Former CIA official on whistleblower: ‘How could this be an intelligence matter?’

Fred Fleitz, president of the Center for Security Policy, served in 2018 as deputy assistant to the president and to the chief of staff of the National Security Council. He previously held national-security jobs with the CIA, the DIA, the Department of State, and the House Intelligence Committee staff. He remarks on the whistleblower complaint.

I am troubled by the complaint and wonder how an intelligence officer could file it over something a president said to a foreign leader. How could this be an intelligence matter?

It appears likely to me that this so-called whistleblower was pursuing a political agenda.

I am very familiar with transcripts of presidential phone calls since I edited and processed dozens of them when I worked for the NSC. I also know a lot about intelligence whistleblowers from my time with the CIA.

My suspicions grew this morning when I saw the declassified whistleblowing complaint. It appears to be written by a law professor and includes legal references and detailed footnotes. It also has an unusual legalistic reference on how this complaint should be classified.

From my experience, such an extremely polished whistleblowing complaint is unheard of. This document looks as if this leaker had outside help, possibly from congressional members or staff.

Moreover, it looks like more than a coincidence that this complaint surfaced and was directed to the House Intelligence Committee just after Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), an outspoken opponent of President Trump, expressed numerous complaints in August 2019 accusing President Trump of abusing aid to Ukraine to hurt Joe Biden. This includes an August 28 tweet that closely resembled the whistleblowing complaint.

House Republicans need to ask the whistleblower under oath whether he spoke to the press or Congress about his complaint.

Also very concerning to me is how the complaint indicates intelligence officers and possibly other federal employees are violating the rules governing presidential phone calls with foreign leaders.

The content and transcripts of these calls are highly restricted. The whistleblower makes clear in his complaint that he did not listen to a call in question, nor did he read the transcript — he was told about the call by others. If true, intelligence officers have grossly violated the rules as well as the trust placed on them to protect this sensitive information.

I refuse to believe that the leaking, timing and presentation of this complaint is coincidence. I don’t think the American people will buy this either.

I’m more worried, however, that this latest instance of blatant politicization of intelligence by Trump haters will do long term damage to the relationship between the intelligence community and US presidents for many years to come.

Climate Worship Is Nothing More Than Rebranded Paganism
We’re seeing sexualized dances, hallucinogens, worshiping nature, confessing sins in pagan animism, worshiping purified teen saints, all to promote a supposedly greater cause.

Well, just to point out, when they started back up with that ‘Gaia’ business from Greek mythology,  this should have been clear to most anyone.

Lynn Townsend White Jr., an American historian from Princeton, wrote an influential essay in 1967, at the height of the cultural revolution in Western campuses, arguing that Christianity and Judeo-Christian values are responsible for ecological disaster and climate change. The essay, naturally, was adapted by generations after, ironically almost like a document of faith.

The central argument went like this. White argued, “The victory of Christianity over paganism was the greatest psychic revolution in the history of our culture. … By destroying pagan animism, Christianity made it possible to exploit nature in a mood of indifference to the feelings of natural objects.”

Greta Thunberg and the Church of Mother Earth

As secular liberalism destroyed the fundamental ties that bind society — faith, flag, and family — the human instincts for faith — to believe, worship, submit, and fear — didn’t just go away but manifested in various other pre-civilized tribal ways. For example, a liberal seminary encouraged its students to skip classes to pray and confess sins in front of potted plants. In Switzerland, 250 people in full funereal garb mourned the apparent approaching death of a glacier.

That is why members of “Extinction Rebellion” do what they do. Extinction Rebellion is an apocalyptic cult that wants to radically end every thing around you, from your private cars to the burgers you eat and the plastic chairs in your yard. It is a cult that was formed after its founder took psychedelic drugs and prayed for “social change.” Members have blocked D.C. and London intersections, “twerking” the way people in a pre-civilized era would perform a fertility dance to pray to Gaia.

And then there’s Saint Greta, our perpetual teen of sorrow. I have been comparing her worship to Joan of Arc ever since she was invited to the British Parliament, the birthplace of modern democracy. She was surrounded by buffoons nodding their heads like they were listening to gospel truth.

 

The Second Amendment is under siege

The White House has announced new plans on gun control. House Democrats are pushing another universal background check bill, and high-profile Republicans in both chambers of Congress are campaigning for a new federal grant program that would incentivize states to pass “red flag” laws. It is not overstating the case to say that there has never been a greater threat to due process and the Second Amendment.

“What we can’t do is fail to pass something,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, when asked about last month’s shootings in El Paso, Texas; Dayton, Ohio; and Philadelphia.

Statements like this should infuriate the American people for multiple reasons. Never in American history have we seen our Second Amendment and due process rights under siege from so many different directions. In the midst of such a volatile and unprecedented situation, careless remarks like these from our nation’s leaders cannot be tolerated.

