Showing posts with label President. Show all posts
Showing posts with label President. Show all posts

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

The shots heard round the United States

I awoke this morning to the news that Louisiana Representative Steven Scalise had been shot, along with two officers from his United States Capitol Police security detail and two other persons, while attending practice for an upcoming Congressional charity baseball game. 

I would like to say that I am shocked, but I am not. In fact, I am honestly surprised that it has taken as long as it has to happen. I actually broached on this topic in my first book: Perfect Pawn.

While the shooter is ultimately responsible for his actions this morning, I lay the blame directly at the feet of both the politicians and media for creating the environment that led up to this attack.  An examination of the shooter’s social media account highlights all of the inflammatory talking points which most of us have become immune to. I say most because obviously some folks, like the shooter, take the hyperbole to heart and it is exactly why I say that the politicians and media both bear complicity in this heinous act. To be fair, I draw no distinction along either party line or news outlet, as this has been building for decades.

Maybe I take these issues more seriously than most because I spent five years doing dignitary protection in New York City.  I worked closely with members of the Secret Service, State Department DSS and the aforementioned Capitol Police dealing with potential threats to protectees. You learn early on in that business that it doesn’t take much to push some folks over the line. Many times it is a personalized affront; where they feel that the subject of their hatred has wronged them in some way. However, the alarming trend that I am seeing now is that people are being told, by both the media and politicians, that they have been wronged.

We have always been a politically divided country. In fact, I previously wrote about this topic regarding the problem with political parties and one excerpt in this post was written five years ago, almost to the day. It explains how they are dividing us for their gain.

While it is true that there has always been politically motivated incivility in this country, the direction we have been heading, over the last two decades, has sadly been all too clear for some of us. The vilification, and outright demonization, of individuals, for political gain or ratings, has created the world we live in today. What is changing is the level of inflammatory rhetoric that is being used.

Over the past few months we have seen some folks in the entertainment world blasting the President. Mock assassinations, beheadings, as well as a host of verbal tirades that are meant solely to dehumanize him. Because once you have dehumanized a person you can do anything you want to him with impunity. If you need a case study in this type of behavior look no further than Nazi Germany and their treatment of the Jews.

Now, I will be the first one to say that no politician should be protected from the people’s disagreement. We have a right to air our opposition to anything we might disagree with. I am a gun owner and fully support the 2nd Amendment. I also served in law enforcement for over two decades so I do have a significant understanding about crime and safety in America. But I also understand that, while there are around 55 million gun owners in America, there are around 325 million people in the United States and many of them do not. What is within our control is how we discuss the issue. If you simply choose to yell at me with nothing more than regurgitated talking points in all likelihood I will just walk away. That doesn’t mean you have won anything, it just means that I value my time and breath.

Spend longer than five minutes on any social media platform or the comment section of any online news organization and you will see just how ‘uncivil’ we have become to one another: Libtard, Teabagger, Left-Wing Loon, Right-Wing Nut Job, and these are the nice things, most is simply unfit to print.  What is truly sad to me is that we simply cannot have a difference of opinion. Once someone says they don’t believe in something they are immediately labeled and castigated.

So what is the purpose of all this vitriol? Well, at the end of the day it basically comes down to two things: Power & Paychecks.

The media sows the seed of discontent because it drives ratings. They want viewers or readers and you attract them with bold rhetoric or headlines. It doesn’t have to be true, or even address the real issues; it just has to be salacious. Ratings and readerships equal bigger paychecks for those involved. Politicians want power, so they appeal to their base. They vilify the other side as being hardliners, when they are in the minority, so that you will re-elect them. If you re-elect enough of them they get the power, but they still vilify the other side as being obstructionists. They count on you being too confused to see that each is only one side of the same political coin. Why? Because they really don’t have the desire to fix anything nor to address the real problems we are facing.

As I sit here writing this I wonder to myself if this is even worth it? Will anyone stop and actually listen?

The problem is that no one really wants to think they have been duped. We want to think we are smarter than that, but we are like the parents who refuse to believe that their child was really at fault for something, even when the cops bring them home. We make excuses for the bad behavior as we seek to blame someone else like the teachers, cops or the amorphous system, whatever that might be. Because God forbid we should admit that a) we didn’t raise them right or b) that they truly are personally responsible for their bad behavior.

So should we be surprised when the media and politicians wring their hands and feign shock when something like this happens. Neither group will take responsibility, even though they have been fanning these flames for some time now. No, now the blame game begins and first up is: Guns!!

Almost immediately the anti-gun folks, like Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, seized the moment and began re-directing the narrative by attacking guns. As if the gun, and not the shooter, was responsible.

Never one to lose a political opportunity, McAuliffe twice said "we lose 93 million Americans a day to gun violence." Not exactly sure where he resides, but the United States would be devoid of life within a business week with those numbers.  I think the number is actually 93, but even that is political math. If you're interested, read this post on Stat's & Gun Control.

McAuliffe then went on to say "there are too many guns on the street," but then added that the issue shouldn't be raised today, after he himself had raised the issue today.

Hypocrisy…………Shocking, I know.

Now my news feed is filled with politicians saying: ‘An attack on one of us is an attack on all of us’ and ‘I pray we can resolve our differences’……. That’s so refreshing and wholly disingenuous. What’s spurring on this sentiment is that it hit too close to home and they realize that if someone on the left target someone on the right that those roles could easily be reversed next time and that is downright terrifying to them. Prior to today it was all rhetoric, today it is reality. Welcome to the world you have created.

My fear is that we have crossed a line that we cannot undo. It’s like opening Pandora’s Box and then lamenting how we should have left it closed. Too late.

