Friday, August 29, 2014

Does Our Government Recognize ISIL?

The Islamic terrorist group ISIS, first calling itself the "Islamic State in Iraq and Syria," then changing it to simply the "Islamic State" or "IS" now calls itself "ISIL", or "Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant region." ISIS' self-proclaimed status as a caliphate claims religious authority over all Muslims across the world and intends to bring much of the Muslim-inhabited regions of the world under its political control, beginning with Syria and Iraq, of which they have now taken about 50% control of each.

What's interesting is that our President and our State Department spokespeople now refer to the terrorist group as ISIL, as if making it a legitimate state. ISIS currently holds territory in Iraq and Syria and has stated it intends to go into Jordan next. The Levant region includes Jordan, Israel, Palestine, Lebanon, Cyprus and an area in southern Turkey that includes Hatay. And our government is seemingly legitimizing ISIS by referring to them as ISIL. We never used to do that with extremist groups and/or self proclaimed countries or governments, taken by force, that were not recognized by the rest of the world.

I can't help but wonder why we are using the ISIL name as opposed to simply calling it what it is - the terrorist group known as ISIS. When the United States government gives legitimacy to a terrorist group such as ISIS and acknowledges the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant region it bolsters their power within the Muslim world. I can't help but believe that President Obama and the U.S. State Department is empowering ISIS even more with their language.

In other terrorist news, Representative Frank Wolf (R-VA) has proposed a new bill that would prevent Americans and foreign nationals who go to other countries to train and fight with terrorist organizations (like ISIS) from returning to the United States without the possibility of prison time for such actions. The bill would expatriate Americans and block those foreign nationals from returning without the threat of legal procedings. This would go far in preventing trained terrorists (who might happen to be Americans) from committing terrorist acts here in the United States. The bill could have prevented the Tamerlan Tsarnaev from returning to the US after he received training in Dagestan, Russia.

Congressman Wolf, who introduced the bill earlier this year, recently sent a letter to the House urging them to pass the legislation in light of the recent deaths of three Americans fighting for ISIS.

“Limited U.S. intelligence about their activities in the region effectively means our law enforcement can do nothing when they return home, despite concerns about their activities, contacts and training while in Syria,” Wolf writes. “I think most would agree we need to do more to prevent these terrorists from returning freely to the U.S.”

“The U.S. is not taking any substantial steps to discourage Americans from going over to fight—and these would-be fighters can see there is little price to pay for doing so,” the letter states. “This is an untenable situation that puts our country at greater risk of attack from a radicalized American who trains and fights with these groups and later returns home.”

Interestingly, I heard one news person say last night that this bill is "controversial." Really? With who? I can't imagine someone being opposed to this.

Why is this still an issue? In 2010 and 2011, then Senator Scott Brown (R-MA) introduced legislation to strip Americans of their citizenship if they were found to be training and fighting with foreign terrorist organizations. But the bills never passed. Why not? How could this be a bad thing?

Currently there is no law that prevents Americans who have received terrorist training from re-entering the United States. And since we have not declared ISIS an enemy of the United States, training and fighting with them is not illegal nor does it prevent them from bringing that training home. And we saw how well that works with the Tsarnaev brothers. Why would we risk it again?

Everyone should call their Representatives and demand that they pass Congressman Wolf's bill. The security of the nation demands it. And the American people should as well.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Nine Year Old Kills Firearms Instructor With Uzi...?

Once again my post will probably stir controversy because some people will disagree with me. But that's OK - not only am I used to it but I can take it.

I read the tragic story of the 9 year old girl who accidentally shot and killed her firearms instructor when the recoil of the fully automatic Uzi sub-machine gun she was firing caused her to lose control of the weapon, pushing her up and to the side to the point where the bullets she was still firing struck the instructor beside her in the head, killing him.

I am fully supportive of the Second Amendment and the right for citizens to own guns. I am OK with training children in the safe handling of firearms, under strict supervision and guidelines. They are children, after all.

That said - I really see no logical reason why parents or firearms instructors would allow a 9 year old child to fire a fully automatic weapon. I know many adults that would be surprised and even frightened by the recoil of a weapon in fully automatic mode. Adults who would possibly lose control of that weapon and shoot the wrong thing. A child that age, no matter how well briefed he or she is, really has no concept of what that recoil will be like until they actually fire the weapon. And in this case it seems the instructor didn't take the necessary precautions, such as standing behind her with his hands ready to intercede should she lose control, before allowing her to fire.

I can hear it now. "It's their right." Actually, it's not the child's right to shoot a weapon. Children are not allowed to purchase firearms and can only shoot them if their parents allow it. And as I heard on the radio earlier today - what possible gain of those "rights" is attained by allowing a nine year old to fire a fully automatic weapon. Should she not have a few more years of experience under her gun belt before being allowed to handle one of the most dangerous firearms around - that being a fully automatic weapon?

Yes, yes - I know. The weapon is not dangerous. It's the person firing the weapon that's dangerous. And that's exactly my point.

I feel so badly for this little girl. If her life isn't ruined she will at least be scarred forever. I don't blame her. She didn't know what she was doing. And I'm not going to spend time blaming the parents or the instructor, per se, because the tragedy has already happened and two families must now live with what I believe was simply a poor and tragic decision.

When my son was nine I took him to a firing range and helped him fire my 9mm pistol. He didn't hold it by himself. He didn't fire it without me holding his wrist to make sure he did everything properly. I think he fired twice. And to tell you the truth - he didn't like it. It was too loud and the recoil scared him.

People need to keep in mind the abilities of children, not only physical but mental and emotional, when teaching them how to shoot. Consider that a nine year old might not be quite ready to fire a fully automatic weapon. Are there exceptions? I'm sure there are. If I tried I bet I could find numerous videos posted of nine-year-olds firing automatic weapons safely. Islamic terrorists train their children to do it all the time. But consider where the hearts of those Islamic parents are.

I don't think nine-year-olds in this country should be handling weapons that can react in a manner the children do not anticipate. But in the words of Dennis Miller: "That's just my opinion. I could be wrong."

Let the disagreements begin...!!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Why Do We Broadcast Information To Our Enemies?

I was watching a news show last night and learned that we will be sending drones into Syria, with or without permission from the Syrian government, to observe and monitor ISIS for possible targeting of their strongholds/headquarters.

That's all well and good. We need to do that. But why do we need to broadcast it on national (and international) television? One of the things I haven't figured out about President Obama is his penchant for telling our enemies, in advance, what and when we're going to do something. He did it in Iraq, letting everyone know when our troops would be gone from the country. And, well... look how that worked out.

He has broadcast the pullout date from Afghanistan. You can bet that ISIS, the Taliban, and any other Islamic terrorist organization interested in the region is paying attention. Why wouldn't they? They now know when they can escalate things.

Now we're going to send drones into Syria to monitor ISIS and we have already told everyone we're going to do it. Is there no such thing as a covert operation anymore? ISIS can now make their movements, their strongholds and their stores of equipment more covert. Is it the military that's ignoring standard procedures or is the President - so intent on making it appear he's doing something that he tells the whole world?

It's not difficult to figure out that President Obama is hesitant to take decisive action against ISIS. He could and should have attacked them months ago, destroy their core when they were in the desert and moving out of Syria. He called them the "JV Team", acting like they weren't even worth his time. Now that they've gained strength even Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is saying they are "like no one we have ever seen before." So it's time for us to take action - except we're really not.

There have been a few select air strikes against ISIS in Iraq but those have been to protect Americans or American interests, not simply to destroy ISIS. That's what needs to be done - destroy ISIS anywhere and everywhere they are.

