Three Things You Need to Know - December 1, 2017

The Verdict Is In for Kate Steinle's Killer

Kate Steinle’s murderer has been declared not guilty. The multiple felon and five time deportee killed the 32 year old woman over two years ago, but her family will never see justice for it.

The California state government has made a complete mockery of the justice system on MULTIPLE levels. Answer me this San Francisco… and help me out here because I just can’t wrap my brain around this: How can a man fire a gun into a group of people, kill a woman, then throw the murder weapon into the ocean, get caught fleeing the scene, then get off scot free?

What the hell was the prosecution doing during this case? The killer admitted he fired the gun. The only case the defense had was that this was an accident. The old Comey/Hillary Clinton defense of “no ill intent… no harm no foul.” I’m sorry but that’s not good enough. At the VERY LEAST they could have gotten the killer on involuntary manslaughter. Did the prosecution not care or were they really that incompetent?

If you live in these Sanctuary Cities in California, how can you ever feel safe? You’re already mostly forbidden from protecting yourself. The gun laws are among the strictest in the country. But not only that, the government of California has now shown that they can’t protect you either. ICE has declared they’ll deport this murderer yet again, but we all know that won’t actually matter. He’ll come right back, and the state of California not only won’t do a thing about it but they’ll welcome him with open arms.

The killer didn’t get off completely unscathed. They did actually nail him for something. It wasn’t murder, it wasn’t manslaughter, it wasn’t illegally being in the country. The new crime on his wrap sheet is… illegal possession of a firearm. If that doesn’t say it all, I don’t know what does. For the leftists, blaming the criminal always runs second to the gun. The killer is innocent and the gun is guilty.

One final question for the justice system in California. If the shooter would have been a white person and the victim an immigrant… legal or illegal. Would you have shown the same mercy?

Trump's Week That Might Have Been

Why won’t President Trump get out of his own way?

This week there was positive economic news that most past presidents would have shouted from the rooftops. Like the fact that the U.S. economy has exceeded its potential output for the first time in a decade.

The third quarter of 2017 is the strongest in three years. Yesterday, the Dow closed above 24,000 – an all-time record. And how about this one – the unemployment rate is the lowest in 17 years.

Those are things that really resonate with people.

The Republican tax reform bill is also inching its way through Congress this week. It’s looking more likely to pass, which would be a much-needed win for the President – his only significant legislative accomplishment of the year.

This should have been a slower week of positive vibes and fluff pieces on the White House Christmas decorations that were unveiled Monday. Instead, Trump hijacked any good press he might have enjoyed, mainly through Twitter: he said Time magazine called to say he was probably going to be named Man of the Year for the second year in a row (which Time denied); he said we should have a fake news competition for the TV networks with a trophy prize; he shared anti-Muslim videos from a racist British group, infuriating Prime Minister Theresa May; and for good measure, he implied Joe Scarborough should be investigated for murder.

All that drama was on top of his “Pocahontas” comment fiasco at an event to honor Navajo World War II veterans.

Trump seems to want positive media coverage about him, yet he feeds the media constant negative fodder with his tweets.

Here’s a strategy the president hasn’t tried – total Twitter silence, for at least a week, maybe two. If he wouldn’t give the media wacky things to be distracted with, surely they’d be forced to find something else to talk about. In theory. At this point, he has set such a precedent with his tweets that the stories would probably be all about why the president isn’t tweeting.

Michigan AG Vows to Not 'Sexually Harrass Her Staff'

Michigan Attorney General Candidate Dana Nessel wants you to know something.

She does not have a penis.

Dana does have a point. It’s not anatomically possible for her to do a lot of the things the Weinstein’s and Conyers of the world are alleged to have done. That’s a promise she can absolutely keep to her constituents.

But as we saw with the Presidential election of 2016, running solely on gender doesn’t really work.

Plus, it’s unfair and sexist to imply that there is a risk of a potted plant or bathrobe incident if any man holds a position of power simply because he is a man.

All of the allegations about sexual misconduct are throwing a much-needed light on that fact that our societal ideas about manhood have been completely decimated.

We must remember that REAL men don’t do this kind of crap.

They don’t get their confidence or ego from asking women to look at or touch their junk.

Real men elevate their coworkers and acquaintances, regardless of gender, to be their best self.

It might not seem like it right now with two months of nonstop allegations coming out every day, but there are good men out there who don’t keep bags of sex toys at the office. Those men do exist and guess what? They are the majority.

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Stop trying to be right and think of the children

Mario Tama/Getty Images

All the outrage this week has mainly focused on one thing: the evil Trump administration and its minions who delight in taking children from their illegal immigrant parents and throwing them all in dungeons. Separate dungeons, mind you.

