The Voice Of Common Sense (Which Probably Will Not Be Heard)

Yesterday The Daily Wire posted an article about the investigation into the shooting of Rayshard Brooks.

The article reports:

“Atlanta PD detective (Al Hogan) assigned to the [Rayshard Brooks] investigation says he would have charged Brooks — not Rolfe — with 10 counts, including multiple felonies,” posted Philip Holloway, a legal analyst for WSB Radio (post below). Captioning a screenshot of Hogan’s letter, Holloway noted: “Usually law enforcement are witnesses for the state but this is from a defense filing.” 

This is a list of seven things that Detective Hogan would have charged Brooks with:

  1. DUI/DUI Less Safe, a violation of OCGA 40-6-391 
  2. Felony Obstruction, Two counts, a violation of OCGA 16-10-24
  3. Aggravated Assault against a Police Officer, Two Counts, a violation of OCGA 16-5-21
  4. Battery against a Police Officer, Two counts, a violation of OCGA 16-5-23.1
  5. Theft by Taking, a violation of OCGA 16-8-2
  6. Removal of Weapon from a Public Official, a violation of 16-10-33
  7. Robbery, a violation of OCGA 16-8-40.1

The article continues:

As reported by AJC, attorneys for the former officer, Noah Pines and Bill Thomas, have filed a motion seeking reasonable bond for their client. Pines and Thomas maintain in the motion that if Rolfe had reason to believe Brooks committed a crime involving the “infliction” or “threatened infliction” of “serious physical harm,” he was justified in using deadly force.

“In his struggle to evade arrest and revocation 0f his probation, Mr. Brooks concussed Officer Brosnan, stole his Taser, shot him with the Taser, fled with the Taser and then pointed and fired the Taser at Officer Rolfe,” the motion states.

When you attack a police officer, bad things happen to you. I don’t care what color you are. The fact that the police officer has been charged rather than the criminal in this case illustrates how off base mob rule can be. This is one of many examples of why America is a representative republic and not a democracy. A democracy results in mob rule. Mob rule would convict the police officer, despite the evidence. Hopefully, cooler heads will eventually prevail.

Protection For Me, But Not For Thee

Ed Morrissey posted an article at Hot Air today about a recent move by the Minneapolis City Council. The article reports that yesterday the council voted unanimously to pursue a still-ambiguous plan to dismantle the Minneapolis Police Department and replace it with a more politically correct “Department of Community Safety and Violence Prevention.” However, there are some problems with that vote.

The article reports:

The council voted unanimously to advance a proposal that would create a new Department of Community Safety and Violence Prevention. Within that, the city could create a division that includes “licensed peace officers,” though it would not be required to do so.

It’s unclear how many, if any, officers would continue to be employed by the city if the proposal passes.

Council Member Cam Gordon said it’s consistent with the pledge from council members to fundamentally alter local policing in the wake of George Floyd’s killing by Minneapolis officers.

“Those things that we called the police department are gone,” Gordon said. “Certainly, there is a provision in here that would allow this council or future councils to maintain a Division of Law Enforcement Services, but I think what we need to do is have that possibility there and talk to people about what the future should look like.”

The article explains the problem with that vote:

Maybe we should know what the “future” looks like before changing the present. The city council can’t actually change the present anyway, thanks to a city charter that requires them to maintain a police department with precise staffing levels. The best they can do under the charter is impose a cut of around 20%, but even that would fall afoul of the collective bargaining agreement with the police union. (Agreements negotiated and signed by a succession of progressive city councils, I might add here.) That makes yesterday’s vote an exercise in pusillanimity; there’s no cost to it at all.

It gets worse:

The City of Minneapolis is spending $4,500 a day for private security for three council members who have received threats following the police killing of George Floyd, FOX 9 has learned.

A city spokesperson said the private security details have cost the city $63,000 over the past three weeks.

The three council members who have the security detail – Andrea Jenkins (Ward 8), and Phillipe Cunningham (Ward 4), and Alondra Cano (Ward 9)– have been outspoken proponents of defunding the Minneapolis Police Department.

So while the Council votes to get rid of the police department as it currently exists, the City is paying for private security for three council members. Protection for me, but not for thee. These are the people the voters of Minneapolis elected. I think it might be time to unelect them. We need to remember that the voters have the power to determine leadership. In 2018, the turnout of registered Minneapolis voters was 76%. That is a solid turnout. The voters need to learn to make better choices.

What In The World Is Going On In Atlanta?

When the news reports something that contradicts common sense, there is usually a story behind it that is not being reported. Evidently there is a story behind the decision of the District Attorney in Atlanta to charge police officer Garrett Wolfe for the shooting death of Rayshard Brooks. The video of the shooting has been widely posted, and many Americans have seen it. The video clearly shows Mr. Brooks resisting arrest and attacking the policemen who were attempting to arrest him. Somehow in the press conference announcing the charge, Fulton County, Georgia, District Attorney Paul Howard Jr., only focused on the beginning footage of the Officer Wolfe’s body camera where Mr. Brooks was cooperative. He chose to overlook what happened next. So what is this actually about? The Conservative Treehouse posted an article yesterday that provides some clues.

The article notes:

Fulton County, Georgia, District Attorney Paul Howard Jr., held a press conference earlier this afternoon to announce eleven charges against police officer Garrett Wolfe for the shooting death of Rayshard Brooks.  The shooting took place at a local Atlanta Wendys.

In what appears to be a decision heavily influenced by local politics, DA Howard is charging officer Garrett Wolfe with felony murder; an unlawful killing with malice, forethought and specific intent.  It looks like Howard is purposefully making a mess.

…There is something rather unusual about the way DA Paul Howard framed the encounter between the police and Rayshard Brooks, because CCTV video and body-cam footage do not support the district attorney’s version of events. Obviously in a courtroom the defense is going to replay the DA statements while they run simultaneous footage of Mr. Rayshard Brooks resisting arrest, fighting with police and ultimately taking one of the officers’ tasers to use as a weapon.

The article explains a possible motive for the District Attorney’s actions:

There’s something very sketchy going on in the political background…. and I cannot help but wonder if Paul Howard Jr. is planning to be defeated in the next election (he seems in trouble) and is, as an intentional and self-centered plan, trying to set-up his political successor with a lose/lose scenario.

The eleven charges which include felony murder seem positioned from a district attorney who knows he won’t be around to deal with the case details.  Howard can present himself as the community hero today and force his successor into the role of legal villain. That scenario is exactly what this looks like.

The article at The Conservative Treehouse includes a screenshot of something the Georgia Bureau of Investigation posted on their Facebook page:

The article concludes with the following statement along with videos of the press conference and of the arrest:

It is brutally obvious DA Paul Howard Jr. is setting a political trap for the next Fulton County District Attorney.   The weird press conference and charges are ridiculous.

Regardless of internal Atlanta politics, the message to police is chilling.  I would not want to be living anywhere around Fulton county, Georgia; because I suspect there is going to be a massive drop in law enforcement.  Crime will likely rise, violence will likely escalate, and the suffering community will be the same black neighborhoods who might currently be thanking DA Howard without realizing what consequences are looming.

Chaos may be coming to Atlanta, courtesy of a politically-motivated District Attorney.

