Attorney General Garland has been warned his bulling will not be tolerated in the election audit.
Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich warned U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland in a Tuesday letter that his state will not tolerate the federal government interfering in the election audit of Maricopa County.
In a Friday speech, Garland announced that the Department of Justice will be taking closer look at the “abnormal” methods being used to conduct audits of November’s election, which Brnovich’s letter countered.
“Late last week, you made troubling comments about the ongoing efforts in states to ensure election integrity,” he wrote Garland.
“Your statements displayed an alarming disdain for state sovereignty as defined under the 10th Amendment of the United States Constitution and the election provisions in Articles I and II.”
“My office is not amused by the DOJ’s posturing and will not tolerate any effort to undermine or interfere with our State Senate’s audit to reassure Arizonans of the accuracy of our elections.” Brnovich added.
“We stand ready to defend federalism and state sovereignty against any partisan attacks or federal overreach.”
Brnovich further contended that there were no more important issues for states to “prioritize than the integrity of our elections.”
Closing his letter, the attorney general promised: “Arizona will not sit back and let the Biden administration abuse its authority, refuse to uphold laws, or attempt to commandeer our state’s sovereignty.”
In other words, Brnovich appeared to be promising legal action if the federal government overstepped its authority.
In his Friday speech, Garland stated, “Some jurisdictions, based on disinformation, have utilized abnormal post-election audit methodologies that may put the integrity of the voting process at risk and undermine public confidence in our democracy.”
“The Civil Rights Division has already sent a letter expressing its concern that one of those audits may violate provisions of the Civil Rights Act that require election officials to safeguard federal election records,” he added, referring to a letter the DOJ sent to the Arizona Senate.
“The division also expressed concern that the audit may violate a provision of the Voting Rights Act that bars intimidation of voters.”
Garland further argued that claims of fraud have been refuted by “law enforcement and intelligence agencies of both this Administration and the previous one, as well as by every court — federal and state — that has considered them.”
The attorney general stated his office would be publishing guidance “explaining the civil and criminal statutes that apply to post-election audits.”
According to the Arizona audit’s official Twitter account, as of last week, 80 percent of Maricopa County’s 2.1 million ballots had been hand counted.
President Joe Biden won Arizona by 0.3 percent, approximately 10,500 votes, over former President Donald Trump.
Maricopa County (which encompasses the Phoenix metropolitan area) was the only county in the state to flip from red to blue from 2016 to 2020.
Despite Biden’s victory, Republicans carried every countywide office in Maricopa, save for sheriff (which an incumbent Democrat held), including flipping the county recorder and winning the open treasurer seat
Additionally, Trump-supporting members of Congress, like GOP Arizona Reps. Andy Biggs and Debbie Lesko, won their re-election contests in Maricopa County districts by sizable, double-digit margins.
Lawmakers from multiple states have come to tour the Arizona audit site including from Pennsylvania, Georgia and Nevada.
I did not realize Bugles have been around for 50 years.
Sound the trumpets… er… I mean Bugles.
The popular horn-shaped snack from General Mills officially turns 50, this Sunday, if you begin counting from when the first press release about them was sent out on May 18, 1964.
Bugles debuted in May 1964 with regional launches in Seattle, Portland, Omaha, Des Moines, Buffalo and Syracuse. Its national launch came later in 1966.
Fifty years ago, Bugles was actually among a trio of new General Mills snacks that represented our entry into the snack food market. And we’ve never looked back, as our snack portfolio has since grown wider and more diverse.
Back then, Bugles’ snack siblings were Whistles – a cheddar-flavored corn product in the shape of a whistle and “taste like grilled cheese on toast, only crunchy”; and Daisy*s – a flower-shaped snack that had the flavor of “puffed popovers.”
While Whistles and Daisy*s went by the wayside within just a few years, Bugles outlasted them and many other snacks that General Mills introduced.
Today, Bugles has four core flavors – Original, Nacho Cheese, Chocolate Peanut Butter, and Caramel – but through the years there have been a number of varieties that came and went or were offered on a limited basis.
They’ve included ranch, sour cream and onion, salsa, hot buffalo, barbecue and even fat free and baked Bugles to name a few. They’re still made at our West Chicago plant, where they first were produced in the 60s.
An employee at our West Chicago plant in the 1960s watches the early production line for Bugles.
And what began with a regional launch in the U.S. has grown around the world.
Today, Bugles are sold in Canada, China, Saudi Arabia and several more countries in Central America and the Caribbean. Other countries that have tasted Bugles include France, South Korea and Thailand.
Fans of Bugles are devoted, for sure, as we learned in Canada. When General Mills stopped selling them there in 2008, people turned to Facebook, demanding their return. After a four-year absence in Canada, we brought them back.
But of all the Bugles markets outside the U.S., China seems to be the one that has most embraced the snack. Introduced there in 1999, Bugles has 16 different varieties, including ketchup – the most popular flavor among Chinese teens and adults.
