When You Realize That What You Said Is Ridiculous

Scott Johnson at Power Line Blog posted an article today about a recent directive from the City of Minneapolis that has since been modified. When I first saw the directive posted on Facebook, I wasn’t sure if it was real. Evidently it was.

Here is the original directive:

Yesterday the message was updated (per alphanewsmn)

Wow. Just wow.

Seeing For Yourself Instead Of Believing The Media

On Friday, PJ Media posted a Portland, Oregon, resident’s account of the protests going on downtown. Gabe Johnson, a 48-year-old black man who served in the Marines, lives a block away from the Justice Center. He thought the nightly protests had been completely peaceful.

The article reports:

Gabe Johnson, a 48-year-old black man who served in the Marines, now says that Portland police should use any means necessary, including force, to sweep the riots off the streets and end the nightly violence.

In an interview with PJ Media, Johnson said he considers himself a patriotic American, and that the United States flag should be a symbol of unity for all Americans. He laments how some have turned it into a symbol of racism and division, especially in Portland.

Last Saturday night and into Sunday morning, Johnson says he was in bed trying to sleep, but the noise kept him awake. He counted 82 explosions disturbing his sleep. Then, with his air conditioning running and bringing in air from outside through the vents, he was suddenly immersed in tear gas from the street below. That’s when he decided to take action.

“You know, so I literally stood up and just yelled,” Johnson said in the interview. “‘Oh my God,’ I actually yelled. ‘Oh my effing God.’ It was just like somebody has to do something. I don’t know what that something is. I didn’t at that time, but I knew something had to be done and I figured I would just sleep on it.”

The article details his response:

When he went down to the protest with his flags, Johnson expected to talk to people. He didn’t expect to be assaulted. Several people stole his flags and stomped them on the ground. One older black man, around 65 years old, grabbed one of the flags and handed it back to Johnson. A protester promptly punched the man in the face and ran off.

Reminder: This all took place in broad daylight, not at a late-night riot.

Johnson says protesters called him a coon, Uncle Tom, and the n-word—”with the -ER, not -a.” He has done several interviews this week because he wants the world to know that when leaders say that the federal law enforcement officers have caused the riots, and that the protests are largely peaceful, that’s a lie.

Protests are legal. Riots and assaulting people are not. The article includes a link to an interview with Mr. Johnson detailing the events. The actions of the anarchists that call themselves Black Lives Matter are not acceptable. Where were these people when black lives ended at the hands of other black people in Chicago and other major American cities? The only way to end these riots is to begin putting those responsible for them in jail. I would also suggest finding the source of their funding and eliminating it quickly. Rioters don’t deserve high-priced lawyers paid for by people behind the scenes inciting the riots.

Some Common Sense From The Minneapolis City Council

Yesterday Ed Morrissey at Hot Air posted an article about a recent decision by the Minneapolis City Council.

The article reports:

Give credit where due for thinking outside of the box, I guess, although this idea belongs in a box … buried under the St. Anthony Falls. In the Minneapolis city council’s haste to prove it doesn’t need a professional and trained police force to keep the peace, they nearly decided to pay ad hoc bands of armed citizens to patrol the streets. Only late inquiries about this proposal from city residents and local media managed to change their minds:

The Minneapolis City Council briefly considered diverting money from police to citizen patrols, with the council’s public safety chairwoman suggesting an armed group as one that could potentially benefit.

During a budget meeting last week, Council Member Alondra Cano proposed cutting $500,000 from the Minneapolis Police Department for the citizen groups.

She described it as an effort to “respond to the hundreds of people who have formed their own community safety patrol systems to keep their blocks and their neighborhoods safe in this time of deep transition.”

She and nine of her colleagues voted in favor of adding the provision to the 2020 budget. On Wednesday, after residents and reporters contacted city officials seeking details about the proposal, the council walked it back.

Common sense made a brief appearance in the Minneapolis City Council.

The article concludes:

The Star Tribune notes that the city council seems to be out of rational ideas about how to make their no-policy fantasy into reality, which is how vigilantism nearly got a $500,000 grant and endorsement:

The change reveals how the City Council is struggling to come up with alternatives to the Minneapolis Police Department, even as a majority has vowed to end it. Council members and city staffers have, at times, found themselves unclear about what various proposals mean, even after they have voted on them.

In other words, the city council is completely incompetent, and now obviously so. This would qualify as satire if not for the lives that have already been lost and the lives that will be lost in the near future due to their failures to perform their basic duties as public officials. The city council is responsible for the police department and its performance, but they do not want Minneapolis residents to realize that. Instead, they want to pretend that a modern city of 425,000-plus residents don’t need law enforcement, mainly because they want to abdicate their own responsibilities for managing it.

Minneapolis is a home-rule charter city, so the state doesn’t have too many options in dealing with this disaster. The city’s voters will have to act to put an end to the circus they elected. In the meantime, the cities around them will have to deal with the fallout — and business owners will start looking elsewhere for better environments in which to operate.

This is the reason voting matters. The only way to improve the government of Minneapolis is to vote for people who actually understand how to make things better. The current city council obviously does not.

What Does This Have To Do With Educating Students?

Yesterday Just the News reported that the Los Angeles teachers union says schools can’t reopen unless charter schools get shut down and police defunded. Charter schools generally outperform public schools, so why are the teachers trying to shut them down?

The article reports:

A major teachers union is claiming that the re-opening of schools in its district cannot occur without several substantial policy provisions in place, including a “moratorium” on charter schools and the defunding of local police. 

United Teachers Los Angeles, a 35,000-strong union in the Los Angeles Unified School District, made those demands in a policy paper it released this week. The organization called on local authorities to “keep school campuses closed when the semester begins on Aug. 18.”

The union outlined numerous major provisions it says will be necessary to reopen schools again, including sequestering students in small groups throughout the school day, providing students with masks and other forms of protective equipment, and re-designing school layouts in order to facilitate “social distancing.” 

