“Gun Violence” In Turkey

Just a reminder that both full-auto and semi-auto weapons such as this AKM (AK-47 variant) dropped by ISIS attackers at Ataturk Airport in Istanbul are illegal to possess or own in Turkey, as are the two 30 round mags. Full story here.

FWIW, the full-auto version of this weapon is also illegal to own in the USA. I showed  this pic to the in-house weapons expert (the Kid). He confirmed it was an AKM with a sawed-off flash-hider and noticed it was set to full-auto. “Idiot,” he smirked. “Everyone knows semi-auto kills more.”

Keep Calm and Carry On

Over the past few days we have witnessed the aftermath of the Brexit vote. Stock markets have plunged and the British Pound has lost 12% of its value over two trading days. Ratings agencies have downgraded the UK from AAA to AA, to say nothing of the hysterical reactions by the the European ruling elites and their Remain camp supporters. Rachel Maddow is not even a Brit but that doesn’t stop her from claiming Brexit will lead to World War 3, and livid commentators both British and European are saying things like “Some things are too important to put to a vote,” and “Democracy doesn’t work.”

Some things are too important to put to a vote when that some thing is your pet project. Democracy doesn’t work when votes are cast and you lose. The meltdown of the progressive transnational elite isn’t surprising to those of us who have raised kids. It’s nothing more than a toddler laying down in the aisle of the grocery store to have a fit when you refuse to buy him a breakfast cereal sugar-bomb, just those freaking out are much older, better dressed and speak with pleasant accents. Many of these people truly believe that they know better than others, and they cannot believe that the ignorant masses ignored them to do the opposite. Unfortunately they are too busy making fools of themselves by peddling apocalyptic visions like Jeremiahs in tailored suits that they are blind to why the masses voted the way they did. After all, they have profited from globalization and the European project. They don’t worry about their job being shipped abroad, or watch as their neighborhoods get turned into refugee camps.

So the stock markets are jittery because they hate volatility. That’s a natural reaction because everyone would love to live in a nice predictable world and that includes stock traders. But Brexit is a scapegoat for an overvalued market in an earnings season where few companies outperformed their mediocre expectations. The drive to contain volatility that started under Paul Volcker has led to a string of market bubbles that burst every 8-10 years. We’re about due for a blow up and the increased volatility the markets are showing right now reflects traders coming to their senses more than it does an unknown impact Brexit will have on the EU. Oh, and as for S&P and Fitch downgrading the UK’s credit rating, I happened to watch a great little movie called The Big Short on the way back from Ireland last month, and these are the same outfits that were slapping AAA ratings on balloon mortgages with zero down in Florida just before they tanked the economy in 2008, so I’d recommend keeping that in mind whenever someone mentions the ratings downgrade in an important-sounding tones. Here’s a brief clip from the movie.

Although I supported Brexit and continue doing so, I see it as a step towards a better future not just for the UK but for an integrated Europe that includes the UK. That continent has 3000 years of history written in blood, and it is naive for us to think that the EU is going to fully integrate 27 nations, end all conflict and govern 400 million people effectively in 25 years. The EU as it exists today has failed and Brexit proves that, but Brexit doesn’t mean that the dream of a united Europe is dead.

Americans tend to forget that our republic’s first shot at ruling itself was the Articles of Confederation, a disaster that almost ended the experiment in democracy within a few short years after independence. The articles gave too little power to the central government and too much power to individual states, whose governors took them in different directions. Thankfully cooler heads prevailed and a second attempt was made, and in 1789, 13 years after independence and 6 years after the end of the Revolutionary War, the US Constitution was ratified. The constitution created a series of checks and balances between various branches of government as well as protected minority votes and proscribed majority votes, providing a balance of power that the articles lacked.

Europe can do the same. If cooler heads prevail, Europe can create the balance of power needed, allowing Europeans to have a say how they are governed, creating institutions that serve the people instead of dictating to them. Provide more effective governance and people will be clamoring to join just as they did in the early days instead of threatening to leave as they are now.

These are all large issues with answers beyond everyone, including the commentariat on BBC and CNBC. It will take time for tempers to cool and for sanity to be restored, but in the mean time the best course of action is to do what the British are best at: Keep Calm and Carry On. It’s about time the Continent learned this from their island neighbors.

The Council Has Spoken: June 24, 2016

Council Winners


Non-Council Winners


UK Votes to Leave EU

Council Submissions: June 22, 2016

Council Submissions


Honorable Mentions


Non-Council Submissions


The Council Has Spoken: June 17, 2016

Council Winners


Non-Council Winners


Council Submissions: June 15, 2016

Council Submissions


Non-Council Submissions


Enthralled by Victims Left Seeks to Boost Their Numbers

I belong to Pink Pistols, a group of 2nd amendment supporting LGTBQ and their allies, and would like to see local chapters to volunteer to post armed members at gay nightspots around the country. All it would have taken to save lives in Orlando would have been a single club goer carrying a handgun. Terrorists plan their attacks thoroughly. Orlando’s shooter had been to the club over a dozen times so he knew exactly what to expect and could carefully plan to maximize the carnage. Just the possibility of an armed defender changes the dynamic of terror, introducing an element of uncertainty that either forces the attacker to choose another target or causes him to stop and seek cover during the attack, giving victims precious seconds to escape.

