“The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only legitimate object of good government.” —Thomas Jefferson, 1809
TOP RIGHT HOOKS
The Monroe County, Georgia, sheriff’s department made some unusual traffic stops over the weekend. Thanks to a generous benefactor, deputies were given 54 $100 bills to distribute at random to motorists. “Today, we’d like to spread a little joy in the community, so we’d like to give you this,” said one deputy as he handed $100 to a man he had just pulled over. Most were quite thankful, though “I had one cuss me out,” Deputy John Thompson said. “I didn’t give her any money, but I had three cry.” In a year when law enforcement has taken the brunt of a lot of public criticism, it’s refreshing to see a little bit of good news for this sheriff’s department and the community they serve. “They don’t always have the opportunity to see us doing good, helping people that need help,” said Deputy Timothy Campfield. “It makes me feel good that I have the opportunity to see them smile and know that I possibly helped that family through an anonymous donor.” And Sheriff John Cary Buttock added, “This also is a good way for us at the sheriff’s office to tell the entire Middle Georgia community, ‘Merry Christmas.’”
What happens when you’re offended by a Christmas holiday song and you want to air your grievance? Go to a college campus. You’ll find people who will happily be offended with you — whatever the issue. As a bit of satire, Dan Joseph of MRCTV went to George Mason University with petition in hand to stop radio stations from playing the Irving Berlin’s classic ditty “White Christmas.” What did “dreaming of a white Christmas / Just like the ones I used to know” ever do to Joseph? He argued to students that the song is racist, a microaggression against multiculturalism. “We think that the song ‘White Christmas’ is insulting to people of color,” Joseph told one student, “because it says snow is white and therefore it is good and, uh, but we know there are other kinds of snow. It’s dirty on the ground, sometimes it turns brown, sometimes it turns black.” With poetic interpretation being what it is today, Joseph was able to collect 18 signatures in an hour on campus. At one point, Joseph said the carol with the most laudable social justice message is “Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer” because it celebrates a flying reindeer’s genetic mutation. But if we’re going to jump on this social justice crusade, we must point out that the song also celebrates exceptionalism — the fact that Rudolf was the only one who could do a certain job. Then again, if the song had been written today, Santa might have started a committee to study the dangers of flying in severe weather caused by climate change and suggest changes to flight procedures and sleigh registration, as well as petition for subsidies to develop technology to safely deliver age-appropriate gifts free of choking hazards and lead-based paint to children.
Despite the rising worry about Islamic terrorism here and abroad, screamin’ military interventionist hawk Sen. Lindsey Graham announced Dec. 21 he was suspending his campaign for president. It was the last day for candidates to withdraw their names from the South Carolina ballot — Graham’s home state. In doing so, Graham avoided a potentially embarrassing election result come next year. We noted in our original coverage of the senator’s announcement that he was entering the race, Graham is always down for a good military intervention, as he believes the way to ensure the nation’s security is through a strong military taking the fight to the enemy’s turf.
For the duration of his campaign, Graham never gained more than 2% support, if he even registered in the polls at all. Nevertheless, the former presidential candidate considered his campaign a success because, as Graham claimed in a video announcement suspending his campaign, it changed the Republican Party. Before he started running, a non-interventionist streak was gaining traction in the GOP. Graham said, “Four months ago at the very first debate, I said, that any candidate who did not understand that we need American troops on the ground in Iraq and Syria to defeat ISIL was not ready to be commander in chief. At that time, no one stepped forward to join me. Today, most of my fellow candidates have come to recognize this is what’s needed to secure our homeland.” Maybe Graham changed the rhetoric of the election, maybe not. The current administration’s actions have been proof enough that inaction is imperiling the nation.
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FEATURED RIGHT ANALYSIS
By Paul Albaugh
There is a study in contrasts afoot. Those charged with enforcing the law are frequently presumed guilty of breaking it, while prisoners — whether petty drug offenders or jihadis who pose a threat to national security — are released. That isn’t to overgeneralize in either direction, but the stories provide a window into “progressive” thought.
The first trial against one of the Baltimore police officers involved with the death of Freddie Gray resulted in a mistrial last week. That’s in large measure because, in spite of an apparently weak case, State Attorney Marilyn Mosby pursued charges against Officer William Porter and five other officers. Never mind that she asked police to target the area where Gray was arrested with “enhanced” enforcement.
The case against Officer Porter, who by the way is black, was supposed to be the “strongest” but the mistrial doesn’t bode well for prosecutors. They were hoping that after Porter’s case was concluded he would testify against his fellow officers, specifically against Officer Caesar Goodson Jr., the driver of the van in which Gray was being transported. Goodson is charged with second-degree murder.
Porter’s new trial is now scheduled for June 13, while Goodson’s trial remains set to begin Jan. 6.
The fact that the case against Porter was supposedly the strongest also raises serious suspicion about the justice process surrounding these officers. Indeed, the city already settled with Gray’s family for $6.4 million, clearly indicating the city’s conclusion that the officers were guilty before a trial had ever taken place. Regardless of the outcome, these officers deserve the presumption of innocence and a fair trial. The city’s shenanigans have served precisely the opposite purpose.
Meanwhile, at the federal level, Barack Obama decided it was time yet again to spread a little hope and cheer to some prisoners as Christmas nears. On Friday, Obama used his clemency powers to commute the sentences of 95 federal inmates while pardoning two others.
To be clear, these prisoners were behind bars for illegal drug use and were not violent criminals. And the Constitution gives the president the power Obama exercised.
But the power to grant clemency has been one of Obama’s favorite powers and the recent commutations bring the total number of prisoners with commuted sentences during his presidency to 184. While this may not seem like a large number, for perspective, Josh Siegel of the Heritage Foundation notes that it’s “more than the last five presidents combined.” On the other hand, Obama has granted fewer pardons than any president since John Adams.
The fact remains that there is much need for prison reform but, while the power of clemency is indeed constitutional, it would be far better if prison reform measures were passed by Congress than for Obama to essentially enact his preferred policy with his pen.
Even when Obama acts constitutionally it’s with a twisted ideological purpose.
And he’s not concerned only with domestic prisoners. He hasn’t forgotten about his campaign promise to close Guantanamo and while he has been unable to do so entirely up to this point, he is certainly trying. According to Fox News, the Pentagon is preparing to transfer 17 more Gitmo detainees who are considered “lower level.”
A congressional aide noted that Obama’s strategy is to reduce the number of jihadis at Gitmo “as low as they can get” — never mind that it involves “a good deal of risk.”
Why on earth is the Obama administration more concerned with releasing these prisoners than about destroying Islamic State? And he and his former secretary of state think Republicans are the ones offering jihadi recruiting tools.
Hoping that these detainees won’t rejoin other terrorists on the battlefield is not a national security strategy, it’s insanity. That fact that there is even a potential risk in freeing these detainees should be plenty reason to keep them right where they are. So while Obama is pretending to be the good cop, he is continuing to put American lives at risk.
Fortunately, we are still blessed to have so many men and women who have taken the oath to serve and protect in both law enforcement and the Armed Forces. The vast majority of them take that oath seriously, even when the commander in chief does not. May we be forever grateful for those who are willing to stand in harm’s way and who seek true justice.
MORE ORIGINAL PERSPECTIVE
- ANALYSIS: Ominous Omnibus: Many Problems With the Spending Bill
- A Primer on Jihadi Recruitment
- Punishing Agitators Depends on Who’s Being Agitated
- Race and Warehouse Clubs
- ‘Barack Obama Highway’ Memorializes the Wrong Legacy
BEST OF RIGHT OPINION
- Mark Hendrickson: Secular Fundamentalism Goes After Linus at Christmas
- Thomas Sowell: The Busybody Left
- Hans von Spakovsky: DOJ Claims the Right to Avoid Investigations
For more, visit Right Opinion.
- Kerry Suggests Iran Can Skirt New Visa Rules
- 6 U.S. Troops Killed in Afghan Suicide Bombing
- Americans’ Faith in Honesty, Ethics of Police Rebounds
For more, visit Patriot Headline Report
OPINION IN BRIEF
Mark Hendrickson: “The venerable ‘wall of separation between church and state’ was originally intended to keep government from bestowing legal privileges or financial favors on one religious sect over others. Now it has morphed into a reductio ad absurdum whereby no mention (or at least, a respectful or reverential mention) of our country’s dominant religious traditions is to be made in a taxpayer-funded venue. Such a tortured reading of the Constitution is music to the ears of contentious atheists and secular fundamentalists. It represents the temporary triumph of an arid, intellectually feeble legal theory over common sense and tolerance. It renders an honest teaching of world and U.S. history impossible, and greatly limits what literature, art, and music may be incorporated into educational curricula. I mean, how do you teach the history of our own culture and civilization without discussing the Christianization of Europe, the Christian/Muslim wars, the Protestant Reformation, the Christian principles and values that animated the American revolution and later the civil rights movement, and even why science flourished in the Christian West while stagnating everywhere else? Some may not like it, but the fact is that the birth of Jesus two millennia ago marked the beginning of the pivotal life in human history. Just because many of us also believe that the life of Jesus Christ is the key to heaven is no reason for public officials to attempt to censor history or ban that momentous life from our schools.”
Insight: “The notion that a radical is one who hates his country is naive and usually idiotic. He is, more likely, one who likes his country more than the rest of us, and is thus more disturbed than the rest of us when he sees it debauched. He is not a bad citizen turning to crime; he is a good citizen driven to despair.” —H. L. Mencken (1880-1956)
Good question: “If we’re going to let our policy choices be influenced by jihadi reaction, how do we justify legalized gay marriage?” —Jim Geraghty
Belly laugh of the week: “Can we all agree that Steve Harvey should announce the winner of the 2016 election?” —Jonah Goldberg
Non Compos Mentis: “Not sure how many people understand, our ‘right to bear arms’ is not in our Constitution — it is an AMENDMENT to the document.” —basketball sportscaster Doug Gottlieb (Why can’t guys like Gottlieb and Bob Costas just stick to sports?)
Candid admissions: “If you are living in a town that historically has relied on coal and you see coal jobs diminishing, you probably are going to be more susceptible to the argument that I’ve been wiping out the economy in your area. It doesn’t matter if I tell them actually it’s probably because natural gas is a lot cheaper now so it doesn’t pay to build coal plants. If somebody tells you that this is because of Obama’s war on coal, well, you know, that’s an argument you may be sympathetic to. And that’s perfectly legitimate.” —Barack Obama
Narrative fail: “The University of Louisville is an Affirmative Action, Equal Opportunity, Americans with Disabilities Employer, committed to diversity. In that spirit, the Department of Physics and Astronomy announces a tenure-track Assistant Professor position that will be filled by an African America, a Hispanic American, or a Native American Indian.” —The University of Louisville
Late-night humor: “The Department of Health announced it’s extending the enrollment period for Obamacare to January 1st. What better time to sign up for Obamacare than the day we all lie to ourselves about being healthier.” —Jimmy Fallon
Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis!
Managing Editor Nate Jackson
Join us in daily prayer for our Patriots in uniform — Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen — standing in harm’s way in defense of Liberty, and for their families.
Read more excellent articles at The Patriot Post