Thursday, March 26, 2015

Another Liberal Idea Backfires

In the latest, if not the best, example of why liberals should not be in charge of health care, national security, retirement, foreign policy, or anything else, a Rand Corporation study concluded that Los Angeles’ seven year ban on new fast food restaurants did nothing to reduce obesity in the predominately African-American community of South L.A. Last week, NBC nightly news, hosted by Savannah Guthrie, teased an upcoming segment about the Rand study in which she said: “One city takes an aggressive stand against obesity by banning new fast food restaurants, but what happened next might come as a shock.” Come as a shock to whom? It should have been obvious that a 2008 Los Angeles City ordinance banning, not limiting, but the outright banning of new fast food restaurants in Baldwin Hills, Leimert Park, and portions of South and Southeast Los Angeles would accomplish nothing. What’s really shocking is the number of jobs and the amount of tax revenue lost by the city as a result of this nanny, feel-good ordinance. African Americans suffer the highest rate of unemployment of any group. Instead of promoting economic activity where they live, the City Council chose to depress the economy on the guise of promoting weight loss to improve health, just as the “Great Recession” was taking hold. Let’s assume the ordinance had never been enacted, and just one of each of the following ten fast food chains established new restaurants in the four areas of the city targeted by the ordinance: McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s, Carl’s Jr., KFC, Panda Express, In-N-Out Burgers, Taco Bell, Pollo Loco, and Jack-in-the-Box. That would create 40 additional businesses. According to an August, 2014 Forbes Magazine article by Carol Tice titled, “7 Fast-Food Restaurant Chains That Rake In $2M+ Per Store,” some of the companies I selected were mentioned. For simplicity, if each of the 40 new stores took in an average of $2 million dollars per year, that would equal $80,000,000 in sales per year. At L.A.’s nine percent sales tax rate, these restaurants would generate $7,200,000 in yearly tax revenue. In the seven years this ordinance has been in existence the city has lost $50,400,000 so far! In addition, think of the impact these restaurants would have made on local unemployment. At an average of 40 employees per restaurant, that would be 1,600 people off the unemployment rolls who would now have money to spend, generating additional tax revenue and economic activity. The increased property values of each of these restaurants would generate higher property tax revenues for Los Angeles County. Now, consider all the jobs created to build each of these 40 restaurants: carpenters, brick masons, concrete pourers, landscapers, electricians, surveyors, tile setters, etc. Also consider the manufacturing and production of the materials needed for these 40 restaurants: glass, tile, insulation, drywall, roofing, light bulbs, wiring, cable, speakers, microphones, ovens, stoves, grills, fans, heaters, toilets, sinks, railing, stainless steel counters, advertising, plastic utensils, napkins, plastic trays, trash receptacles, tables, chairs, soap, brooms, and mops. To prepare meals they need, hamburger meat, chicken, beef, rice, tortillas, lettuce, onions, tomatoes, soft drinks, coffee, ice cream, condiments, all of which need to be farmed, processed and then sold, generating more jobs and tax revenue. Ironically, new overweight employees working in fast pace restaurants would help with their weight loss, instead of standing in unemployment lines all day. When liberals don’t like something, they want it banned. Banning new fast food restaurants in one part of the city makes no sense if they can be found elsewhere. But, that’s what liberals do, and everyone suffers for it.

