In the News

News and Headlines. 8/5/2019

Our hearts and prayers go out to all those effected by the shootings this weekend, the victims, their families and the country.

When Tomorrow Starts Without Me
When Tomorrow Starts Without Me

Going to switch up the format today in-light of the weekend shootings. After President Trump’s remarks it will be, Commentary/Opinion, In The news, Politics, World News.

Trump condemns ‘white supremacy,’ calls for mental health and gun reforms after double mass shootings

“Our nation is overcome with shock, horror and sorrow,” Trump said, in solemn remarks from the White House.

“We are outraged and sickened by this monstrous evil.”

In unequivocal terms, the president also condemned white supremacy, responding to reports that the shooter in El Paso wrote a racist manifesto.

“In one voice, our nation must condemn racism, bigotry and white supremacy,” Trump said, standing beside Vice President Pence.

“These sinister ideologies must be defeated. Hatred has no place in America.”

“Mental illness and hatred pulls the trigger, not the gun,” Trump said, going on to call for red-flag laws to allow the seizure of firearms from those judged to pose a grave risk to public safety.

Among his list of proposals,

President Trump Delivers Remarks

The White House.

Commentary/Opinion:

‘Do Something!’ Is Not Going To Stop Mass Shooters

Although mass shootings account for a fraction of gun deaths in America and gun homicides are at historic lows, the terroristic nature of these crimes make them especially traumatic and destructive.

The murderers, predominately young white men and loners with hateful, but often confused, ideologies, can strike anywhere. And that puts them everywhere.

As much as people try to make sense of these events, to blame someone, these murders have no real or tangible objectives other than death.

Mass shootings aren’t Donald Trump’s fault any more than they are Elizabeth Warren’s, despite the efforts of many in our parasitic political class to turn every drop of American blood into more votes.

But no matter what trend is responsible, no matter what the shooter’s manifestos state, no matter how they got their weapons, gun controllers will attempt to shame Republicans into “doing something”—or, rather, anything gun controllers demand.

When House Speaker Nancy Pelosi claims Republican inaction “dishonors our solemn duty to protect innocent men, women and children and end this epidemic once and for all,” she is misleading the American people.

She has no plan to protect innocent men, women, and children. She has a hashtag to placate them.

These days, #DoSomething entails two proposals that would do nothing to mitigate gun homicides: “universal background checks” and a ban of “assault weapons.”

As far as we know, neither the El Paso nor the Dayton gunman would have been stopped from purchasing a weapon by an “expanded” background check or any kind of background checks that didn’t have a pre-crime component.

Neither shooter had a criminal record. In fact,

Why It’s Wrong To Blame Trump For The Mass Shootings

The ordinary patriot reacts to this by voting for Trump, maybe wearing a MAGA hat, maybe putting a Trump sign in his yard or attending a Trump rally.

The anti-immigrant extremist reacts by publishing a manifesto and killing innocent people.

The admiration of some white nationalists for Trump is no more proof of Trump’s divisiveness than the admiration of al-Qaeda fighters for the Quran is proof of Islam’s divisiveness.

The difference, of course, is that at least al-Qaeda fighters can point to passages in the Quran that back up their claims, whereas Trump has never once called for vigilante violence in the name of white supremacy or border security, and in fact has repeatedly and explicitly condemned it.

As for Trump’s rhetoric, let’s grant that his words and political posture are sometimes divisive.
Indeed, let’s grant that it’s part and parcel of his entire approach to American politics.

But are we not to breathe a word about the divisive rhetoric coming from the other side?

Is it not divisive and inflammatory for Democrats to refuse to enforce our borders while promising to give taxpayer-paid health care to illegal immigrants?

Is it not divisive and inflammatory for sports stars and corporations to denounce the Betsy Ross flag and the national anthem as racist?

Doesn’t that exacerbate a feeling of helplessness and dispossession, and fuel a whole spectrum of responses—from ordinary patriotism to outright xenophobia and racism?

Indeed, the left now treats even mild patriotism as racist, in effect saying to the ordinary patriot: “Either surrender to a left-wing ideology that neither respects nor loves your country, or embrace white nationalism.”

Is it any wonder that a few isolated and angry young men will react to these pressures in the worst possible way?

This isn’t to lay all the blame on the left, of course, only to say that the divisive rhetoric cuts both ways.

Consider the Christchurch shooter’s manifesto,

El Paso: The Real Root Causes of Mass Shootings

Were gun control the remedy here, mass shootings would be rare.

Not only were there fewer firearm laws many decades ago, but in 1940s and ‘50s New York City, boys would often take guns on the subway because they had rifle clubs at school.

So is access to firearms really the problem’s root cause?

As for the El Paso shooter’s motivation — our immigrationism combined with left-wing environmental concerns — there are people who will do evil in a cause’s name regardless of its nobility or ignobility.

