It’s what it boils down to. The last two weeks destroyed all the NRA’s about the goodness of being more heavily armed. Just the opposite — the more heavily armed a certain minority white part of the populace is, one with problems ranging from insecurity over virility, paranoia about the non-white guy living in the White House (and everyone else) and an increasingly toxic ideology in which they see themselves as the last patriots to defend the country, the more certainty there will be slaughters in the future.
The selling and “panic buying” of Bushmasters has been height of morally reprehensible and irresponsible behavior during the holiday season.
There was a killing in Portland, the big one in Newtown, and the one the day before Christmas in Webster, New York, all employing the same assault rifle. And what happened? Sales of it and huge ammo clips went through the roof because the right-to-be-heavily-armed crowd was most concerned about not having them, not the substantial problem they, the National Rifle Association and manufactures of civilian assault rifles have created for everyone else.
And we know that since the incidence of violent behavior and mental illness is not zero in this gun buying white male part of the populace, somewhere, in the future, perhaps not soon, one or two or perhaps three of the weapons bought in the current surge of “panic buying” will turn up in another mass killing.
The Duluth News Tribune Reports that Duluth-area firearm dealers are seeing a high demand for Armalite, or “ARs.”
“Every time Obama opens his mouth, I sell more of them,” said Scott Van Valkenburg, owner of Fisherman’s Corner in Pike Lake, Minn., in a News Tribune article “It’s getting hard to find them, but we still have a few on the shelf. … I know a few distributors who can still get them for me, at least for now. The more they talk about banning them, the more they sell and the harder they get to find.”
Allen said that almost every five minutes his store receives a call about AR-15s. The AR-15 is a common assault weapon, and the federal government has discussed the possibility of banning such weapons and enforcing stricter gun laws. Since the recent attack, the demand for AR-15s have been high across the nation, according to Allen. FMJ does not expect to get anymore in, due to the country’s high demand for them.
Allen does not think that stricter gun laws will have an affect on decreasing gun violence.
“Most crimes are done with illegally obtained guns.” said Allen. “And if the government takes away guns, people will have no way to defend themselves,
Southern Shooters on New Hutchinson Mill Road has sold about 100 guns since Newtown’s massacre, up drastically from the normal eight to ten guns sold per week. Southern Shooters had sold the last of their five AR-15s between the Dec. 14 attack and last Tuesday.
Concern that tighter gun laws might be on the way is causing already brisk Sacramento-area gun sales to spike.
Within a handful of hours of Christmas, a steady stream of shoppers arrived at Just Guns on Auburn Boulevard and left with bullets and shells by the boxes, pistols, hunting rifles, shotguns and stun guns.
What they weren’t carrying out were AR-15 semi-automatic rifles – akin to the weapon used in the massacre at a Connecticut elementary school – and high-capacity clips.
The store didn’t have them in stock, but people were still asking. And store owner Josh Deaser said the tragedy is causing gun consumers to buy up varieties of firearms they feel might be subject to restrictions.
Closer to downtown Sacramento, Broadway Bait Rod and Gun is being inundated with calls about high-capacity rifles.
“It’s been crazy. Every third call is about AR-15s.”
Put on layaway in Sheboygan, the article read.
Many got rides on Xmas eve in Webster, New York, presumably because not enough people had guns to take out the bad guy during a gun ambush/battle, even though the police and a SWAT weren’t sufficient.
A research report compiled earlier this year by a group of social scientists working for the U.S. Army’s Human Terrain System found that members of the Afghan National Army (ANA) are largely seen by U.S. soldiers as unmotivated, highly dependent and making little to no progress …
Soldiers responding to the survey are quoted as stating that the “ANA doesn’t care, they are lazy” and the “ANA have no motivation to do anything.” One U.S. Staff Sergeant said that the ANA are not interested in taking on more responsibility, adding that “We do the heavy lifting, they put a face on it.” Nearly half of soldiers surveyed said the ANA has little, not much or no motivation at all to fight. This lack of motivation often causes coalition forces to take the lead even on missions that are supposedly led by the ANA …
In fact, 62% of soldiers responding to the survey said that so-called “ANA-led” missions are rarely or never actually planned and executed by Afghan forces.
You would have thought the US military has some institutional memory re the “local fighting forces” of propped-up client states with corrupt central government and populations that want the occupiers out.
My friend Don had a wonderful library. Books were a big part of his life and I have been trying to give the many fine ones in it new homes. All those worth having and reading, and there are many, will not be wasted on public school libraries or other similar “charity,” since the actual valuing of books in such traditional places is well and truly dead.
One of the great finds is a two volume set, Reporting WWII. It anthologizes a large number of American news reports from old foreign correspondents hardly anyone, except for other journalists, remember: A. J. Liebling, Bill Shirer, Ernie Pyle and many others.
William Shirer, from Berlin in September of 1940:
The statement of the High Command, obviously forced upon it by Hitler himself — he often take a hand in writing the official communiques — deliberately perpetrates the lie that Germany has only decided to bomb London as a result of the British first bombing Berlin. And the German people will fall for this, as they fall for almost everything they’re told nowadays. Certainly, never before in modern times — since the press, and later the radio, made it theoretically possible for the mass of mankind to learn what was going on in the world — have a great people been so misled, so unscrupulously lied to, as the Germans under this regime.
[Most Germans] I speak to are beginning for the first time to wonder why the invasion of Britain hasn’t come off. They’re still confident the war will be over by Christmas. But then, until a fortnight ago they were sure it would be over by winter … I have won all my bets with Nazi officials and newspapermen about the date of the Swastika appearing in Trafalgar Square and shall — or should — receive from them enough champagne to keep me all winter. Today, when I suggested to some of them another little bet so they could win back some of their champagne, they did not think it was funny. Nor would they bet.
Hitler made a surprise speech here this afternoon, the occasion being the opening of the Winterhilfe — winter relief — campaign. Like the Volkswagen, the cheap “people’s car” on which Germans are paying millions of marks a month in installments though the factory which is supposed to make them is actually manufacturing only arms, the Winterhilfe is one of the scandals of the Nazi regime, though not one German in a million realizes it. It is obvious in a country without unemployment not much “winter relief” is necessary. Yet the Nazis go on wringing several hundred million marks each winter out of the people for “winter charity” and actually use most of the money for armaments or party funds.
There was a short time when the Reich took over Norway — the same is true of Holland — when Germans might have succeeded in winning the goodwill of the people there, who saw it was helpless to struggle against the overwhelming military power of Hitler. But the Germans did everything possible to forfeit goodwill and in a few weeks the sentiment changed. Now in all the occupied countries the Germans are bitterly hated. No decent Norwegian or Dutchmen will have anything to do with them.
The United States isn’t Nazi Germany in 1940. There are also exactly zero William Shirer’s in the national press corps. Life is bleak, though. Forty six million are on food stamps but the United States has the biggest military in world history.
And we get press reports from the war on terror, in ludicrous style similar to anything that so annoyed Shirer in 1940.
A Norwegian man who received terrorist training in Yemen is “operational” and is likely awaiting instructions to attack Western targets, according to a report by The Associated Press, which was confirmed by an ABC News intelligence source.
The AP reported today that officials from three European security agencies said that the man, who was not identified, is in his 30s, a convert to Islam and had completed training from the al Qaeda offshoot AQAP. One of the officials said the man was believed to still be in Yemen, but said that he has no criminal record and would be able to move freely across borders.
“Not even a parking ticket,” the official said, according to the AP. “He’s completely clean and he can travel anywhere.”
A terrorist. From Norway. Who went to Yemen and is now trained to hit us. He has not even a parking ticket, delivered in dead seriousness. Certainly this man must be of the most serious menace to American society. Perhaps he will finally be able to get through with an underwear bomb.
The White House on Monday promised to work with Turkey and other NATO allies to hold Syria “accountable” for what American officials have described as the deliberate downing of a Turkish military jet, apparently in international airspace …
“We stand in solidarity with Turkey, a key U.S. ally,” spokesman Jay Carney told reporters aboard Air Force One. “We will work with Turkey, and other partners, to hold the Assad regime accountable …”
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton denounced the shoot-down as a “brazen and unacceptable act” after discussing the incident by telephone with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu on Sunday.
“It is yet another reflection of the Syrian authorities’ callous disregard for international norms, human life, and peace and security,” Clinton said in a statement.
The only fault is that the nation is now seen to lack character and a basic morality in men of this station — except for Jimmy Carter. The silence from everyone else is deafening. And it tells you everything you need to know about the empire in decline.
THE United States is abandoning its role as the global champion of human rights.
Revelations that top officials are targeting people to be assassinated abroad, including American citizens, are only the most recent, disturbing proof of how far our nation’s violation of human rights has extended …
While the country has made mistakes in the past, the widespread abuse of human rights over the last decade has been a dramatic change from the past …
At a time when popular revolutions are sweeping the globe, the United States should be strengthening, not weakening, basic rules of law and principles of justice … But instead of making the world safer, America’s violation of international human rights abets our enemies …
Paul Krugman linked to his and Robin Wells’ review of a handful of books for a famous publication. It’s not so much a book review as an analysis of the Great Recession, the whys of political and economic paralysis and the bleak future.
The government — and as a consequence, the country, has become unworkable, they conclude. It’s an analysis that leads one to believe the US is a new, but bad, thing — essentially the largest and most powerful failed state in the world.
The immediate effect of this bitter [two party] confrontation has been to paralyze economic policy in the crisis. Obama might have had a window of opportunity in his first few months in office, but as Scheiber shows, that window was lost—and there has been little chance of effective action since. So the slump drags on. But as Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein say in the title of their new book, It’s Even Worse Than It Looks.* They argue that Congress—and indeed the whole American political system—is close to complete institutional collapse … ultimately the deep problem isn’t about personalities or individual leadership, it’s about the nation as a whole. Something has gone very wrong with America, not just its economy, but its ability to function as a democratic nation. And it’s hard to see when or how that wrongness will get fixed.
The essay also gets at why the Democratic Party has been so ineffective at combating the radicalism of the GOP, a topic I’ve whined a lot about.
Basically, they’re losers because they didn’t grasp any moral narrative when the economy failed because of Wall Street. Someone needed to be blamed. The public craved it. The Democrats went absent. The Republicans, and the Tea Party, provided a message of blame — big government which forced American financial businesses to give loans to people who didn’t deserve it.
Wrong as it was, because there was no moral story from the other side (Obama certainly didn’t furnish one), it stuck.
Not coincidentally, various arms of the DNC and the Obama campaign have filled e-mail in boxes with increasingly hysterical solicitations for money. All of these are wrapped around the truth that the Citizens United decision have given the GOP an unlimited supply of crazy billionaire sugar daddies. So the first time in history, the incumbent will be outspent by the oligarch, Mitt Romney, a man who would be a world calamity as president. But whom I increasingly suspect will be who we get because he’s the president the country deserves, in the sense of a fable with a moral that punishes those nations that fiddle while everything burns.
The Obama campaign used to ask for 5 dollar micro-payments. Perhaps because of donation fatigue in the mailing list, it has been ratcheted down to 4 dollars. But they still apparently believe crowd-sourced serial micro-collection is an answer to oligarchs.
It is another instance in which they are now proven wrong. (Along with the Meet Barack for dinner with GeorgeClooneySarahParkerBillClinton lotteries for jackasses.)
Until Citizens United is nullified, they need to find their own oligarch douchebags. There are probably none for them, though, compelling the party to take a united stand as fanatical as that of the opponent, purge the hacks or risk losing what should have been a more easy election against a character with no quality at all.
