The Loophole in Background Check Thinking: Criminals Obey the Law

Gun control groups expend an awful lot of ink, time and money advocating for “common-sense public safety laws” like “universal” background checks because such restrictions, they claim, will keep guns out of the hands of criminals and other dangerous people.

It’s peculiar, then, that many of these entities don’t do a better job of background-checking their own adherents and associates. Not too long ago, then-California state senator Leland Yee (D), whose staunch support of gun control measures earned him a spot on the Brady Campaign’s “Gun Violence Prevention Honor Roll,” was accused of committing various felonies, including illegal firearms trafficking and money laundering offenses. Following a plea agreement in which he acknowledged his participation in a firearms trafficking conspiracy, among other offenses, Yee was sentenced to five years in jail.

Members of the Michael Bloomberg-founded Mayors Against Illegal Guns (MAIG), now reconfigured as Everytown for Gun Safety, popped up in the news with such embarrassing regularity due to arrests and convictions for crimes, including gun crimes, that the New York Post ran an editorial in 2013 titled “Illegal mayors against guns.”

And last month, a criminal complaint filed in federal court in Illinois alleges that a certain Francisco Sanchez violated a federal gun law that prohibits possession of a firearm by a felon. The snag is that at the time, Mr. Sanchez (a.k.a. “Smokey”) was apparently working as a supervisor at CeaseFire Illinois, as highlighted in a February feature by the Everytown-funded website, The Trace.   

The affidavit in support of the criminal complaint states that Mr. Sanchez was convicted of murder and aggravated battery in 1986, and adds the more disturbing allegation that he is the “national leader of the Gangster Two-Six Nation,” a street gang “prevalent throughout Chicago” and in other states. Mr. Sanchez’s arrest occurred as part of a larger federal investigation of gang-related gun and drug trafficking in which other suspected gang members or associates were apprehended and over 100 firearms were seized.

Of course, the complaint contains only allegations, not evidence, and Mr. Sanchez and his fellow defendants remain innocent until proven guilty. However, the arrests – which took place shortly before the Memorial Day weekend – coincided with a drop in gun homicides as compared to last year’s holiday weekend.

We’ve written before about how criminals get guns, including this study at Chicago’s Cook County Jail that concluded criminals bypass legal sources in favor of guns obtained from “family, gang members, or other social connections.”

Expanded background check laws won’t stop criminals because criminals ignore the law. Nonetheless, Everytown and others of its ilk will continue to call for ever-increasing restrictions and laws affecting law-abiding gun owners in the name of prohibiting felons, violent criminals, and gang members from obtaining guns. Honest gun owners will continue to do what they’ve always done: obey the law.

VIDEO: ‘Jerusalem Liberation Day 2017’ on Location at the Western Wall

June 10,1967. Israeli paratroopers reach the Western Wall

On June 16, 2017, HAMAS praised the killing of a 23 year old Jerusalem Border Police Officer, Ms. Hadas Malka, by Islamic State jihadis, right at the Damascus Gate in the Old City.

On May 24, I and The United West team were at that exact location covering the miraculous defeat by Israel of a coalition of Arab countries, fifty years earlier, on June 7th, 1967.

This defeat on Mohammad’s warriors enabled Israel to reunify and completely control Jerusalem, the capitol of their homeland for thousands of years. It is because of this defeat of the Arabs by the Jews that that Islamic terrorism continues against Jewish people today. The world, America, free people everywhere must study the facts and stand with the State of Israel, the ONLY democratic country in the entire Middle-East.

EDITORS NOTE: If you would like to join with The United West, as we defend Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish State and Israel’s right to have Jerusalem as their undivided capitol, please contact us at: Tom@TheUnitedWest.org.

UK: Police Commissioner Suggests Value of Armed Citizenry, is Quickly Rebuffed

Every once in a great while, an independent-minded United Kingdom official is overcome with a bout of common sense on firearms. However, such outbursts of reason are typically short-lived, as the gun control apostate becomes the immediate target of the country’s anti-gun establishment politicians and media. Such was the case in 2014, when former Leader of the United Kingdom Independence Party and Member of the European Parliament Nigel Farage had the temerity to point out that the UK’s handgun ban is “ludicrous” and call for its repeal.

Devon and Cornwall Police and Crime Commissioner Alison Hernandez

Following the recent terror attacks in Manchester and London, Devon and Cornwall Police and Crime Commissioner Alison Hernandez was taken by a similar case of logic. During a June 12 appearance on BBC Radio Cornwall, Hernandez suggested that armed citizens could provide an important response to a terrorist violence.

According to an account and audio of Hernandez’s BBC appearance made available by the Guardian, a caller – who is a firearms dealer — to the radio show asked the police commissioner, “If there should ever be a terrorist attack, what happens if I and other people try to defend themselves using those guns? What would be the repercussions?” After lauding the caller’s question, Hernandez responded that such an armed response “might be some of our solution to our issues.”

The audibly dumbfounded BBC host, called the caller’s proposal “vigilantism,” going on to question the caller’s ability to properly handle and use firearms. Even after the host’s initial derisive comments, Hernandez defended her position stating, “I’m just saying, let’s officially have a look at that and see what would be the implications of it…. We work with businesses to keep our communities safe. I’d really be interested in exploring that with the chief constable.”

Unfortunately, Hernandez’s rational position was lost on Chief Constable Shaun Sawyer and Deputy Chief Constable Paul Netherton. The same day as Hernandez’s interview, Netherton issued a response to the police commissioner’s comments that appears to foreclose even a discussion about the use of private firearms to stop a terrorist threat.

In the release, Netherton noted that during an attack, “highly trained police firearms officers and Special Forces will be deployed to protect our communities,” and that “Under no circumstances would we want members of the public to arm themselves with firearms, not least because officers responding would not know who the offenders were, and quite obviously they would not have the time to ask.”

Netherton also reiterated official UK response policy, stating, “Our message to the public is a simple one: to run, to hide and to tell.” This charge is a noticeably neutered version of the United States Department of Homeland Security’s “Run, Hide, Fight.”

Just as disturbing as the UK’s disrespect of the fundamental right to self-defense is the ongoing effort by the UK’s political and media establishment to preclude any debate on the topic. Nigel Farage’s comments on the handgun ban were met with “fury,” with one opposing lawmaker dismissing Farage’s Ukip party as “extremely dangerous.” The BBC host dismissed Hernandez’s comments and the caller’s question out of hand. Likewise, Netherton released a statement refuting Hernandez’s position without exploration or discussion. Far from radical, Hernandez’s thoughts on fighting terrorism are shared by former Interpol Secretary General Ronald K. Noble.

Such foreclosure of discourse is unbecoming a so-called liberal democracy. Today’s UK would do well to rediscover the great English classical liberal philosopher John Stuart Mill, as his work on the merits of free thought and vigorous discourse appears to be foreign to most of its subjects.

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Senator Rubio: ‘America is reaching out its hand to the people of Cuba’

Miami, FL – Speaking ahead of President Trump’s announcement regarding changes to Cuba policy, U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) praised the new terms, saying they will empower the Cuban people instead of their oppressors in the Castro regime.

“A year and a half ago, a president, an American president, landed in Havana, to outstretch his hand to a regime,” said Rubio. “Today, a new president lands in Miami to reach out his hand to the people of Cuba.”

REMARKS OF SENATOR MARCO RUBIO:

The Sunday after the presidential election, I was at Dadeland Mall, I was in the parking lot of Dadeland Mall, and I called President-elect Trump on his cell phone to congratulate him on his victory.

And one of the first things he said to me is, “what are we going to do to help the Cuban people?”

A few weeks later, I had the honor of flying with him to Central Florida on Air Force One, and he again, in the midst of that conversation, asked, “what are we going to do to help the Cuban people?”

My wife and I had the opportunity to dine with him and the First Lady in the White House, and in the middle of that conversation he asked,  “what are we going to do to help the Cuban people, and the people of Venezuela who are also living under a dictatorship?”

Six weeks ago in the Oval Office, the president of the United States, gathered with the members of his cabinet, made a very clear decision: we are going to do whatever it takes to empower the Cuban people, so that they can be free and live in a democracy and have economic and political liberties that they deserve, like everyone else in this hemisphere deserves. And he has not faltered in that commitment.

The cooperation, the hard work, the commitment that this White House and that President Trump has shown to this cause, I believe has no precedent, certainly in the modern history of this great cause.

We have been helped by many who have aligned with us, some who could not be here today. I do want to recognize Resident Commissioner Jenniffer González‏ of Puerto Rico, nuestra hermana de la isla de Puerto Rico que está junto con nosotros, that’s who’s with us on this issue.

But what I want you to know, is that in every single one of those instances in which the president spoke about Cuba, he also spoke about Brigade 2506.

Because a few weeks before the election, first the first time in decades, he went to visit their museum, where they endorsed him – meaning the first time in decades that they had endorsed a presidential candidate.

And there isn’t a single time that I have spoken to the president about Cuba that he has not mentioned the brigade.

And that strikes me because it reminds us that, almost 60 years ago, when they were young men willing to fight and to die for the freedom of their homeland, they made an extraordinary sacrifice. And perhaps some of them felt that the time to make a difference for them had passed. But I want them to know that almost 60 years later, they have made a difference. That meeting, and their efforts, I believe as much as anything else, has brought us to this day.

