Oregon Shooting: How Gun Rights Advocates Think


editor-commen-deskThis is one of the more insightful essays from a non-conservative writer about conservative gun owners we’ve seen all year. A refreshing sight. It’s unfortunate that the irrational, anti-democratic, reactionary urge for massive government control by the increasingly radical anti-gun left–and the increasingly irritable impatience of the strident pro-gun right (of which I proudly belong) predictably leaves little room for any hope of mutual respect. Sophia Raday’s article is a step in the right direction, exposing and addressing the false accusation of heartlessness. For this alone, conservatives should be grateful.

Perhaps Raday unnecessarily mythologizes the protective instincts of conservative gun owners. And needlessly refers to Hollywood stereotypes about Good and Evil that trivialize the subject. But her main points are well-reasoned, and valid. I’d prefer the word ‘realist‘, than pessimist, myself. But these are minor disagreements. Maybe pessimist is the right word. To her credit, Sophia Raday’s effort hints at an under-explored potential for honest dialogue between opposing camps.

Parting question: does a person actually have to be married to a member of the opposing camp, in order to reach these conclusions, and this level of understanding? I hope not!

Sophia Raday writes:

“How can you, with a straight face, make the argument that more guns will make us safer?” President Barack Obama asked on Friday.

I can answer that question. I’m in the progressive camp, but I’m married to my political opposite, a Republican police officer and soldier. We’ve had eighteen years to compare notes on many political issues, and out of all those arguments, I have gained an understanding and a measure of respect for the conservative worldview.

When something as horrible as the shooting in Oregon happens, progressives want to pull some shred of meaning from it. So let’s do something already, we say, in increasingly exasperated and angry tones. Let’s learn. Let’s change things. But we might be more effective in getting something done about mass shootings if we actually understood the opposition. Researchers studying conflict and extremism believe you can get a lot further in negotiation with an adversary if you acknowledge what is sacred to them. And believe it or not, gun-rights advocates—at least by virtue of their politics—are not heartless.

[Read the full story here, at Politico.com]

It must be understood that gun-rights advocates, like many conservatives, tell a very different story about the world than we progressives do. In their narrative, the earth is an inherently dangerous, often hostile, and definitely competitive place. Unlike us, they do not take as given that deep down, all people are basically good. They believe there is evil in the world, that there will always be evil in the world and that evil must be consistently and stalwartly confronted. In their story, it’s up to every one of the good people to stand up against malice. Otherwise, evil gets the upper hand. So, when a mass shooting occurs, their view of American society as overly permissive, and therefore an insufficient bulwark against ever-threatening evil, is only confirmed.

Liberals scratch their heads at the NRA member’s passion for firearms. People like Douglas County Sheriff John Hanlin—whose post-Sandy Hook letter refusing to enforce any additional gun regulations is now going viral—seem like callous monsters to us. We find it odd and twisted to be so attached, so passionate about an amalgamation of metal and explosives whose raison d’tre is destruction. What we don’t get is that for conservatives, and Second Amendment defenders especially, the supreme virtue is self-reliance. The unconscious story underlying much conservative thought is a tale of good versus evil. Think of movies such as the Dark Knight, or Braveheart, or Star Wars. The virtuous individual must draw on his own talent and courage to defeat evil within and without. Read the rest of this entry »

PANIC: German TV Network Inflames Refugee Debate by Depicting Angela Merkel as a Chador-Wearing Muslim


Justin Huggler reports: ARD television was inundated with complaints after it broadcast a mocked-up picture of Mrs Merkel wearing the garment, known as a chador, against a backdrop of the Reichstag surrounded by minarets.

“This is not constructive journalism. Ugh! The mood turns because of such defamation and propaganda. So yes it’s true: integration cannot succeed.”

— A Facebook post

The image was shown during a debate on the refugee crisis on Report from Berlin, a Newsnight-style programme, and was intended to be satirical, the broadcaster claimed.

 “Of course it was also the of this artwork to provoke and polarise opinion. We consider this satirical form of representation to be in keeping with our journalistic values. We reject any insinuation that we would operate Islamophobic propaganda.

— ARD television, defending its use of the controversial image

But many viewers accused the programme-makers of Islamophobia, and said they were deliberately provoking anti-Muslim sentiments.

A Pegida supporter wears a burqa during a rally in Dresden

A Pegida supporter wears a burqa during a rally in Dresden.  Photo: AFP

“This is not constructive journalism. Ugh!” read one comment on the programme’s Facebook page. “The mood turns because of such defamation and propaganda. So yes it’s true: integration cannot succeed.”