This is why, earlier this month, 40 of my colleagues in the South Carolina General Assembly joined me in a letter to President Trump and Republican Sens. Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott urging them to address the numerous factors that are being ignored on this issue, including the erosion of our civil liberties the dangers of gun-free zones.

Academic studies roundly demonstrate that more laws simply will not prevent mass shootings. On the contrary, the key to curtailing gun violence lies not in destroying our Constitutional liberties but in recognizing the sacred right of every law-abiding American to self-defense, both from violent crime and the threat of a tyrannical government.

Likewise, 94% of mass shootings actually occur in gun-free zones, according to research conducted by the Crime Prevention Center. Multiple studies elsewhere point to states and cities with the toughest anti-gun laws (such as Chicago and Washington, D.C.) as having the highest crime rates, rather than the other way around.

The Founding Fathers warned us to never trade liberty for security, but that is exactly what is happening before our very eyes. When law-abiding citizens are left defenseless against murderers, the last thing Congress should do is just “pass something”.

Our letter also points out the role the mainstream media holds in sensationalizing gun violence and setting a false narrative that violent crimes are on the rise. Just like the notion that gun-free zones make us safer, this couldn’t be any further from the truth. In fact, data gathered by the FBI and the Bureau of Justice Statistics indicate that violent crime in the United States has steadily decreased since 1993.

I have taken an oath before God to defend the Constitution and am proud of my fellow legislators for joining me on this defining issue. Even with such a stirring display of unity, however, vigilance and courage will be demanded of us as the federal government’s crusade against our Constitutional rights continues.

To the elected officials across the U.S. who still believe in liberty: Now is not the time to stop fighting. President Calvin Coolidge warned that “it is much more important to kill bad bills than to pass good ones.” The inevitable slippery slope that follows when government neglects due process is one that we cannot afford to fall down. I hope that this attempt to further destroy our liberties fails.

Stewart Jones, a Republican, is a member of the South Carolina House of Representatives, currently serving on the Medical, Municipal, and Public Affairs committee.

Massive NRA lobby, pro-gun judges and other key factors which could defeat any gun buy-back scheme in the US
A number of Democratic presidential hopefuls have sought a buyback but the number of guns in circulation is at 16 million and the challenge is huge.

So the gun grabbing proggies may be coming to the understanding that their fantasies are just that; fantastical

See the source image

Democrat presidential hopeful Beto O’Rourke has proposed a massive buy-back in a bid to curb the shooting menace which is rampant in American society. The Representative from Texas vowed in a recent debate to take back the deadly AR-15 and AK-47 rifles from people. However, O’Rourke’s idea has not struck a chord with many, even from his own party, for people feel there are far too many weapons in the country to confiscate. However, O’Rourke is not the only politician to have proposed such an idea. At least two other Democratic candidates in Kamala Harris and Julian Castro, besides other leaders, have backed the idea of buying back weapons.

O’Rourke’s idea has a similarity with New Zealand government’s move of buying back guns following the mosque massacres in Christchurch in March 2019. Six days after the attacks, New Zealand’s Jacinda Ardern government came up with a ban on “military-style” semi-automatic rifles. New Zealand’s neighbor Australia is also known to have implemented strict gun-control laws in the mid-1990s that have reduced the menace on their soil substantially.

Can gun violence in the US be controlled the way it has been in Australia and New Zealand? In New Zealand, over 10,000 firearms were bought by the government in less than a month as part of its gun buyback scheme.

In the US, the number of guns in circulation is at 16 million which creates an immense challenge in rounding them up. New Zealand has a population of around five million while the US is home to 330 million people and it is the third most populous country in the world. Buying those many guns back will also put the government’s finances under a big pressure.

The number of AR-15 and AK-47s in the US is estimated at a staggering 16 million, creating logistical challenges to take them out of circulation. Many gun owners are also unwilling to turn in the weapons, and if the government offered to buy them all back at face value, the price tag could easily run into billions of dollars. New Zealand also doesn’t have gun ownership as a constitutional right which makes it less challenging for the government to impose the sanction.

But apart from the problem with the quantity or constitutional right, there are some other realistic reasons that make the idea of buying back weapons in the US a tough one.

The NRA challenge:

Irrespective of the growing anti-gun voice in the US and the San Francisco Board of Supervisors designating it as a domestic terror organization because of its pro-gun stance, the National Rifle Association (NRA) is not withering away any time soon……

The courts:

The Second Amendment of the Constitution makes it challenging for the anti-gun groups. The left-leaning states have shown more interest in carrying out gun-control measures but overall, the country’s judicial system has emerged as a hurdle. The Supreme Court has said more than once in recent times that right to keep personal weapons is constitutionally assured…………..

