“The…idea that if you just let people talk, it will be this pit of racist pandemonium…is sort of childish and it oversimplifies. But it is a great justification for having a lot of power over speech,” says Greg Lukianoff, the president of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE).
The truth? The number of guns in the United States has increased by 62% since 1994 but gun violence has decreased by 49% since 1993.
Only one in 20 Russian air strikes in Syria have targeted ISIS fighters, Britain’s Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said Saturday. British intelligence services observed that five percent of the strikes had attacked the militant jihadist group, with most “killing civilians” and Free Syrian forces fighting against the regime of president Bashar al-Assad, Fallon told the Sun newspaper….(read more)
Source: AFP/Yahoo News
This perspective view of Pluto, based on the latest high-resolution images from NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft, shows what you would see if you were approximately 1,100 miles (1,800 kilometers) above Pluto’s equatorial area, looking northeast over the dark, cratered, informally named Cthulhu Regio toward the bright, smooth, expanse of icy plains informally called Sputnik Planum. The entire expanse of terrain seen in this image is 1,100 miles (1,800 kilometers) across. The images were taken as New Horizons flew past Pluto on July 14, 2015, from a distance of 50,000 miles (80,000 kilometers).
Few things will ruin a day faster than a flat tire. But what if you never had to break out that spare again? Scientists have developed a new type of rubber that can heal itself after a tear or break.
The researchers have modified commercial grade tire rubber with a carbon and nitrogen additive that lets rubber reform crucial bonds. When torn, their rubber can recover the durability and elasticity that vulcanization gives.
Read the original article here.
The More You Politicize Guns, The Weaker Your Case Becomes.
David Harsanyi writes: After the horrific mass shooting at a community college in Oregon, President Obama made an impassioned case that gun violence is “something we should politicize”—and why should this be any different:
“This is a political choice that we make, to allow this to happen every few months in America. We collectively are answerable to those families who lose their loved ones because of our inaction.”
Everything in that statement is wrong. What happened in Oregon is tragic, and the nation should comfort families and look for reasonable and practical ways to stem violence, but there is only one murderer. Now, if government somehow bolstered, endorsed, or “allowed” the actions of Chris Harper-Mercer—as they might, say, the death of 10,000-plus viable babies each year or the civilian deaths that occur during an American drone action—a person could plausibly argue that we are collectively answerable as a nation.
“For the liberal, every societal problem has a state-issued remedy waiting to be administered over the objections of a reactionary Republican. But just because you have a tremendous amount of emotion and frustration built up around a certain cause doesn’t make your favored legislation any more practical, effective or realistic.”
Then again, when the president asserts Americans are collectively answerable, what he really suggests—according to his own broader argument—is that conservatives who’ve blocked his gun-control legislation are wholly responsible. The problem with that contention, outside of the obvious fact that Republicans never condone the use of guns for illegal violence (in fact, these rampages hurt their cause more than anything) is that Democrats haven’t offered a single bill or idea (short of confiscation) that would impede any of the mass shootings, or overall gun violence. This is not a political choice, because it’s likely there is no available political answer.
For the liberal, every societal problem has a state-issued remedy waiting to be administered over the objections of a reactionary Republican. But just because you have a tremendous amount of emotion and frustration built up around a certain cause doesn’t make your favored legislation any more practical, effective or realistic. It doesn’t change the fact that owning a gun is a civil right, that the preponderance of owners are not criminals, or that there are 300 million guns out there.
And if it’s a political argument you’re offering—and when hasn’t it been?—you’ll need more than the vacuousness of the “this is bad and so we have to do something.” That’s because anti-gun types are never able to answer a simple question: what law would you pass that could stop these shootings?
Lee Smith writes: The United States, President Obama said at the U.N. General Assembly last week, “worked with many nations in this assembly to prevent a third world war—by forging alliances with old adversaries.” Presumably, the president was not referring to his deeply flawed Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the recent agreement that the White House has marketed as the only alternative to war with a soon-to-be-nuclear Iran.
“Once you seize a position by force, as the Russians have. you are in the diplomatic driver’s seat. Putin is schooling the U.S. foreign policy establishment in foreign affairs. He has put his armed forces not at the service of Bashar al-Assad, but at the service of Russian interests.”
— Angelo Codevilla, professor emeritus of international relations at Boston University
Rather, it seems he was referring to the post-World War II period, when the United States created and presided over an international order that prevented an even larger, potentially nuclear, conflict with the Soviet Union. Now, that Pax Americana may be ending.
Not with a bang, but with Obama
Indeed, Russia’s airstrikes against CIA-vetted Syrian rebels last week looked like a punctuation mark. When the secretary of state holds a joint press conference with Moscow’s foreign minister after Russia has decimated American proxies bearing American arms, we are not witnessing anything like a return to the Cold War. Rather, we’re witnessing a new order being born. It is an order that is being designed by others, without any concern for American interests.
