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Tuesday, 20 July 2021 16:32

Feds' Bill for No-Fly Secrets: $4,536

I sent a simple request in April to my government for public data that taxpayers have the right to see. Through the federal Freedom of Information Act, I asked the Transportation Security Administration (as well as the Federal Bureau of Investigation) for the following information:

       

No. 1: The policy statement outlining the processes and criteria according to which officials nominate, consider and approve names for the no-fly list, selectee list and extended selectee list.

       

No. 2: All information, documents, records and communications within the TSA and/or between the TSA and the FBI regarding attendees of the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol rally and their inclusion on the no-fly list, selectee list and extended selectee list from Jan. 6, 2021, through the present. (I requested copies of all information, records, emails, phone logs/transcripts, letters, notes, memoranda and all electronic or nonelectronic communications/records/information related to aforementioned events and aforementioned parties.)

       

No. 3: All information, documents, records and communications within the TSA and/or between the TSA and the FBI using the search terms "Nick Fuentes," "Nicholas Fuentes," "Nicholas J. Fuentes," "America First," "Lauren Witzke," "AFPAC" or "Groypers."

       

You'll be interested to know, my fellow American citizens and taxpayers, that the price of unlocking the TSA/FBI's no-fly secrets is precisely $4,536 ($28/hour). Michael Tobias, government information specialist at Department of Homeland Security/Transportation Security Administration/Freedom of Information Act Branch, informed me that "it would take a combined search time of 162 hours" to fulfill my request and that half of the estimated cost -- $2,268 of the $4,536 -- would be due up front as an advance payment. "Thank you and have a great day!" Tobias ended his missive to me.

       

So much for "freedom" of information. LOL.

       

I have appealed this onerous tax on investigative journalism and refiled my FOIA request this week, noting that I am a member of the media and reiterating that any information I receive will be shared with the public. Stay tuned for updates, but in the meantime, ask yourselves (and your elected representatives, while you're at it) this question:

       

What is our government trying to hide at such a high cost to ordinary Americans?

       

As I reported in this column in April, the subjects of my FOIA request (Nick Fuentes and Lauren Witzke) have faced repeated obstacles to traveling by air since the beginning of the year. Their plight is part of what I believe is a clearly coordinated campaign of discrimination by Big Government and Big Tech against America First nationalists. Remember: Multimedia entrepreneur Nick Fuentes has been banned by all the usual Big Tech suspects (most recently by Twitter last week after the Anti-Defamation League published a hit piece), along with livestream service DLive, Coinbase and every payment processor for his forceful advocacy of populism, an end to mass migration and protection of the nuclear family. Former Delaware GOP Senate candidate Lauren Witzke (banned from Twitter for calling a pedophilia-flirting transgender activist "demonic") had her Wells Fargo account shut down just last month.

       

Both attended the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol rally for former President Donald Trump, but neither had entered the building. Neither has been charged with any crimes. Both were peacefully exercising their First Amendment rights. Yet, President Joe Biden's TSA and multiple airlines told Fuentes he no longer has "clearance" to fly; Witzke cannot check into flights online, is swabbed for explosives and has "Secondary Security Screening Selection" marked on her tickets. My FOIA request would help unearth clues as to the criteria for putting untold thousands of innocent American citizens on secret lists and tyrannically classifying them as "security" threats.

       

Witzke called out the feds' information lockdown for the bribery that it is: "The full force of the federal government is trying to extort ordinary Americans who just want to know the truth. WHY are they persecuting us?"

       

Laura Loomer, another early and repeated victim of Big Government/Big Tech abuse, also weighed in: "Not only are they trying to extort people for wanting to know the truth, but they won't even reply to my lawyers requests to find out why the FBI has illegally red flagged me" and prevented her unilaterally from owning firearms. "The federal government is illegally extorting Americans and they are abusing their power to politically persecute and target political opposition."

       

The rest of the deep-pocketed corporate media remains stubbornly uninterested in freeing the truth on behalf of persecuted dissidents. It's not a newsflash, but it bears repeating: The Fourth Estate is not a neutral actor, but an active collaborator with the Swamp and Silicon Valley in stifling America First.