Lack of genuine will

The problem with America’s gun violence is that the anti-gun groups come up with their demands and movements after a tragedy occurs while the pro-gun lobbies maintain their stance consistently…………

House dynamics:

The Democrats came to control the House of Representatives in the mid-term elections in 2018 and one would think that this could put the pro-gun Republicans under some challenge. But the way the House congressional districts are laid out, many by state legislatures controlled by the GOP, more seats have the possibility of tilting towards the right……….

A Message for Children About Climate Change.

Dear Children,

I’m sorry adults have frightened you about climate change and how it might affect your future. You might be less afraid if you knew some facts that adults intentionally do not explain to you. I’ll tell you here.

The news was once a source of real information, or so we thought. But in the modern world, the news people discovered they can make more money by presenting scary news regardless of whether it is true or not. Today, much of the news on the right and the left is opinion that is meant to scare you, not inform you, because scary things get more attention, and that makes the news business more profitable. The same is true for people who write books; authors often make books scary so you will buy them. Most adults know all the scariness is not real. Most kids do not. You just learned it.

Nuclear energy used to be dangerous, back in the olden days. Today’s nuclear power plants (the ones built in the past 20 years all over the world) have killed zero people, and are considered the safest form of energy in the world. More people have died installing solar panels and falling off roofs than have died from nuclear power problems anywhere in the world for the past few decades. And nuclear energy is the obvious way to address climate change, say most of the smartest adults in the world, because it can provide abundant, cheap, clean energy with zero carbon emissions.

Nuclear energy as a solution to climate change is one of the rare solutions backed by several Democrats running for president and nearly all Republicans. Please note that two Democrats in favor of nuclear energy (Corey Booker and Andrew Yang) are among the youngest and smartest in the game. To be fair, the oldest Democrat running for president, Joe Biden, also supports nuclear energy because he is well-informed.

If you are worried about nuclear waste, you probably should not be. Every country with nuclear energy (and there are lots of them) successfully stores their nuclear waste. If you put all the nuclear waste in the world in one place, it would fit on one football field. It isn’t a big problem. And new nuclear power designs will actually eat that nuclear waste and turn it into electricity, so the total amount of waste could come way down.

The United Nations estimates that the economic impact of climate change will reduce the economy by 10% in eighty years. What they don’t tell you is that the economy will be about five times bigger and better by then, so you won’t even notice the 10% that didn’t happen. And that worst case is only if we do nothing to address climate change, which is not the case.

A number of companies have recently built machines that can suck CO2 right out of the air. At the moment, using those machines would be too expensive. But as they come down in cost and improve in efficiency, we have a solution already in hand should it ever be needed. It would be expensive, but there is no real risk of CO2 ruining the world now that we know how to remove any excess from the atmosphere. (Plants need CO2 to thrive, so we don’t want to remove too much. Greenhouses actually pump in CO2 to make plants grow better.)

Scientists tell us that we could reduce climate risks by planting more trees. (A lot more.) That’s all doable, should the world decide it is necessary. There are a number of other companies and technologies that also address climate change in a variety of ways. Any one of the approaches I mentioned (nuclear energy, CO2 scrubbers, planting trees) could be enough to address any climate risks, but there are dozens of ways of dealing with climate change, and more coming every day.

Throughout all modern history, when we humans see a problem coming from far away, we have a 100% success rate in solving it. Climate change is no different. All the right people are working hard at a wide variety of solutions and already know how to get there, meaning more nuclear power plus CO2 scrubbers, plus lots of green power from solar, wind, and more.

If you are worried about rising sea levels, don’t be. The smartest and richest people in the world are still buying property on the beach. They don’t see the problem. And if sea levels do rise, it will happen slowly enough for people to adjust.

Adults sometimes like to use children to carry their messages because it makes it hard for the other side to criticize them without seeming like monsters. If adults have encouraged you to panic about climate change without telling you what I am telling you here, they do not have your best interests at heart. They are using you.

When you ask adults about nuclear energy, expect them to have old understanding about it, meaning they don’t know the newer nuclear energy technologies are the safest energy on the planet.

What I told you today is not always understood even by adults. You are now smarter than most adults on the topic of climate.

My generation has a lot of faith in your generation. You will be the most educated and effective humans of all time. My generation (and a few generations younger than me) already has the fixes to address climate risks coming online. Your generation will finish the job.

We adults respect your passion and your energy on the topic of climate. But it isn’t fair for us to deny you the basic facts while at the same time scaring you into action. I hope this letter helps you sleep better. We adults have this problem under control, or will soon, and you’ll help us finish the job. So get some good sleep tonight. Together, we got this.

Scott Adams

AOC’s Newest Plan To Make America Socialist — ‘A Just Society.’

In the midst of all the impeachment crap -and let us not mince words, it is all crap – New York Democratic Socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez announced a package of six bills as part of what she calls “A Just Society.” This is her latest attempt to turn the United States into a socialist nation since the Green New Deal really has not gone anywhere, aside from the fantasies of eco-fundamentalist freaks rife with delusional climate anxiety. The key promises of this “Just Society” is your right to not to be fat and have perfect mental health, illegal immigrants receiving endless federal welfare and benefits, and national rent control, among other policies that would hurt American workers. In short, it basically wants to put the government in every aspect of your life and your money in efforts the United States should not be supporting.

