GOP tax plan is apparently not evil incarnate

Though it’s clear CBS News attempted to make it so.

Backfire. Ahem. Watch:

Evil GOP. Such an evil GOP.

Just ask Nancy Pelosi.

Why is it “armageddon”? Because it’s already working and the Demorats cannot afford to have Trump be effective in any capacity whatsoever. But wait. What has already happened because of the passage of the GOP tax plan?

Oh yeah.

Most recently: companies are coming back to the United States from other nations. From the NYPost.com:

Fiat Chrysler to move plant from Mexico to Michigan, pay out bonuses

by Associated Press

DETROIT — Fiat Chrysler is moving production of heavy-duty trucks from Mexico to Michigan and paying bonuses to US workers in response to the passage of US tax reform late last year.

Armageddon!

The automaker will invest $1 billion in its Warren Truck Assembly Plant to make the Ram Heavy Duty Truck starting in 2020. That truck is currently made in Saltillo, Mexico, where workers will continue to make commercial vehicles.

Armageddon!

FCA says the Warren plant will add 2,500 new jobs.

Armageddon!

The company also plans to pay $2,000 bonuses this spring to about 60,000 hourly and salaried US employees. Senior executives won’t get the bonus.

FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne says the company should adjust its manufacturing footprint to reflect “improvement in the US business environment.” He says employees should also share in the tax savings.

Terrible armageddon! Just ask Nancy.

But wait; weren’t we told that Donald Trump was lying when he even began to intimate that jobs will come back from foreign countries? Of course we were. Obama said so. He’s god, so he’d know. Just ask him.

PBS called bullshit:

Trump says he’ll bring jobs back to America. Economists are skeptical

WASHINGTON — Donald Trump has promised to shred America’s trade deals and impose fines on imports from Mexico and China. He’s gone so far as to swear off Oreos to protest Nabisco’s transfer of cookie production from Chicago to Mexico.

Blazing Leftist EconoWizard Paul Krugman wrote in 2016:

KRUGMAN: No matter what Trump does, manufacturing jobs are not coming back to the US

Paul Krugman, the Nobel prize winning economist and New York Times columnist, took to Twitter on Friday to address the state of the US labor market and promises by President-elect Donald Trump to being back manufacturing jobs.

“Nothing policy can do will bring back those lost jobs. The service sector is the future of work; but nobody wants to hear it,” said a tweet from the economist.

Uh-huh. The glazingly-accurate CBS News (see above) said in 2017:

Manufacturing jobs in America: They’re not coming back

GE is building things and it’s creating jobs. The problem is, almost none of those jobs are in the U.S. It used to make trains in Erie, PA, a major source of employment in the area, and recently landed a $2.6billion contract to supply trains to India. Unfortunately for those laid off from its transportation plant in Erie, the Indian contract will see GE pour $200 million of investment in India, where they’ll be building the trains. The jobs aren’t coming back.

True for GE. Hell, both major locomotive manufacturers in the US have kicked American workers to the curb. GE and EMD.

Let’s see. Who also announced bonuses because of the tax plan?

  • Walmart
  • Waste Management Corporation
  • Nationwide
  • Bank of America
  • American Airlines
  • Jet Blue
  • Comcast
  • AT&T

Piddly little nothing businesses. They mean nothing. Just like the bonuses mean nothing. Just ask Nancy Pelosi. Secure and confident because her husband Paul Pelosi owns and operates Financial Leasing Services LLC, Collectively they are worth at least $500 million dollars. Yes. Half a billion dollars. She’s set. They’re set. Are you?

And where do the Pelosis live? That’s right, in Pacific Heights, San Francisco. Some of the most expensive real estate in that city and, hence, the state itself. On the northeast corner of Broadway and Normandie Terrace. Look for the black SUVs.

Of course, she’s fighting for the “little people,” the proles, the serfs, the groundlings, the rabble, the unwashed because — after all — she so identifies with them and feels their daily pain. She’s just the fourth richest Californian in Congress. How sad for her. What a struggle. What oppression. The pain she must endure to be a female.

The NationalReview.com says:

Nancy Pelosi’s Life in the 0.1 Percent

by Brooke Rogers

Nancy Pelosi may be one of the most liberal members of the U.S. House, where she runs the Democratic caucus, railing against income inequality and the avarice of the 1 percent. But she also happens to be one of the body’s wealthiest members: In Washington, she lives in a multimillion-dollar Georgetown condo; she owns a 16-acre vineyard in Napa Valley and a 3,700 square-foot house in San Francisco’s tony Pacific Heights, according to her May 2015 financial disclosure statements. Her May 2015 financial-disclosure statements,showing income that places her in the top one-tenth of the 1 percent of Americans, may surprise some in light of the concern she’s expressed about income equality and the distribution of wealth.

