We celebrated a birthday in the office today. During the cake-eating, someone brought up Friday’s shooting (it wasn’t me). Everyone was talking about banning this and regulating that, and I said, in a joking manner, that the government will have to take my guns from my cold dead hands. People laughed, because I’m funny. One of my co-workers said something along the lines of “Nash, you don’t have any assault rifles though.” While he is correct, I don’t have one, I thought it would be fun to say that I did. So I said, “Sure I do.” Silence. Awkward silence. Later my secretary, a gun-owning conservative herself, asked me why I needed such an item.
Make no mistake: the government is coming for assault rifles. And since they’re now bringing the majority of Americans with them, it’s unlikely that many of you out there care. I’ll say one thing about Americans: We’re quick to give up freedom for perceived safety. After all, we were all ok with letting the feds do whatever they wanted after 9/11. Many had a problem with pouring water on a terrorist’s face, but tapping our phones without a warrant? No problem. And don’t forget about the whole shooting a missile at an American citizen without due process thing. But hey, it’s all in the name of safety.
Now, I could drop a line from Benjamin Franklin about those who give up liberty for security have neither, but I won’t. Instead, I’ll just say that banning assault rifles won’t result in less crime, or fewer shooting sprees, or safer schools. Kids are being killed in Chicago everyday, and it’s not happening with expensive assault rifles obtained legally. It’s happening with semi-automatic pistols obtained illegally.
When I mentioned Americans giving up their freedom earlier in this post, I wasn’t necessarily referring to a Constitutional Right. We certainly have a right to bear arms. Included are semi-automatic handguns, rifles, and shotguns. The Supreme Court hasn’t had a case dealing specifically with assault weapons though, so I don’t know if we have a Constitutional Right to them (but I think we’ll be finding out). That doesn’t mean we’re not giving up our freedom though.
Everybody is understandably sad and angry over what happened. But before we go banning something, shouldn’t we at least figure out if it will make a difference? For example, would the shootings on Friday have happened if the shooter didn’t have the assault rifle? Probably. He brought two handguns as well, and being that there was no one available to stop him until the police arrived several minutes later, it’s unlikely he would have been held up in any meaningful way. Also, let’s not forget that assault weapons were banned two decades ago, and there was no appreciable decline in shootings. Moreover, when the assault weapons ban expired, there was no appreciable upswing in gun violence.
There are two groups of people who are pushing the ban. First, there are the politicians, consisting almost entirely of libs from California and the Northeast who have likely never been friends with someone who owned a gun, let alone owned one themselves. Dianne Feinstein of California, pictured above, is such an example. Then there is the large group of people who are so angry over what happened, and a little scared to oppose the conventional wisdom, that they are willing to simply go along with it.
Newsflash: the aforementioned politicians don’t care about those killed with assault rifles, by the way. They have an agenda, and are taking advantage of everyone’s fear and sorrow to push that agenda. Don’t believe me? Then, while we’re at it, why don’t we ban tobacco, cars, and alcohol? How about rationing ground beef and bacon because of their cholesterol and fat content? Maybe we should have a government mandate whereby every single person who ever enters the water needs to have at least twenty hours of swimming lessons to lessen the likelihood of them drowning? Or limiting the number of television channels that someone can have or the amount of t.v. that they can watch because being a couch potato is dangerous to one’s health? You’re far more likely to die from any of the aforementioned than from someone killing you with a gun. Oh, and we don’t “need” any of them.
I said it yesterday, and I’m saying it again today: freedom costs. And regardless of whether you own a gun or are scared to death of them, banning a product or activity that is perfectly safe when used responsibly is an affront to our freedom. It also conveniently avoids the more obvious issues of why the ACLU found it appropriate to help strike down a Connecticut bill that would allow for involuntary institutionalization of adults, like the shooter? Or why the government is utterly failing to enforce the gun laws we already have on the books? It also avoids the issue of the cultural dumpster fire that we’ve created in this country.
Hey, if you don’t want to take my word for it, here’s an article written by the smartest man in the world, Thomas Sowell. It’s so simple, even a progressive from San Francisco can understand it.