The beheading of James Foley should have been enough for us to commence the annihilation of ISIS and for the FBI and DHS to begin a rigorous search of our own country for the ISIS members that we know are already here.

We all know that if the ISIS members here in this country decide to do anything it will be by kidnapping or a cowardly act of blowing something up rather than any kind of assault on the citizens as a whole. It's the only thing they can do. As Marine veteran Nick Powers put it in an open letter to ISIS:

"All your threats of coming to America and raising your flag over the White House amuse me more than you could ever understand. In 2012 there were 21.2 million veterans in the United States. Do you understand what that means? That means there are millions of pissed off veterans who have been dealing with years of abuse from their government stabbing them in the backs and having to watch friends die because you Islamic idiots can't seem to act like human beings and stop terrorism and violence. It's one thing to take over an Islamic state, pretty sure we plowed through Fallujah in 4 days, do you really think you stand a chance on US soil? Do you really think it would be smart to poke that bear? Remember we are armed in the US and I can promise you that the Geneva Conventions will not apply to you. You attack us and there is no mercy. The ball is in your court Islam, we are more than ready to send you to your 'prophet' Mohamed."

Maybe President Obama should consider Mr. Powers for a position in the Department of Homeland Security. That is the type of information we should be broadcasting to our enemies!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Can We Stop Demonizing The Police?

In the last few months or so it seems everyone is trying to make police officers in the United States into Gestapo agents on a mission. Videos are posted daily of one or two police officers who seemingly abuse their authority by abusing civilians. But is that really the norm? Are all police officers dishonest, power hungry Nazis?

There are approximately 780,000 police officers and detectives in the United States. That's less than 1 million officers to deal with the everyday problems and crimes of 330,000,000 people. That's a pretty small ratio compared to the population but it's also a rather large number compared to the number of actual bad cops. 

If you've never worked in the law enforcement field you really have no idea how truly sad, pathetic and downright disgusting some people can be. I worked in federal prisons for 22 years, dealing with the some of the worst of the federal inmates. But there is a huge difference in federal crimes and state crimes. Federal crimes must break some federal law or occur on federal property. State felonies cover pretty much everything else. So your average rapist, murderer, child molester, or what have you, go to state prisons unless the crime was committed on an Indian reservation, inside a bank during a robbery, on a military base, in a national park, etc.

I tell you this because before these inmates get to prison the police on the street have to deal with them. Inside the prison those inmates who want to commit violent acts find things to turn into weapons. On the street there are weapons readily available. Inside a prison a corrections worker deals with dozens, sometimes hundreds of inmates every day. He/she knows that each and every inmate is a bad guy who committed a crime. You expect the unexpected at all times.

On the street, a police officer deals with dozens of people a day. Not all of those people are bad guys and not all of them are potentially dangerous. Police have to pay attention and within seconds figure out who is the bad guy and who isn't. How many of you can do that in an instant, knowing your life depends on it?

Some will say "Police are trained for that." And that's true. But like it or not, police are human beings who sometimes make mistakes and sometimes even let the power go to their heads. But out of 780,000 cops nationwide, those who go bad are the exception, not the rule.

I've known quite a few police officers throughout my lifetime. They are all honest men and women who do and love the job they were hired to do. They don't abuse people. They don't overstep their authority. And if the need arose they would step in front of a bullet to protect you or me. Because they are people of integrity and honor. And they'd be the first to tell you that most cops are of the same character as they. No wait - I'd be the first to tell you.

I have noticed that most people who bad mouth police are people who have had personal run-ins with them that didn't work out well. When a person breaks the law and gets caught one of two things happen. He/she is cooperative, accepts the fact that they did something wrong, and deals with the consequences. Others, often fueled by alcohol or rage, decide they are going to buck and not be cooperative. They refuse to do the smart thing and simply do what they're told and they end up on the losing end 99.9% of the time. Then they get angry at the police for that. 

Of course there are exceptions. That happens. But what I've learned through observation over the years (and even from experience working in prisons), it's better to cooperate and voice your complaint later than to voice your complaint at the time and be treated like an uncooperative suspect. In most cases, once you've been stopped, the police are going to win. What matters is whether they win with or without you being in pain. Even if the problem is the fault of the officer (or perceived as such) - it's better to simply cooperate than to fight or argue. The videos being posted show that point very well.

Some people are proud and stubborn and would rather fight than submit. To them I say "You made your choice so you really have no reason to complain later."

The other topic I want to bring up is the President's new emphasis on "demilitarizing the police." The Ferguson riots brought out police in riot gear and teams of SWAT units in full tactical gear. Some people, including the President apparently, believe that police should not have tactical gear and tactical vehicles because... well... I don't know why. Tactical gear and vehicles are simply tools. They don't kill or maim anyone any more than semi-automatic weapons do unless they are used by individuals to do so. 

Anytime police stand in front of rioting crowds, where they can be easily outnumbered 10 to 1, they deserve to have the best protective equipment possible. Anyone who disagrees with that should be forced to stand on that line sometime with only a helmet, vest and baton. I actually read a comment about that one day in which the commenter said "It's not fair that the police have all that protective gear." Really? So you believe that a couple hundred police should face down thousands of violent protesters without any protective gear? Are you really that stupid?

If you were paying attention in Ferguson you saw the Ferguson police respond to the rioters the second day with tactical gear and armored vehicles. They were immediately criticized for their excessive response. They were pulled off of the scene and replaced with state police who decided the soft approach, talking, holding hands, and singing Kum Ba Ya, was the answer. That lasted about 36 hours before protesters again began rioting and looting. Guess what happened then? The state police came back with tactical equipment and armored vehicles. And the governor called in the Missouri National Guard who arrived with - you guessed it - more tactical gear and armored vehicles. Imagine that.

The best way to deal with rioters is to meet them head-on, early, with enough force to send them running. These were not "peaceful protesters" as the President and the media called them. They weren't "liberators" as Al Sharpton called them. They were looters, vandals, arsonists... criminals. And they needed an immediate and strong response, which is what the Ferguson PD and St. Louis County PD did; only to be chastised for it - before the state police did the same thing. The violent mob mentality responds best to force used against them. It's that simple.

Just like the majority of Americans are decent, law-abiding citizens, so most police officers are decent, law-abiding members of the law enforcement community. I, for one, am happy to have them and will do whatever I can to support them. It is they who put their lives on the line every day for the safety and well being of their communities and their citizens. 

A special shout out to Dana, Bucky and Carl - three friends who wear their shields with dignity, integrity and pride. Thanks for what you do. Stay safe and alert.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Does Obama Know What "Classified" Means?

Classified information is material that a government body claims is sensitive information that requires protection of confidentiality, integrity, or availability.
For some reason our President seems to think there are two uses for classified information - covert government/military operations and political gain.

Following the raid by SEAL Team 6 that sent Osama Bin Laden to meet his 72 virgins, the Obama administration leaked classified information about the raid to a filmmaker who intended to release the film in October of 2012. The intent was to boost President Obama's image and popularity for the upcoming election. 

From Judicial Watch: 'According to the documents, the filmmakers were granted access to a Navy SEAL captain who was the "planner, operator and commander of SEAL Team Six," which killed bin Laden. In one memo one of the filmmakers says he had a "good meeting with Brennan and McDonough" and says "they were forward leaning, sharing their point of view on command and control."

John Brennan is the president's chief counter terrorism adviser, and Denis McDonough is deputy national security adviser.'