From GatewayPundit.com:

TRUMP Records His 23rd New Stock Market High – Market Up 17% Since Election

Guest post by Joe Hoft

Since the election on November 8th the DOW has closed at record highs an amazing 40 times.  Nearly one-fourth or 24% of the 168 days the markets have closed have been record highs since the November 8th election.  The market is up 17% since the election.

Then there was this from the WashingtonExaminer.com:

Year One List: 81 major Trump achievements, 11 Obama legacy items repealed

by Paul Bedard

With the passage of the GOP tax bill this week, the Trump administration has scored 81 major achievements in its first year, making good on campaign promises to provide significant tax cuts, boost U.S. energy production, and restore respect to the United States, according to the White House.

And along the way, President Trump even outdid his own expectations and slashed at least 11 major legacy items of former President Barack Obama, including cracking down on the open border, slowing recognition of communist Cuba and effectively killing Obamacare by ending the mandate that everyone have health insurance or face a tax.

According to the White House, the 81 accomplishments are in 12 major categories and include well over 100 other minor achievements.

Armageddon!

You can thank me later.

BZ

 

Federal government via Trump cedes land BACK to the states

For reference, let’s refresh memories with an article from TheHill.com:

Obama creates, expands national monuments

by Timothy Cama

President Obama created and expanded more national monuments Thursday to honor the history of the fight for civil rights and to protect important landscapes in the West.

The national monument designations, coming about a week before Obama leaves office, further add to the aggressive conservation agenda the president has pursued throughout his eight years in office, fueled by unilateral land and water protections through the Antiquities Act.

Obama has now used the Antiquities Act in more instances than any of his predecessors. He already exceeded the land and water acreage of his successors before Thursday evening’s announcement.

Additionally, from the SierraClub.org:

President Obama Establishes Two New National Monuments in Nevada and Utah

by Jason Mark

Bears Ears and Gold Butte will complete the creation of a massive wildlife corridor in the Southwest

Christmas came a few days late for conservationists, but the presents were welcome nevertheless: Today President Obama used his authority under the Antiquities Act to establish two new national monuments in the Southwest. Together, the designation of the Bears Ears National Monument in Utah and the Gold Butte National Monument in Nevada gives added protections to some 1.6 million acres of land and, in the process, helps to complete a landscape-scale wildlife corridor north of the Colorado River.

What did that mean? This: with the stroke of a pen the federal government took state land. Plain and simple. 1.6 million acres of land. Public use? Go to hell. Private property? Go to hell.

The physical statistics are these: Barack Hussein Obama took an absolutely unprecedented 554,590,000 acres of land and sea out of use for private citizens and out of any form of due process in terms of deliberation or consideration..

This was clearly a last minute “fuck you” to the incoming administration, filed under the header of “because I can” as a lame duck president. There is no other phrase applicable other than “naked land grab.” Rights be damned.

However, where there are problems there are also remedies. First, from NPR.org:

Trump Orders Largest National Monument Reduction In U.S. History

by Kirk Siegler and Colin Dwyer

On a visit to Utah on Monday, President Trump announced his proclamations dramatically shrinking the size of the state’s two massive national monuments, Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante. Taken together, Trump’s orders mark the largest reversal of national monument protections in U.S. history.

On the heels of Obama’s largest land grab in history.

The Bears Ears National Monument will go from roughly 1.3 million acres to roughly 228,000 — only about 15 percent of its original size. And Grand Staircase will be diminished by roughly half, from its nearly 1.9 million acres to about 1 million. The specific numbers were provided to reporters by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke prior to Trump’s announcement in Salt Lake City.

This is, upon consideration, a staggering event. When is it ever that you’ve heard or seen the United State government relinquishing power or control over land? When is it that you’ve ever heard or seen the US government ceding land and control back to the states?

“No one values the splendor of Utah more than you do,” Trump told an enthusiastic crowd Monday, “and no one knows better how to use it.”

States rights. Individual control and determination. The polar opposite of the belief system involving Leftists, Demorats and the American Media Maggots in which the bulk of the population is insufficiently capable of self-determination or future planning.

He noted that before making the decision, he had discussed it with Zinke and the state’s two GOP senators, Orrin Hatch and Mike Lee. Both senators have been outspoken critics of the two national monuments — both protected under the 1906 Antiquities Act by Democratic presidents — framing them as significant federal overreach that deprives Utahans of their own land.

And Trump echoed those criticisms Monday.

But wait; here is the true crux of the biscuit for this case and oh-so-many others.

“These abuses of the Antiquities Act give enormous power to faraway bureaucrats at the expense of the people who actually live here, work here and make this place their home,” Trump said.

Decisions made by persons far away and far removed from the ramifications of their decisions and edicts. This equates to = they primarily couldn’t care less in DC.

“President Trump’s decision to reduce these monuments allows us to still protect those areas that need protection, while at the same time keeping the area open and accessible to locals who depend on this land for their daily lives,” said Matt Anderson of the Utah-based Sutherland Institute.

Damn that logic.

