"Enough is enough!" "This can't go on!" "This has to stop!"
These were among the comments that came through the blizzard of commentary after the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Broward County. We have heard these words before.
Unfortunately, such atrocities are not going to stop. For the ingredients that produce such slaughters are present and abundant in American society.
And what can stop a man full of hate, who has ceased to care about his life and is willing to end it, from getting a weapon in a country of 300 million guns and killing as many as he can in a public place before the police arrive?
An act of "absolute pure evil," said Gov. Rick Scott, of the atrocity that took 17 lives and left a dozen more wounded. And evil is the right word.
While this massacre may be a product of mental illness, it is surely a product of moral depravity. For this was premeditated and plotted, done in copycat style to the mass killings to which this country has become all too accustomed.
Nikolas Cruz thought this through. He knew it was Valentine's Day. He brought his fully loaded AR-15 with extra magazines and smoke grenades to the school that had expelled him. He set off a fire alarm, knowing it would bring students rushing into crowded halls where they would be easy to kill. He then escaped by mixing in with fleeing students.
The first ingredient then was an icy indifference toward human life and a willingness to slaughter former fellow students to deliver payback for whatever it was Cruz believed had been done to him at Douglas High.
In his case, the conscience was dead, or was buried beneath hatred, rage or resentment at those succeeding where he had failed. He had been rejected, cast aside, expelled. This would be his revenge, and it would be something for Douglas High and the nation to see -- and never forget.
Indeed, it seems a common denominator of the atrocities to which we have been witness in recent years is that the perpetrators are nobodies who wish to die as somebodies.
If a sense of grievance against those perceived to have injured them is the goad that drives misfits like Cruz to mass murder, the magnet that draws them to it is infamy. Infamy is their shortcut to immortality.
From the killings in Columbine to Dylann Roof's murder of black parishioners at the Charleston Church, from the Pulse nightclub massacre in Orlando to the slaughter of first-graders in Newtown, to Las Vegas last October where Stephen Paddock, firing from an upper floor of the Mandalay Bay, shot dead 58 people and wounded hundreds at a country music festival -- these atrocities enter the social and cultural history of the nation. And those who carry them out achieve a recognition few Americans ever know. Charles Whitman, shooting 47 people from that Texas tower in 1966, is the original model.
Evil has its own hierarchy of rewards. Perhaps the most famous man of the 20th century was Hitler, with Stalin and Mao among his leading rivals.
Some of these individuals who seek to "go out" this way take their own lives when the responders arrive, or they commit "suicide by cop" and end their lives in a shootout. Others, Cruz among them, prefer to star in court, so the world can see who they are. And the commentators and TV cameras will again give them what they crave: massive publicity.
And we can't change this. As soon as the story broke, the cameras came running, and we watched another staging of the familiar drama -- the patrol cars, cops in body armor, ambulances, students running in panic or walking in line, talking TV heads demanding to know why the cowards in Congress won't vote to outlaw AR-15s.
Yet, among the reasons gun-owners prize the AR-15 is that, not only in movies and TV shows is it the hero's -- and the villain's -- weapon of choice, but in real life, these are the kinds of rifles carried by the America's most-admired warriors.
They are the modern version of muskets over the fireplace.
Another factor helps to explain what happened Wednesday: We are a formerly Christian society in an advanced state of decomposition.
Nikolas Cruz was a product of broken families. He was adopted. Both adoptive parents had died. Where did he get his ideas of right and wrong, good and evil? Before the Death of God and repeal of the Ten Commandments, in those dark old days, the 1950s, atrocities common now were almost nonexistent.
One imagines Nikolas sitting alone, watching coverage of the Las Vegas shooting, and thinking, "Why not? What have I got to lose? If this life is so miserable and unlikely to get better, why not go out, spectacularly, like that? If I did, they would remember who I was and what I did for the rest of their lives."
And, so, regrettably, we shall.
Patrick J. Buchanan
WHAT IS MARDI GRAS?
Mardi Gras is a tradition that dates back thousands of years to pagan celebrations of spring and fertility, including the raucous Roman festivals of Saturnalia and Lupercalia.
