America Is Changing Rick Sapp – 09/27/2019

Rick-CCR-Featured-9-27-19

America Is Changing
Rick Sapp – 09/27/2019

America Is Changing

In 13 months, we will defeat and send into well-deserved obscurity most of the violently anti-gun, anti-American candidates who are monopolizing the airways with whining. And good riddance.

But all of the “issues,” real or invented, that O’Rourke, Booker, Klobuchar, Castro, Harris and the rest are blathering about today will remain with us for many years. The vehemence of their attacks on America has, I believe, begun to change and divide this democratic republic permanently.

* How do we stop Planned Parenthood and find good homes for the 330,000 babies the organization murders every year?
* How do we end the “my-way-or-the-highway” attitude that has brought our government to a halt?
* How do we convince millennials that without viable borders, we will have chaos?
* How do we remind everyone who is not already a millionaire that capitalism offers a chance — the only chance in the world — to join that exclusive club?
* How, with the study of history dropped in favor of STEM studies, do we show that differences between rich and poor are part of every civilized society … and that this is a good thing?
* How do we address the basic issues that cause individuals to pick up a weapon and indiscriminately harm others?

The Use of Weapons in Society

We in the concealed carry community may be interested in all of the above issues, but we have a special concern about the use of weapons in our society.
Two banned novels with colorfully illustrated book covers: The Man Who Would be King by Rudyard Kipling and Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe

Banned-300x248

Because they present history at variance with the lens of political correctness, many classic books and writers are now banned from school and public libraries. (Rick Sapp photo)

Whether we find ways to reduce violence in America or not, whether there is an “epidemic of gun violence” as the buffoon candidates screech or not, if the Socialist left wins elections, we will find our firearms options severely limited. Should the screechers come to power and dominate politics in America (as they do the mass media now), the Second Amendment will not stand.

The fact that these “leaders” do not understand the difference between a semi-automatic and a tank or between a hair clip and a semi-auto magazine won’t stop them from implementing anti-gun agendas. Neither will their anti-gun agendas, if fulfilled, put a dent in violence in America.

What’s to Be Done?

We must address two factors to make a dent in America’s “epidemic of gun violence.” First, we must strengthen our mental health community and insurance support for counseling and intervention. Second, inner-city communities with high rates of gangs and violence must recognize that violence is a cultural issue and can only be solved within the culture. The imposition of programs, outreach and activism of all sorts will fail unless communities accept the responsibility to teach their children that the “culture of violence” is unacceptable.

The concealed carry community is part of the great silent majority who live in “fly-over land” between the coasts. But we can ill afford to be silent as the Socialist left reshapes our country. In the end, the attack on guns, religious faith and fundamental American principles is an attack on us. It’s personal. America may very well be changing, but this is a culture war. And we cannot afford to lose.

About Rick Sapp

Richard “Rick” Sapp was a U.S. Army infantry platoon leader until recruited to the 66th Military Intelligence Group. There, he worked with the West German KRIPO (Criminal Police) at Czechoslovakian border stations during the Soviet invasion of 1968.

Returning to the U.S., he earned a Ph.D. in social anthropology after studies at the U.S. Air Force Academy, Catholic University of America and the University of Florida, following which he moved to Paris, France, for a year.

After four years with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, he turned to journalism and freelance writing, specializing in outdoor features. His journalism experience includes newspapers and magazines. He has authored more than 50 books for a variety of international publishers.

Rick is married and lives in Florida.

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Janet McDonald
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If there is enough tinkering with the voting booths, Trump may not be re-elected. That is what fears me. Last elections showed that it is not that hard for “them” to screw with the voting machines. “They” did not think that Trump would get so many votes, and “they” were very ill prepared. This time “they” know that Trump is going to get the votes, so if they cannot destroy him before elections, I feel “they” will see he don’t get elected, at any cost.

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Extremely Handsome Herb • 4 hours ago
Does no $hyt ring a bell in regard to the title of the article? And yes, people are very stupid, in fact, the more stupid you are the more likely you are to get into politics, Mr. Trump excepted.

For all of the do gooders we have in this Country facts make no difference, crime is down with the exception of about 4 Cities, and no they will never understand, because they do not want to understand. If they every bother to learn what they are talking about then they will think like us, and us is who they are against, so why would they ever want to be like us?

You have to keep in mind that the best job these people will ever have is to be elected to some office. And the only better job is to run for a higher office, these people will do anything to keep their job and will set their own mother on fire for a better job. There is no lie too great, no trick too dirty, whatever they can get away with is just fine. Every other person on the planet is expendable as long as they get elected.

