people who question him, threatens physical violence against people who question him, and admits virtually no real firearms culture experience before his work for the government.  All of that combined doesn’t look good at all.  (As a side note, I’ll be emailing Wilkow about this, because I suspect he may have some harsh questions for Webb.)

Thing is, when you start saying stuff like the statements above it makes you look like somebody who’s an enemy of rights because you’re speaking the language of the leftist, not a friend of rights, and bandying about “compromise” when compromise invariably means surrender.

Compromise is “just the tip” with a rapist.  No means no.

And of course responding that stating no principles and calling for compromise and saying you should have universal training, “idiots” shouldn’t own guns, and calling the Second Amendment Right to Keep and Bear Arms a “sport” means that anyone who questions you is a “crazy”.

Which he follows up like this:

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Compromising and making more gun legislation by finding common ground with the enemies of gun rights is compromising on the Second Amendment.  Furthermore, he already states that he is opposed to “idiots” and believes in “universal  firearms initial safety training”.

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No idiots… and universal initial safety training.  If you wanted a handgun in Michigan, up until around 2008, you had to have a “safety inspection” of your pistol.  It was simply registration and a chance for the police to inspect you.

He’s upset about idiots, and the 50% of unsafe people at the range in Nevada, and he wants universal safety training.  And he only learned about guns in the military.  No chance for statist leaning there!

He’ll also kick your ass if you disagree with him.

The one thing he makes clear again is his desire for compromise.  Back in January 2013, he made the point as he was discussing Sandy Hook… starting with some favorite things from the left anti-gun playbook:

In 2008 America had over 12,000 deaths at the end of a firearm, compared to 11 in Japan, skew for population ratios and it’s still a massively high number.  …

I don’t have all the solutions on this issue but I do know that I’m personally ready to compromise to limit mass shootings, and I’m ready to have an intelligent conversation on this issue.  If leading gun organizations like the NRA don’t take a leadership role in proposing realistic solutions, then they will have failed to truly represent gun owners.  …

Sometimes change, and healthy debate, as difficult as it can be at first, is a good thing. After all it was once within our constitutional rights to own and enslave other human beings. I believe in the 2nd Amendment and our right to bear arms but, if we continue to do nothing on the issue (mainly a mental health one) of mass shootings then we can expect more of them in the near future. Remember that when you kiss your kids goodbye on their way to school.

What he’s saying through this stupid sentence is that the Second Amendment is like slavery, because it’s ultimately an obsolete right in these modern times, and that’s why it’s going to go away.  He views it as a “sport” he’d like to keep, so he can train people or something, and if you don’t compromise, well, remember that Japan doesn’t have killings like Sandy Hook, so it’s your fault.

Unless he’s batshit crazy and he’s pro-gun and pro-slavery, and laments the loss of slavery.

Now today he’s come out with this post on his own blog to “clarify”:

I never shot much as a kid, aside from shooting clay pidgeons off the bow of the boat I worked on. I hunted quite a bit, but it was with my spear gun, not a rifle. I learned to shoot in the Navy, and only became an expert with a weapon by the time I finished my first SEAL platoon work up.

Dissecting this, the lack of firearms familiarity as a child wouldn’t necessarily be a strike against him, as there are plenty of compromising Fudds who used guns as kids, but it also means he’s further from having a Western tradition of valuing firearms intrinsically, even if not having examined the beliefs that lead to that tradition.

What we also see is that he was introduced to guns in an institutional setting, with control and order and structure and the state running things.

My first exposure to the firearms hot button came when I spoke out in defense of school shootings and compromise on my personal blog.

Yeah, which means before then he hadn’t even thought about it.  Let’s make this clear – before 2013, he was simply someone who used firearms as a tool for the state, and whose exposure to firearms before then was very limited and in very regimented, controlled military settings.  Or in California, where gun rights are infringed upon, which is why he doesn’t understand that NICS checks do take minutes, not days.

Many people I’ve encountered on social media lately have misinterpreted my position on the 2nd Amendment. Lately, I’ve heard people develop wild and ungrounded conclusions about my position on the 2nd Amendment. Some think that I’m automatically talking about Americans giving up their right to keep and bear arms, and 2nd Amendment compromise. They couldn’t be more wrong.

