There Are Still People Trying To Undo The Second Amendment

Yesterday I posted an article about the State of Connecticut‘s attempt to make gun ownership very expensive. Well, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has come up with its own idea of how to make using your gun very expensive.

The Daily Caller reported yesterday:

A gun bill in Massachusetts is looking to expand gun restrictions in the state through additional taxes on lawful gun owners.

The legislation, sponsored by Democratic state Sen. Cynthia Creem, is one of many she said she has filed every state senate session in order to “to make it harder and harder” to obtain a gun, she told Wicked Local Newsbank.

Not only would the bill impose a 4.75 percent surcharge “on sales at retail of all ammunition, rifles, shotguns, firearms or parts thereof” on top of the licensing fees, the state’s 6.25 percent sales tax and the 11 percent federal excise tax; it would also require virtually all firearm sales to take place through a licensed dealer, with an additional charge for private gun sales, require gun owners to use fingerprint scanners to deactivate the weapon when the technology becomes available and bans .50 caliber weapons outright with a hefty fine and possible jail time if someone is found in violation of the law.

The money raised by this scheme would go into the Firearms Violence Prevention Trust Fund, which the bill establishes. Wow! Penalize gun owners to create more bureaucracy!

The article further reports:

Gun activists in the state are outraged by the sweeping legislation, especially since research shows that crime rates either are not affected or increase over time with more gun restrictions, according to the Crime Research Prevention Center.

“What’s the problem we’re trying to solve?” Jim Wallace, executive director of the Massachusetts Gun Owners Action League, told Wicked Local Newsbank. “Is it political, perceived or real? It seems it’s always been political.”

Frustration with the legislation also includes the belief that lawful gun owners seem to be punished for the transgressions of criminals, people who would find an illegal way to obtain a gun no matter what the law says.

Okay. Let’s look at this a minute. When law-abiding citizens cannot afford guns because the State Legislature has made it very expensive to buy or own one, do you think criminals will still have guns? This is Massachusetts’ attempt at an end run around the Second Amendment. The way our government was set up, the states have the right to disregard a law that is made that does not comply with the U.S. Constitution, but what do you do when the state itself is attempting to undermine a freedom guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution?

Finally Some Common Sense

If I didn’t know the source of this, I wouldn’t believe it. It looks as if common sense has finally made a visit to some members of Congress.

Townhall.com posted at article today about some recent comments by Representative Elijah Cummings (D-MD).

The article reports:

Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) rejects his colleague John Lewis‘ (D-GA) assertion that Donald Trump is not a legitimate president. Lewis led the inauguration boycott last month that left about 70 seats empty at his swearing in ceremony. 

Cummings has repeatedly suggested that is the wrong attitude – not to mention unproductive.

“I think we have to work with him,” Cummings said on CBS’ “Face the Nation” on Sunday. “I’ve got people who — you know, I keep telling people, this is our president. He’s going to be our president for the next four years. I’ve got people in my community who are suffering from cancer. They need treatment. I’ve got people who need jobs, and I’ve got to work with this president, but at the same time, there’s nobody that has been tougher on this president than I have been,” Cummings said.

Wow! I would go a step further. If you honestly feel that President Trump is doing something that is destructive to America, oppose him with everything you have. Otherwise, support  him fully.

Hopefully there will be a meeting soon between President Trump and Congressman Cummings and possibly a meeting between President Trump and the Congressional Black Caucus. A lot of the problems in the black community are also problems in the white community. It would be a beg step forward if all of us could work on solving the problems in both communities!

 

Making Our Streets Safer

Yesterday The Washington Examiner posted an article about recent raids by U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement agents.

The article reports:

The 680 seized in recent sweeps by U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement agents represent just .07 percent of the 950,062 with deportation orders as of May 21, 2016.

…He  (Thomas D. Homan, currently the acting ICE director) said that ICE has custody of just 11,006, or 1 percent, of the 950,062 ordered deported.

The article includes some shocking statistics:

There are an estimated 3 million illegal immigrants with criminal records in addition to their illegal status and the administration has said it will make them a priority for removal. The numbers in the ICE answers could have adjusted but deporting criminal illegals was not a priority in the last months of the Obama administration, according to experts.

Immigration experts said that sanctuary cities are mostly to blame for the huge number of illegal immigrants with deportation orders who are not in custody.

The article explains that criminal aliens with orders to be deported are simply allowed to go free–they are either not required to check in with authorities or they are not complying with that requirement.

To those who are protesting the deportation of these criminals, would you be so willing to let American citizen criminals roam the streets in these numbers?

What Would Be The Consequences?

On February 17th, The Washington Post posted an article about the controversy over childhood vaccines. The article was written by Daniel Summers, a pediatrician in New England.

The article reports:

The latest salvo against vaccinations came courtesy of Robert Kennedy Jr. and Robert De Niro. At a joint appearance this week, Kennedy offered $100,000 to anyone who could turn up a study showing that it is safe to administer vaccines to children and pregnant women, with a specific call out to concerns about mercury. De Niro was there to lend his endorsement and a patina of Oscar-winning gravitas.

