Beat them to the punch
In the next few weeks, surely there will be a flurry of whining and howls of outrage from the usual suspects – Krain, Taubenberger, Iaconelli, Dello Russo, Donofry, Ulus and Nadolski. They’ll take a moment away from another favorite pastime, complaining about how terrible Philadelphia is, and turn their attention to the treatment of their favorite insurrectionist, who is now facing charges of violations of the Espionage Act. So I’m here to beat them to the punch and get the facts out before they begin pedaling yet another round of lies.
Trump removed highly restricted documents from the White House to his personal home in Florida. Some of these documents, marked TS/SCI (Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmentalized Information), may only lawfully be viewed in what is called a SCIF, a Sensitive Compartmentalized Information Facility that ensures the highest possible level of security. While a president may declassify documents if s/he should choose to do so, this does not happen by waving a magic wand. Saying it is thus, does not make it so. There is a process that must be followed; revealing the most sensitive information that the government holds can put lives at risk and risks breaking the trust of – and therefore damaging relationships with – our most valuable allies. Trump did not follow that process, therefore he jeopardized the national security of the U.S. Trump has a history of revealing classified information on a whim, just as he did with the Russian Foreign Minister and Russian Ambassador to the U.S. back in May of 2017, among other incidents.
The Justice Department has been working with Trump’s team since January – for 8 months – to retrieve these documents in a way that gave the former president every opportunity to avoid the current mess he has created for himself. The FBI had a legal warrant; a judge found the underlying affidavits compelling enough that he signed off on the warrant. Though Trump could have made it public, he tried to conceal what was in the warrant; a judge decided to unseal the warrant so that the public interest could be satisfied. Trump falsely accused Obama of holding onto sensitive documents, which is a fabrication that the National Archives has reported as false. Trump is the ultimate liar and an unhinged lawbreaker who tramples every rule and law we have. He believes he is entitled to do so because he believes everyone else is just like him – a liar, a cheat and a criminal. But his premise is false. We are a society of laws and justice, who strive for an ever more perfect union, rooted in those concepts.
Now the radical Republican outrage machine is working overtime. Suddenly there are calls to “defund the FBI” and investigate the investigators, and Fox News was recently caught broadcasting a photoshopped picture of the judge who signed the warrant. Ahem, fake news anyone? Republicans don’t support law enforcement; very self-evidently, they use outrage over “defund the police” as a cudgel against political opponents. They have no values, other than an obsession with gaining and exercising fascistic power to the exclusion of a plurality of legal, cultural and societal concerns. Trump is the embodiment of that pathological corruption. Don’t be fooled by the chumpsters; let them fool themselves.
Michael A. Podgorski
A Memorial to the Lost
In early June, Mark Albertson was shot in the head and killed about 3 blocks from our church, Redemption Lutheran, at the corner of Bustleton and Rhawn. We know gun violence has continued to be a large problem in our city. Our church sought to do something, so we reached out to Heeding God’s Call to End Gun Violence, an ecumenical Christian ministry here in the city that seeks to bring an end to gun violence through advocacy, community organizing and change. In working with them we will be erecting a memorial to the lost at our church this coming weekend. When you walk or drive by for the next three weeks you will see over 100 T-shirts each representing one person who has died in this city due to gun violence. We hope as you walk by it gives you an idea of the scope of the problem our city faces, and stirs you to action in your own community. There will also be information available about how you can help to end the scourge of gun violence in our city. On Sunday, Aug. 28, at 10 a.m. we will gather as a church to hold a service for all those who have died of gun violence in our city. If you have someone to remember, if you want to be a part of the change, you are invited to attend. This problem is big, we know this is only a small step toward awareness and change. I invite you to join in the effort, you can find more information about how you can help at www.heedinggodscall.org. You can find more information about our congregation at www.redemptionphiladelphia.org.
Pastor Joey Klinger
Redemption Lutheran Church
Questions for leaders
To our political leaders:
To President Biden: He is all in for going “green” with his promoting electric vehicles. But how are those electric charging stations going to be powered? North of the Mason Dixon line, 80% will be powered by gas and south of the Mason Dixon line, 80% will be powered by coal. Shouldn’t the horse go before the cart and have alternate energy sources before we go all in on electric vehicles?
To Democratic nominee for governor Josh Shapiro: Did you put votes before the emotional feelings of your constituents? When the grand jury findings were released on the pedophile priests and after Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced the findings, he had victims of the abuse on stage when he made the announcement. Now, doesn’t law enforcement and media not release the names of sexual abuse victims? Yes, they do not because of the emotional toll it takes on the victims. Even if the victims wanted to speak out, Josh Shapiro should have said, “No, it is not worth the emotional toll to go through that again.” The victims did not volunteer to appear on stage but were asked. Josh Shapiro should have said, “No” to the sexual victims. Was Josh Shapiro looking for votes?
To Mayor Kenney: As mayor, shouldn’t you be tough on crime? According to the “Broken Windows” theory of policing, the theory suggests that targeting minor crimes such as vandalism, loitering, fare evasion, etc. helps create an atmosphere of order and lawfulness. Prosecuting minor crimes leads to less major crimes. Also, targeting minor crimes leads to less minor crimes. Do you support this theory?
To District Attorney Krasner: Your statement, “We DO NOT believe that arresting people and convicting them for illegal gun possession is a viable strategy to reduce shootings.” Your policies, directives, orders and practices have not been working (see the number of murders and shootings increase since you became district attorney). As a district attorney, shouldn’t you follow the law and prosecute the defendants who commit crimes in the city?
Drill, Joe, drill
Hey Joe, you made it bad, you bring us down, and now we’re singing a sad song. Remember, the good ol’ days of Donald Trump, when we had gas at low, low, low prices. Hey Joe, we feel the pain of soaring high prices to put gasoline in our cars. So Joe, don’t refrain. Get us back to drilling, and the whole world will be better, better, better.
In response to the letters about the military chain of command, it takes a man to admit he was wrong and apologize for same. I agree with Mr. Mark Chalupa and Mr. Joe Morris about the chain of command. I admit I was wrong and out of line and I apologize for it. I do know better, I’m a Vietnam vet. I also agree that everyone should get respect when earned.
Richard B. Krzaczek