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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THE UNJUST DEEP STATE PROSECUTION OF POLITICAL PRISONER PAUL MANAFORT

By KENNETH DEL VECCHIO

Picture this:

A man is on trial.

He’s a 68-year-old businessman.

He has been held without bail.

He is being threatened with life in prison.

Who is he? A murderer? A pedophile?

No, he’s a man charged with tax evasion, ambiguous bank fraud, and failing to complete foreign lobbyist forms. The latter of which is, literally, never prosecuted criminally but instead is always treated as a civil law infraction. The two former alleged offenses, if proven, typically result in about a year of incarceration or straight probation. But this man is special.

He’s special because he was the former head of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. He is, of course, Paul Manafort – otherwise known as the Trump campaign chairman.

It would be appropriate to provide him with a new title, one wanted by no one. A title that is usually only associated with people from nations run by dictators. A title affiliated with the worst of criminal justice systems.

The title Paul Manafort should be afforded is the title of political prisoner.

Ironically, it’s not a Donald Trump “regime” who has created this warranted “political prisoner” title in the supposedly just lands of America. President Trump’s critics have so wrongfully categorized him as a “dictator-type” when he has shown that he is quite the opposite, in going out of his way to free from prison those falsely accused and overly-charged, via a recent series of pardons and sentence commutations. The totality of his presidency has been inapposite to a dictatorial regime; instead, it has been one of fostering capitalism in a democracy.

The Trump-haters so sadly – and grotesquely – have been acting via the psychological principle of projection. They have projected upon him their dictatorial, fascist behaviors. These people are highly organized, with many tentacles and arms throughout the government, media, Hollywood, academia, and factions of certain industries; they are the deep state who have caused America to now be the home of political prisoners.

Perhaps Paul Manafort is guilty of tax evasion and bank fraud, perhaps he is not. But all of the following should be understood by those unfamiliar with American criminal law and its supposedly just system, in order to assess Manafort’s status as a political prisoner:

Tax evasion and bank fraud are rooted in notoriously vague, ambiguous, and confusing laws. Certainly, one could know that he is violating the statutes that define these offenses (e.g. – a person knows that he earned $5 million, but he purposely failed to report that income and thus did not pay the taxes on it). However, many times, these convoluted laws are misappropriated and utilized to prosecute conduct that either is unclear as to its legality or definitely does not constitute a crime.

Why are people prosecuted under such unjust circumstances? Generally, for three reasons: (1) because the law enforcement officers involved are, simply, evil – and are abusing their powers in an effort to hurt others; and/or (2) because they cannot find evidence to successfully prosecute their targets for any more serious crimes; and/or (3) because they want to squeeze the targets to obtain their testimony against a “bigger” subject.

One could argue that Paul Manafort is being prosecuted for all three of the above reasons. Apparently, the special counsel has not found any truly serious statutes to charge Manafort under, and that has left him with these marginal criminal matters. Accordingly, number (2) is accurate.

Why number (1)? Most law enforcement officers (federal agents, local police, prosecutors) are not evil. That said, it certainly is evil to falsely charge individuals with crimes. It would be unfair, however, to assert that the special counsel’s team have fabricated facts and evidence; the strength of their case, at this point, is unknown. If the evidence truly proves, beyond a reasonable doubt, that Manafort committed these specious offenses, then there has not been any evil conduct via their charging of him.

It takes an evil individual(s) to pursue life imprisonment for anyone who has committed bank fraud or tax evasion. Such a sentence squarely violates the Eighth Amendment’s protections against cruel and unusual punishment. The punishments for these types of non-violent offenses normally – and appropriately – include no term of incarceration; and when they do, it should be minimal prison time. The prosecutors in the Manafort case may not actually seek an obscene punishment for Manafort if he is convicted; if they seek only probation or a very minimal prison term, then they are not evil based upon their sentencing predilections.

