Jonathon Dunne: For the first time, I truly worry about America's future

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As an Irishman and outsider, I have always been both amazed and inspired by the American way of life. When you study history, it's impossible to deny the benefits America has had on the lives of millions around the world. If you want proof, simply research any section of society (travel, communication, medicine, standard of living, hobbies, lifestyle, agriculture, etc.) and how it advanced from 0AD to 1800AD. Now take the exact same section of society and look at how it advanced from 1800AD to 2018. Why did society advance more in those 218 years than the prior 1800 combined?

There are countless ways to answer this question, but the simple version is the idea of America and the principles your founders fought for and died for 242 years ago:

Man is meant to be [live] free and not controlled, government should be extremely limited in power, man has a God-given right to pursue their happiness and keep the fruits of their labor.

Those principles truly changed the world, but principles alone cannot change the world. America needed a glue to bind them all together to be successful and in America that glue is your people. I believe in the sentiments of Alexis de Tocqueville that "America is great because Americans are good".

American People

I have been blessed to visit and speak with groups of people from New York to LA, from Chicago to Texas. Each state is unique, but there are common themes among your people. Americans are more open. You always have this amazing sense of optimism and a dream of future success, you have that drive of always striving for a better tomorrow, and maybe most impressive to me is your never give up attitude. I know very few Americans who would give up if you told them something was impossible. In fact, most Americans would use that as motivation to prove you wrong. It is for this reason alone that I believe America's tagline should be a simple one: Making the impossible possible since 1776.

RELATED: Observations of an Irishman: The Idea of America Is the Ultimate Experiment

The other key to America's success is how your people treat each other. You see this best in times of crisis. 9/11 was easily one of the worst days in American history – a day the world stopped and grieved with you. On 9/12, you showed the world the America I know exists – a day where politics and every difference was cast aside, a day when you were simply Americans and you sought to serve each other, love each other, and heal as a nation.

I got to witness this myself last year as I was in Texas after the horrific hurricane hit Houston and other areas. I heard countless stories of people going down to Houston with food, water, gas and others just going down to help and serve their fellow Americans. I even had the honor of speaking with a gentleman whose story I will never, ever forget. He was struggling for both money and full-time work, had no electricity in his own house, yet spent his last few dollars on filling drums of gas and going down to serve others. This is the America I know and love.

For the first time I am truly scared for your future...

America faces many problems today and in the future, but I firmly believe America has no problem your people cannot fix if you understand and follow your founding principles. That being said, for the first time I am truly scared for your future, because of what happened in your country last week and because of how some are starting to react to it. Please let me explain.

Rape / DC

I take rape (or attempted rape) very seriously. I think it is the worst thing you can do to somebody. I am actually rather extreme on this issue as I personally believe if you rape people, society should castrate you and also you should be put into a cell with no video or audio for 5 minutes with the survivor or a family member and let them do anything they want. I believe we need to send a message to society, that rape is never ever okay.

Unless you have been living under a rock, you are fully aware that there are serious allegations against your next SCOTUS nominee Brett Kavanaugh. I watched every minute of the hearings last Thursday and it was truly nothing short of a national disgrace. Let me share three main reasons why:

If you share my sentiments that rape is really bad, you should be disgusted at how the Democrats have acted in this process. Through the testimony of Mrs. Ford last week we learned several things about the Democrats.

Democrats / Politics

We know they held on to this information for 45 days so it would have the biggest impact on the news and the nomination process. They could have shared this information with the GOP when they received it, investigated it privately and through proper channels and found a conclusion. Instead, some Senators like Dianne Feinstein met with Kavanaugh but did not discuss the allegations and get his response. The actions by the Democrats show they will use anything or anyone to get a potential political gain.

Bad Advice

The second issue is the advice given to Mrs. Ford. She was advised to hire a lawyer (Feinstein even recommended some) and their advice was to get a polygraph which any lawyer should know is not admissible in court because they are not reliable. If they were really concerned with the truth and Mrs. Ford, they would have ensured she got the advice of sitting with a neutral investigator to tell her story un-interrupted and seek evidence that supports her case.

