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Proof positive Congress needs term limits: John McCain

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Want to know why we need term limits for Congress, a push for Article V (in spite of objections made by the late Phyllis Schlafly and the John Birch Society), a push for a new political party, a push to break a French Communist’s Political Law (Maurice Duverger), and a push to repeal the 17th Amendment of our U.S. Constitution that gave the citizens direct power to elected the U.S. Senators rather than the legislators at the state level?

The answer at this very moment is John Sidney McCain III who has been a U.S. Senator of Arizona for over three decades now, and intends to stay in elected office until the Grim Reaper finally takes his life away.

No different that Edward “Ted” Kennedy or Robert Byrd who served as the Grand Wizard of the Klu Klux Klan, and both were forever loyal to the cult of the Democrat Party. McCain is the Republican who has blocked any chance of rolling back the negative effects of the Affordable Care Act aka Obamacare (an breaking a promise to the American people) and for what reason? Playing Maverick Republican who enjoyed reaching out to his Democrats across the room as he always has? Wanting to win approval with our fallen popular news media and culture? Or is he just still upset at Donald Trump for his remarks that he is “not a war hero?”

If it’s the later, I can understand why he would still be upset with those remarks, but is this the way to stick it to him? At the expense of the American people? That is more of a betrayal of your nation that you served with honors…but he is not alone. Many progressives who served our Armed Forces feel that have won some kind of absolute patriotism (like a lifetime membership with the NRA) just because they served our country and because of that, their patriotism can never be questioned or challenged even revoked if they support a “fundamental transformation” of our country. Even if it’s one that resembles Mother Russia in the days of the Soviet Union. I love my country but I feel it needs to be more like Europe or Cuba or whatever…do know what you sound like? You don’t care as long as your ego is gratified and your taken care of…even if that is “The State.”

McCain talks about repealing and replacing ObamaCare in the 2016 Senatorial debates when he was up for reelection. All I can say is…shame on you Arizona…especially those in Maricopa County. It seems that all McCain did was bait the people of Arizona one more time so that you could reward him with more power. He knows how to buy votes, and does it just like every other elected official who uses the common people in order to win elections.

I want to feel sympathy for his pain of dealing with Brain Cancer, but I am getting numb to his personal issues, when he inflicts pain on the American people.

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Guns and Crime

Two steps to gun confiscation

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Two steps to gun confiscation

Six years ago, the Liberty grabbers on the Left dropped the mask, going full throttle for taking guns.

Image Credit: Gun Owners of AmericaConsider the situation 6 years ago, Obama has just won re-election, the Left held a tight grip on the government and then the Sandy Hook mass murders took place, changing the way the Left approached the subject of gun confiscation. Obama and the rest of the nation’s Socialist-Left seized on the issue of Liberty control with a vengeance. They were finally were going to vanquish the common sense human Right of Self-defence.

It was at this time that they made a major course change in how they talked about the issue of our basic civil rights. They had previously denied what was obvious about their assaults on Liberty. After the tragedy in Connecticut, the dam burst on their demands for gun confiscation as can be seen in the updated lists on the subject. These are excerpts in how they’ve telegraphed their plans for this over the years.

How the Left plans on confiscating guns.

Leftists will often signal how they plan to carry out certain parts of their agenda, with their final solution to the Liberty problem being no exception. Many talked about how they wanted to grab our guns, with one prime example coming from the Daily Kos entitled: How to Ban Guns: A step by step, long term process. Another similar but malevolent screed was also published later on with the ominous title of Effective Gun Control – A National Semi-Auto Ban.

The author in the first piece began with emotional arguments in preparation for the illogical and unfair punishment of 120 million innocent people. Then the author talks about how it’s a good thing that this has to be done incrementally because of non-compliance with laws that would violate our Liberty. Both clearly lay out how they plan to deprive the people of their natural Right of self-preservation. We begin with their first step in the process.

Step one: Expand background checks to develop lists of gun owners.

Both articles detail how they would develop these lists, with the one article emphasising that they must make it ‘easy’ to get on the mandatory gun confiscation lists.

The very first thing we need is national registry. We need to know where the guns are, and who has them. Canada has a national firearms registry. We need to copy their model. We need a law demanding all firearms be registered to a national database. We need to know who has them and where they are. We need to make this as easy as possible for gun owners.

