Gladiatorial Combat, San Francisco Hall of Justice Style??

uuyu54This is one of those situations where you go, “Wait!!! What???

There are accusations of San Francisco Sheriff’s Deputies conducting gladiatorial matches using coerced inmates. These are real fights with real injuries. Not only that, the boys in blue are betting on the outcomes. And no, this isn’t San Francisco, Putumayo, Columbia, this is San Francisco, California, USofA.

Once again, let me state that these are allegations at this point. Having reiterated that, let me bring you up-to-date on what we think we know.

San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi received an email on March 12th from an inmate’s father, informing him of the situation. The inmate, of Hawaiian and Filipino descent, claimed he was being bullied because of his race and was in fear of his life.

The public defender interviewed the inmate, Ricardo Garcia, who stated that the fights were set up by four deputies, led by Scott Neu. The deputies would gamble on the outcome. Garcia claimed he was already in two fights and was being made to engage in an upcoming one next week. The inmate is 5’9″ & 150 pounds, his opponent, Stanley Harris, is 6′ & 350 pounds.

“They took me down to the hallway and told me to fight another inmate, which was Stanley, and told me if I didn’t fight that I would basically get beat up by themselves, by Deputy Neu. And he told me he was going to Mace me and cuff me if I didn’t. And he told me anything goes. Just don’t punch the face, so no one can basically see the marks. But anything goes, other than the face.”

In the first fight, Deputy Neu appeared to have bet on Harris, however, he tapped out when caught in a headlock. Garcia said that after the fight,

“Deputy Neu told Stanley he would be coming on Saturday, the following day, to take him to work out and to basically train him. And he also told everyone that was there that there will be a round two and he does not like to lose money.”

Harris told Adachi, that Neu made him do 200 push-ups in an hour as part of his “training”. As he did the push-ups Neu threatened to anally rape him, telling him “he’ll take my cheeks”!

The public defender’s office hired a private investigator to take a look at the claims. The investigator interviewed other inmates who backed up the claims.

The public defender’s chief attorney. Matt Gonzales, stated,

“These acts cannot occur without the implicit acceptance of otherwise law-abiding deputies. It is impossible for just two or three or even four deputies to commandeer the jail and stage fights without other deputies being aware of it.”

Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi said he was extremely concerned about the situation when Adachi called him about it. He said that he was also concerned about a culture problem in the department. (All the inmate gladiators had various degrees of permanent tan. The four deputies are all white.) Sheriff Mirkarimi said the jail was “barbaric” and should have been shut down years ago.

“The allegations are egregious enough that I forwarded them on (to the special investigations division),”

He invited the US Department of Justice to help in the investigation. (Well, this IS San Francisco, not Ferguson.)

He also agreed that this couldn’t have happened with only the four deputies knowing about it. The four deputies (Evan Staehely, Eugene Jones, Clifford Chiba & Neu) have been re-assigned and two bailiffs who allegedly knew but didn’t report it, will be re-assigned as well.

The Sheriff’s Deputies Union’s attorney had a different take on the situation:

“A deputy may have encouraged one inmate to work out. The deputy may have also allowed two inmates to wrestle in order to settle a dispute about who was stronger. The ‘wrestling’ was essentially little more than horseplay. There was no betting. The inmates were never forced to work out. They were never forced to fight.”

One thing’s for sure, somebody is lying!

Btw, Deputy Neu was the subject of two sexual assault lawsuits in 2006 and 2008. One was with a female inmate. In the second, Neu was accused of forcing two transgender inmates to perform sexual acts on him. Both cases were bought, I mean settled out of court. The lawyer for the female had this to say about Neu,

“It was sick, sick conduct,” Pointer said. “I am surprised he was even still in the position to be with inmates unsupervised.”

As usual, stay tuned. We’ll keep you posted as developments develop.

Rafael & Ted Cruz: Like Father, Like Son?

130825151659-exp-sotu-crowley-rafael-and-ted-cruz-presidency-00002718-horizontal-gallery-645x325There’s an old saw that goes “The fruit doesn’t fall far from the tree.” That seems to be the case with nuts as well. For instance, meet Rafael Cruz. (aka “the tree”) And I’m sure you already know Ted Cruz. (aka “the nut”)

The senior Cruz is a pastor of the “Religious Wrong” variety. To be specific, he’s an advocate for the New Apostolic Reformation branch of Dominion theology. The other branch, Christian Reconstruction, wants to subject the US to Old Testament laws. (Stone the gays, legal slavery, powerless wives, etc.) The NAR is a bit more modest in its fantasy. They just want to take dominion (control) over the “seven mountains of culture“: government, religion, media, family, business, education, and arts and entertainment.

