The Patriot Post® · Daily Digest
“I am commonly opposed to those who modestly assume the rank of champions of liberty, and make a very patriotic noise about the people. It is the stale artifice which has duped the world a thousand times, and yet, though detected, it is still successful.” —Fisher Ames, letter to George Richard Minot, 1789
TOP 5 RIGHT HOOKS
The National Rifle Association’s annual convention kicks off today in Nashville, and our own Mark Alexander is there (say hello!). But the event is also a cue for Leftmedia hackery. The New York Times editorial board points and misfires at what it perceives to be hypocrisy: “Seventy-thousand people are expected to attend the National Rifle Association’s convention … and not one of them will be allowed to come armed with guns that can actually shoot. After all the N.R.A. propaganda about how ‘good guys with guns’ are needed to be on guard across American life, from elementary schools to workplaces, the weekend’s gathering of disarmed conventioneers seems the ultimate in hypocrisy.” Except the Times’ editors are exactly wrong — per Tennessee law, attendees with a valid carry permit can carry “guns that can actually shoot” in the convention hall. The crack shot editorial team moves on to criticize the NRA for removing firing pins from guns on display, which is also utter nonsense. The logical conclusion of their argument is that all guns on display ought to be loaded, which as any responsible gun owner would tell you is absurd. Besides, it’s a trade show, not a retail expo. So the Times’ editors want to pretend the NRA is loaded with hypocrites, while gun companies and owners are merely proving they aren’t reckless.
Besieged by criticism for his disastrous deal with Iran, Barack Obama sought a shiny object to distract — even for just a moment — from more pressing concerns. Thus, senior adviser Valerie Jarrett issued a statement on conversion therapy for the gender disoriented. “The overwhelming scientific evidence demonstrates that conversion therapy, especially when it is practiced on young people, is neither medically nor ethically appropriate and can cause substantial harm,” the statement said, also warning of “potentially devastating effects on the lives of transgender as well as gay, lesbian, bisexual and queer youth.” Therefore, “As part of our dedication to protecting America’s youth, this administration supports efforts to ban the use of conversion therapy for minors.” Recall that until a couple of years ago, Obama was (ostensibly) opposed to same-sex marriage. Now, however, he’s riding a political wave of growing support — or should we say tired and coerced concession — to the homosexual agenda. (Oh, and by the way, the White House will now feature an “all gender bathroom,” too.) This isn’t to evaluate conversion therapy one way or the other, but why on earth would Obama need to offer his opinion other than as a political distraction?
Yesterday, Al Sharpton was sending mixed messages about his response to the police shooting of Walter Scott in North Charleston, South Carolina. At first, he was rip-roaring ready to make the town Ferguson 2.0. “[National Action Network]‘s South Carolina chapter leaders have been with the family since Saturday and our thoughts and prayers are with them and the entire community of North Charleston,” Sharpton said in a statement Friday. “I have spoken with the Scott’s family attorney, Chris Stewart, and plan to visit North Charleston very soon.” But that’s not how Sharpton described the conversations to the New York Daily News. He told the paper he talked with the family, but “we had no plans to go down.” Sharpton continued, “They are in mourning and we would never come unless they asked. We’re willing to be helpful to the family but only when needed.” By the sounds of it, Sharpton learned about the shooting and started preparing for another race-bait crusade before reading the tea leaves. As a person close to the Scott family told NY Daily News, “We don’t want another Ferguson type of circus here.” More…
A female infantry experiment implemented by the Obama administration has come to a close without the results many wanted to see. The Marine Corps Times reports, “The two-and-a-half year period in which the Marine Corps’ Infantry Officer Course became gender-integrated for research will end without a single female graduate. The final iteration of IOC to accept female Marines on a volunteer basis began April 2 with two female participants. One was a volunteer and one was a member of the newly integrated ground intelligence track. Both were dropped that same day during the grueling initial Combat Endurance Test.” All told, 27 women volunteered alongside two other mandatory participants — well short of the Corps goal of 100 — and all failed to pass the entirety of the course. As for the program’s future, the Pentagon will have the final say. According to the Times, “[D]ata will be taken alongside other research points, including the much higher success rate for enlisted female Marines in passing the Infantry Training Battalion course at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. As of February, 358 women had attempted the course, with 122 graduates, for a pass rate of 34 percent. … All this information will be compiled this summer and used to inform Commandant Gen. Joseph Dunford’s recommendation to the secretary of Defense on whether or not to open remaining ground combat units to female troops.” Let’s hope that, rather than playing the sexist card, the Pentagon concedes to common sense — namely, that men and women are created equal, but that doesn’t mean they’re interchangeable. More…
Republican-Turned-Independent-Turned-Democrat Lincoln Chafee is set to challenge Hillary Clinton for the Democrat presidential nomination. (Clinton will likely announce Sunday.) Chafee was a liberal Republican senator from Rhode Island before winning the governor’s seat there as an independent. He then made the switch official and became a Democrat in 2013. In his video announcing that he’s “considering” a run for president, he slams Republicans for economic failure before Barack Obama came in and “led admirably” and “revived our economy.” But then he immediately warns of the chaos in the Middle East. Uh, who’s been in charge of foreign policy for the last six years? That may Chafee’s angle for attacking Hillary, as are his boasts about having opposed the Iraq war and resisted Wall Street influence. Will it be enough to challenge Hillary’s coronation? Don’t bet on it. After all, he’s still Lincoln Chafee.
