“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."

Saturday, September 16, 2017

The Elite Establishment of Political Cowards

‘Strange’ and ‘Strangers’

Two new studies of Islam portray recent outbursts of coordinated violence and oppression not as a reaction to Western liberalism but instead as fundamental to the religion itself

The Europe that conquered much of the world from the 15th century onward was empowered by its violent disunity. Its quarreling states large and small were sharpened in war and diplomacy by fighting one another at frequent intervals. Each war brought its share of death and destruction, but each was followed by vigorous procreation and reconstruction, so that Europe kept growing from war to war, in population and in wealth, while advancing in the arts, the sciences, and in technology. That Europe was still Christian except for its Jews, privileged survivors when the pagans were exterminated, but its very un-Christian central ideology was the Iliad’s: men love war, women love warriors. European wars over the centuries were fought by volunteers, whose urge to fight was far more widely admired than deplored, not least by women desirous of virile mates.

Europe’s tragedy is that while the Iliad’s ideology would now be deemed absurdly archaic, the sum total of the ideas that have replaced it does not permit its survival: The average fertility rate is far below the 2.1 replacement rate, so that it is only the aging of the population that prevents its disappearance, with a palpable loss of energy and creative vitality. As to why Europeans are producing so few babies—and they would be fewer still without the high fertility of the small percentage of Muslim mothers—there can be no definite answer, because in each country and each region there seems to be a different prevalence and different mix of refusals: men’s refusal of the responsibilities of fatherhood, women’s refusal of the burdens of motherhood.

As for the post-heroic ideas that have largely displaced the Iliad’s elemental prescriptions, they are varied and changeable and drifting right-ward of late, but among the better-educated anti-racism, feminism, post-colonial guilt, and a pacifist presumption remain the dominant mix, perhaps best exemplified by the Norwegian politician Karsten Nordal Hauken. In both a TV appearance and an April 6, 2016 article, Hauken proclaimed his own strong feelings of guilt and responsibility, because a male Somali asylum-seeker was being deported after serving four-and-a-half years in prison for rape: “I was the reason that he would not be in Norway anymore but rather sent to a dark, uncertain future in Somalia. … I see him mostly as a product of an unfair world, a product of an upbringing marked by war and despair.”

Hauken’s guilty plea may seem strange because he did not capture, prosecute, or judge the Somali. Yet there can be no doubt about his personal connection to the case: Karsten Nordal Hauken, self-described as “male, heterosexual, young Socialist Left Party member, feminist and anti-racist” was himself the object of the rape.

Hauken’s sentiments are by no means unusual: Many elite Europeans hold that Somalis have the right to leave the cruelties of Somalia, inflicted by fellow Somalis, to come to Europe with or without travel documents, as do all other Africans and, indeed, non-Africans—not to mention war refugees from Syria, even though the right of asylum which they truly do have under international treaties only applies to the first country they reach, and no country of Europe shares a border with Syria. That would be dismissed as a mere technicality by many contemporary Europeans,including Mario Bergoglio, the bishop of Rome, aka Pope Francis, who vehemently insists that all immigrants must be welcomed with open arms—a sharp departure from the views of his predecessor, Benedict.
With the pope easily outranking the prime minister in Italy, it is unsurprising that the Italian authorities have blithely ignored their own laws, including the acquired Schengen Treaty admission rules, by making no attempt whatever to separate and send home the vast mass of illegal migrants from the relatively few war refugees. Instead they did the opposite by sending their coast guard to collect them from the traffickers’ barges just off the Libyan coast. Germany does not have a Mediterranean coastline, yet in 2015, the still-very-popular Chancellor Angela Merkel took it upon herself to violate the Schengen rules (treaties outrank domestic laws) to invite Syrian war refugees without limit, and without any form of identity controls, thereby ensuring that many Afghans, Iranians, Eritreans, and Kurds set out for Germany. To do so, they had to cross all the countries in between, some of which attracted opprobrium by refusing transit. The European Commission threatened harsh economic retaliation, but, of course, it too is afflicted by the intersecting European maladies that make it as impotent as the national governments in dealing with immigration, or with Putin’s Russia, or with the subversion of national cultures by relatively small numbers of Muslim immigrants.

