Big City/State Leadership: No Accountability

The feud between the leadership of the two largest states by population and Washington D.C. has reached monumental levels. California Governor Gavin Newsom and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo have far more than professional “issues” with President Donald Trump. “They hate the guy.” Having such feelings should make everyone sad. But in this case, because of who is involved, it makes everyone uncomfortable. Political leaders are supposed to work together for the common good of their states and the nation. It is hard to find “common good” when both governors and the President feel the others are inept and inferior leaders.
This personal animus goes far beyond the standard policy disagreements that are so common between those from different political parties. It has consumed these two governors so much that they each have stopped even trying to fix dire situations in their states in their war with Mr. Trump. And while they continue to hurl insults toward the Potomac, their states are falling apart.

Homelessness

The nation is struggling with homelessness. The levels to which homelessness has risen is unconscionable. According to the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness, California has 129,972 living in the streets while New York has 91,897.  No other states are even close.
Both states receive billions of dollars of federal assistance earmarked for social issues. California gets $376 Billion (for the Fiscal year 2017) but does not explicitly budget for handling the homelessness situation. Most of that money goes to specific obligations like Social Security, Medicare, and other social agencies. New York receives about the same.
The “story” is that neither governor accepts responsibility for the homelessness in their states, nor do they have concrete plans to address that issue. Instead, both point toward D.C. and blame President Trump for not just their homelessness, but pretty much every other issue within their states. That is called “No Accountability.”
Their stance on refusing any accountability has spread through their state governments and trickled down into county and city governments. Every politician wants the money but declines responsibility.
Therein lies the problem we face today. Instead of rolling up sleeves and digging-in for solutions, these and many other governors prefer to point to others who should be accountable.
Want some more examples?

The “Left” Coast

President Trump supporters will clean up excess feces in the Democratic city of San Francisco
The city of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has a big problem concerning homelessness, and that includes the issue of feces. For this reason, pro-Trump activists decided to take action to assist with a group cleanup in the city of San Francisco, California.

TheDaily Signal reported that the San Francisco Department of Public Works responded to 30,136 cases of “human or animal waste” this year, up from 28,353 in 2018. The city launched a $750,000 “poop patrol” in September 2018 to combat the plague of feces, but that didn’t stop this year’s numbers from exceeding last year’s. This data shows that the city of San Francisco, governed by the Democratic Party, is becoming increasingly dirty.

A Twitter post quoted in the Conservatives article reported that homeless people are defecating in grocery stores. For this reason, pro-Trump supporters decided to organize a cleanup activity in the city.

According to The Gateway Pundit, Donald Trump posted a tweet for Nancy Pelosi about the complicated situation on Thursday, Dec. 26, “California leads the nation, by far, in both the number of homeless people and the percentage increase in the homeless population—two terrible stats. Crazy Nancy should focus on that in her very own district, and helping her incompetent governor with the big homeless problem!” he wrote.

Conservative pro-Trump activist Scott Presler announced on Dec. 26 that he would head to San Francisco for a day of organized cleanup. Presler has previously done this community work in the cities of Baltimore, Chicago, and Los Angeles.

“I’m coming to San Francisco for a cleanup. I hear that SF has a “Poop Patrol,” so we’re going to wear hazmat suits as we did in LA. My goal is to go into America’s dirtiest cities, register voters, & do the job that no one else will do,” he said on his Twitter account.

One would think that San Francisco — especially as the home of the most powerful member of Congress — would be the first in the U.S. that would receive any and all resources necessary to take care of homelessness and other problems. Remember: homelessness comes with more than just a housing problem: there’s drug abuse, mental health issues, and criminal  activities that have paralyzed the once beautiful “City by the Bay.”

But it gets worse:

Consequences of progressive policies in San Francisco: Oracle cancels conference moves to Las Vegas

Technology giant Oracle announced that starting next year, it will move its renowned annual conference from San Francisco to Las Vegas. Previous visitors to OpenWorld had complained about “poor street conditions” and high hotel rates in the Californian city.

The decision by the major Silicon Valley company raises “concerns” about whether the Democrat-governed city can host significant business events that have long been a pillar of its tourism, according to a San Francisco Chronicle report.

High hotel costs, homelessness, open drug use, and incidents of street violence that alarm visitors are among the challenges the city faces.

OpenWorld is a technology conference that has been held in San Francisco for the past two decades, attracting some 60,000 visitors each year.

The San Francisco Travel Association estimates the move will cost San Francisco $64 million a year, according to an email to its members.

We did not even include similar problems like these in Los Angeles and Sacramento. Local leaders in all these cities plus every member of California’s Washington D.C. Congressional contingency refuse personal, local, or state accountability for these and other issues crippling their state. Yet they in unison point to the White House and place blame directly on the Trump Administration.

By the way: the homelessness and criminality problems in California began its precipitous escalation during the first Obama term, long before Trump’s election.

The “Other” Coast

The “Big Apple.” No, New York City is NOT the whole of the state of New York. But it dominates the state in every way. Many don’t even realize New York’s capital is upstate: Albany. But Manhattan sucks up most of the oxygen anywhere in New York.

The two most powerful men in NY state and local government are Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. Both carry the exact same feelings for the President as do California’s governor and Congressional members. Both Cuomo and de Blasio struggle with homelessness, massive drug abuse, and rampant criminal issues that are all escalating rapidly. They have no fixes. So, how do they handle it? They blame the Trump Administration.

New York’s mayor — in spite of the massive federal dollars that pour into his city to help with homelessness — wants and expects more from President Trump. He wants the feds to issue more housing vouchers to let people staying in shelters move into rental homes. He’s aiming to eliminate long-term homelessness in the city over the next five years.

“The problem ultimately is Donald Trump has not shown any willingness to give us the tools we need, most especially Section 8 vouchers, which allow people to live in rental housing, de Blasio said. “That’s the single-strongest piece we need from Washington that we are not getting right now.”

In addition to these problems is a rash of hate crimes that of late have been targeted at members of the Jewish Community in Manhattan and elsewhere. Anti-Semitic hate speech is flooding the nation but is especially vicious in New York because of the vast Jewish populace. It’s not just a vitriolic speech. It has spread to violence — even murder.

The New York Police Department is increasing its presence in several Brooklyn neighborhoods as it investigates at least nine possible anti-Semitic attacks that took place in recent days. All of the suspected hate crimes took place in Brooklyn, known for being home to a large number of Jewish residents. “Anyone who terrorizes our Jewish community WILL face justice,” Mayor de Blasio wrote on Twitter. “Anti-Semitism is an attack on the values of our city — and we will confront it head-on.”

The mayor continued: “An atmosphere of hate has been developing in this country over the last few years. A lot of it is emanating from Washington, and it’s having an effect on all of us,” he said.

When asked if he was blaming Trump, he said, “not just the president,” but said “we need a different tone, starting in Washington … that encourage this country to actually find some unity and some common ground” that he does not think the country has had in recent years.

Accountability

Folks, in big cities all across American and most of our largest cities, there is no accountability shared among their leaders!

They refuse to be accountable to those who they are supposed to answer to voters. It’s not just in L.A., San Francisco, other California cities, and New York City and State and other cities — it’s in almost every large city in the U.S. and their respective states. These leaders, along with many of their Congressional representatives in D.C., shirk the accountability that goes with the responsibilities they accepted when they each took an oath of office. How do they handle it? They all point at the White House and loudly cry, “It’s Donald Trump’s Fault!”

There is a common denominator in most of these circumstances: the states are controlled by Democrat governors and state legislatures, and their Congressional members are almost all members of the Democrat Party.

I am not saying Democrats are the problem. What I AM saying is that there is an adopted attitude of political elitism that permeates the leadership of the Democrat Party that says, “I am responsible for everything. When things go well, they do so because I am in charge. When things go poorly, they do so because Republicans obstruct my leftist wishes and destroy what was to be a long list of accomplishments!”

The wheel always stops at “Donald Trump” on their “Wheel of Blame!”

Summary

It’s become nothing but a comedic taking point when these leaders always blame the GOP and the President. GOP leadership in D.C. has known the spiel perfected by Dems. What’s different today is that under this President’s direction, Conservatives are no longer content to ignore it and just let Democrats spin their stories. GOP leaders are now encouraged to stand up and shout the truth in each circumstance.

Dems are not used to having real leaders in the federal government. Trump is a leader. Trump is a problem solver. He identifies issues, determines how it repairs those issues, puts the resources and leadership in place to right the issues, and then holds those in leadership over each area accountable! 

Democrats are always quick to find problems, blame each problem on their political opponents, cry that more money needs to be spent to fix the problems, allocates the money, the problems are never fixed, and no one is held accountable for the break-downs!

The list of Trump accomplishments in his presidency is exhaustive. We have published them each year and will do so for 2019 in a few weeks. That list will once again prove that Donald Trump became President because voters wanted problems solved, and there were no problem solvers in D.C.

There have been some things he’s tried that when implemented, did not (or have not yet) accomplished their expected objectives. Some call those “failures.” Mr. Trump calls them “obstacles.” Most often, when those things happen, those who request them failures quit and walk away. Mr. Trump operates this way: “There were good reasons to go after this. We just hit a snag. Let’s find ways to learn what part of the process did not work and find a better way.”

His way is NOT traditional in Washington, D.C. But his way most often DOES work.

I laugh until I cry when Democrats continually refuse to acknowledge his many positive results for ALL Americans. Instead, they throw everything they can muster to make him look bad — even in the midst of something working perfectly! 

Once again, the Left thinks Americans are stupid. I’ll finish by quoting that great American Historian, Forrest Gump: “Stupid is as Stupid does.”

Is Becoming a Christian Now a Death Sentence?

When I was really little, I remember an evangelist that came to our church and preached a sermon on Christians being persecuted. He spoke of Christians in Africa that were being persecuted — even some killed — back then. He spoke of a missionary named J.W. Tucker that was killed by Congolese rebels in The Congo the day before Thanksgiving in 1964 just for being a Christian. But it scared me to death when he spoke of Christians in the United States being persecuted and even executed just for being Christians.

