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Friday, 03 January 2020 18:05

U.S. drone strike, targets Iran. Now, what?

Written by Jon Cazares

We don’t know a lot. Yet. What we do know is that a US drone strike hit Baghdad airport killing Qasem Soleimani (and one of his deputies), a top general and very powerful man in Iran. Additionally, the U.S. will be sending thousands more troops to the Middle East in case of retaliation. The State Department claims that the drone strike happened to prevent an “imminent attack” in the region that would put American lives at risk. 

CNN is quoting Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R, Kentucky) as saying: 

"Soleimani made it his life's work to take the Iranian revolutionary call for death to America and death to Israel and turned them into action. But this terrorist mastermind was not just a threat to the United States and Israel. For more than a decade, he masterminded Iran's malevolent and destabilizing work throughout the entire Middle East,"

And the Democrats seem to agree with Schumer saying that no one will shed a tear over Soleimani’s death. Although top Democrats, especially those on the Intel Commities were not briefed beforehand about the strike which is potentially problematic. 

Okay.  So those seem to be the general facts as everyone is reporting. Since both sides agree this guy was a terrorist mastermind I will take it on faith that his death will save innocent lives. But … now what? Well, the cynical side of me agrees with many folks who have pointed out that President Trump predicted this very event - for Obama. In 2011 and 2012 Trump tweeted that Obama would start a war with Iran in order to win an election. Here they are: 

 

@realDonaldTrump

In order to get elected, @BarackObama will start a war with Iran.

1:48 PM - Nov 29, 2011

 

@realDonaldTrump

Now that Obama’s poll numbers are in tailspin – watch for him to launch a strike in Libya or Iran.  He is desperate.

3:39 PM - Oct 9, 2012

 

@realDonaldTrump

Don't let Obama play the Iran card in order to start a war in order to get elected--be careful Republicans!

10:43 AM - Oct 22, 2012

 

@RiegerReport

Trump on Nov. 16, 2011:

“Our president will start a war with Iran because he has absolutely no ability to negotiate. He's weak and ineffective. So the only way he figures that he's going to get reelected — and as sure as you're sitting there — is to start a war with Iran.”

8:48 PM - Jan 2, 2020

 

So, is this just a Wag the Dog tactic? Is Trump doing what he “predicted” Obama would do? Even though … Obama never did that thing, but whatever. Let’s just ignore that for now. 

War Presidents are popular. It’s true; however, I suspect the truth is … all of the above. This Soleimani guy was clearly a terrorist scumbag and I don’t care that he’s dead. The drone strike also helps Donald Trump in the popularity polls because war sells. So, I think we have a little of column A and a little of column B. 

To be honest, I don’t think this will lead to a full scale war. The U.S. launches drone strikes a lot. Probably more than you realize. Remember that Obama was and still is criticized for the large amount of drone strikes he sent out. Well, it was widely reported that in 2009-2010, President Obama launched 186 drone strikes on Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen. In 2017 and 2018, President Trump launched 238 drone strikes in those regions. Again, Obama was openly criticized for launching too many drone strikes. And Trump has launched much more. So, this is nothing new, especially to the people living in said regions. 

I’m not going to weigh in too heavily with the “but drone strikes create terrorists” argument, even though it's true. But I will say that if Iran was going to start a war with the U.S. because of drone strikes - they probably would have already done it. On the other hand, this was a very popular person in Iran who is publicaly claiming that they will retaliate the U.S.

Let's hope cooler heads prevail. An all out war with Iran would be ... ugly. 

Thursday, 19 December 2019 19:15

President Trump Impeached. So ... now what?

Written by Jon Cazares

As you no doubt have heard by now, President Donald Trump has been impeached by Congress. This is only the third time in the history of the country where a sitting President has been impeached. The first was way back in 1868 when President Andrew Johnson was impeached after the Civil War as the nation struggled with reunification. The second time was President Bill Clinton, who was impeached for lying to Congress about a sexual relationship he had with White House intern Monica Lewinsky. Both Presidents were acquitted as neither received the two-thirds Senate vote to remove them from office. President Nixon resigned before the impeachment moved forward and was fully pardoned by President Ford

And now President Trump has joined the Impeached Club for: 

  1. Abuse of Power: For his effort to withhold aid to Ukraine until they launched an investigated a political rival, former Vice President Joe Biden.
  2. Obstruction of Congress: For his refusal to cooperate with the oversight committee

The vote in Congress went as much as you would expect, along party lines.  The abuse of power article passed 230-197, the Obstruction of Congress article passed 229-198. Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D) voted “Present” in each case, which is neither a “yes” or “no.”

