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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

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By Nancy Thorner – 

Racial tension in America has exploded. Whoever would have thought that people would march arm in arm down streets chanting: “What do you want? Dead cops. When do we want it? Now!” They got exactly what they asked for when a black man assassinated two unsuspecting police officers while they sat in their patrol car, declaring the murders an act of revenge.

After the assassination of two patrol officers on a Brooklyn street on Saturday, December 20, wary NYPD cops are now letting minor crimes side. They are writing almost no summons and making arrests only when they must. Naturally concerned about their safety, law enforcement officers want to go home to their wives and kids after their shifts end.

The issue of race has become a primary focus in this nation. The catalyst for the protests that erupted across this nation last month followed a grand jury’s decision not to indict a white police officer in the shooting death of Michael Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old black man, in a St. Louis suburb. Following on the heels of the Michael Brown decision, a Staten Island grand jury declined to indict a white police officer in the choke hold death of Eric Garner, another unarmed black.

In the aftermath of these two incidents, protests grew in intensity along with demands to increase scrutiny of police tactics.  President Obama, Attorney General Eric Holder, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, and so-called civil rights leader, Al Sharpton, were largely responsible for the escalation of the tension.

When President Obama was asked a few days ago in an NPR interview whether the nation is more racially divided than it was six years ago, he responded:  “No, I actually think in its day-to-day interactions it’s less racially divided.”  Obama seems to be living in an alternative world as he wants to see it, one that is divorced from reality.

The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once marched with a positive message of peace.  His leadership resulted in accomplishments that eventually led to this nation electing its first black president. Ironically, under President Obama’s leadership, racial tensions have increased with riots, chaos and hatred. Absent is a strong black leader with the heart and spirit of Dr. King to unite us.

The individual facts of the Brown and Garner incidents do not matter to those who turn out to protest. Instead, it is the occurrences themselves that reinforce what the protesters believe to be true. This truth is based on perception, which often becomes reality. Presently the African-American community (more than 40 million) perceives itself as the targeted victim of white police brutality and that the entire white-dominated and controlled justice system is fixed against them making it clear that blacks will never get justice.  If this is true, how is it possible that Barack Obama was elected twice with the support of millions of white voters and that the head of the federal justice system, Eric Holder, is an African American?  And what about the Homeland Security Secretary who is an African-American?  African-Americans are serving in Congress.  They have also been elected as big city Mayors, members of City Councils, members of State legislatures, admirals, generals, university professors, journalists, TV anchors, CEO’s, famous artists, movie stars, athletes, senior police officials, etc.

Despite having made significant strides over the decades,it is disheartening that the perception of millions of African-Americans dates back to the old practices prevalent during the dark days of legally sanctioned segregation, with all the lynchings, Ku Klux Klan violence, and open intimidation against Blacks. Not to be dismissed is that police have been known to use excessive force. When killings of Black Americans by police officers have not been justifiable, police officers should be held accountable for their actions just like everybody else. It’s a stretch of the imagination, however, to conclude that isolated instances of while police misconduct should lead to the widely shared perception that white police brutality is systemic and that more than 40 million black Americans are now targets of excessive use of force that includes deliberate killings.

With the election of President Obama in 2008, even those who were not happy campers hoped that the election of the first black president would go a long way in helping to heal the country’s racial divide that still existed.  But this wasn’t to be. Belong long the political weapon of skin color was used against those who disagreed with President Obama’s agenda.

Such race baiting has led to harming this nation’s culture. No longer must a reasonable level of scrutiny be met in order for a divisive racial narrative to be put forth and bolstered by the media. This has resulted in the inability of the many Americans to view accusations of racism responsibly and objectively when they really do occur.

This is not a racist country. According to a recent Bloomberg Politics poll, a majority of Americans, 53%, believe that race relations have worsened under America’s first black president.  It is a small group of individuals who are invested in driving a narrative that whites are against blacks. This minority is likewise using poor blacks in urban areas to serve the interest of black leaders, such as shake down artist Al Sharpton. Sharpton has latched onto the tragedies and pushed the theme that any scenario that results in a black person being killed by a white person is murder attributed to racism. For Sharpton it’s open season for killing black men. The killings of Brown and Garner by white cops are being touted by Sharpton as the norm, instead of the isolated instances that they are.   Facts and statistics never stand in the way of Sharpton’s oratory.

Saner heads do recognize that the deaths are tragedies and that institutional racism is not to blame. Tragically this is not so, especially among young people. They have been taught through academia and the media that America is still a fundamentally bigoted country. Given this false narrative, it becomes virtually impossible for society to have an open, mature discussion about race.

Black American Jason Riley, Editorial Board member of the Wall Street Journal, had this to say in this excerpt from his book, “Please Stop Helping Us”, in regard to what the left won’t tell you about black crime:

The shooting is not because of drug or gun laws. The problem is primarily cultural — self-destructive behaviors and attitudes all too common among the black underclass.  The problem is black criminal behavior, which is one manifestation of a black pathology that ultimately stems from the breakdown of the black family. Liberals want to talk about what others should do for blacks instead of what blacks should do for themselves.  But if we don’t acknowledge the cultural barriers to black progress, how can we address them?  How can you even begin to fix something that almost no one wants to talk about honestly?

It is not an easy road to hoe for individuals like Jason Riley who advocate that people in black communities look in the mirror at themselves, even suggesting that there might be a reason why blacks are often racially profiled.

It is not an easy road to hoe for individuals like Jason Riley who advocate that people in black communities look in the mirror at themselves, even suggesting that there might be a reason why blacks are often racially profiled. Former Mayor of New York City, Rudy Giuliani noted that people should also be talking about the problem of black-on-black crime.  Although Giuliani did place some responsibility on the police department to train their officers better and make their police departments more diversified, he further noted, “But I think just as much, if not more, responsibility is on the black community to reduce the reason why the police officers are assigned in such large numbers to the black community.”  When Giuliani assigned police officers with Commissioner Bratton and Commissioner Safir, he do so based on statistics and not based on race. Said Giuliani: “If I had put all my police officers on Park Avenue, and none in Harlem, thousands and thousands more blacks would have been killed during the eight years I was mayor.”Some facts:  On the eve of the 2010 Census there were 40 million black Americans, the nation’s second largest minority group in the first decade of the 21st century.  The Hispanic minority population ranked first.  In 2010 Cook County, Illinois had the largest black population of any county (1.4 million) in this nation.

Black genocide is happening in America, but not by white cops.  Although the black population of this nation stands at 13%, one-half of all murders are committed by blacks.These three factors contribute to black genocide in America:

1.  Black on black murder – over 90% of young black men are killed by other young black men.

2. The absence of fathers in black households – over 70% of black babies are born to a single parent.  Prior to 1960 and the War on Poverty the percent was reversed – at least 70% were born to two parent households.  It is not surprising that one of the leading indicators of poverty is single motherhood

3.  Abortion – black mothers are five times more likely to abort their babies than white mothers.  A recent report stated more black babies were aborted than born in New York City.

Not to be forgotten is the creation of the Welfare State (President Johnson’s War on Poverty Program in the 60’s) and failed Democratic policies which failed to reduce the rate of poverty among blacks.

When will we be able to engage in civil discussion about racial divisiveness in this nation? Unfortunately civil discussion will remains impossible to conduct until the Left admits it has a problem, that of black-on-black crime.  There is not an epidemic of white cops killing young blacks men. In inner city black ghetto neighborhoods, it is cops who prevent these areas from becoming the wild, wild, west.

Yes, black lives do matter, but have the lives of young blacks living in Chicago and many other inner cities really matter to politicians?  And what about the lives of law enforcement officers who put their lives in danger day in and day out.  Do they not matter?

J-fund

By Nancy Thorner – 

Part 1 published yesterday at Illinois Review, Thursday, October 1, recounted the stellar and above-board behavior of Attorney General Edwin Meese when serving President Reagan, as remembered by Joseph Morris, an honored member of the Chicago Federalist Society, who held the position of Reagan’s Assistant Attorney General during part of Meese’s tenure as Attorney general. Introductory comments by John Fund were included as a teaser to whet the appetite for further Fund reflections and trust-worthy opinions in what is now Part 2.

John Fund reflected on how It was only six years ago that Obama was “a citizen of the world.” His candidacy was like the third coming. However, now the tide seems to be turning. Fund’s observation was linked to NBC’s “60 Minutes” TV program that he had viewed the night before, Sunday, 9/28.  Fund drew a blank when he inquired whether any in attendance had viewed the program.

