A VICTORY in the battle over gun rights…..

    Yesterday, the senate voted  against the Manchin-Toomey gun control bill 60-40. On top of that and to my great surprise, they PASSED a bill on national right-to-carry reciprocity, 57-43. This recognition of our natural rights comes at a time when the fervor of the fear-mongers is at an all-time high about gun-violence. We’ve heard everything from actors and politicians who “demand a plan”, to Feinstein, Schumer, Bloomberg and Obama setting their agenda on the graves of dead children and grieving families, all for the sake of political expediency. “If it saves just ONE life, it’s worth it!” we’ve heard over and over. The hard truth is, not only is it WRONG to sacrifice the liberty of millions for the illusion of safety, gun control has NEVER shown to have saved EVEN ONE LIFE. The data from Obama’s own justice dep’t., the CDC (which is definitely NOT pro-gun), law enforcement from around the nation has proven this over and over and over again.

     We’ve heard the President say, “These people deserve a vote!” Wow. How ironic, because that’s exactly what the pro-slavery movement said about the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850. Putting people’s liberties and freedoms to a vote of congress is not only stupid, but flat out dangerous to a free people. You would think a Constitutional Law Professor and a BLACK MAN on top of it would be familiar with the precedent that was set by the Dred Scott decision but hey, we can’t let something like facts and history get in the way of El Presidente beating the war drums to further his agenda of “more government, less freedom”. After all, it’s “for the children.”

      So the vote to compromise our natural God-given rights comes up in the senate and they say, “NO.” In response, a disappointed Obama gets on national TV and has the audacity to SHAME people for not compromising their own rights that keep us free. He and the other “safety first” statists had every excuse in the world other than admitting that gun control JUST DOESN’T WORK.  “The gun lobby lied about what’s in the bill”, that a “minority of gun owners got upset and intimidated their senators into voting for something that 90% of the nation supports.” I can tolerate and even EXPECT some twisting of poll numbers and the truth when it comes to politics but this President and his followers that have been pushing this issue to a vote the entire time are ALL OUT LIARS. There is no other way to say it. There’s not a single poll out there that has 90% supporting tighter gun control laws unless the poll was limited to the White House or Handgun Control Inc. or Rosie O’Donell’s dinner table. The poll the Liar in Chief is referencing is a Gallup poll shown here, read it for yourself: http://www.gallup.com/poll/1645/guns.aspx

The “gun lobby” referenced must be the “evil corporate NRA with all that blood on their hands”. Lemme give the hippies reading this another little history lesson: before there were senators and presidents willing to take away and restrict the rights of millions, there WAS NO GUN LOBBY. The NRA focused on safety, training and education. They only threw their hat into the political ring at the request of MILLIONS of law-abiding citizens who were sick of having those rights trod upon by politicians like Schumer and Bloomberg. So, for those of you who blame the NRA for getting in the way of your utopian paradise where there is no gun violence, you only have yourselves to blame. YOU made us gun-owners act to protect our rights. YOU ultimately made the NRA more powerful with every piece of restrictive legislation you pushed forward.  As for them “lying about what’s in the bill”, that’s flat-out BULLSHIT. Contrary to what most liberals think about us, we CAN and DO read! From my reading of the bill, it was entirely unworkable and unenforcable without a system leading to the full registration of firearms which is contra to the entire purpose of the 2nd amendment and an armed populace. The only thing the NRA lied about was that we couldn’t win unless I renewed my membership early. You can wait til April like always, Mr. LaPierre….

     As for us “intimidating” our senators: threatening not to re-elect them during the mid-terms is “intimidation”??? I suppose playing the “I got your nose” game with my God-son is “assault and battery”.      

        This whole morally judgmental shaming by the president and his statist thugs is just the latest in an attempt to emotionally manipulate the nation into giving away the very rights which keep us free and it’s a DISGUSTING political tactic. It’s just as low and tacky as saying “if it just saves one life”, or having the mother of one of the Sandy Hook victims tug at the heart-strings of the public, or riding on the coattails of your spouse who survived an assassination attempt. In the end, it’s nothing more than emotionally based rhetoric to further erode the rights of a free people in the interests of more state control disguised as “safety”. We aren’t buying it anymore. The final proof you need is actually in the last lie that fell from Obama’s lips: If the majority of Americans that were calling and writing their senators wanted this bill to pass, if most NRA members supported it as the President claimed……… IT WOULD’VE PASSED!!! Since it didn’t, what more proof does Obama need to see that people are seeing gun control for what it is: from failed policy to sad joke.  

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

New Venezuelan President blames U.S. for unrest.

New faces, but the game remains the same. The commies have an election, the election is overwhelmingly in favor of a commie tyrant, the opposition that wants freedom starts rioting, and us evil imperialists get the blame. From the Daily Oklahoman:

http://newsok.com/chavez-heir-blames-u.s.-for-unrest-over-election/article/3786900

“CARACAS, Venezuela — Venezuela’s president-elect blamed the opposition Tuesday for seven deaths and 61 injuries that the government claims have occurred in disturbances protesting his election, and he accused the U.S. of organizing the unrest.”

MAYBE, just MAYBE, your people are upset that you won the election because they cherish their FREEDOM, Presidente Maduro. MAYBE, just MAYBE they’re tired of the skyrocketing violent crime rate, inflation and empty promises that communism can’t deliver. But NOOOOOO, that can’t be it. It HAS to be the evil imperialists stirring up trouble. You know what, I’m already sick of this ass-hat and he hasn’t even been el Presidente for a week. Here’s MY offer to the U.S. gov’t: pay me an even million dollars (tax free, of course) and I’ll make sure regime change occurs in Caracas before the year is out.

If Maduro is still President of Venezuela by Dec 31st, either: I’m dead, OR the U.S. gov’t wasn’t involved in stirring up trouble in your little socialist paradiso in the first place and you only have yourself and the tyrannical legacy you inherited from Saint Hugo to blame for your troubles. Besides, there’s NO WAY the Obama administration would speak out against a 3rd world socialist dictator that ENDORSED him. After all, they adhere to the same banana republic school of thought!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Tom Coburn…… did he stab us in the back?

