Bobusnr

Uncatagorized

Archive for the month “April, 2013”

BENGHAZI-GATE: A TIMELINE OF GOVERNMENT DECEIT, DECEPTION, AND OUTRIGHT LIES


Welcome and thank you for stopping by. Please be aware and advised, this is a CONSERVATIVE BLOG. Here is some information and my rules:

 

1) I do not like Liberal Ideology;

 

2) Conservatives have the voice of reason on my blog;

 

3) I will delete any comments that are abusive, non-related to the “blog theme” and not debated in a civil manner;

 

4) I welcome input from all walks of life. However, this is my blog and I will make the “ultimate” decision on any/all

comments.

 

I encourage “civil” discussion. We may not agree on “ideology”. However, we can agree on “respect” and at least listening to different perspectives. Thank you for visiting!

 

This is a reblogged from http://www.breitbart.com.

Posted by JOHN NOLTE

29 Sep 2012

Al-Qaeda is on the path to defeat.” President Barack Obama: Sept 6th, 2012, at the Democratic Convention.

Late yesterday afternoon, in an obvious attempt to rescue President Obama from what could and should be a brutal round of Sunday shows examining the cover up the White House is currently engaged in with respect to the sacking of our consulate in Libya, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) released a statement revising its assessment of the attack. It is now the official position of the American intelligence community that what happened in Benghazi was a pre-planned terrorist attack.

The statement comes from Shawn Turner, director of public affairs for National Intelligence — the office that speaks for the intelligence community as a whole:

As we learned more about the attack, we revised our initial assessment to reflect new information indicating that it was a deliberate and organized terrorist attack carried out by extremists. It remains unclear if any group or person exercised overall command and control of the attack, and if extremist group leaders directed their members to participate.

This is not news. In the last few days, the White House and State Department have both made statements saying exactly that. 

This, however, is news and should be read carefully:

In the immediate aftermath, there was information that led us to assess that the attack began spontaneously following protests earlier that day at our embassy in Cairo. We provided that initial assessment to Executive Branch officials and members of Congress, who used that information to discuss the attack publicly and provide updates as they became available. Throughout our investigation we continued to emphasize that information gathered was preliminary and evolving.

There’s no question that what we have here is the DNI (Obama appointee James Clapper) attempting to fall on his sword and to put an end to the drumbeat of scandal coming mostly from Republicans and right-of-center media. What’s been exposed, just weeks before a presidential election, is the fact that in the aftermath of the Benghazi attack, the White House and State Department knowingly misled and lied to the American people about what they knew and when they knew it.

But what the DNI statement is really meant to do is muddy the waters.

The statement deliberately omits any information as to exactly when the determination was made that Benghazi was indeed a terrorist attack. Most importantly, nothing in the statement contradicts numerous news reports that U.S. officials were certain within 24 hours that they were dealing with a terrorist attack and not a spontaneous protest gone bad. 

In other words, the DNI statement is so intentionally vague that it could read as confirmation that our government knew within 24 hours that Benghazi was a terrorist attack and still lied about it for days afterward.

And this, my friends, is how a cover up works.

And so, the only response to this cynical muddying of the waters is a 30,000 foot approach that might help connect some dots.

Standing on the shoulders of those who have done the admirable work of digging into and investigating this story (most notably, Brett Baier of Fox News, Stephen Hayes of the Weekly Standard, Jake Tapper of ABC News, and the Daily Beast’s Eli Lake), what I want to do is lay out a timeline of known facts that answer a very simple question:

What did our government know and what were we told when they knew it?

What you’ll see below was inspired by the vitally important video-report Brett Baier closed “Special Report” with last night, but this will hopefully go into even greater detail. We’ll also look into three specific areas: 1) Security failures. 2) The lies. 3) The attempted cover up of numbers one and two.

SECURITY FAILURES

In an attempt to justify that the security at our Libyan consulate in Benghazi was “adequate,” the White House laid a narrative along two tracks. The first, obviously, was that there was no way anyone could’ve predicted that a “spontaneous” protest would go bad. In fact, that defense would be the White House position for a full eight days, until Sept 20th, when White House Spokesman Jay Carney would finally admit it was “self-evident” Benghazi was a terror attack.

The second narrative track, however, is as shaky as the first. Essentially, the Administration’s line is that, based on what we knew, security was adequate.

That’s a judgment call, I guess, but let’s look at what we did know for a fact prior to the sacking of the consulate and determine if having no Marines, no bullet-proof windows, no threat assessment, and no real security other than locks on the doors was indeed adequate…

1. We’ll start with what is the most underreported fact of this entire episode: the fact that this very same consulate had been targeted and attacked just a few months earlier, on June 6, in retaliation for a drone strike on a top al-Qaeda operative:

U.S. mission in Benghazi attacked to avenge al Qaeda

The United States diplomatic office in the Libyan city of Benghazi was attacked Tuesday night, the embassy in the capital Tripoli said Wednesday.

A Libyan security source told CNN a jihadist group that is suspected of carrying out the strike, the Imprisoned Omar Abdul Rahman Brigades, left leaflets at the scene claiming the attack was in retaliation for the death of Libyan al Qaeda No. 2 Abu Yahya al Libi.

“Fortunately, no one was injured” in the improvised explosive device attack, the embassy said.

2. It was the eleventh anniversary of 9/11, a date that should mean heightened security regardless of what our intelligence says. 

3. In the days just prior to the Benghazi attack (September 9 and 10), al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahri….

….posted a 42-minute video on Jihadist forums urging Libyans to attack Americans to avenge the death of Abu Yahya al-Libi, the terror organization’s second-in-command, whom U.S. drones killed in June of 2012 in Pakistan.

In the video, al-Zawahri said al-Libi’s “blood is calling, urging and inciting you to fight and kill the Crusaders,” leading up to a date heralded and celebrated by radical Islamists.

Another version of the video was actually posted on YouTube on September 9[.]

4. Just a couple of months prior to the Benghazi attack….

…an unclassified report published in August that fingers Qumu as a key al Qaeda operative in Libya. The report (“Al Qaeda in Libya: A Profile”) was prepared by the research division of the Library of Congress (LOC) under an agreement with the Defense Department’s Combating Terrorism Technical Support Office.

The report details al Qaeda’s plans for Libya, including the growth of a clandestine terrorist network that has attempted to hide its presence. The U.S military has concluded that al Qaeda is in the final phase of a three-step process for developing a full-blown al Qaeda affiliate.

5. Our assassinated Ambassador, Christopher Stevens, feared al-Qaeda’s growing influence in Libya and  believed he was on a hit list.

6. Sean Smith, one of our diplomats killed along with Stevens, also feared for his life prior to the attack:

One of the American diplomats killed Tuesday in a bloody attack on a Libyan Consulate told pals in an online gaming forum hours earlier that he’d seen suspicious people taking pictures outside his compound and wondered if he and his team might “die tonight.” …

But hours before the bloody assault, Smith sent a message to Alex Gianturco, the director of “Goonswarm,” Smith’s online gaming team or “guild.”

“Assuming we don’t die tonight,” the message, which was first reported by Wired, read. “We saw one of our ‘police’ that guard the compound taking pictures.”

Within hours of posting that message, Smith, a husband and father of two, was dead. Gianturco, who could not be reached for further comment, got the word out to fellow gamers, according to Wired.

What we have here are six concrete, non-speculative red flags that indicated our consulate and Ambassador were in danger, vulnerable to attack, and targets.

To justify a lack of adequate security, the Obama administration spent a week blaming the attack on a “spontaneous” demonstration they  couldn’t have possibly predicted would occur. We now know that’s simply not true. But here are two more justifications we were told:

1. CNN Sept 21: Clinton says Stevens was not worried about being hit by al-qaeda:

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Thursday she has “absolutely no information or reason to believe there is any basis” to suggest that U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens believed he was on an al Qaeda hit list.

The remark came after a source familiar with Stevens’ thinking told CNN that in the months leading up to his death, Stevens worried about constant security threats in Benghazi and mentioned that his name was on an al Qaeda hit list.

So Clinton is saying that Stevens wasn’t on a al-Qaeda hit list. Stevens’ diary says he was. Oh. Okay.

2. White House Spokesman Jay Carney on Sept 14: [emphasis added]

ABC NEWS’ JAKE TAPPER: One of my colleagues in the Associated Press asked you a direct question, was there any direct intelligence suggesting that there would be an attack on the U.S. consulates. You said that a story — referred to a story being false and said there was no actionable intelligence, but you didn’t answer his question. Was there any intelligence, period — intelligence, period, suggesting that there was going to be an attack on either the –

CARNEY: There was no intelligence that in any way could have been acted on to prevent these attacks. It is — I mean, I think the DNI spokesman was very declarative about this, that the report is false. The report suggested that there was intelligence that was available prior to this that led us to believe that this facility would be attacked, and that is false.

Note Carney’s careful wording; how determined he is to stay in the arena of “actionable” intelligence and intelligence that “could have been acted on to prevent these attacks.” Also note how Carney never answers Tapper’s general question about “any intelligence” or intelligence in general. 

Summation: Let’s give our government the benefit of the doubt and assume the stories about Stevens’ fear of being an al-Qaeda target are incorrect — or, if true, that for some inexplicable reason he never communicated those fears to his superiors.  Here’s what is indisputable…

The Obama administration didn’t act upon the fact that the anniversary of 9/11 is an obvious date to be wary of or the fact that our consulate had already been targeted and attacked just a few months prior. We also didn’t act upon a report that said al-Qaeda’s influence was growing in Libya or a video-threat released by an al-Qaeda chief just days prior to the red-flag date of 9/11.

But security was adequate.

WHAT DID OUR GOVERNMENT KNOW AND WHEN DID THEY KNOW IT?

Taking the just-released DNI statement at its word, let’s argue that for a time our intelligence services believed the fatal Benghazi attack was a “spontaneous” protest gone bad. Then, on a date not specified in the DNI statement, the assessment was updated to a pre-meditated terrorist attack committed by affiliates of al-Qaeda.

None of that contradicts what we already knew.

According to a number of reports based on numerous sources, we can ascertain exactly when our government determined Benghazi was a terrorist attack — and that was just 24 hours after the attack.

Let’s run through the facts:

1. In a Rose Garden statement the morning after the attack, the President himself referred to the attacks as terror:

No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation, alter that character, or eclipse the light of the values that we stand for.  Today we mourn four more Americans who represent the very best of the United States of America.  We will not waver in our commitment to see that justice is done for this terrible act.  And make no mistake, justice will be done.

2.  “Intelligence sources said that the Obama administration internally labeled the attack terrorism from the first day…”

… in order to unlock and mobilize certain resources to respond, and that officials were looking for one specific suspect. The sources said the intelligence community knew by Sept. 12 that the militant Ansar al-Shariah and Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb were likely behind the strike. 

3.  “In the hours following the 9/11 anniversary attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya…

…U.S. intelligence agencies monitored communications from jihadists affiliated with the group that led the attack and members of Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), the group’s North African affiliate.

In the communications, members of Ansar al-Sharia (AAS) bragged about their successful attack against the American consulate and the U.S. ambassador, according to three U.S. intelligence officials who spoke to The Daily Beast anonymously because they were not authorized to talk to the press.

4. “Within 24 hours of the 9-11 anniversary attack on the United States consulate in Benghazi…”

U.S. intelligence agencies had strong indications al Qaeda–affiliated operatives were behind the attack, and had even pinpointed the location of one of those attackers. Three separate U.S. intelligence officials who spoke to The Daily Beast said the early information was enough to show that the attack was planned and the work of al Qaeda affiliates operating in Eastern Libya.

Again, let’s be clear: The DNI statement released yesterday does not dispute any of this. And yet….

THE NARRATIVE: OUR GOVERNMENT TOLD US THAT WASN’T TRUE

For an extensive rundown of the false and misleading statements surrounding the Benghazi attack, let me refer you again to Brett Baier’s video report and to a Washington Post rundown put together by Glenn Kessler.

What I want to focus on here is the administration’s narrative. There’s simply no longer any question that in the days following the attack, a coordinated White House narrative was orchestrated that was intentionally misleading and completely false.

And that narrative went something like this:

1. There was no security failure at the consulate. The attack was birthed by a spontaneous protest gone bad — so how could we have known?

2. Obama’s brag before the country that al-Qaeda was on the road to defeat just five days before the Benghazi attack remains true. After all, this wasn’t a terrorist attack, it was a protest gone bad.

3. Obama’s Middle East policy of disengagement and assuming his own awesomeness would buy us goodwill with radicals worked. After all, these massive, deadly protests in two dozen countries have nothing to do with anti-American sentiment; the bad guy is a Coptic Christian filmmaker who insulted Muhammad.

I’ll reiterate that this is how a cover up works. You don’t tell the truth and you don’t lie; what you do is manufacture a false narrative built on misleading statements that aren’t outright lies. As you can see, many of the statements made by President Obama, Secretary of State Clinton, Jay Carney, and U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice are loaded with caveats and escape hatches: “Based on what we know…” and “What we do know is…”

Defenders of the President and his administration officials will and are using these escape hatches to defend the intentional spinning of a patently false narrative. But there’s absolutely no question that for a full week this false narrative — a glaring lie of omission  — was also used to strike down, downplay, dismiss, and distract from any raising of the question that what might’ve happened in Benghazi was the work of terrorists.

Moreover, this narrative was so intentionally stifling and oppressive, it wouldn’t even allow room for an either/or possibility. The lie of omission was that no administration official told us that what happened “could’ve been” or “might’ve been” a terrorist attack. Quite the opposite. The narrative was used to tell us the raising of that possibility was outrageous.

This, even in the face of numerous news outlets reporting just a day or two after the attack that terrorism was a likely motive. On September 12, both Fox News and CBS News reported the possibility, and on September 13, CNN joined in.

And yet, this narrative lie of omission that was used to scape-goat this filmmaker and to shout down anyone who even entertained the notion of terrorism, remained firmly in place until Sept. 20, the day Jay Carney finally admitted it was “self-evident” terrorism was behind the attack.

But just day before, on Sept 19,  the White House was using this narrative to treat those who even raised the possibility of a terror attack like they were crazy. Watch this bizarre exchange between Carney and CBS News White House correspondent Bill Plante a full eight days after the attack:

Carney

That memorable exchange occurred the very same day National  Counterterrorism Center Director Matthew Olsen told Congress that the Benghazi attack was indeed an act of terror.

 

THE LIES

Not every statement made by an administration official contained the necessary escape hatches to avoid being outright lies. In fact, if you look closely at numerous statements made by Susan Rice and Jay Carney, regardless of how much benefit of the doubt Obama’s defenders wish to summon — both of them looked the American people in the eye and lied. 

Let’s start with Carney.

The following is a transcript of a Sept. 14 exchange between Carney and ABC’s Jake Tapper: [emphasis added]

TAPPER: Wouldn’t it seem logical that the anniversary of 9/11 would be a time that you would want to have extra security around diplomats and military posts?

CARNEY: Well, as you know, there — we are very vigilant around anniversaries like 9/11. The president is always briefed and brought up to speed on all the precautions being taken. But let’s be –

TAPPER: Obviously not vigilant enough.

CARNEY: Jake, let’s be clear. This — these protests were in reaction to a video that had spread to the region [1]–

TAPPER: At Benghazi?

CARNEY: We certainly don’t know; we don’t know otherwise. You know, we have no information to suggest that it was a preplanned attack. [2] The unrest we’ve seen around the region has been in reaction to a video that Muslims, many Muslims find offensive. And while the violence is reprehensible and unjustified, it is not a reaction to the 9/11 anniversary that we know of or to U.S. policy.

TAPPER: The group around the Benghazi post was well-armed, it was a well-coordinated attack. Do you think it was a spontaneous protest against a movie?

CARNEY: Look, this is obviously under investigation, and I don’t have — but I answered the question.

