Trying to Start a War?

So the Dimmocrats, who earn their name every day, want to confiscate your guns. Oh, they say they’ll buy them back, and if New Zealand’s recent experience is any guide, they’ll give you about a quarter of their value, and throw you in jail if you object. Ain’t tyranny wonderful?

Well confiscating the law-abiding citizen guns has been tried here before, of course. The last time was on April 19, 1775. The results weren’t promising, it started the Revolutionary War. I think that might be a bad precedent.

Maybe, just maybe, they should try enforcing the laws already on the books. If you don’t read blogs like Second City Cop, you have no idea just how frustrated the police are. What with the court putting murderers on the street on bail with an ankle monitor, and insanely short sentences if they bother to show up, it’s not hard to see why.

Then there is the evasion of their own responsibility, which we just saw with Mayor Lightfoot in Chicago and her attempt to blame Republicans in Indiana for Chicago’s self-imposed problems.

By the way, there were two, count ’em, two, mass shooting in Chicago over the Labor Day weekend. What’s that? You didn’t see that on TV? Neither did anybody else. It was black people killing black people, and thusly of no interest to the left. It never is, plantation violence is background noise. Nobody but the police even try to do anything about it, and they hamstring every effort to help.

But hey, your AR-15 will probably, all on its own, go out one night and shoot up the neighborhood. David Harsanyi at The Federalist has some thoughts as well.

And they do it without any evidence that it would curtail rare mass shootings or save lives.

While national confiscation would be unprecedented in American history, we already possess hard evidence that bans of assault rifles don’t alter gun violence trends. Gun homicides continued to drop steeply after an “assault weapons” ban expired in 2004. It’s also worth noting that in 2017, the last year of available FBI data, there was a near-historic low of 7,032 murders with handguns, and 403 by “rifles” of any kind, not only “assault weapons.”

To put that in perspective, there were 1,591 knife homicides during that same span, 467 people killed with blunt objects, and another 696 with fists and kicking. (Not every police department reports the type of gun used in homicides (3,096 of them), but it’s reasonable to believe that similar trends apply, since those murders took place in big cities where handguns are most prevalent.)

Although a number of Democrats now unequivocally support a “buyback,” no one has explained how the procedure is supposed to unfurl. What will the penalty be for ignoring the “buybacks”? Fines? Prison terms?

Will local police be tasked with opening case files on the 100 million homes of suspected gun owners who are armed with hundreds of millions of firearms, or will it be the FBI? Maybe Democrats will propose “paying back” family members and neighbors who snitch on gun owners? How else will they figure out who owns these AR-15s? There is no national tracking of sales.

And there won’t be. New Zealand, after it’s government’s stupid and panicked attempted buyback this year, has had to admit that they have no idea how many weapons there are in Kiwi land. Good, that’s how it should be.

And strangely enough, if you don’t care about legality, even in Britain, it seems not all that difficult to obtain guns, and unlike America, real military weapons, select-fire and all.

Well, they always could have listened to Churchill who commented that when you destroy a free market you create a black market.

Of course, even Churchill’s family caught the disease, I noticed yesterday that his grandson, Sir Christopher Soames, who has been in Parliament since 1983, I think, has lost the whip, and been deselected by the Conservative Party for reelection for wanting to remain a Euro-peon. Probably why you don’t hear much about the Churchills between John, first Duke of Marlborough and Lord Randolf, Sir Winston’s father. An easy and soft life doesn’t breed good leaders.

Attacking Kiwi Rights

PM Jacinda Ardern of New Zealand.
Working hard to reduce Kiwi freedom

Some of our governments, don’t appear to support freedom. One of them is the government of New Zealand. What do I mean? Let Greg Jones in The American Spectator explain.

Terrorists, it seems, hate lots of things. And most of those things are either rooted in or expressions of freedom.

Some hate speech that contradicts their beliefs; others clothing that goes against their own religious or cultural norms; and yet others societies in which different races and classes of people are free to live side-by-side. In fact, one of the more popular theories regarding why Muslim extremists so despise the West relies on their resentment of the freedom enabled by Western ideals.

