Republican presidential hopeful Ben Carson blamed gun control for the extent of the Holocaust.
In an interview Thursday on CNN, Carson said fewer people would have been killed by the Nazis had more citizens been armed.
“I think the likelihood of Hitler being able to accomplish his goals would have been greatly diminished if the people had been armed,” he said. “I’m telling you there is a reason these dictatorial people take the guns first.”
CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer was challenging Carson over claims in his latest book that gun control has historically been a predicate for tyranny.
He’s absolutely right, of course. Who would let their family be stripped, beaten, tortured and murdered without a fight? Only someone who couldn’t fight. Civilians in Germany and elsewhere had no weapons. That is the primary reason that I strongly support the 2nd Amendment, even though I don’t own a gun and have no interest in learning to shoot. But just watch the Left turn this statement into some sort of pejorative, as if he was blaming the victims rather than the perpetrators.
I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I was meeting with high-level Obama administration officials in Washington, D.C., two months after escaping Syria in February 2014, and I had just described to them all the horrors I had seen: the torture of protesters, the rape of women, the bombardment of civilians, the barrel bombs, the massacres, the sieges, the starvation, and the gassing of hundreds of innocents with sarin in August 2013. I had recounted how I barely survived those sarin attacks and the siege of my hometown, Moadamiya, near Damascus; and how, by some miracle, I managed to trick the regime into letting me leave Syria.
Now, I was asking the officials to take simple steps, to do something, anything, that would protect the millions of civilians I had left behind from further starvation and slaughter. But as I pressed these officials for answers, their replies grew increasingly divorced from the Syrian conflict:
Why couldn’t there be military action to protect civilians? The reply: The U.S. is helping Syrians through humanitarian and nonlethal means. Me: Thanks for your generosity, but can Band-Aids take down a fighter jet as it bombs civilians? Them: President Bashar Assad’s air-defense systems are too strong for a no-fly zone. Me: Then how does Israel keep bombing the regime? Them: The U.S. wants to avoid a military solution. We also need to stabilize the whole region. Me: Assad’s barrel bombs and starvation sieges are driving extremism, I’ve seen it with my own eyes—you call that stabilizing the region?
In this meeting and in numerous other meetings with people familiar with Mr. Obama’s personal thinking—at the State Department, with Democrats in Congress, at the White House—we would eventually reach a moment of honesty when someone would say, in effect: President Obama does not wish to upset the Iranians.
He doesn’t want to upset the Iranians. The same Iranians who hang gays, stone “adulterers” as young as 13, plan to wipe Israel of the map, and to attack the United States – those Iranians. The democrats don’t want to upset them either, btw.
When President Obama was elected in 2008, I celebrated alongside most of my friends. I had goosebumps during Mr. Obama’s Cairo speech of 2009, when he called Islam a religion of peace and used the Arabic greeting “Salaam Alaikum.” All around me in Syria, I heard excited talk of a new era of peace spurred on by a black American president who knew what slavery, racism and injustice felt like.
Syrians had high hopes for the Free World when the Syrian Revolution began in 2011. I told my friends that Americans had a million reasons to support us, because we were fighting for democracy against their geopolitical rivals. We waited for help as the Assad forces tortured thousands of protesters, raped thousands of women, turned thriving cities into ghost towns and exterminated people with sarin gas. Help never arrived.
I remember hopefully watching speech after speech in which President Obama said “Assad must go.” I remember when in August 2012 the president announced that chemical weapons were a “red line.” I also remember the burn of sarin gas in my lungs on Aug. 21 a year later, and then seeing the mass graves and piles of bodies and consoling myself with the simple thought that at least now the U.S. would act.
It never did.
When I first heard words to the effect that “President Obama does not wish to upset the Iranians,” I thought it was one more bad excuse for inaction. But in the aftermath of the Iran deal, I realize that those who gave me that absurd line were actually the most honest.
President Obama wishes for a legacy of peace through diplomacy; that I understand. What I can’t understand is why he believes that making deals with dictators can bring peace. During the Obama presidency, millions of people in Iran, Egypt, Libya, Iraq, Syria and Ukraine protested for a better life only to be met with bullets, tanks and fighter jets.
