Trump’s Wall His Vanity? RPT Does WaPo

First, I want to start with a video from a Prager University flashback to the giant named Charles Krauthammer:

A compatriot on Facebook who is a #NeverTrumper posted a link to this article at the biased* WASHINGTON POST, entitled, “Trump’s wall is a monument to vanity and bigotry,” and then asked for the following:

  • Read this and THEN tell me why a wall (as described by Trump) makes sense. Feel free to comment if you have read the piece here by Michael J. Gerson.

I read the article and commented on it… here are some of my thoughts (I will add to the original comments for my site).


SAME POSITION


There are many issues with the article. A few being as follows, that Trump long ago said the Border Patrol wanted something different in parts and he would listen to them. He has also said a while back (during the campaign) that the BARRIER would be about a 1,000 miles long, again – some wall, and reinforcing fencing etc. Here, NPR (January 26, 2017) interviews the Border Patrol’s union leader Brandon Judd >>>

JUDD: I don’t think it’s going to be – well, OK, it’s going to be a lot more secure. But what we’re talking about is we’re talking about a wall in strategic locations. We’re not talking about a great wall of the United States. We’re not talking about a continuous wall from California down to Texas. We’re talking about a wall in strategic locations which then helps the Border Patrol agents do their job better.

INSKEEP: Because there are some places that are so sparsely populated and the ground is so fierce or so harsh you really don’t need…

JUDD: Correct, correct.

INSKEEP: So you’ve told us when you were on the program last time that about 10 to 15 percent of the border has serious fences in your view and maybe you’d double that under this proposal.

JUDD: That’s what I’m thinking. Again, I don’t have the exact specifics of what they’re going to do, but I do know that they’re looking in specific places like Laredo, Texas, where we have very, very little walls. Yet, the state that Laredo, Texas, borders is extremely violent. And so we’re looking in locations like that. They’re looking in locations like that, but I think it’s going to be very effective.

I post this clarification of the political hyperbole (on both sides) because the WaPo article refers to AN MIT ARTICLE discussing the cost of a 1,000 mile 50-foot wall. For all of Trump’s bluster, which the Left and #NeverTrumper’s take literally, like skeptics insist literalness in all places of the Bible instead of understanding hyperbole, and texts that do and do not incorporate it, such as: law text, history texts, wisdom literature, Hebrew poetry, prophecy, apocalyptic writing, and war texts. It would be like me reading EXODUS 15:8 and positing that God has a BIG nose, or reading PSALM 91:4 and saying God is a giant chicken. Many Christians would reject a skeptics misunderstanding in these areas (at least Christians true to a healthy hermeneutical approach to the Word).

Here is Brandon Judd in a more recent interview. Notice his position is the same, and in alignment with Trump:

A better article is this one by Byron York, entitled, “Why not build a border barrier? It’s the law.” Here is a sample from that article”

First, understand the problem. In California, the migrants are targeting a part of the border where there is a barrier. But much of the border’s 1,954 miles remains uncovered. According to the Border Patrol, 354 of those 1,954 miles are protected by what is called a pedestrian primary fence, which is a single-layer fence. Another 37 miles are a pedestrian secondary fence, that is, double-layer fencing. And 14 miles are pedestrian tertiary, or a triple-layer fence. In addition, 300 miles are covered by vehicle fencing, which will stop a truck but allow anyone to walk through with no problem.

That is a total of 705 miles — 405 miles of some kind of pedestrian fencing and 300 miles of vehicle fencing.

No one, or almost no one, says a fence should cover all 1,954 miles of the border. A significant part of the border is terrain so dangerous and imposing that it would be very difficult for migrants to cross. During the campaign, and during his presidency, Trump called for a wall along about 1,000 miles.

“We have 2,000 miles [of border], of which we really need 1,000 miles, because you have a lot of natural barriers,” Trump said in August 2016.

But Democrats oppose even that. And since Republicans could not pass wall funding when they controlled all of Congress and the White House, how could they possibly do it now, with Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., in charge of the House?

Still, there is one possible course for Republicans. It is Public Law 109-367, better known as the Secure Fence Act.

The Act was passed by big, bipartisan majorities in 2006, receiving 283 votes in the House and 80 in the Senate. It required the federal government to build reinforced fencing, at least two layers deep, along about 700 miles of the border. It specified the areas in California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas where fencing would be installed.

If the law had been followed, many vulnerable parts of the border would now be secured. But the very next year, 2007, after Democrats won control of the House and Senate, Congress amended the Secure Fence Act. The amendment said that “nothing in [the original legislation] shall require” the installation of fencing if the government determines that a fence is not the “most appropriate” way to secure the border……

Do I wish Donald Trump would communicate his ideas more thoughtfully and cogently? Of course. I am also an adult who realizes he must excoriate language to get to the real meaning of the points made by this administration — not use hyperbole to make an embroidered political statement back at Trump (a hyperbolic position). Something our border residents do not need.


REAGAN’S CITY


In another section of the WaPo article,

  • The era of limited government is emphatically over in the only political party where it once had some appeal. …. This is the strange case of a political metaphor slipping off the page and trying to break into reality. The images and symbols of political rhetoric can assume an importance beyond language. Ronald Reagan’s evocation of a “shining city on a hill” rooted his appeal in the American exceptionalism of our Pilgrim parents. …. But no one actually proposed getting the building permits for Reagan’s city

The facile mantra I often hear is that “Reagan wanted to tear down walls; Trump wants to build.” WHAT NONSENSE!

  • For the record, liberals often falsely and inaccurately quote Reagan’s farewell address, in which he explained what he meant about the “shining city.” Yes, America was a nation of immigrants, but liberals fail to note his city had “walls” and “a door.” …. Reagan believed in borders, in earned American citizenship. He did not believe in breaking the law to get ahead.

It is a rejection of our broader concepts involved in our political history and battles thereof. In this regard, I have no idea why Michael Gerson would invoke Reagan? He wanted to spend money to reinforce the border along his Shining City. This is the most unlearned portion of the article. History is not the forte of the Left. Here is a reminder of Reagan regretting trying to make a deal with the Democrats from another post of mine. Reagan didn’t regret “amnesty,” he regretted TRUSTING THE DEMOCRATS who did not live up to securing the border ….. sound familiar? Larry speaks with John Heubusch of the Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute:

THE STREAM has this excellent article,

  • What Trump Could Learn From The Reagan Immigration Amnesty: The Reagan Amnesty Of 2.7 Million Illegal Immigrants Was Paired With The Promise Of Controlling The Border

Of which I excerpt a portion of:

In his book, Reagan: The Life, H.W. Brands writes about the president’s interpretation of a 1986 immigration bill at the time.

“Al Simpson came by to see if he had my support,” Reagan recorded in October 1986, shortly after the measure cleared the House. “They have one or two amendments we could do without, but even if the Senate conference can’t get them out, I’ll sign it. It’s high time we regained control of our borders, and this bill will do it.”

The legislation at the time was widely viewed as an enforcement-first measure, said then-Attorney General Edwin Meese III, who advised Reagan on the matter along with other Cabinet officials.

“It is very definitely a teachable moment,” Meese, the Ronald Reagan distinguished fellow emeritus at The Heritage Foundation, told The Daily Signal, when asked how the 1986 legislation might inform President Donald Trump in his negotiations with congressional Democrats on codifying the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), implemented by his predecessor.

The Reagan amnesty of 2.7 million illegal immigrants was paired with the promise of controlling the border and penalizing employers who hire illegal immigrants. The legislation was better known as the Simpson-Mazzoli Act, named for its sponsors, Simpson and then-Rep. Romano Mazzoli, D-Ky.

The problem with the 1986 law was that the promised enforcement didn’t occur, but the amnesty did, Meese said….

President Reagan’s Remarks at Signing Ceremony for Immigration Reform and Control Act in Roosevelt Room. November 6, 1986

Steven Hayward, a historian and Reagan biographer, continues the idea in a DAILY SIGNAL, .

  • “I think President Trump has to insist that employment E-Verify, funding for serious border security, not necessarily a wall, and an end to chain migration have to be non-negotiable conditions of any deal,” Hayward said. “Reagan should have applied to immigration what he said about arms control with the Soviet Union, ‘Trust, but verify,’ or in this case, ‘Trust, but E-Verify.’ That’s the lesson Trump should take.”

The article mentioned that a better law for seasonal workers would work. Trump is not saying he doesn’t want this? Dumb. However, that would work better with the barrier.

The old days of Union leaders like Cesar Chavez going down to the border and beating migrants up (or the current rape and abuse of migrants by criminals — on and/or living in parts of the journey up here) will decrease dramatically with better border control. Both Hillary and many of the candidates running for the Dems have said they prefer a borderless America. Something any sovereign nation should fear.


CRIME STATS


Another glaring misstatement by the WaPo article is based off of this claim:

  • “Never mind that violent crime rates among migrants are significantly lower than among the native-born.” 

This just is not true. The WASHINGTON TIMES notes a more thorough study when they say conclusively that the “crime rate among illegal immigrants in Arizona is twice that of other residents, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Friday, citing a new report based on conviction data.” NATIONAL REVIEW rightly notes that John Lott used “more recent and comprehensive state data, found that illegal immigrants are far more likely to commit crimes than lawful residents.”

SSRN STUDY by John R. Lott published in February 2018 found that from 1985-2017 illegal aliens had a 163% greater chance of being convicted of 1st degree murder than Arizona citizens. Illegals had a 168% greater chance of being convicted of 2nd degree murder than an Arizona citizen.

Continuing in another article, NATIONAL REVIEW says the following:

John Lott recently published a study that examines the incarceration of illegal immigrants in Arizona. Lott found that over the past 33 years, illegal immigrants have constituted an average of 4.8 percent of Arizona’s population. Yet during that same 33-year period, illegal immigrants constituted 11.2 percent of those convicted of crimes in Arizona — more than twice their share of the population. Lott found that illegal immigrants were dramatically more likely to be convicted of a homicide-related offense than either native-born Americans or legal immigrants during that 33-year period — 163 percent more likely to be convicted of first-degree murder and 168 percent more likely to be convicted of second-degree murder. “Undocumented immigrants were also consistently more likely to be convicted of manslaughter, armed robbery, sexual assault of a minor, sexual assault, DUI or DWI, and kidnapping.” Lott also found that illegal immigrants who met the age requirements for DACA were overrepresented in the prison population.

The Washington Post and the Left and #NeverTrumpers like to quote CATO Institutes study and Snope’s study refuting John Lott’s work. However, he has thoroughly responded to these works. Here are two examples — followed by others:

Between 4,000 and 6,000 people are murdered a year by illegal aliens (THE HILL & TIGER DROPPINGS). Remember, Obama declared a State of Emergency and stopped immigration over 4,000 deaths from H1N1.


WALLS WORK


When Gerson says the following,

  • Proposing a wall is really an argument that America can protect itself from the dangers of the world at its national boundaries. But this theory failed to contain the disorders of Europe and East Asia in the 1930s and 1940s.

He goes on to note the Cold War and terrorism. Even going so far as saying to end his article, “putting our faith in a wall requires us to unlearn the bloodiest lessons of the last century. And to repeat them.” WTH?

This is just silly.

First, walls throughout history have worked. Even during the Cold War. For instance, the wall built by Communists in Germany… worked. The wall and the “rampart” slashed defections to just 185 people per year. (All of the following comes from AMERICAN RENAISSANCE):

The reinforcing of the border barrier (16-foot-tall barrier [barbed wire fence] ran 152-miles) between Egypt and Israel worked as well. The 2013 upgrade reduced illegal incursions at the border by an average of 99.4 percent. The improvements completed in January 2017 cut illegal immigration to zero. As of June 2017, not a single person had breached the fence. Here is a graph noting the drop:

The wall separating the West Bank and Israel worked as well. By 2012, 63 percent (277 miles) of the border was walled (25 feet high) or fenced. They have not built past the 63% mark:

In July 2015, Hungary began building a 13-foot-tall fence along its borders with Serbia and Croatia. This barbed wire enforced fence accomplished it’s goal:

LIKEWISE, as the length of the southwest barrier increased—evidence that even a limited barrier can deter illegal immigration:

Simply put, Walls Work:

Michael Gerson basically said wall don’t work. But they do. That is, if you look to the real world and not “experts.” The Border Patrol say they work. Again [sigh],

When charges of “racism” and “xenophobia” fail, Democrats’ fallback argument against President Trump’s proposed border wall is that it simply “won’t work,” so why waste billions building it? Tell that to the residents of El Paso, Texas.

Federal data show a far-less imposing wall than the one Trump envisions — a two-story corrugated metal fence first erected under the Bush administration — already has dramatically curtailed both illegal border crossings and crime in Texas’ sixth-largest city, which borders the high-crime Mexican city of Juarez.

In fact, the number of deportable illegal immigrants located by the US Border Patrol plummeted by more than 89 percent over the five-year period during which the controversial new fence was built, ……..

(NEW YORK POST)

The Border Patrol wants the same thing Trump does. An NBPC’s survey of more than 600 agents in two of the Border Patrol’s busiest sectors confirmed this: A stunning 89 percent of line agents say a “wall system in strategic locations is necessary to securing the border.” Just 7 percent disagreed.

To conclude my comments, I would have to say that only someone who has a bad taste for reality would say this is a good article. From using Reagan, to saying barriers don’t work, to not understanding what Democrats really want, etc., This is the low bar the Washington Post sets.

Sad. Sad that thinking Reaganite’s fall for it.


* Financial and readership decisions + dislike of Trump: “trump” civility and truth.


…former executive editor of the New York Times says the paper’s news pages, the home of its straight-news coverage, have become “unmistakably anti-Trump.”

Jill Abramson, the veteran journalist who led the newspaper from 2011 to 2014, says the Times has a financial incentive to bash the president and that the imbalance is helping to erode its credibility.

[….]

“Though Baquet said publicly he didn’t want the Times to be the opposition party, his news pages were unmistakably anti-Trump,” Abramson writes, adding that she believes the same is true of the Washington Post. “Some headlines contained raw opinion, as did some of the stories that were labeled as news analysis.”

What’s more, she says, citing legendary 20th century publisher Adolph Ochs, “the more anti-Trump the Times was perceived to be, the more it was mistrusted for being biased. Ochs’s vow to cover the news without fear or favor sounded like an impossible promise in such a polarized environment.”

Abramson describes a generational split at the Times, with younger staffers, many of them in digital jobs, favoring an unrestrained assault on the presidency. “The more ‘woke’ staff thought that urgent times called for urgent measures; the dangers of Trump’s presidency obviated the old standards,” she writes.

Trump claims he is keeping the “failing” Times in business—an obvious exaggeration—but the former editor acknowledges a “Trump bump” that saw digital subscriptions during his first six months in office jump by 600,000, to more than 2 million….

(FOX NEWS)

Some Turkey Sized Myths About Thanksgiving and America

One should see my stuff on the topics as well:

  1. (Editor’s note: A recent federal bill memorializing as a National Historic Trail what has come to be known as the Cherokee Indian Trail of Tears is based on false history, argues William R. Higginbotham. In this article, the Texas-based writer delves into the historic record and concludes that about 840 Indians not the 4,000 figure commonly accepted died in the 1837-38 trek west; that the government-financed march was conducted by the Indians themselves; and that the phrase “Trail of Tears” was a label that was added 70 years later under questionable circumstances.) The problem with some of our accounts of history is that they have been manipulated to fit conclusions not borne out by facts. Nothing could be more intellectually dishonest. This is about a vivid case in point.

Happens every Thanksgiving, doesn’t? Some bleeding heart liberal you’re “related to” gets on their moral high Crazy Horse and lectures about how horribly rotten the white man was to the Native Americans. Which is why this year we’re throwing in the tomahawk. Time to scalp the facts about the Indians. Feathers not dots….

MYTH: THE NATIVE AMERICANS WERE A PEACEFUL CULTURE TO WHOM THE CONCEPT OF WAR WAS FOREIGN

FACT: MANY WERE BRUTAL, CONQUERING ***HOLES

Native Americans warred with each other since, forever. Sometimes it was over hunting or farming grounds, sometimes revenge, sometimes to steal, sometimes to kill. I don’t say this to demonize them, they were no different than any other regressive, Neolithic cultures on other continents.

But the truth is that the only way settlers were able to conquer this land was through the help of Native Americans who teamed up with them to settle the score with the other, more assholish tribes. You think Cortes was able to conquer with only 500 Conquisadors. Course not, it took 50,000 ANGRY allied Native Americans who’d had it up to here with being enslaved and forced to carry gold for the other, Native Aztecs.

Some of of the Indian tribes were the most brutal in existence.

They practiced enslavement, rape, cannibalism, would sometimes target women and children, tribes like the Commanchees would butcher babies and roast people alive… and by the way, where do you think we LEARNED scalping?

MYTH: NATIVE AMERICANS WERE AN ADVANCED SOCIETY

TRUTH: NOT EVEN CLOSE

Smell that? It’s your sacred cow being torched. After I scalped her, of course. Unlike Rome, Greece, China, or pretty much any great empire which had already existed at that time, the Native Americans didn’t have advanced plumbing, transportation, mathematics or really… anything that led to the iphone on which you’re currently watching this. That whole beautiful “horseback Indian” culture you read about? It’s a lie because they hadn’t even domesticated horses. Not only that, but they didn’t even use the WHEEL. No really. 1400 AD… no wheel.

Even more reason that, when you’re that far behind, the clash of civilizations is going to be THAT much more drastic when the new wheel-using world catches up to you.

MYTH: THE SETTLERS DELIBERATELY INFECTED NATIVES WITH SMALLPOX BLANKETS TO WHIPE THEM OUT

TRUTH: ONLY IDIOTS COULD POSSIBLY BELIEVE THIS

Think about it. You really believe Europeans waged microbial, biological warfare… long before discovery, mass acceptance or even close to an understanding of advanced germ theory?

So it’s not true. You can look forever for historical accounts of mass smallpox blankets being pajamagrammed to the peaceful Indians, but you won’t find them.  But there is SOME truth to the myth, which brings us to our final point.

MYTH: EUROPEANS COMMITTED MASS GENOCIDE. KILLING EVERY NATIVE AMERICAN FOR SPORT

TRUTH: NOT EVEN CLOSE

However, it is estimated that at high as 95% of pre-Columbian Native Americans were in fact killed off by disease, WHY? Because Europeans introduced new diseases to which the Native Americans hadn’t developed an immunity not only with THEMSELVES but now contact with animals like again HORSES which Native Americans hadn’t domesticated. Again, because they were such an archaic, unadvanced society.

Sure there were plenty of bloody, horrendous, unimaginable battles that occurred, and generally when it comes to neoloithic tribes and more advances settlers, the guys with the boom-boom sticks win. This isn’t exclusive to America or all that uncommon.

But Europeans were not hellbent on wiping out Native Americans, they were actually encouraged to bring the people into European culture and convert them to Christianity. Plus, inter-marrying was incredibly common. How else do you explain Johnny Depp, Angalina Jolie, Kid Cudi and even imaginary Elizabeth Warren claiming to be 1/16th Cherokee?

Killing people is bad. But so is milking, misleading and guilting all future generations for crimes they didn’t commit. Yep, Europeans conquered the Native Americans, created a Constitutional Republic, and advanced in mere centuries what Natives couldn’t do for thousands of years here on the plot of land that is America. So close this smartphone window, go enjoy your turkey and tell your social justice warrior cousin at the table to shut that mustached, single-origin-coffee drinking-hole. Or just… hand him a smallpox napkin.

SOURCES

Read more: http://louderwithcrowder.com/thanksgiving-truth-about-native-americans/#ixzz3sigd2v9t
Follow us: @scrowder on Twitter | stevencrowderofficial on Facebook

TOP 5 Anti-Trump Smears Debunked!

We expose the mainstream media’s most blatant, malicious lies about Trump — from just the past few weeks! Eric Nimmer sits in third chair.