When Christianity arrived in Rome, religious leaders decided to incorporate these popular local traditions into the new faith, an easier task than abolishing them altogether. As a result, the excess and debauchery of the Mardi Gras season became a prelude to Lent, the 40 days of fasting and penance between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday.
Along with Christianity, Mardi Gras spread from Rome to other European countries, including France, Germany, Spain and England.
WHAT DOES MARDI GRAS MEAN?
Mardi is the French word for Tuesday, and gras means “fat.” In France, the day before Ash Wednesday came to be known as Mardi Gras, or “Fat Tuesday.”
Traditionally, in the days leading up to Lent, merrymakers would binge on all the rich, fatty foods—meat, eggs, milk, lard, cheese—that remained in their homes, in anticipation of several weeks of eating only fish and different types of fasting.
The word carnival, another common name for the pre-Lenten festivities, also derives from this feasting tradition: in Medieval Latin, carnelevarium means to take away or remove meat, from the Latin carnem for meat.
NEW ORLEANS MARDI GRAS
The first American Mardi Gras took place on March 3, 1699, when French explorers Pierre Le Moyne d’Iberville and Sieur de Bienville landed near present-day New Orleans, Louisiana. They held a small celebration and dubbed their landing spot Point du Mardi Gras.
In the decades that followed, New Orleans and other French settlements began marking the holiday with street parties, masked balls and lavish dinners. When the Spanish took control of New Orleans, however, they abolished these rowdy rituals, and the bans remained in force until Louisiana became a U.S. state in 1812.
On Mardi Gras in 1827, a group of students donned colorful costumes and danced through the streets of New Orleans, emulating the revelry they’d observed while visiting Paris. Ten years later, the first recorded New Orleans Mardi Gras parade took place, a tradition that continues to this day.
In 1857, a secret society of New Orleans businessmen called the Mistick Krewe of Comus organized a torch-lit Mardi Gras procession with marching bands and rolling floats, setting the tone for future public celebrations in the city.
Since then, krewes have remained a fixture of the Carnival scene Louisiana. Other lasting customs include throwing beads and other trinkets, wearing masks, decorating floats and eating King Cake.
Did You Know?
Rex, one of the oldest Mardi Gras krewes, has been participating in parades since 1872, and established purple, gold and green as the iconic Mardi Gras colors.
Rex Jester Float
Louisiana is the only state in which Mardi Gras is a legal holiday. However, elaborate carnival festivities draw crowds in other parts of the United States during the Mardi Gras season as well, including Alabama and Mississippi. Each region has its own events and traditions.
MARDI GRAS AROUND THE WORLD
Across the globe, pre-Lenten festivals continue to take place in many countries with significant Roman Catholic populations.
Brazil’s weeklong Carnival festivities feature a vibrant amalgam of European, African and native traditions. In Canada, Quebec City hosts the giant Quebec Winter Carnival. In Italy, tourists flock to Venice’s Carnevale, which dates back to the 13th century and is famous for its masquerade balls.
Known as Karneval, Fastnacht or Fasching, the German celebration includes parades, costume balls and a tradition that empowers women to cut off men’s ties. For Denmark’s Fastevlan, children dress up and gather candy in a similar manner to Halloween—although the parallel ends when they ritually flog their parents on Easter Sunday morning.
WHEN IS MARDI GRAS?
Mardi Gras is traditionally celebrated on “Fat Tuesday,” the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday and the start of Lent. In many areas, however, Mardi Gras has evolved into a week-long festival.
Mardi Gras 2018 occurs on Tuesday, February 13, though many places (such as New Orleans) begin their celebrations the weekend before, starting on February 9.
Mardi Gras 2019 falls on Tuesday, March 5.
Kennedy Space Center: Tuesday's SpaceX launch of the Falcon Heavy rocket was clearly designed for maximum glitz. There was no research value in using a Tesla electric roadster as the cargo or positioning a space-suited mannequin in the driver's seat, as if tooling around the universe on a Sunday drive.
