Boots & Sabers

The blogging will continue until morale improves...

Owen

Everything but tech support

Jed

Tech support

What the Rittenhouse verdict reminds us about government power

Here is my full column that ran in the Washington County Daily News this week.

The trial of Kyle Rittenhouse has aggravated several of America’s seeping cultural sores. In the swirl of public debate about race, Second Amendment rights, First Amendment rights, crime, policing, and myriad other issues, 12 brave jurors did the right thing and justice was done.

 

The case was very simple. Irrespective of why Rittenhouse was where he was at the time he was and for what reason, all the jurors had to decide was whether he was reasonably acting in self-defense when he killed two men and maimed a third. Thanks to the continuous live coverage of several news outlets, all of us could watch the trial in real time and see all the evidence presented. If you think that the jury should have returned anything other than an acquittal, you are objectively, demonstrably, and categorically wrong.

 

The greatest crime perpetrated was that Rittenhouse was ever tried at all. Given the overwhelming evidence from multiple videos and witness testimonies, there was never any doubt that Rittenhouse acted in self-defense. Yet, despite that overwhelming evidence, the district attorney and his deputies decided to prosecute Rittenhouse anyway for reasons that can only be explained by their political and personal biases.

 

For the people who distrust the police and prosecutors to act fairly and responsibly, you are right. They should not be trusted. In fact, our entire system of government is replete with strong protections for individual rights, diffused power, checks, and balances was designed that way precisely because we should not trust our government and the people who are in it.

 

Any student of history should know that government can never be trusted, but one does not have to look very far in our modern America to find examples of abuse of governmental power. Less than a decade ago, a team of rogue prosecutors sought to criminalize protected political speech by launching multiple John Doe investigations against conservatives in Wisconsin. Their black-booted raids and secret proceedings were designed to silence political opponents.

 

For five years the corrupted FBI has been using lies, raids, and thuggish tactics to undermine former President Donald Trump and his allies based on a Russian dossier that they knew was fake all along. They knowingly used lies from Trump’s political opponents to attempt to topple or undermine an elected president. The same corrupted FBI has now been turned against parents who are voicing concerns about how government schools are performing.

 

The vast majority of police, prosecutors, and judges are good people who are doing hard jobs to uphold the rule of law. They deserve our support and respect. But do I believe that a prosecutor might unjustly railroad a person because of their political biases or racial bigotry? Absolutely. Do I believe that a police officer might let their personal prejudices guide their decisions? I would be a nutter not to. The vast majority do not, but it only takes one rotten government agent to unjustly ruin someone’s life.

 

For this reason, we have erected an entire infrastructure of jurisprudence that is rightfully designed to make it very difficult for the government to punish a person for a crime. Resting on the principle voiced by the great English jurist William Blackstone that, “it is better that ten guilty persons escape than one innocent suffer,” our American system leans heavily to protecting the accused from the potential abuses of government.

 

If you have a healthy distrust, with respect, for our government law enforcement agencies, that is good. You are in the right frame of mind to be an engaged citizen of a self-governing society. Now you must extend that distrust to all of the other government agencies. While a corrupt or abusive police officer or prosecutor can negatively impact your life, so, too, can a corrupt or abusive Department of Revenue agent, game warden, school superintendent, or mayor. We give these people extraordinary power over our lives as the price paid for a civil society, but we must do so grudgingly and with extraordinary oversight. We have been blessed with more than our fair share of superb elected and unelected government officials, but we have also had our fair share of the corrupt and the stupid.

 

At its best, Thomas Paine tells us, “government is a necessary evil.” Nobody in their right mind would trust evil, which is why we must be skeptical about our government and the people in it. We should also not allow that evil to grow too large as to become uncontrollable. I fear that we have already crossed that Rubicon.

Happy Thanksgiving

May you all have a warm and fulfilling Thanksgiving surrounded by the ones you love (and hopefully love you).

And just so as to not leave the day without some controversial topic to discuss… the correct pronunciation is THANKSgiving – not thanksGIVING. The emphasis is on THANKS. Prove me wrong.

More Justice

Juries are two for two in the last week.

A Georgia jury decided Wednesday to convict the three white men accused of murdering 25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery, an unarmed Black jogger.

 

Father and son Gregory and Travis McMichael and their neighbor William “Roddie” Bryan each faced nine felony charges during the trial. All defendants face a minimum sentence of life in prison.

