Due Process and the 4th Amendment

When a police officer shoots a suspect, that suspect is no longer afforded due process under the law.

First and foremost, I do not support “mob rule” or any other type of anarchist behavior under the guise of “first amendment rights”. Secondly, let me say, I simply do not have an adequate solution to the pandemic rise of the police state or the counter-movement against it. However, the first step to recovery is to at least admit there is a problem. Lastly, and most important, law enforcement officers often have thankless jobs and insurmountable tasks in front of them. The old catch 22, “damned if you do, and damned if you don’t”, but that does not negate their responsibility to the constitution and the people they “serve” – regardless of out-of-control courts.

My friends and family know that I am not an “activist”, I am a constitutionalist. From that perspective, which is purely constitutional, I can say these are dangerous times wherein law-abiding citizens have no reprieve or sanctuary – from criminals or police alike. I know that statement is not popular and will upset a lot of people, but I assure you, if you have an open mind, continue reading and you may see my point.  Please, read this in its entirety before going off half-cocked with “thin blue line” or “blue lives matter” rhetoric. I get that. In fact, I have met some great cops over the years, but there comes a point when the mounting evidence outweighs the possibility of mere coincidence or sporadic isolated incidents. When you finish reading this post, you will actually see that I am not attacking police officers, but rather the broken judiciary that has allowed them to overstep their Constitutional authority. Point blank, the rise of the “Police State” has caused irreparable collateral damage to our civil liberties – black, white, brown… it no longer matters, because we no longer matter in the mouth of the leviathan called the “Deep State”.

Now, I have stayed silent, more-or-less, about the Philando Castile case because I had hoped that the courts would have brought his killer to justice – it failed to do that. Sure, his grieving mother may have a huge settlement to “ease her pain and suffering”, but her son’s killer, Police Officer Jeronimo Yanez, walked out of court a free man. Where is the justice there? He murdered a civilian, there is no ambiguity there, and walked away free… but we still wonder why communities riot in the face of injustice like this. I’m sorry, but the official body cam footage, in my opinion, shows the only criminal in the case was the police officer, who incidentally brandished his weapon like a scared coward as far as I am concerned. At no point did Philando Castile make any sudden movements, and he even told the coward who shot him that he had a gun for which he also had a valid license. So, let’s fast forward a few months and our scene opens in St. Louis – a city enflamed in rage over the death of Anthony Lamar Smith and the acquittal of former police officer Jason Stockley. In this case, I see that Officer Stockley was more than justified in shooting the suspect given the circumstances and the fact that he reached for a weapon. So, the “mob rule” looting and attempts to burn the city in effigy, I will side with Law Enforcement. However, I do not agree with the police allegedly chanting, “whose streets, our streets” while arresting protesters[1].

I am citing these cases to emphatically show that I see both sides of the argument and that I take each incident on a case-by-case basis. But, when I see a pattern of behavior, on one side or the other, I cannot simply hold one side (Law Enforcement) faultless – especially when weighed against the constitutional parameters under which they should be operating. Is it the fault of Law Enforcement? No, not directly, they are simply “enforcers” of the constitutional failings of the Judiciary.

As I said before, we first need to admit to ourselves that there is a problem before we can find a solution, so take this as my intervention America. Point blank, there is a “law and order of the Judiciary” problem, which has been pulling at the very fabric of our Constitution for quite some time, and it is the direct cause of the problems we are seeing throughout the Law Enforcement community – as a whole. Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas once said, “As nightfall does not come at once, neither does oppression. In both instances, there is a twilight when everything remains seemingly unchanged. And it is in such twilight that we all must be most aware of change in the air – however slight – lest we become unwitting victims of the darkness.”

Moreover, in 1949, George Orwell published a book entitled “Nineteen Eighty-Four (1984)” wherein there was a dystopian society oppressed underneath the iron fists of an oligarchical plutocracy (in summation). Now, before we go any further, let’s set the basic premise that we are in fact living in a post-constitutional United States, which is based on the corollary that our highest courts have become political mechanisms that no longer uphold our inalienable rights afforded by the constitution.

For example, let’s look at the 1st, 4th, and 5th amendments – really three of the most powerful that should, theoretically, hold our government within the confines of civility so much that we don’t even need to invoke the intent and parameters of the 2nd amendment. If you get my drift.

  1. 1st Amendment: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
  2. 4th Amendment: The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
  3. 5th Amendment: No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

So how have these amendments been eroded? In the police state being erected around us, the police and other government agents can probe, poke, pinch, taser, search, seize, strip and generally manhandle anyone they see fit in almost any circumstance, all with the general blessing of the courts[2]. There have been well-documented instances of abuses, which are continually validated by a judicial system that kowtows to virtually every police demand, no matter how unjust, no matter how in opposition to the Constitution. In essence, we are treated like suspects and enemies rather than citizens. You know, the “bosses” of the people that are abusing our rights.

Point blank, the Fourth Amendment—which protects us from being bullied, badgered, beaten, broken and spied on by government agents—is being disemboweled. Take a look at these fifteen (15) court cases that prove my point to the letter.

  1. Police can stop, arrest and search citizens without reasonable suspicion or probable cause. (Utah v. Strieff)
  2. 2). Police officers can stop cars based on “anonymous” tips or for “suspicious” behavior such as having a “reclined car seat” or “driving too carefully”. (Navarette v. California)
  3. Police officers can use lethal force in car chases without fear of lawsuits. (Plumhoff v. Rickard)
  4. Police can “steal” from Americans who are innocent of any wrongdoing. (Texas’ asset forfeiture law)
  5. Americans have no protection against mandatory breathalyzer tests at a police checkpoint, although mandatory blood draws violate the Fourth Amendment (Birchfield v. North Dakota).
  6. Police can also conduct sobriety and “information-seeking” checkpoints (Illinois v. Lidster and Mich. Dep’t of State Police v. Sitz).
  7. Police can forcibly take your DNA, whether or not you’ve been convicted of a crime. (Maryland v. King)
  8. Police can use the “fear for my life” rationale as an excuse for shooting unarmed individuals. (Alabama Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals)
  9. Police have free reign to use drug-sniffing dogs as “search warrants on leashes.” (Florida v. Harris and Rodriguez v. United States).
  10. Police can subject Americans to strip searches, no matter the “offense.” (Florence v. Burlington)
  11. Police can break into homes without a warrant, even if it’s the wrong home. (Kentucky v. King)
  12. Police can interrogate minors without their parents being present. (Camreta v. Greene)
  13. It’s a crime to not identify yourself when a policeman asks your name. (Hiibel v. Sixth Judicial District Court of the State of Nevada)
  14. Police can carry out no-knock raids if they believe announcing themselves would be dangerous. (Quinn v. Texas)
  15. The military can arrest and detain American citizens. (Hedges v. Obama)

When you look at these rulings, it is clear-as-day that the U.S. Constitution no longer matters. When the police can simply arrest people for exercising their rights, that is life in a post-constitutional era. When we are no longer protected from unwarranted searches and seizures, that is life in a post-constitutional era. When we are forced to incriminate ourselves without legal representation, even when we are innocent, that is life in a post-constitutional era. When we are arrested for “not answering questions” without legal representation, even when we are innocent, that is life in a post-constitutional era. When law enforcement can detain, arrest, and even kill us without fear of reprisal, that is life in a post-constitutional era. And this is not something that is happening in a large metropolitan city far away, this is happening in our local towns. Recently, the “Bellevue Police Officer’s Association said … it no longer has confidence in Police Chief Mark Elbert’s ability to lead the department.[3]” As Nebraskans, we need to pull our heads out of the sand and see the problems writ large across the nation.

Folks, tyranny has become the status quo, and due process has been replaced with the absolutism of the state (Deep or otherwise). So, when I read about the usurpation of “due process”. I become angry. When I hear that the judiciary upholds lawless acts of government agents at the expense of our constitutional civil liberties, I become angry. When I hear murderers and lawbreakers, with or without a badge, I become angry. And this my friends is precisely why we need the 2nd amendment. We need to protect ourselves from criminals, especially when those criminals are wolves dressed up in sheep’s clothing. When we become the prey of our protectors, and there is no justice to be had, that is the type of tyranny that eventually leads to an outburst of violence and civil unrest. I am in no way condoning the “war on police”, and I am certainly not condoning violence or destruction of public and private property; but, LAW AND ORDER must apply to the government (and its agents) as much as it does to citizens.

Overall, we need strong leadership in Congress that does not flip-flop or waffle when it comes to the constitution. But on the other side, we also need citizens to remain civil and lawful when exercising their first amendment rights. Once a protest turns violent or an uncontrollable mob that is destroying property, I firmly believe Law Enforcement should use all means necessary to protect life and property. And when I say, “all means”, there should be no ambiguity…that includes the use of deadly force as far as I am concerned.