So … now what happens? 

Not much for the time being. President Trump is still the sitting President. Speaker Pelosi will, eventually send the two articles of impeachment to the Senate who will then hear a trial (or maybe they won’t) and vote to remove the President from office. 

But, Pelosi hasn’t quite sent the articles to the Senate floor yet. She’s holding out, some believe, in order to get Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to agree to hold a Senate trial as opposed to simply vote against the articles of impeachment without further investigation or trial, which Republicans have already threatened to do. 

The problem is that key witnesses refused subpoenas to testify before Congress. This … is a bit awkward. By comparison, when the Republican Congress sent out subpoenas to former Clinton advisor Susan McDougal to testify at the Whitewater hearing, she refused. And so Republicans threw her in jail for a year and a half. Today, several White House aides, lawyers, and even the acting chief of staff have ignored their subpoenas to testify before Congress in the Trump impeachment hearing. None of them went to jail. But maybe they should have. In fact, President Trump ordered some of them to ignore the subpoena, which is why Congress also added the Obstruction of Congress impeachment article. I mean, if Congress orders you to testify and you just, you know - refuse to show up, that’s pretty much the exact definition of “Obstruction of Congress.” Hard to argue with. 

Eventually, the articles of impeachment will get to the Senate and President Trump could be, but will probably not be removed from office. Democrats claim he is corrupt and was trying to get a foreign power to interfere in the 2020 election. Republicans say he’s a man of God and was only trying to fight corruption by speaking with Ukraine about the Biden scandal. 

All I know is this, do you know that only one week ago President Trump was fined $2 million dollars for, get this - stealing from Charity! 

*sigh*

If Trump were indeed a “man of God,” who wants to fight corruption at every turn then … um, well, he probably wouldn't be stealing money from charity and using it to pay for things like, a $12,000 autographed football helmet (which he kept), a $20,000 portrait of himself, paying off his legal debt. Trump actually spent more than $250,000 of money he raised for charity - to settle lawsuits involving his for profit business. That doesn’t even count his 2016 veterans fundraiser where he raised millions for vets and just .. you know, kept most of it to spend on his Presidential campaign. Which is what led to the actual New York State lawsuit against him and the $2 million fine he has been ordered to be distributed amongst eight charities Trump’s foundation swindled money from. 

Not only that, the Judge found the foundation to be so corrupt, he ordered the entire Trump Charity Foundation to liquidate, worth about $1.7 million, and also give that money - to the charities Trump swindled money out of. In conclusion, Donald Trump's charity, which raises money for charity, takes the vast majority of that money for personal use and business gain. This is grossly illegal. After the liquidation the Trump Foundation was ordered to pay out (and it quietly did so) approx $400,000 to each of the following charities, listed alphabetically: 

The Army Emergency Relief, the Children’s Aid Society, Citymeals on Wheels, Give an Hour, Martha’s Table, the United Negro College Fund, the United Way of the National Capital Area, and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

Thanksgiving dinner is always a big event at the Knecht home, but it will be delayed this year. Ron will be in the hospital recovering from major back surgery.

When folks have heard about this, they have given the normal and appreciated expressions of concern and support. Ron’s response has been to thank them and say that, really, it’s a great event, a source of joy and real thanksgiving.

For, if anyone had the conditions that require this surgery 100 years ago, it was not then available. So, by this point in life or fairly soon the person would have been in a wheel chair or bed for the rest of his life.

Instead, while it is a major event today, it is something that can be scheduled for minimum time away from the job and when it’s convenient in a person’s life. Soon, Ron expects to be free of pain he has experienced for years, then fully recovered and restored to what he was able to do before the back problems began to seriously crimp his life.

We can all be thankful for the doctors, physical therapists and other medical professionals who do the remarkable things to provide such services and otherwise restore us to good health and function. And, of course, to the incredible people and businesses that developed and commercialized these near miracles.

In the words of the Founding Fathers, we also thank Divine Providence.

But we also see something else that’s essential and for which we are thankful. None of this would be possible without rapid economic growth and the limited government, individual liberty and economic freedom that foster such growth.