 

Travis McMichael, the only one found guilty of malice murder, was convicted on all nine counts, which included felony murder, aggravated assault, false imprisonment and criminal attempt to commit felony.

Good Samaritan Accidentally Hid Mass Murderer

Wow. Credit to this guy for his kind heart, but he’s lucky he got out alive.

Wisconsin resident who unwittingly let the Christmas Parade ‘killer’ into his home minutes after the massacre has revealed how the ‘nervous’ stranger sat on the sofa, called his mom and ‘lied about everything.’

 

[…]

 

Now local resident Daniel Rider, 24, has told how he was sitting in his living room watching the Cowboys against the Chiefs when Brooks started banging on his door on Sunday night.

 

Doorbell footage showed a frantic Brooks at the door pleading for help, claiming he was waiting for an Uber – just 20 minutes after he smashed his SUV into crowds downtown.

 

Rider had no idea of the carnage that had just unfolded and decided he should let the shivering man into his home, remembering a recent sermon his mother had told him about helping the homeless.

 

‘So I was like, ‘Oh! This was my chance to help somebody. I’m going to warm him up and give him some food,” Rider told CBS.

 

‘I gave him a jacket, made him a sandwich and just watched over to make sure everything was okay,’ he told CNN. He also gave the stranger his phone so he could call his mom.

What the Rittenhouse verdict reminds us about government power

My column for the Washington County Daily News is online and in print. Here’s a part:

The greatest crime perpetrated was that Rittenhouse was ever tried at all. Given the overwhelming evidence from multiple videos and witness testimonies, there was never any doubt that Rittenhouse acted in self-defense. Yet, despite that overwhelming evidence, the district attorney and his deputies decided to prosecute Rittenhouse anyway for reasons that can only be explained by their political and personal biases.

 

[…]

 

If you have a healthy distrust, with respect, for our government law enforcement agencies, that is good. You are in the right frame of mind to be an engaged citizen of a self-governing society. Now you must extend that distrust to all of the other government agencies. While a corrupt or abusive police officer or prosecutor can negatively impact your life, so, too, can a corrupt or abusive Department of Revenue agent, game warden, school superintendent, or mayor. We give these people extraordinary power over our lives as the price paid for a civil society, but we must do so grudgingly and with extraordinary oversight. We have been blessed with more than our fair share of superb elected and unelected government officials, but we have also had our fair share of the corrupt and the stupid.

Americans Are Over COVID

I have traveled extensively throughout America in cities large and small since last summer by plane, car, and other means. This is true and has been true for a while. The vast majority of Americans are taking reasonable precautions in accordance with their perceived level of risk and going about their lives as normal. The latest spike or scare or scary headline have very little impact on most people. And it’s not a Red vs. Blue, North vs. South, or Urban vs. Rural issue. It’s pretty universal. The only people perpetuating the fear are government officials – especially schools – and the industries that profit from perpetual fear.

Even though the COVID-19 pandemic continues to rage on, nearly three-quarters of Americans (74 percent) now say their lives have returned to “normal,” according to a new Yahoo News/YouGov poll.

 

It’s a number that underscores both the progress made possible by safe and effective vaccines and the challenges ahead as the holidays approach and yet another winter wave gets underway in the United States.

 

The survey of 1,696 adults, which was conducted from Nov. 17 to 19, found that only 15 percent say that things “never stopped being normal” for them — a reminder of just how profoundly the virus has disrupted American life.

 

Yet as the U.S. pandemic enters its 21st month, most Americans now characterize their own lives as either “very normal” (21 percent) or “somewhat normal” (53 percent), considering “the impact of COVID-19.”

Milwaukee’s Deadly Pro-Criminal Policies Led to Carnage

53 people in Waukesha and their families are paying the price for Milwaukee’s intentionally pro-criminal policies. But even before that, many people suffered at the hands of this monster.

The shamefaced Milwaukee District Attorney’s Office admitted on Monday it was ‘inappropriate’ for convicted felon Darrell Brooks to be allowed out of jail on a $1,000 bond three weeks ago after trying to run over his ex-girlfriend, as he was charged with five counts of murder for the lives he took at the Waukesha Christmas Parade on Sunday night.

