America Has a State-Approved Domestic Terrorism Problem

During my internet perusing, I came across a post from comedian Kurt Metzger who had one of his shows canceled, alongside a few other comedians, at a comedy venue called “Capitol Hill” in Seattle. Why?

Because these comedians didn’t have the same “progressive” values as the surrounding community. Metzger notes that this comedy club is in the same district where the failed “CHAZ” encampment was created. You may recall that CHAZ was an attempt at creating an independent country with America based on the communist system that ended up being a place of murder, destruction, and flat-out idiocy.

These were communists, after all, but I digress.

Metzger posted the email he received about the cancelation of his show in full. Give it a read, and as you read it, try to notice the tone of it.

The letter isn’t rude or condescending, or at least it doesn’t come off that way. After reading it a few times, it comes off more as being written out of fear.

Notice the language being used in it. Emphasis mine.

“…we’ve received significant feedback expressing concerns about the alignment of these upcoming shows with the neighborhood’s ethos.”

“Given the feedback and to avoid any potential negative impact on both our club and the artists involved, as well as to maintain harmony within our community…”

“…we want to ensure it does not reflect on your talent and the quality of your work but is instead a reflection of our commitment to our community’s values.”

This reads like a letter that the writer, Jes Anderson, didn’t want to write. It’s incredibly complimentary to the comedians and it’s clear that they do not want to close the door on them forever, but there’s repeated language that reads like appeasement and assurances that they’re on the same side of the community in question.

This is a letter that they knew would be read by multiple groups, not just the comedians and the ticket holders. Looking at it closely, this letter looks more like someone trying to avert the very literal destruction of their club and harm of their employees, patrons, and talent than it does anything else.

If this was a city where the politicians and local law enforcement didn’t tolerate crime and violence, guarantee this letter wouldn’t have been written. Sadly, this is Seattle, where a hostile takeover of a city block is nicknamed the “Summer of Love” by the city’s mayor.

What this has created is nothing short of state-approved domestic terrorism. This is what this comedy club is trying to avoid. Since it knows these lunatics will continue to haunt and hound the venue to no end, vandalizing and destroying what it can, it’s left to capitulation and knee-bending.

And this is a problem happening in many blue cities.

In today’s America, domestic terrorism is alive and well. Many citizens live in fear of it and even many corporations have decided to pack up and leave blue cities where crime has gotten so out of control that it’s effectively ruled by criminals.

This problem is only going to get worse as criminal elements continue to flow freely into the country. I don’t think I need to emphasize the importance of voting accordingly for leaders that will come stock with a zero-tolerance policy in the coming years.

Cities like Seattle and Portland are just examples of what could happen to any city if it doesn’t begin practicing a heavy crackdown on crime now, but as for cities like these, I’m not sure what can save them except for a complete and total cultural overhaul that focuses on the residents and communities truly becoming intolerant to the criminal element among them.

But hopefully, that will happen soon. These kinds of people don’t stay contained in the cities they start in. They travel and they become everyone else’s problem as they do.

They might be safe in Smurf-blue cities like Seattle, but the moment they step foot into a territory where that level of thuggery isn’t tolerated, politicians and law enforcement need to come down hard. At the very least, they need to be taught they can’t do it outside their “safe” cities.

‘Do states matter?’: Missouri attorney general says this Second Amendment case could boost states’ rights

EXCLUSIVE — Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey said Friday that a Biden administration challenge to a gun rights law in his state has the potential to breathe new life into the 10th Amendment rights reserved for state governments and the people.

Fresh out of arguing in defense of a Second Amendment law before the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday, Bailey spoke with the Washington Examiner about the impact it could have on state sovereignty.

“The Second Amendment Preservation Act is about protecting our Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms, but it’s also a codification of the anti-commandeering doctrine from the Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution,” he said. “The federal government may not use state law enforcement, or the apparatus of the state, or its political subdivisions to enforce unconstitutional statutes and rules.”

The state law bars Missouri officers from enforcing federal gun laws that are at odds with Missouri statutes, and would impose a $50,000 fine for officers who knowingly do so.

Bailey said that if the issue were to reach the U.S. Supreme Court on the merits and justices provided a favorable ruling, it could increase state authority in a way past courts have not been willing to do and reshape precedent on 10th Amendment jurisprudence. The 10th Amendment reserves for the states powers that the Constitution does not reserve for the federal government.