What’s the connection between those three factors, rapid economic growth and modern medical wonders?

For almost all human history, people did not have limited government, individual liberty and economic freedom. So, for thousands of years, economic growth was glacially slow. Thus, it could truly be said that one’s lot in life for almost everyone was that of their parents. From this fact, philosophy, religion and people’s approach to life tended to be quite fatalistic. The modern American ideas of opportunity, self determination and Horatio Alger tales was unknown and would have seemed strange, or even heretical, to most people.

But about 350 years ago, Britain began to develop the political and economic institutions, practices and policies that flowered even further in its colonies and became the framework for American government and society, as well as that of Britain. So, in the 19th Century, the US and Britain came to dominate the world economically and otherwise. Other countries followed, and to the extent they adopted those institutions, etc. that economists have identified, they also prospered.

Economic growth means people’s lives are not wholly consumed with providing the basics of food, shelter, warm clothing, etc. Instead, they have time and extra resources remaining after taking care of those needs to devote to other matters.

For example, they can gain education and indulge music and the arts. They can build the big businesses that make cities possible. And they can create institutions that take care of the poor, conduct research and ultimately create the medical, communications, transportation, industrial and other wonders that make modern life so rich.

Thus, today’s poor people enjoy goods and services that would have been unthinkable even for the richest nobles a century ago.

This is how rapid economic growth, fed by limited government, individual liberty and economic freedom produced the remarkable services and goods that will give Ron and millions of others a new lease on life instead of ending their productive times and joy of life. Without the rapid economic growth we have enjoyed the last 200 years, those things would not be possible for people even a millennium from now.

So, we invite you to join us this year in giving thanks for the limited government, individual liberty and economic freedom that produced rapid economic growth and these tangible blessings.

We’ve noted before that rapid growth has disintegrated in the last decade because those three factors have eroded over many decades and especially recently. Let’s work to restore all parts of this equation to yield even greater miracles for our children.

 

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Ron Knecht is a contributing editor to the Penny Press - the conservative weekly "voice of Nevada." You can subscribe at www.pennypressnv.com. This is an edited version of his column which has been reprinted with permission. 

Multiple states have mobilized their #LocktheClock forces to put an end to biannual time changes.  Last year California passed Proposition 7, making Daylight Saving Time year-round and permanent.  Other states who have proposed legislation include the following:

Some states had put forth legislation to be on Atlantic Standard Time, a time zone one hour ahead of Eastern Standard Time that essentially puts them on year-round Daylight Saving Time.  These include Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

Multiple health risks have been cited in scientific literature during the “Spring Forward” and are cited below, including car accidents, heart attacks and workplace injuries.

Dr. Paul Kalekas, an Internal Medicine and Attending Physician at Valley Hospital Medical Center who has practiced in Nevada for years, states, “It’s time this gets done.”

Nevada’s original bill failed to pass in Congress a few years back so he and other physicians are working to resubmit legislation.

Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) has introduced the Sunshine Protection Act to make daylight savings time the new, permanent standard time. States with areas exempt from daylight savings time may choose the standard time for those areas.

However, critics worry that states choosing their own time may disrupt the time zone uniformity.

So how did we end up here in the first place?

History of Daylight Saving Time

This ritual began in ancient civilizations, when daily schedules would be adjusted to the change in daylight. Later Benjamin Franklin wrote an essay for Parisians entitled “An Economical Project for Diminishing the Cost of Light” in 1784 explaining how less candles could be used if people woke up earlier, making  more use of natures early light.

 

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Daliah Wachs is a guest contributor to GCN news, her views and opinions, medical or otherwise, are her own. Doctor Wachs is an MD,  FAAFP and a Board Certified Family Physician.  The Dr. Daliah Show , is nationally syndicated M-F from 11:00 am - 2:00 pm and Saturday from Noon-1:00 pm (all central times) at GCN.

Friday, 30 August 2019 20:48

Hurricane Dorian upgraded to Category 3

Written by Jon Cazares

Hurricane Dorian has been upgraded to a Category 3 and expected to hit the Florida coast on Monday. Upon landfall it will probably pick up enough additional wind force to upgrade to a Category 4. 

