Day: October 13, 2017

A Tale of Two Speakers



Two oligarchs, one from each party, and both treat the peasants in exactly the same way.  Guess who?



Source link

Why I Oppose Banning Bump Stocks


The latest firearm-equipment boogeyman is the “bump stock,” a device allowing one to fire a semi-automatic rifle more rapidly. Liberals learned of bump stocks because Las Vegas murderer Stephen Paddock had modified 12 of his rifles with them.

This has made them a target for prohibition, and an easy one, too. After all, almost no one wants to buy a bump stock, so even many Republicans — and the National Rifle Association — are willing to place greater restrictions on the device. I also have no plans to acquire one, but I wouldn’t even consider outlawing the stock. Why?

Remember last year’s Orlando massacre, perpetrated by Muslim terrorist Omar Mateen? In its wake the gun boogeyman, as it has often been, was the AR-15, the sleek black gun with military looks that makes libs wet their panties. We were told how outrageous it was that such a “killing machine” (is this the Terminator we’re talking about?) was available to the public. But notice something funny?

Paddock also had an AR-15 rifle.

Yet we haven’t heard a peep from the mice about this “killing machine.” The reason?

Right now, leftists have bump stocks to focus on. Being driven by emotion and/or Machiavellian motives (depending on the person), the type of equipment targeted in an anti-gun push is secondary, at best. The only consistent theme is an effort to steadily, incrementally erode gun rights. It doesn’t matter what weapon or accessory is outlawed today because there’ll be another opportunity, and target, after the next high-profile gun crime tomorrow.

The argument for a restriction is always the same. Logically rendered it states: “This _________ (fill in the blank) is far too effective to be available to the general public.” What this misses is that Second Amendment rights don’t exist just to secure the opportunity to go target shooting or hunting.

They exist to ensure that Americans can have effective weaponry. Full stop.

Again, realize that the current gun-grabber proposal has nothing to do with bump stocks. It has more to do with bumps in heads passing for brains that can’t figure out that any given anti-gun proposal is just another step in an evolutionary process whose apparent end game is the elimination of all guns. This must be concluded since liberals never articulate a different end game. And there always will be another massacre, and then another, and each will be followed with a further drum beat to outlaw _________, because it’s just too effective for citizens to own. It’s a crumb here, a morsel there, a slice today, a half a loaf tomorrow.

In his book Orthodoxy, in the chapter titled “The Eternal Revolution,” philosopher G.K. Chesterton wrote something relevant here: “Progress should mean that we are always changing the world to suit the vision. Progress does mean…that we are always changing the vision.”

While this fault, lamentably, plagues most ideologists today to some degree, it characterizes liberals. They’re the situational-values set, and their goalposts are always shifting. This is why giving them an inch only means they’ll come back for a foot and, later, a mile. This is why you don’t give them even a millimeter. It’s why you must insist upon a certain prerequisite before considering any more anti-gun laws: that liberals articulate a hard and fast, unchanging vision, to be presented for consideration, of what guns laws should forevermore be.

No more free-association legislating. No more shots in the dark. No more making it up as you go along. For example:

  • You say bump stocks allow a person to fire too rapidly. Okay, what exactly is the maximum number of rounds per minute a weapon available to the public should be capable of firing? What’s your reasoning?
  • “High-capacity magazines” is an ambiguous term. Exactly what size magazine should citizens be allowed to own? What’s your reasoning?
  • Don’t tell us about “high-powered rifles.” Tell us exactly what the maximum muzzle velocity of a publicly available firearm should be. What’s your reasoning?
  • Another ambiguous (and misleading) term is “armor-piercing ammunition.” What exactly should the maximum penetration power of a publicly available round be? What’s your reasoning?

Once you formulate your concrete vision (for the first time in your lives), please present it. If we accept it, though, note what the agreement means: You don’t get to ask for more anti-gun laws ever again. There’s no more politicizing of the issue after every shooting. The vision is conceived, articulated, agreed upon — and then set in stone.

Of course, I’m sure there’s no way to make such a thing legally binding, and no other agreement with liberals is worth the paper it’s printed on. The point is that without such a vision’s presentation we shouldn’t even take anti-gun proposals seriously. Doing otherwise is akin to pandering to children (and liberals are overgrown children) when they stamp their feet and scream about what they want right now, “just because.”

This doesn’t mean we should be totally averse to compromise. So, try this on for size: I propose reducing the 22,000 anti-gun laws currently on the books by 10,000. If that’s unacceptable, however, I’ll agree to a 5,000-law reduction — for now. There’s always next year’s negotiation, after all.

Don’t ever let it be said I’m not a reasonable guy.

 Contact Selwyn Duke, follow him on Twitter or log on to SelwynDuke.com

The latest firearm-equipment boogeyman is the “bump stock,” a device allowing one to fire a semi-automatic rifle more rapidly. Liberals learned of bump stocks because Las Vegas murderer Stephen Paddock had modified 12 of his rifles with them.

This has made them a target for prohibition, and an easy one, too. After all, almost no one wants to buy a bump stock, so even many Republicans — and the National Rifle Association — are willing to place greater restrictions on the device. I also have no plans to acquire one, but I wouldn’t even consider outlawing the stock. Why?

Photo credit: truthaboutguns.com

Remember last year’s Orlando massacre, perpetrated by Muslim terrorist Omar Mateen? In its wake the gun boogeyman, as it has often been, was the AR-15, the sleek black gun with military looks that makes libs wet their panties. We were told how outrageous it was that such a “killing machine” (is this the Terminator we’re talking about?) was available to the public. But notice something funny?

Paddock also had an AR-15 rifle.

Yet we haven’t heard a peep from the mice about this “killing machine.” The reason?

Right now, leftists have bump stocks to focus on. Being driven by emotion and/or Machiavellian motives (depending on the person), the type of equipment targeted in an anti-gun push is secondary, at best. The only consistent theme is an effort to steadily, incrementally erode gun rights. It doesn’t matter what weapon or accessory is outlawed today because there’ll be another opportunity, and target, after the next high-profile gun crime tomorrow.

The argument for a restriction is always the same. Logically rendered it states: “This _________ (fill in the blank) is far too effective to be available to the general public.” What this misses is that Second Amendment rights don’t exist just to secure the opportunity to go target shooting or hunting.

They exist to ensure that Americans can have effective weaponry. Full stop.

Again, realize that the current gun-grabber proposal has nothing to do with bump stocks. It has more to do with bumps in heads passing for brains that can’t figure out that any given anti-gun proposal is just another step in an evolutionary process whose apparent end game is the elimination of all guns. This must be concluded since liberals never articulate a different end game. And there always will be another massacre, and then another, and each will be followed with a further drum beat to outlaw _________, because it’s just too effective for citizens to own. It’s a crumb here, a morsel there, a slice today, a half a loaf tomorrow.

In his book Orthodoxy, in the chapter titled “The Eternal Revolution,” philosopher G.K. Chesterton wrote something relevant here: “Progress should mean that we are always changing the world to suit the vision. Progress does mean…that we are always changing the vision.”

While this fault, lamentably, plagues most ideologists today to some degree, it characterizes liberals. They’re the situational-values set, and their goalposts are always shifting. This is why giving them an inch only means they’ll come back for a foot and, later, a mile. This is why you don’t give them even a millimeter. It’s why you must insist upon a certain prerequisite before considering any more anti-gun laws: that liberals articulate a hard and fast, unchanging vision, to be presented for consideration, of what guns laws should forevermore be.

