“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Thursday, December 03, 2015


Staggering Stats: In The US, There Have Been More Mass Shootings Than Days This Year


  1. More guns baby, more guns is the answer. An armed society is a polite society dontcha know? Body armor the new fashion must!

    1. You've got it right Ash.

      You've won a free copy of "More Guns, Less Crime" by John Lott.

      More muzz, more jihad attacks.

      No more moslems in USA.

      Ash, you must learn to blame the moslem, not the gun.

    2. Detroit Police Chief: Guns keeping terrorists from attacking our city...
      All Licensed Handgun Owners Urged to Carry in NY County...
      Sheriff Joe calls on 250,000 armed citizens to take matters into own hands.................Drudge

  2. SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. — Syred R. Farook, one of two suspects in a murderous shooting spree that left 14 people dead, bought two of the handguns in his arsenal but another unidentified person purchased the two assault-style weapons used in the massacre, a federal law enforcement official said Thursday.

    Farook, a 28-year-old health inspector, and Tashfeen Malik, 27, the woman with whom he he lived, were shot and killed during dramatic gunbattle with police hours after their rampage during a holiday party at the Inland Regional Center on Wednesday.

    The guns were legally purchased separately at gun dealers in San Diego and Corona within the past three years, said the official who is not authorized to comment publicly. Investigators were looking more closely at the transactions involving the two assault-style rifles which were purchased by another person who was not immediately identified.

  3. San Bernardino police Chief Jarrod Burguan identified the people killed in the gun battle with police as Syed Rizwan Farook, a 28-year-old American citizen, and 27-year-old Tashfeen Malik. Police did not know where Malik was born or where she had lived.

  4. Suspect Was Born and Raised in U.S., Official Says.

  5. First, the United States and its coalition partners need new efforts to cut off ISIS revenue and its bulk cash holdings inside Iraq and Syria. While traditional counterterrorism financing efforts help to keep the group isolated from deep-pocket donors, Washington and its partners may also be able to stem ISIS’s activities in other countries by designating and sanctioning individuals who facilitate the group’s operations abroad or are key conduits for the group’s access to the equipment and expertise it needs to operate its oilfields.


    Second, the United States and coalition partners must do more to curb the flow of foreign fighters into Iraq and Syria. This will require extensive international cooperation, including information sharing, law enforcement and intelligence cooperation, as well as border controls.


    While ISIS has made moves to threaten the Iraqi and Syrian governments, these governments can most effectively diminish ISIS by making concessions to their Sunni communities. This might require diplomatic engagement with unpalatable political actors, but at this point, even an imperfect peace is preferable to a protracted war.

  6. Staggering fact -

    Jihad Watch

    Congressman: 72 DHS employees on terrorist watchlist

    December 2, 2015 4:21 am By Robert Spencer

    Representative Stephen Lynch (D-Massachusetts) points up an appalling weakness in the Homeland Security Department that won’t be fixed by the firing of these 72 employees and the resignation of the director (which director he is referring to is unclear; the DHS Secretary certainly didn’t resign). The entire culture of the Department, and the Washington establishment, needs to be changed, such that there is not a remote possibility of people who are on a terrorist watchlist getting hired at DHS. But no adequate screening procedures are in place, because they would be “Islamophobic.”

    Stephen Lynch

    “Congressman Lynch: 72 Department of Homeland Security Employees On Terrorist Watchlist,” by Tori Bedford, WGBH, December 1, 2015:

    Earlier this month, 47 democrats in the house of representatives defied a house veto threat by backing a GOP bill to ramp up screening requirements for Syrian and Iraqi refugees. Congressman Stephen Lynch was among them. He joined Jim Braude and Margery Eagan on Boston Public Radio to discuss the reasoning behind his vote and other congressional matters.

    Questions are paraphrased, and responses are edited where noted […].

    MARGERY: Let’s start with the vote on the Syrian refugees. Why were you with those 47 other democrats?

    It’s a very simple bill, I know that it’s got subsumed within a larger discussion about immigration policy, but basically, the bill we voted on was a very short bill—four pages in length, basically, and it said that the director of national security shall review the vetting process as being conducted by both the FBI and the department of homeland security. Because of the disastrous results we’ve had so far with the screening process, especially the department of homeland security, I think it was a very good idea to have another set of eyeballs looking at that process.

