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Guns and Crime

My city is conducting covert taxation by shaking us down. I bet yours is too!

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Most of us remember the Disney cartoon movie when we were kids, Robin Hood. Various animals played the characters. The movie opens with the Sheriff of Nottingham bullying the poor into giving him what little money they have as “taxes.” He even took from the old and infirm. This was done to show that he clearly was a bad guy. We wouldn’t imagine that this would happen with our modern police today, right?

Wrong.

As I wrote about a couple of months ago when illustrating how judicial tyranny could affect all of us, whether it be in big ways or small ways, back on November 10th I received a ticket for not wearing a seatbelt. I was not driving too fast, swerving, texting while driving, or anything else that could possibly endanger any other person. I was simply going home for lunch from work. It’s a 3 minute drive. This cop was hiding under the overpass and decided to pull me over, because in a large city that is a conduit for drug and human trafficking, this is where the San Antonio Police Department’s resources are best spent, apparently.

Now, a little background. The SAPD’s Chief, William McManus, is currently under investigation for having let more than a dozen people being trafficked go without so much as identifying them. The driver of the truck carrying them was arrested and charged, but his human cargo was just released into the winds. This is the man running the department that decided that my not wearing a seatbelt was worthy of a day’s pay in a tax.

Of course, that was just an excuse. Now, I’m not saying people shouldn’t wear their seatbelts. I in fact DO wear my seatbelt 99.9% of the time. I didn’t have it on at this particular moment because I’d taken it off to reach down for some water. I suffer from migraine headaches and had a bad one on this particular day. I was on my way home for my lunch hour just to get a few minutes of peace and quiet. This police officer decided to ruin my day and didn’t even bother to ask the circumstances.

Now, without a doubt, many of you reading are saying “well, you should have worn your seatbelt!” Fine. But how many of you saying that are fine with motorcyclist riding without helmets. Or bicycles without helmets. Or having an abortion? Yes, I went there. After all, it’s MY BODY isn’t it? I should be able to decide what I want to do with MY BODY, shouldn’t I? I promise you the government lawyers I had to deal with felt that way. And yet, they had no problem telling me what to do with MY BODY when it came to wearing a seatbelt.

I could have paid the ticket and moved on with my life. And if I’d been speeding, or if I’d had my KIDS in the truck without seatbelts I would have (would never have happened) I would have paid the ticket and moved on. But this felt too much like the Sheriff of Nottingham shaking me down for money. I showed up for court and asked for a jury trial. The government lawyer sneered arrogantly at me. I was undeterred. I was assigned a court date nearly 2 MONTHS later. I showed up for that date only to have the prosecutor ask for a continuance because the police officer was “in training.”

And this is where the scam becomes obvious. I argued to the judge that this shouldn’t be allowed, that the police department and the prosecutor’s office could have coordinated and informed me this was going to happen so I didn’t have to take a day off work. I was told “that’s not how it works.” So the trial was reset for 5 March.

A few weeks later I got a notification in the mail that the trial date had been reset AGAIN for 19 March. Wait, huh? I thought that’s not how it worked?

I did some research and looked at the San Antonio City Budget. The last one available was from 2016. It showed the city planned to make approximately $12.2M in fines and forfeitures, meaning they were COUNTING on citizens being fined to make the city work. Well, they only collected about $10.7M, which is a shortfall of $1.5M. They couldn’t let that happen again. So they’ve got cops out there shaking down honest citizens for money. Why go that route? Because as most people I know admitted to me, they would have just paid it and moved on. That’s what the city of San Antonio is counting on. They have a money-making factory that they COUNT on to make the city work. They can’t raise taxes because they’d get voted out of office, so they come up with this covert form of taxation, knowing most people will just pay it and move on.

My 19 March court date arrived and the charges were dropped because “the officer didn’t remember enough about the incident.” Well, maybe if he wasn’t out giving so many bogus tickets he’d remember more of the ones that matter. Several other tickets from the same officer were also dropped. The city didn’t want to spend the money on my constitutional right of a trial. They count on most people just paying and moving on. The certainly didn’t want me making my case to a jury and nullifying their money-making scheme.

The upshot.

Well, sad for them they didn’t know who they were dealing with, and I don’t mean ME, I mean YOU, dear readers. I urge you to look into this in your own communities. Most police officers are great people who work hard to protect them. But if some are being used to shake you down for money so that liberal mayors and city councils (like the ones here in San Antonio) can spend more money paying their campaign donors back, maybe something needs to be done.

I know this seems like a small thing. It was pointed out to me “it’s worse most places in the world.” Well sure it is, but you can’t wait for things to get that bad before we do something about it. You have to stop this kind of police state in it’s tracks and do it while we still have the power to do so. Look to your local communities and see how they are collecting their money and then spending it. Hold your local leaders accountable. It’s not just Congress that shakes you down for money. And you can’t count on the national or even local media to report on this. They LIKE big government, which this supports. Make it happen, Patriots. I have faith in you.

