http://www.thecommentator.com/article/2279/an_honest_liberal_writes_about_gun_control/page/2 When someone on the left reaches the same conclusion on gun control as a libertarian, you have to sit up and take notice I wrote earlier this month about an honest liberal who acknowledged the problems created by government dependency. Well, it happened again. First, some background.Like every other decent person, I was horrified […]
Two brothers leading lavish lifestyles in London have attempted to secure lucrative oil contracts from Sudan’s sanctioned regime with help from the Palestinian Authority
Issam and Devincci Hourani’s involvement with Palestinian Authority corruption surfaced at a hearing before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs this summer, which heard that they were working with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ son Yasser Abbas on business deals all over the world, including in Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Montenegro, and Sudan.
The Congressional Committee heard that US intelligence officials had established that Yasser Abbas worked with Devincci Hourani to pursue an oil business in Sudan called Caratube International Oil Company (CIOC), and that the two individuals received help from the Palestinian Authority Ambassador to Sudan to win three oil blocks on behalf of CIOC.
CIOC, owned by Devincci Hourani, a US national, was prohibited by US federal law from engaging with the Sudanese oil industry due to US sanctions that have been placed on the Sudanese regime for its flagrant human rights violations related to the genocide in Darfur. It would appear neither Hourani nor his Palestinian enablers were deterred by Sudan’s atrocious human rights record however.
Hourani has never denied having been involved in discussions with the Sudanese regime about the purchase of oil blocks with the assistance of the Palestinian Authority. Furthermore, he has never confirmed the status of his negotiations about the proposed transaction.
Congress was told that the Houranis both received Palestinian diplomatic passports, which according to the US intelligence officials entitle them to travel with immunity. Diplomatic passports are reserved for diplomats and other important officials, such as ministers and heads of security services. Those who do not satisfy these positions can only acquire such a passport directly from the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, raising questions about his role in enabling the illicit deal by granting diplomatic passports to two individuals who are not even Palestinian citizens.
Despite mounting evidence indicating that the Affordable Care Act, aka ObamaCare, will, in fact, harm seniors; that the “stimulus” has been “nothing more than a political slush fund”; and that the myriad of regulations by Obama has stymied the economy, many Americans still persist in defending these actions. The denial of high unemployment, burgeoning tax rates to begin in a few weeks, and the general decline of the United States is breathtaking.
Moreover, from “the outset, the Obama administration’s handling of the most sensitive secrets of the war on terror has been worrisome.” On the one hand, our enemies learn about our intelligence. On the other hand, a cloud of secrecy and obfuscation lingers over the serious Fast and Furious agenda and the Benghazi events. Astonishingly, Congressman Jason Chaffetz has been “thwarted” by the State Department in contacting the survivors of the Benghazi attack. Thus, Congress has been denied access to these people, and the American public continues to be kept in the dark notwithstanding the alleged transparency claimed by the Obama administration.
Economists politely wonder why Mr. Obama doesn’t come around and see the light and admit that his plans are not assisting America. Others like Bill Whittle state that Obama’s incompetence is not the reason for our fiscal insanity; rather, the people running this country are (actively) trying to destroy the country, and they are succeeding. Thus, it is with malice aforethought that Obama and his cronies are bringing America to its knees.
Through outright bribes, there are those who have accepted Obama’s actions. For example, Mary Landrieu and Louisiana received $100 million, California received $300 million, and Big Labor had goodies tucked away in the health bill so that all these people and entities would support it.
http://www.americanthinker.com/printpage/?url=http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2012/12/its_not_about_the_settlements_stupid.html The Washington Post, in its Dec. 18 edition, runs an article by Jerusalem correspondent Joel Greenberg about Israel proceeding with plans “for a surge of settlement building on occupied land” (“Israel’s building plans advance,” page A12). “Israel’s continued expansion of settlements is at the core of an impasse in peace efforts,” Greenberg writes. […]
The Marines are the most celebrated but least understood of our four military services. They have done a brilliant job of burnishing their martial image, from the days of the 1949 John Wayne movie “The Sands of Iwo Jima” to today’s “The Few, the Proud, the Marines” commercials. With nearly 200,000 personnel and their own aircraft, tanks and artillery, they comprise one of the most capable military forces in the world. But so adept have the Marines become at telling their story—somehow the even less-than-heroic portrayals in “Gomer Pyle, USMC” and “Heavy Metal Jacket” have enhanced their reputation—that it isn’t always easy to separate myth from reality.That is a task that Aaron B. O’Connell, a history professor at the Naval Academy and himself a Marine reservist, tackles with brio in his absorbing account of the Marines between 1941 and 1965, “Underdogs: The Making of the Modern Marine Corps.” Prior to World War II, Mr. O’Connell notes, the Corps “was tiny, unpopular and institutionally disadvantaged”—it had just 50,000 men, and it was seen as an adjunct of the Navy. Its commandant was a two-star general who didn’t even merit a seat on the newly created Joint Chiefs of Staff in 1942.By the start of the Vietnam War in 1965, the situation was quite different. As Mr. O’Connell writes, “the Corps had almost quadrupled in size”; its commandant was a four-star general and a member of the Joint Chiefs; and it had long eclipsed its earlier role as a force designed to seize temporary forward bases for the Navy. It had, in fact, become virtually a second Army, which in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan was to perform the same mission as the larger ground service.
