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ANOTHER BOGUS CONGRESSIONAL INVESTIGATION THAT BENEFITS THE DEMOCRATS?

Once again, a tough-talking John McCain protégé Lindsey Graham is all over the news -- promising to investigate the investigators…

MCCAIN-GRAHAM

Senator Lindsey Graham, in announcing his Senate Judiciary Committee would hold hearings in early June as part of its investigation into the origins of the Trump-Russia investigation -- code-named “Crossfire Hurricane” -- is ready to investigate the unmasking of the call between then-incoming President’s National Security Advisor Lt. General Michael Flynn and Sergey Kislyak, the apparent abuses of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), and the appointment of Robert Mueller as special counsel. When asked if he would call former President Obama, he was quick to remind people that former President Obama still enjoys the same “executive privilege” that is claimed by President Trump.

I suspect that this is going to be another congressional dog-and-pony show and, because the Senate lacks enforcement powers, is only going to roadblock the ongoing investigations by the multiple United States Attorneys who are investigating the Russian collusion affair under United States Attorney General William Barr. In other words, Lindsey Graham is a “Hail Mary pass” to blunt the impact of upcoming reports and revelations on behalf of the progressive socialist democrats – in reality, friends of the late John McCain and Lindsey Graham.

How do I know Senator Graham is not serious? Perhaps because he has already stressed that the purpose of his inquiry is oversight – and how to craft legislation to prevent these abuses in the future.

“The Judiciary Committee will first delve into the Justice Department’s decision to dismiss its prosecution of Flynn, as well as actions by the Obama administration to view Flynn’s name in intelligence reports during the Russia probe. We must determine if these requests were legitimate.”

This investigation is a meaningless distraction that is likely to go nowhere. It is likely that spying on Lt. Michael Flynn was hatched in the White House, possibly with a direct order from President Obama to Attorney General Loretta Lynch and acknowledged by former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe in his December 19, 2017, sworn testimony.

mccabe

Depending on whose name was redacted, this could have been an effort under 50 U.S. Code § 1802, which allows for the President, through the Attorney General, to authorize electronic surveillance without a court order under this subchapter to acquire foreign intelligence information for periods of up to one year. Thus the line of inquiry disappears into thousands of pages of testimony unless it can be shown that President Obama had a corrupt and political intent to engage in domestic spying – especially on the opposition’s campaign activities. The Mueller issue limits the probe and caps responsibility with the intelligence and law enforcement agencies.

What I would like to see…

It might be, as my best friend Al says, “Wishful Thinking,” but I would like to start with “forgetful” Hillary Clinton – the root of the Russia conspiracy saga -- followed by her cadre of minions including those who worked for the Democratic National Committee, the law firm of Perkins Coie, the Fusion GPS crowd, including Glenn Simpson and Nellie Ohr and, of course, the likely contributors to the Steele Dossier, Sid Blumenthal and Cody Shearer. All who participated in the Russia hoax and who do not have valid claims of immunity.

Bottom line…

Perhaps it would be better for Lindsey Graham to STFU and let the grownups in the Department of Justice do their job without someone running interference for the progressive socialist democrats.

We are so screwed.

-- steve


“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!

“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw

“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”

“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS

"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius

“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell

“Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt." (The people gladly believe what they wish to.) ~Julius Caesar

“Describing the problem is quite different from knowing the solution. Except in politics." ~ OCS



IS THIS A LAST DITCH EFFORT TO INTERFERE WITH THE 2020 ELECTION OR TO PROTECT THE OBAMA CREW?

The simplest way you can understand what Judge Emmet Sullivan is doing to Lt. General Michael Flynn is to consider that the Judge is attempting to further punish the General for withdrawing his guilty plea after the prosecution's withdrawal of the case -- the discovery of exculpatory evidence, gross prosecutorial misconduct, and the withdrawal of the chief prosecution attorney. As if the General has not suffered for three-plus years, lost his house, was bankrupt, has his son threatened, succumbed to coerced testimony, and still owes millions in legal fees. 

I have always believed that there were three fundamental parties to a criminal court case: the prosecutors who represent the government, the defense counsel who represent the accused; and the judge who is a neutral trier of fact and who conducts the trial and rules on legal issues.

In the present case, the judge appears to have a ministerial duty to process a withdrawal request from the prosecution and dismiss the case against Michael Flynn.

I have never heard of any criminal case where the judge inserts himself into a case by requesting unaffiliated third parties to submit amicus curiae (friend of the court) briefs to help inform his decisions or appoints another unaffiliated party to argue the judge’s position before the judge. This appears to be beyond the scope of his judicial authority and makes a mockery of the legal process.

As I understand it, Judge Emmet Sullivan believes he has the authority (18 U.S.C. § 401) to hold Flynn in contempt and his legal theory is that since Lt. General Flynn falsely pleaded guilty and then withdrew his plea, he is guilty of lying to the court -- and as such can be held in contempt of court. And, to avoid a separation of powers issue between the Executive Branch (Prosecution) and the Judiciary (the Judge), he needs to appoint another attorney to prosecute the case. (Criminal Procedure Rule 42(a)(2)). Perhaps, somewhere in the record, Flynn admits to lying to the FBI… but this was coerced testimony, not perjury per se.

es-order

If the Judge ignored all of the illegal and contemptuous behavior of the prosecution and those who testified during the trial, charges the defendant with criminal contempt, and proceeds to sentence without due process – something is radically wrong with the system, or more likely, this individual judge.

Sullivan

Emmet G. Sullivan, United States District Judge for the District of Columbia

From reading the Judge’s past decisions, it appears that he is fiercely independent and has an extremely low tolerance for government misconduct. In setting aside the politically-motivated conviction of Senator Ted Stevens, Judge Sullivan appointed an independent counsel to investigate government misconduct in withholding exculpatory evidence and commented, “In nearly 25 years on the bench, I’ve never seen anything approaching the mishandling and misconduct that I’ve seen in this case.” By all accounts, Judge Sullivan is a distinguished jurist that is widely held in high regard. And the prosecutorial misconduct, in this case, is far worse than that of Ted Stevens.

Questions abound…

Why does Judge Emmet G. Sullivan, presiding in Michael Flynn's case, appear to be acting in an irrational manner and perhaps overstepping the bounds of his judicial authority with amicus curiae proceedings?

Is this a stalling tactic to keep Michael Flynn from bringing civil suits against government agencies and individuals in their personal capacities?

Is this part of a continuing coverup to prevent additional document requests which might prove even more damaging to the Obama Administration, and perhaps Obama himself?

Why does this unmasking issue appear to be a diversion and the requests precede the date of the significant phone call?

