So apparently, Russian athletes will be banned from competing in the Olympic games in Rio this year, because the Russians have been using a state-sponsored doping program to give themselves an unfair advantage. The New York Times reports individual athletes will have to prove their innocence to the individual sports federations before being allowed to compete, but apparently the Russian flag will fly in Rio after Russian president Putin whined that Russia was unfairly targeted, and that the international community was just out to get poor Russia due to politics.
Now, I’ll be honest here. I haven’t given a shit about the Olympics since I was a kid. Too many commercials, too much extraneous crap, and given the bribery scandals that mar the selection of sites for the Olympic games, too much corruption within the International Olympic Committee, which I don’t want to support with my viewership. Screw that.
But I did want to briefly discuss what I find interesting.
Russia is once again being typical Russia, and it takes me back to the days of the old USSR.
The current resurgent Russia is an aggressive, cunning power that works to build up nationalist sentiment by annexing Crimea, for instance, threatening its neighbors, publicly building up and spending billions on modernizing and building up its military, and implementing a countrywide doping program to ensure its athletes dominate the sporting world.
All for the glory of mother Russia.
Meanwhile, as part of its strategy – Russia is simultaneously playing victim.
Oh, poor Russia! It’s athletes were banned for political reasons!
Oh, poor Russia! Economic sanctions were imposed for political reasons – to keep poor Russia down – not because it illegally annexed part of another country, messed with its political process, and threatened its sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Oh, poor Russia! NATO threatens it just by existing, so it has to threaten the Scandinavian countries if they dare even think about joining the alliance!
It’s what Russia is really good at – being the aggressor and then blaming everyone else for victimizing it.
I’ve mentioned several times that when it comes to Russia, everything old is new again.
Putin creating himself a nice little armed force that’s solely under his control – partly to project power to any who dare challenge him.
Putin ordering school history books to be rewritten to reflect Soviet history in a more favorable light.
Putin repatriating the body of Ivan Ilyin, who preached an almost pathological love of the Russian state, law and order, and nationalism.
Russia careening toward a new nationalism that’s creepily reminiscent of fascism.
History repeating itself?
It’s interesting to note, as I have previously, that Mitt Romney – for all his faults – called it as far as Russia being a resurgent threat. Director of National Intelligence Jim Clapper and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs both named Russia as an existential threat to the United States, both in its resurgent aggression due to its significant nuclear arsenal and asymmetrical warfare such as cyber, and it’s not just empty drama, given the threat of terrorism that constantly looms over the West.
So this latest Olympic drama, as uninteresting as it is to me on its face, is another puzzle piece that falls into place as to the future of Russia’s place in this world.
I’m not a conspiritard by any stretch, but a couple of things are interesting to note.
The primary season culminated with the Trump campaign ensuring that the GOP platform didn’t include weapons aid to Ukraine against continued Russian aggression, while Trump publicly threatened NATO with gutting the Article 5 collective security guarantee. (Let’s remember why NATO was created in the first place, eh?)
I don’t know about y’all, but to me, this all adds up to a major policy shift on the part of the GOP and its nominee that doesn’t bode well for our national security.
Your mileage may vary.
So some Indiana guy named Larry Mitchell has decided America is filled with racism or something, so he’s soliciting funds to send him back to Africa. He thinks his trip should be funded by KKK, skinheads, and the like, because they’re the ones clamoring for him to go.
Send me “back” to Africa fund… If you want me to go back to Africa I will gladly go… you can help make your dream and mine come true… accepting all donations… KKK, Skin Heads and anyone else with like mind thinking are welcome to donate… Thank you.. God bless you and America… #putyourmoneywhereyourhateis
The only problem is, judging from the majority of comments on his fundraising site, the donors are morons suffering from white guilt and aching to show just how generous they are, SJWs aching for a cause, and only a smattering of what appear to be racist fruitcakes – maybe two out of the 128. Certainly no large numbers of KKK members or other such organized scum are stepping up to pay his way.
I looked at tickets from Indianapolis to Nairobi, and the top most expensive one is not even $5,000. I’m not sure why this guy is angling for $100,000, probably because he wants a nice car and maybe some primo clothing at others’ expense, but he’s got $1800 of it already in the bag – merely by existing and claiming how’s he’s hated and reviled for his skin color.
