Forum: Could The Way Political Debates Are Held Be Improved?

The Watcher’s Council

GOP Debate

Every week on Monday morning, the Council and our invited guests weigh in at the Watcher’s Forum with short takes on a major issue of the day, the culture or daily living. This week’s question: Could The Way Political Debates Are Held Be Improved?

The Right Planet: Everyone should be given equal time. Period. It should be strictly enforced; even to the point of shutting their mic off, if need be (this should apply to the moderators, as well). Secondly, as far as the moderators are concerned, a more diverse cross-section that better represents the voters when selecting moderators seems like a good idea to me. Get a conservative, a centrist, a moderate, and a liberal, and so on. And no more talking over the candidates by the moderators. Ask the question, then shut up. Let them answer, then move on. Furthermore, there needs to be a more formal structure to the debate: as in some form of a rebuttal process. And when the candidate gives their rebuttal, let them finish their answer without interruption (within the prescribed period of time, of course).

My last suggestion for the selection of moderators would be this: debate moderators should fill out an application, pay a fee, undergo a thorough background check, and get a license in order to exercise their First Amendment rights.

JoshuaPundit: I’ve actually thought about this one for a long time. Who needs ‘moderators?’ Why have them?

What happened in 2012 and the CNBC fiasco last week should convince people that the existing format is not only dysfunctional but actually destructive to our politics, and it certainly isn’t going to change with any new criteria for choosing them.

Since the Left controls education, including the major journalism schools and that’s where most of these people come from, virtually none of the egotistical talking heads working at PBS or pretty much any of the major left-leaning media outlets thinks anything of rigging the game in favor of their preferred party. In fact, in a lot of these outlets their politics decides whether they get hired or not. Many of them, like George Stephanopoulos or Brian Steel, the CNBC executive in charge of running the recent debate actually worked  in the Clinton White House, and there are plenty of others with similar far-Left backgrounds. Why would anyone expect them to be ethical and fair, except the pinheads running the RNC?

But it doesn’t have to be that way. Rather than letting these people run the game, simply eliminate them.Convert the format to Lincoln-Douglas, with no moderator, just a timekeeper. Let the candidates draw lots or flip a coin to see who goes first,and let the first man have his time to speak on whatever issue he chooses, followed by back and forth extemporaneous responses just like Lincoln and Stephen Douglas did, with the time keeper strictly enforcing equal time.

Aside from the benefit of stopping partisan ‘moderators’ from influencing the proceedings, the audience would get to watch how these men and women think on their feet instead of the carefully rehearsed talking points we get now.

And while I’m at it, I’d seriously consider taking these debates off television. Let people listen to the ideas aspirants for office have, rather than being distracted by what kind of tie or hairstyle they’re wearing or whether they take a sip of water or not while they’re speaking.

Now, that would be a debate worth hearing.

Maggie’s Notebook: GOP Debates – After the 2012 debates, I expected the RNC to ‘get it.’ It’s disgraceful that this is happening once again. I like the idea of a “theme,” i.e. economics, foreign policy, immigration. I want to hear questions asked without an accusatory voice from the debate commentators. I don’t want to have a clue how the commentator personally feels about the question he/she asks. No “don’t you think you should have” type questions. The questions should stick to the “theme,” absolutely! With no exceptions.

I don’t care how long the debate is when substantive questions are asked. Every candidate should get equal time to answer direct, non-accusatory questions. If it takes three hours to do this, I’ll be watching.

Democrat Debates – All the rules should be the same for both parties. Substantive questions, without genuflecting to Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders. No framing questions in an aura of a holy light. I don’t want to know a candidate’s favorite ice cream, or who he/she considers this country’s biggest enemy, unless that enemy is outside U.S. borders. As with the GOP, I don’t want to have a clue how the commentator personally feels about the question he/she asks.

Laura Rambeau Lee, Right Reason: Last week’s CNBC Republican debate started out as more of the same gotcha questions most of us have come to expect from a liberal-biased panel of moderators. The difference this time was the candidates turned the tables on the moderators and called them out on it. Perhaps this was what was needed as it seems to have struck a chord with even some of the traditionally left leaning media. They have become accustomed to mocking Republicans and playing to the low information voters for so long and getting away with it, but maybe the tide is turning. Maybe people are really paying attention to these debates who had not in previous election cycles. Perhaps the hope and change they were promised hasn’t been exactly what they envisioned and they are looking for answers after nearly eight years under the Obama Administration.

With so many candidates the current format doesn’t give any one candidate sufficient time for their positions to be heard. We should have fewer candidates debating at one time so they can have the opportunity to make their case to the American people. They should have more time for opening and closing remarks at the very least. Hopefully we will see a more traditional debate format in the future after the CNBC fiasco; where the moderators are not so obvious in their bias and with more questions of substance. The American people deserve better, but will only get it if they demand it.

The Independent Sentinel: There should be neutral journalists or an even number of right and left journalists for both Democrat and Republican debates. It would be nice if they asked substantive questions but I don’t know if that can be mandated.

