Monday, June 27, 2016

Bet they're sorry they asked

By Donald Sensing

MSNBC hosts an online poll asking, "Do you think that people should be allowed to carry guns in public?"

With more than 400,000 responses, here is the result.



You probably could not get that many people to agree that the sun rises in the east.

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Sunday, June 26, 2016

"European tyranny-by-clerk"

By Donald Sensing

Lord Christopher Monckton of Brenchley on the Brexit:

The people have spoken. And the democratic spirit that inspired just over half the people of Britain to vote for national independence has its roots in the passionate devotion of the Founding Fathers of the United States to democracy. Our former colony showed us the way. Today, then, an even more heartfelt than usual “God bless America!”

All who have studied the Madison papers will grasp the greatness of the Founding Fathers’ vision. They were determined that no law and no tax should be inflicted upon any citizen except by the will of elected representatives of the people in Congress assembled.

They regarded this democratic principle as of such central importance that they wrote it down as Article 1, Section 1 of the Constitution of the United States: “All legislative power herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.” Period. No ifs. No buts. No exceptions.

Except one. The Constitution establishes that foreign treaties ratified by a two-thirds majority of the Senate shall have the same force of law throughout the United States as enactments of Congress.

It is, therefore possible for any U.S. Government that can muster that Senate majority to ratify any treaty and thereby to thwart the central principle of Congressional democracy: that no Congress may bind its successors.

The Republicans, who are not always as lively in their understanding of the threat to democracy posed by supranational and global institutions such as the EU, the UN and its bloated climate bureaucracy, are too often snared or charmed by determined “Democrats” who fully understand and thirst to exercise the power to inflict perma-Socialism on their nation by bilateral, multilateral or global treaties.
Read the whole thing: Thank you, America!

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Saturday, June 25, 2016

EU to UK: Get out!

By Donald Sensing

THE European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has given Britain its marching orders after the British people voted to leave the European Union.

Talking from Brussels after an emergency meeting with EU leaders, Mr Juncker told Britain the other 27 member states wanted to negotiate its exit plan “as soon as possible, however painful this process will be”.
Sort of like this:

The EU Titanic, flaming falling ruin

By Donald Sensing






Brexit
Within 24 hours of the Brexit victory its disruptive effects made many argue it was a mistake; that it would not be long before a repentant Britain was pushing its face against the cold glass doors of the Euro cafe, wistfully eyeing the delicacies now out of its foolish reach.  Yet others have argued in the same breath it would be Europe with its face pressed against the glass, longing the other way round. For example Jamie Kirchick writes in the NY Daily News that an EU without Britain would be easy meat for Russia.
An E.U. without Britain is also more prone to appease Russia, which today poses a greater threat to European security than at any point since the collapse of the Berlin Wall. Soon to be a body dominated by France and Germany, where voices demanding accommodation with a revanchist Moscow grow louder every day, the E.U. is increasingly likely to lift sanctions on Russia regardless of its behavior in Ukraine. Indeed, if there is one world leader of whose reaction to Brexit we can be confident, it is Vladimir Putin, unquestionably delighted that the largest military power in Europe, and its strongest proponent of democratic freedom in Europe’s east, has decided to call it quits.
Come back, Lord Shane!  Come back!
Kirchick is right about the EU's vulnerability as far as it goes.  It's a fair bet that there'll always be an England.  Less certain is whether there will always be an EU, a fact of which the public will be reminded when Putin's adventures, rising bond rates and refugee flows creep back into the news.   As soon as the focus returns to why the UK bailed in the first place the proper sympathy will shift from the poor Britons in a flimsy rowboat to Europeans still trapped on the Titanic.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Get ready for Frexit (or Franxit, maybe)

By Donald Sensing

The ripples from yesterday's Brexit vote are only now starting. The UK may break up itself, now.


The success of the Brexit vote has already caused Scotland's independence party to start talking again about that country's secession from the United Kingdom. A Scotland referendum two years ago to declare separation garnered 45 percent of the vote, so failed. (I remember reading then that a higher percentage of Englanders supported Scottish secession than Scots did!)

But why stop with Scotland? Today, some Londoners themselves are calling for breaking away from England and re-entering the EU as a small city-state. More than 46,000 Londoners have already signed a petition for a referendum to that effect.

What is unclear from reports is which London they refer to. London has never been a single political entity. What we think of a London actually consists of the City of London and Greater London, aka the London Metropolis.

