Ever Worry About Your License Plate?

Have you ever read a story from a year ago and thought, “Whoa!Why didn’t I hear of this before?”

About this time last year, 27 year-old Jose Concepcion West got busted for a James Bond movie-style invention on his car: a remote controlled cover for his license plate. Jose just pushed a button and a black screen deployed over his license plate, allowing him to blaze through automated EZ Pass tolls without getting caught. He was finally nabbed by police when an officer happened to be driving behind West and watched as he deployed the screen.

Oops.

Here’s a bit of statutory trivia to keep in mind: stealing toll money this way led to a misdemeanor charge.Covering the license plate was a felony.

This matters because police in Pennsylvania are using automated license plate readers to capture thousands of license plate numbers, the cars they’re attached to and GPS location at time of capture.In Oklahoma, this recently led to collecting the license plate data of over 2,000 cars suspected of not being legally insured.

As reported, these cameras automatically scan all the license plates within their visibility and instantly compared them to a database that lists vehicles with liability insurance. The images of any vehicles not on the list are then forwarded to the state Uninsured Vehicle Enforcement Diversion office.

Officials say anyone who receives a letter – and can’t prove the vehicle was insured when the photo was taken – faces a $174 fee.

In Ocean City, Maryland, police are set up with these readers at each of the entrances to the resort city. One of these devices alerted police to a suspect wanted in a DEA drug case. A high speed chase ensued, with the suspect crashing into a cop car and injuring an officer. Marylanders got a bit upset when they learned this tech exists. After all, no one really wants to be spied upon.

And you are.

In Maryland, tens of thousands of license plates are stored for a limited time, and police have a process in place that allows them to search the records. It is an excellent tool, having been used to find a missing person and a hit-and-run homicide driver, according to media reports.

Still, knowing Facebook has sold access to everything they know about you, this rightly creeps out people.Knowing that police departments have taken the property from innocent people using “civil asset forfeiture” and the NSA has, indeed, collected all sorts of digital communications from millions of innocent citizens, it’s not too much of a leap to fear misuse of this data.

Pennsylvania state Rep. Greg Rothman sponsored a bill that would require that the data of every tag captured be destroyed in a year and it would make it illegal to sell the data or share it outside law enforcement agencies.

The bill is rotting in the darkness of committee manila folders.

We all agree this tech helps find stolen cars, insurance jumpers and various criminals.It’s effective. That’s why there actually are private companies using the same technology and hiring themselves out to car repo agents, divorce lawyers and debt collectors.

Enter Republican California state Rep. Joel Anderson. He sponsored a bill to allow people to cover their plates while parked because millions of innocent people’s data has been sold, traded and leaked into the internet. Police would still be allowed to peek under the covers.

Here’s the really weird part: It failed.

Considering massive public facial recognition is just around the corner, maybe it’s too late to care about license plates, anyway.

Copyright 2019 Rick Jensen, distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.

Rick Jensen is an award-winning Talk Radio host at 101.7 FM and 1150 AM WDEL in Wilmington, Delaware.Reach Rick at [email protected], or follow him on Twitter @Jensen1150WDEL.

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Kavanaugh Hearing: Hypocrisy on Both Sides

Hurricane Florence tearing up the south Atlantic coast is nothing compared to the hypocrisies tearing up our country over Christine Blasey Ford’s accusation that Brett Kavanaugh tried to pull off her clothes at an alcohol-fueled house party when they were teenage minors.

Democrats have decided that Kavanaugh is presumed guilty before being proven innocent, and are behaving in such a way that defines the Democratic Party as unforgiving to even the most decent adults for their behavior as a minor… unless he’s Cory Booker.

Meanwhile, conservative commentator Dennis Prager opines it is immoral to consider the Kavanaugh accusations because they are 36 years old, rationalizing that his mother and wife handled gropers by telling them to knock it off and let it go, and everyone else should handle it that way, too. This suggestion should be ignored.

And around we go.

Now, the New Yorker published an allegation that Kavanaugh dropped his pants at a drunken Yale dorm party which it cannot confirm and the New York Times refuses to publish as dozens of people they called could not corroborate the story, just as the accuser herself told friends she wasn’t sure it was Kavanaugh.

Really? !!!

One way to clear this comes unwittingly from Sen. Booker of New Jersey, aka “Spartacus the Good Groper.”

The Washington Post recalls Booker once wrote a column describing his high school and college sexual life as not too dissimilar to the accusation against Kavanaugh.Booker is mocked by Kavanaugh supporters as “Spartacus had Roamin’ Hands.” while supporters at CNN say his experience is different because he changed his ways.

