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Scene above:  Constitution Island, where Revolutionary War forts still exist, as photographed from Trophy Point, United States Military Academy, West Point, New York
 

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JUNE 18,  2021

SHORT TAKES ON THE DRIFTING WRECKAGE – OVERNIGHT:

AN UNSURPRISING POLL RESULT – FROM THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER:  A new poll reveals that the majority of people in the United States have an unfavorable view of critical race theory.
A majority, at 58%, expressed an unfavorable view of critical race theory, while 38% expressed a favorable view, according to the results of a YouGov/Economist poll released Tuesday.  The poll comes as debate rages across the country in recent months about critical race theory, with several Republican-controlled states moving to ban the teaching of the theory in public schools.  “Critical race theory is basically teaching people to hate our country, hate each other,” said Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who has vowed to ban the teaching of the theory in his state. “It’s divisive, and it’s basically an identity politics version of Marxism.”  CRT, as it's now being called, is very bad stuff, the exact opposite of what Dr. King taught.  It also represents an opportunity for our side to counter it and propose far better policies, which is what Gov. DeSantis is doing.

THOSE LITTLE DETAILS – FROM DAILY MAIL:   Middle income families are lashing out against Joe Biden's punitive new tax plan that would claim a large chunk of the amount someone leaves to their kids when they die just because it has gone up in value over the course of their lifetime.   The harsh new tax - dubbed Biden's 'death tax' - is hidden in his American Families Plan and it's receiving ferocious backlash. It proposes that when someone dies, any asset they leave behind that has appreciated in value to more than $1million since the time they bought it should be taxed.   The tax rate would go as high as 40% - double what it is now - and it applies to how much the asset has appreciate. So someone who inherited a house their mother and father paid $250,000 for but that's now worth $2.5million would have to pay tax on the difference.   Currently, the only capital gains taxes people pay on inherited assets is what they pay when they sell it, and even then it is 23 percent.   The current law allows families with few cash assets to keep valuable property, stocks or businesses in the family, passing them down for generations without anyone being given a huge tax bill.  I know very little about the details, but they do suggest that everything this administration proposes should be looked at with two eyes.  There seem to be a number of hidden taxes, and hidden policies that will lead to higher prices, which are a kind of tax themselves.  Biden says he's protecting the middle class, but the middle class is already being hit at the pump and at the supermarket.  And don't try to object.  You'll be called a racist or a destroyer of Earth.

June 18, 2022      Permalink 

 

THE KAMMIE CRISIS, COMING TO A TV SET NEAR YOU – OVERNIGHT:  The Republicans have finally realized that Kamala Harris is not Ms. Popularity.  In fact, she had to get out of the recent Democratic presidential primary race before a single ballot was cast because she registered three percent in the polls after months of campaigning.  Once nominated for vice president entirely on the basis of her race and gender, she was kept in the basement like Joe, maybe working on the oil burner.  Someone has to do these things.  And Now, as vice president, she punches a time ticket saying IN 9:00 a.m.  OUT 9:02 a.m.  And that's on a heavy day.

So the Republicans, awakening from their usual slumber, are making Kammie a news subject.  Well, good for them.  Lollipops for all.  From Fox:  

More than 50 House Republicans are urging President Biden to remove Vice President Kamala Harris from her role dealing with the migrant crisis that has overwhelmed the southern border in recent months -- accusing her of "inaction" on the crisis due to her failure to visit the border.

"Despite being in the midst of a border crisis this country has not seen in two decades, Vice President Harris has not yet shown adequate interest in observing this crisis first-hand," the 56 lawmakers, led by Rep. Glenn Grothman, R-Wis., wrote. "In the 85 days since the Vice President has been tasked with solving this crisis, she has yet to visit the border and meet with Border Patrol agents, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials and local law enforcement officials."

Harris was appointed more than 80 days ago to lead diplomatic talks to solve what the White House described as the "root causes" of the migrant crisis -- such as poverty, climate change, and violence in Central America.

Harris recently visited both Guatemala and Mexico as part of her responsibilities, meeting with leaders and announcing a number of investments in both countries to tackle those root causes -- while urging migrants not to come to the border. Harris described her trip as a success, though she was dogged by questions about her failure to visit the border

The White House and the administration have sought to clarify that Harris is not in charge of the border per se and is instead focused on diplomatic talks, but Republicans have said it is still important for her to visit the border to truly understand the crisis that saw more than 180,000 migrant encounters in May.

Republicans have blamed the crisis on the administration’s policies -- particularly the rollback of Trump-era policies like border wall construction and the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP).

The lawmakers who wrote to Biden this week said that, even if root causes are to blame, "the exclusive focus on Central American countries ignores the fact that we see many migrants attempting to illegally cross our southern border from countries all over the world, including Russia, Brazil, Cuba and Haiti."

COMMENT:  And also "migrants" from the Mideast and Asia.  I guess they just didn't like life in Iran.  The Biden border policies are colossal failures.  Harris is the point woman.   She takes the heat.  Maybe it's part of Joe's self-protection plan.  But ask most Americans if they think Kamala Harris is ready to step into the presidency, and don't be surprised at the blank expressions.

June 18, 2022      Permalink

 

 

 

 

 

JUNE 17,  2021

SHORT TAKES ON THE DRIFTING WRECKAGE – OVERNIGHT:

THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THE UNITED STATES FLASHES WEAKNESS – FROM THE HILL:   North Korean leader Kim Jong Un told the country's government on Thursday it needed to be prepared for confrontation with the United States.  Kim “stressed the need to get prepared for both dialogue and confrontation, especially to get fully prepared for confrontation” with the U.S. during a ruling party meeting, Korean Central News Agency reported, according to The Associated Press.  North Korea needs to “protect the dignity of our state and its interests for independent development and to reliably guarantee the peaceful environment and the security of our state,” Kim said, according to the state media outlet.  The comments come after the Group of Seven (G-7) countries — the U.S., United Kingdom, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan — pushed North Korea earlier this week to abandon its nuclear and missile program, AP noted. The countries encouraged the Asian country to come to the negotiating table and respect human rights conditions, according to the wire service.  Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in May there was no "grand bargain" to get North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons program.  North Korea realizes it is no longer dealing with the tougher Donald Trump.  So it flexes its muscles, knowing no one will do a thing. 

WISE DECISION – FROM FOX:   The Supreme Court sided unanimously with a Catholic foster agency in a dispute against the city of Philadelphia over whether it should be banned from participating in the city's foster program because it excludes same-sex couples.  The group, Catholic Social Services (CSS), claimed that "Philadelphia’s attempts to exclude the Catholic Church from foster care" violated the First Amendment. Lawyers for the city, meanwhile, said that CSS "lacks a constitutional right to demand that DHS offer it a contract that omits the same nondiscrimination requirement every other FFCA must follow when performing services for the City."  In a 9-0 ruling, the justices sided with Catholic Social Services.  "CSS seeks only an accommodation that will allow it to continue serving the children of Philadelphia in a manner consistent with its religious beliefs; it does not seek to impose those beliefs on anyone else," Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in a majority opinion. "The refusal of Philadelphia to contract with CSS for the provision of foster care services unless it agrees to certify same-sex couples as foster parents cannot survive strict scrutiny, and violates the First Amendment."  Freedom of religion was our first freedom.  It has been under attack in recent years.  The unanimous Court today restored some of the balance.  Religious beliefs must, within reason, be accommodated, which is the true American way.  The quote from Chief Justice Roberts gets it exactly right.

June 17, 2022      Permalink

 

THE DEATH OF A CITY – OVERNIGHT:  Really, an American tragedy.  The slow death of Portland, Oregon, a beautiful city being run by the wrong people.  And no one outside Portland seems to care.  From Fox: 

All 50 of Portland police’s highly trained rapid response unit voted unanimously to resign on Wednesday during a union meeting in response to the recent indictment of Officer Corey Budworth for allegedly assaulting a photographer with his baton as an overnight riot broke out last August.

"Unfortunately, this decorated public servant has been caught in the crossfire of agenda-driven city leaders and a politicized criminal justice system," the Portland Police Association said in an initial statement Tuesday after a Multnomah County grand jury indicted Budworth on one count of fourth-degree assault related to an incident that occurred on Aug. 18, 2020.

That night, according to the police union, a group of about 200 demonstrators – many equipped with tactical helmets, faces covered, and armed with a variety of weapons – descended on the Multnomah Building in southeast Portland. Multiple dumpsters were set on fire, buildings were defaced, and windows were broken. A riot soon was declared at the planned event after someone from the crowd launched a Molotov cocktail into the Multnomah Building, setting it ablaze.

"After nearly 75 consecutive nights of violence, destruction, and mayhem, a small group of RRT (Rapid Response Team) officers—including Officer Budworth—were again tasked with dealing with the riot," the Portland Police Association said. "Per PPB Command Staff orders, RRT officers cleared the rioters from the area to allow the Fire Bureau to extinguish the blaze. But the rioters were not satisfied."

According to the union, rioters re-amassed and began marching back toward the building. As the Rapid Response Team was working to clear the area, Officer Budworth "was forcefully knocked to the ground" and officers deployed pepper spray and less lethal munitions as the crowd grew more aggressive.

Several rioters interfered with an officer attempting to place one person under arrest.

According to the union, rioters re-amassed and began marching back toward the building. As the Rapid Response Team was working to clear the area, Officer Budworth "was forcefully knocked to the ground" and officers deployed pepper spray and less lethal munitions as the crowd grew more aggressive.

Several rioters interfered with an officer attempting to place one person under arrest.

"RRT officers, including Officer Budworth, used their Police Bureau-issued batons to try and stop the crowd’s criminal activity," the union’s description of events continued. "Per his training and in response to the active aggression of a rioter interfering with a lawful arrest, Officer Budworth used baton pushes to move a rioter, now known to be Teri Jacobs, out of the area."

COMMENT:  Read the rest.  The officer minimally struck Jacobs, a political activist, who made a federal case out of it.  Being Portland, the authorities believed the rioter over the officer, and now the officer stands indicted. 

This is what happens when ideology, not competence, runs a city. 

America is not an ideological country.  It is an idealistic country, but the left could never understand, or care about, the distinction.  I have no idea where we'll get competent police officers in some cities, given that the war on police is a sacred leftist cause.  Portland is violent night after night.  The city puts up with it because the governing ideology demands that rioters be seen as victims of an unjust society.  No other explanation is accepted.

June 17, 2022      Permalink

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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