The Question Of The Day

Theoretically the purpose of the nationwide lock-down was to insure that the healthcare infrastructure was not overwhelmed by the demand for hospital beds and respirators. Okay. That makes sense. As the coronavirus has continued to work its way through the nation, we have seen American ingenuity come to the forefront with additional hospital beds and respirators discovered or invented to meet the need. We have also seen that  the actual case load is only a fraction of what the ‘experts’ warned us about. Some of that is due to staying home, but some of that is due to estimates that were totally inaccurate. Now it is time to assess the damage the lock-down has done to America’s economy and search for a balance between the health and economic well-being of Americans.

The American Thinker posted an article today titled, “When Should Trump Restart the Economy?” That is definitely the question of the day.

The article reports:

As the world shudders into Easter and the death toll on the China virus continues to rise, the question is: should we quarantine or should we restart the economy before the shutdown kills us?

Or, more exactly, when should President Trump brave the sneers of the White House press corpse and proclaim that America is Back?

The answer, I think, is pretty clear. It will be midway between the point where only crazed libertarians propose a return to work and the point where Nancy Pelosi would announce that she is appointing a House Select Committee to investigate Trump’s criminal delay in restarting the economy.

In other words, effective political leadership is tricky.

The article notes how the media will treat any decision the President makes:

My prediction is that President Trump will issue a back-to-work order about two weeks before the geniuses in the media and left-wing hate groups catch up to reality. There will be two weeks where all the usual suspects are telling us that the walls are closing in on Trump. A couple of Inspectors General will change the rules on whistleblowers and leak to their favorite House committees which will start super-secret investigations in the House basement.

Then it will become evident to all that Trump made the right decision. However, he did it the wrong way.

Whatever the President does, he will be criticized in the press. He might as well do what he thinks is right and take the heat (as he has done all along). Frankly I am very grateful to have a businessman in the White House right now instead of a politician. Businessmen solve problems–politicians extend problems so that they can be re-elected.

Please follow the link above and read the entire article. It makes a lot of sense.

The Silver Lining?

I’m not ready to say that there is a silver lining to the coronavirus, but I will admit that there are lessons we can learn from it. The American Thinker posted an article today listing some of the lessons that can be learned from our experience with the coronavirus.

The article notes:

Businesses now see that their precious supply chains and just-in-time inventory models are laden with risk.  Also, the American public and even our brain-dead political class are now aware of the folly of being dependent on China for so much of our essential goods, especially prescription medicines and health care products.  Both these factors will accelerate the relocation of U.S. businesses out of communist China….

In January, President Trump restricted people coming in from China.  He was called this and that for that action, but now it can be seen that the president was both prudent and foresighted.  That is what leadership looks like.  Europe currently has a greater problem with the Wuhan Virus because it did not act in a similar fashion.  The Democrats and media will never give Trump credit for this, but the average person sees it, thus discrediting both the media and Democrats even more.  Plus it drives home the point once again that borders are vital to a nation’s security and well-being.

And speaking of the Europeans, they are in high dudgeon because on Thursday night, President Trump announced that the United States will suspend travel from 26 European countries into the U.S. for the next 30 days starting Friday, March 13.  Europe is complaining that it wasn’t consulted on the travel ban ahead of time.  But to consult with the Europeans would be to give them an opportunity to delay the ban when time is of the essence — or, even worse, to undermine it.  

I guess some lessons have to be learned the hard way.

An Interesting Take On Impeachment

The American Thinker posted an article today about the next step in the impeachment process.

The article notes:

The latest reporting I’ve seen is that the Senate will take up President Trump’s impeachment trial this week.  What’s wrong with that, you ask?  I’ve already said what’s wrong: the Schiff-Nadler Star Chamber violated President Trump’s Fifth Amendment rights to procedural due process, rendering the resulting impeachment articles null and void as “poisoned fruit.”  The GOP leadership should do what the Founders would have done: challenge the legal legitimacy of the impeachment articles.  The logic blueprint I will present below — Mr. Jefferson knew logic — will help make the case in court.

As we know, protecting the rights of the accused is of fundamental importance in a just legal system and is a key motivation behind the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution, which asserts that “[no person shall] be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law.”  The Supreme Court has interpreted due process broadly to include:

    • procedural due process rights,
    • substantive due process rights, and
    • prohibition against vague laws
    • as the vehicle for the incorporation of the Bill of Rights.

Of concern here are only procedural due process rights (PDPRs), which include:

    1. An unbiased tribunal.
    2. Notice of the proposed action and the grounds asserted for it.
    3. The opportunity to present reasons for the proposed action not to be taken.
    4. The right to present evidence, including the right to call witnesses.
    5. The right to know the opposing evidence.
    6. The right to cross-examine adverse witnesses.
    7. A decision based only on the evidence presented.
    8. Opportunity to be represented by counsel.
    9. A requirement that the tribunal prepare a record of the evidence presented.
    10. A requirement that the tribunal prepare written findings of fact and the reasons for its decision.

I can sum this up with one question, “If you were on trial would you be happy to have the same rights as a defendant that President Trump was given by the House of Representatives?”

If the God-given rights that are supposed to be guaranteed by our Constitution matter, the impeachment case put together by the House of Representatives needs to be thrown out for not respecting those rights.

When The Government Gets Involved, The Incentive For Innovation Goes Down

Yesterday The American Thinker posted an article about the Crescent Dunes thermal solar plant in central Nevada. The thermal solar plant has failed.

The article reports:

Crescent Dunes was a serious project designed to attack the great weakness of solar electricity.  Sunshine is strongest in the middle of the day, but demand for electricity peaks at the end of the day and in the early evening.  This is especially true during the Las Vegas summer, when air-conditioners are running full blast as temperatures soar well past 100 degrees in the late afternoon.

A method of storing plentiful midday solar electricity so it can be utilized in the evening was needed.  Otherwise, solar would hit a ceiling at far less than 50%.  One method is to use batteries.  That is wildly expensive and quite dangerous as the flammable batteries store vast quantities of energy.  That’s not stopping the Gemini project, scheduled for a site north of Las Vegas.  The Gemini solar project will have a $500-million battery system that stores as much energy as 5 million sticks of dynamite (1,400 megawatt-hours).  There have been dozens of fires at similar installations around the world.

The Crescent Dunes project stores energy in the form of molten salts.  During the day, sunshine is concentrated by motorized mirrors aiming beams of sunlight at a central tower, where the liquid salts are heated to a high temperature.  The hot salts are stored in a large tank.  When power is need in the early evening, heat is taken from the tank to make steam and drive a turbine-generator to make electricity.  Crescent Dunes was plagued by leaks in the salt tank, forcing it to close for months at a time.  By contract, the electricity was sold to NV Energy for $135 per megawatt-hour, or about six times as much as it would cost to generate the same amount of electricity in existing natural gas plants.

Crescent Dunes is eligible for the usual government subsidies amounting to around 75% of the construction cost.  It was granted a $700-million government loan guarantee on the ground that it was pioneering, experimental technology, which it was and is.  That problems emerged is not surprising.  That happens to pioneers.  But the not unexpected failures at Crescent Dunes besmirch the propaganda that solar energy is the wave of the future.  Thus, it is necessary to kill Crescent Dunes for the spurious reason that it is obsolete technology.  Like all utility solar, it is useless, but it was an honest attempt to fix the severe problem that solar doesn’t work well late in the day, and not at all after the sun sets.