On top of this horrible advice are the constant calls for an FBI investigation. The FBI will not come to any conclusion about this case – they will simply provide he said / she said. If they truly cared about the truth and Mrs. Ford, they would give her the solution of ignoring the FBI and going right to the police in Maryland and making her allegation there. If she did, the police would have to investigate it. And, since Maryland has no statute of limitations, Brett Kavanaugh could be charged and if found guilty go to jail.

Kavanaugh Questions

The last part of this disgrace was the questions from the Democrats to Brett Kavanaugh on the record. If you believe everything said about him, Kavanaugh is a despicable human who has raped women in the past, is evil and people will die if he sits on SCOTUS. You have him testifying in the Senate (under the threat of perjury) and what do you decide to ask him? Instead of focusing on the allegations and seeking the truth, you focus on everything from his drinking, to high school yearbooks, to his weak stomach, farting, and to why he won't join calls for an FBI investigation which will do nothing. I would call it a charade, but that would be insulting to charades.

Democratic Behavior

There can be no denying the Democrats have acted in the most unprofessional and calculating way possible, while two people and their families are being destroyed by the court of public opinion. This is deeply troubling and is worrying about how low the Democratic Party will go to get power. My fear does not stop there. I am also extremely worried about how people will respond. I see two possible outcomes:

Anger / Vengeance

Firstly I can see people reacting in ways consistent with human nature and show emotions like anger and seek revenge. I can see people making the argument that if they don't play by the rules, why should we? You have already started to see this with comments from some on the right like:

  • Jerry Falwell: "Conservatives & Christians need to stop electing 'nice guys'. They might make great Christian leaders but the US needs street fighters"
  • Charlie Kirk: "The only way to thwart the sinister left is to punch back twice as hard".
  • Lindsey Graham: "If this is the new norm, you better watch out for your nominees".

I totally understand this reaction and it is very human. It will not work. This will only lead to America being more divided and following the French Revolution principle of brotherhood. It makes the battle into us versus them and can only be truly ended when one side is totally defeated and hope the side that wins is good. We saw this in the French revolution with the guillotine – can you say who were the good and bad guys in the French Revolution?

America's Founding Principles

The second option is to double down and return to America's founders for an example. Your Declaration of Independence is the roadmap and shows you three ways to actually win:

Today in politics, both sides are great at telling you what they are against. Democrats hate Republicans, Republicans hate Democrats and the media. Everyone can tell you what they don't like – even a baby out of the womb will communicate if it's cold or hungry. America's founders were exceptional because before they listed their 27 grievances against the King, they told you exactly what they were for.

America's founders were exceptional because before they listed their 27 grievances against the King, they told you exactly what they were for.

The battle today is not us versus them, or republicans versus democrats. The same way the battle at your founding was not America versus Britain. If it was solely about beating Britain, you would have followed a similar path to Ireland. You would have defeated Britain, removed them from your country, and then taken a version of their laws. You are exceptional because you chartered a new course that no one else had ever taken. Today's battle, like at your founding, is so much bigger. The battle is liberty versus tyranny or the battle of the laws of nature versus the laws of man.

Lastly, your founders signed off on the amazing document by pledging to each other their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor. Your founders did everything possible to act with honor and they started your journey towards being an exceptional nation. Honor has always been critical to your culture – it's why y'all have the saying "don't be a Benedict Arnold," which is used to this day. If you need real-life proof of this in action, there is a reason why MLK won and Malcolm X lost and why only one of those men has a national holiday named after them.

Reflection

I know this path is not easy and plenty will dismiss it, but to finish up may I ask you some questions to reflect on?

  • Are the actions of the Democrats bad? If they are, why would you follow them and act like them?

  • Can principles be like trail mix? Can you pick and choose the times you use them? Or are principles eternal, and to be used regardless of the outcome?

  • If everyone in America abandons your founding principles to win this battle, who will stand for them? How can they survive, if no one uses them?

Jonathon hosts a weekly one hour show exclusive to the Blaze Radio Network called Freedom's Disciple where he highlights the IDEA of America, promotes the eternal principles of freedom & and shares his passion of America's Founding documents. Please check out his show for FREE on The Blaze and is available on all major platforms.

This compromise is an abomination

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Three decades ago, "The Art of the Deal" made Donald Trump a household name. A lot has happened since then. But you can trace many of Trump's actions back to that book.