And we just landed at the airport, I had the honor of flying on Air Force One. They have the best M&Ms on the planet. And you can take red lights when you’re part of the motorcade that comes in, legally. Without those crazy cameras. Nevermind, I don’t want to talk about that. [Laughter] Get rid of the cameras, yeah.

And it struck me as the plane landed and we were getting into the cars that brought us here, and we look at the president coming down the steps, he was greeted by dissidents, by freedom fighters, by people, some of whom and on the island of Cuba have suffered greatly in the hands of this repressive regime. And less than a year and a half ago, an American president landed in Havana, greeted by a regime.

A year and a half ago, a president, an American president, landed in Havana, to outstretch his hand to a regime. Today, a new president lands in Miami to reach out his hand to the people of Cuba.

And I close with this. I close with this. Many will characterize this as an effort to punish the Cuban regime. And it will punish the Cuban military that oppresses its people and helps Maduro oppress their people in Venezuela. But more than anything else, this change empowers the people of Cuba. Not the government, not the regime, but the people. So that they can enjoy the freedom and the liberty, with a very clear message: America is prepared to outstretch its hand and work with the people of Cuba, but we will not, we will not empower their oppressors.

And you mark my words. And you mark my words. Whether it’s in six months, or six years, Cuba will be free. And when it is, and when it is, and when it is, I believe that the people on the island and history will say, that perhaps the key moment in that transition began on this day, here in this theater, with each of you, and with a president that was willing to do what needed to be done so that freedom and liberty returns to the enslaved island of Cuba.

Voy a ser bien breve, voy a ser bien breve que es muy difícil para un Cubano y para un senador ser breve pero lo voy hacer porque quiero mandarle un mensaje al pueblo de Cuba. Y este es el mensaje: que antes teníamos un presidente que le daba la mano al régimen que lo oprime. Pero ahora tenemos un presidente Americano que le da la mano a ustedes, el pueblo Cubano. Que los días en cual la politica exterior de este pais ayuda al régimen se están terminando y los días en que la política norteamericana ayuda al pueblo Cubano para que ellos puedan tener la libertad, la democracia y los derechos que se merecen que Dios le ha dado. Y cuando ese día llegue, que Cuba será libre por fin yo les aseguro que este día que estamos aquí hoy, la historia va decir hoy que es el principio del fin de este régimen. Gracias a un presidente llamado Donald Trump que hizo lo que tenía que hacer para que la democracia y la libertad regresa a la isla de Cuba.

Muchísimas gracias. God bless you. Thank you.

President Trump Strengthens U.S. Policy toward Corrupt Castro Regime

Manuel Artine Buesa (center) is pictured with President John F. Kennedy.

President Donald Trump on Friday, June 16th, 2017, announced a ban on doing business with Cuban military during a trip to Miami, from the Manuel Artíme Theater and signed a Presidential Memorandum to deal with the Communist regime before returning to Washington, D.C.

The theater is named after Manuel Artíme Buesa who was a Cuban physician. Artíme was a Cuban-America and fierce anti Communist.

According to HistoryofCuba.com:

Artíme was born in Cuba on January 29, 1932. Before embarking on a career of politics, Artime received a degree in medicine, and may have served as a medic in the war against Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista (although this is often denied by Castro supporters).

After moving to the U.S. in opposition to Castro (with Tony Varona, Rafael Quintero, Aureliano Arango and Jose Cardona) he helped establish the Movement for the Recovery of the Revolution.

At the 1960 Democratic National Convention, Artíme met future president John F. Kennedy.

Artine became the leader of the failed U.S. supported Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba in 1961. Artine was later ransomed from his Cuban jail for $500,000.

Dr. Artine died of cancer in Miami, Florida on November 18th, 1977 at the age of 45.

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Statement of Support for President Donald Trump on U.S. Policy Towards Cuba

National Security Presidential Memorandum on Strengthening the Policy of the United States Toward Cuba

Section 1.  Purpose.

The United States recognizes the need for more freedom and democracy, improved respect for human rights, and increased free enterprise in Cuba. The Cuban people have long suffered under a Communist regime that suppresses their legitimate aspirations for freedom and prosperity and fails to respect their essential human dignity.

My Administration’s policy will be guided by the national security and foreign policy interests of the United States, as well as solidarity with the Cuban people.  I will seek to promote a stable, prosperous, and free country for the Cuban people.  To that end, we must channel funds toward the Cuban people and away from a regime that has failed to meet the most basic requirements of a free and just society.

In Cuba, dissidents and peaceful protesters are arbitrarily detained and held in terrible prison conditions.  Violence and intimidation against dissidents occurs with impunity.  Families of political prisoners are not allowed to assemble or peacefully protest the improper confinement of their loved ones.  Worshippers are harassed, and free association by civil society organizations is blocked.  The right to speak freely, including through access to the internet, is denied, and there is no free press.  The United States condemns these abuses.

The initial actions set forth in this memorandum, including restricting certain financial transactions and travel, encourage the Cuban government to address these abuses.  My Administration will continue to evaluate its policies so as to improve human rights, encourage the rule of law, foster free markets and free enterprise, and promote democracy in Cuba.

Sec. 2. Policy.

It shall be the policy of the executive branch to:

(a)  End economic practices that disproportionately benefit the Cuban government or its military, intelligence, or security agencies or personnel at the expense of the Cuban people.

(b)  Ensure adherence to the statutory ban on tourism to Cuba.

(c)  Support the economic embargo of Cuba described in section 4(7) of the Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity (LIBERTAD) Act of 1996 (the embargo), including by opposing measures that call for an end to the embargo at the United Nations and other international forums and through regular reporting on whether the conditions of a transition government exist in Cuba.

(d)  Amplify efforts to support the Cuban people through the expansion of internet services, free press, free enterprise, free association, and lawful travel.

(e)  Not reinstate the “Wet Foot, Dry Foot” policy, which encouraged untold thousands of Cuban nationals to risk their lives to travel unlawfully to the United States.

(f)  Ensure that engagement between the United States and Cuba advances the interests of the United States and the Cuban people.  These interests include: advancing Cuban human rights; encouraging the growth of a Cuban private sector independent of government control; enforcing final orders of removal against Cuban nationals in the United States; protecting the national security and public health and safety of the United States, including through proper engagement on criminal cases and working to ensure the return of fugitives from American justice living in Cuba or being harbored by the Cuban government; supporting United States agriculture and protecting plant and animal health; advancing the understanding of the United States regarding scientific and environmental challenges; and facilitating safe civil aviation.

Sec. 3. Implementation.

The heads of departments and agencies shall begin to implement the policy set forth in section 2 of this memorandum as follows:

(a)  Within 30 days of the date of this memorandum, the Secretary of the Treasury and the Secretary of Commerce, as appropriate and in coordination with the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Transportation, shall initiate a process to adjust current regulations regarding transactions with Cuba.

(i)    As part of the regulatory changes described in this subsection, the Secretary of State shall identify the entities or subentities, as appropriate, that are under the control of, or act for or on behalf of, the Cuban military, intelligence, or security services or personnel (such as Grupo de Administracion Empresarial S.A. (GAESA), its affiliates, subsidiaries, and successors), and publish a list of those identified entities and subentities with which direct financial transactions would disproportionately benefit such services or personnel at the expense of the Cuban people or private enterprise in Cuba.

(ii)   Except as provided in subsection (a)(iii) of this section, the regulatory changes described in this subsection shall prohibit direct financial transactions with those entities or subentities on the list published pursuant to subsection (a)(i) of this section.

(iii)  The regulatory changes shall not prohibit transactions that the Secretary of the Treasury or the Secretary of Commerce, in coordination with the Secretary of State, determines are consistent with the policy set forth in section 2 of this memorandum and:

(A)  concern Federal Government operations, including Naval Station Guantanamo Bay and the United States mission in Havana;

(B)  support programs to build democracy in Cuba;

(C)  concern air and sea operations that support permissible travel, cargo, or trade;

(D)  support the acquisition of visas for permissible travel;

(E)  support the expansion of direct telecommunications and internet access for the Cuban people;

(F)  support the sale of agricultural commodities, medicines, and medical devices sold to Cuba consistent with the Trade Sanctions Reform and Export Enhancement Act of 2000 (22 U.S.C. 7201 et seq.) and the Cuban Democracy Act of 2002 (22 U.S.C. 6001 et seq.);

(G)  relate to sending, processing, or receiving authorized remittances;

(H)  otherwise further the national security or foreign policy interests of the United States; or
(I)  are required by law.

(b)  Within 30 days of the date of this memorandum, the Secretary of the Treasury, in coordination with the Secretary of State, shall initiate a process to adjust current regulations to ensure adherence to the statutory ban on tourism to Cuba.

(i)    The amended regulations shall require that educational travel be for legitimate educational purposes.  Except for educational travel that was permitted by regulation in effect on January 27, 2011, all educational travel shall be under the auspices of an organization subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, and all such travelers must be accompanied by a representative of the sponsoring organization.

(ii)   The regulations shall further require that those traveling for the permissible purposes of non academic education or to provide support for the Cuban people:

(A)  engage in a full-time schedule of activities that enhance contact with the Cuban people, support civil society in Cuba, or promote the Cuban people’s independence from Cuban authorities; and

(B)  meaningfully interact with individuals in Cuba.

