The Mainstream Media Just Keeps On Trying

Investor’s Business Daily posted an article today about three of the latest mainstream media’s attempts to accuse President Trump and Russia of conspiring together in the 2016 election. Unfortunately, the facts keep getting in the way of the accusations.

The first attempt the article reports is as follows:

Here’s the headline CNN put on its “exclusive” story: “Even Pokemon Go used by extensive Russian-linked meddling effort.”

It begins: “Russian efforts to meddle in American politics did not end at Facebook and Twitter. A CNN investigation of a Russian-linked account shows its tentacles extended to YouTube, Tumblr and even Pokemon Go.”

By “meddle,” of course, they mean “helped elect Trump president.”

It turns out none of this had anything to do with electing Trump.

In this case, the Russians apparently developed a campaign — called “Don’t Shoot Me” — that was designed to “exploit racial tensions and sow discord among Americans.”

The YouTube page contained news reports, amateur footage and the like that the Black Lives Matter crowd were parading all over the web.

If that constitutes “meddling” in the election, then Black Lives Matter, Hillary Clinton and the mainstream press are guiltier than these Kremlin trolls. They ceaselessly pushed the racist police story because they thought it would help energize the Democratic base.

So what was Russia’s intent? “It’s unclear,” is all CNN could muster.

The second attempt also fell flat:

…another CNN “exclusive” about how “Russian-linked Facebook ads targeted Michigan and Wisconsin.”

This story began: “A number of Russian-linked Facebook ads specifically targeted Michigan and Wisconsin, two states crucial to Donald Trump‘s victory last November, according to four sources with direct knowledge of the situation.”

It went on: “Some of the Russian ads appeared highly sophisticated in their targeting of key demographic groups in areas of the states that turned out to be pivotal.”

Had CNN finally found evidence that Russia tried, and might have succeeded, in swinging the election for Trump?

Hardly.

It was up to the Washington Examiner’s Byron York to provide the relevant facts and context.

He found that of the 3,000 Russian ads that Facebook turned over to Congress, most of them ran after the election and so could hardly be part of any “meddling.” The vast majority didn’t mention the election or any candidate. A quarter of them weren’t seen by anybody.

What’s more, out of those 3,000 ads, only a tiny handful targeted Michigan and Wisconsin, nearly all of them ran in 2015 — well before Trump was nominated — and most had fewer than 1,000 impressions.

Well, maybe the third time will be the charm:

…the infamous “smoking gun” meeting between Donald Trump Jr and a Russian lawyer is turning out to be another nothingburger.

Newly released emails showed that the meeting was entirely focused on U.S. sanctions and adoption rules involving Russia, and had nothing to do with dishing dirt on Hillary Clinton.

What about that promise of a meeting in a separate email from British publicist Rob Goldstone, who said the Russian lawyer had damaging evidence on Clinton? It’s likely that was a way to lure Trump people to a meeting they’d otherwise not bother with.

The article reaches the obvious conclusion:

For nearly a year now, we’ve seen this same pattern. A headline-grabbing story about Russia “meddling” and Trump “collusion” that ends up fizzling out when the facts come in.

If Russia’s motivation in all of this wasn’t to elect Trump, but to sow discord and hostility within the U.S. — which increasingly looks like the point — then Russia’s leaders succeeded beyond their wildest imagination. And for that, they have the liberal media, not their own efforts, to thank.

Imagine what the media could do if they investigated the uranium transfer to Russia that followed a large Kremlin donation to the Clinton Foundation?

 

At Least They Are Correcting Some Of Their Fake News

President Obama has often accused the conservative media of fake news. I wonder if he will speak out against the latest example of fake news by the liberal media.

Fox News reported yesterday that The Washington Post has issued a correction of one of their ‘breaking news’ stories.

The article reports:

The Washington Post has made a correction to an explosive cover story that undermines the entire premise of Monday’s front-page article headlined, “Obama sought to prod Facebook on Russia role.”

The problem, according to a Facebook executive, is that when Obama reached out to the social media giant in 2016 to discuss political disinformation spreading on the site, he didn’t actually call out Russia – essentially making the Post’s headline misleading and inaccurate. Or, as President Trump would call it, “fake news.”

As first reported by Axios, the Post added significant information to the digital version of the story with the disclaimer, “This story has been updated with an additional response from Facebook.” The response from Facebook that didn’t make the paper’s print edition is vital and changed the story enough that the word “Russia” was removed from the updated headline.

The story detailed how then-President Obama gave Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg a “wake-up call” regarding fake news spreading on his social media platform. After reporting that Obama “made a personal appeal to Zuckerberg to take the threat of fake news and political disinformation seriously,” the paper has added that Obama “did not single out Russia specifically.”

The story reported that Obama and his top aides “quietly agonized on how to respond to Russia’s brazen intervention on behalf of the Donald Trump campaign without making matters worse.” 

Well, not quite.

This is the important paragraph in the article:

The paper also added a statement from Facebook’s vice president of communications, Elliot Schrage, which it received after the front-page story was published. Schrage told the Post that Obama’s talk with Zuckerberg was about “misinformation and false news” and “did not include any references to possible foreign interference or suggestions about confronting threats to Facebook.”

The Russian connection has been fizzling out for some time. What we can expect is to see Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller charge Paul Manafort with some sort of process crime or questionable act totally unrelated to the original reasons for a special prosecutor. The thing to remember here is that despite the fact that James Comey stated numerous times that President Trump was not under investigation to the Senate, some senators chose to mislead the American people into believing that President Trump was under investigation. What Robert Mueller is doing is conducting a very expensive witch hunt based on a story which has been proved questionable at best. The mainstream media is attempting to relive their glory days of bringing down Richard Nixon, and there is a group of people in America with little regard for the U.S. Constitution that is willing to use violence to bring about the change they want. We have a choice here. Either we believe in the U.S. Constitution, the elected government, and the rule of law, or we do not. If we want our country to stand, the rule of law has to stand. The media does not understand that if the government is brought down, they will also be destroyed in the chaos that follows.

