Archive for May, 2013

Woman Pleads Guilty in Death of Ex-Husband, a Former NYPD Officer

May 31, 2013

From http://www.wcnc.com, May 31, 2013

A Charlotte woman pled guilty today to voluntary manslaughter in death of her ex-husband.

Carole LaRossa was sentence to 35-58 months in prison for the death of her ex-husband and former NYPD Officer James LaRossa.

Carole LaRossa Photo Credit: Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Dept.

In April 2012, Carole LaRossa went to her ex-husband’s apartment on Dianthus Court in Charlotte to pick up food for James LaRossa’s dog, which she had agreed to watch while he played golf the next day with friends.

Carole LaRossa told police that James LaRossa became upset when she told him that he needed to remove the remainder of his personal items from the house they once shared.

She said that he became physically aggressive, sexually assaulted her and poked her breasts with a knife while threatening her, according to a press release from the Mecklenburg District Attorney’s Office.

She reacted by hitting him with a wine glass, causing him to drop the knife. She then picked up the knife and stabbed him twice in the chest. After he fell, she continued to stab him in the back several times before calling 911, the DA’s Office said.

She told police she was afraid he would get back up and harm her.

The District Attorney’s Office thoroughly reviewed all of the evidence in the case and concluded that the most likely outcome of this case at trial would be a conviction of voluntary manslaughter.

Slain NYPD Officer’s Family ‘Outraged’ by Plea Deal

By GARY L. WRIGHT / Charlotte Observer, January 9, 2013

 Former New York City police officer James LaRossa was stabbed repeatedly in the back last April. His estranged wife, Carole LaRossa, was charged with first-degree murder – a crime punishable by life in prison or death.

Now, the family of the slain officer is attacking Mecklenburg prosecutors for offering a deal that would allow Carole LaRossa, 48, to plead guilty to voluntary manslaughter – a crime that carries a punishment range of three to 17 years in prison.

“We are desperately trying to draw attention to this injustice,” Lauren Cox, the victim’s niece, wrote in an email to the Observer. “My uncle’s family and friends feel … that we have been let down by the state of North Carolina. Their legal system has failed us.”

Cox said prosecutors informed her family on Friday about the voluntary manslaughter plea offer.

Mecklenburg District Attorney Andrew Murray told the Observer Tuesday that he and his prosecutors are ethically prohibited from discussing pending cases.

“It’s an ongoing case,” Murray said. “I can’t say a thing about it. I can’t talk about a pending case.”

James LaRossa, 51, was stabbed to death at his Rea Road apartment in south Charlotte. A prosecutor said during a court hearing in May that the former police officer was stabbed 19 times by his estranged wife.

History of problems

Defense attorney David Rudolf said there was a history of domestic violence between the couple – Carole LaRossa also had stab wounds when police arrived, though her injuries were not life-threatening.

Carole LaRossa was out of jail on $250,000 bond at the time of the hearing.

In August 2010, Carole LaRossa made a domestic violence complaint against her husband in Union County. The complaint was voluntarily dismissed, records show, and she was granted a temporary restraining order against him.

Carole LaRossa’s attorneys could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

Cox on Tuesday described her family as “outraged, devastated and heartbroken” by the prosecutors’ decision to offer the plea bargain.

“We believe in justice and the law,” she told the Observer. “We put our faith in the DA’s office and the police department. We felt they would do what’s right. This is a slap in the face.”

Raising awareness

In her email to the Observer, Cox wrote that James LaRossa’s family had spent the weekend “reaching out” to congressmen, senators, the governor and the mayor of Charlotte to tell them about the case.

“We have stayed silent and sat back respectfully and allowed them to work on this case since April 10, 2012,” she wrote. “We will no longer sit back quietly.”

“Do you think if the tables were turned and Carole had been the one stabbed to death in her home that night, that my uncle would have gotten out on bond? That my uncle would have been allowed to keep custody of their minor daughter? Probably not.”

Cox pointed out that her uncle was disabled.

“He was forced to retire from the NYPD after a spine injury that caused him to suffer through multiple back and neck surgeries,” she wrote. “He had steel rods put in his spine, but suffered physically every single day of his life. The man had difficulties tying his shoes – how could he have the physical strength to defend himself in a knife attack.”

IRS Scandal: It Wasn’t Just Cincinnati (and May Involve Other Federal Agencies)

May 30, 2013

From The New American by Thomas R. Eddlem, May 29, 2013

The Obama administration’s key defense in the IRS scandal is falling apart. Up until now, the administration has relied upon the implicit claim that IRS targeting of conservative groups applying for non-profit status was simply the actions of a few rogue agents in the Cincinnati office of the IRS. But it is increasingly clear that the targeting of conservatives was directed from Washington, as multiple IRS offices have now been shown to have been involved in such efforts.

NBC News reported May 28, “Additional scrutiny of conservative organizations’ activities by the IRS did not solely originate in the agency’s Cincinnati office, with requests for information coming from other offices and often bearing the signatures of higher-ups at the agency, according to attorneys representing some of the targeted groups.” Reporting by the local Fox News affiliate has also belied the White House’s claim. And the conservative website the Daily Caller has identified at least five different offices of the IRS that targeted conservatives.

