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President Trump presents Medal of Honor to widow of World War II veteran Garlin Murl Conner

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H/T Fox News.

R.I.P. 1st Lt. Garlin Murl Conner June 2,1919-November 5,1998.

This honor is long overdue.

For Pauline Conner, Tuesday is a day she wasn’t sure would ever come.

The widow of 1st Lt. Garlin Murl Conner waged a 22-year campaign to get his Distinguished Service Cross – which he was awarded for his actions on Jan. 24, 1945 in France – upgraded to a Medal of Honor, as his World War II battalion commander had wanted back then.

“After all these years it really is and truly is an honor,” the 89-year-old widow said Monday at the Pentagon. “I had really and truly given up on it. I just didn’t think it would ever happen. But he has a [combat] record that speaks for itself. I don’t have to tell it.”

President Donald Trump awarded the nation’s highest military decoration to Pauline in a White House ceremony honoring a remarkable moment of heroism from Conner’s 28-month combat career, which took him to North Africa and Europe.

MOH

President Trump awarded the Medal of Honor to the widow of 1st Lt. Garlin Murl Conner, above, at the White House on Tuesday.  (U.S. Army)

“Today we tell the story about an incredible hero,” Trump said during the ceremony. “Although he died 20 years ago today he takes his rightful place in the eternal chronicle of American valor.”

The Medal of Honor makes Conner the second-most decorated soldier of World War II, according to the Army, surpassed only by legendary 1st Lt. Audie Murphy.

As it turns out, the veteran’s upgrade needed eyewitness accounts, which were finally found by Kentucky Congressman Ed Whitfield, who sent a staff member to the National Archives where the necessary documentation was discovered.

army medal

 (U.S. Army )

His widow spoke about the toll his tour of duty, which included being wounded seven times, had on her husband – who she married at the age of 16.

“You know, in World War II and Korea, they didn’t recognize PTSD like they did in Vietnam,” Pauline said at the Pentagon. “But I’ve always said if anybody ever had PTSD, he did. Because many of the times, he’d wake up in the night, you know, with nightmares. And after I would wake him up, and he would go outside, sit on the porch, smoke cigarettes for hours at a time.”

However, her husband still never spoke about what happened to him overseas.

On Jan. 24, 1945, Conner’s soldiers – 7th Infantry, 3rd Battalion – were facing a counterattack from 600 German troops armed with tank destroyers. Instead of retreating, he chose to run forward into enemy fire with a telephone in order to direct artillery fire in hopes of ending end the attack. He stayed in an irrigation ditch for three hours until the battle was won as swarms of German soldiers moved toward his battalion.

“He’d just come back from being wounded. He wasn’t even supposed to be there,” said Erik Villard, digital military historian from the Army Center of Military. “But he came back to his unit and ran forward and volunteered the mission, and did what he did.”

“Today we pay tribute to this Kentucky farm boy who stared
down evil,” Trump said. “He was indeed a giant, larger than life, he will never ever be forgotten.”

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky, spoke about Conner’s sacrifice on the floor of the senate Tuesday

“I’m proud to congratulate Pauline and her family today. And I would like to thank her, for giving our nation the opportunity to salute First Lieutenant Garlin Murl Conner,” McConnell said in a statement. “He embodied the highest values of our Commonwealth and our nation. But this humble man never called himself a hero. So, it’s incumbent upon us to do just that.”

Conner’s Army record during the war included four Silver Stars, French valor awards and three Purple Hearts. He earned the decorations in savage battles between October 1942 and March 1945 as his 3rd Infantry Division unit pushed from Morocco, across Tunisia into Italy, across France and into Germany.

“My husband was a very humble man, and I’m honored to represent him. It’s—it’s not about me; it’s about him. And he was my hero. He was for 53 years, and he still is since he’s been gone 20 years.

 

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Trump officials hounded and harassed as protester tactics take a turn

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H/T Fox News.

Maxine Waters should be held responsible if any members of President Trump’s cabinet gets physically harmed. 

The backlash against Trump administration immigration policies has in a matter of days escalated from routine protests to a strategy that includes confronting Cabinet members and other Trump-tied officials in virtually any public venue.

Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters of California over the weekend sought to bring the ‘resistance’ to a new level when she urged supporters to swarm Cabinet members at gas stations and anywhere else they’re seen.

“If you see anybody from that Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd and you push back on them and you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere,” Waters said.

She later told MSNBC that protesters are “going to absolutely harass them.”

