Day: November 7, 2017

Trump’s Biggest Challenge in Seoul


Donald Trump is in South Korea today.  All focus, of course, is on whether Trump and recently-elected Korean president Moon Jae-in will present a unified position against North Korean aggression. Or let me restate that in words that make sense within the current zeitgeist: “a unified position on how to avoid an escalation of tensions with North Korea.”

In our worldwide progressive paradigm, suggesting that the problem to be solved here is the threat posed by a tyrannical rogue state’s immoral behavior is considered inflammatory. Rather, we are all supposed to pretend that North Korea is “a sovereign state” with “legitimate concerns about being threatened by the U.S. military presence in Asia,” and that its outrageous provocations, unprovoked violence, and frequent promises to annihilate its democratic enemies are merely “understandable responses to its increased global isolation.”

(Even many conservatives of the libertarian bent are wont to ask, “How would you feel if your neighbors were all discussing how to end your regime?” — as though rationalizing a killing machine’s sensitivities were anything but a moral absurdity.)

As for President Moon, a progressive appeaser in the mold of his old ally and boss, Roh Moo-hyun (of North-South “Sunshine Policy” fame), he may be a tough sell on taking a stronger stand against North Korea. He would likely accept the inevitable if necessary, however, especially since Japan has already signed on to America’s “all options on the table” position, and since China has remained largely aloof from the situation so far.

But President Moon probably will have to be dragged to a harder stance by events — a bizarre thing to have to say about the president of a nation that is technically at war with a communist madhouse dictatorship that tore his own country in half, has starved and enslaved millions of his countrymen, and has carried out repeated acts of murderous aggression against the South in recent years, in addition to its constant threats of all-out attack. Talk about Stockholm Syndrome.

But the depth of the moral problem facing this world — in which most governments, media voices, and academics are progressive in their underlying principles and perspective — may be seen in the sheer silliness with which people speak of what might cause an “escalation of hostilities” with North Korea.  Here is a perfect example, from Professor Koo Kab-woo at the University of North Korean Studies in Seoul. (Imagine the political perspective likely to prevail at a university with such a name.)

Addressing the concern that Trump might say or do something careless or bombastic during his South Korean trip, Professor Koo says, “If Trump says anything that can provoke North Korea, it could send military tensions soaring again.”

Right. North Korea is calm and trying to restore a peaceful coexistence. But what if Trump goes and blows it with a stupid remark?

You see, the tensions, whatever might have caused them (who can say?), have settled recently, but if they rise again due to Trump’s rhetoric during his visit to Seoul, then the resulting danger will be on America’s head for having “provoked” it.

This is a classic moral equivalency argument (and an excellent preview of exactly how China will respond if an armed conflict begins on the Korean peninsula): “Both sides need to calm down. If Nation A (the world’s oldest republic and traditional leader of the free world) causes things to escalate again by speaking too harshly, then Nation B (a bloody tyranny starving its own broken people and threatening the world with nuclear war) cannot be held solely responsible for the resulting rise in tensions.”

This is the same argument used for decades to frame the Cold War as a battle between “two noble experiments,” rather than between good and evil. It is the same argument used to equate the pro-Palestinian efforts by much of the Middle East (along with the UN and Europe and most of academia and the North American left) to wipe Israel off the map, to Israeli efforts to push back in defense of a nation the size of New Jersey.

Moral equivalency in international relations — “both sides are to blame,” or “both sides have understandable concerns” — is the last refuge of the morally bankrupt. In this case, expressing peevishness that somehow Donald Trump’s words might provoke North Korean hostilities is a convenient way of implying that North Korea is not inherently, essentially hostile to begin with, but rather that any hostility they display is merely a response to outside instigation. Thus, a tyranny is falsely portrayed as an equal participant in difficult diplomacy, rather than a victim of its own obsession with power and destruction. This in turn creates an aura of legitimacy around one of the most illegitimate regimes of modern times.

I myself have been critical of Trump’s often careless rhetoric on North Korea, but my concern has always been that by speaking too cavalierly, Trump risks tipping his administration’s hand unnecessarily, or painting himself into a strategic corner with Obama-like “red lines.” My concerns, in other words, are related to American interests, not North Korea’s “feelings.” Under no circumstances would I ever suggest Trump’s words or actions were to blame for North Korea’s behavior.

Similarly, appeasers like Moon Jae-in, who has used moral equivalency arguments against his own nation and yet has somehow been elected president under the guise of a “champion of the people” — reminiscent of Barack Obama in that regard, both in policy and in manner — exacerbate a national tragedy by emboldening a dictatorship. But by no means would I suggest such appeasers are to blame for the murderous aspirations of Kim Jong-un’s illegitimate regime.

North Korea is a brutal dictatorship with fantasies of eventually uniting the Korean peninsula under their communist bloodlust regime. They, and they alone, are to blame for their aggression; their aggression is not a response to anything, but rather their regime’s raison d’être.

Progressives constantly use moral equivalency arguments and moral relativism to obscure the crimes committed in the name of their death cult ideology. They have thereby obliterated an extremely proper and reasonable category of political discourse: illegitimate power.

In this age, any tyranny that survives long enough to become stable in its authority, or that exists as a protectorate of a bigger tyranny, is regarded as “sovereign,” in the sense of unassailable. The UN exists largely to reinforce and defend the “right” of unjust regimes to exist unchallenged, or to set strict limits on the conditions in which such regimes may be confronted by the so-called “international community.”

North Korea, under its current and permanent government, is not a sovereign nation. It is an illegitimate tyrannical regime, a state governed by men without even a pretense of concern for the well-being of their trampled population, which exists not at all as citizens, but rather as slaves, without any modicum or memory of self-determination or self-ownership.

To legitimize that regime by worrying about whether Donald Trump might say something to “raise tensions” is to miss the point. Tensions are permanent and unavoidable when a tyranny feels its power threatened. But tyrannies deserve to feel their power threatened, and in fact they always will. As Plato taught us long ago, the tyrannical man is the most frightened man in the world, for he lives in the knowledge that his power is not deserved, and that everyone hates him for it. He cannot sleep at night, because he cannot even trust his own guards, or his own brother.

But today, we are told not to speak too loudly, lest we disturb the tyrant’s sleep and make him angry, as if we would be to blame if our would-be killer’s anger were roused. Thus, progressives defend one of their own — an extreme and ridiculous one to be sure, but one of them nonetheless — with moral equivalency arguments.

There is no equivalency here. North Korea’s hostilities are their essence, not a product of outside provocation, real or imagined. Anything they do will be on their own heads, as will any destruction that gets unleashed upon them due to their actions. Theirs is a regime that has no moral legitimacy, and hence, while no one is obliged to do anything about that, neither does anyone owe their rule, their aspirations, or their tender feelings any respect.

The only moral considerations that have any weight in this issue are related to whether annihilating Kim’s national death camp — inherently justifiable — is worth the risk it may bring to the lives of other nations’ citizens.

Daren Jonescu lives in South Korea where he writes about politics, philosophy, education, and the decline of civilization at http://darenjonescu.com/.

Donald Trump is in South Korea today.  All focus, of course, is on whether Trump and recently-elected Korean president Moon Jae-in will present a unified position against North Korean aggression. Or let me restate that in words that make sense within the current zeitgeist: “a unified position on how to avoid an escalation of tensions with North Korea.”

In our worldwide progressive paradigm, suggesting that the problem to be solved here is the threat posed by a tyrannical rogue state’s immoral behavior is considered inflammatory. Rather, we are all supposed to pretend that North Korea is “a sovereign state” with “legitimate concerns about being threatened by the U.S. military presence in Asia,” and that its outrageous provocations, unprovoked violence, and frequent promises to annihilate its democratic enemies are merely “understandable responses to its increased global isolation.”

Demonstrators reacting to Trump’s visit

(Even many conservatives of the libertarian bent are wont to ask, “How would you feel if your neighbors were all discussing how to end your regime?” — as though rationalizing a killing machine’s sensitivities were anything but a moral absurdity.)

As for President Moon, a progressive appeaser in the mold of his old ally and boss, Roh Moo-hyun (of North-South “Sunshine Policy” fame), he may be a tough sell on taking a stronger stand against North Korea. He would likely accept the inevitable if necessary, however, especially since Japan has already signed on to America’s “all options on the table” position, and since China has remained largely aloof from the situation so far.

But President Moon probably will have to be dragged to a harder stance by events — a bizarre thing to have to say about the president of a nation that is technically at war with a communist madhouse dictatorship that tore his own country in half, has starved and enslaved millions of his countrymen, and has carried out repeated acts of murderous aggression against the South in recent years, in addition to its constant threats of all-out attack. Talk about Stockholm Syndrome.

But the depth of the moral problem facing this world — in which most governments, media voices, and academics are progressive in their underlying principles and perspective — may be seen in the sheer silliness with which people speak of what might cause an “escalation of hostilities” with North Korea.  Here is a perfect example, from Professor Koo Kab-woo at the University of North Korean Studies in Seoul. (Imagine the political perspective likely to prevail at a university with such a name.)

