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Memorial Day – One way to pay respect to our fallen heroes

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Today, for many of us it is just another federal holiday. We get to spend time with our family and friends and enjoy a burger, dog, and a cold brew. For many families around the country, they will be celebrating the life of their loved ones that are no longer with them.

There are far too many families that have lost loved ones protecting our freedoms. Many of us don’t know a single person that has fought and died for our freedoms. Many of us don’t know the loved ones they left behind.

I know of children that will grow up barely remembering their father. Fathers and mothers, losing their only child. Wives, having to raise their children on their own.

We take for granted our freedoms, and we forget that our freedom was paid for by the blood of patriots. Memorial Day is not just another federal holiday. It is a celebration of life for those that gave the ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms. Men and Women that willingly put themselves in harm’s way and left their families behind so that you could have Life, Liberty, and your Pursuit of Happiness.

One way I know of thanking these amazing men and women is by supporting Wreaths Across America. Every year, Team Bear raises hundreds of thousands of dollars to lay a wreath on the tombstone of one of our heroes during the Christmas holiday season.

As part of Team Bear, I have seen first hand the joy on the faces of the family members seeing thousands of people coming and paying respect to their loved one. Showing them, they are not forgotten, and we are grateful for their sacrifice and our freedoms as Americans.

Wreaths Across America is much more than just paying respect to our fallen, but also showing love and gratitude to the family they left behind.

This Memorial Day, I ask you to take the time and buy one wreath as a way to say thank you. Every year we fall short of placing a wreath on every tombstone around the country. Let this year be different. Let us come together and buy at least one wreath each and say thank you for their sacrifice.

It only cost $15.00, and you can donate to Team Bear at this link.

I would also encourage you not only to donate but go the Wreaths Across America and start your own fundraising team but volunteer at your closest military cemetery and see the difference $15 can do to the lives of our fallen heroes’ families.


Konstantinos Roditis is a candidate for California State Controller. You can learn more about his campaign at cacontroller.com, and you can follow him on Twitter & Facebook.

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Opinions

Twitter ban of Krassenstein brothers is not the same as conservatives who get banned

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Twitter ban of Krassenstein brothers is not the same as conservatives who get banned

When news broke today that Ed and Brian Krassenstein from #Resistance fame had their Twitter accounts permanently banned, reactions from both sides were predictable. Those on the left pointed at the event and said, “see there’s no Twitter conspiracy against conservatives.” Meanwhile, conservatives’ reactions were mixed between thinking it was Twitter’s attempt to balance things out so they don’t get sued all the way up to rejoicing that the site may have finally learned its lesson.

None of this is true. According to Twitter, they were banned for using bots and paid engagement.

“The Twitter Rules apply to everyone,” a Twitter spokesperson said in a statement. “Operating multiple fake accounts and purchasing account interactions are strictly prohibited. Engaging in these behaviors will result in permanent suspension from the service.”

While the brothers will go down in Twitter history as a rare example of prominent progressives getting banned, the reality is their removals from the site were economic. That’s rarely the case for conservatives who get banned for hateful speech or whatever the latest label is for telling people to “learn to code.” In fact, I don’t recall a single conservative getting banned for paid engagement or bot use. It happens, I’m sure, but as far as I can recall it hasn’t been the reason for any major political accounts to get the ax.

Either way, I oppose this and nearly all bannings that aren’t the result of spam, illegal activity like doxxing, spreading malware, or porn. If they want to stop bots and paid promotions, they should be catching these accounts and sending them stern messages. They can reduce their visibility. But if someone artificially inflates their engagement without using Twitter ads, they can and should be dealt with in ways that fall short of getting banned. Same holds true for most “hateful speech” that seems to unfairly target conservatives. Again, as long as the speech used is not breaking the law, it should be allowed.

Or, Twitter could simply establish that it’s a content site and not simply a platform. They would lose their protections, but at least they would be in line with the letter of the law. As it stands, they get platform protections while acting to police activities that are against the notion of free speech and therefore should not be allowed to continue getting platform protections.

Speech is free or it isn’t.

Comparing the Krassenstein’s permanent suspensions to any of the recent prominent conservative account suspensions is invalid. They weren’t banned for what they said. They were banned for bots and paid promotion. Conservatives are still being targeted.

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Entertainment and Sports

‘Star Trek: Picard’ looks like it’s going to be a social justice warrior’s take on the future

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Star Trek Picard looks like its going to be a social justice warriors take on the future

Gene Roddenberry had one rule for the Star Trek franchise. The future had to be a perfect utopia. In his vision, man had evolved to a point where it had no character flaws: no malice, no greed, no secrets. There wasn’t supposed to be a Section 31, the dark NSA-like secret group. War was to be avoided at all costs. Even conflicts between Starfleet personnel had to be manufactured to pass muster; someone had to be mind-controlled for there to be fight between officers.

After his death, it didn’t take long for his rule to get broken again and again.

Perhaps this was a good thing, at least from the perspective of a modern audience that prefers to see internal conflict over pure humans operating in an impure galaxy. After all, his vision may have launched the series, but the franchise hit its stride after his death. Or did it?

The Star Trek franchise has never been a true blockbuster, at least not in a world with Star Wars and the MCU. It has a strong following and its winning people over from generations who were born after Captain Jean Luc Picard’s The Next Generation wrapped up on television to start making movies. But its ability to stay relevant has relied heavily on shifting storylines and new perspectives that are a far cry from Roddenberry’s original ideas.

None of this is necessarily a bad thing, but the upcoming CBS show, Star Trek: Picard, threatens to not only take the franchise into unexplored territory but also fundamentally change the character many of us have grown to love. And if my hunch is right, they’re going to do it by turning arguably the most beloved character in the franchise (sorry Kirk and Spock) into a social justice warrior.

Hints of a different type of Picard story have been swirling around the show since its inception. Patrick Stewart said he wanted this 20-year-older version of the Picard to be very different from the warrior-explorer-diplomat that we’ve admired for decades. Considering the direction he and CBS have both gone in recent years, that gave me the feeling they were going to have a betrayed Picard get drawn back in to right wrongs and fight for the little guy, as any good social justice warrior should. Now that they’ve released a teaser, my hunch has only been reinforced.

I hope I like it. but I have a very nasty feeling that I won’t. I have a horrible sense that they’re going to ruin a great character and tear down Roddenberry’s legacy for the sake of being socially conscious and progressively preachy. We’ll see.

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Democrats

Pelosi’s endgame strategy: Impeach Trump during general election season

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Pelosis endgame strategy Impeach Trump during general election season

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has been playing a balancing act for the past few months. On one hand, she has to stop her caucus from becoming too zealous about impeaching President Trump, fearing the same public backlash the GOP received in 1998 during impeachment proceedings against President Clinton. On the other hand, she needs to keep the specter of impeachment alive so she doesn’t start getting attacked by the radical Democratic base who want the President out immediately.

But lost in the mix is the speculation that Pelosi is fully prepared to impeach the President, just not yet. She wants to bring impeachment and all the mud that will be flung at the President as a result during the heart of general election season.

Evidence of this is all circumstantial but compelling. In a closed-door meeting with committee heads yesterday, she instructed her team to keep up the pressure through investigation after investigation. This would normally not be enough to appease impeachment hawks like Maxine Waters and others, but their clear support for the strategy is an indicator that they’ve been promised vindication at a better time than now. Otherwise, there’s enough support for impeachment among the base for them to continue beating the drum louder and possibly even call for Pelosi’s ouster.

It’s also conspicuous that lower members of the Democratic totem pole haven’t gone after Pelosi, including known antagonists like Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar.

Pelosi knows her time is short if things don’t go her way quickly. She was able to gather support from opposition within her caucus by promising to only serve as Speaker for two years. But she has no intention of stepping down if Democrats retain control of the House of Representatives through the 2020 election. Instead, she intends to build her credentials by strategically beating the President, not only on the political arena but in the 2020 election itself. No, she’s not running, but if she launches her impeachment hearings in a way that can earn her credit for the Democratic nominee to win, she will have solidified her seat as Speaker for as long as she wants to stay there.

It’s a huge gamble. Depending on how the impeachment proceedings go in the eyes of the public, she could do enough damage to help kick the President out of the Oval Office. On the other hand, she could seal her own fate if the President wins as a result of sympathy he’s able to garner from the political move of a well-timed impeachment proceeding. It has the potential to backfire spectacularly if the public sees it as a dirty trick, one that could even cost the Democrats control of the House.

But in reality she doesn’t have much to lose. If she impeaches now when it won’t affect the election or if she chooses not to impeach at all, there’s a very good chance she’ll be held to her word to step down as Speaker in 2021. If she delivers the White House to the Democrats, she’ll be locked in her Speaker seat indefinitely.

This should infuriate Democrats more than Republicans, especially the growing radical wing of the party. Their goal, as stated by the Justice Democrats, is to take over the party from within. But Pelosi’s moves are not only meant to harm Republicans but also increase the power over the Democratic Party held by the establishment.

We may be witnessing the swampiest tactics every put on display from Capitol Hill as Speaker Pelosi plots the takedown of a sitting President. Some say she’s impotent, but clearly she’s a viper with plenty of bite left.

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