The broadcaster defended the use of the image. “Of course it was also the of this artwork to provoke and polarise opinion,” it said in a statement.

“We consider this satirical form of representation to be in keeping with our journalistic values. We reject any insinuation that we would operate Islamophobic propaganda.”

Supporters of Legida, a local copycat of Dresden's Pegida, during a rally in Leipzig

Supporters of Legida, a local copycat of Dresden’s Pegida, during a rally in Leipzig Photo: Jens Schlueter/AFP

But many viewers complained that the image was similar to posters produced by the anti-Islam and anti-immigrant movement Pegida, or Patriotic Europeans against the Islamisation of the West. Read the rest of this entry »

The Future of Hong Kong: Bumpy Road Ahead 

Rising property prices in the city mean few bookshops can afford ground-floor premises - except those backed by China’s official Liaison Office. Photograph: Jonas Gratzer/LightRocket via Getty Images

 writes: On September 28, protesters marked the anniversary of the start of last year’s Umbrella Revolution, in which 200,000 Hong Kongers took to the streets to demand genuine democracy for their city. The demonstrations ended after over two months of occupation, with the protesters failing to achieve their ends.

Although the democratic bloc in the Hong Kong legislature blocked implementation of Beijing’s preferred plan—the Chief Executive would be directly elected, but with candidates approved by a pro-Beijing nominating committee—it marked a pyrrhic victory. In rejecting what surely amounted to sham democracy, the city was left with its extant political system intact, leaving Hong Kongers no direct say in the appointment of the city’s leader. Read the rest of this entry »

Pew Research Center: Gun Homicide Rate Down 49% Since 1993 Peak; Public Unaware 


Compared with 1993, the peak of U.S. gun homicides, the firearm homicide rate was 49% lower in 2010, and there were fewer deaths, even though the nation’s population grew.

By  and 

Chapter 1: Overview

National rates of gun homicide and other violent gun crimes are strikingly lower now than during their peak in the mid-1990s, paralleling a general decline in violent crime, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of government data. Beneath the long-term trend, though, are big differences by decade: Violence plunged through the 1990s, but has declined less dramatically since 2000.


Compared with 1993, the peak of U.S. gun homicides, the firearm homicide rate was 49% lower in 2010, and there were fewer deaths, even though the nation’s population grew. The victimization rate for other violent crimes with a firearm—assaults, robberies and sex crimes—was 75% lower in 2011 than in 1993. Violent non-fatal crime victimization overall (with or without a firearm) also is down markedly (72%) over two decades.

Nearly all the decline in the firearm homicide rate took place in the 1990s; the downward trend stopped in 2001 and resumed slowly in 2007. The victimization rate for other gun crimes plunged in the 1990s, then declined more slowly from 2000 to 2008. The rate appears to be higher in 2011 compared with 2008, but the increase is not statistically significant. Violent non-fatal crime victimization overall also dropped in the 1990s before declining more slowly from 2000 to 2010, then ticked up in 2011.

Despite national attention to the issue of firearm violence, most Americans are unaware that gun crime is lower today than it was two decades ago. According to a new Pew Research Center survey, today 56% of Americans believe gun crime is higher than 20 years ago and only 12% think it is lower.


Looking back 50 years, the U.S. gun homicide rate began rising in the 1960s, surged in the 1970s, and hit peaks in 1980 and the early 1990s. (The number of homicides peaked in the early 1990s.) The plunge in homicides after that meant that firearm homicide rates inmust-think-hardthe late 2000s were equal to those not seen since the early 1960s.The sharp decline in the U.S. gun homicide rate, combined with a slower decrease in the gun suicide
rate, means that gun suicides now account for six-in-ten firearms deaths, the highest share since at least 1981.

Trends for robberies followed a similar long-term trajectory as homicides (National Research Council, 2004), hitting a peak in the early 1990s before declining.

This report examines trends in firearm homicide, non-fatal violent gun crime victimization and non-fatal violent crime victimization overall since 1993. Its findings on firearm crime are based mainly on analysis of data from two federal agencies. Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, using information from death certificates, are the source of rates, counts and trends for all firearm deaths, homicide and suicide, unless otherwise specified. The Department of Justice’s National Crime Victimization Survey, a household survey conducted by the Census Bureau, supplies annual estimates of non-fatal crime victimization, including those where firearms are used, regardless of whether the crimes were reported to police. Where relevant, this report also quotes from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports (see text box at the end of this chapter and the Methodology appendix for more discussion about data sources).


