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Every Natural Right Protected in the Bill of Rights Is a Property Right? Here’s Why

Liberty also means being able to live free of unwelcome coercion—unless one violate someone else’s Natural Rights while acting with ill intent or causing irreparable harm, or both—behavior which might require incarceration.

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“Three-fifths to two-thirds of the federal budget consists of taking property from one American and giving it to another.  Were a private person to do the same thing, we’d call it theft.  When government does it, we euphemistically call it ‘income redistribution,’ but that’s exactly what thieves do—redistribute income.  Income redistribution not only betrays the founders’ vision, it’s a sin in the eyes of God.”  —Walter E. Williams

“The state of nature has a law of nature to govern it, which obliges every one: and reason, which is that law, teaches all mankind, who will but consult it, that being all equal and independent, no one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty, or possessions . . . [and] when his own preservation comes not in competition, ought he, as much as he can, to preserve the rest of mankind, and may not, unless it be to do justice on an offender, take away, or impair the life, or what tends to the preservation of the life, the liberty, health, limb, or goods of another.”  —John Locke, in The Second Treatise on Civil Government

 

Jefferson’s Dilemma: There Is No Freedom Without Property Rights

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Although Founder Thomas Jefferson wrote, in the Declaration of Independence, “that all men are created equal,” he would not succeed as governor of Virginia in his goal of freeing the slaves; however, in 1778, his leadership efforts did succeed, prior to his assumption of the governor’s office, in banning the importation of slaves into his home state, making Virginia one of the first jurisdictions worldwide to ban the practice.  Despite the fact that Jefferson inherited slaves from his father and acquired slaves by marriage, he would fight his entire adult life to abolish that peculiar institution of slavery, famously complaining about the British slave trade into the American colonies throughout the Revolutionary War (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Jefferson_and_slavery) and maintaining a lifelong advocacy of ending the practice.

It was Jefferson himself who, in 1807, as President of the United States, signed a law criminalizing the importation of slaves into the United States, in line with the 1808 Clause of the US Constitution (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Act_Prohibiting_Importation_of_Slaves).  Jefferson held the conviction that slavery degraded both master and slave alike (http://press-pubs.uchicago.edu/founders/documents/v1ch15s28.html), and he understood, like most of America’s Founders, that owning slaves was a violation of property rights.  It was, however, a crime against property that would have to be tolerated—until the matter could be properly addressed sometime after hostilities with England could be resolved—in order to preserve unity among all Americans in their common cause against the British.

 

Involuntary Servitude: Why Enslaving Others Is a Crime Against Property

The Founders of the United States knew that, without property rights, no freedom was possible, for they knew that every violation of Natural Rights—indeed, just about every crime imaginable—is a theft of property or of the right to protect property.  Even slaveholders knew this simple fact, which is why their arguments in favor of keeping slaves revolved around the claim that slaves were themselves property and, as such, were not entitled to property rights of their own.

The Founding Fathers who wished to abolish the institution of slavery—about 70% of them—believed that one’s person could not be owned by another, that one’s own body could only be owned by oneself; thus, the enslavement of one’s person and the confiscation of the fruits of one’s labor are both situations constituting a theft of the most personal property of all.  A human being has the right to decide his own actions, as well as the right to keep the products of his own labors.  Any confiscation of a person’s property must be according to law and, even then, may only be allowed when its fair market value is given back in exchange for it; and the property must be used for purposes of the general welfare, per the Fifth Amendment requirement that private property only be taken “for public use.”

 

Indeed, There Are No Property Rights Without Freedom

Thomas Jefferson knew all of this, but he was limited in his ability to carry out his agenda of freeing the slaves, due to some very real legal constraints that he would work diligently throughout his life to remove.  Although Jefferson’s original draft of the Declaration of Independence (http://www.blackpast.org/primary/declaration-independence-and-debate-over-slavery) contained within its text a complaint against the British slave trade*, the preservation of unity among all state delegations declaring independence from the Crown necessitated that the phrase be stricken.  It would require what Abraham Lincoln would call, in his Gettysburg Address, a “new birth of freedom” to liberate the slaves.  Eventually, the Thirteenth Amendment would enshrine within the text of the Constitution the Natural Right of a human being to live free of “involuntary servitude,” unless he be justly imprisoned, according to law.  All human beings would be free to enjoy the same Natural Rights under the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, for, indeed, without freedom there could be no Natural Rights—no right to own private property or to protect one’s property rights—whatsoever.