How large a threat do Muslim immigrants pose to a dying Europe? In 2016 they were only 4.6 percent of the population in the U.K. But their powerful Islamizing impact on schools, local governments, and police practices merits extended treatment in Douglas Murray’s The Strange Death of Europe: Immigration, Identity, Islamwhereby one learns that the death in question is not so strange after all, for it is merely a case of suicide—or, more precisely, attempted suicide, because there is an increasing resistance underway, which is even reversing Islamization in some European countries, at least in some respects. For example, in Italy, so lax with illegal immigration, there is no laxity at all when it comes to Islamist violence, with summary deportations and many arrests of would-be terrorists, and not a single fatality since it all started, in sharp contrast to France next door. More than 160 imams are in Italian prisons, some merely self-appointed to their ministries post-imprisonment, but others for preaching what others proclaim with impunity elsewhere in Europe.

Murray is very effective in fully identifying the deformed, guilt-ridden liberalism √† la Karsten Nordal Hauken that generates illiberal concessions to intolerance—and to violence. He rightly gives extended treatment to the Somali-born Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who once held a seat in the Netherlands parliament and whose denunciations of female genital mutilation, forced marriages, and polygamy were themselves denounced as extremist, even racist, by many leaders of Dutch society, while the Dutch police professed their inability to protect her from local Muslims, forcing her into exile.

When it comes to Sweden, Murray rightly presents the rape scandal as emblematic while also surveying the territorial loss of control manifest in Malm√∂, among other places. But it is not clear if the Swedish rape phenomenon can properly be called a “scandal,” because it continues to be blandly denied by the government and, indeed, the entire establishment—there was an outpouring of much-applauded ridicule when Trump mentioned it. Yet the numbers are simple enough: In 1975, there were 421 rapes reported to the police; in 2014, the number was 6,620. Given that most migrants are young Muslim males brought up in places where any uncovered woman is fair prey, the numbers are no great surprise.

What is surprising is the eagerness of the press to cover up the facts. On Feb. 2, 2015, the Swedish press reported the gang-rape of a Swedish woman on the ferry Amorella under the headline “Eight Swedes questioned over ferry ‘gang rape.’”
When it turned out that the men were not, in fact, ethnically Swedes but rather Somalis, the Swedish press (Aftonbladed, Expressen, etc.) merely changed the headlines to read “Swedish citizens questioned over ferry ‘gang rape,’” When the investigative and right-wing Nya Tider published the fact that they were not Swedish citizens but rather asylum seekers and therefore could only be described as Somalis, the Aftonbladed and Expressen simply ignored the correction. Their fear, of course, is that publishing the truth would trigger a backlash against Muslim immigrants. That has been a widely shared fear since Sept. 11: Every time Islamists commit some outrage, there is a frenzy not over the victims but rather over the imminent danger of attacks on Muslims at large—and that is curious indeed, because there were hardly attacks on Muslims, even in violent America, after 2,983 were killed.

Murray is at his best in presenting Michel Houellebecq, the French author whose novels have been steadily decoding Europe’s post-heroic and feebly sexual nihilism since his Extension du Domaine de la Lutte of 1994. Houellebecq has been widely famous in the West since his best-seller, Plateforme, of 2001. His Soumission(Submission) of 2015 profoundly agitated French politics by presenting a totally plausible sequence of events that result in the Islamization of France, with a cynical, opportunistic, and feeble academic as the protagonist. French is one of my native languages and I became a Houellebecq devotee years ago (since Plateforme) because I was captivated by his style as well as by his subject matter (including the perils of too much self-realization). Even his fiercest critics—some were agitated years ago by his offhand remark that Islam is “nonetheless” the most stupid of religions—concede that Houellebecq has single-handedly invented a new prose splendidly classical in its cadenced tonalities, yet utterly modern, hence a perfect fit with his utterly realistic contemporary tales, and Soumission is certainly that.

