Legendary tennis star Martina Navratilova has waded into the Blue Collar Rebellion, Oregon’s push back to the Democrats’ confiscatory global warming cap and tax bill.
The vote on the bill has been stymied by the ‘Oregon11,‘ the group of Republican senators who, after being rebuffed by Democrats on every negotiation attempt, fled the capitol building to deny the Democrats a quorum to shove through the freedom-sucking monstrosity-of-a-bill.
On Twitter on Sunday, the sports legend and gay advocate derided the Oregon state GOP as “disgusting” for pushing back on the attempt to destroy Oregon legacy jobs. She can be forgiven I suppose for missing the part about loggers and truckers begging lawmakers to kill the bill and save their jobs only to have the door metaphorically slammed in their faces.
Navratilova fled Czechoslovakia to the United States when she was 18 to escape the tyranny of the freedom-sucking commies and their StB secret police. Somewhere in the Bush 43 years, the ardent Leftist concluded that all Republicans were … commies? … and re-upped her Czech citizenship which she lost when she defected.
Now she embraces the authoritarian Brown, who has dispatched the police to arrest the Republicans and force them to show up so the Democrats can cram down the freedom-sucking climate bill.
She’s given money to anti-GOP groups:
She’s retweeted photoshopped images of President Trump carrying a torch as if a white supremacist. She’s passed along a photo of Vice President Mike Pence depicted as a drag queen.
To her, all Republicans are ‘ists’ and ‘phobes’ and are, of course, deplorable.
But the tennis icon has foot-faulted her way into the Oregon anti-HB 2020 global warming fray and right into the Blue Collar Rebellion.
The tweet in response to the Oregon GOP reads:
“You are totally disgusting. You think this what [sic] what people voted for? When you can’t gt your way to have goons come in on your behalf and take with f***ing guns?!?”
Martina was under the Democrats’ carefully planted impression that the Republicans sent ‘militias’ to stop Oregon Governor Kate Brown. Of course, the Oregon GOP explicitly said that they neither were affiliated with nor have asked for ‘militia’ to help. No ‘militias’ have come to Salem that anyone can tell.
The ‘militia’ story is an interesting way, however, to distract from the real issue for working Oregonians, such as, oh, I don’t know, losing their jobs and the heavy-handed, mafioso-like way in which the Democrats have conducted themselves.
For her part, Brown sent the Oregon State Police to – at the point of a gun, Martina – force the Republicans back to the legislative chambers to shove down the billion-dollar expansion of the government and make the little guys pay for it with their jobs.
You’d think Martina would recoil from the very behavior she’d fled from so many years ago.
I just checked her time line to see the responses Navratilova was getting to her uninformed tweet, but they apparently were too much for her. It appears her tweet was deleted.
Or maybe Navratilova joined Oregon’s Blue Collar Rebellion. If so, Martina, you’re in very good company. We’re all ‘militia’ members now.
The ‘Oregon 11’ as they’re called, left after hours of negotiations failed to roll back any of the Democrats’ global warming energy tax package. The taxes would cost Oregonians hundreds of dollars per year in gas, food, and other energy impacted living expenses (read: everything). It would snuff out logging and trucking jobs. In short, it’s a disaster.
The Democratic supermajority’s message was clear: Take it or leave it.
Oregon public opinion has followed the senate Republicans.
Oregonians hate the taxes. And they love the Republicans taking a stand. Even in deep blue Eugene:
Former GOP governor’s candidate Allen Alley pointed to this Portland poll showing 79% in support the Republican walk out.
The Democrats, cheered on by their ‘leader’ Governor Kate Brown, refused to budge on the onerous taxes, refused to remove an ’emergency clause’ on the bill to circumvent a voter referral, ignored the hundreds of people who traveled to Salem to plead with them, and blew off convoys of truckers begging Democrats not to put them out of business.
Public opinion is overwhelmingly against the cap and tax bills and solidly with the Republicans.
The Democrats have a bonafide public relations nightmare on their hands.
Now the story has piqued national interest. Scrutiny grows. Governor Kate Brown’s authoritarian tactics have been exposed and Democrats are getting a look at themselves in the mirror.
It ain’t pretty:
Brown has sicced the Oregon State Police on the senators, ordering them to forcibly bring back the Republicans to provide the Democrats a quorum to pass the hundreds of millions of dollars in new taxes.
Brown’s allies have threatened to bring back the sweeping anti-gun bills, that were dead for the session and pass them out of spite.
Democrats refused any meaningful negotiation with the Republicans
The Democrat issued “Wanted Posters” featuring the photos of Republican Senators for the Oregon Stasi to report.
Brown reportedly has been phoning mayors throughout the state, whose senators have walked out and threatened to halt state funded projects
Former GOP gubernatorial candidate Greg Wooldridge called out the ‘bullies’ in the supermajority:
With the Democrats losing the public relations battle, what to do … ? What to do…?
“Hello, Central Casting? Yes, we could use someone to conjure up some militia threats. Could you do that? Nothing specific. Don’t want them to find the source. No, I don’t want Antifa, they’re on our side. Wait, could you get the ‘militia’ guys to wear masks? That would look cool. We’ll need rural men. Jeans. Check. Plaid. Check. Big belt buckles. Fishing vests. Do you have anyone with guns? Yes, I know practically everyone in rural Oregon has a gun, but just go with me on this. Could you get ’em to carry AR-15’s? Great. We need them now. We’re losing here. Hurry up.”
In near-record time, the Oregon Democrats had conjured up ‘militia threats.’ First, The Daily Beast ‘quoted’ an ‘unnamed source’ which claimed that they would go to Idaho where the senators are rumored to be hiding to provide security for them:
One source inside the Oregon militia movement told The Daily Beast that their members were “willing to put their own lives in front of these senators’ lives.” The source claimed that dozens of armed militia members have “mobilized” to protect the state senators, and said there was potential for violence if law enforcement officials try to bring the senators back to Oregon. The source added that the militias would defend the Republicans “at any cost.” “All of these people are armed,” the source said.
