By Jeff Childers
Good morning, C&C, it’s Tuesday! We’re now in the bottom half of May, heading toward summer. It’s beautiful weather here in North Florida this morning. I was traveling last night, so the today’s roundup focuses on two deep-dives: how blue state police defenders are trying to address the crime problem; the Durham report exploded onto the scene yesterday; and a heartwarming video illustrating one of the important differences between New York and Florida.
🗞💬 *WORLD NEWS AND COMMENTARY* 💬🗞
🔥 Do you, like me, ever meditate over whether democrat politicians actually understand where crime comes from? WBAL-TV Baltimore ran an odd story late last week headlined, “‘Vehicular Crime Wave’: Baltimore Suing Kia and Hyundai Over Lack of Anti-Theft Tech.”
As far as I can tell, the timeline is that, about a year ago, innovative online car thieves figured out how to hack certain entry-level car Korean models that still use un-chipped mechanical keys, by using an everyday USB cable. The USB plug happens to fit right over a nub sticking out of the torn-open key socket, and lets the crooks start up the cars.
It’s basically just a low-tech way to hotwire some modern cars. A 2022 CNBC article about the phenomenon called it as “old-fashioned as you can imagine:”
The trend challenges teens to steal a car off the street by breaking into the car, popping off the steering wheel column and hot wiring the vehicle using a USB cable, similar to the wire used to charge a phone.
“The viral nature of how this has taken off on social media — it’s accelerated this like we’ve never seen,” Dart said. ”[The perpetrators are] doing it in 20 to 30 seconds. It literally is as old-fashioned as you can imagine.”
Back in the 1980’s, kids would’ve used a flat-headed screwdriver to hotwire a car, instead of a USB cable. Mostly-teenaged miscreants have been spreading the hacking instructions around on TikTok in the form of a “challenge.” They steal cars, take a joyride, and post their shenanigans for others to enjoy and critique.
You’d think kids posting the evidence on TikTok using their verified accounts would make it easier for police to make some arrests. You’d think that.
For some reason, this hooligan-fueled vehicular crime wave has hit deep-blue cities the worst, including the lawsuit’s plaintiffs: Baltimore, St. Louis, and — of course — Seattle. They’ve really had a trying time. Juvenile offenders have been clogging up the streets with illicit drag races and spinning donuts in front of the mayor’s house and stuff.
So the Seattle and Baltimore mayors along with their city councilpersons — one hundred percent wide-left woke democrats — put their brains together, filling several teaspoons, and tried to calculate the very best way to respond to this new crime wave.
Hmm … crime … how can we combat this … who or what can stop crimes … what to do … what have cities done in the past … baffling
Suddenly — eureka! They had it! Several commissioners even sloshed their organic, farm-friendly kava drinks in palpable excitement. A solution had finally been found!
There it was, right in front of their woke faces the whole time: Sue the companies that make the cars for not stopping the crimes! It’s brilliant!
You literally cannot make this stuff up. Just to make sure I wasn’t running off with a hot take, I jumped on PACER this morning and found the lawsuit for myself. After the Mayors’ first submission was rejected for forgetting to include the summons with their complaint, they finally got it filed right, and I read all 17 pages of leftist gobbledygook.
The blue cities sued Kia and Hyundai on a single common-law count: public nuisance, for failing to install an electronic key system in their affordable entry-level cars, rather than an old-fashioned, inexpensive mechanical key system. In paragraph 37, the complaint admits that Hyundai does separately sells a theft-prevention device for $170 plus installation, but the mayors are asking a jury to find that the cars should have included a more expensive electronic key system “for free.”
You see, Kia and Hyundai only care about profits. They don’t care about kids spinning donuts in front of the mayor’s house.
Here’s the cities’ theory, summarized in paragraph 9 of the complaint:
The dramatically increased rate of Hyundai and Kia theft in Baltimore has required city and police resources that would not have been needed but for Hyundai and Kia’s deliberate failures. Car thieves—many of them teenagers—take advantage of these failures and engage in reckless driving, creating substantial safety risks to themselves and Baltimore residents and their property.
Police resources … hmm … reminds me of SOMETHING … what was it again?
Oh! I got it. And I really hate to do this. But I feel it is only fair to point out one teeny-tiny inconvenient little fact, it might not have anything to do with this, who knows, but I feel it is legitimate to at least put it on the table, since these three otherwise unrelated cities have at least two things in common.
Consider the significance, if any, of the following headlines, all published within the last two years:
Haha! Watson, we’ve detected a clue! The three disparate cities experiencing lawless, out-of-control car theft crime waves have two things in common: decades of one-party democrat rule, and second, they’ve all been busily defunding their police departments.
You see where I’m going here. In blue cities, it’s the victims’ job to stop crime, not the government. If Hyundai and Kia made buyers sign a waiver when they bought the cheaper cars, then the cities would have no option but to sue the owners, for buying a car that isn’t a fortress.
Under no circumstances will the cities sue the teenaged hooligans or their parents. Or arrest them. They are victims too, TikTok-posting victims of a patriarchal white-supremacist system that stops these teenagers from developing good morals or a conscience or finding anything more productive to do with their time.
🔥 In the most remarkable news of the year, the Washington Examiner ran a story yesterday headlined, “Durham Report: FBI and DOJ Had No Proper Basis to Launch Trump-Russia Investigation.”
At long last, and well before the 2024 presidential campaign gets going, so nobody can accuse him of manipulating the politics, special counsel John Durham issued his final report on the Russia Collusion hoax yesterday. It clocks in at novel length, 306 pages.
