"To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public." -- Theodore Roosevelt

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Wednesday, June 18, 2014

India Increasing Troops Along Its Chinese Border

Not a surprise considering (a) China's recent belligerence, (b) India's rocky history with China-- the two countries briefly went to war in 1962, and (c) India's recently elected BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party government.

From India Today (h/t Leslie Eastman at Legal Insurrection):

The new BJP government is keen to send out a strong signal to Beijing regarding border disputes by nearly doubling the deployment of Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) personnel on the India-China frontier. Top government sources said the ITBP will very soon have more boots on the ground to effectively guard the border that has witnessed several Chinese incursions in the past few years. The previous UPA government was often criticised for being "soft" on the issue of Chinese incursions. 
The Home Ministry has approved the construction of 54 new border outposts along the disputed frontier with China. A proposal in this regard was made by the ITBP before the polls but the previous government did not go ahead on it. 
With the new outposts, the number of troops on the ground too will increase. Currently, there are close to 40 outposts and nearly 15,000 troops guard the sensitive zones. Sources said the number could now go up to 30,000. "There were critical gaps regarding security on the China border that need to be filled up," said a senior Home Ministry official.
"The increase in deployment should not be construed as an aggressive approach on our part. We are only securing out territory," a top government official said.

I would characterize India's security build-up as more of a domestic political position, rather than any response or in preparation for a direct Chinese threat. China's bellicose stances against the Philippines, Vietnam, South Korea and Japan are another matter entirely...

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Gun Control Advocates Spread Obvious Lies to Further Position

It's the lying liars lie some more: gun control edition.

If their position is so right, why do gun control advocates continually lie about reality?

From The NRO piece by Charles C. W. Cooke:

This map, which purports to show that there are have been 74 “shootings at schools” since the abomination at Newtown, is currently doing the rounds. 

Writing it up, the Washington Post reported that,
Tuesday’s school shooting in Oregon is at least the 74th instance of shots being fired on school grounds or in school buildings since the late-2012 elementary school shooting in Newtown, Conn., according to a list maintained by the group Everytown for Gun Safety, which advocates for policies it believes limit gun violence. 
There have been at least 37 shootings on school grounds this year, which is just barely half over. All told, there has been nearly one shooting per week in the year and a half since Newtown. Everytown identifies a school shooting as any instance in which a firearm was discharged within a school building or on school grounds, sourced to multiple news reports per incident. Therefore, the data isn’t limited to mass shootings like Newtown—it includes assaults, homicides, suicides and even accidental shootings. Of the shootings, 35 took place at a college or university, while 39 took place in K-12 schools.
The Post is admirably clear that the map includes both colleges and schools, that it counts “any instance in which a firearm was discharged within a school building or on school grounds,” and that the data isn’t “limited to mass shootings like Newtown.” This point has also been made forcefully by Charles C. Johnson, who yesterday looked into each of the 74 incidents and noted that not only did some of them not take place on campuses but that “fewer than 7 of the 74 school shootings listed by #Everytown are mass shootings,” that one or more probably didn’t happen at all, that at least one was actually a case of self-defense, and that 32 could be classified as “school shootings” only if we are to twist the meaning of the term beyond all recognition. 
And that, of course, is precisely what the map’s creator is doing. The point here is not to tell the truth, but to get out the “74 school shootings since Newtown” figure and to turn it into conventional wisdom before anybody can check if it’s actually correct. This is why, on its website, Everytown for Gun Safety introduces the map with the simple claim that,
Since the December 2012 shooting in Newtown, CT, there have been at least 74 school shootings in America. How many more before our leaders pass common-sense laws to prevent gun violence and save lives?  

Everytown is not the only advocate of gun control that is engaged in a concerted effort to convince the public that gun violence is on the rise. At his White House event yesterday, President Obama insinuated that the United States was uncommonly awash with shootings. “We’re the only developed country on Earth where this happens,” he said.

And it happens now once a week. And it’s a one-day story. There’s no place else like this.

Later, the president added:

So the country has to do some soul-searching about this. This is becoming the norm.

