Saturday, March 24, 2018

Document drop: Another fatal FBI fumble in Florida

The following article appeared on Michelle Malkin on March 22nd

By Michelle Malkin 

A sickening act of youth violence in Florida glinted across the news headlines last week, and then disappeared from view.

There will be no CNN town halls or student walkouts over the lost life and preventable tragedy, because there are no guns to blame. Only dropped balls.

As the exploiters of crisis know full well, bureaucratic screw-ups don’t make good fodder for partisan fundraisers and hipster T-shirts.

According to a probable cause affidavit filed by the Palm Beach County police, 17-year-old Corey Johnson bought a knife last Sunday and brought it with him to a sleepover at longtime friend Kyle Bancroft’s house. At 4 a.m., he decided to kill Kyle’s mother, Elaine, his brother, Dane, and Dane’s friend, Jovanni Sierra Brand.
Corey Johnson

Johnson repeatedly stabbed Jovanni in his bed and slit his throat. Then he attempted to murder Elaine as she approached the boys’ bedrooms in response to Jio’s last gasps. Dane rescued his mom and sustained 32 stab wounds. Both were hospitalized and survived. Jio was buried last Friday — less than a week after celebrating his 13th birthday at a pizza party attended by Johnson.

The accused killer told police he “stabbed the victims because of his Muslim faith,” watched videos of “Muslim jihadists” on his cellphone, and “was reading the Quran from his phone just prior to the attack to give him courage to carry out his intentions.”

Perhaps he read the Sword Verses for inspiration? Fort Hood jihadist Nidal Hasan quoted from them in his presentation to classmates and superiors at Walter Reed Medical Center: “I have been commanded to fight the people until they testify that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah.”

Or maybe it was Surah 9:5: “Fight and slay the idolaters wherever ye find them and seize them, confine them, and lie in wait for them in every place of ambush.”

Johnson’s brutal attack was no bolt out of the blue, no unexpected incidence of sudden jihad syndrome. Local school officials and police in Palm Beach County, along with federal and international law enforcement authorities, had encountered more red flags in their years of dealing with Johnson than at a Communist May Day parade in Havana.

In middle school, Johnson had reportedly stalked a student and sexually harassed her. She told school police. Nothing happened. He dabbled in white supremacy, anti-Semitism and gay-bashing, and then immersed himself in radical Islam — rising at 5 a.m. daily to pray and revere the Syrian flag. Johnson’s online jihad agitation, physical abuse and addiction to ISIS beheading videos prompted his sister in 2016 to confide in a school therapist, who contacted the local sheriff’s office.

Johnson’s mom, the sister told school officials, was in denial. The sister so feared for her life she slept with a knife under her bed.

(Article continues HERE

Ed. So Johnson committed the murders "because of his Muslim faith."  Author Michelle Malkin suggests that the media has not provided wall-to-wall coverage of this gruesome crime because it didn't involve guns. Maybe the lib desire to not offend Mohamed and his perverse "religion" provides yet another reason.

House Ethics Committee Finds Luis Gutierrez And Bobby Rush In Violation, Orders Payments

The following article appeared in the Daily Caller on March 22nd

The House Ethics Committee announced two Illinois Democrats were in violation of chamber rules Thursday, ordering they both pay back thousands of dollars to the government for their actions.

Illinois Democratic Reps. Bobby Rush and Luis Gutierrez were both formally reproved by the Ethics committee on the same day, but for separate violations. Both cases were first investigated by the Office of Congressional Ethics and found “substantial reason to believe” Rush and Gutierrez had violated House rules, Politico reported.
Rush and Gutierrez; two Class Acts

Gutierrez paid a former staffer, Doug Scofield, for a decade out of his official congressional account, although he was not working for Gutierrez. Scofield was instead doing consultant work for the Democratic congressman but was being paid with government money. Gutierrez now has to personally repay the Treasury Department $9,700 for improper payments to the former aide. The committee did find Gutierrez’s actions unintentional.

“The Ethics Committee concluded, as I did, that any misuse of funds was ‘inadvertent’ and done with the approval of Committee on House Administration and the Office of House Finance,” Gutierrez said in a statement. “I am glad this review is resolved and that the Ethics Committee exonerated me of any willful or intentional wrongdoing. After five years the Ethics Committee came to the same conclusion I reached in 2013 when this was first brought to my attention.”