Researchers have studied the decline in firearm crime and violent crime for many years, and though there are theories to explain the decline, there is no consensus among those who study the issue as to why it happened.

There also is debate about the extent of gun ownership in the U.S., although no disagreement that the U.S. has more civilian firearms, both total and per capita, than other nations. Compared with other developed nations, the U.S. has a higher homicide rate and higher rates of gun ownership, but not higher rates for all other crimes. (See Chapter 5 for more details.)

In the months since the mass shooting at a Newtown, Conn., elementary school in December, the public is paying close attention to the topic of firearms; according to a recent Pew Research Center survey (Pew Research Center, April 2013) no story received more public attention from mid-March to early April than the debate over gun control. Reducing crime has moved up as a priority for the public in polling this year.

Mass shootings are a matter of great public interest and concern. They also are a relatively small share of shootings overall. According to a Bureau of Justice Statistics review, homicides that claimed at least three lives accounted for less than 1% of all homicide deaths from 1980 to 2008. These homicides, most of which are shootings, increased as a share of all homicides from 0.5% in 1980 to 0.8% in 2008, according to the bureau’s data. A Congressional Research Service report, using a definition of four deaths or more, counted 547 deaths from mass shootings in the U.S. from 1983 to 2012.

Looking at the larger topic of firearm deaths, there were 31,672 deaths from guns in the U.S. in 2010. Most (19,392) were suicides; the gun suicide rate has been higher than the gun homicide rate since at least 1981, and the gap is wider than it was in 1981.


Knowledge About Crime


Despite the attention to gun violence in recent months, most Americans are unaware that gun crime is markedly lower than it was two decades ago. A new Pew Research Center survey (March 14-17) found that 56% of Americans believe the number of crimes involving a gun is higher than it was 20 years ago; only 12% say it is lower and 26% say it stayed the same. (An additional 6% did not know or did not answer.)

Men (46%) are less likely than women (65%) to say long-term gun crime is up. Young adults, ages 18 to 29, are markedly less likely than other adults to say long-term crime is up—44% do, compared with more than half of other adults. Minority adults are more likely than non-Hispanic whites to say that long-term gun crime is up, 62% compared with 53%.

Asked about trends in the number of gun crimes “in recent years,” a plurality of 45% believe the number has gone up, 39% say it is about the same and 10% say it has gone down. (An additional 5% did not know or did not answer.) As with long-term crime, women (57%) are more likely than men (32%) to say that gun crime has increased in recent years. So are non-white adults (54%) compared with whites (41%). Adults ages 50 and older (51%) are more likely than those ages 18-49 (42%) to believe gun crime is up.

What is Behind the Crime Decline?

Researchers continue to debate the key factors behind changing crime rates, which is part of a larger discussion about the predictors of crime. There is consensus that demographics played some role: The outsized post-World War II baby boom, which produced a large number of people in the high-crime ages of 15 to 20 in the 1960s and 1970s, helped drive crime up in those years.

A review by the National Academy of Sciences of factors driving recent crime trends (Blumstein and Rosenfeld, 2008) cited a decline in rates in the early 1980s as the young boomers got older, then a flare-up by mid-decade in conjunction with a rising street market for crack cocaine, especially in big cities. It noted recruitment of a younger cohort of drug seller with greater willingness to use guns. By the early 1990s, crack markets withered in part because of lessened demand, and the vibrant national economy made it easier for even low-skilled young people to find jobs rather than get involved in crime.

At the same time, a rising number of people ages 30 and older were incarcerated, due in part to stricter laws, which helped restrain violence among this age group. It is less clear, researchers say, that innovative policing strategies and police crackdowns on use of guns by younger adults played a significant role in reducing crime.

Some researchers have proposed additional explanations as to why crime levels plunged so suddenly, including increased access to abortion and lessened exposure to lead. According to one hypothesis, legalization of abortion after the 1973 Supreme Court Roe v. Wade decision resulted in fewer unwanted births, and unwanted children have an increased risk of growing up to become criminals. Another theory links reduced crime to 1970s-era reductions in lead in gasoline; children’s exposure to lead causes brain damage that could be associated with violent behavior. The National Academy of Sciences review said it was unlikely that either played a major role, but researchers continue to explore both factors.