Fast forward to the recent execution of James Foley at the hands of an ISIS terrorist. President Obama made some brief remarks about the incident then was whisked off to the golf course for a round with his buddies. The next he was criticized by people and news outlets across the nation, up to and including MSNBC. When the criticisms began, the Obama administration released classified details of a failed rescue attempt of Foley in their own attempt to distract the public from Obama's fun filled golf game in the wake of Foley's murder. (In contrast, Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron, upon learning that the ISIS assassin had a British accent, cancelled the rest of his vacation and returned to work.)

General Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, said the decision to release information about the failed mission came from the White House. It was pretty clear he wanted nothing to do with it. Many retired military leaders and Special Ops members have criticized the release of the information. Said one former SEAL - "You never advertise your missions - especially when you fail." All voiced concern that other Americans being held by ISIS are in more danger now that ISIS knows we will risk a rescue mission to recover them.

In an interview with Fox News' Megyn Kelly, retired General Jack Keane said: "I think it’s a matter of principle Megan. We really shouldn’t talk about these operations and certainly an operation like this. There’s no reason to disclose it. 

At a deference to Mr. Foley’s family I probably would have told that family what we attempted to do at least and give them some comfort that somebody did try to rescue him. But even going back to the Bin Laden raid, which was obviously successful, the amount of information that was released after that infuriated the Secretary of Defense. 

I know if our Special Operatives were here, they don’t want these things talked about; they don’t want them out in the media. What will happen now because we disclosed the event is journalists will pursue sources to get more information about the details of that event and that is what the Special Operatives don’t want out there."

The President releasing classified information to boost his approval ratings or to help him get re-elected is shameful. What kind of man puts our military special forces in danger just for political gain?

Finally - I heard a news commentator last night say "The United States does not pay ransom for hostages." All I could think of was "No - but we trade terrorist leaders for US Army deserters at a 5 for 1 ratio. Trade one get four free."

Friday, August 22, 2014

Obama: "James Foley's Beheading Wasn't My Fault"

On Tuesday, August 19th, the terrorist organization knows as ISIS, or IS now, released a video of captive American journalist James Wright Foley being being beheaded by one of their members. In a manner that can only be called barbaric, the ISIS member forced Foley to read a letter condemning the United States as being guilty of his fate then used a knife to basically saw off his head. They then published the video on Youtube.

President Obama mentioned the murder of Foley in a very brief press conference upon his arrival back to Martha's Vineyard where he is finishing his vacation. Within ten minutes of the press conference Obama was back on the golf course. TV News outlets, both liberal and conservative, blasted Obama for his apparent lack of caring and his detachment from the situation. Joe Scarborough called Obama a "cold bastard."

Even MSNBC's Chris "I get a tingle up my leg" Matthews hammered Obama - not for his golf game but for his remarks about Foley's execution.

"I don’t know why he used the word ‘justice.’ It’s not appropriate here. This is an attack on our country, we have to react to it. This is a national, er, our country versus this group that has declared war on us," Matthews said. "No American president can survive if he lets Iran get nuclear weapons, and no American president can survive if he lets Americans be beheaded on international television with impunity. Impunity! He has to strike back, as an American, it’s in our soul!"

Apparently the White House press corps had spoken among themselves about Obama returning to the golf course. "Admit it," a nameless White House reporter who is with Obama emailed the press corps. "You all made small-dollar bets that POTUS would be playing golf today. And ... you would be right!"

"We are at the Farm Neck Golf Club at 1:13 pm. and POTUS is hitting the links again."

On Wednesday, senior Obama administration officials announced that U.S. Special Forces had made a rescue attempt that failed earlier in the summer. 

“The president authorized earlier this summer an operation to attempt the rescue of American citizens held by ISIL,” said one of two senior officials. The mission “was not ultimately successful because the hostages were not present . . . at the site of the operation.”

National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said: “We never intended to disclose this operation. An overriding concern for the safety of the hostages and for operational security made it imperative that we preserve as much secrecy as possible. We only went public today when it was clear a number of media outlets were preparing to report on the operation and that we would have no choice but to acknowledge it.”

I call BS. Obama released information about this rescue attempt for one reason only - to shift any possible blame for it off of him. He can now say "The execution of James Foley wasn't my fault. I sent out a rescue team but they failed."

Funny thing is - no one really was blaming him.

Retired military leaders across the country are reacting negatively concerning the release of this classified information saying it will endanger the other American hostages still being held and endanger other possible rescue missions. General Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, said the decision to release information came from the White House. It was obvious he wasn't happy about it but he couldn't say that on national television.

In related news - one week before the release of the Foley execution video, ISIS sent an e-mail to James Foley's family telling them what was going to happen:

A message to the American government and their sheep like citizens:
We have left you alone since your disgraceful defeat in Iraq. We did not interfere in your country or attack your citizens while they were safe in their homes despite our capability to do so!
As for the scum of your society who are held prisoner by us, THEY DARED TO ENTER THE LION’S DEN AND WHERE EATEN!
You were given many chances to negotiate the release of your people via cash transactions as other governments have accepted,
We have also offered prisoner exchanges to free the Muslims currently in your detention like our sister Dr Afia Sidiqqi, however you proved very quickly to us that this is NOT what you are interested in.
You have no motivation to deal with the Muslims except with the language of force, a language you were given in “Arabic translation” when you attempted to occupy the land of Iraq!
Now you return to bomb the Muslims of Iraq once again, this time resorting to Arial attacks and “proxy armies”, all the while cowardly shying away from a face-to-face confrontation!
You do not spare our weak, elderly, women or children so we will NOT spare yours!
You and your citizens will pay the price of your bombings!
The first of which being the blood of the American citizen, James Foley!
He will be executed as a DIRECT result of your transgressions towards us!
The e-mail was forwarded to the government but nothing was said or done about it. Negotiating with terrorists is something the United States doesn't do - unless you're swapping five Taliban leaders for one US Army deserter, that is.

In her typical odd and delusional way, State Department spokesperson Marie Harf said of Foley's murder: “I think ISIL wants to make this about the United States and our actions. And I think what the President was trying to say was that this is not about the United States and what we do,” Harf said. “This is about countries in the region coming together to fight a shared threat, and this is not about us.”

Just so I have it straight, Ms. Harf... what part of the video gave you an indication it was not directed at the United States? Was it perhaps the title of the video: “A message to America?" Or maybe the message at the end concerning American hostage Steve Joel Sotloff:  “The life of this American citizen, Obama, depends on your next decision.”

I can really only make one comment concerning Marie Harf and her brilliant statement - something I borrowed from another poster on Facebook. I think it sums her up exactly.

Innocent Until Proven Guilty - Unless You're In Ferguson, Missouri

In an interesting twist in the case of the Michael Brown shooting in Ferguson, Missouri, nearly two weeks ago, Jamilah Nasheed, a Missouri state Senator, has called for the St. Louis County prosecutor, Robert McCulloch, to recuse himself from the Brown case.

“This racially charged climate demands an independent investigation, and to be perfectly blunt, the African-American community has no confidence that your office can carry out an impartial investigation and prosecution,” Nasheed said in a two page letter to the prosecutor's office.

One of the reasons Nasheed and others believe Mr. McCulloch, a white Democrat who has been re-elected four times, should recuse himself is because his police officer father was killed in the line of duty by a black man - over 50 years ago. In an interview last evening Ms. Nasheed was asked why, if McCulloch is trusted enough by the community to have been re-elected four times by the people, he is now unqualified to be the prosecutor in the Brown case. Ms. Nasheed's answer was "The black community didn't vote for him." 

U.S. Representative William Lacy Clay also weighed in on McCulloch's position as prosecutor in the case. “We don’t have any confidence in the St. Louis County prosecuting attorney’s office,” said Clay, a Democrat from St. Louis. “I have no faith in him, but I do trust the FBI and the Justice Department.”