Pretty good scam he’s got going there.
Challenge racists to pay your way back to Africa.
Get media coverage.
Watch primarily dumb leftist uber douches pour money into your GoFundMe account.
Nice work if you can get it.
I hope he donates the funds to charity.
In 2012, when the GOP establishment silenced grassroots voices at the RNC national convention and essentially entrenched itself as Lord and Master over those snotty, uppity TEA Partiers and Ron Paul supporters, I told the Republican Party to go to hell.
Not that I was much of a Republican anyway. I identified much more as a libertarian-minded independent, but I also knew my views in many ways matched Republican ones more than Democrats, if you had to look only at major parties.
I did not vote for John McCain in 2008. I did not vote for Mitt Romney in 2012. I did not vote for George W. Bush in either 2000 or 2004, even though most of my libertarian-leaning friends fell for his “smaller government,” “more liberty” promises. I did not abhor those men (except for maybe McCain, because he’s just SUCH a dick!), but I never felt confident giving any of them my vote. I have always considered my vote as a sacred duty to give my confidence to the people who I thought were best suited to run this country. My goal was never to win, but to ensure that my vote accurately reflected my views about who was best suited for the most important job in the land.
And yes, it is a job. And the election season is one big job interview, as far as I’m concerned. We, the American People, employ the President and every Congressperson and Senator whom we send to Washington. We pay them to represent us. We pay them to lead us. We certainly do not elect them, their cronies, or their moneyed supporters to impose on us what they think is best, because we’re apparently too stupid to know it ourselves. Many seem to have forgotten this, and base their votes on who can win or who is less terrible.
(At this point, I will inform the readers that I’m not engaging in debates with you about “throwing away” my vote, or “supporting Hillary” if I cast a vote for the third party. This debate has been rehashed in numerous discussions in numerous posts, both here and on social media. I’m not going to repeat it. So if you come here angling for a debate, screaming how I’m giving away the election to Hillary Clinton, or trying to convince me to vote for the Hairy Hemorrhoid™, save your energy. That’s not what this post is about anyway. I’m just providing some background and context.)
Mitt Romney lost in 2012. I cannot definitively say whether it was because of the “47 percent” or the “binders full of women” remarks that were so successfully exploited by the Obama campaign, or whether it was scores of Republican voters who, tired of holding their noses, were even more put off by the shenanigans of the 2012 convention. I know that couldn’t have helped.
I also know that the GOP has learned exactly dick since the last convention.
The RNC establishment, working with the Trump campaign, quashed the “Free the Delegates” movement with a voice vote, ignoring calls for a roll call vote. A group of “Never Trump” supporters sought to unbind delegates and felt they secured enough signatures to force a roll-call vote on the party rules, which essentially centralized decision making in the RNC. Those delegates were also joined by those looking to decentralize said power after the 2012 debacle and encourage states to restrict primaries to registered Republicans, since the Republican nominee should logically be decided by… well… Republicans. Party members should decide who their candidate will be, not Democrats, many of whom I have personally seen admit they cast votes in open primaries for Trump to ensure the weakest candidate to challenge their Democratic nominee. That tactic isn’t new, and it works. An effort to ensure that only Republicans are able to choose their nominees was disingenuously dismissed with a voice vote, which many who were present say leaned in favor of the “Free the Delegates” movement.
Make no mistake, people. The grassroots were once again silenced by the establishment. The petty, pathetic tyrants Trump promised to challenge, banded together with his campaign to ensure victory and to silence real conservative opposition – to silence the very grassroots who supported the presumptive nominee in hopes of having their voices finally heard.
Gary Emineth, the former North Dakota GOP chairman who joined the Trump-RNC joint finance committee earlier month, says he was disgusted by the floor vote and immediately texted his resignation to Priebus.
Emineth says he’s furious the campaign and RNC worked in tandem to keep delegates from voting their conscience.
“I was on the Trump finance committee and I just resigned because that bully tactic is absurd,” Emineth said. “I just texted them right now. Why can’t the people be heard? I’ve been texting Reince for 10 minutes. He said we didn’t have the votes. We had 10, 11 states. They peeled people back. They were calling delegations asking people to step off the committee. You don’t do this in America. You do this in other countries.”
