The Massacre and The Aftermath (Updated)

farookThe massacre in San Bernadino, California is as baffling as it is chilling. I am very familiar with the Redlands and San Bernadino areas since I would spend summers in the area growing up and still have relatives there (including one of the officers responding to this shooting). What is so chilling is the lack of any indication of such an act from a couple that seemed to be living the American dream with a good income and new baby . . . and highly supportive colleagues who they proceeded to slaughter.

For me, the three most chilling facts are the following.

2F088BE600000578-3344350-image-a-25_1449184962698First, Syed Farook, 28, had a good work relationship with these people (he made $51,000 a year as an environmental health specialist for the county) and sat at an office party shortly before killing them. It appears that he may have gotten into an argument with with colleague Nicholas Thalasinos (right), a Messianic Jew who was one of the victims. Thalasinos was known to write caustic comments about Islam on the Internet. (His wife says that Thalasinos often wrote about radical Islam but was friendly with Farook).   The argument discussed in the media may have occurred a couple weeks before the party and it is not clear whether the argument had rekindled shortly before the shooting. (One account has Farook telling Thalasinos that he “will never see Israel.”) However, it is clear that these two murderers were planning for terrorism based on the search of their home.  A witness said that when Farook disappeared just before the photo session at the party, someone asked, “Where’s Syed?”

Second, both he and his wife Tashfeen Malik, 27, dropped off their 6-month-old girl with his mother Wednesday morning, claiming he had a doctor’s appointment. So these two were willing to abandon their baby in some pursuit of paradise — attaining glory through the slaughter of innocents.

Third, these were not strangers. Not only had these victims worked at Farook’s side, but they actually threw a baby shower for this couple who later slaughtered 14 people (and wounded 17).

larger-suspectBoth were devout Muslims who appeared at the party (after Farook left) in dark tactical gear and masks with assault rifles and handguns. From their profiles, these two people would be viewed as well adjusted and well grounded in society. Farook actually called himself a “modern Muslim” on social media to distinguish himself from more traditional Muslims. On his dating profile before he met Malik he said that he was “living life to the fullest” and that he wanted a woman who was interested in “snow boarding, to go out and eat with friends, go camping, working on cars with me.” Indeed, Farook is quoted as telling his colleagues that Americans do not understand Islam and then proceeds to confirm that worst stereotype of Islam by critics.

Farook recently went to Saudi Arabia and may have been radicalized while in the Kingdom (a hotbed for extremism). He traveled to Saudi Arabia in 2013 to meet Malik’s family (who are from Pakistan), and then again in July 2014 to marry her. He would later be in contact with known terrorist figures according to police.

There is a growing belief that Farook was radicalized by his wife who reportedly had pledged allegiance to ISIS.

At their home, police say that they found an IED factory and 7,000 rounds of ammunition for assault rifles, 9-mm. handguns and .22-caliber rifles. So whatever the argument may have done, there was clearly planning for an attack if these accounts prove accurate. The argument may have triggered the massacre but the arsenal suggests that a massacre may have been in the works.  What is clear is that both of these individuals were powder kegs before any argument with a co-worker.

The greatest question however remains the road to radicalism. We have seen this pattern before of men visiting Saudi Arabia or Syria and coming back radicalized and unstable.

452 thoughts on “The Massacre and The Aftermath (Updated)”

  1. Hildegard
    1, December 6, 2015 at 10:31 pm

    “Did you see the Alex Jones interview on Piers Morgan.”

    Yes, I watched it shortly after it was taped, but I have to say that he couldn’t have won many converts with his wild-eyed performance.

    His histrionics generally put me off to the extent that I have little desire to listen to him, regardless of the legitimacy of his position on gun ownership or anything else.

    Here’s another P. Morgan interviewee, Larry Pratt, who much more effectively made the case for firearm self-defense:

    Also see Dr. Suzanna Hupp’s testimony before Congress regarding her having to watch the murder of her mother and father in a Texas cafeteria, because she didn’t have her gun on her person:

    1. And if the murderer hadn’t got a gun she wouldn’t have been shot in the first place

    2. Ken Rogers, Thanks for the links. I checked out the Larry Pratt interview. I’ve always liked him and although he’s (at least in this interview) clueless as to what really (didn’t ) happen at Sandy Hook, he at least knows how to respond to it.

      Personally I don’t understand what really prevents people from doing their own research into the Sandy Hook event. I really don’t understand this idiotic fear or revulsion at being called a “conspiracy theorist”. It’s downright un-American to be so deluded by authority to not even allow yourself to QUESTION so many glaring inconsistencies. Given that a person has at least average intelligence if they would allow themselves to question to the DEGREE we have? They would simply have to come to the same undeniable conclusion. NO ONE DIED at Sandy Hook elementary school. The entire thing was orchestrated to take our guns.

      The more the 1% (backed by ignorant gun/people control advocates) try everything and anything they can think of (and these people are very resourceful don’t you know?) with the SOLE INTENT of disarming the last of the world’s civilian gun owners, the more gun sales records Americans break. It’s slowing down their plans big time and Obama’s having a difficult time pulling it off. The plan is a “New World Order”. This is no conspiracy theory. Rockefeller, Bush senior, Kissinger and so many others are directing quoted talking about it. You obviously won’t hear about it on main stream media which is nothing more than a ghetto of lies of omission and commission. People SERIOUSLY need to pull their head out and see that glaring fact.

      Yes Alex Jones is pretty wild eyed but that’s just his personality. He’s also highly intelligent and well researched. I’ve verified his claims enough times to realize he knows most of the time what he’s talking about. He’s an enneagram personality type 8 with a 7 wing. The most aggressive personality type there is.

      The lady in the cafeteria? I head that story. Amazing…and sad.

    3. Ken Rogers; I should have last of the world’s major civilian populations. Obviously there are smaller countries where people still have a right to self defense with firearms.

  2. Many thanks (again), Hildegard, for providing a link to this comprehensive assessment of the effects of gun control laws in Britain, Canada, Wales, and Australia.

    The author, Dr. Gary Mauser, is “a Full Professor in the Institute for Urban Canadian Research Studies and the Faculty of Business Administration at Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada. He earned his Ph. D. in Social Psychology from the University of California at Irvine. He has published numerous scholarly articles on survey research analysis, guns and violence, and evaluating firearm legislation.”