Tom Coburn has become the target  of many gun enthusiasts, as he was one of 16 Republican senators to move forward with debate on gun control legislation. Dr. Coburn sees this as a political strategy to actually protect our gun rights from the anti’s and many gun enthusiasts are calling him a traitor. Here’s a quick rundown: Coburn has in the past defended the rights of gun owners, especially those of vets. He goes to Schumer and Feinstein trying to work out a deal that will not impede or infringe on our gun rights. (his words) They can’t come to a deal so he leaves the table. Enter Toommey-Manchin who throw a bunch of ideas together but a half-complete bill. Tom Coburn denounces the bill saying it’s unworkable and he will stand up for gun owners’ rights, including personally leading a filibuster in the senate. But then he moves this half-bill forward for debate in the senate so we can see who is actually “on our side”. The idea that we want to move forward with debate so we can get the anti’s on paper to see exactly who is for and against this legislation sounds like a sound political strategy. In Coburn’s own words, it allows him to attach amendments that would actually protect the rights of law-abiding gun owners:

“Today’s vote was an opportunity for senators to do what they were elected to do and begin debate on a critical issue in our country. Today’s vote was simply a vote to begin debate and not an endorsement of the current bill. I will not support ending debate and moving to final passage of any bill that compromises the Second Amendment rights or the privacy of law abiding citizens.

“I look forward to offering multiple amendments in the coming days, including an amendment to replace the unworkable Manchin-Toomey with a proposal that will protect Americans’ Second Amendment rights while giving law abiding citizens the tool they need to make sure they aren’t transferring a firearm to someone who will be a threat to themselves or others. I also intend to offer or support amendments to protect the Second Amendment rights of veterans and Americans who have concealed carry permits, among other issues. Today’s vote enables me to offer those amendments, and help give the American people the debate they deserve.”

But in an earlier statement, Coburn promised to personally filibuster any gun legislation in the senate: “While I support a debate in the Senate on gun related issues—including reaffirming these rights and forcing gun-control advocates to have their votes on record and be held accountable for their votes—I will not only support, but lead a filibuster to prevent the passage of any bill that limits the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens.” Then, he turns around and votes for cloture which doesn’t allow any filibustering. So his actions are confusing to say the least for a political-junkie like myself. So then, his Facebook page EXPLODES with people ready to string him up and others who defend his actions. Now, he’s put out a statement about his detractors and critics in the Daily Oklahoman (all in italics):

Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn fires back at critics over gun vote

After being called a traitor and numerous obscene names on his Facebook page, Sen. Tom Coburn responded that the gun bill debate is necessary to keep dangerous people from buying firearms.

 
By Chris Casteel | Published: April 12, 2013   
WASHINGTON — Responding to outrage over his vote to advance gun legislation past a procedural hurdle, Sen. Tom Coburn said Friday that debate on the bill was necessary to address gaps allowing “dangerous people” to acquire firearms.

“Every act of gun violence not only takes away the rights — and sometimes lives — of victims but also chips away at the rights of law-abiding citizens,” Coburn said in a lengthy statement.

“Responsible gun owners should be leading the effort to make sure firearms are used for the purpose our founders’ intended — self-defense and freedom, not mayhem and murder.”

Coburn, R-Muskogee, received a barrage of negative comments on his Facebook page and at his offices in Washington and Oklahoma for his vote Thursday to allow debate on a bill proposing to expand background checks and crack down on gun trafficking.

Many of the Facebook posts were laced with obscenities and called him a “traitor.”

Others were a bit more diplomatic but still critical of Coburn’s decision to join 15 other Republicans in voting to advance the bill rather than filibuster.

Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Tulsa, voted against moving the bill to debate.

The bill advanced by a vote of 68-31, and votes on amendments could come next week.

The comments

A man named Mike Gilbert, of Oklahoma City, wrote this post on Coburn’s Facebook page: “Mr Coburn I am a 63 year old Vietnam Vet. Worked 40 years and paid my taxes. Gov. Fallin signed the bill for open carry. I continue to carry mine under cover but I thank her for standing up for our 2nd Amendment.

“I ask that you do not sell us down the river. If you give an inch the left wing will take a mile. I supported you in the past. I will no longer. Please stand with Oklahoma as a proud 2nd Amendment state. I ask that you give in no farther.”

And another named Wes Morris, of Tulsa, said, “It’s a damn good thing you are term limiting yourself. Although I would love to see you get hammered in a primary.

“What about “Shall Not Infringe” do you not understand? Your next step should be to run for “Community Organizer” in Chicago. Then you can follow in your idols footsteps and you two love birds can have dinner together every night. Thanks for selling out the American People, and Oklahoma.” 

Coburn’s response

Many of those complaining said they would work against his re-election, obviously unaware that Coburn imposed a two-term limit on himself and won’t be running for office again.

In the statement, Coburn said, “Some have even suggested a more pro-Second Amendment Republican should run against me in the primary next election. I hate to disappoint them but I respect the will of the people so much I have primaried myself by term-limiting myself.”

Coburn has previously been accused by some Democrats of being too staunch a defender of gun ownership rights.

He fought a long battle to ensure U.S. military veterans weren’t denied the right to purchase firearms if they sought mental health services.

And he authored legislation that was approved in 2009 allowing people to carry loaded firearms in national parks.

On Friday, Coburn said “the most onerous and blatantly unconstitutional provisions the gun control lobby favors,” including a ban on so-called assault weapons and a limit on magazine sizes, would never pass the Senate.

“What is up for consideration is how to improve a broken system that literally allows illegal aliens, drug traffickers, child molesters, rapists, felons, members of al-Qaida cells and mentally deranged persons to buy firearms,” he said.

“If you believe the Second Amendment gives those people the right to arm themselves, then we have an irreconcilable difference of opinion.”

Coburn participated for weeks in talks to fashion a bipartisan proposal to expand background checks to gun shows and other non-dealer transactions. He eventually dropped out because of his concerns that government records would be kept of the sales.