The plateau in national violent crime rates has raised interest in the topic of how local differences might influence crime levels and trends. Crime reductions took place across the country in the 1990s, but since 2000, patterns have varied more by metropolitan area or city.

One focus of interest is that gun ownership varies widely by region and locality. The National Academy of Sciences review of possible influences on crime trends said there is good evidence of a link between firearm ownership and firearm homicide at the local level; “the causal direction of this relationship remains in dispute, however, with some researchers maintaining that firearm violence elevates rates of gun ownership, but not the reverse.” Read the rest of this entry »

Meet The African-American Billionaire Businessman Who’s Richer Than Michael Jordan

Robert F. Smith makes his debut on the Forbes 400 as the second-richest African-American, based on years of hard work and high achievement in the software industry….(read more)

Source: Forbes

CHART: The Truth About Gun Ownership in America Isn’t What Liberals Think


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.

Source: National Review  Also see here, here, and here

‘As Difficult as it Might Be to Accept, There Are Problems That Can’t Be Fixed By Washington’


The More You Politicize Guns, The Weaker Your Case Becomes.

 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.

Featured Image -- 76639

“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.

[Read the full text here, at The Federalist]

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?

Read the rest of this entry »

Lee Smith: The End of Pax Americana: Obama’s ‘Accomplishment’


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.

Syrian refugees wait to cross into Turkey at the border on Monday near the town of Suruc, Turkey, which has been overwhelmed as thousands flee to escape a militant advance.G Getty Images

Syrian refugees wait to cross into Turkey at the border on Monday near the town of Suruc, Turkey, which has been overwhelmed as thousands flee to escape a militant advance.G Getty Images

“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.

[Read the full text here, at The Weekly Standard]

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] Netanyahu’s Historic 45 Seconds of Silence, Condemning the U.N.’s ‘Utter Silence’ on Tehran’s Existential Threat to Israel

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.

Carole E. Lee, Jay Solomon, and Joe Lauria report: 

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 »

Who Is Chris Harper Mercer? Oregon’s Alleged Umqua Community College Shooter Identified

 reports: Chris Harper Mercer, 26, has been identified as the shooter responsible for taking the lives of at least 10 people at a community college in southwest Oregon earlier Thursday, law enforcement sources confirmed to CBS News. Law enforcement officers shot and killed Mercer in an exchange of gunfire later Thursday afternoon.

Law enforcement authorities responded to calls that there was an active shooter on campus at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon, at roughly 10:38 a.m. PDT. Ten people were killed and 20 more were injured. The shooter reportedly open fire in one building on campus before moving to the school’s science building. Victims were found in at least two buildings. Mercer allegedly asked people to stand up and state their religion, and then started firing, the News-Review, a local newspaper for Douglas County, Oregon, reported. Read the rest of this entry »

Dr. Krauthammer: Obama’s ‘100 Percent Knee Jerk Reaction’ Came ‘When Bodies Still Warm’ 

“I don’t doubt that the president’s statement was 100 percent sincere and 100 percent knee-jerk. He has no idea what the gun is, how it was obtained, who the person is, and what the person’s motive is.”

Krauthammer said on Thursday’s Special Report.

[See the VIDEO here, at National Review Online]

“What does he do if it turns out he was a terrorist? We don’t know whether it is or not and to make a pronouncement at this time when – I hate to say it, the bodies are still warm and the wound reasonable doubt now in surgery — I think is at least premature.”

Source: National Review Online

NYT Cartoon of the Day: United Nations

President Obama and President Vladimir V. Putin attended the General Assembly…

Source: The New York Times

Obama Humiliated as Putin Resets Mideast 

Russia launched its first airstrikes in Syria on Wednesday. They were almost all in western Syria. They did not fall on the Islamic State or the other terrorist groups raping and pillaging the Syrian countryside, creating the largest international refugee crisis in decades.

Rather, the Russian airstrikes fell on the moderate rebel groups that the U.S. has been notionally supporting against the country’s tyrant Bashar al-Assad.

President Obama seems surprised by this, but his surprise is inexcusably disingenuous or obtuse.

McCain: Putin’s Ambitions ‘Blindingly Obvious’

Assad is and has long been an ally of Russia and its president, Vladimir Putin. Russia entered the Syrian civil war as any rational person would have expected, on the side of his ally and of the Iranian paramilitaries that support him.


