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

Far away fields are always greener.

It is easy to look at someone else's life or another country and wish you were more like them.

Americans can be guilty of this. It could be Bernie Sanders wishing America was politically more like Sweden or other European socialist countries. It could be an American who finds out I'm Irish, been trying to move to America for over 17 years, and thinks, "Oh Jonathon, Ireland is a lovely free country - stay there. America has problems right now. You would not like it here."

Today, I want to take you on a journey and compare our nations' attitudes toward Coronavirus and the policies currently in place for "our protection."

I would also ask you to imagine you were in my shoes. Ask yourself which country you would want to live in.

Role of Government

Before discussing restrictions, it is critical to understand the very different governmental systems within our two countries. America is blessed to have a federalist system where states have considerable control over what happens in their states. DC, in theory, holds very little power.

Ireland is the exact opposite. We are a democracy with a big centralized government. The vast majority of power lies with our Taoiseach (Prime Minister) and his cabinet. Local states have no control, as our restrictions are countrywide.

America
  • America's restrictions vary from state to state. You will find the majority of businesses are open but operating with some restrictions.
  • Churches, malls, retail, gyms, cinemas are mostly all open.
  • Bars and restaurants are open but usually at a reduced capacity.
  • Schools have moved to online learning.
  • No travel limits.
  • Travel between states is allowed, but some states like Alaska require a negative Covid test.
  • Guests are allowed in homes, but some states have a limit (but not enforced).
  • Masks are either advised or mandatory in different states.
  • Social distancing is required.

When researching this article, the most prominent complaints were restrictions on visiting loved ones in hospitals and nursing homes. These restrictions have upset many people because you have a proud history of believing in individual freedoms. The government is not your parent and does not have a right to tell you how to live.

Now let me introduce you to Ireland.

Ireland

Ireland is currently on the highest level of lockdown possible and has been since Christmas Eve. We are officially on lockdown until March 5th, and our lockdown is getting more severe. Our government has already confirmed lockdown will be extended until After Easter.

Ireland has a stay-at-home order in place, and you are to work from home where possible.

  • "Essential" retail is open but with stupid rules. Some of our shops are half-open and half-closed. Imagine a Walmart that is allowed to sell food, but large parts of the clothing section are closed because they are not deemed essential.
  • Non-essential retail is now fully closed. At the start of lockdown, outlets were allowed to offer a click-and-collect service – but that has now been banned.
  • Gyms and cinemas are all closed. Ø Bars and restaurants are closed and unlikely to re-open until mid-summer.
  • Schools have moved to online learning.
  • No guests are allowed in homes or gardens.
  • Masks are mandatory and with fines.
  • Social distancing is required.
  • Churches are allowed to open for private prayer, but the mass is strictly online. This has caused a lot of distress for families. Ireland is a Catholic country. I know many older people who have not received communion since last March. My mother is a funeral director and has witnessed the pain caused to families, as only ten people are allowed to attend a funeral, regardless of the Church's size. Imagine a large family deciding what ten people can attend? How do you choose that? Sadly, the Irish Church is spineless and accepts every rule the government passes.
Additional Tyranny

Very few businesses are open right now, but that is not the end of the restrictions. There are limits on how far you can travel. I am currently off my work because of Coronavirus restrictions. There are two legal reasons I can leave my house: personal exercise/walk the dog and to purchase food/essential items from the store. These activities must be completed within three miles of my house.

My human right to privacy has also been crushed. If I decided to get in my car tomorrow and just drive, I would encounter several police checkpoints where I would have to disclose where I live, where I am going, and the purpose of my trip. If the trip is not essential, I will be told to return home and likely given a fine.

Tyranny North Korea Style!

Most countries have border controls, all with similar intent: control who enters the nation, set how long they can stay, and mandate what they can do.

The one exception to this rule is North Korea. Their intent is not to control who enters. Instead, they seek to ensure no one leaves and defects to the South.

As you can imagine, life in Ireland is not exactly pleasurable with the above restrictions. This is especially the case for people like me who suffer from severe depression and are desperate to escape.

If tomorrow I woke up and decided I want out (which I very much do) and found a country I could enter legally, I AM NOT ALLOWED TO LEAVE.

The Irish government has deemed all international travel is not essential and has placed police at all our ports and our airports. If I attempt to go to the airport, I would be greeted at a police checkpoint outside the airport, told my journey is not essential, and sent home with a fine. Currently, the fine is €500 ($600). New legislation is being discussed in parliament to increase the penalty to €2,000.

The police have new powers for people who get past the checkpoints and continue to travel overseas. When they return to Ireland, they can be sent to jail for a month. They will also have a criminal record – that record would likely disqualify the person traveling to countries like America and Australia.

Irish People

I could talk to you all day long about why America is unique and exceptional. There are so many different reasons. One of the reasons is your people, and I highlight Alexis de Tocqueville's sentiments, who said, "America is great because Americans are good." Americans have this rebellious streak in their soul, and it can be traced all the way back to the Pilgrims on the Mayflower. This great spirit is based on being an independent sovereign individual and wanting to live life to the fullest and not be stopped or controlled by ANY government.

Irish people are good and decent. However, they do not share the same characteristics. They believe and support government control because it is all they have ever known.

If you ask the average Irish person about the current government, he will likely tell you he dislikes one of the parties involved or an individual leader. Yet, ask that same person what he thinks about the restrictions, and he will defend them. I hear some say they believe the government has not done enough.

On the rare occasions that people break restrictions, the most significant backlash will likely come from the community, as they brand those people selfish and irresponsible.

Going Forward

The damage from Covid is going to be around forever. Our actions have caused damage to our mental health and the economy (with businesses closing and jobs lost). This will cause poverty. This is made worse by governments' reckless spending and borrowing of money we simply do not have.

However, I would argue we have a much bigger problem stemming from Covid: social acceptance of governmental control in a "crisis."

When a government is powerful enough to compel someone not to leave their house, define their job as non-essential, or tell someone they can't hug their grandparent, what exactly is off-limits? What control or power is a line government won't cross for the "common good"?

Most importantly, do you think governments worldwide will fix this issue and give back the powers they have taken? Or is it more likely we will just move onto a new crisis – maybe climate change or the Great Reset?

This is why the world needs America. We don't need the American military to intervene and save us.

We NEED America to rediscover why you are an exceptional nation. We NEED you to be the statue of liberty shining out the beacon of light, hope, and freedom for the world where your actions remind all of us what is possible when we unleash the energy and individual genius of mankind. If we work hard to reapply these principles, we can take another 5,000-year leap forward together.

Writers note: The policies listed here are based solely on Ireland. However, you see very similar restrictions in England and throughout Europe.

Jonathon Dunne is a keynote speaker, weekly podcast host on Blaze Media, and published author on major platforms such as The Blaze, Glenn Beck, Libertarian Republic, Western Journalism, and Constitution. Since 2012, he has reached millions with his message of American exceptionalism.

You can find him on social media – Facebook, Twitter, MeWe

Republican Rep. Dan Crenshaw of Texas joined Glenn Beck on the radio program Thursday to discuss the Left's current efforts to rid the U.S. military of "extremism," Democrats' push to separate President Joe Biden from the nuclear codes, and how conservatives can use government to battle the far-left, their policies, and their efforts to control Americans.

Crenshaw called the military's efforts to rid their ranks of extremism, "so obviously and clearly politically motivated," as the entire premise is based on reports that some active service members and veterans participated in the Jan. 6 storming of the U.S. Capitol.

"Mathematically, that's not a good indication of where active duty military stand or where veterans stand more broadly," Crenshaw said of the generalization that military personnel are extremists. "And I thought we were against that kind of profiling. Right? I thought that was against the liberal values that supposedly the Left stands for."

"But, Glenn, you know very well the Left is not liberal," he added. "The Left is very anti-liberal. And I think as conservatives, we have to say that more often. They have become genuinely authoritarian. Progressivism is not in sync with liberalism. All right? There's a big difference between an Alan Dershowitz liberal and a Democrat Party progressive. They're totally different."

Watch the video clip below to catch more of the conversation with Rep. Dan Crenshaw:

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Glenn Beck: THIS is why Biden nominated Merrick Garland as attorney general

Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Many will remember President Biden's attorney general nominee Merrick Garland as the man Republicans refused to hold a Supreme Court confirmation hearing for back in 2016. So, was Garland's AG nomination just meant to be a slap in the face to Republicans? Glenn Beck thinks there's a lot more to it.

Given how focused Democrats are on rooting out vaguely defined "right-wing extremism," Garland's work in supervising the prosecution of the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing suspects gives us a hint, Glenn suggested on radio this week. He said he's "all for" stopping dangerous extremists, but couldn't help noticing how Garland isn't talking about any of the destruction that happened over the summer.

"I am all for justice. I am all for making sure we catch the bad guys, as long as the bad guys are not defined to be on only one side," Glenn said. "Merrick Garland said [Monday] that there was no comparison between what happened on January 6th and what happened over the summer. That is because the Washington elites see themselves as better than somebody who owns a taco stand. I don't. The Constitution doesn't. They are the same crime."

Watch the video clip below to hear more from Glenn:

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"All rich countries should move to 100% synthetic beef. You can get used to the taste difference," said holy anointed billionaire Bill Gates. Green activism has been around for decades. But what used to be wacky has now worked its way into the world's power structure. You must believe the science. You cannot question the science.

The Texas power failure provided America with a disturbing and deadly preview of the Great Reset. But Bill Gates, AOC, and other Democrats say this only proves we need to enforce MORE green policies.

On his Wednesday night special this week, Glenn Beck reveals how deep the Great Reset tentacles reach into government and business to strangle freedom and their efforts to control every aspect of your private life.

Watch the full episode below:

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