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Did America have a Stzroke?

With his brazenly arrogant personality and his private corruption, FBI agent Peter Stzrok has now made a name for himself in so many ways.

Unbeknownst to the American people, Stzrok started out making a power-abusing political insider name for himself at least in 2015 by disabling a serious criminal investigation into Hillary Clinton. He then went on to try to frame candidate Trump and his political allies, and bury evidence of incredibly illegal activity by staff and leaders at the FBI and DOJ.

Stzrok’s damning emails, text messages and memos leave no question that the man is a corrupt partisan political warrior, using his awesome official law enforcement position to advance a partisan political cause that is contrary to how the American people voted in 2016.

Everything Stzrok has done has been illegal and totally un-American, from the fake search warrants to the wiretaps and domestic spying, to the use of federal law enforcement powers to re-write interview notes that bear no resemblance to what really took place, to colluding with Fusion GPS and the Perkins, Coie law firm, and the Hillary Clinton for President campaign.

This past week Stzrok testified before Congress and provided a view into how distant the Washington, DC insiders have become from the American people. Stzrok’s arrogant, contemptuous, smug lying and dismissive attitude struck everyone as the essence of what has gone wrong in Washington, DC.

Stzrok’s damning testimony increasingly revealed how out of touch he and his FBI and DOJ colleagues are, how insulated and unaccountable to the rule of law they are, and how corrupt the past administration was.

So we must ask, Did America just have a Stzroke?

Is America now paralyzed or disabled by this one criminal FBI agent?

We ask, because everything that American has ever stood for is hanging in mid-air. The rule of law is hanging suspended. If Stzrok gets away with his criminality, then what?

Elected Democrats were actually applauding Stzrok’s testimony real-time, because they are so deeply opposed to those holding the elected majority that they will side with anyone who has done anything, like Stzrok, so long as their own party’s narrow political interests are advanced or protected.

To those who recall their seventh grade civics classes, this is not how America works. The good of the nation always comes first, before political party or person.

It is now unclear if America is still a nation of laws, or if official lawlessness and political willpower are the new standard for running government.

Stzrok is not acting alone. He has many known criminal compatriots in the FBI and DOJ; despite his and their known crimes, he and they still work there; and no legal accountability has been brought to bear on any of them, many of whom actually brazenly continue to act in political ways in what are supposed to be purely professional jobs.

It is as if there are two sets of rules, two legal standards in America now: A lenient standard for one political party allied with the mainstream media, and then another impossible standard for the other party and its political allies. Stzrok is clearly being protected from being held accountable, as was Clinton, Loretta Lynch, James Comey, Andrew McCabe, and many others in the past administration.

On the other hand, American military personnel are serving jail time right now for having done a smidgeon of what Stzrok et al did. Trump and everyone around him are being falsely investigated for fake reasons.

So what happens now?

Does Stzrok get the last word in, and thereby pound a stake into America’s heart?

When I left the US EPA in DC in 1998, several of my colleagues asked me in disbelief “Josh, are you really willing to give up all this power you have as a federal bureaucrat?”

Folks, public service has never been about amassing personal power. It is supposed to be service to our fellow citizens, who pay all those federal paychecks. Personal politics and private values have no place in those federal jobs (or any other government job, be it township, county, or state level), where decision making must be about the good of the nation.

Unfortunately, like the FBI, the EPA also developed an insular and unaccountable staff culture, where personal politics override science and everything else. I hated it, and I could not in good conscience be a part of that corruption. So I removed myself from it.

I hope America has not just had a Stzroke, and that we are not paralyzed. If the rule of law has been suspended, and there is no accountability, and political willpower to amass political i.e. coercive power overrides everything, then our nation is over. The great experiment has ended, and now it is merely a political slugfest that inevitably becomes an armed slugfest that will eventually determine who ends up holding power.

 

My letter to US Attorney General Jeff Sessions

April 12, 2018

Honorable Jeff Sessions, Attorney General

U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20530-0001

Dear Attorney General Sessions,

When you recused yourself from a potential 2016 Russia collusion investigation, you did so out of a sense of respect for the American justice system. It was an honorable thing to do. Good for you.