Bailey called the Missouri gun case the “perfect vehicle” for allowing states to codify the anti-commandeering doctrine.

The Biden administration mounted a challenge to the Missouri law in 2022, claiming the law violated the supremacy clause in the U.S. Constitution, which gives the federal government precedent over state authority where conflicting statutes exist.

“Our Founding Fathers are rolling over in their graves,” Bailey said, noting that the Constitution was intended to protect the people from the government, and the “Founding Fathers would have understood that states are guarantors of individual liberties.”

“Biden’s Department of Justice rejects that text, history, and tradition of the United States Constitution,” he said.

Last year, U.S. District Judge Brian Wimes, an appointee of Barack Obama, invalidated the Missouri statute on the basis that it violated the supremacy clause, writing that it “exposes citizens to greater harm by interfering with the federal government’s ability to enforce lawfully enacted firearms regulations designed by Congress for the purpose of protecting citizens.”

Bailey requested an emergency review from the U.S. Supreme Court to reinstate the law, which the high court declined in October, sending the case to the 8th Circuit. At the time, Justice Clarence Thomas indicated he would have reinstated the law.

The root issue for Bailey, however, is the authority of states to enact their own laws without the approval of the federal government — and whether the federal government has the power to nullify state laws it simply does not like.

Before the Second Amendment and 10th Amendment issues are resolved on merit, however, the issue of the Department of Justice’s standing to sue — the legal capacity of a party to bring a lawsuit — would need to be decided first.

Bailey is challenging the standing of the department because he says there is no injury that gives it the basis to file a lawsuit. He said the department is simply suing on the basis of potential future conflict between state and federal firearms law — something that would not meet the standing requirement.

Judges James B. Loken, a George H.W. Bush appointee, Steven M. Colloton, a George W. Bush appointee, and Jane L. Kelly, an Obama appointee, presided over the case in a three-judge panel.

Bailey said the judges focused in on the standing issues surrounding the Department of Justice challenge to the state law, as the supremacy clause does not create an independent cause of action to challenge statutes without actual injury. The attorney general said his perception of the judges’ lines of questioning led him to believe they are skeptical of the department’s authority to sue.

It is unclear what the Biden administration would do in the event of an unfavorable ruling, and they would have the opportunity to request it be heard by an en banc panel of the full 8th Circuit, or appeal to the nation’s high court.

If Missouri receives an unfavorable ruling, Bailey said he has the constitutional duty to appeal the case because he said he is required by law to uphold rights protected in the state constitution.

“I have a sacred duty under our state constitution to continue to fight to defend Missourians right to keep and bear arms, and I will happily discharge that duty,” he concluded.

NRA Loses Corruption Case, LaPierre Liable for Millions

Manhattan, New York — The National Rifle Association failed to safeguard its donor’s funds while Wayne LaPierre diverted millions toward lavish personal expenses.

That’s the finding a six-person jury handed down on Friday after a week of deliberations. They sided with New York Attorney General Letitia James (D.) against the NRA and its leadership. In addition to the group and its former CEO Lapierre, the jury also ruled against former Treasurer Woody Phillips and General Counsel John Frazer.

The six-member jury in the civil case found LaPierre did $5.4 million worth of harm to the NRA by using its charitable funds to pay for things like private jet travel. They determined he’d already paid back about a million dollars of that harm, but also that there was enough evidence to bar him from being the group’s CEO in the future.

They found Phillips had violated his duty to work in good faith for the NRA, and that his briefly-lived post-employment contract was an unauthorized related-party transaction. However, they found it didn’t do any monetary harm to the organization. Similarly, the jurors found Frazer had violated his duty to the group and authorized “materially false” statements the NRA made on a government disclosure about related party transactions, but they also found his actions didn’t cause the group monetary harm and there wasn’t cause to remove him.

The jury also found a series of payments made to board members or people related to NRA employees were not properly approved ahead of time, but all but two–hair and makeup for Wayne LaPierre’s wife and speaking fees for former NRA president David Keene–were properly approved after the fact. However, they also found the NRA did not have a proper whistle-blower policy for years and did nothing to prevent retaliation against eight whistle-blowers identified in the case.