Since polls now show Democrats view Socialism favorably, Democrats might want someone from Black Lives Matter or the Revolutionary Communist Party to interview them. (I say that tongue-in-cheek.)

Well, there you have it.

Make sure to tune in every Monday for the Watcher’s Forum. And remember, every Wednesday, the Council has its weekly contest with the members nominating two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. The votes are cast by the Council and the results are posted on Friday morning.

It’s a weekly magazine of some of the best stuff written in the blogosphere and you won’t want to miss it.

And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter… ’cause we’re cool like that, y’know?


Government’s Dangerous Sixth Estate

By Sharon Sebastian

Threat, danger or a growing menace, it is all of those. Like in-coming from multiple directions, its onerous policies portend extensive upheaval and damage in the lives of Americans. It simultaneously provides free stuff for some while placing harsh restrictions on others. In time, all will suffer its consequences. It is what I call the Sixth Estate.

The three branches of government are the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Estates of power, along with the mainstream media (4th Estate), and the rapidly proliferating citizen-controlled-Internet-news sites and blogs, with their ever-expanding base of followers, are now recognized as the 5th Estate. Though all wield power in their own right, it is the Sixth Estate that has become the most insidious with its steady and stealthy assault on America’s freedoms.

Regardless of political ideology, the alert to all Americans is that freedoms are slipping beyond their grasp. In a relentless power-grab, the mammoth conglomerate of federal agencies, flush with unelected bureaucrats, are wielding powers beyond public consent and Congressional control.

The Sixth Estate is analogous to toxic and chemical-laden flood waters slowly rising and filling every nook and cranny of what was once safe ground or habitat. Once the toxicity is entrenched, the rot and decay begin. So it is with the Sixth Estate.

At first, its power absorption was slow and furtive. Today, the rapid growth and far-reach of the Sixth Estate represents a shift in power. Federal agencies are having negative impact with heavy-handed dictates that exceed their original mandates. Rules and regulations that were once intended as guidelines and protections are increasingly being defined as controls and forcible actions.

Whether or not the intent is nefarious, onerous government control over individual lives or businesses is dangerous for any free people. History reveals that the inevitable happens. As the State controls lives and livelihoods, it most often produces a form of Socialism. Or, as evidenced in governments across the globe, a Communist state rises to power. A brutal state to be sure.

Today, many Americans are either flirting with or embracing Socialism. Substantial free goodies are promised, at least short term. It is entrapment by government where people are encouraged not to be self-reliant or productively self-sustaining, but to rely on government for their welfare. Capable Americans are today becoming willing dependents of the State. Analytical and independent thought is to be avoided. Responsibility and accountability have been downgraded. How that becomes destructive and demoralizing to the human will and psyche is another article.

Through the nascent stages of free stuff and government nurturing, people fail to see what is pointed at them. Today, federal agencies are growing in power at a staggering pace. Glaring examples are the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), the Internal Revenue Service, and the BLM (Bureau of Land Management). All are reportedly stockpiling guns and ammunition and employing enforcement agents trained to deal with a recalcitrant public. Add the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) to the list of federal behemoths. Due to its lax oversight of America’s processed food supply, the FDA is being exposed for its culpability in the proliferation of brain diseases and poor health of millions of Americans in the book, “Aging: Warning – Navigating Life’s Medical, Mental & Financial Minefields.” (here)

Regulatory agencies under recent administrations have been unleashed to accumulate untenable amounts of power that usurps the freedoms of everyday Americans. A deluge of new regulations have been initiated as Presidents use executive orders to autonomously sign policies into existence with the swipe of their pens.

It is clear that a threshold is crossed when federal agency policies are allowed to trump federal law simply because any sitting President, Democrat or Republican, says so. Administrative policy must never supplant Constitutional law or disenfranchise the power of the ballot box by circumventing the will of the people. Yet, it is happening.

Today, federal agencies have increasingly become the means of entry though a side or backdoor for an anti-Constitution, anti-faith, anti-capitalist, anti-military and anti-freedom form of government to take root and overwhelm a people. These administrative agencies are no longer outliers of power; they have protracted power.

Under Socialism or Communism, noncompliance can get an ordinary citizen, who is protecting his property or stating a view opposite to that of the government, heavily fined, have his property seized or be thrown in jail. It is not the direction America should be leaning. An increasing percentage of the public, blindly ignoring or unaware that they will never be a part of the Socialist ruling elite, are voting for their own persecution under a Socialist ruling class. It is a history lesson not to be ignored. It is one that free Cuban-Americans well-understand.

Deceit is being practiced by U.S. politicians who tout European Socialism. One need only look to Poland as a tested and failed Socialist State. In a recent “sweep” by Conservatives at the poles, the Polish people have just ousted Socialists and the last vestiges of Communism from its government. Poland is quickly transitioning to a capitalist-based, free-market system that allows the people to prosper and imbues them with freedoms.