[Our emphasis]

The author also emphasises that they must have control over personal property with ‘expanded’ [Intergalactic, Comprehensive, Universal, common sense, etc. or whatever they are calling them this week] Background Checks. In essence, they want to make it illegal for someone to have control over their private property:

Along with this, make private sales illegal. When a firearm is transferred, make it law that the registration must be updated. Again, make it super easy to do. Perhaps over, the internet. Dealers can log in by their FFLs and update the registration. Additionally, new guns are to be registered by the manufacturer. The object here is to create a clear paper trail from factory to distributor to dealer to owner. We want to encourage as much voluntary compliance as possible.

[Our emphasis]

Now with the current situation in Boulder, we see why they obsess over government control of personal property. As reported in the Daily Camera, only 85 assault weapons certified in Boulder as ban compliance date looms even with the threat of ‘fines, jail time, plus confiscation, destruction of firearm

Along with forcing innocent people to jump through hoops to keep what they already own, the authorities perform a background check to see someone is worthy of keeping their possessions.

The police department then performs a background check and, if the owner is clear, issues two copies of a certificate with the owner’s name, date of birth and signature; the make, model and serial number of the gun, and the date of issue and issuer’s name. Both copies go with the gun to prove it was owned before June 15, 2018.

[Our emphasis]

It’s also claimed that this isn’t registration. However, with the simple expedient of keeping records of these background checks, they will have a de facto registration system with a list of gun owners. Thus we see how they want to accomplish the first step of the gun grabbing process.

Step two: Set up the equivalent of confiscation with gun registration.

So, now with lists of gun owners, they can initiate tight control over guns by having the ATF descend upon Federal Firearms License dealers and find out who didn’t get permission to keep a basic human right.

Now we get down to it. The registration period has passed. Now we have criminals without registered guns running around.

So remember those ATF form 4473s? Those record every firearm sale, going back twenty years. And those have to be surrendered to the ATF on demand. So, we get those logbooks, and cross reference the names and addresses with the new national registry.

In the later ‘National Semi-Auto Ban’ piece the author fantasies about an enhanced ATF shutting down thousands of private businesses for ‘days, or week(s) until the audit is complete’. If some of those dealers go out of business due to the heavy-handed audit, the author of the piece considers it a win.

The result would be gun owners having to obtain government permission to keep their private property – Registration. The example from Boulder showing that would entail as yet another background check to keep what people already own.

Gun Registration is virtually Gun Confiscation.

This point has been made in the past, especially in these columns from Dean Weingarten on Gunwatch: Gun Registration is Gun Confiscation

The holy grail of the anti self defense and anti rights special interest groups is gun registration. This is because once your gun is required to be registered, it is in effect, already confiscated. Only a little thought will reveal to you why this is so. The Government will know who has legal possession of each firearm. They will know where the firearm is stored. When physical possession of the gun is desired, they can order you to turn it in. This has happened repeatedly. The historical examples include NAZI Germany, Soviet Russia, Red China, and Cambodia. Recent examples include Kosovo, Great Britian, Australia, New York, and California. Not having possession of the firearm registered to you can be grounds for criminal action. If you have reported the gun stolen, and it is then found in your possession, you can be charged with obstruction of justice.

Then later in this column in Ammoland:

Washington Post: The Purpose of Gun Registration is Gun Confiscation

The Takeaway

Being disarmed is a mistake a free people only get to make.. once. We close with a link to an article from Fox news: Venezuelans regret gun ban, ‘a declaration of war against an unarmed population’.

Collectivists always depend upon force to achieve their aims, this is why they always work to disarm the people so the people cannot ‘resist’. This is also why the Democrats obsess over attaining unlawful government control over personal property with ‘Expanded’ Background Checks.

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Entertainment and Sports

Binge-worthy show: Counterpart works because J.K. Simmons is incredible. Twice.

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With season 2 of the Starz hit Counterpart getting going, I thought I should go ahead and binge the first season to see if it’s one to follow going forward. Despite a 100% on Rotten Tomatoes and universal acclaim, I’ll admit I probably wouldn’t move forward to season 2 if it weren’t for two letters and a surname: J.K. Simmons.

Very minor spoilers ahead for the sake of understanding why you should see this show.