Was there another FISA warrant issued on Michael Flynn -- possibly using material from the Steele Dossier?

Did a third-party foreign intelligence agency spy on Michael Flynn and pass the information to intelligence or law enforcement agencies using an undocumented backchannel?

Why hasn't the government produced the actual recording of the intercepted original Flynn telephone call? And why didn't the government produce the actual transcript to Flynn's attorneys?

Where is the original FBI 302 of Flynn's interrogation since we know that Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, by their own admission, edited the original document?

Where is the Judge’s ruling on the prosecution’s willful withholding of exculpatory Brady material?

Does this have anything to do with the soon-to-be-released U.S. Attorney reports?

Considering that the Judge’s present actions are so out of line with his previous behavior, has someone attempted to influence the Judge, or has he become a hyper-partisan?

Bottom line…

The only three things that make sense are: one, the Judge has gone to the dark side and has become a political activist judge;  two, somebody is illegally influencing the Judge; or three, and most likely, the Judge is attempting to force President Trump to pardon Michael Flynn so as to create an opposition talking point prior to the election. Any of which will destroy the Judge’s prior judicial reputation and effectiveness.

He needs to be reassigned to other duties at the very least. Given that deep state intelligence and law enforcement agencies are involved, including bad actors in the Obama and Clinton orbits, perhaps the Judge requires additional protection from the Secret Service?

And let us not forget that the Judge previously accused General Flynn of “betraying his country in open court …

"All along, you were an unregistered agent of a foreign country while serving as the national security advisor to the president of the United States. That undermines everything this flag over here stands for. Arguably you sold your country out."

And, that the individual the Judge chosen by Sullivan to present the amicus curiae case appears to be prejudiced having co-authored an op-ed in the anti-Trump Washington Post titled “The Flynn case isn’t over until the judge says it’s over.” The conclusion: “Flynn’s guilt has already been adjudicated. So if the court finds dismissal would result in a miscarriage of justice, it can deny the motion, refuse to permit withdrawal of the guilty plea, and proceed to sentencing.” which is prejudicial and illustrates that the amicus curiae already tainted the case in a public proclamation.

We are so screwed.

-- steve


“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!

“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw

“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”

“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS

"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius

“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell

“Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt." (The people gladly believe what they wish to.) ~Julius Caesar

“Describing the problem is quite different from knowing the solution. Except in politics." ~ OCS



ANOTHER DEMOCRAT HOAX -- THE LATEST WHISTLEBLOWER

Once again, the un-American progressive socialist democrats and their complicit mainstream media are attacking the President of the United States by manufacturing another hoax using another so-called “whistleblower.”

The theme of the attack is that President Donald Trump did not act fast enough in response to the Communist Chinese Coronavirus and did not follow the “science” -- and that the delay cost lives and nearly destroyed the U.S. economy.

A theme which is clearly another big lie perpetrated by Congressional Democrats and their progressive media cohorts.

A theme that ignores the fact that the President restricted air travel from known virus vectors while being accused of racism and xenophobia by the Democrats. This singular act probably saved thousands of lives and mitigated the spread of the virus within the continental United States. All the while, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi attempted to play the race card citing anti-Chinese-American sentiments as she visited shops and restaurants in San Francisco’s Chinatown, claiming safe conditions and urging people to visit and enjoy the food and festivities. Funny, but the racism seemed to only exist in the minds and pens of the progressive socialist democrats and nowhere else in America.

A theme that ignores the fact that the major epidemiological models of the time were massively in error. That Dr. Anthony Fauci, the long-term director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the head of President Trump’s Chinese Virus Task Force, suggested that while the virus should be taken seriously, Americans had little to fear …

Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), said Sunday the American public shouldn’t worry about the coronavirus outbreak in China. “It’s a very, very low risk to the United States,” Fauci said during an interview with radio show host John Catsimatidis. “But it’s something that we as public health officials need to take very seriously... It isn’t something the American public needs to worry about or be frightened about. Because we have ways of preparing and screening of people coming in [from China]. And we have ways of responding - like we did with this one case in Seattle, Washington, who had traveled to China and brought back the infection.” <Source>

A theme that ignores the fact that it was the governors who were responsible for preparing for potential disasters in their states and ended up pleading with the President to supplement their meager supplies, provide more beds, and offer more personnel – which he did without hesitation. No president has ever coordinated so closely with governors and mayors than President Trump. No president has ever made himself available to the media like President Trump.

A theme that ignores the fact that it was the governors and mayors, mostly progressive socialist democrats, who were facing massive financial problems before the pandemic, acting in concert to shut down their own cities and states, to ostensibly cripple the booming Trump economy and reduce his chances of being reelected.

So along comes another “whistleblower”…

Like the previous fake whistleblower who has never been deposed under oath, this unelected whistleblower believes his judgment is superior to the President of the United States and that it is his public policies that should be followed. Given massive media attention by the Congressional Democrats who have invited him to testify before the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

The title of the hearing, “Hearing on Protecting Scientific Integrity in the Covid-19 Response,” is a ruse. Not only are there well-credentialed epidemiologists, virologists, and other specialists who disagree with the “fashionable” science of Dr. Fauci and the progressives, but the modeling and science itself are somewhat faulty, and the data is suspect. Something that ignores the scientific method which features controlled skepticism and not affected by consensus or false certitude.

The so-called whistleblower is Dr. Rick Bright, the former head of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, who was removed from his position when he violated his chain of command and became a disruptive influence within the healthcare administration. Primarily for his opposition to the widespread use of hydroxychloroquine, the anti-malarial drug that showed some promise in treating COVID-19 patients. This is a heavy-duty drug with a long history and some adverse side-effects that can result in heart arrhythmias and sudden cardiac death. This is a prescription drug and must be tailored to the patient by their physician. The reason that the progressives oppose the use of the drug is that President Trump suggested it could be a “game-changer” and that little proof – other than anecdotal evidence from extremely small samples – existed.

Truth-be-told, there is very little known about this newly-emerged virus, and nobody has worked harder than President Trump to mitigate its effects. All the while, the progressive socialist democrats were attempting to impeach him, and the media was showering him with invective and abuse 24/7.

“On April 21, 2020, I was removed from my positions as the Director of BARDA and HHS Deputy Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response by HHS leadership and involuntarily transferred to a more limited and less impactful position at the National Institutes of Health. I believe this transfer was in response to my insistence that the government invest funding allocated to BARDA by Congress to address the COVID-19 pandemic into safe and scientifically vetted solutions, and not in drugs, vaccines and other technologies that lack scientific merit. While my intention in testifying today is to be forward looking, I spoke out then and I am testifying today because science – not politics or cronyism – must lead the way to combat this deadly virus.” If you wish to read Dr. Bright’s prepared committee testimony of Dr. Bright, it can be found here.