In a Facebook post, Paul Luhrs, a member of the Oregon III%er militia, said the militia had “vowed to provide security, transportation and refuge for those Senators in need.”
And Republican state Senator Brian Boquist was quoted as saying he’d be damned if he’d let the Oregon State Police take him as a “political prisoner.”
One of the lawmakers on the lam, Republican Brian Boquist (R), warned that he would resort to violence rather than return to the state, implying in a local television interview that he would attack law enforcement officers sent to retrieve him.
“Send bachelors and come heavily armed,” Boquist said. “I’m not going to be a political prisoner in the state of Oregon. It’s just that simple.”
Cue the “hotbed”:
Militia groups in the Pacific Northwest—a hotbed of far-right extremist activist—claim they’ve mobilized to protect those state senators.
Wait, the GOP senators were aligning with militias?! Even the Oregonian was dubious:
Kate Gillem, a spokeswoman for the Oregon Senate Republicans, responded Friday that Oregon lawmakers aren’t interested in the offers for assistance. “The Senators are not with any militias,” she said, “and are not accepting their help.”
Say what you want about the militias – and they are – you’ve got to admit, they haven’t shot at anyone, not like the Bernie Sanders supporter who went hunting Republicans and nearly killed Congressman Steve Scalise. Or the Antifa thug who shot a protester in Portland. Or the Antifa guy who threw the IED at the cops. I could go on.
But Democrats weren’t giving up. They saw their buddies at the Beast, MSN and CNN take the bait and so, with a Rachel Maddow slot dancing in their heads, decided to up the ante. Suddenly, the autocrats in the legislature and Mahonia Hall recast themselves as victims.
Soon, rumors were percolating in the political water table by ‘threatening militias,’ who heretofore had failed to materialize anywhere, but who were descending on Salem this weekend to “Occupy the Senate.” The ‘threat’ prompted Democrat Senate President Peter Courtney to cancel the Saturday session.
Even Fox News fell for the ruse:
We at VictoriaTaft.com have located the ‘militia’ behind the Courtney shut down:
Yes, the ‘militia concern’ came from the Marion County Republican party which had begun to organize a peaceful protest at the capitol building. Seeing that it might be a problem, such as inviting more national media scrutiny and making the Democrats look bad, the session on Saturday was called off and the Republicans and any anti-global warming tax opponents were reframed as a ‘militia.’
“Do you like the cap and tax taxes?”
“You hate the earth. You’re a Nazi. You’re a fascist. You must be a militia member.”
Democrats might think Oregonians are stupid, but the vast unwashed in the ‘militia’ are only too aware of the all-pain, no-gain nature of global warming taxes. They’re aware of California’s experiment, which includes a slush fund for state Democrats.
Oregonians, ready to burst forth into a full-blown tax revolt, are now being eyed by a clueless national media as a militia. It won’t work.
Eugene area Democrat Senator Floyd Prozanski continued his contemptible way in dealing with the public on his “incoherent,” “incomprehensible,” “vindictive” bill stealing Oregonians’ Second Amendment rights by pulling another legislative-sleight-of-hand in the wee hours of this morning.
Of course he did.
As I previously pointed out,the phalanx of new guns regulations contained in Senate Bill 978 started out as a brief four paragraph ‘bill.’ Three amendments to it have ballooned the skimpy bill into a multi-thousand word sweeping change of the Oregon gun laws.
Oregon Firearms Federation chief Kevin Starrett reports that Prozanski pulled another fast-one last night, hours before a scheduled vote on the bill. Prozanski waited until after midnight and added a fourth 44 page amendment to the bill.
Starrett sent out this email blast called, “While You Were Sleeping”:
“In the still of the night, (12 .16 am this morning to be exact) Floyd Prozanski introduced yet another 44 page amendment to SB 978. This would be the “dash 4″ amendment.
It makes changes to several provisions of previous amendments including definitions of “untraceable” and “undetectable” firearms and the new prohibitions on being near a public building or airport with a firearm. Although the bill was scheduled to be voted on in the Senate Judiciary Committee today, it was moved to tomorrow’s schedule. They may very well sneak in more proposed amendments in the middle of the night before then.SB 1040 was also moved to tomorrow’s schedule. So far one amendment has been introduced to that bill. More could be coming. The Senate Judiciary Committee will meet tomorrow to move these bills at 8.15 am .HB 2013 was scheduled to be heard today in the House Judiciary Committee. That bill was also postponed until tomorrow awaiting amendments which have not been posted as of the time of this alert.Stay tuned. The fight goes on.” [emphasis added]
It’s no secret that since Oregon Democrats took over they’ve sought to be the most ‘progressive’ of all the far Left states. No tax is high enough, no baby is dead enough, no salmon worshiped enough, no forest burned enough, no foster child imprisoned enough, no baker sued enough. And no gun right endangered enough.
On Tuesday morning in Salem, the State Senate Judiciary Committee heard testimony from a few dozen Oregonians on Senate Bill 978.
The bill and its 40-page amendment is a power grab that is so massive, so breathtaking, that it would arguably prevent people from using their legal concealed carry permits because so many new places could be defined as no-go-zones for legal gun carriers. It would turn “hundreds of thousands” of legal gun owners into felons overnight. It would require that guns be locked up, an issue that animated many of those testifying against the bill.
As Oregon Firearms Federation leader, Kevin Starrett, testified, “This vindictive, incoherent bill … makes it virtually impossible to leave the home with a firearm.”
Which, of course, is the point of the bill, naturally.
