Everyday there’s a murder in the United States. And everyday, the U.S. public gets hit with another demand for more “gun control.”
The FBI just released its 2014 list of crime statistics, and there are some data findings that conflict with the calls for more firearms regulations.
The Uniform Crime Reports “2014 crime in the United States” breaks down murder by state, and includes the U.S. territories of the Virgin Islands and Guam.
It shows that there were 11,961 murders in 2014 (there were 31 total in the U.S. territories). And 8,124 of those were committed by firearms.
This is how those numbers look in perspective:
Notice that total murders and firearms murders have droppedagain.
More salient for the “gun control” conversation, however, is the focus on so-called “assault rifles.” It turns out that murders by all rifles (as reported by the FBI), including homicides by those semi-automatic rifles that some refer to as “assault rifles,” were only 248 of those murders.
Further contextualizing this statistic is that the total number of murders committed by people’s hands and feet came to 660 – more than double the homicides committed by all rifles.
More precisely, there were 142% more murders by hands and feet in 2014 than by all rifles combined.
This all means that punching hands and kicking feet are deadlier than “assault rifles” in the United States.
What lovely people.
A top New Jersey Democrat was charged with assault after repeatedly punching a blind, 75 year-old, US Army veteran – in the face.
Breitbart News will not link the story or give out the specific information, but the New York Times had no qualms whatsoever about publishing almost all the information needed for Officer Darren Wilson’s enemies to track him and his wife down at home:
Officer Wilson and [his wife] own a home together on XXXXXXX Lane in XXXXXXXXXX, Mo., a St. Louis suburb about a half-hour drive from Ferguson.
The NYT published the information after a night of rage and violence across the country as rioters burnt business to the ground, called for Wilson’s death, hurled rocks at police, smashed windows, turned over cops cars etc., putting the lives of Wilson and his wife further at risk. To make matters worse, the online publicationSlate posted a photo of Wilson’s home.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology Professor Jonathan Gruber was, by most accounts, one of the key figures in constructing the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare. He helped designed the Massachusetts health care law on which it was modeled, assisted the White House in laying out the foundation of the law, and, accordingto The New York Times, was eventually sent to Capitol Hill “to help Congressional staff members draft the specifics of the legislation.” He provided the media with a stream of supportive quotes, and was paid almost $400,000 for his consulting work.
Jonathan Gruber, in other words, knows exactly what it took to get the health care law passed.
And that’s why you should take him seriously when he says, in the following video, that it was critical to not be transparent about the law’s costs and true effects, and to take advantage of the “stupidity of the American voter” in order to get it passed:
(Via the Daily Signal.)
Here’s the full quote:
“This bill was written in a tortured way to make sure CBO did not score the mandate as taxes. If CBO [Congressional Budget Office] scored the mandate as taxes, the bill dies. Okay, so it’s written to do that. In terms of risk rated subsidies, if you had a law which said that healthy people are going to pay in – you made explicit healthy people pay in and sick people get money, it would not have passed… Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage. And basically, call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever, but basically that was really really critical for the thing to pass….Look, I wish Mark was right that we could make it all transparent, but I’d rather have this law than not.”
This validates much of what critics have said about the health care law, and the tactics used to pass it, for years.
For one thing, it is an explicit admission that the law was designed in such a way to avoid a CBO score that would have tanked the bill. Basically, the Democrats who wrote the bill knowingly gamed the CBO process.
It’s also an admission that the law’s authors understood that one of the effects of the bill would be to make healthy people pay for the sick, but declined to say this for fear that it would kill the bill’s chances. In other words, the law’s supporters believed the public would not like some of the bill’s consequences, and knowingly attempted to hide those consequences from the public.
Most importantly, however, it is an admission that Gruber thinks it’s acceptable to deceive people if he believes that’s the only way to achieve his policy preference. That’s not exactly surprising, given that he failed to disclose payments from the administration to consult on Obamacare even while providing the media with supposedly independent assessments of the law.
But it’s particularly revealing in light of Gruber’s recently discovered comments regarding the way the law’s subsidies for health insurance are supposed to work. In a 2012 video unearthed this summer, Gruber said explicitly that the tax credits to offset coverage costs were conditioned on state participation in the law’s exchanges—a contention that the administration denies, and is at the heart of a legal challenge on its way to the Supreme Court.