“At what point does the Syrian conflict create political instability in places like Saudi Arabia and other oil-producing states in the Persian Gulf? As long as nothing is happening to block the oil flow, it’s the refugee flow that makes Syria an international issue.”
— Walter Russell Mead, professor of foreign policy and humanities at Bard College
Its cradle is not the conference rooms of the U.N., but the killing fields of Syria. After four and a half years, the Syrian civil war and the refugee crisis it has spawned threaten to disrupt two zones of American vital interest, the Persian Gulf and Europe.
America’s Cold War prosperity depended on our ability to trade with the rest of the world across both oceans. The United States built a powerful blue-water navy and far-flung bases as tokens of our willingness to protect our allies and stand up to their, and our, adversaries. What facilitates both trade and the movement of a military as large as America’s is access to affordable sources of energy, which is why the security of the Persian Gulf has been a vital American interest for 70 years.
“There already is a third world war underway. It’s the war between Sunnis and Shiites. It’s a world war because it engages people all around the world who happen to be Muslims.”
— Angelo Codevilla
The nuclear agreement with Iran signals that Obama doesn’t see things this way. From his perspective, no core American interest would be threatened by either the domination of the Gulf by revolutionary Iran or the likelihood that other regional powers will go nuclear. The JCPOA told American partners in the Middle East that the old alliance system was finished. Israel and Saudi Arabia would get stiff-armed, and Iran would get to call plays in the huddle. What Obama sought, as he said in a New Yorker interview, was a “new geopolitical equilibrium.”
Read the rest of this entry »
[VIDEO] Challenged By National Review Reporter, Mark Halperin Can’t Offer Single Policy Solution To Gun ViolencePosted: October 2, 2015
“Joe Biden doesn’t know how to fix this problem. I don’t know how to fix this problem. I think it’s fair to say you don’t know how to fix this problem. It’s a very complex question in a country with 300 to 350 million guns on the street.”
Daniel Bassali writes: National Review reporter Charles C. W. Cooke challenged Bloomberg’s Mark Halperin to offer his solutions to gun violence in America Friday morning on Morning Joe. After he insisted lawmakers must act to prevent further mass shooting in America, agreeing with President Obama, Halperin failed to deliver a single solution.
“Well, I think that the finding solutions are short-term in terms of legislation, state and federal,” Halperin said. “Then also, coming up with ideas.”
Halperin did not, however, ever manage to come up with an idea. The co-host of With All Due Respect’s idea was to have lawmakers come up with ideas of their own.
Cooke took issue with the president’s angry words at Washington’s refusal to pass gun control laws so soon after the mass shooting at Umpqua Comminuty College in Roseburg, Oregon. The reporter claimed liberals talk tough as if they have the solutions, but they do not offer specific ideas that could begin a dialogue. Halperin was his case in point.
“The way they talk is as if they have the answer and there are these recalcitrant forces in the country that say ‘no, no, no,’ even though deep down they know their legislation will work. That’s simply not the case. It’s far more complicated than that.”
“Joe Biden doesn’t know how to fix this problem. I don’t know how to fix this problem. I think it’s fair to say you don’t know how to fix this problem. It’s a very complex question in a country with 300 to 350 million guns on the street,” Cooke said….(read more)
Source: Washington Free Beacon
Syria Reveals the Chaos of a World Without American Leadership.
A friend of ours quipped amid the Iraq debate of 2003 that the only thing Europeans dislike more than U.S. leadership is a world without it. Well, we are now living in such a world, and the result is the disorder and rising tide of war in the Middle East that even the Obama Administration can no longer dismiss. How do you like it?
“The world is watching, aghast, yet we are now told by the same people who told us to stay out of Syria that Mr. Putin has fallen into his own quagmire. We doubt that’s how they see it in Moscow, Tehran or Damascus.”
The epicenter of the chaos is the Syrian civil war now into its fifth year. President Obama justified his decision to steer clear of the conflict by pointing to a parade of horribles if the U.S. assisted the opposition to Bashar Assad. Every one of those horribles—and more—has come to pass in the wake of his retreat.
Syria has become a “geopolitical Chernobyl,” as former General David Petraeus recently put it. It was the breeding ground for Islamic State and is a new sanctuary for terrorism. It has nurtured a growing regional conflict between Shiite and Sunni Muslims, while unleashing the worst refugee crisis on Europe since World War II. And now it has become an arena for potential major power conflict as Vladimir Putin forms an alliance with Iran to make Russia the new Middle East power broker.
“The U.S. has been caught unaware and nonplussed. The White House has been left to stammer in protest and send Secretary of State John Kerry to negotiate the terms of U.S. irrelevance.”
Mr. Putin unveiled his strategy this week with a disdain for a U.S. President unseen in a Russian leader since Nikita Khrushchev “beat the hell out of” John Kennedy, as JFK put it, at the Vienna summit in 1961. Mr. Putin coaxed Mr. Obama to grant him a private meeting, then told the world to rally behind his alternative coalition to fight Islamic State and prop up the Assad regime. It’s as if he set up Mr. Obama for humiliation.
Now Russian planes are bombing in Syria—but not Islamic State targets. They are bombing the anti-Assad forces that the U.S. has haltingly supported. The U.S. has been caught unaware and nonplussed. The White House has been left to stammer in protest and send Secretary of State John Kerry to negotiate the terms of U.S. irrelevance.
The world is watching, aghast, yet we are now told by the same people who told us to stay out of Syria that Mr. Putin has fallen into his own quagmire. We doubt that’s how they see it in Moscow, Tehran or Damascus. Read the rest of this entry »
The number of Americans who view the former Secretary of State in a favorable light has plummeted and Clinton now faces record low poll numbers.
“After once enjoying sky-high poll numbers as Secretary of State, scandals like Benghazi, revelations from WikiLeaks, and now multiple investigations into the legality of her email system have ravaged Clinton-she’s gone from favorably viewed and trusted as one of America’s most popular politicians to freefall, viewed skeptically and in an extremely untrustworthy light.”
He may have been forced to walk back those comments for needlessly politicizing a very serious investigation, but for those keeping score he may have been technically accurate.
The exact effect the Benghazi issue has had on Hillary isn’t fully clear, however, it is evident that Clinton’s approval rating has dramatically dropped since her time at the State Department- the number of Americans who view the former Secretary of State in a favorable light has plummeted and Clinton now faces record low poll numbers.
She is even underwater with female voters, with nearly 50% having a negative opinion of her.
“Everybody thought Hillary Clinton was unbeatable, right?” McCarthy said on Fox News. “But we put together a Benghazi special committee, a select committee. What are her numbers today? Her numbers are dropping. Why? Because she’s untrustable. But no one would have known any of that had happened had we not fought.”
A recent Fox News poll illustrates Clinton’s problems.
“Hillary Clinton’s personal favorable ratings hit a low mark in the latest Fox News national poll…
Some 38 percent of voters view Clinton favorably, down from 45 percent in May. The downward shift comes from the fact that half of women now rate her negatively. Positive views among Democrats are also down since May (-11 points).”
Fox News Poll
Opinion Of Hillary Clinton
Now/ May Record High
Low 2015 August 2012
Favorable 38% 45% 63%
Unfavorable 56% 49% 31%
September 20-22, 2015
Registered Voters ± 3% Pts.
Fox News Poll
Opinion Of Hillary Clinton
May Record High
Now 2015 August 2012
Favorable 71% 82% 88%
Unfavorable 23% 12% 9%
September 20-22, 2015
Democratic Registered Voters ±5% Pts.
The Fox poll shows Clinton at a historic low.
“Overall, a record high 56 percent of voters now have an unfavorable opinion of Clinton….”
Clinton has been on a national roller coaster ride with her approval ratings ever since she first appeared as the feisty wife to then Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton.
“She was actively involved in policy and the health care reform effort for her husband. And she came under fire in 1992 for stridently defending her own career, saying on 60 Minutes in 1992 that she wouldn’t be “some little woman standing by my husband like Tammy Wynette.” Read the rest of this entry »
Liza Muhfeld writes: On October 12, MacDougall’s Fine Art Auctions will hold its sale of Soviet and Post-Soviet art, the first combined auction of Soviet and Post-Soviet art to hit the market. It will also be the house’s first auction in a series of mid-season sales dedicated to Russian art.
Roughly 177 lots will be offered—spanning paintings and porcelain by Russian artists from the late 1920s to the early 2000s—and the house expects to bring in a total of more than £3.5 million ($5.3 million). The majority of works come from several major Western collections of Russian and Soviet art, and estimates range from £1,500 ($2,300) to £2 million ($3.1 million), with most lots valued at £15,000 ($23,000).
The auction will offer works bridging nearly every major 20th century art movement in Russia and the Soviet Union. Work by artists from the Academy of Fine Arts of the USSR, including Arkady Plastov and Dmitri Nalbandian will be available, along with Soviet Nonconformist artists Vladimir Nemukhin, founder of the Lianozov group, and Vladimir and Georgii Stenberg. Work by members of the Society of Easel-Painters (OST) will also be represented, including by Aleksandr Deineka and Yuri Pimenov. Read the rest of this entry »
Kyle Smith writes: The classic definition of chutzpah — the guy who murders his parents and then begs for mercy because he’s an orphan — is getting a rewrite with the Oct. 16 release of “Truth,” a movie that insists forged documents are real.
“She gives an impassioned defense of her work in a speech meant to make the audience stand up and cheer — but instead comes across as obtuse to the point of being self-delusional.”
Robert Redford, who makes no effort whatsoever to look or sound like Dan Rather, plays the CBS newsman undone after he presented to the public obviously forged documents about then-President George W. Bush’s Texas Air National Guard service in the early 1970s.
“Mapes found a squirrely retired National Guard colonel named Bill Burkett, who gave her photocopied memos that purported to show Bush had been AWOL for a significant portion of his National Guard tenure.”
It was September 2004, two months before Bush was to be re-elected in a tight race against Vietnam veteran John Kerry, and Rather’s “60 Minutes II” producer Mary Mapes (played by Cate Blanchett with her usual brittle intensity) is desperate for a scoop.
She and her team of researchers (Dennis Quaid, Topher Grace and Elisabeth Moss) set out to find information damaging to the president, methodically contacting everyone they can think of in the chain of command during Bush’s National Guard days to find some dirt on him.
“The font and spacing on the memos perfectly matched the default settings on a 21st-century Microsoft Word program, Burkett kept changing his story about how he got the documents until he sounded completely insane.”
(In one unintentionally revealing moment in the film, co-written and directed by “The Amazing Spider-Man” scribe James Vanderbilt, Mapes is shown watching a TV commercial paid for by the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, an ad hoc group formed by Kerry’s former colleagues in the Navy.
She shows a complete lack of interest in digging into their stories. In fact, in the summer of 2004, the mainstream media almost completely ignored the Swift Boat veterans, as the ad campaign did serious damage to Kerry’s reputation.)
Mapes found a squirrely retired National Guard colonel named Bill Burkett, who gave her photocopied memos that purported to show Bush had been AWOL for a significant portion of his National Guard tenure. The font and spacing on the memos perfectly matched the default settings on a 21st-century Microsoft Word program, Burkett kept changing his story about how he got the documents until he sounded completely insane (and Blanchett is shown making the “cuckoo” sign as she listens to him), two of CBS’s own document experts raised doubts about them — and Burkett was a Bush hater who agreed to hand over the documents in the first place on the condition that Mapes put him in touch with the John Kerry campaign, which he wanted to assist. Mapes and Rather ran with the story anyway, defending it for days — even after other media organizations began casting doubt on them. Read the rest of this entry »
AWR Hawkins reports:
…On Thursday morning, police say 26-year-old Chris Harper Mercer shot and killed at least nine people on the Umpqua Community College (UCC) campus before officers shot and killed him.
A new report claims someone appearing to be Mercer wrote longingly of the attention given to Vester Lee Flanagan after he shot a television reporter and cameraman on air in Virginia.
Mercer wounded at least seven people in addition to those he killed on the gun free UCC campus, law enforcement says.
[VIDEO] Netanyahu’s Historic 45 Seconds of Silence, Condemning the U.N.’s ‘Utter Silence’ on Tehran’s Existential Threat to IsraelPosted: October 1, 2015
Despite losing political ground to Obama, Israeli prime minister condemns nuclear deal, says Tehran’s threats have been met by ‘utter silence’ at global body.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu glares silently at the United Nations for 45 seconds after berating the organization for their silence in the wake of Iran’s continued threats against the Jewish state.
UNITED NATIONS— Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday delivered a fiery address here condemning the Iranian nuclear deal, largely unbowed in his opposition despite losing steep political ground to President Barack Obama over the issue this year.
In his speech to the General Assembly, Mr. Netanyahu thundered that Iranian threats to destroy Israel have been met in the world body by “utter silence, deafening silence.”
He then stopped speaking for 45 seconds, panning the hall with a furrowed glare.
“Perhaps you can now understand why Israel is not joining you in celebrating this deal,” he said.
The nuclear deal, reached in July between Iran and six world powers including the U.S., passed a crucial milestone when the U.S. Congress failed to adopt a resolution of disapproval that essentially could have blocked the deal from moving forward.
Mr. Netanyahu had thrown his support behind congressional opponents of the deal, delivering a controversial speech to Congress in March and meeting repeatedly with U.S. lawmakers.
After Mr. Netanyahu’s political loss, the White House sees him as wielding less influence over the president’s agenda.
Inside the White House, officials have come to expect forceful rhetoric from Mr. Netanyahu, especially at a high-profile platform such as the U.N. Read the rest of this entry »
“Each time this happens, I am going to bring this up…”
The Daily Beast reports:
…Mercer reportedly demanded to know victims’ religions before opening killing them, according to witnesses and authorities.
A MySpace account belonging to Christopher Harper-Mercer is registered to Torrance, California. Harper-Mercer and his mother previously lived in Torrance before moving to an apartment in Winchester, Oregon, where neighbors tell The Daily Beast there is a heavy police presence currently.
Source: The Daily Beast