Now, however, the American people see that the entire premise of the Russia collusion investigation is false. It is based on lies and deceit, law breaking and deep corruption at the highest levels of the US Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. This investigation has become an open-ended fishing expedition, a political witch hunt, a farce. Nothing about it is justified. In fact, the actual criminals are walking free, and apparently their known crimes are not being investigated. America hangs on a precipice.

That an illegal warrant to wiretap a political candidate and then president-elect was obtained through the fake “dossier,” which was created by the Hillary Clinton campaign in collusion with Obama administration appointees at DOJ and FBI, is unthinkable. It is an enormous crime. It is the biggest political corruption scandal in America’s history.

Text messages show that FBI Agent Peter Strzrok is a corrupt public servant. Why is he still employed at the FBI? Why isn’t he being investigated for his obvious corruption?

The FBI will not cooperate with Congress. FBI staff will not release documents to Congress that the FBI Inspector General already has. A huge cover-up is under way, right in front of us, the American people. Why is FBI Director Wray allowed to remain in his position and behave this way, in complete defiance of everything that America stands for – transparency, the rule of law, and official accountability?

Knowing all this, why are you still recused? You are needed in this fight.

This is not the same “investigation” that you thought it was in early 2017. It is clearly wrong, unjust, un-American. Mr. Mueller is a rogue and illegal force, covering up evidence of crimes from the previous administration and attacking people who are trying to shed light on those crimes. His work is purely political retribution, disconnected from any legal justification. If anything, Mr. Mueller must be investigated for his role.

I am asking you to un-recuse yourself and get directly involved in this situation. America needs your strong and aggressive leadership, your firm hand, passionately seeking actual justice based on facts. Every day that this blatant injustice is allowed to continue America gets weaker. If you cannot get back in the fight for America’s life, then I beg of you to resign and allow someone with strength and courage to take your place. I feel like you are dithering away our nation’s most precious moments, our last breaths as a free republic.

Thank you for considering my request,

Josh First

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

Mister McCabe, have you no shame?

This total DC insider ratfink fake FBI agent McCabe gets busted by his fellow Obama appointees for being especially good at lying, breaking the law, and using his official position for personal gain.

He gets fired. Like life and work are supposed to happen, right?

Now he is on the Pity Me I am a Victim Tour.

He egregiously broke laws meant to keep our republic steady, and when caught, he pretended that it was all so unfair, so mean, that everyone turned against him.This guy is the poster child for No Integrity and Massive Corruption.

Mister McCabe, have you no shame? No sense of decency?

 

Is Robert Mueller Obstructing Justice?

Knowing what we know now, that the entire Trump-Russia collusion thing is totally fake, that in fact the Hillary Clinton campaign was up to their eyeballs colluding with Russia in their attempt to undermine Trump’s campaign, and that the Clinton campaign paid former British spy Steele to work with Russian spies to create and circulate the fake “dossier” about Trump, and that the fake “dossier” formed the basis of the now-illegal FISA warrant the Obama administration then obtained and used to illegally spy on the Trump campaign, and that the FBI agents and DOJ staff involved in the FISA warrant and all subsequent activity emanating from it were politically opposed to Trump and supportive of Clinton, and that these FBI agents and DOJ staff used their official positions to illegally promote and protect Hillary Clinton and to undermine and then attempt to frame Trump…and so much more…so

…knowing all this, why is special investigator Robert Mueller doing anything at all? He knows full well, especially after a year of “investigating” this fake issue with nothing to show for it, that the entire premise is false, and that in fact someone ought to be investigating the Obama administration and Hillary Clinton for obvious crimes.

So one must then ask the logical question: Is Robert Mueller now himself actively obstructing justice? How much information implicating Obama and Clinton has Mueller encountered in his investigation, and which he has not disclosed to FBI investigators?

All Mueller has to show for his political witch hunt is the mis-use of his position to wrongly bully and threaten three political opponents into crying “uncle,” one of whom, Michael Flynn, has been bankrupted by all of the fake legal assaults on him by Mueller’s office. And now Flynn is going to reverse his phony guilty plea, because it was utterly false – the FBI has said that he committed no crime. So with what crime was Mueller threatening to prosecute him?

Mueller is building a house of cards with all of his Clinton-donor associates. He has assembled a clearly political anti-Trump, anti-Republican group of investigators, all of whom have been publicly shown to be political activists using their positions in this kangaroo investigation for political payback.