Gruber, who by 2014 was making vehement arguments in support of the administration’s position, said that in the video he misspoke. That excuse was hard to believe. For one thing, he elaborated on the argument at length, and for another, a second recording surfaced soon after in which he said almost the exact same thing.
It’s even harder to believe now that he has admitted that he thinks it’s fine to mislead people if doing so bolsters the policy goals he favors. It’s really quite telling, about the law and also about Gruber. Gruber may believe that American voters are stupid, but he was the one who was dumb enough to say all this on camera.
[UPDATE] OOPS HE DID IT AGAIN… A THIRD TIME !:
Like Ahab’s search for the Great White Whale, liberals’ search for the Great White Defendant is relentless and never-ending. When, in 1988, Tawana Brawley’s and Al Sharpton’s then year-old spectacular charge that several white men including prosecutor Steven Pagones (whose name Brawley had picked out of a newspaper article) had abducted and raped the 15 year old was shown to be completely false, the Nationsaid it didn’t matter, since the charges expressed the essential nature of white men’s treatment of black women in this country. When the Duke University lacrosse players were accused of raping a black stripper last year, liberals everywhere treated the accusation as fact, because, just as with the Nation and Tawana Brawley, the rape charge seemed to the minds of liberals to reflect the true nature of oppressive racial and sexual relations in America.
To see the real truth of the matter, let us take a look at the Department of Justice document Criminal Victimization in the United States, 2005. (Go to the linked document, and under “Victims and Offenders” download the pdf file for 2005.)
In Table 42, entitled “Personal crimes of violence, 2005, percent distribution of single-offender victimizations, based on race of victims, by type of crime and perceived race of offender,” we learn that there were 111,590 white victims and 36,620 black victims of rape or sexual assault in 2005. (The number of rapes is not distinguished from those of sexual assaults; it is maddening that sexual assault, an ill-defined category that covers various types of criminal acts ranging from penetration to inappropriate touching, is conflated with the more specific crime of rape.) In the 111,590 cases in which the victim of rape or sexual assault was white, 44.5 percent of the offenders were white, and 33.6 percent of the offenders were black. In the 36,620 cases in which the victim of rape or sexual assault was black, 100 percent of the offenders were black, and 0.0 percent of the offenders were white. The table explains that 0.0 percent means that there were under 10 incidents nationally.
The table does not gives statistics for Hispanic victims and offenders. But the bottom line on interracial white/black and black/white rape is clear:
In the United States in 2005, 37,460 white females were sexually assaulted or raped by a black man, while between zero and ten black females were sexually assaulted or raped by a white man.
What this means is that every day in the United States, over one hundred white women are raped or sexually assaulted by a black man.
The Department of Justice statistics refer, of course, to verified reports. According to the Wikipedia articleon rape, as many as half of all rape charges nationally are determined by police and prosecutors to be false:
Linda Fairstein, former head of the New York County District Attorney’s Sex Crimes Unit, noted, “There are about 4,000 reports of rape each year in Manhattan. Of these, about half simply did not happen…. It’s my job to bring justice to the man who has been falsely accused by a woman who has a grudge against him, just as it’s my job to prosecute the real thing.”
No wonder there was such absolute belief in the guilt of the Duke students among the leading sectors of liberal America. A drug-addled, half-deranged, promiscuous black stripper accused three young white men of raping her. There are virtually zero rapes of black women by white men in the United States, and half of all rape charges against specific individuals turn out to be false. But in the gnostic, inverted world of liberal demonology, the white students had to be guilty.
Meanwhile, in the real America, week after week, the newspapers report the rapes of white women by black men—though, of course, without ever once using the words, “a white woman was raped by black man.” Just last week in the New York Post there was a story about a serial black rapist who invaded women’s apartments on Manhattan’s Upper West Side; you knew the rapist was black from a police drawing accompanying the story, and you knew the victims were most likely white from the neighborhoods where the attacks occurred. But even when news media’s reports of black on white rape make the race of the perpetrator evident (which the media only does in a minority of instances), no explicit reference is ever made to the racial aspect of the case. Each story of black on white rape is reported in isolation, not presented as part of a larger pattern. There is never the slightest mention of the fact that white women in this country are being targeted by black rapists. In the inverted world of liberalism, the phenomenon does not exist.
