This Did Not Go As Planned

On Friday, The Gatestone Institute posted an article about the impact of legalization of marijuana has had on California.

The article reports:

Six years after California legalized marijuana, the bodies keep piling up. Earlier this year, six men were murdered in the Mojave Desert. Four of the men had been burned after being shot with rifles. In 2020, seven people were killed at an illegal pot operation in Riverside County.

Violence like this was supposed to disappear after legalization. Legalization advocates argued that making the drug trade legal would end the grip of the cartels. Instead, the legal market has failed, and the cartels are taking over sizable parts of California and the rest of the country.

California’s legal drug revenues have fallen consistently, as have those in other legal drug states including Colorado, whose model helped sell the idea that drug money would fix everything.

Despite falling revenues, Colorado legislators brag about $282 million in drug revenue. That number may sound high, but it’s a drop in the bucket considering the money that the state and cities like Denver are spending on homelessness, drug overdoses and law enforcement.

While the legal drug business is also collapsing in California, the state is spending a fortune fighting marijuana even as it tries to tax it. Gov. Gavin Newsom paradoxically promised to close the budget deficit with $100 million in drug revenue, meant to be used to fund law enforcement and fight substance abuse. The state seized over $300 million in illegal pot this year and uses satellite imagery and heavily-armed raids to fight untaxed marijuana.

The article concludes:

Legalization advocates still argue that if the government lowered the high taxes on legal pot, the business model could turn around again, but even without a single penny in taxes, no amount of legal labor is going to be able to compete with illegal aliens smuggled across the border and forced to work for free by gunmen. Legal businesses can’t compete with organized crime.

Drug legalization increased homelessness and drug abuse. It boosted illegal migration and organized crime. It made life worse in every state and city where it’s been tried without delivering tangible benefits to anyone (including weed users who still get theirs the old-fashioned way) except for a few politicians who temporarily have a few million more to pass around to special interests, donors and lobbyists.

And all they had to do was hand over half the country to organized crime.

America does not need another legal, mind-altering drug. There is no evidence that legal marijuana improves the quality of life for anyone. For regular users, it simply numbs them to their responsibilities and makes them less likely to pursue worthwhile goals. That is not good for society as a whole or the people involved.

This Isn’t Going To End Well

American ‘Sanctuary Cities’ are going out of their way to feed, house, and clothe people who are here illegally. That makes no sense at all when Americans are homeless. We need to find a way to help America’s homeless before we take in someone else’s homeless. Some cities are doing amazing financial acrobatics in order to meet the needs of the influx of homeless, jobless, needy illegal immigrants.

On Thursday, The Daily Caller reported:

The Democratic-run city of Denver, Colorado, plans to defund its police department to pay for illegal immigrants.

Denver, which is commonly referred to as a “sanctuary city,” announced on Wednesday that it will spend $89.9 million on services for incoming illegal migrants, pulling some of the funding from roughly $45 million in public programs and services. Denver’s police department will be hit with an $8.4 million reduction — about 1.9% of its total operating budget, the city confirmed to the Daily Caller News Foundation.

Denver became the top destination per capita for incoming migrants in 2023, having had more than 40,000 arrive that year alone — putting the total migrant population at roughly 710,000, according to NBC News. Denver already spent over $42 million in 2023 in housing and medical services for migrants and plans to spend over $100 million on similar costs in 2024.

The fire department will also suffer a $2.5 million reduction, or about 0.8% of its total operating costs, the city told the DCNF. Half of those reductions will also come from vacant positions.

Today, we shared a new budget and a more sustainable newcomer program.

Proud of our city for welcoming those most in need. Proud of our city teams who found ways to minimize budget without major impacts.

Note the use of the word ‘newcomer’ instead of illegal immigrant.

The article concludes:

Over 15,000 migrants have flooded into Denver since May 2023 as a result of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s busing effort. The Lone Star state sits at the epicenter of the illegal immigration crisis.

More broadly, illegal immigration in cities and states across the U.S. has surged under the Biden administration. There were roughly 1.6 million migrant encounters at the northern and southern border in fiscal year 2021, compared to over 2 million in fiscal year 2023 and roughly a million in the first five months of fiscal year 2024, according to Customs and Border Protection data.

Every state is becoming a border state, and every city is becoming a sanctuary city.

 

Just Because It’s Legal Doesn’t Mean It Is Safe

On March 12th, CBN News posted an article about the dangers of marijuana and Delta-8, a substance containing THC.

The article reports:

Laura Stack told CBN News marijuana stole the life of her son Johnny.  She recalled he was a happy, intelligent child who grew up in a Christian home.  However, he began using marijuana at age 14 when his home state of Colorado legalized its recreational use.   It was a move that changed his life forever, leading to ultimate tragedy. 

“He took his own life when he was 19 years old five years later, after he became psychotic, very delusional, and paranoid, and suspicious, from using the marijuana,” she said. 

Laura didn’t realize that most of today’s marijuana contains at least 10 times the psychoactive compound THC than it did 20 years ago. 

“In my head, I said, ‘It’s just weed. I used it when I was a girl. I’m fine. It’s no big deal,’ and I was so wrong,” she said. 

Laura and her husband John founded Johnny’s Ambassadors as a way to honor their son and help prevent other people from suffering the same fate.

Former marijuana addict Zach Plant told CBN News the drug almost took his life.

“I had thoughts of other people wanting to hurt me, thoughts of the only way of being safe was to end my own life,” he said.

Zach was admitted to the hospital and was diagnosed with Cannabis-Induced Psychosis.  Symptoms include losing touch with reality, hallucinations, delusions, and paranoia.  Zach recalled the stark warning doctors gave him.

“‘If you smoke marijuana again, there’s a chance you don’t come out of psychosis. You go back into it and your brain may never recover,'” Zach said.

Nora Volkow, M.D., Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, told CBN News these types of episodes are becoming more common as the drugs get stronger.

“The higher the dose of THC for example, the higher the likelihood that you will end up with a psychotic episode,” she said. “And that will lead you to the emergency room department.”

I understand that there are people who do not seem to be affected by smoking pot. However, is the risk of psychosis one that you or your children are willing to take.