Art of the Deal:

In the end, you're measured not by how much you undertake but by what you finally accomplish.

People laughed when he announced that he was running for President. And I mean that literally. Remember the 2011 White House Correspondents' Dinner when Obama roasted Trump, viciously, mocking the very idea that Trump could ever be President. Now, he's President.

You can't con people, at least not for long. You can create excitement, you can do wonderful promotion and get all kinds of press, and you can throw in a little hyperbole. But if you don't deliver the goods, people will eventually catch on.

This empire-building is a mark of Trump.

RELATED: 'Arrogant fool' Jim Acosta exposed MSM's dishonest border agenda — again.

The most recent example is the border wall. Yesterday, congress reached a compromise on funding for the border wall. Weeks of tense back-and-forth built up to that moment. At times, it seemed like neither side would budge. Trump stuck to his guns, the government shut down, Trump refused to budge, then, miraculously, the lights came back on again. The result was a compromise. Or at least that's how it appeared.

But really, Trump got what he wanted -- exactly what he wanted. He used the techniques he wrote about in The Art of the Deal:

My style of deal-making is quite simple and straightforward. I aim very high, and then I just keep pushing and pushing and pushing to get what I'm after.

From the start, he demanded $5.7 billion for construction of a border wall. It was a months' long tug-of-war that eventually resulted in yesterday's legislation, which would dedicate $1.4 billion. It would appear that that was what he was after all along. Moments before the vote, he did some last-minute pushing. A national emergency declaration, and suddenly the number is $8 billion.

Art of the Deal:

People think I'm a gambler. I've never gambled in my life. To me, a gambler is someone who plays slot machines. I prefer to own slot machines. It's a very good business being the house.

In a rare show of bipartisanship, Senate passed the legislation 83-16, and the House followed with 300-128. Today, Trump will sign the bill.

It's not even fair to call that a deal, really. A deal is what happens when you go to a car dealership, fully ready to buy a car, and the salesman says the right things. What Trump did is more like a car dealer selling an entire row of cars to someone who doesn't even have a licence. When Trump started, Democrats wouldn't even consider a wall, let alone pay for it.

Art of the Deal:

The final key to the way I promote is bravado. I play to people's fantasies. People may not always think big themselves, but they can still get very excited by those who do. That's why a little hyperbole never hurts. People want to believe that something is the biggest and the greatest and the most spectacular. I call it truthful hyperbole. It's an innocent form of exaggeration—and a very effective form of promotion.

He started the wall on a chant, "Build the wall!" until he got what he wanted. He maneuvered like Don Draper, selling people something that they didn't even know they wanted, and convincing them that it is exactly what they've always needed.

As the nation soaks in the victory of the recent passing of the historic First Step Act, there are Congressmen who haven't stopped working to solve additional problems with the criminal justice system. Because while the Act was impactful, leading to the well-deserved early release of many incarcerated individuals, it didn't go far enough. That's why four Congressmen have joined forces to reintroduce the Justice Safety Valve Act—legislation that would grant judges judicial discretion when determining appropriate sentencing.

There's a real need for this legislation since it's no secret that lawmakers don't always get it right. They may pass laws with good intentions, but unintended consequences often prevail. For example, there was a time when the nation believed the best way to penalize lawbreakers was to be tough on crime, leading to sweeping mandatory minimum sentencing laws implemented both nationally and statewide.

RELATED: If Trump can support criminal justice reform, so can everyone else

Only in recent years have governments learned that these sentences aren't good policy for the defendant or even the public. Mandatory minimum sentences are often overly harsh, don't act as a public deterrent for crime, and are extremely costly to taxpayers. These laws tie judges' hands, preventing them from using their knowledge and understanding of the law to make case relevant decisions.

Because legislation surrounding criminal law is often very touchy and difficult to change (especially on the federal level, where bills can take multiple years to pass) mandatory minimum sentences are far from being done away with—despite the data-driven discoveries of their downfalls. But in order to solve the problems inherent within all of the different laws imposing sentencing lengths, Congress needs to pass the Justice Safety Valve Act now. Ensuring its passing would allow judges to use discretion while sentencing, rather than forcing them to continue issuing indiscriminate sentences no matter the unique facts of the case.

