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Acceptable losses

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We’ve all seen the scene in some Hollywood movie or TV episode.

It’s time for the climactic battle, an apocalyptic clash of good against evil. The conflict is titanic. In the chaos, innocent citizens perish in the crossfire, or thousands of soldiers die in the push to retake a crucial point on the field. Perhaps a general even disobeys an order, or does something ghastly, in order that good may triumph.

As the tableau winds down, some halcyon time after the battle, that grizzled old general is being grilled by a committee or a reporter or a fellow soldier about all those who died. So many perished, the credulous questioner asks. So many lines crossed. What was it all for?

And the general scowls through squinted eyes, grits his teeth a little harder. “Acceptable losses,” he’ll say. And then he talks about how it haunts him, but it was all necessary to achieve victory over an uncompromising evil. Play jaunty patriotic tune. Fade to black.

Many mainstream media personalities – especially those at the New York Times, the Washington Post, and CNN – probably see themselves as this strong-jawed general. Their climactic battle is the fight against the most powerful man in America, a man who seems determined to convince the country that the news they report is largely “fake.”

In the face of this threat, these pundits react with vengeful wrath. Behind the scenes, I’m sure some fault President Trump for targeting the product they peddle, threatening their business. Many fear that he’s an authoritarian who wants to chill hard-hitting reporting with his rhetoric. The very freedom of the press is at stake, they exclaim, wide-eyed.

And some just don’t like him much.

So they punch back. Hour after hour, day after day, week after week, on and on. The flailing blows to Trump and his administration come so fast they seem like a blur. Some glance off Teflon Don; others hit him square in the jaw. They know they’ve got him riled when he goes on Twitter to rake one of them over the coals. This spirit infects their places of business, with the most audacious voices promoted until their screeds receive special treatment, both in the newsroom and on social media.

And the screed-makers’ heads grow at the same rate as their megaphones.

So what if a few false claims are made? So what if journalistic procedures aren’t perfectly followed? We are the tip of the Resistance’s spear, they rationalize. This is war, and Trump must die for the nation to live.

But in their quest to resist Trump, these pundits and the networks who house them have lost their way.

It’s happened far too often since November. Someone makes a claim, sometimes anonymously sourced, usually about Trump. Its authenticity or wisdom is questioned by the broader public. The network may retract the claim, fire the offender, or stand by the report. Regardless, the thing has been said.

And then there was yesterday.

Trump tweeted an old video clip of himself at a wrestling event tackling and fake-punching a dude with the CNN logo superimposed over his face. Like most Trump tweets, it was dumb and sophomoric, but played well to his base.

Then Andrew Kaczynski of CNN decided it would be a good idea to find the personal information of the Reddit user who had created the GIF and . . . get in touch with him.

I can imagine how that conversation went. “That’s a nice address and phone number you’ve got there. Be a shame if someone were to make it public.”

The chastened Redditor hastily, profusely, and publicly apologized. But as of this writing, Kaczynski’s article remains up on CNN’s website, along with the haunting line: “CNN reserves the right to publish [the Redditor’s] identity” should his apologetic behavior change.

This goes beyond a lapse in professional judgment. It tiptoes dangerously close to extortion and blackmail. The fact that something like this is deemed acceptable at CNN, one of the foremost voices in news media, should be enough to question their integrity as an organization.

Like so many others in the past several months, this piece of reporting makes it clear that to the media wing of the Resistance, journalistic ethics are less important than the next beachhead. There must be a stopping point to their anti-Trump frenzy, or else the moral losses accompanying their assaults will no longer be acceptable under any reasonable standard.


Connor Mighell is a third-year law student at The University of Alabama School of Law with an undergraduate degree in Political Philosophy from Baylor University. He is a staff writer at SBNation and The New Americana, and his work has also been featured at The Federalist and Merion West. He may be found on Twitter at @cmigbear.

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Guns and Crime

Minority Report Act of 2018: A law guaranteed to end gun violence

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As Democrats resort to using children as political leverage to advance their effort to void the Second Amendment following a Florida High School shooting, Republicans are blaming the FBI for the tragedy as political cover to save their election chances in November.

In the White House, Trump blames the FBI for being too preoccupied with Russia to notice the warning signs of Nikolas Cruz’s “mental instability.”

In an order demanding a review of the FBI, Attorney General Jeff Sessions concluded that “It is now clear that the warning signs were there and tips to the FBI were missed. We see the tragic consequences of those failures.”

While it can be argued that the FBI should have done a better job—they admitted as much already—it’s absurd to conclude that this tragedy would have never happened “if only…” However, if we accept the conclusion of the Attorney General, then there is only one possible action we can take—reintroduce and revise H.R.5611 under a new name, the Minority Report Act of 2018.