Both men have an unreliable history when it comes to their views about vaccinations. Kennedy’s reference to mercury alludes to thimerosal, a preservative once used in vaccines, which he has long maintained can lead to autism. (It doesn’t.) A meeting earlier this year between then President-elect Donald Trump (who has hair-raising views of his own about vaccines) and Kennedy caused grave concern within the medical community, myself included. Kennedy claimed Trump asked him to helm a commission on vaccine safety (even though the United States already has a vaccine safety commission), but it has yet to materialize.

I found the following on Wikipedia (I am posting it because of the references):

A population-based study in Olmsted County, Minnesota county found that the cumulative incidence of autism grew eightfold from the 1980–83 period to the 1995–97 period. The increase occurred after the introduction of broader, more-precise diagnostic criteria, increased service availability, and increased awareness of autism.[40] During the same period, the reported number of autism cases grew 22-fold in the same location, suggesting that counts reported by clinics or schools provide misleading estimates of the true incidence of autism.[41]

 Barbaresi WJ, Katusic SK, Colligan RC, Weaver AL, Jacobsen SJ. The incidence of autism in Olmsted County, Minnesota, 1976-1997: results from a population-based study. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2005;159(1):37–44. doi:10.1001/archpedi.159.1.37. PMID 15630056.

I am not a doctor and don’t know if vaccinations cause autism. I do know that America has almost entirely eliminated measles, mumps, whooping cough, polio, and tetanus.

The article in The Washington Post further reports:

Conversely, a growing body of evidence suggests brain differences associated with autism may be found early in infancy — well before children receive most vaccines. Changes in the volume of certain brain areas found by MRI may help predict autism in infants with an older sibling who has the diagnosis, according to a recent study in the journal Nature. Other studies have found that alterations in brain cell development related to autism may occur before birth. These findings are clearly inconsistent with vaccines as a cause of autism.

But none of this emerging research seems to have dampened the fires burning within the anti-vaccine movement. I could resurrect Edward Jenner and Jonas Salk for joint TED talks about the benefits of vaccination, and somehow I doubt it would make any difference at this point. Despite Kennedy’s disingenuous plea for evidence of safety, it’s not evidence he really cares about. If it were, he could find more than enough for free.

Before we stop vaccinating our children, maybe we should look at some of the other factors that might be involved in the increase of autism. There are still a lot of things I don’t understand about how the human brain works.

Shall Not Be Infringed

A friend of mine who teaches social studies once pointed out to me that the first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution (The Bill of Rights) are there to protect the rights of American citizens. They don’t give the government rights–they protect the citizens’ rights. In that context, the Second Amendment is there to protect the right of Americans to own guns.

The Second Amendment states:

A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

Seems pretty clear. Well, I think we are about to have a discussion on exactly what ‘infringed’ means.

Fox News reported today that the governor of ConnecticutDannel Malloy, wants to raise the cost of pistol fees in Connecticut. The state has a budget shortfall, and the governor thinks this might help close the gap.

The article reports:

The five-year renewal fee for pistol permits would increase from $70 to $300, first-time five-year permits would increase from $140 to $370 and fees for background checks would increase from $50 to $75.

The plan is expected to raise nearly $12 million per year in additional revenue, CBS News and The Associated Press reported.

Frankly, if I lived in Connecticut, I might consider those rather drastic increases.

The article further reports:

Gun-rights supporters and state Republican lawmakers said this increase would preclude many people from exercising their Second Amendment right to bear arms, since the proposed fees would be among the highest in the country.

The National Rifle Association called the governor’s proposal “outrageous,” according to the report.

Malloy said the fees are in line with other jurisdictions and will cover the state’s administrative costs for gun permits and background checks.

To me, the size of the increase would qualify as ‘infringe.’ Making it expensive to own a gun is one way anti-gun politicians can legislate gun restrictions without actually legislating gun restrictions. I hope the governor’s idea is quickly shot down.

 

Another Way To Interfere With The Profit Margins Of Businesses

What you are about to read is not the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard, but it is definitely close.

Yesterday The New York Post posted an article about a recent statement by Microsoft founder Bill Gates.

The article reports:

Bill Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft and world’s richest man, said in an interview Friday that robots that steal human jobs should pay their fair share of taxes.

“Right now, the human worker who does, say, $50,000 worth of work in a factory, that income is taxed and you get income tax, Social Security tax, all those things,” he said. “If a robot comes in to do the same thing, you’d think that we’d tax the robot at a similar level.”

How do you tax a robot? If he doesn’t pay his taxes, do you take out his battery?

This is another example of the government interfering in the free market. As some people in the government push to raise the minimum wage, certain businesses will have no choice but to replace human workers with robots.

The article further reports:

Recode, citing a McKinsey report, said that 50 percent of jobs performed by humans are vulnerable to robots, which could result in the loss of about $2.7 trillion in the U.S. alone.

“Exactly how you’d do it, measure it, you know, it’s interesting for people to start talking about now,” Gates said. “Some of it can come on the profits that are generated by the labor-saving efficiency there. Some of it can come directly in some type of robot tax. I don’t think the robot companies are going to be outraged that there might be a tax. It’s OK.”

Another example of the government finding new ways to take money away from people who have earned it.

