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Westlake Legal Group > Posts tagged "Featured Story" (Page 283)

Pompeo Confirms U.S. Intelligence Points To Iran Attacking Oil Tankers

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Two oil tankers traveling in the Persian Gulf out of the Straits of Hormuz were attacker earlier today and The United States believes it was by Iran.  According to CNN

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blamed Iran for an attack on two tankers in the Gulf of Oman, saying the assessment was based on intelligence, but offered no evidence to support his claim.

“It is the assessment by the United States government that the Islamic Republic of Iran is responsible for the attacks that occurred in the Gulf of Oman today,” Pompeo said in specially scheduled remarks at the State Department Thursday, as investigations into the attacks were beginning.

“This assessment is based on intelligence, the weapons used, the level of expertise needed to execute the operation, recent similar Iranian attacks on shipping, and the fact that no proxy group operating in the area has the resources and proficiency to act with such a high degree of sophistication,” Pompeo said.

This comes on the heels of 4 tankers being attacked in May by the same method. Magnetic mines being attached to the hulls of the ship.

The timing of the attack seems odd being Japanese Prime Minister Abe is in Tehran for talks with Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Why in the world would the Iranians attack a ship bound for Japan when their head of state is visiting? Why would the Iranians attack any ship going through the Gulf?

Mostly because they think this makes them players on the world stage They have done this in the past when they want to show how tough they think they are when they are not getting their way on the international stage. The United States will have to do what it has done before, beef up our patrols in the area to make sure ships can travel safely through.

The other option, of course, is that we reenter into the disaster that was the Obama-Iran deal which gave the Ayatollah a ton of cash and gave us assurances ( wink wink) that they would not build a nuke for ten years. Could have been for ten months but John Kerry won’t tell us the details.

That Trump decided to pull America out of the Obama deal might be having a bigger impact than we have been lead to believe on the Iranians. If they decide this is the route they want to pursue that won’t end well for them.

Check out my other posts here on Red State and my podcast Bourbon On The Rocks plus like Bourbon On The Rocks on Facebook and follow me on the twitters at IRISHDUKE2 

The post Pompeo Confirms U.S. Intelligence Points To Iran Attacking Oil Tankers appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group mike-pompeo-presser-nk-300x170 Pompeo Confirms U.S. Intelligence Points To Iran Attacking Oil Tankers white house washington D.C. War Social Media Patrick Shanahan Morning Briefing Mike Pompeo Middle East International Affairs Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story Featured Post donald trump Congress CNN Allow Media Exception 2019  Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Texas Governor Legalizes This Timeless Summer Pastime for Kids

AbbIt happens every summer in America. A kid opens a lemonade stand, as kids have for decades in America, and the government shuts them down for not having a business license.

Last summer, Country Time lemonade brand started the legal-ade legal defense fund for kids who needed help paying the fines associated with running a lemonade stand without the government’s permission. As I wrote at the time, that was all well and good, but that didn’t get to the real root of the problem.

I wrote:

The problem isn’t that kids need help paying the fines associated with operating a lemonade stand, the problem is that kids are being fined for operating a lemonade stand. The problem is overburdensome regulations. Country Time needs to take a stand for lemonade standers everywhere and ask the government to get out of the business of telling kids they can’t set up shop in the front yard.

Summer is here again, and Country Time is still trying to help little entrepreneurs. This time, they’re advertising in grocery stores.

I’ll admit, it would make me choose their brand over another. It doesn’t solve the whole problem,  but at least they’re doing something.

Governor Greg Abbott of Texas, however, is doing what actually needs to be done. Letting kids run lemonade stands without the government getting involved.

It’s ridiculous such a law was necessary, but constituents were excited Abbot took action and common sense prevailed.

 

 

Abbott also thanked the senator who sponsored the legislation.

Let’s all raise a glass to common sense.

The post Texas Governor Legalizes This Timeless Summer Pastime for Kids appeared first on RedState.