The article continues:

Police violence “is a leading cause of death and trauma for Black people, and is a serious public health and moral issue,” the union writes. The document calls on authorities to “shift the astronomical amount of money devoted to policing, to education and other essential needs such as housing and public health.”

“Privately operated, publicly funded charter schools,” meanwhile, “drain resources from district schools,” the union states. The practice of “colocating” charter schools in existing structures, it continues, “adds students to campuses when we need to reduce the number of students to allow for physical distancing.”

The union also demands the implementation of a federal Medicare-for-All program, several new state-level taxes on wealthy people, and a “federal bailout” of the school district.

“The benefits to restarting physical schools must outweigh the risks, especially for our most vulnerable students and school communities,” the document continues.

“As it stands, the only people guaranteed to benefit from the premature physical reopening of schools amidst a rapidly accelerating pandemic are billionaires and the politicians they’ve purchased,” it adds.

I want teachers and students to be safe when schools open. I think we all do. However, the teachers union has overlooked the negative impact on the students as a result of the schools being closed during the end of the last school year. They have also overlooked the fact that many foreign countries have had their schools open for a while without any negative results. They are also overreaching into political issues that have nothing to do with education. I wonder if the teachers who are members of the teachers’ union agree with the demands that their union is making.

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.

Why We Should NEVER Defund The Police

The police have come under a lot of criticism lately because of the actions of one out-of-control policeman in Minneapolis and the other policemen with him who failed to act to save George Floyd. However, in concentrating on one bad apple, many have forgotten the things that policemen do almost on a regular basis to help those in trouble. Yesterday The Daily Wire posted an article about one such instance.

The article reports:

San Diego K9 Officer Jonathan Wiese has been credited with saving the lives of two young girls after rappelling down a cliff to rescue them from a car their father had driven into the ocean in an apparent murder-suicide attempt over the weekend. 

According to The San Diego Union-Tribune, Wiese was near the San Diego-Coronado Bridge responding to a call the girls’ mother made to police Saturday morning, in which she informed them that her husband was suicidal and planned to take the toddlers, both two-year-olds, to the bridge and drive off it. 

ABC-10 reports that when Wiese arrived at the cliff area, where the man ultimately drove off, he saw the car had flipped over in the ocean below, and started to think-up a quick plan of action. 

“My first thought was jump but I’m afraid of heights,” said Wiese, reports CBS-8

“I could see him and he had one of the girls in his arms, and I have a two-year-old daughter at home so I imagined, what if that was my wife and kid down there? You’re not going to stand there on the cliff and watch it happen,” said Wiese, who later recalled the rescue effort, reports the Tribune. 

Wiese grabbed his K9 leash, wrapped it around himself, and gave one end to the other officers arriving on scene. 

“We kind of  held on to each other, I’ve never done anything like that holding on to each other’s belts,” recalled Sgt. Briggitta Belz, one of the responding officers. 

Wiese then repelled down 30 feet to the rocks below and swam toward the man, grabbed him under the armpit, held them above water, and pushed them toward the shore, reports ABC-10. 

San Diego Police Chief David Nisliet called Wiese’s actions “probably the most heroic thing I’ve seen in my 32 years.” Both of the girls were still in the hospital as of Monday, but are expected to recover — a development Wiese said was the “best news you can have.”

“All I care about is that those girls are going to live and have a second chance at life,” said Wiese. 

And that is one of many reasons we should never even consider defunding the police.

This Really Shouldn’t Surprise Anyone

Breitbart reported yesterday that at least 250 convicted and accused criminals freed from New York’s Rikers Island prison have been rearrested 450 times thanks to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s (D) jailbreak directive.

The article reports:

Of approximately 2,500 defendants sprung from Rikers early because of COVID safety planning, at least 250 have been arrested again since, according to Michael LiPetri, chief of Crime Control Strategies for the NYPD. [Emphasis added]

Chief LiPetri tells NBC New York the NYPD did not object to releasing older defendants, nor those with underlying medical conditions. But he says the consequences of the larger-scale release of prisoners are now showing up in the arrest data, with those 250 re-offenders being arrested 450 times so far during the pandemic. [Emphasis added]

What did they expect? How much transition assistance was provided to these prisoners when they were released? Were there halfway houses available to them so that they had a place to stay as they transitioned to life outside prison?

The article concludes:

While the mass release of convicted and accused criminals in New York continues and violent crime surges, Mayor Bill de Blasio is vowing to cut NYPD funding. The reduction in funding for the police would come as murders have jumped 160 percent over the last week and burglaries are up 402 percent.

As businesses and residents leave the city because it is becoming too dangerous, Mayor de Blasio will have to increase taxes further to meet his budget obligations. That will be the straw that broke the camel’s back as far as driving out the remaining honest residents and business of New York City. A little common sense applied to policies regarding criminals is needed.

Three Things We Are Being Told That Are Simply Wrong

On Friday, Heritage Action posted an article titled, “Three False Charges Against America’s Police Officers.”

This is the article:

Many of the events following George Floyd’s death have only perpetuated injustice and led to violence and crime. Thousands of rioters across the country have destroyed private property, looted businesses, attacked police officers, and have even taken the lives of innocent Americans.

Amidst the lawlessness, some on the left are using George Floyd’s death as an opportunity to push for extreme leftist agendas. Many of these agendas distort the truth about the role and efficacy of our nation’s police departments and propose radical “reform” measures that could potentially contribute to more crime and chaos in our country. These radical proposals from the left are based on lies and must be countered with truth.

Here are some of the fictitious claims liberals make against police officers… and the facts to counter them.

FICTION: “American police departments are systemically racist.”

FACT: Allegations of systemic racism are false and harmful.

