Google signs healthcare data and cloud computing deal with Ascension

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Alphabet Inc’s (GOOGL.O) Google has signed its biggest cloud computing customer in healthcare to date, in a deal giving it access to datasets that could help it tune potentially lucrative artificial intelligence (AI) tools.

Google and Ascension, which operates 150 hospitals and more than 50 senior living facilities across the United States, said the healthcare provider would move some data and analytics tools in its facilities to Google’s servers.

The deal was mentioned in Google’s July earnings call, but drew scrutiny on Monday after the Wall Street Journal reported on.wsj.com/2q3WCer that Google would gain personal health-related information of millions of Americans across 21 states.

The Journal reported that the data involved in the project includes lab results, doctor diagnoses and hospitalization records, among other categories, and amounts to a complete health history, along with patient names and dates of birth.

Google said in a blog post on Monday that patient data “cannot and will not be combined with any Google consumer data.”

Won’t be combined? Pull my finger.

ANALYSIS: Democrats have a Colonel Vindman problem.

House Democrats conducted their impeachment interviews in secret, but Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman still emerged as star of the show. Appearing at his Oct. 29 deposition in full dress uniform, the decorated Army officer, now a White House National Security Council Ukraine expert, was the first witness who had actually listened to the phone call between President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky that is at the heart of the Democratic impeachment campaign.
Even though lawmakers were forbidden to discuss his testimony in public, Vindman’s leaked opening statement that “I did not think it was proper [for Trump] to demand that a foreign government investigate a U.S. citizen” exploded on news reports.

Vindman has not yet been scheduled to appear before the Democrats’ public impeachment hearings. When that happens, he will undoubtedly again play a prominent role. But there will be a difference. The public now has a transcript of Vindman’s deposition. And those who have taken the trouble to read the 340-page document will have a different picture of Vindman’s testimony than the one presented in early media reports.

Yes, Vindman testified repeatedly that he “thought it was wrong” for Trump, speaking with Zelensky, to bring up the 2016 election and allegations of Ukraine-related corruption on the part of former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden.
But the Vindman transcript also showed a witness whose testimony was filled with opinion, with impressions, who had little new to offer, who withheld important information from the committee, who was steeped in a bureaucracy that has often been hostile to the president, and whose lawyer, presumably with Vindman’s approval, expressed unmistakable disdain, verging on contempt, for members of Congress who asked inconvenient questions.
In short, Vindman’s testimony was not the slam-dunk hit Democrats portrayed it to be. And that raises questions about how it will play when Vindman goes before the world in a public impeachment hearing.

Here are four problems with the Vindman testimony:

1) Beyond his opinions, he had few new facts to offer. Vindman seemed to be an important fact witness, the first who had actually been on the July 25 call when Trump talked to Zelensky. But the White House weeks ago released the rough transcript of that call, which meant everyone in the secure room in which Vindman testified, and everyone on the planet, for that matter, already knew what had been said.

Indeed, Vindman attested to the overall accuracy of the rough transcript, contrary to some impeachment supporters who have suggested the White House is hiding an exact transcript that would reveal everything Trump said to the Ukrainian president.
As one of a half-dozen White House note-takers listening to the call, Vindman testified that he tried unsuccessfully to make a few edits to the rough transcript as it was being prepared.
In particular, Vindman believed that Zelensky specifically said the word “Burisma,” the corrupt Ukrainian energy company that hired Hunter Biden, when the rough transcript referred only to “the company.”
But beyond that, Vindman had no problems with the transcript, and he specifically said he did not believe any changes were made with ill intent.

“You don’t think there was any malicious intent to specifically not add those edits?” asked Republican counsel Steve Castor.

“I don’t think so.”

“So otherwise, this record is complete and I think you used the term ‘very accurate’?”

“Yes,” said Vindman.

Once Vindman had vouched for the rough transcript, his testimony mostly concerned his own interpretation of Trump’s words. And that interpretation, as Vindman discovered during questioning, was itself open to interpretation.

Vindman said he was “concerned” about Trump’s statements to Zelensky, so concerned that he reported it to top National Security Council lawyer John Eisenberg. (Vindman had also reported concerns to Eisenberg two weeks before the Trump-Zelensky call, after a Ukraine-related meeting that included Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union.)
Vindman said several times that he was not a lawyer and did not know if Trump’s words amounted to a crime but that he felt they were “wrong.” That was when Republican Rep. John Ratcliffe, a former U.S. attorney, tried to get to the root of Vindman’s concerns.
What was really bothering him?
“I’m trying to find out if you were reporting it because you thought there was something wrong with respect to policy or there was something wrong with respect to the law,” Ratcliffe said to Vindman. “And what I understand you to say is that you weren’t certain that there was anything improper with respect to the law, but you had concerns about U.S. policy. Is that a fair characterization?”

“So I would recharacterize it as I thought it was wrong and I was sharing those views,” Vindman answered. “And I was deeply concerned about the implications for bilateral relations, U.S. national security interests, in that if this was exposed, it would be seen as a partisan play by Ukraine. It loses the bipartisan support. And then for — ”

“I understand that,” Ratcliffe said, “but that sounds like a policy reason, not a legal reason.”

Indeed it did. Elsewhere in Vindman’s testimony, he repeated that his greatest worry was that if the Trump-Zelensky conversation were made public, then Ukraine might lose the bipartisan support it currently has in Congress. That, to Ratcliffe and other Republicans, did not seem a sufficient reason to report the call to the NSC’s top lawyer, nor did it seem the basis to begin a process leading to impeachment and a charge of presidential high crimes or misdemeanors.