Of course, let the lawsuits begin. From NARF.org:

PROTECTING BEARS EARS NATIONAL MONUMENT

President Obama proclaimed the Monument pursuant to his authority under the Antiquities Act, just as all presidents since Theodore Roosevelt had established national monuments. It was the culmination of more than six years of active effort on the part of five Native nations, local tribal people, and their allies to obtain protections for a region that is a sacred source of spiritual traditions and place of origin.

On April 26, 2017, President Trump attacked this important designation. Trump signed an executive order directing Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to conduct a review of the Bears Ears National Monument to determine if it was created without “public outreach and proper coordination.” However, the suggestion that the monument’s designation lacked outreach and coordination is disingenuous. The Bears Ears National Monument was created after years of advocacy and many public meetings in the region and in Washington, DC. The effort to protect Bears Ears was very long, very public, and very robust.

Although Trump has stated that he will shrink the Monument, he does not have the authority to take such action.

Odd. What can be done by a president can be undone by a president. Take it to court. Nothing is a one-way process. If so, we’d all be Communists now. We’d all be Demorats now. We aren’t?

Wait. Aren’t these “rights” that were heretofore “unenjoyed” by any form of “indigenous peoples” prior to December of 2016? Why, yes, that is correct. Where was NARF during the Obama Administration prior to December of 2016? Oh yeah. Conspicuously SILENT.

From FoxNews.com:

Trump shrinks Utah monuments created by Obama, Clinton

by Bamini Chakraborty

Capping months of speculation, President Trump on Monday signed a pair of executive orders to significantly shrink two of Utah’s national monuments – Bears Ears and the Grand Staircase-Escalante – that were created by his Democratic predecessors.

The controversial move was pitched by Trump as a win for states’ rights and follows an April review conducted by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke on the boundaries of large national monuments. The review initially looked at more than two dozen sites designated by presidential decree since the 1990s.

Amendment X:
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

Thank you.

BZ

 

Building the Leftist tsunami

Older man struck and injured by Antifa rioters in Berkeley, early 2017, for wearing a red baseball cap which read “make America great again.” Where would the American Media Maggots be if this were an older black man struck down during an “alt right” rally?

After the recent forcible and violent removal of various statues across the nation by elements of Antifa and aligned sympathizers — to include the City of Baltimore removing the Taney, Lee, Jackson and Confederate women’s statues in literally the dead of night . . .

. . . I and many others knew that we had to do what I term the Logical Extension: the waters will build to the point where one can only assume this will lead to the greater call for anything even remotely aligned with our Founding Fathers.

Just as President Trump suspected.

Because, after all, there was no blame on both sides. It was only the white supremacists who were fighting and becoming violent. Apparently they must have been fighting each other. To me, a startling revelation but good to know.

Who is violent again?

And, further, as Al Sharpton confirms.

Tucker Carlson spoke about what I said on my radio shows this past Tuesday and Thursday. Where are we going?

Would it shock you to know that the bulk of America — 62%doesn’t want anything done with Confederate monuments, as in “let them be?”

But, for Leftists, it’s just the beginning. “Never let a good crisis go to waste.” As I said, the Charlottesville event is peripheral to their ultimate goals. Goals that at once are clear and foggy, simultaneously. Clear because we know where Leftists wish to go. Foggy because much of their rhetoric and hate-filled bombast is predicated upon everything but history.

As I also said and wrote directly following Charlottesville, yes, this is about racism but actually — only peripherally. This is but one step in a prior set of steps and a continuing series of steps by Leftists. It’s all pointing to a much larger issue involving — just as Barack Hussein Obama publicly stated he wished to do — the fundamental changing of America.

By Leftists, of course. And some Republicans. But not Conservatives. [Excellent article by Peter Beinart here.]

Think: frog and boiling pot. For example, ambush killings on police are up 167%. Police officers shot and/or killed are up 56% per CBS. Just this past Friday, August 18th, six officers were shot and two were killed in Florida and Pennsylvania.

Leftists, Antifa and BLM members are cheering nationwide. Have no doubt.

This is direct reflection on the temper of the times and has been brewing the prior 8 years under Mr Obama, who both tacitly condoned and openly supported these eventualities. Would anyone dare to intimate that Mr Obama could not see the eventual results of his words writ large across the land? We’re suggesting he was that daft?

A condemnation of Cambridge Police “before all the facts are in” by Mr Obama as he and Professor Gates appear to “match.”

An equally biased support of Trayvon Martin before the case was in and prior to a verdict, in which George Zimmermann, not a Caucasoid but an Hispanic, was found not guilty by a jury of his peers. FDLE, DOJ and FBI cases were dropped for lack of evidence.

This is called a trend, one of many biased statements, identified as a pattern.

How would the press react if President Trump said, regarding a case involving a black police officer shooting a young white suspect, that “if I had another son, he’d look like ______”? There would be chaos for days if not weeks, aided and abetted by our favorite American Media Maggots.

