Appeals Court: Police can violate our rights without fear of being sued

Delivered by The Daily Sheeple


For those of you that claim we don’t live in a police state, I give you this recent Michigan Appeals Court ruling.

In 2015, Deputy James Dawson went to Joshua Brennan’s home and knocked on his door trying to obtain a breath sample. When Brennan did not answer, Dawson spent an hour and a half knocking at his doors and windows.

Officer Dawson also put crime-scene tape over Brennan’s security cameras to conceal his actions and used his siren and cruiser lights in an attempt to rouse him.

When Brennan finally opened his door, officer Dawson forced him to take a breathalyzer and arrested him for a probation violation even though he blew a 0.000.

All of this was done without a warrant. (Warrantless breathalyzer tests was not a condition of Brennan’s probation.)

If you think, it is obvious to any reasonable person that his rights were violated. Then you don’t know how the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals interprets the Constitution.  The fact that this even went to an Appeals Court, speaks volumes about our justice system but I digress.

Let’s get back to the ruling;  judge John Nalabandian said that officer Dawson did violate Brennan’s Fourth Amendment rights by searching him without a warrant. All is good so far, right?

Not quite, Nalabandian went on to say “police actions that violate the Constitution do not lead to liability.”

The court also ruled that since officer “Dawson’s implied license was not clearly established” and because of that old police standby, “deficient training” he cannot be sued.

To say that the court’s reasoning is frustrating is an understatement. The court said that because “Wilson and Clare County were not on actual or constructive notice that the deputy training was deficient they could not be liable.”

Does anyone really think police are held to a higher standard when they constantly use the “deficient training” excuse?

If you are upset by the court’s ruling that police are not liable for violating the Constitution I warn you, it only gets worse.

Citizens must prove to judges that violating out rights is unlawful

According to the Sixth Circuit and this speaks volumes about our justice system “the plaintiff bears the burden of proving that the right was so well settled that every reasonable official would understand that what he is doing is unlawful.”

In other words, citizens must prove to a “reasonable official” [judge] that a police officer violating the Constitution is unlawful.

The Sixth Circuit claimed that since the Hardesty v. Hamburg Twp. ruling did not set a limit on how long a police officer can harass people at their homes Brennan cannot sue the police.  Even though they admitted that “absent a warrant a police officer has no greater license to remain on the property than a Girl Scout or trick-or-treater.”

The ruling repeatedly admits that “Dawson arguably violated the Constitution.” but states for a second time that “even if a government official violated a constitutional right, that official is entitled to qualified immunity.”

The Sixth Circuit refused to view the “constitutionality of the officer’s conduct or the continuing viability of Hardest and Turk.”

Not only did the Appeals court rule that Brennan cannot sue the police for violating his rights but they dismissed his unlawful arrest claim as well.

Only one judge, Karen Moore dissented and agreed like any “reasonable official” should, saying Brennan’s rights were violated and the officer could be sued.

Why is the media silent when rulings as egregious as this are taking place across the country?

Proving to “reasonable officials” that violating our rights is unlawful? America is fast on its way to becoming a police state.

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Trump Orders Declassification of FISA Docs and Comey Texts

WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 17: U.S. President Donald Trump participates in the inaugural meeting of the Presidents National Council for the American Worker in the Roosevelt Room of the White House on September 17, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Oliver Contreras - Pool/Getty Images)



President Donald Trump ordered the declassification of several documents and texts related to the FBI’s Russia investigation during the 2016 presidential election.

Included among the documents are the 21 pages of the FISA court application used by the FBI to obtain a warrant to surveil Trump campaign advisor Carter Page, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement on Monday.

Sanders added that the president has also directed the release of all reports by the FBI of interviews with Justice Department official Bruce Ohr in relation to the Russia investigation.

View image on TwitterView image on Twitter
Trump further ordered the public release of all text messages concerning the Russia investigation, “without redaction,” from former FBI Director James Comey, former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, former FBI agent Peter Strzok, former FBI attorney Lisa Page, and Ohr.

The House Intelligence and House Oversight and Government Reform committees have both been seeking the unredacted FISA applications on Carter Page for months.

Fox News reported sources familiar with the matter do not know how soon the documents will be released, but the release covered “pretty much everything that (House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes) wanted … and the text messages are a bonus.”

Nunes stated on FNC on Sunday, “If the president wants the American people to really understand just how broad and invasive this investigation has been to many Americans and how unfair it has been, he has no choice but to declassify” key documents.

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise praised Trump’s decision to release the FISA documents and text messages, tweeting, the president “made the right call. Americans deserve the truth about these egregious actions by government officials.”

Freedom Caucus chair Rep. Mark Meadows tweeted after Trump’s announcement, “Transparency wins.”

“It’s time to get the full truth on the table so the American people can decide for themselves on what happened at the highest levels of their FBI and Justice Department,” he added.

House Intelligence Committee ranking member Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., accused Trump of “ordering the selective disclosure of classified materials he believes helpful to his defense.”

“The DOJ and FBI have previously informed me that release of some of this information would cross a ‘red line,’” he wrote.

On Monday morning, Trump tweeted about a Fox News report concerning Lisa Page’s testimony before the House Intelligence Committee in July during which she stated the FBI had found no evidence of Russia collusion by May 2017, when special counsel Robert Mueller was named to take over the investigation.

“Therefore, the case should never have been allowed to be brought. It is a totally illegal Witch Hunt!” wrote the president.

In another tweet, he wrote, “Immediately after Comey’s firing Peter Strzok texted to his lover, Lisa Page ‘We need to Open the case we’ve been waiting on now while Andy (McCabe, also fired) is acting.”

“Page answered, ‘We need to lock in (redacted). In a formal chargeable way. Soon.’ Wow, a conspiracy caught?” Trump wondered.









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Randy DeSoto is a graduate of West Point and Regent University School of Law. He is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths" and screenwriter of the political documentary "I Want Your Money."

The Bad Economics of Short-Run Policies


Bad economics can bring about or grow out of bad politics. But the question is, what are bad economics and bad politics?

Bad economics can bring about or grow out of bad politics. But the question is, what are bad economics and bad politics? Unless this is clearly and correctly identified, a bad situation can be made worse, and a good situation can be turned into a bad one. So sorting this out is crucial to having a free and prosperous society.

British economist, Robert Skidelsky, is confident that he knows the answer. In a recent article on “Good Politics, Bad Economics,” he states that bad economics and bad politics are free markets and limited government along classical liberal lines. How does he know that such economics and politics are “bad” in their effects on the society? The financial crisis of 2008-2009, Skidelsky says, was due to unbridled financial markets combined with “hands-off” economic policies once the downturn set in, in 2009-2010.

