Video of the Day

Here comes government to offer a solution that won’t work to a problem that doesn’t exist. Get ready for less liberty and slower, more expensive internet.

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Afternoon Links

Government is just the name for things we do together, like steal the life savings of cancer patients who smoke a little pot.

Better idea: We could just not ask Hollywood stars their opinions about anything ever. Ilya Somin agrees with me (sort of, in a less extreme way).

Dear millennals,
Please commit mass suicide.
Love, Everyone

Happy fun times for AQAP now that the U.S. has pulled out of Yemen.

Yay, Obama’s Smart Power(TM), yay!

Russia has offered to sell surface-to-air missiles to Iran in a deal that will alarm the West, radically strengthening Tehran’s air defences and underscoring Moscow’s growing influence across the Middle East. The deal, which revives a controversial 2007 agreement that was scrapped because of UN sanctions on Iran’s nuclear programme, highlights the deepening ties between Tehran and the Kremlin.

Think Progress fascist argues that if the Supreme Court disagrees with him, we might need some court-packing to fix it.

Wow. This is Very Problematic. So much cis. Such privilege. Sonny Bunch should really apologize.

The people at the Guardian know what the CIA is, right? The CIA is not ‘banned’ from conducting covert ops in Gaza.

The schoolgirls joining ISIS are not victims. Stop pitying them. Don’t waste resources trying to get them back. They’ve made their choice.

“Draven, in other words, is a Japanese wood creature from The Legend of Zelda who was born into the body of a regular white kid.”

“We refer to ourselves as Raychel’s Library. We all share an otherspace called The Library! My front is a cisgendered female who shares a queerplatonic bond with her soul partner, Starrkat, who is also a multiples system. My system currently includes 3 members: Raychel (my lovely front!), Tonban (an older, wise, cisgendered male merkin… We turn to him for advice all the time), Asbiorn Snorrason (a genderfluid male-bodied Norse peasant, who is sometimes possessed by Loki. Ze’s typically quite mild-mannered, but occasionally the impish Trickster god comes out to play!).”

Corrections: An earlier version of this article referred to deku scrubs as “elves” and kobolds as “fairies.” In fact, deku scrubs are “essentially tree people” and kobolds are “weird little goblin things.” We regret the error.

Yeah, I see you clicking on that.

The President is a liar who consistently lies about everything.

Have we reached Peak Complaining About Everything yet?

Sick to death of this lawless administration.

The media ran with a story yesterday claiming that Israel had “released the dams” and “flooded Gaza” despite the fact that there are no dams to speak of. These supposed “journalists” could just consult a map, but that would spoil the fun! Seth Mandel has more.

ISIS has allegedly blown up the Mosul Public Library and burned more than 8,000 ancient, rare books and manuscripts.

King Obama doesn’t care what Congress says, he just does it anyway, Part Infinity. This time he smacks Warren and the Dems in the face, installs Antonio Weiss in effectively the same role without Senate confirmation.

Cuba is a Communist shithole police state but the NYT has nailed the real problem: capitalism. Everything you need to know about a diseased worldview is in this headline…and it just gets worse from there. Update: I see they’ve changed the headline. The original headline (still visible in the URL) was “As Cuba Shifts Toward Capitalism, Inequality Grows More Visible.”

Oh for fuck’s sake. Absolutely absurd.

A prominent British theater actor and playwright said that he commonly edits out anti-Semitic passages from performances of Shakespeare’s plays because they bear a greater “resonance” in the wake of the Holocaust.

Turns out, history’s greatest monsters are gerbils. Meanwhile, rats hire rebranding firm, demand apology.

After nearly eight centuries of accusing the black rat for spreading the bubonic plague, scientists say they have compelling evidence to exonerate the much-maligned rodent. In the process, they’ve identified a new culprit: gerbils.

Accommodating lunatics and running an economy on happy thoughts.

Creatures abuse that which is not earned. That’s what they do. Rat or human. Doesn’t matter. Same story.

Amen. DHS should never have been created in the first place. In my top three “agencies I would immediately get rid of” if I had the power.

Fuck Democrats. Fuck Republicans. Fuck everybody. LEAVE THE INTERNET ALONE, government! More on this in my Video of the Day, coming up shortly.

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Afternoon Links

Yay government! So competent! So virtuous! Let’s have it run more things.

Metro knew for years that a federally funded alarm system that warns of out­ages in its emergency response radio network didn’t work properly in subway tunnels, but the agency never told the fire officials who depend on the equipment, senior emergency responders said. When fire officials learned of the problem on their own last year and pressed Metro to fix it, the transit system said it was waiting until a new radio network is installed beginning a year from now. Nonfunctioning radios complicated District firefighters’ rescue of Metro passengers who were trapped in a smoke-filled tunnel outside the L’Enfant Plaza station last month. One rider died, and scores of others suffering smoke inhalation were sent to hospitals

The Yellow Line accident on Jan. 12 is the latest example of the Washington region’s continuing struggles with emergency response, despite spending nearly $1 billion in federal homeland security grants since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in order to be nimble in a crisis.

“Rae tells me she’s an aromantic asexual, Sean identifies as a heteroromantic demisexual, and Genevieve sees herself as a panromantic gray-asexual.”

FEC complaint alleges massive campaign finance violations by Democrats’ top data firm.

Plurality of Democrats believe Obama should be able to ignore federal courts if he feels like it. We’re doomed. There is no hope.

TV media mentioned Rudy Giuliani’s opinion about The Precious almost 3,000 times in two days, has mentioned news of the Clintons accepting money from foreign governments and other shady practices just 13 times. But there’s no media bias, people.

Speaking of, I have yet to see anyone on the Left provide actual evidence that Rudy is wrong or even offer an attempted refutation of points like Kevin Williamson makes here. It’s just a lot of wailing and bitching about Giuliani, as well as resorting to the standard liberal cry of “racist!!!!” Because the truth is your standard progressive does not like the basic principles the country was founded on: separation of powers, checks and balances, “negative” rights, individual liberty, etc. They want to be more like Europe (which is a burning dumpster fire at the moment, by the way, in case you hadn’t noticed) and they say it all the time. As David Harsanyi and Rich Lowry point out, progressives like Obama love an America that doesn’t exist. If you are for an enormous, active, intrusive federal government, you – by definition – are opposed to the founding principles of the country.

Mounting debt in the West makes the world a colder and darker place.

Please fuck off, food fascists.

You can abolish the filibuster over my dead body. I understand the temptation but DON’T DO IT, Republicans. Philip Klein explains why it’s a bad idea.

The Pentagon admits what everyone paying attention knows: the fight for Mosul will be extraordinarily difficult and bloody. Good luck getting the Shiites to fight hard for a Sunni city.

In newly sophisticated Boko Haram videos, hints of ISIS ties.

Clarence Thomas is wonderful. My favorite Justice.

Take a bow, Chicago. Even I didn’t imagine you could be this horrible and corrupt. I assume this “black site” is where Rahm’s campaign staff will be “disappeared” to if he’s forced into a runoff tonight.

The Chicago police department operates an off-the-books interrogation compound, rendering Americans unable to be found by family or attorneys while locked inside what lawyers say is the domestic equivalent of a CIA black site. The facility, a nondescript warehouse on Chicago’s west side known as Homan Square, has long been the scene of secretive work by special police units. Interviews with local attorneys and one protester who spent the better part of a day shackled in Homan Square describe operations that deny access to basic constitutional rights.

Alleged police practices at Homan Square, according to those familiar with the facility who spoke out to the Guardian after its investigation into Chicago police abuse, include:

Keeping arrestees out of official booking databases.
Beating by police, resulting in head wounds.
Shackling for prolonged periods.
Denying attorneys access to the “secure” facility.
Holding people without legal counsel for between 12 and 24 hours, including people as young as 15.

At least one man was found unresponsive in a Homan Square “interview room” and later pronounced dead.

ISIS likely used heavy special effects in Libya beheading video to hide location.

When you fight enemies who are not illiterate Takfiris drones are useless.

Will Obama shut down DHS over a program he can’t implement?

Holy shit, kudos to this genius, who is running what has to be the most lucrative legal scam of all time.

Your feel-good story of the day.

Sunnis will love this: Obama admin’s campaign re ISIS has Qassem Suleimani overseeing Iraqi operation to retake Tikrit. Tikrit is source of Saddam regime, thus capital of Sunni resentment re Iranian power. There’s no better way to align moderate Sunnis with ISIS than to send Hajj Qassem to Tikrit. Unreal.

Peshmerga need weapons, not foreign volunteers who will slow them down.

Hadi nephew kidnapped by Houthis in Yemen. Iranian advisors must feel like they’re back in ’80s Lebanon.

Obama prepares to bless full-blown Iranian nuke program, if Tehran pinky swears to delay total breakout for 10-15 years.

Study finds U.S. millennials are stupid and unprepared for the workforce.

You may have seen the photo of the Muslim “peace ring” in Norway protecting a synagogue. Not so fast…

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Afternoon Links

Jesus Christ. It’s ironic that Obama may reverse Jimmy Carter’s one actual positive foreign policy achievement, which was turning Egypt away from the Soviets and towards us.

Another private citizen being forced by the state to participate in same-sex weddings. Terrible.

“German soldiers tried to hide lack of arms by replacing heavy machine guns with broomsticks during a NATO exercise.”

HUD IG: HUD will pay at least $448 million (that’s 1/5 of the program) in FY 2015 to ineligible public housing tenants.

Meanwhile, in “America’s enemies are emboldened” news, China appears to be building a network of island fortresses in the South China Sea.

North Carolina finally concedes that citizens don’t need a government license to blog about their diets.

Iran’s foreign minister “has been ordered to stop shouting and yelling at Secretary of State John Kerry” during negotiation sessions.

Wal-Mart’s wage hike proves we don’t need the government to raise the minimum wage.

Qatar is a garbage ally, Part 5,201.

Because this is what government should be concerning itself with. Nothing more important to do. Terrible human beings use government to destroy gentle acts of community.

Remember Detroit’s awesome “walking man” who strangers bought a car for after his story went viral? Not the happiest of endings because Detroit is a fucking shithole. What happens when you give the Left a city to run. How sad.

Debbie Wasserman Schultz is a fraud and a scumbag, but you knew that.

LOL

New level of absurdity: White House did not invite FBI Director to its summit on violent extremism, but FSB Director welcome.

Uh oh. Marie Harf needs to have a talk with these folks.

Six men detained for more than 12 years at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba and then sent to Montevideo have upset Uruguay’s government after officials offered them jobs — and they said no.

2,500 year old Egyptian bronze cat that was nearly thrown away sells at auction for over 50,000 pounds.

13 foreign policy questions that a real press would ask Hillary Clinton. Along the same lines: Science questions reporters should ask politicians.

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Music Monday

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Firearms Friday

Five things you don’t know about body armor:

How to cook bacon with a machine gun

Firearms, Kings and the Emergence of the Peaceful Life

Anyone who follows this blog remembers the ridiculous hell Shaneen Allen had to go through thanks to New Jersey’s absurd gun laws. Now it’s another peaceful citizen’s turn to fall prey to that garbage state and its garbage prosecutors. Meet Gordon Van Gilder, who faces a ten-year jail sentence for having an unloaded, 300-year-old antique pistol in his car. Charles C.W. Cooke explains:

For transporting a 300-year-old flintlock pistol without a concealed-carry license, Van Gilder has been charged with a second-degree felony — specifically, with “unlawful possession of a handgun” — and he is facing a maximum of ten years in state prison…Van Gilder’s ordeal began last November, when the car he was traveling in was pulled over by police. At the time, he and a friend were on their way back from a meeting with an antique dealer. “I’m very interested in the 18th century, both here and in Britain,” he tells me over the phone. “I’ve collected a lot of 18th-century items. I have some things from the Continental Army, including some personal documents — letters and so on. But I’m more interested in the things they made. My house is full of 18th-century furniture. I have little spoons, glassware. It’s an obsession of mine. I’m not a gun collector per se, but I think they’re interesting.”

The gun in question, Van Gilder says, “was probably made about 1765 in Belgium — for the British market.” A dealer found it in Pennsylvania, and held it for him. “I paid $800 for it. It’s a boxlock pistol, so there’s no hammer. It’s beautiful.” Having picked the gun up, Van Gilder and his friend first went to lunch, and then they headed home…On the way home, the pair were pulled over by a local sheriff. According to Van Gilder, the detaining officer told him that he wanted to search the car, and threatened him with dogs if he refused. “I didn’t mind,” he tells me, but he wanted to make sure that the officer knew that there was a flintlock pistol in the glove compartment, and that he had just purchased it.

“Immediately, he wanted to arrest me. But when he called the undersheriff, he was told, ‘No, it’s a 250-year-old pistol; let him go.’” The officer did as he was told, and gave the pistol back. The next morning, however, he came back — “with three cars and three or four sheriffs.” Van Gilders says, “He told me, ‘I should have arrested you last night.’” So he did. “They led me away in handcuffs” and, at the station, “chained me by my hands and feet to a cold stainless-steel bench.”

Naturally, Van Gilder is correct when he notes that he did, indeed, “break the law.” But, as he told the National Rifle Association last week, he is also correct when he posits that the “law is an ass” and that it needs to be changed. Earlier this week, the lawyers’ group blog Popehat noted caustically that “none of the New Jersey founders who ratified the Constitution when this pistol was crafted would have questioned the man’s right to keep it.” This is indisputably true. Indeed, the news that an arthritic septuagenarian retiree had been tied to a bench for a non-violent crime would presumably have shocked them to the core. But, for all that their words live on, those leaders are dead, and we must look now to the ones that we have today. Where the hell are they? Where are the voices crying out for a change in the rules, and for a restoration of basic American liberties? And above all, where is the fearless Chris Christie — a man who seems to want to be president of the United States — when one of his constituents is being harassed by the state?

There is a link at the bottom of Cooke’s piece where you can donate to Van Gilder’s legal fund.

The Senate is taking up concealed carry reciprocity, thank the gods. There is a federalism argument to be made here. I believe most decisions should be left to the states and I generally dislike the federal government bossing the states around. In my opinion, states are allowed to make whatever laws they like, so long as they don’t conflict with the Constitution. So, in my view, a state cannot make laws abridging citizens’ free speech rights, their right to bear arms, etc. New Jersey should not be allowed to make hate speech laws that conflict with the First Amendment, Illinois should not be allowed to ban citizens from having firearms, which conflicts with the Second Amendment, etc. I think it’s ridiculous that I have a concealed carry license, but must leave my firearm behind when I travel to my city of birth for the holidays to visit my family because that state does not recognize my license. What happened to Shaneen Allen – who has a concealed carry license, but was arrested when she happened to be driving through a state that didn’t accept it – is ridiculous. I think concealed carry licenses should basically function like driver’s licenses. If you plan to live in the state, you switch over your license and meet that state’s requirements. If you’re just passing through or visiting for a short time, you shouldn’t have to worry about being arrested.

Another dumb gun law that we may be doing away with soon is the absurd federal ban on buying handguns in any state that is not your own. A District Court in Texas slapped Eric Holder and struck down this silly provision last week.

The Left’s desperate gun grabbers are losing the gun control battle, so now they’re stealthily going after the ammunition. Kevin Williamson reports on the ATF’s latest shady move. Bob Owens explains why the ATF doesn’t have the legal authority to do what it’s trying to do. Here’s how Congress can stop them.

South Dakota is considering constitutional carry.

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Afternoon Links

Judges slap down Obama admin’s disgusting “do what we say or we’ll freeze your crop” coercion of blueberry growers.

This is bullshit.

California judges can belong to the American Civil Liberties Union, the National Organization for Women, Veterans of Foreign Wars, the NAACP, La Raza, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, Alcoholics Anonymous, the Sierra Club, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, the NRA, and even the North American Man/Boy Love Association. But thanks to the state’s radical Supreme Court, judges will soon be barred from participation in the venerable Boy Scouts of America. Why? Because the Boy Scouts promote, among other things, heterosexuality as a norm—a view shared by a majority of Americans. Effective next January, California state judges can no longer serve as scoutmasters, assistant scoutmasters, committee chairs, or in any other volunteer positions with the BSA that requires “membership” in the organization. Judges wishing to serve as adult leaders in the BSA will soon have to abandon their First Amendment rights as a condition of employment. Legal challenges are certain. The committee contends that its blacklisting of the BSA will “promote the integrity of the judiciary” and “enhance public confidence” in the impartiality of the judiciary. Not likely. This decision illustrates how out of touch (and intolerant) the legal establishment’s ruling elite has become. That the Boy Scouts—chartered by Congress in 1916—could be formally shunned in this manner should disturb all Americans who cherish freedom of association and a pluralistic society.

Dual citizen and London mayor Boris Johnson discovers how ridiculous the U.S. tax code is, decides to renounce U.S. citizenship.

Lol. I don’t think so, fuckers. This is what you voted for.

$2.2 billion website still doesn’t work because the government is terrible at doing even simple things.

ISIS is using advanced technology-based currency in its drive to take the world backwards several centuries.

Good piece at The Atlantic on ISIS. Wood is off when it comes to AQ though.

Excellent. Federal judge stops the King’s amnesty.

“No man ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by giving his enemy a good-paying job” is what Patton really meant probably. You have no doubt heard State Department spokesperson Marie Harf’s theory about “jobs for jihadis.” Elementary research would show Harf that it’s not poor, desperate people who have no prospects who are most attracted to terrorism. It’s usually comfortable, educated and bored young people, as Eli Lake points out here. Ace said it best: “It is believed the job-seeking jihadis were on line hoping to get hired as greeters at Target when one among them said ‘Ah fuck this, let’s start burning families to death,’ to the general approval of the queue.” Sonny Bunch takes a look at General Marie Harf throughout history. Kevin Williamson has a good piece noting that it is difficult for secular Westerners to imagine a culture in which other beliefs are escalated above economic/social comfort. People like Obama and Harf have a hard time understanding that not everyone thinks like them.

Out of all the dumb ways to spend taxpayer money, using it to try and lecture ISIS wannabes on what Islam actually is and is not has got to be one of the dumbest.

“The word vagina was also cause for concern last year when it was used in the title of a fundraiser for Texas abortion clinics: DrJaneChi, an activist for trans causes, tweeted at organizers that it was cissexist”

Word. The south is where it’s at: lower cost of living, warmer weather and much more diverse communities.

“It’s hard not to conclude the WH’s Iran policy is being run by a gaggle of catty teenagers”

Virginia just moved up significantly on my “States I Would Consider Living In” list.

Interesting. Hunter Walker FOIAed the Army’s records on ISIS leader Baghdadi, confirms he was just detained briefly in 2004, not held until 2009.

Here’s $21 million that can be cut out of DOE’s budget just like that. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

Stephen Edelstein discovers that the Koch brothers are in fact libertarians.

Unreal

Internal State Department emails appear to show “genuine panic” during last week’s evacuation of the U.S. Embassy in Yemen, Fox News chief intelligence correspondent Catherine Herridge reported exclusively this morning. After reviewing internal State Department emails, Herridge said that standard procedures to protect sensitive information were not followed during the hasty evacuation from Sana’a.

Student banned from areas of campus for resembling classmate’s rapist. Yes, really.

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