 

The First Amendment Enables the Use of Intellectual Property Rights

The First Amendment to the US Constitution is, at its root, a protection of one’s emotional and intellectual property rights, maintaining one’s Natural Right to worship God, to express one’s ideas, and to publish one’s views.  The freedom to associate with anybody with whom one might wish to trade views is also protected, for, just as tangible property may be exchanged, so may the products of one’s intellect.  Any violation of these Natural Rights is a crime against property.  And the right to petition the government to right wrongs is, in the end, a right to defend one’s property rights.  The stealing of one’s Natural Right to express ideas and feelings, by government force, is a tyrannical crime against the right to share or dispose of one’s own property as one sees fit.  It is an infringement of the people’s freedom to exchange their intellectual property freely with others in the marketplace of ideas.

 

The Second Amendment Protects One’s Intimate Physical Property—One’s Own Human Body

The right to protect one’s person against criminal harm is a serious property right that must never be abridged or violated.  Since a person’s own human body is personal property, depriving the individual of his Natural Right to keep and bear the arms, that any willing lawbreaker has at his disposal, may ultimately deprive the individual of his most valuable possession—his own human life.  Because guns are necessary to save innocent lives, any attempt to ban their use by law-abiding citizens only works to allow criminals—who never feel obliged to follow rules—to exercise a right that law-abiding citizens do not share.

 

The Third Amendment Protects One’s Home from Use for Military Purposes

The Third Amendment to the Constitution clearly bars the government from stationing soldiers in private homes, in a nod to the property rights of householders.  (The courts have also ruled that apartment dwellers enjoy the same rights in living spaces leased from property owners.)  Although the Third Amendment empowers the Congress to make a law prescribing how soldiers might be quartered in private homes during wartime, the Congress has never addressed the issue; thus, it remains illegal for the government to station soldiers in private residences, under any circumstances.  Depriving people of the free use of their property without just compensation would be stealing, and the Third Amendment seems to acknowledge this.

 

The Fourth Amendment Is Important to the Right to Privacy

The Fourth Amendment of the Constitution reinforces the right of the people to be secure in their persons and places of residence; in other words, it is a Natural Right that one’s property not be invaded without good reason.  Not having one’s property taken or one’s privacy violated, unless someone else’s rights may be otherwise put at risk, is important in a free republic.  Of course, without property there exists no right to—or even the expectation of—privacy.

 

The Fifth Amendment Protects One’s Own Body from Unjust Confiscation & Confinement

The Fifth Amendment right of due process provides for the protection of one’s person—a form of private property—from unjust incarceration, as well as disallowing the unfair seizure of one’s real property, without fair compensation, which would inequitably harm the owner of the property taken.  The seizure of property is fair only if it is for necessary public use and paid for at a fair market rate.  If the property taken is given to another person or entity for purposes of private benefit, the crime of theft has occurred, since one person has been harmed by the state in order to help another person or group of persons.  This is wealth redistribution, rather than fair use.

 

The Sixth Amendment Guarantees the People’s Power to Be Protected Against Injustice

The Sixth Amendment provides the following rights to American citizens: 1) the right to a speedy and public trial; 2) an impartial jury of people from the area where the crime was committed; 3) the right of the accused to confront witnesses against him; 4) the right to force witnesses helpful to the defense to testify; and 5) the right to legal counsel.  Although the entire process helps to protect personal property rights, within the context of accusations of criminal wrongdoing and possible incarceration, perhaps the key component of the Sixth Amendment is the guarantee of a trial by jury.  In many countries, the guilt or innocence of the accused is determined solely by a magistrate who works for the government.  This puts the state in charge of deciding guilt or innocence, which incentivizes corruption.