       

Michelle Malkin

The concept is simple enough: match the world’s best bull riding athletes against the toughest animal athletes on the planet in an 8-second man versus beast duel.

Put the cowboys against one another in a season-long battle to claim the year-end title of PBR World Champion, and with that, a share of more than $10 million in prize money including the $1 million year-end bonus and the golden buckle for the season’s best bull rider.

Of course, it’s only simple until you strap a tough and determined 159-pound cowboy to the back of a temperamental 1,600 - 2,000-pound bull, a beast, 10 times or more their size, only to see the bull get up off the ground and climb into the air, snort, kick, buck, twist & turn, ...... well .... it's one of those 'you have to be there, to truly appreciate it' moments!

You say you've never have seen it live? Then check out these athletic beasts yourself when PBR returns for its annual visit to Hertz Arena on Friday and Saturday, July 23rd, & 24th, these tickets go fast so if you want to get in, you'd better hurry!

Both riders and bulls will compete to earn points and money while working to move one step closer to the World Finals.

Bulls get points for bucking and kicking and generally putting up a good fight. The riders get them for staying on board long enough — at least eight seconds — and for looking good while doing it too. Good form is everything.

The result is unparalleled action, where danger, drama and heroic accomplishments................ are just a part of the game.

Hertz Arena is located at 11000 Everblades Parkway, Estero, FL

For more information, call 239-948-7825 or visit:Hertzarena.com.

Friday, 16 July 2021 09:54

Mussels Update and Key Info

The Fort Myers Mighty Mussels welcomed the Jupiter Hammerheads (MIA) to Hammond Stadium for a six-game set this past Tuesday, the Mussels won that matchup in a slug-fest 12-10.

Wednesdays game was postponed due to rain and they played a double header on Thursday where Justin Washington homered and Sawyer Gipson-Long spun a quality start, but the Fort Myers Mighty Mussels dropped both games of the doubleheader to the Hammerheads at Hammond Stadium and will try to even out the series tonight at 7pm. It's Friday and there will be fireworks after the game tonight.

LAST WEEK: OFFENSE BREAKS OUT IN ST. LUCIE SPLIT

The Mighty Mussels’ bats broke out in a big way in Port St. Lucie last week, albeit in a series split with the Mets. Over the six games at Clover Field, Fort Myers hit .335 as a team, scoring 7.3 runs/game while connecting on 11 doubles, two triples and eight home runs (.519 SLG). The Mussels’ also stole nine bases in the series and continue to rank top-3 in the league.

Top Performers:

Garry Jr.: 8-19, 3 XBH, 7 BB, 5 SB (.577 OBP)

Severino: 7-17, 3 2B, 2 HR, 7 RBI (.941 SLG)

Urbina: 7-25, 2B, HR, 6 RBI, 3 BB (.440 SLG)

Cavaco: 8-23, 2 2B, 3 RBI, 6 BB (.483 OBP)

Sabato: 6-22, 2 2B, HR, 5 RBI, 7 BB (.448 OBP)

 

HOME FOR THE HAMMERHEADS

The Mighty Mussels’ embark on their first of two 12-game homestands Tuesday, starting a stretch of 36 home games over the final 60 total contests. Fort Myers has enjoyed the confines of Hammond Stadium, going 16-8 in their 24 home games so far. In the first half of the homestand, Fort Myers takes on the Jupiter Hammerheads (MIA), who they beat four games to two in June. The Mussels’ pitchers held Jupiter to a .130 batting average in the series, pitching to a 2.18 ERA.

Series Leaders:

Varland: 6 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 11 K, 2 BB

Headrick: 5 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 8 K, 2 BB

Bentley: 4 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 10 K, 2 BB

Washington: 6-14, 2 2B, 4 RBI, BB (1.037 OPS)

 

PLAYOFFS ARE BACK!

Minor League Baseball announced last week that postseason baseball has returned for 2021. No playoffs were announced when the 2021 schedule was revealed in March, but MLB reversed course amidst the improving pandemic climate. The two teams with the best overall records in the Low-A Southeast will compete in a five-game championship series at the end of September. The Mighty Mussels remain the defending champions - having won the league’s last title back in 2018.