Why would you spend $1 Billion to get a job which pays less than $450.000.00, it does not make any sense, but take a look at Uncle Joe, his whole family has been enriched by his being elected to every office which he has ever held and he cannot even find his way home all by himself.

We had better hope things change, but I mean for the American People to actually wake up to the facts which are very simple to find, you only have to be willing to learn and that my friends is why change is so very hard!

Semper Fie

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Steve H. • 6 hours ago • edited
They won’t just stop at the 2nd amendment, that is just the beginning. When that falls we will be unarmed, then they will take the 1st then the 4th………. Not on my watch!

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Frederick Davison • 7 hours ago
It isn’t the guns that they are after. It’s control! Plain and simple they want total control over the people of this great nation.

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John Kaline Frederick Davison • 5 hours ago
I’ve said it several times before, but those FEMA camps were put in place for some particular purpose, and it’s never been satisfactorily explained or proved to the general public who may soon become those camp occupants. If you just look around, I believe the state and federal governments already have all power they believe they need to exercise martial law and simply collect all the firearms the FFLs were required to keep records on about who and where they are presently located. Label me paranoid, but I still believe it.s better to be prepared than not.

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Juke 1751 John Kaline • 4 hours ago
NM has a large FEMA camp under the quise of holding illegal aliens.

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Frederick Davison John Kaline • 5 hours ago
That’s why it’s nice that I had a boating accident and lost ALL of my firearms

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GuitarsNguns • 8 hours ago
Just two years ago these same Dems were saying “nobody wants to take your guns we just want common sense gun laws”. Today they want to take our guns. We all know that this was their plan all along but now they are not hiding it and much to the chagrin of the establishment Democrats, they are saying it. We need to teach these little socialists a lesson by soundly defeating their sorry butts in the upcoming. I don’t worry much about Mr Trump getting re-elected but we all need to work to take back the House and increase our lead in the Senate where there are a half dozen RINOs we just can’t trust. If we can do this we will set the progressive movement back 20 years.

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Clark Kent • 8 hours ago
HOORAY for the ‘my way or the highway’ attitude that has brought our government to a halt! ‘Be thankful we’re not getting all the government we’re paying for’ – Will Rogers.

The Democrat debate was terrifying. Who are these people? | American Thinker Blog

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from Truth2Freedom
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The fact that there have been no American flags on the stage at any of the Democrat debates says it all.

Trump had long been friends with nearly all high-profile African-Americans from all walks of life in New York. He has helped countless African-American individuals, schools, and charitable organizations. The man has never demonstrated an iota of racism or even race consciousness. But as we all know by now, the truth is not a left-wing value as Dennis Prager often reminds. They don’t like Trump, so any slur, any fabricated indictment of his character is A-OK, a sanctioned furtherance of the agenda to transform America into their dystopian utopia.

White supremacy? Sounds like a plan. Let’s go with it. No made-up accusation is over the line. No plan to eviscerate the Constitution is a bridge too far. The left loathes the limits our Constitution places on our government. Thank God for the genius of our Founders. Without them, we would not have prevailed to this day. As for the loathsome Beto’s vow to “take our guns,” he has no idea the power of the sleeping giant he has awakened. Americans who revere the Constitution are filled with a terrible resolve.

Will we survive the socialist plan our Left has for us? Only time will tell. Given the Left’s promulgation of homelessness, (they pass out needles and ban straws), their commitment to the further dumbing down of education and their disdain for Judeo-Christian values, to open borders and all that entails, and their fidelity to Marxist socialism, if they take the White House, the House and the Senate, America as we know it will be over. The US will become a class-stratified society like that of old Europe, France before their Revolution. Our elites will see to it that their lives are not impacted in any way by the legislation they mean to impose on the rest of us. That is not part of their plan.

The American Revolution was fought to free the American colonies from the tyranny of and taxation by England. That same liberty-loving spirit led to the Civil War; freedom-loving Americans fought to end slavery. The Republican Party was founded to do exactly that. Any faux historian that says different is lying. America was founded in 1776, its nationhood cemented with the ratification of the Constitution in 1788.

Legitimate historians are rare these days; nearly all have been politicized by academia and its power to persuade, and by its love of Howard Zinn’s slanderous and wholly inaccurate version of US history. The NYT’s silly claim that we have been a nation since 1619 when, according to them, the first slave arrived in the New World is utter nonsense. Academia is now, with a few exceptions, thoroughly corrupt, committed only to the leftist indoctrination of the unsuspecting young.

Only the perceived crimes of America matter now. We are all to be indicted for being born here. We are to be condemned and punished if born Caucasian, as if we had a hand in the nature of our birth. And yet it is those of us who love America and are familiar with our history who care nothing about the color of anyone’s skin. It is the Left that defines people and judges people by their race and not their character. How else to explain their affection for illegal migrant criminals like those terrorizing Montgomery County, Maryland, one example that is being replicated across the country.