Rep. Ocasio-Cortez introduced her ambitious plans on Wednesday. Here are just six plans, none saying how the American people will pay for them. Of course, we know it will be through higher taxes.

Here are the six bills:

(1) A Just Society Recognizes & Eradicates Poverty: The Recognizing Poverty Act directs the Secretary of Health and Human Services, in collaboration with the Bureau of the Census and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, contract with the Committee on National Statistics (CNSTAT) to propose a new official poverty guideline. This guideline would account for costs related to geographic variation, health insurance, child care, and “new necessities” such as internet access. This would ensure the accuracy of our current poverty measure, which determines eligibility for much of the social safety net including — Medicaid, Food Stamps, Family Planning Services, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and the National School Lunch Program.

(2) A Just Society Creates a Place to Prosper: The Place to Prosper Act would protect low-income tenants and rein in corporate landlords by, among other things – creating an access to counsel fund for renters facing eviction, imposing a 3 percent national cap on annual rent increases, and imposing disclosure requirements on the nation’s largest landlords.

(3) A Just Society Is Merciful: The Mercy in Re-entry Act ensures that notwithstanding any other provision of law, an individual may not be denied any Federal public benefit solely on the basis that the individual was convicted of a criminal offense (whether under Federal, State, tribal, or foreign law).

(4) A Just Society Embraces Our Immigrants: The Embrace Act ensures that notwithstanding any other provision of law (including title IV of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996), an individual may not be denied any Federal public benefit solely on the basis of the individual’s immigration status.

(5) A Just Society Uplifts Our Workers: The Uplift Our Workers Act would direct the Department of Labor (DOL), in collaboration with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), to create a “worker-friendly score” – similar to LEED certification – for federal contractors. This score would consider factors including, but not limited to, paid family leave, scheduling predictability, hourly wage, and union membership. Thereafter, DoL and OMB are to provide federal agencies with recommendations on how to evaluate – and give systemized preference to – “worker-friendly contractors as it makes contracting decisions.

(6) A Just Society Guarantees the Economic, Social and Cultural Rights of All: This resolution would direct the Senate to give its advice and consent to the ratification of the U.N. Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. This Covenant recognizes the right to just and favorable conditions of work, the right to form trade unions, the right to adequate food, clothing, housing, and the right to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health.

Bill number four on this list seems particularly outrageous. This massive welfare state for illegal immigrants would encourage only more border crossings from every nation in the world. We can barely afford to help our veterans and American citizens who need welfare, let alone open the floodgates to illegal aliens who could come here solely for federal public benefits.

Senate Republicans Shut Down ATF Nominee
GOP senators wary of Chuck Canterbury’s support for gun control

Chuck Canterbury, President Trump’s nominee to serve as head of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, is likely to see his nomination withdrawn due to stringent opposition from Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, the Washington Free Beacon learned on Thursday.

“Chuck Canterbury does NOT have sufficient support in the Judiciary Committee and is now expected to be held up instead of getting a vote today,” a GOP Senate aide told the Free Beacon on Thursday morning. “Republican members are (1) Concerned about his stances on gun control, and (2) there is still some bad blood for him flipping the Fraternal Order of Police in support of the First Step Act (after opposing the more moderate version), allegedly in exchange for the ATF Director nomination.”

“His 2A views are bad and he’d lose a lot of votes in committee,” a second Senate source told the Free Beacon. “We expect the White House will pull him given lack of support from Republicans on the Judiciary Committee.”

At least one Republican senator, Utah’s Mike Lee, seemed to agree with this assessment when reached for comment.

“Sen. Lee has concerns about Canterbury’s Second Amendment views and is pleased the markup has been delayed,” Lee’s office told the Free Beacon.

Canterbury, who served as the president of the national Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), was expected to receive a vote out of committee Thursday morning. But his nomination was blocked by conservative Republicans who voiced concerns about his stances on gun control.

Canterbury’s nomination seemed in trouble during his July confirmation hearing when he frustrated Republican senators by refusing to deviate from the official positions of the FOP on gun control. He avoided answering questions about his views on the Second Amendment and even explicitly said he did not understand ATF regulations well enough to say what gun control policies he could or could not implement.

“If you’re not familiar with the process running the ATF, then you are not qualified,” Sen. John Kennedy (R., La.) told him at the time.

It was Canterbury’s views on gun control, however, that sealed the deal. His past support for universal background check proposals and for President Obama’s attorney general Eric Holder were both major stumbling blocks, according to the second Senate source.

While head of the FOP, Canterbury explicitly supported background checks. In a 2013 letter, he told then-Senate Judiciary chairman Patrick Leahy (D., Vt.) that “expansion of background checks on firearm purchasers” was an “absolutely critical” element of “addressing gun violence.”

