Whither

Today’s the big day for “Brexit” – the referendum on the UK’s exit from the European Union.

We’ll come back to that.


25 years ago, the Soviet Union collapsed (for a while).   The media was confused and befuddled; most of them had bet on the wrong team during the Cold War.

Now, whenever a huge, all-encompassing, not to mention totalitarian, system completely collapses, there will be a certain amount of chaos, as people, not to mention nations, economies and political systems, try to find their feet after a generation or two under a completely different system.   Turning from “Totalitarian Gangster State” to “Social Democracy” – forget “Free Market” for now – isn’t something nations and societies can do with easy grace, any more than Tom Brokaw can do an Olympic Gymnastics routine.

But our mainstream media apparently didn’t know or believe that.  In 1994 – barely two years after the collapse of the Iron Curtain – Poland was in a recession.  Tom Brokaw, on the NBC Evening News, echoing the sentiments of many MSM chin-strokers, gravely intoned “It appears that Poland’s experiment with free markets has failed”.

Two whole years after the Wall fell.

It was wishful thinking from a mainstream media that missed having a constant crisis to cover (not to mention an “enemy” with whom they were so sympathetic).   Poland went on to become one of Europe’s economic success stories. Eastern Europe has had ups and downs – but other than a few crypto-authoritarian splinter states (shut up about Belarus), none of them are pining for a return to Communism.    Quite the opposite.

Statue of Ronald Reagan in Warsaw, Poland – one of many monuments to the greatest leader of the second half of the 20th century that dot the lands he played a pivotal role in freeing.

Anyway, point being this:

  1. American mainstream media and the establishment whose PR firm they largely are forecast gloom and doom with the breakup of the USSR, since it was uncertain, and they had little faith in freedom or the market.
  2. Eastern Europe largely, imperfectly, and with inevitable struggle, succeeded.
  3. Mainstream media ignored the success.

Thus endeth the history lesson.


Today the American mainstream media is predicting various degrees of disaster should the UK pull out of the big, arthritic bureaucratic pseudo-state that is the EU.

Maybe they’re right.

But their record in betting against freedom, autonomy and the market isn’t all that good, unless by “good” you mean “consistent”.

When People Complain About Donald Trump’s Appeals To Base Nature…

…they really need to get some perspective.

The Philippine president-elect has encouraged the public to help him in his war against crime, urging citizens with guns to shoot and kill drug dealers who resist arrest and fight back in their neighborhoods.

In a nationally televised speech late Saturday, Rodrigo Duterte told a huge crowd in the southern city of Davao that Filipinos who help him battle crime will be rewarded.

“Please feel free to call us, the police, or do it yourself if you have the gun — you have my support,” Duterte said, warning of an extensive illegal drug trade that involves even the country’s police.

If a drug dealer resists arrest or refuses to be brought to a police station and threatens a citizen with a gun or a knife, “you can kill him,” Duterte said. “Shoot him and I’ll give you a medal.”

That’s more than a wall.

Lessons

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

European wacko, far-right, fringe party . . . wins 36% of the vote.  The mainstream, sensible, traditional parties couldn’t scrape together enough to get into the runoff election.

 The media keeps using that word: “fringe.”  I don’t think it means what they think it means. 

 This election result is not an accident, this is the beginning of Europeans taking back their governments because of the immigrant crisis.  Next will come fences and deportations.  

 Meanwhile, America frets about bathrooms.

 Joe Doakes

For now, anyway.

For now.

History Repeats

The most dangerous thing in the world to be, for the past 70 years, has been a “moderate Muslim”.

It’s been very much in the interest of every wave of Arab and Muslim radical – from the grand mufti of Jerusalem, through the PLO, to Al Qaeda and ISIS – to make the Muslim in the street afraid not to get out-of-the-way, if not overtly join them.

Which brings us to this.

Rumor Of Anything But War Nosirreebob

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

A general in Iran claims Iran has been preparing for all-out war on the US and its allies for years.

No doubt the Obama administration is pondering this message for subtle clues.  What could it mean?  Is it a plea for carbon credits?  Living-wage jobs?  What do Iranians really want?

Joe Doakes

It’s something about launching nukes if any state implements Voter ID, I think.

Plain Sight

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Despite passionate denials by the Pollyanna Pair — Dog Gone and Penigma — I remain convinced that Brussels and Paris are linked. They are small unit actions in an slow-motion war being waged by fundamentalist Muslims against the West. The incomparable Fernandez explains why it’s worse than I thought.

In the six months since the Paris attack, Belgian authorities searched the Muslim-dominated neighborhoods where they believed accomplices were living. Authorities couldn’t find the bombers because they were being hidden by their neighbors.

The Brussels bombers were not lone wolves acting against the wishes of the Muslim community. They were supported and protected by members of the Muslim community. When Dutch householders hid Jews from Nazis, we applauded. But when Belgian Muslims hide suicide bombers from law enforcement, we have a different view.