Addressing the concern that Trump might say or do something careless or bombastic during his South Korean trip, Professor Koo says, “If Trump says anything that can provoke North Korea, it could send military tensions soaring again.”

Right. North Korea is calm and trying to restore a peaceful coexistence. But what if Trump goes and blows it with a stupid remark?

You see, the tensions, whatever might have caused them (who can say?), have settled recently, but if they rise again due to Trump’s rhetoric during his visit to Seoul, then the resulting danger will be on America’s head for having “provoked” it.

This is a classic moral equivalency argument (and an excellent preview of exactly how China will respond if an armed conflict begins on the Korean peninsula): “Both sides need to calm down. If Nation A (the world’s oldest republic and traditional leader of the free world) causes things to escalate again by speaking too harshly, then Nation B (a bloody tyranny starving its own broken people and threatening the world with nuclear war) cannot be held solely responsible for the resulting rise in tensions.”

This is the same argument used for decades to frame the Cold War as a battle between “two noble experiments,” rather than between good and evil. It is the same argument used to equate the pro-Palestinian efforts by much of the Middle East (along with the UN and Europe and most of academia and the North American left) to wipe Israel off the map, to Israeli efforts to push back in defense of a nation the size of New Jersey.

Moral equivalency in international relations — “both sides are to blame,” or “both sides have understandable concerns” — is the last refuge of the morally bankrupt. In this case, expressing peevishness that somehow Donald Trump’s words might provoke North Korean hostilities is a convenient way of implying that North Korea is not inherently, essentially hostile to begin with, but rather that any hostility they display is merely a response to outside instigation. Thus, a tyranny is falsely portrayed as an equal participant in difficult diplomacy, rather than a victim of its own obsession with power and destruction. This in turn creates an aura of legitimacy around one of the most illegitimate regimes of modern times.

I myself have been critical of Trump’s often careless rhetoric on North Korea, but my concern has always been that by speaking too cavalierly, Trump risks tipping his administration’s hand unnecessarily, or painting himself into a strategic corner with Obama-like “red lines.” My concerns, in other words, are related to American interests, not North Korea’s “feelings.” Under no circumstances would I ever suggest Trump’s words or actions were to blame for North Korea’s behavior.

Similarly, appeasers like Moon Jae-in, who has used moral equivalency arguments against his own nation and yet has somehow been elected president under the guise of a “champion of the people” — reminiscent of Barack Obama in that regard, both in policy and in manner — exacerbate a national tragedy by emboldening a dictatorship. But by no means would I suggest such appeasers are to blame for the murderous aspirations of Kim Jong-un’s illegitimate regime.

North Korea is a brutal dictatorship with fantasies of eventually uniting the Korean peninsula under their communist bloodlust regime. They, and they alone, are to blame for their aggression; their aggression is not a response to anything, but rather their regime’s raison d’être.

Progressives constantly use moral equivalency arguments and moral relativism to obscure the crimes committed in the name of their death cult ideology. They have thereby obliterated an extremely proper and reasonable category of political discourse: illegitimate power.

In this age, any tyranny that survives long enough to become stable in its authority, or that exists as a protectorate of a bigger tyranny, is regarded as “sovereign,” in the sense of unassailable. The UN exists largely to reinforce and defend the “right” of unjust regimes to exist unchallenged, or to set strict limits on the conditions in which such regimes may be confronted by the so-called “international community.”

North Korea, under its current and permanent government, is not a sovereign nation. It is an illegitimate tyrannical regime, a state governed by men without even a pretense of concern for the well-being of their trampled population, which exists not at all as citizens, but rather as slaves, without any modicum or memory of self-determination or self-ownership.

To legitimize that regime by worrying about whether Donald Trump might say something to “raise tensions” is to miss the point. Tensions are permanent and unavoidable when a tyranny feels its power threatened. But tyrannies deserve to feel their power threatened, and in fact they always will. As Plato taught us long ago, the tyrannical man is the most frightened man in the world, for he lives in the knowledge that his power is not deserved, and that everyone hates him for it. He cannot sleep at night, because he cannot even trust his own guards, or his own brother.

But today, we are told not to speak too loudly, lest we disturb the tyrant’s sleep and make him angry, as if we would be to blame if our would-be killer’s anger were roused. Thus, progressives defend one of their own — an extreme and ridiculous one to be sure, but one of them nonetheless — with moral equivalency arguments.

There is no equivalency here. North Korea’s hostilities are their essence, not a product of outside provocation, real or imagined. Anything they do will be on their own heads, as will any destruction that gets unleashed upon them due to their actions. Theirs is a regime that has no moral legitimacy, and hence, while no one is obliged to do anything about that, neither does anyone owe their rule, their aspirations, or their tender feelings any respect.

The only moral considerations that have any weight in this issue are related to whether annihilating Kim’s national death camp — inherently justifiable — is worth the risk it may bring to the lives of other nations’ citizens.

Daren Jonescu lives in South Korea where he writes about politics, philosophy, education, and the decline of civilization at http://darenjonescu.com/.



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Does the GOP Tax Bill Promote Class Warfare?


I have been slogging through the new House tax reform bill, which is being touted by President Trump as the biggest tax cut in American history.  That’s not true, of course, if for no other reason than whether or not this bill amounts to a tax cut for you depends upon how much you earn and where you happen to live.  The tax cuts in the Reagan era, for example, were not only more substantial and simplifying of the tax code, but more importantly, they applied indiscriminately for all income earners as an actual tax cut.  Not so with this bill.

First of all, if you live in a high-income tax state, any benefit you might get from the proposed new marginal tax brackets might be more than offset by this bill’s limiting your state income tax deduction (to $10K only) and/or mortgage interest deduction (only on debt up to $500K on new home purchases after the law takes effect).  This negatively impacts, particularly, upper-middle and upper earners living in high-tax havens like Connecticut, New York, and California, where state taxes can exceed 13% and average home prices for areas near urban centers can be valued at well over $500K. 

I happen to be a fairly high-income earner in just such a highly-taxed state who, frankly, is grandfathered in terms of the mortgage deduction but may be hammered by the state income tax deduction limitation beyond the federal tax cuts.

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t apprehensive in reading and discovering that this “tax cut” might specifically hurt me by way of eliminating my deductions.  However, none of that sours me in regard to what I believe to be the intended purpose of this bill. 

Such tax reform as is in this bill is necessary, if for no other reason than developing an American resurgence on the global economic stage.  We have the highest corporate income tax rate in the developed world, and repealing this high corporate tax rate to a modest 20% is a top priority for our nation, as far as I’m concerned.  As Walter Williams points out, when corporate taxes are levied, it elicits “some combination” of the following responses: “[The corporation] will raise the price of its product, lower dividends, cut salaries, or lay off workers.”  “In each case,” he goes on, “a flesh and blood person bears the tax burden.  The important point is that corporations are legal fictions and as such do not pay taxes.  Corporations are merely tax collectors for the government.”

I’m in agreement.  So, I’m on board with lowering corporate tax rates.  And I’m okay with the modest limiting or elimination of specific deductions, even though the limiting of deductions may peculiarly harm me, but not people like me in other states.  And I love this tax cut for the middle-class.  Not because it’s a populist thing to say, but in principle – it leaves more money where it should be, which is in the individuals’ hands, and not the government. 

What I’m not on board with, however, is the “soak-the-rich” provisions left in this bill in order to preserve the appearance of some supposed fairness and revenue neutrality.

It’s now coming to light that buried in the bill is a hidden 46% income tax bracket.  Indeed, it’s hard to find in the bill, because it’s not characterized as an actual tax bracket alongside all the other marginal tax bracket delineations, and it’s not progressively applied as other income taxes are.  Rather, it’s retroactively enforced once you reach a specific income level. 

It’s referred to as a “phaseout” of the 12% rate (described on page 16-17 of the House tax reform bill) for any single filers earning over $1M, and married filers earning over $1.2M.  Essentially, a married couple earning $1,199,999 would have their dollars up to $90K taxed at 12% under the new plan.  If that same couple earns over $1.2 million, however, they’re not entitled to have those dollars be taxed at just 12%.  The government will begin applying a 6% tax additional to the 39.6% rate to all those dollars beyond that threshold in order to eliminate the benefit of the 12% bracket for these folks.

One way to describe this boondoggle is to say that some dollars above these thresholds would be taxed at 45.6%, as some in the media have chosen to do.  Another is to say that higher income earners are discriminately stripped of the right to have a the first $90K of their income taxed at the lowest marginal rate of 12%, as all lesser earners will enjoy.

And when you frame it in the latter way, it becomes particularly troubling for me.  Progressive income taxes, as a matter of individual liberty and equal protection of property rights under the law, are problematic enough before introducing such sleight-of-hand mechanisms to discriminately tax higher income earners.

For the record, I personally don’t sniff being subject to this provision.  But that shouldn’t matter, should it?

