After everything we’ve seen, politically, since Donald Trump announced his campaign for President in 2015, is it unreasonable to believe, today, everything he has said about the Washington swamp?

 

In a word, no.

 

In fact, believing Trump and disbelieving pencil neck Adam Schiftless and his ilk is as reasonable as believing that baseball season started last week and the Stanley Cup playoffs start this week.

We have created a class of people in Washington, New York and other large Democrat controlled urban areas who simply do not care about what we, the people who actually own America, want. We didn’t intend to create this class of people—call them the Swamp class.

 

It happened because Americans are so in awe of our experiment in self-government, we have, over the last 200 years, forgotten that when you give people access to a vast treasury, many of them seem to want some of it for themselves.  In short, we trusted them but we didn’t verify their intentions.  It’s kind of like trusting that nice man who owns a casino in Las Vegas to play you with even odds.  Not going to happen.  Seriously.  How is it that people who have served in the House or Senate almost their entire professional lives, emerge from public service as multi millionaires?  How indeed, Harry Reid?

 

Ironically, it took a billionaire—who actually made his money in business—from, of all places New York City, to tell the public the truth.

 

We have a lot of great support, far more than you think,” said President Trump.  “But where we really have the support are the voters that pull that handle, or whatever the hell they are pulling, they are pulling it for us.  So, the Russia hoax proves more than ever that we need to finish exactly what we came here to do. Drain the swamp!  The Democrats have to now decide whether they will continue defrauding the public with ridiculous bullshit — partisan investigations, or whether they will apologize to the American people, and join us to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure, bring down the cost of health care.

 

So, when these clowns get caught trying to manipulate the system to their advantage with their panties down around their ankles, why are they amazed that our pitchforks are out for them?

 

Donald Trump may be a little crude, but he’s certainly been effective.

 

Ask any member of the Washington Swamp class.  After they get done sputtering.

 

Their newest scam is to insinuate the Mueller Report is, somehow, flawed.  CBS is trumpeting a report that certain unknown members of Mueller’s team are “unhappy” with Attorney General Bill Barr’s summary of the report.

 

It’s not enough for them to have spent more than $25-million of our money to try and unelect a duly elected President they hate. Now, they need to trash their own work. Or, the Democrats do. (Maybe that’s one and the same.) Think about it. This Attorney General has spent an entire career building a sterling reputation.  He didn’t need this job.  Mueller is exactly the same.

 

Do you seriously think they would endeavor to ruin their reputations by involving themselves in a bizarre conspiracy to protect Donald Trump?

 

Do you seriously think that either of these two would allow their names to be used in some illicit scheme to tilt the results of this investigation? If you do, we have bigger problems than Adam Schiff.

 

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Fred Weinberg is a columnist and the CEO of USA Radio Network. His views and opinions, if expressed, are his own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of GCN. Fred's weekly column can be read all over the internet. You can subscribe here at www.pennypressnv.com. His column has been reprinted in full, with permission. 

Published in Opinion
Wednesday, 10 April 2019 22:15

Who, exactly, is your doctor?

People used to know who their doctor was. His name and phone number were on the wall or the refrigerator next to the telephone. He was there for you and could manage most of your problems.

When I was about 13, my mom took me to our pediatrician for belly pain. He was on his way out the door, but he stopped to take care of me. He diagnosed appendicitis based on history and physical examination. He called his favorite surgeon (“Billy,” a Tucson legend), who came from the golf course to meet me in the emergency room. Within hours, my red-hot appendix was in a jar. My parents paid the hospital bill ($150—10 days’ pay for a construction laborer) as I was discharged a few days later.

Today, the patient with abdominal pain could wait for hours to see the ER provider—possibly a nurse practitioner or physician assistant who had never seen a case of acute appendicitis. She’ll probably get a CT scan, after another wait. Eventually, Dr. On-call may take her to the operating room, hopefully before the appendix ruptures. And the bill will be beyond the means of ordinary people.

I used to be able to direct-admit patients from my office and send them with a set of orders to the hospital admitting office. For years, this has been impossible. The hospital is decidedly unfriendly to independent doctors. There’s now a gatekeeper in the emergency room, and most patients are under the control of a hospitalist.

This hospital, still Catholic at least in name, is now owned by a huge national conglomerate. Recently, it thwarted all efforts to keep it from dehydrating a patient to death despite lack of an advance directive or permission from next of kin. The patient’s mother disputed the diagnosis of brain death. The gastroenterologist of her choice was willing and able to place a feeding tube, needed in order to transfer the patient to a skilled nursing facility, but the hospital would not permit it. An outside physician whom the mother had called on was removed from the patient’s room by security, when she was merely praying with the mother. The mother could not get a phone call returned from an attending physician. Who was the doctor? Apparently, the hospital system.

