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Do we have right to see everything?

We, as in you and me, specifically about the Trump campaign spying alleged to have been conducted by the left-leaning members of our intelligence agencies.

Quite frankly, no. But we do have the right to expect that the people who do see “everything” will act upon that information honestly.

All this crap about spying on a campaign for political purposes has only come about because the left is so committed to deposing Donald Trump, and that’s really funny.

Had they just sucked it up and gone about their business, none of the nasty stuff we’ve learned about the FBI, CIA, IRS and DNS and even Hillary Clinton would have ever come to light.

They couldn’t do that, and here we are. That’s what a guilty conscience will do for you.

Everyone wanted Donald Trump to drain the swamp, and instead, just his mere presence is doing that for him.

You have Dems like Schiff and Schumer calling the President using his constitutionally mandated powers “illegal and obstructionist.”

There’s no point in rebutting every stupid statement like that, but people notice, and they file it away for future reference.

So go ahead, swamp dwellers.  Keep churning stuff off the bottom and bringing it to the top. Maybe it makes us uncomfortable to have our suspicions confirmed, but we’re big boy and girls, and we can handle it.

Can you?

It’s time we had answers.

In a move that many people reacted to with “It’s about time” the President formally ordered an investigation into the claims that his campaign was surveilled and perhaps infiltrated by the justice and intelligence community for political reasons.

That italicized word is important.

There are legitimate reasons that could have been afoot that would explain such actions as having one or more FBI assets reporting on Trump and his people.

What’s interesting about the left’s reaction was that they ignored the word and immediately tried to smear the President for simply trying to see if an American political campaign was  unlawfully penetrated with the purpose of manipulating an election and now, undermining a presidency.

When a pig squeals as loud as is the left, it’s generally because someone’s got him by the hind legs.

It remains to be seen whether the IG is left in charge, or a second special counsel is appointed. Either way, we have a right to know what happened, and why.

Maybe we are moving closer to finding out just how truly dirty politics is.

 

 

Once again – LOCK THE DAMN DOORS.

Musings is still not going to comment on the Santa Fe, Texas killer, because as so often happens in these cases, as time passes we are finding out that he was not the kind, gentle, sweet person his family and friends thought he was. It’s  likely he hadn’t been that person for a long time before he finally acted on whatever his personal demons were telling him to do.

In today’s morally and legally rudderless world, it’s a foregone conclusion there are hundreds of students sitting at their computers right now planning on how to become the next school attacker.

And this was an attack, not just a shooting. This killer had ample means available to kill people even if he hadn’t had so much as a single cartridge.

We won’t ever be able to identify the people who want to kill fast enough to neutralize them, nor can we take away all the weapons available to them.

What we can do is focus on why he was able to walk into a school and inflict carnage on his classmates and teachers.

Of course the first question is what we do to stop this sort of thing, and everyone has pretty much said the same things they always say after a tragedy at a school.

By now, the idea of having just one entry point to a school, preferably just outside the entry door, has been obvious ever since Columbine.

So what do we do to make that actually happen?

How about just locking the doors? It doesn’t cost a cent to do that.

Yes, there are things that do cost money that go along with that, but first and foremost, it comes down to controlling ingress and egress.

Musings contends that leaving this completely up to local school districts is no longer an option. If they haven’t figured that out in the last 20 years, they aren’t going to do so.

It’s far too easy for local  jurisdictions to fall prey to the ostrich-head-in-sand syndrome, i.e. to say “well, this will never happen in our community.”

There is the inescapable question of money, because sooner or later you have to unlock the doors and let the kids in the building. Then what?

The first thing we could do is make Federal dollars contingent on the schools proving that they have actually implemented this most basic of defenses.

It’s actually obscene that we have the media reporting nonstop on teachers striking for higher salaries, but not about locking the doors.

Just about every local election has some sort of multi-million school bond increase on the ballot these days, to build more classrooms, auditoriums, new schools or sports complexes.

How about allocating some of that money to fences, metal detectors and body scanners?

Having said that though, it should be possible for smaller and poorer school districts to get Federal funding to purchase body scanners, which average in the neighborhood of $200 to $250K each and require at least two people to use, one to scan, another to physically search the person if necessary.

What about some of the other suggestions?

The Texas authorities have it right when they say that trying to put enough SROs in the schools to have an actual effect on these situations is fundamentally unworkable, purely from a manpower standpoint.