Attorney and retired State Trooper, Douglas Brown predicted that “this will end up in the US Supreme Court” and testified that there “is a multitude of problems with [the bill],” including that it is “incomprehensible” making it “impossible to know if you’re breaking the law.” He warned that the incomprehensibility would leave citizens vulnerable to political prosecutions.
Phil Watson of the Firearms Policy Coalition warned that the bill is “aggressive against carrying for self defense.”
The head of the Yamhill County Sportsman’s Association, Jim Mitschel, labeled the bill “too broad.” He claimed that the language of the bill was so flabby that it appeared he couldn’t have a firearm in his home because it is, in the words of the bill, “adjacent” to a school where there’s a no-gun policy.
“I am adamantly against this bill,” the retired police officer and gun rangemaster added.
Make no mistake, there were many compelling speeches by people who want to end gun violence. Everyone in that hearing room was opposed to “gun violence,” of course.
Dr. Ben Hoffman from Doernbecher Children’s Hospital told stories of dealing with children shot with unsecured guns. He said, “It’s impossible to gun proof a kid, therefore we need to kid proof guns.”
Pastor Mark Knutsen testified about how he leads a gun-free church. I’m not sure I’d be shouting that one from the rafters, Mark.
Elizabeth McKenna, a retired attorney and member of the anti gun group “Ceasefire Oregon” testified that the fuzzy bill was “wise” and “will make us much safer in Oregon.”
Cole Rainey, sporting a Joey Nations for Congress t-shirt, ticked off a list of all the tyrannical leaders through history who have disarmed citizens and murdered their citizens. He said ‘you are putting the safety of Oregonians last and your political special interests first.’
Frank Martin, an Air Force Veteran, former law enforcement officer and gun enthusiast, told the committee that he was tired of being “… told that I’m the problem with gun violence.”
One man asked the Committee if the state would be going after Home Depot and Lowe’s for carrying nail guns.
Kim Rowlands noted that he believed the law even outlawed pepper spray, “You’ll make us less safe. You’ve made self defense free zones.”
Tammy McKenzie told Committee Members that “Guns rights are women’s rights. Guns rights are men’s rights. Guns rights are American rights.”
And in her commanding, yet matter-of-fact way, made possibly the most bracing comment of the morning, “The Second Amendment makes me equal to anyone. Anyone.”
Oregonian Dennis Powers said that “Oregon has more criminals than we need right now. This bill is designed to make gun owners criminals.”
Greg Terhune, visibly angry over the breadth of the bill, told the gathering “We will not comply. We are citizens, not subjects.”
On Tuesday morning I watched testimony before the Oregon State Senate Judiciary Committee (see post nearby) on a bill (SB 978-Amendment 1) that gun rights advocates labeled “vindictive,” “incoherent” and who warned that, if passed, would make Oregon more dangerous, not less.
Seriously, this is one hot mess of a bill and amendment. Lawd. See my nearby post.
A handful of women in the audience wore red Moms Demand Action t-shirts.
Moms Demand Action is the Michael Bloomberg-backed anti-gun rights group filled with women doing their best to smother gun rights for all Americans the way their sisters in the abortion movement smother babies in the womb. Or, if you’re in Virginia and New York, in the crib.
Similarly, they claim to be doing it ‘for the children,’ a noble cause, but, oddly, don’t support trainedand armed teachers in the classroom in Parkland, Florida. In short, they don’t want good guys to have guns, either.
The group was started by Shannon Watts. I don’t even know her but I guess she knows me.
Oh, heeeeey Shannon.
The group has the ear of Oregon state lawmakers. It opposes the Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms. It’s a radical group with values antithetical to the basic American precepts of individual freedom and freedom from governmental tyranny.
But something struck me as I watched the group’s testimony.
What was it?
Pearls? Who wears pearls to adorn a t-shirt?
Moms Demand Action, that’s who.
It’s a ‘thing’:
No, it’s really a thing.
Let’s see, what’s on my list to go testify in Salem today? Ah, yes, bring:
But you can leave the Constitution at home. You won’t be needing that.
Pearl clutching is so much a part of the group’s identity that a New Hampshire women’s pro-gun group handed out their own long strings of pearls to lawmakers to remind them that guns are equalizers and allow women to defend themselves.
And the men in the legislature wore them.
Moms Demand Action’s pearls are meant to wrong-foot their political opponents.
Male lawmaker to himself, ‘How can I publicly disagree with this woman when she looks like my mom when I was a kid? Those … pearls. Peaaaarls?! My grandma had pearls like that. Barbara Bush wore pearls. Hell, Beaver’s mom wore pearls like that.’
Cue June Cleaver:
So, what to do when you want radical change but want to keep it Lo Pro? Put “mom” in the title of your group and encourage your members to wear pearls.
The trick is to look as benign, doe-eyed and disarming as June Cleaver, while disarming America.
Public documents obtained by a Portland attorney reveal that Portland Public School staff, planned, executed and paid for what the media and the school district branded as a ‘student’ anti-Second Amendment protest last March 14th.
Willamette Week reported at the time:
Portland students at Roosevelt High School in North Portland, Lincoln in Southwest, Cleveland in Southeast, Franklin in Mt. Tabor and Sunset High in Beaverton were a few of thousands around the state, and nation, protesting for an end gun violence.
Many of the morning’s demonstrations included sitting for 17 minutes in silence—one minute for every person shot in the Florida school shooting. At Lincoln High, where Mayor Ted Wheeler was present, 17 desks were situated with 17 roses on them.
It was followed up by another one in April in which students were given time off to protest.
Portland’s protest community, or as I call them Portland Professional Protesters, Incorporated,™ permeate the community, especially in government – teaching – and quasi government non-profit jobs. I wouldn’t be too far off in suggesting that they leave school on Friday afternoon to join a drum circle by 4pm and then don a balaclava for the evening’s Antifa destruction. There is no chance they don’t bring their far Left politics to the schools. No chance. This is the state that adopted the law – offered by a teacher – to register underage voters. They call it “pre-registration.” Gee, I wonder what political organization they align with.