The Insanity Continues

Boston Channel 5 reported on Friday that the MBTA (Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority) will no longer provide transportation for non-MBTA law enforcement personnel to or from public demonstrations on MBTA buses, a spokesperson for the transit agency said. (How do they know where the law enforcement personnel are going? What if they live a block away from the public demonstration?)

The article reports:

The State Police Association of Massachusetts, which represents sergeants and troopers of the state police, said the vote from the control board was unanimous, “so as not to inhibit people from expressing themselves.”

“The MBTA has provided safe and reliable transportation, allowing for a single, inconspicuous vehicle to move our members,” the association wrote. “Further, the skilled drivers of the MBTA know city streets and can expertly navigate the movement of our personnel to where they are most needed.”

The union called the MBTA’s actions “shameful” that “overtly pander to the false rhetoric and anti-police agenda of the few.”

“These actions place needless hurdles to the protection of life and property, and they put the public at large at risk,” the statement said.

Robert Marino, the president of the MBTA Police Association, is asking for the transit agency to “respectfully request” the decision be reconsidered.

“Transit police officers have stood shoulder to shoulder with fellow officers from both State Police, the City of Boston and other communities, to protect both individual constitutional rights guaranteed by the First Amendment of protesters and the public well-being,” Marino wrote. “Our members as well as our fellow officers put themselves in harms way in order to protect the peaceful protesters exercising their rights and to prevent a small criminal element from hijacking the event.”

“We owe it to the peaceful protesters to be prepared and to protect them as well as property owners,” he wrote.

The State Police Association of Massachusetts also criticized a decision by UMass Boston, that barred the use of its campus as a parking area for police.

Just for the record, throwing a brick through a window is not ‘expressing yourself.’

The demonization of the police was fueled during the Obama administration. It was propagandized into a racial issue (look up the statistics–it is not a racial issue). There are policemen who use excessive force or misuse their authority. (I can cite a few examples I know personally.) However, the majority of police are people who want to serve the community, protect the innocent, and keep the peace. The current attack on police is another effort by the extreme left to destabilize our society. Unfortunately, in many areas of the country that effort is successful.

Just In Case You Haven’t Heard The Full Story Yet…

Yesterday PJ Media posted an article that includes a statement by United States Park Police acting Chief Gregory T. Monahan. As you probably know, the mainstream media accused President Trump of having peaceful protesters dispersed with tear gas so that he could walk across Lafayette Park and the National Mall.

This is the statement from the Park Police:

The United States Park Police (USPP) is committed to the peaceful expression of First Amendment rights. However, this past weekend’s demonstrations at Lafayette Park and across the National Mall included activities that were not part of a peaceful protest, which resulted in injuries to USPP officers in the line of duty, the destruction of public property and the defacing of memorials and monuments. During four days of demonstrations, 51 members of the USPP were injured; of those, 11 were transported to the hospital and released and three were admitted.

Multiple agencies assisted the USPP in responding to and quelling the acts of destruction and violence over the course of the weekend in order to protect citizens and property.

On Monday, June 1, the USPP worked with the United States Secret Service to have temporary fencing installed inside Lafayette Park. At approximately 6:33 pm, violent protestors on H Street NW began throwing projectiles including bricks, frozen water bottles and caustic liquids. The protestors also climbed onto a historic building at the north end of Lafayette Park that was destroyed by arson days prior. Intelligence had revealed calls for violence against the police, and officers found caches of glass bottles, baseball bats and metal poles hidden along the street.

To curtail the violence that was underway, the USPP, following established policy, issued three warnings over a loudspeaker to alert demonstrators on H Street to evacuate the area. Horse mounted patrol, Civil Disturbance Units and additional personnel were used to clear the area. As many of the protestors became more combative, continued to throw projectiles, and attempted to grab officers’ weapons, officers then employed the use of smoke canisters and pepper balls. No tear gas was used by USPP officers or other assisting law enforcement partners to close the area at Lafayette Park. Subsequently, the fence was installed.

Unfortunately the mainstream media chose to lie to make President Trump look bad rather than to tell the truth. This sort of lying is a major cause of the divisions in our country. People who depend on the mainstream media are simply not being told the truth.

The Drug War Continues

The easiest way to end the drug war and the power of the cartels would be for Americans to stop using illegal drugs. Unfortunately that has not happened and is not likely to happen. However, that is the true answer to the problem. Meanwhile China continues to smuggle illegal drugs into America–either through the porous southern border and through our ports. A drugged out nation will eventually be very easy to take over.

Sara Carter posted an article today about a recent incident in the Eastern Pacific Ocean.

The article reports:

The U.S. Coast Guard intercepted a vessel in the Eastern Pacific Ocean on May 14 carrying 1.5 tons of cocaine valued at over $28 million, according to the Department of Defense.

A U.S. Navy aircraft first spotted the low profile vessel (LPV) and quickly alerted Law Enforcement Detachment (LEDET) and The Arleigh Burke-Class Destroyer USS Pinckney (U.S. Southern Command) to the scene, according to a press release.

…The Trump administration ramped up counternarcotics operations on April 1 after the Pentagon received intelligence that the drug cartels were planning to exploit the coronavirus crisis. In response, General Mark Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, announced that the U.S. wouldn’t let the cartels “get past jump street.”

The President and Secretary of Defense Mark Esper confirmed that a number of U.S. vessels had been moved into the eastern Pacific and the Caribbean Sea to counter growing threats from the drug cartels in Latin America. Speaking with reporters at the time, Trump said of the move, “we are tired of drugs pouring into our country from other places.  And we’re tired of seeing drugs pouring into different parts of Latin America, South America, and just coming into our country.”

“Now we’ve got them stopped at the border and they’re trying to do it by sea,” Trump explained. “So we stop them at the border with — and, frankly, with the help of Mexico.  Mexico, right now, has 27,000 soldiers on our southern border.  They never had any soldiers. They’re doing that because I’ve asked them to do it.  That’s the only reason they’re doing it.  They have 27,000 soldiers.”

He continued, “So now they’re trying to bring it in by boat and by ship — the drug lords and the people doing drugs — and trying to destroy our country from inside with drugs.  And we’re hitting them very, very hard.  And that’s why we’re doing that.”

This is another example of President Trump exercising leadership to protect the American people.

Privacy Is Now A Total Myth

Yesterday NBC News posted an article that illustrates how the surveillance state can be a problem for perfectly innocent individuals.

The article reports:

The email arrived on a Tuesday afternoon in January, startling Zachary McCoy as he prepared to leave for his job at a restaurant in Gainesville, Florida.

It was from Google’s legal investigations support team, writing to let him know that local police had demanded information related to his Google account. The company said it would release the data unless he went to court and tried to block it. He had just seven days.

“I was hit with a really deep fear,” McCoy, 30, recalled, even though he couldn’t think of anything he’d done wrong. He had an Android phone, which was linked to his Google account, and, like millions of other Americans, he used an assortment of Google products, including Gmail and YouTube. Now police seemingly wanted access to all of it.

“I didn’t know what it was about, but I knew the police wanted to get something from me,” McCoy said in a recent interview. “I was afraid I was going to get charged with something, I don’t know what.”

There was one clue.