The first shot in anger is always the toughest, the second and third become much easier. I pray that won’t happen, but the odds are not good. What needs to be done is for the folks to step back and apologize for the daily doses of enmity that they have been dishing out. They need to apologize to the American people that they have been fanning the flames for their own gain, not for the people, but that would take personal responsibility and I don’t think they are mature enough for that.


I pray that this was a one-time event, but in my heart I truly believe this was just the opening salvo.

Kudo's to the men and women of law enforcement who prevented this from being a massacre, by doing what they do everyday: putting themselves in harm's way and protecting the innocent. 

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Knight Fall (James Maguire Series - Book 4)

Now that the hoopla of the 2016 Presidential Election is finally over, I am pleased to announce that my latest novel: Knight Fall, has been released as an e-book on the Kindle platform.

This is the 4th book in the James Maguire series and the 6th book in chronological order. To see the book progression, please click here.

Thank you for your continued support. I hope that you enjoy this and all my other books.


Wednesday, November 9, 2016

The 2016 Presidential Election is over!! Hallelujah!!

President (Elect) Donald J. Trump

Okay, as one of the Deplorables, I have to admit that I like the sound of that, but once we get past the basking of our post-election victory, we have to take a hard look at our future.


I am many things, but I am not a hypocrite. Back in 2008 I wrote about moving past the post-election celebration. I followed it up with another post in November of 2012. Now here we are in November of 2016 and I am again warning the country that not only must the politics changes, but so must we!!
Let us be completely frank and admit that the division in this country has only increased over the last eight years. That is what happens when politicians don’t have the answers to your problems. Rather than admit it, they divide us. It is an old and quite effective strategy. By turning ½ of us against the other the politicians get to pretend they are victims to their base. This is nothing but a ploy. One that is exacerbated by a main stream media that has made itself part of the problem, aiding in the political deception, instead of being honest arbiters of the news.


Understand that they are not the victims, we are!


I know the country was divided on the Presidential election, but now that it is over I truly hope that we will be able to put this all behind us. Perhaps now we can take the political slogans and actually make them a reality. Will it be easy? No, it will not.

Let us be honest, we have very TOUGH choices ahead of us.

We are in the middle of a financial death spiral in this country and we are going to have to make hard choices. Many of these choices WILL piss off some people, but they have to be done if we are to survive as a country. In this matter I am reminded of what President John F. Kennedy said in his 1961 Inauguration speech: “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”

We must get away from the system of government subsidies and bailouts. We must stand on our own two feet and forge our own way. Assistance form the government should be a last resort and not a first choice. We must learn to own personal responsibility and not look to blame others for our actions or their consequences.

And on that note I would like to personally extend my gratitude to President (Elect) Trump who, last night in his acceptance speech, took the extraordinary step of actually thanking the men and women of law enforcement. It was deeply moving to hear him acknowledge us for all that we have and continue to do for this great nation.

Are we perfect? No, no one is, but there have been a great many lies spread about us, all done for political expediency and support. Remember, the politicians are unwilling to address the real issues, so they pin the blame on us and we become the bad guy.  

In the end, the 2016 Presidential race will go down in history as a landmark event. When a career politician was rejected for an outsider and maybe that is exactly what this country needs. Someone who isn’t going to make political excuses, but force us to see that if we really want ‘hope and change’ then we are going to have to become part of the process. We can no longer remain on the sidelines as spectators; hoping that our political teams will save us. No, we have to shed the burden of reliance on government and play our own game.  

I just hope that it is not too late to create the ‘change’ we truly need. It's time to Make America Great Again!

I’d like to think that in this 4th quarter moment, America is the San Francisco 49’ers of old and we just elected Joe Montana to come into the game to save us.

So, in the immortal words of Knute Rockne: “Win one for the Gipper!!”

Monday, November 7, 2016

Did Hillary Clinton have Classified Information on her Server?

Earlier today, against my better judgement, I got into a social media argument.

I know, like I said it was against my better judgement and I should have just walked away, but I couldn't. Unfortunately it ended with comments like: "I guess i'm that stupid" and "count me stupid too."

Why does it seem that people enjoy making a flippant comment, but when you point out how they are wrong they immediately take things personally? I'm sorry that you are not plugged in to the issues and that you rely on a corrupt media for your talking points.

For the record, yes, Hillary Clinton did have classified information, Top Secret & Above, in her unsecured emails. Information that was so sensitive that even members of Congress were kept from seeing / hearing about it. In fact, Congress was given redacted documents and had to issue a subpoena. Don't believe me, listen to those in charge.

FBI Director James Comey



FBI Assistant Director Jason Herring




Inspector General of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) Charles McCullough


NSA / NGIA / ODNI Hearing



The problem is that we have become so entrenched in our political party system that we have abdicated our responsibilities as citizens. We have put party over ethics, morality and convictions. It's the reason we are in the place we are today and we have no one to blame but ourselves..... oh, and those pesky little talking points as well !! 

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Hillary Clinton is not Innocent, She just wasn't Charged

Today, two days before the presidential election, the FBI Director released a follow-up statement that the latest investigation, into Hillary Clinton’s emails, was being closed and that they had found nothing. Not sure how exactly it took them months to digest tens of thousands of emails, but they seemingly went through hundreds of thousands in a mere eight days, but I will leave that up to you to digest.

If I included this story line in any of my books, my readers would (rightfully) burn them in disgust, because I had simply ‘jumped the shark’ and extend the plot line into the land of outright implausibility. However, in 21st century politics we have learned that nothing is apparently implausible.

I know a lot of people are having problems with this whole Hillary Clinton / E-mail investigation. Most of the loudest cries of ‘Hillary didn’t do anything wrong’ come from folks who’s closest connection to actual law enforcement comes from having watched old episodes of Law & Order while staying at a Holiday Inn Express.