Recently, a physician called me about her mother, who was seemingly a captive in a world-renowned hospital. She was concerned about her mother’s nutritional status and falling oxygen level. She could not speak to the attending physician. “They play musical doctors.”

Largely driven by government policy, the System is increasingly in control. A new level of intrusion is being proposed in California in a bill (SB 276) that would outlaw all medical exemptions for vaccines, unless a public health officer approves each one, based on the very narrow list of contraindications accepted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Doctors traditionally swore an oath not to harm patients, and are liable if they do. But government officials are immune from liability, even if they overrule a physician’s judgment that a particular patient faces an unacceptable risk of harm from a vaccine.

If you disagree with your private doctor, you can fire him or simply decline to follow his advice. But what if the government is your doctor?

In Arizona, law enforcement officers in tactical gear broke down the door to a home where children were sleeping, entered with guns drawn, and took three little children away from their parents. The stated reason: the mother had decided not to follow a doctor’s advice to take her two-year-old to the emergency room for a fever, because the fever broke and the child got much better soon after leaving the office. The main concern seemed to be that the child was not vaccinated.

Americans need to defend their right to have an independent physician, to choose their physician and type of care, and to give or withhold informed consent to medical treatments. Otherwise, their “doctor” will be a protocol in a system staffed by interchangeable automatons. Treatments will be inaccessible or required, tailored to meet the needs and beliefs of the system.

If the government is the ultimate authority on your “health care,” remember that its tools for checking whether a child has a life-threatening disease such as meningitis include battering rams and assault rifles.

Jane M. Orient, M.D. obtained her undergraduate degrees in chemistry and mathematics from the University of Arizona in Tucson, and her M.D. from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1974. Her views and opinions, if expressed, are her own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of GCN.  Her column can often be found here at www.pennypressnv.com. Her column has been reprinted in full, with permission.

Published in Health
Thursday, 04 April 2019 22:08

Opinion: Lucy Flores, spare us the BS

After a weekend full of Lucy Flores, the time has come to ask why the former gang banger, Nevada Assemblywoman and two time Nevada political loser found it necessary to wait four and a half years and then come after Joe Biden for alleged hair sniffing.  Or alleged back of head kissing. Or alleged shoulder holding.

 

All while Biden, then the Vice President of the United States of America, was lending his support to what would soon become her massive loss in 2014 for Light Gov.

And, did I mention that it was four and a half years before she trotted out Biden’s “crime?”

“I had never experienced anything so blatantly inappropriate and unnerving before,” she (or someone) wrote in New York Magazine.

 

Seriously?

 

You mean the abortion you had when you were gang banging at age 16 was perfectly appropriate?  The fact that your solution to becoming pregnant was to kill the baby?  That was appropriate?

 

Or does it mean you have a very short memory?

 

Let me refresh it from your own website:

 

“By 15 I was on juvenile parole and by 17 I had dropped out of high school.”

 

Now, Lucy.  I’m NOT kicking you when you are down.  In fact, the exit you made from that life is impressive.  It shows that President Trump is on the right path with his criminal justice reform efforts—which, thankfully, your Democrat buddies seem to be supporting.

Also, I’m not here to make Joe an example of who I would like to see as President, since we already have a perfectly good President in Donald Trump.

 

But, he is, at least, the sanest of the Democratic candidates so far and is a decent man who doesn’t deserve the negative publicity you and the lamestream media have whipped up, presumably at the request of one of the other crazed Democrat candidates.  Further, you seem just a tad too concerned with your political relevance which is actually somewhere between that of Jussie Smollett and Hillary Clinton.

 

And as far as this #MeToo crap goes, count me out.

 

As I have said in this space before, my Father took me aside when I was about 13 and told me that I had a Mother and two Sisters and I had better treat women the way I expected others to treat my Mother and two Sisters.  Left unsaid was what would happen if I violated those strictures but it wouldn’t have been pleasant.

 

Somehow, given your gang banging background, if you had been all that offended at the time, Biden might have suffered a groin injury (although the Secret Service might have been upset).  Something tells me you didn’t say a word at the time because you are full of crap.

You appreciated his trip to attempt to bail you out of a horrible campaign back then and you feel like there’s nothing he can do for you today.

 

In short, madam, cut the crap.

 

You don’t deserve any of the time the lamestream media has wasted on you and, if you want to be an example to troubled youth, maybe you should endorse the President’s First Step Act and get on with it.

 

Or you can continue to act like Jussie Smollett and become even more irrelevant than you are now.

 

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Fred Weinberg is a columnist and the CEO of USA Radio Network. His views and opinions, if expressed, are his own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of GCN. Fred's weekly column can be read all over the internet. You can subscribe here at www.pennypressnv.com. His column has been reprinted in full, with permission. 