The debate of Thursday night should be a huge wake-up call for all freedom-loving Americans. Every one of the Democrat candidates wants to curb nearly all of the freedoms guaranteed by the Bill of Rights — speech, assembly, the right to bear arms. They mean to restrict our access to health care, fuel, food, electricity, mobility by car or air, goods in markets.

In short, they well and truly intend to transform the country beyond what Obama did on his watch and not in a good way. They mean to punish all of us who support Trump because, like Hillary, we are to them deplorable for loving our country. They are not alone. The DNC debate audience in Houston were mind-numbed clapping seals. The more punitively race-conscious and socialist the candidates’ promises, the more they applauded.

The fact that there have been no American flags on the stage at any of the Democrat debates says it all. One thing is certain: This election season is going to be a bumpy ride. Like the colonists of 1776, we are looking at the choice between freedom and tyranny. All Americans need to be cognizant of the deadly seriousness of their vote in 2020. Trump’s style and his tweets may offend some but his dedication to the preservation of America is boundless. He has pledged his life and fortune to the cause. Gratitude is in order

Source: The Democrat debate was terrifying. Who are these people?

Owner of 8chan Says the Manifesto Was NOT Uploaded By the El Paso Walmart Shooter by Cassandra Fairbanks August 6, 2019

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Owner of 8chan Says the Manifesto Was NOT Uploaded By the El Paso Walmart Shooter
Avatar by Cassandra Fairbanks August 6, 2019

Owner of 8chan Says the Manifesto Was NOT Uploaded By the El Paso Walmart Shooter

The owner of the anonymous message board 8Chan, Jim Watkins, has unequivocally stated that the manifesto which was said to have been posted by the El Paso Walmart shooter on his website was not actually posted by the killer.

Just moments before the deadly shooting in El Paso on Saturday, a sinister four page long manifesto was posted to 8Chan by someone who claimed to be the shooter.

Owner of 8chan Says the Manifesto Was NOT Uploaded By the El Paso Walmart Shooter
Avatar by Cassandra Fairbanks August 6, 2019 525 Comments

4.8KShare 391Tweet Email

The owner of the anonymous message board 8Chan, Jim Watkins, has unequivocally stated that the manifesto which was said to have been posted by the El Paso Walmart shooter on his website was not actually posted by the killer.

Just moments before the deadly shooting in El Paso on Saturday, a sinister four page long manifesto was posted to 8Chan by someone who claimed to be the shooter.

However, Watkins, an Army veteran, asserted that the shooter actually posted on Instagram prior to the attack — and whoever uploaded the manifesto to 8Chan was not the person who committed the heinous act.

“First of all, the El Paso shooter posted on Instagram, not 8Chan. Later, someone uploaded a manifesto. However, that manifesto was not uploaded by the Walmart shooter,” Watkins asserted in his video statement. “I don’t know if he wrote it or not, but it was not uploaded by the murderer. That is clear, and law enforcement was made aware of this before most people had even heard the horrific news.”

Watkins asserted that though his platform is known for being a bastion of free speech, they have never and will never protect illegal speech.

On Sunday, a campaign went viral to get hosting companies to ditch 8Chan over the manifesto turning up there. Cloudflare, a web security company, also announced that they would be dropping 8Chan. Watkins said that the move to target his website’s hosting is political.

“Some of you might’ve read the @Cloudflare news already. They’re dropping 8chan. https://blog.cloudflare.com/terminating-service-for-8chan/
There might be some downtime in the next 24-48 hours while we find a solution (that includes our email so timely compliance with law enforcement requests may be affected)”.

Terminating Service for 8Chan
The mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio are horrific tragedies. In the case of the El Paso shooting, the suspected terrorist gunman appears to have been inspired by the forum website…
blog.cloudflare.com

https://blog.cloudflare.com/terminating-service-for-8chan/

Owner of 8chan Says the Manifesto Was NOT Uploaded By the El Paso Walmart Shooter
Avatar by Cassandra Fairbanks August 6, 2019 525 Comments

4.8KShare 391Tweet Email

The owner of the anonymous message board 8Chan, Jim Watkins, has unequivocally stated that the manifesto which was said to have been posted by the El Paso Walmart shooter on his website was not actually posted by the killer.

Just moments before the deadly shooting in El Paso on Saturday, a sinister four page long manifesto was posted to 8Chan by someone who claimed to be the shooter.

However, Watkins, an Army veteran, asserted that the shooter actually posted on Instagram prior to the attack — and whoever uploaded the manifesto to 8Chan was not the person who committed the heinous act.