If green energy were allowed to emerge on its own in a free market, we might have actually solved some of the problems associated with it by now. However, when you introduce government subsidies into the free market, you lessen the drive to innovate. Useful inventions make money for their inventors. That provides incentive to create new ways of dealing with problems. When the government gets involved, those incentives are gone (at taxpayers’ expense).

Some Perspective From A Former FBI Agent

Sometimes the people who have done a job are the most qualified to analyze how a job was done. Frank Watt, a former FBI Agent, posted an article at The American Thinker today about the surveillance of Carter Page. The title of the article is, “Two Possibilities in Trump Wiretapping, and Neither Is Good.”

Mr. Watt reminds us that because the surveillance of an American citizen violates that citizen’s Fourth Amendment rights, there has to be proven justification for that surveillance. We know that was not the case with Carter Page, in fact, some things were left out of the application for surveillance that would have immediately called into question the need for surveillance.

The article notes:

Based on what we are told by the I.G., there are only two possible conclusions that can be reached regarding the official conduct of those responsible for infringing on Carter Pages Constitutional freedoms: 

The first is that the hand selected team of investigators, attorneys, and Senior Executive Service officials with decades of law enforcement, administrative, and judicial experience were abject failures at a task that they were hired to perform. Speaking from personal experience, in FBI, DEA, and state and local wire tap investigations, the slightest omissions, misstatements, and clerical errors are routinely identified and corrected by the street agents and line prosecutors who do these investigations for a living. To believe that a “varsity level” team, with unlimited time, support, and resources, somehow inadvertently overlooked seventeen major omissions, misstatements, and/or outright falsehoods, is simply not believable. 

The second possibility is that nearly everyone who significantly participated in obtaining FISA coverage on Page knowingly and deliberately operated outside the law to one degree or another. The reasons behind the decision to do so are irrelevant. The particulars regarding the seventeen I.G. findings are startling, taken individually. It’s difficult to see how any of the individual omissions or misstatements could have happened accidentally. Viewed collectively, the apparent intentionality is nearly impossible to reconcile as anything but corruption. 

In light of the I.G findings, the presiding FISA court judge seems to have come down on the side of intentional abuse. In a recent court order, Judge Rosemary Collyer gave the FBI until January 10 to explain to the court why the FBI should be allowed to continue to utilize FISA. The statement that the FBI “withheld material information” and that “FBI personnel misled NSD” suggests that the judge isn’t buying the “series of unfortunate events” excuse peddled by prominent figures in defense of the indefensible. 

The article concludes:

Whichever explanation seems more likely, the end result should be infuriating to every American. Either your nations premiere law enforcement agency was breathtakingly incompetent when the stakes were the highest, or select officials in that organization made deliberate decisions to break the law, undermine the Constitution, and illegally spy on a fellow American. Either possibility has deeply damaged the reputation of the FBI and DOJ in addition to the reputations of thousands of honest FBI Agents and DOJ attorneys. Despite the legitimate concerns of civil libertarians, the FISA process has indisputably proved an invaluable resource in safeguarding the country from terrorism. If the heinous abuses documented in the I.G.s report result in a weakening or loss of FISA, we will all be the worse for it. If those responsible are not held to account, this will happen again. There is no happy face to put on this episode. 

It is time for those guilty of corruption to be tried and held accountable for their actions.

Sometimes It’s The Little Things That Matter

President Trump has given us back the freedom to choose our light bulbs. American Thinker posted an article today stating:

Score another million votes for President Trump in the coming 2020 election.

The president has gotten rid of a despicable little micromanaging regulation left over from the Obama era, restoring the citizens’ right to buy the light bulbs that fit their preferences and needs. According to The Hill:

“Today the Trump Administration chose to protect consumer choice by ensuring that the American people do not pay the price for unnecessary overregulation from the federal government,” Brouillette said in a statement. “Innovation and technology are already driving progress, increasing the efficiency and affordability of light bulbs, without federal government intervention. The American people will continue to have a choice on how they light their homes.”

Blocking the standards flies in the face of congressional intent, critics say, citing a 2007 act signed into law by President George W. Bush that requires all everyday bulbs to use 65 percent less energy than regular incandescent bulbs, which currently constitute about half of the bulb market.

Where in the Constitution does it give the government power to tell us what kind of light bulbs we can buy?

The article continues:

Way back in 2011, when the Bush-era nanny-state measure was first enacted, Virginia Postrel, then at Bloomberg (she might still be) wrote this brilliant piece on how stupid and immoral the whole thing was. She began:

If you want to know why so many Americans feel alienated from their government, you need only go to Target and check out the light bulb aisle. Instead of the cheap commodities of yesteryear, you’ll find what looks like evidence of a flourishing, technology-driven economy.

There are “ultrasoft” bulbs promising “softer soft white longer life” light, domed halogens for “bright crisp light” and row upon row of Energy Smart bulbs — some curled in the by-now-familiar compact fluorescent form, some with translucent shells that reveal only hints of the twisting tubes within.

I can’t get the whole thing on Outline, but here was her money-quote:

… the activists offended by the public’s presumed wastefulness took a more direct approach. They joined forces with the big bulb producers, who had an interest in replacing low-margin commodities with high-margin specialty wares, and, with help from Congress and President George W. Bush, banned the bulbs people prefer.

It was an inside job. Neither ordinary consumers nor even organized interior designers had a say. Lawmakers buried the ban in the 300-plus pages of the 2007 energy bill, and very few talked about it in public. It was crony capitalism with a touch of green.

Now we have our freedom to choose light bulbs back. Let’s see how many other freedoms we can reclaim!

Why Is It Always The Same People?

Inspector General Michael Horowitz stated in his report that he believed that there was no political bias involved in the surveillance of Carter Page and the Trump campaign. I guess he never read the emails that went between Peter Strzok and Lisa Page–particularly the one about an ‘insurance policy’ if Donald Trump became President. Wow. But there is another interesting character related to the Inspector General’s Report.

American Thinker posted an article today about Bruce Swartz. Who is Bruce Swartz?

The article reports:

The Inspector General’s Report from the Department of Justice (DOJ) features a heretofore unheralded costar by the name of Bruce Swartz, the assistant attorney general in the Criminal Division. Swartz was also the supervisor of the feckless Bruce Ohr, husband of Fusion GPS contractor Nellie Ohr and frequent breakfast buddy of Christopher Steele of Steele dossier fame.

Unreported by Inspector General Michael Horowitz, however, was Swartz’s starring role in another DoJ drama some 15 years earlier. Given the scant media attention the case received in 2004-2005, it is possible Horowitz did not even know about Swartz’s yeoman effort to save Clinton National Security Advisor Sandy Berger from a lengthy sojourn in a federal Supermax.

“We did not find documentary or testimonial evidence that political bias or improper motivation influenced the decisions to open the four individual investigations,” reported Horowitz. Had the IG been able to compare Swartz’s protection of Berger to his pursuit of one-time Trump adviser Paul Manafort, the evidence would have kicked him in the teeth.

As Swartz himself acknowledged, he had a Javert-like zeal to bring Manafort to justice. “Ohr and Swartz both told us that they felt an urgency to move the Manafort investigation forward,” reported Horowitz,  “because of Trump’s election and a concern that the new administration would shut the investigation down.” This urgency translated into frequent semi-covert meetings with the FBI lovebirds Peter Strzok and Lisa Page. Strzok told the IG that Swartz wanted him to “kick that [investigation] in the ass and get it moving.”