Published in Opinion

If Jussie Smollett isn’t at least whistling this old blues tune highlighted in the classic movie “The Blues Brothers” he’s even dumber than he looked when he got caught faking a so-called hate crime.  And make no mistake.  He got caught with his panties down around his ankles by the Chicago Police Department.

While we still have never seen this clown on a TV show, we have to admire his lawyers’ understanding of how identity politics works in Chicago.

They managed to get a hopelessly conflicted, elected State’s Attorney to drop all charges against Smollett after he was indicted by a Grand Jury on 16 felony counts.  Her conflict, apparently, was between her patron Saint Michelle Obama and reality.  Imagine if a Federal Grand Jury had indicted the President and the Attorney General decided not to prosecute.

It was completely predictable.  As it happened, I was in Chicago the week Ms. Hopelessly Conflicted Prosecutor was warming up for something like this and now, she’s busy defending her office by suggesting—among other things—that she saved the taxpayers’ money.

The actual assistant State’s Attorney who handled the case said it wasn’t an exoneration and Smollett said he didn’t do it.  The Mayor said he did do it, a Grand Jury said he did and the Police Superintendent said he did.

If Joliet Jake (John Belushi) were still alive, he would have probably been proud of Smollett.  Or, maybe not, because at least Jake did his time.

The only problem with Smollett’s legal tactic was the unanticipated consequences of Federal involvement.  It takes a lot to put President Trump, Rahm Emanuel and the Chicago Police Department on essentially the same page, but Jussie Smollett did it.  Trump has announced that the Federal Government is looking into the case.  This could be the Rodney King case of the 21st Century where we get to explain to students who went to school after the teachers’ union took over, that double jeopardy does not attach in such situations.

This is the way it works in Chicago and has worked from time immemorial. Remember, this is Illinois where being Governor is prep school for prison and the TV show, The Good Wife was either a documentary or a soap opera depending on where you live or grew up.

It’s also hard for someone who grew up in Illinois not to see some parallels to the Blues Brothers.

Mayor Emanuel and the Chicago Police Department have threatened to sue Smollett for the $130,000 they say was expended pulling his panties down after he filed a false police report.  And Emanuel—in an attempt to keep his street cred with the left, told the President to butt out.

Smollett’s lawyers say that he doesn’t owe the city an apology but rather the Mayor and the Police owe HIM an apology for dragging his name through the mud.

Right.

That’s like Al Capone suing Chicago for letting him under-report his income.

The biggest problem with the entire nation seeing a clown show like this one is that not everyone grew up or lives in Illinois so there is a huge group of people out there who don’t understand the Chicago Way and don’t understand that in Chicago, truth is often stranger than fiction.

As we’ve observed before, maybe Law and Order’s Dick Wolf will explain it to the audience writ large with a one or two episode show next season on Chicago PD, ripped from the headlines.  That he didn’t come up with a scenario similar to this up to now is only a reminder that you cannot make this stuff up.

Sweet Home Chicago, indeed.

 

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Fred Weinberg is a columnist and the CEO of USA Radio Network. His views and opinions, if expressed, are his own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of GCN. Fred's weekly column can be read all over the internet. You can subscribe here at www.pennypressnv.com. His column has been reprinted in full, with permission. 

Published in Opinion

Let’s start from the premise that Jerrold Nadler, chair of the House Judiciary Committee is so full of crap that his eyes are brown.

He suffers from a case of political Diarrhea which will ultimately consume him and his cronies who absolutely hate the President and simply cannot help themselves—even in the light of Robert Mueller’s nothingburger which was handed to the Attorney General over the weekend.

That said, we hope he continues along the path he is setting out on—impeachment.  It will guarantee this President another term in office because the American public is simply not as stupid as Nadler and his fellow travelers think we are.

And then, there’s Senate Minority Leader, “Chuckie” Schumer, who thinks he’s way too important to lower himself to Nadler’s level.  In point of fact, he’s much lower—if that’s possible.

Both of these clowns stand before lecterns and calmly, professorially, lie to the public.  They sound a lot like Donald Sutherland’s college professor in the classic movie Animal House.  Why, you’d think they actually a) knew what they were talking about and, b) were telling the truth.

Truth be told, they’re Washington swamp hucksters who only want to make sure they hold on to whatever sliver of power they think they have and they see Donald Trump as the guy who can take them down by telling the American voter the truth.

They have a hard time believing a) that Trump could have been elected in the first place and b) that a good share of the voting public—possibly a majority—likes him and approves of the job he is doing.