“We believe the most logical starting point to address gun violence is the expansion of the background check system,” Canterbury wrote on behalf of the FOP. “Incomplete or absent background checks create a gaping hole in the wall between firearms and criminals.”

According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, just 10.5 percent of gun violence offenders purchased their firearm through a transaction that would be covered by any expanded background check proposal. Additionally, a Free Beacon analysis earlier this year found Colorado’s universal background check law had little effect on the number of checks done in the state, suggesting it was not as effective as advocates claim.

In 2009, Canterbury testified on behalf of then-nominee Holder, calling “his positions, his policy work, and the official acts … consistent with the goals of the FOP.” Holder would go on to oversee operation Fast and Furious, a gun-running investigation where officials allowed guns to be sold to people connected with Mexican cartels in an effort to track their networks. The program was poorly overseen and led to the death of a Border Patrol agent. Critics argued the program’s failure was due to Holder’s negligence.

Opposition to Canterbury also stemmed from his convincing the FOP to change its position on the FIRST STEP Act, the White House’s landmark criminal justice reform bill. The FOP initially opposed FIRST STEP, but changed its view after several revisions.

GOP Senate aides indicated that Canterbury was integral in bringing about this shift and that his work on FIRST STEP helped him clinch the ATF nomination, a view further indicated by Politico reporting in May. The Fraternal Order of Police did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

While GOP aides expect Canterbury’s nomination to be withdrawn, that has yet to happen officially.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment as to its intentions.

JOSEPH MAGUIRE TESTIFIES

Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire is testifying before the House Intelligence Committee. I have embedded the committee’s live feed below.

Having just watched the shameless Chairman (ugh!) Adam Schiff examine Maguire, I am impressed yet again by the dishonest and deceitful approach of Schiff to all matters Trump. Schiff serves one legitimate purpose, though not the one he intends. He strongly suggests to me that this affair is “a travesty of a mockery of a sham of a mockery of a travesty of two mockeries of a sham.” By contrast, Devin Nunes made an excellent opening statement and is doing a good job examining Maguire as I write.

Bryan Griffin: Rights That Can’t Be Taken

They’re calling Beto O’Rourke the “AR-15 salesman of the year” after he forcefully stated in the last Democratic debate that an O’Rourke presidency would mean the mandatory government confiscation of such rifles. His exact quote was: “Hell yes, we’re going to take your AR-15, your AK-47– We’re not going to allow it to be used against our fellow Americans anymore.”

He’s the first to be so direct, but he isn’t treading into empty waters. Many Democratic presidential hopefuls want to curb, regulate, and restrict gun ownership and sales.

America has seen tragic gun violence recently. Everyone can agree that these seemingly regular mass-shootings are horrific and detestable. We can do more as a society to prevent these occurrences. But the guttural reaction of the left to use government regulation to fix the problem is harmful, not helpful, to the safety of the American public.

The Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution does not grant the right to bear arms to the American citizen. Here, many misunderstand the basic founding principles of our country. The right to bear arms, just like the right to free speech, assembly, life, and liberty, are all rights we are born with. Neither the Constitution nor any federal law grant those rights, they are our inheritance. The Second Amendment reminds and restricts the government from its ability to interfere with those rights. Here’s the full text of the Amendment:

“A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

Our founders had no more ability to grant us those rights than the modern American political leader has to take them away. They are natural rights: ours and ours to keep. Even repealing the Second Amendment wouldn’t change this. And we should be so thankful. A government that has the power to grant rights has the power to take them away – and the nullifying, retracting, or ignoring of natural rights by government has been the vehicle by which the most egregious human rights abuses have and will continue to take place worldwide.

Even the most ardent progressive would agree that protecting human rights at home and abroad is a persistent and unending challenge of the civic minded activist. Nothing can secure a people’s rights more firmly than to recognize they are ours by birth, not granted by any human or government. For this alone I encourage the left to rally around the American system and think twice before slashing into any Constitutional protection…………….

There are about 393 million guns owned in America, or 46% of the world’s total gun supply. After the Christchurch shooting this year in New Zealand, the mandatory government buyback program made underwhelming performance, barely making a scratch in the estimated number of firearms held by the public. And that was in a country with far less identity wrapped around the right to bear arms.

The government simply cannot collect them all.

Cities in America with some of the strictest gun control laws often appear among the list of the top 10 cities with the highest gun-crime rates in the country…………..

Important yet absent from the gun control debate is an examination of how many crimes are prevented because of legally owned guns, or the role of guns as a defensive verses offensive tool. An Obama-era CDC study estimated as many as 3 million crimes are prevented in the US by guns annually—or 8,200 a day. According to the Foundation for Economic Education:

60 percent of convicted felons admitted that they avoided committing crimes when they knew the victim was armed. Forty percent of convicted felons admitted that they avoided committing crimes when they thought the victim might be armed.