That can never happen! After all, our forefathers came to the “New World” in part to guarantee that all who lived here would have total freedom from persecution for their religious affiliation — even if they did NOT have a religion. The Constitution guarantees Americans the Freedom of Speech in the First Amendment. That assures Christians should have no concerns at all about being attacked for their expressions of Christianity.

But apparently, things are changing.

Daily Mail—The Muslim convert who allegedly beheaded a female co-worker was shouting Islamic phrases as he tore across the store wielding a knife, it has been claimed.  Alton Alexander Nolen, 30, was trying to convince workers that Islam teaches that the punishment is acceptable on Thursday, shortly before he was fired from his job at Vaughan Foods in Moore, Oklahoma, according to local media. He returned the same day and lashed out at colleagues Colleen Hufford and Traci Johnson with a knife, police said. After being shot by sheriff’s deputy Mark Vaughan, who is also the firm’s CEO, in the wake of the horrific attack he has woken up in a hospital and is being questioned by police. And as the FBI investigates his conversion to Islam in connection with the killing, reports have emerged that Nolen was shouting Islamic phrases during the rampage. Nolen also spoke of the U.S. need to convert to Sharia Law.

The beheading occurred in 2014 and was tied directly to Islamic law. The murderer was later sentenced to death.

Yes, such killings thankfully are not frequent in the U.S. But the Muslim population is increasing at dramatic levels in the U.S. Though many Muslims do not consider themselves to be “activists,” there certainly are very serious demands for all Muslims in the Quran — their written guide as is The Holy Bible to Christians. I suggest every Christian needs to learn about the Muslim faith and the principles spelled out in Sharia Law — which is the law implemented in Muslim-majority nations that govern everyday lives for Muslims. Feel free to download or just read the tenets of Sharia Law: Key Tenets of Sharia Law

Does this mean Christians should fear Muslims? Not at all! But make sure you understand what many who are devout Muslims and believe in life under Sharia Law certainly believe killing all those who are not Muslims is not only called for but commanded in Sharia Law. This guy in Oklahoma certainly felt his act was justified.

Christians are facing persecution for their beliefs today in the U.S. — even if they do not rise to the level of execution. But they do exist — even in our schools.

Is prohibiting a Christian Christmas song to be shared at school persecution? It doesn’t rise to the level of physical attacks and even execution for one’s beliefs. But, who would have thought a decade ago that an American school would disallow not the singing, but just a piano version of “Joy To The World” at a school program?

I’m certain there’s a really slippery slope here. Twenty years ago, I doubt Nigerian Christians were afraid of execution just for being Christians.

Overseas It’s Way Different

ISIS-aligned jihadists have released a video claiming to show the execution of eleven blindfolded Christian men in Nigeria, in what analysts say was a barbaric act that was clearly timed to coincide with Christmas, according to reports.

“This is a message to Christians all over the world,” a masked man says in the one-minute video posted online by the terror group’s Amaq news agency. He claimed the killings at the hands of jihadists from the Islamic State West African Province were in retaliation for the death of ISIS chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and his spokesman. Baghdadi committed suicide in October during a U.S. special forces operation in Syria. No details were given about the victims, but ISIS said they were “captured in the past weeks” in Nigeria’s northeastern Borno state.

The ISIS fighters wore beige uniforms with black masks. They each stood behind a Christian man. The leader shot one while the others were thrown to the ground and beheaded.

The news out of Nigeria is getting progressively worse as it is being reported that more than 300 people were killed in at least seven predominantly Christian villages across Nigeria in February and March of 2019, according to multiple sources that monitor persecution of Christians. “Since February 10, there have been at least 270 people killed in Kaduna State alone,” International Christian Concern confirms. “It has been reported that at least 70 Christians were killed during a 10-week span at the beginning of 2019 across the other Middle Belt states.”

In one early morning attack on the village of Karamai on Feb. 14, sources said 41 people died after 300 gunmen swarmed the village shouting “Allahu Akbar!” as they fired their weapons and ransacked people’s homes. It was reported almost all of those killed were women and children along with a few senior residents who were unable to run away.

Not Just in Africa

During the year 2016, some 90,000 Christians were killed for their faith around the world, according to a new study from the Turin-based Center for Studies on New Religions (CESNUR).

The director of CESNUR and leader of the study, Dr. Massimo Introvigne, told Breitbart News that Christians are the most persecuted religious group in the world, and the numbers of those affected are staggering. “Christians are targeted primarily for two reasons,” Introvigne said, “first because their proclamation of peace disturbs more belligerent groups; and second, because their social teachings on life, family and poverty are opposed by powerful forces.”

“While in the past century, atheistic communist regimes were the greatest persecutors of Christians,’ Introvigne added, “the geopolitical landscape has changed considerably since then and the actors have changed as well. He continued,  “While ‘Communism’s last attacks’ are still responsible for some ill-treatment of Christians,” Introvigne told Breitbart, “Islamic ‘ultra-fundamentalism’ has taken its place as the number-one agent of persecution.”

Introvigne’s findings mirror those of other scholars and human rights groups. According to the “World Watch List,” for example, published by the Open Doors organization, nine out of the top ten countries where Christians suffer “extreme persecution” had populations that are at least 50 percent Muslim. The 2016 report found that “Islamic extremism is by far the most significant persecution engine” of Christians in the world today and that “40 of the 50 countries on the World Watch List are affected by this kind of persecution.”

Introvigne said that in Nigeria, “over the last 12 years, the most reliable estimates assess at more than 10,000 Christians killed by the Islamic ultra-fundamentalist organization Nigeria’s Boko Haram.”

While some groups, like Boko Haram, are private organizations, in a number of countries, “persecution of Christians is actually promoted by the governments,” Introvigne said. “Several Muslim countries still have laws punishing apostasy—converting from Islam to another religion,” he noted. “Others have laws against blasphemy, and some tend to consider any criticism of Islam as blasphemy.”

While tens of thousands of Christians are killed for their faith, they are just the tip of the iceberg and much persecution takes place on a daily basis that never makes news, according to Introvigne.

North Korea again tops the list of the 50 most dangerous countries to follow Jesus Christ. The 2019 World Watch List released Wednesday by Open Doors USA highlights where action is desperately needed to protect Christians.

President Trump has met with many of the leaders whose countries make the list, including China, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, and North Korea. The Trump administration has made religious freedom a priority. Case in point – fighting for the release of Pastor Andrew Brunson from Turkey. But there’s more the U.S. government can do and that’s the backbone behind this list.

The spread of radical Islam increases the danger of Christians worldwide. “Many Christians are being killed because of their faith,” said Father Daniel Alkhory, an Iraqi native. CBN News asked Alkhory why he stays while other priests have left due to safety concerns.

“I’m staying to stay with my people,” he responded. “So this is the only thing that is keeping me staying there and helping them because they need help now urgently. So if I am not going to be there who is going to help them?”

Iraq is number 13 on the watch list of countries where Christians face the most persecution. For the last 27 years, Open Doors USA has documented the most oppressive and restrictive countries for Christians. Topping this year’s list is North Korea followed by Afghanistan, Somalia, Libya, and Pakistan.

Top 10 Countries Where Christians are Persecuted

1.    North Korea
2.    Afghanistan
3.    Somalia
4.    Libya
5.    Pakistan
6.    Sudan
7.    Eritrea
8.    Yemen
9.    Iran
10.  India

“We believe now based on our research that there are over 245 million Christians who live in areas of extreme or high persecution – that’s a lot,” David Curry, president & CEO of Open Doors USA told CBN News. Curry adds that violence against Christians increased dramatically this past year in China.

“They moved up from #41 to #27 on the list,” he told CBN News. “That’s a big jump. It’s a huge jump and it shows things are getting more difficult for China and it’s a big church so a lot of people are affected.”

NOKO

North Korea remains number one for the 18th year in a row, despite talks between President Trump and Dictator Kim Jong Un. “I would love to see human rights be a part of the discussion when you are talking about nuclear arms because you can tell within 30, 60, 90 days if conditions have improved for Christians in the labor camps,” Curry explained. “Right now, there are over 60,000 Christians in labor camps in North Korea. A lot of people don’t know that.”

Vice President Mike Pence reaffirmed that the White House will always be a champion for people of faith.

“Protecting and promoting religious freedom is a foreign policy priority of this administration,” Pence said.

Open Doors continues its efforts hoping governments, human rights groups, and other organizations will take notice, get involved and help believers.

For example, Bahrain dropped off the list this year after meeting with Christian leaders to set up a safe space for people to worship. Curry says it’s a role model in the Middle East.

Summary

Being a Christian is dangerous in much of the world today. How long do Christians in the U.S. have before similar persecution seen overseas make its way in violent form to our country? Of course, we all want to think and say, “Nothing like that can happen here! Our Constitution protects us. Our government will protect us from any violence from those who hate Christians.”

I felt that growing up — especially when as a little boy that evangelist told the story of missionary slaughters in The Congo: “That only happens in Africa, not here!”

That lady in Oklahoma went to work for another day of “doing the deal,” minding her own business, putting bread on the table for her children or buying a school outfit or two. She never thought the Islamist zealot who had talked to her about converting to his religion would go nuts and kill her. She just innocently let him know she was a Christian.

I’m certainly not trying to scare anyone. But we’ve seen drastic social changes in the U.S. — some of in the past four or five years — that were never thought possible just ten or twenty years ago!

The purpose today is to make sure you have facts to use to make decisions. I like you cannot predict the future. We cannot prepare our families or ourselves for every possibility we may face. But what we can is put the consideration of the “major” possibilities in the conversation to think about, pray about, and prepare a few “what-if’s” just in case we face one or more.

Christian Persecution is probably one of those things for which we need to prepare a “what-if” or two, don’t you think?

Play

The First Amendment is Dead

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

Most Americans consider this, the first of the ten Bill of Rights, the most important guarantee to Americans of the Constitution. Many think the Bill of Rights dictated to the People what authority, rights, and power we have given to us by our government. However, the exact opposite is true: Each of those ten amendments informed the government what powers the People expressly released TO the government. Any others not detailed in those ten amendments belong to the People — not the government. This fact is mentioned often in discussions about the Second Amendment, but seldom in conversations about the First Amendment. It should be the other way around.

