THE BATTLE FOR AMERICA’S SOUL

By Rick Manning

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed;”

This fifty-five word statement that begins the Declaration of Independence is the DNA of the United States of America, and it is under attack.

The attack is from those who deny the basic tenet that rights come from God, and insist that they are allowed or tolerated by government. If one doesn’t believe in God, they are not going to believe in natural rights as the two are inextricably intertwined.

If rights come from government, then they are not rights at all, but instead privileges bestowed and taken away by whoever happens to have their hands on the controls.

And when that kind of power is at stake, some will do anything to gain it.

Enter the new Democrat Socialists enforcement arm: Antifa.

Every American needs to understand what Antifa is.  The original Antifa movement was made up of communists in Germany who opposed Hitler’s Brownshirts, and that is what the modern violent left wing movement claims to be doing today.

But today’s reality is they are seeking to take down capitalism with an anything goes approach which includes violence. They have labeled anyone supporting President Donald Trump as a fascist without actually knowing or caring about the meaning of the word. They label those who stand up for individual liberty and freedom as racists because they reject the concept of equal opportunity as being a notion of white privilege and instead demand equal outcomes.

American Antifa is a local cell based entity which pops up to create chaos whenever a speaker they don’t like threatens to challenge their hegemony over thought on the formerly free-thinking institutions of “higher” learning.

They are dedicated to intimidating opposing views into silence, wearing masks to hide their identities so they can slip easily back into their comfortable lives, not unlike their white hood wearing brethren from a by-gone era.

We’ve seen them at Trump campaign rallies, college campuses, at various ICE offices. What we haven’t seen is an outpouring of outrage by the left at this commitment to violence against those who they cannot win a political argument.

When the Antifa supporting college professor of ethics injures three Trump supporters smashing their heads with a bike lock, he can justify the assault based upon the evil he ascribes to those who don’t agree with him.  And the greater good accomplished by shutting up someone who doesn’t agree with the message of tolerance for everyone but white men and Christians by the black wearing thugs.

Antifa rejects not only the precepts that individual rights are endowed by our creator, but the agreement that government should be by the consent of the governed. Instead, they seek the power of the guillotine to use against those who they cannot defeat in elections.

But that is the real question, the unmasked Antifa is the Democrat Socialist left which is every bit as intolerant of ideas like free speech and free markets, and can be counted upon to be every bit as tolerant of their political opponents should they gain power as their masked alter egos are when they are out of power.

Elections matter.  This one in November is about whether the violent left will be legitimized by the electorate.  For those who care about freedom and individual rights, there can be no sitting this election out, even with the imperfect choices offered.  The only thing more dangerous to freedom than an Antifa thug with a bike lock is a Democrat Socialist with a Congressional voting card.

Deny them victory at the ballot box and they will wither, but cede the field and allow them to win in November due to your inaction and the seed of hate they represent will germinate like crab grass in a once pristine lawn.

The battle for the DNA of America is being fought.  This is no time to sit on the sidelines.

The author is president of Americans for Limited Government. You can read more of her articles at www.dailytorch.com. 

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SOME SCHOOL DISTRICTS TRYING OUT A FOUR-DAY WEEK: A BRIGHT IDEA OR AN “F” FOR FAILURE?

By CANDY STALLWORTH

As students pack up their backpacks and head back to school over the next few weeks, some will be doing so with the knowledge that their school week is now only four days. Adams County School District 27J, just outside of Denver, Colorado, is one of a growing number of districts, mostly in rural, western areas, that are implementing a four-day school week. Students in District 27J will attend school Tuesday through Friday from 8:30am – 4:30pm, and Mondays will be a day off. For parents who need childcare on Mondays, the district will offer it for children under 12 at a very affordable rate.

Some reasons cited for the move to a four-day week are to cut costs that would otherwise be spent on busing and/or paying substitute teachers, and to attract more teachers in an area where salaries are low and a shortage exists. Teachers will be required to work one Monday a month for half a day, but Superintendent Chris Fiedler is hoping that they will use the Mondays off  “to prepare and be better for kids…This will give people a chance to have a weekend and then come in on Monday — whether they’re paid to or not because they’re doing that work anyway to be prepared for kids and to be better for kids.” However, education policy expert Linda Darling-Hammond disagrees with the four-day week as a purported benefit to teachers, noting, “We can compensate these teachers all they want in more free time, but their pay is still not going up.”

Will the four-day week improve teacher recruitment and morale and raise student achievement? Other districts that have implemented a four-day week have cited evidence—mostly anecdotal, however—in support of the change. For instance, White Rock School in McCloud, Oklahoma, started a four-day week two years ago, where students attend Monday through Thursday from 8:00am to 3:30pm. Superintendent Bob Gragg points to lower absenteeism rates and increased student achievement. “We did it to save money and to make our teachers happier, and keep them happy. We’ve seen both of those things, and more.” Furthermore, he notes that Fridays are used for optional field trips to places that are educational in nature, such as to museums or libraries. These trips particularly benefit children from low-income families, who “wouldn’t get these experiences if we didn’t do this on Friday,” Gragg notes.

Because the four-day school week is a fairly new trend, long-term effects on important phenomena such as student learning and teacher satisfaction have yet to be determined. While some empirical research currently exists,  more studies certainly will need to be done. And the benefits of the short week may not extend to large, urban districts, where low-income families may not be able to afford childcare on the day off, even if it is at minimal cost. Furthermore, in areas plagued by high crime and drug abuse rates, there is potential for trouble if their adolescent population is out of school, without obligations or entertainment, for an additional day each week. And urban school districts, which are characterized by high teacher turnover, may need more than a four-day week to attract high-quality educators.

