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President Trump spoke at CPAC on Sunday, February 28, 2021, in Orlando.

Anyone missing his rallies will enjoy his closing address, which lasted about an hour. I watched RSBN’s coverage, which was excellent. The video covers the whole day, so go to the 8-hour mark to see the speech:

UPDATE ON THE VIDEO — March 4:

For now, it is available from the American Conservative Union and a well respected news site:

Liberty Nation has a good version of the transcript. I’ve made a few edits in the excerpts below. Emphases are mine.

President Trump began by thanking CPAC organisers Matt and Mercedes Schlapp. Mercedes Schlapp worked on Trump’s communications team during his presidency and also on his 2020 campaign. He also acknowledged Rush Limbaugh’s widow, Kathryn:

Thank you very much and hello, CPAC. Do you miss me yet? A lot of things going on. To so many wonderful friends, conservatives, and fellow citizens in this room, and all across our country. I stand before you today to declare that the incredible journey we began together – we went through a journey like nobody else. There’s never been a journey like it, there’s never been a journey so successful. We began it together four years ago, and it is far from being over.

Our movement of proud, hard-working – and you know what this is? The hardest working people, hardworking American patriots – is just getting started. And in the end, we will win. We will win. We’ve been doing a lot of winning. As we gather this week, we’re in the middle of a historic struggle for America’s future, America’s culture, and America’s institutions, borders, and most cherished principles.

Our security, our prosperity, and our very identity as Americans is at stake – like, perhaps, at no other time. So, no matter how much the Washington establishment and the powerful special interests may want to silence us, let there be no doubt, we will be victorious, and America will be stronger and greater than ever before.

I want to thank my great friends, Matt and Mercedes Schlapp. Matt, thank you. Thank you, Mercedes. Thank you very much. And the American Conservative Union for hosting this extraordinary event. They’re talking about it all over the world. Matt, I know you don’t like that but that’s okay. All over the world. I also want to pay my love and respect to the great Rush Limbaugh, who is watching closely and smiling down on us. He’s watching and he’s loving it and he loves Kathryn. Kathryn, thank you for being here. So great. Thank you, Kathryn. He loved you, Kathryn, I will tell you that. Fantastic. Thank you, Kathryn, very much.

He put paid to rumours about a new political party. There will not be a new party. Trump aims to take over the Republican Party:

To each and every one of you here at CPAC, I am more grateful to you than you will ever know. We are gathered this afternoon to talk about the future of our movement, the future of our party, and the future of our beloved country for the next four years. The brave Republicans in this room will be at the heart of the effort to oppose the radical Democrats, the fake news media, and their toxic cancel culture – something new to our ears, cancel culture. And I want you to know that I’m going to continue to fight right by your side. We will do what we’ve done right from the beginning, which is to win.

We’re not starting new parties. They kept saying, he’s going to start a brand-new party. We have the Republican Party. It’s going to unite and be stronger than ever before. I am not starting a new party. That was fake news, fake news. Wouldn’t that be brilliant? Let’s start a new party and let’s divide our vote so that you can never win – no, we’re not interested in that.

Mr. McLaughlin just gave me numbers that nobody’s ever heard of before, more popular than anybody – that’s all of us. Those are great numbers and I want to thank you very much. Those are incredible numbers. I came here and he was giving me 95%, 97%, 92%. I said they’re great, and I want to thank everybody in this room and everybody all throughout the country – throughout the world, if you want to really know the truth. Thank you.

We will be united and strong like never before. We will save and strengthen America and we will fight the onslaught of radicalism, socialism, and indeed it all leads to communism, once and for all. That’s what it leads to. You’ll be hearing more and more about that as we go along, but that’s what it leads to – you know that.

Not surprisingly, he spoke a lot about the disastrous Biden administration:

We all knew that the Biden administration was going to be bad, but none of us even imagined just how bad they would be and how far left they would go. He never talked about this. We would have those wonderful debates – he would never talk about this. We didn’t know what the hell he was talking about, actually.

His campaign was all lies. Talked about energy – I said, you know, this guy, actually he’s okay with energy. He wasn’t okay with energy. Wants to put you all out of business. He’s not okay with energy. He wants windmills – the windmills that don’t work when you need them.

Joe Biden has had the most disastrous first month of any president in modern history. Already, the Biden administration has proven that they are anti-jobs, anti-family, anti-borders, anti-energy, anti-women, and anti-science. In just one short month, we have gone from America First to America Last – you think about it, right? America last.

He spoke about the wall along the southern border, which requires closing the gaps in places:

We did such a good job; it all worked. Nobody’s ever seen anything like we did, and now he wants it all to go to hell. When I left office just six weeks ago, we had created the most secure border in U.S. history. We had built almost 500 miles of great border wall that helped us with these numbers, because once it’s up – you know they used to say a wall doesn’t it work well. You know what I’ve always said: walls and wheels, those are two things that will never change.

The wall has been amazing, it’s been incredible, and little sections of it to complete, they don’t want to complete it. They don’t want to complete little sections and certain little areas, they don’t want to complete, but it’s had an impact that nobody would have even believed. It’s amazing, considering that the Democrats’ number one priority was to make sure that the wall would never, ever get built – would never, ever happen. We’d never get financed – we got financed. We ended catch and release, ended asylum fraud, and brought illegal crossings to historic lows. When illegal aliens trespassed across our borders, they were promptly caught, detained, and sent back home. And these were some rough customers, I want to tell you – some rough customers were entering our country.

I had hoped he would have said ‘bad hombres’, as he did in 2016, but, perhaps wisely, he did not.

He continued:

It took the new administration only a few weeks to turn this unprecedented accomplishment into a self-inflicted humanitarian and national security disaster. By recklessly eliminating our border security measures, controls, all of the things that we put into place, Joe Biden has triggered a massive flood of illegal immigration into our country, the likes of which we have never seen before. They’re coming up by the tens of thousands. They’re all coming to take advantage of the things that he said, That’s luring everybody to come to America. And we’re one country, we can’t afford the problems of the world, as much as we’d love to – we’d love to help, but we can’t do that.

So they’re all coming because of promises and foolish words. Perhaps worst of all Joe Biden’s decision to cancel border security has single-handedly launched a youth migrant crisis that is enriching child smugglers, vicious criminal cartels, and some of the most evil people on the planet, you see it every day just turn on the news, you’ll see it every day.

Under my administration, we stopped the child smugglers. We dismantled the criminal cartels. We greatly limited drug and human trafficking to a level that nobody actually thought was possible and the wall helped us a lot. And we protected vulnerable people from the ravages of dangerous predators and that’s what they are dangerous, dangerous predators. But the Biden administration has put the vile coyotes back in business and is done so in a very, very big way.

Under the new administration, catch and release has been restored. Can you imagine? We worked so hard. Catch – you know what that is – you catch them, you take their name. They may be killers, they may be rapists, they may be drug smugglers. You take their name and you release them into our country. We did the opposite. We not only didn’t release them, we had them brought back to their country, illegal immigrants are now being apprehended and released along the entire southern border – just the opposite of what it was two months ago. They weren’t coming because they couldn’t get in. Once they think they can get in they’re coming, and they are coming at levels that you haven’t even seen yet – by the hundreds of thousands, by the millions, they’ll be coming.

The Biden administration is now actively expediting the admission of illegal migrants, enabling them to lodge frivolous asylum claims and admitting them by the thousands, and thousands and thousands a day; crowded together in unsanitary conditions despite the ongoing economic and public health crisis, COVID-19 – or, as I call it, the China virus.

He made a short announcement:

This alone should be reason enough for Democrats to suffer withering losses in the midterms and to lose the White House decisively four years from now. Actually, as you know, they just lost the White House, but it’s one of those things. But who knows, who knows? I may even decide to beat them for a third time, okay?

Trump said that his administration has already paid for the completion of the gaps in the wall. All that needs doing is the work itself:

Joe Biden defunded the border wall and stopped all future construction, even on small open sections that just needed to be finished up – routine little work. It’s already been bought. Wait ’til the contractors get to him and they say no, it costs us much more money not to finish this small section than if we finished it – that’s going to be nice. Wait ’til you see those bills start pouring in.

He talked about another amnesty, which is probable:

To top it all off, the Biden people are pushing a bill that would grant mass amnesty for millions of illegal aliens, while massively expanding chain migration – that’s where you come in and everybody comes in; your grandmother, your father, your mother, your brother, your cousins. They come in so easily. So crazy. It even requires that the U.S. government provide illegal border crossers with taxable funded lawyers. Anybody need a good lawyer? You can’t have one. They get the lawyers. They’re probably very good, too.

He then discussed coronavirus, beginning with schools that are still closed:

The Biden administration is actually bragging about the classroom education they are providing to migrant children on the border, while at the same time millions of American children are having their futures destroyed by Joe Biden’s anti-science, school closures. Think of it, we’re educating students on the border, but our own people, children of our citizens – citizens themselves – are not getting the education that they deserve.

There’s no reason whatsoever why the vast majority of young Americans should not be back in school, immediately. The only reason that most parents do not have that choice is because Joe Biden sold out America’s children to the teachers’ unions. His position is morally inexcusable – you know that. Joe Biden has shamefully betrayed America’s youth, and he is cruelly keeping our children locked in their homes. No reason for it whatsoever. They want to get out.

They’re cheating the next generation of Americans out of the future that they deserve – and they do deserve this future. They’re going to grow up, and they’re going to have a scar. It’s a scandal of the highest order and one of the most craven acts by any president in our lifetimes. It’s the teachers’ union – it’s the votes. And it shouldn’t happen and nobody has more respect for teachers than I do. And I’ll bet you a lot of the people within that union, they agree with everything I’m saying. Even The New York Times is calling out the Democrats.

The mental and physical health of these young people is reaching a breaking point. Tragically, suicide attempts have skyrocketed, and student depression is now commonplace and at levels that we’ve never seen before. The Democrats now say we have to pass their $1.9 trillion boondoggle to open schools, but a very small part of it has to do with that. You know where it’s going – it’s going to bail out badly run Democrat cities, so much of it. But billions of dollars for schools remain unspent from the COVID relief bills that were passed last year.

