archives

personal responsibility

This tag is associated with 296 posts

Dangerous Things For Kids!

(from The Art of Manliness, in part)

Even though the modern world isn’t any more dangerous than it was thirty or forty years ago, it feels like a more perilous place. Or, more accurately, we inhabit the world today in a way that’s much more risk averse; for a variety of very interesting and nuanced reasons, our tolerance for risk, especially concerning our children’s safety, has steadily declined.  So we remove jungle gyms from playgrounds, ban football at recess, prohibit knives (even the butter variety) at school, and would rather have our kids playing with an iPad than rummaging through the garage or roaming around the neighborhood.

Unfortunately, as we discussed in-depth earlier this year, when you control for one set of risks, another simply arises in its place. In this case, in trying to prevent some bruises and broken bones, we also inhibit our children’s development of autonomy, competence, confidence, and resilience. In pulling them back from firsthand experiences, from handling tangible materials and demonstrating concrete efficacy, we ensconce them in a life of abstraction rather than action. By insisting on doing everything ourselves, because we can do things better and more safely, we deprive kids of the chance to make and test observations, to experiment and tinker, to fail and bounce back. In treating everything like a major risk, we prevent kids from learning how to judge the truly dangerous, from the simply unfamiliar.

Fortunately, we can restore the positive traits that have been smothered by overprotective parenting, by restoring some of the “dangerous” activities that have lately gone missing from childhood. The suggestions below on this score were taken both from 50 Dangerous Things (You Should Let Your Children Do), as well as memories from my own more “free range” childhood. If you grew up a few decades back, these activities may seem “obvious” to you, but they’re less a part of kids’ lives today, and hopefully these reminders can help spark their revival.  While each contains a element of danger and chance of injury, these risks can be thoroughly mitigated and managed by you, the parent: Permit or disallow activities based on your child’s individual age, maturity level, and abilities. Take necessary precautions (which are common sense and which I’m not going to entirely spell out for you; you’re a grown-up, not a moron). Teach and demonstrate correct principles, and supervise some practice runs. Once you’ve created this scaffolding of safety, however, try to step back and give your child some independence. Step in only when a real danger exists, or when your adult strength/dexterity/know-how is absolutely necessary. And don’t be afraid to let your kids fail. That’s how they learn and become more resilient.

In return for letting your children grapple with a little bit of healthy risk, the activities below teach motor skills, develop confidence, and get kids acquainted with the use of tools and some of the basic principles of science. Outside any educational justification, however, they’re just plain fun — something we’ve forgotten can be a worthy childhood pursuit in and of itself!

23 Dangerous Things You Should Let You Kids Do

Unlike many of you out there, I grew up in a city.  And, my Dad was largely absent.  I was given boundaries, though.  Don’t cross these streets; Don’t play with these kids;  Let us know where you are;   Be home for dinner @ 6 o’clock.

Other than that, I was pretty much left to my own devices.  Playing in old abandoned houses and construction sites, climbing into open manholes and irrigation conduits.  Picking through discarded trash for treasures.  Making rocket fuel and fireworks.  Dissecting unexploded fireworks.  Dirt clod fights.  Rubber band guns with projectiles!

I wasn’t foolhardy, but I wasn’t a namby-pamby either!

I remember when my Dad’s .22 rifle went missing.  He accused me of taking it, but was most upset I hadn’t asked! (I didn’t take it – it was stolen and later recovered by the PD)

From what I’ve observed, most kids (and most adults) don’t play outside or explore anymore.  Instead, they are inside getting carpal tunnel…

(And not in the traditional way!  😛 )

Toss your kid outside, without their electronics.  And tell ’em not to return until dinner-time.

They might learn something!

About The Raising Of The Minimum Wage…

Here’s what that bastion of liberal thought, Harvard University, has to say about it:

(from the Daily Wire)

Harvard Study: Minimum Wage Hikes Killing Businesses

Erik Mcgregor/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty ImagesA rally in New York City for hiking the minimum wage to $15 an hour. Feb 13, 2017.

A new Harvard Business School study found that minimum wage hikes lead to closures of small businesses. “We find suggestive evidence that an increase in the minimum wage leads to an overall increase in the rate of exit,” the researchers conclude.

The study, titled Survival of the Fittest: The Impact of the Minimum Wage on Firm Exit, looks at “the impact of the minimum wage on restaurant closures using data from the San Francisco Bay Area” from 2008-2016.

Researchers Dara Lee Luca and Michael Luca chose the Bay Area due to their frequent minimum wage hikes in recent years. “In the San Francisco Bay Area alone, there have been twenty-one local minimum wage changes over the past decade,” they write.

The Lucas found that lower-quality restaurants (indicated by Yelp scores) were disproportionately affected by wage hikes, increasing their likelihood of closure relative to higher-quality, established restaurants.

“The evidence suggests that higher minimum wages increase overall exit rates for restaurants. However, lower quality restaurants, which are already closer to the margin of exit, are disproportionately impacted by increases to the minimum wage,” says the study. “Our point estimates suggest that a one dollar increase in the minimum wage leads to a 14 percent increase in the likelihood of exit for a 3.5-star restaurant (which is the median rating), but has no discernible impact for a 5-star restaurant (on a 1 to 5 star scale).”

While “firm exit” was the focus of the study, the researchers also noted that there are often other consequences from wage hikes, such as worker layoffs, increased pricing and hour-cuts for existing workers:

While some studies find no detrimental effects on employment (Card and Krueger 1994, 1998; Dube, Lester & Reich, 2010), others show that higher minimum wage reduces employment, especially among low-skilled workers (see Neumark & Wascher, 2007 for a review). However, even studies that identify negative impacts find fairly modest effects overall, suggesting that firms adjust to higher labor costs in other ways. For example, several studies have documented price increases as a response to the minimum wage hikes (Aaronson, 2001; Aaronson, French, & MacDonald, 2008; Allegretto & Reich, 2016). Horton (2017) find that firms reduce employment at the intensive margin rather than on the extensive margin, choosing to cut employees hours rather than counts.

Such findings were backed up by Garret/Galland Research’s Stephen McBride, who highlighted in March the “minimum wage massacre.”

“Currently, rising labor costs are causing margins in the sector to plummet. Those with the ability to automate like McDonalds are doing so… and those who don’t are closing their doors. In September 2016, one-quarter of restaurant closures in the California Bay Area cited rising labor costs as one of the reasons for closing,” McBride wrote in Forbes. 

“While wage increases put more money in the pocket of some, others are bearing the costs by having their hours reduced and being made part-time,” he added.

As noted by Red Alert Politics, the Bay Area is headed for a $15 minimum wage in July of 2018, though they’ve already seen over 60 restaurants close since September.

While it would behoove the Bernie Bros picketing for $15 an hour to take a look at this study, it’s entirely unlikely that such evidence would deter their entitled attitudes.

I posted regarding this phenomena before, but I obviously don’t have the gravitas of Harvard (nor, apparently the other sources I borrowed stole from!)

It’s basic economics – businesses expect X dollar profit to be profitable – having the gov’t mandate paying their employees more money lessens profit.  Something has to give.

We’re seeing many more kiosks on restaurant tables and counters these days.

They cost less.

Q.E.D.

“Come With Me If You Want To Live!”

Harvard ‘Shock’ Study: Each $1 Minimum Wage Hike Causes 4-10% Increase In Restaurant Failures

When I was making minimum wage, I changed jobs when I saw I couldn’t make rent and eat on that income.  This was in the 70s, when I began making $1.60 an hour, and moved up to $2.10…

 

And The Adventure Continues, Part Siete

Well, here we are, again…

The contractor returned Thursday to close the hole in the ceiling.  He said their estimate disagreed with the material provided by the insurance company (i.e. they mentioned a repaint, but NOT closing the hole in the ceiling!)  A minimum of THREE WEEKS before they return.

We’ll see.

J., my roomie, continues to have health problems, multiple doctor appointments and physical therapy.  Next is a nerve ablation on her neck, which causes her great pain.

We’ll see.

I discontinued my auto insurance and notified the State my car is no longer on the road, pending sale or donation.  No sale or donation as of yet.  She’s still collecting spider webs…

We’ll see.

J. added me to her auto insurance as an additional driver.

We’ll see.

I’ve my own doctor appointment tomorrow, with a vascular surgeon(?!) regarding my right calf, which continues to be oversized.

We’ll see.

Money continues to be an issue.  Quelle surprise.

We’ll see.

Weather?  Today 111º.  Tomorrow 116º.  Tuesday 118º  That’s The Valley of the Sun in the Summer.  Oh, wait?  It’s not Summer, yet!  😛

We’ll see.

I will update you kind folks as I know more.

Thanks, again for your support.

FACEBOOK – Now Even Creepier!

(from Peter – Bayou Renaissance Man)

Facebook becomes the corporate face of ‘creepy’

If Facebook were actively trying to define itself as ‘creepy’, it couldn’t do much better than this.  Two reports over the past few weeks have caused me to wonder at the sanity of anyone who still uses the service.First, it seems Facebook actively marketed to advertisers its ability to ‘target 6.4 million younger users, some only 14 years old, during moments of psychological vulnerability’.  Wired reports:

Data mining is such a prosaic part of our online lives that it’s hard to sustain consumer interest in it, much less outrage. The modern condition means constantly clicking against our better judgement. We go to bed anxious about the surveillance apparatus lurking just beneath our social media feeds, then wake up to mindlessly scroll, Like, Heart, Wow, and Fave another day.

But earlier this month, The Australian uncovered something that felt like a breach in the social contract: a leaked confidential document prepared by Facebook that revealed the company had offered advertisers the opportunity to target 6.4 million younger users, some only 14 years old, during moments of psychological vulnerability, such as when they felt “worthless,” “insecure,” “stressed,” “defeated,” “anxious,” and like a “failure.”

The 23-page document had been prepared for a potential advertiser and highlighted Facebook’s ability to micro-target ads down to “moments when young people need a confidence boost.” According to The Australian’s report, Facebook had been monitoring posts, photos, interactions, and internet activity in real time to track these emotional lows. (Facebook confirmed the existence of the report, but declined to respond to questions from WIRED about which types of posts were used to discern emotion.)

There’s more at the link.

Not content with that, it seems Facebook is trying to patent ‘creepy technology which spies on people and automatically analyses their facial expressions’.  The Sun reports:

The social network applied for a patent to capture pictures of a user through their smartphone.

The creepy designs, which date back to 2015, were discovered by software company CBI Insight, which has been analysing Mark Zuckerberg’s “emotion technology”.

. . .

Researchers at CBI Insights warned that the plans could put a lot of people off using the service.

“On the one hand, they want to identify which content is most engaging and respond to audience’s reactions, on the other emotion-detection is technically difficult, not to mention a PR and ethical minefield,” it wrote in a blogpost.

Again, more at the link.

So Facebook now wants to use the camera on your smartphone to watch you while you use the device.  Why would anyone in their right mind allow a social media network this kind of intimate access to their thoughts, feelings and emotions?  Is there no value attached to privacy any more?

From my moral perspective (which is admittedly that of an older generation), this seems not only an invasion of privacy, but actively evil – trying to use your own emotions to manipulate you, and/or sell data about you to advertisers and others (for example, political parties analyzing voter emotions and behavior) who will use it to manipulate you.

News reports like this make me devoutly grateful that I have no Facebook presence at all!  If you do, in heaven’s name, why do you want to expose yourself to this???

Peter

I joined FB long before I began blogging, or even reading other’s blogs.  I liked the Internet, and it just seemed to be the social thing to do.  (I was doing the IRC and bulletin boards before THAT!)
Yeah, I’m old.  😛
But, considering Pandora’s Box has already been opened, do I want to make it even easier for the alphabet soup of government, or private corporations or citizens?  Is it even worth the effort, now that the cat’s escaped the bag?
Maybe.  I am considering leaving FB.  Most folks who care I blog know Guffaw is my nom-de-Internet, and can do research to determine my FB moniker and extrapolate real info and data from there.
As if that’s worth anything…

Convergence And Social Justice

(copied in it’s entirety from Vox Populi)

On the convergence of Breitbart

Once an organization starts celebrating diversity, cucking and convergence are soon to follow:

The full exchange shows McHugh stating the truth that all mainstream media establishments seem to dance around, and then reminding someone who is not English that his opinion is not necessarily on point. In return, the Breitbart kaffeeklatsch erupted:

A number of Breitbart colleagues, who chose to remain anonymous, also attacked Ms McHugh for her Islamophobic comments. Speaking to CNN anonymously on Sunday, one said they found them “appalling” while another branded them “terrible”.

…This is by no means the first time she has made inflammatory remarks about race. She once told her 19,000 Twitter followers: “Mexicans wrecked Mexico and think invading the USA will magically cure them of their retarded dysfunction. Lol.”

It is rare for Breitbart, a publication which has been accused of writing racist and misogynist articles, to dismiss its employees for their controversial views. Although one exception is the case of Milo Yiannopoulos. In February, the alt-right figurehead, who was one of the site’s most high-profile writers, was forced to resign from the publication after his apparently pro-paedophilia remarks resurfaced in an old podcast.

McHugh said nothing that Ann Coulter, Pat Buchanan and any conservative before 1965 would have admitted was true, and her comments are especially on point regarding recent Muslim terror attacks in the UK and France. If diversity did not exist, the problems of diversity — including the actions of other groups who want to dominate or destroy us — would not afflict us.

Breitbart has succumbed to DR3, or the tendency by conservatives to attempt to “prove” they are non-racist by accusing others of racism, creating a circular firing squad:

Many on the Dissident Right mock cuckservatives for engaging in “DR3” or DemsRRealRacists i.e. incapable of defending their values on their merits, they concede the Left’s moral premises, but accuse them of being the “real racists”, homophobes, sexists etc.

DR3 afflicts the mainstream Right, which struggles for “respectability” or at least less censorship in a Left-leaning time. Big internet giants like Google and Twitter, major publications and big donors often will drop and ignore any publication which crosses the line on race, which in late Leftism means anything but foaming-at-the-mouth advocacy of diversity or having multiple ethnic and racial groups in the same society.

As an implicit endorsement of diversity, DR3 subscribes to the “Magic Dirt” idea that if we take people from the third world, bring them to our lands and instruct them in propaganda for our system and culture, they will take it up and suddenly become us. This both replaces us and replaces their own culture with ours as a dominant colonial power.

When conservatives take up “magic dirt,” it shows that they have been captured by the very group they claim to oppose, namely the Left, since they have adopted Leftist policies like diversity, equality and indoctrination.

As I said in the Darkstream last night, to prevent convergence, you must resist the urge to excitedly embrace rival identities who happen – or merely claim – to share your values. In most cases, you will learn that identity trumps values, and when they bring in more of their identities, your values, no longer shared, will be rapidly jettisoned in favor of social justice values.

Isn’t this what the Left always does?  Consider the Fabian socialists.  They play the long game.

WE must remain honest and consistent in our values, lest they be polluted!

THE COVERT INVASION OF THE WEST

April 21, 2017  (Suarez International)

There are cultural myths that all civilizations seem to adopt. Once they do, it is virtually impossible for them to let go of such myths, even when pursuing them is no longer viable. With the west is the myth of egalitarian inclusion. The idea that all men want the same things, that we can all get along, and that with acceptance and understanding, we can all live together in peace under beautiful rainbows.

Such a naive world view ignores the incessant jihad that the west has faced for a generation. And that jihad, both violent and overt, as well as cultural and covert.

Just this week, we not only had a Black American Jihadist shoot and kill a number of “white devils” in California, but we also had a French Policeman killed and another seriously injured in a proactive jihad ambush in Paris. It has become so common, and seemingly accepted that I will bet you cannot name all the terrorist events in the USA in the last 12 months.

Another factor in this is the west’s abject fear of being considered unfair or (gasp) racist. Even if we stop to consider that a religion or a political movement is not based on race, the language remains. And the word has power over westerners. At some point westerners, and I suspect the Europeans will be first, will have to ask themselves what is the greater danger – being called a racist or losing their civilization.

Another third cultural habit of the west is self-hatred and a deliberate ignoring of history. The self-hatred I don’t know whence it came. I will bet it has some basis in liberal-socialist thinking.

Perhaps one of the readers can comment.

But the ignorance of history is a crucial element here…specially for the young. History is rewritten to fit the modern narratives which support the other cultural habits and myths. But not knowing the real story is a problem. What would a man do, for instance, who had never been told that a hot stove will burn his hand. He would not know what he faced when coming in contact with one. Ignorant of the effects of hot steel on his hand, he would go ahead with his plans to touch it.

Islam has been on a mission to conquer and convert the world for a thousand years. At first, as shown in the video below, the methods have been via military invasion and conquest. But today, the would-be invaders are using far more subtle means. Theirs is the slippery slope of compromise and appeasement…the “cultural” and “societal” jihad that some writers speak of. And with every point of compliance from western nations, they take another small step toward their objectives. The west has helped in that mission by its policies. And if steps are not taken to change the west will lose…and it will lose by defeating itself.

So here is a history lesson. Its not very long, but it is informative.

https://youtu.be/c7y2LRcf4kc

 

Image may contain: 7 people, crowd
Just yesterday, ISIS attacked people at a Shiite shrine in Iran.  This evil is not just for Western democracies.  Of course, the  Shia Iranians have their own agenda.
It’s been estimated that 10 to 15% of Muslims worldwide have been ‘radicalized’.  While still a small minority, that’s not an insignificant number.
Islam is the fastest growing religion in the World.
This ‘problem’ is not easily solved.

‘I Consider Myself A Guest Here’

Canadian William Shatner REFUSES

To Trash Trump: ‘I Consider Myself a

Guest Here’

William Shanter, the ICONIC Star Trek actor himself, refuses to talk ill of President Donald Trump regardless of his feelings for politics. In a recent interview he had with the Daily Beast he spoke all about it, and his new book, ‘Spirit of the Horse’. During this interview, Shatner made it really clear that his name was not to be added to an open letter that was released out of Hollywood last year denouncing Trump’s candidacy.

“I didn’t do that. I would never have done that,” the actor said of the anti-Trump letter posted on the Trek Against Trump Facebook page last September.

There were however, notable personalities of the original star trek series like George Takei (of course) who played Hikaru Sulu, and Star Trek Into Darkness director JJ.Abrams, who was a very avid Clinton supporter did sign that letter.

The Beast reporter did attempt more than once to get Shatner to dish on Trump, and the actor stuck to his guns refusing to do so, making it very clear that he wasn’t willing to speak ill of the president.

“I don’t want to discuss Trump or [George] Takei,” Shatner said, adding: “Listen, I’m Canadian and I’m apolitical. I love America. I consider myself a guest here.”

“I won’t do anything that might get me deported,” the 86-year-old star joked.

The Priceline pitchman, known best for his role as Captain James T. Kirk, commander of the U.S.S. Enterprise, also revealed that while he and Abrams have discussed him having a role in the rebooted Star Trek film franchise, the director hasn’t extended the offer.

“I’ve met with J.J. Abrams, who seems to be running the film franchise now,” Shatner said. “Though I’ve repeatedly expressed my interest in being in one of the Star Trek movies they seem to have no interest in bringing back old Captain James T. Kirk.”

Shatner, who made his small-screen debut as Captain Kirk in 1966, also revealed that he has never seen any of the new films.

A lifelong lover of horses, Shatner’s new book Spirit of the Horse is a love letter to his four-legged friends.

Although he is very liberal in his political beliefs, he knows how to stand for those beliefs without being ridiculous and out of line like his other Hollywood friends.

Yep. I could sit next to him on a plane, introduce myself as a conservative and he’d like me.

That’s how it’s suppose to be.

h/t Facebook, I Have the Truth.com

AMEN, Mr. Shatner and Mr. Wendal!

Now, I’m not an unabashed fan of the current President (although he is certainly a vast improvement over the last one!)  Having said that, I tire of the juvenile and sometimes criminal actions taken against the President.  Like it or not, he IS the President!  And deserves some respect.

(I’d preferred a more libertarian President, stopping this ongoing assault on the Fourth Amendment.  One with a better speaking style.  Wish in one hand…)

To see and hear (most) Hollywood types continue to attack and beat on him is more than shameful.  YES, everyone has a right to an opinion.

But, lets be adult about it, shall we?  Disagree on policy choices, not hairstyles!

 

Press Check, Much?

(from TFB, in part)

Rebuttal: “The Folly of the‘Press Check’”

Browsing through the interwebs as we writers do, I came across an interesting proposition from one Mr. Jeff Gonzales that the “press check” is not appropriate for …”when you strap a firearm onto your body (unless the instructor specifically asks you to use an unloaded pistol or rifle).”

I disagree. I’m no Navy SEAL like Mr. Gonzales, but this assertion fails my logical tests.

Unlike rifles where it is easy in an administrative situation to see the double-stack magazine change sides, most handguns are single-feed weapons and as such, it is near impossible to tell that the weapon is loaded without one of two things – a loaded chamber indicator (this is why I like them) or a press check. Press checks are ideal for administrative times – exactly when you are strapping a firearm to one’s body. In fact, administrative handling is the one time you should be handling a firearm unless drawing to fire or de-gun.

Should one press check in the middle of combat? I would assert the situation dictates it – but it’s likely a hard no in almost all circumstances. But, in an admin function why would one not want to verify their readiness? More on this below.

Mr. Gonzales continues:

 “Why do students want to perform a weapons check? Because we as instructors have failed. We’ve failed to encourage and empower students to understand the importance of readiness.”

Now, I will say that Mr. Gonzales is quite right on his points on willingness, attitude, and readiness, but readiness includes having the weapon ready to perform and if one does not have a loaded chamber indicator – the only way to do that is to press check the gun.

We want to perform a weapons check because we are learned and empowered to actually understand that malfunctions happen. I am checking to make sure that the most critical shot – my first one – has the highest chances of success.

I instruct my students on the importance of handling themselves responsibly with loaded firearms as soon as they can handle their gun safely.

There is nothing worse than drawing your firearm, aiming it at your attacker and hearing a click. To reduce the odds of that happening, start as you mean to finish.

There is absolutely no logical argument here. How is a press check not handling oneself responsibly so long as the firearms safety rules are followed? Then, to imply that BECAUSE one did the press check that they are going to draw a dead trigger is nuts. Do it right – ensure your weapon is in battery and in fact one of the key points of the earlier argument of readiness.

If you feel the need to press check your firearm, you need to ask yourself why. And do whatever it takes to be confident in yourself and your gun’s condition. So that you’re as ready as you can be to fight. And win.

This is a flat-out oxymoron. How can one assert that one should do “whatever it takes to be confident” yet throw out one of the processes that makes one confident?

I press check my guns to ensure that I am ready to win – either combat or competition. Press checking is simple and follows an old maxim: “trust, but verify.”

I choose to verify.

Personally, I have only press-checked at the range, prior to dry practice, or prior to starting a string in competition.  Those few times where the possibility of actual combat have occurred (as with entering a previously locked building as a security guard, or my own home on a couple of occasions after finding the door ajar (yes, I know, I teach retreat to a safe location and call the PD, too!) I was too focused on clearing the area rather than checking to see if the pistol that was a moment prior in my holster was properly chambered!

Taking such action seems to me to be unnecessary, and possibly dangerous.

I guess I agree with the Seal.

YRMV

 

A Cultural Shift

I’ve always owned a car.  At least, since I was a licensed driver.

First, a loaner from my parents, then a used car (bought with assistance from my parents).  Then, a succession of beaters (to which Dave-the-mechanic can attest!).

Finally, after the accident, I bought my dream car – a 1989 Isuzu Trooper! This was in 1995.  Most of my previous cars were at least 10 years old when purchased.  I just never had the money/credit to buy new.

When the Izuzu ‘gave up the ghost’ seven years later, I already had begun looking for a replacement.  The engine blew, and I needed a car.  I was still working, commuting, and one really needs a car to get around the Valley.

Credit, money, income limited my choices.  I ended up with a 2000 Oldsmobile Intrigue. (This was 2002!)  She was NOT my first choice, but I did qualify for her.

Who knew she would last fifteen years?

The sad part is, now she is worth maybe $500, if I’m lucky.  She still runs (the engine is still powerful), but needs major work – rack and pinion leak, crankcase leak, a/c compressor, engine mounts and window regulators, and many other things.  I’ve been advised not to drive her unless it’s absolutely necessary.

And, as I now drive J’s car (a 2006 Honda Element, the a/c works!) it seems silly to insure two cars.  We rarely need both.

SO…I’m either selling or donating the car.

It will be the first time since 1970 (broken beater car downtime excluded) that I’ve not actually HAD a car.

I’m looking at one Internet site who claims to buy cars.  As well as Father Joe’s Villages charities and the Salvation Army.

And it makes me sad and a little scared.

I can no longer walk very far w/o pain.  And, what if J’s car goes South – then what?

To get the Olds road-worthy is a minimum $1000.  Seems silly on a $500 car, when a second car is available.

So she’s on the block.

Sigh.

 

 

With A Stroke Of A Pen…

(from Chris Farrell’s On Watch, in part)

 It’s time for some extreme transparency. 

You’ve heard President Trump talk about extreme vetting for persons seeking to the enter the US from terror hot-spots – well, we need to aggressively exercise a similar technique when it comes to government records that you are owed through the Freedom of Information Act or FOIA.

Judicial Watch files more FOIA requests and litigates more FOIA cases than any other organization in the country.  Much of the Washington corruption you have heard about in the news started with investigative work by Judicial Watch.  Cases like “Fast & Furious,” the political weaponization of the IRS, the effort to cover-up Benghazi, Hillary Clinton’s reckless criminality concerning her outlaw email server, and many other cases.

The FOIA law allows for agencies and departments of the Executive Branch of government to make “discretionary disclosures.”  In plain English, that means President Trump and his cabinet secretaries can release whatever they want – whenever they wish to do so.  It’s up to them.  They can exercise their discretion to release records that are of broad general and news media interest concerning important public policy issues and/or the operations of the federal government.  These discretionary disclosures take nothing more than a stroke of the pen.

Ironically, the Department of Justice under Attorney General Sessions is currently making the exact same legal arguments as the Obama administration – and using all the double-talk and excuses from the Obama era, too.  The Justice Department remains in full cover-up mode for anything that would be embarrassing or illegal for the Obama administration.  That’s frustrating and disappointing, but you need to remember that the rank-and-file staff attorneys at Justice Department headquarters are largely Leftists that continue to support the Obama agenda.  President Trump appears to have a tough road ahead.  BUT, it doesn’t have to be that way.

Discretionary disclosures!  Extreme transparency!  With the stroke of a pen, President Trump and his cabinet secretaries can order the release of all government records concerning any number of important issues and lingering questions.

Here’s just a small sample of some of the cases Judicial Watch is investigating and litigating that could be released in full for the public and news media to examine:

  • FBI 302s – or investigative reports of interviews of President Obama, Rahm Emanuel and Valerie Jarrett during criminal investigation of Rod Blagojevich trying to sell Obama’s Senate seat.
  • The entire FBI’s investigative file of Secretary Clinton’s email practices.
  • Records about the tarmac meeting between former President Clinton and Attorney General Lynch at the Phoenix airport.
  • Draft indictments of Hillary Rodham Clinton prepared by Whitewater Deputy Independent Counsel Hickman Ewing, Jr.
  • Records about the Intelligence Community’s decision not to conduct a damage assessment of Secretary Clinton’s criminal email practices.
  • Records of notes, updates, or reports in the Office of the Secretary of State about Benghazi.

If you’re looking for some accountability for what’s happened in this country for the past eight years there’s a starting point.  But, there’s much, much more.

It’s time for extreme transparency.  Let’s get past the cover-ups and double-talk from the past eight years.  Your employees owe you records and answers. President Trump can provide them with the stroke of a pen.

I’m Chris Farrell . . . On Watch 

Or not.

And what about the current administration’s transparency and accountability?

So much for draining the swamp!

"Round up the usual suspects."

In Loving Memory…