Patriot Post Wednesday Digest 2013-09-18

THE FOUNDATION

“Laws that forbid the carrying of arms… disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes.” –Cesare Beccaria

GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS

Navy Yard Shooting Fact and Fiction

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Monday morning, Navy veteran Aaron Alexis opened fire at the Navy Yard in Washington, DC, killing 12 people before police took him down. All too predictably, anti-Second Amendment leftists began exploiting this evil act even before the facts were known. Jay Carney and Piers Morgan were chief among them. They, pardon the pun, jumped the gun because, as usual, the facts undermine rather than serve their argument.

Here’s what we know:

Alexis suffered several serious mental issues — paranoia and a sleep disorder among them — and he had previous encounters with police over gun use. Yet he passed multiple background checks, including to purchase a gun and to gain a security clearance to enter the Navy Yard.

The District of Columbia is the one place remaining in our nation where you can’t obtain any kind of concealed weapons permit, and there are still numerous draconian anti-gun laws on the books, even after the Supreme Court’s Heller decision undid the city’s outright handgun ban. There isn’t even a gun store located in the city. The Navy Yard itself is also under tight disarmament rules.

Alexis began his rampage with a shotgun (again, legally purchased in Virginia), and he took guns from his victims. Yet erroneous early news reports indicated that he was armed with an AR-15. (Early reports on mass shootings are nearly always wrong.) Where’s Joe Biden when you need him? The vice president admonished us to “Buy a shotgun! Buy a shotgun!” Well, Alexis had a shotgun.

On that note, the 9/11 hijackers used box cutters, not firearms of any kind, to kill 3,000 people. And if Alexis had walked into the Navy Yard with a fountain pen, stabbed a guard in the neck and stolen his pistol, 12 people may still be dead today.

Finally, and most important, the dead:

Michael Arnold, 59; Martin Bodrog, 54; Arthur Daniels, 51; Sylvia Frasier, 53; Kathy Gaarde, 62; John Roger Johnson, 73; Frank Kohler, 50; Mary Francis Knight, 51; Kenneth Bernard Proctor, 46; Vishnu Pandit, 61; Gerald L. Read, 58; and Richard Michael Ridgell, 52.

Rest in peace.

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ECONOMY

The Next Fed Chairman

Janet Yellen

Citing certainty of an “acrimonious” confirmation process, Lawrence Summers withdrew his name from consideration to be Barack Obama’s Federal Reserve Chairman, leaving leftists one fewer of their own on the list of contenders. Ironically, much of the opposition to Summers’ appointment came from his own camp, with liberals accusing him of supporting financial deregulation during his tenure as Bill Clinton’s Treasury Secretary in the 1990s.

Just because one leftist is out of the running, though, doesn’t make the Fed Chairmanship any safer. And with current Fed Vice Chair Janet Yellen now a leading contender for the top job, this may be a classic case of jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire. Many Senate Democrats are lining up behind Yellen, even signing a letter to Obama urging her appointment. And Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) praised Yellen’s “great experience” and “great judgment” and said she would make a “terrific” chair. But then, that’s hardly a reassuring endorsement given the source. Indeed, while Summers’ withdrawal is good news, it doesn’t portend better. After all, truth be told, our financial system in the hands of any Obama nominee is a frightening thought.

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Study Shows Few Methane Leaks From Fracking

If you were worried that fracking would ever take the place of cow flatulence as a source of methane in the atmosphere, worry no more. A new study tells you why.

Read more and comment here.

NATIONAL SECURITY

Rebel Research Takes Unexpected Turn

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Elizabeth O’Bagy earned a doctorate and quickly rose from being an intern at the Institute for the Study of War to becoming an expert on Syrian rebels cited by John Kerry and John McCain. Except O’Bagy didn’t hold a doctorate, and, in fact, had never even enrolled in the doctoral program at Georgetown, where she was a master’s student. The Institute fired her, but not before Kerry and McCain used her research to claim that al-Qaida jihadis were only 15-20% of the rebel forces in Syria during their push to ally the U.S. with the rebels against Bashar al-Assad.