But admit it: You smiled. This spectacular feat deserved all the hype it generated. Americans of all ages and political perspectives have a new source of
Environmental activists who want to cheer SpaceX owner Elon Musk's campaign for cleaner transportation options can view this as the promotional campaign to beat all promotional campaigns. Conservatives can applaud it as the dawn of a new era as the private sector transitions into the driver's seat while the government cedes its sole dominion over space exploration. And maybe, just maybe, it'll turn out that the private sector can do it better.
Which is not to say that the government didn't do a fabulous job getting the space program up and running from the first manned Mercury mission in 1961, to the lunar landing in 1969 and through the space shuttle program from 1981 to 2011. The dangers astronauts endured were formidable. It was the correct decision to maintain the program under government auspices during those formative stages.
After the space shuttle program ended, the federal government throttled down. Congress lost the will to continue funding such an expensive space program. NASA faced major budget cutbacks. Many scientists who had devoted their lives to NASA found themselves without jobs.
The nation couldn't help but feel deflated when NASA wound up having to buy seats aboard Russian space flights just so U.S. astronauts could get to the International Space Station. Moscow's asking price for each seat skyrocketed from $25 million in 2006 to $81 million today.
Tuesday's launch of the world's most powerful rocket cost about $90 million. Musk's team has cut costs by designing boosters to be reusable. Although SpaceX lost one of Falcon Heavy's three boosters when it failed to land properly, two other boosters landed simultaneously on their floating platforms with the precision of an Olympic water ballet team.
Musk is finding more efficiencies at every turn. And he's having fun. The dashboard screen aboard his space car carries the message, "Don't panic," drawn from the book "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy." The mannequin was positioned with its right hand on the steering wheel and left elbow casually resting on the convertible's door, as if out for a joy ride.
Private space ventures are in their infancy, and make no mistake, there will be many hiccups -- even tragedies -- to come. But America is back in the space race in the kind of brash, spectacular way that should make us all cheer. This is the new right stuff.
The Edison Light Festival begins this weekend on Saturday, February 10! Bring your friends and family to the downtown of Fort Myers for two weeks of events celebrating the community and tradition.
Named as the largest night parade in the Southeast year after year, the Grand Parade is a two-hour extravaganza featuring national participants & local marching bands, floats, local government and law enforcement officials, clowns and much, much more.
The parade brings the entire Southwest Florida community out in celebration of the life and achievements of our local winter resident, Thomas Edison. Spectators come from near and far to enjoy this event and often begin marking their viewing spot weeks in advance!
Grab your “Mutt” and join in on the fun at the annual Edison Festival of Light Mutt Strutt! Dog lovers, families, vendors and pet agencies gather for fun, food and mutt strutt! Pooches and owners in costumes or their finest bling – even a few doggie floats mixed in!
Saturday Feb 11 at 11 AM - 4 PM
Centennial Park is transformed into a craft lovers dream with 100 exhibitors displaying their hand-crafts during the three-day Edison Festival event
Feb 16 - Feb 18 starting at 10 AM
Hundreds of classic vehicles line Edwards Drive for a day of nostalgia and pride. Cruise in with your classic, browse others and meet the owners. At the same time, enjoy food and beverages alongside Crafts on the River.
Edison Festival of Light Grand Parade on Saturday, Feb. 17
The festival culminates with the Grand Parade, which started 80 years ago in 1938. It takes place on Saturday, Feb. 17, beginning at 7 p.m. with floats, marching bands, the Indianapolis Police Motorcycle Drill Team, and other participants lighting up a route from Fort Myers High School to downtown.
The Parade Celebration includes all-day entertainment and music and is a prime spot for watching the parade! Fun, food, music and crafts make this a family event in the Downtown River District. It’s excitement and amusement right until the arrival of the Grand Parade.
Sunday, Feb. 18 at 10 AM - 3 PM
The Budweiser Clydesdales are back for the 80th Anniversary! Don't miss out on seeing these beautiful horses and their friends at Budweiser and Suncoast Beverage in the 2018
for more info :
Get ready for some old fashion southern fun with national recording artists: Randy Houser, Parmalee, David Nail and
So bring your lawn chairs and save your appetites. There will be plenty of food and two stages with with entertainment flowing all through out the day.
National recording artists, regional entertainment, family activities and good ole’ southern fun will be had this Saturday January 27th.