The warning comes after White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders was asked to leave a Virginia restaurant, all following a tumultuous week where the administration was forced to walk back a policy separating immigrant families caught illegally crossing the border.

But the sustained backlash and threats of more confrontation have raised security concerns as well as questions over whether a line is being crossed separating legitimate political protest from outright harassment.

Waters’ comments drew a strong rebuke from Republican lawmakers amid fears that the protests might escalate. A spokesman for House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, who was injured in the shooting at a congressional baseball practice just over a year ago, warned about the dangers of overheated rhetoric and protests.

“Whip Scalise knows firsthand the dangerous consequences that can result from making political differences personal and vitriolic,” spokeswoman Lauren Fine said in a statement.  “We are lucky to live in a country where we have the right to freely debate our differences civilly. Harassment is never an acceptable method of disagreement.”

For now, a popular tactic seems to be to confront senior officials at restaurants.

Earlier last week, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen had to cut short a working dinner at a Mexican restaurant in Washington after protesters shouted, “Shame!” until she left. And on Friday – the same day Sanders’ was asked to leave the Red Hen restaurant in Lexington, Va. – protesters gathered outside Nielsen’s Virginia townhouse, chanting “no justice, no sleep” and playing recordings of immigrant children crying.

Stephen Miller, the controversial White House adviser, was also accosted last week when he tried to dine at an upscale Mexican eatery in Washington.

“Hey look guys, whoever thought we’d be in a restaurant with a real-life fascist begging [for] money for new cages?” one customer allegedly yelled upon seeing Miller, before the Trump staffer scurried away, according to the New York Post.

On Saturday, Florida Attorney General – and ardent Trump supporter – Pam Bondi was confronted by a group of protesters outside the screening of a documentary about Mister Rogers in Tampa. A video of the confrontation shows the Florida AG leaving the theater as several people yell at her, with one woman seen shouting at her about Bondi’s recent actions on health care policy and her stance on immigration.

But Bondi told “Fox & Friends” on Monday that the harassment began as she waited in line for tickets and continued inside the theater.

“If she wants people to protest that’s one thing, but they are trying to start a fight,” Bondi said. “I’m not going to change my life, that’s what they want.”

Even celebrities are getting into the trolling of the Trump administration, with “Last Week Tonight” host John Oliver requesting that his audience send obscene images to Attorney General Jeff Sessions and posting Sessions’ email account on air.

Actor Peter Fonda also was condemned for his Twitter call to “rip Barron Trump from his mother’s arms and put him in a cage with pedophiles.”

The recent incidents prompted the DHS over the weekend to issue a memo about “a heightened threat” against their employees due to the furor over Trump’s “zero-tolerance” immigration policy.

“This assessment is based on specific and credible threats that have been levied against certain DHS employees and a sharp increase in the overall number of general threats against DHS employees — although the veracity of each threat varies,” the memo from acting deputy secretary of homeland security Claire M. Grady stated, according to CBS News. “In addition, over the last few days, thousands of employees have had their personally identifiable information publically [sic] released on social media.”

The memo reportedly recommends that employees take numerous safety precautions, including not displaying work badges in public, being careful with public conversations and using caution on all social networks.

The White House did not respond to Fox News’ request for comment about if any additional security measures are being taken with staff.

Many conservative columnists – and even some prominent liberals – have come to the defense of Sanders, Nielsen and other Trump administration staffers for the harassment they face.

“The treatment of Sanders at the Red Hen restaurant is the very incarnation of the double standard many conservative Americans feel they’ve lived under for years,” Michael Graham, a columnist for the Boston Herald, wrote.

Regarding the protesters, Graham wrote that “instead of being viewed as ‘terrorists’ and ‘extremists,’ as Tea Partiers were during the Obama era, the perpetrators are celebrated for standing up to ‘evil.’”

As Graham suggested, Democrats and moderate Republicans faced similar security concerns during tense town hall meetings during the start of the Tea Party movement early in the Obama administration.

David Axelrod, former President Obama’s senior political adviser, took to Twitter over the weekend to lambast the present-day protesters and say they were doing more to help the Trump administration than hurt it.

“Kind of amazed and appalled by the number of folks on Left who applauded the expulsion of @PressSec and her family from a restaurant,” Axelrod tweeted.  “This, in the end, is a triumph for @realDonaldTrump vision of America: Now we’re divided by red plates & blue plates!”

McEnany: Dems Should ‘Condemn’ Maxine Waters’ ‘Insane’ Call for Harassment of Trump Staffers

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H/T Fox News.

The DemocRats support what Crazy Maxine is doing they won’t condemn her.