O’Bagy is fluent in Arabic and has spent time with Free Syrian Army rebels, and there is no indication so far that her research was as falsified as her biography. Yet her credibility is certainly gone, and we have noted previously that many in the military and intelligence services estimate that the Syrian opposed is comprised of a far higher percentage of jihadis than O’Bagy Kerry, McCain or the commander in chief would have us believe.

Barack Obama waived a provision of the Arms Export Control Act prohibiting shipment of arms to terrorist groups in order for the U.S. to provide weapons to “vetted” opposition groups in Syria. How large a part did O’Bagy’s research play in that decision? According to Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN), that may be irrelevant. “Our intelligence agencies, I think, have a very good handle on who to support and who not to support,” Corker said. “And there’s going to be mistakes. We understand some people are going to get arms that should not be getting arms. But we still should be doing everything we can to support the free Syrian opposition.” Should we?

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Air Force Birthday

Relentlessly committed to the defense of liberty, the United States Air Force celebrates its 66th birthday today, Sept. 18.

The Air Force began life as the Army Air Corps but became a separate Armed Services Branch when the Department of the Air Force was created by the National Security Act of 1947. As the U.S. Air Force continues its critical mission “to fly, fight and win … in air, space and cyberspace,” we ask that you pray for these brave Patriots prosecuting “The Long War” against Jihadistan, and for their families awaiting their safe return.

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CULTURE

A Fraud in Sheep’s Clothing?

Matthew Shepard

As if ripped from the Soviet Information Bureau’s book Falsifiers (edited and partially penned by Joseph Stalin himself), it turns out the Leftmedia’s account of Matthew Shepard’s torture and murder in Wyoming for being a homosexual may be a falsehood peddled to curry public favor for the homosexual agenda. If you recall, Shepard was a young homosexual in Wyoming who was tortured and left for dead hanging from a fence back in 1998. The two defendants whom Shepard previously met in a lounge claimed at trial their “gay panic” defense caused them to kill Shepard in a rage. The two were convicted and sentenced to life in prison. Almost immediately Shepard became a cause célèbre for advancing the media’s narrative of a blameless lad who nobly suffered and died for the cause of homosexual rights against an unjust nation’s homophobia.

Thanks to a new book by a homosexual journalist, however, much of this meme turns out to be an outlandish hoax. In The Book of Matt, investigative journalist Stephen Jiminez interviewed more than 100 people including Shepard’s friends, the killers and their friends. Jiminez’s evidence led him to conclude Shepard’s sexuality may not have been the reason for his demise. Jiminez argues Shepard was also a meth dealer as well as a sex partner with one of the men convicted of killing him. Jiminez further argues Shepard’s murderer may have killed him because Shepard allegedly came into possession of a large amount of methamphetamine and refused to give it up. Further clouding the media narrative, the book also shows Shepard’s killer was on a five-day meth binge at the time of the killing. The Leftmedia seems upset that their duplicity in failing to fairly report on the matter to advance a liberal agenda has been exposed. There seems to be a lot of that occurring since 2008.

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BRIEF OPINION

Political Futures

Columnist William Murchison: “Fresh from terrorizing the Russians and bringing everlasting peace to a war-torn Middle East, Barack Obama undertook Monday to work on the Republicans the same tactics that worked so resoundingly on the trembling Vladimir Putin. He made a speech. … A week ago, getting ready to bomb the Syrians (or so he said), the president was wondering how many Republicans he could round up to compensate for all the left-wing Democrats he couldn’t hold in line. That was of course last week. Bailed out of a serious foreign policy jam by his old friend Vladimir Putin … Obama decided he didn’t need the Republicans after all. Therefore he could attack them with his patented blend of patronizing language and sarcasm. … With Obama, the point, perhaps, is that he has Putin and Assad out of the way momentarily. Not so the Republican House he faces, with its tea party constituency, as time draws near to deal with the budget and the debt ceiling. The Rose Garden speech, to be sure, contained one high-minded exhortation: ‘Let’s stop the political posturing.’ That was just before the Republican-bashing commenced anew.”