In America, two blockades exist that thwart the State from subjugating its citizens to its whims: The U.S. Constitution and people of faith who believe that the people’s rights come from God. The protective rights in the first and second amendments to the Constitution are necessary for national survival. Both, however, are a bane to the ideology that supports a Socialist system or Communism from sea to shining sea.

The strategy has long been in play. Massive administrative-federal agencies, with their vast array of rules and regulations, skirt approval by making an end-run around the voting public. The agencies are being used to circumvent both the voting booth and Constitutionally-grounded members of Congress. Many in Congress are either ambivalent about or supportive of a ratcheted-up power-grab by government agencies filled with unelected authoritarians that administer government policy.

Can that be combatted? The answer remains at the voting booth along with a rise-up of the Fifth Estate of “citizen involvement” in information dissemination. Though the public must be warned that the Sixth Estate is a growing danger, it is the Fifth Estate, the civilian press, that the government fears most. Evidence of that is the proposed control of content over the Internet. Today, information still flows freely from civilian news sources, websites, and blogs. All must be utilized to their fullest to combat censorship. Freedom of speech is the people’s most devastating weapon against governments that would be totalitarian.

That brings attention to the FCC (Federal Communications Commission). According to 2016 Presidential Candidate Ted Cruz (R-TX), the government wants to clamp down on grassroots’ voices (what I call the people’s media) and suppress freedom of expression over the Internet. Cruz is battling a proposed power-grab by the FCC. The push by some in Congress to allow the federal agency to control Internet content or limit the sharing of ideas sends chills down the spines of the “people’s media” that represent a wide range of ideologies online.

The power of the civilian press, the Fifth Estate, grows because voices can be heard that may oppose the party in power or because they have followers that seek points-of-view that are either ignored or controlled by an unreliable mainstream media. A responsible exchange of ideas and ideals among grassroots citizens in any form of conveyance is representative of freedom of speech by a free people. Beware of those who would curtail it.

Applying a choke-hold of controls on businesses and families through rules and regulations administered by offices filled with unelected, government-paid bureaucrats is an undemocratic, republic-busting means to an end. As federal agencies gain power and tighten controls, it is in reality the tightening of a totalitarian noose on the citizenry. Such control vested in Big Government with an insatiable need for power over the people has proven, over time, to transform from Socialism-light to hard core Communism. In modern day politics, there is always a Communist wing to every Socialist party waiting to emerge.

Under the guise of the public good, Big Government must convince simpleton citizens that they do not know how best to manage their own lives. Pay no attention; the intrusions, the tentacles of government wrapping around their daily lives, are nothing to be alarmed about. When, in fact, embedded in the multiples of hundreds of thousands of forced policy controls imposed by government are the vise, the hammer, the stripping of freedoms.

A dust-up over comments by 2016 Presidential Conservative candidate Dr. Ben Carson regarding a disarmed Jewish population unable to fight back and defend itself against a brutal Nazi regime must be used as a history lesson. Once Germany’s National Socialist Workers’ Party (Nazis) disarmed a segment of it society, it began to annihilate them. No guns, no defense.

Today, one need only look at Austria where gun sales are now through the roof. Austrians no longer trust their Socialist-light government to protect them from the infiltration of terrorists secreted within an unidentifiable refugee population crossing their border by the thousands. Droves are reportedly disappearing without a trace into the population.

The Second Amendment is vital to America’s survival from both internal and external threats. The First Amendment is the guardian of the Second Amendment. Both must be sustained at all costs. The peoples’ voice must never be quieted. It is Big Government’s threats to freedoms and its extra-Constitutional forays that have spurred the rapid rise of the “people’s media” on the Internet.

As noted, dangerous intrusions into American lives include Big Government’s push to confiscate guns out of the hands of its citizenry and the denial of freedom of speech and exchange of ideas over the Internet. Add to those, Big Government’s control over what your child learns in school as dictated by the mammoth federal agency, the DOE (Department of Education). The DOE has wrenched educational content from local and parental influence. Most Americans are woefully unaware that the current government’s Office of Information and Regulatory affairs seeks the authority to pursue “cognitive infiltration” as a means to probe Americans’ thought processes and psychological state.

It is time for Americans to take a hard look at the intentions of Big Government and its advocates. Evidenced by the existence of armed enforcement teams to assure that the public adheres to the seemingly endless administrative edicts that are not Constitutional law, Americans today are already being subjected to a form of State-controlled, bureaucratic tyranny that takes the power from the people and usurps their freedoms. Uneasy with the encroaching, often unfounded, intrusions into their lives, Americans are slowly becoming ever more aware of the vise-like grip of unelected, dictate-wielding, tax-payer-paid policy wonks that represent a rapidly emerging, more powerful strong-arm of government. It is the Sixth Estate.

Sharon Sebastian, author of the book, Aging: WARNING Navigating Life’s Medical, Mental & Financial Minefields,” is a columnist, commentator, and contributor in print and on nationwide broadcasts on topics ranging from healthcare, culture, religion, and politics to domestic and global policy. Sebastian’s political and cultural analyses are published nationally and internationally. Website: www.AgingWarning.com


Is Conservative Talk Radio Too Negative?