Main Stream Media’s Anti-Veteran Bias

Why is it whenever someone who has been in the military commits a crime the media headlines always emphasis that the suspect is a "veteran?" The latest example is Tairod Nathan Webster Pugh, the man who allegedly was returned to the U.S. from Turkey after attempting to transit into Syria to join ISIS. The major news outlets included in their headlines that Pugh is an "Air Force Veteran." The Associated Press headline read: "Air Force vet pleads not guilty to federal terrorism charges." His veteran status trumps him being a Muslim convert who wrote in a letter to a woman believed to be his Egyptian wife: "I will use the talents and skills given to me by Allah to establish and defend the Islamic States," and "There is only two possible outcomes for me, Victory or martyr." Pugh served in the U.S. Air Force as an airplane mechanic from 1986 to 1990, 25-years ago! I hardly think his veteran status has anything to do with the fact he is now a radicalized Muslim who wants to become a jihad martyr. That's the real story here, not the fact he served in the Air Force a quarter century ago. For as long as I can remember, the media has been portraying Vietnam veterans, Iraq war veterans, Afghan war veterans, former marines, ex-soldiers, ex-navy SEALS, former Green Berets and now Air Force airplane mechanics as being mentally ill individuals who are obsessed with guns and display various levels of violence or sexual deviance simply because they were exposed to the military. The media will never admit this, but the evidence is overwhelming. The reporters of these events focus on the perpetrator's military experience to explain their actions. The underlying message is that if you join the military, you too will suffer from mental illness and turn into a trained, mind numb robot killer. Many of these same reporters have never spent a minute in the military, but instead went to college to earn a journalism degree while these veterans were fighting terrorists overseas to preserve their First Amendment rights. On March 13, 2015, WABC in New York City had a story that screamed: "Army veteran who scaled White House fence pleads guilty." The first sentence of the story on its website read: "A knife-carrying Army veteran who scaled a White House fence and dashed into the executive mansion before being caught took a plea deal Friday." Mentioning he had a small pocket knife makes him seem all the more menacing, instead of just being a mentally ill person who happened to have a pocket knife. Other recent headlines have been: "Former marine guilty of murder in ‘American Sniper' trial." "Former marine freed from Mexican jail arrested for drunk driving in Georgia." "Former marine suspected of killing six in Pennsylvania." "Transgender [former] navy SEAL to primary Steny Hoyer." "Ex-Hawaii soldier sentenced in beating death of daughter." "Former soldier charged with aiding al-Qaeda in Syria." "Former coast guard member sentenced to 50 years for child pornography charges." And the list goes on and on. Something has to explain why an individual would drive drunk, kill six people, get a sex change to run in a primary race, beat his daughter to death, aid al-Qaeda and disseminate child porn. The media's explanation is that these people are all veterans. What else could possibly explain their behavior?