Digging out the remaining co-conspirators and future martyrs will be arduous if the Belgian government even has the stomach for it, must less the money and manpower to answer the question: When will we know we’ve got them all? How far down does the tap root go? When will we be safe?

Geert Wilders, candidate for Prime Minister of the Netherlands, says if he wins he’ll crush Islamic terrorism, close the national borders and de-Islamize The Netherlands. Sounds like a new buzz-word has been coined, more catchy than Reconquista 2.0. One could pass it off as racist hatemongering except Wilders presently lives under a death sentence because of a fatwa issued against him by Imam Feiz Muhammad.

Now the really big question: are there embedded terrorist cells here, in the United States? Maybe even in our own Minnesota Muslim community? The San Bernardino attack and US Attorney Luger’s recent indictments suggest there may be. What are we going to do about it?

Joe Doakes

What are we going to do?

Where “we” means “our current ruling class?”

I’m going to guess “vigorous virtue-signaling”.

This Is What Slippery Slope Looks Like

Every rifle club member in the UK is now on a terror watch list.

Security services have quietly acquired the details of every single person in the UK with access to firearms and put them on a database with known terrorists, it has emerged.

Hidden away in the middle of the government’s draft Investigatory Powers Bill, a snooper’s charter designed to legalise mass surveillance of innocent law-abiding British residents, was a startling admission dressed up as a case study

The lesson?

Never, ever compromise with the left on the Second Amendment.  You may as well compromise with a snake.

The Difference Between Obama And Reagan, Part MMMXM

If Barack Obama had been president in the 1980s, he’d have extended the Russians a line of credit to help them forestall bankruptcy (for a while, anyway) and keep a fresh coat of paint on the Berlin Wall . He’s have opened the nation up to trade and “public-private partnerships” (by companies that agreed to play ball with the Soviets, of course).  And he’d ahve not only thrown Solidarity and the legions of the Soviets’ political prisoners under the bus, but stomped on them a few times to keep them there and out of the way, incapable of sidetracking the narrative.

Thankfully, Obama was not president.  Reagan was.

[After Reagan called the USSR an “evil empire” – how un-Obama-like can you get?], Anatoly Shcharansky was in the Gulag. (After, he would become Natan Sharansky.) He and his fellow zeks heard what Reagan had done. Had the American president really called the Soviet Union an “evil empire”? Yes. Years later, Sharansky reflected:

“It was the brightest, most glorious day. Finally a spade had been called a spade. Finally, Orwell’s Newspeak was dead. President Reagan had from that moment made it impossible for anyone in the West to continue closing their eyes to the real nature of the Soviet Union.”

Barack Obama has thrown the Castros a lifeline – which, with the demise of the USSR and the disintegration of Venezuela, their major benefactors this past fifty years, they need to avoid being put, eventually, to the pike.  He was “opened” the country (to those who will play ball with the Castros, the Castros way).

And he’s just re-upped the sentence for every human rights and liberties dissident on the island.

I’m ashamed of this president.  That’s nothing new, of course.  But it never gets easier.

Diasporic?

If nothing else, Europe’s Jews have learned that when your ship strikes an iceberg, you don’t wait for a future round of lifeboats:

The European Jewish Congress has publicized a shocking poll: “A third of the European Jews think of emigrating”. That is 700,000 people.

“The Jews of Europe are at a crossroads”, tells me Moshe Kantor, president of the European Jewish Congress based in Brussels. “If the authorities continue to add only defensive measures, building taller walls and thicker doors, then the Jews will not want to live this imprisoned life and will leave Europe in large numbers”.

Before the attack in Copenhagen, a year ago, there were 23 children in the Jewish kindergarten in Malmö [Sweden]: today there are only 5 left. The armed guards in front of the school triggered panic and parents prefer to enroll their children in public school. It is the end of Jewish identity. Some people whispered that the synagogue of the city will soon be turned into a museum. From 2010 to today, the synagogue lost a third of the faithful. The rabbi, Shneur Kesselman, is constantly attacked in the streets: almost 200 episodes of anti-Semitism in ten years.

Wonder where this round of refugees is going to settle?

Good Spirit. Lousy Idea.

Anyone with a living soul was nauseated by the display in Cologne on New Years Eve, where thousands of men of “North African” descent roamed the street in gangs, sexually assaulting women and impeding the police’s attempts to respond.

Here in the US – where this sort of thing is thankfully very rare – the responses depended on the responder’s politics.

People on the left strenuously denied there was a problem, or blamed it on fraternities affiliated with the NRA.

People on the right bought another box of ammo.

Either would be more productive, I suspect, than this group of…er, males in the Netherlands:

The sign says “If you’re not wearing pants, you make less of a mess when they attack you”. No, that’s not true. It says “Don’t make women dress chaste / keep your hands to yourself”. That’ll show ’em.

