[13jul16 - This commentary sans update also appeared in the op-ed pages of today's Union.]
Well good for her, she has the courage of her convictions and the determination to represent her constituency – the people who voted for her. While I take great exception to Reinette Senum’s grossly uninformed assertion that the nation’s police “have obviously been given directives to go out there and kill. It’s insane and it’s meant to create mayhem”. Holding that belief and stating it publicly should not be grounds for requiring an elected public official to resign. It may be one of the few honest statements politicians have made in this election season about what they believe.
I have known Reinette for years and have enjoyed working with her on panels and local media broadcasts. We have broken bread together and taken the time to trade views and ideas. While as a conservetarian I don’t fly in tight formation with her politics and many of her public policies, I do respect her as a strong and energetic voice for a significant and perhaps dominant constituency of Nevada City neighbors who have visibly celebrated her many works in the community. Today she again represents these people in city government.
Progressivism's Litmus Test is their introduction of public policies that eliminate dependence of social order on culture, and their replacement with prescriptions based solely on the state's threat of gratuitous and arbitrary application of overwhelming force.
National Lie #53(or whatever) – Illegal aliens are a net contribution to our GDP. Really??
… according to a new report from Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BAML). The report noted that in 2014 unauthorized immigrants had a labor force participation rate of 70% compared to 62.9% for the overall population. (more here)
Get out an old envelope for a little arithmetic. The politically correct population of illegals in the country is somewhere north of 11M – the actual is somewhere between 15M and 30M depending on how you count. Never mind the actual number, say, it’s 15M, and assume all of them are workforce age. So according to BAML 0.3*15M = 4.5M are not even in the workforce. Now charitably assume that the remaining 70% or 10.5M in the workforce are unemployed at the nationally quoted level of about 5% which adds another 0.05*10.5M = 525,000 to the 4.5M already unemployed, giving a total of a bit more than 5M unemployed illegals in the country. So approximately 5M illegal aliens in the country are living off of some kind of government programs that should at least be paid for by the 10M working and taxpaying (sales and maybe payroll taxes) illegals to net out zero impact on state and federal budgets. In this we don't count the almost 2 of 5 people in jail who are illegals costing about $1.9B/yr to house. You have to be beyond dense to believe that the taxes paid by two low paid illegals are enough to support one unemployed illegal alien as you swallow National Lie #53. Now you can show the envelope to your friends.
[This is the addended transcript of my regular KVMR commentary broadcast on 6 July 2016.]
Today millions of Americans believe that yesterday morning we saw justice publicly executed at the hand of a corrupt federal government. And the executioner was none other than FBI Director James Comey, who was not supposed to wield the ax, yet he did it anyway.
Even he must have known that history would be made by his unprecedented public statement (transcript here), one not called for by his job description nor delivered by any of his predecessors. Comey spent the first 14 minutes detailing the federal penal codes Ms Clinton had violated, and then summarily stated there was not enough evidence to indict her, after which he peremptorily walked out of the room. Americans were both astounded and distressed. (more here)
The many remarkable events over the past eighteen months, along with coincidences during the last two weeks, have given rise to a number of conspiracy theories on what really happened behind the scenes that led to yesterday. So now allow me to entertain you by spinning one more such conspiracy theory that you might not have heard yet.
This morning we heard FBI Director James Comey announce that the bureau’s exhaustive investigation found no reason to bring criminal charges against Hillary Clinton regarding the goings on with her private email servers when she was Secretary of State.
His conclusion was based on two factors –
Lack of intent to harm the country. “Although we did not find clear evidence that Secretary Clinton or her colleagues intended to violate laws governing the handling of classified information, there is evidence that they were extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information,”
Assessing the success of a subsequent prosecution were she indicted; to wit, “no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case.”
Anyone who has ever held high security clearances with the responsibility to safeguard classified materials, and also the responsibility to classify previously unclassified materials knows that intent to violate the laws governing such handlings makes no exception for the perpetrator’s intentions. (cf Federal Penal Code, Title 18, Sec 794(f)(g) ) It is the existential behaviors and their portent for harm that determine guilt or innocence. Without doubt Hillary’s position as SecState assigned her those responsibilities, apparently without having to be accountable for failing to carry them out. When I was in government service, holding such high clearances in and out of the military, any careless, let alone “extremely careless”, handling of classified materials would have instantly resulted in the loss of my clearances and a criminal indictment. Were this to have happened while I was on active duty, I would have spent my life in Leavenworth no matter what my intentions had been.
And when did it become a material factor for a criminal investigative agency to base its findings on its own apprehension of what every one of the population of the country’s “reasonable prosecutors” would do were the conclusion to recommend indictment? In this case that decision is specifically reserved for the DoJ of which AG Lynch in her recent half-hearted retreat still retained her right to make the final decision to indict or not. Comey’s precipitous conclusion and rationale relieved Team Obama of having to bear the corruption-laden political brunt of exonerating Hillary. Comey conveniently chose to fall on that sword himself.
According to my lights it is beyond ludicrous to conclude that “no reasonable prosecutor” could be found to prosecute Hillary based just on the evidence that has been released to, and surreptitiously withheld from, the public. The most likely case is that there would be tens of reasonable prosecutors across the country who would step up to make the case that Hillary is guilty of a long list of serious infractions that include impeding the investigation.
Finally, we are being asked to believe that the sequence of recent events had no impact on the investigation’s outcome and its timely announcement this morning. We are asked to believe that all parties and departments for the first time in federal government history behaved with solid insularity between jurisdictions, with hundreds of agents, bureaucrats, and officials remaining mum about their individual goings on.
Exit questions: How would Hillary’s announced trip with President Obama on Air Force One to campaign in North Carolina have had to be handled if Comey had recommended indictment? Without certain knowledge of Comey’s compliance as a team player, who would have had the meetings, scheduled the events, and made the public statements we have witnessed in the last week? Is it really over?
Ms Patricia Smith, MMJ champion and president of the local Americans for Safe Access, invited Mr Eddie Garcia (NC SoJ steering committee) and me to have lunch and discuss the progress toward a draft of the new interim MMJ ordinance that the NC BoS will adopt before Labor Day. The county and stake holders promoting MMJ access have already met twice, and are scheduled to meet again before the new ordinance is finalized. In the interval Ms Smith is meeting with various community interests to get a wide range of feedback on attitudes toward growing MMJ in the county, and what should be contained in the ordinance. In November California will be among eight states that will vote on legalizing both MMJ and RMJ. Nevada County’s finalized MMJ ordinance will then be put in concordance with what comes down from Sacramento.
This will be America’s 240th birthday celebration observed by divers cohorts of “real live nephews of our Uncle Sam” not all of whom wish him a long life. Our divisions today are at least as great as those which gave rise to the South’s War for Independence – aka the Civil War. Americans grouped under the Left banner no longer share anything of significance in common with those who assemble themselves as various forms of the Right. By this I am referring to a comprehensive intellectual, spiritual, and ideological break. No common history, worldview, socio-political ideals, sense of Man, interpretation of foundational principles, application of logic and modes of critical thought are shared. And recently even the scientific method has donned a distinct and politically correct mantle.
[Dear People, here is a fresh sandbox for our 4th of July weekend. I would like to seed it with the arguments from this WSJ editorial, 'Loretta Lynch's Clinton Mess'. Hopefully all will be careful with their BBQs and adult beverages during this festive time. While we can no longer shoot off our guns and firecrackers, we can still think good thoughts about the old Republic and quaff a few much needed toasts to its health. gjr]