Author Archives: R.D. Walker

Second Amendment Foundation Calls for Independent Investigation of Philando Castile’s Death

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As well it should.

The Second Amendment Foundation, a prominent gun rights group, has called for an independent investigation into the death of Philando Castile, the man shot by police yesterday in Falcon Heights, Minnesota. “Wednesday night’s shooting of Philando Castile is very troubling, especially to the firearms community, because he was a legally-armed private citizen who may have done nothing more than reach for his identification and carry permit,” said Alan Gottlieb, the group’s founder, in a press release. “We have received calls of alarm today from many of our members across the country. They are justifiably concerned that a law-abiding citizen may have been wrongfully killed.”

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Another police shooting, another chance to take sides…

Here we go again.

People certain this Louisiana man was murdered in cold blood are also certain that the shooting of LaVoy Finicum in Oregon was just good police work.

People certain that the shooting of Finicum was a cold blooded assassination will look at this video and see it as good, restrained police work.

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Paul Ryan moves to block Clinton’s access to classified material…

This, of course, will go nowhere and Clinton will continue to have full purview of information you would never, every be allowed to see.

House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., on Wednesday formally urged Director of National Intelligence James Clapper to deny presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton access to classified information – an appeal that comes as FBI Director James Comey is set to testify on the email probe which yielded no charges.

Ryan, in a letter to Clapper, said he wants Clinton prohibited from receiving classified information “for the duration of her candidacy for president.”

“There is no legal requirement for you to provide Secretary Clinton with classified information, and it would send the wrong signal to all those charged with safeguarding our nation’s secrets if you choose to provide her access to this information despite the FBI’s findings,” Ryan wrote.

Ryan said in his letter that if Clapper decides to deny his request, he would like him to explain why he would grant Clinton access to classified information despite the FBI’s findings that Clinton and her staff were “extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information.”

Remember, the nobility is not subject to the laws of the commoners.

More here.

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Not a hate crime?

The concept of a “hate crime” is identical to the concept of a “thought crime” and ridiculous on its face. The concept often rises to farce. Behold…

An indigenous woman in Calgary, Canada who yelled “I hate white people” before punching a white woman in the face and knocking her tooth out did not commit a racially motivated hate crime, a provincial court judge has ruled.

Judge Harry Van Harten’s written decision in the case argued that the motivation of the perpetrator, Tamara Crowchief, in the attack on the victim, Lydia White, was not related to racial bias.

The judge disagreed with the prosecutor’s argument that the unprovoked assault, which occurred in November 2015, rose to the level of a hate crime.

If screaming that you hate and entire race while assaulting a member of that race isn’t a hate crime, then there are no hate crimes.

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Lawsuit filed against the Iowa Civil Rights Commission

This will be one to watch.

DES MOINES, Iowa – Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys representing an Iowa church filed a federal lawsuit Monday against members of the Iowa Civil Rights Commission, among others, to stop the government from censoring the church’s teaching on biblical sexuality and from forcing the church to open its restrooms and showers to members of the opposite sex.

The commission is interpreting a state law to ban churches from expressing their views on human sexuality if they would “directly or indirectly” make “persons of any particular…gender identity” feel “unwelcome” in conjunction with church services, events, and other religious activities. The speech ban could be used to gag churches from making any public comments—including from the pulpit—that could be viewed as unwelcome to persons who do not identify with their biological sex. This is because the commission says the law applies to churches during any activity that the commission deems to not have a “bona fide religious purpose.” Examples the commission gave are “a child care facility operated at a church or a church service open to the public,” which encompasses most events that churches hold.

ADF attorneys representing Fort Des Moines Church of Christ in Des Moines argue in the lawsuit that all events held at a church on its property have a bona fide religious purpose, and that the commission has no authority to violate the First Amendment’s guarantees of freedom of religion and speech.

As always, rights must be put in the balance. For example, my right to raise hogs on my property must be balanced with my neighbors’ right to enjoy their property. Rights are weighed and balanced every day.

The rights put in the balance here will be, on one hand, the fundamental and ancient natural right of freedom to worship. This right is guaranteed in the very first clause of the very first amendment of the Bill of Rights.

The “right” with which it will be weighed against is the unprecedented, previously unknown one in which the government compels people to treat men as women and women as men.

In a sane world, there would be no question as to the outcome of the case.

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Trump praises Saddam Hussein…

…as the killer of terrorists.