Another shooting. This one consisting of 6 and 7 year olds. Everyone is rightfully horrified. Questions that have been asked before are being asked again. Why did it happen? How can we stop it from happening again? Who’s to blame? Guns and mental illness have been the most common “causes” that I’ve run across, oftentimes being made part of a snarky Facebook comment or agenda-driven political commentary. The actual cause, of course, is evil. Sin. I’ve heard only one person offer that answer and it was a preacher in a church in Newtown, Connecticut. That I’ve only heard this explanation once is telling, I think. A related cause, this one a little more “earthly,” is freedom.
Many of you will read that last sentence and roll your eyes. “Owning an assault rifle isn’t about freedom,” you say. Well you’re right. It isn’t. I’m both a gun-owner and a NRA member, but I agree that owning an assault rifle isn’t a Constitutional Right, and I’m guessing neither would the Supreme Court. The freedom I’m talking about doesn’t directly pertain to the Second Amendment, however. One’s culture is a derivative of one’s freedom. For example, some have blamed Friday’s shootings on video games. I own Modern Warfare II, and there’s an infamous level where your character kills hundreds of civilians at a Moscow airport, for no apparent reason. The game was banned in some countries, including Russia, until the developer offered to basically delete the aforementioned level in those countries. The author of the linked article had this to say regarding Russia’s decision:
This is seriously quite pathetic. I am sure Russians would have had no problem if it was another country involved in the game’s plot, like Germany, which has of course been the antagonist in most Call of Duty games. Anybody who pays attention to MW2‘s plot will understand why Russia is at war with the US, and know that the Russians aren’t being depicted solely as bad guys.
But still, these are videogames, right? No need to actually research and contextualize those at all, not when there are kneejerk reactions to be had.
As I stated earlier, I’ve played the game, and I’m confident the developer could have come up with a different way to get Russia to attack the U.S. The developer put the level in for one reason, and that was to shock the audience. In other words, it was completely unnecessary. But the thought of censoring/banning speech in America is viciously attacked, and rightfully so. Other games have been banned in various countries, for various reasons. A nice summary is contained here.
The target of scorn when I was a kid was “gangsta’ rap.” It’s too violent. It disrespects authority. It advocates killing cops (which is bad). All of these things were true, by the way. While certain words were half-heartily bleeped out on the radio, the albums themselves weren’t banned in American stores, nor should they have been.
What’s the point about all of this? Do I blame video games? Or violent music? Or everything else that bombards us on a daily basis? No. But it all has an impact. Culture matters and freedom costs. Everyone has seen the bumper-sticker that says “Freedom Isn’t Free,” and understand that it is referring to those who died to defend our freedoms. For anyone who has had to quickly change the radio station because their kid is in the car, or has to explain why the girl on the cover of the magazine at the checkout line is half-naked with “SEX” written in big letters, understands that we’re all victims of our freedoms…especially our kids.
So what’s the answer? Should we turn all authority over to Barry, or a select group of Philosopher Kings, to determine what we should or shouldn’t have access to? Should we have a police state, like in the old USSR? Of course not. But we all need to take ownership and acknowledge that our freedoms have allowed for a culture of violence and death to take root in America. Or more specifically, we have allowed our freedoms to be used to justify our moral relativism. And it isn’t just multimedia. While the country rightfully mourns the twenty children that were murdered on Friday, no one takes much notice of the 3,700 kids that were aborted that day, and every day. It’s hypocritical for anyone to attempt to blame Friday on just one thing.
You can ban assault rifles, but history indicates it won’t reduce firearm violence. You can spend more money on mental health, but you’ll still have the people with no history of issues. You can take some of the trillions we throw down the black hole of the public education system and use it to put an armed guard in every school, but you’ll always have the problem with some guard negligently handling his weapon and either accidentally shooting a student or allowing someone else to get his hands on it.
Freedom requires that each citizen act responsibly and be held accountable for his or her actions. If you want to reduce the number of bad things that happen, then you have to get involved. Guard your children from the world’s influences. Pay attention and help your neighbors. Simple acts like these will be far more effective in reducing events like Friday than will the government deciding to ban something.