Why We Need To Be Careful Who We Allow To Settle In America

Yesterday Andrew McCarthy posted an article at The National Review about the death of Omar Abdel Rahman, also known as the“Blind Sheikh.” The Blind Sheikh died in a federal prison Friday night. He was in prison for plotting the bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993. Andrew McCarthy was the lawyer who prosecuted the case against him.

The Blind Sheikh was an active terrorist before he came to America. Unfortunately the people who allowed him to immigrate to America failed to notice that his name was on the terrorist watch list. He came to America from Egypt, where he issued the fatwa relied upon by the jihadists who murdered Egyptian president Anwar al-Sadat at a military parade in 1981. He was acquitted when he was tried in Egypt for that murder, relying on a defense that he was merely carrying out Islamic Law–under Islamic Law, Sadat deserved to die because he had signed a peace treaty with Israel. This is what we are up against. The Blind Sheikh in America trained, encouraged, and planned various operations with jihadists. While living in America, he was part of a conspiracy to murder Hosni Mubarak during one of Mubarak’s visits to the U.N.

The article concludes:

Omar Abdel Rahman was physically incapable of doing anything that would be useful to a terrorist organization: He couldn’t build a bomb, hijack a plane, or carry out an assassination. The only thing he could do for a terrorist organization was lead it. His life is a testament to the centrality of sharia-supremacist ideology to modern jihadism and to the broader Islamist movement in which it thrives. His death reminds us why we must fight everything he represented.

Omar Abdel Rahman was in America legally. Before he was arrested and tried, he was actively planning jihad against Americans. His story is one reason we need to be very careful about who we invite to live in America.
Please follow the link above to read the entire article. There is a lot we need to learn from our experience with Mr. Rahman.

A Question That Needs To Be Asked

You can’t put toothpaste back in the tube, but you can ask questions about how it got out of the tube in the first place. Andrew McCarthy posted an article at National Review today that asks a very obvious, but overlooked in the media, question about what happened to General Flynn.

Andrew McCarthy is a lawyer experienced in dealing the terrorism and other national security matters. In the article at National Review, he asks, “Why Was the FBI Investigating General Flynn?”

The contact between General Flynn and Russian ambassador Kislyak was appropriate–General Flynn was slated to be National Security Advisor under President Trump. He was making contacts in preparation for taking that job. It is also understandable that the conversation would have been recorded–the article states, “We are told that the FBI was monitoring the phone calls of Russian ambassador Kislyak under FISA. Makes sense — he’s an overt foreign agent from a hostile government.”

However, there is more to the story.

The article reports:

The call to Kislyak, of course, was intercepted. No doubt the calls of other American officials who have perfectly valid reasons to call Russian diplomats have been intercepted. It is the FBI’s scrupulous practice to keep the identities of such interceptees confidential. So why single Flynn out for identification, and for investigation? FBI agents did not need to “grill” Flynn in order to learn about the call — they had a recording of the call. They also knew there was nothing untoward about the call. We know that from the Times report — a report that suggests an unseemly conjoining of investigative power to partisan politics.

The article also notes the timing of these events. The information about the phone call was released at a point where it was designed to do the most damage. We had the FBI and the press working together to undermine the new President.
The article concludes:
And the FBI has no business probing the veracity of public statements made by presidential administrations for political purposes — something it certainly resisted doing during the Obama administration.
There appears to have been no foreign-intelligence or criminal-investigative purpose served by the FBI’s interrogation of General Flynn. It is easy to see why Democrats would want to portray Flynn’s contact with the Russian ambassador as worthy of an FBI investigation. But why did the FBI and the Justice Department investigate Flynn — and why did “officials” make sure the press found out about it?

Please follow the link to read the entire article. It is rather lengthy but explains the matter much more clearly and fully than I did. It is time for all of us to become our own news reporters and investigate everything the major media tells us. Otherwise we will tend to believe the lies the press is promoting.

The Media Double Standard

The media double standard reflects the double standard of some of the more vocal protest groups. Forbes posted an article on Tuesday that beautifully reflects this double standard. The article deals with the environmental threat posed by the protesters at the site of the future Dakota Access Pipeline. The threat is not a perceived future threat, such as is claimed by the protesters if the pipeline were to rupture, but an actual threat that must be dealt with before the spring thaw. I strongly suggest that you follow the above link and read the entire article–it is done almost as a parody of The Twilight Zone.

The article reports:

There is of course no national media uproar condemning the protesters who have created the current mess, or the conflict groups that helped to organize them, raised millions as a result of the conflict, but are contributing nothing to the cleanup.  Nor is there any negative media mention of the dozens of celebrities who have visited the site to get a little free publicity over the last several months, or drawn attention to themselves by supporting the cause on social media, but who also are doing nothing to help with the clean up effort.

The Washington Post managed to find space to publish a story on the situation on Monday, but its story angle was completely sympathetic to the protesters – whose efforts have now cost Morton County taxpayers almost $33 million at last count, with millions more to come – and to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, whose national call to action last summer was the catalyst for the influx of the outside protesters.  Indeed, a January tally of the almost 600 protesters who have been arrested during this protest action demonstrated that more than 94% of them hail from out of state, and more than 180 had criminal records.

