How Long will President Obama’s Deep State Military Hang Around?

December 16, 2018

The headlines read: Former decorated Green Beret, after years of investigations, charged in death of Taliban bomb maker!

A former Green Beret who told Fox News in 2016 that he killed a Taliban bomb maker nearly a decade ago during combat operations in Afghanistan is now being charged in the man’s death — a move his lawyer says is an act of betrayal by the Army. “I think he’s been betrayed,” his attorney, Phillip Stackhouse, told Fox News when asked how the Army has treated Golsteyn.

The once-decorated soldier, who had been on voluntary excess leave amid the latest investigation, has been living in a newly bought home with his wife and a 2-month-old baby in Virginia, working for the International Association of Firefighters, Stackhouse said.

Golsteyn was informed of the murder charge earlier this week after being ordered back into active duty.

“They have insinuated to me that they have new evidence,” Stackhouse told Fox News. “I don’t believe there is any new evidence at all.”

The murder charge facing Maj. Matthew Golsteyn comes after years of on-and-off investigations by the Army following an incident said to have taken place during his 2010 deployment. A military tribunal that probed the killing years ago cleared Golsteyn — but the investigation into him was re-opened after he spoke to Fox News’ Bret Baier.

This persecution of an American hero described in the Fox News story is right out of the Obama-era play book!

Golsteyn, in 2010, had been deployed to Afghanistan with the 3rd Special Forces Group. Two Marines in his unit during that time in the Battle of Marja ended up getting killed by booby-trapped explosives hidden in the area.

Golsteyn and his men later found the suspected Taliban bomb maker nearby and after he was detained, Golsteyn said the man refused to talk to investigators.

Golsteyn was concerned that if he released the bomb maker, he would target Afghans who were helping U.S. soldiers.

“There’s limits on how long you can hold guys,” he told Fox News’ Bret Baier in 2016. “You realize quickly that you make things worse. It is an inevitable outcome that people who are cooperating with coalition forces, when identified, will suffer some terrible torture or be killed.”

“Major Matthew Golsteyn’s immediate commander has suddenly determined that sufficient evidence exists to warrant the preferral of charges against him,” U.S. Army Special Operations Command spokesman Lt. Col. Loren Bymer told Fox News in a statement Friday. “Major Golsteyn has been charged with the murder of an Afghan male during his 2010 deployment to Afghanistan.”

The first Army investigation was undertaken after Golsteyn disclosed details of the incident during a polygraph test when he was interviewing for a job with the CIA in 2011.

Golsteyn, according to Army documents obtained by the Washington Post, reportedly told the CIA something that Stackhouse disputes – that he took the suspected bomb maker off base, shot him and buried his remains in a shallow grave before returning to the site to dig up the remains and burn them in a pit used to dispose of trash.

Stackhouse told Fox News the suspected bomb maker was released and later killed during combat operations in Marja.

Golsteyn, who had been awarded the Silver Star, the military’s third-highest award for combat valor, was initially accused of murder and conspiracy. But following the lengthy initial investigation by a military tribunal, no formal charges were filed.

Instead, Golsteyn was removed from the Special Forces and had his Silver Star taken away.

As for the latest case, Stackhouse says: “we will be relentless in defending him.”
Golsteyn told Fox News he killed him. Two years later, he is facing the murder charge.

The previous Lieutenant Lorance gross miscarriage of Justice also occurred under the likes of Commander in Chief Barack Obama!

Clint Lorance was a model soldier for ten years in the U.S. Army. Now he spends his days confined in the United States slammer. His promising career ended on July 2, 2012 when Clint, as a First Lieutenant and newly-appointed Platoon Leader in the U.S. Army, ordered his men to fire on three Afghan men approaching the Platoon’s patrol position. Clint acted solely out of a concern for the safety of his men, but was vilified as a blood-thirsty, trigger-happy soldier.

Based on this inaccurate characterization, Clint was convicted of two counts of unpremeditated murder, one count of attempted murder, and other charges. He is currently serving a 19-year sentence.

Clint’s so called crimes were the result of a fear for the safety of his men in a fast-moving, chaotic wartime situation. Despite his inexperience in leading troops in combat, Army leaders placed Clint in command of a platoon that saw frequent combat in one of the most dangerous regions of Afghanistan. In fact, at the time of his offense, Clint had been in charge for less than 48 hours. Clint’s appointment was not undertaken under positive circumstances. In the months leading up to Clint’s appointment, First Platoon sustained four casualties, including the severe injury of its lieutenant. Despite his inexperience in combat, Army leaders promoted Clint in order to shore up a broken and battered unit.

The first time Clint met his men, the war-weary soldiers of First Platoon had been removed from combat to receive combat stress medical treatment as they mourned the loss of their injured brethren. Seeing first-hand how that loss weighed on each man now under his command, Clint vowed to himself that he would do anything possible to prevent further injury or loss of life.

Clint’s determination was tested on July 2, 2012, just two days into his command of First Platoon. On that day, while leading only his second combat patrol ever, Clint was informed that three men were advancing towards the Platoon’s position on a motorcycle.

Unfortunately for Clint, he stood at the bottom of a 6-foot tall grape berm which blocked all visibility to the access road or motorcycle. A combat-experienced soldier, positioned on top of the berm could see the motorcycle and interpreted it as a hostile threat. With mere seconds to react, Clint gave that soldier permission to fire, but the nervous soldier’s shots missed the target.

Clint’s actions were the result of a young, inexperienced officer enduring the chaos of combat for the first time, but his sentence impermissibly suggests malicious intent. This result is unjust. Excessive punishment undermines the legitimacy of the criminal justice process.