The jury system provides a check on state power, disallowing the easy incarceration of one’s person or confiscation of one’s property to support a state agenda or the enrichment of state agents, thus maintaining the freedom of the people.  If a law, in its application, shows itself to be corrupt or unfair in the judgment of the people, a jury can always issue a finding of “not guilty” based upon the right of the jury to nullify the law.  This happened with regularity, prior to the Civil War, when many juries found the helpers of escaped slaves “not guilty” in spite of laws requiring the incarceration of those individuals helping slaves to freedom.  This right of jury nullification empowers the people to veto bad laws, on a case-by-case basis, until such time as the law might be changed.  Therefore, even government-supported crimes against property can be systematically thwarted by the people.

 

The Seventh Amendment

The Seventh Amendment extends the right of trial by jury to federal civil cases that have at issue an amount worth more than twenty dollars, such as disputes between private parties in noncriminal matters regarding personal injuries or legal contracts.  In civil cases, the person suing (the plaintiff) seeks a monetary award or a court order preventing the person sued (the defendant) from engaging in certain behavior.  This amendment also states that no factual decisions made by a jury are eligible to be overturned by the whim of a judge, since this would cancel the power of the jury.  State courts may use rules different from those prescribed for state civil cases that do not involve federal rules.  But the focus is still on the maintenance of property rights.  However, since one’s most important property—one’s person—is not put in jeopardy of execution by the state, the standard for proving the case is not “beyond a shadow of a doubt,” but merely by a “preponderance of the evidence.”

 

The Eighth Amendment Prevents Unfair Trades with Regard to Bail or Execution

The Eighth Amendment bars the government from charging excessive bail or imposing excessive fines.  Any punishment must fit the crime.  Cruel and unusual punishment is forbidden.

Bail is paid to the court as an incentive for the accused to return for trial and becomes forfeit upon failure to appear.  This represents, in essence, an exchange of property (in the form of money) for property (in the form of one’s person).  Bail promotes the concept that one is innocent until proven guilty and must be offered in an amount possible for the accused to pay.  In some cases, bail can be refused, such as cases where the defendant is a flight risk, in line with the principle that there does not exist enough property value in any amount of money to constitute an even trade against the risk presented by a person who may commit a serious crime or flee to another jurisdiction while free on bail.

The ban on cruel and unusual punishment outlaws such things as crucifixion, drawing and quartering, and other evil acts—all crimes against one’s person, the results of which may never be undone.  The original ban has broadened to prevent insufficient medical care of prisoners and the failure of prison officials to protect inmates from one another.  There is, however, no prohibition of the death penalty, although the government has been prevented from carrying it out against juveniles or the intellectually disabled.  The state cannot assign the death penalty, if such punishment does not fit the crime, nor may the state utilize a cruel or unusual—“unusual” means “not customary”—method of implementing the death penalty.  In a sense, this prohibition prevents unfair trades from occurring, ensuring that punishment of one’s person, for a criminal act, is a quid pro quo exchange of value for value, penalty for misdeed.

 

The Ninth Amendment Says the People Have More Rights Than the Constitution Specifies

The Ninth Amendment states that just because certain rights are listed in the Constitution as belonging to the people, this is not to imply that those rights are the only rights they have.  There do exist Natural Rights that the people possess which, although they are not written into the Constitution, the government must respect nonetheless.  This means that the people have wide latitude in how they may behave, so long as they do not violate the property rights of others.  So, the courts must begin from the assumption that people are free to act, rather than the reverse, as long as there be no specific mention of a particular action’s legality or illegality encoded within the law.

 

The Tenth Amendment Limits Federal Interference in Matters Concerning Other Jurisdictions

The Tenth Amendment holds that any power not specified as belonging to the federal government rightly belongs to the states or to the people to exercise.  There are matters that have everything and nothing to do with property rights that may vary widely in how they might be addressed, as long as no property rights are violated in the process.

 

Conclusion

When it comes to liberty, the upholding of people’s Natural Rights is more or less synonymous with respecting private property along with the right to protect and maintain that property.  Liberty means being able to do what one wishes free of interference by any individual person or collective entity, so long as one does not invade the Natural Rights of another person.  Liberty also means being able to live free of unwelcome coercion—unless one violate someone else’s Natural Rights while acting with ill intent or causing irreparable harm, or both—behavior which might require incarceration.