Kayleigh McEnany called on Democrats to condemn Rep. Maxine Waters’ “insane” call for her supporters to “absolutely harass” Trump administration officials in public.

Waters (D-Calif.) made the remarks Saturday on MSNBC and said that Trump officials won’t “be able to go to a restaurant” or “stop at a gas station,” and that people are going to “turn on them.”

She also told a crowd of supporters that she wants “history to record” that Democrats “pushed back” against the Trump administration.

McEnany called Waters’ comments “insane” and that the behavior Waters is suggesting isn’t what the country needs.

“Every single Democrat should come out and condemn this,” she said.

McEnany also criticized Waters for the hypocrisy of once warmly embracing anti-Semitic Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, and now calling for the harassment of Trump staffers.

This is not what we need in this country,” McEnany said.

Waters in the past has claimed that the majority of women polled want President Trump impeached, blasted a lawmaker for mentioning the prospect of “making America great again” and once threatened to “take out” the president.

Richard ‘Old Man’ Harrison of ‘Pawn Stars’ dead at 77

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H/T Fox News.

R.I.P. Richard Benjamin(Old Man) Harrison Jr March 4, 1941 – June 25, 2018.

Richard Harrison was known to “Pawn Stars” fans as “The Old Man.” (A&E)

Richard Harrison, the curmudgeonly patriarch of the “Pawn Stars” family whose grumbling about the goings-on in the Las Vegas shop he ran with his son and grandson made him a reality TV star, has died at 77.

“Richard Benjamin ‘The Old Man’ Harrison passed away this morning surrounded by those he loved. He will be tremendously missed by our family, the team at Gold & Silver Pawn and his many fans the world over,” Rick Harrison told Fox News. “He was my hero and I was fortunate to get a very cool ‘Old Man’ as my dad. That I got to share him with so many others and they got to see what a great family man he was is something I am grateful to have experienced with him. He lived a very full life and through the History television show ‘Pawn Stars’ touched the lives of people all over teaching them the value of loving your family, hard work and humor. We appreciate everyone’s thoughts and prayers and ask that we are provided some privacy at this time.”

A statement from the Gold & Silver Pawn shop added that h”e was surrounded by loving family this past weekend and went peacefully.”

Harrison’s grandson Corey posted, “I was lucky enough to spend 15 years of my life working with the old man. He wasn’t just a grandfather, he was truly a best friend as well. I’m truly blessed to have had him as a mentor.”

The Navy veteran opened the Gold & Silver Pawn store with his son Rick in 1989. The Harrisons and their pawn shop rose to fame on the hit History Channel series “Pawn Stars” which premiered in 2009 and has been on the air for 15 seasons.

Harrison is survived by his wife Joanne and their three sons, Joseph, Rick and Chris.

 

Marc Thiessen: The Southern Poverty Law Center has lost all credibility

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H/T Fox News.

Did The Southern Poverty Law Center ever have any credibility?

WASHINGTON — After years of smearing good people with false charges of bigotry, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has finally been held to account. A former Islamic radical named Maajid Nawaz sued the center for including him in its bogus “Field Guide to Anti-Muslim Extremists,” and this week the SPLC agreed to pay him a $3.375 million settlement and issued a public apology.

The SPLC is a once-storied organization that did important work filing civil rights lawsuits against the Ku Klux Klan in the 1970s. But it has become a caricature of itself, labeling virtually anyone who does not fall in line with its left-wing ideology an “extremist” or “hate group.”

Nawaz is a case in point. Since abandoning Islamic radicalism, he has advised three British prime ministers and created the Quilliam Foundation, to fight extremism. He is not anti-Muslim. He is a Muslim and has argued that “Islam is a religion of peace.”

So how did he end up in the SPLC’s pseudo-guide to anti-Muslim bigots? His crime, apparently, is that he has become a leading critic of the radical Islamist ideology he once embraced. Thanks to his courage, the SPLC has been forced to pay a multimillion-dollar penalty and acknowledge in a statement that it was “wrong” and that Nawaz has “made valuable and important contributions to public discourse, including by promoting pluralism and condemning both anti-Muslim bigotry and Islamist extremism.”

Let’s hope this settlement is the first of many, because this is not the first time the SPLC has done this. In 2010, it placed the Family Research Council (FRC) — a conservative Christian advocacy group that opposes abortion and same-sex marriage — on its “hate map.” Two years later, a gunman walked into the FRC headquarters with the intention to “kill as many as possible and smear the Chick-fil-A sandwiches in victims’ faces.” He told the FBI that he had used the SPLC website to pick his target.