I’m sure the women of Cologne are thankful for the “solidarity”.

A more productive statement?  Germans are doing their best to arm themselves, as best they can given Germany’s patriarchal gun laws.

And where real people try to arm themselves, you can count on the media to get the Victorian vapours.

The caption says “The Weapons industry profits from the Refugee crisis”. Naturally. Blame Big Gun.

Or in this case, I suppose, the Hohenzollern vapours.

Which group do you suppose will actually benefit the women of Germany – the shooters or the Dutch guys in dresses?

Halpert The Headless Thompson Gunner

I saw 13 Hours over the weekend.

Several reactions:

Worst Fears Not Realized:  I’ve been rooting for this movie for a long time – ever since I met “John “Tig” Tiegen (Dominic Fumusa), and Mark “Oz” Geist (portrayed in the movie by Dominic Fumusa and Max Martini, respectively), and got a chance to interview them on my show last year.

But when I saw that Michael Bay was directing it, I felt my hope curdle into a icy ball of despair.  Bay was behind the loathsome Pearl Harbor and all the bad Transformers movies that followed on after the good one.    (Of course, he also did The Rock and the very underrated Pain and Gain, so perhaps I’m being a little harsh on the Bayver).

In a Michael Bay movie, .223 rounds apparently use napalm as a propellant.

But while it included some of Bay’s signature moves – the MTV-era editing, the slow-mo explosions, the Die Hard-style wisecracking between battle scenes – it all actually worked well.  And sometimes superlatively – as in a scene when a group of State Department employees in an armored Mercedes are getting shot at at point-blank range by a group of locals.  Really, really stunning sequence.

But the movie largely focused on the story.  And it’s there that things get interesting.

The Story Behind The Story:  The movie, of course, is about one of the most controversial events in recent years – the September 11, 2012 attack on the US diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya.  During the attack, the US Ambassador, a State Department communications staffer, and two CIA security contractors were killed.   The situation could have gotten much worse but for the team of CIA contractors – ex-military men working as guards for the CIA compound – who responded, defending the State Department compound for 13 hours, until a scratch team of American intelligence and military led a friendly Libyan militia to the rescue.

In a typical Michael Bay movie, there’d be a twist at this point. I won’t give you any spoilers, but any infantryman can probably tell you how this turns out.

The controversy – for those of you who’ve been asleep for the past three years – is over whether a “stand down” order was given to successive levels of potential US paramilitary and military response, from the contractors on the scene all the way up to the Air Force in Italy and the 10th Special Forces group in Croatia.  If so, of course, then the Ambassador and the contractors were left dangling for half a day without any government support.  The Administration and the CIA have angrily denied it; Hillary Clinton said it made no difference at this point; the contractors on the scene all swear by it.

It’s Michael Bay – and yet it works.

The movie plays a little peek-a-boo with the issue, but for one key episode; as the State Department and CIA staffers on the scene ask, then beg, for support, we are treated to scenes of CIA contractors being held on their leash; F16s in Italy sitting on the runway, unmanned; Green Berets in the Balkans, sitting and waiting.

Why?  That question is left danging out there.

And two of the conservative reviews I’ve actually read mirror the controversy; Armond White thinks Bay defers to entertainment over substance, using the tension as just another showy Michael Bay editing trick.   Cranky T-Rex at Hot Air thinks it’s a feature, not a bug:

Bay and screenwriter Chuck Hogan wisely avoid having the story they are telling sidetracked by political concerns.  Instead they are able to hammer home the horrible truths about Benghazi that have thus far been written off as Republican political pandering.

Of course, this blog’s standard procedure is to assume all bureaucrats are lying, so you know where my money is.

The movie has been portrayed as a challenge to the inevitability of Hillary’s coronation.  I’m way too cynical to think the American people are that perceptive – but hope springs eternal.

Brothers In Arms:  The casting, of course, was interesting to say the least.

For starters – if there’s one actor in Hollywood that’s benefitted from being utterly and completely typecast, it has to be Max Martini, as Mark “Oz” Geist.

Martini and Geist at the opening. The resemblance is more than just physical.

I interviewed Geist last year – and met him, shortly after that, at an event on the 13 Hours book tour – which was the first time I’d heard that the book was going to become a feature film (which shows you how closely I follow all things Hollywood.

And while I can’t honestly say I thought “Max Martini would be the perfect casting choice to portray Geist”, it all made perfect sense, personally as well as in terms of resemblance, in the actual movie.

Of course, the casting of Jon Krasinski as the pseudonymous and fictional “Jack Silva”, portrayed as a former SEAL colleague of Tyrone “Ty” Woods (played by James Badge Dale, of Longmire fame) is a little riskier.   I thought, going in – “Jim Halpert as a SEAL?”