And they think that by doing everything possible to undermine Trump they will, somehow, gain the hearts and minds of the voters and vanquish the Trump dragon. You know, kind of like how Lyndon Johnson won the hearts and minds of the Viet Nam’s citizens by bombing them into submission. Not.

The truth is that America is so much smarter than the brain trust of the Democrat party that Democrats are heading for an extraordinary beat down in 2020. Think Ronald Reagan in 1984.

It’s not that we love Donald Trump—although many of us do. It’s that Trump has this bad habit of actually standing up for what he believes and doing what he promises.  The Democrats aren’t scared that what the President proposes won’t work.  They’re scared that it WILL work.  That it IS working.

Yet the Democrats are shameless.  John Podesta—whose emails were almost as embarrassing as Hillary Clinton calling half of America ‘deplorable’—was on CBS screeching that the report was not an exoneration of the President.  Seriously?  The poor dear.  His emails were supposedly hacked.  He didn’t bother to mention that they were all written by his own hand and that he’s so crooked they couldn’t straighten him out with a crucifixion.

Somehow, the party of tolerance and free speech has become the party of Fascist thought.  The party which Jews endorsed has become the party of anti-Israel anti-Semitism. The Democrats are the best reason for Israel’s existence, because they have proven that, put into power, another Holocaust CAN happen again!

It’s as if Firesign Theatre and Monty Python have taken over the Democrat Party. Actually both of those early 70’s groups usually made more sense than the Democrats do these days.

Watching Democrats dance over what they still insist is the President’s political grave is like watching an alternate version of Saturday Night Live.

We’ll see how funny they think it is in November of 2020.

 

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Fred Weinberg is a columnist and the CEO of USA Radio Network. His views and opinions, if expressed, are his own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of GCN. Fred's weekly column can be read all over the internet. You can subcribe here www.pennypressnv.com. His column has been repritined in full, with permission. 

Published in Opinion
Thursday, 21 March 2019 18:01

A Ferriday music legend takes time to heal!

“The Killer” needs to take a break from Rock and Roll. Jerry Lee Lewis had a recent stroke and will spend the coming months in a rehab facility near his home in Nashville. I was looking forward to his April 28th concert at the Jazz and Heritage Festival in New Orleans, and had already lined up my tickets for his show. But that’s been cancelled. So let me look back on a few memories about Jerry Lee.

In 1958, I was at a high school hop in St. Louis when the number one song in the country was performed. I danced with my girlfriend to Jerry Lee’s hit, “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On.” We played the song over and over. My favorite part was when his vocals got quite and in a soft voice he sang.

I play a little music myself, but I have never heard anyone play a boogie woogie piano like he could. He often played standing up and could even play with his feet, after he kicked over his piano bench. Jerry Lee was something else.

Fast forward ten years almost to that day. I’m sitting in my office as a new country lawyer in Ferriday, Louisiana. I had few clients so I was always anxious when the door opened.  One afternoon, in walks “The Killer” himself. I recognized him immediately with that long wavy hair and pointed chin. He didn’t need a lawyer but had a family member that was in a bit of trouble with the local game wardens. I was glad to help and that forged a long relationship with the king of rock and roll.

There were other incidents from time to time, and when a relative or friend appealed to Jerry Lee for help, I would get a call. I never sent him a bill for my services, but I could get front row seats to his concerts. He played at a Baton Rouge club called Floyd Brown’s back in the 80s, and Jerry Lee kept my group entertained backstage for a good while after the show.

You have to admire his resiliency. Jerry Lee has certainly had his highs and lows, but in his worse moments, he’s always had the heart and stubbornest to fight back. His popularity today continues at a high level that most star musical performers envy.

I attended a dinner in New York last year for a relative, and a wealthy hedge fund CEO came to my table and introduced himself. He had heard I was from Ferriday. All he wanted to talk about was Jerry Lee Lewis. “My musical idol,” he told me. “I even have a piano in my office, so to unwind, I play “The Killer’s music.” This guy has billions, travels the world in his own private jet, and to relax, he plays the music of a Ferriday boy who cut his musical teeth hanging out with the likes of Mickey Gilley and Rev. Jimmy Swaggart.

The three cousins all were self-taught and could each play the piano before they reached 10 years old.  They went separate directions and each found success. At one time, Rev. Swaggart (whose family I also represented) had a worldwide following, and his preaching is still watched in numerous countries.  Mickey Gilley, who did several concerts for me in my political days, was named the country singer of the year, and performs now at his own club in Branson, Missouri.

For good reason, Jerry Lee was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  He is just one more of the musical legends that call Louisiana their home. Here’s hoping he makes a full recovery and is back on the concert stage again soon. We all want to hear again about “a whole lotta shakin’ goin’ on.”