The fact that I am legally entitled to keep fewer of my earned dollars because I happen to earn more of them than someone else, and that this arrangement is enshrined and protected in law, is an absolute travesty.  The 16th Amendment, however, is quite broad, so it’s hard to argue that it’s unconstitutional.  But on a basic level of morality, this point should hold among reasonable people with the slightest interest in preserving individuals’ property rights.  As such, I would argue that there is nothing which should entitle me to keep more of my dollars than someone who has the wherewithal to earn more.

This should be the simplest of truths, but it is lost the sea of envy that we call politics. 

Millions of Americans, for example, collect an “earned income tax credit” every year, which is little more than a form of welfare built into the federal tax code.  I’m of the opinion that one should never collect new income as the result of a government’s assessment of the income tax obligations of a populace.  To point out that this practice is the purest socialism seems too obvious to even be necessary.  But the GOP kept this item in the tax code.

Understanding why should be equally obvious.  To the person collecting an “earned” income tax credit, which would be the bigger travesty?  The million-dollar earner being fleeced at a higher rate to pay for that earned income tax credit, or that his earned income tax credit (i.e., annual welfare payment) would go away?

This effort to uniquely, and underhandedly, segregate high-income earners as a separate group which is more obligated to pay a higher share of their income than the rest of Americans runs afoul of everything that I believe as a conservative, and as a person.

And ultimately, this kind of immoral, targeted governmental seizure of wealth and disregard of our individual property rights contradicts the very purpose we conservatives have always held to be the truest value of tax cuts – that having money in the hands of American individuals is far better than money in the hands of government to redistribute to its special interest groups as it would see fit.

William Sullivan blogs at Political Palaver and can be followed on Twitter.

I have been slogging through the new House tax reform bill, which is being touted by President Trump as the biggest tax cut in American history.  That’s not true, of course, if for no other reason than whether or not this bill amounts to a tax cut for you depends upon how much you earn and where you happen to live.  The tax cuts in the Reagan era, for example, were not only more substantial and simplifying of the tax code, but more importantly, they applied indiscriminately for all income earners as an actual tax cut.  Not so with this bill.

First of all, if you live in a high-income tax state, any benefit you might get from the proposed new marginal tax brackets might be more than offset by this bill’s limiting your state income tax deduction (to $10K only) and/or mortgage interest deduction (only on debt up to $500K on new home purchases after the law takes effect).  This negatively impacts, particularly, upper-middle and upper earners living in high-tax havens like Connecticut, New York, and California, where state taxes can exceed 13% and average home prices for areas near urban centers can be valued at well over $500K. 

I happen to be a fairly high-income earner in just such a highly-taxed state who, frankly, is grandfathered in terms of the mortgage deduction but may be hammered by the state income tax deduction limitation beyond the federal tax cuts.

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t apprehensive in reading and discovering that this “tax cut” might specifically hurt me by way of eliminating my deductions.  However, none of that sours me in regard to what I believe to be the intended purpose of this bill. 

Such tax reform as is in this bill is necessary, if for no other reason than developing an American resurgence on the global economic stage.  We have the highest corporate income tax rate in the developed world, and repealing this high corporate tax rate to a modest 20% is a top priority for our nation, as far as I’m concerned.  As Walter Williams points out, when corporate taxes are levied, it elicits “some combination” of the following responses: “[The corporation] will raise the price of its product, lower dividends, cut salaries, or lay off workers.”  “In each case,” he goes on, “a flesh and blood person bears the tax burden.  The important point is that corporations are legal fictions and as such do not pay taxes.  Corporations are merely tax collectors for the government.”

I’m in agreement.  So, I’m on board with lowering corporate tax rates.  And I’m okay with the modest limiting or elimination of specific deductions, even though the limiting of deductions may peculiarly harm me, but not people like me in other states.  And I love this tax cut for the middle-class.  Not because it’s a populist thing to say, but in principle – it leaves more money where it should be, which is in the individuals’ hands, and not the government. 

What I’m not on board with, however, is the “soak-the-rich” provisions left in this bill in order to preserve the appearance of some supposed fairness and revenue neutrality.

It’s now coming to light that buried in the bill is a hidden 46% income tax bracket.  Indeed, it’s hard to find in the bill, because it’s not characterized as an actual tax bracket alongside all the other marginal tax bracket delineations, and it’s not progressively applied as other income taxes are.  Rather, it’s retroactively enforced once you reach a specific income level. 

It’s referred to as a “phaseout” of the 12% rate (described on page 16-17 of the House tax reform bill) for any single filers earning over $1M, and married filers earning over $1.2M.  Essentially, a married couple earning $1,199,999 would have their dollars up to $90K taxed at 12% under the new plan.  If that same couple earns over $1.2 million, however, they’re not entitled to have those dollars be taxed at just 12%.  The government will begin applying a 6% tax additional to the 39.6% rate to all those dollars beyond that threshold in order to eliminate the benefit of the 12% bracket for these folks.

One way to describe this boondoggle is to say that some dollars above these thresholds would be taxed at 45.6%, as some in the media have chosen to do.  Another is to say that higher income earners are discriminately stripped of the right to have a the first $90K of their income taxed at the lowest marginal rate of 12%, as all lesser earners will enjoy.

And when you frame it in the latter way, it becomes particularly troubling for me.  Progressive income taxes, as a matter of individual liberty and equal protection of property rights under the law, are problematic enough before introducing such sleight-of-hand mechanisms to discriminately tax higher income earners.

For the record, I personally don’t sniff being subject to this provision.  But that shouldn’t matter, should it?

The fact that I am legally entitled to keep fewer of my earned dollars because I happen to earn more of them than someone else, and that this arrangement is enshrined and protected in law, is an absolute travesty.  The 16th Amendment, however, is quite broad, so it’s hard to argue that it’s unconstitutional.  But on a basic level of morality, this point should hold among reasonable people with the slightest interest in preserving individuals’ property rights.  As such, I would argue that there is nothing which should entitle me to keep more of my dollars than someone who has the wherewithal to earn more.

This should be the simplest of truths, but it is lost the sea of envy that we call politics. 

Millions of Americans, for example, collect an “earned income tax credit” every year, which is little more than a form of welfare built into the federal tax code.  I’m of the opinion that one should never collect new income as the result of a government’s assessment of the income tax obligations of a populace.  To point out that this practice is the purest socialism seems too obvious to even be necessary.  But the GOP kept this item in the tax code.

Understanding why should be equally obvious.  To the person collecting an “earned” income tax credit, which would be the bigger travesty?  The million-dollar earner being fleeced at a higher rate to pay for that earned income tax credit, or that his earned income tax credit (i.e., annual welfare payment) would go away?

This effort to uniquely, and underhandedly, segregate high-income earners as a separate group which is more obligated to pay a higher share of their income than the rest of Americans runs afoul of everything that I believe as a conservative, and as a person.

And ultimately, this kind of immoral, targeted governmental seizure of wealth and disregard of our individual property rights contradicts the very purpose we conservatives have always held to be the truest value of tax cuts – that having money in the hands of American individuals is far better than money in the hands of government to redistribute to its special interest groups as it would see fit.

William Sullivan blogs at Political Palaver and can be followed on Twitter.



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Medical Journals and the Global Warming Noble Lie


The Noble Lie is a concept discussed by Plato in the dialogues, lies told by oligarchs to get the populace in the right frame of mind, deceptions intended to influence the mindset and behavior of the populace.  The Noble Lie is not often noble; it is the tool of the totalitarian.  Totalitarianism is built on the Noble Lie and the best evidence of it in modern society is political correctness and its accompanying censorship and intimidation of any speech or conduct that contradicts the Orwellian “good think” of the Noble Lie. 

Most would assume that prestigious medical journals like Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) and New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) on this side, and Lancet and British Medical Journal on the other side of the Atlantic are reliable and scientifically trustworthy, certainly not involved in perpetrating Noble Lies.  Not so, sadly, simply not so.  Medical journals, as a part of the academic life and social structure can be counted on to publish junk science that supports Orwellian “good think.”

So how is the Noble Lie promoted in the medical literature, you might ask.  What subjects would possibly be a place where medical journals participate in the promotion of junk science in service to the totalitarian Noble Lie?  The answer is that the administrative state needs and creates armies of experts to push their agenda and Noble Lie, so the academy and its journals are recruited—with money and rewards of power and position.  Funding and research awards and the resulting academic advancements create dependents in academia.  Name a leftist cause and without fail academic medical journals will enthusiastically and cooperatively publish those well-funded research reports and articles in support the leftist/ socialist position.  Journals are the voice of the academy and the academy is the mouthpiece for the oligarchic government science advocacy intended to justify government actions. 

For many years I have been collecting research on the effect of warming on human health, counting on the help of Dr. Craig Idso (MS Agronomy, PhD Geography), an energetic researcher who is constantly scanning the scientific literature for research on climate then putting it up at his web site CO2 Science.Org in archives of articles.  The Subject Index includes human health.  Idso, Dunn and others have written extensive discussions on warming and human health, including chapter 9 in Climate Change Reconsidered (2009) and Chapter 7 in Climate Change Reconsidered II (2013), both published by Heartland Institute of Chicago.   Our conclusions, supported by the medical research around the world studying rates of disease and death, are that warming will benefit human health and welfare, for obvious reasons — warm is easier on the plants and animals, so also humans. 