Everybody knows the right to free speech is universal and everyone understands and respects it, right? Not so much anymore, unfortunately. There are people in the United States who gleefully parse speech contents of thousands of Americans and are quick to “pull them down.” What does “pull them down” mean and who does it? “Pull them down” means to block or delete spoken or printed words from some source seen or heard by the public. And those who sit at the desk of “Speech Think Police” are the sole arbiters of Free Speech in America. And those folks live and work in many different places parts of the American information landscape: Newspaper, radio, and television editors, Social Media editors, even publishing company editors, and, certainly, political elites.

How so?

We could launch into the specifics of hundreds of examples of today’s abridgment of Free Speech. We won’t do that. We will, however, give you examples from the “10,000-foot” level. You’ll understand our thought process after thinking through THAT process.

“Thought Police”

How many college campus Free Speech rallies have you heard that were canceled either before or stopped during because of demonstrations that often devolved into riots? Dozens and dozens of such cancellations have happened in the last several years. In fact, it is now more common than not for speakers with a certain political ilk to be banned from appearing at such rallies, especially on liberal university campuses.

Before we move forward, consider the previous sentence: “speakers are banned from appearing at rallies on college campuses.” College campuses were formerly the incubators for new ideas. During the ’60s and ’70s, campuses were the hot spot for the introduction of new political and social ideas. Those campuses were the “Moms” that gave birth to numerous currently embraced concepts. And they each were birthed through the First Amendment: NO government control of speech which meant ANY idea was allowed to be expressed.

Within that context, do you think there’s something sinister going on in our nation today regarding Free Speech? Our examination begins with “Hate Speech.”

Hate Speech

Hate speech is defined by the Cambridge Dictionary as “public speech that expresses hate or encourages violence towards a person or group based on something such as race, religion, sex, or sexual orientation. Hate speech is “usually thought to include communications of animosity or disparagement of an individual or a group on account of a group characteristic such as race, color, national origin, sex, disability, religion, or sexual orientation.”

There has been much debate about freedom of speech, hate speech and hate speech legislation. The laws of some countries describe hate speech as speech, gestures, conduct, writing, or displays that incite violence or prejudicial actions against a group or individuals on the basis of their membership in the group, or which disparage or intimidate a group or individuals on the basis of their membership in the group. The law may identify a group based on certain characteristics. In some countries, hate speech is not a legal term.

A website that contains hate speech (online hate speech) may be called a hate site.

Those conclusions about Hate Speech certainly force us to consider the First Amendment. Are Americans no longer accepting that Amendment as a necessary part of our lives? If so, how do they justify their opposition?

First, I doubt any American if asked would say “I want to abolish the First Amendment.” Generally, that feeling is almost universal. But when drilling down to determine what that means, some may change their tunes a bit. Let’s use Hate Speech to make this easy to understand.

There certainly are horrible things that are said from time to time that many wish would not be said. Some things are just unacceptable and certainly distasteful. As an example, few think it’s OK to demean someone’s personal appearance. During the 2016 presidential campaign, millions jumped on then Candidate Donald Trump for what  they felt were disturbing words to denigrate a Washington Post reporter, Serge Kovaleski, who has a physical disability. That incident raised immediate uproar against Mr. Trump for his alleged “Hate Speech.”

So why don’t we just stop such examples from ever happening?

The Supreme Court of the United States has repeatedly rejected government attempts to prohibit or punish “hate speech.” Instead, the Court has come to identify within the First Amendment a guarantee of “freedom for the thought that we hate,” as Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes described the concept in a 1929 dissent. In a 2011 ruling, Chief Justice John Roberts described our national commitment to protecting “hate speech” in order to preserve a robust democratic dialogue:

Speech is powerful. It can stir people to action, move them to tears of both joy and sorrow, and—as it did here—inflict great pain. On the facts before us, we cannot react to that pain by punishing the speaker. As a Nation we have chosen a different course—to protect even hurtful speech on public issues to ensure that we do not stifle public debate.

In other words, the First Amendment recognizes that the government cannot regulate “hate speech” without inevitably silencing the dissent and dialogue that democracy requires. Instead, we as citizens possess the power to most effectively answer hateful speech—whether through debate, protest, questioning, laughter, silence, or simply walking away. 

As Justice Louis Brandeis put it, the framers of the Bill of Rights “believed that freedom to think as you will and to speak as you think are means indispensable to the discovery and spread of political truth; that without free speech and assembly discussion would be futile; that with them, discussion affords ordinarily adequate protection against the dissemination of noxious doctrine; that the greatest menace to freedom is an inert people; that public discussion is a political duty; and that this should be a fundamental principle of the American government.”

Justice Brandeis argued that our nation’s founders believed that prohibiting “evil counsels”—what today we might call “hate speech”—would backfire:

They recognized the risks to which all human institutions are subject. But they knew that order cannot be secured merely through fear of punishment for its infraction; that it is hazardous to discourage thought, hope, and imagination; that fear breeds repression; that repression breeds hate; that hate menaces stable government; that the path of safety lies in the opportunity to discuss freely supposed grievances and proposed remedies; and that the fitting remedy for evil counsels is good ones. Believing in the power of reason as applied through public discussion, they eschewed silence coerced by the law – the argument of force in its worst form. Recognizing the occasional tyrannies of governing majorities, they amended the Constitution so that free speech and assembly should be guaranteed.

Banning “hate speech” without restricting political speech is tremendously difficult because of subjectivity. Each American certainly has a different understanding of exactly what expression should lose First Amendment protection as “hate speech.” One citizen’s hateful speech is another’s religious text; one citizen’s slur is another’s term of endearment; or, as the Court put it, “one man’s vulgarity is another’s lyric.” As a result, creating a generally applicable definition of “hate speech” is all but impossible without silencing someone’s “legitimate” speech.

“Hate speech” is also a moving target, making a real definition still impossible to find. Conceptions of what constitutes “hate” do not remain stable over time. As ideas gain or lose acceptance, political movements advance or recede, and social commitments strengthen or erode, notions of what is unacceptably “hateful” change, too. Today’s majority viewpoint should not be allowed to foreclose that of tomorrow.

For example, thirty years ago, the Board of Regents of Texas A & M University sought to deny recognition to a gay student organization because it believed that  “so-called ‘gay’ activities run diabolically counter to the traditions and standards of Texas A & M.” At the time, the Board may have voiced the majority view, which found the gay students’ speech to be beyond the pale. Today, the opposite characterization might be true.

In some countries, including the United States, hate speech is constitutionally protected. In other countries, a victim of hate speech may seek redress under civil law, criminal law, or both. But one thing is certain: our founders came to America from living under a government that dominated in determination of what could be and not be used in speech by their citizens and retained the unilateral authority to arbitrarily determine what was and what was not OK to use and who could use it.

What happens when governments regulate speech?

Unlike the United States, there are a variety of countries that cannot practice freedom of speech, including Burma, North Korea, Turkmenistan and Libya. Other countries that abide by a strict censorship include Cuba, Syria, Eritrea and Uzbekistan.

A strict censorship basically isolates the citizens of these countries because the government prevents the media from providing any information on the rest of the world. Typically, these governments will impose violence on any journalists who come in to report news or to seek information on the well being of citizens living in these countries. There are also laws in place that restrict the use of the Internet and prevent citizens from speaking out negatively against the government.

Are we headed for our government taking away our rights to Free Speech?

Under the guise of advancing what anti-free speech groups refer to as “human rights,” the dictator-dominated global body is waging a full-blown assault on free-speech rights by pressuring governments to criminalize so-called “hate speech.” Indeed, working alongside radical government-funded activist groups and anti-liberty politicians around the world, the UN and other totalitarian-minded forces have now reached the point where they openly claim that what they call “international law” actually requires governments to ban speech and organizations they disapprove of. Critics are fighting back in an effort to protect freedom of speech. Think about it: the United Nations — a supposed peaceful, rights-thinking world organization headquartered in southeast New York City is pushing for the abolition of free speech!

UN “human rights” bureaucrats are currently terrorizing and bullying people of Japan — among others — in an effort to drastically curtail speech rights. Pointing to a tiny group of anti-Korean activists holding demonstrations in Japan, politicians and self-styled promoters of “human rights” have also joined the UN in its Soviet-inspired crusade to ban free expression. The Japanese Constitution, however, like the American one, includes strong protections for freedom of speech. Still, that has not stopped the UN from seeking to impose its radical speech restrictions on Japan anyway.

Meanwhile, right here in the United States, groups like ANTIFA (which stands for “Anti-Fascist”) are attacking conservatives left and right at Free Speech rallies around the country, stating that in doing so, they are stopping those who denigrate certain groups or individuals. Those groups and individuals that are the supposed “protection ones” one ANTIFA don’t exist! ANTIFA is nothing more than a 100-year-old political activist European organization that is a remnant of Nazi Germany! Don’t believe it? Check your history book.

Summary

There is no doubt Americans need to tamp-down our hateful, denigrating, and caustic rhetoric — both in writing and speaking. We need to embrace the universal belief that we are all created equal in the eyes of our Creator and therefore each have “unalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Our Constitution while re-stating those tenets of basic Humanity is the roadmap of freedom for all people. And that means that there are people who are hateful, who choose to demean others personally for all manner of things they view as are wrong with those others. As evil as that may be for them to do, Free Speech from the First Amendment gives all that basic right.

Here’s what is at the end of the road of American governments — local, state, and federal — stepping in and putting Big Brother’s foot down on derogatory things spoken or written by others: Where does their doing so stop? Who decides what is wrong to say or write, what can or cannot be said, spoken, written, or sung in a song? Who decides who makes the rules?

Americans — if enough feel doing so is justified — have a legal method to change it all: Amend the Constitution. Our framers, knowing that American life would change in many ways, made sure to create a clear path for altering our founding structure.

So here’s what we do: Follow the Process! I’m not going to teach a Civics class here. For those who want to abolish the Second Amendment, read the Constitution and set the Amendment process in motion.