Imagine if the world we know copied itself 30-years ago. These two worlds continued without knowledge of each other, save for a select few on each side who are aware of the tunnel below a building in Berlin that connects the two worlds. Now, imagine if both sides kept the existence of this secret from everyone, even most of the world’s governments, and instead ran a shadow organization in the building above the tunnel that allowed the two sides to cooperate.

That’s the world of Counterpart.

This is where it gets interesting. J.K. Simmons plays Howard Silk… twice. In the “alpha” version of the world he’s a mild-mannered operator working in the building above the tunnel but unaware of what it does or the role he plays in everything. The “prime” version is a badass secret agent who must travel to the “alpha” side to foil a plot that would bring the two sides to war.

The premise is pretty clever, albeit not completely unique. There have been stories of alternate realities playing with or against each other in everything from comic books to Star Trek shows. This is the first I’ve seen that plays it more as a spy game in an inter-reality Cold War setting, but nonetheless it’s a relatively common premise. What Star Trek fan doesn’t remember evil Spock?

Spock Mirror

On the merits of the story alone, I’d see this as an acceptable show to watch. Not quite binge-worthy, but a nice aside while waiting for the next season of The Expanse for sci-fi fans. What pushes it up to the binge-worthy level is the dual performances of Simmons. Despite the parallels between the two characters he plays, the audience is never confused about which one they’re seeing. He doesn’t even have to speak most of the time. We can tell by the way he carries himself, the expressions he makes, and the bearing he holds when looking at people.

That’s actually not that hard. What Simmons does masterfully is he accomplishes this without exaggerating the differences. He brings them to light with subtly, giving us just enough understanding of who the characters are without overplaying those differences.

There’s one more thing that the show does well that should be noted since it almost lost me otherwise. Just when you’re getting a little bored with the mundane aspects of the spy game, it slams you across the face with an unexpected twist or impromptu action scene. Even a simple conversation about arranging travel can turn into a gun versus fireplace poker fight to the death.

Great actors can take good material and turn it into something special. Though we’ve only seen one full season of Counterpart, it’s clear that J.K. Simmons makes it worth the watch.

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Opinions

In Israel, the deception of quiet has been shattered. Now what?

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In Israel the deception of quiet has been shattered Now what

Terrorism threatens both Israeli and Palestinian civilians. The coming weeks will see whether Israel and the Palestinian Authority will be able to contain an escalating situation and roll back the violence, or whether the region will slide into a new and dangerous phase.

 The succession of deadly Palestinian terrorist attacks in the West Bank in recent days is a painful reminder of a bigger truth, and that is that the security quiet that prevailed until recently was little more than an illusion.

The motivation of terrorists—whether backed by an organized armed faction or acting on their own—to attack Israelis remains high, and the relative quiet that existed was not for their lack of trying.

The Israel Defense Forces and Shin Bet intelligence service have thwarted a staggering number of attacks this year alone. A look at the official figures confirms the scale of the threat and highlights just how deceptive the so-called quiet really was.

According to Shin Bet head Nadav Argaman, no fewer than 480 organized terror attempts based in the West Bank have been attempted (and prevented) this year. Those murder plots included 280 planned shootings, 76 attempted bombings, six suicide bombings and seven kidnappings. The intended Israeli targets were on both sides of the Green Line.

The number of unorganized attackers stopped in their tracks in 2018 is approximately 400, and their arrest has been made possible due in part to technological breakthroughs in the collection and analysis of big data.

The threat Hamas poses to Israel and the Palestinian Authority has been the glue that’s held together security coordination on the ground.

New technology in the service of national security has helped drastically reduce such attacks, which were frequent just a few years ago.

Hamas has been instrumental in attempting to destabilize the West Bank, both because this serves its jihadist siren call of violence against Israel and because it serves its goal of weakening its domestic foe, the Palestinian Authority, which it seeks to replace, just like it did in Gaza. Hamas believes that it is entitled to set the West Bank alight with violence, even as it keeps its home turf of Gaza in a state of ceasefire most of the time.

The threat Hamas poses to both Israel and to the P.A. has been the glue that has held together security coordination on the ground between Israeli and Palestinian forces. This glue has so far stuck, despite severe diplomatic clashes between the P.A. and Israel. The P.A. subtly recognizes that Israel’s anti-Hamas operations benefit it as much as it does Israelis.

