Anonymous is Vital
Anonymous public speech is essential to liberty and democracy. In my home country, anyone can speak at Hyde Park Corner without identifying themselves – and it is their anonymity that guarantees the “free” part of free speech. Their sentiments stand or fall on their merits. Historically, the authorities were unaware of the speakers’ identities.
As the West becomes ever more totalitarian, the right to speak freely without sanction is disappearing. Can a lowly police officer inform the citizenry of corruption and collusion amongst his superiors? His career would be destroyed if his identity were known, even though his role as whistleblower is honorable. His anonymity is essential.
Within government it is often well known that malpractice occurs. Ninety-nine percent of those who know of it say and do nothing. Only those with a conscience speak out, as they take the elementary precaution of cloaking their identity. They are the brave ones, the ones who understand that the wrongdoing must be exposed if it is to be eradicated.
They take a huge risk even to bring out the truth anonymously. They are to be commended, as is the Rhino Times for providing such an outlet, the classic virtue of the fourth estate, from Revolutionary War subversive pamphlets to Watergate’s Deep Throat.
Anonymous public speech is absolutely essential to freedom.
A Nothing Burger
President Donald Trump may not be my idea of an ideal president but we agree on one thing – Nobel Prize winning economist Paul Krugman wins first place for the fake news award.
President Obama bought into them hook, line and sinker. Yet, if our nation’s worst enemy had advised us, economically, we couldn’t have done much worst.
Didn’t he make comments like: “We should have gone in debt twice the amount we did”? Didn’t he recently call Trump’s recent tax cut “a nothing burger”? It sounds like fake news to me. And aren’t we even paying down on some of the $26 trillion in debt that was waiting to bite us? The mainstream media still promote these fake accounts of their private dreams that never were and are not likely to be.
If the American voter is as intelligent as we say they are, they will forget these dreams and of their darling liberal economist Paul Krugman, who coined the term and helped to promote his own nothing burgers. These liberals enjoy spending everybody else’s money but their own. They deserve to simply die and go away and/or come back again another day with a totally new mindset about economics. If we lived in a country that did not better share its wealth with the less fortunate, their ideas and socialism would be an improvement, but not here, at least for now. All we can really ask is for our rich, middle class and poor to be better off than before and only commonsense economics can provide that.
Cover the Porn Star
I cannot help but notice your lack of coverage/commentary on the latest allegations regarding Trump’s pay-offs (through the machinations of his lawyer) of a porn-star and a Playboy model. One can only imagine your comments had these revelations been about Barack Obama. But the stock market is up, so all must be fine with the world.
Republicans have struck a Faustian deal with Donald Trump – they will ignore his lies and his lack of moral grounding as long as taxes go down and stocks go up. The only problem with this kind of deal is that ultimately a con man will con. Just ask the students of Trump University, the employees of the Atlantic City Trump casino or the creditors in his multiple bankruptcy filings (or his current wife).
As for his dealings with Russia – a mere linguistic mistake with the use of a double-negative? Trump could not have been more obsequious to Putin if he had been polishing his shoes as Vladimir spoke. But again, stocks are up and taxes are down.
Summerfield Public Records Hard To Get
Hillary 2 in Summerfield?
Living in Summerfield since 1992, I have followed your articles regarding the Town Council with interest relating to the unanimous decision by the Guilford County Board of Elections served by two Republicans and two Democrats that Todd Rotruck did not reside in Summerfield when he filed for election to a Town Council seat. Any unanimous decision between the two parties these days is truly amazing and now it is up to the judge to decide the merits of the case.
But there is a bigger issue in Summerfield now and that is with Mayor Gail Dunham. At least 10 public records requests have been sent to the town to release her email correspondence between her and selected citizens of Summerfield regarding town business, including Rotruck and current Councilmember Teresa Pegram. The earliest of these requests is from April 25.
Unfortunately, the town is unable to fulfill these requests because the mayor sent and received the emails in question by using at least two personal email accounts: email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org. According to the mayor, some of the requests were incomplete and required more information to process, which is inaccurate according to the town attorney who indicated all requests are complete and valid according to North Carolina State Statutes.
The mayor continues to throw up roadblocks to delay or worse; avoid fulfilling these requests. One can only suspect that she has damaging emails and does not want to disclose these to the public. Since these emails are not stored on the town server, the town cannot release information it does not have and she is the only one who can release the information requested.
Elected officials at any level are not allowed to delete or otherwise destroy emails or other correspondence relating to town business just because they may be damaging or embarrassing to the person(s) involved, and such public records requests must be fulfilled in a reasonable amount of time. It has been over 90 days since the April 25 request and as of last week it had not been fulfilled. I think 90 days is beyond reasonable. I am calling on the mayor to release these public records without further delay.
The town has offered to have their IT person assist in collecting these emails to fulfill these public records requests and the mayor should take advantage of this resource.
Editor’s Note: One of the huge problems with North Carolina’s public records and open meetings laws is that there are no sanctions or penalties for violating those laws.
Politics in Courtroom
Party politics can drive us crazy if we go along with the craziness. Recently the North Carolina legislature showed their craziness by changing the election of judges to be political party based. (See House Bill 100 in 2017.)
My son Gabriel Zeller is an independent and has been for a long time. As an attorney, and now as a candidate for district judge in Rockingham County, he explains to me that he is independent because judges are supposed to be completely independent. No Democrats, no Republicans, just citizens. He says that “Justice is his party and the Constitution is his platform.”
Why should political parties be involved in District Court decisions? There is no place for politics in that courtroom. Family matters, crime and other property dispute issues are matters of justice and mercy and not matters of gerrymandering and money. This new law needs to be rejected by voters in both parties and back candidates for judge on the merits of their character and their ability to uphold the Constitution and apply it evenhandedly to everyone.
I’d like to take the opportunity of address arguments advanced by immigration rights supporters.
- The writing on the Statue of Liberty is a promise. However, we live in a democracy. An inscription on a gift is not an eternally binding legal contract. If you want to invent a right, amend the Constitution. Do not use a statue to deny citizens’ right to enforce a won vote.
- The Ellis Island argument or that we used to have open borders. At that time most governments in the US did not care if the population had clean water, sewage, food, trash services, electricity, public health, adequate housing, basic education, health or jobs. The immigrants came here at their own risk without an expectation of assistance. When President Obama announced DACA an increase in illegal unaccompanied minors occurred, the child foster care system was stretched too thin. It is ridiculous to expect individuals who arrive will all be successful. When they fail, and are standing in front of us, we cannot turn them down.
- Everybody except Native Americans are immigrants. This is a self-defeating argument. When more Europeans are in your area than people of your group, it ceases to be Native American. When there are more Francs in Gaul than Romans, the area becomes France. Ignoring borders is dangerous.
- Everyone has a right to US citizenship/borders shouldn’t exist. These were arguments for imperialism. European countries ignored other groups’ borders and assumed they would benefit by being citizens. A Mexican politician claimed all voters have a right to US citizenship and borders do not matter. The next logical extension of these arguments is to invade Mexico and Central America. This sounds like an invitation. Their sovereignty should be honored too. That means we should stop stealing their greatest natural resource, healthy workers willing to contribute to the economy and are persistent enough to take action.
- Liberals should stick together for each individual groups overall benefit. Environmentalists are supporting open borders for political gain. Unrestricted immigration causes increased burden on the environment. It causes increased waste to be managed. It causes increase demand on area natural resources. More land will need to be converted to farming and housing.
- These individuals are escaping from gangs and abuse. We have both here too. Escaping from one place that has similar threats will not solve problems.
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