It remains to be seen if a four-day school week earns an “A” for its benefits to families, educators, and most of all, students. One thing’s for certain, though: there are many kids (and at least a few teachers) with fingers crossed, hoping for that weekly Monday or Friday off.

Candy Stallworth, an Empire State News staff writer, whipped her way through a doctoral education at the finest of American higher ed institutions, noting how unoriginal, inept, and annoying many of the schools’ professors were in their robotic attempts to maintain a politically correct narrative. BTW: she hates words like “narrative”, “optics”, and “gaffe.” Other than that, her turn-offs include non-masculine men, women who hate men, men who hate men, phonies, disloyal people, and overflowing garbage cans. She likes New England clam chowder better than Manhattan clam chowder, but prefers Manhattan to New England.

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TWITTER, SENATOR CHRIS MURPHY EMBRACE CENSORSHIP, USING SO-CALLED ‘HATE SPEECH’ AS 2018’S MCCARTHYISM

By KENNETH DEL VECCHIO

U.S. Senator Chris Murphy, a Democrat demagogue from Connecticut, recently issued a tweet, urging  that social media platforms censor speech with greater frequency for the “survival of our democracy.” What this frightening political power broker is truly seeking is this: the destruction of our democracy. First Amendment rights to speak in a manner and content as one chooses are at the core of America’s freedoms.

Twitter, a short snippet mass aggregator of information that influences the thoughts of far too many Americans, seems to be following Murphy’s ill-advised demand. The media outlet, which initially just appeared to dole out fun, uses its now mega-platform to censor speech that it deems “hateful.” To some, who do not think too deeply into the issue, this may seem valiant, perhaps moral, in regulating out such content.

But what is “hateful” speech? How about anything that one person, such as Twitter founder Jack Dorsey, disagrees with.

For other social media platforms, “hate speech” is whatever the rulers of those sites choose to define it as, wherein they use the fair, mature formula of “I don’t like it, so you can’t say it on my playground.” Of course, this fake news germinating mentality is nothing new. Voluminous more traditional media outlets (e.g. – print newspapers and magazines, TV, and radio) have called upon their internal censorship police for years, thus depriving their audiences of alternative points of view.

Something seems different with the censoring proliferated by Twitter and the other social media/social activist arenas, however. This difference is rooted in these platforms’ unique engagement nature with their users. The social media content, unlike the traditional media content, comes directly from plain, ole’ regular people. Social media has given them a voice. And now, outlets like Twitter, are more and more taking that voice away.

Some argue that Twitter bars speech in an indiscriminate or random manner, simply eliminating dialogue that is “obviously” hateful, and not targeting any particular type of thought. This claim, however, is disingenuous. Twitter, just like its social media brothers and sisters (excuse me, genderless siblings) speech-castrates many who espouse deeply-held conservative principles. They often bar, or as the industry calls it, “deplatforms”, users who routinely tweet in a political voice inapposite of theirs. Donald Trump supporters are on the victim number one list.

In deplatforming these users, Twitter is denying its users the very unique gift that it initially sought to provide. Regular folk content is no longer the dominant voice on this deplatformed platform. Instead, it is now becoming an amalgamation of, yes, still millions of voices—but millions of much the same, robotic voice. That voice is the one sounded by the far left.

Twitter defenders can point to scores of conservative tweets that are left standing. But this does not negate the factual reality that tweets from conservative users, en masse, are censored; meanwhile, it may, literally, be impossible, to find a liberal twit who has been discarded on Twitter.

The social media giant fervently asserts that it is not censoring based on conservative ideology, but on that amorphous evil of “hate speech.” Presumably, “hate speech” would be speech that is illegal. A fun fact, however, is that the Founding Fathers took great strains to ensure that almost no words uttered in America would be found unlawful. In order to ensure this right of free speech, they enacted the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Accordingly, in America, very little, in way of spoken and written word is illegal. What is unlawful?

Terroristic threats are illegal. It is crime for person to threaten to kill another, under circumstances where a reasonable person would believe that the threat of death is real, imminent and can be immediately carried out by the actor. Simply making a joke about killing someone or even issuing such a threat where it cannot be immediately consummated (e.g. – Bob threatens to kill Steve who is 500 miles away) is not a crime. The threat must be real and can be carried out immediately for it to be illegal.

It is civilly unlawful to commit acts of defamation (slander and libel). Culprits are liable for these torts where they purposely make false statements which are malicious and defamatory. It is very difficult to succeed in a defamation case, however, because (1) negligently and even recklessly false statements do not suffice; (2) a false statement is only considered “defamatory” if it tends to injure a person’s reputation; and (3) a “malicious” statement is something far greater than just making a rude or nasty comment. An opinion never amounts to defamation, nor does calling someone a terrible name.

The moral of the story is that although many types of speech may be considered “immoral” (i.e. – “hate speech”) by certain people, such speech is not illegal. Nor should it be. And, in legal fact, the United States Supreme Court has found that “hate speech” is constitutionally protected speech.

Nazi sympathizers can spew their Nazi nonsense. Louis Farrakhan-lovers can propound their racist diatribes. The N-word can be flouted. As can the H-word, W-word, or K-word (those are the racist words utilized against white people, Italians and Jews that not many, at least on the far left, care about).

People can lawfully employ all of this unsavory dialogue in America, with no legal repercussions. And while they should indeed be permitted to use these words in a free society, they should understand the professional, business and societal wrath that may occur: they may be shunned.