The article also notes:

Aside from marijuana, there’s growing concern about another substance containing THC called Delta-8.  It doesn’t come from the cannabis plant.  Instead, it’s synthesized from a similar plant called hemp.  It can contain as much THC or more than marijuana.  

Delta-8 products like vape pens can be purchased at gas stations, convenience stores, and online even in states where the commercial sale of marijuana is illegal.  That’s because of a legal loophole in the 2018 Farm Bill that legalized hemp nationwide. 

Julie Killian, co-founder of RyeACT, Rye Action for Children and Teens, to educate families on youth substance abuse, told CBN News she was surprised to encounter the widespread sale of Delta-8 while she was visiting a state where commercial, recreational marijuana sales were outlawed. 

“I was at a truck, one of those food trucks, and they were selling coffee in the morning, and you could get a shot of Delta-8 THC in your coffee,” she said. 

Be careful out there.

 

Election Interference?

On Tuesday, The Conservative Treehouse posted an article about the decision by the Colorado Supreme Court to keep President Trump off of the Republican primary election ballot.

These are the three main problems with the decision listed in the article:

#1)  It was a 4-3 decision. Meaning it was the politics of the court, literally the political makeup and perspective therein, that determined the outcome of the decision.  This is showcased in point #3, which is the funniest part.

#2)  The entire framework of the case against Trump in the Colorado decision is predicated on this: “[the complainants] asserted that he was ineligible under Section Three because he engaged in insurrection on January 6, 2021, after swearing an oath as President to support the U.S. Constitution.”  [pdf, page 6]  REMINDER – President Donald Trump was not charged with “insurrection,” is not accused of “insurrection,” does not fit the complaint under the definitions of “insurrection,” and has never been found guilty of insurrection.  The complaint is moot before the court.  But hey, it’s Lawfare… and we all know Lawfare is created for public media consumption, so that takes us directly to the biggest point.

#3)  Instead of me writing it, let me screengrab it so we can all laugh together [pdf page 9].

Wait, what?

As long as President Trump appeals the ruling, he can be on the ballot, so what’s the point?

This is political theatre. It should not be taken seriously although it is an example of lawfare. If the practice of lawfare continues, we will eventually lose our Republic. That is the major significance of this case.

Is This The Future For Americans?

On Thursday, The Conservative Treehouse posted an article about a recent event in Colorado that should concern all of us.

The article reports:

(Denver ABC7) – […] when thousands of Xcel customers in Colorado tried adjusting their thermostats Tuesday, they learned they had no control over the temperatures in their own homes.

[…] “I mean, it was 90 out, and it was right during the peak period,” Talarico (Tony Talarico, a resident of Arvada) said. “It was hot.”  That’s when he saw a message on the thermostat stating the temperature was locked due to an “energy emergency.”

[…] Xcel confirmed to Contact Denver7 that 22,000 customers who had signed up for the Colorado AC Rewards program were locked out of their smart thermostats for hours on Tuesday. 

Denver ABC7 also notes:

“I mean, it was 90 out, and it was right during the peak period,” Talarico said. “It was hot.”

That’s when he saw a message on the thermostat stating the temperature was locked due to an “energy emergency.”

“Normally, when we see a message like that, we’re able to override it,” Talarico said. “In this case, we weren’t. So, our thermostat was locked in at 78 or 79.”

On social media, dozens of Xcel customers complained of similar experiences — some reporting home temperatures as high as 88 degrees.

Xcel confirmed to Contact Denver7 that 22,000 customers who had signed up for the Colorado AC Rewards program were locked out of their smart thermostats for hours on Tuesday.

“It’s a voluntary program. Let’s remember that this is something that customers choose to be a part of based on the incentives,” said Emmett Romine, vice president of customer solutions and innovation at Xcel.

Customers receive a $100 credit for enrolling in the program and $25 annually, but Romine said customers also agree to give up some control to save energy and money and make the system more reliable.

“So, it helps everybody for people to participate in these programs. It is a bit uncomfortable for a short period of time, but it’s very, very helpful,” said Romine.

This is the first time in the program’s six year span that customers could not override their smart thermostats, Romine said. He said the “energy emergency” was due to an unexpected outage in Pueblo combined with hot weather and heavy air conditioner usage.

As connectivity increases, those who control the connectivity have the power.

 

Using Taxpayers’ Money For Illegal Aliens

On Friday, The Daily Caller reported that Colorado will now use taxpayer dollars to fund healthcare for illegal aliens. It’s not that I don’t want people to get the healthcare they need, but the first priority for healthcare needs to be American citizens who are here legally. If you are here illegally, you need to go home. If home is a political nightmare, maybe you need to find people to join you in fixing it.

The article reports:

The program was approved under Section 1332, a provision of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that allows states to create their own requirements for insurance markets. Both the Department of the Treasury and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) approved Colorado’s waiver request, submitted in November 2021. The federal government will provide $1.6 billion in pass-through funding to the state of Colorado over a five-year period to facilitate its healthcare exchanges.

Colorado’s application makes clear that its new healthcare exchanges are intended to facilitate the sale of taxpayer-subsidized health insurance to illegal immigrants.

“The State will be implementing a State-based subsidy program in plan year 2022, aimed at reducing the out-of-pocket cost sharing for individuals and families purchasing coverage through the exchange. In plan year 2023, a new subsidy program will be offered to Coloradans not eligible for federal subsidies, including Coloradans without a documented immigration status,” the state wrote in its application of the Colorado Option.

The article concludes:

Congressional Republicans are calling out the approval, with Colorado Rep. Ken Buck claiming that it violates the “clear intent” of the Affordable Care Act.

“While Americans suffer at the pump, Biden gives their tax dollars to illegal aliens,” Buck said in a statement. “This is one more episode of the Biden administration’s almost unbelievable commitment to putting the needs of Americans behind everyone else.”

“Democrats are putting illegal aliens first and Americans last. While Coloradans struggle to pay for gas and are being destroyed by inflation, Democrats’ top priority is to take your tax dollars and use them to give illegal aliens free Obamacare,” fellow Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert added.

