Forum: What’s Your Reaction To The Baltimore Police Being Criminally Charged?

Every week on Monday morning , the Council and our invited guests weigh in at the Watcher’s Forum, short takes on a major issue of the day, the culture, or daily living. This week’s question: What’s Your Reaction To The Baltimore Police Being Criminally Charged?

Wolf Howling :I outlined the basic facts of the case here on my blog.

Three days prior to the arrest of Mr. Gray, a memo was sent through the Baltimore City Police Department mandating that suspects being placed into the police van be placed in a seat and secured with a seat belt. Mr. Gray was simply lain on the floor of the vehicle. Mr. Gray continued to complain and act agitated while in the van. At some point, and perhaps twice, he requested medical aid, which requests were ignored. Within 30 minutes, Mr. Gray was taken from the van by paramedics where he expired a week later as the result of an 80% severing of his spine at the neck. There were no other injuries to Mr. Gray. As Bookworm Room has pointed out, there is some basis to suspect that Mr. Gray’s reported prior exposure to lead may have left him particularly vulnerable to the type of injury that caused his death.

On 1 May, Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby announced that six Baltimore City Police officers have been arrested and charged in the death of Freddie Gray. Of the six officers, three are white, three are black, one is a woman. Two of the officers have been charged with crimes relating to wrongful arrest. Three others have additionally been charged with involuntary manslaughter. The driver of the police van has been charged with second degree murder.

So, on the facts above, what is my reaction to the police being criminally charged?

As a threshold matter, Freddie Gray deserves justice, period. That is beyond question. It will certainly mean civil damages for his death. Whether his death involved criminal wrongdoing such that others deserve punishment is a separate question. Equally, those involved in Freddie Gray’s death are entitled to justice. They need to be prosecuted to the degree to which they are culpable, and spared any punishment if they are not.

There is not enough information yet to say for certain if the ends of justice are being served by the arrests of these six officers. My initial reaction, and I dearly hope that I am wrong, is that a lot of this is nothing more than a sacrifice to the racial grievance industry. This is not a planted evidence case, nor a case of brutality by the arresting officers. If they wrongly arrested, that would, in the normal course, be a matter for internal discipline as well as open the officers up to civil suit. But now a wrongful arrest on these facts is being used, in at least three cases, to end careers and criminally prosecute police officers? It appears that all three of them are the white officers, by the way. That seems utterly outrageous just on the facts available. Indeed, it seems a lynching, no less than that which happened to Officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson.

Likewise, charging three officers with involuntary manslaughter, just on the known facts and the lack of established policy regarding transport, seems as if it is quite a stretch. It is far less of a stretch to the extent the charge of involuntary manslaughter is based on failing to timely render aid, if such aid was requested and may have in fact saved Mr. Gray’s life. But it is not clear which evidence is being relied upon to support each charge against each individual.

Lastly, the driver of the police van, a black officer, has been charged with second degree murder. He, having sole custody of Mr. Gray from the time Mr. Gray was placed in the van until he was removed, injured, by paramedics, is likely at least guilty of involuntary manslaughter. That said, a charge of second degree murder, which requires some degree of intent or extreme recklessness, is likely an overcharge, just on the basis of the known facts.

So my reaction is mixed. At least one of the indictments – and perhaps as many as three – are or may well be warranted based on the available information. Several seem like nothing more than a lynching to satisfy the Al Sharpton wing of the left, who would dearly like to turn this into an indictment of racism and police brutality with which to, somehow, blame the right.

Baltimore City is a model of left wing urban governance and has been a social laboratory for nothing but left wing social policies for the past half century. The fact that Baltimore City, as well as its Police Department, are wholly owned subsidiaries of the left, and indeed, are led by minorities, is meaningless to the developing narrative. Already, Joan Walsh of Salon is tweeting that “there is no debate that tragically, black police officers often absorb the attitudes of their colleagues.” Shades of white Hispanics. The left will do anything to insure that whatever comes out of the Baltimore riots, it will not be a platform for rational discussion of the problems besetting Baltimore and inner city blacks. And if justice actually occurs in Baltimore — justice for Freddie Gray as well as the six officers — I am afraid it will be purely by accident.

