IT’S A SHIFF SHOW

Elections have consequences. The result of the last Congressional election is the phony Democrat-led impeachment of a duly elected Republican President. The Democrat House Speaker describes the occasion as “solemn” and says she’s “prayerful” – gag me. This is a political hit job, plain and simple. For three years the Democrat Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Adam Shiff, has been saying that he has evidence of Trump-Russia collusion, yet this practiced liar hasn’t produced a shred of it yet. Shiff and his committee are now gathering “evidence” of Presidential malfeasance. Zero principles here, and even less honesty.

The previous plot to remove Trump alleged that he colluded with Russia “to hack our democracy.” You don’t hear about this now because the Mueller report killed it: no collusion found. Now, Democrats have hatched a new plan to overturn the 2016 election and rig the 2020 contest. The current plot is based on President Trump’s phone conversation with the Ukrainian president. President Trump released the transcript of that phone call; I read it and found nothing remotely criminal. I respectfully ask that you read the transcript for yourself. Trump committed no crime. This President and previous Presidents have asked foreign leaders to help with investigations, and have withheld aid pending cooperation by foreign governments on various matters.

Hysterical Democrats bleat daily about their loyalty to the Constitution and the President “violating his oath of office.” Phonies all. Progressive Democrats would gleefully rip the “obsolete” Constitution into confetti, toss it in the air and celebrate while it tumbles around them. But the sham impeachment miserably grinds on, with the press propping it up and giving it what it lacks – a patina of legitimacy.

House Republicans have done their part. All voted against the faux impeachment resolution. Two Democrats voted against it, making the vote for impeachment partisan, and the vote against impeachment bipartisan. Nick Langworthy, Chairman of the New York State Republican Party, has targeted four vulnerable House Democrats for defeat in 2020. Good for him. The Republican Party finally has a beating heart and a steely spine. This bodes well for the country, and for New York State.

Politics is a team game. Winning will take all of us. I have a suggestion: please get involved. Write a letter to the editor, contribute to one or more candidates, and help put an end to this Shiff show by supporting the opponents of the four Democrats targeted by Chairman Langworthy. Here is the latest.

NY 22: Anthony Brindisi (D). Trump won this district by 15 points. Several candidates are vying for the Republican nomination, but former Congresswoman Claudia Tenney is the favorite to face Brindisi.

NY 11: Max Rose (D). Trump won NY 11 by 10 points. Rose’s likely opponent is Republican Nicole Malliatakis.

NY 19: Antonio Delgado (D). This is a Trump +7 district. At this stage, no clear challenger to Delgado has emerged.

NY 18: Sean Patrick Maloney (D). President Trump won NY 18 by two points. Republican Chele Farley has announced her candidacy. Farley ran against Kirsten Gillibrand in 2018.

All four of these so-called moderate Democrats wanted no part of impeachment as candidates. But once in office, they all changed their tune. Join the team, and let’s throw the four bums out.

Michael A. Morrongiello, Ph. D.

Another Blow to Upstate

This comes under the heading, “When you think it can’t get any worse.”  I just read today’s NY Post and I thought all of my readers should see this.  All credit to the NYP Editorial board for keeping up with the nonsense coming out of Albany.  Gov. Andrew is at it again.  And if he’s at it-we’re going to get it.  The editorial follows.

Mike Morrongiello, Ph. D.

 

Gov. Andrew Cuomo just can’t seem to resist slamming Upstate simply to pander to the greens. The latest pain: His drive to build vast “wind farms” off Long Island will zing upstaters’ electric bills to the tune of more than $1 billion — and that’s just for the first round of subsidies.

Credit the Empire Center’s Ken Girardin for uncovering this injustice in new filings by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, which shows that subsidies for the windmill operators could hit $2.2 billion — — about double today’s wholesale electric prices for the city and Long Island.

The cost would be snuck into consumers’ electric bills all across New York — with utilities legally barred from telling the public what’s going on. And that’s just for about a fifth of the 9,000 megawatts of wind power mandated by the “Climate Leadership” law Cuomo got passed this year.

Mind you, the gov’s making even green power more expensive than it needs to be, by requiring union wages and work rules on these wind projects and by blocking better alternative sources, like Canadian hydropower, from qualifying for state subsidies.

Meanwhile, much of the state suffers needlessly because of Cuomo’s junk-science ban on fracking, which robs depressed rural areas of good jobs and the wealth that selling drilling rights would bring.

This gov’s “climate leadership” is pushing much of the state to ruin.

Filed under andrew cuomoclimate changeeditorialelectricity

WARNING! CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM COMING SOON

The NYS Legislature has passed and Governor Cuomo signed a massive criminal justice reform law that will do great harm, and might even kill. Starting January 1st, there will be no money bail for so called “non-violent” felonies and misdemeanors. Advocates of this law say what advocates of such laws always say, that bail hurts the poor and minorities. The pretext is that the current laws are discriminatory. The subtext is that the country is racist, and that YOU who want to be safe in your home are a bigot, too.

