Free speech and religious liberty are on a winning streak. Last month the Eighth Circuit Court of appeals ruled that Christian wedding photographers could not be compelled to use their artistic talents to help celebrate same-sex weddings.
Today, the Arizona Supreme Court reached a similar holding, this time on behalf of Christian calligraphers and painters Joanna Duka and Breanna Koski. The case, brought by my friends and former colleagues at the Alliance Defending Freedom, is similar to multiple other wedding vendor cases.
The plaintiffs do not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation (they happily serve gay customers). They merely refuse to produce art that advances ideas they find objectionable.
The symptoms of age-related cognitive decline include being unable to remember whether you’re in Vermont or New Hampshire, and what the talking points of your own presidential campaign are, but recalling exactly what you said nearly 60 years ago when you had a summer job as a lifeguard at a pool in Wilmington, Del. and a ‘bad dude’ called Corn Pop took umbrage when you ordered him to put on a shower cap so he looked like an old lady and then, to further emasculate him in front of his ‘boys’, called him ‘Esther’……
The Kavanaugh and Corn Pop stories must at all times be considered separately, for two reasons. First, if taken together, these stories show the extent to which pro-Democratic media, even the upmarket kind which advertises its fact-checking, will go in order to slander its enemies and support its team — and that the obvious cognitive decline of the Democratic frontrunner might not be as alarming as the obvious ethical decline in the press, because a party can find a better candidate, but the Times, it isn’t a-changin’.
Second, there’s the risk that the two stories will merge into a single image in which Joe Biden’s friends push his penis into Corn Pop’s hand in order to prove his tolerance, while Brett Kavanaugh the Porn Cop stands pink and proud for family values. This composite is the true image of American politics today, so is best not considered at all, let along pushed into anyone’s face as part of a presidential nomination strategy
Q: “How do you tell when a politician is lying?” A: “His lips are moving.”
This is particularly true when the political topic is guns.We have even seen commentators on the left questioning their own side’s stance on gun control.
Jeffrey Goldberg’s 2012 Atlantic article: “But these gun-control efforts, while noble, would only have a modest impact on the rate of gun violence in America. Why? Because it’s too late.”
Justin Cronin’s New York Times 2013 article: “. . . I am my family’s last line of defense. I have chosen to meet this responsibility, in part, by being armed. It wasn’t a choice I made lightly.”
Jamelle Bouie’s Slate 2015 article: “. . . assault weapons—there’s no official definition for the term, which makes identifying them for prohibition difficult, if not impossible . . . But out of 73 mass killers from 1982 to 2015, just 25 used rifles of any kind, including military-style weapons. Most used revolvers, shotguns, and semi-automatic handguns. Which gets to a related point: We might feel safer if we ban “assault weapons,” but we won’t be safer. Of the 43,000 Americans killed with guns since 2010, just a fraction—3.5 percent—were killed with rifles.”
Leah Libresco’s Washington Post 2017 article: “By the time we published our project, I didn’t believe in many of the interventions I’d heard politicians tout. I was still anti-gun, . . . But I can’t endorse policies whose only selling point is that gun owners hate them.”
Alex Kingsbury’s New York Times 2019 article: “. . . [C]alling for military-style rifles bans—as I have done for years—maybe making other lifesaving gun laws harder to pass. America’s gun problem is far larger than military-style weapons, the mass killer’s rifle of choice. There are hundreds of millions of handguns in the country . . . The guns . . . are here to stay.”
After each mass shooting the demand for more gun control rises in proportion to the death toll. Few Democrat politicians forego the opportunity to denounce guns in civilian hands. Even a few Republicans now vie for their place in the line before the microphones. But all this clamor for gun control is another BIG LIE.
Even if that progressive wet dream—repeal of the Second Amendment—happened, gun owners would defy the ban, burying their Cosmoline coated guns in PVC pipe. Merciless enforcement might scare some, but there would remain hundreds of millions of firearms in patriot hands.
The most remarkable aspect of gun control advocacy is that proponents cannot explain how their “common sense”, “reasonable” measures will reduce gunshot mortality and morbidity.
