Conspiracy?

When I recently read the DOJ Inspector General’s report on the Clinton Email investigation, I saw where IG Horowitz referred to a classified document relating to former Attorney General Loretta Lynch. Horowitz indicated that the FBI had a classified document that implicated Lynch in some way, but that the information had not been verified. It turns out that referenced document was one in a batch of “hacked documents” stored on Russian computer networks. One of the documents is an alleged Email from former Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz to “an operative working for billionaire George Soros.” The Email assured the operative that Lynch had assured Clinton campaign political director Amanda Renteria that FBI and DOJ investigators and prosecutors would “go easy” on Clinton in the ongoing Email investigation. Allegedly, when Comey took the highly classified document to Lynch’s office, she immediately became “frosty” and threw him out of her office. Of course, Lynch, Wasserman Schultz and Renteria all deny that any such Email was ever sent. However, the document remains classified at a level even above Top Secret, a classification so high that members of the Senate Judiciary Committee are denied access to it.

Whether the intercepted document is real or not remains to be seen, but there were indications of Lynch’s complicity with Clinton from early in the investigation. When it became apparent that word of the investigation was going to be publically revealed, Lynch told Comey to refer to it as a “matter” rather then the criminal investigation it was. Her directive caused Comey to wonder if Lynch was “carrying water” for the Clinton campaign. President Barack Obama was publically down-playing the significance of Clinton’s Emails, to Comey’s consternation. As for the “unverified” document, bear in mind that while it remains classified, the also unverified allegations about Donald Trump made in a document produced for the Clinton campaign were released to the public.

 

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SHE’s Out of Her Cotton-Picking Mind!

Yesterday I wrote about the stupid controversy over the comment made by a FOX News contributor to a black “Democratic strategist” whose knowledge of cotton-picking is so limited that he has no clue that EVERYBODY did it. Today I’m writing about a New York transplant in Lexington, Virginia who has apparently departed from common sense. I just found out that Stephanie Wilkinson, the Lexington, Virginia woman who told White House Press Secretary Sara Huckabee Sanders that she wasn’t wanted in her Red Hen restaurant in downtown Lexington. It turns out that Wilkinson is executive director of a local organization called Main Street Lexington whose role is to promote the city’s downtown businesses. By her actions, the far-left Resistance member has brought attention to Lexington that no one in the town wanted.

It turns out that Wilkinson is a New Yorker who went to the University of Virginia after graduating from Dartmouth and ended up in Lexington, a small college town at the upper end of Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley after her husband took a position at the Virginia Military Institute. I lived across the Blue Ridge Mountains from Lexington for five years and passed by it on I-81/I-64 but have never set foot in the town. Lexington is that kind of town. It’s only there because of two schools, Washington & Lee University and VMI. The population is only a little over 7,000. In the 2016 election, Hillary Clinton received just over 1,500 votes of some 2,200 votes cast, but surrounding Rockbridge County gave Donald Trump some 6,600 votes while Clinton got 3,500. Like other college towns, Lexington is an island of left-wingers in a sea of conservative voters but it’s nothing like Charlottesville, where Wilkinson lived before moving to Lexington with her husband. She has a long history of left-wing activism, including publishing a literary magazine for mothers “dedicated to social change” called “Brain, Child, the Magazine for Thinking Mothers” – over-educated women like Wilkinson. Her husband, Duncan Richter, who is British, is a professor at Virginia Military Institute where he teaches courses in ethics and philosophy. (His wife apparently has never taken any of his courses because she has no ethics.) He has authored several books, all focusing on ethics and philosophy. Wilkinson and her husband and at least one of her children were in Washington for the Women’s March and apparently consider themselves to be members of “the resistance.” Considering her actions this past week, it’s obvious that Stephanie Wilkinson is a leftwing fanatic.

With time on her hands after her children were older, Wilkinson did what any other over-educated leftwing elitist would do, she started a restaurant in downtown Lexington and advertised it as “farm to table.” Her menu states that the place, called the Red Hen, sells vegetables raised on a local farm owned by Mexican immigrants. Of course, there’s no mention of the fact that vegetables are seasonal and the Shenandoah Valley has winter. The restaurant is very small, with only twenty-four seats, which works out to six four-place tables.

Just why Sanders was in Lexington has not been revealed, but she was with relatives, including her brother-in-law, who claims to be a “liberal” and is not a Trump supporter. After the party was seated, one of the staff called Wilkinson at home and told her Sanders was in the restaurant. Wilkinson jumped in her car and headed for the little red building on Washington Street. She claims that when she got there, she talked to her staff and asked them what they thought she should do. She claims her staff, which must be made up of leftists like herself, told her she should ask them to leave, which she did. Reportedly, a waiter had already served the party and they were eating when Wilkinson went over and called Sanders outside where she told her she didn’t want her in her restaurant because she works for the White House. Although  Wilkinson claims the incident wasn’t disorderly, Mike Huckabee, Sanders’ father, says that Wilkinson followed them to the nearby restaurant they went to and attempted to organized a demonstration. Finally, Sanders’ brother-in-law went outside and told them they were making a huge mistake and should disperse.

Now, Wilkinson’s actions are an act of bigotry – the simple definition of the word is “intolerance toward those who hold different opinions from oneself – but it is also an act of stupidity. Not only did Wilkinson attract negative attention to her restaurant, she also attracted unwanted attention to the city where Confederate General Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson was a professor and where General Robert E. Lee served as president of the university that bears his name, the city from whence the VMI cadets who made the charge at New Market departed for their famous action; she also attracted unwanted attention to another restaurant with the same name in Washington, D.C. (whose manager said his staff would serve anyone.) In short, the woman is out of her cotton-picking mind, but then so are most of those in the media and the Democratic Party who do stupid things in opposition to Donald Trump.

 

 

They’re Out of Their Cotton-Picking Minds!

Now, I don’t watch FOX News. In fact, I don’t even have cable – I got rid of it several years ago and went to a leaf antenna and streaming. However, I must say that the reaction to a comment by FOX contributor David Bossie to “Democratic strategist” Joel Payne that he was “out of his cotton-picking mind” is way out of proportion. Payne, who is of African ancestry, took offense at the comment because “my relatives picked cotton.” My response to that is – so fucking what? I picked my cotton, my daddy did, my mother did, my brother did and my sisters did and so did my grandmother, aunts and uncles, not to mention my neighbors. In fact, if you lived in the rural South prior to the 1960s when the use of mechanical cotton pickers became widespread and were able to get to the fields, you picked cotton. Picking cotton was so much a part of the culture that rural schools had split “vacations,” with school starting back in July for six weeks, then getting out for “cotton picking” in the fall.