While it is important to address grievances caused by the nation’s police departments, broad, all-encompassing accusations of racism completely disregard years of intentional training, diversification, and reform in police departments. Police are deployed based upon the location of crime, calls for service, and other data much of which is centered in minority communities. Additionally, research suggests that officers take longer to discharge their weapon when confronting African American suspects compared to confrontations with white or Hispanic suspects. Accusing the country’s police departments of inherent prejudice only feeds the extreme liberal narrative that police departments should be disbanded altogether.

Additional Resources

Policing in America: Lessons from the Past, Opportunities for the Future

Confronting Police Abuse Requires Shifting Power From Police Unions

Reform of Policing: What Makes Sense—and What Doesn’t

FICTION: “Police officers increase the likelihood of violence and crime against Americans.”

FACT: Simply put: the more policing there is, the safer America is.

Take the example of New York City which had its peak homicide rate in 1990 after several decades of pursuing a policing system which pushed officers into the background and relegated them to simply responding to crimes. In 1990, New York City had 2,245 murders. After switching to community-based policing with the goal of preventing crime, New York City has seen a dramatic decrease in both shootings and murders (down to 292 in 2017), resulting in a safer city. This is in large part due to officer training, increased police diversification, and improved policing methods. The fact is that American communities are overwhelmingly safer with police than without police.

Additional Resource

Cops Count, Police Matter: Preventing Crime and Disorder in the 21st Century

FICTION: “To stop police violence we need to defund the police.”

FACT: This argument is simply irrational. America needs police officers to maintain law and order.

Defunding our nation’s police departments would only lead to more crime and chaos and would directly harm the communities who disproportionately suffer the most. Additionally, defunding police departments will only lead to tighter budget constraints and less well-equipped police officers, making it even harder for police officers to do an already difficult and stressful job. However, in instances in which police officers use force outside the bounds of their training or even unlawfully, often union contracts stand in the way of appropriate discipline. Therefore, to stop unlawful police violence it is important that we reform the police union contract system.

The Demands Just Get Loonier

Yesterday Breitbart posted an article about the demands Black Lives Matter is making in Boston. George Floyd’s death was a horrible tragedy, but it seems that it has become nothing more than an excuse for special interest groups to shake down American cities.

The article reports:

The Boston, Massachusetts, chapter of Black Lives Matter (BLM) is asking that $15 million in American taxpayer money be spent on providing summer jobs to illegal aliens.

In a list of demands posted by the BLM Boston, the organization demands the city spend millions on creating thousands of summer jobs — some of which would be given to 14 to 22-year-old illegal aliens:

These are the demands:

We demand that Mayor Marty Walsh cut the police budget by 10% from $414 million to $372 million or less, including cutting at least $40 million from the Police Department’s $60 million overtime budget. Those funds should be reinvested in the needs of Black and Brown communities, including providing housing and jobs to people released from prison. [Emphasis added]

In addition, we demand that funds are reinvested in youth jobs during a global pandemic and economic crisis. The City should fund $15 million for 5000 summer jobs and 1000 year-round jobs lasting from September to June, including hiring 14-22 year olds, hiring undocumented young people, and providing grants to organizations. Mayor Walsh, CFO Emme Handy, and Director Justin Sterritt: meet with young people immediately to discuss protecting young people this summer! [Emphasis added]

The article concludes:

Every year, hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens are added to the U.S. population in addition to about 1.2 million legal immigrants who permanently resettle in the country and another more than one million foreign visa workers who arrive to take American jobs.

The results have stifled upward mobility in wages and employment for, specifically, black Americans. Research in the past has revealed that every ten percent increase in the immigrant share of an occupation reduces the wages of black American men by about five percent.

Likewise, every one percent increase in the immigrant share of an occupation reduces overall American weekly wages by about 0.5 percent, researcher Steven Camarotta has found. This means the average native-born American worker today has their weekly wages reduced by perhaps 8.5 percent because of current legal immigration levels.

I think we need to increase police budgets and give the police anything they need to keep a protest from becoming a riot. BLM obviously does not understand that the requests they are making would harm the black community rather than help them.

One Of Many Reasons Why Elections Matter

Issues & Insights is a website started by the people who used to write the editorial page of Investor’s Business Daily. Today they posted an article explaining what is happening to the people who are rioting and destroying property in many of our major cities. Keep in mind that many of the prosecutors in these cities were elected with money supplied by organizations funded by George Soros.

The article reports:

St. Louis is a case in point. There, prosecutor Kim Gardner let 36 people arrested for looting and rioting go scot-free, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Gardner’s office used the pathetic excuse that it needed “essential evidence” from the police, implying it had none.

One wonders how people caught in flagrante delicto could simply be released. The answer is, Gardner is a far-left acolyte of Soros, having been the recipient during her 2016 election of no fewer than three separate donations from a Soros-backed political-action committee.

It’s not the only example of Soros’ malign influence. Philadelphia District Attorney Lawrence Krasner, who was elected with Soros money, reportedly “has no interest” in prosecuting rioters in the city. As infuriating as this and other instances of prosecutorial misconduct are to many of us, it’s likely we’ll see more of it in the future.

“Financier and left-wing philanthropist George Soros contributed large sums to progressive candidates running for district attorney all around the country, apparently in hopes of changing the law enforcement system at the county or district level,” according to a December 2019 report from the Capital Research Center.

Beginning in 2015, the CRC report notes, Soros doled out more than $17 million “on district attorney and other local races in swing states such as Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Arizona, but also in large, predominantly left-of-center states such as California and New York.”

The article further explains the goal of the political activists connected to George Soros:

What’s behind all this? An attempt to undermine the American justice system at every level. Soros and his followers believe our court system and police procedures are so corrupt, so hopelessly racist, that justice is literally impossible.

In 2014, Soros gifted the ACLU with $50 million to fight “mass incarceration.” Since then, using his own Open Society Foundations and donations to other Soros-linked organizations, such as the Tides Foundation, he has continued to fund his attack on America’s justice system.