Saddam Hussein was a terrorist. He used weapons of mass destruction against the Kurds. He rewarded the families of Palestinian suicide bombers. He harbored Abu Nidal, Abu Abbas and others. He punished political dissidents, including Christians, by feeding them feet first into industrial shredders or by boiling them alive. He employed paid rapists to violate the wives and daughters of dissidents while forcing them to watch.

Maybe Saddam was a killer of terrorists but he was no less a terrorist himself. The Iraq War ended badly but that is because defeat was snatched from the jaws of victory by the Obama Administration.

I make no claim as to whether or not the invasion of Iraq was right or wrong. I was supportive of it at the time. I have become more cynical since then, however, and believe now it may have been a mistake.

There is one opinion, however, that I have on which I have not wavered: The world is a far better place without the terrorist tyrant Saddam Hussein and his demonic sons.

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Fourteen things we learned at the FBI press briefing

Number 14 is pretty revealing. She is either a criminal or just very, very stupid. There is no third explanation. It is one or the other.

1. Clinton lied about using just one device for emails

2. Clinton lied about no classified information being sent from her private server

3. There were work emails not turned over by Clinton

4. Her lawyers took steps to ensure additional emails wouldn’t be found

5. The FBI director called Clinton ‘extremely careless’

6. Clinton ‘should have known’ her system was unsafe

7. The level of incompetence/carelessness was astounding

8. Clinton should have known her subject matter was classified

9. Security culture at State under Clinton was ‘generally lacking’

10. People who emailed with Clinton had their email accounts hacked

11. It ‘is possible’ that Clinton’s email servers were hacked

12. Clinton potentially violated federal law, even if the FBI recommended no charges

13. People in similar situations would face sanctions

14. Clinton didn’t intentionally do this, she was just that stupid

Details behind each of the 14 points here.

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Victims battle for title of biggest victim

And there will be schisms, factions and disunity…

Activists with a Canadian offshot of the Black Lives Matter movement successfully hijacked a Gay Pride parade in Toronto this weekend and forced organizers to agree to a list of demands including removing “oppressive” police floats from future parades and prioritizing the hiring of transgender black females in the future.

To the dismay of both marchers and bystanders and despite being invited to the festivities as “honoured guests,” the Black Lives Matter protesters ground the procession to a halt for nearly 30 minutes, stopping floats and staging a sit-in during which they shouted “Shut it down!”

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Juno enters orbit around Jupiter

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Once again, mankind will see Jupiter up close and personal.

NASA says it has received a signal from 540 million miles across the solar system, confirming its Juno spacecraft has successfully started orbiting Jupiter, the largest planet in our solar system.

Juno was launched nearly five years ago on a mission to study Jupiter’s composition and evolution. It’s the first spacecraft to orbit Jupiter since Galileo. Galileo was deliberately crashed into Jupiter on September 21, 2003, to protect one of its discoveries — a possible ocean beneath Jupiter’s moon Europa.

“Preliminary looks are that the spacecraft is performing well ,” said Guy Beutelschies, Director of Interplanetary Missions at Lockheed Martin Space Systems, the company that built the spacecraft.

Juno has some unusual passengers.

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While the 3.6 tonne solar-powered probe is unmanned, it does contain three 4cm-high Lego figures as part of an educational outreach program to inspire kids around the world about science and technology.

The trio are the 17th century Italian astronomer and “father of science” Galileo Galilei, the Roman god of sky and thunder, and king of gods, Jupiter, and his wife Juno (hence the spacecraft’s name).

In 1610 Galileo – his Lego version holds a telescope – made the first detailed observations of Jupiter, discovering its four largest moons.

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On this date in 1976: The Raid on Entebbe

On America’s bicentennial day, the greatest hostage rescue mission in history.

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Does TPP promote free trade?

The Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank of which I have the utmost respect and have for decades, says that it does general advance free trade and, therefore, it should be ratified.

TPP isn’t perfect and CATO acknowledges that. It is, however, better than the status quo.

For free traders, the ideal is free trade: No border barriers; no domestic regulations or policies that have protectionist intent or effects or that otherwise bestow relative privileges on domestic companies or their products; no superfluous rules that are merely tangentially related to trade, but violations of which can be invoked to erect new impediments to trade.

