Trey Gowdy on the government’s denying 2nd Amendment rights without due process

Terrorism Watch List

Trey Gowdy grills DHS official on due process.

Posted by House Oversight Committee on Thursday, December 10, 2015

(If the video doesn’t load, go here.)

The Bookworm Beat 12-10-15 — the “Islamic terrorism” edition *UPDATED*

Woman-writing-300x265A few words about Donald Trump’s campaign success

Donald Trump is the ordinary American’s id. The id, of course, is our most basic intelligence, the one that gives us the atavistic reflexes that recognize danger and act on it to stay alive.

Trump has cut through the political correctness that prevented all politicians, including Republican ones, from speaking the cold, hard truth: Muslims are a problem. While we know that not all Muslims are a problem, until we figure out a way to separate wheat from chaff, we are insane to invite them in without limitations.

If you pay attention to what Trump said, as opposed to what the media says he said, Trump actually made a sensible suggestion, although framed in his typical inflammatory way: America needs to press the pause button on admitting Muslims until we can formulate a policy that’s aimed at separating bad (i.e., jihadist or otherwise fundamentalist Muslims) from good Muslims. Here, in his own words, with my emphasis added:

Donald Trump evoked outrage from across the political spectrum Monday by calling for a “total and complete shutdown” of Muslims entering the U.S., a proposal that taps into voter anxiety about the recent spate of terrorist attacks yet likely runs afoul of religious freedoms enshrined in the Constitution. “It is obvious to anybody the hatred [among Muslims] is beyond comprehension,” Mr. Trump said. “Where this hatred comes from and why, we will have to determine. Until we are able to determine and understand this problem and the dangerous threat it poses, our country cannot be the victims of horrendous attacks by people that believe only in jihad, and have no sense of reason or respect for human life.” His campaign said he would keep the ban intact “until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on,” including the facts around the two attackers who killed 14 people in San Bernardino, Calif., last week. Syed Rizwan Farook, a U.S. citizen, and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, a legal immigrant who had a green card, were killed in a shootout with the police after the massacre.

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The Bookworm Beat 12-3-15 — the mini round-up and illustrated edition

Woman-writing-300x265I’ve come across a few fascinating and delightful things and am tossing into this Bookworm Beat both posts and pictures:

A study about Palestinian violence explains the “lone wolf” syndrome

Every time Muslims commit mass murder in America, our elites in the Obama administration and the media (but I repeat myself) tell us that it’s not jihad, it’s just a “lone wolf.” What these great Progressive thinkers mean, of course, is that the acts are not being committed by a member of a formal army, receiving orders from a central command. Their logic is that, if there’s no central command point, there’s no jihad; there are just a few wacky individuals who happened to be in touch with overseas terrorist masterminds, who were recognized by all as a devout Muslim (although this devotion was often of recent vintage), and who somehow managed to throw a few “Allahu Akbars” into the carnage.

Israel, of course, has lately had a plague of “lone wolf” “lone wolf attacks,” often by teens and women, none of whom are taking direct marching orders from command central in either Hamas or the PA. Daniel Polisar did a study about Palestinian violence against Jews and he distilled the results of his long-term study to examine the current “lone wolf,” knife-stabbing.  What Polisar discovered is that these “lone wolves” aren’t really alone at all.  That is, they’re not aberrant outliers.  Instead, they are reflecting the central tenets of their society and acting on the dominant paradigm in their community. In their world, it’s praiseworthy to kill Jews, both because Palestinian society at large says that Jews deserve to die and because the same society says that each Jewish death advances Palestinian social and political goals.

In other words, once a society has embraced a corrupt idea, “command central” is no longer necessary to take practical steps to advance that idea. Instead, each individual appoints himself as a soldier in a very real, albeit unstructured, army.

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Stuck on Stupid: Progressive Facebook edition (Part 2)

facebook-thumbs-downIt’s not a very deep dive to plumb the depths of Leftist intellectual positions on most issues, but it’s still a worthwhile exercise to expose the fallacies that they use to try to dominate the debate on pressing issues — with the most pressing issue being whether to admit Syrian refugees.  The easiest place for me to find examples of Leftist thought is my Facebook feed. Because I’ve spent my life in Blue enclaves, almost all of my friends — and they are really nice people in day-to-day interactions — are Progressives.  It gives me pleasure to deconstruct some of their more foolish or vicious posters:

I have to admit that these first two posters are my favorite “stupid Progressive Facebook” posts.  Because Thanksgiving is coming up, both chide anti-refugee conservatives for forgetting that the first Thanksgiving came about because the indigenous people in North America extended a welcoming hand to European immigrants.