He said last week that the agreement reached wouldn’t work.

He said Friday he would offer his own proposal to create an online system allowing a consumer to print out a pass showing they weren’t on a list of prohibited buyers.

That system, he said, wouldn’t treat people as guilty until proven innocent and wouldn’t subject them to new fees.

Coburn said Americans have “a responsibility to do their homework and understand what is and is not under consideration. My office is prepared to answer as many questions as possible as clearly and quickly as we can.”

Personally, I think he’s foolish to think that the statists in the senate won’t try to slip one over on everybody. Even by letting it go forward with debate, (although politically wise) is still allowing our civil rights to be toyed with. Civil rights enumerated in the Constitution are un-debatable and non-negotiable as far as I’m concerned. And his idea that more background checks will stop Al Qaeda cells and child molesters, etc.from acquiring a firearm is part of the very fantasy that we can “legislate away evil” that got us here in the first place. There’s not a law on the books that would’ve stopped the Sandy Hook killer. (otherwise, it wouldna happened) and an expanded background check wouldn’t have stopped him either. Plus, the idea that anti-gun senators like Schumer and Feinstein would be satisfied with expanded voluntary background checks is a pipe dream.

But let’s stay on task here: IS Tom Coburn a traitor? I’ll leave that answer to the individual. My short answer is “no”, he’s not a traitor…. but he IS a politician. And trusting a politician to not throw our civil rights under the bus is like trusting a cottonmouth not to bite you if you pet it.

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The littlest dictator…..

Kim Jong UNH (You have to pronounce the last word like you’ve been punched in the gut) has got to be the most clownish world leader since Napoleon. First off, a little history lesson for those “useful idiots” out there. North Korea is a communist country. Communism is great because it makes everyone equal! There are no elites or “royalty” that rule the country over everyone else, right? WRONG on every count but especially wrong on this one. Kim Jong UNH’s father, Kim Jong Il ruled the country before him and his father ruled the nation before him. Which in effect, makes him royalty and the antithesis of the goals of a socialist utopia. Any questions? Good! Now on with the show…..

So there’s Kim Jong UNH!, a giant Asian toddler threatening to settle up with the U.S. with a nuclear weapon that has a guidance system put together in the 1960’s out of tinker toys. Not only is this idiot threatening to hit the U.S., but every country within 500 miles because of the crappy technology he’s threatening us with. Aims at Guam, hits Japan. Hooray for crappy commie technology!

Image

“Pretty rocket go ZOOOOOOOOOOOMMM!”

I’ve met guys that fought in Korea that didn’t fight wars the way they’re fought today. They weren’t taught to be sensitive to the plight of the native population. They weren’t taught to minimize collateral damage, and the only thoughts they had about “hearts and minds” is that’s where the rifle sights should go. I don’t long for war but I’m GLAD we have leathery old vets like these around that give tyrants like Kim Jong Jack-ass pause. As George Orwell said, “We sleep soundly in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm.”………. Where the hell is Walt from Gran Torino when you need him?

Image

“We used to stack $&*#s like you 5 feet high in Korea and use you for sandbags.”

Of course, all this is probably a moot point with the mindset of our “leaders” these days. And I’m not just talking the POTUS, who has probably prepared an emergency apology in response to a nuclear attack, John “you damn libertarian kids” McCain is right up there with his Stockholm Syndrome running full tilt, ready to raise the white flag and parlay with dictators. We don’t negotiate with terrorists…. why do we negotiate with dangerous world leaders who threaten war? Isn’t that terror enough? God, what I wouldn’t give for the same steel in the spines of our leaders as the men who fought on that peninsula had.

ImageBut, we haven’t lost yet…..maybe the giant Asian toddler will mistake yellow cake uranium for a Twinkie and take a huge bite……….. one can only hope.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

So much stuff, so little time…..

So many things have happened, but due to wordpress being a pain in the butt lately I haven’t blogged anything. First, the senate is about to capitulate all our 2nd amendment rights in the name of “common sense” and “safety”. If you don’t know see how this is wrong on so many levels by now, you never will. In response, let me just quote MLK:

“Cowardice asks the question, ‘Is it safe?’ Expediency asks the question, ‘Is it politic?’ Vanity asks the question, ‘Is it popular?’ But, conscience asks the question, ‘Is it right?’ And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but one must take it because one’s conscience tells one that it is right.”

See what he did there? Those who whine about whether or not it’s safe are COWARDS. He didn’t mince words about it and there is no room for misinterpretation. They FEAR that someone’s rights might endanger their safety. There’s nothing more selfish than restricting someone’s God-given rights so they can “feel” safe. Ben Franklin agreed with him:

“They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

Do you get it yet? These scumbags like Mike Bloomberg are grandstanding on the dead bodies of victims to pass a political agenda. It’s not about safety and it sure as hell ain’t about liberty. It’s about them imposing their will on all of us. I have to agree with both of them. Those who sacrifice liberty for safety are nothing more than cowards and should be shunned as such. This country wasn’t meant to be “safe” it was meant to be FREE!!! “Endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights“, not “inalienable safety”. This nation was built by the bold who were more worried about their liberty, it wasn’t built by cowards whining about saving lives. Millions have given their safety and their lives to keep the rest of us free and now there are those who advocate flushing all of those sacrifices to preserve our liberty down the toilet in the name of safety. If you would rather be safe than free there are plenty of places you can go. Europe has a long history of suppressing individual rights in the interests of safety. (Safety of an elite ruling class, anyway.) But, hey, if your safety is more important than yours or your neighbors’ liberties then feel free to go. In fact, I would urge you to go. Only the BOLD need to stay in America, because being bold about our freedom is what made this nation great. Cowards need not apply. Samuel Adams said it best:

“If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.”

In other words, don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Proposal to tax E-cigs…

So let me get this straight…. The government all ALL levels, fed, state and local, spend billions upon billions trying to get people to quit smoking because it’s bad for us, drives up the cost of insurance, etc. They sound really concerned, right? So concerned that they jack up the taxes on cigarettes to use it to fund some government health programs. Well, now they want to tax some of the things we use to quit smoking! They can’t lose all that cigarette tax money, by thunder!!!! The government is only concerned with one thing and one thing only, and it’s certainly not your health. Here’s the story:http://www.news9.com/story/21666097/e-cigarette-users-upset-over-proposed-bill-to-regulate

E-Cigarette Users Upset Over Proposed Bill To Regulate Sales

Posted: Mar 17, 2013 10:32 PM CDT Updated: Mar 18, 2013 7:51 AM CDT

By Heather Hope, News 9 – bio | email

OKLAHOMA CITY –

Those who’ve kicked the habit with the help of tobacco free electronic cigarettes say they are once again being targeted by “big tobacco.” At issue is a Bill that would turn stores that sell E-cigarettes into conventional Cigarette venders and tax them as such.

The bill would make it so electronic cigarette shops can’t sell to minors, but stores say they do that now, and this is just a cover to be able to tax the stores and the people who shop in them.

What goes on in vapor Shops like EVapes in Oklahoma City can be a little hazy for non-smokers. The shops sell electronic cigarettes, which use e-fluid that contain nicotine. Courtney Conrady owns EVapes and had been smoking since she was 15 until she tried an e-cigarette last year.

“Basically you’re killing yourself smoking a cigarette. If you can switch to vaping, it has improved hundreds of thousands of lives,” said Conrady.

Other shop owners met next door to her business to talk about the bill authored by Sen. Rob Johnson. It would make all vapor shops only sell to people over 18 years old. But customers are upset the bill would add another tax on electronic cigarettes.

“They’re setting it up so that these shops are going to have to buy exclusively from, they’re going to have to be licensed as cigarette vendors, which they’re not. Then they’d have to buy solely from tobacco distributors,” said customer, Bryan Hull.

E-cigarette advocates feel the bill would give way for tobacco companies to start regulating vapor shops.

“They’re losing customers and they want them back. So if people are going to buy electronic cigarettes, which they can’t stop, they want them to buy them from the tobacco company,” said Vapor Hut employee, Allison Taylor.

News 9 tried reaching out to the bill’s author, but we weren’t able to hear back as of Sunday night. The bill passed on the Senate floor earlier this month. It is currently in the House’s Public Health committee.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Mr. Obama’s mail-bot replies to my Pop’s email

A buddy of mine’s Dad wrote Obama a letter outlining his concerns about the restrictions for law-abiding citizens. The White House wrote him back. Here is what it really says:

Mr. Obama’s mail-bot replies to my Pop’s email.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The guy hasn’t even been Pope for 24 hours….

…… and already the conspiracy theories abound. A new Pope was chosen by God (and 2/3 majority vote) yesterday. He is Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio and has taken the name Francis I.

pope

Whassuuuuup?”

I guess it shouldn’t bother me so much considering I haven’t been to Mass in a few years but honestly, it does. It certainly doesn’t surprise me that all of the Catholic-haters are crawling out of the woodwork, ready to pounce on this guy. I suppose that’s partly an example of the anti-Christian mentality prevalent in today’s society. But that’s my own conspiracy theory. Out of the theories I’ve heard so far, my personal favorite is that he’s a Nazi war criminal that fled to Argentina after the war like Eichmann or the Odessa File. (Great flick) Nevermind the fact that it would only make him 8 years old by the war’s end….. we mustn’t let facts get in the way of our prejudices……. or our stupidity apparently.

odessa

Stick ’em up, Your Holiness….”

Anyway, the theories, stories and wild tales of this new Pope will continue as they did the one before this one and the one before that and so on. It’s nothing new under the sun, so why get all bothered about it? Because when we tolerate the tearing down of our religious leaders with the same nonchalance that we tolerate the tearing down of our political leaders, it’s our collective faith as Christians that suffers most. We should always defend the faith and the faithful to believers and non-believers alike and to not be fooled or daunted by their lies. Whether you’re a Catholic, a Baptist, a Jew, a Wiccan or an atheist, maybe this guy can bring you a little enlightenment and give you the courage you need to take your first steps into a larger world. Try to keep that in mind before you judge him.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Neo-Con writer has his head up the establishment’s ass.

In today’s Daily Oklahoman there was an editorial written by a Michael Gerson of the Washington Post. His avoidance of facts and the very real threat of too big a government caused me to have a bone to pick, but I can’t fit my reply into such a small space to be reprinted by the paper, so I will do it here. I will put part of his article in quotes and my reply in italics. (Not because I think you, my dear fans, are too ignorant to understand but I just think italics look pretty…..)

“WASHINGTON — Since arriving in the Senate in 2011, Rand Paul has been probing here and there for issues of populist resonance. Audit the secretive, sinister Federal Reserve. Rein in those TSA screeners patting down little girls. In each instance Paul has evoked the fear of oppressive government, without tipping over into the paranoia of his father’s most dedicated supporters. It has been a diluted, domesticated, decaffeinated version of the ideology that motivated Ron Paul’s presidential races. On drones, Rand Paul finally hit pay dirt. Thanks to his filibuster, Americans can now feel safe that if they are “typing emails in a cafe,” they will not be “summarily executed” by a Hellfire missile. This has admittedly not been a large problem since 9/11. Paul is careful to point out that he is concerned about the possible abuses of some future, Hitler-like president.”

First off, Paul is a politician, plain and simple. He along with the other 534 ass-hats in Washington can be trusted about as far as I can pee. (About 22 feet). That being said, the “paranoia” is not evoked by Paul but by an over-reaching gov’t. People haven’t liked the idea of a Federal Reserve since the 1920’s and to try to diminish a parent’s fears and inherent nature to keep their child from being felt up by a total stranger just shows how out of touch this guy is. Furthermore, to NOT fear a gov’t run by a “Hitler-like” president is ignorant at the very least. “Hitler-like” presidents, dictators, prime-ministers, etc. were prevalent for most of the 20th century and have slaughtered upwards of 100 million people in just 100 years. Only a FOOL says it can’t happen here.

“Seeking an unobjectionable assurance, Paul was aided by a bungling administration, at first incapable of effectively articulating its own policy. The Justice Department memo on drone strikes leaked last month said that a target must present an imminent threat of violence; capture must not be feasible; and the operation must comply with the rules of war. Offing a noncombatant at a Starbucks in Pittsburgh is not an option. But it took some time for the attorney general to say this plainly.”

Apparently, Mr. Gerson needs to be reminded that there is such a thing as the Fifth amendment which states very plainly that a person “cannot be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process.” A 16 year-old child who was a citizen of the U.S. was assassinated while simply riding in a car down a road in Yemen. This child presented no imminent threat, nor was he a combatant. He was related to a previous target with ties to Al-Qaeda. I don’t know all the details, maybe this kid was slated to be the next Osama bin-Laden, who knows? What I do know is, drones targeting children riding in cars is no different than extremist gunmen targeting children at a school in Beslan. It’s a soft target and it should be beneath us to engage in the same despicable tactics of our enemies.

“In the interval, Paul gathered the sudden, unexpected, Internet-driven momentum of a varied coalition. There were, of course, paleoconservatives who believe a tyrannical dystopia has already arrived.”

As compared to some hack, wannabe columnist who wants to ingratiate himself to the blue-blooded GOP ranks down at the country club? As for dystopia, if you haven’t read the book 1984 by Orwell and then walked out in the street and seen how many cameras are watching you ALL THE TIME, drones flying overhead, the tracking of sites you look at on the internet, etc., and not felt even slightly paranoid, you’re more a fool than you look. Honestly, it’s like some politicians read that book and said, “Hey….. what a GREAT idea!!!!” It’s about power, stupid.

But this group was joined by partisan Republicans who enjoyed watching the Obama administration squirm and yield. And by some, on the left and right, who believe the drone program has inadequate oversight, or that American security policy is over-reliant on targeted killings, or that the whole enterprise is ethically suspect.

“Ethically suspect” to kill a kid riding in a car……… ya think?

It was Paul’s political genius to pick a ripe populist issue and drive home one narrow, uncontestable point. But in the course of a 13-hour filibuster, it becomes impossible to hide your deeper motivations. Paul employs the prospect of drone murders in an attempt to discredit the “perpetual war” in which “the whole world is a zone of war.” His actual target is the war on terrorism, which he regards as unconstitutional and counterproductive.

When Paul spoke at last summer’s “We Are the Future” rally in Tampa, he praised his father in particular for raising the issue of “blowback.” This, in the Paulite milieu, is the idea that American policies of aggression and empire provoke terrorist attacks.

Here’s the crux of the issue, that Paul is just like his daddy and against the war on terror. And he is. Personally, I have no problem prosecuting a war to annihilate terrorism, but when it stops working to keep the general populace safe, then why continue down the same path? Terrorists are very adaptable and we have to change our tactics as often as they change theirs. If you’re going to fight a war, fight it right or don’t fight it at all. And if you don’t think we’ve been in a perpetual state of war since the Cold War, read this article from one of the most CONSERVATIVE organizations out there: the CATO Institute: http://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/rand-paul-vs-forever-war

 

Not ideology of Chuck Hagel

“In various settings, Rand Paul has described himself as a foreign policy “realist.” But this is not the ideology of Chuck Hagel or others skeptical of democracy promotion and nation-building. Paul’s “constitutional foreign policy” denies the legal basis for the war on terror, would place severe constraints on the executive in defending the nation and hints at the existence of an oppressive national security state.

These views are not new. They were central to Ron Paul’s presidential runs. But now they have an advocate who is more skilled, picks his fights better and possesses a larger platform. If the younger Paul runs for president in 2016, it will set up a lively debate on foreign policy fundamentals.”

blah, blah, blah…..

 

“On the other side of that debate are two administrations and the majority of members of Congress from both parties who, since 9/11, have found the threat of terrorism both real and unappeasable. In this period, the American government, with congressional authorization, has destroyed terrorist training camps, undermined terrorist communications, fundraising and planning, targeted terrorist leaders, and disrupted more than 40 plots aimed at U.S. targets.”

He’s right. Terrorism is both real and unappeasable. But I’ve got news for this genius, we’ve been fighting terrorists where they live and where they fight decades before 9/11. We’ve had these things called CIA and covert operations for a while now, you might want to Wiki them some time. Gerson assumes that the “war on terror” has given us the ability to stop these threats when in reality, we’ve had this ability all along and had been using it pretty effectively up until the “war on terror”. We’ve been attacking terrorist camps since the late 60’s, before bin Laden was a guy named Carlos the Jackal whom we captured without a war on terror, drone strikes or unlimited executive powers over life and death. We prosecuted an entire Cold War against the Nazis and Soviets and WON without having our children felt up at airports or having random phone lines tapped. To have a heavy-handed gov’t step in and take away individual rights were THEIR tactics, the fascists and the commies, not ours. The same with targeting U.S. citizens for assassination without trial or due process. These are the tactics of the Taliban and the same Muslim extremists that target women and children. As I said before, we should be above that.

“Far from perpetrating imaginary terrors on Americans, the government has protected them from real ones. Which is the reason that Republicans, in the end, cannot #StandWithRand.”

To say that these fears Rand and his growing crowd of followers are articulating are imaginary is so ludicrous it makes me want to hit this idiot upside the head with a history book with a follow-up slap by the Constitution. The GOP is split into two factions right now. The REAL dinosaurs in this party like Graham and McCain need to wake up and remember their oaths they swore to the Constitution. And this douche-bag columnist needs to get his  nose out of John Boehnor’s bleached asshole and realize there’s nothing conservative about an over-reaching, over-bearing government.

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Comment is free Glenn Greenwald on security and liberty Series: Glenn Greenwald on security and liberty Previous | Index Glenn Greenwald on security and liberty Three Democratic myths used to demean the Paul filibuster

I took this article from the U.K. Guardian. It is a little long but hits the proverbial nail right on the head. The democrats are more interested in keeping thier image of “El Presidente” squeaky clean rather than face the facts that he’s FAR worse than G-Dubya ever was on the issue of civil liberties….

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/mar/10/paul-filibuster-drones-progressives?INTCMP=SRCH

Three Democratic myths used to demean the Paul filibuster

The progressive ’empathy gap’, a strain of liberal authoritarianism, and a distortion of Holder’s letter are invoked to defend Obama

Rand Paul filibuster

This video frame grab provided by Senate Television shows Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky. speaking on the floor of the Senate on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, March 6, 2013. Photograph: AP

Commencing immediately upon the 9/11 attack, the US government under two successive administrations has spent 12 straight years inventing and implementing new theories of government power in the name of Terrorism. Literally every year since 9/11 has ushered in increased authorities of exactly the type Americans are inculcated to believe only exist in those Other, Non-Free societies: ubiquitous surveillance, impenetrable secrecy, and the power to imprison and even kill without charges or due process. Even as the 9/11 attack recedes into the distant past, the US government still finds ways continuously to increase its powers in the name of Terrorism while virtually never relinquishing any of the power it acquires. So inexorable has this process been that the Obama administration has already exercised the power to target even its own citizens for execution far from any battlefield, and the process has now arrived at its inevitable destination: does this due-process-free execution power extend to US soil as well?

All of this has taken place with very little public backlash: especially over the last four years. Worse, it has prompted almost no institutional resistance from the structures designed to check executive abuses: courts, the media, and Congress. Last week’s 13-hour filibuster of John Brennan’s confirmation as CIA director by GOP Sen. Rand Paul was one of the first – and, from the perspective of media attention, easily among the most effective -Congressional efforts to dramatize and oppose just how radical these Terrorism-justified powers have become. For the first time since the 9/11 attack, even lowly cable news shows were forced – by the Paul filibuster – to extensively discuss the government’s extremist theories of power and to debate the need for checks and limits.

All of this put Democrats – who spent eight years flamboyantly pretending to be champions of due process and opponents of mass secrecy and executive power abuses – in a very uncomfortable position. The politician who took such a unique stand in defense of these principles was not merely a Republican but a leading member of its dreaded Tea Party wing, while the actor most responsible for the extremist theories of power being protested was their own beloved leader and his political party.

Some Democrats, to their credit, publicly supported Paul, including Sen. Ron Wyden, who went to the Senate floor to assist the filibuster. Sens. Jeff Merkley, Pat Leahy and (independent) Bernie Sanders all voted against Brennan’s confirmation, citing many of the same concerns raised by Paul. Some prominent progressive commentators praised Paul’s filibuster as well: on CNN, Van Jones – while vowing that “I love this president” – said “Sen. Rand Paul was a hero for civil liberties” and that “liberals and progressives should be ashamed.”

But most Democratic Senators ran away as fast as possible from having anything to do with the debate: see here for the pitifully hilarious excuses they offered for not supporting the filibuster while claiming to support Paul’s general cause. All of those Democratic Senators other than Merkley and Leahy (and Sanders) voted to confirm the torture-advocating, secrecy-loving, drone-embracing Brennan as CIA chief.

Meanwhile, a large bulk of the Democratic and liberal commentariat – led, as usual, by the highly-paid DNC spokesmen called “MSNBC hosts” and echoed, as usual, by various liberal blogs, which still amusingly fancy themselves as edgy and insurgent checks on political power rather than faithful servants to it – degraded all of the weighty issues raised by this episode by processing it through their stunted, trivial prism of partisan loyalty. They thus dutifully devoted themselves to reading from the only script they know: Democrats Good, GOP Bad.

To accomplish that, most avoided full-throated defenses of drones and the power of the president to secretly order US citizens executed without due process or transparency. They prefer to ignore the fact that the politician they most deeply admire is a devoted defender of those policies. After stumbling around for a few days in search of a tactic to convert this episode into an attack on the GOP and distract from Obama’s extremism, they collectively settled on personalizing the conflict by focusing on Rand Paul’s flaws as a person and a politician and, in particular, mocking his concerns as “paranoia” (that attack was echoed, among others, by the war-cheering Washington Post editorial page).

Just as conservatives feared non-existent black helicopters in the 1990s, they chortled, now conservatives are hiding under their bed thinking that Obama will kill their neighbors or themselves with drones while they relax at a barbeque in their backyard. In this they echoed Bush followers, who constantly mocked objections to Bush/Cheney executive power abuses as nothing but paranoia. Besides, they claim, Attorney General Eric Holder has now made crystal clear that Obama lacks the authority to target US citizens on US soil for execution by drone, so all of Paul’s concerns are nothing more than wild conspiracies.

The reality is that Paul was doing nothing more than voicing concerns that have long been voiced by leading civil liberties groups such as the ACLU. Indeed, the ACLU lavishly praised Paul, saying that “as a result of Sen. Paul’s historic filibuster, civil liberties got two wins”. In particular, said the ACLU, “Americans learned about the breathtakingly broad claims of executive authority undergirding the Obama administration’s vast killing program.”

But almost without exception, progressives who defend Obama’s Terrorism policies steadfastly ignore the fact that they are embracing policies that are vehemently denounced by the ACLU. That’s because they like to tell themselves that only Big, Bad Republicans attack the ACLU – such as when George H.W. Bush tried to marginalize Michael Dukakis in 1988 by linking him to that group – so they ignore the ACLU and instead pretend that only right-wing figures like Rand Paul are concerned about these matters. It’s remarkable indeed how frequently, in the Age of Obama, standard partisan Democrats embrace exactly the policies identified by the ACLU as the most menacing. Such Obama-defending progressives also wilfully ignore just how much they now sound like Sarah Palin, Karl Rove, and George Bush when ridiculing concerns about due process for accused Terrorists:

Bush in his 2004 Convention speech mocking John Kerry: “After the chaos and carnage of September the 11th, it is not enough to serve our enemies with legal papers”;

Rove in 2005 mocking liberals: “Liberals saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictments”;

Palin in her 2008 RNC Convention speech mocking Obama: “Al Qaida terrorists still plot to inflict catastrophic harm on America, and he’s worried that someone won’t read them their rights”.