 

Peace and Justice

Jim Brown

 

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Jim Brown is a guest contributor to GCN news. His views and opinions, if expressed, are his own. His column appears each week in numerous newspapers throughout the nation and on websites worldwide. You can read all his past columns and see continuing updates at http://www.jimbrownusa.com. You can also hear Jim’s nationally syndicated radio show, Common Sense, each Sunday morning from 9:00 am till 11:00 am Central Time on the Genesis Communication Network.

 

Published in Opinion

Another white supremacist right-wing terrorist commits mass murder. I’m sure you’ve heard all about it. I’m not going to talk much about gun control because you already know where you stand on that issue. I’m not going to even talk about the actual massacre because you’ve probably heard all about it and, honestly, I doubt I have anything new to say. I do want to talk about the fact that I wish I was more shocked. I mean, do you actually remember a time when it would be shocking to hear about any kind of massacre? I certainly do, and I honestly feel like it was decades ago. Now, I just wait for it to happen, knowing it will.  

Remember back in 2011 when a white supremacist right-wing terrorist massacred 79 people in Norway? I hope you do, because I actually forgot all about it. I seriously did. This morning I read Huffpost’s really excellent: Mass Shooters Have Exploited the Internet For Years. New Zealand Took It To A New Level. (No, seriously, it’s great, you should take a few minutes to read it because they accurately point out some of the social problems that lead to mass shootings). Somewhere within the Huffpost story, the writers mention the 2011 attack in Norway that killed seven nine people, and I immediately thought, “Attack on Norway? Jesus, I don’t even remember that one.” I had to look it up. It took me a few moments of reading to recall the details. And then I thought, “Oh, I think there's a Netflix movie about it that just came out a few months ago - maybe I should watch it.” Sadly, my thoughts were not “What a horrible, f**king thing to have happened!” Nope. My thoughts were, “Don’t remember it. Oh, right, now I remember it. I should watch the movie.” =(

I mean, there are plenty of mass shootings I do remember. Without looking anything up: Vegas. The Ariana Grande concert in the UK (I think this was a bomb and not a shooting, or maybe it was both, or maybe I’m mixing up concert attacks). The FL nightclub massacre. Columbine. Virginia Tech. Sandy Hook. The Synagogue attack in … um, I can’t recall which city (and I even wrote about that attack). The attack on the movie theater where viewers were watching Batman, but I don’t remember the name of the theater chain or the city it happened. Multiple attacks on black folks while they’re in church. Multiple attacks in Paris within the last five years. The Kenya school attack. The Australian massacre in Port Arthur and I only remember this one because of the Jim Jefferies stand up routine about the attack and his views on gun control (which, is a pretty good routine). The Amish school shooting in … actually, I don’t remember where. Those are the ones I remember off the top of my head and there are clearly important details that I just can't recall - like the horrible massacre in Norway where 79 people died! Five years from now, after another couple dozen mass shootings have occurred, I wonder which of the above I will have forgotten?

Obviously the point being that mass shootings happen often enough that I no longer even remember some of them. I don’t claim to have a solution; however, I do see a few things in common with modern day massacres.

  • They’re very often by right-wing extremists and/or religious fanatics.
  • They’re overwhelmingly by men. Like, 99.9% of the time the mass shooter is male - a cripplingly insecure male.
  • They are usually white. Not always, but usually. 
  • They often leave behind a "manifesto" where they blame their crippling insecurities on Jews, or people of color, or women, or liberals - or all the above.  
  • They all use semi-automatic guns, and often use modified semi-automatic rifles.  

And there we have our game of Clue: The modern day massacre edition! Pick a mass shooting and ask -  who did it? Oh, I know! I know! Is it ”the crippling insecure white male right-wing extremist, in the city, with a semi-automatic weapon?”  (Well, not 100% of the time but, close enough).

Hey, how about this for a new law - men are banned from owning and operating guns! No, that's illegal. Let's remember the Second Amendment here so, oh, I know! Men can own, like, a flintlock rifle or a blunderbuss, or something as equally inefficient in the modern world - but women are allowed to own Uzi's and 9mm semi-automatic pistols! That would probably cut down on mass shootings. =)

Anyway. We all know mass shootings are not going away. Maybe the next time a cripplingly insecure man decides to shoot up a movie theater - I’ll be there and get killed. Or maybe the next time a cripplingly insecure man decides to “ignite a race war” by walking into a church filled with black folks and gunning them down - you’ll be there and get killed. Or maybe the next time a cripplingly insecure man decides to walk into a nightclub and gun down dancers - your kid will be there and get killed.

But I hope not. I hope someone, somewhere has a solution. And I hope it comes sooner, rather than later. Until then, I will cynically just wait for the next mass shooting to happen. I’ll probably post a bitter story about that one too - "full of sound and fury, signifying nothing." 