It’s not Krasinski’s first take at a military character (he played a bit part in Jarhead, in 2005), but it’s his first since he became “Jim Halpert” in The Office, one of the best sitcoms of the century so far.  Did he blast out of the typecast?

Yes and no – and to the extent that he didn’t, that’s OK, since he’s not in the movie to portray a real former SEAL with a striking resemblance to a sitcom character; he’s basically the audience’s third-person-omniscient stand-in in the story.

Does he pass as a SEAL?  Well, he doesn’t pass as the Hollywood stereotype of a SEAL – which is probably a good thing.

So yes, it took me a bit to get past the habits picked up in 11 years of watching The Office (and yes, I’ve seen every episode, at least in the first seven seasons, at least a few times, and yes, it’s better than the Brit version), but I pulled it off.

(The film’s other Office alum, David Denman – who played warehouse worker and Pam’s first fiance “Roy”, plays the real-life David “Boon” Benton, and passes pretty easily as a former Airborne Ranger).

Krasinski and Denman.

Conclusions:  As filmmaking craft?   It was great bit of filmmaking.  The things that play as whiz-bang cliches in most Michael Bay movies generally work, here.

Acting?  It never stretches credulity.

The message?

Well, I’ll let you watch it, and leave it to each of you to figure out what you think about it.

Worth seeing in a theater.

Tangled Web

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Lying about having lied.  It’s like she just can’t stop herself.  Learned it from Bill?  Taught it to him?

“It would have been perfectly acceptable to say “Hell yes, I knew it was a terrorist attack as soon as it happened.  But knowing that doesn’t tell you where this bunch came from, who’s supporting them, who’s funding them, so we can stop the next attack.  We needed to keep the public spotlight off these terrorists while our agents and investigators back-traced them and their support network.  So yes, I lied about the attack in the immediate aftermath, in order that I would not have to lie after future attacks, because there would BE no future attacks.  And there haven’t been.  Your side is the one that keeps screaming we’re in a war, now you’re bitching that I lied to the enemy to buy time to hunt them down and kill them.  Make up your minds – do you want to fight terrorism, or not?”

Instead she lies to the families, and to the world, and then lies about having lied to them.  For what possible benefit?  It’s like she can’t help it.  She’s just a liar.

Joe Doakes

Inconceivable

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

North Korea claims to have detonated a nuclear weapon.  There is much consternation: a rogue state with an H-bomb would be dangerous.

The report is false.  It’s simply not possible.  President Clinton solved the problem of North Korea nuclear weapons decades ago.

And North Korea has nothing to do with Iran.  To even hint that President Obama is repeating Clinton’s mistake – that he’s not only enabling but actually funding a rogue state’s acquisition of a weapon of mass destruction – is totally raciss and therefore an unacceptable topic of discussion.

Joe Doakes

To the governing class, it’s not the facts that matter; merely that the process was followed.

Valeria Silva to the EU?

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Muslim asylum seekers who flooded into Germany are being blamed for crimes far in excess of their proportional representation in the population.
“Last month, the interior ministry in the large south-west state of Baden-Wurttemberg published figures on criminal offences committed by asylum seekers between January and November 2015.

They made alarming reading. Asylum seekers represent one per cent of the population of the state but were involved in five per cent (27,255) of all registered crimes, among them 1,000 cases of grievous bodily harm, 22 of attempted murder, and 700 of domestic burglary. The highest number of offenders were Syrians, committing 5,576 of the offences.
Andre Schulz, head of Germany’s criminal police association, said recently that in his experience 10 per cent of the migrants would turn to criminality, including theft, sexual assault or drug dealing.”

SITD readers know that singling out one minority group for punishment is discrimination and the St. Paul School method is the only fair way to go:  stop arresting Muslim men, regardless how many offenses they commit, and release as many convicted criminals from jail as required to achieve proportional representation.

Joe Doakes

It no way contradictory to say “most Muslim immigrants may be perfectly fine additions to American society” and “an unprecedented, large minority believe in murder and rape as instruments of jihad, and are out to do just that”.

Yurp

The Swiss – a nation that long ago learned the hard way that yearning for peace isn’t enough, and sometimes you have to defend it – are arming themselves, and doing it fast:

Applications for gun permits in Switzerland increased by 20% between 2014 and 2015, according to a survey conducted in 12 cantons by Swiss public television, SRF.
The survey, published on Wednesday, showed that in the 12 (out of 26) cantons surveyed, the Swiss are increasingly interested in purchasing pistols, rifles and other firearms for private use.

The greatest increase – more than 70% – was measured in canton Vaud, with more than 4,200 applications in 2015, compared with 2,427 in 2014.

There is a general climate of uncertainty and an increased fear of intruders, said Pierre-Olivier Gaudard, head of crime prevention for canton Vaud.

But Martin Boess, director of Swiss crime prevention, warned against the false sense of security that guns bring.