Actions Have Consequences

First of all, I need to say that I support freedom of speech. I also support organizations creating behavior guidelines and enforcing them.

The NFL Handbook includes the following rule:

The National Anthem must be played prior to every NFL game, and all players must be on the sideline for the National Anthem.

During the National Anthem, players on the field and bench area should stand at attention, face the flag, hold helmets in their left hand, and refrain from talking. The home team should ensure that the American flag is in good condition. It should be pointed out to players and coaches that we continue to be judged by the public in this area of respect for the flag and our country. Failure to be on the field by the start of the National Anthem may result in discipline, such as fines, suspensions, and/or the forfeiture of draft choice(s) for violations of the above, including first offenses.

I am not sure what the NFL players kneeling during the National Anthem were trying to prove, but actions have consequences.

The Wall Street Journal posted an article today about some of the consequences of kneeling during the National Anthem.

The article reports:

DirecTV is letting at least some customers cancel subscriptions to its Sunday Ticket package of NFL games and obtain refunds if they cite players’ national anthem protests as the reason, customer service representatives said Tuesday.

Sunday Ticket’s regular policy doesn’t allow refunds once the season is under way. But the representatives said they are making exceptions this season—which began in September—in response to the protests, in which players kneel or link arms during the national anthem.

…It isn’t just the political stakes that are high. Football draws the biggest TV audiences of American sports and is a vital income source for a host of major media companies. Sunday Ticket is a major customer draw for DirecTV and one of the NFL’s premier franchises, earning it $1.5 billion a year in licensing revenue.

A substantial number of cancellations risks further damage as the league tries to rebound in ratings. Viewership fell last year and continues to do so this year. Network executives and league officials attributed last year’s declines in part to viewing competition from the presidential election, consumer distaste with the pace and quality of games, and the anthem protests.

The revenue of the NFL comes from the fans–tickets, team merchandise, and advertising. If the income stream from the fans dries up and the fan base dries up, the advertisers may go elsewhere. The actions of the players may have bigger negative consequences than they planned on.

On another note, one of my Facebook friends suggested that if the players are concerned about the treatment of black Americans, they should be willing to go into the black schools and teach the students what they need to know to be successful.

Are We Sure We Want To Go Here?

The Daily Caller posted an article today about someone protesting a Hobby Lobby decoration. The decoration had nothing to do with the Christian faith of the owners or their views on marriage–it was a piece of cotton!

The objection was posted on Facebook:

The article includes some of the reaction:

The post received close to 15,000 shares and 160,000 comments. The user, Daniell Rider, then received backlash for her sensitivity and responded to her critics:

All those who are offended by cotton being a decoration need to quit buying any product made of cotton!

And other users quickly came to her defense, one adding:

What difference does it make if it’s a decoration or part of a product. You’re being hypocritical if your offended by cotton being a decoration and not offended by any product made of cotton.

Brutal grammar aside, these people are actually serious. They legitimately want consumers everywhere to stop buying cotton products because cotton “racist.”

Many Americans have lost their ability to reason and replaced it with a giant ability to be offended!

Free Speech In Danger In America

On Friday, The Washington Examiner reported on efforts by Democrats on the Federal Election Commission to limit political speech on the internet. The latest effort by these Democrats was triggered by the fact that unnamed Russians spent $100,000 for politically themed ads on Facebook. Somehow no Democrats on any committees were concerned when Saudi Arabia was funding anti-fracking movies.

The article reports:

Weintraub (Commissioner Ellen Weintraub) also demanded that the FEC address the issue of “internet political communications” at its next meeting on Sept. 14.

Facebook’s involvement and proof of Russian spending on political ads could give Democratic FEC critics of the freewheeling Internet the case they’ve needed.

Republicans on the FEC have claimed for years that the Democrats have been focused on the Internet in part because they want to silence conservative outlets like the Drudge Report, conservative videos, and even movies.

But the Facebook revelation and huge amount of money involved should give the Democrats a new weapon in their fight to regulate spending on Internet sites beyond paid advocacy. Under current rules, paid online ads that say, for example, “Vote For” or “Vote Against,” are regulated. The so-called Internet freedom rule, however, exempts free Internet posts and advocacy by third parties.

This sort of government intervention into free speech never ends well. I have no problem with anyone posting anything on Facebook as long as the source of the post is obvious. Where were these people when conservative groups were being denied tax-exempt status? This is a political move partially caused by the fact that Democratic election and fund-raising efforts are not going well. This is an attempt to slant the playing field to the Democrats advantage. It needs to be stopped.

These Were Not The Study Results They Had Hoped For

Breitbart posted an article today about a study done by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg‘s open borders organization. The study was initiated to show the hardships that would be caused by ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.This is the program that affects people who were brought to America illegally as children and have no relationship or association with the countries they came from. In many cases they don’t even speak the language of the country they were born in. Obviously these people do need some sort of special consideration, but whatever consideration they are given has to be done in a way that limits fraud and does not interfere with those seeking to come to America legally.

Meanwhile, back at the study.

The article reports:

According to the FWD.us study, if DACA is repealed it would mean potentially 700,000 American jobs could open up for American citizens.

The study claims that on average, if Trump were to repeal DACA, 30,000 American job opportunities would open up each month. FWD.us President Todd Schulte touted the results of the study as a loss for America’s business community, saying it would have “severe consequences” on the economy.

“Eliminating DACA would have immediate and severe consequences for not only the 800,000 Dreamers enrolled in the program, but for the millions of Americans who live, work, and study with these young people every single day,” Schulte said in a statement.