    Back in August, we did an investigation—the inspector General did—of the Department of Homeland Security, and they had 72 individuals that were on the terrorist watch list that were actually working at the Department of Homeland Security. The director had to resign because of that. Then we went further and did and eight-airport investigation. We had staffers go into eight different airports to test the department of homeland security screening process at major airports. They had a 95 percent failure rate. We had folks—this was a testing exercise, so we had folks going in there with guns on their ankles, and other weapons on their persons, and there was a 95 percent failure rate.

  7. I have very low confidence based on empirical data that we’ve got on the Department of Homeland Security. I think we desperately need another set of eyeballs looking at the vetting process. That’s vetting that’s being done at major airports where we have a stationary person coming through a facility, and we’re failing 95 percent of the time. I have even lower confidence that they can conduct the vetting process in places like Jordan, or Belize or on the Syrian border, or in Cairo, or Beirut in any better fashion, especially given the huge volume of applicants we’ve had seeking refugee status.

    JIM: Even if you’re right that the system needs strengthening, the most likely way that a terrorist would come into this country is not through an 18-24 month-long process, but through this Visa program that allows 20 million people from 38 countries to come here every single year with absolutely no prior approval at all.

    We had Democratic and Republican proposals on this bill, and there wasn’t a dime’s worth of difference between the two of them. It became a sort of a proxy battle over immigration. You had a bunch of Republican governors who were using it politically, and saying, “we’re going to stop refugees from coming into our state, which is baloney because they have no ability—zero ability—under the constitution to actually prevent refugees from coming into their state. You also had other people on the far left saying that this would stop every person from coming into the United States. In both cases, if they only took the time to read the bill, they would see that it did not do either. The democratic proposal also requires a multi-layered vetting process of refugees.

    The reason the refugee issue came up and not the Visa waiver program is because in the Paris example, you had somebody go into the stream of legitimate refugees and then perpetrate acts of violence upon the civilians in Paris. That’s why that example came to the forefront.

    I agree with you—I think the Visa waiver program, where you’ve got 20 million people coming in, versus the [refugees] coming in, 10,000? perhaps? At the end of the day, obviously the Visa waiver program is the one that we should be looking at….

  8. About those “more mass shootings than days” narrative for 2015

    posted at 9:21 am on December 3, 2015 by Taylor Millard

    The Left and their media allies are pushing a new narrative regarding mass shootings. The Washington Post and Boston Globe had massive headlines yesterday claiming there have been 355 mass shootings in 336 days this year, while Vox included it as part of their “fancy stats” on gun violence. It’s enough to make people squeamish about ever owning a gun, let alone hanging out with a gun owner. The problem is the definition of “mass shooting.” All three websites are using the data supplied by crowd-sourcing website, which has a really broad definition of what a “mass shooting” actually is (emphasis mine).

    The old FBI definition of Mass Murder (not even the most recent one) is four or more people murdered in one event. It is only logical that a Mass Shooting is four or more people shot in one event.

    Here at the Mass Shooting Tracker, we count the number of people shot rather than the number people killed because, “shooting” means “people shot”…

    The only requirement is that four or more people are shot in a spree or setting, likely without a cooling off period. This may include the gunman himself (because they often suicide by cop or use a gun to kill themselves to escape punishment), or police shootings of civilians around the gunman. The reasoning behind the latter being that if the shooter is arrested, he will often be charged with injuring people the police actually shot, as that is a foreseeable result of a shooting spree.

    These statistics are being manipulated to fit a narrative. Not everyone would consider a gunman to be a “victim” of a mass shooting because he/she are the ones actually pulling the trigger. The definition of “mass” is even up for debate. defines “mass” as “pertaining to, involving, or affecting a large number of people,” but even that’s a little deceptive. Some people consider a large number of people to be eight, while others consider it to be over a dozen. The FBI’s own study on mass shootings from 2014 is just as broad (emphasis mine).

    1. A total of 1,043 casualties occurred during the incidents included in this study (486 killed, 557 wounded). If a shooter died as a result of the incident, that individual was not included in the casualty totals. In addition, a small number of those identified as wounded were not injured by gunfire but rather suffered injuries incidental to the event, such as being hit by flying objects/shattered glass or falling while running. For the purposes of this study, the FBI did not seek to isolate the exact number of individuals that fell into this category, when research did not allow for that type of injury to be easily discerned.

      The median number of individuals killed in each incident was 2, and the median number of individuals wounded in each incident was 2.