Israel broke up more than 220 West Bank Hamas terrorist cells this year, including one cell that was ordered by Hamas’s military wing in Gaza to bomb crowded targets in the heart of Israeli cities in October. That cell was preparing bombs that were unprecedented in their quality of explosive materials, the Shin Bet investigation found.

In recent months, Israel quietly arrested hundreds of West Bank terror suspects, including students, and young men and women who were recruited into Hamas’s secret networks.

That has not stopped Hamas from trying, again and again, to turn the West Bank into a hotbed of terrorism. Israel’s preemptive capabilities have served as a silent, life-saving safety net around the clock.

Shifting the balance

Harrowingly, however, no safety net is fool-proof. It’s too soon to say whether Thursday’s deadly shooting attack on a bus stop near Ramallah was the result of organized terrorism or a local “initiative.”

Either way, the most immediate risk is that this shooting, as well as the attack that preceded it on Dec. 9, will provide the fuel to light a chain reaction in the form of copycat attacks. The first signs of this risk came in a car-ramming attack that injured a soldier just a few hours after Thursday’s incident.

Anticipating this trend, the Israel Defense Forces mobilized a number of back-up infantry battalions to the area, who will be tasked with both defending Israeli communities and assisting the offensive raids, and searches for the perpetrators.

In the past 24 hours, Israel’s Counter-Terrorist Unit conducted successful operations that resulted in the killing of the gunman behind the Barkan shooting attack and a gunman linked to the Dec. 9 Ofra Junction shooting.

Israel’s ability to catch up with the terrorists—no matter how hard they try to hide or embed themselves in challenging urban settings—reflects a world-leading counter-terrorism level that is unmatched and should not be taken for granted.

It also reflects the fact that Israel can send forces to operate anywhere in the West Bank, at any time—a reality that did not exist during the dark days of the Second Intifada some 15 years ago.

A dangerous period ahead

The commemoration of Hamas’s founding, which will be marked on Dec. 14, the risk of another Gaza escalation and the unending “bubbling up”’ of terror plots under the surface can all act as catalysts, accelerating a deterioration in the security situation in the coming days and weeks.

The IDF’s challenge in the West Bank is in some ways much more complex than its border-protection duties on the fronts with Gaza, Lebanon and Syria. In the West Bank, the IDF protects some 400,000 Israeli civilians who live in the midst of around 2 million Palestinians, with no obvious separating border the two populations.

The Israeli army’s challenge in the West Bank is in some ways much more complex than its border-protection duties on the fronts with Gaza, Lebanon and Syria. Credit: IDF Spokesperson’s Unit.

The Israeli army’s challenge in the West Bank is in some ways much more complex than its border-protection duties on the fronts with Gaza, Lebanon and Syria. Credit: IDF Spokesperson’s Unit.

To pursue this enormously complex mission effectively, the military offers both carrots and sticks; both are aimed at preventing the situation from worsening.

The sticks come in the form of nightly security raids targeting terrorists, while carrots are offered to Palestinian noncombatants in the form of freedom of movement and increased economic opportunities to push them away from the calls to violence, which are issued by the armed Palestinian hardline factions and fill social media.

The IDF’s own experience and its analysis of past trends tell it that driving a wedge between Palestinian civilians and terrorists—and seeking to maintain a normal fabric of life for ordinary Palestinians who are not involved in terrorism—drives down the number of attacks and saves lives.

Yet this balancing act of attempting to isolate the terrorists from the civilians changed dramatically on Thursday, when the IDF encircled Ramallah and placed it under lockdown. Placing a city that is the de facto capital of the Palestinian Authority under such restrictions reflects the severity of the latest attack, and the Israeli military’s urgency in placing its hands on the perpetrators.

Such a development could also act as a reminder to the wider Palestinian public, according to which, Israel can employ more disruptive sticks. A return to the days of mass violence, as many realize, will likely result in significant harm to Palestinian freedom of movement and economic stability.

Ultimately, the terrorism that has reared its head threatens both Israeli and Palestinian civilians. The coming weeks will see whether Israel and the P.A. will be able to contain the situation and roll back the violence, or whether the region will slide into a new and dangerous phase, a development that Hamas will be sure to celebrate and exploit.

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