Florida is currently under a state of emergency and residents are preparing for the worst. These hurricanes keep coming and they seem to be more destructive and more costly. And why is that? Well, last year my co-worker wrote a strongly worded story titled “Hurricanes should blow climate deniers’ eyes, minds open.”  In it he writes:

“While I wish the best to all those affected by Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma, I also hope climate change deniers affected by the hurricanes realize their denial of climate change contributed to their current situation and will contribute to worse situations in the future.

Mother Earth is doing her best to convince climate denying Americans that global warming is no hoax and that people are responsible for the increasing instances and intensity of weather disasters. She started by flooding the Gulf Coast with category-three hurricane, Harvey, which AccuWeather predicts will cost America more than Hurricane Sandy and Hurricane Katrina combined.”

His story makes compelling arguments and he links to more than a dozen reputable sources and studies.  He wrote that more than one year ago and he was correct in predicting that this year the hurricanes would be much, much worse.

And they are. And now all we can do is rebuild and assist those that are in need. And we’ll probably have to do it again. And again. And again.

If you can, donate to the Red Cross.

This is a developing story and will continue to be updated. 

Weird but awesome news! I am totally onboard with this idea! The petition, which was started by the nonprofit Halloween & Costume Association, has received more than ninety five thousand signatures as of Sunday afternoon (the 28th.) Technically, the petition is addressed to President Trump but since it’s not a federal holiday, the President can’t officially change the date. We the people of the United States could simply decide to change the date and celebrate on the last Saturday of October, but that would require Herculean amounts of communication to retail stores, schools and people all over the country. Which means, while I am one hundred percent onboard with changing the date - it might be easier said then done.

Regardless, it kind of seems like common sense to me. Permanently moving Halloween to a Saturday would mean that it would be easier and probably safer for kids to celebrate. It would certainly be much easier for parents to organize a weekend Halloween celebration instead of taking them out on a school night on Tuesday evening or whenever the 31st happens to fall on that particular year. 

The fine folks over at Autoinsurance.org analyzed 24 years of fatal traffic accidents involving pedestrians and children occurring after 4pm when Halloween falls on a weekend vs a weeknight. Their recent study, which can be found here, clearly finds that weekdays are more dangers for trick or treaters than weekends. Their study supports moving Halloween to the last Saturday in October, too!

But maybe that’s just us! The petition in full reads: 

“It's time for a Safer, Longer, Stress-Free Celebration! Let's move Halloween to the last Saturday of October!

  • 3,800 Halloween-related injuries each year. Talk to your kids about safety before they head out!
  • 82% of parents don’t use high visibility aids on their costume, be sure to incorporate reflective tape, glow sticks, finger lights or light up accessories
  • 63% of children don’t carry a flashlight while they are trick-or-treating. Grab a clip-on light if they don’t want to carry one! Children are more than twice as likely to be hit by a car and killed on Halloween. Discuss safety, pre-plan a route, stay on sidewalks and use crosswalks
  • 65% of parents don’t discuss Halloween safety with their children. Talk with your kids and offer ways to ensure a fun and safe experience
  • 70%of parents don’t accompany their children trick-or-treating. You’re never too old to trick-or-treat! Grab a costume and take advantage of some good ol' fashioned family bonding!
  • 51% Of Millennials say Halloween is their favorite holiday, why cram it into 2 rushed evening weekday hours when it deserves a full day!?!”

“The issue of Illegal immigrants in America or in any other country can easily be resolved - Enforce the Law.”

Within America, it is clear that when it comes to the issue of illegal immigration, the laws are simply not being enforced, which encourages and breeds crime, and at the end of the day, anarchy and the loss of your country (Psalm 9:17).

That’s it.  It’s just that simple. Immigration laws are not being enforced. The Government, on both sides of the un-constitutional aisles (Party affiliations), are not enforcing the immigration laws.  Rather, they are encouraging illegals to then break the laws by entering into America and further endangering the American people.

This is exactly what is happening today, and all of this by design.

The purpose of government is to “restrain men from sin,” which is breaking God’s moral law (1 John 3:4) and “maintaining order,” which in contrast you are seeing criminal politicians alluring illegal immigrants into America on tax-payer dollars (Deuteronomy 28:43).

The second purpose of government is to condemn the wicked, and justify the righteous (Deuteronomy 25:1). Again, you are seeing today’s criminal politicians doing just the opposite by attempting to justify the wicked, transgressors of the law, by browbeating into submission the righteous, those citizens of America who are on the side of the law.