 

 


[1] Hogan, S. (2017, September 18). St. Louis officers chant ‘whose streets, our streets’ while arresting protesters. Retrieved September 18, 2017, from https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2017/09/18/st-louis-officers-chant-whose-streets-our-streets-while-arresting-protesters-against-police-killing/?utm_term=.6a3e8432fbed

[2] Whitehead, J. W. (2017, June 05). Twilight of the Courts: The Elusive Search for Justice in the American Police State. Retrieved September 18, 2017, from https://www.rutherford.org/publications_resources/john_whiteheads_commentary/twilight_of_the_courts_the_elusive_search_for_justice_in_the_american_

[3] Planos, J. (2017, September 14). Bellevue Police Chief responds to allegations. Retrieved September 18, 2017, from http://www.ketv.com/article/bellevue-police-officers-association-says-it-no-longer-has-confidence-in-chief/12239567

88 comments

  1. Ann R. Key says:

    “Once a protest turns violent or an uncontrollable mob that is destroying property, I firmly believe Law Enforcement should use all means necessary to protect life and property.”

    So you think the Bureau of Land Management agents, along with the local Oregon police should have rolled up on and wiped out the armed militia, Three Percenters, Sovereign Citizens and secessionists who took control of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge?
    Perhaps a few drone strikes on Bundy & Company, eh?

    And clearly the Klansman who was filmed pulling a pistol and shooting at counter protesters at the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, should have have been involuntarily subjected to an immediate dirt nap.. via baton, an assortment of 124 grain jacketed hollow points, a good ol’ fashioned choke out, what have you.
    Richard Wilson Preston was his name, Imperial Wizard of the Confederate White Knights of Rosedale.
    Or as Donald Trump would label him, just one among the “very fine people on both sides”.

    And of course there were the group of “Unite the Right” White Supremacists who were filmed savagely beating a young black man, 20 year old Deandre Harris, a special education instructor who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
    Cops should have been there to open fire. Or maybe just repeatedly taser these cretins into an even more vegetative state than that to which they’re accustomed. Their family and friends likely wouldn’t perceive the difference.

    • Joshua Lively says:

      Ann –

      Clearly, you’re passionate… but Law Enforcement only goes as far as the judiciary allows them to go (with obvious exceptions of course). I really do want to have a healthy discussion. I am not one to post and then hide behind a web browser. Even if you disagree with me, we can still have a great dialogue; that’s what I love about America. However, I cannot follow your logic ma’am. I am talking about the judicial branch stomping all over the constitution (specifically the 4th amendment), which then allows LE to exceed their authority. I made no reference to the executive branch (President Trump) or any of the alt-right/alt-left hate groups out there. If you like, I would be more than happy to address those other issues in another post, but I am requesting that we stay focused on the salient points of each post. Here is my “opinion” of Ammon Bundy and the Sovereign Citizens, as taken from my personal FB page on 16 JAN 2016:

      “Freemen/sovereigns” use pseudo-legal debate as to whether or not they can refuse to obey statutory law. Meaning, they should be able to refuse consent to be governed. While most freemen are quite comical in a court of law and use outlandish tactics, I don’t think this type of sensationalism applies to the situation in Oregon – though Bundy and his followers did try to convene a grand jury under their “common law” principles to indict corrupt officials.
      Their intent is to simply say… “We no longer consent to be governed by a corrupt system”.

      Up front, and in my opinion, their idea is solid in terms of rescinding their consent to be governed because the government is corrupt and over-stepping its authority; however, they CANNOT SIMPLY WITHDRAW THEIR CONSENT TO BE GOVERNED, the whole of society has to determine that is the resolve needed. So their approach is wrong, and they are subject to the law whether they like it or not.

      Let’s look at this from a logical perspective and I can show you how they have a point, but they cannot simply act outside the will of a society they live in….

      First, what is consent? What does it mean? As a noun, it means, “permission for something to happen or agreement to do something.” As in… “no change may be made without the consent of all the partners”. As a verb it means, “give permission for something to happen.” As in… “he consented to a search by a detective”.

      Now, it is crucially important to understand that consent must be given through the unfettered discretion of one individual (or many individuals) to another individual (or many individuals) in order for an agreement to take place. Consent may be withdrawn or rescinded at any time; especially if the consenting party believes there to be a breach in trust or repudiation of a mutual agreement or contract. We’ll just leave it at that – I won’t get into the illogical pseudo-legal debate used by sovereign movements because time and time again they’ve been proven to have no standing in a court of law regardless of the Tomfoolery efforts of those who wish otherwise.

      Next, what is governed? What does it mean? As a transitive verb it means:
      1. To make and administer the public policy and affairs of (a state, for example); exercise sovereign authority over.
      2. To control the actions or behavior of: Govern yourselves like civilized people.
      3. To keep under control; restrain
      4. To exercise a deciding or determining influence on

      As an intransitive verb it means:
      1. To exercise political authority.
      2. To have or exercise a determining influence.

      However, in the Declaration of Independence, “Governed” is used as a noun to mean, “the body of people who are citizens of a particular government.” No more, no less – it means those people (citizens) over which a “government” can exercise its political authority (of course, with the citizens’ consent that is).

      Now, “through Consent of the Governed”, as read in the Declaration of Independence, specifically means that American citizens are “giving permission” to a “central governing body” to exercises political authority and administer the public policy and affairs of the collective states of the union (i.e. the United States of America). No more, no less. But, “Consent” is the keystone to the statement. Consent, meaning permission, can be withdrawn – not as easily as simply setting up camp in a wildlife refuge, but it can be withdrawn by the society as a whole.

      Thomas Jefferson’s concept “consent of the governed” states that citizens have a right to design and participate in government, either directly or through elected representatives, and demand that their government grant them civil liberties and equal treatment under the law. Jefferson developed his concept of “consent of the governed” from the works of English philosopher John Locke (a famous English philosopher who made an impact on American politics). In his work “Two Treatises of Government,” he advocated for the inalienable rights of the people. He argued that men are naturally independent and not under the authority of monarchs who derived their powers from a Divine being. The power to rule, which can be obtained through the people’s permission, can also be stripped if a government fails in its duty. This last part is critical to understand because it clearly lays forth the ground work for citizens (in a COLLECTIVE society) to withdraw their CONSENT TO BE GOVERNED.

      The philosophical proposition of “consent of the governed” was a hot-button issue of the day. Dissenters against the English crown were demanding more civil rights, arguing that human beings have inherent rights no matter how they’re governed. At the same time in the New World, the Colonies rebelled against huge taxes, demanding that they be consulted about how much revenue was owed the Crown. In fact, “consent of the governed” was one of the fundamental political issues decided by the American Revolution. Jefferson, primary architect of the Declaration of Independence, made “consent of the governed” a pillar of American government, guaranteeing citizens of the new nation rights that were denied them under English rule.

      Today, “consent of the governed” is just as important and just as carefully scrutinized as it was at the founding of the United States. The recursive systems of legislative and legal review of bills before Congress, mandatory periods for public review and comment, public access to government meetings, etc., ensure that the United States government is transparent and accessible to all U.S. citizens.

      Now, according to John Locke, governments are formed through the consent of the people being governed. These political entities primarily exist to preserve the fundamental rights of the people and to promote the general welfare of the public. Locke believed that social contract occurred when men would transfer some or all of their rights to the government in order to ensure a comfortable living. Locke felt that social contract was part of a man’s promise for freedom. Locke argued that people had basic rights that had to be supplied to them by the government. These rights included the right to liberty, life and property. He also defended the principle of separation of executive and legislative powers, as well as majority rule. I won’t get into the “Social Contract Theory” of Thomas Hobbes because the founding fathers believed it to be a fallible argument that still granted monarchical privileges to a central authority.

      Getting to the point, what was the Source of the phrase “… consent of the governed” in the Declaration of Independence? Scholars remind us Jefferson Adopted the Ideas of Locke and placed them in the Declaration of Independence, which was then unanimously signed by the Founders. (Note: It was not a simple majority, but unanimous. There was NO DISAGREEMENT over its adoption and publication). Modernly, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia reminds the us that the Constitution IS NOT an evolving, living agreement which may be subject to the whims of the popular will of the present day or changing understandings of the moment for whatever expediency. Justice Scalia reminds us the Bill of Rights must be read in view of the understanding of its writers in 1791 (i.e. Thomas Jefferson, incorporating the writings of John Locke).

      In this instance, Jefferson’s clear and understood influence by John Locke and avoidance of Thomas Hobbes in the drafting of the Declaration of Independence must be acknowledged.

