There Are Serious Problems In Our Justice System

Yesterday The Washington Times posted an article about the sentencing of Roger Stone. Frankly it seems as if Roger Stone’s biggest crime was supporting President Trump.

The article reports:

Federal prosecutors’ initial recommendation that Roger Stone serve between seven to nine years in prison was unusually excessive compared to similar sentences imposed for lying to Congress, according to an analysis by The Washington Times.

However, the Justice Department’s move to reduce the sentencing recommendation for an ally of President Trump set off a politically-charged fracas in Washington. Capitol Hill Democrats demanded an investigation into why the department overruled prosecutors’ initial request as “excessive and unwarranted.”

A Washington jury convicted Stone in November of lying to Congress, obstruction of justice and witness tampering for thwarting lawmakers’ investigation into Trump campaign collusion with Russia.

Roger Stone was arrested in a predawn raid with a S.W.A.T. team. He was not considered a danger to anyone, and his wife is deaf. Can you imagine the fear she felt. This whole scenario is over the top.

Meanwhile, do you remember Brock Allen Turner? He was a Stanford University student athlete caught in the act of raping a female student. He was sentenced to six months in the county jail and probation. What about Hillary Clinton and her secret server? How many security violations and destruction of evidence charges were overlooked there? Meanwhile a young submariner was sent to jail for taking a picture of his workspace.

Our justice system is wandering down a road that should not be traveled.

The article at The Washington Times notes:

Two other political figures ensnared in then-special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe also were convicted for lying to Congress:

⦁ Lobbyist W. Samuel Patten pleaded guilty and prosecutors dropped the charge. He got three years probation for illegal lobbying.

⦁ Former Trump fixer Michael Cohen received four years in prison after he pleaded guilty to lying to Congress and other crimes.

The key difference between Stone’s and other cases is he also went down for obstruction and tampering with witnesses. Prosecutors with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Washington said the added convictions demanded more prison time.

They were “piling on,” said former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy.

“A sentence of nine years is unreasonable,” he said. “The Justice Department could have brought this whole case as one count of obstruction and instead brought seven felonies.”

This sentence does need to be revised.

Ignoring The Real Purpose Of Government

Theoretically the purpose of our government is to secure the rights of the people. It’s not supposed to limit our rights–we are supposed to limit government’s power. There are, however, some basic responsibilities of government. One of those responsibilities is infrastructure. However, Congress is so busy trying to undo the 2016 presidential election that they are neglecting more pressing items.

Yesterday The Hill posted an article with the following headline, “Scores of US dams found in poor condition, endangering thousands of people: analysis.” If I remember correctly, President Trump has asked Congress to work with him on an infrastructure bill, but Congress has been busy doing other things.

The article reports:

Scores of dams in the U.S. are in poor or unsatisfactory condition, according to an Associated Press analysis of federal and state data.

The AP found in its two-year investigation that 1,688 dams were classified as high-hazard, meaning their failure could result in people’s deaths, and that thousands of people are at risk.  

The article concludes:

Overall, the number of deaths from dam failures has decreased since the 1970s, when state governments improved their oversight, the AP reported. It also cited Stanford University research that showed  about 1,000 dams have collapsed in the past 40 years, resulting in 34 deaths. The average age of dams across the country is 50 years old, the AP reported.

The White House named an infrastructure week in 2017, which was quickly overshadowed by the hearing for former FBI Director James Comey. Attempts to refocus on infrastructure in the next two years have not produced results.

Obviously it is time to elect a Congress that will pay attention to the safety of the American people.

The Real Cost Of Common Core

The Common Core curriculum was the brain child of the Bill Gates Foundation. When the curriculum was finally put together, there were five people on the Validation Committee that refused to sign off on the curriculum. There were two very prominent people in that group of five–R. James Milgram, professor of mathematics at Stanford University, and Sandra Stotsky, Professor emerita in the Department of Education Reform at the University of Arkansas, and 21st Century Chair in Teacher Quality. Both of them felt that the standards set up in Common Core would not improve the quality of education American students received. It turns out that they were right.

In November 2018, Neonnettle reported the following:

Researchers, who conducted a study into the impact of former President Obama’s Common Core State Standards on schools, declared the teaching practices to be “worst large-scale educational failure in 40 years.”

The study examined the effects of Common Core on school choice and found the Obama-era K-12 educational reform demonstrated sharp drops in academic performance.

Ted Rebarber of AccountabilityWorks co-authored the study with Cato Institute’s Neal McCluskey, who previously led another study, titled “Common Core, School Choice and Rethinking Standards-Based Reform,” which was published by the Boston-based Pioneer Institute.

The pair discussed their findings at a Heritage Foundation event last week, explaining how Common Core has not only damaged public-school education but also has created obstacles for choosing schools.

The article goes on to note that since Common Core was introduced, the academic performance of students has noticeably decreased. The article noted that any school that receives federal funds is required to take certain tests mandated by Common Core. Any school that accepts vouchers is required to follow Common Core.