Payne’s reaction is that of a northern black person with little real knowledge of the South and of the practices before his time. (He’s also a “Democratic strategist,” which says a lot.) Black northerners have been attributing racial prejudice to sayings common in the South for decades. For example, when I was in the Air Force, I had a roommate who was a mulatto from Harlem – his father was “Irish” and his mother was black. The first thing he said to me when we met was that I had better not ever call him nigger – as if I ever had any attention of doing so. (“Nigger” was known to be considered by blacks as synonymous with a “sorry” white person. Incidentally, the term “white trash” originated with slaves who used it to refer to poor whites with no land or slaves of their own.) That, however, is not my point. He went on a trip as a student with a sergeant instructor from Georgia who, like most Southerners, had a habit of calling everyone “boy.” My roommate took umbrage, but the sergeant, who lived across the hall from us, sat him down and explained that everyone in the South called each other “boy” and “girl” regardless of whether they were white or black. Although we never became friends, at least he seemed to understand that everyone wasn’t looking down on him after that.

It seems that blacks in the North have concocted a number of mistaken ideas. An example is the term “soul food” which came about in the 1960s when blacks from the South opened restaurants in New York and other northern cities and called their fare “soul food” at a time when blacks had started referring to certain forms of music and black culture as “soul.” In truth, what is now commonly called soul food is actually nothing but rural Southern cooking. Rural people in the South, white and black, made full use of the animals they slaughtered and grew crops foreign to northerners such as collard and turnip greens. Hog intestines were cleaned and called chitlins, which is short for chitterlings. White families ate them, as did blacks. Personally, I love chitlins the way my mother fixed them. She breaded and fried them and we ate them with her biscuits. Catfish were practically a delicacy at our house (blacks were famous for eating “rough fish” such as carp and buffalo.)

Payne seems to have taken exception to Bossie’s comment because his grandparents were sharecroppers. Again, so what? Share cropping was a means by which people who owned no land of their own could make a crop and living, and large numbers of sharecroppers were white. Sharecropping was a means of allowing a landowner to get full use of their land. Before farming became mechanized, a single family could farm some forty acres. Although it’s commonly believed – apparently especially by blacks – that sharecropping came along after the Civil War, the practice actually dates back for centuries and was and still is common in many parts of the world. (There is a difference between a sharecropper and a tenant farmer. Sharecroppers are laborers who provide the labor to raise a crop for a share while a tenant farmer rents the land from the landowner and provides everything necessary to raise a crop. Tenant farming is common today – my own land is rented to local farmers to raise a crop each year.) Sharecroppers were provided everything they needed by the landowner, including a house and plot of land where they could grow their own food and raise hogs and maintain a cow or two for milk.

There is a common misconception that picking cotton is hard work. Actually, while cotton-picking by hand is tedious, it’s not particularly hard and its definitely not backbreaking. Personally, I’d much rather pick cotton out in the open fall air then work in a foundry or factory. Cotton-picking is not a constant, year-long task. Cotton becomes ripe for picking in late summer or early fall, depending on the length of the growing season and when the crop is planted, and is picked over a 6-8 week period. The image of slaves or sharecroppers laboring in the fields from dusk to dawn 365 days a year is false; the actual days spent in the field for cotton-picking is more like 65 days, if that.

As for the use of the term “cotton-picking” as an adjective, the origin is unsure. So, for that matter, is the meaning except that it is used to add emphasis to a statement – for example, “She’s a cotton-picking liar!” Another common use is “Just a cotton-picking minute!” “You’re out of your cotton-picking mind” is another. However, in no way is the use of the term “cotton-picking” derogatory to blacks, as the media often claims. The only connection to blacks is that blacks picked cotton, but so did whites.

Border Diversion

The news media – and Democrats – have focused their attention over the past few days on the McAllen, Texas area and the Health and Human Services facilities where young children who were brought into the country illegally are being housed until they can be sent to relatives in the United States or returned to their parents, who have been incarcerated for violating US immigration laws. There has been copious handwringing and ain’t it awfuls by people who have no clue about the actual events. What many Americans fail to grasp is that it is no coincidence that this “story” broke almost immediately after the contents of the DOJ Office of the Attorney General report on the Hillary Clinton Email investigation was released. When the report was first released – and before anyone in the media had read it – the “news” was that the report had found no evidence of bias, but then it came out that, in fact, there had  been multiple incidents of demonstrated bias on the part of five senior investigators. That’s when the shit hit the fan and the media realized it had to come up with something to divert attention from the report. They decided to focus on the plight of illegal immigrants who were being charged for Federal crimes and incarcerated, and were separated from their children as a result. The tactic worked, although it’s now coming out that members of the media and left-wing politicians have exaggerated the situation and in some cases, outright lied.

For some time now, thousands of teenagers, mostly from Central America, have been detained along the Mexican border. In recent weeks, there has been a horde of people coming up from Central America, particularly Honduras and El Salvador, with the intent of sneaking across the Rio Grande River into Texas then making their way to cities in hopes of finding employment. When they are caught, some claim that they are seeking asylum, not so much for political reasons but because they claim they are fleeing gang violence or, in the case of women, domestic abuse. Since they are in violation of Federal immigration laws, they are charged and incarcerated until their case can be brought to court. Many illegals are women, who have brought children and grandchildren with them. Dick Durbin, a left-winger from Illinois, claimed these people are coming from “three of the most dangerous countries in the world.” His comment was a lie – those countries don’t even come close to such an assertion. In fact they rank BELOW EVEN THE UNITED STATES, not to mention Mexico.

Now, while the United States does admit people who seek asylum, they – and everyone else – are required to enter the United States at an official port of entry where they present themselves as asylum-seekers to the Homeland Security people at the facility. US law requires that ANYONE who crosses the border, regardless of their citizenship, MUST enter through an official entry point – without exception. In the case of the people currently being detained, they snuck across the border and were apprehended by the Border Patrol. The only thing “new” is that there have been increasing numbers in recent weeks. The leftwing American media has misrepresented the situation. An example is the current TIME magazine cover story, which originally claimed that a little girl shown looking up at President Donald Trump was separated from her mother. In fact, the photograph was taken by a Getty News photographer who was on a ride-a-long with a Border Patrol agent who came across a group of illegals who had just crossed the Rio Grande on a raft. The photo was snapped of the tearful little girl while her mother was being searched. The photo was represented as showing a little girl who was being separated from her mother when, in fact, there was no separation. As a matter of fact, small children under the age of four ARE NOT separated from their parents.

While accounts of children and parents being separated at the border is heart-wrenching, the media’s true intent is to divert the nation’s and the world’s attention away from the DOJ/FBI OIG report on the Hillary Clinton Email investigations and the appearance of the report’s author, Michael Horowitz, before the Senate Intelligence Committee and the resulting firings of Federal agents who exhibited bias toward Hillary Clinton and against Donald Trump in communications with other agents. One of those fired was former Deputy for Counterespionage Peter Strzok, who led the Email investigation then took over the investigation of alleged Russian “interference” in the US presidential election. Strzok’s security clearance was stripped from him and he was escorted from FBI Headquarters this past Friday. Horowitz revealed to the Senate committee that Strzok is under investigation for his role in the initiation of the Russia investigation, and the possibility that he used his position because he was biased against Donald Trump. His cohort and alleged lover, Lisa Page, left the FBI a month ago. Of course, there has been little mention of Strzok’s removal in the so-called “mainstream” media because they’re focusing on the “situation” on the border and on the wording on the back of the raincoat First Lady Melanie Trump wore onto the Air Force transport that took her to McAllen, Texas to inspect the facilities where children are housed while their disposition is determined. (Federal policy is to send them to live with relatives who are in the US legally if at all possible. If not, they remain in DHS hands until their parents’ case has been decided then are usually deported along with them.)

Santa Fe

I got up on the morning of Friday, May 20 and went downstairs and turned on the TV. My wife had left earlier in the morning for work and I was home with the dogs. When I turned it on, I was surprised that scheduled programming had been replaced by local news about an unfolding incident at the high school in Santa Fe, a community some twenty-three miles from me. There were reports of a shooting with possible deaths but details were sketchy. Aerial shots taken from the TV station helicopters showed ambulances and helicopters parked on the school parking lot.

I had no idea there was a Santa Fe, Texas until one May afternoon in 1994 when I stopped for supper at a Cajun restaurant just off of I-10 in Lake Charles, Louisiana. I’d been to Houston many times in my job as a corporate pilot and now I was on way there to start a new life. The young waitress and I were chatting and after I told her I was on my way to Houston, she said “I’m from Santa Fe.” I thought she meant Santa Fe, New Mexico but she told me no, she meant Santa Fe, Texas and said it’s a community south of Houston. As it turned out, my new home in Clear Lake was only a few miles from Santa Fe and I’d soon meet people from there, including the president’s secretary at my new place of employment. I soon learned that Santa Fe has a large population of people of Czech ancestry. That was almost a quarter century ago. Since then I found a new wife and eventually a new home on the southwest side of Houston. My wife and I often drive through Santa Fe on our way to and from Galveston and have stopped for breakfast at the local McDonalds (the worst in the world!) and have visited the Haak Winery. We are familiar with the high school, which sits right off of Texas 6. In short, Santa Fe has become a familiar place and I was shocked to learn there was an incident at the school.

Most of the local affiliates had little real news but I found that the local FOX outlet was in contact by text message and phone with teenagers who had been at the school but had managed to leave the school grounds. Some had actually been in the classroom where the shooting took place. They said the shootings were in the back of the school building in the art department and that the shooter had used a shotgun and a pistol. They also revealed that people had been killed and wounded, at a time when ABC, CBS and NBC affiliates still had no information. When news teams started interviewing “victims,” their subjects were people who had been nowhere near the actual shootings, which caused considerable consternation among those who were. As the day drew on, more information became available and the toll of dead and wounded grew. The final toll was ten dead and thirteen wounded.

Something stood out about the Santa Fe shooting in comparison to the recent shootings that captured the attention of the nation, particularly the media – there were no “assault-style rifles” involved. Instead, the shooter, Dimitrios Pagourtzisa, 17-year old student at the school, used a common shotgun, a Remington 870 pump-action commonly known as the Wingmaster, and a .38 caliber revolver, both owned by his father. The barrel of the shotgun was allegedly sawed-off but whether it was a special version of the famous shotgun designed for military and law enforcement use has never been revealed. (The only difference between the sporting and military/law enforcement versions are semantics. Military versions have a longer magazine tube and can accommodate more shells. The sporting version holds four shells in the magazine and one in the barrel.) The shooter was reported to have worn a long overcoat, apparently a military-style duster, and combat boots. However, although the coat allowed him to conceal the shotgun, he was known to have worn similar dress on a regular basis.

Now, let me state that I grew up with firearms in the house. Some of my earliest memories are of shooting my dad’s .22. I started hunting at age nine and received my first shotgun, an Ithaca 20-gauge pump, as a present when I was eleven. I hunted with my dad’s 12-gauge automatic and single and double-barrel shotguns as well. I also hunted with his .22. I also had a Daisy pump-action BB gun and knew the difference between an air rifle and a firearm in terms of killing power. I have no problem whatsoever with children, especially teenagers, having access to firearms as long as they are experienced. Experience with firearms is common in rural areas such as that surrounding Santa Fe.

Of course, as soon as word of the shooting became public knowledge, gun control advocates began blaming the young man’s access to firearms as the cause of the shooting. However, as anyone with any knowledge of firearms knows, they are merely tools. The common axiom, “Guns don’t kill, people do” is true. But there is another factor present in the Santa Fe shooting, a factor that was also present in the Parkland, Florida shootings and in other shootings at schools, particularly high schools. There was a girl involved – and she was obviously the young man’s principal target. According to her parents, 16-year old Shana Fisher had publically embarrassed the shooter two weeks before his actions.

Just what the girl said to the boy or where or how she said it has yet to be revealed, but based on her parents’ accounts, it was in the presence of others and her words caused embarrassment so great that the girl believed he would kill her as a result. They had not been dating, as was the case in the Parkland and Great Mills, Maryland shootings. According to her parents, the boy had been pestering her for several months to go out with him but she had refused. Her mother claims that she refused because the boy had recently broke up with one of her friends and she didn’t believe she should a friend’s boyfriend. Fisher’s parents claim Pagourtzis pestered Fisher for four months before she unloaded on him, apparently in a public setting. It is possible that the story about the two teenagers is a fabrication. His closest friends said he was “shy around girls and never had a girlfriend.” However, Shana Fisher was reported to have been the first victim and Pagourtzis evidently wanted to make sure she was dead. According to reports, when he came into the classroom, he pointed the shotgun at one student, apparently Fisher, and shouted “I’m going to kill you!” At least one witness said that after he started shooting, he turned the gun on one girl who had already been shot and was lying on the floor and shot her twice more in the head. Fisher’s mother told reporters the girl’s body was so disfigured she was unrecognizable.

Much has been made of the “Born to Kill” T-shirt Pagourtzis posted an image of on his Facebook page and reportedly wore under his trench coat on the day of the shooting. Some claimed “Born to Kill” is an alt-right slogan but in fact, it’s an old term going back to World War II, at least. There was a 1947 movie called Born to Kill. The term was used frequently during the Vietnam War as soldiers and Marines wrote it on their helmets or even had it tattooed on their arms. Pagourtzis is reported to have said he wanted to be a Marine.