In the aftermath, the FBI removed the SPLC from its list of legitimate resources on hate crimes.

While the FBI no longer takes the center seriously, many in the media still do. Last year, ABC News ran a story headlined: “Jeff Sessions addresses ‘anti-LGBT hate group,’ ” in which it reported that “Sessions addressed members of the Alliance Defending Freedom, which was designated an ‘anti-LGBT hate group’ by the Southern Poverty Law Center in 2016.” The Alliance Defending Freedom is a respected organization of conservative lawyers dedicated to defending religious liberty, and it just argued a case before the Supreme Court, Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission. It won, 7 to 2. It is not a “hate group.” If anything, it is fighting anti-Christian hate.

In 2014, the SPLC placed Ben Carson — later a Republican presidential candidate and now the current secretary of housing and urban development — on its “extremist watch list,” alongside neo-Nazis and white supremacists. After an uproar, the group removed him and apologized.

The SPLC also lists Charles Murray, a colleague of mine at the American Enterprise Institute and one of the most respected conservative intellectuals in the United States, on its website as a “White Nationalist.” Last year, an angry mob of students, many citing the SPLC’s designation, physically attacked Murray during a speech at Middlebury College.

He escaped unharmed, but the liberal professor who invited him ended up in the hospital.

Little wonder that Nawaz was not just angry but also afraid about being designated an extremist by the SPLC. He told the Atlantic in 2016, “They put a target on my head. The kind of work that I do, if you tell the wrong kind of Muslims that I’m an extremist, then that means I’m a target.”

Unfortunately, the settlement that the SPLC reached with Nawaz is not likely to deter it from smearing others — $3.4 million is a drop in the bucket for the center, which raised $132 million between November 2016 and October 2017 and has a $477 million endowment, including a reported $92 million in offshore accounts. Sliming conservatives is big business.

The only way to stop the SPLC is if people stop giving it money and the media stop quoting it or taking it seriously. The SPLC once did important work fighting the Ku Klux Klan. But when it declares Maajid Nawaz, the Family Research Council, Ben Carson and Charles Murray as moral equivalents of the Klan, it loses all integrity and credibility.

Why is the Democrats’ bizarre IT scandal being ignored?

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H/T Fox News.

The scandal is being ignored because Debbie Blabbermouth Schultz is a DemocRat.

 

While the focus in Washington, D.C. remains centered on the Mueller Russia probe, we cannot lose sight of another ongoing investigation on Capitol Hill. At the center of this developing scandal are the nefarious actions of a former Democratic congressional IT aide indicted last year on bank fraud charges, who at the time was being paid by a high-profile member of Congress although he was barred from the House computer systems.

While the case has not received a lot of mainstream media attention, the details are sordid. Not only does the case raise serious national security and obstruction of justice concerns, it also suggests a blatant cover-up on the part of the lawmakers involved.

Our story begins in the early 2000s when an IT contractor named Imran Awan began doing work for a number of House Members. He was later joined in this work by seven other family members who had almost little or no computer technology expertise, including his wife and two brothers. One of Awan’s brothers at 20 years old was earning the same amount as a member of Congress. After being fired from one office for “incompetence” the other congressional offices continued to pay him.

In February of 2016 the House Office of Inspector General revealed that $120,000 in office equipment belonging to the office of Congresswoman Yvette Clarke, D-N.Y., went missing. At the time, Imran’s brother Abid Awan worked for Representative Clarke in an IT capacity and was believed to be involved in the equipment’s disappearance.

Later that year the House Office of Inspector General informed both House leadership, and the Committee on Administration, that the Awans had gained unauthorized access into the servers of 15 House members who did not employ them!  Additionally, it came to light that from October 2015 to April 2016, the Awans made “excessive log ons,” to the tune of 27 times per day, to a server belonging to the House Democratic Caucus.

Not only does the case raise serious national security and obstruction of justice concerns, it also suggests a blatant cover-up on the part of the lawmakers involved.

In January of 2017, a Democratic Caucus server was reported stolen.

Shortly after the Awans were barred from accessing the House computer systems in February of 2017, many of the 44 House Members – all Democrats — who gave the Awans access to their constituent and other office data, fired them. One high profile member, however, continued to employ Imran Awan.

Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., employed Imran Awan from 2005 until he was arrested on bank fraud charges while attempting to flee the United States to Pakistan on July 25, 2017. Although Awan was barred from the House computer systems in February of that same year and unable to perform IT work for her office, Wasserman Schultz refused to remove Awan from house payroll and continued to pay him at the same rate. She compensated Awan with taxpayer funds for several months, all while he was under indictment for bank fraud charges.