“Submission” is of course an exact translation of the Arabic word “Islam,” a religion far more often willfully misrepresented than ignorantly misunderstood (you will hear professors of Middle East studies and such assert that it means “peace”): To cite one example among a thousand or more, Verso has just published Suleiman Mourad’s The Mosaic of Islam, which is squarely aimed at the U.S. collegiate market (Mourad teaches at Smith College), wherein we learn that the Quran’s more murderous verses count for nothing, because along with the entire corpus of Muhammad’s sayings it has “always” been subject to change, interpretation and “rigorous” debate. When the Quran says “kill” you should therefore instead read: admonish, or persuade, or plead, or “swim backstroke,” I suppose. In any case, he adds: “The Quran legitimizes a lot of things that modern Muslims consider embarrassing: slavery, military jihad, control of women.”
Yet unreconstructed interpretations of “jihad” continue to have wide appeal beyond the confines of Smith College, as countless polls testify, and, more to the point, as the ubiquity of jihadi violence across the world from Nigeria to Mindanao demonstrates. The control of women is both an overwhelming reality in Muslim countries—and any dense Muslim community anywhere—and is often reaffirmed by state-salaried preachers. Slavery, yes, is only an exotic survival (I saw slaves in Qatar eight years ago)—or was, until its revival with the capture of Yazidi women; the men were killed when they refused to convert, in strict accordance with Quranic injunctions.

Mourad’s short book is replete with misrepresentations, yet can scarcely be criticized as especially misleading. Simple, bare-faced lying pervades the approved textbooks of what might be called “American Collegiate Islam”—the mildest of religions, in which apostasy is not— repeat, not—a capital crime (notwithstanding laws in some 20 countries), and has nothing, but really nothing, absolutely nothing, to do with the Islamic state; or al-Qaida, of course; or Boko Haram; or Laskar-i-Islam; or Abu Sayaf; or the Taliban; or any of the other 60 or 70 really sizable jihadi organizations around the world, which could not exist if they did not have substantial approval among many more Muslims.

It is in its determined violation of this unique regime of voluntarily induced cognitive dissonance that Graeme Wood’s The Way of the Strangers: Encounters with the Islamic State has caused such a scandal. Instead of synthesizing his own version of American Collegiate Islam to be assigned to hapless students by U.S. college teachers of Islam, Wood has interviewed as many active supporters of the now-almost-defunct Islamic state as he could find in Cairo and elsewhere, without actually going to Mosul or Raqqah, to find out what they believed and why.
Wood interviewed many very different believers (one a Japanese academic) yet obtained very consistent answers. First, it is evident that Wood’s believers cannot be described as mindless fanatics—they had arrived at their faith in the necessity of a caliphate by a logical process once they adopted Islam (or took it seriously, if born in it), demonstrating that the Islamic State was no anomaly. Rather, it was a fulfillment of a rigorous form of Islam that is supported not only by the tens of thousands who went to fight, but by the 100 million or so Deobandis of India and Pakistan (and Birmingham) and “Wahhabis” of Qatar (yes) and Saudi Arabia, aka the followers of Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab (d. 1792), who revived the strict Islam ibn Taymiyyah (d. 1328). Though Wood does discuss this Islam at length, he wholly omits the Deobandis, who now control at least 30,000(!) mosques around the world through preachers sent out from their immense (and tax-exempt) Darul Uloom seminary in Deoband, India. (In spite of its pervasive extremism—it was a fatwa from Deoband that mandated the Taliban destruction of the immense Buddhas of Bamiyan in March 2001—Darul Uloom is well protected in India … because of its extremism: It opposes Pakistan on the grounds that Muslims should rule all parts of India!)

All of the above concur with ibn Taymiyyah that insufficiently devout Muslims should be flogged into submission and that heretical or hypocritical Muslims (including the Shi’a) are much worse than properly submissive Christians or Jews—only disagreeing on whether they should be given a chance to renounce heresy or killed outright. Because Iran’s clerics have greatly intensified the cult of Ali and of their 12 Imams at the expense of sole devotion to Muhammad, and also because (to them) bizarre Shi’a ceremonies are now broadcast for them to see, very many Sunnis now agree that Shi’ism is indeed a heresy and thus subject to the death penalty, even if they do not support the Islamic State’s summary roadside executions (though in Pakistan, deadly attacks on Shi’a at prayer are an almost daily occurrence).