Immigration hawks have long argued the booming illegal alien population–estimated between 12 to 30 million–and high levels of legal immigration, where the U.S. admits more than one million a year, contribute to the displacement of American workers and wage stagnation.

The situation with DACA is a mess. We need to find a way to help these people become citizens without penalizing American workers and people who come here legally. However, legal Americans need to be given priority in finding employment.

When The Numbers Just Don’t Add Up

This was posted by a friend on Facebook:

This seemed like a reasonable question, so I did some research. On December 2016, CNN Money posted the following:

Nearly 6.4 million Americans have selected Obamacare policies through the federal exchange for coverage starting Jan. 1, federal officials announced Wednesday. That’s 400,000 more than had selected policies a year ago.

Under the proposed repeal and replace ObamaCare bill, the rate of growth of Medicaid will be cut–Medicaid will still grow, but more slowly. The goal is to create a program that will create a rate structure that allows more Americans to pay for their own health insurance. I am not thrilled with the current bill in the Senate, but passing it may be a necessary evil if we are to avoid single-payer or socialized medicine (which would be the result of the total collapse of ObamaCare which is rapidly approaching).

Comments On A Current Scandal

This is not a news article—this is a rant from an old person who is concerned about the activities of the current younger generations. There is no source for this article although it is the result of the news we have recently seen about the scandal in the Marine Corps regarding nude pictures and videos. Admittedly, I come from a generation that was more accustomed to privacy—we didn’t have Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, etc. to post pictures of our lunch and other activities. The older generation had a different concept of privacy than the current generations.

I don’t find it odd that men would look at pictures of naked women. I don’t find it odd that a man would look at an explicit video. I do question the wisdom of the women posting these pictures or videos. A good rule of thumb is to never put anything on the internet that you wouldn’t mind seeing on the front page of The New York Times or on the evening news. Even if the pictures of videos were not intended for the internet, there is no guarantee when you give a person a picture or a video that the picture or video will never be seen by anyone else. Again, wisdom is called for. Never put anything on film or in your phone or laptop that you don’t want to go public. These pictures and videos could create a serious problem if a future employer were to see them.

I don’t know what the eventual punishment of the people involved in this scandal will be. It is my hope that the people who created the pictures and videos will be disciplined as well as those who set up the Facebook page to view them. There are no victims here—the women who created the pictures and videos are not victims—the pictures and videos were created with their consent. They are guilty of bad judgement, just as the men who set up the Facebook page are guilty of bad judgement.

As I have previously stated, I am part of a generation that believed in privacy. These pictures and videos devalue the women that made them. They are the result of the lies that many women are told about their value and about their role as women.  My advice to a woman whose boyfriend or husband asks for such a picture or video is to find another boyfriend of husband. You are worth more than that.

I am sure there will be some serious consequences for the people involved in this scandal. It is my hope that they will learn from their mistakes and be more prudent in their actions in the future. I also hope that the women involved begin to realize their true worth and that the men involved begin to respect the women in their lives rather than viewing them as sex objects.

It Depends On What You Mean By Free Speech

I am about to get into the weeds here, but I want to explain what is happening to our freedom of speech in America and where the threat to the First Amendment is coming from.

In his book Catastrophic Failure, Stephen Coughlin explains, “In the United States, the initial amendment of the Constitution indicates the primacy of free expression. The framers of the Universal Declaration of Human RIghts–understanding that free expression is linked with freedom of though and conscience–mirrored the First Amendment’s intent in Article 19:

Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

“The Cairo Declaration addresses free expression in its Article 22, using language that parallels that of the Universal Declaration:

(a) Everyone shall have the right to express his opinion freely in such manner as would not be contrary to the principles of the Shari’ah.

(b) Everyone shall have the right to advocate what is right, and propagate what is good, and warn against what is wrong and evil according to the norms of Islamic Shari’ah.”

The Cairo Declaration embodies the Islamic definition of free speech. As you can see, it differs from the American definition of free speech. Unfortunately, there are those in America (some of whom have a great influence on public opinion) who are moving toward the Islamic definition of free speech.

The American Freedom Law Center (AFLC) has released a press release stating the the AFLC has filed a federal lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, challenging Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (CDA) under the First Amendment.

The press release states:

Section 230 provides immunity from lawsuits to Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, thereby permitting these social media giants to engage in government-sanctioned censorship and discriminatory business practices free from legal challenge.

The lawsuit was brought on behalf of the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI), Pamela Geller, Robert Spencer, and Jihad Watch.

As alleged in the lawsuit, Geller and Spencer, along with the organizations they run, are often subject to censorship and discrimination by Facebook, Twitter and YouTube because of Geller’s and Spencer’s beliefs and views, which Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube consider expression that is offensive to Muslims.

Such discrimination, which is largely religion-based in that these California businesses are favoring adherents of Islam over those who are not, is prohibited in many states, but particularly in California by the state’s anti-discrimination law, which is broadly construed to prohibit all forms of discrimination.  However, because of the immunity granted by the federal government, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are free to engage in their otherwise unlawful, discriminatory practices.

As set forth in the lawsuit, Section 230 of the CDA immunizes businesses such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube from civil liability for any action taken to “restrict access to or availability of material that” that they “consider[] to be obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, excessively violent, harassing, or otherwise objectionable, whether or not such material is constitutionally protected.”

…David Yerushalmi, AFLC co-founder and senior counsel, added:

“Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube have notoriously censored speech that they deem critical of Islam, thereby effectively enforcing blasphemy laws here in the United States with the assistance of the federal government.”

Yerushalmi concluded:

“It has been the top agenda item of Islamic supremacists to impose such standards on the West.  Its leading proponents are the Muslim Brotherhood’s network of Islamist activist groups in the West and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), which co-sponsored, with support from Obama and then-Secretary of State Clinton, a U.N. resolution which called on all nations to ban speech that could promote mere hostility to Islam.  Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are falling in line, and we seek to stop this assault on our First Amendment freedoms.”