But General Mills also offers other flavors tailor-made for the Chinese palate. They include Korean kimchi, spring onion, spicy chicken, tomato seafood, tomato beef, roasted rib and seaweed. And just last year, General Mills China introduced Bugles Crispy Potato Stick snacks in original and tomato flavors.
Bugles fans seem to be nearly everywhere. They even showed up two years ago in the “Mad Men” television series.
And I also have fond memories of Bugles.
When I was a kid, I’d place individual Bugles on the tips of each of my fingers, giving me ghoul-like hands as I waved them in an attempt to scare my brothers. It didn’t work, though.
But those long “nails” soon disappeared with a crunch, one by one, compliments of my mouth. Mmm. In my mind, nothing could beat those crunchy, salty corn snacks.
But it’s not just me. We still see people, every day on social media, sharing photos of Bugles they’ve put on their fingertips.
Have I made you hungry for Bugles, yet?
Go grab a bag today, and celebrate 50 years of Bugles!
How much does the Joe Pee Pads Biden administration have to do with this?
WASHINGTON, D.C. –-(Ammoland.com)-Can you be added to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) “Prohibited” list without being convicted of a crime? According to leaked documents received by AmmoLand News, the answer appears to be “yes.”
The document in question is called “Guidance for Requesting a Submission of the NICS Indices Unlawful User/Addicted of a Controlled Substance Files.” It lets law enforcement officials add suspects to the prohibited list even if the subject hasn’t been convicted of a drug charge. Most gun owners are not aware that they can lose their gun rights without a court convicting them of a drug crime. This expanded power brings up a concern that the ability to add a suspect to the NICS Indices violates a person’s right to due process.
The NICS Indices is a list of people prohibited by the FBI from purchasing a gun.
When a Federal Firearms License holder (FFL) runs a NICS background check on a gun buyer, the system runs the purchaser’s name against the NICS Indices. If the system comes back with a positive hit, the FBI’s system will deny the sale of the firearm. No other information is supplied to the FFL about the denial.
The form lets law enforcement add someone to the NICS Indices if the subject fails a drug test. The reporting officer doesn’t have to file charges against the person who fails the drug test. Many positive drug tests are false. In almost all cases, the person is not notified that the law enforcement agency has added them to the NICS Indices.
The form also allows Law Enforcement to add a suspect to the NICS Indices if they claim they have found the person in possession of drugs regardless of state law. That means that a police officer finds someone in possession of a drug legal in a state, the officer can fill out the form and have the person added to the NICS Indices. More and more states have legalized marijuana, but the drug remains illegal on the federal level. An officer could find a person with marijuana and let them go because they are prohibited by state law from arresting them. The officer still could report them to the FBI and have their firearms rights revoked.
The most disturbing part of the form is that law enforcement can add someone to the list by claiming the person admitted to using drugs. The person doesn’t have to be arrested or fail a drug test. The officer can just claim the person said they had used drugs within the last year. A person who admits to trying marijuana eleven months ago will lose their gun rights by a cop adding them to the NICS Indices.
The biggest issue is that law enforcement could mark someone as an unlawful user of drugs without their knowledge. Lying on a 4473 form is a felony. The person who tried marijuana once 11 months ago might consider themselves drug-free, but the FBI would say they are a drug user since they have tried a drug within the last year. If a law enforcement officer reports them to the FBI, the same officer could arrest the person and charge them with a felony that could land them in prison.
The form also lets law enforcement add a person to the NICS Indies for mental health reasons. These reasons could be that law enforcement has committed someone involuntarily to a mental health facility or a court system adjudicating as mentally defective.
AmmoLand News obtained the form from an inside source that has chosen to remain anonymous.
I knew the one about cigarettes and the sky but none of the others.
The U.S. military is made up of the country’s finest. They’re willing to risk their lives for their countrymen and will take any advantage possible to ensure they’re able to do so. This includes following some pretty interesting military superstitions, many of which involve the weather.
1. Don’t wash that mug!
Let’s start with one most are aware of: if you’re in the Navy, you’d best not wash your coffee mug. What, did you think that caffeine fix was too thick for even a dishwasher to scrub off?
There’s some reasoning behind this practice. For starters, many sailors believe washing the cups is essentially inviting Neptune to sink their ship. It’s also used to show seniority. The dirtier the mug, the longer someone has served. This superstition is taken very seriously. You might even get written up if you wash a senior officer’s mug for them.
2. Sailor’s delight or warning?
We’ve all heard the rhyme, “Red sky at night, sailors’ delight. Red sky at morning, sailors warning,” but did you know its origins lie in the Navy? Back before weather radar was invented, sailors used other methods to predict the weather, including looking at the sky.
The superstition goes that a red sky in the evening means the next day’s weather will be calm. On the flip side, a red sky at dawn means the day will see stormy conditions. It’s one many follow, but according to scientists, it’s only accurate in some instances.