The signature of director of the IRS Exempt Organizations division Lois Lerner was on at least some of the letters demanding broad submission of information to the IRS from conservative organizations. Lerner — who was placed on administrative leave with pay last week after pleading the Fifth Amendment in congressional hearings — was based out of Washington. So her signature on letters of inquiry to conservative groups thoroughly debunks the White House party line.

Jay Sekulow, an attorney representing 27 conservative political advocacy organizations that applied to the IRS for tax-exempt status, provided some of the letters to NBC News. “We’ve dealt with 15 agents, including tax law specialists — that’s lawyers — from four different offices, including [the] Treasury [Department] in Washington, D.C.,” Sekulow told NBC News. “So the idea that this is a couple of rogue agents in Cincinnati is not correct.”

Although the IRS claims it is no longer targeting conservative organizations, invasive information requests continue to be submitted up to the current month, according to Sekulow.

For Lerner, harassment of conservative organizations goes all the way back to the 1990s, when she was an official at the Federal Elections Commission and harassed Pat Robertson’s Christian Coalition.

Henry Miller of Forbes says the IRS scandal is “only the tip of the iceberg,” and he may be right. The IRS scandal has put other attacks on conservatives during the Obama administration in a new light, such as:

• The dramatic seizure of Gibson Guitar stock in 2009 under legally dubious grounds while Gibson’s competitors (which were donors to Democrats) were not troubled — even though they used the same Indian wood that was allegedly labeled contraband.

• Blatant EPA discrimination in fee waivers against conservative organizations such as the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

• The harrassing of Catherine Engelbrecht’s “True the Vote” organization by multiple federal agencies, including the IRS, FBI, OSHA, ATF, and EPA. In a telling interview on Fox News’ Huckabee show, Engelbrecht explained that she has had 17 requests for information from these various federal agencies, wasted thousands of man-hours, and copied thousands of pages for her little non-profit organization dedicated to eliminating voter fraud.

To conservative organizations at the receiving end of IRS and other federal agency targeting, it has meant a loss of focus on their mission by extra time devoted to paperwork by management, as well as costs associated with hiring extra lawyers and accountants. Perhaps even more importantly, the delay in receiving non-profit status — and some of the targeted conservative organizations are still waiting for IRS approval three years later — means lost income in the form of ineligibility for grants from foundations and corporations that donate only to non-profits that have IRS approval.

One would think that targeting one side of the political spectrum with political persecution by government would in the post-Watergate era unite all Americans in horror and generate universal revulsion. Not so. The political Left has learned just the opposite lesson. (Ironically, Nixon’s White House was unable to get the IRS to persecute leftist political organizations.) To the far Left, the IRS didn’t go nearly far enough:

• The New York Times claims that “a close examination of these groups and others reveals an array of election activities that tax experts and former I.R.S. officials said would provide a legitimate basis for flagging them for closer review.”

• The Washington Post’s Joel Achenbach goes a step further, claiming of Lois Lerner that Americans shouldn’t “sacrifice civil servants for the sake of short-term political optics. In our high-stakes political wars, we shouldn’t let anyone turn their firepower on innocent civilians.”

• Former National Public Radio CEO Ken Stern praised the IRS in a column for the leftist Daily Beast, exclaiming “good for the IRS for rousing itself from its long slumber. Yes, they screwed up badly, maybe because their investigative skill set is so rusty from disuse. Their failure was not that they scrutinized too hard or too many, but that they scrutinized too few.”

• The Los Angeles Times’ Michael Hiltzik wrote May 25, “The probe into the supposed ‘targeting’ of conservative groups overlooks the fact that the tax agency does a good job despite its meager resources.”

Much of the political Left has relied on the claim that the use of unlimited money by 501(c)4 organizations in the wake of the 2009 Citizens United decision was a new stage in American politics. Of course, the Left has used these “loopholes” for decades. The tax-exempt NAACP spent $10 million trying to defeat George W. Bush in 2000, and unions spend tens of millions every election year — almost always on behalf of Democrats.

Secrecy and States’ Rights: The Constitutional Convention of 1787 Begins

May 30, 2013

From The New American by Joe Wolverton, II, J.D., May 29, 2013

On Tuesday, May 29, 1787, two very important delegates arrived in Philadelphia for the Constitutional Convention: John Dickinson of Delaware and Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts.

With the arrival of these two eminent representatives, the necessary quorum of seven states was present in the State House and a very critical and controversial rule was soon to be enacted: the Secrecy Rule.

Two days before the rule was adopted, George Mason of Virginia wrote his son, saying:

It is expected our doors will be shut, and communications upon the business of the Convention be forbidden during its sitting. This, I think, myself, a proper precaution to prevent mistakes and misrepresentation until the business shall have been completed, when the whole may have a very different complexion from that in which the several crude and indigested parts might, in their first shape, appear if submitted to the public eye.

James Madison, the young, slight, sickly, and superbly prepared delegate from Virginia, sounded a very similar tone in a letter to his friend and neighbor — Thomas Jefferson. After voting in favor of the Secrecy Rule, Madison wrote, “It was thought expedient, in order to secure unbiased discussion within doors and to prevent misconceptions and misconstructions without, to establish some rules of caution, which will for no short time restrain even a confidential communication of our proceeding.”