Our structure of government is a Representative Republic. It was founded and exists as such for reasons just like this. Reasonable people can disagree. But those same reasonable people must choose legal methods to resolve disagreements. It would be foolish to try to do otherwise. Without taking the path of Constitutional guidance, all that will be accomplished is Anarchy and all that comes with it.

ANTIFA has already opened that door to Pandora’s Box. Do Leftist Anti-Free Speech proponents really want to try that road?

My prediction is if tried, what is at the end of the road will not be attractive for them. And when done, the Second Amendment will still be intact.

Oh: so will the First Amendment!

 

 

 

Merry Christmas

For many, this Christmas is a day of reflection — a reflection of a year that may have not been so good. For others, their reflection is of a year full of joy and wonderful life circumstances. For each of you in each of these categories, know this one thing: here we all are on this Christmas Day alive, reading, and experiencing another Christmas. If we have no more than that, we are blessed.

I certainly don’t wish to diminish any problems that are real and devastating in the lives of our partners. In fact, the opposite is true. My heart goes out to all those who find themselves today in a tough spot of any kind. It breaks me to know that for those who find themselves there, I cannot do anything but pray. Let me pray for you right now:

“Lord, I am so sad that many friends find themselves today in a less than desirable place in which many things have gone wrong. I hurt for them. And I know you do too. I pray that you today would reach into their hearts and ease the pain that always bookends the bad things in our lives. Many of these things are direct results of poor choices. But many more are just bad things that happened to good people. In either case, please intervene in their pain.”

“I would be remiss if I did not say to you, Lord, ‘Thank you’ for your sacrifice as a Man after leaving Heaven to come to Earth as a baby just so you could allow yourself to be sacrificed for the wrongs committed by people like me so that we can have an eternity with You. Please, today let those who are hurting so terribly understand You ARE with them in the middle of their conflicts. You DO care about every pain and heartache they experience today. Please cover them in Your warmth and let them feel that love that led you here. And last, thank You for all you have done for me.”

Merry Christmas to you all!

Dan

 

It’s Christmas Eve!

(I recommend you listen to today’s Podcast: the end is a very special Christmas Eve audio presentation you won’t want to miss!)

 

Record snow and even blizzard conditions threaten to blanket the northern half of the United States. But it’s supposed to snow! Today is Christmas Eve. So for all of our TruthNewsNetwork friends and partners who live up north in the U.S. are in snow country in other nations across the World, let me say this: in Louisiana, it’ll hit 65 degrees today, and I’ll ride my bike this evening in shorts and a t-shirt. Go ahead and be jealous!

Welcome to Christmas Eve 2019 with Truth News Network! We are excited about the holiday, its importance to all of us, and especially its significance in our lives. Tomorrow we celebrate the birth of the Savior, Jesus Christ.

Before we get rolling today, let’s chat about what’s coming January  7th to TNN. YOU’RE COMING! That’s right: TNN listeners and partners will have the opportunity to be a part of our podcasts. You’ve been reading and listening for several years. We get comments and emails all the time with your opinions. But we want not just to read your thoughts; we want to hear your thoughts and discuss those live with you on the broadcast. Just think: when you join us, you’ll be talking to people sharing your opinions with people from all over the U.S. and Canada, Mexico, Central and even South America; with TNN partners in Switzerland, England, France, Italy, Hong Kong, China, Malaysia, and even folks in Russia! We can’t wait to get started on January 7th as we kick 2020 into high gear.

How do you join us on the air? It’s simple: every TNN member early in the morning when new podcasts and stories go live on our site receive an email with a link to that day’s podcast and the story that have just gone live. In the first line of that email, it will tell you the topic of the next day’s podcast and story.

Here’s what you do if you want to chat on air during the next day’s podcast:

  1.  Send an email to partner@TruthNewsNet.org.
  2. in the email, make certain you put your name (first and last), what city/state/country in which you live, and the phone number at which we can reach you either the afternoon of the email you send us or early the next morning.
  3. We are in Central U.S. time (Chicago). We will call you to discuss in brief how our recorded phone call will go. If you are fine and ready, we may just talk then and record the call or set a firm time later to do so.
  4. We prepare every story and podcast the afternoon/evening before they are published. Stories and podcasts are always edited — but NOT for content, for time and mistakes. (Yep, I make some!)
  5. We encourage all with different perspectives to get involved. I will not argue with you, but will share perspectives and “discuss.”
  6. Critical: to participate, you must receive those email links from us with the type of story we’ll be discussing with you on the next day’s podcast. To get those emails, (if you haven’t already) on the front page of the website, enroll your email address at the bottom right-hand side. You will not receive anything from us other than links to new stories and podcasts. WE DON’T SELL ANYTHING!

Note: the first such link will go out early the morning of January 6th with the topic for January 7th’s show. Reply with your brief thoughts on the topic and your phone number. We’ll call you back to coordinate a 5-10 minute conversation with you that will be part of the next day’s podcast.

By the way, if you have any questions about this, feel free to reach out to me at dan@TruthNewsNet.org as soon as you have them. We’ll get you comfortable with the process.

You can be on the show with me beginning on January 7th! I cannot wait.

It’s Christmas Eve!

We always do something special — still a tribute — for our men and women who each Christmas are unable to be at home with their family members. Let’s face it: Christmas is a family time. Millions of people in the U.S. will be with their loved ones tomorrow, having great times celebrating the season, each other’s lives, and all the history they have shared. For those who cannot do that, we certainly want to honor their sacrifices of being away.

If you’ve never been alone on Christmas Eve away from your family, you won’t know how lonely one feels. Christmas loneliness is the worst kind of loneliness. We honor those folks who tonight will be going to sleep somewhere other than their bed either alone or with other soldiers doing the same thing for people they will probably never know. They’re protecting all of us.

It just hit me: there are men and women in uniform that are TNN partners that will hear this tribute to them today! To you, we say a heartfelt “Thank You for caring enough for all of us to miss all of your family members voluntarily protecting us from evils that we will never face. We love and thank you for caring. God bless you each this Christmas Eve!”

Play

One Phone Call Is All It Takes

Something tremendous and new is coming to Truth News Network in January! Before we start today, click on this link for a 30-second audio with details:

Today’s “Story”

December 22, 1969, may have been just another day for many, but my life changed forever that day.

I was a sixteen-year-old boy living in Franklin, a sleepy little Cajun town on the Teche Bayou in south Louisiana. My Dad pastored a small church with 45 in church on a “good” Sunday. Our church was only the third different denomination in town. Franklin had a Catholic and Baptist church. Ours was “Full Gospel.” It was pretty tough explaining to classmates the differences between the first two and ours’!

I loved living in a small town. I loved the French culture. I loved hunting and fishing and spent as much spare time as I could in the woods and the bayous that were all around us. Before I had a car of my own, I saved up and bought a small boat and motor. My boat was a “bateau,” which is a small, flat-bottomed boat that was perfect for shallow water. I spent as much time on it as I could.

In January of that year, my Dad hurt himself and was out of work for months. I needed a part-time job to help out. Little towns are often not accessible places for teenagers to find part-time work, and Franklin was no different.  My high school Speech teacher knew everything and everybody in St. Mary Parish. I asked him to be on the lookout for a chance for me to make some dough.

That teacher, Rodger Robinson, was the news director of the local low-power AM radio station: KFRA. He told me one day they may need somebody to help out at the station. I went to an interview expecting to get a janitorial job. At the end of the meeting, after reading and recording a sample newscast, I was the newest disc jockey in town!

As you can imagine, I became something of a rock star among my friends: a sophomore on-air DJ. I was already a musician, loved Top 40 music, and got to play all my favorites on the radio and was paid to do so. Early ‘69 was a blast. But it changed dramatically and quickly later that year.

I learned many years later that infidelity — as wrong as it is — is seldom the primary factor in divorce. It most often is money. There wasn’t much money in our house before Dad’s accident. And with him out of work, it worsened quickly. Things between my parents were not beautiful before his work injury. But when the money dried up things really got tough.

Arguments that had been rare but were all quiet and confined to their room became frequent, louder, and happened everywhere. Tensions rose as did tempers, and insults were ugly. My brother was in the Navy and living in California. I got to experience all this as the only kid in the house.

The hurt, anger, insults, and desperation boiled-over that Christmas week. Mom couldn’t take it, Dad couldn’t make it, and I had no choice but take whatever they decided. “They” didn’t choose it. Dad did when he left: December 22nd.

Things quickly worsened.

Mom had a nervous breakdown. My brother was gone, Dad had moved fifty miles away, we had no money, and I was sixteen.

So, I left home.

No, I didn’t abandon my Mother. Some close family friends approached me to let Mom go with them to get some help to get through this horrible time. They lived in Lafayette, about 50 miles from Franklin. We had lived in Lafayette before moving to Franklin, so it seemed a good idea. Mom went with them, and I moved into a small garage apartment in Lafayette owned by some friends, went to a new high school, and got a part-time radio job there. The first day for me at Lafayette High School was three weeks to the day after Dad left. And I started to work at KSMB-FM in Lafayette two days later.

The Spring of ‘70 was tight: there was the trauma of divorce, a different town, financial hardships, loneliness, and all the “new” stuff: house, school, work, friends, church, and no parents at home with me. As tempted as I was to get despondent and worry and to get into the “poor me’s,” something inside of me drove me to keep my head up and to move forward. I was hopeful: for what I had no idea. I felt something good was in the offing. Thank God I was not wrong!

Late one May afternoon, I was on the air when a longtime Lafayette friend of mine called me on the Request-Line. A mutual acquaintance of ours from Shreveport was in town. They were driving around, listening to me on the radio, and asked to come by the studio. When my air shift was over, we all went to eat dinner.

That mutual friend was a high school quarterback who was getting into the ministry and headed to college to play football. He was putting a Christian band together that was going to travel that Summer around the South, visiting small churches holding revival services. He knew I was a keyboardist and asked me to join the group: “The Vessels.“ I said I’d give it some thought. I did — for ten minutes. I told him, “I’m in!” Two weeks later I packed my clothes in a friend’s car who gave me a ride to Shreveport. And 50 years later I’m still here!

Better — Much Better

The Summer went by in a blur. We traveled all over the South, singing and ministering in small churches. There were nine of us in a Chevy van, pulling a trailer with our clothes and sound equipment. We slept in churches, peoples’ homes, and loved every minute of it. Not only did we see miracles in the lives of hundreds of young people, we saw terrific miracles in our own lives.

At the end of that 1970 Summer tour, I planned to go back to Lafayette, go to Lafayette High School my senior year, and go back to radio. Mom was doing good. Dad was about to remarry, and my Brother was still in the Navy. God had something different for me — something “New.”

That quarterback — Denny Duron — and his Mom and Dad pulled me aside in early August of 1970 and asked if I would move to Shreveport into their home, and finish high school as their son and little brother. Denny is a year older and was headed to Louisiana Tech. His room was open.

I was shocked. I had never heard of anything like that happening and certainly had not given any such thing a thought that it could work for me. But, once again, I said, “Yes.”

Mom and Dad Duron immediately made me their second son. Denny made me his little brother. And even though Dad Duron passed away several years ago, Mom, Dad, and Denny treated me as their son and brother for the last fifty years.

What about the phone call that changed everything?

I’m sure you’ve guessed what call it was — that call from my Lafayette friend when he and Denny invited me to eat dinner when I got off the air. That call and subsequent circumstances drastically altered the history of not just my life, but the lives of everyone in my life — then and now.

I after high school graduation went to Louisiana Tech. There I met a Pom Pom Girl from Minden, Louisiana, who became my wife. We have three amazing children plus six grandchildren.

I’ve had three professional careers in fifty years: broadcasting and journalism, automobile management, and business ownership.

  • Broadcasting was my first professional love and still is. Some of you are listening to this podcast, along with thousands of others. And today, people from more than 60 countries are reading or hearing this story!
  • I continued in broadcasting in college: it paid the bills.
  • After college, I got into the car business, where I learned sales, sales management, and managing people.
  • I went back to journalism as the Managing Editor of Winners’ Circle Magazine. 
  • I later returned to radio and was a morning show host on KVKI in Shreveport, Louisiana, and afternoons at WTPI-FM in Indianapolis, Indiana. Two years after Indy, we returned to Shreveport to broadcasting.
  • In 1992 I founded a medial accounts receivable management company that has run the course of my business life. In the middle of that, I owned and operated two different professional arena football teams.

You can see, my life has not been boring. It has been one thrilling moment after another. Of course, there have been lows and lots of bad moments. But, thankfully, there have been far more great moments than bad. But in the middle of getting down and discouraged, I always think back to that 1970 phone call in Lafayette when my friend asked, “Do you want to have dinner?” That called changed everything. How?

  • I’d never have gone to Shreveport and anchored into the Duron’s family.
  • I’d never have gone to Louisiana Tech.
  • I’d never have met Mary Ann, that Pom Pom girl.
  • I’d not have two daughters, a son, two sons-in-law, a daughter-in-law, four grandsons, and twin granddaughters.
  • I’d have never known the sales business, never known goods and bads of management. I’d not have started a company that has impacted the lives of hundreds of employees, dozens, and dozens of clients for which we have billed and collected millions of claim dollars for those clients.

But, there’s more: I’d never have touched the lives of all those people in those churches, on the beaches, and in the schools in where we ministered across the South that Summer in ‘70 and the additional six years we did the same across the nation.

I wouldn’t be giving you this blog post story and podcast.

In summary, consider these things: during your Christmas season, you may experience some terrible things. You may lose family members through divorce and death. You may lose a job. You may be fighting illness. You may be struggling with personal friendships, just trying to fit in. You may feel extreme loneliness and desperation. You may feel there’s just no way out of any of the circumstances in which you find yourself. But, to quote Jim Valvano when he was dying of cancer, said this, “Don’t give up. Don’t you EVER give up!”

I certainly didn’t have a perfect beginning. Who of us did? I certainly go handed a pretty bleak couple of years. Many of us have that happen.

Don’t get me wrong: my life today is far from perfect. I have problems; I have roadblocks. My family faces challenges all the time. I don’t have “everything” and haven’t had “everything.” But what I have is exactly what I need!

When I got that phone call, I was committed to looking for and finding “the next” step for me in my life. That call came in the middle of much noise and many distractions. It would have been easy to say, “No, Guys. I’m busy. I don’t have time to go to dinner.”

Be open to YOUR call. Be expecting YOUR call. And when the phone rings, ANSWER THAT CALL!

Wanna know something: I’m 66 years old, and I’m excited sitting by the phone as I write this. I’m waiting for the phone to ring for my “next” life chapter! ONE PHONE CALL IS ALL IT TAKES!

Play

Saturday Bullet Points: December 21, 2019

Washington D.C. is going crazy if they’re not already there! How can we pick the most important stories of the last few days? There are dozens out there we think you’d like to dig into. We’ll give you the headline bullet points of our top picks. If you want to get the entire story of all or any, there’s a hyperlink at the end of each bullet point on which you can click to go to the full story.

Before we do our Bullet Point roundup for you, please listen to this very important TNN message (30-seconds long):

  • A very old and established Christian magazine Christianity Today published an editorial endorsing the removal of Donald Trump through a Senate trial following the House of Representatives’ impeachment of the President. The magazine was in large part affiliated originally with Evangelist Billy Graham, who was a devout Evangelical Christian who strongly supported Donald Trump and even voted for him in 2016. Both of Graham’s children immediately expressed their outrage against the editorial and both reaffirmed Rev. Graham’s longtime conservative Christian values support and that of President Trump. President Trump on Friday took to Twitter to excoriate Christianity Today noting the President’s tremendous results working with the Evangelical Christian community and the support he has from the Christian community. For all the details click on the following link: https://apnews.com/93553f9bab26da7df743676a091f94bf
  • You certainly heard about the letter from the FISA Court to the FBI regarding uncovered abuses by the FBI in their production and presentation to the court “evidence” that in many cases was not even real and often misrepresented facts to justify the Court issuing FISA warrants that authorized the surveillance of the Trump Campaign and certain others associated with the Campaign. The Court issued the first warrant prior to the 2016 election and renewed the warrant three additional times. New details that were previously classified were released on Friday included names of FBI individuals the Court has demanded information regarding their activities in this matter. For all the details click on the following link: https://thehill.com/policy/national-security/475547-fisa-court-broadening-investigation-into-fbi-warrant-applications
  • We have known for some time that it probably was coming, but we didn’t know when. Apparently tech giant Apple now wants to bypass cell providers and via satellite beam directly to users of iPhones. Financial giant Bloomberg broke the story that Apple hopes to have satellites in orbit within five years to handle the project. The plan that will allow direct access to not only iPhones but other Apple devices has put big cell providers in a panic. For more details click on the following link: https://www.fastcompany.com/90446468/apple-wants-to-bypass-carriers-and-beam-internet-data-directly-to-iphones-via-satellites
  • Main Stream Media seems to concentrate on religious violence in the U.S. and around the world for violence against Muslims. Seldom do they cover religious violence against Christians. Many American Christians were horrified when after Saddam Hussein was removed from power in Iraq, Islamic extremists began a massive purge of Iraqi Christians, Christian churches and religious artifacts dating back thousands of years. In Africa, extremist religious factions have slaughtered thousands of Christians, seldom covered in the news. Nigerian Christians are prime targets for these thugs. Boko Haram is known as one of the most brutal sects in the raiding faction. But Nigeria is now heavily populated by groups even more heinous than is Boko Haram. For complete details click on the following link: https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-new-war-against-africas-christians-11576880200
  • One thing Donald Trump as Candidate Trump promised Americans was if elected, he would aggressively begin ridding the nation of brutal gangs from foreign countries who brutally attacked and killed innocent Americans as part of those gangs’ illegal drug operations and sex trafficking. The vilest of those gangs was (and still is) MS-13. Oddly enough, Long Island, New York, was the epicenter of east coast MS-13 operations. Though very little has appeared in the news, President Trump’s Department of Justice, FBI, and Customs and Immigration have virtually eradicated MS-13’s presence in that area. But it’s taken two years. For all the details click on the following link: https://www.wsj.com/articles/nearly-100-arrested-in-long-island-probe-of-ms-13-street-gang-11576881721
  • Nearly two decades ago, the first story appeared recounting abuse by Catholic priests in the U.S. Over the last twenty years or so, the Catholic Church has been inundated with tens of thousands of claims of sexual abuse that the Vatican is struggling to keep up within their investigations. The Vatican finds itself still struggling to reckon with the problem of predator priests — a scourge that first erupted publicly in Ireland and Australia in the 1990s, the U.S. in 2002, parts of Europe beginning in 2010 and Latin America last year. For all the details click on the following link: https://apnews.com/6e99b1ddf64d5fd7ff85fe065d699e7b
  • In the holiday season, abuse of consumers and identity theft along with all types of personal data online skyrockets. Now it has just been revealed that Facebook users have been targeted and more than 1/4 Billion users’ personal information has been hacked and is on the open internet. Unfortunately, most of those affected are in the U.S. For all the details click on the following link: https://apnews.com/bdf02dbe7bf266b025b6f1b0ae5860fd
  • Former CIA Director and Trump hater John Brennan is reported by the New York Times to be in the crosshairs of Federal Attorney John Durham who is conducting a criminal investigation of wrongdoing all the way back to the inception of the FBI probe of Donald Trump before he had even formally announced his candidacy for President. In addition to Brennan’s communications, Durham wants to find out the exact details of his role in the infamous Steel dossier and how that opposition research document that was funded by the Clinton Campaign and the DNC came to be and what Brennan’s and the FBI’s role in its development and getting it into the hands of the Media. For all the details click on the following link: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/19/us/politics/durham-john-brennan-cia.html.
  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s refusal to send the articles of impeachment to the Senate may be putting the Trump impeachment in question. Several Constitutional experts have weighed in on the matter. One legal scholar who testified before the Schiff House Intelligence Committee said if the House does NOT do so, it will cancel the impeachment. Other scholars agree. Noah Feldman and Jonathan Turley who both testified before that committee confirmed their thoughts that not doing so should void the impeachment articles. For all the details click on the following link: https://www.bostonherald.com/2019/12/19/house-speaker-nancy-pelosis-impeachment-delay-is-questionable-constitutional-experts-say/

Summary

Washington D.C. has been busy — unfortunately not taking care of the Peoples’ business other than Trump impeachment. The House did pass the USMCA trade deal and the funding plan to keep the government open for business. But there are dozens and dozens of other serious issues that have been ignored and replaced with Impeachment. Americans are sick of it. And the opinions of Americans that have polling numbers in the single digits have fallen more during the impeachment noise.