At another point, Castor asked Vindman whether he was interpreting Trump’s words in an overly alarmist way, especially when Vindman contended that Trump issued a “demand” to Zelensky.

“The president in the transcript uses some, you know, words of hedging from time to time,” Castor said.
“You know, on page 3, he says ‘whatever you can do.’ He ends the first paragraph on page 3, ‘if that’s possible.’ At the top of page 4, ‘if you could speak to him, that would be great.’ ‘So whatever you can do.’ Again, at the top of page 4, ‘if you can look into it.’ Is it reasonable to conclude that those words hedging for some might, you know, lead people to conclude that the president wasn’t trying to be demanding here?”
“I think people want to hear, you know, what they have as already preconceived notions,” Vindman answered, in what may have been one of the more revealing moments of the deposition.
“I’d also point your attention to ‘whatever you can do, it’s very important to do it if that’s possible.'”

“‘If that’s possible,'” Castor stressed.

“Yeah,” said Vindman. “So I guess you can interpret it in different ways.”

2) Vindman withheld important information from investigators. Vindman ended his opening statement in the standard way, by saying, “Now, I would be happy to answer your questions.” As it turned out, that cooperation did not extend to both parties.

The only news in Vindman’s testimony was the fact that he had twice taken his concerns to Eisenberg.
He also told his twin brother, Yevgeny Vindman, who is also an Army lieutenant colonel and serves as a National Security Council lawyer. He also told another NSC official, John Erath, and he gave what he characterized as a partial readout of the call to George Kent, a career State Department official who dealt with Ukraine.
That led to an obvious question: Did Vindman take his concerns to anyone else? Did he discuss the Trump-Zelensky call with anyone else? It was a reasonable question, and an important one.
Republicans asked it time and time again. Vindman refused to answer, with his lawyer, Michael Volkov, sometimes belligerently joining in. Through it all, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff stood firm in favor of keeping his committee in the dark.

Vindman openly conceded that he told other people about the call. The obvious suspicion from Republicans was that Vindman told the person who became the whistleblower, who reported the call to the Intelligence Community inspector general, and who, in a carefully crafted legal document, framed the issue in a way that Democrats have adopted in their drive to remove the president from office.

Vindman addressed the suspicion before anyone raised it. In his opening statement, he said, “I am not the whistleblower … I do not know who the whistleblower is and I would not feel comfortable to speculate as to the identity of the whistleblower.”

Fine, said Republicans. We won’t ask you who the whistleblower is. But if your story is that you were so concerned by the Trump-Zelensky issue that you reported it to Eisenberg, and also to others, well, who all did you tell?
That is when the GOP hit a brick wall from Vindman, his lawyer Volkov, and, most importantly, Schiff.
As chairman of the Intelligence Committee, charged with overseeing the intelligence community, Schiff might normally want to know about any intelligence community involvement in the matter under investigation.
But in the Vindman deposition, Schiff strictly forbade any questions about it. “Can I just caution again,” he said at one point, “not to go into names of people affiliated with the IC in any way.”
The purpose of it all was to protect the identity of the whistleblower, who Schiff incorrectly claimed has “a statutory right to anonymity.”

That left Republicans struggling to figure out what happened. “I’m just trying to better understand who the universe of people the concerns were expressed to,” said Castor.

“Look, the reason we’re objecting is not — we don’t want — my client does not want to be in the position of being used to identifying the whistleblower, okay?” said Volkov. “And based on the chair’s ruling, as I understand it, [Vindman] is not required to answer any question that would tend to identify an intelligence officer.”

“Okay,” Castor said to Vindman. “Did you express concerns to anybody, you know, that doesn’t fall under this category of someone who might be the whistleblower, or is Eisenberg the only — ”

“No,” said Vindman. “In my coordination role, as I actually said in the statement, in my opening … in performing my coordination role as director on the National Security Council, I provide readouts of relevant meetings and communications to [redacted] properly cleared counterparts with a relevant need to know.”

What did that mean, exactly? Vindman didn’t tell anybody else, he just provided readouts? On a need-to-know basis? Republicans tried on several occasions to figure it out. “Some of the other people that you raised concerns to, did you ask any of those folks to do anything with the concerns?” asked Castor.

That only prompted more bureaucratese from the witness. “I don’t think that’s an accurate characterization, counsel,” Vindman said. “I think what I did was I fulfilled my coordination role and spoke to other national security professionals about relevant substance in the call so that they could take appropriate action. And frankly, it’s hard to — you know, without getting into, you know, sources and methods, it’s hard to kind of talk about some of these things.”

So, Vindman’s basic answer was: I won’t tell you because that’s a secret. After several such exchanges, Volkov got tough with lawmakers, suggesting further inquiries might hurt Vindman’s feelings.

“Look, he came here,” Volkov said. “He came here. He tells you he’s not the whistleblower, okay? He says he feels uncomfortable about it. Try to respect his feelings at this point.”

An unidentified voice spoke up. “We’re uncomfortable impeaching the president,” it said.

“Excuse me. Excuse me,” Volkov responded. “If you want to debate it, we can debate it, but what I’m telling you right now is you have to protect the identity of the whistleblower. I get that there may be political overtones. You guys go do what you got to do, but do not put this man in the middle of it.”

Castor spoke up. “So how does it out anyone by saying that he had one other conversation other than the one he had with George Kent?”