Unfortunately, there is an implied threat to those speaking out against Islam. Islam in its end game is about political control. One part of gaining political control is to silence any opposition. Although I can understand the reasons for censoring speech critical of Islam (protecting assets, employees, avoiding terrorist attacks), it is folly to believe that anyone benefits from being ignorant of the goals of Islam. Some Americans have done their own research into the Muslim Brotherhood Plan for America (laid out in government exhibit 3-85 from the Holy Land Foundation Trial– the first part is in a language other than English, the second part is in English) and realized what civilization jihad is. If this is a new concept for you, please check out the centerforsecuritypolicy.org for more information. There is a move to take away Americans First Amendment rights. We need to stop that move.

 

Let’s Put The Blame Where It Belongs

MSNBC is reporting today on the protests that forced the cancellation of the rally to support Donald Trump in Chicago last night. This is a story that needs to be looked at carefully. America has a First Amendment. Donald Trump has as much right as anyone to speak out. Protesters also have the right to speak out. They don’t, however, have the right to destroy property or prevent anyone else from speaking. For a number of years we have seen conservative speakers shut down at college campuses; now we are seeing a Presidential candidate prevented from speaking. That does not bode well for the future of our country. We need to take a look at these ‘protests’ and see who organized them (they were organized) and what they are actually about.

Yesterday Gateway Pundit posted an article about the Chicago protesters.

The Gateway Pundit article reported:

Obama buddy and domestic terrorist Bill Ayers was seen protesting Donald Trump in Chicago today.

Thousands of leftwing protesters were expected today to protest Donald Trump at the University of Chicago Illinois campus.
5,000-7,000 people were already inside the pavilion at 5 PM Central. Thousands more were still in a line that stretched several blocks.

I guess some leopards just don’t change their spots.

MSNBC reported:

When Ja’Mal Green, a prominent black activist and Bernie Sanders supporter in Chicago, saw that Donald Trump was coming to the University of Illinois Chicago, he knew what he had to do. “Everyone, get your tickets to this. We’re all going in!!!! ‪#‎SHUTITDOWN‬,” he posted on Facebook last week.

Little did he know they actually would shut it down.

Friday night, hundreds of protesters invaded Trump’s rally while thousands more marched outside, leading the candidate to abruptly cancel the event due to safety concerns. The night spun out from there, as angry Trump fans clashed with protesters, who saw the shutdown as a victory.

This sort of political activity does not belong in the American political system.

The article further reports:

A Facebook page was started to promote the protest. By the night of Trump rally, more than 11,600 people had RSVP’d on the page saying they would attend the event. Another 19,000 said they were “interested.” Organizers were shocked when Facebook’s analytics said the page reached more than 1.5 million users.

The page explained how to acquire tickets to the Trump rally, complete with links, instructions on where and when to meet, and exhortations to remain peaceful.

Jorge Mena, a undocumented graduate student at UIC, started a petition on MoveOn.org calling on the school’s administration to cancel the event. The petition garnered more than 50,000 signatures, and once brass at MoveOn, which has endorsed Sanders, caught wind of the UIC backlash, they wanted to help. MoveOn chipped in money to get signs and a banner printed and blasted out an email to members in the Chicago area encouraging them to join the protest.

With just four days to plan, organizers said more than 1,000 students turned out for the march, along with thousands of community members.

It’s a shame that this sort of organization and energy could not have been directed toward something more constructive. Again, protests are allowed; shutting down speech is not.

Many Americans Want To Have The Ability To Protect Themselves When They Need To

Breitbart.com posted an article yesterday about a turn-in program for ‘unwanted guns’ in Greensboro, North Carolina.

On November 10, the Greensboro Police Department make the following announcement on Facebook:

Greensboro police are asking at least 1,000 residents of the Gate City to show their commitment to safety by signing a “Pledge of Nonviolence” this Saturday, Nov. 14 at Destiny Christian Center, 2401 Randleman Rd. from 9 am to 3 pm. At the same event, gun owners can safely turn in unwanted firearms from their homes. Police employees will be accepting handguns, rifles, shotguns, and ammunition at the event. This is not a buy-back program. No cash will be given in exchange for weapons voluntarily surrendered to police.

The pledge and the opportunity to turn in weapons are spurred, in part, by an increase in gun violence. This year compared to last, gun violence has increased 68%. The term ‘gun violence’ includes any crimes against people in which weapons were used, and shootings into occupied dwellings. An incident can be classified as gun violence even if no one was injured.

One knife and a BB gun pistol that resembled a real gun were turned in. Also, almost 1,000 people did sign the “Pledge of Nonviolence” which was made available to be signed during the event.

Remember, France has some of the strictest gun laws in the world, yet the bad guys were able to buy guns. The good guys followed the law and were unarmed. A few good marksmen carrying guns in the theater might have made a big difference.

 

What Are We Teaching Our Children?

This was posted on Facebook by a friend. She states that an eastern North Carolina middle school was recently given an assignment through the Jr Scholastic Magazine.

kidinstructionsJrScholastic

Look at the cartoon carefully. It illustrates instructions given to children going outside to play. The instructions given to the white child are basic ‘kid-type’ instructions. The instructions given to the black child are simply wrong. To put this cartoon in front of Middle School children is to tell them that Americans are racists and policemen are not friendly to black children. Neither of these things is true.

I am sure that this cartoon and the accompanying questions were in response to the death of Michael Brown. I would like to point out that even though it is very unfortunate that Michael Brown is dead, he would still be alive had he not attacked a police officer and tried to steal his gun. It would be more instructive to teach all of the children in the school to respect the police and listen when the police speak to them. If Michael Brown had been white and attacked a police officer, I suspect he would still be dead. If Michael Brown had not been killed, I suspect the police officer would be dead. There is no way that story has a happy ending, and it is a shame that Junior Scholastic magazine chose to teach racism rather than teach respect for the law.

The Government Has Entered Your Living Room

Yesterday Breitbart.com posted a story about two students at Bristol-Plymouth Regional Technical School who have been suspended from school because of a picture taken in their living room. The picture shows Tito Velez and Jamie Pereira dressed for the school’s homecoming dance and holding Airsoft rifles. The caption below the picture, which was posted on Facebook by their father is “Homecoming 2014.”

The article reports:

School district superintendent Dr. Richard Gross said he didn’t have a problem with the Airsoft guns, and he understands free speech. However, he “takes issue with the caption below the photo that reads ‘Homecoming 2014.'” He added: “When you tie that to a school event, that’s something to be concerned about.”

Velez defended the couple’s photograph on CBS Boston, explaining that the guns are toys that shoot plastic pellets. Yet Dr. Gross said the entire homecoming dance would have been canceled had police discovered the photo prior to the start of the event. 

They are toy guns that shoot plastic pellets. If they had been nerf guns, would the students have been suspended?

The article further reports:

According to NECN.com, Pereira said, “We took [the pictures] with the Airsoft guns because that’s our hobby, and we wanted to include them.” But school officials argue that the photo caused “a disruption at the school.”

I’m sorry, but this just seems really ridiculous to me. I can understand other students asking the couple questions about the guns and about their hobby, but how did this picture cause “a disruption at the school.” I think this is just another example of the basic Massachusetts hysteria regarding guns.

The Question On The North Carolina Ballot

This was posted on Facebook by the Republican Liberty Caucus of North Carolina. When you vote in North Carolina, please keep in mind that a trial by jury is a right guaranteed by the U. S. Constitution.

Waive Right to Trial by Jury

Amendment

Friends,

As you may or may not have heard by now, on Election Day, November 4th 2014 there will be an amendment on the ballot left for North Carolina Voters to decide on. The Amendment, if passed, would amend the Constitution regarding jury trials in non death penalty cases. Instead of having a jury trial as mandated in the current form of the constitution, this would allow a defendant to waive his right to a jury trial and opt instead for a bench trial (with judicial allowance) and the case would then go before the NC Superior Court.

While the legislatively referred amendment may seem to lack fanfare or immediate consequence, there always remains the lingering possible negative consequences of “tinkering” with defendant rights and the judicial system. I would recommend folks look into this issue by referring to it’s Senate Bill # SB 399; which was sponsored by Peter Brunstetter. (This passed in the house overwhelmingly, with only one hold out vote cast by Michael Speciale.)

Consider the careful and thoughtful intent our Founding Fathers placed into writing the US Constitution, their foresight into matters such as these is absolutely relevant still today. In the Declaration of Independence a major grievance was the deprivation or jury trials in matter dealing with Great Britain, and detainment without trial. (We know the rest of the story so I will spare you the political history soapbox) However, fast forward to our modern system of criminal justice and even our Federal system has now adopted the right to waive a jury (in certain cases) to opt for a bench trial. In fact 49/50 states have this option (though statutes and limitations on this vary by state) so North Carolina is the last hold out; and to be perfectly honest and to inject my personal thoughts here, I truly think it is something to be proud of. We have maintained over the years that the right to jury trial is the best form of justice for defendants.

Some of the issues which have been raised to counter this Amendment include cases such as White Collar crimes and Fraud, bankers, political boosters, lobbyists, Insurance and Securities fraud etc. because of potential close relationships these types of defendants may have with certain judges or prosecutors. One case Nicole Revels brought up was the one in which the heir to the DuPont fortune was accused (and supposedly later admitted) to child molestation of one of his own children (he was accused of molesting two of his own children) he was granted a bench trial and sentenced to serve time, which was quickly after repealed by the judge with the explanation or excuse that he would not “fare well” in prison.

The other side of the rich and wealthy are the indigent, and low IQ defendants who already often admit to crimes they have not committed. If this option (to waive a jury) were to be taken away, perhaps a more sympathetic jury would not get to consider circumstances in which would either influence a lighter sentence (or even give the jury the option to nullify the case) I have been trying to find an old case I studied while in Criminal Law class at Campbell. I recall that there was a case in which an African American man with a fairly low IQ (and possibly some learning disorder) had seen a class where you could order away for information to become a private detective (he also at a certain point obtained a handgun) at some point later he went to the police station (possibly to talk to someone about being a “detective”) and either he disclosed that he had the gun, or it was found. It went to trial and he was facing a lengthy sentence. The case ended up being Nullified as the sympathetic jury decided he was not intending harm, and in fact was not able to even comprehend properly the laws and regulations. (No one was hurt and no violent crime happened here) I fear this man would have had the book thrown at him if he had gone in front of a judge.

Our prisons are already overpopulated with minority youths, many of which are serving very lengthy sentences because of possession charges or other non-violent crimes. Many of these defendants plea out, but for the ones who do not, I believe the Founding Fathers had the vision and capacity to understand that a jury of one’s own peers would be best fit to decide a sentence (if any at all) or find them not guilty. This amendment, in a perfect world, may just give defendants a fair option to make their own decision. However, the possibility to persuade or sway defendant’s in an intended direction remains a great risk to liberty. Most voters will not have even heard about this amendment when they go vote on November 4th, and they may just pick a quick answer, move on and never think twice about it. I think our Voters deserve more information, and more transparency. No matter what stance you take, I believe we need to educate and get the word out about SB 399, before it slips past us.