Purchase your ticket while they last, General Admission prices are $47 and Reserved ticket prices are $72.
These are subject to change. Get your tickets early so you don’t get stuck outside the gate!
Country Jam Music Festival benefits the programs of the not-for-profit activities chosen by the Collier County Fairgrounds.
The address for the Collier County Fairgrounds is 751 39th Ave NE Naples, FL 34120.
Several years ago, before Trump, I wrote that you should not be surprised when you start hearing about all the illegal things that Obama and his band of thieves did during his tenure in the White House, after he’s out…he ran it like a Racketeering Operation, NOT a Presidency!
But even I am surprised, at how corrupt he made the FBI! In my 28 years, I knew 1 Agent who broke the oath of trust and honor and couldn’t believe he could do that! Now, here’s a whole team of Assistant Directors, DOJ Attorneys…sort of an underground Black Ops! Where’s the head of the snake…(a) Comey, (b)Lynch, (c)Holder, (d)Obama (e) Hillary or (f) all of the above?
Stay tuned for the answers which are soon to come!
The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, FISA, was created in 1978 and is intended to improve the ability of the U S Intelligence Agencies to intercept “Foreign” Actors and foreign agencies, committing or believed to be committing illegal acts against the USA.
Remember, our 4th Amendment prohibits illegal Search and Seizure against “US Citizens” and the only way to intercept a citizen’s private conversations is with a Title 3 warrant issued by a duly appointed Federal Judge based upon Probable Cause!
FISA deals with overhears of “Foreigners” and Title 3 pertains to US Citizens but BOTH MUST protect our Constitutional Rights to privacy under our Constitution!
So what happens if the FISA wire picks up a conversation, email, FAX, etc between a foreigner and a citizen? That’s a very big problem that could be a very complicated problem that is covered by rules and regulations that I am not privy too as they are complex, some are classified and I have no experience with the FISA court. I do have experience with Title 3 Applications and have participated in several. Understand this, the entire FISA Court, proceedings, processes and pretty much EVERYTHING about it, is Secret; the FISA court is in a secret location, in a secure, sound proof room that is presumably guarded 24/7. The FISA judges are appointed without House or Senate approval! The reasons for the security are National Security and the 4th Amendment! “ALL” Wire Taps are a very big deal, legally; from a procedure point of view and most importantly, from a Constitutional Right against illegal search and seizure and the citizens Rights to Privacy!
So let’s say that a US citizen is overheard speaking to a KGB agent Comrade Putin. The assumption is made that the overhear is through a legal, FISA wire on Comrade Putin and until proven otherwise, the citizen is “innocent” and their identity must be protected, not shared in any disseminations and follow certain rules and regulations regarding who is entitled to know the citizen’s identity and who can release or “unmask” the identity. Violation of ANY unmasking rules, dissemination rules or FISA Rules allows for severe penalties! It would be in line with arresting someone with no Probable Cause for a warrant or not allowing legal representation, in other words, it is a serious violation of citizens Constitutional Rights!!!
There are BOTH criminal and civil penalties for violating the Regulations!!! People can lose their houses, pensions, savings accounts and the Federal Government or municipalities CANNOT pay punitive damaged!!!
Up until the very end of Obama’s tenure as President there was only a “handful” of people who were allowed to be cognizant of this information HOWEVER, just before President Trump was sworn in, Obama, by Executive Orders allowed the dissemination of this information to almost all Federal Agencies thereby compromising the heretofore security that was afforded by law to the FISA wiretaps. Everyone wondered… why would Obama do that? The reasons are coming to light and it’s not for legitimate reasons!
Now let’s say a corrupt “lawman” or prosecutor fabricated evidence, to obtain EITHER a Title 3 or FISA warrant. Unfortunately fabrication or altering evidence has happened … it happened multiple times during Obama’s corrupt administration. During AG Eric Holder’s tenure, MANY of his Assistant AG’s were held in Contempt of Federal Courts in, Missouri, New Orleans, and Texas for Tampering with Evidence, Tampering with Witnesses , Fabrication of Evidence ,Violating Court Orders and Obstruction! Several were banned from appearing before 23 different Federal Court Districts! What did Obama/Holder do about such serious offenses alleged by Federal Judges in 3 different jurisdictions?? Nothing… after all Holder was himself the first AG in our countries history to be held in Contempt of Congress! So he fit right in with his band of criminal Deputy AGs!