No one knows for sure how all this is playing in the thoughts of the American public regarding the 2020 election. It’s not only the presidency of Donald Trump. Every member of the House of Representatives faces an election every two years. It is said that “to live by the polls means to die by the polls.” Polls being what they are, Americans that have been polled are steadily lining up against impeachment. And Donald Trump’s favorability number has risen six points since the impeachment nonsense began — now even more than that of former President Barack Obama at this point in his first term.

What will happen with Congress? What will happen with impeachment? What about the apparently rampant sexual impropriety by Catholic priests for decades? There are no absolutes to use in response to those questions. The appropriate answers to these questions are unclear. But conventional wisdom says the Americans disgust for either party driving a duly elected president from office as Democrats are set to do. It appears that voters are sick enough to the idea that Trump’s core will be joined by a significant number of former Trump supporters — enough to move Trump into an overcomeable vote tally for 2020.

But you never know: this is America, the United States. We each have a free will. We each have a street address, telephone, and our private families. Political bias and political partisan each can create major kinks in the armor of the Pastor of the House. Anything can happen.

We should have the Senate trial information before Christmas. But don’t forget, politics in Washington do not fit into small, conservative political briefcases. Washington politics don’t really fit well in “the back of the bus.”

Through the holidays, keep your eyes and ears open. There will be many bullets floating around. Don’t get hit. But be cautious!

Be listening to our daily podcasts for details about the big plan coming up next month. You might want to grab a group of soaking steaks.

Democrat “Suicide”

Many on the Right feel like the Pelosi House of Representatives by voting to impeach President Trump are committing political suicide. But they need to stop and consider a few things. First, Nancy Pelosi is a savvy politician. In her storied career, she has learned to carefully calculate every move she makes using all the tools available to her to guarantee political victory each time. As House Speaker, Pelosi has never lost a vote.

I know: she put another “x” in the win column with the House voting Articles of Impeachment. That prevents any blemish on her perfect House voting record. But Conservatives look ahead to 2020 and feel like the House impeachment is certain if not to return House majority status to Republicans, certainly make the Democrat majority a much slimmer one. And in either scenario, many first-year Democrat legislators probably made the most critical vote in their political careers with their vote to impeach the President. Why do we say that? Most of them are likely to find themselves as “one-term Representatives” come November 2020. Conservative and Independent voter rage in a large number of Congressional districts is rising daily. It’s doubtful that anger will subside by November 3, 2020.

Why would Rep. Pelosi (D-CA), Adam Schiff (D-CA), and Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) not just lead the House to the impeachment trough, but rush the House to it? Conventional wisdom is that impeachment stands no chance to succeed in a Senate trial, which will assure Donald Trump serves the balance of his first term in office? Mr. Trump certainly now has an advantage.

As smart as is Pelosi, it appears her letting impeachment happen on her watch is suicide. What could she be thinking? Let’s together try to filter through the anger, hatred, and constant uproar of impeachment to determine if Pelosi has a specific longterm objective for not only pushing Trump impeachment but forcing the process from inception to the actual House impeachment vote in the House in just 90-days. Remember: the Clinton impeachment process lasted five years. This House of Representatives voted for two articles of impeachment after only three months!

Pelosi and Company must have some plan. Let’s think this through.

I. The “Benghazi Effect”

Columnist Denis Bedoya offered up an excellent possibility to answer our question, “What next?”

When the Benghazi investigation came to a close in 2014, the House Intelligence Committee found “no deliberate wrongdoing” by the Obama administration. This was viewed as a massive failure for the GOP and a huge win for the Democrats — Hillary Clinton, in particular, who everyone knew would be the next DNC candidate for president.  The Republican majority then set up a special Select Committee to continue the probe.

Rep. Kevin McCarthy, at the time the Republican majority leader in the House, was candid in a 2015 interview about why the GOP fought so hard to investigate Clinton’s involvement in the Benghazi disaster.

“Everybody thought Hillary Clinton was unbeatable, right? But we put together a Benghazi special committee, a select committee. What are her numbers today? Her numbers are dropping. Why? Because she’s untrustable. But no one would have known any of that had happened, had we not fought,” he said.

McCarthy and his fellow Republicans knew the likelihood of any conviction coming down on any Obama officials was next to none. That wasn’t the point. The point of the Benghazi investigations was creating a “strategy to fight and win” – in the long term, not the short term.

Convicting Clinton was never the goal; the goal was to kick the Democrat Party out of the White House. People mocked McCarthy and the GOP establishment after the Benghazi hearings and again when he admitted the real reason behind those investigations. But they stopped mocking him after Donald Trump assumed office almost four years ago.

Think about it: Democrats certainly realize this U.S. Senate will not vote to remove President Trump from office. Democrats will NOT stop trying to remove Donald Trump. Yes, they hope all the noise of impeachment will discredit Mr. Trump in the eyes of enough of his supporters to move the needle to “Democrat” in the 2020 election. Benghazi helped the GOP keep Hillary from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. If it doesn’t work to keep “The Donald” as President for four more years, they plan on their continual onslaught of venomous hatred for the President to blackball any Republican in 2024.

II. Impeach Every Opponent

Did you know that with the exception of Dwight Eisenhower (because he was a war hero), Democrats have tried to impeach every “elected” Republican President since World War II! I use the word “elected” because Gerald Ford was not elected. He became President when Richard Nixon resigned. But even Nixon was attacked with impeachment. Let’s take a look:

Richard Nixon

On May 9, 1972, Congressman William Fitts Ryan submitted a resolution to impeach President Nixon. The next day, John Conyers introduced a similar resolution, and both were referred to the Judiciary Committee.

Ronald Reagan

In March 1987, halfway through Reagan’s second term, Rep. Henry Gonzales, D-Texas, introduced articles of impeachment based on the Iran-Contra scandal. The effort failed.

George H. W. Bush

On January 16, 1991, Congressman Henry B. Gonzalez introduced articles of impeachment against President George H. W. Bush for starting the Gulf War. The resolution was referred to the Judiciary Committee, where it died. Not to be deterred Gonzalez tried again in February 1992. He then referred both bills to the Subcommittee on Economic and Commerce. Still, both resolutions died. Importantly, in 1992, Democrats controlled the Senate (57 to 42) and the House (258 to 176) yet could not get an impeachment vote that only required a majority in the House.

George W. Bush

Donald Trump

On May 17, 2017, Representative Al Green called for the impeachment of President Trump on the House floor. A few months subsequently (and less than a half-year into his presidency). Representative Green was joined by Representative Brad Sherman to introduce a resolution that contained an article of impeachment.

Shortly afterward, Representative Steve Cohen joined five other Democrats to introduce five articles of impeachment that included “obstruction of justice,” “violation of the foreign emoluments clause,” “violation of the domestic emoluments clause,” “undermining the independence of the federal judiciary,” and “undermining the freedom of the press.

The impeachment (or attempted impeachment) of duly elected Republican presidents seems to be a plank in the Democrat Party Platform. And it seems to be a considered and purposely implemented plank in the foundation of political options for them.

III. Hiding

This as a possibility for the Trump impeachment is the scariest to me. Remember the example we have used here multiple times regarding “left-hand/right-hand?” Let me refresh your memory.

A good “trickster” (or magician) often uses the art of sleight of hand. They prepare their audience to believe that something is about to happen in their right hand. The audience focuses on that right hand, wanting to catch the trickster in the act. But what the audience members seldom realize is that the magician is manufacturing the trick with his left hand. The audience is unaware of the real method because their full attention is on his right hand. His trick works.

Could Pelosi and Company be the perpetrators of the same sleight of hand? For that to be true, the action they show their audience today is occurring in their right hand: Impeachment. Their promotion, advertising, press conferences, news stories, and political ads all point to the horrors of what is happening in their right hand. At the same time, however, the things they wish to keep from their audience are quietly being put in place and operating in their left hand.

In President Trump’s case, this would mean that all the noise that has so effectively distracted Americans is what is fueling Democrats’ sleight of hand trick play on their audience: the American people. While that has been in full swing — actually since before his inauguration — Democrats have been hard at work to keep their power and control protection intact through at best unethical, at worst hidden illegal acts.

What could those “hidden things” be — those things in their left hand?

  • Democrat operatives were caught in the act of tipping the 2016 election scales in favor of Hillary Clinton. They used “operation research” in the Steele dossier as fuel to mount sufficient voter outrage to turn Trump supporters to Clinton. It didn’t work. Behind the scenes (in that “left hand”) DOJ and FBI never-Trumpers worked together to fabricate story after story, media leak after leak, all the while faking news stories from “anonymous” and “confidential” sources passed around from Lame-Stream media outlet to the next one. All this was an attempt to hide a carefully coordinated political coup d’état instituted by top-level intelligence agency officials with strategically planned media leaks of everything from Trump illicit sexual activity to alleged treason, abuse of power, and obstruction of Congress.
  • After the election (and even before the Trump inauguration), anti-Trump supporters orchestrated fake voter demonstrations all over the nation. Some of those demonstrators were paid mercenary political hacks who were literally on the job to ramp up faux voter anger for Clinton’s loss to Trump initiated by the Russian hacking of the election. (Of course, the Trump Campaign coordinated that Russian hacking with Vladimir Putin)
  • The most sinister of all that Democrats hid were the numerous government employees with top security clearances working in classified positions who aggressively together with others of the same ilk to craft a plan to “kick” Donald Trump out of the White House. Texts and emails revealed they even had an insurance plan against Donald Trump’s success.

IV.  Running the Table

This might be the Democrat Party’s swan song. They may just be throwing in the towel. “Wait,” you say. “Democrats might be quitting and just rolling up in a ball on the floor because of Donald Trump?”