The Washington Post’s story makes no mention of any of that, no mention of the dozens of abandoned cars or of the estimated 200-plus large truckloads of garbage left behind by the protesters that remain at the site.  No mention of all the arrests of out-of-staters, or of the massive cost to Morton County.  Indeed, the only real mention the Post makes of trash in the camp reads as follows:  “In the slurry running through camp are the remains of a mostly abandoned mini-city: an unopened packet of Top Ramen, a broken shovel, a mud-soaked glove, a pacifier.”

The article explains the threat to the water supply of the area:

The state of North Dakota also manages a website – NDRESPONSE – that provides excellent documentation of the real status of the protest site.  Their reporting has very clearly demonstrated that there is far more “in the slurry running through the camp” than the Post’s report implies, and with another week of spring-like weather to come, concerns about the potential for that slurry turning into a stream carrying pollutants into the nearby lake are very real indeed.  “We are very concerned about the potential for significant flooding and runoff into the lake later this week,” Keller said.

Given the way in which this situation has developed over time, it is fair to provide an admittedly partial list of well-heeled celebrities who have either visited the protest site since last August or expressed their support via social media for the #NoDAPL protest, and who are now making no effort whatsoever to assist in cleaning up the looming ecological disaster their “water protectors” have left behind:

The pipeline poses a minimal potential threat. The protesters have created an environmental disaster. If the state of North Dakota cannot clean up the mess before the spring thaw, the local residents will not have safe water to drink. The protesters have done immediate damage. The pipeline is engineered to be safer than alternative methods of transporting oil.

This is a picture of some of the mess left behind:

The double standard here is amazing.

 

 

Who Got Deported?

Yesterday The Independent Journal Review posted a story about the recent deportations of illegal aliens in America by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Some of the Democrats in Congress have expressed skepticism about whether or not the people deported had committed crimes.

The article reports:

The raids stretched from California to New York, where more than 680 unauthorized immigrants “who pose a threat to public safety, border security or the integrity of our nation’s immigration system” were apprehended for deportation and jail, Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said in a statement.

…There were 161 DUIs, 47 cases of domestic violence, 15 assaults with an aggravated weapon, 15 cases of sex offense/fondling against a child and dozens of other cases of sexual and violent crimes.

In total, 507 of the 683 apprehended immigrants had criminal convictions, on par with Kelly’s claim of 75 percent. However, as Democrats noted, some of the crimes were less severe, including traffic violations and shoplifting.

Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pa.) told IJR, “If they’re lawbreakers, there are consequences to breaking the law,” adding:

“I don’t understand why we defend criminals. I don’t understand it. If the other side of the aisle wants to defend the criminals, I guess that could be their thing.”

I would like to know how they came up with the names of those who had not committed crimes other than entering the country illegally. However, DUI is a serious offense that can result in the death of innocent people. I have no problem deporting people who have not only broken the law to get here, but have broken the law after they got here.

It is interesting to note the following from an ABC News story from August 2016:

President Barack Obama has often been referred to by immigration groups as the “Deporter in Chief.”

Between 2009 and 2015 his administration has removed more than 2.5 million people through immigration orders, which doesn’t include the number of people who “self-deported” or were turned away and/or returned to their home country at the border by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

…According to governmental data, the Obama administration has deported more people than any other president’s administration in history.

In fact, they have deported more than the sum of all the presidents of the 20th century.

President George W. Bush’s administration deported just over two million during his time in office; and Obama’s numbers don’t reflect his last year in office, for which data is not yet available.

Somehow I just don’t remember the outcry.

Slowly But Surely

The Washington Examiner is reporting today that the Senate has confirmed Scott Pruitt to head the Environmental Protection Agency.

The article reports:

The 52-46 vote came during a rare Friday floor session, which was held amid an intensified campaign by Democratic lawmakers to stall the vote.

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said “enough is enough” to the Democratic opposition on the floor ahead of the vote. He said confirming Trump’s Cabinet has taken the “longest” amount of time “since George Washington,” which shouldn’t be seen as a record of pride for the minority party.

McConnell said the delaying tactics “won’t change the outcome of the election last November,” but instead are keeping the government from serving the American people.

President Trump was elected in November and sworn in in January. It is time to allow him to get his cabinet confirmed.

This Needed To Be Done

The New York Post is reporting today that the Trump Administration is beginning to make major changes in State Department personnel.

The article reports:

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is cleaning house at the State Department, according to a report.

Staffers in the offices of deputy secretary of state for management and resources as well as counselor were shown the door Thursday, according to CBS News.

Many of those let go were on the building’s seventh floor — top-floor bigs — a symbolically important sign to the rest of the diplomatic corps that their new boss has different priorities than the last one.

The staffing changes came as Tillerson was on his first foreign trip — attending a G-20 meeting in Bonn, Germany.

“As part of the transition from one administration to the next, we continue to build out our team. The State Department is supported by a very talented group of individuals, both Republicans and Democrats,” State Department spokesman RC Hammond told CBS.

There are some of us who felt that the State Department worked against George W. Bush when he was president. It is encouraging to see the Trump Administration taking steps to prevent that from happening during the Trump Administration. This is just another appropriate part of draining the swamp.

What Is Being Hidden Here?

Yesterday The Washington Free Beacon posted a story about some recent comments by senior Iranian officials.