“Okay,” said Volkov. “What I’m telling you right now is we’re not going to answer that question. If the chair wants to hold him in contempt for protecting the whistleblower, God be with you. … You don’t need this. You don’t need to go down this. And look, you guys can — if you want to ask, you can ask — you can ask questions about his conversation with Mr. Kent. That’s it. We’re not answering any others.”

“The only conversation that we can speak to Col. Vindman about is his conversation with Ambassador Kent?” asked Republican Rep. Lee Zeldin.

“Correct,” said Volkov, “and you’ve already asked him questions about it.”

“And any other conversation that he had with absolutely anyone else is off limits?”

“No,” said Volkov. “He’s told you about his conversations with people in the National Security Council. What you’re asking him to do is talk about conversations outside the National Security Council. And he’s not going to do that. I know where you’re going.”

“No, actually, you don’t,” said Zeldin.

“Oh, yes, sir,” said Volkov.

“No, you really don’t,” said Zeldin.

“You know what?” said Volkov. “I know what you’re going to say. I already know what you’re going to do, okay? And I don’t want to hear the FOX News questions, okay?”

Zeldin, perhaps seeking to cool Volkov down, said, “Listen, this transcript is going to be out at some point, okay?”

“I hope so,” said Volkov.

Finally, Schiff stepped in to stop things. “The gentleman will suspend,” he said. “Let’s suspend. Counsel has made his position clear. I think his client has made his position clear. Let’s move on.”

It should be noted that Volkov was a lawyer, and members of Congress were members of Congress. The lawyer should not be treating the lawmakers as Volkov did. Volkov was able to tell Republicans to buzz off only because he had Schiff’s full support. And Republicans never found out who else Vindman discussed the Trump-Zelensky call with.

3) There were notable gaps in Vindman’s knowledge. Vindman portrayed himself as the man to see on the National Security Council when it came to issues involving Ukraine. “I’m the director for Ukraine,” he testified. “I’m responsible for Ukraine. I’m the most knowledgeable. I’m the authority for Ukraine for the National Security Council and the White House.” Yet at times there were striking gaps in Vindman’s knowledge of the subject matter. He seemed, for instance, distinctly incurious about the corruption issues in Ukraine that touched on Joe and Hunter Biden.

Vindman agreed with everyone that Ukraine has a serious corruption problem. But he knew little specifically about Burisma, the nation’s second-largest privately owned energy company, and even less about Mykola Zlochevsky, the oligarch who runs the firm.

“What do you know about Zlochevsky, the oligarch that controls Burisma?” asked Castor.

“I frankly don’t know a huge amount,” Vindman said.

“Are you aware that he’s a former Minister of Ecology”? Castor asked, referring to a position Zlochevsky allegedly used to steer valuable government licenses to Burisma.

“I’m not,” said Vindman.

“Are you aware of any of the investigations the company has been involved with over the last several years?”

“I am aware that Burisma does have questionable business dealings,” Vindman said. “That’s part of the track record, yes.”

“Okay. And what questionable business dealings are you aware of?” asked Castor. Vindman said he did not know beyond generalities. “The general answer is I think they have had questionable business dealings,” Vindman said.

Castor then noted that in 2014 Burisma “undertook an initiative to bring in some additional folks for their board, are you aware of some of the folks they added to their board in 2014?”

“The only individual I’m aware of, again, after, you know, as it’s been reported in the press is Mr. Hunter Biden,” Vindman said.

“Okay,” said Castor. “And did you check with any of your authoritative sources in government to learn a little bit more about these issues?”

“I did not,” said Vindman. “I didn’t think it was appropriate. He was a U.S. citizen, and I wasn’t going to ask questions.”

A short time later, Castor asked, “And do you have any knowledge as to why Hunter Biden was asked to join the board?”

“I do not.”

“Did you check with any of your authoritative sources whether he was a corporate governance expert or — ”

“Like I said, I didn’t,” Vindman answered. “He’s an American citizen. Certainly there are domestic political overtones. I did not think that was appropriate for me to start looking into this particular … I drew my conclusions on Burisma and I moved on.”

Vindman had other blind spots, as well. One important example concerned U.S. provision of so-called lethal aid to Ukraine, specifically anti-tank missiles known as Javelins. The Obama administration famously refused to provide Javelins or other lethal aid to Ukraine, while the Trump administration reversed that policy, sending a shipment of missiles in 2018. On the Trump-Zelensky call, the two leaders discussed another shipment in the future.

“Both those parts of the call, the request for investigation of Crowd Strike and those issues, and the request for investigation of the Bidens, both of those discussions followed the Ukraine president saying they were ready to buy more Javelins. Is that right?” asked Schiff.

“Yes,” said Vindman.

“There was a prior shipment of Javelins to Ukraine, wasn’t there?” said Schiff.

“So that was, I believe — I apologize if the timing is incorrect — under the previous administration, there was a — I’m aware of the transfer of a fairly significant number of Javelins, yes,” Vindman said.

Vindman’s timing was incorrect. Part of the entire Trump-Ukraine story is the fact that Trump sent the missiles while Obama did not. The top Ukraine expert on the National Security Council did not seem to know that.

4) Vindman was a creature of a bureaucracy that has often opposed President Trump. In his testimony, Vindman’s perspective could be mind-numbingly bureaucratic. One of his favorite words is “interagency,” by which he means the National Security Council’s role in coordinating policy among the State Department, Defense Department, the Intelligence Community, the Treasury Department, and the White House. His bible is something known as NSPM-4, or National Security Presidential Memorandum 4. He says things such as, “So I hold at my level sub-PCCs, Deputy Assistant Secretary level. PCCs are my boss, senior director with Assistant Secretaries. DCs are with the deputy of the National Security Council with his deputy counterparts within the interagency.” He believes the interagency has set a clear U.S. policy toward Ukraine.