Pagourtzis claimed after the shooting that he had no memory of the events (which is likely true) and his lawyer claimed he had no knowledge of the situation with Fisher. Very little has appeared in the media, even the local Houston-area media, since right after the shootings and there have been no published accounts from students of the confrontation between the two teenagers. Some students did claim, however, that Pagourtzis had been bullied, by adults as well as fellow students. The school district denied bullying by coaches, as students alleged.

In regard to bullying of students who went on killing sprees, a Federal study conducted after the Columbine, Colorado shootings found that shooters had been bullied in 70% of cases. On the other hand, one “journalist” who wrote a book about the Columbine shootings claimed that bullying wasn’t a factor. However, a close friend of one of the shooters, who wrote his own book, said they were definitely bullying victims. There is no doubt that Nikolas Cruz, who carried out the Parkland shootings, had been bullied for most of his life. Cruz had also suffered a broken relationship with a girl, apparently at the girl’s mother’s insistence, shortly before he decided to carry out a Valentines Day massacre. Great Mills, Maryland High School student Austin Rollins shot his former girlfriend, Jaelynn Willey, with a Glock pistol and wounded another student then shot himself after engaging with a security officer. There was another shooting earlier this year in Italy, a small town near Dallas, involving two students who had briefly dated. It appears that boy-girl relationships are a frequent factor in high school shootings.

Needless to say, the Santa Fe shootings attracted the media as well as gun control advocates. Local Houston media lost no time in interviewing Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and police Chief Art Acevedo, even though neither has any jurisdiction in Santa Fe and Galveston County. Acevedo’s outrageous comments that students should vote for gun control advocates led to condemnation by the National Rifle Association. Acevedo, a Cuban immigrant who grew up in California, is notorious for his leftwing political views. He was on the verge of being fired from his job as police chief in leftwing Austin when he was hired by the (equally leftwing) city of Houston. Attempts by the notorious Parkland, Florida antigun students and other antigun crusaders to get involved were rebuffed by the local community. A handful of Santa Fe students spoke at a press conference organized by a Houston gun control group but it was held in West Houston, over fifty miles from Santa Fe.

Since there has been no statement from the authorities regarding Pagourtzis’ motive, I don’t know what to think, other than that the shootings seem to have somehow been the result of his insane anger at Shana Fisher.

 

A Real Cluster Fuck

I had ever heard the term “cluster fuck” until I saw the Clint Eastwood movie Heartbreak Bridge but after reading the ENTIRE DOJ inspector general’s report on the Hillary Clinton Email investigation, I can’t find a better term to describe it. Let me start off by stating that Hillary Clinton’s actions by declining to use the official State Department domain for her official communications is a violation of US policy as well as an invitation to foreign actors to penetrate her communications and extract sensitive and classified information. Her intentions were obvious to anyone with any experience in government – to avoid scrutiny. The result was the compromising of numerous pieces of classified information, including at least two that were in the super-secret, higher than Top Secret category. Yet FBI and DOJ investigators determined that Clinton wasn’t guilty of a prosecutable crime.
As I read the DOJ OIG report, it became more and more obvious that the investigators had no intention of finding evidence to indict and convict Clinton. The FBI and Justice Department decided to limit their investigation to determining if Clinton could be charged under 18 US Code 793 (f) – Whoever, being entrusted with or having lawful possession or control of any document, writing, code book, signal book, sketch, photograph, photographic negative, blueprint, plan, map, model, instrument, appliance, note, or information, relating to the national defense, (1) through gross negligence permits the same to be removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of his trust, or to be lost, stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, or (2) having knowledge that the same has been illegally removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of its trust, or lost, or stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, and fails to make prompt report of such loss, theft, abstraction, or destruction to his superior officer— Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both. Instead of examining computers and telephones belonging to members of Clinton’s team, the FBI and DOJ investigators limited themselves to Clinton’s own devices – which were no longer existent – and computers used to cull the former Secretary of State’s Emails prior to turning over her alleged work-related Emails to the Department of State to be archived, as is required by Federal law. As a result, in excess of 30,000 Clinton Emails were allegedly “lost” and could not be scrutinized by the investigators.

Although Attorney General Loretta Lynch instructed the investigators to refer to the investigation as a “matter” and President Barack Obama made like it was a minor incident, it was actually a full-fledged CRIMINAL investigation, even though the report makes it obvious that the FBI investigators and DOJ prosecutors imposed limitations on themselves, apparently so they wouldn’t find enough evidence to warrant charges. Although Inspector General Horowitz “found” that the investigation was unbiased, a reading of the report shows just the opposite – it was intended to be a whitewash from the beginning.

One thing that struck me about the OIG report is that the various subjects seemed to have possible selective memory loss when it came to recalling conversations, phone calls and meetings. Granted, their failure to recall details are in common with the human mind’s many foibles but there is also something fishy about it. “Plausible deniability” is a byword of Federal officials, from presidents on down the chains of command. Even though they took notes in many instances, the notes are so sketchy that even the notetakers have a difficult time understanding them. Of course, this is common with notes taken during a conversation or meeting.

During the investigation, the prosecutors preferred to use voluntary means to persuade witnesses to submit to interview rather than subpoena or warrants to obtain computers and phones. Witnesses were not sworn in and placed under oath. This was also true of Clinton, who was the last to be interviewed and then several months after senior executives in the FBI and DOJ decided there would be a declination to prosecute. Prosecutors allowed Cheryl Mills and Heather Samuelson to be present at Clinton’s interview even though they were themselves witnesses. Mills and Samuelson were responsible for culling Clinton’s Emails and should have been suspects. They were both Clinton insiders with no experience in government recordkeeping. Mills and Samuelson are both attorneys and were representing Clinton even though they were witnesses. The OIG faulted the prosecutors for allowing the two women to be present.

The investigation was conducted by the Department of Justice and thus under the authority of Attorney General Loretta Lynch. Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigations, the investigative unit of the DOJ, reported to Director James Comey but Lynch had the final say in the conduct of the investigation. It became apparent early on that Lynch, who had been appointed by and reported to President Barrack Obama, was anxious to exonerate Clinton. Soon after the investigation got under way, Lynch instructed Comey and the DOJ prosecutors to refer to the investigation as a “matter” and to not use the word “investigation”. The Clinton campaign downplayed the investigation as a small matter and Obama himself, who knew Clinton was the subject of a criminal investigation, also downplayed it. After one meeting with Lynch, Comey came away feeling that Lynch was “carrying water” for Clinton. The FBI received information that Lynch intended to exonerate Clinton. The information remains classified, but the OIG revealed that it also claimed that Comey intended to carry the investigation through the election. Investigators believed the information was bogus, but nevertheless classified it and have yet to reveal the information. Comey’s distrust of Lynch would influence his later actions.

Shortly before agents and prosecutors interviewed Clinton, her husband, former President William J. Clinton, precipitated an incident at the Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport that caused great consternation for Comey, in particular. Often erroneously called the “Tarmac” meeting, the impromptu meeting took place aboard the Air Force VIP transport carrying Lynch and her entourage on an inspection/speaking tour. (Tarmac is actually the brand name of an archaic paving technique used in the early Twentieth Century. It is commonly used by ignorant journalists to refer to the airplane parking ramp or apron at airports. Such ramps are actually made of concrete. The use of Tarmac is fairly recent. The author spent a lifetime in aviation, civilian as well as military, and not once did I ever hear an aircraft parking ramp referred to as a “Tarmac.”) Clinton’s private airplane was parked near the Air Force transport and the former president took it upon himself to force his way onto the attorney general’s airplane. Both Lynch and President Clinton claim that their conversation was all personal and had nothing to do with the ongoing investigation or anything else of an official nature. However, they were together for some twenty minutes in the cabin of the airplane where the only witness to their conversation was Lynch’s husband. Only Clinton, Lynch and Lynch’s husband know the actual content of the conversation.

The former president also played a role in the establishment of the private Internet server. Although the IG did not explore it and investigators never talked to him, “Slick Willy” claimed that he never thought much of the Email investigation and that the server belonged to him. Regarding the server and the use of Email, FBI investigators stated that they found Mrs. Clinton to be “technologically ignorant.” Investigators excused the use of the Clinton server to send messages containing classified information by rationalizing that the messages were only seen by State Department personnel and that they were sent by people who “talked around” the content during off-hours such as weekends. Bear in mind that at least two of those messages contained information that was classified above the Top Secret level. (Although Top Secret is the official highest level of classification, there is another, unacknowledged, level that is even higher. It is generally applied to information such as military and diplomatic codes.)

During her interview, Clinton claimed that she didn’t know how classified information was marked. Now, Mrs. Clinton had occupied the White House for eight years where she played an active told then served as a US Senator from New York for six years before her appointment as Secretary of State. All government personnel are given instruction on the marking and handling of classified information. Depending on their assignment, most government personnel are cleared for classified information up to the Secret level. Mrs. Clinton’s ignorance was either feigned or she really is ignorant. (Clinton is rumored to be an alcoholic who is usually drunk by mid-afternoon.) There is one thing for certain – ignorant or deliberate, Clinton’s use of an unsecure Email server allowed dozens of classified Emails to wind up on computers where they shouldn’t have been, and exposed them to the threat of interception by hostile powers.

Both the FBI and the DOJ had made up their minds by early 2016 that they were not going to charge Hillary Clinton with any crimes. Director Comey was especially concerned with how the information that no charges would be filed would be released to the public. He drafted a message as early as May 2016 in which he stated that although Mrs. Clinton had exhibited “gross negligence,” “no reasonable prosecutor” would bring charges. On July 5, without approval from Lynch or Yates, Comey addressed the nation. Although he stated that no charges would be filed, he made it very clear that Clinton had violated Federal policy and removal of any and all security clearances and loss of employment would have been appropriate. “Gross negligence” was replaced by “extremely careless” but the message he was sending to his fellow FBI agents and other Federal employees and military personnel was clear – Hillary Clinton had placed the security of the United States at risk by her use of an unofficial and unprotected Email server.

Although the investigating team and the DOJ, not to mention the White House, were fully aware of it, the OIG report ignores that the Clinton Email investigation was truly unique in the history of the United States – a presidential candidate was being investigated for their actions as a senior official in the United States government. Investigators determined that Clinton’s actions – and the actions of others who sent classified information to her unofficial Email account – had violated USC 793(f) but decided to go around it by claiming a requirement for “criminal intent,” which is not spelled out or even mentioned in the law, which only requires a negligent act. By using an unsecure server, Clinton was effectively doing the same as leaving a classified document in a bar in a foreign country – just removing a document from a secure place is negligent conduct. My personal experience with classified information is from the military, where each squadron had a “classifieds” officer. We were required to read the squadron classified information file monthly. Classified documents were kept locked in a safe. We went to the classifieds officer and he removed the file from the safe and we read them in his presence. On aircrews, the navigator was designated as the classifieds officer and all classified documents were in his care, with the exception of technical orders, which were signed for by whoever was using them.

A major finding by the OIG was the possibility of political bias on the part of some investigators. Although the IG determined that there was no evidence that bias had played a part in the investigator’s findings, conversations made on official Federal servers in the form of instant messages indicated the possibility, As it turns, out no less than five of the FBI agents and Federal prosecutors in the investigation – including Peter Strzok, the head of the FBI counter-espionage division – revealed themselves through personal messages recorded on Federal communication systems to be virulent Clinton supporters and, after he became the nominee, Trump haters. Their intent – along with high-level DOJ executives including Loretta Lynch and her deputy, Sally Yates – seems to have been to exonerate Clinton by claiming there wasn’t enough evidence to bring charges. Had FBI Director James Comey not decided to make a public statement, the nation would have never known that although no charges were brought, the investigation revealed that Clinton was “grossly negligent” in regard to classified information (“grossly negligent” was changed to “extremely careless” in the final draft of Comey’s address to the nation.)

Political Whoredom

The Saga of Judge Roy Moore

As anyone who’s been paying the slightest attention to the media lately know, Judge Roy S, Moore, the controversial, devout Christian (Baptist) Alabama judge running as the Republican nominee for the Senate seat vacated by Attorney General Jeff Sessions has been “accused” of “sexual misconduct” (whatever that is) by a number of women in their 50s and 60s. They claim that when they were teenagers and in their early twenties, Judge Moore, who was not a judge back then, did something sexual to them. In most of the claims, all the judge did was take them out on dates or ask them out, with the impropriety being that Moore was considerably older than they, by as much as eighteen years in one alleged case. Now, with one possible exception, the difference in ages was not illegal and, in fact, by historical standards, wasn’t even unusual. Since the “allegations” came out in an article published in the Washington Post a few days after the D.C. paper came out condemning Judge Moore as “unfit for office” (they said the same thing about Donald Trump) numerous commentators have referred to Moore as a “much older” man, when, in fact, at the time of the allegations, he was actually a young man in his very early thirties and the women were in their teens and twenties. The original “accusations,” which really aren’t accusations of anything, were that three women went out on dates with Moore while another said that he had asked her out but she declined because her mother wouldn’t let her go. The first woman claimed that she went with Moore to “his house” twice and that the second time they engaged in what can only be classified as “petting,” and that at the time, she was possibly underage. (I say possibly because she alleges that she was fourteen at the time and the age of consent in Alabama today is 16. No one seems to know what it was in 1977, when she claims she went with Moore.) A fifth accuser went to notorious Democratic Party activist Gloria Allred to claim that Moore assaulted her in his car. Another jumped on the bandwagon and made no allegation other than that she claims Moore pestered her for dates and that she “got him banned from the mall” where she worked – she was in her twenties. Since then, another woman, one of Roy Moore’s clients, claims he “grabbed my butt.”