In other words, Islamic violence against non-Muslims is, in fact, peripheral to the greater violence directed at fellow Muslims—which really varies only in degree between the routine oppression of women (explicitly enjoined in the Quran) to the periodic outbursts of mass extremist violence, such as that of the Almohads who drove Maimonides into exile to find refuge in Fatimid Egypt in 1168 or so (esoteric Shi’a Sevener Ismailis themselves, the Fatimids had to be tolerant, and in fact were).

Wood’s central finding is therefore that the extremism of the Islamic State, though very modern in some ways, was not a reaction to modern events, such as U.S. invasion of Iraq (as has been endlessly argued by apologists). It was, instead, the latest in a long series of such outbursts of mass violence that have marked Islam since its birth: Muhammad, after all, lived by the sword, before and after preaching his religion, yet he is still Islam’s perfect man whom all should strive to imitate.

But the more serious problem for non-Muslims is not violence, but rather the West’s own internal encounter with unreconstructed mainstream Islamic beliefs. Both Houellebecq’s Submission and Murray’s book are not optimistic about the result. Not many Muslims outside the Middle East support jihadi violence. Yet the latest Pew survey, issued Aug. 9, shows that support for the imposition of Sharia—complete with hand-chopping and the ritual humiliation of non-believers—is at least substantial (from 37 percent) or overwhelming in every country with a large Muslim population (including Russia), with the solitary exception of Azerbaijan, whose secularism is daily reinforced by the immediate proximity of Iran’s extremism to the south and jihadism in Dagestan to the north. In Afghanistan, that support is 99 percent.

In the United States, the number of Muslims has increased by a million in the last decade. Those who believe that routine versions of Islamic fundamentalism must dissolve on contact with American conditions had better consider the demographic expansion of American Chassidim and the Amish—bearing in mind that jihad is as integral to Islam as pacifism is to the Amish.
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Edward N. Luttwak, a military strategist and senior associate at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, is the author of, most recently, The Rise of China vs. the Logic of Strategy.



    Looking back this week on Sept. 11, it’s hard not to conclude that Osama bin Laden won a significant victory. With relatively little money and a small band of suicidal fanatics, he reconfigured the policy of a superpower in a region of vital interest for 16 years, at a high cost in American treasure and lives and global influence that may never be recaptured.

    From the Iraq war to Afghanistan, and from the Iran nuclear deal to the anti-ISIS campaign, our foreign policy is a bipartisan train wreck endangering passengers and bystanders alike. Bin Laden didn’t destroy America like he set out to do, he did something much worse: He set America on a path to self-destruction. The way I see it, Sept. 11 is how we got Donald Trump.

    More specifically, the policies of the Bush White House, beginning with the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and then the ostensibly corrective policies of the Obama administration, which culminated in the Iran Deal and the ongoing slaughter in Syria, have sucked nearly the entire American foreign-policy elite into a black hole of denial of their own shared responsibility for a self-evident geopolitical disaster that began in the destruction of the Middle East, but is unlikely to end there.

    That’s why both parties are in agreement on one thing: shift the blame. It’s not on us, Republicans or Democrats. Trump is the problem we can all agree on. Let’s wipe the slate clean and agree that history started in January 2017—and any effort to argue otherwise and put Trump, his policies and even personality, in some sort of historical context rather than simply regard him as a freakish anomaly is “what about-ism,” or Trumpism, or worse.

    But history isn’t simply whatever “narrative” the good people of Twitter agree on to whitewash their own guilt. History is bigger than that, and it shapes the future, in ways that we are often powerless to control. In this case, history starts not long after Sept. 11, 2001, first in Afghanistan and then two years later with Iraq, a war whose aims were always unclear, and which were repeatedly re-written over time. It was because Saddam had WMD. It was to punish an Arab dictator who supported the same anti-American causes advocated by bin Laden and the Sept. 11 hijackers. It was to bring democracy to the Middle East.

    Lee Smith

  2. Excellent.

    By the way, Odysseus didn't love war, had a gut full of it, and wished to go home to a good wife and a quiet life, and, finally did just that.

  3. According to Federal Criminal Police Office (Bundeskriminalamt, BKA) data, in 2013, migrants (Zuwanderer) committed 599 sex crimes, or an average of two a day.