 JoshuaPundit : I’m sorry…it must be my depraved sense of humor but listening to Marilyn Mosby announce the charges as the crowd reacted like someone had just gifted them all with big screens made me laugh almost as much  as the videos of ‘reporters’ getting beaten up and mugged and still describing their assailants as ‘protesters’  afterwards.

Mrs. Mosby is an elected official (as is her husband, Councilman Nick Mosby, who demanded  the Baltimore PD  ‘stand down’ as the rioting broke out) whose offices depend on the votes of a city that is 68% black whom mostly see this issue through a racial prism. Regardless of what color they are, the police, even black cops, are seen as the enemy. She wasn’t going to make the same mistake the mayor and president of the city council (both black) made of calling the rioters thugs and  then having to grovel and walk back their statements. The video of Baltimore Council president Jack Young appearing with a herd of Bloods and Crips to apologize and refer to the rioters as ‘misdirected youth’ makes me chuckle just thinking about it.

The sad part is the jobs that will be lost, the houses that were burned and the long miles people who live in the neighborhood  and were simply trying to work hard and keep things going  will have to travel to buy groceries or find a pharmacy thanks to these ‘misdirected youth.’ And imagine trying to sell a house here and move to a better neighborhood now.

State Attorney Mosby referred to the arrest as ‘illegal’ and used the term ‘false imprisonment’ in her remarks. OK,  but it seems to me that a number of the criminal charges involved are motivated by a political desire to appease the Mob and will be modified significantly later. And I understand that.

But what we have here, not to be harsh, was  a career criminal whose rap sheet included multiple arrests for things like burglary, assault and lots and lots of drug trafficking arrests.  As a matter of fact, Mr.Gray had an upcoming trial coming up this month based on a December arrest for  selling narcotics. He was a known drug dealer talking to someone on the streets in a fairly crime ridden area when he saw the police and took off running.

Chances are he was pursing his chosen career and realized that a fresh bust could affect his out on bail status, his coming trial and his chances of a plea bargain, so he simply went to try and dispose of his stash before he was caught.  Given his reputation, there was definite probable cause and since Baltimore, like many jurisdictions allows suspects to be held 72 hours before being charged,  I can’t see his his arrest as illegal since he could have been interrogated and the area could have been searched while he was in custody.

The main thing the police seem to be guilty of at this point is not securing Gray in a seat belt in accordance with a general order that came out 3 days before the incident,  and maybe  with getting him a medic in a timely manner. That could certainly be called  that negligence, but murder two? Among other things, the prosecutor will have to figure out some way to establish intent for that to stick.

Of course, if the trial’s held in Baltimore, the jury will be composed of those ‘protesters’ and their allies and will likely resemble a carbon copy of some of the old Jim Crow jurisprudence we keep hearing about.  Or if it’s held elsewhere and some or all of the police are acquitted, it can be used as more fuel for Seething Racial Grievance. So it’s a win-win either way if you take my meaning.

The Glittering Eye : think there’s been a rush to judgment. I understand the states attorney’s motives but whether because she’s inexperienced or ambitious or for whatever reason the theory of the case one would take from her public statements have painted her into a corner that will make it difficult to obtain convictions, particularly on the more serious charges. Note how many of the legal experts have pointed that out.

On the broader question the lynch mob mentality that has set in , not merely on the part of the demonstrators and rioters but on the part of the media and public officials is deeply concerning. We can only imagine the reaction that will occur if these officers are acquitted. That shouldn’t be the case. The presumption of innocence should always be paramount.

I don’t know what happened to Freddie Gray but neither do the demonstrators or the states attorney. We need to keep an open mind until we hear statements made under oath and read official statements on the forensic evidence. I’m beginning to fear for the republic.

Laura Rambeau Lee,  Right Reason : Maryland State Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby announced criminal charges against six Baltimore police officers in the death of Freddie Gray, a 25 year old black man who died, apparently after suffering lethal injuries while in their custody.