Unfortunately liberals are taking the exact opposite approach, trying to convince the LGTBQ community to disarm itself further and take on the cause of gun control. As Ed Krayewski notes at Reason, this completely ignores the reality of attacks outside of the US where gun control is rife yet terrorists in France and Kenya have no difficulty obtaining full auto weapons banned in the United States.

But countries with stricter gun control laws than in the U.S. are struggling to find something to do to keep guns out of the hands of terrorists too. In Europe, while it may be far harder for law-abiding residents to acquire legal firearms, terrorists are able to acquire actual “weapons of war,” automatic weapons, that have are largely banned in the U.S. despite the misleading rhetoric used by the anti-gun left. Neither were tough gun laws able to stop the 2013 radical Islamist attack on the Westgate shopping mall in Kenya or the 2015 attack on Garissa University in Kenya or numerous other terrorist attacks around the world.

As I wrote in a previous post, I find this tactic of using terror attacks to advance gun control by the Left not only misguided but downright evil. Disarming law abiding citizens does not make us safer when terrorists have shown no difficulty in obtaining weapons in nations where they are banned. But the Left likes victims, so I suppose it makes sense to push policies that increases their numbers. Still, that’s pretty sick.

Why I Support Brexit

25 years ago the Maastricht Treaty and the subsequent creation of the EU excited me. Now a quarter century on the EU has become a bureaucratic and anti-democratic mess. While the decision to stay or go lays solely with citizens of the UK, as a devout Anglophile and friend of the UK I believe that it is in the best interests of the UK to leave the EU and resume its role in the world as a beacon of Democracy unfettered by the laws and regulations set by Brussels.

UK Justice Minister Michael Gove said, “the laws we must all obey… should be decided by people we choose and who we can throw out… But our membership in the European Union prevents us… from being able to choose who makes critical decisions which affect all our lives. Laws which govern citizens in this country are decided by politicians from other nations who we never elected and can’t throw out.”

That’s the only reason I need to hope the people of the UK decide to leave the EU.

 

Why Liberals Aren’t Stupid They’re Evil

I found out about the shooting in Orlando while I was out of town. I watched on my smartphone as the body count doubled, and the major news outlets avoided using the term “Islam”. The “Religion-That-Must-Not-Be-Named” continued so when President Obama spoke and pushed banning guns as the solution, choosing to ignore the so-called Religion of Peace’s role in the slaughter.

How many people have to die before liberals admit they are wrong about Islam?

I avoided social media until today, but as I expected my mostly liberal friends followed the President’s lead, focusing on the type of rifle used instead of the terror ties, the shooter’s father’s belief that g-d will punish the gays, or that he attended a mosque where a visiting Imam preached gays should be executed.

As an ex-liberal myself I recognize the change is tough. 9-11 was the moment that I understood I had a choice: I could continue believing the fantasy that Islam wasn’t the problem, or I could accept the evidence to the contrary. 3000 people in 3 locations within 2 hours was enough evidence for me, and for weeks afterward I struggled with changing a lifetime of beliefs to fit the post-911 reality.

I saw the posts by ex-lovers and friends-for-life, and struggled with how to respond. Europe has some of the strictest gun control laws on the planet yet they didn’t stop full auto AK-47s from being used by Islamists to kill non-believers there last year. The recent attack in Brussels airport used bombs, which I would point out are also illegal in Europe. I didn’t point out that if banning works, why are people dying of heroin overdoses in my county? Liberals seem fixated on the AR-15 as being an “assault rifle” yet used a picture shared from Huffington Post showing an AR-15 that had been photoshopped into having an impossibly short (and illegal) barrel. And no mention of Islam anywhere.

I shut the site down. What’s the point in opening up myself to harassment from people who honestly don’t know what they are talking about? Few have ever fired a gun and I doubt that only a handful know the difference between semi-auto and full-auto. If I’m going to be beaten up online I’d prefer it to be done by someone who at least knows what they are talking about. I’m too scarred from previous attempts to try to educate these people and help them change their minds. If 50 dead gays won’t do it, I’m not sure what will.

Accepting that the threat isn’t from an inanimate object but a twisted idea in the form of world religion is pretty daunting. Blaming a scary looking gun is so much easier than blaming a world religion yet refusing to do so is like a drunk looking for his car keys under a street light because that’s where he can see them. It’s magical thinking that has no bearing on reality. So you ban AR-15s, how would that have stopped the Charlie Hebdo or the Bataclan Theater attacks in Paris? There’s a whole airplane missing in the Mediterranean and another that was blown out of the sky over the Sinai, how would the ban stop that? And what about the two men kissing that set him off. Should we ban that? How far down the slippery slope do we go before we realize we’ve realized we’ve traded freedom for security and gotten neither, to paraphrase Ben Franklin?