So on behalf of the moms, dads, and children of America, I call on Joe Biden to get the schools open and get them open now.

He talked about Operation Warp Speed’s success in obtaining coronavirus vaccines and treatment for the American people:

When I left office – and we’re very proud of this because this was something that they said could not be done; the FDA said it, everybody said it, and the article you read said it couldn’t be done, it would be years and years – I handed the new administration what everyone is now calling a modern-day medical miracle. Some say it’s the greatest thing to happen in hundreds of years. Two vaccines produced in record time with numerous others on the way, including the Johnson and Johnson vaccine that was approved just yesterday – and therapeutic relief also if you’re sick.

If you’re sick, we have things now that are incredible – what has taken place over the last year under our administration would have taken any other president at least five years and we got it done in nine months. Everyone says five years …

I pushed the FDA like they have never been pushed before. They told me that loud and clear. They have never been pushed like I push them. I didn’t like them at all, but once we got it done I said, I now love you very much.

What the Trump administration has done with vaccines has, in many respects, perhaps saved large portions of the world – not only our country but large portions of the world. Not only did we push the FDA far beyond what the bureaucrats wanted to do, we also put up billions and billions of dollars – ten billion – to produce the vaccines before we knew they were going to work. It was called a calculated bet or a calculated risk. We took a risk. Because if we didn’t do that, you still wouldn’t have the vaccines, you wouldn’t have them for a long time so think of that; we took this bet. We made a bet, because we thought we were on a certain track, but you’d be starting to make them right now. It’d be a long time before you ever saw. It takes 60 to 100 days to manufacture and inspect new doses. And that means that 100% of the increased availability that we have now was initiated by our administration

Joe Biden is only implementing the plan that we put in place. And if we had an honest media, which we don’t, they would say it loud and clear. By the time I left that magnificent house at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, almost 20 million Americans had already been vaccinated – 1.5 million doses were administered on my final day alone. Yet Biden said, just a few days ago, that when he got here – meaning the White House – there was no vaccine. He said there’s no vaccine. Oh, good, say it again, Joe. Now, I don’t think he said that, frankly, in a malicious way – I really don’t. I actually believe he said that because he didn’t really know what the hell was happening.

Never let them forget this was us, we did this, and the distribution is moving along according to our plan – and it’s moving along really well. We had the military, what they’ve done – our generals, and all of the peoplewhat they’ve done is incredible. But remember, you know, we took care of a lot of people, including, I guess, on December 21 we took care of Joe Biden, because he got his shot, he got his vaccine – he forgot. It shows you how unpainful that vaccine shot is, so everybody go get your shot.

He spoke about his policies of peace:

When I left office, we had virtually ended the endless wars, these endless wars they go on forever. They go on forever. I would go to Dover and I would see caskets, coffins coming in, I’d see the parents and wives and husbands I would see the kids, endless wars 19 years in Afghanistan, we have it down to almost nothing left and I hear they might want to go back in Iraq, remember I used to say don’t go in, but if you’re going to go and keep the oil well we went in and we didn’t keep the oil.

We had made historic peace deals in the Middle East, like nobody thought were even possiblenot a drop of blood. By the way that one American soldier has been killed in Afghanistan in over a year, think of that, not one those troops have largely come home at the same time, the new administration unilaterally withdrew our crippling sanctions on Iran foolishly giving away all of America’s leverage before negotiations have even begun. Leave the sanctions, negotiate.

Then he addressed the Biden administration’s fawning attitude towards the WHO and China:

And another horrendous surrender: he agreed to get back into the World Health Organization for approximately $500 million a year which is what we were paying. When I withdrew from the WHO and you know the whole story with that they called it badly. They really are puppets for China. They called and they wanted us to stay in. I said, ‘How much are we paying, approximately $500 million? How much is China paying … in terms of population country?’ ‘Sir, they’re paying $39 million.’ I said, ‘Why are we paying 500 million and they’re paying 39?’ I can tell you why. Because the people that made the deal is stupid. That’s why.

So, so, and I had no idea how popular was we I didn’t even know if I would be able to politically because people were so happy when I did get out. But I said so we went in, we could get it for 39 million, which is what China not 500 million, which is what we were stupidly paying and they said, We can make a deal we want you to go in, we can make a deal. Okay, and I did, I decided not to do it. We could have had it for 39, we could have had it for the same as China, and they decide now to go back into the World Health Organization and pay 500 million. What the hell is wrong with them?

He talked about the Paris Climate Accord:

Just like Iran and the World Health Organization Joe Biden put the United States back into the very unfair and very costly Paris Climate Accord without negotiating a better deal. They wanted us so badly back in. I’ll tell you they wanted us. I was getting called from all of the countries: ‘You must come back into the Paris Accord’. I said, ‘Tell me why. Give me one good reason.’ First of all, China doesn’t kick in for 10 years, Russia goes by an old standard which was not a clean standard and other countries, but we get hit right from the beginning when it cost us. Hundreds of 1000s and millions of jobs; it was a disaster.

But they go back in. I could have made an unbelievable deal and got back in but I didn’t want to do that, surrendering millions of jobs and trillions of dollars to all of these other countries, almost all of them that were in the deal, so they have favorable treatment. We don’t have favorable treatment and we just had we’re going back in to go back in, they wanted to so badly. You couldn’t negotiate if you wanted to go back in, which, frankly we have … the cleanest water and everything else that we’ve ever had.

He discussed Biden’s cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline, the folly of wind power and the price of petrol over the past few weeks:

One of his first official acts, which was incredible, because, again, he talked about energy. He never said he was going to do this. He cancelled the Keystone XL pipeline, destroying not the 8000 or the 9000 or the 11,000 jobs that you hear, but 42,000 great paying jobs on just about day one, right? He never talked about that during a debate, because he wouldn’t have gotten away with it …

We cannot let this stuff continue to go on, but one of my proudest accomplishments as president was to make America energy independent. The United States became the number one energy superpower, number one. Number one, bigger than Saudi Arabia, bigger than Russia by a lot. We left them all in the dust

How bad is wind power? So, I talked about it all the time …

The wind isn’t blowing. I don’t believe we’ll have any electricity … It’s such an important such an expensive form of energy. It’s so bad for the environment, it kills the birds, it destroys the landscapes. And remember, these are structural columns with fans on them, they wear out, and when they were out all over the country you see them, nobody takes them down, they’re rotting, they’re rusting. How this is environmentally good for our country?

And it costs, many, many times more than natural gas … [Natural gas] can fuel our great factories. Wind can’t do that and, and solar, I love solar but it doesn’t have the capacity to do what we have to do to make America great again. Sorry, it just doesn’t happen under the radical Democrat policies.

The price of gasoline has already surged 30% since the election, and we’ll go to $5 $6 $7 and even higher. So enjoy that when you go to the pump, because it’ll be about $200 to fill up your van … It’s a shame what’s happening, energy prices are going to go through the roof, and that includes your electric bills. That includes any bill having to do with energy our biggest costs.

We will now be relying on Russia and the Middle East for oil and they talk about Russia, Russia, Russia. What’s better than what this guy’s done for Russia?

He deplored what is happening to women’s sports:

Joe Biden and the Democrats are even pushing policies that would destroy women’s sports … Hate to say that, ladies, but a lot of new records are being shattered. … Now, young girls and women arebeing forced to compete against those who are biological males

Now I think it’s crazy. I think it’s just crazy what’s happening. We must protect the integrity of women’s sports, so important. Controversial. Somebody said, ‘Well, that’s gonna be very controversial’. I said, ‘That’s okay’.

He defined Trumpism, a word he says he did not coin. However, he defended this new movement and pointed to his administration’s record:

Many people have asked what is Trumpism, a new term being used more and more. I’m hearing that term more and more, I didn’t come up with it. But what it means is great deals, great trade deals, great ones

Did you see grain prices and grain sales are at an all time high? We are at an all time high … We did a lot of work with the tariffs and all these things that we had to do to get it and now the farmers are doing greatthey’re setting records.

It means low taxes and eliminating job killing regulations. Trumpism, it means strong borders, but people coming into our country based on a system of merit … It means no riots in the streets, it means law enforcement. It means very strong protection for the Second Amendment and the right to keep and bear arms. It means support for the forgotten men and women who have been taken advantage of for so many years, and they were doing great.

They were doing great before that horrible thing from China came in and hit us, and now they’re starting to do really well againNo country comes even close to competing with our comebackA strong military and taking care of our vets but a strong military, which we have totally rebuilt. We have rebuilt it. And our military has never been stronger than it is today. It was tired, it was depleted, it was obsolete and now we have the best brand new equipment ever made. And it was all produced right here in the USA.

And we take care of our vets. You know, we had a poll recently just before leaving office, the vets had a 91% approval rating for the way we took care of them, that’s the highest number in the history of the polls. But on top of all of that. We have even created the Space Force the first new branch of the United States military in nearly 75 years …

The mission of our movement and of the Republican Party must be to create a future of good jobs, strong families, safe communities a vibrant culture, and a great nation, for all Americans, and that’s what we’re creatingThe culture of our country, our party is based on love for America, and the belief that this is an exceptional nation, blessed by God.

We take great pride in our country. We teach the truth about history. We celebrate our rich heritage and national traditions we honor, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln Thomas Jefferson and national heroes. And of course, we respect our great American flag.

He received a lot of applause with that and thanked the audience several times.

He continued:

We are committed to defending innocent life and to upholding the Judeo Christian values of our founders and of our founding. Free thought. We stand up to political correctness, and we reject the left wing lunacy, and, in particular, we reject cancel culture. We know that the rule of law is the ultimate safeguard. And we affirm that the Constitution means exactly what it says. As written, as read

That is the essence of Trumpism.

I’ve covered only half of President Trump’s speech. The other half can be found here.

Afterwards, he received a standing ovation from nearly everyone in the crowd.

President Trump’s speech closed the CPAC conference. It’s hard to imagine a better ending to it and a better beginning to 2021 for Republicans.