Find any defender of Obama’s claimed power to assassinate accused Terrorists without due process and that is exactly what you will hear. That’s why it is no surprise that the conservatives whom Democrats claim most to loathe – from Dick Cheney to John Yoo to Lindsey Graham to Peter King – have been so outspoken in their defense of Obama’s actions in this area (and so critical of Paul): because the premises needed to justify Obama’s policies are the very ones they so controversially pioneered.

In sum, virtually all of the claims made by these progressive commentators in opposition to Paul’s filibuster are false. Moreover, last week’s Senate drama, and the reaction to it by various factions, reveals several critical points about how US militarism and the secrecy that enables it are sustained. I was traveling last week on a speaking tour and thus watched all of it unfold without writing about it, so I want to highlight three key points from all of this, centered around myths propagated by Democrats to demean Paul’s filibuster and the concerns raised by it:

(1) Progressives and their “empathy gap”

The US government’s continuous killing, due-process-free imprisonment, and other rights abuses under the War on Terror banner has affected one group far more than any other: Muslims and, increasingly, American Muslims. Politically, this has been the key fact enabling this to endure. Put simply, if you’re not Muslim, it’s very easy to dismiss, minimize or mock these issues because you can easily tell yourself that they don’t affect you or your family and therefore there is no reason to care. And since the vast, vast majority of Democratic politicians and progressive media commentators are not Muslim, one continuously sees this mentality shaping reaction to these issues.

Yesterday, the Nigerian-American writer Teju Cole, in an interview with Mother Jones, said the key fact about US drone killings is that what “we’re facing here is an empathy gap“. He added:

“Killing a bunch of people in Sudan and Yemen and Pakistan, it’s like, ‘Who cares – we don’t know them.’ But the current discussion is framed as ‘When can the President kill an American citizen?’ Now in my mind, killing a non-American citizen without due process is just as criminal as killing an American citizen without due process – but whatever gets us to the table to discuss this thing, we’re going to take it.”

Writing in Salon, the South-Asian-American philosophy professor Falguni Sheth blasted Democrats and progressives for leaving it to Rand Paul to protest “the White House’s radical expansion of executive power”. She noted: “rather than challenge a Democratic administration in defense of constitutional principles that all citizens should insist be guaranteed, Democrats embraced party tribalism.” She argues in particular that as Democrats attack Paul on the grounds of his support for racist policies, they support or acquiesce to all of these War on Terror policies that have an obvious racial – and racist – component, in light of the very specific types of individuals who are imprisoned, and whose children are killed by drones, and whose rights are systematically abridged.

Some progressives are unintentionally candid about their self-interest leading them to dismiss these issues on the ground that it doesn’t affect people like themselves. “I can think of lots of things that might frighten me, but having a drone attack me in my bed tonight is not one of them”, declared one white progressive at a large liberal blog in the course of attacking Paul’s filibuster. Of course that’s not a concern of hers: she’s not in the groups who are so targeted, so therefore the issues are irrelevant to her. Other writers at large progressive blogs have similarly admitted that they care little about “civil liberties and a less bellicose foreign policy” because they instead are “primarily interested in the well-being of the American middle-class”: ie, themselves. And, of course, the same is true of all the MSNBC hosts mocking Paul as paranoid: they are not the kind of people affected by the kinds of concerns they aggressively deride in order to defend their leader.

When you combine what Teju Cole describes as this selfish “empathy gap” among progressives with the authoritarian strain in American liberalism that worships political power and reveres political institutions (especially when their party controls them), it’s unsurprising that they are so callous and dismissive of these issues (I’m not talking about those who pay little attention to these issues – there are lots of significant issues and one can only pay attention to a finite number – but rather those who affirmatively dismiss their significance or rationalize these policies). As Amy Goodman wrote in the Guardian: “Senator Paul’s outrage with the president’s claimed right to kill US citizens is entirely appropriate. That there is not more outrage at the thousands killed around the globe is shameful … and dangerous.”

For a political faction that loves to depict itself as the champions of “empathy”, and which reflexively accuses others of having their political beliefs shaped by self-interest, this is an ironic fact indeed. It’s also the central dynamic driving the politics of these issues: the US government and media collaborate to keep the victims of these abuses largely invisible, so we rarely have to confront them, and on those rare occasions when we do, we can easily tell ourselves (false though the assurance is) that these abuses do not affect us and our families and it’s therefore only “paranoia” that can explain why someone might care so much about them.

(2) Whether domestic assassinations are imminent is irrelevant to the debate

The primary means of mocking Paul’s concerns was to deride the notion that Obama is about to unleash drone attacks and death squads on US soil aimed at Americans. But nobody, including Paul, suggested that was the case. To focus on that attack is an absurd strawman, a deliberate distraction from the real issues, a total irrelevancy. That’s true for two primary reasons.

First, the reason this question matters so much – can the President target US citizens for assassination without due process on US soil? – is because it demonstrates just how radical the Obama administration’s theories of executive power are. Once you embrace the premises of everything they do in this area – we are a Nation at War; the entire globe is the battlefield; the president is vested with the unchecked power to use force against anyone he accuses of involvement with Terrorism – then there is no cogent, coherent way to say that the president lacks the power to assassinate even US citizens on US soil. That conclusion is the necessary, logical outcome of the premises that have been embraced. That’s why it is so vital to ask that.

To see how true that is, consider the fact that a US president – with very little backlash – has already asserted this very theory on US soil. In 2002, the US arrested a US citizen (Jose Padilla) on US soil (at the O’Hare International Airport in Chicago), and then imprisoned him for the next three-and-a-half years in a military brig without charges of any kind. The theory was that the president has the power to declare anyone (including a US citizen) to be an “enemy combatant” and then punish him as such no matter where he is found (including US soil), even if they are not engaged in any violence at the time they are targeted (as was true for Padilla, who was simply walking unarmed through the airport). Once you accept this framework – that this is a War; the Globe is the Battlefield; and the Commander-in-Chief is the Decider – then the President can treat even US citizens on US soil (part of the battlefield) as “enemy combatants”, and do anything he wants to them as such: imprison them without charges or order them killed.