By: Lloyd Marcus

Rush Limbaugh

I caught a prominent TV preacher whom I respect accusing conservative talk radio of being too negative. He specifically criticized Rush Limbaugh. He said Rush finds the negative perspective in every news story. The preacher said God is in control and we must cast all our cares upon Him.

While as a Christian I believe God has everything under control, Christians are called to make a difference; to be salt. As a conservative writer, I struggle with this issue of always reporting bad news. At times, I feel like the last thing people want to read is another article about how Obama and his army of leftists are warring against America.

But something inside me says someone must inform the people. Hosea 4:6 says, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” All average American Joe knows is he is working harder, but bringing home less. http://bit.ly/1LX8lgP His wife notices a gallon of bleach cost a buck not long ago, now costs 3 bucks. http://bit.ly/1XtuXt2 Joe’s kids are calling him an extremest for owning guns. http://bit.ly/1ORCQY2 Other signs say things are not right. Average Joe doesn’t know why.

My calling and passion is to write in a way that every day American Joes who are not paying close attention will understand what is going on. And yes, sometimes the facts are extremely negative. I always pray for God to give me wisdom regarding how to add a little sugar to the bitter medicine; leaving patriots hopeful and inspired to continue fighting Leftists’ evil.

Years ago, conservatives lost another political battle. Depressed, I wrote an article about it. A publisher emailed saying he would not publish my article. It was too negative. I later thanked him. God has placed me in a role of leadership. The Bible says to whom much is given, much is required. Thus, I am not allowed to be depressed or at least state it publicly. Still, from time to time I must be reminded that God is in control. Patriots, our job is to stay faithful to our mission of restoring America no matter how many skirmishes we lose. And most of all, trust God.

As for the TV preacher criticizing Rush and other conservative talk radio hosts for always pointing out the negative, I think they should be applauded for providing a crucial service. The mainstream media lies to us every day. They are in cahoots with Obama, Democrats and other Leftists to deceive the American people at every turn.

And make no mistake about it. Everything the MSM reports and the Left does is intended to deceive Americans for the purpose of furthering their socialist/progressive, far left radial, anti-God and anti-American agenda. It is inescapable. The relentless furthering of the Left’s agenda is everywhere. Even where you least expect it; in cooking TV shows, home and garden TV and pro sports, the Left pushes its agenda in our face. Given time, the Left will figure out a way to interject homosexuality into lawn care. Thank God we have courageous voices over the airways sounding the alarm and telling the truth.

From time to time, Rush babies (young adults who grew up hearing Rush via their parents), call into his radio program to thank Rush for teaching them how to spot MSM liberal spin. The Left appears to own millennials.

Both mom and dad have to work for families to survive. Parents are not keeping a close watch on school boards the way they did when I was a child. Leftists dominate public education. They have had free reign to mold and shape our kids. Youths are taught that anything less than full embrace/approval of homosexuality is bullying and bigotry. Fairness and social justice means not holding blacks accountable for anything including bad behavior. We cannot sit back and allow the Left’s imposed new norms to go unchallenged.

I have been frustrated with the Christian community for some time now. Obama is an anti-American zealot in the driver’s seat of a monster tractor tiller stretching from our Canadian border to the tip of Florida. It has massive sharp blades. He is steamrolling across America grinding up every tradition, institution, conservative principle and value in his sight.

And yet, preachers instruct their congregations not to criticize or be negative – be more tolerant in the name of love. Meanwhile, Leftists are jailing Christians for not accepting what God describes as a perversion of His concept of marriage. http://bit.ly/207eVay In response to SCOTUS making homosexual marriage law, a prominent preacher said, “Don’t over react, it’s just the world acting like the world.”

Recently, I was reminded that Jesus turned over the tables and drove the evil money lenders out of the temple using a whip. This kind of blows the whole passive Christian thing out of the water. No, I am not suggesting violence in any way, shape or form. I am merely saying Christians must stand up and fight evil Leftists in responsible legal ways. Show up at school board meetings to protest new liberal indoctrination initiatives. Fight the Left with your pocket books. As much as she hates their liberal politics, my wife is still addicted to Starbucks. Pray for her folks.

I caught Matthew Hagee on TV preaching about the Left’s war on Christianity. His message was titled, “Enemy of the State”. http://bit.ly/1kdn6lj Folks, I was blown away, blessed and encouraged by his courage and boldness in sounding the alarm. That’s what I am talking about.

Pundits say Americans are “war weary” as a reason not to fight ISIS. Well folks, that is not how the adult real world works. Decent people hate war. But sometimes, war is your only option. War weary or not, you fight until you win or the aggressor backs off.

Trust me when I say I am war weary in the battle to restore America from Obama and his evil minions. Like the TV preacher who criticized conservative talk radio, I hate negativity. I am tired of having to report the Left’s daily attacks on Americans. But this is my responsibility. To my TV preacher brother in Christ, I respectfully say, don’t blame the messengers.

The good news is God is on our side and we will prevail.