Yes, there are rare incidents of racist and illegal behavior on the part of police and prosecutors. None of our politically directed institutions is infallible. And when such things take place, as now seems in the tragic death of George Floyd, the perpetrators should be punished.

But a system that refuses to lock up those who commit criminal acts out of some sense that it’s karmic compensation for “racism” and “injustice” is no system at all. It is legal chaos.

And, taken a step further, the linking of justice to mob-imposed outrage is dangerous. That’s why the statue of Lady Justice, once found in so many courts around the nation, is always blindfolded. Justice isn’t about politics; it’s about the law. Justice is blind, as the saying goes.

The mainstream media go out of their way to downplay the 89-year-old Soros’ role in trying to “transform” the American justice system. It’s to be expected, given the fact that much of the media now simply follow the progressive left’s script in “reporting” the news.

The article concludes:

But like so many others on the far left who have gotten fabulously wealthy in America’s free-market system while protected by our laws and Constitution, Soros hates America. He wants to tear it down.

And no, that’s not an exaggeration. As he himself has said, “The main obstacle to a stable and just world order is the United States.” He believes that, and is acting on it.

So it’s not surprising he’s funding American extremists to do the job. By seeding local justice agencies and courts with far-left lawyers, Soros is helping to hollow out our justice system, once the envy of the world. Those who are the supposed protectors of the rule of law are actually its enemies.

Just as with recent revelations of misconduct at the FBI, Justice Department and CIA, Americans would be well-advised to pay close attention also to their local races for judges, district attorneys and other positions of power in the justice system. Any interference by Soros is a red flag, pun intended, that your local justice system is being subverted.

I wonder what the people who are being used by the leftists and anarchists fueling the riots think there is to gain. Do they believe that they will prosper in any way in the ‘new’ system they are espousing? Have they considered that fact that the goal of those fomenting the riots is tyranny?

The Problem With Justice In Minneapolis

The death of George Floyd is a tragedy. There is no doubt that he would still be alive if he hadn’t been held down on the ground by the police for as long as he was. However, the autopsy does not give asphixiation as the primary cause of death. So where do we go from here?

Andrew McCarthy posted an article at The National Review today that might provide some answers.

The article notes:

For one thing, contrary to most people’s assumption, Mr. Floyd appears not to have died from asphyxia or strangulation as Chauvin pinned him to the ground, knee to the neck. Rather, as alleged in the complaint, Floyd suffered from coronary-artery disease and hypertensive-heart disease. The complaint further intimates, but does not come out and allege, that Floyd may have had “intoxicants” in his system. The effects of these underlying health conditions and “any potential intoxicants” are said to have “combined” with the physical restraint by three police officers, most prominently Chauvin, to cause Floyd’s death.

As I’ve noted in a column on the homepage, Hennepin County prosecutors have charged Chauvin with third-degree depraved-indifference homicide. Now that the complaint has been released publicly, we see that a lesser offense was also charged: second-degree manslaughter. This homicide charge involves “culpable negligence creating an unreasonable risk” of serious bodily harm, and carries a maximum sentence of ten years’ imprisonment.

It is easy to see why prosecutors added this charge (and why they shied away from more serious grades of murder described in my column). The case is tougher for prosecutors if there is doubt about whether Chauvin’s unorthodox and unnecessary pressure on Floyd’s neck caused him to die. Had he been strangled, causative effect of the neck pressure would be patent. But if the neck pressure instead just contributed to the stress of the situation that triggered death because of unusual underlying medical problems (possibly in conjunction with intoxicants Floyd may have consumed), it becomes a harder murder prosecution.

Stay tuned. This is going to get complicated. I believe that the police force was correct to fire the officers involved. However, getting them to pay a more serious price for their abuse of power is going to be difficult. Even with video evidence, they are innocent until proven guilty and have to be convicted ‘beyond a reasonable doubt.’

 

What Is The Next Step?

On Monday night George Floyd was pronounced dead after he was taken into custody by police in Minneapolis. There is a video of Mr. Floyd being pressed to the ground by a policeman despite Mr. Floyd’s stating that he could not breathe. This is a horrible abuse of power by the policeman and by the other policemen and people standing around watching it happen. So where do we go from here?

The answer is not rioting, looting, and burning down the neighborhood businesses. There is never any excuse for that behavior. Part of the answer is arresting the policeman who had his knee on Mr. Floyd’s neck and the policemen who stood by as Mr. Floyd was murdered. There needs to be a trial. Probably a change of venue for the trial would be in order. The charge needs to be appropriate to the crime–the video is evidence. I don’t know if a murder charge would hold up, but I suspect an involuntary manslaughter charge would.

We can’t judge the motives of the policeman. We don’t know if he knew his actions would result in death. We don’t know why he simply did not place the man in the backseat of the police car. These are things that I hope would come out in a trial.

Most of our policemen are honest, hardworking men and women. It is a shame when a man charged with upholding the law does something this horrible. According to various sources, the policeman involved had other questionable incidents in his record. This should be a wake-up call to all supervisors of policemen to remove any policeman who cannot handle the responsibility of the job without acting in ways that bring disgrace on their profession and create situations where people feel they have the right to riot. People never have the right to riot, but unfortunately some people have been told that they do.

It Begins Again

Hot Air posted an article yesterday about what is currently happening in Hong Kong.

The article reports:

When we were discussing China’s new “national security” law for Hong Kong yesterday, it was noted that pro-democracy advocates were already railing against the betrayal of the promises China made when taking over control of the city from Great Britain. Protests were planned, but pro-Beijing lawmakers were warning that any sort of public demonstrations could be dealt with harshly. Well, that took all of one day to come to pass. Despite concerns about a new wave of coronavirus infections, demonstrators took to the streets and were quickly met by police forces firing tear gas canisters indiscriminately into the crowds at a large shopping center. And then the arrests began.