In the notice from Google was a case number. McCoy searched for it on the Gainesville Police Department’s website, and found a one-page investigation report on the burglary of an elderly woman’s home 10 months earlier. The crime had occurred less than a mile from the home that McCoy, who had recently earned an associate degree in computer programming, shared with two others.

The article goes on to say that McCoy went to his parents, explained what was happening, and they funded a lawyer for him. McCoy was trying to figure out how he got involved in something he was totally unaware of. He began to look at his phone and realized that he was using an exercise-tracking app, RunKeeper, to record the bike rides he was taking for exercise.

The article continues:

The lawyer, Caleb Kenyon, dug around and learned that the notice had been prompted by a “geofence warrant,” a police surveillance tool that casts a virtual dragnet over crime scenes, sweeping up Google location data — drawn from users’ GPS, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and cellular connections — from everyone nearby.

The warrants, which have increased dramatically in the past two years, can help police find potential suspects when they have no leads. They also scoop up data from people who have nothing to do with the crime, often without their knowing ─ which Google itself has described as “a significant incursion on privacy.”

Please follow the link to read the entire article. However, the bottom line is simple–Mr. McCoy’s civil rights were violated when he was accused of a crime simply because his exercise application placed him in the neighborhood of the crime. There was no other evidence other than the illegal surveillance of his movements.

The article concludes with the outcome of the case:

On Jan. 31, Kenyon filed a motion in Alachua County civil court to render the warrant “null and void” and to block the release of any further information about McCoy, identifying him only as “John Doe.” At that point, Google had not turned over any data that identified McCoy but would have done so if Kenyon hadn’t intervened. Kenyon argued that the warrant was unconstitutional because it allowed police to conduct sweeping searches of phone data from untold numbers of people in order to find a single suspect.

That approach, Kenyon said, flipped on its head the traditional method of seeking a search warrant, in which police target a person they already suspect.

“This geofence warrant effectively blindly casts a net backwards in time hoping to ensnare a burglar,” Kenyon wrote. “This concept is akin to the plotline in many a science fiction film featuring a dystopian, fascist government.”

The filing seemed to give law enforcement authorities second thoughts about the warrant. Not long afterward, Kenyon said, a lawyer in the state attorney’s office assigned to represent the Gainesville Police Department told him there were details in the motion that led them to believe that Kenyon’s client was not the burglar. The state attorney’s office withdrew the warrant, asserting in a court filing that it was no longer necessary. The office did not respond to a request for comment.

Kenyon said that in a visit to his office, the detective acknowledged that police no longer considered his client a suspect.

On Feb. 24, Kenyon dropped his legal challenge.

The case ended well for McCoy, Kenyon said, but “the larger privacy fight will go unanswered.”

This is frightening.

Why Border Security Matters

Yesterday Fox News posted an article about a recent drug seizure at the Arizona border.

The article reports:

A drug bust last year was hailed as the largest fentanyl bust in U.S. history—254 pounds seized at an Arizona border crossing.

The seizure came as the scourge of fentanyl continues to fuel the opioid epidemic, ravaging communities across the U.S. while killing tens of thousands of people.

“Fentanyl also continues to be a tremendous problem, contributing to 68,000 overdose deaths in the United States in 2018,” Mark Morgan, acting commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection told Congress in November. He said CBP’s seizures of fentanyl rose by 30 percent in fiscal year 2019, totaling 2,770 pounds.

Fentanyl comes from China. Often it is smuggled into the U.S. from Mexico by drug cartels involved in a violent war with Mexican police and military forces.

The historic 254-pound bust was just one of a half-dozen big fentanyl busts recorded by law enforcement in recent years, a tally shows.

These six busts have led to the seizure of some 818 pounds of fentanyl–enough to kill 229 million people, according to authorities.

The article lists the six major drug busts. Please follow the link above to the article to see the details.

On March 22, 2019, I Heart Radio reported:

A new study released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows how the opioid epidemic has ballooned over the past six years. The report found that from 2011 to 2016, the number of overdose deaths from the synthetic opiate fentanyl has risen by over 1000 percent.

The CDC says that in 2011 and 2012, around 1,600 people died each year from a fentanyl overdose. The number of deaths rose to 1,900 in 2013, but in 2014 officials saw the number of fatalities jump to 4,223. In 2015 the number of deaths nearly doubled to 8,251, and in 2016 there were another 10,000 deadly overdoses, bringing the total to 18,335 for the year.

The massive spike in fentanyl-related deaths was seen mainly in men. Up until 2013, the number of men and women who overdosed on fentanyl was about the same, but in 2014 the numbers began to diverge, and in 2016 there were three times as many men killed from an overdose as women.

Fentanyl is now considered the deadliest drug in America and is responsible for 29% of all overdose deaths in the nation.

Border security matters.

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.

Money Doesn’t Always Win Political Races

A number of the Democrat victories in Virginia were heavily funded by George Soros. George Soros also poured $800,000 into a political campaign in New York to unseat Sandra Doorley, a Republican District Attorney in Monroe County, New York.

Yesterday Paul Mirengoff at Power Line Blog posted an article about Tuesday’s elections.

The article reports:

George Soros, the Hungarian billionaire, succeeded in toppling two fine Northern Virginia prosecutors this year in Democratic primaries. Pouring unheard of amounts of money into local prosecutor races in Arlington and Fairfax Counties, Soros was able to take down Commonwealth Attorneys Theo Stamos in Arlington and Raymond Morrogh in Fairfax. They will be replaced by prosecutors who are borderline qualified, if that, and who very likely will adhere to the radical, anti-law enforcement agenda of Soros, their money man.

The article concludes:

Add the amount Soros spent on the Monroe County race to what he spent in local prosecutor races in Virginia and elsewhere, and you see how badly the Hungarian billionaire wants to “decriminalize crime” (Lonsberry’s phrase) in the United States.

Fortunately, Monroe County voters don’t share Soros’s pro-criminal agenda. They reelected Doorley handily. She captured around 56 percent of the vote.

Afterwards, Doorley thanked Soros for his involvement. She declared:

The Republican Party in Monroe Country is not dead, and we are alive and well. And look at all the great people, here. We still have the energy and we will be back. And I am back for another four more years, so, thank you, George Soros!

Soros deserves to be taunted. However, I don’t buy the suggestion, other than in jest, that his large contributions to left-wing candidates in local races are counterproductive. Soros made a difference in Virginia, and I suspect that Doorley’s race was closer than it would have been without the Hungarian’s $800,000 contribution to her opponent.

Soros keeps probing for weaknesses in the opposition to his radical plans for America. He does so skillfully. Fortunately, Monroe County passed his “stress test” on Tuesday.

Money does not always win elections.

 

Hasn’t He Read The U.S. Constitution?

The Washington Examiner posted an article yesterday about some recent remarks by presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke.

The article reports:

Beto O’Rourke said he would use the criminal code to back up his proposal to confiscate AR-15s and other “weapons of war” from Americans.

“If we’re able to pass mandatory buybacks and I’m able to sign that into law, then I fully expect our fellow Americans to turn in their AR-15s and their AK-47s,” the former Texas congressman said in a Thursday CBS News interview when asked if his policy was “too retroactive.”

O’Rourke continued his answer by saying there would be criminal consequences if people were to “persist” in holding onto their weapons.