How many brave WWII, Korean, Vietnam, and more recent war Veterans can now be charged with murder? My guess is that a million or more since there is no statute of limitations on murder!

Obama’s rules of engagement gave the enemy a vast advantage during his two terms when Fighter Pilots complained that they could not control their own cockpits and most returned after combat missions with 100% of their bombs and ammunition. Obama placed the lives of the enemy above the lives of our Armed Forces!

We may never know the depths the Obama Administration sunk but this should have All Americans up in arms! An Army officer who received the Medal of Honor from President Barack Obama was spied upon by military investigators after he was mentioned online in an Amazon book review by another soldier who was the subject of an investigation. That’s right, our legion of Intelligence Agencies can’t seem to spy on our enemies and stop even ONE TERRORIST ATTACK but they can spy on President Trump and an American hero!!!!

Will Swenson, who has since returned to active duty after receiving his medal for courageous service in Afghanistan, had his home put under surveillance, and had neighbors and his girlfriend questioned by military investigators, who even went through his trash — all over a response he posted on a review of a book review.

Swenson had been openly critical over the Army’s handling of a battle in which he participated. The Army later conveniently lost his paperwork for his Medal of Honor recommendation. It was resubmitted a second time.

“There’s good reason to suspect that the investigation into Swenson was really about his award, his criticism of the Army, and the hope that agents would find something to shut him up,” a source familiar with the Army investigation said. “All of the details the Army was looking to confirm were all within their reach from the beginning, without speaking to Swenson.”

The Army responded to an inquiry about the Swenson probe on Jan. 15, 2014. John McHugh, secretary of the Army, noted that the book review was what sparked investigators to target the decorated hero, who was honored at the White House in 2009 for his role in a deadly firefight in Afghanistan. How dare an American Citizen use his Freedom of Speech when it exposes the failed leadership of Barack Hussein Obama!

“Mr. Swenson had also been deployed to Afghanistan around the same time period as MAJ Golsteyn, and was potentially in the same area of operations when the alleged offenses under investigation took place,” McHugh wrote.

The Army’s Criminal Investigative Division, or CID, sent agents to question Swenson because he was thanked — along with several other people — in a paragraph-long book review.

The book was “The Wrong War” and it had been reviewed by another soldier previously under investigation, Army Major Mathew Golsteyn, the Green Beret who ultimately was stripped of his Silver Star and tossed from his Special Forces post over unproven allegations of violating rules of engagement I wrote about above.

How many brave WWII, Korean, Vietnam, and more recent war Veterans can now be charged with murder? My guess is that a million or more since there is no statute of limitations on murder!

Obama’s rules of engagement gave the enemy a vast advantage.

If Commander in Chief Trump does not purge the Army of evil forces and America hating Commanders and prosecutors, our military is doomed and American Soldiers will die!

First they came for the Afghanistan Platoon Leaders, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Platoon Leader.

Then they came for the heroic Green Berets, and I did not speak out— because I was not a heroic Green Beret.

Then they came for the Medal of Honor Recipient, and I did not speak out—because I was never awarded the Medal of Honor.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.


Is Your United States Attorney a Crook?

November 29, 2018


There is an actual newspaper in Florida that uncovered government corruption in the form of a crooked US Attorney!

I never thought I would see the day when crimes of a US Attorney would be exposed. Is this why Attorney General Jeff Sessions resigned?

Alexander Acosta, now President Donald Trump’s Secretary of Labor, was the U.S. Attorney for Southern Florida when he negotiated an end to the federal investigation of Jeffrey Epstein.

Facing a 53-page federal indictment, Epstein could have ended up in federal prison for the rest of his life.

Epstein had powerful friends including President Trump and former President Bill Clinton. Bill Clinton was a frequent flyer on a registered sex offender’s infamous jet than previously reported, with flight logs showing the former president taking at least 26 trips aboard the “Lolita Express” — even apparently ditching his Secret Service detail for at least five of the flights. Jeffrey Epstein’s Boeing 727 flight logs show trips included extended junkets around the world with Epstein and fellow passengers identified on manifests by their initials or first names, including “Tatiana.” The tricked-out jet earned its Nabakov-inspired nickname because it was reportedly outfitted with a bed where passengers had group sex with young girls.

Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov, also known by the pen name Vladimir Sirin, was a Russian-born American novelist, poet, translator and entomologist who wrote the 1955 novel “Lolita” that was ranked fourth in the list of the Modern Library 100 Best Novels.

Visitors to billionaire Epstein’s private Caribbean island, known as “Orgy Island” and “Pedophile Island” have included Bill Clinton, Prince Andrew and Stephen Hawking. “Jane Doe No. 3” also alleged that she had been forced to have sex with “numerous prominent American politicians, powerful business executives, a well-known prime minister, and other world leaders.” There are even stories that Hillary Clinton visited the island. Oh the lives of the rich and famous!

But a deal was struck — an extraordinary plea agreement that would conceal the full extent of Epstein’s crimes and the number of people involved. How fortuitous!

Not only would Epstein serve just 13 months in the county jail, but also the deal — called a non-prosecution agreement — essentially shut down an ongoing FBI probe into whether there were more victims and other powerful people who took part in Epstein’s sex crimes, according to a Miami Herald examination of thousands of emails, court documents and FBI records.

The pact required Epstein to plead guilty to two prostitution charges in state court. Epstein and four of his accomplices named in the agreement received immunity from all federal criminal charges. But even more unusual, the deal included wording that granted immunity to “any potential co-conspirators’’ who were also involved in Epstein’s crimes. These accomplices or participants were not identified in the agreement, leaving it open to interpretation whether it possibly referred to other influential people who were having sex with underage girls at Epstein’s various homes or on his plane.

As part of the arrangement, Acosta agreed, despite a federal law to the contrary, that the deal would be kept from the victims. As a result, the non-prosecution agreement was sealed until after it was approved by the judge, thereby averting any chance that the girls — or anyone else — might show up in court and try to derail it.

This is the story of how Epstein, bolstered by unlimited funds and represented by a powerhouse legal team, was able to manipulate the criminal justice system, and how his accusers, still traumatized by their pasts, believe they were betrayed by the very prosecutors who pledged to protect them.

“I don’t think anyone has been told the truth about what Jeffrey Epstein did,’’ said one of Epstein’s victims, Michelle Licata, now 30. “He ruined my life and a lot of girls’ lives. People need to know what he did and why he wasn’t prosecuted so it never happens again.”

Now President Trump’s Secretary of Labor, Acosta, 49, oversees a massive federal agency that provides oversight of the country’s labor laws, including human trafficking. He also has been on a list of possible replacements for former Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who resigned earlier this month.

“This was not a ‘he said, she said’ situation. This was 50-something ‘shes’ and one ‘he’ — and the ‘shes’ all basically told the same story,’’ said retired Palm Beach Police Chief Michael Reiter, who supervised the police probe.

“The damage that happened in this case is unconscionable,” said Bradley Edwards, a former state prosecutor who represents some of Epstein’s victims. “How in the world, do you, the U.S. Attorney, engage in a negotiation with a criminal defendant, basically allowing that criminal defendant to write up the agreement?”

As a result, neither the victims — nor even the Judge — would know how many girls Epstein allegedly sexually abused between 2001 and 2005, when his underage sex activities were first uncovered by police. Police referred the case to the FBI a year later, when they began to suspect that their investigation was being undermined by the Palm Beach State Attorney’s Office. Yes, the State Attorney was in on it!

Arkansas Govovernor Asa Hutchinson’s nephew was indicted and finally resigned from the Arkansas Senate awaiting trial but the new US Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas is Governor Asa Hutchinson’s former law partner and serves in the Arkansas National Guard under command of the Governor. The Trial of Senator Jeremy Hutchinson was set to begin during the reelection campaign of uncle Governor Asa Hutchinson so the trial date was moved months after the Arkansas General Election. I will eat my hat if Senator Jeremy Hutchinson or any of those close to Governor Hutchinson ever see the inside of a jail cell. My guess is that they will all plead guilty to removing a tag from a mattress or jaywalking and get off like most powerful politicians.

Governor Asa Hutchinson himself served as US Attorney during the period when Western Arkansas was the drug smuggling, money laundering and gun running capital of America.

The young boys killed and placed on the railroad tracks during the height of the drug smuggling were collateral damage and the crime remains unsolved until this very day!

I have very low expectations that the corruption in Arkansas then or now will see the light of day under US Attorney Kees and Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge and certainly not under Governor Asa Hutchinson although there is no statute of limitations on the crimes.

Asa Hutchinson was given plum jobs in the Swamp by President George Bush including Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration and Under Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security but Bush would not go so far as to give Asa a Cabinet gig.

On the other hand, Rene Alexander Acosta was appointed by President George W. Bush to the National Labor Relations Board and later served as Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights and federal prosecutor or U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida. On February 16, 2017, President Donald Trump nominated Acosta to be United States Secretary of Labor. Acosta is the first and only Hispanic person to serve in Trump’s cabinet to date.

Gene McVay believes this will bring down Secretary Acosta because the Miami Herald did its job but don’t expect anything like this from the John Brummett Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, they’re too busy French kissing Arkansas politicians!

I Do Not Recognize the Country I Fought and Bled for!

November 28, 2018

George Papadopoulos was arrested and carted off to prison by the leader of the United States Gastapo Robert Mueller and his band of Clinton Donors!

Mueller essentially ripped the Constitution from the vault in the National Archives Building and burned it in the middle of the Swamp while the Supreme Court and Congress roasted marshmallows in the fire!

The 31 year old son of Greek immigrants from Thessaloniki was low hanging fruit for the Mueller gang as they burned tens of millions of taxpayer’s dollars to try to destroy our elected President.

The FBI and DOJ can lie to Congress and the American People every day and twice on Sunday but if George Papadopoulous says it’s a nice day and there’s a cloud in the sky, he just committed a felony!

This is as unconstitutional as the 7 to 2 Supreme Court Decision that ruled that Dred Scott was not entitled to his freedom; that African Americans were not and could never be citizens of the United States; and that the Missouri Compromise was unconstitutional.

On that day America began to decay from within but Robert Mueller brought plague to America in the form of his Witch Hunt lynchings.

Young Papadopoulous was not alone in his torment, the Mueller Gastapo raked his family and new wife through the coals as well. Why is Mueller not behind bars?

Simona Mangiante, an Italian lawyer who used to work for the European Parliament, married George who speaks Arabic, English, French and Greek and previously worked on the Ben Carson Campaign.

The depraved lunatics on Mueller’s gang falsely assumed Simona was a Russian Spy even though she is not responsible for giving our uranium to Russia or giving $140 billion hard earned tax dollars to the chief sponsor of Terrorism–Iran. Who is running the Mueller Insane Asylum anyway?

Since Mueller had to have something to show for his endless escapade and since he didn’t think even the corrupt fake news media would be satisfied if he indicted a ham sandwich, Mueller managed to lock Papadopoulos up for 14 days with 12 months of supervised release, 200 hours of community service and a fine of $9,500.

We have not heard the last from George Papadopoulos, “The truth will all be out,” he tweeted, “Not even a prison sentence can stop that momentum. Looking forward to testifying publicly shortly after. The wool isn’t going to be pulled over America’s eyes forever.” And in another: “The support from America has been overwhelming. You have all given me the strength to carry this boulder. Every day the haters get shouted out by the patriots and the people who believe in justice and who love America. FISA declassification will exonerate us all. Keep up the fight!”

Special counsel Robert Mueller and his team, in their attempts to “flip” witnesses and get testimony that could damage President Trump, seem to be finding themselves stymied in that effort. Three of their subjects just aren’t saying what they want to hear.

First, there’s conservative author Jerome Corsi, who said that he’s turning down a deal to plead guilty to perjury. “The American people have got to understand, we have a criminal Department of Justice,” he said on One America News. “And they are taking citizens — I’ve never committed a crime in my life. I’m 72 years old…[I could] die in prison but I will not lie to say that I didn’t tell the truth to the special counsel.” He appeared genuinely shaken.

“They can put me in prison for the rest of my life,” he told CNN. “I am not going to sign a lie.” He said on NBC that he “forgot” to tell Mueller certain things. “They want me to say I willfully lied. I did not willfully lie to the special counsel. I will not lie to save my life. I’d rather sit in prison and rot for as long as these thugs want me to.”

Corsi has maintained that he had no advance information about the leaking –- that he had simply “connected the dots.” But in trying to show “collusion” with Russia, Mueller obviously wants to hear from him that he had advance knowledge of some plot to do this.

The same intimidation tactics are being used on his associate Roger Stone, who denies receiving advance notice of the leaking of Democrats’ emails and hasn’t been charged with anything at this point. He said in a statement to FOX News, “I continue to see that my friend Dr. Jerry Corsi is being harassed by the special counsel, not for lying, but for refusing to lie.” The statement continues: “It is inconceivable to me that in America someone would be prosecuted for refusing to swear to a false narrative pushed on him by the Mueller investigators. If Jerry ever deduced that Mr. Podesta’s emails had been purloined and would be published by WikiLeaks, he did not share that conclusion with me.”

“This has been one of the most frightening experiences of my life,” said Corsi, saying he’s done everything he could to cooperate with Mueller and thought he was “doing a pretty good job” of it, turning over two computers and giving the FBI access to all his email accounts and tweets, but that in the past two months the negotiations had “just blown up.”

Corsi was a commentator for Infowars as was Stone and wrote the anti-Obama book, “The Obama Nation.” If that’s really all he’s guilty of, the special counsel’s treatment of him truly is an abomination.

Then there’s Paul Manfort, who served for several months in 2016 as Trump’s campaign chairman. He was found guilty of eight counts of bank fraud and tax crimes dating from before the Trump campaign and that were totally unrelated to the Trump–Russia investigation. I believe Mueller’s attack dog Andrew Weissmann was one of the prosecutors. Like Corsi, Manafort is an older man for whom a 10-year sentence likely means spending the rest of his life in prison, plus he was anticipating yet another trial in Washington DC on similar charges, so he chose to accept a plea deal that required him to answer wide-ranging questions. Apparently, though, Mueller wasn’t satisfied with his answers; in a court filing he said that Manafort has lied to the FBI and the special counsel’s office on “a variety of matters” since the plea deal earlier this year.

Mueller calls this a breach of the plea deal. But according to the report, Manafort claims he has been truthful and does not agree with the government’s assessment that he has breached the deal.

In a particular chilling line, the report says Mueller’s office would “file a detailed sentencing submission to the Probation Department and the Court in advance of sentencing that sets forth the nature of the defendant’s crimes and lies, including those after signing the plea agreement herein.”

Imagine if that line were written about you –- setting forth the nature of your crimes and lies –- after you had tried to be cooperative. Perhaps Manafort deliberately misled the special counsel, but perhaps he just had poor memory of times and places, contradicted the testimony of someone else, turned out not to offer useful information, chose not to support a false narrative, would’ve had to invent answers, accidentally left something out, had no direct knowledge of things they asked, didn’t want to speculate about others’ motives, misunderstood or got confused or simply insisted that President Trump did nothing wrong!

At any rate, Manafort remains in prison while he awaits sentencing, which is scheduled for February.

It would be impossible for an old retired fighter pilot, Wing Commander and former NSA intelligence analyst like me to uncover all the conflicts the Mueller Gang has but three members of the legal team were known to have been hired early on by Mueller who had overwhelmingly given political donations almost exclusively to Democrats. More than half of the more than $56,000 came from just one lawyer and more than half of that was donated before the 2016 election and two of the lawyers gave the maximum $2,700 donation to Hillary Clinton last year.

The Mueller group includes attorneys who worked on cases ranging from Watergate to the Enron fraud scandal and have represented major American companies in court. One member has given nearly $33,000 to political campaigns over the years including money to Democratic presidential candidates Michael Dukakis, Al Gore, John Kerry, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. In addition, he gave more than $10,000 to help Democrats get elected to the House and another $10,000 on the Senate side, including money to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.

The second-largest donor among Mueller’s known team has donated more than $16,000 since 2008, all to Democrats. She maxed out to the Clinton campaign in 2016 and 2015, totaling $5,400. She also gave a total of $7,300 to Obama’s two presidential campaigns. She has already received attention for representing the Clinton Foundation in a racketeering lawsuit brought by a conservative advocacy group, and also represented Clinton herself in a lawsuit seeking access to her private emails.

Mueller also hired Andrew Weissmann to join his team. Weissmann, who led the Enron investigation, previously gave $2,300 to Obama’s first presidential campaign in 2008 and $2,000 to the Democratic National Committee in 2006, the same year Democrats won control of Congress.

