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A week from today, Europeans may be able to gauge how high the tide of populism and nationalism has risen within their countries and on their continent.
For all the returns will be in from three days of elections in the 28 nations represented in the European Parliament.
Expectation: Nationalists and populists will turn in their strongest performance since the EU was established, and their parliamentary group — Europe of Nations and Freedom — could sweep a fourth of the seats in Strasbourg.
Nigel Farage’s new Brexit Party is predicted to run first in the British elections, winning two to three times the votes of the ruling Tory Party of Prime Minister Theresa May.
In France, Marine Le Pen’s National Rally is running even with the party of President Emmanuel Macron, who pleads for “more Europe.”
Matteo Salvini, interior minister and leader of the League, predicts his party will finish first in Italy and first in Europe.
At Salvini’s invitation, a dozen nationalist parties gathered in Milan this weekend. A week from now, they could be the third-largest bloc in the European Parliament. If so, their gains will come at the expense of the center-left and center-right parties that have dominated European politics since World War II.
Speaking before tens of thousands in front of Duomo Cathedral in Milan, Salvini threw back in the faces of his enemies the taunt that these new parties are rooted in the old ugly politics of the 1930s.
“In this piazza, there are no extremists. There are no racists. There are no fascists. … In Italy and in Europe, the difference is between … those who speak of the future instead of making trials of the past.”
Tomorrow versus yesterday, says Salvini.
While the European establishment draws parallels between the populist parties of the present and what happened in the 1930s, it fails to recognize its own indispensable role in generating the mass defections to the populist right that now imperil its political hegemony.
The populist-nationalist parties are energized and united by both what they detest and what the EU has produced.
And what is that?
They resent the inequities of the new economy, where the wages of the working and middle class, the core of the nation, have fallen far behind the managerial class and the corporate and financial elites.
People who work with their hands, tools and machines have seen their wages arrested and jobs disappear, as salaries have surged for those who move numbers on computers.
The disparities have grown too great, as has the distance between national capitals and national heartlands.
Then there is immigration. Native-born Europeans do not welcome the new ethnic groups that have come uninvited in considerable numbers in recent decades, failed to assimilate and created enclaves that replicate the Third World places whence they came.
If one could identify a cry common to populists, it might be: “We want our country back!”
Whatever may be said of populists and nationalists, they are people of the heart. They love their countries. They cherish the cultures in which they grew up. They want to retain their own unique national identities.
What is wrong with that?
Patriotism is central to nationalist and populist movements. Globalism is alien to them. They believe in De Gaulle’s Europe of nation-states “from the Atlantic to the Urals,” not in the abstract Europe of Jean Monnet, and surely not in the Brussels bureaucracy of today.
The nation, the patria, is the largest entity to which one can give loyalty and love. Who would march into no man’s land for the EU?
Europe’s nationalists are not all the same. The ruling Polish Law and Justice Party disagrees on Putin’s Russia with the ruling Fidesz Party of Prime Minister Viktor Orban in Hungary.
While the EU Parliament does not possess great power, these elections are not without great meaning.
Consider Farage. Should his Brexit Party run first in Britain, how can the Tory Party not carry through on the 2016 vote to withdraw from the EU, without betraying its most loyal constituency on its most critical issue?
Nationalism in Europe is spreading, even deepening rifts between the premier powers in the NATO alliance.
Germany will not be reaching the promised 2 percent of GDP for defense President Donald Trump has demanded. And Berlin is going ahead with a second natural gas pipeline under the Baltic Sea to Germany from Russia, Nord Stream 2.
Turkey is taking possession of a Russian-built S-400 air defense system this summer, despite a U.S. warning that our sale of 100 F-35s will not go through if the Turks go forward with the Russian system.
Have the nationalists of Europe caught the wave of the future?
Or will the future see the revival of the idea of One Europe, a political and economic union that inspired the dreamers of yesteryear?
From here it looks like Matteo, not Macron.
More goodness from Kurt Schlichter…
“See, the dirty little secret of civilization is that it’s designed to maintain order when 99.9% of folks are orderly. But, say, if just 2% of folks stop playing by the rules…uh oh. Say LA’s population was 15 million in 1992…that’s 300,000 bad guys. There were maybe 20,000 cops in all the area agencies then, plus 20,000 National Guard soldiers and airman, plus another 10,000 active soldiers and Marines the feds brought in. Law enforcement is based on the concept that most people will behave and that the crooks will be overwhelmed by sheer numbers of officers. But in the LA riots, law enforcement was massively outnumbered. Imposing order took time.”
Source: Be A Rooftop Korean
There is a disproportionate buzz about the newly signed Florida legislation that allows its school districts (each at its own discretion) to authorize concealed carry of firearms by teachers in their schools.