This isn’t true. But it doesn’t matter. As Pew reported last year, the American public remains largely unaware that the last two decades have seen a quite remarkable drop in gun violence. Obama presumably knows this. ”Despite national attention to the issue of firearm violence,” Pew wrote, “most Americans are unaware that gun crime is lower today than it was two decades ago. According to a new Pew Research Center survey, today 56% of Americans believe gun crime is higher than 20 years ago and only 12% think it is lower.” 
The truth
National rates of gun homicide and other violent gun crimes are strikingly lower now than during their peak in the mid-1990s, paralleling a general decline in violent crime, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of government data. Beneath the long-term trend, though, are big differences by decade: Violence plunged through the 1990s, but has declined less dramatically since 2000. 
Compared with 1993, the peak of U.S. gun homicides, the firearm homicide rate was 49% lower in 2010, and there were fewer deaths, even though the nation’s population grew. The victimization rate for other violent crimes with a firearm—assaults, robberies and sex crimes—was 75% lower in 2011 than in 1993. Violent non-fatal crime victimization overall (with or without a firearm) also is down markedly (72%) over two decades. 
Don’t want to take Pew’s word for it? The Obama administration’s own Department of Justice agrees
According to DOJ’s Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S. gun-related homicides dropped 39 percent over the course of 18 years, from 18,253 during 1993, to 11,101 in 2011. During the same period, non-fatal firearm crimes decreased even more, a whopping 69 percent. The majority of those declines in both categories occurred during the first 10 years of that time frame. Firearm homicides declined from 1993 to 1999, rose through 2006, and then declined again through 2011. Non-fatal firearm violence declined from 1993 through 2004, then fluctuated in the mid-to-late 2000s. 
As Forbes’s Larry Bell notes, this is the “gun-control hypesters’ worst nightmare.” ”More people are buying firearms, while firearm-related homicides and suicides are steadily diminishing.” I would only add that these drops have happened while the gun laws have generally been liberalized, not tightened. Do we really want to start screwing with the trend so that we can all feel good about ourselves?

What? Firearm homicides are down by 49% and violent crimes are down by 75%!! Well then we must ban guns. It's the only way to get those number back up to where they should be!

How else are we going to create a morass of worse-than-useless federal laws that restrict our freedoms, our ability to defend ourselves, and make us dependent on government agencies for protection? Get with the program people.

Tikrit Falls to Islamic Terrorists

Above is the current image of Obama being used to dishearten Islamic terrorists.

But, you know, Obama totally has this under control.

From The Daily Mail:

Iraq was under siege yesterday after Al Qaeda-inspired jihadists seized control of Saddam Hussein’s home town of Tikrit and closed in on the country’s biggest oil refinery. 
Coming less than 24 hours after the country’s second city Mosul was overrun by the militants, there were fears that the loss of Tikrit could open the way for an assault on Baghdad just 80 miles to the south. 
British security firms working in the capital are said to have been put on high alert amid fears that insurgents will target the ‘Green Zone’ where most of the foreign embassies are based. 
As well as Mosul and Tikrit, several other northern towns were reported to have fallen to the spectacular offensive by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).  
While the West has so far refused to assist with military support, the US has said it will come to the aid of the 500,000 people who have fled fierce fighting in Iraq.  
Denouncing ISIS as ‘one of the most dangerous terrorist groups in the world, Stuart Jones, the nominee to be the next US envoy to Baghdad, told US politicians the United States ‘will continue to monitor the situation closely, and will work with our international partners to try to meet the needs of those who have been displaced’.

Forgive me if I don't take the words of the architect of this collapse to seriously. Perhaps Obama will send the displaced across America's southern border. Dreamers all...

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Al Qaeda Seizes Control of Iraq's Second-Largest City

Don't worry. Plastic Obamas in intimidating poses, hollow reassurances, and State Department selfies will keep America and her allies safe.

But I thought Obama said that al Qaeda was on the run and all that? Oh well, I'm sure the Obama Administration is trying to find out what obscure YouTube video caused this to happen...

From The Wall Street Journal (via Drudge):

Al Qaeda-inspired militants seized control of Iraq's second-largest city on Tuesday in a brazen military operation that underscored the weakness of the Baghdad government across vast swaths of the country.  
Hours after government forces fled Mosul in disarray following four days of fighting, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki declared a nationwide "state of maximum preparedness" but didn't indicate whether government forces were mobilizing to retake the Iraqi city, 220 miles north of the capital Baghdad.  
The capture of Mosul by rebels linked to the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, or ISIS, is the latest evidence of the weakness and disorganization that have beset Iraq's security forces since the U.S. forces withdrew from the country in December 2011. 
It also underlines the group's determination to establish an Islamic emirate encompassing the Iraqi-Syrian frontier, weaken the already fragile Iraqi state and expand the theater of the three-year-old civil war in neighboring Syria.  
The U.S.-trained and equipped Iraqi security forces, which have floundered since the U.S. pullout, haven't succeeded in thwarting ISIS's emergence as a formidable paramilitary force. Its fighters regularly launch daytime attacks against government forces and have held the city of Fallujah, 36 miles east of the capital, since early January. 
Mosul, the capital of Nineveh province, has been a longtime staging ground for al Qaeda-linked forces. Residents of the province have complained recently about stepped-up ISIS activities, including cash-for-protection demands to local businessmen and political officials—a major source of funding for the group's operations.

Obama: making the world safer for radical Islamists (and other thuggish political entities) since 2009.