Far from being “paranoid”, this theory has already been asserted on US soil during the Bush presidency. It has been applied to US citizens by the Obama administration. It does not require “paranoia” to raise concerns about the inevitable logical outcome of these theories. Instead, it takes blind authoritarian faith in political leaders to believe that such a suggestion is so offensive and outlandish that merely to raise it is crazy. Once you embrace the US government’s War on Terror framework, then there is no cogent legal argument for limiting the assassination power to foreign soil. If the Globe is a Battlefield, then that, by definition, obviously includes the US.

Second, presidents change, and so do circumstances. The belief that Barack Obama – despite his record – is too kind, too good, too magnanimous, too responsible to target US citizens for assassination on US soil is entirely irrelevant. At some point, there will be another president, even a Republican one, who will inherit the theories he embraces. Moreover, circumstances can change rapidly, so that – just as happened with 9/11 – what seems unthinkable quickly becomes not only possible but normalized.

The need to object vehemently to radical theories of power has nothing to do with a belief that the current president will exercise it in the worst possible way. The need is due to the fact that acquiescing to these powers in the first instance means that they become institutionalized – legitimized – and thus become impossible to resist once circumstances change (another Terrorist attack, a president you trust less). That’s why it is always the tactic of governments that seek to abuse power to select the most marginalized and easily demonized targets in the first instance (Anwar Awlaki): because they know that once the citizenry cheers for that power on the ground that they dislike the target, the power then becomes institutionalized and impossible to resist when it expands outward, as it always does.

That’s what Thomas Jefferson meant when he wrote: “In questions of power . . . let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution.” It’s also what Frederick Douglass meant when he warned:

Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have the exact measure of the injustice and wrong which will be imposed on them.”

Human nature means that once you vest a power in political leaders, once you acquiesce to radical theories, that power will inevitably be abused. The time to object – the only effective time – is when that power theory first takes root, not later when it is finally widespread.

(3) Holder did not disclaim the power to assassinate on US soil

Defenders of the Obama administration now insist that this entire controversy has been resolved by a letter written to Paul by Attorney General Eric Holder, in which Holder wrote: “It has come to my attention that you have now asked an additional question: ‘Does the President have the authority to use a weaponized drone to kill an American not engaged in combat on American soil?’ The answer to that question is no.” Despite Paul’s declaration of victory, this carefully crafted statement tells us almost nothing about the actual controversy.

As Law Professor Ryan Goodman wrote yesterday in the New York Times, “the Obama administration, like the Bush administration before it, has acted with an overly broad definition of what it means to be engaged in combat.” That phrase – “engaged in combat” – does not only include people who are engaged in violence at the time you detain or kill them. It includes a huge array of people who we would not normally think of, using common language, as being “engaged in combat”.

Indeed, the whole point of the Paul filibuster was to ask whether the Obama administration believes that it has the power to target a US citizen for assassination on US soil the way it did to Anwar Awlaki in Yemen. The Awlaki assassination was justified on the ground that Awlaki was a “combatant”, that he was “engaged in combat”, even though he was killed not while making bombs or shooting at anyone but after he had left a cafe where he had breakfast. If the Obama administration believes that Awlaki was “engaged in combat” at the time he was killed – and it clearly does – then Holder’s letter is meaningless at best, and menacing at worst, because that standard is so broad as to vest the president with exactly the power his supporters now insist he disclaimed.

The phrase “engaged in combat” has come to mean little more than: anyone the President accuses, in secrecy and with no due process, of supporting a Terrorist group. Indeed, radically broad definitions of “enemy combatant” have been at the heart of every War on Terror policy, from Guantanamo to CIA black sites to torture. As Professor Goodman wrote:

“By declining to specify what it means to be ‘engaged in combat’ the letter does not foreclose the possible scenario – however hypothetical – of a military drone strike, against a United States citizen, on American soil. It also raises anew questions about the standards the administration has used in deciding to use drone strikes to kill Americans suspected of terrorist involvement overseas . . .

“The Obama administration’s continued refusal to do so should alarm any American concerned about the constitutional right of our citizens – no matter what evil they may or may not be engaged in – to due process under the law. For those Americans, Mr. Holder’s seemingly simple but maddeningly vague letter offers no reassurance.”

Indeed, as both Law Professor Kevin Jon Heller and Marcy Wheeler noted, Holder, by deleting the word “actively” from Paul’s question (can you kill someone not “actively engaged in combat”?), raised more questions than he answered. As Professor Heller wrote:

“‘Engaged in combat’ seems like a much broader standard than ‘senior operational leader’. which the recently disclosed White Paper described as a necessary condition of killing an American citizen overseas. Does that mean the President can kill an American citizen inside the US who is a lower-ranking member of al-Qaeda or an associated force? . . . .

“What does ‘engaged in combat’ mean? That is a particularly important question, given that Holder did not restrict killing an American inside the US to senior operational leaders and deleted ‘actively’ from Paul’s question. Does ‘engaging’ require participation in planning or executing a terrorist attack? Does any kind of direct participation in hostilities qualify? Do acts short of direct participation in hostilities – such as financing terrorism or propagandizing – qualify? Is mere membership, however loosely defined by the US, enough?”

Particularly since the Obama administration continues to conceal the legal memos defining its claimed powers – memos we would need to read to understand what it means by “engaged in combat” – the Holder letter should exacerbate concerns, not resolve them. As Digby, comparing Bush and Obama legal language on these issues, wrote yesterday about Holder’s letter: “It’s fair to say that these odd phrasings and very particular choices of words are not an accident and anyone with common sense can tell instantly that by being so precise, they are hiding something.”

At best, Holder’s letter begs the question: what do you mean when you accuse someone of being “engaged in combat”? And what are the exact limits of your power to target US citizens for execution without due process? That these questions even need to be asked underscores how urgently needed Paul’s filibuster was, and how much more serious pushback is still merited. But the primary obstacle to this effort has been, and remains, that the Democrats who spent all that time parading around as champions of these political values are now at the head of the line leading the war against them.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment