TCR first wishes all our readers a healthy, happy, and prosperous New Year.
There are challenges on the horizon for all of us, so here are a few resolutions we suggest:
The Internet, Don't Trust Until You Verify
- In politics, let's try working together. It used to be post-election we would get a break where labels didn't matter and we'd work on public policy. We need it back.
- Our politicians should stop worrying about re-election and instead worry about tackling issues and challenges we face.
- We should resolve and address our immigration crisis that's been building since 1990. (See article below)
- We need to resolve to make sure government gets the basics right, we are currently failing in education, infrastructure, and quality of life.
- We need to resolve to eliminate waste and fraud in government that have bloated payrolls and insider deals where the work doesn't get done. We all suffer for it.
- In our political dialogue, we need to tone it down. If we can't talk to each other civilly and be able to actually listen, a lot of good ideas will go nowhere because of the source.
- For newly elected officials, resolve to know what you don't know. Don't be afraid to get advice, even from members of another party.
- Finally, resolve to spend more time with your family and friends. Cherish your time with them, because remember our stay on Earth is limited.
It is often said that you are entitled to your own opinion, but not your own for us.
Increasingly on the internet, purveyors of opinion are masquerading as factual when they are not. Many so-called fact-based websites are just for sale, pushing whatever they are paid to push.
Of course they fail to disclose that fact as they pursue their agenda to deceive and mislead.
So as Ronald Reagan said, with a slight modification, verify BEFORE you trust what you are fed on the internet.
Of course, if it's clearly labeled as opinion as TCR is, then read it if you want and do your own thinking.
It's fair to say the internet is a great gift and a major threat to get at the facts, be careful.
Immigration Neglect Since 1990,
No Wonder We Have A Crisis
As we watch the collapse of our legal immigration system, it is quite depressing and bad for our nation.
Operating with virtually open borders and with an out of control expired visa program simply means those who apply legally and wait for their turn are suckers. We encourage disrespect for our laws and allow gangs and criminal cartels from Central America to profit from our ineptitude.
It is past time to deal with the issues, so here are TCR's common sense ideas:
America at a Crossroads
- Immigration laws are the responsibility of Congress and the President and no other government entity.
- The border must be controlled no matter where it is, which means ending all illegal entries.
- E-verify with the institute to confirm who is eligible to work in the U.S., which will have the affect of increasing wages, especially for low skilled positions and must be instituted without exception.
- Legal immigration should be revised and made efficient as we move to a merit based system.
- End chain migration, which was 1,051,031 in 2015.
- Immigration rules need to go back to the last era of large immigration, no public assistance and no unhealthy people. In this way, the American people don't bear the major costs of immigration. Experts estimate the cost of refugees per year at about $1.8 billion net of taxes paid by the refugees!
- Sanctuary cities are unconstitutional and need to be eliminated. Too many deaths at the hands of illegal alien criminals occur, where one is too much. How many take sanctuary?
- Illegal immigration is a threat to our national security.
- Local schools spend a lot of money educating foreign children. HISD alone deals with seven languages and as you probably noticed the overall quality of public education in our major cities is in decline.
- We need to eliminate the U.S. District and Court of Appeals from micromanaging and interfering with government actions seeking to address our crisis.
- Deport all illegals who commit crimes after entering into the U.S.
- Establish a guest worker registration, whereby it establishes strict rules regarding recruitment, remittances and return to the home country.
- Once the borders are controlled, we need a plan for illegals who live normal, law abiding, decent lives and who have families and jobs in the U.S. and have been contributing to our nation via their work and taxes paid.
By Brian Ettinger, Contributing Editor
America has been full of diverse people with different goals they pursue, but have a sense of belonging together with common morals and motives. History has shown diverse ideas brings about progress. So, the country has developed a moral compass and has the initiative to develop technologies and common goals to make people's lives more substantial. Shorter workweeks, people have more time for family and social gatherings. We have grown as a country with technology inventions from social medical products, use of communication devices, and have grown to make our lives better from a physical and mental environment. The laws governing privacy has not kept up and unless laws are passed on the restriction and use of private individual data collections of information, then these technology companies will have access to affect the minds and morals of our people.
One issue we need to implement immediately is at the higher education levels, a diversity of ideas and teaching by exposing these students to hear and evaluate different ideas and to make their own decisions after hearing all points of view. What has happened since the late 1960's are the universities and colleges have been taken over by left leaning educators and only accepts one point of view, and if you express another point of view, you are shot down, surrounded by a mob, and harassed. This biased attitude is not challenging young minds. If this continues, we will create a system of all thinking the same way by presenting only one point of view. Diversity is good for people from different cultures and exposes them to different views and ideas.
Human beings are different from all other species as given the ability to think and challenge each other in a constructive manner. We have come so far in the last 150 years and can grow and do so much more if we are more respectful and tolerant with each other. We have such a great opportunity, but need to overcome this mindset of one-way thinking and that the other political thought is wrong and not worthy to be taught.
We will suffer as a society unless the higher education system teaches both sides of view. The media also plays their part in this saga and needs to clean up their industry to report as journalists and give both sides of an issue. The American people can tell the difference, so give them the information to make their own opinion.
We also need to look at term limits. For the President it should be 6 years, House of Representatives, 3 two-year terms, committee chairmanships should change every two years, and U.S. Senators, one 6-year term.
We have created power in the hands of a few individuals and power not subject to change leads to corruption. Take the money out of campaigns for federal elected offices, with help of an impartial committee, they could set standards on amounts the candidates can raise and spend on their elections. No taking of funds to buying advertising from PAC's. This needs to be done now or the U.S. will become a second rate country. We need education and retraining programs to get people prepared for new technology and schools need to offer tech programs, as not all students need or should go to college. This will prepare our students for a successful career.
America is at a crossroads and needs to address this now.
Brian Ettinger is a practicing attorney and contributing editor to TCR. He is a strong conservative who is concerned about America's future.
The Terrible Stink:
FBI Treatment of General Flynn
By Bruce Bialosky, Contributing Editor
No matter what your political leanings are, you should be highly concerned about how the FBI misled General Michael Flynn resulting in his taking a plea agreement with Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller for lying to the FBI. Thus, the general agreed to the fact that he committed a felony. All that is highly suspect, and every American citizen should be scared if the judge does not throw this out.
After General Flynn's attorneys claimed that top-tier FBI personnel intentionally misled him about having legal representation present and the nature of this meeting with their personnel, U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan demanded documents from Mueller's team regarding the charges against Flynn. These are the same documents that both the FBI and Justice Department have stonewalled Congress about for over a year. Unfortunately, Mueller was given the opportunity to file the documents under seal with the Judge which would hide the truth about the behavior of our government employees in the process. Judge Sullivan should release these documents as we the people of this country deserve to know what was done.
Further damning the behavior of the FBI, fired former FBI Director James Comey was shown bragging during an interview about the way the Flynn meeting was set up without going through the White House counsel's office as is the standard procedure. Comey stated this was "something I probably wouldn't have done or maybe gotten away with in a more ... organized administration." The fact that someone in Comey's position tried to "get away with" circumventing normal procedure to interview the incoming National Security Advisor should scare any U.S. citizen.
The principle argument that is made about General Flynn's lying is that he was a long-time General and Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency; thus, he should know not to lie to the FBI. But let us look at the actual situation at hand. And remember it was stated by FBI agents that they believe Flynn did not lie to them. This has since been twisted around.
We will never know why Flynn plead to lying. He apparently did lie to Vice-President Pence.
The more important matter is we each have to decide whether it is more important that a citizen lied to the government or the government lied to the citizen. Particularly the heads of one of our law enforcement agencies intentional misleading a citizen than saying "You should have known better." I fall on the side of the citizen here against the amorphous government.
Interesting the same people who are defending the lying of the government in this situation seem to be the same people chafing at every statement President Trump makes that the MSM interprets as a lie.
Flynn at the time was the incoming National Security Advisor. He was contacted by the No. 2 person at the FBI, Andrew McCabe. He was told McCabe (apparently at the direction of Comey) was sending over two agents to talk to him, but there was no need to have an attorney present. That means they never told him this was to be an official FBI interview. Sounds to me like a casual conversation. If it were you or me and the FBI told us that we do not need an attorney present, that would be against the law. Any discussion would be thrown out of court. But neither of us is one of the most powerful people in the country. Flynn was a government employee at the time and he had special legal protections that you and I don't have with our Miranda rights, but McCabe and Comey ignored those also.
Flynn meets with these two FBI agents who are several levels lower than he is in the federal government. He has the highest level of security clearance in the country. Tell me what obligation does he have to tell these two pipsqueaks anything -- let alone the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth? How did Flynn know whether these two FBI agents even had clearance to hear what he might say? By McCabe telling him he needed no attorney present, he was led to believe the conversation wasn't part of an investigation or an official FBI interview. For some reason now, the FBI is justifying their behavior by saying any discussion with them is "official."
The federal government has used this "not lying to the FBI" excuse far too often to ruin people's lives. Ask Scooter Libby or Martha Stewart. Neither of these people could be convicted on the underlying crimes but were convicted on the catchall charge of "lying to the FBI." In fact, the disgusting Peter Fitzgerald, special prosecutor in the Valerie Plame Affair, knew that someone else had released the information that led to his appointment, but he pursued the indictment of Libby for lying anyway. Talk about abuse of power. Thankfully, Trump has pardoned him and the president should pardon Stewart also.
To remind you what happens when the FBI does an "official" interview, they show up with two agents who take notes of the meeting. One of them then transcribes those notes. That becomes the official record of the interview. That may be an accurate record of what you said, it may be their view of what they think you said, or it may be what they decide to record as the official record. If the person is later interviewed and says something different than what is on the transcript it is considered lying to the FBI. That is the determination even if you say the exact same thing as before, but the FBI agents did not record it correctly.
Lying to the FBI can also occur after they have combed through your records and they ask you about an email from two years prior that they do not provide you and you can't possibly remember because like most people you don't remember what you ate for lunch last week.
Mueller and his minions defend this gross abuse of power as if they are omnipotent. They seem to forget our Constitution and where the true power rests in this country is with the people they deem as their inferiors. This is symptomatic of a federal government out of control that believes we are the lowly peasants while they mouth platitudes about protecting us.
This is gross abuse of power and an egregious affront to our manner of living. We need someone to put a stop to this behavior by our federal justice employees. What Judge Sullivan needs to do is throw out all the charges against Flynn and order the federal government to reimburse him for his legal costs. Unfortunately, that does not appear to be his focus at this time. But there is still time for redemption for Judge Sullivan.
You better hope he comes to his senses for your own sake. You could be next.
Bruce Bialosky is the founder of the Republican Jewish Coalition of California and a former Presidential appointee. You can follow Bruce on Twitter @brucebialosky.
TCR on the Air
Red, White & Blue featuring TCR Editor Gary Polland on Fridays at 7:30 pm on PBS Houston Channel 8, replaying Saturday at 6:30 p.m. on Channel 8, Monday at 11:30 pm on Channel 8.2 and on the web at www.houstonpublicmedia.org.
The spring 2019 schedule for Red, White, and Blue begins on January 25, 2019 with an in-depth discussion of Houston firefighters and their ongoing pay dispute with the city of Houston, with guest host Dallas Jones.
About Your Editor
Coming soon: the State of Harris County and an in-depth show on the Crisis of Houston Homelessness.
Gary Polland is a long-time conservative and Republican spokesman, fund-raiser, and leader who completed three terms as the Harris County Republican Chairman. During his three terms, Gary was described as the most successful county Chairman in America by Human Events - The National Conservative Weekly. He is in his twenty-first year of editing a newsletter dealing with key conservative and Republican issues. The last seventeen years he has edited Texas Conservative Review. As a public service for the last 15 years, Gary has published election guides for the GOP primary, general elections and city elections, all with the purpose of assisting conservative candidates. Gary is also in his 17th year of co-hosting Red, White and Blue on Houston Public Media TV 8 PBS Houston, longest running political talk show in Texas history. Gary serves on the Board of Directors of American Values, a national pro-family, pro-faith, conservative organization supporting the unity of the American people around the vision of our founding fathers and dedicated to reminding the public of the conservative principles fundamental to the survival of our nation. Gary is a practicing attorney and strategic consultant. He can be reached at (713) 621-6335.