Mueller is knowingly standing in the way of real justice, and he is knowingly implementing injustice. It is time that Robert Mueller be arrested and charged with criminal conduct and obstruction of justice. Take his law license, put him in jail.

Mueller is a one-man wrecking ball aiming to destroy America’s form of government. Hold him accountable

FBI and DOJ Used as Political Weapons, Now What

Recently released emails and texts between FBI agents and Department of Justice officials in the immediately past administration demonstrate that both institutions were completely politicized. Using their official crime-fighting jobs for gaining political power and blocking the will of the American People is the most corrupt thing possible.

A political party wrote fake accusations against a competing US presidential candidate, and those accusations were then used to acquire a search warrant to spy on his political campaign and on the people in it by the sitting administration, which supported the other US presidential candidate.

So we have a presidential administration using official American employees to pursue that administration’s political goals. That’s awful, and illegal.

But it gets worse.

Then the fake accusations and the fake search warrant were used to justify a special investigation into the new president. Making it worse, the special investigator hired dozens of lawyers who were openly partisan and officially associated with the opposing political party. Meaning they are not objective and operating at arm’s length, pursuing justice. They are already political activists.

Making it worse-worse, the FBI agents and DOJ staff in charge of ensuring American law is not broken reveal themselves to be using their professional jobs for purely political purposes here, previously and DURING THE INVESTIGATION ITSELF. They are openly partisan and basing their official actions on their personal values and political loyalties. That’s awful, and illegal, and criminal.

But it gets worse.

Then the special investigator began investigating everyone associated with the president, as well as the president, for everything they had ever done in their lives, going back decades. None of this investigating has anything to do with the original search warrant. This is called a ‘fishing expedition’, and it violates the most basic premise of American justice and law. This is awful, and illegal.

But it gets worse.

Then the special investigator began to entrap the subjects of his investigations, not on the original grounds of the investigation, but on the subjective and vague accusation that the people were trying to hinder his investigation. Not that they had actually committed crimes, but that they were trying to block or obstruct the investigation into whether or not they had actually committed the crimes on which the search warrant was originally issued.

This is called a ‘process crime’.

It is usually a flimsy charge, easily disputed, and is usually associated with getting criminals to more easily own up to their actual crimes for which they were originally targeted.

But in this investigation, it is the ONLY purported “crime” with which anyone is being investigated or charged. So it’s not that anyone being investigated here actually broke a law, but they are being charged with trying to avoid being charged with no proof that they actually did anything they would be charged with in the first place.

This is awful and a violation of everything that America stands for. Not to mention our Constitution.

So we have a political witch hunt, based on paid political activity by the opposing political party, illegally enabled by a sitting president and his staff, illegally implemented by the supposedly professional, non-political bureaucrats who work for the American people to ensure that American law is followed and that real criminals go to jail.

And it turns out the biggest criminals involved are the previous administration, the special investigator, and the FBI agents and DOJ staff who made this whole investigation happen in the first place.

The 1972 Watergate scandal is used as the basis for judging all political scandals, because it was considered so outlandish and unacceptable that it brought down the sitting president, Richard Nixon.

Well, by Watergate standards, this “Russia collusion” investigation by Mueller into Trump is the biggest political scandal ever in American history. It is so big, and so terrible that it has no parallel. It is so evil, and so illegal, that it is impossible to describe as anything other than earth-shaking. The number of FBI agents, DOJ staff, and special investigators (especially Robert Mueller, who knew all along that his investigation was founded on and actually run by corrupt FBI agents) who should be under indictment right now numbers in the dozens.

When the foundation of American justice, the FBI and the DOJ, are so deeply corrupted and used as political weapons to protect political power by one political party, then we have a serious crisis. An enormous crisis.

Were there to be any legal decisions or criminal charges to emanate from this corrupt investigation, our entire rule of law will be called into question. It would mean that whoever controls the official institutions of American crime control and justice will control the entire legal process, and they can do what third-world dictatorships do: Simply accuse their political opponents of vague crimes, charge them, process them through phony kangaroo courts, and lock them up or execute them.

With so many federal judges already amassing political power unto themselves, with the American media protecting them and the previous administration, America is much closer to a serious political crisis than people understand. How this Mueller investigation plays out is anyone’s guess, but we have one political party absolutely going for broke to protect their political power by bringing down a properly elected president they oppose.

And on the other hand, we have a supposedly opposing political party that, with a few exceptions, is mostly silent about the attempted coup d’etat now under way.

Let us ask this question: What if the current president decided to do what was being done to him? Let’s say the current president decides to use the FBI and DOJ to criminalize and prosecute his political enemies. People who have done nothing more than oppose him politically are suddenly either criminal suspects or are actually charged with crimes.

You OK with that?

Comey must go

The FBI is supposed to be above politics.

Steadfastly professional, uncorrupted, uncorruptable, the FBI is supposed to be the impartial, non-partisan steady hand on our nation’s law enforcement.

So when FBI director James Comey blatantly stuck it to Republicans last Fall, then stuck it to Democrats days before the election, in an apparent effort to curry favor with an incoming Republican administration, and then stuck it to Congress and President Trump days ago with blatantly false testimony and open contempt for a directive to cooperate with other law enforcement personnel, it wasn’t a sign that the guy is an equal opportunity jerk.

The guy is just an unprofessional jerk.

Comey is enjoying playing politics, in the center of politics, for his own ego trip and personal sense of power, and that simply is not acceptable. The costs this imposes on our fragile nation are too high.

The guy is openly wallowing in a personal power trip. His arrogance is on full display, right down to his smug face while giving patently false testimony before Congress.  That is, denying there was an investigation of Trump, or a recent corruption of the government’s investigative powers, when there are now handfuls of evidence that Trump and other private Americans with no foreign security value were wiretapped and surveilled by the Obama administration. And they then leaked that information out to the press, an avowed opponent of Trump.

Even Washington Post partisan activist Bob Woodward now concedes that Obama administration officials may end up going to jail over this.

Fire Comey. He is simply a public servant like any other public servant, with a bigger burden to prove his restraint and professionalism than anyone else. He is not up to that task. We The People deserve better and it is time for him to go.

President Trump, please do America a favor and let Mr. Comey go join the private sector.

 

 

Why this election is important

This election is a public referendum on the way America is run.

Right now we have the US Attorney General personally intervening in the FBI investigation of Hillary Clinton. Loretta Lynch is personally using her official position in the Obama Administration to block criminal accountability for an American citizen.

Is this the Rule of Law? Is America now being run like a Third World country?

President Richard Nixon went down in flames for crimes much less significant than what Hillary Clinton appears to have committed. Why is Hillary Clinton not being held to the same standard as Nixon?

Both Obama and Clinton use the levers of administrative power to pursue policies they cannot obtain through Congress, per the US Constitution. A weak Republican establishment is more worried about its own political career, and will not confront these unconstitutional abuses of power.

A compliant press that shares the agenda of Obama and Clinton shields both of them from scrutiny and honest news reporting, and viciously attacks people who do try to raise legitimate concerns. The mainstream press is now an attack dog for one political party. Most “news” professionals no longer even pretend to be objective.

Sure, there are two flawed presidential candidates. But one of them has serious criminal issues, while the other just bugs people with his big mouth. The flaws are not comparable or equal. Voters who easily disregard Hillary’s criminality maintain a mindset they will never tolerate with other Americans. They simply want a certain set of policy outcomes enshrined in Federal law or executive actions, regardless of the cost.

This is why this election is so important.

Do Americans want to be run by a strong president, who simply does whatever he or she wants to do, and Congress is more of an advisory body? That is how Rome was run by the Caesars, and the political swings were so wild whenever an administration changed that bodies littered the streets each time. Is this where you want America to go?

Do you really believe that 50% of the American electorate will stand back and let their country fall apart and the rule of law suspended? Civil wars have been fought over less.

Trump is not an ideal candidate, but he is not a criminal, and nowhere near as flawed or as dangerous as Hillary Clinton. Voting for Clinton rewards her criminality. Voting for Trump is voting for a stable America where the rule of law remains. You cannot go wrong with that.

409+

Last week, under pressure to perform at an adult, professional level, the senior staff at the NCAA folded right before appearing in court.

The discovery phase of a lawsuit brought against the NCAA for its disproportionate over-correction of Penn State University was about to begin, and with a handful of damning NCAA emails already in hand, the meaty part of discovery would have exposed the heavy handed NCAA overlords for what they are: Incompetent, vacuous bullies.

The fictional Louis Freeh “report” aka Hit Piece and Flaming Bomb Meant to Humble Penn State has gradually yielded to the collective bits of disbelief and basic deductive logic surrounding the Joe Paterno Assassination aka The Oxbow Incident.

Knowing now what we already knew two years ago, the NCAA storm trooper and tactical nuke assault on one of the very few pristine colleges in the nation has blown up in the NCAA’s own face.

Yes, we got our 409 wins back, but we deserve so much more.

And to have undergone so much knee-jerk reaction injustice…..Penn State deserves compensation, to be made whole, to get back what we lost, if it’s remotely possible.

I want blood.

I want guts.

I want a shred of public justice for Joe Paterno and Penn State, and for the student athletes immorally saddled with faux guilt from the sick, distant actions of a man they’d never met, let alone heard of (Jerry Sandusky).

To begin with, the Joe Paterno statue immediately goes back to its original prominent place on campus.

Then, every member of the PSU board involved in the debacle issues a personal, hand written apology. And then each resigns. I’ve got a few names to go with that demand.

Then each NCAA staff member associated with the debacle issues a hand written apology, and then resigns.

That’s what real leaders do when they fail badly.

And for those folks who really want to demonstrate their earnest attitude, I’ve got some old Japanese swords you can fall on. I’m tempted to serve as your second….to ensure a clean ending, of course.

A clean ending to a tragedy, a failure to protect little boys, a failure to act like grown men and women and apply justice carefully, a failure to protect the grown boys on the team and the many professional educators and students unfairly tarnished by the NCAA’s hasty, shoot-first-ask-questions-never attitude.

And then there’s the scholarships, the bowl money PSU lost. The opportunities unfairly crushed. How do we get all that back?

And Mr Louis Freeh, you may be ex-FBI, but I’m ex-Penn State Nittany Lion. Don’t meet me in a dark alley.

Remembering neat people, Part 1

A lot of neat, interesting people have died in the past year or two, or ten, if I think about it, but time flies faster than we can catch it or even snatch special moments from it. People I either knew or admired from afar who changed me in some way.

There are two men who influenced me in small but substantial ways who I have been thinking about in recent days. One of them died exactly ten years ago, and the other died just last year. Funny how I keep thinking about them.

It is time to honor them as best I can, in words.

First one was Charlie Haffner, a grizzled mountain man from central Tennessee. Charlie and I first crossed paths in 1989, when I joined the Owl Hollow Shooting Club about 45 minutes south of Nashville, where I was a graduate student at the time.

Charlie owned that shooting club.

Back before GPS, internet, or cell phones, the world was a different place than today. Dinosaurs were probably wandering around among us then, mmm hmmmmm. Heck, maybe I am a dinosaur. Anyhow, in order to find my way to the Owl Hollow club, first and foremost I had to get the club’s phone number, which I obtained from a fly fishing shop on West End Avenue. Then I had to call Charlie for directions, using a l-a-n-d l-i-n-e, and actually speaking to a person at the other end. You’d think it was Morse Code by today’s standards.

After getting Charlie on the phone, and assiduously writing down his directions from our phone conversation, I had to use the best map I could get and then drive way out in the Tennessee countryside on gravel and dirt roads. Trusting my directional instincts, which are good, and trusting the maps, which were pretty bad, and using Charlie’s directions, which were exactingly precise, I made my way through an alien landscape of small tobacco farms and Confederate flags waving from flagpoles. Yes, southcentral Tennessee back then, and maybe even today, was still living in 1865. Not an American flag to be seen out there by itself. If one appeared, it was either directly above, or, more commonly, directly below the Confederate flag. The Confederate flag shared equal or nearly equal footing with the American flag throughout that region.

Needless to say, when I had finally arrived at the big, quiet, lonesome gun range in the middle of the Tennessee back country, the fact that I played the banjo and was as redneck as redneck gets back home didn’t mean a thing right then. Buddy, I was feelin’…. Yankee, like…well, like black people once probably felt entering into a room full of Caucasians. I felt all alone out there and downright uncomfortable. And to boot, I was looking for a mountain man with a deeeeep Southern drawl, so it was bound to get better. Right?

Sure enough, I saw Charlie’s historic square-cut log cabin up the hill, and I walked up to it. Problem was, it had a door on every outside wall, so that when I knocked on one, and heard voices inside, and then heard “Over here!” coming from outside, I’d walk around to the next door, which was closed, and I would knock again, and go through the process again, and again. Yes, I knocked on three or four of those mystery doors before Charlie Haffner finally stepped out of yet one more doorway, into the sunshine, and greeted me in the most friendly and welcoming manner.

Bib overalls were meant to be worn by men like Charlie, and Charlie was meant to wear bib overalls, and I think that’s all he had on. His long, white Father Time beard flowed down and across his chest, and his long, flowing white hair was thick and distinguished like a Southern gentleman’s hair would have to be. And sure as shootin’, a flintlock pistol was tucked into the top of those bib overalls. I am not normally a shy person, and I normally enjoy trying to get the first words in on any conversation, with some humor if I can think of it fast enough. But the truth is, I was dumbfounded and just stood there in awe of the sight before me.

Being a Damned Yankee, I half expected to be shot dead on sight. But what followed is a legendary story re-told many times in my own family, as Charlie (and his kindly wife, who also had a twinkle in her eye) welcomed me into his home in the most gracious, witty, and insightful way possible.

Over the following two years, I shot as much as a full-time graduate student could shoot out there at Owl Hollow Gun Club, which is to say not as much as I wanted and probably more than I should have. Although my first interest in guns as a kid had been black powder muzzleloaders, and I had received a percussion cap .45 caliber Philadelphia derringer as a gift when I was ten, I had not really spent much time around flintlocks. Charlie rekindled that flame in me there, and it has burned ever since, as it has for tens of thousands of other people who were similarly shaped by Charlie’s re-introduction of flintlock shooting matches back in the early 1970s, there at Owl Hollow Gun Club.

Charlie died ten years ago, on July 10th, I think, and I have thought about him often ever since: His incredible warmth and humor, his amazing insights for a mountain man with little evident exposure to the outside world (now don’t go getting prejudiced about mountain folk; he and many others are plenty worldly, even if they don’t APPEAR to be so), his tolerance of differences and willingness to break with orthodoxy to make someone feel most welcome. Hollywood has done a bad number on the Southern Man image, and maybe some of that negative stereotype is deserved, but Charlie Haffner was a true Southern gentleman in every way, and I was proud to know him, to be shaped by him.

The other man who has been on my mind is Russell Means, a Pine Ridge Sioux, award-winning actor, and Indian rights activist who caught my attention in the early 1970s, and most especially as a spokesman for tribal members holed up out there after shooting it out with FBI gunslingers.

American Indians always have a respected place in the heart of true Americans, and anyone who grew up playing cowboys and Indians knows that sometimes there were bad cowboys who got their due from some righteous red men. Among little kids fifty years ago, the Indians were always tough, and sometimes they were tougher and better than the white guys. From my generation, a lot of guys carry around a little bit of wahoo Indian inside our hearts; we’d still like to think we are part Indian; it would make us better, more real Americans…

Russell Means was a good looking man, very manly and tough, and he was outspoken about the unfair depredations his people had experienced. While Means was called a radical forty years ago, I think any proud Irishman or Scottish Highlander could easily relate to his complaints, if they or their descendants stop to think about how Britain had (and still does) dispossessed and displaced them.

Russell Means played a key role in an important movie, The Last of the Mohicans. His stoic, rugged demeanor wasn’t faked, and he was so authentic in appearance and action that he easily lent palpable credibility to that artistic portrayal of 1750s frontier America by simply showing up and being there on the set. Means could have easily been the guy on the original buffalo nickel; that is how authentic he was.

Russell Means was representative of an older, better way of life that is disappearing on the Indian reservations, if that makes any sense to those who think of the Indian lifestyle that passed away as involving horses and headdresses. He was truly one of the last of the Mohicans, for all the native tribes. Although I never met you, I still miss you, and your voice, Mr. Means.

[Written 7/23/14]