Now tens of thousands in the Middle East are fleeing for Europe, despairing of ever seeing peace or freedom in their homelands. Had the president supported these people against oppression, he would have made the world a better place and achieved a true legacy. Instead he risks leaving behind disappointment and memories of drowned refugee children lying on beaches.
Here’s a question: Under which administration did more Muslims die as a result of warfare, Bush or Obama? I am willing to bet that the Obama years surpass the Bush years, even when we take into account both Afghanistan and Iraq. I don’t expect the MSM to ever do the research or publish the numbers.
The home page of the New York Times has this provocative link:
Clarence Thomas, a Supreme Court Justice of Few Words, Some Not His Own.
Justice Thomas’s seven majority opinions in the last term were on average just 12 pages long and contained little but a summary of the facts and terse summaries of the relevant statutes and precedents. Since opinions are signed by justices but often drafted by law clerks, it may be that any borrowed language was the work of Justice Thomas’s clerks.
When Justice Thomas announces his majority opinions from the bench, he sometimes seems to be reading from materials prepared by others. In June, he slipped in a playful aside. What he had just read, a description of synthetic drugs, he said to laughter, was “a sentence which I completely do not understand.”
Sounds significant, right? The implication is that Justice Thomas is not doing his job. Not only does he not ask questions, he doesn’t even think for himself.
If you look at the data, though, they don’t support the conclusion that Justice Thomas is an outlier. Let’s look at the studies Liptak relies on in his article.
The numbers seem at odds with Liptak’s claim. Yes, Thomas has the highest shared language percentage. But it’s bizarre to say that his numbers are “unusually high,” that Thomas “relies heavily” on outside language or that “many” of his words are “not his own.” All of the Justices share language from the briefs at roughly similar rates: about 7 to 11 words out of 100. And the difference between Thomas and Sotomayor is a rounding error. It’s only 2.5 words out of 1,000. In a typical majority opinion, that’s probably the difference between including a short parenthetical quote from a precedent and leaving it out.
An embarrassing fact, if true. It makes Thomas seem less like a respected and objective purveyor of the law, and more like a mouthpiece parroting whoever he agrees with.
But only a few paragraphs later, Liptak gives a perfectly mundane reason why Thomas uses so much borrowed language: “…he is particularly apt to be assigned the inconsequential and technical majority opinions that the justices call dogs. They often involve routine cases involving taxes, bankruptcy, pensions and patents, in which shared wording, including quotations from statutes and earlier decisions, is particularly common.”
I won’t dance around the issue; this was a partisan attack, plain and simple. There was no journalistic reason to single out Thomas, but plenty of ideological reasons to do so. So rather than write a wonky piece with a dispassionate headline, the Times and Liptak went for partisan clickbait, facts be damned.
Unfortunately, the Times attack plays into the longstanding and disgusting liberal meme that Justice Thomas is just some “puppet” of the other conservative justices (usually Antonin Scalia) and conservatives in general. It’s hard to ignore the underlying racial double standard; that the only black justice is the one who’s somehow incapable of independent thought, but not his white ideological allies on the Court.
Oh, how I wish our nation’s “paper of record”, a bastion of liberal thought (among its staff and readership) was not such a sewer of racist abuse. However much I may wish it were not, it is—and that’s a truth that’s fit to print.
And that’s just the way liberals like it:
But still, the notion persists that Thomas is a mute moron in the thrall of conservative justices, his (white) wife, and the Catholic Church. Again, it’s hard to separate these baseless allegations from the racist attacks that Thomas is an Uncle Tom and, to use George Takei‘s turn of phrase, “a clown in blackface.” It’s just sad to see America’s supposed “newspaper of record” participating in such tripe.
Leading, not merely participating.
PS: As for that other racist jibe, that Thomas is just “aping” his conservative mentor, Antonin Salia, we dealt with that two months ago:
Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia voted together only 50% of the time; among the conservative justices, surprisingly, the strongest convergence was Scalia and Roberts at 73%.
Among the liberals, the weakest convergence was 84% with Sotomayor and Kagan; 90% was the most common score.
Al Sharpton is losing his daily show on MSNBC, with the network saying he’ll be downshifted to the weekend.