VARLAND, GERMAN PROMOTED

The Mighty Mussels’ lost two of their best pitchers to promotion Tuesday, as RHP Louie Varland and RHP Osiris German were both sent to Cedar Rapids. Varland led the team in innings (47.1), strikeouts (76) and ERA (2.09), while German registered the next best ERA (2.27) of any Fort Myers pitcher with at least 20 innings pitched.

BOOMERS, COME ON DOWN

A pair of pitchers from the Frontier League’s Schaumburg Boomers joined the Mighty Mussels’ roster Tuesday. LHP Aaron Rozek was sent down from Double-A Wichita, while RHP Orlando Rodriguez was signed directly out of the Schaumburg. Rozek has worked nine scoreless innings since joining the Twins’ organization and is set to start for the Mussels on Thursday. Rodriguez spent the 2019 season with the Cincinnati Reds organization, registering a 4.42 ERA over 36.2 IP for the Billings Mustangs.

THE PURGE IS COMING

The Minnesota Twins made 21 selections in this week’s MLB draft. Several cuts will have to be made across the organization over the next few weeks in order for the draft picks to be accommodated for on active rosters. The Twins’ top two picks were high school players, but they then rattled off 19 straight college selections. Some of the 2021 draftees could find their way onto the Mussels’ roster within the next few weeks.

- Oldest Player: SS Ernie Yake (23 yrs)

- Youngest Player: RHP Chase Petty (18 yrs)

 

MISCELLANEOUS MUSSELS NOTES

- Keoni Cavaco has walked in 7 straight games, dating back to June 10

- Misael Urbina is currently riding an 8-game hitting streak

- 9-0 vs LH starting pitchers

- 24-2 when leading after 8 innings

- 15-9 against the East division

- Robo umpires used in 67% of games

- 7 players signed as free agents in 2021

Town of Fort Myers Beach, FL – Community members interested in serving as volunteers to advise and support the work of Town government are encouraged to apply for current openings on four of the Town’s 10 advisory boards and committees.

The Town’s boards and committees exist to advise Town Council about Bay Oaks Recreational Campus, the Mooring Field, Mound House, Newton Beach Park, finances, island preservation and history, marine resources, nuisance abatement, and public safety.

Available openings:

  • Audit Committee – advises about financial matters and particularly on the selection of an auditor to conduct the Town’s annual financial audit;
  • Cultural and Environmental Learning Center Advisory Board
  • Historic Preservation Advisory Committee
  • Local Planning Agency

More information and the application can be found at www.fmbgov.com. From the homepage, navigate to: About FMB > Advisory Boards and Committees > Advisory Boards and Committees Application. Contact the Town Clerk’s Office at 239-765-0202 with questions.

It’s what we’ve waited for: Summer! Though the season brings longer, sunnier days, it also comes with life-threatening weather hazards such as extreme heat, rip currents, and thunderstorms and lightning.

1. Excessive heat. It's a killer
Heat is one of the most deadly weather hazards, so don’t underestimate it. Warm temperatures can quickly rise to dangerous levels — especially in parked cars. Get the latest forecast on weather.gov and make sure you know what to do if there’s a heat alert product issued for your area:
• An Excessive Heat Warning means take action!
• An Excessive Heat Watch means be prepared.
Do you know the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion and heatstroke? See our graphic and spread the word.

2. Rip currents. Rip currents are so powerful that they can sweep even the strongest swimmer away from shore. If you are caught in a rip current, relax and try not to panic. Follow these tips to make it back to safety:
• Don’t swim against the current.
• If you are able, swim parallel to the current (following the shore) until you are out of the rip current, and then you can swim to shore/beach.
• If you can’t escape, float or tread water and yell or wave for assistance. Always swim at beaches where there are lifeguards.

3. Hurricanes and tropical storms. Have a plan b
efore one hits home.
Many powerful hurricanes, such as Michael, Katrina, Andrew and Camille, were tropical storms just days before making landfall. Don’t wait until it’s too late — know your potential evacuation routes and have an emergency supply kit ready to go now. Also, have a family communication plan in place in the event of an evacuation.