No more free-association legislating. No more shots in the dark. No more making it up as you go along. For example:

  • You say bump stocks allow a person to fire too rapidly. Okay, what exactly is the maximum number of rounds per minute a weapon available to the public should be capable of firing? What’s your reasoning?
  • “High-capacity magazines” is an ambiguous term. Exactly what size magazine should citizens be allowed to own? What’s your reasoning?
  • Don’t tell us about “high-powered rifles.” Tell us exactly what the maximum muzzle velocity of a publicly available firearm should be. What’s your reasoning?
  • Another ambiguous (and misleading) term is “armor-piercing ammunition.” What exactly should the maximum penetration power of a publicly available round be? What’s your reasoning?

Once you formulate your concrete vision (for the first time in your lives), please present it. If we accept it, though, note what the agreement means: You don’t get to ask for more anti-gun laws ever again. There’s no more politicizing of the issue after every shooting. The vision is conceived, articulated, agreed upon — and then set in stone.

Of course, I’m sure there’s no way to make such a thing legally binding, and no other agreement with liberals is worth the paper it’s printed on. The point is that without such a vision’s presentation we shouldn’t even take anti-gun proposals seriously. Doing otherwise is akin to pandering to children (and liberals are overgrown children) when they stamp their feet and scream about what they want right now, “just because.”

This doesn’t mean we should be totally averse to compromise. So, try this on for size: I propose reducing the 22,000 anti-gun laws currently on the books by 10,000. If that’s unacceptable, however, I’ll agree to a 5,000-law reduction — for now. There’s always next year’s negotiation, after all.

Don’t ever let it be said I’m not a reasonable guy.

 Contact Selwyn Duke, follow him on Twitter or log on to SelwynDuke.com



Source link

Twitter Protects Weinstein, Suspends Victim Rose McGowan


The liberal censors at Twitter, who have joined other social media outlets like Facebook in censoring conservative news and thought and defending liberal orthodoxy, have now stooped to censor the victims of Hollywood sexual predator Harvey Weinstein. The latest victim of Big Brother’s wrath is actress and Weinstein victim Rose McGowan:

Rose McGowan had a hold placed on her Twitter account Wednesday night, an act that quickly sparked outrage among the many users who have been following her posts ever since news first broke of the allegations against Harvey Weinstein.


The actress, who has emerged as a Hollywood voice after finding herself thrust into the center of the developing story of sexual misconduct, harassment and assault allegations against the movie mogul, took to her Instagram and Facebook accounts to relay the news of her suspension, writing cryptically that: “TWITTER HAS SUSPENDED ME. THERE ARE POWERFUL FORCES AT WORK. BE MY VOICE. #ROSEARMY.”…


Since the bombshell accusations, including multiple rape allegations, about Weinstein were reported by the New York Times and The New Yorker, McGowan has used Twitter to excoriate the disgraced producer, as well as board members of The Weinstein Company, including co-founder Bob Weinstein, along with a number of prominent actors, such as Ben Affleck and other “A-list golden boys” who she feels were aware of what was going on….


The Times first reported that McGowan reached a $100,000 settlement with Weinstein after an encounter in a hotel room at the Sundance Film Festival in 1997. McGowan did not participate in the Times exposé but quickly called on the entire TWC board to resign and for Hollywood actors and actresses to speak up. “Men in Hollywood need to change ASAP,” McGowan told THR in an interview over the weekend. “Hollywood’s power is dying because society has changed and grown, and yet Hollywood male behavior has not.”

Twitter most recently exercised its power to censor thought it doesn’t approve of  by banning a prolife ad from Tennessee GOP Rep. Marsha Blackburn because it considered Blackburn’s pro-life rhetoric and denunciation of Planned Parenthood “inflammatory”,  just as it decided McGowan’s condemnation of Weinstein and the Hollywood culture he represents violated Twitter’s holier-than-thou standards which depend on whose ox is being gored:

Twitter has decided to change course on a controversial Senate campaign advertisement by Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., and will allow the ad to run, even though the social network initially claimed it violated ad guidelines.


Blackburn confirmed on Fox News’ “The Story with Martha MacCallum” Tuesday night that Twitter will allow her ad to be promoted on the social media platform.


Twitter said that they made the decision after reconsidering the “context of the entire message,” according to a report by Recode.


Blackburn said she believes Twitter reversed its decision because “the American people rose up.”


“I think what has happened, the American people rose up. They are sick and tired of the liberal elites and the liberal media telling them what they’re going to listen to, and what is going to be pushed forward and broadcast and what is not, and in this example it was Twitter,” Blackburn said.

Twitter has even gone after the likes of the iconic Matt Drudge, former Breitbart news editor Milo Yiannopoulos, and Dilbert creator Scott Adams, as well as engaging in a practice called “shadow banning” to limit the access and exposure of largely conservative accounts.

Milo Yiannopoulos is familiar with the suppression of free speech and the First Amendment by the politically correct left, having a speech at UC Berkeley canceled after violent riots by the politically intolerant left. Pundits have dubbed the suppression of conservative speakers on campus the “heckler’s veto” which allows the arbiters of political correctness to deny a forum to those they disagree with.

 Yiannopoulos is also familiar with another form of suppression of free speech, this time in social media forums such as Twitter called “shadow banning.” Tweets of the kind President Trump is famous for are banned from being seen by other than a given account’s followers, limiting visibility. Twitter and its support team claim it is merely spanking temporarily those that violates their rules and terms of service, but Yiannopoulos thinks it is political correctness run amok with the goal of, as at Berkeley and elsewhere, of silencing conservatives:

Rumours that Twitter has begun ‘shadowbanning’ politically inconvenient users have been confirmed by a source inside the company, who spoke exclusively to Breitbart Tech. His claim was corroborated by a senior editor at a major publisher.


According to the source, Twitter maintains a ‘whitelist’ of favoured Twitter accounts and a ‘blacklist’ of unfavoured accounts. Accounts on the whitelist are prioritised in search results, even if they’re not the most popular among users. Meanwhile, accounts on the blacklist have their posts hidden from both search results and other users’ timelines….


The pattern of shadowban reports, which skews towards the alt-right, the populist right, and cultural libertarians, follows close on the heels of Twitter’s establishment of a “Trust and Safety Council” packed with left-wing advocacy groups, as well as Islamic research centre the Wahid Institute….


With shadowbans now confirmed by an inside source, there is little room for doubt that the platform is intent on silencing conservatives. Furthermore, it has demonstrated a complete lack of regard for transparency, concealing its shadowbanning system from users and hiding its political bias behind a veneer of opposition to online abuse….

Yes, it is Twitter’s sandbox and, yes, there are spammers uninterested in any real dialogue. Yes, there are porn bots and photos any reasonable person would find offensive. There are Twitter equivalents to yelling “fire” in a crowded theatre. But Twitter has gone beyond enforcing rules of civility to enforcing its view of political correctness, punishing conservatives who use social media, particularly those who are good at it.

Even Matt Drudge found himself caught up in Twitter’s censorship, further confirming the fact that Twitter shadow bans those on the right side of the political spectrum. As Breitbart reported:

Earlier today, users on Twitter reported that tweets from the official account of the Drudge Report were being hidden from users behind a “sensitive content” filter.


A screenshot published on the British news site Westmonster revealed the filtering of the Drudge Report, one of the largest and highest-profile conservative sites on the web….


The censorship was lifted later in the day, and tweets from the Drudge Report are now visible, even when users opt-in to Twitter’s “sensitive content” filtering. However, Twitter has not explained why the Drudge Report was placed behind the filter in the first place, and has not responded to a request for comment from Breitbart News at this time.Twitter started experimenting with labelling entire user accounts as “sensitive” earlier this month. Recently, we reported that the social media company is using IBM’s “Watson” supercomputer to identify “abusive” accounts on Twitter. Twitter’s bias against conservatives is well-known. The company frequently bans or locks the accounts of conservative users who have not broken its terms of service, while allowing threats of violence against the President and First Lady to run rampant on the platform.