Whenever I’ve seen one of these posters pop up on my Facebook feed, I’ve left a polite comment to the effect that we all learned in public school (thanks to Howard Zinn and others) that the Europeans, once having gotten a foothold in North America, promptly turned around and murdered as many Native Americans as possible. If they couldn’t murder them, they dispossessed them of their land and otherwise marginalized them.  There’s certainly a lesson to be learned here but the lesson isn’t to welcome refugees, it’s to cry out “For God’s sake, don’t let them in!”

Indians refusing pilgrims

Pilgrims should be supportive of immigration

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Maybe Obama can re-energize by leading a fight to ban swords and knives

Robert Tracinski wrote an excellent article calling Obama the worst president ever. I urge you to read it. His opening point, which is that Obama is bored by the disasters he’s let loose in the world,and excited only about fighting to deprive Americans of their Second Amendment rights got me thinking. Combine that with today’s story about the swordsman in the Apple store, and I ended up with a snarky post:

President Obama seems bored lately. It’s no surprise why. Once he determined that Islam has nothing to do with massacres in Boston, Kenya, Mumbai, Paris, Mali, etc. (all committed with weapons that are already illegal in the U.S.), he was left with nothing to say. If you watch his lifeless statement after the Paris massacre, you can almost see him thinking “Same old, same old. I can’t even pretend emotion by this time.”

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Two good things about the new James Bond movie #JamesBond #Spectre

James Bond SpectreLast night, I saw the new James Bond movie, Spectre. I enjoyed it, although I must admit that it lagged in places. The fight and chase scenes, however, were spectacular, and they went a long way to make up for the slow parts. I’ve also come to like Daniel Craig’s Bond. I didn’t at first — Craig is a funny looking guy, despite those amazing blue eyes — but I’ve come to enjoy his tightly-coiled, muscled Bond, which is much closer to the character in the original books than the other Bond actors have been.

Daniel Craig and the fight/chase scenes notwithstanding, Andrew Klavan observed correctly that the movie fails at a very fundamental level because it doesn’t reflect real-world concerns:

But more than that, as with last summer’s Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation (a much better movie) — and with the last three Star Wars flicks (much worse), Spectre suffers as a result of the deterioration of American values since the original source material was made.

The Bond of Dr. No, like the Ethan Hunt of the original MI TV series, like the Luke Skywalker of the first Star Wars trilogy, knew what he was fighting for and what he was fighting against. The story — all those stories — took place with the presence of the Soviet Union and Red China in every viewer’s mind. We knew they were slave states who wished to impose their brand of slavery — called communism then, progressivism now — on the entire world. We knew we needed brave men and strong ideas to defeat them.

Where oh where could we find such villains today? Who holds to a slave philosophy now? Who wants to impose that philosophy on the rest of us? Why are they evil? Why should we oppose them?

The answers are 1. In the Middle East; 2. Islamists; 3. Also Islamists; 4. Because individual liberty is an objective good; and 5. Because if good men don’t fight evil, evil wins.

The people who make these movies live in a haze of such intellectual dishonesty that they have forgotten, or chosen to ignore, these answers. They aren’t honest so they can’t write honest plots. Their villains have no motives and their master plans are confusing where they’re not just laughable. Their heroes are merely an assemblage of characteristics from an earlier age: empty images that move and talk a certain way but have no virtue and so no power to thrill. They are, so to speak, merely spectres of their former selves.

I think, though, Klavan missed one very real issue that the movie did address, and that’s the fact that our governments spy on us constantly.  This is especially true in England, which has more cameras per citizen, I believe, than any other First World country.  George Orwell would not be pleased.  Given the English setting, it’s not surprising that a strong theme in the movie is a technocrat’s efforts to create a massive, worldwide information database drawn from all cameras and telephone calls trained on every individual. It may not be Islamists, but it’s a problem, so the movie isn’t completely in la-la land by recognizing it.  (For those who like exotic locales, England’s not the only place the movie shows.  It travels the world, with an especially strong opening sequence set in Mexico City.)

The other thing I liked about the movie — and I won’t develop on too much lest I give away a few fun plot points — is that the movie is like an NRA advertisement.  Bad guys have guns and the only way to deal with them is when the good guys have guns.  Indeed, there are two scenes in which guns are front and center.  In one it’s made clear that, even if one doesn’t like guns, they serve a useful and necessary purpose.  In another scene, it’s made just as clear that the mere fact that someone has a gun doesn’t mean that the person will use it.  Guns are tools.  Whether they are safe or dangerous depends on the user, not the tool.