The article reports:

Senior Iranian officials are warning the Trump administration about disclosing secret deals related to the nuclear deal that have long been hidden from the public by the Obama administration, according to recent comments that prompted pushback from senior sources on Capitol Hill.

Does anyone else wonder why the details of this agreement are such a closely guarded secret? What ever happened to transparency in government? Iran may be a tyrannical dictatorship, but America is supposed to be a representative republic.

The article further reports:

Alaeddin Boroujerdi, a senior Iranian lawmaker and head of country’s foreign policy committee, warned the Trump administration against making these documents public in recent remarks.

“If Trump wants to publish confidential documents exchanged between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency, it will in fact constitute a violation of the agency’s obligations, because the agency has been committed not to make Iran’s confidential nuclear information and documents available to any country, including the U.S.,” Boroujerdi was quoted as saying in Iran’s state-run media.

Some of these documents surround side deals struck between Iran and the IAEA regarding the Islamic Republic’s ability to enrich uranium. They also include deals about how much information Iran must disclose to international inspectors about the country’s contested nuclear program.

As part of the nuclear deal, U.S. inspectors are not permitted to take part in the review of any Iranian sites.

Rep. Peter Roskam (R., Ill.), a vocal opponent of the Iran deal who has long been fighting for the full disclosure of the Iran deal documents, told the Free Beacon that the Obama administration hid these documents in order to mislead Americans about the true nature of the agreement.

“The administration is under no obligation to conceal information about secret side deals, nor should they feel obligated to protect the anonymity of individuals or institutions who misbehaved at the behest of the Obama administration,” Roskam said.

Included in these documents are details of multiple, secret payments to Iran that totaled close to $2 billion. The money is believed to have been part of an incentive package aimed at securing the release last year of several American hostages in Iran.

None of this information is technically classified, yet it remains hidden from the American public and a large portion of Congress.

This is a nuclear agreement that could potentially impact the future of not only the Middle East but also America. The American public has a right to know exactly what was agreed to by the Obama Administration.

 

Eternal Vigilance Is The Cost Of Freedom

While we were waiting for Donald Trump to become President, there were some things going on in Washington that we need to look at. At the time these things may not have seemed important, but in view of recent events, they need to be re-examined.

Yesterday PJ Media reported on a New York Times story from January 12, 2017,.

The New York Times reported:

In its final days, the Obama administration has expanded the power of the National Security Agency to share globally intercepted personal communications with the government’s 16 other intelligence agencies before applying privacy protections.

The new rules significantly relax longstanding limits on what the N.S.A. may do with the information gathered by its most powerful surveillance operations, which are largely unregulated by American wiretapping laws. These include collecting satellite transmissions, phone calls and emails that cross network switches abroad, and messages between people abroad that cross domestic network switches.

The change means that far more officials will be searching through raw data. Essentially, the government is reducing the risk that the N.S.A. will fail to recognize that a piece of information would be valuable to another agency, but increasing the risk that officials will see private information about innocent people.

PJ Media states:

Let’s call the roster of the bad guys:

Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch signed the new rules, permitting the N.S.A. to disseminate “raw signals intelligence information,” on Jan. 3, after the director of national intelligence, James R. Clapper Jr., signed them on Dec. 15, according to a 23-page, largely declassified copy of the procedures.

Previously, the N.S.A. filtered information before sharing intercepted communications with another agency, like the C.I.A. or the intelligence branches of the F.B.I. and the Drug Enforcement Administration. The N.S.A.’s analysts passed on only information they deemed pertinent, screening out the identities of innocent people and irrelevant personal information.

Now, other intelligence agencies will be able to search directly through raw repositories of communications intercepted by the N.S.A. and then apply such rules for “minimizing” privacy intrusions.

This is essentially a land mine placed in the path of the Trump Administration by the Obama Administration. If I told you how angry I was about this, this blog would no longer be family-friendly.  I hope Americans can put partisan politics aside and realize how damaging this is to the country and to the Fourth Amendment rights of all Americans. Former President Obama has gone out of his way to make things difficult for President Trump. This is not appropriate. It is petty, vindictive and unpatriotic. If laws were not broken, there cannot be a legal penalty, but there should be a public censure of some sort. I have always felt that former President Obama did not understand America. His actions in the last months of his presidency and his actions since leaving office have convinced me that is true.

How An Open Border Effects You If You Live In North Carolina

Border security under former President Obama was something of a joke. Border patrol agents were simply not allowed to do their job. Certain areas of America were marked with signs indicating it was dangerous to go there because drug cartels were using those areas to conduct business (inside America). Well, there is a new sheriff in town, but he sure has a lot to clean up.

On February 7th, Judicial Watch posted an article about the reach of Mexican drug cartels into America. It’s not good news.

The article reports:

Illustrating that the Mexican drug crisis is having a far-reaching impact on the U.S., a heroin ring operated by a Mexican cartel was recently busted in an American suburb more than 1,500 miles from the southern border. In the last few years Judicial Watch has reported extensively on the massive amounts of drugs—especially heroin—that get smuggled into the U.S. by Mexican traffickers who later use street, prison and outlaw motorcycle gangs to distribute them throughout the country. Undoubtedly, these enterprises benefitted tremendously from the Obama administration’s open border policies.