Since Wasserman Schultz failed to answer even basic questions about the nature of Awan’s employment in her office, last July my organization asked the Office of Congressional Ethics to investigate her for blatantly disregarding House Ethics rules, as members of Congress are directly responsible for ensuring their staff are only paid for official public work.

What makes this situation even more bizarre and troubling is in April of 2017, during the time Wasserman Schultz kept Awan employed, he left a laptop belonging to her in an abandoned public phone booth in the House Rayburn Office Building, along with “a Pakistani ID card, copies of Awan’s driver’s license and congressional ID badge, and letters to the U.S. attorney.” After this incident, Wasserman Schultz went on a public attack against the United States Capitol Police demanding they return her laptop, even publicly threatening Capitol Police Chief Matthew Verderosa with “consequences” if it wasn’t returned.

Then a few months later she denied it was her laptop saying “I have never seen that laptop. I don’t know what’s on the laptop.” The laptop’s username was “RepDWS.”

These are only some of the bizarre facts of this case. The victims have been described as 44 members of Congress, but are they? Taxpayer funds were used to purchase equipment and pay salaries. The data likely included private citizens’ information and government information. The members of Congress were entrusted with, and expected to keep secure, our government property and our data—the citizens are the true victims here.

It’s interesting that members of Congress always hold businesses publicly accountable when there is a high-profile breach of customer data, but in this case they have failed to take action. To date, the Awans have not been charged with a single crime related to illegally accessing and stealing congressional computer servers as part of a sophisticated criminal enterprise.

Given what’s at stake here in terms of national security and the security of our citizens, our government must demand accountability, even in investigation-saturated and -weary Washington.

The wisdom of Charles Krauthammer

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H/T Fox News.

The wit and wisdom of Charles Krauthammer will be missed by myself and millions of others.

Long-time Fox News panelist Charles Krauthammer, a psychiatrist, Pulitzer Prize-winner and bestselling author, regularly commented on issues great and small.

Following is a selection of his wisdom from exclusive, in-depth interviews he has done with Fox News:

GETTING IT RIGHT

“I decided to become a writer so I could write about politics, because I thought that’s the most important thing one can involve oneself in. In the end, all the beautiful, elegant things in life, the things that I care about, the things that matter, depend on getting the politics right. Because in those societies where they get it wrong, everything else is destroyed, everything else is leveled.”

AMERICAN EXCEPTIONALISM

“America is the only country ever founded on an idea. The only country that is not founded on race or even common history. It’s founded on an idea and the idea is liberty. That is probably the rarest phenomena in the political history of the world; this has never happened before. And not only has it happened, but it’s worked. We are the most flourishing, the most powerful, most influential country on Earth with this system, invented by the greatest political geniuses probably in human history.”

GO WHERE THE EVIDENCE TAKES YOU.

“I was a Great Society liberal.  I thought we ought to help the poor, we ought to give them all the money we can.  And then, the evidence started to pour in. The evidence of how these grand programs, the poverty programs, the welfare programs–everything was making things worse.

I didn’t have a dog in that fight.  I was willing to go where the evidence led.  As a doctor, I’d been trained in empirical evidence.  If the treatment is killing your patients, you stop the treatment.”

THE RIGHT WORDS MATTER

“[Playwright] Tom Stoppard once said the reason he writes is because every once in a while you put a few words together in the right order and you’re able to give the world a nudge. And sometimes I’m able to do that.”

HOW TO PERSUADE OTHERS

“You don’t want to talk in high-falutin’, ridiculous abstractions that nobody understands. Just try to make things plain and clear.

The one thing I try to do when I want to persuade someone is never start with my assumptions, because if I do, we’re not going to get anywhere. You have to figure out what the other person believes, and then try to draw a line from what they believe into what you believe in by showing them a logical sequence. But you’ve got to lead them along and you have to have it clear in your head from the beginning or you’ll never get there.”

HOW HE MELLOWED

“I’ve calmed down a bit from where I thought: this is it, it’s the end, we’re done. I’ve sort of accepted the fact that there’s an organic evolution to society, and as long as we keep civil society strong and in constraint to some extent, we’re going to do okay.  So I guess you could say I’ve become a mellow conservative.”

THE IMPORTANCE OF STRUCTURE

“When you write anything–a column, an essay–if you have the structure right, everything is easy. You get the structure wrong, you’ll never get it right. You’ll spend hours whacking your way through the weeds with a machete and you won’t be able to escape the marsh.”