For current events, Spectre gets (as Andrew Klavan said) a “B.”  For gun rights, though, I give the movie a strong “A.”

Brief thoughts about today’s news #Paris #Islam #Mizzou #terror #Yale

paris-attackBefore I begin, I want to extend my sincerest condolences to the French people. This Mumbai-style attack is terrible and cruel.

Having said that, I feel obligated to point out that France, which has expended a great deal of energy trying to appease the Muslim crocodile (including trying to undermine Israel at every turn and punting on a moral nation’s obligation to protect its Jewish population) failed as signally at appeasement as Churchill implied would happen to all appeasers.

I was speaking to a friend who said that the Paris attack would almost certainly improve Marine Le Pen’s political prospects. Although she’s a socialist through and through, she at least understands that the medieval strain of Islam is France’s enemy, just as it is the enemy of all civilized nations. Thinking about Le Pen, I realized that we have a Le Pen too: Donald Trump.

Unlike a true conservative who believes in individual liberty, which can only be achieved through limited government, Trump, a former Democrat, is a Big Government guy in both theory and practice. And like Le Pen, the only thing that really distinguishes Trump from any other statist political figure is that he too is hostile to immigrants. They are both xenophobic nationalists.  Neither is a true conservative.

As it happens, I support Trump’s hard-line stance on illegal immigration. As it happens, my favorite candidate, Ted Cruz, is also a hardliner on immigration but — and this is why I like him so much — he’s also a true individual liberties kind of guy, one who believes federal government should fulfill limited functions that happen to include strong border and national security.

And of course, let me be one of many to comment that, last I heard, Obama still can’t make himself choke out the words Islam or Muslim.

Closer to home, I’m getting the feeling that the Mini Maos who have taken over America’s colleges and universities might have finally broken through the wall of ignorance behind which middle class parents have been hiding when it comes to the Leftist insanity they’re funding. I had three Progressive friends ask me today (because they know I follow the news fanatically) what the heck is going on. I was happy to explain.

Indeed, I’m wondering if today won’t be an inflection point — a “come to Jesus moment,” if you will — when mindless liberals finally realize that conservatives are not racist, censorial fascists, but have, instead, been the tocsin desperately shouting out a warning about the dangers of fascism at home and Islamism both at home and abroad. Certainly, every Progressive with even a few functioning brain cells should ask him or herself if things in Paris would have been different if the Parisians had concealed-carry. And those who have been watching events in Israel must surely have noticed by now that the best defense against a terrorist with a knife is a gun.

The Bookworm Beat 11-5-15 — the Guy Fawkes edition and open thread

Woman-writing-300x265Remember, remember, the fifth of November, with gunpowder, treason, and plot. We see no reason why gunpowder treason should ever be forgot. And today, in honor of the holiday celebrated in a once great nation, I offer you myriad links hinting that, absent brave action, we may find ourselves going down before the Leftist and Islamist gunpowder, treason, and plot that we’ve both cultivated and invited into our comfortable first world nations.

The way in which government embrace of climate change perverts science

It’s long, but you won’t regret a minute of the time you spend reading Matt Ridley’s accessible, fact-rich, cogent analysis of the way science has become corrupt in its pursuit of government money directed at climate change:

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The Bookworm Beat 10-27-15 — “it’s just another day” edition and open thread

Woman-writing-300x265I’ve been going through my emails, with 200 down, 300 or so yet to go. Even though I’m only less than halfway through, I’ve discovered marvelous articles hiding in my email box thanks to friends from all over.

Did Merkel unilaterally doom Europe?

We no longer subscribe to the great man or great woman school of history. We’ve also abandoned the notion of high tragedy arising from the hubris of said great men or women. Perhaps, though, it’s time for us to revive that genre.

Daniel Greenfield convincingly argues that Germany’s Angela Merkel, with her mad plan to replace her country’s shrinking, aging population with Muslim refugees, will have single-handedly done to Europe what generations of Muslim conquerors have tried to do, which is to turn it into a part of the global Caliphate:

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The Bookworm Beat 10-21-15 — the “purging papers” edition

Woman-writing-300x265My Kondo-mania continues unabated. The task I’ve assigned myself now is to get rid of all but the most necessary papers in my house. And of those, unless the paper itself has some historic, emotional, or legal value, to scan what remains. I’ve been sorting and shredding all day, and am only taking a break now because my son refused to believe me that our little home shredder would jam if he fed in more than three pages. He stuffed in nine, and is now using tweezers to clean out the shredder. Meanwhile….