Swartz continued to “weigh in” on the Manafort investigation even though it was clearly outside his jurisdiction. In December 2016, concerned that the DoJ’s money laundering division (MLARS) was not moving fast enough against Manafort, Swartz brought colleague Andrew Weissman into the act.

The article continues:

Swartz is the textbook swamp dweller. From all appearances, no matter who sits in the attorney general’s chair, these seemingly respectable subversives protect the progressive deep state and punish those who would threaten it. Supplied leads by a complicit media and shielded by that same media from exposure, people like Swartz have been perverting justice for decades.

If proof were needed, Swartz and his boys recommended a $10,000 fine for Berger and three-year loss of security clearance for a crime that would have put a Republican in prison for decades. Happily for the Deep State, Berger regained his clearance just in time to serve as a Hillary Clinton adviser in the 2008 campaign.

Manafort did not fare quite so well. He was indicted by a federal grand jury in a city that gave Donald Trump 4 percent of its vote. Then, to prevent President Trump from dangling a federal pardon, the New York friends of the Deep State prosecuted Manafort on state charges.

True, the Russia collusion fears that inspired the Manafort investigation were imaginary, but the federal and state charges are very real. Manafort has descended into a Kafkaesque legal hell from which the 70-year-old will likely not emerge alive.

Until the swamp is fully drained, we will not have equal justice under the law.

Time For A Flip

Yesterday Legal Insurrection posted an article about the criminal investigation into Spygate.

The article notes:

When Barr appointed John Durham to handle the investigation, later in May, the finger-pointing among those involved in investigating Trump started, leading to the the pressing question was Who’s going to cut a deal first in Spygate?

The drama between Brennan and Comey is just the surface. The Durham investigation could reach out of the FBI-CIA up through the Obama administration, including then Attorney General Loretta Lynch and the White House itself.

There is the potential for a lot of finger pointing, as Karie Pavlich tweeted:

The Comey vs Brennan vs Clapper vs Lynch vs Obama show is going to be awesome

https://twitter.com/KatiePavlich/status/1128438654781808641

Since the NY Times reported that the Durham investigation is a criminal investigation, that is the question again.

The stakes are so much higher for those involved. Whoever cuts a deal first could be spared prosecution or prison. So someone is likely to sing, and that someone likely is a mid-level person in the FBI who was disgusted with what happened but close enough to it that the person is at risk.

The question in the article is, “Who is going to be the first to flip?”

An article posted in The American Thinker today may provide a clue. The title of the article is, “Andrew McCabe withdraws his lawsuit against the Department of Justice.”

The article at The American Thinker notes:

Here’s the interesting question: Did he dismiss it because concluded it’s a loser, especially in light of anticipated indictment — or did he(his attorneys) conclude his suit waived his 5th Amendment rights?  By dismissal with consent, without prejudice, does that waiver go away? If so, it might mean he expects to be indicted.

Mark Levin last night said he’d been offered plea deal — and turned it down.  So makes sense to dismiss suit to preserve waiver, which I suspect dismissal in this fashion likely does[.]

I realize we have wandered into the weeds here, but the big picture is simple–there are some people who are not willing to go to jail simply for following orders. Those people will make a plea deal to save their own skins and thus implicate the people giving the orders. I suspect there are more than a few high ranking people in the intelligence community who are not sleeping well right now. Their dream of having Hillary Clinton elected and all of their misdeeds buried for good has obviously not come true.

Avoiding The Obvious For Political Reasons

Hillary Clinton and her daughter, Chelsea, have written a book called The Book of Gutsy Women. There are more than a hundred women included in the book. The book includes such people as Madame Curie, Anne Frank, Helen Keller, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Florence Nightingale. Included also are Ellen DeGeneres and Billie Jean King. Actually there are a lot of good choices in terms of who is included in the book. More telling, however, is who is not.

On Thursday, The American Thinker posted an article titled, “Five ‘Gutsy Women’ Who Didn’t Make it into Hillary Clinton’s Book.” Those five women are Margaret Thatcher, Clare Boothe Luce, Ayn Rand, Laura Ingalls Wilder, and Phyllis Schlafly.

The article notes:

To be “gutsy,” according to the Clintons, is “about never giving up — and working to pave the way for the next generation.”

With that in mind, here are the profiles of five gutsy women who didn’t make the list because they don’t fit Hillary’s politically correct narrative.

Please follow the link above to read the entire article. The women conveniently left out were significant trailblazers. It’s a shame that Mrs. Clinton and her daughter choose not to recognize accomplishment when it doesn’t fit their political agenda.

Changing And Omitting Numbers To Get The Results You Want

The American Thinker posted an article today about how some of the conclusions on the Canadian global warming model were reached. Anyone who has ever taken at least one science class would be horrified.

The article reports:

Environment Canada, led by Justin Trudeau-appointed Environment Minister Catherine McKenna, is all-in on the hypothesis that manmade global warming is an existential threat to humanity. It is so important to hand control of energy use to the government that mere actual, historical data that might raise doubt about the extent of purported warming over time must be thrown out and replaced by “models” of what the “scientists” think the historical temperature record must have been.

In other words, the computer models Canada uses to measure and project “global warming” are themselves based on other computer models.  The expression “Garbage in / garbage out” refers to the vulnerability of all computer models to poor quality data used as the basis of their calculations.  The raises the awkward question of the quality of the models used in place of actual historical data. And it raises the question of why this scrapping of actual data and substituting of guesses (aka, models) was not made clear from the outset.

If the numbers don’t add up to the conclusion you want, make up your own numbers.

The article continues:

Ottawa-based Blacklock’s Reporter notes that in many cases the data that were scrapped indicated higher temperatures in the past:

For example, Vancouver had a higher record temperature in 1910 (30.6C) than in 2017 (29.5C).

Toronto had a warmer summer in 1852 (32.2C) than in 2017 (31.7C).

The highest temperature in Moncton in 2017 was four degrees cooler than in 1906.

Brandon, Man., had 49 days where the average daily temperature was above 20C in 1936, compared to only 16 in 2017, with a high temperature of 43.3C that year compared to 34.3C in 2017.

So what is this about?

An Investor’s Business Daily article posted on February 10, 2015 states the following:

Economic Systems: The alarmists keep telling us their concern about global warming is all about man’s stewardship of the environment. But we know that’s not true. A United Nations official has now confirmed this.

At a news conference last week in Brussels, Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of U.N.’s Framework Convention on Climate Change, admitted that the goal of environmental activists is not to save the world from ecological calamity but to destroy capitalism.

“This is the first time in the history of mankind that we are setting ourselves the task of intentionally, within a defined period of time, to change the economic development model that has been reigning for at least 150 years, since the Industrial Revolution,” she said.

Referring to a new international treaty environmentalists hope will be adopted at the Paris climate change conference later this year, she added: “This is probably the most difficult task we have ever given ourselves, which is to intentionally transform the economic development model for the first time in human history.”

The climate is an excuse, the goal is world-wide government where the average person will be subject to the whims of the elite.

The Deep State Doesn’t Go Down Easily–In Any Country

The American Thinker posted an article today about Boris Johnson and his efforts to follow the will of the British voters and exit the European Union. Although I don’t fully understand the procedures involved in the British Parliament, I can see that there is a massive effort to block the exit the people of Britain voted for.