No doubt, private entities are not governed by the First Amendment’s mandates. Only the government must adhere to its dictates and protect speech. This means that Twitter, as a private company, of course has the legal right to ban what it considers “hate speech.”

The problems in media outlets “outlawing” speech are multi-fold – especially for social media networks who are allegedly providing a platform for users to speak their minds and, thus, proliferate the widest array of ideas. The advocates of censorship, such as Twitter, use “hate speech” as an umbrella term to cover anything they disagree with, which means that an inordinate, growing list of words and topics are being prohibited. Such lists by their nature are manufactured lists in that a very few people are deciding what’s hateful and what’s not and, accordingly, are biased and discriminatory. For example, don’t expect Twitter and other social media sites to ban the H-word, W-word, or K-word. One may also consider the U.S. Constitution and its wise doctrine when evaluating whether to prohibit any lawful speech on a social media platform. Although these private companies are not bound by the constitution, they may want to be guided by its spirit. This very likely is wishful thinking, however, as a currently-giant media outlet such as Twitter is controlled by not by a giant, all-encompassing mind, but rather a highly limited, narrow mind.

Today, a Twitter-type media entity simply labels something as “hate speech” and it has the same effect as the McCarthyism activities of the 1950s. During that dark time, any speech that the then-censorship police disagreed with, was labeled “communism”; this resulted in the mass removal of such speech (whatever it may have been) and the “offenders” were ostracized and, sometimes, were legally affronted. Oddly, those who called themselves liberals in that era fought, with great tenacity, to protect these free speech rights. In 2018, the ultra-liberals, in large groups, are now fighting against these freedoms. Some purposeful and evil, others ignorant, they are leading America toward a dictatorial society, wherein the most fundamental and precious of constitutional rights are sought to be subjugated. And that is dangerous.At that, I call on all just Americans who adore the First Amendment – and who are frightened by those government officials (e.g. – U.S. Senator Chris Murphy) and social media outlets (e.g. – Twitter) that censor speech – to stand by me and others who Tweet the following:

I will say whatever words I want, whenever I want. #FREE SPEECH #1ST AMENDMENT

I’m a proud, masculine, heterosexual white man, with great physical strength to go along with my great mental strength. #PROUD TO BE ME

Anyone who has a problem with the above is an angry bigot, as I’m happy for the other gender, other races, etc. to be proud of themselves. #HAPPY FOR ALL

If @Jack disagrees with me, he can combat me like a man, and write/speak something back to me, instead of being a coward who blocks me. @Jack can post here, on my news publication site, and I won’t neuter him; if he has already neutered himself, where he is beyond repair, that’s unfortunate. I will fight for @Jack’s right to say the categorical opposite of me. Instead of seeking to censor him, I will reject, in speech, his ill-advised thoughts – and school him on the correct ideology. He can debate, and he can grow as a successful human being. Or he can run and hide behind his deplatforming. The latter is the path of a loser, and usually a jealous, insecure one.

If Twitter blocks these posts, then the democracy-seeking Americans, for real, should boycott Twitter and its ilk. The free market, in America, can always deplatform a bigoted, censorship-sailing site such as Twitter et al. And new, First Amendment-furthering media outlets will spring up in their place. Twitter and its non-gender siblings are today’s norm in social media, but they unlikely will continue as the leaders in that space if they inhibit many ideas while attempting to propagate just some.

Kenneth Del Vecchio, ESN publisher and editor-in-chief, is the author of some of the nation’s best-selling legal books, including a series of criminal codebooks published by Pearson Education/Prentice Hall and Thomson Reuters-ALM/New Jersey & New York Law Journal Books. He is a former judge, a former prosecutor and a practicing criminal/entertainment attorney for 24 years, wherein he has tried over 400 cases.  Mr. Del Vecchio is also an acclaimed filmmaker who has written, produced and directed over 30 movies that star several Academy Award and Emmy winners and nominees. His films are distributed through industry leaders such as Sony Pictures, NBCUniversal, Cinedigm, and E-1 Entertainment. He has starred in numerous movies, as well. A best-selling political thriller novelist, he penned his first published novel at only 24-years-old. Additionally, Mr. Del Vecchio is the founder and chairman of Hoboken International Film Festival, called by FOX, Time Warner, and other major media “One of the 10 Biggest Film Festivals in the World.”  A regular legal and political  analyst on the major news networks, Mr. Del Vecchio formerly served as the publisher and editorial page editor for a New Jersey daily newspaper. 

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AMERICA’S MOST FAMOUS PROSECUTOR, HERBERT STERN, AUTHORS PROLIFIC BOOK ‘DIARY OF A DA’

A BOOK REVIEW BY KENNETH DEL VECCHIO

Diary of a DA: The True Story of the Prosecutor Who Took On the Mob, Fought Corruption and Won, scribed in the first person, follows the storied prosecutorial career of Herbert Stern. The memoir travels from the inception of his barrister duties at the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office in 1962 through his tenure as the U.S. Attorney for the State of New Jersey, which ended in 1974 when he was appointed to the federal bench. An easy to read personal tome, the book functions perfectly in equal parts of criminal suspense, courtroom drama, and a guide to understanding the trial work components of the criminal justice system.