To say the least, Rafael is rather outspoken about certain things and from a large number of indications, it seems that Teddy agrees with him. Therefore it behooves us to examine some of these “pearls of wisdom” to get a better picture of Teddy’s world vision.

Where to start? Where to start? Lets begin at the beginning, with evolution.

“Evolution is one of the strongest tools of Marxism because if they can convince you that you came from a monkey, it’s much easier to convince you that God does not exist.”

(Btw, Teddy boy is on the Senate Subcommittee on Space, Science, and Competitiveness.)

Jumping ahead 5800 years, (He’s a ‘Young Earth Creationist”.) Senor Cruz claims America is a “Christian nation”.

“The president has the gall to tell us that this is not a Christian nation. The United States of American was formed to honor the word of God.”

The “Founding Fathers” had a slightly different take on that. For instance here’s James Madison, “the father of the constitution”,

“During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What have been its fruits? More or less in all places, pride and indolence in the Clergy, ignorance and servility in the laity, in both, superstition, bigotry and persecution”

(Doesn’t sound like a “divinely inspired” founding father to me.)

But that was back then, what’s up these days?

For one thing, he’s found the cause of sexual abuse: atheism!

“If there is no God, then we are ruled by our instincts…When there are no moral absolutes, [this] leads us to sexual immorality, leads us to sexual abuse, leads us to perversion and, of course, no hope.”

But, don’t worry, he knows exactly how to handle that problem, concentrate them in camps.

“It’s a free country,” he said. “If these people need to practice their holy rites of atheism, they can do so, as long as they are in clearly marked encampments far away from the rest of us. Of course, if they step one foot outside the electrified fence we shoot them between the eyes. Two or three times, just to be sure.”

Uncle Adolf used to be very good at doing that sort of thing.

He’s pro-death penalty, because the bible says so.

“Go to Genesis chapter nine and you will find the death penalty clearly stated in Genesis chapter nine … God ordains the death penalty!”

Of course, the bible is also ok with slavery, so maybe it’s not the best guide in all matters.

Both thy bondmen, and thy bondmaids, which thou shalt have, shall be of the heathen that are round about you; of them shall ye buy bondmen and bondmaids. Moreover of the children of the strangers that do sojourn among you, of them shall ye buy, and of their families that are with you, which they begat in your land: and they shall be your possession. Leviticus 25:44-45

Daddy Cruz is not a fan of the environmental movement.

“Let me say this, if there are two entities of the federal government that have done more harm to destroy America, to destroy our economy, it is the EPA and the Endangered Species Act.”

Speaking of which, the government is the cause of the California drought.

“You know in California they are trying to tear down all the dams, to let the rivers flow freely. They created a drought in Southern California to save the little fish. Little minnow.”

(Tearing down dams causes rain to quit falling?)

After all, climate change is all “hocus-pocus”.

“You gotta realize that the whole fiasco of the environment, all this global warming hocus-pocus — which the only thing it’s done is made Al Gore a multi-millionaire.”

He also seems to dislike public schools.

“Praise God for those of you who do homeschool. I can’t emphasize enough: Do what you can to get your kids out of public school. If you can’t afford to put them in a private Christian school, homeschool. Because they’re being poisoned in the public schools. They’re being brainwashed in the public schools, with all this secularism, with all this immorality that is being immersed into them on a daily basis. It is a brainwashing no different than what has happened in the Marxist countries for generations.”

He says the “left” wants to dump the Bill of Rights.

“…right now, we see a tremendous attack on religious freedom. And, as a matter of fact, I think if the left had their way, they would do away with the whole Bill of Rights.”

Like many of his ilk, Rafael has caught on to Marxist Obama. He’s out to destroy God

“We have to unmask this man. This is a man that seeks to destroy all concept of God — and I will tell you what, this is classical Marxist philosophy. Karl Marx very clearly said Marxism requires that we destroy God because government must become God.”

Or maybe it’s because he’s a socialist.

“Socialism requires that government becomes your God. That’s why they have to destroy your concept of God. They have to destroy all your loyalties except loyalty to the government.”