      So let us return to my only concern about what is happening in Oregon. What is the meaning of the term “consent” and is there any precedence? In the American Dictionary of the English Language by Noah Webster (1828), “Consent” is defined as follows:
      n. [L., to be of one mind, to agree; to think, feel or perceive. See Sense and Assent.]
      1. Agreement of the mind to what is proposed or state by another; accord; hence, a yielding of the mind or will to that which is proposed; we generally use this word in cases where power, rights, and claims are concerned. We give consent, when we yield that which we have a right to withhold; but we do not give consent to a mere opinion, or abstract proposition. In this case, we give our assent. But assent is also used in conceding what we may withhold. Consequently, assent has a more extensive application than consent. But the distinction is not always observed. Consent often amounts to permission.

      2. Accord of minds; agreement; unity of opinion.

      3. Agreement; coherence; correspondence in parts, qualities, or operation.

      Consent literally means, to think with another. Hence, to agree or accord. More generally, to agree in mind and will; to yield to what one has the power, the right, or the disposition to withhold, or refuse to grant.
      Now, Thomas Hobbes developed the idea of the social contract. Human beings are basically corrupt and need to be controlled. The social contract being that the people give up some of their liberty in exchange for order which is given by the ruler. The Ruler has absolute power and is given this absolute power by the general consent of the people. This challenged the idea that God gave the ruler power or the Divine right of kings. The significance of Hobbes social contract is that it spurred more ideas such as Locke’s consent of the governed. It also gave justification to rulers under totalitarian system such as Catherine the Great and Frederick of Prussia because they maintained that they ruled by the general consent of the people. And their part of the contract was to maintain order at all costs. The idea of the social contract also influenced many western governments. But this notion was fallible in the eyes of Jefferson.

      Consent of the governed was John Locke’s idea and it differed with Hobbes social contract by stating that the government only exists by the consent of the governed. Locke believed that people were born with natural rights. People were a product of their environment and what they experience. From this he further explained government existed to protect the people’s natural rights, life, liberty and property. If government failed to do so then the people would exercise their right to rebel. The people then would give their consent to another government to rule (never relinquishing their right to rebel as the basis for their “consent”). Hobbes would say the right to rebel never existed. Hobbes consent of the governed would be the people accepting the order established by the sovereign state. Can you see why the founders thought Hobbes’ theory was fallible?

      So we know that The Declaration of Independence was the document written by Thomas Jefferson to establish the United States as a separate entity from Britain. It was based on Locke’s ideas of social contract, consent of the governed and natural rights. The Declaration of Independence stated that man’s natural rights and that all men were created equal … It stated the injustices done to the American colonials and stated that these injustices broke the social contract so therefore the colonies were exercising their right to overthrow the existing government. The ideology behind it stands the test of time over 200 years. It has been the inspiration for other revolutions and government changes since its creation.

      In the July 4, 1776, unanimous Declaration of the thirteen United States of America, Benjamin Franklin is quoted as saying to the others upon signing the Declaration of Independence: “Gentlemen, we must hang together else we shall all hang separately.” This is also a critical point to understand in the Bundy argument (or other sovereigns). The society has to refuse/withdraw consent, not just a few people.

      • TexasAnnie says:

        One can’t say what J. Lively is stating by a rule of brevity, Gerard. Are chemists unaccustomed to reading Philosophy? I for one, am glad for this review of Locke’s ideas and how they were woven into the fabric of our government. However as with any fabric, time has rendered the whole cloth of Locke’s treatises threadbare and those clinging to the remnants simply rip through that whole cloth.

        For example: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion…” Too late!
        Not only do we have many, many, many laws respecting an establishment of religion, we have laws creating TAX INJUSTICE specifically for the purpose of establishing religions. We even have officials of one branch of government defying directives from another branch, for the purpose of establishing religion! Another example: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects…” Too late! Not only are we insecure as illustrated by the 15 court cases J. Lively offers, but here I’m thinking about taxes again. It cannot be said that one has a “right” to participate in mandatory self-reporting of one’s tax status!

        So how do we get back to the Constitution? Well we can’t get there from here. We have to fix TAX INJUSTICE first and foremost. Money. It’s the root of all (government) evil. So long as government(s) is free to pick winners and losers in tax policy, and in the distribution of goods and services, we shall not enjoy “consent” of the governed because those being governed have been trapped within a condition of bureaucratic anarchy. In another post, J. Lively made the point that the states should authorize a national constitutional convention. Too late! The states are trapped in bureaucratic anarchy, too!

        Thank-you J. Lively for this review.

      • Joshua Lively says:

        Texas Annie,

        I am an implanted Nebraskan. Prior to joining the Navy, I lived in Marshall Texas.

        That being said, a few years ago I was the Nebraska State Director for the Article V Convention of States movement. Sen. Laura Ebke (Crete, NE) sponsored the legislation; great woman and great constitutionalist BTW. You are correct, our state legislatures have been marginalized by federal money. Why? Because so many state budgets rely on federal money nowadays, which means states are also forced to accept the federal stipulations attached to that money. Seems like extortion when you ask me. Will a convention of states help? Perhaps, but the constitution already gives us the tools to put our government back in the box, but the states are too weakened, as you said, to stand up to the D.C. Leviathan.

        The powers of all three branches are enumerated in Articles I, II, and III of the Constitution (mainly). The 10th Amendment is very clear, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” So we (as states and people), have more power than the federal government. The problem is that the federal government holds the purse and refuses to play a fair game when it comes to returning the money they’ve collected under their confiscatory tax program. IMHO.

        State Legislators used to wield much more power than U.S. congressmen. In fact, upon our founding, the U.S. government didn’t have the power it did today. States Legislators, leaders, and other statesmen would serve 1-2 terms in the U.S. Congress, and then return back to the states from whence they hailed. Why? Because that is where all of the power was. In today’s world, we have career politicians that stay decades and decades in D.C., so they have created a paradigm (or rather a vortex) that pulls all of the power to D.C.

        One thing is for sure, we need better/shorter term limits in Congress. That would be the first, and most important, aspect of a convention.

        Thank you for the support. I sincerely appreciate it.

      • “One can’t say what J. Lively is stating by a rule of brevity, Gerard. Are chemists unaccustomed to reading Philosophy? ”

        I can’t speak for chemists; I am accustomed to it. Locke’s writings were crisp and succinct. Two Treatises of Government, in their entirety, come to about 200 pages of a normally-formatted hardcopy book.

        I suspect Mr. Lively and I agree on most things. I suspect he has a lot to say. I’m simply urging him to improve the method of delivery.

      • Joshua Lively says:

        Gerard… I will try to be more succinct and learn brevity. My apologies for being overzealous out of the gate.

  2. D. Mise says:

    Why no mention of the big ‘Mom’s March for America’ on Saturday afternoon?
    The Mom’s March has long been billed/promoted as the right wing’s response to the progressive Women’s March held last January.
    The Mom’s March featured a veritable who’s who of Conservative ladydom – a global event of the most bigly proportions, held right here in River City (actually… Ralston Arena).
    Sarah Palin, Candy Carson (Benny-the-Blade’s wife), a Duck Dynasty lady (??)
    All the local conservative celebs were in attendance. Mike Foley, Jean Stothert, Papillion’s own Kimberly Fletcher of Homemakers for America. It was Mary Jane Truemper, the leader of the kooky conservative Omaha Liberty Ladies group, who introduced Palin.
    Palin told those in attendance that although Republicans have reclaimed the presidency, conservative women can still feel lonely.

    Yet, the lack of press is a bit striking. Almost nothing can be found about the culmination of this long promoted Colossal Conservative Convocation.

    As you’ll recall, the day after Trump’s inauguration, the Women’s March was carried live on nearly every T.V. station in America.
    Of course the Women’s March couldn’t be avoided – it was the largest single day of protest in U.S. history. 673 marches on 7 continents. An estimated 3,3 – 4,6 million people participated in the Women’s March in the U.S. and up to 5 million worldwide. A veritable Librul Lollpalooza.
    12,000 – 14,000 was the estimate for those that marched in the streets of Omaha, more than 5000 in Lincoln.

    The one mention I could find about the Mom’s March was in the OWH. They noted the tickets were free, and they estimated a crowd of nearly… wait for it… 300!
    But if you look at the picture of those in attendance, it’s hard to imagine there’s more than 100 or scattered about an auditorium that seats 4000.

    • The Grundle King says:

      So a bunch of angry women protested losing an election…particularly hilarious when you consider that people who don’t live in this country nor under our laws protested as well.

      Your condescending diatribe is particularly timely considering the recent release of Hillary’s utterly blind dissertation on the election. It’s like none of you folks can bring yourself to truly grasp ‘what happened’.

      Your party put their absolute worst candidate up against the GOP’s absolute worst candidate. In retrospect, the funny thing is that, had Biden or Warren decided to run, they probably would have won. But out of deference to the almighty Clintons, your party bent the knee and gave the mad queen what she wanted. Welp…this is what you get. I mean, for cryin’ out loud…Hillary’s own husband would (and has) chosen just about any woman over her!