Foreign Affairs

Saudi foreign minister does damage control on American press

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Saudi foreign minister does damage control on American press

The foreign relations mess stemming from Jamal Khashoggi’s murder continues to grow more chaotic despite Saudi Arabia’s attempt to cover it up with regularly changing stories. The latest attempt at damage control comes from Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir.

Fox News’ Bret Baier him, pressing multiple times about Mohammad bin Salman’s role in or knowledge of the operation that led to Khashoggi’s murder. The blame is being placed on the individuals who carried out the operation; as much space is being created between the direct actors and Saudi leadership as possible.

One important note in the interview was when al-Jubier said they do not believe the entire 15-man “kill team” was at the consulate where when Khashoggi was killed there. He admitted he did not know whether Turkey really had a recording of what happened during the incident, nor whether the United States had intelligence that contradicted the Kingdom’s story.

The responses from the foreign minister were in stark contrast to the indignation exuding from the Kingdom for two weeks following the initial report of Khashoggi’s disappearance.

My Take

As I wrote last week, Saudi Arabia gravely underestimated the international response to this incident. They thought they could get rid of a dissident as they have done in the past and the response would be muted. They didn’t take into account his American ties and the desire of the Turks to expose them at every turn.

How is this going to end? It won’t, at least not for a while. Unlike other international news stories of similar magnitude, this one has multiple forces bent on keeping the story going until a satisfactory resolution is reached. It won’t be reached. The White House and the Kingdom will do whatever they can to sweep this under the rug and make people forget.

This stinks, but here’s the sad reality: “Justice” will not be delivered the way it should and the relationship between Saudi Arabia and the United States will return to the status quo in a few months.

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Foreign Affairs

First charge filed against Russian for interfering with elections

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First charge filed against Russian for interfering with elections

Elena Alekseevna Khusyaynova is allegedly part of Project Lakhta, a Russian operation intended to sow political division ahead of the midterm elections as well as other elections around the world. She has been charged by the Justice Department for interfering with the United States political system.

Here is the press release from the DOJ:

Russian National Charged with Interfering in U.S. Political System

https://www.justice.gov/usao-edva/pr/russian-national-charged-interfering-us-political-system“The strategic goal of this alleged conspiracy, which continues to this day, is to sow discord in the U.S. political system and to undermine faith in our democratic institutions,” said G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. “This case demonstrates that federal law enforcement authorities will work aggressively to investigate and prosecute the perpetrators of unlawful foreign influence activities whenever feasible, and that we will not stand by idly while foreign actors obstruct the lawful functions of our government. I want to thank the agents and prosecutors for their determined work on this case.”

According to allegations in the criminal complaint, Elena Alekseevna Khusyaynova, 44, of St. Petersburg, Russia, served as the chief accountant of “Project Lakhta,” a Russian umbrella effort funded by Russian oligarch Yevgeniy Viktorovich Prigozhin and two companies he controls, Concord Management and Consulting LLC, and Concord Catering. Project Lakhta includes multiple components, some involving domestic audiences within the Russian Federation and others targeting foreign audiences in the United States, members of the European Union, and Ukraine, among others.

My Take

This story will be spun from its surface assertion of Russian interference helping President Trump and other Republicans win in 2016. That assertion is inaccurate as the DOJ release indicates, but it won’t stop mainstream and leftist media from calling this the smoking gun against Trump’s presidency.

What this project allegedly did was push forth divisive messaging that was intended to affect people on both sides of the political aisle. This is important to understand because it wasn’t intended to drive one candidate or another. It was designed to take whatever political position any given person has and amplify their anger towards the opposing side.

Russia knows if they push the far right further to the right and the far left further to the left, our own anger will fuel the division. They are taken advantage of our freedom.

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Guns and Crime

Natalie Mayflower Sours Edwards charged for leaking financial data on Robert Mueller’s targets

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Natalie Mayflower Sours Edwards charged for leaking financial data on Robert Muellers targets

Natalie Mayflower Sours Edwards faces up to 10 years in prison if found guilty of leaking financial documents to BuzzFeed. These documents contained information about some of Robert Mueller’s targets in his probe of Russian election meddling, including Paul Manafort, Rick Gates, Maria Butina, and the Russian Embassy.

Natalie Edwards: Treasury FinCEN official charged with leaking financial records in Russia probe

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/natalie-edwards-treasury-fincen-employee-charged-with-leaking-financial-records-in-russia-probe/U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said in a statement that Edwards “betrayed her position of trust by repeatedly disclosing highly sensitive information.”

“SARs, which are filed confidentially by banks and other financial institutions to alert law enforcement to potentially illegal transactions, are not public documents, and it is an independent federal crime to disclose them outside of one’s official duties,” Berman said.

My Take

There has never been a presidency that had so many government employees attempting to derail it. For a senior Treasury Department employee to be willing to go to jail to help a leftist media outlet post some stories exemplifies how unhinged President Trump’s opponents can be.

Trust of public employees is extremely important and, anecdotally, at an all-time low. It isn’t just people in the White House. There are clearly an large number of unhinged activists working for the federal government.

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