The Oregon Firearms Federation, a civil rights and education group, said that the local attorney who obtained the records found that the district had orchestrated everything:
In response to a Public Records Act request, PPS has now released documents showing that the demonstrations were organized by PPS, and involved a massive dedication of school resources. From the School Board (which passed a resolution calling for a ban on the possession of all semi-automatic weapons) on down to the individual schools (which reprogrammed class bells to create a special protest period, so no one would have to be marked absent from class), the entire Administration organized itself to undermine the core of our Constitutional republic.
Attorney James Buchal, who also serves as the Chair of the Multnomah County GOP, told VictoriaTaft.com that the school staffs are using kids as political human shields:
“The Portland Public Schools exploited students to manufacture political pressure for gun control, camouflaging their own anti-gun agenda as private speech by students.”
As OFF put it:
[Buchal] is seeking PPS parents and students who are willing to step forward and serve as plaintiffs in a lawsuit seeking to enjoin PPS from further political indoctrination at taxpayer expense.
Buchal says the political pressure on students in these “indoctrination factories” is onerous. He told OFF:
[U]nless parents rise to confront these indoctrination factories, America as we know it will be gone in another generation or two…
Buchal told VictoriaTaft.com that, so far, no parents have stepped forward to be plaintiffs in the case, but Buchal says they can reach him at jbuchal at mbllp.com.
Day-2 of Mike Strickland’s trial saw a pivotal moment in the case.
Lawyers for Strickland waived his right to a jury trial and opted to be tried solely by the judge.
Strickland is on trial for pulling his legally licensed, registered gun at protesters and anarchists as they rushed him to assault him–again–at a Black Lives Matter/Don’t Shoot PDX rally last July 7th in downtown Portland.
Court watchers reported Tuesday that the Portland jury pool had so many anti-gun, anti-second amendment members that Strickland wouldn’t get a fair trial. One of the prospective jurors belonged to a an anti-gun group whose leader was pushing for Strickland to be prosecuted.
The Oregonian reported that 30% of the jury pool was against guns.
Previously, Strickland’s defense team moved for a change of venue which was denied by the judge.
In day-2 testimony, the first prosecution witness was absolutely picked apart by the defense.
Court watchers reported that the cross examination was so thorough that the defense attorneys, Jason Short and Chris Trotter, were able to use the witness’s testimony to their advantage.
Witness John Slaughter is a local sports coach. He’s had gigs at Benson High School and PCC. He’s also a frequent protester and one of the organizers of the July 7 Black Lives Matter/Don’t Shoot PDX event.
Slaughter crossed paths with Strickland when the journalist was videotaping a ‘peaceful’ tribute to Orlando victims.
Activists gathered for the event immediately seized on Strickland, calling him names such as “white nationalist,” “racist” and other labels in an attempt to stop him from videotaping.
Eventually, one man grabbed his camera, explaining that it was a ‘peaceful’ vigil and that he should leave, but that didn’t stop the hate from being heaped on Strickland by ‘peaceful’ protesters.
A man wearing a dress began shrieking at Strickland and calling him, wrongly, a “white nationalist” and telling him to “get your white nationalist ass out of here”:
Activists who had gathered for the Orlando tribute were ‘triggered’ by Strickland enough to surround him, push him and try to take his camera away from him.
Let’s pause here for a second and take up the ‘white nationalist’ issue.
This white nationalist label and the left’s copious use of it to describe Strickland appears to come from the journalist’s coverage of the Portland Community College series on “whiteness.” The uncomfortable spotlight on one of the left’s pet issues–white privilege– angered them. Protesters began calling him a racist and white nationalist for showing (and sometimes mocking) the lectures on his YouTube channel.
Strickland’s stories made national news.
That infuriated the organized left.
After Strickland was arrested for drawing his weapon, PCC and Portland State University, places where he found endless story ideas, immediately banned him from campus. That ban continues today.
Prosecutor Kate Molina used the left’s ‘white nationalist’ and ‘racist’ labels to increase and enhance the charges against Strickland and keep him behind bars for a longer period of time.
Molina never provided proof, rather she relied hearsay reports–from people like John Slaughter, anti-gun crusader (and frequent Strickland object) Penny Okamoto, and, who knows, maybe that guy in the dress, to say Strickland was somehow a racist.
This game of prosecutorial ‘telephone’ cost Strickland plenty. And their adolescent group think cost Strickland his freedom.
Back to the ‘peaceful’ Orlando tribute. Eventually, one man told Strickland he could video him and even gave his job title and phone number for public consumption.
That man was John Slaughter. He was the prosecution’s first witness.
Slaughter testified that on July 7 a group of anarchists and protesters got together and conspired to go get Strickland. Their aim was to kick him out of the protest to prevent him from covering it.
Of course, he didn’t call it a conspiracy, but that’s what it was. Court watchers told me he also seemed to have no clue that planning an assault was illegal.
Slaughter was one of the organizers of the Black Lives Matter/Don’t Shoot #PDX event.
He testified that Mike’s concealed Glock was openly carried. Wrong.
He testified that cops swarmed the place. Wrong.
He testified that some of their members were armed. Oops.
He didn’t know if his “event” was permitted.
He claimed Mike was a racist and troublemaker but testified that members of his group initiated the contact with Mike to get him thrown out.
Prosecutors are hanging their hats on the idea that somehow this protest was “family friendly” and that Mike came to disrupt it as a counter protester.
One warned protesters that if they saw him go somewhere he “was going in violence.” He menacingly followed Strickland up the street after the journalist put his gun away and was backing away to safety.
And here’s John Slaughter endorsing this ‘family friendly’ violence right along with them:
Actually endorsing violence, plotting a crime and carrying it out has not resulted in Slaughter being banned from PCC, by the way.