By the way, if you want to make a minor donation to the blog, you can get ol’ DD a book to review, either this (cheap) — or this (not quite as cheap). Just one will do, thank you.
I’d go with the first. If anyone wants to take the plunge, e-mail me for an address.
Law enforcement and homeland security personnel face an average of 55 daily encounters with “known or suspected terrorists” named on government watchlists, officials told Reuters.
The figure – which equals more than 20,000 contacts per year – underscores the growing sweep of the watchlists, which have expanded significantly since a failed Christmas Day 2009 bombing attempt of a U.S. airliner. But officials note that very few of those daily contacts lead to arrests …
I cover the IT security industry for IT-Harvest. I am the author of Surviving Cyberwar, a Government Institutes book available on Amazon. I have presented at conferences and industry events in 26 countries on six continents. I am a prolific source for journalists and news media.
Eternal war-footing and willful blindness to what’s happening on the homefront being two of them. The complete handing over to the military of how the US deals with the world and is perceived as a nation being still another.
Maybe Lady Gaga is famous worldwide. But the ubiquity of Predator drones and camouflage uniforms make them much much bigger.
The top commander of U.S. special operations forces said Wednesday that Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaida is bloodied and “nearing its end,” but he warned the next generation of militants could keep special operations fighting for a decade to come …
But the four-star admiral warned of the fight to come against what he called al-Qaida 2.0
Does al Qaida actually refer to itself now as 1.x going toward 2.0?
Rhetorical. It’s another fatuous American semantic invention from people who think only in terms of devices, be they digital or real world.
A few one line rebuttals for the one-liner claims in the Associated Press piece:
[With] new leaders like American-born radical cleric Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen, who Olson said understands America better than Americans understand him.
Doubt it. Yeah, every older American whose been living in Yemen for years understands “America.” Righty-right.
Olson said others like al-Awlaki will probably refine their message to appeal to a wider audience …
Not if Inspire magazine and Adam Gadahn are examples. They’re both jokes.
“This idea of being able to wait over the horizon and spring over and chop off heads doesn’t really work,” he said, describing the “yin and yang” of special operations as including capture-and-kill raids as well as long-term engagement with host countries’ militaries.
Then why is that the entire national thrust? And how has propping up toady country leadership with military aid worked out over the last decade?
The latter involves U.S. troops “developing long-term relationships, learning languages, meeting people, studying histories, learning black markets.”
See above. There’s no evidence buying the locals off through the new Peace Corps works. Arab Spring indicates many are pretty much done with thinking highly of us.
The article notes near the end that the next super-leader of special ops will be Bill McRaven, the overall commander of the bin Laden raid.
And where has the dividend of actually disposing of Osama bin Laden gone?
Here at home there was no dividend except for a couple days of cheering. Then it was business as usual. He might as well not been popped at all.
A good deal of this blog has been devoted to the Economic Treason and Empire’s Dog Feces tags over the past twelve months. Both deal with the only area where American manufacturing jobs are protected: arms manufacturing.
The rest of the country has been allowed to wither. The primary US export to the world is weapons. The country now leads in very little except minor innovations in the fields of smart bombs and unmanned flying killing machines which are of no benefit to anyone except the CEOs of the companies that make the things.
Imagine! The nation that invented rock ‘n’ roll and the electric guitar shipped all that stuff away and fired most everyone involved in making the equipment for it.
But the M1 tank, the F-16, the MRAPS, all the flying drones and idiotic robots and pathetic ray gun test systems — all that stuff is protected labor for which any price will be paid.
If [the weapons shops] were disbanded, the economy would be crippled by soaring unemployment, plant closures, and bankruptcies.
Bruce Gagnon, coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power, writes:
Most politicians understand … that weapons production is currently the number one industrial export product of the US. They know that major industrial job creation is largely coming from the Pentagon. Thus most politicians, from both parties, want to continue to support the military industrial complex gravy train for their communities.
I’m considering starting a new blog category. Permanent Fail has filled up quickly. Now we’re into the Decline and Fall stage. It needs its own category.