Re: The Left

Economist Thomas Sowell: “[G]overnment bureaucrats create the official definition of poverty, and they do so in ways that provide a political rationale for the welfare state — and, not incidentally, for the bureaucrats’ own jobs. … There is nothing mysterious about the fact that most people start off in entry level jobs that pay much less than they will earn after they get some work experience. But, when minimum wage levels are set without regard to their initial productivity, young people are disproportionately unemployed — priced out of jobs. … Minorities, like young people, can also be priced out of jobs. In the United States, the last year in which the black unemployment rate was lower than the white unemployment rate — 1930 — was also the last year when there was no federal minimum wage law. … In 1948 the unemployment rate of black 16-year-old and 17-year-old males was 9.4 percent. This was a fraction of what it would become in even the most prosperous years from 1958 on, as the minimum wage was raised repeatedly to keep up with inflation. Some ‘compassion’ for ‘the poor’!”

Essential Liberty

Former Heritage president Ed Feulner: “[W]hat has allowed our Constitution to endure for centuries while its counterparts elsewhere are continually replaced? One key is that our Constitution is simple. It’s small enough to fit in a pocket. It’s written in clear language anyone can understand. It’s also limited in that it doesn’t attempt to do too much. … [I]t recognizes that human beings are not angels. Members of each branch will inevitably try to expand their power and influence, and members of the other two branches should then press back, leading to an ever-shifting balance of power that prevents any one branch from becoming too influential. Unfortunately, lawmakers have become increasingly comfortable handing over their powers to unelected bureaucrats. Laws such as Dodd-Frank and Obamacare are intentionally vague, leaving presidential appointees or career ‘civil servants’ to fill in the blanks. … A solution would be for lawmakers to reassert their constitutional authority to make law. … Meanwhile, members of each branch should interpret the Constitution by attempting to discern the original meaning of the text as it was written and publicly understood at the time of ratification, a method commonly referred to as originalism.”

For more, visit The Right Opinion.

CHRONICLE QUOTES

Insight

British Prime Minister Winston Churchill (1874-1965): “Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery.”

This Week’s ‘Braying Jackass’ Award

Barack Obama: “[A]re some of these folks [Republicans] really so beholden to one extreme wing of their party that they’re willing to tank the entire economy just because they can’t get their way on this issue? Are they really willing to hurt people just to score political points? I hope not.”

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Open Query

Bill Clinton on the Russian plan for Syria’s chemical weapons: “Who cares how it came up?”

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Village Idiots

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney: “We will continue to work to take action to improve gun safety, reduce gun violence in this country through executive action, and hopefully Congress will take action to reduce gun violence as well.”

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Dezinformatsia

CNN’s Carol Costello: “This seems so unusual to me that a gunman could create this kind of havoc at a U.S. military facility. Have you ever heard of it happening before?”

Um, try Fort Hood.

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From the ‘Non Compos Mentis’ File

DC Mayor Vincent Gray: “We’re continuing this investigation. But certainly, as I look at, for example, sequestration, which is about saving money in the federal government being spent, that we somehow skimped on what would be available for projects like this, and then we put people at risk. Obviously, 12 people have paid the ultimate price for whatever — you know, whatever was done to have this man on the base.”

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Demo-gogues

Sen. Max Baucus once infamously referred to ObamaCare as a “train wreck.” This week, however, he changed his tune: “I don’t expect a train wreck. I think the train’s going to keep running — not maybe totally on time — but it’s going to be pretty efficient.”

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Don’t miss our new Right Hook section on our home page!

The BIG Lie

Barack Obama: “[T]here’s no serious evidence that [ObamaCare], which has helped to keep down the rise in health care costs to their lowest level in 50 years, is holding back economic growth.”

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Short Cuts

Comedian Jay Leno: “USA Today had a big front-page feature on the new health care law, and said that the opposition to ObamaCare is at an all-time high. In fact, it’s gotten so bad the president’s now calling it BidenCare.”

Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis!
Nate Jackson for The Patriot Post Editorial Team

Join us in daily prayer for our Patriots in uniform — Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen — standing in harm’s way in defense of Liberty, and for their families.

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