 

The DAILY CALLER notes how divisive the media has been:

  • MSNBC’s Scarborough: Trump Damages American Dream More Than Terrorists
  • MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace Suggests Wringing Sarah Sanders’ Neck
  • CNN’s Don Lemon Declares It A ‘Fact’ That Trump Is ‘Racist’
  • CNN’s Fareed Zakaria: ‘Treasonous’ Not Strong Enough To Describe Trump
  • MSNBC’s Donny Deutsch: Trump Could Be A Sociopath
  • Huffpo Publishes Article Calling For ‘Execution’ Of Trump
  • Politico Reporter Calls Trump Supporters ‘Garbage People’ With Bad Teeth
  • Scarborough Compares Child Separation To Concentration Camps
  • MSNBC’s Chris Matthews Calls For ‘Vengeance’
  • Nicolle Wallace: Are Trump Women Dead Inside?
  • GQ Writer: Trump Has Radicalized More People Than Isis
  • WaPo Op-Ed: Comparing Trump To Hitler Belittles Hitler
  • CNN’s April Ryan Jokes About Street Brawling With Sarah Sanders
  • NYT Columnist: Trump’S Immigration Policy Is ‘Evil’
  • CNN Host Reza Aslan Calls Trump A ‘Piece Of Shit’
  • WaPo’s Jennifer Rubin: Sarah Sanders Should Be Harassed As A ‘Life Sentence’
  • Nicolle Wallace: Trump Officials ‘Do Not Appear To Be Human Beings’
  • MSNBC’s Elise Jordan: Should Sarah Sanders Be Welcome In Society?
  • NYT Publishes Trump Assassination Fantasy
  • CNN’s John Avlon Compares ‘America First’ To Nazi Message
  • MSNBC Analyst Nominates Trump Building For Isis Bombing
  • MSNBC’s Deutsch Calls Trump An ‘Evil, Evil Man’
  • CNN Guest Threatens To Gut Pro-Trump Panelist ‘Like A Fish’
  • Nicolle Wallace Told Jeb To Punch Trump In The Face
  • John Brennan Accuses Trump Of Treason

On Puerto Rico, Trump Is Right (UPDATED)

This is all POWERLINE, but soo important for the “Mantra Busting” that …. here ya go:

…This is what is going on: Some “scientists”–read anti-Trump Democratic Party activists–constructed a theoretical baseline of how many deaths would be expected to occur in Puerto Rico during the months after Hurricane Maria. They then compared this baseline to the actual number of deaths, and voila! The actual number was higher than their hypothetical guess by 3,000. So all of those deaths–whether caused by cancer, car accidents, or whatever–are attributed to the hurricane. These activists have not made any attempt to count the actual number of hurricane-related deaths.

No one would use such a foolish methodology except for political reasons. This is more fake news propagated by anti-Trump activists. The fake news media, like CNN, have attacked President Trump for disputing the “scientists” who came up with the 3,000 number. Sadly, some Republicans have joined them, probably because they are ignorant about what is actually going on here.

For what it is worth, Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico in September 2017, and Puerto Rico’s death rate declined in 2017, after years of increases:

(click to enlarge)

So, following the logic of the Left and the #NeverTrumpers, MORE hurricanes should hit Puerto Rico. Just sayin’ — I love the holes dug by these early reactors to the MSM. Some article to preserve:

Excess mortality studies have been used to measure everything from the life expectancy of smokers to “temperature-related stress” in the Netherlands. The problem is that such studies are inherently reliant on conjecture. There can be other problems as well, namely politics, as I learned a decade ago while poking holes in an excess mortality study in Iraq published by the Lancet.

An article in the British medical journal estimated some 650,000 “excess” Iraqi deaths in the 40 months following the U.S. invasion. This figure was seven times higher than the toll based on body counts. It was based on field surveys supposedly done by a former health official in Saddam Hussein’s government and was authored by outspoken critics of the Iraq war — and of George W. Bush. It was also timed to come out just before the 2006 midterm elections.

To some neutral observers, the controversy underscored the importance of actually documenting wartime casualties. I don’t know how much Donald Trump knows about this topic. But he apparently is aware that “excess mortality” is not how U.S. authorities have previously tallied storm deaths. The National Hurricane Center, for example, estimated that 1,833 people died in Hurricane Katrina, most from drowning.

In Puerto Rico, there were myriad problems getting accurate data, the biggest being that electricity was knocked out for so long. This inhibited the reporting ability of island health officials. It also led to deprivations that killed health-impaired residents months after the hurricane season ended. In that environment, excess mortality studies made sense. Inevitably, they would be imprecise, and perhaps just wrong. The first such study, by researchers at Penn State University, estimated the number of deaths at 1,085 – when the government in San Juan was still listing the official toll as 64. Days later, the New York Times, using island death certificates, produced an estimate of 1,052.

Harvard went next. Its study, trumpeted uncritically around the world, had problems. For one thing, its range of 793 to 8,498 excess deaths was unhelpful. So the media settled on the median figure, 4,645, which was little more than a guess. The bigger problem is that the methodology was a mish-mash. Harvard’s researchers compared actual deaths in 2016 to estimates based on interviews – polling surveys – in 2017. “The big thing is the methodology is so completely different, you don’t now what you’re dealing with,” said University of Texas biostatistics professor Donald Berry. “What you end up with is garbage.”

That’s the background when the governor of Puerto Rico tapped George Washington University’s school of public health to do another excess mortality survey. Like all such studies, it’s based on assumptions and guesswork – in this case assumptions complicated by the outward migration of tens of thousands of Puerto Ricans to the mainland after the hurricane. That said, I know of no evidence that would undermine its estimate of 2,975 excess deaths

(REAL CLEAR POLITICS)

Self Reporting is the worst!


The difference between survey results and demonstrable realities was also pointed out by the author of Hillbilly Elegy: “In a recent Gallup poll, Southerners and Midwesterners reported the highest rates of church attendance in the country. Yet actual church attendance is much lower in the South.”

Thomas Sowell, Discrimination and Disparities (New York, NY: Basic Books, 2018), 23-25 (added references).


As Twitchy reported, the media went wild last week when a report from Harvard University estimated that nearly 5,000 people in Puerto Rico had died from Hurricane Maria.

The Washington Post’s Fact Checker blog, though, took a look at how Harvard, whose researchers admitted they conducted “a quick study on a limited budget,” came up with that number and found that the methodology was ridiculously flawed:

In effect, the researchers took one number — 15 deaths identified from a survey of 3,299 households — and extrapolated that to come up with 4,645 deaths across the island. That number came with a very large caveat, clearly identified in the report, but few news media accounts bothered to explain the nuances….

(TWITCHY)

Flashback: Puerto Rican Gov. admitted higher ‘death toll is only an approximation, not a concrete list of names’

The death toll is ‘a very broad estimate for the number of people who died above what you’d expect to see in a normal year’ – ‘But that number is not a count of the death toll in Puerto Rico caused by Hurricane Maria. Instead, it’s just the midpoint of a wide-ranging estimate of the possible number of deaths’

(CLIMATE DEPOT)

It turns out there is no list of names.   There is no accounting of what causes of death were attributable to the aftermath of the devastating storm.  In fact, having now scanned the George Washington University report at the heart of this all, I have an itching feeling they missed a big statistical point.

The bottom line is that the researchers developed a model and made a projected estimate of the number of deaths to be expected on the island during the six months following the storm, based on previous year’s death numbers.   They then factored in the fact that a full 8 percent of the population, 280,000 people roughly, left the island following the storm.

With that population change factored in, the “expected” number of deaths was about 3,000 fewer than the 16,000 deaths which were recorded September through February.  Those 3,000 “excess” deaths above the projection are the one’s being attributed to the effects of the storm.  I’m rounding because their report admits the projection is not exact.  The chart I included above notes the higher death rate per 10,000 people.

There are not 3,000 death certificates noting hurricane-related causes (loss of electricity, stress, poor transportation response) and the authors chide the local medical community for not being sufficiently exact in filling out their death certificates.  So they are left with models and projections and estimates, which have translated into MSM-accepted Truth.

Here’s my question, the itch not addressed in the report, that I saw:   Who left?  Who departed following the storm?  Would the elderly, infirm and impoverished have been the ones to decamp to the mainland?  Or would they have been the one’s left behind?  Doesn’t the shift in the baseline also at least in part explain this?  The death rate really only jumped dramatically when you reduce the baseline population

(BACON’S REBELLION)

Dennis Prager @University-Wisconsin Madison

Widely regarded as one of the most eloquent and powerful speakers of his generation, Dennis Prager has lectured in nearly every one of the 50 states and all seven continents. Every day, he hosts the widely popular and influential nationally syndicated Dennis Prager Show. Prager is a prolific commentator with a weekly column and the author of four books. He has also produced three films. How will students react?

This time, you can tune in LIVE to catch the explosive talk and every minute of the fiery Q&A clashes no matter where you are in the country! Young America’s Foundation engages with students across the country to inspire them with the ideas of individual freedom, a strong national defense, free enterprise, and traditional values.

YAF is the principal outreach organization of the Conservative Movement and introduces hundreds of thousands of young Americans to these principles every year, most of whom have never heard the arguments for freedom and personal responsibility before. Learn more: http://yaf.org

 

The Utter Collapse of Trump-Russia Gate

Rush Limbaugh discusses the utter collapse of the conspiracy known as “Russian Collusion.” The latest bombshell is by Rep. Devin Nunes, which I add near the end of this first hour [35-minutes here] of yesterdays show (TRANSCRIPT), destroys the narrative every news org (save one) has been making. B-u-t, people like to be told what to think, and so “group think” looms large on the Left.

Doing the Impossible Motivating Young People to be Responsible

Jordan Peterson is an unlikely Youtube celebrity. The Canadian psychologist lectures about things like responsibility. Yet millions of young people watch his videos and line up to hear his speeches and buy his book 12 Rules for Life. It was number one on the Amazon bestseller list for a month.

L.A. Times Visceral Attack On the Value of Life (Paso Robles)

(JUMP to Added Update)

While on vacation I remembered this reading by Dennis Prager of an LA TIMES article that enrages his sensibilities… why you ask? Exactly because the Left doesn’t use theirs. So a volume caution at around 8:22 to about 9:30 is required.

Here is my Facebook post as I was sitting for breakfast in the Central Coast wine country:

I am in the free breakfast area of the Best Western in Atascadero [Wine Tasting in Paso Robles] and the news item on the TV that caught my attention was the police officer not entering the school, risking his life to save the lives of children and teachers in that very recent school shooting. Instead, he took up a position outside the school… probably thinking that this position will assure his going home to his own family. (Who knows what was going through his mind, but self preservation was most probably the adrenalin enforced decision. All those calling the officer a coward would probably do the same.) And it is this natural “self-preservation” that would be in my mind the best argument for allowing teachers and staff to conceal-carry that would protect the most lives in such a situation. But, like that teacher who raised against the military being the lowest of the low, saying that bankers and scholars do not join the military, the Left seems to have a picture of an educated elite guiding them (an example of this is their belief that science is a consensus — at least in regard to global warming, not gender). They also have Utopian dreams of men in uniform laying aside self preservation in order to save them. Which is why the statement by William F. Buckley will always remain true: “I am obliged to confess I should sooner live in a society governed by the first two thousand names in the Boston telephone directory than in a society governed by the two thousand faculty members of Harvard University.” Which is why the gulf between the base of the GOP (conservative/libertarian roots) and the base of the Dems (socialist/progressives) will always exist. Doing many of life’s struggles oneself versus expecting others to do it for them.

