President Trump’s Amazing Accomplishments

October 15, 2018

President Donald Trump’s often overlooked list of achievements has surpassed those of former President Ronald Reagan at the 20 month point.  You won’t hear about these accomplishments in the anti-Trump media.

Economic Growth
4.2 percent growth in the second quarter of 2018.
For the first time in more than a decade, growth is projected to exceed 3 percent over the calendar year.

Jobs
4 million new jobs have been created since the election, and more than 3.5 million since Trump took office.
More Americans are employed now than ever before in our history.
Jobless claims at lowest level in nearly five decades.
The economy has achieved the longest positive job-growth streak on record.
Job openings are at an all-time high and outnumber job seekers for the first time on record.
Unemployment claims at 50 year low
African-American, Hispanic, and Asian-American unemployment rates have all recently reached record lows.
African-American unemployment hit a record low of 5.9 percent in May 2018.
Hispanic unemployment at 4.5 percent.
Asian-American unemployment at record low of 2 percent.
Women’s unemployment recently at lowest rate in nearly 65 years.
Female unemployment dropped to 3.6 percent in May 2018, the lowest since October 1953.
Youth unemployment recently reached its lowest level in more than 50 years.
July 2018’s youth unemployment rate of 9.2 percent was the lowest since July 1966.
Veterans’ unemployment recently hit its lowest level in nearly two decades.
July 2018’s veterans’ unemployment rate of 3.0 percent matched the lowest rate since May 2001.
Unemployment rate for Americans without a high school diploma recently reached a record low.
Rate for disabled Americans recently hit a record low.
Blue-collar jobs recently grew at the fastest rate in more than three decades.
Poll found that 85 percent of blue-collar workers believe their lives are headed “in the right direction.”
68 percent reported receiving a pay increase in the past year.
Last year, job satisfaction among American workers hit its highest level since 2005.
Nearly two-thirds of Americans rate now as a good time to find a quality job.
Optimism about the availability of good jobs has grown by 25 percent.
Added more than 400,000 manufacturing jobs since the election.
Manufacturing employment is growing at its fastest pace in more than two decades.
100,000 new jobs supporting the production & transport of oil & natural gas.

American Income
Median household income rose to $61,372 in 2017, a post-recession high.
Wages up in August by their fastest rate since June 2009.
Paychecks rose by 3.3 percent between 2016 and 2017, the most in a decade.
Council of Economic Advisers found that real wage compensation has grown by 1.4 percent over the past year.
Some 3.9 million Americans off food stamps since the election.
Median income for Hispanic-Americans rose by 3.7 percent and surpassed $50,000 for the first time ever in history.
Home-ownership among Hispanics is at the highest rate in nearly a decade.
Poverty rates for African-Americans and Hispanic-Americans have reached their lowest levels ever recorded.

American Optimism
Small business optimism has hit historic highs.
NFIB’s small business optimism index broke a 35 year-old record in August.
SurveyMonkey/CNBC’s small business confidence survey for Q3 of 2018 matched its all-time high.
Manufacturers are more confident than ever.
95 percent of U.S. manufacturers are optimistic about the future, the highest ever.
Consumer confidence is at an 18-year high.
12 percent of Americans rate the economy as the most significant problem facing our country, the lowest level on record.
Confidence in the economy is near a two-decade high, with 51 percent rating the economy as good or excellent.

American Business
Investment is flooding back into the United States due to the tax cuts.
Over $450 billion dollars has already poured back into the U.S., including more than $300 billion in the first quarter of 2018.
Retail sales have surged. Commerce Department figures from August show that retail sales increased 0.5 percent in July 2018, an increase of 6.4 percent from July 2017.
ISM’s index of manufacturing scored its highest reading in 14 years.
Worker productivity is the highest it has been in more than three years.
Steel and aluminum producers are re-opening.
Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P 500, and NASDAQ have all notched record highs.
Dow hit record highs 70 times in 2017 alone, the most ever recorded in one year.

Deregulation
Achieved massive deregulation at a rapid pace, completing 22 deregulatory actions to every one regulatory action during his first year in office.
Signed legislation to roll back costly and harmful provisions of Dodd-Frank, providing relief to credit unions, and community and regional banks.
Federal agencies achieved more than $8 billion in lifetime net regulatory cost savings.
Rolled back Obama’s burdensome Waters of the U.S. rule.
Used the Congressional Review Act to repeal regulations more times than in history.

Tax Cuts
Biggest tax cuts and reforms in American history by signing the Tax Cuts and Jobs act into law
Provided more than $5.5 trillion in gross tax cuts, nearly 60 percent of which will go to families.
Increased the exemption for the death tax to help save Family Farms & Small Business.
Nearly doubled the standard deduction for individuals and families.
Enabled vast majority of American families will be able to file their taxes on a single page by claiming the standard deduction.
Doubled the child tax credit to help lessen the financial burden of raising a family.
Lowered America’s corporate tax rate from the highest in the developed world to allow American businesses to compete and win.
Small businesses can now deduct 20 percent of their business income.
Cut dozens of special interest tax breaks and closed loopholes for the wealthy.
9 in 10 American workers are expected see an increase in their paychecks thanks to the tax cuts, according to the Treasury Department.
More than 6 million of American workers have received wage increases, bonuses, and increased benefits thanks to tax cuts.
Over 100 utility companies have lowered electric, gas, or water rates thanks to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
Ernst & Young found 89 percent of companies planned to increase worker compensation thanks to the Trump tax cuts.
Established opportunity zones to spur investment in left behind communities.

Worker Development
Established a National Council for the American Worker to develop a national strategy for training and retraining America’s workers for high-demand industries.
Employers have signed Trump’s “Pledge to America’s Workers,” committing to train or retrain more than 4.2 million workers and students.
Signed the first Perkins CTE reauthorization since 2006, authorizing more than $1 billion for states each year to fund vocational and career education programs.
Executive order expanding apprenticeship opportunities for students and workers.

Domestic Infrastructure
Proposed infrastructure plan would utilize $200 billion in Federal funds to spur at least $1.5 trillion in infrastructure investment across the country.
Executive order expediting environmental reviews and approvals for high priority infrastructure projects.
Federal agencies have signed the One Federal Decision Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) streamlining the federal permitting process for infrastructure projects.
Rural prosperity task force and signed an executive order to help expand broadband access in rural areas.

Health Care
Signed an executive order to help minimize the financial burden felt by American households Signed legislation to improve the National Suicide Hotline.
Signed the most comprehensive childhood cancer legislation ever into law, which will advance childhood cancer research and improve treatments.
Signed Right-to-Try legislation, expanding health care options for terminally ill patients.
Enacted changes to the Medicare 340B program, saving seniors an estimated $320 million on drugs in 2018 alone.
FDA set a new record for generic drug approvals in 2017, saving consumers nearly $9 billion.
Released a blueprint to drive down drug prices for American patients, leading multiple major drug companies to announce they will freeze or reverse price increases.
Expanded short-term, limited-duration health plans.
Let more employers to form Association Health Plans, enabling more small businesses to join together and affordably provide health insurance to their employees.
Cut Obamacare’s burdensome individual mandate penalty.
Signed legislation repealing Obamacare’s Independent Payment Advisory Board, also known as the “death panels.”
USDA invested more than $1 billion in rural health care in 2017, improving access to health care for 2.5 million people in rural communities across 41 states
Proposed Title X rule to help ensure taxpayers do not fund the abortion industry in violation of the law.
Reinstated and expanded the Mexico City Policy to keep foreign aid from supporting the global abortion industry.
HHS formed a new division over protecting the rights of conscience and religious freedom.
Overturned Obama administration’s midnight regulation prohibiting states from defunding certain abortion facilities.
Signed executive order to help ensure that religious organizations are not forced to choose between violating their religious beliefs by complying with Obamacare’s contraceptive mandate or shutting their doors.

Combating Opioids
Chaired meeting the 73rd General Session of the United Nations discussing the worldwide drug problem with international leaders.
Initiative to Stop Opioid Abuse and Reduce Drug Supply and Demand, introducing new measures to keep dangerous drugs out of our communities.
$6 billion in new funding to fight the opioid epidemic.
DEA conducted a surge in April 2018 that arrested 28 medical professions and revoked 147 registrations for prescribing too many opioids.
Brought the “Prescribed to Death” memorial to President’s Park near the White House, helping raise awareness about the human toll of the opioid crisis.
Helped reduce high-dose opioid prescriptions by 16 percent in 2017.
Opioid Summit on the administration-wide efforts to combat the opioid crisis.
Launched a national public awareness campaign about the dangers of opioid addiction.
Created a Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis which recommended a number of pathways to tackle the opioid crisis.
Led two National Prescription Drug Take Back Days in 2017 and 2018, collecting a record number of expired and unneeded prescription drugs each time.
$485 million targeted grants in FY 2017 to help areas hit hardest by the opioid crisis.
Signed INTERDICT Act, strengthening efforts to detect and intercept synthetic opioids before they reach our communities.
DOJ secured its first-ever indictments against Chinese fentanyl manufacturers.
Joint Criminal Opioid Darknet Enforcement (J-CODE) team, aimed at disrupting online illicit opioid sales.
Declared the opioid crisis a Nationwide Public Health Emergency in October 2017.

Law and Order
More U.S. Circuit Court judges confirmed in the first year in office than ever.
Confirmed more than two dozen U. S. Circuit Court judges.
Followed through on the promise to nominate judges to the Supreme Court who will adhere to the Constitution
Nominated and confirmed Justice Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.
Signed an executive order directing the Attorney General to develop a strategy to more effectively prosecute people who commit crimes against law enforcement officers.
Launched an evaluation of grant programs to make sure they prioritize the protection and safety of law enforcement officers.
Established a task force to reduce crime and restore public safety in communities across Signed an executive order to focus more federal resources on dismantling transnational criminal organizations such as drug cartels.
Signed an executive order to focus more federal resources on dismantling transnational criminal organizations such as drug cartels.
Violent crime decreased in 2017 according to FBI statistics.
$137 million in grants through the COPS Hiring Program to preserve jobs, increase community policing capacities, and support crime prevention efforts.
Enhanced and updated the Project Safe Neighborhoods to help reduce violent crime.
Signed legislation making it easier to target websites that enable sex trafficking and strengthened penalties for people who promote or facilitate prostitution.
Created an interagency task force working around the clock to prosecute traffickers, protect victims, and prevent human trafficking.
Conducted Operation Cross Country XI to combat human trafficking, rescuing 84 children and arresting 120 human traffickers.
Encouraged federal prosecutors to use the death penalty when possible in the fight against the trafficking of deadly drugs.
New rule effectively banning bump stock sales in the United States.