He couldn’t be more wrong.  Let me borrow from Law Dog to explain how compromise works, Brandon:

gun compromise law dog

Or to put it another way, “just the tip, baby”.

In the dark corners of the Internet they lurk, call names, and make ridiculous emotion-based (not fact-based) assumptions. I’ve heard it all, and I’ll take this on the chin. To be honest, I could have been clearer on my position in the past. However, do keep in mind that the word “compromise,” a term I’ve used before, comes in many forms; sometimes it includes sitting down with your adversaries and having an intelligent conversation and debate on major issues.

Oh, look, an ad hominem argument…

They’re all lurking internet trolls calling me names!  They’re making ridiculous emotion-based arguments!  But I’m the better man, I’ll suck it up.  I’m so magnanimous, I’ll even admit I could’ve explained things better.  They just misunderstood what I was saying, and they misunderstood how I meant compromise.  You see, compromise can mean intelligent conversation because they don’t want to engage in debate.

obama jesus 1

Picture totally unrelated.

That way we can get real, positive, common sense laws enacted.

But Webb digs the hole deeper:

What have I learned since getting out of the Navy in 2006? Few things will stir people up in this country like the 2nd Amendment. It’s right up there with gay marriage and abortion. And I’ve learned that you can’t have a conversation with a fanatic.

He didn’t know that before 2006.  Yet he claims to be a super badass guy who knows everything about guns who served from 1993 onward, and yet didn’t understand the importance of the Constitution and rights.

That last little link there goes to AR15.com calling him out.  If you have the time, read it.  The folks there have seen his type before and call him out for what he is.  Him calling them “fanatics” as a name-calling term is another ad hominem.  His Churchill line also fails… as it comes from a great man who responded to tyranny thusly – with no compromise:

We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender.

Webb goes into non-detail details:

I’m Canadian-born American citizen by birth (by a US parent).
I grew up hunting fish (Halibut, Yellowtail, Bass, nothing was safe) and Lobster in the kelp forests of the Channel Islands with my spear gun.

Neither of which means a thing, except that he’s definitely lacking in the Western tradition of instrinsic understanding of firearms ownership.  By itself, wouldn’t be an issue.  He could learn later in life, but all he’s learned since 2006 is that people get upset when you tell them “I’ll just put in the tip, baby”, and 50% of all civilian and therefore non-SEAL gun owners are unsafe idiots who should not have guns.

Then he goes on to introducing himself as a SEAL sniper, in case you forgot.

I bought my first gun when I was a new SEAL at Team 3. I still have it – an HK USP .45.
Favorite gun manufacturer: Rifle-Blaser Handgun-HK
I was an M-60 Gunner in my first platoon (It’s one bad ass area weapon!)
I am a certified SEAL sniper, sniper instructor, and US Army-trained stinger missile gunner.
The snipers in the Teams used to go on Navy-sponsored hunting trips, mostly white tail.
I shot my first buck in 2002 at 443 yards with my issued .300 Win Mag in Washington State.
I served in the Navy from 1993-2006.

So?  What this says: “I didn’t own or use guns until I was already thoroughly ingrained in an institution of government – an institution that is still the crux of my identity – did I mention I was a SEAL?”

A Snap Shot Perspective of My Views on Gun Ownership & The 2nd Amendment

The 2nd Amendment is inherent in America’s cultural DNA

But not his.  And he compares it to slavery.

I believe everyone who owns a gun should attend a basic firearms & range safety qualifications course and that these courses should be standardized

The NRA should be like PADI or NAUI and encourage gun ranges to only accept NRA basic qualified shooters on the range.

Translation: “I believe in tyranny of the experts.”  Requiring qualifications for a right means that the right is now predicated on meeting criteria which are ultimately arbitrary.  Citizens of New York City can exercise their rights, provided they’re properly licensed.  Oh, so those rights are infringed and functionally eradicated?  Oh, well, at least they’re properly licensed.

Also PADI and NAUI (diving groups) are more about liability for shops, from what diving folks say on the subject.  Quite a different thing.