(iii)  The regulations shall continue to provide that every person engaging in travel to Cuba shall keep full and accurate records of all transactions related to authorized travel, regardless of whether they were effected pursuant to license or otherwise, and such records shall be available for examination by the Department of the Treasury for at least 5 years after the date they occur.
(iv)   The Secretary of State, the Secretary of the Treasury, the Secretary of Commerce, and the Secretary of Transportation shall review their agency’s enforcement of all categories of permissible travel within 90 days of the date the regulations described in this subsection are finalized to ensure such enforcement accords with the policies outlined in section 2 of this memorandum.

(c)  The Secretary of the Treasury shall regularly audit travel to Cuba to ensure that travelers are complying with relevant statutes and regulations.  The Secretary of the Treasury shall request that the Inspector General of the Department of the Treasury inspect the activities taken by the Department of the Treasury to implement this audit requirement.  The Inspector General of the Department of the Treasury shall provide a report to the President, through the Secretary of the Treasury, summarizing the results of that inspection within 180 days of the adjustment of current regulations described in subsection (b) of this section and annually thereafter.

(d)  The Secretary of the Treasury shall adjust the Department of the Treasury’s current regulation defining the term “prohibited officials of the Government of Cuba” so that, for purposes of title 31, part 515 of the Code of Federal Regulations, it includes Ministers and Vice-Ministers, members of the Council of State and the Council of Ministers; members and employees of the National Assembly of People’s Power; members of any provincial assembly; local sector chiefs of the Committees for the Defense of the Revolution; Director Generals and sub–Director Generals and higher of all Cuban ministries and state agencies; employees of the Ministry of the Interior (MININT); employees of the Ministry of Defense (MINFAR); secretaries and first secretaries of the Confederation of Labor of Cuba (CTC) and its component unions; chief editors, editors, and deputy editors of Cuban state-run media organizations and programs, including newspapers, television, and radio; and members and employees of the Supreme Court (Tribuno Supremo Nacional).

(e)  The Secretary of State and the Representative of the United States to the United Nations shall oppose efforts at the United Nations or (with respect to the Secretary of State) any other international forum to lift the embargo until a transition government in Cuba, as described in section 205 of the LIBERTAD Act, exists.

(f)  The Secretary of State, in coordination with the Attorney General, shall provide a report to the President assessing whether and to what degree the Cuban government has satisfied the requirements of a transition government as described in section 205(a) of the LIBERTAD Act, taking into account the additional factors listed in section 205(b) of that Act.  This report shall include a review of human rights abuses committed against the Cuban people, such as unlawful detentions, arbitrary arrests, and inhumane treatment.

(g)  The Attorney General shall, within 90 days of the date of this memorandum, issue a report to the President on issues related to fugitives from American justice living in Cuba or being harbored by the Cuban government.

(h)  The Secretary of State and the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development shall review all democracy development programs of the Federal Government in Cuba to ensure that they align with the criteria set forth in section 109(a) of the LIBERTAD Act.

(i)  The Secretary of State shall convene a task force, composed of relevant departments and agencies, including the Office of Cuba Broadcasting, and appropriate non-governmental organizations and private-sector entities, to examine the technological challenges and opportunities for expanding internet access in Cuba, including through Federal Government support of programs and activities that encourage freedom of expression through independent media and internet freedom so that the Cuban people can enjoy the free and unregulated flow of information.

(j)  The Secretary of State and the Secretary of Homeland Security shall continue to discourage dangerous, unlawful migration that puts Cuban and American lives at risk.  The Secretary of Defense shall continue to provide support, as necessary, to the Department of State and the Department of Homeland Security in carrying out the duties regarding interdiction of migrants.

(k)  The Secretary of State, in coordination with the Secretary of the Treasury, the Secretary of Defense, the Attorney General, the Secretary of Commerce, and the Secretary of Homeland Security, shall annually report to the President regarding the engagement of the United States with Cuba to ensure that engagement is advancing the interests of the United States.

(l)  All activities conducted pursuant to subsections (a) through (k) of this section shall be carried out in a manner that furthers the interests of the United States, including by appropriately protecting sensitive sources, methods, and operations of the Federal Government.

Sec. 4.  Earlier Presidential Actions.

(a)  This memorandum supersedes and replaces both National Security Presidential Directive-52 of June 28, 2007, U.S. Policy toward Cuba, and Presidential Policy Directive-43 of October 14, 2016, United States-Cuba Normalization.

(b)  This memorandum does not affect either Executive Order 12807 of May 24, 1992, Interdiction of Illegal Aliens, or Executive Order 13276 of November 15, 2002, Delegation of Responsibilities Concerning Undocumented Aliens Interdicted or Intercepted in the Caribbean Region.

Sec. 5.  General Provisions.

(a)  Nothing in this memorandum shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:

(i)   the authority granted by law to an executive department or agency, or the head thereof; or

(ii)  the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.

(b)  This memorandum shall be implemented consistent with applicable laws and subject to the availability of appropriations.

(c)  This memorandum is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.
(d)  The Secretary of State is hereby authorized and directed to publish this memorandum in the Federal Register.

DONALD J. TRUMP

Europeans Are Paying to Subsidize Jihadists by Barry Brownstein

Does the European welfare system promote hate by allowing people to avoid learning the lessons of mutual dependence and cooperation that the workplace teaches?

All Men Are Brothers

Consider for a moment how little we can do for ourselves. The food we eat, the clothes we wear, the fuel we burn are mostly obtained through the efforts of others. Would we not perish in short order without what Rose Wilder Lane calls the “brotherhood of man”?

Rose Wilder Lane was the daughter of Laura Ingalls Wilder. Rose played a crucial role in bringing her mother’s Little House on the Prairie books to life. Lane’s deep understanding of the human condition shines through in her classic book, The Discovery of Freedom.

Since we cannot survive on our own, Lane explains, “All men are brothers, of one blood, of one human race. They are brothers in one imperative desire to live, in one desperate necessity to combine their energies in order to live.” Thus, “The brotherhood of man is not a pretty phrase nor a beautiful ideal; it is a fact.”Lane adds pointedly, “Men who behave as if the brotherhood of man were not a fact, are alive to do so only because it is a fact.”

In other words, those who harm others are themselves able to thrive only because the efforts of others.

Work is one way through which we learn to create value for others. At work, we are unlikely to succeed if we don’t experience the common humanity we share with our colleagues and customers.

Become a Stranger to Humanity

Now, consider the consequences when able-bodied individuals are paid to not work.

When we don’t work because taxpayers are supporting us, it is easier to lose touch with our common humanity with others. Without creating value for others, we may never develop the facility to appreciate the “brotherhood of man” that keeps us alive.

When individuals no longer must cooperate with each other to thrive, they have perverse incentives to act against the natural brotherhood of man. In Europe, jihadists and potential jihadists are paid to separate themselves from the brotherhood of man.

Consider these facts:

  1. According to The Telegraph, the Manchester bomber Salman Abedi “is understood to have received thousands of pounds in state funding…even while he was overseas receiving bomb-making training.” Abedi never held a job in his life.
  2. Danish citizens who have been granted a “disability” pension have gone to Syria to fight on behalf of ISIS. Other Danish jihadists are receiving unemployment benefits.
  3. When the German newspaper Bild “ran an analysis of the 450 German jihadists fighting in Syria, it found that more than 20% of them have received benefits from the German state.”
  4. Before the notorious radical Islamist preacher Anjem Choudary was convicted and jailed on terrorism charges in 2016, taxpayers in England had funded his hate-filled sermons for over two decades. Choudary had been receiving more than 25,000 pounds a year in benefits and was living in a home worth over 300,000 pounds. (Note, the English pound is worth more than the U.S. dollar.)
  5. Choudary encouraged his followers to not work and instead to live off government benefits: “The normal situation is to take money from the kuffar [non-believers]. You [the kuffar] work, give us the money, Allahu Akhbar.” In Choudary’s warped world, he and his fellow jihadists are entitled to live off the labor of others.

Undermining the Brotherhood of Man

A basic economic law is that you get more of what you subsidize. The more you pay a person to not work, the more isolated, the more alienated that individual can become.

Are subsidized and alienated individuals more receptive to messages of hate? If the subsidized embrace hatred, their thoughts of hatred may go unchallenged by the realities of work life that demand cooperation, not conflict, with others.

If we understand our existence depends on our brothers, we understand the truth of Lane’s observation: “Any man who injures another, injures himself, for human welfare is necessary to his own existence.”

The jihadist living off the sweat of others has no such understanding. Jihadists may believe God is on their side, but radical jihadism is at odds with the truth of the brotherhood of man.

The great divide is not between Muslims and non-Muslims. The great divide is between those who respect the brotherhood of man and those obsessed with hatred.

Why is Europe undermining the brotherhood of man by subsidizing those who hate?

Reprinted from Intellectual Takeout.

Barry Brownstein

Barry Brownstein

Barry Brownstein is professor emeritus of economics and leadership at the University of Baltimore. He is the author of The Inner-Work of Leadership. He delivers leadership workshops to organizations and blogs at BarryBrownstein.com, and Giving up Control.