Border Security and Immigration
Secured $1.6 billion for border wall construction in the March 2018 omnibus bill.
Construction of a 14-mile section of border wall began near San Diego.
Worked to protect American communities from the threat posed by the vile MS-13 gang.
ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations division arrested 796 MS-13 members and associates in FY 2017, an 83 percent increase from the prior year.
Justice worked with partners in Central America to secure criminal charges against more than 4,000 MS-13 members.
Border Patrol agents arrested 228 illegal aliens affiliated with MS-13 in FY 2017.
Fighting to stop the scourge of illegal drugs at our border.
ICE HSI seized more than 980,000 pounds of narcotics in FY 2017, including 2,370 pounds of fentanyl and 6,967 pounds of heroin.
ICE HSI dedicated nearly 630,000 investigative hours towards halting the illegal import of fentanyl.
ICE HSI made 11,691 narcotics-related arrests in FY 2017.
Stop Opioid Abuse and Reduce Drug Supply and Demand introduced new measures to keep dangerous drugs out the United States.
Signed the INTERDICT Act into law, enhancing efforts to detect and intercept synthetic opioids.
DOJ secured its first-ever indictments against Chinese fentanyl manufacturers.
DOJ launched their Joint Criminal Opioid Darknet Enforcement (J-CODE) team, aimed at disrupting online illicit opioid sales.
Released an immigration framework that includes the resources required to secure our borders and close legal loopholes, and repeatedly called on Congress to fix our broken immigration laws.
Authorized the deployment of the National Guard to help secure the border.
Enhanced vetting of individuals entering the U.S. from countries that don’t meet security standards, helping to ensure individuals who pose a threat to our country are identified before they enter.
These procedures were upheld in a June 2018 Supreme Court hearing.
ICE removed over 226,000 illegal aliens from the United States in 2017.
ICE rescued or identified over 500 human trafficking victims and over 900 child exploitation victims in 2017 alone.
In 2017, ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) arrested more than 127,000 aliens with criminal convictions or charges, responsible for
Over 76,000 with dangerous drug offenses.
More than 48,000 with assault offenses.
More than 11,000 with weapons offenses.
More than 5,000 with sexual assault offenses.
More than 2,000 with kidnapping offenses.
Over 1,800 with homicide offenses.
Created the Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement (VOICE) Office in order to support the victims and families affected by illegal alien crime.
More than doubled the number of counties participating in the 287(g) program, which allows jails to detain criminal aliens until they are transferred to ICE custody.

Trade
Negotiating and renegotiating better trade deals, achieving free, fair, and reciprocal trade for the United States.
Agreed to work with the European Union towards zero tariffs, zero non-tariff barriers, and zero subsides.
Deal with the European Union to increase U.S. energy exports to Europe.
Litigated multiple WTO disputes targeting unfair trade practices and upholding our right to enact fair trade laws.
Finalized a revised trade agreement with South Korea, which includes provisions to increase American automobile exports.
Negotiated an historic U.S.-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement to replace NAFTA.
Agreement to begin trade negotiations for a U.S.-Japan trade agreement.
Secured $250 billion in new trade and investment deals in China and $12 billion in Vietnam.
Established a Trade and Investment Working Group with the United Kingdom, laying the groundwork for post-Brexit trade.
Enacted steel and aluminum tariffs to protect our vital steel and aluminum producers and strengthen our national security.
Conducted 82 anti-dumping and countervailing duty investigations in 2017 alone.
Confronting China’s unfair trade practices after years of Washington looking the other way.
25 percent tariff on $50 billion of goods imported from China and later imposed an additional 10% tariff on $200 billion of Chinese goods.
Conducted an investigation into Chinese forced technology transfers, unfair licensing practices, and intellectual property theft.
Imposed safeguard tariffs to protect domestic washing machines and solar products manufacturers hurt by China’s trade policies
Withdrew from the job-killing Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
Secured access to new markets for America’s farmers.
Recent deal with Mexico included new improvements enabling food and agriculture to trade more fairly.
Recent agreement with the E.U. will reduce barriers and increase trade of American soybeans to Europe.
Won a WTO dispute regarding Indonesia’s unfair restriction of U.S. agricultural exports.
Defended American Tuna fisherman and packagers before the WTO
Opened up Argentina to American pork experts for the first time in a quarter-century
American beef exports have returned to china for the first time in more than a decade
OK’d up to $12 billion in aid for farmers affected by unfair trade retaliation.

Energy
Presidential Memorandum to clear roadblocks to construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline.
Presidential Memorandum declaring that the Dakota Access Pipeline serves the national interest and initiating the process to complete construction.
Opened up the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge to energy exploration.
Coal exports up over 60 percent in 2017.
Rolled back the “stream protection rule” to prevent it from harming America’s coal industry.
Cancelled Obama’s anti-coal Clean Power Plan and proposed the Affordable Clean Energy Rule as a replacement.
Withdrew from the job-killing Paris climate agreement, which would have cost the U.S. nearly $3 trillion and led to 6.5 million fewer industrial sector jobs by 2040.
U.S. oil production has achieved its highest level in American history
United States is now the largest crude oil producer in the world.
U.S. has become a net natural gas exporter for the first time in six decades.
Action to expedite the identification and extraction of critical minerals that are vital to the nation’s security and economic prosperity.
Took action to reform National Ambient Air Quality Standards, benefitting American manufacturers.
Rescinded Obama’s hydraulic fracturing rule, which was expected to cost the industry $32 million per year.
Proposed an expansion of offshore drilling as part of an all-of-the above energy strategy
Held a lease sale for offshore oil and gas leases in the Gulf of Mexico in August 2018.
Got EU to increase its imports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the United States.
Issued permits for the New Burgos Pipeline that will cross the U.S.-Mexico border.

Foreign Policy
Moved the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.
Withdrew from Iran deal and immediately began the process of re-imposing sanctions that had been lifted or waived.
Treasury has issued sanctions targeting Iranian activities and entities, including the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force
Since enacting sanctions, Iran’s crude exports have fallen off, the value of Iran’s currency has plummeted, and international companies have pulled out of the country.
All nuclear-related sanctions will be back in full force by early November 2018.
Historic summit with North Korean President Kim Jong-Un, bringing beginnings of peace and denuclearization to the Korean Peninsula.
The two leaders have exchanged letters and high-level officials from both sides have met resulting in tremendous progress.
North Korea has halted nuclear and missile tests.
Negotiated the return of the remains of missing-in-action soldiers from the Korean War.
Imposed strong sanctions on Venezuelan dictator Nicholas Maduro and his inner circle.
Executive order preventing those in the U.S. from carrying out certain transactions with the Venezuelan regime, including prohibiting the purchase of the regime’s debt.
Responded to the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime.
Rolled out sanctions targeting individuals and entities tied to Syria’s chemical weapons program.
Directed strikes in April 2017 against a Syrian airfield used in a chemical weapons attack on innocent civilians.
Joined allies in launching airstrikes in April 2018 against targets associated with Syria’s chemical weapons use.
New Cuba policy that enhanced compliance with U.S. law and held the Cuban regime accountable for political oppression and human rights abuses.
Treasury and State are working to channel economic activity away from the Cuban regime, particularly the military.
Changed the rules of engagement, empowering commanders to take the fight to ISIS.
ISIS has lost virtually all of its territory, more than half of which has been lost under Trump.
ISIS’ self-proclaimed capital city, Raqqah, was liberated in October 2017.
All Iraqi territory had been liberated from ISIS.
More than a dozen American hostages have been freed from captivity all of the world.
Action to combat Russia’s malign activities, including their efforts to undermine the sanctity of United States elections.
Expelled dozens of Russian intelligence officers from the United States and ordered the closure of the Russian consulate in Seattle, WA.
Banned the use of Kaspersky Labs software on government computers, due to the company’s ties to Russian intelligence.
Imposed sanctions against five Russian entities and three individuals for enabling Russia’s military and intelligence units to increase Russia’s offensive cyber capabilities.
Sanctions against seven Russian oligarchs, and 12 companies they own or control, who profit from Russia’s destabilizing activities.
Sanctioned 100 targets in response to Russia’s occupation of Crimea and aggression in Eastern Ukraine.
Enhanced support for Ukraine’s Armed Forces to help Ukraine better defend itself.
Helped win U.S. bid for the 2028 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.
Helped win U.S.-Mexico-Canada’s united bid for 2026 World Cup.

Defense
Executive order keeping the detention facilities at U.S. Naval Station Guantanamo Bay open.
$700 billion in military funding for FY 2018 and $716 billion for FY 2019.
Largest military pay raise in nearly a decade.
Ordered a Nuclear Posture Review to ensure America’s nuclear forces are up to date and serve as a credible deterrent.
Released America’s first fully articulated cyber strategy in 15 years.
New strategy on national biodefense, which better prepares the nation to defend against biological threats.
Administration has announced that it will use whatever means necessary to protect American citizens and servicemen from unjust prosecution by the International Criminal Court.
Released an America first National Security Strategy.
Put in motion the launch of a Space Force as a new branch of the military and relaunched the National Space Council.
Encouraged North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) allies to increase defense spending to their agree-upon levels.
In 2017 alone, there was an increase of more than 4.8 percent in defense spending amongst NATO allies.
Every member state has increased defense spending.
Eight NATO allies will reach the 2 percent benchmark by the end of 2018 and 15 allies are on trade to do so by 2024.
NATO allies spent over $42 billion dollars more on defense since 2016.
Executive order to help military spouses find employment as their families deploy domestically and abroad.