    Here’s an excerpt from the executive summary, but I highly recommend reading the paper in its entirety, especially if you think that more stringent gun laws in the US would issue in a reduction of violent crime:

    “In this [2003] study [“The Failed Experiment Gun Control and Public Safety in Canada, Australia, England and Wales”] I examine crime trends in Commonwealth countries that have recently introduced firearm regulations: i.e., Great Britain, Australia, and Canada.

    “The widely ignored key to evaluating firearm regulations is to examine trends in total violent crime, not just firearms crime. Since firearms are only a small fraction of criminal violence, the public would not be safer if the new law could reduce firearm violence, but had no effect on total criminal violence.

    “The United States provides a valuable point of comparison for assessing crime rates because the criminal justice system there differs so drastically from those in Europe and the Commonwealth. Not only are criminal penalties typically more severe in the United States, often much more severe, but also conviction and incarceration rates are usually much higher.

    “Perhaps the most striking difference is that qualified citizens in the United States can carry concealed handguns for self-defence. During the past few decades, more than 25 states in the United States passed laws allowing responsible citizens to carry concealed handguns. In 2003, there are 35 states where citizens can get such a permit.

    The upshot is that violent crime rates, and homicide rates in particular, have been falling in the United States. The drop in the American crime rate is even more impressive when compared with the rest of the world. In 18 of the 25 countries surveyed by the British Home Office, violent crime increased during the 1990s. This contrast should provoke thinking people to wonder what happened in those countries where they introduced increasingly restrictive firearm laws.” (Emphasis added)

    1. Absolutely Ken and thanks for bringing that up. Violent crime has fallen significantly to the point that the “experts” are stumped as to why. Did you see the Alex Jones interview on Piers Morgan. He had to shove that fact down his throat but of course it made no difference… At one time this video had 6,000,000 views then they took it down. 🙁 When Alex mentions “mass murder suicide pills”? That was one of the happiest moments of my life.

      FBI reports a drop in crime in 2013: why the rate continues to fall

  3. ninian; “The only problem is that America is not a Democracy it is a Republic where the rights of an individual supercede the rights of a majority.” We wish??? The individual is the ONLY real thing. The “society” the “collective” are just a mental construct. In reality they don’t exist. Are you with me? Was it Plato or Socrates who referred to Democracy as “Tyranny of the majority.” ? Sounds right to me! Especially when you consider how woefully ignorant the majority is. Do you really want the masses to determine your fate, your rights, your worth? Yes, let’s sacrifice the individual on the alter of the state; our new God.

    1. Hildegarde: Yes I do agree. Margaret Thatcher tried to adopt the same values in the UK and said that society didn’t exist.

      It is a form of fascism but slowly evolves into democracy. Look what happened to Thatcher. She ran for leadership and won – but not with a significant majority so they got rid of her.

      That’s an example of British Democracy and an example of Society 😨

  4. ninianpeckitt; “I don’t fabricate any figures unlike some on this blog ” Have you ever heard of The Bureau of Meaningless Statistics? There was a great cartoon in Discover magazine…I wish I could find it for you. Statistics can prove or disprove just about anything you like. There has to be a better way…..

  5. Whoah Nick! Kudos bro, that was a great pro-gun rant. Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition.

  6. BFM, Your usual common sense comments. I’m actually hoping Obama, Hillary and the clueless, feckless crew keep spouting this gun control meme. On Black Friday, BEFORE THE MASSACRE, 185k people applied for background checks, the most ever in one day. People who have NEVER owned, or even thought about owning guns, are realizing the govt. is incapable of dealing w/ terrorists or just plain crazy people. We are on our own. So be it. I’m prepared, and I bet you are as well. The growth market in gun sales and concealed carry are women. “The Lord helps them who help themselves” was a phrase my mom would often say.

  7. OK, Ninian……It’s ironic that you mention your dedication to facts, when you make up your own, substituting your opinions for facts, repeatedly display a high level of intellectual dishonesty, and display the lack of even a basic understanding of the American Constitution or the U.S. political process.
    The offer of Paul C. Schulte to provide you with remedial U.SS. civics material probably still stands.
    For the time being, I will ask you a question. Given your previous history of evasiveness and weasel words, I won’t hold my breath for an answer.
    The question is how man U.S. political candidates are proposing repeal of the 2nd Amendment? A typical response from you will be “I have won the debate by my ” facts”, but surprise me for once and try to give a straight answer.

    1. Tom Nash:
      I don’t fabricate any figures unlike some on this blog and have provided references related to fabrication of data. I’m not interested in what people think of the arguments I make. It’s up to readers to make their minds up. Sometimes it takes comments from an outsider to catalyse the revelation of the truth and how the American Public have been duped.

      Your system continues to he abused and cannot be implemented in practice for reasons that cannot be refuted.

      1. Ninian….recommendations and suggestions from outsiders are more effective if the outsider knows what the hell he is talking about. “Inventing” your own set of facts, evasiveness in ” answering” clear, direct, legitimate questions, repeatedly playing word games, etc. undermine your credibility.

        1. Tom Nash:

          The issue is to demonstrate conclusively that it is yourself that doesn’t know what you are talking about. I have succeeded on doing that in spades. If it is you who are right how come America is in such a mess? How come the President says you are at war since 9/11 and isn’t fighting using all your armed forces for your survival? It’s just another mess of shear stupidity. No one will follow America’s “leadership” in this fight – because there is none. It’s just confused mumbo jumbo doomed to failure like all the other wars since 1945. And that’s the real problem.

          Arrogance and Delusion.

          You think whatever you want and the rest of us will clear up the mess in the end

          1. ninian, you said “the rest of us will clear up the mess in the end”. Given that you are Dubai’s version of deTocqueville, with your incisive observations of American society and politics, and your long list of political candidates that agree with your idea to repeal the 2nd Amendment( thanks for providing that), we are indeed fortunate to have saviors like you to ” clear up the mess”.
            Team up with Prof. Jonathan Gruber for strategic political advice , and you have a real chance of success.

            1. Tom Nash:

              President Obama stated last night that he doesn’t want American Ground Troops involved in a long and expensive drawn out war.

              So you need to be reminded yet again that America had been involved in a War since 9/11/2001 some 14 years. It is the longest war in American History unless you include the gun anarchy on your own streets which you apparently accept as normal.

              So I know you will forgive me when I state again that this is all proven rubbish – and that America should not be so infantile.