Stern educates his readers about the lowest level duties of an assistant district attorney, such as trying minor cases while being part of the “Complaint Bureau” and the “Criminal Court Bureau”, and compiling indictments in front of grand juries. The author, in recounting his own tales in these units, doesn’t glamorize the seemingly smallish work of a youthful prosecutor. Instead, he paints the realistic picture of the monotony related to the court hearings associated with these bureaus. Stern unabashedly explains the bumps and bruises he took in learning his craft in these courts. He expresses that while law school only taught him legal theory, his first assignments with the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office taught him the practical side of law (i.e. – how to object, introduce evidence, direct- and cross-examine witnesses, deliver summations, and negotiate plea bargains). Refreshingly, he admits to making mistakes in his on-the-job training.

Although the young prosecutor fought with tenacity in his first endeavors, Stern often recognizes the de minimis nature of many of the offenses that he was prosecuting. He internally questions the necessity – and sometimes even morality – of forwarding certain gambling and so-called obscenity cases. He laments that “All in all, it is a shoddy business, and I would feel better if I refused to be part of the moral police.” However, Stern is ambitious and realizes that this is just part of the job. What he doesn’t realize, in these earliest stages of his vocation, is just how quickly the job will change, and the heights of success that he will accrue. For, in just a little over two years in the business, Stern will be leading the charge in the investigation of the murder of one of America’s most well-known and controversial men: Malcolm X.

Diary of a DA progresses to chronicle, in a strict timeline fashion, the travails of Stern’s rapid movement through the prosecutor ranks. As the import of the cases grows, so does Stern’s agency resume. While still in his 20s, he moves to the Department of Justice. In 1969, at only 32-years old, Stern lands the second-in-command position at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in New Jersey, although he was not barred in the state. And just two years later, he is appointed the U.S. Attorney of New Jersey. In this federal post, Stern serves as the state’s most powerful law enforcement official. The gravity of the cases he prosecutes in these varied roles – coupled with the detailed and colorfully descriptive layman’s prose that Stern employs to communicate the normally complex material – is what makes this book a fast read that is nearly impossible to put down.

Stern spearheaded the successful prosecutions of the real-life mafiosos who inspired the HBO hit series, The Sopranos. He brought down guys with names like Sam “The Plumber” DeCavalcante and Anthony “Tony Boy” Boiardo, whose father, Richie “The Boot” Boiardo, maintained an incinerator at his Livingston, NJ property so he could effectively dispose of mob-hit bodies. He also oversaw the prosecutions of mafia made men Anthony “Little Pussy” Russo and Angelo “Gyp” DeCarlo, the latter of which was Frank Sinatra’s cousin.

On the government front, Stern shredded the most notorious of corrupted political machines. Not only did he ensure the convictions of the law-breaking mayors of Newark, Atlantic City, and Jersey City, but he broke the backs of their seemingly impenetrable behind-the-scenes bosses. Longtime Hudson County chieftain John V. Kenny was considered the most powerful – and most corrupt – political boss in New Jersey. His group heisted 10% of all monies paid for public contracts in Hudson County and extorted 3% of the salaries of municipal employees throughout the county. Stern ended their abusive operations.

Stern’s book has the intimate feel of a diary, but is written much more in novel form. It is replete with little – and large – gems of honesty and reality in the hopefully hallowed halls of justice.

In describing a New York City criminal court judge, former NYC Mayor Vincent Impellittmeri, in a 1963 diary entry, Stern relays, “…I do note that while he treats private counsel with great consideration, he is very tough on legal aid lawyers and their defendants.” In the same chapter, Stern delivers one of the most poignant and candid admissions of a prosecutor: that he mistakenly prosecuted a man who he thought might not be guilty. This was a haunting, transformative event for Stern as a 26-year-old lawyer.

Here he tells the story not of a major mob boss or top corrupted politico, but a no-name, represented by a legal aid attorney, who allegedly hit a person and stole five dollars. After the arresting police officer told Stern that he believed the complainant was lying and that the defendant was innocent, Stern interviewed the complainant and found that there were multiple holes in his account. Believing that it was his duty to put the complainant on the witness stand and let the court make the call, Stern initiated the trial.

As the purported theft/assault victim testified, Stern repeatedly attempted to bring out all the problems with the complainant’s version of the incident. This is something that the defense attorney would usually do and Judge Impellitteri (the jurist who wasn’t too favorable to legal aid-represented defendants), kept telling Stern, “Do not impeach your own witness.” The judge’s admonition was strange, if not improper, in that his role is supposed to be that of an impartial party – and not one who should be meddling in how the prosecutor is handling his own witness. Stern dismissed Impellitteri’s interference, thinking that this judge understood what he was trying to do, namely bring out the reasonable doubt in the case which would result in an acquittal. Stern was incorrect.

As part of a three-judge panel, Impellitteri convicted the man and sentenced him to the most harsh penalty the court could impose for the offenses: two one year prison terms, to run consecutively. Stern was shocked at the result, and in face of potentially being held in contempt of court, he yelled to the judge, “How could you do that?”

But  Impellitteri didn’t hold the young lawyer in contempt. Instead, the judge emotionlessly said to him, “Mr. Stern, if you did not want us to convict him, why did you prosecute him?”

Understanding this as the most valuable lesson he had learned to date – and it becoming a cornerstone in his personal canons of justice that he carried with him throughout his legendary prosecutorial career – Stern, wrote:

“I did not think my job was to judge credibility. I believed it was for the court to decide who was telling the truth and my function was just to present testimony…But standing before that cold man I see I am wrong, and I will remain wrong as long as people like him sit in judgment. I have learned that the prosecutor must do more than determine if a judge or a jury could legally convict. In that moment I see that the prosecutor must do more than advocate reasonable positions. The power of his office is too vast to permit him to shift responsibility from himself to any tribunal for the outcome of what he alone has the authority to initiate.”