“For anyone who does not and is caught in possession or seen in possession of one of these weapons of war — one of these instruments of terror, that weapon will be taken from them, and they will be fined. And if they should persist in continuing to use and to buy these weapons, then there will be other consequences in the criminal code.”

The Democratic presidential contender said earlier this month that under his administration, police would “visit” AR-15 owners who did not cooperate in turning their guns in voluntarily.

“I think there would be a visit by law enforcement to recover that firearm and to make sure that it is purchased, bought back so that it cannot potentially be used against somebody else,” O’Rourke said about the possibility that gun owners might not submit to voluntary buybacks.

It’s interesting that the candidates seem to be focused on AR-15’s. An AR-15 is a semi-automatic weapon that fires one bullet at a time. The AR stands for ArmaLite, the original manufacturer of the weapon. It is a scary looking gun, but even if you support taking guns away from Americans, there is no reason to focus on that particular gun. It is legal to own an AK-47 as long as it was manufactured before 1986. There are also paperwork requirements involved with owning this particular gun.

However, all of the above is simply irrelevant. The Second Amendment states:

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

The right of the people to keep and bear arms was to protect the people from a tyrannical government–like one that wanted to forcefully take away their guns. What Beto O’Roarke is proposing is exactly what the Second Amendment was written to prevent.

Getting Serious About False Allegations Against Nominees

Senator Chuck Grassley posted an article on his Senate web page that included a letter asking the Attorney General and the Director of the FBI about investigations into false charges made against Justice Kavanaugh.

Part of the letter states:

These criminal referrals were not made lightly.  In each of the aforementioned cases, the referred individual(s) made false allegations against then-Judge Kavanaugh.  These allegations were taken seriously and carefully investigated by Committee staff, resulting in the diversion of significant resources.
    1. The first referral, dated September 29, 2018, relates to a false allegation made by an individual who told the Committee that he had direct knowledge that Judge Kavanaugh assaulted a close friend on a boat in the harbor at Newport, Rhode Island in 1985. [1]  After the Committee extensively questioned Judge Kavanaugh about the allegation, the individual recanted and apologized on social media for making the false allegation.
    1. The second referral, dated October 25, 2018, relates to false allegations made by Mr. Michael Avenatti and his client, Ms. Julie Swetnick.[2]  In a September 23, 2018, email to Committee staff, Mr. Avenatti stated that he and Ms. Swetnick were aware of evidence that during the 1980s, Judge Kavanaugh participated in the “targeting of women with alcohol/drugs in order to allow a ‘train’ of men to subsequently gang rape them.”[3]  Committee staff interviewed Judge Kavanaugh and ten other individuals in connection with these allegations, which were outlined in graphic detail in a sworn statement to the Committee purportedly written and signed by Ms. Swetnick.  After a thorough investigation, the Committee found no verifiable evidence to support any of the allegations made in the declaration.  The Committee also found that both Mr. Avenatti and Ms. Swetnick had a long history of credibility issues and may have criminally conspired to mislead the Committee and obstruct its investigation.
    1. The third referral, dated October 26, 2018, relates to evidence that Mr. Avenatti falsified a sworn statement to the Committee in order to provide support for Ms. Swetnick’s unfounded allegations.[4]  The sworn statement by an unknown declarant claimed that Judge Kavanaugh had spiked the punch at house parties with Quaaludes and/or grain alcohol in order to make “girls more likely to engage in sexual acts and less likely to say ‘No.’”[5]  NBC News later reported on a series of contacts with the purported declarant, who stated that she had denied the key allegations in the declaration both before and after the statement was publicly released and that Mr. Avenatti had “twisted [her] words.”[6]
    1. The fourth referral, dated November 2, 2018, relates to allegations made by Ms. Judy Munro-Leighton.[7]  On October 3, 2018, Committee staff received an email from Ms. Munro-Leighton stating that she was the author of an unsigned letter containing highly graphic sexual-assault accusations against Judge Kavanaugh previously received by the office of Senator Kamala Harris.  Ms. Munro-Leighton included the text of the letter in her e-mail to the Committee, claiming that Judge Kavanaugh and a friend had raped her “several times each” in the back seat of a car.[8]  When Committee staff interviewed Ms. Munro-Leighton, she admitted that she falsely identified herself as the author of the letter and its allegations and had only claimed authorship “as a way to grab attention.”[9]  When asked by Committee investigators if she had ever met Judge Kavanaugh, she said:  “Oh Lord, no.”[10]

The letter continues:

As the Committee stressed in each of the referrals issued during and after the investigation into allegations against then-Judge Kavanaugh, investigations in support of the judicial nomination process are an essential part of the constitutional role in confirming judges.  As Committee members, we are grateful to citizens who come forward with relevant information in good faith, even if they are not entirely sure about the accuracy of that information.  But, when individuals intentionally mislead the Committee, they divert important Committee resources during time-sensitive investigations and materially impede its work. Such acts are not only unfair; they are potentially illegal.  It is illegal to make materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statements to Congressional investigators.  It is illegal to obstruct Committee investigations.
It is important to protect the constitutional process from being hijacked by bad actors involved in insidious partisan operations.  The Committee can bring bad actors to the attention of law enforcement and the American people by being as transparent as possible about its investigative findings.  However, it is up to the FBI and the Justice Department to hold those who mislead Congress accountable for the criminal aspects of their behavior.  The DOJ has not shied away from selectively filing charges against individuals for alleged violations of 18 U.S.C. §§ 1001 in the past.  Martha Stewart, former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich, and ex-Presidential aide Scooter Libby are just a few individuals who have been charged with lying to federal investigators.[11]  Lying to Congress is and should be treated as an equally serious offense.
The next Supreme Court nominee should not have to defend himself or herself against baseless and fabricated allegations, and Committee staff should not have to spend valuable time investigating them.
Accordingly, please respond to the following no later than October 21, 2019:
    1. For each criminal referral made by the Committee to the FBI, did the FBI open a criminal investigation?  If so, which investigation(s) resulted in a referral to the Justice Department for prosecution?  If not, why not?
    1. For each case that was referred to the Justice Department for prosecution, which cases were rejected and which were accepted for prosecution? 

It will be interesting to see if there is any response to this letter.

San Francisco Has A Language Problem

When you drive through the streets of much of San Francisco, you see tents of homeless people. You have to step over things you would find in a third-world country. There are rats, needles, etc. There is definitely a problem. Many of the homeless have mental issues and drug problems. Many of them are well-known to local law enforcement. The Gateway Pundit posted an article today noting the San Francisco Board of Supervisors’ solution to these problems–the are changing the language used to describe many of the people involved.

The article reports:

San Francisco has a lot of problems: Rampant drug use on the streets, homeless defecating everywhere, medieval diseases like typhoid and bubonic plague engulfing the once-great city.

But fortunately, elected officials are tackling the most important problem: Politically incorrect language.

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors is busy rewriting “language guidelines” for what to call certain people. For instance, a convicted felon or an offender released from jail should be called a “formerly incarcerated person,” or a “justice-involved” person. A person who commits another crime — once called a “repeat offender” — should be called a “returning resident.”

 People on parole or probation should be referred to as a “person on parole” or  a “person under supervision.”

In addition, a juvenile “delinquent” should become a “young person with justice system involvement,” or a “young person impacted by the juvenile justice system.” And drug addicts should become “a person with a history of substance use.”

