Three Things You Need to Know – February 23, 2018

The Most Hated Man in America Today

He is the most hated man in the world today.

Former Deputy Scot Peterson resigned yesterday after video surveillance showed that he was armed and stationed at Stoneman Douglas High School while the shooting took place.

Instead of immediately addressing the target and putting an end to the rampage, Peterson cowered behind a concrete column in a stairwell.

The sheriff of Broward County suspended Peterson without pay pending an internal investigation, but the officer beat him to it. Peterson, knowing his fate, resigned and retired yesterday.

This morning, police officers line Peterson’s home. They are guarding against anyone who wants to harm Peterson—and that’s a lot of people. The officers themselves probably don’t even want to protect this coward.

But before we take up our pitchforks and torches and charge his door, let’s remember something.

We weren’t there.

As much as we would like to think that we would be brave and execute a single kill shot to the Stoneman shooter before he could take 17 lives, would that actually play out in real life?

Would we be brave?

Would we have the courage?

We all hope we would, but you don’t really know until you are in that situation.

I’m not trying to defend Peterson’s gutless inaction. I absolutely think he should have used his training to save lives that day.

I’m just saying we aren’t him. We don’t know what was going through his mind.

Peterson could have been a hero, but he made other choices.

Now, he has to live with that guilt for the rest of his life.

So before we call for blood, let’s remember that he already has his punishment.

National Socialism Hits CPAC

“France is no longer free!” Marion Le Pen took the stage at CPAC yesterday and spent the first several minutes of her speech destroying the EU. She lamented about lost sovereignty at the hands of Brussels and advocated the new global slogan: America First… Britain First - and yes - FRANCE FIRST!

I searched around yesterday - after she left the stage - to see what people were saying. By and large, no one was saying a thing. The conservative media and voices were all but silent. That’s probably because everything she said sounded exactly like what Trump campaigned on in 2016. Anti-EU and other large trade organizations? Check! Anti-immigration? Check! Sceptical of Muslim migrants? Double check!

Now here’s why this is so scary. All the issues I just said, mega trade alliances, immigration, AND Muslim migrants are ACTUAL legitimate issues. In fact, a big reason for why Trump won was because he gave voice to these concerns that, by and large, had been ignored for decades. If you watched Marion Le Pen yesterday, you saw something the new American right hasn’t had in… well ever. A young, female, photogenic firebrand. There she was at CPAC, flashing that million dollar smile, and giving the crowd EVERYTHING they wanted to hear. At one point a chant of “VIVA LA FRANCE” rang out over the conference hall.

Let’s get one thing straight right now. The far-right in Europe has absolutely NOTHING in common with American conservatism. These people and groups are ethno-nationalist populists. The only thing they’re concerned with is using real issues - like trade, the economy and immigration - and focusing people’s rage. That right there is how monsters are born. That’s how they gain power, and when they get that power, they aren’t interested in reducing the size and scope of government. They expand it through control, a massive welfare state, and aggression. That right there is National Socialism.

There is a global effort among the far-right to link themselves to the success of Donald Trump. Now, I get that they would want to try and emulate that success and ride our coattails, but we shouldn’t be helping them do it. The European far-right, which has more in common with the alt-right than anything else, was actually giving a speech to American conservatives yesterday. They’re being legitimized and co-opted into the American right. This is dangerous, and we need to put a stop to it right now.

March for Our Lives

Abraham Lincoln said, “I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts.”

So, here are the real facts about the #NeverAgain movement and the upcoming “March for Our Lives” rally, planned for March 24th in Washington DC. All week, CNN and the rest of the media have portrayed this movement as “grassroots” and totally teen-driven. Maybe it was in the very beginning. But it’s not anymore.

Last Sunday, less than a week after the horrible tragedy at Stoneman Douglas High School, junior Cameron Kasky set up a GoFundMe account to raise money for the “March for Our Lives.” Kasky is the teenager who confronted Senator Marco Rubio onstage at CNN’s Monster Truck Rally event Wednesday night. So far, more than 25,000 people have donated over $2 million.

What is the money actually for? On the GoFundMe page, Kasky says, “the funds will be spent on the incredibly difficult and expensive process that is organizing a march like this. We have people making more specific plans, but for now, know that this is for the march and everything left over will be going to the victims’ funds.”

The “March for Our Lives” has received an additional $2 million in pledges from George Clooney, Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg, and Jeffrey Katzenberg.

Cameron Kasky’s father said that Cameron and his friends are “being directed by people with knowledge of how to responsibly spend this money and it’s going to be very transparent.”

Hope it goes a lot better than George Clooney’s September 11th fund.

Kasky’s dad also said that “with Clooney’s help” the teens have brought in some attorneys, some administrative help, and a public relations firm whose clients include Meryl Streep, Will Smith, Charlize Theron, and Woody Allen, among many other celebrities. Why do you need all that if this is such a grassroots thing, driven by teenagers? Because these are now 16-year-olds with $4 million at their disposal.

Already, the “March for Our Lives” rally has a slick website selling merchandise. Make no mistake, this is a campaign.