…Tam Tak-chi, one of the city’s most well-known democracy advocates, was arrested shortly after the protests began. He had previously predicted that he would be detained if China moved forward with its new legislation and it turned out to be a self-fulfilling prophesy. He was charged with holding “an unauthorized assembly.”

The article concludes:

In that sense, much of the “freedom” enjoyed by Hong Kong since 1997 has largely been illusory anyway. China regularly intervenes in local elections if the residents begin electing too many people with crazy ideas about freedom and democracy. The top leadership positions, currently exemplified by Carrie Lam, are always held by pro-Beijing politicians who take their marching orders from the CCP. People have regularly been arrested in Hong Kong for demonstrating, giving speeches or contacting foreign media outlets, things that people in free nations simply take for granted.

Up until now, a certain amount of demonstrating and chatter about democracy has been allowed, apparently just to humor the locals. But now it appears that China isn’t going to even bother providing a fig leaf to the 1997 agreement they entered into. They’re probably sure that they can get away with it because nobody is going to risk going to war with them or attempt any sort of direct military intervention right on China’s doorstep to free Hong Kong’s citizens. And while it’s sad to say, they’re probably right.

This was predictable. I don’t know if the outcome would have been any different had the British not signed the treaty with China. However, we need to learn from what we are watching–China is not a reliable partner in any treaty. On May 5th, I posted an article citing a provision in the recent trade agreement (signed before the coronavirus outbreak in America) that says if there is a natural occurring disaster, the two parties will renegotiate. This is another example of the fact that China, under communism, is not willing to play fair on the international stage. Best wishes to the people of Hong Kong. I am not optimistic about your future.

This Is Appropriate

Fox 32 in Chicago is reporting that actor Jussie Smollett was indicted today in Chicago by special prosecutor Dan Webb, stemming from the alleged racist and anti-gay attack on him that occurred in January of 2019.

The article reports:

Smollett is due in court February 24 at the Criminal Court Building at 26th and California. He is indicted on six counts, accused of lying to Chicago police when he reported the attack last year, special prosecutor Webb said. Smollett faces six counts of disorderly conduct.

Mr. Smollett’s story was fishy from the start. As I am sure you remember, Jussie Smollett claimed to have been attacked by two Trump supporters wearing MAGA hats and shouting racial slurs. The attackers were also accused of shouting, “This is MAGA country.” That in itself should have raised suspicions–does anyone really believe that Chicago is MAGA country?

The article reports:

“Dan K. Webb, special prosecutor for Cook County, today announced that the Office of the Special Prosecutor (“OSP”) has now completed all of its investigative steps regarding Jussie Smollett, and has made the decision to further prosecute Mr. Smollett. Based on the recommendation of the OSP, a Cook County grand jury returned a six-count indictment charging Jussie Smollett with making four separate false reports to Chicago Police Department officers related to his false claims that he was the victim of a hate crime, knowing that he was not the victim of a crime,” Webb said in a statement.

Please follow the link to the article to read the details of the case.

Obviously Guns Are Not The Problem

Breitbart is reporting today that the murder rate in London has surged to a decade high. Guns are not common in Britain, the increase is due to knife killings.

The article reports:

The number of people murdered in London has reached its highest level in a decade under the leadership of Mayor Sadiq Khan, with 149 people losing their lives in 2019.

The homicide rate in London last year was the highest since 2008 when 154 people were killed in the capital and ten per cent higher than in 2018 when 135 people were murdered. The majority of victims were stabbed to death, with 90 people being killed by knives, up from 55 in 2014.

The article notes:

A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police Service said in response to the surge in knife crime that “tackling violence that involves knife crime is the number one priority” for the police.

“Stop and search and the use of Section 60 remains an important power in tackling knife crime and protecting the public. This means that following a stabbing, further retaliatory incidents are prevented saving further violence,” the spokesman told The Sun.

“In 2018, it resulted in more than 4,200 arrests for weapon possession alone. Every one of those weapons seized potentially means one less violent incident, injury or death,” the spokesman added.

Maybe it’s time that we started teaching people to respect other people. The problem is not the weapon, the problem is in the heart of the person holding the weapon.

Common Sense From The Detroit Police Chief

Breitbart posted an article today about a recent statement by the Detroit Police Chief.

The article states:

Detroit Police Chief James Craig suggested concealed carry by law-abiding citizens “is about staying alive” during an October 30, 2019, interview on Tucker Carlson Tonight.

Craig, a vocal advocate of concealed carry for self-defense, said, “There’s been research that shows criminals fear armed citizens more than they fear police.”

He explained police are not ever-present, thus they usually arrive after a crime not during one: “By the time we’re called it’s usually after the fact, so we’re reacting to the crime.” But armed, law-abiding citizens can be present to act as the crime is unfolding.

That makes sense. There is a lot of validity to the idea of every citizen learning to be responsible for their own safety. I personally think everyone should take a Concealed Carry class simply to understand their rights and responsibilities in regard to gun ownership.

The article concludes:

On January 2, 2014, Breitbart News reported Craig noting that “good community members who have concealed [licenses]” deter crime and save lives.

On December 1, 2015, Breitbart News reported Craig saying armed citizens also help fight the threat of terrorism. The  Detroit News quoted Craig saying, “A lot of Detroiters have CPLs, and the same rules apply to terrorists as they do to some gun-toting thug. If you’re a terrorist, or a carjacker, you want unarmed citizens.”

He suggested the knowledge that citizens  “would shoot back” probably makes “extremists…reluctant to target Detroit.”

Armed citizens are one of the best crime deterrents available. The idea of taking guns away from law-abiding citizens collapses when you realize that criminals will not surrender their guns–leaving the general public unarmed and vulnerable.

Over The Edge

I know that there are some rational Democrats out there. Alan Dershowitz is one, and I am sure there are a few others. However, there are enough nuts running around out there to keep a colony of squirrels fed for a million winters!