“You said in your opening statement, or you indicated at least, that there’s a fairly consensus policy within the interagency towards Ukraine,” Democratic counsel Daniel Goldman said to Vindman. “Could you just explain what that consensus policy is, in your own words?”

“What I can tell you is, over the course of certainly my tenure there, since July 2018, the interagency, as per normal procedures, assembles under the NSPM-4, the National Security Policy [sic] Memorandum 4, process to coordinate U.S. government policy,” Vindman said. “We, over the course of this past year, probably assembled easily a dozen times, certainly at my level, which is called a subpolicy coordinating committee — and that’s myself and my counterparts at the Deputy Assistant Secretary level — to discuss our views on Ukraine.”

That is a classic bureaucrat’s view of government and the world. Needless to say, Trump does not do that sort of thing. The president is remarkably freewheeling, unbureaucratic, and certainly not always consistent when it comes to making policy. But he generally has a big goal in mind, and in any event, he is the president of the U.S. He, not the interagency, sets U.S. foreign policy.

Still, Vindman was deeply upset when Trump, relying on Rudy Giuliani and others, turned his attention to Ukraine. “In the spring of 2019, I became aware of outside influencers promoting a false narrative of Ukraine inconsistent with the consensus views of the interagency,” Vindman said in his opening statement. The outside influencers, he suggested, were undermining the work of his “interagency colleagues.” In the words of the Washington Post, Vindman was “deeply troubled by what he interpreted as an attempt by the president to subvert U.S. foreign policy.”

Vindman’s discussion of the interagency, while dry as dust, might contain the key to his role in the Trump-Ukraine affair. In the last few years, the bureaucracy with which he so clearly identified has often been at odds, sometimes privately and sometimes publicly, with the president. Former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, writing in a new book, said two top officials, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and White House chief of staff John Kelly, sought to undermine Trump to “save the country.”

“It was their decisions, not the president’s, that were in the best interest of America, they said,” Haley wrote. “The president didn’t know what he was doing.”

That view extended deep into some areas of the government. Now, parts of the foreign policy bureaucracy are in open war with the president, channeling their grievances through the House Democrats’ drive toward impeachment. When he testifies in public, Vindman will be the living embodiment of that bureaucratic war.

THE BIGGEST THREAT TO OUR FUTURE

A stupid, ignorant, indoctrinated, instead of educated population is easier to control.

We face a lot of threats, of course–asteroids, rogue nuclear nations, stateless terrorism, pandemics–but in my opinion, the biggest threat to America’s future is our unbelievably bad public school system. It is hard for those (like me) who went through the public schools decades ago to understand how much things have changed. Academic standards have collapsed; objective testing is out of fashion; corrupt left-wing unions have taken nearly complete control; indoctrination has largely replaced education. The result is that we are raising a generation of ignoramuses.

Michael Ramirez ties the public education fiasco to Veterans Day.

I think we are rapidly approaching a point where there is a serious question whether our population is too dumb to sustain a democracy.

Nolte: Snopes Confirms Dems Tried to Impeach Every Elected GOP President Since Eisenhower

The fake, far-left fact check site Snopes accidentally confirmed that Democrats have sought to impeach every elected Republican president since Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Naturally, while confirming this, the garbage fire of fake news that is Snopes rated what is “mostly true” as “mostly false.”

The claim is: “Have Democrats Tried to Impeach Every GOP President Since Ike?”

Snopes decided to fact check this claim based on a popular meme that shows a black and white photo of Gen. Eisenhower above a caption that reads “INTERESTING FACT!!! Did you know Democrats have tried to impeach every Republican President since Eisenhower???”

Looking to debunk this mostly true claim, Snopes accidentally confirms that Democrats have indeed tried to impeach every elected Republican president since Eisenhower [emphasis mine]:

The U.S. has had six republican presidents since Eisenhower left office in 1961: Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, George W. Bush, and Donald Trump. The claim is wrong on its face because Democrats made no effort to impeach Ford. While a handful of Democratic lawmakers have introduced articles of impeachment against five of the last six Republican presidents, in most cases these efforts weren’t taken seriously by the party at large. Nixon and Trump have been the only Republican presidents since Ike who have faced a serious threat of impeachment.

So, Snopes has indeed confirmed that Democrats have “introduced articles of impeachment against five of the last six Republican presidents,” the sole exception being Gerald Ford, who was not elected.

Ford was not even elected to the vice presidency; he was appointed by Nixon after his original vice president, Spiro Agnew, resigned in disgrace over a matter that had nothing to do with Watergate.

What’s more, Ford was president for only a little more than two years.

But there you have it — confirmation from a left-wing fact check site that Democrats sought to impeach five of the last six Republican presidents and sought to impeach every Republican elected to the presidency since Eisenhower.

Granted, the meme that claims Democrats tried to impeach every president since Ike is not 100 percent accurate. But after Snopes confirmed the meme was 5/6th correct, why is a mostly accurate claim hit with a verdict of “mostly false”?

I think we all know the answer to that one…

Because it is a damning fact that proves just how anti-democratic the Democrats are, what a bunch of sore losers they are, and Snopes is not a real fact-checking site, it is a Palace Guard for the political left.

So Snopes splits hairs between what it describes as “serious” impeachment efforts and efforts that never went beyond a lawmaker introducing articles of impeachment.