Arming school employees might be part of the answer, but expecting a civilian to control these attackers just won’t work on a nationwide scale. Also, it takes months to adequately prepare  a civilian to become a school defender, because of necessity, that means you have to prepare them to kill without hesitation if necessary.

As a nation we don’t seem to understand just what that requires, and we certainly don’t seem to understand that there is no politically correct way to do it.

Quite frankly, if you are going to have teachers or custodians carry guns then they have to actually carry them. Making them lock their weapons up in a cabinet somewhere 50 feet or more from the classroom or hall doesn’t deter anything.

Mental health counseling is part of the answer, but what do you do about someone who doesn’t torture animals or beat up his mother? If the student isn’t a disciplinary problem, and the Texas attacker apparently wasn’t,  then how would you even know to refer him or her for treatment?

Further inspection of this particular attacker shows that there were clues to his mental state on his computer, but doesn’t say whether anyone, even another student, knew about it and told someone.

Background checks or raising the minimum age to buy a gun didn’t have any effect on what happened in Santa Fe, Texas, Jackson Hole, WY or Pompano Beach, FL.

His parents obviously didn’t pay a lot of attention to what he was doing in that trailer but does that make them criminally responsible for his actions?

Parents should perhaps be held at least financially responsible in some cases, but we haven’t even heard whether there was a gun cabinet, whether he had a key to it or broke into where the guns were kept or what.  Nor have we heard whether they knew he had problems and if so, whether they were doing anything about it.

There’s another problem, and that’s the expectations of the kids themselves.

This weekend Musings again asked several teenagers how they really feel about single access entry, having their backpacks or lockers searched or having multiple armed guards in the school.

And again, every single one was highly insulted, with a couple saying that they felt like that was punishing them, not the attackers, or the NRA, or President Trump or whomever they were blaming for these incidents.

Absolutely lost on them was that every one of them is both a potential victim and a prime suspect.

School shooters are almost always students, meaning that the cute guy in study hall or the quiet, plain girl in the library could just as easily be a closet psychopath as they could be the next dead kid.

That kind of logic is also lost on the David Hogg’s and Emma Gonzales’ of the world as well as the vampires who exploit them.

Grownups don’t like being frisked by the TSA, or seeing cops on every street corner in New York, but they recognize that is the price we have had to pay since 9/11.

And yes, something is seriously wrong with our culture.

It isn’t just violent videos. Shoot-’em-up bang-bang movies and books and yes, guns, have been around forever, and kids didn’t shoot up their schools every week.

We as a society have unbalanced the world kids that grow up in today. Nothing is absolute.

In a world where we are OK with parents who drop something as important as gender in the laps of the kids themselves at birth, is it any wonder that the kids are screwed up?

If something as simple as the concept of right and wrong isn’t defined and taught, you get what we have today.

All of the outside things people are blaming are probably factors, but that will take generations to fix. That doesn’t protect even one classroom.

Locking the school doors can be done tomorrow.

About Santa Fe, Texas.

Someone asked if I was going to write about the Santa Fe, TX school shooting.

Maybe, but not right now. There are enough people out there running off at the mouth about something they know nothing about. I see no need to add to that.

One thing I will say is that the media giving 24-hour recognition to these shooters is hardly the way to keep some other person from looking for their 15 minutes, or 15 hours, or 15 days of fame.

Besides if you want to hear some common sense suggestions, you have only to listen to Texas lieutenant governor Dan Patrick, who is onsite at the school.

Most of what I said after Parkland is what he said today, and he’s got a bigger microphone than I do.

TGIF- May 18, 2018

North Korea’s Kim has a temper tantrum.

To almost no one’s surprise, Kim Jong Un had a brain fart on Tuesday. After repeatedly declaring that he was OK with the U.S.-South Korean military exercises this year, he fell back on the old battle cry of accusing the two countries of practicing to invade the North.

It’s hard to say why, but then almost nothing the Kim dynasty ever did was grounded in reality.

Maybe the present Kim is suffering from some hereditary malfunction, or maybe he got word that it was all systems go for his capability to threaten the world with nuclear war.

Perhaps his translators didn’t convey the message that complete denuclearization was the only basis for the talks, but that in return he would get to stay on as North Korea’s leader for as long as his people want him to do so.

Whatever the reason, if Kim thinks the President is so committed to peace at any price that he will kowtow to Kim’s demands he may have his Presidents mixed up, a fact that should have been self-evident in view of the action taken on the Iran deal.