Background checks are a good idea but should take minutes, not days

Translation: “I don’t understand how NICS works.”  Background checks do take minutes in most states, just not California, where he’s from.

Often gun laws are made by people who don’t use, own, or understand firearms

Translation: “Did I mention I was a SEAL!?!  I know everything about guns and I should teach you!”  Lon Horiuchi knows a lot about sniping, but that doesn’t mean he knows jack about the Constitution.

Mass shootings have to be dealt with head-on or America will face more gun restrictions and erosion of 2nd Amendment rights.

Translation: “This is why I push for compromise and working with people who want restrictions and erosion of rights.  Because when you compromise with them, you get compromise, and compromise means good.  You’re a crazy and a fanatic if you aren’t willing to compromise becasuse they’re going after you.  And you’re crazy if you think compromise means compromise.”

NRA training needs to be brought up to date

Translation: “I really, really, really love organizations and institutions.”

Dogs/handlers at schools and colleges are better than armed guards, in my opinion. Dogs are an incredible resource to use in these situations

This one I’m not even sure I can make fun of.  It’s so baffling in its stupidity outright.  If I were able to ask him a question, I’d say “Brandon, if there was a threat to a school of an armed shooter, would you rather have a dog there or a Navy SEAL sniper as a guard?”  And if he said “I think the dog would be better”, I would just have to walk away, because the man is daft.

I believe we should be able to concealed-carry and open-carry where practical (e.g., not on an elementary school campus or an airplane)

“Dogs will magically protect you on campus!  And we’ll have dog pilots!  They’ll protect the skies!  Dogs everywhere!”

Guns are guns and people should be able to own and obtain a permit to own everything, short of an anti-tank weapon or WMD, if they’re properly trained/certified

Translation: “I do not understand the difference between rights and privileges, between having a right and begging permission.  I have no idea how certification or training is used as a tool of tyranny.  But I’m a SEAL and I love me some government!”

The NRA should take a strong leadership position when it comes to legislation affecting ownership pro and con, not just a “supporter” of legislation. The perception from the left is that the NRA is an uncompromising organization

Translation: “I believe in making friends with the left by compromising and giving them part of what they want.  If they want your rights, I will give them some because it’s not nice to not compromise.  But I will never compromise on the Second Amendment.  I will just allow reasonable restrictions and permits and training and certifications and compromise.”

No means no.  I don’t care if a rapist thinks a woman’s a frigid witch – no means no.  She shouldn’t compromise to make the rapist feel better.

Also, is the man wholly ignorant of the NRA-ILA?

I believe the 2nd Amendment is a right we should keep and hold dear

“But I believe we should compromise in order to give up some of the right so we can keep organized and certified and permitted sports.”

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And in case you wanted even more on this:

MAC/Sturmgewehre over at Military Arms Channel has a very solid post on why Brandon Webb shouldn’t be allowed on the board.

And Soldier Systems posted Webb’s last piece and spurred some interesting conversation:

webb 12

Donating time to your own foundation as a defense against being called out for being somewhat self absorbed?  And then the “get a life or move to a communist country”?

And then there’s this:

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The threats he made were in response to a PM criticizing him posted in its entirety here.

There’s also already a Facebook page dedicated to stopping him.

And the source for this quote, from his website:

From my perspective the NRA is great at drumming up hard core right wing support through sensationalizing the “gun issue” with the main incentive of driving membership revenue…. AND they have been great at waving the flag when it suits their purpose.

The rest of the quotes above can be found either at the FB post he made announcing his run or in various links provided.

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Update: Sipsey Street Irregulars linked back to us here.  I will note that the email I sent to MV was bluntly harsher and more critical of Webb (not quite polished for publication), and was simply to provide a quick rough summary of everything that’s gone on so far, and why much of the firearms community, myself included, have come to the decisions we have, and I have.  So it’s a lot more terse and acerbic.

Now, as for some constructive criticism – Webb could actually listen to the people who disagree with him rather than accuse them of not wanting to have “intelligent conversation” merely because they disagree with him.  He could listen to why they say the things they do, rather than get defensive.

webb a13 there you go again i run gun sites so im pro gun and youre an idiot

I wonder if Brandon Webb can see that the Sierra Club got what they wanted – his range being cancelled – by not compromising.  They got what they wanted by not wavering on their principles, and they didn’t need to talk to him.  It would have never benefited them to even talk to him.  The Sierra Club beat out Brandon Webb by never backing down, and yet he can’t see that Dave Webb there is trying to tell him that compromise only lets you lose incrementally.

The best interest of the Sierra Club and what they believe was to keep Brandon Webb’s range from ever coming into being.  They didn’t win by “intelligent conversation” and “compromise” with their ideological enemy.  They won by sticking to their principles.

He might start to understand the vehemence with which his vague, contradictory, mushy statements and gun-grabber-sounding statist authoritarian words are being met if he would allow himself to listen to people who are disagreeing – and why.

From NBC in DC:

Like the hundreds of World War II veterans who came to National Mall to pay their respects this week, a group of Vietnam veterans found a barricade blocking the way to their memorial Friday. News4′s Mark Segraves said two U.S. Park Service Rangers manning the gate asked that the group respect the government’s shutdown but moved aside.

Segraves described the exchange as pleasant and respectful.

The veterans then moved the barricade and walked down to the wall to pay their respects. But a flood of tourists followed even though the memorial is closed to the general public.

“The consensus among the group of Vietnam veterans was we’re going to go anyway. We’ll go through the barricade,” North Carolina resident Reid Mendenhall said.

U.S. Park Police arrive to the scene, asked everyone to leave and put the barricade back into place.

First the WW2 Memorial, now The Wall That Heals is being used by Obama to inflict the most pain possible during the shutdown.  As the Park Service official quoted before said: “We’ve been told to make life as difficult for people as we can.  It’s disgusting.”

vietnam wall

Barack Obama

vietnam wall park police

obama smiling

Update: Drudge just picked up the story from Weekly Standard, who got it from Professor Jacobson at Legal Insurrection, who picked it up from us here.  Thanks for helping get the story out and thanks for the link, Professor!

From WTVD in NC:

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) — Dozens of undocumented students at Wake Technical Community College are pushing for changes to a policy that requires them to pay out-of-state tuition.

The students are forced to pay the out-of-state fees, which are nearly four times the cost of in-state tuition, even if they graduated from a North Carolina high school and have been living in the state for some time.

They broke into your house and camped out on the couch and now they claim they live there and it’s their house.

They’re undocumented students the way a drug dealer is an “unlicensed pharmacist” or a rapist is an “unexpected sex partner”.

Five students were arrested at Thursday’s protest after repeated warnings to leave the campus. Wake Tech officials said the group didn’t file the proper paperwork to protest at the college. The five individuals, ranging in age from 17-27, are all charged with second-degree trespassing.

Meanwhile, undocumented students moved their demonstration to the highway demanding equal tuition rights.

“I think it’s discriminatory because they give us the opportunity already to be able to study here. We work really hard,” said undocumented student Jose Rico.

They should all be deported.  Every last one of them.  This smug, snotty entitlement mentality of a criminal alien who’s breaking the laws and benefiting from laws they broke needs to end.  They shouldn’t be getting second-degree trespassing convictions, they should be getting deported by ICE.

Illegal aliens who’ve broken into the US are demanding in-state tuition there in NC.  In many states, these invaders already have it.  (NE comes to mind.)

Meanwhile, US citizen veterans who are from the state of NC are forced to pay out-of-state tuition:

Some military service members and veterans are being denied their most well-known government benefit: college tuition coverage.

Ted Spencer, a Navy veteran who grew up in Charlotte, N.C., continued to pay the state income tax during his service. But he was denied the in-state tuition rate at North Carolina State University because military service had taken him to California.

The federal government covers the cost of the $8,000 per year in-state rate, but Spencer needed loans and scholarships to cover the $22,000 out-of-state tab.

“It’s mind-blowing to me that North Carolina – a state that is known for being extremely military friendly and home to the largest military base in the United States – would be so difficult when it comes to military veterans who want to call this state home,” Spencer said.