I believe the issue we face in society is not a product of the guns we own but of the lack of morality we are fostering. We are seeing a devaluing of the nuclear family unit, the secularization of society, a de-emphasis of religion and tradition, and an embrace of emotional and identity politics.

America should curb gun violence with a measured and principled response.

The guns we own, and even the Second Amendment that protects the right to own them, is an easy but misplaced target. And it is a starting point of dire vulnerability from which our recognition of natural rights can be dismantled.

I’m not praising guns, I am explaining the rationale behind the sacred rights that we each carry with us by virtue of being born, and how unique and important it is that the American Constitution recognizes and prohibits the government from taking these from us, including the right to bear arms. We shouldn’t be so quick to forsake Second Amendment protections in misplaced attempts to tackle gun violence because other precious rights will become negotiable in the same way at a later time. We can’t stop the bleeding on this one. Either we acknowledge and protect all natural rights, or we have none.

Bryan Griffin of the London Center for Policy Research is a lawyer and author who specializes in American policy in the Middle East.

Denial of Second Amendment Rights Warrants a Jury Trial

Earlier this month, the Nevada Supreme Court ruled a person charged with misdemeanor domestic battery is entitled to a trial by jury, because the state Legislature in 2017 enacted a law saying someone convicted of such a crime could have their Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms denied.

In keeping with a 1993 U.S. Supreme Court decision, our state’s high court had previously held that only those persons charged with a “serious” crime are entitled to a jury trial, which was defined as a crime carrying a sentence of greater than six months.

The unanimous opinion written by Justice Lidia Stiglich stated the change in state law to prohibit firearms possession by someone convicted of domestic violence effectively increases the “penalty” and makes the crime “serious” rather than “petty.”

“In our opinion, this new penalty — a prohibition on the right to bear arms as guaranteed by both the United States and Nevada Constitutions — ‘clearly reflect[s] a legislative determination that the offense [of misdemeanor domestic battery] is a serious one,’” Stiglich writes in a case out of Las Vegas.

The ruling concludes, “Given that the Legislature has indicated that the offense of misdemeanor domestic battery is serious, it follows that one facing the charge is entitled to the right to a jury trial.”

Attorney Michael Pariente, who represented appellate Christopher Anderson, told the Las Vegas newspaper, “I applaud the Nevada Supreme Court for unanimously doing the right thing. I think it’s a huge decision. They spoke with one voice, and it’s a good day for people who are charged with misdemeanor domestic violence. It forces the prosecutor to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt to a 12-person jury instead of one single, sitting judge.”

But Nevada Attorney General Aaron Ford, whose office argued against allowing a jury trial in such cases, put out a statement saying, “The devastating consequences of this decision cannot be overstated. Misdemeanor courts across this state are not equipped for jury trials, and this decision could have a widespread chilling effect on domestic violence victims coming forward. My office is working hand-in-hand with city, county, and federal officials to formulate a response and prevent the domestic violence epidemic in this state from further devastating our communities. The most immediate priority for my office is doing whatever it takes to ensure more people are not killed by their abusers as a result of this decision.”

Frankly, we have to ask: Why did it ever come to this?

The Webster’s definition of “all” is: “the whole amount, quantity, or extent of; every member or individual component of; the whole number or sum of; every.”

You see, Article 3, Section 2, of the U.S. Constitution states: “The Trial of all Crimes, except in Cases of Impeachment, shall be by Jury …”

The Sixth Amendment reads: “In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury …”

The Nevada Constitution says: “The right of trial by Jury shall be secured to all and remain inviolate forever …”

How the U.S. Supreme Court decided “petty” crimes do not warrant a trial by jury is beyond our feeble minds, but in any case the Nevada high court is to be applauded for deciding that the denial of the fundamental right to bear arms constitutes a serious matter and deserves a trial by a jury of one’s peers. — TM

Need to be able to protect ourselves

To the editor:

Anyone in this country that thinks we, the citizens, don’t need AK47 and AR15 semi-automatic rifles and large capacity magazines just needs to look at what is happening in Hong Kong. If you don’t think that could happen in this country, you’ve got your head in the sand. In fact, we should have the same weapons as the military as it was set up when the Constitution was written. That’s what the second amendment is all about!

MATT KIILUNEN

Second Amendment Protects So-Called “Large-Capacity” Gun Magazines, Firearms Policy Coalition Argues in Important 9th Circuit Court of Appeals

SAN FRANCISCO, CA (September 24, 2019) — Today, Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) announced the filing of an important legal brief in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals regarding the State of California’s ban on so-called “large-capacity” magazines that hold more than ten rounds of ammunition. The brief is available online at FPCLegal.org………

The brief argues that so-called “large-capacity” magazines are inherent components of functional firearms; that they are constitutionally protected because they are “in common use” for lawful purposes; and that because they are constitutionally protected, they cannot be banned.