Her announcement came after a night of rioting, looting and violence that left the city reeling and seething in racial anger for several days. It appears to have been a rush to judgment on her part to alleviate the demands of the mob.

In a city with a large black population, black female mayor, and black prosecutor it kind of rings hollow to allege systemic racism is to blame. We should be looking at the Democratic social policies that have run the city for nearly half a century.

When a society makes it easier for people to live on welfare, food stamps and cheap housing than strive to better themselves, the result is another generation of Democrat voters to keep the free stuff coming. The left cries for more money, that not enough funds are going to help the poor. Baltimore has one of the highest amounts of education funding per child in the country. More money does not equate with a good education. No amount of money will help the people living in the poor neighborhoods in Baltimore, or any city for that matter.

This is not systemic racism. What we are seeing is systemic destruction of the family. The left is bent on destroying America by attacking traditional values, instilling feelings of entitlement for perceived grievances, withholding valuable education children need to better themselves, and making them believe they are victims in a country where opportunities do not exist for them.

As we have seen so many times before, it may just come out that the police are found innocent of the charges. What then? The left will never permit a real discussion on the issues facing poor black families in America. In reality, they are slaves to a system created to maintain and grow the power of the left.

GrEaT sAtAn”S gIrLfRiEnD : Marilyn Mosby delivered a clear message when she stepped in front of the cameras to announce charges against six Baltimore police officers at a surprisingly early stage in the investigation.

Mosby deftly framed the serious charges leveled against the officers in a seemingly political context. On one hand, she promised Freddie Gray’s family that she would fight ceaselessly to bring about justice in the case. At the same time, she made it clear that she is not the avenging angel of the African-American community. As in every constitutional democracy, one is considered innocent until proven guilty in the USA.

Well, there you have it.

Make sure to tune in every Monday for the Watcher’s Forum. And remember, every Wednesday, the Council has its weekly contest with the members nominating two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. The votes are cast by the Council, and the results are posted on Friday morning.

It’s a weekly magazine of some of the best stuff written in the blogosphere, and you won’t want to miss it.

And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter..’cause we’re cool like that, y’know?

Our Watcher’s Council Nominations – ‘Ready For Hillery’ Edition

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Welcome to the Watcher’s Council, a blogging group consisting of some of the most incisive blogs in the ‘sphere, and the longest running group of its kind in existence. Every week, the members nominate two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council.Then we vote on the best two posts, with the results appearing on Friday morning.

Welcome to the Watcher’s Council, a blogging group consisting of some of the most incisive blogs in the ‘sphere, and the longest running group of its kind in existence. Every week, the members nominate two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council.Then we vote on the best two posts, with the results appearing on Friday morning.

Council News:

This week, Simply Jews, The Gates Of Vienna, and Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion earned honorable mention status with some great articles.

You can, too! Want to see your work appear on the Watcher’s Council homepage in our weekly contest listing? Didn’t get nominated by a Council member? No worries.

To bring something to my attention, simply head over to Joshuapundit and post the title and a link to the piece you want considered along with an e-mail address (mandatory, but of course it won’t be published) in the comments section no later than Monday 6PM PST in order to be considered for our honorable mention category. Then return the favor by creating a post on your site linking to the Watcher’s Council contest for the week when it comes out on Wednesday morning

Simple, no?

It’s a great way of exposing your best work to Watcher’s Council readers and Council members while grabbing the increased traffic and notoriety. And how good is that, eh?

So, let’s see what we have for you this week….

Council Submissions

Honorable Mentions

Non-Council Submissions

Enjoy! And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us Twitter..’cause we’re cool like that!And don’t forget to tune in Friday for the results!

Enjoy! And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us Twitter..’cause we’re cool like that!And don’t forget to tune in Friday for the results!

Your Sunday Hymn: My Song Is Love Unknown

The bittersweet Lenten hymn, My Song Is Love Unknown was written by Samuel Crossman (1624-1683), in 1664.The music is by John Ireland, (1879-1962).

It’s one of the few hymns I ever bothered to memorize. Because it is just that sweet and special a hymn.

Crossman, who was an Anglican Minister, wrote it as an expression of love for his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ – who he refers to repeatedly throughout the six stanzas as his dear friend.