INDIVIDUALS MAKE A DIFFERENCE

“In our sophisticated historical analyses, we tend to attribute everything to these large underlying currents, to certain political ideologies, or social changes like industrialization or the growth of women’s rights and all that. But that’s missing the obvious—there’s usually a person who influenced things in a way that all the underlying forces cannot account for.

In American history, (there’s)  Washington, Lincoln, FDR, Reagan–they all stand out.  It’s a way of looking at history that’s less abstract, and is more recognizing the individual, which we tend not to do.”

FAITH

“Faith is something that one has or doesn’t have; one doesn’t construct it. The one thing I do believe is that of all the possible views of God, atheism is the least plausible. The idea that there’s no meaning or purpose or origin–that the Universe is as it always was, is to me entirely implausible for reasons of physics, apart from faith. Because if you reason back to first causes, and if you’re an atheist, you get to a logical contradiction.”

BEAUTY DOESN’T NEED A PURPOSE

“In major league baseball you can see the highest level of play—it’s irresistible. I love the game

And there’s such a beauty in the intricacy of chess–you use words that to a non-player seem nonsensical—elegance, romance—people don’t see it when you push a piece of wood across a board.

Anything done at a high level of excellence always intrigues me because it’s the ultimate expression of being human, that you do something, something you don’t have to do.

What’s the point of playing chess?  There is no point.  There doesn’t have to be a point.  It’s just the beauty of the exercise and the difficulty of it that make it worthwhile, admirable and very pleasurable.”

HIS LUCK

“[Writing commentary] is more than passion.  It’s purpose.  I’m very lucky to have ended up where I am by pure blind luck–how I stumbled upon what I was meant to do.  It turns out I have some aptitude for it and I love it and I think it’s important.  That’s a great rarity in life. And I appreciate every day I wake up that I can do that and it turned out that way.”

HIS PARALYSIS

“All it means is whatever I do is a little bit harder and probably a little bit slower. And that’s basically it. Everybody has their cross to bear– everybody.

I made a promise to myself on day one [after my injury].  I was not going to allow it to alter my life.

It’s very easy to be characterized by the externalities in your life. I dislike people focusing on it. I made a vow when I was injured that it would never be what would characterize my life.  I don’t want it to be the first line of my obituary. If it is, that will be a failure.”

Charles Krauthammer, conservative commentator and Pulitzer Prize winner, dead at 68

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H/T Fox News.

R.I.P. Charles Krauthammer March 13,1950-June 21,2018.

Charles Krauthammer, a longtime Fox News contributor, Pulitzer Prize winner, Harvard-trained psychiatrist and best-selling author who came to be known as the dean of conservative commentators, has died. He was 68.

His death had been expected after he wrote a heartbreaking letter to colleagues, friends and viewers on June 8 that said in part “I have been uncharacteristically silent these past ten months. I had thought that silence would soon be coming to an end, but I’m afraid I must tell you now that fate has decided on a different course for me…

““Recent tests have revealed that the cancer has returned. There was no sign of it as recently as a month ago, which means it is aggressive and spreading rapidly. My doctors tell me their best estimate is that I have only a few weeks left to live. This is the final verdict. My fight is over.”

In recent years, Krauthammer was best known for his nightly appearance as a panelist on Fox News’ “Special Report with Bret Baier” and as a commentator on various Fox news shows.

But Krauthammer was arguably a Renaissance man, achieving mastery in such disparate fields as psychiatry, speech-writing, print journalism and television. He won the Edwin Dunlop Prize for excellence in psychiatric research and clinical medicine. Journalism honors included the Pulitzer Prize for Commentary for his Washington Post columns in 1987 and the National Magazine Award for his work at The New Republic in 1984. His book, “Things That Matter: Three Decades of Passions, Pastimes and Politics,” instantly became a New York Times bestseller, remaining in the number one slot for 10 weeks, and on the coveted list for nearly 40.

Krauthammer delivered his views in a mild-mannered yet steady and almost philosophical style, befitting his background in psychiatry and detailed analysis of human behavior. Borrowing from that background, Krauthammer said in 1990, after the fall of the Berlin Wall, that the post-Cold War world had gone from bipolar to “unipolar,” with the United States as the sole superpower. He also coined the term “The Reagan Doctrine,” among others.

Krauthammer harbored no compunction about calling out those in power, whether they were Democrats or Republicans or conservatives.

During the Democratic National Convention, he assailed lack of substance in the build-up to nominating Hillary Clinton.