      And if you think 4 years of more divisive rhetoric and name calling is going to improve your odds, go for it pal.

      • D. Mise says:

        Trump will be forced from office, or resign, before the fuse on the first firecracker of Independence Day is lit.

      • Gerard Harbison, always and forever #nevertrump says:

        Well, at least we dealt a blow to that insidious practice of doing government business on private email servers. Oh, wait…

      • The Grundle King says:

        Suppose Trump is forced from office (no skin off my teeth)…then what? Pence takes over and suddenly the GOP congressional members have someone they are probably way more willing and able to work with than Trump.

        Meaning things get done…things you probably won’t like.

        Sure you want to go down that road? I mean, I’m game.

      • TexasAnnie says:

        Well I’m not! That road is littered with IRRATIONALITY! Pence believes one possesses a “right to life” while totally lacking a “right to die.” But actual “rights” imply making choices. What Pence believes in nothing more than a “mandate to life!”

      • D. Mise says:

        Pence is dirty too.
        Actually, Pence is more culpable. Unlike the current President of the United States, Pence can’t fall back on the convenient excuse of being a political neophyte along with an abject, mentally impaired, clueless, dunderhead. An excuse nearly the entire nation will readily buy.
        It’s all going to come out in the wash.

        And assuming the Republicants would suddenly rally from their decade of morbid incompetence because Middling Mike changed desks, is pretty fanciful thinking.

    • OMG says:

      We’ve been down this road before. if you compare your numbers to the gender specific numbers or even worse the general population, your total amount of marchers is below 1%. It’s all about context.

      And I realize since the progressives always play to the media, hmmm, just like Trump, they can’t imagine some one not doing so. But then, that’s difference between those just wanting the attention and those who come to get something positive done.

      • Gerard Harbison, always and forever #nevertrump says:

        Actually, some of us read really really hard books. You know, with big words and all. And we think it’s crappy, self-indulgent writing, that certainly gives the impression of being burped out in a single, logorrheic draft.

        Writing is something one can improve, ya know. My these advisor (often) used to read some five line monstrosity I’d written, and ask if the same thing could be said in a single six-word phrase (which she’d suggest). It shamed me onto editing my own work.

  3. GOPlutocracy says:

    It’s beyond hilarious that a staunch Republican supporter would so vehemently rail against plutocracy and oligarchy.
    A little light reading shows the GOP to be a wholly owned subsidiary of Plutocrats-R-Us.
    Donald Trump has formerly brought the plutocracy in-house.. the White House.

    Sure Democrats have their hand in the till, they’re politicians! But the Democratic party hasn’t completely sold their souls in the fashion of the modern day GOP.

    Nope, it is your party that is the party of Joe Ricketts, Sheldon Adelson, Charles & David Koch, Foster Friess, Paul Singer, Citizens United, Ken Langone, the Mercers and countless others.
    GOP mega-donors don’t even attempt to hide their largess anymore. In fact, they brag about it –
    “Koch Brothers Rival GOP With Plans To Spend $900 Million In 2016”
    And it doesn’t have to be a presidential election cycle, the Koch’s do local –
    “The Koch Brothers Plan to Spend as Much as $400 Million in 2018”

    It would have been impossible to imagine such headlines, even a decade ago!

    And in case your forgot, one of the very first acts after launching their campaigns, both Deb Fischer and Don Bacon opted for a frontal lobotomy by signing Grover Norquist’s pledge –
    Monday, June 22nd, 2015
    “NE-02: Don Bacon Makes Written Commitment to Oppose Higher Taxes”

    Here’s some light reading on why it is Republicans who consistently lie to their constituency as they throw – the least these, my brothers – under the bus:

    A Guide to the Billionaires Bankrolling the GOP Candidates

    and

    The Reclusive Hedge-Fund Tycoon Behind the Trump Presidency – How Robert Mercer exploited America’s populist insurgency

    And as reported in today’s Washington Post, it is the Mercer’s boy Steve Bannon who is out in the back woods of America, promising to buy some congressional seats for the most extreme candidates the GOP has to offer (see: Roy Moore – AL) in the coming ’18 election:
    “Bannon seems ready to yank open that door, huddling in recent days with Republicans mulling primary campaigns. Tennessee state Sen. Mark Green, who had been considering a Corker challenge, was with Bannon in Alabama. The Mercer family — Bannon’s billionaire backers — have been in touch with these contenders as well and McDaniel said they have encouraged him to run.

    When asked about rumors that the Mercers and other donors have pledged more than $1 million to McDaniel, he replied, “It may be more.”

    • OMG says:

      You can only lie to those who drink the kool aide. In this case, the only ones drinking the Donald’s kool aide are the snowflakes. The majority of rest who voted for him are getting what they expected.

      But your outrage every time you “discover” something new about the Donald is amusing to watch.

      • GOPlutocracy says:

        Substantiate your claim of “lie”.

        Come on OMG, step up. Prove to us you’re not just another run-o’-the-mill Trumptard.
        A single example.

        We’ll wait…

      • Joshua Lively says:

        GOPlutocracy… like it or not, I cited my sources for scrutiny. You’ve given excerpts without any reference. Seems like you are the one hiding. Or, are you too embarrassed to quote “The Sun” and “The Daily Express” as newsworthy publications that offer you comforting confirmation bias? At this point, I’d take a Wikipedia citation for anything you’ve claimed. Not refuting your claims… but you need to substantiate them with actual publications if we are to take you seriously.

        And pasting a bunch of random links are not proper citations. I want, at the very least, APA format. Second, they have to be of the specific claims you made… I want to know where they came from. Again, not refuting your claims, I just need evidence that they are not the rants of a lunatic (like me).

        And before you get upset, I am a real person who lives in the Omaha Metro and I’d love to have a beer and spirited debate with you.. seriously. My best man in my Catholic wedding was a gay jew, my youngest has a Persian name in honor of my Muslim Aghan buddies, my wife and I went to India last year to meet with Hindu gurus, and the year before we went to South Africa to experience the spirituality of the Zulu Nation. So… I am extremely tolerant and I would never try to intentionally dismiss someone with a valid argument that opposes my own.

        The ball is in your court.

      • GOPlutocracy says:

        Here ya go Josh,

        “Koch Brothers Rival GOP With Plans To Spend $900 Million In 2016”
        NPR (along with every news organization on the planet), Jan 27, 2015

        “The Koch Brothers Plan to Spend as Much as $400 Million in 2018”
        Yahoo News (along with every news organization on the planet), Jan 28, 2017

        ..both Deb Fischer and Don Bacon opted for a frontal lobotomy by signing Grover Norquist’s pledge –
        Monday, June 22nd, 2015
        “NE-02: Don Bacon Makes Written Commitment to Oppose Higher Taxes”
        Grover Norquist’s own website, Americans for Tax Reform (proudly sponsored by the fine folks at Frontal-Labotomies-R-Us)

        “A Guide to the Billionaires Bankrolling the GOP Candidates”
        The Atlantic, April 24, 2015

        “The Reclusive Hedge-Fund Tycoon Behind the Trump Presidency – How Robert Mercer exploited America’s populist insurgency”
        The New Yorker, authored by the inimitable Jane Mayer, March 27, 2017

        The reason I left out the citations was because Jerry frowned on them. Jerry frowned on quotes from any source. As I recall, he promoted the Jim Rome; “have a take, don’t suck”., rule
        (he wanted only personal opinion. he didn’t want veracity, fact and reality intruding on the alternate reality and misinformation that is required to maintain fidelity to the Republican Reagan Republican Conservative Compassionate Conservative TEA Party Conservative Fiscal Conservative First Principles Conservative Constitutional Conservative America First Conservative Trump Nation Conservative brand)

        And of course, you could have googled any one of those headlines to determine the source.

        It’s beyond comical (actually, it’s projection) that you would attack someone from the left with; “are you too embarrassed to quote “The Sun” and “The Daily Express” as newsworthy publications that offer you comforting confirmation bias”.

        The Sun is a conservative newspaper, owned by Rupert Murdoch.
        The Daily Express is too extreme to be called conservative and is therefore label a “Hard Euroscepticism Right Wing Populism” newspaper – a paper tailored to xenophobes and Brexitphiles.

        This brand of misinformation, manipulation and filth is the stock-and-trade of the RIGHT. It is the exclusive domain of ‘CONSERVATIVES’ and REPUBLICANS, Josh.
        These are YOUR peeps. This is YOUR toxic swamp of fear-mongering-for-profit.
        How can you not know this?

        The American counterparts to this Euro-filth are Steve Bannon’s, Breitbart; Tucker Carlson’s, The Daily Caller; Christopher Ruddy’s (long time Trump pal) NewsMax; Glenn Beck’s, The Blaze and Rupert Murdoch’s New York Post and Wall Street Journal.