4. Thunderstorms. Go
indoors at the first sign.
Severe thunderstorms can produce dangerous lightning, hail and wind gusts that damage property and threaten lives. If you “See a flash, dash inside” and “When thunder roars, go indoors”: Always head indoors at the first sign of a thunderstorm, and stay away from windows. If there are no buildings nearby, get inside a vehicle to ride out the storm.

NOAA

Tuesday, 06 July 2021 23:00

Grease Is The Word!

It’s 1959, and Rydell High School’s senior class is in rare form. The too-cool-for-school “Burger Palace Boys” are stealing hub-caps and acting tough and their gum-snapping, chain-smoking “Pink Ladies” are looking hot in bobby sox and pedal pushers.

The 1950s high school dream is about to explode in this rollicking musical that is both a homage to the idealism of the fifties and a satire of high schoolers’ age-old desire to be rebellious, provocative and cool.

At the heart of the story is the romance between hot-rodding gang-ster Danny Zuko and the sweet new girl in town, Sandy Dumbrowski. They had a secret romance in summer, but now back in the context of school, peer-pressure and cliques make their love a bit more complicated.

Sandy attempts to navigate the tricky Rydell High School social waters and catch Danny’s attention again, but Danny is chiefly concerned with maintaining his coolest-guy reputation. In the end, the Pink Ladies help Sandy figure out how to win back the leader of his Greaser Boys the T-Birds as the whole gang sings and dances around Danny and Sandy’s romance,

grease.sm

through such hit songs as "Summer Nights", "We Go Together”, "Beauty School Dropout", "Mooning", "Greased Lightnin" and "Born to Hand Jive" recalling the music that became the soundtrack of a generation.

Now playing a six week run at the Broadway Palm Dinner Theater until August 14th, Grease is among the world's most popular musicals and has a cult-like following, especially among teens and old guys like me!

Directing and choreographing Grease is Amy Marie McCleary who most recently directed and choreographed Beehive: The 60's Musical at Broadway Palm last month. Other credits include the Second National Tour of Memphis the Musical (Director/Choreographer) and the International Tour of The Wizard of Oz (Choreographer), among many others.

This is a fun show that you will enjoy, starring as Danny is Francisco Thurston who was seen on Broadway Palm’s stage in "On your Feet."

Making her Broadway Palm debut as Sandy is Sarah Lindsey, both did a great job with their roles....but, honestly, right from the first scene, I couldn't stop watching the big man, Nathan Wright as Roger "the Rump" who, for me, stole the show with his incredible vioce and agility.

Performances are Wednesday through Sunday evenings with selected matinees.There is a summer special whereby tickets are just $20 for children 18 and under, includes the meal and the show. Group prices are also available.

Broadway Palm Dinner Theater is located at 1380 Colonial Blvd. Fort Myers FL 33907

Go to: BroadwayPalm.com or call the box office at : 239-278-4422

small smiley face with sunglasses1

Saturday, 03 July 2021 12:04

A Reminder From A Dog

It was a warm, sunny, Spring morning. I had just finished driving my son to the sheltered workshop which had just reopened after being closed on and off for over a year due to the Covid 19 pandemic. I was rushing back home, zipping along the mountain roads that I know so well, with a thousand thoughts on my mind, with a ton of wishes and worries bouncing around my brain.

I wouldn’t say that I was speeding but I wasn’t driving as safely as I normally do either. Suddenly, I saw a dark form in the road ahead. I stepped on the brakes and saw that it was a big, black dog standing right in the road. I stomped down on the brakes harder and came to a full stop.

The dog just stood there looking at me in a strange sort of way. Then he shook his head disapprovingly and walked slowly off the asphalt and up into the woods.

I drove away slowly wondering about that dog. Then for the first time that day, I noticed the sunshine glowing off the light green leaves of the trees. I noticed the thousands of buttercups blooming along the side of the road. I noticed the butterflies floating above them. I noticed the birds soaring in the sky.

For the first time that day I felt the Love of our Creator and felt the happiness of Heaven while still here on Earth. I drove on with a clear mind and a warm heart thanking God for sending that Divine dog to slow me down and to wake me up.

Looking back now I see I needed that reminder. I was getting too lost in my own life again to notice the real LIFE all around me. I needed to see again that life is short and I shouldn’t rush through it. I needed to see that life is precious and I should cherish every second of it. I needed to see that life is beautiful and I should welcome that beauty into my heart, mind, and soul. I needed to see that life is LOVE. Life is God’s LOVE expressed in a trillion different ways.

May you enjoy every second of it and may you add your own love to it as well.

Joseph J. Mazzella

Some images just scream The United States of America, such as baseball, hot dogs, and fireworks! Experience all of these on three consecutive nights during the upcoming Mussels home stretch this Fourth of July Holiday Weekend, there will be fireworks on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.... as well as every Friday evening all this summer during home games, with a trip to Hammond Stadium at the CenturyLink Sports Complex to see our home town team, the Fort Myers Mighty Mussels, the minor league affiliate of the Minnesota Twins!

All three Independence Day Weekend games against the Bradenton Marauders of the Pittsburgh Pirates organization begin at 7 p.m. As soon as each game ends, the fireworks spectacle immediately explodes over the right-center field wall, without dragging out any suspense for the youngsters or the young-at-heart! The crowd joins the stadium Public Address announcer in a countdown from 10 to 1, then the display bursts clear and loud, with the Mighty Mussels blaring rock-&-roll music over the speaker system to accompany the shows. so remember that this Sundays game will not start at noon and will also be an evening game due to the fireworks following the game on the 4th.

If your comparison is the fireworks extravaganzas off the Fort Myers Beach pier on The Fourth of July, the Mighty Mussels shows are generally lower on the horizon, with the exception of its Grand Finale blasts. The fireworks do not last as long, ranging in length from 7 to 9 minutes, though this year’s Fourth of July performance will be approximately twice that long.

What you may sacrifice in length, however, you make up for in proximity, as you feel as though the shells are exploding right over your head, for a very audience-participation type of sensation!

After their win last Wednesday of last week, the Mussels had extended their winning streak to seven games and were going 22-4 in their last 26 games, but the Fort Myers Mighty Mussels ultimately split a six-game series with the Palm Beach Cardinals at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium last week.

This week, The Mussels drop opener to Bradenton 7-2 and were rained out on Wednesday, the game was made up as a single-admission doubleheader Friday, July 2 at 4:30 p.m. and the Mussels swept it to tie the series at 2-2.

Part of the charm of minor league baseball in general and the Mussels in particular are there are so many fun activities and things to do throughout the evening, in addition to the game itself, that you literally have to tell many fans, and especially the kids, who actually won! This is particularly true on Fireworks nights, where no one roots for extra innings that might possibly delay the displays in favor of additional baseball. Parents hope for a regulation game as well, as game time is at 7 p.m., meaning most fireworks shows begin at roughly 9:45 p.m. and are done by 10, getting the children back home and to bed at a reasonable hour. While Sunday games ordinarily start at Noon, due to the 4th falling on that day this year, the Mussels will move the first pitch on Independence Day to 7 p.m., to host their fireworks extravaganza that evening.

Light Up The Night


In addition to The Fourth of July Holiday Weekend shows, remaining 2021 fireworks displays will be on Fridays, July 16 against the Jupiter Hammerheads of the Miami Marlins organization; July 23 versus the Daytona Tortugas of the Cincinnati Reds system; August 6 playing the Dunedin Blue Jays; August 27 once again against the Bradenton Marauders; September 10 while hosting the Palm Beach Cardinals; and September 17 when the Mighty Mussels take on the Tampa Tarpons, the affiliate of the New York Yankees.

The Mussels are home two more weeks in July; thanks to the pandemic, the Mussels play 6-game home-stands, Tuesday through Sunday this season, hosting the Jupiter Hammerheads from July 13 through 18 and the Daytona Tortugas from July 20 through 25.

The Mussels offer a different promotion each game, with “2-for-1 Tuesdays” for domestic drafts, sodas and hot dogs; “$1 Hot Dog Wednesdays”; “Thirsty Thursdays” with $1 and $2 beers; fireworks follow Friday games; “Saturday Giveaway Nights,” and Sundays featuring a Brunch for just $10 on top of the price of your ticket from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., with kids running the bases after the game.