The article reports:

Yes, if thing stand as they do now, delays will go on into eternity, each deadline pushed back, and an exit from the European Union impossible.  The E.U. will notice this and just keep throwing up a wall of resistance to a deal to ensure that Britain stays, like it or not, or else keep moving the goalposts — into eternity.  When delays are endless, what an opportunity.  These useless satraps have nothing better to do, after all.  They like the pounds flowing in.  And such a coincidence: the parliamentary betrayal happened on the 80th anniversary of France and Germany declaring war on Britain.  Plus ça change…

What happened Tuesday certainly involves complicated parliamentary maneuvers, and the people writing of such disappointment do understand how these stakes work.

That said, it seems that the worst that can happen is that the country will be forced into a general election — very soon.  Johnson says that’s what he wants.  There’s actually reason to think Labor may just try to stop him.  But it’s likely he’ll succeed.

Advantage Boris.

After all, how was it that Johnson, instead of the eminently more reasonable-seeming Theresa May, ended up in his position?  He’s only there at all, and not too long ago, because of a powerful groundswell of public support for respecting the will of the majority on leaving the European Union.  Three years of dithering and delays by the inept May kowtowing to the wishes of the European Union and its endless delays is precisely why the Tories decided to take a chance on Boris, someone they rejected earlier as too wild and crazy.

The article concludes:

Johnson, meanwhile, is weathering the storm like a sea captain, tweeting his stance copiously, and coming up with excellent summations of what’s at stake. 

…He’s showing courage.  He’s not losing his nerve.  Voters will take note.  And while nothing is certain, it seems more than a little likely that with his gutsiness and steady hand, he will win this election, sweeping out the weaklings in his party, and then steam full speed ahead toward Brexit, which is what the British really voted for, deal or no deal.  The E.U. in such conditions, unlike now, is going to really, really, really want a deal.

I love the fact that he is using Twitter to bypass the media and speak directly to the people. That reminds me of another world leader. Please follow the link and read the entire article. Even though this is occurring in Britain, it matters to America. Boris Johnson is a leader with the courage to take on the deep state. We need more of that sort of leadership around the world.

How Red Flag Laws Can Be Misused

The American Thinker posted an article today about a move during the Obama administration to deny gun rights to veterans and senior citizens.

The article reports:

The Obama administration’s idea of keeping guns out of the hands of the mentally ill was based on a bizarre and discriminatory definition of who might be mentally unstable. In 2013 it was reported that the Veterans Administration was sending letters to vets warning them that they might be declared mentally incompetent and denied their Second Amendment rights unless they could prove otherwise:

The contempt by the Obama administration for our Constitution and our rights has reached a new low with news the Veterans Administration has begun sending letters to veterans telling them they will be declared mentally incompetent and stripped of the Second Amendment rights unless they can prove to unnamed bureaucrats to the contrary…

“A determination of incompetency will prohibit you from purchasing, possessing, receiving, or transporting a firearm or ammunition. If you knowingly violate any of these prohibitions, you may be fined, imprisoned, or both pursuant to the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, Pub.L.No. 103-159, as implemented at 18, United States Code 924(a)(2),” the letter reads…

While mental health is a factor in the current gun control debate and recent mass shootings in Newtown, Conn., and Aurora, Colo., and elsewhere have in common the questionable mental state of the shooters, to single out returning vets from Iraq and Afghanistan this way is unconscionable and unconstitutional.

As the Los Angeles Times has reported, the Obama administration would have liked like to make our Social Security records part of the background check system. The move would have stripped some four million Americans who receive payments though a “representative payee” of their gun rights. It would be the largest gun grab in U.S. history.

A potentially large group within Social Security are people who, in the language of federal gun laws, are unable to manage their own affairs due to “marked subnormal intelligence, or mental illness, incompetency, condition, or disease.”

There is no simple way to identify that group, but a strategy used by the Department of Veterans Affairs since the creation of the background check system is reporting anyone who has been declared incompetent to manage pension or disability payments and assigned a fiduciary.

The article concludes:

Keeping guns out of the hands of the truly mentally unstable is a worthy goal, but it should not be used as a cause for disarming veterans who carried a weapon in defense of their country or seniors who might need some assistance in paying their bills.

They deserve the presumption of innocence, and sanity, every bit as much as Vester Flanagan. Stripping away their Second Amendment rights in the name of mental health would be a gross injustice that would not make us safer, but would merely create millions of unarmed victims for the next shooter with an agenda.

We need to make sure that American citizens understand our Constitution and Bill of Rights. The Bill of Rights is there to limit the rights of government–not the rights of citizens. If we want to preserve our republic, we have to continue to fight to protect those rights our Founding Fathers codified in the Constitution and The Bill of Rights.

Still Rigging Primaries

Evidently the Democrat Presidential candidates are being winnowed down to fit on one debate stage. However, the winnowing process is about as fair as Bernie Sanders’ primary run in 2016.

The American Thinker posted an article today with their observations:

Iconoclastic Rep. Tulsi Gabbard did the unforgiveable in the eyes of the hidebound Democratic Party establishment: She knocked down one their favorites, Kamala Harris. 

…Now, through the miracle of rule-rigging, the Democratic establishment has maneuvered to exact a price from her: No appearance at the next Democratic debate. No more taking down the next favorite.

Yesterday Real Clear Politics posted an article about the exclusion of Representative Gabbard.

The article notes:

Tulsi Gabbard is on the verge of being excluded from the next Democratic presidential debate on the basis of criteria that appear increasingly absurd.

Take, for instance, her poll standing in New Hampshire, which currently places Gabbard at 3.3% support, according to the RealClearPolitics average as of Aug. 20. One might suspect that such a figure would merit inclusion in the upcoming debates — especially considering she’s ahead of several candidates who have already been granted entry, including Cory Booker, Amy Klobuchar, Beto O’Rourke, and Andrew Yang. But the Democratic National Committee has decreed that the polls constituting this average are not sufficiently “qualifying.”

The article at RealClear Politics continues:

The absurdity mounts. A South Carolina poll published Aug. 14 by the Post and Courier placed Gabbard at 2%. One might have again vainly assumed that the newspaper with the largest circulation in a critical early primary state would be an “approved” sponsor per the dictates of the DNC, but it is not. Curious.

To recap: Gabbard has polled at 2% or more in two polls sponsored by the two largest newspapers in two early primary states, but the DNC — through its mysteriously incoherent selection process — has determined that these surveys do not count toward her debate eligibility. Without these exclusions, Gabbard would have already qualified. She has polled at 2% or more in two polls officially deemed “qualifying,” and surpassed the 130,000 donor threshold on Aug. 2. While the latter metric would seem more indicative of “grassroots support” — a formerly obscure Hawaii congresswoman has managed to secure more than 160,000 individual contributions from all 50 states, according to the latest figures from her campaign — the DNC has declared that it will prioritize polling over donors. In polls with a sample size of just a few hundred people, this means excluding candidates based on what can literally amount to rounding errors: A poll that places a candidate at 1.4% could be considered non-qualifying, but a poll that places a candidate at 1.5% is considered qualifying. Pinning such massive decisions for the trajectory of a campaign on insignificant fractional differences seems wildly arbitrary.

In Animal Farm by George Orwell, the pigs proclaim, “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.” I think that is the way the Democrat party runs their presidential primary elections.