This is the case in other states as well.  Illegal aliens get in-state tuition while veterans pay out of state.  Residents, legal immigrants and citizens of the United States pay out-of-state tuition in neighboring states, while illegal aliens who are criminal invaders from another country get in-state tuition – benefits denied to citizens and legal immigrants.

The US is about the only nation where someone can break into your house and demand to stay because they’re inside the house now, while the guy peacefully ringing the doorbell is kept out and your kid is kicked out of his room by the home invader.  We need comprehensive immigration reform that cuts out all exceptions and requires ICE and the fedgov to do their jobs and deport every last illegal, no exceptions, no waivers, no patience for liars about asylum – deport them all.

Memorial Day 2013

Posted: May 26, 2013 by ShortTimer in Military, US Military, Veterans
Tags:

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.

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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.

The sympathy I expressed for them a few days ago and the belief that they are simply tragic victims driven by grief is something I now find myself calling into question.  Many may still be blind with grief, but read the story by Politico “Newtown Families: Victims Turn Lobbyists” and you may find yourself becoming rapidly cynical:

… the Newtown families, political novices just a few months ago, are proving to be savvy, effective advocates as they promote the gun legislation that has finally begun to move through the Senate. The families are well-educated, and many are well-off. They have been polished and sharp on TV. They’re mostly non-political, but quite accomplished in their own fields. With access to money and media, they’re using persistence, visibility — and, most all, their unique moral authority — to help prod Senate action. They also have their own lobbyists — several of them, in fact.

They’re pushing anti-rights legislation.  Maybe some among them think it’ll “save children”, but as I illustrated last time, the things they’re asking for wouldn’t have prevented Sandy Hook.  They are pushing for exactly what anti-gun groups have been pushing for for years, though.

They’re pushing for something that is a step towards widespread disarmament, emotionally pushing for things that they feel are so critical that they “must” be done, emotionally pushing for things so hard that “now is the time” before anyone starts to look at the bigger picture calmly and at the long-term implications of what happens when citizens are left disarmed.

Then there are the comments by their Democrat political handlers:

“These are smart, articulate people, who don’t have a scintilla of Washington about them,” said Matt Bennett of the centrist Democratic group Third Way, which has been helping the families navigate D.C. “But they virtually cannot be denied a meeting. There are not many groups of people that can get a meeting with any senator they want, whenever they want.”

He’s a lying about his group.  They Democrats came in and the families have been embraced by the Democrat party and anti-rights, anti-gun citizen disarmament groups as the heartwrenching emotional story they need to use to acquire more power.  There’s keeping rights, restoring rights, and loss of rights.  They’re pushing for loss of citizen rights, and they’ve got leftist Democrats guiding them the whole way.  There is nothing “third way” about Bennett’s group, either – they’re a partisan Democrat group used to target low-information moderates.  Their notable members include such partisan leftist Democrats as Kathleen “F the Hatch Act” Sebelius and Ken “Boot Stamping on a Human Face Forever” Salazar.

He is right about the demands they can make.  They can portray anyone who rejects them as devoid of sympathy, of being a cruel monster who wants dead children.  They and their handlers are exploiting the respect we offer the grieving to push their agenda.

A group of experienced operators is guiding these families — to a degree that has irritated some pro-gun Republicans. An uber-strategist for the families is Ricki Seidman, a familiar face at the top levels of Democratic politics ever since she ran the Clinton-Gore campaign’s famous 1992 war room. Seidman, a senior principal with TSD Communications, was Vice President Joe Biden’s communications director during the 2008 general election, and helped the White House win confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotmayor.

Bennett’s Third Way connected the families with a lobbying firm, Mehlman Vogel Castagnetti, that set up more than 25 Hill meetings this week alone. And Lara Bergthold, a veteran of Democratic presidential campaigns now with Griffin, Schein in Los Angeles, is helping to manage the media onslaught.

These are political operatives using the families as props (at best).  It would be nice to believe that the families in their grief are simply pawns in this, but then there are comments like this:

“This is now part of my day-to-day life, and it is a full-time job to me and my family,” Jillian Soto said. “To be honest with you, I still don’t know how the mechanics in Washington work. I still find it absurd that senators can even say my sister wasn’t murdered with an assault rifle. She was shot multiple times in front of her kids, and that’s not OK to me. It’s not OK to most Americans.” (As her raw language indicates, Soto is working with Bloomberg’s group.)