Discovery requires the prosecution to make its case available to the defense. The new law directs that prosecution evidence be given to the defense within 15 days. Every upstate District Attorney’s office will be burdened by another unfunded state mandate. They will have to hire new staff, but Albany is not providing money to cover the new hires. The Executive Director of the NYS Association of Counties, Stephen Acquario, says, “We’re still assessing the impact of this, but it’s safe to say it will cost millions of dollars across the state to implement this at the local level.”

Local judges will be mandated to release defendants unless they pose a “flight risk.” But what about the risk of re-offense, or of a more serious crime? Bail and detention will be eliminated for all class A drug offenses unless the defendant is a “major trafficker.” Mid- and low-level dealers walk. Judges will be forbidden from taking a defendant’s history into account when considering bail – our safety be damned. Erie County DA Fitzpatrick warns of people being “assaulted or killed by someone out on bail who any under normal, sane set of regulations would’ve been held pending trial.”

The law makes it easier for defendants to visit locations where they allegedly committed crimes. Under the section called “Order to grant access to premises,” a bank robber can visit the bank he robbed, a burglar can inspect a home he illegally entered, and most egregious, a rapist could have access to the bedroom where he committed rape.

A partial list of “non-violent” offenses no longer requiring bail according to the District Attorneys Association of New York State follows:

Assault 3rd degree; Aggravated vehicular assault; Criminally negligent homicide; Manslaughter 2nd; Criminal possession of a weapon on school grounds; Criminal possession of a weapon; Making a terroristic threat; resisting arrest; Directing a laser at an aircraft 1st; Criminal sale of a firearm to a minor. The link to the complete list is below.

https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=2553145624775752&id=1769038149853174

This law reads like an ironic internet spoof, but it’s not. This egregious law comes from an insulated elite that is out of touch with the people they represent. We’re all at risk and this abomination must be repealed, now.

 

 

 

 

 

Michael A. Morrongiello, Ph. D.

RED FLAG LAW TARGETS OUR RIGHTS

New York’s “Red Flag Law” is supposed to protect us from gun violence. Instead, it sets dangerous precedents that radically alter our judicial system and erode our individual rights.

The new law allows people to apply for an “Extreme Risk Protection Order” (ERPO). To apply, a petitioner (someone who feels threatened) must ask a Supreme court judge to remove the lawfully possessed firearms of a respondent (the person accused of dangerousness). Here’s the definition

(Sec. 630 -1):

Extreme Risk Protection Order means a court-issued ordered order of protection prohibiting a person from purchasing, possessing or attempting to purchase or possess a firearm, rifle or shotgun.”

It sounds good but the devil is in the details, and there are a lot of details. Who can ask for an ERPO? Law enforcement and school personnel, to name two…. but school personnel means everyone except the janitor and secretary (2-c).

“…..school teacher, school guidance counselor, school psychologist, school social worker, school nurse, school administrator or other school personnel required to hold a teaching license or certificate, and full or part-time compensated school employee required to hold a temporary coaching license or professional coaching certificate.”

No experience in threat assessment is necessary; if you feel threatened you can apply.

Family members can petition too, but the definition is broad and comes from NYS Social Services law (459-A). It includes married or divorced persons, parents not married who have children in common. And it includes persons who have had an:

intimate relationship…..regardless of weather a relationship is sexual in nature or frequency of interaction between the persons; and the duration of the relationship.”

You can imagine the potential flood of petitions from people who are duking it out in divorce court.

Also included are, any other category of individuals deemed to be victims of domestic violence……

The law empowers the following organizations,

Residential programs for victims of domestic violence,” “Domestic violence shelters,” “Domestic violence programs,” and finally “Non-residential program for victims of domestic violence.”

A firearms owner who has gone on a date or had a brief relationship can be accused. What does “deemed to be a victim of domestic violence” mean, and who does the deeming?

The confiscation of rights and guns begins (S. 6341).

In accordance with this article, a petitioner may file a sworn application, and accompanying supporting documentation, setting forth the facts and circumstances justifying the issuance of an extreme risk protection order….Such application form shall include inquiry as to whether the petitioner knows, or has reason to believe, that the respondent owns, possesses or has access to a firearm…..”

If the court deems the accused a risk, they will issue a temporary ERPO. The accused need not be present. You can be denounced as a “potential” murderer and not even be present to defend yourself. In legal language this is known as “ex-parte” (S 6342-1). Judges have historically avoided this, until now.