Granted that there was anecdotal evidence of the effectiveness in limited use that suggested a positive outcome, waiting for years-long scientific studies would have condemned thousands of Americans to needless suffering and death while scientific studies were conducted. By no means was there an underlying suggestion of malfeasance (the commission of an unlawful act), misfeasance (the commission of a lawful act in an improper manner), or nonfeasance (the failure or omission to perform an obligatory or compulsory act). The drug was not self-administered, and the patient’s physicians approved everything.

The source was Dr. Vladimir Zelenko, 46, a mild-mannered family doctor with offices near the village. Since early March, his clinics had treated people with coronavirus-like symptoms, and he had developed an experimental treatment consisting of an antimalarial medication called hydroxychloroquine, the antibiotic azithromycin and zinc sulfate.

After testing this three-drug cocktail on hundreds of patients, some of whom had only mild or moderate symptoms when they arrived, Dr. Zelenko claimed that 100 percent of them had survived the virus with no hospitalizations and no need for a ventilator.

“I’m seeing tremendous positive results,” he said in a March 21 video, which was addressed to President Trump and eventually posted to YouTube and Facebook.

What happened next is a modern pandemic parable that illustrates how the coronavirus is colliding with our fragile information ecosystem: a jumble of facts, falsehoods and viral rumors patched together from Twitter threads and shards of online news, amplified by armchair experts and professional partisans and pumped through the warp-speed accelerator of social media. 

Critics have accused Dr. Zelenko of getting ahead of scientific research.

 Several small studies, including a controversial French one of 20 coronavirus patients, have found that hydroxychloroquine may be effective against the coronavirus. This week, doctors in China said it had helped to speed the recovery of a small number of patients who were mildly ill from the coronavirus. But other studies have contradicted those findings, or have been inconclusive.

“Anyone who tells you these drugs work, or don’t work, is not basing that view on science,” said David Juurlink, the head of the division of clinical pharmacology at the University of Toronto. “There’s reason to be optimistic, and there’s also reason to be pessimistic.”

Dr. Jeff Paley, an internist in Englewood, N.J., who shares some patients with Dr. Zelenko, said it was “irresponsible” for him to promote a treatment without warning people that the combination of hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin can cause severe side effects if not properly administered, especially in patients with pre-existing heart problems. <Source>

The science is unsettled, and for every ten scientists, you find eleven opinions. The classic economist dilemma: “on the one hand… and on the other hand.” It is not brave nor courageous to yell: stop – wait for the test results, or to have a contrary opinion in a government agency.

The media dog-whistle for progressive media types is in plain sight…

dr-1

Bottom line…

We do not know that which we do not know. The science surrounding the Chinese Coronavirus is evolving, as is the virus itself.

To characterize Dr. Bright as a whistleblower is to fall prey to the progressive socialist democrats and useful idiots. As President Trump said, the man is a disgruntled employee. Much like Alexander Vindman and whistleblower Eric Ciaramella who believed they knew better than the President of the United States and how dare he conduct foreign policy without following the directions of the apparatchiks.

This hoax is more Democrat/Media bullpucky and should be viewed in the same corrupt light of past progressive attempts at a silent coup d'état.

We are so screwed.

-- steve


“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!

“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw

“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”

“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS

"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius

“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell

“Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt." (The people gladly believe what they wish to.) ~Julius Caesar

“Describing the problem is quite different from knowing the solution. Except in politics." ~ OCS



PELOSI’S $3 TRILLION BILL: ARE WE ABOUT TO BE SCREWED BY THE GOP?

Politicians will do anything to their constituents if they can claim plausible deniability – including denouncing the opposition’s proposal, a portion of which they ultimately plan to accept while appearing concerned and ideologically pure…

uncle-sam-gun-head-blue-border

I reviewed, but did not fully read, the latest 1813-page version of the proposed legislation titled the “Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions Act” or the “HEROES Act” along with its 90-page summary which I read in its entirety.

My opinion is that considering the wide range of radical progressive fund allocations and law changes, this is what is known in politics as a “messaging exercise.” A stalking horse if you will -- a false pretext concealing someone’s real intentions. In this case, making outrageous initial demands so that the lesser demands in the follow-on negotiated bill appear to be a reasonable compromise where the Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and the GOP opposition can claim victory even though the majority of Americans lose. An old tactic in politics.

Few, if any legislators will read or even be able to comprehend a bill written by highly-specialized “staff” legislative lawyers with guidance from profit-seeking industry lobbyists s and ideological foundations, This is clearly an unconstitutional process as there were no committee hearing or input and GOP members, representing nearly half of the United States, were denied participation. For those of us constitutional conservatives, this is clearly taxation without representation—soft government tyranny by the progressive socialist democrats.

Nancy Pelosi’s people wrote this legislation in secret, without input from any Republicans or conservative groups. Now she plans to introduce the bill to a majority Democrat House of Representatives for an up-or-down vote without amendment. Of course, the matter will be debated – in reality, paid campaign commercials by Members of Congress.

Here is the bill’s introduction by House Speaker Pelosi…

Pelosi Remarks on the Introduction of The Heroes Act

Washington, D.C. – Speaker Nancy Pelosi delivered a statement on the introduction of The Heroes Act, House Democrats’ bold legislation to address the COVID-19 health and economic crisis.  Below are the Speaker’s remarks:

Speaker Pelosi.  Good Afternoon.

In February, sadly, we learned of the first known coronavirus death in the United States.  Since then, over 80,000 Americans have died and nearly 1.4 million have been infected.  33 million Americans have filed for Unemployment Insurance.  We all know these numbers.  We face the biggest catastrophe in our nation’s history.

[OCS: Let us not forget Nancy Pelosi’s February 24th visit to the shops and restaurants of San Francisco’s Chinatown, saying “You should come to Chinatown. Precautions have been taken by our city. We know that there is concern about tourism all throughout the world, but we think it’s very safe to be in Chinatown. I hope that others will come.”]

Setting aside how we got here, we must approach this tragedy with the deepest humanity as we go into the future.  All of our hearts are broken by the loss of life.  The number of 33 million Americans who have filed for Unemployment Insurance is almost unimaginable.  This is a moment when many millions of our fellow Americans are in deep suffering.

[OCS: No! Do not set aside how we got here. Do not follow the lead of the China apologists in the Democrat Party and excuse China for its blatant disregard for human life. Do not forgive those Democrats who rushed to use the race card and suggest that Americans were somehow holding Chinese Americans responsible for the acts of China’s Communist regime. Racism that seems to exist only in the minds of Democrats.]