              It would not surprise me if you start to believe in the Constitution and Bill of Rights next…..

              Freedom? You haven’t the remotest understanding of the word. And all Americans with the ability to think for themselves know it.

              1. ninian – if you would actually learn American civics you would learn our longest running war is the War on Poverty.

          2. Ninian, you asked why the President isn’t fighting for our survival using all of our armed forces. He may be considering your previous advice to issue arrest warrants for ISIS members and other terrorists.
            If he has your faith in international courts, full military force may not be necessary.

            1. Tom Nash: Arrest warrants

              Well I have to admit I’ve been completely wrong and that this is clearly the answer.

              It is obviously something that needs to be done and Guantanamo was something that never happened….

          3. Ninian, you may eventually heed your own advice and “enter the world of reality”. It’s OK if you don’t…..I can appreciate unintentional political humor that you provide via your delusions.

            1. Tom Nash: Delusions

              On this subject it’s obvious from your expert and informed advice that I am totally wrong:

              ● America has won in Korea,
              ● America won in Vietnam,
              ● America won in Afghanistan,
              ● America won in Iraq
              ● America will win in Syria.

              ● American foreign policy has been a spectacular success cementing global respect and support for America.

              ● Americans aren’t being shot to death on your streets by your own citizens in large numbers. It’s a conspiracy by anti gun fanatics. The dead bodies we see on the streets are fake as are the news reports

              ● Everything the NRA publishes is true. It is a big fat lie that the Australian Attorney General demanded that they remove untrue statements from their website.

              ● The second amendment was democratically decided and is supported by the majority of Americans with cold dead hands.

              ● It’s a barefaced lie that America gets rid of and attempts to get rid of its presidents on a fairly regular basis through the barrel of a gun.

              ● It is also completely untrue that the CIA destabilise governments in order to topple them.

              ● The USA is a country of democratic freedom and libery for all protected by its Constitution and Bill of Rights.

              So I have to admit, Tom, that you gave proved conclusively that everything I have said is sheer rubbish. That it is not based on any corroborating evidence and I have simply made up absolutely everything that I have posted.

              Whether other readers agree with this is a different matter. They are the ones you need to convince….

              1. ninian – Korea was a peacekeeping mission. So just keeping the borders was a win.
                In Vietnam we won the battles but lost at the peace table.
                In Afghanistan we have never put enough troops in to take over the country.
                Iraq is like Vietnam, we won the battle, but lost the peace.
                Personally I think we should stay out of Syria and let others do the fighting.

                1. Paul C Schulte

                  I find it difficult to understand how invading North Korea and going up to the Chinese Border was peace keeping.

                  1. ninian – you find a lot of things hard to understand. Just add this to them.

                    1. Ninian……for better or for worse, we have a 9 member Supreme Court that ultimately decides on issues of constitutional law. You can try to file a friend of the court brief if you feel that they would value your input.

                    2. Tom Nash: Supreme Court

                      And finally there you have it. A superb way to bypass the democratic process.

                      Government of the people for the people and by the people has perished from the earth.

                      Hitler, Mussolini, Franco and Stalin all used the courts in a similar manner to make new laws. It is a brilliant way to silence critics and to overcome the restrictions of democracy in an autocratic state.

                    3. Paul C. Schulte:

                      It’s not about me understanding anything. It’s about why America is in a real mess of entirely it’s own making and how it has lost its position in the World and why it is in denial.

                      But something is being revealed. The Splendid Isolation Factor. The “I’m not interested in anything unless it’s in America Syndrome”. How one can develop a view on foreign policy is one thing I certainly do not understand. Nor does anyone else.

                      The engine’s runnin’ but nobody’s driving.

                      If I go to the supermarket I don’t have to go armed to the teeth because I know I won’t get shot. I don’t even think about it.

                      In the United States this is different; at least for 47% of the population are armed to the teeth and may even take their gun into the shower, judging by some of the comments.

                      And for you this is “normal”. Well there’s nothing normal about shooting your President dead – even in a Republic. There’s nothing normal in hoarding vast amounts of firearms and ammunition in someone’s home. There’s nothing normal about riding shotgun on a school bus and there is nothing normal in mis representing data and the defence of the indefencible.

                      So maybe there isn’t anything to understand. This is the way some of you want to live. A minority view takes precedence over the majority in a country with no democratic principles at all –

                      and …..

                      we all feel sorry for you.

                    4. ninian…..readers of your comments over the months realize that you’re still pissed about losing the 13 colonies, hence your desire to disarm Americans in your goal of reclaiming them.☺

                    5. Tom Nash: losing 13 Colonies

                      Far from it.

                      What the colonists did took real nerve and diplomatic skill to get the French and Spanish on board. Even Catherine the Great was pro colonist. The Americans were taking on the most powerful army in the world at the time. That takes real guts and determination.

                      My beef is that the colonists were deceived and never got the freedom they were promised. This exists to this very day.

                      We have more freedom in the UK than you do in the United States but we don’t go on about it so much as you do inot America. We take it for granted.

                    6. Paul C. Shute Freedoms

                      The most important difference is that we have a democracy and the USA hasn’t.

                    7. ninian – you don’t have a democracy. You have a constitutional monarchy. You have secret courts. The press cannot report on the monarchy, etc. That is not a democracy.

                    8. Paul C. Schulte

                      You need to explain why you think a democratically elected parliament is not a democracy.

                      The Monarch has no political power. I have explained this to you before and will not explain it again. It makes no difference to me what you think of the UK.

                      The issue is that America has dead bodies on the street and is too impotent to do anything about it.

                      America is not Free nor Democratic and misleads it’s people about this.

                      It is an autocratic state with a population controlled by an elite.

                    9. Paul Schulte: PM

                      is democratically elected twice.

                      Once as an MP by the constituency electorate and once by the MPs of his party who have been elected by the electorate.

                      The Labour Party elects its leader with a US style electoral college involving trade unions and MPs which has come under a lot of criticism.

                      So the PM is elected in the UK. I cannot believe you don’t understand this…..

                    10. Ninian…did you mean to say that you can’t understand what others believe?
                      You may have misspoken

                    11. ninian……We know your real motives in trying to repeal the 2nd Amendment and your hidden desire to take back the colonies.
                      Don’t try it again…..Paul Revere may be long gone, but we now have more advanced early warning systems. It alerts even when the British are breathing hard.😁

                    12. Tom Nash:

                      I sense a little bit of paranoia….

                      Gun control should be a matter for democratic will, which of course it is not at the moment. Nor is there any intention by a minority of gun owners to test or permit the will of the people.

                      So the resolve of the people will eventually be tested. And thus is what frightens you most of all.

                      To have to subject your will to the will of “We the People”.

                    13. Ninian…..Your statement about gun control being a matter of democratic will goes back to our continuing debate about the fairly even split between those opposing additional gun control, and those willing to support additional gun control legislation.
                      I have cited polls, candidates sunk by their positions on gun control, the difference in gun control laws in 50+ U.S. jurisdictions, evidence of this split.
                      You have, in turn, accused me of making assertions without supporting evidence. Since your repeatedly ignore any citations I have posted….e.g., OCTOBER 2014 GALLUP POLL…..I won’t waste too much time on documentation/citations.
                      I don’t know if your repeated, and repetitive, phony complaints about my supposed lack of citations is the result of laziness on your part, a reading disability, or an inbred arrogance that automatically shuts out anything that might threaten your bizarre world view.
                      At this point,I don’t care. I’m just enjoying your continuining caricature of a superior, snotty, British gasbag.
                      Elected officials, candidates seeking office, are sensitive to voters’ positions on issues. I has tried to point this out to you before, in a number of was, to counter your ridiculous assertions there is some overwhelming desire for additional gun control, but the will of the majority is being suppressed.
                      That belief, as well as your recommendation that a nonexistent national referendum be held on gun control, demonstrates how out oftouvch you are.
                      I seriously doubt your ability to respond directly to what I have just written. You will,in all likelihood, simply change the subject to continue your pattern of evasiveness.

                    14. Tom Nash:

                      America is the place with the dead bodies on the streets and in the classrooms and it’s clear you are prepared to accept it. You object to constructive discussion about this when you start to lose your argument.

                      On the other hand America is quote prepared to interfere in other countries; to impose the dysfunctional Politics on these countries and then wonder why they retaliate.

                      At the same time you resent foreigners debating these issues inferring that this is interfering in your country.

                      If this isn’t stupid I don’t know what is.

                      So if you are going to attack me do some homework then come at me with a real issue. One for which there is no possible answer. One that proves me wrong……
                      ……and I will change my position.

                      Would you do the same? Of course not, because you are on a fool’s errand.

                    15. Ninia…..your response is typical of one who has consistently demonstrated, over a period of months, that concepts of intellectual honest and objectivity are completely foreign to you.
                      Instead of directly responding to my specific objections to your phony characterisation of a suppressed American majority being thwarted in their overwhelming desire for gun control, you change the subject, talking in generalities.
                      You have demonstrated that same pattern again and again, so reasoning with you is not a possibility.
                      Your arrogance and ignorance have firmly planted you in your own little world. I really don’t care about that. The only reason for responding to a brick wall is that there is a danger, to an extent, that the the Jonathan Gruber strategy might work…some others may believe the brick wall.
                      Feel free to say how you have “won this argument in spades”, or that you won the last Winbledon title as well. In your mind, they can both be equally true.

                    16. Tom Nash:

                      I saw an article about Donald Trump suggesting a ban on admitting all Muslims to the United States until the situation can be better understood.

                      As you have demonstrated so much specialist knowledge in this area and in particular your declared admiration of Enoch Powell, how would you appraise him of the situation ?

                      Presumably he would be talking about a visa ban which could be enforced.

                      But if a Muslim presented at a US immigration point, would this proposed ban on entry contravene the First Amendment?

                      Or does that only apply after the visitor has cleared immigration?

                      Or does it apply once an aircraft touches down on US soil?

                      My understanding at the moment is that the President says the US is at war with IS and not Islam.

                      As IS is not a recognised sovereign state but a terrorist organisation as far as the US is concerned – so this situation is unusual.

                      ● Is this an example of Freedom?
                      ● Is Donald Trump right?
                      ● Is it unconstitutional?
                      ● Is it legal?
                      ● Will it happen?
                      ● what are the consequences?
                      ● What is public opinion?
                      ● How will 5-8 million American Muslims react?

                    17. Niniann…..just for once, surprise and shock the hell out of me and others….TRY to stay on topic, and give a direct response to a direct comment.
                      This is like trying to have a discussion with a spastic jackrabbit…
                      You are ALL OVER the place. A discussion about the will of the American voter being thwarted, initiated by YOU, now turns into a questionaire about Trump’s views on immigration.???
                      Even if it takes ADD meds, TRY to stay on topic, Ninian

                    18. Tom Nash: The topic is the massacre and the aftermath.

                      Guns are relevant. Muslims are relevant. Trump is relevant. American Foreign Policy is relevant. America losing wars is significant.

                      I’m not relevant and neither are you.

                      The dead people on the pavement are the relevant ones and I notice you haven’t displayed any outrage at all about this…. the most important thing of all.

                    19. ninian…the most recent topic, which you initiated by your accusation that the American desire for gun control was being thwarted, was what I responded to.
                      These “spastic jackrabbit” / constantly avoid direct dialogue by you is getting VERY, VERY OLD.
                      But you get an “A” for consistency in “Weasel Words Skills”.

                    20. I’ll say it once again, Ninian. You’re parody of an obnoxious, snotty, superior British gasbag is entertaining.
                      I take your comments in this, the mostt charitable, light that I can possibly discern or discipher from your ramblings and rants.
                      You HAVE to be joking!!!Ok, Ninian, I GET it, already.
                      You have topped Doc Martin and Basil Fawlty….you have won that contest “in spades.”
                      As I said, I appreciate parody, political humor, and tongue in cheek satire.
                      My congratulations!

                    21. 😊😊😊😊Please, PLEASE stop your brilliant parodies of Basil Fawlty and Doc Martin.
                      Once I finally figured out that you CAN’T be serious with the spastic jackrabbit routine, I finally got your humor.😊😊😊😊😊😊

                    22. Ninian……show me where I expressed “admiration for Enoch Powell”.Your lies are getting ever more brazen… can’t even weasel out of this lie.

                    23. Ninian…….very good, Ninian. Instead of answering a question, respond with 10 questions of your own, shifting away from the single question you refuse to answer.
                      But the outright lie about my expressed”admiration for Enoch Powell” tops even your normal evasiveness and distortions.