Veterans affairs
Signed the VA Accountability Act and expanded VA telehealth services, walk-in-clinics, and same-day urgent primary and mental health care.
Delivered more appeals decisions – 81,000 – to veterans in a single year than ever before.
Strengthened protections for individuals who come forward and identify programs occurring within the VA.
Signed legislation that provided $86.5 billion in funding for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), the largest dollar amount in history for the VA.
VA MISSION Act, enacting sweeping reform to the VA system that:
Consolidated and strengthened VA community care programs.
Funding for the Veterans Choice program.
Expanded eligibility for the Family Caregivers Program.
Gave veterans more access to walk-in care.
Strengthened the VA’s ability to recruit and retain quality healthcare professionals.
Enabled the VA to modernize its assets and infrastructure.
Signed the VA Choice and Quality Employment Act in 2017, which authorized $2.1 billion in addition funds for the Veterans Choice Program.
Worked to shift veterans’ electronic medical records to the same system used by the Department of Defense, a decades old priority.
Issued an executive order requiring the Secretaries of Defense, Homeland Security, and Veterans Affairs to submit a joint plan to provide veterans access to access to mental health treatment as they transition to civilian life.
Increased transparency and accountability at the VA by launching an online “Access and Quality Tool,” providing veterans with access to wait time and quality of care data.
Signed legislation to modernize the claims and appeal process at the VA.
Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act, providing enhanced educational benefits to veterans, service members, and their family members.
Lifted a 15-year limit on veterans’ access to their educational benefits.
Created a White House VA Hotline to help veterans and principally staffed it with veterans and direct family members of veterans.
VA employees are being held accountable for poor performance, with more than 4,000 VA employees removed, demoted, and suspended so far.
Signed the Veterans Treatment Court Improvement Act, increasing the number of VA employees that can assist justice-involved veterans.

 

God bless America

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An Old Fighter Pilot Presents Rusting Aircraft

September 30, 2018

Thank you for spending a few minutes with this old fighter pilot as we visit these once proud flying machines.

On the beach at Mazunite, Mexico, we find the resting place of a Columbian Narcoplane that was shot down by the Mexican Army some 20 years ago.  You never know what you might find while beach-combing.

This C-54 was found abandoned in Ganes Creek Alaska. The plane was forced to make an emergency landing.  When I was assigned to Japan as an Intelligence Analyst in 1962, I was flown there in a Military Air Transport Service C-54 island hoping across the Pacific at 220 mph.

After becoming a fighter pilot at the 188th Wing in Fort Smith, the unit had a C-54 support aircraft that transported most of the pilots from Dallas on drill weekend.  The 188th would not have been able to exist without those pilots.  The 188th is now a drone unit without a support aircraft and short 40 drone pilots.

We now swing down south to Antartica.  This abandoned C-121 Lockheed Constellation was discovered in Pegasus Field in South Antartica.  I only remember flying on a Super Constellation once.  As I recall, it was an air evac aircraft from the Colorado Air National Guard.

This Douglas DC-3 was discovered in the Zeljava Air Base on the border of Croatia and Bosnia.  The Beloved “Gooney Bird” first flew in 1935 with a cruising speed of 150 mph.  In 1969 I was a global qualified aircraft commander flying C-141 Starlifters when I was asked to fly a 141 assigned to McChord AFB.  I delivered the 141 from Tokyo to McChord south of Seattle and found myself almost 700 miles from my home at Travis AFB near San Francisco.  My Wing Commander arraigned for a Gooney Bird to fly me home.  I had plenty of time to take my turn flying the bird.  What once seemed to be a huge airplane to me, seemed more like a piper cub after flying the 325,000 pound 141.  The Mooney Mark 21 airplane I bought a few years later had a cruise speed of 172 mph but the Gooney Bird hauled a lot of cargo and earned her pay for many years.

This Bell P-39 Airacobra was discovered in the bottom of Lake Mart-Yavr in the Russian Arctic Circle in 2004. The pilot of this plane was forced to make an emergency ditching in the lake.

I did sit in a P-39 one time and heard a lot about them from a dear friend.  The engine was in the rear and the propeller shaft ran between my legs.  With a long prop shaft, the gyroscopic effect put a lot of stress on the bird.

My friend who flew the P-39 was Major General Philip Greasley who retired in Mountain Home.  At his home, overlooking Lake Norfork, Phil told me about flying the Airacobra in New Guinea.  He described the steaming jungles similar to what I experienced in Vietnam.  Few Americans had ever served in New Guinea and accurate maps were nonexistent.  Intelligence reports were so inaccurate that no one knew what to expect other than they would be facing Japanese warplanes with reputations that made them seem invincible.

Imagine stumbling upon this Curtiss Kittyhawk P-40 in the Sahara. The plane crashed back in 1942 and was discovered by a Polish Oil Company worker surveying a region of the Western Desert in Egypt.

This MI-17 Helicopter crashed at the Mount Everest Base Camp while attempting to land.  Before you ask, I wasn’t climbing Mount Everest, I have a hard time climbing out of bed.

I will say that I once served as Chief of Safety for a Fighter Wing and received training at Arizona State University and the University of Southern California.  What might look like a pile of metal to some people, looks like clues to an investigator.  The accidents I investigated gave me fascinating experience.

This is an abandoned Gloster Meteor from 1955.  Believe it or not, the Meteor was the only jet aircraft used for combat by the Allies during World War II and was the first British Jet Fighter.

This abandoned World Airways DC-10 sits on its tail because of wet volcanic ash. The plane flew through the 1991 Mount Pinatubo eruption.

I was very happy when the Air Force rolled out the KC-10 Tanker.  Compared to the KC-135, the 10 was as stable as a rock which made air refueling much easier.  I was privileged to Command the Cope Thunder Provisional multi-national Wing and KC-10s were part of my six billion dollars worth of jets.

My first air refuelings in the F-100 and F-101 were from a KC-97.  Even with the 97 going as fast as possible and me going as slow as possible, sometimes the tanker had to start a descent to keep me above stall speed.

Here is a once proud T-38 Talon at the Boneyard.  I was privileged to fly T-38s when they were pretty new in 1967.  The jet is so fast and so sensitive that I worried I would never be able to fly it.  While I was in Air Force Pilot Training at Vance Air Force Base, General Greasley was chief of staff of Air Training Command headquartered in San Antonio, Texas.  That was just a few years before I met him and my good friend and fellow pilot married his daughter.

Before I hung up my G-suit, I flew some mighty fine machines including all the supersonic jets flown by the Thunderbirds and the F-101 Voodoo that they didn’t fly.  I was an Instructor Pilot and Flight Examiner in all the Jet Fighters I flew.

I also owned and enjoyed a few airplanes once upon a time.  They’re probably all still flying except the American Trainer.  I read that it crashed with a fatality.  You don’t fly as long as I did including 50 combat missions in Vietnam with having some luck.

Here’s a toast to the magnificent flyers and their flying machines, including the rusty ones.

I am Proud to Introduce Phoolan Devi to my Readers

September 23, 2018

Phoolan was born into a poor family in rural Uttar Pradesh in India in 1963. As an 11 year old girl, Phoolan married a man three times her age in an arranged marriage that lasted a year before she fled. Having been brutalized by her husband, she walked hundreds of miles back home only to discover that her family considered her act disgraceful and would not allow her in the home.

Living on the streets, Phoolan was raped, robbed and assaulted regularly as a member of the lower castes in India. She received no help from anyone, not even the police.

Since Phoolan was estranged from her husband and her family, the very young girl sought escape by running away and joining a gang of bandits. She was the only woman in that gang, and her relationship with one gang member, coupled with other minor factors, caused a gunfight between gang members.

Phoolan’s lover was killed in that gunfight. The victorious rival faction, who were Rajputs, took Phoolan to their village of Behmai, confined her in a room, and took turns to rape her repeatedly over several days. After escaping, Phoolan rejoined the remnants of her dead lover’s faction, took another lover from among those men, and continued with banditry. However, the memory of Behmai remained uppermost in her mind.

A few months later, her new gang descended upon the village of Behmai to exact revenge for what she had suffered. About twenty-two Rajput men belonging to that village were lined up in a row and shot dead by Phoolan’s gang.

Since Phoolan was a woman, and her victims were men, the press portrayed the Behmai massacre as an act of righteous rebellion. The respectful nickname ‘Devi’ was conferred upon her by the media and public at this point.

Devi evaded capture for two years after the Behmai massacre before she and her few surviving gang-members surrendered to the police in 1983. In poor health and exhausted by the struggle to stay hidden, Devi negotiated her surrender to avoid a death sentence. Although she agreed to 8 years’ imprisonment, she ended up being jailed for 11 years, without trial.

She was charged with 48 crimes, including multiple murders, plunder, arson and kidnapping for ransom. Devi spent the next eleven years in jail, as the various charges against her were tried in court. In 1994, the state government headed by Mulayam Singh Yadav of the Samajwadi Party summarily withdrew all charges against her, and Devi was released.

The 1994 film “Bandit Queen” is loosely based on her life until that point when she was 30 years old and just released from jail.

Devi then ran for Parliament as a candidate of the Samajwadi Party and was twice elected to the Lok Sabha as the member for Mirzapur. In 2001, she was shot dead by former rival bandits whose kinsmen had been slaughtered at Behmai by her gang. The assassination took place at the gates of her official bungalow that was allotted to her as a Member of Parliament in New Delhi.

Devi became legendary for both her acts of revenge on those who had abused her and her Robin Hood-like activities to aid the lower castes. As a member of the lower house of Parliament she continued as a champion of the poor and oppressed.

When Devi was assassinated in 2001 she was 37 years old. I am not her judge but I cannot imagine walking in her shoes during those 37 years, can you?
……………..
If you think the 1994 film was embraced by the government of India, you have another think coming! Here is a headline discussing the year long censorship battle, ‘Disgusting and revolting and obscene’: ‘Bandit Queen’ and the censors, Shehar Kapur’s path-breaking film, ‘Bandit Queen’, went through all kinds of checks, from the CBFC’s examining committee to the Supreme Court, before its release.

Bandit Queen premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in May 1994 to wide critical acclaim. Variety called it “gripping”. The Economist said it would change Indian cinema forever. Evening Standard, in its page-long review, called it “truly radical”—“angry, shocking, potentially inflammatory”—helping “Indian cinema come of age”. But a Hollywood Reporter festival round-up piece pointed to the anxieties accompanying the acclaim. “Whatever the film’s reception in Cannes,” it said, “the brutal realism is certain to cause huge problems in both the subcontinent and Western territories….”

The film’s producer, Bobby Bedi, wasn’t surprised. “We knew it would have trouble,” he says over the phone. “But we weren’t expecting the kind of trouble it got.” The makers submitted the film to the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) on 17 August 1994. The examining committee—comprising an examining officer and four members of the advisory panel—saw it, raised objections, and referred it to the revising committee. On 19 July 1995, the revising committee—headed by a chairman, with not more than nine members of the censor board and advisory panel—recommended an A certificate, subject to cuts and modifications. The revising committee, clamping down heavily on cuss words, rape sequences and frontal nudity, “added more than 100 cuts”, says Bedi.