 

Footnote

*When Thomas Jefferson wrote a passage attacking slavery into his first draft of the Declaration of Independence, the delegates of slave states South Carolina and Georgia, along with Northern merchants who participated in the international slave trade, vehemently opposed the passage; thus, it was removed in the interest of unity.  Here is Jefferson’s deleted complaint against King George III: “He has waged cruel war against human nature itself, violating its most sacred rights of life and liberty in the persons of a distant people who never offended him, captivating & carrying them into slavery in another hemisphere or to incur miserable death in their transportation thither.  This piratical warfare, the opprobrium of infidel powers, is the warfare of the Christian King of Great Britain.  Determined to keep open a market where Men should be bought & sold, he has prostituted his negative for suppressing every legislative attempt to prohibit or restrain this execrable commerce.  And that this assemblage of horrors might want no fact of distinguished die, he is now exciting those very people to rise in arms among us, and to purchase that liberty of which he has deprived them, by murdering the people on whom he has obtruded them: thus paying off former crimes committed against the Liberties of one people, with crimes which he urges them to commit against the lives of another.”

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Rush Limbaugh Gives Stark Cancer Update: The End May Be Coming Soon

On his radio program this week, conservative radio talk show giant Rush Limbaugh gave a stark update about his lung cancer prognosis.

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On his radio program this week, conservative radio talk show giant Rush Limbaugh gave an update about his lung cancer prognosis and it does not sound good.

A few months ago, Limbaugh — the most listened-to radio host in modern American history — was diagnosed with advanced lung cancer. He finally told his audience about the diagnosis after being missing from the air an uncommon amount of time.

Even after the announcement he has missed many days on the radio due to his extremely vigorous cancer treatments.

But this week, Rush gave an update and what he had to say did not sound good.

…these are extremely challenging times for me medically. Nothing that millions of you haven’t gone through or aren’t going through.

And those of you who have or those of you who are going through it, you understand it, and so it’s… (sigh) The temptation here is to start divulging a lot of stuff, and I’m not gonna do that, because I vowed not to be a cancer patient on the radio. I vowed to shield as much of that from the daily program as I can. I guess… I’m in the third wave of treatment now.

There have been many cycles, but this is the third wave, and this current wave, I have to tell you, is kicking my ass. For the last seven days, I have been virtually worthless, virtually useless. I haven’t left the house. I haven’t done much of anything except just try to rest and relax.

Rush added that there will be many more times to come when he just won’t be able to do the show:

The compunction I feel to do as well as I can every day — to meet and surpass your expectations — creates demands. And I was unaware of how much it was until this lung cancer diagnosis hit. Now I’m fully aware of it, and I’m aware of my energy limitations, and it’s why I said last Thursday that at any moment we may need to start rolling a best-of show here or guest hosts (which are standing by).

The talk radio giant also took a moment to gush over his wife, Kathryn, who has become his rock.

And I think one of the first things — I just have to mention this — is I could not be doing this without Kathryn. I have never experienced anybody so selfless. I marvel at her selflessness.

Oh, I know, I know. “Marriage vows. Sickness and in health.” But you know as well as I do that in a lot of circumstances like this, some people look for the door and look through the rearview mirror. And not only has that not happened, as I say, she has immersed herself in my treatment and in my care, being the advocate for me wherever we end up going for treatment and all of that.

Finally, he warned that things may get far worse before there might be hope for his recovery:

As I said back then, my intention is to be here as often as I can. My attitude is this, and the reality is, the day is gonna come where I’m not gonna be able to be here. I don’t know when that is — and I’m hoping that it is months, years.

I’m hoping that the current cycle that we’re in does its magic and starts working on the tumor as the clinical trial drugs did. But, regardless, the day is gonna come where it isn’t gonna be possible to be here every day — and who knows? It may not be possible to be here for three hours every day. I think I’ll be fine today. So, I look at this: Any chance to do the show, I’m gonna take it.

It all sounds very ominous. Rush’s treatment does not seem to be working to cure him of his disease.