I am certain, and you cannot convince me otherwise, that Mr Obama isn’t looking upon the events of the past two weeks or so and not applauding and smiling, calling like-minded friends and politicians, confident in knowing that what he set in motion, despite the loss of Hillary Rodham Clinton, is still in play to a growing extent.

  • It is time to read and become familiar with Saul Alinsky’s “Rules For Radicals.”
  • It is time to read and become familiar with the “Cloward-Piven Strategy.”
  • It is far past time to read Eric Arthur Blair’s “Animal Farm.”
  • And it is shockingly past time to read EAB’s “1984.”

[By the way, each link above is to a site where you can read each book for free.]

Please allow me to provide you with a few salient “1984” quotes.

WAR IS PEACE
FREEDOM IS SLAVERY
IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH

“He who controls the past controls the future. He who controls the present controls the past.”

“The choice for mankind lies between freedom and happiness and for the great bulk of mankind, happiness is better.”

There are more.

But I think you get the gist.

The waves are building.

The tsunami is developing.

Will it be ameliorated or will it be abetted?

BZ

 

Sen Tom Cotton on crime and injustice in the Obama administration

Please, I implore you, watch the video. 39-year-old Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton is refreshingly open, concise and honest about crime and justice — precisely the things that Barack Hussein Obama and his so-called “Justice Department” were not. We can never afford to relive these times and Senator Cotton makes a necessary summary.

If you’re uninterested in 28 minutes of video, then please read the transcript.  From Hudson.org:

Senator Tom Cotton’s Remarks on Crime and Justice in America

This past Sunday, thousands of law-enforcement officers, their families, and other supporters gathered at the Capitol to observe Peace Officers Memorial Day.

Every speech given, every tribute paid, and every prayer offered was a poignant reminder: public safety and order in our country often come at a high cost.

Law and order in our communities doesn’t arise spontaneously; men are not angels, after all. Police officers put the badge on every morning, not knowing for sure if they’ll come home at night to take it off. Dedicated prosecutors toil long hours in our courts. Corrections officers and other professionals do the thankless work of administering punishment and, hopefully, providing a path for redemption. And neighborhood-watch groups and civic organizations take it upon themselves to raise standards of conduct in their communities.

During this police week, I also want to take a moment to also remember Deputy Sheriff Sonny Smith, one of Arkansas’s own. Deputy Smith was an 11-year veteran of the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office, and he also proudly served in our nation’s Navy. He was killed in the line of duty last year while responding to a burglary.

Deputy Smith’s story is a sad reminder that preserving the peace takes vigilance. It takes hard work. And it takes sacrifice—sometimes, the ultimate sacrifice.

This may seem obvious to those who dedicate their lives to keeping our streets safe. But it’s no longer so clear to some in these times of historically low crime.

We’re currently reaping the benefits of one of the great public-policy achievements in modern times: a dramatic, generation-long drop in crime. Violent crime is at a 40-year low. Property crime is at a 50-year low. Even more remarkably, this drop in crime followed a decade-long spike in crime arising out of the drug epidemic of the 1980s and early 1990s. That epidemic turned streets into literal battlefields, teenagers into foot soldiers, and too many citizens into casualties of the drug wars.

It may seem like a distant nightmare now, but make no mistake: 30 years ago, our cities were slowly dying.

Maureen Dowd, then a young metro reporter, described the ravages of the drug trade through the eyes of children living amidst it. She quoted a 10-year-old girl who called her neighborhood “the murdering area.” Other children chimed in as well: “Two days ago on the corner they stabbed a man,” said one. Another young boy confided in Dowd: “[T]he…raping, kicking, fighting. To death it scares me.”

At the peak of New York’s crisis, the city had 2,245 murders in one year—that’s over six murders every single day. In Los Angeles, a city half the size of New York, there were 1,094 murders. Nor was the crisis limited to the biggest cities. I have several family members living in Little Rock. At one point, Little Rock had the highest per capita murder rate in America, as memorialized in Gang War: Bangin’ in Little Rock, an HBO documentary.

This was the context, I would add, in which Hillary Clinton warned about so-called “super predators” while championing her husband’s crime bill, which is now much maligned by pro-leniency activists.

Many people in those days doubted whether our society could turn itself around. Maybe Central Park would forever be a no-go zone for law-abiding citizens. Maybe women would never be able to ride the subway alone again. Maybe drug gangs would always outgun the police.

These fears were understandable, but they were also wrong. We turned our society around and we made our streets safe again. But this didn’t just happen by accident; it happened because of policy changes like broken-windows policing techniques, mandatory-minimum sentences for violent criminals, 3-strikes laws, and other reforms. These sweeping changes to criminal-justice policy were championed by scholars like Jim Wilson, elected leaders like Rudy Giuliani, and tough police like Bill Bratton. These policies helped to take back our streets.

Too many people, it would seem, have forgotten these hard-learned lessons. They take our historically low crime rates for granted, acting as if safe neighborhoods are the natural state of man. They often speak and act as if criminals are victims, too.