    In 2014, migrants committed 949 sex crimes, or around three per day. In 2015, migrants committed 1,683 sex crimes, or around five per day.

    During the first three quarters of 2016, migrants committed 2,790 sex crimes, or around ten per day.

  4. They are starting to get a real feel for North European pussy.

    1. They are attacking public libraries in Germany too. Not that they are looking for reading material, just to raise hell and toss books off shelves.

    2. How Merkel ruins the country and keeps popular is beyond me.

  5. Trump Turnaround Puts New Tax-Cut Writing on the Wall

    By Lawrence Kudlow
    September 16, 2017

    Financial markets and most media pundits are missing the new writing on the wall. For a variety of reasons surrounding shrewd moves by President Trump, the chances for significant tax cuts in the next 10 weeks have risen sharply.

    Since the Charlottesville blowup in mid August, when the president's fortunes were at low ebb -- and I'll repeat my view that there's not a racist, hateful, white supremacist bone in Trump's body -- we've witnessed a dramatic executive turnaround. Trump beautifully handled the Harvey and Irma emergencies. His bipartisan political pivot to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to keep the government open and raise the debt ceiling was clever indeed. As economist Steve Moore puts it, POTUS publicly spanked Republican leaders House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. And though there's plenty of confusion about immigration reform, it's clear now that 800,000 recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program won't be deported for at least two years, if ever.

    Some polls show the president's approval nearing 50 percent. The public likes what it sees.

    And, most importantly, Trump has cleared the decks for tax cuts and reform.

    Make no mistake: Trump is absolutely committed to tax cuts. This is completely unlike the health care muddle. And critical here is the argument Trump is making: A big drop in large- and small-business tax rates will mostly benefit middle-class wage earners.

    Research from Kevin Hassett, formerly of the American Enterprise Institute, or AEI, and now chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, shows that about 70 percent of the benefits of business tax cuts going to wage earners. This is not a tax cut for the rich, as Johnny-One-Note Democrats insist.

    There are two big numbers standing atop Trump's tax plan: 3 percent and 15 percent. Three percent is the new growth path that will normalize America's economy and generate at least $3 trillion of additional revenues over 10 years (or sooner). This is the mother of all pay-fors. Fifteen percent is the corporate rate that will spur increases in capital formation, business investment, productivity and real wages.

    The Republican establishment says it can't be done. It'll only risk dropping the business rate from 35 to 25 percent. But Trump wants the full 15. So does his Treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin. Other than the president, Mnuchin, whom I call the "apostle of growth," is the only administration official to keep up the drumbeat for 3 and 15 percent.

    Aparna Mathur of AEI notes that at 39.1 percent, including state taxes, the U.S. has the highest statutory rate among G-20 nations. (China is 15 percent.) And our average corporate rate, which is total taxes paid as a share of income, is 29 percent, third highest in the G-20.

    So, echoing the president, if we want to build out investment, jobs and wages, bring back overseas profits, stop American companies from going overseas and make the investment climate in America top in the world, we need a big-bang slash of our business tax rate.

    It's not a matter of bean counting. It's a matter of growth-oriented economic policy.

    Trump is ending former President Obama's wars on business and success. He's halting the war on fossil fuels. And he's virtually rolling back the regulatory state. The Office of Management and Budget reports that roughly 800 pending regulations have been frozen, rolled back or reclassified in the administration's first seven months.
    Slashing the business tax rate is the necessary complement to this regulatory relief.

    And GOP lawmakers have 10 weeks to do it.

    Can they? Will they?

    1. Here's some progress: It looks like House Speaker Paul Ryan is taking off his Congressional Budget Office green eyeshades. Rather than insist on "revenue-neutral" tax policy, he seems to be returning to his Jack Kemp supply-side roots, arguing that growth is the most important issue.

      The CBO is a big part of the swamp that President Trump would drain. With its pathetically small growth estimates, it blocks pro-growth tax-cut policies. Neither the CBO nor the Joint Committee on Taxation has any serious models showing how lower tax rates reduce tax avoidance and tax sheltering -- a point made emphatically by supply-side mentor Arthur Laffer.

      But Mnuchin's Treasury will come up with more realistic models for the Trump tax cut. And there's no reason why these estimates couldn't be used.

      What's more, there's no reason why the 10-year scorecard window can't be extended to 20 years. The green-eyeshade process must not be permitted to block an American prosperity renaissance.

      The GOP needs a budget resolution, which will contain crucial 51-vote reconciliation instructions on spending and taxes. But where there's strong political will, legislative ways and means will be found. Ten weeks is plenty of time.

      So I agree with my friends at Bretton Woods Research: Budget and tax-cut draft legislation is coming sooner than folks think. My financial take? Buy stocks, go long the dollar and short gold.

      In other words, optimism.

      Lawrence Kudlow is CNBC’s Senior Contributor. He is also the host of The Larry Kudlow Show, which broadcasts on Saturdays from 10am to 1pm ET and is syndicated nationally. He is a former Reagan economic advisor and a syndicated columnist.

  6. .

    Make no mistake: Trump is absolutely committed to tax cuts. This is completely unlike the health care muddle. And critical here is the argument Trump is making: A big drop in large- and small-business tax rates will mostly benefit middle-class wage earners.

    Research from Kevin Hassett, formerly of the American Enterprise Institute, or AEI, and now chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, shows that about 70 percent of the benefits of business tax cuts going to wage earners. This is not a tax cut for the rich, as Johnny-One-Note Democrats insist...


    When these companies earn record profits, does that money go to increased wages for the little guy? Does it go towards investment in new facilities, equipment, or research? It hasn't, at least since 2008. Instead, they've used those profits for stock buybacks and executive pay increases.

    Those executives won't be spending money on investment until they are convinced growth is here to stay; hopefully, growth above 2%. Trump's campaign promise of 4% growth was nothing but fairy dust. Mnuchin's 3% is highly optimistic. We could go into the reasons, history, technology and demographic but that would be a longer discussion.

    On the one side arguing for the lower growth estimate, you have the CBO, the FED, most economists. On the other arguing for the higher growth estimates, you have Trump, Mnuchin, Larry Kudlow, and Laffer. Decisions. Decisions.

    I met Rufus over on the old Larry Kudlow Blog before they stopped taking comments due to some nutjob from California putting up nude photos of himself. There was as much arguing amongst the people there as there is here. The one point of consensus there was that Kudlow, a truly nice guy, was as dumb as a rock when it came to economics. As a side note, Art Laffer s a joke.


    1. I'm glad to hear Rufus is, or at least was, still kicking.

      "Poor Rufus, he's never been right on anything, yet he is such a dear"

  7. That is how I met you and Rufus. I have been listening to Kudlow since Lou Rukheiser and Kudlow and Craemer. Kudlow is an academic.

    Tax cuts are only as good as they are spent. Buying imports on Amazon is economically zilch. The key is spending. The best method of economic spending is private and public infrastructure projects with user fees. Both should be done with government providing subordinated debt and the debt instruments transferred to social security and private capital providing equity and senior debt.

    All construction, using primarily domestic sources, ends up as income or savings.

    I would allow immediate expensing of capital formation. The best way to enhance growth north of 3% is through wage growth. It is not impossible. Disincentives to not work need to be diminished to achieve wage growth and lower taxes.

    The most important modification on the tax code is to eliminate all tax deductions for any entity that generates revenue from any source. Tax exempt corporations, trusts, religious, academic and charitable organizations should be taxed at the same rate as corporations. No exceptions.

  8. Individuals with assets over $5 million and income over $350,000 do not need a tax break.

  9. The real money rich don't know what to do with the money they have. They all collect zeros, 000,000 types of zeros. Clip back a few and their egos will force them to work harder to get back to par.

  10. I got plenty of zeros, but nothing in front of them, except some farmland.

    It's enough. Not too much, not too little.

    Besides, I enjoy it, which makes all the difference.

    And, there is always the library.

    If things get bad back east, I've got a lean-to for Quirk and some select others, mostly females of Quirk's acquaintance.

    1. My current lawyer's husband just shot a wolf in Alaska, huge mother. Trying to get a Caribou before he returns, too.

      I've told my lawyer I'll buy the wolf if they have it stuffed, and pay for the stuffing.