3. The H.O.G.’s tooth
No, we’re not talking about an actual hog. H.O.G stands for “Hunter of Gunmen” and is a title reserved for Marine snipers who’ve taken out an enemy soldier. Marines who fully complete their training are also presented with a symbolic one upon graduating.
According to legend, everyone has a bullet with their name on it. It’s just a matter of when and where they’ll encounter it. In order for a Marine to collect it as their own, they must be placed in the combat zone. When they encounter an enemy sniper, they must defeat them, steal their gun and remove the bullet from the chamber.
Once you’re in possession of the H.O.G.’s tooth, you’re essentially invincible, as you’ve acquired the bullet destined to end your life. It’s a symbol of good luck and a way to intimidate enemy snipers.
4. Fly with broken wings
When a pilot graduates from training, they’re presented with a pair of wings. While a symbol of great accomplishment, the wings are considered bad luck if kept whole. That’s why pilots break them in half.
Once halved, the pilot keeps one side and gives the other to someone they cherish. They keep them in a safe place until their death, when the two halves are finally brought back together. It’s a touching gesture, meant to indicate they’ll be granted good luck in the afterlife.
5. Candy isn’t always so sweet
While the majority of us would love to see candy in our lunch bags, there’s one type a Marine doesn’t want to find in their MREs: Charms. These multi-colored hard candies are harbingers of bad luck, so it’s best to steer clear of them at all costs.
These candies have been rife with speculation since the Gulf War. Known as “the curse of the Charms,” rumor has it they cause bad luck when ingested. A vehicle is said to break down if someone consumes a lemon square, while raspberry charms indicate death is near. Worst of all is lime. Eat one and you risk getting caught in a rainstorm.
The bad rep reached a point where Marines would throw the candy away, and drill instructors warned recruits to get rid of them when in the field. They were removed from MREs in 2007, but not before rumor spread that Marines were throwing them at enemy forces during combat.
6. Anything for good luck
It’s not uncommon for military personnel to bring good luck charms with them during missions. From Air Force pilots to soldiers on the ground, everyone needs something to get them through the dangers of fighting.
Soldiers during WWI sewed black cats to their uniforms as a way of bringing them good luck in the trenches. Similarly, fighter pilot Edwin Parsons attached a black cat plushie to his aircraft for good luck. It’s said the stuffed animal even took a bullet for him!
It’s not surprising this holds such a strong place in military culture. New Zealand Flying Officer Jack Hoffeins forgot to bring his good luck charm — an airman doll — during his last flight. He never returned, and the doll now sits in the Air Force Museum of New Zealand, in his memory.
7. Notice anything odd about the uniform?
Over the years, the camouflage of a soldier’s uniform has changed drastically. It’s used to protect them while on deployment, ensuring they’re hidden from enemy eyes. However, some have noticed a unique symbol on Army Combat uniforms.
Known as “digital camouflage,” it’s often used to allow a soldier to be hidden from a variety of ranges. Some soldiers claim to see a blotch on their uniforms that resembles a key with a skull base. It’s dubbed the “skeleton key” and many believe it to be a target for enemy bullets.
8. Handle the flag with care
This isn’t a superstition solely related to the military, but it is one they take seriously. The strictness of these rules falls in line with their overall message and objective. The American flag is considered a symbol of freedom many in the Armed Forces worship, so you’d better handle it with respect and care.
There are rules surrounding everything to do with the flag, including how to fold and handle it. There are also numerous regulations surrounding what not to do, with the most important being to never let it touch the ground. Not only is it bad luck, but it’s also considered disrespectful.
9. Cigarettes are dangerous business
Outside of their obvious health effects, there used to be superstitions surrounding cigarettes. From the Crimean War up until WWII, soldiers believed using a match to light three cigarettes was asking for trouble.
The superstition says that the enemy gained an advantage for each cigarette the match lit. The first one allowed them to see the soldiers, the second enough time to aim their weapons and the third resulted in death. That’s not something you’d expect to happen on your smoke break…
10. Don’t say “rain”
In case you couldn’t tell, weather plays a big role in the lives of servicemen. This is why it should come as no surprise that they look warily upon anything to do with the rain. In fact, they dislike it so much that just saying the word is considered bad luck.
Bad weather can hurt the success of a mission, so soldiers take whatever advantage they can to ensure the skies remain clear. They believe even the clearest days can take a stormy turn, so no mention of rain can occur. You don’t want to risk being considered the jinx of your unit.
The U.S. Army’s 3rd Infantry Division will rename its ceremony area after Sgt. 1st Class Alwyn Cashe, an Iraq War hero who sacrificed his own life to save the lives of the men around him. The announcement said the Marne Garden outside the division’s headquarters at Fort Stewart will be changed to the Sgt. 1st Class Alwyn Cashe Garden in the hero’s honor.