This disturbing amnesia also comes with a policy agenda as ambitious as it is wrongheaded. Some members of Congress would reduce mandatory minimum sentences for drug traffickers and other violent felons, while giving liberal judges more discretion in sentencing again. Others want to prohibit employers from inquiring about criminal history in job-application forms; some states have already done so. Just last month, one governor restored voting rights to more than 200,000 felons, regardless of the offense committed or evidence of rehabilitation. And, of course, a nationwide movement is afoot to stigmatize law enforcement and the proven policing strategies of the last 25 years.

These policies are not merely wrong. They are dangerous. They threaten a return to the worst days of the 1990s, when law-abiding citizens lived in fear of their lives. Indeed, we may be living through the leading edge of a new crime wave. Over the last two years, murders across 56 of our largest cities are up 17 percent. The numbers are even more shocking in some cities. In Chicago, murders jumped 70 percent in the first quarter of this year alone. In Las Vegas, 81 percent. In Long Beach, 125 percent.

As a result, more and more Americans are worrying about the impact criminals are having on their communities. Last year, a Gallup poll showed that 53 percent of Americans say they personally worry “a great deal” about crime and violence, a 14-percent jump from 2014. That’s the highest figure Gallup has recorded in 15 years.

The ill-considered policies of criminal-leniency advocates and the resulting increases in crime reflect a badly misguided mindset. Criminals are not victims. Criminals are criminals. Victims are victims.

Now that may seem harsh to those who have security details and live in gated communities. From those comfortable perches, one can easily miss the silliness in the notorious old New York Times stories by Fox Butterfield with headlines like: “Prison Population Growing Although Crime Rate Drops.” It’s easy, after all, to feel virtuous about being soft on crime when you live in Chappaqua or McClean or Woodside. But when you live in Osceola or Trumann or Pine Bluff—working-class towns in my state where crime has been increasing lately—you can’t afford such woolly-headed abstractions.

What’s ironic is that this supposedly “new” and enlightened way of thinking about criminal justice isn’t new at all. The specious theory that responsibility for crime lies not with the criminal, but with society or the criminal-justice system is, in fact, very old. In the 1960s and 1970s, many academic criminologists believed that criminals commit crimes because the criminal-justice system works to “label” them as “deviants.”

The policy implications of this theory were, to say the least, unorthodox: legalize prohibited activity, reduce prison sentences, close prisons, restrain the police, and swiftly restore all rights and privileges of citizenship upon release from prison. Sound familiar? This kind of thinking created the crime waves that got us to the point where Hillary Clinton worried publicly about “super predators.” Yet all that’s old is new again, I suppose.

Now, let me stipulate that many reformers have the noblest of motives. They see crushing poverty, broken families, and struggling communities—and they want to help. Out of Christian charity, humanitarian fellow-feeling, or even their own brushes with the law, they’re seeking solutions.

Yet they’re looking in the wrong places. Modern sentencing law and policing techniques have reduced these social problems, not created them. Far from the source of the problems, our criminal-justice system is a key part of the solution. Yes, it could be reformed here and there, but wholesale criminal leniency would not only be ineffective, it would also lead to more crime, more poverty, and more lives lost. Ultimately, the criminal-leniency agenda will end up hurting the very offenders, families, and communities the reformers want to help.

Let’s consider this agenda in more detail.

As you probably know, there’s a bill in Congress now that would sharply reduce mandatory minimums for a slew of federal crimes, grant judges wider discretion to depart from these minimums, and apply reductions retroactively so that duly convicted felons will be released early. The bill’s advocates contend that we’re locking up too many offenders for too long for too little, we can’t afford it anyway, and we should show more empathy toward those caught up in the criminal-justice system.

These arguments, put simply, are baseless. They’ve been proved wrong by hard facts and by history.

Take a look at the facts. First, the claim that too many criminals are being jailed, that there is over-incarceration, ignores an unfortunate fact: for the vast majority of crimes, a perpetrator is never identified or arrested, let alone prosecuted, convicted, and jailed. Law enforcement is able to arrest or identify a likely perpetrator for only 19 percent of property crimes and 47 percent of violent crimes. If anything, we have an under-incarceration problem.

Furthermore, the federal prison population is already declining. The Sentencing Commission has already granted 32,000 felons early release from prison since 2007 because of earlier sentencing-guideline revisions, with another 38,000 to be released. This has reduced the federal prison population to 196,000 inmates, down from 214,000 in 2014 and on track for its lowest level since 2005.

And of this inmate population, only a fraction of a percent are imprisoned for an offense like mere drug possession. Even if you assume that these prisoners didn’t plea down from a more serious offense—and, believe me, most of them did—we’re talking about fewer than 500 prisoners here. If these are the so-called “low-level, non-violent, first-time” offenders that pro-leniency senators have in mind, why does their legislation extend to thousands of felons? Releasing a flood of these violent felons into our streets would surrender the hard-won gains of the last generation.