“We don’t want people to be forever labeled for the worst things that they have done,” Supervisor Matt Haney told the San Francisco Chronicle. “We want them ultimately to become contributing citizens, and referring to them as felons is like a scarlet letter that they can never get away from.”

The article concludes:

The Chronicle points out the resolution makes no mention of victims of “justice-involved” people, and constructs a sentence to show the absurdity of the new language: “[U]sing the new terminology someone whose car has been broken into could well be: ‘A person who has come in contact with a returning resident who was involved with the justice system and who is currently under supervision with a history of substance use.’ “

San Francisco needs a history lesson that provides an example of how to deal with runaway lawlessness (which is what they are dealing with). A website called ThoughtCo.com explains the concept of ‘broken window theory’:

In 1993, New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and police commissioner William Bratton cited Kelling and his broken windows theory as a basis for implementing a new “tough-stance” policy aggressively addressing relatively minor crimes seen as negatively affecting the quality of life in the inner-city.

Bratton directed NYPD to step up enforcement of laws against crimes like public drinking, public urination, and graffiti. He also cracked down on so-called “squeegee men,” vagrants who aggressively demand payment at traffic stops for unsolicited car window washings. Reviving a Prohibition-era city ban on dancing in unlicensed establishments, police controversially shuttered many of the city’s night clubs with records of public disturbances.

While studies of New York’s crime statistics conducted between 2001 and 2017 suggested that enforcement policies based on the broken windows theory were effective in reducing rates of both minor and serious crimes, other factors may have also contributed to the result. For example, New York’s crime decrease may have simply been part of a nationwide trend that saw other major cities with different policing practices experience similar decreases over the period. In addition, New York City’s 39% drop in the unemployment rate could have contributed to the reduction in crime.

While other factors may have played a part, there is no doubt that the ‘broken window policy’ made New York City a much more pleasant place to be. My middle daughter attended Cooper Union from 1992 to 1996 and lived in New York City for a number of years after that. The change under Mayor Giuliani was noticeable. It was a pleasure to visit the city during the time he was Mayor.

San Francisco needs to deal with their problems–not rename them.

The Cost Of Congressional Inaction

America has needed a reasonable approach to immigration for years. Congress has chosen not to meet this need. So what is the cost of their inaction? Today’s Washington Examiner has some of the numbers.

The Washington Examiner reports:

Federal arrests of noncitizens have jumped over 200% in the last 20 years and now account for 64% of those arrested, according to the Justice Department.

The Bureau of Justice Statistics said that federal arrests of non-Americans rose 234% from 1998-2018. For U.S. citizens, the percentage rose just 10% over those 20 years.

The newly released statistics feed the Trump administration’s narrative that an increase in immigration, especially illegal immigration, has fed a spike in crime.

The article concludes:

Also over that period, illegal immigration has surged off and on and the bureau said that immigration crimes account for the bulk of arrests. In the past, Department of Homeland Security authorities have accounted for a majority of the arrests.

“20 years, 95% of the increase in federal arrests was due to immigration crimes. From 1998 to 2018, federal immigration arrests increased 5-fold (from 20,942 to 108,667), rising more than 50,000 in one year from 2017 to 2018,” said the Justice Department.

Vaughan, the director of policy studies for the Center for Immigration Studies, said that the statistics and types of crimes disprove claims by pro-immigration advocates that illegal immigrants aren’t involved in crimes.

“Opponents of immigration enforcement are obsessed with trying to establish that illegal aliens and legal immigrants commit fewer crimes than Americans, and so, as their narrative goes, local law enforcement agencies should not cooperate with ICE and should adopt sanctuary policies. This is first of all not true, but is off-point and a dangerous conclusion. What these numbers show is that there are certain types of crime that are disproportionately associated with illegal aliens: drug trafficking, certain gang crimes, and identity theft and document fraud,” she told Secrets.

I can’t even imagine how much this is costing our federal government. It would seem that with budget deficits as far as the eye can see, Congress might be willing to look at fixing the immigration problem as one positive step toward reducing government spending, Nope–the political issue is worth more than the solution. Also, is Congress willing to take responsibility for the Americans who have been harmed by illegal immigration?

Ignoring Our God-given Rights Enumerated In The U.S. Consitution

Yesterday Townhall posted an article that illustrates the problem with the ‘red flag’ laws currently being discussed by gun-control advocates. The article tells the story of Jonathan Carpenter, a Florida resident.

The article reports:

According to Ammoland, Jonathan Carpenter received a certified letter from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services saying his concealed handgun permit had been suspended for “acts of domestic violence or acts of repeat violations.”

Carpenter was forced to go to the Osceola County clerk’s office to have a form filled out stating he wasn’t the person law enforcement was looking for. At that point, the clerk instructed Carpenter to speak with the sheriff’s office.

Ammoland reports:

The Sheriff’s office supplied Carpenter with a copy of the injunction. In the statement, the plaintiff stated that she rented a room out to a “Jonathan Edward Carpenter” and his girlfriend. She alleged that this Carpenter was a drug dealer who broke her furniture and sold her belongings without her permission. He had a gun, and she feared for her life. She was not sure if the firearm was legal or not.

Carpenter had never met the woman in question and never lived at the address listed in the restraining order. Moreover, other than being white, he looked nothing like the man the terrorized the woman.

The man in question is 5’8. Carpenter is 5’11. The alleged drug dealer is 110lbs. Carpenter is over 200. The man has black hair. Carpenter is completely bald. Last but not least, the man in question is covered in tattoos, and Carpenter only has a few.

Even though it was evident they had the wrong man, Carpenter was forced to hand over his firearms. There was no hearing or any kind of court proceeding.

Read those last two sentences again.

The article concludes:

Carpenter’s firearms had to remain in police custody until the plaintiff can say, in court, that he’s not the man that she filed a complaint against. He’d then have to petition the court to get his firearms back…and he would have to bear the cost. Carpenter will get his day in court later this month. 

What’s happening to this man is the exact instance Second Amendment supporters have worried about. This very instant is what we’ve talked about, time and time again. What if Carpenter needed to defend himself between now and his court date? He couldn’t, because the government failed him. He’s having to prove himself innocent in a country where everyone is supposed to be innocent until proven guilty.

The ‘laws’ used to confiscate Mr. Carpenter’s firearms are not constitutional. This nightmare scenario would be frequently repeated if ‘red flag’ laws are passed. Mr. Carpenter is innocent until proven guilty. He was not treated that way.

Slowly Dealing With The Problem

On Wednesday, CNS News posted an article about the number of border crossings in recent months.

The article reports:

The number of border crossings have dropped by 43 percent since May, acting DHS Secretary Kevin McAleenan said Wednesday.

Furthermore, the number of illegal immigrants in custody at border stations has dropped from 20,000 in June to less than 4,000 as of today.

“So those efforts are making progress – 43% reduction in crossings since May. We’re hoping to continue the progress in August. I’ll be going back to Central America next week to try to build on that with El Salvador and Panama and really address this problem as a regional effort,” he told “Fox & Friends” on Wednesday.

“On the first week of June, we had 20,000 people in custody in border stations. They’re having a difficult time managing that overcrowding. This morning we have less than 4,000, and they’re not staying with us very long. We’re able to repatriate the single adults quickly. The unaccompanied children are going to a better situation with Health and Human Services,” McAleenan said.