 

Sometimes You Just Need To Learn When To Get Off The Stage

The American Thinker posted an article today about presidential candidate Joe Biden that is somewhat troubling. All of us who have watched Vice-President Biden over the years understand that he often says things that are really not appropriate for someone in his position. The press has been very willing to overlook his gaffes, and there is no reason to believe that they will not continue to do so in the future. However, some of the gaffes are getting a bit concerning.

The article reports a recent statement by Vice-President Biden:

“…those kids in Parkland came up to see me when I was vice president.” But when they visited Capitol Hill to talk with members of Congress, lawmakers were “basically cowering, not wanting to see them. They did not want to face it on camera.”

The article reminds us:

The kids could not have seen him in the Vice President’s Capitol office – as presiding officer of the Senate – since Biden was no longer the occupant of that office.

Biden fantasied this meeting and presented it as fact in public.

His recent gaffes already are horrendous. “Poor kids are just as bright, just as talented, as white kids” clearly indicates a mind that sees non-white (presumably black) kids as poor and in need of defense of their intellectual capabilities. “We choose truth over facts” plays directly into the progressives’ dismissal of facts as less important than the “higher truth” of the narrative they want to sell.  Or who prize being “morally correct” over mere facts, as AOC has done.

But those disturbing comments can be written off as a poor choice of words. Claiming to have met people in circumstances that did not happen is of a different order entirely. It indicates a mind that is not grounded in reality.

I have no idea what the statements about the Parkland kids mean in terms of the former Vice-President’s mental health, but they are disturbing.

When Life Gives You Lemons…

The American Thinker posted an article today about Kathy Zhu, the newly crowned Miss Michigan.

The article reports:

...Young Kathy Zhu, the newly crowned Miss Michigan, lost her title on account of her “offensive” tweets. The press went through every last one of the crown winner’s tweets over the years and found a couple they decided were ‘offensive,’ ‘racist,’ and ‘insensitive,’ broadcasting those. After that, the Miss World pageant organization de-throned her.

Justice. The left triumphs. That’ll teach those Trump-supporting deplorables their lesson.

Except that now in place of a mere beauty queen, the left has got a Frankenstein’s monster on their hands.

Zhu has been offered a prominent place on the Trump 2020 campaign. She’s going to be out there, winning votes for Trump, padding his total further.

Miss Zhu is expected to be able to reach younger voters. She is an Asian-American and may be able to reach voters in that community. She is definitely not an old, white male!

The article notes some of the reasons Miss Zhu will be an attractive campaigner (other than the fact that she is beautiful):

First, the awful treatment she got from the pageant. Here’s CBS again:

The 20-year-old received an email last week from the pageant removing her from her position, which she shared on Twitter.  

“It has been brought to the attention of Miss World America ‘MWA’ that you social media accounts contain offensive, insensitive and inappropriate content,” the letter said. 

It also said that Zhu no longer met the requirement of “being in good character.” “Therefore, and effective immediately, MWA does not recognize you as a participant of any sort or in any capacity as it relates to any and all events of MWA,” it concluded.  

Did I just read the word ‘deplorable’? The question answers itself. People are going to sympathize. 

Second, the double standard. Zhu’s fellow Asian-American, Sarah Jeong, who unleashed an amazing string of bad tweets that truly were racist and immature, got to keep her job after she was exposed, all because she was left wing. Zhu? Not so much. Standards are different, see, when the person on the spot is a Trump supporter. File under more votes for Trump.

Third, the vile treatment she got in the press. Look at that opener in the first passage of the CBS story above. They’re throwing around words such as ‘racist’ and ‘insensitive’ over one tweet questioning why women ought to be trying on hijabs as a carnival act, and another bringing up black-on-black violence, a sad reality that’s obvious. They’re not neutrally reporting now. They’re out to get her. We already know that many Americans voted for Trump based on the press’s treatment of him. We see the dynamic freshened up, here.

Fourth, the vile treatment she got in the press in how they got their ‘scoop.’ Some media creep, who follows beauty contests very, very, very closely (and most of us don’t – cripes, these contests have the depth of whirled peas!) searched her tweets one by one, going through years of them, and then doxxed her to come up with the perfect years-old bad tweets to virtue signal with. The tweets were weak tea, but they decided that they were enough to pin her for a Bull Connor racist and they did. Anyone can see the sick dynamic of that. Result? More votes for Trump.  

Fifth, let’s bring up an unrelated matter: Notice that she’s a University of Michigan student. Fine school, U of M, and young Sasha Obama plans to go there, too, a very prestigious school. So we have an Asian-American who ended up at Michigan instead of … Harvard? First thing anyone’s going to think is that she was Harvard material, got shut out of Harvard and ended up at Michigan based on Harvard’s discrimination based on race. Anyone else who’s experienced that is going to relate.

Somehow a lot of the attacks by the political left on President Trump and his supporters have backfired. It’s hard to be on the offensive when you don’t have any real ammunition.

 

A New Low In Civilization

The American Thinker posted an article today with the following headine, “NPR says babies aren’t babies until they’re born.”

The article reports:

National Public Radio’s supervising senior standards and practices editor Mark Memmott recently published a “guidance reminder” instructing the non-profit media organization’s employees in how to frame abortion news.  Memmott wrote:

The term ‘unborn’ implies that there is a baby inside a pregnant woman, not a fetus. Babies are not babies until they are born. They’re fetuses. Incorrectly calling a fetus a ‘baby’ or ‘the unborn’ is part of the strategy used by antiabortion groups to shift language/legality/public opinion.

Your tax dollars support NPR.

The article concludes:

A baby is a fetus, though he looks like a baby and functions like a baby and has a beating heart (I mean an “embryonic pulsing,” to quote a recent article in the New York Times), two arms, two legs, and a pair of eyes?  Even though he is an inch or two from being outside the womb, and even though as soon as he makes it outside the womb, he magically turns into a…”baby”?  If a fetus is born weeks — or even months — early, he instantaneously and miraculously morphs into a “baby”?  Must be the air.

What if what NPR calls a fetus identifies as a baby?  What then?  Huh?  How do you handle that, Mark Memmott?

Those who supported slavery and those who support abortion share the vehement belief in dehumanizing those they don’t consider equals.  The Three-Fifths Compromise of the early days of the republic had slaves counted as three fifths of a human being.  Though it sounds horrible, in reality, this was done to lessen the power of the slave states and help bring about the abolition of slavery.  Should there be a Three-Fifths Compromise with pro-abortion types?  If they agree to consider “fetuses” as at least three fifths of a human being, they’d be closer to a moral position than they are now.

All slaves were babies at one time.  Thank God that not all babies grow up to be slaves.

 

Waiting For The Next Shoe To Drop

Joe DiGenova Victoria Toensing have an unmatched track record in explaining the events we see in the media and predicting the forthcoming revelations. The American Thinker posted an article today highlighting Joe DiGenova’s Monday appearance on WMAL radio’s Mornings on the Mall radio show.

This is the audio ofJoe DiGenova discussing declassification on Fox News (posted at YouTube):

Some highlights from Joe DeGenova’s comments made on the radio program as reported in The American Thinker:

The basic story is that Admiral Mike Rogers, who was head of the NSA in the spring of 2016, discovered that the NSA’s comprehensive database collecting all electronic communications in the United States was being searched by unauthorized FBI “contractors” and moved to cut off that access.  He also visited Donald Trump, after which Trump moved his campaign HQ out of Trump Tower.  Trump’s much derided claim that his campaign was “wiretapped” likely also was the result of gaining this insight from Admiral Rogers.