President Trump appears relaxed at home in Palm Beach, Florida.

At Mar-a-Lago, someone spotted him doing what he does brilliantly — handing out tips to his staff.

Here he is, flanked by his Secret Service detail, early in February 2021:

On Friday, February 12, the day before his second impeachment acquittal, radio talk show host Howie Carr took his wife — ‘the mailroom manager’ — and a guest, Joe Piantedosi from the Piantedosi Baking Co. in Malden, Massachusetts, to the resort for dinner. Howie is a member of the club, which is conveniently located, as he now lives in Palm Beach, having moved from Massachusetts a few months ago.

On Presidents Day, February 15, Howie wrote and talked about his dinner. His article includes a photo.

In ‘Monday Musings: President Trump’s getting back to his old self’, he says:

I spoke with President Trump Friday night at Mar-a-Lago. He seemed like he’s in a better mood, and this was even before the ridiculous impeachment “trial” ended Saturday with his acquittal, and his lawyer demolishing the media in a liveshot with See BS News (more below).

After my radio show Friday night, Joe Piantedosi and I drove back to Palm Beach from Boca and met the mailroom manager at Mar-a-Lago. Our table for dinner was right next to POTUS’, and he came down at about 8 with Corey Lewandowski, Dave Bossie and Pam Bondi, the former AG of Florida who also worked as one of his lawyers.

Dave Bossie was Trump’s deputy campaign manager in 2016. Corey Lewandowski was his campaign manager in early 2016, then made way for Paul Manafort so that the latter could mastermind the delegate debacle and win the Republican nomination for Trump.

Howie continues:

As POTUS entered, the dining room, Joe, the mailroom manager and I all stood up and said hello. I extended my hand to shake and POTUS said, “No, we’ll get in trouble!” So I shook Corey’s hand.

Anyway, an hour or so later, we had finished dinner and were leaving.

How can anyone go out to eat and finish dinner in an hour? It’s evident that Howie’s stomach op for weight control is still working.

The Trumps’ table is always cordoned off:

Usually, I look over his way and wave goodbye, and if he wants to talk, he calls me over. He was looking away, so we just walked on. I don’t want to impose myself on him (or anybody else).

So we were walking out through the lobby when I heard a voice behind me: “Mr. Carr, Mr. Trump would to speak with you.”

Trump, understandably, was still preoccupied by the election:

The mailroom manager was ahead of us, so Joe Piantedosi and I walked back into the dining room. One of the waiters moved the rope so we could walk into the private area. The president looked up and said, “Do you think I won New Hampshire, Howie?”

“Absolutely!” I said.

He thinks a lot about New Hampshire, about what happened both in 2016 and last year. In 2016, he blamed the “buses from Massachusetts,” but I think it was more the same-day registrations in the college towns. If you subtract the impossibly high turnouts in Durham, Hanover, Keene, Plymouth, etc., instead of losing by 3700 or so votes he wins the state, and so does Sen. Kelly Ayotte, for sure.

The reason POTUS asks me about this is that he associates me with New Hampshire. He was on my show, I was at his rallies. I was the host of the town hall in Sandown which was his dress rehearsal for the one in St. Louis where he cleaned Hillary’s clock.

To POTUS, I’m not so much the guy from Boston, or the guy who was born in Portland. I’m the guy who’s on seven radio stations in New Hampshire.

So I told him, how could you have lost when the NH GOP took over the legislature in Concord in absolute landslides – 67 House seats, 4 Senate seats. He knows this, I’m sure, so I asked him, did you hear what just happened in Windham?

“What happened in Windham?” he asked. I really had his attention now.

I told him – the town just did a hand recount, after all this time, of the legislative races in Rockingham House District 7. The four Republican candidates were each undercounted on the machines – in the hand recounts each GOP candidate picked up, respectively, 297, 299, 303 and 298 votes.

Isn’t that peculiar, how each Republican was undercounted by almost the exact same number?

“Has this been reported anywhere?” Trump asked, looking over at Corey Lewandowski, who lives in Windham.

“Not in the Union Leader,” I said. “At least I haven’t seen it.”

Corey looked at him. “I’ll get you the numbers,” he said.

The Union Leader reported on the story by the time Howie’s show aired on Presidents Day. One of the Republican candidates was sure she received more votes — and she had. The discrepancy, however, did not affect the final outcome. The Gateway Pundit and The Daily Fodder have more on the story.

Talk turned briefly to Trump’s impeachment trial in the Senate:

The president briefly mentioned the trial – “I thought it was a good day,” he said, and no one said much of anything in response, because, let’s face it, it was such a ridiculous kangaroo-court farce that who wanted to waste time watching and getting pissed off about it, even if you’re headed to Mar-a-Lago for dinner.

Finally, Trump asked how dinner was:

and that was like the old days, before he was even running, when during dinner he’d move from table to table like a super maître d’.

“I had the lobster risotto,” I told him. “It was great.”

Howie concludes:

It was great to see him in such a positive mood, and I can only imagine how pleased he must have been the next day when the travesty came to its pitiful end, and then his lawyer Michael van der Veen demolished some bimbo on See BS News.

I will have more on that and the impeachment trial next week.

Although Trump’s acquittal is well known, a few rather interesting events and analyses did not make mainstream news.

Wednesday, February 17, 2021, was a sad day for American conservatives.

Radio host Rush Limbaugh died of lung cancer.

His weekday radio show, broadcast all over the United States, gave a voice to independents and Republicans who support American values and common sense.

Why millions mourn

Although Limbaugh spent nearly all his career in broadcasting, he became a household word during the Clinton administration. Adults listened to him intently. They encouraged their children to listen to him also, whether at home or on the road.

Limbaugh spoke the truth in a witty, humourous way that kept the syndication of his show on the rise.

The man with the golden microphone influenced millions of Americans, young and old, in a tie that he designed himself. He had a series of these ties, of varying designs of his own which were made in pure silk and produced in the 1990s. They sold like hotcakes:

His broadcasting company was called EIB: Excellence in Broadcasting.

Florida governor Ron DeSantis gave one of the state’s two most famous residents — the other would be President Trump — a proper tribute, including an excellent potted biography. Click on the image in the tweet to see more:

Former US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo used one of Rush’s invented terms for those who agreed with him: ‘ditto heads’. As I recall, in order to help pace calls from listeners, he encouraged them to say ‘ditto’ if they agreed with him. In time, he affectionately called them ditto heads:

Trump supporters and commentators Diamond and Silk also sent their condolences:

Limbaugh’s many millions of fans knew that he was gravely ill.

Nevertheless, he helped President Trump out by having him do a two-hour rally on air last October. As many states were on coronavirus lockdown, it seemed a sensible way to reach listeners all across the country, which it duly did. Dan Scavino’s tweet includes a link to the transcript and to the video:

On October 19, he provided his audience with an update on his health. An excerpt follows:

I just don’t like to talk about it often ’cause I don’t want to be a cancer patient on the radio.

And there’s another thing too. Folks, it’s an up and down thing. It really is a day-to-day thing. And so what I tell you one day could very well be true. And then the next day, oops, setback, oops, then I gotta go back, “Folks, what I told you yesterday, forget it. It’s not true today.” I don’t want to put you through that. I don’t want to put myself through it. But I know you’re concerned. So, it is time. I do want to provide you with a brief and honest update.

In a nutshell, there are lots of ups and downs in this particular illness. And it can feel like a roller coaster at times that you can’t get off of. And again, I want to stress here that I know countless numbers of you are experiencing the same thing. If it isn’t lung cancer, it’s some kind of cancer. If it isn’t you, it’s somebody really close to you. If it isn’t an illness, it’s something. We’re all going through challenges. Mine are no better and mine are no different and mine are no more special than anybody else. But it can feel like a roller coaster.

On Christmas Eve, his audience wasn’t sure whether he would make it back for the New Year. Thankfully, he did, for a while:

On the day of his demise, his widow Kathryn introduced the show with aplomb. All credit to her. She did a brilliant job at what must have been one of the most difficult moments in her life:

No doubt the show’s producer, Bo Snerdley, helped her with a highly professional announcement:

Speaking of family, this is David Limbaugh’s tribute. Rush was his brother:

Career success

Part of the reason Rush Limbaugh retained such great listener loyalty was that he could make boring or contentious subjects funny.

One of his early radio heroes was Larry Lujack, known during the 1970s as Chicago’s ‘superjock’ when he was employed by WLS. Lujack’s ratings were enormous, even for a top-40 station.

Another one of Limbaugh’s favourites was William F Buckley Jr, who founded National Review and hosted PBS’s Firing Line for many years.

Limbaugh came from a family of lawyers and judges, so the admiration of Buckley is understandable.

However, Limbaugh was not one for legal or serious academics, and, as a boy in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, he gravitated towards American football and radio.

Little did Rush Limbaugh know that he would be able to surpass his ‘mentors’ during his career and become one of the most famous men in the United States.

He borrowed heavily from both.

Radio

Having a career in radio is very difficult.

You get hired and fired in quick order. Even a superjock like Larry Lujack had his ups and downs before finding ratings success at WLS.

Interestingly, this is how he did it. And Rush Limbaugh did something similar during the early days of his career.

WLS used to carry farm reports before it became a Top-40 music station. When Lujack started, the station was still receiving farming magazines, so, instead of reading the grain reports with a formal farming report, he began relating stories from the farming magazines. These eventually became a regular feature on his show and were called Animal Stories.

Similarly, in 1971, when Lujack was at his height in the disc jockey ratings, Limbaugh was working at a Pittsburgh radio station which also had farm reports. Fox News has an article on Limbaugh’s career and relates how he got around farm reports:

“The last thing that the audience of my show cares about is farm news. If farm news came on, bam! They pushed the button and go somewhere else. So, we had to figure out, ‘Okay, how do we do this and protect the license?’ So I turned the farm news every day into a funny bit with farm sound effects and the roosters crowing and so forth, and I’d make fun of the stockyard feed prices or whatever it was, so that we could say, ‘We’re doing barn news,’ agriculture news. There was all kinds of things like that,” Limbaugh told listeners.