So what we have here is Snopes making a subjective opinion about what “tried to impeach every elected Republican president since Eisenhower” means — and wouldn’t you know it? — Snopes’s subjective opinion falls right into the category of aiding and abetting the left.

But by any objective, pro-science standard, the meme in question is MOSTLY TRUE.

Regardless, we should at least thank Snopes for doing the hard work that proves for a fact the following…

Democrats Have Tried to Impeach Every Elected GOP President Since Eisenhower…

Thanks, Snopes!!!

Joe Biden Might Have Just Proposed Human Hunting And Cannibalism As A Rationale For Gun Control

Much like Hillary Clinton before an African American audience, when she breaks into her fake accent in order to try to give the impression that she can relate to people that she’d ordinarily cross the street to avoid, Joe Biden lapses into faux-gun-owner-ese whenever he’s in front of a group that might include a few gun owners. Such was the case in this sparsely attended Biden speech in New Hampshire.

Aside from his lack of facility with some very basic firearms terms screaming that he’s a poseur, the argument is patently stupid. Shotguns are limited to three rounds but only for migratory game birds. For instance, my aging Ithaca pump-action 12-gauge that I’ve had since high school has a five-round magazine and a plug that reduces magazine capacity to two. They are limited in capacity because the phrase “sitting duck” isn’t just something someone thought up and the laws are in place to ensure a regular supply of game birds to facilitate the sale of hunting licenses. Deer hunting has no such limit on magazine capacity because deer are just a little bit harder to kill than geese and you might find that you have to shoot more…hmmm…frequently to hit your quarry.

Unlike human predators, only rarely do game birds invade your home and seek to kill you. When you do need a weapon for home defense, the last thing you want is some goof like QuidProJoe and his fellow travelers leveling the playing field by reducing your magazine capacity and giving the criminal a fighting chance. Humans are notoriously hard to kill, one of my platoon sergeants counseled me that “you have to shoot a man’s weight in bullets at him to kill him,” and if you are surprised by an intruder, you probably aren’t going to have time to grab your back up ammo supply to make up for the magazine that only carries two “clips.”

This is just another dumb idea from one of the least intelligent politicians in the Democrat field, and that, my friends, covers one helluva lot of real estate.

Our Elites Don’t See What’s Coming.

What a world we live in. A confidential asset of a hyper-political CIA director, likely handpicked by the director to spy on the Trump White House, is now called a “whistleblower.” The son of a former vice-president and a current Democrat nominee was apparently eyeball-deep in corruption in Ukraine, and the Left screams that the president—for daring to broach the issue with Ukraine—should be impeached. Political pygmies, otherwise known as the Democrat 2020 field, prance about the country offering up program ideas tallying up to over $200 trillion in the first ten years of operation (against the roughly $44 trillion the government would bring in over the same time). Such programs would cost us millions of jobs, among other bad consequences. Yet we are expected to believe these are serious people.

All the while the mainstream propagandists gaslight us by shrieking that Trump is the corrupt one, that Trump’s ideas are destructive as the economy soars and unemployment remains at 50 year lows. When the Washington Post intones that “Democracy dies in darkness” they evince no apparent awareness of irony. They’re knifing democracy to death every single day.

In the meantime, as our constitutional republic faces the wrecking balls of the Left and is asked to endure as they smash away at every norm that has made this country great, many Republicans find themselves conveniently absent from the action. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), for example, sure does love himself a TV hit—and I have to tell you, his super-duper “enthusiasms” while on TV almost make me want to believe him when he says he is serious about being effective. But then another day goes by and it’s clear he lacks the stones actually to hold hearings and subpoena the corrupt cabal that has massively abused our surveillance state and law enforcement regime.

Richard Burr (R-N.C.)? Well, he’s been off in “la-la land” for quite some time. At some point, for decency’s sake, he should just give the title of chairman of Senate Intel to Mark Warner (D-Va.) so as actually to reflect reality. One would think confronting injustice and illegal behavior should be pretty standard, common sense sort of stuff. But then again, Swamp Creatures are hardly paragons of truth and justice. So let’s assume until things change that Graham and Burr have zero problem with what has happened over the last few years; heck, they might be implicated in what could be uncovered.

This all leads us to a serious problem that we as a country are facing: we’ve been losing trust in our institutions for quite some time……

Seriously. Ask yourself: Do you really trust the FBI? I don’t. With the recent reports from Michael Flynn’s attorney, Sidney Powell, apparently senior FBI agents tampered with 302s, falsifying information to get the results they wanted which had nothing to do with the truth. This was the FBI—supposedly the world’s greatest law enforcement agency. I don’t think so. Until those senior officials go to jail for their abuse of power my distrust of the FBI will continue.

Do you really trust the Justice Department? Maybe. I’ll see what Attorney General Barr and John Durham pursue and actually accomplish. I can assure you, however, if there are not prosecutions with jail time, scratch that institution off the list. The CIA? Forget about it. Congress? You mean the inept worthless institution that sits on its hands and has ceded massive control of the lawmaking function of government to the administrative state? I have to tell you: is there really a point to Congress in its current form? Serious question. It gets slapped around every single day by the administrative state and the courts. Then they have the gall to tell the people, “By golly, we’re out here working so hard you gotta send us back to Congress so re-elect us.” Why precisely? So they can rubber-stamp more spending, tack on a few more cool trillions to our exploding debt?

Ask yourself: do you really think the halls of Congress are mostly populated with intelligent people? Or just functioning idiots? I’m kinda leaning towards the majority of them being functioning idiots. Prove me wrong.