America just re-elected a guy who presided over four years of deficits exceeding a trillion dollars. That’s never happened before (the deficits I mean…we’ve re-elected presidents before). The White House believes it now has a mandate to raise taxes on the wealthy. The House of Representatives believes it has a mandate to keep that from happening. The Senate believes it has a mandate to never produce a budget, which it has failed to do for more than three years now. Is any of the foregoing true? Who knows. I have no confidence in most Americans knowing the difference between the debt and deficits, let alone ways to fix it.
The day after the election, House majority leader John Boehner said he was ready to talk to Barry about reducing our deficits. He said he was ready to put new revenue on the table through tax reform. Some of the more pathetic members of the Republican party have even agreed to increase taxes the wealthy, despite overwhelming proof that doing so will have virtually no impact on the deficit, while actually harming the economy. Barry’s response to Boehner:
President Barack Obama will begin budget negotiations with congressional leaders Friday by calling for $1.6 trillion in additional tax revenue over the next decade, far more than Republicans are likely to accept and double the $800 billion discussed in talks with GOP leaders during the summer of 2011.
$1.6 trillion. Where will that come from, you ask? Well, everyone agrees that eliminating the Bush tax cuts for those making over $250,000, which is what everyone was arguing about during the debates, will only amount to $824 billion over ten years. While that’s certainly a lot of money, it’s only half of what Barry is looking for. Where’s the rest going to come from? Barry hasn’t told us that yet but I’ll be holding onto my wallet.
All of this is being discussed in an effort to avoid the upcoming “fiscal cliff.” The “cliff” refers to what our economy is set to figuratively fall off of on January 1 due to the expiration of all the Bush tax cuts, plus a crap-load of automatic spending cuts. In other words, taxes go up on everyone while spending goes down. You’ll hear the Dems argue that the Repubs are “holding America hostage for the sake of the rich.” You’ll hear some Repubs continue to say no to any new taxes, especially without significant entitlement reform, while some other Repubs will panic and say something like taxing the rich a little more won’t be the end of the America.
You know what gets lost in all of the “Bush tax cuts” argument? The reality that the “cuts” were to everyone’s taxes, and a whole bunch of people were removed from the tax rolls altogether. Fact is, our income tax system is more progressive now than it was thirty years ago. The problem, as we all know, isn’t our tax rates; it’s our spending problems. But hey, what do I know? I voted for the other guy.
So, given that America has re-elected Barry, and given that Barry and the Dems and their constituents want taxes raised on the wealthy, I say Congress should simply do nothing. “But that will cause our economy to go back into a recession and it will be terrible.” I say let it come. Our economy sucks. Unemployment sucks. Our debt and deficits suck. And you know what? The guy who was just re-elected doesn’t care. He has an agenda, and I say let him have it. You want to increase taxes on the wealthy? Screw that. I say raise taxes on everyone, and bring a whole bunch of people who voted for Barry back into the tax base. Is anyone really serious about spending cuts? Well, they’re coming up on January 1, 2013…$1 trillion of ’em.
As we speak, there are a surprisingly large number of people signing their names to petitions on the White House’s website, asking the feds to let their respective states secede from the union (the “surprising” part is that so many people are voluntarily giving the White House a reason to monitor their activities). The left will tell you they’re all just a bunch of bitter-clingers who hate Barry because he’s black. The reason the petitions were started is because many people see their country running down a path to insolvency and regular real unemployment being above 10% (it’s currently 14.6%), and they want off the train before it gets there. In other words, the country’s in distress and we don’t have a president who cares.
Despite what a majority of this country believes, money isn’t infinite, and companies aren’t charities. About 870,000 Ohio households just received proof of the former yesterday. Lots of people have been experiencing the latter for four years now. In other words, the people made their beds.
As you know, we have Barry for another four years. A majority of the voting majority did something I didn’t expect: they combined their general dislike for Mitt Romney with their genuine liking of Obama, and on these bases alone, decided to completely ignore the last four years. This selective amnesia is especially pertinent with respect to the economy. We know it was terrible before the election, and not surprisingly, it remains terrible today. Now that we have the election behind us, we can scan the landscape and evaluate the aftermath.