Before we get into this, bear in mind that these claims came out a month before the Alabama special election in which Judge Moore is the Republican candidate. That alone makes the claims extremely suspicious. The judge has held office in Alabama for 40 years and has made untold numbers of political enemies, not only in Alabama, but throughout the nation and in the media, because of his strong stands on legal issues. His national notoriety dates back to when he was sued by the ACLU for displaying a wooden placard of the Ten Commandments in his courtroom, but his local notoriety in Etowah County, Alabama where he grew up started soon after he began practicing law when he spoke out against the way local attorneys and judges were handling the courts. Animosity toward him increased when he ran for circuit judge and made accusations against the attorneys and the judges. Claims were made against him to the state bar association. His name became well known in the county and there was stiff opposition to him. It is also during this period that the claims made by the women are supposed to have occurred. Furthermore, the claims all date back to the late 1970s and very early 1980s, with one exception, the one made by his later client, which dates to the 1990s.

The earliest – in terms of when the incident is supposed to have occurred – was made by one Beverly Young Nelson, who claims that Moore offered her a ride home from the restaurant where she worked, sometime after December 1977, then assaulted her in his car. Nelson’s claim is suspect because she was not one of the women interviewed by the Washington Post reporters; instead, she engaged notorious lawyer and Democratic Party activist Gloria Allred to represent her and made her claim in a dramatic press conference in New York City, obviously for political purposes. Now, Nelson and Moore are residents of Alabama, the allegations are set in Alabama, and any court action would have to be filed there, which raises the question of whether Allred is even licensed to practice law there. (In fact, complaints against Allred have been made in California and she is under investigation by the California Bar.) There are holes in Nelson’s story. For one thing, she claims Moore locked the car doors so she couldn’t get out. Unless his vehicle had electric locks, which is doubtful in early 1978, he would have had to reach across in front of her or she would have had to raise up so he could reach behind her to lock the door. (Nelson says his car was a 2-door. She also says she thinks it was “older” which makes it unlikely to have had electric locks.) Furthermore, the purpose of door locks is to lock the doors so they can’t be opened FROM THE OUTSIDE! Most car doors are unlocked from the inside simply by pulling the handle. There is also the question of why she let Moore drive her home. She says she was waiting for her boyfriend to come and pick her up, but he was running late. Why didn’t she want to wait a few minutes? She says he showed up a few minutes after the alleged assault. She claims she had bruises and her clothes would have undoubtedly been disheveled but her boyfriend seems not to have noticed. Members of her own family have said the story is made up. Her stepson says she is not an honest woman and is out for money. A former boyfriend who knew her then has told the media he doesn’t believe her. A woman who worked at the barbecue joint Nelson claims she worked at says that she worked there three years from 1977-80 and never saw Roy Moore in the place – Nelson claimed he was a regular who ate there every night and always sat in the same chair. (Now, bear in mind that Moore lived in the country some 25 miles or so by road from Gadsden. It’s extremely unlikely he would have been in the restaurant at the time Nelson claims the assault occurred.) Nelson claims that Moore pulled her head toward his crotch. She also says he was trying to get her shirt off while he was trying to get her to his crotch, but then says he let her go. Now, bear in mind that none of the other “accusers” mention any kind of assault or threats. In fact, except for Leigh Corfman, none of the women interviewed by the Washington Post mention any kind of sexual contact other than kissing at all. Nelson claims she never told anyone because she was afraid Moore would do something to hurt her or her family. She says she didn’t tell her boyfriend because he had a violent temper and she was afraid he would do something. Regardless, there is no way Nelson’s allegations can ever be proven. They are alleged to have occurred 39 years ago and the statute of limitations have long since expired.

Leigh Corfman alleges that she went out with Roy Moore twice when she was fourteen years of age. She claims that she met Moore in 1979 in the Gadsden County courthouse when she went there with her mother, who had filed suit to give up custody because the girl had behavior problems (although Corfman doesn’t mention that in her account.) She claims that she and her mother were waiting to go into the courtroom when Moore came over and offered to stay with her outside the courtroom. Now, this doesn’t make sense (although her mother has corroborated the story.) Corfman was fourteen years old, an adolescent, not a child. Why would a 14-year old need someone to wait with them in the foyer of a courthouse? She claims that she gave Moore her telephone number and asked him to call her. She claims that she’d slip out of the house and meet him on a street corner near her house. She says that she went out with Moore at least twice, and that he took her to “his house” on both occasions. Now, at that time – and for years afterward – Moore was living in a mobile home, a trailer, he had purchased while he was in the Army on 16 acres of land in the Gallant community west of Gadsden, where Corfman was living with her mother. In 1979, he was in the process of adding-on to the trailer to make it into a house but it wasn’t until 1982 that it resembled a house. In fact, when he and his wife first married in 1985 she had to cook in an electric skillet in the washroom because he hadn’t built a kitchen (and didn’t for at least a year after their marriage.) Corfman remembers that the “house” was up a gravel road but makes no mention of him living in a trailer.

Bear in mind that Moore’s trailer was at least 25 miles from Gadsden where Corfman lived, one way. He would have had to drive around 50 miles, at least, to take her to his house then take her home. It would have taken them at least half an hour to get from her house to his and another half hour to get back, but she makes no mention of this in her accounts. For her to have gone to Moore’s trailer, she would have had to have been gone from home a minimum of an hour, not counting the time she spent there. Where the hell was her mother? Her mother had just gone to court to give custody to her father because she couldn’t handle her. Wouldn’t she have been curious, at least, to know where her daughter had been? If she wasn’t home, why did Corfman go somewhere else to meet Moore? She claims that the first time they went there, they did some kissing but then says that the second time, he put his hand on her breast – over her bra. She also says he went in the bedroom and took off his clothes then came out in his underwear. This doesn’t make sense. Why would a man leave a hot girl on the floor of his living room to go to his bedroom to take off his clothes? No, he would have either taken his pants and shirt (that’s all he took off) there in the living room where they were making out or would have taken her into the bedroom. In fact, a man would have removed the girl’s clothes first. Now, this sounds more like something a high school boy would do, not a 32-year old man! Or, from a Harlequin Romance.