The bloodless Muslim takeover of Europe

Daniel Greenfield’s article about the Muslim invasion is best summarized in this paragraph:

Europe invested in the values of its welfare state. The Muslim world invested in large families. Europe expects the Muslim world to bail out its shrinking birth rate by working and paying into the system so that its aging population can retire. The Muslim migrants however expect Europe to subsidize their large families with its welfare state while they deal some drugs and chop off some heads on the side.

Mr. Bookworm, incidentally, couldn’t understand my dismay when I learned he’d donated $100 to help the refugees. He tried to analogize the situation to Jews fleeing Nazis, and castigated me for being the person who wouldn’t help the Jews. He couldn’t understand what I meant when I said that these refugees, by virtue of being Muslims from hard-core Muslim countries, are Nazis fleeing worse Nazis. I don’t want to help either group.

Rebutting the lies about Israel

If everyone read Ron Dermer’s Ten Deadly Lies About Israel (and kudos to Politico for publishing it), the world would be a better place. Israel would be treated as a nation among nations, and the Palestinians would be unfunded and unfriended. An example:

Ninth: The reason the conflict and the violence persist is because the Palestinians don’t have a state.
False: The Palestinians have repeatedly refused to accept a nation-state for themselves if it means accepting a nation-state for the Jewish people alongside it. In 1937, the Palestinians rejected the Peel Commission report that called for two states for two peoples; in 1947, they rejected the U.N. partition plan that did the same. In 2000 at Camp David and again in 2008 the Palestinians rejected new proposals that would have created a Palestinian state. The Palestinians rejected peace both before and after the creation of Israel, before Israel gained control of the territories in 1967 and after Israel vacated Gaza in 2005. The Palestinians have always been more concerned with destroying the Jewish state than with creating a state of their own. The core of the conflict remains the persistent refusal of the Palestinians to recognize the nation-state of the Jewish people in any borders.

Armed Jews would have made a difference during WWII

Ben Carson may have been a little too optimistic when he said that, if Jews had been armed, they could have stopped the Holocaust. What is certain, though, is that Jews would have been harder to capture and less yielding had they been able to challenge the Nazis — and the Nazis knew this because the first thing they did when they decided to destroy world Jewry was to disarm all Jews within reach (as all tyrants do when they’re ready to destroy their chosen victims). William A. Levinson explains what the Nazis did and how important small arms are to partisan resistance (something for Americans to consider in the fight to grab our guns).

If you attack cops, you’re likely to die

Trust Thomas Sowell to cut through the Leftist shower of fecal matter about police shootings, starting with a teenager’s recent death after the teen went crazy during a routine traffic stop:

”He was only a kid” is an almost automatic reaction of the parents and the media. “He didn’t deserve to be killed” over a traffic violation, or because he didn’t drop a toy gun when ordered to, or some other minor infraction.

Are we so addicted to talking points and sound bites that we can’t be bothered to use common sense? If you are killed by a teenager, you are just as dead as if you had been killed by the oldest man in the world.

It doesn’t matter how minor the law violation was that caused the young guy to be stopped. He wasn’t shot for the violation — which could have been jay-walking, for all the difference it makes. He was shot for attacking the police, after having foolishly escalated a routine encounter into a personal confrontation.

Irrational statements by the young man’s parents may be understandable when they discover that their son is dead. But for media people to make such mindless statements to a nationwide audience is just grossly irresponsible.

Income inequality is not an economic issue

The Democrat presidential candidates were obsessed with economic inequality. They are obsessed, of course, because it gives them permission to rob from a smaller class of Americans and give to larger class of Americans, thus ensuring them perpetual power. Dennis Prager, however, points out that, while the Dems are giving themselves a political and financial power card based on their “inequality” rallying cry, inequality is actually a moral, not an economic, problem:

It depends, first of all, on the economic status of the poorer members of the society. If the bottom percentile of society has its basic material needs met, then the existence of a big gap between its members and the wealthiest members of the society is not a moral problem.

But if the members of the bottom rung of society are in such an impoverished state that their basic material needs are not met, and yet there is a supremely wealthy class in the same society, then the suffering of its poorest class renders that society’s inequality a moral problem.

And what most matters in both cases is whether the wealthiest class has attained its wealth honestly or corruptly. If the wealthy have attained their wealth morally and legally, then the income gap is not a moral problem.

Second Amendment links

America is not the top Western nation for the number of people per capita killed in mass shootings. You’d be surprised which countries are higher up the list.

Gun free zones are nothing more than honey pots for people crazy enough to kill, but not crazy enough to want to be stopped before they’ve had a good long time with their victims.