“First of all, the El Paso shooter posted on Instagram, not 8Chan. Later, someone uploaded a manifesto. However, that manifesto was not uploaded by the Walmart shooter,” Watkins asserted in his video statement. “I don’t know if he wrote it or not, but it was not uploaded by the murderer. That is clear, and law enforcement was made aware of this before most people had even heard the horrific news.”

Watkins asserted that though his platform is known for being a bastion of free speech, they have never and will never protect illegal speech.

On Sunday, a campaign went viral to get hosting companies to ditch 8Chan over the manifesto turning up there. Cloudflare, a web security company, also announced that they would be dropping 8Chan. Watkins said that the move to target his website’s hosting is political.

The message board, according to Watkins, has over a million users who post anonymously on the platform. It gained much notoriety from being the home base of the “Q Anon” theories.

Watkins said that they are continuing to work with law enforcement and working to keep his site active.

———————————————-

“The message board, according to Watkins, has over a million users who post anonymously on the platform. It gained much notoriety from being the home base of the “Q Anon” theories.”

MainfestInjustice asks: Could this be one of the real reasons that they wanted to get rid of 8Chan?

Donald Trump Meets with Black Pastors Amid Feud with Al Sharpton

Alveda-King-Black-Pastors-640x480
Alveda King, second from right, niece of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. together with other religious leaders, from left, Rev. Bill Owens, Rev. Dean Nelson and Bishop Harry Jackson, speaks to reporters following a meeting with President Donald Trump at the White House in Washington, Monday, July 29, …AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta

Donald Trump Meets with Black Pastors Amid Feud with Al Sharpton
CHARLIE SPIERING 29 Jul 20191,2:21
https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2019/07/29/donald-trump-meets-with-black-pastors-amid-feud-with-al-sharpton/

President Donald Trump met with African-American pastors and leaders of the black community on Monday, amidst a leftist uproar over his criticism of activist Al Sharpton.
Trump mentioned the meeting on Twitter but did not invite reporters into the room.

Looking forward to my meeting at 2:00 P.M. with wonderful Inner City Pastors!

blob:https://www.breitbart.com/13bac1d6-87f6-43c0-8db4-07c9e22ae255
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Woman Who Battled Rare Bone Cancer Praises Trump as Her ‘Good Samaritan’

Alveda King and Pastor Bill Owens spoke to the press at the White House after the meeting.

King, a civil rights and pro-life activist and the niece of Martin Luther King Jr., has visited the president with the group of pastors on multiple occasions.

She told reporters who asked about the meeting that she had a picture of Rev. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton with Trump.

“At one time in their lives, they highly regarded the president,” she told them. “And, so I’m thinking about a scripture: If it had been my enemy, I could have understood, I could have known what to do, but you were my friends and my brothers.”

After the meeting, King tweeted out a picture of her and Sharpton and her and Trump.

“When your friends lie, who needs enemies?” she asked.

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Evangelist Alveda King

@AlvedaCKing
When your friends lie, who needs enemies? #jobsjusticelifepotus @realDonaldTrump

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View image on Twitter
3:54 PM – Jul 29, 2019

At the White House, King said she would continue to visit the president in the future to speak and pray with him about the country.

“The babies in the womb, the sick and poor and elderly are being blessed. We have an opportunity to continue to be blessed, and we have a president’s whose listening,” she told reporters. “And I was glad to pray with him today.”

Owens, the founder and president of the Coalition of African American Pastors, said he found it “hard to believe” that the president was racist and that they talked about issues facing the black community for about two hours.

“This country needs healing,” he said. “There’s so much division in America along racial lines.”

He agreed with reporters that Trump should probably visit Baltimore to see the problems there for himself.

He said that they met the president about four or five times, and said that the meeting was scheduled prior to the controversy.

When asked if he thought Trump was intentionally trying to fan the flames of racism by using words like “infestation” to describe the city of Baltimore, he replied, “Well, those are his words. I don’t want to second-guess what he says, because I hear a lot of things,” he said. “I see also people pandering to black people, to get them on board with some of their agenda.”

The battle for free speech is on as Big Tech cracks down on conservatives on social media.

mark-zuckerberg-facebook-big-tech
No Fear: Big Tech Censors As They Aren’t Afraid of Us
The battle for free speech is on as Big Tech cracks down on conservatives on social media.

By Jenna Ellis

No Fear: Big Tech Censors As They Aren’t Afraid of Us


July 3, 2019

The battle for free speech on the internet is heating up and one thing is clear: Big Tech will bend to criticism from the left, but not the right.