Sharpton’s “Politics Nation” has aired at 6 p.m. EDT on weeknights for the past four years at the ratings-challenged news network. MSNBC is in the midst of wholesale changes under NBC News boss Andrew Lack, deemphasizing its left-leaning programming during the daytime hours in favor of more straight news shows.
Sharpton’s show occasionally put MSNBC in awkward positions, since he continued his political activism while doing some stories where there was racial controversy while remaining host of a news program.
MSNBC said Wednesday that starting Oct. 4, Sharpton’s “Politics Nation” will air at 8 a.m. Sundays. His daily show ends Sept. 4.
As long as they keep that hottie, Melissa Harris-Perry, and her bling:
I’m up at that hour, but I’m not sure about the rest of America. And I’d be used to his act, because that’s the Bloodthirsty Puppy’s usual hour for…well, you know.
“Now, if the question is why we did not tie the negotiations to their release, think about the logic that that creates,” Obama said. “Suddenly, Iran realizes, you know what, maybe we can get additional concessions out of the Americans by holding these individuals—makes it much more difficult for us to walk away if Iran somehow thinks that a nuclear deal is dependent in some fashion on the nuclear deal.”
Huh? Come again?
You think that name is hard, try saying Gennady Rozhdestvensky!
But I digress. You’ll remember the tiny flicker of heat Obama took for leaving four Americans in the ayatollah’s dungeons while taking his victory lap.
MAJOR GARRETT, CBS NEWS:: Thank you, Mr. President. As you well know, there are four Americans in Iran, three held on trumped-up charges that, according to your administration, one whereabouts unknown.
Can you tell the country, sir, why you are content, with all the fanfare around this deal, to leave the conscience of this nation, the strength of this nation, unaccounted for in relation to these four Americans?
And last week, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said under no circumstances should there be any relief for Iran in terms of ballistic missiles or conventional weapons. It is perceived that was a last-minute capitulation in these negotiations.
Many in the Pentagon feel you’ve left the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff high out to dry. Could you comment?
OBAMA: I’ve got to give you credit, Major, for how you craft those questions.
The notion that I am content as I celebrate with American citizens languishing in Iranian jails, Major, that’s nonsense, and you should know better. I’ve met with the families of some of those folks.
Jason Rezaian must be acquitted and freed immediately. As the final hearing in the Iranian trial of The Post’s Tehran correspondent was brought to a close Aug. 10, the international community waits for a verdict.
Rezaian is an American Iranian journalist working for one of the most respected media organizations in the world. Iran has now illegally detained an innocent man for 13 months.
His arrest by Revolutionary Guards was arbitrary and illegal, taking place in the middle of the night with no indication of the charges brought against him until months later. The conditions of his detention at Evin Prison are also illegal. Rezaian has been subjected to long periods of solitary confinement, a tactic that was designed to extract a forced confession. This practice is in direct violation of Article 38 of the Iranian constitution. How can Iran justify violating its own laws?
How can Iran justify violating its own laws?
The WaPo cannot be serious. The question answers itself: Iran. For a country that claims to be an “Islamic Republic”, they sure are un-religion-of-peace-ful. And unlawful. Indeed, their form of government defines Islamofascism.
It is unfortunate that the nuclear talks have not resulted in the release of all Americans unfairly detained in Iran. Indeed, the talks have been disappointing in their exclusion of human-rights issues. The Iranian authorities think they can put off releasing prisoners of conscience until some unspecified date.
Hush yo’ mouth! “That’s nonsense, and you should know better.”
Yeay, yeah, him we know, even if Obama can’t pronounce his name. Who else you got?
Working for the government does not always have its perks.
Robert Levinson was kidnapped in 2007 from Kish Island off of Iran, where he was working for a rogue CIA operation.
The 67-year-old grandfather from Florida was hired as a contractor for the Office of Transnational Issues at the CIA when he disappeared. The CIA paid the Levinsons $2.5 million to avoid a lawsuit due to the sensitive nature of this case.
The Iranian government denies being responsible for Levinson’s disappearance, but many believe they are aware of his location.
According to CBS News, Levinson is the longest-held American hostage in the history of the U.S., as he has been missing for over eight years.
Okay, at least he’s a spook, or might be. What about the others?
Pastor Saeed Abedini met his wife in Tehran, shared his faith in Tehran, and is now imprisoned in Tehran.