The city of London dates to early in the region's Roman era and is also a county in itself. By ancient law and tradition, the British monarch may not enter the City of London without advance permission from the Lord Mayor of the City of London, an office separate from (and much older than) the Mayor of London. (BTW, the adjacent City of Westminster also holds equal city status with the City of London.)

"The City," as the City of London is called, is small, only 1.1 square miles, which is to say, a little more than 700 acres. Its population is about 7,000.

Despite its small size, it is the financial center of Metro London.

I am guessing that separatists are referring, though, to Metro London for two reasons:

1. Seven times more people have petitioned for a referendum than live in The City,

2. Metro London's Mayor Sadiq Khan has already been publicly asked whether he'd like to be President Khan.

The ripples go on from there throughout not just the UK, but the Commonwealth. The Brexit is likely to reignite the long-simmering dispute between Spain and Britain over Gibraltar. There is already a "Frexit" movement building across the channel in France. (And yes, I just made that word up and will take credit for it henceforth! Also "Franxit.")

As Bachman-Turner Overdrive once sang, "You ain't seen nothing yet."

This is almost certainly correct, too: "Brexit is an English nationalist revolution"
Make no mistake: this is an English nationalist revolution.

At its heart are all of the things the English used to see as the province of other, less rational, nations: identity, difference, the deep passions of belonging and resentment. It did not, in the end, matter that no one on the Brexit side could articulate a coherent economic case for leaving the EU. It did not even matter that those who will take over from David Cameron will be right-wing market fundamentalists whose policies will deepen the very inequalities and alienation that have driven working class voters towards Leave. It did not even matter that the very entity in whose name independence is being claimed — the United Kingdom — is surely doomed by Brexit.
Hardly covered by American media, a nationalist movement in England has been growing for many years.

See also: http://news.nationalpost.com/news/world/london-wants-independence-spain-wants-gibraltar-back-the-world-reacts-to-brexit

Update, humor break:


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Wednesday, June 22, 2016

And now a break for something beautiful

By Donald Sensing

Courtesy American Digest:

If I ever worried that I’d run out of weird and wonderful new life to blog about, that fear has long been laid to rest. Take, for instance, this stunning jellyfish, discovered just four days ago by NOAA’s ship Okeanos Explorer and its ROV Deep Discoverer on the Enigma Seamount near the Mariana Trench 2.3 miles beneath the surface (3,700 meters). I recommend enlarging.



It almost looks photoshopped. But it’s real.

Scientists believe this animal belongs to the genus Crossota, a group of jellies that does not have a sessile polyp stage; all phases of their lives are ocean drifters. They also believe this animal is an ambush predator – note the posture it had assumed in the first half of the video: its bell motionless with its tentacles outstretched like the struts of a spider’s web, waiting for something to bumble into them. The red canals, they suggest, appear to connect the bright yellow objects, which may be gonads.

Okeanos Explorer and Deep Discoverer will be probing the Marianas Trench Marine National Monument and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands over the next nine or so weeks, looking for new hydrothermal vents; mud volcanoes; deep-sea coral, sponges and fish; seamounts; subduction zones; and, of course, parts of the famous trench, the world’s deepest.
Read more.

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I rest my case

By Donald Sensing

My case:

My liberal colleagues don't know anything about guns. They do not know what the gun-crime rate is in America, what it's trendline is and they do not know that the most heavily gun-controlled cities in the country also have the highest murder rate. They do not know that one of those cities, Chicago, suffers an Orlando-equivalent every month. Every. Month. (And it's getting worse.)

They do try to assess whether their same old ideas about banning "assault rifles" would be workable. They do not know what the effect of the 1994-2004 ban was. They cannot define what an "assault rifle" is except to parrot Obama's latest bumper-sticker-slogan, "military-style weapons." They do not know that Obama himself has said that the Second Amendment protects the right of individual Americans to own firearms. They do not know that the US Supreme Court has ruled the same in multiple cases (and the few who do know simply dismiss the rulings as wrong).

They do not know because they do not care. They just want firearms to be outlawed for everyone, everywhere. That being so, actual knowledge about the difference between automatic and semi-automatic, between clip and magazine, between the No Fly List and the Terrorist Watchlist and the Democrats' desire to dispense with due process to forbid people from buying guns -- all such information is irrelevant and unimportant. They just want everyone to be disarmed.