We must have empathy for our heroes, the health care workers, for how exhausted and how stressed they are in doing their jobs.  Add to that, they may lose their jobs in this economy.  We must also empathize with the pain of families who do not know where their next meals are coming from and how to pay next month’s rent.

[OCS: Let’s reserve the word “heroes” for those who go above and beyond the call of duty and not those who are simply doing a self-selected job. If the Democrats had empathy, how can they explain the poverty, illiteracy, disease, and crime that existed in mostly democrat-governed areas prior to the pandemic. Where was their empathy then – as they diverted funds for alleviating misery into the pockets of special interests?] 

It is imperative that we address the needs of the American people with clarity on how we proceed.  That is why today, House Democrats are introducing The Heroes Act, named for our heroes, whose provisions are largely based on the four previous bipartisan bills we have passed.

[OCS: There is no real clarity. The pandemic models have been mostly wrong. The Democrat governors are operating outside the U.S. Constitution and using their so-called “emergency powers” to break the law. There is so much we do not know – including the impact of the massive multi-trillion dollar relief that has already been provided.

As for relief, the Democrats should explain why most of the funding is being supplied on an unrestricted and unaudited basis with no penalties for waste, fraud, and abuse. They should explain why money is allocated to projects, causes, and conditions that pre-dated the pandemic and have nothing to do with assisting those affected by the Chinese Coronavirus.]

The Heroes Act focuses on three pillars: opening our economy safely and soon; honoring our heroes; and, then, putting much-needed money into the pockets of the American people.

[OCS: Most of the money is directed at government entities and special interests – very little is actually going to the people in need. And what money that trickles down to small businesses and individuals in need is too little, too late.]

We can all agree that we must open our economy as quickly as we can, but we must do so based on science and data.  The key to opening the door is testing, tracing, treatment and social distancing. And we must do so in a way that reaches all Americans, in a way that addresses the disparities we have seen, so that we can assess the full extent of the coronavirus and defeat it.  Overwhelmingly, the scientific community agrees.

[OCS: The “science” is unclear and the “data” unreliable. Claiming that public policy is justified by “science” is just another act of the scoundrels in politics.

Testing is almost worthless other than from an epidemiological or sociological standpoint. A person who is tested for the virus and found to be negative can be infected the next day or the next year – and unless tests are continuous, they are worthless. A person who has virus-related antibodies has no assurance that they cannot be re-infected by the virus or its mutations. As for tracing, this is more big brother. Like trying to contact everyone in a train station through which a COVID-19 positive individual walked.

The scientific community does not run on consensus and they have no valid input in the societal issues arising from defective public policies that cause more deaths and suffering than the virus itself. The use of the statistic involving the number of cases is meaningless as it is a function of the number of tests and has absolutely no value in informing public policy.]

Americans also agree that we owe our heroes in the fight against the coronavirus an enormous debt of gratitude – our health care, first responders, teachers, transit, food, sanitation and other essential workers who risk their lives to save lives and who could now lose their jobs.  To do that, we must act boldly to support state and local entities to address coronavirus-related outlays and lost revenue due to the coronavirus.

[OCS: We can honor those who have remained at their post, but that is not a sufficient excuse to implement larger government, higher taxes, loss of personal freedoms – in short, implementing a socialist society.]

We all know that we must put more money in the pockets of the American people.  This is not only necessary for their survival, but it is also a stimulus to the economy.  Direct payments, Unemployment Insurance, rental and mortgage help and food and student loan assistance, among other things, are essential to relieve the fear that many families are facing.

[OCS: Someone must pay for these payments. And most of the money is not going to the people.]

The Chair of the Federal Reserve Bank has told us to ‘Think Big’ because interest rates are so low.  The low interest rate and the prospect of access to credit has bolstered the stock market.  We intend to use those interest rates to bolster the American people.

[OCS: This is stupidity beyond comprehension. More fiat money produces inflation and the interest rates will eventually rise – making the debt service overwhelming.]

We must ‘Think Big’ For The People now because if we don’t, it will cost more in lives and livelihood later.  Not acting is the most expensive course.  We are presenting a plan to do what is necessary to deal with the coronavirus crisis and make sure we can get the country back to work and school safely.  We have a goal.  We have benchmarks.  And we have the science to succeed. 

[OCS: Bullpucky! Acting now has a future due date when the cost of what is done today will overwhelm the Gross Domestic Product.]

In this critical moment for our country, we must demonstrate a clear strategy of testing, tracing and treatment.  Again, we must honor our heroes with the coronavirus crisis with support, not just words.  We must address the pain of families who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own.

[OCS: Yada. Yada. Yada.]

I’m proud of the Chairs of our committees of jurisdiction for their work on all five bills.  We must all take an extra moment to understand the numbers we are seeing, which are the most overwhelming in our lifetimes.  These numbers require action that we’ve never had to take before. 

[OCS: Where were the ranking members of the opposition party? Oh! That's right-- they were excluded from participating.]

There are those who said, ‘Let’s just pause.’ But the families who are suffering know that hunger doesn’t take a pause.  Rent doesn’t take a pause.  Bills don’t take a pause.  The hardship of losing a job or tragically losing a loved one doesn’t take a pause.  This is an historic challenge and, therefore, a momentous opportunity for us to meet the needs of the American people to save their lives, their livelihoods and our democracy.

Four hundred years ago, the great poet John Donne wrote: ‘No man is an island, entire of itself.  Each is a piece of the continent, a part of the main… Each man’s death diminishes me, for I am involved in mankind.  Therefore, send not to know for whom the bell tolls.  It tolls for thee.’

America’s heart is full of love; and our tradition is one of optimism and hope.  Let us pray for those who are affected, let us pray for a cure and a vaccine and let us pray to God to continue to bless America.

Thank you

<Source>

Bottom line…

Follow the science -- want to see how fast the progressive socialist democrats will demand to open the schools? Furlough teachers and see how the Democrats respond. Demand that non-essential government workers be furloughed without pay in direct proportion to the private sector and see how fast the science changes.

We are so screwed.

-- steve


“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!

“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw

“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”

“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS

"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius

“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell

“Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt." (The people gladly believe what they wish to.) ~Julius Caesar

“Describing the problem is quite different from knowing the solution. Except in politics." ~ OCS



IT'S SO SIMPLE EVEN DEMOCRATS SHOULD UNDERSTAND IT ...

Never before in the modern history of the United States has a single party caused an unprecedented scandal, corruption, and the willful destruction of the U.S. economy – al the while pointing their finger at the opposition.

I speak of the Democrat Party, perhaps better described as the Democrat Nationalist Communists in America.