Abedini had traveled to Iran multiple times starting in 2009 in the efforts to construct an orphanage.
The 35-year-old pastor from Idaho was abruptly taken into custody by Iranian officials in 2012 under the guise of undermining national security.
Abedini was convicted a year later to serve eight years in Evin Prison for starting local home churches.
He is frequently subjected to beatings by prison guards, psychological torture and long periods of solitary confinement.
Visiting aging relatives led to the death penalty for the then 28-year-old ex-Marine.
Amir Hekmati, a dual citizen of Iran and the United States, served the United States from 2001 to 2005 as a Marine specializing in linguistics.
He visited Iran for the first time in 2011 in order to celebrate Ramadan in Tehran with his extended family.
Hekmati never made it to the celebration, however, as he was taken by Iranian authorities and wasn’t heard from until a week later.
After a forced confession of espionage, Hekmati was sentenced to death after a three hour, closed-door trial.
Three months later, the case was repealed based on shaky evidence, and a new trial was ordered. His new crime was “cooperating with hostile governments” and Hekmati was sentenced to 10 years in prison.
Here’s hoping a post-vacation, rested Obama can bring our boys homoe. After he gets back from Las Vegas, that is.
Off-duty members of the U.S. military subdued a gunman “known to intelligence services” after he opened fire, injuring three aboard on a high-speed train en route to Paris from Amsterdam Friday.
Three U.S. servicemen were on board the train and overpowered the man when the train stopped in the northern French city of Arras, 115 miles north of Paris, French media reported. Some reports said the men were U.S. Marines but that could not be confirmed.
The suspect is a 26-year-old Moroccan, said Sliman Hamzi, an official with police union Alliance, said on French television i-Tele. He was later arrested.
The victims were identified as an American, a Briton and a Frenchman. Earlier reports said two American service members were among the injured. Two of the victims were in critical condition, according to a statement from the office of President Francois Hollande.
I post this to take your minds off the stock market carnage. Islamists are good for that.
Also, I just love the media sense of humor:
The identity of the gunman and the motivation for the attack is unknown, officials said. AFP cited French officials saying the suspect is “known to intelligence services.”
Investigators from France’s special anti-terror police are leading the investigation, a spokeswoman for the Paris prosecutor’s office said.
What do you suppose the motive was? Were they annoyed about bad coffee or something?
“Daily Show” staffers routinely call up the White House to get the administration’s input.
Austan Goolsbee, a former top economic adviser to the president, frequently e-mailed with his college classmate Scott Bodow, a “Daily Show” executive producer, to offer spin. Obama flunky David Axelrod often reached out directly to Stewart.
Obama himself would summon Stewart to Washington for meetings.
It turns out Jon Stewart isn’t our Edward R. Murrow or our Mark Twain. He’s more like our…Jay Carney.
That’s not fair. To Carney. As Mr. Claire Shipman, at least he was openly in bed with the media when he was press secretary (and just as openly promiscuous with Democrats when he was Washington Bureau Chief at Time).
Stewart has been Obama’s butt-boy under the guise of America’s newsman for Millennials. And the Millennials have been fine with it. The rest of us were offended, but that’s our age showing. We remember journalism, even as practiced by Sam Donaldson. Jon Stewart is a lapdog. If you rub his tummy, he’ll do anything for you.
So, before reading this, let’s recall that the NY Times put an article on the front page about John McCain, suggesting that he was having an affair. Not accurate, no apology. They failed to cover John Edward’s affair and baby. Also no apology. They also failed to cover the entire holocaust until 1950 – five years after the war. Certainly no apology there. They aren’t good enough to line a bird cage.
The story certainly seemed like a blockbuster: A criminal investigation of Hillary Rodham Clinton by the Justice Department was being sought by two federal inspectors general over her email practices while secretary of state.
It’s hard to imagine a much more significant political story at this moment, given that she is the leading candidate for the Democratic nomination for president.
The story – a Times exclusive — appeared high on the home page and the mobile app late Thursday and on Friday and then was displayed with a three-column headline on the front page in Friday’s paper. The online headline read “Criminal Inquiry Sought in Hillary Clinton’s Use of Email,” very similar to the one in print.