Measured against those standards, the TPP – with its 5,500 pages of explicit rules and exemptions – would not pass the free trade test. The TPP is not free trade. Like all other U.S. trade agreements, the TPP is a managed trade agreement, with provisions that both liberalize and restrict trade and investment. Some free traders would reject the TPP out of hand for its failure to eliminate all restrictions.

While such comprehensive trade liberalization would be ideal, expecting the TPP to deliver real free trade is unrealistic. That outcome is simply politically unattainable. Holding out for the ideal would make the perfect the enemy of the good, when the good is very likely better than the status quo.

Have a look.

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AG Lynch says she will accept FBI recommendation on Clinton

What she will leave out is that she will accept the FBI recommendation as long as it is the correct recommendation.

Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch plans to announce on Friday that she will accept whatever recommendation career prosecutors and the F.B.I. director make about whether to bring charges related to Hillary Clinton’s personal email server, a Justice Department official said. Her decision removes the possibility that a political appointee will overrule investigators in the case.

The Justice Department had been moving toward such an arrangement for months — officials said in April that it was being considered — but a private meeting between Ms. Lynch and former President Bill Clinton this week set off a political furor and made the decision all but inevitable.

Republicans said the meeting, which took place at the Phoenix airport, had compromised the independence of the investigation as the F.B.I. was winding it down. Some called for Ms. Lynch to recuse herself, but she did not take herself off the case — one that could influence a presidential election.

If you think she doesn’t already know what the recommendation will be and that it will be to not prosecute, you are very naive.

More here.

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Fast and Furious goes to Paris?

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Under what circumstances would the ATF and the Justice Department refuse to press charges against a gun dealer who illegally sold an unregistered automatic weapon to terrorists. The only reason would be that they orchestrated the sale.

One of the guns used in the November 13, 2015 Paris terrorist attacks came from Phoenix, Arizona where the Obama administration allowed criminals to buy thousands of weapons illegally in a deadly and futile “gun-walking” operation known as “Fast and Furious.”

A Report of Investigation (ROI) filed by a case agent in the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco Firearms and Explosives (ATF) tracked the gun used in the Paris attacks to a Phoenix gun owner who sold it illegally, “off book,” Judicial Watch’s law enforcement sources confirm. Federal agents tracing the firearm also found the Phoenix gun owner to be in possession of an unregistered fully automatic weapon, according to law enforcement officials with firsthand knowledge of the investigation.

The investigative follow up of the Paris weapon consisted of tracking a paper trail using a 4473 form, which documents a gun’s ownership history by, among other things, using serial numbers. The Phoenix gun owner that the weapon was traced back to was found to have at least two federal firearms violations—for selling one weapon illegally and possessing an unregistered automatic—but no enforcement or prosecutorial action was taken against the individual. Instead, ATF leaders went out of their way to keep the information under the radar and ensure that the gun owner’s identity was “kept quiet,” according to law enforcement sources involved with the case. “Agents were told, in the process of taking the fully auto, not to anger the seller to prevent him from going public,” a veteran law enforcement official told Judicial Watch.

If this wasn’t an Obama Administration sale, I am sure curious as to how a gun dealer can sell an illegal automatic weapon and not be charged with a crime.

Read it all.

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Sort of like when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor…

It really just showed how desperate they were.

Secretary of State John Kerry faced swift criticism Wednesday for suggesting the terror attack at Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport was evidence the Islamic State is getting “desperate” – an assessment one top Republican official said “defies reality.”

Kerry made the remarks late Tuesday at the Aspen Ideas Festival in Colorado, referring to ISIS by the name Daesh.

Crediting coalition efforts, Kerry said it’s been over a year since the group launched a “full-scale military offensive.”

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The EU’s worst nightmare…

Britain’s FTSE 100 index recovers all losses from BREXIT.

ftse

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Your swing state ad campaign spending update…

Fresh off the wire.

Colorado: Team Clinton $2.9 million, Team Trump $0
Florida: Team Clinton $7.3 million, Team Trump $0
Iowa: Team Clinton $1.6 million, Team Trump $0
North Carolina: Team Clinton $2.3 million, Team Trump $0
New Hampshire: Team Clinton $1.2 million, Team Trump $0
Nevada: Team Clinton $2.5 million, Team Trump $0
Ohio: Team Clinton $5.6 million, Team Trump $0
Virginia: Team Clinton $2.4 million, Team Trump $0
Total: Team Clinton $25.8 million, Team Trump $0

Interesting approach Trump is taking.