If you used to listen to Rush but has slacked a bit lately, maybe you should start listening again. It may be the last time you are able to do so.

We are all praying for your recover Rush. We can’t do without you.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Facebook at: facebook.com/Warner.Todd.Huston.

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Theme Park Uses Virus to Regulate What Noises Guests are Allowed to Make

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As the threat of coronavirus is slowly but surely being mitigated by social distancing and other precautionary measures, people around the globe are soon to be heading back into the public space.  Sports leagues are crawling toward new opening days, restaurants are cautiously serving up their staples, and even amusement parks are getting ready to welcome guests back within the gates.

But in the realm of tourist attractions and theme parks, there are plenty of new protocols that will be in place to ensure the safety and sanity of guests.  Masks will be mandatory at many parks, as well as pre-sold tickets limited to smaller occupancies.

A number of parks in Japan are going beyond these precautions, however, and imploring that their guests to keep their exclamations to themselves.

Among the guidelines proposed by the East Japan and West Japan Amusement Park Associations, operators are being urged to comply with dozens of expected coronavirus prevention measures already being utilized by parks across the globe, such as operating at reduced capacity, increasing the frequency of cleanings, installing handwashing stations, and pre-selling tickets to control the flow of guests. Visitors should also be given temperature checks before entering, wear masks at all times, and practice social distancing once inside, the guidelines stipulate.

Then came the wild stuff.

But that’s not all — the East Japan and West Japan Amusement Park Associations would also prefer the country’s amusement parks to be a much quieter place, to help minimize any droplets emanating from the mouths of entertainers, employees or guests. To that end, they recommend that patrons and workers be asked to refrain from using a loud voice (with lots of “splashes”). In other cases, where possible, they even advise that employees refrain from using their voice to communicate with guests.

The Agence France-Presse further reports that these requests would apply to guests watching any of the parks’ live entertainment spectacles. Performers would also be aiding in this effort, the outlet reports, by discouraging viewers from being too audibly dazzled by what they see on stage.

If you thought that the eerie silence of the coronavirus crisis was dystopian before, just wait until you see hundreds of guests silently riding rollercoasters and interacting with mascots on a bright, sunny day in Japan.

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Former Van Halen Lead Sammy Hagar Blasts Coronavirus Lockdowns, Refuses to Comply

Rock legend and former Van Halen lead singer Sammy Hagar says he is no longer willing to abide by the left’s coronavirus lockdowns.

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Rock-N-Roll legend and former Van Halen lead singer Sammy Hagar says he is no longer willing to abide by the left’s coronavirus lockdowns.

Hagar sat down with KSHE-FM radio on Friday and said that he is “not locking down anymore.”

The now 72-year-old rocker said that when he first heard of the virus and how it was so devastating for people over 60, he was like “Whoa, whoa, whoa!”

“I got a little nervous,” he told the audience.

“And then I thought about it, and after three weeks of lockdown, I was really getting bored, but I also started kind of liking it,” he continued.

But as the days ticked by, Hagar realized he was missing those close to him in his life.

“My whole life I worked every day of my life,” he said. “Sunday, it may be the Lord’s day off, but it’s not Sammy Hagar’s day off. I worked every freakin’ day of my life in some fashion on one of my projects. Either I’m recording, or I’m writing, or whatever. So all of a sudden, I went, ‘Man, I don’t have anything to do.'”

After a few weeks he woke up to a new realization.

“[Y]ou know what I thought of?” he said. “I thought, ‘You know what? I’ve had the best life of any human being on this planet. If the damn thing wants to come and get me and kill me, let it be. Life isn’t gonna be any better from this day on for the rest of my life than it has been.”

“I swear to you: I came to grips with it, and I was not afraid. I didn’t want to get anyone else contagious if I had it, but I don’t have it — I’m healthy as a freakin’ tick,” Hagar said.

The whole thing got him thinking about the plight others have found themselves in because of this virus nonsense.

“[T]hen I got jumped up about it,” he exclaimed. “I said, ‘This is bullcrap, people being afraid and staying away from their own children and their own parents.’ It just took the love out of families. I hate it. I don’t say the word ‘hate’ very much, but I hate this freakin’ coronavirus crap. And I’m not afraid of it, and I’m not locking down anymore.”