Published in Opinion

While the government is busy attempting to disarm the Americans that they work for through their continuous propaganda efforts, they are on the back end in covertly expanding their agencies' arsenals. This should come as no surprise.  These types of actions have been leveled against the American people since September 11, 2001, in which many agencies were created that were sold to the American people as precautionary and security measures, only to find that 18 years later that these same agencies have been found warring and stripping away the rights of Americans that government is to secure (Deuteronomy 29:63).

If this is not a cause of alarm to the American people, then what is?

Mint Press News' Whitney Webb reported in an article titled, “Non-Military Federal Agencies Under Trump Expand Already Enormous Arsenals”:

The massive purchases of ammo and weapons by non-military federal agencies, like the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and Social Security Administration (SSA), that first began under the Obama administration has continued unabated under the Trump administration, while receiving less media coverage.

According to a report released last December by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) and recently highlighted by Forbes, the mass purchase of ammunition, weapons and other military-grade items by ostensibly civilian government agencies has continued up through Fiscal Year (FY) 2017, the latest year for which data is available. The report also found that many agencies had misreported the amount and size of their ammo and weapons purchases to the GAO by a significant degree. In one case, the GAO found that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) had actually spent eight times more on weapons and ammo than it had disclosed to their office.

The budgets that had been proposed for FY 2017 — which ended on September 30, 2017 — had originally been drafted under the Obama administration but were amended by the Trump administration and the then-Republican-led Congress beginning in late January 2017 following President Donald Trump’s inauguration. The Trump administration chose to leave the massive purchases of ammo and weapons by non-military agencies as they were, despite the controversy they had caused among many Trump supporters and other groups when such purchases were made under the Obama administration.

Among the agencies that acquired ammunition, weapons and related equipment in FY 2017 were:

  • The IRS spent $600,000 on ammunition but refused to disclose to the GAO its intended purpose and told the GAO that it could not provide data on firearms purchases. The IRS has stated in the past that such purchases are used in “investigating potential criminal violations of the Internal Revenue Code.” Its current inventory is estimated to include 4,461 firearms, including submachine guns, and over 5 million rounds of ammunition.
  • The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) of the Department of Veterans Affairs purchased around 600 firearms and nearly 20,000 rounds of ammunition, along with riot gear and camouflage uniforms. The VHA has claimed that these purchases are for “enforcing federal law at VA medical facilities (and some National Cemetery and Benefits locations).”
  • The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) of the Social Security Administration (SSA) purchased around 300 firearms and 250,000 rounds of ammunition. The SSA’s OIG has stated that it uses these items for investigations into “wrongdoing by applicants, beneficiaries, contractors and third parties, and employees.
  • The National Park Service (NPS) of the U.S. Department of the Interior purchased nearly 2 million rounds, approximately 1,500 firearms, silencers, riot shields and batons, camouflage uniforms and “pyrotechnics and specialized munitions.” The stated purpose of these items is to protect “the safety and health of NPS visitors, partners, and staff, as well as our natural and cultural resources.”
  • Though those numbers certainly seem large — maybe even astoundingly so — on their own, they are part of a years-long effort that began during the Obama administration that has seen many non-military federal agencies arm themselves to the teeth.
  • As the recently released GAO report notes, from FY 2010 to FY 2017, non-military federal agencies spent $1.5 billion on ammunition, weapons and military grade tactical gear. As an example, during that time frame, the VA bought 11 million rounds of ammunition, roughly equivalent to 2,800 rounds for each of its 3,957 officers. Similarly, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has purchased 4 million rounds over the past eight years and acquired 1 million rounds for use by its 461 special agents. The HHS has called its arms purchases “imperative.” In addition, the SSA bought 800,000 rounds for their 270 special agents during this period, amounting to nearly 3,000 rounds per agent. Even the U.S. Postal Service acquired significant amounts of weapons and ammunition.

...

These purchases in the past have been the subject of some controversy, such as the mass purchases of hollow-point rounds by government agencies including the Forest Service, National Park Service, Office of Inspector General, Bureau of Fiscal Service, the Drug Enforcement Administration, U.S. Marshals, and the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Hollow-point bullets are illegal under the Geneva Convention but government agencies spent at least $426,268 in just two years (FY 2015 and FY 2016) to acquire them.

Ammunition purchases by the Department of Homeland Security in 2013 were also controversial and were subsequently investigated by the GAO. DHS had claimed that is was buying over a billion rounds of ammunition, including hollow-point rounds, in order to “save money.” However, this has long been in doubt, given that hollow-point rounds are significantly more expensive than other rounds that do not expand upon impact.