In Liberty,
Sara Remini

One Pediatrician’s Take On Common Core

The following was posted on Facebook on the “Stop Common Core In Mississippi” page:

“I just left our pediatrician. He walks in and says, “Common Core.” The look on his face tells me he is concerned. “I have been swamped the past two weeks with concerned parents who think their child needs medication to survive this new program,” he says. “I have a parent who is a teacher who is now homeschooling her children to avoid this mess.” “I know,” I say. “We have been ringing the bell as loudly as we can,” I say. “Many of the standards, especially the math standards are developmentally inappropriate and are biased against left-brained thinkers.” Our legislature had the chance to fix this last year. Next year is an election year. Keep ringing the bell. The Common Core has to go.” Lauren Emswiler Watson

Lauren is MS Senator Michael Watson‘s wife… and also a teacher.

I have heard from other teachers that much of the material in Common Core is not age-appropriate. The only way to get rid of this program is for parents and grandparents to get involved. It’s up to you to go to your local school boards and make yourselves heard. Otherwise you will simply have to live with the results–a generation of frustrated students and a data mining program that a totalitarian state would be proud of.

This is a photo taken from the Breitbart Facebook page:

This is what we are up against in the Middle East.

This Might Be Part Of The Problem

This video is posted on YouTube:

Matthew 18:6 “But if you cause one of these little ones who trusts in me to fall into sin, it would be better for you to have a large millstone tied around your neck and be drowned in the depths of the sea.” New Living Translation    These children are being brainwashed and their innocence stolen from them. The UN stands silent.

There is a video on Facebook that I could not successfully embed called “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” that shows how Hamas is training children to kill and using them as human shields. It is time for the United Nations to say something or to hang their head in shame. A civilized world would declare this as child abuse and demand an end to it. It is time to disband the United Nations and kick it out of New York.

Lying With Statistics

Investor’s Business Daily posted an article about the recent discussion on wealth inequality in America. French economist Thomas Piketty has written a book called Class Warfare in which he decries the unequal distribution of wealth in America and calls for extreme taxing of the ‘rich.’

The article includes the following chart and explanation:

“There are transcription errors from the original sources and incorrect formulas,” the FT noticed. “It also appears that some of the data are cherry-picked or constructed without an original source.”

But the bigger problem is that just looking at the actual data on U.S. inequality — using what is called the Gini ratio, a measure of how incomes are dispersed across society — you can see Piketty’s thesis is wrong.

As the chart below shows, contrary to claims by left-leaning economists such as Piketty, individual inequality hasn’t changed at all since 1960. But there has been an increase in household inequality.

Why? As economist Don Boudreaux and the website Political Calculations have noted, the changing composition and size of households are the reason.

Households have shrunk markedly. Since 1960, the average size has plunged from more than 3.4 persons to about 2.55, Census data show. One-person households have nearly quintupled since 1960 and today make up nearly 30% of all households.

When charted, the household Gini ratio looks as if there is growing inequality. But in fact it shows that households are smaller, with fewer earners.

Our point is that using tendentious data to bolster a case for taking even more private-sector output for government use is dishonest at best.

It is possible to make statistics say pretty much anything you want them to say. Mr. Piketty’s book is a current example of that fact.

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Learning From Indiana

In most states, Common Core is coming to a school near you. I have been involved in movements trying to stop Common Core in two states. I believe the program is not good for America–it doesn’t allow individual communities, schools, and teachers the flexibility to teach the children in the communities effectively. I strongly object to the idea of curriculum and testing being controlled by Washington rather than individual communities.

The Heritage Foundation posted an article on what is happening with Common Core in Indiana. The article states:

Common Core began as a broad reform, dreamed up by the bipartisan National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers, to provide a high-quality base of academic standards that any state in the country could choose to use. In 2010, Indiana became one of the first states to adopt the standards. By June 2012, 45 states, plus the District of Columbia, also began the implementation process.

Common Core already is woven into the fabric of American education. And where the words “Common Core” appear, protests are not far behind.

The article quotes one parent’s response to Common Core. This response totally sums up the problem:

“When parents still weren’t buying what [the publisher’s representative] was selling, our principal in frustration threw up his hands and said, ‘Look, I know parents don’t like this type of math because none of us were taught this way, but we have to teach it this way because this is how it’s going to be on the new [standardized] assessment. And that was the moment when I realized control of what was being taught in my child’s classroom  —  in a parochial Catholic school  —  had not only left the building, it had left the state of Indiana. And to me, that was a frightening thought.”

The complexity of the way mathematics is taught to first, second and third graders is unnecessary and confusing to many of the students. Problems that parents can easily do in two or three steps now take as many as fifty steps.

The article at Heritage reports that Indiana has put Common Core on hold until further investigation is completed:

“By pausing implementation, Indiana wanted to assess the cost to taxpayers and the quality of the standards – something every state that adopted the standards should have done prior to adoption,” says Lindsey M. Burke, The Heritage Foundation’s Will Skillman fellow in education. “While it’s still unclear exactly what the long-term outcome will be in Indiana, the Hoosier State provided a blueprint for other states that are interested in putting implementation on hold.”

The article reports some of the efforts to stop Common Core:

Angela Davidson Weinzinger founded the Facebook group Parents and Educators Against Common Core Standards in early 2013 and saw membership jump to thousands by that summer. She was taken by surprise by the Common Core standards in California, where she is a school board member in the Travis Unified District.

“When people first join the [Facebook] group, it’s usually because they’ve noticed the homework coming home with their kids,” Weinzinger says. She encourages new members to read information shared on the Facebook page, then contact their local representatives. “Common Core can’t be fought on a national level at this point. It has to be done in your states,” she tells people.

There will be a hearing in Raleigh on March 20 on Common Core. If you have children in school in North Carolina, you need to be there to fight for your children’s education.

Please follow the link above to read the entire article. When you know what is in Common Core, you will want to stop it.