That’s not to say that Secretary of State Pompeo shouldn’t try to salvage the peace treaty between North and South and pursue nuclear disarmament, but frankly it shouldn’t matter to us nearly as much as it should to Kim Jong Un.

After all, it doesn’t leave us in any different position than existed two months ago, other than we brought three Americans home at no cost whatsoever.

Time for an FBI overhaul?

If you haven’t been following the Wall Street Journal’s Kim Strassel on the story of how and why the FBI  behaved as it has vis-à-vis the Trump campaign, you owe it to yourself to at least consider the ramifications she presents. For a quick synopsis, you can follow her tweetstorm.

You don’t have to like President Trump or even be a Republican for this story to be of importance, as well as deep concern.

This is a Federal agency and a Cabinet level-department that was and still is being used to attempt to bring down first the candidacy and finally the administration of a duly elected President, based solely on the personal and political dislike of members of their respective upper managements.

For those who cared to see it, the motive and premeditation behind this “investigation” was clear as soon as the Strzok-Page  email and text messages were revealed.

Ms. Strassel’s observation that the story now appearing in the New York Times was an attempt to get out in front of what is suspected to be a damning IG report about the handling of the Clinton “matter” seems to be an understatement.

This was a “stop him at any cost, by any means necessary” assault not just on Trump, but on democracy, and we the people are paying for it in many ways.

It is still not completely clear how much of the DOJ’s and the FBI’s actions were being ordered by the previous administration, but as a matter of practice that may not matter.

The two articles, taken in tandem, make it very clear that, as many have suspected, the people clamoring for Trump’s head may have a lot to hide, and probably not just about the FBI.

First, weaponizing a Federal agency against a regular, non-political citizen running for office smacks more of Venezuela or a communist dictatorship than it does of the U.S. It makes the legitimacy of all campaigns suspect, and damns the agencies involved.

It also establishes a pattern of using government agencies this way, much as the IRS was used to target political opponents during the Romney-Obama election.

Second, it weakens the entire country, since any energy the administration spends fighting the FBI’s private army detracts from the government’s ability to protect us.

Third, it’s monetarily expensive.

Fourth, it calls into question whether we need some sort of replacement for, or at least significant restructuring of the FBI, since it has a long and sordid history of allowing itself to be co-opted and misused. At the very least, perhaps it should be placed under the jurisdiction of a different branch of government.

And fifth, next time it might be your guy or gal who is being targeted for destruction.

Indeed even today, every time a politician says or does something the powers that be at the time doesn’t like, it’s common practice for someone to mention that “you don’t want to get the FBI/IRS/CIA mad at you” i.e. threaten them with a government agency with a vendetta.

That sounds more like the initials stand for the Federal Bureau of Intimidation.

Not cool.

And finally, a local observation.

As one of four states that had primaries on Tuesday Idaho had a strong Democratic turnout, helped no doubt by the fact that the party actually had real candidates this year.

This election is instructional on a national scale, and we’ll get to that in a minute, as soon as we set the stage just a bit. (Full disclosure; I live in Idaho and have done so for over five decades.)

Actually the turnout wasn’t too shabby on both sides for a primary, with over 193,000 Republicans voting,  besting the last mid-term gubernatorial primary number by almost 40,000 people, but it was still hardly the large turnout the President has been asking for from GOP voters.

The Dems tallied over 65,000 voters, also about 40,000 better than in 2014, which might be every Democrat eligible to vote in the entire state. (Actually, registered Dems comprise about 20% of all Idaho registered voters.) Most of them reside in the western part of the state, specifically in and around Boise with some spillover around south-central Idaho in the Magic Valley.

One race which actually got some national attention was for governor.

On the GOP side, voters went with Lieutenant Governor Brad Little, eschewing the steadfastly negative far right campaign rhetoric of self-professed ultra-conservative Tommy Ahlquist.

They also rejected Raul Labrador, maybe due to his still close ties to the Washington swamp. Perhaps they feared he may have picked up some bad habits in his time there.

In general Idaho GOP voters seemed to be rejecting the extremes on both ends of their party.

Democrats in contrast picked a far left female candidate of Native American heritage (she is a registered member of the Coeur d’Alene tribe), awarding her 58% of the vote. She then openly crowed that her victory meant that the far left progressive wing of the party is now poised to take over Idaho.

Given where the Dems concentrate their members, she may have something there.

Hopefully Lt. Governor Little’s campaign staff recorded that little sound bite. It will save them some money in crafting an ad for the general campaign.

Despite its media reputation as the epitome of the Bible-thumping, gun-toting, white-male dominated Red state, the Lt. Governor’s race ensured that a woman will become the second-in-command in the Idaho Capital, as both primary winners were female.

In case you are wondering why all this matters to you, it reveals the stealth strategy the DNC is employing to break down traditionally Red state politics, one which some states, including Idaho, may not recognize until it is too late.

Quite frankly, many people were shocked by Paulette Jordan’s win, not because she is a woman or Native American, but because her views are the antithesis of the traditional Idahoan’s political mindset.

It was nice of Ms. Jordan to point that strategy out to us.

Illegal immigrants by the numbers.

Some Republicans in Congress have suddenly gotten all excited about passing “immigration reform ” to deal with the problem of illegal immigration.

Now, far be it from us to ever complain about Congress doing its job, especially in light of President Trump’s call for Congress to actually do some work from now until the November elections.

Border security, dealing with sanctuary states and cities and DACA should have already been addressed within the last 17 months. But WTH, better late than never.

Of course to deal effectively with immigration it might be helpful to know just how many people, legal and illegal are already here.

Conventional reporting estimates the number of illegal immigrants at between 11 and 12 million, but some people question that number since there has never been a foolproof way to count them.

The best source so far seems to be a September 2016 Pew Research  report called Overall Number of Illegal Immigrants Holds Steady since 2009 that details not just illegal immigrants of Hispanic origin, but all illegal immigrants, as well as showing which states are the most impacted by them.

As far as total migration into the U.S., Pew’s numbers validate the claim that the U.S. harbors far more immigrants  (46.6 million) than any other country, probably partially because it’s larger land mass can absorb more people, but also due to its lax border security and failure to keep tabs on people who overstay their temporary visas.

If one-fourth of those 46.6 million people are illegal that’s a significant number of people we can’t plan our state and national spending to accommodate.

To understand the impact of that inability to plan, we need only to look at California and the effect its sanctuary state policies have had on the quality of life in that state.

That, as much as any other reason, proves we need some way to get a handle on who is entering the country, and what the chances are that they will actually assimilate into our culture.

To do that, we need a reasoned and sane immigration and border control policy.

If, and it’s a monumental if, Congress thinks it can get that done by election day, then by all means it should get cranking.

But if all this is going to do is touch off a  firestorm of claims of racism and calls to end white privilege, then we may as well wait and see if the GOP can hold both houses of Congress in November.

Please continue to ignore us.

According to the liberal media, Democrats are just wasting their time trying to convert white Republican voters to the Democratic party, primarily because they are too brainwashed by conservative media like Fox News to understand the Democrat’s message.

So says Paul Waldman (formerly of Media Matters) in a Tuesday column written for the Washington Post. If you care to pay the Post its $100 a year for a digital subscription, you can read the article.

Perhaps that “pay to read” philosophy is part of the reason people don’t access the liberal media?

Apparently if those white Republicans would just listen to and read only liberal outlets, they could be “educated” but since they insist upon trying to look at both sides of the issues, it’s a lost cause.

Actually, most Republicans of many colors and both genders do pay attention to the liberal media, and they know exactly what Democrats believe. They just don’t agree with it.

And therein lies the rub.

There is nothing as dangerous to a would-be dictatorship as an informed voter, and make no mistake, the so-called “progressive” Democrats of today are a secular socialist movement that seeks power above principle.

While the “progressive Democrats” do actively promote reverse racism, it isn’t just skin color that they despise. Conservative “people of color” are even more despised than their lighter-skinned brethren, often characterized as traitors to their race.

They are often lumped together under the heading of being “uncle Toms,” a phrase that is one of the few things from the Civil War era that liberals are just fine with keeping.

That’s not to say that the far right is more moderate than the far left. To them, anyone with a (D) after their name is simply wrong on all things, all the time.

That leaves an awful lot of people sandwiched in the middle.

The America of today is far more polarized than it was 20-25 years ago, as noted by this December 2017 survey from the Pew Research Center.

The independents of 20 years ago, when queried, usually said they voted on issues and principles first, and party second.

That doesn’t fly today. If you don’t pick a side, then one or the other party will assign you to one.

While it is fashionable to blame stupid, male-dominated  and intellectually enslaved white suburban housewives or Bible-thumping religious nuts for electing Donald Trump, he was elected largely by people who compared the ideologies of the two candidates and decided that MAGA sounded better than being characterized as  “deplorables.”

Those people are still out there, and they are quite happy to be ignored, again.