Someone on Facebook wasn’t picking up what I was laying down. She responded thus:

  • While i’ll admit that self preservation is a driving force for many of us, many of us did not go to the academy and swear to an oath “to protect & serve”, which was failed completely. Now we are protecting him from violence? Who protected those children? He’s a cop, let him protect himself like he did those children. Any action he could have & should have taken may have saved even just one life, one less family paying for a funeral.

I expanded my view a bit:

  • I know two people at the elementary my boys attended that would be more than happy to conceal carry. And if their kids and they were to come under fire, their self-preservation would kick in and many children’s lives would be saved. Because of the natural instinct to live another day. That same instinct that stopped four officers from entering a school would have kicked in with armed staff and teachers. It’s Florida for God sakeThere would have been more than a couple armed staff.

Now, more important than my editorial above, are cold hard facts in the face of the mantras. To wit, while in Paso Robles wine tasting, the wine tender at Rocky Creek (FACEBOOK PAGE – great wines BTW) mentioned that the United States has all the mass killings like the one in Florida. This just is not true. John Lott clears this up for us over at IBD:

…..President Obama talked about it a lot, including in June of 2015, after a gunman shot nine people in a Charleston, North Carolina church: “Let’s be clear: At some point, we as a country will have to reckon with the fact that this type of mass violence does not happen in other advanced countries,” Obama said. 

Days later, Sen. Harry Reid echoed his comments. “The United States is the only advanced country where this kind of mass violence occurs,” he said.

More recently, the tragic, preventable slaying of 17 students by accused gunman Nikolas Cruz elicited similar sentiments from Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut, speaking in the Senate just  last Thursday: “This happens nowhere else other than the United States of America.”

Powerful remarks, and no doubt heartfelt. But a study of global mass-shooting incidents from 2009 to 2015 by the Crime Prevention Research Center, headed by economist John Lott, shows the U.S. doesn’t lead the world in mass shootings. In fact, it doesn’t even make the top 10, when measured by death rate per million population from mass public shootings.

So who’s tops? Surprisingly, Norway is, with an outlier mass shooting death rate of 1.888 per million (high no doubt because of the rifle assault by political extremist Anders Brevik that claimed 77 lives in 2011). No. 2 is Serbia, at just 0.381, followed by France at 0.347, Macedonia at 0.337, and Albania at 0.206. Slovakia, Finland, Belgium, and Czech Republic all follow. Then comes the U.S., at No. 11, with a death rate of 0.089.

That’s not all. There were also 27% more casualties from 2009 to 2015 per mass shooting incident in the European Union than in the U.S.

“There were 16 cases where at least 15 people were killed,” the study said. “Out of those cases, four were in the United States, two in Germany, France, and the United Kingdom.”

“But the U.S. has a population four times greater than Germany’s and five times the U.K.’s, so on a per-capita basis the U.S. ranks low in comparison — actually, those two countries would have had a frequency of attacks 1.96 (Germany) and 2.46 (UK) times higher.”

Yes, the U.S. rate is still high, and nothing to be proud of. But it’s not the highest in the developed world. Not by a long shot…….

Another myth surrounds the AR-15 and the progression of semi-automatics from military to civilian use. The truth is just the opposite, via HOT AIR:

…..The third problem is a historical one. Semi-automatic rifles were originally created for the civilian market, but eventually made their way into the military. The Standard Catalog of Remington Firearms notes the old Model 8 “was the first successful American semi-autom sporting rifle.” It appears the M1 Garand is when semi-automatic rifles became focused on the military use first, before civilian use. One of these reasons is because developer Springfield Armory was owned by the U.S. government. It’s interesting to see how government focus on weapons development increased as the U.S. became more involved in international conflicts. It was really a role reversal with gun manufacturers making arms for the Pentagon, before selling it on the civilian market. Other semi-automatic rifles were still being developed and sold to civilians, but the M16 style was strictly for military.

Richard Mann believes one reason why the AR-15 jumped in popularity was because of the political footballing of the White House, starting after Barack Obama replaced George W. Bush who had replaced Bill Clinton. Mann suggested in GunDigest Shooter’s Guide to the AR-15 people started buying AR-15’s because they expected the Democratically held government to re-pass the Assault Weapons ban……

So much for the mantras I heard on vacation. I will share more in a review of my time in Paso.


UPDATED


Here is part of Prager’s article:

Why does the left oppose allowing a small number of highly trained teachers and other adults who work at schools to arm themselves?

When asked, their response is consistent: “It’s a crazy idea.” And “We need fewer guns, not more guns.”

A New York Times editorial offered the following argument against having any armed teachers: “Nationwide statistics on police shooting accuracy are not to be found. But if New York is typical, analyses show that its officers hit their targets only one-third of the time. And during gunfights, when the adrenaline is really pumping, that accuracy can drop to as low as 13 percent.”

But if that is an argument against armed teachers, why isn’t it an argument against armed police?

And that argument was Aristotelian compared to this one from a Los Angeles Times editorial: “If a pistol-strapping chemistry teacher had grabbed her .45 and unloaded on today’s gunman after he killed, what, one student? Three? Five? That would be good news?”

Of course, no murder is “good news.” But to most of us, one or three or five as compared with 17  murdered is good news. Only those who think it isn’t good news think permitting some teachers and other school staff to be armed is a bad idea.

Beyond such arguments, the left rarely, if ever, explains why allowing some teachers and other adults in a school to be armed is a crazy idea. They merely assert it as a self-evident truth……..

(read it all)

Myth About Trump’s Unilateral Rescinding Obama’s Mental Health Law

Rush Limbaugh dismantles a lie from the Left expressed by Jimmy Kimmel’s monologue regarding Trump’s first few days in office and his rescinding an Obama era bill that was an Executive Order.

If the Left do not like this legal snafu of one President rescinding another’s E.O., pass laws through Congress dammit! U-n-l-e-s-s they just want to u-s-e the controversy to support their wild positions that have no reality in the real world. Here are the organizations who supported Trump’s action (via the WASHINGTON FREE BEACON):

Officials at the American Civil Liberties Union opposed the rule and called for its repeal because the process did not include sufficient due process protections.

  • “The rule includes no meaningful due process protections prior to the SSA’s transmittal of names to the NICS database,” the group said in their letter. “The determination by SSA line staff that a beneficiary needs a representative payee to manage their money benefit is simply not an ‘adjudication’ in any ordinary meaning of the word. Nor is it a determination that the person ‘[l]acks the mental capacity to contract or manage his own affairs’ as required by the NICS. Indeed, the law and the SSA clearly state that representative payees are appointed for many individuals who are legally competent.”

The National Council on DisabilityConsortium for Citizens With Disabilities, and National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery all submitted letters calling for the reversal of the rule during hearings conducted by the Ways and Means Committee….

The WASHINGTON EXAMINER also looks into the pressure from right and left organizations

….This is why America’s new favorite charity, the American Civil Liberties Union (along with many other groups that are not particularly conservative or pertinent to gun rights per se) advocated and wrote in favor of what House Republicans did yesterday. This is from the ACLU’s letter of support:

On behalf of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), we urge members of the House of Representatives to support the resolution disapproving the final rule of the Social Security Administration which implements the National Instant Criminal Background Check System Improvement Amendment Acts of 2007….

In December 2016, the SSA promulgated a final rule that would require the names of all Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefit recipients – who, because of a mental impairment, use a representative payee to help manage their benefits – be submitted to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), which is used during gun purchases.

We oppose this rule because it advances and reinforces the harmful stereotype that people with mental disabilities, a vast and diverse group of citizens, are violent. There is no data to support a connection between the need for a representative payee to manage one’s Social Security disability benefits and a propensity toward gun violence. The rule further demonstrates the damaging phenomenon of “spread,” or the perception that a disabled individual with one area of impairment automatically has additional, negative and unrelated attributes. Here, the rule automatically conflates one disability-related characteristic, that is, difficulty managing money, with the inability to safely possess a firearm.

The rule includes no meaningful due process protections prior to the SSA’s transmittal of names to the NICS database. The determination by SSA line staff that a beneficiary needs a representative payee to manage their money benefit is simply not an “adjudication” in any ordinary meaning of the word. Nor is it a determination that the person “[l]acks the mental capacity to contract or manage his own affairs” as required by the NICS. Indeed, the law and the SSA clearly state that representative payees are appointed for many individuals who are legally competent

…[R]egulation of firearms and individual gun ownership or use must be consistent with civil liberties principles, such as due process, equal protection, freedom from unlawful searches, and privacy. All individuals have the right to be judged on the basis of their individual capabilities, not the characteristics and capabilities that are sometimes attributed (often mistakenly) to any group or class to which they belong. A disability should not constitute grounds for the automatic per se denial of any right or privilege, including gun ownership.

So, if you donated the ACLU after President Trump’s executive travel ban, congratulations. Yesterday’s vote was your victory, too…..

The WASHINGTON TIMES also brings some historical clarity to the issue:

In recent years, advocates for the mentally ill created more boundaries for law enforcement and healthcare workers to forcibly hospitalize Americans who are suspected of being a danger to both themselves and others. The 1966 Lanterman Petris Short Act (LPS Act) was California legislation designed to reform the antiquated state of mental institutions in the state. 

It should be noted that LPS was signed by Governor Reagan in California but only after pressure from groups like the ACLU stepped in and sued on behalf of patients who were being involuntarily hospitalized. Other states followed suit with their own similar involuntary and voluntary commitment statutes.

According to U.S. Veteran’s Affairs, “Maurice Rodgers, spokesman for the California State Psychological Association, called the plan the “Magna Carta of the Mentally Ill,” while the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), officially in support of the legislation, raised objection to the fact that the patient had to personally petition for a due process hearing at the initial point in the commitment. 