Isn't it odd that these two black political figures have no faith in a four-time re-elected prosecutor when it comes to a case involving the shooting of a black man by a white police officer. To my knowledge they have never asked him before to recuse him self from a case.

Nasheed is complaining because Officer Wilson hasn't been arrested and indicted yet. Two weeks after the incident, when the facts of the case are still being uncovered, Missouri Democrat politicians are pushing for the officer to be indicted without all of the facts and evidence being brought out. Some political figures, including the governor of Missouri, seem to be anxious to toss aside the Constitution in an effort to speed this case along before the facts are known. The governor made a video last week saying "Vigorous prosecution must now be pursued." He didn't say "vigorous investigation" but prosecution. And he was the Missouri Attorney General for 16 years. Do they not understand that rushing the case could just as easily help the officer as it could the Brown family?

Or maybe they're seeing more evidence that the officer was justified in shooting Brown and they want him charged and tried before the evidence shows his innocence....?

Senator Nasheed said to McCulloch: "If you should decide to not indict this police officer, the rioting we witnessed this past week will seem like a picnic compared to the havoc that will likely occur, because the black community will never accept that there was an impartial investigation from your office."

That's pretty irresponsible and inflammatory for a state Senator to say given the volatile events that are going on right now. She's stoking the fires and threatening the prosecutor at the same time. 

She went on: "On the other hand, if you should indict, the black community will be suspicious of your office's sincerity in carrying forth the prosecution, as I can imagine serious questions about the lack of African-American prosecutors in the county."

Damned if you do, damned if you don't, it seems. Anyone want to bet she wants a special prosecutor who just happens to be African-American? I wonder what racial breakdown she'll demand for the jury? So much for "Justice is blind."

It's very obvious Ms. Nasheed has no interest in discovering the facts of the case but instead wants Officer Wilson indicted - even if it's not warranted. Apparently in her world people are not innocent until proven guilty. She also believes Robert McCulloch has no personal integrity - most likely because he's white. That seems odd considering he's been re-elected so many times. The black community has had numerous opportunities to make change in their local government but has apparently failed to do so.

I wonder if, being a state Senator, Ms. Nasheed is familiar enough with the Constitution to know that indicting someone for a crime simply to satisfy an angry community is illegal? Knowledge of the Constitution doesn't seem important in politics today. For that matter - following it doesn't seem important to them either.

In other news concerning Ferguson, Attorney General Eric Holder said in a news conference today: "This attorney general and this Department of Justice stand for the people of Ferguson.” I can't help but wonder what that means. Over 120 people have been arrested during the disturbances in Ferguson over the last two weeks. Only four of them actually live in Ferguson. So who is it really that is outraged over the death of Michael Brown? 

Holder is in the process of railroading Officer Wilson toward a civil rights violation charge. Never in my lifetime have I seen a U.S. Attorney General involve himself so soon in a small town case like this, nor travel to the town before the local investigation has been completed. It's unprecedented. And I believe it's because Holder wants to hang this white police officer out to dry whatever the facts and evidence show. He was unable to do that with George Zimmerman so he's making it a personal thing. Why else would he involve himself in the case before all of the evidence is in?

I can't help but wonder if Brown had been white and Wilson was black if Eric Holder would have involved himself in the case and would have visited Ferguson. I think we all know the answer to that. A recent police shooting in Salt Lake City involved an unarmed, white man and a "non-white" (as stated by the local news) police officer. Not only has Holder not gone to Salt Lake City but he hasn't even mentioned the incident. And the local news won't even say "black" or "African-American," just non-white. Political correctness in this country has gotten to the point of idiocy.

As I said one day last week - Darren Wilson should be very afraid - not only of some angry people in the Ferguson community but from vigilante politicians and the left-wing media who want to lynch him. It doesn't matter if he's guilty of a crime or not - they don't care. They want blood for blood and they'll do what they have to do to get it, legal or not.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Some Statistics On Police Brutality, Racial Profiling And Racism

I watched an interview with a Missouri politician last night - a black, female stateswoman whose name I cannot seem to track down right now. She said the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson wasn't "about the death of Michael Brown. It's about police brutality, racial profiling and racism."

Her reasoning for that "fact" was that Michael Brown was unarmed and was shot six times. Given those known details, "Anyone can reasonably come to that conclusion," she said. When pressed about the idea that since she wasn't there she couldn't know all the facts of the case and whether or not the shooting was justified she kept repeating the same thing - because Brown was unarmed and shot six times it was police brutality, racial profiling and racism.

She went on to say this type of incident is common in the United States. A video of a black media pundit speaking on MSNBC was played. That person said "there is a war against young black men in this country." She indicated that the war was being waged by police and/or white people in general. But just how true is that?

Let's look first at police brutality. While cell phone video cameras these days capture more and more incidents of police using (or appearing to use) excessive force, has the number of incidents really gone up? Or is it merely being publicized more often?

According to FBI statistics about 12 million people are arrested each year in the United States. Between 1000 and 1200 people are shot by police every year. Of those, between 400 and 600 die from their wounds. (I haven't found a statistic of why these people were shot so I can't say whether or not they were justified however, I think its safe to assume that most of them were since there are not 600 cases a year in the media that claim a cop murdered someone. And given the situation in Feguson, it's easy to see that people disagree about what is and isn't justified.)

Even at the highest rate of 1200 per year being shot, 99.9% of people arrested last year did not get shot or killed by police. That's a pretty significant number.

Are blacks targeted by police for arrest? Let's look at a few more statistics.

People of African American descent make up about 13% of the population in the US. But the number of crimes committed by them is far higher than 13% of all crime in the nation.

This chart comes from the FBI for the year 2011:

Offense charged
Total arrests


Murder and non-negligent manslaughter

Forcible rape


Aggravated assault

As you can see by the numbers, black crime rates are far higher than 13% of the national rate. And remember, these are FBI statistics, not mine. (The rest of the chart showing Asian, Native American, etc., was deleted because it was too wide for the page and irrelevant for this particular post.)

Because of cities like Chicago and Washington DC, (which have the most strict gun control laws in the country) the percentage of black homicides committed by other black people is 90%. Between 6,000 and 7,000 black people are murdered every year in this country. Ninety percent, or about 5800 of them are killed by other black people. 

I can hear people saying "Black on black crime is not relevant." But I beg to differ. When people are out there screaming about the "war on young black men" they like to overlook the fact that 90% of that war is being waged by other black men. That's not racist - just fact.

There is no indication that the Michael Brown shooting was due to racism or racial profiling. Unless, of course, you're one of those wackos who believes that Officer Wilson was driving around the streets of Ferguson, saw two young black men walking along and decided "Hey - I think I'll kill one of them because they're black."

Although I can't verify it yet, it is being reported that the shooting of Michael Brown by Officer Wilson was the first shooting ever to occur within the Ferguson PD. Given that the department was formed in 1894 - if it's true I'd say that's a pretty good record of Ferguson police not shooting black people.

An officer with an exemplary record, Wilson first made contact to tell them not to walk in the middle of the street, then began to drive away. He returned when he (allegedly) heard the report about the strong-arm robbery of a nearby store and the suspects' description matched the two men he had just seen. Profiling? I think not. He had a description of the two and knew what they had (allegedly) stolen. 