What about the values Americans are supposed to believe in? Rule of law is a farce. And at this point, the idea of Lady Justice being blind and meeting out justice even-handedly borders on the absurd. Quite frankly, speaking of Lady Justice, I haven’t seen her lately. I assume she got mugged in some seamy back alley of the Swamp or offed herself, Epstein-style. Until I actually see the equal application of the law I’m just going to safely assume the current bifurcated legal system has us on a fast track to Banana Republic USA.

So what are we to do? When faith is gone, both of the spiritual and the political variety, what remains? People seek peace and prosperity, and will happily live with an untold number of illusions so long as they have those two things. Perhaps we’ve been doing that for a while. But what happens when those are gone? History shows us that when the ruling class and elites refuse to do what they should and instead do what they can, creating a government rigged in their favor, destroying the rule of law, and papering over corruption and injustice, the peasants pick up pitchforks and torches and they come for those who have behaved so abominably. Perhaps our elites should read more of that history.

Michael Bloomberg is an enemy of freedom

Michael Bloomberg is probably running for president. That’s bad news.

According to the New York Times, the former New York City mayor is making preparations to file for the Alabama Democratic primary. Alabama isn’t an early voting state, but it has an early registration deadline. Key Bloomberg advisers told the Times that this doesn’t mean he’ll surely enter the race, but that he will if he thinks it’s necessary: “We now need to finish the job and ensure that Trump is defeated — but Mike is increasingly concerned that the current field of candidates is not well positioned to do that.”

While I certainly understand the abstract appeal of the idea of adding a more moderate voice to a Democratic primary field that currently boasts Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders as front-runners, voters shouldn’t mistake Bloomberg for someone any more hospitable to liberty and freedom. In fact, the former mayor has made an entire career out of cracking down on individual liberty and building up the nanny state.

Don’t forget, he spent his tenure as NYC mayor fighting the problems that truly matter by … attempting to ban large sodas? And since leaving office, he’s spent much of his time crusading against vaping despite it being much healthier than traditional smoking.

Even on more serious issues, Bloomberg shows contempt for freedom and constitutional liberties. For instance, he supports a robust anti-Second Amendment agenda, which includes everything from so-called universal background checks to all-out bans on certain types of guns to bans on entire age groups from exercising their right to self-defense. And he’s spent millions of dollars trying to elect legislators willing to whittle away at the Second Amendment.

He fairs only somewhat better on First Amendment issues.

For instance, Bloomberg openly dismisses the idea of a free press when he says he expects his reporters at Bloomberg News to never cover him critically. Imagine that attitude in the Oval Office in the hands of someone who has already displayed ample willingness to use the powers of the government to squash individual liberties. Bloomberg’s contempt for press freedom led even a Washington Post writer to decry his “disturbing attitude toward the First Amendment — and democracy generally.”

Oh, and Bloomberg thinks marijuana legalization is “the stupidest thing anyone has ever done.” That’s right, he believes we should throw people in cages for smoking a plant in their backyard. Of course, I doubt the mayor wants to play by his own rules — he has admitted to smoking weed in the past.

There are, of course, some things to like about Michael Bloomberg. He supported charter schools as mayor of New York City and is at least somewhat fiscally conservative. And in a field that included aspirants as insufferable as Beto O’Rourke and Bill de Blasio, there’s no way he’ll be the most obnoxious candidate we’re forced to hear out.

But none of this makes the mayor’s policy positions any less disqualifying.

Bloomberg’s affinity for the nanny state and antipathy toward personal liberty led a writer at the libertarian magazine Reason to dub him a “billionaire busybody who can be counted on to oppose individual freedom in almost every area of life.” Let’s hope that billionaire busybody doesn’t become our next president.

Sanctuary County Rolls Back Its Anti-ICE Policy Following String Of Illegal Aliens Charged With Rape

Yeah, and I wonder if some enterprising lawyer representing the victims might have a good case to sue the county and Erlich.

Following months of national media coverage over the handling of illegal aliens in his custody, Montgomery County, Maryland, Executive Marc Elrich has somewhat reversed a sanctuary policy he signed into law.

Elrich will allow Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents the ability to access certain areas of the Montgomery County jail in order to apprehend illegal aliens, according to ABC7 News. A county spokesman confirmed to the local news outlet on Nov. 1 that correctional officers have been ordered to give ICE agents clearance to “identified areas” of the jail to “ensure that transfers are conducted in a safe environment.”

News of the cooperation between Montgomery County and federal immigration authorities comes three months after Elrich signed an executive order that prohibited county officials from working with ICE.

Elrich signed the “The Promoting Community Trust Executive Order” in July, which barred county police from asking an individual about their immigration status and largely prohibited them from cooperating with ICE agents. Montgomery County had already refused to honor ICE detainer requests, and the new order was the latest sanctuary measure enacted by a deep-blue locality revolting against the Trump administration’s crackdown on illegal immigration.

However, Elrich’s order soon proved controversial. Authorities arrested numerous illegal aliens in Montgomery County — all of the arrests taking place just weeks after the order was signed — and charged them with rape or other sexual abuse crimes. The string of rape charges shined a national spotlight on the county’s policy toward criminal illegal aliens and its fraught relationship with the agency tasked with removing them.

Who Will Disarm Us Now?

 

Kamala Harris, STEP ON UP!

Kamala plans to disarm Americans because “assault weapons kill babies and police officers” (but she’s all in for killing them in the uterus with a pair of salad tongs or a shop vac) and will use her metaphorical “pen and phone” to infringe on our rights, because Congress – which is supposed to represent the American people – refuses to do so.