So what we do know is that Booker was a misogynist, a groper and a grabber.The girl said, “no” and he tried again.And again with more girls. Until he changed his ways.

Kavanaugh denies groping anyone in such a way.

A fair line of questioning paralleling Booker’s “changed ways” would be to ask Kavanaugh of his attitudes toward women in business, the legal profession and in romance.

Will this prove anything to the anti-Kavanaugh crowd?

Of course not.Logic left the nomination process as soon as Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein chose to publicize a vague accusation post-hearing and let reporters dig up the allegation and publicize it for her.

While it’s quite ignorant to suggest survivors of sexual abuse are not believable because they have been fearful for a myriad of reasons to immediately report it, honestly, haven’t you been waiting for some credible accusations to emerge?

Democratic supporter Harvey Weinstein he isn’t.

Hypocritically, influential conservative lawyer Edward Whelan, president of the Ethics and Public Policy Center and friend of Kavanaugh, tweeted cringe-worthy accusations based on Zillow, Google maps and Kavanaugh’s Georgetown Prep’s yearbook to accuse another classmate of the groping.

Whelan was compelled to apologize.

But back to Democrats, who face another moral challenge in Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison, who has been credibly accused of abusing his longtime girlfriend, Karen Monahan.

Monahan stunningly released her own medical document where a doctor wrote that Monahan “states that she was in a very stressful environment for years, emotional and physical abuse by a partner with whom she is now separated.”

“She identifies the individual she was involved with as Congressman Ellison, and she is worried about retribution if she identifies him publicly,” the document added.

Ellison denies the accusation, complaining it was written a year after they broke up.

Monahan accuses the Democratic Party of silence.

Maybe the Democrats would take it seriously if he were not Deputy Chair of the Democratic National Committee and the document came out in 36 years.

And so goes the hypocrisy on both sides.

Copyright 2018 Rick Jensen, distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.

Rick Jensen is an annoying, award-winning Delaware talk show host and equally annoying national columnist. Email [email protected]

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Do You Really Want Democratic Socialism?

Heading into the midterms, it’s a good idea to take stock of what you really want and don’t want from “your” government.

Do you want the government to actually control the day-to-day operations of major business enterprises?

Then the “Democratic Socialist” candidate is for you.

As socialism enthusiast Erlend Kulander Kvitrud writes at Medium, ” ‘Democratic socialism’ is just a straight forward way of referring to ‘a democracy, leaning towards the socialist bound of the capitalist,E -socialist spectrum’. It is exactly what it sounds like: A system where major corporation (sic) are controlled by the government, while the government in turn is controlled by the people. That way the people have de facto control of the major corporations, using the government as an intermediary who manage and coordinate the daily operation of these corporations.”

Sounds lovely, eh?

But who would you rather like running an auto manufacturing company – someone who worked their way up in the industry, curating their experiences into effective management and company growth, or a partisan appointee with all the business experience of a Bernie Sanders?

Ironically, Kvitrud was writing in opposition to University of Georgia Economics Professor Jeffrey Dorfman’s delightfully well-written article, “Sorry Bernie Bros but the Nordic Countries are Not Socialist.”

Kvitrud takes exception when it comes to Norway, explaining that the Norwegian government uses a number of methods to control its citizens, most notably the stock market.

The Norwegian government, he explains, buys at least a 33 percent share of stocks in the major corporations the politicians decide they want to control.With such power on the board, they can decide how the company is run.

Peachy.

So, what is it Dorfman wrote that is so pertinent and disturbing to socialists?

“To the extent that the left wants to point to an example of successful socialism, not just generous welfare states, the Nordic countries are actually a poor case to cite,” Dorfman wrote. “Regardless of the perception, in reality the Nordic countries practice mostly free market economics paired with high taxes exchanged for generous government entitlement programs.”

This part seems to be infuriating: “Nordic countries were economic successes before they built their welfare states. Those productive economies, generating good incomes for their workers, allowed the governments to raise the tax revenue needed to pay for the social benefits. It was not the government benefits that created wealth, but wealth that allowed the luxury of such.”

Sweden offers school vouchers to all.

Could you image Bernie Sanders, Alexandria, Ocasio-Cortez or Kerri Harris embracing Sweden’s school vouchers for all?, Their patrons at the National Education Association, the “Big Education” union, would pull hundreds of thousands of campaign dollars and give each one an “F.”

Dorfman states Scandinavian unions are powerful and the government does not control the outcome of negotiations. That’s an important point.Socialists want the government to provide an equal outcome for everyone, using its taxing authority to create a workers’ paradise.

In socialist countries such as Venezuela and Cuba, these supposed outcomes are enforced through coercion, fear and violence. In the U.S, the promise is for equal opportunity, not equal outcome.

In capitalist countries such as ours, people respond to the success of others with either envy and hatred or inspiration toward success.

So, do you want equal opportunity with reasonable regulations and an economy where you have opportunities or do you want equal outcomes where your taxes are increased dramatically to ensure others have what you have and that you have what others have, or least close to it?

Dorfman points out that the Nordic countries are not all democratic socialist and that, Norwegian stock market control notwithstanding, beefy social programs would not exist without capitalism.

In the words of Winston Churchill, “The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.”

Your choice.

Copyright 2018 Rick Jensen, distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.

Rick Jensen is an annoying, award-winning Delaware talk show host and equally annoying national columnist. Email [email protected]

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A Philly Man’s Detention in Africa Should Not Be Ignored

When good people fight for freedom and peace, the rest of us should fight for them.

On July 28, such a man was thrown into a South Sudanese hellhole innocuously called “The Blue House” because of the blue tinting on its windows.

People who know Peter Biar Ajak will tell you he is brilliant.His degrees from LaSalle University, the Harvard Kennedy School, and his now-interrupted doctoral program at the University of Cambridge in England reveal his scholarly abilities.

His work as chairman of the South Sudan Young Leaders Forum and other groups that promote freedom and democracy reveal his nature. And they have made Ajak the target of South Sudan’s corruptocracy.

Recognizing the power of freedom to release the potential of both individuals and democracies, Ajak knows the first step is for peace. These endeavors make him an enemy of the South Sudanese government and a friend to us.

Ajak came to the U.S. as a “Lost Boy,” one of over 40,000 child refugees from the Sudanese civil war that ravaged the country from 1987 to 2005. Benefitting from the generosity of a Philadelphia family, Ajak graduated from Philly’s Central High School, then went onto LaSalle and earned his master’s degree at the Harvard Kennedy School.

“He is a true patriot and humanitarian,” declared Delaware state Sen. Anthony Delcollo, Ajak’s classmate at LaSalle, who said the two spent a great deal of time discussing philosophy and politics

Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., is calling for Ajak’s immediate release, stating, “The arrest of Peter Ajak at a time when the United States and its Troika partners,, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, and the African Union are encouraging a truly inclusive process undermines the credibility of the government’s claim that it wants peace.”

This bipartisan call to action is not and should not fall prey to the typical Democrat versus Republican “gotcha” gamesmanship you see played out on cable and broadcast TV news.

When men and women legally come to our country and work hard to better themselves, their home countries and the relationships between our countries, the debate should be how this will be achieved, not whether they should be jailed for fear that others might follow.

Tyrants like South Sudan president Salva Kiir Mayardit show fear, not strength, when they imprison good people, like Ajak, who promote peace and freedom.

As Americans, we celebrate these expressions every day without fear of government retribution.

No one goes to jail. Ajak envisions a South Sudan where leaders are chosen by honest elections, not bullets. He envisions a world where disagreements lead to understanding and solutions, not torture and arbitrary incarceration.

These beliefs always cause great fear among dictators.

This is why Kiir’s government passed the National Security Act in 2014, allowing the arrest – without cause – of anyone suspected of committing “crimes” against the state.

Ajak is now imprisoned in the notorious Blue House where people whose only crime was to express their opinion have died of starvation.

Imagine if the women on “The View” were to broadcast from Sudan or South Sudan. They would never be heard from again.

South Sudan’s “President,” Kiir, needs a new fear: the fear of total worldwide rejection for his cowardly and autocratic conduct.

You can help to achieve this and, hopefully, secure the release of Ajak along with many others. Call, write and email your representatives in the U.S. Senate and House and tell them to call upon South Sudan to release Peter Biar Ajak immediately.

Should you be successful, I believe we will all watch Ajak achieve peace and prosperity in a country that should be our partner, not our dependent.

Copyright 2018 Rick Jensen, distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.

Rick Jensen is an annoying, award-winning Delaware talk show host and equally annoying national columnist. Email [email protected]

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When the Government Knows What’s Best For You

When government “nudges” people into new behaviors, resistance is often ugly.

Eric Garner died because a Democratic governor sent the message down the line that New York was losing a billion dollars in cigarette taxes and police needed to get tough on everyone, including the guy on the corner selling “loosies.”

In New Jersey, the Hampton Police Department brought in millions of dollars in 18 months selling cigarettes illegally in a “sting” operation, during which no charges were filed, no arrests were made and police used proceeds to buy SUV’s, electronics and trips to conferences. Thousands of unaccounted dollars were also reportedly withdrawn from their credit union account.

The police chief resigned.

States around the country told you they needed to tax cigarettes to help people quit. Then they raised the taxes more to help fill their general funds. Then they raised them more because fewer people were smoking.

You create a black market for a product by slapping with extraordinary taxes, eventually reducing the amount of tax dollars coming in as people quit buying it. Then the government needs to find new funding for the extra spending that came along with the original short-term tax revenue increases.

The Tax Foundation reports the 2009 excise tax on cigarettes, from $0.39 per pack to $1.01 per pack, more than doubled revenues from $7.6 billion in 2008 to $17.1 billion in 2010, then starting to decline.

The Congressional Budget office projects declining revenues will continue. Of course.

Another target for “sin tax” is your vehicle.

This is not an argument for or against smoking or driving enjoyment. It’s just a cautionary tale so you’re prepared to pay twice as much in gas taxes than you do today… but it won’t be the gas that’s taxed.

It will be you.

For years, the federal government has been pushing for higher gas mileage vehicles.So much so that manufacturers figured out a way to sell cars as trucks because trucks are allowed to have lower emission and MPG standards.

Voila!The SUV was invented: a family car built on a truck chassis that’s rated as a truck, bringing the manufacturer’s total CAFE standard in line with government regulations.

American ingenuity.

In 2004, the EPA decided to hold SUV’s to the same emissions as cars

Bureaucratic ingenuity.

Then federal central planners decided it would be great to spend billions of taxpayer dollars on electric and hybrid vehicles that use very little or no fossil fuels at all.

Additional pollution from such vehicles’ batteries and their manufacture notwithstanding, millions of Americans agree this is a fine idea and are quite pleased their tax dollars helped their neighbor save thousands of dollars on their Prius.

While you may or may not believe that cars are as evil and nasty as smoking, this has brought us a new problem not unlike the cigarette tax.

According to Pew Charitable Trust research, fuel efficient cars have eroded gas tax revenues for road repairs so significantly that states are testing mileage taxes.

Between 2008 and 2014, at least 19 states considered 55 measures related to mileage-based fees, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Vermont and Washington enacted bills to study per-mile fees in 2012.

California, Oregon, Colorado and Delaware have equipped vehicles with devices measuring their mileage to test and presumably market the concept.

In Delaware, an estimate by the “I-95 Coalition” states vehicles with varying fuel efficiencies could all pay the same, $10.45 per month based on miles driven.

In their fuel tax estimate, fuel-efficient vehicles getting 25-45 mpg paid about $6.57 per month in gas taxes.

Electric paid zero.

Vehicles getting 5 to 15 mpg paid about $23 per month.

Thus, your expensive Prius will no longer be a gas tax bargain when states enact mileage taxes. Should states actually eliminate the gas tax, a cool 1969 Camaro could be your tax-affordable daily driver.

Then there’s your personal GPS data, which governments will need to track to determine your taxable interstate travel.

More nudging will be required.

Copyright 2018 Rick Jensen, distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.

Rick Jensen is an annoying, award-winning Delaware talk show host and equally annoying national columnist. Email [email protected]

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Embracing Violence is Not What Our Politics Needs

The Democratic Party wants you to be so angry that you are embracing violence and ostracizing everyone who disagrees with your views.

Leadership doesn’t seem to want it to be too obvious.

Rep. Maxine Waters is currently the most vociferous, calling on the party faithful to accost Trump administration employees and “push back” at them, screaming that they are “not welcome” in restaurants, at grocery stores and gas stations.

How this cannot be a call to violence is beyond logic.

After Democratic Party leader Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., warned such public calls for aggression could also be used against themselves, Waters feebly evaded the question of violence and pointed to Trump… “don’t let him distract you (the press)!”This is about the children!”

Democrats are reminding everyone that Trump encouraged supporters to “punch” protesters who disrupted his campaign rallies and yearned for the days when such hooligans would be carried out on stretchers.

If the argument is the schoolyard “he started it” theme, then we should all be reminded that Democratic Party operatives bragged on video that they hired criminals to start fights at Trump campaigns. They were paid by the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton campaign.

Still, the “civil” reaction at the Trump rallies would have been to call out the protesters as paid operatives for the Hillary campaign, but that’s not Trump’s way.

Especially since the “civil” way of the Democrats to disparage their opponent was to hire criminals to find a Trump supporter willing to punch them for videos destined for the nightly news.

This will not end well.

With liberal business owners joyfully telling Trump employees to hit the street, there has already been pushback from Trump supporters in the way of researching business owners’ and employees’ most personal information, such as health records, and publicizing it.

Some of the most scurrilous “information” disseminated online may not even be factual, but that doesn’t matter in tribal warfare.

Each side has their most fervent online “warriors,” certain that they hold the moral high ground.

Indeed, while calling for mobs to encircle, intimidate and physically evict from public spaces any Trump employee, Maxine Waters declared, “God is on our side.”

Question: Was God on “their side” when the Obama administration “ripped” children from their parents caught crossing the border illegally and caging them?

While Schumer is worried about violent right-wingers doing to him what the violent left is doing to Republicans, Maxine Waters basically doubled down on her rant.

Then, last week, an intern for Sen. Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., saw the president in the Capitol and shouted, “Mister President, f#[email protected] you!”

The intern was neither fired nor released from her prestigious position.

Former Gov. Mike Huckabee reports the owner of the Red Hen restaurant wasn’t satisfied with kicking Sarah Huckabee Sanders out of her Lexington, Va. restaurant.

While Sarah went home, other members of her family went to a restaurant across the street.The Red Hen owner followed with others in tow, shouting and screaming at the Huckabee relatives, including a brother-in-law who is a liberal.

Doesn’t matter.

Collateral damage.

Florida GOP Attorney General Pam Bondi was forced to call for a police escort to safely leave a movie about Mister Rogers after leftists threatened her at the theater.

Democrat Maxine Waters endorses this, which is utterly stupid.

There are many angry people in this world and Waters is, essentially, yelling, “Fire!” in every theater.

Radical right-wingers have threatened left-wingers and radical left-wingers threaten right-wingers. The more this is encouraged, the worse it will get.

What’s different now are the public, bold death threats, such as Florida Democratic Party activist Laurence Key threatening to kill the children of a Republican congressman and James Hodgkinson, a left-wing activist who shot Republican congressman Steve Scalise at a congressional baseball game practice.

Maybe partisan business owners should just post their preferences on their doors and social media sites to avoid violence in their establishments. Mimicking the American Revolution, big-government Tories (Democrats) and limited-government patriots (Republicans) could post a donkey or elephant on their doors.

Copyright 2018 Rick Jensen, distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.

Rick Jensen is an annoying, award-winning Delaware talk show host and equally annoying national columnist. Email [email protected]

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Canada is Actually the Bully on Tariffs

It’s amusing to see liberal Americans “virtue signaling” the world by “apologizing” for Trump for “attacking” Canadian Prime Minster Justin Trudeau.

According to these patriotic citizens, Trump is a boor, an insult-machine, crass and nasty. And he forced poor, traumatized Trudeau to courageously stand behind a podium with armed guards nearby squeaking, “We will not be bullied.”

All this went down after Trump had signed off on the G-7 agreement in which the United States and six of our allies, including Canada, all agreed to work together for peace, a clean environment, fair taxes and singing “kumbaya.”

Let’s you and I do something here that the Mika and Joe Scarboroughs of the world simply cannot bring themselves to do: look at the trade wars from the perspective of the people most affected by years of ongoing battles.

Canada actually dictates (Trudeau the Dictator?!!) how much milk, eggs and various dairy and poultry products farmers are allowed to produce, and at what price they may sell such products.

This was “put in place” by the benevolent bosses of the Canadian government to compensate for surplus production in the 1950’s and 1960’s.

To keep supply as stable as possible and make everything “fair,” the government benevolently blocks imports from the U.S. by whacking our dairy farmers with tariffs that are, as Trump has said, up to 270 percent on dairy products.

So, if any Canadian says, “Ok there, now don’cha know yew guys import more dairy to Canada than we sell to you,” it’s true because their government makes sure they don’t have much to spare.

Then, there’s timber.

When builders shop for materials, they want good quality that’s affordable and allows for a profit margin.

When the Canadian government subsidizes their timber industry to the point where Canadian timber costs nearly ten percent less than local U.S. timber, builders are going to dial the Canadian area code.

Imagine that.

Last November, the U.S. Commerce Department released their final finding that imports of Canadian softwood lumber are being unfairly subsidized and “dumped” in the United States.

This is no small problem for American timber businesses.

Imagine being in this business and then having to compete with Canadian companies whose government subsidizes about five and a half billion dollars worth of lumber so their companies can undercut yours.

The Commerce Department’s report said exporters from Canada have sold softwood lumber in the U.S. market at nearly 9 percent less than fair value.

9 percent. That’s yuuuuge!

Add to that Canada is providing unfair subsidies at rates up to 18 percent.

So, when mean old Mr. Trump slapped tariffs of up to 24 percent on imported Canadian softwood lumber, Trudeau squealed like a squirrel chain-sawed out of his home.

The Press-Herald reported: “What we’ve desired all this time is a level playing field, and news like this gives us confidence,” said Jason Brochu, co-president of Pleasant River Lumber, which employs 300 people at (Maine) sawmills in Dover-Foxcroft, Jackman, Hancock and Sanford. “With a strong presence from the government and such an emphasis on trade and jobs, it is timed perfectly for us to expand our operation and increase employment, which is exactly what we are going to do.”

(Note to Bobby DeNiro:Maine is in the United States)

U.S-owned lumber companies have pushed for our government to counter these duties for years through the U.S. Lumber Coalition, which also has claimed Canada is dumping softwood lumber on the U.S. market below cost.

So, if you’re one of the Americans writing to Canadian news outlets to “apologize” for Trump, remember he’s keeping his promise to fight Trudeau’s Canadian tariff “bullies.”

All I ask is please don’t screw it up by suggesting Trudeau impose huge price increases for their delicious 7-year Canadian cheddar cheese.

It’s the best thing we get from Canada besides a well-manicured victim for American self-aggrandizing virtue signaling.

Copyright 2018 Rick Jensen, distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.

Rick Jensen is an annoying, award-winning Delaware talk show host and equally annoying national columnist. Email [email protected]

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The Media Continues to Lie About Trump

The problem with the “fake news” meme is that such fabrications exist in two places – online at sites dedicated to creating falsehoods and mainstream news outlets.

The point of documenting the following recent egregious example is to humbly caution what I believe to be the majority of good reporters covering national politics.

Trump is so replete with gaffes, faux pas and “offensive” phrases that reporters really don’t need to create provable fictions about him. To do so simply adds to the list of falsehoods, thus further eroding trust in journalism.

While conservatives and Trump populists tub-thump “See? I told you so,” perhaps the more meaningful exercise for these specific journalists is to examine why they either heard something that wasn’t said or they created easily disputed fables, thus ruining their own reputations.

The most recent example of this need to fabricate comes from Julie Hirschfield Davis at the New York Times, Andrea Mitchell at NBC and Scott Neuman at NPR, who all reported that Trump called all or some immigrants “animals.”

That wasn’t true. These reporters either knew it, or they’re incapable of separating their own biases from the truth. Either way, their fabrications, presented as “news reporting,” continues to debase the hard work of real reporters in telling readers, viewers, and listeners the truth.

Imagine you are at a roundtable event where officials are discussing immigration laws with the President. At this meeting, Fresno County Sheriff, Margaret Mims, expresses her frustrations with various and conflicting state and federal laws preventing California sheriffs from protecting citizens from criminals who are illegal immigrants.

Read this verbatim exchange and decide for yourself if the President is calling “immigrants,” “some immigrants” or “MS-13” and other gang members “animals.”

Sheriff Mims: “… now ICE is the only law enforcement agency that cannot use our databases to find the bad guys. They cannot come in and talk to people in our jail, unless they reach a certain threshold. They can’t do all kinds of things that other law enforcement agencies can do. And it’s really put us in a very bad position.”

Trump: “It’s a disgrace. Okay? It’s a disgrace.”

Mims: “It’s a disgrace.”

Trump: “And we’re suing on that, and we’re working hard, and I think it will all come together, because people want it to come together. It’s so ridiculous. The concept that we’re even talking about is ridiculous. We’ll take care of it, Margaret. We’ll win.”

Mims: “Thank you. There could be an MS-13 gang member I know about – if they don’t reach a certain threshold, I cannot tell ICE about it.”

Trump: “We have people coming into the country, or trying to come in – and we’re stopping a lot of them – but we’re taking people out of the country. You wouldn’t believe how bad these people are. These aren’t people., These are animals., And we’re taking them out of the country at a level and at a rate that’s never happened before. And because of the weak laws, they come in fast, we get them, we release them, we get them again, we bring them out. It’s crazy.”

Let’s go beyond the headlines at NPR, NBC and the New York Times falsely claiming Trump called “some unauthorized immigrants ‘animals.'”

Davis falsely began her New York Times piece with, “President Trump lashed out at undocumented immigrants… ”

Truth: He referred to murderous gang members as “animals.”

At NPR, Neuman began his piece with, “President Trump… compared some people who illegally cross the U.S. southern border to “animals.”

Truth: Trump called murderous gang members who rape and slaughter innocent people with machetes “animals,” NOT “some people.”

Then, these outlets and others tweeted more “fake news.”

NBC News’ Andrea Mitchell “reported” on Twitter that California Gov. Jerry Brown performed a “tough takedown” of President Trump after he called “people trying to get into the country ‘animals’ not people.”

The New York Times tweeted, “Trump lashed out at undocumented immigrants during a White House meeting, calling those trying to breach the country’s borders “animals.”

Sadly, these are all lies.

Call it a lie of omission if you like. Call it propaganda. Regardless, it’s not the truth.

Presuming these reporters disapprove of Trump enough to compromise their careers, perhaps they should consider the fact that such fabrications embolden his base.

Copyright 2018 Rick Jensen, distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.

Rick Jensen is an annoying, award-winning Delaware talk show host and equally annoying national columnist. Email [email protected]

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Police Dogs and ‘Reefer Madness’

Years ago, a propaganda film entitled “Reefer Madness” depicted first-time cannabis smokers turning into instant maniacs, hallucinating, killing and raping after just a couple of puffs.

It has become known as a grand parody, though that was not the intent.

Please welcome to the same stage “The Illinois Histrionics Players,” starring Macon County Sheriff Howard Buffett and his amiable sidekick, Chad Larner, training director of the K-9 Training Academy in Decatur, Ill.

When asked about possible effects of legalizing marijuana in Illinois, the players went into full “Reefer Madness” mode, saying it would make the dogs useless and a threat to society, requiring them to give their dogs the “Old Yeller” treatment.

While Larner did not specifically say how he would kill “a number” of his 275 narcotics-sniffing dogs, he made it clear he is prepared to sacrifice their lives on the altar of marijuana phobia.

He told Pantagraph reporter Ryan Voyles, “Because many K-9s are trained not to be social so their work won’t be affected, a number of dogs would likely have to be euthanized.”

Voyles then talked with police in two other Illinois towns who told him what many of you already know, which is that retired K-9 dogs typically live with their handlers. They don’t slaughter the dogs.

Do you think for a minute that if any Macon County dogs are butchered, it’s not because Larner just plain wants to do it?

Another less brutal, “Reefer Madness” moment is when Macon County Sheriff Howard Buffett tells Voyles, “The biggest thing for law enforcement is, you’re going to have to replace all of your dogs. So to me, it’s a giant step forward for drug dealers, and it’s a giant step backwards for law enforcement and the residents of the community.”

I made a call to the police department in Seattle, Washington, where their K-9 units have somehow continued to live and do their jobs protecting law-abiding citizens, including those who legally use cannabis.

The official with whom I spoke asked not to be identified. The K-9 unit apparently doesn’t want to be dragged into this nonsense.

When I mentioned the Illinois officer who said that dogs would have to be euthanized upon the passage of legalizing marijuana, he laughed and then sighed.

He also confirmed no dogs in his jurisdiction had been euthanized due to the legalization. These canine professionals are trained to detect multiple drugs and many have additional talents.

He laughed again and reiterated that he was not going to go on the record.

On the record, Jay Casillas of the Denver Police Department told me, “Since marijuana was legalized, we have not been forced to retire or euthanize our K-9s.”

“We do not euthanize our K-9s… Our K-9s are still working, and they continue to be trained on four odors [MJ, cocaine, methamphetamine, and heroin],” Casillas said. “Since the legalization of marijuana, we have slightly changed the training with regard to sniffing marijuana. We now train our dogs to detect larger amounts (10 pounds or more) of marijuana because we still have to address the black market for MJ.

“We retire the dogs when it is necessary and they usually stay with their police handler as their family pet,” Casillas added. “When a K9 is retired, we purchase a new one to take their spot.”

What about that less dramatic and equally ignorant statement in which Macon County Sheriff Buffett said all the dogs would have to be replaced?

Why?Because they could no longer detect cocaine, heroin and other drugs now that marijuana is legal?

Don’t the Illinois trainers know how to train their dogs to detect the large amounts of marijuana still deemed illegal?

Maybe it’s the Illinois officials that need to be replaced or trained by the Seattle and Denver K-9 officers.

Meanwhile, the Illinois dogs would serve the Prairie State well by adding another aroma to their repertoire.

They could add any amount of Buffett’s and Larner’s “B.S.”

The problem with that is the canines within earshot of those two would be too preoccupied to get any real drug sniffing work done.

Copyright 2018 Rick Jensen, distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.

Rick Jensen is an annoying, award-winning Delaware talk show host and equally annoying national columnist. Email [email protected]

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Body Shaming Conservatives is a Great Liberal Sport

Apparently, people angry with Michelle Wolf’s performance at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner just don’t “get it.”

Saying people who don’t “like abortion” should try it isn’t some horribly insensitive scream at women who have anguished with that choice for years.It isn’t a stab into the hearts of families that have wept and hugged and fought and reconciled over their teenager’s situation.

This is today’s liberal humor.

Steven Colbert, Trevor Noah and Seth Meyers simply deliver lines like these more effectively than Michelle, a writer and contributor for “The Daily Show and “Late Night.”

This style of humor is mean, ugly and nasty and if you don’t laugh, you’ll be banished from the tribe.

That’s where our politics are today.It’s all tribal.

If you dare to suggest that Trump is anything but a racist bent on destroying a world whose leaders refuse to talk with him, then you’re a fascist racist bent on destroying the world.

“I’m going to try a fun new thing, okay? I’m going to say, “Trump is so broke,” and you guys go, ‘How broke is he?’ All right.”

“Trump is so broke he has to fly failed business class.”

“Trump is so broke he looked for foreign oil in Don Jr.’s hair.”

“Trump is so broke Southwest used him as one of their engines. I know, it’s so soon. It’s so soon for that joke. Why did she tell it? It’s so soon.”

“Trump is so broke he had to borrow money from the Russians and now he’s compromised and susceptible to blackmail and possibly responsible for the collapse of the Republic. Yay, it’s a fun game.”

Her voice trails off as the crowd goes mild.

The late night audiences actually love this stuff. It was the attacks on Sarah Sanders’ appearance that rankled.

“We are graced with Sarah’s presence tonight. I have to say I’m a little star-struck. I love you as Aunt Lydia in, The Handmaid’s Tale.”

For those of you who don’t recognized the body-shaming in that insult, actor Amy Dowd’s “Aunt Lydia” character is one mean-spirited, rough-looking woman with makeup suggesting a face sandblasted by dust bowl winds.

Wolf: “Every time Sarah steps up to the podium I get excited, because I’m not really sure what we’re going to get – you know, a press briefing, a bunch of lies or divided into softball teams.”

Wait. What?

What is Wolf’s frat bro slam saying about female softball players and why would it be funny to say Sanders looks like one?

What Michelle has truly revealed is that today’s successful liberal comics are angry and mean.

It’s okay for them to behave like Trump because… Trump.

They are automatically above reproach for name-calling and bullying conservative women because… Trump.

Wolf represents the liberals so shocked and offended by Trump’s foul insults that they feel justified in emulating that behavior.

Maybe this is a good thing.

Maybe this liberal hypocrisy could reverse the trend to avoid any humor deemed “politically correct” and insensitive by the liberal “PC Police.”

Liberal columnist David Horsey of the Los Angeles Times once wrote that Sanders, “does not look like the kind of woman” President Trump would choose for his press secretary.

“By comparison, Sanders looks more like a slightly chunky soccer mom who organizes snacks for the kids’ games.Rather than the fake eyelashes and formal dresses she puts on for news briefings, Sanders seems as if she’d be more comfortable in sweats and running shoes.”

Body shaming conservatives by liberals is great sport, eh?

Let the insults fly and let it be “game on” for all sides without any apologies and no more faux outrage from liberals.

Remember, Wolf’s attempts at humor are the same sort delivered by the liberal hate night hosts who hire her to write for them.

They know their partisan, angry audience.

That’s why late night studio audiences like Colbert’s cheered these insults.

She just has no idea how to deliver nasty lines to a mainstream crowd that wasn’t thirsty for blood.

Copyright 2018 Rick Jensen, distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.

Rick Jensen is an annoying, award-winning Delaware talk show host and equally annoying national columnist. Email [email protected]

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