Here, St Martin’s Church Choir sings three verses to devastating effect.

Here are all six verses as sung by the Choir of Chester Cathedral.
Recording from “Sing for Joy 4.

And here’s a completely different setting of the hymn by Joanne Hogg:

Lyrics:

Continue reading

Video: Media Mea Culpas Finally Emerge Long After “Hands Up Don’t Shoot” Narrative Falls Apart

Fox News Monday night trumpeted media mea culpas from the New York Times and the Washington Post, all finally admitting that the “hands up don’t shoot” racial narrative was based on a lie. This comes way too late to make any kind of difference, of course. Late last summer, when it mattered, they were reporting the hot and heavy false narrative. Moreover, there are still many in the media, and the National Black Caucus who have gone totally silent on the story. Fox News, to its credit never jumped to the conclusion that Michael Brown’s criminal accomplice Dorian Johnson, was telling the truth. But then, Johnson’s story never passed the smell test, and any serious journalist should have known that from the very beginning. Alas, in the MSM, we do not have serious journalists. We have Democrat cheerleaders, and convenient “narrative” disseminators. Megyn Kelly was one of the loudest voices pushing back against the media mob that fanned the racial flames in Ferguson, and for that she was accused of being “racially insensitive.” She had on Howie Kurtz to talk about Fox News’ total vindication in the Ferguson story.

Earlier in the day,  Sheriff David Clark weighed in on Lou Dobbs: “The liberal mainstream media got caught up in the hype,” Clarke said, “they piled on – they got their kicks in at the Ferguson Police Department, Officer Darren Wilson and officers nationwide.” “The whole thing was a shameful period of time for the media,” Clarke continued, pointing out that the MSMS are supposed to be neutral in the way they cover stories. “They became a wholly owned subsidiary of the cop-hating crowd,” he said.

WH: Bibi’s “Words Matter” But Ayatollah Khamenei’s “Death to America” is Acceptable Political Rhetoric

As I’m sure you’ve gathered by now, Benjamin Netanyhu’s campaign rhetoric is being used by Obama as a pretext to throw Israel to the UN wolves. Obama has never been pro-Israel, as his radical, pro-Palestinian, not-so-distant past makes clear. He only projected a pro-Israel pose when he had big elections to win. Now that he has no more elections to go – he can go “full Bulworth” on Israel, using Netanyahu’s heated campaign rhetoric as his pretext to let his pro-Israel mask not only slip, but completely fall off his face and get trampled underfoot.

You would think that Bibi’s comments regarding the impossibility of a two state solution under his watch, (given  the Palestinian ruling party’s collaboration with Hamas), and his Facebook comments about Arabs being bused to the polls, would pale in comparison to Ayatollah Khamenei’s condemnation of America over imposed sanctions. But you would be wrong. It turns out, the Supreme Leader’s “death to America” rhetoric is acceptable because they’re aimed at a domestic political audience.

Benjamin Netanyahu’s campaign rhetoric that was aimed at his domestic audience is not acceptable because Obama needs an excuse to throw Israel under the bus.

Via The Washington Free Beacon:

SEE ALSO:

AoSHQ: Ayatollah Khamenei Tells Fellow Maniacs “Death to America” While John Kerry Tells America to Not Waste Its “Historic Opportunity” To Strike a Deal With This Towering Statesman

WFB: Tom Cotton: Obama Treating Iran like Legitimate Democracy as Ayatollah Chants ‘Death to America’

WFB: State Dept: Kerry Won’t Mention Iran-Backed Chaos in Yemen When Meeting with Iranian Leaders

Twitchy: White House reaction to Ayatollah’s ‘death to America’ is ‘beyond parody’

Washington Times: Obama’s chief of staff slams Netanyahu comments in J-Street speech

Legal Insurrection: Obama furious Israel found out Iran nuke deal secrets and told Congress

Forum: Is America In Decline? Why Or Why Not?



Every week on Monday morning , the Council and our invited guests weigh in at the Watcher’s Forum, short takes on a major issue of the day, the culture, or daily living. This week’s question: Is America In Decline? Why Or Why Not?

