Beliefnet
At the Intersection of Faith and Culture

As I write this, there is only a small handful of facts, or alleged facts, that all of the talking heads in Big Media seem to agree upon regarding “the largest mass shooting in American history.”

First, 64 year-old Stephen Paddock, a white man and resident of Nevada, appears to have acted alone when he opened fire upon over 22,000 country music concert attendees in Las Vegas.

Second, Paddock had a lot of weaponry, guns of various sorts, in the hotel room that he used as a sniper’s nest.

Third, Paddock is a relatively wealthy man who enjoyed gambling and may have accrued quite a bit of debt as a consequence of his sinful pleasure.

Fourth, the shooter has a girlfriend, Marilou Danley, an Asian woman who, at the present moment, is in Tokyo.  Initially, police cleared her of any wrongdoing. According to the latest update, however, they still plan on interrogating her when she returns to the states.

Fifth, nearly 60 people are now dead and over 500 people have been hospitalized.

Finally, according to his own brother, Paddock had no political or religious affiliation.

As things always go with these sorts of matters, what we think we know now will inevitably change and, in some respects, undoubtedly change dramatically as more information comes to light.  So far, though, this is essentially the extent of the propositions on which the Big Media insiders agree.

Admittedly, I don’t know anything more at the moment.  However, I’m shocked (though not particularly surprised) that no one—namely, no “conservative” commentator—has so much as suggested even the possibility that this historically unprecedented massacre just may be the event in which the violent hatred to which suspected Deplorables have been routinely subjected for over a year-and-a-half has reached its bloody climax.

From even before President Trump received his party’s nomination, leftist agitators, mostly fans of Bernie Sanders, began making it a habit to crash Trump’s rallies and assault his supporters. Since this time, literally hundreds of Trump supporters, men, women, and young teenagers—the folks who Hillary Clinton infamously characterized as “deplorables”—have had their person and property abused by leftists of different sorts.  Antifa (“Anti-fascists”), BLM (Black Lives Matter), and BAMN (By Any Means Necessary) are some of the more militant leftist organizations that came to be counted upon to attack indiscriminately, and with a range of weaponry, Trump supporters—i.e. veterans, flag-waving patriots, Republicans, Christians, and anyone and everyone else who is deemed “fascist.”

Pepper spray and bear mace; sticks of dynamite and Molotov cocktails; bats, pipes, clubs, and flagpoles; stones, flamethrowers, and bottles; feces and urine—these are among the weapons that have been used against those who have declared their support for “free speech,” Trump, and the American flag.

Some far left members of “The Resistance” have indeed shown up to some events armed with guns, although no one, to my knowledge, has yet used these guns on Trump supporters.

Of course, as recently as June, a Bernie Sanders admirer and avid MSNBC viewer, James Hodgkinson, in an effort to slaughter as many Republican members of Congress as possible, shot several, including and most notably, Steve Scalise (And shortly before this event, another zealous Sanders fan and Trump opponent, Jeremy Christian, who the media tried ((absurdly)) to depict as a “white supremacist terrorist,” stabbed three men on a Portland, Oregon train, killing two of them).

In other words, the last nearly two years have established two things:

(a)Violence against anyone and everyone who is suspected of having contributed to the election of President Trump (and the GOP) has been normalized;

(b)This political violence has been normalized by those on the far left.

It also bears noting that Antifa and the like, in affirming their allegiance to “The Resistance,” affirm their ideological and political affinity with all of those “mainstream” Democrats in Congress and the media who similarly raise the proverbial banner of The Resistance.  For that matter, the embarrassment of a former presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton, also proclaimed her own allegiance to The Resistance some months back, as did former Attorney General Loretta Lynch.

Democrats own the fringes of their party.

Now, given the patterns of the last two years (to say nothing of the left’s long history of violence), is not the theory that the Vegas killer was but another committed Resister, determined to, “by any means necessary,” “bash the fash” not eminently plausible?

After all, the predominantly white country music fans upon whom Paddock set his sights constitute the collective poster child of the Deplorable, a fact of which leftists, in their ever articulate manner, have spared no occasion to remind us from the moment that word broke of this outrage.

Shouldn’t someone in Big Media, specifically, in the so-called “conservative” media, at least raise these points?

Can there be any doubt that had this been a rap concert—an event comprised of tens of thousands of black men, women, and children—that, despite being short on verifiable facts, the very media figures who now refuse to indulge speculation as to the shooter’s motive would have wasted no time in speculating about “racism?”