      • Joshua Lively says:

        GOPlutocracy… I couldn’t agree with you more about the online toilet paper posing as news sources. I listened to Steve Bannon years ago simply because he was a “Naval Officer”; however, I called into his radio program a few times once he really started to go off his rocker. The problem, IMHO, with all of the extreme right/left publications and “news” sources (and Fox is the worst) is that they live for confirmation bias from supposed subject matter experts (SMEs) that only care about money and not the whole truth. I have a serious problem when anyone intentionally distorts the facts (especially for monetary compensation). I do, however, listen to Mark Levin simply because he is a constitutionalist and uses rational analysis rooted in legal doctrine and precedence. Breitbart, they are horrible when it comes to the use of tainted SMEs for the purpose of confirmation bias. I’d even say Glenn Beck is guilty of it too. But, I enjoy Glenn for his historical analogy on various subjects. But, you have to admit AlterNet, Truthout, Politifact, The Nation, Harpers, and Media Matters for America are also polarized and are guilty of “spinning the news”. Again, I look at all sides and then formulate my own opinion.

        That being said, and as an example of my classical liberalism, the right side of the media wants to paint Muslims as terrorists and Islam as a religion of evil. Their de facto “SMEs” take things out of context and spin the information in a way that is beyond ridiculous. I have far right friends, and I continually pound truth and facts into their heads. I have read the Qur’an in three languages, I have been to most countries in the Middle East/Southwest Asia, and I studied contemporary Islamic history under the tutelage of professors from Harvard, George Washington, and Georgetown… I consider myself somewhat of an expert to talk about Islam.

        But that is not the point, it is simply to illustrate that I certainly do not get my news from polarized snake oil salesmen Like Alex Jones. I look at the argument from all sides, familiarize myself with the subject matter through books or scholarly publications, and then formulate my opinion accordingly. I am sorry if I seem terse, that is not my intention, but I support the constitution… not one party or group of people. In fact, as an example, last year I sat with a Sadhu along the banks of the Ganges River Rishikesh India and we briefly talked about the political happenings in the U.S. He gave me his personal perspective, which consisted of points from the 1947 partition of the Indian sub-continent. The British empire “divided” the Indians based on religion/ethnic groups, which caused massive loss of life when the Hindus and Muslims moved to either India or Pakistan. He didn’t have anything negative to say about Muslims at all, but he did confirm my own research and studies that concluded how the British empire divided a nation into groups and controlled them through ethnoreligious divisiveness; similar to what I see happening in the United States at present.

        As far as my conservative libertarianism, don’t mistake that as my unwillingness to see all perspectives and weigh them accordingly. In a letter to William Hamilton, drafted 22 APR 1800, Thomas Jefferson wrote, “I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend.” (PTJ, 31:533-4). You and I may have fundamentally different perspectives on the issues, but it does not mean I will not listen to your points. The same regard applies to Gerard Harbison… our differences, and ability to articulate them (or propound for discussion), is what makes America such a great place. I sincerely enjoy spirited debates, and I look at this forum as a quasi, double-sided competition. If I can convince you to accept my opinion on a particular issue, I would feel like I accomplished something. If you can convince me to accept your opinion on a particular issue, you would feel like you accomplished something. So, if you feel inclined, continue to read and post your comments. Who knows, you may be able to convince me… I am very open-minded.

        As with the case of the garbage media (both left and right – mainstream or alternative), I had formulated my opinion years ago, so there is no need to convince me there. Please don’t take my jabs personal. I have very liberal/progressive friends and we take jabs at one another all of the time, some of which are downright personal, but we laugh them off. Why? Go back to the Jefferson Quote.

      • GOPlutocracy says:

        Josh,

        You’ve fallen back on a common and highly flawed tactic those on the right always turn to – “but, both sides do it”.
        It’s a claim to almost always, not true.
        It’s a false equivalency. Easily demonstrable.

        First of all, you simply ignore the heinous business model of every right wing outfit in operation, (a model perfected by Roger Ailes ) – a model of deliberate misinformation and fear-mongering. A model employed by Breitbart, The Daily Caller, NewsMax and Mark Levin (Fox, Limbaugh, Alec Jones etc..) – when comparing them to sites like Truth-out, Media Matters, The Nation, PolitiFact (??) and… Harper’s (??).

        None of the left wing products you mention shares this business model of deliberate deception.
        Of course, their reporting is always going to be about the deceit and subterfuge practiced by politicians on the right (and it’s a target rich environment), but they don’t deliberately lie about those politicians and their actions. They don’t fabricate scandal.

        Secondly, your comparison fails as a matter of scale.
        Here’s a comparison of the lastest Alexa rankings (unique visitors/traffic) showing the total reach and influence of the opposing sites, left and right.

        The left wing sites you mentioned –
        Alternet – 2,570 (meaning 2,569 web sites in the U.S. are more frequently visited)
        Truth-out – 11,175
        The Nation – 4,189
        Media Matters – 6,895
        PolitFact (a site dedicated to presenting factual information) – 2,269
        And… Harper’s (??) A monthly magazine with no Alexa ranking, and a total Monthly circulation smaller the Daily circulation of the OWH?

        And the Alexa rankings for the right wing sites I offered –
        Breitbart – 56
        The Daily Caller – 667
        The Blaze – 980
        NewsMax – 1437 (NewsMax TV reaches over 40 million cable/satellite homes)
        New York Post – 179
        Wall Street Journal – 178
        (MarkLevinShow.com has an Alexa ranking of 40,881, but of course, Mark is a radio personality)

        The right is steeped in misinformation, driven by deliberate lies and motivated to act based on false fears.

        The comparison on which you base your argument may make you feel better, but it’s entirely erroneous.

        The ball is in your court.

      • Joshua Lively says:

        GOPlutocracy… come on now, I am neither left nor right…or even center for that matter. I’m more of a multi-perspective type of person, so let’s not marginalize me to one side or the other.

        Secondly, I cannot help that more people read right-wing news as opposed to left-wing news. To each his own… I read (and reference) both sides of the argument.

        Thirdly, I think I stated that Alex Jones was a snake oil salesman, so there should be no ambiguity as to my stance on any business model respective thereof.

        Fourthly, you keep stating “the right, the right, the right”, but you continually fail to acknowledge that the “left” (specifically CNN) deliberately spins the news in progressive mouthpiece fashion for the far left; they’ve been caught red-handed fabricating stories for the sake of ratings and to personally attack a sitting U.S. President.

        Agencies, S. A. (2017, June 27). ‘Fake news’: Trump tweets glee as three CNN journalists resign over Russia story. Retrieved September 28, 2017, from https://www.theguardian.com/media/2017/jun/27/three-cnn-journalists-resign-over-retracted-trump-russia-story

        As a matter of civics, with regard to the above-mentioned citation, I may not agree with the President… but, at the end of the day, he is still our President and we have to maintain a modicum of respect for that position. I gave President Obama the same level of respect, though I adamantly disagreed with his unconstitutional rule by executive fiat. I may be a libertarian, but I am still an American citizen, and a U.S. Veteran, so I show respect and civility towards the POTUS, even if I oppose his politics. (Or at least I try to)…

        Lastly, Mark Levin loves this country; he is a patriot and son of immigrant parents, so he respects the rule-of-law and individual liberty that has allowed him to prosper in this nation. I don’t always agree with his perspectives, but I can support the fact that he wants this nation to remain the greatest history has ever known.

      • GOPlutocracy says:

        By the way, Levin is as cravenly bombastic and principles-free as any on the right.

        Mar 6, 2017, The Daily Beast –
        Mark Levin, Who Compared Obamacare Fans to Nazis, Is Behind Trump’s Obama-Wiretap Meltdown
        The president’s latest temper tantrum based on completely unverified claims originated from a popular right-wing radio host with a long history of outlandish claims.

    • OMG says:

      Lies, you also bought into,

      Democrats are desperately distancing themselves from Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber. He “never worked on our staff,” President Obama said this weekend in Brisbane, Australia, (even though Gruber was paid almost $400,000 by his administration, is the intellectual author of the individual mandate and met in the Oval Office with Obama and the head of the Congressional Budget Office to pore over the bill). “I don’t know who he is,” Nancy Pelosi declared on Capitol Hill (even though she repeatedly cited him by name during the Obamacare debate).