 Wolf Howling : It is beyond question that our nation is in decline. We stand mired in historic levels of debt, yet massive deficit spending by Congress continues unabated. Regulations are being pumped out by unelected bureaucrats at record pace, working fundamental changes to our nation that could never pass Congress. Yet Congress sits by and the odd Congress critter only occasionally complains in speeches. Medicare and Social Security threaten to bankrupt our nation in the foreseeable future unless reformed, yet Congress does not just nothing, but manages to compound the problems with Obamacare. We have a tyrannical President who unconstitutionally threatens our country’s make up by unilaterally legislating the legalization of millions of illegal aliens, while an utterly supine Congress with the sole Constitutional authority to legislate is allowing this to happen. It appears that elections for either party no longer matter to change our national trajectory. Our Supreme Court today sits as a sort of unelected Politburo deciding that the Constitution means whatever five of them want it to mean based on their whim of the day. What was supposed to be the least dangerous of our co-equal branches of government is now arguably the most dangerous. The left is using our military as a laboratory for insane social experiments, the worst being to allow women into front line combat units, something that can only be accomplished in any number by lowering the physical standards. And that does not even begin to consider the impact on unit cohesion. Space exploration as well as virtually everything to do with space is without doubt of incredible importance to our future. Moreover, it is vital that we continue to develop space defense technology to protect our many satellites upon which modern life is dependent. Space technology is an area where we have still a distinct advantage, yet Obama has killed our nation’s space program. Lastly, our national security posture hasn’t been this bad since the 1930’s.

I think it would be fair to say we are not merely in decline, but rapidly approaching key tests during our descent that will determine our future. It is hard to say which will be the first key test, whether it will come in the form of severe economic stress as the interest rates rise on our outrageous national debt, or whether it will come in the choking of our economy by ever more far reaching regulations by the EPA and FCC, or whether it will come from foreign countries energized by our growing weakness. The only sure lesson of history is that the tests will come.

Our nation has proven resilient in the past, but in the past, we’ve been much better positioned to respond to challenges. In the past hundred years, we’ve faced the Depression and come through. But that was at a time when our massive excess industrial capacity sat untapped and we started from a point with no major deficits. We faced WWII and came through. But that was at a time when the other allied nations had strong militaries of their own, not the empty shells that they now have. We faced down the Soviet Union, but that was at a time when our military was at the pinnacle of its strength, not now when Obama has starved our military for funding, going so far as to change our national security posture from being able to fight two simultaneous wars to one. That was a change not based on any threat assessment, but rather a desire to divert the savings to his various welfare programs. And he has likewise overseen the devolution of our nuclear capacity — something that has maintained the peace in Europe for 75 years — because of his insane, utopian vision of a world without nuclear weapons. Somebody, please inform the North Koreans, the Iranians, and the other Middle Eastern nations now initiating their own nuclear weapons programs.

It is hard for me to believe that America will retain a dominant position in the world beyond another decade or so. Perhaps this would not matter if America was intrinsically evil as the left seems to think, or those who would replace us would be benign. The reality is that no nation is strong enough to take our place at the moment, and those who will vie for influence do not have a history of rule by law or democracy. Nor do I believe there is any leader we could elect in 2016 that could restore the Constitutional systems that have allowed us to flourish for much of the past two centuries.

That said, perhaps in response to the key tests and trials foreseeable on our national horizon, things might change. My pessimism is moderated by the reality that history has few straight lines, and great nations have rarely gone gentle into that good night. But my pessimism is made worse by the knowledge that, with key tests and trials come great costs in gold and in blood. The question is not whether America is in decline, but how low we must fall before we even begin to recover, and at what cost?

Bookworm Room : Guest blogger Wolf Howling was kind enough to give me a preview of his response to this week’s forum question. I don’t want to repeat what he said; I will just add to it:

I agree with him. Indeed, it’s part of why, even though my real-world work has slackened off, I’ve still been too demoralized to blog. The one thing I’d add to Wolf Howling’s list of reasons why we are not positioned to withstand tests as we once were is that we are not the same people we once were. Our immigrants once came for the freedom to seek wealth. Our immigrants now come for handouts that they then wire to the tyrannies back home. Our young people once thought that we brought freedom to the world. After fifty years of academic indoctrination, our young people now believe that we are evil.