Tying this all together for us is THE CZAR OF MUSCOVY:

….Later, the Carter administration signed into law the Mental Health Systems Act of 1980, which largely promoted the same idea for national facilities. In 1981, when both parties in Congress agreed to the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1981, President Reagan signed that into law. One of it many provisions was to eliminate federal funding for community services and thereby transfer funding back to individual funding or state-funded efforts. Had Reagan even been aware of that part of the Act, he would have immediately realized the Act was negating the disastrous effects of the LPS he experienced as governor of California.

In other words, the State needs more funding control over mental health facilities, whether local, community, or state. Serious cases could still be funded through Medicaid, creating a virtual federal funding pool of money. This was formalized in the Mental Health Planning Act of 1986.

In effect, bipartisan policies recommended that the Federal government transfer government funding of community mental health facilities back to the states. State-funded facilities as well as privately-funded facilities were not affected by that policy. Reagan signed the bill into law as part of an overall spending cut package. As he would have known, complete state funding of facilities resulted in terrible mental healthcare, but state governments had an obligation to provide for this. However, in 1986, he also signed into a law another bipartisan solution to have Medicaid assist with funding. The laws closed not a single facility.

Ergo, to the liberals, REAGAN CLOSED THE MENTAL HEALTH FACILITIES. The fact that states closed some facilities and let staff go at others due to their own budget issues is unimportant because, of course, liberals hated Reagan. And still do.

[…..]

So when you hear the argument that Reagan closed the mental health facilities, ask the name of one health facility that Reagan actually closed. And when it closed. And how he closed it. And if you hear that Reagan closed it by extenuation of a funding cut, ask which particular bill he signed into law specified that particular facility be closed.

Or is it a case that bipartisan governments at the state and federal levels attempted to improve healthcare treatment and that bipartisan governments within the states screwed things up so badly that individual departments of health closed down less effective facilities? You will have lost the typical liberal at the word bipartisan….

A lifelong Democrat at the DAILY JOURNAL LETTERS ties this all in a neat bow for us:

As a lifelong Democrat (of the Irish-Catholic-Labor variety), I think Reagan did some good things and other things I didn’t support. But one thing Reagan didn’t do was single-handedly “close down” mental hospitals thus triggering 40 years of mental health hell.

Two other forces actually determined the fate of mental health care in this state. You might call them acts with unintended consequences. Here’s the history.

In 1967, the Lanterman-Petris-Short Act (LPS Act) a so-called “bill of rights” for those with mental health problems passed the Democratic-controlled Assembly: 77-1. The Senate approved it by similar margins. Then-Gov. Reagan signed it into law.

It was co-authored by California State Assemblyman Frank Lanterman, a Republican, and California State Senators Nicholas C. Petris and Alan Short, both Democrats. LPS went into full effect on July 1, 1972.

The bipartisan law came about because of concerns about the involuntary civil commitment to mental health institutions in California. At the time, the act was thought by many to be a progressive blueprint for modern mental health commitment procedures, not only in California, but in the United States.

Its main purposes were:

  • To end the inappropriate, indefinite, and involuntary commitment of mentally disordered persons, people with developmental disabilities, and persons impaired by chronic alcoholism, and to eliminate legal disabilities;
  • To provide prompt evaluation and treatment of persons with serious mental disorders or impaired by chronic alcoholism;
  • To guarantee and protect public safety;
  • To safeguard individual rights through judicial review;
  • To provide individualized treatment, supervision, and placement services by a conservatorship program for gravely disabled persons;
  • To encourage the full use of all existing agencies, professional personnel and public funds to accomplish these objectives and to prevent duplication of services and unnecessary expenditures;
  • To protect mentally disordered persons and developmentally disabled persons from criminal acts.

Initially, mental health advocates pushed for community-based mental health facilities that would replace the closed mental hospitals.

But that never happened because even though post-Reagan the legislature was still controlled by Democrats, no major funding for new community-based mental health facilities ever occurred. And that situation basically is still the case today.

The second force at work in the mental health care issue were the courts and what is known as “deinstitutionalization.”

During the 1960s, many people began accusing state mental hospitals of violating the civil rights of patients. Some families did, of course, commit incorrigible teenagers or eccentric relatives to years of involuntary confinement and unspeakable treatment. Nurse Ratched, the sadistic nurse famously portrayed in the book and film “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest,” became a symbol of institutional indifference to the mentally ill.

By the late 1960s, the idea that the mentally ill were not so different from the rest of us, or perhaps were even a little bit more sane, became trendy. Reformers dreamed of taking the mentally ill out of the large institutions and housing them in smaller, community-based residences where they could live more productive and fulfilling lives.

A mental patient could be held for 72 hours only if he or she engaged in an act of serious violence or demonstrated a likelihood of suicide or an inability to provide their own food, shelter or clothing due to mental illness. But 72 hours was rarely enough time to stabilize someone be held another two weeks for evaluation and treatment.

As a practical matter, involuntary commitment was no longer a plausible option…..

Slavery and the Bible ~ A Response by J. Warner Wallace

Updated Nov 28, 2017 (Originally posted June 20, 2014)

D. Instructions for slaves (6:1–2). Paul gives instructions to Christian slaves in the situation in which they find themselves. He does not defend the institution (see 1 Cor. 7:21; Philem. 15–17) but gives general principles and specific instructions for living in that situation as Christians. Full respect, good service, and a proper attitude should be given to masters. Even slavery does not invalidate Paul’s principles concerning work. Poor work and a poor attitude will give cause for non-Christians to speak evil of God and the teachings of Christianity. Some Christian slaves apparently concluded that because they and their masters were brothers (spiritually equal and in the same “family”) that therefore they could act in a familiar and disrespectful way. Paul argues that Christian slaves should give even better service since they serve believers whom they love.

George W. III Knight, “1-2 Timothy/Titus,” in Evangelical Commentary on the Bible, vol. 3, Baker Reference Library (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1995), 1108.

(More commentaries at the end)

Previously I attributed this audio to Jonathan Morrow. A viewer corrected me that this was J. Warner Wallace. I will include, still, the previous links to Jonathan’s works below, as they are still great resources to indulge in.

(From video description)

This was an audio I mistakenly attributed to Jonathan Morrow, but in fact (thanks to a compatriot) this is J. Warner Wallace:

http://coldcasechristianity.com/
http://pleaseconvinceme.com/
http://www.str.org/

Detective Wallace rightly places over the matrix of the question the time-stamp in which the text was written, and the context it was written, and whom the text was written for… assuming these persons culture and surroundings and their practices. Not a 21st century understanding of slavery and the American experience.

Jonathan Morrow is the founder of Think Christianly. He is the author of:

Jonathan also contributed several articles to the Apologetics Study Bible for Students. He graduated with an M.Div. and an M.A. in philosophy of religion and ethics from Talbot School of Theology where he is pursuing a D.Min in engaging mind and culture.

Here is Dennis Prager also responding to the issue in his “patented” way (take note that the last audio below is a full show of Prager dealing with slavery):

DENNY BURK has a great article that gets to the point, seven points exactly… I will post a clip of two of the body of his thinking:

2. The Bible Often Condemns the Means by Which Slaves Were Taken as Slaves.

In the first century, slavery wasn’t race-based like it was in the American South. People were taken as slaves through a number of means: warfare, piracy, highway robbery, infant exposure, and punishment of criminals. In all of this, there was always prevalent the issue of kidnapping people in order to enslave them. What does the Bible say about kidnapping?

In 1 Timothy 1:10, the apostle Paul says that kidnapping or man-stealing is against God’s law. Most interpreters recognize that this man-stealing was for the purpose of slavery. That is why the ESV has it as “enslavers” and the NIV as “slave traders.”Certainly, the background for Paul’s command is the Old Testament law:

Exodus 21:16 “Whoever steals a man and sells him, and anyone found in possession of him, shall be put to death” (ESV).

Who is to be put to death? The one who takes the man and the one who holds him. This is significant because some people have made the case that while the Bible does condemn slave-trading it does not condemn slave-holding (e.g., Douglas Wilson, Black and Tan, 56). If this view were correct, there would not necessarily have been any moral problem with Christians owning slaves in the American South during and before the Civil War.

But Exodus 21:16 says that both the kidnapping and the enslavement are punishable by death. And this is the background for Paul’s own thinking about the matter in 1 Timothy. The entire system of Southern slavery was based on kidnapping people from Africa. The slave-traders stuffed these Africans into ship holds where they suffered and died by the thousands. That slave-trade was an abomination. And it is fallacious to suggest that the slave-holders are not morally implicated in the slave-trade. You cannot defend those who participated in the slave trade, nor can you defend those slave owners who created the market for man-stealing.

So the Bible definitely condemns the means by which slaves were taken as slaves—especially kidnapping, which was punishable by death.

3. The New Testament forbids Christians from coercive violence against slaves.

Ephesians 6:9 “Masters, do the same to them, and stop your threatening, knowing that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and that there is no partiality with him.”

Yes, there were Christian slave owners in the New Testament. But no, they were not allowed to threaten their slaves with violence. And obviously, if they weren’t allowed to threaten with violence, they weren’t allowed to actually do violence against their slaves. It may have been allowable under Roman law for a master to abuse or even kill his slave. But it was not allowable under God’s law to do such things. You might call that slavery in some sense, but what kind of slavery is it that doesn’t allow the master to coerce his slave through violence? It’s certainly not Roman slavery. It’s certainly not like slavery in the American South. This is something so different one wonders if you can call it slavery at all.

4. The New Testament commands Christians to treat slaves like brothers.

When Paul wrote to the slave-owner Philemon about his run-away slave Onesimus, Paul told Philemon to receive Onesimus “no longer as a slave, but more than a slave, a beloved brother If then you regard me a partner, accept him as you would me” (Phlm 16-17).

What kind of slavery is it that tells a master to give up threatening and to treat his slaves like his brother? Again, it’s not Roman slavery. It’s nothing like slavery in the American South. So the Bible isn’t endorsing either one of those. This is something else entirely. And that is why slavery cannot continue where the Kingdom of God holds sway. The Bible completely undermines all the defining features of slavery: kidnapping, coercive violence, treating people like property rather like brothers created in the image of God.

[….]

7. The Bible condemns racism.

As I mentioned earlier, slavery in the New Testament was not race-based. But slavery in the American South was. The Bible forbids treating someone else as less than human because of their race. God created man in his own image—all men—not just white ones or black ones or red ones or yellow ones. Because of that, every person—not just some people—every person has inherent dignity and worth as image-bearers of almighty God. For this reason, the diversity of races is not an evil to be abolished but a glory to be celebrated. God intends to gather worshipers for Himself from every “tribe and tongue and people and nation” (Rev 5:9). And we know that in Christ “there is no distinction between Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and freeman, but Christ is all, and in all” (Col 3:11).