There also are no FEC records for Aaron Zebley, who left Mueller’s old law firm, WilmerHale to work on the Russia investigation. Zebley once represented former Hillary Clinton aide Justin Cooper, who helped manage her private email server.

Deputy Solicitor General Michael Dreeben has also joined Mueller’s team. While there is a Michael Dreeben in the FEC database, who is identified as a deputy solicitor with the Justice Department and who gave $1000 to Hillary Clinton’s senate campaign in 2006, a spokesman for Mueller’s team claims that’s not the same person.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and legions of others have suggested that Mueller’s team can’t be impartial because of their past donations. “Republicans are delusional if they think the special counsel is going to be fair,” Gingrich tweeted.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who appointed Mueller as special counsel, told senators that he doesn’t see any problems with the political donations from some members of Mueller’s legal team.

The period when the Mueller Gang could pluck anybody off the street and kick down their door and search and threaten their families until they found a mattress with the tag removed, will go down in history as a period of infamy and insanity.

No patriotic American should rest until every last Mueller conspirator is behind bars!

Big Satan and Little Satan

November 20, 2018

■■■ The simple truth is that there are two countries against the whole world. We are called Big and Little Satan. Two countries and God are sufficient.

If you think any of the countries America saved during the last 100 years will come to our rescue you are dreaming.

For the first time the United States opposed the UN General Assembly’s annual call on Israel to return the Golan Heights to Syria even though it has not accepted Israel’s annexation of the strategic area.

“The US position on the status of the Golan has not changed,” a US representative told the UN General Assembly’s Fourth Committee in New York, dousing any thoughts that the US stance reflected a policy change by the Trump administration.

In past years, the US has abstained on this resolution, which has largely been opposed only by Israel.

Prior to the preliminary vote, US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said, “Given the resolution’s anti-Israel bias, as well as the militarization of the Syrian Golan border and a worsening humanitarian crisis, this year the United States has decided to vote no on the resolution.”

Isaiah 17:1 ►

“The burden of Damascus. Behold, Damascus is taken away from being a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap.”

Damascus is only about 30 miles from the Golan Heights! For years I have been reminding Christians in Damascus about Isaiah 17 in English, Arabic and Hebrew.

Damascus is the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world.

Be careful not to get lulled into a false sense of security because we are sitting on a powder keg with millions of enemies within and billions of foreign enemies.

Have a nice day.

A Stern Lecture for Arkansas Government

November 6, 2018

From Chicot County to Benton County and from Clayton (Clay) County to Miller County, some residents are astute enough to understand that there is unprecedented corruption in the Arkansas Executive, Judicial and Legislative Branches of Government.

Already there are Arkansas State Senators in prison and a Judge was bribed to reduce a Jury award by several million dollars. Rumors are that these are only the tip of the iceberg.

There is little mention of these crimes by Governor Asa Hutchinson or Attorney General Leslie Rutledge. Leaders of the Arkansas State Senate panicked and called a news conference to talk about ethics after they had fought ethics and transparency bills sponsored by Senators Bryan King and Linda Collins-Smith and while Governor Asa Hutchinson recruited and funded Primary opponents who defeated the two honest Senators.

Can we all agree that our Arkansas politicians and Judiciary are ethically challenged? Rather than having Gene McVay lecture them, I will reach back to a great man who taught Alexander the Great.

Alexander was pretty successful as he conquered the world and spread the Greek language and culture throughout the known world. The great Prophet Daniel prophesied the event more than one hundred years earlier and the Greek language became the language of the New Testament.

While Alexander was bogged down laying siege to Tyre, the King of Persia sent him a message offering all the land west of the Euphrates River and a king’s ransom in precious medals in exchange for peace. Alexander’s second in command, Parmenion said, “I would accept were I Alexander.” Alexander said, “I would accept were I Parmenion.” You see, Daniel knew what decision Alexander would make before Alexander was born.

I would rather have Alexander’s teacher educating me under a tree than the best Harvard professor in a marble room. Alexander’s teacher was none other than Aristotle.

Aristotle had a lot to say about morals and ethics. The subject of personal morals has been discussed since we were tiny children but what have you heard about political ethics? The banker who stole from customers makes bigger headlines than the politician who stole tax dollars. Journalists love their corrupt politicians!

I think it is much harder to be a good politician because of all the corruption in government and the temptations presented by lobbyists and greedy donors.

For figuring out how to become a good politician, I think you could do a lot worse than to look at Aristotle for guidance. Now, technically, Aristotle didn’t say a whole bunch about being a good politician. However, he basically wrote the book on examining what it means to be a good person.

For the ancient Greeks, being good and virtuous was more than just doing the right thing. The concept of virtue was rolled into that of eudaimonia. The Greek word eudaimonia means literally “the state of having a good indwelling spirit, a good genius”; and “happiness” is not at all an adequate translation of this word. Happiness, indeed, is usually thought of as a state of mind that results from or accompanies some actions. But Aristotle’s answers to the question “What is eudaimonia?” show that for him eudaimonia was not a state of mind consequent on or accompanying certain activities but is a name for these activities themselves. “What is eudaimonia?” is then the same question as “What are the best activities of which man is capable?” which roughly translates to “human flourishing.” According to Aristotle, the pursuit of eudaimonia is something to be sought after in and of itself.

You don’t seek to be virtuous to make more money or to be happier or to impress people — you do it because it’s what a good person looks for in life.

Can you see that when a lobbyist offers a politician $85,000 or $120,000 to funnel tax dollars somewhere, the politician might get excited, exhilarated and ecstatic for a few moments while not even thinking about the pursuit of eudaimonia? Taking care of constituents, preserving the environment, funding infrastructure, removing the government from between you and your doctor and reducing spending and taxes might not even come to mind while counting the cash? Aristotle thought that virtue also required extra steps. For him, virtue came from purposeful actions, good results, and the approval of your descendants.