Lloyd Marcus, The Unhyphenated American


Listen Live – Free Speech of Christians Can Not Be Suppressed by Muslim Mob


Robert Muise, Co-Founder and Senior Counsel of the American Freedom Law Center will be interviewed by John McCulloch on Wednesday 11/4 at 6 PM EASTERN


He will be speaking regarding the recent court decision that Wayne County Michigan officials violated the constitutional rights of Christians by siding with a violent Muslim mob.

On October 28, 2015, a majority of the full court of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit ruled in favor of a group of Christian evangelists who were violently attacked by a hostile Muslim mob while preaching at the Arab Festival in Dearborn Michigan. Video of the assault went viral on YouTube.

The principle of Free Speech is especially important in Michigan as activists exercise their First Amendment right to speak out against Governor Snyder’s rush to bring unvettable Sharia-adherent Syrian refugees into their local communities.

Listen Live online – http://saleminteractivemedia.com/ListenLive/player/WDTKAM

Call-in to talk with Robert and John – 800-923-9385


Harry’s Heroine Hikes 1,000 Miles for Wounded Troops… She’s an American Warrior All the Way [Video]

By: Terresa Monroe-Hamilton

Kirstie Ennis, a 24 year-old Helicopter door gunner, pictured with Prince Harry is the only woman on The Walk Of Britain

Kirstie Ennis, a 24 year-old Helicopter door gunner, pictured with Prince Harry is the only woman on The Walk Of Britain

Meet Kirstie Ennis, one of the bravest Americans out there. Her story moved me to tears and I wanted to share it with you.

Kirstie is a 24 year-old Marine Corps veteran who toured in Afghanistan. Her life changed dramatically on June 23rd, 2012 when the massive Sikorsky CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter that she was riding on as the door gunner crashed. She survived, but woke up to a living nightmare that she almost didn’t make it through.

The butt of her gun went through her jaw and ripped it off. She was missing half her face and she was swallowing her teeth. All that happened when her 50-caliber machine gun smashed through the left side of the chopper when it crashed. Her legs and arms were crushed. Kirstie had brain and spinal damage. She thought she was going to die and that it was over for her. They don’t know why the helicopter crashed, but it was fast. When you fall at 150 ft. per second, there’s no time to wonder why. That was the day her career as a Marine ended. It was all she had wanted to do her whole life and now all she wanted to do was survive.

When she woke, she was choking on her own blood in her throat and nose. There was screaming. A medic told her not to close her eyes and stay with him. She knew that if she closed them, she would never open them again. They made it back to Camp Bastion and her long fight began. They really thought she would not make it, but Kirstie is a true Marine… a fighter and she hung on. She was so terrified, she kept throwing up on herself. She knew she would never be the same.

38 surgeries later, Kirstie has her life back. Her left leg has never been right and she lives in constant pain. The doctors wanted to amputate it below the knee this last summer, but Kirstie had one more thing to do before they did what needs to be done and they fit her with a more comfortable prosthetic. She strapped on a carbon-fiber leg brace and declared she was going for a 1,000 mile hike for Prince Harry’s Walking with the Wounded. She walked from Scotland to Britain and found in Prince Harry a kindred soul and a new lifelong friend.

Half a dozen wounded warriors made the trek. Kirstie was the only woman on the walk. She made the amazing journey, pain and all. And when she was done, she knew they would take her leg and she was cool with that. She just wants to get on with her life. It’s been three years since she almost died and they told her she would never walk again. Kirstie had other ideas and proved all of them wrong.

Kirstie Ennis

On losing her leg:

I can’t walk more than a quarter of a mile without it and I can’t run. My feeling is if this leg’s going to impede me then let’s get rid of it.

For me it’s about quality of life. I want to have kids one day and be able to run around the yard with them. Having this brace is a constant reminder of what I can’t do.

When I told my doctors I was not going to have the operation until later in the year they were pretty stunned, especially when I told them I was planning to walk 1,000 miles across Britain. It is the hardest thing I’ve done apart from my rehabilitation.

Kirstie Ennis There have been four expeditions of Walking with the Wounded and Prince Harry has been on all of them. He really cares about veterans and I admire him a great deal. The expeditions have visited the North and South poles and Everest. Then there is this one that went from Scotland to Britain. The Walk of Britain has raised a great deal in public donations.

On this hike, the team was made up of British soldiers Stewart Hill, Matt Fisher, Alec Robotham and Scott Ransley, and American former serviceman Andrew Bement, along with Marine Kirstie Ennis. All of them are disabled in one way or another and received their injuries in the line of duty. All of them are incredible heroes and inspirational.

Kirstie looks wonderful these days. Blonde, tan and fit, the only signs that she was horribly injured are a scar on the left side of her face and her leg brace. She has never let being injured rule or destroy her life. She has had three years of intense rehabilitation and speech therapy. She had to learn to speak again. Now, she has a Masters in Business and Psychology. She’s also a stockbroker. She has a boyfriend named Brian, who is also a Marine who was horribly injured in a bomb blast. They’ve been together for a year.