70.4 million Americans were enrolled in Medicaid for fiscal year 2011. That’s about 20% of the total population, or 1 out of 5 people. That’s an incredible number when you consider Medicaid exists only for the poor. Obamacare, which becomes fully dysfunctional in 2014, will add even more people to the roll because it expands the po0l of people who qualify. The left will argue these figures support its call for more government. I’m here to tell you that more people on Medicaid is bad, and the only way to get people off of it is to improve the economy, and get them working again. So far, the response to Barry’s re-election by the private sector has not been good, although it has been expected.
Obama’s environmental regulations are certainly having an effect on the coal industry, which should surprise no one, since Barry himself said four years ago that his goal was to make coal-created energy so expensive that no one would/could use it. Well, elections have consequences:
EAST CARBON, Carbon County — A Utah coal company owned by a vocal critic of President Barack Obama has laid off 102 miners.
The layoffs at the West Ridge Mine are effective immediately, according to UtahAmerican Energy Inc., a subsidiary of Murray Energy Corp. They were announced in a short statement made public Thursday, two days after Obama won re-election.
Other segments of the economy are also cutting workers. More consequences:
OWATONNA, Minn. – Some unwelcome economic news hit Owatonna Thursday with word that Caterpillar Inc. will close its plant in Owatonna, a move that will cost the community about 100 jobs.
Caterpillar Inc. notified employees Thursday it is closing the plant and consolidating operations within its forestry business. Production will end at the Owatonna facility by March 1, 2013. Caterpillar is offering employees at Owatonna a severance package and will work with appropriate agencies on finding those workers new opportunities.
GREENSBORO, N.C. — TE Connectivity will close its Greensboro plant by the end of next year, resulting in 620 layoffs.
Glenn Beck has a list of job losses announced since America rolled the dice on four more years of Barry here. A second list, which includes the companies planning layoffs specifically because of Obamacare is found here.
Maybe all of this is just coincidence. I suppose it’s possible. On the other hand, maybe we actually are just a nation of takers. For example, Illinois, a state that has currently $28 billion in general-obligation debt, with an additional $84 billion in unfunded pension liabilities, just decided to not only re-elect the Dems who set off the debt bomb, but actually increased the size of the Democratic majority in the legislature so that it is now veto-proof, thanks largely to re-districting. And then there’s California, with its own $617 billion in unfunded liabilities. Instead of cutting spending, Californians decided to raise taxes on high wage earners. It seems many are satisfied with the status quo.
All of this seems very confusing to some people. How could anyone re-elect Obama? Look at the economy. Look at the unemployed. Look at the number of people who are on food stamps. It’s like pinch-hitting a guy who bats .078 against lefties in the bottom of the ninth against the other team’s closer…who’s a southpaw. You can make a pretty good guess about the result based upon prior occurrences.
The thing is, it’s not confusing if you understand human nature (re-electing Obama, not the baseball analogy). Obama’s an affable guy who gives good speeches. People also trust him for reasons I have yet to comprehend. But people are also lazy. And if someone is given the opportunity to not work, while still being able to live a satisfactory life, that person is probably not going to work. We’re making it too easy for people to not work. It’s one thing to not have a job. It’s another thing to not have one for years. It’s another thing entirely to not even be looking for one. And there are jobs out there…I see help wanted signs all over the place. They’re for cashier positions and the like, but they’re jobs all the same. We shouldn’t be paying people to sit at home when they could be working, but we are.
Government assistance is beneficial right up until the point that it isn’t. Large segments of the population don’t recognize the dividing line, and as a result, re-elected a guy who doesn’t think such a line exists. Companies can’t create jobs when the government is openly attacking their ability to thrive. People won’t work if they don’t have to. These two facts will hamstring any recovery over the next four years if our government continues to institute policies like those of the last four. A closing quote from a guy at a Chicago job fair (who unquestionably voted for Barry):
Rodney Booker said, ‘I stood in line for four hours. They better give me a Wal-Mart gift card, or something.’
Sobering, isn’t it?