Yes We Can Deport 11 Million Illegal Aliens

The Obama Administration, Jeb Bush, John McCain, Lindsay Graham and the media's take on why Congress needs to enact "comprehensive immigration reform" is that it's impossible to deport the 11 million plus illegal aliens here, or as the president calls them, "Americans in waiting." Of course, it's possible. The notion that this country can't find these people is simply ridiculous. Here's why. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, there are over 461,000 local, county, and State law enforcement officers in the country. There are also about 120,000 federal law enforcement agents. If Congress gave state and local police officers the authority to enforce federal immigration laws, most of the 11 million illegal aliens could be identified and deported in about a year. Let's do the math. I'll round down to not count about 61,000 State and local officers who are probably managers, sheriffs or chiefs of police. Eleven million divided by the remaining 400,000 is 27.5. That's the number each law enforcement officer, on average, would have to apprehend to get to the 11 million goal. It's been my experience that uniformed police officers and sheriff's deputies encounter an illegal alien at least one a week, or often daily, during his or her normal work day. Most of those encounters result in the illegal alien's arrest for drunk driving or crimes such as shoplifting, drinking in public, vandalism, domestic violence, hit and run accidents, peace disturbance, driving without a license, drug possession and the like. Without even trying, an average uniform police officer will run across an illegal alien at least 52 times a year, based on my theory that they encounter illegals at least once a week. If all 400,000 police officers arrested just one illegal alien a week for a year, more than 20 million illegals could be identified and deported, far exceeding the estimated 11 million that are here. The real challenge is to locate the estimated 40 percent of illegal aliens that have overstayed their visas. That's where the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and other federal agents could concentrate their efforts. In places where there are large numbers of illegal aliens such as in Los Angeles County, police encounter illegal aliens far more often than the police in say, Oshkosh, Wisconsin. According to the Los Angeles Times, L.A. is the "hit and run capital of the nation." Nearly half of the 40,000 traffic accidents reported in Los Angeles were hit and runs, well above the national average, according to the LAPD. I'd estimate that nearly all the hit and runs in Los Angeles were committed by illegal aliens who have no drivers license, no insurance, and fear they'll be deported. But, illegal aliens flourish where municipalities, such as Los Angeles, declare themselves "sanctuary cities" and won't allow their police officers to cooperate with immigration authorities. That needs to change. Congress should hold back federal funding to these cities until they stop running interference for illegal aliens. Where I live in Monterey County, California, the largest industry besides tourism is agriculture. The National Agricultural Workers Survey estimates that 48 percent of farm workers in the country have no legal status. Mexican-American Cesar Chavez, the founder of the United Farm Workers, was very vocal about not hiring illegal aliens for farm work because it undermined the wages of legal immigrants and American Citizens. If there are not enough American workers available to plant and harvest the Salinas Valley, why not fill the void by allowing farmers to hire non-violent, volunteer state prisoners, at minimum wage, and pay for their correctional officer escorts. Paying these prisoners minimum wage would give them the ability to pay any court ordered restitution to their victims and provide them a nest egg for when they are eventually released. Since California and other states have prison overpopulation problems, why not let convicted illegal aliens do their time in their home countries? About 30 percent of all federal prisoners are illegal aliens. Altogether, federal, state and local governments spend about $338 billion dollars a year on illegal aliens. I think that money could be better spent on other things. None of what I'm suggesting will happen during this current Administration. The U.S. immigration system isn't broken, it's being ignored. The country needs to get a handle on illegal immigration before promoting legal immigration, with very few exceptions. Securing the southern border while deporting illegal aliens will go a long way in freeing up jobs, reducing crime, enhancing public education, reducing disease, and providing security for American Citizens. We need a leader to take action so the rule of law and quality of life for American Citizens can be restored.

A Simple and Effective Counter-Sleeper Cell Strategy

In light of the recent lone-wolf and sleeper cell attacks in Ottawa, Sydney and Paris, in which scores of people were killed and wounded, another strategy must be implemented to counter future attacks. The Ottawa shooter was denied a passport by Canadian authorities because they felt he intended to travel to Istanbul and make his way to the battlefield in Syria to join the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Since he was denied the opportunity to perform jihad in Syria, he decided instead to commit it at the Canadian war memorial and parliament. The Sydney shooter at a coffee shop was an Iranian "refugee" who converted from being a Shia to Sunni Muslim, became sympathetic to al-Qaeda, and failed to assimilate into Australian culture. He was arrested several times for violent acts, including the attempted murder of his wife. Two American teenage girls of Somali parents actually flew to Istanbul in hopes to have sexual relations with ISIS members to increase their numbers before being discovered and returned to the U.S. One of the shooters in Paris attended a terrorism training camp conducted by ISIS and the two others attended training by the al-Qaeda of the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) in Yemen, and then returned to France to carry out their evil deeds. All three were born in France, but chose to be jihadists rather than support their country of birth. It's obvious that many young, self-radicalized Muslims want to be jihadists. France estimates that their numbers are in the hundreds. It's impossible to measure how many there are worldwide or how many more will join their ranks in the future. One simple strategy in countering this trend is for Western nations to not only allow, but encourage these jihadist wannabes to travel to Syria and other places to join ISIS or the AQAP, but with this caveat: anyone who leaves the country to join ISIS or an al-Qaeda affiliated group would be considered an act of treason and the renouncement of their citizenship. These people would have their passports revoked, placed on a worldwide no-fly list, and barred from ever returning to their home countries. This would decrease the chances of trained terrorists returning to their former homelands to continue jihad. Western governments should let it be known that anyone who travels to a foreign country an attempt to join, assist or facilitate a jihad movement would result in their citizenship immediately being revoked or immigration status canceled. Enough is enough. Allowing these radical Muslims to travel to join ISIS would give U.S. and NATO air assets more opportunity to give these people martyrdom on the Syrian and Iraqi battlefields instead of the streets of Ottawa, Paris or New York City. Western intelligence and security forces can only accomplish so much. There are possibly many more radicalized, or potentially radicalized Muslims in the Western world then there are government agents to monitor their activities. Hopefully the events in Paris will wake up American liberals and stop them from further attempting to degrade the effectiveness of local law enforcement, the NSA, FBI, and the CIA. They should realize that the U.S. is ripe for similar attacks. The very organizations they criticize are the ones trying to prevent another attack. They need to show support for their local police who are the front line defenders against homegrown jihadists. They need to stop worrying about the "militarization of the police," which is pure nonsense. In news footage of the French police in action in Paris, they looked "militarized" because the situation demanded it, and I didn't hear Parisians complaints about them using helicopters and armored vehicles to quell the violence. The sooner Western nations take aggressive, affirmative action against their homegrown jihadists the better off they will be.