As long as we have Americans struggling to pay for health care, we should not be subsidizing illegal aliens. We are already diverting funds designated for veterans to other places (article here), we don’t need to spend more tax money on people who are not even here legally.

We Might Want To Fix This Problem Quickly

On Sunday, Trib 24/7 posted an article about some of the results of the forensic audit of the Colorado election in 2020. The results of the audit are disconcerting to say the least.

The article reports:

A forensic analysis of Mesa County, Colorado’s use of the Dominion Voting Systems’ Democracy Suite Election Management System in the 2020 presidential election found the system was “illegally certified” and “illegally configured” in a way that “vote totals can be easily changed,” according to Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters.

“The public must know that its voting systems are fundamentally flawed, illegal, and inherently unreliable,” Peters wrote in a March 1 letter to the Board of County Commissioners.

In a forensic analysis of the images of the Dominion system drive, cybersecurity experts found the system was found to contain 36 wireless devices and was configured to “allow any computer in the world” to connect to Mesa County’s election system server.

The analysis also found uncertified software that had been illegally installed on the system’s server, Peters noted.

The article included the following:

I am not a computer geek, but this looks to me as if someone has some explaining to do.

Colorado has an interesting political history. The once red state turned blue in 2004. The background on that change can be found in a movie called “Rocky Mountain Heist” found on vimeo. Unfortunately political gamesmanship has been a part of American politics since the country began. It just seems as it has reached new heights in the past twenty years or so.

 

 

What Are The Real Numbers?

The staff of Full Measure posted an article yesterday questioning the numbers Americans have been given about Covid deaths. The article cites numerous examples of health officials giving us questionable information.

The article reports:

Grand County, Colorado, rural country a hundred miles outside of Denver.

Thanksgiving 2020, Lucais Reilly shoots his wife Kristin in the head, then turns the gun on himself, committing suicide. They have alcohol and drugs in their system and a history of domestic troubles.

Grand County coroner Brenda Bock explains how the small town tragedy is exposing serious questions about the way Covid deaths are counted.

Brenda Bock: I had a homicide-suicide the end of November, and the very next day it showed up on the state website as Covid deaths. And they were gunshot wounds. And I questioned that immediately because I had not even signed off the death certificates yet, and the state was already reporting them as Covid deaths.

Bock says somebody, somewhere had apparently run the couple’s names through a database showing they’d tested positive for Covid within 28 days of their death. Then recorded them as Covid deaths even though they died of gunshots.

Sharyl: If we look at the death certificates for the murder-suicide case, what will it say about Covid?

Bock: Nothing, absolutely nothing. I paid a forensic pathologist to do the autopsies on those two cases. And nowhere is COVID mentioned on those death certificates. Nowhere.

Bock: This is a copy of the death certificate, and nowhere does it say COVID. So we have a homicide, suicide, nothing to do with COVID.

Because there had been no Covid deaths within the geographic boundaries of Grand County in 2020, Bock was in a unique position to challenge the state’s accounting. In many cities and counties, the numbers are too big and the coroners would never know about discrepancies.

Sharyl is Sharyl Attkisson, an investigative reporter who was fired from CBS for her work on Fast and Furious.

The article concludes:

Short of a national audit, some of the best hard evidence can only be found in small places like Grand County, Colorado where they know precisely who did or didn’t die of what within the county limits. And where Bock says there were no Covid deaths in 2020.

Bock: Not as far as I’m concerned.

But when we checked in July, the New York Times tally over-reported Grand County’s 2020 Covid death toll by least 500%. It was missing one resident who reportedly died of Covid outside of the county. But the Times counted the unrelated heart attack; the two people who were alive – which were removed from the state total; and the murder-suicide of Lucais and Kristin Reilly.

Sharyl: What are the implications nationwide when we’re looking at numbers then?

Bock: I believe they’re very inflated. And don’t get me wrong. I believe Covid is real. And I believe people do get very sick from it. And I do believe a small number do die from that. I do not believe a homicide-suicide belongs in that number. I don’t, because my job is to tell the truth about why a person died, the cause and the manner. And I don’t believe that what’s going on is the truth.

Sharyl (On-camera): Alameda County, California changed their methodology in June to remove deaths that weren’t a direct result of Covid. That removed more than 400 people, or 25%, from their death toll.

Please follow the link above to read the entire article. We have been totally mislead.

 

 

This Doesn’t Look Good For The Future

Yesterday One America News posted an article about what has happened since Colorado implemented red flag laws a year ago.

The article reports:

According to the report released on Thursday, over 100 red flag protection orders were filed in 2020.

Police reportedly removed firearms from the homes of 66 people who were flagged by family members, legal guardians or law enforcement officers. Under the new law, a judge can approve firearm confiscation if there is a belief a person could be a threat to themselves or others.

One of the most recent instances of the order in action is in the case of Bryce Shelby, a man accused of making threats against the state’s attorney general and several other government officials.

Denver Police alleged Shelby’s behavior was escalating and through the red flag laws, they forced him to surrender his two rifles. Though the state’s attorney general chose not to press charges against Shelby, he will not regain possession of his firearms for a total of 364 days.

Several of the year’s emergency Extreme Risk Protection Orders were placed against law enforcement, but were shut down by the courts.

For example, early on in 2020, an inmate tried to claim Weld County Sheriff Steve Reams was a threat. The order request was sent to a judge who quickly threw it out for lack of evidence, which allowed some to say the law worked. However, Reams argues it showed the law can be used frivolously.

The article concludes:

Reams is among those who are the most skeptical of the new law due to its vague guidelines, which allow weapons to be confiscated even without criminal charges.

“But to go in and conduct a search warrant on someone’s home based on the word of a third party, I think that’s a huge overreach of the Constitution,” Reams stated. “And that’s where I’d have to draw the line.”

There has been a lot of debate over the constitutionality of red flag laws. The President has said he supports them at the federal level, but gun advocates argue the orders contradict the Second Amendment.

Andrew Napolitano, who served as a New Jersey Superior Court judge from 1987 to 1995,  said: “The concept of a red flag law violates both the presumption of innocence and the due process requirement of proof of criminal behavior before liberty can be infringed.”