“….the court may issue a temporary extreme risk protection order, ex-parte or otherwise, to prohibit the respondent from purchasing, possessing or attempting to purchase or possess a firearm…….upon finding that there is probable cause to believe the respondent is likely to engage in conduct that would result in serious harm to himself, herself or others…..”

The judge is now a mind reader. The phrase, “likely to engage in conduct…” turns American justice inside out. Now the accused, instead of being innocent until proven guilty, is assumed guilty. The accused does not face his accuser, shifting the entire process. And now the accused must answer the question, “When did you stop being a menace to society?” This is as totalitarian as it gets.

The court may consider the following (S 6342 2 a,b,c,d,e,f,g):

In determining whether grounds for a temporary extreme risk protection order exist, the court shall consider any relevant factors including but not limited to, the following acts of the respondent:

(a) a threat or act of violence or use of physical force directed toward self, the petitioner, or another person;

(b) a violation or alleged violation of an order of protection;

(c) any pending charge or conviction for an offense involving the use of a weapon;

(d) the reckless use, display or brandishing of a firearm, rifle or shotgun;

(e) any history of a violation of an extreme risk protection order;

(f) evidence of recent or ongoing abuse of controlled substances or alcohol; or

(g) evidence of a recent acquisition of a firearm, rifle, shotgun or other deadly weapon or dangerous instrument, or any ammunition therefor.

Each of these acts already violates the law, and results in a denial of purchase on the NICS Federal database and an arrest and removal of a person’s weapons under existing NYS law. Then, “the court shall consider any relevant factors,” a gaping hole that any judge can use to deny a constitutional right. The purchase of ammunition six months prior to the petition fits the definition of “recent.” A lawful gun owner is now a suspect. An “alleged violation of an order of protection” is a reason to grab the accused’s guns. Alleged by whom and substantiated by what?

The gun removal standard is frighteningly low. Note the language in S. 6342 3. Supporting documentation, “if any” to have someone deemed a threat? Then note that the court “may” examine the petitioner and any witnesses under oath, not shall: advantage accuser—disadvantage gun owner.

The application of the petitioner and supporting documentation, if any, shall set forth the factual basis for the request and probable cause for issuance of a temporary order. The court may conduct an examination under oath of the petitioner and any witnesses the petitioner may produce.

If the judge grants a temporary ERPO, a horde of locked and loaded police will serve the order and confiscate the accused’s guns, creating an unwarranted risk for all. He must provide a list of all of his guns to the authorities (S. 6342 4, iii, e). The hearing to determine if the order should be permanent is scheduled in 3 to 6 business days. The law mandates a quick pace, but what government agency moves rapidly? The judicial calendar is already swamped. The accused is advised that he “may” need an attorney. “May?”

If the court does not grant the temporary ERPO, the hearing still goes forward, unless the petitioner withdraws the accusation (6342 5).

If the application for a temporary extreme risk protection order is not granted, the court shall notify the petitioner and unless the application is voluntarily withdrawn by the petitioner, nonetheless schedule a hearing on the final extreme risk protection order.

The court then informs every law enforcement agency involved in the temporary order, including the FBI (7 (a) (b)). The accused’s reputation is damaged.

At the hearing the burden now shifts to the accuser, who must prove the accused is a threat. The court will be cautious; it will scrutinize the accused, and likely terminate his rights to err on the side of caution. Never mind the legal smokescreen of a “civil” proceeding; the criminal implications are massive and life-altering. The respondent stands accused of (maybe) joining the ranks of humanity’s lowest scum— a murderer or worse, a mass murderer. Then there’s the matter of expense. Attorneys cost, and the respondent may also have to hire an expert. What if the accused can’t afford a lawyer, let alone an expert? People on the lower end of the economic spectrum will at a major disadvantage.

 

At the hearing pursuant to subdivision one in this section, the petitioner shall have the burden of proving by clear and convincing evidence, that the respondent is likely to engage in conduct that would result in serious harm to himself or others…”

 

If the order is made permanent, the police takes the accused’s firearms. The court will also notify all involved law enforcement agencies. If the court does not find sufficient cause to make the order permanent, then the firearms are returned.

 

This will only affect lawful gun owners. Criminals need not worry – they will still be able to get guns.

In the movie Minority Report, citizens are arrested before they commit a crime because three psychics can predict what they will do. But in New York State, our unique Constitutional rights hinge on the opinion of one lawyer in black robes peering into the human heart to predict the future.

 

Michael. A. Morrongiello, Ph. D.

RABBIT HOLES AND LOOKING GLASSES

The Speaker of the House made it official: we’re going to have an impeachment inquiry to remove President Trump from office. But Democrats are not following their own rules and procedures from the previous impeachments of Presidents Johnson, Nixon and Clinton. This is strictly partisan, because Democrats have shut Republicans out of the process.