Assassinating Congressmen

Gunning down US Congressmen, a sad commentary on the state of America.

We call out the left for its shameless instigating of violence and strife.

It Would Have Been a Massacre by Jeffrey A. Tucker

The horrifying scene at a practice field in Alexandria, Virginia, at which Congressman Steve Scalise was shot in a shocking flurry of gunfire, could have been much worse. Rand Paul pointed out that “it would have been a massacre” had a member of the House leadership not been there. His presence guaranteed that the heavily armed Capitol Police could take him down. Many others present expressed similar feelings. They were sitting ducks. If the offensive gunfire could not be met by defensive gunfire, the bloodshed would have been far worse.

As this case shows – and there are millions more like this one – force must be met with force to stop the violence.

The aftermath will include all the usual questions. What were the gunman’s motivations? Shooter James T. Hodgkinson’s Facebook page shows that he is a supporter of Bernie Sanders and socialism generally. Where did he get the gun? Did he obtain it legally with all the appropriate background checks? What does this scene imply about gun regulations and controls on distribution?To some degree, all these questions are beside the salient point. As this case shows – and there are millions more like this one – force must be met with force to stop the violence. If a murderous monster has the most firepower in the space, everyone else’s life is in the balance. The calls for gun control refuse to deal with this reality. To the extent they succeed in restricting people’s rights to defend themselves and others, they bear moral culpability for an increasingly violent society.

Defense Use

What happened at the baseball park was a classic case of defensive gun use. In the entire debate over guns, this is the point I find most compelling in a practical sense. Despite being raised in a gun-owning family, and having spent many hours at gun ranges and owning some myself, they are not my favorite things, which is to say I don’t really like them. I have no romantic attachment to them at all. I would rather live in society without them.

There is a strong reason for people like me to hope for a wide distribution of guns and firing skills.

And yet a society without guns is not an option. Given this, there is a strong reason for people like me to hope for a wide distribution of guns and firing skills. It is precisely because of my attitude, and others like me, that I hope that there are plenty of others out there, who have my back in case like this.The use of guns for defensive purposes makes the strongest case there is for liberalization of gun laws. Trevor Burris comments:

The prevalence of defensive gun use (DGU) is one of the most hotly debated issues in gun control policy. In the words of one study produced by the National Research Council, measuring DGU “has proved to be quite complex, with some estimates suggesting just over 100,000 defensive gun uses per year and others suggesting 2.5 million or more defensive gun uses per year.” That’s quite a range, but if it falls anywhere in that range then it is still a lot of DGU.

The dispute about the number of DGUs centers primarily on the definition of defensive gun use and the method of counting it. When the Bureau of Justice Statistics performs the National Crime Victimization Survey they ask about DGU, and they generally reach a number around 100,000. Florida State University criminologist Gary Kleck and others have criticized that method because many people are understandably unwilling to tell a government agent that they have brandished or fired a weapon in self-defense. They may not know if what they did was legal, and they may illegally possess the weapon, to name just two concerns. Thus Kleck performed surveys designed to reach just defensive gun use without creating biased concerns in his subjects. Through that method he reached the number 2.5 million.

Feeling Safe

This is why the prevalence of private owners carrying guns makes me feel safer. To be sure, there are bad actors but the best foil to them are good actors who serve as a counterforce. Once you pay attention, you see examples everywhere.

Knowing that there is no way for government to ban guns — there is a black market in nearly every country with severe restrictions — the best protection for everyone is for ownership to be widespread and distributed through the population.

So I would like to make a plea to my fellow citizens: please buy guns. Carry them. Keep them in your homes and cars. It’s especially important to do this in public places, where freak murderers could conceivably lurk. The weapons should be loaded and dangerous, capable of killing with one shot.

I want every robber around every corner to hold the expectation that anyone he mugs is carrying a deadly weapon.

I especially desire this, because I don’t want to do this. I don’t like them. I don’t want them in my home. I don’t like shooting at the range. I don’t like looking at them, shopping for them, cleaning them, or even thinking about what they do to others. I loathe violence of all sorts, and hope to never have to use it. I’m a pacifist in spirit.The only way I can really hope to get away with indulging my temperament here is if others are willing to pick up the slack. I want burglars, kidnappers, thieves, and would-be mass murderers of all sorts to believe that every home in my neighborhood is heavily armed and populated by fearless gun owners – and for them to believe that my home is among them.

I want every robber around every corner to hold the expectation that anyone he mugs is carrying a deadly weapon. I would like to sit in theaters, airplanes, and restaurants where the trolls and scum among us believe that they could pay the ultimate price for savagery.

The thing is that I do not want to personally contribute to this cause in any way. I’m not up to it.

For Every Jew a 42

A friend who grew up in Brooklyn in the 1960s said this was a common slogan in his neighborhood: “For every Jew a 42.” It was commonly understood that if the Jews had been heavily armed in Germany, instead of systematically disarmed by the state as they were, the rise of the Nazis would have been checked, and perhaps the Holocaust could have been prevented. Neither he nor his friends were particularly interested in doing this but the point was clear. Today, he too hopes to be a free rider on gun nuts. I’m with him on this point.

What the law is should have nothing to do with our own personal choices about what we like or dislike, do or do not do.

As regards guns, as with marijuana and prostitution, what the law is should have nothing to do with our own personal choices about what we like or dislike, do or do not do. This view seems nearly extinguished in our world today. If you don’t drink sodas, you are happy to ban them. If you don’t like heroin, you think others should be prevented from consuming it. If you don’t like guns, you want them banned.Stand Up For Rights

That’s not how the free society works. The preservation of freedom requires that we be willing to stand up for the rights of others to own and do things we do not like but which harm no one, or, in the case of guns, actually save lives.

For this reason, I have far more respect for the teetotaler who favors a free market in liquor than I do for the heavy drinker who favors them same. Non-smokers should stand up for the right to smoke. And so too should people who do not own guns and have no desire to own guns stand up for the right to possess and carry.

Especially in the case of guns, those of us who do not want to handle guns have a special and personal interest in defending not only gun rights but also the proliferation of weapons among the citizenry. It’s the only way that we can truly deter crime and stop crime in public places when it is unleashed.

The only real means to prevent the emergence of a world safe for criminals and government is to see the proliferation of guns among everyone else. I’m sorry, but I will not do my part in this respect. But I will defend the rights of others to do so, with a sincere hope that they will own, train, and be ready. Yes, I’m a free rider, but gun owners need to know that I’m truly grateful.

A Conservative Response to the Scalise Shooting

One of the bulwarks of conservatism is personal responsibility, and it is not to be set aside for political convenience. So let’s place the blame for today’s shooting squarely where it belongs: on the man who pulled the trigger 50 times.

A liberal Democrat from Illinois who volunteered for the presidential campaign of Sen. Bernie Sanders and was a super fan of MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, opened fire on Republican Congressmen who were practicing for the annual charity baseball game between Republicans and Democrats. The man apparently asked to make sure it was Republicans on the field, then pulled the triggered about 50 times on a long rifle before Capitol Police killed him. The shooter wounded House Majority Whip Steve Scalise and injured four others. Scalise is in critical condition.

Too much talk radio was quick to blame the “toxic political environment” created by the extreme and irrational liberal response to the Trump presidential election — despite talk radio wrongly being the butt of blame in previous violent events.

Yes, we have a toxic political environment right now. It’s not the worst ever in our nation, but really bad.

Yes, people like Kathy Griffin holding President Trump’s bloody head feeds the toxicity. Actions like Shakespeare in the Park assassinating Trump; politicians like Democrat Vice President candidate Tim Kaine tweeting about “fighting them in the streets;” Maxine Waters’ general insufferable extremism; groups like Antifa with overt violence against Trump supporters; and the general state of overheated, too often dishonest journalism all feed the toxicity. But truthfully, so do some of Trump’s tweets and some talk show hosts who support Trump, like the loathsome Alex Jones. I hope some of these folks will re-think their level of vitriol.

But as is the case in every situation such as this — from the massacres at Columbine and Sandy Hook, to the riots in Ferguson and Baltimore, even to Kathy Griffin’s repulsive act — personal responsibility takes center stage. The “culture” or “environment” is not to blame for an individual’s actions. That’s a cheap escape card. Griffin tried to blame Trump. No. Griffin did it, and that’s on her.

Every man and woman stands on their own decisions. We make thousands and thousands of personal decisions in our lives and accept the consequences. Some children grow up in inner city poverty to a struggling single mom and rise to become brain surgeons and presidential candidates. Dr. Ben Carson. Some come out of the exact same situation and wind up in prison for life. Because it was not their environment, it was their personal choices.

I remember well when Democrat Congresswoman Gabriel Giffords was shot in 2011 in Tuscon, Arizona, and the immediate blame went to the “environment of hate” supposedly caused by conservative talk radio and Sarah Palin’s map targeting congressional districts with crosshairs. But of course, it turned out that the shooter was a drug abusing whackjob who had a personal fixation on Giffords. He also made personal choices.

Neither is it right to clump this evil man with “leftists” in general, as I heard too much today. I know many liberals and Democrats who I constantly disagree with and occasionally get irritated with (both parts mutual) — whose ideas are noxious to me and I believe to the nation — but they should not be tainted for the murderous actions of this man. Conservative ideas can defeat liberal ideas every time. That is where the battle is joined.