“When there are more guns in circulation, there is a greater danger for society,” he said in an interview on the 10 vor 10 news programme. “That’s shown by experience in places like the United States. When there are more guns, there are more accidents with guns.”

Why?  Because the head of the Swiss Army (their equivalent to the head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff) is warning that the Swiss military, after two decades of politically-motivated drawdowns, is not going to be sufficient in the event of an asymmetric war (the quote starts with a Google translation, fine-tuned via my own German):

[General André] Blattmann writes, the situation’s risks are considerable: The terrorist threat is rising, asymmetrical wars threaten the peace in the world. In addition, there is an economic crisis. Even in the big surge of refugees and migrants looks like a danger to Blattmann.

Blattmann: “Social unrest can not be ruled out”, the vocabulary in public discourse will “dangerously aggressive”: “. The mixture is increasingly unsavory” .

Blattmann sees the basis of Swiss prosperity, “has been once again called into question.” He recalls the situation before and during the two world wars in the last century and advises the Swiss to arm themselves.

Swiss politicians responded with incomprehension at the army chief’s statement, and said his warnings are exaggerated.

The Swiss Armed Forces held maneuvers many years ago , focused on social unrest in Europe. Even the Economist warned [about the potential for trouble for the Swiss] already some time ago, before [the current] social tensions.

The Swiss are among the most well-armed people in the world, especially Europe.  Eight million Swiss own 2.5 million guns – about half of which are service weapons related to the Swiss “national service”, from which Israel borrowed its own military model.

When you tell a gun-grabber that the Swiss – among the most peaceful, stable nations on earth – are heavily armed, and that most Swiss households have at least one selective-fire assault rifle in the closet, they’ll usually frump “that doesn’t count – those are military weapons!”.  They’re wrong on three counts.

For starters – there are still well over a million purely civilian weapons!

Second – so the gun in the closet is military.  So what?  You think that would stop a criminal, all by itself?  No – Switzerland adds a pretty significant sentencing enhancement for using a military gun for non-military purposes (even opening one’s “emergency” ammo container, kept with the serviceman’s rifle and uniform at home, is a criminal offense).  So go figure – sentencing prevents crime! Case in point; when a bunch of Swiss yahoos staged a re-enactment of Abu Ghraib, they went to jail – for using their service weapons in the re-enactment.

Third?  After a Swiss citizen completes their service in the reserve, they are eligible to purchase their longtime personal weapon for a fairly nominal price.

That means for servicepeople in the “baby boom” years, a SIG “StG 57” – AKA the “Rolls Royce of battle rifles”.

The SIG Sturmgewehr 57 – standard rifle of the Swiss military from the late fifties to the mid-nineties.

A twelve-pound beast of a rifle, capable of firing the full-powered 7.5mm Swiss round, fully-or semi-automatic, it still serves as a “designated marksman’s weapon” in the Swiss Army.  The semi-auto only civilian version ran for $5,000 a pop on the US civilian market, back when they were obtainable at all.   Swiss reservists of a certain age can have their long-time service weapons (with semi-auto only actions installed) for a couple hundred bucks – less than the price of an American video-game console.

The young’uns?  They get the pretty spiffy, thoroughly-modern SIG 550s, in the NATO-standard 5.56mm caliber.

The SIG 550.

It’s basically a Swiss version of the M16/AR15, although it uses a much more reliable gas-piston operating system borrowed from the AK47.    You can find ’em in the US; if you find ’em under $1,800, it’s a bargain.   Swiss vets get theirs for less than the price of a laptop computer.

If the vet is an officer or senior NCO?

The SIG 220.

The SIG220 service pistol, one of the most coveted handguns in America, is the pistola franca of the Swiss armed forces.  A Swiss service veteran can keep their 220 for a couple hundred bucks.  When they get down to $1,000 in the US, people go crazy.

The Swiss Shooting Sports Federation – which is sort of like the NRA, but it also sells ammo and runs shooting ranges – has 175,000 members.  That’s  a higher percentage of the Swiss population than the NRA has in the US; in proportion to population, it’s the equivalent of seven million Americans going to the range and buying ammo.

Oh, yeah – and the Swiss firearm murder rate is about one quarter of the murder rate.

In Minnesota.

Pardon the gearhead tangent.

Now – General Blattman may be right, and he may be wrong.  I have a hunch Switzerland will be the last place in Europe ISIS tries its luck.

Strongarming

Just so we make sure that I am either very clear, or very unclear – I fully support welcoming refugees to United States. I even more fully support being very very careful about the ones we admit.

What I would like to ask ISIS is, instead of wasting perfectly good passive aggression on the docile, bovine Swedish Lutherans, that they try this little stunt with some of the people in America who are getting so very, very smug and self-righteous about their sense of tolerance.

Thanks in advance.

No True Islamofascist

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

These are the people the Obama Administration wants Israelis to reason with: people who buy their kids terrorist dolls so they grow up hating Jews.