Can we doubt that had the targeted event been a gathering of tens of thousands of Hispanics or Muslims or gays that we would have been treated to endless speculation concerning the likely “racism,” “Islamophobia,” and “homophobia,” respectively, of the shooter?

There is nothing objectionable about speculating, as long as the speculation is reasonable, rendered plausible (if not true) by the known facts.  Intellectually curious people speculate. Speculation is actually preferable to the incessant repetition of talking points with which Americans are relentlessly bombarded by the media whenever events like this occur.

That those in the media now refuse to speculate or, to put it more accurately, that they refuse to advance the most plausible of speculative theories—the shooter, like the 66 year-old James Hodgkinson, who was in his age cohort, was an anti-Republican, anti-Trump zealot—is explained by the likely fact that he shared their animosity toward the same objects.

I’ll show my hand now: While I may be proven wrong, I’d bet dollars to donuts that Stephen Paddock was driven by the same homicidal hatred of all things to his right that animated Hodgkinson.

Paddock, I find it more credible than not, saw himself as a member of The Resistance.

 

 

As everyone who cares now knows, the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia that was held this past Saturday “turned violent.”

It “turned violent” just as did so many of Donald Trump’s campaign rallies, the “free speech” rallies that have been held over the last seven or so months, and Trump’s inauguration.

Of course, it is only within the fantasyland of the Fake News media that any of these rightist (or pseudo-rightist) events “turned violent.” The latter is one of the many stock phrases that Fake Media trots out whenever it is leftist “counter-demonstrators”—another of its terms of choice—crash the events in question with every intention of stopping them by whichever means necessary.

The happenings that unfolded in Charlottesville on Saturday fall all too neatly into a pattern stretching back for the better part of two years, a pattern that has become nearly an ironclad law.

Listening to the coverage of Charlottesville, one could be forgiven for thinking that those in Big Media, whether “liberal” or “conservative,” were oblivious to the existence of this phenomenon.  Commentators struck the unprejudiced observer as either scandalously ignorant or just as scandalously (but predictably) dishonest.  Particularly disappointing were “conservative” commentators and showboating politicians who appeared every bit as immersed in the Big Media bubble that they accuse their “liberal” counterparts of inhabiting.

First, while there were indeed some self-styled neo-Nazis that were present among the rally’s attendees, they were, by all appearances, a tiny minority.  And they constituted a far smaller fraction of the totality of the group than, say, that which on multiple occasions comprised the totality of Black Lives Matter demonstrators that marched through busy city streets shouting such murderous slogans as, “What do we want? Dead cops! When do we want it? Now!” and “Pigs in a blanket, fry them like bacon!”

Second, the Charlottesville demonstrators organized their rally months in advance of its occurrence. Their application for a permit to march was initially denied. To its eternal credit, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), a left-leaning organization, came to the organizers’ defense and helped them to appeal this decision.  A federal judge eventually ruled that it was illegal for the city of Charlottesville and the state of Virginia to prevent people from exercising their Constitutional right to peacefully assemble.

And this is a crucial point: Those in attendance at the “United the Right” rally did peacefully assemble. They had speakers lined up to speak at Emancipation Park (formerly known as Lee Park).

Hordes of “Anti-fascist” (Antifa) and “Black Lives Matter” agitators assembled to “bash the fash.”  As always, it is they who initiated the violence. Even the Washington Post admits that it was the fear of leftist violence that provoked Governor Terry McCauliffe’s State of Emergency.  Yet it was this move legitimizing the “Heckler’s Veto” that rendered a lawful event unlawful.

That’s when all hell broke loose.

Third, but even then, it wasn’t the rally attendees whose rally was being sabotaged who unleashed the violence. According to reports of those who were on the ground, police turned violent upon some of those who, evidently shocked upon hearing that before things even began they were ended, didn’t leave the area as quickly as the officers—and their superiors—would have preferred.  The boys in blue sprayed mace at rally-goers and kicked them.

Then, the police, upon breaking up the group, redirected them out of the park through the sea of Antifa and BLM terrorists who proceeded to besiege them with an arsenal of weaponry, from bricks and bottles filled with cement to baseball bats, bows and arrows, urine, feces, bear mace, and—this is no lie—a “makeshift flame thrower from a spray can.”

A flamethrower.