I’ve watched a lot of movies about the CIA and stuff, and the whole Benghazi thing is certainly starting to resemble them. Before we begin, while I don’t listen to him much (since he’s a little too dramatic), I have to give Glenn Beck credit. He’s covering the murders in Benghazi far better than anyone else; and the national media is barely covering it at all. The whole thing is getting pretty weird. In fact, it’s becoming a little like the movie “JFK,” which, as my wife will admit, I watch a lot, and have decided that it’s 100% true no matter what some lame reenactment by the Discovery Channel tells me.
We wrote about this two days ago. You can find that article here. When asked about the emails that went to the White House just 20-30 minutes after the attack began, the Administration had no comment. Since then, some stuff has happened. First, we learned that Barry gave an interview to 60 Minutes on September 12, the day after the Libya attacks. In the interview, he admits terrorists were behind the murders, which makes sense, being that we knew within two hours of the attack’s completion that terrorists were behind it. Curiously, the interview never aired. Why? It was certainly relevant to what just happened the day before.
This morning, CIA head Leon Panetta decided to throw himself into the frey, by asserting,
‘You don’t deploy forces into harm’s way without knowing what’s going on, without having some real-time information about what’s taking place,’ Panetta said.
The whole “we didn’t know what was going on” theme has become tired, since various reports indicate that both the White House and Pentagon were receiving emails and had a live video feed from a drone flying over the area. Oh, and how much more information do you need than a mob of people shooting at a building containing our Ambassador?
And then there’s the following information, which has just come out:
Former Navy SEALs Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty were part of a small team who were at the CIA annex about a mile from the U.S. Consulate where Ambassador Chris Stevens and his team came under attack. When they heard the shots fired, they radioed to inform their higher-ups to tell them what they were hearing and requested permission to go to the consulate and help out. They were told to ‘stand down,’ according to sources familiar with the exchange. An hour later, they called again to headquarters and were again told to ‘stand down.’ (Emphasis added).
Instead of followng orders to do nothing, Woods took it upon himself to organize a few people and go to the consulate to help out anyway. They evacuated the consulate, then returned to headquarters. What happened next is equally incredible.
At that point, they called again for military support and help because they were taking fire at the CIA safe house, or annex. The request was denied. There were no communications problems at the annex, according those present at the compound. The team was in constant radio contact with their headquarters. In fact, at least one member of the team was on the roof of the annex manning a heavy machine gun when mortars were fired at the CIA compound. The security officer had a laser on the target that was firing and repeatedly requested back-up support from a Specter gunship, which is commonly used by U.S. Special Operations forces to provide support to Special Operations teams on the ground involved in intense firefights. The fighting at the CIA annex went on for more than four hours — enough time for any planes based in Sigonella Air base, just 480 miles away, to arrive. Fox News has also learned that two separate Tier One Special operations forces were told to wait, among them Delta Force operators.
Both Woods and Doherty were killed by a mortar at 4:00 a.m. Libya time, some seven hours after the attack began. You should read the entire article linked above. It’ll make you very angry.
The response to this attack by the White House was an abomination. And don’t let them tell you the CIA didn’t give the information, or it was the State Dept.’s fault. They all work for Barry. He’s the Commander in Chief of our military. In fact, handling stuff like this is literally the one thing the President has 100% responsibility over. I’ve implied it before, but I’ll say it outright now: the Administration wanted Stevens dead. There is absolutely no other explanation for why it repeatedly refused additional security before the incident, and refused to take action during the incident. And now they’re lying to everyone in an effort to cover it up.
Oh, and what did our leaders say to Woods’ father as his body was rolled onto the tarmac at Andrews Air Force Based?
Hillary: Sorry, and we’ll “make sure that the person who made that film is arrested and prosecuted.”
Biden: “Did your son always have balls the size of cue balls?”
Good Lord. And these are the people who are going to protect this country?
More information about the Benghazi incident is coming out everyday. Of course, the source of the information isn’t the White House, which is continue to stonewall. It’s been obvious for weeks that the Administration is trying to run out the clock on the murder of four U.S. citizens, which includes an Ambassador, until after the election. If information concerning the incident continues to move towards its logical conclusion, however, the election may not matter.