Kirstie is an expert snowboarder and she was just named to the national team for paralympic swimming. She will compete in Prince Harry’s Invictus Games in 2016 for wounded servicemen and women in Orlando next spring:

Confirmation about the national team came through while I was walking with Prince Harry in Norfolk. Harry was really proud and very excited for me. He loves to see veterans excel and overcome their disabilities, that’s what drives him and you can really see that.

Harry met Kirstie at the Warrior Games in Colorado in 2013. Those games were the inspiration for his Invictus Games. They became fast friends on The Walk of Britain. Soldiers are instantly brothers and sisters… more than just friends in fox holes, they share a common bond from the battlefield:

He seems so engaged and committed. He wanted to know my story and I felt I could open up to him and that he really listened. It was just like walking with a friend, or a brother.

The military is a family in that respect. It’s a brotherhood. It really meant something to have Harry walk with us. There were no feelings of superiority. We spent two days together, one walking in Shropshire where we kicked a ball around with [former American football star] Dan Marino which was pretty surreal and another day walking in Norfolk which was so beautiful and very special. There were no cameras that day and I told Harry about my time at Camp Bastion because we were serving in the same place at the same time.

We talked about our shared love of aviation and I asked him when he knew he wanted to be a soldier.

He said from when he was a little boy and that it had always been his dream and that the military has been the greatest thing for him. I was the same when I was a kid. All my dolls were dressed in Marine Corps clothes.

He’s so down to earth and very easy to get along with and he fitted right in with the group, especially with Scott (Ransley) who is blind in his right eye. He’s also very kind and when people came up to say “hi” he made the time for them, especially the kids and you could see it really made their day.

He wanted to know about my family. My mum and dad are both former Marines and I told him my mum is a big fan of the Royals and that she loved his mother Princess Diana. I also teased him that I’ve probably seen more baby photos of him than he has and he laughed about that. Everyone at home is tickled that I got to meet Harry and walk with him.

While they were hiking, Harry’s knees gave him grief after one of the 15 mile hikes was finished. Kirstie ribbed him over it and the group teased him. No complaining allowed on the warrior front. The group walked up to 18 miles a day and Harry lightened the load for all of them. His spirit and upbeat attitude pushed all of them on and lifted them up. That’s a true leader for you:

It’s not been easy. With my injuries I deal with pain constantly and it affects me physically and emotionally. I’ve never felt as disabled as I have done on this walk. It has been so hard. It was great when Prince Harry joined us.

It’s been a long trying road. The crash left me with so many injuries, mental and physical. I’ve basically had my face rebuilt. As a young woman I was dealing with a disfigured face, my neck, back and legs were in braces and I thought “I will never be the same girl again’’.

I’ve not got the same body I was born with, but they’ve done a great job. I used to be embarrassed by the scars on my face.

I used to not like smiling because I didn’t have a jaw or my teeth. It was so hard, a constant reminder of the things that happened. Now it’s a reminder of what I’ve overcome. I wouldn’t change anything. I’ve been given two shots at life and actually in some ways I’m thankful that this happened to me because it has made me a stronger person without a doubt.

Kirstie Ennis

Every 40 miles, Kirstie placed dog tags and a poem in memory of her fallen colleagues. They are gone, but not forgotten and it is a sign of respect and love for those that have perished while putting their lives on the line for others:

Harry and I spoke about this and he’s determined to do what he can to help those who come home from war and are suffering post-traumatic stress. It’s a real issue at home.

Harry asked if he could lay one with me in Shropshire. We stopped at a castle for lunch and left one of the tags at a war memorial we found in the grounds along with a poem, which Harry read.

The idea is that they laid their lives down for strangers, now strangers will come across these tags and honour their memories and legacies. Harry really got it and he really understood me.

It’s surreal. I’ve visited the Palace as a tourist and had my picture taken there.

Now I’m going to be there with my team and Prince Harry who’s going to help me place the last tag at Buckingham Palace which is something I will never forget.’

When Harry gathered with the other wounded soldiers at Buckingham Palace yesterday, he welcomed exhausted, yet jubilant fighters in quiet triumph. Kirstie was going to lay the last dog tag and letter there, but in the end pressed it into Harry’s hand and told him to keep it. He said he couldn’t, but he accepted the honor. It was from one warrior to another:

She had planned to place the last one at Buckingham Palace, but when the moment came, she was overwhelmed and pressed it into Harry’s hand.

“No I can’t, I can’t accept this,” a clearly moved Harry said.

“Please, you know what this means to me, I want you to,” Ennis replied, fighting back her tears. They then hugged.

The dog tag was in honor of Corporal Baune, from Minnesota, who died in Helmand Province in 2012 after his unit was hit by blast from an IED while on patrol.

Baune “passed away just 10 days before my helicopter went down and I was injured and the two guys who got blown up with him, Brad and Chris, and are missing their legs now have been part of my own support network in dealing with my own injuries,” Ennis told reporters.

“They were my rocks for a long time, we grew together in hospital. His wife, Colleen, is absolutely amazing. He was just 21.