That's why the gun-control debate in the country is over.

It's done. Each side knows full well what the other wants and where they stand. There is no more "dialog" or compromise to be had. The two sides are not reconcilable. Period. 
And why I rest it:

Senator Murphy: Not Fair To Judge Gun Control Based On Whether It Works
During the June 19 airing of ABC’s This Week, Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) dodged questions regarding the impotency of his gun control proposal by suggesting it is not fair to judge gun control based on whether it works.

Murphy made the suggestion in an exchange with host Jon Karl, after Karl pointed out that Murphy’s push to expand background checks to gun shows had no relevance to the details of the Pulse Orlando attack. In fact, Karl said, “Your proposal would have done nothing in the case of Orlando, it would have done nothing to stop the killing in San Bernardino.”  
Karl added that Murphy’s push to expand background checks to gun shows would not have stopped the attack on Sandy Hook Elementary either. He then asked why Murphy was spending so much energy proposing legislation that has nothing to do with the “massacre” in Orlando?

... Murphy responded by saying:
So first of all, we can’t get into that trap. I disagree, I think if this proposal had been into effect it may have stopped the shooting. But we can’t get into the trap in which we are forced to defend our proposal simply because it didn’t stop the last tragedy.
In other words, Murphy is saying it is not fair to judge gun control based on whether it works.
So there you are.

Update: "America Is Awash In Guns, And Crime Is At Record Lows"
What about so-called “assault weapons?” The FBI divides firearms into handguns and rifles, with the rifles category covering everything from the little .22-caliber rifles kids shoot at summer camps to the dreaded AR-15. In last year’s “Uniform Crime Report,” the FBI listed the number of homicides committed with rifles since 2010. (A few thousand homicides each year are committed with firearms of undetermined type — most likely handguns. These are numbers for confirmed rifle deaths.) The numbers are: 367 in 2010; 332 in 2011; 298 in 2012; 285 in 2013; and 248 in 2014.

This decline in confirmed homicides by rifle coincided with a massive increase in the number of “assault rifles” Americans own. From 2010-2014, sales of semi-automatic rifles like the AR-15 rose 28 percent per year, the Los Angeles Times reported on June 13. So while the number of rifles in circulation was increasing dramatically, the number of confirmed murders committed by someone using a rifle fell by almost one-third. During the same time, the number of homicides committed with handguns fell by 9 percent.

The data produce one inescapable conclusion: The entire premise for a new “assault weapons” ban — that the proliferation of “assault weapons” has led to unprecedented carnage — is completely untrue. 
Yep.

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Why the gun debates are over

By Donald Sensing

In Support Of A Total Ban on Civilians Owning Firearms

I support the argument that the United States should enact a total ban on civilians owning firearms.

Oh, I don't support the ban. I support the argument.

I support the argument because it's honest and specific. It doesn't hide the ball, it doesn't refuse to define terms, it doesn't tell rely on telling people they are paranoid or stupid in their concerns about the scope of the ban. The argument proposes a particular solution and will require the advocate to defend it openly.

That elevates it above most gun control dialogue.
Read the whole thing.

This essay is so dead on target that I wondered whether writer Ken White had been listening to conversations I've had with my liberal colleagues. Ken observes the "debate" in relation to what Leftists actually know about firearms (which is to say, almost nothing) and therefore how they dismiss any counter-claim for accuracy of terminology:
I want advocates to learn the difference so I can have some level of confidence that I know what kind of proposed government power we're debating. Right now the debate seems choked with people who don't know, are proud of not knowing, and think you're a redneck gun-nut asshole if you want them to know because they feel very strongly about this. I decline to take that seriously.
And so exactly in my own attempts are conversations: My liberal colleagues don't know anything about guns. They do not know what the gun-crime rate is in America, what it's trendline is and they do not know that the most heavily gun-controlled cities in the country also have the highest murder rate. They do not know that one of those cities, Chicago, suffers an Orlando-equivalent every month. Every. Month. (And it's getting worse.)

They do not try to assess whether their same old ideas about banning "assault rifles" would be workable. They do not know what the effect of the 1994-2004 ban was. They cannot define what an "assault rifle" is except to parrot Obama's latest bumper-sticker-slogan, "military-style weapons." They do not know that Obama himself has said that the Second Amendment protects the right of individual Americans to own firearms. They do not know that the US Supreme Court has ruled the same in multiple cases (and the few who do know simply dismiss the rulings as wrong).