ANOTHER REPORTER: But your operating assumptions — your operating assumption is that that was — that was in response to the video, in Benghazi? I just want to clear that up. That’s the framework; that’s the operating assumption?

CARNEY: It’s not an assumption –

TAPPER: Administration officials have said that it looks like this was something other than –

CARNEY: I think there have been misreports on this, Jake, even in the press, which some of it has been speculative. What I’m telling you is this is under investigation. The unrest around the region has been in response to this video. We do not, at this moment, have information to suggest or to tell you that would indicate that any of this unrest was preplanned. [3]

What I’ve bolded and numbered are undeniably false statements. On Sept. 14, a full two days after the attack, Carney is falsely but declaratively stating as fact that…

1. “[L]et’s be clear. This — these protests were in reaction to a video that had spread to the region.”

Carney isn’t stating this as a possibility, he is stating it as settled fact. Even if you give the White House as much benefit of the doubt as possible, no one believed that was settled fact. And yet,  this is what the White House told America.

2.  “[W]e have no information to suggest that it was a preplanned attack.”

That’s just false. By this time that was probably the only information the White House had.

3. Carney doubles down on the patently false “no information” claim.

As we now know, numerous reports based on numerous sources say that within 24 hours of the sacking of our consulate, we not only had information that al-Qaeda was behind it, but on day one, in order to release the necessary resources, we had designated it as a terror attack.

If that isn’t bad enough, a full five days later, on Sept. 19, Carney had this exchange withCBS News White House correspondent Bill Plante: [emphasis added]

PLANTE: You are still maintaining that there was no evidence of a pre-planned attack–

CARNEY: Bill, let me just repeat now–

PLANTE: But how is it that the attackers had RPGs, automatic weapons, mortars…

CARNEY: Bill, I know you’ve done a little bit of reading about Libya since the unrest that began with Gaddafi. The place has an abundance of weapons.

PLANTE: But you expect a street mob to come armed that way?

CARNEY: There are unfortunately many bad actors throughout the region and they’re very armed. ….

PLANTE: But they planned to do it, don’t you think?

CARNEY: They might, or they might not. All I can tell you is that based on the information that we had then and have now we do not yet have indication that it was pre-planned or pre-meditated. There’s an active investigation. If that active investigation produces facts that lead to a different conclusion, we will make clear that that is where the investigation has led. Our interest is in finding out the facts of what happened, not taking what we’ve read in the newspaper and making bold assertions that we know what happened.

Once again, you have Carney stating declaratively and falsely stating that “we [still] do not yet have indication” that the Benghazi attack was pre-planned — eight days after the attack!

Again, under the most generous benefit of the doubt one can summon, what you have in these two examples is the White House lying to the media and to the American people.

Impossibly enough, what Susan Rice did was even worse.

On September 16, a full four days after the attack, and at least three days after the White House knew  Benghazi had been a terror attack, Rice was sent out on a round-robin of five Sunday morning news shows to push a narrative the White House knew was false.

What’s worse, however, is that like Carney, Rice also made declaratively false statements: [emphasis added]

Fox News Sunday:

RICE: The best information and the best assessment we have today is that was, in fact, not a pre-planned and pre-meditated attack. That what happened initially — it was a spontaneous reaction to what had just transpired in Cairo, as a consequence of the video, that people gathered outside the embassy and then it grew very violent. Those with extremist ties joined the fray and came with heavy weapons, which unfortunately are quite common in post-revolutionary Libya. And that then spun out of control. We don’t see at this point — signs that this was a coordinated, pre-meditated attack.Obviously we’ll wait for the results of the investigation and we don’t want to jump to conclusions before then. But I do think it’s important for the American people to know our best current assessment.

Face the Nation:

As soon as the president of Libya’s National Congress, Mohamed Magariaf, finished telling host Bob Scieffer….

The way these perpetrators acted and moved, I think we– and they’re choosing the specific date for this so-called demonstration, I think we have no– this leaves us with no doubt that this has preplanned, determined– predetermined. months ago, and they were planning this criminal act since their– since their arrival.

…Ambassador Rice took her turn:

BOB SCHIEFFER: But you do not agree with [Magariaf] that this was something that had been plotted out several months ago?

SUSAN RICE: We do not– we do not have information at present that leads us to conclude that this was premeditated or preplanned.

This Week:

JAKE TAPPER: It just seems that the U.S. government is powerless as this — as this maelstrom erupts.

RICE: It’s actually the opposite. First of all, let’s be clear about what transpired here.What happened this week in Cairo, in Benghazi, in many other parts of the region…

TAPPER: Tunisia, Khartoum…

RICE: … was a result — a direct result of a heinous and offensive video that was widely disseminated, that the U.S. government had nothing to do with, which we have made clear is reprehensible and disgusting. We have also been very clear in saying that there is no excuse for violence, there is — that we have condemned it in the strongest possible terms.

Rice declaratively states as settled fact that the Benghazi attack was a “direct result” of the video.

Meet the Press:

DAVID GREGORY:  Was there a failure here that this administration is responsible for, whether it’s an intelligence failure, a failure to see this coming, or a failure to adequately protect U.S. embassies and installations from a spontaneous kind of reaction like this?

SUSAN RICE:  David, I don’t think so.  First of all we had no actionable intelligence to suggest that– that any attack on our facility in Benghazi was imminent.  In Cairo, we did have indications that there was the risk that the video might spark some– some protests and our embassy, in fact, acted accordingly, and had called upon the Egyptian authorities to– to reinforce our facility.  What we have seen as– with respect to the security response, obviously we had security personnel in Benghazi, a– a significant number, and tragically, among those four that were killed were two of our security personnel.  But what happened, obviously, overwhelmed the security we had in place which is why the president ordered additional reinforcements to Tripoli and– and why elsewhere in the world we have been working with governments to ensure they take up their obligations to protect us and we reinforce where necessary.

Note how, like Carney earlier, Rice rephrases the question into “actionable” intelligence. Because we most certainly had intelligence, including a video threat from a top al-Qaeda operative.

ONE MORE DECEIT

As if all of the above isn’t on its own frustrating, heart-breaking, maddening, and unforgivable enough, let me close with one more deceit.

During her Sunday blitz, and in an attempt to explain the criminal and fatal lack of security in Benghazi, Susan Rice told Chris Wallace this:

WALLACE: And the last question: Terror cells in Benghazi had carried out five attacks since April, including one at this same consulate– a bombing at this same consulate in June. Should U.S. security been tighter at that consulate given the history of terror activity in Benghazi?

RICE: We obviously did have a strong security presence and unfortunately, two of the four Americans who died in Benghazi were there to provide security. But that obviously wasn’t sufficient in the circumstances to prevent the overrun of the consulate. This is among the things that will obviously be looked at as the investigation as the investigation unfolds.

That’s also not true.

Whatever security there was, the White House cannot use two dead Navy SEALs as window dressing that makes some sort of case that says, Well, at least the White House had Navy SEALs protecting the ambassador and the consulate — because regardless of the spin Rice put on it, that simply wasn’t the case:

As recently as Sunday, UN Ambassador Susan Rice gave a similar description. “Two of the four Americans who were killed were there providing security. That was their function. And indeed, there were many other colleagues who were doing the same with them,” Rice told ABC’s This Week program.

In fact, officials said, the two men were personal service contractors whose official function was described as “embassy security,” but whose work did not involve personal protection of the ambassador or perimeter security of the compound. …

They stepped into action, however, when Stevens became separated from the small security detail normally assigned to protect him when he traveled from the more fortified embassy in Tripoli to Benghazi, the officials said.

The two ex-Seals and others engaged in a lengthy firefight with the extremists who attacked the compound, a fight that stretched from the inner area of the consulate to an outside annex and a nearby safe house — a location that the insurgents appeared to know about, the officials said.

The Weekly Standard’s Stephen Hayes asks:

Some of the misleading information provided to the public could not possibly have been a result of incomplete or evolving intelligence. The information about security for the ambassador and the compound, for instance, would have been readily available to administration officials from the beginning. And yet when Susan Rice appeared on five political talk shows on September 16, she erroneously claimed that the two ex-Navy SEALs killed in the attack were, along with several colleagues, providing security. They were not. Why did she say this?

Good question. But I have a better one: Why did our president say the same:

Glen and Tyrone had each served America as Navy SEALs for many years, before continuing their service providing security for our diplomats in Libya. They died as they lived their lives — defending their fellow Americans, and advancing the values that all of us hold dear.

This is a legitimate scandal of the highest order. Four Americans are dead, our government is still attempting to cover up what really happened, and as of this writing. the F.B.I still hasn’t gained access to the consulate.

And what’s the response of those charged with the sacred duty of holding our government accountable?

 

America’s Just Not That into Obama


Welcome and thank you for stopping by. Please be aware and advised, this is a CONSERVATIVE BLOG. Here is some information and my rules:

 

1) I do not like Liberal Ideology;

 

2) Conservatives have the voice of reason on my blog;

 

3) I will delete any comments that are abusive, non-related to

 

the “blog theme” and not debated in a civil manner;

 

4) I welcome input from all walks of life. However, this is my

 

blog and I will make the “ultimate” decision on any/all comments.

 

I encourage “civil” discussion. We may not agree on “ideology”.

 

However, we can agree on “respect” and at least listening to

 

different perspectives. Thank you for visiting!

This is a reblogged from http://www.nationalreview.com.

POSTED BY Jonah Goldberg

The president believes his own bull****, but does America?

Jonah Goldberg

You know, I actually believe my own bull****.”

That’s what President Obama once told a reporter. If the man ever uttered a statement that spoke more to his approach to politics, I haven’t heard it.

Whether it stems from a grandiose overconfidence in his own powers of persuasion, or the lessons he took from his years as a community organizer, or his own messianic conviction that he is on the right side of everything, including history itself, the president has always operated under the theory that he can move the American people to his causes. And he can’t. He just can’t.

Yes, he got elected and reelected, and that’s saying something. But whatever personal popularity the man has doesn’t transfer to domestic policy.

It’s as if the American people are saying, “Mr. President, we’re just not that into you.”

“What about health-care reform!?” his fans invariably respond.

Well, what about it? Sure, it passed. But the Affordable Care Act didn’t become law because Obama ignited a populist prairie fire in favor of it. He dedicated vast, vast swaths of his time and energy trying to sell the American people on Obamacare. He never made the sale (and still hasn’t). The misbegotten law’s passage is attributable entirely to the fact that Democrats rammed it through Congress — with a 60-vote majority in the Senate — using the sorts of backroom deals and corporate giveaways the American people despise.

Ironically, the only populist mass movement on domestic-policy issues Obama can claim credit for creating is the Tea Party, which I think we can all agree isn’t what he had in mind.

Indeed, if Obamacare had been popular, the Democrats wouldn’t have been dealt a “shellacking” — Obama’s word — in the 2010 midterm elections. But they were: Democrats suffered a defeat of biblical proportions, despite Obama’s relentless campaigning.

In 2012, after scoring an impressive reelection win, Obama apparently thought he solved the puzzle. He needed more organization, like he had in the election. Obviously everyone loves what he has to say, Obama reasoned, but he needed to translate that love into action. And so he rebranded his presidential campaign into his own personal grassroots operation, Organizing for Action. Action item No. 1? Gun control.

It’s worth remembering that when Obama took up gun control in his State of the Union address, he set the bar at shin level for himself and for Senate Democrats. He didn’t demand victory; he demanded a mere vote on the issue.

Running through a list of victims he was all too eager to politicize — “The families of Newtown deserve a vote. The families of Aurora deserve a vote,” etc. — he brought the Democrats in the audience to their feet. Many in the press hailed it as one of the most moving moments of his presidency.

With the sort of willingness to politicize tragedy that is always denounced as the vilest cynicism when Republicans do anything of the sort, Obama and his paid OFA subalterns took to the streets and the airwaves waving the figurative bloody shirt of Newtown for months (with nary a peep of complaint from the same press corps that routinely denounced President Bush for politicizing 9/11).

But when it came time to clear the shin-level hurdle he set for himself and OFA, they face-planted in the ground, well short of the target.

And now the president is going to run the same play, again. “If this Congress refuses to listen to the American people and pass common-sense gun legislation, then the real impact is going to have to come from the voters,” he said in one of several bitter promises to turn gun control into an issue to win back Congress in 2014.

As Josh Kraushaar of National Journal noted, Obama couldn’t misread the political environment heading into 2014 any worse. Why? Because the places where the Democrats need to win to take back the House — the South and mountain West — are precisely those areas where even many Democrats disagree with the president on gun control. Making it a central issue in 2014 is a boon to Republicans.

The upshot of this is that we will now endure nearly another two years of Obama haranguing us about how it’s him and “the people” against special interests and other evil forces who don’t care about murdered children. Washington will become more shrill and get even less done, all because Obama’s only play is a populist charade made possible by the fact he still believes his own bull****.

 

Holder gets stormy reception from House panel


Welcome and thank you for stopping by. Please be aware and

advised, this is a CONSERVATIVE BLOG. Here is some information

and my rules:

 

1) I do not like Liberal Ideology;

 

2) Conservatives have the voice of reason on my blog;

 

3) I will delete any comments that are abusive, non-related to

the “blog theme” and not debated in a civil manner;

 

4) I welcome input from all walks of life. However, this is my

blog and I will make the “ultimate” decision on any/all

comments.

 

I encourage “civil” discussion. We may not agree on “ideology”.

However, we can agree on “respect” and at least listening to

different perspectives. Thank you for visiting!

 

This is a reblogged from. http://www.politico.com

 

posted by JOSH GERSTEIN

Holder in the hot seat

The fact there is no love lost between Attorney General Eric Holder and House Republicans was on clear display again Thursday afternoon at a stormy House appropriations panel hearing which culminated with the subcommittee’s chairman declaring he’d given up on Holder and his stewardship of the Justice Department.

“Forget it. Forget it. Forget it. Forget it. Forget it,” an exasperated Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.) declared after Holder refused to commit to a deadline to answer 91 questions Wolf had prepared. The lawmaker, who heads the House Appropriations subcommittee that oversees the Justice Department, said he planned to forego asking the questions orally so that Holder could leave the session in order to attend a meeting relating to the Boston Marathon bombing investigation.

“We’re just going to ignore you. I’m going to ignore you,” said Wolf, who complained earlier in the two-hour-long hearing that Holder and his aides had not responded to a slew of letters seeking information on various subjects. “Your civil rights division is a rats’ nest….I think you’ve been a failure with regard to the prison industries. You were a failure with regard, with regard to prison rape….If you’re not going to answer the questions….”

“Frankly, I’m not going to pay any attention to you because your positions with regard to these budget….You come up here. You were initially going to stay for the whole time. If you’re not going to answer these questions, then we’re not going to pay any attention to you. Hearing adjourned,” Wolf declared.

“No, Mr. Chairman….if you want me to stay, I’ll stay. I will stay,” Holder replied. “That meeting will just have to wait. If you want to ask some more questions, let’s go.”

“It is an important meeting, but I’m making a determination, if you want me to stay, I’ll stay,” the attorney general said.

“They told me it dealt with the Boston issue. Is that correct? That’s an important issue and I wouldn’t want you to miss it,” Wolf said, rising to his feet. “The hearing is adjourned. I think you ought to go to the meeting.”

Ignoring the fact that the hearing was adjourned, twice, Holder launched into a defense of his tenure at the department.

“You said some things that I think are a little unfair with regard to the civil rights division,” Holder said. “A lot of what the inspector general found in the civil rights division preceded my time as attorney general. We have taken steps to try to deal with the issues that were identified there.”

The chief of the civil rights division, Tom Perez, has been nominated by President Barack Obama to be the next secretary of labor. However, Holder conceded that “there’s no question that work needs to be done” to address further the problems described in the IG report.