Why disproportionate? Because the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act, signed into law in March 2018 soon after the Parkland mass shooting, had already established the “Coach Aaron Feis Guardian Program” named after the coach who gave his life attempting to shield students with his body during that shooting. That program gave school boards the option of allowing school staff members to carry firearms, excluding most classroom teachers who were not JROTC teachers, or current service members, or current or former law enforcement officers.
Last year’s bill established a tough training standard, and left the decision to local school boards, both very good things. And since school staff who are not classroom teachers often comprise as high as 50% of the total, this approach was rational, if overly cautious, as school boards would still have the authority to approve or disapprove any applicant, without the no-teacher provision imposed by law.
The only change with the new law is that now all classroom teachers are also eligible to volunteer for the Guardian program. Note “eligible” and “volunteer” and you will understand why so much of the near-hysterical opposition to this law is baseless.
Of course, no one is actually “arming” any teachers – there is no arms room where they will line up to be issued weapons before filing into the trenches – much less “all” teachers, which is how the opposition likes to frame its strawman argument. They will arm themselves, if their school board votes to implement the Guardian program, and if they individually volunteer, pass rigorous screening and selection, and complete the legally mandated 132 hours of training. No one is guaranteed approval, and the standards they must meet are high.
The Miami New Times, not known for smart or principled positions on any firearms issue, is one of the media outlets appalled that the legislature and governor, elected by citizens to legislate and govern, have not allowed themselves to be ruled by teachers’ unions, high school students, and some school boards and administrators. All those folks display their statist leanings by wanting to impose their own fears of positive protective measures on everyone. Under Florida law, if they (and, pointedly, the voters in their school districts) do not want to implement the Guardian program, they don’t have to. They can keep the Gun Free Zone signs over their doors and hope for the best. But that’s not enough for them; they think they know better than anyone else what is best for every school district in Florida.
Local control on this issue is a sound and sensible approach, in line with the rule of subsidiarity, the concept that decision-making should occur at the lowest level appropriate to its purpose. Local control is often preferable to decision making by officials far-removed from the affected population, less responsive to their local and regional preferences, and more likely to impose one-size-fits-all solutions. Voters can more easily influence or replace an unresponsive local elected official than his state or federal counterparts. Here it means what Florida and many other states have ruled: let the school districts decide for themselves.
Beyond that repugnant statist attitude, opponents of “arming” school staff try to bolster their argument with unsupportable claims and sloppy ‘research’ – textbook examples of confirmation bias, the tendency to only consider evidence that supports one’s preconceived notions. The Miami New Times cites an analysis by Gabrielle Giffords’ anti-gun organization that purports to show how dangerous introducing “more guns” to schools will be. It is such a sloppy piece of research and reasoning that we cannot let it go unanswered.
This long piece cites 67 “incidents of mishandled guns in schools” from all over America, from 2014 to the present, to support their opposition to concealed carry of firearms by school staff who meet the requirements of Florida’s Guardian program. But here’s the rub: only one of these 67 incidents involved a school staffer carrying a firearm under similar requirements. That one involved a Texas superintendent who left her authorized firearm locked in a district vehicle when she and her staff visited another district where she was not authorized to carry it – and then forgot to recover the weapon and left it in the van overnight, to be found in the morning.
Every other incident on this list actually supports the premises behind Florida’s Guardian program, and similar programs in the many other states with similar laws on the books. Not one carefully vetted armed staff member carrying a concealed firearm with knowledge and approval of their school board, in accordance with strict standards, in well over 1,000 schools around the country, was involved in any of the other 66 incidents cited.
Fifteen of the incidents on this list involved subjects who were not staff members at all; some of these were commissioned officers, while others were merely family members or other visitors carrying firearms on school property in violation of the law. Another incident involved two coaches, but occurred off school property. Desperate to plump up the numbers, are we?
What this list actually does is to demolish the assertion often made by opponents of armed school staff, that guns in school should be left to the “armed professionals.” While the Miami New Times quotes some who seem to believe that armed officers make schools safer, Giffords does not think so, and on this point at least, we can at least understand the sentiment. Fully 27 of the 67 incidents in the Giffords study involve “armed professionals” – commissioned police officers or deputies assigned to a school, officers responding to a call for assistance or visiting for other reasons, or other uniformed security guards or school resource officers employed on site. These “armed professionals” had unintentional discharges (several of which injured themselves or others), left their weapons in restrooms or elsewhere unattended, and in two egregious cases, failed to stop a child from pulling the trigger of their holstered weapon.