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Delta Air Lines Makes the Right Call, Will Not Join Other Companies in Virtue Signaling Against Pro-Life States

Westlake Legal Group 0da5d850-d328-41f6-9b52-e3426630cf80.v1-620x317 Delta Air Lines Makes the Right Call, Will Not Join Other Companies in Virtue Signaling Against Pro-Life States SJWs Pro-Life Politics North Carolina Good Deeds Georgia Front Page Stories Front Page Feminism Featured Story Featured Post democrats Delta Air Lines Culture Boycotts Allow Media Exception Abortion

Red State‘s Brandon Morse wrote earlier this week about 180 CEOs – including Twitter’s Jack Dorsey and Bloomberg chair Peter Grauer – who signed on to a “Don’t Ban Equality” campaign that is designed to put economic pressure on conservative states to stop passing pro-life legislation.

The campaign was inspired, in part, by the fetal heartbeat bills that were signed into law last month in pro-life states like Georgia, Alabama, and Louisiana.

A refresher, via Fox Business:

The letter, which appeared as a full-page ad in the Monday edition of The New York Times under the titled “Don’t Ban Equality,” Opens a New Window. called on companies to “stand up for reproductive health care.” CEOs from media, fashion, beauty, food and tech companies were among those listed as signatories.

“Restricting access to comprehensive reproductive care, including abortion, threatens the health, independence and economic stability of our employees and customers,” the letter stated. “Simply put, it goes against our values, and is bad for business.”

In spite of intense pressure from Democrats, their MSM allies, and various social justice warrior movements, Georgia-based Delta Air Lines says they are staying out of the abortion debate:

Delta Air Lines is one of the largest employers in Georgia, but the airline’s chief executive said Tuesday the company will not take a stand on the state’s restrictive abortion law, which other corporate leaders have called “bad for business.”

[…]

“This is something that the courts need to settle and resolve, not corporate America. At least for us. I can’t win,” Delta Air Lines Chief Executive Officer Ed Bastian said at Recode’s annual Code Conference in Scottsdale, Arizona.

[…]

“We carry 200 million people a year, we have 80,000 employees. We cannot as a company take one group and put it over another group when you’ve got such an emotional — some would say almost religious — view as to what the right answer is,” he said.

This is the right approach. People across this country are getting fed up with corporations needlessly inserting themselves into political debates. Even more so that that, people are getting sick and tired of progressive bullying organizations like Human Rights Campaign and the ACLU dragging these companies into these debates.

Perhaps Delta learned their lessons on the “can’t win” drawbacks of corporate activism after what happened to them in the aftermath of their decision to cut ties with the NRA last year under pressure from gun control groups.

Delta’s decision not to get involved in the abortion debate will likely rankle leftists like abortion absolutist and actress Alyssa Milano, but if so it wouldn’t be the first time in recent weeks they’ve gotten on the left’s bad side. Just last month, Democrats were outraged over Delta fliers that made the air line’s anti-union stance crystal clear.

In the “good deeds” department, Delta recently provided free tickets to Alaska and Hawaii for Rodney Smith, Jr. of “Raising Men” lawn care service, who had a goal of mowing lawns (for free) for the elderly, handicapped, disabled, and veterans in all 50 states. With those tickets, Smith was able to reach his goal.

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—Based in North Carolina, Sister Toldjah is a former liberal and a 15+ year veteran of blogging with an emphasis on media bias, social issues, and the culture wars. Read her Red State archives here. Connect with her on Twitter.–

The post Delta Air Lines Makes the Right Call, Will Not Join Other Companies in Virtue Signaling Against Pro-Life States appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group 0da5d850-d328-41f6-9b52-e3426630cf80.v1-300x153 Delta Air Lines Makes the Right Call, Will Not Join Other Companies in Virtue Signaling Against Pro-Life States SJWs Pro-Life Politics North Carolina Good Deeds Georgia Front Page Stories Front Page Feminism Featured Story Featured Post democrats Delta Air Lines Culture Boycotts Allow Media Exception Abortion  Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Strange Bedfellows? Big Oil And Environmentalists Team Up Against Trump

Westlake Legal Group GettyImages-626619694-620x413 Strange Bedfellows? Big Oil And Environmentalists Team Up Against Trump Front Page Stories Featured Story ethanol environmentalism environment Energy E15 donald trump big oil Allow Media Exception

The Trump Administration has been a big supporter of corn farmers and the ethanol industry, most recently by keeping a promise the President made a year ago to lift restrictions on E15 – a blend of 15% ethanol and 85% gasoline.