A 537-page book, Diary of a DA constitutes an autobiography of just a 12-year portion of Stern’s career, to wit his term as a prosecutor. At just 37, he was appointed his federal judgeship, which resulted in even more notoriety for the ever-motivated legal stalwart. Presiding over the only case ever tried in an American court in the then-American occupied sector of West Berlin, Germany, Stern gained international acclaim through this 1986 trial and a book he authored about it, Judgment in Berlin. This first writing effort netted Stern a movie deal, as the book was adapted into a screenplay and produced into a feature film of the same title. Academy Award winner Martin Sheen played Stern in the movie, and Academy Award winner Sean Penn co-starred in the flick. Upon retiring from the bench at 50 (an age at which most lawyers do not even first-become federal judges), Stern launched one of New Jersey’s most fabled and respected criminal defense practices. The man required personally seeing justice prevail in all roles of the criminal law system, a quality of his that is easily understood within the confines of his memoir as a prosecutor. Although Stern makes it clear that as a U.S. attorney and assistant district attorney he carried out his duties with the greatest of passion, precision, and success, he is equally mindful, throughout the book, of his goal to see justice sought (and to do that, one must be mindful of the law and the rights on the other side).

Diary of a DA, by Herbert Stern, is a thought-provoking, educational, highly interesting and entertaining literary work. It belongs on the must-read list for anyone who enjoys crime genre books, and for anyone who simply likes a good, inspirational story.

Kenneth Del Vecchio, ESN publisher and editor-in-chief, is the author of some of the nation’s best-selling legal books, including a series of criminal codebooks published by Pearson Education/Prentice Hall and Thomson Reuters-ALM/New Jersey & New York Law Journal Books. He is a former judge, a former prosecutor and a practicing criminal/entertainment attorney for 24 years, wherein he has tried over 400 cases.  Mr. Del Vecchio is also an acclaimed filmmaker who has written, produced and directed over 30 movies that star several Academy Award and Emmy winners and nominees. His films are distributed through industry leaders such as Sony Pictures, NBCUniversal, Cinedigm, and E-1 Entertainment. He has starred in numerous movies, as well. A best-selling political thriller novelist, he penned his first published novel at only 24-years-old. Additionally, Mr. Del Vecchio is the founder and chairman of Hoboken International Film Festival, called by FOX, Time Warner, and other major media “One of the 10 Biggest Film Festivals in the World.”  A regular legal and political  analyst on the major news networks, Mr. Del Vecchio formerly served as the publisher and editorial page editor for a New Jersey daily newspaper. 

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THE PROPAGANDA THAT COLLUSION IS A CRIME IS A RESULT OF THE FAR LEFT’S ABANDONMENT OF CIVIL LIBERTIES

By KENNETH DEL VECCHIO

In a past not so long ago, liberals fancied themselves as the protectors of civil liberties. They purportedly were in favor of free speech and protecting First Amendment rights. They also acted as if they vigorously sought to defend against unreasonable searches and seizures, in furtherance of rights guaranteed in the Fourth Amendment.

Some liberals actually believed in these causes. Others were just phonies, but at least they acted as if they cared.

Today, however, most avowed liberals have openly disavowed the protection of civil liberties unless, of course, it suits their partisan cause. When a FISA warrant was granted by a secret court – on the basis of purposely misleading information and without probable cause – against Trump campaign staffer Carter Page, there was no legal outcry by the far left to defend the man. More so, many of the ultra-liberal faction actively have sought that President Trump, and anyone associated with him, be prosecuted for a crime that does not exist—collusion.

Wrongful and malicious prosecutions had been at the forefront of the evils sought to be eliminated by civil liberty-minded liberals. No more, however—not if partisan politics is involved, at least. Nowadays, to these people, a mere accusation is enough to convict someone. And if they don’t like what a person says, forget about free speech rights—it’s a crime. According to these people, simply colluding – to do whatever – is a crime.

Well, that’s plain legal ignorance. The contrived Russian hysteria serves as a substantial aid to explain this pathetic phenomenon.

There is no such thing as the “crime” of “collusion.” As recently stated in another Empire State News article:

“Mueller, Rosenstein, and the entire special counsel team know that there is nothing unlawful in Americans and Russians joining together in trying to influence the outcome of a U.S. election – unless, in such colluding activity, they conspire to commit crimes. This is the direct reason why no Americans – or Russians for that matter – have been indicted for simply trying to ‘meddle with’ or ‘influence’ the 2016 presidential election. The Russians just indicted, as well as the previous lot, were indicted for allegedly committing crimes (i.e. – computer hacking, identity theft, bank fraud) during their meddling.”

And as recently provided for in yet another recent Empire State News article:

“People – whether they are American citizens or not, and whether they are on American soil or not – can say whatever they want in an effort to “influence”, “meddle with”, or “interfere with” an election, regardless of where that election takes place. And they can ‘collude’ with others – regardless if the “others” are Americans, Russians, British, Kenyans, Canadians, Peruvian, etc – to ‘influence’, ‘meddle with’, or ‘interfere with’ an election (in America or anywhere)…But what they can NOT do – and what is illegal – is if while attempting to ‘influence’, ‘meddle with’, or ‘interfere with’ an election, they collude to commit a crime (e.g. – bank fraud, identity theft, computer tampering). In that case, they are acting unlawfully…Otherwise, when no crime is being committed during the ‘colluding’ and ‘meddling’ activity, these people are acting in the ‘American way’ and in concert with the United States Constitution—they are embodying the First Amendments’s holy deliverance of free speech rights. They are indeed acting completely and totally lawfully.”