A prosecutor’s morality may rightfully be challenged where he seeks that a defendant be held without bail (locked up, in solitary confinement, for 23 hours a day) while awaiting trial. The entire notion of “no bail” flies in the face of the most basic of constitutional rights: “innocent until proven guilty” and “proof beyond a reasonable doubt.” In Manafort’s case – and truly in every case where a defendant is held without bail – they are, in legal reality, being treated “guilty until proven innocent” and have had their physical freedom fleeced with far less proofs than the constitutionally mandated “proof beyond a reasonable doubt.” This pre-trial jailing also violates the Eighth Amendment, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that a prosecutor who advocates for “no bail” is evil.

The longstanding primary bases for denying a defendant bail are substantial grounds to believe that (a) the defendant poses a significant threat of danger (i.e. – death) to other person(s) in the community; and/or (b) the defendant is likely to flee if he is released on bail. In Manafort’s case, there is absolutely zero evidence that he poses any danger, of any kind, to any people, anywhere. The argument that he may flee is a challenged one, at best. Simply because he is wealthy and purportedly has foreign ties woefully fails in proving that there are “substantial grounds” to believe that he will abscond. More so, it is disputable that anyone should have his liberty revoked and be jailed because there is some perceived likelihood that he may flee; if law enforcement is so concerned about a defendant’s flight, then police personnel should monitor the defendant. In the balancing test, ensuring an individual’s physical freedom when he has not been convicted of a crime outweighs the government’s concerns of any particular defendant not appearing for trial. This, however, is a moral argument applicable to all defendants’ cases, not just Manafort’s.

The denial of bail is indeed a legal pandemic, but it is predicated upon years of propagandized precedent that the vast majority of prosecutors just accept as proper dealings. Accordingly, it is difficult (and maybe unreasonable) to label prosecutors, in general, as “evil” for seeking the denial of bail. In Manafort’s matter, the “no bail” application was palpably flawed and the prosecutors, through their maneuvering, were not carrying out justice.

Why number (3)? Paul Manafort would never have been prosecuted, much less held without bail and had a life sentence swung in front of him, if he were not Donald Trump’s campaign chairman. A novice attorney could figure out that the special counsel fixed up Manafort with these dubious charges for the sole purpose to get him to sing a song about Donald Trump. And this type of practice, although established industry standard, not only stinks for Manafort but it stinks for all of America. Far too many times, this squeezing technique causes rightfully frightened defendants to make false allegations against others – so they can have the charges against themselves downgraded or dismissed.

So far, it’s apparent that Manafort has not sung that song for the special counsel. And it seems obvious that it’s because he has no illegalities to tell about President Trump. It also may be because Manafort is a standup, principled guy. And, quite possibly, is one who has committed no crime himself. But a jury will soon weigh in on that – because the prosecution has, for the unsavory reasons described above, brought it there. And, for now at least, this prosecution has made Manafort a political prisoner.

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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WHILE THE LEFT AND MAINSTREAM MEDIA ARE LOOKING AT RUSSIA BECAUSE OF SOME FACEBOOK MEMES, THE REAL THREAT IS GAINING STEAM AROUND THE GLOBE

By PRINTUS LEBLANC

China has a strategy unlike any the U.S. has faced. In the Cold War with the Soviet Union, it was military force versus military force. China learned a lesson from the USSR and is taking an asymmetrical approach in dealing with the U.S. Yes, China is challenging the U.S. in the military sphere, but it is also attacking the U.S. on multiple unexpected fronts. China is attacking the U.S. in ways Russia was never capable of, and has proven to be far more dangerous.

When the U.S. thinks of warfare, it typically thinks of kinetic warfare, physical destruction of a target by military means. China, however, has adopted a total warfare strategy. A 2014 White Paper from U.S. Army Special Operations Command on Unconventional Warfare discusses different methods of warfare being used by various adversaries.  With regards to China, it stated, “China will use a host of methods, many of which lie out of the realm of conventional warfare.  These methods include trade warfare, financial warfare, ecological warfare, psychological warfare, smuggling warfare, media warfare, drug warfare, network warfare, technological warfare, fabrication warfare, resources warfare, economic aid warfare, cultural warfare, and international law warfare.”