The tidbit offered a glimpse into Limbaugh’s early days, proving that he was a master of keeping audiences engaged from a young age.

Veteran talk radio host and Boston Herald columnist Howie Carr wrote a warm and detailed tribute to Limbaugh, which shows just how he mastered radio. Excerpts follow:

Thanks for being the absolute best lead-in any other radio-talk show host could have ever dream of having.

Thank you for all the great nicknames from old Top 40 songs, including for local Massachusetts politicians Mike Dukakis (“Nowhere Man”), Ted Kennedy (“The Philanderer”) and Barney Frank (“My Boy Lollipop”) …

Thank you for teaching all of us other hosts how to properly utilize sound cuts, even before the digital era, when it became so easy to pull up audio clips.

Thank for those unforgettable shorthand descriptions of, say, John Kerry (“who, you may not have heard, served in Vietnam”), not to mention such memorable phrases as “the drive-by media,” “talent on loan from God,” and “random acts of journalism.”

Thanks for your unfailingly good humor, and the fact that you were “up” every afternoon at noon, no matter how you may have felt inside …

Thank you being, as you used to say, America’s anchorman, not to mention, providing show prep for the rest of the media …

Thank you for driving President Bill Clinton so crazy that one morning on Air Force One, speaking to the morning hosts on KMOX, the blowtorch station in Rush’s home state of Missouri, he whined and said something like, “It’s so hard to compete against a guy like Limbaugh who has three hours a day.”

In other words, Clinton was complaining that a journeyman radio guy had a bigger bully pulpit than the president of the United States.

Thank you for giving me, and a hundred others, brand-new careers, that I might add paid so much better than newspapers or spinning 45’s on a dying Top 40 station.

One of my listeners, Jay from Chelsea, texted me yesterday afternoon:

“Forget Buddy Holly and the Big Bopper, TODAY is the day the music died.” Vaya con Dios, Rush. Go with God.

Well said.

Howie also said more than once on his show that day that Rush Limbaugh was renowned as being a big tipper in restaurants.

Conservative analysis

In addition to absorbing conservative thought, particularly by William F Buckley Jr, Limbaugh took a number of trips across Europe and Asia. The Fox News article says:

Limbaugh has said he realized America was the “greatest country ever” when taking trips to Europe and Asia in his late 20s and early 30s, an experience that helped shape his political views.

Like Buckley, Limbaugh was careful to do his research before every show. Rather than conduct a continuous call-in, he gave his own views based on the news, interviews and books he had read. When he took calls, which he did daily, he engaged the listeners in conversation.

Of Buckley, Limbaugh said:

He single-handedly is responsible for my learning to form and frame my beliefs and express them verbally in a concise and understandable way.

The interesting thing is that, as was true with Buckley, both could predict things that came true several months later. That requires analysis of facts and trends. Limbaugh was able to replay clips of his previous programmes when those times came.

Dan Bongino compiled ‘The 20 Greatest Quotes From Rush Limbaugh’. Four follow. My favourite is the 17th (emphases mine):

19) “For government to give, it must first take away.”

17) “Now, what is the left’s worldview in general? What is it? If you had to attach not a philosophy but an attitude to a leftist worldview, it’s one of pessimism and darkness, sadness. They’re never happy, are they? They’re always angry about something. No matter what they get, they’re always angry.”

2) “You know why there’s a Second Amendment? In case the government fails to follow the first one.”

1) “What about feeling sorry for those…who pay the taxes? Those are the people NO ONE ever feels sorry for. They are asked to give and give until they have no more to give. And when they say ‘Enough!’ they are called selfish.”

Courtesy

Rush Limbaugh never lorded himself over his audience and was very courteous to his callers.

On Wednesday, Howie Carr, who knew Limbaugh peripherally, said that, even when Limbaugh became mostly deaf, he could sense the tone of a caller’s voice. If they were worried, he reassured them. When they were happy, he laughed along with them.

Howie Carr says that during the last ten years or so of Limbaugh’s show, he employed a transcriber who could type as quickly as a caller spoke. This further enabled him to engage with those phoning in to the show, which he broadcast from a custom-built studio at his home in Palm Beach.

The show’s future

Howie Carr said that, for now, The Rush Limbaugh Show will continue with retrospective audio clips on various topics, of which there are many. He thinks there will be a presenter to oversee the show and introduce various archived pieces.

WXJB-FM, a station that carries The Rush Limbaugh Show, issued a statement on Wednesday, which reads in part:

All of Rush’s audio has been extensively archived and catalogued by subject, topic and opinion.  Given how timeless and insightful Rush’s commentary is his producers will be able to pull segments that are relevant for each day’s news cycle and allow us to feature the best of Rush for the full three hours of the program.

The familiar voices of the programs’ guest hosts will be used in the show when needed to guide Rush’s audio from one topic to another, but Rush will be the predominant voice heard for the three-hour Monday-Friday show, the AM Daily Update and The Week in Review three-hour show.

Please note that we will continue with this transitional programming until the audience is prepared to say good-bye. The long-term plan will be shared with you in the upcoming weeks.

We will mourn together in a respectful way and celebrate the incredible life of Rush with his millions of loyal listeners.  Today, a three hour tribute will air in Rush’s regular time slot.  Follow-up information will be posted on www.rushlimbaugh.com.

Thank goodness.

President Trump’s tribute

Fox News interviewed President Trump on Wednesday. This 12-minute video is very interesting, definitely worth a watch:

Here is a shorter excerpt from that interview:

President Trump said that he did not know Limbaugh until shortly after he began his presidential campaign in 2015 at Trump Tower. Sometime afterwards, a mutual friend got in touch with candidate Trump to say that he had a fan in Limbaugh.

Trump then began listening to Limbaugh’s shows. The radio host mentioned him and his candidacy frequently. Finally, the two men met. As they both had homes in Palm Beach, Florida, it was convenient. When time permitted, they shared a game of golf. Trump praised Limbaugh’s strong swing.

He also had high praise for his wife Kathryn Limbaugh and credits Rush’s ability to survive for the last few months to her good care as well as to the radio host’s indomitable spirit.

When it came time to present the Presidential Medal of Freedom at the State of the Union Address in 2020, Limbaugh was receiving treatment in a Boston hospital. Trump wanted to keep the medal a surprise but could not do so, because allowing Limbaugh out of hospital required details of why he had to be temporarily discharged. Further complicating matters was the fact that Limbaugh was incapacitated for the most part and had to use a wheelchair. The video has a clip of the presentation. I remember it from last year. It was very moving, indeed.

Fortunately, Newsmax also has a clip. Kathryn Limbaugh is on the left of the screen. First Lady Melania Trump presented the honour:

Much applause and a standing ovation from Republicans followed:

The last time the US president spoke to the ailing radio host was a few days before his death. He called to check in on his friend, who, by then, was very ill indeed.

President Trump said that Rush Limbaugh truly loved America. He also said that America’s most famous radio host was also religious, which is why he was able to be philosophical about his illness.

Tens of millions of us can believe it.

The word most often used this week to describe him is ‘irreplaceable’. Tens of millions of us can believe that, too:

May Rush Limbaugh rest in eternal peace with perpetual light forever shining upon him.

My prayers go to his widow Kathryn, his brother David, the rest of his family and all his friends.

Rush Limbaugh was one of the last people who exemplify Americana in all its greatness.

By now, everyone knows my thoughts on coronavirus.

Every day brings stranger news, especially for children.

This is what schools will look like when pupils return to class in Pinellas County, Florida, home to Clearwater on the west coast of the state. I don’t blame the administrators, because they are only following state guidelines. Nevertheless, this is just wrong in so many ways, even if teachers are the ones who wear masks, not the pupils:

How dehumanising and sad for children to be at the mercy of public health officials — and notional ‘science’.

What bets that we look back at this in ten or 20 years time and say, ‘What were we thinking?!’

I also wonder what the extended effect of these policies will have on more vulnerable children.

I hope they are only temporary and not in place by 2021.

This week, two important discrepancies occurred with regard to coronavirus test results and deaths.

Both are developing stories.

Florida — bogus test results

Florida has done very well throughout the coronavirus pandemic, particularly given the number of elderly people who live there.

Suddenly, a few weeks ago, cases began to rise alarmingly.

It turns out that negative test results were not reported to Florida’s Department of Health:

Orlando’s Fox 35 television station received a tip off about this.

Reporter Robert Guaderrama has been investigating. In some cases, test results have been submitted as being 100% positive. In reality, the number of positive results are in single digits:

Surely, Florida cannot be the only state where this has been occurring.

One wonders about California, where most counties are under a new lockdown:

Has Governor Newsom instructed someone from California’s health department to look at the test result numbers to see if they look accurate?

Thank goodness Florida is looking into theirs.

England – questionable death figures

Today, Friday, July 17, 2020, news emerged that Britain’s Health Secretary Matt Hancock is investigating questionable coronavirus death figures as reported by Public Health England (PHE):

It seems as if people who have recovered from coronavirus yet die months later still have COVID-19 written on their death certificates. No wonder our death totals are so high.

Joe Murphy, Political Editor for the London Evening Standard, explains:

Currently, England has no cut-off date when COVID-19 expires as a cause of death:

The other UK nations only include those who die within 28 days of a positive test.

There is a second issue here, too, in the way PHE records coronavirus deaths.

This issue came to light thanks to Professor Carl Heneghan and Nuffield Health Senior Statistician Jason Oke from Oxford University’s Centre for Evidence Based Medicine (CEBM).

On July 14, they published an article, ‘ONS Death Data and the Disparity with PHE Daily Updates’. ONS is the Office for National Statistics.

In short, Heneghan and Oke say that the ONS statistics are more accurate than PHE’s (emphases mine):

What has become apparent in recent weeks is the growing disparity between the numbers released by ONS and those reported by Public Health England which are widely disseminated in the media.

The total number of COVID-19 deaths in England according to ONS for 3rd July is 48,154 whereas the equivalent total announced on the 4th by PHE was 39,626.