Judge Joel Cohen is now tasked with deciding what remedies are appropriate for the damages the jury has identified. What he decides will determine the future of the nation’s largest gun-rights group. In addition to barring LaPierre from working with the NRA or other non-profits, he could force the former CEO to pay the organization back for expenses the jury found were unlawful. But he could also appoint a monitor to oversee the NRA’s operations, which might completely transform the group’s leadership and internal operations.

A significant overhaul of the most prominent gun group in America will have a substantial impact on gun politics throughout the nation, especially since it’s far from clear the group can recover.

Of course, the corruption allegations and legal ordeal have already made a tremendous mark on the NRA. Since news of the illicit spending broke in 2018, the group has experienced an unprecedented exodus of members. Millions of people have abandoned the organization, with nobody quite sure how many remain. That’s led directly to a funding shortfall that has forced the group to slash spending on key programs, such as gun safety training and political campaigns, while pouring an unprecedented amount into controversial legal bills.

The group has continued to see declines in fundraising and will likely only be a shadow of its former self in the upcoming 2024 presidential election.

LaPierre, who resigned in the middle of the trial, and the NRA have argued that downfall was AG James’s goal from the beginning. They noted she had promised to investigate the group during her campaign, which she said wasn’t a charity but a “terrorist organization.” Her initial complaint sought the total shutdown of the NRA.

“The fact is, Letitia James set out to destroy the NRA, and the best way to do that was to destroy Wayne LaPierre,” P. Kent Correll, who represents the former CEO, said in closing arguments.

However, Judge Cohen and an appellate court rejected the argument that the case was solely a political attack when the NRA sought to have it dismissed. However, Judge Cohen also removed dissolution as a potential remedy because he argued it would be detrimental to NRA members–the people James is tasked with protecting in the suit.

“In short, the Complaint does not allege the type of public harm that is the legal linchpin for imposing the ‘corporate death penalty,’” he wrote in his opinion. “Moreover, dissolving the NRA could impinge, at least indirectly, on the free speech and assembly rights of its millions of members.

But he let the case proceed because the allegations “tell a grim story of greed, self-dealing, and lax financial oversight at the highest levels of the National Rifle Association.”

In addition to the argument about James’s political motivations, the NRA focused much of its defense on the claim it had already instituted enough reforms to self-correct. It argued that many of the illicit expenses at issue in the case did happen, but the NRA had since fired some of those involved and established internal controls to address the problems. It also attacked as unreliable former insiders, including board members and executives, who testified against those claims in court.

“The NRA Board of Directors, which is the seat of the NRA’s corporate governance, acted in good faith and with ordinary care,” the NRA’s lawyer argued.

“Ladies and gentlemen, when you’re caught in the act, saying you’re sorry now, saying that you’ll do better, doesn’t mean you didn’t take the cookie,” the AG’s lawyer responded.

As has been the case with some current NRA insiders, the group’s current leadership failed to convince the jury they resolved the issues.

Neither the NRA nor the AG responded to requests for comment.

Judge Cohen will now schedule the next trial phase, where he will be responsible for determining the final settlement of the case.

Jury finds NRA and ex-CEO Wayne LaPierre liable in civil corruption trial

The jurors determined there was cause to remove LaPierre and that he owes the organization nearly $4 million.

Former National Rifle Association CEO Wayne LaPierre has been ordered to pay nearly $4 million to the nonprofit after a jury on Friday found him liable in a civil corruption trial brought by New York Attorney General Letitia James.

The defendants, which included the NRA itself, the organization’s general counsel and corporate secretary John Frazer and former treasurer and chief financial officer Wilson “Woody” Phillips, were accused of using the nonprofit as a “personal piggy bank” in a civil lawsuit filed by James in 2020. James alleged that they violated nonprofit laws and misused tens of millions in NRA funds for personal gain.

After a week of deliberation, the jury agreed that the attorney general had proved her case, finding each of the defendants liable for violating their statutory obligations. The jury determined that LaPierre cost the organization more than $5 million but had already repaid $1.4 million. Phillips was held to have harmed the group to the tune of $2 million; the jury did not put a dollar amount on Frazer’s violation.