They do not know because they do not care. They just want firearms to be outlawed for everyone, everywhere. That being so, actual knowledge about the difference between automatic and semi-automatic, between clip and magazine, between the No Fly List and the Terrorist Watchlist and the crushing implications of Democrats' unConstitutional desire to dispense with due process to forbid people from buying guns -- all such information is irrelevant and unimportant. They just want everyone to be disarmed.

That's why the gun-control debate in the country is over.

It's done. Each side knows full well what the other wants and where they stand. There is no more "dialog" or compromise to be had. The two sides are not reconcilable. Period. And as usual, the Left wants to demonize and lie about the motives of their opponents. That's why the Senate Dems voted down a R.-sponsored bill to prevent Watch-listed persons from buying firearms while protecting their due-process Constitutional rights, and then grandstanded when the Republicans voted down the Dems' bills that would have shot to pieces due process under the law.

The whole point of that kabuki dance was to give the Dems a chance to go before the cameras and talk shows and accuse the Republicans of literally murderous intent and of wishing to arm ISIS. Yes, they did that.

And the Dems had no other goal than that.

And Constitutional protections? Done with them:



Presumption of innocence of the accused? Burden of proof on the government? Done with that, too:



It was a nice freedom while we had it.

Update: Hot Air adds,
Not 24 hours ago, Senate Democrats had the chance to vote on a bill that would have given them the core of what they want, namely, DOJ power to block gun purchases by anyone on a terror watch list. All they had to do was make a simple concession to due process by requiring the feds to go to court and show their work, proving to a judge within three days of the attempted purchase that the person on the list was actually dangerous. Too many innocent people have been put on watch lists erroneously to grant the federal government power to strip them of their rights with no judicial safeguard. That was the Cornyn bill; it died in the Senate, 53/47, when Democrats refused to give it the 60 votes it needed for cloture. The left killed the bill only because it provided due process to gun owners. Even the ACLU is aghast:
Our nation’s watchlisting system is error-prone and unreliable because it uses vague and overbroad criteria and secret evidence to place individuals on blacklists without a meaningful process to correct government error and clear their names…
The government contends that it can place Americans on the No Fly List who have never been charged let alone convicted of a crime, on the basis of prediction that they nevertheless pose a threat (which is undefined) of conduct that the government concedes “may or may not occur.” Criteria like these guarantee a high risk of error and it is imperative that the watchlisting system include due process safeguards—which it does not. In the context of the No Fly List, for example, the government refuses to provide even Americans who know they are on the List with the full reasons for the placement, the basis for those reasons, and a hearing before a neutral decision-maker.
I explained in some detail the nature and implications of the No Fly List a year and a half ago. See here.

Meanwhile, in Washington DC:



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Eric Holder's gun-ban list of 'mental defectives' is mostly veterans

By Donald Sensing

Eric Holder's gun-ban list of 'mental defectives' is mostly veterans - Washington Times

Funny how the DOJ identifies as ineligible to own guns the largest group of people in the country who actually know how to use guns. As the great political analyst Yogi Berra said, "It's too coincidental to be a coincidence."

I am old enough to recall when Democrats would have all recoiled at the idea that someone's Constitutional rights could be denied just because their name got secretly put on a secret government list, without recourse by law. But apparently not any more.

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Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Harvard University Study: More guns, less crime

By Donald Sensing

Harvard University Study Reveals Astonishing Link Between Firearms Crime and Gun Control

But we already knew that. Nonetheless, Leftists, when you've lost Harvard . . . .

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America's anti-Christian climate of hate

By Donald Sensing

Under the Obama administration, "protect and defend the Constitution" means forcefully suppressing Christianity, even by uniformed military members.

USAF Vet Forcibly Removed from Flag-Folding Ceremony for Mentioning God

A USAF veteran who has for years delivered a stirring “flag-folding speech” at military and civic events was recently forcibly removed from a retirement ceremony because his speech mentions "God." As Senior Master Sergeant Oscar Rodriguez, Jr. (ret.) was about to begin his remarks, several uniformed airmen got up, surrounded him, assaulted him, and dragged him out of the room.