The “I Can’t Drive 55” singer concluded that he now refuses to live in fear and is ready to go about living his life.

“I’m not afraid of it anymore,” he insisted. “That’s all I’m saying. Everybody, be their own self. I’m not trying to sway anyone any direction. But Sammy Hagar, I’m not afraid of it. There you go.”

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Facebook at: facebook.com/Warner.Todd.Huston.

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Memorial Day Special: Never Forget What American Troops Are Made Of

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To honor our troops for Memorial Day this year, I am going to share this story about their mettle. What follows are excerpts from remarks by Marine Lt. Gen. John F. Kelly made to the Semper Fi Society of St. Louis on November 13, 2010. While leading his platoon on a combat patrol, Kelly’s son, Marine 1st Lt. Robert Michael Kelly, had been killed in action four days earlier in Sangin, in southern Afghanistan. Lt. Kelly was only 29-years-old.

Giving Thanks for Our Warriors

“Those with less of a sense of service to the nation never understand it when men and women of character step forward to look danger and adversity straight in the eye, refusing to blink, or give ground, even to their own deaths… No, they are not victims but are warriors, your warriors, and warriors are never victims regardless of how and where they fall. Death, or fear of death, has no power over them. Their paths are paved by sacrifice, sacrifices they gladly make… for you….

“Two years ago when I was the commander of all U.S. and Iraqi forces, in fact, the 22nd of April 2008, two Marine infantry battalions, 1/9 ‘The Walking Dead,’ and 2/8 were switching out in Ramadi… Two Marines, Corporal Jonathan Yale and Lance Corporal Jordan Haerter, 22 and 20 years old respectively, one from each battalion, were assuming the watch together at the entrance gate of an outpost that contained a makeshift barracks housing 50 Marines… Yale was a dirt poor mixed-race kid from Virginia with a wife and daughter, and a mother and sister who lived with him and he supported as well. He did this on a yearly salary of less than $23,000. Haerter, on the other hand, was a middle-class white kid from Long Island. They were from two completely different worlds… But they were Marines, combat Marines, forged in the same crucible of Marine training, and because of this bond they were brothers as close, or closer, than if they were born of the same woman.

“The mission orders they received from the sergeant squad leader I am sure went something like: ‘Okay you two clowns, stand this post and let no unauthorized personnel or vehicles pass. You clear?’ I am also sure Yale and Haerter then rolled their eyes and said in unison something like: ‘Yes, Sergeant,’ with just enough attitude that made the point without saying the words, ‘No kidding sweetheart, we know what we’re doing.’ They then relieved two other Marines on watch and took up their post at the entry control point of Joint Security Station Nasser, in the Sophia section of Ramadi, al Anbar, Iraq.

“A few minutes later a large blue truck turned down the alley way–perhaps 60-70 yards in length–and sped its way through the serpentine of concrete jersey walls. The truck stopped just short of where the two were posted and detonated, killing them both catastrophically. Twenty-four brick masonry houses were damaged or destroyed. A mosque 100 yards away collapsed. The truck’s engine came to rest two hundred yards away knocking most of a house down before it stopped. Our explosive experts reckoned the blast was made of 2,000 pounds of explosives. Two died, and because these two young infantrymen didn’t have it in their DNA to run from danger, they saved 150 of their Iraqi and American brothers-in-arms…

“What we didn’t know at the time, and only learned a couple of days later after I wrote a summary and submitted both Yale and Haerter for posthumous Navy Crosses, was that one of our security cameras, damaged initially in the blast, recorded some of the suicide attack. It happened exactly as [Iraqi policemen on the scene] had described it. It took exactly six seconds from when the truck entered the alley until it detonated.

“You can watch the last six seconds of their young lives. Putting myself in their heads I supposed it took about a second for the two Marines to separately come to the same conclusion about what was going on once the truck came into their view at the far end of the alley. Exactly no time to talk it over or call the sergeant to ask what they should do. Only enough time to take half an instant and think about what the sergeant told them to do only a few minutes before: ‘Let no unauthorized personnel or vehicles pass.’ The two Marines had about five seconds left to live.

