Rep. Trey Gowdy grills NPS director over treatment of veterans during gov’t shutdown

Congressman Trey Gowdy (R-SC) made headlines yesterday, after he grilled National Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis at a U.S. House hearing concerning the closure of national parks and monuments during the partial government shutdown. Rep. Gowdy ripped Jarivs for treating “pot-smoking” demonstrators in the Occupy Wall Street movement with more respect than the nation’s war veterans.

“Let's go to Trey Gowdy because Trey Gowdy makes me feel good. Trey Gowdy was talking to the head of the park rangers, the park police, on why'd they shut down everything.”

GOWDY: October of 2011, Occupy protestors descended upon McPherson Square and they decided to stay. Despite the clear language of the law, these protestors camped at McPherson Square with the definition of camping being sleeping or preparing to sleep. For 100 days they camped in violation of the law and you did not make a single solitary arrest for camping. So Congress decided to have a hearing and asked you why you were not enforcing the law when you told us, Mr. Jarvis, that you had a great deal of discretion in how and when to enforce the law. You told us that you were, after 100 days of not enforcing the plain language of the statute working with protestors to, quote, gain compliance, whatever the hell that means, with the law and what you called, quote, a measured and reasoned approach. By the way, Mr. Jarvis, those were your words, not mine. So the law says no camping but the protestors did anyway and you didn't do anything in terms of arrests or citations for over 100 days. So Mr. Jarvis, I want you to fast-forward two years. Parks are closing, access to monuments is restricted, even access for those who helped build the monument in the first place. You didn't wait 100 days to enforce the law, Mr. Jarvis, with veterans who wanted to see their monument. You didn't work to gain compliance. Veterans weren't greeted with a measured and reasoned response, Mr. Jarvis. They were greeted with barricades on the very first day.

“I just want you to take a second, and I just want you to know this is a guy the TEA Party got in. This is a guy the TEA Party got in,” Glenn said. “Now that we've taken a moment and recognized how great this guy is and that because TEA Party people stood up, this guy is able to ask this mustachioed little worm of a man sitting there in his park ranger's outfit not arresting anyone for sleeping and camping and defecating on our Mall in our nation's capital. After not arresting, not making a single arrest, he's about to answer why he barricaded the World War II veterans.”

GOWDY: Furthermore, they could not exercise their First Amendment rights to walk to a monument that they helped build but yet some of our colleagues were allowed to exercise their First Amendment right to protest whatever it was they were protesting on the National Mall. So I'm going to read something to you, Mr. Jarvis, and I want you to ask me if you recognize who said this. Because of the lapse in funding, you are having to deliver difficult news to our visitors and partners. The functions we must perform under a shutdown are not the reasons any of us join the National Park Service, but they are the duties we are required to perform by law and regulation. Do you know who said that, Mr. Jarvis?

JARVIS: I believe I said that.

GOWDY: You're right, you did. Can you tell me why you would not enforce the law at McPherson Square but yet you greeted veterans with barricades on the very first day? What regulation can you cite to me that required you that required you to erect barricades?

JARVIS: The contingency plan that was approved on September 27th for the national park system is in compliance with the Anti-Deficiency Act. Under criminal --

GOWDY: I'm looking for a statute, Mr. Jarvis. I am looking for --

JARVIS: Yeah.

GOWDY: I am looking for a citation to the Code of Federal Regulation or the U.S. code for why you erected barricades. We've established you did not enforce the law for 100 days for protestors, agreed? You agree with me you did not issue a single citation for camping, right?

JARVIS: I believe that is correct.

GOWDY: Okay. Well, I can cite you the regulation that you did not follow two years ago. Can you cite me the regulation that required you to erect barricades to prevent veterans from accessing a monument that they built?

JARVIS: I can cite the Anti-Deficiency Act.

GOWDY: Can you cite a regulation that would require you to erect barricades, Mr. Jarvis? That is not a complex question.

JARVIS: The Anti-Deficiency Act requires that I reduce all employees down to only those that are necessary for life and property. That required the closure of all 401 national parks.

GOWDY: Mr. Jarvis, why did you fail to enforce the plain language of a statute for 100 days for protestors and yet on the very first day you denied access to a monument that veterans helped build.

JARVIS: On the very first day of the closure, I implemented a closure order for all 401 national parks in the compliance with the Anti-Deficiency Act and immediately, immediately that day also included as a part of that order that First Amendment activities would be permitted on the national mall.

GOWDY: Do you consider a First Amendment activity to walk to a monument that you helped build, or is it only just smoking pot at McPherson Square?

“This guy, he is so great,” Glenn said.

As Glenn explained, Rep. Gowdy’s questioning of Jarvis proves just how out-of-control the government bureaucracy has become. Jarvis knows he has no logical defense as to why the OWS crowd illegally occupied a space for over three months, while the veterans are kept away from their memorial after just one day, but he is so desperate to keep his job, he cannot tell the truth.