The far left is now trying to find ways to manipulate people into believing the above is not true. Of course, they are failing with any genuine legal minds and others who investigate beyond the sound bite talking points. Their efforts are alarming to any who revere the perpetuation of American civil liberties.

To be fair, some conservatives have also played this one-sided legal instrument and ignored Democrats’ constitutional rights and civil liberties protections in pursuit of succeeding in a partisan chess game. And that’s equally as wrongful as the illicit matches carried out by their leftist adversaries. It is also accurate to acknowledge that some liberals have remained true to their core values and not abandoned the cause to protect civil liberties of all, including Republicans (and even Donald Trump). Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz is a good example—but he has been crucified for his valiant, moral efforts by those who formerly adored his legal acumen. Dershowitz, correctly, had argued with similar tenacity that Hilary Clinton should not be prosecuted for the alleged crimes many claimed she committed.

But in furtherance of fairness and honesty, the following must be recognized: the great majority of ultra liberals have kicked the constitution to the curb and are in an outright rabid war to decimate the rights of anyone affiliated with Donald Trump, no matter the cost that it may have to the civil liberties of all. Conservatives, as a whole, simply are not even close to this same level of guilt.

Watch out libsters: before long, conservatives will be colluding to protect the civil liberties of all Americans, even Democrats. But probably not illegal aliens.

Kenneth Del Vecchio, ESN publisher and editor-in-chief, is the author of some of the nation’s best-selling legal books, including a series of criminal codebooks published by Pearson Education/Prentice Hall and Thomson Reuters-ALM/New Jersey & New York Law Journal Books. He is a former judge, a former prosecutor and a practicing criminal/entertainment attorney for 24 years, wherein he has tried over 400 cases.  Mr. Del Vecchio is also an acclaimed filmmaker who has written, produced and directed over 30 movies that star several Academy Award and Emmy winners and nominees. His films are distributed through industry leaders such as Sony Pictures, NBCUniversal, Cinedigm, and E-1 Entertainment. He has starred in numerous movies, as well. A best-selling political thriller novelist, he penned his first published novel at only 24-years-old. Additionally, Mr. Del Vecchio is the founder and chairman of Hoboken International Film Festival, called by FOX, Time Warner, and other major media “One of the 10 Biggest Film Festivals in the World.”  A regular legal and political  analyst on the major news networks, Mr. Del Vecchio formerly served as the publisher and editorial page editor for a New Jersey daily newspaper. 

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LAWFUL GUN OWNER PREVENTS TRAGEDY BY SHOOTING GUNMAN ATTEMPTING MASS SHOOTING AT PARK, UNDERSCORES NEED FOR CONCEALED CARRY RIGHTS

By DANIEL SONNINSHINE

Last Saturday, in Titusville, FL, an as-of-yet-unnamed hero, who was lawfully licensed to carry a firearm, prevented tragedy at a back-to-school park event by shooting a gunman who had opened fire on approximately 100 people.

The gunman, who also has not been identified by name, first engaged in a fistfight, allegedly over a basketball game. He then left the park and returned with a loaded handgun, which he proceeded to fire at the crowd that included many children. Thankfully, the lawfully armed citizen stepped in and fired at the gunman, critically wounding him in the head. Fortunately, no one else was injured and police have reported that the hero will, of course, not be charged.

“Based on the information that we’ve gathered,” said Titusville Police Sgt. William Amos, “this person stepped in and saved a lot of people’s lives.”

This incident demonstrates the need to protect Americans’ Second Amendment rights. Anti-gun liberals and mainstream media, who scream and whine in efforts to curtail gun rights even for responsible, lawful owners, have ignored this story, as well as other recent similar stories. Why? They don’t want to admit that good guys with guns can, and do, stop bad guys with guns.

Daniel Sonninshine is an Empire State News staff writer, who is in search of greatness. A 20-something smart fellow, he is now lifting weights in an effort to obtain more power. If that doesn’t work, he will ask to write more editorials for Empire State News and less fact articles.

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TRUMP KEEPS HIS PROMISES – OUR CURRENT LOW UNEMPLOYMENT RATE PROVES IT

By RICHARD MANNING

President Trump promised in 2016 that the forgotten men and women would be brought back into the economy. Now the July employment numbers, released Friday, confirm that those who have been left behind over the past two decades are beginning to find their places in their search for the American Dream.

America is getting back to work.

July 2018 marked the second-lowest number of unemployed Americans since before 9/11 in May of 2001, dropping to 6.28 million – 284,000 fewer that in the previous month.

What makes this low number of unemployed particularly impressive is that the total noninstitutional population has increased by more than 43 million since May 2001.

While the media follows the U-3 unemployment number – which was an extremely low 3.9 percent in July – Americans for Limited Government has been consistent in emphasizing additional underemployment data that reflects those who have been left behind.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics offers such an unemployment percentage, the U-6 number, which reflects traditional unemployment plus those who have become marginally detached from the workforce and those working part-time for economic reasons.

It is a reflection of the Trump economy that the U-6 unemployment rate has dropped to 7.5 percent over the past year, the lowest since 2001. For contrast, in 2016, it averaged 9.5 percent.

Almost 3.9 million new jobs have been created since President Trump was elected, demonstrating that his economic plan of reducing unnecessary job-strangling regulation, cutting taxes, and supporting fair and reciprocal trade deals is working and Americans are benefitting.