Those who hate freedom naturally gravitate toward its opposite, control, which is at its root the motivation behind any terrorist act, including the horrific attack in Christchurch, New Zealand that took the lives of 50 innocent Muslims attending mosque.

While the gunman claimed to be waging war against Islam’s infiltration of the West, his actions were ripped straight from the playbook prized by jihadis and every other type of fringe lunatic, regardless of ideology. What terrorists can’t control, they kill. Pot, meet kettle.

Such control, however, is anathema to Western culture, which largely shuns zealotry and intolerance in favor of more dynamic, and by extension successful, societies.

Which is precisely why the actions taken by the New Zealand government following the attack are so disheartening. In an odd attempt to prove that terrorism works, the Kiwis have begun rolling back the freedoms that made the nation great and, ironically, served as the motivation for the country’s Muslims to travel halfway around the world and settle in the remote island nation. […]

Immediately after the attack, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern channeled the advice of former Obama Chief-of-Staff Rahm Emanuel, who notoriously declared “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste,” by announcing a ban on assault rifles and “military-style semi-automatic weapons.”[…]

Of course, such increased control seems a logical policy to the new left, and the government’s private-sector sympathizers have proven eager to pile on. The country’s telecommunications companies, as well as their Australian counterparts, quickly leaned on the attack to implement authoritarian censorship measures. Per Ars Technica:

Internet service providers… temporarily blocked access to dozens of websites, including 4chan and 8chan, that hosted video of last week’s New Zealand mass shooting.…

In Australia, ISP Vodafone said that blocking requests generally come from courts or law enforcement agencies but that this time ISPs acted on their own…

“Acted on their own”?

There’s more, and I urge you to read it. But here is the takeaway. While Kiwis are mourning the dead, their government and its allied authoritarian companies are removing their rights, and not merely one by one either.

Rights, once suppressed, for what God gives, man cannot remove, are extraordinarily difficult if not nearly impossible to recover. The price is usually reckoned in blood. It’s time to wake up and smell the coffee before the Kiwis freedom is not only sold down the river but well out to sea.

And Remember:

One can kill a lot of people with a knife, let alone a gun in 36 minutes if those people have no means to resist.

And the killer was stopped by a civilian who picked up one of the killer’s guns, or so most reports say. So what does the government do? They take the guns of the law abiding citizens. If you think the terrorists are going to turn theirs in, well AOC has a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you.

ANZAC Day

Poppies, a symbol of remembrance

Poppies, a symbol of remembrance (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

97 years ago today the ANZAC Corp landed at Gallipoli. It was supposed to be a daring thrust to take Constantinople (Istanbul) but it bogged down almost immediately becoming a slugging match that lasted until 9 January 1916. It was a decisive defeat for the Allies and had many repercussions. Including for the First Sea Lord, Winston Churchill. It was also very important to the Turks in founding the Turkish Republic under Ataturk who was one of the commanders.

It is often said that this campaign marked the beginning of national consciousness for Australia and New Zealand, much as the War of 1812 did for us Americans. It is the main memorial holiday in both countries, surpassing Remembrance Day, much as Memorial Day surpasses Veterans Day for us.

It is also commemorated in England, Canada, the United States, Thailand, India, France, Turkey, and several other countries.

And so we should take a moment today to remember those heroes who have stood with us in Europe (twice), in the Pacific campaign, in Korea, in Vietnam,in the cold war,  in Iraq (twice) and in Afghanistan, and probably elsewhere that I’ve forgotten as well.

Here is what Atatürk himself had to say in 1934.

“Those heroes that shed their blood
And lost their lives.
You are now lying in the soil of a friendly country.
Therefore rest in peace.
There is no difference between the Johnnies
And the Mehmets to us where they lie side by side
Here in this country of ours.
You, the mothers,
Who sent their sons from far away countries
Wipe away your tears,
Your sons are now lying in our bosom
And are in peace
After having lost their lives on this land they have
Become our sons as well.”

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.

 

ANZAC Day service in Portsmouth.

Possible Way Forward, or Penn Central?

Back to the Anglosphere future?

Back to the Anglosphere future? via http://www.samizdata.net/blog

In the 29 DEC issue of the Wall Street Journal, Iain Murray and James C. Bennett wrote about the possibility of post EU Britain joining NAFTA. They make a good case. A properly re-independent Britain would make a good partner for Canada and the US, in fact they always have.

