If there’s anything I’ve learned in my years on the Interwebz, it’s that the Internet loves outrage! Outrage goes beyond the old media adage, “If it bleeds, it leads.” Outrage gives people purpose, notoriety, and attention. It’s virtue signalling that provides the veneer of caring for the victim, or helps paint the outraged themselves into a victim. Outrage is everywhere, because it sounds more urgent and interesting than plain anger.
Witness the Trigglypuff phenomenon. That’s what outrage gets you nowadays, no matter how ludicrous. Worldwide attention, some sympathy, and notoriety.
During the past year, we’ve seen outrage at cops. Riots. Black Lives Matter protests against police officers. And yes, even murders. The perpetually outraged have denied police officers service in restaurants and stores, tainted their food, and treated them like pariahs.
Are there bad cops? Yeah. There are criminal cops. There are negligent cops. There are cops who don’t give a shit. There are cops who are paranoid and incompetent. There are cops who are racist as well – just like in any other profession.
There are also police officers who have dedicated their lives to protecting and serving and to working to make their cities and neighborhoods safe for peaceable citizens. They put on a uniform, leave families behind every single day, and go to work knowing full well that they may not return. They kiss their loved ones “goodbye,” with the full understanding that it may be the last time they do so. They could be your neighbors. They could be your friends. They could be your family members.
Many times there is more than one side to one story, and opportunistic swine who seek to manufacture outrage to draw attention to themselves or their causes tend to take advantage of their bully pulpit, their access to social media, their microphones – real and metaphorical – to foment contempt, to pit the populace against police, to arouse rage and foster animosity between the “victims” and those they perceive to be in power.
This sounds like one of those cases.
Dad Pens Harrowing Facebook Post After Cop Points Gun at His 7-year-old!
Yes, it certainly does sound harrowing and outrageous. How could a police officer threaten to shoot a father and his child who were guilty of nothing more than traveling home on vacation! The father details the frightening tale in a lengthy Facebook post in which he recounts how this “particularly aggressive” officer tapped on the rear passenger side window with his pistol, scaring his child, how he wouldn’t listen when the concerned dad tried to explain they were in a rental car and were just coming back from vacation, how he “leered at me down the barrel of his pistol” and pointed his pistol at the child threatening to shoot her, how he threatened to “murder” him.
And of course, there’s the usual “I love you all. I’m thinking of suing.” conclusion.
It certainly does sound like the police officer overreacted, but I did want to see what the other side had to say. It’s only fair to objectively take a look at both sides of the story.
It does appear correct that the officer stopped the vehicle. The license plate on the vehicle had been reported as stolen, and the car rental company had not replaced the vehicle plates when the front plate was reported stolen.
The officer also reports that the dad – identified as Kenneth Walton – “was not responding to officer’s commands while seated in his vehicle so the trooper moved up the passenger-side window and got the occupant’s attention by tapping on the window with his hand. It was at this time the trooper realized there was a child in the car as she sat up into view. Mr. Walton was ordered out of the car and detained in handcuffs while the trooper conducted his investigation.”
I can see why he ordered Walton out of the car. Last thing you want is for anything to escalate in close quarters when there’s a child in the back seat. It made sense to immobilize the potential criminal while you figure out what the hell is going on.
Especially during a high risk stop, in a high-trafficked area!
Yes, it does appear the officer was being risk-averse until he concluded his investigation of the situation, and he probably was aggressive and more than a bit frightened, given that it was night time, and the stop took place on a road known for drug trafficking and other shit. That said, once he concluded that the vehicle wasn’t stolen, that the rental company simply forgot to replace the plates, he released Walton, who by all accounts was cooperative.
“AZ DPS understands and sympathizes with the concerns the family has regarding this situation,” says Captain Ezekiel Zesiger, Flagstaff District Commander. “Anytime a police contact is made for a possibly stolen vehicle our troopers are trained to take all necessary precautions. In this instance, the vehicle’s license plate was reported as stolen. Troopers must adhere to their training in regards to conducting a high risk traffic stop in these types of situations. Training and protocols are in place for the safety of the Trooper as well as the safety of citizens. Fortunately, the subject in this case was compliant with the trooper and the situation ended peacefully with no one being harmed.”