So much for ‘armed professionals’ – we who are armed professionals know how little sustained, realistic, demanding training most officers undergo, and how easily complacency creeps in. Uniformed guards – commissioned or not – are not ten feet tall. They are unfortunately sometimes less dedicated and often less proficient than educators who understand their responsibilities “in loco parentis” and undergo rigorous and frequent training required by law and school district policy. Who has not heard educators saying, “we would sacrifice our lives to protect the kids in our care”? Give the tools and the skills to those who are willing, and they can do better than just sacrifice themselves like Coach Feis did at Parkland.
This is not to say that officers are all deficient in their skills and judgment – far from it – or that they cannot train to a high standard; but we who are trainers know without a shadow of a doubt that motivated civilians can do just as well, with the proper training. In the schools as on the streets, they are not volunteering to act as law enforcement officers, which is a very broad skill set indeed, but only to protect innocents against lethal threats – a very narrow skill set that comprises only a small slice of a police officer’s responsibilities.
In fact, what we do know is that responding police – even when they do not have unintentional discharges like several in this list – do not protect schools against active shooters, because they almost always arrive too late; and that uniformed officers on site have a very spotty record. The uncertainty in a potential aggressor’s mind that is created by the prospect of an unknown number of trained staff members carrying concealed weapons at various but unpredictable locations throughout a school, appears to be a better deterrent than one uniformed officer, as evidenced by the complete absence of active shooter incidents in such schools. Arguably, if one is swayed by logic, they will prove to be a more effective and flexible defense as well, if that unprecedented day does arrive when a shooting happens in their school.
Again, with the exception of that Texas superintendent, none of these incidents involved an approved, trained, school staff member carrying a concealed weapon. The closest thing to it is the anomalous case of a teacher in Utah in 2014. State law there allows any resident with a concealed carry permit to carry in the schools. There is no requirement to even notify the school board or administration, much less be vetted or approved, or to be trained to any standard beyond the 8 hours of mostly classroom training required for a permit. This teacher dropped her weapon in a toilet stall (before school, with no students in the building); it discharged, shattering the bowl and cutting her calf with a flying shard. That’s not a laughing matter, or not only a laughing matter, but should be taken in context. Utah’s law has been in place for 20 years, and out of 700,000 citizens with concealed carry permits (14 million person-years?), this is the only reported occasion in which anyone has been injured by a legal concealed carrier’s firearm in a Utah school. And she doesn’t work there any more. It may also be significant that Utah has had no mass shootings in its schools, but we can only speculate. Pretty safe state, Utah, for all that their statute is far less prescriptive than Florida’s or many other states.
So Giffords, although it titles its piece “Every Incident of Mishandled Guns in Schools” and assures us that theirs is a “systematic analysis,” and that this list of 67 incidents is “comprehensive” for the its date range, has absolutely failed to make a case against armed school staff members in districts that opt in, under authorizing state law, with well-drafted programs and requirements.
Opponents of protecting our schools and children with armed staff on site will have to do better than this, to make a case worth listening to.
Below is a tabulation of the incidents the Giffords piece cites, upon which these conclusions are based. The “Disqualifiers” column notes specific conditions which render the example irrelevant to the argument. “Illegal firearm” indicates that the weapon was on school property in violation of federal and/or state law. The only exceptions to this disqualifier are the 27 cases involving law enforcement officers and paid security guards, and the afore-mentioned cases of the Texas superintendent and Utah teacher. Those who violate the law or handle firearms incompetently are precisely the sort who are unlikely to volunteer in the first place, or to pass a careful vetting and selection process, or a demanding, standards-based training program, all characteristics of Florida’s Guardian program and those of many other states. As in so many firearms discussions, the actions of criminals and incompetents do not form a rational basis for critiquing the vast majority of actual or potential armed citizens in any venue, including schools.
Welcome to Adam Schiff’s, Bernie Sanders’, Ilhan Omar’s, John Brennan’s and The Cuomo kid’s Future United Socialist States Of America…
This why we have guns in the US. And this is why Adam Schiff, Bernie Sanders, Ilhan Omar, John Brennan and the Cuomo kids want to take them away:
Maduro is an evil man running an evil socialist government that has illegally seized power in a country that used to be a beacon of prosperity South America. What’s on that video is a testament to just how destructive socialism is. This is the inevitable end game that always plays out, i.e. murder and savagery via force.
Some American politicians, such as Ilhan Omar, have refused to even call the Maduro government illegitimate, instead choosing to criticize the U.S. for providing aid.
Meanwhile, the revolution is on in Venezuela right now and we can all pray that there’s minimum loss of life. Dictators like Maduro never go quietly though and freedom is rarely free.
They’re now running down protesting Venezualans:
Revolution has broken out.
Pittsburgh, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, and Poway have recently experienced attacks on houses of worship. If you are thinking about adding or upgrading security in your house of worship, may I suggest reviewing our house of worship security resources.