Here’s the unsurprising, but official, conclusion:
“Based on the evidence gathered in the multiple exhaustive and costly investigations of these matters, neither U.S. law enforcement nor the Intelligence Community appears to have possessed any actual evidence of collusion in their holdings at the commencement of the Crossfire Hurricane investigation.”
They never had any evidence, and they never found any evidence, either.
Mr. Durham’s report described how, from the summer of 2016, the FBI was already completely aware that the Clinton campaign planned “to vilify Donald Trump by stirring up a scandal claiming interference by the Russian security services.” They did nothing about it, except wait for their chance to leap in and help out, once Team Clinton delivered their 100% false dossier.
The report also described how the FBI handled similar Clinton-related controversies completely differently:
“The speed and manner in which the FBI opened and investigated Crossfire Hurricane during the presidential election season based on raw, unanalyzed, and uncorroborated intelligence also reflected a noticeable departure from how it approached prior matters involving possible attempted foreign election interference plans aimed at the Clinton campaign.”
“Unlike the FBI’s opening of a full investigation of unknown members of the Trump campaign based on raw, uncorroborated information, in this separate matter involving a purported Clinton campaign plan, the FBI never opened any type of inquiry, issued any taskings, employed any analytical personnel, or produced any analytical products in connection with the information. This lack of action was despite the fact that the significance of the Clinton plan intelligence was such as to have prompted the Director of the CIA to brief the President, Vice President, Attorney General, Director of the FBI, and other senior government officials about its content within days of its receipt.”
Disappointingly, Durham did not issue any new criminal charges. It’s possible Durham might have been a smidge discouraged after the first three individuals Durham charged were found ‘not guilty’ by DC juries.
The report is only beginning to take off. Republican House investigators are already on it:
And the FBI, which by all accounts looks predictably terrible in Durham’s report, promptly issued a statement yesterday saying, don’t worry, they already fixed all the problems, you can totally trust them:
Whew, I’m glad that’s been handled, and now we don’t have to worry about the FBI.
There are hot takes all over the place expressing every possible opinion, but there were signs that even the left realizes the Durham report will be a problem. Yesterday, CNN anchor Jake Tapper surprisingly called Durham’s report “devastating” to the FBI and even grudgingly admitted it exonerates Trump, albeit “to a degree.”
Representative Matt Gates hilariously called the FBI a “disinformation agency,” and vowed the report is “an insufficient consequence:”
On Fox yesterday, the Federalist’s CEO Sean Davis even called the FBI “a domestic terror organization” that “perpetrated a hoax directed at conning and gaslighting the American people.” He explained, “I have a hard time looking at this [Durham report] and coming to any other conclusion than that the FBI has to be defunded, because this wasn’t one or two rogue agents. This happened from the very top.”
So far, with most of us not yet having read the dense, 300+ page government document, the ultimate significance of the report’s conclusions aren’t immediately visible.
But one thing is certain: a politically-weaponized FBI helped Hilary Clinton interfere with the 2020 election, directly or indirectly.
And we all know — from January 6th — how bad interfering with an election is. It’s an insurrection. It’s seditious. And what we know of the Durham report so far is 100 times worse than January 6th, maybe 1,000 times worse.
There are lots of good federal investigations and prosecutions happening that nobody ever hears about. For instance, an opposing lawyer in one of my most difficult cases was recently arrested and charged for child porn trafficking — including very young children (under 5). The arrest was handled very skillfully, because the lawyer headed his firm’s child exploitation group and could’ve argued that the materials on his computer were just work product. They had to catch him in the act.
FBI agents did catch him in the act, with perfect timing, and it was a great job. Those honest, capable law enforcement agents should be valued and rewarded. But the politicized FBI is a gigantic problem, and it raises legitimate questions about whether the FBI should be broken up and reassigned back to the States.
Many frustrated and repeatedly-disappointed folks will predict “nothing is going to happen,” which is what the left and its corporate media would certainly prefer. But it’s way too soon to conclude anything like that. The significance of the Durham report is that it provides an official government determination of whatever everyone has known for years, but couldn’t “prove.”
The key is, the “proving” part is now over. The left can no longer rely on the old “no evidence” gag. My guess is the report is going to grow a LOT of legs, like a political centipede, and it will run in all kinds of surprising directions. For just one example, we can start untangling the web of democrat lies over the last four years, where they’ve claimed that any questions about the legitimacy of the election were “conspiracy theories” or “disinformation.”
It turns out THEY were the conspiracy theorists and the disinformers.
We will patiently wait for a strong conservative legislative response, as the proper next step in the “correct” process of addressing these problems. And I will continue to report as this critically-important story develops. But I promise you this: if the Republicans don’t take up the flag and run with it, then we will do it ourselves. You can take that to the bank.
(Just not Silicon Valley Bank.)
🔥 Finally, in this heartwarming video clip released by the Escambia County sheriff, a Florida homeowner legally defends himself from three armed home invaders. (Nobody gets killed.)
As you can see in the clip, the sheriff took pains to explicitly say the homeowner would NOT be charged for anything, it was legitimate self-defense.
There’s one more reason Florida is a better place to live than New York.
Fortunately, today’s video clip doesn’t include any larger birds gulping down smaller birds, which I found hilarious, but I overlooked the fact that it might give our hardcore animal lovers the sads, people who prefer that animals, like humans, should all get along, play nicely, and never ever hurt each other on purpose. Especially eating each other in one gigantic bite. That’s totally rude, a faux pas of pelican-like proportions.
Sorry animal lovers! I won’t use any more animals-snacking-on-animals clips for the roundups’ uplifting climax.
Have a terrific Tuesday! I’ll see you guys back here tomorrow for even more delicious Coffee & Covid.
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© 2022, Jeff Childers, all rights reserved
The views expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Citizens Journal Florida.