Its growth in the face of opposition from the other services and civilian officials—Harry Truman wanted the Corps cut back to a naval police force—can seem puzzling. Mr. O’Connell tries to explain the success of the Marines by arguing that they had developed a culture like no other, which celebrated the individual warrior (“Every Marine a rifleman”), that extolled sacrifice and kept bureaucracy to a minimum. “They were the service least enamored with machines and computers,” he writes, “and most committed to intimate, spiritual, and transcendent themes.” That, in turn, made the Marines a favorite of politicians and the public.
There are many good reasons to improve gun control in the United States, including the obscene firepower available in many weapons. But better gun control will do little to prevent many mass killings, such as occurred last week in Newtown, Conn. Even if you ban guns completely, there are many alternative weapons available for use by untreated severely mentally ill persons who are so inclined.Knives, for example. On the same day Adam Lanza killed 20 children at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, Min Yingjun stabbed 22 children at an elementary school in central China. Similar assaults using knives killed about 20 and wounded more than 50 children in China last year. Almost all the attacks were carried out by severely mentally ill men. So maybe we should ban knives.What about cars? In 1999 Steven Abrams, diagnosed with schizophrenia, drove his car onto a school playground in California, killing two young children. He had been hospitalized for psychiatric problems and had talked of killing children. Also in California, Marie West, diagnosed with bipolar disorder and with 19 previous hospitalizations, intentionally ran over an elderly man in 2000. The following year David Attias, diagnosed with bipolar disorder and previously hospitalized, drove his car onto a sidewalk in the Golden State, killing four and injuring nine. He then got out of his car and said he was an “angel of death.” Perhaps we should ban cars as well.
The heart of this problem is not the availability of weapons but the abundance of individuals with severe mental disorders who are not being treated.Severe mental disorders are defined by the National Advisory Mental Health Council as including schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, bipolar disorder, autism and the severe forms of major depression, panic disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, 7.7 million Americans currently qualify for the first three diagnoses, with 3.5 million of them receiving no treatment at any given time.
Among this 3.5 million, approximately 10%, or 350,000 individuals, become societal problems because of their untreated severe mental illness. According to federal statistics or academic studies, they comprise one-third of the homeless population and one-fifth of the inmates of jails and prisons, and they are responsible for at least 10% of all homicides in the U.S.
Mass killings by individuals with severe mental illness are one tragic symptom of a much larger problem. Over the past half-century, the availability of public psychiatric beds in the U.S. has decreased to 43,000 from 559,000, even as the population has increased. When individuals with severe mental illnesses are hospitalized at all, they are not kept long enough to become stabilized because of the bed shortage. Many are eventually incarcerated for petty crimes or worse.
A 2010 survey by the Treatment Advocacy Center reported that there are over three times more severely mentally ill individuals in jails and prisons than in hospitals. The problem is further exacerbated by state commitment laws that impede the hospitalization of those who resist treatment.
Three months after the worst terrorist attack on an American diplomatic outpost since the 1998 embassy bombings—and the most brazen terror strike on U.S. interests since 9/11/2001—the State Department this week will try to clarify what happened in Benghazi this past September 11.Congress will be briefed Wednesday by an independent advisory board created by State to report on security in Libya. Two deputy secretaries of state will testify Thursday in open hearings in the House and Senate—a few steps up the pay grade after career civil servants were sent to take the heat in October. Fuller disclosure on Benghazi can set the record straight and help draw security and policy lessons.But the critical piece of this puzzle will once again be missing. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was scheduled to testify in Thursday’s open hearings. She came down with a stomach virus last week, cancelling a foreign trip.
On Saturday, as the media were consumed by the Newtown massacre, a Clinton spokesman released a statement saying that earlier in the week Mrs. Clinton had fainted and sustained a concussion. On the advice of her doctors, she won’t be able to appear on the Hill. The statement didn’t explain why her injury wasn’t made public earlier.
Health comes first, and we wish Mrs. Clinton a speedy recovery. In a letter to House Foreign Affairs Chairman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Mrs. Clinton sent her regrets and said she looks forward “to engaging your committee in January so that we can address the tragic events that occurred in Libya and the measures that the State Department is taking in response.” Mrs. Clinton copied Senate Foreign Relations Chairman John Kerry.By January, however, Mrs. Clinton’s likely successor (Senator Kerry) will be nominated and probably on his way to confirmation. Hill sources say it’ll be hard to schedule another hearing and call her back. Congress should insist on it.
Mrs. Clinton’s testimony is months overdue. Ambassador Chris Stevens and the Benghazi consulate staff reported to her. Their safety was her responsibility. Congress needs to flesh out why security was so lacking, why requests for additional protection for the mission were denied, and who made those decisions.
Hardly had the blood been scrubbed off the floors in Newtown than everyone who was anyone had begun shifting the blame from Adam Lanza to some intangible social failure.
