Mid-Day Digest

Nov. 9, 2017

IN TODAY’S EDITION

  • Feinstein mounts another assault on gun rights with a renewed “assault weapons” ban.
  • Yet another “hate crime” turns out to be a hoax.
  • The Navy is weighed down by the anchors of political correctness and corruption.
  • Conserve and conservation share a root word for a reason.
  • The U.S. is now the only nation not in the Paris climate accord. Exceptionalism!
  • Flake chases a gun law already on the books.
  • Plus our Daily Features: Top Headlines, Memes, Cartoons, Columnists and Short Cuts.

THE FOUNDATION

“Whereas, to preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them; nor does it follow from this, that all promiscuously must go into actual service on every occasion. The mind that aims at a select militia, must be influenced by a truly anti-republican principle; and when we see many men disposed to practice upon it, whenever they can prevail, no wonder true republicans are for carefully guarding against it.” —Federal Farmer (1787)

IN BRIEF

Feinstein’s Renewed Assault on the Second Amendment

By Thomas Gallatin

On Wednesday, Senate Democrats led by Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) introduced a bill that would ban the sale of more than 200 semi-automatic weapons and ammunition. Appealing to hoplophobia (fear of firearms) rather than sober reasoning and the facts, Feinstein advocated for further limiting Americans’ Second Amendment right to self-defense while at the same time promoting the flawed promise of statist utopia. Feinstein pontificated, “We’re introducing an updated Assault Weapons Ban for one reason — so that after every mass shooting with a military-style assault weapon, the American people will know that a tool to reduce these massacres is sitting in the Senate, ready for debate and a vote.”

No, the real reason is that Feinstein is taking advantage of people’s emotions as a pretext to demand that Americans give up their rights and freedoms and bow to an elite ruling class which is powerless to protect them. Feinstein has completely ignored the fact that this latest mass shooting testifies to the limits of government’s ability to prevent crime. After all, the laws were on the books that should have prevented this mad man from purchasing the weapons in the first place. Where is the apology from the government for its gross failure?

In this case the laws that should have presumably prevented this massacre failed, so now Feinstein wants to blame the availability of the tool? The same tool that was used to perpetrate this evil was also used for good in ending it and saving lives, but statists like Feinstein will never care about that inconvenient fact. Rather she holds out the absurd notion of a gun-free society, suggesting that then mass murders would be non-existent. Tell that to the eight people killed by a jihadi with a truck in New York. She and her gun-grabbing cohorts are again asserting that evil somehow originates only due to one’s proximity and access to a certain tool rather than from within that self-willed individual.

Feinstein’s objective here is purely and unabashedly political. Eric Boehm of Reason writes, “This bill has been introduced for ‘one reason’: so Democrats can score political points by holding it up and waving it every time there’s a high-profile crime with a gun. Look! There’s a bill right here, ready for debate and a vote! Will the bill do anything to stop these horrific attacks from happening? Well, no, but that’s not the point.” There is nothing more despicable than those who seek to manipulate and prey upon the emotions of others by holding out empty promises designed only to further their own power.

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Hate Crime Hoax, Air Force Edition

By Nate Jackson

The U.S. Air Force Academy Preparatory School has been investigating a supposedly racist incident that happened in September and discovered it was a hoax. The Washington Times reports, “In September, racial slurs were found written on the dormitory message boards of five black cadet candidates at the prep school in Colorado Springs, sparking an investigation. The incident prompted a fiery speech by the school’s superintendent, Lt. Gen. Jay Silveria, who said cadets who can’t treat others with respect should leave.”

Well, one of the black cadets who was allegedly targeted confessed to writing the slurs himself. That cadet is no longer a student at the school.

Silveria didn’t back down from his condemnation, however, insisting, “Regardless of the circumstances under which those words were written, they were written, and that deserved to be addressed. You can never over-emphasize the need for a culture of dignity and respect — and those who don’t understand those concepts, aren’t welcome here.”

Hate crime hoaxes are nothing new. Whether it’s as small as racist messages at various schools or a black man burning down a black church after scribbling “Vote Trump” on the side, there are some who wish to create more grievances for political gain. Ironically, this undermines their own case. Just as watering down language regarding sexual assault undermines legitimate allegations of violence, so do hate crime hoaxes undercut any real incidents of racism, few though they may be.

Meanwhile, the Air Force would better solve this problem by rising above the political correctness message leftists keep pushing and refocusing on the deeper significance of their oaths.