Good politics and good economics, in his view, comprise an openness and sensitivity to the concerns of many in the society for social securities and job assurances in a changing and uncertain world. Oh, Adam Smith’s invisible hand of unhampered free markets is fine enough when taking the long view, but, Skidelsky says, they are “also highly disruptive and prone to periodic breakdown,” in the shorter run.

Skidelsky: Populist Demagogues as Good Economists

Adhering to such Smithian free market policies opens the door to “populist” demagogues, such as Victor Orban in Hungary who has instituted illiberal political policies attempting to restrict civil liberties and personal freedom. But, on the other hand, as far as Skidelsky is concerned Orban has a highly redeemable set of good fiscal policies, based on a “sound Keynesian footing.”

This echoes back to the infamous forward that John Maynard Keynes (1883-1946) wrote for the German translation of his, The General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money (1936), that “The theory of output as a whole, which is what the following book purports to provide, is much more easily adapted to the conditions in a totalitarian state than . . . under conditions of free competition and a large measure of laissez-faire . . .”

It is worth recalling that in 1936, the only remaining academic economists to whom the content of Keynes’s book could be addressed in recommending it as a guide for government economic policy were Nazi economists, since all others already had been removed from university and related positions by Hitler’s National Socialist regime.

Following in the footsteps of his intellectual mentor (being the author of a highly regarded three-volume biography of Keynes), Skidelsky points out that illiberal nationalist regimes such as Orban’s find it far easier “to pursue policies of social protection.” Why? They can use the heavy hand of government control to impose such policies on society without the type of resistance or public criticism possible in a more politically open liberal system.

The Bigger the Government, the Better for Keynesians

The smaller the government’s fiscal presence in the economic activities within a country, the less is likely to be the impact from “activist” government spending policies, since government expenditures and taxation would be relatively small to start with. If there is, say, a $1 trillion economy, with government taxing and spending only representing one percent (or $10 billion), a 20 percent increase in government spending in the form of a budget deficit only comes to an additional $2 billion.

But if, on the other hand, out of a $1 trillion economy, government taxing and spending comes to, say, 20 percent that is equal to $200 billion. If, now, the government increases it’s spending by only 5 percent through deficit financing that comes to $10 billion, or five times as much as in the first case.

Keynes’s point, and Skidelsky’s, is that the greater the degree of government influence or control over the economic activities within a country to begin with, including the size of government spending as a percent of the economy as a whole, the larger the impact from any increase in spending by that government. The bigger the government, the more policy-relevant is the introduction or expansion of Keynesian-type fiscal policies.

In fairness, Keynes had no sympathy for the ideology or the politics of the Nazi regime in Germany, and Robert Skidelsky is equally unsympathetic with the political and cultural policies of Orban’s government in Hungary. But Skidelsky believes that the best way to prevent or make less likely the coming to power of a populist, “right-wing” government like Orban’s is for a more liberal and democratic government to introduce “good” Keynesian and other interventionist policies before economic circumstances become so bad in a country that the citizens turn to an Orban-type of leader, due to the affects of “bad” free market policies that limit the size and scope of a government to “fix” and set things right.

Bastiat and Hazlitt: Good Economists Look Beyond the Short Run

Slightly modernizing the insight of the French free market economist, Frederic Bastiat (1801-1850) in his famous essay, “What is Seen and What is Not Seen,” economic journalist Henry Hazlitt (1894-1993) explained the crucial difference between a “bad” and  “good” economist in his classic, Economics in One Lesson (1946):

“The bad economist sees only what immediately strikes the eye; the good economist also looks beyond. The bad economist sees only the direct consequences of a proposed course; the good economist looks also at the longer and indirect consequences. The bad economist sees only what the effect of a given policy has been or will be on one particular group, the good economist inquires also what the effect of the policy will be on all groups . . .

“The long-run consequences of some economic policies may become evident in a few months. Others may not become evident for several years. Still others may not become evident for decades. But in every case those long-run consequences are contained in the policy as surely as the hen was in the egg., the flower in the seed . . . The art of economics consists in looking not merely at the immediate but at the longer effects of any act or policy; it consists in tracing the consequences not merely for one group but for all groups.”

Now no personal or moral slight is intended by implying that Robert Skidelsky, by Bastiat’s and Hazlitt’s definition, is a “bad” economist. It simply means that it is “bad economics” if the analyst, for whatever reason, exclusively or primarily focuses on the immediate or nearer effects from a government policy while ignoring or downplaying the possible or likely impact of such policies when taking the longer-run perspective on what the consequences of a policy may be.

The reason being, as the old adage says, “the road to hell is paved with good intentions.” It is clear from Skidelsky’s argument that he is concerned that if a “good” or well-intentioned government pursues “bad” economic policies, it may create the political conditions in which an authoritarian or populist demagogue may be able to promise “good” interventionist economics, some of which he might even successfully deliver, but at the cost of reduced or lost political and civil liberties.

However, a “good” diagnosis requires a correct judgment concerning the cause and nature of the (social) ailment. Otherwise, the illness may be made worse, or at a minimum recovery may be delayed or prolonged more than otherwise might have been necessary.

Short-Run Policies Created the 2008-2009 Crisis

What Skidelsky interprets as the economic system prevailing in the United States and most other Western countries has little to do with how classical liberals define a “free market.” Financial markets have been and are heavily regulated by government regulatory agencies. The creation of money and credit and the rates of interest they charge to borrowers are not truly market-based. Central banks set the regulatory and loan-creating rules for the member banks within the banking systems.

Governments and their central banks created the financial crisis of 2008-2009. For years the Federal Reserve had been increasing the quantity of loanable funds in the banking system, and when adjusted for price inflation as measured by the consumer price index, some real interest rates were negative. (See my article, “Interest Rates Need to Tell the Truth”.)

In other words, loan money was being handed out for free in terms of real buying power that a borrower was paying back to lenders for the period of their loans. To get the central bank-created money in the banking system out the door, besides the equivalent of negative interest charges on some loans, the banks were induced to extend loans to uncredit-worthy home buyers with the promise that government agencies like Fanny Mae Freddie Mac would pick up the tab if and when the loans went bad – which many eventually did.