Alwyn Cashe is a hero who we have featured before, when his Silver Star was to be upgraded to the United States’ most prestigious award, the Medal of Honor. In October 2005 Cashe was a passenger in a Bradley Fighting Vehicle when it rolled over a hidden improvised explosive device (IED).Cashe’s heroic actions
Cashe’s heroic actions
The Bradley took most of the force of the blast and fire quickly consumed the vehicle after its fuel cell burst. Cashe was immediately covered in fuel but was able to escape out the gunner’s hatch. He then crawled towards the driver’s hatch and pulled him out of the vehicle.
While Cashe was outside, the men inside the burning vehicle just managed to open the rear door. Completely disregarding his own safety, Cashe reentered the flaming Bradley in an attempt to get his comrades out of the Bradley. His fuel-soaked uniform instantly caught fire, but he continued to save six troops and one interpreter while still on fire.
“As we were fighting the fight and clearing the scene, he wouldn’t leave,” Cashe’s commanding officer Major Jimmy Hathaway said in 2014. “He wanted to make sure all of his guys were out first even though he was burned over most of his body. He was still more concerned about his guys getting out than he was.”
After saving his men, Cashe was mortally injured, with over 70% of his body covered in second and third-degree burns. He succumbed to his wounds a month later at the age of 35.
Speaking about his actions in the short time between them and his passing, Cashe said, “I had made peace with God, but I didn’t know if my men had yet.”
Silver Star or Medal of Honor?
At the time, Cashe was awarded the Silver Star for his heroism, but since then, many believe this wasn’t enough, and that he deserved the Medal of Honor. After a long campaign, supporters managed to get the request for an upgrade of his award to Congress in 2019. However, at that time, there was a five-year limit on backdating the Medal of Honor. With the help of Stephanie Murphy, in September 2020, Congress passed a bill that removed this limitation.
Unfortunately, then-President Trump was never able to award the medal to Cashe’s family. A ceremony was planned but had to be canceled due to the January 6th Capitol riots. The ceremony is now expected to take place with U.S. President Joe Biden.
It is fortunate then that in the meantime, the heroic exploits of Cashe will be still be honored at Fort Stewart with Cashe Garden’s renaming. The grounds are used for Battalion, Brigade, and Division Changes of Command, as well as other ceremonies.
“Memorializing soldiers who have made the ultimate sacrifice is a time-honored tradition in the Army,” a spokesperson said. “Cashe’s story is one known by soldiers throughout the Army and epitomizes a true warrior’s spirit. As a soldier and leader, he personified the ‘not fancy, just tough’ spirit of the 3rd ID ‘Dogface’ soldiers.”
The legislation passed to allow the president to award Cashe the Medal of Honor has opened up the opportunity for others in similar situations to also have their medals upgraded.
IN THE SUMMER OF 1922 a biplane whirred above an amazed crowd gathered in a New York airfield. The pilot, an African-Chocktaw-American woman named Bessie Coleman, made daring figure-eight loops and perilous barrel rolls, smoke swirling across the sky.
The New York Times reported that she flew planes “of many types” on her international flying license, the first woman of color to accomplish this in the world. Coleman, “without any instruction, flew a 220-horsepower Benz motored L. F. G. Plane,” in Europe, the Times impressed, and she had already become skilled in flying “the largest plane ever flown by a woman.”
This was not expected behavior in the 1920s. Men and women of color were not only seen as people who couldn’t fly—they were not supposed to fly. For Bessie Coleman, this was not a barrier. It was a challenge.
Born in Atlanta, Texas, Coleman walked miles to school, where she soon revealed herself to be smart—especially in math. Her mother taught her about strong black figures, and recognizing her intelligence, allowing her to keep her earnings as a laundress so she could finance her education past the eighth grade. She attended the Colored Agricultural and Normal University, now called Langston University, until her funds ran out. Despite this setback, she continued to work and save money until she was able to move to Chicago to join her brothers in 1915.
It’s not entirely certain when Coleman first decided she wanted to fly planes; but the possibility began to seem more real when she worked as a manicurist in the White Sox Barber Shop in Chicago. Her brother, a veteran of the First World War, told her teasing stories about France, where women were allowed to fly planes. She applied to schools in the United States, but no school would take on a woman of color as a student.
France was just the key Coleman needed to begin her next step—she saved up for French classes and learned the language; and on some added encouragement from Robert Abbott, owner of the Chicago Defender, she left. In 1921, Coleman earned an internationally respected license to fly from the Federation Aeronautique Internationale—two years before Amelia Earhart received her own international license.
Back in the United States, however, Coleman had to make a living. The commercial aviation division rejected her bids to work; a more popular career stunt flying called “barnstorming,” presented itself, but again, no one would train her to perform advanced aerial maneuvers in a plane. She made a return trip to Europe, and in 1922, after advanced intensive training in France and Germany, Coleman began a career flying stunts—multiple loops, spins, barrel rolls and dives across the sky for paying crowds.