Sundance at The Conservative Treehouse is quoted in The American Thinker article:

Tens of thousands of searches [of the NSA database] over four years (since 2012), and 85% of them are illegal. The results were extracted for?…. (snip)

OK, that’s the stunning scale; but who was involved?

Private contractors with access to “raw FISA information that went well beyond what was necessary to respond to FBI’s requests

And as noted, the contractor access was finally halted on April 18th, 2016.

[Coincidentally (or not), the wife of Fusion-GPS founder Glenn Simpson, Mary Jacoby, goes to the White House the next day on April 19th, 2016.]

None of this is conspiracy theory.

All of this is laid out inside this 99-page opinion from FISC Presiding Judge Rosemary Collyer who also noted that none of this FISA abuse was accidental in a footnote on page 87: “deliberate decisionmaking“: (snip)

All of this is expected to be confirmed as the declassification ordered by President Trump occurs. It is unfortunate that the only way to get the truth out (if the media chooses to report the truth after it is exposed) is through declassification. Those attempting to take down President Trump buried their tracks fairly well. It is unfortunate that some of the people who betrayed the American people held high offices in the government and should have protected the American people from unauthorized surveillance instead engaged in that surveillance for political gain. I have a feeling that the next shoe will be dropping soon.

Ruining The College Board

David Coleman has been the President of the College Board since 2012. David Coleman was one of the people responsible for developing the Common Core standards. He has now brought his total misconceptions of what works in education to the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT), long used as an indication of a student’s ability and possible clue to how well they would do in college.

Yesterday The New York Times posted an article that reported the following:

The College Board, the company that administers the SAT exam taken by about two million students a year, will for the first time assess students not just on their math and verbal skills, but also on their educational and socioeconomic backgrounds, entering a fraught battle over the fairness of high-stakes testing.

The company announced on Thursday that it will include a new rating, which is widely being referred to as an “adversity score,” of between 1 and 100 on students’ test results. An average score is 50, and higher numbers mean more disadvantage. The score will be calculated using 15 factors, including the relative quality of the student’s high school and the crime rate and poverty level of the student’s neighborhood.

The rating will not affect students’ test scores, and will be reported only to college admissions officials as part of a larger package of data on each test taker.

The new measurement brings the College Board squarely into the raging national debate over fairness and merit in college admissions, one fueled by enduring court clashes on affirmative action, a federal investigation into a sprawling admissions cheating ring and a booming college preparatory industry that promises results to those who can pay.

Below is a picture of what constitutes the adversity score:

The American Thinker quoted Tucker Carlson, who noted the following about the idea:

It’s kept a secret. “Trust us,” in effect, they say. There is no appeal possible. And as a black box whose inner workings are secret, it becomes an ideal vehicle for engineering the racial results admissions offices desire.

It is easily gamed – fake addresses, even possible income manipulation (by claiming a lot of depreciation, for instance, the way that Donald Trump reported negative income in the 1980s)

And it provides perverse incentives, rewarding victim status, not achievement. Parents who start out with no advantages and work hard to provide a better life for their kids will now be handicapping them if they have high incomes and live in nice neighborhoods with good schools.

Obviously if you are a middle class parent living with the father of your children in a respectable neighborhood, the answer would be to divorce your spouse and move to Detroit. That is obscene.

It might also be a good idea to consider the consequences of this new program–how will children who do not have good SAT scores but have great adversity scores do in college? What will be the drop out rate? Will they understand the classes they are taking? The way to achieve diversity in colleges is to change the culture in communities where the work ethic has been lost. There are many first-generation Chinese children living in New York City in poverty that are gaining admission to the top schools in the city because their parents have taught them to work hard in school. Rather than risk putting students in college that are academically unprepared for what they are going to face, shouldn’t we simply encourage a cultural change in poor communities that rewards hard work in school. It can make a difference–Ben Carson is a shining example of a child growing up poor with a single parent who lacked education that taught her children the value of education. Let’s lift people up instead of making excuses for them because of where they grew up.

The Court Gets It Right

The Guardian is reporting today that an Australian court ruled James Cook University had unlawfully sacked a professor who had criticised scientific research about the climate change impact on the Great Barrier Reef. Peter Ridd was a professor at James Cook University in Australia before he was fired for his criticism of some of the research on climate change.

The American Thinker posted an article today noting the following:

The greatest “tell” for non-scientists evaluating the likelihood that the anthropogenic global warming theory is a fraud is that instead of critically examining the facts, warmists try to silence skeptics, with some of them even demanding jail for the thought-crime of questioning their unproven theory.  So thorough has been the pressure to keep the fraud going and keep the billions of dollars a year in research funds flowing to universities and other research institutions pushing the party line that skeptics are under threat of firing — and some have been fired.

The Guardian explains:

Judge Salvatore Vasta ruled on Tuesday the 17 findings made by the university, the two speech directions, the five confidentiality directions, the no satire direction, the censure, the final censure and the termination of Ridd’s employment were all unlawful.

…Judge Vasta said the university has not understood the whole concept of intellectual freedom.

“[The] university has ‘played the man and not the ball’,” he said.

 “Intellectual freedom is so important. It allows academics to express their opinions without fear of reprisals. It allows a Charles Darwin to break free of the constraints of creationism. It allows an Albert Einstein to break free of the constraints of Newtonian physics. It allows the human race to question conventional wisdom in the never-ending search for knowledge and truth.”

The Townsville-based university’s provost professor, Chris Cocklin, noted the judgment does not refer to any case law.

“We disagree with the judgment and we maintain we have not taken issue with Dr Ridd’s nor any other employee’s rights to academic freedom,” Cocklin said in a statement.

“Dr Ridd was not sacked because of his scientific views. Dr Ridd was never gagged or silenced about his scientific views, a matter which was admitted during the court hearing.”

The case has been adjourned for a further hearing to award a penalty.

My biggest problem in science classes was jumping to conclusions without examining all the facts. I think the entire concept of man-made global warming rather than natural climate cycles is a result of that sort of thinking.

 

There Is A Difference Between Affectionate and Being Creepy

The media has written a lot about Joe Biden’s style in the past few days. Today the Associated Press posted an article stating that Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has stated that Joe Biden needs to understand that people have personal space that needs to be respected. Yesterday The American Thinker posted an article noting that even after the dawn of the #MeToo movement, Democrats do not seem overly concerned about Joe Biden’s behavior. Remember, this is the party of Ted Kennedy, Bill Clinton,  etc. Joe Biden’s behavior seems tame. There are numerous pictures showing questionable behavior by Joe Biden, but he gets a pass. There was no actual evidence against Clarence Thomas or Brett Kavanaugh, but they were viciously attacked. The Lt. Governor of Virginia is still in office despite reports of sexual assault that were reported at the time of the incident. There seems to be a bit of a double standard here.

The American Thinker concludes:

My guess — and it is a pure guess, as I have no connections with the Dems’ inner circles — is that Joe Biden is going to see the wisdom of withdrawing from the race, especially since his son Hunter’s connections in Ukraine are at risk.  He’s old and has been making scads of money giving lectures.  He has a choice: retire and reap gratitude, honors, and many more lucrative speaking gigs, or else press forward with his candidacy and become an icon of perversion, with his son facing Trump treatment by the media, an old white male whose apologies for his privilege only further enrage the aggrieved.