“I look at situations like that, he never came home, he had a wife and a family but he never came home. The six of us here today did come home, we are actually the lucky ones. The least we can do is share their legacy and honor their memory.

“Harry was reluctant to accept it at first because he knows how much it means [to me]. He has helped me lay a couple of them and was hesitant to take them as he knows how much it means to me. I told him he had to.”

Kirstie Ennis

This band of brothers and a sister walked a shattering 1,000 miles on a journey to raise money for Walking with the Wounded. And Prince Harry will smile, as he should, at a job well done by those who never gave up.

They are an inspiration to all of us. It makes me feel like never complaining about anything ever again and it motivates me to get up and fight once more. It’s not winning, it’s the journey that makes your life. These heroes show that. Harry’s heroine is a brave American that should be someone that our children and all of us look up to. Here’s to one hell of a Marine and someone I admire more than words can say. Today I honor wounded U.S. Marine Kirstie Ennis.

Kirstie Ennis

Kirstie Ennis


Ted Cruz Breaks With Koch Brothers on Crime Bill

By: Cliff Kincaid
Accuracy in Media

Before Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) electrified conservatives with his denunciation of liberal media bias at the GOP presidential debate last week, he took a little-noticed position on a major crime bill before the Senate that set him apart from the politically powerful Koch brothers. Taking the side of law-and-order conservatives on an issue that could emerge as a major focus of the 2016 presidential campaign, Cruz came out against the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act (S. 2123) on the grounds that the legislation, which will retroactively reduce the sentences of thousands of federal prison inmates, could lead to the release of violent criminals, some convicted of using weapons while engaged in other crimes. He said the Senate bill would release “illegal aliens with criminal convictions” when a “major crime wave” is already sweeping the nation.

In an extraordinary development, the Koch brothers decided to publicly go after Cruz. Echoing the views of the libertarian billionaires, whose network of conservative advocacy groups was planning to spend $889 million on the 2016 campaign, Mark Holden, Senior Vice President & General Counsel of Koch Industries, Inc., issued a statement denouncing the Texas senator by name. He said, “We are disappointed that some members, including Senator Cruz, who have supported the need for reform and been strong supporters of the Bill of Rights, did not support this bill.”

While Cruz had indicated support back in February for a Senate bill on “sentencing reform,” he voted against the latest version because he said it would lead to more criminals being released from prison and committing crimes against law-abiding citizens and police.

In dramatic testimony, Cruz said that while he had supported the Smarter Sentencing Act, a previous version of the bill, the final version had been changed and had “gone in a direction that is not helpful.” He said it provides “leniency” for “violent criminals who use guns” and gives lighter sentences to criminals already serving time. Cruz said that letting thousands of criminals out of prison at this time makes no sense “when police officers are under assault right now, are being vilified right now, and when we’re seeing violent crime spiking in our major cities across the country…”

Political observers say that the public attack on Cruz from the Koch brothers, who are seeking to influence the selection of a GOP 2016 presidential nominee, could easily backfire and expose the nefarious influence of the libertarian billionaires’ attempt to affect the outcome of the race for president on the Republican side. In addition to the Kochs, libertarian hedge fund operator Paul Singer has entered the Republican contest, endorsing Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) and promising him millions of dollars in campaign contributions through his own network of conservative organizations and allies. Singer, whose son is homosexual, wants the GOP to embrace gay rights and gay marriage.

There are very few organizations active in conservative politics that are not financed by either Koch or Singer. Donald Trump, a billionaire in his own right, doesn’t need their support.

Blogger Tina Trent, who writes and lectures about criminal justice issues, hailed Cruz’s decision to come out against the Koch-backed bill, saying the legislation was “a 100 percent giveaway to some of the most radical anti-incarceration activist groups funded by George Soros,” the billionaire hedge fund operator and backer of the Democratic Party. She said, “I’m happy to see Cruz refuse to obey the Kochs on this one vote, but the fact that they came out and chastised him publicly when he did cross them even slightly points to bigger questions—and bigger problems.  Will Cruz go further and completely sever ties with the Kochs?”

Libertarians and their Leftist Allies Push Criminal Justice Reform

Though branded by the media as free market conservatives, the Koch brothers are libertarians on social and foreign policy issues and do business with China and Russia. They chose “criminal justice reform” as their latest high-profile cause, even though this has meant collusion with the Soros-funded Open Society Foundations and his grantees.

We noted in a story last March that the Coalition for Public Safety was playing a leading role in this new “bipartisan” campaign for “criminal justice reform,” and has been financed by $5 million from the Koch brothers and other “core supporters,” such as the liberal Ford Foundation.  Soros money for this effort has been mostly funneled through the ACLU, a major “partner” in the group, which received $50 million to cut national incarceration rates and release criminals.

The Coalition for Public Safety is run by Christine Leonard, a former Ted Kennedy Senate staffer once affiliated with the left-wing Vera Institute for Justice. We pointed out that the Vera Institute is so extreme that its Project Concern had a National Advisory Board on Adolescent Development, Safety and Justice that included the former communist terrorist Bernardine Dohrn as an adviser from 1998 to 2003.