So unless Wilson, as I said above, simply decided to kill a black man for no other reason than he was black, the whole profiling and racism aspect of the case is out the window. I won't get into the struggle, the officer's injuries or the eventual shooting because I've already talked about that in previous blogs and the investigation has not been completed. Suffice it to say that as more evidence comes to light and more witnesses speak out, I'm leaning heavily in favor of the officer. But then - I'm a Christian conservative who does not vote for or agree with President Obama and his policies. So I must be a racist.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Missouri Governor: "We Don't Need No Stinking Evidence"

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon has already decided that Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson is guilty of murder in the shooting death of Michael Brown.

The governor put out a five and a half minute video yesterday evening in which he pointed out his three-part plan for the town of Ferguson. Included in that plan was: "Second, a vigorous prosecution must now be pursued."

"The democratically elected St. Louis County prosecutor and the Attorney General of the United States, each have a job to do. Their obligation to achieve justice in the shooting death of Michael Brown must be carried out thoroughly, promptly, and correctly; and I call upon them to meet those expectations."

Finally, once we have achieved peace in Ferguson and justice for the family of Michael Brown..."

Governor Nixon's office was called by several news agencies to see if what he said was what he meant. After all, the governor didn't say "vigorous investigation" - he said "vigorous prosecution." His office said they had nothing to change. Despite the as yet incomplete investigation and evidence to the contrary, the governor has decided that Michael Brown's death was a criminal act for which Officer Wilson must be prosecuted.

It seems the governor, who is an attorney and once held the position of Attorney General for the State of Missouri, has forgotten one of our most important rules of law - that a person is innocent until proven guilty and that the prosecution needs solid evidence of guilt before taking the case to court.

I'm really having trouble understanding these politicians who are already calling Officer Wilson a criminal and demanding his prosecution. Most of them are attorneys and know how the system works. Yet they're willing to toss the process aside for a quick conviction, regardless of the evidence.

Reps. John Conyers (D-Mich.), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) and Bobby Scott (D-Va.) — all members of both the CBC and the House Judiciary Committee — said Thursday that Congress has a responsibility to look into the shooting of Michael Brown. Really? How many other local incidents does Congress routinely investigate? Particularly before the case itself has even been fully investigate by local authorities?

"These incidents raise concerns that local law enforcement is out of control and, instead of protecting the safety and civil liberties of the residents of Ferguson, is employing tactics that violate the rights of citizens and hinder the ability of the press to report on their actions," the Democrats wrote. "This situation requires immediate congressional scrutiny."

CBC Chairwoman Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio) joined Conyers and others in calling on Eric Holder to expand the DOJ's investigation to include Brown's death along with "the potential for any pattern or practice of police misconduct by the Ferguson Police Department."

Representative Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), who never shies away from saying something ridiculous, summed it up this way:

“All of us are strong supporters of law and order and most of us, such as myself, have strong working relationships with local and federal police agencies. I know good police persons who are professional and follow the law,” she said. “In the instance of Michael Brown and other cases, a failing to follow the law is obvious."

“Michael Brown was shot down in the street.”

"A failing to follow the law is obvious." And you arrived at that conclusion how, exactly, Ms. Lee? Because a black man is dead? Is that your only evidence? Do you know exactly what happened? Exactly?

The bottom line is that politicians who make public statements about the case do nothing but taint a jury pool, making it more difficult for Officer Wilson to get a fair trial - if the case ever goes to trial. Pressing the prosecutor to charge and try Wilson before the investigation is completed is just wrong. 

I believed that Eric Holder invited himself into this investigation but I learned last night that Governor Nixon asked Holder to look into it. Given what the governor said yesterday that makes complete sense. The governor is committed to convicting Darren Wilson of murdering Michael Brown - any way he can. Who better to call in than the Attorney General who admits to being a race activist and who will advertise nation wide to get information that can be used against one of his targets. (George Zimmerman ring a bell?)

In other Ferguson, Missouri, news - the Brown family attorneys are busy making names for themselves in Ferguson and further tainting the jury pool. Benjamin Crump keeps repeating over and over on national television that Michael Brown was executed. Crump knows this is inflammatory rhetoric that will be remembered by potential jurors yet he continues to say it.

Their other attorney, Daryl Parks, said last night in an interview that the autopsy performed by renowned medical examiner Michael Baden proves that Brown was surrendering when he was shot. Baden himself says that while it is possible that's the case, it is also possible that Brown was charging the officer when he was shot. The results, Baden said, are inconclusive. 

Parks has said more than once that the bullets that hit Brown in the head traveled from back to front. There is absolutely no indication on the autopsy photos that indicate that to be true. In fact, there are no marks whatsoever noted on the back of the body or the back of the head. But Parks insists Brown was shot from the back. It seems odd to me that you'd pay a private medical examiner to perform an autopsy then go on national TV and dispute his findings. Maybe there are other reasons, besides a lack of evidence, that these guys lost the Trayvon Martin case....?

The bottom line is that Darren Wilson has a lot of political enemies. From Eric Holder to the Congressional Black Caucus to Governor Nixon, Wilson's guilt has already been decided and those in power are simply attempting to manufacture find the evidence to prove it. 

One Missouri state senator, whose name I cannot find right now, said basically that if Darren Wilson is not convicted of murdering Michael Brown the current rioting in Ferguson will look tame compared to what will happen. It seems rather than ask for calm, that senator is simply stoking the fire. Politicians need to stay out of it. There are enough problems without them making the situation worse.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Never Let A Crisis Go To Waste....


 adjective \ən-ˈküth\: behaving in a rude way : not polite or socially acceptable

The above definition is from Merriam-Webster. 

If there was a picture to go beside the definition it should be this one:

That is a picture of one of the Democrat registration booths currently set up in Ferguson, Missouri. Note in the center of the street on the left side of the picture. That's the very spot where Michael Brown died. The other location is in front of the QT station that was torched by the protesters during the first night of protests.

The uncouth behavior of liberals is sometimes unbelievable. Michael Brown hasn't even been buried yet and liberals, led by none other than Al "I'll Do Anything To Raise Money From Racial Tension" Sharpton, are telling residents to register to vote in memory of Michael Brown. 

Yesterday, Sharpton denounced the release of video showing Michael Brown involved in a strong-arm robbery of a convenience store (the very video Eric Holder tried to suppress) as "insulting."

“I have never in all my years seen something as offensive and insulting as a police chief releasing a tape of a young man trying to smear him before we even have his funeral or his burial,” Sharpton said. 

Really Al? So how offensive is it to open voter registration booths at the crime scene before the funeral? I guess that's different, huh?

Speaking of offensive - "Reverend" Jesse arrived in town the other day and immediately started soliciting funds for his causes. I guess he can't help himself. Apparently it was offensive and insulting enough for the people of Ferguson to show Jesse their displeasure. They booed him.

Is it wrong of me to have difficulty referring to either Sharpton or Jackson as "Reverend" given their long histories of extorting money through race baiting? My father was a Reverend. He did take up a collection each Sunday but it wasn't for his own gain. And he certainly wasn't wealthy or famous. Nor did he engage in creating public controversy to further his own fame and income.

Liberal/progressive Democrats will do whatever it takes to win elections. This pathetic display proves it. Part of me can't help but wonder how many times Michael Brown has been registered to vote since the booths were set up....?

American Logic At It's Best

On Saturday, August 9th, Michael Brown was shot and killed by Ferguson, Missouri, police officer Darren Wilson. The evening of Sunday, August 10th, residents of Ferguson held a candlelight vigil that turned into a riot that included looting, vandalism and arson. Ferguson police didn't interfere much on the first night. They did make a few arrests of people who were looting stores but crowd control was almost non-existent that first night.