The attorney general also said he’d worked diligently on the prison rape issue and to provide work for federal prisoners. He also took a shot at the management of the department under his GOP predecessors.

“I’m proud of what we’ve done across the board at the Justice Department in the last four and a half years. I’m proud of what I’ve done as attorney general. The department that we have now is fundamentally different than the department I found when I got there. We don’t hire people on the biases of political orientation. We don’t do things as was done in the previous administration. We don’t write memos that say that torture is appropriate when dealing with interrogation techniques.”

Relations between Holder and Republican-led House were never good, but went completely sour last June when lawmakers voted, 255-67, to hold Holder in criminal contempt for failing to turn over all the records a House committee subpoenaed about the department’s response to the Operation Fast and Furious gun trafficking scandal.

In an interview in February, Holder said he had no respect for those who joined in what he dismissed as an act of “partisan sport.” All but three House Republicans backed the criminal contempt measure.

“I have to tell you that for me to really be affected by what happened, I’d have to have respect for the people who voted in that way,” Holder told ABC News. “And I didn’t, so it didn’t have that huge an impact on me.”

Earlier in Thursday’s hearing, Holder came under fire from GOP lawmakers for refusing to commit to brief them by a particular time about whether the Justice Department recommended to the Pentagon that it not label as an act of terrorism the attack at Fort Hood, Texas in November 2009. They pointed to an interview Army Secretary John McHugh did recently in which he suggested, but did not say outright, that the Justice Department advised the military against awarding medals to those injured in the attack because doing so could undermine the court martial for the alleged perpetrator, Army Maj. Nidal Hasan.

Hasan had been in touch by e-mail with Al Qaeda of the Arabian Peninsula leader Anwar al-Awlaki prior to the attack, but investigators have indicated they don’t believe Al-Awlaki or others directed or helped plan the shooting spree.

Two victims of the attack and the wife of a soldier killed in the attack were in the audience at the hearing, Rep. Tom Rooney (R-Fla.) pointed out as he raised the issue. The lawmaker, who once served on the base, said the victims were being denied medical care and other benefits as a result of being denied Purple Hearts.

Hasan is being prosecuted in the military justice system, not by the Justice Department, something Holder noted. “If we’ve had some interaction with [military prosecutors], I’m just not aware of it,” the attorney general said.

When Holder refused to commit to brief Rooney and other lawmakers about any such contacts, Wolf’s frustration boiled over.

“We’re never getting responses. Once you get out of here, you’re gone, there will be no response,” the chairman said.

At one point, Holder replied: “As soon as I can….that’s the best I can do for you.”

The attorney general eventually said he could “probably” brief lawmakers by the end of next month on any DOJ involvement in the case. He also thanked the victims for their service and said they had his “sympathy for the losses they’ve had to endure.” After the hearing, he spoke briefly with the three audience members involved.

Fattah tried to deflect some of the GOP anger, saying he thinks the Pentagon is “completely wrong” to have declared the event an incident of “workplace violence.” However, he said the decision to hold back on the awards may have been justified by a desire to “further the effective prosecution of the gentleman who did this.” Fattah, the ranking Democrat on the subcommittee, also urged Rooney to take up the issue with McHugh directly.

Rooney conceded that might have been the best way to proceed, but he also lashed out on behalf of the victims. “There’s a guy in the back of the room who has a bullet that needs to be removed from his body,” the lawmaker said angrily. “He has to wait with a bullet in his body until we figure out what the hell we’re doing in here.”

Wolf’s frustration with Holder seemed to extend beyond the attorney general to his staff. “They’re passing you notes left and right on every issue,” the schoolmarmish chairman complained. Later, he abruptly called out some of Holder’s aides seated in the front row.

“I see you whispering there, back and forth,” the chairman barked.

 

The Gun Control Paradox


Welcome and thank you for stopping by. Please be aware and

advised, this is a CONSERVATIVE BLOG. Here is some information

and my rules:

 

1) I do not like Liberal Ideology;

 

2) Conservatives have the voice of reason on my blog;

 

3) I will delete any comments that are abusive, non-related to

the “blog theme” and not debated in a civil manner;

 

4) I welcome input from all walks of life. However, this is my

blog and I will make the “ultimate” decision on any/all

comments.

 

I encourage “civil” discussion. We may not agree on “ideology”.

However, we can agree on “respect” and at least listening to

different perspectives. Thank you for visiting!

 

This is a reblogged from http://www.americanthinker.com.

posted by Daniel Payne

As the new and improved Assault Weapons Ban is debated, it is instructive to study the strange circular logic used by gun control proponents to justify the banning of certain weapons for civilian use.

At the heart of most gun-control efforts is a desire to ban so-called “weapons of war,” based upon the premise that such things have no place in civil society. And perhaps they’re right, at least about actual “weapons of war.” There are few people arguing for the legalization of rocket launchers for civilian use, and nobody wants to see people building nuclear weapons as a cottage industry. So the restriction of some types of weapons seems perfectly reasonable and necessary.

The problems arise when legislators attempt to classify firearms as “weapons of war” when such firearms do not warrant the label in the slightest. Many legislators and pundits have described rifles such as the AR-15 as a “weapon of war,” but of course no competent army would ever outfit its soldiers with such a weapon, which is merely semiautomatic. Modern armies use rifles that are capable of fully-automatic fire, a feature which is more or less banned for civilian usage. The United States armed services, for instance, use variants of the M16, a more powerful version of the AR-15. Thus it is nonsensical to classify a civilian version of a military weapon as “military-style.” Style does not equal substance, and an AR-15 is not substantive in the face of its military cousin.

This fact, however, is what gun-control proponents seize upon when making their case. After all, if the military is armed with M16s, and an AR-15 couldn’t possibly hope to compete with the military’s armaments, then why does any civilian need the latter firearm, given that it would prove effectively useless against a tyrannical government? Hence the call to ban these and other weapons on the basis of their inability to protect against tyranny.

Pause to consider that line of thought for a moment: because current civilian weapons are unable to forestall or defeat a tyrannical government, we must ban them. Does not something seem off about this kind of twisted logic?

It is true to state that all the weapons to which modern American civilians have access would very likely be ineffective were the military to truly mobilize against the citizenry. The armed forces have the above-mentioned fully-automatic weapons, along with tanks, grenades, gasses and, most ominously, drones. Civilians have some semiautomatic rifles and pistols, along with shotguns and revolvers. Three guesses as to who would win that fight.

And yet it is still nutty to insist that the answer is more restrictions on more types of weapons. Of course, gun- control advocates are calling for such bans in part to protect civilians from each other — to stop the next Sandy Hook or Aurora, for instance. There is both nobility and reason in such a rationale. Yet when gun rights advocates point out that the Second Amendment was created to protect against tyranny, and that we should thus be cautious in banning the weapons it guarantees us, we are once again treated to a host of claims as to how the Second Amendment is now irrelevant because the government is inarguably more powerful than the citizenry could ever hope to be. So the argument becomes at once both rational and confusing: we cannot compete against the military, but we can and should strip the populace of many firearms in order to protect ourselves from ourselves. Say what?

The other side of the coin, however, is equally thorny and problematic: if private citizens are not equipped to take on the modern U.S. military, should we give citizens more armaments — allow the sale of surface-to-air missiles, say, and make it easier to purchase fully automatic weapons? The answer is almost certainly no; were these weapons easily accessible to the populace at large, and fell in the wrong hands, the destruction wrought could be catastrophic on a scale no single firearm could create.

So we are left with a great philosophical condrundrum: on the one hand, people shouldn’t have access to hyperpowerful weapons with which they could easily kill hundreds or thousands of people, while on the other hand, it seems bizarre to conclude that a people’s lack of adequate armaments as a defense against tyranny justifies a further stripping of Second Amendment rights.

While there is no easy answer to this quandary, one thing is clear: we should not be so easily seduced by the strange circular logic of gun control advocates; their crusade creates questions about civilian disarmament that should be answered before any bill is passed.

Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/2013/04/the_gun_control_paradox.html#ixzz2QVqBrFSf
Follow us: @AmericanThinker on Twitter | AmericanThinker on Facebook

 

Guns: The Left’s True Aim, and How to Thwart It


Welcome and thank you for stopping by. Please be aware and

advised, this is a CONSERVATIVE BLOG. Here is some information

and my rules:

 

1) I do not like Liberal Ideology;

 

2) Conservatives have the voice of reason on my blog;

 

3) I will delete any comments that are abusive, non-related to

the “blog theme” and not debated in a civil manner;

 

4) I welcome input from all walks of life. However, this is my

blog and I will make the “ultimate” decision on any/all

comments.

 

I encourage “civil” discussion. We may not agree on “ideology”.

However, we can agree on “respect” and at least listening to

different perspectives. Thank you for visiting!

 

This is a reblogged from http://www.americanthinker.com.

posted by Lewis Dovland

We must not lose focus on the end goal of progressives regarding guns.  Make no mistake; regardless of what they say, their ultimate goal is confiscation of all guns in America.  And a “universal background check” will get them closer to this nirvana than the banning of a few selected weapons ever could.

To understand progressive methodology, let’s use another similar issue: the gay marriage agenda.  Say the current definition of “marriage” as it has been for thousands of years is represented by “A” on a continuum of A to Z, with “Z” being the left’s ultimate goal.  Asking for “Z” now would be a major overreach (and “Z” is much farther than just gay marriage), so progressives ask for “N,” which is just enough of a stretch to make people push back only a little.

So to protect a foundation of society, the people of California overwhelmingly vote a law that defines marriage — an appropriate state’s rights issue.  The left goes to court and has California’s decision overturned.  The people next pass a state constitutional amendment, and again the left gets it overturned, and now it is in the Supreme Court.  The left also applies public pressure through the media to brand anyone who doesn’t agree as a homophobe or hater, all the while controlling the educational curriculum so only one side of the argument is taught to our children.

Eventually, progressives will get only “C” this time, which is really all they wanted for now.  But note something powerful here.  “C” becomes the new “A.”  So there is never a way to back it up to the original “A.”  Over time, they will win another “C” that becomes “A.”

Before long we find that we are at “H” on the original A-Z scale, but “H” is now considered “A”.  And so it continues.

Note the steps:

  • Ask for more than you know you can achieve.  In fact, ask for something you don’t even want.  Then everyone will be focused more on that than on your real goal.
  • Use all media and educational tools to inculcate your view in the public and low-information voters.
  • Develop your own lexicon, redefine words, and then keep pounding those words into the psyche each time you speak.
  • Attack your opponents not on logic or facts, but by name-calling and emotion, and accuse them of being “obstructionist.”
  • When you concede, always be sure you’ve moved the marker a little farther toward your goal.
  • Reset the measures so that the new position is now considered “normal,” which makes it impossible for anyone to argue against or reverse.
  • Never, ever give up or stop pushing, even when you (temporarily) lose.

How does this strategy apply to the gun issue?  At this time, the left does not expect to restrict the sale of “assault weapons.”  That effort is a deliberate misdirection to throw us off-base so we are jousting with the wrong target and using up energy.

What the left wants is universal background checks.  If leftists get that, they actually leapfrog the restrictions on certain weapon types.  How?

No one can buy a modern operational firearm from a licensed dealer today without a background check.  Period.  There is no “gun show loophole,” because to buy a gun at a gun show from a licensed dealer — the only entity permitted to sell at gun shows — one must pass the background check or show a firearms license.

Not controlled are sales of guns between private parties.  You can sell me your gun in a face-to-face transaction without requiring that you get a background check on me.

Look at where this is going.  The left is asking to ban the sale of “assault” weapons.  Using the marriage example above, this is moving the marker from “A” to about “N” on the scale, since “Z” would be the total ban and confiscation of guns.  The left knows that a ban is not possible, although “Z” is their ultimate goal.  But what are they doing?

Ask for “N” when you know that “C” is possible, use the media and lexicon (“assault weapon,” “gun show loophole”) to pound home the message, demonize those who disagree, and get media support.  Use emotion — see Obama’s recent “shame on us” speech with the Newtown families standing behind him.

And then, the final, sneaky step.  Say, “Well, the American people just don’t understand the need to ban these assault weapons, so at least give us background check legislation.  That is not too much to ask for the children’s sake.”  And if we don’t agree to that, they call us “obstructionist” and other names, trying to shame us into action.  If they succeed, we will have just moved from “A” to “S” on the scale, well past “N.”  How?

Enforcing the universal background check will require registration of all guns in a national database; otherwise, how and where do we prevent private sales without background checks?  And the details of how to enforce the background checks will be handled by the legislation, neatly out of the direct view of the public.  Once that occurs, the government will have a list of all legal guns and owners in the U.S., making confiscation extremely easy when the time comes.

And where are the teeth to make a gun owner register a gun, when he never expects to sell it?  All the left needs to do is make possession of an unregistered gun a felony — a “minor” clause in the law when they craft it.  Then, when you defend yourself at 3 a.m. from an armed home invasion and your gun is found, you will be in more trouble than the perps.  As a felon, you then lose your right to own any guns. 

That is the goal here.  Watch for the left to cave on the assault weapon ban and “settle” for just universal background checks.  Sounds innocuous, right?  If granted, it will provide the left with much, much more than they ever hoped to get at this juncture.

Our answer must be: “Never, never, never — not one inch.”  No universal background checks, ever.  Enforce the laws we have now.  Otherwise, game over for us.

Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/2013/04/guns_the_lefts_true_aim_and_how_to_thwart_it.html#ixzz2QVoJxVm2
Follow us: @AmericanThinker on Twitter | AmericanThinker on Facebook

 

NSA data center front and center in debate over liberty, security and privacy


Welcome and thank you for stopping by. Please be aware and

advised, this is a CONSERVATIVE BLOG. Here is some information

and my rules:

 

1) I do not like Liberal Ideology;

 

2) Conservatives have the voice of reason on my blog;

 

3) I will delete any comments that are abusive, non-related to

the “blog theme” and not debated in a civil manner;

 

4) I welcome input from all walks of life. However, this is my

blog and I will make the “ultimate” decision on any/all

comments.

 

I encourage “civil” discussion. We may not agree on “ideology”.

However, we can agree on “respect” and at least listening to

different perspectives. Thank you for visiting!

 

This is a reblogged from FoxNews.com.

posted by Catherine Herridge

Twenty-five miles due south of Salt Lake City, a massive construction project is nearing completion.  The heavily secured site belongs to the National Security Agency.

“The spy center” — that’s what some of the locals like Jasmine Widmer, who works at Bluffdale’s sandwich shop, told our Fox News team as part of an eight month investigation into data collection and privacy rights that will be broadcast Sunday at 9 p.m. ET called “Fox News Reporting: Your Secrets Out.”

The NSA says the Utah Data Center is a facility for the intelligence community that will have a major focus on cyber security. The agency will neither confirm nor deny specifics. Some published reports suggest it could hold 5 zettabytes of data. (Just one zettabyte is the equivalent of about 62 billion stacked iPhones 5’s– that stretches past the moon.

One man we hoped would answer our questions, the current director of the NSA General Keith Alexander, declined Fox News’s requests to sit down for an interview, so we stopped by the offices of a Washington think tank, where Alexander was speaking at a cyber security event last year.

Asked if the Utah Data Center would hold the data of American citizens,  Alexander said, “No…we don’t hold data on U.S. citizens,” adding that the NSA staff “take protecting your civil liberties and privacy as the most important thing that they do, and securing this nation.”

But critics, including former NSA employees, say the data center is front and center in the debate over liberty, security and privacy.

“[It] raises the most serious questions about the vast amount of data that could be kept in one place for many, many different sources,”  Thomas Drake told Fox News. 

Drake — who worked at the NSA from Aug. 2001 to Aug. 2008 and was unsuccessfully prosecuted on espionage charges — says Americans should be concerned about letting the government go too far in the name of security.