Harris has recently shuttered her offices and fired staff in New Hampshire, and questioned whether the American people are ready for a woman of color to be president (and by “people,” she means her own party, since this is the Democratic primary, thereby calling Democrats racists and misogynists).

I can’t lie. I’m amused at Harris’s free fall, but I will miss Beto’s awkward but entertaining attempts to pretend to be just a normal guy of the people, instead of a spoiled millionaire, threatening Americans with confiscation of their property and stumbling to correct himself to preserve the “illusion” that he and the Democrats somehow respect the Second Amendment.

The fallacy?

THE PRESIDENT WITH THE ADVICE AND CONSENT OF THE SENATE ON TREATIES, AND THE CONGRESS TO DECLARE WAR, SETS FOREIGN POLICY, NOT THE ‘ADMINISTRATIVE STATE’ (BUREAUCRAPS) BECAUSE HE IS THE ONE ELECTED BY THE PEOPLE NOT THE BUREAUCRAPS!
THEIR DUTY AS PART OF THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH IS TO CARRY OUT THE ORDERS OF THE EXECUTIVE.
IF ANY MILITARY OFFICERS, AS PART OF THE EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENCE, HAVE ‘CONCERNS’ ABOUT POLICY, THEY CAN RESIGN IF THEY CAN’T ACCEPT IT, BUT OTHERWISE HAVE NO CHOICE BUT TO FOLLOW ANY AND ALL LEGAL ORDERS PASSED DOWN FROM THE COMMANDER IN CHIEF.

LIEUTENANT COLONEL VINDEMAN WAS THE ONE SUBVERTING FOREIGN POLICY, NOT THE PRESIDENT.

Armed man at Missouri Walmart pleads guilty to lesser charge

Young man is lucky he got off that easy. Probation and a  weekend in the Greene County jail.

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — A man who caused panic at a Missouri Walmart when he walked inside wearing body armor and carrying loaded weapons in what he described as an effort to test his right to bear arms pleaded guilty to making a false report Friday after initially being charged with a more serious terrorist-related felony.

Dmitriy Andreychenko, 21, pleaded guilty to an amended misdemeanor charge after originally being charged with making a terrorist threat.

Police arrested Andreychenko on Aug. 8 after he filmed himself walking through the store with the weapons, prompting shoppers and employees to leave. The incident came just days after 22 people were killed during an attack at another Walmart in El Paso, Texas. An off-duty firefighter held Andreychenko at gunpoint until officers arrived…………

Under the terms of the plea, he was ordered to serve 48 hours of shock incarceration and two years of probation. He also must receive firearm training, Patterson said (in) the release. The making a terrorist threat (charge) carried a sentence of up to four years in prison.

Microchip guns to prevent mass shootings

My last OIC (Officer In Command) of my section often used a simple phrase to express his surprised disbelief that someone could be that stupid:
“You can’t make this stuff up.”

With the anniversary of the devastating Borderline shooting upon our community, I’d like to share the following letter I sent to Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin last November, to which I received no response.

“My name is Jim Dumond and I am a 58-year resident of the Conejo Valley. In response to the shootings at Borderline Bar and Grill, I came up with a compromise that I believe could go a long way toward eliminating our country’s mass shootings.

I believe that both gun and anti-gun advocates will see this as a positive step forward. This gives both groups the right to protect their homes, and gives the citizens peace of mind from individuals, who, like Ian David Long, intend to cause others harm.

1. Owning a weapon (gun), would still require the existing background checks, as required by law.

2. To use a purchased weapon, one would be required to register the weapon online, via a home Wi-Fi type system. The weapon would be embedded with a microchip and would be unusable until registration is complete and authorities grant activation.

This activation would require GPS of the owner’s home and simultaneous location of the weapon. Activation could not be completed at separate times, nor at different locations. Creating a permanent record/registration of owner and location needed for the lawful usage of the weapon.

3. The weapon would be given a usage radius of, say, 1,000 feet from the home Wi-Fi system. If the weapon is taken beyond this point, the weapon would no longer be usable and immediately disabled, until it is brought back into the given parameters.

4. The weapon would also have a safety fault system for tampering. If tampered with, the weapon would become useless and again disabled.

To protect our rights to bear arms, and to protect our families from those who seek to harm others are what we can do as U.S. citizens.

I understand you have a limited schedule for such matters, but I do believe this is a viable solution to our state and country’s worsening mass shooting issues. Thank you in advance for listening.” Jim Dumond Thousand Oaks

One more indication that ‘Uncle Joe’ isn’t playing with a full deck.
The Paris Peace Accords was the 1973 treaty to end the Vietnam War.
Of course – it is hoped – he meant the “Paris Agreement” which is part of the U.N. Convention on Climate Change, but with him, you just never know. And he’s still the leading contender for the demoncrap nomination for President.

Keeping one’s eyes and ears open (intelligence gathering) for the crap-for-brains anti-gun/anti-civil rights BS in the media is a good habit.

The Indiana Daily Student (IDS) is an independent, student-run newspaper that has been published for the community of Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana, so we see the quality of education the college students are getting these days. i.e. Leftist claptrap.

This is nothing more than a re-iteration of a racist smear on the people of the U.S. who choose to exercise a enumerated right.
Just to make it easy for everyone to send this fallacious letter to the trashcan:

Everywhere else in the Bill of Rights where “the right of the people” is used it is expounding on an individual right as ruled by the Federal courts.

That that author attempts to deny that the Second Amendments doesn’t protect an individual right when it has that exact terminology used is more than risible, it’s blatant redefinition and mendacity.
If true it would mean those other ‘rights of the people’, already defined as individual rights aren’t either.