Jefferson, living in Paris, was not persuaded as to the propriety of the gag order, however. In a letter to John Adams in London, Jefferson decried the rule, saying, “I am sorry they began their deliberations by so abominable a precedent as that of tying of the tongues of their members. Nothing can justify this example but the innocence of their intentions and ignorance of the value of public discussions.”

Others were similarly disposed regarding the Secrecy Rule. Regardless, the requirement of keeping mum was imposed on the delegates and even newspapers of the time commented on the hush-hush historic happenings occurring inside the State House.

An opinion piece published in several newspapers around the country expressed the vexation of the press at being kept in the dark during the summer of 1787. It read:

Such circumspection and secrecy mark the proceedings … that the members find it difficult to acquire the habits of communication even among themselves, and are so cautious in defeating the curiosity of the public that all debate is suspended on the entrance of their own officers. The anxiety of the people must be necessarily increased by every appearance of mystery in conducting this important business.

How strictly was the Secrecy Rule enforced? Consider this anecdote from William Pierce, a delegate from Georgia, as evidence:

Early in the sessions, one of the delegates dropped a copy of the propositions which were before the Convention for consideration, and it was picked up by another of the delegates and handed to General Washington. After the debates of the day were over, just before putting the question of adjournment, Washington arose from his seat and reprimanded the member for his carelessness. “I must entreat gentlemen to be more careful, lest our transactions get into the newspapers, and disturb the public repose by premature speculations. I know not whose paper it is, but there it is (throwing it down on the table), let him who owns it take it.” At the same time, he bowed, picked up his hat, and quitted the room with a dignity so severe that every person seemed alarmed…. It is something remarkable that no person ever owned the paper.

That doesn’t seem remarkable at all! As others could attest (I’m looking at you, Gouveneur Morris), there is no rebuke quite as severe as a George Washington rebuke.

James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and others were likewise convinced that permitting the public to participate or even comment on the deliberations would have “prevented any satisfactory result,” to use Hamilton’s words.

We’ll never know.

We do know, however, that the Secrecy Rule was invoked and, for the most part, followed from May to September, 1787 as the rough plan for a new government was refined by the delegates from 12 of the 13 states gathered in Philadelphia.

Thirty-three years old and already governor of the Old Dominion, standing nearly six feet tall and possessed of a magnetic air of aristocracy and erudition, Virginia’s Edmund Randolph rose and, in the words of James Madison, “opened the main business.”

After spending the previous day hammering out the rules (“this was an age of formal manners,” observed Catherine Drinker Bowen), the delegates were ready to hit the ground running, revising — they thought — the Articles of Confederation.

Randolph and his Virginia colleagues had another idea, however. In consultations at the Indian Queen pub held prior to the opening of the “main business,” Randolph and his fellow Virginia delegates received from James Madison a draft of a plan of a federal government (the Virginia Plan) that scrapped the Articles altogether, replacing it with Madison’s vision.

Within the 15 resolutions of the Virginia Plan, a new national government was proposed. A government of three branches — legislative, executive, and judicial — was laid out. The legislative branch would be bicameral, with an upper and lower body.

Although Hollywood has portrayed the reaction of the representatives at the convention as one of shock, the reality as reported by Madison and Robert Yates of New York was much more sangfroid.

In his chronicle of the convention, Yates adds one detail that Madison omits. According to Yates, Edmund Randolph made no secret of his intent (and by extension, the intent of James Madison) to see the Articles of Confederation supplanted by a new, more robust, national government.

Yates quotes Randolph admitting that the resolves of the Virginia Plan “were not intended for a federal government — he meant a strong consolidated union, in which the idea of states would be nearly annihilated.”

Despite Yates’ flair for the dramatic, it is all but certain that Randolph neither made that comment nor did he or any of his fellow Virginians desire such a destruction of the states.

The aforementioned recipient of Washington’s wrath — Gouveneur Morris of Pennsylvania — wrote a letter evincing the prevailing preoccupation of repairing of the union without throwing the baby of state sovereignty out with the dirty bathwater of weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation. Morris wrote that the dilemma facing the convention was “how to arrange a National system of Government of sufficient strength to operate in despite of State opposition, and yet not strong enough to break down State authority.”

Over the next three and half months, the 55 (or fewer, on any given day) men gathered at the State House in Philadelphia would confront that very issue over and over again.

There were among them those with more nationalist tendencies (Alexander Hamilton) and those who would have preferred a less dynamic union (George Mason). This difference would define the convention day in and day out as the various “resolves” of the Virginia Plan were debated.

It is impossible to know what final form the Constitution would have taken — if any — had the press and the public been given access or information. History is not typically kind to secrets, particularly the kind that create new governments.

Our own experiment with self-government and federalism continues and ironically, the government established by the Constitutional Convention of 1787 too often envelops itself in a similar shroud of secrecy, worn to mask its efforts to dismantle the very freedoms protected by the product of that historic convention.

Over the next few months, a series of articles in The New American will chronicle the clashes and compromises that seeded the soil from whence grew the very tree of a federal government that now bears such poisonous fruit.