“It took maybe another two seconds for them to present their weapons, take aim, and open up. By this time the truck was halfway through the barriers and gaining speed the whole time. Here, the recording shows a number of Iraqi police, some of whom had fired their AKs, now scattering like the normal and rational men they were–some running right past the Marines. They had three seconds left to live.

“For about two seconds more, the recording shows the Marines’ weapons firing nonstop… the truck’s windshield exploding into shards of glass as their rounds take it apart and tore into the body of the son-of-a-beech who is trying to get past them to kill their brothers–American and Iraqi–bedded down in the barracks, totally unaware of the fact that their lives at that moment depended entirely on two Marines standing their ground. If they had been aware, they would have known they were safe… because two Marines stood between them and a crazed suicide bomber. The recording shows the truck careening to a stop immediately in front of the two Marines. In all of the instantaneous violence Yale and Haerter never hesitated. By all reports and by the recording, they never stepped back. They never even started to step aside. They never even shifted their weight. With their feet spread shoulder-width apart, they leaned into the danger, firing as fast as they could work their weapons. They had only one second left to live.

“The truck explodes. The camera goes blank. Two young men go to their God. Six seconds. Not enough time to think about their families, their country, their flag, or about their lives or their deaths, but more than enough time for two very brave young men to do their duty… into eternity. That is the kind of people who are on watch all over the world tonight–for you.”

(Originally published by The Weekly Standard in December of 2010)

Tales like this are legion in the annuls of the military history of the United States of America. Our citizen soldiers are some of the best ever seen by mankind. This Memorial Day, please do remember them, pray for them, support them.

Please Enjoy Our Memorial Day Posts

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Judge Sullivan Hires High-Profile Attorney To Argue His Reasons For Not Dropping Flynn Case

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The federal judge Emmet Sullivan overseeing the case against former national security advisor Michael Flynn has hired a high-profile attorney to help with his response to an appeals court, The Washington Post reported.

The judge was ordered by an appeals court this week to explain his unorthodox handling of Michael Flynn’s ongoing case in district court. The DOJ this month moved to drop its case against Flynn, but Sullivan declined to immediately do so, instead, he’s appointing a retired judge to argue against dismissing the case.

He has retained Beth Wilkinson to represent him in defending his decision to a federal appeals court in Washington, according to a person familiar with the hire who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter.

Twitchy:

As you know by now, the Department of Justice moved to drop the federal government’s case against Michael Flynn in light of new evidence, but the presiding judge in the case, Judge Emmet Sullivan, has resisted. He opened the case to public comment and appointed a retired judge, John Gleeson, to look into the possibility of trying Flynn for contempt of court for perjury. Gleeson had said he’d have his amicus brief filed by June 10, but on Thursday, a three-judge appeals court panel gave Sullivan until June 1 to explain his reasoning for not dropping the case.

Now it looks like Sullivan is pushing back even harder, as he’s hired a prominent trial lawyer to argue his desire to investigate whether dropping the case would be legal and ethical.

Sullivan is looking for all the help he can get not to dismiss the case and to charge Flynn with contempt of court. The Washington Post reports:

The federal judge who refused a Justice Department request to immediately drop the prosecution of former Trump adviser Michael Flynn has hired a high-profile trial lawyer to argue his reasons for investigating whether dismissing the case is legally or ethically appropriate.  More

You know I am not an attorney, but if a very experienced sitting Judge can’t articulate the reasons that he made a decision or order then the decision/order is probably unfounded.

Also, if a very experienced sitting federal judge needs to hire a high-profile attorney to shield himself then the order/decision is probably not just unfounded but possibly illegal too.

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Coronavirus Death Counts Found Wildly Over Reported

The number of people who have died from the coronavirus have been inflated by states hoping to milk the deaths for federal dollars.

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More proof is coming out each week that the number of people who have actually died from the coronavirus have been greatly inflated by states hoping to milk the deaths for federal dollars.

On Saturday, it was reported that Colorado had to amend its death count because the reported numbers were far higher than the really are.