 

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From The Heart

This is a post from a site called militaryspouse.com. Sometimes we forget the price the families of our military pay.

Weary Military Spouse Confessions

I am tired. I am over this thing we call “military life”.

Right off the bat I can hear the comments. “You knew what you were getting into”, “What do you have to complain about… you are not the service member”, “Suck it up, Buttercup”.

And all those comments make me want to punch a hole through the wall. This white wall that I am staring at, in a place that is supposed to feel like home because “home is where the heart is” or some other well-meaning cliché. But this doesn’t feel like home. At all.

I have been a military spouse since many reading this were in diapers. I was a spouse before 9/11… a young spouse then, new to military life and full of positivity and an eagerness to embrace this strange new world I married into. Even years after the towers fell, I was still optimistic. That first war-time deployment was hard, but my fellow military spouses saved me. We saved each other. Re-connecting with my husband was a bit challenging, but nothing we couldn’t handle. He was home alive… and that was all that mattered, right?

The first couple of PCS moves brought tears to my eyes… but the kids adjusted well and we all made new friends and it was an adventure. I was getting the hang of re-arranging our stuff to fit a new place. I knew all the tips and tricks about how to make a move go smoothly. I tried not to be too upset if something was damaged. It happens… and they are just things after all. Our immediate family was together, and that was the most important thing in the world.

I don’t know exactly when the shift happened. It kind of feels like a gradual thing… each deployment, each TDY, each PCS move, each homecoming… all chipping away at me. Wearing my skin thin. Making me more tired by the minute. And now, I just feel weary… all of the time.

I am weary of turning on the news and not seeing the numbers of dead reported… because it has just become too commonplace to be newsworthy.

I am weary of watching my children fight back tears as they say goodbye, again… and of watching them struggle to find their place in a new school.

I am weary of sending my husband away again… not knowing if this will be the time he doesn’t get so lucky.

I am weary of spending a large portion of my married life alone… even when he is “home”.

I am weary of lying in bed awake with worry at night over all of the unknowns of military life… and that doesn’t even count deployment.

I am weary of being told how lucky we are to have free health insurance and a steady paycheck… as if it were a gift.

I am weary of being away from extended family… I miss them terribly.

I am weary of making great friends and then saying goodbye… never seeing them again except on Facebook.

I am weary of witnessing the heartbreaking changes in my husband, that he won’t get help for… because he didn’t see combat after all. It wouldn’t be right.

I am weary of wondering what changes I will continue to see in my kids… who have known nothing but a life as a military child, with an active duty parent, during a time of war.

I am weary of the changes I KNOW are happening within in me… but I am too busy worrying about everyone else and just trying to get by, to ever seek help for myself.

I am weary of trying to be positive about the whole thing.

I am weary of people telling me how wonderful this life can be.

I am weary of putting on a brave face.

I am weary of not being honest about it all.

My husband only has a short time left in the military, and I am hopeful that my feelings are just indicative of how long we have been a part of this life… and that we are ready to move on to the next chapter. Am I grateful for the things that we have gained from my husband’s military service? Of course. But I am also well aware of the things we have given up. And I know that our weariness is a clear sign that it is time for his service to this great nation to come to an end.

I don’t write this for sympathy… I write it in hopes that if there are others out there feeling the same, they will feel a little less alone. I write it so that I can be honest about my feelings, an important first step in trying to get past them. Please don’t misunderstand. I am extremely proud of my husband, his service, and how our family has supported him for all of these years.

But I am weary. So weary.

And I don’t believe I am alone

Remember our military and their families in your prayers.

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We The People Need To Act

On Wednesday, MilitaryOneClick.com posted the following:

Making it in the MilLife®

Grassroots Efforts to Repeal Bipartisan Budget Act

Jan 15 2014

Published by Karen

A provision in the Bipartisan Budget Act (BBA) that reduces working age retirees’ annual cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) by one percentage point until the age of 62 has evoked outrage in the military community. To date, over 250,000 MOAA suggested messages have been sent to Congress on this issue alone.

Leading the grassroots efforts is the #KeepYourPromise Alliance. The alliance started on December 14, when various military organizations pulled together a grassroots campaign stating “enough is enough” to the continual military benefit cuts targeted by legislators seeking to balance the national budget. MOAA participated in a Twitter Town Hall that took place on December 16, quickly generating over 44,327 tweets. A second Twitter Town Hall and Facebook Spreecast took place on January 7th generating almost 10,000 tweets and nearly 6,000 Facebook views.

“MOAA strongly supports the groundswell of grass roots activities currently serving and retired military families are taking part in to voice their outrage about the COLA cut in the 2013 Bipartisan Budget Act,” MOAA President Vice Adm. Norb Ryan, USN (Ret) said. “They also correctly surmise that this step is only the beginning, and that if they don’t speak up now, more attacks on the All-Volunteer Force will surely be easier to accomplish.”

To join the social media action, visit and “like” the MOAA Spouse on Facebook or follow us on Twitter @MOAA_MilLife.