For more, visit Right Hooks.
WE DEPEND ON YOU
Fellow Patriots, as we continue to stand on the front lines of the battle to restore constitutional limits on the central government, your Patriot Post editors and staff humbly request your support for our mission. We continue to hold the line on our budget — it’s not going up. We hope you’ll consider making a donation to our 2015 Patriots’ Day Campaign today. From each of us here, our sincerest thanks for your support. —Managing Editor Nate Jackson
Anti-Second Amendment zealots are sure to be stirred up by a new study that claims 22 million Americans have severe anger issues and access to guns. The study, conducted by researchers at Harvard, Columbia and Duke universities, goes on to identify these angry people as generally young or middle-aged men living in suburban areas and having a history of impulsive and explosive anger issues. Next up: Gun confiscation.
The study’s authors note that, while laws are already on the books limiting gun access for people with felony convictions or misdemeanor domestic violence convictions, there have been few attempts to limit access for people with documented anger management issues or alcohol abuse.
In recent years, newly minted federal and state laws focused on limiting gun access to people with mental illness, but so far the results have been mixed. While it has been possible to prevent some mentally ill people from owning firearms, there are also cases where perfectly healthy individuals have had their guns confiscated after being swept up in this dragnet. Furthermore, the study’s authors point out that, even if mentally ill people are removed from the equation entirely, it would reduce violent crime by only 4-5%.
The study concludes that it’s time to widen gun restrictions to include people with other misdemeanor convictions and documented behavior that, according to its findings, indicate the potential for gun violence. The anti-gun lobby is sure to latch onto this study as it continues its fight to remove firearms from private ownership.
Certainly there are people so mentally unstable that they shouldn’t own guns. But who gets to decide just how angry people must be before we revoke their Second Amendment rights? Is it, for example, throwing a rock through a neighbor’s window, or is it something mundane like raising one’s voice in a heated discussion about picking up the trash? Everyone expresses anger, and, while the study defines an “anger problem” through a series of aberrant behaviors like repeatedly destroying property or getting into physical altercations, lawmakers may not adhere to such a strict definition. Nor does it instill confidence that the execution of laws meant to curb gun ownership by so-called angry people will be administered without prejudice. We need only look at the gun-grabbing effect of laws already on the books to prove this point.
Take the case of Michael Roberts, a law-abiding citizen in California who had his 21 firearms, including some irreplaceable family heirlooms, confiscated in 2010 when his doctor filed a restraining order against him. The matter was peacefully resolved, but the police refused to return Roberts’ guns despite a court order instructing them to do so. In the end, he sued for and received the cash value of his guns, but the police, who had no such authority under the law, destroyed the firearms.
Sadly, the Roberts case is not unique. States with strict gun laws — California, New Jersey, Massachusetts, et al. — often operate on a confiscate-first, ask-questions-rarely mentality. These types of cases happen under the radar and often go unreported in the media, leading people to think lawful gun owners needn’t fear having their guns confiscated and destroyed by government officials.
The gun grabbers who hide behind state and federal laws count on the bureaucracy to mask their actions and to prevent people from seeking restitution if their guns are confiscated. Oftentimes, the cost of litigation, fees and fines are too great for gun owners to pay, and they have little recourse as their firearms are seized for ginned up reasons.
The right to own firearms is protected by both the Second Amendment and the Fifth Amendment, which covers private property. But if government officials and anti-gun zealots are making the rules, the status of legal gun ownership will remain on precarious ground.
To those with common sense, and to those who have followed the continuing comedy that is our nuclear negotiation with Iran, this will come as no surprise. But it seems the Obama administration was caught flat-footed when it was learned that the Iranians expect all economic sanctions against them to be lifted once a deal is concluded in June.
Even more grating to Iranian leaders, the American summary of the deal states that “sanctions on Iran for terrorism, human rights abuses, and ballistic missiles will remain in place under the deal.” For that, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali “Yes, Of Course, Death To America” Khamenei claimed the fact sheet was “wrong on most of the issues.” Of course, Khamenei also revealed he “was never optimistic about negotiating with America,” and this tends to reflect our opinion about Iran as well. Yet the Obama administration is choosing to believe that the sheer force of their negotiating skills can keep Iran one year away from going nuclear for the next decade.