If what we are hearing is true about faulty dossiers being used as PC for FISA warrants, resulting in illegal overhears of US citizens and if numerous lawmen/women and prosecutors, conspired together to alter a Federal Presidential election…this will become the biggest scandal in our country’s history! None of those involved from the highest office to the lowest appointee will escape unscathed!!! That I can promise! How? Because we now have a law and order President who believes in our Rule of Law and he will do whatever it takes to bring ALL…each and every one, to Justice!
Now if, as I suspect, Obama put in place a plan to win Hillary the election, by using all his “Black Ops”, to discredit Trump, create allegations of “Russian Collusion”, allege Obstruction of Justice by the firing of Comey… using ANY info from a FISA warrant based upon a flawed Fusion GPS dossier where a DOJ attorney ,1 door down from the AG, has a wife working for Fusion GPS involving the conspiring with other the players…many people are going to jail.
*Who would benefit by candidate Trump being destroyed by the left?
*Why would someone do that?
*What did Hillary have to gain?
*What did Obama have to gain?
They are both easy to answer questions aren’t they? In Obama case, all his work to “change” America will go down the crapper with a President Trump but NOT with a President Hillary? Hmm!
Who’s going to jail?
This is why I wrote that President Trump needed to appoint a former “retired , older FBI Agent”, as Director because of all the suspected corruption, starting with former Director Comey! Director Wray may be a good ,smart man but he has NO experience as an Agent ,does not know the UNIQUE Rules and Regulations pertaining to being an Agent, does not know the “street Rules” of Miranda warnings, interview rules and the “why” these rules were made and how important they are. That ONLY comes from working important, major, criminal investigations and running into “VIP” subjects, both real and self imagined! These “hot shot” Agents (ADICs), broke every rule in the book for Hillary and the question is, “WHY”? The things they did, that retired Agents like me, who are “out of the loop”, outsiders now, could tell just from the information that is available to the public, that the FIX was in, and I mean …LONG before Comey rendered his illegal prosecutive option to the public..so WHY?!
The answer is that we need a MAJOR RICO CASE, investigation, that must be conducted by FBI Agents ,current and former, brought back to help, handpicked by the President with help from people like former ADIC, Jim Kalstrom under a new DOJ prosecutor (NOT a Special Prosecutor) and a purpose centered Grand Jury with a new Assistant Deputy AG to replace Rosenstein, again, handpicked by the president! This way the President’s duty and responsibility to keep that investigation, honest, unbiased and on the straight and narrow can’t be challenged by a Special Prosecutor who thinks he has a Constitutional exception to being unbiased and is not controlled by the President or DOJ!
Director Wray, in the least, should immediately suspend all the FBI personnel involved in the Clinton email/Trump Election matters that are in question! He should open an “administrative” investigation and every one including McCabe, Strzok, Strzok’s girlfriend ordered to take a lie detector…fired if they refuse and subpoenaed before the Grand Jury while search Warrants are executed on their residences!
Employee refusals may be immediate grounds for dismissal and subsequent criminal charges.
It’s “let’s make a deal time” boys and girls…who’s in?
The NEW Director Wray needs to understand that FBI Agents CANNOT do what these people did, period. I don’t care what Wray’s personal opinion is, or that McCabe will lose his $150K pension and benefits…
READ the AGENT’s Manual of do’s and don’ts!!! McCabe’s time to be sorry and beg forgiveness is LONG gone!
The damage a half dozen people did to the decades old reputation of the FBI for Fidelity Bravery and Integrity has been destroyed by a handful!
That is is unforgivable…six or so people who were NEVER real Agents!
NOW WE UNDERSTAND WHY THESE “PEOPLE” WANT PRESIDENT TRUMP GONE…but I believe the cat is out of the bag and it’s way too late!
That’s my story and I’m sticking to it…
J Gary DiLaura
(Retired, Extremely Dangerous)