This post about the day-2 events is late because photos from my first post were reported to the court and got one our court watchers banned from the courtroom.
Mike Strickland was indicted by Multnomah County grand jury on Thursday. The 21 count indictment alleges he “unlawfully used a” firearm and “menaced” when he unholstered his weapon and pointed it toward people on July 7th, the day of the Black Lives Matter protest. Another count of second degree disorderly conduct was added.
“Strickland was released from custody on July 19, after posting 10 percent of his $250,000 bail. He’s among 18 people who testified before the grand jury, according to the indictment.”
Victims are variously described as “a man wearing jeans, green cloth on his face,” “man in blue hooded top with messenger bag,” “man with tan pants … carrying an orange bottle,” “a man with tan pants … wearing a scarf around his neck,” “green top, dark backpack, white mask on his face,” “a female with a black skirt, black skirt and black cloth over her mouth.”
A person has a right to face his accusers, but it seems in Multnomah County you can neither know their names nor see their faces — literally. I say that only half jokingly. There’s a reason their faces are covered. They don’t want to be recognized by the cops.
More on point, however, is that there are ten unnamed people at whom the District Attorneys believe Strickland pointed his gun. They watched the video tapes out there — probably right here on this website — to come up with their victim list.
I’ll be going through the video tapes as well to see exactly which victims we’re talking about and whether they were among the ones advancing on Strickland, causing him to pull out his gun because — obviously –you won’t hear that from prosecutors.
Prosecutors are trying to make an example out of Strickland, using him as an abject lesson on how you can’t defend yourself — even if you feel in fear of your safety from advancing — by using a gun. They’re trying to move the goal posts for that law to further clamp down on gun ownership and use in Oregon’s largest city.
As one of his attorneys Jason Short told VictoriaTaft.com, the burden of proof at grand jury is much lower — it’s a prosecutor’s world:
“This isn’t a matter of whether the state can prove his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. That high standard doesn’t apply at the grand jury level. The DA has 100% control over what evidence is presented before that “secret” grand jury. The witnesses are not subject to cross examination. If the witness or “victim” has a criminal history, that may not be discussed.
“These charges themselves mean nothing without evidence being brought forward before a judge or jury under a burden of proving that evidence beyond a reasonable doubt. Keep in mind, evidence that is “clear and convincing” is not even close to proof beyond a reasonable doubt.”
They’re throwing everything they’ve got against the wall to see what sticks and hoping that Strickland will cop a plea. I pray he doesn’t. He’s innocent.
On his innocence, Short told VictoriaTaft.com:
“I’m very much looking forward to taking this case to trial. I don’t just believe, I know, that police officers believe he acted correctly and did nothing wrong. They won’t come forward for fear or being fired. We won’t have any problem finding use-of-force experts to testify that Michael acted in self-defense.”
These are serious charges carrying serious jail time should he be found guilty. Prosecutors are playing with a man’s life to further an anti-gun agenda.
Strickland’s in court today to answer to the charges.
Exactly one week ago on Monday, a Multnomah County judge found a man not guilty of doing the same thing a Portland reporter is alleged to have done on the streets of downtown Portland.
Monday, Mike Strickland will have his day in court as he asks for reduced bail in the case against him. Strickland has been charged with two felonies and two misdemeanors related to unholstering his gun as Black Lives Matter protesters charged him last week. Strickland was in fear of great bodily injury or worse.
At about 5:00 in the afternoon in October of 2015, Stevan Blagojevic was minding his own business on a walk in downtown Portland, when he happened upon an all-too-familiar scene.
Perched near the side walk was an apparently homeless man who decided for some reason that he would make Blagojevich the object of his copious amounts of scorn. Blagojevich’s attorney Jason Short told VictoriaTaft.com that the drifter decided he was going to teach Blagojevic a lesson and “kick his ass.”
The large man began charging Blagojevich — until Blagojevich unholstered his semi-automatic pistol and pointed it at him. The man stopped charging.
As Short told VictoriaTaft.com:
“My client was in fear of imminent serious physical injury and he did the right thing. This guy could have easily pummeled him, punched him, threw him on the ground. He could have killed him. So, he pulled out his gun, did what anybody would do, pointed it at him, and simply told the charging man, ‘Back the ‘f’off, get away from me!'”
As he drew down on his would-be attacker, he ordered another person to call 9-1-1 and waited for the cops.
Short says that when police arrived, Blagojevich showed them his drivers license and concealed weapons permit. He offered to show his gun to cops, who said, ‘no, just keep it in your pocket.’ Blagojevich was not cited and he went about living his life.
But months later, the Multnomah County DA decided to file a charge against Blaogojevich. He was charged with one count of menacing, which in Oregon is a Class A misdemeanor.
That case ended last Monday, when, in a bench trial, Judge Jerry Hodson found Blagojevich not guilty of menacing. Why? Because defending yourself against a charging, menacing person is not against the law. It’s actually reasonable.
This is essentially the same type of scenario that Mike Strickland confronted.
The DA’s office has already shown prejudice against Strickland by increasing the charges (see previous posts).
I have one question: Will the DA’s office admit it was wrong and drop the charges?
And Mike has a question of his own:
“What I want to know was if I can’t use my gun, what were my legal options for self defense?”
Let’s hope Multnomah County’s justice answers that question swiftly and in Mike’s favor soon. After all, the precedent was just set one week ago. And Strickland’s attorneys are Jason Short and Chris Trotter, who just successfully defended Blagojevich.
Mike Strickland was arrested and charged in Portland for pulling a gun at a Black Lives Matter/anarchist protest when a mob converged on him. But now he sits in jail. As one person put it, “[Mike Strickland] is now a political prisoner in Multnomah County.”