    2. Quirk couldn't manage without Felony, Miss Demeanoir, DaDa La Boeuf and the others.

  11. .

    White House Seeks to Avoid Quitting Paris Deal, Climate Officials Say

    Is Trump actually re-thinking one of his mindless appeals to his base?

    Who knows? It will likely depend on any blowback he gets from his base or on how well he can spin it.



    Climate change temperature data problems - 9/16/17
    Global warming suspicions get worse and worse. More

    Idle your motors all night, gentlemen.

    Fight The Next Ice Age Now !

  13. X and the body outline marks the spot -

    NETFLIX 'NARCOS' Location Scout Found Shot Dead in Mexico....DRUDGE

  14. Jihad In The West Has Reached A New Stage

    Terrorist organizations like ISIS have encouraged sharia-supremacist Muslims to attack in place — i.e., where they live in the West — rather than come to Syria. We are thus seeing more of these ad hoc strikes that require little or no expertise to pull off. In the Nineties, we used to be ironically relieved that the jihadists always wanted to go for the big bang; 9/11-type attacks are horrific, but they are extremely tough to pull off, and there are usually opportunities (as there were with 9/11) to disrupt them. That’s why they so rarely succeed. We worried that someday it would dawn on these monsters that there is a great deal of low-hanging fruit out there (virtually indefensible targets, like subways and crowded streets) that would be easy to attack, almost no preparation or coordination required.

    Now, they’re going for the low-hanging fruit.

    In terms of what the wonks like to call the “threat mosaic,” we are now in straits more dangerous than ever. We have highly trained, competent jihadists who are capable of pulling off sophisticated strikes that could kill hundreds or thousands at once; and we have motivated would-be jihadists who have been encouraged to do the kind of crude attacks that are within their limited capabilities. The crude attacks, we are learning, are just as effective at stoking an atmosphere of intimidation as long as they happen with some regularity.

  15. What’s the Gun Ownership Rate in Your State?
    Posted at 10:00 am on September 15, 2017 by Erika Haas

    While we don’t know for certain, it’s estimated that there are roughly 300 million guns in America. Of course, some say that number is higher…much higher…like upwards of 200 million higher. So who owns all these guns, and where do they live? Injury Prevention, a scholarly journal, decided to find out.

    The journal surveyed 4,000 adults across the country to see which states have the highest number of gun owners per capita, also known as the gun ownership rate.

    Check to see how your state ranks. You just might be surprised.

    Below the national average of 29.1%

    Delaware: 5.2

    Rhode Island: 5.8

    New York: 10.3

    New Jersey: 11.3

    New Hampshire: 14.4

    Connecticut: 16.6

    Ohio: 19.6

    Nebraska: 19.8

    California: 20.1

    Maryland: 20.7

    Massachusetts: 22.6

    Maine: 22.6

    District of Columbia: 25.9

    Illinois: 26.2

    Oregon: 26.6

    Missouri: 27.1

    Pennsylvania: 27.1

    Washington: 27.7

    North Carolina: 28.7

    Michigan: 28.8

    Vermont: 28.8

    Above the national average of 29.1%

    Virginia: 29.3

    Oklahoma: 31.2

    Georgia: 31.6

    Utah: 31.9

    Kansas: 32.2

    Arizona: 32.3

    Florida: 32.5

    Indiana: 33.8

    Iowa: 33.8

    Colorado: 34.3

    Wisconsin 34.7

    South Dakota: 35.0

    Texas: 35.7

    Minnesota: 36.7

    Nevada: 37.5

    Tennessee: 39.4

    Kentucky: 42.4

    Mississippi: 42.8

    South Carolina: 44.4

    Louisiana: 44.5

    Hawaii: 45.1

    North Dakota: 47.9

    Alabama: 48.9

    New Mexico: 49.9

    Montana: 52.3

    Wyoming: 53.8

    West Virginia: 54.2

    Idaho: 56.9

    Arkansas: 57.9

    Alaska: 61.7

    While the survey is a few years old (it was first published in 2015), it’s likely the rankings have generally remained the same.

    Hawaii is a big surprise.

    Doug must have an arsenal in his lava tube.