It’s that last point that explains why I’m so deeply pessimistic. When a nation’s young people think that they and their country are unworthy, the ink is on the suicide pact. And when they’ve also been trained to think of themselves as fragile victims, you can bet that the first drop of blood spilled will seal that pact.

Oh, and of course there’s president Obama. First, read Michael Goodwin’s article about Obama, what he’s done to America and her allies, and what his goals are for Israel. Once you’ve read that article, then proceed to my last paragraph, immediately below:

Those who think Obama is a bad, incompetent president are completely wrong. He has proven himself to be incredibly smart and amazingly competent. We just misunderstood his goals.

The Right Planet :The first thing that comes to my mind: what is meant by “decline?” If we’re talking economically, I would have to say, how can anyone come to the conclusion we are not in a serious and precipitous decline? It is projected by the end of Barack Obama’s second term the national debt will have climbed to around $20 trillion. This is an utterly astonishing number! This represents a literal doubling of the national debt, which was around $10 trillion when he took office–more federal spending than all previous presidents combined. And, as far as I can see, the president and his ardent supporters could care less. Why? Such a crushing debt will fall on future generations, regardless of their political affiliations. I find that utterly unconscionable.

If I look at the current state of our military, which has been engaged in continuous combat operations for years, I see a purge of top-brass, officers and senior NCOs. Our Navy is at pre-WWI levels. The US Army has been slashed back to a mere 60,000 troops. And yet there are very serious threats looming on the horizon–such as ISIS, and Russia and China rattling their sabres. As Trevor Loudon, author of the book Barack Obama and the Enemies Within, has pointed out on numerous occasions our “allies are freaking out.” They wonder what has happened to America, and whether or not the United States will be in their corner should things on the world stage take an ugly turn.

And then there’s the culture. Instead of a “post-racial” America, which Barack Obama promised to bring about if he were elected president, I see a disturbing increase in racial animus, often times exacerbated by the president and the DOJ. Instead of attempting to deescalate tensions, more gas is poured on the proverbial fire. Why? To whose benefit? I also see a very disturbing trend in education–a literal dumbing down. I was unable to come to any other conclusion after having spent several months researching the Common Core curriculum. Learning is now being replaced with training. No longer is the primary function of public education to assist students to become independent thinkers, but rather compliant “workers” taught to dutifully follow along in the footsteps of the collective. Emotion trumps logic now. The goal is to replace learning with changing attitudes, beliefs, values and behaviors. C.S. Lewis once said (paraphrase), when education is supplanted by training, civilization dies. Unfortunately, I could probably write a book on the topic of America’s “decline.” But I never give up on all of the American people. I know too many Americans who are doing everything they can to push back against the decline. I should also state that I don’t pin all blame on Barack Obama. These disturbing patterns and trends go way back.

Sadly, I believe the decline is purposeful–a “managed decline” fostered and encouraged by nefarious forces. Once again, I must ask, to whose benefit?

Cui bono?

Laura Rambeau Lee, Right Reason : If you do not believe America is in decline, you must be one of the millions of illegal immigrants receiving free housing, clothes, schooling for your children, and medical care thanks to the benevolence of President Barack Hussein Obama. You know to whom I am referring… Those who left the hell hole of whatever failed socialist or communist country of their birth because their government could no longer provide even the most meager items needed to survive. They find the promise of abundance in America to be worth every sacrifice, knowing just being able to cross our border undetected is all they need to do to reap benefits truly needy American citizens can only dream about.

Yes, America is in decline. There is going to have to be a massive shift in the American population and their understanding of what is really going on if we are to have any hope of reversing the fundamental transformation of America. There has been ongoing and relentless indoctrination of our youth into believing all of the evils of the world are a result of the policies and actions of America. Education, particularly American History, has been perverted to fixate on the negative events as if isolated from the rest of the world and human civilization.