There is a strong possibility that Corfman may have concocted a fantasy about Roy Moore after he talked to her and her mother at the courthouse. She said in her appearance on the Today Show that she read a lot of romance novels. Now, I’ve read a few over the years, although not recently. One of the topics of romance novels is of a young woman meeting an exciting older man and being swept off her feet while her bodice heaves. Corfman was a disturbed young teenager whose parents had been divorced for five years. She admits she lived in a fantasy world and that when she was going out with Roy Moore, she was experiencing a fantasy of being in the adult world. Now she says she was a child but she evidently considered herself an adult at the time. There is a very thin wall between fantasy and reality and our memories often concoct fantasies we later remember as real. For example, for years I believed a certain experience had happened to me while I was in the Air Force. I believed it and even wrote about it but then it occurred to me that what I was “remembering” was actually the image that came in my mind at the time one of my friends was telling about something had happened to him. I also sometimes have dreams about relationships I had with young women before my first marriage and between my marriages. I eventually realized that these women only exist in my dreams. They are not real. Leigh Corfman’s recollections of her relationship with Roy Moore may only exist in her imagination.

There is something important in the Corfman account – if her allegations are true, their actions were consensual. She says that on both occasions, when she became uncomfortable and told him to stop and take her home, he did. The only illegality was her age. She was younger than the age of consent as expressed in the Alabama Code of 1975 (the code still in force in Alabama.) However, she makes no insinuation that she had intercourse with Moore. Neither do any of the other women who have made the news. However, since Corfman was under the age of 16 and Moore was older than 19, he would have been guilty of sexual abuse in the second degree.

Corfman has some credibility issues for a number of reasons. First, she was a child of divorce, which causes problems for many children. (I know all about this – I had four children at the time of my divorce and it was very hard on them.) Corfman has admitted both to being involved with drugs – which affect the brain – and promiscuity. She was involved in a number of questionable activities as a teenager and as an adult and claims to have attempted suicide at age 16. Since her mother gave up custody to her father due to the girl’s disobedience, she was obviously already having problems before she met Moore. She is alleged to have made allegations against other prominent men – particularly pastors – and she may have actually been as old as seventeen at the time she claims to have been involved with Moore. She says she told people about the incident but her mother has said she didn’t tell her until ten years later, after Moore had become a circuit court judge. One of her friends claims Corfman told her she was going out with an older man and the woman says she warned her it wasn’t a good idea. Regardless of who she told, the fact remains that there is no case against Judge Moore – Corfman has allegations but that’s all, and the only place those allegations will be heard is in the media.

There are also problems with the time frame of Corfman’s claim. According to court records, her mother was in court to give up custody to her father because she had discipline problems. The court proceedings were on February 21, 1979, a Wednesday. The order stated that she was to be placed in the custody of her father, who lived in Ohatchee, a community some 15 miles south of Gadsden, on March 4, a Sunday. Corfman claimed that Moore called her at her mother’s and that she slipped out of the house and went to meet him on a street corner – which may have been more than a mile a from the house and on the other side of a major thoroughfare. She claims he took her to his house twice. There is only a 12-day window for Corfman’s proceedings with Moore to have occurred (actually 10, since she was at the courthouse on the first day and moved to her father’s house on the twelfth.) She did not mention that she left her mother’s home and moved in with her father. She say that when Moore called, she made excuses but never mentioned that she had moved, which would have been a logical reason for the relationship to have ended.

The third accuser is a woman named Tina Johnson who was 28 years old at the time of her allegation, which is supposed to have occurred sometime in the 1990s. She and her mother had hired Moore to represent them in her effort to relinquish custody of her 12-year old son (which means she was 16 when she had him) to her mother because she lacked the means to support him. She claims that as she and her mother were leaving his office, Moore grabbed one of her cheeks. Yet, she never told her mother and continued to use Moore in the case. I suspect that she just wanted to get on the #MeToo bandwagon.

None of the other “accusations” are actually accusations at all. Two are women who admit to going out on dates with Moore. All were in their teens but over the age of consent. One claims she met Moore when she was fourteen and that he asked her out two years later but she didn’t go because her mother wouldn’t let her. One, who was eighteen at the time, says that Moore took her to a pizza parlor and ordered a bottle of Matuese Rose, a popular Portuguese wine, even though she was under twenty-one. (She doesn’t seem to say that she drank any.) Then there is another, one Becky Gray, who apparently just wanted to get on the bandwagon. She was in her twenties when she claims she knew Moore, and working in a store in the Gadsden Mall. She claims that Moore asked her out several times and she complained to the store manager that he was bothering her. However, she makes no claim of sexual impropriety. She claims she “got Roy Moore banned from the mall” but the fact is, according to the mall manager, he was never banned from the mall at all. That he was banned from the mall is apparently a rumor started by mall workers who had seen him there then when he quit appearing – because he had left the area – they thought he had been banned. Bear in mind that this was during the time when Roy Moore was engaged in a bitter dispute with local attorneys and a campaign for county judge, which he ended up losing, and there was a lot of animosity against him. There can be no doubt that a lot of stories were being spread about him by his opponents (just as there are now.) Some Gadsden residents claim that Moore had a reputation for trying to pick up teenage girls at the mall, but no woman has come forward claiming he tried to pick her up except the one woman who worked in a store, and she was in her twenties. A former police officer, a woman, told a TV commentator that while there were rumors about Moore, no one ever made a complaint. She said it “was all rumor.” There is also the question of whether Moore was even going to the mall at all because at the time residents claim he was, he was engaged in building his house when he wasn’t at work as a prosecuting attorney. (This raises another issue – the kids no doubt knew that if they got in trouble, Moore would prosecute them.) Moore was living in a mobile home on sixteen acres of land he had purchased in Gallant, a small rural community some 15 miles west of Gadsden. Gallant is one of those places “you can’t get to from here,” By road, the distance appears to have been at least 25 miles just to Gadsden and the Gadsden Mall is south of town and even further from Moore’s home. Considering that he was busy building his house, it’s doubtful he’d have had time to spend at the mall.

There are some things about the current controversy that really upset me. Certain segments of the media and some politicians are branding Judge Moore as a “pedophile” and “child molester.” In fact, even if the stories about him were true, Moore would not be a pedophile. Pedophilia is sexual attraction to prepubescent children. None of the women who have made claims regarding Judge Moore were prepubescent. Even Leigh Corfman, the youngest, was older than fourteen and even if she was below the age of consent (to engage in sexual intercourse, which neither she or any of the other women have claimed occurred), she was still an adolescent and no longer a child. Pundits also refer to Moore as a “sexual predator” when, in fact, no sex is alleged to have occurred. Nelson claims Moore forced her head to his crotch but then says he “gave up” and let her go – and her account isn’t even believed by some of her own family members and friends. Critics also insinuate that the fact that Moore went out on dates with women still in their teens is somehow sordid. In fact, romantic relationships between older men and teenage women has been common throughout history. Texas Governor Sam Houston married Margaret Lea when she was 21 and he was 47; they had been romantically involved for 2 years before their marriage. Abraham Lincoln was nine years older than his wife Mary Todd. Mark Twain was ten years older than his wife Olivia. When my parents married in January 1943, my mother had just turned 19 and my father was a few weeks short of his thirtieth birthday. I have a photograph of my great-grandfather, a Methodist preacher, taken with his daughter on her wedding day – she was thirteen and entering a marriage that would last for more than half a century. I myself am almost twenty years older than my current wife – we’ve been married for seventeen years – and I was six years older than my first wife, to whom I was married for eighteen years. No, relationships between women and men many years older than they are is not at all uncommon. In fact, many girls are married in their early to mid teens, usually to men several years older than themselves.