Monday evening brought more protests but also brought a stronger police presence. Police responded in large numbers, some in standard riot gear and some in military style, tactical gear. They brought armored vehicles along as well. The rioting that evening turned ugly and police ended up using tear gas and concussion grenades (flash-bangs) to break up the disruptive crowds.

The main stream media and many people went crazy saying the police were "becoming militarized" and using too much force." They were criticized over and over for wearing "military gear" because "the people can't identify them as police," even though on the front and back of every vest was the word "POLICE" in big white letters.

Some people were demanding that the police only use helmets and batons because "having military gear isn't fair." What? Seriously? That's as stupid as the ones who say Israel's Iron Dome System gives them an unfair advantage over the terrorists who are attacking them. Police carry firearms in the conduct of their daily duties. They encounter numerous criminals who are unarmed. So let's see - should the police stop carrying weapons or should every citizen in the United States start carrying one just so they're on an even plain with the police?

And no - I'm not going to get into the whole "Michael Brown was unarmed" thing because anyone who reads my blog has already seem my opinion about that.

Even the President of the United States spoke out about police tactics and said "The police shouldn't be using excessive force against peaceful protesters." Funny thing is - I haven't seen one report about the police using excessive force against peaceful protesters that first night. And with all due respect, Mr. President - where I come from rioting, looting, arson, gunfire and throwing rocks and bottles at police isn't a peaceful protest. Of course, I'm not from Chicago...

Anyway - with the media and the President clamoring about how the Ferguson police were using too much force, within days the State Police took over. Their strategy was simple - hug the protesters and sing Kum Ba Ya with them. No "military gear," no armored vehicles, no real purpose except to be there and visible, in regular uniforms that weren't visibly traumatizing. Protesters praised the replacement of the Ferguson police. Everything was peaceful. The strategy worked....  for about 36 hours. Once it got dark the next day and people began gathering again the looting and vandalism began all over again.

That night the rioting and looting once again went unchecked. The next evening the "hug a thug" police decided not to be caught off guard again and showed up with riot equipment and tactical gear. The people rioted, the police responded accordingly. That went on for several days.

On Saturday, August 16th, the Missouri governor enacted a curfew in Ferguson from midnight to 5am. It worked well - except for those pesky protesters. They ignored it and the battle began all over again early Sunday morning. That's when the governor called in the Missouri National Guard, who rolled into town yesterday. They didn't really do much but get set up near the police command center. Regular police with their riot gear, tactical gear and armored vehicles handled the situation as it became ugly again last night.

President Obama now wants to review the federal program that allows police departments to purchase military equipment. In a recent press conference he said "There is a big difference between our military and our local law enforcement, and we don’t want those lines blurred. That would be contrary to our traditions. And I think that there will be some bipartisan interest in re-examining some of those programs."

But here's the funny part...

The Ferguson police were criticized and replaced for acting too much like the military. Now the military is there to act like police. American logic at its best.

One of the saddest things about these violent protests is that, according to various reports, many of the agitators seem to be coming from outside Ferguson. I'm sure most of the residents are getting tired of what's going on in their community. I'm not saying they don't want answers - I know they do. But I would bet they're getting tired of the ongoing violence.

In other Ferguson news, Attorney General Eric "I Need To Hang A White Cop" Holder will be traveling to Ferguson 'to meet with federal officials investigating the death of Michael Brown' - no doubt to encourage them to find something, anything they can use against Officer Wilson in a federal civil rights case. President Obama said Holder will also meet "with other leaders in the community who’s support is so critical to bringing about peace and calm in Ferguson."

Certainly that will work because Eric Holder has proven himself such an effective communicator between blacks and whites in this country. Oh, wait....

Monday, August 18, 2014

Eric Holder: Forget Your Autopsy - I'll Do My Own

In another move that screams of corruption, Attorney General Eric Holder has ordered a second autopsy of Michael Brown's body - this one performed by federal medical examiners. It seems Mr. Holder and Brown's family aren't convinced that the first one, which shows Brown was shot from the front and not in the back.

Mr. Holder's aggressive investigation into the case before the local investigation is even completed reeks of pre-determination of the guilt of Officer Darren Wilson. Rather than wait until the local investigation is completed, reviewing the report and the evidence, and then deciding whether or not to proceed with a civil rights investigation, Holder has already commenced his civil rights investigation, appearing to have already decided Wison violated the rights of Michael Brown and now simply manufacturing collecting evidence to prove it.

David Weinstein, a former federal prosecutor who supervised the criminal civil rights section of Miami's U.S. attorney's office, said the second autopsy is not unusual. "A federal autopsy more closely focused on entry point of projectiles, defensive wounds and bruises might help that investigation," Weinstein said.

But here's the part that worries me about the whole thing.

According to the article I read: 'Federal authorities also want to calm any public fears that no action will be taken on the case, Weinstein said.'

What, exactly, does that mean? By "action" does he simply mean investigation into the facts of the case or does he mean Holder will follow through with civil rights charges regardless of what the investigation shows? The latter seems to be the case from what I've seen so far.

It's getting to the point in this country where any violence toward a black person by a white person, whether it's a legal law enforcement act or not, is viewed by the black community as racially motivated, regardless of the circumstances. If a black police officer had killed a white teenager there would be no civil rights investigation until the local investigation was completed and any action had or had not been taken - and then only if there was something so blatant it couldn't be overlooked. But if a black person is shot by a white person it's automatically assumed by some to be racially motivated.

"He was unarmed!" protesters scream. As I said yesterday - that's absolutely true. However, as I also said yesterday - "when an 18 year old, 300 pound man, who has already assaulted you and attempted to take your weapon from you, refuses orders to cease his actions and charges you with violent intent, most likely to try again to take your weapon and use it against you, then the shooting of that person will most likely be considered justified." And now a second witness, a black woman, has apparently surfaced who is backing the officer's story that he was attacked and that Brown was charging him when the officer fired.

Sadly, I just read an article that says the Ku Klux Klan is now moving into Ferguson, Missouri. With the New Black Panther Party already there, this could quickly escalate into an all out race war in Missouri. The KKK is a hate group just like the New Black Panthers, and neither of the two will help the situation in Ferguson. They will only make it worse.

In the black community, particularly Chicago, genocide of young black people runs rampant. Yet black "leaders" like Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, and even President Obama say nothing about it and don't get involved. Twenty-eight black people were shot in Chicago over the weekend. Where is the outrage over that? Why does black genocide get ignored but the occasional shooting of a black man by a white person brings a statement from the President of the United States? What kind of logic is that?

I can tell you the answer, and surprisingly it's very logical for the three men I mentioned. First of all - there would be no money to be made by Sharpton or Jackson by standing up to black genocide. Racial division brings in cash. And while President Obama isn't getting rich from racial division, he uses it to maintain his base and keep the confidence of most of the black community. So despite the fact that he is the one person in this country who might make a difference in Chicago, it's not a priority because it doesn't do anything for him politically.

How about this as my parting thought. Democrats (including Attorney General Holder) are wanting to pass laws putting limits on free speech and making hate speech, both racial and religious, a federal crime. If and when that ever happens, will it include race baiting and put people like Sharpton and Jackson out of business? It should. Anyone want to make any bets on it working out that way...?

Sunday, August 17, 2014

The FBI In Ferguson Is A Grave Injustice

Why does Eric Holder have FBI agents in Ferguson, Missouri, investigating the Michael Brown shooting for civil rights violations when the investigation into what actually happened has not yet been completed? Could it be that Holder doesn't care about truth and justice but more about revenge? Even by advertising nationwide he couldn't find anything to charge George Zimmerman with civilly. So in an effort to make up for that he's trying to dig up dirt on Darren Wilson even before all facts of the case have been released.