Speaking about the recent attacks on ICE facilities across the country, the acting director said, “It does appear to be targeted, and again, as you just noted, this is the fourth incident of violence or an issue at an ICE facility, and our top priority is the safety of our men and women who are out there protecting American communities.

Some Americans are being told that law enforcement is a bad thing. We have seen increased attacks on police as well as border agents. This is an undermining of the things that keep us safe. It is an attempt to bring anarchy to America. We need to educate our children to respect those in law enforcement. Without those who risk their lives when they go to work every day, we would have chaos in this country. We need to remember that.

How Is This Helpful?

CNS News posted an article yesterday about recent comments by former President Obama about the shootings over the weekend.

The article notes:

Former President Barack Obama issued a statement Monday expressing grief for the families of the victims of the El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, shooting massacres and calling for people to reject language from leaders “that feeds a climate of fear and hatred or normalizes racist sentiments.”

“Even if details are still emerging, there are a few things we already know to be true,” Obama tweeted on Monday. “First, no other nation on Earth comes close to experiencing the frequency of mass shootings that we see in the United States. No other developed nation tolerates the levels of gun violence that we do.

…Second, while the motivations behind these shootings may not yet be fully known, there are indications that the El Paso shooting follows a dangerous trend: troubled individuals who embrace racist ideologies and see themselves obligated to act violently to preserve white supremacy. Like the followers of ISIS and other foreign terrorist organizations, these individuals may act alone, but they’ve been radicalized by white nationalist websites that proliferate on the internet. That means that both law enforcement agencies and internet platforms need to come up with better strategies to reduce the influence of these hate groups.

This is not helpful. We have had troubled people in our country since the founding of the country. While the media is focused on the shootings over the weekend, how many people in Chicago died during that same weekend? Why isn’t that mentioned? Hate groups are not the problem–mental illness is the problem. These individuals acted as individuals. There are indications that they were troubled before the shootings.

During his administration, President Obama perverted justice on numerous occasions. He was quick to condemn the police before the facts were known, and at the beginning of his administration he refused to charge the New Black Panthers with voter intimidation despite the fact that there was obvious video evidence. Undermining authority and unequal enforcement of the law creates a climate of unrest. Using the government against political opponents ( using the IRS to suppress conservative speach)  also undermines our republic

Why Didn’t The New York City Police Department Follow The Law?

Yesterday The New York Post reported that Jeffrey Epstein, after being labeled a Level 3 sex offender in 2011, never once checked in with city cops in the eight-plus years since a Manhattan judge ordered him to do so every 90 days — and the NYPD says it’s fine with that. What?

The article reports:

After being labeled a worst-of-the-worst, Level 3 sex offender in 2011, Epstein should have reported in person to verify his address 34 times before he was arrested Saturday on federal child sex-trafficking charges.

Violating requirements of the state’s 1996 Sex Offender Registration Act — including checking in with law enforcement — is a felony punishable by up to four years in prison for a first offense.

Subsequent violations carry a sentence of up to seven years each.

But the NYPD hasn’t required the billionaire financier — who owns a $77 million Upper East Side townhouse — to check in since he registered as a sex offender in New York over the controversial 2008 plea bargain he struck in Florida amid allegations he sexually abused scores of underage girls in his Palm Beach mansion.

Michael Bloomberg was the Mayor of New York in 2011. In 2014, Bill de Blasio became Mayor. Did they make this decision or did the police chief make this decision?

The article continues:

That was the same hearing where, in a highly controversial move, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office tried to argue on Epstein’s behalf that he should be deemed a low-risk Level 1 offender, which would have exempted him from the reporting requirements.

The DA’s office has said that the prosecutor in that case — Jennifer Gaffney, who quit last year — “made a mistake” and that DA Cyrus Vance Jr. was unaware of it at the time.

In March, an NYPD spokeswoman told the Washington Post that Epstein never checked in following Pickholz’s ruling. Asked repeatedly about that admission this week, the NYPD declined comment.

Asked about her ruling, state court spokesman Lucian Chalfen said Pickholz “stands by what was said in court, on the record, at the hearing and has had no further role in any type of enforcement. That’s not the court’s role.”

In addition to verifying a sex offender’s address, the 90-day check-ins allow cops to take a new photograph if the offender’s appearance has changed, so it can be updated online.

The NYPD cop assigned to monitor Epstein has repeatedly complained to Vance’s Sex Crimes Unit that Epstein wasn’t in compliance, according to a source familiar with the matter.

But prosecutors told the cop to merely send Epstein a letter reminding him of his reporting requirement.

Please follow the link above to read the entire article. It is fascinating. One wonders how much money changed hands and to whose hands it went to keep this man from having the meet his legal responsibilities in New York City.

We Spent An Awful Lot Of Money For Nothing

Yesterday Bryon York posted an article at The Washington Examiner about the upcoming release of the Mueller Report. The article lists five arguments that will not be settled by the release of the report.

The article lists those five items:

1. Collusion. On the face of it, Barr’s summary of Mueller’s conclusion could not be clearer: The evidence gathered by the special prosecutor does not show that the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated with Russia to fix the 2016 election. Barr included two brief quotes from the Mueller report on collusion: “The investigation did not establish that members of the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities” and “the evidence does not establish that the president was involved in an underlying crime related to Russian election interference.” So on the question: Will Mueller show that collusion occurred? The answer seems a pretty straightforward no.

…2. Obstruction. This is a guarantee: Some readers of the Mueller report will swear that it proves the president obstructed justice, while others will swear it proves he did not obstruct justice. Mueller himself has made sure that will happen by not making what Barr called a “traditional prosecutorial judgment” on the obstruction question. Why Mueller did that is not clear; perhaps it will be revealed when the report is released. Barr said Mueller “views as ‘difficult issues’ of law and fact concerning whether the president’s actions and intent could be viewed as obstruction.”

…3. Impeachment. Some Democrats had hoped that the Mueller report would give them cover for impeaching the president. I was undecided, they might say, and then I saw the special counsel’s overwhelming evidence against the president, and I knew it was my duty to impeach. Some of those Democrats also hoped that the Mueller report would serve as a road map to impeachment, in effect doing for Congress the work of discovering and organizing evidence against the president.

…4. Investigating the investigation. Many Republicans, long convinced that the Trump campaign did not conspire or coordinate with Russia, have instead sought to uncover the events surrounding the decision by U.S. law enforcement and intelligence agencies to investigate the Trump campaign in 2016. It’s been hard finding out what happened. Rep. Devin Nunes, when he was chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, shook loose a lot of information, but much remains unknown to the public. Now, those Republicans are counting on an investigation by Justice Department inspector general Michael Horowitz to reveal more. And they are hoping that President Trump will declassify documents that could shed new light on the matter. One place they are not looking for answers is the Mueller report.

5. Why a special counsel? Some Republicans question whether there was really a need for a special counsel to investigate Trump-Russia. First, they cite the fact that there was no underlying crime. There was no crime specified in Mueller’s original scope memo, and Mueller could never establish that the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated with Russia. Second, they point to the circumstances of Mueller’s appointment, when fired FBI director James Comey leaked confidential documents in order to set off an uproar that he hoped would result in the appointment of a special counsel. As it turned out, things went according to Comey’s plan. But was a special counsel really necessary to investigate the crime that did not occur? Like so many others, don’t look for that argument to be resolved by the Mueller report.