Bad Economics and Short-Run Politics Cause Society’s Ills

What had motivated these policies? In the case of the Federal Reserve, a fear in the early years of the 21st century that there might be a tendency for price deflation, which the Fed Board of Governors decided had to be prevented at all costs through counter-acting monetary expansion. The longer run consequence was an unsustainable financial and investment bubble that came crashing down in 2008-2009. (See my article, “Don’t Fear ‘Deflation,’ Unless Caused by Government”.)

In the case of the housing market, pressures by members of Congress were placed on the government’s home loan guaranteed agencies – Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac – that not enough people were attaining the American dream of having their own home, especially among members of minority communities in the United States. So credit standards were lowered or seemingly almost waved. Banks were told not to worry; just extend home loans to those not meeting the traditional credit-worthy standards of income and work history or not enough of a usual down payment, because if things went wrong those government agencies guaranteed to cover any that went “bad.”

Misplaced fears about possible price deflation and the pressures of politicians looking no further than needing votes from happy home-owning constituents; these were the short-run policy contexts that created the longer run disaster of one of the severest economic downturns of the post-World War II period.

Macroeconomic Mindset Prevents Understanding of Markets

Both factors reflected the bad economics of focusing on the short-run. The Keynesian mindset is to have the monetary central planners try to micro-manage every twist and turn in the financial and economic climate, and frequently turn the money-creation and interest rate dials in an attempt to keep the macro-economy on an even keel, as the defined by the Keynesian-oriented policy makers.

The same applies to using government taxing and spending to try to influence investment, employment and wages in the economy as a whole. But, again, what this mindset summarizes away in the macroeconomic aggregates used as indicators and targets are the complex and interconnected microeconomic relationships in the structure of relative prices and wages, relative profitabilities of directing productions to satisfy multitudes of different consumer demands, and the need for on-going and continuous adaptations and adjustments in prices and wages, and the allocation of resources (including labor) for successful economy-wide coordination of what everyone is doing in the social system of the division of labor. (See my article, “Macro Aggregates Hide the Real Market Processes at Work”.)

The Best Short and Long Run Policy: Limited Government

For a market economy to succeed in this endeavor the only long run set of policies for any government needs to undertake is to protect the individual and private property rights of the citizenry, enforce all contracts and agreements peacefully and voluntarily entered into that are not fraudulent or misrepresentations, and prevent foreign aggressors from invading and plundering the people within a country.

This represents the “good politics” of a (classical) liberal political order that helps secure people’s liberty and assures the economic setting most conducive to prosperity and price-guided market coordination. A stable and healthy market order such as this precludes the likelihood of the disruptions and distortions that are central to Skildelsky’s concerns.

If such disruptions do arise for some external reason, it remains nonetheless the best long run and short run policy for open and competitive markets to be left free to rebalance and recoordinate in the most appropriate and timesaving ways possible. Government planners, regulators and bureaucrats can never know or acquire the needed and necessary microeconomic knowledge of time and circumstance that only the actors within the various sectors of the economy can discover and attempt to utilize in the most effective manner.

Following this type of economic policy approach is most likely to preclude the emergence and attractiveness of the populist demagogues that Skidelsky fears as threats to political freedom and civil liberties. His proposed policies are far more likely to bring about the very “bad politics” about which he is rightly concerned.

[Originally Published at the American Institute for Economic Research]






Dr. Richard M. Ebeling is the BB&T Distinguished Professor of Ethics and Free Enterprise Leadership at The Citadel. Full Bio
rebeling@citadel.edu

Politics Dirty: Avenatti Tied to Major Clinton Donor and Professor Linked to Russia Dossier

By Cillian Zeal


Michael Avenatti is either telling a very salacious tale or is a very connected man, because he seems to appear on cable news about as often as I eat meals.  I’m going to assume it’s probably some confluence between the two, since Stormy Daniels’ lawyer has been a ubiquitous presence on television since early this year.  But it appears as if Avenatti’s connections don’t stop with the media. They go well beyond that, and they tie him to a major Clinton Foundation donor and one of the professors that the Trump dossier hinges upon.

While rich and connected people tend to also know other rich and connected people, this isn’t just guilt by association. There’s currently a great deal of speculation about where Avenatti got the money to represent Daniels — and while he claims he got it from crowdfunding and Daniels herself, there’s a fair amount of doubt regarding this.

Avenatti, 47, is known to be an avid sports car racer, even having raced at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2015. One of his co-drivers in that event was none other than Abdulaziz bin Turki Al Saud, a member of the Saudi royal family:

And Al Saud is not just any member of the royal family. He is the son of Prince Turki bin Faisal Al Saud, who led Saudi Arabia’s intelligence at the time of the 9/11 attacks.  Turki also a big fan of the Clinton Foundation, as foreign eminences tended to be before Nov. 8, 2016.

“Prince Turki al-Faisal, a former ambassador to the U.S. and member of the Saudi royal family who has attended annual meetings of the Clinton Global Initiative, made donations in 2013 and 2014, though exact dates aren’t available,” the Wall Street Journal reported in 2015.  The Journal also reported that Turki had met Bill Clinton when both were studying at Georgetown. At the time of the article, Turki’s staff declined to comment on the donations or his relationship with either Clinton.  We also now know that Clinton’s campaign had paid for Fusion GPS to assemble the Trump dossier. Part of the dossier focused on Joseph Mifsud, a mysterious Maltese professor who allegedly has links to the Kremlin and told former Trump adviser George Papadopoulos about “dirt” Russia may have on Hillary Clinton.

A relatively flamboyant figure during his time in academia (particularly given a dearth of intelligent work on his part), Mifsud has gone into hiding since the Trump dossier was released. During a long and sketchy academic career, the BBC reports that one of Mifsud’s jobs was in Riyadh, where he was under a Saudi think-tank led by none other than Prince Turki al Faisal.

Interesting connection: The Saudi Prince tied to Avenatti is also connected to Joseph Misfud, who is the professor linked to the supposed origins of the "Trump-Russia" dossier. Mifsud worked for al-Faisal's Riyadh-based think tank.https://t.co/ArRHCI0UnThttps://t.co/pHXE3Vvmca

— Jordan Schachtel (@JordanSchachtel) May 13, 2018

This doesn’t necessarily link Avenatti directly to the Clinton Foundation nor does it link the Clinton Foundation to Mifsud’s participation in the Trump dossier. But it raises serious questions about when Avenatti was the recipient of an awful lot of data that your average lawyer wouldn’t know.