“Here's why he did it. This little worm wants his job. That's what [Jarvis] wants. He wants his job. He's a guy who has worked his whole life to get up to be the head of the Park Service,” Glenn explained. “Every single one of us have to decide right now: What is the price of our soul? Really that's what it is. What is the price of our soul? I'm telling you courage is contagious. If this guy would have stood up and he would have said, ‘Congressman Gowdy, I want to speak in front of Congress, few weeks ago. I am being pressured to put barricades around all of the monuments and I will being told that I will lose my job and they will make my life miserable, but I'm not being told in direct terms. It is all being insinuated. Here is my badge. I put it on the table but I wanted to do this in front of a session of Congress. Here's my badge.’”

“Can you imagine,” Glenn asked. “There is going to come a moment, there is going to come a time that somebody will put it all on the line and they will do it in a peaceful and respectful way.”

Front page image courtesy of the AP

The number of people serving life sentences now exceeds the entire prison population in 1970, according to newly-released data from the Sentencing Project. The continued growth of life sentences is largely the result of "tough on crime" policies pushed by legislators in the 1990s, including presidential candidate Joe Biden.

Biden has since apologized for backing those types of policies, but it seems he has yet to learn his lesson. Indeed, Biden is backing yet another criminal justice policy with disastrous consequences—mandatory drug treatment for all drug offenders.

Proponents of this policy argue that forced drug treatment will reduce drug usage and recidivism and save lives. But the evidence simply isn't on their side. Mandatory treatment isn't just patently unethical, it's also ineffective—and dangerous.

Many well-meaning people view mandatory treatment as a positive alternative to incarceration. But there's a reason that mandatory treatment is also known as "compulsory confinement." As author Maya Schenwar asks in The Guardian, "If shepherding live human bodies off to prison to isolate and manipulate them without their permission isn't ethical, why is shipping those bodies off to compulsory rehab an acceptable alternative?" Compulsory treatment isn't an alternative to incarceration. It is incarceration.

Compulsory treatment is also arguably a breach of international human rights agreements and ethical standards. The World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) have made it clear that the standards of ethical treatment also apply to the treatment of drug dependence—standards that include the right to autonomy and self-determination. Indeed, according to UNODC, "people who use or are dependent on drugs do not automatically lack the capacity to consent to treatment...consent of the patient should be obtained before any treatment intervention." Forced treatment violates a person's right to be free from non-consensual medical treatment.

It's a useless endeavor, anyway, because studies have shown that it doesn't improve outcomes in reducing drug use and criminal recidivism. A review of nine studies, published in the International Journal of Drug Policy, failed to find sufficient evidence that compulsory drug treatment approaches are effective. The results didn't suggest improved outcomes in reducing drug use among drug-dependent individuals enrolled in compulsory treatment. However, some studies did suggest potential harm.

According to one study, 33% of compulsorily-treated participants were reincarcerated, compared to a mere 5% of the non-treatment sample population. Moreover, rates of post-release illicit drug use were higher among those who received compulsory treatment. Even worse, a 2016 report from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health found that people who received involuntary treatment were more than twice as likely to die of an opioid-related overdose than those with a history of only voluntary treatment.

These findings echo studies published in medical journals like Addiction and BMJ. A study in Addiction found that involuntary drug treatment was a risk factor for a non-fatal drug overdose. Similarly, a study in BMJ found that patients who successfully completed inpatient detoxification were more likely than other patients to die within a year. The high rate of overdose deaths by people previously involuntarily treated is likely because most people who are taken involuntarily aren't ready to stop using drugs, authors of the Addiction study reported. That makes sense. People who aren't ready to get clean will likely use again when they are released. For them, the only post-treatment difference will be lower tolerance, thanks to forced detoxification and abstinence. Indeed, a loss of tolerance, combined with the lack of a desire to stop using drugs, likely puts compulsorily-treated patients at a higher risk of overdose.

The UNODC agrees. In their words, compulsory treatment is "expensive, not cost-effective, and neither benefits the individual nor the community." So, then, why would we even try?

Biden is right to look for ways to combat addiction and drug crime outside of the criminal justice system. But forced drug treatment for all drug offenders is a flawed, unethical policy, with deadly consequences. If the goal is to help people and reduce harm, then there are plenty of ways to get there. Mandatory treatment isn't one of them.

Lindsay Marie is a policy analyst for the Lone Star Policy Institute, an independent think tank that promotes freedom and prosperity for all Texans. You can follow her on Twitter @LindsayMarieLP.

President Donald Trump's personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani joined Glenn Beck on Tuesday's radio program discuss the Senate's ongoing investigation into former vice president Joe Biden's son, Hunter Biden, and reveal new bombshell documents he's currently releasing.

Giuliani told Glenn he has evidence of "very, very serious crime at the highest levels of government," that the "corrupt media" is doing everything in their power to discredit.

He also dropped some major, previously unreported news: not only was Hunter Biden under investigation in 2016, when then-Vice President Biden "forced" the firing of Ukraine's prosecutor general Viktor Shokin, but so was the vice president himself.

"Shokin can prove he was investigating Biden and his son. And I now have the prosecutorial documents that show, all during that period of time, not only was Hunter Biden under investigation -- Joe Biden was under investigation," Giuliani explained. "It wasn't just Hunter."

Watch this clip to get a rundown of everything Giuliani has uncovered so far.

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For most Americans, the 1980s was marked by big hair, epic lightsaber battles, and school-skipping Ferris Bueller dancing his way into the hearts of millions.

But for Bernie Sanders — who, by the way, was at that time the oldest-looking 40-year-old in human history — the 1980s was a period of important personal milestones.

Prior to his successful 1980 campaign to become mayor of Burlington, Vermont, Sanders was mostly known around the Green Mountain State as a crazy, wildly idealistic socialist. (Think Karl Marx meets Don Quixote.) But everything started to change for Sanders when he became famous—or, in the eyes of many, notorious—for being "America's socialist mayor."

As mayor, Sanders' radical ideas were finally given the attention he had always craved but couldn't manage to capture. This makes this period of his career particularly interesting to study. Unlike today, the Bernie Sanders of the 1980s wasn't concerned with winning over an entire nation — just the wave of far-left New York City exiles that flooded Vermont in the 1960s and 1970s — and he was much more willing to openly align himself with local and national socialist and communist parties.


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Over the past few weeks, I have been reading news reports of Sanders recorded in the 1980s — because, you know, that's how guys like me spend their Saturday nights — and what I've found is pretty remarkable.

For starters, Sanders had (during the height of the Soviet Union) a very cozy relationship with people who openly advocated for Marxism and communism. He was an elector for the Socialist Workers Party and promoted the party's presidential candidates in 1980 and 1984.

To say the Socialist Workers Party was radical would be a tremendous understatement. It was widely known SWP was a communist organization mostly dedicated to the teachings of Marx and Leon Trotsky, one of the leaders of the Russian Revolution.

Among other radical things I've discovered in interviews Sanders conducted with the SWP's newspaper — appropriately named The Militant (seriously, you can't make this stuff up) — is a statement by Sanders published in June 1981 suggesting that some police departments "are dominated by fascists and Nazis," a comment that is just now being rediscovered for the first time in decades.

In 1980, Sanders lauded the Socialist Workers Party's "continued defense of the Cuban revolution." And later in the 1980s, Sanders reportedly endorsed a collection of speeches by the socialist Sandinistas in Nicaragua, even though there had been widespread media reports of the Sandinistas' many human rights violations prior to Sanders' endorsement, including "restrictions on free movement; torture; denial of due process; lack of freedom of thought, conscience and religion; denial of the right of association and of free labor unions."

Sanders also traveled to Nicaragua and met with socialist President Daniel Ortega. He later called the trip a "profoundly emotional experience."

Sanders also traveled to Nicaragua and met with socialist President Daniel Ortega. He later called the trip a "profoundly emotional experience."

Comrade Bernie's disturbing Marxist past, which is far more extensive than what can be covered in this short article, shouldn't be treated as a mere historical footnote. It clearly illustrates that Sanders' brand of "democratic socialism" is much more than a $15 minimum wage and calls for single-payer health care. It's full of Marxist philosophy, radical revolutionary thinking, anti-police rhetoric, and even support for authoritarian governments.

Millions of Americans have been tricked into thinking Sanders isn't the radical communist the historical record — and even Sanders' own words — clearly show that he is. But the deeper I have dug into Comrade Bernie's past, the more evident it has become that his thinking is much darker and more dangerous and twisted than many of his followers ever imagined.

Tomorrow night, don't miss Glenn Beck's special exposing the radicals who are running Bernie Sanders' campaign. From top to bottom, his campaign is staffed with hard-left extremists who are eager to burn down the system. The threat to our constitution is very real from Bernie's team, and it's unlike anything we've ever seen before in a U.S. election. Join Glenn on Wednesday, at 9 PM Eastern on BlazeTV's YouTube page, and on BlazeTV.com. And just in case you miss it live, the only way to catch all of Glenn's specials on-demand is by subscribing to Blaze TV.

Justin Haskins (Jhaskins@heartland.org) is editorial director of The Heartland Institute and editor-in-chief of StoppingSocialism.com.

Candace Owens, BLEXIT founder and author of the upcoming book, "Blackout," joined Glenn Beck on Friday's GlennTV for an exclusive interview. available only to BlazeTV subscribers.

Candace dropped a few truth-bombs about the progressive movement and what's happening to the Democratic Party. She said people are practically running away from the left due to their incessant push to dig up dirt on anybody who disagrees with their radical ideology. She explained how -- like China and its "social credit score" -- the left is shaping America into its own nightmarish episode of "Black Mirror."

"This game of making sure that everyone is politically correct is a societal atom bomb. There are no survivors. There's no one that is perfect," Candace said. "The idea that humanity can be perfect is Godless. If you accept that there is something greater than us, then you accept that we a flawed. To be human is to be flawed."

Enjoy this clip from the full episode below:

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BlazeTV subscribers can watch the full interview on BlazeTV.com. Use code GLENN to save $10 off one year of your subscription.

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