Fourth, a life was indeed lost on Saturday.  A counter-demonstrator was killed when someone who was allegedly one of the demonstrators plowed his car into a mob that had filled the street.  The suspect has since been identified as James Alex Fields, a 20 year-old white man from Ohio. About 19 or so others were also injured.

This is the one event of the day on which the media have fixated.  No doubt, it was the most serious of events, given that a person was killed.  But insofar as it is abstracted and isolated from the context of violence that, to repeat, the Antifa and BLMers had been unleashing long before it happened, it is Fake News in the extreme, a tactic by which the day’s violence can be dropped exclusively upon the shoulders of those who exhaustively pursued legal measures to express themselves.

Confessedly, when I initially heard that “counter-demonstrators” had been struck, I immediately assumed that the motorist’s car was surrounded and his life imminently imperiled.  This was the most reasonable assumption given that Antifa and BLM regularly block thoroughfares and subject to violence those who they regard as “fascist” and “racist.”

If the driver is guilty of malice, then, being the proponent of capital punishment that I am, I submit that Fields will deserve nothing less than death for his crime.  Yet there is evidence that my initial suspicion is correct.  Although he is being blasted as a homicidal neo-Nazi, what we do know for sure of Fields is that he was an active duty service member of the United States Army. Until Saturday, he worked in law enforcement as a security officer, and he has no history of violence.

And, according to a writer for the The Hill, those Charlottesville police officers who she spoke with think that Fields may have not acted with malice, but from fear for his life. Video seems to show a pedestrian hitting Fields’ car with a bat.

The point, though, is that no one knows for sure, at this point, all that happened.

Yet none of the moral exhibitionists who unleashed the tsunami of denunciations of the “white supremacists” (there were some unsavory characters in attendance, to be sure, but many present, and certainly the event’s organizers, explicitly disavow this moniker), uttered a peep concerning the brutality of those who started the violence.

Mike Cernovich, a Jew who reportedly declined an invitation to speak at the Charlottesville rally, reminded his followers this weekend of when he attended a White House press briefing some months back and called out leftist journalists for refusing to disavow Antifa.  They still refuse to do so.

Nor do they dare to wax indignant over the violence of BLM.

To those who object to any of my assertions, I challenge you to present the video footage of “white supremacists” initiating violence against the thousands of masked agitators who came to greet them with weapons.  In this day and age, when everyone has a camera, it shouldn’t be hard to find—if it exists.

That there are plenty of reasons for objecting to both this rally and the ideology that is associated with it is grist for another mill.  The purpose here is to establish that the consensus among the “respectable” folks that “white supremacists” are responsible for the bloodshed in Charlottesville while the “counter-demonstrators” are victims or bystanders is a Gargantuan Lie that every lover of truth, decency, and, yes, Constitutional liberty must expose for what it is.

 

 

Those Republicans who failed to keep their promise to repeal Obamacare, a promise that they repeatedly made over a span of some seven years, will get their comeuppance.

Given their failure, as well as the obscene moral posturing in which Democrats are engaging at present, now is as good a time as any for Americans to remind themselves of the castle of lies on the basis of which Obamacare was originally sold by its namesake and his ilk.

Courtesy of the laborious efforts of some, we can see that these lies are as egregious as they are legion.

In 2008, Obama said that if what would become known as Obamacare ever became the law of the land, then Americans are “going to be able to buy the same kind of insurance that Senator McCain and I enjoy as federal employees.”

This was a lie.  Members of Congress are exempt from having to purchase Obamacare.  At any rate, no member of Congress uses Obamacare.

Moreover, Obama, as President, had access to the finest healthcare in the world.  As was confirmed by the New York Times, an Obama-friendly publication, there isn’t a patient anywhere that “gets closer medical attention than the president of the United States.”

While on the campaign trail back in 2007-2008, Obama assured the public that under his watch as POTUS, he would see to it that, via CSPAN, the process by which healthcare reform is achieved would be entirely transparent.

He reneged on this.

Instead, Nancy Pelosi infamously told Americans that before they could know what was in the thousands of pages of the Obamacare bill, Democrats would first have to pass it into law.

“If you like your healthcare plan, you’ll be able to keep your healthcare plan, period. No one will take it away, no matter what.”  This is the promise that Obama made as he was trying to sell his signature domestic policy. He had also said: “Here is a guarantee that I’ve made. If you have insurance that you like, then you will be able to keep that insurance.”

These proved to be epic lies.