Joe Doakes

One of liberals’ great handicaps is that they always act like everyone is “like us”, as if all humans have the same motives as MPR-listening, Subaru-driving, Whole-Foods-shopping Carleton grads do.

What A Terrorist Wants

SCENE:  December 8, 1941, in the well of the House of Representatives – in an alternate universe.    President Barack Delano Obama is addressing a joint emergency session of Congress.

OBAMA:  Yesterday, December Seventh, 1941, is a day which will live in infamy.

Now, let me be clear:  this attack did not represent the Real Japan.  Japan is an ancient, honorable culture, dating back over 2,000 years; Shinto is a religion of peace, famous for its pastoral scenes and transcendental poetry.

And this attack does not represent the real Japanese people; a people who invented sushi, and baseball, and the number zero, named after their fighter plane.

We know the attackers were the junior varsity; who even knew the Japanese had aircraft carriers?

The lesson of yesterday?  We must not give in to fear, or bigotry, in framing our response to this attack.  We must not let fear drive us to launching an air raid on Tokyo, or a two-pronged offensive through the Solomon Islands, or an island-jumping campaign through the Central Pacific, because that is exactly what the attackers want.  If they force us to attack them, we are playing their game, their way.

We must respond to the parts we control – to the National Rifle Association, which has, through the intransigence of Congressional Republicans,  made it easier for criminals like the attackers to buy bombs than books in Tokyo.

I urge Congress also to accelerate passage of the Affordable Defense Act.

Thank you, and let’s not waste this crisis.

Gatekeepers

I’m all for taking in refugees from other countries.

One of the greatest influences on my 18 year old life was a family of Polish refugees who came to North Dakota.  Seeing and hearing about life under Soviet rule was one of the things that set me on the glide path toward voting for Ronald Reagan when I was a few years older.

Anyway – I’m all for taking in people who genuinely have no place else to go. And yep, you can hear a certain fringe of anti-Muslim animosity and, yeah, racism among some opponents of throwing the floodgates open to immigration from the Middle East (and everywhere else), but the fact is that the US has taken in 70% of the UN-designated “refugrees” that have actually been resettled in recent years – and it’s the Obama Administration that has been picking and choosing the refugees it wants to take; out of 3.6 million refugees from Afghanistan, South Sudan and the Central African Republican in the last couple years, the Obama Administration has accepted less than a thousand.

But let’s not focus on the administration for now.  Let’s focus on organic criticism.

Racism is in the minority,  among a lot of people who say “look at what’s happened in Europe” and “have we learned nothing from the Somali influx”, where the government essentially dumped thousands of Somalis here without any support, with thousands of passive Jihad sympathizers and where dozens, maybe more, have gone off to join ISIS and/or Al Shabab,?

At any rate – advocate for immigration if you want. I’m with you. My beef isn’t with immigration, or taking in refugees, or even Islam at large.  It’s with the avalanche of emotional, illogical, logrolling arguments we’re being subjected to by immigration proponents.

So – if you’re passing any of the arguments below, especially with the air of suffocating self-righteousness that seems to be so in fashion with these sorts of arguments these day, we may have to talk.

“We HAVE to take in refugees! There are women and children among them!” Sure – but a disproportionate number are men, especially men who are of military age.

“Have you seen the state the children are in?” So give them a leg up on getting in to countries. Why is this an all-or-nothing proposition?

“But they’re fleeing WAR”! Many if not most of the “refugees” in Europe right now are economic, not war, refugees, from places like Somalia and Sudan that may be pretty miserable, but aren’t war zones.

“It’s just like the WW2 Internment camps!” No – the camps interned American citizens. The refugees are not citizens, and there is no human right to enter this country. None.

“None of them have attacked anyone yet!” Well, that’s just awesome. On 12/6/1941, no Japanese plane had ever attacked American territory. On 9/10/01, it’d been 56 years since any American had been killed by a deliberately-crashed plane. As they say in investing, past performance is no guarantee of future results.

In fact, let’s say, hypothetically, that not a single would-be terrorist infiltrates the US via this wave of immigration. It could happen!

But then let’s say the refugees are resettled in the same manner than the State Department is handing Somali refugees; paying social service non-profits to put them in communities, supporting them for a year, and then washing their hands of them.  This leaves communities of unacculturated immigrants with little skill in English (or, what the hell, Spanish), menial job skills, and little contact in the larger community.  What happens to them?

If they’re lucky, they get a decent job with neighborly Americans who introduce them to American life.  Or they land in a community that has some Somalis that’ve established  themselves, and are among the 85-90% of Somali that are not Jihad sympathizers, and who’ll help them complete the transition as relatively cleanly as possible.