Those that play the fool in allying themselves with the mainstream media’s narrative by browbeating American citizens should first consider that they are advertently handing their country over to them that are firstly breaking the law. They are breeding crime.

Do you know what happens to illegal immigrants in Mexico?

Their law states:

“• Foreigners with fake papers, or who enter the country under false pretenses, may be imprisoned:

– Foreigners with fake immigration papers may be fined or imprisoned. (Article 116)

– Foreigners who sign government documents “with a signature that is false or different from that which he normally uses” are subject to fine and imprisonment. (Article 116)

  • Foreigners who fail to obey the rules will be fined, deported, and/or imprisoned as felons:

– Foreigners who fail to obey a deportation order are to be punished. (Article 117)

– Foreigners who are deported from Mexico and attempt to re-enter the country without authorization can be   – imprisoned for up to 10 years. (Article 118)

– Foreigners who violate the terms of their visa may be sentenced to up to six years in prison (Articles 119, 120 and 121). Foreigners who misrepresent the terms of their visa while in Mexico — such as working without a permit — can also be imprisoned.

  • Under Mexican law, illegal immigration is a felony. The General Law on Population says,

– “A penalty of up to two years in prison and a fine of three hundred to five thousand pesos will be imposed on the foreigner who enters the country illegally.” (Article 123)

– Foreigners with legal immigration problems may be deported from Mexico instead of being imprisoned. (Article 125)

– Foreigners who “attempt against national sovereignty or security” will be deported. (Article 126)

  • Mexicans who help illegal aliens enter the country are themselves considered criminals under the law:

– A Mexican who marries a foreigner with the sole objective of helping the foreigner live in the country is subject to up to five years in prison. (Article 127)”

On the other hand, we had President Dwight Eisenhower and his answer to illegal immigrants that were here in America, which was dubbed “Operation Wetback.”

Operation Wetback, U.S. immigration law enforcement campaign during the summer of 1954 that resulted in the mass deportation of Mexican nationals (1.1 million persons according to the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service [INS], though most estimates put the figure closer to 300,000). Drafted by U.S. Attorney General Herbert Brownell, Jr., and vetted by Pres. Dwight D. Eisenhower, Operation Wetback arose at least partly in response to a portion of the American public that had become angry at the widespread corruption among employers of sharecroppers and growers along the Mexican border and at the Border Patrol’s inability to stem the influx of illegal workers.

In 1954, Attorney General Brownell forwarded the initiative that would eventually become known as Operation Wetback. Its name was derived from wetback, the offensive term for the multitude of Mexican immigrants who traversed the Rio Grande to illegally cross the border between Mexico and the United States. (In 1953 alone, some 886,000 persons were seized by the U.S. federal government for illegally entering the United States from Mexico.) The initiative focused on two primary objectives: (1) stemming the flow of illegal and undocumented Mexican workers into the United States and (2) discouraging the employers who harboured such workers. The plan met with resistance from some legislators as well as from agricultural and farming groups that lobbied Congress. Many legislators objected to one of the initiative’s central tenets—that employers of illegal workers should be punished— because proving the employers’ awareness of the workers’ illegal status would be difficult. Moreover, some lawmakers were hesitant about Brownell’s militaristic approach, which involved carrying out the plan like an invasion. Ultimately, Congress failed to pass legislation authorizing punishment for those who hired illegal workers, but it did allocate increased funding for the Border Patrol.

 

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Bradlee Dean is a guest contributor to GCN news. His views and opinions are his own and do not reflect the views and opinions of the Genesis Communication Network. Bradlee's radio program, The Sons of Libertybroadcasts live M - Sat here at GCN. This is an edited version of an op-ed originally published by Sons of Liberty Media at www.sonsoflibertyradio.com. Reprinted with permission. 

Wednesday, 29 May 2019 16:50

Robert Mueller's full statement on the special investigation

Written by Jon Cazares

Robert Mueller made his first (and probably only) public statement about his special investigation into the Russian interference of the 16’ election. He reiterated that his report does not exonerate President Trump but also, and very clearly says, charging the President with a crime was not an option due to the constitutional restriction against charging an active President.

His full statement:  

Two years ago, the Acting Attorney General asked me to serve as Special Counsel, and he created the Special Counsel's Office.

The appointment order directed the office to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. This included investigating any links or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the Trump campaign.