Now we have confirmation that these illicit drug operations have penetrated areas far from the border. This case comes out of Rowan County, North Carolina where a local news report reveals that authorities began targeting large-scale heroin distribution in 2013. Last week three people with ties to a Mexican drug cartel were arrested in the county. Large quantities of heroin, handguns, a rifle, ammunition, numerous telephones, cash and drug paraphernalia was confiscated by police. Authorities say the Mexican heroin trafficking ring was based in the Charlotte-Matthews area and has been supplying heroin to Rowan County for more than a decade. “Over the past two months, investigators purchased large amounts of heroin from two people working for this Mexican National Drug Trafficking Organization,” the news report states.

Rowan County is near Charlotte, North Carolina.

The article further reports:

A big part of the problem is that the drug trafficking is being leveraged by corrupt public officials in the U.S., a years-long Judicial Watch investigation has found. Undoubtedly, cartel violence is real but truckloads of drugs are getting across the country because U.S. officials at the municipal, state and federal level are turning a blind eye or actively participating and cooperating with cartels. As part of an ongoing probe, Judicial Watch has provided the Department of Justice (DOJ) Inspector General and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley with evidence, including the sworn testimony of law enforcement officers, of this corruption and criminality in all levels of government. Learn more about Judicial Watch’s probe here.

Hopefully the new sheriff in town can put an end to this activity. However, when you realize how pervasive the corruption is, you begin to understand some of the opposition to President Trump. There is a lot of money tied up in the drug trade that does not want the new sheriff to interfere with that money. Our future as a nation is at stake–it is time to get control of our borders.

Cutting The Cost Of Government

From The American Action Forum:

The chart below tracks the progress of regulatory modernization during the Trump Administration. Every CRA measured signed into law and all rulemakings that reduce paperwork hours or costs will be available below (and updated weekly). This reflects data from 2017 onward and all figures are from benefit-costs analyses provided by federal agencies, available at RegRodeo.com. To date, Congress and the administration have saved $2.8 billion and 41 million hours of paperwork.

 

The above chart is the reason the American people elected Donald Trump as President. It is also the reason that those in the bureaucracy so strongly oppose him.

 

Something To Consider

I am getting tired of the Michael Flynn controversy, and I suspect you are too, but there are some aspects of this incident that need to be considered. There are two stories that I think contain important information.

The first story is from The Week, a magazine not known for its conservative leanings.

Some highlights from that story:

In a liberal democracy, how things happen is often as important as what happens. Procedures matter. So do rules and public accountability. The chaotic, dysfunctional Trump White House is placing the entire system under enormous strain. That’s bad. But the answer isn’t to counter it with equally irregular acts of sabotage — or with a disinformation campaign waged by nameless civil servants toiling away in the surveillance state.

As Eli Lake of Bloomberg News put it in an important article following Flynn’s resignation,

Normally intercepts of U.S. officials and citizens are some of the most tightly held government secrets. This is for good reason. Selectively disclosing details of private conversations monitored by the FBI or NSA gives the permanent state the power to destroy reputations from the cloak of anonymity. This is what police states do. [Bloomberg]

Those cheering the deep state torpedoing of Flynn are saying, in effect, that a police state is perfectly fine so long as it helps to bring down Trump.

It is the role of Congress to investigate the president and those who work for him. If Congress resists doing its duty, out of a mixture of self-interest and cowardice, the American people have no choice but to try and hold the government’s feet to the fire, demanding action with phone calls, protests, and, ultimately, votes. That is a democratic response to the failure of democracy.

John Podhoretz, also not a supporter of Michael Flynn,  posted an article at The New York Post.

He stated the following:

This information might have come because the US intelligence community has an active interest in the Russian official to whom he talked.

Or it could have come because the FBI had been pursuing some sort of secret investigation and had received authorization to monitor and track his calls and discussions.

If this was intelligence, the revelation of the Flynn meeting just revealed something to the Russians we shouldn’t want revealed — which is that we were listening in on them and doing so effectively.

And if it was an FBI investigation, then the iron principle of law enforcement — that evidence gathered in the course of an investigation must be kept secret to protect the rights of the American being investigated — was just put through a shredder.

Keeping our intelligence-gathering assets hidden from those upon whom we are spying is a key element of our national security.

And as for playing fast and loose with confidential information on American citizens: No joke, people — if they can do it to Mike Flynn, they can do it to you.

The danger in this situation is not whatever relationship Michael Flynn has or had with Russia; the danger is the means that the opponents of Donald Trump will use to take down one of his appointments.

We know that former President Obama has organized a nonprofit group called Organizing for Action (OFA) for the purpose of ‘protecting the Obama legacy from President Trump.’ Aside from the fact that this is highly unusual, it is simply classless. This group may or may not be involved in what happened to Michael Flynn, but I suspect that they have a few contacts within government that they might have encouraged along the way. OFA also has a press secretary and the ear of the major media. OFA also has an office paid for with taxpayer dollars because Barack Obama is a former President. The taxpayers are paying to undermine their own government!

Be prepared for more media attacks on members of the Trump Administration.

 

 

This Might Be One Reason Infrastructure Projects In Massachusetts Cost So Much

Boston CBS Local posted an article yesterday about a perk that some state employees receive. It’s okay for a job to have perks, but somehow this perk was unknown to the general public and hidden under layers of accounting.