If they’re not?  They’re alone, stranded in a strange country, poor and dependent, speaking the language poorly if at all, and ripe for the picking by the thin film of opportunistic, Jihad-sympathetic imams that are working that population even as we speak.  Which brings us to the next point:

“All of the Paris terrorists were French Nationals!” – Oh, goody – so the fact that people who have been in the west for a while, long enough to gain or be born with citizenship, are blowing up their countrymen is the good news?

If the Administration plans to use the Somali influx as its model – dumping masses of poor immigrants into our communities, unsupported – how do we avoid these new communities turning into the the like of the Arab suburbs of Paris, Lyon, Brussels and Stockholm, which were in fact the breeding grounds for the last few waves of Paris attackers?

“It’s just exactly like when the Jews tried to flee Nazi Germany”: Not even close. The Jews of the 1930s had *nowhere* to go, and no state of their own to take them in. They were excluded from the US due to pure anti-semitism. The VAST majority of this wave of refugees are already someplace safe; Greece, Germany, Jordan, Egypt, wherever. Nobody’s going to ship them to a concentration camp, or kill them (unless ISIS takes over Greece, Germany,Jordan, Egypt or wherever.  The Arab world is chock full of countries with immense wealth and space – but no impetus to take in refugees. We can not forever be the world’s safety valve.

“They’re just looking for a safe place” Some, maybe most, are. But they’re also making beelines for Germany and Sweden and France, as opposed to safe places like Poland or Slovakia or even, for crying out loud, Lithuania, which is rolling out the welcome mat but doesn’t pay welfare benefits to refugees. Why do you suppose that is?

“Look at this photomeme of the Indians and Pilgrims! Ironic!” Well, yeah. I guess you could say it’s ironic that your dimbulb photomeme supports *my* point better than yours, ja?

“Mary and Joseph were refugees looking for a place to stay!” No, they were paying their taxes at the behest of the government. The Judean IRS was apparently even worse than ours.  But let’s say they were refugees; that was a pretty gutsy innkeeper, what with that Judean movement that was beheading Nazarenes in the streets.

“It’s just fear!” – That’s not an argument. That’s bullying. By the same “logic”, owning a fire extinguisher and looking both ways before you cross the street is “fear”. No, “fear” is a chanting point, intended to emotionally bully people into doing what they’re told.

“It’s racist to oppose the resettlement” Look – see above.  Historically and in recent years, we’ve taken in more of the refugees that have been taken in than the rest of the world, twice over.  And that’s on top of the illegals.  America’s Muslim population is on track to exceed its Jewish population – the largest outside Israel – very shortly here. If there’s “racism” out there, it’s taking its sweet time manifesting itself. Beating people over the head with accusations of “bigotry” isn’t an argument; it’s browbeating and bullying.

It’s logrolling – the same cheap emotional bludgeoning that supporters of same sex marriage used to browbeat anyone who said “er, maybe we want to think a little before we fundamentally alter society’s fundamental building block” into compliance. Whether you agree with gay marriage or not (I barely agree with straight marriage), it was depressing, seeing society decide a crucial issue the exact same way the Mean Girls did back in junior high.

And I’ll tolerate none of it.

Cannon Fodder

Jow Doakea from Como Park emails:

Secretary of State Kerry’s remarks about Paris. Revealing quote:

“There’s something different about what happened from Charlie Hebdo, and I think everybody would feel that. There was a sort of particularized focus and perhaps even a legitimacy in terms of – not a legitimacy, but a rationale that you could attach yourself to somehow and say, okay, they’re really angry because of this and that. This Friday was absolutely indiscriminate. It wasn’t to aggrieve one particular sense of wrong. It was to terrorize people. It was to attack everything that we do stand for. That’s not an exaggeration. It was to assault all sense of nationhood and nation-state and rule of law and decency, dignity, and just put fear into the community and say, “Here we are.” And for what? What’s the platform? What’s the grievance?”

The official representative of the Obama Administration says the cartoonists deserved it, but shooting up a rock concert – that’s just wrong. This is a perfect example of the elitist attitude and a perfect explanation why American public policy is so messed up.  

There was no urgency to address terrorism when the people being killed were Jews or ambassadors or cartoonists. There was no problem because it did not involve an elitist, safe in the cocoon of privilege and tucked away in government offices or behind Ivy League walls. But now there is a problem: now, Islamic terror could harm people in Kerry’s strata of society. Now, terrorism is indefensible and intolerable.  