In a piece for The Hill last week, Op-Ed contributor Mark Penn questioned just how Avenatti had come across the “detailed financial information” to file a report on money received by Trump lawyer Michael Cohen, arguing that “he didn’t find it on Google.”  “This is the kind of information that would have been known only by the Treasury Department, his banks or by prosecutors, raising some serious questions about what kind of operation Avenatti is running. Is there a team of people digging this up? Are they paying off sources? Is Fusion GPS involved?” Penn wrote.

An awful lot of questions about Avenatti’s sudden rise to media cynosure need to be answered, and they don’t stop with where his money came from. Avenatti claims he’s received payment for the Daniels case from the porn star herself and from crowdfunding, although Daniels has previously said she isn’t paying for her representation and crowdfunding generally doesn’t buy the kind of enthusiasm and omnipresence Avenatti has brought to the case.

Is there any connection to the Clinton Foundation or Fusion GPS? It could simply be randomness, but some sort of legitimate connection is far from out of the question, especially given the quality of opposition research Avenatti — heretofore mostly a high-end cultural ambulance chaser — seems to have been able to dredge up. For all of his loquaciousness, Avenatti seems loath to discuss details about how he got involved in the case and who’s paying for him.

Those are questions we wouldn’t mind having answered in a little more detail the next time that he makes one of his many appearances on CNN. If this were a lawyer associated with Trump and these kind of connections had surfaced regarding the Saudi royal family and Mifsud, the mainstream media would be all over this, particularly if said lawyer was practically camping out on their newsroom floor.

It’s time for the media to step up and do its job.


Trackside - Why the Incadescent Bulb Ban Amounts to Nothing

   by J.  D'Aloia


Elected officials often introduce laws for the sole purpose of having a piñata to bash for the cameras and the folks back home. Congressman Poe in the linked video is certainly making such use of the law banning incandescent light bulbs - I did not research to find out how he voted, but it matters not - he is making the most of it for his time in front of the camera.

My cynical side says the law was applauded by the environmental Luddites not because compact fluorescent light bulbs were reducing the dreaded greenhouse gases, but because the law was a means to further control society. Such is their goal. Demand changes in what society uses and how they use it to satisfy some environmental talking point. When the change has been ordained by a sycophantic legislative body, then raise a new issue and demand that new laws placing further control over society be enacted to counter the threats now spotlighted. More rules, more government, more taxes, less freedom.

Another cynical wonderment - why all the fuss about broken CFLs? Why has it not all played out for fluorescent tubes? They too have mercury in similar amounts. There has not been an avalanche of reports of people suffering from mercury poisoning from broken fluorescent tubes or moon-suited technicians cleaning up the family room after a tube was broken. Could it be that within the grand strategy, the timing was not right to play the poison card? And with LED light bulbs coming on the market, with an even greater energy efficiency (and much higher cost than CFLs), will CFLs be banned next? 

‘Tis a tempest in a teapot. CFLs do have a place in the grand scheme of things, especially for those lights the replacement of which is an all-day project, or if the spectrum you want cannot be obtained with an Edison special, or if your lighting demands are such that the cost vs. energy saved equation comes out to your benefit. Prudent respect for the dangers mitigates the dangers.

Tacitus nailed it in the First Century AD: "Corruptissima republicae, plurimae leges" - The worse the state, the more laws it has.

See you Trackside.


Parents File Federal Civil Rights Lawsuit Against Minnesota Because CPS Kidnapped Their Children

by Brian Silhavy


This past week (April 2018) a group of Minnesota parents filed a federal civil rights lawsuit accusing Dakota County and the State of Minnesota for kidnapping their children and placing them unnecessarily into foster care.

Dwight D. Mitchell (center at podium) is the lead plaintiff in a federal lawsuit of parents suing the State of Minnesota for kidnapping their children via Child Protection Services. Image courtesy kaaltv.com.


The lead plaintiff in the lawsuit is Dwight D. Mitchell, who founded an association of parents called Stop Child Protection Services From Legally Kidnapping, which has about 250 members in Minnesota. Mr. Mitchell and several parents held a press conference at the State Capital last week, and Mr. Mitchell was interviewed by several local media sources. Mr. Mitchell explains how he had his three children removed from his home because a family babysitter reported him to CPS for a “bottom spanking” with one of his children. It took him almost 2 years to get his son back home.


According to the Star Tribune:

“It was every parent’s worst nightmare,” said Mitchell, 57, a management consultant. “My children were legally kidnapped for a bottom spanking that was done out of love, because I want my children to grow up to be hardworking members of society.”

The child, Xander Mitchell, was kept in state custody for 22 months, during which time his father was refused all contact. Mitchell’s other child was removed for five months, according to the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis.

Mitchell said his involvement with child protection began on the night of Feb. 16, 2014, when he and his wife went to dinner and a movie and left their children in the care of their longtime babysitter. A day earlier, Xander had received a “bottom spanking” from his father for stealing and other acts of disobedience, including failing to do his homework and playing video games when he should have been sleeping.


When the babysitter called to report the alleged maltreatment of the child, police were dispatched to Mitchell’s residence and his three children were taken to the police station for questioning, he said. Days later, Dakota County filed a court petition seeking protection for Mitchell’s children, who were removed from his home and placed in foster care while the county investigated.

Mitchell said his son Xander, now 15, has never been the same since. The once-gregarious and athletic child, who loved soccer and skiing, has become increasingly introverted and now spends most of his time indoors, he said. “The abduction by child protection services ruined my son’s life and changed it forever,” Mitchell said. “Can you imagine if you thought that your father abandoned you?”

In Minnesota it is reportedly illegal to use corporal punishment with one’s own children, but not in schools where it is allowed by teachers. 

The lawsuit claims that Minnesota unfairly targets Black families and other minorities in removing children from homes. TwinCities.com reports:

“Every night, I went to sleep not knowing where he was,” Mitchell said, describing the experience as traumatic and comparing it to a legal kidnapping.  “The abduction by (child-protective services) ruined my son’s life and changed him forever,” Mitchell said. “Without a doubt, this has been the most horrific experience of our life.”

Mitchell’s lawsuit claims Minnesota laws regarding corporal punishment by parents, such as spanking, are unconstitutionally vague. Child protection can investigate parents for any action that causes pain or mental injury.  Mitchell says state and county officials enforce that and other child-protection laws inconsistently and black families are considerably more likely to end up in the system and lose custody of their children.

State data show black children are three times more likely to be involved in the child-protection system and be taken from their parents. Black parents also are more likely to lose their parental rights than their white neighbors.  The disparity is even higher for multi-racial and American Indian children and their families.

When children of color are removed from their homes, they are often placed in white homes for foster care that some parents feel is culturally inappropriate.

ABC affiliate KaalTV interviewed Dwight Mitchell about the federal civil rights lawsuit for kidnapping children:

Richard Wexler, the executive director of the National Coalition for Child Protection Reform, wrote an op-ed piece for MINNPOST earlier this month on why Minnesota’s approach to child protection makes children less safe.  Citing statistics that Minnesota takes children away from their families at the sixth highest rate in the country, a rate more than double the national average, Wexler points out that this has been a long-standing problem in Minnesota that has nothing to do with abusive parents on drugs:

No, this is not because of opioids or any other drug plague. Minnesota has been an outlier since at least 1999 and probably far longer.

Everything was made worse by the state’s bungled response to the death of Eric Dean in 2014. The governor promptly named the obligatory task force. Incredibly, the task force concluded that a state which for nearly two decades was among the most extreme in tearing apart families was not extreme enough. The result was predictable: a foster-care panic – a sharp, sudden spike in children torn from their homes.

Of course all of this was done in the name of making children safer. After all, New York City, with its much lower rate of removal, has had horrible cases of deaths of children known to the system so clearly – oh, wait. Minnesota is still seeing such tragedies as well, in spite of taking children at a rate more than six times higher.  In fact, foster-care panics actually make such tragedies more likely. (Source.)

Wexler points out that the main reason children are taken away from their families is not because of abuse, but because of poverty. He cites studies showing that children left in poor, troubled homes, fare far better than the ones taken out of those homes and put into foster care:

Far more common are cases in which family poverty is confused with “neglect.” Other cases fall between the extremes. The problem is compounded by the sort of racial bias cited by the Minneapolis NAACP.

So it’s no wonder that two massive studies involving more than 15,000 typical cases found that children left in their own homes typically fared better even than comparably maltreated children placed in foster care. A University of Minnesota study, using a smaller sample and different methodology, reached the same conclusion. (Source.)

If one wants to find the main cause of child abuse in America today, look no further than foster care homes:

That harm occurs even when the foster home is a good one. The majority are.  But the rate of abuse in foster care is far higher than generally realized and far higher than in the general population. Multiple studies have found abuse in one-quarter to one-third of foster homes. The rate of abuse in group homes and institutions is even worse.  But even that isn’t the worst of it. The more that workers are overwhelmed with false allegations, trivial cases and children who don’t need to be in foster care, the less time they have to find children in real danger. So they make even more mistakes in all directions. That’s almost always the real reason for the horror stories about children left in dangerous homes.

That’s why Minnesota’s longstanding embrace of a take-the-child-and-run approach to child welfare, an approach that’s only worsened in recent years, makes all children less safe. (Source.) 

Related

The U.S. Foster Care System: Modern Day Slavery and Child Trafficking

Child Kidnapping and Trafficking: A Lucrative U.S. Business Funded by Taxpayers



Is the U.S. Government Evil? You Tell Me

by John W. Whitehead


The greatest evil is not now done … in concentration camps and labour camps. In those we see its final result. But it is conceived and ordered (moved, seconded, carried, and minuted) in clean, carpeted, warmed and well-lighted offices, by quiet men with white collars and cut fingernails and smooth-shaven cheeks who do not need to raise their voices. Hence, naturally enough, my symbol for Hell is something like the bureaucracy of a police state or the office of a thoroughly nasty business concern.” ― C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters

Is the U.S. government evil? You tell me.


This is a government that treats its citizens like faceless statistics and economic units to be bought, sold, bartered, traded, tracked, tortured, and eventually eliminated once they’ve outgrown their usefulness.  This is a government that treats human beings like lab rats to be caged, branded, experimented upon, and then discarded and left to suffer from the after-effects.  This is a government that repeatedly lies, cheats, steals, spies, kills, maims, enslaves, breaks the laws, overreaches its authority, and abuses its power at almost every turn.  This is a government that wages wars for profit, jails its own people for profit, and then turns a blind eye and a deaf ear while its henchmen rape and kill and pillage.

No, this is not a government that can be trusted to do what is right or moral or humane or honorable but instead seems to gravitate towards corruption, malevolence, misconduct, greed, cruelty, brutality and injustice.  This is not a government you should trust with your life, your loved ones, your livelihood or your freedoms.

This is the face of evil, disguised as a democracy, sold to the people as an institution that has their best interests at heart.  Don’t fall for the lie.  The government has never had our best interests at heart.

Endless wars. The government didn’t have our best interests at heart when it propelled us into endless oil-fueled wars and military occupations in the Middle East that wreaked havoc on our economy, stretched thin our military resources and subjected us to horrific blowback. 

A police state. There is no way the government had our best interests at heart when it passed laws subjecting us to all manner of invasive searches and surveillance, censoring our speech and stifling our expression, rendering us anti-government extremists for daring to disagree with its dictates, locking us up for criticizing government policies on social media, encouraging Americans to spy and snitch on their fellow citizens, and allowing government agents to grope, strip, search, taser, shoot and kill us. 

Battlefield America. Certainly the government did not have our best interests at heart when it turned America into a battlefield, transforming law enforcement agencies into extensions of the military, conducting military drills on domestic soil, distributing “free” military equipment and weaponry to local police, and desensitizing Americans to the menace of the police state with active shooter drills, color-coded terror alerts, and randomly conducted security checkpoints at “soft” targets such as shopping malls and sports arenas. 

School-to-prison pipeline. It would be a reach to suggest that the government had our best interests at heart when it locked down the schools, installing metal detectors and surveillance cameras, adopting zero tolerance policies that punish childish behavior as harshly as criminal actions, and teaching our young people that they have no rights, that being force-fed facts is education rather than indoctrination, that they are not to question governmental authority, that they must meekly accept a life of censorship, round-the-clock surveillance, roadside blood draws, SWAT team raids and other indignities.

Secret human experimentation. One would also be hard-pressed to suggest that the American government had our best interests at heart when it conducted secret experiments on an unsuspecting populace—citizens and noncitizens alike—making healthy people sick by spraying them with chemicals, injecting them with infectious diseases and exposing them to airborne toxins. The government reasoned that it was legitimate (and cheaper) to experiment on people who did not have full rights in society such as prisoners, mental patients, and poor blacks.  


As the Associated Press reports, “The late 1940s and 1950s saw huge growth in the U.S. pharmaceutical and health care industries, accompanied by a boom in prisoner experiments funded by both the government and corporations. By the 1960s, at least half the states allowed prisoners to be used as medical guinea pigs … because they were cheaper than chimpanzees.”

In Alabama, for example, 600 black men with syphilis were allowed to suffer without proper medical treatment so that the government could study the natural progression of untreated syphilis. In California, older prisoners were implanted with testicles from livestock and executed convicts so the government could test their virility. 

In Connecticut, mental patients were injected with hepatitis so the government could study the disease. In Maryland, sleeping prisoners had a pandemic flu virus sprayed up their noses so the government could monitor their symptoms. In Georgia, two dozen “volunteering” prison inmates had gonorrhea bacteria pumped directly into their urinary tracts through the penis so the government could work on a cure.

In Michigan, male patients at an insane asylum were exposed to the flu so the government could experiment with a flu vaccine. In Minnesota, 11 public service employee “volunteers” were injected with malaria, then starved for five days, so the government could study the impact.

In New York, prisoners at a reformatory prison were split into two groups to determine how a deadly stomach virus was spread: the first group was made to swallow an unfiltered stool suspension, while the second group merely breathed in germs sprayed into the air. In Staten Island, children with mental retardation were given hepatitis orally and by injection to see if they could then be cured.

Unfortunately, these incidents are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the atrocities the government has inflicted on an unsuspecting populace in the name of secret experimentation.

For instance, there was the U.S. military’s secret race-based testing of mustard gas on more than 60,000 enlisted men (African-Americans, Japanese-Americans, Hispanics, etc.). As NPR reports, “All of the World War II experiments with mustard gas were done in secret and weren't recorded on the subjects' official military records. Most do not have proof of what they went through. They received no follow-up health care or monitoring of any kind. And they were sworn to secrecy about the tests under threat of dishonorable discharge and military prison time, leaving some unable to receive adequate medical treatment for their injuries, because they couldn't tell doctors what happened to them.”

And then there was the CIA’s Cold War-era program, MKULTRA, in which the government began secretly experimenting on hundreds of unsuspecting American civilians and military personnel by dosing them with LSD, some having the hallucinogenic drug secretly slipped into their drinks, so that the government could explore its uses in brainwashing and controlling targets. The CIA spent nearly $20 million on its MKULTRA program, reportedly as a means of programming people to carry out assassinations and, to a lesser degree, inducing anxieties and erasing memories, before it was supposedly shut down.

Similarly, the top-secret Montauk Project, the inspiration for the hit Netflix series Stranger Things, allegedly was working to develop mind-control techniques that would then be tested out on locals in a nearby village, triggering crime waves or causing teenagers to congregate.  Sounds like the stuff of conspiracy theorists, I know, but the government’s track record of treating Americans like lab rats has been well-documented, including its attempts to expose whole communities to various toxins as part of its efforts to develop lethal biological weapons and study their impact and delivery methods on unsuspecting populations.

In 1949, for instance, the government sprayed bacteria into the Pentagon’s air handling system, then the world’s largest office building. In 1950, special ops forces sprayed bacteria from Navy ships off the coast of Norfolk and San Francisco, in the latter case exposing all of the city’s 800,000 residents.

In 1953, government operatives staged “mock” anthrax attacks on St. Louis, Minneapolis, and Winnipeg using generators placed on top of cars. Local governments were reportedly told that “‘invisible smokescreen[s]’ were being deployed to mask the city on enemy radar.” Later experiments covered territory as wide-ranging as Ohio to Texas and Michigan to Kansas.

In 1965, the government’s experiments in bioterror took aim at Washington’s National Airport, followed by a 1966 experiment in which army scientists exposed a million subway NYC passengers to airborne bacteria that causes food poisoning. Now one might argue that this is all ancient history and that the government today is different from the government of yesteryear, but has the U.S. government really changed?

Ask yourself: Has the government become any more humane, any more respectful of the rights of the citizenry? Has it become any more transparent or willing to abide by the rule of law? Has it become any more truthful about its activities? Has it become any more cognizant of its appointed role as a guardian of our rights?

Or, having mastered the Orwellian art of Doublespeak and followed the Huxleyan blueprint for distraction and diversion, has the government simply gotten craftier and more conniving, better able to hide its nefarious acts and dastardly experiments under layers of secrecy, legalism and obfuscations?  Consider this: after revelations about the government’s experiments spanning the 20th century spawned outrage, the government began looking for human guinea pigs in other countries, where “clinical trials could be done more cheaply and with fewer rules.”

In Guatemala, prisoners and patients at a mental hospital were infected with syphilis, “apparently to test whether penicillin could prevent some sexually transmitted disease.” More recently, U.S.-funded doctors “failed to give the AIDS drug AZT to all the HIV-infected pregnant women in a study in Uganda even though it would have protected their newborns.” Meanwhile, in Nigeria, children with meningitis were used to test an antibiotic named Trovan. Eleven children died and many others were left disabled.

What kind of government perpetrates such horrific acts on human beings, whether or not they are American citizens? 

Is there any difference between a government mindset that justifies experimenting on prisoners because they’re “cheaper than chimpanzees” and a government that sanctions jailhouse strip searches of individuals charged with minor infractions simply because it’s easier on a jail warden’s workload?

John Lennon was right: “We’re being run by maniacs for maniacal ends.”

Unfortunately, the more things change, the more they stay the same.  Just recently, for example, a Fusion Center in Washington State (a Dept. of Homeland Security-linked data collection clearinghouse that shares information between state, local and federal agencies) inadvertently released records on remote mind control tactics (the use of “psycho-electronic” weapons to control people from a distance or subject them to varying degrees of pain).  Mind you, there is no clear evidence to suggest that these particular documents were created by a government agency. Then again, the government—no stranger to diabolical deeds or shady experiments carried out an unsuspecting populace—has done it before.

After all, this is a government that has become almost indistinguishable from the evil it claims to be fighting, whether that evil takes the form of terrorism, torture, drug traffickingsex trafficking, murder, violence, theft, pornography, scientific experimentations or some other diabolical means of inflicting pain, suffering and servitude on humanity.

For too long now, the American people have been persuaded to barter their freedoms for phantom promises of security and, in the process, have rationalized turning a blind eye to all manner of government wrongdoing—asset forfeiture schemes, corruption, surveillance, endless wars, SWAT team raids, militarized police, profit-driven private prisons, and so on—because they were the so-called lesser of two evils.  No matter how you rationalize it, the lesser of two evils is still evil.

There’s a scene in The Third Man, Carol Reed’s influential 1949 film starring Joseph Cotten and Orson Welles in which a rogue war profiteer (Harry Lime) views human carnage with a callous indifference, unconcerned that the diluted penicillin he’s been trafficking underground has resulted in the tortured deaths of young children.  Challenged by his old friend Holly Martins to consider the consequences of his actions, Lime responds, “In these days, old man, nobody thinks in terms of human beings. Governments don’t, so why should we?”  “Have you ever seen any of your victims?” asks Martins.

“Victims?” responds Lime, as he looks down from the top of a Ferris wheel onto a populace reduced to mere dots on the ground. “Look down there. Tell me. Would you really feel any pity if one of those dots stopped moving forever? If I offered you twenty thousand pounds for every dot that stopped, would you really, old man, tell me to keep my money, or would you calculate how many dots you could afford to spare?”

Lime’s callous indifference is no different from the U.S. government’s calculating cost-benefit analyses.  In the eyes of the government, “we the people” are chump change. So why do Americans keep believing the government has their best interests at heart?  Why do Americans keep trusting the government? 

Why do Americans pretend not to know what is so obvious to anyone with eyes and ears and a conscience?

As Carl Sagan recognized, “If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It’s simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we’ve been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back.

We should never have trusted the government in the first place. 

That’s why the Founders came up with a Bill of Rights. They recognized that without binding legal protections affirming the rights of the people, the newly instituted American government would be no better than the old British despot.

It was Thomas Jefferson who warned, “In questions of power then, let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution.”  Unfortunately, we didn’t heed the warning.

As I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American Peoplethe government has ripped the Constitution to shreds and left us powerless in the face of its power grabs, greed and brutality.  So how do you fight back? How do you fight injustice? How do you push back against tyranny? How do you vanquish evil?

You don’t fight it by hiding your head in the sand. Stop being apathetic. Stop being neutral. Stop being accomplices.

Start recognizing evil and injustice and tyranny for what they are. Demand government transparency. Vote with your feet (i.e., engage in activism, not just politics). Refuse to play politics with your principles. Don’t settle for the lesser of two evils. 

As British statesman Edmund Burke warned, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men [and women] to do nothing.”

It’s time for good men and women to do something. And soon.


FBI Refuses to Release Docs About Secret Comey-Obama Meeting, Says America Doesn’t Need to Know

by Richard Pollock


  • The FBI will not expedite the release of documents about secret meetings between Comey and Obama.
  • Comey held a secret Oval Office meeting with Obama on Jan. 5, 2017.
  • TheDCNF requested records of all meetings between the two.

The FBI states it will not expedite the release of documents about secret meetings between FBI Director James Comey and former President Barack Obama, according to a letter the bureau sent to The Daily Caller News Foundation.

Such information is not “a matter of widespread and exceptional media interest in which there exists possible questions about the government’s integrity which affects public confidence,” David Hardy, the section chief for the bureau’s Record/Information Dissemination Section, told TheDCNF in a Feb. 26 letter.

TheDCNF, under the Freedom of Information Act, requested records of all meetings between Comey and Obama and sought an “expedited process” as provided under the act when issues are of great interest to the media and the records address issues pertaining to government integrity. TheDCNF FOIA request was filed Feb. 16, 2018.  The issue prompting the FOIA request was the disclosure Comey held a secret Oval Office meeting with Obama on Jan. 5, 2017. Comey never divulged the meeting to Congress.

Susan Rice, Obama’s national security adviser, former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, and former Vice President Joe Biden also attended the meeting.

The National Archives revealed the existence of the meeting and released a declassified version of an email Rice sent to the Senate Committee on the Judiciary. Rice wrote an email to herself about the secret Jan. 5 meeting with Comey on Inauguration Day Jan. 20, 2017, as President Donald Trump was being sworn into office. The email suggested Comey may have misled Congress and was attempting to cover up the extent of his relationship with Obama.

Christopher Bedford, TheDCNF’s editor in chief, called the FBI denial “shameful.”

“The FBI just told us that Director James Comey potentially lying to Congress should not be of interest to us, that it doesn’t speak to their ‘integrity,’ and that it shouldn’t impact America’s ‘confidence’ in them,” Bedford said. “They said this with a straight face. We disagree, we think the American people disagree, and we think it’s absolutely shameful.”

Republican Sens. Chuck Grassley, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee and subcommittee chairman, and Lindsey Graham released the Rice email after they received it from the National Archives.

“President Obama had a brief follow-on conversation with FBI Director Comey and Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates in the Oval Office,” Rice stated in the email on Jan. 5. 

The president urged Comey to proceed “by the book” on the Russian investigation, according to Rice.  Grassley of Iowa and Graham of South Carolina wrote to Rice in a Feb. 8 letter saying the email seemed “odd” to them.

“It strikes us as odd that, among your activities in the final moments on the final day of the Obama administration, you would feel the need to send yourself such an unusual email purporting to document a conversation involving President Obama,” the two wrote.  “Despite your claim that President Obama repeatedly told Mr. Comey to proceed ‘by the book,’ substantial questions have arisen about whether officials at the FBI, as well as at the Justice Department and the State Department, actually did proceed ‘by the book,’” the two senators continued.

Comey claimed in June 8, 2017, testimony before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence he had only two face-to-face meetings with the president in which they were alone.

“I spoke alone with President Obama twice in person (and never on the phone) – once in 2015 to discuss law enforcement policy issues and a second time, briefly, for him to say goodbye in late 2016,” Comey’s opening statement read.  The qualifier that he had meetings with Obama “alone” permitted the former director to suggest he only met with the former president on two occasions.

The DCNF filed its FOIA request before the bureau “seeking records that identify and describe all meetings between former FBI Director James Comey and President Barack Obama. This records request is for all meetings with Obama alone or with meetings with the president in the company of other administration officials.”   The DCNF requested records to include all Comey “logs, director appointment schedules, emails and memos outlining the meetings with the former President along with administration officials,” adding, the records “should list the date of the meeting, location, topic and meeting participants.”  TheDCNF stated it sought an “expedited request” for producing the records. 

“The issue of Director Comey’s meetings with President Obama is a key troubling issue for Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley,” TheDCNF wrote in its application for the expedited processing. TheDCNF attached to Grassly-Graham letter to Rice in the FOIA request for expediting handling.

Hardy said The DCNF failed to meet its standards for expedited processing as provided under 28 CFR 16.5 (e)(1)(iv).

“You have not provided enough information concerning the statutory requirements permitting expedition: therefore your request is denied,” he told TheDCNF.

A version of this article appeared on The Daily Caller News Foundation website.