An assault rifle is select-fire, so no, she wasn’t murdered with an assault rifle.  Those are highly restricted and have been since the GCA of 1934.  The killer did not have an assault rifle.  So no, she wasn’t.  Soto’s indignation is intended to get you mad at pro-rights senators for questioning her – with her dead sister as a moral bulwark, she can scream and it’s considered callous and heartless and horrific to correct her.  The constant push against the rights of citizens, ignoring the actual data, is now, to her, “part of my day-to-day life and it is a full time job to me and my family”.  She’s going to press to restrict your rights full time based on the acts of a madman – a madman who would never be stopped by the solutions she champions, and if her solutions pass, a lone madman who in time will be replaced by an administration of madmen – as history shows us again and again.

This is a very clever political movement being handled by the Democrats.  They’re going to dance in the blood of those children as long as they can to get more power.

What started as a support group is now a lobbying force unlike any other to descend on Capitol Hill. The family members typically begin their pitch to senators softly, telling the story of the child that they lost. They gently say they could not have imagined themselves in this position, but they’re doing it to honor the memory of their children. They say they’re supporters of the Second Amendment, and just want to have a conversation.

They don’t want a conversation.  That’s a lie, just the same as their “I’m not racist, I have a black friend” claim of support of the Second Amendment.  They have demands.

They aren’t having a conversation and asking about how to deal with madmen, they’re pushing for laws that violate the Constitution and serve as a framework to disarm the populace – their handlers know it, their handlers have been pushing for it, and most likely the families know it, too.  They may well be pushing for it because they think it’s a “good thing” and they don’t understand the nature of rights; or driven mad with grief, they only understand that some alien thing that they don’t understand but want to do away with has taken their loved one.

But there’s nothing subtle about the way some of them conclude their visits: by leaving behind a color card with a photo of their slain relative. Nicole Hockley, who introduced President Barack Obama in Hartford this week, hands senators a card with three photos of her son Dylan, who was 6 when he was gunned down. One frame shows him grinning, in a Superman shirt.

“Dylan Hockley, 3/8/06 – 12/14/12,” the card says. “Honor his life. Stand with us for change. NOW IS THE TIME.”

“Now is the time” is the kind of fierce urgent emotional demand that stifles debate.  The entire purpose is to generate an emotional response and demand NOW NOW NOW without stopping to question why or what is being done.

The universal background checks they want, the universal registration that background checks require to be complete, the denial to citizens to actually bear, trade, or acquire arms, the denial of citizens to own modern arms – none of that would’ve prevented the murders at Sandy Hook.  But they demand action “NOW NOW NOW” because that stifles debate.  They demand “NOW NOW NOW” and any question of why, or what these things will change is stopped by bringing up their dead children.  The argument for immediacy and the argument for necessity are well-known pleas of tyrants, and are the hallmark of liberal fascism, where something must be done for your own good right NOW…  Again, if you take the time to ask about why, or what the long-term effects are (say as in “we need to pass it to see what’s in it” Obamacare), you’re shouted down.

-

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 anathema 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 anymore.  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, 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 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 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.

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.

The US Navy’s chief of information, Rear Admiral Kirby, laments that there’s a “military-civilian gap”.   But what he doesn’t understand is that it exists only to him and those in Ruling Class circles.

In more than 10 years of war, we in the military have gone to great expense and trouble to listen to the concerns of foreign peoples and cultures. We have learned Dari and Arabic and Pashto. We have sat cross-legged in shura and tribal councils. And yet I worry that we do not pay our fellow Americans the same courtesy.

It’s time that we do a better job understanding and relating to the people we serve.

Really?  Has he been reading William “Troops are vile scumbag mercenaries who should grovel before their betters” Arkin‘s pieces?

Kirby’s perspective is horribly distorted.