The new spokesman for the rally (yes, it already has a “spokesman”) says, “Any leftover funds will go towards supporting a continuing, long-term effort by and for young people to end the epidemic of mass shootings that has turned our classrooms into crime scenes.” In other words, “March for Our Lives” is essentially a new gun-control lobbying firm.

Now the teens have brought in Deena Katz to help organize the rally. Katz is the co-executive producer of Dancing With the Stars. Oh, and she was also co-executive director of the Los Angeles Women’s March.

The rally is also being organized in collaboration with a nonprofit group called “Everytown for Gun Safety.” The advisory board of this group includes one former governor and six former mayors – all Democrats. It also includes Michael Bloomberg, Warren Buffett, and Kenneth Lerer [Leer] who helped start The Huffington Post, BuzzFeed, and a website called StoptheNRA.com.

Kasky told CBS, “At the end of the day, this isn’t a red and blue thing. This isn’t Democrats or Republicans. This is about everybody and how we are begging for our lives.”

Perhaps Kasky truly feels that way, but he’s getting a crash course in how American politics and media work. This may have started as a teen cause, but it has been hijacked by powerful forces on the Left with a very specific agenda.

MORE 3 THINGS

Christmas has arrived early for mainstream media. They have their first sentencing of a major player in President Trump's inner circle. Yesterday, Trump's former lawyer Michael Cohen was sentenced by a federal judge in Manhattan. How did it come to this and how did Cohen explain himself to the judge? We start there next…

President Trump's former attorney, 52-year-old Michael Cohen, is going to jail. Well, it will probably be one of those federal prison camps with a dorm that's more like a college campus. But he's going to be locked up. A federal judge sentenced him to three years in prison for financial crimes, and two months for lying to Congress. He also ordered Cohen to pay $2 million in financial penalties. The judge called Cohen's misdeeds a "veritable smorgasbord of criminal conduct."

RELATED: Michael Cohen's plea deal won't lessen Trump's support. Here's why.

The judge said:

As a lawyer, Mr. Cohen should have known better. While Mr. Cohen is taking steps to mitigate his criminal conduct by pleading guilty and volunteering useful information to prosecutors, that does not wipe the slate clean.

Cohen pled guilty in August to eight criminal charges in two different cases. One brought by special counsel Robert Muller for Cohen's lying to Congress about a potential Trump Tower project in Moscow. The second was for bank-fraud, tax, and campaign finance violations brought by federal prosecutors in New York.

President Trump said recently that Cohen has simply been lying to get a reduced sentence for crimes that have nothing to do with him. Cohen was very emotional as he apologized to the judge, saying:

It was my own weakness and a blind loyalty to this man that led me to choose a path of darkness over light. Time and time again I felt it was my duty to cover up his dirty deeds rather than to listen to my own inner voice and my moral compass.

The left thinks that Cohen's sentencing marks the beginning of the end for Trump's presidency. They may be ultimately disappointed in that regard. But this does intensify the long national nightmare of the Muller investigation that seems to have no end in sight.

How long until we follow in Europe's footsteps?

JAMES ARTHUR GEKIERE/AFP/Getty Images

Christmas should be a time of happiness and celebration the world over. But in Europe, it is now the season of terror. The sounds at Europe's famous Christmas Markets of "Merry Christmas!" and laughter are rapidly being replaced with the sounds of "Allahu Ackbar!" and gunfire. Two years ago ISIS attacked a Christmas Market in Berlin, killing twelve and injuring another forty-eight. And tragically, the sound of automatic gunfire and the chant of "Allahu Ackbar!" was heard at another Christmas Market in Europe yesterday afternoon… this time in France.

Two people are dead and thirteen are battling for their lives right now in Strasbourg, France. The attacker walked into the city's Christmas Market shortly after 8pm, shouted "Allahu Ackbar" and began shooting indiscriminately. He then proceeded to battle the police in four separate locations while he fled the scene. As of this moment, he still hasn't been caught. The city of Strasbourg is on full lockdown, and France's terror level has been elevated.

RELATED: Paris pandemonium: Here's what happens when people feel ignored

A man of Middle Eastern descent has been identified as the suspect. He was already on a terror watchlist and had been deported from Germany recently with twenty criminal convictions. He's well known in Islamist circles and was reportedly radicalized after spending time in prison. Apparently he was too radical for the Germans… but not for France.

What is it going to take for progressive governments like France to wake up to their failed policies? Nearly 300 people have been killed in terror attacks in France over the past three years. 300 in three years! But despite that, the French government refuses to address immigration, they continue their open border policy and - more importantly - they refuse to listen to their people when they try and tell them that they're scared to death over this issue. Instead they get a lecture on Islamophobia… "that's the real problem."

Outrage has replaced baseball as our national pastime.

This is one of the reasons why the Yellow Vests are tearing the country apart. The government refuses to listen to their fears on terrorism, unchecked immigration, open borders, the failing economy, high taxes and out of control spending. Wow... do these issues sound at all familiar? How many years behind France are we? Just listen to ourselves.

Outrage has replaced baseball as our national pastime. People have lost the ability to engage in peaceful protest. Street demonstrations have turned into street brawls. Have you seen the images from places like Portland lately? European governments are losing the social contract with their people. After years of broken promises and outright lies from Washington, how long before that happens here?