It’s a big win for a heavily-subsidized industry (farmers, in general, are arguably the biggest beneficiaries of government handouts next to the poor, and corn farmers get a huge chunk of that), though it’s a bit worrisome that a Republican administration would be choosing winners and losers in the energy industry much like the Obama administration did before.

However, there are two groups that are never, ever, ever on the same side of anything who have decided that, for this one moment in American history, they must work together. Those two groups are oil companies and environmentalists.

Yeah, things have gotten strange.

Here’s what’s happening: The Clean Air Act specifically permitted E10 – like the blend above, except at 10/90 – but outlawed any blend above that because it could have an impact on the environment. That’s where the environmentalists come in. They are not happy about the impact this is going to have.

Specifically, the environmental law exempts E10—and not E15—from its standard for Reid vapor pressure, a measure of how clean the fuel burns, and how much smog it creates. (Lewis says the question of whether environmental groups would sue was “still up in the air.”)

The Clean Air Task Force and other non-profits oppose corn ethanol production on the basis that its expansion would convert more acres from habitat to farmland, polluting the air and water, and releasing more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere—ultimately, unleashing the worst outcomes of climate change.

Surprisingly, Big Oil has chimed in and said, yeah, “this is unlawful.”

The largest oil refiner group in the country filed a petition with the U.S. Court of Appeals to block the Trump administration’s rule just this week, claiming the EPA overstepped its authority in revoking the restrictions. “A waiver for E15 is unlawful, plain and simple,” Chet Thompson, president and chief executive officer of the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers, said on Tuesday.

On this point of critique, the oil refiners align with environmental groups, which have made similar charges against E15 in the past. Jonathan Lewis, senior counsel for the environmental non-profit Clean Air Task Force, says the oil groups’ comments filed in April echo conservationists’ complaints. “Their interpretation of the relevant Clean Air Act provisions and why those provisions prohibit the EPA from taking this step were accurate,” he says.

And, to be fair, it is unlawful. The EPA is making changes to legislation – in effect, re-writing it – to suit its needs. The EPA is not elected to do that – in fact, it’s not elected at all. The kind of thing we’ve railed against for years, this non-legislated rule-making, goes against everything stated in the Constitution. So, why would a Republican administration go for it?

For the money. The ethanol industry props up quite a few politicians, and President Trump, in particular, wants to ensure he keeps conservative farmers on his side so that he doesn’t have to deal with threats from the far right (except, of course, providing handouts and demanding handouts are both as far from the far right as it gets). It’s not, as Trump tells farmers “more energy”, but “more money”.

There’s another concern for oil and gas companies: This is probably going to require a major infrastructure overhaul from plants on down to gas stations.

You see, E10 is corrosive, and E15 is even more so. In fact, it’s corrosive enough that in all likelihood pumps, storage tanks, and a lot of other infrastructure making up your basic gas stations will have to be replaced. That type of overhaul isn’t cheap, and the consumer is definitely going to feel it. In fact, you’ll feel it all sorts of ways as it’s likely that our current penchant for starting trade wars will affect the cost of the materials needed to make these infrastructure upgrades.

You’re looking at a time when the economy is great up until the price of gas eats up more and more of your paycheck. Then, things will start going south.

So, whether you’re looking at is as un-Constitutional or as something that will negatively effect your financial status, you may find that you are just as strangely aligned with environmentalists and Big Oil, too.