Tickets range from $9 to $12; purchase them online at www.milb.com, at the box office that opens 60 minutes prior to each game, or over the telephone at 239-768-4210, with parking $10-per-car.

The Mighty Mussels play at Hammond Stadium at the CenturyLink Sports Complex at 14100 Six Mile Cypress Parkway. If you haven't been to a game... you're missing out on a good time that doesn't break the bank!

The rumor was that since society is lifting so many pandemic restrictions, Major League Baseball is rethinking its plan not to have Minor League Playoffs this year, so maybe there will be a pennant race after all!!

Okay............. maybe we are the ones starting that rumor but someone has to get that ball rolling, after all what's baseball without playoffs........ actually we can't take all the credit, but we did start saying that we hoped there would be playoffs right from the start of season!


And I'm happy to announce that Minor league baseball did not falling in to the lame abyss of "everyone gets a trophy" there will be playoffs in September, by the top 2 contenders!

Play-by-play announcer and PR extraordinaire, John Vittas broadcasts each Mussels home game worldwide, and will do many 2nd Half road games as well, beginning 15 minutes prior to the first pitch at www.mightymussels.com, through the MiLB First Pitch App, and at milb.com/fort-myers/fans/audio-listen-live.

Gary Mooney

Educator Steve Backus recently authored a remarkably interesting and relevant commentary titled “The dea(r)th of critical thinking.” Backus is Director of the Rose Warner Writing and Critical Thinking Center at the College of Saint Scholastica in Duluth Minnesota. His comments appeared in the Minneapolis StarTribune.

Backus described his concern with these words: “Critical thinking simply means drawing an objective conclusion from a set of facts……I teach critical thinking. Or try to, anyway. It’s a tough job; most students want nothing to do with it. They think it involves conflict, which is taboo in our culture. They also don’t care if something makes sense or not. We see this happening in our everyday lives and it’s a bit disturbing.

Let’s face it: America’s critical thinking skills are toast.”

That dramatic conclusion provides a sense of finality. Nevertheless, Backus reports experiencing some renewed hope by observing students during the recent George Floyd murder trial. He observed their uncharacteristic laser focus on arriving at objective fact-based conclusions.

Critical thinking has numerous definitions, and they all revolve around ideas such as: rational, skeptical, unbiased analysis, or evaluation of factual evidence. The goal is to form an “objective” conclusion.

Backus is observing what I think is a new attitude in America, particularly in our education system. There’s an old but energized movement afoot. It’s opposing, and thereby effectively discouraging, objectivity.

Dedicated CRT advocate and leader, Ibram X. Kendi wrote this in his book “How to be an antiracist”: “I thought I was stupid, too dumb for college……intelligence is as subjective as beauty……I kept using ‘objective’ standards, like test scores and report cards, to judge myself.”

During a recent forum including Ibram X. Kendi and antiracism leader and journalism scholar William Jalani Cobb, these men pointed out that journalistic objectivity comes from a history of reporting one person’s claims, then reporting the opposing side. Contrary to what’s best for journalism, they encourage budding journalists to prioritize “fairness” over “objectivity.”

That instruction is very nuanced and difficult to understand or accomplish. It begs some questions: What is meant by “fairness”? Do we want news reporters making subjective judgements as to fairness? If not, who should be designated as the ultimate judge and authority on the subject?

Smithsonian’s African American History Museum exhibited an unflattering series of charts listing “whiteness” characteristics. These included two interesting characteristics: emphasis on scientific method and objective thinking. In fact, many of the other characteristics listed on the charts are commonly considered favorable national values. Due to its controversial nature and overwhelming push-back, the exhibit was short lived.

Kendi and Cobb are “antiracism” leaders, and Kendi’s book became a philosophical “shot-in-the-arm” for the controversial Critical Race Theory (CRT) used in developing school curricula. The museum exhibit I described was a CRT project. Another example of CRT resisting objectivity comes from Oregon’s Department of Education. They’ve begun training math teachers to deemphasize “finding the right answer.” Valuing an objective emphasis on accuracy is considered a manifestation of “whiteness” or perhaps even “white supremacy.”