Back in 2002, Michael Moore trundled his bulk over to Colorado to exploit the Columbine massacre for a general rant about gun culture, American foreign policy and how hard it was to find a shop selling bacon grease by the ton at two in the morning. In his film, which won an Oscar for Best Documentary, Moore gave his audience what they wanted, lots of scenes of “hicks and hillbillies” buying, selling and giving away guns all over the place to illustrate the murderous ravages of American gun culture. Some of those scenes were staged, but it didn’t matter since Moore was catering to an audience that had nothing but contempt for working class Americans and would believe any awful thing about them.
What did gun culture have to do with a plot by two disgruntled dorks upset over being called “Faggots” a few times too many? About as much as gun culture has to do with Adam Lanza, another award winning product of the, “Maybe some people deserve to get beaten up” club.
Your average school shooter is unhappy and angry, irreligious, incapable of fitting into a community and filled with rage that he exercises through violent fantasies. His culture isn’t gun culture. It’s loner culture. Video games do not cause him to kill, but they are how he entertains himself until he can get a taste of the real thing.Adam Lanza, Dylan Kleibold, Eric Harris, Seung-Hui Cho, James Holmes, One L. Goh and Jared Loughner had as much in common with what the Michael Moore Fan Club thinks of as “gun culture” as Michael Moore does with the working class. Whatever gun culture they had was not the American Scots-Irish culture of the hunter, the rancher and the militia member, but the urban posse of emasculated men of no worth that brandishes weapons as a way to get respect.
The gun culture of the school shooter is the lobby scene in The Matrix, the frag or be fragged multiplayer gaming culture of Halo and Doom, and the Joker killing his way across Gotham. None of these products of mass entertainment make one a killer, but they are also far more illustrative of the type of gun culture that defines school shooters, than anything that Michael Moore and the MSNBC talking heads mean by gun culture.
For most Americans there is no gun culture, only the ownership of guns. To the extent that any gun culture has developed it was in response to a gun control culture that sought to demonize the ownership of firearms. The traditional and religious culture of the American gun owner has little in common with the power fantasies of the school shooter. To the gun owner, a firearm is a necessary tool. To the school shooter, it is a way to stop feeling powerless, a way to get beyond the ersatz joys of killing bots and avatars, of watching Keanu Reeves spin through the air while filling a mob of policemen full of lead, with the joy of the real kill.
But that has not stopped anyone and everyone from opining on the great malady of American gun culture. Jim Boeheim, the Syracuse basketball coach, took the time out to blather on about it for ten minutes. A Washington Post writer named Max Fisher claimed that American gun culture was “unique” because Americans own a lot of guns. That is roughly the level of fact-based discourse on gun culture that you can expect from gun-control culture which asserts that ownership is identity.
“Let the mourning proceed, unfettered by politics. Anything else is just agenda-driven hysterics, perpetrated by either well-meaning, heart-broken observers who simply don’t know the facts, or worse, by all-knowing politicians who hate to let a good crisis go to waste.”
Friday’s tragic killing of six adults and 20 schoolchildren in Newtown, Conn., will go down in history as a game-changer in American culture and politics. Not only was the loss of innocent life nearly too great to bear — death stole God’s littlest, wounding us deeply and making the pain linger longer — but the ensuing talk among politicians has struck a new, strident tone.
It’s almost as if the debate on gun control has come to an end. Suddenly, senators with solid pro-Second Amendment views, like West Virginia’s Joe Manchin and Virginia’s Mark Warner, are backpedaling — suggesting their minds are open to stricter laws. The NRA shut down its Facebook page and halted its daily tweets as hateful anti-gun comments spewed forth. And mainstream media pounced, led by CNN’s leftist Piers Morgan who, just hours after the shooting, demanded in shrill tones for America to “get angry” and give up its guns.
By Monday, White House spokesman Jay Carney had this to say, in response to a reporter’s questions about President Obama’s policy plans for gun control: “As you know, the president has taken positions on common sense measures that he believes should be taken to help address this problem. But he made clear that more needs to be done. That we as a nation have not done enough, clearly, to fulfill our number one obligation, which is to protect our children.”
YUP AND POOR HILLARY IS SUFFERING FROM A “SYSTEMIC STOMACH FLU ” AND “FEINTING” EPISODE…..RSK
A State Department-ordered investigation into September’s attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, concluded that “systemic failures” left the facility inadequately protected, according to the independent review board’s report, which confirmed that no protest preceded the deadly attack.
The report, posted Tuesday night on the State Department’s website, also identified “leadership and management deficiencies at senior levels within two bureaus,” and it suggested 29 ways the department can improve its operations but recommended no disciplinary action.
The Accountability Review Board’s report comes after more than three months of intense debate in Washington over who was behind the attack, what motivated the attackers and why U.S. authorities weren’t able to stop the violence, which took the lives of Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.
Republicans have accused Obama administration officials of giving the American people from the start a series of misleading explanations for the attack. Much of the criticism focused on U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice’s comments five days after the Sept. 11 attack that the violence was a “spontaneous” result of protests against an anti-Islam film. She later backtracked, saying her comments were based on the most current information provided by the intelligence community.