So no, the Bible does not endorse slavery nor the evils inherent in slavery. On the contrary, it abolishes them in the name of Jesus. The gospel of Jesus Christ does not command us to take up arms in violent revolution to abolish slavery. It does, however, introduce a new kingdom in the world that will one day overthrow all unjust authorities. And we are called as the church to be an outpost of that coming kingdom. And wherever the church goes, slavery must flee because the Kingdom of Christ will not abide unjust authorities.

When the critics assail scripture, they often make confident assertions about things they know very little about (1 Tim. 1:7). In this case, when they rail against the Bible’s alleged endorsement of slavery, they are misrepresenting what the Bible actually teaches. Every word of God is pure and good and wise and right and good for us–including what it says to us about those under the yoke.

“Your word is very pure,
Therefore Your servant loves it.” –Psalm 119:140

Likewise, a great article by APOLOGETIC PRESS notes the following…

TAKING PAUL’S TEACHING TO ITS LOGICAL CONCLUSION

Over time, with the spread of Christianity (cf. Acts 19:10,26; 21:20) and with increasing numbers of slave masters becoming Christians, the physical lives of many slaves would have improved dramatically. As slave owners with honest and good hearts learned (1) to love the Lord with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength, and (2) to love their neighbors (including their slaves) as themselves (Matthew 22:36-40), they would give up “threatening” (Ephesians 6:9). As Christian slave owners contemplated treating others how they want to be treated (Matthew 7:12), they would give their slaves “what is just and fair,” knowing that they, too, had a Master in heaven (Colossians 4:1). As slave owners submitted to Christ, they would be transformed by the Gospel, learning to be “kindly affectionate” to everyone (Romans 12:2,10), including all those who served them. In short, far from endorsing sinful slavery, Paul’s teachings, taken to their logical conclusion, would eventually lead truth-seeking masters and government officials to help bring an end to any kind of cruel, sinful captivity.

For an extensive and in-depth writing on this, see Kyle Butt’s article, “Defending the Bible’s Position on Slavery,” originally in Reason & Revelation, 25[6]:41-47.

On the Ultimate Issues Hour, Dennis Prager speaks about his upcoming book to be published and the topic of “Slavery and the Bible.”


COMMENTARIES


Slaves in the Church 6:1–2a

Slaves comprised a third group of persons in the household of God who needed instruction. In the Roman world a small percentage of people were very rich. Persons serving in the Roman Senate and the equestrians made up the privileged classes of people and numbered less than 1 percent of the population (Bell: 187). Most persons were patrons or clients. Patrons provided for the well-being of clients by providing jobs, food, shelter, and so forth. In some wealthy households, even some of the slaves had clients, who hoped that they would influence their owner to secure favors for them (Bell: 192). Slavery was not limited to poor persons in Roman society, nor was it based on race. Roman law did not formally recognize slave marriages. Slaves were considered property. David A. de Silva suggests that fully 25 percent of the Roman population were slaves (de Silva: 141), while another writer thinks that slaves may have constituted a majority in society (Collins: 152).

Persons became slaves if their country was conquered by another country. Criminals, persons who defaulted on their debts, and those born into slave families were all considered slaves in the first century. Some slaves served in high levels of administration, while others worked in domestic and fieldwork. Though Aristotle defined a slave as a “living tool” (Nicomachean Ethics 8.11; de Silva: 142), Stoics and Christians recognized the humanness of slaves (Bell: 194).

Paul’s instructions on slaves connect to those regarding widows and elders in the church through the use of the term honor. In the Pauline mission, slaves became Christians and participated in the household of God. A Christian slave owner could go to the worship service in his household and see his slave(s) in the gathering. The slave may even be leading worship. On the one hand, Christian slaves needed instruction on how to conduct themselves in a social and cultural context with its own expectations about what slaves could or could not do. On the other hand, the church understood that freedom in Christ meant that the slave was a brother or sister in the congregation (Gal 3:28). Therefore the church had to learn how to live out its life of freedom and faithfulness to Christ in the midst of a culture that generally treated slaves poorly. The church could withdraw from society, or it could simply accommodate itself to society, both of which would destroy its life and mission.

Paul instructs Christian slaves about how they should live in two kinds of settings within the larger culture. First, he instructs slaves who have non-Christian masters (6:1). Second, he instructs slaves who have Christian masters (6:2). With both, Paul is concerned about the mission of the church (6:1b, 2b; Titus 2:10b) [Contextualizing the Gospel, p. 339]. As with widows (1 Tim 5:7, 14–15) and elders (5:20), the behavior of Christian slaves has a direct effect upon the mission of the church (6:1b). Paul’s teaching on slaves here in 1 Timothy 6:1–2 is similar to other NT household codes (Eph 6:5–9; Col 3:22–4:1; 1 Pet 2:18–25), with two major exceptions. First, in 1 Timothy, Christian masters are not told how to treat slaves (Verner: 140–41). And second, a major distinction is made between the way slaves treat non-Christian masters and Christian masters. This distinction is significant because the religion of the master of the household often determined the religion of the whole household, including the slaves.

Let all who are under the yoke of slavery regard their masters as worthy of all honor (6:1a). The phrase under the yoke of slavery refers to Christians who live under the power and rule of a master. It is the normal phrase used for being under a tyrant, or in slavery, and calls attention to its burdensome character (I. H. Marshall 1999: 629). The exhortation to attribute honor to a non-Christian master indicates that Christian slaves who have found freedom in Christ likely want to be free of their masters. If slaves show disrespect and even rebel against their masters, their attitude becomes diametrically opposed to the social practice of the day. To prevent major conflict within that social and cultural context, slaves are exhorted to show respect to their masters. Disrespect to masters will bring disrepute upon the church and clash with the commonly accepted cultural practice.

Respect toward non-Christian masters is emphasized with a purpose clause: so that the name of God and the teaching may not be blasphemed (6:1b). Respect and honor may lead some masters to Christ. In words reminiscent of Romans 12:21, “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good,” Paul exhorts Christian slaves to align their attitude toward masters with the mission of the church. Paul considers the success of the gospel to hold more importance than the immediate abolition of slavery in Roman society, for if the gospel reaches many in Roman society, slavery itself will eventually be abolished. A similar statement in Titus 2:10 says that slaves are to live in submission to their masters so that in everything they may be an ornament to the doctrine of God our Savior. Lack of submission can bring the Christian message into disrepute, while submission to non-Christian masters enhances it (Bassler 1996: 104). Since God desires that everyone be saved (1 Tim 2:4), Paul apparently thinks it best not to be too disruptive of Roman society or to bring slander upon the church. Instead, Paul believes the mission of the church should lead the way. As more citizens became Christians, the institution of slavery may be eliminated. The church at Ephesus cannot afford a reputation that denies Christian teaching and blasphemes the name of God.

Next, Paul addresses slaves who have Christian masters (6:2). The Christian slave and the Christian master are brothers (NIV) and sisters in Christ. Does this mean that the master-slave relationship should also change? Paul says that those who have believing masters must not be disrespectful to them (6:2a). The term be disrespectful means to hold or show contempt toward another. Some Christian slaves think that since both master and slave are fellow members in the church family, they no longer need to be subordinate to their masters (Verner: 143). The Christian gospel was a radical leveler in Greco-Roman society, and communities of faith were hard-pressed to negotiate the implications of the gospel in terms of social roles. The fact that a slaveholder was a Christian could not become an excuse for the slave to take advantage of the master’s religion to further one’s own cause. On the contrary, the slave should offer willing service all the more, since servanthood brings a benefit. Paul argues from the lesser to the greater by saying the slave must serve them all the more. Even the master who is a Christian is still the master, and the slave is still the slave. Moreover, the service of an obedient slave results in a benefit. The word benefit means good deed, benefit, service, or benefit of service. Knight indicates that this term was used in the first century to describe the actions of one in authority who was a benefactor toward one under him (Knight 1992: 247). Thus a Christian slave’s willing service for a Christian master bestows good on the master. The master in response returns that good to the slave by providing a good living for the slave.

Paul has deliberately picked up the language of honor and shame common in the ancient world (1 Tim 6:1–2) [Honor and Shame, p. 354]. But he reverses it. In the ancient world only masters could be benefactors. Masters as benefactors are worthy of honor (Johnson 2001: 290). But here Paul places the slave in the position of being the benefactor! A slave’s service represents a position of strength and brings honor not only to the master, but also to the name of God and the Christian teaching. By slaves treating the master as beloved, both master and slaves can be brothers and sisters together in Christ and enjoy life together in the church. Both master and slaves exercise what it means to serve a higher authority (i.e., Christ) and become slaves of Christ. This Christian attitude greatly enhanced the Christian mission within Roman society with its cultural and social stratification, while also giving the church freedom to live as Christians.

Paul M. Zehr, 1 & 2 Timothy, Titus, Believers Church Bible Commentary (Scottdale, PA; Waterloo, ON: Herald Press, 2010), 119–122.

6:1–2. Slavery was widespread in the pre-Christian era. By the time of Christ, treatment of slaves had greatly improved.

Romans freed slaves in great numbers in the first century, not only for humanitarian reasons, but also because the freeborn citizenship was declining and thus there were fewer to serve in the military. Only a freed slave could serve in the military.

The church of Ephesus over which Timothy was ministering had slaves and masters as members. Paul wouldn’t give these instructions otherwise.

The expression under the yoke may suggest that slavery in that day was a difficult situation in which many owners viewed their slaves as little more than cattle.

Paul doesn’t instruct bondservants (slaves) to seek to escape. Rather, he tells them to count their own masters worthy of all honor. They were to do this whether the master was worthy of such honor or not.

The reason was so that the name of God and His doctrine may not be blasphemed. God’s name and His doctrine are put in a bad light when slaves fail serve wholeheartedly. Wholehearted service, however, exalts God’s name and His doctrine.

It’s easy to see how Christian slaves who have believing masters might despise their masters because they are brethren. They might expect preferential treatment, or even outright release (see Philemon).

Yet slaves were not to have such a narrow world view. This life is all about pleasing God (cf. Eph 6:5–9; Col 3:22–4:1; and 1 Pet 2:18–21).

Robert N. Wilkin, “The First Epistle of Paul the Apostle to Timothy,” in The Grace New Testament Commentary, ed. Robert N. Wilkin (Denton, TX: Grace Evangelical Society, 2010), 985.

