BY JACK COLEMAN
The kneejerk response from MSNBC’s Chris Matthews was boilerplate liberal apologia for the jihad — yes, Atlas Shrugs blogger Pamela Geller and her American Freedom Defense Initiative have the right to organize a Draw Muhammad contest, but doing so was deliberately provocative and “caused” two fanatical Islamists to open fire outside the event.
Both gunmen were killed by a police officer, who was armed, this because the event was held in Texas and not France.
Why would jihadists limit their demands to a ban on caricatures of the Prophet, Rush Limbaugh asked his radio listeners Monday (audio) —
Now, I want to go back to the shooting in Texas and before we get to the Pam Geller soundbites, I’ve a serious question here, folks, a very serious question — you just heard Mark Potok, something, this hate organization called the Southern Poverty Law Center, make no mistake, that is a hate organization, and their hatred is for anything not Democrat. Their hatred is for anything Republican or conservative.
I wonder how the president’s going to respond to the situation in Garland, Texas — ISIS shooters show up because it is said they were provoked. Pam Geller and her group, oh yeah, they can have a convention on drawing cartoons of the Prophet, but they are responsible for what happens, so if somebody pulls a gun out and shoots at ’em it is their fault — not the perps, not the shooters — it’s their fault, because Islam tells us you cannot draw pictures of the Prophet.
OK, fine. If Americans are to respect and obey the laws of Islam that prohibit the drawing of pictures of Muhammad, then why wouldn’t Americans have to respect and obey Islam’s laws and punishments regarding gays and women? I mean, if it’s that important to them, who are we to disagree? If they say you can’t draw pictures of the Prophet and we say, you’re right, we can’t, and anybody that does, why, they’re going to get what’s coming to them.
Now you move over to other aspects of militant Islam and we know what happens to homosexuals in Iran or any other Islamic country, we know what happens to women. Well, if we’re going to respect and obey the laws about drawing cartoons of the Prophet, don’t we have to respect what Islam says about homosexuality and women? I mean, where do we draw the line and say, no, no, we can ignore that? But this picture business — nope, we gotta follow that to the letter of the law. We gotta follow that to the letter of Islam. We gotta follow that to the letter of Allah, but the gay and women thing, not so much.
And how about that extremely provocative tendency of American parents to send their sons and daughters to school for an education — Islamists despise that.
MSNBC’s endless advocacy for gay marriage — surely this too is deeply offensive and highly provocative to radical Muslims. Perhaps the network should stop doing it, rather than wait for the inevitable jihadist rampage. After all, Matthews and his cable comrades presumably don’t want to risk “causing” such a terrible thing, right?
Matthews’s openly gay colleague Rachel Maddow has probably already bought champagne in anticipation of the Supreme Court ruling in favor of gay marriage. If the court rules in the affirmative, shouldn’t Maddow refrain from uncorking the champagne live on the air — just to be on the safe side?
– See more at: http://newsbusters.org/blogs/jack-coleman/2015/05/05/rush-limbaugh-what-if-jihadists-demand-sharia-law-women-gays-us?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=marketing&utm_term=facebook&utm_content=facebook&utm_campaign=limbaugh-jihadist#sthash.rdagWVgr.dpuf
One of the most eye-opening experiences I’ve had in terms of training for handgun self-defense is the realization that square range, two-handed shooting techniques almost never comes into play in close range defensive encounters. Your support hand might be in use attempting to pull a family member behind you, block an attack, etc.
Aaron Cowan of Sage Dynamics gives some great advice on how to work on your one-handed shooting skills.
The riots in Baltimore may have calmed down, but the problems in Baltimore have not disappeared completely. Even though six police officers were charged in the death of Freddie Gray, that’s just not enough for some people.
According to this, now the mayor of Baltimore, Stephanie Rawlings-Blake (you know, the lady who is NEVER going to live down her “Let them have space to destroy!” comment), is requesting the Department of Justice investigate the Baltimore Police Department –
Even though there is ZERO evidence that racism was a factor in Freddie Gray’s death (I mean, half the officers who are being charged with Gray’s death are black!) – nope, that’s still grounds for assuming it was the police that did something wrong. Never mind that Freddie Gray was being arrested for possession of an illegal weapon and he’d been brought up on drug charges before. It’s still the police department’s fault. Never the criminal’s fault.
I’m just done with all of this.
BY RUDY TAKALA
(CNSNews.com) – Federal Communications Commission (FCC) member Ajit Pai said over the weekend that he foresees a future in which federal regulators will seek to regulate websites based on political content, using the power of the FCC or Federal Elections Commission (FEC). He also revealed that his opposition to “net neutrality” regulations had resulted in personal harassment and threats to his family.
Speaking on a panel at the annual “Right Online” conference in Washington, D.C., on Saturday, Pai told audience members, “I can tell you it has not been an easy couple of months personally. My address has been publicly released. My wife’s name, my kids’ names, my kids’ birthdays, my phone number, all kinds of threats [have come] online.”
Pai, one of two Republicans on the five-member FCC, has been an outspoken critic of net neutrality regulations passed by the agency on Feb. 26. The rules, which are set to take effect on June 12, reclassify Internet providers as utilities and command them not to block or “throttle” online traffic.
However, Pai said it was only the beginning. In the future, he said, “I could easily see this migrating over to the direction of content… What you’re seeing now is an impulse not just to regulate the roads over which traffic goes, but the traffic itself.”
Continuing, he said, “It is conceivable to me to see the government saying, ‘We think the Drudge Report is having a disproportionate effect on our political discourse. He doesn’t have to file anything with the FEC. The FCC doesn’t have the ability to regulate anything he says, and we want to start tamping down on websites like that.’”
In February, Pai co-authored an editorial with former FEC Chairman Lee Goodman that warned of efforts by those agencies to regulate content online.
“Is it unthinkable that some government agency would say the marketplace of ideas is too fraught with dissonance? That everything from the Drudge Report to Fox News… is playing unfairly in the online political speech sandbox? I don’t think so,” Pai said.
“The First Amendment means not just the cold parchment that’s in the Constitution. It’s an ongoing cultural commitment, and I sense that among a substantial number of Americans and a disturbing number of regulators here in Washington that online speech is [considered] a dangerous brave new world that needs to be regulated,” he concluded.
‘Billions and Billions’ to Subsidize Internet Service
In comments to CNSNews.com, Pai also talked about the FCC’s finances, the imposition of taxes on Internet usage, and subsidies for Internet service.
The reclassification of Internet providers as utilities allows the FCC to impose what is known as a “Universal Service Fund” (USF) tax on their revenue. The USF has grown exponentially in recent years, and presently stands at $12 billion annually – so large that the FCC has requested it be allowed to transfer $25 million of the money to its own budget to “administer” the fund. As a result, some in Congress have proposed limiting the size of the USF to $9 billion.
Pai did not specify where he believed the cap should stand, but he said the recent growth of the fund necessitated a limit going forward.
“I think it should be lower than what a majority of the FCC wants it to be… Whatever it is, there has to be a cap. What we’ve found is that USF funding has exploded over the past couple of years so that the USF tax is 67 percent higher than it was in 2009,” he said.
Pai said that proposals to expand certain programs funded by the USF could cost billions. “We should stop making promises in terms of expanding the Lifeline program, expanding the E-Rate program that need to be paid for. Otherwise that $9 billion cap is going to be insufficient.”
Lifeline, commonly known as the “Obama Phone” program, subsidizes phone usage for low-income individuals. E-Rate subsidizes broadband access for schools and libraries.
Continuing, Pai said, “Broadband service is a lot more expensive than phone service. Right now, the Lifeline phone subsidy is only $9.95. Imagine how expensive it’s going to have to be to really subsidize people’s broadband service.
“Secondly, people are a lot more interested in broadband than in traditional phone service these days. For those two reasons, I think the price could be exorbitant – billions and billions of dollars,” he said.
CNSNews.com also asked Pai to describe his position on the budget request submitted by the FCC to Congress this year.
“We should deny funding for some of the things the FCC wants to spend money on. Any funds, for example, to enforce these net neutrality regulations, [and] this shift of $25 million from the Universal Service Fund to the FCC itself in order to pursue its own policy priorities – I think we need to do more with less. I don’t think we’re doing that by asking for a much higher budget,” Pai said.
Pai concluded by saying the FCC was attempting to do less with more.
“If you look at how busy we actually are, we were much busier in 1996 in the wake of the ‘96 Telecomm Act. At that point, in today’s dollars, we had a budget of $277 million. Now the FCC is asking for almost $400 million even though we’re not as busy as we were then. I think it’s safe to say we could do with what we’ve got now if not less,” he said.
Las Vegas icon says don’t believe government stats on jobs, inflation
One of America’s most astute businessmen, known for having expanded the Las Vegas strip of resort hotels and casinos in the 1990s, says the U.S. remains mired in an economic funk and any talk of a broad recovery is “pure fiction. A lie.”
Steve Wynn, the 73-year-old founder and CEO of Wynn Resorts, made the comments in a televised interview with Jon Ralston of PBS’ “Ralston Live.” He opened the Wynn Hotel and casino in Macao, China, in 2006, and is known as an international gaming and casino magnate.
Wynn’s Macao operation recently reported a 28 percent quarterly loss in revenue, and a 70 percent downturn in earnings. He is now building the Wynn Palace in China, which he calls “the nicest, most extravagant hotel in the world,” with 1,700 rooms and a $4 billion price tag.
He cited corruption as his primary concern in China, but in the U.S. he said the economy has never really bounced back from the 2008 financial meltdown.
“You’re not sanguine about Las Vegas, though. You’ve said the notion of a great recovery is a complete dream here in Las Vegas,” said Ralston of KNPB, a Public Broadcasting affiliate in Las Vegas.
“Well, the idea that America is in the midst of a great recovery is pure fiction. It’s a lie. It’s a jobless recovery,” Wynn said. “Because recoveries are marked by the level of real employment. And if you count the people who have left the work force, real unemployment is 15 to 20 percent.”
Not only is unemployment much higher than the “official” rate of 5.5 percent, but Wynn said the Consumer Price Index, used to measure inflation, is also rigged in such a way that it doesn’t accurately reflect what real Americans experience on a daily basis. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the U.S. had -0.1 percent inflation for the 12 months ended in March 2015. Inflation doesn’t exist.
Wynn says that’s a sham.
“If you take real inflation, and you’ve got to count energy and food and all that stuff, real inflation is much higher than they say it is,” Wynn said. “My employees’ take home pay, in spite of the increases we give them, their paychecks are 90-cent paychecks, 90 cents on the dollar. It’s very difficult for the middle class in America to keep up because of the inflationary pressure and the devaluation of the dollar.”
Wynn gave Ralston a quickie lesson in economics 101 so he could understand the dilemma faced by the average American. It starts with the overwhelming national debt.
“It’s very difficult to explain to a normal working citizen the implications of what $18 trillion in debt means, and what it means when the Federal Reserve buys the U.S. Treasury bonds to finance our loss every month,” Wynn said. “People think that is some abstract conversation in Washington, uh, for pundits.
“In fact it impacts every one of my employees, critically, every day,” he said. “They notice when they sit down at the kitchen table, that after they pay the necessities, there just isn’t any money left.”
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As for the future of Las Vegas, it sounds cloudy, at best, from Wynn’s vantage point.
“Are you optimistic about the future? You’ve always been optimistic. Where is Vegas going?” Ralston asked.
“The gaming industry is facing uncertainty in Nevada, in America, and in China,” Wynn said. “For the past 50 years, two-thirds of the gaming establishments in the state of Nevada have lost money.
“The industry as a whole loses money in Nevada. Loses money,” he repeated. “Nevada Energy doesn’t lose money. The gaming industry loses money. It employs all the people. It pays all the taxes. And if you take the P&L, the profit and loss, of the hotels in Las Vegas and Reno, it is a number that is minus, not plus, minus. So, the challenge has really never changed. Most of the money has been made by the best, the newest and the most competitive properties, and I suspect it will stay that way.”
While he’s made money on both continents, North America and Asia, Wynn indicated it’s getting harder to make smart investments. His company recently posted poor quarterly numbers in China.
“Those are terrible numbers for everyone in Macao. What is going on?” asked Ralston.
He said corruption in China is pervasive.
“All business[es] in China have to do business with government and government officials. It’s impacted all aspects of the economy in China, including Macao,” he said.
Uncertainty reigns, he said.
“All you can do is what we do in America. Keep a strong balance sheet, don’t get over leveraged and try to protect the security of your employees.”
He said the new “Palace” in China took two years to plan and will take four years to build.
“You can’t stop now. The skin is on the building,” he told investors on a recent conference call.
While Wynn is building, most major U.S. retailers are closing.
WND reported this week that U.S. retail chains plan to close more than 6,000 stores this year and next year, another sign that the economy is not nearly as strong as some in the Obama administration has said it is.
But Wynn said his people have the capital and experience to “do it right,” and likely won’t get caught by any new downturn to the extent that others will.
“It’s not so much how much is built, but how good is it? The excitement and the quality of the buildings here,” he said.
Austria filed a formal complaint over suspicions that German and American intelligence agencies have spied on its authorities and firms, the Austrian interior minister said on Tuesday.
“Austria demands clarification,” Interior Minister Johanna Mikl-Leitner told Reuters, following German media reports about such activities. She added that Austria’s security authorities were in contact with their German counterparts.
“Today we have filed a legal complaint with the prosecutor’s office,” she said, “against an unknown entity due to secret intelligence services to Austria’s disadvantage.”
German media reports said the BND, Germany’s intelligence agency, used its Bad Aibling listening post in Bavaria to spy on the French presidential palace, French foreign ministry and European Commission.
The snooping was done at the behest of US spy agency National Security Agency (NSA), which also asked the BND to monitor European firms to check if they were breaking trade embargos, according to reports.
Mikl-Leitner said that while there is not yet concrete evidence, “it’s not far-fetched to suspect that Austria was also spied on.”
She added that Austria will try to resolve the situation through its security, diplomatic and judicial bodies.
The NSA is believed to have passed a list of some 800,000 IP addresses, phone numbers and email addresses to the BND for monitoring, some of which belonged to European politicians and companies.
Citing an unnamed source from the German parliamentary committee on the US spying agency, German newspaper Bild said Berlin chose to remain silent and close its eyes to the information in order to avoid “endangering cooperation” with Washington and the NSA.
© AP PHOTO/ MARKUS SCHREIBER
German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere has denied reports that he was aware of the spying since at least 2008.
During a press briefing Monday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Berlin is engaged in consultations with Washington on the NSA’s surveillance practices.
“I think what’s important here is that friends do not spy on each other. The answer is that it should not be so,” Merkel said.
She continued: “We are at the disposal of respective parliamentary bodies. The chancellor’s office is ready to provide all necessary information. This process is already under way. We are also consulting the United States.”
Secret documents leaked in 2013 by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden showed that the US spy agency monitored Merkel’s personal cell phone too.