Katie Pavlich posted an article at Townhall today about some events at a recent townhall meeting held by Michigan Democratic Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib. I realize that Congresswoman Tlaib may not fully understand how our government works, but I think what went on at that meeting was unacceptable.

The article reports:

During a town hall meeting with constituents in Michigan this week, Democratic Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib agreed that U.S. Marshals should “hunt down” White House officials and remove them from office if they “refuse to leave power.” This includes President Trump.

The idea was suggested by a man questioning Tlaib, who nodded in agreement, and then admitted Democrats on Capitol Hill have been having a discussion about who can arrest administration officials and where they could be held.

“This is the last caucus conversation we’ve had. Did you know this is really unprecedented? This is the worst time we’ve ever had a situation like this. They’re trying to figure out, no joke, is it the DC police that goes and gets them?” Tlaib said. “Where do we hold them? Like, I’m not in those kinds of conversations but I’m asking, what happens?”

“I’m telling you, they’re trying to be like, ‘Well where are we going put them? Where are we going to hold…'” she continued, suggesting they can be held in Detroit. “What happens when they don’t comply? The fact of the matter is we held Barr and Secretary Ross from Commerce, the Secretary of Commerce, in contempt. Well, what happens if they continue to not comply?”

Note that there is no description of whatever it is these people have done to deserve arrest. Also note that there never seems to be a definitive list of crimes that President Trump is supposed to have committed. Have we reached the point where if you disagree with me and I am in power I can have you arrested? This is frightening.

Update On Hong Kong

Politico posted an article today about the latest events in Hong Kong. The article is taken from the South China Morning Post. Please consider the source when reading the excerpts.

The article reports:

Embattled Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor has formally withdrawn the much-despised extradition bill that sparked the nearly three-month long protest crisis now roiling the city, confirming the Post’s exclusive report earlier on Wednesday.

She will also set up an investigative platform to look into the fundamental causes of the social unrest and suggest solutions for the way forward, stopping short of turning it into a full-fledged commission of inquiry, as demanded by protesters.

The decision to withdraw the bill will mean that the government is finally acceding to at least one of the five demands of the protesters, who have taken to the streets over the past 13 weeks to voice not just their opposition to the legislation, but the overall governance of the city in demonstrations that have become increasingly violent.

Apart from the formal withdrawal of the legislation, the protesters have asked for the government to set up a commission of inquiry to investigate police conduct in tackling the protests, grant amnesty to those who have been arrested, stop characterizing the protests as riots, and restart the city’s stalled political reform process.

Whether they will view the investigative committee as adequate in meeting the call for a commission remains to be seen. On the bill withdrawal, a government source said that Lam will emphasize that the move was a technical procedure to streamline the legislative agenda, with the Legislative Council set to reopen in October after its summer break.

Paul Mirengoff posted an article at Power Line Blog today about Hong Kong. In the article he quotes a Claudia Rosette article at The Wall Street Journal:

[T]he millions of protesters. . .have been doing the world a heroic service. Like their predecessors at Tiananmen, they are exposing on a world stage the brutality of the Beijing regime. From the only place under China’s flag where there is any chance to speak out, they are shouting the truth, day and night, in the streets and from the windows—while they still can.

During more than 13 straight weeks of protest, Hong Kong’s people have demanded the rights and freedoms—including free elections—that China, in a treaty with Britain, guaranteed to Hong Kong for 50 years after the 1997 handover. At a press conference last week held by Hong Kong’s Civil Human Rights Front, which has organized some of the biggest peaceful protests, spokeswoman Bonnie Leung observed that if the authorities would simply keep those promises, “the whole movement will end immediately.”

Instead, President Xi Jinping and his puppet, Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam, have defaulted to threats, propaganda and force. Ms. Lam’s administration has deployed riot police, tear gas, rubber bullets and water cannons. Officers have made more than 1,000 arrests.

China has been pressuring Hong Kong companies, including Cathay Pacific Airways, to fire employees who join the protests. Chanting “Stand with Hong Kong! Fight for freedom!” the protesters have refused to back down. Some told me they are ready to die for their cause. Many of their predecessors did in Tiananmen.

Hong Kong police have begun firing warning shots with live ammunition. This weekend, police were caught on video beating unarmed civilians bloody on the subway. China has been conspicuously drilling troops of its People’s Armed Police across the border, and last week it sent fresh army troops to its garrison in Hong Kong, labeling this a routine rotation to ensure “prosperity and stability.”

(Emphasis added)

The article at Power Line Blog concludes with an UPDATE:

Carrie Lam, Hong Kong’s chief executive, has finally agreed to withdraw the extradition bill discussed above. She takes her order from Beijing, so it looks like China wants to avoid a Tiananmen Square style massacre and the worldwide condemnation it would bring.

Will this concession, absent the freedoms China promised Hong Kong in 1997, be sufficient to take the steam out of the protests? Perhaps.

Another possibility is that the protesters, if anything, will be emboldened by the concession and that China, having made it, will believe it can defend a crack down by claiming that the protesters couldn’t take “yes” for an answer.

 Stay tuned.

 

Can’t Both Viewpoints Have A Parade?

Last weekend there was a Straight Pride Parade in Boston. A group of people decided that since there have been gay pride parades, they should be able to have a straight pride parade. As expected, there were protestors in attendance. Some of them were not very nice.

The Washington Times is reporting today that some of the people who misbehaved during the parade, who expected to get off with a slap on the wrist after being arrested, are not necessarily getting off that easily.

The article reports:

Two Boston Municipal Court judges refused to throw out the charges against the 18 defendants who appeared Tuesday in court, frustrating defense attorneys and prosecutors who sought to have minor charges dismissed, as reported by local news outlets.

Judge Thomas Horgan also told out-of-towners that they risked 90-day jail sentences if they set foot in Boston for any reason other than court and lawyer appointments, rejecting one defendant’s request to visit relatives in the city’s Jamaica Plain neighborhood.