We already know that our Ambassador was attacked by terrorists in Benghazi, Libya on September 11 of this year. We also know that the attack took place at a “safe house” where Ambassador Stevens was meeting with a diplomat from Turkey. We still don’t know why they were meeting, however. We also know that Stevens requested additional security from the State Dept. several times, and was ignored. Since the attack, the Administration has been regularly changing its story as to who knew what, and when. Things are starting to become clearer though, and the White House is beginning to look complicit in the murders.
Today we learned that the White House was receiving continuous emails concerning the attack, the first one coming only 20-30 minutes after the attack began. Also, the White House knew, as soon as two hours after the attack, that an Islamic terrist group, Ansar al-Sharia, was to blame. It should be noted that Ansar al-Sharia in Yemen is considered to be an affiliate of Al Qaeda; no word on whether Ansar al-Sharia in Libya is such an affiliate (although if it isn’t, it may want to come up with a new name). All of this information comes from emails leaked to Reuters. As everyone knows by now, the White House first called the attack a spontaneous outburst resulting from some Youtube video that nobody saw. This story continued while, at the very same time, the State Dept. reported it was a terrorist attack.
Now, one would think the alleged failure of Hillary Clinton to tell her boss, the President of the United States, that terrorists murdered a U.S. Ambassador would be an important issue to Americans. On the other hand, when one’s presidency has been filled with incompetency, the failure to effectively communicate with staff doesn’t necessarily amount to a “holy crap” moment. Either way, Libya does not seem to be impacting the President’s poll numbers much. Now that we have the emails, however, the “failure to communicate” theory has been replaced with an active cover-up.
Why cover it up? I believe it becomes obvious the longer this plays out. This is from the Reuters article linked above:
The first email, timed at 4:05 p.m. Washington time – or 10:05 p.m. Benghazi time, 20-30 minutes after the attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission allegedly began – carried the subject line ‘U.S. Diplomatic Mission in Benghazi Under Attack’ and the notation ‘SBU’, meaning ‘Sensitive But Unclassified.’
Yes, you read that right: an email was sent advising the reader of the attack only 20-30 minutes after it started. Keep in mind, the attack last several hours. Who received the email?
While some information identifying recipients of this message was redacted from copies of the messages obtained by Reuters, a government source said that one of the addresses to which the message was sent was the White House Situation Room, the president’s secure command post.
Yep, it went to the White House. Where was the President? This was his “3:00 a.m. phone call,” and by all accounts, it seems like he hit the snooze.
And it gets worse. This isn’t just about the Prez lying to us about knowing it was a terrorist attack almost immediately. We had an unmanned drone flying over the attack as it was happening. In other words, we were watching it happen. If a drone can get there, why can’t our military?
The United States had an unmanned Predator drone over its consulate in Benghazi during the attack that slaughtered four Americans — which should have led to a quicker military response, it was revealed yesterday.
‘They stood, and they watched, and our people died,’ former CIA commander Gary Berntsen told CBS News.
Fighter jets and Specter AC-130 gunships — which could have been used to help disperse the bloodthirsty mob — were also stationed at three nearby bases, sources told the network.
So let’s review. Not only did the White House absolutely know about the attack, as it was going on, it did nothing to protect our people. This isn’t incompetence, or a failure to communicate. This was purposeful inaction on the part of our Commander in Chief. And not to sound like a conspiracy nut, but it sure looks like the White House was pretty okay with Ambassador Stevens being killed on September 11. Why? As we said earlier, we still don’t know why Ambassador Stevens was meeting with a Turkish delegate in a safe house in Benghazi; although we do know that heavy weapons are being shipped to Syrian rebels through Turkey. We also know that Stevens was instrumental in running guns to Libyan rebels during the whole “let’s overthrow the government” thing. We also know that some of the “rebels” who we were shipping guns to were members of Al Qaeda.
What does all of this look like to me (as well as others)? Stevens, and three other Americans were killed by a group of terrorists that America armed, and it all went down with the President looking on. Why did he do nothing? We still don’t know. But we will. The biggest mistake the President made in all of this was blaming the CIA for bad intel. Information will continue to leak out, and we’ll eventually have the full picture. You won’t be able to ask Barry about it though, because he’ll be on The View, talking about Big Bird.