I have not spoken publicly during our investigation. I am speaking today because our investigation is complete. The Attorney General has made the report on our investigation largely public. And we are formally closing the Special Counsel's Office. As well, I am resigning from the Department of Justice and returning to private life.

I'll make a few remarks about the results of our work. But beyond these few remarks, it is important that the office's written work speak for itself.

Let me begin where the appointment order begins: and that is interference in the 2016 presidential election.

As alleged by the grand jury in an indictment, Russian intelligence officers who were part of the Russian military launched a concerted attack on our political system.

The indictment alleges that they used sophisticated cyber techniques to hack into computers and networks used by the Clinton campaign. They stole private information, and then released that information through fake online identities and through the organization WikiLeaks. The releases were designed and timed to interfere with our election and to damage a presidential candidate.

And at the same time, as the grand jury alleged in a separate indictment, a private Russian entity engaged in a social media operation where Russian citizens posed as Americans in order to interfere in the election.

These indictments contain allegations. And we are not commenting on the guilt or innocence of any specific defendant. Every defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in court.

The indictments allege, and the other activities in our report describe, efforts to interfere in our political system. They needed to be investigated and understood. That is among the reasons why the Department of Justice established our office.

That is also a reason we investigated efforts to obstruct the investigation. The matters we investigated were of paramount importance. It was critical for us to obtain full and accurate information from every person we questioned. When a subject of an investigation obstructs that investigation or lies to investigators, it strikes at the core of the government's effort to find the truth and hold wrongdoers accountable.

Let me say a word about the report. The report has two parts addressing the two main issues we were asked to investigate.

The first volume of the report details numerous efforts emanating from Russia to influence the election. This volume includes a discussion of the Trump campaign's response to this activity, as well as our conclusion that there was insufficient evidence to charge a broader conspiracy.

And in the second volume, the report describes the results and analysis of our obstruction of justice investigation involving the President.

The order appointing me Special Counsel authorized us to investigate actions that could obstruct the investigation. We conducted that investigation and we kept the office of the Acting Attorney General apprised of the progress of our work.

As set forth in our report, after that investigation, if we had confidence that the President clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said that.

We did not, however, make a determination as to whether the President did commit a crime. The introduction to volume two of our report explains that decision.

It explains that under long-standing Department policy, a President cannot be charged with a federal crime while he is in office. That is unconstitutional. Even if the charge is kept under seal and hidden from public view—that too is prohibited.

The Special Counsel's Office is part of the Department of Justice and, by regulation, it was bound by that Department policy. Charging the President with a crime was therefore not an option we could consider.

The Department's written opinion explaining the policy against charging a President makes several important points that further informed our handling of the obstruction investigation. Those points are summarized in our report. And I will describe two of them:

First, the opinion explicitly permits the investigation of a sitting President because it is important to preserve evidence while memories are fresh and documents are available. Among other things, that evidence could be used if there were co-conspirators who could now be charged.

And second, the opinion says that the Constitution requires a process other than the criminal justice system to formally accuse a sitting President of wrongdoing.

And beyond Department policy, we were guided by principles of fairness. It would be unfair to potentially accuse somebody of a crime when there can be no court resolution of an actual charge.

So that was the Justice Department policy and those were the principles under which we operated. From them we concluded that we would not reach a determination -- one way or the other -- about whether the President committed a crime. That is the office's final position and we will not comment on any other conclusions or hypotheticals about the President.

We conducted an independent criminal investigation and reported the results to the Attorney General—as required by Department regulations.

The Attorney General then concluded that it was appropriate to provide our report to Congress and the American people.

At one point in time I requested that certain portions of the report be released. The Attorney General preferred to make the entire report public all at once. We appreciate that the Attorney General made the report largely public. I do not question the Attorney General's good faith in that decision.

I hope and expect this to be the only time that I will speak about this matter. I am making that decision myself—no one has told me whether I can or should testify or speak further about this matter.

There has been discussion about an appearance before Congress. Any testimony from this office would not go beyond our report. It contains our findings and analysis, and the reasons for the decisions we made. We chose those words carefully, and the work speaks for itself.

The report is my testimony. I would not provide information beyond that which is already public in any appearance before Congress.

In addition, access to our underlying work product is being decided in a process that does not involve our office.

So beyond what I have said here today and what is contained in our written work, I do not believe it is appropriate for me to speak further about the investigation or to comment on the actions of the Justice Department or Congress.

It is for that reason that I will not take questions here today.