      The FBI found that 64 incidents (40.0%) would have been categorized as falling within the new federal definition of “mass killing,” which is defined as “three or more killings in a single incident.”

      The Congressional Research Service has a completely different definition of what they consider a mass shooting.

      In order to delineate a workable understanding of public mass shooting for this report, CRS examined scholarly journal articles, monographs, and government reports.12 These sources discussed a variety of terms such as mass murder, mass shooting, mass killings, massacres, and multiple homicide. Definitions of these terms varied with regard to establishing the number of victims or fatalities involved, the weapons used, the motives of the perpetrator, and the timeframes within which the casualties or injuries occurred.

      This report defines public mass shootings as incidents occurring in relatively public places, involving four or more deaths—not including the shooter(s)—and gunmen who select victims somewhat indiscriminately. The violence in these cases is not a means to an end such as robbery or terrorism.

      It’s easy to sit here and point out how the Left’s “fancy stats” are total garbage. The fact is they’re still being used because of how emotional the mass shooting issue is. It’s horrific when the innocent are injured or killed. It tugs at the heartstrings and causes people to consider their own mortality or the mortality of their loved ones. When they hear headlines like, “more mass shootings than days,” it makes them recoil in terror, and consider the government as the only solution. The same goes for people when they see stories about poverty or the golden parachute some ousted corporate executive was able to grab. It’s easy to rush to judgment on a situation, and demand a solution which may or may not actually work. This is why the Right needs to message correctly and be extremely shrewd about it. It’s easy to throw cold, hard logic online or make some snarky comment on how “gun laws don’t stop anything.” But this isn’t exactly the wisest thing to do. It might be best to grab stories of how clerks or women used guns to ward off someone looking to cause them harm. It’s not always going to work, but it needs to be done to combat the “fancy stats” which aren’t worth the websites they’re posted on.

      Deuce has moved the goal posts quite close to the field goal kicker here.

  9. A N D, I knew this was coming to the Old Hag -- heh heh she walked it back --

    Woman asks Hillary: If all rape accusers have the right to be believed, should we believe the women who say your husband raped them?

    posted at 4:03 pm on December 3, 2015 by Allahpundit

    Share on Facebook

    She’s not asking this question idly. Hillary, who’s gearing up for a sub-moronic identity-politics campaign, actually did say recently that rape accusers have “the right to be believed” even though her own husband has been accused by multiple women of sexual assault. How does she resolve that dilemma?

    I thought she’d never be asked, for the simple reason that no one in the media would dare risk access to a future Clinton administration by putting her on the spot about it. But sometimes, my friends, the questions don’t come from the media. Sometimes a candidate has to face the voters.

    And that’s when magical things can happen.

    Here’s the clip, via the Free Beacon. Obviously there’s no good answer to this question, which is why so many righties perked up when she first said something about the right to be believed. She set a trap for herself. If she stands by it now, it means she sides with Juanita Broaddrick over Bill. If she walks it back, which is what she has no choice but to do — accusers should be believed unless the evidence says otherwise, she clarifies — then it undermines the whole point of the pander. The “right to be believed” bit was her way of trying to leverage the feminist frenzy over “rape culture”; she was signaling to young women, whose votes she desperately needs, that she shares the progressive belief that rape defendants are guilty until proven innocent. Now that she’s on the spot, she retreats to the banal point that we should go where the evidence leads us. In practice, the “right to be believed” amounts to nothing more than the idea that the police should investigate when someone claims they’re the victim of a horrendous violent crime. All of us who took first-grade civics can agree.

    Exit question: If accusers have a right to be taken seriously, if not quite “believed,” does that mean she took Broaddrick seriously when she first accused Bill of assault? That’s a follow-up question for the next townhall attendee who gets to quiz her.

    1. Both Hill and Bill should be in prison.

      Bill for rape.

      Hillary for corruption.

      This James Comey, current head of the FBI, is, by all accounts, a straight shoot, uncorruptible.

      It is possible he will issue a report advocating some very serious charges against Hillary Clinton.

      I certainly hope so.

      There should be a little Justice in our world, somewhere.

    2. As The Donald has said, she is running for President partly to stay out of prison.

      He hits a good one once in a while. He was right on the Moslems celebrating in the USA at the time of 9/11 too.

      I already posted the link couple days ago.

    3. James Comey may be the only honest person in government.

  10. The British are bombing in Syria now.

    1. As Doug would say:

      "Tor-NA-ders, Tor-NA-naders"

  11. A N D - how's that Iran nuclear 'deal' working out for ya, s u c k e r s - ?

    December 3, 2015
    IAEA report: Iran is lying when it claims no work on nuclear bomb
    By Rick Moran

    A report by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) leaked to several news outlets says that Iran is lying when it claims that it never sought to build a nuclear weapon.

    Despite non-cooperation by Iran in the investigation, the agency was able to determine that Iran was trying to build a nuke as recently as five years ago, but then apparently stopped its research.

    The news did not sit well on Capitol Hill.

    The Hill:

    “I think we’re getting off to a very, very poor start,” Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) told reporters after a roughly two-hour top-secret committee hearing.

    “These are exactly the things that we talked about during the hearing process that raised concerns and they’re being validated right now,” he added.

    “It just sets a very bad precedent that if Iran thinks it can violate the world’s will, as expressed by Security Council resolutions, and in essence face no consequence for it," said Sen. Robert Menendez (N.J.), one of the four Democrats who voted against the deal in September.

    "Then what makes it think that whatever sanctions or other protocols we have moving forward in the [nuclear deal], that they won’t think in the long term that they can get away with violations of that?"

    The IAEA report, which was leaked to multiple news outlets on Wednesday but won’t be formally approved until Dec. 15, concludes that Iran conducted preliminary work to build a nuclear weapon, but ceased that activity at least five years ago.

    Completion of the report was a requirement of the nuclear deal signed between Iran, the United States and five other world powers this summer, as one step towards enacting the deal. The diplomatic pact sets limits on Iran’s ability to build a nuclear weapon in exchange for rolling back sanctions on its oil and financial sectors.

    1. The report essentially turns the page on Iran’s past nuclear efforts, the Obama administration said on Wednesday, and sets the stage for ensuring that it sticks to the terms of the deal.

      In coming weeks, the U.S. and five other nations will submit a resolution at the IAEA “with a view towards closing the [past military dimensions] issue, and then after that we can focus on implementing” the agreement, State Department spokesman Mark Toner said.

      The IAEA’s focus on Iran’s nuclear history had long been controversial on Capitol Hill, where multiple lawmakers tried unsuccessfully this summer to force the United Nations agency to disclose the “secret side deals” it had made with Tehran to investigate the previous work.

      Wednesday’s report is “dangerously incomplete,” said Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.), who helped lead the House’s criticism of the Iran deal.

      As expected, none of the P5+1 countries involved in negotiating the agreement is objecting. The deal is too far along, and commercial interests are too heavily engaged in penetrating the Iranian market to reverse course now.

      This will hold true when Iran reneges on other aspects of the deal, including the "intrusive" inspections. The failure of the IAEA to be able to freely inspect military sites suspected of carrying on nuclear bomb research already represents a breach of the deal – at least the way that President Obama sold the deal to Congress. And the excruciatingly long process of determining if Iran is cheating guarantees that there is no chance at all that sanctions will ever "snap back."

      The report, as Senator Corker points out, is incomplete. The IAEA can only guess that Iran stopped trying to build a bomb 5 years ago. This is apparently good enough for President Obama. But the rest of us are left with a feeling of helplessness as the world turns the other way, giving Iran the opportunity to continue constructing a weapon of mass destruction.

  12. And, this is good too -

    December 3, 2015
    Clowns on parade
    By Charles Battig

    It is unfortunate that Charles Mackay is no longer alive to add yet another chapter or two to his insightful book of human follies, Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds. First published in 1841, his book chronicles in sixteen examples of crowd psychology with some of the notable economic and social foibles of the past. The preface includes his observation that "[w]e find that whole communities suddenly fix their minds on one object, and go mad in its pursuit: that millions of people become simultaneously impressed with one delusion and run after it, til their attention is caught by some new folly more captivating than the first."

    Chapter headings include The Mississippi Scheme, The South-Sea Bubble, The Tulipomania, Fortune-Telling, The Magnetisers, The Crusades, and The Witch Mania. These and the other chapters were chosen by Mackay to illustrate recurring but transient moral and economic epidemics, and to "show how easily the masses have been led astray, and how imitative and gregarious men are, even in their infatuations and crimes." The foreword by Bernard Baruch in the 1932 edition references Schiller's dictum: "Anyone taken as an individual is tolerably sensible and reasonable – as a member of a crowd he at once becomes a blockhead."