Obama — America’s greatest warmonger — and the Left doesn’t care

With Obama being the greatest warmonger ever to occupy the White House (wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya, not to mention all those drone strikes, mostly on civilians), there have been only minor exceptions to the anti-War Left’s eerie silence since 2009. Noah Rothman posits that maybe, just maybe, they never were an anti-War Left. Instead, they were an anti-Bush Left and, to the extent the wars were framed as serving America’s needs, an anti-American Left — which is what we here said all along.

Speaking of which, someone has gone to the effort to imagine what it would be like if Romney stood in Obama’s blood-stained combat boots.

Israel needs to ignore the world and do what’s necessary

If you’re going to be damned if you do and damned if you don’t, and if doing benefits you, just do! Evelyn Gordon explains that, despite yielding constantly to demands from the US, Europe, and the Muslims, Israel is in no better shape than she would have been had she gone ahead with her preferred actions vis-a-vis settlements and other issues. That being the case, Israel should just stop trying to be the best little nation in the world, and do what she and her citizens need her to do.

XXX

For a brief while, I was trying to be a bankruptcy attorney. It turned out not to be my cup of tea. I did learn, however, that it’s often very useful for a business to declare bankruptcy, shed most of its debt, restructure, and start again. Kevin Williamson suggests that the U.S. may have to benefit from this procedure. I just doubt whether the world can weather a bankrupt America shedding most of its debt.

Viewing Muslim men with appropriate caution

One of the aides at my Mom’s care facility is trying desperately to break away from her Muslim husband. I don’t know the details, but I do know I’ve heard countless stories of Western women being charmed by romantic Muslim men, only to discover that there’s a big difference between a Muslim boyfriend and a Muslim husband. The latter tends to like to assert his cultural and sharia prerogatives, usually with the children as his hostages in some lovely country like Qatar or Saudi Arabia. That’s why, rather than being outraged by the young lady in this video, I thought she was pretty wise. Unless you’re certain that your Muslim guy is someone like the amazing and wonderful Dr. Zuhdi Jasser (or like a completely Westernized Muslim man I know, who is an utterly dear person), you need to know very clearly what you’re getting into — and a street pick-up isn’t the way to do it.

What the media means when it dismisses Jewish injuries as “moderate”

Netanyahu wasn’t wrong when he talked about the Mufti and Hitler

Netanyahu stirred up a hornet’s nest when he suggested that it was the Mufti of Jerusalem who got Hitler going on the idea of a Holocaust, as opposed to exiling or enslaving Europe’s Jews. Some people think that Hitler got the idea from Stalin, after his troops saw how effectively Stalin liquidated his own people. But there’s no reason to believe Netanyahu was wrong. The Mufti enthusiastically supported liquidating Jews and there’s no doubt that he and Hitler had a common fanatic hatred for the Jewish people. Certainly, my mother ended up in Indonesia because, when she was living in British-mandate Palestine, British officers told her father that, if they couldn’t hold out against Rommel (and they were dubious that they could), every Jew in Palestine would be slaughtered. Both Nazis and Arabs would participate, with each group egging the other on.

Anyway, Melanie Phillips has lots more data about the Mufti, who was by any measure an exceptionally evil man and Hitler’s soul mate.

The Bookworm Beat 10-14-15 — the hot quick links edition, and open thread

Woman-writing-300x265So much to share with you, and so many demands on my time. I’ll make it quick, tantalizing you with short links to wonderful things:

We know the other media outlets are hostile to Israel, but is it possible that Fox News is also turning on Israel? CAMERA has caught it doing exactly the same thing as CNN or the BBC — blaming Israel, the only pluralist, democratic, modern, humanitarian country in the region for the ferocious, malignant, blindly hate-filled upsurge in terrorism unleashed against ordinary Israelis. (As you know, a Saudi owns a significant share in Fox TV. Israel’s friends have long been concerned that this might affect Fox’s objectivity with regard to Israel. I’m not saying that this ownership explains Fox’s slip-ups, though. I just note the ownership in passing.)

Here’s the deal:  When Fox News and John Kerry are agreed about something, you know that (a) Fox is in error and (b) there’s the possibility that something is very, very, very wrong over at Fox.

For those who like stories about dystopian futures, Richard Fernandez has a humdinger, imagining the year 2030 in a world lost to Obama’s foreign policies.

Just this past weekend, a national conference for teachers and administrators convened in Baltimore to discuss what’s really wrong with America’s education system. If you thought they were focusing on fatherless families, union depredations on school districts and students, and meaningless, politically correct education, you thought wrong. It’s you — you, the white person over there, hiding in the corner — who is what’s wrong with education. Zombie explains what’s going on, but you’d have to be crazy or a Leftist really to understand the dynamic.

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