– See more at: http://militaryoneclick.com/grassroots-efforts-to-repeal-   bipartisan-budget-act/#sthash.8nlRIYv8.dpuf

The omnibus budget bill passed by the House and the Senate is a breach of contract with the American military. Our military has been fighting wars overseas for the past twelve years–this is how we reward them. It is a shame that the only budget cuts in this budget are to military retirement–there are no other budget cuts until later years, when Congress will probably repeal them.
It’s time for Americans to speak out on behalf of our military. There should be some serious outrage about this bill.
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The Chickens Are Coming Home To Roost

This was posted on Facebook by a friend of mine. I have no way of verifying it, but I think it is worth sharing because it is quite possible under the law:

JIM MEIER OSP PROJECT ENGINEER
369 HORIZON DR N. Fort Myers Fl. 33903

RE: OBAMACARE– A comment posted on the Affordable Care Act/Obamacare FB page:
“I actually made it through this morning at 8:00 AM. I have a preexisting condition (Type 1 Diabetes) and my income base was 45K-55K annually. I chose tier 2 “Silver Plan” and my monthly premiums came out to $597.00 with $13,988 yearly deductible!!! There is NO POSSIBLE way that I can afford this so I “opt-out” and chose to continue along with no insurance. I received an email tonight at 5:00 P.M. Informing me that my fine would be $4,037 and could be attached to my yearly income tax return. Then you make it to the “REPERCUSSIONS PORTION” for “non-payment” of yearly fine. First, your drivers license will be suspended until paid, and if you go 24 consecutive months with “Non-Payment” and you happen to be a home owner, you will have a federal tax lien placed on your home. You can agree to give your bank information so that they can easy “Automatically withdraw” your “penalties” weekly, bi-weekly or monthly! This by no means is “Free” or even “Affordable.” Kinda sheds a lot of light on all of the arming and beefing up of arms for all of the domestic departments INCLUDING the IRS now doesn’t it? There’s a war coming folks….

Is this what we want from our government?

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A Letter From A Veteran About The Budget Deal

This post is taken from The Blaze. It is a Facebook post and a letter to Paul Ryan from a veteran:

FB Friends,

I’m still mulling this Paul Ryan budget deal that stole money from every military retiree (past, present and future). This morning, upon opening my email, I noticed I had a letter from Congressman Paul Ryan…and it was begging me for an “emergency end of the year donation.” It only proves what we already know. The folks in Washington are indeed clueless. Instead of hitting the delete button, I decided to call Congressman Ryan out on his audacity and lack of self-awareness. I sent the following to him. I’m also posting it on the FB USAF Chiefs page as an open letter to the Congressman. If you’re a retiree, I will tell you we may have lost the battle, but not the war. If you’re inclined and find it worthy, let’s flood social media with this letter and see if we can get some traction. Thanks.

To Congressman Paul Ryan
Today at 8:19 AM

Congressman Ryan,

Please note that this request by you for a cash donation from me is extremely unfortunate and very ill-timed. You see sir, I am one of the military retirees your “bipartisan” budget just impacted. You and every Republican (both in the House and Senate that voted to pass this travesty betrayed and broke trust with me and everyone like me. You may not know us by name, but we’re the people, Congressman, who answered our Nation’s call, some of us at a very early age to willingly serve YOU and others LIKE YOU so you could safely attend college and pursue your personal ambitions without fear of harm.

You might also want to note that for at least 20 years, my brothers-in-arms answered that call of duty EVERY SINGLE DAY, without fail, without complaint, without enough money to sustain our loved ones we had to leave behind while we DID OUR JOB in every corner of the Earth. And for that service, we were given absolute assurance our so-called retirement benefits would be protected by law. The very law you shattered in your zeal to impress your Democratic cohorts in your back room deal–with the enemy. Yes, I said it. The liberal Democrats are an enemy to the American people and our Nation. Your lack of judgement and eagerness to compromise on the backs of us who protected you is sickening. Congressman, you and every Republican that voted for injuring military retirees have engaged in a complicit, sordid affair with the Democrats who’s objective has always been to dismantle the military. By climbing into their bed on this issue, you have confirmed you are absolutely no better than they and have proven it with your vote.

Congressman Ryan, the audacity which you display is noteworthy, but to unceremoniously snatch earned money from a small group that has added so much more value than the paltry $6B you looked to “save” (which is all smoke and mirrors and you know it), is reprehensible and insulting.

We have, despite the hardships, meager salaries and harsh conditions, have performed with honor and excellence…in silence, which is something most members of Congress have no idea about doing. Our job approval was, is and always be better than yours. We knew our mission and we got it done, then handed it off to a new generation in better shape than we found it.

Your ability to look us in the eye, take money from us (apparently there was ZERO, other source of waste within the federal government that you could have recovered this money from…right, got it), while simultaneously holding your hand out to beg (with passion) for our cash is stunning. Your actions have proven you do not have the tremendous intellect you’ve sold the American people on. I say, with all seriousness, Congressman, what you lack in intellect and spinal rigidity, you make up for in cajones.

I hope you and your cowardly, Republican “colleagues” hear a message from me loud and clear. You will NEVER receive another cent of financial support from me. Further, if you happen to be at a Capitol Hill dinner or at a K Street cocktail party with RNC Chair Reince Priebus, Rep. Ron Barber, Sen. Jeff Flake or Sen. John McCain, I would be honored if you communicate with them that I am launching an effort to ensure NONE of you traitorous “representatives of the people” ever receive another vote from a military retiree. Remove me from your contact lists.

Chuck Wooten,
Chief Master Sergeant, USAF (Ret)

He says it better than I could.

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Your Tax Dollars At Work

CBN News is reporting today on the annual release of Senator Tom Coburn‘s “Wastebook.” The book details some of the government programs funded by taxpayer dollars in the past year.

Some of the examples listed in the article:

…the U.S. State Department spending $630,000 to attract followers to its Facebook and Twitter accounts.

…a study on angry wives allowed the government to spend $300 million to learn that women would find marriage more satisfying if they could calm down faster during arguments with their husbands.

…in Nevada, $17 million in tax exemptions went to brothels. Deductions ranged from breast implants to promotional free passes to bring in new customers.

Fort Hood shooter Nadal Hassan collected $278,000 in military benefits because the military Code of Justice doesn’t allow a soldier to be suspended until they are found guilty.

It is disturbing that this spending is continuing while the retirement pay of our military is in danger of being cut. If Congress can’t deal with this spending before cutting in places that will actually do harm to Americans, we need to elect a new Congress.

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