The Mueller investigation cost American taxpayers approximately $31 million. In the end, it proved to be nothing more than a way to keep a number of political people in Washington employed for a while after the administration they supported was not reelected.

 

 

A Representative Speaks About The Border And The Shutdown

On Saturday, The Alpha News, posted a column by U.S. Representative Jack Bergman.

Representative Bergman wrote:

For those of us who call the Upper Peninsula and northern Michigan home, the discussion around border security is often different than what we see on the nightly news. The challenges for U.S. Customs and Border Patrol Agents and other federal, state and local law enforcement in the Soo vary greatly from those of their southern border counterparts. The commonality is we share the same goal: the safety and security of our citizens.

As the national debate rages on, we must remember that our nation is a welcoming nation and built by immigrants. I know firsthand — my grandparents immigrated from Sweden to the Upper Peninsula to start a new life.

Though, equally as true as the aforementioned: We are a nation of borders, as well as law and order. But our immigration system is broken — and to argue otherwise would be dishonest. From an ineffective visa system to porous borders, decades of disinterest, lazy legislation, and bureaucratic opposition have encouraged bad actors to take advantage of our current system. It’s not fair to put the needs of our citizens or of those who come here legally below those who enter illegally.

President Donald Trump is right to call this a crisis, and we have a unique opportunity right now to address these issues head on. Fixing our immigration system starts first and foremost with secure borders. Without that, everything else falls apart. While most are hoping to enter our country for a good reason, we can’t turn a blind eye to the facts. Over the past two years, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has arrested close to 300,000 criminal illegal immigrants in our country — 3,900 on murder charges, 27,000 on sex-related charges, 99,000 on assault-related charges, and over 160,000 on criminal traffic charges, such as driving under the influence.

Congress has the constitutional duty and obligation to provide for the safety and security of our citizens, and it’s time we put aside partisan games and secure our borders. U.S. Customs and Border Patrol have identified the need for 234 miles of physical barrier (read: wall) on our southern border.

Yet, Nancy Pelosi and many other “leaders” have radically dismissed the notion of walls being a necessary part of securing a border.

This is not campaign rhetoric or pandering for votes. This is a crisis of our own making. We are in the longest — and most avoidable — government shutdown in U.S. history. Those most vital to protecting our borders, coasts, and ports have now missed at least one paycheck, with little to no progress being made in Washington.

It’s time to end this shutdown, secure our borders, and get our government open and working for the people.

Come to the table Democrats.

U.S. Rep. Jack Bergman, R-Watersmeet, represents Michigan’s 1st Congressional District, covering the northern Lower Peninsula and all of the Upper Peninsula.

Well spoken, sir.

 

 

How A Kangaroo Court Works

The website study.com includes the following definition of exculpatory evidence:

In Brady v. Maryland (1963), the Supreme Court held that exculpatory evidence withheld in a criminal trial can result in a re-hearing of the case. In this case, Brady was convicted for murder, and the prosecutor failed to tell a jury that another defendant, who had committed the murder with Brady, had already confessed to the killing. The court stated that the jury needed to hear that evidence because it could assist them in their decision regarding Brady. From then on, any exculpatory evidence the prosecutor or law enforcement has is called Brady material, the requirement to turn Brady material over to the defense is called the Brady rule.

Any evidence from a crime scene is subject to the Brady rule.

But what other kind of evidence is exculpatory? The law says ‘any evidence’ that tends to show innocence of the defendant is included. This can include crime scene evidence, witness testimony, DNA results, and medical records.

…The Supreme Court said that without the rule, the defendant’s due process rights would be violated. Due process comes from the 5th and 14th Amendments to the Constitution, and means that before the government can take away your liberty, it must first give the person the rights and process due to him or her under the Constitution. If the government has evidence that says you might be innocent, it would violate the fairness and impartiality of the trial process by just ignoring it and not letting the jury see it.

The concept of exculpatory evidence is going to be in the spotlight as the case against General Michael Flynn moves forward.

Yesterday John Solomon reported the following at The Hill:

For nearly two years now, the intelligence community has kept secret evidence in the Russia collusion case that directly undercuts the portrayal of retired Army general and former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn as a Russian stooge.

That silence was maintained even when former acting Attorney General Sally Yates publicly claimed Flynn was possibly “compromised” by Moscow.

And when a Democratic senator, Al Franken of Minnesota, suggested the former Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) chief posed a “danger to this republic.”

And even when some media outlets opined about whether Flynn’s contacts with Russia were treasonous. 

Yes, the Pentagon did give a classified briefing to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) in May 2017, but then it declined the senator’s impassioned plea three months later to make some of that briefing information public.

“It appears the public release of this information would not pose any ongoing risk to national security. Moreover, the declassification would be in the public interest, and is in the interest of fairness to Lt. Gen. Flynn,” Grassley wrote in August 2017.

Please follow the link to the article at The Hill to see the details, but the bottom line here is simple.

The article explains:

Rather than a diplomatic embarrassment bordering on treason, Flynn’s conduct at the RT (Russia Today) event provided some modest benefit to the U.S. intelligence community, something that many former military and intelligence officers continue to offer their country after retirement when they keep security clearances.

It’s important to wind back many months to where the Russia collusion narrative started and the media frenzy–driven suggestion that Flynn may have been on a mission to compromise America’s security and endanger this great republic when he visited Moscow.

Would the central character in a Russian election hijack plot actually self-disclose his trip in advance? And then sit through a briefing on how to avoid being compromised by his foreign hosts? And then come back to America and be debriefed by U.S. intelligence officers about who and what he saw?

And would a prosecutor recommend little or no prison time for a former general if that former military leader truly had compromised national security?

Highly unlikely.

It really is time for the deep state to stop its attack on President Trump and those who have supported him. Unfortunately, now that the Democrats control the House of Representatives, we can expect to see more taxpayer dollars spent on trying to undo an election they didn’t like.

 

A Good News Story

On December 18th, a website called Flathead Beacon posted an article about Col. George Bristol, a Marine who retired to Whitefish, Montana, after serving 38 years in the Marine Corps.

The article reports:

Last summer, Bristol read a news story about the Flathead County Sheriff’s Office Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force headed up by Det. Jeanne Parker and reached out to offer his services.

Parker was initially hesitant about bringing in a volunteer to the ICAC Task Force, especially considering the sensitive nature of their work. But that changed after she sat down for coffee with Bristol.

“When I left that meeting, I knew I had found the perfect man for the job,” she says.

When a child goes missing, law enforcement tries to determine if a crime has occurred and if the child is in immediate danger. If law enforcement believes the child may have been kidnapped or hurt, a full-fledged investigation is opened. But if it’s apparent that the child is a runaway, Bristol is called in.

Bristol interviews the child’s parents, classmates and friends in an effort to create what he calls “a pattern of life” that reveals where the child usually goes. Since this past summer, Bristol has helped bring more than two-dozen children home. Afterwards, Bristol helps the children and their families connect with services to help resolve, or at least improve, their situations at home.