      As of this weekend, there are now seven Gruber videos, in which he mocks the “stupidity” of American voters and boasts of the Obama administration’s ability to take advantage of it. In a new video that surfaced Friday, Gruber explains that the Obama administration passed the so-called “Cadillac tax” on high-value employer health plans “by mislabeling it, calling it a tax on insurance plans rather than a tax on people, when we know it’s a tax on people who hold these insurance plans.” Americans would not support a tax on individuals, so “We just tax the insurance companies, they pass on the higher prices . . . it ends up being the same thing.” The ruse, Gruber says, was “a very clever . . . basic exploitation of the lack of economic understanding of the American voter.”
      subscribe
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      Your subscription supports journalism that matters.
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      In another video, Gruber boasts about how the Obama administration fooled Americans into paying to cover the uninsured by using sleight of hand, focusing on their concern over rising health costs. “Barack Obama’s not a stupid man, okay? He knew when he was running for president that quite frankly the American public doesn’t actually care that much about the uninsured. . . . What the American public cares about is costs. And that’s why even though the bill that they made is 90 percent health insurance coverage and 10 percent about cost control, all you ever hear people talk about is cost control.”

      In yet another video, Gruber says the Obama administration knew the individual mandate was a tax, but that if Americans knew the truth “the bill dies.” So the bill “was written in a tortured way to make sure [the Congressional Budget Office] did not score the mandate as taxes.” He adds that “the lack of transparency is a huge political advantage” and that “the stupidity of the American voter . . . was really, really critical for the thing to pass.”
      Play Video 0:32
      Jonathan Gruber: Public doesn’t care about the uninsured
      In this CSPAN clip from March 2010, economist Jonathan Gruber talks about cost control of health care and why the public focused on that aspect of the Affordable Care Act. (CSPAN)

      President Obama insists none of this represents the views of his administration. Asked in Australia whether he had intentionally misled the American people to get the law passed, Obama replied curtly, “No, I did not.”

      Yes, he did. Put aside his now infamous lie of the year in 2013 that “if you like your health plan, you can keep your health plan.” Obama also insisted repeatedly that the individual mandate “is absolutely not a tax increase.” In a 2009 interview with ABC News, George Stephanopoulos pressed him on it no less than five times. He even read Obama the definition of “tax” from Webster’s dictionary. Obama was adamant: “My critics say everything is a tax increase. . . . I absolutely reject that notion.”

      Then, after Obamacare passed, his administration cynically turned around and argued before the Supreme Court that it was in fact a tax. At one point, Justice Stephen Breyer asked Obama’s solicitor general, Donald Verrilli, “Why do you keep saying tax?,” drawing peals of laughter.

      The reason he called it a tax is because — as Jonathan Gruber now admits — members of the Obama team knew all along that it was a tax. They intentionally deceived Americans about it because if they had called it a tax, Obamacare would never have become law.

      It’s one thing for Americans to suspect that their president lies to them. It’s quite another to hear a key Obama adviser boast of it.

      So thank you, Jonathan Gruber. We now know how the Obama left sees the American people. We are like children who don’t understand what is best for us. We need experts such as Jonathan Gruber to make decisions for us. If we are too “stupid” to agree with them, they can use our ignorance to deceive us and enact policies we would never otherwise support. And if we’re too stupid to catch the deception, well, that’s our problem.

      But in your case, it is you who keeps hollering that Trump lies and is a liar.

      So take your pick. I do believe you actually swim in and drink the kool aide.

  4. Zzzzzzzzzzzz... says:

    Not only is Josh Live bringing no insider stuff to this blog, he’s actively deleting when I post about Kris Pierce being on the Ashley Madison list. Josh has officially killed this blog.

    • Joshua Lively says:

      Zzzz… I have responded to everyone, as much as I can, especially with those attacking me. Grow up… no one deleted your happy hour induced rant.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Joshua Lively suffers from mental illness. 6,000 plus words in one day alone. Perhaps we don’t disagree with him. But who can read all that?

    He used the word “I” 23 times on the 26th alone. Pull his plug because he’s texting from the asylum.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Being lectured to in a blog, is what kills the blog.

    I, and a great many others, come to Leavenworth St to find out the latest in NEBRASKA politics. Not that drivel you expel from your mouth.

  7. GOP Donor says:

    Sweeper walked away from this site, so kudos to Mr. Lively and whomever else chooses to step up and provide content. Don’t like it? Then don’t come here anymore.

    I for one have greatly enjoyed reading the well-organized thoughts of someone who is clearly an old-school patriot. I imagine much of what Mr. Lively shares drives the crazy leftists to read this blog quite mad (Gerri, ByndOver, etc.)

    Keep writing, Mr. Lively – many of us who rarely post but often read really appreciate your work.

    • Joshua Lively says:

      GOP Donor,

      Thank you. I can see a lot of people complaining, which makes me think I am striking the right nerves. I accepted this challenge, and it is pro-bono… so my only intention is to show a clear and logical path to understanding why we need to be supporting the constitution, which is the same as supporting law and order. I am glad to have your support.

  8. GOP Donor says:

    I remember when Gerri said there was no way Trump would win, and then he left this site and intimated that he would not be returning.

    Well…The Donald won, and I see Gerri is back…all is right in the universe.

      • GOP Donor says:

        Geri,

        Typical range is $25K-$200K annually to GOP candidates and PAC’s, depending on where we’re at in the election cycle.

      • GOP Donor says:

        BTW, your boy Been Sassy is going to get primaried-out in 2020 — MILLIONS have already been committed behind the scenes to make sure we elect a Senator who will work with our president during his last term to Make America Great Again.

      • Relax, son. No one knows you’re a dog on the internet. I can prove my political donations. You can’t, without revealing your name. So I don’t believe you. I think you donate something white and viscous.

        See how that works?

        As a matter of fact, I came back here to rub collective your noses in Trump’s failed presidency and the fact that over half of all Americans now call him an embarrassment. The guy who pretended to write ‘The Art of the Deal’ can’t get a deal on long-term borrowing extensions, PPACA repeal, and is about to go 0 for 3 by not getting a tax bill passed.

        Ben Sasse hasn’t done a thing about Trump, except squaw. As far as I’m concerned, y’all can keep him.

  9. It's Mad, Mad World says:

    Pittsburgh, PA —
    Candice Dixon told the judge she wanted to represent herself during her preliminary hearing. She stood in her jail jumpsuit, questioning the officer, who she admits tried to pull her over on Sept. 12.

    Dixon admitted to Pittsburgh’s Action News 4 on Sept. 14 that she was behind the wheel, with her young children in the car, when she refused to stop for police. Dixon claimed then that she is studying to be a sovereign individual and believed that she didn’t have to stop.

    In court Wednesday, Dixon told the judge she wanted the case dismissed.

    “I was traveling in pursuit of my happiness,” Dixon said.

    Dixon claimed that she was protected by her right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, as written in the Declaration of Independence.

    The judge called Dixon nonsensical, which prompted her to ask the judge whether he took an oath to uphold the constitution.

    The judge had Dixon removed from the courtroom and sent back to jail to await trail.

    and

    TAMPA — He’s accused in the sadistic murders of two men more than a decade ago. Last week, he was brought back to Hillsborough County to face trial. He faces the death penalty.

    None of that appeared to matter much to Steven Lorenzo when he appeared in court Wednesday morning.

    He told a judge he doesn’t want a lawyer, that the court was “a fiction,” and that he had already “settled” his case.

    “I am a sovereign man,” Lorenzo declared. “I am not a public figure.”

    The 58-year-old convict, one of the most notorious criminals in Tampa Bay history, appeared to invoke a defense rooted in the so-called sovereign citizen movement, whose adherents shun the legitimacy of government and established laws.

    “It’s almost always unwise to represent yourself in court,” the judge said. Lorenzo remained adamant that he did not want legal assistance.

    “This is a fiction, corporate court,” he said. “I am not a corporate person. I am a living, breathing being.”

  10. The Simple Math says:

    When Republicans all step up the mic over the next few weeks to tell you that eliminating the Estate tax (Frank Luntz told them to call it the ‘Death Tax’) is necessary to help out Mom & Pop businesses and family farmers, they’re lying.

    The Estate tax doesn’t kick in until the first dollar, over and above, $5.49 million dollars in wealth.

    An individual can leave $5.49 million to heirs and pay no federal estate or gift tax.
    A married couple will be able to shield just shy of $11 million ($10.98 million) from federal estate and gift taxes.
    99.8 percent of estates owe no estate tax at all, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation. Only the estates of the wealthiest 0.2 percent of Americans are subject to the estate tax.

    And it is that 0.2 percent will again send the Republican party, en masse, out to lie their arses off to the 99.8% of their constituents they’ve sworn to represent.

    Cue the liars…

    Here’s Deb Fischer, from the Scottsbluff StarHerald back in February, warming up –
    “Nebraska has a long, proud tradition of family owned businesses. Walk down any street, in any town in our beautiful state, and you’ll find them: the furniture store, the auto parts shop, the dry cleaner, the pharmacy. Like our family owned farms and ranches, each one of these businesses provides a valuable service to our people. Together, they make our communities stronger and more vibrant.