Before a politician can be called a winner, the politician should act like a winner instead of acting like a mobster.

Virtue isn’t something that happens by accident, so to become a virtuous politician or judge, you have to know what you’re aiming for. This is important for just about any concept of virtue and it’s no different for Aristotle.

Consider this happy accident: Michael gets falling down drunk, falls into his car and drives off into the night. On the way home, he rams into a tree, and emergency services show up with lights flashing. Now, as it turns out, the house three doors down the street is actually on fire, but everyone is sound asleep. When the ambulance and fire trucks roll up, they jump into action and save the sleeping family, all because Michael went on a drunken binge.

Even though Michael’s actions lead to the successful rescue of a family, we would never say that what he did was virtuous. We would never say that because he set out to do something horrible, but accidentally caused some amount of good.

If a politician happens to do some good or make a few people’s lives better, that’s probably a good thing. If politicians really want to be better they’ve got to have a plan. A plan to make Arkansas better, more competitive and moving up the ladder from last in healthcare, GDP growth, labor force participation and median family income for example. Sadly, they have no plan, no vision and no clue!

Having a plan is one thing; acting on the plan is an entirely different thing. Aristotle placed less weight on outcomes than on intentions. Part of the reason for this is that outcomes often rely on situations outside of your control. The best laid plans can go awry and achieve exactly the opposite of what they intended.

One of the most important parts of Aristotle’s ethics is that it doesn’t prescribe actions for specific situations. While philosophers like Kant want to generate universal rules to govern action, Aristotle thinks that virtue is just living a life where all the actions you take are dictated by the demands of reason. Since existing as a rational being is the fundamental part of being human, being a good human must then be existing as a being who is focused on being a rational being.

So how do your politicians and judges manage virtue? Do they talk about what it means to be virtuous, do they make the plans needed to take action, and do they think through the results in light of the circumstances?

There’s a lot to be said about Aristotle’s work on ethics, and this is just scratching the surface. Of course, a lot of what he said is a bit harsher than what I’ve laid out here – his list of unlucky hurdles to virtue includes being ugly, for instance – but it’s all thought-provoking.

Let me know in the comments if you see virtue and eudaimonia in Arkansas government or if you see the Arkansas marble Capitol Building as a money exchange.

Who Turned Desperate Refugees away from American Shores?

November 1, 2018

Can America overcome our dreadful lack of knowledge of history? “Those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it.” This famous quote by Edmund Burke should be motivation enough to learn all the history we can.

My story today is about the time the Democrat administration in the United States slammed the door on desperate refugees seeking asylum in America.

I will begin with what was happening under our noses in Germany beginning nine years before Japan bombed Pearl Harbor.

Adolf Hitler was appointed Chancellor of Germany in January 1933 when there was a Jewish population of 566,000. The next month, 40,000 men were sworn in as auxiliary police and the Nazis burned the Reichstag building to create a crisis atmosphere. The next day Emergency powers were granted to Hitler as a result of the Reichstag fire.

The next month the Nazis opened Dachau concentration camp near Munich, to be followed by Buchenwald near Weimar in central Germany, Sachsenhausen near Berlin in northern Germany, and Ravensbrück for women.

The following month on March 24, 1933, the German Parliament passed the Enabling Act that gave Adolf Hitler dictatorial powers. That same month, Franklin D. Roosevelt became the 32nd President of the United States.

The following month on April Fool’s Day, the Nazis staged a boycott of Jewish shops and businesses. Ten days later the Nazis issued a Decree defining a non-Aryan as “anyone descended from non-Aryan, especially Jewish, parents or grandparents. One parent or grandparent classifies the descendant as non-Aryan…especially if one parent or grandparent was of the Jewish faith.”

Before the end of April, the Gestapo was created by Hermann Göring in the German state of Prussia.

During the next few months there was book burning in Berlin and throughout Germany. The Nazi Party was declared the only legal party in Germany; Nazis passed Laws to strip Jewish immigrants from Poland of their German citizenship. Nazis passed a law allowing forced sterilization of those found by a Hereditary Health Court to have genetic defects. Nazis prohibited Jews from owning land or being newspaper editors.

The Nazis passed a Law against Habitual and Dangerous Criminals, which allowed beggars, homeless, alcoholics and the unemployed to be sent to concentration camps.

On August 2, 1934, German President von Hindenburg died and Adolf. Hitler became Führer. That same month, Hitler received 90 percent approval from German voters.

During the next five years persecution of Jews in Germany and conquered countries grew progressively worse including the confiscation of all gold and silver owned by Jews.

During May, 1939, the St. Louis ship crowded with 939 Jewish refugees was turned away by Cuba, the United States and other countries. These 939 Jews were not just seeking a better life and were not being paid to overwhelm the United States immigration system, they were trying to survive.


Although the St. Louis sailed in US waters off the Florida coast, the US government did not allow the passengers to land since they did not have US immigration visas and had not passed a security screening. American newspapers publicized the saga and many Americans sympathized with the passengers. Sailing so close to Florida that they could see the lights of Miami, some passengers on the St. Louis cabled President Franklin D. Roosevelt asking for refuge. Roosevelt never responded. The State Department and the White House had decided not to take extraordinary measures to permit the refugees to enter the United States. A State Department telegram sent to a passenger stated that the passengers must “await their turns on the waiting list and qualify for and obtain immigration visas before they may be admissible into the United States.”