I think Joe Biden is probably a very nice man, but I don’t want a man who has no respect for personal space as President. I realize that the media will pretty much leave him alone because he is a Democrat, but there would always be a controversy about his behavior swirling around him.

 

If The Price Becomes Too High, Will It Stop?

The mainstream media has not really paid a price for its irresponsible reporting. The story that came out last weekend about President Trump asking Michael Cohen to lie was proven false, yet no penalty was paid. There were no read consequences–people who saw President Trump as evil incarnate continued to do so and people who distrusted the media continued to do so. The story about the Covington high school boys is a little different. False reporting has resulted in death threats, the school being closed for security reasons, and other serious matters. So what should be the consequences of spreading the lies and piling on?

The American Thinker posted an article today that provides a clue to some of the possible fallout from the false reporting.

The article reports:

The ongoing campaign of hate against children from Kentucky guilty of being Catholic, being (mostly) white, and wearing MAGA caps will not end until there are legal consequences.  Fortunately, the wheels of justice already are turning in Kentucky, albeit at a pace that is frustrating to those who operate at internet speed.  But the prospect of Kentuckian jurors judging those who libel or threaten their children is delightful.  There are two separate avenues available, and both are being explored by people ready and willing to act.

The more serious path to legal relief was articulated by Kenton County (which contains Covington) prosecutor Rob Sanders.

The Gateway Pundit reported yesterday:

Rob Sanders, a Kenton County Prosecutor, confirmed Tuesday that there are multiple investigations into Twitter users who made terroristic threats against Covington Catholic High School.

“We’ve got multiple ongoing investigations into numerous, numerous threats,” Mr. Sanders said Tuesday in a podcast interview with 700 WLW. “There’s probably a dozen law enforcement agencies, if not more involved in this — it’s growing, it’s spreading, there are other jurisdictions now involved in this,” Sanders added.

700 WLW radio host Willie Cunningham brought up the death threats towards the Covington teens made by bluecheck verified accounts on Twitter and asked Mr. Sanders about Kentucky law.

…“What is the Kentucky law about making threats to Covington Catholic specifically? Is there a law against it?” Willie asked Rob Sanders.

“There is. It’s called ‘terroristic threatening’ in Kentucky and it is a felony offense punishable by 1 to 5 years in prison to make a threat of violence to an educational institution, so everyone who makes a specific threat.”

Mr. Sanders made sure to clarify that saying “nasty things” about the Covington kids is not the same thing as making an “actual threat of violence” against Cov Cath or any other school in Kentucky that’s punishable by 1 to 5 years in prison. The punishment can go up to 5 to 10 years if they talk about using a weapon of mass destruction.

The American Thinker article continues:

The other avenue for legal redress is libel suits.  Robert Barnes, who reads, tweets about, and occasionally writes for these pages, has stepped up with an offer of free legal representation for libel lawsuits on behalf of the children and already apparently is representing some of them.  He has been warning prominent people – such as Rep. Ilhan Omar and New York Times writer Maggie Haberman – to repudiate and apologize for their libels or face a lawsuit.

I do hope these lawsuits are brought in Kentucky.  It is a state often dumped on as backward, full of hillbillies and moonshiners.  It is also a place with a distinctive local culture and much well deserved pride in is world pre-eminence in thoroughbred horse-breeding and bourbon.  I suspect that Kentucky jurors would not take kindly to threats and libels aimed at the children of their state.

I hope that reporting fake news stories that result in cyber bullying becomes outrageously expensive. Maybe that way it will end.

When The Media Decides To Attack

Last night when I saw articles about the incident at the Lincoln Memorial, I ignored them because something didn’t quite make sense. This morning as more information has come to light, it seems that my instincts were right.

The American Thinker posted an article today that I think best explains exactly what happened. Basically the only things the boys from the Catholic high school were guilty of was being pro-life and wearing MAGA hats.

Yesterday the Northern Kentucky Tribune posted the following statement by Nick Sandmann, a Covington Catholic High School Junior:

I am providing this factual account of what happened on Friday afternoon at the Lincoln Memorial to correct misinformation and outright lies being spread about my family and me.

I am the student in the video who was confronted by the Native American protestor. I arrived at the Lincoln Memorial at 4:30 p.m. I was told to be there by 5:30 p.m., when our busses were due to leave Washington for the trip back to Kentucky. We had been attending the March for Life rally and then had split up into small groups to do sightseeing.

When we arrived, we noticed four African American protestors who were also on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. I am not sure what they were protesting, and I did not interact with them. I did hear them direct derogatory insults at our school group.

The protestors said hateful things. They called us “racists,” “bigots,” “white crackers,” “faggots,” and “incest kids.” They also taunted an African American student from my school by telling him that we would “harvest his organs.” I have no idea what that insult means, but it was startling to hear.

Because we were being loudly attacked and taunted in public, a student in our group asked one of our teacher chaperones for permission to begin our school spirit chants to counter the hateful things that were being shouted at our group. The chants are commonly used at sporting events. They are all positive in nature and sound like what you would hear at any high school. Our chaperone gave us permission to use our school chants. We would not have done that without obtaining permission from the adults in charge of our group.

At no time did I hear any student chant anything other than the school spirit chants. I did not witness or hear any students chant “build that wall” or anything hateful or racist at any time. Assertions to the contrary are simply false. Our chants were loud because we wanted to drown out the hateful comments that were being shouted at us by the protestors.

After a few minutes of chanting, the Native American protestors, who I hadn’t previously noticed, approached our group. The Native American protestors had drums and were accompanied by at least one person with a camera.

The protestor everyone has seen in the video began playing his drum as he waded into the crowd, which parted for him. I did not see anyone try to block his path. He locked eyes with me and approached me, coming within inches of my face. He played his drum the entire time he was in my face.

I never interacted with this protestor. I did not speak to him. I did not make any hand gestures or other aggressive moves. To be honest, I was startled and confused as to why he had approached me. We had already been yelled at by another group of protestors, and when the second group approached I was worried that a situation was getting out of control where adults were attempting to provoke teenagers.

I believed that by remaining motionless and calm, I was helping to diffuse the situation. I realized everyone had cameras and that perhaps a group of adults was trying to provoke a group of teenagers into a larger conflict. I said a silent prayer that the situation would not get out of hand.

During the period of the drumming, a member of the protestor’s entourage began yelling at a fellow student that we “stole our land” and that we should “go back to Europe.” I heard one of my fellow students begin to respond. I motioned to my classmate and tried to get him to stop engaging with the protestor, as I was still in the mindset that we needed to calm down tensions.

I never felt like I was blocking the Native American protestor. He did not make any attempt to go around me. It was clear to me that he had singled me out for a confrontation, although I am not sure why.

The engagement ended when one of our teachers told me the busses had arrived and it was time to go. I obeyed my teacher and simply walked to the busses. At that moment, I thought I had diffused the situation by remaining calm, and I was thankful nothing physical had occurred.

I never understood why either of the two groups of protestors were engaging with us, or exactly what they were protesting at the Lincoln Memorial. We were simply there to meet a bus, not become central players in a media spectacle. This is the first time in my life I’ve ever encountered any sort of public protest, let alone this kind of confrontation or demonstration.

I was not intentionally making faces at the protestor. I did smile at one point because I wanted him to know that I was not going to become angry, intimidated or be provoked into a larger confrontation. I am a faithful Christian and practicing Catholic, and I always try to live up to the ideals my faith teaches me – to remain respectful of others, and to take no action that would lead to conflict or violence.