At the time, Forbes noted that the massive ammo purchases by DHS could be used to sustain a “hot war” for more than twenty years, given that during the height of the Iraq War the Army used around 6 million rounds per month. With its planned purchase of 1.6 billion rounds, DHS would have ammo left over after matching the Army’s peak daily outpouring of hot lead for two solid decades.

Though the initial mass purchases of ammo and weapons by U.S. federal agencies received considerable media attention and provided fodder for numerous conspiracy theories, the fact that those purchases have continued under Trump has received surprisingly less attention. This may be because past concerns over such purchases during the Obama era were often raised along partisan lines, with conservatives being the most vocal critics. This may seem odd given the gun control stances of Obama and his supporters. Many of those who had criticized the Obama administration for these shocking purchases, a large number of whom are now Trump supporters, may perhaps be uninclined to levy similar criticism against a president they now support.

In addition, it is not surprising that the Trump administration would allow these purchases to continue given that such purchases greatly benefit American arms manufacturers, with whom the president has cultivated a close relationship while making arms sales to allies the cornerstone of his foreign policy. Thus, it would make sense that Trump would be willing to support U.S. government purchases of those same arms, by both the military — as evidenced by the Pentagon’s still-ballooning budget — and non-military agencies.

There is no denying that these purchases represent a significant amount of government waste. More importantly, these purchases reveal the gradual yet continual effort to militarize federal agencies that have historically been administrative, a trend that should concern all Americans.

While the militarization of domestic police forces has attracted attention, it is equally important to ask why regulatory agencies are now so heavily armed, considering that virtually all of those pursued by these regulatory agencies are American citizens who are wanted for minor infractions or non-violent crimes.

One might ask themselves, what has been the history of the state when it comes to this sort of activity? Consider that it is this government, outside of their delegated authority, that just passed a bill calling for the murder of the innocent up to birth (Proverbs 6:17).

Yet, there are still many Americans that stand back and play the fool to their own demise as to what this is all really about.

 

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 op-ed was originally published by Sons of Liberty Media at www.sonsoflibertyradio.com. Reprinted with permission. 

 

Published in Opinion

The word has spread all over the internet, and all over the news that as many as 50 people conspired in a scheme to help their kids cheat on SAT/ACT tests and / or get their kid admitted to a privileged school on an athletic scholarship - even if the child had never played the sport.

Okay. Well, that’s clearly fraud. You can’t pay someone to take tests for your kid and you can’t get admitted on scholarship for a sport you’ve never played. That’s a crime. And let’s not forget the general idea that the moment you pay for the privilege of placing your child in a college that he/she probably didn’t deserve to be at - you’ve actually significantly harmed someone else who deserved that place but was rejected due to your fraud.

And there are some high profile people involved in this including actress Felicity Huffman (of Desperate Housewives fame) and actress Lori Loughlin (of Full House fame) both who paid huge sums of money to cheat their kids into college. Now, I know parents will do anything for their kids so, to be honest - I’m certainly not surprised to hear that rich parents will, you know - pay large sums of money to give their children even more privilege and more advantages than they already had. This is not a big shock to me.

And this is nothing new, right? I mean, all you have to do is apply common sense and reason to the George W. Bush Yale/Harvard question. How did Bush Jr. get into either ivy league school with his C average in high school, his decent (but certainly not great) SAT score and his zero college sports scholarships? You or I would NOT be able to get into Yale or Harvard with a C average and a decent SAT score. So how did Bush Jr. get in? Well, we all know that answer to that - because his family is well know and rich, rich, rich.

Obviously both schools accepted Bush Jr.., probably for the prestige of the Bush name but maybe, like in these recent cases - out of fraud. It’s very possible the Bush family just shelled out huge sums of cash to both schools until the universities in question said, “Sure, we’ll take your C student son!”

Well, that’s pretty much what this new scandal is all about. And we’re talking all sorts of universities are involved in this - Georgetown, Stanford, Yale, Wake Forest, UCLA, USC, Harvard, to name a few. And officials are claiming this might be just the tip of the iceberg.

So, how did this all happen?

It appears that a man named William "Rick" Singer is the front runner. Singer is CEO of “The Key,” which is a college admission prep company. And Singer pretty much told super rich parents that, for a specific fee, he would pay people to take standardized tests for their kids and then Singer would bribe test administrators to look the other way. If that wasn’t going to work out, he told parents he could create fake sports photos to submit to the schools and pay coaches to recommend a sports scholarships. He did that too! Well, Singer was caught, and he confessed to everything, so I’m not going to bother with the word - alleged.

And, of course, sometimes the parents helped in communications with university officials or coaches. Sometimes they didn’t. But they all paid and they all knew what they were doing was illegal. And some of the parents paid huge amounts of money - up to millions of dollars! I mean, how much does your kid have suck in school for their parents to need to pay millions of dollars to get them accepted?

