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“The Islamic State Reshapes the Middle East is republished with permission of Stratfor.”
Nuclear talks with Iran have failed to yield an agreement, but the deadline for a deal has been extended without a hitch. What would have been a significant crisis a year ago, replete with threats and anxiety, has been handled without drama or difficulty. This new response to yet another failure to reach an accord marks a shift in the relationship between the United States and Iran, a shift that can’t be understood without first considering the massive geopolitical shifts that have taken place in the Middle East, redefining the urgency of the nuclear issue.
These shifts are rooted in the emergence of the Islamic State. Ideologically, there is little difference between the Islamic State and other radical Islamic jihadist movements. But in terms of geographical presence, the Islamic State has set itself apart from the rest. While al Qaeda might have longed to take control of a significant nation-state, it primarily remained a sparse, if widespread, terrorist organization. It held no significant territory permanently; it was a movement, not a place. But the Islamic State, as its name suggests, is different. It sees itself as the kernel from which a transnational Islamic state should grow, and it has established itself in Syria and Iraq as a geographical entity. The group controls a roughly defined region in the two countries, and it has something of a conventional military, designed to defend and expand the state’s control. Thus far, whatever advances and reversals it has seen, the Islamic State has retained this character. While the group certainly funnels a substantial portion of its power into dispersed guerrilla formations and retains a significant regional terrorist apparatus, it remains something rather new for the region — an Islamist movement acting as a regional state.
It is unclear whether the Islamic State can survive. It is under attack by American aircraft, and the United States is attempting to create a coalition force that will attack and conquer it. It is also unclear whether the group can expand. The Islamic State appears to have reached its limits in Kurdistan, and the Iraqi army (which was badly defeated in the first stage of the Islamic State’s emergence) is showing some signs of being able to launch counteroffensives. Read the rest of this entry »
From The Daily Caller:
A 62-year-old Washington man was able to retrieve his gun after untying both himself and his wife during a home invasion earlier this week — a heroic act which left one of the bandits dead.
From Whidbey News Times:
The definition of firearm contained in state law and in I-594 reads, “… A weapon or device from which a projectile or projectiles may be fired by an explosive such as gunpowder.”
These flare guns have previously been determined to be firearms by the WSP Crime Lab in Tacoma because they fire a projectile by an explosive.
Home Depot, Lowe’s and other hardware stores sell Ramset nail guns, which use a gunpowder charge to fire nails, usually into concrete or steel.
Clark agreed that any Android-based password manager that uses the OS clipboard is susceptible. He strongly recommends that people stop using any app setup that works this way. Many apps use standalone browsers, browser extensions, or software keyboards to enter credentials into login fields. There is no evidence they are susceptible to sniffing. The reason ClipCaster takes special aim at LastPass, Clark said, is simple. It just happened to be the manager he installed on his phone. There are no reports that password managers running on iOS or Windows Phone are vulnerable. But there can be way to know for sure, since Ars is unaware of the any comprehensive study testing the security of managers on those platforms.
The controversial 18-page ballot referendum, which voters approved by a 9-point margin earlier this month, greatly expands background check requirements to include most private gun sales and transfers. While supporters held that the measure’s intent was to close a dangerous loophole which provided criminals with guns, all the Lynden Pioneer Museum knows is that they now have to pull 11 vintage rifles currently on display and return them to donors to become compliant with the new law.
Did Washingtonians know that this is what they were voting for? Laws like this actually create criminals where none existed before. Many museums are stocked with items that are on loan because they don’t have very much money. Now the people of Washington are denied the ability to learn and experience history. Thank you Bloomberg for denying children an education.
From The Daily Mail:
The troops are also equipped with quad bikes – four-wheeled all-terrain vehicles that can have machine guns bolted on to a frame. They then seek out IS units and attack the terrorists using the element of surprise and under the cover of darkness.
The missions have taken place on a near daily basis in the past four weeks and the SAS soldiers have expended so much ammunition that regimental quartermasters have been forced to order a full replenishment of stocks of machine-gun rounds and sniper bullets.
An SAS source said: ‘Our tactics are putting the fear of God into IS as they don’t know where we’re going to strike next and there’s frankly nothing they can do to stop us.
“On Obama and the Nature of Failed Presidencies is republished with permission of Stratfor.”