The principal duties of the Attorney General are to:

Represent the United States in legal matters.

Supervise and direct the administration and operation of the offices, boards, divisions, and bureaus that comprise the Department.

Furnish advice and opinions, formal and informal, on legal matters to the President and the Cabinet and to the heads of the executive departments and agencies of the government, as provided by law.

Make recommendations to the President concerning appointments to federal judicial positions and to positions within the Department, including U.S. Attorneys and U.S. Marshals.

Represent or supervise the representation of the United States Government in the Supreme Court of the United States and all other courts, foreign and domestic, in which the United States is a party or has an interest as may be deemed appropriate.

Perform or supervise the performance of other duties required by statute or Executive Order.

Where in that list does it say "Turn a local investigation into a personal vendetta and use federal resources in an attempt to create a civil rights case against a citizen."??

If the story I read yesterday is true, that Michael Brown not only assaulted officer Wilson and tried to take his gun but then charged the officer when ordered, at gunpoint, to stop, there is no civil rights violation. Some will say "But he was unarmed!" And that's true - he was. However, when an 18 year old, 300 pound man, who has already assaulted you and attempted to take your weapon from you, refuses orders to cease his actions and charges you with violent intent, most likely to try again to take your weapon and use it against you, then the shooting of that person will most likely be considered justified.

Note - I 'm not saying that's what happened. That is (allegedly) Wilson's version of the story as told by a friend of his. Whether it is true or not remains to be seen as the investigation continues. A forensic team should be able to tell, from the position of the body in the street and any marks on the body, whether Brown was on his knees with his hands up, as is being said by people in the community, or whether he was running toward the officer.

If Brown was "executed" as his friends and neighbors say, then Eric Holder has a case. If it turns out Wilson's story is accurate then there is no case, unless Holder wants to interpret the facts in his own distorted way. But Holder has his own agenda so I wouldn't put that past him.

The presence of the FBI in Ferguson is premature and sends the wrong message to the public. Rather than saying "We just want the truth to come out," it says "We are here to build a civil case against Officer Wilson one way or another." And that's the wrong message for the federal government and the Attorney General to send out. Shame on you, Mr. Holder. Show some integrity.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Texas Democrats Attack Rick Perry

Texas governor Rick Perry is under attack. Governor Perry has been indicted by a Texas grand jury for allegedly abusing the powers of his office by carrying out a threat to veto funding for state prosecutors investigating public corruption, a first-degree felony with potential punishments of five to 99 years in prison, and coercion of a public servant, a third-degree felony that carries a punishment of two to 10 years.

Sounds pretty ominous, right? Five to ninety-nine years. The problem is that Perry didn't do anything that other governors, and even the President of the United States haven't done. The reason this has gotten to this level is simple - Democrat partisanship.

The head of the Public Integrity Unit is Travis County Democratic District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg. In April of last year, Ms. Lehmberg was arrested and pleaded guilty to drunken driving charges. Reports say her blood alcohol was three times the legal limit. A video from the jail shows Lehmberg screaming at deputies to "Call the Sheriff" and kicking the cell door. She was sentenced to 45 days in jail, of which she did about half.

Governor Perry believes Ms. Lehmberg should resign from her position as head of the Public Integrity Unit because of her DHI conviction. That seems like a reasonable request given the nature of the unit. But Ms. Lehmberg refuses to do so.

Governor Perry announced that he would veto a bill that funds that office unless Ms. Lehmberg resigns from it. Democrats in the state filed an ethics complaint against Perry and a special prosecutor was called in to investigate it. This prosecutor just happens to be from San Antonio, the most liberal city in Texas. The prosecutor called witnesses and got their statements but never once spoke to Perry himself. When asked why the governor wasn't called he said "That's prosecutorial discretion that I had."

A separate grand jury investigated Lehmberg for official misconduct and decided she should not be removed from her position for the DUI. And I agree that it wasn't "official misconduct." However, common sense would dictate that a felony DUI conviction of the head of the Public Integrity Unit should be grounds for resignation from that unit. What about the "integrity" of the office?

The Texas Democrat Party released the following statement concerning the indictment: "Governor Rick Perry has brought dishonor to his office, his family and the state of Texas. Texans deserve to have leaders that stand up for what is right and work to help families across Texas."

Apparently in the eyes of Texas Democrats it's OK to be the head of the Public Integrity Unit and get convicted of DUI but it's not OK for the governor to veto a bill that funds the office where she works. That's liberal logic for you.

David L. Botsford, counsel for Gov. Perry, issued the following statement

"I am outraged and appalled that the Grand Jury has taken this action, given the governor's constitutional right and duty to veto funding as he deems appropriate. This clearly represents political abuse of the court system and there is no legal basis in this decision. The facts of this case conclude that the governor's veto was lawful, appropriate and well within the authority of the office of the governor. Today's action, which violates the separation of powers outlined in the Texas Constitution, is nothing more than an effort to weaken the constitutional authority granted to the office of Texas governor, and sets a dangerous precedent by allowing a grand jury to punish the exercise of a lawful and constitutional authority afforded to the Texas governor."

I must agree with Mr. Botsford. 

Given that Perry is planning to step down from the governorship at the end of his current term, not seeking re-election in November, it seems like overkill to push for indictment. 

I can't help but wonder if there are some Texas Democrat strings being pulled from Washington. After all - Perry has blasted President Obama for his inaction on illegal immigration and the disaster at the border and Perry is now sending Texas National Guard troops to the Southern border to help stop the steady flow of illegals into Texas. He's making Obama look pretty pathetic when it comes to the border crisis. Perry is also considering another Presidential run and his strong stance on illegal immigration is boosting his standings with Republicans nationwide. 

Would Democrats in Washington quietly involve themselves in Republican election affairs? I don't know - maybe we should ask the IRS...

Friday, August 15, 2014

The Officer In Ferguson, Missouri, Should Be Afraid....

Whether the shooting was justified or not, whether he is guilty of a crime or he fulfilled his duty as a sworn police officer, the officer who shot Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, should be afraid right now.

The Ferguson police department isn't releasing his name at the moment (and rightly so) because of death threats that have been made public. The demands for the release of his name are nothing but attempts to gain access to him - at the least to harass him; at the most to do him bodily harm or kill him in revenge. Al Sharpton and the New Black Panther Party know this yet are demanding the release of his name. They are advocating violence intentionally. They are also calling for his prosecution - before the investigation is complete.

As much as the officer needs to fear for his safety in the community - he needs to fear the Justice Department as well. Remember the George Zimmerman case? Who doesn't? When George Zimmerman was acquitted of murder (a verdict I still agree with), Attorney General Eric Holder sent investigators to Florida with the intent to find any information they could use to prosecute Zimmerman on federal civil rights charges. They found nothing. So what did Holder do? He opened a snitch hotline and advertised for anyone who had any negative information about George Zimmerman that could be used to prosecute him to call that hotline and give them the information. How many Attorney Generals have done that for average citizens? Certainly, if you're talking about an organized crime figure or major criminal but the Attorney General of the United States opened a snitch line on an average citizen who happened to shoot a black kid. And guess what - the Attorney General's pathetic effort at convicting Zimmerman "for something/anything" failed.

Eric Holder has already sent the FBI and probably some of his own investigators to Ferguson to "see what really happened." This time he sent them before the local investigation has even concluded. And why is that? Because a black man was shot by what is presumed to be a non-black police officer. (We still don't know the identity, race or ethnicity of the shooter. I suppose Holder does by now.)

The thing is - other than the race of the victim (and the Attorney General's apparent racial bias) there is no reason the Justice Department should be involved in the investigation. The case has already been turned over to county officials by city officials - simply to remove any suspicions of bias. So why is the FBI there already?