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Saudi Arabia is still the problem

By Donald Sensing

After Mideast, will the Saudi-Wahhabi nexus destabilize East Asia? – Asia Times

Southeast Asia’s youths are getting radicalized as Saudi Arabia is pouring money for the spread Wahhabism, a fundamental Sunni school of Islam, in the region. If the U.S. is serious about counter-terrorism, it should break the Saudi-Wahhabi nexus by dismantling the religious-industrial complex of Saudi-funded mosques and madrassas that serve as jihad factories producing suicide bombers from Africa to Europe and now Asia.      
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Some libs see the light

By Donald Sensing

How The DNC—And Media—Conned Us Into Clinton | Mediaite


And the in-the-tank-for-Hillary media figures?
Don’t tell them the Democratic Party didn’t stack the deck in favor of Clinton from day 1—we now have it in writing.
But why this surprises I do not know. After all, as I wrote last February, in socialist (aka Democrat) theory, elections are supposed to be rigged.

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Saturday, June 18, 2016

Why banning assault rifles won't reduce gun violence - LA Times

By Donald Sensing

Why banning assault rifles won't reduce gun violence - LA Times

By Adam Winkler, professor at the UCLA School of Law. He is right, of course, but it will not matter to the Left.

See also, "Why millions of Americans — including me — own the AR-15."

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How to get military-records copies

By Donald Sensing

From a military veterans-related FRB forum, this useful piece of info on how to get complete copies of one's military records. She said it takes about three week, which seems pretty good. Click here:
http://www.gsa.gov/portal/content/103939

Why are Democrats filibustering stricter gun control bills?

By Donald Sensing

Democrats Finally Agree—On Worst Gun Bill Ever | Mother Jones

What are they trying to stop?

The crux of the proposal is that it would not automatically result in anyone being denied the right to buy a firearm based on suspicion of terror-related behavior. Rather, it would give the Attorney General the discretion to block a sale to a given individual suspected of involvement of some kind in terrorism.

That's the theory, anyway. In real life, no AG would dare approve a gun sale after being notified of a purchaser's potential terrorist links. All it would take is one approval of a suspect who then went out and killed a few dozen people, and her career would be over. Ditto for the president, most likely. No matter what appeal procedures are put in place, the effective result of this is to automatically ban gun purchases by anyone who's ever been investigated by the FBI.

There are plenty of gun-control measures I'd support. Banning high-cap magazines, for one. But banning gun sales to anyone who's ever caught the FBI's attention? No thanks. Senate Democrats have finally put me in the position of agreeing with the NRA. Nice work, folks.
Well, when you've lost Mother Jones . . .

Remember that Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin said on The Morning Joe this week that we have to dispense with due process, so of course the Democrats don't want the government to have to show cause why someone should be denied the particular Constitutional right they do not happen to like.
Due process isn't the sexiest part of the Constitution. It doesn't get all the attention like the First or Second Amendments. But it is so incredibly important to the foundation of our country that it's painful to see the hits it's been taking these past few years.

The latest attempt has been incredibly direct, with Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., declaring that "due process is what's killing us right now." Manchin's comments came in response to the Orlando terrorist attack that killed 49 people and injured 53 more. Speaking on MSNBC's "Morning Joe," Manchin said that due process was keeping legislators from banning those on the Terrorist Watch List from purchasing guns.

"The problem we have, and really the firewall we have right now, is due process," Manchin said Thursday. "It's all due process."
Manchin is just the latest Democrat to explicitly trample on Americans' constitutional rights. On Wednesday, a number of Democrats told my colleague Joel Gehrke that the presumption of innocence was unnecessary when government seeks to deprive someone of a constitutional right.

"I don't think that innocent until proven guilty is the standard that applies here," Rep. Alan Grayson, D-Fla., said.
A fundamentally transformed America, that's what they want.

Update: The LA Times stands up for due process, too.
And make no mistake: They are blurring those lines. When Reid and his accomplices argue that nobody on the “terror watch list” should be permitted to buy a gun, they are saying in effect that the government should have the power to deprive you of your enumerated constitutional rights purely by entering your name into a database.

According to the American Civil Liberties Union, there are now 1 million names on the [terror watch] list.

This is unacceptable. Even if the “terror watch list” were transparent and well-regulated, there would be serious philosophical problems with such an arrangement. But for the government to propose using a system that is as opaque, as messy, and as downright bloated as is this one . . . frankly, it beggars belief.
It does not beggar belief for Democrats, nor for anyone who understands how the American Totalist Party operates.

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