 

Brooks, 39, was taken into custody in Waukesha, Wisconsin, on Sunday night after police found his red Ford SUV parked neatly in a driveway five blocks from where he drove through crowds of kids and elderly dancing groups.

 

The amateur rapper has a long criminal history dating back to 1999 with more than 15 arrests in the state of Wisconsin alone for charges including possession of drugs, strangulation and suffocation, battery, illegally possessing firearms as a convicted felon and resisting arrest.

Prayers for Waukesha

The unimaginable. Like many, I’ve been in and watched hundreds of parades – including many, many with my children and friends. I can’t imagine the evil that makes someone do this.

Police have said there were “some fatalities” after a car ploughed into a parade in Wisconsin.

Footage posted online shows a red sports utility vehicle (SUV) driving through a Christmas parade in the city of Waukesha, west of Milwaukee, at around 16:40 local time (22:40 GMT).

 

Police chief Dan Thompson said it hit more than 20 people including children.

 

He confirmed people had died but said they would not give details until family members had been told.

 

Mr Thompson said officers had recovered a suspect vehicle and a person of interest was in custody, but gave no further details. He added the investigation was “very fluid” and the injured has been taken to hospital by ambulance, police and family members.

Police fired at the car to try to stop it, he said. The FBI is assisting with the investigation.

Politicians Befuddled by Limits of Power

Huh. You mean if you just proclaim it from Washington, it doesn’t just happen? Who knew?

LOS ANGELES (AP) — President Joe Biden announced a deal last month to establish around-the-clock operations at the Port of Los Angeles, the nation’s largest, to break an unprecedented container ship traffic jam blamed for driving up consumer prices.

 

But that hasn’t happened yet.

 

Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka said in an online briefing Tuesday that the sprawling complex has “24/7 capability,” but a shortage of truck drivers and nighttime warehouse workers pose problems in establishing a nonstop schedule, along with getting importers to embrace expanded hours.

“It’s an effort to try to get this entire orchestra of supply chain players to get on the same calendar,” he said. Among thousands of importers, “we’ve had very few takers to date.”

Biden’s Communist Nominee Also Steals Shoes

If we can’t reject her for being an avowed communist, can we disqualify her for being a petty thief?

Omarova reportedly placed the hodgepodge of stolen items, including  four pairs of shoes, two bottles of cologne and socks worth $214, into a large purse and hid them by covering the bag with other clothing items.

 

A security agent from TJ Maxx who was on-duty and saw Omarova steal told Fox News that she also paid for multiple items at the jewelry counter but ‘made no attempt to pay for the items concealed in her purse’.

 

[…]

 

According to the latest report, Omarova was arrested in Madison, Wisconsin, on a ‘retail theft’ charge.

 

The incident occurred on June 2, 1995, a Wisconsin Department of Justice criminal background check obtained by Fox shows.

 

She had a ‘deferred prosecution’ for the charge early the following year, according to the report, which also states that the charge was dropped under Wisconsin’s first offender program.

 

When asked about the newly-surfaced charge on Wednesday, the White House defended Omarova as an ’eminently qualified’ candidate and described the case as a ‘misunderstanding and confusing situation.’

 

[…]

 

Omarova’s previous statements on banking and Marxism have landed her in hot water with some of the same senators expected to grill her tomorrow.

 

She’s advocated for moving Americans’ financial accounts from private banks to the Federal Reserve and for forcing banks to lose leverage on federal subsidies by becoming ‘non-depository lenders.’

 

It would diminish the stature of the institutions she’s supposed to regulate.

 

‘By separating their lending function from their monetary function, the proposed reform will effectively “end banking,” as we know it,’ Omarova wrote in a paper updated in February of this year titled ‘The People’s Ledger.’

 

She summed it up more concisely in a 2019 documentary film titled ‘A**holes: A Theory.’ Omarova called Wall Street’s hedge fund-dominated culture a ‘quintessential a**hole industry.’

Democrats Fund the Rich

The Democrats are revealing their real priorities. They really are the party of the rich now.

The House is expected to vote this week on President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better legislation. The social spending bill includes investments in clean energy and affordable child care – but it also includes a $285 billion tax cut that would almost exclusively benefit high-income households over the next five years.

 

The measure would allow households to increase their deduction from state and local taxes from $10,000 to $80,000 through 2026, and then impose a new deduction cap through 2031. It’s the second-most expensive item in the legislation over the next five years, more costly than establishing a paid family and medical leave program, and nearly twice as expensive as funding home-medical services for the elderly and disabled, according to an analysis by the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.