Recently, Bill Tallen, Executive Vice President, Distributed Security, Inc. presented a one hour briefing to 200 house of worship leaders at the Cody Auditorium March 26, 2019. DSI was invited to speak to a community gathering coming from churches across the Big Horn Basin. Bill spoke about armed security – how to plan, train, organize and conduct it. Other speakers included U.S. Attorneys from Lander, Cody PD Chief Baker, the department’s Chaplain, and Kenny Longfritz, the DHS Protective Security Advisor for Wyoming.
You can get a copy of Bill’s presentation by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and putting “House Of Worship” in the subject line. You can also view an online version of the briefing by clicking here.
“America surely does not lack for diversity. Its diversity — racial, religious, cultural, ethnic, ideological, political — is visible and ever-growing. What is missing is the concomitant of unity. The questions raised by the present state of our politics, which might fairly be described as an American civil war without arms, are these: How does a nation so divided stand united in the world?”
Source: A Nation at War With Itself
In the event of a violent threat, how do you defend your enterprise? How do you create the defended enterprise? DSI is at the forefront of creating solutions and packages for enterprises anxious to move from defenseless to defended. Whether you’re a Brooklyn bodega, a Detroit manufacturer, a Chicago professional services firm or a suburban mixed-use development we have the resources you need to become the defended enterprise.
If law enforcement cannot or will not enforce your constitutional rights then when do you have the right to take matters in to your own hands?
Gov. Greg Abbott, too, has joined in the condemnation: “That is legalizing stealing for property less than $750”.
The Governor, the Mayor, the Police Department, the Police Union and many more aren’t too happy about this Democrat’s reform ideas.
Mehdi Hasan offers a nuanced take on Islamic/Christian terrorist attacks.
Good to see NYPD Counter-terror Chief John Miller taking the Islamic terrorist attack on Christian worshipers in Sri Lanka seriously. Unfortunately, Miller is also the chief advocate of not using profiling to identify prospective terrorists and he’s a gun grabber. So basically Miller will not use one of the most effective tools for identifying potential terrorist attacks while limiting the ability of individuals to defend themselves against such an attack.
Hillary and Obama describes this as an attack on Easter “worshippers”. Never knew Easter had “worshippers”. Couldn’t use the word “Christians”.
The ACLU, SPLC, Paypal, GoFundme, New Mexico’s Democratic Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham Conspire To Arrest Larry Hopkins And Shut Down UCP
I am not personally acquainted with this group or their methods. I can smell a den of thieves from a mile away, and the group going after Hopkins and UCP stink to high heaven.
The reason I’m posting this is because of the nagging question: “if government or law enforcement is not able or refuses to defend individual constitutional rights, then at what point does the individual have the right to defend their life and property”?
Three churches and three hotels – the luxury Shangri-La Hotel, Cinnamon Grand and The Kingsbury Colombo – were targeted in the devastating attacks.
REGISTRATION CLOSES JUNE 30.
The Distributed Security, Inc. Tier 4 Enterprise CCW program trains employees to safely and effectively carry concealed weapons on site. This is not a typical concealed carry permit course and is designed for six employees from a single enterprise desiring serious training.
Location for the program is Cody, WY, which offers direct access to Yellowstone and other tourist destinations should employees want to bring their spouse or family.
1. 16 hours of dedicated range training.
2. Access to on-line resources, courses and content.
3. A dedicated enterprise Private Training Group
4. An interactive training plan,
5. Introductory tactical medicine skills are integrated into the on-range and on-line training.
This program requires a minimum of 6 employees per class. The on-range portion of the course is two days in length. There are also pre and post course preparation and follow up activities conducted on-line via the Defense Academy.
Total cost for the enterprise is $8,568 which includes 12 months access to the Private Training Group.
Qualifying students receive the DSI “Tier 4 Defender” certification. Range facility surcharge may apply based upon location of client.
Send email to email@example.com or call 1.877.452.0951 for details.
For more details on what is included please download our enterprise offerings brochure.
Do you have questions about how to use the DSI Defense Academy, or how to prepare for your course?
Has it been a while since you visited the Defense Academy and things are looking out of place?
Would you like to specific guidance on how to use the DSI Training Notebook so you can maximize your dry practice time in order to keep your skills sharp in preparation for your next course?
If so, please join us for our Weekly Tuesday Evening Students Defense Academy Tour, Pre, and Post Training Q&A sessions.
All times Central:
Defense Academy Tour: 1900 – 1930
Pre Course Instruction: 1930-2000
Post Course Instruction and Training Q&A: 2000-End
Simply click the provided link in the Student’s Portal (Login> Student Portal> Combative Handgun>Pre-Course, see bottom of Intro page).
Four words for the employees at Shell:
Shell was targeted by climate change protesters as Extinction Rebellion (XR) demonstrations were staged across the capital.