It was a tense situation for all involved. Both the officer and Walton, I’m sure, were nervous – both with good reason. Other officers were at the scene, and by Walton’s own admission, were comforting his daughter while the investigation was going on. Of course, she was nervous! There were bright lights and a bunch of nervous police officers. It was dark, and her father was nervous.
But all’s well that ends well. Walton got the name and badge number of the officer, as well as the name of his supervisor. He admits the entire ordeal lasted only a few minutes until the mystery of the stolen license plate was solved. And once released, he was on his way to the rest of his vacation.
Shitty situation, to be sure, but ultimately resolved peaceably.
But Walton is apparently one of those opportunists who can’t let a situation go without using it to advance his cause.
The first thing he does is screech that his story NEEDS TO BE SHARED! SHARE IT! NOW!
Second, he recounts the story, and inserts a bit of his own editorializing – assessments that have no basis in fact.
He was in the back of the car, detained and immobilized, and he personally heard the dispatcher tell the police officer that the man he had in the back of his vehicle was not a suspect. He was released after that revelation.
And yet, he claims to know the state of mind of the officer, whom he assesses to have been out of control.
He admits in another post that he “relied on my daughter’s recollection of the officer knocking on the window with his weapon. If it was his wedding ring, it was very loud. It caught me by surprise and I turned to see the gun just inches from her window, so it appeared he’d used it to rap on the window, but my daughter’s recollection could be wrong. I’m not sure if this part really matters.”
So the claim that the officer “pointed the gun” at his child was based on the recollection of a terrified 7-year-old, and he believed it, because the officer knocked really loudly! Got it.
He also claims that the only reason he’s still alive is because he’s a white guy.
I realized it was very possible that the only reason I was alive was because I am a scrawny 48-year-old white man wearing a Micky Mouse t-shirt and cargo shorts and hiking boots. The officer that arrested me was so pumped up on adrenaline and eager to get a “bad guy” that he could barely control himself, and if I’d looked just a little bit more threatening to him – because I was black, or young, or long-haired, or tattooed, or didn’t speak English – I believe he might have pulled the trigger.
I guess Walton is a mind reader? A psychiatrist?
No. Definitely not a shrink or a psychic. But he is a criminal and a thief, who apparently is looking to cash in on the outrage he manufactured.
On April 28, 2000 he posted an auction on eBay for an oil painting that attracted a closing bid of US$135,805 and which bidders speculated might be a work by Richard Diebenkorn due to its resemblance to the artist’s work, the existence of the monogram “RD52” on the canvas, and the fact that the seller claimed to have found it at a garage sale in Berkeley, California, where Diebenkorn had lived. In the description accompanying the auction, Walton seemed to have no knowledge of art and claimed to have no idea of the painting’s value. The auction generated international headlines and, after a series of investigative reports by Judith H. Dobrzynski in the New York Times revealed that Walton was in fact an experienced art seller who had sold several forged paintings and worked with other sellers who bid on each other’s items, Walton was banned from eBay, and the FBI launched an investigation into his trading activities.
He’s already asking people on social media to help him research the disposition of a civil rights violation case.
He’s got thousands of BLM supporters egging him on in the original post, propping up their own agenda with hackneyed BLM shibboleths. After all, if you don’t wallow in your own white privilege, you won’t get nearly as much support, now will you?
Everything about this screams “OPPORTUNISTIC SWINE TRYING TO PROFIT FROM A SUIT!”
Let’s hope the justice system gives Walton the finger for manufacturing outrage, using his daughter’s fear, and the BLM movement agitprop and stirring shit up in an environment where relations between the races and between the police and citizens are already wrought with tension.
Last night, addressing the Arlington County Republican Committee, the leader of the 8th Congressional District VCN/NextGen State Central Committee slate implied that the Conservative Fellowship was some ‘special interest,’ while also claiming her ticket was not beholden to any special interest. This is a complete falsehood, and saying it with a straight face requires unmitigated gall.
Indeed, in her quest to make the case for open primaries (more on this later), this candidate has lied numerous times in this campaign about the state of RPV’s finances and about the history and financial impact of statewide conventions.
I don’t subscribe to the “participation trophy” view of the nomination contest, so I favor party-run processes to choose our nominees. Nevertheless, even if you don’t, you should still support the Fellowship ticket in the 8th. Let me share a number of reasons why.
First, we really AREN’T beholden to anyone. The Fellowship doesn’t stand monolithically for anything beyond a commitment to ensuring the grassroots are given a voice, and to adhering to the values of the Virginia Republican Creed in a broad sense. There is a large diversity of opinion in our group.
In contrast, our opponents are cat’s-paws for many of the folks who seek to control the party from the top down, and are willing to cripple it to make that happen.
The Virginia Conservative Network is the Young Guns Virginia group rebranded. Its core is the same crowd. Eric Cantor, George Allen, Mike Thomas, Mike Wade, and the list goes on. These people see RPV as a cash cow, and believe it is their sinecure to run the party, and that the hoi polloi (the rest of us, actual grassroots Republicans) should simply shut up and take our marching orders from them.
Not least among them is our old friend Ray Allen, who infamously bragged that he would starve the party financially by keeping the donor class from supporting it. Interesting that the main criticism last night by this same State Central candidate was that RPV raised 10% of what DPVA did in the first quarter. If true, she and her allies had a direct hand in ensuring a low fundraising haul. With one hand, they do their best to deprive RPV of the funds needed to be competitive, while on the other, criticizing Chairman Whitbeck and the State Central Committee for a situation of their own creation
[As an aside, the bulk of the Conservative Fellowship wanted a Presidential Nominating Convention. Does anyone seriously doubt that our coffers would be overflowing with cash right now if we’d had our convention in late March, as originally proposed, and it was used to bind our delegates? Even without that contest, this year’s convention is poised to clear hundreds of thousands of dollars. A conservative estimate for a presidential convention had RPV clearing north of $500,000.]
If this lobbyist/consultant-driven crowd regains control of RPV, which they had until 2013, and really until John Whitbeck became Chair, RPV will again be run with the interests of current and former elected officials, establishment candidates, and consultants, and the profit margins of McGuire Woods and Creative Direct in mind. The conflict of interest is massive.
NextGen GOP is a Republican ‘millenial’-themed group founded by former staffers and supporters of Bill Bolling, and allies of the Kilbergs, who supported Terry McAuliffe once Ken Cuccinelli became the obvious gubernatorial nominee for 2013. At the same time, the Rexrode/LaCivita crew somehow got control of Cuccinelli’s campaign, hired this very same State Central Candidate as a staffer, and then tried to turn Ken Cuccinelli into a warm, fuzzy, more moderate version of himself, rather than run him as the unapologetic conservative who won by landslide margins for Attorney General in 2009! You can’t make this up.
Part of the VCN crowd’s claim is competence, supposedly in contrast to the Fellowship. Judging from what I’ve seen out of them, I wouldn’t trust this crew to assemble even a single IKEA bookshelf.
Fun fact: Bobbie Kilberg and her allies held a fundraiser in Virginia for George P. Bush in 2014 for his run for Texas Land Commissioner, but couldn’t manage to assist Virginia’s own conservative candidates. She also couldn’t make up her mind between Chris Christie and Jeb Bush for President this past time. How’d that work out for her?
These are the puppetmasters, along with elements of the House Republican Caucus, behind the VCN/NextGen State Central slate. One of the goals of the VCN is to ‘forestall as many primary challenges as possible.’ These folks are elitist in elemental form.
The candidate in question actually WORKS for George Allen, yet claims she will be an independent conservative voice on State Central, right alongside George Allen’s campaign manager, Mike Thomas, who serves as First Vice Chairman and as a lobbyist for McGuire Woods. Even better, the registered agent for the Virginia Conservative Network is actually located at the address of George Allen Strategies!
I debunked the lies she spread about RPV finances and conventions publicly at several candidate forums, and in emails.
She claimed RPV was broke, and could not afford to pay off the costs of the 2015 Advance to the Homestead. I spoke with both RPV Chairman John Whitbeck and Treasurer Rich Nilsen about this, and learned that our leadership was negotiating a potential price break for holding the advance there in future years, which is why the payment had not been made. There were plenty of funds to cover the cost in RPV’s account.
She also claimed that conventions lose money. This was clearly false, as was easily proved after some research. In 2013, the convention made hundreds of thousands of dollars for the party, allowing it to survive the starvation diet imposed by the VCN crowd. In fact, every convention has made money for RPV, with one exception. This was 2009, when she and her bosses and associates conspired to have the State Central Committee remove the sitting party chairman and install a willing conspirator as his replacement, and then handed the reins on the convention over to the McDonnell campaign. That convention ran far over on expenses, including over $140,000 on production alone. (Remember all the fancy audio-visuals in that convention? Really nice, but not really necessary). That convention lost $76,000 thanks to them. McDonnell’s campaign, to their credit, reimbursed RPV for the $76,000 of RPV’s money that they overspent.
Faced with this evidence, my opponent did not attempt to defend her previous errant assertions, but suddenly stopped using them, without apology or even acknowledgment. This not only demonstrates where her bread is buttered, it goes to her character.
Since then, she’s encouraged delegates to speak to her and her ticketmates privately about conventions. I have little confidence she will be any more truthful in such conversations. Such dishonesty should be a disqualification for election to the Party’s governing body. (For the record, I know several VCN folks who are fine, upstanding individuals, and this is not aimed at them).
I can promise you this: I and my ticketmates will be TRULY independent grassroots conservative voices on the State Central Committee, accountable only to 8th Congressional District Republicans who sent us there. Bank on it.
At the end of the day, THAT is what this election is about: Will Republican Party of Virginia maintain its hard-fought financial and operational independence from the Richmond establishment machine? Will current leadership be allowed to continue reversing the horrible ruin inflicted upon it by its former lobbyist and consultant overlords? Or will we once again make the Party a meaningless empty shell, whose principal usefulness to elected officials is a bulk mail account and as a place to park loyal staffers? Will the Party serve the grassroots, or will it go back to being at the beck and call of current elected officials and their minions?
The choice is clear for grassroots conservatives, and really any Republican interested in having a voice in the party: Elect Robert Kenyon, Paul Blumstein, and Anna Urman to the State Central Committee from the 8th District.
Originally posted at The Bull Elephant.
A few days after the deadly Islamic terrorist attacks in Paris, the Obama Administration vigorously defended its refugee screening process as “rigorous and safe.”
Nothing like this could happen here in the United States, right?
Until it did.
Not even a month later, two terrorists went on a shooting spree in San Bernardino. At the time (and now as well) we blogged that the attack was likely a case of premature detonation – that a bigger attack was planned, and that the two Islamists went on an early shooting spree after the male lost his temper at an office party.
Ultimately, it doesn’t matter if a bigger attack was planned, although if we were correct, we were lucky in that we avoided a lot more carnage, because Syed Farook couldn’t keep his temper in check. But what does matter is that the Administration’s assertions about its refugee screening process being “rigorous and safe” is apparently nonsense.
On December 16 – a couple of weeks after the San Bernardino attack – the Hill ran a column by a retired Department of Homeland Security explained how that same screening process failed the San Bernardino victims and failed America.
Philip Haney was a targeter at DHS who worked to identify terrorist networks and “connect the dots” between lesser known groups and individuals moving about and operating freely in the United States. He and his colleagues focused on individuals, mosques, Islamic Centers and schools involved in radicalization efforts – mosques such as the Dar Al Uloom Al Islamiyah Mosque in San Bernardino where Farook worshiped and was well-known to the congregation and leadership. And probably mosques such as the infamous Dar Al-Hijrah Islamic Center, located just a couple of miles from my house, where the thankfully droned into oblivion Anwar al-Awlaki spewed his poison.
Haney had these types of groups in his sights, including the Islamist group al-Huda.
Another focus of my investigation was the Pakistani women’s Islamist group al-Huda, which counted Farook’s wife, Tashfeen Malik, as a student. While the al-Huda International Welfare Foundation distanced themselves from the actions of their former pupil, Malik’s classmates told the Daily Mail she changed significantly while studying at al-Huda, gradually becoming “more serious and strict.” More ominously, the group’s presence in the U.S. and Canada is not without its other ties to ISIS and terrorism. In 2014, three recent former students at al-Huda’s affiliate school in Canada, aged 15 to 18, left their homes to join the Islamic State in Syria.
Haney says between Farook’s involvement with the Dar Al Uloom Al Islamiyah Mosque in San Bernardino and Malik’s involvement with al-Huda, the dots would have been connected, and additional scrutiny would have at the very least been indicated; maybe it would have led to a denial of Malik’s K-1 visa, or even gotten Farook placed on the No Fly list, perhaps in time to stop the attack, but that was not to be.
DHS shut down the investigation at the request of the Department of State and DHS’ own Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Division. They claimed that since the Islamist groups in question were not Specially Designated Terrorist Organizations (SDTOs) tracking individuals related to these groups was a violation of the travelers’ civil liberties.
Islamist groups, who need to be thoroughly investigated before being placed on the list, were barred from investigation because they’re not on the list. Well, that makes all the sense in the world.
Do you feel safe yet?
Worse yet, DHS went back and deleted all the records of Haney’s investigation, and after the latter brought his concern to the Inspector General, as well as several members of Congress, he was subjected to adverse actions and investigations, even though his work was exemplary, as detailed in this letter of commendation he received in June 2012. Thankfully, none of retaliatory investigations found any wrongdoing, and Haney was allowed to honorably retire from government service.
But the story doesn’t end there. Or rather, it doesn’t start there.
Remember the Crotch Bomber? Right before the unhinged jihadist tried to blow up a plane with an explosive packed in his panties, but instead set his own genitals on fire prior to being captured, DHS went on a record and research scrubbing spree.
Just before that Christmas Day attack, in early November 2009, I was ordered by my superiors at the Department of Homeland Security to delete or modify several hundred records of individuals tied to designated Islamist terror groups like Hamas from the important federal database, the Treasury Enforcement Communications System (TECS). These types of records are the basis for any ability to “connect dots.” Every day, DHS Customs and Border Protection officers watch entering and exiting many individuals associated with known terrorist affiliations, then look for patterns. Enforcing a political scrubbing of records of Muslims greatly affected our ability to do that. Even worse, going forward, my colleagues and I were prohibited from entering pertinent information into the database.
A few weeks later, in my office at the Port of Atlanta, the television hummed with the inevitable Congressional hearings that follow any terrorist attack. While members of Congress grilled Obama administration officials, demanding why their subordinates were still failing to understand the intelligence they had gathered, I was being forced to delete and scrub the records. And I was well aware that, as a result, it was going to be vastly more difficult to “connect the dots” in the future—especially before an attack occurs.
Who knows how many attacks could have been prevented had the DHS been allowed to continue its work?
No one does, because political considerations apparently trump national security in our country.
Look, there’s a very fine line between invasion of privacy and infringements on individual rights. The U.S. national security apparatus and the dedicated, committed people who work in our intelligence community and law enforcement walk that line carefully and diligently every day. An untold amount of work is done by the inter-agency before any individual or entity is sanctioned as a terrorist, or gets placed on the Specially Designated Nationals list. Legal review, leadership review, coordination with other agencies in the government. Placing an individual or entity on the SDN list is no joke, unlike some… other lists we’ve seen.
Intelligence professionals have to go through massive amounts of training. They have to learn how to safeguard personal information, whom they are allowed to collect on, what to report and how to report violations, and other agency-specific training to ensure that the rights of the people are balanced with the need to protect our nation. Their analyses are constantly challenged. Did you consider alternatives? Was your assessment based on a variety of corroborative sources? Were these sources credible? Given the fiasco that ensued after the now infamous Iraq WMD National Intelligence Estimate was published in 2002, and the subsequent Iraq invasion, it is no surprise that the Intelligence Community is much more cautious about its tradecraft.
This is all necessary, there’s no doubt. The rights of the people have to be protected.
But at the same time, ordering law enforcement and the intelligence community to scrub years of investigative research into violent extremists with obvious links to savage jihadists whose goal is to launch attacks against the United States, because they might somehow disturb a political narrative or result in some nebulous alleged “violations” of someone’s rights, is a dangerous policy. Fact is that researching a mosque’s, a group’s, or an individual’s links to terrorist organizations violates no one’s rights. If law enforcement is not allowed to do said research, or if said research is nixed due to political considerations, this nation is in danger.
After the September 11, 2001 attacks, a rigorous review by the 9-11 commission revealed that lack of information sharing was partially responsible for our failure to prevent the attacks, as was not watchlisting future hijackers and not trailing them after they traveled to Bangkok, and not informing the FBI about one future hijacker’s U.S. visa.
But that’s not all the report revealed. The commission’s findings also said we did not discover fraudulent statements made on visa applications and failed to detect fake passports.
The work Haney and his colleagues were doing would likely have been helpful in identifying terrorist links, and if shared with other agencies, would have probably helped prevent future attacks. But instead DHS was ordered by the Administration to toss out its research. It will not be shared with anyone, and that could result in disaster.
Apparently, this administration has learned nothing.
Do you feel safe yet?
Originally posted at The Bull Elephant.
So stop me if you’ve heard this one before. Obama goes to a fundraiser…
OK, that’s not really a punchline, but rather more like a habit with this president! But I digress.
At this particular fundraiser Obama tells a bunch of Hollywood celebutards that “It is easier to buy a gun than buy a book.”
When was the last time you had to provide an ID with a valid address, undergo a criminal background check, and prove you’re 21 years or older in order to purchase a book?
When was the last time you were prohibited from buying a book from out of state?
When was the last time you had to pay an extra tax for an extra big book?
Come on, now! What kind of retard believes this shit?
Well, at the very least actor Jamie Foxx who headlined a DNC concert in Pacific Palisades last Saturday. Of course this is the same guy who condemned Hollywood for contributing to violence in this country, while making millions in such violence-filled films as “Django Unchained,” “Law Abiding Citizen,” “White House Down,” and “Collateral,” so those condemnations ring kind of hollow. That said, I enjoy his movies (Except for Annie, because that was a cinematic dumpster fire), but I certainly don’t enjoy being lectured by Hollyweird degenerates about how our gun laws need to change.
Now, the Hollywood Reporter claims that the President was referring to the ostensible lack of bookstores in low-income areas, because after all, in a country where two-thirds of the population has a smartphone and where 74.4 percent of households in 2013 reported having access to the Internet, apparently Amazon.com is a tough URL to master.
And considering guns are all but banned in the President’s hometown of Chicago, I’d venture to say that there are more bookstores in that city than there are gun stores.
So who is going to believe the President when he outright makes stuff up to push his gun control agenda?
Well… this imbecile probably will.
And, of course, the media.
I suppose when you have a ton of black market guns and a low literacy rate in some poor areas, the President’s pronouncement becomes more true than we’d like it to be. But that says more about the shoddy state of our education, and confirms the fact that more gun laws will do nothing to reduce the presence of firearms.
I’m fairly sure, however, that the President doesn’t want to go there.