The PHE figures also vary substantially from day to day. For example, 16 new deaths were announced on 6th July, but the following day, 152 were reported.

This variation is most likely due to the appearance of ‘historic’ deaths that have occurred weeks before, but for some reason unknown to us, get reported in batches on particular days. To counter this variation, a moving average smooths the trend, but even this is at odds with the ONS data.

The PHE moving average for 30th June is 103, which is more than the ONS numbers for 30th June and 1st July combined.

The moving average is overlaid on to the ONS figures to show the PHE figures average has been consistently higher than ONS for some time

Because of the inaccuracies in PHE data we recommend using ONS data and the NHS England data to understand the trends in deaths over time. To reduce confusion we require all deaths reported by PHE to include when they occurred as opposed to the day of reporting.

PHE’s inaccurate recording of deaths can increase the fear factor in the general public where reported by the media.

Liverpool Business News‘s Tony McDonough explains the CEBM article, using graphs:

Heneghan had more on these PHE disparities on July 16. If we rely on PHE’s figures, England will never rid itself of coronavirus. An excerpt of their article follows:

I am relieved that this news has emerged in mainstream media.

The public — and politicians — are discovering the truth behind these inflated, false coronavirus figures.

In case you missed it, yesterday’s post was a thorough one on John MacArthur’s biblical thoughts about the current protests.

It’s worthwhile reading that, if you haven’t already, before moving on to recent protest scenes in the United States, where young and old are railing against each other while the coronavirus pandemic rages on.

Our first stop is The Villages in Florida, a conurbation of retirement settlements for the well-heeled middle class. In 2008, many residents supported John McCain. In 2012, many went for Mitt Romney. In 2016, many supported then-candidate Donald Trump.

This was the scene late last week, as Trump supporters and Democrats waged a shouting war against each other. Strong language in the second video. I’m glad she’s not my mayor:

This is our future. Remember, these people have grandchildren, who are young adults.

In a sense, it’s amusing for some onlookers …

… but there can be serious problems, such as STDs among this age group. Coronavirus could be there as well:

Hmm. How many of these people were politically active back in the 1960s?

Let’s leave Florida and travel a few hundred miles north to Raleigh, North Carolina, where a BLM protest took place with 100% white people. Two black conservatives turned up by chance as spectators:

I really wish there had been more interaction here. I’ll get to that shortly.

One wonders if it would have gone like this:

Well, when you’re in your 20s, you know everything. I know I did at the time, like this woman’s niece:

Yet, many of us in our 40s and beyond (I’m at the latter end), were raised to be colour blind and adopt the teachings of Martin Luther King on character. I remember the civil rights era. My parents and many others were shocked at what went on in the South. Yet, that has now been forgotten. Millions had sympathy for the plight of American blacks who could not truly vote (without jumping through hoops, figuratively) until … 1965, with Democrats being the main objectors to that legislation. Once again, Republicans led the way to equality. Since then, further legislation has helped to bring different races to further equality in unemployment and housing.

No one who lived through the civil rights era ever forgot it, so it is unclear why these protesters are so angry. One would have thought the lessons of the recent past would have been transmitted to the next generation. Perhaps not.

Interestingly, Benji Irby’s friend on the day, Shemeka Michelle, filmed a much longer video of the protest:

She said that it seemed the whites protested in order to feel better about themselves.

Perhaps it is some sort of atonement.

Oddly, only one of the protesters there to support black lives bothered to speak to her:

After the protest, she says the other whites avoided her and Benji Irby and went on their way.

Maybe the protesters have never lived amongst people of another race? Maybe they feel bad about it. Well, that’s no reason to take it out on everyone else:

Perhaps it is about control.

Our last stop is across the country in the Pacific Northwest: Portland, Oregon.

Protesters want to take down the monument to the Oregon Trail:

Precisely.

If missionaries had not organised the Oregon Trail after Lewis and Clark’s expedition to the Pacific Northwest, someone else would have. The British tried it and were unsuccessful.

The move westward had been laid out by President Thomas Jefferson in 1803. From Wikipedia:

In 1803, President Thomas Jefferson issued the following instructions to Meriwether Lewis: “The object of your mission is to explore the Missouri river, & such principal stream of it, as, by its course & communication with the waters of the Pacific Ocean, whether the Columbia, Oregon, Colorado and/or other river may offer the most direct & practicable water communication across this continent, for the purposes of commerce.”[1] Although Lewis and William Clark found a path to the Pacific Ocean, it was not until 1859 that a direct and practicable route, the Mullan Road, connected the Missouri River to the Columbia River.

As I remember learning about it in history class more than once, it was a big deal in terms of trade. To begin with, there was fur. Later there was gold.

The plan was called the Manifest Destiny, as History.com explains:

By the 1840s, the Manifest Destiny had Americans in the East eager to expand their horizons. While Lewis and Clark had made their way west from 1804 to 1806, merchants, traders and trappers were also among the first people to forge a path across the Continental Divide.

A merchant, Nathan Wyeth, led the first group of missionaries who settled in Idaho in 1834.

Marcus Whitman, a Methodist missionary from the state of New York, made the first successful crossing to what we know as the state of Washington in 1836. His wife, Narcissa, kept a diary of their perilous journey:

The party made it to the Green River Rendezvous, then faced a grueling journey along Native American trails across the Rockies using Hudson Bay Company trappers as guides. They finally reached Fort Vancouver, Washington, and built missionary posts nearby—Whitman’s post was at Waiilatpu amid the Cayuse Indians.

Whitman’s small party had proved both men and women could travel west, although not easily. Narcissa’s accounts of the journey were published in the East and slowly more missionaries and settlers followed their path which became known as the Whitman Mission Route.

In 1842, the Whitman mission was closed by the American Missionary Board, and Whitman went back to the East on horseback where he lobbied for continued funding of his mission work. In the meantime, missionary Elijah White led over 100 pioneers across the Oregon Trail.

Whitman led another expedition of settlers in 1843, destined for what we know as Oregon:

The group included 120 wagons, about 1,000 people and thousands of livestock. Their trek began on May 22 and lasted five months.

It effectively opened the floodgates of pioneer migration along the Oregon Trail and became known as the Great Emigration of 1843.

Unfortunately, the settlers brought measles with them, infecting the Cayuse. Whitman did try to help cure those infected:

After a measles epidemic broke out in 1847, the Cayuse population was decimated, despite Whitman using his medical knowledge to help them.

In the ongoing conflict, Whitman, his wife and some of the mission staff were killed; many more were taken hostage for over a month. The incident sparked a seven-year war between the Cayuse and the federal government.

We can say what we like in the 21st century, but travelling from coast to coast involved a lot of planning and expense:

Emigrants had to sell their homes, businesses and any possessions they couldn’t take with them.

They could not take a lot of possessions, because they had to ensure that their covered prairie schooner wagons could accommodate their families and their food. There weren’t any real settlements at the time, so everything had to be purchased in advance. There were no restaurants, cafés or grocery stores along the way. Wives had to make every meal from scratch. The most common meat was bacon. Imagine how limited their meals were day to day for five months. How awful.

So they put up with that. Then they had to endure a) the weather and b) the terrain:

There were slightly different paths for reaching Oregon but, for the most part, settlers crossed the Great Plains until they reached their first trading post at Fort Kearney, averaging between ten and fifteen miles per day.

From Fort Kearney, they followed the Platte River over 600 miles to Fort Laramie and then ascended the Rocky Mountains where they faced hot days and cold nights. Summer thunderstorms were common and made traveling slow and treacherous.

It’s a wonder anyone was able to make the journey. The major landmark along the route was in Wyoming at Independence Rock:

The settlers gave a sigh of relief if they reached Independence Rock—a huge granite rock that marked the halfway point of their journey—by July 4 because it meant they were on schedule. So many people added their name to the rock it became known as the “Great Register of the Desert.”

After leaving Independence Rock, settlers climbed the Rocky Mountains to the South Pass. Then they crossed the desert to Fort Hall, the second trading post.

From there they navigated Snake River Canyon and a steep, dangerous climb over the Blue Mountains before moving along the Columbia River to the settlement of Dalles and finally to Oregon City. Some people continued south into California.

There was also a lot of disease, possible conflicts with native Americans — and death:

According to the Oregon California Trails Association, almost one in ten who embarked on the trail didn’t survive.

Most people died of diseases such as dysentery, cholera, smallpox or flu, or in accidents caused by inexperience, exhaustion and carelessness. It was not uncommon for people to be crushed beneath wagon wheels or accidentally shot to death, and many people drowned during perilous river crossings.

Travelers often left warning messages to those journeying behind them if there was an outbreak of disease, bad water or hostile American Indian tribes nearby. As more and more settlers headed west, the Oregon Trail became a well-beaten path and an abandoned junkyard of surrendered possessions. It also became a graveyard for tens of thousands of pioneer men, women and children and countless livestock.

With the advent of the railroads in 1869, covered wagons gradually became obsolete.

The westward migration continued — more comfortably. You can read more here.

So, one wonders what these protesters in Oregon are angry about. Perhaps they should live elsewhere?

As John MacArthur says (see yesterday’s post), these protests are built on lies, helping no one.

One of President Donald Trump’s favourite meals is meat loaf, which is on the menu at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach.

According to Nancy Ellison at One for the Table, Trump has long been offering his club members and their guests suggestions on what to order. I have read that he often recommends the meat loaf, but Ms Ellison has more (emphases mine):

His real joy in life is acting the Host. “Try the chopped steak. It’s the best! …You know what’s great – the pretzel bread… This individually wrapped butter is so good. I don’t like those little flower butters. There is always a finger print on them!” The real secret is that Donald Trump wants his guests to feel good, important and to be happy … as happy as he felt when his mother, Scottish born Mary MacLeod Trump fixed Meat Loaf for him as a child. “I loved my mother and I loved her cooking … and, she was a real beauty!”

On the menu – along with the Raw Oysters, Champagne and Caviar – at Trump’s exclusive Mar–a-Lago Club, Mary MacLeod Trump’s Meat Loaf rules, and it is truly a man’s meal; it has all the warmth of a cozy aromatic kitchen and the familiar comfortable masculinity of a favorite armchair – but tastier. And, it makes Donald Trump smile!

I have always wondered whether Mary MacLeod Trump’s meat loaf recipe would be revealed. Thankfully, Nancy Ellison provides it for us.

The readers’ comments specify that the breadcrumbs should be dried, not fresh.

I am always suspect of a meat loaf recipe that calls for beef only. My late maternal grandmother always used an equal mix of beef, pork and veal mince, having been taught that way in domestic science class in high school during the First World War, when it was no doubt a luxury, given that even the United States had rationing.

I thought my late grandmother’s was the best.

But, we shall see about a 100% beef meat loaf.

Having read so much about it, I plan to try it soon!

Politically and culturally, the whole of this year in the US has been a build-up to the mid-term elections.

I barely scratched the surface of everything I wanted to cover in this regard, so I might use that material to analyse the results in the days to come.

Two things are clear.

One: this is a referendum on Donald Trump’s presidency.

Two: the Democrat Party is dying. (I refuse to write ‘Democratic’, because they do not live up to it.)

That said, it is incumbent on independents and Republicans to go out and vote on Tuesday, November 6. Here are Cuban immigrants’ views:

The US needs another monster Republican vote to overcome voter fraud.

What follows are my final thoughts before Election Day, written at the end of October.

Trump and young black conservatives

By the time you read this, President Trump will have welcomed a large group of young black conservatives to the White House:

On October 23, the New York Post reported that the first ever Young Black Leadership Summit is sponsored by Turning Point USA (TPUSA), a conservative student organisation founded by Charlie Kirk (see tweets throughout this post). Candace Owens is TPUSA’s Director of Communications and has been pivotal in getting Kanye West to speak out about his support for President Trump.

The Post‘s article says, in part (emphases mine):

Owens, who was gaining traction as a black YouTube star with right political leanings, wanted to hold a forum for young black Americans who were “conservative curious,” as she once was, from day one.

“So my mission was always really clear when Charlie and I met. One of the first things he asked me was, ‘What do you want to do?’ And I said, really, in plain words, ‘I’d like to lead the black revolution against the Democrat Party,’” Owens told The Post.

While Owens joined the group in November, the plan to hold a conference for young black people got a shot of dragon energy in April.

Just days before he would put on the MAGA hat and pronounce his love for Trump, rapper Kanye West tweeted, “I love the way Candace Owens thinks,” the first online suggestion that he was more Republican-leaning.

Kirk said that West’s tweet made both Owens and Turning Point more prominent.

“And kind of gave more reinforcement to the idea of a black leadership summit because during that moment we saw hundreds of blacks across the country come out and say to Candace, ‘Oh my goodness, this is an amazing thing that you’re doing, we love you, we’re afraid to voice our mind,” Kirk explained to The Post. “Candace and I wondered, ‘I wonder how many there really are?’”

Turns out there are at least 350 to 400 young black people interested in hearing Trump speak.

Kanye was not at the conference and by Monday, October 29, had pulled away from the Turning Point organisation over a disagreement about Blexit (black exit) merchandise marketing.

That said, the crowd attending President Trump’s address to them was highly enthusiastic:

This is news bad for the Dems:

Border security

ICE have a tough job, especially as they are under-manned patrolling the southern border. That said, they rack up some incredible accomplishments, as TPUSA’s Charlie Kirk tweets:

Think about that, especially when Democrats, the media and other leftists plea for us to ‘think about the children!’

When it comes to illegal entry, there are a lot of bad, exploitative people crossing the border. When I think of the children among them, I think of the human and sex trafficking victims, exploited people.

Obama, when he was a senator, also said that the rule of law must be respected with regard to crossing the border:

The ‘caravan’

While the world still believes the Trump campaign is guilty of colluding with Russia two years ago at this time, there is little news associating the human caravan in Mexico — happening right before the election — with foreign interests.

Vice President Pence said it is being ‘financed by Venezuela’ which is a nuanced way of saying that foreign powers that own and influence the impoverished nation are behind it. The Conservative Treehouse (CTH) explains:

Announcing the migrant caravan is “financed by Venezuela” is a direct notification the Central American invasion force is being funded by Russia and China.  Venezuela doesn’t have any money to sustain its own operational government – let alone a 10,000 person convoy.  Venezuela is entirely reliant upon massive investment from Russia and China.

In fact China owns 49% of Venezuela’s state run PDVSA energy production. A collateral system where Beijing takes oil as payment for prior loans the Maduro regime cannot pay back.  With the crippling treasury department sanctions President Trump put on Venezuela last year, Trump has punched Maduro and Xi-Jinping hard.

With Mike Pence pointing a finger at Venezuela the politics behind the invasion force begin to make much more sense. The invasion objective takes on a geopolitical angle directly targeting a series of U.S. policies that are against the interests of Russia and China.

The post goes on to say that Trump and Treasury secretary Steve Mnuchin have sanctioned Venezuela and limited their ability to expand state oil revenue. China cannot trade directly with Venezuela at the risk of losing access to the US banking system. China continues lending to Venezuela, which will have little chance of repaying the loans.

Furthermore, the US has withdrawn $900m in aid from Pakistan in an effort to stop them enabling extremism in Afghanistan. As China is Pakistan’s main trading partner, Pakistan looks to them to fill the aid gap, unless the World Bank decides to bail them out.

Russia is being squeezed as the US increases its influence in the energy markets in Europe. European nations that were getting their energy supplies from Russia are increasingly turning towards the US for LNG, oil and coal.

The CTH post has more details, but, from this, we see that it is entirely plausible for Vice President Pence to conclude that ‘Venezuela’ is behind the human caravan just before the mid-terms. If so, this constitutes election meddling by a foreign power.

On that note, the Gateway Pundit reported that tens of thousands of migrants are already pouring across the southern border into the United States — including Chinese citizens:

Thousands of illegal aliens are swarming the Texas border this month in advance of the migrant caravan marching through Mexico, prompting Chief Patrol Agent Manuel Padilla, Jr., the Customs and Border Patrol Sector Chief of the Rio Grande Valley, to beg for help dealing with the onslaught of illegal aliens, gang members and drug cartel smugglers. Just on Saturday over 700 illegal aliens were caught, with over 12,000 caught in the past three weeks. In addition, safe houses have been busted and drug smugglers intercepted by the overstretched CBP in the Rio Grande Valley.

16,000 “family units” were reported caught in the last month in the RGV sector by CBP. All these illegals take manpower and resources to detain, process, house, clothe, feed, and give medical treatment.

Padilla sent out several tweets this weekend with the message, “We need “, in conjunction with video reports by on scene Fox News Channel reporter Griff Jenkins …

In his interview Sunday with Jenkins about the migrant caravan marching through Mexico, Padilla said that just the day before his sector reported 700 illegal aliens caught at the border, 8 human smuggling cases, one dead body recovered, a potential river drowning (body not surfaced yet), over 700 pounds of marijuana and 68 pounds of peyote seized–all on Saturday.

In a separate report, Jenkins noted a group of illegal aliens from China were caught.

This migration is being orchestrated. It is not a spontaneous ‘humanitarian’ movement. It is designed to provoke Trump into taking violent action before November 6.

Nationalism

Nationalism has been a dirty word for nearly 20 years, unless a Democrat uses it favourably. Then it’s okay:

At a recent campaign rally, President Trump described himself as a ‘nationalist’ in the MAGA sense. On October 23, CNN’s Jim Acosta, the son of immigrants, took him to task for it in the Oval Office. Trump replied that he is tired of seeing the US pay more than its fair share when it comes to NATO and trade. Trump’s answer is excellent and measured, especially to a journo who should have had his White House press privileges revoked last year:

Selected state races

Here is an update on a few state races.

North Dakota

On October 17, I wrote about the deleterious effect the Dems’ antics during the Kavanaugh hearings had on American voters. I mentioned North Dakota, where Heidi Heitkamp is running for re-election against Kevin Cramer. Up until the Kavanaugh hearings, she looked comfortable. Now, not so much. She also had to suspend campaigning after her team released an ad which identified victims of sexual assault:

Worse was to come. That day, James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas released an expose of her and her campaign team. Her campaign workers say that, if the Democrats win a majority, her political stance will move further to the left. Currently, she tries to present herself as a centrist, even refusing an appearance from Obama, so as not to offend Trump Democrats who might vote for her. However, it’s all for show:

Michigan

Another Democrat senator running for re-election is Michigan’s Debbie Stabenow. Her GOP opponent is a young veteran and West Point graduate, John James. Unfortunately, only lately has James’s campaign been getting much traction. That’s because he is a political outsider:

Here’s a short, honest advert from James. I hope he wins:

Florida

Andrew Gillum is the Democrat candidate running for governor in Florida.

He has influential money behind him, as the Tampa Bay Times reported on July 23, which was during primary season:

Billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer’s group NextGen America made waves last month when it announced it is backing Democrat Andrew Gillum in the Florida governor’s race.

This week, the group is putting some more money where its mouth is.

NextGen America is making a six-figure digital ad buy in support of Gillum, pushing two new ads on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and other online platforms, according to a release obtained by the Tampa Bay Times.

“We know that young voters are online, and a strong and smart digital campaign will be key to pushing Andrew Gillum across the finish line on August 28th,” Steyer, the president of NextGen America, said in the release.

Gillum won the Dem nomination, but questions arose soon afterwards:

Gillum admits the following is true and that he has a ’15-year relationship’ with another influential donor:

On September 3, this appeared:

In that interview, the show’s host Chuck Todd summarised Gillum’s platform:

You ran as an unabashed progressive Democrat. You’re for Medicare for all, you talk about getting rid of ICE …

No wonder those two billionaires are supporting him. That’s exactly what they want.

