Words matter

After briefly flirting with an accurate headline, the Associated Press is forced to, um, retreat:

The Associated Press on Sunday changed a headline after a backlash from liberals furious at the AP for describing a caravan of illegal immigrants heading towards the United States as an “army of migrants.”

“A ragged, growing army of migrants resumes march toward US,” read the original headline on the AP story. The AP later changed the headline to replace the word “army” with “caravan.”

Though the AP has used the word “army” to refer to large groups of people besides migrants — including nurses and political activists — many on the political left criticized the wire service for its original headline.

That would be because the original headline didn’t conceal the impact of this mass of invaders the way “caravan” does.  The Left doesn’t want people waking up to the fact that carrying a weapon is not required to be an invader.  What other term would you use to describe a group of thousands of people, carrying the flags of their (supposedly oppressive) nation of origin, who break through border barricades and refuse to heed orders of local officials?

As I’ve stated before, this is a pivotal moment. No longer are immigrants content to quietly seep across our porous borders. Now they are arriving loudly, by the thousands, proclaiming that nobody can stop them. Nor are they pretending they will “assimilate.” If this succeeds, we no longer have even the pretense of sovereignty.

Trump is said to have told the military this is a national emergency, and if true, he is correct. The enemies of our nation are looking for a confrontation that results in capitulation. This cannot be allowed. There is likely fear of the “optics” of efforts to halt this mass of people. That cannot be the deciding factor, in no small part because of the optics of NOT stopping it.

Deadly force is not necessarily the only option (though frankly, at this point I fear it may come to that). The military has a considerable number of non-lethal crowd control tools, many battle-tested in Iraq and Afghanistan. Now is the time to employ them to enforce our border. If 5,000 people march to the Rio Grande, only to have their skin heated by microwaves and eardrums blasted by sonic weapons, and have to abandon their effort, it will send a loud message that we have regained the will to control our own destiny.

If we lack that will, we should disband our armed forces. Because if this caravan army succeeds, it will only be the first of many to follow — with our nation vanquished shortly thereafter.

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Who’s being uncivil?

Her Hillariness states that civility can’t return until the Democrats regain power in D.C.  While she meant it as a jab against the Trump Republicans, events over the past couple of years show the statement to be more of a threat:

It is open season on Trump supporters, and the media is only fomenting, encouraging, excusing, and hoping for more… The media are now openly calling Trump supporters “Nazis” and are blaming Trump for a mass murder he had nothing to do with. This, of course, is a form of harassment because it incites and justifies mob violence.

Here is the list, so far, and remember that if any one of these things happened to a Democrat, the media would use the story to blot out the sun for weeks.

Be sure to click the link. As of this writing, the site documents 583 separate instances of violence, condoning of violence and/or harassment against opponents of the Left. I think most people have at least a vague sense this has been on the rise, but it’s jarring to see it documented this way. (That, by the way, is why I started the “Good Guys with Guns” tab at the top a few months ago.)

Perhaps being on the receiving end of this for a bit is what finally caused the Republicans in D.C. to begin fighting back. The backbone they showed during the Kavanaugh confirmation was long, long, overdue.

What Hillary’s really mad about isn’t Trump’s language or style being “uncivil.” She’s mad because the fight is no longer one-sided, as it has been for more than 30 years.  Let’s just hope the pushback didn’t come too late.

Christians in the crosshairs

The Supreme Court ruled in June, by a vote of 7-2, that the Colorado Civil Rights Commission had violated the First Amendment rights of the owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop after he refused to bake a cake celebrating a same-sex wedding. The owner, Jack Phillips, repeatedly made clear he was not denying service in general based on sexual orientation. Rather, he was refusing to participate (by creating a custom cake) in a ceremony that ran contrary to his Christian beliefs.
Phillips was subjected to a lengthy six-year process of hearings and appeals before receiving vindication from the Supreme Court, which strongly rebuked the Colorado Commission for clear “religious hostility” to Christian beliefs. While this was a judicial victory for Phillips, the phrase “the process is the punishment” is appropriate here.

End of story, right? Wrong.

Just as the Supreme Court agreed to hear the case, a caller to the cakeshop requested a special cake celebrating a gender “transition.” It shouldn’t be a surprise at this point that Phillips politely declined that order as well. The result? The Colorado Commission has initiated the same type of proceedings that were invalidated in the previous case! On that basis of that fact, Phillips’ attorney has filed suit against the Commission in Federal Court. The result of that action is still pending, but it’s safe to say the Supreme Court’s view of the Commission’s bias has been confirmed.