“It’s in secret so you don’t really know,” Drake explained. “It’s benign, right. If I haven’t — and if I haven’t done anything wrong it doesn’t matter. The only way you can have perfect security is have a perfect surveillance state. That’s George Orwell. That’s 1984. That’s what that would look like.”

Fellow NSA whistleblower Bill Binney, who worked at the NSA for nearly four decades, says it’s about the possibility that the government’s stunning new capacity to collect, store and analyze data could be abused.

“It’s really a– turnkey situation, where it could be turned quickly and become a totalitarian state pretty quickly,” he said. “The capacities to do that is being set up. Now it’s a question of if we get the wrong person in office, or if certain people set up their network internally in government, they could make that happen quickly.”

According to NSA’s chief compliance officer John Delong, whose job is to make sure the laws and policies designed to protect the privacy of U.S. persons is being enforced, part of the frustration is that the rules are specific and secret.

“I think that’s sort of the collision, is you have classified rules,” DeLong explained during an hour long meeting with Fox News at the NSA. “You now have a somewhat more public data center,” 

“These aren’t just, like, general policy pronouncements of ‘You shall protect privacy.'” he said. 

DeLong added that another misconception is that there is only internal oversight, when he says there is “a tremendous amount of external oversight” from the Justice Department, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and others.

In an email, Vanee’ Vines, a public information officer for the NSA, said that the Utah Data Center will be “a state-of-the-art facility designed to support the Intelligence Community’s efforts to further strengthen and protect the nation. NSA is the executive agent for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, and will be the lead agency at the center.”

Because the Utah Data Center is a “secure facility” and you cannot go inside without the needed security clearances, Fox News rented a helicopter and took to the skies, where the depth and breadth of the Utah Center were stunning.

The aerial video footage is exclusive to the Fox News investigation and posted here.  Two weeks after our filming, the helicopter pilot reported to our Fox News team that he had been visited by the FBI on a “national security matter.”

The pilot said, according to the FBI agents, that the NSA had taken photos of the helicopter once it made several flyovers.  These photos allowed the NSA to identify the make and manufacturer of the helicopter in California who, in turn, told the NSA who operates it in the Salt Lake City area.

The FBI wanted to know if we had the proper air space clearances to flyover the site, which the Fox News team did.   Satisfied that the pilot was not flying “terrorists” over the site, the questioning concluded.  While the pilot passed along the Fox News contact information, there was no further inquiries.

Binney said the helicopter incident “showed the capability of the U.S. government to use information to trace people, their relationship to others and to raise suspicions about their activities and intentions.”

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/tech/2013/04/12/nsa-data-center-front-and-center-in-debate-over-liberty-security-and-privacy/#ixzz2QVA9SpWY

 

Gunsite Day Two: Fighting Out of a Threat


Welcome and thank you for stopping by. Please be aware and

advised, this is a CONSERVATIVE BLOG. Here is some information

and my rules:

 

1) I do not like Liberal Ideology;

 

2) Conservatives have the voice of reason on my blog;

 

3) I will delete any comments that are abusive, non-related to

the “blog theme” and not debated in a civil manner;

 

4) I welcome input from all walks of life. However, this is my

blog and I will make the “ultimate” decision on any/all

comments.

 

I encourage “civil” discussion. We may not agree on “ideology”.

However, we can agree on “respect” and at least listening to

different perspectives. Thank you for visiting!

 

This is a reblogged from http://townhall.com.

posted by Katie Pavlich

  • Katie Pavlich

Gunsite Day Two: Fighting Out of a Threat

* Editors note: TOWNHALL News Editor Katie Pavlich is participating in a multi-day firearms training course at the Gunsite Academy in Paulden, Arizona. Stay tuned for daily dispatches. The third dispatch is below. As the dispatches accumulate, they’ll all be available here.

PAULDEN, Ariz. – Here at Gunsite everyone is armed with a pistol on their hip and it feels like the one of the safest places I have ever been. Buz Mills, the owner of Gunsite, carries a Smith & Wesson 1911.
Being armed at all times requires a certain mindset, an attitude that enables you to defend your life in the presence of a threat. As my instructor Dave told me Saturday, “the majority of this is mental.” And he’s right.
Gunsite instructors aren’t here to teach people how to shoot, they’re here to teach people how to save their lives and fight their way out of a threat. The goal is always to stop the violent behavior of an attacker, which often times can take more than two rounds to accomplish. The AR-15 is a fighting gun and when used properly, will stop a threat from continuing a violent action.
Saturday, I learned how to fight my way out of a threat using four main positions.
Standing/Fighting stance: standard shooting position. Left foot slightly in front of the right, knees slightly bent, hips square to the target, chest over the belt buckle.
 photo ScreenShot2013-04-14at123111AM_zpse8df1bf6.png

Kneeling: kneeling position comes in three forms, Brace (like a lunge, one knee forward one knee back with behind resting on the back leg), Speed (just like a regular lunge) and Double Knee (both knees on the ground). All three forms are entered either from standing or from Prone position. Double knee gives the shooter the most mobility.

More training photos and videos on page two.

Squatting: exactly as it sounds. Shooter squats down and puts both elbows on the insides of the legs for support.
 photo ScreenShot2013-04-14at123040AM_zps709022a7.png

Prone: entire body is against the ground, giving the shooter the most stable position. Prone can be entered easily from standard position by dropping down to kneeling and then onto the floor or ground.
 photo ScreenShot2013-04-12at114838PM_zpsa8396cda.png
In addition to learning how to shoot from these positions, I learned how to move efficiently and effectively while engaging a threat. Keeping the knees bent allows for faster movement and more control. In the video below, you’ll see me move from a “low-ready” position with my carbine to a ready and fire position.

The AR-15 is a close range tool and rifle, unlike conventional rifles. Despite the narrative recently in certain political circles, it is compact, easy to handle and offers close range accuracy. It can be used inside and outside of the home for self-defense. The Gunsite student handbook describes carbines being “politically incorrect” as a disadvantage.

Katie Pavlich

 

GUN OWNER STOPS HOME INVADERS DEAD


Welcome and thank you for stopping by. Please be aware and

advised, this is a CONSERVATIVE BLOG. Here is some information

and my rules:

 

1) I do not like Liberal Ideology;

 

2) Conservatives have the voice of reason on my blog;

 

3) I will delete any comments that are abusive, non-related to

the “blog theme” and not debated in a civil manner;

 

4) I welcome input from all walks of life. However, this is my

blog and I will make the “ultimate” decision on any/all

comments.

 

I encourage “civil” discussion. We may not agree on “ideology”.

However, we can agree on “respect” and at least listening to

different perspectives. Thank you for visiting!

 

This is a reblogged from http://www.wnd.com.

posted by COLIN FLAHERTY

But media coverage quiet on racial, 2nd Amendment overtones

author-image

130414gunhomeinvasion

(Editor’s note: Colin Flaherty has done more reporting than any other journalist on what appears to be a nationwide trend of skyrocketing black-on-white crime, violence and abuse. WND features these reports to counterbalance the virtual blackout by the rest of the media due to their concerns that reporting such incidents would be inflammatory or even racist. WND considers it racist not to report racial abuse solely because of the skin color of the perpetrators or victims.)

When a group of black men were planning a home-invasion robbery in Fayetteville, N.C., on Friday, they stuck to an M.O. that had succeeded all over the country, but made one fatal error: They chose the wrong home.

The residents of the targeted house were home at the time and armed. After what local authorities report as a “gun battle,” two of alleged robbers died.

Most home invasion robberies follow the same script: Find a residence in a nice neighborhood where people do not live too close together. Statistics show potential victims are likely white or Asian, though professional athletes of all races are common targets, too. In this case, police are not identifying the identity of the home owner.

In an increasingly common crime around the country, especially in rural areas near cities, the perpetrators rush in, maybe beat up the occupants, take what they came for and get out. Maybe kill someone. Maybe not.

But this is the most important part of the plan: The potential victims need to be defenseless.

And that is where Xavier White, Dominik Lavon Council, Lamyer Gorminie Campbell and Derek Rashaun Hair went wrong: They chose the wrong house.

Police are not releasing the name of the homeowner who shot and killed two of these men as they broke into his home 3:37 a.m. Friday.

Xavier White reportedly died after crawling to a neighbor’s house a block a way and begging for help. Dominik Lavon Council was reportedly found nine miles away, abandoned on the road with a fatal gunshot wound.

The other two suspects, who initially escaped, were taken into custody Sunday and charged with burglary and assorted offenses. This is not their first brush with the law.

The homeowner was also wounded and has gone into hiding, say local media reports. He is not expected to be charged because North Carolina is considered a strong “castle law” state – where a homeowner is allowed to use deadly force against anyone breaking into his home or even car. He is not required to retreat.

The Fayetteville area was made popular in the movie “Cape Fear,” where a convicted felon terrorized his former lawyer and family for doing a poor job at his trial. One of the perpetrators died at the Cape Fear Valley Hospital.

The incident reflects another example of black mob violence, a pattern documented in the book:
“White Girl Bleed a Lot, the return of racial violence and how the media ignore it.”

Local media were hesitant to discuss the wider racial and 2nd Amendment issues the attempted robbery presents. The daily paper reported it dutifully, but did not allow comments – as many local media outlets do not when the crime is racially charged.

But at local TV news websites, dozens of comments touted the incident as a win for the Second Amendment in the face of increasing racially-charged crime.

A web visitor identified as Al, for example, told the ABC affiliate, “Four guys break into a house, and two are dead – not bad. Dunno how many shots were fired, but evidently is was more than Biden’s ‘two shots in the air.’ Yet these bozos will tell you, ‘you don’t need more than a 10-round magazine.’ Guess they never heard of flash mobs either. Oh wait, CBS calls them ‘mischievous youths.’”

Over at the local Fox News affiliate, David Hedgecock chimed in: “Perfect example of why we need to preserve and protect our right to bear arms. I hate to think what would have happened if the government had confiscated their gun or guns in this case. It would likely be the homeowner that has assumed room temperature. Right on for the 2nd Amendment.”

See the Big List of black mob violence.

Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2013/04/gun-owner-stops-home-invaders-dead/#ALLlAEk0flojYLew.99

 

IRAN WARNS OF WORLD WAR III


Welcome and thank you for stopping by. Please be aware and

 

advised, this is a CONSERVATIVE BLOG. Here is some information

 

and my rules:

 

1) I do not like Liberal Ideology;

 

2) Conservatives have the voice of reason on my blog;

 

3) I will delete any comments that are abusive, non-related to

 

the “blog theme” and not debated in a civil manner;

 

4) I welcome input from all walks of life. However, this is my

 

blog and I will make the “ultimate” decision on any/all

 

comments.

 

I encourage “civil” discussion. We may not agree on “ideology”.

 

However, we can agree on “respect” and at least listening to

 

different perspectives. Thank you for visiting!

 

This is a reblogged from http://www.wnd.com.

 

posted by REZA KAHLILI

 

General: Country’s army has finger on the trigger

nuclear_blast4

Iran ratcheted up its vitriol against Israel and the United States over the weekend, warning that an attack on the Islamic regime’s nuclear facilities could lead to global war.

The rhetoric eerily matched that currently coming out of North Korea against its perceived enemies.

“Iran will not stand by in the face of such aggression,” Ali Ahani, Iran’s ambassador to France, said Sunday, according to the Islamic regime’s PressTV. “This can entail a chain of violence that may lead to World war III. A potential Israeli attack against Iran with an objective of destroying its scientific and nuclear facilities is sheer madness. Its consequences are disastrous and uncontrollable.”

The deputy chief of staff of Iran’s armed forces, Brig. Gen Masoud Jazayeri, warned the United States on Saturday that Iran would continue its nuclear program.

“We would not trade off our rights,” he said, adding that Iran would stand with North Korea in its faceoff with America.

According to Mehr News, Jazayeri blamed the tension on the Korean Peninsula on the U.S. presence in the region.

“Whenever necessary, we would stop the U.S. excessive demands,” he said. “The Islamic Revolution will never leave its past and present friends. The U.S. and its allies will suffer great losses if a war breaks out in this region.”

The commander of the Islamic regime’s ground forces, Brig. Gen. Ahmad Reza Poordastan, in his speech at Friday Prayers, also warned “the enemies” that the country’s army has its finger on the trigger and that any attack on the country will make the “enemy” regret its actions.

All enemy activities at Iran’s borders and in the region are being monitored by the country’s intelligence analysts, and Iran’s armed forces are prepared for any scenario, he said.

The regime’s PressTV ran an op-ed analysis on Saturday with a headline “Iran deals deathblow to U.S. global hegemony.” The analysis, by Finian Cunningham, an Irishman whom the outlet calls “a prominent expert in international affairs,” blames America for much of the world’s problems and warns of its decline.

“Iran, however, presents a greater and more problematic challenge to U.S. global hegemony,” Cunningham wrote. “The U.S. in 2013 is a very different animal from what it was in 1945. Now it resembles more a lumbering giant. Gone is its former economic prowess and its arteries are sclerotic with its internal social decay and malaise. … Iran exerts a controlling influence over the vital drug that keeps the American economic system alive – the world’s supply of oil and gas. Any war with Iran, if the U.S. were so foolish to embark on it, would result in a deathblow to the waning American and global economy.”

Cunningham said the story will not end there: “The attainment of world peace, justice and sustainability does not only necessitate the collapse of American hegemony. We need to overthrow the underlying capitalist economic system that gives rise to such destructive hegemonic powers. Iran represents a deathblow to the American empire, but the people of the world will need to build on the ruins.”

The world powers once again failed at Almaty, Kazakhstan, to get Iran to stop its uranium enrichment program and allow further inspections of its nuclear facilities by the International Atomic Energy Agency. The talks, which lasted two days, were held last week between Iran and the 5-plus-1 powers: the United States, Britain France, Russia, China, plus Germany.

As reported exclusively on WND on March 20 and in a follow-up in The Washington Times the next day, information provided by a high-ranking intelligence officer in the regime’s ministry of defense revealed yet another secret site where Iran is engaged in completing its nuclear bomb program and arming its ballistic missiles with nuclear warheads.

The source added that not only does the regime have enough plutonium for several bombs, but it also has enriched uranium to weapons grade.

The new site, 15 miles from another previously secret site exposed in 2009 (the Fordow nuclear facility), is approximately 14 miles long and 7.5 miles wide, consisting of two facilities built deep into a mountain along with a nearby missile facility with over 380 missile garages and silos, surrounded by barbed wire, 45 security towers and several security posts.

American experts who viewed satellite imagery of the new site are concerned that Iran may be much further along in its nuclear bomb program than perceived and that the images of the site are a clear indication that the regime’s strategy is to put together an “objective force” and not just one or two nuclear bombs. An objective force is defined as the level of military forces needed within a finite time frame and resource level to accomplish approved military objectives, missions or tasks.

Last week, the head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, in a hasty and unusual press conference, denied the existence of this site, dubbed “Quds,” at which the rogue nation is making great progress in creating nuclear warheads for an array of long-range missiles stored underground nearby. He did not elaborate as to what the site is and what work is being done out of the facilities.

The satellite images clearly show this vast site is visible to the naked eye and that it is a high-priority site with secret work conducted deep within the mountain.

Iran double agent

 

Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2013/04/iran-warns-of-world-war-iii/#u3M6EZrxxTcX0wDf.99

 

White House: Some of you are trying to save more than you need, and we’re not going to have that


Welcome and thank you for stopping by. Please be aware and

advised, this is a CONSERVATIVE BLOG. Here is some information

and my rules:

 

1) I do not like Liberal Ideology;

 

2) Conservatives have the voice of reason on my blog;

 

3) I will delete any comments that are abusive, non-related to

the “blog theme” and not debated in a civil manner;

 

4) I welcome input from all walks of life. However, this is my

blog and I will make the “ultimate” decision on any/all

comments.

 

I encourage “civil” discussion. We may not agree on “ideology”.