Does anyone in the administration dare to say they were shocked — shocked — that Putin is indifferent to both the horror and the strategic threat posed by the Islamic State. Why, yes the Obama administration does dare to claim surprise. When Russian bombs began to fall on their predictable targets, American officials reacted by claiming they were “taken aback,” as if they were genuinely wounded and upset.


On Monday, Obama had addressed the United Nations with the ridiculous idea that Washington and Moscow might would work together in Syria. “The United States is prepared to work with any nation, including Russia and Iran, to resolve the conflict,” Obama said. Read the rest of this entry »

Russian Strikes Again Expose US Disarray

New York (AFP) – Russia’s dramatic entry Wednesday into the Syrian war put the United States on the back foot once again and left Washington struggling to regain the military and diplomatic initiative.

As US Secretary of State John Kerry was in New York trying to coordinate with his Kremlin opposite number Sergei Lavrov, a Russian officer contacted the US embassy in Baghdad.

His message was simple: Russian jets are about to launch air strikes in Syria, please stay out of their way.


Kerry quickly protested to Lavrov that this was not in the spirit of Moscow’s promise to agree a “de-confliction” mechanism to ensure Russian flights do not interfere with US-led operations.

But the strikes were already underway, potentially altering the balance of power in Syria back in favor of Bashar al-Assad‘s regime, and Washington was looking at a fait accompli.


Lavrov’s next move was to promise to bring a motion before the UN Security Council to coordinate “all forces standing up against Islamic State and other terrorist structures.”

This would be a plain victory for Assad, who invited the Russians to join his battle to cling on to power, and a defeat for the United States, which has demanded he step down. Read the rest of this entry »

OH YES THEY DID: Russia-Linked Hackers Tried to Access Clinton Server, Emails Show

WASHINGTON (Associated Press) — Russia-linked hackers tried at least five times to pry into Hillary Rodham Clinton’s private email account while she was US secretary of state, emails released Wednesday show.

It is unclear, however, if she clicked on any attachment and exposed her account.


Clinton received the infected emails, disguised as speeding tickets, over four hours early on the morning of August 3, 2011.

The emails instructed recipients to print the attached tickets, which would have allowed hackers to take control of their computers.

Security researchers who analyzed the malicious software in September 2011 said that infected computers would transmit information from victims to at least three server computers overseas, including one in Russia.

Hillary Clinton

But that doesn’t necessarily mean Russian intelligence or citizens were responsible.

Clinton has said repeatedly that the unusual homebrew server she used was secure.

But the phishing attempts highlight the risk of Clinton’s unsecure email being pried open by foreign intelligence agencies, even if others also PANTSUIT-REPORTreceived the virus concealed as a speeding ticket from Chatham, New York. The email misspelled the name of the city, came from a supposed New York City government account and contained a “Ticket.zip” file that would have been a red flag.

Most commercial antivirus software at the time would have detected the software, identified it as dangerous and prevented users from infecting themselves. It was unclear if the State Department’s network security would have flagged the infected message, or what precautions were in place protecting Clinton’s server in the basement of her home in Chappaqua.

Hillary email phish

State Department: One of the emails.

The US State Department and other government agencies, during Clinton’s tenure and after, suffered its own series of hacking attacks. US counterterrorism officials have linked them to China and Russia. Read the rest of this entry »

Garry Kasparov: Vladimir Putin Takes a Victory Lap While Barack Obama Helplessly Watches


Obama’s speech was routine because he knows he will not act. Putin’s speech was routine because he knows he will act anyway.

Garry Kasparov writes: With the Middle East in chaos and a belligerent Russian regime stoking the turmoil, the dueling speeches at the United Nations on Monday by presidents Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin might have offered new insight. What the world saw instead was entirely predictable.

“The images of the two leaders together are being splashed across the Russian media as a huge triumph for Mr. Putin. The narrative, which began circulating as soon as the meeting was announced, is that not only did the valiant Mr. Putin confront and condemn the weak Mr. Obama and the evil United States, he did so in New York City, the belly of the beast itself.”

Mr. Obama has already decided to continue his policy of disengagement from the Middle East, and his platitudes about cooperation and the rule of law rang hollow in the U.N.’s General Assembly hall. Of the conflict in Syria, he said, “we must
recognize that there cannot be, after so much bloodshed, so much carnage, a return to the prewar status quo.” But every
51jUYNkqdIL._SL250_listener was aware that Mr. Obama had no intention of backing his words with action.