Or just maybe it’s his Muslimness.

“Barack Obama said: If the winds shift, I will side with the Muslims.”

Then again, it could be 18 years exposure to Jeremiah Wright’s Christian “Liberation Theology”.

“And of course, this dilution of the Gospel leads to a dilution of those moral absolutes. And that leads us to a perversion … called liberation theology. And liberation theology is a mixture of leftist, ultra-leftist pseudo-Christianity with Marxism…And of course, is what Jeremiah Wright was preaching for decades, and where our President was brainwashed for 18 years.”

And, as you probably already know, Obama’s after our guns.

“The Obama administration wants to take our rights to keep and bear arms away from us. They are trying to take our God, and our gun. And if they do that, they can impose a dictatorship upon us.”

Oh, and gay marriage is a government conspiracy.

“Socialism requires that government becomes your god. That’s why they have to destroy the concept of God. They have to destroy all loyalties except loyalty to the government. That’s what’s behind homosexual marriage.”

 

And then, there are his heroes:

“I praise God for men like Glen Beck and who are not afraid to speak the truth, who are like modern John the Baptist, crying out in the wilderness.”

Matt Kibbe, for those of you who may not know, is the head of the astro-turf roots group, FreedomWorks. I’m sure you’re already aware of who Glen Beck is.

And that brings us to the end of the list. This is just a small sample of his ravings. After 15 minutes of research, I had found almost 100 examples and quit at that point. I can only handle just so much BS.

In any case, we are probably going to be blessed with some more of his mouth farts now that Teddy boy is running for President.

Stay tuned! (Or click the “mute” button.)

The Word Is Out, ObamaCare Is A Job Creator!

MTI3NTgxNDc2MzIwNjI2Njk4For the last several years, the tea potty Regressives have been crying gloom and doom over the Affordable Care Act. As House Speaker Boehner (aka Sir John of Orange) put it,

“the president’s job-killing health-care law.”

Sorry John, but as in most things, you are WRONG! And, business knows it!

According to Bloomberg, there are more than 90 brand new health-care companies with 6,200 jobs created because of ACA.

As Parker Conrad, CEO of Zenefits, the largest of the start-ups, put it,

“There’s a lot of opportunity for new market entrants. The ground is literally shifting under the feet of the incumbents.”

Bare in mind, that’s 6,200 just in the new start-ups. That doesn’t count the expansion of already existing companies to meet the increased demand now that more people are insured.

The Managing Director of PricewaterhouseCoopers’s Health Research Institute, Ceci Connolly stated,

“In the five years prior to the law you don’t get anywhere close to as many startups in the health-care industry. There really is a stark difference. We thought it was striking how many entrepreneurs said to us, ‘This has sparked innovation and entrepreneurship.’”

Bankrate.com cites the increased need for lawyers. As Craig B. Garner, a lawyer and health care consultant put it,

“The increased demand has two driving factors. First, the ACA is complicated and long (and) few people really want to read it. Second, there is an abundance of incorrect information freely disseminated (about the law).”

(Gee, I wonder who’s been freely disseminating an abundance of incorrect information.)
Of course, as with every silver lining, there’s a cloud in the vicinity. The ACA created a need for more insurance salespersons. (Sorry ’bout that!) As one insurance company put it, Obamacare will create an “explosion” of sales.
Blue Cross & Blue Shield have started  more than a dozen new outreach programs and are even setting up retail stores in some areas.
Of course, along with salespersons, customer service reps will get a boost. The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services stated that up to 9,000 new customer service agents would be needed to assist consumers using the ACA health insurance exchanges.
It also appears to be a boon to IT pros. According to Amanda Bleakney, managing director for health services at The ExecuSearch Group said,
“The ACA mandate for the implementation of electronic medical records has created a strong need for IT professionals, which creates excellent job opportunities.”
According to the doom and gloomers, 2014 employment numbers were going to be a disaster because “ObamaCare”. 2014 was the best year for job creation since the 90’s. Almost 2,900,000 jobs were created. 2015 looks like it’s more of the same.
As for the Regressive complaints? Remember, Republicans (as they were called back then) just as vehemently opposed Social Security and Medicare. And look what a disaster they turned out NOT to be!

 

 

 

 

US Israeli Policy Changing?

4989220140424052549891With the aid of the “racist” and “conspiracy” cards, Netanyahu won re-election this week. But the victory may turn out to be phyoric and Israel may end up with a severe case of buyer’s remorse.

For decades, the US has propped up Israel, funding it, arming it, running interference for it at the U.N., defending it against war crimes investigations. All the time pretending to be an “impartial broker” in the middle eastern diplomatic war. Looks like some of that is about to change.

It’s no secret that this administration doesn’t particularly care for Netanyahu. His policies are a major impediment in the peace process. For Netanyahu, war or the threat of war is great politics. (Sounds like a Republican, doesn’t he.)

It didn’t help the situation when he addressed congress, meddling in the Iranian nuclear negotiations. And while he claimed there was nothing “political” about the trip, as soon as he got home the campaign, spots of him addressing congress hit the aether.

Problem was, while Netanyahu thought it would give him a boost in his campaign, it did the opposite. He and his party started bleeding support.

Time to bring out the Republican play book. First off was the aforementioned racist card:

“Arab voters coming out in droves!”

Needless to say, this went over with Obama like a “stinky twinky” in a Baptist punch bowl. The president tends to frown on efforts to bring bigotry into politics. As one administration official put it,

“Given our own history we have a unique perspective on the idea that minorities’ voting is not something to be condemned or feared,”

At a rally in Tel Aviv, he played the conspiracy card, claiming the world (or at least the “left” side of it) was out to get him to the tune of tens of millions of dollars. He followed that up with a warning on his Facebook page:

“The government of the right is in danger. Leftist activists and the foreign and international media are conspiring to get Tzipi and Buji [Tzipi Livni and Isaac Herzog, the joint leaders of the Zionist Union] elected via illegitimate means, using innuendo and foreign money.”

Then, there was the final straw when Bibi said that there wouldn’t be a Palestinian state while he was in charge.

“I think that anyone who moves to establish a Palestinian state and evacuate territory gives territory away to radical Islamist attacks against Israel.”

Not the thing to say when that’s the main thing you are supposed to be negotiating with the help of the “impartial” US.

As a result of all of this, several administration officials have stated that there is a reassessment of our relationship with Israel. (Don’t worry, we’re not going to abandon them as long as there’s a large Jewish voting block in the US.)

As White House spokesman, Josh Earnest put it,

“Steps that the United States has taken at the United Nations” to protect and ‘stand by Israel‘ had been “predicated on this idea that the two-state solution is the best outcome.  Now our ally has said that they are no longer committed to that solution. That means we need to re-evaluate our position in this matter, and that is what we will do moving forward.”

As to what that reassessment may entail, there are a number of possibilities. The initial one may be a change in our position regarding UN involvement in the process.

For decades, administrations of both parties have argued that the road to success lay through direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. Israel has been dead set against UN involvement in almost any area let alone this.

Speaking of UN involvement, the Palestinians are scheduled to join the International Criminal Court. They plan to use the ICC to hold Israel accountable for various war crimes committed in last summer’s Gaza war. (Not sure if that was Gaza War IV or V or VI, it seems there’s been so many.) The US has been trying to discourage this. That may change.

Back in 2011, the US vetoed a resolution demanding settlement activity cease immediately. If that comes back up, we may forget to bring our veto stamp. In regards to this, a former member of the administration’s Mideast peace team stated,

“If there was a settlement resolution, would the U.S. abstain? I could see that as a possibility.”

Another possibility might be to not veto a Palestinian initiative for a resolution demanding Israel get out of the occupied territories within three years.

To make matters even worse, a large portion of the American Jewish community is split on Netanyahu. Without their support, it becomes easier for the US to make some changes.

I believe there is a distinct possibility, that this time Bibi went a bridge (or three) too far. Whatever the ramifications, I guarantee Netanyahu ain’t gonna like ‘em!

 

Sheriff’s Deputies Punished For Not Meeting Illegal Quotas

newaygo-co-aWelcome to Newaygo County, Michigan. The name, “Newaygo”, either comes from an old Indian chief or it’s a native word for “much water”. (The county has 230 lakes.) It also, it seems, has an illegal quota system when it comes to handing out traffic tickets.

On January 29th, a sheriff’s deputy appeared before the Newaygo County Commission to get permission to accept a grant from the Office of Highway Safety Planning.

The grant would provide money for overtime duty for drunk driving enforcement. During his testimony, the deputy, a lieutenant, stated that he requires his men to meet certain quotas or they don’t get any of the overtime duty that’s paid for by the grant.

“I’m a numbers guy so I know you’re not allowed to do it by federal law and by state law. But I do put stipulations on the numbers I want to see by the end of their shift,”

Michigan law is quite specific on the matter:

“A police officer shall not be required to issue a predetermined or specified number of citations for violations of this act or of local ordinances substantially corresponding to provisions of this act, including parking or standing violations. A police officer’s performance evaluation system shall not require a predetermined or specified number of citations to be issued.”

 

A little thing like a state law didn’t seem to bother the commission in the least. They granted the deputy’s request without a peep about the infraction.

It’s expensive to run a county. All those roads to be maintained. All those services to provide. It’s especially hard when you have a small tax base. Newaygo County, for instance, only has around 48,000 people living there. (And, a bunch of them are kids.) Of course that doesn’t count all the people driving up to the lakes. All that traffic, all those potential traffic fines to help pay the bills.

By law, all Newaygo County Commission meetings are video-taped and wouldn’t you know it, this one ended up on social media.

After being questioned about the tape, the newly elected sheriff, Patrick Hedlund, stated,

“After watching the video I immediately took action and this employee was disciplined internally according to the progressive discipline protocol as outlined in his union contract and department policy.”

(Translation: “A light tap on the wrist using two fingers.”)

Sheriff Hedlund went on to say that he had asked his men about the quotas and nobody knew nuttin!. But don’t worry, the sheriff is being very vigilant in the matter.

“The public should rest assured that if I discover any instance of ‘quotas’ or any other wrong doing, I will immediately forward the matter to an outside agency for criminal investigation.”

(Translation: “Don’t hold your breath!”)

 

Republican Assemblywoman Declares Racism Dead, Calls Colleague ‘Colored Man’

Michele FioreAs yet another example why Dems need to get off their collective butts and vote in non-presidential elections, Regressives now control the Nevada legislature. As with every other Regressive run state, they are doing whatever they can to limit voting to the “right people” by passing voter ID laws to eliminate the non-existent surge in “voter fraud”.

As part of that effort, the Nevada Assembly is holding hearings on the proposed legislation. One of the legislators at the hearing is an old friend of ours, Michele Fiore. You probably remember Ms Fiore as the discoverer of the cause and cure of cancer. (It’s a fungus cured with a washing soda solution.)

Although absolutely none of the witnesses could cite any cases of voter fraud in the state, witness Sharron Angle (Yes, that Sharron Angle!) stated that there was

“…anomalous activity that goes on in Nevada elections that is not easily explained.”

When asked for examples, Ms Angle stated,

“I do not have any examples that I know of.”

At one point in the hearings, Lonnie Feemster, from the NAACP’s Reno-Sparks branch, stated that while the intent of the bills might not be to disenfranchise black voters, that was what was going to happen.

WELLLL!! That was just too much for our Ms Fiore!

“We’re in 2015 and we have a black president, in case anyone didn’t notice,”

As further proof that racism is dead in America, she pointed to a colleague, Harvey Munford and said he was the first “colored man to graduate from his college.”

“At what point do we stop dividing by design? And at what point do we stop using the race card?”

Mr. Feemster replied,

“We will stop when discrimination stops.”

All I can say in Ms Fiore’s defense is that at least she didn’t use the “n” word. So I guess, in her mind at least, racism is dead in “Murica”. The (not-so) Supremes even agreed with her when they invalidated key parts of the Voting Rights Act.

Anyway, the hearings are still going on and the bill is yet to pass. Despite no evidence of any problems, it will pass. With Regressive majorities in both houses and a Regressive governor, it will pass. (I think Regressives take their cues from Big Pharma. They invent a “problem” and then they sell you a “solution”.)

In my own (not-so) humble opinion, voter ID laws are a last gasp attempt to hold on to power a bit longer. With their own numbers dwindling, they are trying to whittle down the opposition. That, combined with gerrymandering, works wonders. But only for awhile!

Btw, Oregon just passed a law that EXPANDS the state’s voter rolls by 300,000!

Oregon EXPANDS Voter Registration by 300,000

As many of my readers know, I live in the deep blue state of Oregon. We’ve pioneered or been among the leaders in areas ranging from public ownership of all ocean front, to bottle recycling to the “Death With Dignity” law to vote-by-mail elections. Ok, we were an election cycle behind on pot, but that still ain’t bad.

This week, we scored another first!

While some states have adopted voter rules which make it harder for some to participate in the process, Oregon has just done the opposite! After some acrimonious sessions, (Blues pro, Reds no) the legislature passed a “motor voter bill” (H.B. 2177) that was signed into law Monday (2/16/15).

Under the law, when you apply for a driver’s license, the data you provide will be sent to the Secretary of State’s office. If you meet state voting requirements (Sorry 16 year-olds) you will be “provisionally” registered. A notice will be sent to you, stating that you can opt out of being registered. You will also be given information on how to register with a political party. If you don’t wish to, you will be listed as non-affiliated.

This will be the first voter registration in the country that will be “opt-out” instead of “opt-in”. It’s projected that this will add 300,000 voters to Oregon’s rolls. (There are currently 2.2 million registered Oregon voters.)  And, since Oregon requires proof of citizenship to acquire a license, this will assure that only US citizens benefit.

As evidenced by the party line vote on the bill, it’s perceived as being “Democrat-friendly”. In an almost solid blue state like Oregon (We haven’t elected a Republican to state-wide office in almost two decades.) it’ll probably benefit the minor parties. However, as is the current situation, outcomes will depend on who has the best get-out-the-vote campaign.

Oregon led the country in adopting “vote-by-mail” and we have the highest participation rate in almost every election. Expanding the rolls should lead to even greater participation, and isn’t that what a republic is all about?

Obama’s Mother ‘Must Have Been A Muslim’ According To Billy Graham’s Son

franklin+graham+says+america+turned+its+back+on+GodFranklin Graham, for those of you who may not know, is Billy’s boy all grown up and bigoted as hell. (Multitudinous examples forthcoming.) I had more-or-less forgotten about him until he popped up last week.

Frankie chatted with that personification of Christian love and charity, Tony Perkins. (No, not the one behind the shower curtain. Actually, this Tony is even scarier.) Tony is the head of the Family Research Council, a key pillar of the Religious Wrong.

The conversation got around to Obama (Of course it did!) and what was wrong with him. Franklin had an idea or two.

“His mother must have been a Muslim. We don’t know that, but she married two Muslim men, so there must have been something there. And the framework that the President has growing up, his influences in his life, was that of Islam.”

For the record, Barak’s mother was an agnostic and his father, while born Muslim, was an atheist. But don’t let silly little things like facts get in the way. (Frankly, I’m quite surprised that the wing-nuts haven’t exploited the “atheist” angle.)

One thing before I move on. You may have noticed that he didn’t actually say that Obama’s mother was Muslim, (Cuts down on the legal bills.) but you sure came away with the impression she was.

Anyway, the episode got me thinking of some of the other Franklin mouth farts, so I decided to do a little review.

(2007)

On Katrina:

“There’s been satanic worship. There’s been sexual perversion. God is going to use that storm to bring revival. God has a plan. God has a purpose.”

If that’s true and God, in his avatar as “Ma Nature”, causes hurricanes to punish sins, I find it very interesting that the vast majority of them only affect “red states”.

(2011)

On the Obama-Muslim Brotherhood Conspiracy:

“The Muslim Brotherhood is very strong and active in our country. It’s infiltrated every level of our government. Right now we have many of these people that are advising the US military and State Department on how to respond in the Middle East, and it’s like asking a fox, like a farmer asking a fox, “How do I protect my henhouse from foxes?” We’ve brought in Muslims to tell us how to make policy toward Muslim countries” And many of these people we’ve brought in, I’m afraid, are under the Muslim Brotherhood.

Well, I for one am appalled! Imagine the effrontery of actually taking advice on how to deal with Islamic nations, with their cultural differences, from people who are actually Islamic. We should be advised by real experts like Bush, Cheney, and the other neo-cons. Oh, and once again, he didn’t legally say the advisers were members of the MB, but you got the message.

(2012)

On the Obama-Islam thingy again:

“Islam sees him as a son of Islam because his father was a Muslim, his grandfather was a Muslim, great-grandfather was a Muslim and so under Islamic law, the Muslim world sees Barack Obama as a Muslim. I can’t say categorically [that Obama is not a Muslim] because Islam has gotten a free pass under Obama,”

So, he can’t say Obama isn’t a Muslim, because some Muslims think he is? I’ll get back to you on that one as soon as I can figure out the logic, as if there is any.

On God being PO’d because Obama was re-elected:

“….maybe God will have to bring our nation to our knees – to where that we just have a complete economic collapse to do that.”

That already happened during the Bush administration.

On Sandy Hook:

“Why are we shocked? We shouldn’t be shocked.  This is what happens when a society turns its back on God”

Hmmm, and I thought this is what happens when too many guns get into the wrong hands.

(2013)

On the Supreme Court ruling on DOMA:

“It was God who created and defined marriage, and any person or institution that attempts to redefine it is ultimately challenging Him.”

(2014)

On gays recruiting kids:

“Well, I think you can adopt a child into a marriage, but you can also recruit children into your cause. And so I believe in protecting children from exploitation, all exploitations. So that’s all that is about.”

This is so disgusting, I’m not even gonna snark about it.

(2015)

On that Obama-Islamic Conspiracy again:

“Our governments, especially in Washington, has been infiltrated by Muslims who are advising the White House.”

When asked to name some, he couldn’t!

And, the bleat goes on!

Are 47 Senators Guilty of Treason?

150311_cotton_ap_1160_956x519The Logan Act:
953. Private correspondence with foreign governments.

Any citizen of the United States, wherever he may be, who, without authority of the United States, directly or indirectly commences or carries on any correspondence or intercourse with any foreign government or any officer or agent thereof, with intent to influence the measures or conduct of any foreign government or of any officer or agent thereof, in relation to any disputes or controversies with the United States, or to defeat the measures of the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.

So….did they commit treason? A reasonable reading of the act could lead one to the conclusion that they violated the act. Whether that rises to the level of treason???. Let’s take a look at some facts.

First, there’s this little titbit from the Supreme Court:

“[T]he President alone has the power to speak or listen as a representative of the nation. He makes treaties with the advice and consent of the Senate; but he alone negotiates. Into the field of negotiation the Senate cannot intrude; and Congress itself is powerless to invade it. As Marshall said in his great argument of March 7, 1800, in the House of Representatives, ‘The President is the sole organ of the nation in its external relations, and its sole representative with foreign nations.” United States v. Curtiss-Wright Export Corporation, 299 U.S. 304 (1936)

 

However, as we have learned, when it comes to controversial laws, words don’t always mean what Mr Webster says they mean. (2nd Amendment, anyone?) For instance, the phrase “authority of the United States“. Since senators (and representatives) are US authorities, by one definition, they couldn’t violate the Logan Act. Of course, that hasn’t stopped either Democrats or Republicans from accusing members of the other party of violating it.

In one of those cases In 1975, the State Department stated,

“The clear intent of this provision [Logan Act] is to prohibit unauthorized persons from intervening in disputes between the United States and foreign governments. Nothing in section 953 [Logan Act], however, would appear to restrict members of the Congress from engaging in discussions with foreign officials in pursuance of their legislative duties under the Constitution.”

Ohhh, Ok, well, that exonerates the 47……..well, actually it doesn’t.

You’ll notice the last few words in the last sentence: “in pursuance of their legislative duties under the Constitution” Among their duties, senators are supposed to advise and consent on any treaty. (Technically, they don’t ratify treaties, they consent to the President ratifying them.)

So?????

Those who claim that the senators were acting within their power of “advise and consent” in matters of treaties, ignore one fact. Whatever comes out of these negotiations with Iran will NOT be a treaty, any more than were the Helsinki Accords under President Ford or FDR’s Atlantic Charter.

It will be a non-binding agreement, as were the two examples. Therefore:

  1. It does not require the “advice & consent of the senate”.
  2. Ergo, the senators have no legislative duties to pursue.
  3. Without legislative duties to pursue, they have no standing other than as citizens.
  4. Citizens are not permitted to interfere with negotiations under the Logan Act.

That’s the law as I see it. Then there’s the reality: The only consequence of the senators’ interference will be some nasty campaign commercials next time they run.

The Logan act was written in 1799. Since then, there has only been one indictment back in 1803 and it never even went to trial. Don’t count on that changing any time soon, especially with the 47 senators.

Can you even imagine the social and political upheaval that would cause? So 200,000 signatures on the petition, or 2,000,000 signatures on the petition, it ain’t gonna happen.

In answer to my earlier “treason” question, in my (not-so) humble opinion, they violated the Logan Act, but I hardly think it rises to the level of treason. I don’t think they should be sent to prison, but I do think they should be barred from future public office. But, that ain’t gonna happen either.

The down side, of course, is that every time you let situations like this slide, is that it’s likely be become normal. History is replete with examples, but this isn’t a history post.

Although I will leave you with a historical quote by someone who knew something about the situation.

“The nature of foreign negotiations requires caution, and their success must often depend on secrecy, and even when brought t a conclusion, a full disclosure of all the measures, demands, or eventual concessions which may have been proposed or contemplated would be extremely impolitic, for this might have a pernicious influence on future negotiations or produce immediate inconveniences, perhaps danger and mischief, in relation to other powers.” George Washington

Survey: Gun Sales Up, Gun Ownership Down

Charles-Ommanney-looks-at-the-many-faces-of-gun-owners-in-the-United-States-...More and more guns are ending up in fewer and fewer hands. That’s just one finding of a well respected, independent research organization. Some of the findings will surprise you, some of them won’t.

The National Opinion Research Center (NORC) at the University of Chicago has just released a General Social Survey (GSS) on American gun ownership and attitudes.

Other than demographic info, the survey asked three to five basic questions:

  1. Do you happen to have in your home any guns or revolvers?
  2. IF YES: Is it a pistol, shotgun, rifle, or what?
  3. Do any of these guns personally belong to you?
  4. Do you (or does your [husband/wife]) go hunting?
  5. Would you favor or oppose a law which would require a person to obtain a police permit before he or she could buy a gun?

The survey, entitled Trends in Gun Ownership in the United States, 1872-2014 found that while gun sales are up, the number of gun owners is way down. Back in 1973, almost half (47%, if you wanna be picky) of American households had guns. 41 years later, that had dropped 34%. Now, less than a third (31%) have a gun.

Among the unsurprising findings, the East South Central states (Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi & Tennessee) have the highest rate of ownership at 46.2%. (In 2012, Kentucky, with a population of about 4,400,000, exceeded 2,000,000 background checks. And, that’s just one year.) The Mid-Atlantic states came in with the smallest rate at 19.3%. Also, rural areas had the most at 55.9%. From there, the larger the urban area, the smaller percentage of gun owners. The 12 largest metro areas came in at 14.8%.

The ratio between male and female gun owners is shrinking. Not because more women are buying guns, but because fewer men are buying them. The difference has dropped from 40.2% to 23.4% in the last 34 years. Currently 35.1% for men, 11.7% for women.

Also, among the unsurprising, (although, you’d never get Ted Nugent to admit it) is the sharp decline in hunting. Back in ’77 one or both adults in 31.6% of households hunted. Now, it’s less than half that. (15.4%)

Among the more surprising findings, (at least to me) the higher the household income level, the more likely to have a gun. 18.2% of those with incomes under $25K/year have guns in the home. 44.0% of those with incomes over $90,000 do. (NRA scare tactics do work!)

And, while the NRA and certain police department like to push the “Black man with a gun” cliché, Whites are more than twice as likely to have one handy. (39.0% to 18.1%) Hispanics have a 15% rate.

This new poll tracks well with a Pew Research poll from last year. The Pew poll also provided information about age, ideology and party affiliation. In the age bracket, the older you are the more likely to be a gun owner. 18-29 yo ownership is 26%, 65+ is 40%. And, while this may come as a shock, (if you haven’t been paying attention) you are far more likely to be a gun owner if you are Republican than Democrat or Independent. (49%-22%-37%). The same goes for Conservative, Moderate & Liberal ideology. (41%-36%-23%)

As I stated earlier, the number of gun owners may be dropping, but the number of guns owned is rising. gun-show-cropped-proto-custom_28-600x331While there are no hard figures on sales, (thank you, NRA) comparing NICS background checks, will give a good picture on comparative sales. After Sandy Hook, they took a big jump (about 1/3) over the next couple of years. In the last few they’ve leveled out to about 21 million a year.

Who’s buying the guns? Mostly people in states that were already heavily armed. As I stated earlier, half the people in Kentucky underwent background checks in 2012 alone. In fairness, no other state came close to Kentucky in “gun love”. Mostly Mormon Utah came in second, followed by Montana, West Virginia and Alaska.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge