WHY THE MASS EXODUS?
by Burt Prelutsky
If you want to Comment directly to Burt Prelutsky, please mention my name Rudy. burtprelutsky@icloud.com 

One of the bigger mysteries in the political world is why so many Republican members of Congress are announcing they are retiring when their current terms end. The latest to announce his premature departure is Rep. Trey Gowdy of South Carolina.

Can anyone explain why there’s a stampede of conservatives quitting when it generally takes dynamite to dislodge incumbents in either party? It would be different if they had a good reason for leaving; for instance, if they knew they had no chance of being re-elected, or if they could only envision a bleak future in which Chuck clown-Schumer and Nancy Pulosi would be calling the shots, it might make sense to depart of their own volition.

But, thanks to Trump’s record number of de-regulations and the passage of the tax bill, the economy is booming. The GOP might not only maintain control of both houses in November but could easily increase its advantage.

Typically, the rats are expected to leave a sinking ship. These days, it’s some of the best members of the crew that are deserting, leaving the rats to run the ship.

* Another bewildering thing that is taking place in Washington is the way that in the wake of obvious malfeasance at the FBI, the Democrats have rallied to the defense of law enforcement.

It wasn’t that long ago that the Democrats, responding to liar-nObama’s racist dog whistle, were attacking the police, calling them storm-troopers who signed up, not to serve and protect, but in order to persecute and kill black people.

The change has been so sudden, I half-expect to see congressional Democrats outfitted with those protective collars worn by people suffering from whiplash.

* In the past week or so, a few of my eagle-eyed readers have called a few mistakes to my attention.  Well, bless their hearts.

In one article, Margaret let me know that I not only renamed Peter Strzok’s adulterous mistress Lisa Page “Lisa Evans,” but called a koi pond a “poi pond.” In another article, Bob couldn’t wait to let me know that I called an ICBM an “IBM.”

Some people might assume that because I write so much, such mistakes are inevitable. The problem with that theory is that I made the same kind of mistakes when I was only turning out a couple of articles a week. While it’s true that I probably made fewer in those days because I was writing less, I have no doubt that I was making them at the same rate. Probably one every three or four articles.

As I see it, most of my goofs can be traced to the fact that I’m a mediocre typist. I am constantly having to back up and add or remove a letter from a word I typed because I hit the wrong key. The trouble is that once a word is on the page or, in this case, the screen, my eye tends to see the word it expects to see. That being the case, I think it’s easy to understand why I would “see” poi as koi and IBM as ICBM.

I don’t mind confessing to these kinds of errors because they didn’t constitute lies or negate the points I was trying to make. In fact, what I found remarkable is that only two readers called the mistakes to my attention.  Now it’s possible that others spotted the gaffes but didn’t think it was worth their time to point them out. Perhaps, unlike those nitpicking know-it-alls, Bob and Margaret, they took pity on an old man and decided it was kinder to leave me with my delusion of competence.

But I suspect that most of you simply “saw” what you expected to see.

* One of my subscribers sent me a picture of liar-Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pulosi and mad-Maxine Waters, and challenged me to blast them.

I let him know that I had recently run out of insults, but I had written to the factory and they assured me that a new shipment was on its way.

* Writing in The New American, Charles Scaliger shared a few historical facts that left me reeling. We all know that, thanks mainly to the likes of Woodrow Wilson, FDR, Jimmy Carter, liar-Bill Clinton and Barack liar-nObama, the federal government has been transformed from what the Founders intended it to be into a grotesque monstrosity. It’s as if someone had picked up a child’s balloon and not stopped huffing and puffing until it was the size of the Goodyear blimp.

In 1900, a storm with the intensity of Hurricane Harvey hit Galveston, Texas. Although no exact number of deaths was ever agreed upon, approximately 12,000 people perished, and virtually every single structure was demolished.

In fact, the Galveston disaster killed more people than have died in all of America’s other hurricanes combined.

Yet, as Mr. Scaliger reports, within five days, water, postal and telegraph services, were restored, and cotton was being shipped from its port two weeks later.

What makes the recovery worth mentioning is that the federal government was barely involved. Nearly all of the heavy lifting was accomplished by locals and the state of Texas.

Six years later, San Francisco was hit by its famous earthquake, which, in combination with the ensuing fire, destroyed the most prosperous city on the West Coast. The federal government quickly responded, but it took the form of calling out the military to help maintain law and order and to erect temporary shelter for the suddenly homeless.

But the federal government was not called upon to empty the nation’s treasury on the city’s account. Instead, San Francisco sought financing from a variety of private sources, promising its benefactors a business-friendly environment, rife with opportunities for profit. Among the first responders were Standard Oil, Andrew Carnegie, the City of London and the Bank of Canada.

Those who think that only the Feds are up to dealing with natural disasters will point out that a century ago, it wasn’t nearly as expensive to rebuild a city. But it is equally true that billionaires did not exist in those days and if anyone had predicted that a century later, the United States would be twenty trillion dollars in debt, he would have been locked away with the other boobies.

If anyone had possessed five hundred million dollars in the 19th century, he could have probably bought the entire world, and still had enough left over for cab fare and a ham sandwich. After all, in 1803, we had purchased the 828,000 square miles of the Louisiana Territory from France for $15 million. It’s true that a dollar went a lot further in those days.  In that particular case, it went from the Mississippi River to the Rocky Mountains and from the Gulf of Mexico to Canada.

In 1867, a scant 39 years prior to the Frisco earthquake, we paid Russia a crummy $7.2 million for the 664,000 square miles of Alaska.

Perhaps it’s time that the states stopped treating Uncle Sam like Daddy Warbucks and began dealing with their own damn disasters.

* There are times when I feel as if time were standing still. Then there are those other times when I get hit with a jolt of reality and realize that not only is time not standing still, it’s laced up its track shoes and is going for a world’s record.

This afternoon, while looking up something, I discovered that Rodney Allen Rippy, the cute little black kid who charmed the nation in a series of Jack in the Box commercials a while back is now 50 years old!
If you want to Comment directly to Burt Prelutsky, please mention my name Rudy. burtprelutsky@icloud.com 

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LIGHTER SIDE

Political Cartoons by Gary Varvel

Political Cartoons by Henry Payne

Political Cartoons by Mike Lester

ALERT ALERT

Newt Says What The Rest Of Us Are Thinking:
It’s Time To Throw Peter Strzok In Jail

Disgraced FBI special agent Peter Strzok, a senior member of the bureau who gained notoriety in recent months over his anti-Trump text messages to a colleague, was grilled for nearly 10 hours during a joint congressional committee hearing on Thursday.

At issue was Strzok’s anti-Trump texts to former FBI lawyer and lover Lisa Page that coincided with his leading of the investigations into both former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s private email server scandal and the alleged Trump/Russia 2016 election collusion, as well as his involvement in the subsequent Robert Mueller special counsel probe.

The hearing proved to be a heated battle, as Strzok displayed an arrogant smugness in defiance of pointed questions from Republicans that he largely danced around, while Democrats sought to upend and undermine the entire hearing with a plethora of interruptions, parliamentary maneuvers and outright praise for the man who helped let Clinton off the hook while ferociously targeting Trump.

Former House speaker and presidential candidate Newt Gingrich was less than impressed with Strzok’s performance and cooperation in the hearing and suggested during an appearance on Fox Business that the FBI agent should be held in contempt of Congress.

“I think they have to move to hold him in contempt and throw him in jail,” Gingrich said of Congress and Strzok.

“This is a person who is willfully standing up and refusing to appear as a congressional witness and he was a government employee at the time,” he continued.

“He has every obligation to inform the legislative branch, and I don’t think they have any choice except to move a motion of contempt because he is fundamentally — and so is his girlfriend (Page) — they’re both fundamentally in violation of the entire constitutional process,” he added.

Page had been subpoenaed to appear before Congress on Wednesday but refused to appear, saying she’d been unable to review relevant documents prior to the scheduled hearing, a closed-door hearing that has since been rescheduled for Friday.

Gingrich was not the only one who thought Strzok deserved to be held in contempt of Congress, as House Judiciary Committee chairman Bob Goodlatte informed Strzok that he remained at risk of such during the hearing, according to The Daily Caller.

That warning from Goodlatte came after Strzok had refused to answer a straightforward question posed by House Oversight Committee chairman Trey Gowdy, regarding how many people Strzok had personally interviewed between a specific set of dates in relation to the Clinton email investigation.

“Mr. Strzok, please be advised that you can either comply with the committee’s direction to answer the question or refuse to do so,” Goodlatte stated. “The latter of which will place you in risk of a contempt citation and potential criminal liability. Do you understand that? The question is directed to the witness.”

Strzok still refused to answer, citing instructions received from his counsel and the FBI to not answer certain questions on certain topics.

Goodlatte replied, “Mr. Strzok, in a moment we will continue with the hearing, but based on your refusal to answer the question, at the conclusion of the day we will be recessing the hearing and you will be subject to recall to allow the committee to consider proceeding with a contempt citation.”

It is unclear if Goodlatte and the committee ultimately did consider a contempt citation for Strzok following the contentious hearing, nor is it clear if Page will be held in contempt for blowing off her subpoenaed appearance on Wednesday.

Hopefully Congress will follow through on the threats of contempt followed by actual jail time against Strzok and Page in response to their uncooperative behavior and failure to appear when subpoenaed, if only to ensure that future witnesses called before Congress for sensitive or contentious hearings don’t think they can get away with the same sort of behavior.

TEA PARTY TARGET

Cops Sent To Seize Veteran’s Guns Without A Warrant, He Refused To Turn Them Over

“No one from the state was going to take my firearms without due process,” says Leonard Cottrell, after successfully staving off law enforcement and the courts from confiscating his firearms. Cottrell, an Iraq War veteran, was at work when he received a phone call from his wife. The cops were there, busting in to take his guns away. It all started after a casual conversation his son had at school.

Ammoland reports:

Police said their visit was sparked by a conversation that Leonard Cottrell Jr.’s 13-year-old son had had with another student at the school. Cottrell said he was told his son and the other student were discussing security being lax and what they would have to do to escape a school shooting at Millstone Middle School.

The conversation was overheard by another student, who went home and told his parents, and his mother panicked. The mom then contacted the school, which contacted the State Police, according to Cottrell.

The visit from the troopers came around 10 p.m. on June 14, 2018, Cottrell said, a day after Gov. Phil Murphy signed several gun enforcement bills into law.

After several hours, Cottrell said police agreed not to take the guns but to allow him to move them to another location while the investigation continued.

“They had admitted several times that my son made no threat to himself or other students or the school or anything like that,” he said.

Cottrell said he made it very clear to the police that he was “not going to willingly give up my constitutional rights where there’s no justifiable cause, no warrants, no nothing.”

The troopers searched his son’s room and found nothing, Cottrell said.

“To appease everybody, I had my firearms stored someplace else,” he said. “That way, during the course of the investigation, my son doesn’t have access to them and it’s on neutral ground and everything and everybody’s happy.”

“In the Garden State, the usual approach is to confiscate first and ask questions later, and victims of this approach often don’t know their rights. ‎In this case, the victim pushed back and confiscation was avoided — but the circumstances surrounding the incident are outrageous. A student expressing concern over lack of security is not a reason to send police to the student’s home — but it might be a reason to send police to the school to keep students and teachers safe” said Scott L. Bach, executive director of the Association of New Jersey Rifle & Pistol Clubs and a member of the NRA board of directors.

NJ.com adds:

Cottrell, a disabled U.S. Army veteran who served three tours during “Operation Iraqi Freedom,” owns a shotgun and a pistol. He has all the correct permits to own the firearms, he said, and predominately uses the shotgun to hunt.

He said his wife allowed the officers to enter the home, and with her permission, they searched his son’s room — but they did not find any weapons, he said. The officers, he said, didn’t have a warrant but still wanted to take his guns. Cottrell wouldn’t let them.

“No one from the state was going to take my firearms without due process,” he said Thursday.

He said the attempted seizure resulted because of a new law Gov. Phil Murphy signed into law that makes it easier for police to confiscate guns when someone in the state poses a threat to themselves or others. The law is part of a broader statewide effort to make New Jersey’s gun laws even tougher amid the national outcry for more gun control in the wake of the school shooting in Parkland, Florida.

Cottrell said the officers “danced around the issue” when he confronted them about the new law.

A New Jersey State Police spokesman declined to answer questions about whether this incident had anything to do with the new gun laws.

In an email, Sgt. First Class Jeff Flynn said, “Troopers responded to Mr. Cottrell’s residence in reference to the report of a possible school threat. Based on their investigation, it was determined that Mr. Cottrell’s weapons did not need to be seized.”

David Codrea, writing for Ammoland, further added:

To appease everybody, I had my firearms stored someplace else,” New Jersey gun owner and Army veteran Leonard Cottrell Jr. told New Jersey 101.5 after a June 14 visit from State Police,. “That way, during the course of the investigation, my son doesn’t have access to them and it’s on neutral ground and everything and everybody’s happy.”

Cottrell was recalling state troopers showing up at his door to confiscate firearms after his 13-year-old son was overheard discussing lax school safety with a friend.

Indoctrinated by a pervasive snitch culture — one that never seems to deter the blatantly obvious demonic nutjobs — the eavesdropping student told his parents, who told school administrators, who in turn called the cops. (Note “If you see something, say something” carries risks of its own – if you report the wrong person, you could end up smeared as a “hater.”)

“Cottrell said he made it very clear to the police that he was ‘not going to willingly give up my constitutional rights where there’s no justifiable cause, no warrants, no nothing,’” the report continued. Despite that, his home is now a “gun free zone” and that has been publicized by the media. He has, in fact, willingly ceded those rights, and by his own words in order to make authorities “happy.”

Before judging him for that, consider the environment that is New Jersey. Then consider the overwhelming force the state can bring to bear, and its predisposition to using it, especially if it’s to enforce citizen disarmament. It’s easy to anonymously declare “Molon Labe” on the internet. In meatspace, resistance is more effective when the aggressor doesn’t get to dictate the time and place, especially if that place is your home and you have family inside.

Appeasing gun-grabbers, generally couched as “compromise,” is impossible. It’s like throwing a scrap of flesh to a circling pack of jackals and expecting them to be sated and leave you alone — instead of sensing opportunity and fear, and moving in closer.

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