Something also needs to be understood about the time frame of the allegations. The 1970s and 1980s were a turbulent and confusing time for young people. The so-called “Sexual Revolution” had started in the 1960s (or before) and was in full swing through the 1970s and into the 1980s. It was a permissive time, with sex as the focal point. Movies included sex scenes that wouldn’t have been thought of a generation before. Abortion became legal in 1973 and birth control was becoming common. Drug use had become rampant, with young people whose parents had thought beer was exciting smoking pot and taking other, more powerful, illicit drugs to get high. Leigh Corfman has admitted to having been a drug user – and promiscuous – as a teenager.

Roy Moore, on the other hand, had become a devout Christian at a young age then after graduating from high school had gone off to the US Military Academy at West Point, New York where he spent four years in a generally isolated, heavily disciplined environment. After graduation, he went to Germany for two years then straight to Vietnam, where the US was in the process of disengaging from a war that had become unpopular and where the remaining troops had become an undisciplined rabble. Although he had been an infantry officer, in Vietnam the young Captain Moore was put in command of a company of military police whose duties were to guard the stockade at Da Nang. Even though they were supposed to be in charge of disciplining miscreant soldiers, the men of Moore’s company were ill disciplined and resentful of him because he sought to restore the discipline he found lacking. His men resented him and he was fearful of being “fragged,” a practice that had become all too common in Vietnam. “Fragging” meant tossing a fragmentation grenade into the hooch of a hated officer or sergeant. One of Moore’s men fragged the company top sergeant but, fortunately, the man lived and recovered from his wounds. The culprit had announced that he was going to frag Moore, leading the captain to sleep outside of his hooch. There are rumors being spread about Judge Moore’s conduct as an Army officer. One claim is that he made his men salute, and thus violated a military precept about saluting when in the presence of the enemy. Well, Moore’s company wasn’t in the presence of the enemy. He was commander of a rear area MP company in charge of the stockade. Saluting is a military courtesy and, yes, soldiers, sailors and airmen saluted officers in rear areas such as Da Nang. How do I know this? Because I spent over four years of my life of which a good portion was in South Vietnam. After returning to an assignment at Fort Riley, Kansas, the young officer served out his military commitment then resigned his commission and returned to Alabama where he enrolled at the University of Alabama School of Law. Fresh out of the Army and a Vietnam veteran, Moore found himself among a crowd that had protested the war and hated the military, and the veterans who had served. His professors and some of his classmates ridiculed him. Nevertheless, he graduated and passed the bar, apparently on the first try, then returned to his home in Etowah County to practice law.

Just what Roy Moore’s relationships with women had been during his years at West Point and in the Army are unknown. He doesn’t discuss relationships with any women prior to his wife in his memoir. He did have female friends when he was in law school but whether or not he was close to any of them is unknown. He came back to the Gadsden area after having been away for twelve years. His female high school friends had most likely married or moved away, as is common in small towns and rural areas. He was thirty years old and it’s doubtful there were any single women around town his age so, naturally, his attention would have been directed towards younger women, some of whom were in their teens. Another Gadsden attorney believes he was behind in social development. However, it is a long stretch to say that he “preyed” on teenagers even though he apparently did go out on dates with at least two women in their late teens. However, there is nothing illegal about this as the age of consent in Alabama was sixteen. Moore says that he never went out with a young woman without her parent’s approval. Moore has been criticized for going to high school basketball games but it’s important to remember that he had four younger brothers and sisters as well as other younger relatives. Furthermore, except for Corfman and Nelson, neither of whom mention the mall, no women have accused Moore of sexual impropriety. If he was hanging out at the mall to prey on teenagers, there would have been accusations.

The rumor that Moore was “banned from the mall” is likely due to him leaving the Gadsden area after his loss in the Democratic Primary for the circuit judge position. In those days, primaries were usually held in August. He says he entered the race in June 1982. He had resigned from his position as deputy district attorney and the campaign had caused most of the local attorneys and judges to turn against him. He decided to take a break. While at West Point, Moore had taken up boxing and had lettered in the sport. He organized a boxing tournament in his company in Vietnam and took on all-comers, and won most of the bouts. He was interested in the Oriental sport, karate and decided to take his remaining funds and travel to Galveston, Texas to study the sport under Ishmael Robles, a champion competitor and instructor. He found work on construction crews to support himself while he spent nine months studying the sport. (He entered competitions after he returned to Alabama and seems to have won many of them.) After working his way through the various belts, he decided to leave Galveston and the country and travel to Australia. He had planned to go there on R&R from Vietnam but because his unit was transferred back to the States as part of President Richard Nixon’s de-escalation of the war, R&R trips to Australia were discontinued. Moore spent a year in Australia traveling around and working, including several months on a “small” 52,000-acre station (ranch) in the Australian Outback. The rancher’s daughter, who was sixteen when Moore lived with the family, says she was “very close” to him nd that he never disrespected her. Local kids who hung out at the mall didn’t see Moore, not because he had been banned, but because he had left the area. In 1985, Moore returned to Alabama and opened his own office with another attorney and friend. Soon after his return, he met his future wife and was married within a year. He was 38, his new wife Kala was 24.

One thing that has disgusted me is how certain “establishment” Republicans jumped all over Judge Moore without even considering that the accusations against him are politically motivated. I used to live in Kentucky and met Mitch McConnell a few times. I used to hold him in high regard, as I did John McCain, but they’re both disappointments, as is Lindsay Graham. McConnell and Graham are both Baptists, as is Judge Moore, but they seem to be Sunday morning Christians rather than true believers. Ted Cruz, who is a hypocrite if there ever was one, also came out against Moore. My other Senator, John Cornyn, withdrew his endorsement of Judge Moore. Personally, I am very upset with these men, all of whom seem to be more concerned with keeping Moore out of the Senate than with giving him the benefit of the doubt in what is obviously a politically motivated action against him. They were eager to throw him to the wolves, but as he’s been doing all his life, Judge Moore is not going down. The most recent poll, of more than 11,000 people, shows him with a 6-point lead over his opponent in spite of the allegations.

There has been a new development in this situation. Since I began this missive, Moore’s Democratic opponent has been running an online ad calling Moore an “abuser” and listing the names of the nine women who have made claims about him. Since the women would have had to approve the use of their names, this ad proves that their claims are political. They have shown themselves as political whores.