The reason is simple. Silicon Valley does not fear any consequences from conservatives, who are instinctually prone to letting private companies do as they please.

Silicon Valley does not fear any consequences from conservatives, who are instinctually prone to letting private companies do as they please.

Meanwhile, because of the leftist inclinations of their own employees and their need to maintain a healthy relationship with their Democratic political protectors in Washington, the Big Tech companies are terrified of defying the activist left.

We are in the midst of an extensive crackdown on conservative speech by Facebook, Twitter, and Google’s YouTube. YouTube, for example is “demonetizing” and banning channels at an unprecedented rate, and in a complete reversal of its founding ethos, is also totally overhauling its policies to replace an emphasis on free speech with one on preventing “hateful content.”

The most immediate cause is direct pressure from left-wing activists who characterize their explicit efforts to deplatform the right as “journalism.” The YouTube policy changes, for instance, came in response to a coordinated media blitz over conservative comedian Steven Crowder making fun of Vox reporter Carlos Maza.

This network of activist-journalists works closely with groups like the Antifa gangsters who savagely beat Quillette editor Andy Ngo in Portland this weekend. After Ngo was attacked, some of these “journalists” mocked him and tried to justify his beating. Others, including Maza himself, have explicitly and publicly endorsed these violent tactics.

Yet, none of these leftist activists face censorship from Big Tech. In fact, the researcher who exposed their links to Antifa was himself banned from Twitter for doing so.
facebook
Facebook (Official White House Photo)

But now there’s a new dynamic at work. The federal government has begun making the long-awaited opening moves toward the most significant government action ever aimed at Silicon Valley, and Big Tech is paying attention.

The latest wave of censorship, unfortunately, shows that when Big Tech companies are under pressure, their instinct is to veer further left.

The Federal Trade Commission is opening an antitrust investigation into Facebook, and the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division is about to do the same for Google, but that’s not the end of Big Tech’s woes. Somewhere between 12 and 20 state attorneys general are reportedly prepping their own coordinated investigations into Big Tech’s anti-competitive practices and possible violations of state consumer protection laws.

The latest wave of censorship, unfortunately, shows that when Big Tech companies are under pressure, their instinct is to veer further left.

Even with the U.S. Department of Justice and top state law enforcers opening investigations, Silicon Valley remains far more responsive to the threats of Democrats, who are signalling that their own House Judiciary Committee investigation will be framed as a push towards more censorship, not less.

Representative Frank Pallone (D – NJ), who will be among the most prominent Democrats at the upcoming hearings, has already issued a threatening tweet urging more aggressive social media moderation beyond the censorship of conservatives that is already underway.

The last time Facebook executives appeared before her Senate committee, Senator Mazie Hirono (D – HI) similarly made it clear that she thinks the problem with social media is too little censorship, not too much.

Unfortunately, that’s the message Big Tech is responding to, egged on by a liberal press eager to silence competing sources of information. The New York Times, for example, ran a Sunday cover story last month about how YouTube turned a young man into a neo-Nazi, ostensibly through no fault of his own, by allowing voices such as Jordan Peterson and Lauren Southern on its platform.

This was always the activist left’s plan. Shortly after the 2016 election, Media Matters for America leader David Brock produced a memo explicitly calling for pressure on social media companies to deplatform conservatives in hopes that this would prevent a repeat of Trump’s upset victory. Thanks to reporting from Breitbart News and an undercover investigation by Project Veritas, we now know that senior elements within Google share the same goal.
trump-2020
Donald Trump MAGA Rally. The Epoch Times. Creative Commons. Flickr.

The Epoch Times. Creative Commons. Flickr.

The tide can still be turned, though. If the avalanche of antitrust investigations is not enough to convince Big Tech to clean up its act, then conservatives and elected Republicans will have to take an even stronger stand against biased censorship of the modern public square.

If the avalanche of antitrust investigations is not enough to convince Big Tech to clean up its act, then conservatives and elected Republicans will have to take an even stronger stand against biased censorship of the modern public square.

President Trump is setting the tone. He’s making it clear his administration will not sit on the sidelines with a summit on social media at the White House. “Twitter should let the banned Conservative Voices back onto their platform, without restriction. It’s called Freedom of Speech, remember. You are making a Giant Mistake!” the President tweeted in perhaps his strongest message to Big Tech yet.

We’re only at the end of the beginning, not the beginning of the end, in this fight to preserve free speech on the internet. A huge part of that fight will involve the antitrust enforcement that’s starting to take shape, but conservatives can’t rely solely on federal regulators.

Elected Republicans, conservative activists, and the public at large need to follow Donald Trump’s lead and become far more invested in this issue by advocating loudly against censorship and seeking change through grassroots action, lawsuits, and legislation.