H.R.5611 was originally presented following the Orlando shooting in 2016 and was intended “to prevent terrorists from launching attacks and obtaining passports, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES.” (emphasis mine).

That’s the original version of the bill, but as I mentioned earlier, it will be revised. The Minority Report Act of 2018 takes the original legislation and makes it better with the creation of the PreCrime Department.

While it’s true that “warning signs” and “tips” can be an indicator of a possible future crime, PreCrime is able to see what’s going to happen before it occurs, even down to the time and place. Imagine how wonderful it would be to pass a law that actually ends gun violence, unlike the thousands of failed laws already on the books.

If the Minority Report Act of 2018 becomes law, the government will need to find three gifted Precogs who can previsualize crimes by receiving visions of the future, but that shouldn’t be too hard for a government who expects the FBI to possess that gift. Still, once we have the Precogs in place, we’ll finally have a law that works.

Of course, the Minority Report Act of 2018 is satire used to prove the point that more laws won’t succeed in ending gun violence. However, more anti-Second Amendment laws will destroy our Republic, and that’s a crime that doesn’t require a Precog to predict.

Originally posted on The Strident Conservative.

 

David Leach is the owner of The Strident Conservative. His daily radio commentary is nationally syndicated with Salem Radio Network and can be heard on stations across America.

Follow the Strident Conservative on Twitter and Facebook. Subscribe to receive podcasts of radio commentaries: iTunes | Stitcher | Tune In | RSS

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Guns and Crime

EXCLUSIVE: Interview with Yehuda Remer, Author and Second Amendment Advocate

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Yesterday, I spoke with Second Amendment advocate and author, as well as my good friend, Yehuda Remer. We discussed his conservatism, how he developed a love of guns and how he turned that into a career, and how he got into writing.

Below is a transcript of our exchange:
JF: Let’s begin. Tell us about your background. Growing up in blue LA, how did you become conservative?

YR: So I grew up in an apolitical home where politics were not mentioned. As an Orthodox Jew, I always figured I was a Democrat because hell, aren’t all Jews? In 2007 while Obama was campaigning for his first term as President, I was driving to work one morning and listening to the local FM DJs. They were talking about some highly inappropriate things and as I sat there listening, I swear I felt the brain cells exploding one by one in my head. I truly felt myself getting stupider by the Second. I decided to turn on AM radio and over the next year, I found myself nodding in agreement with the many common sense things they had to say. Before long I realized not only was I not a Democrat, but I wasn’t even a Republican. I was a full on Conservative, almost Tea Party like. Following that epiphany, I started blowing up Ben Shapiro’s phone because we grew up together and he was my go-to guy. He explained all my questions not in preaching way but in a way that allowed me to make up my own mind based on what he said. I guess you can call me a Ben Shapiro “disciple.”

JF: That’s awesome. What made the Second Amendment and guns your passion?

YR: During my road into politics, I started learning about the Constitution. Because I grew up in an apolitical home, I didn’t care about the country and took it for granted. But after learning about the Constitution, the one that stuck out was the Second Amendment. It made sense to me. Up until that point, I thought the only people allowed to have guns were law enforcement, military, and bad guys. I never realized that a citizen of the United States could own and carry a firearm. My mind was blown. A buddy of mine called me and invited me to the gun range. Let’s just say, the rest is history.

JF: How did you learn everything you need to know?

YR: Most of it I was born with. I’m just a natural. The rest, well, that was with hard work. Like I mentioned before, I would ask Ben to explain tons of things to me. As for my firearms knowledge, the Internet is a wondrous place and so are many people in the Second Amendment world. Any questions I would ask or have, people didn’t hesitate in explaining things to me. Many times I would explain to people that I am a novice. I want to understand. When you approach someone looking to learn, you would be surprised how forthcoming people can be. I constantly am reading about different approaches in the world to get a more full circle understanding. Another thing, especially in the firearms industry, there is no such thing as a stupid question, unlike in other places.

JF: Why do you think the Second Amendment is important? Obviously, as a conservative, we know the answers to this, but would love to hear from your perspective.

YR: I mean, the Second Amendment is the one that protects them all. Without it, we would not be able to keep and protect the freedoms we all hold dear. We would end up like another England, and we all know how well that worked out for them 250 years ago.

JF: How did you turn this passion from a hobby to a career in writing and media?

YR: Well, Ben Shapiro gave me my first real break when I began writing for his old site, Truth Revolt. I started helping him with the back end but that turned to a full-time writing gig. From there, I transitioned into children’s books. I needed a way to educate my children on gun safety and was shocked to find out that there were no books geared towards kids about firearms safety. You have some organizations out there and they do a fine job. But I wanted something where I can climb into my kids’ beds with them and read them a book before they went to bed. After tons of research and finding nothing, I decided to write my first book, Safety On, as a tool to teach my kids about gun safety.