Background checks are a perfect example of the unwillingness to acknowledge the ineffectiveness of a gun-control measure. For more than 20 years we have had in place an extensive regime, the National Instant Background Check System, required of all retail dealers. And almost all mass killers have passed this background check. A few stole their guns or bought them illegally, sometimes violating state laws mandating background checks on private sales. Occasionally, the NICS failed due to weaknesses in implementation. Also, straw buyers routinely buy guns on behalf of prohibited persons—yet these violations are rarely investigated or prosecuted.
Background checks can’t stop anyone with a modicum of craftsmanship from building his own gun. Nor can they influence robbers, traffickers or other criminals.
We should strive to improve the existing background check system for licensed dealers before expanding its scope, because it produces far too many false positive (and temporary) prohibitions. “Universal” background checks will not be the magic bullet that stops criminal “gun violence”.
“Assault weapon” bans are another example of a gun-control proposal that doesn’t stand scrutiny. The FBI reports more homicides by hammers, clubs and cutlery than by all rifles. Yet, no one speaks of banning cutlery or clubs (except in England, of course).
Just what would be banned as an “assault weapon” anyway?
Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy was asked: “What is a barrel shroud? And why should we regulate that?” She finally admitted: “I actually don’t know what a barrel shroud is . . . I believe it a shoulder thing that goes up.” A barrel shroud is just a fore grip that prevents the user burning his hand on a hot barrel. Neither this, nor any fore grip, have any influence on lethality of “military-type guns”.
There is no practical definition of an “assault weapon” that distinguishes it meaningfully from most other types of firearms. The attempt to do so would lead down the slippery slope to outlawing all semi-automatic firearms. But it’s politically and practically impossible to confiscate the ubiquitous semi-auto long gun in America, while handguns have already been defined by the Supreme Court as in common use and therefore inviolable.
In fact, none of the supposedly “reasonable”, “common sense” gun controls proposed stand up to political or practical scrutiny. Gun control advocates know this and refuse to debate the effectiveness or economics of implementation and enforcement. When challenged they always retreat immediately behind the shield of “We have to do SOMETHING!”
Stated clearly, we are being lied to. Politicians promise gun control to satisfy their fearful constituents, yet there is never any measurable impact on gunshot deaths or wounding.
Why? Because no gun control measure short of successful nationwide confiscation of all firearms could substantially affect these casualties.
Two-thirds of gunshot deaths are suicides, and a single-shot weapon does as well as one with a 100 round magazine for that. One-third of gunshot deaths are homicides;, and almost all injuries are attempted homicides. These are committed mostly by convicted felons, gang members, and in drug-related crime. Meanwhile, mortality due to firearm accidents has practically become a rounding error.
Until we are prepared to criminalize as much as half of Americans, repeal of the Second Amendment won’t happen. Nor could it be passed while 42 states are Right-to-Carry jurisdictions and just 13 opposing states could block any amendment.
Politicians using gun control to mobilize their base on Election Day are also inflaming gun owners to vote to against them. These effects seem, so far, to offset one another.
Why do progressives risk jeopardizing the rest of their platform for the promise of “reasonable” and “common-sense”, but impotent, “gun control”? Why do they pursue incremental gun control that can’t deliver on its false promise of reducing gunshot mortality and morbidity?
Maybe they’re lying to themselves as much as to the rest of us.
Statists gotta state you know.
Chief Elizabeth Warren, who lies constantly, has a plan to end corruption.
Repeating her anti-government rhetoric, in a piece titled, END WASHINGTON CORRUPTION, Warren writes that big insurance companies and hospital conglomerates put profits ahead of the health and well-being of the American people, and dump piles of money into political campaigns and lobbying efforts to block any move toward Medicare for All.
This comes from a woman who has no problem with unions and Planned Parenthood sinking a fortune into Democratic campaigns, including hers. She has no problem with their lobbyists or those of far-left groups.
In order to get her unaffordable Medicare for All through, she must demonize hospitals, many of which are just trying to survive.