Heading into the New Year with an incoming Democrat majority in the new Congress, many proponents of the right to bear arms worry about future restrictive gun laws.

Losing the Second Amendment while the First Amendment is on life support does not portend good things for the future of America.

We Need Much More Of This

CBN News is reporting the following today:

US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents and their international counterparts arrested 113 alleged child predators across the US and South America from Nov. 2 – 6 in what is described by the Department of Homeland Security as phase seven of Operation Protected Childhood. (OPCVII)

Working in cooperation with Brazil’s Ministry of Justice and the Public Security and the Public Security Secretariat for Integrated Operation Cyber Laboratory, the agency’s operation simultaneously targeted the distributors and producers of child sexual abuse material throughout the Americas.

Law enforcement agencies in Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, and Panama coordinated with Homeland Security field offices in their respective countries during the sweep.

Here in the US, Homeland Security field offices working with local law enforcement officials in Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Tennessee, California, Colorado, and Florida executed a combined 13 child exploitation-related search warrants and made nine arrests for child exploitation offenses. 

Simultaneously, international law enforcement partners in Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, and Panama also executed search warrants in their respective countries, totaling the following arrests: 

    • Brazil – 137 child exploitation related search warrants and 74 arrests
    • Argentina – 37 child exploitation related search warrants and 23 arrests
    • Paraguay – 2 child exploitation related search warrants and 2 arrests
    • Panama – 7 child exploitation related search warrants and 5 arrests

ICE officials especially praised Brazil for its efforts in the ongoing Operation Protected Childhood.

Thank God for law enforcement officers who are willing to search out and find the people exploiting innocent children. Please follow the link to read the entire article for further details.

Great News For America

Energy independence is wonderful, but in today’s technology age, there are other important areas where America needs to be self-sustaining. One of the them is the rare earth minerals used in the manufacture of our technology. On Wednesday (updated yesterday) The Epoch Times posted an article about one step that has been taken in this direction.

The article reports:

Owners of the Wheat Ridge facility for processing rare earth elements and critical minerals have received an operating permit that will enable minerals critical to advanced technology manufacturing to be mined and processed in the United States.

USA Rare Earth, LLC, and Texas Mineral Resources Corp. announced on June 18 that their Wheat Ridge, Colorado, facility has received its operating permit, with its pilot plant now in the commissioning process.

Texas Mineral said in a press release that the plant “will have the ability to produce the full range of high purity, separated rare earths as well as other critical minerals … which are essential for modern manufacturing ranging from defense applications to wind turbines, electric vehicles, smart phones, advanced medical devices, and the physical backbone of emerging 5G networks.”

The company says its objective is “to build the first rare earth and critical minerals processing facility outside China.”

The CEO of USA Rare Earth, Pini Althaus, said in a press release that the establishment of an independent, robust, and domestic rare earth metal and critical mineral supply chain is vital for the United States, “overcoming reliance on China.”

Congress and President Trump have both recognized the need to produce these minerals in America.

The article notes:

Reps. Michael Waltz (R-Fla.) and Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) introduced legislation (pdf) on May 28 to protect American mineral supply chains.

Gosar described critical minerals as the building blocks of our modern lives, as they are vitally important for special components in defense systems, health care applications, and energy generation technology.

“For years, our country has become increasingly dependent on China and other nations to fulfill our demand for minerals,” said Gosar. “The global pandemic has demonstrated the severe consequences of allowing this longstanding over-reliance on China to go unchecked.”

Waltz said that critical minerals are integral to our way of life.

“As coronavirus has unfortunately demonstrated, if China can threaten to cut off our pharmaceutical supply, they can do the same with their supply of rare earth minerals,” said Waltz. “We need to bring this supply chain back to America—and this bill will be an important step to do that.”

…President Donald Trump issued Executive Order 13817 in December 2017, titled “A Federal Strategy to Ensure Secure and Reliable Supplies of Critical Minerals.” The order directed federal agencies to list critical minerals, develop strategies to reduce reliance on the minerals themselves and on foreign suppliers, and increase domestic production.

The positive impact of the coronavirus is that it reminded us that as a nation we need to be as self-sufficient as possible. It is encouraging to see steps being taken in this direction.

The Truth About Covid-19 Begins To Emerge

Yesterday Just the News posted an article about Colorado health officials beginning to correct the number of deaths reported to have been caused by Covid-19.

The article reports:

Colorado health officials this week implemented a more precise coronavirus data metric to measure deaths from the virus in that state, one that sent confirmed COVID-19 fatalities tumbling by a full 25%.

Public health officials in the state elected to start distinguishing between individuals who died directly from the disease and those who simply died with the virus in their systems. Authorities in that state had faced criticism this week for classifying as a COVID-19 death a man whose blood-alcohol content registered an astronomical .55.

With the new system in place, confirmed coronavirus deaths in Colorado plummeted from 1150 to 878, a drop of almost 25%.

…The state’s coronavirus dashboard lists 21,232 confirmed cases of the virus there as of Saturday afternoon, with over 3,800 hospitalizations. Over 90% of deaths in the state were of individuals 60 or older. Deaths appear to have peaked there on April 25. 

I suspect an honest counting of deaths due to Covid-19 would be very different from the numbers that have been reported. One thing we do know is that people in nursing homes or extended care facilities need to be protected from the disease. Allowing patients with the disease to be placed in these facilities is very dangerous to the residents who are already there.

On May 12th, I posted an article stating that a new study reveals that 39% of all US coronavirus deaths occurred in nursing homes. These are the people who need to be protected. Florida is the gold standard for protecting the elderly. Florida has a large elderly population and has not had nearly the number of cases and deaths as New York. It’s time to protect the vulnerable and send the rest of us back to work.

Once A Community Organizer, Always A Community Organizer

President Obama has reentered the political scene. He is in the process of buying a beautiful waterfront home on Martha’s Vineyard. He is also involved in an organization called “Redistricting U.” The organization’s website is Allontheline.org.