Anti-Police Tactics Will Backfire

Since the anti-police demonstrations that were spawned by the Ferguson, Missouri police killing of Michael Brown last August, there have been at least four unprovoked gunfire attacks on police officers. Scores of social media postings have also threatened police officers' lives. Shootings have taken place not only in New York City where two officers were gunned down by a murderous thug, but also in Dade City, Florida, Durham, North Carolina, and Los Angeles, California. All shooters were black. Last year, one hundred twenty-six police officers were killed in the United States. This is 24 percent higher than in 2013. Ambush attacks accounted for the majority of police officer deaths, according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund. Just when police officers need support more than ever from their communities and city governments, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio attended a birthday celebration with Rev. Al Sharpton, the ultimate cop hater. The mayor also spoke separately about how his bi-racial son needs to act, if he is ever encountered by one of New York's finest, to escape injury or death at the hands of the police. As a consummate leftist, the mayor has made a career of being anti-police, as evidenced by rubbing shoulders with Sharpton and not appealing a court ruling curtailing the effective crime fighting technique of "stop and frisk," that resulted in the confiscation of numerous illegal firearms before they could be used in crime. If Mayor de Blasio doesn't want his cops to stop and frisk potentially armed thugs, then thugs will increasingly carry guns and kill more people, mostly minorities. It's no wonder police officers turn their backs on the mayor when he makes his presence. Sadly, I believe more attacks on police officers throughout the country will continue as the media consistently portrays white lawmen as unprovoked attackers of young black men, when the opposite is true. The result of this will backfire when police officers become reactive, as opposed to proactive, in their search for criminals. The effects of this anti-police rhetoric have resulted in a 94 percent reduction in traffic citations and over a 60 percent drop in arrests in New York City as compared to this time last year. Cities where the police shift from proactive to reactive techniques to stop crime will see a sudden surge in the crime rate. Thugs will take advantage of not being "harassed" by the police and grow bolder in their criminal activities. Police will likely maintain a low profile during anti-police protests for fear of being labeled racists. Race baiters like Sharpton and his peers beat the drum at every opportunity when a police officer is forced to use deadly force. To them, the facts don't matter, only the race of the "victim" and the shooter. He, and others like him, have perpetuated the myth that police officers, especially white men, look for opportunities to gun down innocent young black men. The facts be damned, as in Ferguson, Missouri because Michael Brown, the "gentle giant," was unarmed. Sharpton would like you to believe the police obviously shot Brown for no reason other than he was black. According to Sharpton and his hysterical, ignorant, followers, all police are racists, and police departments recruit like-minded racists to fill their ranks. Sharpton ignores the fact that in many of these shootings, the police chiefs of these departments are black. It doesn't matter. Some of these jurisdictions have mayors or chief county supervisors that are black. It doesn't matter. The only thing that matters to these race baiting anarchists is that a young black man was gunned down by the "militarized" police, no matter the circumstances that led to the shooting. Even presented with video evidence that Michael Brown strong armed a shopkeeper to steal some cheap cigars moments before confronting officer Wilson, some members of Ferguson's black community don't believe it. It doesn't fit Sharpton's template. Police work, especially uniform patrol, is an increasingly dangerous profession. If cities want to waste hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars on unnecessary body cameras for police officers, go ahead. The cameras will depict extremely polite police officers dealing with aggressive thugs, weirdoes and nut jobs on a daily basis. It won't be long before Sharpton and his followers will demand removal of the body cameras because they will prove that in 999 times out of a thousand, police officers were fully justified in using deadly force. Body cameras might just put Sharpton out of the race-baiting business.

How To Avoid Being Killed By The Police

As a public service to the residents of Ferguson, Missouri, and the surrounding areas, below are things you can do to prevent being harmed or possibly killed at the hands of your local police. Don't Smoke Marijuana. Smoking marijuana can make people do stupid things like committing thefts or strong armed robberies. Don't Rob Convenience Stores. Robbing a convenience store is probably one of the dumbest things someone can do, especially if you are under the influence of marijuana. In addition to the convenience store clerk being an eyewitness to the event, almost every store nowadays is equipped with video surveillance cameras. If you shoplift something, like a box of cheap cigars to remove the tobacco and replace it with marijuana, and then manhandle the clerk that confronts you, the misdemeanor petty theft you committed suddenly is elevated to a felony. The police are much more likely to be on the lookout for a robber than a shoplifter. Don't Walk In The Middle Of The Street. Police officers are always concerned with the safety of the citizens they serve. So, when a thoughtful police officer nicely instructs you to walk on the sidewalk, don't give him any grief over it. If you've just robbed a convenience store, this is all the more reason not to walk in the middle of a street as this will automatically attract the attention of a police officer, especially if you match the description of the robber. Don't Hit A Police Officer In The Face With Your Fist. This should be obvious. If you slug a police officer, there's an excellent chance you will get hit with a nightstick and you will soon be outnumbered by other police officers who will come to the original officer's aid. You are guaranteed to be arrested, and resistance is futile. Don't Attempt To Disarm A Police Officer. Nothing gets a police officer's attention more than when you try to relieve him of his handgun, especially if you are physically larger and stronger than the officer. The officer may feel he is in fear of losing the weapon and it will be turned against him. Under this set of circumstances, a grand jury may believe the officer was justified in shooting you in order to stop the threat. Don't Run Away From Your Arresting Officer. If you've just tried to relieve a police officer of his gun, and then decide to run, there's an excellent chance the officer will chase after you to see where you're going so that he and other police officers can arrest you. Just surrender peacefully by following the officer's instructions to lie on the ground, spread your arms away from your body with your palms up, and relax while the police officers place handcuffs on you. Don't Turn Around And Charge At The Police Officer Chasing You. This is particularly true if you are six foot five inches tall and weigh in at about 300 pounds. Charging at a police officer with your head down like a lineman for the St. Louis Rams going after a quarterback, provides a police officer with all the reason he needs to shoot you, especially if you have already assaulted him and tried to steal his gun. Other things you should do and not do to further diminish the chance of being confronted by a police officer is to stay in school, get good grades, get a job, wait until you're married to have children, stay sober and drug free, don't associate with thugs, and stop listening to rap music that promotes violence and hatred. Glad to be of service. You're welcome.

Political Correctness Trumps Ebola Prevention

As if the Ebola virus isn't bad enough, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) has made a series of errors in protocol that has compounded the problem, and it illustrates this Administration's complete incompetence in handling this, or any other crisis. The president and CDC are recommending not suspending air travel to the U.S. for people from West African countries where the Ebola virus is raging. According to CDC director, Dr. Thomas Frieden, suspending travel would make it harder to track persons from West Africa entering the country, and they would probably find other means to get here anyway. He said it would also hinder medical flights into Ebola ravaged countries. That makes no sense. You can't prevent the spread of the virus here if you continue to allow potentially infected people to enter the United States. But, profiling people from West Africa wouldn't be politically correct. If the State Department would cancel or suspend visas of people from West Africa, they couldn't enter the country by commercial airliners, no matter where their flight originated! The government should notify the world's airliners and cruise ships that all U.S. visas have been suspended indefinitely for citizens of the affected countries. By saying that these people can find another way to get here, the CDC director is essentially admitting that our Southern border is completely porous. If Ebola-infected illegal aliens are caught sneaking through the Southern Border, it would put pressure on the president not to grant blanket amnesty to all illegal aliens through Executive Order after the mid-term elections. Thomas Eric Duncan, the Liberian man who brought Ebola to this country, traveled here on the pretense of visiting his wife after an absence of about 10 years. It makes more sense that he came here for treatment in the event he had contracted Ebola from an infected neighbor he took to a hospital, and who died a few days later. What do you suppose Duncan and his wife may have done within minutes of reuniting? She may now be carrying the disease from his semen. She interacts with neighbors; they interact with their family and friends, etc. Duncan obviously passed on the virus to at least two nurses, and who knows how many people they interacted with after they exhibited symptoms of the disease? The latest Dallas nurse victim flew to and from Akron, Ohio to prepare for her wedding. How many people did she interact with while traveling and visiting there? The potential for widespread contamination exists, especially when infected persons travel throughout the county. Instead of using common sense to deny entry of people from these infected countries, this Administration will allow them to enter the U.S. if they don't have a temperature. To appease the worried public, the president appointed a purebred political hack with absolutely no medical or health care experience as the "Ebola Czar." How about a retired army general who knows how to manage people during a crisis? The president's strategy is going to backfire on him. More Ebola cases are probably going to surface. The American people, regardless of their political affiliation, are not stupid; but they are becoming increasingly scared. Their displeasure with the direction in which our country is moving is evidenced by the latest polls that show President Obama's approval rating at only 40%. Because of what many have labeled excessive political correctness, President Obama's ultimate goal seems to be keeping his party in power after the mid-term elections. But just like Americans themselves, no matter their party, are lining up to say, "Let's do what's best and safest for the country and put political ideologies aside", the president should do the same.

Breaking News: Michael Brown Was Shot “In Broad Daylight.”

On the August 25, 2014 edition of ABC World News Tonight, Dianne Sawyer opened the broadcast with the funeral of Michael Brown, whom she described as an unarmed teenager killed by a Ferguson, MO police officer "in broad daylight." In broad daylight? What is she insinuating? To me, it was a direct swipe at Darren Wilson, the Ferguson police officer responsible for shooting Brown. Dianne Sawyer, like her other media colleagues, have no idea if Officer Wilson's actions were justified or not; yet, she was quick to forward her agenda that Brown was the victim of an unlawful police killing simply because he was black. "In broad daylight" implies that Officer Wilson was so brazen as to shoot an innocent, unarmed black teenager in the light of day, as opposed to waiting for nightfall to cover his crimes. That's outrageous! The FBI and local police investigations haven't even been completed, and the media are ready to walk the evil Officer Wilson to the gallows. The media was offended that the Ferguson police chief released a surveillance video of the 6' 4", 300-pounder manhandling a frail looking store clerk as he walked out the door of a convenience store with a box of Swisher Sweets cigars. The video made it clear that the media's depiction of Brown as a "gentle giant," eager college bound student on his way to his grandmother's house was completely false. What the video did, however, was reveal Brown's mindset when a few minutes later when he was confronted by Officer Wilson. He knew he was wanted for a strong arm robbery, Officer Wilson reportedly did not. It's irrelevant if Officer Wilson knew Brown was a suspect in the fresh robbery or not. What's relevant is that Brown knew he had just committed a strong arm robbery. Instead of confronting Brown to investigate his involvement in the robbery, Officer Wilson directed him and his friend, Dorain Johnson, to get out of the street they were walking on, and to get on the sidewalk. If Officer Wilson thought Brown and Johnson were involved in a recently committed strong arm robbery, he'd have probably called for additional units to assist him before confronting, and possibly arresting, Brown and Johnson. What apparently happened was that a physical altercation occurred when Brown allegedly punched Officer Wilson and attempted to disarm him. The medium build Officer Wilson was suddenly, and without provocation as far as he knew, attacked by a large young man who had a friend with him who might assist Brown. Now he's thinking it's two against one. It's unclear what happened next that prompted Officer Wilson to shoot Brown, However, three autopsies later, it was proven that Brown was not shot in the back, as Johnson maintained. Also, based on the gunshot wounds suffered by Brown, it's also highly unlikely Brown had his hands up in a surrender jester. The marijuana reportedly found in Brown's system probably added to his bizarre behavior. The fact is that Officer Wilson's facial injuries inflicted by Brown required a short hospitalization. So it would be highly inaccurate to depict him as a cold blooded killer who shot poor unarmed Michael Brown "in broad daylight," as Diane Sawyer told her audience. Brown may not have been armed with a weapon, but he did have two very large arms he used to pummel Officer Wilson. It's interesting to note that on August 11, 2014, three Salt Lake City, Utah police officers, at least one of which was described as "non-white," shot to death a young white man who met the description of someone waving a gun around at a 7-11 store. Police did not find a weapon on the victim who wore headphones listening to music and probably didn't hear police commands to stop. This almost parallel event was completely ignored by Dianne Sawyer and her national media buddies. The death of the white, 20-year old Dillon Taylor, at the hands of the Salt Lake City police, didn't further the media's agenda that black men are gunned down wholesale by white police officers - whether or not it was committed in broad daylight. Read more: Family Security Matters Under Creative Commons License: Attribution

Outraged by "Militarized Police?" Think of Stockton

The violent bank robbery on July 16, 2014, in Stockton, California illustrates why police departments are seeking surplus military vehicles to help protect themselves and the public. Three bank robbers, later identified as members of the notorious Norteno Mexican street gang, robbed a Bank of the West branch in Stockton. The men snatched three hostages and drove off in a stolen SUV. They were armed with handguns and a semi-automatic, Soviet designed, AK-47 rifle, which is banned under California law, along with its "high capacity" magazine. Each robber had numerous rifle and handgun magazines strapped to their bodies in anticipation of a violent fire-fight with police. Stockton Police, California Highway Patrol, and surrounding police agencies pursued the robbers for an hour. The gang member driving the stolen SUV rounded street corners, suddenly stop, and the three of them waited for the police to emerge so they could ambush them. The men also used one of the female hostages as a human shield before dumping the two others out of their speeding vehicle. The SUV was finally disabled by police gunfire. The Stockton Police then deployed its military surplus, fully armored, Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicle to use as a bulletproof shield and provide cover and concealment for police officers by slowly approaching the vehicle while exchanging gunfire with the robbers. When the shooting finally stopped and the dust settled, two robbers were killed and Jaime Ramos, 19, was taken into custody. Unfortunately, the last remaining hostage was killed. The use of the MRAP was the deciding factor in ending the deadly shooting rampage because a normal police car could not have stopped pistol and rifle fire. Fourteen police cars sustained bullet holes during the event. Yet, before this incident, the ACLU, politicians, and residents of many cities around the country had demanded to know why police departments need such vehicles. Last December, residents of Salinas, California were "outraged," according to news reports, when the police department acquired a free military surplus MRAP and adapted it for police use. "What's next, drones, attack robots, apache helicopters, mini guns on police cars?" a commenter wrote on the Salinas Police Department Facebook page that showed a picture of its newly acquired MRAP. "Has it been converted to shoot teddy bears to the kids as it drives down the road?" a sarcastic writer wrote. Someone else asked, "Why doesn't anyone protest the militarization of police departments across the country? The police are armed for war." What happened in Stockton was a war-like combat situation. Salinas, like Stockton and other Northern California cities, has numerous Norteno gang members within its city limits. An equal or even more violent situation could occur there some day. It's best to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it. What would have happened if the Stockton Police didn't have their MRAP to stop these bank robbers, and several police officers and innocent bystanders were killed along with more hostages? Would that satisfy the ACLU and other critics? If that had happened, the ACLU would be the first to demand to know why the police department didn't take advantage of a free military MRAP when it was offered. I don't understand the public paranoia when police departments change tactics that are designed to better protect the public it serves. The Salinas MRAP was essentially cost-free. The only expense was to paint it black and install emergency lights, siren, and radio equipment. These vehicles are only used under unusual circumstances, not for routine patrol. They safely transport SWAT teams and can be used to rescue hostages, knock down barriers, and provide bulletproof protection for officers involved in shootings situations, such as was seen in Stockton. So why would the public object? In a post 911 world, prison gates opening to release "non-violent" offenders because of overcrowding, the rise in MS-13 gang members entering the country from Central America, and violent crime increasing in general, the police need the tools to better protect the public and themselves from these criminals. These surplus MRAPs serve that purpose, as evidenced by the Stockton bank robbery.

First Lady Panders to LULAC

On July 10, 2014, First Lady Michelle Obama spoke at the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) Unity Luncheon at the New York Hilton Midtown hotel in New York City. What she said went far beyond the duties of First Lady. She actually encouraged more illegal immigration. "We cannot afford to wait on Congress to lift up our next generation," she said." Then she added, "We can't afford to wait on anybody when it comes to our kids' futures. Your grandparents and parents didn't wait for opportunity to come to them, no, they packed up their families and moved to this country for a better life." She forgot to mention that the families she's referring to are illegal aliens. When was the last time a First Lady encouraged anyone to violate federal law? She also went on to remind her fellow Democrats, "Make no mistake about it," the First Lady said, "we have to keep on fighting as hard as we can on immigration, and as my husband said, we are going to do whatever administrative action it takes to fix this broken system." Is there any doubt why over 50,000 illegal alien children have poured over the southern border since last October? The increase in unaccompanied child illegal entries can be traced directly to President Obama's policies such as the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals in 2012. This memorandum suggests prosecutorial discretion in the deportation of illegal alien children 16 years old and younger, which were brought here illegally by their parents. Yet, the White House, Jeh Johnson, the Secretary of Homeland Security, and Sen. Harry Reid insist that the southern border is secure. What did they expect when the president directs his Department of Homeland Security to not deport illegal alien children? Now the First Lady is beating the drum for more illegal immigration. The next thing you know, the Border Patrol will be passing out voter registration cards to the illegal aliens they apprehend. U.S. immigration law is "broken" because liberal Democrats have done everything possible to ensure it became dysfunctional. To appease the majority of voters who want border control, Democrats twice passed laws to erect a fence along the southern border, and then refused to appropriate the money to build it. At the federal and state level, Democrats pass laws giving illegal aliens the ability to obtain driver licenses. They pass legislation allowing for more Third World unskilled immigrants to migrate, all of which require public assistance. They allow illegal aliens to receive free housing and education, in-state tuition for college, join the welfare rolls, and receive free medical care, food stamps, and Obama phones. The list goes on and on. Illinois Democrat Congressman Luis Gutierrez surrounds himself with illegal alien families facing deportation in front of the Chicago media, and openly calls for President Obama to use his executive powers to stop deportations. The same Congressman recently appeared on Face The Nation. When Bob Schieffer asked him if he thought the southern border should be secure before any comprehensive immigration reform is passed, Gutierrez told him, with a Cheshire cat smile on his face, that the southern border was secure. It's obvious that liberal Democrats want open borders to allow a new generation of illegal immigrants to be dependent on government for their survival. They see these illegal immigrants as a pool of future Democrat voters to further their socialistic agenda. President Obama's lack of immigration enforcement has given false hope to tens of thousands of desperate Central American and Mexican children and their families who have dangerously traveled hundreds of miles, led by money gouging human smugglers, at a cost of thousands of dollars, that could have been better spent on their children in their home countries.