Before I step away, I want to thank the attorneys, the FBI agents, the analysts, and the professional staff who helped us conduct this investigation in a fair and independent manner. These individuals, who spent nearly two years with the Special Counsel's Office, were of the highest integrity.

I will close by reiterating the central allegation of our indictments—that there were multiple, systematic efforts to interfere in our election.

That allegation deserves the attention of every American.

Thank you.

Friday, 10 May 2019 19:03

Eugenics: Progressivism’s early major cause

Written by

American Progressives today like to talk about their Green New Deal, free higher education for all and slavery reparations.  But recently the eminent economist Dr. Thomas Cargill addressed Reno’s Hayek Group about Progressives’ original cause: eugenics.

Eugenics is a dark and troubling part of US history – one not accurately reflected in standard accounts and teaching today of that history.  The “scientific” racism of eugenics ideology flowered in the second half of the 19th Century through the 1930s.

It classified persons as “fit” or “unfit” based on traits assumed to be hereditary, including race and ethnicity, mental and physical characteristics, and country of origin.  Because “fitness” was assumed to be genetic, it was hereditary and thus immutable: not subject to alteration via environment, nurture or other conditioning methods.

Eugenics gained wide acceptance, even being reflected in decisions of the Supreme Court of The United States.  “Three generations of imbeciles are enough,” said Chief Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes in the case of Buck v. Bell, a 1927 decision upholding a Virginia law that authorized the state to surgically sterilize certain “mental defectives” without their consent.

Eugenics doctrine had a broad reach from justifying slavery to the alleged superiority of Nordic peoples (“Aryans”) to other races.  It was fostered in the US by the mushrooming of the administrative state during the progressive period, and it also provided some ostensible intellectual foundation for that mushrooming.

German Nazism also drew greatly on the developing American eugenics tradition.  As much as anything, the fall of the Third Reich undid eugenics.

After the Civil War, it was used first to justify low military compensation for blacks and then to support barriers to non-Nordic immigration.  Implementation of eugenics was helped by the rise of progressivism’s administrative and interventionist government over-riding the outcomes of free markets.  By 1905, 32 states had sterilization laws fostered by eugenics, and thousands of people were sterilized.

One scholar recently noted, “Eugenics and progressivism were made for each other.”  The doctrine was an excuse for the exercise of extreme coercive collectivism, the fundamental means employed by progressivism.

Minimum wage legislation was also originally related to eugenics, as it proposed to let the market pay low or no wages to the unfit persons (mainly races) so they would over time die off.  Even the famous Yale economist Irving Fischer bought into such dogma.

Perhaps the most (in)famous proponent and activist in favor of eugenics and its abuses of human beings was Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger, who was an outright racist.  Her 1933 article in the journal Birth Control Review was also a strong argument against immigration to America.  And sterilization of the mentally ill was a popular birth control idea from the start.

The notable surprise beyond the flourishing of eugenics in America is that it has been almost completely omitted from modern history and government texts.  Since almost all high school students must take a US history course, this omission has given them a completely false account of very important US history, politics and government.  Eugenics and its disastrous history as a key part of progressivism are at best mentioned in passing, and mostly minimized and treated as not a significant part of our history.

Why?  The writers of the books don’t themselves seem to know much about this central subject.  Some authors are aware, but seem to consider it unimportant; eugenics is viewed by many progressives as the crazy uncle in the family.  Also, eugenics’ relationship to abortion makes it a taboo subject for many advocates of that practice.  And almost all these writers are progressives with a bias in support of the over-reaching administrative state, and discussing eugenics undermines that key advocacy.

What do students lose due to these biases and omissions?  First, balanced and reasonably complete perspective on US history, politics and government and the roles of various factions then and now. Second, a necessary skepticism of the ideology of catastrophe supported allegedly by science.  (See also climate change deniers.)  Third, the perils of small groups, especially of self-selected elitists, controlling social power; this often leads to bad decisions and social disasters.  (See also China’s one-child policy.)  Finally, a profound understanding of the power of even a bad idea.

 

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Ron Knecht is a contributing editor to the Penny Press - the conservative weekly "voice of Nevada." You can subscribe at www.pennypressnv.com. His column has been reprinted in full, with permission. 