All you have to do is look at the facts…

(1)  Former President Barack Hussein Obama was the first communist president in our nation’s history. A man unvetted by the progressive media and whose party and administration was plagued with multiple scandals and corruption as they attempted the radical transformation of America. Obama succeeded because he was black, and everybody who would or could attack him was branded a racist and vilified in the mainstream media.

(2)  The Democrats promoted Bernie Sanders, a real communist, and the corrupt lying felonious Hillary Clinton.

(3)  And now the Democrats appear to be attempting to finesse the election of a chosen President by promoting the corrupt lying Joe Biden who will eventually surrender the Presidency to an unelected individual with only two qualifications: take orders from the Democrat party and bury any previous and ongoing scandals. No more nor less will be demanded by the Democrats. The American people be damned.

BIDEN-SA

We are well and truly screwed.

-- steve


“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!

“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw

“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”

“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS

"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius

“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell

“Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt." (The people gladly believe what they wish to.) ~Julius Caesar

“Describing the problem is quite different from knowing the solution. Except in politics." ~ OCS



MUSK DOES CALIFORNIA?

Without a doubt, Elon Musk is one of the finest self-promoters and financial engineers in the history of the United States. He has managed to take the hard work of others, brand it as his own, and sell it to the government and the public at great profit to himself. Nobody knows the exact state of Musk’s thinking or the actual financial condition of his various enterprises. However, historically speaking, many of his bold moves involve publicity stunts that presage another “ask” for more benefits or another round of capital fundraising.

Considering the coming competition from well-financed and competent mass automakers in the electric vehicle space, Tesla’s future is cloudy. Whether Musk can morph from a boutique luxury carmaker into a mass-market auto manufacturer or re-position Tesla as a high-flying (SpaceX) technology company remains to be seen.

So what’s with Musk’s Twitter threat to leave California if his factory does not reopen before he runs out of cash, needs additional government subsidies, or simply fades away?

musk-1
In my humble opinion, this looks like another Musk publicity play…

MUSK-NEWSOMIf not for government subsidies, grants, tax relief, and consumer tax rebates, one might question Musk’s sanity for remaining in California with its hostile business climate, high taxes, one-party governance, and disdain for entrepreneurial billionaires.

Bottom line…

It is doubtful that the Chinese Coronavirus will encourage California to reduce taxes and the rules and regulations that are crippling California’s businesses. I would not be surprised if Musk does move operations to low or no-tax states as well as relocate his residence to a state favorable to bankrupt individuals who want to convert a portion of their wealth into a protected “homestead.” like Florida.

This is not the last we have heard from Musk. More entertainment to follow.

-- steve


“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!

“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw

“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”

“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS

"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius

“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell

“Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt." (The people gladly believe what they wish to.) ~Julius Caesar

“Describing the problem is quite different from knowing the solution. Except in politics." ~ OCS



THE "CALIFORNIA VIRUS"

sf-da 

How effed-up is San Francisco and is the contagion likely to spread to other states?

They elected the son of domestic terrorists and who was actually raised by Obama’s radical domestic terrorist friends and mentors Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn.

No wonder the DA wants to release prisoners and refuses to prosecute certain crimes.

But, he also wants to release his murdering cop-killer father…

San Francisco DA Says His Father, Convicted Murderer And Former Member Of Terrorist Group, Should Get Out Of Prison

San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin believes his father, convicted murderer and former Weather Underground member David Gilbert, should be released from prison due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Gilbert and Boudin’s mother, Kathy Boudin, were convicted of murder in 1983 for serving as getaway drivers during a bank robbery that left three people dead at the hands of their co-conspirators.

[OCS: Three people? How about mentioning the murders of Nyack police officers Waverly Brown and Edward O'Grady and Brinks guard Peter Paige.]

Both of Boudin’s parents were members of the Weather Underground, a far-left domestic terrorist group responsible for a series of bombings and other violent crimes at the end of the 1960s and into the 1970s. With his parents in jail, Boudin was raised by their Weather Underground colleagues.

[OCS: Raised by Barack Obama’s unrepentant terrorists and mentors, the radical communists Bill Ayers and his wife Bernardine Dohrn.

If you need proof that the mainstream media was in the tank for un-American, progressive socialist democrats, simply question why the media failed to vet Obama’s associates like his Communist father-figure Frank Marshall, his racist anti-white, anti-Semitic pastor/spiritual mentor Reverend Jerimiah Wright, and the aforementioned terrorists.]

Boudin said his decision to clear out San Francisco’s jails during the coronavirus pandemic

“In mid-March, I started emptying out our city and county jail because those living and working there face a grave risk of falling ill, dying and spreading COVID-19. My sense of urgency about this issue is professional, and it’s also personal: My 75-year-old father lives in a prison cell,” Boudin wrote in a Los Angeles Time op-ed on Wednesday.

“My parents’ decisions caused irreparable, cascading harm, but 38 years later, they shouldn’t mean that my father, a model prisoner with numerous underlying medical conditions, is sentenced again, this time to die prematurely from a viral outbreak,” he added.

[OCS: Too bad – three people including two police offers never lived beyond October, 1981. If he dies in jail, who cares other than his son and the other unrepentant domestic terrorists.

Remember, this was not a peaceful political protest – but the violent murder of three fellow human beings in a brutal robbery of a Brink’s truck. All should have received a death sentence.

His father was convicted and sentenced in 1983 to 75 years for three counts of felony murder.

And, apparently Boudin thinks nothing about releasing violent felons, rapists, and other assorted criminals into the community – while protesting the right of law-abiding citizens to have a gun. Bigger victim pools equals bigger government and a move towards totalitarianism.]

Boudin was elected to district attorney in 2019, running on a hard left platform. Among Boudin’s policy pledges was not to prosecute public urination in the urine-and-feces-plagued city.

“We will not prosecute cases involving quality-of-life crimes. Crimes such as public camping, offering or soliciting sex, public urination, blocking a sidewalk, etc., should not and will not be prosecuted,” Boudin promised in response to an American Civil Liberties Union campaign questionnaire.

[OCS: In Boudin’s world, evil individuals, criminals, and maladjusted psychopaths have more rights than legal, law-abiding citizens. And when it comes to illegal aliens, they become super-citizens above the law.]

Boudin’s pledge came despite the fact that San Francisco residents reported more than 30,000 cases of poop to authorities in 2019, according to city records. <Source>

The progressive socialist democrats in San Francisco tell you that asking for voter id or using plastic bags or straws is criminal, but hands out drugs, liquor, cigarettes, and needles freely to the homeless. Crazy! 

Bottom line…

No wonder San Francisco resident House Speaker Nancy Pelosi can sit in her mega-mansion with her $24,000 refrigerator stocked with premium ice cream and demand billions for her radical socialist agenda. Like Pelosi, Feinstein, and other billionaires in San Francisco, America means nothing as they are insulated by their wealth, position, and connections from the consequences of their actions. The classic “don’t do as I do, do as I say” scenario.

There was a time when San Francisco was home to industrialists, railroad magnates, movers and shakers who help build this nation. One look at their children proves that the apple not only does not fall far from the tree – but it rots from within.

We are so screwed.

-- steve


“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!

“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw

“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”

“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS

"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius

“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell

“Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt." (The people gladly believe what they wish to.) ~Julius Caesar

“Describing the problem is quite different from knowing the solution. Except in politics." ~ OCS



DRUDGE REPORT: NOW DRIVING THE DYSFUNCTIONAL MEDIA JUGGERNAUGHT?

There was a time when Matt Drudge and his “night-man” Andrew Breitbart used to be the go-to source for a majority of media types, both journalists and commentators. With a center-right outlook, most of the headlines informed the stories and commentary of the day – or certainly the next day. With its easy-to-use links to major media sources and popular commentators/columnists, it was the first step in watching the world. I cannot say enough good things about the early Drudge Report.

But, over time, something changed. The Drudge Report morphed from a reliable, dependable source of relevant information to something quite different. Almost as if an activist/agitator was acting on behalf of the Democratic National Committee. to highlight anti-Trump, anti-Administration headlines worthy of a DNC media operation.

At a time when the major news of the day were revelations of historic proportions involving the corruption in the Obama Administration and its premier departments and agencies, the headlines were something more provocative and more likely to be another diversion from the developing unprecedented scandal.

drudge-1

Another example that fails to highlight stories that noted that most of the destruction of the U.S. economy were the result of progressive governors who were ill-prepared to respond to the Chinese Coronavirus Virus pandemic. 

drudge-full elex jones

Or, do the headlines simply capture the progressive-bias of today’s media outlets?

2020-05-08 21_51_55-Greenshot

Bottom line…

What happened? Did someone purchase or invest money in the Drudge Report? Is Matt Drudge no longer the driving force behind this media monster? Is Drudge being influenced by the likes of Ann Coulter and Alex Jones?

Remember, news can be manipulated by omission as well as by other means.

I want to hear from the reclusive Matt Drudge.

-- steve


“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!

“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw

“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”

“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS

"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius

“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell

“Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt." (The people gladly believe what they wish to.) ~Julius Caesar

“Describing the problem is quite different from knowing the solution. Except in politics." ~ OCS



THE SUSPICIOUS KILLING OF AHMAUD ARBERY

UPDATE: After my post was queued for release, both McMichael men, father and son, were arrested by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation on charges of murder and aggravated assault. And, unfortunately, it appears that one of the nation’s prominent “Travon Martin” media-whore/race-baiter attorneys “helicoptered” in to represent the family of the slain man. As always, one wonders who is paying his fees and expenses and who might be coordinating the media campaign – complete with professional tee-shirts, signage, and an attorney-leaked video to the media?

gbi

On May 7th, 2020, the GBI arrested Gregory McMichael, age 64, and Travis McMichael, age 34, for the death of Ahmaud Arbery.  They were both charged with murder and aggravated assault.  The McMichaels were taken into custody and will be booked into the Glynn County Jail.

On February 23, 2020, Ahmaud Arbery was in the Satilla Shores neighborhood in Brunswick, GA when both Gregory and Travis McMichael confronted Arbery with two firearms.  During the encounter, Travis McMichael shot and killed Arbery.

This case is being investigated in partnership with District Attorney Tom Durden.

On May 5th, 2020, District Attorney Tom Durden formally requested the GBI investigate the death of Ahmaud Arbery.  The Kingsland Office initiated an investigation on May 6th, 2020.

On April 29th, 2020, the Glynn County Police Department (GCPD) requested that the GBI investigate allegations of threats against GCPD and individuals involved in the active investigation.

On the morning of May 5th, 2020, GCPD requested the GBI investigate the public release of video related to Arbery’s death.

These investigations are all active and ongoing.  

Original post…

Already, I have received a number of messages from the anti-gun crowd seeking to politicize what appears to be a tragic killing of a Georgia resident under questionable circumstances.

However, after reading the police report and the district attorney’s opinion on whether to arrest and charge the armed men, it is no longer a simple black-and-white issue.

The issues I am struggling with are: one, does a good faith belief that an individual committed a crime to justify armed pursuit; two, would the assailants have taken the same action had the individual running down the street been white; and three, why wouldn’t the District Attorney immediately charge the individuals who acted under questionable circumstances?

The police report…

Glynn County Police Department
Public Release Incident Report for G20-11303

Subject:   Shots fired
Officer:    Brandeberry #128
Date:        02/23/2020

Report:

On Sunday, February 23, 2020 I responded to the intersection of Satilla Drive and Holmes Drive in reference to shots fired. While in route I was advised there were shots fired and a male on the ground "bleeding out." A short time later I was advised the male on the ground was deceased .

Upon my arrival I observed Officer Minshew (#184) setting up a perimeter. I began speaking with Gregory McMichael who was a witness to the incident. McMichael stated there have been several Break-ins in the neighborhood and further the suspect was caught on surveillance video. McMichael stated he was in his front yard and saw the suspect from the break-ins " hauling ass" down Satilla Drive toward Burford Drive. McMichael stated he then ran inside his house and called to Travis (McMichael ) and said "Travis the guy is running down the street lets go " . McMichael stated he went to his bedroom and grabbed his .357 Magnum and Travis grabbed his shotgun because they "didn't know if the male was armed or not". Michael stated "the other night" they saw the same male and he stuck his hand down his pants which lead them to believe the male was armed

McMichael stated he and Travis got in the truck and drove down Satilla Drive toward Burford Drive McMichael stated when they arrived at the intersection of Satilla Drive and Holmes Drive, they saw the unidentified male running down Burford drive McMichael then stated Travis drive down Burford and attempted to cut off the male. McMichael stated the unidentified male turned around and began running back the direction from which he came from and "Roddy" attempted to block him which was unsuccessful. Michael stated he then jumped into the bed of the truck and he and Travis continued to Holmes in an attempt to intercept him.

McMichael stated they saw the unidentified male and shouted "stop, stop, we want to talk to you". Michael stated they pulled up beside the male and shouted stop again at which time Travis exited the truck with the shotgun. McMichael stated the unidentified male began to violently attack Travis and the two men then started fighting over the shotgun at which point Travis fired a shot and then a second later there was a second shot. Michael stated the male fell face down on the pavement with his hand under his body. McMichael stated he rolled the man over to see if the male had a weapon.

I observed blood on McMichael's hands from rolling the unidentified male over. Photographs were taken of McMichaels hands and were uploaded to Spillman under property number 20-03176.

My Axon body camara was on while I was on scene and the video has been uploaded into Spillman under property number 20-03179. Glynn County Coroner was notified and Coroner Christy Rozier arrived on scene. Coroner Rozier pronounced time of death to be 13:46. Glynn County CID was called to the scene and upon their arrival the scene was turned over to them.

The District Attorney’s findings…

OFFICE OF THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY - WAYCROSS JUDICIAL CIRCUIT

My office received the Arbery autopsy report [dated 4/1/2020] yesterday and have reviewed it yesterday and this morning . We were waiting on this important evidentiary article before finalizing our opinions.

First,
I am the current elected District Attorney for the Waycross Circuit , I have worked as a criminal prosecutor for some 36 years. As an Assistant District Attorney in Waycross and Brunswick, as Chief Assistant in Waycross for 20 years and served as the District Attorney the last 5 years; I have been actively involved in over 100 murder cases and assisted other prosecutors with at least 100 more. I have no idea how many Aggravated Assault cases involving gunshots and wounds of all types; Plus I have attended countless schools, classes and seminars on criminal prosecution and criminal acts and evidence. Myself and one of my Senior Trial Attorneys have reviewed the evidence extensively and concur on all points.

Second ,
As to the case at hand : It is my professional belief the autopsy confirms what we had already viewed as shown in the video tape, with the photographs & from the witness statements taken immediately at the scene. The autopsy supports the initial opinion we gave you on February 24th, 2020 at the briefing room in the Glynn County Police Department after reviewing the evidence you had at that time. We do not see grounds for an arrest of any of the three parties

Third ,
It appears Travis McMichael, Greg McMichael , and Bryan William were following, in ‘hot pursuit', a burglary suspect, with solid first hand probable cause, in their neighborhood, and asking/telling him to stop. It appears their intent was to stop and hold this criminal suspect until law enforcement arrived. Under Georgia Law this is perfectly legal,

[OCS: Whether or not that there was a true probable cause for a hot pursuit based on the belief of an individual should be a matter for the courts.]

[OCS: Georgia legal citation omitted]

Fourth,
It clearly appears Travis McMichael and Greg McMichael had firearms being carried in an open fashion. The investigation shows neither of them to be convicted felons or under felony supervision, they were in a motor vehicle owned by Travis McMichael. Under Georgia Law this is legal open carry.

[OCS: Georgia legal citation omitted]

Fifth,
The video made by William Bryan clearly shows the shooting in real time. From said video it appears Ahmaud Arbery was running along the right side of the McMichael truck then abruptly turns 90 degrees to the left and attacks Travis McMichael who was standing at the front left corner of the truck. A brief skirmish ensues in which it appear Arbery strikes McMichael and appears to grab the shotgun and pull it from McMichael. The 1st shot is through Arbery's right hand palm which is consistent with him grabbing and pulling the shotgun at the barrel tip, the 2nd and 3rd wounds are consistent with the struggle for the shotgun as depicted in the video, the angle of the 2nd shot with the rear of the buttstock being pushed away and down from the fight are also consistent with the upward angle of blood plume shown in the video and that McMichael was attempting to push the gun away from Arbe1y while Arbery was pulling it toward himself. The 3rd shot too appears to be in a struggle over the gun. The angle of the shots and the video show this was from the beginning or almost immediately became-- a fight over the shotgun. Given the fact Arbery initiated the fight, at the point Arbery grabbed the shotgun, under Georgia Law, McMichael was allowed to use deadly force to protect himself. Just as importantly, while we know McMichael had his finger on the trigger, we do not know who caused the firings. Arbery would only had to pull the shotgun approximately 1/16th to 1/8th of one inch to fire the weapon himself and in the height of an altercation this is entirely possible. Arbery's mental health records & prior convictions help explain his apparent aggressive nature and his possible thought pattern to attack an armed man.

[I would suggest that a court examine whether Arbery deliberately initiated a fight or was acting in self-defense against the armed assailant confronting him. Certainly, without a doubt, Arbery had reason to fear for his life.

Citing Arbery’s prior convictions and mental health records to justify the present action appears unjustified and the matter should also be left to the courts.]

For the above and foregoing reasons, it is our conclusion there is insufficient probable cause to issue arrest warrants at this time.

Did anyone else notice the striking similarity of this case to the George Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin case in Florida where Zimmerman was charged with second-degree murder under similar circumstances?

 

Other than saying that I was not on scene nor do I have any special information other than that reported by the media, I can only say…

According to my training by certified firearms instructors, a responsible gun owner, and a lifetime member of the NRA (Patron Level), it is my belief that you never use a firearm unless life is being jeopardized. That there are no circumstances that warrant an armed pursuit of any suspect, especially off your property, unless the suspect is armed and has put life in immediate danger or you have a reasonable belief that the individual is likely to immediately harm others in your present vicinity. And, that there is no suspected or perpetrated property crime that justifies confronting an individual with a weapon unless your life is at risk. The fact that property, but not life. can be replaced is the underlying common sense that should inform your actions.

But, then again, I live in the State of California which is likely to prosecute even those who use a firearm in self-defense and this is a Georgia case where the law is quite different and may favor those who take more aggressive action.

From what I have seen in the video, it is my belief that the individuals who gave chase to another individual should be investigated and charged with second-degree murder (murder without premeditation or malice) and the matter decided by the courts. The fact that the chased individual may have struggled to disarm one of the assailants might be viewed as an act of self-defense.

In my mind, there can be no acceptable justification or explanation for the actions of the armed individuals in this matter – other than they were following local customs and practices.  Likewise, there can be no acceptable justification or explanation of why the on-scene law enforcement officers did not take the individuals into custody and hold them on suspicion of second-degree murder while the local district attorney reviewed the police reports and available evidence.

Bottom line…

In my mind, this unfortunate case is not a clear-cut racial matter – an individual is dead and the proximate cause is clearly defined – nor a case that should be politicized by the usual race-baiting activists and attorneys seeking media attention and a chunk of settlement money.

As for a charge of profiling and all of its racial implications, that is for the courts to decide in an adversarial manner.

The death of any individual is a sad and solemn event. Pray for the individual and their grieving family and friends. Leave the matter not to the corrupt mainstream media looking for sensational content to drive their monetized audience, but to the appropriate law enforcement agencies and a court of competent jurisdiction. Since it is my belief that this is clearly a matter for the courts, protests appear to be justified as the non-prosecution of the individuals involved may shock the conscience and sensibilities of the community.

And, if this matter cannot be resolved equitably at the state level in Georgia, it should be pursued federally as a civil rights violation.

-- steve


“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!

“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw

“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”

“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS

"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius

“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell

“Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt." (The people gladly believe what they wish to.) ~Julius Caesar

“Describing the problem is quite different from knowing the solution. Except in politics." ~ OCS



COVID-19: ANOTHER EXCUSE TO AGGREGATE YOUR MEDICAL DATA?

In today’s environment, the concept of medical privacy is dead…

MEDI-LOCK

 

Using sophisticated algorithms, even de-identified medical data stripped of personally-identifying information can be manipulated to the point where individuals can be identified, located, and information from independent databases added to form a comprehensive dossier containing details beyond your medical history, including your lifestyle, social activities, purchases, financial affairs, and employment.

Artificial intelligence advances threaten privacy of health data
Study finds current laws and regulations do not safeguard individuals' confidential health information

Advances in artificial intelligence have created new threats to the privacy of people's health data, a new University of California, Berkeley, study shows.

Led by UC Berkeley engineer Anil Aswani, the study suggests current laws and regulations are nowhere near sufficient to keep an individual's health status private in the face of AI development. The research was published Dec. 21 [2018] in the JAMA Network Open journal.

The mining of two years' worth of data covering more than 15,000 Americans led to the conclusion that the privacy standards associated with 1996's HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) legislation need to be revisited and reworked.

"We wanted to use NHANES (the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey) to look at privacy questions because this data is representative of the diverse population in the U.S.," said Aswani. "The results point out a major problem. If you strip all the identifying information, it doesn't protect you as much as you'd think. Someone else can come back and put it all back together if they have the right kind of information."

"In principle, you could imagine Facebook gathering step data from the app on your smartphone, then buying health care data from another company and matching the two," he added. "Now they would have health care data that's matched to names, and they could either start selling advertising based on that or they could sell the data to others."

According to Aswani, the problem isn't with the devices, but with how the information the devices capture can be misused and potentially sold on the open market.

"I'm not saying we should abandon these devices," he said. "But we need to be very careful about how we are using this data. We need to protect the information. If we can do that, it's a net positive."

Though the study specifically looked at step data, the results suggest a broader threat to the privacy of health data.

Feasibility of Reidentifying Individuals in Large National Physical Activity Data Sets From Which Protected Health Information Has Been Removed With Use of Machine Learning

And, as we saw during the HIV/AIDS epidemic, protection of private and government security measures were both accidentally and deliberately breached.

Who has the “keys” to the kingdom?

It appears a foreign-owned entity, San Francisco, California-based Datavant, owned by Basel, Switzerland-based pharmaceutical company Roivant Sciences Ltd, wants to provide the software and services to aggregate, de-identify, and make your medical information available if it is related to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is possible that even being tested for the virus could provide access to your data.

Datavant-who-1

Leading Healthcare Companies Announce COVID-19 Research Database

A consortium of leading healthcare companies today announced the launch of the COVID-19 Research Database, a secure repository of HIPAA-compliant, de-identified and limited patient-level data sets made available to public health and policy researchers to extract insights to help combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

The database is a pro bono, cross-industry collaboration.

Researchers and policymakers seeking to better understand the COVID-19 pandemic have faced challenges because data relevant for this research are hard to access, fragmented and limited in their ability to answer critical research questions. The COVID-19 Research Database contains HIPAA-compliant, de-identified and limited, longitudinal, patient-level data sets from a consortium of institutions and organizations. It comprises a large, diverse repository of real-world data, including medical claims, pharmacy claims, electronic health records, and demographic data. In addition to the underlying data, the repository integrates privacy-preserving patient linking technology and statistical certification, connecting data sources in a HIPAA-compliant manner to provide a more complete view of the patient journey. Researchers can access the COVID-19 Research Database via an analytic platform, enabling them to conduct large-scale studies while protecting patient privacy.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed many of the gaps in America’s healthcare infrastructure, one of which is the challenge of accessing and connecting relevant data to answer pressing research questions,” said Niall Brennan, President and Chief Executive Officer, Health Care Cost Institute. “The COVID-19 Research Database is focusing on getting the most valuable data to researchers as quickly as possible and represents one of the largest public-private repositories of real-world data ever assembled.” <Source>

Somehow public databases always seem to morph into private proprietary databases where access is controlled by those who can afford to purchase subscriptions. As with most public-private ventures, the profits are privatized and the losses socialized. Even free database access requires expensive data analysis tools to produce useful results.

About  Datavant’s technology…

Datavant-2


By definition, any “token” that acts as a globally unique identifier (GUID) is just another data identification key to a data aggregator. It is the analysis of the actual data itself that allows the linkage of multi-record datasets and subsequent data aggregation pointing to a specific individual. While one-way hashed keys are common in data processing, knowing how keys are assembled and creating a dictionary of common data elements is often used to create a “dictionary” which can be run against a protected record and assist in re-identifying the information. 

Overview of Datavant's De-Identification and Linking Technology for Structured Data

“We’ve designed cutting-edge, patent-pending, de-identification technology that replaces private patient information with an encrypted “token” that can’t be reverse-engineered to reveal the original information. Furthermore, our technology can create these same patient-specific tokens in any data set, which means that now two different data sets can be combined using the patient tokens to match corresponding records without ever sharing the underlying patient information.”

“Datavant is installed at sites across the healthcare spectrum. All healthcare stakeholders face the common challenge of protecting patient privacy while maximizing their data’s utility for healthcare analytics. Datavant offers a simple, reliable, and flexible way to de-identify data sets in a way that can be deemed adequate under HIPAA while still retaining the ability to link data sets from multiple sources without exposure of PHI.” <Source>

Caveat…

As with most electronic health records, they are replete with missing, faulty, or incorrect data. Diagnoses are often manipulated to maximize reimbursements from the government or private insurers and may not reflect the patient’s true medical condition. The government is offering up to a 20% hospital add-on payment for Medicare beneficiaries diagnosed with COVID-19, an attractive incentive to jigger the records.

Bottom line…

I am not expressing an opinion on the value of the COVID-19 database, Datavant, or its technology, but a warning of the inherent dangers of medical databases, the inadequacy of outdated HIPAA legislation (which is rarely enforced) and the growth of big brother.

I suggest that you may wish to support the Electronic Frontier Foundation (www.EFF.org) that is attempting to rationalize analog laws for a digital age to protect what is left of our personal privacy.

To illustrate how scary the world may become, consider your electronic health records stored everywhere like a giant blockchain repository and available to anyone with a specific key?

We are so screwed.

-- steve


“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!

“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw

“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”

“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS

"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius

“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell

“Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt." (The people gladly believe what they wish to.) ~Julius Caesar

“Describing the problem is quite different from knowing the solution. Except in politics." ~ OCS