FBI on Mass Shooting Report: Yeah, We Made It Up + More – Daily Digest

Posted on Thu 06/11/2015 by

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TOP RIGHT HOOKS

FBI on Mass Shooting Report: Yeah, We Made It Up

Last fall, we noted that the FBI used bogus stats in its pre-election mass shooting report. Researchers counted some mass shootings that weren’t “mass” at all, and entirely omitted actual mass shootings that occurred early in the carefully selected timeframe. All of it was an effort to show an increasing trend of “gun violence” since 2000, we suspect in concert with Democrat campaign talking points about the necessity of gun control. The Wall Street Journal’s Jason Riley picked up on a quiet announcement that, indeed, the researchers pretty much made it up: “[L]ate last week, J. Pete Blair and M. Hunter Martaindale, two academics at Texas State University who co-authored the FBI report, acknowledged that ‘our data is imperfect.’ They said that the news media ‘got it wrong’ last year when they ‘mistakenly reported mass shootings were on the rise.’ Mind you, the authors did not issue this mea culpa in the major news outlets that supposedly misreported the original findings. Instead, the authors published it in ACJS Today, an academic journal published by the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences. ‘Because official data did not contain the information we needed, we had to develop our own,’ wrote Messrs. Blair and Martaindale. ‘This required choices between various options with various strengths and weaknesses.’ You don’t say.” The truth is the number of mass shootings has remained essentially flat for the last 40 years, while violent crime has dropped significantly in the last decade as firearm ownership has grown. But that doesn’t fit the leftist agenda.

Damaging Overtime Pay Regulation in the Works

The Department of Labor is preparing to unveil a revision to America’s overtime compensation rule called for by Barack Obama last year. Unfortunately, it’s entirely the wrong prescription for even the best economy — let alone our still ailing one. Heritage Foundation research fellow James Sherk writes, “Reports indicate the Department plans to require overtime for any salaried employee making less than $45,000 to $52,000 a year.” That’s significantly higher than what the current law requires, and though it may not sound like a big deal the repercussions are far fetched— impacting everything from base salaries to scheduling and office flexibility. As Sherk explains, “Economists have studied how businesses respond to overtime requirements. They find that overtime doesn’t affect workers’ total pay or hours much. Instead, businesses offset new overtime costs with lower base wages.” Moreover, he says, “[T]he overtime regulations will have a major unintended side effect: They will force entry- and mid-level salaried employees to track their hours.” That means more micromanaging, and many employers will nix work-from-home options altogether to avoid lawsuits. Just like minimum wage laws, this new rule may seem like a good idea at first glance, but the results are economically damaging.

Fly the EPA’s Unfriendly Skies

This isn’t simply the Environmental Protection Agency slapping more regulation on the American economy. The EPA released a report Wednesday claiming that jet engines endanger human health, opening the door for regulation. And no, we’re not talking chemtrails here. But the EPA would not be issuing its own regulation. Instead, it would look to adopt regulation developed by the United Nation’s International Civil Aviation Organization that would require some aircraft engines manufactured after 2020 to conform to “green” regulation. “The U.S. transportation sector is a significant contributor to total U.S. and global anthropogenic GHG [greenhouse gas] emissions,” said the EPA’s regulatory announcement. “Aircraft remain the single largest GHG-emitting transportation source not yet subject to GHG standards in the U.S.” The announcement went on to say U.S. aircraft contribute to only 0.5% of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide. Is it worth it for the U.S. to regulate an industry, control its innovation and adopt regulation from a global governing body to deal with just one fraction of the effort needed to supposedly prevent global temperatures from rising by 0.001 degree? There’s a fallacy in ecofascism: They think humans are in control of nature. More…

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FEATURED RIGHT ANALYSIS

Muzzling Both Guns and Speech

By Allyne Caan

Given Barack Obama’s contempt for the Second Amendment — after all, an armed citizenry is the last line of defense against a tyrannical government — it’s little wonder that a proposed rule relating to the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) governing the export of certain “defense articles” is raising concerns.

The rule, published in the June 3 issue of the Federal Register, proposes to regulate speech — including online speech — relating to firearms and to require government approval before individuals can share certain information publicly. Penalties for violations climb as high as $1 million or 20 years in jail.

Specifically, the proposed rule rewrites key definitions in ITAR, including “technical data,” “public domain” and “export.” Currently under ITAR, any weapons-related information that is in the “public domain” can be shared without penalty. However, now that the age of technology has thrown a wrinkle into the meaning of “public domain,” the government feels the need to “clarify.” At first glance, the clarification sounds well and good, as the rule states, “Except as set forth in paragraph (b) of this section, unclassified information and software are in the public domain, and are thus not technical data or software subject to the ITAR, when they have been made available to the public without restrictions upon their further dissemination.”