Here is some information from the website:

  • “I’ve always believed that training is at the heart of organizing. It’s why I made it a priority in my 2008 campaign and throughout our larger movement for change in the years since. … The movement for fair maps will determine the course of progress on every issue we care about for the next decade. And we can’t wait to begin organizing when the redistricting process starts in 2021. We need to build this movement from the ground up – right now.” — President Obama
  • As a campaign of the National Redistricting Action Fund, a 501(c)(4) organization, All on the Line’s primary purpose is the advocacy and the promotion of social welfare. However, in limited instances, and only when consistent with our values and mission, All On The Line may engage in grassroots electoral work.
  • All On The Line is a campaign of the National Redistricting Action Fund (NRAF), an affiliate of the National Democratic Redistricting Committee (NDRC), which is chaired by Eric H. Holder, Jr., the 82nd Attorney General of the United States.
  • The All On The Line campaign began, in part, when NRAF combined forces with Organizing for Action, an organization founded by Obama aides that grew out of President Obama’s campaign infrastructure. The power of ordinary people coming together to enact change is central to the beliefs of President Obama and Eric Holder, and they are both active in this effort and supportive of this campaign.

The states targeted by this organization for redistrict6ing are Arizona, Colorado, Texas, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Georgia, and Florida. It is interesting that all but one of these states voted for President Trump in 2016. President Trump lost in Colorado by less than 5 percent.

So what is this really about? President Obama is watching his legacy being destroyed as President Trump is rebuilding the American economy. President Trump is on track to be reelected despite the efforts of the mainstream media and the hysterics of the Democrat presidential candidates. Redistricting reform is the name President Obama is giving to his efforts to make sure President Trump is not reelected.

 

Recognizing That Hunters And Fishermen Are Conservationists

I need to say up front that I neither hunt nor fish, and I am not likely to take up either in the future. However, I have a lot of respect for the people who do hunt and fish because the people I know who engage in these activities are very aware of conservation and have a lot of respect for the land they hunt and fish on. Because of this, I am glad to see President Trump opening up large areas of America for these sportsmen.

The Washington Examiner posted an article yesterday stating that the President has instructed Interior Secretary David Bernhardt to open 1.4 million acres and eliminate 7,500 regulations limiting access to that land.

The article reports:

The campaign to open access to the outdoors is a personal one for Bernhardt. In an interview, he said that living next to federal land as a kid in western Colorado helped shaped his life.

“Having those opportunities to succeed and fail made me more confident and made me more willing to accept challenges,” said Bernhardt. “If I lived somewhere where my parents had to drive 300 miles for me to hunt or fish, it wouldn’t have happened at all, though that might have been a lot better for my grades.”

When he had young children in his first tour at Interior under former President George W. Bush, then-Secretary Dirk Kempthorne advised him to get a boat.

“He said, ‘You need to get a boat. The great thing about a boat, if you get your kids on one, even if they are with their friends, they’re stuck with you,’” Bernhardt recalled. And now, he added, his kids are hooked on the outdoors. “Exposure matters,” said the secretary, whose office sports a huge moose skull and antlers from an Alaska hunt.

First under former Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and now as the nation’s top outdoorsman, Bernhardt has been implementing rules to expand access at lightning speed.

As part of that effort, Interior’s Fish and Wildlife Service established 10 “hunting and fishing chiefs” that have scoured every single federal property to find opportunities to expand access.

This month, Bernhardt announced a proposal to open 1.4 million more acres to hunting and fishing at 74 national wildlife refuges and 15 national fish hatcheries. After a public comment period, he hopes to have the land open in time for the September dove season.

The article also notes:

Part of the effort also aims at harmonizing federal and state hunting and fishing regulations, commonly a complex maze. “You’ve got to be a lawyer to figure out if you can hunt or can’t hunt,” said Bernhardt, a former board member on the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.

Wildlife conservation groups are buzzing about the new access.

“This announcement will benefit America’s sportsmen and -women by providing access to prime hunting and fishing areas,” said Christy Plumer, chief conservation officer for the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership.

Our sportsmen are some of our best conservationists. They will sound the alarm when anything in nature is out of order. I think it is wonderful that this land will be open for hunting and fishing.

Sometimes States Get It Right

Townhall is reporting today that the Colorado Civil Rights Commission has dropped its lawsuit against cake artist Jack Phillips. The article reports that the move that came after new evidence emerged of the state’s religious bigotry, according to Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), the conservative legal-defense group representing him.

The article reports:

The latest chapter in Colorado’s ongoing targeting of Phillips came after the state targeted him for not making a gender transition cake, even though the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 7-2 in his favor in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission in 2017.

“We’re pleased that the state will be dismissing its case against Jack,” said ADF Senior Vice President of U.S. Legal Division Kristen Waggoner. “This is the second time the state has launched a failed effort to prosecute him. While it finally appears to be getting the message that its anti-religious hostility has no place in our country, the state’s decision to target Jack has cost him more than six-and-a-half years of his life, forcing him to spend that time tied up in legal proceedings.”

Phillips called the case’s dismissal a “win for freedom” and said he looked forward to serving his customers once again.

“When I set out to build my dream of opening my own cake shop, combining my love for art and baking in a family business, I never imagined this chapter would be part of the Masterpiece Cakeshop story,” he said in a statement. “I have and will always serve everyone who comes into my shop; I simply can’t celebrate events or express messages that conflict with my religious beliefs. The Supreme Court affirmed that government hostility against people of faith is unconstitutional, and that Colorado was hostile to my faith. That hostility cost me 40 percent of my business and the wedding work that I love to do.”

The state was unwise to go after Jack Phillips after the Supreme Court ruling, but I guess they decided they could still make an example of him. I am grateful for the work of the ADF and the fact that they are working to fight religious discrimination.

Legislation That Will Be Harmful To Americans

Yesterday The Hill reported that Senator Cory Booker has introduced a bill in the Senate to legalize marijuana nationwide. The bill, S 597, is listed at Congress.gov, but the listing as of now does not include either the text of the bill or a summary of the bill.

The Hill reports:

Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) introduced a bill Thursday to legalize marijuana across the country.

The 2020 presidential hopeful has made criminal justice reform and social justice issues central to his campaign and is framing the marijuana legalization bill as such.