Skeptical as well, for different reasons, are former secretaries of state Henry Kissinger and George Shultz. They penned a stinging op-ed in The Wall Street Journal dismantling the deal. In it, they noted, “Absent the linkage between nuclear and political restraint, America’s traditional allies will conclude that the U.S. has traded temporary nuclear cooperation for acquiescence to Iranian hegemony.”
The pair also point out that the two sides have divergent interests elsewhere, even when ostensibly working together as they are against the Islamic State. “Even while combating common enemies, such as ISIS, Iran has declined to embrace common objectives,” write Kissinger and Shultz. Iran’s goal in Iraq, for example, is one of spreading its influence all the way to the Mediterranean Sea, putting Israel in peril. On the other hand, one of the strategic interests to our presence in Iraq and Afghanistan was to place American allies to either side of Iran, which we’ve known to be a bad actor ever since the Shah was deposed in 1979.
That same grand game is being played in Yemen, which had often been touted as a success by the Obama administration until it no longer was successful or even a viable state. Iranian-backed Houthi rebels are now the target of a Saudi-led coalition for whom we’re playing a minor support role.
Given the ramshackle framework for the current nuclear “deal,” it seems Iran is using its typical delaying tactics to edge closer to arming itself with nuclear weapons. The mullahs realize the sanctions won’t return once lifted, giving them a final victory in their quest to go from a rogue nation the world determined would never be nuclear to joining the North Korea club.
As for the rest of the region, Kissinger and Shultz warn the future’s not bright. “Some of the chief actors in the Middle East are likely to view the U.S. as willing to concede a nuclear military capability to the country they consider their principal threat. Several will insist on at least an equivalent capability. Saudi Arabia has signaled that it will enter the lists; others are likely to follow. In that sense, the implications of the negotiation are irreversible.”
Age-old differences in religious belief are one thing when fought with conventional armaments, but add nuclear weapons to the mix and the unthinkable becomes much more probable.
For more, visit Right Analysis.
TOP 5 RIGHT OPINION COLUMNS
- Jonah Goldberg: Tsarnaev Conviction Puts Death Penalty Opponents in an Awkward Spot
- Charles Krauthammer: The Iran Deal: What We’ve Given Up
- Mona Charen: Still Worth Arguing About the Financial Crisis
- Brent Bozell & Tim Graham: Shocking Primetime Balance on CBS
- Burt Prelutsky: Obama Strikes Out Again
For more, visit Right Opinion.
OPINION IN BRIEF
Author Eric Hoffer (1902-1983): “Absolute power corrupts even when exercised for humane purposes. The benevolent despot who sees himself as a shepherd of the people still demands from others the submissiveness of sheep. The taint inherent in absolute power is not its inhumanity but its anti-humanity.”
Columnist Jonah Goldberg: “There are capital offenses for crimes other than murder because the integrity and effectiveness of the armed forces is a priority. We are not a martial society, but I could make a similar argument about police officers who murder and lie about it. Faith in the fairness of the justice system is simply indispensable to a democracy and social peace. Lack of such faith may be why [Walter] Scott ran from Officer [Michael] Slager. If so, his mistrust was tragically well-placed. … People claim, usually tautologically, that retribution is illegitimate because revenge is illegitimate. Maybe that’s true. But it seems to me that what some people call revenge many others see plainly as justice. Deterrence is often a distraction. Capital punishment clearly doesn’t deter every murderer, but does it deter any would-be murder? It seems obvious it must. Deterrence is a red herring because the function of the death penalty isn’t simply to scare a would-be murderer with the corpse of a convicted one; it is also to inform an entire society about what we take seriously.”
Columnist Charles Krauthammer: “With sanctions lifted, its economy booming and tens of billions injected into its treasury, why would Iran curb rather than expand its relentless drive for regional dominance? An overriding objective of these negotiations, as Obama has said, is to prevent the inevitable proliferation — Egypt, Turkey, the Gulf states — that would occur if Iran went nuclear. Yet the prospective agreement is so clearly a pathway to an Iranian bomb that the Saudis are signaling that the deal itself would impel them to go nuclear. You set out to prevent proliferation and you trigger it. You set out to prevent an Iranian nuclear capability and you legitimize it. You set out to constrain the world’s greatest exporter of terror threatening every one of our allies in the Middle East and you’re on the verge of making it the region’s economic and military hegemon. What is the alternative, asks the president? He’s repeatedly answered the question himself: No deal is better than a bad deal.”
Comedian Argus Hamilton: “The White House said that Russian hackers made it into the White House’s computers last year through State Department computers. They gained access to Obama’s top-secret daily schedule. The Russians not only knew what golf course he was at, they knew what hole he was on.”
Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis!
Managing Editor Nate Jackson
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.