Rutherford Institute Asks U. S. Supreme Court to Defend the First Amendment Right of Retailers Not to Be Forced to Speak for Government

by Nisha Whitehread


WASHINGTON, D.C. — Insisting that retailers have a First Amendment right not to be forced to speak for the government, attorneys for The Rutherford Institute have filed an amicus brief with the United States Supreme Court urging the Court to strike down an ordinance requiring cell phone retailers to tell consumers that cell phones are dangerous.

In the brief filed in CTIA-Wireless Association v. The City of Berkeley, Institute attorneys ask the Court to declare unconstitutional an ordinance adopted by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors requiring cell phone retailers to advise purchasers about the disputed health effects of cell phone usage. Institute attorneys argue that the ordinance is unconstitutional because it forces citizens to become unwilling mouthpieces for the controversial viewpoints of their elected officials.       

The Rutherford Institute’s amicus brief in CTIA-Wireless Association v. The City of Berkeley is available at www.rutherford.org. Attorney Michael Lockerby of Foley & Lardner LLP, in Washington, D.C., assisted The Rutherford Institute with the First Amendment brief.

“The very purpose of the First Amendment, as Justice Hugo L. Black recognized, is to ensure that Americans are free to think, speak, write and worship as they please, not as the government dictates,” said John W. Whitehead, president of The Rutherford Institute and author of Battlefield America: The War on the American People. “Well-meaning or not, the government’s desire to communicate a disputed health alert about cell phone usage cannot be permitted to trump the First Amendment rights of citizens—including retailers—to decide for themselves whether or not to advance such a message.”

In 2015, the City of Berkeley, Calif., passed an ordinance requiring cell phone retailers within the city to provide all persons purchasing or leasing a cell phone a statement relating to the effects of cell phone use. Retailers are required to tell customers that, “to assure safety,” federal guidelines require phones to limit radio-frequency exposure, and that if users carry a cell phone on their person while the phone is on they may exceed those guidelines. However, city council members admitted they had no scientific evidence that cell phones pose a health risk and the Federal Communications Commission has determined there is no scientific evidence linking wireless device use and cancer or other illnesses. In addition, the World Health Organization issued a report in June 2011 which concluded that after a large number of studies, no adverse health effects had been established as being caused by mobile phone use.

Hoping to prevent enforcement of the ordinance, the wireless industry filed a lawsuit arguing that the mandated statement was false and misleading and that it compelled retailers to speak in violation of their First Amendment rights. The trial and appellate courts rejected the constitutional claims, ruling that the mandated disclosures have a reasonable relationship to public safety. The wireless industry petitioned the Supreme Court to review that ruling. In its amicus brief supporting the wireless industry’s petition, The Rutherford Institute argues that the lower courts’ rulings will grant the government the power to compel citizens to make statements with which they disagree, even though the statements may be misleading and controversial.

TRACKSIDE - McTique II

by John D'Aloia

A previous TRACKSIDE described New Zealand government reform actions as reported by Maurice P. McTigue in an article entitled "Rolling Back Government" printed in the April 2004 Imprimis, published by Hillsdale College. Space limitations prevented relating other actions taken by McTigue and company.

The reformers believed that subsidies make people dependent, dependent people lose their ingenuity, and dependent people become more dependent. McTigue’s example was sheep farming. Lamb was selling for $12.50 per carcass on the market and the taxpayers were kicking in another $12.50 per. In a one-year period, the government pulled the plug on the subsidy. Sheep ranchers put their heads together and developed a product that, within four years, brought $30 per carcass. By 1999 the price was $115 per carcass. It was forecast that eliminating the subsidy would result in corporate farming eradicating family farms. The opposite happened - corporate farms declined and family farming expanded. Inside the beltway, are you listening?

The New Zealand educational system was failing. More and more money was poured into the system while achievements headed south. McTigue said "It cost us twice as much to get a poorer result than we did 20 years previously with much less money." They found that only 30 cents of every education dollar reached the classroom. (The educrats were well fed.) They eliminated all Boards of Education, and placed each of 4,500 schools under the control of a board of trustees elected by the parents of students at the school. They gave each school a bag of money based on the number of students with no strings attached to the bag. Private schools got the same bag of money, allowing parents to choose which schools got the money for their children. Within 18 months, the large achievement disparity between public and private schools evaporated as teachers were empowered to teach - and realized that without students in their classrooms, they would be without employment. Within three years, New Zealand students went from being 14 or 15 percent below their international peers to 14 or 15 percent above them in academic performance. In Topeka, are you listening?

Every one who has had an encounter of a close kind on a highway with a deer (my encounter was more than close), and farmers, will like the New Zealand approach to managing deer. For 120 years, New Zealand tried to eliminate deer, loosed on the land when they were imported by the English for hunting. The deer were an invasive species - keep that term in mind for it is another ecofascist power play. The reformers authorized farmers and ranchers to farm the deer if they could catch them and keep them behind eight-foot high fences. Voila! The government spent not one cent since on deer eradication and New Zealand has 40 percent of the world’s venison market. In Topeka, are you listening? I think not - many, many sessions ago, a Kansas citizen brought a somewhat similar idea to the dome and was scarcely given the time of day. Why? A private-market solution is a direct threat to the entrenched bureaucracy which exists on the concept that government owns the state’s wild animals. If private citizens can own and manage wild animals, rangers, wardens, and offices in Topeka are superfluous baggage.

I wish McTigue had a bit of influence in Topeka. Not only is Kansas the "High Tax Point on the Prairie", we are spending ourselves into the poor house. The Guv’s staff has estimated that the "short fall" (such a genteel term for spending what you don’t have) for FY2010 would be $188M increasing to $400M in FY2011. Caleb Stegal, in an article posted on Kansas Liberty.com on July 2nd,longed for the good old days when Kansas had a conservative Democrat for governor. He wrote: "[She] abhorred waste in government and the burden of taxation. She vetoed tax increases and used her line-item to strike bloated deficit spending. She balanced the budget and forced an "existing resources" budget through a recalcitrant state legislature which increased general fund spending by only one-half of one percent. (Pause and let that sink in, especially in light of our current GOP-controlled legislature which treats the mere mention of holding to 3% budget increases with the tantrums of a spoiled child.)"

If Kansas Republicans cannot summon up the will to establish a McTigue-like program to straighten things out, perhaps we can find another Governor Finney.


See you Trackside.



Reprinted from the Old Eponym site in honor of former Editor John D'Aloia 

Excerpts reprinted by permission from Imprimis, the national speech digest of Hillsdale College, www.hillsdale.edu. Subscriptions are free upon request.