Despite criticism from the press for her daring, complex aerial maneuvers, and unabashedness, Coleman gained a following and quickly became a sensation in both black and white newspapers. Coleman was a brilliant self-promoter, but fame was only a piece of what she wanted to accomplish. In an interview with the black-owned newspaper Chicago Defender she revealed it felt like her duty to encourage flight for African Americans.
“I made up my mind to try. I tried and I was successful,” she said, adding famously that she “shall never be satisfied until we have men of the Race who can fly. Do you know you have never lived until you have flown?” She then continued “with a charming smile” that after being turned down by the first French school she traveled to, which was afraid to teach women aviation due to past deaths, she ultimately studied flight in the city where “Joan of Arc was held prisoner of the English.”
For the next five years, Coleman was known as Queen Bess—the aviatrix who flew biplanes called “Jennys” and leftover aircraft from the World War I. But this was a small part of Coleman’s dreams—she meant to use her life as a leading example to the world of what women of color and people of color could accomplish. Starting in Houston, Texas and her hometown of Waxahachie, she traveled across the country to lecture audiences in churches, theaters and schools as an authority on aircraft flight while showing films of her work*, pointedly leading by example.
At every turn, Coleman brought her standards to elevate noxious, racist situations. When black spectators in Waxahachie were told to use a segregated entrance, she leveraged her position against the show promoters to let everyone enter the same way. At the time, it was common for women to be offered film roles to further market themselves as they grew famous; but when Coleman found that her role in the movie Shadow and Sunshine required her to act as an offensive African-American trope, she left the contract and didn’t look back. Instead, she made deals with businessmen who wanted flying lessons, and would buy her airplanes in return.
Amid her fame and steady influence on the American public, Coleman’s death was a tragic surprise. In 1926, on an exploratory flight to scout out a parachute jump location, her mechanic flew and lost control of the plane due to a wrench in the engine compartment. Coleman, unbuckled so she could easily scout the area, was thrown to her death from 3,500 feet in the air. Ten thousand people mourned at her coffin in Chicago that year, and black pilots from Chicago instituted an annual fly over of her grave. Her life inspired William Powell to found the Bessie Coleman Aero Club and created the first all-black air show, and in 1977 a group of African American women pilots established the Bessie Coleman Aviators Club.
Bessie Coleman did not come to fly circles around spectators easily. In fact, she was warned; by U.S. culture, by race and gender barriers—she was given reasons not to pursue her goals, be outspoken, or use her talents to their fullest. In response, she dealt in possibilities; when she found herself up against the odds, she calculated her next move. Nearly 100 years later, it’s likely that Coleman would have liked to spread the famous message which is attributed to her, to those who persist today: refuse to take no for an answer.
The Austin shooter was only 17 therefore he could not legally carry the weapon he used.
Constitutional Carry would not have mattered.
The fight for Constitutional Carry in the state of Texas should be over now, but Democrats are launching an eleventh-hour effort to push Gov. Greg Abbott into vetoing the measure approved by lawmakers last month; pointing to the shooting in Austin this past weekend that left one person dead and more than a dozen others wounded as a taste of things to come if permitless carry does become law.
Rep. Vikki Goodwin, an Austin Democrat, even tweeted out an open letter to Abbott asking him to “send a message that we are addressing mass gun violence” by vetoing Constitutional Carry.
While I’m not surprised to see Goodwin and other Democrats use the shooting in Austin to demand Abbott veto the measure, the fact remains that the two suspects who’ve been arrested are both juveniles who aren’t eligible to legally carry a firearm under either the current licensing law or under the permitless carry legislation awaiting Abbott’s signature.
Jeremiah Roshaun Leland James Tabb, 17, was arrested on a suspicion of aggravated assault, according to a release from the Austin Police Department.
Tabb was arrested Monday without incident in Killeen while enrolled in a summer school class, police say. Killeen ISD police say the suspect was arrested at Harker Heights High School.
At age 17, Tabb is legally considered an adult under Texas law and his case will be handled in the adult criminal court system.
On Saturday afternoon, APD confirmed the arrest of another young person in connection with the deadly shooting. This person is under the age of 17.
In other words, Constitutional Carry (or the state’s carry laws in general) have nothing to do with the shooting this past weekend. Some anti-gun Democrats appear to be aware of the weakness of that argument, and rather than urging Abbott to veto Constitutional Carry are trying to get him to put gun control on the agenda of a special legislative session that’s expected this fall.
“When I think of the word ‘tragedy,’ I think of something uncommonly awful. Unfortunately, mass shootings have become so commonplace that tragedy is just a part of the Texas experience at this point,” tweeted Rep. Joe Moody, an El Paso Democrat who has been outspoken about the need for bipartisan gun control measures after the El Paso shooting. “A special session is ahead, with another regular session not long after that. I hope we finally take meaningful action to make these tragedies rarer in our state.”
Sen. Sarah Eckhardt, D-Austin, called for the Legislature to take “meaningful action.”
“I am angry because the politicians of Texas have failed to keep their constituents safe,” Eckhardt said in a statement, adding that dozens of Texans have died in mass shootings across the state in recent years. “Yet the Legislature just spent five months making it easier for violent people to get guns.”
What would Moody or Eckhardt consider to be “meaningful action”? Neither lawmaker offered any specific legislation, which is par for the course for gun control fans. They’re either unable or unwilling to say what gun control laws they believe could have prevented two juveniles from shooting at one another on a crowded Austin street, but they know that the legislature needs to “do something.”
If gun control was the answer to shootings like this, then we wouldn’t have seen a party bus shot up in Oakland, California last month, or ten people shot on a sidewalk in Chicago just a few days ago. Both California and Illinois have far more restrictive gun laws than the state of Texas, and those laws aren’t preventing these types of attacks.
One thing Texas Democrats aren’t talking about? The defunding of the Austin, Texas Police Department. My friend Ed Morrissey pointed out last month that response times to shootings, armed robberies, and other violent crimes in the city are growing longer. And despite claims to the contrary, the department has seen tens of millions of dollars diverted from its budget to other programs.
The overall police budget didn’t get cut by $150 million, but it came close at -$141 million and some change. Austin zeroed out nearly $35 million for professional standards (!) and support services, and $50 million from operations support as well. Another $50 million got taken away from “neighborhood-based policing,” which is one of the best-practices strategies designed to make policing less intrusive and more effective. Even investigations got a $5 million haircut. If looking at the investment by strategic outcome, Austin took $138 million away from the strategic “safety” outcome.
Even if significant amounts of these cuts went to funding other agencies, it’s an astounding funding transfer away from “safety.” The note on this chart points out that the money mostly went to efforts called the “Reimagine Safety Fund” ($45M) and something called the “Decouple Fund” ($76M). If reimagining public safety means accepting 16-minute response times to shootings, then Austin has become decoupled from reality.
If Texas Democrats want “meaningful action” to reduce violence, the first step they could take is to ensure that law enforcement have adequate resources to police high-crime neighborhoods and other hot spots… unless they truly believe that stripping the Austin police of nearly $150-million in its budget has had less of an impact on violent crime than a permitless carry law that has yet to be signed by the governor.
I say Bravo to Missouri for getting this legislation passed.
I wish Indiana’s Governor and Legislators would take note of this legislation.
If President Joe Biden and congressional Democrats end up getting gun control legislation passed and signed, don’t expect law enforcement in Missouri to enforce it.
On Thursday, Republican Missouri Gov. Mike Parson announced he would sign the “Second Amendment Preservation Act,” a piece of legislation state conservatives have been pushing for almost a decade, according to the Kansas City Star. The Biden administration’s renewed push for gun control laws renewed interest in the bill, which passed the state Senate by a 24-10 vote and the state House of Representatives by a 110-43 vote.
The legislation says federal gun laws not on the state books would be considered “invalid” in the state; while liberal critics have pointed to the Constitution’s Supremacy Clause, which says the Constitution and federal laws are the “supreme Law of the Land” and can’t be superseded by state law, Republicans have said the bill merely codifies legal discretion in matters of gun law.
“We’re just simply saying we’re not going to lift a finger to enforce their rules,” said Republican state Sen. Eric Burlison, according to the Kansas City Star.
Parson, a former sheriff, will sign the bill at a Saturday ceremony at a shooting range in Lee’s Summit.
“The Governor is aware of the legal implications of this bill, but also that, now more than ever, we must define a limited role for federal government in order to protect citizen’s rights guaranteed by the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution,” said Kelli Jones, a spokeswoman for Gov. Parson, in a statement.
“This is about empowering people to protect themselves and acknowledging the federalist constitutional structure of our government,” she added.
According to the Webster County Citizen, Gov. Parson’s signature on the bill will make Missouri the 13th state which prohibits law enforcement officials from enforcing federal gun laws that aren’t on state books.
The bill, sponsored by GOP state Rep. Jered Taylor, singles out several specific “federal acts, laws, executive orders, administrative orders, rules, and regulations [that] shall be considered infringements on the people’s right to keep and bear arms, as guaranteed by Amendment II of the Constitution of the United States and Article I, Section 23 of the Constitution of Missouri.”
Any federal law imposing fees or taxes on guns and ammunition “that might reasonably be expected to create a chilling effect on the purchase or ownership of those items by law-abiding citizens” wouldn’t be enforced under the new law. Neither would the registration or tracking of firearms, ammunition or firearm accessories — or ownership of any of these things. Federal laws imposing limitations on the sale or transfer of firearms would also be unenforceable in Missouri, as would any law ordering the confiscation of firearms.
However, state and local law enforcement in Missouri will be barred from working with federal officials on any gun law that isn’t on the state books. Furthermore, no former federal agents who enforced those laws could be hired by local police. The bill allows those who claim their Second Amendment rights were violated by local police enforcing federal gun laws to sue for up to $50,000.
“We are doing this bill because the Second Amendment is under attack,” Rep. Taylor said when the bill passed in May.
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“It’s under attack by the Democrats, specifically the Biden administration and the Democrats in Washington.”
While the Biden administration made gun control an agenda item at the beginning of the administration, serious efforts seem to be stuck in first gear.
On the third anniversary of the Parkland school shooting, the president announced three gun control initiatives his administration would be pursuing: banning so-called assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, instituting a universal background check system and ending impunity for gun manufacturers.
For right now, this is very much a back-burner item, however. Even the president’s infrastructure bill, which could theoretically be passed on a party-line vote in the Senate via the budget reconciliation process, has been held up as the administration tries to find middle ground with Republicans.
The White House’s proposed immigration overhaul is so stuck that Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is actively searching for ways to fit it in under budget reconciliation, too, according to a New York Times report last month — a move which the Senate parliamentarian would likely take a dim view of.
Meanwhile, the two swing moderate votes in the Democrat caucus in the upper house — Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona — are still publicly refusing to budge on any proposal to do away with the filibuster, meaning none of these agenda items will likely be rammed through without Republican support.
One can’t count on that state of affairs to persist, however. While laws like this can’t stop federal agents from enforcing these laws in the state if they so choose, there’s no reason for states to aid them in abrogating our Second Amendment rights.
Missouri is merely telling the Biden administration and the Democratic Party two words they need to hear: Molon labe. Come and take them.
If the left keeps treating the words “shall not be infringed” as a suggestion — and a bad one at that — they won’t be the last state to send this message, either.
The tuxedo may be one of the most misunderstood garments of all time.
It’s true that these early tuxedos bear similarities to their modern day counterparts — but the evolutionary changes are clear when you look at images of the tux over time.
Peter Marshall, the formal-wear expert behind the Black Tie Guide blog, has spent hundreds of hours poring over old magazines and newspapers to examine the changing face of the tuxedo. We combined his research with our own to bring the whole story of the tuxedo into focus.
The tuxedo burst onto the scene in 1865, thanks to trend-setting Prince Edward VII, as an alternative to the more formal tailcoat.
Though many attribute the creation of the tuxedo to wealthy American aristocrats attending the Autumn Ball in Tuxedo Park, New York, the garment actually dates back to 1865 and Edward VII (then the Prince of Wales), according to The Wall Street Journal.
Savile Row tailor Henry Poole & Co., which is still in business today, fit the prince for an ensemble that was more formal than a lounge suit, but not without the trimmings of a tailcoat. (It was something the prince could wear in the dining room and informal settings.) His highness commissioned it in blue with matching pants and the “dinner jacket” — as the tuxedo was called back then — took off.
At this time, the jacket was usually black, shawl collared, and accompanied by white accessories.
By the early 20th century, the tuxedo had taken America by storm.
Most likely, the dinner jacket was brought to America in 1886 by millionaire James Brown Potter and his wife Cora, who were introduced to the Prince of Wales during a trip to Britain.
The prince sent Potter to be fitted for the popular new jacket and Potter later wore it to the Autumn Ball of a private country club in Tuxedo Park, New York. There, the American moniker of the suit was popularized. How it spread to the rest of the country is deeply steeped in folklore with many conflicting stories.
By the early 20th century, the dinner jacket had risen in popularity and was acceptable in formal situations. Black accessories and a peaked lapel were also de rigueur.
After a dip in popularity during World War I, the 1930s saw a resurgence in formal dress.
The midnight blue tux was all the rage, and in 1935, there were more mills churning out blue tuxedo wool than black tuxedo wool.
The double-breasted tuxedo jacket variant — previously considered too informal — also exploded in popularity during this time. For warmer climates and seasons, the white tuxedo jacket (contrasted by black trousers) became an acceptable alternative.
In the 1940s, tuxedos took a backseat to suits.
World War II brought a time of informality to America. Tuxedos became a rarity — an exception instead of the norm. Men wore suits instead of tuxedos when they went out at night.
White-tie (then known as full dress) would never truly recover from this period.
The Space Age incorporated new fabrics and styles in the tuxedo.
By the 1950s, the tuxedo was back. It was renewed by few changes: more “Space Age” fabrics (like polyester), more intricate shirt patterns and designs (including the first ruffles), and a shorter, more fitted jacket.
White-tie had been completely abandoned, and black-tie was the new norm at movie premieres, high society events, and even weddings.
John F. Kennedy was the last president to wear white-tie to an inaugural ball, until Ronald Reagan briefly revived the tradition in the ’80s.
Colorful variations on black-tie began to appear during this period, but it was the exception rather than the rule.
By the 1970s, all formal-wear bets were off.
The tuxedo was completely remade in disco’s image by the 1970s. A young, revolutionary generation looked at the conservative styling of the tuxedo and threw out nearly everything, keeping only the vague silhouette.
Huge, floppy bow ties, colorful patterned jackets, shirts with ruffles and lace, and trousers that looked more like bell-bottoms became much more prevalent. The typical tuxedo in the ’70s usually had at least two of these elements, if not all of them.
By the 1980s, a return to classic styling had thankfully re-emerged and tuxedos started looking more conservative.
The 21st century saw the blur of formal and casual styles.
By the late 2000s, as dress codes became diluted and misunderstood, formal-wear took another hit.
Business-casual was the predominate dress code of the workplace and shiny black suits with matching ties had nearly supplanted traditional black-tie. Colored dress shirts also began to trend in this era.
Those who continued to wear traditional black-tie made it as simple as possible to match the casual aesthetic that Generation Y preferred.
Finally, in the 2010s, the tuxedo is entering a Golden Age.
Today, more and more young men are adopting the black-tie styles of the ’30s and ’40s. Midnight blue tuxedos have even made a comeback.
Period dramas like “Mad Men” are at least part of the reason for the shift, with men growing nostalgic for a bygone era of neater, more crisp duds.
The ease of tailoring-by-mail is thought to be another reason for the resurgence of formal-wear. It has never been easier for a man to find a well-fitting tuxedo.
Maybe Cook County prosecutor Kim Foxx has a few active brain cells after all.
Cook County prosecutor Kim Foxx isn’t a conservative or a pro-2A politician, which makes some recent comments even more surprising. Foxx is a Chicagoland Democrat, so you’d expect that she’d be a vocal supporter of any and all gun control laws on the books, but instead the State’s Attorney sharply criticized the growing number of arrests for simple possession of a firearm during a recent webinar with local journalists.
The evidence doesn’t show that the drivers of the violence are the people who’ve been arrested for nonviolent gun offenses,” wrote Sarah Sinovic, a spokeswoman for the office, referring to illegal possession of firearms. “State’s Attorney Foxx has long said we need to invest more in violence prevention and a more holistic approach to address the root causes of violence.”
Illinois bans gun possession without a valid firearm owner’s ID card. Even with a FOID, people who carry guns in vehicles must keep them unloaded if they are accessible in places like the glove compartment or under a seat.
According to data visualizations displayed by Foxx’s office during the webinar, CPD gun arrests have nearly doubled since 2014. That increase is mainly due to arrests for gun possession, a crime that Foxx’s office deems “nonviolent” because the gun is not used or fired.
It’s not just Foxx’s office who defines possession of a firearm without a license as a “nonviolent” crime. Anybody with the slightest amount of common sense would do the same, because possessing a gun isn’t an act of violence in and of itself. And Foxx is on to something when she says that the city is arresting the wrong people on gun charges.
One chart displayed by Foxx’s office suggests that the increase in CPD’s gun-possession arrests owes mainly to street stops of people with no prior convictions. From 2011 to 2016, those arrests never exceeded 300 a year. Each year since then, however, has brought a big increase. By 2020, there were more than 1,400 and Saniie said CPD is on pace to exceed that number this year.
CPD arrest numbers for violent gun crimes, meantime, have trended down over the years, according to the presentation. So has the rate at which CPD solves shootings.
Saniie even criticized CPD efforts to seize guns — efforts that netted 11,343 firearms in 2020 and 5,148 this year up to Friday, according to the department.
“It’s a pretty staggering number,” Saniie said, “but less than 20% of those guns ever get linked back to any type of shooting.”
Saniie concluded that the arrests that come with those gun recoveries sweep up too many people who are not fueling the city’s violence: “It’s a question of arresting the right people.”
I can’t disagree with anything that Foxx or her deputy is saying, but I’d like to see her take the next logical step and call for repeal of the state’s gun control laws that are fueling the arrests of the “wrong people.” The constitutionality of Illinois’s Firearm Owner ID requirement is already being challenged in court, and the lengthy delays by the Illinois State Police in processing both FOID and concealed carry applications have led to residents being forced to wait for nearly a year in many cases before they can legally exercise their right to keep and bear arms.
Those delays are undoubtably leading some residents in Cook County to keep and carry a firearm for self-defense, even though they haven’t yet received their government permission slip. Arresting them and seizing their guns does nothing to reduce the surging violence in Chicago, because they’re not the ones responsible for the violence in the first place. The Chicago PD can tout the growing numbers of “gun arrests” and seizures, but unless and until the focus is on arresting violent offenders, Chicago (and Cook County) is going to continue to see a higher-than-average number of shootings, carjackings, home invasions, and street robberies.
During her webinar with reporters, Foxx steered clear of calling for any policy changes, but if she’s serious about finding a better way of addressing violence, she needs to start speaking out about the failures of the state’s gun control regime. It’s great to see her office highlighting these figures, but it would be even better if she were to call for the repeal of the state’s FOID law altogether.