Per Fox News:

The change came after Colorado’s Department of Public Health admitted that its COVID-19 death toll was counting those who tested positive for the coronavirus but had died of other causes, Fox 31 Denver reported late Friday.

The department now says 1,150 Coloradoans who died had COVID-19 but only 878 of those deaths were “due to” COVID-19.

“We have been reporting at the state, deaths among people who had COVID-19 at the time of death and the cause of that death may or may not have been COVID-19,” said Dr. Eric France, the health state department’s chief medical officer.

France noted that state officials began hearing from hospitals, medical examiners, doctors, and others that the numbers were suspect.

One such story emerged from Montezuma County where a 35-year-old man was added to the coronavirus death rolls, but who didn’t actually die from the virus.

“The state is reporting that death as a COVID death, but our health department wanted to let people know that even though the person did have the virus, they did not die from it,” county officials said.

The numbers in Michigan have also come under a cloud.

“I think a lot of clinicians are putting that condition (COVID-19) on death certificates when it might not be accurate because they died with coronavirus and not of coronavirus,” Macomb County, Mich., Chief Medical Examiner Daniel Spitz told the Ann Arbor News last month.

“Are they entirely accurate? No,” Spitz said. “Are people dying of it? Absolutely. Are people dying of other things and coronavirus is maybe getting credit? Yeah, probably.”

Similar miscounting is occurring in states across the nation.

Per Fox News:

Illinois has been accused of skewing its COVID-19 death count. The CDC on Friday reported 3,792 coronavirus deaths in Illinois, which has been hard hit by the pandemic.

In April, the state’s Director of Public Health Dr. Ngozi Ezike told a coronavirus news briefing that the state’s COVID-19 death toll was counting those who died of “a clear alternate cause” but had the virus at the same time.

Another death in Arkansas was tallied as a COVID-29 death despite the truth of the matter.

In Arkansas, where 97 COVID-19 deaths have been reported, the count includes a woman who died at a nursing home in April.

But KTHV-TV reported interviewing the woman’s daughter, who had questions about including her mother in the count.

“My mother was 91 when she passed,” the daughter, who requested anonymity, said. “She had been in hospice since January. I feel the diagnosis of ‘respiratory failure due to COVID-19’ is not true. To add a death due to the virus just to inflate the numbers is not right.”

Indeed, San Diego recently had to admit that it has had only six actually COVID-19 deaths despite recent claims.

This sort of nonsense is going on everywhere.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Facebook at: facebook.com/Warner.Todd.Huston.

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Culture

Secret Service Busts Nigerian Crooks Defrauding U.S. Unemployment System for Hundreds of Millions

The U.S. Secret Service has busted a Nigerian fraud ring bilking America for “hundreds of millions” in fraudulent unemployment payments.

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The U.S. Secret Service has busted a Nigerian fraud ring that has been bilking America for “hundreds of millions” in fraudulent unemployment payments.

As if the U.S. isn’t bankrupting itself fast enough with the massive loss of jobs amid this coronavirus hysteria, now we find the Nigerians stealing millions from us with our obviously easily defrauded unemployment benefit system.

A Secret Service memo obtained by the New York Times described the attack as a well-organized Nigerian fraud ring that may be stealing “hundreds of millions of dollars.”

“We are actively running down every lead we are getting,” Roy Dotson, a special agent who specializes in financial fraud at the Secret Service, told the paper.

The foreign crooks are using stolen Social Security numbers and other personal information likely purchased by hackers to file for unearned benefits.

The fraud ring jumped into action thanks to the millions of lost jobs because of the coronavirus lockdowns.

The first place the growing fraud was seen was in the State of Washington where people who did not file for unemployment found that their names were being used to file for fraudulent benefits.

The Secret Service noted that the fraud is slowing down response time for people who are legally filing for benefits.

At Bellingham, Washington’s Western Washington University, more than 400 of 2,500 employees have been targeted with fake unemployment claims, the university’s spokesman told the Times.

“This is a gut punch,” said Suzi LeVine, the commissioner of the Washington State Employment Security Department.

The Secret Service said they are also finding evidence of the fake claims in Florida, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Rhode Island and Wyoming.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Facebook at: facebook.com/Warner.Todd.Huston.

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