Railing against fossil fuels, she claims they are promoting false studies and preventing the Green New Deal from seeing the light of day. That’s the same Green New Deal that will take away our planes, our cars, and our hamburgers but provides incomes to people who don’t’ want to work.
Pharmaceuticals and their lobbyists are also on her hit list.
Her answer to all of it is to spend trillions of dollars we do not have and to take away our liberties.
Her last paragraph calls for Universal Childcare, criminal justice reform, and affordable housing [paid for by the redistribution of wealth]. Naturally, she wants gun reform. Somehow, turning over control of all sectors of society to the big corrupt government will fight corruption in the big government and its cronyism.
She won’t admit middle-class taxes will go up under Medicare for All.
How did AR-15s become the plastic straws of the gun world? It’s simple: Demagogues need scapegoats. Yet just as banning plastic straws won’t make a dent in the ocean-polluting plastics problem, banning “assault rifles” (which aren’t) won’t save even one life.
It’s tragic how, just like faddish teenagers playing a dangerous or stupid social-media-driven prank, so-called adults go on misguided, media-driven, lynch-mob kicks. Remember when SUVs were demonized as planet killers approximately 15 to 20 years ago? Some environmentalists claimed that SUV drivers were essentially “hate group” members, and other vandalism-crazy greenies would, ironically, set fire to the vehicles to combat global warming. Yet SUVs currently appear more popular than ever, and all is quiet on the gas-guzzler front. What happened? The demagogues and their dupes have moved on to a different neurotic fixation.
Now the suburban soccer mom can drive her Panzer-size SUV (by the by, back in the “day” they were called “trucks” — ah, marketing) content in the “feeling” that she’s saving the environment because she supports banning plastic straws. Never mind that doing so likely won’t save even one marine mammal, since the U.S. is responsible for only one percent of ocean-polluting plastics, and straws account for just 0.025 percent of that. Never mind that anti-”strawism” began with erroneous claims in a nine-year-old’s science project (ugh, beam me up, Scotty). The lynch mob must be fed, and plastic straw users, well, really suck….
Joining straws in the dock, and giving new meaning to demonizing the one percent, are Assault Rifles™. Not only are they used in, approximately, just one percent of homicides, they aren’t even “assault rifles,” a term that had always referred to weapons that could be fired fully automatic or in more than one way (fully auto, three-shot bursts, etc). Now the term is being applied to semi-automatic (one trigger pull, one shot) rifles with certain cosmetic features (a military “look”), which is a bit like putting a Porsche body on a Yugo chassis and claiming the car will win races.
But, hey, as anti-gun crusader Josh Sugarmann once put it, these “weapons’ menacing looks,” coupled with the public’s confusion — “anything that looks like a machine gun is assumed to be a machine gun — can only increase the chance of public support for restrictions on these weapons.” Yeah, it’s a con.
That said, AR-15s are used in an inordinate percentage of high-profile mass shootings. But believing that outlawing them would reduce these incidents’ frequency makes as much sense as believing that banning the BMW 4 Series — which AutoBlog.com lists as the car most likely to be involved in a crash — would reduce the accident rate.
Quite apropos, AutoBlog’s subtitle boldly reminds readers, “Remember: People cause crashes, not cars.” The point is that outlawing a vehicle wouldn’t take the kind of people who drive it off the road; they’d just get into accidents in a different vehicle.
This point is even more relevant for AR-15-category rifles. The AR-15 is commonly used in mass shootings for two simple reasons: It’s the most popular rifle in America.
And it looks cool.
In reality, though, such a weapon isn’t the best choice for committing mass shootings, which generally involve attacking soft targets at close range. More effective would be a semi-automatic, 12-gauge shotgun or even a pump-action one (and a shotgun was used in the Aurora, Colorado, shooting in 2012).
In other words, not only would mass shooters simply choose a different weapon if AR-15-type rifles were somehow unavailable, but it’s arguable that the rifle’s criminalization could push them toward more effective weaponry.
Speaking of which, presidential contender Irish Bob O’Rourke said in March, echoing many, “I just don’t think that we need to sell any more weapons of war into this public.” He’d have been more accurate if he’d stopped after his first four words. But the pitch is rhetorically effective, conjuring up images of flesh-eviscerating machine-gun fire.