Following the passage of Obamacare, though, the Congressional Budget Office reported that as many as seven million people would lose their healthcare coverage.

Indeed, from California, New Jersey, Florida, Virginia, and Maryland, to Michigan, Washington D.C., Colorado, and Washington state; from Wegmans, Target, and Home Depot, to Trader Joe’s, IBM, and Universal Orlando, scores of Americans from around the country and employees of various corporations had lost their insurance by early 2014.  More have lost it over the last three years.

Another Obama-friendly network, NBC News, noted that in 2014, anywhere between 50%-75% of the 14 million people who purchased individual health insurance could anticipate losing their plans.  In 2013, NBC News also reported that three years earlier, in 2010—exactly the same time at which Obama was busy swearing to Americans that if they liked their healthcare plans, they’d be able to keep their healthcare plans—Obama and those in his administration knew that more than 40%-67% of those people in the individual market would likely lose their plans.

Obama swore that Obamacare would not add a single “dime to our deficits—either now or in the future.” Upon repeating this pledge, he added:

“And to prove that I’m serious, there will be a provision in this plan that requires us to come forward with more spending cuts if the savings we promised don’t materialize.”

This was before the so-called Affordable Health Care Act was passed.  Before the ink had dried, however, it was revealed that Obamacare wouldn’t be very affordable after all.  The Washington Post—hardly a media outlet that has been unfriendly to Obama—disclosed that over the following decade, Obamacare would add $340 billion to our national deficits.

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) reported that between 2012 and 2022, the cost of Obamacare would be twice as expensive as the $900 billion price tag that Obama placed upon it.

Obama promised that premiums would diminish in price under Obamacare. Just the opposite occurred.  In all 50 states and the District of Columbia, premiums increased. In 42 states, premiums increased by triple-digit percentages for the lowest priced coverage.  For example, pre-Obamacare, the monthly cost for healthcare that a 30 year-old nonsmoking woman paid was $79.49.  In the era of Obamacare, in stark contrast, this same person was required to pay $188.72 per month—a 153% increase.

In 2017, 33 of the 50 states, there are fewer healthcare insurers than existed the year before.  There has been an exodus of insurers from the Obamacare exchanges.

Most tragic, and outrageous, of all is that people who would otherwise be alive today lost their lives because of Obamacare, people like Frank Alfisi.  As the Daily Signal summarizes his fate, the 73 year-old died in 2014 when he “was refused dialysis in the emergency room because of a new Medicare regulation put in place via Obamacare.”  Jeffrey Lord, of The American Spectator, relays the blunt statement that the physician made to Alfisi’s daughter: “You can thank Mr. Obama for this.”

This wasn’t the only casualty of Obamacare.  One woman died while waiting for Obamacare to kick in after her private insurance was cancelled.  So too did another in Nevada after Obamacare “delayed” her “life-saving cancer treatment.”

Very recently, on the eve of the Senate’s decision not to repeal Obamacare, a couple committed suicide, leaving two children behind.  Their suicide notes stated that, among other things, they could no longer afford the astronomical rate of health insurance.

Yet costs are as high as they are because of the law of the land: Obamacare, a monstrosity born of a tsunami of lies.

 

 

 

 

 

As soon as John McCain had been diagnosed with brain cancer, Democrats and Republicans in Washington and the press spared no opportunity to lavish praise upon this lifelong government employee.

McCain deserves none of the tributes that have been paid to him.

McCain cheated on his first wife, the one who waited for him during his captivity as a prisoner of war, and left her for an heiress.  Financially speaking, this proved to be a smart move, for courtesy of his second marriage McCain has succeeded in becoming an extremely wealthy man.

Of course, the taxpayers that he has managed to bleed for well over three decades also deserve credit for McCain’s affluence.  In return, they have received an ever-burgeoning administrative state, relentless illegal immigration from the Third World, and, of course, war—and all while McCain has pretended to be a “conservative.”

But we should focus here on McCain’s record of demanding war, for thanks to his influence, hundreds of thousands of people, both foreigners and Americans alike, who would have otherwise been alive today are dead.

And hundreds of thousands more are traumatized, orphaned, homeless, maimed, and continually besieged by those murderous terrorist organizations, like ISIS, that have taken over their countries after McCain’s policies prevailed.

McCain is not alone in having their blood on his hands.  Yet in a Regime, a Government-Media-Complex, comprised of warmongers, McCain enjoys the dubious distinction of being the warmonger par excellence.