“This case presents the type of Second Amendment challenge the Supreme Court has ruled on more than any other: a challenge to a prohibition on particular arms. And the Court’s precedent is clear: if the arms are commonly owned by law-abiding citizens, they cannot be prohibited,” said FPC Director of Research and brief lead author, Joseph Greenlee. “Evidence presented in this case shows that over 100 million magazines of the type that the State of California bans are owned in America. It is therefore indisputable that the magazines are common, and as such, their prohibition violates the Second Amendment.”

 

Homeowner fights back, shoots Mississippi burglar multiple times


North Fort Myers man fires warning shot to scare off burglar in his home

NORTH FORT MYERS, Fla. – A woman was awakened by a burglar shining a light in her living room.

Around 3:40 a.m. on Friday, the woman woke her husband up, who grabbed a gun and approached the man in his living room. He fired off one warning shot, and the burglar fled.

The break-in happened along Blue Beard Drive in Buccaneer Mobile Home Estates, according to Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers.


Man Shoots 1 at Oak Cliff Grocery Store After Altercation

Dallas police are investigating a shooting where a hired maintenance man shot another man after an altercation outside an Oak Cliff grocery store Monday night, officials say.

The shooting was reported at about 11:35 p.m. at the El Rio Grande Latin Market in the 2500 block of West Jefferson Boulevard.

According to police, the contracted maintenance worker told officers that several men, one of them armed with a gun, walked into the store and caused an altercation. The maintenance worker fired his gun, striking one of the men, police said.

The wounded man was later brought to Methodist Hospital in serious condition, police said.

Carbon Dioxide Known Only Since 1930

Thousands of children skipped school last week to march in the streets and demand government action about the hypothetical threat that human industrial activity will change the Earth’s climate.  It would have been better if the students had stayed in school and learned something about real science.

Scientists working under government grants tell us that we have to take action by 1999 or runaway global warming will be irreversible.   See:  Peter James Spielmann, “U.N. Predicts Disaster if Global Warming Not Checked,” Associated Press, June 29, 1989.  Oh, wait.  That  didn’t happen.  We must stop CO2 emissions act by 2006 or it will be too late.  Oh, wait.  We have to act by 2013 or it will be too late.  By 2013 there will be no more snow and all the ice packs will be gone.  In any other area of life, would we keep listening to these people?

We do not know how much carbon dioxide was in Earth’s atmosphere prior to the 1930s.  Devices to measure carbon dioxide went through a difficult, slow, irregular development.  Reliable devices to measure carbon dioxide were available around 1930.

“The measurement of carbon dioxide (CO2) was first developed in the early 1900s; however, it was complex and of limited clinical use. ”  See:  Thomas Nowicki; Shawn London, “Carbon Dioxide Detector,” National Center for Biotechnology Information.  The technology was slowly developed and produced a useable machine only around the year 1930.

Guy Stewart Callendar — who dreamed up the global warming scare — rejected nearly all CO2 measurements before 1870 because of “relatively crude instrumentation” and recognized only twelve suitable data sets in the 20th century.   Callendar, G.P. “On the Amount of Carbon Dioxide in the Atmosphere,” Tellus 10: 243-48. (1958).

“In 1939, August Herman Pfund (1879–1949) developed a respiratory gas analyzer that was used at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore to measure carbon monoxide and CO2. ” Pfund AH, Gemmill CL. “An infrared absorption method for the quantitative analysis of respiratory and other gases,” Bull Johns Hopkins Hosp, 1940;67:61–5.

The existence of carbon dioxide was not confirmed until 1777 when chemist Antoine Lavoisier thought the gas was a compound of coal and discovered that it was produced by respiration (breathing) as well as by burning coal.  See:    Techniques for the Measurement and Monitoring of Carbon Dioxide in the BloodATS Journals

We cannot measure carbon dioxide content of the Earth’s past from air pockets in ice core samples.  First, gases can diffuse through solid walls.   Buy a helium balloon.  A week later the balloon will no longer be floating but on the ground.  The helium gas diffuses out through the walls.  We know that gas does not stay unchanged even in a closed container.

Second, over thousands of years, gases in the ice core will be changed by non-organic chemical reactions or by microscopic plant life like algae or microbes.  As the weight of accumulating layers presses from above, gases will be forced into the ice core.

“Bacteria form in the ice releasing gases even in 500,000-year-old ice at great depth. Brent C. Christner, “Detection, Recovery, Isolation and Characterization  of Bacteria in Glacial Ice and Lake Vostok Accretion Ice,” Dissertation. Ohio State University, 2002.