That generation started with short sentences and soft-on-crime judges. In the last crime wave, judges had vast discretion in sentencing. This meant that drug dealers often returned to the streets just days after arrest. In fact one police officer admitted to a reporter in 1984 that the majority of dealers he arrested would pay a $50 fine and be released within four days. He stated, “For us it’s cosmetics, cleaning the streets briefly. For [dealers], it’s just the cost of doing business.”

Well, the cost of doing business for criminals needed to go up. Two main factors affecting the cost-benefit calculus of criminals are the severity and certainty of a sentence. Increasing both in the 1980s contributed significantly to the massive drop in crime—as much as 35 percent of the drop according to some studies.

The truth is you cannot decrease the severity and certainty of sentences without increasing crime. It’s simply impossible.

The bill’s sponsors rarely speak of this trade-off. They don’t answer the concrete questions that matter to citizens, families, and communities: How many more crimes will be committed because of sentencing reductions? How many more lives lost? How many lives ruined and communities at risk? Let me tell you, with a recidivism rate of 77 percent for released felons, the answer is a lot, no matter how much we improve rehabilitation programs.

Instead of answering these questions, advocates for leniency often point to admittedly large government budgets for law enforcement, courts, and corrections. To which I would respond: And? After national security, what government priority is higher than law and order? Moreover, this perspective is particularly short-sighted, especially for conservatives. Put aside the cost of crime to our governments; what about the cost of crime to our society?

As for the claim that we should have more empathy for criminals, I won’t even try to conceal my contempt for the idea. I empathize first and foremost with the victims of crime and their families. We ought to give criminals a shot at rehabilitation and redemption, but primarily because it’s in our interest as a society, not because they deserve more empathy.

Now, all that said, I don’t discount the the possibility of a manifestly unjust sentence, one so out of proportion to the crime that it shocks the conscience. But that’s why the Anglo-American system of justice gives the pardon power to the executive. I support the use of pardon and commutation as a precise scalpel to identify and remedy such cases. But what we should not do is use the blunt instrument of releasing thousands of violent felons and major drug dealers because of a handful of such cases, many spurious or hypothetical at that.

I believe the criminal-leniency bill in the Senate is dead in this year’s Congress. And it should remain so if future versions allow for the release of violent felons from prison. I will, though, happily work with my colleagues on true criminal-justice reform—to ensure prisons aren’t anarchic jungles that endanger both inmates and corrections officers, to promote rehabilitation and reintegration for those who seek it, and to stop the over-criminalization of private conduct under federal law. But I will continue to oppose any effort to give leniency to dangerous felons who prey on our communities.

A second priority for the criminal-leniency movement is the so-called “Ban the Box” initiative, which would prevent employers from inquiring about criminal history on job application forms.

Ban the Box has a praiseworthy goal, which I share: helping offenders become productive members of society again. Aside from the small number of criminals sentenced to death or life without parole, all convicts will eventually return to society. It’s in their interest and ours if they leave prison a changed man or woman, turning away from a life of crime and toward productive citizenship.

But Ban the Box is not the right way to go about this. Let’s be clear: if the government dictates hiring decisions, if it seeks to deprive employers of information instead of giving them more, and if it threatens severe punishment on employers for failing to do what is allegedly “good for them,” you can be pretty sure the government’s policy is harmful and unworkable.

Some companies have already removed the Box from their forms. That’s their decision, of course, and I applaud their intentions. But for many others—particularly smaller businesses—Ban the Box regulations will increase the costs of compliance and the processing of job candidates who will ultimately prove unqualified for the work. And employers face greater litigation risks, from lawsuits filed by unsuccessful applicants and from enforcement actions brought by state and federal authorities who presume their moral superiority to benighted employers.

No doubt, ex-cons face longer odds in the job market, odds that are understandably frustrating to them. But is it any less frustrating to make it to the end of a hiring process only to lose out? Because even under Ban the Box regulations, that will be the outcome a majority of the time.

Ban the Box, in other words, is an attractive solution because it seems like a tidy solution—a quick fix that will allow us to declare victory and move on. But the truth is improving the post-prison lives of released felons requires a lot more. The policy changes we need cannot start at the point where an offender applies for a job. By that time, it’s usually too late.

We need to start earlier, while felons are still in prison. They need more educational and vocational-training opportunities to develop the skills they’ll need outside prison. When offenders are asked about their criminal history, they should be frank, but also proud of the plumbing skills they honed, or the GED they earned, or the book-keeping courses that led to a training certification. And we want them to point to the college kids who mentored them and the ministers who saved their souls as job references.

Here’s the simple truth: it’s not a job that makes ex-con a contributing member of society. It’s the skills he’s gained, the work ethic he’s developed, and the commitment to an upright life that help him get a job in the first place.

Another post-incarceration priority is the movement to automatically restore the franchise to felons upon completion of their sentences. Whether and how felons can earn back their voting rights has always been a decision left to the states—where it should remain, without federal interference.