I’m going to risk appearing a bit sophomoric. Is America ready to say “begone Socrates”? He’s the guy who, about 2500 years ago, introduced and emphasized “seeking evidence, closely examining reasoning and assumptions, analyzing basic concepts, and tracing out implications……” (quote from The Foundation of Critical Thinking). “And while you’re on your way to obscurity, Mr. Socrates, you might as well take your buddies Plato, Aristotle, and St. Thomas Aquinas with you.”

OK, I admit my drama is a bit silly, but please understand the point I’m making – CRT isn’t merely critiquing these ancient fellows and their ideas. Rather, CRT is making good on its habit of simply “canceling” anything and anybody it disagrees with.

Sadly, CRT seems to be rejecting the value of objectivity, and by extension, critical thinking. Whether he realizes it or not, Backus is competing against CRT, and it’s going to be a difficult up-hill battle. If Backus and those like him are unsuccessful, critical thinking will be sorely missed. Current and future generations will be denied the benefit of important traditional sources and methods of gaining knowledge and arriving at reasonable conclusions. myslantonthings.com

Steve Bakke,
Fort Myers

In my humble opinion, James Comey, without a doubt, almost single handedly, is responsible for the collapse of the FBI…bringing it from the finest Crime Fighting Agency in the World to a 2nd rate, intelligence gathering agency…a politically driven, crime committing, activist, RICO violating group of underachievers!

He accomplished that in 4 years, 2013 to 2017!I say “almost” because he did have a great deal of help.

Allow me to explain…What made the FBI great was the dedication of its people lead by a “strong” (that’s an understatement) Director J Edgar Hoover (1924-1972). Hoover recognized the importance of the American Citizens trust and confidence in the FBI if we were to obtain information to find Fugitives, solve crimes and catch enemies of the United States…those seeking to destroy America as a Constitutional Republic!

He firmly believed that the FBI had to be extremely well trained, well disciplined, very selective in appointing Agents…that he designated as Special Agents… an insignia that caused some problems with brother law men feeling that Agents believed they were better than others. Hoover required college graduates, with 3 years of work experience after college, a minimum 23 years old, 5ft 10ft, and physically fit. Only Lawyers and Accountants were recruited, for years, and then he opened up to, former Military and Police with 4 years of full resident college as well as those with Science Degrees. Hoover opened it up because the Viet Nam war engaged too many potential Agents…but he never lowered the qualifications.

After Hoover’s passing, things started to change…some for the better but most for the worst. The “better” was for the treatment of employees…big changes! The worst was the lowering of qualifications…mostly the physical requirements. Those changes would never have happened under Hoover because he had the POWER that few enjoyed but he used that power to keep the FBI clean and powerful and not for personal gain. When former VP Nixon told Hoover he decided to drop out of politics and take an Executive position with the FBI, Hoover handed him an application and told him to apply and explained the rest of the requirements including training at the FBI Academy…Nixon stormed out!

Hoover recognized the importance of OJT, on the job training, and insisted that all Agents work criminal cases and make arrests, learn to fight, shoot and mix it up. He demanded that all Agents have confidential informants and stay in shape. He devised a group of 15 criminal violations that he believed were vital to keeping the FBI in the public’s eye! They were such crimes as Bank Robbery, Kidnapping, Interstate Thefts of various commodities and Fugitives were high on his list of top priority Crimes… as they taught Agents how to handle dangerous developing situations. He devised the Identification Order Fugitive Program (IO Fugitives)… the Wanted Flyers you saw in post offices. They were violent Felons so dangerous that rookie Agents were not allowed to work IO cases, except in a few limited set of circumstances.

After Hoover’s death the Fugitive program was turned over to the US Marshals Office. That was the single biggest mistake that was made as it was the beginning of the end for the FBI, in my opinion! In 1979 whoever allowed the Marshals to take away fugitives was an idiot…pure and simple and I don’t know who did it…but it took a popular, great, useful, crime category which offered great OJT for young and old and reduced the opportunity to make a significant number of arrests. The only real way to safely learn to make arrests is to do it…lots of times. Safer for the public, safer for the fugitive and safer for the Agents…period…and there is no argument!