But Bandit Queen’s director, Shekhar Kapur, thought the CBFC had seen his film in a “callous and careless way”, and didn’t want to negotiate or accept the cuts. Neither did Bedi. They applied to the Film Certification Appellate Tribunal (FCAT), the next recourse in the censorship process, challenging the revising committee’s decision. The FCAT—presided over by a retired judge of the Bombay high court, Lentin J., and three members (all women—Sara Mohammad, Sarayu V. Doshi, and Reena Kumari)—stated that the expletives were “not intended to be taken literally”, as they reflected the nuances of the language spoken in the villages of Chambal ravines. The censor board also wanted to delete a scene that showed a policeman hitting Phoolan Devi with the butt of a gun. The FCAT said that deleting the scene would “negate the very impact of the film”, which depicted the “maltreatment and cruelty” suffered by Phoolan Devi and her motivation for taking revenge.

The revising committee had demanded that 70% of the scene of Phoolan Devi torturing her husband be cut. The FCAT believed it was a “powerful scene”, demonstrating “Devi’s pent-up anger, emotions, and revulsion”, whose reduction “would negate its impact”. The revising committee had asked for another scene, where Phoolan Devi is paraded naked in the village, to be cut heavily. The FCAT asserted that it was “an integral part of the story”, one that intended to “create revulsion in the minds of the average audience towards the tormentors and oppressors of women. To delete or even to reduce these climactic visuals,” it said, “would be a sacrilege.”

The FCAT’s unanimous decision overruled the revising committee’s orders, and gave the film an A certificate. At the hearing, recalls Bedi, Justice Lentin suggested the censor board representative “take a trip to Khajuraho”, joking that it was unlikely the Indian government would send him to Rome, to “understand the difference between nakedness, nudity, and obscenity”.

Bandit Queen released in theatres a few months later, on 25 January 1996, after an year-long censorship battle. But that relief was short-lived. Two days later, Om Pal Singh Hoon, a Hindu Gujjar, filed a writ petition in the Delhi high court, seeking to quash the film’s censor certificate and restrain exhibition in the country. Phoolan Devi’s portrayal, said Hoon, was “abhorrent and unconscionable and a slur on the womanhood of India”. He felt that the rape scene, by a character called Babu Gujjar, lowered the reputation of the Gujjar community, discriminating against him and violating several articles of the Constitution.

I won’t continue with details of the fight but I hope you realize how government censorship is a bad thing? It makes no difference if a movie is censored because of political implications or texts and documents are classified because they might embarrass the government or expose deep state corruption.

Will Anyone Help Gene McVay Fight Arkansas Government Corruption?

September 16, 2018

Almost ten percent of the Arkansas State Senators have been convicted and sentenced to prison or indicted. Many more are believed to be under investigation.

Almost a year ago the FBI subpoenaed records from the Arkansas Legislature and the Legislature hired a high powered Little Rock Law Firm to fight the subpoenas.

Even though $60,000 of tax revenue had already been spent, taxpayers and the public are being kept in the dark about what information the FBI is seeking and why the State Government is fighting to conceal it.

The FBI asked the Senate President Pro Tem elect to wear a wire to prove that he had been offered a bribe by another State Senator but Senator Jim Hendren refused to assist the FBI. The State Senator who allegedly requested the bribe is Senator Jon Woods who has since been convicted of crimes and sentenced to 18 years and four months in prison.

Even though all this was going on, Governor Asa Hutchinson and the incoming Senate President Pro Tem still supported soon to be convicted felon Senator Jon Woods for reelection.

You can’t make this stuff up!

■■■ As a fifth generation Arkansan and lifelong Republican, I’m not sure what to do?

In some states there are legitimate news organizations that hold government accountable. Here is an example:

■These public servants think their records aren’t your business. We’re suing to change that

The News Tribune and nine other news organizations are suing the Washington State Legislature, alleging that lawmakers are violating the state’s Public Records Act by withholding records tied to their legislative business.

https://www.thenewstribune.com/news/politics-government/article172833346.html

In other cases it is up to citizens to step up and sue with the state Attorney General defending a corrupt Legislature. Here is an example of that:

■Tim Eyman, well known initiative sponsor, won an overwhelming and decisive victory in Thurston County Superior Court on Friday. His lawsuit was simple and clear, and his defense of the Washington State Constitution was solid.

The Attorney General’s effort to defend the unconstitutional action by the Washington State Legislature was feeble and Thurston Superior Court Judge Schaller’s carefully articulated and clear ruling from the bench will become legal precedent for future reference. The constitutional protections for initiatives to the legislature will stand as written. It was a solid reminder to the legislators in Olympia to not ignore the Constitution in the future.

http://thurstoncountyrepublicans.com/uncategorized/eyman-wins-lawsuit-against-state-exposing-unconstitutional-effort-by-legislature-saves-initiative-process/

I had hoped I would not have to be the one to sue Arkansas Legislators on behalf of Arkansas Taxpayers but the egregious disregard for the Arkansas Constitution is screaming for justice.

I don’t believe hiring law firms to squash FBI Subpoenas is a lawful use of Taxpayer’s dollars. If corrupt Legislators require defending, wouldn’t that be the duty of Attorney General Leslie Rutledge?

Since Arkansas AG Leslie Rutledge has no stomach for fighting Arkansas political corruption, can’t she at least defend Arkansas political corruption and save we the people the expense of hiring outside law firms?

Surely there is something Leslie Rutledge can do besides peddling influence at posh resorts?

Yes, Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge is the Chairman of the Republican Attorneys General Association.

Maybe she is too busy raising money for Republican AGs to see what has happened to her own state government?

Maybe the nine newspapers in Washington State will join a Gene McVay lawsuit in Arkansas?

Governors Gone Bad

September 2, 2018

Believe it or not, there are State Governors who make the trip from the Statehouse to the Big House but some of them avoid the slammer.

Former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell and his wife, former first lady Maureen McDonnell, were convicted of multiple counts of corruption, fraud and bribery in 2016. McDonnell wept as the guilty verdicts were read. The lifestyle he grew accustomed to as governor — which included a luxury vacation in Cape Cod worth more than $7,000 — is about as far as you can get from where he could be headed next. Don’t cry for Bob and Maureen, last year the Supreme Court vacated Bob McDonnell’s conviction, but condemned his conduct on ethical grounds. McDonnell and his family accepted $177K in gifts and loans while he was in office. His attorney admitted the evidence looked bad, but that’s just the way U.S. politics works.

Now, politicians found guilty of bribery in New York, Pennsylvania and Louisiana are using the McDonnell case to fight their own convictions. What was that President Trump called it? Oh yeah, THE SWAMP!

Some of the crooks really do get more than a slap on the wrist.

Former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich was found guilty in 2011 of attempting to sell President Obama’s former U.S. Senate seat. He was convicted of 17 of 24 federal charges against him and is currently serving a 14-year prison sentence. I guess Blago couldn’t afford Bob McDonnell’s high powered lawyers?

Republican of Rhode Island Edward DiPrete was indicted in 1994, accused of taking close to $300,000 in bribes from contractors in exchange for state contracts. He pleaded guilty to 18 counts of corruption — including bribery and extortion — in 1998, before trial, in exchange for leniency for his son, who was also accused. DiPrete served just one year in prison.

Former Louisiana Governor Edwin Edwards was convicted in 2000 of extorting nearly $3 million from companies that applied for casino licenses. The four-term governor, 72 years old at the time, received a 10-year sentence. He is currently out of prison and running for Congress. Politicians have learned that they can make big bucks handing out casino or marijuana licenses.

Arch Moore Jr., Republican Governor of West Virginia Arch Moore Jr. charges stemmed from a nearly $600,000 payment he extorted from a coal operator in return for a refund of millions from the state’s black lung fund for miners. He was also charged with filing false tax returns, and in connection with a vote-buying scheme. Moore received a prison sentence of just under six years and a $170,000 fine. Now we’re getting into the serious money usually only attainable in Arkansas.

Republican Governor of Connecticut John Rowland served 10 months in prison after he admitted in 2005 to illegally taking trips and vacations to Las Vegas, Vermont and Florida and getting improvements to his lake cabin. He is currently facing federal conspiracy charges in an unrelated case.

Former Illinois Gov. George Ryan was convicted of racketeering, mail fraud and tax fraud — largely related to selling government licenses and contracts as a public official. Ryan was released from prison in 2014 after serving five years. Four of the past seven governors of Illinois, including Ryan, have gone to prison. Going to prison can become a tradition.

Democrat Governor of North Carolina Mike Easley managed to stay out of the big house when his attorneys reached a plea deal in 2010. Prosecutors dropped additional charges when he pleaded guilty to violating campaign finance laws. A federal probe found that the two-term governor took advantage of free flights, cars and vacations, questionable real estate deals, and that he created a job for his wife at a state university. He had faced up to 15 months in prison, but prosecutors agreed to no jail time and a $1,000 fine plus court costs. Are you kidding me?

Republican Governor of Alabama Guy Hunt was convicted of using $200,000 from a tax-exempt fund for his own inauguration and violating state ethics laws. He got five years’ probation, was ordered to pay a $211,000 fine and eventually received a state pardon in 1998. Ask not what you can do for your state, ask what your good ole state can do for you. Don’t you try this if you are Joe Bag of Donuts!

Former South Dakota Governor Bill Janklow soon after his election was convicted of second-degree manslaughter for crashing into and killing a motorcyclist in South Dakota. The four-term governor was sentenced to 100 days in the county jail and three years’ probation. I guess you can’t get off in the Dakota’s just because you’re the Guv?

Republican Governor of Arizona J. Fife Symington III was convicted of bank fraud, making false financial statements and extortion, much of which was related to a failing real estate business. He was sentenced to prison, but his 1997 conviction was overturned and, in 2001, President Clinton gave him a pardon. Politicians are sometimes really bad at running businesses but they do just fine if they have friends in high places.

Republican Governor of Ohio Bob Taft pleaded no contest to four misdemeanor ethics counts for failing to report gifts of more than 50 golf outings, dinners and other largess. He was ordered to pay a $4,000 fine and write an apology to the people of Ohio.

Democrat Governor of Missouri Roger Wilson pleaded guilty to illegally shifting money to make political donations. He faced a $2,000 fine and a year in prison, but was sentenced to pay the fine and given two years’ probation.

Democrat Governor of Arkansas Jim Guy Tucker was found guilty by an Arkansas Jury in 1996 giving rise to now Florida resident Mike Huckabee. The Jury found Tucker guilty of fraud, conspiracy and the engineering of about $3 million in fraudulent loans. Tucker was spared prison, in part because of a serious liver illness. He was ordered to pay $294,000 back to the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Democrat Governor of Oklahoma David Lee Walters made a deal with prosecutors in 1993 where Walters pleaded guilty to one of the eight felony counts he faced for allegedly violating campaign contribution laws, perjury and conspiracy to hide donations.