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Top Headlines

  • Senate Democrats introduce major gun ban bill (Washington Examiner)

  • House Dem pledges Trump impeachment vote by Christmas (The Hill)

  • In a Texas town overwhelmed with grief, Mike Pence delivers a message of support and faith (Los Angeles Times)

  • California NAACP seeks to abolish “Star-Spangled Banner,” calling it “racist” (The Washington Times)

  • DOJ demands CNN to be sold as condition for AT&T/Time Warner deal (CNBC)

  • Kirstjen Nielsen, Trump’s nominee to lead Homeland Security, sails through confirmation hearing (The Washington Post)

  • Border Patrol losing agents faster than it can hire them (The Washington Times)

  • Obama’s EPA spent $690,000 on parking spots no one used (The Washington Free Beacon)

  • Planned Parenthood whistleblowers release third video in new series (The Federalist)

  • Humor: Did you know you can add a chainsaw bayonet to an AR-15? (Hot Air)

  • Policy: Study of Wisconsin voter ID law is a study in errors (The Heartland Institute)

  • Policy: Calling electric cars “zero emission” is blatantly false advertising (Investor’s Business Daily)

For more of today’s news, visit Patriot Headline Report.

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Don’t Miss Alexander’s Column

Read Patriot Veterans, Then and Now. “It is the soldier, who salutes the flag, who serves beneath the flag, and whose coffin is draped by the flag, who allows the protester to burn the flag.”

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FEATURED ANALYSIS

The Navy Swamp Needs Draining Too

By Arnold Ahlert

The Navy is sailing in very troubled waters.

A scathing Navy report released Nov. 2 reveals that two major collisions — one between the USS Fitzgerald and merchant ship ACX Crystal off the Japanese coast on June 17 that killed 17 sailors and another between the USS John McCain and oil tanker Alnic MC near Singapore on Aug. 20 that killed another 10 — were caused by “fundamental failures to responsibly plan, prepare and execute ship activities to avoid undue operational risk.”

The collisions were precipitated by and confusing orders from officers, as well as “inattentive, disengaged” crews that failed at basic seamanship.

“The thing that stood out to me was in both situations they had minimal situational awareness,” stated Capt. Rick Hoffman, a retired cruiser captain who reviewed the report for Defense News. “In the case of Fitzgerald, nearly criminal negligence on the part of the bridge watch team. And in neither case did the ship sound five short blasts or raise the general alarm to let anyone know they were in danger.”

Incredibly, there were two additional incidents involving 7th Fleet vessels last year. In January, the USS Antietam guided missile cruiser ran aground near Yokosuka base. In May, the USS Lake Champlain collided with a South Korean fishing boat.

The report minced no words regarding why these incidents occurred: “In each of the four mishaps there were decisions at headquarters that stemmed from a culturally engrained ‘can do’ attitude, and an unrecognized accumulation of risk that resulted in ships not ready to safely operate at sea.”

Since the collisions, eight senior leaders have been relieved of duty, and members of both ships’ bridge and Combat Information Center watch teams have also received administrative actions. And while the Navy does not make these actions public, they may include career-killing letters of reprimand. Moreover, if the continuing investigation demands additional punishment, it will be forthcoming.

“We are dangerously underinvesting in our military,” insisted Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE) after reading the report. “Training, readiness and maintenance are hit the earliest — and tragic errors like this are the canary-in-the-mine warning bells.”

While true in some respects, Sasse’s assertion — essentially that basic competence requires increased funding levels — rings exceedingly hollow, especially when one remembers that Barack Obama’s Navy Secretary, Ray Mabus, made political correctness one of his primary objectives.

Marines in Congress from both parties criticized Mabus, also the former Democrat governor of Mississippi, for force-feeding co-ed training on the Marine Corps. They viewed the move as retaliation following the Corps request for an exemption from allowing women in combat. That request was based on studies showing sex integration would raise the risks of casualties. Mabus also attempted — and ultimately failed — to make all service job titles “gender neutral.”

And funding has nothing to do with a massive corruption scandal encompassing as many as 440 Navy personnel, current and retired — including at least 60 admirals — under investigation for their involvement with Malaysian contractor Leonard “Fat Leonard” Glenn Francis. Francis allegedly provided Navy personnel with cash kickbacks and “wild times” in return for receiving classified information and contracts.

Contracts with whom? The Navy’s 7th Fleet.

In 2015, Francis pleaded guilty to bribery and fraud that included scamming the Navy out of approximately $35 million. He remains in jail in San Diego awaiting sentencing on Dec. 1. In the meantime, he is cooperating with the DOJ, which has already filed criminal charges against 28 individuals, including two admirals.

The Navy is enacting some after-the-fact reforms following the acknowledgment in September that budget constraints, 100-hour workweeks, extended deployments, and training and maintenance delays have severely taxed the nation’s fleet and personnel. But top leaders speaking to the Senate Armed Services Committee refused to directly tie the quartet of accidents to those problems.

“These collisions, along with other similar incidents over the past year, indicated a need for the Navy to undertake a review of wider scope to better determine systemic causes,” the report states.

The past year? On Jan. 12, 2016, two Navy riverine command boats were captured by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). A Navy report on that incident also cited “failed leadership at multiple levels from the tactical to the operational” as the reasons for the debacle.