An example of China using financial warfare is the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The BRI is an ambitious development project spanning the globe. Through a series of Chinese controlled ports stretching from the mainland to the Mediterranean and railroads running to Europe, China pushes to exert control. The project will connect China to 65 percent of global population and 40 percent of worldwide GDP.

China has already used the BRI to exert pressure and influence policies. China’s COSCO Shipping took a 51 percent stake in Greece’s largest port in 2016. One year later, Greece would block a European Union statement on human rights abuses by China in the UN. It was the first time the EU failed to make such a statement at the UN. Many directly attributed the move to Chinese pressure.

One of the chief weapons in China’s economic warfare toolbox is intellectual property (IP) theft. China steals IP of companies doing business in China. When a foreign company goes into the communist country, they are often forced to partner with a Chinese company to do business. From there the Chinese company steals the IP and competes against their former partners. The Chinese company skips R&D, saving itself millions, often putting the foreign company out of business.

The Commission on the Theft of American Intellectual Property estimates Chinese IP theft costs the U.S. economy between $225 billion and $600 billion annually. No small sum.

There is now a growing number excusing China’s IP theft. They point to the rise in Chinese payments of licensing fees and royalties over the last decade. The payments now reach almost $30 billion per year. What is being forgotten is how China got to where it is.

Of course, China wants to play by the rules now; the Communist government has stolen so much IP it is now in its financial interest to enforce IP laws. China’s nefarious actions put so many companies out of business of which it now holds the IP, and it wants the royalties and fees paid. China will play by the rules when it is in its interest and break the rules it feels it needs to in order to gain an advantage.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. From U.S. universities to Hollywood to Wall Street, China has launched an all-out assault, with the goal of supplanting the U.S. as the world’s superpower. However, it may not be too late. It seems some are starting to take notice of the Chinese threat.

Last week, the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence held a hearing titled, “China’s Threat to American Government and Private Sector Research and Innovation Leadership.” Testifying before the committee was a bevy of experts on the threat posed by China. One of the experts captured what is really at stake with China.

James Phillips, Chairman, and CEO of NanoMech testified before the committee, “When and if that happens, America loses. The world changes, everything changes. China may dominate the world. But it won’t have to use its military. When its GDP surpasses Americas, it will dominate the world economically by a margin far more than the United States currently has. At that point China will be the new leader of the world. All decisions between countries on the subjects of peace, trade, environment, borders, laws, and human rights would defer to China. Because more than ever, the new golden rule applies: He who has the gold, rules. And the country with the dominant GDP has the gold and the good jobs.”

FBI Director Christopher Wray also sees China as the greatest threat. Wray spoke at the Aspen Security Forum last week stating, “I think China, from a counterintelligence perspective, represents the broadest, most challenging, most significant threat we face as a country.” He continued, “It is economic espionage, as well as traditional espionage…It is non-traditional collectors as well as traditional intelligence operatives. It is human sources as well as cyber means.”

Russia doesn’t pose near the threat as China. As Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) famously said, “Russia is a gas station masquerading as a country,” China, on the other hand, has the capability to challenge the U.S. not just militarily, but economically. President Trump recognizes the threat China poses; it is time for Congress to do the same.

Printus LeBlanc is the Legislative Director at Americans for Limited Government.  You can read more of her articles at www.dailytorch.com. 

CONSTITUTIONAL IMPLICATIONS OF BANNING THE PUBLISHING OF 3D PRINTED GUNS’ BLUEPRINTS

Isn’t the federal judge in Seattle violating TWO constitutional rights held by American citizens in restraining the creator of the 3D printed guns from publishing its blueprints?

First Amendment right to free speech: shot down.

Second Amendment right to bear arms: bullet ridden.

Right now, this judge is legally incorrect—and he is legislating from the bench, which violates a third major constitutional principle (the separation of powers).

The only way to legally stop the 3D printed gun blueprints from being published online is by Congress must enacting a law.

Now, do we want that, though?

For, what slippery slope into the degradation of two constitutional rights may such foster?

On the other hand, should it be legal to publish the instructions as to how to build a nuclear bomb?

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