Rush was found in violation for accepting the use of free office space in Chicago. The Committee ruled that Rush must personally repay the rental company over $14,600.

The announcement comes as it was reported that Rush would lose 15 percent of his salary due to repayment of the more than $1 million he owes for making a delinquent loan for a church he started in Chicago. Cook County Circuit Judge Alexander White ordered the garnishment of more than $2,100 a month from Rush’s annual $174,000 salary in early March. (RELATED: Dem Bobby Rush Forced To Pay 15 Percent Of Salary Annually Due To $1 Million Loan He Never Paid)

Rush, who has served in congress for 25 years, was ordered to pay back the original $550,000 June 2005 loan that New City Bank granted him and seven other co-signers. Rush bought a church in Englewood, Chicago, with the loan money. The order came after the church stopped making its monthly payments in November 2011, causing creditors to sue the Democratic congressman.

“Following its investigation, the Committee concluded that the rent-free office space was a gift to Representative Rush, which he accepted in violation of House rules and federal law,” the Ethics report stated. “The Committee unanimously found that Representative Rush must repay the value of the impermissible gift, amend his Financial Disclosure statements to reflect the gift, and either vacate the office space or commence paying for the space within six weeks of the publication of this Report.”

The committee did not specify how long the Illinois congressmen have to repay the money they owe to the federal government.

Trump’s EPA Prepares To Overturn Obama’s Global Warming Rule For Cars, Trucks

The following article appeared in the Daily Caller on March 23rd

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will revise Obama-era greenhouse gas emissions regulations on cars and light duty trucks, deeming them too aggressive for automakers to meet by 2025.

EPA has a draft decision on revising fuel efficiency regulations, two people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg. A third source familiar with the matter confirmed this to The Daily Caller News Foundation.

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt began reviewing the 2012 fuel efficiency regulation in 2017, which required the U.S. car fleet to get 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025. EPA finalized the rule in conjunction with the Transportation Department as part of the Obama administration’s climate agenda.
Scott Pruitt

Corporate Average Fuel Economy, or CAFE, standards were first put in place in the 1970s as a result of the Arab oil embargo. Though initially put in to save energy, the Obama administration turned them into another way to fight global warming.

The Obama EPA argued their standards would cut 540 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions and cut oil use by 1.2 billion barrels. The previous administration said the standards would help meet Paris climate accord goals and save consumers money.

Former EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy deemed the standards “appropriate” in a review of the regulation released just before President Donald Trump took office in January 2017.

However, the Trump administration will reverse course, siding with automakers who say the 2012 standards are too aggressive. Automakers began pressing the White House to review the standards early in 2017.

“The Administration is fulfilling its commitment to reinstate the midterm evaluation of future vehicle fuel economy and greenhouse gas standards,” the Auto Alliance said.

Automakers accepted regulations when they were first adopted in 2012, but have since changed their tune now that gas prices have come down and Americans, indeed much of the world, buy more SUVs and trucks.

Companies and the Obama administration did not foresee the collapse in oil prices, spurred by booming U.S. production, and lackluster sales in electric and hybrid vehicles.

Indeed, former President Barack Obama fell short of meeting his own goal of getting electric or hybrid cars on the road by 2015, despite generous subsidies and government loan guarantees.

Environmentalists pressed the Trump administration to keep the Obama-era policy as a way to keep U.S. companies competitive in a global market that’s increasingly eschewing gas-powered cars.

However, SUVs sales are still booming. SUVs and crossovers “made up more than one in three cars sold globally last year, almost tripling their share from just a decade ago,” The New York Times reported on March 3.

What Mass Shootings Mean for Good Police Work

The following article appeared in the American Thinker on March 22nd

In the weeks after the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School massacre (please don't call it a tragedy), the concepts of service and leadership have been churning in my head. As the events have unfolded, we've discovered four school resource officers were ordered not to enter, but to hold outside and secure a perimeter.

I started my police career a couple of years before Columbine.  One of the first things said to me in the academy is that police are not military, but paramilitary.  We share some of the same characteristics (e.g. uniform, firearms, legal authority to use force), but we were civilian authority, not military.  And one of the points put into us at an early part of training was that when you had someone shooting inside a building, secure the area and wait for supervision, instructions, SWAT, etc.

That all changed on April 20, 1999.

Anyone who's served knows that when the shooting starts, the tunnel vision begins, and you instantly go back to your training.  The officers in Columbine did what they were trained to do: secure the scene and wait for specialized assistance.  And in the months and years after that, police all over the country knew that the training, or doctrine, if you will, must adjust to a new threat.  If you have someone actively shooting at civilians in an area, officers must immediately engage to stop him.  And as we look into a brave new world, we know we are at a disadvantage.

A fact of life and war is that the aggressor sets the rules. Some of the characteristics of active shooters:

1. They are knowledgable of the target area, while the responders may not be.  Klebold and Harris attended Columbine High School for years and knew its layout.  Omar Mateen scouted out the Pulse Nightclub in the weeks prior to his attack in 2016.  Syed Rizwan Farook worked at the San Bernardino County health department for five years prior to the 2015 attack.

2. Active shooters are motivated not by money, but by hatred or rage against perceived offenses.  The shooters in Columbine were the "outside" group.  Elliot Rodger, sometimes known as the "Virgin Killer," attacked sorority women for their rejection of his advances.  Micah Johnson's murder of five cops in Dallas was in response to perceived unjustified shootings of black men by police officers.

3. Escape may not be a goal.  In Columbine, both boys apparently planned to end their lives, as did Johnson in Dallas.  However, in Las Vegas, it appears that  Stephen Paddock planned to escape, but killed himself when he knew he would be captured.  This will make stopping and negotiating with the shooters unlikely to stop the killing, as was shown in Dallas and Orlando.

4. The aggressor selects his location to his advantage.  We've had active shooter situations before Columbine.  On August 1, 1966, Charles Whitman climbed the clock tower at the University of Texas and started shooting.  He murdered 13 and wounded 30 (and no, it was not with an AR-15 on "full semi-automatic" mode, but with a bolt action rifle).  In February 1997, Larry Eugene Phillips, Jr. and Emil Dechebal Matasareanu, equipped with body armor, attempted to rob a Bank of America in North Hollywood, initially overpowering the first responders.

As the threats have changed, so have our responses.  Since the turn of the century, police agencies all over the country have adapted a military style of clearing a building, as well as closing and engaging a shooter.  Some question if this training and guidance was countermanded in the Douglas High School shooting.  According to recent reports, a Broward County Sheriff's Office (BCSO) captain ordered four school resource officers to set up a perimeter, instead of engaging, which is what the BCSO states it trains its deputies to do and is in accordance with agency policy.

In the aftermath of Parkland, we as police must look at the events that unfolded last month.  It's incumbent to review the actions taken, improve on what was done well and correct what has to be rectified.  Initial reaction, tactics, etc. are all subject to scrutiny.  One thing must also not be overlooked: as one friend and fellow sergeant said it, "if you're not willing to go in, turn in the badge."

I'll be the first to say a cop (or a soldier, for that matter) doesn't know how he will react until the bullets start flying.  But one thing is certain: you must have your mindset right.  I've read in unconfirmed internet sources that Deputy Peterson was not wearing body armor.  If that is correct, he was not ready for the worst case scenario, which is what he is paid to be prepared for.

Another point I will bring out goes back to the men at Columbine.  An academy classmate ran our agency's active shooter training a few years ago, and he made an insightful point about the officers responding to an active shooter: "I'm not going to second-guess them, but we all have a badge, and we entered this profession knowing what was expected of us.  And people have to know we will do what has to be done."  Four SROs followed the orders of a captain while there were kids being murdered.  They will have to live with their consciences, wondering from this point forward, "Should I have just said, 'Screw you, I've got to look myself in the mirror and there are kids in there'?"

Last week, I listened to a podcast from an organization called The Art of Manliness.  The host was interviewing Dale Dye, a retired Marine captain about his new book.  Dye mentioned another thing I have been pondering since.

On the day, at Quantico, Virginia, the day that I had been through Officer's Candidate School, and been though the basic school, and I was going to be commissioned, I remember that morning getting up and getting my dress uniform ready, to go down and fall into formation and be commissioned with the other candidates, and I was shaving and I looked myself in the mirror and said, "You know, when the day comes that you can't look your people in the eye and say, 'Follow me, it is necessary that we die'...when that day comes, it's the day you're not leading anymore, and you should quit."

It is a bit dramatic, but it is true.  Fellow peace officers, if the day comes that you cannot look yourself in the mirror and say, "I will risk life and career for the people I serve," it is time to turn in the badge.