                    24. Ninian…….The last 3-4 exchanges had to do SPECIFICALLY with your accusation that the will of the democratic majority re gun control was being artificially suppressed by the American system. Once again, I countered that BS.
                      But then YOU come back with unrelated, deliberately obtuse observations about my satisfaction with “stacks of dead bodies”.
                      Just for ONCE, Ninian….try to stay on topic and respond directly, instead of loading up on weasel words. It gets very old, repeatedly viewing your refusal to give a straight response to a direct comment.
                      You do NOT have that capacity.

                    25. Tom Nash:

                      There is an epidemc of gun violence and especially of mass killings on the United States and this is unacceptable. Your arguments are unacceptable and your data dies not hold up to scrutiny. Gun control is on the agenda and your President and other leading politicians want action. Less that 50% of Americans are gun owners and it appears that the majority of Americans want gun control and are being denied this by people like you.

                      So the argument continues until this matter is addressed, and there isn’t anything you can do about it.

                    26. Tom Nash – Paul Revere was captured early in the ride. Dawes and Prescott got further until Dawes was captured. Prescott completed the ride. BTW, he was coming back from a date.

                    27. Paul C Schulte……You are correct. In any case, our early warning systems have been upgraded; fair warning to imperialist, and imperious, modern day Brits.

                2. Paul C. Schulte……..ever watch Doc Martin on PBS? Something reminded me of his communication skills, social interactions, and pleasant personality.

                    1. Paul C. Schulte….Yes, I’d say Doc Martin has a personality. So did Basil Fawlty. Unpleasant personalities, but not as bad as some.

                3. Paul C. Schulte…….I doubt that I can retrieve the college papers I did on the Constitutional Convention or the Korean War. I think the average age of the delegates, chosen b by state legislatures, was in the 40s. That was not especially young in the 1780s.
                  My knowledge of the Post WWII Soviet occupation of N. Korea, their “reward” for joining in an alliance against the Japanese after the bomb was dropped at Hiroshima, is somewhat faded.The events of the 1950-1953 Korean War are well known to me, especially the Truman-MacArthur incident.
                  But that knowledge can not rival that of one who’s Korean War expertise comes from watching the MASH reruns.

          4. ninian – there were a lot of us who didn’t vote for the current President and don’t support him. I could not agree with you more about the loss of prestige by the US during the Obama years. There is a Frontline documentary titled Obama at War. It should be titled Obama Dithers.

            1. Paul C. Schulte:

              I have to agree. America needs a charismatic Leader. The loss of prestige is very regrettable. No good can come from a weak America. America has shown what it can do when it puts it’s mind to doing something. And some of these things have been awesome. From being a powerhouse in Science and Technology to saving millions of lives in WW1 and WW2. Britain too had made a contribution. The British Empire was not all bad and left a positive legacy in many countries.

              What is frustrating that America want to be the Good Guys. It’s what its population want and what European and other allies want.

              So when the USA makes mistakes they are really BIG mistakes. When the USA sneezes the rest of the World catches cold.

              There is almost a child like innocence in some of the arguments being put foward. It would be wonderful if the blueprint for success your Constitution worked in practice and this is the real Achilles heel.

              Your legislature is being used to circumvent the principles that founded the United States. When no discussion is possible about this the best tactics are to poke fun at each other and gradually the truth (if there is such a thing) is revealed.

              I think President Obama is out of his depth in the current crisis. He is not the type of leader required to manage a military conflict. His skills lie elsewhere.

              I don’t know enough about American politics to know how to identify the best candidate to get America back on track. I suppose you need someone with the character of FDR?

              Bit if America is to fight a war it must fight to win I think.

      2. ninian – you cannot catalyse anything if you are ignorant of the process to begin with.

        1. Paul C. Schulte: catalyst

          Well I don’t know Paul I have influenced your views, corrected your misconceptions and helped to make you a better and more informed person. That enough reward for me…. Next time you vote you will think about things differently albeit subconsciously. I am a man that stares at goats.

          1. Sorry Ninian, I would so love for you to be the first one to get to paul and get him to change his erroneous views about anything….but that is a miracle beyond the power of the divine!

            1. Po: Paul Shulte

              If you read what he posts you will realise that a lot of it is a wind up. Macchievelian in a way. But mixed in there you can find the real Paul.

  8. DBQueen…..Obama has had several days to prepare tonight’s nationwide TV speech. I hope that for his sake, and everybody else’s sake, that he doesn’ blow it.
    If he persists in understating the terrorism threat, citing “media hype”, etc. he will be making a big mistake. I don’t expect him to repeat his previous dismissal of the threat from ISIS as a ” jv team” type of threat.
    If he uses this forum, at this particular point in time, to propose sweeping new gun control legislation, he’s making a big mistake. I think his political instincts are good enough to avoid these blunders, but I also thought that his political instincts would have told him not to do a victory lap at a Rose Garden ceremony, celebrating the exchange of 5 high level Taliban prisoners for the return of an Army deserter.
    It will be interesting to see the themes, and the tone, of tonight’s speech.

  9. I do not think that all Muslims are our adversaries. On the contrary I believe the vast majority are our natural allies. They are our best hope to convince other Muslims not to join the radicals. They the knowledge and standing to speak with authority against the radicals.

    But we do face a problem. Radicals have funds and talent. They have demonstrated the ability take and hold territory. They have successfully engaged main line military units of nation states. They have attacked and gravely damaged US military units. They have attacked civilian targets in the west.

    Does it strike anyone else that it is the height of denial that the first point on the agenda of gun control fanatics is to take fire arms away from law abiding citizens?

    Does it make any sense that while we face a challenge of historical proportions, gun control fanatics can only talk of the same goals they have advocated for decades.

    It seems that regardless of the problem we face, gun control fanatics always have the same solution – take away the guns.

    1. Big fat Mike is right. If there are no guns in the hands of citizens you can’t get shot by a citizen. It isn’t rocket science. But it isn’t up to anti gun fanatics to make this decision, in a democracy, it’s up to the American people to decide by the people for the people. The only problem is that America is not a Democracy it is a Republic where the rights of an individual supercede the rights of a majority. And what does that lead to ?

      Fascism and the loss of rights for everyone…..

      So be careful what you wish for….

  10. ninianpeckitt
    1, December 6, 2015 at 4:36 pm

    “One of the things to be admired is the sense of national identity. That allegiance is pledged to the flag. That new migrants learn about the country for their citizenship and that this is celebrated as an occasion. National Pride is important and I think this is one thing America does really well.”