Perhaps the best news of all is that among working-age adults – those ages 16 to 64 – labor participation has dramatically increased. Those not in the labor force have decreased from 55.5 million in 2016 to 52.8 million, a drop of 2.7 million, even as the population of 16-to-64-year- olds has increased by 1 million.

Adding to the Trump economic miracle, the economy grew at an inflation-adjusted 4.1 percent annualized in the second quarter.

The numbers prove all the president’s critics wrong, and they also show that with the right policies and incentives, Americans can and will get back into the labor force.

Forget stagnation or the “new normal.” All that was brought on by policies that incentivized outsourcing and globalization, squeezed the middle class and slowed down the economy, which on an annual basis has not grown above 4 percent since 2000, and not above 3 percent since 2005.

The former Obama administration and the left would have had you believe that America’s best days are behind us – that the U.S. is now merely a partner in the global economy.

Even alarmists who have warned of a trade war as hurting U.S. exports and growth have been proven wrong. Even as the president’s steel and aluminum tariffs went up, and as an additional series of tariffs against China are taking effect, the economy has accelerated and the trade deficit has shrunk, down $53 billion the past quarter alone.

In the meantime, the tough trade posture by President Trump has brought trade partners to the negotiating table. South Korea was exempted from the steel tariffs in exchange for ending its dumping of steel into the U.S. and doubling U.S. automobile quotas into the country. The European Union and U.S. both made concessions on getting to zero tariffs on non-auto industrial goods.

This proves President Trump knows how to use U.S. economic might as leverage to lower tariff and non-tariff barriers to U.S. exports. His critics would foolishly have the U.S. cede this leverage, as it has done in the past, but the true route to free trade is through the reciprocal reduction of those barriers. That makes them sustainable.

Once again, the U.S. is the engine for global economic growth. Under President Trump, the economy is working again for America and the American people are getting back to work. And if the president’s critics had had their way, this would not be happening. Never forget.

 Richard Manning is president of Americans for Limited Government.  You can read more of hIS articles at www.dailytorch.com. 

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SECOND NORTH KOREA SUMMIT COMING SOON, BUT WITH MANY QUESTIONS

By MARIO DEL VECCHIO

The second summit between United States President Donald Trump and North Korea dictator Kim Jong Un may be just around the corner. The surprising first summit took place in Singapore on June 12.

The tensions between America and North Korea have cooled down after this first summit between the two countries, and maybe full denuclearization for North Korea  is a possibility after the next summit. North Korea had made a promise that they would  denuclearize, but footage has shown that this claim might be false. Several news anchors and political analysts, such as Jake Tapper on CNN and Jeanne Zaino on i24 News, have speculated this assertion. Other television political analysts have correctly stated that there is progress toward the denuclearization of North Korea and that the footage might be inaccurate.

There has been no nuclear missile testing  since the last summit, and North Korea shut down their nuclear engine testing facility,  according to U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. There are rumors that the next summit will happen soon, but the location is unknown.

Mario Del Vecchio is a precocious young lad who turns 10 in September. He prides himself in knowing more about politics and such than most adults. He also is quite confident that being a tattle-tale is for zeros, and that only losers are jealous. He has no use for disloyal people, but he has a lot of use for karate, wrestling, football, baseball, and Fortnite. And if you try to push him around, he will defend himself and push back harder than you – otherwise, he will leave you alone.   

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PROFESSIONAL NEWSMAN DAVID SHUSTER SCHOOLS SHOWMAN JIM ACOSTA FOR HIS PRESS CONFERENCE THEATRICS

By TEMPLE LI

A hard to politically pigeon-hole journalist, David Shuster, slammed CNN reporter Jim Acosta for walking out of a White House press conference yesterday, defining Acosta’s antics as “self-promotion” that “are hurting journalism.” Acosta had created a spectacle of himself when he abruptly departed the presser after White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders refused to acquiesce to his demands to “say the press is not the enemy.” It’s confusing, if not confounding, why Acosta believes that Sanders should adopt his words and parakeet-repeat his labels. When she wouldn’t, he packed up his hot dogs and hamburgers and went home.

Immediately thereafter, Acosta followed the lead of his president, and took to Twitter, writing:

“I walked out of the end of that briefing because I am totally saddened by what just happened. Sarah Sanders was repeatedly given a chance to say the press is not the enemy and she wouldn’t do it. Shameful.”

The dialogue immediately leading up to Acosta’s exodus started with a rambling sermon by the CNN reporter, wherein he bellowed to Sanders, “For the sake of this room, for the people who are in this room, this democracy, this country. All the people around the world are watching what you’re saying, Sarah, and the White House, for the United States of America, the President of the United States should not refer to us as the enemy of the people. His own daughter acknowledges that, and all I’m asking you to do, Sarah, is to acknowledge that right now and right here.”

Sanders swiftly and succinctly responded to Acosta’s diatribe, with “I appreciate your passion. I share it. I’ve addressed this question. I’ve addressed my personal feelings. I’m here to speak on behalf of the president, and he’s made his comments clear.”

At that, Acosta attempted an epic silent movie soliloquy by overtly trotting from the press conference, ensuring the entire room’s (and America’s) notice. His actions, however, fell short of a classic performance and, at best, could be classified as a 2018 short film dramedy.

Shuster, a primetime anchor at i24 News who is also a managing editor at the network, took Acosta to task upon reading his tweet. Shuster tweeted yesterday:

“Hey Jim @acosta, the job of a true journalist is not to be sad or happy by what happens in a press briefing room. It is to ask questions and report facts about what was said/not said. Your feelings, antics, + self-promotion are hurting journalism, not helping it. Enough.”