Lancet is a multi-faceted medical journal entity, iconic in medical history, founded in England in 1823, now with offices in London, New York and Beijing, publishing multiple specialty and general medical journals on line and in print.  Lancet published in 2015 a long term and planet wide study of death impacts of hot and cold extreme or moderately extreme ambient temperatures, by Gasparinni and 22 other authors, 384 locations around the globe, 27 years studying 74 million deaths, and their results showed that cold and cooler ambient temperatures killed 17 times more people than warmer and hot temperatures. 

On November 1, 2017 Lancet published an article by a group it had created called the “Lancet Countdown on health and climate change,” and the 64 authors produced a 50 page paper with a 195 references that declares a global health crisis due to warming (Climate Change).

Consider the contradiction.  Warm is good, warm is deadly.  Which will it be?  Could the Lancet editors and the Countdown group they put together be in the bag for the warmer/climate change movement?  Prepared to do what they can to promote claims that terrible things will happen to people because of warming?  Could this be pushback on their enemy, the warming-skeptical Trump Administration, for leaving the Paris Climate Treaty? 

Lancet has been a political advocacy journal on many political issues for a long time.  Should we expect medical journals to be politically neutral when the academy is extremely leftist/socialist in attitude? 

So you might say: “Well, OK,  Lancet – British — they are leftist by habit, so no surprise, but here in America medical journals are more middle of the road, more impartial, less partisan.”  Au Contraire.

The NEJM and the JAMA are both dedicated to the leftist ideology — socialized medicine, environmentalism, all the political, social, sexual and cultural aspects of the leftist revolution.  No room for dissent and disagreement, the medical journals pick their articles and the articles always display a leftist orientation, aggressively.

Medical Journals do not entertain or publish ideas and comments by dissenters to the leftist canon.  That is across the board on social and societal, political, medical, scientific issues.  They keep alive, pursue and promote the Noble Lies of the left.

John Dale Dunn MD JD is an emergency physician and inactive attorney, Medical Officer for the Brown County Texas Sheriff, Policy advisor to the Heartland Institute of Chicago and the American Council on Science and Health of New York City.

The Noble Lie is a concept discussed by Plato in the dialogues, lies told by oligarchs to get the populace in the right frame of mind, deceptions intended to influence the mindset and behavior of the populace.  The Noble Lie is not often noble; it is the tool of the totalitarian.  Totalitarianism is built on the Noble Lie and the best evidence of it in modern society is political correctness and its accompanying censorship and intimidation of any speech or conduct that contradicts the Orwellian “good think” of the Noble Lie. 

Most would assume that prestigious medical journals like Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) and New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) on this side, and Lancet and British Medical Journal on the other side of the Atlantic are reliable and scientifically trustworthy, certainly not involved in perpetrating Noble Lies.  Not so, sadly, simply not so.  Medical journals, as a part of the academic life and social structure can be counted on to publish junk science that supports Orwellian “good think.”

So how is the Noble Lie promoted in the medical literature, you might ask.  What subjects would possibly be a place where medical journals participate in the promotion of junk science in service to the totalitarian Noble Lie?  The answer is that the administrative state needs and creates armies of experts to push their agenda and Noble Lie, so the academy and its journals are recruited—with money and rewards of power and position.  Funding and research awards and the resulting academic advancements create dependents in academia.  Name a leftist cause and without fail academic medical journals will enthusiastically and cooperatively publish those well-funded research reports and articles in support the leftist/ socialist position.  Journals are the voice of the academy and the academy is the mouthpiece for the oligarchic government science advocacy intended to justify government actions. 

For many years I have been collecting research on the effect of warming on human health, counting on the help of Dr. Craig Idso (MS Agronomy, PhD Geography), an energetic researcher who is constantly scanning the scientific literature for research on climate then putting it up at his web site CO2 Science.Org in archives of articles.  The Subject Index includes human health.  Idso, Dunn and others have written extensive discussions on warming and human health, including chapter 9 in Climate Change Reconsidered (2009) and Chapter 7 in Climate Change Reconsidered II (2013), both published by Heartland Institute of Chicago.   Our conclusions, supported by the medical research around the world studying rates of disease and death, are that warming will benefit human health and welfare, for obvious reasons — warm is easier on the plants and animals, so also humans. 

Lancet is a multi-faceted medical journal entity, iconic in medical history, founded in England in 1823, now with offices in London, New York and Beijing, publishing multiple specialty and general medical journals on line and in print.  Lancet published in 2015 a long term and planet wide study of death impacts of hot and cold extreme or moderately extreme ambient temperatures, by Gasparinni and 22 other authors, 384 locations around the globe, 27 years studying 74 million deaths, and their results showed that cold and cooler ambient temperatures killed 17 times more people than warmer and hot temperatures. 

On November 1, 2017 Lancet published an article by a group it had created called the “Lancet Countdown on health and climate change,” and the 64 authors produced a 50 page paper with a 195 references that declares a global health crisis due to warming (Climate Change).

Consider the contradiction.  Warm is good, warm is deadly.  Which will it be?  Could the Lancet editors and the Countdown group they put together be in the bag for the warmer/climate change movement?  Prepared to do what they can to promote claims that terrible things will happen to people because of warming?  Could this be pushback on their enemy, the warming-skeptical Trump Administration, for leaving the Paris Climate Treaty? 

Lancet has been a political advocacy journal on many political issues for a long time.  Should we expect medical journals to be politically neutral when the academy is extremely leftist/socialist in attitude? 

So you might say: “Well, OK,  Lancet – British — they are leftist by habit, so no surprise, but here in America medical journals are more middle of the road, more impartial, less partisan.”  Au Contraire.

The NEJM and the JAMA are both dedicated to the leftist ideology — socialized medicine, environmentalism, all the political, social, sexual and cultural aspects of the leftist revolution.  No room for dissent and disagreement, the medical journals pick their articles and the articles always display a leftist orientation, aggressively.

Medical Journals do not entertain or publish ideas and comments by dissenters to the leftist canon.  That is across the board on social and societal, political, medical, scientific issues.  They keep alive, pursue and promote the Noble Lies of the left.

John Dale Dunn MD JD is an emergency physician and inactive attorney, Medical Officer for the Brown County Texas Sheriff, Policy advisor to the Heartland Institute of Chicago and the American Council on Science and Health of New York City.



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The Revolution Has Been Postponed


November 4th has come and gone. The country is still in chaos. Fighting continues in most urban areas. The 1st Transgender Mechanized Division has taken Washington and the black Antifa flag flies over the ruins of the Capitol. Donald Trump has fled in a private jet seeking asylum in Dubai, while Pence has been captured by the People’s Army. My name has appeared on a list of “tools of the oppressors” who must report for “evaluation.” Wait… someone’s knocking at the door… they’re all wearing Guy Fawkes masks… now they’re kicking in it in….

Actually, that’s not happening at all, even though something similar was promised for last Saturday by both Antifa and various conservative commentators. To put it simply, Antifa, RefuseFascism, RESIST!, the John Brown Clubs, and assorted other organs of national liberation set November 4th as the date of a national uprising to overthrow the Trump administration and liberate the entire country from capitalist-patriarchal-white supremacist domination. It was supposed to develop into open civil war between the progressive forces and the forces of reaction, with the outcome undoubtedly that guaranteed by Marx, Engels, Lenin, Castro, and company. The planning for the operation began last summer, and the left sounded quite serious about it, going so far as to buy an entire NYT page to call out the proles. This past week activities were scaled back to twenty cities, but it still sounded awfully impressive.

And then the 4th rolled around and… nothing. Three hundred marchers in Times Square. A few dozen in the Bay Area. A scattering of others here and there… But apart from that… bupkus.

I was frankly taken aback. I expected something. A cop car turned over, a limo or two burnt, a couple acres of plate glass smashed, at the very least. But the People’s Revolution was a complete washout. A bust. The mountain has labored – here is your mouse. (Oh, somebody assaulted Rand Paul on Friday, but if this was intended to kick off hostilities in Kentucky, with the guy expecting rescue by his comrades on Saturday morning, then he’s still waiting.) 

In the wake of this, it seems that Antifa can take its place in the left-wing tar pits along with the SDS, CISPES, ANSWER, Occupy, and all the other undergrad revos who vowed but failed to bring down the rude capitalist monolith known as the United States.