    Well, nationalism isn’t all beer and skittles, Doctor.

    In the essay below, the American historian Howard Zinn reflects on the very seamy side of exalting your own country at the expense of others:

    “The Scourge of Nationalism

    “By Howard Zinn

    “05/16/05 The Progressive – – I cannot get out of my mind the recent news photos of ordinary Americans sitting on chairs, guns on laps, standing unofficial guard on the Arizona border, to make sure no Mexicans cross over into the United States. There was something horrifying in the realization that, in this twenty-first century of what we call ‘civilization,’ we have carved up what we claim is one world into 200 artificially created entities we call ‘nations’ and armed to apprehend or kill anyone who crosses a boundary.

    “Is not nationalism–that devotion to a flag, an anthem, a boundary so fierce it engenders mass murder–one of the great evils of our time, along with racism, along with religious hatred? These ways of thinking–cultivated, nurtured, indoctrinated from childhood on–have been useful to those in power, and deadly for those out of power. (Emphasis added)

    “National spirit can be benign in a country that is small and lacking both in military power and a hunger for expansion (Switzerland, Norway, Costa Rica, and many more). But in a nation like ours–huge, possessing thousands of weapons of mass destruction–what might have been harmless pride becomes an arrogant nationalism dangerous to others and to ourselves. (Emphasis added)

    “Our citizenry has been brought up to see our nation as different from others, an exception in the world, uniquely moral, expanding into other lands in order to bring civilization, liberty, democracy.

    “That self-deception started early. When the first English settlers moved into Indian land in Massachusetts Bay and were resisted, the violence escalated into war with the Pequot Indians. The killing of Indians was seen as approved by God, the taking of land as commanded by the Bible. The Puritans cited one of the Psalms, which says: ‘Ask of me, and I shall give thee, the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the Earth for thy possession.’

    “When the English set fire to a Pequot village and massacred men, women, and children, the Puritan theologian Cotton Mather said: ‘It was supposed that no less than 600 Pequot souls were brought down to hell that day.’

    “It was our ‘Manifest Destiny to overspread the continent allotted by Providence,’ an American journalist declared on the eve of the Mexican War. After the invasion of Mexico began, the New York Herald announced: ‘We believe it is a part of our destiny to civilize that beautiful country.’

    “It was always supposedly for benign purposes that our country went to war. We invaded Cuba in 1898 to liberate the Cubans, and went to war in the Philippines shortly after, as President McKinley put it, ‘to civilize and Christianize’ the Filipino people.

    “As our armies were committing massacres in the Philippines (at least 600,000 Filipinos died in a few years of conflict), Elihu Root, our Secretary of War, was saying: ‘The American soldier is different from all other soldiers of all other countries since the war began. He is the advance guard of liberty and justice, of law and order, and of peace and happiness.’

    “Nationalism is given a special virulence when it is blessed by Providence. Today we have a President, invading two countries in four years, who believes he gets messages from God. Our culture is permeated by a Christian fundamentalism as poisonous as that of Cotton Mather. It permits the mass murder of ‘the other’ with the same confidence as it accepts the death penalty for individuals convicted of crimes. A Supreme Court justice, Antonin Scalia, told an audience at the University of Chicago Divinity School, speaking of capital punishment: ‘For the believing Christian, death is no big deal.’

    “How many times have we heard Bush and Rumsfeld talk to the troops in Iraq, victims themselves, but also perpetrators of the deaths of thousands of Iraqis, telling them that if they die, if they return without arms or legs, or blinded, it is for ‘liberty,’ for ‘democracy’?

    “Nationalist super-patriotism is not confined to Republicans. When Richard Hofstadter analyzed American presidents in his book The American Political Tradition, he found that Democratic leaders as well as Republicans, liberals as well as conservatives, invaded other countries, sought to expand U.S. power across the globe.

    “Liberal imperialists have been among the most fervent of expansionists, more effective in their claim to moral rectitude precisely because they are liberal on issues other than foreign policy. Theodore Roosevelt, a lover of war, and an enthusiastic supporter of the war in Spain and the conquest of the Philippines, is still seen as a Progressive because he supported certain domestic reforms and was concerned with the national environment. Indeed, he ran as President on the Progressive ticket in 1912.

    “Woodrow Wilson, a Democrat, was the epitome of the liberal apologist for violent actions abroad. In April of 1914, he ordered the bombardment of the Mexican coast, and the occupation of the city of Vera Cruz, in retaliation for the arrest of several U.S. sailors. He sent Marines into Haiti in 1915, killing thousands of Haitians who resisted, beginning a long military occupation of that tiny country. He sent Marines to occupy the Dominican Republic in 1916. And, after running in 1916 on a platform of peace, he brought the nation into the slaughter that was taking place in Europe in World War I, saying it was a war to ‘make the world safe for democracy.’

    “In our time, it was the liberal Bill Clinton who sent bombers over Baghdad as soon as he came into office, who first raised the specter of ‘weapons of mass destruction’ as a justification for a series of bombing attacks on Iraq. Liberals today criticize George Bush’s unilateralism. But it was Clinton’s Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright, who told the United Nations Security Council that the U.S. would act ‘multilaterally when we can, unilaterally when we must.’

    “One of the effects of nationalist thinking is a loss of a sense of proportion. The killing of 2,300 people at Pearl Harbor becomes the justification for killing 240,000 in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The killing of 3,000 people on September 11 becomes the justification for killing tens of thousands of people in Afghanistan and Iraq.

    “What makes our nation immune from the normal standards of human decency?

    “Surely, we must renounce nationalism and all its symbols: its flags, its pledges of allegiance, its anthems, its insistence in song that God must single out America to be blessed.

    “We need to assert our allegiance to the human race, and not to any one nation. We need to refute the idea that our nation is different from, morally superior to, the other imperial powers of world history.

    “The poets and artists among us seem to have a clearer understanding of the limits of nationalism.

    “Langston Hughes (no wonder he was called before the Committee on Un-American Activities) addressed his country as follows:

    ” ‘You really haven’t been a virgin for so long

    “It’s ludicrous to keep up the pretext . . .

    “You’ve slept with all the big powers

    “In military uniforms

    “And you’ve taken the sweet life

    “Of all the little brown fellows . . .

    “Being one of the world’s big vampires

    “Why don’t you come out and say so

    “Like Japan, and England, and France

    “And all the other nymphomaniacs of power.’