But aspects of it began to unravel soon after it first went online. The first major change was this: It wasn’t really Mrs. Clinton directly who was the focus of the request for an investigation. It was more general: whether government information was handled improperly in connection with her use of a personal email account.
Much later, The Times backed off the startling characterization of a “criminal inquiry,” instead calling it something far tamer sounding: it was a “security” referral.
From Thursday night to Sunday morning – when a final correction appeared in print – the inaccuracies and changes in the story were handled as they came along, with little explanation to readers, other than routine corrections. The first change I mentioned above was written into the story for hours without a correction or any notice of the change, which was substantive.
And the evolving story, which began to include a new development, simply replaced the older version. That development was that several instances of classified information had been found in Mrs. Clinton’s personal email – although, in fairness, it’s doubtful whether the information was marked as classified when she sent or received those emails. Eventually, a number of corrections were appended to the online story, before appearing in print in the usual way – in small notices on Page A2.
But you can’t put stories like this back in the bottle – they ripple through the entire news system.
So it was, to put it mildly, a mess. As a result, I’ve been spending the last couple of days asking how this could happen and how something similar can be prevented in the future. I’ve spoken to the executive editor, Dean Baquet; to a top-ranking editor directly involved with the story, Matt Purdy; and to the two reporters, Matt Apuzzo and Michael S. Schmidt.
Meanwhile, I heard from readers, like Maria Cranor who wanted clarification and explanation on The Times’s “recent, and mystifying, coverage of the HRC emails. It appears that your reporters relied on leaks from the Gowdy committee to suggest that Clinton was involved in some kind of criminal malfeasance around the emails. The subsequent walk backs have not been effective, or encouraging. Please help us retain our wavering confidence in the Times’ political coverage!” (Her reference is to the Republican congressman, Trey Gowdy.)
Another reader, Paul Kingsley, demanded a refund for his Friday paper. “We all deserve one,” he wrote to me. And, complaining about the lack of transparency and the errors, he added:
1) please repost the original reporting;
2) provide an explanation as to how it made it to press and what was wrong.
3) what are you going to do to prevent such inaccurate bias in the future?
4) are you going to minimize using unnamed sources?
The story developed quickly on Thursday afternoon and evening, after tips from various sources, including on Capitol Hill. The reporters had what Mr. Purdy described as “multiple, reliable, highly placed sources,” including some “in law enforcement.” I think we can safely read that as the Justice Department.
The sources said not only was there indeed a referral but also that it was directed at Mrs. Clinton herself, and that it was a criminal referral. And that’s how The Times wrote it initially.
“We got it wrong because our very good sources had it wrong,” Mr. Purdy told me. “That’s an explanation, not an excuse. We have an obligation to get facts right and we work very hard to do that.”
Huh. What difference, at this point, does it make?
Aggie and I try to be positive (?) in our approaches. Anyone can carp and complain (watch me!), but only a person of vision (where?) and intelligence (what?) can see things that never were and say “Why not?” Whatever that is supposed to mean.
Forgive us, then, this one weak moment when we laugh in the faces of our adversaries.
MSNBC’s ratings struggles continued on Wednesday as the Peacock Network’s cable news outlet fell to fifth place in the total day and primetime key 25-54 demo ratings.
Racking up an average 59k demo viewers for the entire day, MSNBC placed behind Fox’s 230k, HLN’s 107k, CNN’s 93k, and CNBC’s 87k demo viewership. And during the primetime hours alone, MSNBC’s average of 118k demo viewers placed fifth behind Fox’s 532k, CNBC’s 226k, CNN’s 164k, and HLN’s 152k.
Fifth place in a three-way race is more than “leaning forward”, it’s falling on your face. And I’ve always appreciate slapstick humor.
I suppose all hatred has an element of irrationality. Yet some hatreds are more irrational than others. For thousands of years, hatred of Jews has been unique.
Sometimes acts of hatred, such as confiscating Jewish wealth or property, served utilitarian purposes for rulers or mobs. But often nations deliberately wounded themselves and their prospects by expelling Jews, persecuting them, and killing them.