But that doesn’t leave us high and dry with nothing to discuss. Because the hard left were not the only ones involved in this debacle. A large number of conservative commentators and websites also bought into this. The general tone was “RIP, THE UNITED STATES: JULY 4, 1776 – NOVEMBER 4, 2017” or “AMERICA – WE HARDLY KNEW YE” or “CIVIL WAR, NOVEMBER 4th.” The accompanying prose usually made it sound like the Revelation of St. John the Divine combined with the Zombie Apocalypse combined with Battle: Los Angeles

The left in this country can never depend on a broad-based movement. It simply isn’t there. Most Americans are not interested. So they have turned to a rarified variant of Lenin’s vanguard strategy (which Fidel Castro called the “foco”). A small group of “woke” radicals acts for the proletariat, striking down the capitalist structure and then acting as a leadership cadre to construct the new society on behalf of the proles (See the Bolshevik coup for details).

How can such a vanishingly small group challenge a whole society? Through the wasp strategy. If you let a single wasp into a room full of people, it is likely to cause utter chaos, particularly if somebody gets stung. Trying to get away, somebody smashes into somebody else, who bangs into a table, who knocks a vase against the wall where the water splatters an electrical plug, which shorts out the electricity, which causes a fire, etc. etc. All this caused by one little wasp.

That’s the strategy of the CPUSA, the Movement, Occupy, and now Antifa. It follows that anyone who aids Antifa in spreading panic and dismay is, inadvertently or otherwise, working with them, helping put the strategy into effect by getting people wrought up about something that can scarcely affect them. Accessories before the fact, to use legal phraseology.

There are some elements of the left, exactly who will likely forever be unknown, who have carefully studied their opposition, from accepted center-right figures to people who sleep while hanging from the ceiling, and know exactly how we work and how many of us can be manipulated.

You see this daily in the comment threads. No matter what the topic, some lefty always appears out of nowhere to attempt to derail the discussion of the issue at hand. He’ll sometimes work through insult, sometimes through misdirection. There are always one or more commentators who take him up on it, dragging in others until eventually the entire thread has lost its way and everybody is arguing whether Trump is 6’2” or 6’3”. It’s absurd, it’s idiotic, and it works just about every time. (My favorite example involved a column dealing with an Obama contradiction that might have caused him serious problems if it went public. As the discussion got rolling, a kid showed up claiming that he and his family were being held hostage in Phoenix, with the police refusing to respond. Within seconds the thread was in total chaos as readers promised to contact the cops or call people they knew in Phoenix, tried to get the address from the “kid,” etc. Needless to say, the actual topic was utterly forgotten. At no point did anybody sit back and ask, “Why the hell is a kid in trouble contacting AT?”)

This works on the larger stage as well. The activist left knows that there exist people on our side of the fence who are not serious. Who are into it to generate clicks, to manipulate others, to make a name for themselves. They know who they are, and exactly what buttons to push. The old communist term for this is “transmission belt”: somebody who can be used to get the message to places it would otherwise never penetrate. The left plays this crowd like violins, using them to get carefully-tailored information payloads to the hysterical, the ill-informed, the emotionally and mentally unbalanced, and to people sincerely frightened that something horrible may be happening to the country. The result is panic, uproar, wasted time, wasted energy, and wasted money.

The military term for this is “force multiplier,” any factor that increases the effectiveness of combat forces. Aerial refueling was a force multiplier during the Cold War, increasing the effectiveness of the U.S. Air Force by a factor of ten or more. Using refueling, USAF air assets could easily outdeploy, outfly, and outmaneuver the Soviets, who did not adapt the technique. Today, it’s often applied to advanced communications and networking technology. All too often, the conservative internet acts as a force multiplier for the left, lending a far greater impact to a couple thousand goofs standing in the street wearing masks than they logically should have. (I name no names because there’s no point in going from the general to the particular – that’s not the intent here.)

There’s only one way to control this, and it will never be more than a partial solution at best. You can’t police it, you can’t oversee it, you can’t stay ahead of it. The sole remedy is to encourage a greater sense of responsibility among both readers and writers.

Writers:

  • Don’t write about something as idiotic as Antifa as if the velociraptors are coming down the street.
  • Double-check your research, and your sources.
  • Examine your motives.
  • Ask yourself, “Who does this hurt – who does this help?” before putting something up. I don’t think any of us wants to be in the position of helping the left, God forbid.

Readers:

  • If you see something that sounds over the top, chances are that it is. Google (here, if not in all cases), is your friend. The beauty of the infowave is that you can always check. You can check anything, no matter what it is. No matter how opaque or esoteric, somebody somewhere has analyzed it. The info is out there, riding the servers. Look it up. Track it down.
  • Learn who is dependable, who has good info, and who is a crap artist. It doesn’t take much in the way of research to find this out.  

For both: conspiracy theories are usually bullshit, either completely or to a large extent. There are rules on how to identify bogus conspiracy theories. Learn them and apply them. 

And finally: anything you hear from the left is bogus. That you can bank on.

Who the hell wants to act as a shill for the left? Particularly a left made up of kids dressed up as ninjas. 

November 4th has come and gone. The country is still in chaos. Fighting continues in most urban areas. The 1st Transgender Mechanized Division has taken Washington and the black Antifa flag flies over the ruins of the Capitol. Donald Trump has fled in a private jet seeking asylum in Dubai, while Pence has been captured by the People’s Army. My name has appeared on a list of “tools of the oppressors” who must report for “evaluation.” Wait… someone’s knocking at the door… they’re all wearing Guy Fawkes masks… now they’re kicking in it in….

Actually, that’s not happening at all, even though something similar was promised for last Saturday by both Antifa and various conservative commentators. To put it simply, Antifa, RefuseFascism, RESIST!, the John Brown Clubs, and assorted other organs of national liberation set November 4th as the date of a national uprising to overthrow the Trump administration and liberate the entire country from capitalist-patriarchal-white supremacist domination. It was supposed to develop into open civil war between the progressive forces and the forces of reaction, with the outcome undoubtedly that guaranteed by Marx, Engels, Lenin, Castro, and company. The planning for the operation began last summer, and the left sounded quite serious about it, going so far as to buy an entire NYT page to call out the proles. This past week activities were scaled back to twenty cities, but it still sounded awfully impressive.

And then the 4th rolled around and… nothing. Three hundred marchers in Times Square. A few dozen in the Bay Area. A scattering of others here and there… But apart from that… bupkus.

I was frankly taken aback. I expected something. A cop car turned over, a limo or two burnt, a couple acres of plate glass smashed, at the very least. But the People’s Revolution was a complete washout. A bust. The mountain has labored – here is your mouse. (Oh, somebody assaulted Rand Paul on Friday, but if this was intended to kick off hostilities in Kentucky, with the guy expecting rescue by his comrades on Saturday morning, then he’s still waiting.) 

In the wake of this, it seems that Antifa can take its place in the left-wing tar pits along with the SDS, CISPES, ANSWER, Occupy, and all the other undergrad revos who vowed but failed to bring down the rude capitalist monolith known as the United States.

But that doesn’t leave us high and dry with nothing to discuss. Because the hard left were not the only ones involved in this debacle. A large number of conservative commentators and websites also bought into this. The general tone was “RIP, THE UNITED STATES: JULY 4, 1776 – NOVEMBER 4, 2017” or “AMERICA – WE HARDLY KNEW YE” or “CIVIL WAR, NOVEMBER 4th.” The accompanying prose usually made it sound like the Revelation of St. John the Divine combined with the Zombie Apocalypse combined with Battle: Los Angeles

The left in this country can never depend on a broad-based movement. It simply isn’t there. Most Americans are not interested. So they have turned to a rarified variant of Lenin’s vanguard strategy (which Fidel Castro called the “foco”). A small group of “woke” radicals acts for the proletariat, striking down the capitalist structure and then acting as a leadership cadre to construct the new society on behalf of the proles (See the Bolshevik coup for details).

How can such a vanishingly small group challenge a whole society? Through the wasp strategy. If you let a single wasp into a room full of people, it is likely to cause utter chaos, particularly if somebody gets stung. Trying to get away, somebody smashes into somebody else, who bangs into a table, who knocks a vase against the wall where the water splatters an electrical plug, which shorts out the electricity, which causes a fire, etc. etc. All this caused by one little wasp.

That’s the strategy of the CPUSA, the Movement, Occupy, and now Antifa. It follows that anyone who aids Antifa in spreading panic and dismay is, inadvertently or otherwise, working with them, helping put the strategy into effect by getting people wrought up about something that can scarcely affect them. Accessories before the fact, to use legal phraseology.

There are some elements of the left, exactly who will likely forever be unknown, who have carefully studied their opposition, from accepted center-right figures to people who sleep while hanging from the ceiling, and know exactly how we work and how many of us can be manipulated.

You see this daily in the comment threads. No matter what the topic, some lefty always appears out of nowhere to attempt to derail the discussion of the issue at hand. He’ll sometimes work through insult, sometimes through misdirection. There are always one or more commentators who take him up on it, dragging in others until eventually the entire thread has lost its way and everybody is arguing whether Trump is 6’2” or 6’3”. It’s absurd, it’s idiotic, and it works just about every time. (My favorite example involved a column dealing with an Obama contradiction that might have caused him serious problems if it went public. As the discussion got rolling, a kid showed up claiming that he and his family were being held hostage in Phoenix, with the police refusing to respond. Within seconds the thread was in total chaos as readers promised to contact the cops or call people they knew in Phoenix, tried to get the address from the “kid,” etc. Needless to say, the actual topic was utterly forgotten. At no point did anybody sit back and ask, “Why the hell is a kid in trouble contacting AT?”)