The way it’s supposed to work is that the House first votes to begin an inquiry; then the Judiciary Committee or some other designated committee does an investigation and determines whether the facts support impeachment. If that committee agrees that the President should be impeached, they vote on it and send it to the entire House for a vote. A simple majority vote (218 members) impeaches the President; then it goes to the Senate for a trial.

The House should be following its own rules and past precedents. If they think the President has committed “high crimes and misdemeanors,” they should make the case and have the guts and integrity to vote on it. The House is the body that most closely reflects the will of the people – that’s why they’re elected every two years. To hold not a single vote in this most democratic of institutions is a real and present threat to our democracy.

But of course, they are progressives and thus unbound by tradition and precedent. Theirs is a political movement governed by the needs of the moment. And those needs, and their solutions, always increase their power.

The substance of the impeachment is absurdly thin. The Democrats say that President Trump pressured the President of the Ukraine to give him dirt on former VP and Presidential candidate Joe Biden, or else (no aid from the US) – the classic quid pro quo. So I did my due diligence as a citizen in our still- great republic by reading the whistleblower’s complaint and the transcript of the phone conversation between the Ukrainian President and President Trump. And I found (a drum roll, please): nothing. No sane jury would ever buy what the Democrats are selling. In the hyper-cliched world of political punditry, this is a nothing-burger and at the end of the day, there’s no there there. To make the case even weaker, the so-called whistleblower actually stated that his information is second-hand.

This is a phony impeachment lacking the moral authority of members’ votes. No wonder Trump is saying to the Democrats: bring it! Republicans should welcome this fight.

Michael A. Morrongiello, Ph. D.

PROGRESSIVES: NO LIMITS

d. hARRY
Clint Eastwood as Dirty Harry: “A man’s got to know his limitations.”

Recently, forty people died in mass shootings in El Paso and Midland, Texas and Dayton, Ohio. We’ve had too many of these, and we need thoughtful and honest discussions about causes and solutions. But as usual, before the bodies are cold and the facts are in, progressives call to ban guns, confiscate guns and hyper-regulate lawful gun owners. Progressives attack the NRA as if the NRA and its members pulled the trigger. Many progressives oppose the 2nd Amendment. While some nominally support it, they could easily change their minds. What’s to stop them from legislating the 2nd A. out of existence?

bilde
Uber-progressive New York Governor Andrew Cuomo pretending to support the 2nd A.  Gun owners: Does seeing Cuomo with a gun make you feel better?

The fundamentals of progressivism should frighten all who value individual liberty as embodied in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Progressives believe in a “living Constitution,” which means the Constitution changes with time and circumstances. But as if by magic, their reading of the Constitution always grows government and empowers progressives.

w. wilson
Woodrow Wilson on the Constitution: “…It is modified by its environment, necessitated by its tasks, shaped to its functions by the sheer pressure of life.  Woodrow Wilson on government: “…no line can be drawn between private and public affairs which the state may not cross at will….”

Woodrow Wilson was a founding member of the progressive movement and our 28th President. For Wilson and present-day progressives the Constitution is an evolving document, which makes it possible to evolve the 2nd Amendment out of existence. I can hear the Democrats bleating now: “The 2nd Amendment was written for a different age. It doesn’t work in modern times. To protect our children we must outlaw all assault rifles.” They’ve already done it. Democrats passed an assault weapons ban in 1994. An assault weapon is a political construct. The ban did not reduce gun crime one bit but it did frighten voters, which was the point. And again, progressives attack so-called assault rifles—a stealth attack on semi-autos. That’s one trigger pull and one shot. What happens if the next madman uses a bolt action rifle? Then it will be: ban the bolt. Think it won’t happen here? It’s already happened in the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

The Declaration of Independence and our Constitution are based on natural rights, the idea that we are born with rights that predate any government. Natural rights are rooted in our humanity. The will to survive and to protect our loved ones is as human as breathing. That is the basis of the 2nd Amendment. Progressives do not believe that we are born with rights. Instead, they believe that our rights come from government. But what the government gives – the government can take away.

us constitution 2
The Constitution codifies the principles of the Declaration of Independence.  Our freedoms are precious and worth fighting for. If we lose them, they’re gone forever.

Progressives are not bound by the principles embodied in the Declaration. Nor are they bound by the text of the Constitution, or by tradition. Theirs is a political philosophy motivated by the needs of the moment, a political movement with no limits, and they are the core of the Democrat party. To them, your right to defend hearth and home is obsolete, a relic of a bygone era and part of a deeply flawed Constitution that needs fixing. Deleting the Second Amendment is high on their to-do list. Don’t let them. They are absent internal limits so it falls to us, the freedom-loving people to impose limits via elections, law, political contributions, participation in political parties and joining organizations that will defend our rights. If they don’t know their limitations, let’s show them what limits are.

Michael A. Morrongiello, Ph. D.