This is by far not the only example of Christians being targeted. The wholly misnamed “Military Religious Freedom Foundation has demanded the removal and arrest of an Air Force General assigned to Edwards Air Force Base in California. Why? Because he’s had the audacity to do things like ask people to pray for wisdom for his leadership. He also shares his beliefs and experiences with other Christians via a personal website. This is only the latest crusade by the MRFF to create a military environment where one can only have beliefs if they keep them wholly to themselves. That’s far from religious freedom. The group should go by the name “freedom FROM religion foundation,” because that’s what their track record shows as its goal.

Vocal atheists still like to laugh at the idea Christians are persecuted in the United States. Granted, American Christians have yet to be subjected to the level of cruelty inflicted on their brothers and sisters in other countries. That doesn’t mean there isn’t a pronounced and growing hostility to the Gospel. That official hostility is the wellspring from which persecution can grow.  The seeds are already sprouting in America.

Christians in the U.S. do not have a special immunity from the schemes of the Ruler of this Present Darkness. Only vigilance and vigorous defense can protect the unusual freedoms we’ve enjoyed through our history. As the fabric of the Surveillance State model becomes tighter and tighter, we need to understand there will soon be no middle ground or choice of apathy. We will all either profess Jesus as our Lord, come what may, or else deny Him at our eternal peril.

Watch and pray, brothers and sisters. And seek discernment how you can engage, for the battle already rages around you.

A beginning, perhaps

The unexpected election of Trump in 2016 gave voice to many in America who felt their country slipping away, beset by illegal invaders from without and traitors/enablers from within.  Since then, other countries are seeming to find their own voices:

New Italian government vows to create jobs, deport migrants

“The free ride is over,” League leader Matteo Salvini, Italy’s new interior minister, warned migrants at a rally in northern Italy. “It’s time to pack your bags.”

Austria’s government plans to shut down mosques, expel foreign-funded imams

‘Parallel societies, political Islam and radicalization have no place in our country,’ (Chancellor) Kurz told a news conference outlining the government’s decisions…

‘This is just the beginning,’ Vice Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache added.

And in England, if the crowd in Trafalgar Square and marching through London yesterday is any indication, it seems the jailing of Tommy Robinson for continuing to cover the cancer of Muslim rape gangs across the United Kingdom has been the last straw for thousands.

2018-06-09Tommy Robinson protest

No wonder globalist meddler George Soros is whining that “everything that could go wrong, has gone wrong.” All of these developments have one thing in common: the “leadership” of nations refusing utterly to listen to their people. The countries of the world have been governed for some time by a class of people who have more in common with each other than with the countries they purport to represent. As a result, history and symbols of national pride are squelched or twisted, policies enforced despite popular resentment, and unwanted immigration floods the West. Such a disconnect can only go unexpressed for so long.

It is high time the peoples of Europe and the United States reclaim their authority over their governments. It will take much more than these small gestures for that to truly occur.  But perhaps we see the will still exists to make it happen.

Ruled Britannia

Where you are more likely to be jailed for calling attention to numerous cases of sexual abuse by immigrants than you are if you are the abuser…

Robinson, who on May 25 was arrested while streaming live on Facebook from outside Leeds Criminal Court, where several Muslims were being tried for mass child rape. Tommy was then brought before a judge who sent him straight to prison for having violated the terms under which he was released by another judge last year.

On that occasion, he was brought before a female judge who, when asked about the very real danger of him being beaten up — or worse — if sentenced to prison, said: “So what?” Yes, that’s what she actually said. Every day, in the same courts, they treat accused mass rapists with more respect…

As for Robinson being “detained illegally”: I, for one, certainly wouldn’t say that his detention is illegal. No, it’s entirely legal. That’s precisely the problem.

British law itself — the whole process of deciding what’s legal and what’s illegal — is no longer what it used to be, and hence no longer worth respecting. It’s been twisted into a tool of those who wish to protect Muslim criminals and troublemakers (and their apologists and defenders) and to punish those who blow the whistle on Muslim crime and tell the truth about Islamic ideology.

…the judge who ruled on Robinson’s case last year effectively told him to stay home and shut up. He refused to do so, out of principle. That doesn’t make her right and him wrong. It means that those in charge of administering justice in Britain are now doing something very different indeed from administering justice.

Indeed.  And Britain’s not the only country whose “justice” system seems to have seriously skewed priorities.

Photo worth a thousand words

Ponder this:

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Conditions are allegedly so bad in Honduras that a person leaves the country, travels over 1,000 miles to the edge of the United States (with no small amount of facilitation by Mexico), where he climbs the shoddy fence denoting the border.

Then waves the flag of the country he fled…

This isn’t about political asylum.  It’s not even about wanting to become an American and wanting to share in the so-called “American dream.”  It’s about raiding the larder of the richest country in the hemisphere, all while flipping the bird at U.S. sovereignty.  It’s about rejecting any adaptation and instead flaunting the cultural trappings of the country he left behind… a country that was supposedly so bad Americans are expected to welcome him without reservation.