It’s the same elitist attitude towards gun control. 50 young Black men shot in Chicago ghettos is part of their colorfully diverse culture, 100 rural White men committing suicide were probably hateful racists anyway, but one nut with a gun at college or a theatre – that’s indefensible and intolerable because he might accidentally harm one of the elite. 
And swarms of immigrants/refugees aren’t a problem – on the contrary, they provide a ready supply of nannies and gardeners, meat packers and computer programmers, cheap and disposable and if you don’t like it, you should leave – but wait until we suffer a European-style invasion and suddenly there are millions of scruffy people camping on the golf courses, beheading policemen, breaking into gated communities to loot homes for food and clothing – then it’ll be a problem requiring immediate action. Then, Korematsu will be dusted off and acclaimed as binding precedent. Mouthing pious platitudes about diversity and tolerance will become as unfashionable as waving a Confederate flag.
For people like Kerry, society must act when someone threatens their lifestyle, but not before.  
Elitism; it’s an ugly thing.
Joe Doakes

As I pointed out immediately after Sandy Hook, every year the equivalent of several classrooms full of children are killed in Chicago.  But since they don’t look like the children of NPR executives –  being all black and brown and all – nobody pays much attention.least all our “elites”.

Counterintuitive

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Larry Correia writes the Monster Hunter series, which are pretty good SF.  He’s also a Gun Guy, truly one of us.  His column about Paris:

I like this line, talking about the Obama administration failures in the Middle East:

“. . . the western world was literally cheering Putin getting involved. How badly do you have to f**k up that your allies are happy the Russians moved in instead?”

Joe Doakes

Correia’s a sharp guy.

And the answer to the rhetorical question is “Badly.  Very badly.”

Saturday’s NARN Is Today’s Headline

Last Saturday, during my conversation with Peter Johnson of Archway Defense, we noted that 85-90% of Somalis living in the US (and Minnesota has the largest population of Somali expats living outside Kenya) are, most likely, perfectly good immigrants, on their way to being perfectly good citizens.

The remaining 10-15% seem to have some level of sympathy for Muslim extremists.  That sympathy falls in several levels, listed from the most to least common:

  • People who think “the extremists might have a point”, but won’t take any action, and will likely not support much in the way of overt non-rhetorical action by others.
  • People who have sympathy for the cause, and don’t mind if others take some non-violent action.  I’m a pro-lifer, for an example – and I want to win that battle peacefully.  So I would definitely drop a dime if I heard someone was planning on killing an abortion clinic doctor.  But I would likely look the other way at someone vandalizing a Planned Parenthood poster.   That’s the idea, here.
  • People who sympathize with the cause, but would never kill anyone, and don’t want anyone around them killing anyone, but aren’t all that upset that someone is breaking heads for the cause.
  • People who’ll look the other way at people who take more aggressive action around them – for example, someone who’s brother-in-law is collecting lots ammonium nitrate and 7.62x39mm ammo for some unknown purpose.
  • People who’ll take passive roles in more aggressive activities – providing information, hiding contraband, donating money – without taking aggressive action themselves.
  • People who get actively involved in aggressive hostilities.

That last group is a tiny part of the population – but, as we’ve seen in the past couple of years, a tiny part of 100,000 Somalis still adds up to a disconcerting number of Minnesota residents tramping round the Horn of Africa with rifles, or blowing themselves up.

(And let’s be clear on this; most of the information our police and intelligence do have on the people in these categories comes from the other 85-90%).

Anyway – I do urge you to listen to that hour of radio…

…before reading the Strib telling you exactly the same thing.

#GunDense

I’ve recently became aware of “Muggeridge’s Law” – I have an article coming up on the subject.  Muggeridge’s Law states that it’s impossible to be funny, since one’s most hamfistedly satirical “predictions” will inevitably be borne out in fact.

When I first heard the news of the terrorist attacks in Paris, I thought – I kid you not – “some gun grabber group will blame this on the NRA”.

Muggeridge reared his head; the ghouls at “Moms Want Action” struck over the weekend:

I won’t bother asking if “Moms Want Action” is aware that the terrorists used plenty of explosives, or that their guns were the kind of fully-automatic AK47s that are illegal in Wyoming and Kansas, much less France, where the law-abiding citizen can’t easily get permission to own, much less carry, a handgun.   They don’t know the difference, and if they did, they wouldn’t care, because their  goal isn’t to convince people who know what they’re talking about (99% of whom are pro-Second-Amendment), but rather to Lie First, Lie Last, Lie Always to keep the uninformed in line.

I won’t even ask if they’ve noticed that this is the the third major terrorist attack in gun-free Paris involving guns and explosives this year; the death toll among them all is hovering close to 150 – almost as bad as Chicago – and there’s no way we’re done.

The Twin Cities gun grabber groups don’t want a conversation, much less an open debate.  They made this clear last month.

I’m about done waiting for them to come to the debate.

The Next Prohibition

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

President Obama and Candidate Clinton suggest The Australian plan: ban possession of guns and ammo, buy-back from those who will voluntarily participate, and wait for attrition to eliminate the rest.

How does this plan differ from the federal government’s treatment of cocaine, which has been banned for 101 years but remains widely available and reasonably priced?

Put another way, which is harder to smuggle into the country: a pound of cocaine or a pound of bullets?
Joe Doakes

Obamas inability to learn from world history is legendary.

Why would American history be any different?