    Building a family business is hard work. It demands passion, drive, and an unbounded willingness to work. It means long days and longer nights, the anxiety of meeting payroll, and the pressure of performing well. It is also profoundly satisfying. With that work comes the deep joy of a job well done, the dignity of honest labor, and the knowledge that the business can be passed down to one’s children. More than a job, for these small business owners, their work is part of a legacy that reaches through time, generation to generation.

    But because of our broken tax code, many family business owners cannot hand down to their children their life’s work.

    The reason? The federal estate tax, commonly called the “death tax.”

    That’s right. Rising generations of small business owners, the backbone of America’s economy, must pay Uncle Sam before they can take possession of something their family already owns.

    The death tax hits these families hard.”

    • Joshua Lively says:

      The Simple Math… When parents work hard all of their life, pay taxes, and then they want to leave the fruits of their prosperity to their children…. why should the government get one cent of money or property that has already been taxed once?

      • The Simple Math says:

        So you’re saying we’re supposed to feel sorry for the 0.2%?

        Who is it that’s supposed to fund your military pension, or TriCare?

        Who’s supposed to pay for those uparmored Humvees, the air cover, the drones and the finest weapons of mass and minor destruction money can buy?

        Who’s supposed to pony up the $125M for the new Offutt runway, or the $1.2B for the new Stratcom HQ?

        How about that new $86M VA in Omaha?

        The $22.5B for the new Zumwalt ships?

        The $82M per year the military spends every year on boner pills?

        The $700 Billion total tab for our grotesquely bloated military?

        What about the $100+ Billion it will cost taxpayers to rebuild Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico?

        And Trump’s $5,8 Trillion dollar tax cut?

      • Joshua Lively says:

        The Simple Math…

        16% of our budget goes to funding the military, which keeps the wolves at bay. Did you ever think that it is better to be fighting wars on foreign soils rather than in our own backyard? And I don’t say that lightly. I hate everything about war, but it has been a part of human history since the dawn of man. I am thankful that we have such a superior military… because there are other countries that would end our way of life if they thought they could defeat us in battle. So, I am good with giving 16% of my income to keeping us a sovereign nation.

        Now, 60% of our budget goes to entitlement programs… so let’s have a little bit of introspect when it comes to the numbers.

      • bynd says:

        How about everyone. Or better yet, all those things are only necessary for those who believe we should be the policeman of the world. Obviously you believe so.

        Time to get over your American exceptionalism and let us just be America.

        And no we don’t fell sorry for them. We expect you to be a person of your word and treat them fairly. As you like to point out, do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

        Or is it to much to ask that you actually have some consistency to your beliefs?

      • Joshua Lively says:

        Bynd… Sir, you are making baseless accusations against me, to which I will not justify with a response. Sorry, but I simply do not have the time to offer the level of written-response it would take to change your opinion of me. And quite honestly, my actions define who I am as a person… not what others think of me.

        However, I have a response to your statement, “Time to get over your American exceptionalism…”

        I have been to 36 countries around the world, I can speak/understand about 10 languages, and I can safely say I have first-hand experience with people from nearly every continent on this great planet.

        That being said… there is one, immutable fact I know for sure… and that is America’s unequivocal exceptionalism. I’m not saying other countries are horrible in comparison, but I challenge you to find one country with more freedom, liberty, and support of individual rights. We are far from perfect, but we are the best country in the world. That is not patriotism or idealism speaking either… that is based on my first-hand experience. There are great countries and people out there, but after a little bit of time abroad, one begins to realize just how much freedom we have in this country.

        I have friends and close acquaintances from Canada, Central and South American countries, European countries, the UK, a myriad of African Countries, most Middle Eastern countries, Russia, China, most southwest and central Asian countries, Austrailia and New Zealand, the Philipines, Indonesia, Japan, and Iran. While most love their national heritage and countries, they all agree that America is the best country in the world. They love our freedom and free-market society. They love that anyone can come to America (legally) and prosper far beyond what they can accomplish in their own countries. They love our commitment to individual rights over the collectivist mentality of “for the good of the masses.” Above all… they love our diversity. Our diversity in people. Our diversity in religions. Our diversity in the deluge of our free-market system. Our diversity in job markets, industry, and entrepreneurialism. And our diversity in options for pretty much anything in life. Progressives have one major flaw in their logic. They believe “free government entitlements” equate to greatness in a country. But nothing is free. The money, services, or products have to come from the labor of someone else; ergo, nothing is ever free. In all of these “great countries” with government-run education, healthcare, and other services… who pays for it all? The taxpayers. They are taxed through their noses. Also, because of over-regulatory central governments, there is limited competition in most economies/industries, which creates higher costs and a sparse selection of available products. Moreover, because there are some many government “freebie” programs, citizens are left with only one option when it comes to most things that are government run. So is it a wonder why they want to come to America for things like education, healthcare, and our insurmountable selection of inexpensive goods? They absolutely, without a doubt, love our diversity in pretty much everything we do. How is that not exceptional? Don’t believe me… ask our neighbors to the north. I went in Canada last month for a short family vacation. Canadians have so much pride in their beautiful country, and rightly so. But, 100% of everyone I talked to said they cross the border into the United States when they have to drive from one side of Canada to the other. Why? Because our gas is, on average, 50% cheaper… and our roads are far superior to their Trans-Canada Highway. Also, they come to the United States when they don’t want to wait months on end for treatment in their government-run healthcare system (though they love how much cheaper pharmaceuticals are in Canada, I will give you that). They also come to the United States for better education and access to better jobs. And you know what, I feel proud when they say they love that we share our prosperity with them. It doesn’t mean they don’t love Canada, they simply know that the United States offers a level of diversity they could never get in their country.

        Sir, I am proud to live in America… our people are some of the most tolerant and peace-loving in the world. We have a commitment to individual rights unlike any other country in the world. We have so much prosperity and are willing to share it with people who follow our laws. It saddens me that you do not feel the same.

        As for the consistency in my belief structure? You do not know me, Sir… you do not know my family, and you couldn’t possibly understand the depths of my esoteric philosophical beliefs through a few political posts I have propounded for discussion. I am a human being that has compassion for all human beings – from all cultures and religions. I can say, with the utmost certainty Sir, you have never met someone like me. So, you can hurl your judiciously acerbic darts elsewhere… because you’re wasting your time if you think they are going to somehow affect my moral foundation or change my actual belief structure.

  11. TexasAnnie says:

    The problems with our UNJUST TAX CODE extend well beyond estate taxes! And I could agree with you J. Lively IF those hard working parents wanting to leave the fruits of their labor to their children actually paid FAIR TAXES while amassing their wealth. But they didn’t. They got tax incentives, deductions, write-offs, etc. When I’m talking about FAIR TAXES, I’m talking about everybody paying the same rate for the same benefits, no exceptions and no excuses.

    Of course the Trump administration will not accomplish tax justice, and likely won’t even get a tax reform bill passed. But for the sake of argument let’s pretend that everyone is subject to a system of FAIR TAXES. That is, no tax brackets, no dependent deductions, no home mortgage deductions, no charitable deductions, and especially no business deductions. That’s right! Even the business of organized religion should be taxed! Then…the single tax rate that everyone would be required to pay would be lower than the lowest bracket today and we could, literally, file our taxes on a postcard!

    And on a personal note: I wasn’t born and raised in Texas but I got here and got back here as soon as I could. My husband’s employer took our family on a tour of midwest states over forty years. And I want you to know that no where was our tax obligation higher than the sixteen years we lived in Nebraska! NO WHERE. Are you aware of the federal, state and local tax subsidies extracted from Nebraska taxpayers? It’s much worse than in most states…

    • Joshua Lively says:

      TexasAnnie… You have an understandable position. I support any elected official that proposes a simpler, flatter tax code that has lower rates with fewer deductions. As a Nebraskan, I pay a lot of taxes… especially property taxes and the continued, annual vehicle tax. I am all in for a flat tax… for everyone, and then a flat tax for businesses. Filing taxes on a postcard? Where do I sign up… that would be great. As a middle-class American, I think it is quite unfair that we (on average) pay more than both the upper and lower wage earners in this country. Granted, the upper class generally receives a majority of its income from investments, which is taxed at a much lower rate. So yes, a flat tax (for everyone and every business) would be fair and equitable. Will that ever happen? That remains to be seen.

      At the federal level, the U.S. government spends 42 cents on every dollar they collect in taxes, and we have a 61% debt to GDP ratio… meaning we have a spending problem. Our elected officials need to be spending our money wisely… but the problem is that our government is fat, bloated, and completely saturated by bureaucrats at all levels. Until we can rein in our addiction to whimsical spending… I don’t see things changing too much for folks on Main Street.