Democrats are already out ahead of us, with their 2020 presidential contenders competing fiercely to lock in Silicon Valley campaign contributions.

If conservatives can’t convince the social media giants that we can create as much pressure as the left exerts, Big Tech will continue to dismiss our concerns. They must fear the consequences of their assault on free speech, or else we will have to accept limits on our liberties.

Jenna Ellis (@realJennaEllis) is a member of the Trump 2020 Advisory Board. She is a constitutional law attorney, radio host, and the author of The Legal Basis for a Moral Constitution

Short-Term Pain, Long-Term Wonder Foreclosure.com Scholarship Program Winning Essay 2017, (Grand Prize)

You know, I just read the following article, and see that the “Millennials” are being brain washed. Goldman Sachs said back around 2008 “Only the rich should own houses, everyone else should be renting”. Sorry, I am still looking for the article wherein I quoted from. I will find it, I used that in a brief.

I knew that meant trouble. Even with foreclosure hell in the middle of its heyday, it still meant something. Not long after that, people being foreclosed upon, began being offered the chance to rent the house that they just lost.

Now, these third party entities popped up almost over night, and instead of the properties at foreclosure, reverting back to the lenders, these third parties now purchase at foreclosure auctions. Then they offer to rent you your house, or take you to magistrate court and have your thrown out, instead of the banks having to do that.

Funny thing, if you research most of these third parties, back far enough, the banks own them too, so still the same thing, just different names. Nevertheless, I could not help but post the article. It is obvious that “they” want us all in little apartments in and around the cities, easier to control “us”. I just had not realized that they were in the progress of brain-washing the Millennials into not even wanting to own a house.

Read the article:

Short-Term Pain, Long-Term Wonder
Foreclosure.com Scholarship Program Winning Essay 2017, (Grand Prize)
https://article.foreclosure.com/short-term-pain-long-term-wonder-82f82b90ff52
Go to the profile of Foreclosure.com Staff
Foreclosure.com Staff
Feb 28, 2018
By Jack Duffley | University of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign

foreclosure-kid
(photo from https://article.foreclosure.com/short-term-pain-long-term-wonder-82f82b90ff52)

In the gleeful times of 2005, my parents decided, like so many others, that it was time to “upgrade.” They sold our smaller home on the other side of town, which had appreciated nicely, and bought a 3700 square foot behemoth in a town with already exorbitant property taxes. My younger brother and I were thrilled to finally have a basement, our own rooms, and even a concrete basketball court in our backyard! All eight-year-old me knew was that things were going to be a whole lot more comfortable from there, and my optimistic parents seemed to think the same.

Jack Duffley | University of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign
The year is 2017, and my parents have only just now reached the equity levels in the house that they started with over a decade ago, nearly one-hundred-fifty mortgage payments later. However, after being bombarded by extremely high taxes for that entire time, they are essentially underwater on the property, but see little choice but to hang on for dear life until equity recovers just a bit more before they abandon ship. A thin retirement plan, mostly resting on the house, has forced their hand.

My parents’ story is in no way unique; millions of Americans who purchased homes before the 2008 recession have faced similar dilemmas, often worse than theirs. Many had no choice but to foreclose during the worst of it. After all, the homeownership rate has declined almost 5 points nationwide since the recession.[1] If anything, they can be considered lucky, yet they are still stuck in the mud. Their children, on the other hand, are now at their own fork in the road: to be [a homeowner] or not to be.

And, all things considered, they are often choosing not to be. The census shows a stark dip in homeownership among those under the age of 35 of almost 10 percent, lowering significantly from its peak pre-recessionary levels of 43 percent to a dismal 34 percent. At the same time, rental vacancy rates nationwide fell from over 10 percent to less than 7 percent as more people turned to renting, millennials especially.[2] Why is this happening?

Aside from the obvious fear of the failure that their parents faced, millennials are renting more as they define their own unique lifestyle. Millennials, in ever increasing numbers, are focusing on “living now.” They are choosing to move into urban areas in particular. As a predominantly liberal group, and with large cities tending to lean left, this is partially due to political forces. The majority, however, is due to lifestyle conveniences that come with a city: multiple options for transportation and not needing to own a car, proximity to cultural events and nightlife, and, especially with the decline of the suburbs as retail simultaneously sinks, a more positive future economic outlook. They more readily take the loss in living space for these benefits than their previous generations did.