So while Bernie Sanders and other heroes of today’s shooter certainly add political toxicity — and each should reflect on their responsibility for doing so —they are not responsible for a shooters actions. Neither is the gun he used, which was immediately jumped on by the left.

The shooter alone is responsible. And he has apparently received his just reward.

RELATED ARTICLES:

The violent political Left

Huff Post Writer: Shooting Just One Pro-Life Congressman Isn’t Enough, We Need More Violence

Shooter James Hodgkinson Had List of Other Pro-Life Congressmen to Assassinate in His Pocket

RELATED VIDEO: President Trump’s remarks on the shooting of Congressman Steve Scalise and four others including two Capitol police officers.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in The Revolutionary Act.

Profile of Terrorist James T. Hodgkinson: From disbelief to anger to violence to mayhem to mass murder [Videos]

Steve Scalise, the majority whip of the House of Representatives. Credit Gabriella Demczuk for The New York Times

For Democrats free speech has morphed into hate speech. Hate speech has morphed into violence and mayhem in the streets and on college campuses across America. Hate speech then morphed into action. Action became a politically motivated mass shooting at a baseball field in Alexandria, Virginia with five wounded and the shooter dead. Among those critically wounded was Steve Scalise, the Republican majority whip of the House of Representatives.

All of this carried out by armed Democrat James T. Hodgkinson who specifically targeted unarmed Republicans, their families, children and supporters.

The below video was taken at the Republican Congressional baseball practice in Alexandria, Virginia:

The narrative from Democrats is two fold. Deny this act of pure hate was politically motivated. Point to anything other than the individual who carried out this crime against humanity, i.e. focus on the gun. The proper responses to what James T. Hodgkinson, with malice and forethought, did are blame the shooter for the shooting, the terrorist for terrorism.

James T. Hodgkinson

Democrats are relentlessly yelling “fire” in a crowed political theater. The predictable result is assassination for political purposes.

18 U.S. Code § 871 – Threats against President and successors to the Presidency states:

Whoever knowingly and willfully deposits for conveyance in the mail or for a delivery from any post office or by any letter carrier any letter, paper, writing, print, missive, or document containing any threat to take the life of, to kidnap, or to inflict bodily harm upon the President of the United States, the President-elect, the Vice President or other officer next in the order of succession to the office of President of the United States, or the Vice President-elect, or knowingly and willfully otherwise makes any such threat against the President, President-elect, Vice President or other officer next in the order of succession to the office of President, or Vice President-elect, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.

Alex Jones notes,

“Days ago a standing ovation for the simulation of the assassination of the President of The United States. And now, a baseball practice loaded with Republican congressman and staffers became a live mass shooting event. James T. Hodgkinson was identified as the shooter that railed off over 50 shots at the 100 year old traditional event that included children. He was killed by Capitol Police. House Majority Whip was shot in the hip and transported to the hospital along with four others.”

Here is a short video and pictorial profile of a loyal “Democrat Socialist”, supporter of Senator Bernie Sanders, member of “Terminate Republican Party” and now known terrorist James T. Hodgkinson.

James T. Hodgkinson in 2011 at Occupy Wall Street rally:

Social media posts by James T. Hodgkinson:

Responses by liberals to the mass shooting:

RELATED ARTICLES:

20 Liberal Calls For Violence Against Conservatives in Quotes

James T. Hodgkinson Belonged to ‘Terminate the Republican Party’ Facebook Group

Hodgkinson Was Occupy Protester, Attacked the “One Percent”

Shooter Was Bernie Bro Who Joined ‘Terminate Republican Party’ Group

Shooting turned GOP baseball practice into ‘killing field’

After shooting, soul-searching on United States’ polarization

Gunman attacks GOP lawmakers

Leftists Know No Shame As Writer Posts Most Vile Tweet EVER About Alexandria Shooting

Qatar – the end of the road?

Analysis: The Saudis and their Arab allies have had enough of Qatar and its media proxy al Jazeera’s behavior. They intend to win this fight.

The Emirate of Qatar is a peninsula that juts out from Saudi Arabia into the Persian Gulf. The only overland route out of Qatar is by way of Saudi Arabia and if that route is blocked, the only way to reach Qatar or leave it is by air or sea. However, flights to and from Qatar pass over Saudi air space part of the time and ships from or to Qatar have to pass through Saudi territorial waters. This means that Saudi Arabia can in effect declare a total blockade on Qatar if it so desires. It has never done so before, but it began the process on June 5th.

In addition to a blockade, the Saudis, joined by the United Emirates, Bahrain, Egypt, Libya, Mauritius, the Philippines and the Maldives, cut off diplomatic and consular relations with Qatar.  Egypt, Libya and the Emirates declared that they would ban Qatari plans and ships from their air space and territorial waters. In 2014, these countries took much milder steps in order to punish Qatar, cancelling them once Qatar agreed to accept the dictates of the Umma and signed the Riyadh agreement along with the rest of the Arab nations.

The reasons provided by the countries involved for the unprecedented severity of the current steps against Qatar included: “Qatar aids the Muslim Brotherhood and other terror organizations such as Hezbollah, Hamas, ISIS and Jebhat al-Nusrah” and “The Emir of  Qatar has declared that Iran is a good nation” as well as “Qatar destabilizes our regime,” as well  as ” Qatar provides hiding places and shelter to Muslim Brotherhood leaders who fled there from Egypt,” and “Qatar is giving aid to  the Houthi rebels (read Shiites) in Yemen.”

Another and most subtle reason, whose source is a Kuwaiti commentator, appears on al Jazeera‘s site: “Qatar refused to meet Trump’s financial demands.” This odd remark relates to a rumor on Facebook and other social network sites claiming that before Trump agreed to come to the Riyadh Arab League Conference, he demanded the Gulf Emirates purchase US arms in the legendary sum of one and a half trillion dollars, to be divided among Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Emirates. The three agreed, but Qatar pulled out at the last minute, causing the Emirates to follow suit, and leaving the Saudis holding the bill demanded by Trump.   The falling through of this deal, the largest in history, may have been the reason for Trump’s noticeably grim face in Riyadh.

Claiming that Qatar causes the destabilization of regimes is a veiled hint referring to al Jazeera which broadcasts from Qatar. Every since it began broadcasting in 1996 from the capital city of Qatar, Doha, al Jazeera has infuriated Arab rulers because it constantly carries out a media Jihad against them also aimed at others such as  Israel, the US, the West and Western culture. The channel also promotes and supports the Muslim Brotherhood and its offshoots such as Hamas, al Qaeda and the Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel headed by Sheikh Raad Salah. Al Jazeera‘s media strategy is determined by Qatar’s Emir and is carried out down to the last detail by its very professional leading broadcaster and editorial policy setter, Jamal Rian, a Palestinian born in Tul Karem in 1953, who moved to Jordan where he was active in the Muslim Brotherhood until expelled by King Hussein.

Every so often other Arab regimes, chief among them Egypt under Mubarak, attempted to close down al Jazeera‘s offices in their countries after overly harsh criticism was aimed at the ruling government, only to reopen them when al Jazeera simply stepped up its attacks

The general feeling is that any government official – or anyone at all – who opposes a ruling regime (and there is no shortage of these people in any Arab country) leaks embarrassing information to  al Jazeera all the time, so that the channel is always poised to expose the information when the time is ripe and especially if the now-cornered victim has been unfriendly to it and to Islamists. The thought of this happening is enough to paralyze every Arab leader who would like to clamp down on al Jazeera in his country.

Every time a conflict erupts between Israel and Hamas, al Jazeera comes out in favor of the terrorist organization because of Qatar’s support of it. Hamas leader Haled Mashaal, makes his home in Qatar and the Qatari Emir is the only Arab leader so far to visit Hamas-ruled Gaza. The Emir has give billions to Hamas, enabling the organization to develop its  terror infrastructure.

Qatar has budgeted half a billion dollars to “buy” organizations such as UNESCO (whose next head will, unsurprisingly, be from Qatar), as well as media, academic and government figures to advance the goal of removing Jerusalem from Israeli hands. Al Jazeera runs a well publicized and organized campaign in order to ensure this outcome. This is the face of media jihad.

Saudi Arabia has never allowed al Jazeera‘s reporters to work from within the country, but does allow them to cover special events once in a while, mainly the Hajj. The Saudis know exactly what the Emir had up his sleeve when he founded a media network that would rule over Arab monarchs by means of recording their slip-ups, taking advantage of the Arab obsession with avoiding public humiliation by broadcasting from a satellite that can reach every house in the Arab world with no way of blocking it.

The last reports are that the Saudis blocked access to the al Jazeera internet site from their territory.  It is harder to block al Jazeera‘s satellite channel reception legally and it can still be accessed throughout the monarchy. Arab media attribute the blockage to declarations supportive of Hamas and Hezbollah made by the Emir of Qatar after Trump’s speech in Riyadh in which the US president included Hamas and Hezbollah in his list of terror organization, equating them with al Qaeda and ISIS.

Sorry, but I do not buy that story. Declarations about third parties (Iran, Hamas, Hezbollah) are ordinarily not the reason a public dispute erupts between Iranian monarchs. In my opinion, the reason for blocking the al Jazeera site in Saudi Arabia is a photograph posted on the al Jazeera site while Trump was in Riyadh.