“As for the chaos abroad, the Democrats are in see-no-evil denial. The first night in Philadelphia, there were 61 speeches. Not one mentioned the Islamic State or even terrorism.”

“In this crazy election year, there are no straight-line projections,” he noted, adding presciently, “As Clinton leaves Philadelphia, her lifelong drive for the ultimate prize is perilously close to a coin flip.”

At the same time, Krauthammer was quick to express disagreement with President Donald Trump in no uncertain terms.

He denounced Trump’s handling of the violence that erupted at Charlottesville, Va. protests over the planned removal of a Robert E. Lee statue, saying that most Americans were “utterly revolted by right-wing white supremacist neo-Nazi groups.” Krauthammer said that Trump’s failure to strongly denounce the supremacist group, and to say that both sides in the protest shared blame, “was a moral disgrace.”

The man who wore many hats, figuratively, throughout his life — excelling at just about everything he tried, even when he was still a rookie — easily took himself in new directions when curiosity or instinct struck.

Krauthammer’s intellectual heft belied an ability to be candid and witty about his quirks.

“Everything I’ve gotten good at I quit the next day to go on to do something else,” he quipped in a 1984 interview with The Washington Post.

Krauthammer embraced a strong personal constitution that kept him determined and resilient, even in the face of extraordinary physical limitations.

He spent most of his life confined to a wheelchair, the result of a snap decision — when he was 22 years old and a first-year student at Harvard – to go for a quick swim with a friend before a planned game of tennis.

“We go for a swim, we take a few dives and I hit my head on the bottom of the pool,” he said in a Fox News special in 2013 that looked at his life. “The amazing thing is there was not even a cut on my head. It just hit at precisely the angle where all the force was transmitted to one spot…the cervical vertebrae which severed the spinal cord.”

Unable to move, and at a time when his studies happened to focus on the spinal cord, Krauthammer instantly knew the consequences of the accident would be severe.

“There were two books on the side of the pool when they picked up my effects,” he recalled. “One was ‘The Anatomy of the Spinal Cord’ and the other one [was] ‘Man’s Fate’ by Andre Malraux.”

A lifelong opponent of being stereotyped in any fashion, Krauthammer was not going to let being in a wheelchair define him.

“I don’t like when they make a big thing about it,” he told the Washington Post. “And the worst thing is when they tell me how courageous I am. That drives me to distraction.”

“That was the one thing that bothered me very early on,” Krauthammer said. “The first week, I thought, the terrible thing is that people are going to judge me now by a different standard. If I can just muddle through life, they’ll say it was a great achievement, given this.”

“I thought that would be the worst, that would be the greatest defeat in my life — if I allowed that. I decided if I could make people judge me by the old standard, that would be a triumph and that’s what I try to do. It seemed to me the only way to live.”

As soon as he could after the accident, Krauthammer forged ahead with his studies, finishing medical school and going on to do a three-year residency at Massachusetts General Hospital, where he wrote about a condition he called “secondary mania,” which gained wide acclaim.

Then Krauthammer realized his heart was not really in health care, and after going to Washington D.C. and making some connections, he ended up as a speech writer for Democrat Walter Mondale during Jimmy Carter’s re-election campaign.

Later, as a writer for The New Republic, Krauthammer, then a self-styled Democrat, exhibited the kind of willingness to criticize political leaders regardless of their party.

“I’m very unhappy with the Democratic foreign policy,” he told the Post.  “And I’m very unhappy with Republican domestic policy.”

“If I have to choose between Republican foreign policy and Democratic foreign policy I would choose the Republican. That’s not to say there’s a lot in it I don’t find wrong, but they have done certain good things in foreign policy.”

About a decade ago, Krauthammer joined Fox News, drawing praise from conservatives, moderates, and liberals for his thoughtful and meticulously framed remarks.

New York Times columnist David Brooks called him “the most important conservative columnist.”

When his book became a fixture on the New York Times bestseller list, Newsweek observed: “To those who are trying to make sense of the rise of the conservative movement, Krauthammer’s success is a triumph for temperate, smart conservatism.”

Krauthammer politely downplayed the accolades.

“I don’t know if I have influence,” he was quoted as saying in Michellbard.com. “I know there are people who read me and people who make decisions who read what I write and they may be affected…my role is to challenge them, but people don’t come up to me on the street and say ‘I used to be a liberal until I read you.’”

“My goal is to write something parents will clip and send to their kids in college.”

Charles Krauthammer was born in New York in 1950, and grew up in Montreal, steeped in the Jewish faith.