On October 14, online host Bill Mitchell did a little social media stumping for Gillum’s Republican opponent:

Meanwhile, Breitbart was digging into Gillum’s background. On October 17, they gave us more information about the Soros connection (bold emphasis in the original, the one in purple mine):

Florida gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum graduated from an Oakland, California-based training school for progressive revolutionaries that has spawned a list of activists who have gone on to become the who’s who of the far-left leadership world, with many taking senior positions at organizations financed by billionaire George Soros.

In scores of cases, graduates of the Rockwood Leadership Institute founded or directed notorious Soros-financed activist groups, such as Black Lives Matter, Media Matters for America, MoveOn.org and the Tides Foundation, one of the nation’s largest funders of progressive groups.

Soros’s own Open Society Foundations sent top staff to Rockwood for training. Notorious radicals Van Jones and Linda Sarsour are among the many famous names listed as alums.

Gillum graduated from Rockwood in 2012, yet he told independent journalist Joe Biggs (see above tweet), that he has a ’15-year relationship’ with Soros. Interesting.

Breitbart‘s article describes how Soros donates to Gillum’s campaign (emphases mine):

Soros, meanwhile, has directly donated to organizations seeking to get Gillum elected. Days before Gillum’s Aug. 28 primary, Soros joined with billionaire Tom Steyer to lead a group of donors making a $650,000 infusion into Gillum’s coffers.

Soros also contributed to The Collective, a little-known but increasingly influential political organization that says it is seeking to build a “black political power” movement. The Collective reportedly injected nearly $2 million into Gillum’s campaign, funding television and radio ads, get-out-the-vote drives, and playing a key role in helping Gillum defeat his Democratic opponents, some of whom were better-funded and had more statewide name recognition. The group announced plans to continue backing Gillum during the current general election campaign.

On October 20, Breitbart reported voting irregularities among Gillum’s siblings:

Leon County voting records show Marcus Gillum voted by absentee in the 2012 general election, absentee in the 2014 primary election, and early voted in the 2016 general election.

But the trouble is, months before he cast that 2016 ballot in Florida, Marcus Gillum, in an affidavit for an unrelated court case, swore under oath he was a resident of Chicago.

Also, according to records, Marcus Gillum is still currently registered to vote in Leon County at a home that his brother, gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum, sold over three years ago. The Leon County Property Appraiser indicates that Andrew Gillum sold 5325 St. Ives Lane on February 27th, 2015.

Furthermore, Florida Department of Motor Vehicle records show that Marcus Gillum has not had a valid Florida drivers license since 2011

This information was presented to Leon County Supervisor of Elections Mark Earley. “Based on this information I will initiate an investigation into potential voter ineligibility,” Earley said.

Earley also added that fraudulent voting is actually very difficult to prevent.

“It could be that (ineligible voters) consider Leon County to be their place of residence,” Earley said. “But the reality is until they notify us that it isn’t their residence, or we are notified by a different jurisdiction we have nothing to go on to remove them as an active voter.”

But voting irregularities involving Andrew Gillum’s siblings may not be confined to his brother Marcus. Voter records indicate that Monique Gillum, Andrew Gillum’s sister, voted in Florida despite questions about residency.

Monique Gillum voted absentee in the 2012 general election, absentee in 2014 primary election, early voted in the 2016 general election, and voted in the 2018 primary election.

However, like her brother Marcus, voting records also show that Monique Gillum is still currently registered to vote at the St. Ives address. However, the mailing address she provided to the Leon County Supervisor of Elections is a P.O Box in New York City.

Public records show Monique Gillum does have a current Florida drivers license with a Tallahassee address. However, the address is different from the two provided to the Leon County Supervisor of Elections.

Also, other records, including work she did as a registered lobbyist for the Southern Poverty Law Center, indicate that Monique resided in Montgomery, Alabama from 2014 to 2016 …

Hmm.

On October 23, news emerged that Gillum’s ticket to the musical Hamilton came from an undercover FBI agent:

The Miami Herald broke the story, which also involves Gillum’s aforementioned brother Marcus:

Undercover FBI agents paid for Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum’s hotel room and his ticket to the Broadway musical “Hamilton” during a 2016 trip to New York City, according to a bombshell trove of records that raises new questions two weeks before the Nov. 6 election for Florida governor.

Among the records released Tuesday: photos, a video and dozens of text messages between Gillum, who is the Democratic nominee for governor, former lobbyist Adam Corey and an undercover FBI agent. They appear to contradict Gillum’s explanation for the expenses, which have been made a major issue by his Republican rival, Ron DeSantis.

Gillum’s campaign has maintained — and continued to do so Tuesday after the records were released — that Gillum’s brother, Marcus, handed him the ticket the night of the show.

But text messages at the time of the trip show Gillum was told the tickets came from “Mike Miller,” an FBI agent looking into city corruption who was posing as a developer …

The campaign has not said how Marcus Gillum, who lives in Chicago, came by such a sought-after Broadway ticket, or whether Andrew Gillum asked his brother about it.

“These messages only confirm what we have said all along,”Andrew Gillum said on Facebook Live on Tuesday. “We did go to see ‘Hamilton.’ I did get my ticket to ‘Hamilton’ from my brother. At the time, we believed that they were reserved by friends of Adam’s, Mike Miller.

“And when I got there after work, got my ticket, we went in there and saw it, assumed my brother paid for it, and so far as I know, that was the deal” …

Once a close friend of Gillum’s, Corey is at the center of the FBI’s long-running probe into corruption in Tallahassee. No one has been charged, and Gillum has said that agents assured him he was neither a target nor a focus of the probe.

Gillum has repeatedly given vague answers to questions about who paid for the New York City trip. His avoidance of a direct answer became pronounced during a Sunday debate on CNN between DeSantis and Gillum.

“Did you pay for the ‘Hamilton’ tickets?” DeSantis asked.

But there’s more. The new information raises a question over how the trip to New York was financed:

They show that undercover FBI agents posing as businessmen were working for months to get an out-of-state meeting with Gillum, and that Gillum appeared willing to oblige them.

In June 2016, Corey texted Miller, the undercover agent, telling him that he would discuss options with Gillum.

“I just want to make it a good trip and Sweets and B will be booked on something else if we don’t lock something down,” Miller replied.

“Mike Sweets” and “Brian Butler” were the two other undercover FBI agents posing as businessmen

… they met in New York, while Gillum was attending a conference on behalf of the People for the American Way Foundation, a liberal advocacy group that employed him.

Text messages show Miller paid for the airfare and hotel room for Gillum’s brother, Marcus.

“Send me the mayor and his brother’s information and I will have my girl book their flights,” Miller wrote.

Corey replied that Gillum had already booked his flight, but he would send his brother’s information “ASAP.”

“Just tell them to let me know what their flights cost and I will cover it,” Miller said.

The ethics complaint was filed against Gillum in June this year, and Gillum met with investigators in early September

Tuesday’s document dump was the type of event Democrats feared when Gillum won the party’s nomination in August but hoped would never come. Though supporters generally dismissed the significance of the texts and emails between Gillum and Corey, one Democratic consultant acknowledged that anyone on the fence about Gillum could be deflated.

The timing of the release — exactly two weeks before Election Day and on the second day of early voting — comes during a key period for the Democratic Party, when voters typically begin showing up to the polls in large numbers and making up the advantage Republicans build during absentee voting …

On October 31, Project Veritas issued a damning video of Gillum’s campaign and a written summary. Gillum is left wing, not just left-of-centre. Omar Smith, the main campaign worker interviewed, said Gillum promises things he will not be able to accomplish. Be prepared for untoward remarks about Floridians:

James O’Keefe, the founder of Project Veritas, went to follow up. Omar Smith, the main speaker in the video, has asked that these videos not be circulated. This is bad news for Gillum:

From 1968 …

In closing, this 50-year-old poster about voting helped Richard Nixon and Spiro Agnew win an election in a highly turbulent year in the US (Martin Luther King Jr’s assassination, Bobby Kennedy’s assassination and the riots by radicals during the Democratic National Convention in Chicago). It’s no surprise that Republicans won that year:

It has the same message that Republicans are trying to get out today, especially taking other people along so that they, too, can vote.

Fifty years on, here is the unofficial, but no less powerful, Republican slogan circulating online:

President Trump has tweeted several times recently, including in the tweet below with a short video from his Houston rally, promising what Republicans will continue to do to shore up the US:

PROMISES MADE. PROMISES KEPT.

A tricky court case came to a close on Good Friday.

The Orlando Sentinel reported that Noor Salman, the widow of the Pulse nightclub shooter, was acquitted:

Jurors listened to eight days of testimony and found Salman, 31, not guilty of aiding and abetting Mateen’s providing of material support to a foreign terror organization and of obstruction of justice. The court has kept the names of jurors secret, and went as far as having them meet at a separate location away from the courthouse every day of the trial so U.S. marshals could drive them to the courthouse. The foreman asked to remain anonymous.

The Sentinel‘s report carries the jury foreman’s statement in full. This is the last paragraph (emphases mine):

I want to make several things very clear. A verdict of not guilty did NOT mean that we thought Noor Salman was unaware of what Omar Mateen was planning to do. On the contrary we were convinced she did know. She may not have known what day, or what location, but she knew. However, we were not tasked with deciding if she was aware of a potential attack. The charges were aiding and abetting and obstruction of justice. I felt the both the prosecution and the defense did an excellent job presenting their case. I wish that the FBI had recorded their interviews with Ms. Salman as there were several significant inconsistencies with the written summaries of her statements. The bottom line is that, based on the letter of the law, and the detailed instructions provided by the court, we were presented with no option but to return a verdict of not guilty.

Independent investigative Laura Loomer was not happy:

So were The_Donald’s contributors.

After the shooting, Noor Salman left Orlando and was arrested months later — January 2017 — in California. Her attorney said Salman was the victim of domestic abuse. She denied that Salman knew about plans for the mass shooting of 49 people. (Incidentally, the Daily Mail published an article about Salman shortly after the shooting which explains more about her upbringing and two marriages.)

For people who are upset about Noor Salman’s acquittal, here’s a reminder about the Boston bombing:

There is more to the Orlando case than meets the eye.