Testimony before the U.S. Senate made this clear in 2004:

Determinations of CO2 in polar ice cores are commonly used for estimations of the pre-industrial CO2 atmospheric levels. Perusal of these determinations convinced me that glaciological studies are not able to provide a reliable reconstruction of CO2 concentrations in the ancient atmosphere. This is because the ice cores do not fulfill the essential closed system criteria.  * * * More than 20 physico-chemical processes, mostly related to the presence of liquid water, contribute to the alteration of the original chemical composition of the air inclusions in polar ice[3].

One of these processes is formation of gas hydrates or clathrates. In the highly compressed deep ice all air bubbles disappear, as under the influence of pressure the gases change into the solid clathrates, which are tiny crystals formed by interaction of gas with water molecules. Drilling decompresses cores excavated from deep ice, and contaminates them with the drilling fluid filling the borehole.  * * *  After decompression of the ice cores, the solid clathrates decompose into a gas form, exploding in the process as if they were microscopic grenades. In the bubble-free ice the explosions form a new gas cavities and new cracks[4]. Through these cracks, and cracks formed by sheeting, a part of gas escapes first into the drilling liquid which fills the borehole, and then at the surface to the atmospheric air.

Particular gases, CO2, O2 and N2 trapped in the deep cold ice start to form clathrates, and leave the air bubbles, at different pressures and depth. At the ice temperature of –15oC dissociation pressure for N2 is about 100 bars, for O2 75 bars, and for CO2 5 bars. Formation of CO2 clathrates starts in the ice sheets at about 200 meter depth, and that of O2 and N2 at 600 to 1000 meters.

This leads to depletion of CO2 in the gas trapped in the ice sheets. This is why the records of CO2 concentration in the gas inclusions from deep polar ice show the values lower than in the contemporary atmosphere, even for the epochs when the global surface temperature was higher than now.  — Prof. Zbigniew Jaworowski. Chairman, Scientific Council of Central Laboratory for Radiological Protection, Warsaw, Poland, Statement before the US Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, March 19, 2004

Third, real science requires careful protocols.  A measuring instrument must be validated, calibrated, using a meaningful scale, and manufactured with consistency.  That’s why the U.S. Government from its earliest days including various agencies to establish “weights and measures.”

So, to use trapped gases from ice core samples, we would — if we were doing real science — have to put a known composition of gas into an ice air pocket, then come back thousands of years later, and re-test the gas composition.  That would be the kind of real science that the protesting students could have learned had they stayed in school.

Sparks fly at assault-weapons ban hearing on Capitol Hill, ex-cop vows she would ‘not comply’

A former police officer made a bold proclamation during a congressional hearing Wednesday regarding a proposed assault-weapons ban: she would not comply.

Dianna Muller, who served in the Tulsa Police Department for 22 years and is the founder of gun advocacy group The DC Project, was among the witnesses at the House Judiciary Committee hearing. The session on an otherwise contentious issue flew largely under the radar amid the Trump-Ukraine controversy and Democrats’ impeachment push. But reflecting the gun control divide in the country — amid a spate of deadly mass shootings that prompted renewed calls for strict laws — Muller said that such a ban would force lawful gun owners to either give up their arms or become criminals.

“Please don’t legislate the 150 million people just like me into being criminals. It has happened. You’ve already done it,” Muller said, referring to the Trump administration’s ban on bump stocks, the devices that use a semi-automatic weapon’s recoil to make it rapidly fire like an automatic. “I was a bump stock owner, and I had to make a decision: do I become a felon, or do I comply?”

Should the government pass an assault-weapons ban, Muller declared, “I will not comply.”

Muller and others at the hearing focused on the practicality of a ban, pointing out what they claimed were mainly “cosmetic” differences between weapons such as the AR-15 and standard semi-automatic hunting rifles. This issue was also raised by Heritage Foundation senior legal policy analyst Amy Swearer when Rep.Jim  Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., went down the line of witnesses asking if they believed hunting rifles should be banned if they are semi-automatic.

Swearer said no, stating that there was no difference in the mechanics or function of an “assault weapon” or a semi-automatic hunting rifle. Dayton, Ohio Mayor Nan Whaley, who recalled the recent mass shooting in her city, did not give a definitive answer to Sensenbrenner’s question, nor did Dr. Alejandro Rios Tovar, a trauma surgeon who treated victims of the attack in El Paso, Texas. Charlottesville, Va., Chief of Police RaShall Brackney indicated she was in favor of a ban on “any weapon that could be used to hunt individuals.”

( I guess we need to ban rocks & sticks then! What an idiot)

Rep. David Cicilline, D-R.I., countered the idea of a hunting rifle ban by referring to his assault-weapon ban bill. Cicilline said that more than 200 weapons are exempt from the bill, so there is really no issue of eliminating hunting rifles.

Swearer also testified against the idea that law-abiding citizens have no need for weapons like AR-15s, recalling how her mother, a gun novice, had difficulty accurately firing a handgun at a shooting range, but was much more effective when she used an AR-15.

“As I read the Second Amendment, it doesn’t say the right to bear arms shall not be infringed unless the gun has scary features,” Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, said.