Yet leaving aside the common argument that allowing Americans the same firearms the military uses was the Second Amendment’s actual intent, first note that the AR-15 was never a standard issue US military rifle. In fact, while the M-16 — which uses the same platform but isn’t limited to semi-auto fire — was, it was supplanted a while back by the M-4; this, in turn, is set to be replaced by an entirely different rifle that will likely even use different, more effective ammunition (critics have long bemoaned the M-16’s/M-4’s relative lack of stopping power).
Moreover, how many guns weren’t designed as “weapons of war”? Bolt-action rifles were once state-of-the-art weapons of war. So was the flintlock. Go back even further, and clubs were weapons of war, and many people are still killed with them today. Should we outlaw baseball bats?
In fact, far from devastating, the AR-15’s standard round is small caliber (the same diameter as a .22) and has the second least power of the 41 cartridges found on this Rifle Cartridge Killing Power List page (note: When loaded with 5.56mm ammo, the power is somewhat greater but still relatively lacking). In other words, you can acquire any number of hunting rifles far more devastating than an AR.
This, mind you, is why some states have prohibited the AR-15’s use in deer hunting; its relatively weak round may not kill the animal, but simply send it off wounded and suffering.
It’s also why the nine-year-old girl in the video below could fire the weapon with ease. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gDdHj6iCP0k
In contrast, I’ve seen a 240-pound man (who wasn’t prepared for the extreme recoil) almost knocked over by a 12-gauge shotgun loaded with a magnum shell.
So we can outlaw AR-15-type rifles if it makes us feel better, but just as banning plastic straws won’t save marine life, it won’t save even one human life. For this reason, it would also be followed by another scapegoated gun targeted for criminalization. Note here that Britain’s deadliest ever mass shooting, the Dunblane massacre in 1996, inspired sweeping anti-firearms laws — after being committed with handguns.
Oh, and London just surpassed N.Y.C. in homicides last year.
This is unsurprising since, as Professor Thomas Sowell illustrated, there’s no correlation whatsoever between stricter gun laws and lower murder rates.
This is why, more to fear than guns are demagogues — shooting off their assault mouths.
STATESBORO, Ga.- Statesboro police say two men were shot at Cambridge at Southern Pines on Saturday evening.
The Statesboro Police department says officers were dispatched around 9:30 Saturday to the apartments to find two male victims shot.
Officers believe this was an attempted home invasion that led to an exchange of gunfire, wounding one of the apartment’s tenants and one of the suspects.
Both men are being treated at Memorial University Health in Savannah.
At this time the investigation is still on going.
HOCKLEY, Texas (KTRK) — An attempted robbery suspect was shot to death after police say he beat a movie theater manager with a bat.
Deputies responded to reports of a shooting at the Showboat Drive-in theater located at 22422 Farm to Market 2920 around 2:30 a.m.
The Harris County Sheriff’s Office told ABC13 two managers were finishing up their shift when they spotted some motion inside the concession stand.
Deputies say one of the managers decided to go check it out and was confronted by two men.
One of the suspects pulled out a bat and started beating the manager, while the other suspect ran.
The manager reportedly pulled out a gun and shot and killed the man who was beating her.
Deputies are now searching for the second man.
About 2/3rd of the deaths in the U.S. that involve the use of a gun are suicides. No kind of a background check will in any way do one thing to decrease that number. Of course, SanFranNan & ChuckU are being their standard operational demoncrap selves.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) on Sunday had a call with President Donald Trump about gun control legislation. According to a statement from Democratic leadership, universal background checks are a non negotiable that must be included in any proposal Trump moves forward with. Specifically, Democrats want Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to bring the legislation to a floor for a vote.
“200 days ago, the Democratic House took decisive action to end the gun violence epidemic in America by passing H.R. 8 and H.R. 1112: bipartisan, commonsense legislation to expand background checks, which is supported by more than 90 percent of the American people. With the backing of the American people, we continue to call on Senator McConnell to ‘Give Us A Vote!’