“Enough with the obfuscation. The killer of Orlando was a homophobic Muslim extremist, inspired by an ideological take on my own religion.” The “islamophobe” behind those remarks? Liberal Daily Beast writer Maajid Nawaz, a Muslim who recognizes “(j)ust as we encourage others to actively denounce racism wherever they see it, so too must we actively denounce Islamic theocratic views wherever we find them. Enough with the special pleading. Enough with the denial.”

It’s been said that conservatives think that liberals are idiots while liberals think conservatives are evil. The silence after these terror attacks, the refusal to see them for what they are and to accept the clear motives of the attackers at face value, and the usage of the carnage to further their own political agendas instead of preventing attacks (how can you stop it if you can’t even name it?) not to mention the promotion of gun-free buildings and the disarmament of the public isn’t stupid, it’s evil.

How many people have to die before liberals admit they are wrong about Islam?

It’s evil that liberals support flooding the country with people who follow the religion of a 7th century warlord then blame guns when they decide to kill in the name of their religion. It’s evil that liberals call anyone who questions the tenets of that religion an “islamophobe”, equating the questioning with a form of racism. It’s evil that liberals seek to turn gays into martyrs for their cause by disarming them and forcing them to rely upon the police, often the same homophobic force that arrested them for indecency and sodomy and raided their hangouts just a few years ago.

And that’s why liberals are evil.

The Council Has Spoken: June 10, 2016

Council Winners


Non-Council Winners


Council Submissions: June 8, 2016

Council Submissions


Non-Council Submissions


The Council Has Spoken: June 3, 2016

Council Winners


Non-Council Winners


Council Submissions: June 1, 2016

Council Submissions


Non-Council Submissions


A Presidential Apology to the People of Japan

Mr Prime Minister, distinguished guests. It is an honor to speak to you here today. This history of our two nations is long and at times painful, and I believe the time has come for me, the president of the United States to apologize to you the Japanese people for the actions of my predecessor over 70 years ago.

On August 6, 1945 he made what he believed at the time was the best decision for my nation and yours. History has proven him wrong, and for that I stand before you as his direct successor to offer you my deepest personal condolences as well as those of my office and my nation. So, to the people of Japan, please accept this apology as I bow deeply in complete humility to you.

I do so knowing that my actions are controversial. There are many Americans who believe that the President’s action that day do not warrant an apology from our nation to yours. But the horror that the world witnessed starting that day cannot be dismissed by any human being. And as the last survivors of those terrible events are silenced one by one, Time becomes pressing for an adequate accounting by my office and my people. Here it is.

As every Japanese and American school child knows, on August 6, 1945 President Truman rescinded the order to use the atomic bomb against Hiroshima. During his impeachment proceedings in 1948 he stated that he could not in good conscience authorize the destruction of tens of thousands of innocent Japanese men, women and children even if it meant millions would die during the invasion that followed. President Truman followed his conscience and in doing so changed History forever, levying a high price on you, the Japanese people as well as on the countless Americans who husbands, sons, and brothers left the shores of our nation never to return.

His biographers have argued that he could have achieved complete victory without loss of any more lives had the first atomic bomb exploded on Bikini Atoll in front of the Japanese contingent invited by the Swiss ambassador as planned, but the failure of the bomb to detonate properly only hardened the resolve of the Japanese junta running your country. After the incident the second bomb was sent back to New Mexico for further testing even though it was of a completely different design and would never be used. The controversial shelving of the Manhattan Project rages to this day.

Instead the final stages of Operation Downfall to attack the island of Kyushu were put in place, even though the US lost one third of its invading forces in Okinawa, an island that wasn’t even viewed by most Japanese as a part of Japan. The civilian death toll there was even worse, with between 100,000 and 150,000 civilians killed during the 82 days of fighting. Extrapolating from that the Joint Chiefs of Staff had predicted upwards of 300,000 American casualties and at least a million civilian deaths from the invasion. It’s hard to believe that these were on the high end of the estimates given what we now know, but we must not dishonor the additional million American dead and the five million Japanese lost in the years that followed, for their sacrifices were not in vain. Victory was purchased with a terribly high price and Japan now is free and prosperous, at least the half below the 38th parallel. For those of you whose relatives still reside above that line, rest assured that America has not forgotten them.

It is my dream, as I know it is your dream, for Japan to emerge from decades of occupation as a united, independent and peaceful nation, ready to take its place on the world stage. In the remaining months of my presidency I will do whatever I can to make this dream a reality. The destinies of our peoples have been intertwined, forged in the fire of a long and debilitating war, and it our duty to make this bond endure for decades to come.

Thank you, and may God bless the peoples of Japan and the United States of America.
—————-

Thanks to The Glittering Eye for inspiring this post.