The article reports:

In April of 2016, only about 37 percent of U.S. 12th graders were shown to be prepared for math and reading at the college level, according to the 2015 NAEP – also known as the Nation’s Report Card.

 Additionally, results released by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) showed that on the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS), the U.S. has declined in performance from fifth in international ranking in 2011 to 13th in 2016 out of 58 international education systems.

The conclusion of the article provides a clue as to what is going on here:

Jennifer McCormick, the (Indiana) Republican state superintendent of public schools, has decided private schools that accept state voucher funds should not discriminate against LGBT children in admissions and other services – regardless of the school’s faith beliefs.

McCormick’s justification for her decision is based upon the Common Core “workforce development” model of education that views children as prospective laborers who can fulfill big business’s needs for inexpensive, local workers.

“If our goal as a state is to develop a well-educated workforce, and one that we want businesses to come here because we’re inclusive, we are accepting. I think part of that goes to our actions,” McCormick said.

“And when we still have schools that receive taxpayer dollars that can exclude students — that’s a problem.”

According to the report, McCormick said private schools that accept vouchers would need to have their admissions policies controlled by the state.

There is nothing in the U.S. Constitution that allows federal control of education, but obviously that is the policy here. The real bottom line here is to prepare the next generation to be global citizens in order to advance the concept of global governance. I will post a detailed article on the foundation for that statement in the near future.

 

Justice Under The Law?

I have no idea why the sentence in this case was so skewed, but I think it is just wrong.

The New York Magazine posted an article on Friday about the sentencing of Brock Allen Turner. Brock Allen Turner was convicted on raping an unconscious woman behind a dumpster on the Stanford University campus. He was sentenced to six months in the county jail and probation.

The story reports:

“A prison sentence would have a severe impact on him,” Persky (Judge Aaron Persky)said at Turner’s sentencing on Thursday. “I think he will not be a danger to others.” Meanwhile, the 23-year-old victim in the rape case, who had had a blood-alcohol level three times the legal limit at the time of the rape and who had no memory of the attack, gave important testimony at the trial.

“You took away my worth, my privacy, my energy, my time, my safety, my intimacy, my confidence, my own voice, until today,” she said, reportedly directly to Turner. “I am a human being who has been irreversibly hurt.” And yet it’s Turner who would be severely impacted in his sentencing? Right.

Does anyone else have a problem with this? I agree that the woman was drunk, but that still does not excuse the young man’s behavior. There is no doubt about his guilt, the assault was interrupted by two other students who chased him down and held him until the police arrived. I don’t understand why the judge feels that this man will not be a danger to others–he obviously has a problem with respecting women and their privacy. This behavior belongs in jail for at least five years. Otherwise, you are sending a message to all young men that it is okay to rape a woman if she is drunk–the penalty will be minor.

The Realities Of ObamaCare

ObamaCare is more than a political issue. ObamaCare is an issue of life and death for people with serious diseases who have health insurance. It would have been very easy to pass a law that provided people who did not have health insurance with insurance without impacting those people who had health insurance they depended on. Unfortunately the Obama Administration chose to disrupt the health insurance of Americans with insurance in order to provide coverage for those Americans without health insurance.

Yesterday the Wall Street Journal posted an article by Edie Littlefield Sundby about how ObamaCare is impacting her healthcare.

Ms. Sundby writes:

For almost seven years I have fought and survived stage-4 gallbladder cancer, with a five-year survival rate of less than 2% after diagnosis. I am a determined fighter and extremely lucky. But this luck may have just run out: My affordable, lifesaving medical insurance policy has been canceled effective Dec. 31.

…Two things have been essential in my fight to survive stage-4 cancer. The first are doctors and health teams in California and Texas: at the medical center of the University of California, San Diego, and its Moores Cancer Center; Stanford University’s Cancer Institute; and the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.

The second element essential to my fight is a United Healthcare PPO (preferred provider organization) health-insurance policy.

Since March 2007 United Healthcare has paid $1.2 million to help keep me alive, and it has never once questioned any treatment or procedure recommended by my medical team. The company pays a fair price to the doctors and hospitals, on time, and is responsive to the emergency treatment requirements of late-stage cancer. Its caring people in the claims office have been readily available to talk to me and my providers.

But in January, United Healthcare sent me a letter announcing that they were pulling out of the individual California market. The company suggested I look to Covered California starting in October.

…Before the Affordable Care Act, health-insurance policies could not be sold across state lines; now policies sold on the Affordable Care Act exchanges may not be offered across county lines.

This lady has beat the odds of survival because of very good healthcare. She will now be denied that quality of healthcare under ObamaCare. This is no longer an abstract issue–it is now personal. Not only can she not keep the health insurance she liked, she cannot keep the doctors and the hospital she depended on. ObamaCare needs to be fixed quickly or done away with and replaced with a plan that actually works.

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