The post Strange Bedfellows? Big Oil And Environmentalists Team Up Against Trump appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group GettyImages-626619694-300x200 Strange Bedfellows? Big Oil And Environmentalists Team Up Against Trump Front Page Stories Featured Story ethanol environmentalism environment Energy E15 donald trump big oil Allow Media Exception  Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Finally: Devin Nunes Sees The Special Counsel ‘Scope Memo’ And It Is Everything We Thought It Would Be

Westlake Legal Group Devin-Nunes-AP-620x349 Finally: Devin Nunes Sees The Special Counsel ‘Scope Memo’ And It Is Everything We Thought It Would Be Steele dossier Special Counsel Robert Mueller Mueller Investigation Michael Flynn Impeachment of President Trump george papadopoulos Front Page Stories Featured Story Devin Nunes Christopher Steele Allow Media Exception 2020

File-This Oct. 24, 2017, file photo shows House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., speaking on Capitol Hill in Washington. Twitter accounts linked to Russian influence operations are pushing a conservative meme related to the investigation of Russian election interference, researchers say. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File) (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

 

Based upon previously released material such as the January 2018 Grassley-Graham criminal referral letter, the Nunes Memo which was released in February 2018, and the heavily redacted, but still useful, FISA documents, we had a pretty good idea that the Steele dossier was the central document upon which the Russian collusion case was based.

Last night, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) appeared on the Hannity show and following a discussion of the hearings initiated by House Democrats this week, he revealed that he had finally seen the August 2017 Special Counsel scope memo. This memo, written by then-Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, outlined the parameters of Mueller’s mission. It also came three months after the investigation began.

Although Nunes couldn’t disclose any details contained in the scope memo, he said, “That dirty dossier permeated all the way through ultimately to the special counsel and I’ll close with this tonight. That is that I was finally able to see the scope memo and remember, I had these concerns that it was based upon the Steele dossier and look, I can’t talk about what’s in there, but we know from what Judge Sullivan put out. We know that it was probably largely based on the Steele dossier.” (Nunes’ remarks about the scope memo begin at 22:00 in the video below.)

I’m not sure what he meant by “probably.” I assume he isn’t at liberty to divulge specifics.

Nunes’ mention of “what Judge Sullivan put out” refers to the redacted copy of the scope memo which was released during the Paul Manafort trial. It can be viewed here.

The redacted version of the memo authorized Mueller “to investigate Russian interference with the 2016 presidential election and related matters.”

It addresses Paul Manafort:

Allegations that Paul Manafort:

Committed a crime or crimes by colluding with Russian government officials with respect to the Russian government’s efforts to interfere with the 2016 election for President of the United States, in violation of United States law;

Committed a crime or crimes arising out of payments he received from the Ukrainian government before and during the tenure of President Viktor Yanukovych.”

to investigate “four sets of allegations” regarding former national security adviser Michael Flynn. It also granted Mueller approval to investigate whether Papadopoulos, another Trump aide, was working as an agent for Israel.

The rest of the document is redacted. According to The Daily Caller’s Chuck Ross, the redacted portions address former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn and former junior Trump campaign advisor, George Papadopoulos.

Ross wrote: “The memo authorized Mueller to investigate “four sets of allegations” regarding Flynn. It also granted Mueller approval to investigate whether Papadopoulos was working as an agent for Israel.”

 

The post Finally: Devin Nunes Sees The Special Counsel ‘Scope Memo’ And It Is Everything We Thought It Would Be appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group Devin-Nunes-AP-300x169 Finally: Devin Nunes Sees The Special Counsel ‘Scope Memo’ And It Is Everything We Thought It Would Be Steele dossier Special Counsel Robert Mueller Mueller Investigation Michael Flynn Impeachment of President Trump george papadopoulos Front Page Stories Featured Story Devin Nunes Christopher Steele Allow Media Exception 2020  Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

YouTube Pulls Down Project Veritas Video That Demonstrates Pinterest’s Pro-Abortion and Anti-Christian Bias