Anyway, then Singer used his “The Key” business to launder all the money, and all the parents agreed to the scam from top to bottom. And this is pretty much the epitome of fraud, racketeering and conspiracy. So this is going to get a whole lot of rich people in trouble, all their kids are going to get thrown out of their respective schools and lots of money is going to get lost. The lawyers will all make out like bandits, though (but don’t they always). 

What will happen now?

Well, will anyone go to jail? Ummmm, probably not any of the parents. They’re all rich and have expensive lawyers. They’ll probably pay a fine or two and get a hand-slap or two. And there will certainly be public embarrassment and humiliation. Prosecutors might pin a few things on some low power scapegoats and throw them in jail as, “a lesson,” but that’s probably all that will happen.  

Anyway. I don’t know about you but I am not surprised that super rich people pay ridiculous amount of money to get their kids into a college that they clearly don’t deserve to be in. Is it a crime? Yes. Should their kids be kicked out of school? Yes. Should there be some kind of punishment and/or fine? Yes. Will there be lawsuits? Yes. But, to be honest, the only thing that really shocks me here is that, this time - the rich folks actually have to pay for their crimes. That's actually, pretty surprising. 

Published in Opinion

After two horrific airline crashes within six months many airlines around the world are grounding the Boeing 737 MAX 8, the model of plane used in both crashes. Investigators are still looking into the most recent crash that happened on Sunday to see if it the reason for the crash is related to the previous 737 MAX 8 which crashed just six months prior.  

Boeing is the largest aerospace company in the world and it’s a leading manufacturer of commercial jetliners, defense, space and security systems, and service provider of aftermarket support. It’s also one of America’s biggest (if not THE biggest) manufacturing exporter, as the company supports airlines and U.S. and allied government customers in more than 150 countries.

Boeing leaders should be panicking right now. This is a brand new plane and now it’s responsible for the deaths of several hundred people. I mean, the investigation for the recent Ethiopian crash isn’t complete and it might reveal that the crash was due to pilot error and not as the previous crash, because of a manufacturing error. But, I doubt it. The Indonesian crash six months ago was due to a malfunction with the MCAS (Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System) which is an “automatic feature that detects if the nose of the plane is pitched up too high and pushes it down to prevent the craft from stalling.” The MCAS during the Indonesian flight sensed that the nose of the plane was too high (even though, it wasn’t) and forced the plane down, sending it into an irreversible nose dive that killed everyone on board. The recent Ethiopian crash on Sunday has all the same signs of the Indonesian disaster.

Many world airlines are not waiting for the recent investigation to conclude and have grounded the Boeing MAX 8. This is the right move! Sadly, some airlines are ignoring the threat and are keeping that model in flight rotation. This is clearly a risk/profit analysis, right? They are choosing to risk the death’s of their passengers because they are concerned grounding the plane might cut into their profits and they certainly don’t want to admit any guilt because that will only add fuel to all those future lawsuits that are coming.

Enter Senator John Thune (R) who is ranking member on aviation oversight of the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration). Thune told reporters that he would be open to grounding the planes if the evidence pointed to it, but absolutely did NOT say that the Boeing MAX 8 should be grounded out of precaution. That is, of course, until a reported asked this question:

Reporter: Would you feel safe flying in a Super Max 8 right now? Would you fly on it?

Thune: Uhhh...well, I guess I would uh, probably like everybody else, prefer flying on some other plane.

Isn’t that just like a spineless politician? He won’t go against his corporate masters but he certainly wouldn’t fly on that plane! He can’t even come out and say it out loud. He has to stammer and stutter his way into a “prefer” comment.

Obviously, the Boeing 737 Super Max 8 should be grounded. And Thune knows it. I mean he certainly won’t risk his life, or the lives of his family but - you? He’s fine with that. I hope his constituents vote him the F out of office come next election day.

As of Tuesday here are the airlines that are still flying the Boeing 737 Super Max 8:

American Airlines

Southwest Airlines

Norwegian Airlines

TUI

Fiji Airways

Icelandair

Flydubai

WestJet

GOL Linhas Aéreas

 

Update 3/13/19 - 3:00pm: Most countries have grounded the Boeing 737 Super Max 8. Boeing did NOT ground the planes themselves because they care more about $$ than human lives. Finally, just a few minutes ago - President Trump issued an Executive Order grounding all 737 Super Max 8 models in the U.S.

Update 3/21/19 - 1:10pm: The investigation has concluded that both planes went down for the exact same reason - a faulty MCAS! From my understanding, all Super Max 8 models are now grounded.  

 

This is an updating story. 

Published in World
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