I am going to take some time to humanize David L. Walters who carried seventy-five of the state’s seventy-seven counties in the general election. He earned an Industrial Engineering Degree from the University of Oklahoma and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Harvard University.

Walters began his professional career as an administrator at the University of Oklahoma and then entered private business as head of two real estate companies. Governor George P. Nigh asked him to serve as co-chair of the one-hundred-member Commission on Government Reform in 1984 and later appointed him to serve on the Oklahoma Human Services Commission.

Walters failed in his first bid for the governor’s office in 1986, losing to Republican Henry Bellmon after winning the Democrat nomination. In 1990 Walters campaigned on a platform of no new taxes without public approval, his promise to run state government like a business, his support for term limits, and his support for education reforms. Walters’s election signaled a desire of the public to elect a real outsider. Since the election of Robert S. Kerr nearly a half-century before, no other governor had been chosen who had not previously held elective public office.

Walters’s administration made major capital improvements on Oklahoma’s higher education campuses. The governor launched major initiatives in children’s, rural development, and welfare reform programs. His Quality Jobs program was nationally recognized. He successfully sponsored significant workers’ compensation reform. A widely respected technology magazine recognized Walters as the nation’s leading governor in the introduction of technology to government applications.

Tragedy struck the Walters family when son Shaun died in December 1991. An overdose of prescription medication came after heavy press coverage of a police search in Shaun’s Norman apartment that uncovered a single seed thought to be marijuana, an assumption overturned later by law enforcement tests. The family was devastated, and all Oklahomans mourned the loss. Shaun’s death changed Governor Walters’s outlook on political life. Asked if he would run for Governor if he had it to do all over again, Walters replied, “No, I would not. I lost my son because I ran for public office.”

In order to honor the memory of their late son and children of all Oklahoma Governors, the Walters commissioned in 1994 a bronze sculpture to be placed on the Governor’s Mansion grounds to honor children of past, present, and future Oklahoma Governors. The red granite base of the sculpture includes the names of all the children of Oklahoma chief executives. The youngest Walters daughter, Elizabeth, was a model for the girl, and the boy in the sculpture was modeled after Shaun. Private donations, assisted by former Governors Boren and Nigh, funded the fifty-thousand-dollar sculpture by Lena Beth Frazier of Norman.

After three years of investigation of alleged campaign contribution irregularities and “fearing that the continued negative attacks could further damage his family,” Governor Walters asked prosecutors what they wanted to end the process. An agreement was reached that the Governor would plead guilty to a misdemeanor offense and pay a fine and the record would be expunged in twelve months. Walters claimed his innocence but said it was in the best interest of the state and his family to accept the plea agreement. Walters did not run for reelection in 1994 and entered the international independent power business.
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There is probably a moral to this story somewhere but one thing is clear. Justice is not blind nor is it applied equally and that is sad.

Follow Gene McVay Back to 1917

September 1, 2018

Will you follow Gene McVay back in time to 101 years ago?

In 1917, the US ordered General Pershing to end his drive against Pancho Villa. Pershing was unhappy about it and complained that we “are now sneaking home under cover, like a whipped curr with its tail between its legs.”

On Feb 3rd the US severed diplomatic relations with Germany.

On Mar 1st Germany sent a secret message known as the Zimmermann Telegram. It offered to return to Mexico border states that the US took from Mexico after the US-Mexican War if Mexico would join Germany against the US. The British intercepted the telegram and the US government made the text of the telegram public.

On Mar 4th Woodrow Wilson began his second term as president. Jeannette Rankin of Montana became the first woman member of the House of Representatives.

On Mar 5th Hitler was on duty in Munich after having been wounded and hospitalized. He was appalled by the apathy and anti-war sentiment among German civilians. He eagerly returned to his regiment at the front to fight the Battle of Arras.

On Apr 2nd Wilson is overwhelmed by public opinion. His advisers favor war against Germany, and after Russia overthrew its Tsar it is argued that the US would be fighting a war against autocracy. Wilson tells Congress that the US will not choose “the path of submission” and asks Congress for a declaration of war on Germany to make the world “safe for democracy.”

On Apr 6th the House of Representatives votes 373 to 50 in favor of declaring war, and the Senate votes in favor by 82 to 6. Congress goes wild with joy.

On May 18th Congress passes the Selective Service Act, giving the President the power to draft people into the military.

On Jul 28th A parade in silence is organized by the NAACP in New York to protest the East St. Louis Riot of July 2 and lynchings in Texas and Tennessee.

On Dec 18th in the new atmosphere of righteousness in war and creation of a more perfect and moral United States, the US Congress passed a law amending the US Constitution – the 18th Amendment – prohibiting the manufacture, sale or transportation of alcoholic beverages.

General of the Armies, John Joseph “Black Jack” Pershing would go on to command the American Expeditionary Force in Europe during World War I. He had been the president and first captain of the West Point class of 1886.

The average life expectancy for men was 47 years.

Fuel for cars was sold in drug stores only.

Only 14 percent of the homes had a bathtub.

Only 8 percent of the homes had a telephone.

The maximum speed limit in most cities was 10 mph.

The tallest structure in the world was the Eiffel Tower

The average US wage in 1910 was 22 cents per hour.

The average US worker made between $200 and $400 per year.

A competent accountant could expect to earn $2000 per year.

A dentist $2,500 per year

A veterinarian between $1,500 and $4,000 per year.

And, a mechanical engineer about $5,000 per year.

More than 95 percent of all births took place at home.

Ninety percent of all Doctors had NO COLLEGE EDUCATION!

Instead, they attended so-called medical schools, many of which were
condemned in the press AND the government as “substandard.”

Sugar cost four cents a pound.

Eggs were fourteen cents a dozen.

Coffee was fifteen cents a pound.

Most women only washed their hair once a month, and, used Borax or
egg yolks for shampoo.

Canada passed a law that prohibited poor people from entering into
their country for any reason.

The Five leading causes of death were:
1. Pneumonia and influenza
2. Tuberculosis
3. Diarrhea
4. Heart disease
5. Stroke

The American flag had 45 stars ..

The population of Las Vegas, Nevada was only 30.

Crossword puzzles, canned beer, and iced tea hadn’t been invented
yet

There was neither a Mother’s Day nor a Father’s Day.

Two out of every 10 adults couldn’t read or write.

And, only 6 percent of all Americans had graduated from high school.

Marijuana, heroin, and morphine were all available over the counter
at local corner drugstores.

Back then pharmacists said, “Heroin clears the complexion, gives
buoyancy to the mind, regulates the stomach, bowels, and is, in fact, a
perfect guardian of health!” (Shocking?)

Eighteen percent of households had at least one full-time servant or
domestic help.

There were about 230 reported murders in the ENTIRE U.S.A.!

Since our history is no longer taught in our public schools and colleges, occasionally old Gene McVay will share a little.

WHAT HAVE YOU DONE FOR FREEDOM?

August 30, 2018

I know many great people have sacrificed a great deal for America. Many of us fought and bled for America and successfully sought out and killed the enemy.

Unfortunately, it was not enough. If we sit silent and submissive any longer, the globalist, socialist, Marxist minority will reduce America to an empty shell.

Do you think the corrupt fake news media just arrived in America by way of the hole in the border fence? In the past the media was much more clever and deceptive. Occasionally, they would report actual news.

Ronald Reagan was sworn in as President more than 37 years ago. Since I was a GS-13 in the government and a Lieutenant Colonel in the Air Force Reserves, President Reagan was my Commander in Chief and my ultimate civil service boss. Of the eight Presidents I served, Reagan was the best by a country mile.

Do you think the news media embraced President Reagan with open arms like they did Kennedy, Clinton and Obama? Hardly!

From depicting Reagan as a puppet of the rich whose economic policies were cruel towards the poor and minorities, to denying his foreign policy vision helped lead to the downfall of the Soviet Union, the media did their best to trash our 40th President.

At the end of his presidency, a great many people thought he’d made the wealthy wealthier and had not improved life particularly for the middle class.

As I hear the eulogies from the corrupt media for Senator John McCain, I remember that there were no such eulogies for President Ronald Reagan. Some of the comments are included in my epistle.

While 90% of the President Trump coverage is negative, judge for yourself how the talking heads treated the Gipper.

“Despite the accolades lavished upon Reagan since his death Saturday — for ending the Cold War, for restoring the nation’s optimism — his many detractors remember him as a right-wing ideologue beholden to monied interests and insensitive to the needs of the most vulnerable Americans.” Peter Jennings talking to co-host Charles Gibson on ABC’s Good Morning America, June 10, 2004

~~~ “Elected on a promise to slash taxes and crack down on freeloading ‘welfare queens,’ Reagan depicted government as wasteful and minimized its capacity to help people, ideas that survive today. Reagan also dealt a blow to organized labor by firing the striking air traffic controllers, and appointed Antonin Scalia, still the Supreme Court’s most conservative jurist.”

“Reagan’s weakening of the social safety net by dismantling longtime Democratic ‘Great Society’ programs arguably vexes his critics the most. By persuading Congress to approve sweeping tax cuts for the wealthy while slashing welfare benefits and other social services like the federal housing assistance program, Reagan was blamed for a huge surge in the nation’s poor and homeless population.”
— Beth Fouhy in an AP story headlined: “Many Still Troubled by Reagan’s Legacy,” June 9, 2004.

~~~CBS’s Morley Safer: “You talk about a vision, and it’s some kind of abstract, vague idea. Did his [Ronald Reagan’s] vision include extraordinary deficits? Did his vision include cutting of the budgets for education and a back of the hand in terms of public education?”

Larry King: “History will not be kind to him?”

Safer: “No, I don’t think history particularly will be kind….I don’t think history has any reason to be kind to him.” CNN’s Larry King Live, June 14, 2004.

~~~“Most of those who are physically, economically or otherwise disadvantaged, deeply resented and still resent his insistence that government is the problem, not the solution. Severe and continuing cutbacks in government services to the poor and vulnerable resulted, and the gulf dividing rich from poor widened.” Former New York Times Washington Bureau Chief R. W. “Johnny” Apple in a June 11 “news analysis.