The article reports:

For possibly more than 30 years, some managers at the MBTA have enjoyed a perk that’s been hidden from the public: Unmarked take-home cars that are owned by construction companies.

The I-Team discovered the cost to taxpayers is almost impossible to determine because the vehicles have been buried in the overall price of multi-million dollar projects.

Now, leaders at the cash-strapped agency say the secret car program is coming to a screeching halt. Less than a week after the I-Team started asking questions, the MBTA returned all 23 vehicles to construction companies.

…Gas, insurance and maintenance costs were all covered by the contractor, while the MBTA picked up the tab for the $625 monthly parking pass at a private downtown garage.

…MBTA General Manager Brian Shortsleeve told the I-Team the contractor-owned vehicles are another example of trying to change “decades of mismanagement” at the agency.

He pointed to other recent examples like privatizing operations at the MBTA’s “money room,” and eliminating hundreds of unused cell phones from the budget.

In the case of the take-home vehicles, Shortsleeve said the program raised immediate concerns when he heard about it.

It will be interesting to revisit this issue in about six months and see if anything has been done about it.

When You Pump Raw Sewage Into Your Home Every Night, Eventually Your House Will Smell

This morning I was watching one of the major network news shows. They had a segment about an upcoming show about a transgender child’s fight to use the school bathroom of his/her choice. While I understand that this child might feel ostracized by having to go to a special bathroom that was inconvenient, I want to consider what else is going on here.

The interview was slanted to make the child a very sympathetic character. Anyone who was not sympathetic to the problem faced by this child because he had to walk down an extra hallway to get to his/her bathroom was seen as unfeeling. I believe the child was a girl transitioning to a boy and wanted to use the boys’ restroom. The purpose of this show is to make parents and students comfortable with the idea of a biological girl using the boys’ room. As a parent or a student, are you comfortable with that? I understand the dilemma if the child is truly transgender (that is another wholly separate discussion), but what about the child who simply wants to use the other bathroom and tells the teacher (or whoever) that he (or she) is transgender when he/she is not? Are we putting our school students at risk here? Is it an unnecessary risk?

Television has been used to impact the culture since it arrived. There have been some positive influences and there have been some fun influences, but the majority of television’s network programming undermines the basic foundations of our society. The news on the major news channels is no long objective and is aimed at promoting a specific point of view. The mainstream networks no longer report news–they tell us what to think and what to be outraged about.

We are at a crossroads. It is interesting that a few people in Hollywood have realized that filth does not sell as well as good things and are making family movies again. However, television has not yet gotten the message. When you look at the ratings of MSNBC, you wonder why they are still on the air. The answer is simple–someone is paying their way because they are supporting a definite political viewpoint that their supporters want put forth. All of us need to be very careful what we let come into our house–both in terms of people and in terms of entertainment. We are in danger of losing our values and thus our way of life.

Gentlemen, This Is A Football

Legendary Green Bay Packers coach Vince Lombardi was known for beginning the first team meeting of the preseason by stating, “Gentlemen, this is a football.” The Green Bay Packers were the team to beat in the 1960’s, winning the first two Super Bowls. Vince Lombardi was their coach during this time. Many of the players at those initial team meetings had already won Super Bowls. So what is the point of the statement, “Gentlemen, this is a football?” Simple, there comes a time (quite often) when you simply have to get back to basics.

The news story of the day is the resignation of General Flynn. The bottom line on the story is that the General was not totally truthful in his statements to Vice-President Pence about his contacts with Russia. The contacts with Russia may not actually be a serious problem, but if you want to be part of an administration, it’s not a good idea to lie to those in charge. However, there is much more to the story.

Those of us who want more honesty in government may not be too upset by this resignation. General Flynn is a good man who made a mistake. Unfortunately that mistake cost him his job.

Yesterday, Paul Mirengoff at Power Line posted an article about the kerfuffle that reminds us of some of the elements surrounding the story.

These are some of the observations in the article:

Thus, I agree with David Goldman that even if reports of the conversation are true, Trump need not remove Flynn over it. (Goldman, by the way, sees the attack on Flynn as part of a CIA vendetta against the retired general).

Misleading Mike Pence, if that’s what Flynn did, is another matter. Obviously, the president and the vice president should be able to count on the national security adviser for honest reports about his conversations with foreign ambassadors (and about all other matters). If Flynn was not honest, that’s a problem.

…ONE MORE THING: It’s clear from the Post’s (Washington Post) report that Sally Yates and the others discovered that the Russians conceivably could blackmail Flynn by listening to a recording of the Russian ambassador’s phone call with Flynn. That’s how they learned Russia could show Flynn might have misled Pence about what was said during the call.

Thus, the Post has reported that the U.S. is tapping the Russian ambassador’s phone. Now, maybe the Russians already know, or assume, this. On the other hand, it may be that the Post has harmed U.S. intelligence gathering capability by running its breathless “blackmail” story.