We do not talk with them. Too often, we talk at them. We are the guest speakers, the first-pitch-throwers, the grand marshals. We show them the power of our capabilities through air shows, port visits and other demonstrations. This outreach is important, but it isn’t always a two-way street. And it doesn’t improve our understanding of the society we defend.

No, Kirby, you’re an admiral and chief of informationYou talk at people, you are the guest speaker, the first-pitch-thrower, the grand marshal.  You attend and orchestrate the dog-and-pony shows.

This lament comes up a lot from the left, and sometimes it comes up from those stuck inside the DC bubble.

I’ll address it the same way I did last time:

There are two Americas.  There are those who serve, those who know those who serve, who understand service to the country, and those who don’t.  Leftists and mainstream media writers are constantly scribbling about this.  Read enough and you’ll find it shows up all the time.  They lament that that the military isn’t representative of the nation, especially since we’ve switched to a volunteer system.  It’s not an uncommon thing to notice.  But it’s not a disconnect between the broader US public and the military.

It’s a divide between the Country Class and the Ruling Class.  The military is the Country Class, and the Ruling Class always wonders why they aren’t represented enough.  They wonder why the military is societally so far away from them, the same way they don’t understand farmers, truckers, miners, etc.

I guess I should amend that.  Once you’re an O-7, you’re crossing over into the Ruling Class.

Kirby is an admiral and chief of information – he’s firmly in the Ruling Class.  Off the top of my head, I can name 10 coworkers who are veterans in my job.  Outside of work, back in regular life, I can come up with at least two friends from circles as far back as high school who are veterans – in circles that weren’t very military-oriented.  If I count family and those who’ve served, I end up with 5 off the top of my head.  The military and veterans don’t talk at people the way the Chief of Information Admiral does… because they aren’t the Chief of Information Admiral.

They’re people you have conversations with.  The only “talking at” comes in the form of telling people about things they have limited to no experience about – which is true of any profession.

If you end up hanging out with a gearhead and know nothing about cars, you may feel “talked at”, but that’s just because you’re getting up to speed.  Even if you know about muscle cars or imports, you may find yourself getting “talked at” as you’re brought up to speed on rat rods.

32 ford rat rod

If I talked to the owner/builder of that ride, I expect to get talked at, because I know very little about it – but if I’m engaged in conversation, I’m probably going to learn.

The rest of the Admiral’s piece, when seen with the understanding that he’s part of the Ruling Class, makes sense.  He seems to lament a disconnect between himself and the civilian world.  But it isn’t a military-civilian disconnect.  It’s between himself and his DC cronies against the Country Class.  He even writes about cultivating relationships with the Ruling Class, and yet somehow doesn’t understand that’s the problem.

Naturally he, as a Ruling Class professional leader who talks at people, has decided to talk at us again and tell us all how we need to live and act.

10 Years Ago

Posted: March 19, 2013 by ShortTimer in Iraq, Marine Corps, Veterans

We crossed the LOD.

68 - ShortTimer 2003 Iraq

I think JBH was a few miles to the east of me.

From Legal Insurrection and Washington Times:

The District grabbed the guns belonging to 1st Lt. Augustine Kim and won’t give them back. Two years ago, the South Carolina Army national guardsman had been injured on his second tour of duty in Afghanistan. Now he’s fighting to restore his constitutional rights.

Before deploying overseas, the soldier drove his collection – which included an AR-15, a Beretta 9mm and several .45 caliber pistols – to his parents’ house in New Jersey for safe storage. Upon his return to the states and recovery, Lt. Kim wanted to bring his weapons back to his home in Charleston. On the way, he stopped at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Northwest Washington for a doctor’s appointment. That’s when his troubles started.

Lt. Kim became lost in the city and was pulled over. The cops asked Lt. Kim if they could search his vehicle. The lieutenant agreed because his guns were cased and stored in full compliance with federal firearm-transport laws.”I told them I had been under the impression that as long as the guns were locked in the back, with the ammunition separate, that I was allowed to transport them,” Lt. Kim told The Washington Times. “They said, ‘That may be true, however, since you stopped at Walter Reed, that makes you in violation of the registration laws.’ “

We’ll see if some animals are more equal than others.

David-Gregory already in jail