Then to make matters worse, Bob Mueller turned the FBI away from Crime Fighting and more towards Intel gathering. Mueller was Director from 9/4/2001 to 9/4/2013…9/11/01 was under his watch which explains, why he did what he did. Mueller over reacted because of his lack of any experience on the street as a Law man! It takes street savvy…combat experience.. to be a Military General, the Chief of Police, Director of the FBI, ATF, DEA or any other Law Enforcement Agency or Military Organization. Mueller had no law enforcement experience.

He took away the crime fighting categories that built honest, hard hitting, criminal investigators and started creating, FBI gatherers…The FBI always had Security Agents who were gatherers, running surveilling and taking photos… for the State Department. When they needed investigations they called on the Criminal Agents. That’s a fact!
Judges, defense Attorneys, Prosecutors, don’t know a damn thing about “Law Enforcement”, they have no idea when to shoot or not, they have no idea how to “make an Arrest” nor do they know how to investigate…because of their lack of the proper training.

Just because you know how to hold a baseball bat doesn’t mean you can hit!

Just because you know the law doesn’t mean you know how to enforce it!

Then came James Comey…an agenda driven, opportunist with no moral ethics. He lied, cheated and sent equally ignorant “Agents” who were chosen by him, for they lack of experience in criminal matters , lack of integrity, and lack of commitment to their Oaths of Office…placed them in charge of the biggest criminal cases in the FBI’s history so they could ,would and did, screw them up…which they did. These sorry ass “FBI Agents” broke every rule in the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure as well as every evidence handling law as well as chain of custody laws and evidence reporting rules in the book.

Comey admitted, under oath, that he leaked information to the press for personal reasons, said he never told others to leak but they said, again, under oath that Comey told them to leak info. He said, she said! Comey took official records home to leak them…that’s a crime.

Comey took steps to remove the ability of the public to have direct contact with FBI Agents through his methodology of handling calls from the public. He did that by re- routing calls to a call center type of situation... “If this is an emergency call 911”…don’t call us! He created an FBI of non-criminal investigators (MaCabes and Strzoks, Pages and Bakers) who end up not knowing what being a real FBI Agent is like. I have spoken to manner of the new breed of Agents and heard from many Police Officers who have worked with the new Bureau and it’s not very complimentary.

Comey and his former followers made it almost impossible for those of us who would never have allowed an investigation like the Hillary debacle to take place…to proudly say, “We were FBI Agents”. We must qualify that with, “When Agents honored their Oath of Office”. They obtained illegal wire taps on US Citizens, put their personal agenda ahead of the law, like they were judge and jury. They were instrumental in obtaining Immunity for criminals who never put forth a proffer or testified before a Grand Jury. That’s unheard of! They ignored the laws they swore to enforce.

To those Agents who were not involved with what they did…where the hell were you? Why didn’t you speak up?
Before you say I don’t know what I’m talking about…answer me this…how many arrests did you make last year? How many convictions? How many Agents do you know who don’t carry their gun?

I never had a single year of no arrests in my 3 decade career…and made 57 arrests my last year on the NYO Br Squad, drew up most search warrants and arrest warrants on every squad I was on and in my first office rescued a 5 year old kidnap victim, Tondaleya Jones, kidnapped from Brooklyn, NY. Ray Gilbart and I found her at 3am in Charleston SC…Dennis Wicklein and I caught a Bank Robber 1 ½ hours after a BR in Myrtle beach with shotgun and loot, and I caught an IO fugitive after solving a Bronx deli armed robbery where he shot and killed a uniformed NYPD officer. That was my first year, in Charleston and in between the over 200 Fugitive –Deserters and UNLAWFUL flight Fugitives , Wick Jim Colegan and I caught. You won’t believe how successful the rest of my career was so I’ll leave you with this thought…in my 2nd year in my 2nd office, the NYO, I had two secret meetings with Director Hoover regarding a confidential source I successfully developed into, what Mr Hoover said, was the best source in the FBI at that time . How was your FBI career?

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J. Gary DiLaura
FBI RED

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