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Iran takes what Obama offers up, changes nothing…

This according to Obama’s special envoy in the fight against the Islamic State.

Almost one year after the international nuclear deal was announced last July, Brett McGurk, President Obama’s special envoy in the fight against the Islamic State, said Tuesday there has been no “significant” change in Iran’s behavior in Syria under the international nuclear deal.

Mr. McGurk said Tehran remains a strong political and military supporter of Syrian President Bashar Assad, whom U.S. officials insist must step down as part of any final settlement of the country’s bloody 5-year-old civil war.

“I have not seen a significant change in Iranian behavior. They are fighting [the Islamic State] from time to time, but they’re primarily working to prop up the Assad regime,” Mr. McGurk told a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the status of the fight against the jihadi group that controls large parts of both Iraq and Syria.

Why, its almost like the Iranians just took advantage of Obama!

More here.

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Will Brexit actually happen?

This writer at the Financial Times has his doubts.

Any long-term observer of the EU should be familiar with the shock referendum result. In 1992 the Danes voted to reject the Maastricht treaty. The Irish voted to reject both the Nice treaty in 2001 and the Lisbon treaty in 2008.

And what happened in each case? The EU rolled ever onwards. The Danes and the Irish were granted some concessions by their EU partners. They staged a second referendum. And the second time around they voted to accept the treaty. So why, knowing this history, should anyone believe that Britain’s referendum decision is definitive?

He makes an interesting point. Right now millions of signatures are being collected in a petition for a second vote. If the EU were to throw some concessions to the Brits, is there any doubt that a second vote couldn’t be swung the two percent needed to make REMAIN the majority?

I guess it ain’t over until its over.

Read it all.

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Five Big Takeaways From The House Benghazi Report

Spoiler alert: It is exactly what we all concluded to be the case within days of the attack.

1. Administration Misled Public Immediately and Continually

2. Weak Benghazi Security Points to Clinton’s Political Considerations

3. Military Never Sent Men or Machines to Help

4. Terrorists Weren’t Brought to Justice

5. Administration Obstructed Investigation

Read it all.

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Trump goes after the globalist boogymen….

Panderers gonna pander…

Before launching into his recent lengthy attack speech against Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump took aim at another prominent election target: “globalism.”

Arguing that the country “has lost its way,” Trump told supporters, “we got here because we switched from a policy of Americanism, focusing on what’s good for America’s middle class, to a policy of globalism — focusing on how to make money for large corporations who can move their wealth and workers to foreign countries, all to the detriment of the American worker and the American economy itself.”

Globalization — particularly when it comes to trade — takes center stage Tuesday as the presumptive Republican presidential nominee makes appearances in western Pennsylvania and eastern Ohio, seeking votes in areas that have seen job reductions in steel, coal and other heavy industries.

Other than the fact that standards of living are increasing, that the middle classes are not shrinking, that American manufacturing output is near an all time high, that net manufacturing job loss is not the result of foreign trade and that restricting foreign trade would cause a massive wave of job losses, Trump is exactly right.

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NAFTA is nothing like the European Union

If I were British, I would have voted to leave the EU. I would have done so with the sincere hope that Britain would maintain free trade with the EU nations and the world.

My vote to leave would have been based on a desire for national sovereignty, smaller government and local control of the law. The EU has become a massive, unaccountable bureaucracy that dictates law and regulation for hundreds of millions.

The predecessor to the EU was the EEC and it was simply about economic cooperation and free trade between sovereign nations. Free trade and economic cooperation still widely popular in Britain today. Starting in 1993, the EU became much more than that. It is a bureaucracy that holds ultimate sovereignty centrally.

If the EU were merely a free trade organization like the EEC, I would have enthusiastically voted to remain.

NAFTA is not the EU. It is nothing like the EU. It isn’t a political organization. It isn’t a form of government. It is a free trade treaty that I wholeheartedly support. I don’t think Americans understand what NAFTA is and the benefit it provides.

Polls show a wave of opposition to trade agreements. Americans, by a margin of 65 percent to 22 percent, say they want more restrictions on international trade, according to a Bloomberg poll in March. The same poll found Americans believe Nafta is a trade deal gone awry that has done more harm than good.

Republican Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama said the Brexit vote could influence the evolution of American opinion, in the same way the era of Margaret Thatcher preceded President Ronald Reagan’s election. “The failed European Union experiment, and Great Britain’s rejection of it, must serve as a wake-up call for all of us in America,” Sessions said in a statement.

Trump says that if he is elected, he will tear up NAFTA. That would cost Americans billions of dollars and would do absolutely, positively nothing to reduce the heavy handed onerous regulation of every aspect of our lives.

Our regulatory and legal oppression doesn’t come from a EU-like bureaucracy in another country. It doesn’t come from free trade and commerce. It comes from Washington DC and “tearing up” NAFTA won’t change that. We will be just as oppressed as ever but less wealthy.

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Democrats love governmental regulation of all things…

Well, not all things. There is one thing that they demand be completely unregulated: the killing of unborn children by their mothers.

The Supreme Court on Monday struck down a Texas law regulating abortion clinics, delivering a 5-3 decision that was the high court’s first major foray into the abortion issue in nine years.

Justice Stephen Breyer wrote the majority opinion for the court, with Justices Anthony Kennedy, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan joining him. Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas dissented.

“We agree with the District Court that the surgical center requirement, like the admitting-privileges requirement, provides few, if any, health benefits for women, poses a substantial obstacle to women seeking abortions, and constitutes an ‘undue burden’ on their constitutional right to do so,” Breyer wrote.

President Obama said in a statement that he was “pleased” with the outcome.

That’s right, the federal government will regulate what type of light bulb you use in your kitchen, how much an ISP can charge for Internet access, how much salt is in your can of soup, whether or not your rifle can specific kind of grip and what must be on the menu board at a burger joint but it will tolerate no regulations in abortion mills.

More here.

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Are we all either nationalists or globalists?

Over the weekend, during commentary about Brexit, Trump and so forth, I heard someone say this: “There are no longer liberals and conservatives, there are only nationalist and globalists.”

That got me thinking and I believe it is a bit more complex than that. In order to look at it more closely, we need to agree to some definitions. Here is my attempt.

Nationalism: Advocates for one nation above others and believes citizens should loyal to and proud of their country and believe that it is better and more important than other countries.

Globalism: Advocates for the free movement of people, goods and information across national borders unfettered. A socio-economic system dedicated to free trade and free access to markets.

There are, however, variations of each.

Classical liberalism: Advocates for individual liberty and political freedom with representative democracy under the rule of law and emphasizes economic freedom. Emphasizes individualism.

Collectivism: Advocates government action to achieve economic growth and believes the role of the government is to create jobs and guide the culture. Emphasizes governmental solutions.

More below the fold…

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Orwell on Patriotism vs Nationalism

I have been thinking about this over the weekend and have another post on the topic coming up.

Nationalism is not to be confused with patriotism. Both words are normally used in so vague a way that any definition is liable to be challenged, but one must draw a distinction between them, since two different and even opposing ideas are involved. By ‘patriotism’ I mean devotion to a particular place and a particular way of life, which one believes to be the best in the world but has no wish to force on other people. Patriotism is of its nature defensive, both militarily and culturally. Nationalism, on the other hand, is inseparable from the desire for power. The abiding purpose of every nationalist is to secure more power and more prestige, not for himself but for the nation or other unit in which he has chosen to sink his own individuality.

George Orwell: Notes on Nationalism

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A BREXIT lesson for America

Angela Merkel drove the UK out of the EU and Obama’s amnesty gave us Donald Trump.

If any one person drove the United Kingdom out of the European Union, it was Angela Merkel, and her impulsive solo decision in the summer of 2015 to throw open Germany—and then all Europe—to 1.1 million Middle Eastern and North African migrants, with uncountable millions more to come. Merkel’s catastrophically negative example is one that perhaps should be avoided by U.S. politicians who seek to avert Trump-style populism in the United States. Instead, the politician who most directly opposes Donald Trump—presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton—is doubling down on Merkelism.

Hillary Clinton’s first reaction to the Supreme Court decision on executive amnesty looks at the issue exclusively and entirely from the point of view of the migrants themselves: “Today’s heartbreaking #SCOTUS immigration ruling could tear apart 5 million families facing deportation. We must do better.” That U.S. citizens might have different interests—and that it is the interests of citizens that deserve the highest attention of officials elected by those citizens—went unsaid and apparently unconsidered. But somebody is considering it. And those somebodies, in their many millions, are being heard from this year: loud, clear, and angry.

If Clinton, Obama and both parties in Congress have any sense at all, they will pay attention and they will adjust their behavior accordingly.

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