Sorry, but your Facebook Police Academy Diploma does not count in the real world. So, for the sake of aiding you, in this mind-numbing process, I would be happy to lend my fifteen years of NYC investigatory experience to the equation.

I thought I would make the facts of this case abundantly clear to all of you via the new ‘millennial bumper sticker’ format.

In his testimony before Congress on July 7th, 2014, FBI Director James Comey testified that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton did not turn over (thousands) of work related emails to the State Department.

18 U.S. Code § 2071 - Concealment, removal, or mutilation generally:

Subdivision (a) - Whoever willfully and unlawfully conceals, removes, mutilates, obliterates, or destroys, or attempts to do so, or, with intent to do so takes and carries away any record, proceeding, map, book, paper, document, or other thing, filed or deposited with any clerk or officer of any court of the United States, or in any public office, or with any judicial or public officer of the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.

In his testimony before Congress, FBI Director James Comey testified that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton removed work related emails from the system.

18 U.S. Code § 2071 - Concealment, removal, or mutilation generally:

Subdivision (b) - Whoever, having the custody of any such record, proceeding, map, book, document, paper, or other thing, willfully and unlawfully conceals, removes, mutilates, obliterates, falsifies, or destroys the same, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both; and shall forfeit his office and be disqualified from holding any office under the United States. As used in this subsection, the term “office” does not include the office held by any person as a retired officer of the Armed Forces of the United States.

In his statement on July 5th, 2016, FBI Director James Comey stated the following regarding former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her work related emails from the system: “…there is evidence that they were extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information. For example, seven e-mail chains concern matters that were classified at the Top Secret/Special Access Program level when they were sent and received.”

18 U.S. Code § 793 - Gathering, transmitting or losing defense information:

Subdivision (f) - Whoever, being entrusted with or having lawful possession or control of any document, writing, code book, signal book, sketch, photograph, photographic negative, blueprint, plan, map, model, instrument, appliance, note, or information, relating to the national defense, (1) through gross negligence permits the same to be removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of his trust, or to be lost, stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, or (2) having knowledge that the same has been illegally removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of its trust, or lost, or stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, and fails to make prompt report of such loss, theft, abstraction, or destruction to his superior officer - Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.

NOTE: For the record, please note that there is no culpable mental state of INTENT anywhere in this passage.

Legal Definition of : Gross Negligence:

n. carelessness which is in reckless disregard for the safety or lives of others, and is so great it appears to be a conscious violation of other people's rights to safety. It is more than simple inadvertence, but it is just shy of being intentionally evil. If one has borrowed or contracted to take care of another's property, then gross negligence is the failure to actively take the care one would of his/her own property. If gross negligence is found by the trier of fact (judge or jury), it can result in the award of punitive damages on top of general and special damages.

There you have it, Hillary Clinton’s extremely careless behavior was the legal textbook definition of Gross Negligence, with the exception that, after making the case, Director Comey CHOSE not to use the exact words.

Understand that if you, or I, committed any of the CRIMES outlined above, we would go to federal prison for a very long time.

She has been cleared, not of wrongdoing, but by a completely personal choice on the part of Director Comey not to pursue this matter, even though it is not his choice to make.

Investigative agencies (in this case the FBI) investigate and present their findings to prosecutorial agencies (in this case the DOJ / Attorney General). It is the responsibility of the prosecutor to determine whether they will proceed. However, in this case the AG, Loretta Lynch, took the unprecedented move of saying she would defer to the FBI, even though the case was still being investigated and she had just participated in a highly questionable meeting, with the subject of the investigation's husband, in a private plane for a social chat.  

Hillary Clinton broke the law and by very nature of the law she broke is disqualified from holding office, but what the above tells you is that she is above the law and that should send a chill down your spine.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Donald Trump Uses Bad Words

Special Snowflake Trigger Alert - Bad Words Ahead

“Extra, Extra – Read All About It”

That’s the traditional call of the paper seller announcing breaking news. Back in the day it was usually a serious news story, like war or a major criminal incident, today it heralds the latest salacious bullshit that is being peddled to you by an ever growing partisan media. 

Really, It Sounds As Stupid As It Looks.......
Case in point, the latest ‘safe-space triggering’ comments by Donald Trump.

Many of you know about my deep-rooted loathing for coincidence.  So it should come as no shock that that this little nugget fell from the skies almost at the exact same time that WikiLeaks dumped another treasure trove of documents pertaining to Hillary Rodham Clinton.  Mind you, this release comes on the heels of the Guccifer 2.0 dump earlier in the week.

Can you guess which the main stream media sought to capitalize on?

Yes, apparently ‘grabbing pussy’ is much more news worthy than the Democratic nominees admission, behind closed doors, that her campaign is basically a lie. Well, at least as it pertains to the little people she is trying to court.

Wake up people.

Is what Trump said crude? Yes.

Was it inappropriate? Probably.

Is it earth-shattering? No.

Is it limited to men? Hell No!

Anyone who is talking about how ‘upset’ they are about what Donald Trump said eleven years ago is either a liar, a social justice warrior or a practicing Puritan.  For them I have nothing, but for the rest of the adult world: Grow Up.

Here’s a news flash, real people talk that way. Hell, I talk that way and so do you.

Have we forgotten that this was a private conversation? Have you never said things in a private conversation that were, how shall we say: risqué? If someone ever played a highlight reel of all the crude things I have ever said, stock in popcorn would jump 515% as folks gathered around the TV screen to watch.

And if you think it’s just men that speak this way, I have some news for you. Go to a male strip club one night. You’ll hear ‘church women’ say things that would make a Navy Senior Chief Petty Officer blush.

And where was the media’s moral indignation when Hillary said "Come on Bill, put your dick up! You can't fuck her here!"

I’m sorry, but this whole ‘I’m offended’ shit is a joke and is wearing really thin.  You know what I am really offended by? This whole wussification of America bullshit.

Donald Trump said something I don’t like…….’ Really, special snowflake, did anything offend you in Fifty Shades of Grey? Because that happy little BDSM romp, written by a woman mind you, sold like over eighty million copies, prompted a sequel along with a movie, and I’m pretty sure there was a lot more going on than ‘pussy grabbing.’

SHAMELESSS PLUG: As an author, I’d like to point out that my books also contain a bit of ‘adult reading’ as well……. You know, if you’re not so easily offended.

We also have to come to terms with an amazing double standard in this country. I have often lamented that the concepts of hypocrisy and irony are lost on the left. The same folks who slam Trump for saying mean things to women are the same ones championed Hillary for standing by her man when he went through the vast Right Wing conspiracy to undermine his presidency. The fact that he actual did the things he was accused of and that she mocked and ridiculed the victims is apparently inconsequential.

Damn It, Stop Objectifying Me !!!
Nor is the fact that many of her biggest supporters, you know, folks Miley Cyrus, Jay-Z, Beyoncé, and Kanye engage in behavior that glorifies what Donald Trump spoke about. I’m sorry, but I have a problem with being lectured on the issues facing this great Nation by a guy who started out his life by selling drugs on the streets of Brooklyn.  I would also like to point out the hypocrisy of being lectured on the objectification of women by a singer who engages in simulated sex acts during her show. Oh Hannah Montana, how far thou have fallen.


That’s the hypocrisy.

The truth is that the media is doing everything they can to shift your attention away from all the negative information surrounding who THEY have decided must win.

When you look at the facts, Hillary Clinton’s actions speak much louder than Donald Trump’s words ever could.

We have real issues facing this country, a lot of which Hillary Clinton has been involved in, yet no one is focusing on them and I have to wonder why. At the last debate, questions were raised about Donald Trump’s taxes and a comment he purportedly made about Miss Universe back in 1996, but not one question about illegal immigration, terrorism, or about the fire storm that is raging throughout the Middle East.

Seriously? This is allegedly what is passing for journalism in the twenty-first century?

Unfortunately, many of those issues could legitimately be laid at Mrs. Clinton’s door, so I can understand why no one wanted to go there.

The funny thing is that nothing Trump did on his taxes was any different then what the majority of tax payers do every year. The problem was the sum of the loss. HRC even used it to question how smart Trump was, having lost nearly a billion dollars. What she didn’t tell you was that the Clinton’s did the same thing on their taxes with a nearly three-quarters of a million dollar loss. She also doesn’t want to talk about the fact that her State Department still has six billion unaccounted for.

That’s the irony.

The latest release of documents is being slammed, not for their content, but because those vile Russians are allegedly behind it all. Think about that for a moment. Not what HRC and her closest aides have done, but what those bad hackers have done.

This sums it up best: ZERO accountability / ZERO responsibility – Focus the blame on someone else.
America is still struggling.

We are still facing desperate financial times and we have illegal immigrants, along with terrorists, streaming across our southern border. What does HRC have to say about that? Well, according to a speech she gave to a Brazilian bank in 2013, this is how she feels:

"My dream is a hemispheric common market, with open trade and open borders, some time in the future with energy that is as green and sustainable as we can get it, powering growth and opportunity for every person in the hemisphere…. We have to resist, protectionism, other kinds of barriers to market access.”

The truth is that HRC does not care about you. You do not have the kind of money that she wants so you are only going to get lip service. It’s not about America’s bottom line, but hers.

Here’s the truth about her campaign slogan: Stronger Together. She only needs you to elect her so that she can continue the relationships she has built with Wall Street and the wealthy.  

But now, even the Republican sharks are circling the waters because of Donald Trump’s words……

What they don’t want you to know is that they, politicians on both sides of the aisle, have been collectively grabbing America’s pussy for decades and taking what they want. This fact seems to have become lost to us and I have to believe that is by design.


At the end of the day, Trump represents a threat to the political status quo and that scares the hell out of them. Like the democrats, they are part of the problem; the other side of the same coin if you will. I couldn’t care less if they pull their support for Donald Trump, but I hope that they understand I will be pulling my support for them. Just like Hillary Clinton they have only needed me when they want something, but they have to be threatened to do the right thing when it doesn’t benefit them.

November 8th will be historic. It will be a referendum on our political system. It will either be a vote to maintain the political status quo, which has brought us to this place we are in, or a vote to shake things up.


I know where my vote is going.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

How the United States Congress Marginalizes Itself for Party Politics

Before my budding career as a mystery / thriller author, I spent twenty-two years in law enforcement, fifteen of those as an investigator with the NYPD, both as a detective and sergeant. 

Since my books tend to have an overt political tone to them, I tend to follow the current events of the day pretty closely, so you can imagine that I was glued to my TV set this morning when FBI Director James Comey appeared before the Congressional Oversight Committee to answer questions pertaining to the Hillary Clinton investigation, specifically whether information she provided to them during her voluntary interview showed that she lied to Congress in her testimony, which was under oath.

I will admit that I didn’t have much hope going into this. My prior post about Congress abdicating its Constitutional role shows just how bad things have gotten in Washington, but this morning’s testimony highlights the true extent.

Now, let me remind you that this hearing was about Hillary Clinton’s testimony before Congress and the subsequent testimony she gave during the investigation by the FBI. The reason for this was that when she testified before Congress it was under oath.

So after opening questions by the Committee Chairman, what does the ranking member, Rep. John Conyers (D-Mi.) ask?

A question about the FBI interview with Hillary? Nope.

Anything to do with the subject of the current hearing? Nope.

No, Rep. Conyers thinks this is a good time to address police shootings and potential Russian connections for Donald Trump.

See, this is exactly why people have lost all faith in the political system.  Congress, a co-equal branch of government, has lost all credibility as it devolves deeper into the quagmire of political party cheerleading.

Rep. Conyers, the senior member of Congress, who has served since 1965, has abandoned his duties as the representative of the people and has put his party’s interests above the electorate. Let us be completely clear on this - There is certainly evidence that Hillary Clinton perjured herself before congress.

Consider the following:


I have heard a lot of people, who have never handled this type of material, make excuse after excuse about things they know nothing about: Classification markings, retroactive classification, whether there were markings, and I could go on forever. Understand one thing, Hillary Clinton, the woman President Obama called the most qualified person ever, was the Secretary of State. She knew, or should have known, whether the information she dealt with was classified. Ignorance of the law is not a defense and, repeat after me, you DO NOT need intent to commit the crime you only have to do it.

It was not CIA Director, General David Petraeus’, intent to jeopardize national security, but he was still charged with providing classified information. He pled guilty to a misdemeanor and accepted a plea deal of probation along with a $100,000.00 fine. Understand that Petraeus’ mistress, Paula Broadwell, was a journalist, a Lieutenant Colonel in the US Army and an Intelligence Officer.  Broadwell had the security clearance to handle classified information, but was not given authority to remove the information “from authorized storage facilities” or store the classified information “in unauthorized locations,” according to the affidavit. Unfortunately for her, her case wasn’t as cut and dry as the General. She lost her security clearence, was demoted back to major, and is still in a state of limbo.

I’m sorry, but does anyone think that what happened with Hillary Clinton and her staff was in any way different? There were people with access to her emails that had NO security clearance.

Why was Hillary’s attorney and chief of staff Cheryl Mills, given immunity in order to obtain her laptop, when the same accommodation was not afforded Paula Broadwell?  Hell the FBI gave four other people immunity and no one was prosecuted. Obviously Petraeus and Broadwell didn’t know the right people.

In my twenty-two year law enforcement career I have never seen an investigation, by what we are told is the Nation’s preeminent investigatory agency, which was so flawed on so many levels. To be fair, I don’t blame the rank and file agents, but I do lay the blame at the foot of the Director and Attorney General Lynch, who I am sure issued the marching orders.  However, that is a topic for another day.

The key issue today is the travesty that passes itself off as the people’s representatives. I don’t care what party you belong to; just understand that your elected officials are not doing the job you elected them to do. 

This morning, Rep. John Conyers highlighted what is fundamentally wrong with our government. 

Understand that I draw no distinction to party, if you can cite an example where a Republican representative did the same thing I will agree with you 100%. Each of us must look beyond party politics; we must expect our representatives to seek the truth, not to protect a political ally. The letter after a name must never come before the truth. The Rule of Law must prevail, because when it does not then the Rule of Man does and when that happens this Republic is doomed. 

If you’d like to stay up to date on the newest releases, then please like my Facebook page and feel free to follow me on Twitter.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

When gov't agencies no longer respect the Constitution...

Many of you are aware that, in addition to being a retired NYPD sergeant, I am also a political junkie and this plays a big role in some of the books that I have written. 

This morning, I watched something that I found to be profoundly disturbing to me, as it should be to the overwhelming majority of Americans.

Congressional Oversight Committee Chairman, Congressman Jason Chaffetz, was questioning FBI Assistant Director Jason Herring, regarding the production and distribution of materials, relative to Congress’ investigation of Hillary Clinton’s emails. During the course of his appearance, Agent Herring stated: “Director Comey tried to be as transparent as he could with this committee.”



Stop for a moment and let that sink in: “tried to be as transparent as he could..”

Folks, that should send a chill through you. If it doesn’t, then the problem is greater than you could imagine.

How have we arrived to the point where an arm of the government, specifically a federally law enforcement agency, decides to become its own arbiter of what it will and will not provide to congress?

I cannot begin to warn you of the seriousness of this and the dire implications for our country going forward.

As many of you know, in the past I have railed against the ‘party’ system as I believe that this political arrangement is more of a detriment to us, driving a wedge of dissension between Americans. I believe that we have a solemn responsibility to elect principled leaders, as it is the only way our system works. But with each passing day I have come to realize that the majority of Americans do not have a clue as to exactly how this system of government works.

First, please understand that we do not live in a democracy. I keep hearing people say that and I cringe. There is a significant reason that the United States is not a democracy, best summed up by founding father and future president, James Madison:  

Hence it is that democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and in general have been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths …” – Federalist Papers, #10.

The truth is that democracy is actually the antithesis of our government. In a democracy the majority can decide to simply vote away things they don’t agree with, including your rights. Ever hear the argument about common sense? Well, in a democracy, the majority can take away any right by virtue of common sense….. you know, for the common good. Sadly, many do not consider the implications of this. You might be part of the in-crowd today, enjoying your moment in the sun, but remember that tomorrow the political winds can shift and you may very well find yourself looking down the barrel of the gun you helped create. We only have to look back 70 or so years at the rise and fall of Nazi Germany.

So the founding fathers took the extraordinary path of creating the world’s first constitutional republic. It established a constitution as the guiding principles, recognizing certain unalienable rights to the citizens of this nation, and created a framework of co-equal government that would insure these rights were not infringed upon.

The new government was founded upon three co-equal branches: Executive, a bicameral Legislative (House of Representatives and Senate) and Judicial. Without getting into the minutia, because you should already know this, each has its own separate powers and was thought to be the best system for insuring that one branch didn’t accumulate too much power and attempt to exceed its granted authority.

Got that? This system was designed to prevent one branch from gaining too much power.

Checks and balances is what it is called and a good example of this is that the legislative (Congress) has the power to create laws. The executive (President) can veto any legislation, an act which can be overridden by Congress, with sufficient votes. The President nominates judges to the nation's highest judicial authority (Supreme Court), but nominees must be approved by Congress. The judicial then has the power to invalidate, as ‘unconstitutional,’ any law passed. The Congress also has the power of the purse, the ability to tax and spend public money for the national government. So if the President does attempt an end-run to establish something the Congress does not approve of, he won’t have the funding to do so.

This works well, at least in theory.

When George Washington was first elected president in 1789 there were no political parties. This would soon change with the Federalist Party in 1791 and, in the following year, the formation of the Anti-Federalist Party or Democratic-Republicans. By his 2nd term, party lines and loyalty in the Nation’s capital were drawn to the point of bitterness and destruction. Personal and professional attacks became common and they represented a serious threat to the new republic. Washington was greatly concerned that the parties had sought to, and would again; seek more power for themselves, using it to exact political revenge on their opponents. Something he called the ‘alternate domination.’ When reading Washington’s Farewell Address, it does not take much to see just how remarkably prophetic his words were:

The disorders and miseries which result gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an individual; and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction, more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of public liberty.”

Does any of this sound familiar?

Just as Washington predicted, two hundred plus years ago, we are seeing the elevation of man, and party, over the principled and faithful execution of law.

Party in-fighting, within the hallowed halls of Congress, has diminished that body to nothing more than a cheerleader for the current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. A fact eloquently outlined in the accompanying statement by Rep. Trey Gowdy. And the judicial is not very far behind, becoming more of an activist judiciary instead of one that uses the Constitution as their guide.

But in the case of Congress, rather than perform the role they were elected to do, by you, they are actually doing the will of the party. This has to resonate with the electorate. If not, then we are truly doomed.

Whatever your political affiliation is, the current investigation into, Democratic Party nominee, Hillary Clinton’s email servers has to be taken seriously. I spent most of my career conducting criminal investigations. Unlike politicians and pundits who try and couch their words, I can tell you unequivocally that crimes were committed. Whether a decision was made to not prosecute for those crimes is not the issue. Congress has, and should act upon, the authority to investigate this matter, but as we see in the video above, forces are at play to impede it. An agent of the executive branch, in this case the FBI, should not be allowed to decide what they will or will not share with the legislative branch tasked with oversight. That is chilling.

It is something that is even occurring within lower federal courts where agencies are refusing to turn over documents to the court.

How did we get to this place? What happened to the rule of law and not man? Will the foundation that is being laid now slowly trickle down to the rest of society? What will happen when society chooses to fail to comply with a court order? Will the judge wring his hands and bemoan his impotence to do anything? I don’t think so.

I truly believe that something has to change in this country.

The government of the United States represents the citizens or as Abraham Lincoln so eloquently put it: "Government of the people, by the people, for the people…” We are their bosses and yet somehow we have abdicated all control to the powers that be.

To be fair, they are not completely at fault. We, the people, have become co-equal cheerleaders. Lamenting when someone from the other side does something wrong, yet turning a blind eye when it is our person. We simply cannot have different rules for us and them.  

If this continues down the path it is going, we will not survive.

Congress has to stop ‘protecting’ people, because they belong to the same party, and start doing what their bosses, the people, elected them to do. For our part, we have to be honest with ourselves and understand that just because someone might have the same party affiliation as us, doesn’t mean they are the best person for the job.

Unlike the vast majority of folks reading this, I handled classified information at one time. Folks, this isn’t an insignificant issue and it certainly isn’t a political one. Understand that people have lost careers and have even gone to prison for far less than what Hillary Clinton did, yet we are being told: ‘nothing here, move along.’ If it were you or I, our lives would be ruined and our freedoms taken away. Don’t you have a problem with that? Why is it, that by virtue of her place, in some type of American political lineage, she is getting a free pass on something you or I would spend a long time in prison for? Doesn’t this bother you at a fundamental level?

Elections are about the accumulation of power, not for you or me, but for the party. It is the reason that Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, the two major party candidates for president in 2012, spent close to $1.12 billion, a number which, by all estimates, will probably be exceeded in this election cycle. All that money for a job that pays a paltry annual salary of $500,000.00, give or take. Let that sink in for a moment. At best, the next president, if they are in for two-terms (eight years), will have earned about 4-5 million dollars. Hillary and Bill Clinton brought in five times that total amount during one year of speaking engagements.

You still think this isn’t about power?

It is time that you and I stand up and demand that our representatives in Washington, D.C. start to do the job they were elected to do, instead of abdicating it in favor of those with power. If we don’t, then we have no one else to blame when the government comes crashing down on top of us.

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Sunday, September 11, 2016

Fifteen Years Later – Remembering the Attacks of September 11th

I got up, just like I do every September 11th, and looked outside.

I like rainy days, over cast days, hot days, cloudy days, hazy days, every day other than the one I that is forever seared into my brain.

I got up this morning early, before the sun had come up, and stepped outside. Fifteen years ago I did the same thing, heading out of the house before the sun had come up to do my tour of duty as a city-election supervisor for the NYPD. That morning the air was cool and crisp, a nice respite from the dog days of summer we had just gone through.

As the sun came up over Brooklyn, the darkness was chased away by shades of gold, and red and orange. The rising sun turned the once black sky into a majestic blue, unmarred by any clouds. It was a rich shade of blue that I will never forget, a color that looked as if it had been pulled directly from God’s pallet.

Had I seen it before? Probably, but before September 11th it meant nothing. Now, I will take the image to my grave.

So it was with trepidation that I stepped outside, feeling the coolness of the air. As I grudgingly watched, sipping my coffee, the sky once again began its transformation, chasing away the blackness. As the sun took hold, the dew on the blades of grass were transformed in to a field of sparking diamonds. Off in the distance the fog rolled across the tops of the corn fields. It was a scene that, on 364 other days, would be breathtaking in its scope and beauty. But this was day 365.