I know it may seem odd, but think it through: Pelosi, Schumer, Nadler, and other senior members of Democrat House and Senate leadership have a couple of centuries in U.S. government service collectively, they are tired of the grind. And some are probably ready to “go to the House.” The first thought is that they have amassed their pile of power, have eaten at the King’s table, played their games with the People’s money, passed out billions of dollars to political donors, friends, and relatives, and have grown accustomed to all the luxuries that life affords. They would never quit!

That’s the point: those evils were not implemented and used without significant angst, manipulation, threats, intimidation, and maybe even blackmail to get and maintain all those beautiful things that go along with political power. There’s a price for that.

Imagine this: one northern California native young girl from a prominent political California family gets elected. Her background gave her recognition, credibility with her fellow Californians, and connections. She grew-up with plenty of material things and opportunities given to her. And she liked it. With Nancy as a young Congresswoman and Paul as a commercial real estate developer, the two discovered power — especially Washington political power — opened every door of financial opportunity in the U.S. They rolled the dice. And they hit their number over and over and over again. Today, as a result, they are worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

Why do they need to continue the fight and struggles to maintain their status any longer? They have everything they ever wanted and possibly could achieve. Maybe they want to take it easy.

The same thing applies to all these other Democrat political heavyweights that are leading Congress and have been for decades. It’s time for them to “pass the torch.”

Summary

Some or all of this might seem far-fetched. But it all makes sense. Before Trump supporters begin to take any victory laps, think these things through. Pelosi & Company are who they are, have achieved what they have made, and have left many powerful political opponents in their wakes while controlling the United States Government. Democrats are NOT going to give up; they are NOT going to give in; they are NOT going to quit.

Even if their plan is my number IV plan, it will not be a concession. It will be to take these babies in Congress that just started their political careers, teach those youngsters all of the tricks these Democrats created and perfected over time, and help them implement them in 2020 political America.

Things won’t look the same in Washington: AOC may get sent packing along with several other of her “Squad” counterparts. But a generation of babies is coming of age. Pelosi & Company are prepared to pass the mantle on to them.

Play

FISA: Time to Reform or Time to Go?

Unless you live in a barrel, you have heard in numerous conversations the word “FISA.” “FISA” actually stands for “Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.” FISA legislation regulates the United States Government’s ability to surveil (or “spy”) American citizens who may be communicating with people outside the U.S. Such surveillance is governed by a special court called “FISC,” or “Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.” Why would this ever be necessary?

The United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC, also called the FISA Court) is a U.S. federal court established and authorized under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (FISA) to oversee requests for surveillance warrants against foreign spies inside the United States by federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies. Such requests are made most often by the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

In 2013, a top-secret order issued by the court, which was later leaked to the media from documents culled by Edward Snowden, required a subsidiary of Verizon to provide a daily, on-going feed of all call detail records—including those for domestic calls—to the NSA. The Edward Snowden matter brought the FISA process to light and thrust it into the forefront of intelligence agencies’ process operations. This was the first time average Americans knew anything about this process.

How Does FISA Work?

Each application for one of these surveillance warrants (called a FISA warrant) is given to an individual judge of the court. The court may allow third parties to submit briefs. When the U.S. Attorney General determines that an emergency exists, the Attorney General may authorize the emergency employment of electronic surveillance before obtaining the necessary authorization from the FISC, if the Attorney General or their designee notifies a judge of the court at the time of approval and applies for a warrant as soon as practicable but not more than seven days after approval of such surveillance, as required by 50 U.S.C. § 1805.

If one judge of the court denies an application, the federal government is not allowed to make the same application to a different judge of the court but may appeal to the United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review. Such appeals are rare: the first appeal from the FISC to the Court of Review was occurred in 2002 (In re-Sealed Case No. 02-001), 24 years after the founding of the court.

Also rare is for FISA warrant requests to be turned down. During the 25 years from 1979 to 2004, 18,742 warrants were granted, while only four were rejected. (this is important and will be discussed later) Fewer than 200 requests were modified before being accepted, almost all of them in 2003 and 2004. The four rejected applications were all from 2003, and all four were granted in part after being submitted for reconsideration by the government. Of the applications that had to be modified, few were before the year 2000. During the next eight years, from 2004 to 2012, there were over 15,100 additional warrants granted, and another seven were rejected. Over the entire 33-year period, the FISA court issued 33,942 warrants, with only 12 denials – a rejection rate of 0.03 percent of the total requests. This total does not include the number of warrants that were modified by the FISA court.

FISA Corruption

It’s easy to see how the FISA process could easily be corrupted for partisan and covert purposes. The fact that FISA corruption is so easy to implement has given pause to numerous of those on Capitol Hill, who are both concerned with the obvious actual and attempted electronic intrusions into multiple U.S. companies and even the government itself. The most recent of such alleged FISA abuse occurred during the FBI Trump Campaign investigation. It allegedly began with a FISA warrant submitted to the FISC for authorization to surveil the communications of Carter Page, who was an associate of the Trump Campaign. Uproar ensued about alleged “wiretapping” of then Candidate Donald Trump shortly after a visit to Trump Tower by former NSA head Mike Rodgers. Speculation is that Rodgers, in that meeting, informed Mr. Trump that his campaign headquarters at Trump Tower was electronically surveilled. The next day, the Trump Campaign moved its headquarters to New Jersey.

NOTE: unless and until President releases to the American public the FISA warrant applications filed by the FBI to obtain FISA warrants, we will not know the specifics of the basis for that surveillance. It is expected for those to be released at any time

It is uncanny how partisan are the comments and analyses of the findings of DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz as published in his 500+ page report a few days ago into FISA abuse alleged to have occurred during the Trump Campaign investigation. It depends on whom you speak or listen as to whether the Horowitz findings vilified the FISA process during the FBI investigation or supported it. Shortly after its release, Senator John Kennedy of Louisiana made this request of the President:

“The Inspector General report showed the FBI was willing to do anything in order to spy on Carter Page, including making 17 significant inaccuracies and omissions. The American public deserves to know everything the FBI did,” Kennedy said in a statement. I’m asking President Trump to declassify the entire record so that Attorney General Barr and FBI Director Wray can release it to the American people. If the FBI wants to continue the employment of rogue, politically-motivated agents, then let the public read the entire record.”

As does Senator Kennedy, numerous Americans both inside and outside of Washington feel the structure of the Court gives the government an “open season” on surveillance of Americans — ALL Americans — that apparently have and could going forward be for partisan and political purposes. Remember this: only twelve of 33,942 FISA warrants filed in its history did the FISA Court deny.

Fix FISA or Dump FISA

The House recently voted against an amendment to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) Section 702, proposed by Reps. Justin Amash of Michigan and  Zoe Lofgren of California. FISA Section 702, which was inserted as an addition to the 1978 FISA Act in 2008, was intended to be used solely to monitor communications by foreign nationals outside of the United States.

In recent years, Edward Snowden’s revelations showed that Section 702 provided the government with a legal cover to collect data on communications between millions of U.S. citizens without warrants or probable cause. According to a National Security Agency (NSA) transparency report from April 2019, in 2018, communications by U.S. citizens or residents were queried 9,637 times, over 2,000 more queries than the previous year.

The Amash-Lofgren Amendment would have withheld funding for Section 702 in the budget for the fiscal year 2020. If it had passed, any requests for Section 702 funding by governmental bodies such as the NSA would have had to make an express commitment to not use those funds on the warrantless collection of U.S. citizens’ data.

Forty-seven organizations, including the ACLU, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and FreedomWorks, urged Congress in a June letter to pass the amendment to “significantly advance the privacy rights of people within the United States.” Two Republican representatives, Chip Roy of Texas and Jim Jordan of Ohio, rose to defend the amendment during the ten minutes of debate that was afforded. Despite these endorsements, the change was struck down 252-175, with over 100 members of each party voting against it.

Unfortunately, as ordinary American citizens, we find ourselves in something of a conundrum. It’s hard for us to say, “Yes, we support FISA and want it to continue,” or “No, we think the Government with FISA has too many unchecked opportunities to abuse the FISA system, so we want it abolished.”

Summary

Here’s what a legal writer Mark Wauck stated about whether we should keep or abolish the FISA process:

“It seems to me that since Watergate our politics have been almost totally transformed, with the Left feeling ascendant, despite occasional setbacks. At the same time that the Left has taken over education and most other public institutions, the Intelligence agencies–and of course the FBI in particular–have assumed a huge role in domestic intelligence. It’s true that this is partly the result of the GWOT (“Global War on Terrorism”) and FISA’s application to it, but I believe it was happening anyway.

The current abuses that we’re seeing coming to light attributable to the Obama Administration, are very scary. However, given that the Left feels no constraints about our traditional liberties, is it possible that FISA actually gives them a bit of pause, slows them down a bit just to hide what they’re doing? If they were to have 8 years with no constraints, with the total and enthusiastic cooperation of Big Data companies, what might the result be?

This is what worries me. Would the abolition of what is undoubtedly unconstitutional lead to Big Brother?”

Kentucky Republican Senator Rand Paul — a Libertarian at heart — has long questioned the validity of the FISA system in regards to the Constitutional protection of the rights of Americans. According to the Senator, the process in its purest forms should work correctly. But there is a problem: people with partisan opinions and perspectives of its purposes:

Should we fix the process hoping for good results? Or should we simply ax it to once again rely on a prosecutor presenting evidence to a judge sufficient to justify a surveillance warrant?

There is far too much corruption at the DOJ and FBI that has been exposed in the last few years for me to feel comfortable recommending continuation of the FISA process. Too many people in powerful positions that impact FISA investigations have been shown to be grossly politically biased. Unless and until the Intelligence agencies have demonstrated their commitment to strict adherence to not just the letter of FISA warrant applicant and subsequent warrants, but to the FISA process, I recommend that FISA be ditched and we return to the 250-year-old process to obtain warrants: convince a judge with facts of any case when presenting a sworn warrant application for a surveillance warrant. If facts in evidence justify such a warrant, that judge can issue it.