6:1, 2 The Ephesian believers may have been struggling to maintain a biblical work ethic in the world of slavery, so these verses form Paul’s instruction on that subject. Essentially, first century slaves resembled the indentured servants of the American colonial period. In many cases, slaves were better off than day-laborers, since much of their food, clothing, and shelter was provided. The system of slavery served as the economic structure in the Roman world, and the master-slave relationship closely parallels the twentieth-century employer-employee relationship. For more on slaves, see Introduction to Philemon: Background and Setting.

6:1 under the yoke. A colloquial expression describing submissive service under another’s authority, not necessarily describing an abusive relationship (cf. Mt 11:28–30). slaves. They are people who are in submission to another. It carries no negative connotation and is often positive when used in connection with the Lord serving the Father (Php 2:7), and believers serving God (1Pe 2:16), the Lord (Ro 1:1; Gal 1:10; 2Ti 2:24; Jas 1:1), non-Christians (1Co 9:19), and other believers (Gal 5:13). masters. The Gr. word for “master,” while giving us the Eng. word “despot,” does not carry a negative connotation. Instead, it refers to one with absolute and unrestricted authority. all honor. This translates into diligent and faithful labor for one’s employer. See notes on Eph 6:5–9; Col 3:22–25. our doctrine. The revelation of God summed up in the gospel. How believers act while under the authority of another affects how people view the message of salvation Christians proclaim (see notes on Tit 2:5–14). Displaying a proper attitude of submission and respect, and performing quality work, help make the gospel message believable (Mt 5:48).

6:2 believers as their masters. The tendency might be to assume one’s equality in Christ with a Christian master, and disdain the authority related to work roles. On the contrary, working for a Christian should produce more loyal and diligent service out of love for the brethren. preach. Lit. “to call to one’s side.” The particular emphasis here is on a strong urging, directing, and insisting on following the principles for correct behavior in the workplace.

John F. MacArthur Jr., The MacArthur Study Bible: New American Standard Bible. (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2006), 1 Ti 5:25–6:2.

D. Bondservants and Masters (6:1, 2)

6:1 The conduct of slaves is now brought before us. They are spoken of as bondservants who are under the yoke, that is, the yoke of slavery. The apostle, first of all, speaks to slaves who have unsaved masters. Should slaves in such a case act insolently toward their masters? Should they rebel or run away? Should they do as little work as possible? On the contrary, they should count their own masters worthy of all honor. This means that they should give them due respect, work obediently and faithfully, and in general seek to be a help rather than a hindrance. The great motive for such diligent service is that the testimony for Christ is involved. If a Christian slave were to act rudely or rebelliously, then the master would blaspheme the name of God and the Christian faith. He would conclude that believers were a worthless lot.

The history of the early church reveals that Christian slaves generally commanded a higher price on the slave market than unbelievers. If a master knew that a certain slave on the auction block was a Christian, he would generally be willing to pay more for that slave, since he knew that the slave would serve him faithfully and well. This is high tribute to the Christian faith.

This verse reminds us that no matter how low a person’s position may be on the social scale, yet he has every opportunity for witnessing for Christ and bringing glory to His name.

It has often been pointed out that the institution of slavery is not openly condemned in the NT. However, as the teachings of Christianity have spread, the abuses of slavery have been abolished.

Every true believer should realize that he is a bondslave of Jesus Christ. He has been bought with a price; he no longer belongs to himself. Jesus Christ owns him—spirit, soul, and body, and deserves the very best he has.

6:2 This verse deals with slaves who have believing masters. Doubtless there would be a very great temptation for such slaves to despise their masters. It is not at all unlikely that when the local church met together on Lord’s Day evening for the breaking of bread (Acts 20:7), there would be Christian masters and Christian slaves seated around the table—all brethren in Christ Jesus. But the slaves were not, on this account, to think that the social distinctions of life were thereby abolished. Just because a master was a Christian did not mean that the slave did not owe him honor and service. The fact that the master was both a believer and a beloved brother should influence the slave to serve him faithfully.

Christian masters are here spoken of not only as faithful (believers) and beloved, but also as those who are benefited. This is generally taken to mean that they, too, are sharers in the blessing of salvation. However, the words might also be understood to mean that since both slaves and masters are interested in doing good, they should serve together, each trying to help the other.

The words teach and exhort these things doubtless refer to the preceding instructions to Christian slaves. The present-day application would be, of course, to the employer-employee relationship.

William MacDonald, Believer’s Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments, ed. Arthur Farstad (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1995), 2098–2099.

D. Concerning Slaves And Masters (6:1–2).

6:1. Under normal circumstances slaves and masters had no associations outside the institution of slavery. With the advent of the gospel, however, these two groups found themselves thrown together in the congregation in new ways, creating problems the apostles were forced to address repeatedly (cf. 1 Cor. 7:20–24; Gal. 3:28; Eph. 6:5–9; Col. 3:22–25; Phile.; 1 Peter 2:13–25). Paul’s instructions here correspond entirely with what is taught elsewhere in the New Testament on the subject, with one major exception: in this passage he addresses only slaves. Usually his exhortations to submit to authority were immediately buttressed by warning masters against abusing their authority (cf. Eph. 6:5–9; Col. 3:22–4:1).

The matter of the uses and abuses of authority is first and foremost a problem of attitude. Thus Paul wrote repeatedly of how slaves and masters should see themselves and one another. Here he wrote that slaves are to view their masters as worthy of full respect (timēs, “honor”). The same word is used of God in 1 Timothy 1:17 and 6:16, and of elders in 5:17. Such honor or respect should be granted lest God’s reputation and the Christian faith (hē didaskalia, “the teaching”; cf. 1:10; 4:1, 6, 13, 16; 5:17) be slandered (lit., “be blasphemed”). Social goals should always be subordinate to spiritual values.

6:2. Paul’s thought here is totally foreign to the world, and can be fully appreciated only by those who view their lives through the eyes of Jesus Christ (cf. Mark 10:42–45). Christian slaves whose masters are also believers should redouble rather than reduce their service. This should stem purely from the realization that the one who is receiving the benefits is a beloved brother or sister in Christ. The attitude undergirding this instruction is complete nonsense to anyone who does not understand the Lord Jesus, but it is the genius of Christlikeness and the ultimate source of all meaning and joy in life to those who have eyes to see (cf. John 13:4–17; 15:9–14). Thus Timothy was commanded once again to teach and urge … these things on the congregation (cf. 1 Tim. 4:6, 11; 5:7).

A. Duane Litfin, “1 Timothy,” in The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures, ed. J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck, vol. 2 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985), 745.

Witness In The Workplace (6:1–2)

Paul is not endorsing slavery in these verses. Rather, he is addressing a reality that existed at that time. Slavery was common in the Roman Empire and many of the people who became Christians would have been slaves.

What were they to do now that they were free in Christ? They were to act in a way that would bring glory to Christ ‘so that God’s name and our teaching may not be slandered’ (v. 1, NIV). They would do so by showing respect to their masters. It seems that some slaves in Christian households had become disrespectful to their masters and this had resulted in a bad witness. So Paul corrects it by telling Timothy to teach them to work even harder ‘because those who benefit from their service are believers, and dear to them’ (v. 2, NIV).

These principles apply to the workplace in the modern world. Christians should make sure that they are not ‘too heavenly minded to be of any earthly use’. We may have had the opportunity to tell our colleagues and employers the good news, but if we are lazy and unreliable, we will undermine the message we have communicated. We must also be careful not to take advantage of a Christian boss and expect favouritism from him or her. Instead, we should work even harder than we would for someone who is not a believer. This will be a great encouragement to that boss and help his or her own witness in the workplace.

Simon J. Robinson, Opening up 1 Timothy, Opening Up Commentary (Leominster: Day One Publications, 2004), 94–95.

Benghazi: Obama vs. Bush (Memes)

Reposted For The Anniversary

below are pieces posted 6-13-2014 but the original date posted was 2012 on FaceBook.

Also note the phone calls that also showed almost immediately that Benghazi was a well-orchestrated terrorist attack. All covered up to ensure reelection.


Here is a portion (large portion, but I recommend reading it all) of Kyle Becker’s article from the Independent Journal Review:

 

One of the best-known versions of this meme is the ridiculous screed at Huffington Post “13 Benghazis That Occurred on Bush’s Watch Without a Peep from Fox News,” which has around 90K shares and likely well over a million views.

The post was nearly replicated on numerous left-wing sites, such as DailyKos, the Daily Banter, and PolicyMic.

Here goes: the “13 Benghazis That Occurred on Bush’s Watch Without a Peep from Fox News” – cases versus reality.

1.  HUFFPO: THIS WAS JUST LIKE BENGHAZI.

January 22, 2002. Calcutta, India. Gunmen associated with Harkat-ul-Jihad al-Islami attack the U.S. Consulate. Five people are killed.”

REALITY: NONE WERE AMERICAN. (The Tribune)

 2. HUFFPO: THIS WAS JUST LIKE BENGHAZI.

June 14, 2002. Karachi, Pakistan. Suicide bomber connected with al Qaeda attacks the U.S. Consulate, killing 12 and injuring 51.”

REALITY: NONE WERE AMERICAN. (BBC)

3. HUFFPO: THIS WAS JUST LIKE BENGHAZI.

October 12, 2002. Denpasar, Indonesia. U.S. diplomatic offices bombed as part of a string of ‘Bali Bombings.’ No fatalities.”

REALITY: NONE WERE AMERICAN.

You said it, Huffington Post.

4. HUFFPO: THIS WAS JUST LIKE BENGHAZI.

February 28, 2003. Islamabad, Pakistan. Several gunmen fire upon the U.S. Embassy. Two people are killed.”

REALITY: NONE WERE AMERICAN. (Fox News)

5. HUFFPO: THIS WAS JUST LIKE BENGHAZI.

May 12, 2003. Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Armed al Qaeda terrorists storm the diplomatic compound, killing 36 people including nine Americans. The assailants committed suicide by detonating a truck bomb.”

REALITY: NINE AMERICAN DEFENSE CONTRACTORS KILLED.

After numerous State Department warnings, and Saudi Arabia investigating al Qaeda for a potential planned attack, three defense compounds were assaulted with car bombs and armed attackers. Nine defense contractors were killed.