After being denied the vote, most of the delegation from Colorado walked off the floor in protest, leaving behind rows of empty seats, and reportedly former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli tossed his credentials to the stage in disgust and walked off.
The Trump supporters will crow that this is proof positive that their grassroots conservative voices are finally being heard by the establishment. In fact, the opposite is true. I fully agree with this editorial.
The rules changes conservatives sought today were not anti-Trump. In actuality they were pro-Trump’s message of not encouraging a “rigged” system and Trump supporters should be livid. The rules adopted today increase the power of the Chairman of the Republican National Committee, lessen the voice of grassroots republicans, and further allow the establishment to rig the system.
The effort to return power to the grassroots did not start today, or even this year. Conservative members of the Rules committee have long tried to change rules that limit the involvement of the grassroots in the party. With a large portion of anti-establishment delegates in the hall, conservatives finally saw their chance to affect real change. They were thwarted by the establishment who convinced Trump delegates that this was an effort to steal the election from Trump.
Over time the rules of the Republican Party have consolidated more power in the RNC Chairman and his hand-picked committee heads. This is especially true with Rule 12, which Mitt Romney allies pushed through in the 2012 convention. Rule 12 allows RNC rules to be modified by the members of the RNC rather than the quadrennial convention. This takes away significant power from the grassroots, acts as an excuse for rushing rules committee meetings, and shifts power for rule making away from the grassroots to the RNC itself, albeit with a high ¾ member bar.
The writer is correct. This isn’t new. The 2012 RNC fiasco took place long before this year’s primary season, and the fact that a Trump supporter and finance committee member recognized this stunt for what it is – an effort to further consolidate power within the RNC and silence the grassroots ought to tell you something. Maybe you should listen, because the GOP establishment certainly will not.
At least she admits she’s clueless and does a fair bit of self-deprecation before launching into her “look how easy it is to buy a gun” schtick. She also gets busted fairly easily, because numbnuts knows next to nothing about firearms, and her feeble attempt at undercover journalism is cringeworthy at best.
Nervous, I walked into Pinto’s and was greeted by a friendly, ginger-bearded employee. With time on my mind, I launched right in.
“I wanted to get something that I could get today,” I whispered to the clerk, feeling unsure and like a complete hack. “Um, what kind of things can I buy today on the spot?”
“We’re talking about a gun?” he asked, straight-faced.
“Yes, yes,” I responded.
Clearly, I am not a seasoned “undercover journalist” and I am not a very good actor either.
The clerk explained that I could buy any long gun, a rifle or a shotgun, right then and there. To take home a handgun I’d need a concealed permit, or I’d have to wait a few days.
“What about the AK-15?” I asked, wanting to see how easily and quickly I could buy one. “Do you guys carry those?”
“Uh, it would be more like the AR-15 or the AK-47,” the clerk corrected me.
But hidden in the article was actually something useful and interesting as it pertains to our national security. We’ve been assured by this administration several times that the background checks and vetting for Middle Eastern refugees wanting to enter this country are stringent. The White House put out this infographic that claims “Refugees are subject to the highest level of security checks of any category of traveler to the United States.”
As you can see, there are biometrics, background checks, checks for known connections to terrorist organizations by NCTC, FBI, DHS, and the State Department! Seems pretty thorough, correct?
But please take a look at what this Rachel Belle, who clumsily attempted to buy a gun before failing miserably and going back to her talking points on how easy it is to purchase a firearm.
Think about it. You don’t need a permit to buy a gun. You don’t need training. You just need an ID, to fill out a form and pass the instant background check, which completely depends on individual states reporting criminal records to the FBI. If they don’t report, the FBI background check is pretty much useless.”
The background check completely depends on individual states reporting criminal records to the FBI. In other words, if there is no information reported to the FBI, the check will come back clean.
The reason I mention this is because this is precisely the problem with the “stringent” vetting of Syrian refugees who desire to come into this country. Are there databases in Syria we can access to check their criminal histories? Are there assets we have who will reliably report on criminal connections? Just like the background check to purchase a firearm, if there are no inputs into the NICS database, the background check will come back clean, if there are no data in the country of origin, the background check is pretty much useless.