This sparked a raging Twitter debate, with people both ripping and defending Acosta. Shuster, an Emmy winning journalist, utilized a real-life example to distinguish between the appropriate conduct of a true journalist and the inappropriate behavior of a showboat, tweeting:

“Years ago, I had a presidential candidate, in a room in South Carolina filled with 500 supporters, point to me and call me a communist. The crowd cheered. I laughed. Then, I asked the candidate about his definition of ‘communist.’ I didn’t leave, pout, or make it about me.”

Then Shuster added on his Twitter page (where he makes clear that “My tweets do not reflect the opinions of anybody but me”):

“One can report aggressively and call out Trump on Cohen/Russia, as we have, without making the story about US. True journalism is not about self-promotion. It’s about reporting the facts. Period.”

These tweets issued by Shuster should not be mistaken as his advocacy for President Trump or his administration. He has many times criticized the president, on Twitter, for a wide array of policy decisions. Just two days ago, in response to a tweet by Trump calling “Russian collusion with the Trump Campaign…a TOTAL HOAX”, Shuster tweeted directly to the president, saying:

“Actually, your campaign foreign policy advisor George Papadopolous, with his Russian outreach, sparked the investigation well before the Steele dossier. Also, in 14 months, charges have been brought against 32 people. #MuellerIsComing

Certainly, many disagree with Shuster in this regard, as there is considerable evidence to prove that the notorious Steele Dossier (which was improperly used to obtain an illicit FISA warrant to wrongfully surveil former Trump campaign aide, Carter Page) was the true lightening rod for the special counsel Russian probe. More so, the investigation has not delivered any credible evidence to the public to even remotely link President Trump or anyone from his campaign to illegal collusion with Russians, with regard to interference in the last U.S. presidential election. Shuster may provide a “back and forth” in such a debate, but he will never proselytize or whine and moan about those in disagreement with him—nor will he make the issue about him. This type of conduct is what differentiates Shuster from Acosta.

With an impressive newsman pedigree – Shuster formerly served for several years as an anchor for MSNBC and as a correspondent for Fox News – he is of rare breed in today’s hyper-partisan media climate. While there is nothing wrong with a personality/pundit/analyst/editorialist from taking strong, hard-hitting – and even one-sided – positions, this type of role is different from that of a journalist who purports to report “facts.” And that’s Shuster’s point, which seems to be resonating with the great majority of those engaged in his Twitter debate.

Now here’s a definitive, purposeful editorialized statement:

Jim Acosta huffed, “Sarah Sanders was repeatedly given a chance to say the press is not the enemy and she wouldn’t do it.” In layman’s terms, who the hell is Acosta to give the White House press secretary “a chance”? For that matter, who is he to give any person “a chance”? His words, and over-evaluation of himself, are ripe with superciliousness.

Acosta failed in his condescension: Sanders disregarded him. Fellow press conference reporters snickered at him. And Shuster schooled him.

Temple Li is the news editor for Empire State News, where she frequently authors her own editorials (just because she feels like it). She graduated at the top of her class at a mediocre college, infuriating her professors with her conservative wit and sultry charm. Empire State News allows Ms. Li to make a living, and to have a platform to tell people what she thinks. What could be better than that?

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IS TWITTER SUPPRESSING CONSERVATIVE VOICES?

By CANDY STALLWORTH

It’s no secret that Facebook has deliberately suppressed conservative content from reaching its users, exemplified by the well-documented case of pro-Trump vloggers Diamond and Silk. But now it appears that Twitter may also be blocking certain users, who happen to be pro-Trump Republicans.

Twitter has been accused of “shadow banning” some users, such as Republican Party Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, Congressman Devin Nunes (R-California), Congressman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), and other Republican Congressman, as well as Donald Trump Jr.’s spokesperson, Andrew Surabian. Shadow banning is when a user’s content is blocked from being seen by other users, but he/she is not aware of it and thinks the content is available to others. In the cases of these Republicans’ accounts, when a user searches their name, it does not come up in the auto-population of search terms, thus making it more difficult to find. Shadow banning is typically used for hate groups, such as pro-Nazis or racists.  It is very troubling to think that this strategy is being used against Republicans, simply because the Twitter powers that be do not agree with their viewpoints.

As McDaniel noted in her tweet, “The notion that social media companies would suppress certain political points of view should concern every American. Twitter owes the public answers to what’s really going on.” Trump Jr. similarly called on Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey to end the nefarious free-speech-crushing practice with this tweet: “@Jack it’s time for you to #StopTheBias against conservatives and Trump supporters and fix this once and for all.”

Twitter reported that this issue was a glitch in its algorithms and now it has been fixed. Product lead Kayvon Beykpour tweeted this: “To be clear, our behavioral ranking doesn’t make judgements based on political views or the substance of tweets.”

Will Twitter go the way of Facebook and lose all credibility because of its blatant bias against conservatives? Or will it do the right thing and allow conservative viewpoints to be accessed by anyone who is searching for them? Time will tell, but conservatives should not, and will not, allow their First Amendment rights to be squashed on social media, or any platform.

Candy Stallworth, an Empire State News staff writer, whipped her way through a doctoral education at the finest of American higher ed institutions, noting how unoriginal, inept, and annoying many of the schools’ professors were in their robotic attempts to maintain a politically correct narrative. BTW: she hates words like “narrative”, “optics”, and “gaffe.” Other than that, her turn-offs include non-masculine men, women who hate men, men who hate men, phonies, disloyal people, and overflowing garbage cans. She likes New England clam chowder better than Manhattan clam chowder, but prefers Manhattan to New England.

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