~~~“After eight years of what many saw as the Reagan administration’s benign neglect of the poor and studied indifference to civil rights, a lot of those who lived through this week in Overtown seemed to think the best thing about George Bush is that he is not Ronald Reagan….There is an Overtown in every big city in America. Pockets of misery made even meaner and more desperate the past eight years.” ABC’s Richard Threlkeld reporting from a section of Miami where there had been riots, on World News Tonight, January 20, 1989.

~~~“Senator, don’t you believe, a lot of people do think that the ‘80s were an excess, which a lot of people got richer and people got poorer, and it’s now fair to redress that balance?”
— Sam Donaldson to Robert Dole on This Week with David Brinkley, Feb. 21, 1993.

~~~ “In the greedy excesses of the Reagan years, the mean income of the average physician nearly doubled, from $88,000 to $170,000. Was that warranted?”
— Bryant Gumbel to Dr. Richard Corlin of the American Medical Association, March 31, 1993 Today.

~~~“Before Reagan, people sleeping in the street were so rare that, outside of skid rows, they were almost a curiosity. After eight years of Reaganomics – and the slashes in low-income housing and social welfare programs that went along with it – they were seemingly everywhere. And America had a new household term: ‘The homeless.’” Reporter Kevin Fagan in the June 10, 2004 San Francisco Chronicle.

~~~“I used to say I thought if you were down on your luck and you got through the Secret Service, got in the Oval Office and said, Mr. President, ‘I’m down on my luck,’ he would literally give you the shirt off his back. And then he’d sit down in his undershirt and he’d sign legislation throwing your kids off school lunch program, maybe your parents off Social Security, and of course the Welfare Queen off of welfare.” ABC’s Sam Donaldson, who covered the White House during the 1980s, on Good Morning America, June 11, 2004.

 

~~~“All of us who covered the Reagans agreed that President Reagan was personable and charming, but I’m not so certain he was nice. It’s hard for me to think of anyone as nice when I hear him say ‘The homeless are homeless because they want to be homeless.’ To my mind, a President should care about all people, and he didn’t, which is why I will always feel Reagan lacked soul.” UPI White House reporter Helen Thomas in the July 1993 Good Housekeeping.

~~~“There is still, of course, much anger in many communities. Joining me from Savannah, Georgia, Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Fauci, thanks for being with us tonight. Dr. Fauci, the San Francisco Chronicle said that Ronald Reagan was guilty, and I quote, of a ‘shameful abdication of leadership in the fight against AIDS.’ If he had been more vocal and compassionate early on would it have made a difference?” CNN’s Anderson Cooper during a segment on the Reagan administration’s handling of AIDS aired on CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360 June 8, 2004.

~~~“The Reagan Administration has made a bad situation worse in two ways: first, by convincing the Soviet leaders that the U.S. no longer accepts military parity as the basis for relations with Moscow; second, by challenging the legitimacy of the Soviet regime, calling the USSR an ‘evil empire’ doomed to fail.” Time’s Strobe Talbott on pre-Olympics U.S.-Soviet relations, May 21, 1984 issue.

~~~ “Some say Ronald Reagan won the Cold War by spending so much on defense that the Kremlin went bankrupt trying to keep up. That won’t wash. During Reagan’s presidency the United States itself became a bankrupt country.” Commentator (and former anchor) John Chancellor on the November 20, 1990 NBC Nightly News.

~~~“The Soviet Union collapsed, the Cold War ended almost overwhelmingly because of internal contradictions and pressures within the Soviet Union and the Soviet system itself. And even if Jimmy Carter had been reelected and been followed by Walter Mondale, something like what we have now seen probably would have happened.” Time Editor-at-Large Strobe Talbott on Inside Washington, September 21, 1991.

~~~“The Reagan presidency also saw….the Iran/Contra affair, the near tripling of the national debt, the fact that 30 – count em 30 – of his administration staffers would serve time in jail for bribery, corruption and influence peddling.” Keith Olbermann on MSNBC’s Countdown, June 7, 2004.

~~~“Can you tell, Thelma,…if the crowds really look like America? Are they ethnically diverse – African-Americans, Hispanic-Americans – or is it largely white?” CNN’s Wolf Blitzer asking reporter Thelma Gutierrez about the crowds at Reagan’s presidential library during live coverage on June 8, 2004.

~~~Ted Koppel: “There were some fairly contentious issues and he was a fairly controversial President – we’ve more or less overlooked much of that over the past week. But I suspect as his friends and supporters try to raise to him to the very heights there, and perhaps find a place for him on Mount Rushmore, that some of that controversy and some of the debate will come back.”
Peter Jennings: “No doubt about it.” Exchange during ABC’s live coverage of Reagan funeral events on June 11, 2004.
………………


In conclusion, the simple truth is that it’s us against them. Their agenda is not our agenda. If you try reaching across the aisle you’re likely to grasp a rattlesnake. It was like that long before the Democrats fired on Fort Sumpter and for 100 years after the Civil War while they were blocking the doors of high schools to prevent Black America Citizens from getting an education.

Your kids are not and will not be taught true history in public schools and the news media will not broadcast the real news. That is up to us. If we don’t do it, who will? The John Brummett Democrat-Gazette wants us to remain silent. All of the corrupt media wants President Trump to stop Tweeting and they want you and me to do the same thing.

I am begging you to get louder and more engaged in the battle for America. Will you?

People Who Hate President Trump are Seething with Hatred

August 28, 2018

I talk to people regularly who don’t simply disapprove of President Trump or dislike him, they hate him. When talking about our President, their whole demeanor changes.

When I try to understand why they hate him so passionately, it’s not easy to put my finger on it. I think some of it is the vast cultural difference. My High School class traveled from friendly little Mountain Home, Arkansas to DC and New York City for our Senior Trip a long time ago. We spoke to people we passed on the sidewalk in Mountain Home and if someone was passed out on the sidewalk we helped them. In New York it’s best not to look at people you pass on a sidewalk and folks simply avoid or step over passed out human beings. New Yorkers don’t care if they hurt your feelings when they deal with each other.

Donald Trump was born and raised in the New York City borough of Queens, the easternmost and largest in area of the five boroughs.

Queens is the fourth-most densely populated county among New York City’s boroughs, as well as in the United States. If each of New York City’s boroughs was an independent city, Queens also would be the nation’s fourth most populous, after Los Angeles, Chicago and Brooklyn. In addition, Queens is the most ethnically diverse urban area in the entire world.

Queens was established in 1683 as one of the original 12 counties of New York. The settlement was presumably named for the Portuguese Princess Catherine of Braganza (1638–1705), Queen of England, Scotland, and Ireland.

Queens has the most diversified economy of the five boroughs of New York City. It is home to JFK International Airport and LaGuardia Airport. These airports are among the worlds busiest, in turn giving Queens the busiest airspace in the United States. I spent time in Queens where I trained in a flight simulator for a couple of weeks.

I loved having lunch in the Marine Air Terminal located at LaGuardia Airport, the only active airport terminal dating from the first generation of passenger travel in the United States, a.k.a. the “Golden age of the flying boat.”

The first flight from the Marine Air Terminal by a Pan American Clipper departed on March 31, 1940, carrying a crew of 10, nine passengers and over 5,000 pounds of mail. It landed in Lisbon, Portugal 18 hours and 30 minutes later. The Pan American Clippers – with a wing span of 152 feet, a cruising speed of 200 mph and a capacity to carry 72 passengers – were luxurious. The two-deck interior featured dining rooms, private compartments and sleeping sections. The Marine Air Terminal was referred to as the Pan Am Building by the locals.

I know I get carried away sometimes but I love history and I want everybody to know that the people in New York are not exactly like people from Arkansas but we are all people and we are all products of our environment. While I was fighting with bullies in Mountain Home, the Donald was fighting with bullies on the streets of New York. When I was watching the Razorbacks or Travelers play baseball, Trump was watching the Yankees or the Mets. We were both eating hot dogs.

As I see it, the people who hate Trump don’t like the blunt way he talks and his demeanor. The brilliant talking heads like Brian Kilmeade and Glenn Beck have had advice for Trump from the beginning. He should do this or he should stop doing that. I have advice for all those talking heads, step up to the plate and run for President. The fact is that if Trump had listened to you guys, Trump would not be President, period.

The people who hate Trump seem to want a President who measures and carefully divides his words. Maybe runs his words by a committee? Trump shouldn’t be spontaneous like JFK when he said, “ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” Just kidding, I’ll always believe somebody wrote that for Kennedy.

Maybe Trump should be Presidential with quotes like these:

“The finest steel has to go through the hottest fire.

Never let your head hang down. Never give up and sit down and grieve. Find another way. And don’t pray when it rains if you don’t pray when the sun shines.

A man is not finished when he is defeated. He is finished when he quits.” ~Richard M. Nixon

Or maybe President Trump could tweet:

“We all do better when we work together. Our differences do matter, but our common humanity matters more.

People are more impressed by the power of our example rather than the example of our power…

There is nothing wrong with America that cannot be cured by what is right with America.” ~Bill Clinton

Or better yet, President Trump might really wax inspiring like this:

“This country is ready for a transformative politics of the sort that John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan and Franklin Roosevelt represented.

Too many times, after the election is over and the confetti is swept away, all those promises fade from memory, and the lobbyists and special interests move in, and people turn away, disappointed as before, left to struggle on their own.

Look, you know, when you’re in this job, I think, uh—every president who’s had it is constantly humbled by the degree to which there are a lot of issues out there, and the notion that one person alone can solve all these problems—I think you’re cured of that illusion very quickly.

You know, this is a town where once a screw-up happens, people can’t just say, ‘OK, that was a screw-up and let’s fix it.’ There has to be, you know, two weeks’ worth of cable chatter about it.

I believe marriage is between a man and a woman. I am not in favor of gay marriage. But when you start playing around with constitutions, just to prohibit somebody who cares about another person, it just seems to me that’s not what America’s about. Usually, our constitutions expand liberties, they don’t contract them”. ~Barack Obama

Unfortunately, the Trump haters can’t get beyond their hate or what is said about our President on CNN, NPR, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, NBC and most talk shows. None of the positive changes made by President Trump will ever make the evening news in America.

I didn’t care much for Jimmy Carter, Gerald Ford, Bill Clinton, Barack Obama or the Bushes but I don’t hate them. I have also lost all respect for the above mentioned fake news networks.

Is Healthcare Spending a Train Wreck?

August 16, 2018

Since those paid to inform the public about our nation’s healthcare problems are profiting from our healthcare mess, they’re not going to rock the boat. That leaves the nation’s whipping boy, Gene McVay, to stand on the soapbox and take the slings and arrows. You’re welcome.

You probably don’t think much about the totality of the healthcare behemoth when you trot down to the Doctor’s Office with an ailment. Why should you? Coping with life and putting food on the table is daunting enough for the average person.