So liberal gun grabbers have a big problem with background checks being incomplete, allowing possibly violent criminals to purchase firearms, but they don’t seem to have a problem with incomplete background checks for those claiming to be refugees coming into our country without proper vetting.
Under grilling from GOP Sen. Jeff Sessions, head of the Senate subcommittee on immigration, the Homeland Security official in charge of vetting Syrian and other foreign Muslim refugees confessed that no police or intelligence databases exist to check the backgrounds of incoming refugees against criminal and terrorist records.
“Does Syria have any?” Sessions asked. “The government does not, no sir,” answered Matthew Emrich, associate director for fraud detection and national security at DHS’ U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
Sessions further inquired: “You don’t have their criminal records, you don’t have the computer database that you can check?” Confessed Emrich: “In many countries the U.S. accepts refugees from, the country did not have extensive data holdings.”
While a startling admission, it confirms previous reporting. Senior FBI officials recently testified that they have no idea who these people are, and they can’t find out what type of backgrounds they have — criminal, terrorist or otherwise — because there are no vetting opportunities in those war-torn countries.
If this is a problem in the gun context (I would submit it isn’t really, because if denied a background check, criminals will get guns the same way they normally do: friends, family, black market, or theft), then it should definitely be a problem when vetting refugees from hotbeds of terrorism who want to enter this country!
Which one will it be, gun grabbers?
You always know what to expect when someone claiming to be an authority on one topic decides to delve into another topic that has zero to do with his alleged expertise, and then begins his screed with an insult to a large portion of the American population. This is what popped up on my news feed this morning when I pulled up my Facebook account – shared by a friend from high school, who made it a habit of late to share idiotic anti-gun opinions and warn those reading her timeline that dissent will not be tolerated and opposing opinions deleted.
Well, that’s OK. I muted her, so I wouldn’t have to watch the abuse and ignorance unfold.
But the spew popped up again on the page of one of my favorite writers, and I thought maybe it was time to deal with the historical ignorance therein.
The following diatribe was published by a financial writer named Brett Arends, who apparently won some award for his writing about markets, economics and personal finance. But lately, he’s been delving into such topics as homophobia, the NRA, the Brexit (Britain’s potential exit from the EU), and Donald Trump.
Well, you see where this is going. The tirade, titled “What America’s Gun Fanatics Won’t Tell You,” Arends pretends to know something about history and the English language, by pulling up a single essay by Publius (aka Alexander Hamilton) in Federalist 29 to support his spurious claim that there is no individual right to keep and bear arms, and insulting America’s gun owners, historians, and numerous constitutional scholars.
Let’s delve into it, shall we?
The Second Amendment doesn’t give you the right to own a gun
Believe it or not, I agree with Arends here. The Second Amendment doesn’t give you the right to keep and bear arms. It protects an already existing right. Analysis of the plain English of the Second Amendment by the late language expert Roy Copperud confirms this analysis.
The right is not granted by the amendment; its existence is assumed. The thrust of the sentence is that the right shall be preserved inviolate for the sake of ensuring a militia.”
Now, I know Arends probably considers himself an expert because he won some kind of award for his financial writing, but I do think Copperud’s more than three decades of journalism experience, his 17-year career teaching journalism at USC, his professional essays in Editor and Publisher, and his membership on the usage panel of the American Heritage Dictionary trump Arends’ biography about Mitt Romney, his book on personal finance, and a book on sports gambling. So, yes, Arends is unintentionally correct here. The Second Amendment grants nothing.
Can we please stop pretending that the Second Amendment contains an unfettered right for everyone to buy a gun? It doesn’t, and it never has. The claims made by the small number of extremists, before and after the Orlando, Fla., massacre, are based on a deliberate lie.
Who’s pretending, Cupcake? Given the plain language contained in said amendment, I would submit the delusional extremist is the one claiming the 27 words don’t say what they plainly say.
The Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution doesn’t just say Congress shall not infringe the right to “keep and bear arms.” It specifically says that right exists in order to maintain “a well-regulated militia.” Even the late conservative Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia admitted those words weren’t in there by accident. Oh, and the Constitution doesn’t just say a “militia.” It says a “well-regulated” militia.