On the false pretense that Saddam Hussein posed an imminent threat against the United States via the “weapons of mass destruction” (WMDs) that he never possessed, McCain urged as loudly and tirelessly as anyone for war.  Those libertarians and old right conservative sorts who exposed holes in the WMD narrative and forecasted the disaster to which such a war would lead were dismissed, ignored, or mocked.

Estimates of casualties vary, but today, some 14 years after McCain got his way, anywhere between 195,000 and possibly one million Iraqis are dead.  The Iraq Body Count project found that during the decade following the invasion, 174,000 Iraqis were killed. Of this number, 112,000-123,000 were civilian noncombatants.  At present, the number is closer to 200,000 civilian noncombatant deaths.

Between 2003 and 2014, nearly 5,000 American service members lost their lives in this war that McCain and his ilk cooked on the basis of a lie.

Yet contractors, aid relief workers, and journalists are also among those who lost their lives.

While we can tabulate numbers, the pain, suffering, and trauma endured by the loved ones of those killed is incalculable.

In addition to the hundreds of thousands of Iraqi and American corpses that McCain and his comrades left in the wake of their rush to war, there are that many more who have lived but who suffer daily.

Reportedly, over 1,600 Americans deployed to do battle in Iraq became amputees.

Between Iraq and Afghanistan (another country to which McCain and his fellow neocons wanted to see Democracy exported), the Pentagon, in 2009, estimated that as many as 360,000 Americans who served were suffering traumatic brain injuries.

In 2007, a study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that approximately one-third of the 103,788 troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan suffered from multiple, major psycho-social disorders.  Veterans were committing suicide and no small number suffered from PTSD.

Upon conducting their study of 10,000 Iraqi school children, the Iraqi Society of Psychiatrists and the World Health Organization determined that no fewer than seventy percent of Iraqi children are also in bad mental health.  Some have ended their own lives.

Possibly most heartbreaking of all is that McCain’s war, according to a 2012 UNICEF study of Iraq households, resulted in the production of 800,000 to one million Iraqi orphans.  About five percent of all Iraqi children under the age of 18 have lost one or both parents.

Millions of Iraqis, their homes destroyed, have been displaced.

Hundreds of school teachers and thousands of Iraqi doctors had been murdered by criminals and insurgents within three years of the invasion, and hundreds of other doctors had been abducted.

None of this even takes account of the vacuum that the US created in toppling Saddam Hussein, a vacuum that the Islamic State filled and that has exponentially exacerbated the chaos in Iraq.

So far, I have only focused on Iraq, with some nods to Afghanistan. But these are hardly the only two disastrous wars for which McCain has advocated throughout his long, long career.

Nor has McCain ever given so much as an indication that he has the slightest regret over Iraq and Afghanistan.  In fact, in the face of this ocean of blood and suffering for which he pushed, he has continued to urge more of the same.

For all of the attacks that McCain and his ilk have made against President Trump for the latter’s tweets and the like, let’s not forget that this is the same veteran senator and former presidential candidate who expressed his support for attacking Iran by singing, “Bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran!”

Nor was McCain a stranger to twitter.  On the eve of Libya’s Muammar Gadhaffi’s death, the stately McCain tweeted: “Qaddafi on his way out, Bashar al Assad [of Syria] is next.”

Unsurprisingly, Libya is another country that McCain thought President Obama waited too long in ruining. In 2011, he appeared on Wolf Blitzer’s program and forewarned of “the great task ahead” of “building a democracy in a country that’s never known it.” (McCain, here, reveals that these are not defensive wars that he favors; they are ideological crusades, specifically, a crusade for Democracy.)

McCain expressed irritation that it took Obama as long as it did, by his lights, to attack Libya.  Had Obama not led “from behind,” had he used “the full weight of American air power” sooner, “it would have been gone—over a long time ago [.]”

Today, Libya, being as it is in a state of “chaotic unrest” and “torn by civil war and battles with ISIS,” is far worse than it ever was under Gadhaffi.

Syria is another target of McCain’s.  He aches for the US government to force “regime change” and plant Democracy, hence proving that he’s learned absolutely nothing from the blood-soaked, world-shattering failures of his foreign policy of choice in Iraq and Libya.

We could go on.

The bottom line: John McCain is responsible for suffering and death that are as immeasurable as they were avoidable.

Only those of weak character can ignore or deny this verdict.