At the same time, a growing number of millennials are facing burdensome student loan debt. Rather than come out of college with pristine back-end ratios primed for a hefty mortgage, they are handcuffed by the debt that they have amassed in their early twenties. As the Pew Research Center has noted, 37 percent of people under the age of thirty have student loan debt. They contribute to the $1.3 trillion in student debt, leverage that could presumably be used for a mortgage or some other useful credit if it were not locked up already.[3] Millennials are trying to increase their earning power by going to school so that they have the opportunity to advance economically, but it is simultaneously holding many of them back via years of extra debt — debt that is notably not going to a physical asset.

What does this mean for real estate? For the single family home market, it spells disaster, at least in the short term. Grant Cardone, one of the premier real estate investors in the world, calls homeownership a “scam,” and emphasizes that renting over homeownership among young people is becoming more and more popular. He notes that there is a huge need for affordable rentals as millennials deviate away from single family homes. Cardone is always one to advocate renting as a more advantageous and flexible lifestyle choice, and, as it has been mentioned, millennials increasingly value the flexibility that comes with renting instead of buying a home. Many, like Cardone, now see homeownership as a solely negative ordeal.

While it may not be up to the level of a “scam,” there are significant drawbacks with owning a home. For one, it locks up a significant amount of capital, money that could be used for a number of different projects or investments. In sum, homeownership is very expensive, at least in the short term when people make their initial down payment and any potential renovations. This makes it very hard to own a home for people of all ages. Additionally, owning a home can financially lock someone to a particular location, one which they might not want to be in after a while. Finally, for those hoping for appreciation when they purchase their home, as with any investment, there is a chance that it does not pan out. A poorly timed crash can wipe out an owner’s equity in seconds just as it did to my parents and so many others.

While there are drawbacks, the Great Recession and its subsequent lifestyle shift suggest the lack of education about the benefits of owning real estate. Even my parents are constantly warning me of the dangers of homeownership; the shift is not totally driven by millennials themselves. They too are still shaken by their mistakes and the sledgehammer that was the crash. They ignore the value of building equity over the long term, the typical tax benefits that come with a primary residence, and the relative stability of the real estate market because they mistakenly overpaid for a house that, in hindsight, they cannot comfortably afford in a downturn. They just hope that I do not do the same, and rightfully so. However, what millennials should have learned from the recession is not that real estate is bad, but that they simply must be careful and reasonable with what they assume when purchasing it.
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Unfortunately, the average consumer purchases on emotion. With the tremendous amounts of emotional trauma from the recession, millennials are increasingly refusing to buy a home as their parents might have desired at the same age. But what are they purchasing in its place? Many take on higher rents, consistent with the “living now” mentality. Many more use their money to buy a wealth of products online. Some are even speculating on cryptocurrency, something far more unknown than real estate, expecting to make a lot of money. Why do they do that? Because the average consumer purchases on emotion, not on something systematic. Real estate has already been proven to be a relatively safe and a potentially very powerful asset. Instead, the negatives have been, and continue to be, emphasized. This masks the positives of owning a home, or even a simple condo. Millennials in some cases are mistakenly ignoring all real estate and not just the kind of overleveraging or speculating that got their parents into trouble.

Does this spell the end to America? Will the country burst into flames as millennials move to urban areas? Of course not. It must be noted that the current trend does not own the future; millennials could very well begin to purchase homes in huge numbers, especially as prices drop over the next few years. While it is likely that this will not be the case, it is impossible for anyone but millennials themselves to determine that.

What is certain is that, in the short run, there will be pain. The single family housing market is going to suffer as millennials make lifestyle choices contrary to their parents. The market will be oversupplied with single family homes. However, millennials will still need a place to live, just like anyone else. Their increasing demand for urban locations and conveniences will push rent up in cities, as it already has in places like San Francisco and Seattle. This will open a new, and huge, opportunity for real estate investors and developers alike to profit in the cities as millennials develop their own American Dream. After all, a dream is only what a person makes of it, not what someone else defines it as.

References:
[1] U.S. Census Bureau, Annual Homeownership Rates for the United States and Regions: 1968–2016, (accessed Dec 10, 2010), https://www.census.gov/housing/hvs/data/charts/fig05.pdf

[2] U.S. Census Bureau, Annual Rental Vacancy Rates for the United States and Regions: 1968–2016, (accessed Dec 10, 2010), https://www.census.gov/housing/hvs/data/charts/fig03.pdf

[3] Anthony Cilluffo, “5 facts about U.S. student loans,” Pew Research Center, last modified August 24, 2017. http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/08/24/5-facts-about-student-loans/

The winning essay above was submitted to Foreclosure.com’s scholarship program.