“The War on Drugs has not been a war on drugs, it’s been a war on people, and disproportionately people of color and low-income individuals,” Booker said in a press release announcing the legislation. “The Marijuana Justice Act seeks to reverse decades of this unfair, unjust, and failed policy by removing marijuana from the list of controlled substances and making it legal at the federal level.”

A House version of the bill was introduced by Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) and Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), who is co-chair of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus.

The bill, known as the Marijuana Justice Act, would remove marijuana from the federal list of controlled substances, where it is currently a Schedule I drug in the same class with heroin and LSD.

In case you think this is a wonderful idea, please read the following article posted on this site on January 26, 2019. Marijuana is not a harmless substance. The main reason for the push for legalization is the money involved. As states lose tax money from the sale of tobacco products, they can make up that loss by taxing marijuana sales. Just as tobacco proved harmful to public health, marijuana will prove detrimental to public health as well.

The article concludes:

Several of Booker’s most prominent challengers for the Democratic presidential nomination from the Senate are co-sponsors on the bill, including Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.).

Ten states as well as Washington, D.C., have already legalized the recreational use of marijuana, with many more states legalizing its medicinal use.

Booker’s bill would also incentivize states to loosen their marijuana laws by using federal funds.

From the rightwinggranny.com article cited above:

After an exhaustive review, the National Academy of Medicine found in 2017 that “cannabis use is likely to increase the risk of developing schizophrenia and other psychoses; the higher the use, the greater the risk.” Also that “regular cannabis use is likely to increase the risk for developing social anxiety disorder.”

…These new patterns of use have caused problems with the drug to soar. In 2014, people who had diagnosable cannabis use disorder, the medical term for marijuana abuse or addiction, made up about 1.5 percent of Americans. But they accounted for eleven percent of all the psychosis cases in emergency rooms—90,000 cases, 250 a day, triple the number in 2006. In states like Colorado, emergency room physicians have become experts on dealing with cannabis-induced psychosis.

Is legalizing marijuana in the best interest of Americans?

How Is This Legal?

A website called Bearing Arms posted an article about Boulder, Colorado, earlier this month. It seems as if some of the city officials have forgotten the Second Amendment.

The article reports:

Residents of Boulder, Co., have until December 27 to “certify” their “assault weapons” or remove the firearms from city limits. Those who fail to comply could face fines, jail time, and confiscation and destruction of their firearms, according to the Denver Post.

Boulder police say they have certified 85 firearms since the city council passed an “assault weapons” ban in May. Residents who already owned prohibited rifles, pistols, and shotguns were given the chance to keep their firearms by certifying prior ownership with police. The council also voted unanimously to ban “high-capacity” magazines and bump stocks.

“My hope is that we will see more bans at the state level and one day at the federal level so these weapons will no longer be available,” Councilman Aaron Brockett said in May.

What? Generally speaking, ‘certification’ is the prelude to confiscation.

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.

Keep in mind that the Bill of Rights (the first ten amendments to the Constitution) were put in place to limit the power of the federal government. Those amendments were necessary in order to get all of the thirteen colonies to sign on to the U.S. Constitution. The Bill of Rights limits the power of the government–it is not intended to limit the power of American citizens.

This is an instance where a state resident, a state official or state legislature needs to step in declare this ban and registration program unconstitutional and send the case through the courts. This law should not be allowed to stand.

Do College Organizations Have The Right To Place Requirements On Their Leaders?

Last month Christian Headlines posted an article about a recent lawsuit against the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. The University has demanded that a Christian group must be willing to allow non-Christians and atheists to lead their Bible studies in order to be recognized on campus.

The article reports:

While the school officials declined to comment on the situation, the Alliance Defending Freedom stated that: “The university refused to grant Ratio Christi registered status because it only allows those who share and personally hold beliefs consistent with the group’s mission to serve as its leaders.” 

“As a Christian apologetics organization, Ratio Christi seeks to defend the Christian faith and explain how the Bible applies to various current cultural, ethical, and political issues. Any student can attend its events. Any student of any faith can become a member of Ratio Christi, as long as he supports the group’s purpose. But Ratio Christi requires that those who lead the Christian organization must share its religious beliefs. As a result, the university has denied it registered status, limiting its access to funding, meeting and event space, and administrative support,” said the legal team.

The lawsuit disputes the school’s belief that it can refuse registered status to groups if they choose leaders that agree with the group’s religious outlooks.

Additionally, it notes other biased actions by the school against the Christian group, including that “non-religious groups are allowed to select members who support their purposes. And the university allows fraternities that admit only men and sororities that admit only women to continue as registered student organizations, in contradiction to the university’s policy against ‘discriminating based on sex.’”

Would you allow a member of the Ku Klux Klan to lead a class at the NAACP? Refusing to recognize this group because it requires that leaders support the beliefs of the group is discrimination. I hope the university loses the lawsuit.

Does Voter Fraud Exist?

The Federalist posted an article yesterday with the following headline, “Voter Fraud Is Real. Here’s The Proof.”

The article cites the following examples:

This week, liberals have been repeating their frequent claim that voter fraud doesn’t exist. A recent Salon article argues that “voter fraud just isn’t a problem in Pennsylvania,” despite evidence to the contrary. Another article argues that voter fraud is entirely in the imagination of those who use voter ID laws to deny minorities the right to vote.

Yet as the election approaches, more and more cases of voter fraud are beginning to surface. In Colorado, multiple instances were found of dead people attempting to vote. Stunningly, “a woman named Sara Sosa who died in 2009 cast ballots in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013.” In Virginia, it was found that nearly 20 voter applications were turned in under the names of dead people.

In Texas, authorities are investigating criminals who are using the technique of “vote harvesting” to illegally procure votes for their candidates. “Harvesting” is the practice of illegally obtaining the signatures of valid voters in order to vote in their name without their consent for the candidate(s) the criminal supports.