Rather than take years to go back and try to fix every single mandatory minimum law that has been federally passed, moving this single piece of legislation forward is the best way to ensure judges can apply their judgment in every appropriate case.

When someone is facing numerous charges from a single incident, mandatory minimum sentencing laws stack atop one another, resulting in an extremely lengthy sentence that may not be just. Such high sentences may even be violations of an individual's eighth amendment rights, what with the imposition of cruel and unusual punishment. It's exactly what happened with Weldon Angelos.

In Salt Lake City in 2002, Weldon sold half a pound of marijuana to federal agents on two separate occasions. Unbeknownst to Weldon, the police had targeted him because they suspected he was a part of a gang and trafficking operation. They were oh-so-wrong. Weldon had never sold marijuana before and only did this time because he was pressured by the agents to find marijuana for them. He figured a couple lowkey sales could help out his family's financial situation. But Weldon was caught and sentenced to a mandatory 55 years in prison. This massive sentence is clearly unjust for a first time, non-violent crime, and even the Judge, Paul Cassell, agreed. Judge Cassell did everything he could to reduce the sentence, but, due to federal law, it wasn't much.

The nation is facing an over-criminalization problem that costs taxpayers millions and amounts to the foolish eradication of individual liberties.

In cases like Weldon's, a safety valve for discretionary power is much needed. Judges need the ability to issue sentences below the mandatory minimums, depending on mitigating factors such as mental health, provocation, or physical illness. That's what this new bill would allow for. Critics may argue that this gives judges too much power, but under the bill, judges must first make a finding on why it's necessary to sentence below the mandatory minimum. Then, they must write a clear statement explaining their decision.

Judges are unlikely to risk their careers to allow dangerous criminals an early release. If something happens after an offender is released early, the political pressure is back on the judge who issued the shorter sentence—and no one wants that kind of negative attention. In order to avoid risky situations like this, they'd use their discretion very cautiously, upholding the oath they took to promote justice in every case.

The nation is facing an overcriminalization problem that costs taxpayers millions and amounts to the foolish eradication of individual liberties. Mandatory minimums have exacerbated this problem, and it's time for that to stop. Congresswomen and men have the opportunity to help solve this looming problem by passing the Justice Safety Valve Act to untie the hands of judges and restore justice in individual sentences.

Molly Davis is a policy analyst at Libertas Institute, a free market think tank in Utah. She's a writer for Young Voices, and her work has previously appeared in The Hill, TownHall.com, and The Washington Examiner.

New gadget for couples in 'the mood' lets a button do the talking

Photo by Matt Nelson on Unsplash

Just in time for Valentine's Day, there's a new romantic gadget for couples that is sure to make sparks fly. For those with their minds in the gutter, I'm not talking about those kinds of gadgets. I'm talking about a brilliant new device for the home called "LoveSync."

This is real — it's a simple pair of buttons for busy, modern couples who have plenty of time for social media and Netflix, but can't quite squeeze in time to talk about their... uh... special relationship.

Here's how it works. Each partner has their own individual LoveSync button. Whenever the mood strikes one partner, all they have to do is press their own button. That sets their button aglow for a certain period of time. If, during that time window, their partner also presses their own button, then both buttons light up in a swirling green pattern to signal that love has "synced"...and it's go time.

According to the makers of LoveSync, this device will "Take the Luck out of Getting Lucky." It brings a whole new meaning to "pushing each other's buttons." It's an ideal gift to tell your significant other "I care," without actually having to care, or talk about icky things like feelings.

If you find your significant other is already on the couch binge-watching The Bachelor, no problem! You can conveniently slink back to your button and hold it in for four seconds to cancel the desire. No harm, no foul! Live to fight another day.

Have fun explaining those buttons to inquiring children.

No word yet on whether LoveSync can also order wine, light candles or play Barry White. Maybe that's in the works for LoveSync 2.0.

Of course, LoveSync does have some pitfalls. Cats and toddlers love a good button. That'll be a fun conversation — "Honey, who keeps canceling my mood submissions?" And have fun explaining those buttons to inquiring children. "Yeah, kids, that button just controls the lawn sprinklers. No big deal."

If you've been dialing it in for years on Valentine's Day with flowers and those crappy boxes of chocolate, now you can literally dial it in. With a button.

Good luck with that.