However, we can agree on “respect” and at least listening to

different perspectives. Thank you for visiting!

 

This is a reblogged from http://canadafreepress.com.

posted by Dan Calabrese 

Author

Via Dave Ramsey: I will quote the White House directly.

“Under current rules, some wealthy individuals are able to accumulate many millions of dollars in these accounts, substantially more than is needed to fund reasonable levels of retirement saving.”

According to advance reports, the administration’s budget due out on Wednesday will propose a cap limiting the amount of annual return a retirement account can create to $205,000. If that proposal were enacted today, that would mean retirement accounts would be limited to $3 million in assets. The White House estimates that caps on the tax-preferred accounts would generate $9 billion over 10 years.

The argument for this, of course, is that it will only affect the super-rich. That might be true if you only consider who will be among the affected account-holders. But what the Obama Administration and the media never understand is that changing economic behavior on the part of Party A always affects Parties B through Z. The U.S. News story offers one example of how this could happen:

Based on past annuity prices, EPRI projects that the account threshold could fall as low as $2.2 million, and even lower if and when interest rates grow.

Of course, a threshold of $2.2 million would still only take into account a small sliver of Americans. But depending on how such a plan is administered, it could discourage employers from providing retirement plans, fears one expert.

“I think a lot of what people are missing about this is this is most likely going to be very, very difficult from an administrative complexity standpoint for employers to deal with this,” says Jack VanDerhei, research director at EPRI.

Exactly how such a plan would be implemented is impossible to know right now, as the details are still sketchy. But the difficulty of keeping track of an employee’s retirement account—particularly if that employee has multiple accounts held over from last jobs, for example—could cause some employers to throw up their hands, says VanDerhei.

But beyond all this, there is a far more fundamental question that needs to be considered. Who the hell is Barack Obama to decide what constitutes a “reasonable” retirement nest egg? And even if I don’t need $3 million, what do you think entitles you to it? I’d be willing to bet that the average private individual who has earned $3 million and “doesn’t need it” will still do more with it to benefit society than the government would.

Why do these people think that every dollar people “don’t need” should consequently be handed over to the government? What is the basis for thinking the government will do anything good with it?

 

High Noon Over Guns


Welcome and thank you for stopping by. Please be aware and

advised, this is a CONSERVATIVE BLOG. Here is some information

and my rules:

 

1) I do not like Liberal Ideology;

 

2) Conservatives have the voice of reason on my blog;

 

3) I will delete any comments that are abusive, non-related to

the “blog theme” and not debated in a civil manner;

 

4) I welcome input from all walks of life. However, this is my

blog and I will make the “ultimate” decision on any/all

comments.

 

I encourage “civil” discussion. We may not agree on “ideology”.

However, we can agree on “respect” and at least listening to

different perspectives. Thank you for visiting!

 

This is a reblogged from http://canadafreepress.com.

posted by Arnold Ahlert 

Author

The Senate voted 68-31 to begin debate on a gun control package that will initially focus on three issues: expanded background checks for the purchase of firearms, harsher penalties for gun trafficking, and increased aid for school safety. “The hard work starts now,” said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) after the vote.

The vote was a defeat for the 29 Republicans and two Democrats who were intent on filibustering the bill, arguing that the restrictions would would constitute a violation of the Second Amendment. “This bill is a clear overreach that will predominantly punish and harass our neighbors, friends, and family,” said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) prior to the vote. Despite their defeat, gun control opponents were threatening to invoke a procedural rule that would force the Senate to wait 30 hours before beginning any consideration of amendments.

Whenever the debate actually begins, it is likely that the first amendment to be considered is the agreement reached Wednesday by Senators Joe Manchin (D-WVA) and Pat Toomey (R-PA), scaling back the call for universal background checks contained in the current bill. The universal background checks were authored by Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY). Sen. Reid expects to replace Schumer’s efforts with the compromise.

Yet that tradeoff reveals part of the problem with the process, in that the bill the Senate is debating will be changing substantially as time goes on—so much so, that many senators opposing yesterday’s vote contended that what they are actually voting on remains a mystery. They further noted that while the Manchin-Toomey deal represents a compromise, it is Schumer’s stricter provision that remains part of the bill. “Because the background-check measure is the centerpiece of this legislation it is critical that we know what is in the bill before we vote on it,” Sens. Rand Paul (R-KY) Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Mike Lee (R-UT), said in a statement. “The American people expect more and deserve better.”

Currently, background checks are limited to transactions conducted by the nation’s 55,000 licensed gun dealers. Gun control advocates insist that such a limitation allows too many sales to take place without checks, making it easier for criminals and the mentally ill to obtain firearms. The Manchin-Toomey plan would expand background checks to cover unlicensed dealers at gun shows, and all sales conducted on the Internet.

It would also expand some rights of gun owners, allowing those who have undergone a background check within the last five years to obtain a concealed-carry permit allowing them to buy guns in other states. It would also make it easier for hunters carrying guns to travel through states that prohibit such weapons, and allow active military members to purchase firearms in their home states. They are currently prohibited from making such purchases when they are stationed somewhere else.

Despite such concessions, the National Rifle Association (NRA) and other Second Amendment supporters remain leery, saying the proposal is still too restrictive. “While the overwhelming rejection of President Obama and Mayor Bloomberg’s ‘universal ’background check agenda is a positive development, we have a broken mental health system that is not going to be fixed with more background checks at gun shows,” the NRA said in a statement. “The sad truth is that no background check would have prevented the tragedies in Newtown, Aurora or Tucson.”

Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) took the argument one step further. On the Senate floor Wednesday, he warned that universal background checks could lead to a national gun registry that “would allow the federal government to surveil law-abiding citizens who exercise their Constitutional rights,” further noting that the government has no business monitoring any exercise of those rights. “You see, the federal government has no business monitoring when or how often you go to church; what books and newspapers you read; who you vote for; your health conditions; what you eat for breakfast; and the details of your private life—including your lawful exercise of your rights protected by the Second Amendment and other provisions of the Bill of Rights,” he explained.

Even though this compromise ostensibly waters down such checks, National Review’s Charles Cook explains that gun control advocates will eventually demand more. “Within a few weeks of the bill’s passage, the eerie progressive silence that has marked this tortured process will be broken, and when it is, legions of prominent gun controllers will take to their feet in order to argue that it makes ‘no sense’ for there to be ‘exemptions’ to the almost universal background-check system,” he warns.

His warning is too late with regard to some states. In New York, the state police initially forced “David,” a 34-year-old college librarian, to turn in his guns after his pistol permit was suspended because he had taken anti-anxiety medication at some point in the past. The NY SAFE Act requires mental health professionals to inform the state when permit holders or would-be permit holders are “likely to engage in conduct that would result in serious harm to self or others.” A day later, the state was forced to backtrack, when they discovered they had the wrong man. “Today, we all look like fools,” said Erie County Clerk Chris Jacobs.

“Fools” is putting it mildly. New York is not only forcing mental health professionals to be de facto agents of the state, it is making an utter mockery of the doctor-patient relationship, in which privacy ought to be the foremost concern. If such checks are implemented nationwide, a 2011 survey by Medco reveals that as many as one-in-five Americans, the number currently taking “mental-health-related medications,” could be affected. Furthermore, as the case in New York reveals, due process is hardly an impediment: David’s guns were confiscated prior to a hearing. “Due process should come before the suspension,” said David’s attorney Jim Tresmond. “That’s where due process comes in. Before your rights are taken, due process must occur. That’s our constitutional right, not the reverse.” David’s guns remain in police custody until a judge removes the suspension.

In Washington, gun control advocates remain determined to push, as well as expand, their agenda. Harry Reid has promised to re-introduce the assault weapons ban,dropped from the bill last month, as well as a ban on high-capacity magazines. President Obama brought the families of the Newtown shooting victims from Connecticut to Washington, D.C. aboard Air Force One on Tuesday to help push the legislation. And Freshman Senator Christopher S. Murphy (D-CN) gave his first speech on the Senate floor on gun violence Wednesday, displaying large photos of some of the children killed in the massacre to emphasize his efforts.

Bringing Newtown family members to Washington did not sit well with some gun rights supporters. “See, I think it’s so unfair of the administration to hurt these families, to make them think this has something to do with them when, in fact, it doesn’t,” Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) told the Huffington Post. He further contended that the families believe gun control is now a personal issue “because they’ve been told that by the president.” Senator Ted Cruz accused the Obama administration of “really playing on emotions. What it is not focused on are actual policies that will stop violent crime,” he added. The editorial board of Investors Business Daily, who decried the abuse of presidential power in bringing the Newtown families to the nation’s capital, wondered if Republicans can “now give Fast and Furious victims’ families taxpayer-funded flights to Washington?”

It wouldn’t matter if they could. The mainstream media chose to ignore that controversy. That would be the same mainstream media that has circled the wagons around gun control advocates, so much so that CNN has devoted two full days to pushing gun control legislation, even as Second Amendment supporters are ignored.

Yet whatever agreement the Senate reaches may all be for naught. The Republican-controlled House isn’t likely to allow a more restrictive gun control package to pass, even though House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) reiterated his intention to remain noncommittal prior to the Senate reaching an agreement. “It’s one thing for [Manchin and Toomey] to come to some agreement. It doesn’t substitute the will for the other 98 members,” he told reporters.

Nonetheless, Joe Manchin expressed his hope that something would be accomplished. “Today is the start of a healthy debate that must end with the Senate and House, hopefully, passing these commonsense measures and the president signing it into law,” he said. “The event of Newtown, truly the events at Newton, changed us all. It changes our country, our communities, our town and it changed our hearts and minds.”

What hasn’t changed is the reality that nothing being proposed would have stopped Adam Lanza. Thus, this latest effort is nothing more than an unseemly attempt to use a horrific tragedy as a springboard to infringe upon the rights of law-abiding Americans to bear arms. Therein lies the other fatal flaw in any gun control bill: only law-abiding people will be affected. Furthermore, those well-versed in the American left’s template of using incrementalism to get what they want, understand that concessions made now will lead to demands for further, and far more onerous, concessions later.

In short, the Second Amendment is under assault. It remains to be seen if America is still a nation of laws, or one that can be manipulated into surrendering constitutional rights for the illusion of safety. Here’s a video released yesterday showing a Chicago shopkeeper fighting off two armed assailants with a baseball bat. As you watch it, remember that Chicago has some of the toughest gun control laws in the nation.

What’s going on in this video is real life. What’s going on in Washington is a farce: one hundred senators with armed security details are deciding how much more difficult they will make it for ordinary Americans to enjoy a similar measure of personal security. It doesn’t get more hypocritical than that.

 

Guards, detainees clash in pre-dawn raid at Guantanamo


Welcome and thank you for stopping by. Please be aware and

advised, this is a CONSERVATIVE BLOG. Here is some information

and my rules:

 

1) I do not like Liberal Ideology;

 

2) Conservatives have the voice of reason on my blog;

 

3) I will delete any comments that are abusive, non-related to

the “blog theme” and not debated in a civil manner;

 

4) I welcome input from all walks of life. However, this is my

blog and I will make the “ultimate” decision on any/all

comments.

 

I encourage “civil” discussion. We may not agree on “ideology”.

However, we can agree on “respect” and at least listening to

different perspectives. Thank you for visiting!

 

This is a rebloged from http://worldnews.nbcnews.com.

Posted by Bob Strong

An unidentified prisoner reads a newspaper in a communal cellblock at Camp VI, a prison used to house detainees at Guantanamo Bay U.S. Naval Base, March 5, 2013.

By Michael Isikoff, National Investigative Correspondent, NBC News

U.S. military guards raided the largest camp at Guantanamo Bay early Saturday morning and fired four non-lethal shots as they moved detainees into solitary cells to suppress a widening protest, military officials said in a statement.

The unusual pre-dawn raid, ordered by Cmdr. Rear Adm. John W. Smith, was prompted by detainees’ efforts to cover surveillance cameras, windows and glass partitions — blocking views by guards — amid an ongoing hunger strike that has now spread to more than 40 detainees and required officials to order some prisoners to be force fed through tubes.  

During the raid, “some detainees resisted with improvised weapons, and in response, four less-than-lethal rounds were fired. There were no serious injuries to guards or detainees,” according to the statement released by the Joint Task Force at Guantanamo.

Carlos Warner, a lawyer who represents detainees, said in an email to NBC News the raid was “a major event” and accused military officials of “escalating the conflict.”

Warner also said the military timed the raid just after an International Red Cross delegation left the facility.

“They are doing exactly what they shouldn’t be doing – provoking men who have nothing to lose and who are ready to die. These actions will drive the men closer to death, so yes the situation is rapidly deteriorating,” he added.

The U.S. military says guards raided a camp and fired four non-lethal rounds in response to detainees’ efforts to cover surveillance cameras and windows during a hunger strike. MSNBC’s Mara Schiavocampo reports.

A White House spokesperson said: “We have been monitoring the situation at Guantanamo closely and were informed by DOD in advance of the Task Force’s plan to transition detainees at Camp VI from communal to single-cell living to ensure their health and security.”

In recent weeks, as the hunger strike has spread among detainees, human rights groups have called on the Obama administration to fulfill its promise to shut down Guantanamo and step  up its efforts to return detainees who have been cleared for release to their home countries.

Lawyers for the detainees said they have been told of detainees losing consciousness and coughing up blood due to the hunger strike.

The Saturday morning raid occurred in Camp VI — the largest at Guantanamo — where detainees deemed “compliant” live in communal areas and are given special privileges. But military officials said that, in order to “reestablish proper observation” of the detainees, military forces began moving the detainees back into “single cell” confinement, triggering the resistance that led them to fire shots. Officials have said in the past that guards are equipped with rubber bullets.

Last month, U.S. military officials denied any detainees’ lives were in danger but acknowledged that resistance and frustration among the detainees is growing, a development that a senior general said is because they are “devastated” that President Barack Obama’s pledge to shut down the facility has not been fulfilled.

White House officials say they remain committed to closing Guantanamo but have been blocked from doing so by Congress, leading officials to close the small State Department office charged with finding new homes for the detainees.

 

Tough Gun Votes Could End Careers on Capitol Hill


Welcome and thank you for stopping by. Please be aware and

advised, this is a CONSERVATIVE BLOG. Here is some information

and my rules:

 

1) I do not like Liberal Ideology;

 

2) Conservatives have the voice of reason on my blog;

 

3) I will delete any comments that are abusive, non-related to

the “blog theme” and not debated in a civil manner;

 

4) I welcome input from all walks of life. However, this is my

blog and I will make the “ultimate” decision on any/all

comments.

 

I encourage “civil” discussion. We may not agree on “ideology”.

However, we can agree on “respect” and at least listening to

different perspectives. Thank you for visiting!

 

This is a rebloged from http://www.nationaljournal.com.

posted by Jill Lawrence

TARP, taxes, Obamacare, and guns have been blamed for scores of defeats in the last 20 years.

Sens. Mary Landrieu, D-La., and Mark Pryor, D-Ark., face red-state challenges. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

There aren’t too many votes with the potential to make or break a congressional career, but the upcoming gun-control showdown on Capitol Hill is one of them. For true believers aligned with their states, red or blue, the choice is easy. The rest could face difficult questions, such as “Am I willing to lose my job over this?” and “Will I be able to live with my vote?”

Rightly or wrongly, scores of defeats in the past 20 years have been blamed on votes that live in political infamy: Bill Clinton’s 1993 budget that raised taxes, the 10-year assault-weapons ban passed in 1994, the 2008 Troubled Asset Relief Program (better known as the bank bailout), and the 2010 Affordable Care Act (better known as Obamacare).