Here’s an interesting bit of news from Monday, March 26:

Although I respect Mike Cernovich’s journalism, I did not listen to his Periscope for lack of time.

However, Gateway Pundit‘s Lucian Wintrich did a stellar job in citing the various news reports about the allegation that the Orlando Pulse night club shooter’s father was working for the FBI.

The shooting took place on June 12, 2016. Who was in charge of the FBI at the time? None other than James Comey.

If the allegation is true and Seddique Mateen had been working for the FBI between 2005 and 2016, then Robert Mueller would likely have known about it as he was the director of the agency between 2001 and 2013.

Of the Periscope, Wintrich tells us:

Independent journalist Mike Cernovich has taken to Periscope to damn the FBI’s seeming complicity in the attacks, in line with their refusal to act on a series of domestic acts of terrorism such as the shooting in Parkland, Florida. The prosecution is seemingly shielding terrorist-tied Seddique Mateen, who was already under watch by the FBI, to prosecute Noor Salman; did the FBI have advanced knowledge of these attacks, and did Omar’s father Seddique Mateen encourage his son’s attack?

Let’s look at the articles Lucian Wintrich cites.

On March 26, 2018, when Salman’s defence team began presenting their case in court, CNN reported:

A judge has denied a motion for dismissal by lawyers for the widow of the Pulse gunman after they said new details from prosecutors reveal the shooter’s father was an FBI informant who is currently under a criminal investigation.

The judge said the fact that Omar Mateen’s father worked as an FBI informant was not relevant to the case against Noor Salman.

According to a motion filed by the defense, Assistant US Attorney Sara Sweeney sent an email to the defense on Saturday — in the middle of Salman’s trial — that stated Seddique Mateen was a confidential FBI source at various points in time between January 2005 through June 2016.

The email also stated that Seddique Mateen is being investigated for money transfers to Turkey and Afghanistan after documents were found in his home on June 12, 2016, the day of the Pulse attack. The dates of the money transfers were between March 16, 2016, and June 5, 2016, according to the email.

Salman’s lawyers argued that a failure to disclose this information violates her due process rights. They had no prior knowledge of this information.

Salman was charged with:

providing material support to a foreign terrorist organization and obstruction of justice, as prosecutors say she knew about the coming massacre. She has pleaded not guilty, and her defense team has cast her as a victim rather than an accomplice.

The defense began its case Monday.

CBS also carried a report that day:

Salman’s lawyers allege the new revelation prevented them from investigating whether or not Seddique Mateen knew of his son’s plans to attack the nightclub.

According to the motion, defense lawyers allege that the decision not to give Noor Salman a polygraph was possibly “based on the FBI’s desire to implicate Noor Salman, rather than Seddique Mateen in order to avoid scrutiny of its own ineptitude with the latter.”

“Mateen’s father played a significant role in the FBI’s decision not to seek an indictment from the Justice Department for false statements to the FBI or obstruction of justice against Omar Mateen” during its 2013 investigation into his alleged threats, the motion stated.

Meanwhile, attorneys in federal court Monday will try to convince jurors that Salman didn’t help her husband as he prepared for the attack on the gay nightclub.

The New York Post reported:

Her lawyers’ federal court motion filed Monday says prosecutors contacted them Saturday night and told them about Seddique Mateen’s relationship with the feds, the Orlando Sentinel reported.

“It is apparent from the Government’s belated disclosure that Ms. Salman has been defending a case without a complete set of facts and evidence that the Government was required to disclose,” attorney Fritz Scheller said in the court filing.

The motion was filed just hours before Salman’s lawyers were slated to begin presenting their case. The prosecution rested its case Thursday.

Seddique Mateen, who was on the government’s witness list, was never called to testify — though his wife, Shahla Mateen, did testify.

Also:

Had Salman’s defense attorneys known about those transfers, Scheller argued, they would have “investigated whether a tie existed between Seddique Mateen and his son, specifically whether Mateen’s father was involved in or had foreknowledge of the Pulse attack.”

That would be relevant to Salman’s defense, Scheller argued, because the government has claimed she helped her husband invent a cover story to tell his parents about where he was going the night prior to the mass shooting.

If Seddique Mateen had “some level of foreknowledge” about his son’s plot, a cover story “would have been completely unnecessary,” according to the motion.

Mike Cernovich has been discussing this case for some time. After Salman’s not-guilty verdict, he reiterated the information about the case (start at 6:23):

 

Cernovich went through a lot of information in the public domain. Notably, Mateen told his colleagues in 2013 that he was radicalised. Some of his colleagues went to the FBI at that time quoting what he said.

The FBI did nothing with that information because Seddique Mateen told them not to.

Cernovich also pointed out that the FBI received multiple warnings from the public about Nikolas Cruz’s weird behaviour. The FBI ignored those, too.

The FBI seems to be ignoring warnings about unhinged people.

And what about Seddique Mateen? Will the FBI now investigate him?

This looks like a case for FBI director Christopher Wray. Will he take action?

Two new developments have emerged with regard the Parkland, Florida school shooting on Wednesday, February 14, 2018.

We have a new police audio and a report about Nikolas Cruz’s past mental state.

New sheriff’s department audio

On March 8, the Miami Herald released an audio from the Broward County Sheriff’s despatch office. The recently retired — previously suspended — Deputy Sheriff Scot Peterson can be heard:

“Do not approach the 12 or 1300 building, stay at least 500 feet away,” a panicked Peterson shouted as people screamed in the background.

This is important information (emphases mine):

The records appear to support Broward Sheriff Scott Israel’s contention that Peterson, a longtime school resource officer, should have entered Building 12 to engage Cruz and try to prevent deaths. They also appear to show that other deputies may have refrained from rushing into the school at the direction of Peterson and a Parkland captain. The response by the agency has been the subject of national scrutiny, and is currently under review by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

Jeff Bell, the president of BSO’s police union, welcomed the release of the audio and timeline.

“It certainly backs up that he never went into the school,” Bell said of Peterson. “At one point he says to keep back 500 feet. Why would he say that?

The article has more on the police timeline.

Former New York City policeman and former Secret Service agent Dan Bongino appeared on Fox News to discuss the audio. BPR has a report of what he told Fox’s Sandra Smith:

“Well, Sandra, after Columbine, the entire training to active shooter response incidents was overhauled,” Bongino said. “The idea of a perimeter and a hostage negotiation went out the window. After Columbine, all the training methods were to respond immediately to the problem.”

Having said that, there are multiple systems out there,” he continued. “The alert system is one of them. There are a number of systems, some of them respond to the problem by yourself. Some teach respond as a team and in tandem.”

“Let me be clear on this,” he said. “None of these systems used now in this post-Columbine era teach set up a perimeter and stay 500 feet away from the building. None. None that I know of. You know, email me if you see otherwise. I have never heard of anything like this. It is a puzzling, puzzling piece of audio that 911 call.”

Nikolas Cruz’s high school therapy files

On March 9, the Miami Herald published a detailed article about Nikolas Cruz’s therapy files:

Nearly four years before school shooter Nikolas Cruz gunned down 17 students and educators at a Parkland high school, he confided in a therapist that he saw himself in a dream drenched in human blood.

A May 3, 2014, notation in a Broward County schools psychiatric file said Cruz “reported [a dream] last week of him killing people and covered in blood. He smiled and told the therapist that sometimes he says things for shock value.”

After Cruz’s disclosure to his therapist at the alternative Cross Creek School, administrators developed a “safety plan” to ensure the welfare of Cruz and others while the teen was on summer vacation. The plan included provisions for removing “all sharp objects from the home” and encouraging the youth to “verbalize what the problem is.”

That year, his mother Lynda, who died in November 2017, and school officials were concerned about Cruz’s interest in owning a gun:

At the time, Lynda Cruz was considering buying the teen a pellet gun for his birthday. A different therapist who appears to have visited the family at their home suggested the mom develop a “plan” in which the youth would be allowed to buy a gun if he was able to “earn it” with good behavior. There was “a plan in place at home in order to control his use of the pellet gun.”

Cruz’s school therapist, however, expressed reservations. “Parent was advised against getting him a gun (pellet) or classes for his birthday,” the September notation said. “Parent advised to restrict access to any weapon.”

The therapy files also underscore Cruz’s strong desire to be sent to a regular high school. He frequently discussed transferring with his therapist but also expressed anxiety about getting mainstreamed.

In some sessions, the therapist described Cruz as “receptive” or noted that he’d had “positive” behavior at school. The therapist role-played with Cruz to teach him how to interact with his peers and avoid conflict. But following other sessions, the therapist noted troubling behavior at school and at home.

Cruz once described his ‘perfect summer’:

Under the heading “What my perfect summer would be,” Cruz wrote about “buying some type of gun and shooting at targets that I set up with large amounts of ammo just for fun for hours,” stopping only when he got bored or ran out of ammunition. Cruz said he also wanted to get a job and make money “so I can get things that I want for myself [instead] of come to this time wasting school that support stuped [sic] selfish children that I don’t care about and gets in the way of my chances of leaving this place.”

Cruz also wrote about his loneliness. “I will never be happy with my life I have no money or [sic] freinds,” he wrote. He complained about his “annoying mother who won’t leave me alone.”

He was also extremely violent at home:

In preparation for a summer 2014 recess, Cruz’s school therapist and psychiatrist jointly wrote a letter to another one of the teen’s psychiatrists articulating a host of serious concerns. “At home, he continues to be aggressive and destructive with minimal provocation,” the letter said. “For instance, he destroyed his television after losing a video game that he was playing. Nikolas has a hatchet that he uses to chop up a dead tree in his backyard. Mom has not been able to locate that hatchet as of lately.”

When upset he punches holes in the walls and has used sharp tools to cut up the upholstery on the furniture and carve holes in the walls of the bathroom,” the letter added.

The article says that Cruz has withdrawn a not-guilty plea in order to receive a sentence of life in prison. Unless a plea bargain can be worked out:

Cruz, who was ordered held without bond Friday on the additional attempted murder counts, now faces the death penalty.

He was never going to turn out well. What can be done with youngsters like this?

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