His father, Shulim Krauthammer, was Austro-Hungarian and his mother, Thea, was born in Belgium. His parents met in Cuba.

Before going to Harvard Medical School, Krauthammer attended McGill University, and Oxford, where he met his wife, Robyn.

They had a son, Daniel. Both his wife and son survive him.

Despite his busy professional life, Krauthammer enjoyed baseball and chess, and made his family a priority.

He often spoke of growing up in a happy, tight-knit family, and spoke proudly of his wife and son.

West Point grad who posed with ‘Communism will win’ in cap discharged

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H/T Fox News.

It is a shame this Commie Bastard wasn’t shot.

The West Point graduate, who last year posed in a picture holding a cap that had “Communism will win” written inside, is officially out of the U.S. Army with an other-than-honorable discharge.

Spenser Rapone rocked the military community last year after his social media posts were revealed, showing him wearing a Che Guevara shirt underneath his military uniform.

He is no longer part of the U.S. military after top brass at Fort Drum’s 10th Mountain Division accepted his resignation Monday after an earlier warning for “conduct unbecoming of an officer.” He’s leaving the military with an other-than-honorable discharge.

Army officials condemned the cadet last year and opened an investigation into his social media activity. “Second Lieutenant Rapone’s actions in no way reflect the values of the U.S. Military Academy or the U.S. Army,” an Army statement read.

Spenser Rapone

Spenser Rapone is seen in an undated photo wearing a Che Guevara shirt underneath his U.S. Military Academy uniform.  (Twitter)

His open advocacy of communism attracted the criticism from Florida Sen. Marco Rubio who then urged the U.S. military to dismiss Rapone for supporting the country’s enemies.

The now-former cadet said the probe found him advocating for socialist revolution online and disparaging high-ranking officers and U.S. officials. The Army said it took “appropriate action” in dealing with the situation.

But Rapone remains unabashed, posting a picture on Monday showing him the middle finger at a sign at the entrance to Fort Drum, captioned with “One final salute.”

He also remains committed to the far-left causes, saying he considers himself “a revolutionary socialist” and urged others to join him in his revolution,

“I would encourage all soldiers who have a conscience to lay down their arms and join me and so many others who are willing to stop serving the agents of imperialism and join us in a revolutionary movement,” he said.

Rubio cheered the departure of Rapone. “While in uniform, Spenser Rapone advocated for communism and political violence, and expressed support and sympathy for enemies of the United States,” the Senator said on Monday. “I’m glad to see that they have given him an ‘other-than-honorable’ discharge.”

“While in uniform, Spenser Rapone advocated for communism and political violence, and expressed support and sympathy for enemies of the United States. I’m glad to see that they have given him an ‘other-than-honorable’ discharge.”

– Florida Sen. Marco Rubio

Military experts say it’s rare for an officer out of West Point to receive an other-than-honorable discharge. Greg Rinckey, an attorney specializing in military law, claimed that this opens an opportunity for the military to seek money back from Rapone for the education he received as he didn’t fulfil the five-year service obligation for all the graduates.

“I knew there could be repercussions,” said Rapone, who’s becoming a prominent far-left advocate and will be speaking at a conference for socialism next month. “Of course my military career is dead in the water. On the other hand, many people reached out and showed me support. There are a lot of veterans both active duty and not that feel like I do.”

 

More than 500 guns seized from Southern California homes

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H/T Fox News.

This can’t be true after all California has gun control laws that would prevent these criminals from getting guns.Snark

Authorities have seized more than 550 guns at two Southern California homes (LA County Sheriff)

Authorities have seized more than 550 guns at two Southern California homes and made one arrest after getting a tip that a convicted felon was storing an arsenal.

Sixty-year-old Manuel Fernandez was arrested last week after Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies and state and federal investigators raided his Agua Dulce home.

Officials Monday say the searchers found 432 rifles and handguns, then returned later and found 91 more hidden weapons.

Finally, 30 guns were seized at another home believed linked to an associate of Fernandez who hasn’t returned to the home.

“Detectives also seized computers, cellphones, and hard drives from the residence believed to be involved in the illicit purchase of firearms by the suspect,” the sheriff’s department said in its release.

Fernandez was booked on suspicion of being a felon in possession of firearms and ammunition and illegally possessing an assault rifle and large-capacity magazines.

He’s free on bond. A call by The Associated Press to his listed phone number rang unanswered Monday.

The Los Angeles Times, citing an unnamed source, reported that the owner of the firearms appears to be a collector as opposed to someone who intends to use the guns for violence.

 

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