Support for gun control in particular is perceived as a career killer, largely because of the outsized reputation of the National Rifle Association. The group’s electoral record isn’t as bulletproof as you might think. As Dorothy Samuels noted in The New York Times in 2009, several factors contributed to the Republican sweep of 1994. Clinton went on to highlight his gun-control successes in his winning 1996 campaign. And four years later, gun-rights stalwarts backed by the NRA lost to Democrats in Senate elections in Florida, Michigan, Missouri, and Washington.

So you can buck the NRA and win. That could be particularly true this year, when the NRA is on the wrong side of public-opinion polls that show nine in 10 Americans support universal background checks for prospective gun buyers. Still, crossing the NRA is not risk-free. It could encourage primary challenges next year against Republicans. It could also boost GOP odds in conservative states now represented by Democrats, such as Sens. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana and Mark Pryor of Arkansas.

But voting the NRA line isn’t entirely without risk, either. Lawmakers could be accused of doing the bidding of a group so far right that it even opposes a new bipartisan compromise to close major loopholes in the background-check system. Or, as former Republican Rep. Joe Scarborough put it this week on his MSNBC show, Morning Joe: “If you’re Kay Hagan in North Carolina and you’re Mary Landrieu and you’re running for reelection (next) year, do you really want to go to women’s groups and say, ‘You know, I didn’t have the courage to vote to make sure we could have criminal background checks so rapists couldn’t go and buy guns?’ ” He went on to say that “anybody that votes against criminal background checks” is basically saying “let’s give them a free pass” to buy guns.

There’s room for ambivalence toward the proposals coming before the Senate this week, including expanded background checks and limits on assault weapons and magazine clips. You don’t have to be a Second Amendment fanatic to wonder, as Kathleen Parker did Wednesday in The Washington Post, if at least some of them are simply “balm” to make us feel better. Yet she’s wrong, for instance, to say categorically that it wouldn’t do any good to limit the size of magazines because “maybe a killer simply would carry several small magazines and swap them out.”

In the January 2011 Tucson rampage, several people tackled Jared Loughner and wrested a new magazine from him after he had emptied a 30-round clip and was trying to reload. And in Newtown, where Adam Lanza’s ammunition included 10 30-round clips, parents and other relatives of the victims said 11 children escaped while he was reloading. The families say more lives would have been saved if he had been forced to reload more often.

Once they make their decisions, the questions for politicians are all about the future. When the next shooting happens, as it will, are they prepared to defend a vote against a restriction that might have stopped it? And if they vote for new gun controls, are they prepared for the possibility that voters will oust them?

Former Reps. Marjorie Margolies of Pennsylvania and Karen Shepherd of Utah both lost their seats after voting for Clinton’s 1993 budget, and they say they don’t regret their decisions. “You really have to do what is right and not what you have justified is right” because of your determination to win, Margolies told me three years ago.

And of course, there is always the possibility of a second chance. Margolies recently confirmed that she is considering a race for the House next year, 20 years after her defeat. If she does it, she’ll be owed plenty of help from Bill Clinton, whose daughter is now married to her son, and whose economic plan she saved with her eleventh-hour “aye” vote.

 

Why the United States is a Dying Country


Welcome and thank you for stopping by. Please be aware and advised, this is a CONSERVATIVE BLOG. Here is some information and my rules:

 

1) I do not like Liberal Ideology;

 

2) Conservatives have the voice of reason on my blog;

 

3) I will delete any comments that are abusive, non-related to the “blog theme” and not debated in a civil manner;

 

4) I welcome input from all walks of life. However, this is my blog and I will make the “ultimate” decision on any/all comments.

 

I encourage “civil” discussion. We may not agree on “ideology“. However, we can agree on “respect” and at least listening to different perspectives. Thank you for visiting!

 

This is a Reblogged from http://www.americanthinker.com.

 

Posted by Steve McCann

 

 

Recently Rush Limbaugh opined that the United States is a dying country.   For many years that reality has been painfully obvious to those of us who immigrated to the United States having experienced first-hand the suffering inherent in the near total destruction of a nation which inevitably occurs as the end-product of immorality, despotism and radical ideology. 

This nation is repeating the disastrous evolutionary process that has plagued so many failed nations throughout mankind’s history.  This process begins with a society willing to reject the fundamental concept that is necessary for any nation to thrive and prosper: respect for the uniqueness of each individual and self-determination.

On January 22, 1973 the Supreme Court validated abortion on demand (up to the point of so-called viability) regardless of circumstances. Many of my acquaintances celebrated this decision as a monumental advancement in women’s and societal rights.  I, on the other hand, was overcome with a sense of foreboding.  I was appalled and openly stated that this nation had embarked on the road of demeaning and devaluing life which would lead to a society devoid of morality and integrity with the ultimate ascension into power those who would destroy this nation as founded.  My warnings fell on deaf ears as I was ridiculed and accused of being an anachronism as these things could never happen in the United States.

As there were few that shared my premonition, I could only watch over the past 40 years as the American people have sanctioned, through legal abortions, the death of over 54.5 million children.  Once this disregard of human life took hold, the citizens of this nation were susceptible to wholesale changes within society.  Far too many of the American people, flush with prosperity, willfully ignored the infiltration of the education, media and entertainment establishments by the 1960’s radicals, the most narcissistic and radical legion of socialist true-believers on the face of the earth.  Through the control of these media of indoctrination, an ever increasing percentage of the population has been conditioned to believe there are no moral absolutes and there is a limitless list of rights as granted by the government.

Since 1973 there has been the open promotion of euthanasia, the abandonment of traditional behavioral guidelines and the active denigration of organized religion together with the successful inculcation of the entitlement mentality. The concurrent belief in an all powerful government has unalterably frayed the ties that bind all Americans and greatly eroded the ability of the society as a whole to successfully weather an overwhelmingly severe financial or societal crisis without looking to the government as the savior.  Thus the populace was pre-conditioned, when the right circumstances occurred, to elect a charismatic demagogue and radical as President of the United States.

However, as long as no national leader in the mold of the charismatic despots of the twentieth century emerged to seize the reins of government, I maintained some degree of optimism that the innate good sense and character of the American people would eventually prevail and the United States could reverse course and continue its unique place in the annals of mankind.

That hope was dashed upon the rocks when I first saw and listened to Barack Obama. Here was the man that represented the sum of all my fears and the catalyst that would make certain the United States would become a dying country.   In the charismatic manner of the twentieth century despots, he was someone who was a stranger to the truth, devoid of any integrity and hell-bent on imposing a radical ideology on the nation.  When the financial crisis of 2008 descended on the nation, the ideal circumstance occurred that would propel him into office.

Barack Obama, as did Mussolini, Lenin, Mao and Hitler before him, has the ability to visibly remain above the fray, appear as the champion of the people and manipulate the emotions of an ill-educated populace.  In the case of Obama he has the further benefit of being able to exploit the racial guilt embedded in the American society.

In keeping with many of the tactics employed in Italy and Germany in the 1920’s and 30’s — and many other nations since,  Barack Obama and his fellow travelers in the Democratic Party have, over the past five years, followed in the footsteps of these despotic regimes — all of which have ended up on the ash heap of history.

Through new legislation, government regulations, tax policy, and direct investment, Obama is in the process of creating a fascist economy whereby major corporations, financial institutions and small businesses will be, on a de facto basis, controlled and manipulated by the government.  It is immaterial that this will make American businesses overwhelmingly uncompetitive or be unable to expand and thus create wealth and jobs.  The economy that has created the highest standard of living in history will thus stagnate and decline drastically altering the nation’s ability to defend itself.

Through ObamaCare, which was never about health care per se, the government will eventually control not only access to health care but the behavior of all Americans.  There will be, in due course, no right to privacy.

By means of the current push for gun control Obama intends to initiate the first step to registration and eventual confiscation of guns from those the government deems to be unfit to own a firearm.

All autocratic regimes require a scapegoat in order to keep the populace in turmoil while they go about seizing all the levers of power; this regime has done the same utilizing the so-called wealthy, conservatives, evangelical Christians, and a clueless Republican Party as their focus of evil.

In order to ensure that the people will have no recourse but to accept the mandates of the government, the process of implanting their fellow radicals in the judiciary and throughout the bureaucracy has been accelerated.

The Obama cabal is intent on keeping the border unguarded and allowing millions of illegal aliens to become citizens as further assurance of maintaining control of the government. Their unrelenting effort to fight all legislation requiring voter identification confirms this determination.

Rush is right, the United States is a dying country.  Until the American people and the only viable political opposition, the Republican Party, begin to understand that reality, there is no hope of recovery.   Will the citizenry evict the Obama radicals from government and begin the process of recovery or will the nation eventually fragment into two or three independent nations or will there be in due course a violent societal upheaval? 

Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/2013/04/why_the_united_

states_is_a_dying_country.html#ixzz2Q8NnNLqc

 

Cruz: Obama’s gun push will cost Dems the Senate in 2014


Welcome and thank you for stopping by. Please be aware and advised, this is a CONSERVATIVE BLOG. Here is some information and my rules:

 

1) I do not like Liberal Ideology;

 

2) Conservatives have the voice of reason on my blog;

 

3) I will delete any comments that are abusive, non-related to the “blog theme” and not debated in a civil manner;

 

4) I welcome input from all walks of life. However, this is my blog and I will make the “ultimate” decision on any/all comments.

 

I encourage “civil” discussion. We may not agree on “ideology”. However, we can agree on “respect” and at least listening to different perspectives. Thank you for visiting!

 

This is a Reblogged from http://thehill.com.

 

Posted by Daniel Strauss

 

President Obama’s push to pass stricter gun control laws will cost Democrats in the 2014 midterm elections, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said Wednesday.

“I think the president has shown he is willing to demagogue an issue and that it is ultimately going to backfire,” Cruz said in an interview on Laura Ingraham’s radio show.

 

Cruz’s comments come as Congress debates passing a set of gun-control measures meant to reduce gun violence and prevent shooting massacres similar to the one at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. A number of Democrats in red states have balked at the gun control proposals Obama and Democratic leadership hope to pass. Cruz said that passing the gun proposals will likely result in some Senate Democrats losing their seats in 2014.

 

“In fact, in my view, as a result of their onslaught on the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms, I think there’s going to be a very significant consequence in 2014,” Cruz added. “I think as a result of this fight that President Obama is picking, I think the stage is set for Republicans to take control of the United States Senate because of this fight right now, because of coming after the right to keep and bear arms of peaceful law-abiding Americans. I think a number of red state Democrats who are up for reelection in 2014 are going to lose their seats and I think they should.”

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) plans to bring a gun-control proposal to the Senate floor on Thursday. Cruz and a number of other Republican senators have threatened to block Reid’s move with a filibuster. That threat has been met with criticism by both Democrats and some Republicans. The Wall Street Journal‘s editorial page on Wednesday criticized Cruz and the other roughly dozen Republicans for the threat. Cruz brushed off that criticism.

“I think the criticism has been silly,” Cruz said before adding that “the Republicans who are saying that they are happy to vote to shutoff debate and move to the bill, they don’t even know what the bill contains.

“The bill that these Republicans are going on television saying ‘we’ve got to move to and vote on,’ they still don’t know the details because the Democrats haven’t released the details of the bill that they’re moving to proceed to.”

 

Read more: http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/292979-cruz-obamas-gun-push-will-cost-dems-the-senate-in-2014#ixzz2Q6x1ahQ3
Follow us: @thehill on Twitter | TheHill on Facebook

 

PTR In Bristol Is First Rifle Maker To Declare It’s Exiting Connecticut


Welcome and thank you for stopping by. Please be aware and advised, this is a CONSERVATIVE BLOG. Here is some information and my rules:

 

1) I do not like Liberal Ideology;

 

2) Conservatives have the voice of reason on my blog;

 

3) I will delete any comments that are abusive, non-related to the “blog theme” and not debated in a civil manner;

 

4) I welcome input from all walks of life. However, this is my blog and I will make the “ultimate” decision on any/all comments.

 

I encourage “civil” discussion. We may not agree on “ideology”. However, we can agree on “respect” and at least listening to different perspectives. Thank you for visiting!

 

This is a Reblogged from http://courantblogs.com.

 

Posted by DAN HAAR

 

 During the three-month debate over gun control in Connecticut, the name PTR Industries Inc.barely came up, but the Bristol manufacturer with 50 employees has become the first maker of military-style rifles to announce its exit from Connecticut since the state adopted a strict ban on sales last week.

“Although PTR has not decided upon a specific relocation site at this time, over the coming weeks the company will be actively considering offers from states that are friendly to the industry. We hope to have a site identified within the next six weeks, and hope to have our move completed by the end of this year,” the company said in an announcement on its web site and in a press release.

A majority of the company’s employees, “which includes ALL of our management personnel, engineering staff and skilled gunsmiths,” has agreed to move, the statement said, even though the location has not been determined.

PTR said its employees had “a heavy heart but a clear mind” in reaching the decision — and the company is now inviting other manufacturers and suppliers to join it in departing Connecticut. It’s unclear how many people at different supplier companies work on PTR rifles, but all of the components are made in Connecticut, said John McNamara, the PTR vice president of sales.

The company’s statement echoes comments made by others in the industry — who are upset that no one saw the language of the law until the day before it was adopted by the state House of Representatives, without a public hearing.

“The disregard for public input…and the haphazard production of the legislation should be insulting to any citizen or business in CT,” the statement said. “It should be a shock to us all that such landmark legislation could be written in one week, and seen by no one (including the rank-and-file legislators) prior to its emergency certification.”

McNamara said the company had representatives at the Capitol this year but, he added, “We’re a little bit under the radar.”

PTR, which stands for Precision Target Rifles, was started in 2002 when a predecessor company bought tooling and designs for the HK-91 rifle from a Portuguese firm, Fabrica Militar, according to the PTR web site. The company at first made copies of the semi-automatic HK-91 using surplus parts, then branched out into its own line. It reorganized in 2010, the web site said, and has beefed up its manufacturing, customer service and support.

PTR is not likely to be the only Connecticut firearms firm to move or expand out of state as a result of the law.  Even before the Newtown tragedy on Dec. 14, and the threat and April 4 enactment of a ban on most military-style rifles, firms received many relocation offers from states in the South, West and Midwest. After Newtown, offers from other states became a flood and some companies have said they are considering a move.

Under the new Connecticut law, signed by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy last Thursday, most military-style rifles are banned outright for retail sale in Connecticut. Firms are allowed to make and ship firearms that are banned. Still, the owners of manufacturers including Stag Arms in New Britain, with 200 employees, and magazine-maker Ammunition Storage Components, which has 100 people in New Britain, say they may be forced to leave by a backlash from customers in other states who refuse to buy from companies that remain here.

PTR, which has “1776″ as the last four digits of its phone number, focuses its statement on rights and freedoms in Connecticut, where ten of the 34 “master dealers” of PTR guns are located.

“The rights of the citizens of CT have been trampled upon. The safety of its children is at best questionably improved from the day of the tragedy that triggered the events that lead (sic) us here. Finally, due to an improperly drafted bill, manufacturing of modern sporting rifles in the State of CT has been effectively outlawed. With a heavy heart but a clear mind, we have been forced to decide that our business can no longer survive in Connecticut – the former Constitution state.”

PTR’s chief executive, Josh Fiorini, said in a Bristol Press story on March 2, “I was born and raised in Bristol and most of my employees are from Bristol. We’d like to stay here, but we are certainly aware of the fallout from the Sandy Hook shooting.”

PTR moved from Farmington to Bristol in early 2012 and changed its name from PTR-91 to PTR Industries, reflecting a broader product line that was — and remains — part of a hot trend in the gun industry. The 10,600-square-foot building that the company occupies is valued at $595,300 by the city of Bristol, and the company has equipment assessed at $1.2 million, almost all of which is exempt from local property taxes under state rules.

McNamara declined to give details about PTR’s 2010 reorganization. There is no record of a bankruptcy filing by the company but in November, 2010, a German parts-maker, SiTec GMBH, sued PTR in U.S. District Court, seeking $117,000 in damages resulting from unpaid bills. The case settled ten weeks later.