The Lynching of George Zimmerman Continues

May 29, 2013

 Judge in Trayvon Martin Case Rules Some Evidence Off Limits

From The New American by Bob Adelmann, May 28, 2013

In refusing to delay the June 10 trial of George Zimmerman charged with the second-degree murder of black teenager Trayvon Martin a year ago February, Circuit Judge Debra Nelson also put limits on what evidence the defense may present in its efforts to keep Zimmerman out of jail.

Judge in Trayvon Martin Case Rules Some Evidence Off Limits

Photo is of the gated community where the shooting took place

Nelson ruled that Zimmerman’s lawyers can’t say anything about Martin’s school records, his past history of fighting, his use of marijuana, his gold teeth, or any photos or text messages that were found on his cellphone following the shooting. This means that his three school suspensions for tardiness, for his use of marijuana, or for defacing school property using a spray can to write “WTF” on its walls are all inadmissible. It also means that evidence that his mother forced him to move out because of his bad behavior is also inadmissible. And any suggestion that that he had “an attitude” shown in a photograph described by the Huffington Post as “extending his middle finger[s] to the camera” is also inadmissible. The judge also ruled as inadmissible evidence from a toxicology test showing Martin had marijuana in his system the night of his killing.

In addition, the judge approved a motion by the prosecution that would keep Zimmerman from testifying about his lack of prior felony convictions. Such testimony would be helpful in limiting, under Florida law, any sentencing he might receive if he is found guilty.

However, despite these limitations, to be successful the prosecution of Zimmerman by the State of Florida has a big hill to climb. Under Florida law, to prove that Zimmerman committed second-degree murder, as he was charged in the Affidavit of Probable Cause filed by Florida State Attorney Angela Corey two months after the incident, the prosecution “must show that the defendant acted according to a ‘depraved mind’ without regard for human life.” It must defend against the claim that Zimmerman was justified in using deadly force to keep from being seriously injured or killed himself during the incident.

Florida state law rules that, if convicted, Zimmerman could spend up to 30 years in jail.

The affidavit clearly overreached in charging Zimmerman with second-degree murder, according to a number of legal experts. For instance, Corey claimed that Martin was peacefully walking back to the townhouse where he was staying “when he was profiled by George Zimmerman” and that “Martin was unarmed and was not committing a crime.” The affidavit further claimed that “Zimmerman … assumed Martin was a criminal [who] felt that Martin did not belong in the gated community.”

Corey claimed that Zimmerman was stalking Martin and that “Martin was scared because he was being followed through the complex by an unknown male and didn’t know why.” She added:

Martin attempted to run home but was followed by Zimmerman who didn’t want the person he falsely assumed was going to commit a crime to get away before the police arrived….

Zimmerman confronted Martin and a struggle ensued….

Zimmerman shot Martin in the chest….

Assistant Medical Examiner Dr. Bao performed an autopsy and determined that Martin died from the gunshot wound.

The facts … are presented for the determination of Probable Cause for Second Degree Murder.

Corey’s problem is that most of these “facts” have been soundly disproved as the details of what happened that night have come to light. Zimmerman, acting as a volunteer security guard for the complex, called the Sanford, Florida, police department when he noted Martin’s behavior, stating, “This guy looks like he’s up to no good, or he’s on drugs or something…. He’s just walking around … looking at all the houses.” Zimmerman left his vehicle briefly and, upon returning to it, was confronted by Martin, who used abusive language, asking, “Have you got a … problem?” When Zimmerman responded “No,” Martin said, “Well you do now!” and knocked him to the ground and punched him in the face, breaking his nose and causing severe lacerations on the back of his head.

Following five hours of interrogation by the Sanford police, Zimmerman was released, as they had no grounds or evidence to contradict his story and his claim of self-defense. He even passed a lie detector test, which validated his story.

Despite the fact that much evidence in the case supporting Zimmerman’s claim of innocence by self-defense is being ruled inadmissible by the judge (including the results of the lie detector test, which is inadmissible under Florida law), there remains so much evidence to support his claim that the only thing standing in the way of a vote of innocence from the jury in the case will be the political reality that if Zimmerman goes free, Sanford, Florida, is likely to erupt in flames.

Obama’s “Fast and Furious” Gun-running Scandal Grows

May 29, 2013

From The New American y Alex Newman, May 28, 2013

As if there were not already enough scandals plaguing the Obama administration, the federal “Fast and Furious” operation that armed Mexican drug cartels is back in the news after the Justice Department Inspector General released a report blasting a government leak intended to smear a key ATF whistleblower. The leaked memorandum was apparently aimed at discrediting Special Agent John Dodson and contradicting his explosive testimony before Congress, which blew the lid off of a federal program that put thousands of high-powered weapons into the hands of deadly criminals in Mexico.

Obama’s “Fast and Furious” Gun-running Scandal Grows

2011 photo of U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke standing before a cache of seized firearms: AP Images

The latest twist in the scandal surrounds disgraced former U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke, one of the officials at the center of the administration’s lawless gun-trafficking scheme. The ex-prosecutor, who resigned in August of 2011 along with acting ATF boss Kenneth Melson, was furious after learning that brave whistleblowers had gone to Congress and the media, documents show. He was particularly upset because Dodson, one of the crucial figures in exposing Fast and Furious, had written a memo outlining a plot to let guns “walk” across the border into Mexico — and into the hands of known criminals.

Special Agent Dodson, however, said he had been alarmed about the idea from the start, only putting the plot down on paper in an effort to show superiors how preposterous it really was. When the ATF agent went to Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) and CBS News to blow the whistle, Burke wanted desperately to protect his reputation. The then-U.S. attorney, who worked in Arizona, learned that Fox News reporter Mike Levine was working on a story about the issue. Burke then leaked the Dodson memo to Levine.

“We also concluded that Burke’s disclosure of the Dodson memorandum to Levine was likely motivated by a desire to undermine Dodson’s public criticisms of Operation Fast and Furious,” the Justice Department’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG) said in its report. “Although Burke denied to congressional investigators that he had any retaliatory motive for his actions, we found substantial evidence to the contrary.”

Official sources, for example, told the OIG that “Burke disclosed the document to help the U.S. Attorney’s Office defend against what were considered hypocritical criticisms being made by Dodson,” the report explains. “That disclosure occurred less than two weeks after Dodson’s public testimony before Congress.” Others interviewed during the investigation also confirmed that Burke was “frustrated” with the whistleblower’s “highly critical” congressional testimony about Fast and Furious.

Burke refused to be interviewed for the investigation. However, he admitted in his own account of the conversation with Levine that he believed the Fox reporter was working on a story that would expose what Burke considered to be Dodson’s “hypocrisy,” the OIG noted. As such, the former U.S. Attorney claimed that he simply released the memo in question — a violation of Justice Department policy at the very least — in an innocent but misguided effort to provide “context” for the story.

Neither Dodson nor the inspector general bought those excuses. “We believe that this explanation, taken together with the other evidence cited above, demonstrate that Burke’s conduct in disclosing the memorandum to Levine was likely motivated by his desire to undermine Dodson’ public criticisms,” the OIG report said, adding that the ATF whistleblower had raised very serious concerns about Fast and Furious.

Among the most interesting findings in the Inspector General investigation was Burke’s sense that he was being sacrificed by the administration. Quoted in the OIG report, Burke explained that “several U.S. Attorneys […] commented to me that the Department was throwing my office under the bus.” The Inspector General report noted: “Burke’s statements to the Department reflected a belief that he could not rely on the Department to respond to criticism of his office’s handling of the Fast and Furious investigation, and we found that he responded to this belief by deciding to defend the office himself through, in part, the unauthorized disclosure of information to the media.”

The report savages the former U.S. attorney in its conclusions, stating that Burke violated Justice Department policy by leaking the memo and that his excuses “were not credible.” The OIG also “rejected” Burke’s explanations, adding that the former U.S. attorney took “calculated measures” to reduce the chances of being caught: sending the document from a private e-mail account to a friend who passed it on to the Fox reporter.

“First, regardless of whether Burke in fact believed Levine or Congress already had the memorandum, that belief would not excuse his failure to comply with Department policy,” the report said, citing DOJ policies on media relations that were violated. “Second, we found that Burke disclosed the Dodson memorandum despite knowing he was under investigation at the very same time by OPR for virtually the same alleged misconduct.”

The misconduct described in the report is “particularly egregious,” the OIG continued, “because of Burke’s apparent effort to undermine the credibility of Dodson’s significant public disclosures about the failures in Operation Fast and Furious.” In the end, the actions were found to be “inappropriate for a Department employee and wholly unbefitting a U.S. Attorney.” As such, the problem will be reported to state Bar associations where Burke is licensed to practice law.

In an August 2011 memo to his staff at the U.S. Attorney’s office about his resignation, Burke, who previously worked for current Homeland Security boss Janet “Big Sis” Napolitano, claimed that it was time to move on. “My long tenure in public service has been intensely gratifying,” he said. “It has also been intensely demanding. For me, it is the right time to move on to pursue other aspects of my career and my life and allow the office to move ahead.”

The latest OIG report is not the first time Burke has come under fire for his controversial handling of the press after the Fast and Furious scandal emerged. In December of 2011, for example, the administration was forced to release more than 1,300 pages of documents related to the gun-trafficking program. The subpoenaed records revealed frantic e-mail communications between senior officials about how vigorously to defend the operation, as well as concerns about the veracity of some of the proposed defenses.

The documents showed that DOJ officials were worried that if the administration were to cooperate with the congressional investigation, Congress would press for even more information. Others highlight the general fear among those involved that exposure would damage the image of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (still known as ATF).

One of the most explosive e-mails was actually from Burke, who recommended sending a “stern missive” to the Arizona Republic newspaper for exposing the scheme. “Just baffling that they refuse to engage even just to protect the integrity of the agency,” he wrote in a February 1 e-mail to Justice Department Criminal Division boss Lanny Breuer, as if the media’s job were to protect government rather than expose its shady dealings. In another e-mail, Burke complained that congressional investigators were acting as “willing stooges” for defenders of the right to keep and bear arms.

Burke, of course, was also not the only top official who has been caught trying to retaliate against the whistleblowers. After the scandal was publicly exposed, the ATF retaliated against the brave agents who told Congress and the media. The agency got caught, but its new acting chief subsequently released a video threatening other agents not to blow the whistle again. Lawmakers were outraged, yet the lawlessness continues.

Meanwhile, the establishment press has continued to ignore the most important elements of the scandal, pretending that Fast and Furious was simply a “botched” operation in which low-ranking administration bureaucrats inadvertently “lost” the weapons. In reality, multiple White House officials had been briefed about the scheme, the supposed “targets” of the alleged “investigation” were drug lords already on the FBI’s payroll, and top administration officials have been caught lying repeatedly — resulting in disgraced Attorney General Eric Holder being held in criminal contempt of Congress for the ongoing cover up.

Incredibly, the violence from Fast and Furious — U.S. law enforcement officers killed, hundreds of Mexicans massacred, and more — was used to push more gun control in the United States, official documents showed. The e-mails exposing the administration’s scheme to use the bloodshed to assault the Second Amendment backed up assertions made by the numerous analysts and experts including the National Rifle Association. Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), who led the investigation in the U.S. House, was also proven correct.

Finally, evidence continues to emerge that Fast and Furious was in fact much bigger than the press and the administration have admitted. Mexican drug lords, for example, have said that the U.S. government was shipping weapons to their cartels and allowing them to bring drugs across the border in exchange for information. The CIA’s involvement also continued to be largely concealed. However, with Fast and Furious seemingly taking a back seat to other major scandals — Benghazigate, spying on journalists, IRS abuse, and more — justice for the Fast and Furious victims may never be truly served.

The Gun Control Lie

May 29, 2013

From http://www.FirearmsCoalition.org by Jeff Knox, May 22, 2103

Gun control advocates are compulsive liars. They have to be because the truth doesn’t support their agenda. Even the names of gun control groups – suggesting “violence policy,” “violence prevention,” and “gun safety” – are all lies. And the term “gun control” itself is a lie. Virtually everything coming from gun control advocates today is a lie.

I’m not talking about simple distortions or cases of “my statistics are better than your statistics.” These are intentional, calculated, bald-faced deceptions, foisted on the American public by ideologically motivated zealots trying to force an agenda of citizen disarmament and government control. That’s not to say that everyone who supports gun control is driven by the same ideology, or that there are no honest, passionate, idealistic, true believers among the ranks of gun control advocates. There are some very good, honest, sincere people who promote gun control, but unfortunately these misguided souls are steeped in emotion and inculcated with the never ending lies of the professional gun haters.

Let’s dissect some of the lies:

    Lie # 1: Over 90% (almost 90%, close to 90%) of Americans support “universal background checks,” as do various large percentages of gun owners and NRA members.

Anyone with a brain should realize that these statistics were fraudulent based solely on the fact that there is almost nothing that 90% of Americans agree on. But this lie has gotten bigger as time has gone by. More recent polls place support for any gun control at less than 50%, and approval of the Senate’s rejection of expanded background checks at almost 40% – yet gun control advocates and politicians continue to declare that 90% of Americans support universal background checks. It is a lie.

    Lie # 2: Almost 40% of firearms sales occur without a background check.

That lie was a stretch when it was presented in late December, and it was soon declared to be a distortion by the fact check column in the Washington Post – garnering “2 Pinocchios.” The bogus statistic was then called out by several other watchdog centers, but Obama and company have continued to preach it as Gospel, right up to this very day. That earned Mr. Obama an extra “Pinocchio” from the Post. When you say something that’s not true, even after you know it’s not true, that’s called a lie.

    Lie # 3: Gun control is needed to “make our children and our communities safer.”

This presumes that guns serve only evil purposes, and that passing laws prevents criminal violence. There has never been a supportable study proving, or even strongly suggesting, that gun control does anything to reduce criminal violence or even suicide. Reviews of existing literature going back to the 1970’s have consistently found no positive connection between gun control and crime. On the other hand, there are several peer-reviewed studies which show that guns in private hands are used to stop crimes much more often than they are used to commit crimes, and that the prevalence of guns appears to result in reduced violent crime. Claims of improved safety with gun control are lies.

    Lie # 4: About 30,000 lives are lost to “gun violence” each year in the US, and; “Thirteen children a day are killed in gun violence.”

The 30,000 number is based predominantly on suicides. Suicide is not “gun violence” and gun control doesn’t reduce suicide. Guns are much more prevalent in the US than Canada, and are used more frequently in suicides here than there, yet the suicide rate in the U.S. is only slightly higher. Reducing guns doesn’t reduce suicide – saying it does is a lie.

The “13 a day” statistic includes “children” up to 24. The peak age range for criminal activity is 16 to 27. That is also a peak age range for suicide. Virtually all of the guns used by these young people are obtained illegally. The 30,000 and 13 a day claims are intentional lies.

    Lie # 5: There is an epidemic of violent crime and mass murder sweeping the nation.

No there isn’t. Crime is at its lowest rate in decades. It has gone down as gun ownership and concealed carry have gone up. Atrocities like Sandy Hook and the Batman movie massacre tend to run in copycat cycles based largely on media play. There is no growing epidemic. Claims otherwise are lies.

Gun control groups are based in lies. They call themselves “violence prevention” and “gun safety” groups even though the only violence prevention and gun safety policies they espouse are restrictions on legal access to firearms. They lie about who they are, what they stand for, and what they want. They use lies to press their agenda, and they lie about what that agenda is and what impact it would have. They are liars through and through, and it is ridiculous that the media and politicians promote and parrot the lies.

The truth is, Gun Control Doesn’t.

Permission to reprint or post this article in its entirety is hereby granted provided this credit and link to http://www.FirearmsCoalition.org is included.

Gun Confiscation Is the Goal!

May 29, 2013

From The Buckeye Firearms Association, May 21, 2013

Hell hath no fury like an anti-gunner who doesn’t get her way on gun control.

The Star-Ledger reported last Friday that after a closed-door hearing on gun control in the New Jersey Senate the previous day, three state senators–believed to be Democrats Loretta Weinberg, Sandra Cunningham and Linda Greenstein–were caught on tape, complaining that bills introduced in the Garden State–including one that would require mandatory training to possess a firearm–don’t go far enough.

First, a voice is heard complaining, “We needed a bill that was going to confiscate, confiscate, confiscate.” Then, the trio apparently focuses its ire on gun control opponents who say that the way to keep guns out of the hands of criminals is to throw the book at them.

Weinberg, willing to have no part of it, says “They want to keep the guns out of the hands of the bad guys, but they don’t have any regulations to do it.” Cunningham then snipes, “They don’t care about the bad guys. All they want to do is have their little guns and do whatever they want with them,” and Greenstein chimes in that enforcing existing law is “the line they have developed.”

Strong rhetoric that reveals how gun control supporters really feel about their issue is nothing new, of course. Nearly 20 years ago, U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said that if she had been able to muster the votes, her 1994 “assault weapon” ban would not have merely prohibited various guns from being made with pistol grips, folding stocks and flash suppressors, but would have required a far harsher outcome; as Sen. Feinstein put it, “Mr. and Mrs. America, turn them all in.”

However, the fact that gun control supporters still feel that way, after violent crime rates have plummeted as gun controls have been eliminated and gun sales and gun ownership rates have soared, suggests that we’re up against ideologically driven adversaries with whom there can be no negotiation–only victory or defeat.

WHEN DID WE VOTE TO BECOME MEXICO?

May 24, 2013

At first I thought the IRS scandal was leaked to distract from the Benghazi scandal. But that didn’t make sense because the IRS scandal is a more obvious abuse of power than the White House lying about the murder of four Americans in Libya.

Before I had resolved which scandal was distracting from which, we found out the Department of Justice was spying on The Associated Press — not to protect national security, but to prevent the AP from scooping the White House. Then, this week, it broke that the Department of Justice was also spying on Fox News for reasons that remain unexplained.

Meanwhile, Sens. Marco Rubio, Mitch McConnell, Lindsey Graham and John McCain are working feverishly to turn the country into Mexico.

So now I think all the scandals are intended to distract from Rubio’s amnesty bill.

For decades, Mexicans have been about 30 percent of all legal immigrants to the United States, while only a smidgen more than 1 percent come from Great Britain. Is that fair? Granted their food is better, but why is it the norm is to have nearly 30 times as many Mexican as British immigrants?

We have been taking in more immigrants from Guatemala, the Dominican Republic and Colombia, individually, than from England, our mother country. There are nearly twice as many immigrants from El Salvador as from Canada, and 10 times as many as from Australia.

Why can’t the country be more or less the ethnic composition that it always was? The 50-1 Latin American-to-European ratio isn’t a natural phenomenon that might result from, say, Europeans losing interest in coming here and poor Latin Americans providing some unique skill desperately needed in our modern, technology-based economy.

To the contrary, it’s result of an insane government policy. Teddy Kennedy’s 1965 Immigration Act was designed to artificially inflate the number of immigrants from the Third World, while making it virtually impossible for anyone from the nations that historically provided our immigrants to come here.

Pre-1965 immigrants were what made this country what it was for a reason: They were the pre-welfare state immigrants. From around 1630 to 1966, immigrants sank or swam. About a third of them couldn’t make it in America and went home — and those are the ones who weren’t rejected right off the boat for being sick, crippled or idiots.

That’s why corny stories of someone’s ancestors coming here a half-century ago are completely irrelevant. If their ancestors hadn’t succeeded, their great-grandchildren wouldn’t be here to tell the story because no one was given food stamps, free medical care and housing to stay. (And vote Democrat.)

Now we’re scraping the bottom of the barrel by holding ourselves out as the welfare ward of the world and specifically rejecting skilled immigrants.

As Milton Friedman said, you cannot have open borders and a welfare state. The reason a country’s average immigrant matters is that the losers never go home — they go on welfare. (Maybe if they had to work, immigrants wouldn’t have as much time to build bombs.) Airy statements about wanting to end welfare aren’t going to change that implacable fact.

It should not come as a surprise that a majority of recent immigrants are following a path that’s the exact opposite of earlier immigrants. The immigrant story of lore is that the first generation is poor but works hard, then the second, third and fourth generations soar up the socioeconomic ladder.

But innumerable studies have shown that Mexican first-generation immigrants work like maniacs — and then the second, third and fourth generations plunge headlong into the underclass.

By now, Mexicans are the largest immigrant group in America, with about 50 million Hispanics living here legally.

Marco Rubio’s amnesty bill will soon make it 80 million. First, there are at least 11 million illegal immigrants, a majority from Mexico, who will be instantly legalized. Then we’ll get their entire extended families under our chain migration system.

I wouldn’t want that many Japanese! I wouldn’t want that many Dutch (not that there are that many Dutch)! Why do we have to become a different country? Was there a vote when the country decided to turn itself into Mexico? No other country has ever just decided to turn itself into another country like this.

The nation’s plutocrats are lined up with the Democratic Party in a short-term bid to get themselves cheap labor (subsidized by the rest of us), which will give the Democratic Party a permanent majority. If Rubio’s amnesty goes through, the Republican Party is finished. It will be the “Nancy Pelosi Democratic Party” versus the “Chuck Schumer Republican Party.”

When that happens, the cover-up of murder in Benghazi, a little IRS abuse or governmental spying on journalists will be a good day for civil liberties.

A majority of Americans still do love this country — including, one hopes, legal immigrants who thought they were leaving Mexico. But a policy that will change America forever is about to slip through under the cloak of endless scandals from the corrupt Obama administration.

Boy, 10, Sentenced to Juvenile Detention for Rape, Murder Plot

May 24, 2013

A 10-year-old Washington state boy was sentenced on Wednesday to up to 5 1/2 years in a juvenile detention facility for his role in a foiled plot to rape and kill a girl at his school and harm other children.

The boy was charged with conspiracy to commit first-degree murder, juvenile firearm possession and witness tampering in connection with a plot in February at an elementary school in Colville, in the state’s northeast.

Prosecutors said he pleaded guilty last month to all charges.

Stevens County Superior Court Judge Allen Nielson sentenced the fifth-grader to a minimum of just over three years in juvenile detention and a maximum of nearly 5 1/2 years, Stevens County prosecutor Tim Rasmussen said.

An 11-year-old boy accused of joining in the plot is charged with conspiracy to commit first-degree murder, possession of a dangerous weapon in the form of a knife at school and tampering with a witness, Rasmussen added.

The 11-year-old suspect faces a court hearing later this month.

The 10-year-old boy will serve his sentence at the Echo Glen children’s juvenile center in Snoqualmie, Wash., 45 miles east of Seattle. As of Thursday he had already spent nearly 100 days in a local juvenile detention facility, Rasmussen said.

The boy told investigators he and his friend had planned to kill a former fifth-grade girlfriend because she was “rude” and “always made fun” of him and friends, according to court documents.

They plotted to entice the girl away from their elementary school, the court papers stated.

The 10-year-old had taken a Remington Model 1911 pistol that originally belonged to his grandfather from his older brother’s room, according to court records.

The boys had also packed ammunition and a knife, but they were stopped on Feb. 7 shortly after they boarded a school bus, Rasmussen said.

A fourth-grade student spotted the knife and reported it to a teacher’s aide, Rasmussen said. The names of six other targeted classmates were on a list the boys had, Rasmussen said.

Prison Inmates Jump in to Rescue Three Boys Who Capsized Kayak in Washington Creek

May 24, 2013

Prisoners working in a nearby park helped save three boys whose kayak overturned in a Washington state creek, fire officials said Thursday.

Three brothers — ages 8, 10 and 16 — were floating down Salmon Creek near Salmon Creek Regional Park Wednesday afternoon when their kayak overturned, Clark County Fire District 6 Chief Jerry Green told NBC News. The park is in Washington state just north of Portland, Ore.

Ten prison inmates from the Larch Corrections Center near Yacolt, Wash., were doing park maintenance when they heard screams for help and responded quickly, fire officials told The Columbian newspaper in Vancouver, Wash.

Inmate Nelson Pettis, 37, jumped into the strong current, floating downstream until he could grab the two younger boys and help them to a pile of floating debris, according to the newspaper.

“I don’t think I was thinking at all,” Pettis told The Columbian. “I was just really concentrating on getting them to safety.”

Inmate Larry Bohn, 29, helped Pettis with the rescue: “They (the boys) were saying thank you repeatedly. They just seemed really scared,” he told the newspaper.

The 16-year-old boy was able to swim to shore, Green told NBC News.

Inmate Jon Fowler, 28, waited for the rescue team to arrive and helped them inflate their rescue boat, The Columbian reported. Members of the Vancouver, Wash., Fire Department and Clark County Fire District 6 were part of the rescue team.

The water was “very cold” and estimated to be moving at 25 mph, Green said. The brothers were treated for mild hypothermia, but otherwise there were no other injuries, he said. Two of the inmates were also treated for hypothermia, Portland, Ore., NBC affiliate KGW reported.

Bohn and Pettis reportedly had taken off their shirts, wrapping them around the kids to keep them warm, The Columbian reported.

The boys’ names were not released.

Green said he was “extremely impressed” with the prisoners’ efforts and the fact that they jeopardized their safety.

“(They) stepped up and did what was the right thing to do,” Green said.

“I don’t think we’re heroes by any means,” inmate Fowler told The Columbian. “I think we just did what any good person would do.”

Nancy Simmons, a spokesperson for the Larch Corrections Center, told NBC News the brothers want to thank the inmates who helped and a meeting with their family is in the works.

This correction facility houses inmates who are not there for violent crimes and who generally have four years or less left on their sentences, Simmons said.