First, it’s been awhile since I’ve posted here. But this video of Laughing at Liberals unholstering his gun and pointing in the direction of Portland anarchists and protesters awoke me from my VictoriaTaft.com slumber. It’s time to sound off.
Second, I’m well acquainted Mike Strickland and his work. Since at least 2010, the videographer has been on the scene in Portland and the northwest chronicling important stories about the organized left. I’ve used the fruits of his labors on my radio program in Portland, on this website, and in my current radio and other work.
We’re not besties, but I should tell you that when I was asked to design an online news platform, he was the one guy I sought to be on my team. Later, when I had a chance to suggest a videographer for a California state wide candidate, I suggested Mike Strickland. He’s talented and knows when a set of facts equate to a story. I’ve been impressed by his work for himself and also for Jim Hoft’s “Progressives Today” and “Gateway Pundit” where he has done some painstaking and important work — especially on gun rights.
Third, you should know that about a year ago Strickland was attacked by an anti-second amendment filmmaker named Skye Fitzgerald and so badly hurt he was hospitalized and out of work for months. His arm was broken in three places. Though charged with a felony, Fitzgerald was never prosecuted by Multnomah County prosecutors.
Here is the video that I’m told was presented to Multnomah County prosecutors showing the beating. It has not been made public until it was shared on VictoriaTaft.com:
Even with this evidence, the DA chose not to prosecute the filmmaker, though he clearly assaulted and robbed Strickland of all his cameras (which he later returned with erased flash drives/data cards).
Reports from the left and media to the contrary notwithstanding, Strickland’s not a nut or a kook. He’s a serious young man who is fulfilling a calling to expose the manipulations of the left and the media that proliferate and quite literally shout down the voices of opposing points of view in Portland and Oregon. There are probably several things with which I disagree with Mike, Ron Paul fandom comes to mind, but he’s no ‘winger.’
So here’s what I’m going to do. I’m posting the video from a guy named “Mike Bluehair” who trained his camera on the mob surrounding Strickland in the seconds leading up to the unholstering of his gun and the aftermath. I don’t know “Mike Bluehair,” but the protesters apparently do and trust him (except the Crabbe and Goyle* of the anarchist set, who threatened him for being Strickland’s friend. No idea if that’s true.).
Please do these things:
Watch the video.
Watch my breakdown of the video.
Read for yourself what four cops and one very knowledgeable pro-second amendment activist had to say about the incident.
Share this around please. Post this link to your Facebook pages. Tweet this link to your friends. Email this link to your buddies. Instagram the link. Snapchat your reaction and include the link.
And remember: You do not have permission to copy and paste any/all of the content from this post. Use the link or use nothing at all. Contact me for permissions: Victoria@VictoriaTaft.com.
Now, let’s go over the video (I apologize for the differently sized GIFs, but apparently it can’t be helped).
The mob begins to surround Strickland:
The mob keeps coming:
Angry looking man and person with green coat converge with crowd:
Green jacketed person presumably sees gun and runs:
Strickland draws his weapon to back them off and backs away from the mob:
Strickland is asked to holster his weapon by someone off camera and complies:
“Mike Bluehair” tells mob to back off to let Strickland back away from the scene:
Angry man has to be held back by person in green jacket:
Angry man has to be restrained by another protester. Note that green jacket person has now put on Guy Fawkes mask:
Strickland tells mob to stop anarchists advancing on him:
The mob follows Strickland as he backs his way up the street:
Sideways hat advances while gray hoodie guy advances to the side and assaults Strickland:
The Crabbe and Goyle * of the anarchist set threaten the photog:
Angry man is back, this time with his anarchist kerchief, and advances toward Strickland:
The rest of the video involves police arriving, arresting Strickland and people being questioned. No one says they were menaced by Strickland.
It’s quite serious to draw your weapon, but if you fear for your life or fear great bodily injury, it’s a defensible thing to do. But that’s just my take. I decided to go to the experts.
I asked four cops to tell VictoriaTaft.com what they saw in this video. I’ve given all of them anonymity because of the explosive nature of this case and, after all, they have to live in the area. The only editing is for clarification and brevity.
First up is a 30+ year veteran who’s still on the job in Oregon:
“Clearly the man was afraid of the crowd. There is no crime committed, the man seemed obviously alarmed by the crowd and was backing away from the threat. Whether the threat was real or not is irrelevant, he felt threatened.”
“There is no crime committed”
Next is a long time cop in Oregon:
“Didn’t see what was going on to cause him to point a weapon initially. Clearly he was being menaced by a crowd hostile to him, who they seem to know. Many wearing full or partial masks, one holding a smoking object toward the gentleman, who was trying to back away.
At one point while backing, one of them got behind him and grabbed at him. Officer repeatedly ask if they felt menaced and he says no. Not sure why he was charged with menacing and disorderly, no victim was identified and a reasonable and prudent person might conclude he feared for his safety.
[N]ot a attorney, but his past assault and circumstances with the crowd might make a case for feeling threatened and he was attempting to leave, the videographer was shouting “If you want to be safe leave”
Menacing is a catch all misdemeanor charge, you might want to review ORS 161.205(5) A person may use physical force upon another person in self-defense or in defending a third person, in defending property, in making an arrest or in preventing an escape, as hereafter prescribed in chapter 743, Oregon Laws 1971. Oh and ORS 161.219(1) Applies to use of Deadly Physical Force.”
“Clearly he was being menaced by a crowd hostile to him, who they seem to know.”
Next is a retired police investigator who was on the job in Oregon:
“Here’s anonymous (please) take. It’s LOL. I have no idea who the videographer is, but he’s got a great set of lines. My impression is that he’s in cahoots with L[a]l, but he’s also asking the cops not shoot him, and I recognize that as leftie bullshit. He said straight out the HE didn’t feel threatened by L[a]L, so there goes a serious charge where HE is concerned and leaves (if unjustified) a charge of pointing a firearm at another.