Lawrence Auster is the author of Erasing America: The Politics of the Borderless Nation. He offers a traditionalist conservative perspective at View from the Right.
The United States government’s accumulated debts have grown by more than $7 trillion – with a ‘t’ – since Barack Obama became president on January 20, 2009.
The sad milestone was revealed on July 31 by the U.S. Department of the Treasury on a ‘debt to the penny’ website that calculates the debt at the end of every business day.
On Obama’s first day in office the debt stood at $10.626 trillion. Last Thursday it reached $17.687 trillion.
America’s first 43 presidents took 223 years to rack up the country’s first $7 trillion in red ink.
Obama has duplicated that dubious achievement in less than five years and seven months.
After the same number of days in office, former President George W. Bush had increased the national debt by a comparatively paltry $2.720 trillion.
Bill Clinton’s debt load at the same point in his presidency had increased by just $1,324 trillion.
The right-leaning Cybercast News Service was first to point out that Obama had cleared the $7 trillion hurdle in added financial obligations.
During a July 2008 campaign speech in North Dakota, then-Senator Obama ripped into the Bush administration for running up the federal debt by a total of $4 billion near the end of his second term.
‘The problem is,’ he said, ‘is that the way Bush has done it over the last eight years is to take out a credit card from the Bank of China in the name of our children, driving up our national debt from $5 trillion for the first 42 presidents – #43 added $4 trillion by his lonesome, so that we now have over $9 trillion of debt that we are going to have to pay back – $30,000 for every man, woman and child.’
‘That’s irresponsible,’ Obama said then. ‘It’s unpatriotic.’
The Republican Party ripped into the president on Monday with an email blast charging that after ‘[i]gnoring warnings from all corners, Obama has one of the worst records on the federal debt in U.S. history.’
The White House didn’t immediately respond to a request for a response.
In February the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimated that ‘federal debt held by the public will equal 74 percent of GDP at the end of this year and 79 percent in 2024.’
At the end of 2008, that number was just 39 per cent. At current rates of spending, by 2019 the debt will be larger than the nation’s annual GDP.
‘Such large and growing federal debt,’ the CBO warns, ‘could have serious negative consequences, including restraining economic growth in the long term, giving policymakers less flexibility to respond to unexpected challenges, and eventually increasing the risk of a fiscal crisis.’
Debt held by the public makes up about 71 per cent of the total federal debt. The rest consists of ‘intragovernmental holdings’ – government-speak for gaps in the Medicare Trust Fund, the Social Security Trust Fund, and other revolving funds.
Those lines on Uncle Sam’s balance sheet totaled $5,036 trillion at the end of last Thursday, a number that represents how far behind the government is in meeting its long-term obligations to retirees and other benefit-takers.
Government spending has skyrocketed during Obama’s time in office due to a combinations of his policies, a spendthrift Congress and recession-related automatic stabilizers like unemployment insurance that can quickly drain the Treasury.
The annual deficit – a single year’s addition to the larger debt – was $1.413 trillion in 2009, Obama’s first year in the White House. He has steadily reduced it year-on-year, and the 2014 deficit is expected to be $492 billion.
That number, however, is still larger than any other annual deficit in the history of the U.S. before he became president.
The United States Patent and Trademark Office ruled on Wednesday that theWashington Redskins name is not subject to trademark protection because “based on the evidence properly before us … these (trademark) registrations must be canceled because they were disparaging to Native Americans at the respective times they were registered.”
The Redskins initially registered the trademarks in 1967, but in recent years the criticism over the name has increased in intensity. So far, Redskins owner Dan Snyder has refused all requests to change the team name and the vast majority of Redskin fans have supported this decision. But with this ruling to strip the team of their trademark protections, the pressure to change the team name will likely grow.
So what’s the practical impact? Let’s review some key questions:
1. What’s the immediate impact of the ruling?
Assuming a stay of the ruling is granted — that is, the ruling is not immediately enforced pending appeal — the Redskins will have the right to appeal this decision and seek to overturn the ruling. If overturning this decision sounds unlikely, think again, the same ruling occurred in 1999, but was overturned due to a technicality on appeal. The appeal process will likely take years. During that time, nothing will change. That’s why the Redskins official statement says as follows: “We are confident we will prevail once again, and that the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board’s divided ruling will be overturned on appeal. This case is no different than an earlier case, where the Board cancelled the Redskins’ trademark registrations, and where a federal district court disagreed and reversed the Board.”