If there’s “meat on the bone,” justice will be served. And the personal lives of Americans will once again be protected from Big Brother or surveillance abuse who once gains power seldom every relinquishes it.

NEWS BULLETIN!!!!!!

In a rare public order Tuesday, the chief judge of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court [FISC] strongly criticized the FBI over its surveillance-application process, giving the bureau until Jan. 10 to come up with solutions, in the wake of findings from Justice Department Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz.

The order, from the court’s presiding judge Rosemary M. Collyer, came just a week after the release of Horowitz’s withering report about the wiretapping of Carter Page, a former campaign adviser to President Trump.

“The FBI’s handling of the Carter Page applications, as portrayed in the [Office of Inspector General] report, was antithetical to the heightened duty of candor described above,” Collyer wrote in her four-page order. “The frequency with which representations made by FBI personnel turned out to be unsupported or contradicted by information in their possession, and with which they withheld information detrimental to their case, calls into question whether information contained in other FBI applications is reliable.”

“As [FBI Director Christopher Wray] has stated, the inspector general’s report describes conduct by certain FBI employees that is unacceptable and unrepresentative of the FBI as an institution,” the bureau responded in a statement Tuesday night. “The director has ordered more than 40 corrective steps to address the report’s recommendations, including some improvements beyond those recommended by the IG.”

Horowitz said he did not find significant evidence that FBI agents were involved in a political conspiracy to undermine Trump’s candidacy in 2016. However, the report did find numerous errors and inaccuracies used by FBI agents to obtain permission to monitor Page’s phone calls and emails.

While Collyer’s order did not specify exactly what reforms the FBI needed to implement to its policies for obtaining permission to wiretap people under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA, the order did say that the FISA court will weigh in on whether the reforms are deemed sufficient.

“The [FISA court] expects the government to provide complete and accurate information in every filing with the court,” Collyer wrote. “Without it, the [FISA court] cannot properly ensure that the government conducts electronic surveillance for foreign intelligence purposes only when there is a sufficient factual basis.” (FOX News)

Play

McConnell and Graham: Let’s Have a REAL Trial!

Both Senators Mitch McConnell (R-KY), and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) have intimated that their preference is NOT to have a real impeachment trial that includes traditional trial witnesses and evidence presentation complete with cross-examination. Their doing so is to “get on down the road” in legislation. In fact, Senator Graham added this: “When you are about to receive an innocent plea, you don’t want to go through additional trial actions.”

I get all that. But if these two Senators who wield tremendous Senatorial power proceed that way, they will commit severe damage. That damage will be to their party, President Trump, members of his administration, and his family who have all been excoriated for scads of wrongdoing for 3.5 years. There needs to be a public environment that any Americans can witness in which each of the “questionable” players who factored into the establishment and perpetuation of all processes intrinsic to the President Trump investigation will testify about their specific parts — all under oath. Americans deserve to not only get the truth but to confirm that our government and our representatives within our government are held to the same standard of truth as are all others under U.S. law.

Some will point to the fact that impeachment is not a criminal process, but a political process and, therefore, should be exempt from much of an ordinary civil or criminal trial process. Quite the opposite is exact. This trial more than any other cries for 100% transparency and full disclosure of every part of the process that led us to this place. That means questions and answers about every part of the FBI surveillance of the President’s staff and operations, the alleged collusion with Russians by the Trump Campaign, and all details of the four FISA warrants the FBI presented to the FISA court for surveillance warrants. Anything short of that would be a travesty. It would show that government employees and contract workers fly high above everyday Americans and are bound by different standards than are all other Americans.

What’s At Stake

Let’s be honest: Americans have less trust and far more mistrust in Government than at any time since political pollsters have gathered those numbers. Why is that? It happens almost exclusively for the reality or perception — whichever it may be — that those in the U.S. Government operate and live in an alternate American legal reality than do all other Americans. “Equal justice under the law,” as seen in the Hillary Clinton email server debacle, was NOT equal. Can you imagine a reality in which you or I, as a government employee — the Secretary of State — unilaterally decided to conduct all of our email correspondence on a private email server? What would be our consequences for not registering that server with State Department IT experts, and those experts had not tested it and given it security clearance? That meant that all emails sent and received to and from that server for dissemination contained classified information. We would have been guilty of multiple violations of federal law for which each violation was a felony. What would have happened if we decided after receiving subpoenas for all the emails to delete hundreds of thousands of those emails using Bleach-Bit, a computer hard drive scrubbing software program? The answer to all of these questions is simple: we would have been prosecuted to the fullest extent of federal law and would likely be in prison.

One question that seems to never come up in this is precisely what did President Obama know about the investigation into the Trump Campaign? In a Sept. 2, 2016, text from Lisa Page to Peter Strzok about preparing talking points for then-FBI Director James Comey to give to President Obama, Page said it was essential to do so because “POTUS wants to know everything we’re doing.” He knew. But how much and when?

Ironically, so many intelligence operation matters were secretly changed by members of the Intelligence Community under Barack Obama. And there are many. As explained by Yale Law professor Jack Balkin in 2009:

The FISA Amendments Act of 2008, effectively gives the President – now President Obama – the authority to run surveillance programs similar in effect to the warrantless surveillance program [secretly implemented by George Bush in late 2001]. That is because New FISA no longer requires individualized targets in all surveillance programs. Some programs may be ‘vacuum cleaner’ programs that listen to a great many different calls (and read a great many e-mails) without any requirement of a warrant directed at a particular person as long as no U.S. person is directly targeted as the object of the program.

Also, since the spying against Team Trump began as a counterintelligence operation, Obama would have been updated regularly via the President’s Daily Intelligence Brief.

The Durham Investigation

I’m beginning to think that Washington bureaucrats — even some of the Republican Congressional leaders — are using the Durham Investigation (that has been announced to be a criminal one) as a diversion. Though it is underway, its secrecy prevents any outsiders from knowing what is underway. Under Robert Mueller, James Comey, Rod Rosenstein, and others, the cloak of investigative secrecy only applied to average Americans. Those in the FBI and DOJ who wanted the information to spill into the American media pool made sure it became public. And most of the time it was stated that information originated from “unnamed” or “anonymous” sources. Those leaked news stories almost always contained disclaimers like this: “Anonymous sources have stated….” or “Confidential sources on the promise of identity secrecy have stated…” More often than not, we have learned that these “anonymous” and “unnamed confidential sources” were just other media outlets! Here’s how it works:

  • One media source puts out a story that starts with this: “Unnamed sources have just reported that Donald Trump walks naked through the Rose Garden at night.”
  • Media source Two reports: “An anonymous source has confirmed that President Trump has been seen walking naked through the Rose Garden after dark.”
  • Media source Three reports: “Multiple sources have confirmed that President Donald Trump has been recorded multiple times walking naked after dark in the White House Rose Garden.”

Source One made-up the story using “Unnamed sources” as the story’s origination; Source Two uses the account from Source One (which is called “an anonymous source”) verifying the truth of Source One’s sources; Source Three states their confirmation of the story from “Multiple Sources.”

Just as the above story of Donald Trump’s naked walks in the Rose Garden, we can expect for news leaks to begin regarding John Durham’s criminal investigation. And in reporting those leaks, expect stories to be worded in the exact way or similarly as the above examples.

Summary

Americans desperately seek the truth in this investigation. As of today, most Americans feel there’s been some “adjusting” of facts and evidence under the James Comey FBI, the Loretta Lynch Department of Justice, and the Barack Obama Administration regarding the investigation of Donald Trump. Most Americans do not trust that Democrats have been fair in their impeachment inquiry’s operations. For that, many question the validity of what things have been said under oath and subsequently by Representatives Adam Schiff and Jerrold Nadler.

Americans want the truth. Americans want the reality presented to them objectively with evidence — no matter if damaging to Mr. Trump or not — that allows the consideration and development of an accurate picture of what went on, who was involved, and whether or not any laws were broken in the process. Americans additionally want any of those who may be guilty of law-breaking to be held accountable. And that means everyone involved.

I feel strongly that we need to have every person involved to testify under oath before the Senate in open hearings. They should each be asked the hard questions to exact truthful evidence that supports or bashes the Trump impeachment allegations. If Mr. Trump committed impeachable offenses confirmed to be so, he should pay the penalty for doing so. But if he did not, he deserves to be publicly vindicated. That will require a full impeachment trial.

To that end, I on Monday wrote and sent the following letter to Senators Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC), urging them to guarantee the Senate does not hurry to get a “not guilty” verdict on impeachment. Americans want every person who was involved in the FBI Trump investigation, the Mueller investigation, and the subsequent impeachment matters to face Americans under oath.

Here’s what I feel will happen if U.S. Senate leadership decides to hurriedly conduct preliminary discussions and rush to get a vote NOT to convict the President:

  • Americans — and not just Republicans — will be angry that the truth was not publicly detailed. Republicans certainly want vindication for the President and for fellow Republicans for supporting Donald Trump.
  • Democrats want finality in what is alleged in the two articles of impeachment passed by the House. That finality is removal from office of Donald Trump.

In either case, the United States of America needs to put this all to rest based solely on facts. So far, there has been plenty of hearsay, innuendo, and allegations of impeachable offenses. Our nation needs a resolution to happen so that healing can begin. Whether or not that includes removing the President for his commission of Bribery, Treason, High Crimes, and Misdemeanors or closes the door with his exoneration, America needs to move on. Let’s face it: there are many good things initiated during the Trump presidency that have us far down the road of economic recovery we have so badly needed. And the effects of that recovery are being felt by virtually all Americans.

If a new president moves into 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, he or she will face many challenges that are standard parts of the job. But the latest fight will come as a direct result of the rending of the fabric of Equal Justice Under the Law promised to all in our Constitution that has been yanked away by this impeachment.

Either way, it’ll take some time to repair that fabric — and some hard work.

To express my concerns regarding a quick Senate impeachment trial without the comprehensive sworn testimony of those involved, here’s a letter I sent to Senators Mitch McConnell and Lindsey Graham on Monday, December 16, 2019:

The Honorable Senator Mitch McConnell2

Members of the U.S. Senate: Let’s get this resolved through a comprehensive trial!

Play