Indeed, with Twitter it depends on whose ox is being gored. Is Scott Adams, the creator of the cultural icon of all cubicle dwellers, Dilbert, a Twitter troll or spammer of offensive tweets? Or was it his support of Donald Trump that got him in Twitter’s censorship crosshairs? In a blog post, Adams suggested that Twitter has shadow banned him and other conservatives for political reasons:

The Constitution guarantees every citizen the right of free speech. But what happens when the most effective channels for that speech are corporations such as Twitter and Facebook? Does the government have an obligation to make sure those companies are not limiting free speech for some classes of users?…


…shouldn’t the federal government get involved if a few monopoly corporations start to control the national conversation by filtering out voices that disagree with them? 


That seems to be the situation right now. For example, Twitter is apparently “shadowbanning” me because of my past Trump tweets, or so I assume. That means my tweets only go out to a subset of my followers. The rest don’t know I tweeted. My followers tell me this is the case. They have to visit my timeline to see my tweets….


I can’t be 100% sure that Twitter is shadowbanning me to limit my political speech. They might have a bug in their system, for example. But it would be a big coincidence if they are not, given how many Trump supporters were targeted by Twitter in the past year. 

Twitter’s alleged standards are really rules designed to enforce political correctness and those whose accounts are shadow banned or suspended are more likely to be Twitter victims due to their effectiveness rather than offensiveness.

Unlike Hollywood hypocrites like Ashley Judd and other actresses who sold their souls to Harvey Weinstein in exchange for their career success, Rose McGowan is not being silent. She has attacked those hypocrites who, while attacking President Trump for his alleged callousness and sexist attitude towards women as a result of the Access Hollywood tape, kept silent about Harvey Weinstein and his very real war on women.

Hopefully Rose McGowan and others who have been silenced for various offenses against political correctness and liberal orthodoxy will have their voices restored. Twitter has to decide whether the sensitivities of sexual predators and their defenders are more important than proclaiming the truth about them. And if prolife views are inflammatory, Twitter’s standards and rules need serious revision.

Daniel John Sobieski is a freelance writer whose pieces have appeared in Investor’s Business Daily, Human Events, Reason Magazine and the Chicago Sun-Times among other publications.          

The liberal censors at Twitter, who have joined other social media outlets like Facebook in censoring conservative news and thought and defending liberal orthodoxy, have now stooped to censor the victims of Hollywood sexual predator Harvey Weinstein. The latest victim of Big Brother’s wrath is actress and Weinstein victim Rose McGowan:

Rose McGowan had a hold placed on her Twitter account Wednesday night, an act that quickly sparked outrage among the many users who have been following her posts ever since news first broke of the allegations against Harvey Weinstein.


The actress, who has emerged as a Hollywood voice after finding herself thrust into the center of the developing story of sexual misconduct, harassment and assault allegations against the movie mogul, took to her Instagram and Facebook accounts to relay the news of her suspension, writing cryptically that: “TWITTER HAS SUSPENDED ME. THERE ARE POWERFUL FORCES AT WORK. BE MY VOICE. #ROSEARMY.”…


Since the bombshell accusations, including multiple rape allegations, about Weinstein were reported by the New York Times and The New Yorker, McGowan has used Twitter to excoriate the disgraced producer, as well as board members of The Weinstein Company, including co-founder Bob Weinstein, along with a number of prominent actors, such as Ben Affleck and other “A-list golden boys” who she feels were aware of what was going on….


The Times first reported that McGowan reached a $100,000 settlement with Weinstein after an encounter in a hotel room at the Sundance Film Festival in 1997. McGowan did not participate in the Times exposé but quickly called on the entire TWC board to resign and for Hollywood actors and actresses to speak up. “Men in Hollywood need to change ASAP,” McGowan told THR in an interview over the weekend. “Hollywood’s power is dying because society has changed and grown, and yet Hollywood male behavior has not.”

Twitter most recently exercised its power to censor thought it doesn’t approve of  by banning a prolife ad from Tennessee GOP Rep. Marsha Blackburn because it considered Blackburn’s pro-life rhetoric and denunciation of Planned Parenthood “inflammatory”,  just as it decided McGowan’s condemnation of Weinstein and the Hollywood culture he represents violated Twitter’s holier-than-thou standards which depend on whose ox is being gored:

Twitter has decided to change course on a controversial Senate campaign advertisement by Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., and will allow the ad to run, even though the social network initially claimed it violated ad guidelines.


Blackburn confirmed on Fox News’ “The Story with Martha MacCallum” Tuesday night that Twitter will allow her ad to be promoted on the social media platform.


Twitter said that they made the decision after reconsidering the “context of the entire message,” according to a report by Recode.


Blackburn said she believes Twitter reversed its decision because “the American people rose up.”


“I think what has happened, the American people rose up. They are sick and tired of the liberal elites and the liberal media telling them what they’re going to listen to, and what is going to be pushed forward and broadcast and what is not, and in this example it was Twitter,” Blackburn said.

Twitter has even gone after the likes of the iconic Matt Drudge, former Breitbart news editor Milo Yiannopoulos, and Dilbert creator Scott Adams, as well as engaging in a practice called “shadow banning” to limit the access and exposure of largely conservative accounts.

Milo Yiannopoulos is familiar with the suppression of free speech and the First Amendment by the politically correct left, having a speech at UC Berkeley canceled after violent riots by the politically intolerant left. Pundits have dubbed the suppression of conservative speakers on campus the “heckler’s veto” which allows the arbiters of political correctness to deny a forum to those they disagree with.

 Yiannopoulos is also familiar with another form of suppression of free speech, this time in social media forums such as Twitter called “shadow banning.” Tweets of the kind President Trump is famous for are banned from being seen by other than a given account’s followers, limiting visibility. Twitter and its support team claim it is merely spanking temporarily those that violates their rules and terms of service, but Yiannopoulos thinks it is political correctness run amok with the goal of, as at Berkeley and elsewhere, of silencing conservatives:

Rumours that Twitter has begun ‘shadowbanning’ politically inconvenient users have been confirmed by a source inside the company, who spoke exclusively to Breitbart Tech. His claim was corroborated by a senior editor at a major publisher.


According to the source, Twitter maintains a ‘whitelist’ of favoured Twitter accounts and a ‘blacklist’ of unfavoured accounts. Accounts on the whitelist are prioritised in search results, even if they’re not the most popular among users. Meanwhile, accounts on the blacklist have their posts hidden from both search results and other users’ timelines….


The pattern of shadowban reports, which skews towards the alt-right, the populist right, and cultural libertarians, follows close on the heels of Twitter’s establishment of a “Trust and Safety Council” packed with left-wing advocacy groups, as well as Islamic research centre the Wahid Institute….


With shadowbans now confirmed by an inside source, there is little room for doubt that the platform is intent on silencing conservatives. Furthermore, it has demonstrated a complete lack of regard for transparency, concealing its shadowbanning system from users and hiding its political bias behind a veneer of opposition to online abuse….

Yes, it is Twitter’s sandbox and, yes, there are spammers uninterested in any real dialogue. Yes, there are porn bots and photos any reasonable person would find offensive. There are Twitter equivalents to yelling “fire” in a crowded theatre. But Twitter has gone beyond enforcing rules of civility to enforcing its view of political correctness, punishing conservatives who use social media, particularly those who are good at it.

Even Matt Drudge found himself caught up in Twitter’s censorship, further confirming the fact that Twitter shadow bans those on the right side of the political spectrum. As Breitbart reported:

Earlier today, users on Twitter reported that tweets from the official account of the Drudge Report were being hidden from users behind a “sensitive content” filter.