On the broadcast, Obama was asked by Steve Kroft why the U.S. had not anticipated the Islamic State’s threat. Although Obama acknowledged there had been an underestimation of what had been taking place in Syria, he proceeded to place blame on his Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, and others in the intel community.

Shortly after the interview Ron Fournier, a supporter of President Obama, tweeted John Fund:

“I, me, my. It’s their fault.  “I, me, my.  It’s their fault.”   “I, me, my.  It’s their fault.”   “I, me, my. It’s their fault.”  “I, me, my. It’s their fault”

To further note:  Americans did turn away from watching Obama talk about the nation’s new war on ISIS on CBS’ “60 Minutes.”  The sympathetic news media mentioned the massive collapse in ratings for the program, but placed blame on the absence of a preceding football game.  It was not surprising that not one individual present to hear John Fund speak had watched Obama on “60 Minutes.”

Fund related an anecdote about James O’ Keefe, an American conservative activist who gained national attention for his release of video recordings of workers at ACORN offices in 2009. Entering a polling place in Washington, D.C, dressed as a scruffy-looking individual, James ‘O Keefe, seeing people in line, walked up and asked if Eric Holder was on the voter role.

A quick check showed Holder as a registered voter. Without further communication, O’Keefe was handed Holder’s ballot. Deciding to play along, O’Keefe asked if he had to show his ID and even offered to go out to his car to fetch it, only to be told that they weren’t permitted to ask for ID’s.  O’Keefe didn’t vote in Holder’s name, but, Holder, upon hearing about O’Keefe’s stunt responded later on that “You don’t need an ID to come to the Justice Department.”  He further explained that no one had to show an ID to go up to see him in his office whenever they wished to.

The Obama legacy of Al Sharpton

Another disappointing aspect of the Obama legacy was Holder, Obama, and Jarrett building up Al Sharpton as the most important civil rights leader in America today.  As the new black leader and one whom Obama leans on for advice, Al Sharpton sits in on meetings at the White House; Sharpton’s telephone number is on Eric Holder’s speed dial; Sharpton vacations near where Valerie Jarrett spends her time at Martha’s Vineyard; and Sharpton, now that Holder has tendered his resignation, is engaged in conversation as to Holder’s replacement.  All this, and Sharpton claims to have no income, claims to borrow all his suits from friends, and has never apologized for anything he has ever done of a shady and dishonest nature, i.e., the Tawana Brawley case of 1987 and the ‘Jena 6′ protest held in Jena, Louisiana in 2007.

Al Sharpton’s behavior has left this nation divided, politically disconnected, and cynical. Nearly 50 years after the March on Washington by Martin Luther King, race relations remain poor due to hucksters like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson.  Some liberals are finally getting it, included Margaret Carlson, who said when appearing in August of last year on PS’s Inside Washington:  “We’re gone from Martin Luther King to the Reverend A Sharpton, and as a leader . . . it’s very dispiriting.”  Rather than having the welcome mat rolled out for Al Sharpton at the White House, John Fund suggested that Sharpton should be run out of town.  According to Fund, only a small segment of blacks support Sharpton.

Questions entertained by John Fund

  • In referring jokingly to Valerie Jarrett as President Jarrett, John Fund revealed that Jarrett has a 24-hour secret service detail, something Obama’s Chief of Staff doesn’t even receive.  “But after all the President does play a lot of golf and is often delayed.”  Fund left it at that.
  • Regarding the possibility of finding out about the scandal involving Lois Lerner?  The Justice Department, having starting an investigation in May of 2013, seems to have no intention of following through. The same holds true for the host of other scandals associated with the Obama administration.
  • In response to a question about Holder’s replacement, Fund thought the individual would be made out of the same cloth as Holder.  After all, President Obama plans to issue a slew of executive orders after the November election. He will need someone to defend Obama’s elastic view of executive power divorced from the Constitution.

Related as fact by John Fund was how Tom Perez, as Secretary of Labor, makes use of a separate private computer in his agency which operates as a shadow government. Other officials have been caught using private aliases email accounts to correspond to hide sent messages. Two top EPA officials used email aliases accounts when corresponding with environmental groups: EPA Region 8 Administration James Martin, as well as EPA Administrator Lisa Jackton, who has since resigned.

The vast majority of inspector generals conferred by the House have been appointed by Democratic governors.  It is telling that forty-seven out of seventy-two signed a letter in August of this year that they can no longer do their jobs effectively because of their inability to get the documents they need to conduct their individual investigations.

The Inspector General Act of 1978, as amended, establishes the responsibilities and duties of an IG. The IG Act has been amended to increase the number of agencies with statutory IGs. In 1988 came the establishment of IGs in smaller, independent agencies and there are now 72 statutory IGs.

The primary job of an inspector general is to detect and prevent fraud, waste, abuse, and violations of laws and to promote economy, efficiency and effectiveness in the operations of the Federal Government.  Given the dissatisfaction of two-thirds of this nation’s inspector generals, it does not bode well for this nation, nor does it create the environment necessary to build back trust in government so lacking among the American people.

What happened to the promise candidate Obama made to the American people that his government would be the most open and transparent ever, if he were elected? This promise has fallen by the wayside. Perhaps it was never meant to be.

Technorati Tags: Eric Holder, Federalist Society, Illinois Review, John Fund, Nancy Thorner

 

 

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

George_zimmerman2012-hannity-interview-wide1-400x300By Nancy Thorner & Edward Ingold –

What were the statement or the actions described during the trial testimony that made the jury’s decision the correct one and the only one possible under the circumstances:

  • Zimmerman identified Martin as a suspicious person and called 911. When asked to describe the person by the 911 operator, he identified Martin as “black.” He did not volunteer this information, as implied by the tape as edited by CBS News.
  • When Martin ran between buildings, Zimmerman left his car to see where he had gone and to identify the location to police. He did not defy the 911 operator in leaving his car, as implied by the prosecution and news media. That conversation occurred 15 seconds after leaving the car, at which point the 911 operator (not a policeman) asked if he (Zimmerman) was following the subject. When Zimmerman responded in the affirmative, the operator said, “We don’t need you to do that,” Zimmerman responded “Okay,” walked to the far end of the cross walk, and started to return to his car, a distance of about 100 yards. The gunshot, recorded on another 911 call, occurred approximately 1:17 after Zimmerman ended his last 911 call.
  • According to friend on the phone with Martin at the time, Rachel Jeantel, Martin had reached his home, which is about 212 yards from where the confrontation occurred near the “T” intersection of walkways. If that testimony was correct, then Martin had to travel that distance to confront Zimmerman. We know that’s where he struck Zimmerman, because Zimmerman’s keys (which he had in his hand) and other objects were found near that that intersection. In other words, Martin left a place of safety in order to confront Zimmerman. He had a phone but did not use it to call for help, rather took the law into his own hands.
  • Was Martin justified in attacking Zimmerman? Perhaps, if Zimmerman had struck or threatened Martin. However, there is no evidence that Zimmerman struck Martin and ample evidence that Martin delivered many  blows.  It is more likely that Martin was angry that he had been followed and set out to avenge this disrespect. Oddly, that’s the justification given by the prosecution, the Martin family attorneys, and several celebrities, most recently by “gangsta” rapper, Jay-Z
  • If Zimmerman had displayed his gun, as implied by the prosecution, it is unlikely Martin would have struck him in the face and wrestled him to the ground. *The first priority would be to take control of the weapon. According to Zimmerman, that happened much later, when Martin reached for the gun after it was exposed when Zimmerman’s jacket slipped up while he was being beaten on the ground.

The absence of contact DNA on the slide is not evidence that Martin did not try to grab it.  Nor was there contact DNA on the slide from Zimmerman, or the officer who took it from him.  We  know both touched it, because that’s how you load or clear a pistol.  Zimmerman testified that Martin “reached” for the gun. Mark Osterman, the only person to say Martin actually grabbed the gun, based his testimony on recollection three months after the event when writing a book about it. This speaks of dramatic “embellishment.” The manner in which the DNA evidence was preserved and collected borders on malfeasance.

  • Sanford medical examiner, Dr. Shiping Bao, refused to testify on the nature of the gunshot wound except in overly broad terms. He did not test Martins hands for Zimmerman’s DNA, despite the knowledge that a fight preceded the gunshot.  Dr. Bao also put Martin’s clothing in a plastic bag while still wet, leading to extensive decomposition and degradation. There was no coordination between the medical examiner and the investigators, and examination of the clothing and other physical evidence.
  • Did Zimmerman have a reasonable basis for fearing death or serious bodily injury? Jacksonville’s medical examiner, Dr. Valerie Rao, testified that Zimmerman’s head wounds were not life-threatening nor as numerous as described by Zimmerman. Dr. Vincent Di Maio, the defense expert, put many of these matters to rest.  Significant to the defense, Dr. Di Maio testified that brain trauma can cause death without any external wounds at all, and the presence of these wounds confirms that a concussion had occurred. A mild concussion (not causing brain hemorrhage) will cause pain and confusion, described in common terms as “ringing your chimes,” and the effects tend to be cumulative in the short term.
  • There is a question of who was on top doing the beating. All physical evidence indicates Martin was on top during the struggle, as well as eye witness, Jonathan Good. Martins pants had grass stains on the knees, whereas Zimmerman’s pants and jacket were stained on the back. According to Dr. Di Maio, the fact that the gun was in contact with Martin’s sweatshirt when fired, but 2-4 inches from his chest (per powder residue pattern) indicates that Martin was leaning over Zimmerman when the gun was fired, causing his sweatshirt to hang free.

It should be noted that forensic pathology requires a different skill set than medical autopsies. Textbooks on the subject, including those written by Dr. Di Maio, cover gunshot wounds and head trauma extensively, not to mention the collection and preservation of related evidence. Mark Furman, a retired LA homicide detective, said on Fox News that he had a copy of Di Maio’s book on his desk, and referred to it regularly. Furman also remarked that the person on top would have no reason to scream for help in such a desperate manner and that the grass stains clearly indicated who was on top.

  • The prosecution questioned how Zimmerman could have drawn his gun and fired while Martin was holding him down. First of all, a holster like that used by Zimmerman is worn just behind the hip socket, not in the middle of the back like the prosecutor demonstrated. In the walk-through, Zimmerman demonstrated the correct placement. Secondly, it is not hard to lift your hips off the ground even with someone sitting on you, using your legs and possibly rolling to one side. It’s much harder to get your shoulders off the ground, as any wrestler could testify.
  • Why would Zimmerman re-holster his gun? First of all, this has no bearing on the prosecution nor the defense. Once the threat is stopped, you stop shooting. Zimmerman testified that he thought Martin had given up, not that he was mortally wounded (note his surprise when Officer Delores Singleton told him Martin had passed). He knew police were on the way and didn’t want to be standing over a downed man with a drawn weapon. That’s a good way to get shot by police. You need to retain control of the weapon, rather than throw it to the ground (unless ordered to do so by the police). These are all basics, covered in training for the CCW license.
  • Why did Zimmerman have a round in the chamber and the magazine topped off? Again, that’s what you are trained to do for self defense. Television cops (and bad guys) rack the slide just before engaging, because that makes scary sounds for the viewers’ appreciation.
  • Although the judge’s instructions to the jury included a reference to the “Stand Your Ground” (776.013, section 3), Zimmerman’s defense was based solely on 776.013, sections 1 and 2, “Use of deadly force…” There is no reason to claim “Use of force by the aggressor” (776.041), since there was no evidence or testimony that Zimmerman was the aggressor. Reporting suspicious activity to the police does not rise to the level of aggression, even if Zimmerman left his car to see where Martin had gone or if that action infuriated Martin.

The Zimmerman/Martin trial should never have occurred.  In that it was turned into a profoundly racial case with the help of President Obama with his remark, “If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon,” makes the happening a national tragedy. If the President expresses no confidence in the justice system and a completely public trial, although sworn to uphold and defend the Constitution, why should his followers? What’s the alternative – a lynch mob?

When campaigning to be president and upon being elected, many presumed that America’s racial divide would finally be a thing of the past and that Obama would unite us all.  Instead this nation was ripped apart by the Zimmerman decision with no hope that the racial division created by the Zimmerman/Martin verdict will disappear any time soon. The DOJ is threatening to prosecute Zimmerman under the Federal Civil Rights law, but seems to be in no hurry to do so, and has little (if any) evidence to support such a charge. The threat is intended to mollify demands from civil rights activists, but the delay merely provokes more racial unrest and division.

All seems to point toward a conclusion that the Obama administration intends to use the Zimmerman trial to further his own agenda of division and dependency.

Part 1:  The Zimmerman Jury Got It Right by Nancy Thorner and Ed Ingold
http://illinoisreview.typepad.com/illinoisreview/2013/08/thorner-the-zimmerman-jury-got-it-right-.html#more

Wednesday, August 07, 2013 at 10:00 AM | Permalink

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