But as states are pressured to reconsider their felon-voting rules, those advocating for automatic restoration of voting rights shouldn’t throw around irresponsible charges that disagreement with this policy is illegitimate, un-American, or racist. The principle that felons surrender their voting rights when they commit a crime is embedded in our Constitution, after all.

Unfortunately, advocates for felons like to throw around these poisonous accusations. Now, it’s true there were felon-disenfranchisement laws that deliberately targeted blacks after Reconstruction. Each of those laws has been justly struck down by the Supreme Court or amended to rid them of their original racial animus.

But that sad chapter in our history doesn’t undermine the logic behind modern felon-disenfranchisement laws. Should murderers, rapists, and others whose behavior fall so far outside the norms of our society be immediately accommodated? Given recidivism rates, should we create an automatic pro-crime constituency in our society? Should felons be trusted to elect legislators who make the law, prosecutors who enforce it, and judges who apply it?

As with many charges of racism, we ought to reject the heated rhetoric and instead acknowledge the realities, in this case the costs associated with the immediate restoration of voting rights to felons. An offender who automatically obtains the franchise will have little reason to buy back into the social contract and no motivation to re-learn the responsibilities of citizenship.

I personally believe most felons should ultimately be eligible for restoration of their voting rights, but a much better approach is to provide felons with a roadmap of rehabilitation. After relatively modest periods of demonstrated obedience to the law and lawful employment, for instance, states could reinstate voting rights upon individual application by a felon. This approach would be far preferable to immediate, automatic restoration, especially when ordered by erstwhile political operatives for the electoral benefit of their political paymasters.

Finally, I want to turn to policing techniques and the growing assault on law enforcement. In the past two years, our country has seen several high-profile use-of-force incidents: the shooting of Michael Brown, the suffocation of Eric Garner, and the death of Freddie Gray, among others.

I’ve spoken with police officers about these incidents, and I can report that they feel about abusive cops the way most soldiers feel about misconduct in the ranks: they’re among the first who wish to see them disciplined. And if there are systemic problems in certain districts, it’s the law-abiding police departments that wish to see them reformed, and quickly.

That’s why full investigations of use-of-force incidents should occur and all the facts must be considered. That’s why the Department of Justice is collecting reliable national data on use-of-force incidents for use in developing training and protocols to help officers distinguish and handle situations involving the mentally ill, the substance-addled, and the truly threatening.

After all, no officer wants to be involved in a justified use of force proven unnecessary after the fact, any more than soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan wanted to make what proved to be the wrong decision in a shoot-don’t-shoot situation. Those decisions, even if justified, live with you forever, believe me.

But what should not and cannot occur is a rush to demonize law enforcement whenever force is used. In the absence of facts and hard data, we’re vulnerable to heart-wrenching images, to our own biases, and to cheap demagoguery.

This is dangerous. We’ve already seen one retaliatory attack fueled by misguided rage. In New York, a gunman claiming to seek revenge for Ferguson ambushed and killed Officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu.

And at a broader level, anti-law enforcement sentiment is fueling a movement to roll back vigilant policing methods, the very techniques that are responsible for the historic drop in crime since the 1980s. In the very city where these methods originated—New York City—there’s an ideological mayor who campaigned against these policing methods and pointed to New York City’s Finest as part of the problem, rather than the solution. No wonder they turned their backs on him. I would too.

This anti-cop sentiment is surely driving the so-called “Ferguson Effect,” as FBI Director Jim Comey has called it. When professional protestors stigmatize the police as racist knuckle-draggers, when their vigorous enforcement of the law is constantly and unfairly criticized and undermined, a chilling effect on policing is nearly unavoidable. And the result is the disturbing increases in violent crime of the last two years. President Obama and others in the criminal-leniency movement are in denial about this. But it’s something more and more criminologists and law enforcement officials are confirming.

Let me make something clear: black lives do matter. The lives being lost to violence in America’s cities are predominantly those of young black men, with devastating consequences for their families and their communities.

But the police aren’t the culprits. In nearly every case, the blood is on the hands of criminals, drug dealers, and gang members. Bill Clinton recently exclaimed to protestors, “You are defending the people who killed the lives you say matter.” For once, he was right. And it’s the police who are trying to protect those lives and prevent those murders. We shouldn’t stigmatize them; we should thank them.

And that’s what most people do. What critics of vigilant policing miss is that communities—including minority communities—overwhelmingly approve of “broken windows” tactics. They want low-level crime stopped. They want street corners cleared at late-morning hours so that school kids don’t have to walk among used needles and the lingering smell of urine and marijuana. They want safe neighborhoods.

In northeast Arkansas, there’s a town called Blytheville. Blytheville has faced some tough times. Its population has fallen by 40 percent, especially since the Air Force base closed. Blytheville is also majority African-American. It’s faced a serious drug and crime problem. Last year, in a major operation, hundreds of FBI agents raided the town in the dead of night to arrest 70 drug dealers.