The 2017 essay topic:
IS THE “AMERICAN DREAM” OF ONE DAY OWNING A HOME ALIVE AND WELL AMONG MILLENNIALS?
Millennials having experienced the “Great Recession,” which was the traumatic housing crisis that triggered the financial crisis a decade ago. As a result, data suggests that Millennials (those born between 1981 to 1997) have been slow to adopt homeownership. Discuss the pros and cons of homeownership for Millennials, as well as which factors could increase or decrease homeownership among the generation. Will their collective hesitation and apprehension hurt them in the long run or are Millennials simply in the process of re-defining the “American Dream?”

2nd Circuit Upholds Insider Trading Conviction of Ex-Goldman Sachs Director The panel’s decision represented the latest retreat from the appellate court’s holding in 2014’s “U.S. v. Newman,” which narrowed prosecutors’ ability to prove insider trading.

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Rajat Gupta, right, with his attorney Gary Naftalis, following his sentencing in 2012. Photo: Louis Lanzano/ Bloomberg
https://www.law.com/newyorklawjournal/2019/01/07/2nd-circuit-upholds-insider-trading-conviction-of-ex-goldman-sachs-director/
By Colby Hamilton | January 07, 2019 at 04:12 PM

For the second time in as many months the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has declined to reverse an insider trading secured by federal prosecutors before the circuit court’s ruling in United States v. Newman and the sequence of decisions it spawned.

On Monday, the panel, composed of Circuit Judges Amalya Kearse, Richard Wesley and Christopher Droney, denied former Goldman Sachs director Rajat Gupta’s second attempt to have his insider trading conviction overturned. The Second Circuit had previously in 2014 denied Gupta’s argument that the trial court erred in admitting some evidence, while excluding other evidence offered by the defense ahead of his 2012 conviction. He ultimately served 19 months in prison, and was released in 2016.

The current appeal came after U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff of the Southern District of New York denied Gupta’s motion to vacate his conviction in the wake of the Second Circuit’s 2014 decision in Newman, which substantially narrowed the “personal benefit” requirements of an insider trading relationship. Gupta argued before Rakoff that the jury instructions in his case were legally invalid under Newman.

On appeal, the panel reviewed Gupta’s challenge based on a cause-and-prejudice standard. It agreed with Rakoff’s argument that nothing stopped Gupta from arguing that the jury instructions were faulty on direct appeal from his conviction, since they were made during trial.

The panel observed that its November 2018 decision in Whitman v. United States tracks closely with the dynamics of Gupta’s case, as jury instructions were objected to at trial but weren’t pursued on appeal. Other insider trading cases pursued the line on appeal before Newman, the panel noted, making the claims in Whitman—and therefore Gupta’s case—insufficient to show cause.

Defendants in other insider trading prosecutions were contending that juries should be given narrower definitions of the personal benefit needed to find culpable insider trading,” the panel wrote. “We conclude that [Gupta] presents no viable claim that the personal benefit challenge was unavailable to his counsel on appeal.”

While the panel, having found Gupta failing the cause standard, could arguably have ended its findings there, it proceeded to address the issue of prejudice, and, in doing so, waded directly back in to the circuit’s muddied law on insider trading.

The panel first found that Gupta failed to show the personal benefit instructions were so flawed as to deny him due process, noting that the actual language provided to the jury in question spoke of “maintaining a good relationship with a frequent business partner.”

That last clause proved critical for the panel, who argued it squared with requirements under precedent, but not the Second Circuit’s most recent double take in United States v. Martoma, which is mentioned briefly later. Instead, the panel opted to return to the insider trading Ur-precedent from the Supreme Court’s 1983 decision in Dirks v. SEC.

The Dirks court set out a “varying sets of circumstances…which would warrant a finding of the tipper’s illegal purpose,” the panel noted. Despite the fact the specific language required by Newman for a tangible or pecuniary benefit was not present in Gupta’s jury instructions, the language was satisfactory under Dirks’ seemingly broader “circumstances.”

In fact, the panel’s acknowledgment that Dirks highlighting the ability for a quid pro quo relationship despite “the lack of need for proof of the tipper’s financial or tangible gain” appeared to potentially undercut a portion of the court’s holding in Newman, continuing the erosion that began with the Supreme Court’s findings in Salman v. United States and continued through the two versions of the Second Circuit’s Martoma decision.

The fact that Newman‘s requirement for proof of a tipper’s pecuniary or other tangible gain has been rejected by the Supreme Court disposes of Gupta’s contention that Newman meant the trial court’s instruction that proof of pecuniary or tangible benefit was not necessary caused him to be convicted of a crime for ‘conduct that is not criminal,’” the panel said, quoting from Gupta’s brief on appeal.

A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, which secured Gupta’s original conviction and handled the appeal, declined to comment.

Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel name attorney Gary Naftalis handled Gupta’s appeal. He did not respond to a request for comment.

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