Where did you think the money for the American Industrial Revolution with its vast capital requirements came from. No it didn’t come from farmers trying to make a living farming 40 Acres with a mule. A lot of the reason the south lagged the north before the Civil War (I’m not articulating the moral argument here, assume I agree, please) is that the south had what little capital it had tied up in slaves. The British had become anti slavery around the time of our independence, as were many of the founding fathers.

Anyway the British took the proceeds of their industrial revolution and their incredible world trade and invested it in the US and Canada. Remember North America had (and has) almost unlimited amounts of natural resources and Britain was already beginning to run out, so it was a good match.

There is also that thing about the common ancestry: If you were an Englishman looking to invest, would you be more comfortable working in countries with very much the same laws or with completely alien (and often corrupt) laws. It didn’t hurt that we spoke English (at least sort of) either.

This turned around about the time of the First World War, Britain spent itself into oblivion fighting Germany and from at least 1916 was fighting the war on American Credit.

One of the reasons the Great Depression was worldwide was that we were demanding that the Allies pay their war debts and the only way they could was to make Germany pay war reparations, finally, the US had to make loans to Weimar to pay reparations so the allies could pay on their loans. And you thought financial chicanery was new.

After the Second World War it was as Dean Acheson described: “Britain has lost an empire but has failed to find a role.” and as the cold war geared up Britain drifted into more contact with Europe, and joined the EEC in 1975, in so doing they had to narrow their trade channels with North America. The EEC and EU, if you haven’t noticed, are not our best friends. They are explicitly our competitors, not enemies, but not best friends either.

Anyway, something you should remember as you read, Britain’s heritage (and Canada’s) is the same as ours. I’ll come back to this point, later.

In 1952, then-U.S. Secretary of State Dean Acheson said that “Britain has lost an empire but has failed to find a role.” Sadly for Britain, it decided to renounce its longstanding global cultural, legal and philosophical links to North America and instead looked for that role in Europe. Despite its geographic proximity to Britain, the Continent is nevertheless home to a host of cultures, legal systems and governing philosophies very different from those of traditionally liberal Britain. The consequences from that bad choice have bedeviled Britain for decades.

Now, as a result of Prime Minister David Cameron’s stance at the recent EU summit, Britain and Europe are at a crossroads. America could help Britain make the right choice, to both countries’ mutual benefit.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy helpfully summed up the results of this month’s summit. He told Le Monde that there are now two Europes, one that “wants more solidarity between its members and regulation, the other attached solely to the logic of the single market.” The Europe of regulation wants to press forward with deeper integration, stringent budget rules and a transition away from nation-state democracy.

The problem is that no one asked the peoples of Europe whether they wanted this. Nationalism is on the rise. Budget rules have been flagrantly ignored in the past, and the Franco-German plan does nothing to deal with the euro’s structural problems, which make southern European countries grossly uncompetitive.

Read the WSJ Article here.

That’s a good start. Daniel Hannan, the MEP for Southeastern England has made similar points. Mr Hannan, being Mr. Hannan works more from a political perspective but delves into economics also. He starts by quoting George Bernard Shaw (in one of his plays) which is never a bad idea!

In George Bernard Shaw’s 1928 play, The Apple Cart, the American ambassador blurts out some momentous news to Britain’s King:

The prodigal, sir, has returned to his father’s house. Not poor, not hungry, not ragged, as of old. Oh no. This time he returns bringing with him the riches of the earth to the ancestral home. The Declaration of Independence is cancelled. The treaties which endorsed it are torn up. We have decided to rejoin the British Empire!

David Aaronovitch plays with the same idea in TheTimes today. I think he’s trying to be funny, though I’m not completely certain. He uses the word ‘ironically’ in his column but, like many journalists, uses it to mean something along the lines of ‘oddly enough’.

‘We British pro-Europeans are beginning to sound more and more like Betamax enthusiasts arguing the superior merits of their systems against the unstoppable VHS tide’, Aaronovitch writes. ‘The people of Britain don’t get Europe, don’t like Europe and don’t want Europe’. Indeed.