This photo shows King Suleiman of Saudi Arabia awarding the Gold Decoration, the highest honor of the Saudi monarchy, to Donald Trump, but that is not the reason it was posted on al Jazeera. The reason has to do with the woman appearing in it and standing between Suleiman and Trump. I do not know what her name is, but she accompanied Trump during his entire stay in Riyadh standing just behind him and carrying a briefcase. Perhaps she is an interpreter. She is carrying a briefcase filled with important documents that have to be with Trump all the time in one picture as he, of course, would not be seen carrying a briefcase and standing be

What is interesting about this woman is that she spent the entire time in the royal palace with her hair uncovered, like Melania Trump, the First Lady, did, even though women with uncovered hair are not to be seen in Saudi Arabia. In the palace, women are also not allowed to b e seen in the company of men. Al Jazeera posted this photo intentionally, in order to embarrass the king who granted Trump an award even though he was accompanied by women who, like those in the picture, who do not cover their hair. That photo of the king was the last straw and the Saudis blocked al Jazeera.

Qatar is now under great pressure. The nations that broke off relations with Qatar have stopped recognizing the Qatari Rial as a viable currency and have confiscated all the Qatari Rials in their banks. As a result, Qatar cannot purchase goods with its own currency and must use its foreign currency reserves. The supermarket shelves in Qatar have been emptied by residents hoarding food for fear that the blockade will not allow food to be imported. Long lines of cars can be seen trying to leave for Saudi Arabia to escape being shut up in the besieged, wayward country.

Qatar is trying to get the US to help improve the situation. The largest American air force base in the Gulf is located in  Qatar and it is from there that the attacks on ISIS are generated. Qatar also hosts the US Navy Fifth Fleet as well as the Central Command and Control of US forces in that part of the world. Qatari media stress the US concern about the siege that the Saudis have put on Qatar.

As part of its efforts to enlist US aid, Qatar has begun a counterattack: Qatar media have publicized that the U.A.E. ambassador, Yousef Al Otaiba , said on US election eve: “What star could make Donald Trump the president?” This is intended to cause a rift between the US and the Gulf Emirates, but will certainly not improve Qatar’s own relations with the Emirates.

Meanwhile, the Saudis and the Emirates have ejected Qatar from the coalition fighting the Houthis in Yemen, and there are rumors that they will also remove Qatar from the Council for Cooperation in the Gulf. The Saudis could suspend Qatar’s membership in the Arab League and other organizations if this dispute continues, raising the pressure on the Emir’s al-Thani clan.

The next few days will decide Qatar’s future. There  is a distinct possibility that the foreign ministers of Qatar and the Arab nations taking part in the boycott against it will meet in some neutral spot, perhaps Kuwait, Qatar will give in and new rules will be set by Arab leaders, that is by King Suleiman, to keep Qatar in line. They would include: toning down al Jazeera and perhaps even switching its managerial staff, ending the support for the Muslim Brotherhood and other terror organizations, ending cooperation with Iran and above all, listening to what the Saudi “Big Brother” says about issues, especially those having to do with financial dealings with the US. Once the conditions for Qatari surrender are agreed upon, we can expect the ministers to meet the press, publicize a declaration on the end of the intra-family dispute, shake hands before the cameras and smile – until the next crisis.

There is, however, another scenario: Qatar does not give in, the Saudis and its allies invade, their armies eject the Emir and Mufti of Qatar, and also Jamal Rian, the guiding brain behind Al Jazeera’s  policies. They would then appoint a new Emir from the ruling family, one who knows how to behave, one who listens to the Saudis.  No one except for Iran, the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas would oppose this solution, and the soft-spoken condemnations will not succeed in hiding the world’s joy and sighs of relief if the Saudis actually carry out that plan.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in Arutz Sheva, translated by Rochel Sylvetsky, Op-ed editor and senior consultant Israelnationalnews.com.

Was Mohammed a ‘True Muslim’?

Follower of Mohammed.

In the wake of every terrorist act there is the same argument. The voices-in-the-wilderness right will say, insofar as they’re not muzzled with hate-speech laws, that Islam is the problem. In contrast, a leftist drumbeat of media and mainstream politicos will assert that the Muslim terrorists aren’t really “Muslim” terrorists, that they’ve perverted the faith. As to the truth, it’s as with any other debate over a thing’s true meaning (e.g., the Constitution): it only makes sense to look for answers in original sources.

This brings us to a simple question: Was Mohammed a true Muslim?

It’s a rhetorical question, of course. As Islam’s founder — the religion was born of revelations he supposedly had in the early seventh century — Mohammed was the very first Muslim. Moreover, since Muslims view him as “The Perfect Man,” the ultimate role model, he’s not just the truest Muslim but the yardstick by which other Muslims may measure themselves.

So what was Mohammed’s “perfection”? He was a warlord who launched approximately 30 military campaigns, many of which he led himself. He was a caravan raider (a bandit) and captured, traded in and owned slaves (by the way, will liberals suggest slave-owning Mohammed be diminished, as they’ve done with our founders?). He ordered massacres, used torture and had dissidents assassinated. In 627 AD, he beheaded more than 600 men and boys of the Qurayza tribe in Medina, Arabia, thus wiping it off the map. He also was a polygamist and made it lawful for masters to have sexual relations with their female captives.

So, clearly, if today’s Islamic jihadists aren’t true Muslims, neither was Mohammed. But since we know the Perfect Man was the truest of Muslims, then…well, you can finish the sentence.

Yet when analyzing Muslim motivations, the influence of Mohammed’s character is generally subordinated to that of Islamic teachings (most of which come from Mohammed). And even here, people generally make the mistake of focusing only on the Koran, unaware it’s a mere 16 percent of the Islamic canon. The majority of it comprises the Hadiths and Sira.

This is noteworthy because while 9 percent of the Koran is devoted to jihad and political violence, 21 percent of the Hadiths is and a whopping 67 percent of the Sira is devoted to it, according to Bill Warner, Director of the Center for the Study of Political Islam. This is why Turkish journalist Uzay Bulut wrote in 2015 that “violence and domination” are “deeply rooted…and sanctioned with promises of rewards” in Islam, and, consequently, “fundamentalists will always find people to excite and people to persecute.”

The distribution of violent injunctions in these books helps explain something else. A German study involving 45,000 teens found that while increasing religiosity made Christian youth less violent, increasing religiosity made Muslim youth more violent.

This makes sense. A nominal Catholic may know a few verses from the Bible, but only a devout one scours it and, in addition, will read his catechism. Likewise, a casual Muslim may know a little bit from the Koran.

A serious one will soak it all in and delve into the Hadiths and Sira as well — and be exposed to all the violent injunctions therein.

Even more to the point here, however, these two sets of works together comprise the majority of the Sunnah, which is, as Islaamnet.com explains, “The legal way or ways, orders, acts of worship and statements of the Prophet, that are ideals and models to be followed by Muslims” (emphasis added). It is all about Mohammed’s words and deeds.

The significance of this cannot be overemphasized. Virtues (and vices) are caught more than they’re taught; actions speak louder than words. Thus are Christians more likely to ask “What would Jesus do?” than “What does the Bible say?” Thus are they more likely to counsel “Reflect Christ” than “Reflect Matthew 22:37.” Oh, the Bible is wonderful, and Matthew 22:37 is one of its most memorable parts. But examples are more powerful than instructions.

Muslims’ role model, their “Perfect Man,” is very different from Jesus in type of influence but not in degree of influence. As Warner points out, “The Koran says 91 different times that Mohammed’s is the perfect pattern of life. It is much more important to know Mohammed than the Koran.” Thus is “Mohammed” (and its spelling variants) the world’s most common male name, belonging to approximately 150 million men and boys. And there’s a reason why pious Muslims write “PBUH” (“Peace be unto him”) after his name and why they’ll riot if he’s portrayed in a cartoon. He is, in a sense, the human face of Allah.

Islaamnet.com makes this clear, writing that “when Allaah says: ‘Whosoever obeys the Messenger [Mohammed], has indeed obeyed Allaah’ (Surah An-Nisa 4:80), it should be clear that one has obeyed Allaah by obeying the Messenger.”

Islaamnet also informs that Allah commanded, “‘It is not fitting for a believer, man or woman, when a matter has been decreed by Allaah and His Messenger to have any choice in the matter. If anyone disobeys Allaah and His Messenger he is clearly astray’ (Surah Al-Ahzab 33:36).”

This Messenger is, again, that warlord, bandit, mass murderer, employer of torture, polygamist and slaver trader and master. Worse still, it’s not that Muslims always rationalize away or attempt to whitewash this history. The truly devout ones may consider these actions — when directed toward non-Muslims — to be “good” because the actions have been sanctioned by their perceived author of right and wrong, Allah, and his messenger.

So people sometimes talk about “reforming” Islam, but this would require reforming Mohammed himself. How? You cannot resurrect him and have him live his life over.

Among the founders of extant major or quasi-major religions/philosophical systems — Lao Tzu, Confucius, Buddha, etc. — Mohammed stands alone, being a tyrant-cum-teacher. Of course, he doesn’t stand alone in history; Attila the Hun, Genghis Khan, Tamerlane and many others paved similar bloody paths. As with them, he was largely a man of his time and place. But to more than a billion people, he’s also the perfect man even in our time and place.