What kind of leadership? The unidentified commander in charge of the boats “opted to surrender rather than fight back, citing later fears that a confrontation could endanger the Obama administration’s efforts to lock in a deal with Tehran on its nuclear program,” The Washington Times reported.

“Clearly, under President Obama’s plan to fundamentally change America, the degradation of our military forces was a key element,” asserts U.S. Navy Admiral and former commander in chief of the U.S. Pacific Fleet James A. Lyons. “The capitulation of our military leadership to accept these mandates was more than shocking, as it was a manifestation of the corrupt ‘political correctness’ mentality run amok.”

Thus the ongoing effort to embrace progressive dogma proceeds, even if military readiness and people lives are sacrificed as a result.

A sailor aboard the USS Shiloh, one of the Navy’s missile cruisers monitoring North Korea, told an anonymous Navy survey everything Americans need to know. “I just pray we never have to shoot down a missile from North Korea, because then our ineffectiveness will really show,” the sailor wrote.

As the aforementioned incidents indicate, it’s already showing. Thus it behooves the Trump administration to drain this particular swamp ASAP. National security cannot be held hostage to social engineering and political correctness.

And commanders in every branch of the military who disagree should be sent packing.

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TODAY’S MEME

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For more of today’s memes, visit the Memesters Union.

TODAY’S CARTOON

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For more of today’s top cartoons, visit the Cartoons archive.

MORE ANALYSIS FROM THE PATRIOT POST

BEST OF RIGHT OPINION

For more of today’s columns, visit Right Opinion.

OPINION IN BRIEF

Ann Coulter: “[Harvey] Weinstein deployed a raft of spies to befriend and deceive his accusers in order to collect information that could be used against them. A spy with the Israeli private investigations firm Black Cube used a fake name and fake foundation to meet actress Rose McGowan. Then, pretending to be a deeply sympathetic women’s rights advocate, the agent secretly tape-recorded the actress, hoping to get incriminating evidence against her. At a minimum, this is unspeakably repellent and possibly illegal. And who hired the spies? Not Weinstein! The law firm of David Boies, prominent Democratic attorney. … Two weeks ago, we found out that the law firm cut-out maneuver was the exact same technique used by Hillary’s campaign to obtain damaging information on Donald Trump from the Kremlin — the infamous Russian dossier. The Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee shelled out $12 million seeking incriminating information on Trump from Russian government officials. Just like Weinstein, the Democrats funneled money for a nefarious purpose through a law firm. To wit: The Democrats paid a law firm (Perkins Coie), which paid a private investigations firm (Fusion GPS), which in turn paid a spy (Christopher Steele), and Steele paid Russian government officials for dirt on Trump. … The attorney-client privilege is intended to ensure that people are completely truthful with their attorneys. It is not supposed to be a shelter for any sordid, and possibly illegal, behavior by liberals.”

SHORT CUTS

Insight: “The majority of us are for free speech when it deals with subjects concerning which we have no intense feelings.” —Edmund B. Chaffee (1887-1936)

For the record: “The Virginia electorate has been changing year after year, and moving further to the left. Approximately 40% of Northern Virginia residents are foreign-born. The current governor and the governor-elect restored voting rights to convicted felons. That added at least 156,000 potential new voters to the rolls who overwhelmingly vote Democrat.” —Gary Bauer

Non Compos Mentis: “I’d also like to … just say how insane it is that in the United States of America a civilian can go out and buy a semi-automatic assault rifle like an AR-15.” —Dr. Dean Winslow, Donald Trump’s nominee for the Department of Defense’s top health affairs job (Uh, the bad guy was stopped by a good guy with … an AR-15.)

Go ahead and keep patting yourself on the back: “[Tuesday] night, nearly every single candidate that I endorsed … was elected.” —Joe Biden

The America of Barack Obama is one huge reason Hillary lost: “We need to send Donald Trump a message. … You’re telling Donald Trump that’s not the America I want. We want the America of Barack Obama.” —Eric Holder

Understatement of the year: “We don’t have a good Democratic candidate yet. We don’t have anybody who lights up a room.” —George Clooney

Friendly fire: “[Team Clinton] was a cult. I felt like it was a cult. You could not penetrate them.” —Donna Brazile

Alpha Jackass: “There was so much overwhelming evidence that O.J. was guilty, and you believe in the American judicial system. You believe that, for the most part, if somebody did it, they’re going to prison for doing it. We’re in a similar situation: Everything Donald Trump is doing and undoing is bad, bad, bad, and it seems so obvious, and it’s happening anyway.” —Jimmy Kimmel

And last… “Syria signs climate pact, vowing to never emit toxic pollutants anywhere except on its own people.” —Twitter satirist @hale_razor

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Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis

Nate Jackson, Managing Editor
Mark Alexander, Publisher