In their argument, attorneys for the NRA had sought to distance the organization from LaPierre, who announced his resignation as CEO just days before the trial began in January, after more than 30 years at the helm. Sarah Rogers, representing the organization, said in opening arguments that LaPierre, though a “valuable and visionary leader, was “not always a meticulous corporate executive” and questioned why the NRA was even a defendant in the case.

LaPierre’s attorneys, however, maintained that he used private jets not for personal gain, but to raise funds for the organization and for gun rights causes — even as LaPierre himself testified that he improperly expensed private flights and failed to disclose accepting luxury vacations from vendors.

“He was a visionary,” his lawyer P. Kent Correll said in closing arguments on Thursday. “He was a genius.”

Louisiana lawmakers advance bill allowing concealed carry without permit

Republican state Senators in Louisiana advanced legislation Thursday that allows adults 18 years and older to carry concealed weapons without a permit.

The Senate approved that bill, along with another that would provide a level of immunity from civil liability for a person who uses a concealed gun to shoot a person in self-defense, The Associated Press reported.

The bills were passed during a special session that was called to address violent crime in the state. They now head to the House, where the GOP is in the majority.

State Sen. Blake Miguez, the sponsor of the bill, S.B. 1, thanked his fellow Senate Republicans for passing his bill in a unanimous vote.

“This important legislation will bring stronger #2 self-defense rights to Louisiana similar to those enjoyed by citizens in neighboring states,” he posted on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.

Louisiana Gov. Jeff Landry (R) has signaled he intends to sign the bills if they reach his desk, the AP reported.

The state currently requires holders of concealed carry permits to be fingerprinted and pay a fee, which advocates of the bill say is unconstitutional, per the AP.

According to the U.S. Concealed Carry Association, 27 states allow people to carry a concealed weapon without having a permit.

In another post online, Miguez said the bill will “empower” citizens with “the means to protect themselves and their families from violent criminals.”

While Miguez and other Republicans argue they should be able to conceal carry weapons without a permit to protect themselves from criminals, Democrats say it could lead to more gun violence, the AP noted.

The special session began Monday and will address the state’s crime issues. In 2021, Louisiana had the highest violent crime rate in the country, Landry said in a speech Monday.

Today, back in 1945.

Raising the 1st flag over Mt Suribachi

Raising the 2nd flag.

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Lowering the 1st flag as the 2nd is raised.

February 23 marks the day the United States Marines raised America’s flag over Mount Suribachi in Japan during the Battle of Iwo Jima almost 80 years ago.

The moment has been immortalized in a famous photograph taken by Associated Press photographer Joe Rosenthal.

Take a look back at the history of the iconic photo, the lesser known first flag and the battle of Iwo Jima.

Battle of Iwo Jima

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American soldiers fighting against the Japanese in Iwo Jima on March 1945. (Photo by Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images)

The Battle of Iwo Jima began after American forces invaded the island on Feb. 19, 1945.

The battle lasted for five weeks and was considered one of the bloodiest military campaigns of World War II and in the history of the Marine Corps, according to The National WWII Museum.

It was estimated that almost 7,000 Marines lost their lives and all but roughly 200 of the 21,000 Japanese forces were killed, according to History.com. 

Following the capture of Iwo Jima, the longest and largest battle in the Pacific took place during the invasion of Okinawa, Japan.

Twenty-seven Medals of Honor were awarded to service members for their actions at Iwo Jima – the most in the history of the U.S., according to The National WWII Museum.

Flag raising on Iwo Jima

On Feb. 23, 1945, U.S. forces took Mount Suribachi and were photographed raising the American flag at the summit.

The iconic photo won Rosenthal, the photographer, a Pulitzer Prize.

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Joe Rosenthal, a veteran AP cameraman, who took the famous picture of the flag raising at Iwo Jima, holding camera. (Bettmann via Getty Images)

That photo shows the second flag that was erected on the mountain. A photo of the first flag that was raised shows a completely different angle and a completely different flag.

As several Marines raised the first flag on Mount Suribachi, Marine Staff Sgt. Louis Lowrey from Leatherneck Magazine captured a photo. However, after that first flag was raised, Japanese forces began to shoot and Lowrey ended up dropping his camera while ducking for cover, according to Military.com. 