 

 

 

 

Saturday, 27 April 2019 20:08

Abuse by Boy Scout leaders more widespread than previously known

Written by Jon Cazares

Earlier this week, news erupted about the Boy Scout’s “Perversion Files.” The Perversion Files (which the Scouts call, “ineligible volunteer files,”) detail as many as 12,000 boys that, while participating in scout programs - were sexually abused by Scout leaders.

Now, portions of the Perversion Files have leaked before, so the general information is nothing new. What has recently come forward is that the number of abused boys and abusers is much, much higher than previously reported.

The way I understand it is that the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) hired someone to do a five year internal investigation and that investigation concluded the number leaders who sexually assaulted boys in the program is not the 3,000 as had been previously reported, but is actually closer to 8000.

Let that sink in for a moment. That’s eight thousand men - volunteer leaders in the BSA, that have been accused of molesting more than 12,000 boys. So the “Ineligible Volunteer Files” is a detailed list of all the men who have “had their registration with the Boy Scouts revoked - because of reasonable allegations of child sex abuse.”

This all came to light when attorney Jeff Anderson released sworn testimony from Janet Warren, a psychiatry professor at the University of Virginia. Warren had been hired by the Boy Scouts to conduct the above mentioned study of the sex abuse files. Warren found that the evidence in the files was actually much worse than what the BSA imagined. She found the number of abused boys and abusers was thousands more than initially thought. Warren also made it clear that she found no evidence of a cover up by the BSA to hide this information and that she will present a more detailed report sometime during the summer.  

Unlike the Catholic church, who just shuffles abusers around to new parishes and/or different cities - at least the Boy Scouts fired the abuser and didn’t allow them to work with youth ever again. I mean, it’s not much, but at least it’s that.

With something like two and a half million children participating in the Boy Scouts, if there are thousands of victims who come forward (and hundreds and hundreds of them are coming forward - some as young as 15, and one as old as 75) - this could be a financial disaster the BSA. As a non profit organization, they would not be able to financially handle thousands of lawsuits and would probably declare bankruptcy, which would shield them from lawsuits but allow them to continue operations.

Michael Surbaugh, the Chief Executive of the Boy Scouts said this at a lengthy press conference:

"I want to reiterate our steadfast support for victims of abuse. We are outraged that there have been times when individuals took advantage of our programs to abuse innocent children …  We care deeply about all victims of child abuse and sincerely apologize to anyone who was harmed during their time in scouting. We believe victims, and we pay for unlimited counseling by a provider of their choice, and we encourage them to come forward. At no time have we ever knowingly allowed a perpetrator to work with youth, and we mandate that all leaders, volunteers and staff members nationwide immediately report any abuse allegations to law enforcement. Throughout our history, we have enacted strong youth protection policies to prevent future abuse, including mandatory youth protection trainings and a formal leader-selection process that includes criminal background checks. Since the 1920's, we have maintained a Volunteer Screening Database to prevent individuals accused of abuse or inappropriate conduct from joining or re-entering our programs, a practice recommended in 2007 by the Centers for Disease Control for all youth-serving organizations."

Okay. Well, I do believe him. I doubt BSA leadership “knowingly allowed” predators to work with youth.  Again, the Perversion Files clearly state that abusers were fired after “reasonable evidence.” Which suggests that the BSA knew about the allegations, believed the victim and fired the alleged abuser. But, and here’s the sticky point - didn’t contact authorities. Which might have been a problem.   

Interestingly enough, I just read that the Boy Scouts filed suit against several of their insurers for “refusing to cover its sex abuse legal liabilities.” But, like insurance companies everywhere, said insurance agents found a way not to pay a cent of coverage for the BSA by claiming, “the Boy Scouts neglected to take meaningful precautionary action.”

Hrmmm. Okay. Maybe. The Boy Scouts claim they have a screening process and a “protection system” in place. Which makes sense. Clearly, their process doesn’t work as well as they thought, but it certainly suggests they are “taking meaningful precautionary action,” so I don’t know what the F those insurance companies are talking about.  I even found a part of their screening process / protection system listed in a CNN story:

  • Youth protection training is mandatory for all registered leaders.
  • … a youth is never alone with an adult leader during scouting activities and that no youth is permitted to sleep in a ten with other adults other than the parent or guardian.
  • ...prohibited one-on-one texts and social media communication between adult and youth members.  

Sounds like meaningful precautionary action to me. Anyway, - the courts will work all that out. Until then, more and more victims continue to come forward.