[Order Garry Kasparov‘s bookWinter Is Coming: Why Vladimir Putin and the Enemies of the Free World Must Be Stopped” from Amazon.com]

Mr. Putin, speaking about an hour later in the same room, included his usual NATO-bashing and obvious lies. “We think it is an enormous mistake,” Mr. Putin said, “to refuse to cooperate with the Syrian government and its armed forces, who are valiantly fighting terrorism face to face.” He spoke of national sovereignty—which is very important to Mr. Putin, unless it’s the sovereignty of Georgia, Ukraine or another place where he wishes to meddle.


“Mr. Obama has already decided to continue his policy of disengagement from the Middle East, and his platitudes about cooperation and the rule of law rang hollow in the U.N.’s General Assembly hall.”

The content of the speeches was irrelevant to Mr. Putin before he even opened his mouth. He made his first U.N. address in 10 years because looking like a big man on the international stage is the only ploy he has left to justify his rule in Russia. His devil’s bargain with the Russian people a decade ago was to provide prosperity in exchange for their giving up their rights and democracy. Now we have none of the above.

[Read the full text here, at WSJ]

Mr. Putin’s only remaining gambit is to claim that he is defending Russian greatness while surrounded by enemies (whom that he is an expert at creating). With his offensive in Ukraine sputtering along, new fronts were needed. He has found them in Syria and at the U.N.


“The content of the speeches was irrelevant to Mr. Putin before he even opened his mouth. He made his first U.N. address in 10 years because looking like a big man on the international stage is the only ploy he has left to justify his rule in Russia.”

In this light, the much-hyped private meeting between Messrs. Obama and Putin was the biggest possible prize. The only statement to come out of the meeting was that the U.S. and Russia would consider working together against Islamic State, also known as ISIS. Not that Mr. Putin cares about cooperation, as long as his goal of preserving Bashar Assad’s murderous dictatorship in Syria isn’t interfered with.

“His devil’s bargain with the Russian people a decade ago was to provide prosperity in exchange for their giving up their rights and democracy. Now we have none of the above.”

Yet the images of the two leaders together are being splashed across the Russian media as a huge triumph for Mr. Putin. The narrative, which began circulating as soon as the meeting was announced, is that not only did the valiant Mr. Putin confront and condemn the weak Mr. Obama and the evil United States, he did so in New York City, the belly of the beast itself. As soon as the first pictures were taken, the meeting became a great success for Mr. Putin, and another self-inflicted defeat for American foreign policy—and for stability and democracy in the Middle East. Read the rest of this entry »

Ethel Rosenberg: War Criminal, Soviet Spy, Executed for Treason, Lovingly Celebrated by the American Left for Her ‘Bravery’


Born in 1915 in New York City, Ethel Rosenberg went to Seward High School. After finishing school in 1931, she went to work for the National New York Packing and Shipping Company. Rosenberg became involved in a workers’ union there and soon became a supporter of the Communist Party.


Ethel Rosenberg, Still Dead

“Karl Marx, in whatever spectral afterlife the old monster is enjoying, must be smiling as American history repeats itself, moving on from tragedy to farce. Just as denunciations of the “Red Scare” were used to draw attention away from the crimes of American individuals and institutions undertaken in service of the Soviet Union, now cries of “Islamophobia!” are being used to muddy the waters in the matter of the participation of American and Western people and institutions in the worldwide Islamic jihad against the West… (read more)


From AceOfSpadesHQ:

Look, there’s no question that “OSA” (Russian for “bee;” Ethel’s code-name) was a member of Karl Fuch’s (code-name: KALIBR) spy ring charged with working on “ENORMOZ” (the code-name for the US atomic bomb program). She urged Ruth Greenglass to recruit her husband David Greenglass (who worked for the Manhattan Project) into the spy ring; she did, Greenglass joined, and Greenglass delivered over key information to the Soviet Union.


We read their secret communications at the time; we have since disclosed this fact; and former Soviet Premier Nikita Kruschev said so in his pothumously-published memoirs.

From Wikipedia:

In his posthumously published memoirs, Nikita Khrushchev, leader of the Soviet Union from 1953 to 1964, said that he “cannot specifically say what kind of help the Rosenbergs provided us” but that he learned from Joseph Stalin and Vyacheslav M. Molotov that they “had provided very significant help in accelerating the production of our atomic bomb”.