One Soros-funded group, Critical Resistance, was founded by communist Angela Davis and says it seeks “to end the prison industrial complex (PIC) by challenging the belief that caging and controlling people makes us safe. We believe that basic necessities such as food, shelter, and freedom are what really make our communities secure.” It got $100,000 from the Soros-funded Open Society Foundations.

An all-day “Bipartisan Summit on Criminal Justice Reform” that was sponsored in part by the Coalition for Public Safety featured former Obama official and Marxist Van Jones as a major speaker. Jones appeared at a podium emblazoned with the company name “Koch Industries.”  Obama’s then-Attorney General Eric Holder also spoke to the event.

Cruz was joined in his opposition to the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act by Republican Senators Orrin Hatch (UT), David Perdue (GA), Jeff Sessions (AL), and David Vitter (LA). Nevertheless, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley and Assistant Democratic Leader Dick Durbin pushed the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act through the Senate Judiciary Committee in a 15-5 vote. A Cruz amendment to fix the bill was voted down.

Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning said that Senate Republicans, “in a quest for bipartisanship,” have passed a bill that will “retroactively reduce more federal prison sentences, resulting in an additional flooding of our cities with thousands more convicted criminals out of penitentiaries.” He asked, “Given the volatile mix of massive increases of Muslim refugees, the influx of Central American gangs and Mexican drug cartel members, and the disarming of our police, what could go wrong with releasing tens of thousands of convicted criminals early into the already violent cities? Why would Republicans vote for that?”

Law Enforcement Groups Weigh in on Pending Crime Legislation

Unwilling to let the Koch brothers and George Soros have their way on the crime legislation, organizations representing law enforcement are making their views known. Groups opposing the bill include the National Association of Assistant United States Attorneys, National Sheriffs’ Association, National Immigration & Customs Enforcement Council, Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, National Narcotic Officers’ Associations’ Coalition, National District Attorneys Association, Major County Sheriffs’ Association, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation Agents Association.

Major figures opposing the bill include Ed Meese, Former Attorney General of the United States; Ron Hosko, Former Assistant Director of the FBI; and Phyllis Schlafly of Eagle Forum.

Senator Sessions, a senior member of the Judiciary Committee and former federal prosecutor, quoted Steven Cook, the President of the National Association of Assistant United States Attorneys, as saying that the bill “threatens to reverse many of the gains we have made by making thousands of convicted and imprisoned armed career criminals, serial violent criminals, and high-level drug traffickers eligible for early release.” Cook added that “it would seriously weaken the very tools that federal prosecutors, working with our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners, have used to keep our communities safe.”

“In reality,” Tina Trent told Accuracy in Media, “there is no big public groundswell of support for releasing recidivist criminals back onto the streets. The urgency around this issue has been almost entirely manufactured by paid activists in the leftist and libertarian camps—aided by the media, of course. This is why they’re being so intentionally secretive about the process and the people who would be released and how the releases would be implemented. It’s also why they’re not making it easy, or even possible, to see state-by-state information about the specific inmates who would be released, nor can the public view the full criminal arrest and conviction records for these inmates.”

Taking on libertarian rhetoric about alleged “nonviolent” drug offenders supposedly populating the prisons, she noted there are several ways an offender can be classified as “non-violent” even when he or she has a long rap sheet of arrests for violent crimes and even convictions for violent crimes. In such cases, defense lawyers will have their clients plead to a drug charge in exchange for charges of violent crimes being dropped.

The “Ferguson” Effect?

Despite the serious flaws in the bill and questions about the radicals backing it, aCongressional Criminal Justice and Public Safety Caucus has been created to make similar legislation a reality on the House side. Representatives Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), Raul Labrador (R-ID), Cedric Richmond (D-LA) and Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) will serve as co-chairs of this newly-formed body.

Jessica Berry, Deputy Director of the Coalition for Public Safety, thanked Chaffetz and the other Republicans for partnering with Democrats as well as President Obama, for the purpose of “getting criminal justice reform done.”

Berry’s praise for Republicans should give them concern. She is a former top Democratic Party staffer on Capitol Hill, having served as the principal law enforcement and criminal justice advisor to Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) and an adviser to Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee.

If the “bipartisan” bill passes Congress, Republicans may eventually be blamed for helping to put more criminals back on the streets, producing more of the “Ferguson effect” that Obama’s FBI director James Comey says has put the lives of police officers and innocent members of the community in greater danger.

The controversy over Comey’s remarks could complicate the President’s push “to loosen the nation’s sentencing laws,” the Hill newspaper reported. Another potential complication is that the outspoken Cruz and others may put pressure on Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell (KY) to stop the bill from coming up for a vote so that Republicans don’t further embarrass themselves by partnering with soft-on-crime Democrats in hock to Soros-funded activist groups.

Leftist groups are hoping McConnell will bring the bill to a full Senate vote, in order to demonstrate how Republicans can work with Democrats on an issue dear to the Obama administration.