When I returned to college, a professor in one of my classes, The Cold War and After, explained that what is holding us back is nationalism. A proud self-proclaimed socialist, the class was taught by her along with a visiting professor from Moscow University.

It was interesting to hear them proclaim that American nationalism was standing in the way of achieving a global communist government. Historically, nationalism and nationalist propaganda were used to instill pride of one’s nationality and country, a “fatherland” if you will, in order to expand a country’s power. Today however, nationalism of any kind presents a challenge to those intent on establishing global governance. One nation cannot be favored over another and cultural, religious, and ethnically diverse populations must all learn to coexist in peace and harmony. Moral ambivalence is key to achieving this utopia.

The progressive left, along with a complicit media, engage in public humiliation and vilification of those who understand the exceptionalism of America and our Constitution. This is why the Tea Party is attacked. They are standing in the way of those intent on destroying the one truly free Republic in the world, the “last best hope of man on earth,” as President Reagan so eloquently affirmed. Public humiliation is a useful tool in the early stages of methodically planned coercion and destruction. It worked very well for Hitler until his power was established, at which point no one dare speak out against him under threat of imprisonment or death.

Americans who truly value saving our country from destruction must heed the admonition of Roman philosopher, politician, and orator Marcus Tullius Cicero: “A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to fear. The traitor is the plague.”

Americans must realize we have traitors and enemies residing in the highest levels of government undermining the very foundation of our republic if we are to have any hope of saving our country.

The Glittering Eye: I think the answer to the question depends somewhat on the context. If military power is meant, the answer is obviously that we are not in decline. Not only does the United States have the greatest ability to project force of any country on the planet, our military is the most tested and experienced. There is no other country in the world that can even match our military power in any real way.

I believe that those who think that our military power is in decline want to accomplish chores that can’t be achieved with military power. Our military can obliterate any enemy. It can’t ensure that we have no enemies.

If what is meant is more along the lines of is the United States changing in the right ways, on the right track, I’m afraid the answer is that it isn’t but that depends on the track you think we should be on. I would much rather see a confident, optimistic United States in which most people believe their lives will be better than those of their parents but that doesn’t seem to be how most of us feel.

Ask Marion: America is absolutely in decline! And we are definite a long way from being the country our Founding Fathers had envisioned and left us the tools to build.

In 2012 The Economic Collapse pointed to 34 signs that America is in decline… most of which have worsened since then!

#1 According to the World Bank, U.S. GDP accounted for 31.8 percent of all global economic activity in 2001. That number dropped to 21.6 percent in 2011. That is not just a decline – that is a freefall. Just check out the chart in this article.

#2 According to The Economist, the United States was the best place in the world to be born into back in 1988. Today, the United States is only tied for 16th place.

#3 The United States has fallen in the global economic competitiveness rankings compiled by the World Economic Forum for four years in a row.

#4 According to the Wall Street Journal, of the 40 biggest publicly traded corporate spenders, half of them plan to reduce capital expenditures in coming months.

#5 More than three times as many new homes were sold in the United States in 2005 as will be sold in 2012.

#6 America once had the greatest manufacturing cities on the face of the earth. Now many of our formerly great manufacturing cities have degenerated into festering hellholes. For example, the city of Detroit is on the verge of financial collapse, and one state lawmaker is now saying that “dissolving Detroit” should be looked at as an option.

#7 In 2007, the unemployment rate for the 20 to 29 age bracket was about 6.5 percent. Today, the unemployment rate for that same age group is about 13 percent.

#8 Back in 1950, more than 80 percent of all men in the United States had jobs. Today, less than 65 percent of all men in the United States have jobs.

#9 If you can believe it, approximately one out of every four American workers makes 10 dollars an hour or less.

#10 Sadly, 60 percent of the jobs lost during the last recession were mid-wage jobs, but 58 percent of the jobs created since then have been low wage jobs.

#11 Median household income in America has fallen for four consecutive years. Overall, it has declined by over $4000 during that time span.

#12 The U.S. trade deficit with China during 2011 was 28 times larger than it was back in 1990.