This works on the larger stage as well. The activist left knows that there exist people on our side of the fence who are not serious. Who are into it to generate clicks, to manipulate others, to make a name for themselves. They know who they are, and exactly what buttons to push. The old communist term for this is “transmission belt”: somebody who can be used to get the message to places it would otherwise never penetrate. The left plays this crowd like violins, using them to get carefully-tailored information payloads to the hysterical, the ill-informed, the emotionally and mentally unbalanced, and to people sincerely frightened that something horrible may be happening to the country. The result is panic, uproar, wasted time, wasted energy, and wasted money.

The military term for this is “force multiplier,” any factor that increases the effectiveness of combat forces. Aerial refueling was a force multiplier during the Cold War, increasing the effectiveness of the U.S. Air Force by a factor of ten or more. Using refueling, USAF air assets could easily outdeploy, outfly, and outmaneuver the Soviets, who did not adapt the technique. Today, it’s often applied to advanced communications and networking technology. All too often, the conservative internet acts as a force multiplier for the left, lending a far greater impact to a couple thousand goofs standing in the street wearing masks than they logically should have. (I name no names because there’s no point in going from the general to the particular – that’s not the intent here.)

There’s only one way to control this, and it will never be more than a partial solution at best. You can’t police it, you can’t oversee it, you can’t stay ahead of it. The sole remedy is to encourage a greater sense of responsibility among both readers and writers.

Writers:

  • Don’t write about something as idiotic as Antifa as if the velociraptors are coming down the street.
  • Double-check your research, and your sources.
  • Examine your motives.
  • Ask yourself, “Who does this hurt – who does this help?” before putting something up. I don’t think any of us wants to be in the position of helping the left, God forbid.

Readers:

  • If you see something that sounds over the top, chances are that it is. Google (here, if not in all cases), is your friend. The beauty of the infowave is that you can always check. You can check anything, no matter what it is. No matter how opaque or esoteric, somebody somewhere has analyzed it. The info is out there, riding the servers. Look it up. Track it down.
  • Learn who is dependable, who has good info, and who is a crap artist. It doesn’t take much in the way of research to find this out.  

For both: conspiracy theories are usually bullshit, either completely or to a large extent. There are rules on how to identify bogus conspiracy theories. Learn them and apply them. 

And finally: anything you hear from the left is bogus. That you can bank on.

Who the hell wants to act as a shill for the left? Particularly a left made up of kids dressed up as ninjas. 



Source link

When Jeanne Assam's Gun Stopped a Church Massacre


Once again, the cries for gun control measures that wouldn’t have stopped the shooter are being heard. Yet once again, it was a good guy with a gun that in this case pursued the killer in a chase that resulted in death, preventing further deaths and saving lives. Once again, we hear cries that the good guy with the gun should be disarmed.

If a good guy with a gun had been inside the First Baptist Church, the killer could have been blown away and we might not be having this conversation. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton pointed out what should be obvious — that we don’t need more unarmed potential victims sitting like sheep, targets in what amounts to a gun-free zone:

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) indicated during an interview with Fox News’s Brian Kilmeade that the response to the Texas church shooting should be more armed law-abiding citizens rather than more gun control.


Paxton pointed out that there were numerous laws already on the books, including “laws against murder,” and the attacker violated those laws without hesitation. He observed, “So adding some other gun law, I don’t think would in any way change this guy’s behavior.”


He added:


It’s not clear to me that [the attacker] wasn’t already prevented from having a gun, given his history in the military. What ultimately may have saved some lives is… people that were outside the church that actually had guns that may have slowed this guy down and actually pursued him. So I would rather arm law-abiding citizens and make sure that they can prevent this from happening as opposed to trying to pass laws that would prevent law-abiding citizens from having guns.

Guns in churches seem like some sort of grotesque oxymoron but in the right hands a firearm can be the ultimate peacemaker. Many were thankful that day in 2007 that Jeanne Assam, a volunteer security guard at New Life Church in Colorado Springs, had easy access to a gun when Matthew Murray entered the east entrance of the church and began firing his rifle. Murray was carrying two handguns, an assault rifle, and over 1,000 rounds of ammunition.

Assam, who worked as a police officer in downtown Minneapolis during the 1990s and is licensed to carry a weapon, shot and killed Murray. Had she not done so, more than two would have been killed at the church that day. Two others had been killed by Murray at the Youth Mission School in nearby Arvada. New Life’s senior pastor Brady Boyd said Assam’s actions saved the lives of 50 to 100 people:

A former police officer, Assam, 42, was on security duty Sunday morning at New Life Church here. Hours earlier, a 24-year-old who had been rejected from a missionary school in a Denver suburb had shot and killed two staffers there. Now he was spraying New Life’s parking lot with gunfire and pushing through the doors to the sanctuary.


Assam hid and inched toward the gunman, Matthew Murray, as dozens of terrified worshipers fled. She waited until he got close enough, revealed herself, aimed her pistol and fired. Murray dropped to the ground. He was carrying an assault rifle, two pistols and a backpack holding more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition.


“I just prayed to the Holy Spirit to guide me,” Assam said at a packed news conference Monday. “I give the credit to God. This has got to be God, because of the firepower he had versus what I have.”

As they say, praise the Lord and pass the ammunition. In places like Sutherland Springs, San Bernardino, Orlando, and other mass shooting sites, the slaughter of the innocent could have been cut short by someone with a gun. As the widow of one of the San Bernardino victims noted:     

Amy Wetzel is the widow of San Bernardino shooting victim Michael Wetzel and she is also applying for a concealed carry weapons permit. During a recent interview, she speculated that the outcome of the San Bernardino terrorist attack could have been very different if someone had been carrying a concealed gun.


“What if someone in that room (at the Inland Regional Center) had had a permit to carry (a concealed weapon),” she said.

Overlooked in the news coverage of the mass shootings was the Oregon massacre that wasn’t at Clackamas Town Center Mall in December of 2012. As Investor’s Business Daily noted, fortune placed another good guy with a gun at the same place a bad guy with a gun planned a massacre:

Before the tragedy in Connecticut, a shooter at an Oregon shopping mall was stopped by an armed citizen with a concealed carry permit who refused to be a victim, preventing another mass tragedy.


In the target-rich environment of the Clackamas Town Center two weeks before Christmas, the shooter managed to kill only two people before killing himself. A far worse tragedy was prevented when he was confronted by a hero named Nick Meli.


As the shooter was having difficulty with his weapon, Meli pulled his and took aim, reluctant to fire lest an innocent bystander be hit. But he didn’t have to pull the trigger: The shooter fled when confronted, ending his own life before it could be done for him.


We will never know how many lives were saved by an armed citizen that day.

Indeed, we will not. What we do know is that killers will deliberately choose gun-free zones such as Umqua or that Aurora, Colorado movie theatre to target their victims knowing there will be no one thereto immediately return fire:

As John R. Lott Jr., president of the Crime Research Prevention Center, wrote in an op-ed in the Chicago Tribune on Tuesday, “Since at least 1950, all but two mass public shootings in America have taken place where general citizens are banned from carrying guns.” This is usually why they are selected as targets, Lott says.


In the July 2012 mass shooting inside a movie theater in Aurora, Colo., the shooter had a choice of seven movie theaters within 20 miles of his home that were showing the Batman movie he was obsessed with. The Cinemark Theater he chose wasn’t the closest, but it was the only one that banned customers from carrying guns inside.

Ever since Cain slew Abel, there has been evil in the world and a desire among some to kill others. Disarming the law-abiding to prevent such killings is like trying to fight drunk driving by making it harder for sober drivers to get driver’s licenses. We don’t need more gun-free zones populated with unarmed targets. We do need more people able to defend themselves.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), who was at the batting cages in the Alexandria, Virginia baseball field where Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) was shot, said the obvious, that for the presence of a defender with a gun, a massacre would have ensued. As Fox News reported:

“Without Capitol Hill police, it would have been a massacre — we had no defense — we had no defense at all,” Paul said on “Fox & Friends” just minutes after the incident. “I think we’re lucky Scalise was there because this was his security detail and without them, it would have been a massacre.”


Paul described the scene as “sort of a killing field,” and said there were more than 50 shots of gunfire which lasted for at least 10 minutes. Paul described the sounds of the gunfire as possibly coming from an “AR-15” style rifle. The actual model gun used by the shooter has yet to be confirmed.


“We were like sitting ducks,” Paul said, describing his location during the shooting as inside the batting cages, which was approximately 50 yards from second base where Scalise was.

“We were so lucky Capitol Hill Police were there,” Paul said. “They saved our lives.” 