One final thought. Remember that those of us who want President Trump to drain the swamp are not playing on a level playing field. The political left and their allies in the press are working very hard to undermine President Trump. You could probably also include many career government workers in that category. So what is going on here is not simply the resignation of someone who was less than truthful in his dealings with his boss. The political left will celebrate this as a victory because they caused the removal of General Flynn. We need to be very careful that this does not become a pattern. Also, anyone in the Trump Administration needs to realize that they have to be one hundred percent above board in their actions or the press will destroy them. This is not the Obama Administration where obvious violations of civil rights laws and other laws was overlooked by the press. Under a Republican Administration, the press will suddenly rediscover its role as watchdog.

It’s Time To Get Rid Of A Bad Idea

On Friday, Investor’s Business Daily posted an article about plans by Republicans to redo some of the reforms put in place after the 2008 housing bubble crash.

The article reminds us of the lies that were told in order to create the Dodd-Frank reforms and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

The article reports:

One of the great follies of the 2010 Dodd-Frank reforms is that it let Democrats pretend that “Wall Street greed” was to blame for the financial crisis. In a brilliant bit of jujitsu, Democrats used that false narrative to create a mass of new regulations — and a new super-regulator, the CFPB, giving it sweeping, near-dictatorial and likely unconstitutional regulatory control over nearly all lending in the U.S., from major mortgage lenders to payday lending shops.

It was created under false pretenses. The fact is, government, not Wall Street, was to blame for the crisis. Research by Edward Pinto, former executive vice president and chief credit officer for Fannie Mae, found that by 2008 more than half of all mortgages in the U.S. were subprime or otherwise risky, and 76% of those were on government agencies’ books. And it is an indisputable fact that, from the Clinton administration on, government regulations required banks to lend to uncreditworthy borrowers, or face stiff penalties.

“This leaves no doubt that government housing policies — and not a lack of regulation — created the demand for these risky mortgages,” wrote American Enterprise Institute Senior Fellow Peter Wallison, who sat on the government’s 2009 Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, the official investigation into the crisis.

The article reminds us that since the creation of the CFPB in 2010, there has been a near-decade long credit slump which has crippled the nation’s financial industry. Both Dodd-Frank and the CFPB have severely hurt economic growth in America.

The article concludes:

We’re happy to see that Congress wants to seriously reform the CFPB. We’d be even happier if they just got rid of it.

That is a wonderful idea.

For an honest history of the housing bubble, I strongly recommend this video:

 

Is This Really Necessary?

On Saturday, The Washington Free Beacon posted an article about the confirmation hearings for President Trump’s cabinet.

The article reports:

Trump has now been president for a full three weeks, and the number of approved members in his cabinet stands at seven—a number that was boosted by three contested confirmations last week that were opposed by almost the entire Democratic caucus.

Senate Democrats, vowing to use “everything” they can to stop Trump‘s nominees, have used procedural tricks like boycotting committee meetings to slow the confirmation process to a historically slow pace.

Recent administrations have had many more nominees approved at the three-week mark. Barack Obama had 12 out of 15 nominees approved, George W. Bush had his entire cabinet approved, and Bill Clinton had all but one approved in less than a day.

For most of history, approving cabinet nominees has been a non-issue. Presidents John Kennedy, Richard Nixon, and Jimmy Carter had their entire cabinet approved in the first days of their presidency—a brisk pace that has been the norm for most of U.S. history.

As noted by historian Robert David Johnson, the only confirmation process at all comparable to the current situation was that of President George H.W. Bush, and even he had 10 of his 14 nominees confirmed by the three-week mark.

The article reminds us that in the case of President H.W. Bush, the Democrats controlled the Senate and had the power to stop his cabinet choices. The Republicans currently control the Senate, and even then the Democrats are successful at slow-walking President Trump’s cabinet choices. Odds are that all cabinet members will eventually be confirmed. It doesn’t make sense to obstruct, and obstruction may have a political price.

The article further reports:

The continuing obstruction of even uncontroversial cabinet choices is being driven by demands from the liberal base of the Democratic Party, which is demanding that Democratic lawmakers not cooperate with Trump on anything.

“Democrats, pushed by their base, are under pressure to not cooperate with the new president—on anything,” wrote the Wall Street Journal following reports that Democrats boycotted committee hearings for multiple nominees.

“Gone are the concerns about appearing overly obstructionist,” Politico reported. “Officeholders are now chasing a base that will not tolerate any sign of accommodation.”

The White House has complained that Democrats are “working overtime” to stop the administration from putting qualified nominees in place at agencies.

The Partnership for Public Progress, a nonpartisan group that promotes public service, has said the slow pace of confirmations is damaging the country.

“They are running the most important organization on the planet, and they don’t have their team on the field,” said the organizations CEO. “They don’t have their critical people in place and that’s vital to being able to do their jobs appropriately.”

This is ridiculous. I am waiting for the Democrats who are slowing the confirmation process to start complaining that the Trump Administration isn’t doing anything. Meanwhile, the Democrats are planning on obstructing anything that is attempted. This is not what the American people signed up for. We want a government that gets things done. We want a government that will do what is needed to restart the economy. We want a government that will get out of health insurance and let the free market work. Simply stated, we want a government that will let us live our lives. This obstructionism is not appreciated by anyone except the extreme left, and candidates running for re-election need votes from all groups of voters. The current actions of the Senate Democrats may please the base, but we will see in 2018 if they actually helped the party or hurt the party.