The stinkin’ Justice Center and Federal building are teeming with cameras which might show what happened earlier, before this video started, which is about the ONLY evidence I would consider AGAINST L[a]L, because this film shows assholes following him and surrounding him in spite of the videographer’s urging them not to.
For a criminal case, it is incomplete and ends with the videographer coaching a man with the words it takes to GET a complaint issued rather than merely asking the questions and listening to the answers.
Beats me, but given the facts of the personages in the crowd and L[a]L’s long history without similar trouble, the most he’d likely face if I was heading this up is a trip to the Grand Jury along with all the “witnesses” (who likely wouldn’t even show up).”
“[G]iven the facts of the personages in the crowd and L[a]L’s long history without similar trouble…”
And finally, a politically connected, retired police administrator in Oregon pointed out the untenable political situation in which the Portland Police Bureau now finds itself:
“It’s difficult to know where to start. [Laughing at Liberals] came ready for trouble because he was armed. It might be that he carries a firearm all the time [editor’s note: Strickland has a legal concealed carry permit and frequently carries].
Generally, provide the kind of calm and strength a community needs circumstances more than anything else. It is here where the confidence in the police force pays huge dividends. That’s one reason why Dallas, for the most part, remains calm even though this shooter was black and the victims were white.
Yes, and Portland, Oregon is in very sad shape in terms of political and police leadership at this point. I don’t understand how it is that the city has gotten so far out of control and lost the respect of its citizens.
The cops are doing their best under the circumstances, however when there is so little confidence in the mayor, the city council and their guidance and leadership choices for the Police Bureau, troops on the street are under a great deal of pressure every day.”
I asked former police executive if Strickland had broken the law:
“Tough call. On its face maybe not.”
Then came the political rationale for arresting Strickland in the first place which was to appease the anarchists:
“[O]ften the decision to arrest on the street other than the intent of the law is to address the larger issues in this case: restore or maintain the peace and also to re-establish that the police are in control.
I am not sure there was any choice in the moment given the facts and the and the need to end the situation. What you to ask yourself is: can we allow the perception that guns drawn in these situations between the citizenry should be the new norm? That is not to say that the charges will stand when the DA has a chance to review the entire set of facts. Of course, by that time, the street has returned to some kind of calm and the situation ends safely.
Unfortunately, once in awhile the probably cause to make an arrest to keep the peace trumps the interest of the individual. In the end, the question becomes proof beyond a reasonable doubt.
A reasonable person may think [Strickland] broke the law but that doesn’t mean his actions will be judged to have been [unlawful].”
“Q: Did he break the law? A: On its face maybe not.”
“I can’t think of a situation that is more appropriate for defensive use of a weapon…”
He says the way in which the prosecutors increased the charges at the arraignment, raised the bail to $250,000 when they would have let anyone else go, the bizarre hearsay entered as ‘fact’ at the hearing, and the fact that the organized left has made Strickland a target with websites have basically made Strickland a pariah:
“[Mike Strickland] is a political prisoner in Multnomah County Jail. That is absolutely the case.”
Starrett says even some gun owners believe Strickland should not have been at the protest in the first place. He’s in that camp. But, he says, “he had every right to be there.” Furthermore, the head of the OFF told VictoriaTaft.com:
“[I]f I were approached by a crowd like that, that I believe intended to do me harm, a deranged mob mentality — can you win in that situation…probably not. But I can’t think of a situation that is more appropriate for defensive use of a weapon. He had a right to be there. Was it a great idea? No. He went into enemy territory. But there are war correspondents in the same situation.”
Starrett says the videographer’s own footage could exonerate him:
“The only video that counts is the one he shot. But I wouldn’t be surprised if it disappears [in prosecutors’ custody].”
And it’s the way forward that has Starrett concerned as well:
“What’s happening now with him is part of a grander thing. They’re determined to make an example out of him. He’s the easiest bone to throw them [the leftist power structure of Portland].”
Starrett told VictoriaTaft.com that OFF is ready to help with attorneys fees, but starting out with an outsized bail is going to sap valuable resources. This issue is bigger than their war chest can cover.
Starrett, who teaches firearms law and self defense law, told VictoriaTaft.com:
“I have only the videos to go on, but as an instructor I believe that after drawing his firearm, he holstered as soon as he thought it was safe and we tell people to do that.”
Starrett doesn’t hold out much hope that a pro Second Amendment person will get fair treatment in Portland:
“In any rational county they would have carted him off and cited him. Multnomah County is still predisposed against him. After all, he was attacked on video and his attacker was able to walk.”
And then he revealed his worst fear:
“A conservative person cannot expect justice in multnomah county.”
A private Facebook page has been set up to give support to Strickland and keep track of his case.
To help defray the costs of Strickland’s defense case, Oregon Firearms Federation is continuing to take donations at its Foundation with a credit card or via snail mail. Checks to the 501c3 organizations can be made out to Oregon Firearms Federation Foundation (marked Mike Strickland defense) and mailed:
PO Box 556 Canby OR 97013503-263-5830
*Draco Malfoy’s thuggish friends from the Harry Potter series.
And remember: You do not have permission to copy and paste any/all of the content from this post. Use the link or use nothing at all. Quotes will be attributed to VictoriaTaft.com. Contact me for permissions: Victoria@VictoriaTaft.com.
Days after the Baltimore’s Freddie Gray riots, there was another incident that almost became another apocryphal ‘Hands up, Don’t Shoot’ moment.
A version of his post was originally published by Victoria Taft at PoliticalVanguard.com
Sometimes you watch the news or hear ‘man on the street’ interviews on the radio and later, when the truth comes out, wonder to yourself, ‘Where did that cockamamie story come from?’