I harbor no ill will for this person. I respect this person’s right to protest and engage in free speech activities, and I support his chanting on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial any day of the week. I believe he should re-think his tactics of invading the personal space of others, but that is his choice to make.

I am being called every name in the book, including a racist, and I will not stand for this mob-like character assassination of my family’s name. My parents were not on the trip, and I strive to represent my family in a respectful way in all public settings.

I have received physical and death threats via social media, as well as hateful insults. One person threatened to harm me at school, and one person claims to live in my neighborhood. My parents are receiving death and professional threats because of the social media mob that has formed over this issue.

I love my school, my teachers and my classmates. I work hard to achieve good grades and to participate in several extracurricular activities. I am mortified that so many people have come to believe something that did not happen – that students from my school were chanting or acting in a racist fashion toward African Americans or Native Americans. I did not do that, do not have hateful feelings in my heart, and did not witness any of my classmates doing that.

I cannot speak for everyone, only for myself. But I can tell you my experience with Covington Catholic is that students are respectful of all races and cultures. We also support everyone’s right to free speech.

I am not going to comment on the words or account of Mr. Phillips, as I don’t know him and would not presume to know what is in his heart or mind. Nor am I going to comment further on the other protestors, as I don’t know their hearts or minds, either.

I have read that Mr. Phillips is a veteran of the United States Marines. I thank him for his service and am grateful to anyone who puts on the uniform to defend our nation. If anyone has earned the right to speak freely, it is a U.S. Marine veteran.

I can only speak for myself and what I observed and felt at the time. But I would caution everyone passing judgment based on a few seconds of video to watch the longer video clips that are on the internet, as they show a much different story than is being portrayed by people with agendas.

I provided this account of events to the Diocese of Covington so they may know exactly what happened, and I stand ready and willing to cooperate with any investigation they are conducting.

Note: This is the only statement that has been made by the Sandmann family. Any comments attributed to any member of the family that are not contained here are fabricated. The family will not be answering individual media inquiries.

This student has more maturity than most of our mainstream media.

 

When Congress Does Not Represent The American People

The American Thinker is reporting today that a Gofundme page set up for building the border wall has already collected more than $3 million. I guess the American people have shown Congress what their wishes are regarding the border wall. It is a shame that Congress has chosen not to listen.

The article includes the following:

• My name is Brian Kolfage, I have a verified blue check facebook page as a public figure and I’m a Purple Heart Recipient triple amputee veteran. (snip)

• The campaign is set to the MAX that Gofundme has at the moment… working to get it raised 

• USE #GoFundTheWall as a hashtag on social media (snip)

The government has accepted large private donations before, most recently a billionaire donated $7.5 Million  to fund half of the Washington Monument repairs in 2012; this is no different. 

Like a  majority of those American citizens who voted to elect President Donald J Trump, we voted for him to Make America Great Again. President Trump’s main campaign promise was to BUILD THE WALL. And as he’s followed through on just about every promise so far, this wall project needs to be completed still. 

As a veteran who has given so much, 3 limbs, I feel deeply invested to this nation to ensure future generations have everything we have today. Too many Americans have been murdered by illegal aliens and too many illegals are taking advantage of  the United States taxpayers with no means of ever contributing to our society.

I have grandparents who immigrated to America legally, they did it the correct way and it’s time we uphold our laws, and get this wall BUILT!It’s up to Americans to help out and pitch in to get this project rolling. 

“If the 63 million people who voted for Trump each pledge $80, we can build the wall.” That equates to roughly 5Billion Dollars, even if we get half, that’s half the wall. We can do this. 

Democrats are going to stall this project by every means possible and play political games to ensure President Trump doesn’t get his victor. They’d rather see President Trump fail, than see America succeed.  However, if we can fund a large portion of this wall, it will jumpstart things and will be less money Trump has to secure from our politicians. 

This won’t be easy, but it’s our duty as citizens. This needs to be shared every single day by each of you on social media. We can do it, and we can help President Trump make America safe again! 

Let’s build this wall!

Weighing The Facts

Yesterday I posted an article about the sentencing of General Michael Flynn. In the article I noted that there were some curious circumstances surrounding the interview in which General Flynn is accused of lying. Evidently I am not the only person concerned about those circumstances.

The American Thinker posted an article today about the judge who will be sentencing General Flynn.

The article reports:

Judge Emmet G. Sullivan, who is due to sentence General Michael Flynn next Tuesday, has thrown a wild card on the table, raising the possibility that a miscarriage of justice may finally be called out and the guilty plea coerced by Team Mueller thrown out.

Thanks to the sentencing memorandum filed by counsel for General Michael Flynn, we now see that the FBI used deception to ensnare him in a perjury trap.

Yesterday The Wall Street Journal posted an editorial titled, “The Flynn Entrapment.”

The editorial states:

Of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s many targets, the most tragic may be former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. The former three-star general pleaded guilty last year to a single count of lying to the FBI about conversations he had with Russia’s ambassador to the U.S. Now we learn from Mr. Flynn’s court filing to the sentencing judge that senior bureau officials acted in a way to set him up for the fall.

Not a rich man after decades in uniform, Mr. Flynn pleaded guilty to avoid bankruptcy and spare his son from becoming a legal target. Mr. Flynn’s filing doesn’t take issue with the description of his offense. But the “additional facts” the Flynn defense team flags for the court raise doubts about FBI conduct.

The Flynn filing describes government documents concerning the Jan. 24, 2017 meeting with two FBI agents when Mr. Flynn supposedly lied. It turns out the meeting was set up by then Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe, who personally called Mr. Flynn that day on other business—to discuss an FBI training session. By Mr. McCabe’s account, on that call he told Mr. Flynn he “felt that we needed to have two of our agents sit down” with him to talk about his Russia communications.

There is another clue in The American Thinker article as to why the Judge is asking questions:

Chuck Ross reports for the Daily Caller News Foundation on Judge Sullivan’s startling order:

District Court Judge Emmet G. Sullivan on Wednesday ordered Flynn’s lawyers to hand over two documents: a memo that then-FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe wrote after speaking with Flynn ahead his Jan. 24, 2017 interview with two FBI agents and the FBI summary of notes taken during that same interview.

That summary, known as an FD-302, was compiled on Aug. 22, 2017 by the two FBI agents who interviewed Flynn. It is unclear why the summary was put together seven months after the Flynn interview.

When you look at the actions of the FBI and Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller’s team, you find that in some cases civil rights were trampled (attorney-client privilege, having a lawyer present, being put in solitary confinement for crimes that did not warrant it, etc.). Hopefully the actions of Judge Sullivan will cause both the FBI Special Prosecutor Mueller to be more aware of the civil rights of all Americans.

The Teardrop Memorial

This is an update of an article that was originally posted on September 11, 2009:

Remembering 911

Above are pictures of the Teardrop Memorial, Russia’s gift to the United States in memory of 911. The monument To the Struggle Against World Terrorism was dedicated on September 11, 2006, by President Clinton.   It is located in Bayonne, New Jersey, at a place where the twin towers were visible.   To read the entire story of the monument and how it came to rest there, please follow the link to 911monument.com.  The website tells the story of what inspired the monument and how it came to be.  I stumbled on this monument in an article at the American Thinker posted on September 7, 2009, and visited the monument when I was in New Jersey for a High School reunion.