Bush immediately called the attack part of the “war on terror,” and two of the attackers that survived the raid were killed by Saudi police forces. You know, just like Benghazi. (CNN)

6. HUFFPO: THIS WAS JUST LIKE BENGHAZI.

July 30, 2004. Tashkent, Uzbekistan. A suicide bomber from the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan attacks the U.S. Embassy, killing two people.”

REALITY: NONE WERE AMERICAN. (BBC)

7. HUFFPO: THIS WAS JUST LIKE BENGHAZI.

December 6, 2004. Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Al Qaeda terrorists storm the U.S. Consulate and occupy the perimeter wall. Nine people are killed.”

REALITY: NONE WERE AMERICAN. (Guardian)

[….]

13.  HUFFPO: THIS WAS JUST LIKE BENGHAZI.

September 17, 2008. Sana’a, Yemen. Terrorists dressed as military officials attack the U.S. Embassy with an arsenal of weapons including RPGs and detonate two car bombs. Sixteen people are killed, including an American student and her husband (they had been married for three weeks when the attack occurred). This is the second attack on this embassy in seven months.”

REALITY: NONE WERE AMERICAN.

“Attackers used vehicle bombs, rocket-propelled grenades and automatic weapons to mount a coordinated assault on the U.S. Embassy here Wednesday, leaving 10 guards and civilians dead outside the main gate but failing to breach the walled compound. No Americans were killed.” (Washington Post); (CSM)

(Even if there was misreportage, no embassy officials were killed or missing, and those who were killed were done so in a matter of minutes.)

So of all the Americans killed, only one was a diplomat, and he was killed almost instantly. Nine others were defense contractors.

It is my belief that this “13 Benghazis” post was published with the intention of deceiving the public. It may have been an attempt at persuading Americans to dismiss further inquiry into how the Benghazi terror attack was handled and how it was reported to the public….

…read it all…


I wanted to update this post (5-2013) just a bit with a challenge along similar veins by Bob Beckel on the Five, and Dana Perino’s response to his muddled thinking (the short exchange is HERE if you wish):

Bob Woodward compares to Watergate:

(Original 2012 post)

Back to the older response to an acquaintance:

Media Matters, a Soros funded org, has infected liberal blogs with what they feel is a good argument or response to both Democrats and Republicans wanting to know what the failure was in Benghazi, Libya and how 4-Americans can die when they requested help a month prior. Here is a cut-n-paste of it as it was presented to me on FaceBook:

  • 2002 U.S. consulate-Karachi,Pakistan-Attacked-10 killed,51 injured 2004 U.S. Embassy bombed-Uzbekistan-2 killed,9 injured 2004 Gunmen storm U.S. consulate in Saudi Arabia-8 killed 2006 Armed men attack U.S. Embassy in Syria-1 killed,several injured 2007 Grenade launched into U.S. Embassy in Athens 2008 Bombings at U.S. Embassy in Yemen-10 killed 2012 U.S. Annex in Benghazi, Libya attacked-4 killed. Republicans outraged and suddenly concerned with the safety and security of American’s abroad. Now they demand investigations.

Years of discussing religion and politics has taught me to check out what is presented, so I at least (I do have a life) looked into the first two examples… and a patter emerged.

Here are a couple of my responses to the above via my FaceBook.

The first is this:

Suicide Bomber for your 2002 example (Karachi), not a long, preplanned attack that more boots on the ground (that was both requested and called for earlier than the attack) could have prevented. IF in the 2002 Karachi, Pakistan attack they requested because they saw pre-planning on the terrorists part with additional intelligence an attack was eminent and they requested better fortified positions to stop vehicles (suicide attacks) from coming in [and these requests were denied], then I would be interested. Plus, NOT A SINGLE U.S. person died in the attack. All Pakistani. PLUS, even if U.S. personnel have died in an attack similar to Benghazi… they were most likely Marines protecting sovereign U.S. soil. The expectation of an ambassador is to be protected, not to fight. So your “well aware of the risks” argument is another conflated comparison.

You are creating straw-men arguments through conflation and non-sequiturs, and then comparing the two as if the same. Sloppy thinking Ross. No idea of the requested help a month before and during the attack. Dumb.

Here is the second example examined:

Your 2004 example of the U.S. consulate in Saudi Arabia-8 killed

(BBC — 2004) …A Saudi security source told Reuters news agency that heavy security had prevented the attackers from getting into the Jeddah consulate by car…. All Americans who were at the consulate are reported to be safe…. Correspondents say security around the consulate has been extremely tight since a series of bombings by Islamic militants in Saudi Arabia began in 2003, mainly targeting buildings that house foreigners. They add that the attack must have been very well planned, given the security measures…. The embassy and the mission in Dhahran had been closed as a precaution following the Jeddah attack…. (BBC)

So, a synopsis of your 2004 example:

★ Many Defenses Due To Intel Because of Previous Attacks;
★ No Americans Died;
★ Other Sites Temporarily Closed Due To This Attack.

Libya:

★ No Defenses Even Though Previous Attacks On This Site and Intel and Requests;
★ Security was Decreased;
★ Not Closed Temporarily Even Though Attacked, Intel Was Coming In, And 9/11 Date.

APPLES AND ORANGES ~ Compare to Benghazi:


The U.S. mission in Benghazi, at an “emergency meeting” less than a month before the Sept. 11 attack, drafted a contingency plan to suspend operations as security deteriorated — and in the near-term, recommended that consulate operations be moved to the CIA annex about a mile away, according to a classified cable reviewed by Fox News.

The State Department’s senior representative at the consulate told those at the Aug. 15 meeting that the security situation was “trending negatively” and reported “this daily pattern of violence would be the ‘new normal’ for the foreseeable future, particularly given the minimal capabilities” of the Libyan security forces.

With no apparent reason to believe conditions would improve, the cable notified the office of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that the “Emergency Action Committee” was updating “Post’s tripwires in light of the deteriorating security situation … to include a ‘suspension of operations’ section.”

The term “tripwire” refers to lines in the sand which, if crossed, cover personnel levels, security measures, and in this case, the extreme step of suspending operations.

The cable marked “SECRET” also said, of the possibility of moving the consulate operations: “Mission personnel could co-locate to the Annex (CIA outpost) if the security environment degraded suddenly. … (There was agreement) to formal weekly meetings to discuss the security environment. … In the longer term, we believe formal collocation with the (Annex) will greatly improve our security situation.”
The warnings reflected a grave concern among officials on the ground that the Libyan militia charged with protecting the consulate had been compromised, perhaps even infiltrated by extremists.

Summarizing the Aug. 15 meeting, the cable sent the following day reported that “certain sectors of the 17 February Brigade were very hesitant to share information with the Americans, but as the largest brigade they acted as a buffer for the Mission against some of the more anti-American, Islamist militias in town.” The brigade was charged with protecting the consulate.

Moving the consulate operations to the CIA annex might not have ultimately saved the four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens, who died in the Sept. 11 strike. The annex ended up coming under fire and was the site where two of the four Americans were killed.

But the concerns in the cable — which also warned Washington that the consulate could not be protected in the event of a “coordinated attack” and that “approximately ten Islamist militias and AQ training camps” were known to operate within Benghazi — are further evidence that the U.S. mission in eastern Libya repeatedly warned Washington that they were a target.

The reference in the cable to the February 17 Brigade was significant.

This week, new documents recovered from the Benghazi compound by Foreign Policy magazine further support the classified cable’s prescient warning that the Libyan militia was compromised. In the early morning hours of Sept. 11, the consulate staff believed they were under surveillance. A document found by the magazine stated “this person was photographing the inside of the U.S. special mission and furthermore … this person was part of the police unit sent to protect the mission.”

This reporting is consistent with an online post from Sean Smith, an avid gamer, shortly before the consulate was overrun by terrorists and Smith was killed. As reported by Wired magazine shortly after the attack, Smith wrote: “Assuming we don’t die tonight. We saw one of our ‘police’ that guard the compound taking pictures.”

Days after the attack, an intelligence source on the ground in Libya told Fox News: “One thing for sure is that the 17 Brigade was nowhere to be found and the Americans were left on their own in the assault.” On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being very bad, the intelligence source said the consulate security was “A 10 — total security failure. Benghazi was known to be a major area for extremist activities. Militias’ loyalty is easily bought and sold. Deals with militia leaders are worth nothing.”

The cable also shows the consulate staff and CIA leadership in Benghazi agreed to work hand-in-glove, which included reviewing “emergency action plans” and addressing areas of collaboration. ….

Read more: FOX NEWS

Also, there is more info about what the annex was capable of:

Sources who have debriefed the team that was at the CIA annex the night of the attack in Benghazi say that the CIA operators from the Global Response Staff, or GRS, were equipped with Mark 48 machine guns and had two types of laser capability. Each weapon had both a “passive” as well as a “visible” laser that could be used against the Libyan attackers.

The presence of laser capability on the roof of the CIA annex confirms what Fox News sources that night in Benghazi originally said, which is that they had laser capability and for 5 hours and 15 minutes were wondering where the usual overhead air support was, especially since, according to this source, they radioed from the annex beginning as early as midnight asking for it.

The presence of lasers raises more questions about why air support was not sent to Benghazi even protectively once it became clear that the fighting had followed the CIA rescue team back to the annex.

U.S. military officials say they “thought the fighting was over” after the team left the consulate and that there was a lull in the fighting.

Fox News has learned the guns were fitted with PEQ-15 lasers. The “passive” laser is not visible to the naked eye but can help team members identify hostile forces when the shooter is wearing NODS, or Night Observation Device attached to their helmet. The visible laser system places a red dot on the attacker and warns the attacker not to shoot, encouraging them to flee the scene. U.S. troops often use the visible laser to scare children or other civilians who find themselves in the middle of combat activity. When civilians see the laser they often back off in order not to be shot.

The GRS team that was present at the CIA annex provided security for the CIA station, as they do around the world. They are highly trained in countersurveillance, close target reconnaissance and in depth reconnaissance. Enemy fighters have learned in Afghanistan and Iraq to use their cell phones to follow or intercept these “passive” lasers without having night vision or NODS.

The Annex team also had Ground Laser Designators, or GLD. This kind of laser equipment emits code and signal when there is overhead air support, unmanned aerial surveillance, drones or Spectre gunships, for instance.

A source present the night of the attack says that the GRS team that was defending the annex asked where the air support was at midnight. Former SEALs Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty were killed 5 hours and 15 minutes later.

Read more: FOX NEWS