The PTR Facebook page, with more than 400 comments about the announcement by midday Wednesday, included dozens from people around the country urging the company to move to their states.  In Connecticut, some dealers praised the PTR product line, including the models based on the HK-91.

“It’s better than the original gun,” said Mark Byers, an employee at the Newington Gun Exchange. For Connecticut, he said, “that’s going to be a huge loss.”

Critics of the ban, in and out of the industry, say Malloy should have realized the state would lose good employers such as PTR. Andrew Doba, Malloy’s spokesman, said in response, “The governor thinks about job creation 24 hours a day, however on this particular issue he thinks public safety must be a priority and the bill he signed into law increases public safety.”

The added background checks and stricter access and registration rules could well improve safety but it’s debatable whether the ban will do so, considering that military-style rifles are responsible for only a tiny fraction of gun deaths, and are widely available — with an estimated 8 million in circulation and no national ban in place.

What’s not debatable is that the firearms industry has been a linchpin in the Connecticut economy for more than 200 years, and is now threatened. A 2012 study by the National Shooting Sports Foundation, an industry group based in Newtown, estimated 2,900 people directly employed by firearms manufacturers, retailers and wholesalers, and another 1,900 employees at suppliers. We will have to wait and see how deeply that cluster of firms unravels.

“We feel that our industry as a whole will continue to be threatened so long as it remains in a state where its elected leaders have no regard for the rights of those who produce and manufacture its wealth,” PTR said in its statement.  “We are making a call to all involved in our industry to leave this state, close your doors and show our politicians the true consequences of their hasty and uninformed actions. We encourage those in our industry to abandon this state as its leaders have abandoned the proud heritage that forged our freedom.”

 

Can you believe these are actually apartments? The stunning images of Hong Kong ‘living cubicles’ that look just like Borg cubes


Welcome and thank you for stopping by. Please be aware and advised, this is a CONSERVATIVE BLOG. Here is some information and my rules:

 

1) I do not like Liberal Ideology;

 

2) Conservatives have the voice of reason on my blog;

 

3) I will delete any comments that are abusive, non-related to the “blog theme” and not debated in a civil manner;

 

4) I welcome input from all walks of life. However, this is my blog and I will make the “ultimate” decision on any/all comments.

 

I encourage “civil” discussion. We may not agree on “ideology”. However, we can agree on “respect” and at least listening to different perspectives. Thank you for visiting!

 

This is a Reblogged from http://www.dailymail.co.uk.

 

Posted byKERRY MCDERMOTT

 

Incredible shots offer a glimpse into the reality of living in one of the most densely populated areas of the world

Hong Kong is home to a population of seven million crammed into an area of just 424 square miles

Claustrophobic nature of Hong Kong high-rises captured by German photographer Michael Wolf

These mind-boggling images capture the scale of soaring apartment blocks in one of the world’s most densely populated areas; Hong Kong.

As home to a population of more than seven million crammed into an area measuring just 424 square miles, space in Hong Kong is at a premium.

It means that, when it comes to providing accommodation for Hong Kong’s huge population, the only way to go is up.

Mind-boggling: Photographer Michael Wolf's incredible shots capture the extreme scale of skyscrapers in one of the world's most densely populated places; Hong Kong

Mind-boggling: Photographer Michael Wolf’s incredible shots capture the extreme scale of skyscrapers in one of the world’s most densely populated places; Hong Kong

The result is the soaring high-rise buildings captured to incredible effect by German photographer Michael Wolf in his project Architecture of Density.

The images reveal the densely packed apartments crammed into towering skyscrapers, with laundry spilling from barred windows and hanging over cramped balconies.

Earlier this year the Hong Kong-based Society for Community Organisation (SoCO) highlighted the plight of the city’s most under-privileged people, increasing numbers of whom are being forced to live in almost inconceivably small spaces.

In districts including Sham Shui Po, Yau Tsim Mong, and Kowloon City, families, elderly people and the unemployed are crammed into living quarters that are barely bigger than a toilet cubicle in some cases.

The combination of Hong Kong’s huge population and sky-high rents – around HKD$90 (£8) per square foot a month – has led to a housing shortage that is affecting hundreds of thousands of the city’s poorest people, SoCo said.

Close-quarters: Washing can be seen hanging from the seemingly countless windows of this towering Hong Kong apartment block

Close-quarters: Washing can be seen hanging from the seemingly countless balconies of this towering Hong Kong apartment block

City dwellers: Hong Kong is home to a population of more than seven million people, squeezed into an area measuring just 424 square miles

City dwellers: Hong Kong is home to a population of more than seven million people, squeezed into an area measuring just 424 square miles

Scale: Michael Wolf's photographs make the number of living spaces piled one on top of the other in this Hong Kong skyscraper seem never-ending

Scale: Michael Wolf’s photographs make the number of living spaces piled one on top of the other in this Hong Kong skyscraper seem never-ending

Neighbours: Despite being one of the world's richest cities, the high cost of renting in Hong Kong means many of its residents are forced to set up home in incredibly cramped living spaces

Neighbours: Despite being one of the world’s richest cities, the high cost of renting in Hong Kong means many of its residents are forced to set up home in incredibly cramped living spaces

Tableau: This giant patchwork is made up of individual shots of soaring tower blocks joined to form a giant tableau

Tableau: This giant patchwork is made up of individual shots of soaring tower blocks joined to form a giant tableau

Perspective: This photograph may appear baffling at first glance, but closer inspection reveals it is a shot of dozens of windows and balconies in another Hong Kong apartment block

Perspective: This photograph may appear baffling at first glance, but closer inspection reveals it is a shot of dozens of windows and balconies in another Hong Kong apartment block

Dilapidated: The photographer documents some less than idyllic living quarters in Hong Kong, where charities have highlighted the plight of underprivileged residents trying to afford a home in a place where space is at a premium

Dilapidated: The photographer documents some less than idyllic living quarters in Hong Kong, where charities have highlighted the plight of underprivileged residents trying to afford a home in a place where space is at a premium

Hong Kong: Laundry hangs from the barred windows of this tower block, the walls of which are painted pastel pink

Hong Kong: Laundry hangs from the barred windows of this tower block, the walls of which are painted pastel pink

Densely packed flats in a Hong Kong high rise

A wider view of the towers of Hong Kong

Claustrophobic: A close up view of cramped flats in a Hong Kong high rise, left, and right, a cluster of the densely populated city’s many tower blocks

Pile them high: Hong Kong is one of the world's richest cities, but lurking beneath the prosperity is a housing problem affecting hundreds of thousands of its underprivileged residents

Pile them high: Hong Kong is one of the world’s richest cities, but lurking beneath the prosperity is a housing problem affecting hundreds of thousands of its underprivileged residents

Construction: The photographer has documented more building work underway in Hong Kong as the city struggles to find space for its already cramped population

Construction: The photographer has documented more building work underway in Hong Kong as the city struggles to find space for its already cramped population

Grid: Seemingly endless windows and balconies in a another close-up of a Hong Kong apartment building

Grid: Seemingly endless windows and balconies in a another close-up of a Hong Kong apartment building

Architecture of Destiny: This image of a pink tower block soaring high into the skies above Hong Kong could almost be mistaken for a piece of abstract art

Architecture of Destiny: This image of a pink tower block soaring high into the skies above Hong Kong could almost be mistaken for a piece of abstract art

Night-life: Rent in Hong Kong costs around HKD$90 (£8) per square foot a month, and the waiting list for public housing is so long that urban slums have sprung up around the city

Night-life: Rent in Hong Kong costs around HKD$90 (£8) per square foot a month, and the waiting list for public housing is so long that urban slums have sprung up around the city

Over-population: These photographs of Hong Kong's apartment buildings appear to reflect a city bursting at the seams

Over-population: These photographs of Hong Kong’s apartment buildings appear to reflect a city bursting at the seams

Shoulder to shoulder: The thousands of residents of these Hong Kong apartment buildings go about their daily lives in extremely close proximity to their neighbours

Shoulder to shoulder: The thousands of residents of these Hong Kong apartment buildings go about their daily lives in extremely close proximity to their neighbours

Crowded: Earlier this year the Hong Kong-based Society for Community Organisation highlighted the plight of the city's poorest families, many of whom are forced to live in almost inconceivably small spaces

Crowded: Earlier this year the Hong Kong-based Society for Community Organisation highlighted the plight of the city’s poorest families, many of whom are forced to live in almost inconceivably small spaces

Hong Kong's huge population and limited space has led to a housing shortage

The shortage of space and eye-watering cost of rent in Hong Kong has resulted in a housing crisis

All lit up: The Society for Community Organisation was formed in 1971, as Hong Kong embarked upon a period of unprecedented economic boom

Prosperous: Charities in Hong Kong have warned of the growing divide between the area's rich elite and the increasing numbers living in poverty

Prosperous: Charities in Hong Kong have warned of the growing divide between the area’s rich elite and the increasing numbers living in poverty

Higgledy-piggledy: More cramped living quarters piled several stories high in this close-up shot of a high rise apartment building in Hong Kong

Higgledy-piggledy: More cramped living quarters piled several stories high in this close-up shot of a high rise apartment building in Hong Kong

Inspiration: German photographer Michael Wolf documents the extreme nature of Hong Kong's urban developments in his series Architecture of Density

Inspiration: German photographer Michael Wolf documents the extreme nature of Hong Kong’s urban developments in his series Architecture of Density

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2306842/Stunning-images-Hong-Kong-living-cubicles-look-just-like-Borg-cubes.html#ixzz2Q6t6a6C0

 

OBAMA BUDGET: SPENDING CUTS, HIGHER SMOKERS’ TAXES


Welcome and thank you for stopping by. Please be aware and advised, this is a CONSERVATIVE BLOG. Here is some information and my rules:

 

1) I do not like Liberal Ideology;

 

2) Conservatives have the voice of reason on my blog;

 

3) I will delete any comments that are abusive, non-related to the “blog theme” and not debated in a civil manner;

 

4) I welcome input from all walks of life. However, this is my blog and I will make the “ultimate” decision on any/all comments.

 

I encourage “civil” discussion. We may not agree on “ideology”. However, we can agree on “respect” and at least listening to different perspectives. Thank you for visiting!

 

This is a Reblogged from ASSOCIATED PRESS.

 

Posted by ANDREW TAYLOR AND JIM KUHNHENN

 

 

AP Photo
AP Photo/Susan Walsh

AN AGENCY-BY-AGENCY GUIDE TO OBAMA’S 2014 BUDGET

WASHINGTON (AP) — Mixing modest curbs on spending with tax increases reviled by Republicans, President Barack Obama proposed a $3.8 trillion budget on Wednesday that would raise taxes on smokers and wealthy Americans and trim Social Security benefits for millions.

Obama’s 2014 blueprint combines a $242 billion infusion of new spending for road and rail projects, early education and jobs initiatives – all favored by Democrats – with longer-term savings from programs including Medicare and the military. It promises at least a start in cutting huge annual federal deficits.

The president pitched his plan as a good-faith offer to his GOP rivals since it incorporates a proposal he made to Republicans in December that wasn’t radically different from a GOP plan drafted by House Speaker John Boehner. But it follows January’s bitterly fought 10-year, $600 billion-plus tax increase that has stiffened GOP resolve against further tax hikes.

“I have already met Republicans more than halfway, so in the coming days and weeks I hope that Republicans will come forward and demonstrate that they’re really as serious about the deficit and debt as they claim to be,” Obama said.

He was having a dozen Senate Republicans to the White House for dinner Wednesday evening in hopes of building a dialogue on the budget and other topics.

After four years of trillion-dollar-plus deficits in his first term, Obama’s plan projects a $973 billion deficit for the current budget year and red ink of $744 billion for the 2014 fiscal year starting in October. By 2016, the deficit is seen as dropping below 3 percent of the size of the economy, a level that many economists say is manageable.

Obama cast his budget as a compromise offer that would bridge differences between Republicans and their desire for reducing government spending and Democrats who want more revenue from taxpayers. But it’s difficult to overstate the gulf between Obama and the conservatives who are in the GOP driver’s seat in Congress.

While the budget proposal will not prompt any immediate congressional action, it will probably surface this summer when Republicans are expected to demand additional reductions in the deficit in exchange for increasing the nation’s borrowing authority.

Obama claims $1.8 trillion in deficit savings over the coming decade, but the budget tables show the savings are actually $1.4 trillion. And $1.2 trillion of that is devoted to reversing automatic, across-the-board spending cuts required because of Washington’s inability to follow up a 2011 budget pact with further deficit action.

“This is worse than a status quo budget,” said House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis. He said it has about $1 trillion in new taxes, $1 trillion in new spending with deficit reduction of only $119 billion over 10 years under GOP math that sorts through questionable interpretations employed by the White House.

For instance, Obama claims $167 billion in lower war costs – money the administration never intended to spend – and uses that “savings” for road projects and other undertakings it bills as jobs initiatives.

The real cuts include $400 billion scrubbed from health care programs like Medicare over the coming decade, including cuts in payments to drug companies and higher Medicare premiums for people who are better off.

The administration would modestly cut the annual operating budgets for both the Pentagon and domestic agencies while reprising ideas like higher Transportation Security Administration fees on airline tickets, the end of Saturday mail delivery and higher pension contributions for federal workers.

“He does deserve some credit for some incremental entitlement reforms,” said Boehner, R-Ohio. “But I would hope that he would not hold hostage these modest reforms for his demand for bigger tax hikes. Listen, why don’t we do what we can agree to do?”

That’s not the way it works, countered Gene Sperling, the director of Obama’s National Economic Council. “The offer that is there for Speaker Boehner is not an a la carte menu.”

And Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., said he had reservations about the White House making concessions without getting anything in return. He said, “The president will have to remain firm in his insistence that this is a package deal.”

The White House budget claims $580 billion in tax increases on the wealthy over 10 years, including a 28 percent cap on itemized deductions that’s never gotten anywhere on Capitol Hill.

The total climbs closer to $1 trillion in tax increases after adding in ideas like a 94 cents-per-pack increase in taxes on cigarettes, changes for corporate foreign earnings, slower inflation adjustments to income tax brackets, elimination of oil and gas production subsidies, an increase in the estate tax, a new “financial crisis responsibility” fee on banks and new taxes on trading of exotic financial instruments known as derivatives.

Republicans predictably slammed Obama’s plan for its tax increases, while his Democratic allies generally held their tongues over cuts to Social Security benefits.

“It’s not the budget I would write on my own, and it includes several policies that I don’t think are the best ways to tackle the deficit and debt,” said Senate Budget Committee Chairman Patty Murray, D-Wash.

Reacting more strongly, the senior citizens advocacy group AARP said it was “deeply dismayed that President Obama would propose cutting the benefits of current and future Social Security recipients, including children, widows, veterans and people with disabilities, to reduce the deficit.” And AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, whose organization spent tens of millions of dollars helping re-elect Obama, called the cuts “wrong and indefensible.”

The Social Security cuts would come from a slightly stingier inflation adjustment known as “chained CPI” that would reduce annual cost-of-living increases for a variety of programs by about 0.3 percentage points a year. It would reduce federal spending on government programs over 10 years by $130 billion and promises to save far more in subsequent decades.

Once the change was fully phased in, Social Security benefits for a typical middle-income 65-year-old would be about $136 less a year, according to an analysis of Social Security data. At age 75, annual benefits under the new index would be $560 less. But after age 75, Social Security recipients would receive larger-than-scheduled benefit increases by 0.5 percentage points a year through age 85.

Obama promises to ease the burden of the proposal on the poor and the very elderly by not applying it to programs meant for low-income Americans. That means annual increases in assistance programs such as Social Security Supplemental Security Income and Pell Grants for student aid would not be calculated by using the lower inflation formula.