But for the Capitol Hill Police detail assigned to protect Scalise as a member of the House Republican leadership, the killer would have been free to roam the fenced in field picking targets at random. The field would have been just another gun-free zone, as in places such as Paris and Orlando

There will be more endless hand-wringing on what we must do to stop this violence. How about learning the lesson of places like Alexandria, Clackamas, and the New Life Church? A lesson taught in so many other places — that the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is with a good guy with a gun.

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.               

Once again, the cries for gun control measures that wouldn’t have stopped the shooter are being heard. Yet once again, it was a good guy with a gun that in this case pursued the killer in a chase that resulted in death, preventing further deaths and saving lives. Once again, we hear cries that the good guy with the gun should be disarmed.

If a good guy with a gun had been inside the First Baptist Church, the killer could have been blown away and we might not be having this conversation. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton pointed out what should be obvious — that we don’t need more unarmed potential victims sitting like sheep, targets in what amounts to a gun-free zone:

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) indicated during an interview with Fox News’s Brian Kilmeade that the response to the Texas church shooting should be more armed law-abiding citizens rather than more gun control.


Paxton pointed out that there were numerous laws already on the books, including “laws against murder,” and the attacker violated those laws without hesitation. He observed, “So adding some other gun law, I don’t think would in any way change this guy’s behavior.”


He added:


It’s not clear to me that [the attacker] wasn’t already prevented from having a gun, given his history in the military. What ultimately may have saved some lives is… people that were outside the church that actually had guns that may have slowed this guy down and actually pursued him. So I would rather arm law-abiding citizens and make sure that they can prevent this from happening as opposed to trying to pass laws that would prevent law-abiding citizens from having guns.

Guns in churches seem like some sort of grotesque oxymoron but in the right hands a firearm can be the ultimate peacemaker. Many were thankful that day in 2007 that Jeanne Assam, a volunteer security guard at New Life Church in Colorado Springs, had easy access to a gun when Matthew Murray entered the east entrance of the church and began firing his rifle. Murray was carrying two handguns, an assault rifle, and over 1,000 rounds of ammunition.

Assam, who worked as a police officer in downtown Minneapolis during the 1990s and is licensed to carry a weapon, shot and killed Murray. Had she not done so, more than two would have been killed at the church that day. Two others had been killed by Murray at the Youth Mission School in nearby Arvada. New Life’s senior pastor Brady Boyd said Assam’s actions saved the lives of 50 to 100 people:

A former police officer, Assam, 42, was on security duty Sunday morning at New Life Church here. Hours earlier, a 24-year-old who had been rejected from a missionary school in a Denver suburb had shot and killed two staffers there. Now he was spraying New Life’s parking lot with gunfire and pushing through the doors to the sanctuary.


Assam hid and inched toward the gunman, Matthew Murray, as dozens of terrified worshipers fled. She waited until he got close enough, revealed herself, aimed her pistol and fired. Murray dropped to the ground. He was carrying an assault rifle, two pistols and a backpack holding more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition.


“I just prayed to the Holy Spirit to guide me,” Assam said at a packed news conference Monday. “I give the credit to God. This has got to be God, because of the firepower he had versus what I have.”

As they say, praise the Lord and pass the ammunition. In places like Sutherland Springs, San Bernardino, Orlando, and other mass shooting sites, the slaughter of the innocent could have been cut short by someone with a gun. As the widow of one of the San Bernardino victims noted:     

Amy Wetzel is the widow of San Bernardino shooting victim Michael Wetzel and she is also applying for a concealed carry weapons permit. During a recent interview, she speculated that the outcome of the San Bernardino terrorist attack could have been very different if someone had been carrying a concealed gun.


“What if someone in that room (at the Inland Regional Center) had had a permit to carry (a concealed weapon),” she said.

Overlooked in the news coverage of the mass shootings was the Oregon massacre that wasn’t at Clackamas Town Center Mall in December of 2012. As Investor’s Business Daily noted, fortune placed another good guy with a gun at the same place a bad guy with a gun planned a massacre:

Before the tragedy in Connecticut, a shooter at an Oregon shopping mall was stopped by an armed citizen with a concealed carry permit who refused to be a victim, preventing another mass tragedy.


In the target-rich environment of the Clackamas Town Center two weeks before Christmas, the shooter managed to kill only two people before killing himself. A far worse tragedy was prevented when he was confronted by a hero named Nick Meli.


As the shooter was having difficulty with his weapon, Meli pulled his and took aim, reluctant to fire lest an innocent bystander be hit. But he didn’t have to pull the trigger: The shooter fled when confronted, ending his own life before it could be done for him.


We will never know how many lives were saved by an armed citizen that day.

Indeed, we will not. What we do know is that killers will deliberately choose gun-free zones such as Umqua or that Aurora, Colorado movie theatre to target their victims knowing there will be no one thereto immediately return fire:

As John R. Lott Jr., president of the Crime Research Prevention Center, wrote in an op-ed in the Chicago Tribune on Tuesday, “Since at least 1950, all but two mass public shootings in America have taken place where general citizens are banned from carrying guns.” This is usually why they are selected as targets, Lott says.


In the July 2012 mass shooting inside a movie theater in Aurora, Colo., the shooter had a choice of seven movie theaters within 20 miles of his home that were showing the Batman movie he was obsessed with. The Cinemark Theater he chose wasn’t the closest, but it was the only one that banned customers from carrying guns inside.

Ever since Cain slew Abel, there has been evil in the world and a desire among some to kill others. Disarming the law-abiding to prevent such killings is like trying to fight drunk driving by making it harder for sober drivers to get driver’s licenses. We don’t need more gun-free zones populated with unarmed targets. We do need more people able to defend themselves.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), who was at the batting cages in the Alexandria, Virginia baseball field where Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) was shot, said the obvious, that for the presence of a defender with a gun, a massacre would have ensued. As Fox News reported:

“Without Capitol Hill police, it would have been a massacre — we had no defense — we had no defense at all,” Paul said on “Fox & Friends” just minutes after the incident. “I think we’re lucky Scalise was there because this was his security detail and without them, it would have been a massacre.”


Paul described the scene as “sort of a killing field,” and said there were more than 50 shots of gunfire which lasted for at least 10 minutes. Paul described the sounds of the gunfire as possibly coming from an “AR-15” style rifle. The actual model gun used by the shooter has yet to be confirmed.


“We were like sitting ducks,” Paul said, describing his location during the shooting as inside the batting cages, which was approximately 50 yards from second base where Scalise was.

“We were so lucky Capitol Hill Police were there,” Paul said. “They saved our lives.” 

But for the Capitol Hill Police detail assigned to protect Scalise as a member of the House Republican leadership, the killer would have been free to roam the fenced in field picking targets at random. The field would have been just another gun-free zone, as in places such as Paris and Orlando

There will be more endless hand-wringing on what we must do to stop this violence. How about learning the lesson of places like Alexandria, Clackamas, and the New Life Church? A lesson taught in so many other places — that the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is with a good guy with a gun.

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.               



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Metro says 'Allahu Akbar' means 'Hug one another'


Well, that’s an improvement because many non-Muslims (at least those involved in the Church of Interfaith) usually translate it as “God is great”; as does one tweet used in the article itself. Of course, that means that such an innocuous translation loses a very important aspect of this Islamic phrase.

It’s this accurate or genuine translation which gives the game away. That is, the phrase is comparative to other gods and religions. The Muslims who use it are effectively saying: Allah is greater than your god! That’s how it was originally used some 1,400 years ago and that’s how it’s used today. Thus, the words “Allahu Akbar” are a statement of Islamic supremacism and war. And that’s the case no matter how many times Metro willingly allows itself to be hoodwinked by various Muslims. (Presumably Metro does this because it believes it will help the fight against racism/Islamophobia.)

Metro also claims that

“many Muslims have been speaking out to reclaim a key part of their religion from extremists who have given it that negative connection”.

How can the word “Allahu Akbar” have been misappropriated by extremists when it was first used by the Prophet Muhammad himself in the Battle of Badr, which is itself classed as “the first battle in Islam”? 

If we jump forward to the Iranian Islamic Revolution of 1979, it was then proclaimed from the rooftops as a form of Islamic “revolutionary” action.

Now let’s move to the 9/11 attack in New York. These words were found in Mohamed Atta’s suitcase:

“When the confrontation begins, strike like champions who do not want to go back to this world. Shout, ‘Allahu Akbar,’ because this strikes fear in the hearts of the non-believers.”

Now for Iraq in 2004. In Nick Berg’s beheading video the Muslim killers can be seen and heard shouting “Allahu Akbar.” Then, in 2009, the Fort Hood killer, Nidal Malik Hasan, also shouted “Allahu Akbar” before opening fire and killing 13 people. It can also be seen that all the Muslim participants in the Syrian civil war — from the pseudo-moderates to the Islamic State — shouted “Allahu Akbar” after a killing or a successful bombing. Even the Free Syrian Army (officially designated a “secular” outfit by Westerners) shouted “Allahu Akbar” when a killing was made.