What this decision does do, however, is increase the political pressure that has been building on the Redskins to change their name.
2. How can trademark protection be removed once it has been granted?
The trademark office is essentially saying it made a mistake when it granted the trademark in 1967. Due to the fact that the term “Redskin” was disparaging at the time of issue — as determined by evidence from 1967 introduced by the plaintiffs — then the trademark was granted in error.
3. What about teams like the Florida State Seminoles, the Utah Utes, the Cleveland Indians or the Atlanta Braves, how does this decision impact their trademarks given clear associations with Native American tribes as well?
The Florida State Seminole and the Utah Utes have been endorsed by the tribes so their trademarks are likely safe. The Cleveland Indians and the Atlanta Braves would both be subject to trademark challenge as well, but the terms “Indian” and “Brave” are unlikely to be seen as derogatory at the time those trademarks were granted. To protect themselves from political pressure, both teams have moved to eliminate direct association with Native Americans as well, replacing mascots and logos that connected the team names to Native American history.
4. So can anyone make Redskins gear now?
Again, that depends on whether the stay is granted. The Redskins have trademarks on their team name, but if those trademarks are invalidated then the team could lose the right to exclusively make and license products with the Redskin name. The team could still, however, have a copyright on its logo. So the actual Redskins logo would still have copyright protection even if the team’s name didn’t have trademark protection.
5. What’s the difference between a copyright and a trademark?
In the simplest sense, a copyright exists as soon as an original object is fixed in a tangible medium. That is, as soon as the Redskins created their logo, the team had copyright protection over that particular logo, uniform, and its color representation without any necessity of filing to protect it. It would be a violation of copyright law if someone else made a product that identically replicated the team’s logo. The team also has a copyright argument when it comes to team colors in conjunction with the name, jerseys, and representations of the team such as the head logo and the like.
The trademark protects the particular name of the product to avoid confusion. That is, it would be a violation of trademark protection for someone else to make a product that references the Washington Redskins, whether the official team logos, colors, or jerseys are used or not. The dual protections of copyright and trademark are integral to protecting a brand’s value.
6. What’s Redskins owner Dan Snyder’s end game here?
Snyder has made the decision to fight all demands that he change the name of the team. From a business perspective, that’s probably smart. Here’s why: if he voluntarily changes the team name without being forced to do so he alienates a certain segment of the Redskins fan base. These fans would forever blame Snyder for bowing down to opponents of the team name. If Snyder fights demands for a name change three things can happen: a) he wins, in which case he doesn’t have to change anything. b) he loses, in which case he can claim he’s been forced to change the team name. Changing the team name would likely result in a huge increase in merchandise sales as everyone rushed to buy the new gear, but Snyder would be able to claim he had no choice. c. Snyder can lose the trademark protections and continue to run the franchise without them.
7. What about the NFL’s position?
The NFL’s in a more difficult position than the team because the league doesn’t want to provoke the ire of the government or advertising partners by allowing derogatory team names. What if the FCC decided that Redskins was a derogatory term and began to fine the league and league partners every time the term is used on television? What if advertisers faced real pressure from consumers over the inclusion of the Redskin name and logo in the NFL broadcasts?
Then the league could be forced to demand a name change. In the meantime, the NFL will likely argue that Snyder deserves the right to appeal this ruling.
8. Could the Redskins keep their name without trademark protection?
Sure, the team could. How much money would the loss of trademark protection actually cost the Redskins if the team continued to sue for copyright violations? Probably not that much. After all, the money that teams make off their trademarks is comparatively small when compared to television and ticket money. Plus, even without trademark protection, major companies aren’t going to risk copyright lawsuits in order to make a relatively insubstantial sum of money off Washington Redskins products.
While the plaintiffs who filed this lawsuit believe the Redskins will be forced to change their name without trademark protection, that seems unlikely. The real threat to the name comes from political pressure, threats from the FCC over television broadcasts, and advertisers bailing from association with the team and league. So long as that doesn’t happen, the Redskins name will continue.