I write these words in the eternal city of Rome, where Jews were confined to a ghetto, a tiny space where the Tiber river often flooded, forcing them to periodically escape by boat until they could return to their moldering, crowded homes. As the population grew, they had to build up because they were not allowed a square inch more space. Jews were permitted to have one synagogue, and it, too, had to be subdivided to accommodate different customs. It was less than 150 years ago that Jews were finally permitted to live elsewhere in Rome.
If you think this has nothing to do with the Iran nuclear deal, then you are in good company. Here is President Barack Obama, speaking to Jeffrey Goldberg of the Atlantic magazine:
And so I think it is not at all contradictory to say that there are deep strains of anti-Semitism in the core regime, but that they also are interested in maintaining power, having some semblance of legitimacy inside their own country, which requires that they get themselves out of what is a deep economic rut that we’ve put them in, and on that basis they are then willing and prepared potentially to strike an agreement on their nuclear program.
I dearly wish it were so. Having never lived in Iran, I still offer my own life as counter-evidence. Fully half of the membership of my congregation in Los Angeles are Persian Jews. The vast majority came to the U.S. after 1979, when Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi fell and Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini took over. They left not only because of the summary execution of a respected philanthropist and leader of the community, but because it was increasingly clear that confiscation and brutality were replacing the shah’s regime of tolerance. As a result, many of the best and brightest of Iranian society—doctors, business leaders, even government officials, left or were hounded out. Listening to their stories, it’s clear the degree of self-inflicted damage the Iranian regime did is astonishing.
It would be a better world if anti-Semitic regimes put aside their hatreds to pursue their vital interests, but history militates against that illusion. You don’t need to invoke the famous and egregious example of Nazis diverting precious resources, trucks, and other war materials, in order to keep transporting Jews to the concentration camps. You don’t have to recall how some Nazis busily executed Jews even as they ran from the conquering allied troops. You can invoke Vichy, France, turning over the Jews who were its best and brightest, or the Soviet Union, which lost so much cultural and business acumen and capital through years of suppression. Anti-Semites cannot help themselves. To them, the injury is worthwhile if they can savage the Jews.
So without exploring the specifics of the deal, which are troubling, there is a ground-level assumption that Iran’s leaders share our fundamental interests in “having some semblance of legitimacy.” Granting that Iran is a sophisticated country, it’s also true that hatred of Israel and particularly, hatred of Jews, has proved a remarkably durable governing strategy in the modern world. How far will Iranians go, once some money is in hand, to pursue their destructive agenda? The belief that rational self-interest is a governing principle is a belief common to rational people.
In a world where countries are run by anti-Semites, being anti-Semitic is not necessarily more dangerous than misunderstanding anti-Semitism. We have just concluded a deal with people infected with the oldest and most virulent pathology of hatred the world has known. This is no time for celebration.
I realize that no one is listening, but I think it is important to post anyway. I remember my youth, asking my elders, Christian and Jew, how such a thing could have happened in Germany. So many people said: “We didn’t know.” This was untrue, as I later discovered. For example, newspapers in Norfolk, Nebraska published what was going on. It was widely known. The NY Times buried the truth, but so many other publications discussed it that it is ludicrous for any one older than about twelve years old in that period to claim ignorance. Today the truth is even more obvious. Aside from the nuclear threat, we have just agreed to give Iran 150 billion dollars to use on terrorism. Even Obama acknowledges that Hezbollah will be a benefactor of our largesse. Am I the only one who recalls the US pressuring Israel to retreat from Lebanon in 2006, before they could finish Hezbollah off? Remember the promises? The world will not allow them to re-arm! BS.
Israel, this site has suggested time and time again that Obama is not your friend and that you need to help yourself. Oh, how I hope you have taken the advice of so many rational Americans to heart and are prepared for the mess the West has made.
thinking about the WWII generation of Americans. They are almost all gone now. What would they have thought of this:
A senior American statesman, the nation that is now the “leader of the free world” (the role that once belonged to Britain), visits a nation which has repeatedly declared its intent to destroy the Jews. Additionally, they have been more than aggressive with their neighbors and brutal toward their own citizens. He returns waving a piece of paper. He announces that there will be peace in our time. The members of his own party applaud this milestone. The opposition is too weak to change the results.
Ten year ago, this would have been unthinkable. The lesson here is that any lesson, no matter how painful, can only survive one full generation.