We do not normally comment on domestic political affairs unless they affect international affairs. However, it is necessary to consider American political affairs because they are likely to have a particular effect on international relations. We have now entered the final phase of Barack Obama’s presidency, and like those of several other presidents since World War II, it is ending in what we call a state of failure. This is not a judgment on his presidency so much as on the political configuration within it and surrounding it.
The midterm elections are over, and Congress and the president are in gridlock. This in itself is not significant; presidents as popular as Dwight Eisenhower found themselves in this condition. The problem occurs when there is not only an institutional split but also a shift in underlying public opinion against the president. There are many more sophisticated analyses of public opinion on politics, but I have found it useful to use this predictive model. Read the rest of this entry »
Weapons retailers in California are suing the state over a ban on the display of images of handguns – even the word “handgun” – in what the business owners say is a violation of the First Amendment.
“I am one of the most heavily regulated and inspected businesses in existence, but it’s still illegal for me to show customers that I sell handguns until after they walk in the door,” said Baryla, who owns Tracy Rifle and Pistol.
“That’s about as silly a law as you could imagine, even here in California.”
From Judicial Watch:
On October 4, 2011, Holder’s top press aide Tracy Schmaler tells White House Deputy Press Sectary Eric Schultz, “I’m also calling Sharryl’s [sic] editor and reaching out to Scheiffer. She’s out of control”
Schultz responded, “Good. Her piece was really bad for the AG.”
Schultz also detailed to Schmaler that he was working with a journalist (Susan Davis, formerly of the National Journal) to target Rep. Darryl Issa (R-CA), the House Republican leading the charge on Fast and Furious:
“And I sent NJ’s Susan Davis your way. She’s writing on Issa/FandF and I said you could load her up on the leaks, etc.”
(Davis authored a critical profile of Issa a few weeks later.)
Mrs. Attkisson gave an interview with The Blaze.
From The Washington Times:
Their capture by the Border Patrol in Texas set off a fierce debate over the men’s intentions, with some members of Congress saying they were terrorist fighters. Homeland Security officials, including Secretary Jeh Johnson, countered that they were part of the Kurdish resistance which, like the U.S., is fighting the Islamic State’s advance in Iraq.
But whether the men are linked to anti-U.S. jihadists or not, they admitted to being part of a U.S.-designated terrorist group, and their ability to get into the U.S. through the southern border — they paid $8,000 each to be smuggled into Texas — details the existence of a network capable of bringing terrorists across the border.
Richard Overton is a 108-year-old World War II veteran who served at Pearl Harbor, and fought in both Okinawa and Iwo Jima. But, let’s just pretend that wasn’t enough to make you forget your admiration of some reality-TV pop star… He also smokes 12 cigars a day, loves guns, and drinks whiskey with his coffee every morning.
From World Net Daily:
“Clearly, when police officers cease to look and act like civil servants or peace officers but instead look and act like soldiers occupying a hostile territory, it alters their perception of ‘we the people.’ However, those who founded this country believed that we were the masters and that those whose salaries we pay with our hard-earned tax dollars are our servants,” Whitehead said.
“If daring to question, challenge or even hesitate when a cop issues an order can get you charged with resisting arrest or disorderly conduct, you’re not the master in a master-servant relationship. If fact, you’re not even the servant,” he said.
From News 4 Tucson:
We learned that U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Offices of Border Patrol and Training and Development are inspecting the quality of agents’ M4 carbines throughout Border Patrol sectors nationwide. But agents tell us, some of those M4s have not been replaced. And, we’ve learned, agents are required to share rifles amongst each other.
Customs and Border Protection released a statement to the News 4 Tucson Investigators last week, stating: “CBP’s Offices of Border Patrol and Training and Development are jointly inspecting the serviceability of M4 carbines throughout Border Patrol Sectors nationwide. Some of (the) inspected M4 carbines were deemed unserviceable and removed from inventory to alleviate safety concerns. Inspections will continue to ensure the unserviceable M4 carbines are repaired or replaced for reintroduction into the field. No further information is available at this time.”
From Bearing Arms:
The ruling means that California will effectively become “shall issue,” and must issue concealed carry permits to otherwise qualified applicants who had previously been stopped by the unevenly applied “good cause” provisions.