Piffle.

the right of the people peaceably to assemble and to petition the government for a redress of grievances. Amendment 1

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized. Amendment 4.

One point to make clear..No amendment in the Bill of Rights gives the U.S. citizenry anything, The document was demanded by “…the States, having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added” as a restriction on government. A “these are ‘hands off’ to you” .

The only ‘threat’ gun ownership poses is to those people- and their lackeys as seen here – who seek power and control over the free people of the U.S. That’s why you see these types of deceptive letters being posted.

It is necessary to understand the true meaning of the Second Amendment

The interpretation of the Second Amendment commonly accepted by many Americans is that the right to bear arms is necessary to maintain freedom against a tyrannical government. However, when looking back at the historical context of why the amendment was passed, it is painfully obvious this was far from the intent of the founders.

The Second Amendment’s original intent was the disbanding of standing armies because they were viewed as a threat to a stable government. Following a war, the army would be forced to disband, forming local militia groups in their states.

This actually served to protect the government against a hostile takeover by a standing army rather than to empower the people to fight against a tyrannical government, the exact opposite of how many interpret the amendment.

Militias were regulated by the states and southern militias were referred to as slave patrols. In Georgia, for example, all white plantation owners or their white male employees were required by law to join the Georgia militia, making regular inspections of slaves’ quarters to prevent uprisings.

The main concern at the time to many southern slaveholders like George Mason and Patrick Henry was that the proposed constitution’s general welfare clause (Article 1, Section 8) could be interpreted to eventually free the slaves.

The general welfare clause included giving the federal government the power the supervise and regulate the militias. This worried slaveholders due to the possibility that federal militias could absorb state militias, causing them to no longer be slavery-enforcing institutions.

There was precedent for thisconcept in the lead-up to the revolutionary war during which slaves were offered freedom in exchange for fighting for the British army.

To compromise with slave states, at the command of Thomas Jefferson, James Madison changed the original draft of the Second Amendment from reading “a well-armed and well-regulated militia being the best security of a free country” to “free state,” to be sure there was zero ambiguity as to the state’s right to regulate state militias.

So, to be clear, the Second Amendment was enacted to disband standing armies and to allow slave states to regulate slave patrols in order to enforce and maintain the institution of slavery. Nothing to do with fending off a tyrannical government.

Until the famous court case District of Columbia v. Heller, it was understood that the right to bear arms was primarily endowed to militias, including state defense forces and the National Guard.

This case redefined the right to bear arms to be expanded to individuals, interpreting “militia” to include all able-bodied men who were capable of being called to serve in one.

This controversial case was a turning point in how the Second Amendment was interpreted with regard to self-defense and non-military gun ownership rights, overturning decades of jurisprudence on Second Amendment cases.

Now that the legal interpretation of the Second Amendment has completely changed to individual gun rights, gun ownership has become a constitutional issue rather than a political issue like it had been previously.

Unfortunately, overturning District of Columbia v. Heller is extremely unlikely and would have little effect on gun legislation.

Now that individual gun ownership rights have been grounded in judicial precedent, there will likely continue to be the endless expansion of gun rights by gun anarchists in groups like the National Rifle Association.

The intention of the Second Amendment was never to bolster individual gun ownership rights, rather it was specifically passed to protect the federal government from a military coup and to prolong the institution of slavery.

By shifting the legal interpretation of the amendment to non-military gun ownership, this strays greatly from the main reasons the amendment was passed to begin with.

The U.S. today is plagued with substantial gun violence, and strengthening individual gun ownership rights and accessibility is proven to lead to more violence.

The U.S. cannot keep following this path of universal gun accessibility. It is a threat to public safety, and it was not the founders’ intention in the slightest.

NY Times: Refugees Needed to Fill ‘Void of Cultural Diversity’ in White Towns

When the editors of the NYT start housing refugees in their neighborhoods, I might start taking them seriously. Most now come from a predominately moslem culture that is inimical with U.S. Constitutional principles.

More refugees must be resettled across the United States to fill a “void of cultural diversity” in towns that are made up of a majority of white Americans, a New York Times report states.

As President Trump is set to lower refugee admissions for the third year, keeping his 2o16 campaign promise to significantly reform the program after almost four decades, the New York Times published a report this week detailing how Congolese refugees already living in the U.S. are looking to bring their foreign relatives to the country through the refugee resettlement program.

The New York Times reports:

To supporters like Mr. Engen, the Congolese are filling a void of cultural diversity in a town that is nearly 90 percent white. In the 1980s, Hmong refugees from Laos settled in Missoula. The children of immigrant families are usually the few students of color in city classrooms, while their parents work long hours at businesses eager for the help. [Emphasis added]

The New York Times has previously claimed that “nearly all white” states like New Hampshire, Vermont, and Maine pose “an array of problems for new arrivals” to the U.S., as Breitbart News noted.

Former Corrupt CIA Director John McLaughlin on Trump’s Sham Impeachment: “Thank God for the Deep State”

No matter which end of the political spectrum, when the bureaucrap hirelings decide to run policy that should be done by the people elected to do that, you have a system that has been corrupted. That they openly take pride in it is scary.

Former CIA Director John E. McLaughlin joined former CIA Director John Brennan this week with “Face the Nation” host Margaret Brennan to discuss the current coup attempt on President Trump.

These partisan hacks believe they know what is best for America and not President Trump — more wars, open borders and unfair trade agreements to destroy the US middle class.