Juiced Report Cards Still Show Declining Results In Government Schools

Even after changing the criteria, thus obliterating any longitudinal value of the report cards, schools show decline

In the first report cards released since before the pandemic to assess Wisconsin schools, the state’s districts collectively backslid, with fewer schools meeting or exceeding expectations for test scores, attendance and equity.

 

About 72% of Wisconsin schools met or exceeded expectations in the 2020-’21 school year, according to the report cards released Tuesday. That’s down from about 87% in the 2018-’19 school year. Report cards were not done in 2020 because of the pandemic.

 

The report cards, produced by the state Department of Public Instruction, are intended as a tool for families and the public to compare schools and track their progress.

 

[…]

 

The scores were partly based on student progress on standardized tests for math and language arts: data that was released earlier this year and showed significant declines statewide and especially in Milwaukee.

 

The report card scores give extra weight to the improvement of certain groups of students, including those who had lower test scores in the past and those who face additional challenges based on race, ethnicity, income, disability and learning English. This year, DPI put more emphasis on students who previously scored lower, and less emphasis on the demographic groups.

 

The report cards also include absenteeism and graduation rates. A previous five-point penalty for failing to meet attendance goals was removed this year.

To hide the overall decline in performance, the DPI granted additional weight if a favored group of kids improved (still not good, but improved) and eliminated metrics that brought down scores.

Even with the cover, it’s pretty clear that Wisconsin’s government schools are in a crisis of quality despite record spending on them. Every year that we allow this to continue is another kid who will be punished for the rest of their lives because of a terrible education.

But, by all means… let’s fill classroom time with SEL and CRT instead of math, economics, finance, literature, history, civics, science, etc.

Biden Highlights New Hampshire Decay In Selling Inflation-Enhancing Spending Spree

Why is the responsibility of people in Wisconsin, Missouri, Utah, or anywhere else to fix New Hampshire’s decaying infrastructure? New Hampshire has a median income of almost $77k – way more than any of those states. In fact, New Hampshire has the 8th highest median income in the country, but 42 other states’ taxpayers are being told that they must pay to repair their old bridges? What happened to taking care of our own yards?

“Live free or die” my ass, ya freeloaders.

Decay is certainly visible in New Hampshire, where harsh winters have an especially corrosive effect. Although it is only mid-November, a light snow fell as Biden spoke on Tuesday. The state has a C- grade from the American Society of Civil Engineers. That’s only slightly worse than the C that ASCE awards to the nation’s bridges overall, of which it has found that 42 percent are more than half a century old.

FBI Unleashed on Parents for Petitioning Government

The Left really has weaponized every federal agency against their political opponents. This is a travesty. The liberty to petition your government with your grievances is a fundamental component of a self-governing society. Sometimes those petitions are passionate, rude, or even belligerent. That’s always been part of a free society. Specific threats against public officials have always been punished just like threats against anyone else. What the FBI has been doing here is trying to intimidate and criminalize a speech based on its content – based on the fact that is goes against a particular political ideology. This is totalitarian stuff.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has created a tag for threats against teachers and school administrators and is tracking such investigations on a national level.

 

An FBI whistleblower provided an email dated Oct. 20 to House Republicans sent on behalf of the counter-terrorism division and the criminal division. The email referenced Attorney General Merrick Garland’s Oct. 4 directive to the FBI to ramp up its involvement in school board threats, and notified agents of a new tag, ‘EDUOFFICIALS,’ to assign to any threats against school administrators, board members, staff or teachers to determine the scope of the problem on a national level and to provide a ‘comprehensive analysis of the threat picture.’

 

‘This disclosure provides specific evidence that federal law enforcement operationalized counterterrorism tools at the behest of a left-wing special interest group against concerned parents,’ House Republicans claimed in a letter to Garland.

Wisconsin’s regulatory burden is suffocating

My column for the Washington County Daily News is online and in print. Here’s a taste:

All of the tools are there, and have been there, to rein in Wisconsin’s suffocating regulatory burden. What has been missing is the will and energy to use those tools. Normal Wisconsinites do not have a lobbyist who can attend the meetings to weigh in on a regulation. They rely on their elected representatives to be their voice in lightening the weight of government regulation. Far too often, politicians of both parties grant wide latitude to unelected regulators to micromanage Wisconsinites in almost everything they do. The politicians become the voice of the bureaucracy instead of the voice of the people.