So there’s no question she did what she was alleged to have done; nor, in fact, was there much doubt at the time — most Soviet-leaning/communist-sympathizing progressives made the Rosenbergs their heroes not because they thought they were innocent, but rather because they knew they were guilty.

Or, as they would put it: they knew the Rosenbergs had “demonstrated great bravery” on behalf of the Worker’s Paradise of Mother Russia….(read more)

New York City Honors a Monster

For National Review, Kevin D. Williamson:

…There is practically no one left defending the innocence of Julius Rosenberg — even his children have admitted that he was a traitor and a spy. The only people who doubt the guilt of his wife, Ethel, are those with a very strong ideological resistance to the facts of the case. Among other things, we have the word of Nikita Khrushchev, who writes in his memoirs of the help the Rosenbergs, plural, provided in the Soviet nuclear-weapons program; we have the communications of the Soviet spymaster to whom they answered, who in his missives to Moscow describes Ethel as an operative; we have the Vedona papers, the declassified Soviet archives in which that same handler, Aleksandr Feklisov, writes of Ethel’s role in recommending new espionage recruits, etc. Yes, there are instances of conflicting testimony in the case, as there are in every mugging, and Ethel’s brother, who had originally omitted any mention of his sister’s role in the spy ring, changed his testimony when his wife told a different story. None of this is enough — not nearly — to outweigh the plain archival evidence in Soviet records.

“‘But, McCarthy was mean!’ Not mean enough. Not by half.”

There is some controversy, a matter of historical trivia, about whether the Rosenbergs were effective spies; some Soviet scientists involved in the nuclear-weapons program have dismissed the information they provided as useless. Being a bad spy, however, is not a defense against espionage charges. The record is clear that in the matter of the crimes with which they were charged — treason and conspiracy to commit espionage — the Rosenbergs, both of them, were guilty as charged.


The Communist movement worldwide murdered some 100 million people over the course of the 20th century The Soviet enterprise specifically, to which the Rosenbergs were fiercely committed — they are described as “devoted” in the Soviet literature — had at the time of the Rosenbergs’ recruit already intentionally starved to death some 8 million people in Ukraine for the purposes of political terror. Read the rest of this entry »

Europe’s Migrant Crisis Is Simply Muslim History vs. Western Fantasy

Progressive Europe erased or rewrote its own history. Now they can’t recognize an invasion by people to whom history is everything.

PJ Media, by Raymond Ibrahim, September 29, 2015:

The world as understood by Islamic nations varies wildly from the Western nations’ understanding of the world. Whereas Muslims see the world through the lens of history, the West has jettisoned or rewritten history to suit its ideologies.

This dichotomy of Muslim and Western thinking is evident everywhere. When the Islamic State declared that it will “conquer Rome” and “break its crosses,” few in the West realized that those are the verbatim words and goals of Islam’s founder and his companions as recorded in Muslim sources — words and goals that prompted over a thousand years of jihad on Europe.

Most recently, the Islamic State released a map of the areas it plans on expanding into over the next five years. Not only are Mideast and Asian regions included, but the map includes European lands: Portugal, Spain, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Greece, parts of Russia, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Romania, Armenia, Georgia, Crete, and Cyprus.

The reason for this is simple. According to Islamic law, once a country has been conquered (or “opened,” as the euphemistic Arabic words it), it becomes Islamic in perpetuity.

This, incidentally, is the real reason Muslims despise Israel. The motivation is not sympathy for the Palestinians — if it was, neighboring Arab nations would’ve absorbed them long ago, just as they would be absorbing all of today’s Muslim refugees. No, Israel is hated because the descendants of “apes and pigs” — according to the Koran — dare to rule land that was once “opened” by jihad and therefore must be returned to Islam. (Read more about Islam’s “How Dare You?” phenomenon to understand the source of Islamic rage.)

All of the aforementioned European nations are seen as being currently “occupied” by Christian “infidels” and in need of “liberation.” This is why jihadi organizations refer to terrorist attacks on such countries as “defensive jihads.”One rarely hears about Islamic designs on European nations because they are large and blocked together, altogether distant from the Muslim world. Conversely, tiny Israel is in the heart of the Islamic world, hence it has received most of the jihadi attention: it was a more realistic conquest. But now that the “caliphate” has been reborn and is expanding before a paralytic West, dreams of reconquering portions of Europe — if not through jihad, then through migration — are becoming more plausible, perhaps more so than conquering Israel. Read the rest of this entry »


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