    In current vernacular, "blockhead" seems quaint. Current terminology would be more organic; however, the message is the same.

    Fast-forward almost two centuries, and those truisms remain valid and are illustrated by even more outrageous acts of mass hysteria. At the moment a prime example is the United Nations COP21 in Paris, France.............

    .................These modern-day witch hunters have the potential to kill millions by denying the poor and less developed civilizations the benefits of reliable and relatively inexpensive energy. Those more fortunate will be forced to pay tribute to this crowd to keep their modern lifestyle, which now runs on electrical devices 24/7.

    Mackay might also find room for a few additional chapters in a revised edition of his original book should he read the current press and note the reports of students conducting mass demonstrations on campus, and the racial unrest on Main Street.

    Charles G. Battig, M.S., M.D., Piedmont Chapter president, VA-Scientists and Engineers for Energy and Environment (VA-SEEE). His website is

    1. Thinking of the starry heavens, Thomas Carlyle said:

      "A sad spectacle. If they be inhabited, what a scope for misery and folly. If they be not inhabited, what a waste of space."


    2. Apocalyptic end times Islam is a delusion that doesn't seem to ever pass......1400 years and running...

      Santa Barbara the most recent example in the USA......misery and folly.

  13. Britain launches airstrikes hours after Parliament backs ISIS bombings
    Ben Brumfield-Profile-Image

    By Ben Brumfield and Carol Jordan, CNN

    Updated 1:53 AM ET, Thu December 3, 2015
    Britain conducts its first air strikes on Syria

    Story highlights

    British fighters conduct airstrikes, MOD says
    British lawmakers approved airstrikes on ISIS in Syria
    German parliamentarians are expected to rubber-stamp Chancellor's commitment

    (CNN)British fighter jets have taken part in their first airstrikes in Syria, hours after UK lawmakers voted in favor of bombing ISIS strongholds there.

    "RAF Tor-NA-dors have just returned from their first offensive operation over Syria and have conducted strikes," a spokesman for Britain's Ministry of Defense (MOD) said early Thursday.

    The four jets took off from Akrotiri air base in Cyprus, targeting an oil field in Eastern Syria, the MOD told CNN.

    More details on the operation are expected from the ministry later today.

    Lawmakers voted 397 in favor of action and 223 against, following a 10-hour debate.
    Kurdish fighters advance against ISIS

    Kurdish fighters advance against ISIS 04:43

    After the November 13 terror attacks in Paris, France asked the U.S.-led coalition to bump up the military offensive against ISIS.

    Now that Britain has decided to expand airstrikes that it previously conducted only in Iraq, the spotlight is on the German Parliament, which also is expected to approve greater military commitment against the terror group.

    The German plan would activate 1,200 troops in anti-ISIS efforts, but in a support role -- not direct combat..............


  14. Trump to Visit Israel, Meet With Netanyahu

    By Rebecca Berg

    December 03, 2015

    MANASSAS, Va. — Donald Trump is planning a trip to Israel that would include a meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, he told supporters at a rally here on Wednesday.

    “Very soon I’ll be going to Israel,” Trump said in response to a question from a supporter, “and I’ll be meeting with Bibi Netanyahu. He’s a great man.”

    This would not be the first time Trump and the Israeli leader have intersected politically: In 2013 Trump starred in an advertisement for Netanyahu’s re-election campaign, in which the billionaire businessman endorsed him as “a truly great prime minister” and a “terrific guy, terrific leader.”

    Trump’s campaign did not respond to a request for more details about the trip, including when it will take place and the GOP frontrunner’s full itinerary.

    The announcement comes on the eve of a presidential candidates forum in Washington, D.C., hosted by the influential Republican Jewish Coalition.

    Trump has attempted to court prominent Jewish Republican tastemakers, including the mega-donor Sheldon Adelson, but so far he has not won their broad acceptance or support. An excursion to Israel and a meeting with Netanyahu, however, would be a tangible display of commitment from Trump that might begin to sway members of this group.

    The trip would mark Trump’s first political travel abroad since announcing his candidacy for president.............

  15. Boom!

    Police were dispatched to the area of Brookhurst and Commonwealth around 3 p.m. Saturday regarding an explosion.

    On arrival, officers found a man who had climbed into a transformer and apparently touched off the explosion.
    They said the man was on fire.

    1. Totally rude and impolite of him.

      He may have doused the lights for miles around just as people were heading home from work.