The real question here is, boiled down: Why are we seeing so much more evil in America now than in bygone days?

Many people find it ironic that the El Paso shooter’s father is a mental-health therapist. I find it unsurprising.

The Charlottesville Lie

Did President Trump call neo-Nazis “very fine people” during a famous press conference following the Charlottesville riots of August 2017?

The major media reported that he did. But what if their reporting is wrong?

Worse, what if their reporting is wrong and they know it’s wrong?

A straight exploration of the facts should reveal the truth.

That’s what CNN political analyst Steve Cortes does in this critically important video.

In The News:

Dayton officials provide update on the deadly mass shooting

Dayton city officials hold a press conference to update the public on the mass shooting that took place on August 4.

Death toll from El Paso mass shooting rises to 22

Officials at Del Sol Medical Center say another El Paso shooting victim has died, raising the death toll to 22.

7 killed, 46 wounded in Chicago weekend shootings

Chicago police investigate the scene where seven people were shot, Aug. 4, 2019,
Chicago police investigate the scene where seven people were shot, Aug. 4, 2019, in the 2900 block of West Roosevelt Road, in Douglas Park near a playground.
Tyler LaRiviere/Sun-Times

A weekend of gun violence in Chicago left at least seven people dead and 46 others wounded.

The weekend began Friday evening as a 5-year-old boy was wounded by someone shooting out of the window of an Englewood home.

Chicago police said the shooter was targeting someone he had just stabbed, but missed and struck the boy in the thigh.

Early Sunday, a single shooting at a block party wounded eight people — one of them fatally. Police shared audio of the gunfire that captured nearly a minute of nonstop shooting.

There were 24 people shot in less than four hours Sunday morning, including 17 shot in Lawndale in the span of about two hours.

Teacher Fired For Praising The West As Bringing ‘The Greatest Good To The Most’ People

Commentary/Opinion: In Plato’s “Apology,” Socrates famously asserted, “The unexamined life is a life not worth living.”

He was encouraging his students to further the Athenian openness to debate, dialogue, and critical assessment of their society’s norms, including Athens’ moral presuppositions and political institutions.

Only after taking its great teacher’s life during post-war upheaval did Athens recover its values of intellectual freedom, but Socrates’ timeless defense of living an “examined life” inspired his fellow citizens and others throughout history to carve out space in their societies for thoughtful reflection and debate.

In 1792, American Founding Father Thomas Paine wrote, “What Athens was in miniature, America will be in magnitude.”

America expanded the basic habits of representative government introduced in Athens. Unlike Athens, which restricted voting rights to male citizens,

the United States expressed a grander aspiration in its founding documents — that “all men are created equal” and “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights.”

The path to fulfilling that vision was not easy, but it was Western civilization that put us on our way.

Unfortunately, Siegemund’s recent travails demonstrate that the critical attitude responsible for provoking the West to live up to its ideals can be used to deconstruct the principles that have long defined and guided the West.

Today, very few American colleges and universities require students to study Western civilization as part of their general education programs, but almost every campus offers an array of courses designed to teach students how to impugn and discredit the West’s achievements.

Pipe bomb mailer Cesar Sayoc sentenced to 20 years behind bars

In this undated photo released by the Broward County Sheriff’s office, Cesar Sayoc is seen in a booking photo, in Miami. Federal authorities took Sayoc, 56, of Aventura, Fla., into custody Friday, Oct. 26, 2018 in Florida in connection with the mail-bomb scare that earlier widened to 12 suspicious packages, the FBI and Justice Department said. (Broward County Sheriff’s Office via AP)

Prosecutors had called for a life prison sentence for the amateur body builder from Aventura, saying the sentence is “necessary and appropriate.”

Sayoc’s lawyers had argued that a decade in prison was enough.

Sayoc pleaded guilty to sending 16 rudimentary bombs to targets including Hillary Clinton, former Vice President Joe Biden, several Democratic members of Congress, former President Barack Obama, actor Robert De Niro and billionaire George Soros.

Devices were also mailed to CNN offices in New York and Atlanta with former Obama administration intelligence bosses as the intended recipients.

Peter Pan driver arrested for locking woman in luggage compartment

MUG SHOT: Peter Pan driver arrested for locking woman in luggage compartment

Police said dispatchers received a 911 call from a woman who said she was trapped in a luggage compartment on a moving bus en route to Boston, MA.

Troopers located the bus on Interstate 84 eastbound in the town of Willington. They said they stopped it and helped the passenger out of the luggage compartment.

According to state police, the passenger “stated that she had been purportedly locked inside by a female driver while attempting to retrieve items from her bag.”

Convicted Florida pedophile reportedly beaten, drowned by jail cellmate

David Oseas Ramirez, left, was reportedly killed by, Paul Dixon, right, in their jail cell on Tuesday.
David Oseas Ramirez, left, was reportedly killed by, Paul Dixon, right, in their jail cell on Tuesday. (Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office)

Paul Dixon, 43, was charged with second-degree murder in the death of David Oseas Ramirez, 56, local media reported. While the victim was not identified by police, the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office said Dixon killed his cellmate on Tuesday.

Dixon, who police said was serving time for a murder he committed when he was 17 years old, was reportedly involved in a verbal altercation with his cellmate which eventually led to a physical confrontation.

Ramirez was found dead on the fifth floor of the Duval County jail, according to WTLV. Sources told the news outlet Ramirez was beaten and drowned in the toilet of his jail cell by his cellmate.

Politics:

Trump called out for confusing Dayton with Toledo in mass shooting remarks

“May God bless the memory of those who perished in Toledo, may God protect them. May God protect all of those from Texas to Ohio. May God bless the victims and their families,” Trump said from the White House.

Trump’s flub was quickly slammed by 2020 Democratic presidential hopeful – and Ohio congressman – Tim Ryan, who tweeted a short and profane message about the president jumbling the two cities in his home state.

Trump did correctly refer to Dayton at the start of his remarks. Trump’s subsequent slip-up came about 10 minutes into his speech in which he denounced the “barbaric slaughter” in both Dayton and El Paso, Texas over the weekend.

Confusion: Biden offers sympathy for the ‘tragic events in Houston today and also in Michigan’

Biden, 76, mistakenly referred to the shootings as “the tragic events in Houston today and also in Michigan the day before,” but later corrected himself, according to a pool report.

Biden seemingly confused Houston for El Paso and Michigan for Ohio when speaking to donors about the shootings.

Sunday was not the first time that Biden mixed up names on the 2020 campaign trail. In May, Biden confused former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, who left office in 1990, with then-Prime Minister Theresa May.

Democrats blame President Trump for mass shootings

Following tragic shootings in El Paso and Dayton over the weekend, some on the left as well as some media outlets were quick to turn the events into a political debate.

One America’s Chanel Rion has more from the White House.

Bongino blasts ‘disturbing, grotesque’ trend to politicize tragedy

Commentary/Opinion: Blaming President Trump for mass shootings takes away focus from what is going on with our culture, says Fox News contributor Dan Bongino, former Secret Service agent.

Democratic Party fundraising off mass shootings in El Paso, Dayton

The DNC sent an email to supporters on Monday, signed by former Rep. Gabby Giffords, encouraging donors to “split” a donation of $10 to $200 between the DNC and Giffords’ PAC.

“Friend,” the email begins, “… We can’t afford to wait another day, or for another massacre to happen in our country, for lawmakers to address this.

Yet the defenders of the status quo—the gun manufacturing lobby and every single politician who is paid to defend it—will tell you that horrific acts of violence are beyond our control.”

Asked about the email, DNC Communications Director Xochitl Hinojosa said: “Our goal is to end gun violence once and for all.

The way to do that is by helping organizations like the Giffords PAC and by electing Democrats up and down the ticket who will work day in and day out to pass the reforms we need to protect our families and our children. That’s the only way to ensure change.”

On Sunday afternoon, 2020 Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., also sent out a fundraising email citing the shootings, with the subject line: “No more thoughts and prayers.”

Graham Announces Gun Confiscation ‘Red Flag’ Legislation Backed By Trump

Graham announced he had reached a deal with Democratic Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal to create a federal grant program to help states establish “red flag” laws, or laws that facilitate gun confiscation when a threat is detected, according to a statement.

Graham, the Senate Judiciary chairman, also indicated that his legislation has Trump’s support.

“I spoke with the President this morning about this proposal and he seems very supportive,” he said.

Graham’s announcement came shortly after Trump addressed the nation regarding the shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, this weekend that killed more than 30.

Barr Has Far Bigger Things To Prosecute James Comey For Than Leaking Memos

Many recognize Comey as a central figure in the Russia collusion hoax, the U.S. Department of Justice’s interference in the 2016 election, and subsequent resistance to the transfer of power to President Trump.

It’s frustrating for knowledgeable observers to see Comey’s elite status confer immunity from crimes for which less-privileged citizens are routinely prosecuted.

A deeper look at the article provides a clue that the memo-leaking investigation may have been abandoned, however, because it’s insignificant compared to the real reason Comey needs to be held to account.

Solomon wrote, “‘There are significant issues emerging with how the [Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court-supervised surveillance] was handled and other conduct in the investigation, and everyone involved remains under scrutiny,’ a second source said.”

As I previously reported, even before the Russia collusion hoax, Comey signed his name on sweeping surveillance violations.

Pursuing Comey on the memo-leaking offense would be like charging Comey for jaywalking after he crossed the street to fire a close-range kill shot at our Constitution.

There have been increasingly serious scandals regarding U.S. intelligence agencies spying on Americans.

In 2013, for example, the National Security Agency found its employees had used the most powerful spying tools to monitor their spouses and lovers.

In 2014, The New York Times reported that the Central Intelligence Agency had hacked emails of Senate investigators.

This is an extremely serious assault on Congress’s oversight powers under Article I of the Constitution, and a violation of the CIA’s charter. Yet the Department of Justice declined to prosecute, and the CIA got away with it.

The NSA has compiled a database of all the data. What kind of data? All of it: Facebook posts, emails, voicemails, facial recognition, communication on dating apps, naughty pictures you send your wife, and your college transcript.

As our devices increasingly listen and watch their owners, the NSA has found ways to access images and sounds captured by your computer, phone, and iPads.

The NSA’s Utah facility is estimated to have the capacity to compile “zettabytes” of American citizens’ emails, phone communication, pictures, and videos. How much is a zettabyte?

It’s 10 to the 21st power, or a number so big that it hasn’t even found its way into science fiction.

Comey once confided in a reporter that he keeps tape over his laptop camera.

Now, why would he do that, as the court charged with ensuring that the government does not abuse this database required he and former CIA director John Brennan to certify the FBI did not use this database to spy on Americans without a warrant?

Why the Mifsud Story Matters

While many mainstream media journalists have been spinning fantasies for more than two years, based on Russian collusion stories being handed to them by anonymous sources, crack reporter John Solomon of The Hill has been pursuing real leads and uncovering actual evidence.

Exclusive Air Force Report: Hyten Accuser Has History Of Unsubstantiated Allegations

In the weeks since the Air Force cleared Gen. John Hyten, following a comprehensive review by the Office of Special Investigations, major media have prominently published and widely broadcast lurid and salacious claims made against him by the subordinate who was removed from her position for “toxic” leadership.

The Air Force investigation found no merit to the dozens of unsubstantiated claims made by Col. Kathryn Spletstoser in the last couple of years, as well as a history of unsubstantiated claims levied against supervisors.

Colleagues of Spletstoser say she had anger issues, bullied subordinates, and had an incredibly foul mouth.

They say she’s lying. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), who has vocally opposed Hyten “given the disturbing allegations” against him, did not show up to the Senate Executive Session in which the Air Force investigation findings were confidentially revealed and discussed.

Spletstoser levied dozens of allegations against several supervisors following the loss of her job in 2018, but she had made unsubstantiated allegations previously as well.

For instance, two years after a good, but not great, performance review in 2007 that she believed had kept her from being selected for battalion command, Spletstoser appealed and claimed the man who gave her the review had sexually harassed her throughout her tour of duty in Iraq.

World News:

Shocking Ethics Report Proves Trump Was Right To Defund UN Palestinian Refugee Agency

According to a confidential report by the UNRWA ethics office, its top management, including Commissioner General Pierre Krahenbuhl, allegedly “engaged in sexual misconduct, nepotism, retaliation, discrimination, and other abuses of authority.”

The allegations include of an improper relationship between Krahenbuhl and his senior adviser Maria Mohammedi that resulted in a “toxic environment,” causing “frequent embarrassment.” Mohammedi allegedly was also granted a “fast-track” to promotion to a position that Krahenbuhl created.

In the past decade alone, the United States poured more than $3 billion into UNRWA.

The Trump administration cut funding in 2018, a decision U.S. Special Envoy Jason Greenblatt assured was “in part due to UNRWA’s unsustainable business model and fiscal practices.”

Now, Greenblatt has called for the UNRWA ethics probe to be as transparent as possible in order to ensure the organization did not improperly use U.S. tax dollars.

North Korea’s forced abortions: The Hermit Kingdom’s underreported human rights abuses

Jin hye Jo wipes a tear as she testifies in Washington D.C. during a hearing of the UN-mandated Commission of Inquiry about human rights in North Korea.
Jin hye Jo wipes a tear as she testifies in Washington D.C. during a hearing of the UN-mandated Commission of Inquiry about human rights in North Korea. (AP)

Experts that spoke to Fox News said China is complicit in the abuse, and have said in cases where involuntary abortions aren’t ordered, North Korean officials engage in outright infanticide.

“Terrifying reports from female defectors depict undergoing forced abortions after they fled to what they thought was freedom in China, only to be repatriated back to North Korea by authorities in China,” said Olivia Enos, Senior Policy Analyst for Asian Studies at The Heritage Foundation.

“Other women from North Korea recount having aborted babies born alive or giving birth in ordinary prison camps only to have border guards smother or drown their babies before their very eyes.”

Kim Dong-hyun, an analyst and journalist for Chosun News-Press and a former Air Force Officer for the Republic of Korea, added there has been no marked improvements with regards to North Korea’s human rights record in recent years when it comes to forced abortions.

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