That makes for a nice, easy storyline, but the reality is less convenient. Most Americans seem to agree that separating children from their parents — even if their parents entered the US illegally — is a bad thing. But what if that mom and dad you're trying to keep the kids with aren't really the kids' parents? Believe it or not, fraud happens.

RELATED: Where were Rachel Maddow's tears for immigrant children in 2014?

While there are plenty of heartbreaking stories of parents simply seeking a chance for a better life for their children in the US, there are also corrupt, abusive human traffickers who profit from the illegal immigration trade. And sorting all of this out is no easy task.

This week, the Department of Homeland Security said that since October 2017, more than 300 children have arrived at the border with adults claiming to be their parents who turned out not to be relatives. 90 of these fraud cases came from the Rio Grande Valley sector alone.

In 2017, DHS reported 46 causes of fraudulent family claims. But there have already been 191 fraud cases in 2018.

Shouldn't we be concerned about any child that is smuggled by a human trafficker?

When Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen pointed out this 315 percent increase, the New York Times was quick to give these family fraud cases "context" by noting they make up less than one percent of the total number of illegal immigrant families apprehended at the southern border. Their implication was that Nielsen was exaggerating the numbers. Even if the number of fraud cases at the border was only 0.001 percent, shouldn't we be concerned about any child that is smuggled by a human trafficker?

This is the most infuriating part of this whole conversation this week (if you can call it a "conversation") — that both sides have an angle to defend. And while everyone's busy yelling and making their case, children are being abused.

What if we just tried, for two seconds, to love having mercy more than we love having to be right all the time?

Remember when cartoons were happy things? Each panel took you on a tiny journey, carrying you to an unexplored place. In Understanding Comics, Scott McCloud writes:

The comics creator asks us to join in a silent dance of the seen and the unseen. The visible and the invisible. This dance is unique to comics. No other artform gives so much to its audience while asking so much from them as well. This is why I think it's a mistake to see comics as a mere hybrid of the graphic arts and prose fiction. What happens between . . . panels is a kind of magic only comics can create.

When that magic is manipulated or politicized, it often devolves the artform into a baseless thing. Yesterday, Occupy Wall Street published the perfect example of low-brow deviation of the artform: A six-panel approach at satire, which imitates the instructions-panel found in the netted cubbyhole behind seats on airplanes. The cartoon is a critique of the recent news about immigrant children being separated from their parents after crossing the border. It is a step-by-step guide to murdering US Immigrations and Customs Enforcement agents.

RELATED: Cultural appropriation has jumped the shark, and everyone is noticing

The first panel shows a man shoving an infant into a cage meant for Pomeranians. The following five panels feature instructions, and include pictures of a cartoonish murder.

The panels read as follows:

  1. If an ICE agent tries to take your child at the border, don't panic.
  2. Pull your child away as quickly as possibly by force.
  3. Gently tell your child to close his/her eyes and ears so they won't witness what you are about to do.
  4. Grab the ICE agent from behind and push your knife into his chest with an upward thrust, causing the agent's sternum to break.
  5. Reach into his chest and pull out his still beating heart.
  6. Hold his bloody heart out for all other agents to see, and tell them that the same fate awaits them if they f--- with your child again.

Violent comics are nothing new. But most of the time, they remain in the realms of invented worlds — in other words, not in our own, with reference to actual people, let alone federal agents.

The mainstream media made a game of crying racism with every cartoon depiction of Obama during his presidency, as well as during his tenure as Senator, when the New Yorker, of all things, faced scrutiny for depicting him in "Muslim clothing." Life was a minefield for political cartoonists during the Obama era.

Chris Hondros/Getty Images

This year, we saw the leftist outrage regarding The Simpsons character Apu — a cartoon representation of a highly-respected, though cartoonishly-depicted, character on a cartoon show composed of cartoonishly-depicted characters.

We all remember Charlie Hebdo, which, like many outlets that have used cartoon satire to criticize Islam, faced the wrath and ire of people unable to see even the tamest representation of the prophet, Muhammad.

Interesting, isn't it? Occupy Wall Street publishes a cartoon that advocates murdering federal agents, and critics are told to lighten up. Meanwhile, the merest depiction of Muhammad has resulted in riots throughout the world, murder and terror on an unprecedented scale.

The intersection of Islam and comics is complex enough to have its own three-hour show, so we'll leave it at that, for now. Although, it is worth mentioning the commentary by satirical website The Onion, which featured a highly offensive cartoon of all the major religious figures except Muhammad. It noted:

Following the publication of the image above, in which the most cherished figures from multiple religious faiths were depicted engaging in a lascivious sex act of considerable depravity, no one was murdered, beaten, or had their lives threatened.

Of course, Occupy Wall Street is free to publish any cartoon they like. Freedom of speech, and so on—although there have been several instances in which violent cartoons were ruled to have violated the "yelling fire in a crowded theater" limitation of the First Amendment.

Posting it to Twitter is another issue — this is surely in violation of Twitter's violent content policy, but something tells me nothing will come of it. It's a funny world, isn't it? A screenshot of a receipt from Chick-fil-A causes outrage but a cartoon advocating murder gets crickets.

RELATED: Twitter mob goes ballistic over Father's Day photo of Caitlyn Jenner. Who cares?

In Understanding Comics, Scott McCloud concludes that, "Today the possibilities for comics are — as they've always been — endless. Comics offers . . . range and versatility, with all the potential imagery of film and painting plus the intimacy of the written word. And all that's needed is the desire to be heard, the will to learn, and the ability to see."

Smile, and keep moving forward.

Crude and awful as the Occupy Wall Street comic is, the best thing we can do is nod and look elsewhere for the art that will open our eyes. Let the lunatics draw what they want, let them stew in their own flawed double standards. Otherwise, we're as shallow and empty as they are, and nothing good comes of that. Smile, and keep moving forward.

Things are getting better. Show the world how to hear, how to learn, how to see.

People should start listening to Nikki Haley

ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP/Getty Images

Okay. Let's take a vote. You know, an objective, quantifiable count. How many resolutions has the UN Human Rights Council adopted condemning dictatorships? Easy. Well. How do you define "dictatorship"?

Well, one metric is the UN Human Rights Council Condemnation. How many have the United Nations issued to China, with a body count higher than a professional Call of Duty player?

Zero.

How about Venezuela, where socialism is devouring its own in the cruelest, most unsettling ways imaginable?

Zero.

And Russia, home of unsettling cruelty and rampant censorship, murder and (actual) homophobia?

Zero.

Iraq? Zero. Turkey? Iraq? Zero. Cuba? Zero. Pakistan? Zero.

RELATED: Nikki Haley just dropped some serious verbal bombs on Russia at the UN

According to UN Human Rights Council Condemnations, 2006-2016, none of these nations is as dangerous as we'd imagined. Or, rather, none of them faced a single condemnation. Meanwhile, one country in particular has faced unbelievable scrutiny and fury — you'll never guess which country.

No, it's not Somalia. It's Israel. With 68 UN Human Rights Council Condemnations! In fact, the number of total United Nations condemnations against Israel outnumbers the total of condemnations against all other countries combined. The only country that comes close is Syria, with 15.

The Trump administration withdrew from the United Nations Human Rights Council on Tuesday in protest of what it perceives as an entrenched bias against Israel and a willingness to allow notorious human rights abusers as members.

In an address to the UN Security Council on Tuesday, Nikki Haley said:

Let's remember that the Hamas terrorist organization has been inciting violence for years, long before the United States decided to move our embassy. This is what is endangering the people of Gaza. Make no mistake, Hamas is pleased with the results from yesterday... No country in this chamber would act with more restraint than Israel has.

Maybe people should start listening to Haley. Hopefully, they will. Not likely, but there's no crime in remaining hopeful.

Here's a question unique to our times: "Should I tell my father 'Happy Father's Day,' even though he (she?) is now one of my mothers?"

Father's Day was four days ago, yes, but this story is just weird enough to report on. One enjoyable line to read was this gem from Hollywood Gossip: "Cait is a woman and a transgender icon, but she is also and will always be the father of her six children."

RELATED: If Bruce was never a he and always a she, who won the men's Olympic gold in 1976?

Imagine reading that to someone ten — even five — years ago. And, honestly, there's something nice about it. But the strangeness of its having ever been written overpowers any emotional impact it might bring.

"So lucky to have you," wrote Kylie Jenner, in the Instagram caption under pre-transition pictures of Bruce Jenner.

Look. I risk sounding like a tabloid by mere dint of having even mentioned this story, but the important element is the cultural sway that's occurring. The original story was that a band of disgruntled Twitter users got outraged about the supposed "transphobic" remarks by Jenner's daughter.

But, what we should be saying is, "who the hell cares?" Who cares what one Jenner says to another — and more importantly and on a far deeper level — who cares what some anonymous Twitter user has to say?

When are we going to stop playing into the hands of the Twitter mob?

When are we going to stop playing into the hands of the Twitter mob? Because, at the moment, they've got it pretty good. They have a nifty relationship with the mainstream media: One or two Twitter users get outraged by any given thing — in this case Jenner and supposed transphobia. In return, the mainstream media use the Twitter comment as a source.

Then, a larger Twitter audience points to the article itself as proof that there's some kind of systemic justice at play. It's a closed-market currency, where the negative feedback loop of proof and evidence is composed of faulty accusations. Isn't it a hell of a time to be alive?