I call BS.  This photo doesn’t depict immigration.  Even without visible weapons, it depicts invasion.

…and should be dealt with accordingly.  Seal the border, already!

Sounding a Mayday

A new memoir by retired Air Force Chief of Staff General Norton Schwartz revisits the decision by then-Secretary Robert Gates to shut down the F-22 Raptor production line well short of the service’s calculated minimum operational requirement.  The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have been tremendously expensive for the United States, both in lives and money.  As time goes on, we may find the largest cost of those conflicts was to cause such an intense focus on counterinsurgency warfare that our higher-end capabilities were allowed to atrophy.  Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, the United States has considered Russia and China “near peer competitors” — in short, not quite the superpower America is.  That situation is changing more rapidly than many planners anticipated even a decade ago.  China fielded its first operational stealth aircraft years before expected.  While they are still having some growing pains, this development invalidated some of the reasoning behind shutting down the F-22 — that the U.S. Air Force was largely untouchable.

…Schwartz’s predecessor General Mike Moseley “never gave up in his principled attempts to get those 381 F-22s” the book states. That push ended up getting Moseley fired along with his civilian counterpart, Air Force Secretary Mike Wynn. After the culling, the brass thought that the new bomber was simply too important and that the chances of winning both the F-22 and bomber arguments with Gates, who was staunchly averse to building high-priced weapons that couldn’t be used in Iraq or Afghanistan, was next to zero.

Schwartz, in an attempt to see if a reduced F-22 production number would be palatable to the Defense Secretary, executed an independent assessment that ended up stating 243 F-22s was the absolute minimum the force could get by with. But Gates balked at that number as well.

In the end, the production line was shut down after only 188 Raptors were built.  The F-22 is designed to ensure air supremacy by sweeping adversaries’ aircraft from the skies.  For context, it is assuming that role from the 1970s-vintage F-15 Eagle, of which the Air Force procured nearly 900 over the decades since its debut.  That number does not include the 225 F-15E “Strike Eagles” specially designed with more focus on ground attack missions than air-to-air operations.  The F-15 production line continues to operate today, fielding orders from major U.S. allies more than a dozen years after the United States bought its last Eagle.

In short, the U.S. bought far too few Raptors, and now has no option to build more (the production line having been dismantled).  The Air Force was able to replenish its F-15 fleet over the years, purchasing newer aircraft and retiring older airframes.  This will not be an option for the F-22 design, as reopening production is cost-prohibitive.  As a result of this shortfall, the Air Force has kept a large number of F-15s in service as teammates to the Raptor.  But this generates the cost of maintaining four distinct fighter platforms: the F-22, the F-15, the smaller F-16 (most known for its use by the Thunderbird Demonstration Team), and the new F-35 attack aircraft.  The F-15 and F-16 were built concurrently as a “high-low” mix: a smaller number of highly capable F-15s to defeat enemy air forces, and considerably more of the less capable (and less expensive) F-16s to operate in a mostly “permissive” environment.  The same approach was intended for the F-22 and F-35.  With the premature closure of the F-22 line, the Air Force has to choose between keeping the F-15s around longer (adding to budget strain), or shifting some of their air superiority mission to the larger (but less capable) F-16 fleet until sufficient numbers of stealthy F-35s are flying.

This was not the first time the U.S. shot itself in the foot while buying a major aircraft system.  The B-2 bomber, which critics love to point out cost more per unit than any aircraft in history, was originally supposed to be a fleet of 100 aircraft.  Rattled by the program cost at a time the Cold War was winding down, Congress funding the Air Force for only 21 (of which only 19 are in operation today).  After 9/11 the system proved far more versatile than its original mission of nuclear combat with the Soviet Union, flying incredibly long missions non-stop from the U.S. to Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and elsewhere.  Instead of 16 nuclear weapons, the aircraft can carry up to 80 satellite-guided 500-pound bombs, accurately hitting scores of targets on each mission.  Such capability creates high demand, but with such a small fleet these demands have worn out the B-2 force and the Air Force is scrambling to produce a replacement system as mentioned in the book excerpt above.  It’s arguable an original fleet of 100 aircraft would have reduced or eliminated the need for another design procurement this soon.

But such is the “penny-wise, pound-foolish” ways of government acquisition.  The F-22 and B-2 are arguably the most advanced and capable aircraft ever built — and no more of either can be produced because the facilities have shut down.  It has been 65 years since an American soldier was lost to enemy airpower — in 1953, during the Korean War.  Three generations of military planners have been able to reasonably assume the U.S. would control the skies in any conflict they foresaw.

Our investment decisions in recent years may soon call that assumption into serious question.  Penny-wise, pound-foolish is bad, but not nearly as bad as penny-wise, blood-foolish.