These are just some instances of voter fraud we know about. It would be silly to assume cases that have been discovered are the only cases of fraud. Indeed according to a Pew Charitable Trust report from February 2012, one in eight voter registrations are “significantly inaccurate or no longer valid.” Since there are 146 million Americans registered to vote, this translates to a stunning 18 million invalid voter registrations on the books. Further, “More than 1.8 million deceased individuals are listed as voters, and approximately 2.75 million people have registrations in more than one state.” Numbers of this scale obviously provide ripe opportunity for fraud.

Our elections need to be above board and trusted by the voters. Voter fraud has always been part of the game, but in some ways electronic voting machines have made it easier. Voter identification will solve some of the problems, but the ultimate answer may be paper ballots.

The article included some suggestions on how the limit voter fraud:

So now that we know voter fraud is a serious issue, what are some solutions to this problem? States like Michigan have Poll Challenger programs, where observers from both parties may be present at voter check-in tables at precincts. They check each voter’s ID against a database of registered voters for that precinct to ensure the person attempting to vote is actually legally qualified to vote in that precinct. If there’s a discrepancy, the poll challenger may officially challenge the ballot. Other states should implement similar programs.

States should sponsor initiatives to remove dead voters and correct the registrations of people registered in multiple states (make them choose just one state). Since many local jurisdictions are reluctant to clean their voter rolls, federal or state oversight with teeth may be necessary.

Further, voter ID laws, such as the one implemented by North Carolina, but (wrongly) struck down by three liberal judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit— one appointed by Bill Clinton and the other two appointed by President Obama—are needed to ensure there’s no cheating with votes. States should continue to press the issue regardless of recent setbacks by liberal activist judges.

Finally, some have claimed that strong voter ID laws are racist, because they disproportionately impact minorities and would prevent minorities from voting. As a black person, I’m naturally interested in this claim. Thankfully, it turns out to be false. The Heritage Foundation has shown that black voter turnout actually increased after North Carolina passed its voter ID law.

An illegal vote cancels the vote of a legal voter. Let’s work together to make all legal votes count.

More Research Needed

On Thursday the U.K. Daily Mail posted an article about some recent studies involving treating pain with marijuana.

The article reports:

A small study found people who use cannabis require higher doses of painkillers than non users after major traumatic event like a car crash.    

The drug, which is legal for medical use in the majority of US states, is mainly prescribed to ease pain. 

But this new research conducted in Colorado – which was the first state to legalize – suggests that short-term pain relief could weaken the body’s resilience to pain over time. 

The researchers, from the Swedish Medical Center, Colorado, analyzed around 260 people who were involved in minor vehicle accidents and admitted to trauma centers. 

Of these, 54 tested positive for recent marijuana use while 16 claimed they used the drug more or less every day.

Around nine percent of the participants tested positive for other prescription or illegal drugs, such as cocaine and opiates.

On average, the marijuana users required 7.6mg of opioid painkillers a day in hospital, compared to 5.6mg for non-drug users.

This is probably not a surprise to people in the medical profession. I have been told by nurses who work in the operating room that people who are heavy users of alcohol require larger doses of anesthesia to put them to sleep. The body builds up a tolerance for drugs, whether the drug is alcohol, opioids, or marijuana. Those who blame big pharma for the fact that marijuana has not been legalized need to remember that just as big pharma has a huge lobby with lots of money, big marijuana also has a big lobby with lots of money. Legalizing marijuana in Colorado has brought the drug cartels into the state to mass produce their product for the local market. I don’t think that is what we want.

The medical values of marijuana are not proven and the unintended consequences of legalization are still unfolding. I think we need more research.

One Decision, But Not Really A Resolution Of The Issue

In 2012, Jack Phillips refused to bake a wedding cake for Dave Mullins and Charlie Craig. In 2012. Same sex marriage was not legal in Colorado, and the Supreme Court had not yet ruled on the issue. It was a very different time. The State of Colorado charged Mr. Phillips with discrimination, and the case made its way to the Supreme Court, which ruled today. The Washington Times posted the story today.

The article in The Washington Times reports:

Mr. Phillips had argued as a Christian, he could not be forced to create a custom wedding cake for a homosexual couple, citing his First Amendment rights, though he said he offered to sell one of his standard cakes to them.

Colorado said his refusal broke the state’s public accommodation law prohibiting businesses from refusing service to anyone based on religion, race, sexual orientation and national origin.

During proceedings before the state’s civil rights commission one commissioner complained that freedom of religion had been used to “justify all kinds of discrimination throughout history, whether it be slavery, whether it be the Holocaust.” The commissioner called Mr. Phillips‘ beliefs “one of the most despicable pieces of rhetoric.”

Justice Kennedy said those statements undermined the state’s case against Mr. Phillips.

The Supreme Court ruled 7 to 2 in favor of Mr. Phillips. The two judges who ruled against Mr. Phillips were Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Justice Sonia Sotomayor.

Mr. Phillips is essentially a cake artist. The question becomes whether or not a person can be forced to use his art for something he fundamentally disagrees with. Artists are usually commissioned. If the charges against Mr. Phillips were allowed to stand, does that mean that an artist does not have the right to refuse to do a commissioned work? I think that is the ultimate question–does a person running a business have the right to choose their clientele?

The Cost Of The Wall

One of the recent talking points used against those people who actually want to control our borders is the cost of building a wall. Obviously, Mexico will not directly pay for a wall–they enjoy having people come here illegally and send money back to Mexico. There is no incentive for them to put a stop to that behavior. So how do we pay for the wall?

Paul Sperry posted an article at The New York Post on Saturday that offers one possible solution.

The article reports:

Mexico won’t have to pay for the wall, after all. US taxpayers won’t have to pick up the tab, either. The controversial barrier, rather, will cover its own cost just by closing the border to illegal immigrants who tend to go on the federal dole.

That’s the finding of recent immigration studies showing the $18 billion wall President Trump plans to build along the southern border will pay for itself by curbing the importation of not only crime and drugs, but poverty.

“The wall could pay for itself even if it only modestly reduced illegal crossings and drug smuggling,” Steven A. Camarota, director of research at the Center for Immigration Studies, told The Post.

Federal data shows that a wall would work. A two-story corrugated metal fence in El Paso, Texas, first erected under the Bush administration has already curtailed illegal border crossings there by more than 89 percent over the five-year period during which it was built.