“Yet, for 200 days, Senator McConnell has refused to give these bipartisan bills a vote on the Senate Floor, again and again putting his own political survival before the survival of our children. Every day that Senator McConnell blocks our House-passed, life-saving bills, an average of 100 people – including 47 children and teenagers – die from senseless gun violence. Some 20,000 have died since the House took action on February 27th.
“This morning, we made it clear to the President that any proposal he endorses that does not include the House-passed universal background checks legislation will not get the job done, as dangerous loopholes will still exist and people who shouldn’t have guns will still have access. For instance, someone prohibited from possessing a gun under an Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO) law could still obtain a firearm by exploiting the gun show and online loopholes that H.R. 8 would close. We know that to save as many lives as possible, the Senate must pass this bill and the President must sign it. We even promised the President that if he endorses this legislation and gets Senator McConnell to act on what the House has passed, we would both join him for a historic signing ceremony at the Rose Garden.
“Congressional Democrats will continue to join with law enforcement, survivors, students and parents, health care providers, mayors and public health officials across the nation to accelerate a relentless drumbeat of action to force Senator McConnell to pass our background checks bills. We will not stop until these bills are passed and our children’s lives are safe. We call upon Senator McConnell to ‘Give Us a Vote!’
McConnell has made it clear that he wouldn’t bring any gun control proposals to the floor for a vote if President Trump has vowed to veto the bill.
“My members know the very simple fact that to make a law you have to have a presidential signature. They are working on coming up with a proposal that the president will sign,” McConnell said last week.
On September 15, 1944, the U.S. 3rd Amphibious Corp consisting of the Marine Corps 1st Division, Army’s 81st Division & supporting forces, invaded Peleliu in the Palau islands southeast of the Philippines.
This Band of Brothers for the Pacific is the gut-wrenching and ultimately triumphant story of the Marines’ most ferocious—yet largely forgotten—battle of World War II.
Between September 15 and October 15, 1944, the First Marine Division suffered more than 6,500 casualties fighting on a hellish little coral island in the Pacific. Peleliu was the setting for one of the most savage struggles of modern times, a true killing ground that has been all but forgotten—until now. Drawing on interviews with Peleliu veterans, Bill Sloan’s gripping narrative seamlessly weaves together the experiences of the men who were there, producing a vivid and unflinching tableau of the twenty-four-hour-a-day nightmare of Peleliu.
Emotionally moving and gripping in its depictions of combat, Brotherhood of Heroes rescues the Corps’s bloodiest battle from obscurity and does honor to the Marines who fought it.
(Bloomberg) — All eyes are on how fast Saudi Arabia can restore production after this weekend’s devastating strike on key facilities, which knocked out roughly 5% of global supply and triggered a record surge in oil prices.
Significant volumes could come back within days, people familiar with the matter said over the weekend, adding that it could still take weeks to restore full capacity. Industry consultant Energy Aspects estimated in a note Sunday that the country will be able to restore almost half the lost production as early as Monday. Saudi Aramco said in a statement dated Saturday that it would provide an update in about 48 hours.
“We need to know if it’s a 48-hour outage or if it’s a four-week outage,” Ashley Peterson, a senior oil market analyst at Stratas Advisors, said on Bloomberg TV. “That’s really what’s going to drive prices.”
The estimated 5.7 million barrels a day of lost Saudi oil is the single biggest sudden disruption ever, surpassing the loss of Kuwaiti and Iraqi supply in August 1990 and Iranian output in 1979 during the Islamic Revolution, according to the International Energy Agency.
Any excuse to jack up the price of U.S. oil.
At 12+ million barrels a day, we produce more than Arabia’s 11+ million!
Oil prices hit their highest in four months after two attacks on Saudi Arabian facilities on Saturday knocked out more than 5% of global supply.
At the start of trading, Brent crude jumped 19% to $71.95 a barrel, while the other major benchmark, West Texas Intermediate, rose 15% to $63.34.
Prices eased back slightly after US President Donald Trump authorised the release of US reserves.