And that’s the point. After all, if someone told you Attila the Hun was the perfect man and his role model, would you turn your back on that person?

Contact Selwyn Duke, follow him on Twitter or log on to SelwynDuke.com

Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability Legislation Heads to President’s Desk

Washington, D.C. – Today, the House passed the Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act to bring accountability to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The legislation will now head to the president’s desk. Chairman Phil Roe, M.D. (R-Tenn.) and representatives from Veterans Service Organizations (VSO) released the following statements:

“I’ve said time and time again that the vast majority of VA’s employees are hard-working public servants who are dedicated to providing quality healthcare and benefits for veterans,” said Roe. “But, for far too long, the failures of the bad actors have tarnished the good name of all VA employees. Today, the House came together to change that. The Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act will create the culture of accountability at VA that our nation’s heroes deserve, while protecting the men and women who blow the whistle on injustices at VA. I thank Senators Isakson, Rubio and Tester for leading the charge on accountability in the Senate, as well as all of my colleagues in the House, particularly Ranking Member Walz, for supporting this legislation that will allow us to bring wholesale reform to VA. I’m also grateful to Secretary Shulkin and the entire Trump Administration for their strong support of accountability from day one, and I look forward to President Trump signing this legislation into law so we can once and for all bring accountability to the Department of Veterans Affairs.”

The American Legion

“On behalf of the 2.2M members of The American Legion, we applaud the House of Representatives passing of the VA Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act of 2017.  This legislation, as currently written, will provide the Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs the authorities to improve accountability and raise employee performance and morale.  We are impressed by the speed by which Congress acted to move this critical legislation forward to the President’s desk in a bipartisan manner. We look forward to this bill becoming law.” Charles E. Schmidt, National Commander

Concerned Veterans for America

“For years a toxic culture has plagued the Department of Veterans Affairs, but the VA Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act will be a meaningful step toward turning the troubled department around. Finally, Secretary Shulkin will be empowered with the authority to quickly remove those who under-perform, neglect patients, or even engage in criminal activity. We believe this historic piece of legislation will help usher in a new era of integrity and accountability at the department entrusted with caring for our heroes. We thank Chairman Roe, Senator Rubio, and concerned citizens across the country who pushed relentlessly to generate support from both sides of the aisle and make this reform a reality.” Dan Caldwell, Policy Director

Disabled American Veterans

“DAV supports enactment of the Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act of 2017. I applaud the bipartisan effort to ensure greater accountability and strengthened whistleblower protections within VA. We thank Chairman Roe for his leadership to ensure VA is able to enforce accountability standards to attract, hire and retain the brightest and best employees our nation has to offer to care for ill and injured veterans.” Garry Augustine, DAV Washington Headquarters Executive Director.

Fleet Reserve Association

“Accountability in the VA, and within the department, should be an authentic and transparent continuum of a prime-mover for the defined core-values, care and benefits for our nation’s Veterans and their families.   This should be the mainstay, the anchor, and responsible course of action now and forever.” Thomas J. Snee, M.Ed, National Executive Director

Got Your 6

“The veteran community has been pushing for three years now to adequately address the need for greater accountability at the VA while also maintaining a workplace that is able to attract and retain high quality professionals. Got Your 6 works to be a collaborative partner of the VA and we strongly support this approach to empower VA leadership with more efficient workforce management options. We applaud the House for quickly taking up this bill after Senate passage and look forward to the President signing it into law.” Bill Rausch, Executive Director

Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America

“This is welcome news to veterans nationwide. Given that the scandal in Phoenix alerted the country to the outrageous state of the VA health care system nearly three years ago, this change is long overdue. IAVA applauds the leadership of Majority Leader McCarthy and Chairman Roe to hold a House vote on the Senate-passed bill that will empower the VA to remove bad-acting employees. IAVA and our members have fought relentlessly to give the VA Secretary the tools needed to address workforce accountability and save veterans’ lives, and we are extremely pleased that final passage into law is within reach.” IAVA Founder and CEO Paul Rieckhoff

Military Order of the Purple Heart

“The ability to hold bad employees accountable and protect whistleblowers is absolutely critical for VA to accomplish its mission of caring for our nation’s veterans.  MOPH deeply thanks all members of the House and Senate who voted “yes” on this legislation, and especially Chairmen Roe and Isakson and Ranking Members Walz and Tester for their steadfast, bipartisan leadership on this important issue.” Hershel Gober, MOPH National Commander

Paralyzed Veterans of America

“No other large healthcare system rivals VA’s competence to deliver specialized services at a national level, such as spinal cord injury and disease and polytrauma care, or synthesizes access to healthcare, benefits, support, and peer mentorship better than VA. But what VA needs most right now is the one ‘ability’ it presently lacks and can no longer be taken for granted — accountability. Whether that means better protecting whistleblowers, shortening the reprimand process, or recouping ill-gotten bonuses and relocation expenses, achieving a state of being answerable to the public, the Congress, and most importantly, veterans, will be dictated by the worst behavior the VA Secretary has to tolerate. This bill will be a major step toward having to tolerate such behavior no more.” Sherman Gillums, Executive Director

Student Veterans of America

“We have witnessed first-hand why it is imperative to have stronger accountability measures for VA employees. This bill gives the Secretary of VA the authority to take necessary action against negligent employees, such as recalling their bonuses and relocation expenses. Accountability is a major challenge for VA and this bill addresses accountability challenges with specific measures.” Jared Lyon, President and CEO of Student Veterans of America

United States Army Warrant Officers Association

“This bipartisan legislation will ensure the VA Secretary has crucial, enforceable tools at his disposal to provide more efficient services to our Veterans in need, and enforce greater accountability of the professionals tasked with serving them.” CW4 (Ret) Jack Du Teil, Executive Director

Veterans of Foreign Wars

“The VFW wants Secretary Shulkin to have the authority to manage his people in a manner expected of all senior executives, public or private. The VFW wants the secretary to weed out the nonperformers and those whose personal conduct brings doubt and dishonor upon thousands of dedicated employees. And the VFW wants this bill passed into law, because maintaining the status quo doesn’t work for those who have borne the battle.” VFW National Commander Brian Duffy

Vietnam Veterans of America

“Vietnam Veterans of America has been advocating strongly for much greater accountability from VA management since our founding in 1978. We haves one so in public statements and countless testimonies on Capitol Hill. This statute is a real milestone in that journey; a journey that at times seemed to be a very lonely effort. We are gratified to see this day. The Secretary now has the proper tools. Now it is up to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to hold managers accountable at VA.” John Rowan, VVA National President

Background:

The Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act of 2017 would:

  • Create a new streamlined and efficient process to remove, demote or suspend (for longer than 14 days) any VA employee for poor performance or misconduct with a concrete shortened timeline, while still protecting employees’ due process rights, and would provide them with the right to appeal the action.
  • Provide expanded protections for whistleblowers and would specifically bar VA from using this removal authority if the employee has an open whistleblower complaint/case with the Office of Special Counsel.
  • Provide the Secretary with the authority to reduce an employee’s federal pension if they are convicted of a felony that influenced their job at VA; recoup a bonus provided to an employee who engaged in misconduct or poor performance prior to receiving the bonus; and allow the Secretary to recoup any relocation expenses that were authorized for a VA employee only through the employee’s ill-gotten means, such as fraud waste or malfeasance.
  • Authorize the Secretary to directly appoint individuals to the positions of Medical Center Director and Director of Veterans Integrated Service Network (VISN) if they have a demonstrated ability in the medical profession, health care administration or health care fiscal management. This will make it easier to fill these critical positions quickly.

The Senate passed this legislation on June 6, 2017. More information on the bill can be found here.

RELATED ARTICLE: Making the VA Accountable Again

Ninth Circuit rules, HIAS crows as Judicial coup is confirmed

It is not a surprise that the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled against the President and his legal Constitutional power to keep America safe.

I’m in a hurry this morning to get to my chores, so just want to give you Daniel Greenfield’s reading of the decision here at FrontPage magazine:

9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Announces It Is In Charge of Determining National Interests

Here is his opening paragraph:

The Judicial coup against democracy rolls on. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals announced with its latest ruling that it has the powers of the executive branch. To understand how insane the latest illegal and unconstitutional judicial effort to block common sense migration reform is, here are the powers that the 9th has decided it possesses.

Continue reading his excellent analysis.

As I have said till I’m blue in the face, I regret the fact that the 50,000 CEILING was announced in an Executive Order when the President already had the power to admit any number under the 110,000 CEILING set by Obama last September without even mentioning any cap.  He could have quietly slowed the flow the minute he took office.  At that time we had admitted just over 30,000 refugees in this fiscal year.  Now, the Trump State Department is approaching 50,000 with months yet to go.

But, more troubling is the utter confusion created by proposing a complete ‘travel ban’ from six countries in the same EO as an announcement on refugee admission numbers and a temporary moratorium from across the world (across all nationalities and all religions).  What a mess!

Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society cheers along with two other federal resettlement contractors which have a financial stake in keeping numbers of refugees high—they are paid by the head to place them in your towns and cities.

HIAS was joined in its amicus brief by the International Rescue Committee and the US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants—all multi-million dollar federal resettlement contractors who have a pecuniary interest in the outcome.