 

Wisconsin’s Republicans must take on the regulatory monster because the Democrats never will. There are a few simple questions that politicians should ask themselves before approving any regulation. First, if the regulation supported by law or is it a new law? If a regulation is not in support of a law passed by the people’s legislature, then it should be denied.

 

Second, is the regulation absolutely necessary? There are a lot of good ideas out there or things that people should do, but that does not mean that the government should regulate it. Freedom is precisely the right to do things of which other people disapprove without government sanction. If a regulation is not absolutely necessary, it should be denied.

Beto Runs for Governor of Texas

This should be entertaining to watch.

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Democrat Beto O’Rourke is running for governor of Texas, pursuing a blue breakthrough in America’s biggest red state after his star-making U.S. Senate campaign in 2018 put him closer than anyone else in decades.

 

O’Rourke’s announcement Monday kicks off a third run for office in as many election cycles. He burst into the 2020 Democratic presidential primary as a party phenomenon but dropped out just eight months later as money and fanfare dried up.

 

[…]

 

O’Rourke, 49, will have to win over not only hundreds of thousands of new voters but some of his old ones. When O’Rourke lost to Republican Sen. Ted Cruz by just 2.5 percentage points, Abbott won reelection by double digits that same year, reflecting a large number of Texans who voted for O’Rourke and for the GOP governor.

 

That crossover appeal was a hallmark of a Senate campaign propelled by energetic rallies, ideological blurriness and unscripted livestreams on social media. But as a presidential candidate, O’Rourke molded himself into a liberal champion who called for slashing immigration enforcement and mandatory gun buybacks.

That last paragraph is an interesting lens into the reporter’s bias. While they tout Beto’s crossover appeal in attracting Abbot voters, the reverse is equally true. Abbot won a lot of voters who voted for Beto in a Democratic wave year.

Bulldozing Trash Into the Ocean

This is the perfect example of government “work” in action.

A Denmark municipality has spent more than $150,000 a year to remove debris and seaweed from a beach only to dump it back into the water, according to Danish national broadcaster Danmarks Radio.

 

Video published by Danmarks Radio shows a bulldozer out in the water at Stillinge Beach in Slagelse, Denmark. The bulldozer blade lifts and appears to dump a slew of material and debris, which reportedly included plastic, into the water before coming back out to shore.

 

The bulldozer operator uses the rake and the blade to scoop up seaweed and plastic along the beach shore. When the collected debris fills the blade, the bulldozer heads out to the water, Danmarks Radio reported. The process happens twice a week during the summer in Denmark.

Singer Urinates on Fan’s Face During Concert

Ew. What ever happened to biting the heads off of bats?

Urista invited a fan up on stage and instructed him to lie down on his back. The singer then proceeded to pull down her pants and appeared to shockingly urinate on his face while performing mid-song.

You can watch a clip of the incident here(Viewer discretion advised)

 

Fans who attended the Welcome to Rockville festival in Daytona Beach reportedly called Urista’s outlandish moment “disgusting.”

“We had a great time last night at Welcome to Rockville. Sophia got carried away. That’s not something the rest of us expected, and it’s not something you’ll see again at our shows. Thanks for bringing it last night, Daytona,” the band wrote on Twitter, assuring fans that it wasn’t a planned stunt.

Harris is Flailing

This is an incredibly long story that basically says that the President and Vice President are very frustrated with each other. As far as I can tell, you have two incredibly inept people wondering why the other one is inept.

“They’re consistently sending her out there on losing issues in the wrong situations for her skill set,” said a former high-level Harris aide.
Then there’s the frequent complaint of a lack of follow through from the vice president’s office, such as on the southern border.
When Fernando García, executive director of Border Network for Human Rights, met with Harris during her visit to El Paso, Texas, this summer, he was optimistic about her potential influence on immigration policy. But months later, García says she “disappeared.”
“We haven’t heard any substantive messaging push for better immigration policies,” he told CNN. “We haven’t seen her leadership.”
Harris loyalists themselves worry that she’ll pay the price for her own loyalty to the President and her willingness to take on what they view as thankless assignments.

Recent Comments

Archives

Categories

Contact B&S

Pin It on Pinterest