As Lowrey descended the mountain to get new gear, AP photographer Rosenthal was ascending the mountain.

In response to seeing Japanese forces’ reaction to the flag being erected on the mountain, Marine Corps Lt. Col. Chandler Johnson ordered for a new and larger American flag to be raised, according to the Marines website.

This new flag raising was the moment Rosenthal captured and became one of the most famous photos in American history.

Who raised the Iwo Jima flags?

The service members who raised the first flag on Mount Suribachi were: 1st Lt. Harold G. Schrier, Plt. Sgt. Ernest I. Thomas, Jr., Sgt. Henry O. Hansen, Cpl. Charles W. Lindberg, Pharmacist Mate 2nd Class John H. Bradley and Pvt. Philip L. Ward, according to the Marine Corps website. 

Following Iwo Jima, Schrier fought in the Korean War and was promoted to Major in 1951. He would retire from the Marines as a lieutenant colonel, according to the Military Hall of Honor website. He died in 1971 in Florida.

Lindberg said that many did not believe him when he said he helped raise one of the two flags in Iwo Jima, according to a New York Times report. 

Lindberg spent his final years raising awareness about the first flag-raising and spoke at veterans groups and schools, The Times said.

He died in June of 2007.

Bradley, who was originally misidentified in the photo of the second (more famous) flag raising, passed away in 1994 and his son, James Bradley, later wrote a book titled “Flags of Our Fathers” in 2000. The book’s storyline centered around the flag-raising in Iwo Jima and the famous photograph that came from it.  A movie adaptation of the book directed by Clint Eastwood was released in 2006, according to IMDB.

Controversy surrounded the book after it was found that some of the Marines, including Bradley, in the second flag-raising photograph were misidentified.

The Marine Corps formally recognized the misidentification and in 2016, a corrected list of names for both the first flag-raising and second were released.

Ward was one of the Marines not identified as one of the original men who helped raise the first flag on Mount Suribachi and was part of the amended list of Marines released in 2016.

Ward was posthumously recognized for his part in the battle as he died on Dec. 28, 2005, according to We Are the Mighty.

Thomas and Hansen died in battle.

Those who were responsible for the second flag-raising were: Pfc. Harold Keller, Pfc. Harold Schultz, Cpl. Harlon Block, Pfc. Franklin Sousley, Sgt. Michael Strank and Pfc. Ira Hayes.

In 2019, the Marine Corps, in collaboration with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and historian Brent Westmeyer, revealed that Keller was misidentified as Cop. Rene Gagnon in the famous photograph of the second flag-raising.

Keller survived the war and went back home to Iowa where he lived with his wife Ruby and three children until he died of a heart attack in 1979, according to the Des Moines Register. 

Hayes, who was a member of the Pima Indian Tribe, was dubbed a war hero by President Dwight D. Eisenhower when he returned to the U.S.

Hayes struggled with PTSD and survivor’s guilt, according to the Museum of Native American History. He died at the age of 32 near his home in Sacaton, Arizona.

Schultz returned to the U.S. and worked for the Postal Service until his retirement in 1981, according to We Are The Mighty.

He seldomly spoke of his time in the war and only revealed any details to his stepdaughter, Dezreen Macdowell. She would go on to be interviewed by Time Magazine and lauded her stepfather as a war hero.

Schultz died on May 16, 1955.

Block, Strank and Sousley were killed in action in Iwo Jima.

Woman shoots man in knee outside of Frayser home

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Memphis Police are investigating a shooting that took place outside of a home in Frayser overnight.

The incident happened in the 2700 block of Crackelrose Drive. When officers arrived, they found a man outside with a gunshot wound to the knee.

Reports state that the victim and a woman, the mother of his children, had got into a verbal argument over infidelity.

The woman claimed she put his belongings outside for him to pick them up.

When the man arrived, he began talking to the front door camera. He then broke it and used it to smash open a window at the back of the house, police say.

The woman allegedly grabbed a gasoline container and threw it at the man. After he rinsed his eyes with the outside water hose, he entered the home and reportedly began assaulting her.

MPD says the woman was able to get out of the home, but the man followed; she then fired one shot, hitting him in the leg.

A neighbor came out of the home, and the woman urged them to call the police.

The man remains in non-critical condition. No charges have been filed.