“Stay out of Boston,” said Judge Horgan, according to the Boston Herald.

The article continues:

Meanwhile, Larry Calderone, vice president of the Boston Police Patrolmen’s Association, praised the courtroom outcome, noting that many of those arrested came from outside the city and state and accusing them of coming to “create havoc.”

He said the four officers injured have not been able to return to work yet, and that the union wants the offenders “prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

“A lot of the assaults that happened during the day, you only knew of a few of them,” Mr. Calderone told reporters outside the courtroom. “Many officers were assaulted throughout the day with bottles of urine being thrown at them, bottles of chemicals, bottles of unidentified material, rocks.”

The city is looking into complaints that police used excessive force during the event.

“Multiple times I asked why I was arrested, he said ‘for calling me a pig,’” Joshua Abrams, who was charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest, told WBZ-TV before his arraignment. “Well, that’s my First Amendment right to do so.”

If Mr. Abrams was resisting arrest, that is a crime. This is how protestors who cross the line from protest to assault need to be treated. Enforcing the law serves as a warning to those who want to cause trouble that they will be held accountable for the trouble they cause. The First Amendment allows protest; it does not allow assault.

As a side note, American Greatness reported the following yesterday:

Far-left Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ayanna Pressley lent a helping hand to violent antifa agitators over the weekend after a number of them were arrested on assault and battery charges.

The two “Squad” members urged their followers on Twitter to contribute to the bail fund for the “counter-protesters” who tangled with law enforcement while protesting the Straight Pride Parade in Boston on Saturday. A masked Antifa protester told reporters that the violence was necessary in order to shut up Straight Pride marchers.

This is the fact of the new Democrat party. If you are for law and order, there is no way you can support this. I have not yet heard any Democrats denouncing these tweets.

What The News Doesn’t Report

Scott Johnson posted an article on Power Line Blog today about an incident at the Minneapolis campus of the University of Minnesota.

The article quotes Alpha News:

A mob of eight to 10 males wielding hammers descended upon bystanders at the East Bank Light Rail station on Friday night injuring several, according to recorded police dispatch audio.

The incident was apparently reported to 911 just before 10 p.m. on Friday according to the audio and other social media police scanner reports. A 9:48 p.m. Facebook post on 2nd Precinct Minneapolis Crime Watch page said that University of Minnesota (U of M) police were requesting assistance from Minneapolis police (MPD) and Metro Transit police for “a group of 8-10 males chasing people with hammers” and that some people were injured. A Facebook post a minute later on Minneapolis Scanner page said that the three police departments were responding to “multiple [911] calls” about “10-12 Somali teen males armed with hammers chasing people,” also with “several injuries reported.” Both Facebook pages regularly post summaries of police scanner audio.

A person who claimed on social media to have been at the station when the incident occurred said that the group of males had “hammers and bars,” and that they seemed to be “attacking anyone who looked like they had money or were white.” The witness, who said he isn’t white, said he didn’t want to “[take] on a bunch of dudes with blunt objects,” and that he “hurried an older white lady away” and they walked a few blocks to catch a bus.

On Wednesday there was an attempted robbery at the same location during which two U of M students were injured, according to a media report. It’s unknown whether these incidents are related.

The East Bank LRT station is part of the Green Line operated by Metro Transit and is located on the 500 block of Washington Avenue Southeast in the center of the University of Minnesota campus and across the street from the U of M police department. The stop is popular with students and people attending U of M sporting events.

We reached out to the U of M Police Department, the MPD and to Metro Transit police for comment on this incident and did not receive a response prior to publication.

Somehow the Minneapolis Star Tribune has failed to report this incident.

The article at Power Line Blog further comments:

According to the Pioneer Press, police stopped seven teenage boys: “Two males who were carrying metal pipes were identified through video surveillance and witness descriptions….Police issued them citations….Police cited two males for disorderly conduct and fleeing police on foot; one was also cited for giving police a fictitious name. A police report didn’t specify their exact ages, but indicated that one is 12 or 13 and the other is 14 or 15.”

The lack of descriptive information is troubling. The juvenile status of the perpetrators protects their identities from disclosure, but if the hammer-wielding teenagers remain at large, the rest of us would like to be on guard. I would advise avoidance of the University of Minnesota’s East Bank light rail station after dark.

I think I would like a better description of the teenagers.

This Can’t End Well

The following video was posted on YouTube today:

If you are looking for objective jurors, there is no way you can support this bill. Jury selection has become an art form. Many people are disqualified from serving on a jury because a family member is a police officer. If they are disqualified for that reason, shouldn’t felons also be disqualified.

Attacked For Doing His Job

A smart police force keeps track of groups coming into town to hold rallies or protests. I am sure that any time the Tea Party or Antifa holds a rally in a city, the police are aware of the gathering and keep close tabs on it. That is their job. However, some of the residents of Portland, Oregon, seem to be unaware of the procedures involved in policing rallies.

Yesterday Hot Air posted an article about some recent events in Portland.

The article reports:

Last week a Portland police lieutenant named Jeff Niiya was accused of colluding with right-wing protest group Patriot Prayer after a string of his texts were released to the public. Lt. Niiya’s job is to coordinate with protest groups coming to the city and the texts show him doing just that, i.e. chatting with Patriot Prayer’s Joey Gibson about the group’s intentions and planned movements. As I noted last week, Lt. Niiya has previously been in close contact with a member of Antifa who became an outcast when other members of the group learned she’d be talking with police.

…Despite the fact that it was the Mayor’s own office requesting the information Lt. Niiya was gathering on Patriot Prayer, the investigation prompted by Niiya’s texts remains ongoing. As part of that process, Police Chief Outlaw scheduled a listening session to hear the community’s concerns Thursday night. Reporter Andy Ngo, who attended the meeting, says it quickly became a “sh*tshow” and a “circus of identity politics and hysteria.”