HIAS press release yesterday begins:

WASHINGTON—Today, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued a ruling in the challenge to President Trump’s March 6 executive order barring the resettlement of refugees for 120 days, banning the entry of people from six Muslim-majority countries for 90 days, and cutting the overall number of refugee admissions for the year by more than half. The challenge was initiated by the State of Hawaii on behalf of individuals impacted by the executive order, and supported by HIAS and other refugee and human rights advocates in the public and private sector.

After hearing oral arguments before a three-judge panel on May 15, the court has affirmed the injunction on the parts of the order that would suspend entry of nationals from the six designated countries, suspend refugee admissions for 120 days, and cap the number of refugees to be admitted this fiscal year at 50,000. This ruling will allow refugees to continue finding safety in the United States through the refugee admissions program, unless the Supreme Court chooses to reverse the Ninth Circuit.

The Fourth Circuit case does not address the 50,000 CEILING issue. So, let’s hope that lawyers for the Justice Department are doing their homework and separating the CEILING issue from the ‘travel ban.’

And, HIAS knows they are on shaky ground regarding the President’s power to limit the numbers from all over the world (all religions/all ethnic groups) and so they continue to mix the ‘Muslim travel ban’ issue with the 50,000 cap to confuse their donors and the uninformed public.

If you missed it, see (here) how far below the CEILING other Presidents have gone—even Obama was tens of thousands below some of his earlier CEILINGS.

Also, see that HIAS, a federal contractor dependent on millions of your tax dollars, organized an anti-Trump rally, here in February.  There ought to be a law—federal contractors shouldn’t be able to stage anti-government protests!  Did they use any federal dollars???

Imagine the outrage if a military contractor was staging demonstrations because they wanted more federally-funded work!

When ‘compassion’ threatens National Security: The landmines of illegal aliens entering military service

In spite of its well-deserved reputation for wastefulness (and other foibles), Congress does have a “recycling program,” wherein failed legislative efforts are recycled by our politicians in Washington.

The ENLIST Act (H.R. 60), currently under consideration, failed to pass in 2014 but is back again.

The term “ENLIST” is an acronym for “Encourage New Legalized Immigrants to Start Training.”

Here is the summary of this bill as it appears on the Congressional Website:

This bill authorizes the enlistment in the Armed Forces of aliens unlawfully present in the United States on December 31, 2012, who: (1) have been continuously present in the United States since such date; (2) were younger than 15 years of age when they initially entered the United States; and (3) are otherwise eligible for original enlistment in a regular component of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, or Coast Guard.

The Department of Homeland Security shall adjust the status of an alien enlisted under such authority to the status of an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence under provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act applicable to aliens who entered the United States prior to January 1, 1972.

The bill rescinds such lawful permanent resident status if the alien is separated from the Armed Forces under other than honorable conditions before serving the term of enlistment.

The text of the bill provides additional important information.

On the face of it, H.R. 60 seems reasonable.

Joining the military is the ultimate act of patriotism, to go in harm’s way on behalf of the United States.

Foreign nationals, including aliens who were illegally present in the United States, have joined our military to defend our nation and some have made the “ultimate sacrifice” as a result of their service to our nation while others were seriously wounded.

I don’t seek to impugn their integrity or in any way demean their service or their loyalty to America.

It is possible that the members of Congress who support this bill sincerely believe that this a fair and effective way to address the problems created thought the presence of hundreds of thousands, if not millions of illegal aliens, who were brought illegally to the United States by their parents, being, in effect, captive to the actions of their parents.

Indeed several members of Congress who are supporting this legislation have, in the past, taken appropriate positions, where immigration law enforcement is concerned.  Some of these members of the House of Representatives have, themselves, served in our military.

I am, however, greatly concerned that transnational gang members and terrorists could exploit this program and this is, as you will see, more than conjecture.

Our nation’s military bases an integral component of national security.  Such bases contain advanced weaponry and often provide access to highly sensitive intelligence.

Time and again we have witnessed “insider killings” on our bases in the Middle East where terrorists join the military to have access to those bases, whereupon they carry out deadly attacks.

The training the members of our armed forces receive are second to none.  The ENLIST Act would provide illegal aliens including potentially transnational gang members and international terrorists with access to our military bases and that highly valued training.

Before we go further it is vital to note that under federal law 18 U.S. Code § 922(g)(5) it is a crime for illegal aliens:

“to ship or transport in interstate or foreign commerce, or possess in or affecting commerce, any firearm or ammunition; or to receive any firearm or ammunition which has been shipped or transported in interstate or foreign commerce.”

The ENLIST Act would thus provide such aliens with the lawful authority to possess weapons and ammunition.

A disturbing documentary video explicitly reports on the growing numbers of transnational gang members having joined our armed forces and cited an FBI report.

My concerns about this are not limited to the findings of others, but are also based on my own first-hand knowledge and experiences I acquired during my 30 year career with the former INS (Immigration and Naturalization Service).

I called upon my experiences when, in October 2014 I wrote an article, Enlisting ‘DREAMERS’ Into Our Military May Create a Nightmare to explain my concerns about the first ENLIST Act that was proposed back then.

Here the relevant paragraph from my commentary:

As an INS agent, in the late 1970s, I worked closely with the NYPD, ATF and ONI (Office of Naval Intelligence) – currently known as NIS (Naval Investigative Service) – to track down and arrest aliens, predominantly from the Caribbean, who had used false ID to enlist in the U.S. Marine Corps to acquire tactical training and firearms training with high-powered weapons. Their goal was to use that training and the weapons they stole to carry out a series of extremely violent, commando-style bank robberies in the New York City area. We literally followed a trail of blood and bodies.

My article also included information contained in an ABC News report:

On October 21, 2011, ABC News posted this report: “FBI Finds Gangs Expanding, Even to U.S. Military.” It stated that although FBI and members of law enforcement don’t have estimates on the number of gang members in the military, there is evidence of gangs operating in 100 jurisdictions in the U.S. and abroad, with members of more than 50 different gangs throughout the military.

Here is an excerpt from that FBI report:

  • Gangs encourage members, associates, and relatives to obtain law enforcement, judiciary, or legal employment in order to gather information on rival gangs and law enforcement operations. Gang infiltration of the military continues to pose a significant criminal threat, as members of at least 53 gangs have been identified on both domestic and international military installations. Gang members who learn advanced weaponry and combat techniques in the military are at risk of employing these skills on the street when they return to their communities.
  • Gang members are acquiring high-powered, military-style weapons and equipment which poses a significant threat because of the potential to engage in lethal encounters with law enforcement officers and civilians. Typically firearms are acquired through illegal purchases; straw purchases via surrogates or middle-men, and thefts from individuals, vehicles, residences and commercial establishments. Gang members also target military and law enforcement officials, facilities, and vehicles to obtain weapons, ammunition, body armor, police gear, badges, uniforms, and official identification.

The 2015 National Gang Report prepared by the National Gang Intelligence Center included this cautionary statement on page 33:

Military-trained gang members pose a serious threat to law enforcement and to the public. They learn combat tactics in the military, then return home to utilize these new skills against rival gangs or law enforcement. Military training of individual gang members could ultimately result in more sophisticated and deadly gangs, as well as deadly assaults on law enforcement officers.

While not all gang members are foreign nationals, many street gangs do consist of aliens who belong to transnational gangs from countries around the world.

Identity theft and the creation of false identities is the stock and trade of criminals, spies and terrorists.  The 9/11 terrorists used 364 false aliases.

Consider the 2016 Telegraph headline, Ukrainian man jailed after posing as child and attending high school.  In this case the man, Artur Samarin, aka Asher Potts, was in his 20’s yet spent several years attending a high school passing himself off as a teenager.  He was a high profile honor student who had been admitted into the United States with a work visa that expired in 2012.  He allegedly then created a false identity for himself.

He is additionally accused of having sex with a 15 year old female classmate and faces decades in prison and deportation upon the completion of his prison sentence.

I addressed this case in my article, Ukrainian National Infiltrates Harrisbur High SchoolHow an illegal immigrant lied about his identity and age and embedded himself among PA children.

Immigration fraud was identified as a key entry and embedding tactic of terrorists who carried out or attempted to carry out terror attacks in the United States.

Under the auspices of the DACA (Deferred Action – Childhood Arrival) Program hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens were granted temporary authorization to live and work in the United States.  The number of applications was so great that there were no interviews and no field investigations conducted to determine the veracity of the information contained in those applications.

It is undeniable that when aliens enter the United States without inspection, thereby circumventing the vetting process conducted at ports of entry to prevent the entry of criminals and terrorists, no record of their entry is created.

Without the resources to conduct field investigations, it will be virtually impossible to determine when, where, how or why these aliens entered the United States in the first place, despite their claims that they entered illegally as children with their parents.

Given the continuing growing threats posed by transnational gangs and international terrorists, efforts to address the immigration crisis must not exacerbate our vulnerabilities.

If this bill, H.R. 60, becomes law, it is likely to facilitate the nefarious goals of those who see in our compassion weakness that could be easily exploited.

Suicide is not an act of compassion.

RELATED ARTICLE: Texas Sheriff Actively Promoting Visas for Illegal Immigrants

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in FrontPage Magazine.