      Lastly, I don’t agree with subsidies. I believe in individualism and a free market society. I think more small business would prosper if the government stopped all if its overly complicated regulations and made a more simple tax code for businesses. I just think that generations of people have become so reliant on the government to fix our problems that we’ve forgotten how to take care of ourselves. Think about any state or national park, wildlife refuge, or inner city of a major metropolitan area. There are literally signs everywhere that say, “Do Not Feed the Animals.” Why? Because when you teach a creature to depend on you for its sustenance (*read livelihood) it forgets how to take care of itself. It becomes lazy and forgets the most basic skills for living independently. IMHO, that is where we are as a nation. Too many people rely on the government for everything… and I am not just talking about subsidies or welfare-state entitlements. I’m talking about even the most simple of tasks. When confronted with a life problem, we turn to the government for a solution. In turn, the government creates a program to offer a solution to that problem.

      I think we would surprise ourselves if we became more involved with our own freedom and liberty…

      At any rate, I am not suggesting that we do not need a centralized federal government, we definitely need one… but it doesn’t need to be involved in every aspect of our lives… and it certainly doesn’t need to overcomplicate things by putting out hundreds of thousands of regulations that dictate pretty much everything. Just like children, they eventually need to grow up, move out on their own, and be responsible for their lives without having to continually follow every rule dictated by their parents. That’s my opinion anyway…

      • Oorah! says:

        Maybe when government finally decides it’s time to cut back, they’ll take a serious run at BRAC (Base Realignment and Closure).
        It’s a fiscally prudent endeavor Democrats have been pushing for well over a decade.
        A long overdue, common sense effort even John McCain supports.

        We could save taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars a year by closing bases, shrinking superfluous forces and realigning our military to fight a 21st century enemy.

        And if we’re gonna close ’em, why not start with the ‘Home of the Fightin’ Fifty-Fifth’, Offutt AFB?

        After all, those Mom & Pop businesses in Bellevue, Omaha and Plattsmouth won’t miss the local economic impact of $1.55 Billion per year.

        We’ll close Offutt, then follow up on the GOP dream of deporting all the Dreamers and their families, then sit back and watch South O. and Bellevue turn into shanty town.
        And if the crime in Bellevue gets bad enough, we can always.. build a Wall.
        And who’s gonna pay for it?….

      • Joshua Lively says:

        Oorah! …

        I think some bases could close, and the military could definitely do a better job with its spending. I worked on Offutt AFB for about 8 years after I left the Navy, and my wife retired out of the Fightin’ Fifty-Fifth, so I definitely know its importance to global security far better than the average person in Bellevue or the Metro. But, there are ways it could tighten its belt.

        That being said, let’s look at Fort Ord out in California. For decades it cost the US Taxpayers unfathomable amounts of money to maintain. So, it was a fiscally responsible endeavor to close it down. There are some older bases that can be put on the chopping block and the local economies wouldn’t notice a thing. Now, closing Offutt, that would be a death-stroke to the local economy for sure. And considering U.S. Representative Don Bacon (USAF BG Ret.) used to be the 55th Wing Commander there, I highly doubt OAFB will be on a BRAC list anytime soon. Not to mention, USSTRATCOM is COCOM that is responsible for command of U.S. nuclear capabilities, space operations, global surveillance and reconnaissance, intelligence, communications, computers, global missile defense and combating weapons of mass destruction… I highly doubt anyone would close it down. As I said previously, the DOD consumes about 16% of the US budget… and I am quite ok with giving 16% of my taxes to keep our national sovereignty.

        As for the dreamers? I actually support a path to citizenship, which I laid out in a previous post. But, it does not negate the fact that the dreamers have in fact broken the laws of the land. I think Trump made a wise choice to kick it back to Congress to fix… rather than ruling by executive fiat.

      • Anonymous says:

        “Do Not Feed The Animals…”

        How can one not hearken back to the immortal words of another right wing Nebraska politico –
        “The raccoons figure out the beetles are in the bucket,” Bruning says. “And it’s like grapes in a jar. The raccoons, they’re not stupid, they’re going to do the easy way if we make it easy for them — just like welfare recipients all across America. If we don’t send them to work, they’re going to take the easy way out.”
        – Senatorial candidate Jon Bruning, August 6, 2011, speaking at the Heartland Liberty Fest in Papillion, an event co-sponsored by the Libertarian Party, the Nebraska Republican Party and the Koch Bros. Americans for Prosperity.

        Words that effectively ended Jon Bruning’s political career.
        Of course, Jon’s gonna be alright. He amassed quite a little fortune as a public servant.

      • Joshua Lively says:

        Anonymous…

        That is just ridiculous. I said we, collectively as Americans, have become too used to relying on the government for fixing our problems.

        “Too many people rely on the government for everything… and I am not just talking about subsidies or welfare-state entitlements. I’m talking about even the most simple of tasks. When confronted with a life problem, we turn to the government for a solution. In turn, the government creates a program to offer a solution to that problem.”

        I’m talking about self-reliance and self-determination in lieu of government subsidies and intervention at every turn in the road. If you are going to play the social-justice warrior card… at least try to keep it in the context of what I am talking about.

      • bynd says:

        Oorah,
        Can you name one town that turned into a shanty town when their local base was taken away?

        I can see why many want government to intervene in their lives. They don’t believe anyone can survive without them. Because they can’t. As JL pointed out.

        I would think that the first thing that needs to change is attitude. Get back to our can do and not government can do attitude.

        Remember, as government gets smaller, the result should be lesser need for taxes.

      • The Quiet Judge says:

        Taxation of the fruit of one’s labor is slavery. Americans today, all Americans who are employed that is, are slaves.

      • Joshua Lively says:

        The quiet judge,

        I think it is quite coincidental that 16th Amendment was signed on February 3, 1913… and on December 23, 1913… Woodrow Wilson signed the Federal Reserve Act, which tied us to a private bank for all of our government spending needs. When the IRS charter expired after the civil war, wasn’t it fully established in 1913 as well?

        I agree with the merits of your point from a constitutional and philosophical perspective, I truly do. But, in reality, as our society grew… there was no way around taxing income. That being said, the government has an insatiable appetite for spending and there is very little accountability. We definitely need to heavily reduce the bloated budget and look at what is absolutely necessary to remain a prosperous nation.

      • The Quiet Judge says:

        Joshua,

        The alternative to the labor-tax is a consumption-tax coupled with a balanced budget amendment and a legislative body that adhered to their constitutional limitations with regards to spending.

        ———————————————————————-

        Saw Verne,

        Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s.

  12. True Patriots says:

    A large contingent of Trump’s most avid supporters should be required to watch a 5 minute video just made public. A short speech from Lt. Gen. Jay Silveria, superintendent of the Air Force Academy, who yesterday stood all of his 4,000 cadets at attention … chins in and chests out … to deliver a message.

    Google –
    “If you can’t treat someone with dignity and respect, then get out.”

    It’s people like Lt. Gen. Silveria, who are truly making America great again.

  13. Saw Verne says:

    Home schooling Judge,

    Maybe God can clean the snow and ice from your road this winter.

    Oh wait, that would require a.. road. A road that ties into a system of roads.
    And that would also assume you live in a house. A house tied into an expansive electrical grid and a sewer system. A house in a neighborhood made civil and safe through police and fire protection.
    And all of this.. civilization, made possible by the protection of threats from foreign nations, all of whom are certain to covet the great blessings bestowed upon our nation.

      • Saw Verne says:

        I’m a solution-oriented chap, so a suggestion for you;
        Renounce your U.S. citizenship and apply for citizenship in country that won’t tax your labor. Many of the tax free countries are real hell holes, but some are nice. I’d suggest Bermuda, Monaco, Andorra or the UAE.
        You’ll want to a pack a coat if you choose Andorra, and it will take a decade or so to acquire citizenship, so it’s not an endeavor recommended for the seasoned sovereign citizen.
        And of course as an Andorran, you’ll answer to a foreign reigning monarch, the president of France, whose election your prohibited from participating.

        You’re welcome, and safe travels!

      • see the light says:

        saw verne

        And it took you 36 mins for you to cut and paste that lame answer.

        I do believe it has been suggested to you numerous times also. Why don’t you buy tickets for you and all those who don’t think like you do, that would be about 300 million, and You’re welcome, and safe travels!

        I must say, it is refreshing seeing reasoned and logical posting on here as opposed to over the top hyperbole. That’s what some use because they 1) can’t carry on a civil conversation or 2) have no logical or reasoned answer that makes them look half way intelligent.

  14. case for brief says:

    Right Wing Professor is right. Brevity matters. And not just out of niceness to audiences. In 1985, Hillebrand’s research team created the industry standard for 160 text character limits. Most emails are understood by reading the title synopsis. People forced to be concise are concise.

    Listening to new info is fatiguing. Successful students take meticulous notes because the more info we take in, the heavier it gets and we eventually drop the whole load and fail to remember anything.

    JFK sent us to the moon in 15 minutes. MLK shared his dream in 17. The Gettysburg Address was under 2 min. Washington’s second inaugural was 135 words long. More is less, more or less.

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