In the Michael Brown case in Ferguson, Missouri, interviews contained in both the Grand Jury testimony and the federal investigation revealed Brown’s friend, Dorian Johnson, conceived of the ‘hands up, don’t shoot’ narrative and began to spread it around.
Investigators later deemed doubtful Johnson’s ability to see the last seconds of his friend’s life because of where he claimed to be hiding.
But, by the time he was finished, Johnson was on TV blatantly spouting the ‘hands up, don’t shoot’ narrative, and people, later ruled not credible by the authorities, picked up the story and lied under oath.
It was untrue but it was everywhere. And even after it was disproved, protesters still used it.
Protesters used the ‘hands up’ meme in Baltimore, well after the world learned it was bogus.
Just days after the riots in Baltimore, ‘the big lie’ almost happened again.
A man was stopped by cops and subdued after he pulled out a revolver at Pennsylvania and North — the flashpoint of the original riots.
MSNBC host, Joy Reid, was on the ground and spoke to the “victim’s” relative, who revealed the name of the man “shot” and the fact he was only reaching at his waist band.
Fox News was on live and reported the “shooting”, but walked back the story within minutes. Shepherd Smith apologized and said they’d “screwed up”.
MSNBC never recanted, and instead blamed Twitter for their story.
MSNBC went on the air, with a person actually on the ground, and reported a falsehood for which they never apologized. They also talked to the “victim’s” family member who lied about the incident and never apologized.
But MSNBC was right about one thing: They saw the story on Twitter. I know that because I did too.
The Tweet talked of a shooting and contained a link leading to a live-stream of the “shooting” scene.
And here’s what I saw:
After hearing a gun shot, people came upon the scene only to see a man lying on the ground. Police surrounded him.
Within seconds, a few people on scene began pronouncing the man face down on the ground had ‘been shot’.
Though there was no blood and angry people were close enough to see, the story caught fire.
Soon, a bigger group of angry people converged at the site and, within seconds, a couple of angry men began confronting cops within inches of their faces and accusing them of shooting the black man on the ground. You can hear their voices saying:
The police shot him! They done shot him, bro! They shot him? They shot in him the back, man!
Another voice rang out urging people to go after one of the cops:
He’s the cop! He’s the cop!
That prompted a man to confront an officer — as if picking a school yard fight — getting within inches of the officer’s face and taunting:
You shot my man, yo? You shot my man, yo? You shot my man, yo?
The man recording the event and putting it out over the internet pronounced:
Hey, police just shot someone! Police just shot SOMEONE IN THE BACK! Tweet it out, please? POLICE JUST SHOT SOMEONE. They just shot someone and they maced someone. They shot that man in the back. Tweet it out. BALTIMORE POLICE JUST SHOT A MAN IN THE BACK! Now they’re macing people for no reason!
Then he beckoned them to come riot:
Come to Penn and North now.
Soon, the woman caught on tape and who was used in several TV news stories came along to declare:
I watched that man shoot him! I watched it with my own eyes!
Guy taking video:
File a report on the M******F****r!
He escalated his rhetoric and urged riot again:
Come down to Penn & North NOW! Those M*****F*****r cops. They maced someone. Tweet it out!
And someone did. And that’s when I saw it and MSNBC News did, too.
But just when you think things could spin out of control, they got worse. Someone’s voice in the crowd authoritatively pronounced:
They just shot that man in the back.
The person recording the event embellished:
Baltimore police just shot a man in the back. Baltimore police just shot that man in the back. THEY HAD HIM IN CUFFS AND THEY F*****G SHOT IN HIM THE BACK!
Almost none of what they said was true. They just made it up.
Police did pepper spray some of the people who were getting out of control and pushed them down the street and out of the way of the take down.
A Baltimore police officer told anyone who asked him that the man was seen with the gun. WBAL radio reported he’d been spotted via the ‘City Crime Watch’ camera. When he saw cops, he reached for his gun, dropped it, the gun discharged and cops seized upon him:
A fleeing suspect pulled out a revolver, which went off, and no officers fired their weapons, police said, denying conflicting reports from people at the scene.
If that guy had been shot by officers another big lie would have gathered even more momentum. As it was, this was bad enough. Later, the paid professional protesters, of whom Deray McKesson is one, launched an assault on the media.
Deray was on the ground in Ferguson and won some fame for his activism there. Then he packed his bags and showed up in Baltimore. He was identified by Wolf Blitzer of CNN as a Baltimore community organizer. Deray, originally from Baltimore, is not.
I’d show you Deray McKesson’s original tweet, but he blocked me after I outed him as a professional peripatetic protester.
Wresting the narrative is important.
Trayvon Martin thought George Zimmerman was gay and was worried the neighborhood watch captain would sexually ‘molest’ him. We found that out in Zimmerman’s trial from none other than Martin’s girlfriend, Rachel Jeantel, who was on the phone with Martin as he eyed the man watching him.
The teenager was also high on marijuana, his toxicology tests showed THC in his system when he got into it with Zimmerman.
And he was coming back from the store where he purchased items to make ‘Sizzurp’ to get another high. But to the media and in the world of the Reverend Al Charlatan, Martin was a be-haoloed teen angel who was just trying to get home with his Skittles and Arizona Iced Tea.
Michael Brown was a 6’4″ 300lb ‘Gentle Giant’ who wouldn’t hurt a fly. He traveled the streets of Ferguson in his cap and gown, setting an example for all youth while readying himself for his college career. He was only trying to comply with Officer Darren Wilson. He put his hands up and innocently pleaded with the malevolent Officer not to hurt him.
Reality: He ‘jacked up an old Asian man at the store, took a bunch of Swisher Sweets to roll blunts and attacked a cop, going for his gun.
Things in Baltimore were bad enough. Six cops are under indictment. You don’t have to lie to make things look bad, they already are.
The left tried to make it worse, foment riots and create another urban legend and new narrative. And you saw it in real time.