    “Henry David Thoreau, provoked by the war in Mexico and the nationalist fervor it produced, wrote: ‘Nations! What are nations? . . . Like insects, they swarm. The historian strives in vain to make them memorable.’ In our time, Kurt Vonnegut (Cat’s Cradle) places nations among those unnatural abstractions he calls granfalloons, which he defines as ‘a proud and meaningless association of human beings.’

    “There have always been men and women in this country who have insisted that universal standards of decent human conduct apply to our nation as to others. That insistence continues today and reaches out to people all over the world. It lets them know, like the balloons sent over the countryside by the Paris Commune in 1871, that ‘our interests are the same.’

    Copyright: The Progressive

  11. That new migrants learn about the country for their citizenship and that this is celebrated as an occasion. National Pride is important and I think this is one thing America does really well.

    @ Ninian

    This would be nice…….. IF the majority of our immigrants actually came into the country the LEGAL way and did take the citizenship test and DID become a proud American citizen. Unfortunately, the method now is to sneak in, breaking the law, insist that everything be given to you while refusing to learn the language much less anything about the history of the country. They want to stay in their self ghettoized enclaves and in the case of many hispanics in California, refuse to stand for the National Anthem or respect the American Flag.

    It used to be that our country was a great (and I do meant great in the sense of a very good thing), melting pot where the immigrants contributed their culture into the mix and took on aspects of the other cultures as they were arriving or those who were already here. America is a mixture of the whole world in our music, dress, cuisine, architecture, literary traditions and much much more. Think of America without the contributions of the Irish, Italians, Germans, Hispanics, Chinese, Japanese, Blacks, Indians from both India and the Americas, Jewish, English, Polish, French and so on and so on. What an impoverished culture and country we would be.

    However, the constant denigration of what made America a great and free country by the academic industry, stressing only the bad and not giving any credence to the good, has destroyed the national pride in our young people. It is on glaring display at our “so called” institutions of higher learning.

    My Great Grandparents immigrated from Wales in the 1880’s and settled in Rock Springs, Wyoming. My other Great Greats are from Ireland, Scotland and other places unknown from about the same era. They started businesses, bought land, raised families, settled the West and did it WITHOUT the assistance of the government, food stamps, welfare, health insurance or any of the other goodies which are a magnet now for the illegal immigrants.

    That America of my ancestors is dying and crushed under a fascist oligarchy and a centralized government out of control.

    It would be a good thing to downsize and separate the states into geo-political areas that make sense and that would allow more local and regional autonomy. Unfortunately, that won’t happen without some real and possibly violent struggles.

    1. DBQ: Interesting observations. I agree full heartedly that America’s greatness lies in the multicultural nature of the population. But also in a “can do” attitude and basic decency. I like to think that the UK shares these values. I think that the changes you describe are related to social and economic global changes and that an evolution of national culture is the result. Every generation beats those with “lower?” stabdards…. You will love this story and your colleagues will use this mercilessly against me…but my grandfather who was a footman in a country house in Scotland went to the USA circa 1910 with a view to emigrate. When he returned to Scotland just before WW1 he was asked why he had decided not to emigrate. The answer was telling, and a sign of the times. “Because a gentleman does not take his gloves off when he shakes hands with a lady😨”

      This was a decision that would cost him his life and he was killed on 28th May 1918 at the York-Blücher Push When the German Army made their final bid to take Paris – and we’re stopped by the Americans. So if things had been different I could have been a Hillbilly and President of the NRA.🔫

      I think the biggest change in society is probably an absence of honour, especially in Public Service which tends to set the standards. This is reflected in the lack of states(wo)manship, a sorely missed quality. There was a flash of this in John McCain’s speech congratulating President Obama on his victory. I thought this was a masterclass in public speaking and very moving regardless of politics. Hillary Benn MP in the UK gave a similar masterclass in the case for bombing Syria which brought the House to its feet in applause which is almost unheard of….

      This is what is lacking – character honesty and decency and it is these things that will be our undoing…. on both sides of the Pond.

    2. One posting discussed Nationalism and Manifest Destiny. I was reading about this today in order to try to get inside the mind of American psyche and its application to current foreign policy.

      Manifest Destiny encompassed

      ● The special virtues of the American people and their institutions;
      ● America’s mission to redeem and remake the west in the image of agrarian America;
      ● An irresistible destiny to accomplish this essential duty

      The results of this Imperial Destiny resulted in the destruction of destiny for others but it was effective in creating the United States as a major world power, if not The Major Power.

      So it is easy to see that this thinking prevails in America”s relationship with the rest of the world despite its anachronistic origins.

      It also may explain some of the vitriolic antagonism to the United States when in fact the nan on the street believes that: “We are the good guys”. That is the most baffling thing for Americans to fathom. Why are these people against the Freedom we are fighting and dying to procure for them? It is a legitimate question. And the answer is one to which there is NO question.

      So I feel bad that the US is treated this way. They don’t really deserve it with the fanaticism with which it is delivered.

      I think the reason why America has made so many enemies is because of a lack of knowedge and understanding of partners and adversaries and that there is no other route to freedom other than the American Way.

      This TED talk about the situation in China is very illuminating and explains their system based on meritocracy and why our system may not perform quote as well.

      In a global world, the rules of engagement are different. We must adapt to survive.

  12. Homicides committed by firearms soared after passage of numerous gun control laws in the 1960s. The actual number and the rate per 100,000 population of gun murders spiked even higher in the 1970s and 1980s, before leveling off in the early 1990s.
    In the c.20 year period from c.1990 to 2010, gun murders dropped by about 40%.
    Full statistics are not available for the most recent years, but after the dramatic drop in gun violence in the 1990-2010 period, it appears that the number of gun murders and the rate per 100,000 population are on the rise again.
    I’ve cited these numbers before in ongoing debates about additional gun control legislation. A major problem for proponents of gun control legislation is the understandable skepticism about the effectiveness of previous gun control laws that have passed. That is, there does not appear to be much of a collerlation between gun control legislation and the amount of gun violence.
    So when people see a stack of laws as messy, and at times confusing, as our tax code without demonstrable benefit, it’s a “hard sell” to just mindlessly pile on more knee- jerk, feel – good, “let’s do SOMETHING” gun control legislation.
    In the midst of a previous debate about gun control laws, somebody on this three commented to a fellow gun control advocate “you see what you’re up against”, meaning gun control skeptics were right wing fanatics.
    I commented then, and I repeat it now, that there is a substantial burden of proof legitimately placed on gun control advocates because of the disconnect between additional gun control laws and actual gun violence.
    THAT is what gun control advocates are up against. For those who advocate repeal of the 2nd Amendment as the best solution, or a possible solution, take a look around you. You tell ME how many political candidates are advocating repeal of the 2nd Amendment and thereby commit political suicide.
    Don’t give me the same made up crap about ” the overwhelming support” you perceive for 2nd Amendment repeal….SHOW me the political candidates running on such a “popular” position as repealing the 2nd.