The United States spends more than $2.6 trillion on healthcare or about one fifth of our gross domestic product. Of course, that is MUCH MORE than any other country on this planet by a wide margin.

There are many reasons for our big government healthcare debacle and maybe I can expose those reasons using my training as an Intelligence Analyst at the National Security Agency. It goes beyond the mounds of regulations and laws that add costs and complexity to healthcare and create a firewall between patients and Doctors.

We pay our doctors, hospitals and other medical providers in ways that reward doing more, rather than being efficient.

Most big healthcare insurers, including Medicare, pay doctors, hospitals and other medical providers under a fee-for-service system that reimburses for each test, procedure or visit. Coupled with a medical system that is not integrated, this encourages overtreatment, including repetitive tests.

There are efforts in the federal healthcare law and among some private insurers to move payments toward a flat rate for a specific condition, such as a knee replacement, or for a patient’s entire episode of care, in order to streamline costs. Medical systems and doctors are also looking to electronic medical records as a way to improve coordination and reduce unnecessary repeated tests. Does that give you a warm fuzzy feeling? It’s 2018 and our medical records are still being chiseled on stone tablets. There is no logical reason why health records were not standardized and digitized 30 years ago! Some Stone Age hospitals still hand patients a clipboard with a stack of forms to be filled out. Those clipboards have more germs than the door handles on the inside of their restrooms. All the information they request already resides in the bowels of the hospital but finding it would be like finding your old football jersey in your attic.

As for a flat rate for specific conditions, if you saw that dollar amount you would likely go into shock and have a stroke on the spot. There is an Oklahoma surgery facility that publishes their prices. The Surgery Center of Oklahoma is a Doctor owned facility that is performing operations for less than the deductible in some cases and you know what it will cost before you go under the knife. Your insurance company will probably not pay for your operation there because there is not enough slop for them to make a killing. If a hospital charges you $100 for an aspirin that costs them a penny, there’s plenty of wiggle room for every layer of inefficiency to pocket some of your cash.

If you took the time to see how much money the big pharmaceutical companies, healthcare insurance companies, hospital conglomerates and nursing home owners donate to your Governor, Legislators and federal politicians, you might need resuscitated.

The bribes that recently resulted in prosecutions in Arkansas are not reported on campaign finance reports but the legal amount these politicians receive is a game changer. Where do you think the lobbyists get all that money? Ultimately, it comes out of our pockets when we pay $100 for an aspirin or our life savings for a nursing home stay.

I am not going to ignore the fact that we are getting older and fatter. The baby boom generation is heading into retirement with enrollment in Medicare set to grow by an average of 1.6 million people annually. Additionally, nearly half the U.S. population has one or more chronic conditions such as asthma, heart disease or diabetes, which drive up costs. Two-thirds of adults are either overweight or obese, which can also lead to chronic illness and additional medical spending. If that is not bad enough, millions of Americans are smoking and using illegal drugs as a form of self destruction.

If a cure for some illness was invented today, it would be obsolete long before it could be approved by the government bureaucracy. The path to approval would bankrupt George Soros or Bill Gates. Americans are flying to foreign countries to save their lives because our government is protecting them by denying them medical treatment. President Trump is trying to make experimental treatments available to terminally ill patients but establishment Republicans, Democrats, Judges, the corrupt media and every federal agency will fight him with all their strength. Should American’s have to go to the Congo or India for medical treatment?

One thing you can bank on, every new treatment will be more expensive than the old treatment.

The majority of people with insurance get it through their jobs. The amount employers pay toward coverage is tax deductible for the firm and tax exempt to the worker, thus encouraging more expensive health plans with richer benefits. How that coverage is designed also plays a role: Low deductibles or small office co-payments can encourage overuse of care. Increasingly, however, employers are moving toward high-deductible coverage as a way to slow premium growth and require workers to pay more toward the cost of care. In Fort Smith, business is booming at a community clinic because people with healthcare insurance can’t afford $200 copay and $6,000 deductible.

While medical journals, the Internet and talking heads on TV are saturated with health information and studies, professionals and patients find there is no broad standard for evaluating individual treatments, or how specific treatments compare with others. Even when evidence shows a treatment isn’t effective, or is potentially harmful, it can take a long time for that information to actually change how doctors practice or what patients demand. One of my friends was on a vacation in China when he had a heart attack. Guess what, people have heart attacks all over the world and receive treatment. We have been practicing medicine in America for about 500 years. In China, they have been practicing medicine for thousands of years. Chinese patients have a choice between modern medicine and traditional medicine so a nurse might be pushing a cart down the hall with pills next to potions and herbs. There are probably cures that have been known in China since Columbus discovered America that are unknown in America?

While mergers or partnerships among medical providers or insurers may improve efficiency and help drive down prices, consolidation can also have the opposite effect, allowing near-monopolies in some markets and driving up prices. Increasingly, hospitals are buying up rivals and directly employing physicians, creating larger medical systems. Unfortunately, in my opinion these conglomerates are focused on profit instead of patients. Yes, that includes the not-for-profit hospitals.

Just like schools have more librarians, bus drivers, coaches and cafeteria workers than teachers, hospitals have more administrators than Doctors.

The number of physicians in the United States grew 150 percent between 1975 and 2010, roughly in keeping with population growth, while the number of healthcare administrators increased 3,200 percent for the same time period. This is not a typo! Please don’t call me a dishonest because you are not paying attention.

Some claim the huge number of administrators is needed to keep pace with the drastic changes in healthcare delivery during that timeframe, particularly change driven by technology and by ever-more-complex regulations and laws thanks to your smiley faced politicians and bureaucrats.

The simple truth is that the army of administrators does little to relieve the documentation burden on clinicians, while creating layers of high-salaried bureaucratic expansion in healthcare organizations.

The bottom line is that the increase in the number of administrators has created a huge burden on physicians. For physicians, the focus is always on the patient. There’s only one person that makes the key diagnostic and other decisions on behalf of the patient and that’s the doctor.

Since the early 1980s, there has been a consolidation and aggregation of larger and larger physician groups in our health system, some affiliated with one or more hospitals. Then there’s the trend of hospitals merging into larger networks. All of that introduces a level of complexity that has grown exponentially and the degree of external regulatory requirements has also skyrocketed.

I’m just an old retired fighter pilot but I believe the sheer number of administrators is compromising relations between physicians and patients and helping drive healthcare costs into the stratosphere.

There has been a fundamental change in the business model, thanks to the astronomical changes of regulations and public reporting requirements. Automation and electronic medical records have actually not led to a workforce reduction. What’s increased is the amount of support needed to make those systems work.

My mother used a Doctor in Mountain Home Arkansas who had a small office in a drug store. He charged $5 for an office visit and made a very good living and donated a lot of money to the local college. If he could see what healthcare has become and the costs associated with the change, he would need to be resuscitated.

The healthcare industrial complex is paying bean counters more than Doctors in many cases. President Eisenhower would never believe the military industrial complex would become peanuts in comparison.

In the 1970s, the hospital was seen as an open workshop where doctors brought their patients and worked largely independent of the hospital. Now, more than 50 percent of physicians are employed by hospitals and work in large specialty groups. They’re being asked to follow protocols within a hospital system and report to administrators.

I understand how things work since several Doctors and a clinic was under my command and my responsibility in the military. That didn’t make me a Doctor! I never made an incision, examined a prostate or otherwise come between a Doctor and a patient. The healthcare administration should be a tool to help relieve physicians of administrative and clerical burden, which detracts from patient care and contributes to physician burnout. Beyond that, the best way to improve the quality of care that patients receive is to have a strong partnership between physicians and administrators so that both understand the complexity of how “quality” is defined and reported, and both understand the real-life details of high-quality care at the bedside.

Health systems should be more welcoming to physicians who want to be involved in administrative medicine. There needs to be a common understanding that the term physician-administrator does not require that a physician stop caring for patients. Physicians have to have the opportunity to be involved in administrative roles and continue to practice if that is their desire.

Malpractice premiums and jury awards are part of what drives spending. A larger problem, although hard to quantify, is “defensive medicine” where doctors prescribe unnecessary tests or treatment out of fear of facing a lawsuit. Fraudulent billing or unnecessary tests by medical providers seeking to “game the system” are another real problem. Do you think politicians, who receive huge political contributions from the healthcare industrial complex, are going to bite the hand that feeds them?

State laws limit the ability of nurse practitioners or other medical professionals, who are paid less than doctors, to fully perform work for which they are trained. The U.S. faces a shortage of primary care doctors, so more advanced practice nurses and others will be needed to help care for patients who gain insurance coverage under socialized healthcare laws.

Doctors believe that 21 percent of all medical care is unnecessary, including 22 percent of prescriptions, 25 percent of tests and 11 percent of procedures.

Nearly 85 percent of Doctors said the reason for overtreatment was fear of malpractice suits, but that fear is probably exaggerated since only 2 to 3 percent of patients pursue litigation, and paid claims have declined sharply in recent decades.

Nearly 60 percent of doctors said patients demand unnecessary treatment. A smaller number thought that limited access to medical records led to the problem.

More than 70 percent of doctors conceded that physicians are more likely to perform unnecessary procedures when they profit from them, while only 9.2 percent said that their own financial security was a factor.

My Flight Surgeon, who became the head of the Arkansas Health Department, once told me that his professor in Medical School told him that about 75 percent of his patients would get well whether he did anything or not and that 2 percent would die regardless of how much effort he put into saving them. Then he told my Flight Surgeon to try not to kill the other 23 percent. My percentages may be a little off but you get the idea.

You have seen the kind of leadership we have in Congress, the DOJ, FBI, CIA, NSA, IRS, Veterans Affairs and the rest, do you think we have better leadership in the healthcare cartel? Do you think your state politicians have the capacity or will to even begin to understand the problem and formulate a solution?

We have placed our hope in Barney Fife and Gomer Pyle. Next January the three stooges will join them and together all our problems will be solved.

And now, Gene McVay returns you to Maxine Waters and John Brennen who will call the President of the United States a “Low down, lying skunk.”

Does Police Corruption Exist in your State or City?

July 26, 2018

Police corruption is the abuse of police authority for personal gain. Corruption may involve profit or another type of material benefit gained illegally as a consequence of the officer’s authority. Typical forms of corruption include bribery, extortion, receiving or fencing stolen goods, and selling drugs. The term also refers to patterns of misconduct within a given police department or special unit, particularly where offenses are repeated with the acquiescence of superiors or through other ongoing failure to correct them.

Safeguards against police misconduct exist throughout the law. Police departments themselves establish codes of conduct, train new recruits, and investigate and discipline officers, sometimes in cooperation with civilian complaint review boards which are intended to provide independent evaluative and remedial advice. Protections are also found in state law, which permits victims to sue police for damages in civil actions. Typically, these actions are brought for claims such as the use of excessive force (“police brutality”), false arrest and imprisonment, malicious prosecution, and wrongful death. State actions may be brought simultaneously with additional claims for constitutional violations.

Through both criminal and civil statutes, federal law specifically targets police misconduct. Federal law is applicable to all state, county, and local officers, including those who work in correctional facilities. The key federal criminal statute makes it unlawful for anyone acting with police authority to deprive or conspire to deprive another person of any right protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States (Section 18 U.S.C. § 241 [2000]). Another statute, commonly referred to as the police misconduct provision, makes it unlawful for state or local police to engage in a pattern or practice of conduct that deprives persons of their rights (42 U.S.C.A. 14141 [2000]).

Additionally, federal law prohibits discrimination in police work. Any police department receiving federal funding is covered by Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. § 2000d) and the Office of Justice Programs statute (42 U.S.C. § 3789d[c]), which prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, and religion. These laws prohibit conduct ranging from racial slurs and unjustified arrests to the refusal of departments to respond to discrimination complaints.

Because neither the federal criminal statute nor the civil police misconduct provision provides for lawsuits by individuals, only the federal government may bring suit under these laws. Enforcement is the responsibility of the justice department. Criminal convictions are punishable by fines and imprisonment. Civil convictions are remedied through injunctive relief, a type of court order that requires a change in behavior; typically, resolutions in such cases force police departments to stop abusive practices, institute types of reform, or submit to court supervision.

Private litigation against police officers or departments is difficult. Besides time and expense, a significant hurdle to success is found in the legal protections that police enjoy. Since the late twentieth century, many court decisions have expanded the powers of police to perform routine stops and searches. Plaintiffs generally must prove willful or unlawful conduct on the part of police; showing mere negligence or other failure of due care by police officers often does not suffice in court.

Most problematically of all for plaintiffs, police are protected by the defense of immunity—an exemption from penalties and burdens that the law generally places on other citizens. This immunity is limited, unlike the absolute immunity enjoyed by judges or legislators. In theory, the defense allows police to do their job without fear of reprisal. In practice, however, it has become increasingly difficult for individuals to sue law enforcement officers for damages for allegedly violating their civil rights. U.S. Supreme Court decisions have continually asserted the general rule that officers must be given the benefit of the doubt that they acted lawfully in carrying out their day-to-day duties, a position reasserted in Saucier v. Katz, 533 U.S. 194, 121 S. Ct. 2151, 150 L. Ed. 2d 272 (2001).

Society has grappled with misconduct and corruption issues for as long as it has had police officers. Through the mid-to-late nineteenth century, private police forces were commonplace, and agents of Pinkerton’s and other for hire services became notorious as the muscle employers used to violently end strikes. Heavy handed law enforcement as well as vigilantism by groups such as the racist ku klux klan spurred passage of the civil rights act of 1871, which criminalized acting under state law to deprive a person of constitutional or other rights under federal law. section 1983 of the act remains a critical tool in the early 2000s for enforcing constitutional rights, with direct applicability to police misconduct cases.

The twentieth century saw multiple legal, administrative, and scholarly approaches to the problem. Some developments bore indirectly upon police misconduct, such as the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which gave new protections to citizens who had long suffered discriminatory policing. Additionally, a string of landmark Supreme Court decisions during the era gave new force both to individual privacy rights as well as to curbs upon police power: highly influential cases resulted in the strengthening of fourth amendment rights against unreasonable search and seizure, evidentiary rules forbidding the use at trial of evidence tainted by unconstitutional police actions, and the establishment of the so-called Miranda Warning requiring officers to advise detained suspects of their constitutional rights.

While these decisions profoundly shaped the legal and social landscape, renewed focus on police misconduct and corruption occurred in the latter part of the century. As the pioneering criminologist Herman Goldstein argued, traditional views were based on the assumption that police abuse reflected the moral failings of individual officers—the so-called “bad cop.” Public scandals began to shape a new view of the problem. In 1971, New York City organized the Knapp Commission to hold hearings on the extent of corruption in the city’s police department. Police officer Frank Serpico’s startling testimony against fellow officers not only revealed systemic corruption but highlighted a longstanding obstacle to investigating these abuses: the fraternal understanding among police officers known variously as “the Code of Silence” and “the Blue Curtain” under which officers regard testimony against a fellow officer as betrayal.

Broader recognition of the problem brought more ambitious reform efforts in the 1980s and 1990s. Spurred by the work of criminologists such as Goldstein and others, police departments sought to improve organizational rules, training, and prevention and control mechanisms. Such efforts are reflected in the publication of a code of police conduct by the International Association of Chiefs of Police, more rigorous training for officers, and experimented with so-called community policing programs to improve ties between officers and the public. Several cities established joint police and civilian complaint review boards to give citizens a larger role in what traditionally had been a closed, internal process by police departments.

Among the most dramatic examples of system-wide reform is New York City’s response to long-standing brutality, discrimination, and corruption within the New York City Police Department (NYPD). After flirting with civilian review of complaints against police in the 1960s, the city committed to it after public outcry over the videotaping of officers beating citizens who violated curfew in 1988. The city subsequently established its Civilian Complaint Review Board, which became an all-civilian agency in 1993. In 1992, responding to new complaints, Mayor David N. Dinkins appointed the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Police Corruption and the Anti-Corruption Procedures of the Police Department, known as the Mollen Commission. Two years later, the commission concluded that the city had alternated between cycles of corruption and reform. Afterwards, in 1995, Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani established the full-time Commission to Combat Police Corruption (CCPC) as an entity independent from the police department. The CCPC monitors

The NYPD anti-corruption policies and procedures, conducts audits, and issues public reports.

Despite legal safeguards and well-intentioned reforms, police problems have continued to produce headlines. The exact scope of misconduct is unknown. Misconduct complaints can be quantified on a city-by-city basis, but these data are often subjective, and far more complaints are filed than ever are evaluated at trial. Corruption is even harder to measure. As the National Institute of Justice acknowledged in its May 2000 report, The Measurement of Police Integrity, most corruption incidents go unreported, and data that do exist “are best regarded as measures of a police agency’s anticorruption activity, not the actual level of corruption.”

During the late 1990s, highly-publicized cases in New York, New Jersey, Texas, Detroit, and Cleveland exposed an apparently new trend: police drug corruption. In the Cleveland case alone, the FBI arrested 42 officers from five law enforcement agencies in 1998 on charges of conspiracy to distribute cocaine. In a 1998 report to U.S. Congressman Charles B. Rangel, the federal general accounting office (GAO) found evidence of growing police involvement in drug sales, theft of drugs and money from drug dealers, and perjured testimony about illegal searches. The GAO survey of police commission reports and academic research suggested a troubling new dimension previously not seen in studies of police corruption. Traditionally, police corruption had been understood to involve individuals acting alone, but the new trend revealed officers working in small groups to protect and assist each other.

In 1999, this pattern emerged in one of the worst police corruption scandals in U.S. history. The scandal involved the Los Angeles Police Department’s Rampart precinct and particularly its elite anti-gang unit, CRASH (Community Resources Against Street Hoodlums). Following local and federal investigations, CRASH was dismantled, some 70 officers were investigated, and several either pleaded guilty to or were convicted of crimes ranging from drug theft and peddling to assault, fabricating arrests, and filing false reports.

The Rampart scandal bore heavy costs, financially as well as in human terms. Several dozen criminal convictions credited to the work of the corrupt officers were overturned. By 2003, the city had already paid $40 million to settle lawsuits. In a settlement with the federal government in 2000, the Los Angeles City Council accepted a consent decree that placed the city’s police department under the supervision of a federal judge for five years to implement and monitor reforms.

However, reform is no panacea. Even New York City’s extensive reforms were called into doubt by two high-profile police cases in the 1990s. Both highlighted the difficulties inherent in prosecuting even apparently clear-cut misconduct. The first, in 1997, involved Haitian immigrant Abner Louima, who was shockingly beaten in a police cruiser and sodomized in a bathroom with a broom handle by four NYPD officers. Louima ultimately settled a civil case against the department for $8.7 million in 2001, one of the highest police brutality settlements ever paid and the highest by New York City since paying a $3 million settlement in the choking death of Anthony Baez in 1994.

Yet, despite much public frustration, prosecution of the officers was less conclusive. Officer Justin Volpe pleaded guilty to leading the sodomy assault and was sentenced to 30 years in prison. However, in 1999, his fellow three officers were acquitted on charges of assault in the police cruiser; one of them, officer Charles Schwarz, was convicted of violating Louima’s civil rights for holding him down during the bathroom assault. In 2000, all three were convicted of obstructing justice for their actions in covering up evidence of the attack, but these convictions were later overturned in United States v. Schwarz, 283 F.3d 76 (2d Cir. 2002). Ordered a new trial on the civil rights charge, Schwarz reached a plea bargain in September 2002, agreeing to be sentenced to a 5-year prison term.

The second New York controversy involved the killing in 1999 of an unarmed man. Four undercover police officers shot Amadou Diallo 41 times after stopping the Guinean immigrant in the vestibule of his apartment building, where, they said, he reached into his back pocket. Large public protests attracted activists such as Susan Sarandon and former New York mayor David Dinkins, who argued that the department’s so-called Aggressive Street Crimes Unit was in fact far too aggressive. In 2000, the four officers were acquitted in a trial that supporters said vindicated them but which critics blamed on lax prosecution.

Outside the courts, mounting resentment over discriminatory misconduct by police officers has occasionally led to rioting. In contemporary experience, the Los Angeles riots in 1992 followed the acquittal of white police officers charged with the videotaped beating of black motorist Rodney King. In April 2001, three days of rioting in Cincinnati followed the acquittal of a white police officer on charges of shooting Timothy Thomas, a 19-year old unarmed black man.

Cities, courts, police departments, and criminologists all continue to examine ways to bring meaningful reform to police departments. Some critics have argued that misconduct and corruption are age-old problems that resist all efforts at eradication; the best society can do, in this view, is monitor and correct. Others trace recent problems to public policy that emphasizes aggressive policing of drug, gang, and street crimes. Whatever the cause and the solution, until more efficacious remedies are found, some citizens will still require protection from the very people appointed to protect and serve them.