Metro’s PC Version of “Allahu Akbar”

Metro also interviews a Muslim woman (called Rabia Chaudry) who says that the words “Allahu Akbar” have

“no inherent political/violent connotation meriting instant terror diagnosis”.

In a sense, that can also be said of the words Sieg Heil. After all, it just means “Hail Victory.” Thus, a sportsman could say it. Nonetheless, like “Allahu Akbar”, it is historically associated with totalitarianism, violence and war. In the context of “Allahu Akbar”, it’s innocent usage doesn’t stop it being a fact that it’s always used by Islamic terrorists. And it doesn’t erase the parallel fact that the “role model” of these Islamic terrorists is the Prophet Muhammad’s own violence.

In any case, I’ve never personally heard a Muslim use it in any other context other than war or conflict (unlike, say, the word InShaAllah).  So it’s unlikely to be used in the context of an interfaith meeting or during an anti-racism/Islamophobia demonstration organised by Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party.

So it’s also strange how oddly Metro comments on the words “Allahu Akbar” when its says that

“some people believe it’s code for a terror attack, because that’s the only context they have heard it reported in”.

Some people? I would suspect that all non-Muslims see the phrase that way. Indeed, I even suspect that even this pious anti-racist journalist (Jen Mills) does so too; though, of course, she’ll probably never say that when she attends London’s dinner parties or in other Metro articles on “Muslim issues”.

The word “code” seems slightly patronising (or at least judgmental) too.

The phrase “Allahu Akbar” isn’t “code for a terror attack” — it’s part of an Islamic terror attack! It’s a vital part because it shows victims, other non-Muslims and the terrorists themselves exactly why they’re doing what they’re doing. That is, they are blowing people up because Allah is greater, not because Allah is great.

Two Typical Muslims?

Rabia Chaudry, according to Metro, also says she states it “like 20 times a day.” Wajahat Ali, on the other hand, trumps Rabia Chaudry by saying that he states “’Allahu Akbar’ out loud more than 100 times a day.”. Really? Well, Mr. Jeremy Hussein Akhtar says it 1000 times every hour while simultaneously fighting racism, attending interfaith meetings, and hugging Jews.

Do Rabia Chaudry and Wajahat Ali really say it between 20 to 100 times a day? How would Metro readers know that to be true? Should we believe them? And how would we know that thoughts of “Islam’s ultimate victory” aren’t also on their minds –- at least some of the time?

The thing is, even if Metro‘s choice specimens are indeed ultra-moderate, it doesn’t make much difference anyway. No doubt had Metro been around in the 1930s it could have found very moderate Nazis or communists too. That wouldn’t have made much of a difference either. The fact is that when Nazis used the phrase Sieg Heil (or communists say “smash capitalism”) we know what they mean. And we know what “Allahu Akbar” really means too, despite the dissimulation and obfuscation.

Conclusion

Finally, Metro really takes the biscuit when it decides to indulge in some Islamic Da‘wah itself. It recounts a Muslim saying:

“But if we’re blessed enough ALLAH can easily turn them into the most amazing of life’s moments.”

Still, if by selling Islam to the non-Muslim British public, Metro helps the fight against racism/Islamophobia, then so be it. Metro’s anti-racist piety (or gullibility) is worth it. Perhaps allowing in another five million Muslim immigrants into the UK or imprisoning all critics of Islam will also help the fight against racism/Islamophobia. After all, anything goes in that sacred fight; including dissimulation and lies about Islam’s battle-cry — “Allahu Akbar.”

The “UK’s fastest-growing newspaper”, Metro, in an article titled ‘Muslims want to reclaim “Allahu Akbar” from extremists’, tells us that

“’Allahu Akbar’ means ‘God is greatest’.”

Well, that’s an improvement because many non-Muslims (at least those involved in the Church of Interfaith) usually translate it as “God is great”; as does one tweet used in the article itself. Of course, that means that such an innocuous translation loses a very important aspect of this Islamic phrase.

It’s this accurate or genuine translation which gives the game away. That is, the phrase is comparative to other gods and religions. The Muslims who use it are effectively saying: Allah is greater than your god! That’s how it was originally used some 1,400 years ago and that’s how it’s used today. Thus, the words “Allahu Akbar” are a statement of Islamic supremacism and war. And that’s the case no matter how many times Metro willingly allows itself to be hoodwinked by various Muslims. (Presumably Metro does this because it believes it will help the fight against racism/Islamophobia.)

Metro also claims that

“many Muslims have been speaking out to reclaim a key part of their religion from extremists who have given it that negative connection”.

How can the word “Allahu Akbar” have been misappropriated by extremists when it was first used by the Prophet Muhammad himself in the Battle of Badr, which is itself classed as “the first battle in Islam”? 

If we jump forward to the Iranian Islamic Revolution of 1979, it was then proclaimed from the rooftops as a form of Islamic “revolutionary” action.

Now let’s move to the 9/11 attack in New York. These words were found in Mohamed Atta’s suitcase:

“When the confrontation begins, strike like champions who do not want to go back to this world. Shout, ‘Allahu Akbar,’ because this strikes fear in the hearts of the non-believers.”

Now for Iraq in 2004. In Nick Berg’s beheading video the Muslim killers can be seen and heard shouting “Allahu Akbar.” Then, in 2009, the Fort Hood killer, Nidal Malik Hasan, also shouted “Allahu Akbar” before opening fire and killing 13 people. It can also be seen that all the Muslim participants in the Syrian civil war — from the pseudo-moderates to the Islamic State — shouted “Allahu Akbar” after a killing or a successful bombing. Even the Free Syrian Army (officially designated a “secular” outfit by Westerners) shouted “Allahu Akbar” when a killing was made.

Metro’s PC Version of “Allahu Akbar”

Metro also interviews a Muslim woman (called Rabia Chaudry) who says that the words “Allahu Akbar” have

“no inherent political/violent connotation meriting instant terror diagnosis”.

In a sense, that can also be said of the words Sieg Heil. After all, it just means “Hail Victory.” Thus, a sportsman could say it. Nonetheless, like “Allahu Akbar”, it is historically associated with totalitarianism, violence and war. In the context of “Allahu Akbar”, it’s innocent usage doesn’t stop it being a fact that it’s always used by Islamic terrorists. And it doesn’t erase the parallel fact that the “role model” of these Islamic terrorists is the Prophet Muhammad’s own violence.

In any case, I’ve never personally heard a Muslim use it in any other context other than war or conflict (unlike, say, the word InShaAllah).  So it’s unlikely to be used in the context of an interfaith meeting or during an anti-racism/Islamophobia demonstration organised by Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party.

So it’s also strange how oddly Metro comments on the words “Allahu Akbar” when its says that

“some people believe it’s code for a terror attack, because that’s the only context they have heard it reported in”.

Some people? I would suspect that all non-Muslims see the phrase that way. Indeed, I even suspect that even this pious anti-racist journalist (Jen Mills) does so too; though, of course, she’ll probably never say that when she attends London’s dinner parties or in other Metro articles on “Muslim issues”.

The word “code” seems slightly patronising (or at least judgmental) too.

The phrase “Allahu Akbar” isn’t “code for a terror attack” — it’s part of an Islamic terror attack! It’s a vital part because it shows victims, other non-Muslims and the terrorists themselves exactly why they’re doing what they’re doing. That is, they are blowing people up because Allah is greater, not because Allah is great.

Two Typical Muslims?

Rabia Chaudry, according to Metro, also says she states it “like 20 times a day.” Wajahat Ali, on the other hand, trumps Rabia Chaudry by saying that he states “’Allahu Akbar’ out loud more than 100 times a day.”. Really? Well, Mr. Jeremy Hussein Akhtar says it 1000 times every hour while simultaneously fighting racism, attending interfaith meetings, and hugging Jews.

Do Rabia Chaudry and Wajahat Ali really say it between 20 to 100 times a day? How would Metro readers know that to be true? Should we believe them? And how would we know that thoughts of “Islam’s ultimate victory” aren’t also on their minds –- at least some of the time?

The thing is, even if Metro‘s choice specimens are indeed ultra-moderate, it doesn’t make much difference anyway. No doubt had Metro been around in the 1930s it could have found very moderate Nazis or communists too. That wouldn’t have made much of a difference either. The fact is that when Nazis used the phrase Sieg Heil (or communists say “smash capitalism”) we know what they mean. And we know what “Allahu Akbar” really means too, despite the dissimulation and obfuscation.

Conclusion

Finally, Metro really takes the biscuit when it decides to indulge in some Islamic Da‘wah itself. It recounts a Muslim saying:

“But if we’re blessed enough ALLAH can easily turn them into the most amazing of life’s moments.”

Still, if by selling Islam to the non-Muslim British public, Metro helps the fight against racism/Islamophobia, then so be it. Metro’s anti-racist piety (or gullibility) is worth it. Perhaps allowing in another five million Muslim immigrants into the UK or imprisoning all critics of Islam will also help the fight against racism/Islamophobia. After all, anything goes in that sacred fight; including dissimulation and lies about Islam’s battle-cry — “Allahu Akbar.”



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