What was the reaction of the community? It wasn’t anguish. It wasn’t fear. It wasn’t indignation that law enforcement used aggressive tactics.

The reaction was unalloyed gratitude. One woman ran up to an FBI agent. She cried tears of joy. The operation, she said, “was the answer to [her] prayers.”

There’s another Blytheville resident, a woman named Vivian Harrison. Two years ago, her son Justin was shot and killed in a senseless murder. She awoke the day of the FBI raid, and she praised it. She said she’d like to see the town rid of crime to the point where “decent, hardworking people can go on with their lives without being in fear.”

I’ll conclude with what I wish were a joke, but unfortunately it’s not. The Obama administration has become so solicitous towards criminals that we’re not supposed to call them criminals at all. Now the new term is “justice-involved individual.” I’m not joking, this is the administration’s new term for criminals: “justice-involved individual.” That alone is a crime against the English language.

But it’s much worse: it reflects the dangerous mindset that criminals are victims, that the justice system somehow happened to them. They didn’t commit a crime, they became “involved” in the justice system.

Let me say again: Criminals are not victims. Criminals are criminals. Victims are victims.

When we talk about crime and justice, we should never forget the actual victims of crime: people like Vivian Harrison, her murdered son, and the other residents of places like Blytheville. These are the people I have in mind when we make criminal-justice policy. So pardon me if I err on the side of being a little too tough on crime, rather than a little too soft on crime. It’s only innocent lives hanging in the balance, after all.

For their sake, we ought not make radical changes to a justice system that has delivered so much hope to so many communities since the crime wave of the last generation. We ought not discard proven strategies for political fashions. And we ought not care for criminals more than we care for victims and their families and communities.

I agree primarily, and disagree on one point.

Criminals are not victims. Criminals are criminals. Victims are victims.

However, I disagree with Senator Cotton on one small point.  Black lives do not matter.

He cannot say that, but I can, because I am running for nothing nor must I be “politically correct” in any way.  I am the most free person ever: one who has retired, owes nothing to a job or the government, has no supervisors, and answers to no one but my own conscience and knowledge of history, predicated upon my training, education and experience.

In truth, black lives don’t matter.  They sure as hell don’t matter to politicians locally, at the state level or in DC.  And they don’t matter to the American Media Maggots.  Black urban male lives are useful only as tools to angles on various stories for the AMM.

Black lives don’t matter to Demorats.  Black lives don’t matter to Leftists. Again, they make perfectly useful implements with which to bash certain other GOWP segments of society over the head. This country will begin to parse out respect to young urban black males when they begin to respect themselves and thusly others. Children. Women.

What was that adage about giving someone a fish or teaching them to fish?

BZ

 

BZ’s Berserk Bobcat Saloon, Tuesday: not the 4th of July show you anticipated

My thanks to the SHR Media Network for allowing me to broadcast in their studio and over their air twice weekly, Tuesdays and Thursdays, as well as appear on the Sack Heads Radio Show™ each Wednesday evening.

Instead of the standard fare for a July 4th show, I woke up with a new impetus and a new take on this date in history.

Tonight in the Saloon:

  • The fabulous Reaver of Common Sense, Jersey Joe, is my new SHR lead-in show;
  • This is the 4th of July show you hadn’t wanted to hear but needed to hear;
  • President Trump: our rights are given to us by God;
  • Obama’s Pastor, Jeremiah Wright says: “God damn America”;
  • Who keeps me up at night? Brain-glazingly stupid American voters;
  • Leftists & Obama damn our extreme nationalism;
  • Leftists: 4th of July be damned; it’s time for outright Socialism;
  • Obama: we must accept constraints;
  • Obama: we must give up some freedom of action;
  • Obama: ordinary men and women are too small-minded to govern their own affairs;
  • Obama: we must bind ourselves to international rules;
  • Obama: the order of progress can only come when individuals surrender their rights to an all-powerful sovereign;
  • Phil Schlaumberg: the last man killed at Iwo Jima at the end of the war;
  • Jerry Yellin served in WWII, one of 16 million;
  • Lt Col Dave Grossman: Sheepdogs vs Sheep vs Wolves

If you care to listen to the show in Spreaker, please click on start.

Listen to “BZ’s Berserk Bobcat Saloon, Tuesday, July 4th, 2017” on Spreaker.

If you care to watch the show on YouTube, please click on start.

Please join me, the Bloviating Zeppelin (on Twitter @BZep and on Gab.ai @BZep), every Tuesday and Thursday night on the SHR Media Network from 11 PM to 1 AM Eastern and 8 PM to 10 PM Pacific, at the Berserk Bobcat Saloon — where the speech is free but the drinks are not.

As ever, thank you so kindly for listening, commenting, and interacting in the chat room or listening later via podcast.

Want to listen to all the Berserk Bobcat Saloon archives in podcast? Go here. Want to watch the past shows on YouTube? Please visit the SHR Media Network YouTube channel here.

BZ