Despite Obama’s vows not to raise taxes on the middle class, the chained CPI proposal also would result in higher taxes because tax brackets would be adjusted for inflation more slowly, with much of the effect felt by middle class taxpayers. The provision would raise about $100 billion over 10 years. At the same time, raising the cigarette tax from $1.01 to 1.95 per pack would be disproportionally felt by the poor. That tax increase would raise $78 billion over 10 years.

Obama’s plan generally tracks a nonbinding budget measure that passed the Senate last month, though Democrats controlling the chamber left out the chained CPI proposal.

House Republicans, by contrast, muscled through a far more austere plan in March that contains big cuts to Medicaid and would reduce domestic agency budgets by about 20 percent below levels contemplated in a hard-fought 2011 budget pact that set tight “caps” on spending passed by Congress each year.

“I don’t think we should be talking about grand bargains because that implies the president and Senate Democrats are ready to embrace fundamental entitlement reform, which they have shown absolutely no indication of doing,” said House Budget Chairman Ryan, his party’s vice presidential nominee last year.

Such pessimism is also felt by Democrats. Asked this week about the prospects for a broad budget deal, Murray said: “I think we’re a long ways from there right now.”

 

Democrats Outraged by Obama Budget


Welcome and thank you for stopping by. Please be aware and advised, this is a CONSERVATIVE BLOG. Here is some information and my rules:

 

1) I do not like Liberal Ideology;

 

2) Conservatives have the voice of reason on my blog;

 

3) I will delete any comments that are abusive, non-related to the “blog theme” and not debated in a civil manner;

 

4) I welcome input from all walks of life. However, this is my blog and I will make the “ultimate” decision on any/all comments.

 

I encourage “civil” discussion. We may not agree on “ideology”. However, we can agree on “respect” and at least listening to different perspectives. Thank you for visiting!

 

This is a Reblogged from http://www.rushlimbaugh.com.

 

Listen to it Button

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Business Insider has a story: “Outraged Liberals Say Obama Is About To Screw Over The Very People Who Got Him Elected.” I’m gonna give you a pull quote from this: “‘It’s really a slap in the face to Democrats who knock on doors and volunteer for campaigns,’ DFA spokesman Neil Sroka told Business Insider. ‘It hits at the very foundation of what it means to be a Democrat, and you’re going to see primary challenges emerge. Any Democrat who votes to cut Social Security and Medicare is not a progressive Democrat, and they should be prepared to feel the ire of the progressive base.'”

“Liberals descended on Pennsylvania Avenue Tuesday to protest President Barack Obama’s decision to include entitlement cuts in his upcoming budget, delivering 2 million petitions demanding the White House back off its support for the chained CPI. As [Business Insider] reported this weekend, liberals have been seething over the inclusion of the chained CPI in Obama’s budget, which they see as a huge betrayal by the Democratic president.” Linking things to inflation is how Obama’s justifying his cuts, and they don’t like that chain, that link.

“This week, progressive groups, including MoveOn.org, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, and Democracy for America, have mounted ’emergency’ online campaigns against the proposal, accusing Obama of turning on the very supporters who helped re-elect him to office. MoveOn.org, PCCC, and Democracy for America are also threatening Democratic lawmakers against supporting entitlement cuts. Politico reports today that the three groups have sent ‘strongly worded letters’ to Democrats in Congress warning that they could face a primary challenge from the left if they back Obama’s proposals.”

Now, I don’t know if this qualifies, but remember what I said to frustrated callers who wanted to know, “Rush, we’ve tried everything! We’ve tried every television show, every radio show. We have knocked them out of the park logically. We have won the debate on every issue, and yet low-information people still don’t get it. What can we do? Besides take over Hollywood and the music business and the book business and the TV business, what can we do, Rush?”

I said, “It’s gonna take an event that we don’t cause, that just happens,” and I joked. I said, “Something like Obama dissing Timberlake’s latest CD or something to really tick ’em off.” Well, I don’t know that this is it, but this is the first time in five years that activist liberal groups have been publicly livid with Obama and threatening him. These groups are publicly livid with Democrats and threatening them, and you’ll notice something else. I must put this within the context of the Limbaugh Theorem. Remember what that is.

Obama is not seen as governing.  Obama is not seen as having any responsibility for what is happening to the economy, to the military, to the banking business, the culture. Whatever is happening in the country, he’s seen as still trying to fix it.  He’s seen as still fighting what’s going wrong.  He’s seen as still campaigning against all this bad stuff and trying to stop it and reverse it.  Now he submits a budget with entitlement cuts.  They see his fingerprints on Social Security and Medicare cuts, and they are livid.  And it’s real.

Now, he could put ’em to bed very quickly with a personal appearance.  I don’t think this is a tipping-point event, but it is the first time.  As an isolated event, it’s not gonna matter.  But if it is part of an ongoing series of events, such as more and more Democrats admitting that Obamacare is impossible, Jay Rockefeller is the latest, that’s coming up in a minute.

Business Insider: “It is not clear if liberals have the resources or political will to back up these threats,” that they’re making against Democrats who might vote for entitlement cuts or Obama.  But they are still livid, and they are angry, and they’re being public about it. The Business Insider piece has three pictures of individuals upset with Obama.  And one of them here is just classic.  It’s a woman practically in tears standing up against a red wall in her house with pictures that you can’t identify, and she’s holding up a — I mean, this woman is probably about 50, 55. She could be 90, hell, I don’t know, brunette, glasses, eyes are pained in a crown, lips are pursed.  She’s really in pain here, I mean, really, really suffering.  And her little sign says, “President Obama, I supported you, and now you should support me.  No cuts to Medicare and Social Security,” and puts her name on it here.  I’m not gonna mention her name.

Then there’s another guy standing by his car in his affluent suburban neighborhood.  The picture was taken recently because there aren’t any leaves on the trees, wearing a white T-shirt and a blue lanyard around his neck like it was a press pass to get into a convention.  “I worked for your campaign because I support Social Security.  No cuts.”  And he’s got a “Virginia for Obama” sign on the windshield of his car.  And he’s mad.

The third picture is some smarmy looking female in a hoodie, the hoodie’s down, gray hair, parted on the right, kind of a butch haircut. She’s got a very sanctimonious look on her face, “I supported you because I support Social Security.  I flew to Nevada to knock on doors in Spanish for you, and you won.  No cuts.”  She’s from Berkeley, California.

So the outrage in Obamaville is real and they’re angry.  The interesting thing to me is the reason why.  Obama’s fingerprints are on this.  These are not Republican budget cuts.  These are not Republican cuts in Social Security.  And what these people don’t understand is what Obama’s doing.  Obama’s trying to rope Republicans in with meager little, practically nonexistent cuts to get them to totally cave on their principles, but they don’t see that.  These are people that are totally, totally dependent on government.  They’ve got nothing else.  A dime cut anywhere threatens their daily life.  So they don’t care about the subtleties of what Obama may be trying to accomplish here politically.  All they see is he’s offered cuts to these entitlements, and they are not happy.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH:  By the way, folks, it’s not just the threatened Social Security cuts that has all these Obama die-hard groups upset.  This charm offensive that was reported that Obama was engaging in, reaching out to the Republicans.  That ticked them off like you can’t believe.  Totally out of character.  The Limbaugh Theorem again, Obama is not attached to anything going wrong.  Obama is only attached to good things.  And the good things could be just the desire that things get better, Obama has that, he’s trying to fix things.

Now Obama, as far as they are concerned, has attached himself to Medicare cuts and Social Security cuts, and he’s out making nice with the Republicans.  And do not doubt me when I tell you how literally ticked off they are, these trolls that make up the extreme Obama voter base.  They’re out there trolling all these websites, and they’re plastering comments all over Twitter, and they’re everywhere.  They are in the tenements. They’re at Berkeley, they’re on campus. Every place this country where nobody’s working is where are they are.  That’s who they are.  Everywhere nobody’s working.  That’s who these people are.  And they are livid.

Now, the thing about this is, it’s all theater.  There aren’t any real cuts.  This linkage to the Consumer Price Index inflation, there isn’t any inflation.  There aren’t any real cuts here.  The stories like the one in Business Insider, they’re really crying crocodile tears.  There aren’t any real cuts to Social Security.  Cost-of-living adjustments under Obama have been nothing.  And this cut’s gonna be nothing comparatively.  This is Obama once again in a PR blitz.  He knows where the majority of the country is on this.  He knows that people like us want entitlement cuts. He knows that Republicans want it. So this is all part of a spin game.

Obama’s not gonna cut Social Security.  Now, he did cut Medicare in Obamacare, he did do that, but that didn’t stick.  At the time it happened, we couldn’t make any Democrat voter believe it.  In order to keep Obamacare’s magical, mythical price tag under a trillion dollars, there was a $712 billion cut in Medicare, and it was real.  They pretended they were spending it someplace else, which they weren’t.  They double counted it in a budget move, but back then we couldn’t make it stick because Obamacare was gonna happen and it was great.

But now it’s sticking, when there aren’t any real cuts.  They don’t understand what he’s doing.  They can’t afford to understand.  These are, again, people whose entire existence depends on a check or a debit card or some form of assistance from Washington.  Pure and simple.  And now when they hear about Obamacare blowing up, that’s going to be another.

 

Obama’s Army Outmaneuvered by the NRA


Welcome and thank you for stopping by. Please be aware and advised, this is a CONSERVATIVE BLOG. Here is some information and my rules:

 

1) I do not like Liberal Ideology;

 

2) Conservatives have the voice of reason on my blog;

 

3) I will delete any comments that are abusive, non-related to the “blog theme” and not debated in a civil manner;

 

4) I welcome input from all walks of life. However, this is my blog and I will make the “ultimate” decision on any/all comments.

 

I encourage “civil” discussion. We may not agree on “ideology”. However, we can agree on “respect” and at least listening to different perspectives. Thank you for visiting!

 

This is a Reblogged from http://www.nationaljournal.com.

 

Posted by Beth Reinhard

 

If background checks can’t pass Congress after the president’s campaign blitz, it doesn’t bode well for his advocacy shop.

President Obama speaks at the Denver Police Academy with local law-enforcement officials and community leaders attending following a meeting to discuss the state’s new measures to reduce gun violence, Wednesday, April 3, 2013.  (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Although the first votes on gun -control legislation have yet to be cast, by some measures the National Rifle Association has already won.

Obama’s ambitious plans to ban assault weapons and limit magazine capacities are off the table, while the NRA suggested it could support the most likely outcome — expanded background checks — as recently as 1999. The NRA claims that the president’s efforts have triggered a fundraising surge and boosted its membership from 4 million to nearly 5 million. Members of Congress who seemed open to legislation after the shooting deaths of 20 Connecticut schoolchildren are still on the fence, while Republicans are threatening a filibuster.

Perhaps a battle pitting one of the oldest and most aggressive lobbying organizations against President Obama’s fledgling advocacy shop wasn’t a fair fight.

Yet by other measures, the newly created Organizing for Action is persevering in the first major battle over gun control in two decades. By partnering with New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s well-financed group, Organizing for Action is building the strongest gun-control coalition ever seen in this country. The group also has public opinion on its side, with one Quinnipiac University survey finding 91 percent of voters support background checks.

“It’s a fascinating battle in which both sides have different goals,” said former Democratic presidential candidate and Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, who boasts of several NRA endorsements during his political career. “The NRA is clearly succeeding in cranking up their base and expanding it. Their game is as much about keeping themselves in business as it is about public policy.”

As for Obama, “He is winning the hearts and minds of the American people and hopefully moving real legislation,” Dean said. “The president comes out as a winner either way because if the Republicans kill it, he can use it as an issue in 2014 to help Democrats win the House.”

While every battle on Capitol Hill ends with winners and losers, the matchup between the NRA and OFA may produce a more nuanced scorecard.

For its part, the NRA isn’t ready to gloat. “We have our work cut out for us,” said spokesman Andrew Arulanandam, who added that the group expects to be outspent “exponentially” by Bloomberg’s Mayors Against Illegal Guns and OFA.

“Our strength has never been in money. Our strongest asset is our members and supporters,” said Arulanandam, who added that the group has mobilized its members with “millions” of mailings and phone calls. “We’re working very hard to get our message out.”

If the NRA’s biggest asset is its membership list, OFA can claim the power of the presidency. Obama’s speech Tuesday in Hartford with parents of the Newtown victims was his 13th since the shootings, according to the White House.

OFA has helped organize more than 200 rallies and smaller gatherings in recent months and points to a slew of local news clips as a measure of its success. It has blitzed social media, arranged petitions and run online ads targeting about a dozen Democratic and Republican senators, and collected thousands of stories from supporters about gun violence.

“Ninety percent of Americans believe that universal background checks are common sense, and those voices are getting heard in congressional districts across the country,” said Katie Hogan, an OFA spokeswoman. “Special-interest forces have been drowning out those voices for years, and OFA is giving a new platform to make sure that does not happen again.”

Organizing for Action was launched after the president’s second inauguration in January and is seeking to turn his unprecedented grassroots campaign into an advocacy group for his agenda. A previous incarnation of the group after the 2008 election revealed the challenges of galvanizing Obama supporters around issues outside of the high stakes of a national campaign.

“I think the jury is still out on OFA in general, not just on guns, because they are trying to do something that’s new,” said Democratic consultant Steve Elmendorf. For now, OFA is helping to create sorely needed momentum for gun control.  “When I worked on this issue in Congress in the ’90s, all the energy was on the NRA side, and there was little or limited energy on the pro-gun-safety side,” Elmendorf said. “For the long haul, the group that cares about gun violence is becoming more vocal. It may take them more time to get organized but they are not going away.”

NRA leader Wayne LaPierre didn’t help his cause when he held a hard-edged press conference one week after the Newtown shootings, calling for armed guards in every school. “Wayne did not find his voice very effectively,’’ said Richard Feldman, president of the Independent Firearm Owners Association. Still, the NRA has done its job by mobilizing its members against the gun control proposals.

“They are the model that every other group in America emulates,” Feldman said. “Everyone wants to be as strong as the NRA.”

 

Post Navigation

Brittius

Honor America

China News

News and Opinions From Inside China

My Opinion My Vote

America needs saving

hillbillysurvival

The greatest WordPress.com site in all the land!

Linux Power Wordpress.com

Just another WordPress.com weblog

redpillreport.wordpress.com/

The ‘red pill’ and its opposite, ‘blue pill,‘ are pop culture terms that have become symbolic of the choice between blissful ignorance (blue) and embracing the sometimes-painful truth of reality (red). It’s time for America to take the red pill and wake up from the fog of apathy.

The Mad Jewess

Mirror Site For Reflection

JUSTICE FOR RAYMOND

Sudden, unexplained, unattended death and a families search for answers

Flyover-Press.com

Dedicated to freedom in our lifetimes

News You May Have Missed

News you need to know to stay informed

Automattic

Making the web a better place

U.S. Constitutional Free Press

Give me Liberty, Or Give me Death!

swissdefenceleague

Swiss Defence League

NY the vampire state

Sucking the money from it's citizens as a vampire sucks blood from it's victims. A BPI site

The Clockwork Conservative

All wound up about politics, history, culture... lots of stuff.

PUMABydesign001's Blog

“I hope we once again have reminded people that man is not free unless government is limited. There’s a clear cause and effect here that is as neat and predictable as a law of physics: as government expands, liberty contracts.” Ronald Reagan.

partneringwitheagles

WHENEVER ANY FORM OF GOVERNMENT BECOMES DESTRUCTIVE OF THESE ENDS (LIFE,LIBERTY,AND THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS) IT IS THE RIGHT OF THE PEOPLE TO ALTER OR ABOLISH IT, AND TO INSTITUTE A NEW GOVERNMENT...

LeatherneckM31

Weapons-grade blogging; quips, quotes and comments 'cause we live in a world gone mad.......

%d bloggers like this: