Connect with us

Opinion

There shouldn’t be a double standard for law & order: Devine

Published

on

There shouldn't be a double standard for law & order: Devine

In his confirmation hearing Monday, attorney general nominee Merrick Garland plans to tell the Senate his priority is domestic terrorism, and that he personally will supervise the prosecution of what he calls “white supremacists” who stormed the Capitol.

It is disturbing that Garland is embracing the rancid lie that the Capitol riot was racially motivated, an uprising by “white supremacists” which rivalled the Islamist terror attack of 9/11 in which 3,000 people were slaughtered.

This is Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s narrative, which she has driven with escalating hyperbole until it no longer resembles anything that happened on January 6.

Every Republican has condemned the riot. At least 140 Capitol police were injured that day, including one officer who lost an eye, and others with brain injuries, according to police union chief Gus Papathanasiou.

What happened was bad enough without the lies.

No one is fooled by Pelosi’s feigned defense of law and order as she totters around the House in high dudgeon, as if she hadn’t already trashed every norm of American politics, using Trump’s unorthodox personality as an excuse.

She crossed the Rubicon at the State of the Union last year, when she dramatically ripped up President Trump’s speech as she stood behind him.

That single act of desecration incited more anger among conservatives than anything Trump had to say.

“When she tore up the state of the union, they started this war,” says a relative of Richard Barnett, an Arkansas 60-year-old jailed over the riot, who placed one foot on what he thought was Pelosi’s desk in an act of reciprocal disrespect.

Pelosi has no problem with violence, either, as long as it furthers her aims: “I just don’t even know why there aren’t uprisings all over the country. And maybe there will be,” she said in 2018 when railing against Trump.

“People will do what they do,” she said at the height of the BLM-Antifa riots last July, when rioters ripped down a statue of Christopher Columbus and threw it in Baltimore’s Harbor.

Of course, when you point out the hypocritical double standards of Pelosi and Joe Biden and Kamala Harris during last years’ riots you are mocked for “whataboutism.”

But it matters. The Dems spent seven months fanning the flames of left-wing discord and violence. Then, when the worm finally turned, and right-wing violence flared one day in Washington, they morphed into law and order hawks scouring the country for unrepentant signs of conservatism.

Almost everyone arrested around the country remains in jail over the riot, even if they committed no violence, have no criminal record, have stable jobs, are retirees or a mother and son duo.

The only person released without bail is a left-wing anti-Trump activist, John Sullivan, who prosecutors say encouraged the violence that day, and was rewarded with $75,000 by CNN and NBC for his video footage.

The aim is to bankrupt and destroy Trump supporters, most of whom can’t afford the legal fees. While top DC law firms raced to defend Guantanamo Bay inmates pro bono, the Capitol rioters are on their own.

Having encouraged them to come to his “wild” DC rally January 6 on the promise that Biden’s victory would be overturned, Donald Trump has abandoned his jailed supporters.

No one in Trump-world has offered to contribute to their legal fees from the millions of dollars his PAC collected after the election.

MAGA will have its day in court eventually, after months in jail far from home, unlike the thousands of violent anarchists who created mayhem from coast to coast last year, injuring thousands of cops, burning down police stations and destroying small businesses.

Most BLM-Antifa rioters were released without bail and had charges dropped.

In New York more than 400 rioters and looters arrested in June were freed without bail.

In Washington DC, in June, almost everyone charged with felony rioting was released from jail and later had the charge dropped.

In Pennsylvania, when one judge set bail for rioters at $1 million, he was intimidated into reversing the decision after a mob marched on his house.

In California, a district attorney reportedly requested prosecutors consider looters’ “needs” when deciding to press criminal charges.

In Minneapolis, where it all began, anti-cop rioters were rewarded, as they were in New York, when the city council voted to defund the police. The city since has descended into hell of crime and disorder.

As for Portland, Oregon, charges were dropped for 90 percent of rioters arrested in September’s anti cop violence. One 23-year-old charged with attempted murder, arson, possession of a destructive device, and rioting was released on a $1,000 bond.

Seattle was as bad. Mayor Jenny Durkan lauded the lawlessness that would lead to the fatal shooting of 19-year-old Horace Lorenzo Anderson in July as a “summer of love.”

These were the deadly protests Biden benignly described as “peaceful” and Harris said are “not going to stop . . . and they should not.”

Yet after a few hours of madness one day in January, every Trump supporter in the country is to be treated as if they flew a plane into the World Trade Center. They all are under suspicion for what Biden said last week was “the greatest threat . . . in America: domestic terror.”

He also smeared “former military, former police officers” as responsible for “the growth of white supremacy.”

Fine. If Biden has decided we are to become a zero-tolerance law and order nation, there are advantage in a crime-free society if you don’t mind writing off everyone who makes a mistake.

But in reality, we are doing the opposite, creating a two-tier justice system that punishes only the political enemies of the left.

It’s as if the Dems want to create a class of people with nothing to lose.

Someone wake Joe

One thing President Joe Biden sad in his puff piece interview with People Magazine rang true.

“I wake up every morning, look at Jill, and say ‘where the hell are we?’”

That I can well believe.

Harry’s hypocrisy

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, are living in magnificent exile in LA, having jettisoned the British monarchy due to the constrictions of living in a royal fish bowl. But if privacy is what they crave, as they keep insisting in scolding press releases and lawsuits, why do a tell-all interview with Oprah Winfrey, of all people? The Queen is not amused.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Opinion

‘Fiscally conservative’ war hawks are trying to defraud GOP voters — again

Published

on

By

‘Fiscally conservative’ war hawks are trying to defraud GOP voters — again

With the Republican loss in the 2020 election, there is a great deal of debate on where the party and the wider conservative movement are headed. According to betting markets, the 2024 field is wide open. The odds-on favorite is former President Donald Trump, but even he only has around a 20 percent chance as of this writing. In second place is Nikki Haley.

The former South Carolina governor and UN ambassador is an object of Beltway fascination, as can be seen in a recent feature profile in Politico. But what would a candidate or President Haley stand for? Would her views jibe with those of the working-class voters who propelled her ex-boss’ unlikely journey to the Oval Office?

If her new organization, Stand for America, is any indication, the answer is no. Instead, it looks Haley will offer the old and tired combination that GOP primary voters decisively rejected in 2016: fiscal conservatism married with a hawkish foreign policy. Whether or not this fusion has a chance politically, basic arithmetic shows that what are likely to be the two pillars of the Haley 2024 campaign are in contradiction.

Not long ago, Haley complained about Democrats wanting to bring back earmarks, highlighting a $50 million project for an indoor rainforest in Iowa. But Americans who believe that Washington should live within its means must see through what is a transparent fraud: Haley frets about a $50 million indoor rainforest — while supporting a foreign policy that costs trillions.

Fact is, pork-barrel projects are a drop in the feds’ sea of red ink. In 2019, the US government spent $4.4 trillion. While tens of millions of dollars may seem like a lot of money, projects in that range shouldn’t be the focus of true budget hawks.

Where does most of the budget go? About half to entitlements, which are politically untouchable. The next category, however, is the military, which amounted to 3.4 percent of gross domestic product in 2019. At the height of the War on Terror, the numbers were higher; in 2010, the armed forces consumed 4.5 percent of GDP, and we could easily return to such numbers under the budgets preferred by many Republicans.

To see how meaningless pork-barrel projects are in the grand scheme of things, we should return to the indoor rainforest that so upset Haley. According to the Costs of War Project at Brown University, as of 2019, the post-9/11 wars had a long-term cost to the United States of around $6.4 trillion. About $2 trillion of that was wasted on Afghanistan alone, with the Taliban now controlling more land than it did in the years immediately after the 2001 invasion.

If the price of an indoor rainforest is $50 million, then the Afghan War has cost taxpayers 40,000 times as much. No, that isn’t a typo: For the price of being in Afghanistan, the federal government could have built an indoor rainforest every 80 square miles across the entire continental United States, or, if it preferred, 13 in each US county.

Perhaps that wouldn’t be the best use of government money. But the point is this: It’s undeniable that foreign wars have been a massive drain on the nation’s resources. Trumpian Populists and progressives would like to see the government invest money at home. But even those who think budgetary restraint is important shouldn’t be manipulated by mathematically ignorant arguments made by those who seek power.

War hawks can’t honestly claim the mantle of fiscal conservatism while only attacking relatively minuscule pork-barrel projects. If American dollars are better spent in places like Afghanistan and the South China Sea than at home, fine. But politicians should make that case directly to the American voter, not try to burnish their fiscal reputations by attacking puny projects while leaving untouched far heftier expenditures.

Republican strategists and activists beware: The combination of opposition to indoor rainforests and support for more pointless war isn’t the path to either electoral success or fiscal responsibility.

Richard Hanania is president of the Center for the Study of Partisanship and Ideology and a research fellow at Defense Priorities.

Twitter: @RichardHanania

Continue Reading

Opinion

NY parents desperate for more school choice: Lift the charter cap!

Published

on

By

NY parents desperate for more school choice: Lift the charter cap!

Parents fed up with the city Department of Education’s disastrous performance this last year are desperate for better choices. Better-off families can pay for alternatives such as private and parochial schools. To give low-income New Yorkers the same opportunity, state lawmakers have a clear duty to lift the cap on public charter schools.

In the city, charter-school enrollment was 138,000 across 267 schools in the 2019-2020 school year. Expansion of existing schools will let that grow some, but not enough.

The DOE’s timidity in reopening schools, its open-close-and-repeat approach to those that aren’t shuttered and its utter failure to make remote learning more than a sad joke frustrate parents across the city. A major exodus from public schools is inevitable — unless the state allows for more high-quality, well-managed charters.

As the pandemic raged, Mayor de Blasio and outgoing Chancellor Richard Carranza took no break from their war on charters. Recently, a state judge ordered the DOE to include charters in the same weekly COVID-19 testing program used at regular schools — and the city is appealing the decision.

Some charters, such as Success Academy, were forced to go all-remote because the DOE wouldn’t let them reopen classes in spaces shared with traditional public schools — lest they make those schools look bad. Yet Success and others at least made remote classes work. KIPP Infinity in Harlem recorded 98 percent attendance because every kid received devices and those with connectivity issues got hotspots.

The flexibility enjoyed by charters allows for out-of-the-box thinking not just in responding to challenges like a pandemic, but also in providing a quality public education for mostly low-income, minority student bodies. They’ve proved to be the laboratories of innovation and achievement that then-Gov. George Pataki envisioned when he pushed charter-school legislation through the Legislature over two decades ago.

In that time, a total of 397 charters have been issued statewide, with 325 schools now serving students, plus 26 approved but not yet open. The 2015 law that raised the state charter cap to 460 allowed only a few dozen more for the city — all which have now been used.

There remain about 25 so-called “zombie” charters — ones that were revoked or approved but never opened. Those licenses should be re-assigned, but it still wouldn’t be enough to satisfy the huge demand for charter seats, grades K-12.

Families need new legislation to lift or eliminate the cap. The progressive lawmakers who now dominate the Legislature should ignore the teachers unions, which despise charters, and do right by inner-city kids. It’s a matter of fundamental fairness to give low-income children the same chance to escape bad schools that the wealthy enjoy.  

A million city kids have essentially lost over a year of education. Public charters can lead the way in bringing thousands back up to speed via a quality, rigorous instruction.

Save public education and increase basic equity: Raise the cap!

Continue Reading

Opinion

Alzheimer’s took my mom, but her dignity and love shone to the end

Published

on

By

Alzheimer's took my mom, but her dignity and love shone to the end

There are a hundred things I could tell you about my late mother that are more important than the disease that caught her in its grip the last few years of her life.

I could tell you about her relationship with my older bother, who has autism, and her deep, lifelong friendship with him. 

I could tell you how she took her experience fighting the schools to educate and treat my brother decently and went into social work as a career, helping countless other disabled and mentally ill people. 

I could tell you about her accomplished painting, her love of cats or her civic involvement. 

After losing her last week, though, I want to share something about the worst, about the end, about the Alzheimer’s disease that took this vibrant woman, who made friends and plans wherever she went, and confined her to a wheelchair and rendered her nearly mute and inert. 

Because I’ve come to believe that this crushing disease doesn’t, during almost all its progression, achieve as complete a victory as it might seem. It takes away so much. The ability to live independently. The ability to talk. And in the end, the ability, or will, to eat. There are no heartening stories of Alzheimer’s survivors. 

But our personhood is so strong that the disease, even in its late stages, can’t fully extinguish the human personality. No, the spark is still there, flickering, very difficult to detect at times, but there. 

I acknowledge that some families have worse experiences than mine, wrenching though it was, and Alzheimer’s forces you constantly to ratchet your expectations downward. First, you’re glad of conversation, even if it doesn’t make much sense. Then, you’re glad of any words. Finally, you are glad of, well, anything. 

Still, there are little gems of surprises. Once, I was wheeling my mom from the cafeteria area in her nursing home, hoping to get her from Point A to Point B without incident, when she reached out and got a death grip on the chair of another resident. 

This other resident was a notably stately woman. “Hello, gorgeous!” said my Mom. Where did that come from?

Toward the end, when things were bleakest, my Mom would still shine through the shroud of the disease. If she talked, it was always incoherently, but I could see her making points the way she always had. She might chuckle softly at a mention of my brother. Even when I couldn’t get anything else out of her, she’d hum, to patriotic songs, to hymns, to “Ode to Joy.” 

No matter how bad it got, you’d see grace notes in the incredible love showered on her and others by the staff of the facility caring for her. Or another resident would do something amusing or touching. 

I remember an otherwise despairing visit, when another lady sat down randomly besides us. I said I liked the stuffed dog she had in a basket on her walker. She said he was a good boy, began to pet him and then kissed him a couple times lovingly on the snout. It was so sweet, I was moved to tears. 

The last time I visited my Mom, days before she took to her death bed, I badgered her, as I often did, to try to get a reaction out of her: “Do you love me? Do you love me? Do you love me?”

Sometimes she wouldn’t say anything. Sometimes you might notice her trying to reply. This time, she got out an unmistakable, “Yep.” 

I played the “1812 Overture” on my phone, loud. Again, to get a reaction, I swung my arms in exaggerated, mock conductor movements, especially toward the finale, with Tchaikovsky’s chimes ringing and the cannons firing in a crashing crescendo of victory and resolve. 

And right at the end, my Mom briefly raised and twisted her hand in a conductor motion of her own. 

Take that, you merciless, godawful disease. 

Twitter: @RichLowry

Continue Reading

Trending