Read Daniel Hannen’s article in the Telegraph (UK).

Mr Hannen also has talked extensively about the Anglosphere, which I’ve mentioned on occasion also. He writes far more eloquently than I do, however.

The Anglosphere, for anyone who still doesn’t know, is the community of free, English-speaking nations linked, not by governmental decree, but by shared values. Which nations, exactly? Good question. The UK and Ireland, obviously, the US and Canada, Australia and New Zealand, plus what’s left of the Britain’s extended archipelago (the Falkland Islands, Bermuda and so on). Who else? I’d say Malta, Singapore and perhaps Hong Kong. I hope these territories won’t take it amiss, though, if I point out that, relatively speaking, they’re tiddlers. The elephant – for once the metaphor seems apposite – is India.

The Indian Question dominated a fascinating conference on the Anglosphere in Winchester yesterday, co-hosted by two of the greatest conservative editors on the planet: Daniel Johnson of Standpoint, and Roger Kimball of The New Criterion, and organised by the excellent Social Affairs Unit. Some of the cleverest and most contrarian men in the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and India were present.

Mark Steyn – the Anglosphere’s one-man news-service– made the depressing observation that some Caribbean states, with their Hansards and maces, their horsehair wigs and stiff blue passports, seemed more British than the EU-oppressed mother country. West Indians, like Indians, appeared to value parliamentary democracy more than the country which had developed and exported the concept.

Continue reading this article.

To me this all makes sense. No one is actually proposing that the UK (or anybody else) become de jure part of the United States but a closer partnership with our oldest friends is not really dependent on our (or their) so-called leadership, it is a stand alone idea that makes sense for us, and for them.

It probably wouldn’t hurt if we, as American, remembered a bit more often, that British views on our revolution, were very close to the ones in the colonies, about a third for, a third against, and a third who cares.

In fact, it is a world beater, for freedom, for reasonably free and fair trade, for military purposes, and even for business as usual. Because it has been business as usual since about 1783.

Friends, Acquaintances, Interests, Frenemies,& Enemies

العربية: علم إسرائيل (مستطيل ذهبي) English: Th...

Image via Wikipedia

We are going to talk here about categories of friendship. I (like you) have friends that I would willingly give my life for, I have acquaintances that I share interests with, they may be friends but, not like the close friends above, I also have interests; for instance, I might be nice to the idiot clerk in a store to get better service, and I have enemies (or at least adversaries).

This applies to us personally and to our countries as well. It is often quoted (I think it was Bismarck but, can’t seem to find it tonight) that “Great powers have interests, not friends”. That is pretty much true. A Great Power like the United States does have interests all over the world. They range from the cost of production in China to the cost of gasoline in Turkey and involve everything in between (going both ways around the world). We have adversaries and we have what some call frenemies.

But the exception which proves the rule, we also have friends, countries which will throw themselves in front of the train to save us and that we will do the same for them. We (and they) have proved that friendship over and over, usually in war but, in peace also. Who are these friends? You know as well as I. The United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and my point today: Israel.

Why have they become friends? Because more often than not, our interests are at least congruent, if not always the same. Usually it involve individual freedom, non-aggression, equal rights for all, religious freedom and such causes.

Israel has become the United States little sister, democratic, friendly, taking no sh*t from anyone. It doesn’t hurt that we were the very first country to recognize the state of Israel, nor did it hurt  when Nixon, during the Yom Kippur war, resupplied Israel using the US Air Force because nobody in Europe wanted to give us landing rights but, you don’t let friends die because of landing rights, do you? I would have expected this between Jerusalem and the “New Jerusalem”. We have also remained far more cognizant of the difference between good and evil than our European cousins.

Anyway, one of the things I find most troubling about the present administration is their penchant for insulting our friends, from returning the Churchill bust, to bowing to the Saudis, to always considering Israel to be in the wrong. The recent comments of our ambassador to Belgium (link here) blaming Israel for middle eastern anti-Semitism is just appalling.

This is discussion from the former Ambassador to the US from Israel is quite good.

You get a link because I can’t seem to get this to embed, Sorry, check it out.

We need the idiots fired next year, before we run out of our friends patience with our people.

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