Parker says Bristol’s work is particularly important because runaways are in danger of becoming human-traffic victims. According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, one in five runaway juveniles became sex-trafficking victims in 2015. The primary reason runaways are at risk to become human-traffic victims is that within a few days of being away from home, they get desperate for food and shelter. If Bristol doesn’t get to them first, there’s a good chance someone with bad intentions will.

The important fact in this story is that one in five runaway juveniles became sex-trafficking victims in 2015. The article explains that part of the reason for Bristol’s success in finding and helping runaway children is the fact that he had a tough childhood and ran away in his younger years. He credits the Marine Corps for helping him get his life in order. Bristol is a beautiful example of someone who turned a negative aspect of his life into something that could help others. We can all learn from his example.

 

 

Reporting The Obvious

I have often stated that I am so old that there weren’t drugs in high school when I was there. Unfortunately the absence of drugs is no longer the norm although our law enforcement is doing a very good job of trying to eliminate the epidemic of drug use that has plagued our schools since the 1970’s. The argument for marijuana since the 1970’s has been that it is less damaging than alcohol and is not addictive. Well, the evidence does not support that idea.

PJ Media posted an article on November 29 with the title, “New Study Provides Further Evidence that Marijuana Is a Gateway Drug.”

The article reports:

A new study looking at alcohol, cigarette, and marijuana use among adolescents gives some interesting and helpful conclusions. Well, helpful conclusions if people will be willing to remove their cultural blinders concerning marijuana. Since the politically and culturally popular thing to do is to extol the virtues of the recreational use of marijuana, the study’s sharp gateway-drug implications will most likely be a warning that is derided and unheeded.

…A negative effect that comes from ingesting marijuana that many users (and non-users) scoff at is the drug’s potential to be a gateway drug. However, the study linked to above concludes, “The implications of the more prominent role of marijuana in the early stages of drug use sequences are important to continue tracking.”

The twenty-year study concluded that while cigarette and alcohol use among adolescents has decreased, marijuana use among adolescents has remained basically the same. What’s interesting is that “the traditional gateway sequence is changing, with marijuana increasingly accounting for the first substance used among adolescents.”

The article concludes:

The bad news for those adolescents who begin with marijuana as well as for those who are in a high-risk group for marijuana use due to their cigarette or alcohol use is that:

Marijuana initiation may also affect subsequent drug use through similar biological mechanisms that have been proposed for other substances; emerging evidence from animal models suggests that THC exposure early in adolescence influences reward sensitivity to other drugs including nicotine ( Dinieri and Hurd, 2012; Panlilio et al., 2013; Pistis et al., 2004), and that adult marijuana use who initiated in adolescence have impairments in memory and prefrontal as well hippocampal volume ( Batalla et al., 2013; Filbey and Yezhuvath, 2013). Existing epidemiological data suggest that marijuana use increases the risk of subsequent cigarette initiation, supporting the hypothesis that marijuana could be causally associated with subsequent polysubstance use ( Nguyen et al., 2018).

Marijuana being a gateway drug has yet to be proven conclusively, but the research points solidly in that direction. Pro-weed advocates need to stop pretending that marijuana is harmless.

I don’t understand why there is a push to legalize marijuana at the same time there are campaigns to end smoking or use of tobacco products. Are we trading one bad health habit for another? If marijuana has legitimate medical uses, it should be used for that purpose, but I see no value at all in legalizing marijuana as a recreational drug. I am simply not convinced that anyone needs to use a recreational drug–particularly one that has a negative impact on the brain and a possible impact on genes.

When The Deep State Overrides The Constitution

Yesterday The Daily Caller posted an article about a recent FBI raid. The raid was conducted on the home of a legally protected whistleblower who had blown the whistle on some of the illegalities in the Uranium One deal and some of the financial dealings of the Clinton Foundation.

The article reports:

FBI agents raided the home of a recognized Department of Justice whistleblower who privately delivered documents pertaining to the Clinton Foundation and Uranium One to a government watchdog, according to the whistleblower’s attorney.

The Justice Department’s inspector general was informed that the documents show that federal officials failed to investigate potential criminal activity regarding former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the Clinton Foundation and Rosatom, the Russian company that purchased Uranium One, a document reviewed by The Daily Caller News Foundation alleges.

The delivered documents also show that then-FBI Director Robert Mueller failed to investigate allegations of criminal misconduct pertaining to Rosatom and to other Russian government entities attached to Uranium One, the document reviewed by TheDCNF alleges. Mueller is now the special counsel investigating whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia during the 2016 election.

“The bureau raided my client to seize what he legally gave Congress about the Clinton Foundation and Uranium One,” the whistleblower’s lawyer, Michael Socarras, told TheDCNF, noting that he considered the FBI’s raid to be an “outrageous disregard” of whistleblower protections.

The article continues:

A special agent from the FBI’s Baltimore division, who led the raid, charged that Cain possessed stolen federal property and demanded entry to his private residence, Socarras told TheDCNF.

“On Nov. 19, the FBI conducted court authorized law enforcement activity in the Union Bridge, Maryland area,” bureau spokesman Dave Fitz told TheDCNF. “At this time, we have no further comment.”

Cain informed the agent while he was still at the door that he was a recognized protected whistleblower under the Intelligence Community Whistleblower Protection Act and that Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz recognized his whistleblower status, according to Socarras.

The article explains the whistleblower act:

The whistleblower act is intended to protect whistleblowers within the intelligence community, which includes the FBI.

“The [intelligence community] is committed to providing its personnel the means to report violations of law,” according to a 2016 intelligence community directive.

“The [whistleblower act] authorizes employees of contractors to take government property and give it to the two intelligence committees confidentially,” Socarras told TheDCNF.

The FBI has yet to talk to Cain’s attorney despite the raid, according to Socarras.

“After the raid, and having received my name and phone number from Mr. Cain as his lawyer, an FBI agent actually called my client directly to discuss his seized electronics,” Socarras told TheDCNF. “Knowingly bypassing the lawyer of a represented client is serious misconduct.”

The Justice Department and the IG both declined to comment.

Whoever authorized this raid and whoever was involved in it need to be fired from the FBI so that they can be replaced by people who respect the law and the U.S. Constitution.

The Images You Can Create With Careful Camerawork Are Amazing

The information below was taken from an article at The Gateway Pundit posted yesterday.

Have you seen this picture on the news lately?

That picture appeared throughout our mainstream media in the past few days. However, the picture below (the more honest picture) did not:

There is an attempt by the mainstream media to manipulate Americans into believing things that are simply not true. What their motive is I do not know. However, I wonder if they understand that the socialist paradise they think they want to usher in will eventually lead to economic conditions similar to Venezuela or Cuba and that they will be forced to live under those conditions.

The article reports:

The media needed their dramatic photo with women and children and they got it.

Rodney Scott, the Chief Patrol Agent in San Diego said people were purposely pushing the women and children to the front before they started throwing projectiles at law enforcement, ultimately causing the situation to escalate.

Patrol Agent Scott: “What I find unconscionable was that people would purposely take children into this situation. What we saw over and over yesterday was that people would purposely push women and children to the front and then begin basically rocking our agents.”

The US responded with tear gas and like clockwork, the liars in the media accused the Trump administration of ‘gassing women and children.’

It is sad that our media has lost its way.