A screenshot published on the British news site Westmonster revealed the filtering of the Drudge Report, one of the largest and highest-profile conservative sites on the web….


The censorship was lifted later in the day, and tweets from the Drudge Report are now visible, even when users opt-in to Twitter’s “sensitive content” filtering. However, Twitter has not explained why the Drudge Report was placed behind the filter in the first place, and has not responded to a request for comment from Breitbart News at this time.Twitter started experimenting with labelling entire user accounts as “sensitive” earlier this month. Recently, we reported that the social media company is using IBM’s “Watson” supercomputer to identify “abusive” accounts on Twitter. Twitter’s bias against conservatives is well-known. The company frequently bans or locks the accounts of conservative users who have not broken its terms of service, while allowing threats of violence against the President and First Lady to run rampant on the platform.

Indeed, with Twitter it depends on whose ox is being gored. Is Scott Adams, the creator of the cultural icon of all cubicle dwellers, Dilbert, a Twitter troll or spammer of offensive tweets? Or was it his support of Donald Trump that got him in Twitter’s censorship crosshairs? In a blog post, Adams suggested that Twitter has shadow banned him and other conservatives for political reasons:

The Constitution guarantees every citizen the right of free speech. But what happens when the most effective channels for that speech are corporations such as Twitter and Facebook? Does the government have an obligation to make sure those companies are not limiting free speech for some classes of users?…


…shouldn’t the federal government get involved if a few monopoly corporations start to control the national conversation by filtering out voices that disagree with them? 


That seems to be the situation right now. For example, Twitter is apparently “shadowbanning” me because of my past Trump tweets, or so I assume. That means my tweets only go out to a subset of my followers. The rest don’t know I tweeted. My followers tell me this is the case. They have to visit my timeline to see my tweets….


I can’t be 100% sure that Twitter is shadowbanning me to limit my political speech. They might have a bug in their system, for example. But it would be a big coincidence if they are not, given how many Trump supporters were targeted by Twitter in the past year. 

Twitter’s alleged standards are really rules designed to enforce political correctness and those whose accounts are shadow banned or suspended are more likely to be Twitter victims due to their effectiveness rather than offensiveness.

Unlike Hollywood hypocrites like Ashley Judd and other actresses who sold their souls to Harvey Weinstein in exchange for their career success, Rose McGowan is not being silent. She has attacked those hypocrites who, while attacking President Trump for his alleged callousness and sexist attitude towards women as a result of the Access Hollywood tape, kept silent about Harvey Weinstein and his very real war on women.

Hopefully Rose McGowan and others who have been silenced for various offenses against political correctness and liberal orthodoxy will have their voices restored. Twitter has to decide whether the sensitivities of sexual predators and their defenders are more important than proclaiming the truth about them. And if prolife views are inflammatory, Twitter’s standards and rules need serious revision.

Daniel John Sobieski is a freelance writer whose pieces have appeared in Investor’s Business Daily, Human Events, Reason Magazine and the Chicago Sun-Times among other publications.          



Source link

School Coach Branded Racist for Calling Thugs 'Thugs'


Imagine if behind every little thug, there were larger, stronger thugs ready to defend those little thugs against criticism or correction. In this situation, thuggery would always grow, and all defense against it would be futile, until at last most people would  just give up and either join the thugs or hide quietly in their corners all their lives.

This self-perpetuating thuggish world is the social mechanism of public school in a nutshell — a world in which beating up a classmate with special learning needs has become a less egregious offense than condemning that beating with language that might hurt the perpetrators’ feelings.

Public education is systematized thuggery raised to the level of an extinction event. And what is slowly going extinct under the government schooling regime is civil society — standards of mutual respect and decency, individual responsibility, rational discourse, higher literacy, the spiritual life, and moderation.

In an age which spews out endless microcosmic instantiations of this destruction on a daily basis, you could hardly find one more all-encompassing, or more indicative of this particular moment in our global decline, than the following from Right Scoop.

A volunteer coach was banned from the school where he helped kids by some IDIOT of a super-intendant who CAVED like a coward before irrational calls from the mob that the coach was a racist.


What did he do?


Well, the coach saw a video online of two pathetic maggots beating on a 16-year-old student with special needs – and he called them “thugs.”

As you can easily guess from this account of the story, the elementary school wrestling coach, Doug Conroy, is white, while the soulless punks who beat up a younger, smaller student were…um, not white. In America’s current climate of politically correct fake sensitivity, with ordinary people being prodded into participating in a disingenuous, Marxist-inspired “grievance culture,” the word “thug,” as applied to these two teenage empty shells, was immediately and conveniently interpreted by the aunt of one of them, and then by the grown-up empty shells from the school district — the real thugs — as a racial slur. The coach’s school was therefore put on notice that the wrestling team, which practices at a high school, would be banned from using any district facilities until Coach Conroy was dismissed.

So of course the team is banned. God forbid anyone employed by the State should show any character and tell the district Maoists to take a hike.

That the victim of the assault was also black is irrelevant. As is the fact that the word “thug” is a well-established, very old English word which has always and consistently been used to describe exactly the kind of behavior engaged in by the…well, the thugs in this attack. In the world of sensitivity grievances, the mere fact that someone alleges hurt feelings is enough to cost a man his chosen place in the community.

It is essential to note here that, given the completely non-racial implications of the coach’s description, the fact that the word “thug” happens to have an objectively negative connotation is of no consequence to the accusation of racism. In principle, Conroy would be equally guilty of racism on these standards if he had said “It’s a beautiful day” or “How’s the weather,” and someone had decided, for any reason, that “beautiful” or “the” were racially hurtful terms.

The extent to which this is true is suggested by Conroy’s totally uncalled-for and self-incriminating apology, now typical in all such cases:

“I had no idea that word could be construed as racist. If it was, and I offended somebody, I apologize for that. It was never my intent.”

What matters today is no longer what the word actually means, or even what the speaker meant when he used it (his “intent”). What matters is how somebody else might “construe” the word. But if actual, standard, accepted dictionary meaning is not a legitimate justification for one’s word choice — if other people not knowing the meaning of a word is to be regarded as a different but legitimate “construal” of the word’s meaning, such that any word means whatever the hearer construes it to mean — then literally anything you say is offensive if anyone says it is offensive.

This is the new, progressive Tower of Babel that public education has (knowingly) helped to create. Hence my claim that this particular case is a perfect microcosm of our modern educational disaster.

A man, using formally correct, racially neutral language, accurately describes his impressions of a video of violent behavior. The aunt of one of the assailants takes offense at this formally correct, racially neutral, accurate description, and voila: a completely innocent man thinking he’s drawing attention to repulsive behavior in order to excoriate it, gets kicked to the curbside of Pathway-to-Utopia Boulevard. He is barred from participating in his community’s socialist education system — because he used proper English to criticize immoral behavior with objectively accurate descriptive language.

John Dewey would have loved this exemplary flowering of his dream of universal state socialization, with its disintegration of the regressive “individualism” of stable truth and objective meaning, in favor of the progressive pragmatism of social sensitivity and forced conformity.

In the public school world, the thugs will always win in the end.

Daren Jonescu writes about politics, philosophy, education, and the decline of civilization at http://darenjonescu.com/.

Imagine if behind every little thug, there were larger, stronger thugs ready to defend those little thugs against criticism or correction. In this situation, thuggery would always grow, and all defense against it would be futile, until at last most people would  just give up and either join the thugs or hide quietly in their corners all their lives.

This self-perpetuating thuggish world is the social mechanism of public school in a nutshell — a world in which beating up a classmate with special learning needs has become a less egregious offense than condemning that beating with language that might hurt the perpetrators’ feelings.

Public education is systematized thuggery raised to the level of an extinction event. And what is slowly going extinct under the government schooling regime is civil society — standards of mutual respect and decency, individual responsibility, rational discourse, higher literacy, the spiritual life, and moderation.

In an age which spews out endless microcosmic instantiations of this destruction on a daily basis, you could hardly find one more all-encompassing, or more indicative of this particular moment in our global decline, than the following from Right Scoop.

A volunteer coach was banned from the school where he helped kids by some IDIOT of a super-intendant who CAVED like a coward before irrational calls from the mob that the coach was a racist.


What did he do?


Well, the coach saw a video online of two pathetic maggots beating on a 16-year-old student with special needs – and he called them “thugs.”

As you can easily guess from this account of the story, the elementary school wrestling coach, Doug Conroy, is white, while the soulless punks who beat up a younger, smaller student were…um, not white. In America’s current climate of politically correct fake sensitivity, with ordinary people being prodded into participating in a disingenuous, Marxist-inspired “grievance culture,” the word “thug,” as applied to these two teenage empty shells, was immediately and conveniently interpreted by the aunt of one of them, and then by the grown-up empty shells from the school district — the real thugs — as a racial slur. The coach’s school was therefore put on notice that the wrestling team, which practices at a high school, would be banned from using any district facilities until Coach Conroy was dismissed.

So of course the team is banned. God forbid anyone employed by the State should show any character and tell the district Maoists to take a hike.

That the victim of the assault was also black is irrelevant. As is the fact that the word “thug” is a well-established, very old English word which has always and consistently been used to describe exactly the kind of behavior engaged in by the…well, the thugs in this attack. In the world of sensitivity grievances, the mere fact that someone alleges hurt feelings is enough to cost a man his chosen place in the community.

It is essential to note here that, given the completely non-racial implications of the coach’s description, the fact that the word “thug” happens to have an objectively negative connotation is of no consequence to the accusation of racism. In principle, Conroy would be equally guilty of racism on these standards if he had said “It’s a beautiful day” or “How’s the weather,” and someone had decided, for any reason, that “beautiful” or “the” were racially hurtful terms.

The extent to which this is true is suggested by Conroy’s totally uncalled-for and self-incriminating apology, now typical in all such cases:

“I had no idea that word could be construed as racist. If it was, and I offended somebody, I apologize for that. It was never my intent.”

What matters today is no longer what the word actually means, or even what the speaker meant when he used it (his “intent”). What matters is how somebody else might “construe” the word. But if actual, standard, accepted dictionary meaning is not a legitimate justification for one’s word choice — if other people not knowing the meaning of a word is to be regarded as a different but legitimate “construal” of the word’s meaning, such that any word means whatever the hearer construes it to mean — then literally anything you say is offensive if anyone says it is offensive.

This is the new, progressive Tower of Babel that public education has (knowingly) helped to create. Hence my claim that this particular case is a perfect microcosm of our modern educational disaster.

A man, using formally correct, racially neutral language, accurately describes his impressions of a video of violent behavior. The aunt of one of the assailants takes offense at this formally correct, racially neutral, accurate description, and voila: a completely innocent man thinking he’s drawing attention to repulsive behavior in order to excoriate it, gets kicked to the curbside of Pathway-to-Utopia Boulevard. He is barred from participating in his community’s socialist education system — because he used proper English to criticize immoral behavior with objectively accurate descriptive language.

John Dewey would have loved this exemplary flowering of his dream of universal state socialization, with its disintegration of the regressive “individualism” of stable truth and objective meaning, in favor of the progressive pragmatism of social sensitivity and forced conformity.

In the public school world, the thugs will always win in the end.

Daren Jonescu writes about politics, philosophy, education, and the decline of civilization at http://darenjonescu.com/.



Source link

The Sunni Nations and the 'Jordanian Option'


On September 1, 1967, the Arab League summit delivered the “Three No’s” – no to peace with Israel, no recognition of Israel, and no negotiations with Israel. This declaration was passed as part of the Khartoum Resolution at a summit attended by eight Arab heads of state in the shadow of the Six-Day War, which saw Israel’s unprecedented defeat of Egypt, Jordan and Syria. For the past 70 years, this has been the official policy of all Sunni nations in the Middle East: no to Israel and yes to the Palestinians demand for an independent state, until now. All of this has now come to an end.

The split in the Islamist nations between the Sunni majority led by Saudi Arabia and the Shia minority led by Iran has turned the tables on many strategic givens.  The continuing obsolete thinking in the United States and Western European capitals must change.  What was, will no longer be. Sunni nations that were in the past at the forefront of the “Three No’s” strategy are today major allies of the State of Israel, and are coordinating  their military and strategic postures with Israel to defend themselves against the aggressive Shia threat emanating from Iran and her allies.

The Palestinians are a major ally of Iran alongside the terror movement Hezb’allah and are totally subservient to the Shia regime of Ayatollahs in Iran. With the Palestinians leaving the fold of the Sunni world, they have not only lost the support of all major Sunni nations, but have also sabotaged by their own hand the feasibility of a two-state solution. For this reason, the two state solution for the Palestinians is out, and the “Jordanian Option” is back on the table as a viable and sustainable option.

Now is time for the international community to go back to basics and seek a remedy elsewhere, after nearly forty years of advocating the two-state solution and after thousands of Israelis have been killed by Palestinian terrorists.  Palestinian autonomy based on a federation within the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan offers the only viable and sustainable hope for the Palestinian Arabs residing in the West Bank — also known in Israel as Judea and Samaria. This “Jordanian Option” of enabling the Palestinian Arabs to be incorporated within the sovereign borders of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan can offer a realistic approach in meeting the legitimate historical claims of Israel as the state of the Jewish people, and at the same time satisfy those Palestinian Arabs with the political aspiration of controlling their own destiny. After nearly 100 years of a failed Palestinian Arab national movement and given the bleak scenarios that lie ahead for the Palestinians, now is the time to go back to the establishment of a Jordanian-Palestinian federation.

With the Palestinians losing the financial and political support of the Sunni nations of the Middle East, how can this new reality be used to engage strategic actors to play a critical role in making the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan re-engage the Palestinian leadership into some kind of federation within the Kingdom? The Gulf States, especially Saudi Arabia, can provide the finance for the newly formed Palestinian-Jordanian Sunni ally. The United States, under President Donald Trump, has recommitted to maintaining the U.S. security umbrella with the Gulf states. With the establishment of the Palestinian-Jordanian federation, the United States will have a strategic belt of nations spanning from Saudi Arabia – Palestinian-Jordanian federation – Israel – Egypt making a united and powerful front to the larger threat posed by Iran to American interests. The formidable military power of this strategic belt will provide the United States with the needed deterrence against Iran without having to commit American forces.

Jordan can also become a major recipient of international aid that has been earmarked for the Palestinian Authority. Jordanian control of these funds would significantly improve due diligence and transparency, ensuring that the funding is not funneled to incitement and terror but to provide for the basic needs of the Palestinian Arabs. Much of the Palestinian frustration is in response to the corruption and outright stealing of international aid by Palestinian leaders over the years. Jordanian control of international aid at the expense of the Palestinian Authority, would allow Jordan to deepen her political influence among the Palestinian local leadership, and build a constituency that will gain strength among the general Palestinian public.

As for peace prospects, a Palestinian-Jordanian federation could negotiate with Israel a peace agreement in accord with principles agreed upon over two decades when Israel and Jordan signed an official peace agreement that has been in force and largely successful in creating peace between the two nations. The road map to such a peace agreement won’t be easy but the potential benefits in renewing the “Jordanian Option” outweigh the suffering and the immense cost of the conflict associated with a two state solution that is no longer viable.

The writer, a 25-year veteran of the I.D.F., served as a field mental health officer and Commander of the Central Psychiatric Military Clinic for Reserve Soldiers at Tel-Hashomer. Since retiring from active duty, he provides consultancy services to NGO’s implementing Psycho trauma and Psychoeducation programs to communities in the North and South of Israel and is a former strategic advisor to the Chief Foreign Envoy of Judea and Samaria.   To contact: medconf@gmail.com

On September 1, 1967, the Arab League summit delivered the “Three No’s” – no to peace with Israel, no recognition of Israel, and no negotiations with Israel. This declaration was passed as part of the Khartoum Resolution at a summit attended by eight Arab heads of state in the shadow of the Six-Day War, which saw Israel’s unprecedented defeat of Egypt, Jordan and Syria. For the past 70 years, this has been the official policy of all Sunni nations in the Middle East: no to Israel and yes to the Palestinians demand for an independent state, until now. All of this has now come to an end.

The split in the Islamist nations between the Sunni majority led by Saudi Arabia and the Shia minority led by Iran has turned the tables on many strategic givens.  The continuing obsolete thinking in the United States and Western European capitals must change.  What was, will no longer be. Sunni nations that were in the past at the forefront of the “Three No’s” strategy are today major allies of the State of Israel, and are coordinating  their military and strategic postures with Israel to defend themselves against the aggressive Shia threat emanating from Iran and her allies.

The Palestinians are a major ally of Iran alongside the terror movement Hezb’allah and are totally subservient to the Shia regime of Ayatollahs in Iran. With the Palestinians leaving the fold of the Sunni world, they have not only lost the support of all major Sunni nations, but have also sabotaged by their own hand the feasibility of a two-state solution. For this reason, the two state solution for the Palestinians is out, and the “Jordanian Option” is back on the table as a viable and sustainable option.

Now is time for the international community to go back to basics and seek a remedy elsewhere, after nearly forty years of advocating the two-state solution and after thousands of Israelis have been killed by Palestinian terrorists.  Palestinian autonomy based on a federation within the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan offers the only viable and sustainable hope for the Palestinian Arabs residing in the West Bank — also known in Israel as Judea and Samaria. This “Jordanian Option” of enabling the Palestinian Arabs to be incorporated within the sovereign borders of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan can offer a realistic approach in meeting the legitimate historical claims of Israel as the state of the Jewish people, and at the same time satisfy those Palestinian Arabs with the political aspiration of controlling their own destiny. After nearly 100 years of a failed Palestinian Arab national movement and given the bleak scenarios that lie ahead for the Palestinians, now is the time to go back to the establishment of a Jordanian-Palestinian federation.

With the Palestinians losing the financial and political support of the Sunni nations of the Middle East, how can this new reality be used to engage strategic actors to play a critical role in making the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan re-engage the Palestinian leadership into some kind of federation within the Kingdom? The Gulf States, especially Saudi Arabia, can provide the finance for the newly formed Palestinian-Jordanian Sunni ally. The United States, under President Donald Trump, has recommitted to maintaining the U.S. security umbrella with the Gulf states. With the establishment of the Palestinian-Jordanian federation, the United States will have a strategic belt of nations spanning from Saudi Arabia – Palestinian-Jordanian federation – Israel – Egypt making a united and powerful front to the larger threat posed by Iran to American interests. The formidable military power of this strategic belt will provide the United States with the needed deterrence against Iran without having to commit American forces.

Jordan can also become a major recipient of international aid that has been earmarked for the Palestinian Authority. Jordanian control of these funds would significantly improve due diligence and transparency, ensuring that the funding is not funneled to incitement and terror but to provide for the basic needs of the Palestinian Arabs. Much of the Palestinian frustration is in response to the corruption and outright stealing of international aid by Palestinian leaders over the years. Jordanian control of international aid at the expense of the Palestinian Authority, would allow Jordan to deepen her political influence among the Palestinian local leadership, and build a constituency that will gain strength among the general Palestinian public.

As for peace prospects, a Palestinian-Jordanian federation could negotiate with Israel a peace agreement in accord with principles agreed upon over two decades when Israel and Jordan signed an official peace agreement that has been in force and largely successful in creating peace between the two nations. The road map to such a peace agreement won’t be easy but the potential benefits in renewing the “Jordanian Option” outweigh the suffering and the immense cost of the conflict associated with a two state solution that is no longer viable.

The writer, a 25-year veteran of the I.D.F., served as a field mental health officer and Commander of the Central Psychiatric Military Clinic for Reserve Soldiers at Tel-Hashomer. Since retiring from active duty, he provides consultancy services to NGO’s implementing Psycho trauma and Psychoeducation programs to communities in the North and South of Israel and is a former strategic advisor to the Chief Foreign Envoy of Judea and Samaria.   To contact: medconf@gmail.com



Source link

No Documents in Obama Library? No Mystery There.


The Fox News headline sums up the issue at hand: “No Obama documents in Obama library? Historians puzzled by Chicago center plans.”

The article continues, “The Obama Foundation is taking an unconventional approach to the presidential center and library being planned in Chicago. It’s opting to host a digital archive of President Barack Obama’s records, but not keep his hard-copy manuscripts and letters and other documents onsite.” 

The Chicago Tribune broke the story that, to this point, has attracted no major media attention.  Its headline raises much the same question Fox News did: “Without archives on site, how will Obama Center benefit area students, scholars?”

The Tribune tries to answer that question but succeeds only in pacifying Obama fanboys.  There is no good answer, but there is an answer, and it is this: Obama is not a literary genius.  In fact, Obama is not a particularly good writer.  His reputation would wither if researchers were allowed access to original documents.

To this day, Obama supporters in the media refuse to accept what is obvious to anyone who has looked carefully at his literary track record.  (Sorry, but I have vowed never to use the word “oeuvre” except as a punch line).

Earlier in 2017, when the question of Obama’s gazillion-dollar presidential memoirs first surfaced, the publishing community showed just how much its studied ignorance affected its judgment.

“Mr. Obama’s writing ability could make his memoir not only profitable in its first years but perhaps for decades to come,” Gardiner Harris observed matter-of-factly in a September 2016 piece in the New York Times.  Harris speculated, in fact, that Obama’s newest effort would be a book for the ages, not unlike the memoir of Ulysses S. Grant, which continues to sell.

The most vulnerable documents in the Obama treasure chest are the early drafts of his 1995 autobiography, Dreams from My Father, a book that Joe Klein, then with Time, deemed “the best-written memoir ever produced by an American politician.”

On the strength of Dreams, British author Jonathan Raban designated Obama “the best writer to occupy the White House since Lincoln.” 

This is all nonsense.  As I first documented at length in the American Thinker, Obama had massive help with Dreams, a book he publicly claimed to have written by his lonesome.  The evidence overwhelmingly points to Bill Ayers as the neighborhood muse.

I could write a book about this.  Come to think of it, I did.  It’s called Deconstructing Obama, published by Simon & Schuster, the company that terminated Obama’s first contract on the book that would become Dreams.

In his massive recent biography about Obama’s pre-presidential years, Rising Star: The Making of Barack Obama, Pulitzer Prize-winner David Garrow chose to cut this literary baby in half.

Yes, Obama had help with his 1995 masterpiece, Dreams from My Father, a lot of help, but it did not come from Ayers.  The help, Garrow argues unconvincingly, came from a law school buddy and economist named Rob Fisher.

Oddly, although denying Ayers’s involvement in the book, Garrow reveals just how strong was the relationship between Ayers and Obama and how deep was the lie that protected it.

Dreams, of course, is just one reason the original documents cannot be shared.  Obama did not write his book Audacity of Hope in any meaningful sense of the word, either.  Ayers, in fact, dismissed Audacity as a “political hack book,” and he was right.  The book seems to have been written by committee.

Then there are the speeches.  Raban was admittedly “disconcerted” to learn that Obama worked with twenty-something speechwriter Jon Favreau on his 2009 inaugural address.  The Obama of Raban’s imagination did not need speechwriters, but, in fact, Obama had been relying on Favreau since the convention of 2004.

Obama has been relying on others all of his life.  To protect the lie that has sustained his literary reputation, he is willing to subvert the very function of a presidential library.

Indeed, the gleaming white Obama Presidential Center promises to be a $500-million shrine to the ethereal emptiness of the Obama experience.  It is a fitting tribute.

The Fox News headline sums up the issue at hand: “No Obama documents in Obama library? Historians puzzled by Chicago center plans.”

The article continues, “The Obama Foundation is taking an unconventional approach to the presidential center and library being planned in Chicago. It’s opting to host a digital archive of President Barack Obama’s records, but not keep his hard-copy manuscripts and letters and other documents onsite.” 

The Chicago Tribune broke the story that, to this point, has attracted no major media attention.  Its headline raises much the same question Fox News did: “Without archives on site, how will Obama Center benefit area students, scholars?”

The Tribune tries to answer that question but succeeds only in pacifying Obama fanboys.  There is no good answer, but there is an answer, and it is this: Obama is not a literary genius.  In fact, Obama is not a particularly good writer.  His reputation would wither if researchers were allowed access to original documents.

To this day, Obama supporters in the media refuse to accept what is obvious to anyone who has looked carefully at his literary track record.  (Sorry, but I have vowed never to use the word “oeuvre” except as a punch line).

Earlier in 2017, when the question of Obama’s gazillion-dollar presidential memoirs first surfaced, the publishing community showed just how much its studied ignorance affected its judgment.

“Mr. Obama’s writing ability could make his memoir not only profitable in its first years but perhaps for decades to come,” Gardiner Harris observed matter-of-factly in a September 2016 piece in the New York Times.  Harris speculated, in fact, that Obama’s newest effort would be a book for the ages, not unlike the memoir of Ulysses S. Grant, which continues to sell.

The most vulnerable documents in the Obama treasure chest are the early drafts of his 1995 autobiography, Dreams from My Father, a book that Joe Klein, then with Time, deemed “the best-written memoir ever produced by an American politician.”

On the strength of Dreams, British author Jonathan Raban designated Obama “the best writer to occupy the White House since Lincoln.” 

This is all nonsense.  As I first documented at length in the American Thinker, Obama had massive help with Dreams, a book he publicly claimed to have written by his lonesome.  The evidence overwhelmingly points to Bill Ayers as the neighborhood muse.

I could write a book about this.  Come to think of it, I did.  It’s called Deconstructing Obama, published by Simon & Schuster, the company that terminated Obama’s first contract on the book that would become Dreams.

In his massive recent biography about Obama’s pre-presidential years, Rising Star: The Making of Barack Obama, Pulitzer Prize-winner David Garrow chose to cut this literary baby in half.

Yes, Obama had help with his 1995 masterpiece, Dreams from My Father, a lot of help, but it did not come from Ayers.  The help, Garrow argues unconvincingly, came from a law school buddy and economist named Rob Fisher.

Oddly, although denying Ayers’s involvement in the book, Garrow reveals just how strong was the relationship between Ayers and Obama and how deep was the lie that protected it.

Dreams, of course, is just one reason the original documents cannot be shared.  Obama did not write his book Audacity of Hope in any meaningful sense of the word, either.  Ayers, in fact, dismissed Audacity as a “political hack book,” and he was right.  The book seems to have been written by committee.

Then there are the speeches.  Raban was admittedly “disconcerted” to learn that Obama worked with twenty-something speechwriter Jon Favreau on his 2009 inaugural address.  The Obama of Raban’s imagination did not need speechwriters, but, in fact, Obama had been relying on Favreau since the convention of 2004.

Obama has been relying on others all of his life.  To protect the lie that has sustained his literary reputation, he is willing to subvert the very function of a presidential library.

Indeed, the gleaming white Obama Presidential Center promises to be a $500-million shrine to the ethereal emptiness of the Obama experience.  It is a fitting tribute.



Source link

Vegas Gunman's Use of Bump Stock Reduced Casualties


In the hypercharged partisan atmosphere that disgracefully follows any mass shooting tragedy, journalists, politicians, and anyone with an opinion spontaneously become firearms experts. Yet, as this U.S. Army combat infantry grunt can attest, these desk jockeys are no straight shooters.

The Interstate 91 country music massacre is no exception. From talks of machine guns, bump stocks, “silencers” and the semantics of weapons transportation, these would-be sharpshooters are negligently off-target when it comes to the laws of modern warfare. Although reporters posing as weekend warriors insist that crazed gunman Stephen Paddock’s decision to use a bump stock made his shooting ambush the deadliest in modern history, the truth is that his erratic gunfire inadvertently reduced casualties.

With over 1000 days of continuous combat operations during three deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as over a decade of training and leadership as a U.S. Army infantryman, my experience can provide some insights lacking from the deadly shooting rampage in Las Vegas. I have qualified as an expert marksman with the military-issued variant of every confirmed weapon system utilized by Paddock to carry out his heinous assault, and I have instructed hundreds of American, Iraqi, and Afghan soldiers in the finer nuances of advanced rifle marksmanship.

In a rare bipartisan effort to do something — anything — in response to the violence, lawmakers are currently considering a ban against the bump stocks, or the weapons accessory that modifies semiautomatic rifles to fire at an automatic rate of fire. Instead of pulling the trigger once to fire a single round, an automatic weapon fires multiple rounds when the trigger mechanism is depressed. A bump stock mimics this effect on standard semi-automatic rifles available for purchase in civilian stores.

Reporters have almost universally attributed the high casualty count in Las Vegas — 58 killed and well over 400 wounded — to the rapid rate of fire that gunman Stephen Paddock achieved with the use of a bump stock modification. A Reuters report called this device a “major factor” in producing the unprecedented casualty rate, while CNN says that the bump stock allows shooter to “convert a killing machine, an AR-15 rifle, into a weapon of mass destruction …”

Contrary to popular media opinion, Paddock’s cyclic rate of fire may have saved lives that horrible Sunday evening. The disturbing reality is that if the shooter decided to eschew the bump stock in favor of firing at a sustained and controlled pace, the death toll would have risen dramatically.

I have been in dozens of firefights with an M4 carbine — a weapons platform from the same family of rifles that Paddock used to fire from 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay. When engaging enemy targets in theater, I never moved my rifle’s selector switch from semi-automatic to a faster rate of fire because this would have completely compromised my accuracy.

Don’t take my word for it, though. The U.S. Army field manual for rifle marksmanship states:

“Automatic or burst fire is inherently less accurate than semiautomatic fire. Trainers must consider the impact of recoil and the high cyclic rate of fire on the Soldier’s ability to properly apply the fundamentals of marksmanship and other combat firing skills…”

The light weight and short length of the common assault rifle causes the muzzle to climb uncontrollably when fired on automatic. Therefore, more modern military rifles employ a less erratic three-round burst option in lieu of the automatic mode.

The same field manual says that three-round burst is preferable to fully auto and advises that soldiers firing older M16 rifles should pull the trigger, “but quickly release pressure to prevent an excessive number of rounds from being fired in one burst.”

Audio captured of the Las Vegas shooting shows that Paddock certainly did not preserve his accuracy, letting loose long, continuous clips of uninterrupted fire. As a rule, infantry fighting units deplore the use of automatic fire from a standard-issue rifle, and even when a situation calls for rapid suppressive fire (like shooting at tightly grouped targets), controlled semi-automatic shots are preferred.

Mandalay Bay is estimated to be about 400 yards away from the nearest victims at the concert grounds. From his vantage on the 32nd floor, Paddock was approximately 420 meters away, putting his nearest unfortunate targets just within the maximum effective range of a point target for an AR-15.

This distance to target means that as Paddock’s muzzle inevitably climbed from the wild shooting, a rise of a few inches from his barrel was equivalent to dozens of yards on the ground. Many of his bullets, intended for helpless concertgoers, very likely flew above the adjacent airport.

Admittedly, this theory is counterintuitive to anyone outside the profession of arms. Fox News host Tucker Carlson became the subject of outraged mockery for rejecting the narrative established by unqualified journalists.

Responding to a guest of his prime-time program who asserted that Paddock’s bump stock was responsible for the scores of killed and wounded, Carlson said, “Many more would’ve died actually because if you talk to people who know a lot about guns they say pros don’t even fire on fully automatic because they can’t hit anything.”

Carlson received a critical response for his educated observation, with sources like Salon calling his assessment “a bizarre claim.” Of course, none of these outlets provided any expert analysis to dispute his nonconformist assertion.

Incidentally, before the House considers banning bump stocks altogether, lawmakers should know that this modification is actually redundant. The same rate of fire can be achieved without a bump stock on most rifles by utilizing a method called “bump firing.”

Instructive videos may be found on the internet outlining this simple technique. The shooter applies forward tension with the non-firing hand while keeping the trigger finger stiff and immobile, biomechanically accomplishing an automatic rate of fire.

Before the inexperienced and unstudied offer misguided conjectures about modern warfare, they would be wise to consult an expert. Their friendly neighborhood Veterans of Foreign Wars outpost would be an excellent starting point.

Benjamin Baird is a Middle East analyst who writes for the Conservative Institute and the Middle East Forum. He is a graduate of Middle Eastern studies from the American Military University, and a retired staff sergeant with the U.S. Army infantry. 

In the hypercharged partisan atmosphere that disgracefully follows any mass shooting tragedy, journalists, politicians, and anyone with an opinion spontaneously become firearms experts. Yet, as this U.S. Army combat infantry grunt can attest, these desk jockeys are no straight shooters.

The Interstate 91 country music massacre is no exception. From talks of machine guns, bump stocks, “silencers” and the semantics of weapons transportation, these would-be sharpshooters are negligently off-target when it comes to the laws of modern warfare. Although reporters posing as weekend warriors insist that crazed gunman Stephen Paddock’s decision to use a bump stock made his shooting ambush the deadliest in modern history, the truth is that his erratic gunfire inadvertently reduced casualties.

With over 1000 days of continuous combat operations during three deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as over a decade of training and leadership as a U.S. Army infantryman, my experience can provide some insights lacking from the deadly shooting rampage in Las Vegas. I have qualified as an expert marksman with the military-issued variant of every confirmed weapon system utilized by Paddock to carry out his heinous assault, and I have instructed hundreds of American, Iraqi, and Afghan soldiers in the finer nuances of advanced rifle marksmanship.

In a rare bipartisan effort to do something — anything — in response to the violence, lawmakers are currently considering a ban against the bump stocks, or the weapons accessory that modifies semiautomatic rifles to fire at an automatic rate of fire. Instead of pulling the trigger once to fire a single round, an automatic weapon fires multiple rounds when the trigger mechanism is depressed. A bump stock mimics this effect on standard semi-automatic rifles available for purchase in civilian stores.

Reporters have almost universally attributed the high casualty count in Las Vegas — 58 killed and well over 400 wounded — to the rapid rate of fire that gunman Stephen Paddock achieved with the use of a bump stock modification. A Reuters report called this device a “major factor” in producing the unprecedented casualty rate, while CNN says that the bump stock allows shooter to “convert a killing machine, an AR-15 rifle, into a weapon of mass destruction …”

Contrary to popular media opinion, Paddock’s cyclic rate of fire may have saved lives that horrible Sunday evening. The disturbing reality is that if the shooter decided to eschew the bump stock in favor of firing at a sustained and controlled pace, the death toll would have risen dramatically.

I have been in dozens of firefights with an M4 carbine — a weapons platform from the same family of rifles that Paddock used to fire from 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay. When engaging enemy targets in theater, I never moved my rifle’s selector switch from semi-automatic to a faster rate of fire because this would have completely compromised my accuracy.

Don’t take my word for it, though. The U.S. Army field manual for rifle marksmanship states:

“Automatic or burst fire is inherently less accurate than semiautomatic fire. Trainers must consider the impact of recoil and the high cyclic rate of fire on the Soldier’s ability to properly apply the fundamentals of marksmanship and other combat firing skills…”

The light weight and short length of the common assault rifle causes the muzzle to climb uncontrollably when fired on automatic. Therefore, more modern military rifles employ a less erratic three-round burst option in lieu of the automatic mode.

The same field manual says that three-round burst is preferable to fully auto and advises that soldiers firing older M16 rifles should pull the trigger, “but quickly release pressure to prevent an excessive number of rounds from being fired in one burst.”

Audio captured of the Las Vegas shooting shows that Paddock certainly did not preserve his accuracy, letting loose long, continuous clips of uninterrupted fire. As a rule, infantry fighting units deplore the use of automatic fire from a standard-issue rifle, and even when a situation calls for rapid suppressive fire (like shooting at tightly grouped targets), controlled semi-automatic shots are preferred.

Mandalay Bay is estimated to be about 400 yards away from the nearest victims at the concert grounds. From his vantage on the 32nd floor, Paddock was approximately 420 meters away, putting his nearest unfortunate targets just within the maximum effective range of a point target for an AR-15.

This distance to target means that as Paddock’s muzzle inevitably climbed from the wild shooting, a rise of a few inches from his barrel was equivalent to dozens of yards on the ground. Many of his bullets, intended for helpless concertgoers, very likely flew above the adjacent airport.

Admittedly, this theory is counterintuitive to anyone outside the profession of arms. Fox News host Tucker Carlson became the subject of outraged mockery for rejecting the narrative established by unqualified journalists.

Responding to a guest of his prime-time program who asserted that Paddock’s bump stock was responsible for the scores of killed and wounded, Carlson said, “Many more would’ve died actually because if you talk to people who know a lot about guns they say pros don’t even fire on fully automatic because they can’t hit anything.”

Carlson received a critical response for his educated observation, with sources like Salon calling his assessment “a bizarre claim.” Of course, none of these outlets provided any expert analysis to dispute his nonconformist assertion.

Incidentally, before the House considers banning bump stocks altogether, lawmakers should know that this modification is actually redundant. The same rate of fire can be achieved without a bump stock on most rifles by utilizing a method called “bump firing.”

Instructive videos may be found on the internet outlining this simple technique. The shooter applies forward tension with the non-firing hand while keeping the trigger finger stiff and immobile, biomechanically accomplishing an automatic rate of fire.

Before the inexperienced and unstudied offer misguided conjectures about modern warfare, they would be wise to consult an expert. Their friendly neighborhood Veterans of Foreign Wars outpost would be an excellent starting point.

Benjamin Baird is a Middle East analyst who writes for the Conservative Institute and the Middle East Forum. He is a graduate of Middle Eastern studies from the American Military University, and a retired staff sergeant with the U.S. Army infantry. 



Source link