Elizabeth Heng has some things to say to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
Heng — who is behind the New Faces GOP PAC which aired a negative ad about AOC and Dems during Thursday night’s Democratic debate — took to Twitter to respond to AOC’s recent meltdown.
“@AOC response is the Democratic party in a nutshell. They are more offended by truthful words than the acts of their political ideology that has killed millions of innocent victims. I don’t care about @AOC feelings — I care about stopping her lies about the lies of socialism,” Heng tweeted.
One of the more shocking aspects of last week’s Democratic debate was the cavalier manner in which the Constitution was treated. Beto O’Rourke said he intends to confiscate guns that were legally purchased by law-abiding Americans, and put out a t-shirt to that effect immediately after the debate. Kamala Harris said the same thing, and when Joe Biden pointed out that the government lacks power to do what she proposed, she laughed at him. Michael Ramirez sums it up this way; click to enlarge:
But why should we be surprised? Democrats regard the Constitution as an illegitimate product of white supremacy, written by a bunch of dead white males who were racists. Why should it command any respect? In their eyes, it doesn’t. Once they achieve power, it will be a dead letter.
“Never forget, even for an instant, that the one and only reason anyone has for taking your gun away is to make you weaker than he is, so he can do something to you that you wouldn’t let him do if you were equipped to prevent it. This goes for burglars, muggers, and rapists, and even more so for policemen, bureaucrats, and politicians” —-Alexander Hope.
Sen. Ted Cruz is warning that President Donald Trump making a deal with Democrats on gun legislation might cause conservative voters to stay home in 2020.
“If Republicans abandon the Second Amendment and demoralize millions of Americans who care deeply about Second Amendment rights,” the Texas Republican said, “that could go a long way to electing a President Elizabeth Warren.”
“We’re going to see record-setting Democratic turnout. The only element missing is demoralizing conservatives so they stay home. I hope we don’t do that,” Cruz told reporters at a Thursday breakfast.
He was responding to a question that specifically referenced a possible deal between the Trump administration and a bipartisan group of senators including Democrats Christopher S. Murphy of Connecticut and Joe Manchin III of West Virginia, as well as Republican Patrick J. Toomey of Pennsylvania.
Those senators spoke with Trump on Wednesday and signaled that the president was nearing an announcement of his position on background checks for gun purchases.
“It would also be a serious mistake as a policy matter,” Cruz said, arguing that none of the recent mass shootings would have been stopped by the Democratic legislative proposals. He instead was pushing legislation he has drafted with former Judiciary Chairman Charles E. Grassley of Iowa that is focused on ensuring that federal agencies report all crimes into the existing background check database.
“The far left is pissed off,” Cruz told reporters Thursday. “They hate the the president, and that is a powerful motivator.”
Cruz cited his own 2018 reelection contest against then-Rep. Beto O’Rourke, which saw record-setting Democratic turnout in Texas.
“The Texas Senate race ended up being the most expensive Senate race in U.S. history, and I think that foreshadows what 2020 will be nationally,” Cruz said.
In his interviews with One America News (OAN), NewsmaxTV, Fox News Channel and other news outlets, Rep. Devin Nunes R-California, who has had access to most of the evidence pertaining to the securing Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court warrants in order to spy on members of President Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, said he didn’t want to discuss anything about Comey’s alleged role in Spygate.
But, Nunes did intimate that if federal prosecutors and investigators assigned by Attorney General William Barr to thoroughly probe Spygate gave the investigation a serious unbiased criminal process, there’s an abundance of proof available to place Comey in the center of the plot to oust a duly elected U.S. President through impeachment.
“So this is a guy who is definitely not telling the truth, and the good thing about the [Justice Department Inspector General’s] report is he’s now made himself, the IG has now made him eligible for a larger conspiracy charge—a criminal conspiracy charge—which is what we really hope the attorney general [U.S. attorney] out of Connecticut is able to do,” Nunes said in an interview with Breitbart News.
“That’s the big thing that we need. We need real charges brought. And I think a lot of people are frustrated because they feel like Comey leaked classified information. But the question is would a panel of jurors in Washington, D.C., [convict]?” he asked rhetorically.
The Bahamas are getting hammered again.