Some attendees at the listening session called for the Portland police to be disbanded. This sort of foolishness in Portland is not all that unusual.

The article concludes:

It’s not hard to imagine why Antifa anarchists like the idea of a city without a police force. That’s pretty much what they got last August when Mayor Ted Wheeler allowed an Occupy ICE camp full of vile extremists to grow and fester. Protestesters became so violent that ICE officers called 911 for help but Mayor Wheeler ordered the police not to respond. When the same mob turned on a woman running a food cart and burned it down, the police never responded. In the end, it was Police Chief Danielle Outlaw who demanded the Mayor allow her to clear out the camp. Naturally, the protesters left behind loads of garbage for the city to clean up.

At this point, Chief Outlaw seems to be one of the few city officials with any sense. Hopefully, she won’t buckle under the pressure from extremists to condemn Lt. Niiya.

This would be comical if it were not so serious.

I Think We Have Gone Over The Edge

The Daily Wire is reporting today that the TSA will be replacing many of its pointy-eared dogs at airports with floppy-eared dogs. It seems that children are less scared of the floppy-eared dogs. So this decision was made not on the basis of public safety, but on the basis of children who might be intimidated by dogs with pointy ears.

The article reports:

“We find the passenger acceptance of floppy ear dogs is just better. It presents just a little bit less of a concern,” Pekoske added. “Doesn’t scare children.”

My former Examiner colleague Anna Giaritelli reports that the TSA currently has 1,200 doggos across the country performing security checks, and about 80% have floppy ears (such as Labradors or Golden Retrievers). In order to phase out the remaining 20%, the TSA is replacing retiring pointed-ear dogs with their floppy-eared cousins. Further, the TSA is purchasing sporting or hunting breeds, since they are easier to find.

“TSA uses five types of sporting breeds: Labrador Retrievers, German Short-haired Pointers, Wirehaired Pointers, Vizslas, and Golden Retrievers,” Giaritelli wrote. “It also uses two types of pointy-ear, or working breed, dogs: the German Shepherd and Belgian Malinois.”

Christopher Shelton, branch manager of the San Antonio, TX, canine training center, told Giaritelli that the TSA wouldn’t rule out a pointy-eared pup just because of his or her ears. The dog’s health, willingness and ability to sniff out security risks and its disposition still matter more. Training these dogs costs between $26,000 and $42,000, so the agency can’t be too picky about looks.

I remember coming into Logan Airport in Boston many years ago from an overseas trip. I was surprised to see beagles running around the area where we picked up our luggage. Although it seemed a little odd, it made perfect sense–beagles have very good noses. The top three breeds considered to have the best sense of smell are the bloodhounds, the basset hounds, and the beagles. It’s just that the look of the German Shepherd and the Belgian Malinois seems much more appropriate for a dog involved in law enforcement.

At any rate, I wish the TSA luck with their new program. It’s nice to see some of the working breeds get the recognition they deserve.

Meanwhile In France

Breitbart is reporting the following today:

Small groups of young people in the French city of Mulhouse clashed with local police over the weekend, allegedly using guerrilla-style tactics against the officers including laying traps and attacking them.

The clashes occurred over the period of several hours and saw the local youths set garbage bins on fire and destroy a car in the neighbourhood of Drouot, newspaper L’Alsace reports

The violence began in the area at around 8:30 pm according to local residents who called the police to help calm the situation. When officers arrived on the scene at Rue de la Navigation, they were met with violence as small groups attacked them with weapons including stones and iron bars.

Attacks on police and medical services personnel have become more common in France recently. Some are Islamic-terrorist related, and some are simply random attacks.

The article further reports:

The besieged officers caught in the ambush managed to call for reinforcements from Mulhouse and from neighbouring Colmar and Saint-Louis which lies on the Swiss border. The police also requested additional Gendarmes helicopter air support.

Around 50 “youths” were believed to have participated in the clashes, throwing stones and other objects from the top of roofs in the neighbourhood at the officers. The clashes lasted several hours and police say that the situation did not return to normal until around 3 am. No one was arrested following the conflict.

This is not totally an Islamic problem, but it is partially the result of excessive immigration by Muslims–including Muslim youths who are unable to find jobs. Proverbs 16:27 says, “Idle hands are the devil’s workshop.” Groups of young men without jobs and without family responsibilities are not a recipe for stability in any country. We can learn from what is happening in Europe that we need to limit immigration to those who can find work in America and are willing to respect the laws of our country. If not, we will find ourselves with youth rioting in the streets of America in the not-to-distant future.

The Problem With Border Security Causes Problems Within America

Yesterday Townhall posted an article about some recent arrests in Georgia.

The article reports:

Thanks to a combined effort of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the Lawrenceville Police Department, East Point Police, and the Georgia State Patrol four Mexican nationals have been arrested in Gwinnett County, GA this week for their connection to a Mexican drug cartel. These illegal aliens were found with 5 million dollars worth of methamphetamine, cocaine, and heroin laced with fentanyl as well as $850,000 in cash and weapons located in a storehouse in the metro Atlanta area.

According to NBC 11 Alive, DEA Special Agent in Charge Robert Murphy said the investigation into the cartel started last year. Friday’s drug bust of the men’s home occurred after a tip came in on Thursday evening.

We had people connected to a Mexican drug cartel operating in Georgia. These people were selling drugs. Among those drugs was heroin laced with fentanyl. Fentanyl kills people. Cartels kill people. If the southern border were properly sealed, do you think these people might have had at least a slightly more difficult time doing business in America?

Our open border is a risk to all Americans. We need to close our borders to illegal immigrants and drug traffickers. We need to revise our immigration policies so that people can come here legally if they are willing to assimilate, follow the laws of America, and become contributing citizens. Otherwise, there is no reason for them to be here.