Westlake Legal Group youtube-logo-620x317 YouTube Pulls Down Project Veritas Video That Demonstrates Pinterest’s Pro-Abortion and Anti-Christian Bias youtube twitter Social Media project veritas Politics Pinterest Lila Rose life site James O Keefe Front Page Stories Featured Story democrats Censorship Allow Media Exception Abortion

FILE – This March 20, 2018 file photo shows the YouTube app on an iPad in Baltimore. YouTube is updating its hate speech policies to prohibit videos with white supremacist and neo-Nazi content. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

Yesterday, James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas ran an expose of how the social media application Pinterest blacklisted pro-life mega-site Life Site as “porn” and deleted Christian phrases and themes from autocomplete and from search results. Shortly after Project Veritas sent out their story by Twitter, their Twitter account was locked down for allegedly distributing communications belonging to another party. See Twitter Suspends Project Veritas for Revealing Pinterest Blocked Pro Life Website as Porn. This was a patently bullsh** ruling by Twitter…which is sort of par for the course these days…as it effectively outlaws investigative journalism on Twitter. No one believes they want to do that but we all know that they were acting to try to limit the damage to Pinterest.

Now YouTube, the same Mensa members who have been pulling down videos of Nazi atrocities on Holocaust sites in order to fight fascism, have jumped into the fray and deleted the Project Veritas video on the same subject. This is from my post (see above link) where the video was embedded:

Westlake Legal Group youtube-project-veritas-video-620x469 YouTube Pulls Down Project Veritas Video That Demonstrates Pinterest’s Pro-Abortion and Anti-Christian Bias youtube twitter Social Media project veritas Politics Pinterest Lila Rose life site James O Keefe Front Page Stories Featured Story democrats Censorship Allow Media Exception Abortion

.https://twitter.com/Project_Veritas/status/1138941671335501824

This is how YouTube defended its action:

In a statement to Breitbart News, a YouTube spokesman said “The privacy of our users is important to us, that’s why we created robust privacy guidelines. If someone feels their privacy has been violated on YouTube, they can file a privacy complaint and we will promptly remove the content if it violates our guidelines.”

What YouTube did was take a rule that is clearly intended to protect random persons from being identified on YouTube and turned it into a tool that makes any hidden camera or police body cam video a violation of terms of service. Except, as I said, we all know that is not what this is about. This is about controlling speech and suppressing political viewpoints that offend the snowflakes who make these calls.

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The post YouTube Pulls Down Project Veritas Video That Demonstrates Pinterest’s Pro-Abortion and Anti-Christian Bias appeared first on RedState.

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The Washington Post Goes to Bat for Iran, Blames Trump for Tanker Attacks

Westlake Legal Group flickr-washington-post-building-620x348 The Washington Post Goes to Bat for Iran, Blames Trump for Tanker Attacks Violence the washington post Terrorist Attacks Tanker Attacks straits of hormuz Rogue Regime Politics Persian Gulf mullahs Middle East Liz Sly Iran Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story donald trump democrats ben rhodes Barack Obama appeasement

Image by Don Hinchcliffe via Flickr Creative Commons https://www.flickr.com/photos/dionhinchcliffe/ License: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

Trump’s existence has driven the media absolutely insane.

We’ve now reached the point where Trump is being blamed for the attacks of a terrorist regime, not because he didn’t do enough or was negligent, but because he didn’t cave to their demands.

The background on this is that Iran attacked two tankers today, setting one ablaze and causing it’s crew to have to abandon ship. This is a further escalation of previous attacks over the last few weeks. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has confirmed the Iranian regime is behind the aggression and where it goes from here is still up in the air.

In a press conference Thursday afternoon, Pompeo said: “This assessment is based on intelligence, the weapons used, the level of expertise needed to execute the operation, recent similar Iranian attacks on shipping, and the fact that no proxy group operating in the area has the resources and proficiency to act with such a high degree of sophistication.”

He charged that Iran is working to disrupt the flow of oil through the Strait of Hormuz and this is a deliberate part of a campaign to escalate tension, adding that the U.S. will defend its forces and interests in the region, although he did not elaborate.

Upon hearing the news, this is how The Washington Post’s Beirut Bureau Chief, who covers the Middle East, described it.

This is one of those tweets you have to read a few times to make sure it’s real. A mainstream press outlet is framing the attacks as Trump’s fault because he failed to “heed” the threats of the Mullahs. This would be akin to blaming Churchill for the Nazi invasion of France because he didn’t kowtow to Hitler’s demands upon taking office.

I guess it’d have been better if Trump sent pallets of cash to pay them off?

The subversiveness of Iranian propaganda in our media environment is not healthy. We saw it under Obama, where Ben Rhodes admittedly to running an echo chamber and duping journalists in order to push an Iran friendly nuclear deal. Qatar, who serves as a proxy for Iranian interests, basically has their own office at The Washington Post at this point. Much of the outrage over Qatari agent Jamal Khashoggi’s death served mostly to bolster Iranian interests by trying to harm the budding Arab alliance.

While the media taking the side of adversaries isn’t completely new, it’s reached a new level of grossness under Donald Trump. There should be some things that just aren’t done and shilling for a terrorist regime is one of them.

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The post The Washington Post Goes to Bat for Iran, Blames Trump for Tanker Attacks appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group AP_06060409666-234x300 The Washington Post Goes to Bat for Iran, Blames Trump for Tanker Attacks Violence the washington post Terrorist Attacks Tanker Attacks straits of hormuz Rogue Regime Politics Persian Gulf mullahs Middle East Liz Sly Iran Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story donald trump democrats ben rhodes Barack Obama appeasement  Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Mohamed Noor Will Serve a Long Prison Sentence for a Senseless Killing but a Lot of Politicians Should Be in the Same Cell With Him

Westlake Legal Group mohamed-noor-minneapolis-620x317 Mohamed Noor Will Serve a Long Prison Sentence for a Senseless Killing but a Lot of Politicians Should Be in the Same Cell With Him Politics police brutality Mohamed Noor Minnesota MINNEAPOLIS Front Page Stories Featured Story democrats crime Allow Media Exception affirmative action

FILE – In this May 8, 2018, file photo, Mohamed Noor arrives at the Hennepin County Government Center for a hearing in Minneapolis. The former Minneapolis police officer who shot and killed an Australian woman last summer is charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in the July 15, 2017 killing of Justine Ruszczyk Damond. Attorneys for Damond are working on a civil rights complaint and plan to file a lawsuit Monday, July 23, 2018, in federal court. (AP Photo/Jim Mone, File)

In a perfect world, Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor would never have been hired and Justine Damond Ruszczyk would be alive. But the world isn’t perfect and now Noor will serve 12½ years in prison, Ruszczyk is dead, and Minneapolis taxpayers are at least $20 million poorer.

Noor, a Somali immigrant, was recruited into the Minneapolis Police Department as part of a program designed to increase “diversity.” He went through a truncated training program and psychologists and fellow officers had lots of doubts about his suitability as a police officer.

In court documents filed this week, Hennepin County prosecutors argue that Noor’s own answers to questions in his pre-hire screening demonstrate that he was “unsuited for the job.”

After reviewing the court filing, former MPD officer Michael Quinn agreed.

“This man should have never made it through the field training program,” Quinn said.

Quinn ran the Minneapolis Police Training Academy during the 1990s. He said the incidents raise serious “red flags” about Noor’s ability to carry out the job.

Among them, prosecutors detail a minor traffic stop, writing in the court filing that Noor “pulled out his gun, carried it toward the car, and pointed it into the driver’s window at the driver’s head before uttering a word.”

Prosecutors also point to an evaluation completed by Noor’s field training officer, who wrote that “while police calls were pending, (Noor) drove around in circles, ignoring calls when he could have self-assigned to them.”

In his review, Quinn said Noor demonstrated a pattern of behavior that should have disqualified him from the job.

“To me, either one of those would have been the end of his employment,” Quinn said.

In addition to listing specific on the job incidents, prosecutors also bring in several details from Noor’s psych evaluation.

Prosecutors argue that Noor himself “reported disliking people and being around them,” and that he “self-reported disinterest in interacting with other people.”

The psych tests showed, according to court documents that Noor “is more likely to become impatient with others over minor infractions” and “is more likely to exhibit difficulties confronting subjects.”

Quinn said with those details, the department should not have forwarded Noor onto the field training program.

“We did everything we could to get those candidates through and look past small things,” Quinn said, recalling his time at the academy. “These are not small things in his case. These are things that when you look at what was written up in the psychological, these are things that are disqualifiers.”

But bureaucracies, much like living creatures, respond to positive and negative reinforcement. They move towards pleasure and away from pain. Pain here would have been firing one of the few Somalis to become a Minneapolis police officer and having to take the heated wokeness that would sure accompany it. So the path of least resistance was to push him through training, ignore the warning signs and the guidelines based on experience, and just hope nothing really bad happened over the next 20 or 30 years that he’d be on the force.

In didn’t turn out that way.

Roughly two months before the shooting, Noor put a gun to the head of a motorist pulled over for a minor traffic stop, according to the prosecution filing.

Noor stopped his squad on 24th Street west of Nicollet Avenue and got out “with his gun pulled and pointed downward,” the court document read, citing squad car video. “When the defendant approached the driver’s side of the stopped car, the first thing he did was point his gun at the driver’s head.”

Noor’s partner approached the stopped vehicle on the passenger side, also with his gun out of its holster but not pointing directly at the driver, the filing read.

An initial police incident report explained the reason for the stop: the officers saw the driver give the finger to a bicyclist and then pass a vehicle on the right without signaling.

Neither Noor nor his partner on that shift filed anything further or “documented their display of force or any justification for it,” the prosecution filing read. The driver was ticket for failing to signal, and the citation was dismissed after Noor failed to appear at a court hearing.

On the night of July 15, 2017, Justine Damond Ruszczyk, made two calls to 911. The first was at 11:27 p.m. followed by another at 11:35. She reported that she thought she heard a woman being assaulted or raped. Noor and his partner were dispatched to the scene. They arrived at the location by driving through an alley with their lights off. Noor reported to his dispatcher that the scene was safe. Damond Ruszczyk saw the police car an approached it on the driver’s side. Noor’s partner drew his weapon and kept it out of sight, Noor drew his weapon, leaned across his partner and fired a single shot striking Damond Ruszczyk in the abdomen, a wound that caused her to die on the scene.

The Blue Wall went up. Police officers refused to cooperate with the prosecutor. A search warrant looking for ‘bodily fluids, controlled substances, and writings’ was served on the residence of the victim. Body cameras were turned off. A story was concocted of something hitting the patrol vehicle and “fear of ambush.” Eventually a grand jury was impaneled and eventually Noor was indicted for third degree murder.

In April, Noor was convicted and last Friday he was sentenced.

Predictably, the narrative pushed was that Noor was only convicted because he was a Somali and an immigrant and he shot an attractive white woman.

Most of this critique is utterly false. The MPD did try to cover for Noor. And while convicting officers of homicide in on-duty killings is very rare, when it does happen they receive sentences very much like Noor’s even though those trials take place in different jurisdictions.

Nationally, only three other police officers have been convicted of murder for an on-duty death, said Phil Stinson, a criminologist at Bowling Green State University in Ohio who’s tracked the data since 2005. The average sentence for those murder convictions is 12 1/2 years in prison — the same as Noor’s sentence on Friday.

The only times police officers who were convicted in an on-duty death have received no prison time were for manslaughter cases where the officer shot someone and the bullet ricochet killed someone else, according to Stinson.

Since 2005, 104 police officers were charged in on-duty killings nationwide. And of those, 36 have been convicted of a crime, Stinson added, so it’s a small sample of cases to begin. He said the sentences for those cases ranged from no incarceration on the low end to 40 years in prison on the high end.

Jason Van Dyke, who was convicted of murder for shooting Laquan McDonald in Chicago was sentenced to about seven years.

In Colorado, James Ashby received a 16-year sentence for killing Jack Jacquez after a confrontation in 2014.

Roy Oliver, of Texas, was the officer who shot 15-year-old Jordan Edwards as he rode in a car after a party. He was sentenced to 15 years.

Van Dyke and Oliver are both white and their victims black. Ashby is also white and his victim was a Latino. So, if there is any lesson to be drawn from this it seems to be that white-cop-minority-victim is most likely to draw trial and conviction.

The bottom line here is that Minneapolis wokeness was just as much to blame for this death and the long prison term Noor is facing as anything that happened that Saturday night two years ago. A flawed political process virtually mandated the hiring of marginal candidates from the correct communities to serve diversity. A flawed bureaucratic process was created to rush these candidates through training and ignore obvious red flags that would have gotten other probationary officers fired. The people who conceived of and promoted this policy should have been at the defendant’s table with Noor at sentencing and they should be keeping him warm tonight because Noor may have pulled the trigger, but those people put the gun in his hand and gave him a badge that let him think shooting people was just fine and dandy.

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The First Pinholes In The Dike

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The First Pinholes In The Dike

A short while ago, I wrote about possible benefits from President Trump’s newly signed Tariff/Immigration Enforcement deal with Mexico. I posited that since our trade relationship with Mexico (and Canada) has improved relative to the one with China, U.S. trade companies would look to source their products in countries other than China. I speculated that Mexico, Canada and/or the Pacific Rim would benefit from this. Now comes some confirmation from the street.

One of my commenters wrote this:

China is running out of time. Like thousands of others, my company is going to re-source out of China. I have a meeting Tuesday with our rep company to review a bid from Viet Nam. Cutting a new mold in Viet Nam is a fraction of the cost of the tariff on just one container of product. At this point, I am tired of the Chinese stirring the pot and will probably make the switch anyway.

So I gave him a jingle. In a lengthly interview covering a number of international trade topics, “Jim,” pretty much said, “I’m done with China.” Jim’s company designs and markets home consumer goods. He pointed out the huge risk China is taking by failing to take President Trump seriously in this tariff fight. In market segments like Jim’s, which require molds, jigs and/or specialized tooling, a move away from a current supplier, is only taken in expectation of a huge increase in revenue-profit and/or to obtain relief from restrictive or punitive regulation or costs. 25 percent tariffs put China at far more risk than the United States.

The way Jim, a real, no-kiddin’ CEO explained it, was pretty close to my inexperienced hunch a few days ago. The longer this goes on, the more folks like Jim, are going to take their business elsewhere…elsewhere that that doesn’t have the restrictions and opportunity costs that operating in China does. Here is the bad part for China. These businesses aren’t going to return. Even if tomorrow, China accedes to each and every one of President Trump’s demands, it will be too late for many of these businesses.

These high performance owners/CEOs will have already signed contracts in other, more favorable climes. They will have also built new molds, jigs and specialized tooling. All of this production infrastructure, will of course, incorporate the latest improvements. Thus, going back to China, would also entail going back to an older, less capable version of the required manufacturing assets. Who would want to do that?

My friend Jim, isn’t the only one. He was at a conference with a number of other manufacturers—a good many of them were on the same path as he—the road away from China. It’s too early to state boldly and one data point is not a trend, but China’s inability to read President Trump, just might have gutted its own economic future. The first pinholes are in the dike. If China doesn’t act fast, the dam will surely burst.

Mike Ford is a retired Infantry Officer who writes on Military, Foreign Affairs and occasionally dabbles in Political and Economic matters.

Follow him on Twitter: @MikeFor10394583

You can find his other Red State work here.

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