JF: How did you break out into public media, appearing on NRATV many times, getting media credentials to the SHOT show and being interviewed on major gun radio shows?

YR: Wow! Great question. A few months after my first book came out, I applied for a media badge as an author to the NRA Convention in Atlanta. I was shocked that I actually got it. But it paid off. I went there, not knowing anyone and planned on walking around in circles, just handing my book out. Two huge things happened. The first was I literally bumped in Cam Edwards of NRATV and the host of Cam & Co. As a huge fan, I found myself tongue-tied and feeling like a 14-year-old girl at a Justin Bieber concert. Luckily, I quickly snapped out of my daze and offered Cam a signed copy of my book. He took one look at it and told me to wait right there, he is putting me on TV. That was my first appearance on NRATV. Since then, Cam has had me on many more times and even helped me get on some other shows. He has been a blessing. But at one point while I was there, I went to the media room to take a break. Someone walked up to me and asked me if I was the guy who wrote the kids book on gun safety. To this day, Rob Morse of the Polite Society Podcast and I are still friends. Being on that show opened up so many doors for me into the Second Amendment radio world. It truly was a blessing.

As for SHOT Show, one of the connections I made was to the Firearms Chat Podcast and they invited me to be a co-host of their show at SHOT. So getting in was super easy.

JF: When you moved to Texas, did that help you bring this passion out more, considering that Texas is much more gun friendly?

YR: Of course it did. Within six weeks of moving to Texas, I had my license to carry. Life became instantly safer and better.

JF: Your work on this is an inspiration and the Second Amendment and gun rights are something we all need to hold dear. Thanks for being a voice for that.

Where can everyone find your work and appearances, and if they want to follow you?

YR: So all four of my books are available on Amazon. If you want to find out more about me and my appearances I have made, you can visit my website, www.yehudaremer.com.


Yehuda Remer is the author of Safety On: An introduction to the world of firearms for kids, Safety On: The Coloring Book, 10 Little Liberals: A Tale of Hope, and The ABCs of Guns. He lives in Texas with his wife and kids and can be found shooting, writing, and trolling.

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Guns and Crime

Gun control: Washington doublespeak used to void the Second Amendment

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When it comes to measuring the political dishonesty of our elected officials in Washington, I often recall the old joke “How do you know if a politician is lying? His lips are moving.”

While some of the untruths told by these lying liars aren’t obvious until after they get caught—such as the GOP promise to repeal Obamacare root and branch—others are obvious before the fact if we keep our ears tuned-in to the use of Washington doublespeak.

Once the proprietary property of the liberal-left, Washington doublespeak has found its way into the lexicon of the so-called conservative-right as well.

  • Immigration reform? Doublespeak for amnesty and citizenship for millions of illegal aliens.
  • Budget reform? Doublespeak for abandoning fiscal responsibility in order to build bigger government.
  • Tax cuts? Doublespeak for tax increases to pay for bigger government.
  • NSA data collection? Doublespeak for unconstitutional, warrantless electronic spying on Americans.

In the aftermath of the 17 murders at a Florida High School, we are once again hearing the words “gun control,” which is doublespeak for creating ways to void the Second Amendment.

As he did as a candidate following the Orlando Night Club shooting in 2016, Trump is backing an effort to “improve” gun laws as a way to keep firearms out of the hands of “mentally disturbed” individuals—an idea strongly supported by many Republicans. Besides the fact that “erratic behavior” pretty much describes Donald Trump and the GOP, who gets to decide who fits the definition of mentally disturbed?

Is it people like Joy Behar, who believes Christians who hear God’s voice suffer from a mental illness? Or would it be psychiatrists who believe that conservatism is a sign of mental instability?

Not content with anything coming out of Washington, the Brady Center is using the Florida tragedy to renew its push for Extreme Risk Protection Orders. These laws empower those who are close to an individual “in crisis” to ask a judge to seize that individual’s guns. Once again, who decides what “in crisis” looks like?

As an individual who holds a Biblical worldview, I know that violence will never end unless the heart of man is healed. However, passing arbitrary gun control laws won’t bring an end to gun violence either. In fact, it’s likely to increase the violence. But that won’t stop politicians in Washington from using doublespeak to pass gun control laws anyway.

Originally posted on The Strident Conservative.

 

David Leach is the owner of The Strident Conservative. His daily radio commentary is nationally syndicated with Salem Radio Network and can be heard on stations across America.

Follow the Strident Conservative on Twitter and Facebook. Subscribe to receive podcasts of radio commentaries: iTunes | Stitcher | Tune In | RSS

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