As I watched the sun rise, the sky once again has turned blue and, try as I might, I can’t find a single cloud in the sky.

As I write this, I watch the clock, ticking off in my head mentally where I was on that fateful morning. My travels will take my partner and I through the streets of Brooklyn to the hell that was Manhattan on the morning of September 11th. Our conversation will go from typical morning banter, laughs as we search for the elusive ‘Vote Here – Aqui’ signs, which signaled our latest election poll target, to hearing the first calls over our portable radio, and, after realizing we had been attacked, heading in to Ground Zero, unaware of what we would face when we arrived and saying goodbye to one another, just in case.

In just under a half hour from now the 1st plane will have struck the North Tower….. and so the memories will all come flooding back.

My partner and I were lucky that day. We were spared the fate that so many others faced, due in no small part to an elusive pack of cigarettes.

Today I mourn for my friends, co-workers, and all those lost, not just at the World Trade Center, but at the Pentagon and in the skies above Pennsylvania as well. I remember the bravery that came through in the days and months after the attack; my heart beaming with pride just because I was lucky enough that God choose me to be a member of the greatest police department in the world, the NYPD.  And I will forever carry in my heart and mind the Department motto: Fidelis Ad Mortem (Faithful Unto Death)

But I also mourn for those who died on the other September 11th Attack.  And just as I will not forget the names of Moira Smith, John Coughlin, Joe Vigiano, Rodney Gillis and all the other members of the NYPD who died that day, I will also not forget the names: Christopher Stevens, Sean Smith, Ty Woods and Glen Doherty. Nor will I forget those who, laying aside everything else, rushed in to save them, accepting that it might be their last day as well.



Those of us who survive such things are torch bearers for the real heroes, the men and women who selflessly gave their lives for their fellow man. We must never forget them and we must never let their deaths be in vein.

So, today I will mourn, as I do every September 11th. I will thank God for saving me and my partner that day, thank him for having given me the opportunity to be a part of something so much greater than myself and to be able to share my story, so that the true heroes are never forgotten. On November 8th, 2016, I will honor those lost in Benghazi, making sure that they are Never Forgotten.

Someone recently asked me if I thought we had learned anything from the attack. Sadly, the answer to that question is a resounding no. Just like the warnings, the lessons are all there, we have just ignorantly closed the book. Blithely choosing to bury our heads in the sands of political correctness; believing that the old Beatles song ‘Love Is All You Need’ is the answer to all our ills. It isn’t. You don’t have to agree with me, but my opinions are based on cold hard fact, not fiction or personal desires.

God bless you all and may God bless America.


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Sunday, August 14, 2016

Who is Hillary Clinton and what has she done?

Apathy, Thy Name is Hillary
Many years ago, eight to be exact, I wrote about then Senator Barack Obama and asked the same question under my former Andrew, the Angry American persona.  

Mind you, this was during my pre-author days, and long before I found an effective editor, so don't judge me.

The truth is that we have a big problem in this country. We are electing people without any form of due diligence. We get too caught up in the empty promises, the campaign theatrics, and the party nonsense. Then, before you know it, it is the day after and we are left wondering what the hell did we just do? Unfortunately, at that point, it is too late.

Now a lot of folks seem to be repeating the same mistakes we did back in 2007/08, which is to not properly vet the candidates. I keep hearing about Hillary Clinton’s accomplishments, but to be honest, no one can actually name one. Heck, that’s not surprising considering the candidate herself can’t name one. To be fair she points to obscure things, but nothing tangible. However, you can read her book: Hard Choices, which promises to address these questions. It doesn't. 

Thanks, I think I’ll take a pass. You see, back in the 90's, when I was assigned to the NYPD's elite Intelligence Division, I worked on Bill Clinton's security detail when he visited New York City. I saw this 'loving' couple up close and personal. All I can say is do not believe everything you see and less than what you hear. 

If you enjoy political intrigue, I suggest reading my books. At least in my books no one makes excuses for their actions.

But let us consider who we are dealing with here:

  • She attended Wellesley College, majoring in Political Science, and Yale, where she graduated with a law degree.
  • During her college years she was very active in politics, Republican politics to be precise. She was even the president of the Wellesley Young Republicans. She left the party over the Vietnam War and Civil Rights issues.
  • She was an attorney for the prestigious Rose Law Firm in Arkansas where she would make full partner. She was twice named in the 100 Most Influential Lawyers by National Law Review.
  • She was Arkansas’ First Lady for twelve years (1979-1981, 1983-1992)
  • She served on the Board of Directors for WALMART, as well as several other firms.
  • She was the First Lady of the United States (1993-2001)
  • She served as Senator from New York (2001-2009)
  • She ran for President in 2008
  • She was Secretary of State (2009 – 2013)
And now she is the Democratic nominee for President.

She has been in the public eye for the better part of 3 ½ decades. So how in the hell can you not point to ONE tangible accomplishment? 

On the flipside, I can sure as hell point to an awful lot of controversies: Whitewater, Paula Jones, Cattle Futures, Filegate, Travelgate, Norman Hsu, Monica Lewinsky, FBI Background Records, Benghazi, E-Mail / Server, Clinton Foundation……

I’m sorry, someone with this much baggage shouldn’t be pointing fingers at anyone else.

That being said, you have to ask yourself if the world is a better place for her involvement and the answer is simply no. I cannot see anything in the record that points to her as being singularly qualified to be President. In fact, don't take my word for it, but consider what President Obama said about her in 2008: "Hillary Clinton. She’ll say anything and change nothing." 

While First Lady, and despite having control over both houses, she was unable to get enough votes for the Clinton Health Plan and the proposal was ended in 1994.

In 1997 she did manage to get passage of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, but whether it was her, or the bill’s big name backers (Ted Kennedy and Orrin Hatch), is questionable.

As Senator, she managed to sponsor only three,….. yes 3, bills that became law:

S. 1241:  A bill establishing the Kate Mullany National Historic Site in the State of New York.
S. 3613:  A bill naming a post office the "Major George Quamo Post Office Building."
S. 3145:  A bill designating a highway in New York as the Timothy J. Russert highway.

WTF?

To be fair, she sponsored 355 bills, but of these, only twenty passed the Senate. I’m sorry, but you took over the seat of Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, probably one of the most prolific politicians of the 20th century, and this is the best you can do?

I will leave it to those of you, who are so inclined, to pour over the bills; perhaps you can glean something to polish her record a bit.

To be equally fair, then Senator Barack Obama only sponsored 127 bills, 2 of which passed the Senate. You be the judge of the effectiveness of these two constitutional juggernauts. Just remember Clinton’s comments in the 2008 campaign when she accused him of voting ‘present’ 130 times as an Illinois State senator. 

Neither seems very keen on the idea of doing the people's work.

When I look at her record as Secretary of State, I am even more disheartened.

During President Bush’s time in office, the left routinely referred to it as Cowboy Politics. They lamented our status in the world. Hell, even entertainers ‘apologized’ for him.  President Obama was supposed to ‘fix’ it all, and his appointment of Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State was meant to facilitate the repair work. Remember the infamous Russian ‘reset’?

Yeah, how’s that working out?

The truth is that, if you spent even a minimal amount of time watching or reading the news, you would have witnessed the decline in stability throughout the world under Hillary Clinton’s watch. From Russia to Libya, it seemed as if the United States government was asleep at the wheel.

And if one person points to the Iran deal as being an accomplishment, I will personally come to your house and slap you senseless or at least make you read Bishop's Gate !!

I actually heard someone point to the killing of Osama bin Laden as a positive. Then again, I also heard the credit given to President Obama.

Really?

Ultimately the credit is awarded to the person that answers the fateful question: ‘Mother, May I?’, but let’s be brutally honest for one moment. It was the operators on the ground who located bin Laden and it was the Navy SEAL’s who dispatched him to the afterlife. Giving the thumbs up, to go after the most wanted man in America, the mastermind behind 9/11, is kind of a no-brainer.

While we are on that subject, how did that work out for Shakil Afridi? Dr. Afridi worked for the CIA, running a cover program that ultimately led to the positive ID of Osama bin Laden. So what happened to him? He’s pretty much fucked as he was left out to dry. Pakistani authorities caught him trying to escape over the border and he was sentenced to thirty-three years in prison. Despite some political lip service from Clinton’s State Department, nothing has been done to help Dr. Afridi, but why should he be any different? In fact, it has been speculated that Afridi was made the sacrificial lamb by the CIA and Hillary's State Department.

No matter where you look, this administration has screwed the pooch. From Iran, to Egypt, to Iraq, to Afghanistan, to Russia, to Libya, to Syria, to Israel. To be honest, I’m surprised we haven’t managed to piss off the Canadians yet. The bottom line is that you can certainly argue that, when she left, the world was actually less stable than when she took the job.

What clinches it for me is that little diplomatic outpost in Benghazi.

Yes, yes, I see you in the back with your hand up and that wild look in your eye. I know what you are going to say: ‘The subject of Benghazi has been settled, it was all just a vast right-wing witch hunt meant to destroy her reputation….’

Sit down and shut up, you’re making a fool out of yourself. Just because the media fed you some talking points and Congressman John Lewis, along with the rest of the Democratic cheering section, pointed an angry finger at Republicans, doesn’t mean the issue was actually addressed. In fact, I actually had one person make the argument that Republicans were ‘never concerned about diplomatic attacks until Benghazi.’

Really?

The truth is that any attack is horrific, but it wasn’t the attack that got to people. It was the cover-up!

I spent twenty-two years in law enforcement. It’s a dangerous job and we all know it. Losing an officer in the line of duty is tragic, but imagine being a cop, under fire, and calling for help and somewhere the dispatch supervisor turns off the radio. Help isn’t coming.

Don't believe me? Well then, ask: Kris Paronto

That was the reality of Benghazi and no one has ever been held accountable. I’ve written about this before and why Benghazi matters in terms of this Presidential election. Once you get past the political speak, you begin to see a pattern of deception. Sadly, the folks who were there are being both marginalized and vilified.

Maybe some of the millennials can point to her increase in Facebook and Twitter engagements as a positive sign, but that’s not exactly a glowing endorsement for someone to be President of the United States. As for me, I’m tired of the Clinton’s and their political games.

I’m going to vote for Donald J. Trump.

Yes, I do have issues with him, but when I look at his business record: I will gladly gamble on the four bankruptcies, actually four Chapter 11’s over twenty-five years, which are not always the result of bad business decisions, as most actual  business owners will tell you, and his many successes’. Do I think he is the A+ candidate that we all want? No. But, truth be told, we have not had an A+ candidate in a VERY long time. What I want is someone who is business savvy and who will at least attempt to stop the ship and put it back on its proper course.

The alternative is Hillary Clinton, a woman whom I firmly believe is a pathological liar and someone who will continue the destructive pattern we are currently on. The threats we face, in terms of foreign and domestic terrorism, grow larger every day. Yet we cannot even begin to address these issues because we are focusing on the every growing Clinton scandals. Even now we are unraveling the details of a pay-for-play scam that would send any 'law-abiding' citizen to federal prison for a very extended sentence. 

You do not have to agree with me on Trump, but I beg you to consider the ramifications and the long term effects on this country. We are twenty trillion dollars in debt and I guarantee you that we won't last much longer.