    1. Tom Nash:

      The facts are there for all to see. If there are no guns no one gets shot. I’m not interested in attempts to misrepresent the facts.

      The time has come to disarm citizens and one way or another this will happen with or without your consent, Tom, but with the consent of the American people.

  13. @ninianpeckitt
    1, December 6, 2015 at 3:37 pm

    “However, in our view, Kristof framed this comparison with care. He mentioned suicides not once but three times in his column, and he referred broadly to the ‘unrelenting toll of gun violence,’ not specifically to the toll of gun homicides. Indeed, at one point, Kristof specifically referenced the impact that stricter gun laws can have on gun suicides, writing that in 1996, after a mass shooting in Australia, lawmakers tightened gun laws. ‘The firearm suicide rate dropped by half in Australia over the next seven years, and the firearm homicide rate was almost halved,’ according to data published in the Journal of Public Health Policy, Kristof wrote.”

    As there are many ways to commit both suicide and homicide, the salient question not addressed here is what effect on the overall homicide and suicide rates has the Australian measure had.

    1, December 6, 2015 at 2:33 pm

    “ninianpeckitt ‘The system you have is unworkable and everyone knows it. To survive a changing environment evolution is essential and without adaptation an American dinosaur is on the verge of extinction.’

    “Certainly the U.K. system is also ‘unworkable’. Certainly the Australian system is ‘unworkable’. I don’t know where you get your stats but mine say that since the gun ban in Australia armed robberies are up 69%, assaults with guns up 28%, gun murder are up 19%, and home invasions are up 21%.”

    I’m very interested to know the source of these stats you cite above, Hildegard.

    1. Thanks for asking about the Australian crime stats, Ken. In doing more research it seems there’s many answers to that. Where I personally got the stats is from the following is video, admittedly put out by the NRA. Still I would watch it as it contains some very good information and there are clips from ABC news:

      Senator David Leyonhjelm warns the US not to adopt Australia’s gun control laws

      In some ways, we’re getting off the main point. The main concern to those who support the 2nd amendment is the threat of our very own BOUGHT and criminally corrupt government. As the saying goes, when it gets to the point that the populace fears the government more than they fear us, we’re in a world of sh*t. With the enormous discontent building up in this country, who do you think they’re more interested in protecting? Us or them?

      Washington is using the gun control issue as a smoke screen. Everyday we lose more of our freedom and slavery just doesn’t look that appealing. The problem is many don’t realize we’re already enslaved. It’s only a matter of degree.

      Gun Control and Public Safety in Canada, Australia, England, and Wales.

  14. I would like to suggest that along with the maxim that “absolute power corrupts absolutely” …. that ….. the bigger something gets …. the more unworkable it is.

    The U.S. is much too large …. the USG is much too powerful …. the US military is much too well funded …..

  15. Will this issue dissolve the Union? How strong are the bonds, really, between the States? But most of all, is the USA really a country of United States?

    @ Ninan

    Dissolve the Union? Probably. Is this a bad thing. I don’t think so.

    Bonds between the states?. Not that strong and this goes to the first issue of dissolving the Union. The needs, wants, strengths and weaknesses of certain geographic areas are as widely divergent and the needs between countries in Africa versus Europe. Even within a State, like California, the north and the south are actually like two different states and are not compatible in many ways and even now are still trying to separate into two or more Californias.

    It is likely that the United States is too large and too diverse to be united and especially united under the control of a centralized government. The initial concept was a collection of individual states that had the ability to run their own internal affairs. “States rights” were paramount. The States would be given equal voting power at the Federal level, in the Senate and representation based on population in the House. Since the Federal Government has gobbled up the rights of the States and controls us from a disassociated collection of special elites, the people in the States have been disenfranchised and made subservient to areas and to people with whom we have no affiliation or anything in common. Breaking up the country into manageable sections which have interests in common would be beneficial.
    Igor Panarin, a professor at the Diplomatic Academy of the Russian foreign affairs ministry, said the economic turmoil in the US had confirmed his long-held belief that the country was heading for extinction in its present form.

    His map is interesting.

    1. DBQ: Breakup of USA

      This would be in keeping with what is happening elsewhere in the world. The EU is not stable, there has been talk of a split in Canada and if Quebec broke away my understanding is that over provinces would be in favour of joining the USA. We had a referendum on Scotland leaving the UK recently. And as soon as possible the Scots will want another referendum. Then there is the breakup of Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union.

      If the United States broke up this would leave the door open for China as the next global power, which it may secure anyway regardless of the State of the Union.

      Of course if ISIS felt they could influence this process you can bet they would pull all stops out to harm the USA in any way possible.

      I think many foreigners find the relationship between the States and the Union very difficult to understand. There seem to be so many contradictions. It seems to be a reluctant Union in some respects.

      But if the United States fragments in the future it will change the balance of the “Free” World for sure. Whether this will be for the greater good is yet to be determined.

      One of the things to be admired is the sense of national identity. That allegiance is pledged to the flag. That new migrants learn about the country for their citizenship and that this is celebrated as an occasion. National Pride is important and I think this is one thing America does really well.

      So it is interesting if there is widespread dissatisfaction with the State of the Union.

  16. DBQ:

    Maybe, just maybe, Americans need protection from themselves?

    There can be no pursuit of happiness for a population living on the knife-edge of fear. This obsession with self protection has its roots in an armed and perceived dysfunctional society.

    The evidence for this is seen in the paranoid arguments presented for the second amendment.

  17. re guns;

    What would they protect them from?
    Fellow citizens?
    The government?

    Yes and yes. You also left out a few categories. Criminals. Islamic Terrorists. Rapists. Invaders. Mountain lions and Bears. Oh my.

    The last two are actually the more immediate and real threat to me, at least.

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