Actually, no. As the late Roy Copperud said, the right to keep and bear arms shall be preserved inviolate for the sake of ensuring a militia.” It doesn’t say the right exists to ensure the militia, but that it is not to be infringed because a well armed and trained militia is necessary.
Shall we see if Arends actually understands the meaning of the phrase “well-regulated”? Believe it or not, he does, but then he dives head first into a bucket of stupid.
What did the Founding Fathers mean by that? We don’t have to guess because they told us. In Federalist No. 29 of the Federalist Papers, Alexander Hamilton explained at great length precisely what a “well-regulated militia” was, why the Founding Fathers thought we needed one, and why they wanted to protect it from being disarmed by the federal government.
Hamilton is a single Founding Father. Who is this “they” that told us some nonsense that Arends spews? Yes, Hamilton specifically says that a well-regulated militia means one that is properly trained in military maneuvers. Didn’t Arends think that those who want to protect the right to keep and bear arms read?
A tolerable expertness in military movements is a business that requires time and practice. It is not a day, or even a week, that will suffice for the attainment of it. To oblige the great body of the yeomanry, and of the other classes of the citizens, to be under arms for the purpose of going through military exercises and evolutions, as often as might be necessary to acquire the degree of perfection which would entitle them to the character of a well-regulated militia, would be a real grievance to the people, and a serious public inconvenience and loss.
The American Heritage Dictionary gives four definitions of “regulate.”
1. To control or direct according to rule, principle, or law.
2. To adjust to a particular specification or requirement: regulate temperature.
3. To adjust (a mechanism) for accurate and proper functioning.
4. To put or maintain in order: regulate one’s eating habits.
Given Hamilton’s specific words above, it’s clear what definition is most applicable here.
And there’s a reason absolutely no gun extremist will ever direct you to that 1788 essay because it blows their baloney into a million pieces.
Except at Gun Cite, where legal scholar David Hardy quotes Publius’ words, and in this essay by Tea Party, whom frothing nuts like Arends hate with the passion of a thousand burning suns, and quoted here at the Rense Report, and cited here by conservative/libertarian economist and columnist Walter Williams. But maybe Arends didn’t mean these extremists? Maybe there are some other extremists running around who are afraid of Federalist 29? Nope. Maybe it’s because those of us who want to protect the right to keep and bear arms have actually read it and other Federalist Papers, as well as citations from other Founding Fathers supporting the Second Amendment’s definitive language that protects the individual right to keep and bear arms.
A “well-regulated militia” didn’t mean guys who read Soldier of Fortune magazine running around in the woods with AK-47s and warpaint on their faces. It basically meant what today we call the National Guard.
Oh! So without a shred of evidence or even an interpretation of Hamilton’s words, Arends expects us to believe that Hamilton meant only the National Guard ought to be armed, even though the first unit didn’t call itself the “National Guard” in Lafayette’s honor until 1824, and the actual National Guard didn’t come into existence until the 20th century! Sure. Got it.
But it gets better.
It should be a properly constituted, ordered and drilled (“well-regulated”) military force, organized state by state, explained Hamilton. Each state militia should be a “select corps,” “well-trained” and able to perform all the “operations of an army.” The militia needed “uniformity in … organization and discipline,” wrote Hamilton, so that it could operate like a proper army “in camp and field,” and so that it could gain the “essential … degree of proficiency in military functions.” And although it was organized state by state, it needed to be under the explicit control of the national government. The “well-regulated militia” was under the command of the president. It was “the military arm” of the government.
Almost… almost… well-regulated… good… and BAM! Arends veers into dumbass land! If you notice, not once in his essay does Hamilton ever mention the Bill of Rights, the Second Amendment, or the right to keep and bear arms. Why? Because that’s not what he was addressing in the essay. The Bill of Rights didn’t exist yet. The debate was whether or not to adopt the Constitution. He was addressing whether the federal government should have authority over the militia.
Hamilton does not argue in this essay that the militia isn’t the whole of the people. He does not argue that they should not be armed. He does not argue that the people are not the last line of defense against tyranny. As a matter of fact, in Federalist 28, he specifically says they are. “In a single state, if the persons intrusted with supreme power become usurpers, the different parcels, subdivisions, or districts of which it consists, having no distinct government in each, can take no regular measures for defense. The citizens must rush tumultuously to arms, without concert, without system, without resource; except in their courage and despair.”