I have no idea if the officer in question was justified in shooting Michael Brown or not. Given my law enforcement background I would like to believe so but mistakes do happen. The bottom line is I believe Eric Holder would prosecute a white person for shooting a black person no matter how justified the shooting was. Eric Holder seems to be driven by race in many cases.

If Holder really was doing his job to the best of his abilities he would have prosecuted the New Black Panther Party for voter intimidation. And there have been others. His treatment of George Zimmerman and his assignment of investigators to this local case are good examples. Holder said recently he was proud to be called an "activist Attorney General." That statement alone says he is not impartial and non-biased - requirements for the position he holds.

It's interesting that Holder and President Obama involve themselves in cases where a black person gets arrested or shot but I've never once heard them involving themselves in similar cases involving another ethnic group. President Obama's statement concerning the Trayvon Martin case prejudiced a lot of people against George Zimmerman.

Now he is speaking out about police "bullying" people and using "excessive force against peaceful protests." Uh... Mr. President - what peaceful protests are you watching? In Ferguson they are throwing molotov cocktails at the police, vandalizing businesses, looting, and shooting people. That's your definition of "peaceful"? OK - you're from Chicago so I suppose that's what you're accustomed to.

I read this morning that the President and First Lady "reached out to the Brown family." They did the same thing in the Trayvon Martin case, even inviting his parents to the White House. When is the last time the President reached out to the family of a white person killed by police, or a white person killed by a black person? It happens all the time but I don't see the President involving himself in those cases. And people wonder why racial division is growing in the United States.

Another article this morning says a police officer is killed every 58 hours in this country. When's the last time the President "reached out to the family" of a police officer who gave his life in service to his community? The President's selective outrage at certain events in this country is very telling of who he is.

I'm going to irritate a few people with this next portion but I'm going to say it anyway. On July 28, 2009, conservative talk show host Glenn Beck said on air that he believes President Obama is a racist. He was attacked and chastised from all sides, including his employer at the time, Fox News. The statement eventually led to Beck not renewing his contract with Fox. But was he wrong?

Based on the continued actions and statements from the President it would appear maybe Beck was correct. Take a good look at the events (killings, arrests, etc.) in this country that cause the President to speak out. How many of them involve victims who are not black?

Thursday, August 14, 2014

My Feel Good Story For Today...

My father, Bill Clark, in his senior years developed a love for polishing rocks and stones and making beautiful things out of them. He set up a lapidary shop in his basement and spent hours cutting and polishing regular rocks and turning them into beautiful items. Some remained just polished rocks while others became necklaces, earrings, broaches and belt buckles. Included here are a few examples that I have in my keepsakes.

My father passed away two years ago this month at the age of 91. He had given away his lapidary shop after suffering a debilitating stroke that left him unable to work the rocks anymore. But he had a large collection of his favorite rocks that brought him joy throughout his final years. And we, his family, enjoyed them with him.

Recently, a teacher who is the great-niece of my step-mother sent my step-mother a note about something that happened to her in her classroom last year. The story isn't much but it rings home because of the ending. Another family member shared it with my sister, who shared it with all of us. The note is as follows:

A teacher story for you -------This past year in class, I had a little boy who always carried treasures in his pocket---toys, gems and other little trinkets.

One day he brought money and as he pulled it out of his pocket, his mom said she’d need to take it home—he couldn’t keep money at school. Well, the tears began to fall- he wanted to keep his treasure but mom wouldn’t give in.

At that point I thought of a treasure I had in a zippered pocket in my purse and went to get it to offer to him. As I handed him the treasure, he reached out and held it in his little hand rubbing it and looking at it closely. A smile came over his face and he placed it in his pocket. Throughout the morning he would take out the treasure and hold it tightly in his hand to find a bit of joy and replace it in his pocket.

The treasure I shared with him was a small stone of Bill’s. Thought you should know the story and the joy that Bill brought to a little boy one morning in my classroom. 

Love, Tracy

What a great story. Nearly two years after his death, and completely unwittingly, my father brought a smile to the face of a little boy and dried his tears. He loved showing his rocks to children and had an impressive display he would take to various places to do so. So it's only fitting that even after he was gone his love of his rocks found it's way into the hands of another child.

We miss you, Pop. Thanks for sharing your passion with others who, in turn, share it with more people, even in your absence. You helped so many people in your lifetime of service to the Lord. This time you helped a child feel better without even knowing it. But that was right up your alley.

An Interesting Case In Missouri

No doubt everyone has heard about the tragic shooting of 18 year old Micheal Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, in Saturday. Brown, who the police say was not armed, struggled with a police officer before being fatally shot "multiple times." Community outrage has led to violence; rioting, property destruction, looting, and threats to the police. Many in the community however, including the police, say most of the violence is being perpetrated by people who do not live in the area but are coming in from surrounding communities.

From what I have seen, heard and read, the incident began when a Ferguson police officer said something to Brown and his friend, who were walking down the street on Saturday. There were words exchanged between the boys and the officer which prompted the officer to attempt to exit his vehicle. According to the friend, Brown was standing close enough to the car that the door would not open because the door hit him. The friend says the police officer then reached out the vehicle window, grabbed Brown, and attempted to drag him into the vehicle.

This part of the friend's story makes no sense. I know many police officers and I don't know one of them who would do something that stupid. That's a lose/lose situation for the officer, regardless of the circumstances. My understanding is that Brown was a large man and I reiterate - I don't know of any cop who would, while seated in his vehicle, attempt to drag a suspect into that vehicle through the window.

The witness, and St. Louis County Police (who are investigating the case instead of the Ferguson Police Department) both have said one shot was fired inside the vehicle. The police believe the shot was fired as Brown and the officer struggled for control of the weapon. After the shot was fired it is reported that Brown moved away from the vehicle and the officer got out. That's where the events get fuzzy.

Investigators are now saying it appears Brown was shot multiple times from a distance of 35 feet. Several witnesses have said Brown's hands were up in a position of surrender when he was shot. If that's true the officer will have a very difficult time explaining the shooting, let alone justifying it. Police aren't supposed to use deadly force on a suspect who is not a direct threat to them. If Brown was 35 feet away from the officer and unarmed he was not a direct threat.

I wasn't there so I don't know for certain what occurred and I'm not passing judgement. But based on all the information I have gathered, here is my version of what possibly happened:

The officer approached the two young men and had words with them. He attempted to exit the vehicle and for whatever reason, Michael Brown didn't let him out of the car. Brown then forced his way into the vehicle window. Brown and the officer struggled in some fashion and the officer's gun was fired inside the car. (Police say the officer has an injury to the left side of his face consistent with being assaulted.) Either the officer fired the weapon intentionally or it went off during a struggle for it. We don't know. But at that point Brown decided it was best for him to get away.

Whether or not Brown and the officer struggled for the gun inside the car, the officer ended up with it. He exited the car, gun in hand, and shot Brown several times from a distance of 35 feet, according to the St. Louis County police. Brown died from his wounds.

The investigation is far from over but at this point, given the information available, it appears the multiple shootings of Brown were not justified and the case should eventually be turned over to a grand jury for possible prosecution of the officer. Maybe some new information will turn up, who knows? But it seems, at this point, there is enough evidence to suspect the officer of wrongdoing. Whether it was intentional or in the heat of the moment we don't know either.

Some will no doubt disagree with my assessment - on both sides. And of course, I'm only making conclusions based on information from the media. But that's how I see it. Feel free to disagree and tell me why, if you wish. I'm always open for sound discussion.