Nobody in the United States would ever dream of giving United States Citizenship to any baby born on the St. Louis while the ship was in U.S. waters. That anchor baby idea came along much later.  Paul Ryan, Karl Rove and Judge Napolitano were not around to declare that the 14th Amendment was not written to protect victims of slavery but was written to give citizenship to anybody who can fly, crawl, run or crash into United States soil and give birth. The idea that a shipload of expecting mothers could run aground on Key Largo and give birth to a thousand babies who would immediately become citizens would have been considered preposterous 80 years ago.

In 1939, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives were controlled by members ot the Democrat Party. Sam Rayburn of Texas was Majority Leader of the House. Can you believe Rayburn represented the Texas 4th congressional district from 1913 to 1961? From before World War One until I graduated from high school some 48 years. Alben Barkley of Kentucky had replaced Joseph T. Robinson of Arkansas as Majority Leader of the Senate. Robinson unexpectedly died in office.

Can you imagine how scared and heartbroken the Jewish refugees were during the return trip to Europe? Great Britain, France, Belgium, and the Netherlands each admitted a percentage of the passengers upon their return. Of the refugees who made the voyage seeking asylum, 254 were killed in the Holocaust.

On April 12, 1945, General Eisenhower visited Ohrdruf-Nord, a subcamp of Buchenwald, and described what he saw as “beyond the American mind to comprehend.”

He continued to press forward, anxious to bear personal witness to what had occurred. He ordered every soldier not at the immediate front to tour the camps in order for them to observe first-hand the evil and the cruelty inflicted on the Jews and other innocent prisoners.

Eisenhower also arranged for various other influential Americans and elected officials to see the evidence of the camps for themselves, as he anticipated a time when some might try to refute the scale of the Holocaust. He wanted to ensure that the world would never forget what had happened.

Dwight D. Eisenhower represents a leader who took a stand by ensuring that his soldiers and other important international leaders witnessed the atrocities of the Holocaust. Eisenhower was concerned that in the future, the atrocities of the Holocaust would be called “propaganda.” He wanted to make sure that the world never forget what had happened and therefore took measures to ensure that atrocities were documented.

For two terms from 1953 to 1961, Republican Dwight Eisenhower served as the 34th President of the United States. Ike defeated Democratic candidate Adlai Stevenson II in a landslide, with an electoral margin of 442 to 89, marking the first Republican return to the White House in 20 years. In the election he also brought with him a Republican majority in the House and in the Senate. Eisenhower did not win Arkansas during either election.

I can’t give you a PhD in History in 1,200 words but hopefully you will share this information with your friends, family and especially your children and grand children. Surely you know that there is no chance the NEA will allow facts to be taught in public schools.

From my Bible studies, It appears there will be a one world government and one world religion described in Revelation 17. The false religion will dominate all the “peoples and multitudes and nations and tongues” of the Earth.

I know many things must come to pass but Gene McVay is not going to play dead in the meantime. God bless America.

What Happened to Senator Michael Lamoureux?

October 27, 2018


Senator Michael Lamoureux was arguably the most powerful and most visible politician in Arkansas a few years ago.

Ultimately, Senator Lamoureux would resign his positions as President Pro Tem of the Arkansas Senate and Governor Asa Hutchinson’s Chief of Staff.

About all we knew about Lamoureux’s departure from his office in the State Capitol was that his resignation was for a new unspecified professional opportunity.

“Michael has been an essential part of my team from the beginning, and I will greatly miss his counsel and strategic thinking,” Hutchinson said in a statement released by his office. “There are very few people who offer the same depth of state government experience as Michael, and his service as my chief of staff has proven key in accomplishing my legislative agenda.”

“Serving under the governor has been a public honor and a privilege,” Lamoureux said in a statement. “Although I am leaving for another professional opportunity, I look forward to the continued success of his administration in the years to come.”

Lamoureux had faced questions after The Associated Press reported he received $120,000 in consulting fees from a group largely funded by lobbyists and their clients while he led the Senate. Lamoureux at the time defended his work for Arkansas Faith and Freedom Coalition as ethical and legal, and said the bulk of the donations received in 2013 were solicited in previous years before he joined the group.

Lamoureux told the AP his resignation wasn’t related to questions about the consulting fees. He said the new job hasn’t been finalized, but would be in the private sector.

Lamoureux’s departure came as lawmakers neared the end of a session that had been marked by a fight over the funding of the state’s hybrid Medicaid expansion. The state Senate rejected an attempt to override Hutchinson’s veto of a budget measure that would ended the program. Lamoureux had been a vocal advocate for the program in the Senate when it was created in 2013 as alternative to expanding Medicaid under the federal health law like other southern states.

In October 2015, the Associated Press reported that Lamoureux in 2013 had been paid $120,000 in consulting fees by the Arkansas Faith and Freedom Coalition, a lobbying firm, while serving as president pro tempore.

The AP’s Claudia Lauer reported that the coalition raised $141,000 that year, and that a board member said Lamoureux had been responsible for raising the money. The group’s mission was to educate Arkansans about their right to vote, but Lauer reported that the group had spent no money on research, advertising or candidate promotion that year.

At the time, Hutchinson’s spokesman, J.R. Davis, said, “Michael Lamoureux is chief of staff for the governor and that won’t change.” The controversy soon died down, and Lamoureux remained in his post.

Asked if Lamoureux’s move was related to that story Hutchinson said, “No. This is his decision. He told me about 10 days ago that he, for family reasons, financial reasons, he needed to make that switch, and so that was his decision. Wish him well.”


Here was another news story published in the Arkansas Times: Corruption probe nets another guilty plea, implicates another senator

Jerry Walsh, 72, who ran the now-defunct South Arkansas Youth Services, has pleaded guilty to paying $120,000 to an unnamed Arkansas state senator in return for action favorable to the agency, Walsh and others.