#13 Incredibly, more than 56,000 manufacturing facilities in the United States have been shut down since 2001. During 2010, manufacturing facilities were shutting down at the rate of 23 per day. How can anyone say that “things are getting better” when our economic infrastructure is being absolutely gutted?

#14 Back in early 2005, the average price of a gallon of gasoline was less than 2 dollars a gallon. During 2012, the average price of a gallon of gasoline has been $3.63.

#15 In 1999, 64.1 percent of all Americans were covered by employment-based health insurance. Today, only 55.1 percent are covered by employment-based health insurance.

#16 As I have written about previously, 61 percent of all Americans were “middle income” back in 1971 according to the Pew Research Center. Today, only 51 percent of all Americans are “middle income”.

#17 There are now 20.2 million Americans that spend more than half of their incomes on housing. That represents a 46 percent increase from 2001.

#18 According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the poverty rate for children living in the United States is about 22 percent.

#19 Back in 1983, the bottom 95 percent of all income earners in the United States had 62 cents of debt for every dollar that they earned. By 2007, that figure had soared to $1.48.

#20 Total home mortgage debt in the United States is now about 5 times larger than it was just 20 years ago.

#21 Total credit card debt in the United States is now more than 8 times larger than it was just 30 years ago.

#22 The value of the U.S. dollar has declined by more than 96 percent since the Federal Reserve was first created.

#23 According to one survey, 29 percent of all Americans in the 25 to 34 year old age bracket are still living with their parents.

#24 Back in 1950, 78 percent of all households in the United States contained a married couple. Today, that number has declined to 48 percent.

#25 According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 49 percent of all Americans live in a home that receives direct monetary benefits from the federal government. Back in 1983, less than a third of all Americans lived in a home that received direct monetary benefits from the federal government.

#26 In 1980, government transfer payments accounted for just 11.7 percent of all income. Today, government transfer payments account for more than 18 percent of all income.

#27 In November 2008, 30.8 million Americans were on food stamps. Today, 47.1 million Americans are on food stamps.

#28 Right now, one out of every four American children is on food stamps.

#29 According to one calculation the number of Americans on food stamps now exceeds the combined populations of “Alaska, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming.”

#30 Back in 1965, only one out of every 50 Americans was on Medicaid. Today, one out of every 6 Americans is on Medicaid, and things are about to get a whole lot worse. It is being projected that Obamacare will add 16 million more Americans to the Medicaid rolls.

#31 In 2001, the U.S. national debt was less than 6 trillion dollars. Today, it is over 16 trillion dollars and it is increasing by more than 100 million dollars every single hour.

#32 The U.S. national debt in 2012 more than 23 times larger than it was when Jimmy Carter became president… and it keeps growing

#33 According to a PBS report in 2012, U.S. households that make $13,000 or less per year spend 9 percent of their incomes on lottery tickets. Could that possibly be accurate? Are people really that foolish?

#34 As the U.S. economy has declined, the American people have been downing more antidepressants and other prescription drugs than ever before. In fact, the American people spent 60 billion dollars more on prescription drugs in 2010 than they did in 2005.

Read or listen to almost every economic expert and they warn America is virtually moments from falling over the edge… They advise investing overseas; buying gold and silver; storing food, water, and ammunition; taking off the blinders and getting involved; and praying!

#35 America has now become a laughing stock around the world and considered weak.

#36 In 2013 a health study report showed the U.S. is:

· The highest rate of death by violence, by a stunning margin

· The highest rate of death by car accident, also dramatically so

· The highest chance that a child will die before age 5

· The second-highest rate of death by coronary heart disease

· The second-highest rate of death by lung disease

· The highest teen pregnancy rate

· The highest rate of women dying due to complications of pregnancy and childbirth

And this will certainly not get better under ObamaCare in the Nanny State we now live in!!

Well, there you have it!

Make sure to tune in every Monday for the Watcher’s Forum. and every Tuesday morning, when we reveal the weeks’ nominees for Weasel of the Week!

And remember, every Wednesday, the Council has its weekly contest with the members nominating two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. The votes are cast by the Council, and the results are posted on Friday morning.