But it’s what comes in paragraph (b) that has folks concerned. It turns out that, this “clarification” notwithstanding, “public domain” really means only what the government says it means. The rule continues, “Technical data or software, whether or not developed with government funding, is not in the public domain if it has been made available to the public without authorization from: (1) The Directorate of Defense Trade Controls; (2) The Department of Defense’s Office of Security Review; (3) The relevant U.S. government contracting entity with authority to allow the technical data or software to be made available to the public; or (4) Another U.S. government official with authority to allow the technical data or software to be made available to the public.”

According to the National Rifle Association, the outcome of such a rule is troublesome: “Gunsmiths, manufacturers, reloaders, and do-it-yourselfers could all find themselves muzzled under the rule and unable to distribute or obtain the information they rely on to conduct these activities.” One minute you’re posting a description of a new firearm design, and the next you’re accused of exporting technical data to a foreign government.

Particularly noteworthy, too, is the timing of the proposed rule, as it comes on the heels of Defense Distributed’s lawsuit against the federal government. Defense Distributed is a pro-Second Amendment organization targeted by the State Department in 2013 for allegedly exporting technical data illegally. Two years ago, it published online plans to 3D print a pistol after it developed a single-shot .22 pistol named The Liberator.

As The Federalist’s Sean Davis reports, Defense Distributed’s supposed crime was little more than “mak[ing] its data, compiled entirely from publicly available information, available for free on the internet.” In response, the government demanded the group submit its speech to Uncle Sam for approval before dissemination. When Defense Distributed attempted to comply, the government delayed by doing nothing. So Defense Distributed filed suit in May, and, voila, on June 3 we have the newly proposed rule.

While it’s certainly important that the government protect against the public sharing of confidential weapons information, the wording of the proposed rule — particularly given the nature of this administration — is hardly comforting. Indeed, as National Review’s Charles C. W. Cooke notes, “[I]t is difficult to imagine how any firearms website would be able to survive the regulators’ caprice.” And while it’s possible such an outcome was not the administration’s intent, it’s also possible it was.

The good news is that the administration is accepting public comment until August 3 on the proposed rule, and it certainly wouldn’t be a bad idea to push for clarification. After all, trusting the good intentions of any government has never proven an effective defense of Liberty.

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BEST OF RIGHT OPINION

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OPINION IN BRIEF

George Will: “Without [Trade Promotion Authority], any trade agreement will be nibbled to death in Congress by persons eager to do organized labor’s bidding. So, Republicans who oppose TPA are collaborating with those who oppose increasing the velocity and rationality of economic life. … Republicans can extinguish the Export-Import Bank, a deplorable instrument for government intervention in economic transactions, simply by not reauthorizing it. How perverse it would be to do so while also opposing TPA and (hence, in effect) freer trade, which would make economic activity less subject to distortions by governments. … Some Republicans resist granting fast-track authority, a traditional presidential prerogative, to a president who has so arrogantly disregarded limits on executive discretion. It is, however, unnecessary to defeat fast-track authority (thereby defeating freer trade) in order to restrain this rogue president. The 22nd Amendment guarantees his departure in 19 months. His lawlessness has prompted congressional resistance on multiplying fronts. The judiciary, too, has repeatedly rebuked him for illegal executive overreaches. So, it is neither necessary nor statesmanlike to injure the nation’s future in order to protest Obama’s past.”

SHORT CUTS

Insight: “Without seeking, truth cannot be known at all. It can neither be declared from pulpits, nor set down in articles, nor in any wise prepared and sold in packages ready for use. Truth must be ground for every man by itself out of it such, with such help as he can get, indeed, but not without stern labor of his own.” —British author John Ruskin (1819-1900)

Braying Jenny: “[Wi]th every word you speak, with every choice you make, with the way you carry yourself each day, you are rewriting the story of our communities. And that’s a burden that President Obama and I proudly carry every single day in the White House. Because we know that everything we do and say can either confirm the myths about folks like us, or it can change those myths.” —Michelle Obama

The BIG Lie: “My first job in Chicago when I moved after college to work as a community organizer. … I saw the power of faith — a shared belief that every human being, made in the image of God, deserves to live in dignity; that all children, no matter who they are or where they come from or how much money they were born into, ought to have the opportunity to achieve their God-given potential.” —Barack Obama (What about the millions of unborn children sacrificed on the altar of “choice”?)

Village Idiots: “Obama seems to be white inside. There is an obvious racial division in America and it’s exploding and Obama doesn’t ever support the innocent black people who are murdered by white police officers who are never held accountable. You would expect him to be more understanding of what it means to be black. But so far, he hasn’t been.” —British singer/songwriter Steven Patrick Morrissey

And last… “I’m so progressive, that if a tree falls in the woods and no one is there to hear it, I’m still offended.” —Frank Fleming

Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis!
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