He pleaded guilty today in federal court in El Dorado. The scheme altogether diverted $380,000 in public money.

Here’s his plea agreement. It acknowledges a potential five-year maximum sentence, rarely given first-offenders who are cooperating witnesses and says restitution can be ordered. The government will recommend a downward departure from sentencing guidelines for his acceptance of responsibility.

Said U.S. Attorney Dak Kees: (Kees was Governor Asa Hutchinson’s Law Partner and serves under Governor Hutchinson’s command as a member of the Arkansas National Guard)

This plea exposes the depths to which ‘pay to play’ politics has corrupted a non-profit organization which was formed with the best of intentions, to help children. Unfortunately, there are many victims in a scheme like this. The people of this state were deprived of the uncorrupted functioning of their government agencies, the non-profit was stripped of funds, and now that the non-profit has been shuttered, the community is deprived of a non-profit dedicated to providing services to their most vulnerable children, those who are incarcerated and in state custody. I look forward to a day when all politicians exercising influence do so based upon the best interests of the children in their communities and not on who is paying them for no-show jobs.
Unanswered today is when or if additional legislators will be charged.

This is a continuation of the public corruption probe that has already won guilty pleas or jury verdicts against former legislators Jon Woods, Micah Neal, Henry Wilkins, Eddie Cooper and Jake Files (Files for a public thievery charge unrelated to schemes in which the others were involved with the Preferred Family Healthcare nonprofit). Sen. Jeremy Hutchinson has also been implicated but not charged. He is, however, apparently not the unidentified “Senator C” to whom Walsh has admitted paying money. A number of people employed or working for Preferred Family have also pleaded guilty to federal charges.

The information notes that SAYS was organized as a tax-exempt non-profit, which meant it couldn’t engage in political activities, and that it received about $15 million a year in public money.

In May, Benjamin Hardy detailed South Arkansas Youth Services involvement in some of the previously disclosed schemes. It served delinquent youths in Magnolia until it went out of business in bankruptcy. The next day in May, Hardy interviewed Walsh. Walsh acknowledged a lobbying contract with Rusty Cranford, who’s pleaded guilty in the Preferred Family corruption case. But Walsh said he knew of no wrongdoing by Cranford.

Walsh also said then that SAYS had hired Sen. Hutchinson and then-Sen. Michael Lamoureux as attorneys, but not to take government action for them. Again he characterized the work as aboveboard.

Today’s criminal charge ays Walsh and SAYS paid “Senator C” more than $120,000. He paid Cranford and his lobbying firm $130,000 and paid $132,000 to “person 4,” a relative of Cranford, who did no work. Walsh concealed payments from his board and also didn’t report the lobbying payments, which a nonprofit isn’t allowed to make by law.

The criminal information says Walsh conspired with Cranford and a Senator C to embezzle. Walsh paid the senator legal fees and retainers in return for favorable action. It also says Walsh conspired to lobby for reduction of a $1.6 million claim against the state for the death of someone killed by a delinquent after the Division of Youth Services said any claim would come out of service providers’ budgets.

Near the end of the 2013 session, Walsh said Cranford said he needed to hire Senator C and Person 4 and pay Cranford more to prevent a state plan to move business to out-of-state providers. He said he met with the senator in May at the Capitol to firm up the plan.

Walsh said SAYS retained Lamoureux’s legal services when he was still in the Senate — that is, before 2015. Walsh said he was concerned the state was treating his nonprofit unfairly and failing to follow its own procurement process.

“We knew they were going to take away our contract … and they were not following the procedures to do that and [we] felt we needed some help, and I hired Mr. Lamoureux,” he said. Walsh said he felt Lamoureux would be qualified to help SAYS because he had a background as a public defender and understood the topic of juvenile justice.

The description of Senator C in the criminal charge says that he had a “senior position” that included the power to decide which bills came to the floor for a vote and which bills got funded and he also voted on state contracts as a member of the Legislative Council. Lamoureux, who left the Senate in November 2014 to become Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s chief of staff, was president pro tempore of the Senate in 2013 and had such powers. He departed the governor’s staff in May 2016 to become a lobbyist.

Walsh said he believes SAYS and other clients of Cranford “were used” and predicted more legislators would be implicated in the widening federal probe.

“There’s going to be a lot of people making statements. There’s all kinds of allegations, and if you had any dealings with Cranford Coalition, you’re going to be tainted. Some of it will be true, and some of it won’t be,” Walsh said.

Maybe I’m naturally suspicious since I worked at the National Security Agency as an Intelligence Analyst more than 50 years ago? Does it sound very strange to you that Lamoureux resigned his powerful position with the Governor for a new job that had not even been finalized? Do you smell a rat?

I was going through Michael Lamoureux’s Twitter account today and found that his last Tweet was dated August 31, 2016 a couple of months after he resigned.

Mysteriously, all of Lamoureux’s Tweets from the time he was promoting Obamacare have vanished. Don’t worry, Gene McVay captured those Tweets and retweets for posterity.

There is a lot of smoke here but probably not enough for Attorney General Leslie Rutledge or Asa Hutchinson’s old Law Partner, US Attorney Kees to see? I wonder if they saw the smoke from the Mount Saint Helens eruption?

Governor Asa Hutchinson’s nephew, Senator Jeremy Hutchinson was indicted but his trial was moved to long after Asa Hutchinson’s reelection vote takes place. Who knows if there will ever be a trial?

The other Arkansas State Senators serving prison terms were not indicted by Kees or Rutledge.

History will show if crime really pays in Arkansas or if my State Senator was just unlucky.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.