And Arends knows this. He understands this. He said as much in his next several paragraphs.
But all this has nothing to do with the right to keep and bear arms, nor has it anything to do with the Bill of Rights, which wasn’t even ratified until 1791. Hamilton’s letter was an attempt to calm the unease about the provisions of federal control of the militia. The Bill of Rights and the Second Amendment were written afterward to further allay concerns about government overreach – a Bill of Rights that Hamilton, by the way, opposed, but which was ratified despite his opposition a few years later anyway.
Again, all this has nothing to do with the right to keep and bear arms. Hamilton tried to ease concerns about the federal government’s authority over the militia, but also acknowledged that the majority of militiamen would muster about once a year, because requirements greater than that would put an undue burden on the employment and the economy of the country. Oh, and by the way, those Bubbas that were to be the barely trained militia would be supplied with arms and equipment by the federal government.
Where the hell is my M-4, feds?
The Second Amendment is an instrument of government. It’s not about hunting or gun collecting or carrying your pistol into the saloon. The Founding Fathers left it up to us to pass sensible laws about all these things. The Constitution is about government.
Um. What? How did we go from “Hey, don’t worry about federal government authority over the militias” to “The Second Amendment (which didn’t exist yet) is an instrument of the government?” Did we find this in Federalist 29? Nope. Obviously, it’s pulled out of Arends’ fourth point of contact – that’s ASS for those who aren’t familiar with military terminology. Yeah, the Constitution is about government – defining what powers the government specifically holds. The Bill of Rights are amendments to said Constitution, and it lists definitive limits on said government.
Today we have a professional army, anyway. Military matters have become so complex that no part-time soldiers could do it all.
Except the Reserves and the National Guard, who drill one weekend per month and two weeks for year for Annual Training, or AT. Those National Guard and Reserve Soldiers, most of whom deploy and fight in foreign and dangerous lands that would make Arends shit himself in fear. I can’t wait to tell my son he’s not a professional Soldier, according to a financial columnist!
So you could argue that makes the Second Amendment null and void, like the parts in the Constitution about slaves and Indians being counted as “three-fifths” of a person in the Census.
Except that those parts of the Constitution were rendered obsolete by the 13th amendment, not by ignorant, frothing fiat of an uninformed, irrational financial columnist with a transparent agenda, whose claim to fame is a biography of a failed presidential candidate and former governor.
But even if you still want to defend the Second Amendment, it should apply only to those who volunteer to join the “select corps” of their National Guard, undergo rigorous training to attain “proficiency in military functions” and perform the “operations of an army,” serve as ordered under the ultimate command of the president and be subject to military discipline.
What part of the Second Amendment says that, pray tell? Is this the one that refers to the right of the people, and not the right of the militia to bear arms?
So if you’re running around waving your AK-47 under the Second Amendment, and you haven’t shown up yet at your local National Guard headquarters, you’re not a “patriot.” You’re a deserter.
Hey, douche bat! The National Guard doesn’t issue AK-47s. And in case you have forgotten, there’s something called the “unorganized militia” in this country, per US code.
(a) The militia of the United States consists of all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age and, except as provided in section 313 of title 32, under 45 years of age who are, or who have made a declaration of intention to become, citizens of the United States and of female citizens of the United States who are members of the National Guard.
(b) The classes of the militia are—
(1) the organized militia, which consists of the National Guard and the Naval Militia; and
(2) the unorganized militia, which consists of the members of the militia who are not members of the National Guard or the Naval Militia.
In other words, Arends took one Federalist Paper letter by one of the Founders that has nothing to do with the Bill of Rights, and was written prior to the creation and ratification of said set of amendments, and decided that somehow it proves there is no individual right to keep and bear arms as plainly stated in the amendment that didn’t exist at the time said Founder was writing the essay.
Perhaps some reading – particularly of Federalist 46 by James Madison – will help young Arends’ confusion vis-a-vis the right to keep and bear arms. Maybe then he will be more intellectually honest, or at least more informed.