The problem is not only illegal immigrants–it’s drug smuggling. How much money and how many lives do the illegal drugs coming into America cost?

The article concludes:

While Democrats complain the $18 billion price tag for the Trump wall is too high, the “Dreamers” amnesty bill they want Trump and Republicans to pass in exchange for funding the wall (or ideally in spite of the wall) would cost US taxpayers even more than the construction of the border partition over 10 years.

“The cost of the DREAM Act has been estimated as very large — a $26 billion net cost in the first 10 years,” Camarota noted.

Indeed, the Congressional Budget Office recently estimated that 3 million DREAM Act recipients would receive an estimated $12 billion-plus in ObamaCare subsidies, more than $5.5 billion in Medicaid benefits, $5.5 billion in earned-income and child-tax credits and more than $2 billion in food stamps.

A bipartisan bill incorporating the deal was defeated in the Senate last month by a vote of 54-45. Trump rejected the proposal in favor of a tougher border bill introduced by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), which limits the number of DACA beneficiaries to 1.8 million, curbs family visas, or so-called chain migration, and phases out the diversity visa lottery, while earmarking $25 billion in funding for the wall and other border security.

The problem is not the money–the problem is the spending priorities.

Misplaced Hysteria (As Usual)

Fox News is reporting today that Attorney General Jeff Sessions has reversed federal policy on enforcing marijuana laws in states where marijuana is legal. Well, sort of. The ‘federal policy’ that is being changed is a 2013 memo from then-Deputy Attorney General James Cole that it would not obstruct states that legalized marijuana if the drug was regulated not to hinder key federal enforcement priorities–preventing distribution to minors, preventing it being moved to other states, and preventing it used as a cover for other drug trafficking. Note–this was a memo not a law.

So exactly what did Attorney General Sessions do–he rescinded the memo.

The article reports:

The move effectively unleashes federal prosecutors to consider bringing marijuana cases, while stopping short of ordering them to do so. 

“U.S. attorneys need to make decisions in these cases as they do in other drugs cases,” a senior DOJ official told Fox News.

Attorney General Sessions brought back prosecutorial discretion in dealing with marijuana cases. Again, he did not make a law–he undid a non-law.

Senator Cory Gardner of Colorado is now threatening to block every Justice Department nominee until Attorney General Sessions undoes his actions. Wait a minute, doesn’t Senator Gardner have the ability to propose a law that would clarify federal policy and solve this problem?

There are a few things that need to be mentioned here. To those of you who believe that marijuana is a miracle drug that ‘big pharma’ is keeping from the American people, remember that ‘big marijuana‘ also has a strong lobby pushing for legalization. Also keep in mind that if recreational marijuana becomes legal in all fifty states, there is no question that children and teenagers will get a hold of it. How many children and teenagers manage to get into their parents alcoholic drinks? There is sufficient evidence that marijuana, although not addictive, can negatively effect a teenage brain. There is also the impact of the drug on basic maturity in teenagers–if a teenager learns to simply get high rather than solve his basic problems, how will he deal with problems in later life? Unfortunately, this last comment is based on personal observation. Many years ago, there was a neighborhood teenager who routinely came home from school stoned. He was a really nice teen and a very bright and gifted child. As an adult, he has some physical symptoms possibly related to the drug use, but more than that, I believe the drug totally interfered with his ambition and ability to reach his potential. The good news is that he no longer smokes pot and has become a contributing member of society, but I believe that because of his drug use, he has never come close to his full potential.

Legalizing marijuana is a mistake. It will not improve the quality of life for those who use it or for America.

The Debate On Marijuana Continues

Yesterday PJ Media posted an article about the impact of the legalization of marijuana in Colorado. There is still not a clear picture of the effect of the legislation.

The article lists some of the negative impact:

Along with five years of legal weed, Colorado has also seen its homeless population swell to a level that is among the highest in America. The Gazette editorial board sees a link between people living on the street and the availability of free weed because homeless shelter directors said substance abusers move to Colorado because it’s easier to score a bag of weed.

More kids than ever are getting high inside Colorado’s K-12 schools, the Gazette also reported. Drug violations reported by the state’s public schools increased 45 percent since the legalization of pot, according to a 2016 Rocky Mountain PBS investigation.

The article further reports:

On top of all of that, something stinks in Colorado Springs.

“Visitors to Colorado remark about a new agricultural smell, the wafting odor of pot as they drive near warehouse grow operations along Denver freeways,” the Gazette editorial read.

“Residential neighborhoods throughout Colorado Springs reek of marijuana, as producers fill rental homes with plants,” the Gazette added.

The article states that there have been some problems with overdoses:

Dr. Daniel Vigil of the Marijuana Health Monitoring and Research Program at the Colorado Department of Public Health said those “bumps in the road” included “rare deaths.”

The marijuana fatalities included “one following overconsumption, paranoia and falling off a balcony,” Vigil told Insider Louisville. Another death involved “unintentional ingestion of a large dose of THC in a candy bar.”

Vigil said new regulations and policies are needed to prevent marijuana overdoses.

I have no problem with marijuana being available in pill form for medical purposes. I do, however, question the wisdom of legalizing another substance that may interfere with the ability of people to function. Marijuana may not be addictive, but I clearly remember a teenager I knew years ago who began smoking in his teens and thoroughly changed his life for the worse because of it. I suspect his story might not be all that unusual.

Unintended Consequences Of A Coming Investigation

The Washington Examiner posted an article today about one of the unintended consequences of the formation of a commission to study voter fraud. This would be funny if it were not so consequential.

The article reports:

Several county clerks in Colorado said they’ve seen hundreds of people withdraw their voter registrations following the state’s announcement that it would comply with President Trump’s voter fraud commission.

In Denver, a spokesperson for the Denver Elections Division said 180 people have withdrawn their registrations in the county since Monday, according to a Denver Channel report.

In Arapahoe County, which contains the city of Aurora, at least 160 people have withdrawn their registrations since July 1.

The counties normally see fewer than 10 withdrawn registrations in similar time frames.

There is nothing I can add.