What Russian immigrants can teach us about Jewish identity

Russian Jews know from personal experience that leftist ideology leads to totalitarian dictatorship, suppression of individual freedoms, and denial of personal autonomy.

Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely was criticized a few months ago for opining that American Jews live “comfortable” lives and don’t know what it’s like to live under constant threat of attack, though she also acknowledged the continuing bond between them and their Israeli cousins.

While mainstream liberals took offense, they could not dispute the substance of her comments.  It seems progressive Jews are always offended when moderate, conservative, or right-wing Israelis (i.e., much of the Israeli electorate) have the temerity to chastise those whose politics threaten Israel’s safety, security, and continuity as a Jewish state.  It’s easy to criticize Israel from the comfort of North America for those who define religious and ethnic identity not by Jewish values and history, but by allegiance to a political worldview that devalues both.

Though Hotovely’s words were taken somewhat out of context, the truth is many American Jews are indeed naïve – especially those who believe Israel should conform to a political vision that characterizes her as an occupier, demeans the Jewish spirit, and belittles traditional Judaism.  To the extent her words offended those who support an agenda that undermines Israel and empowers her enemies, they were words that needed to be spoken and should be repeated often.  No longer should the mainstream blindly vouch for the religious and cultural integrity of the Jewish left, or of nontraditional clergy who find common cause with BDS advocates and Islamist front organizations.

Much of the non-Orthodox establishment seems to care more about secular political values than traditional Jewish ones, and its support for Israel is often apologetic or conditioned on her presumed acceptance of liberal ideals. Too often, progressive organizations provide forums for left-wing ideologues and unbalanced critics who disparage the Jewish State and traditional Judaism, while denying equal time to pro-Israel advocates and political conservatives.  This dynamic frequently plays out in college and universities where liberal campus leaders often show greater concern about the hypothetical risk of Islamophobia than the very real incidence of progressive anti-Semitism, and frequently condemn Israeli policies while ignoring Islamist rejectionism.


There is nothing inherently Jewish about political values that encourage assimilation and undercut Jewish observance and national integrity.

That’s why it’s refreshing to see organizations like the Russian Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Boston thriving and celebrating Jewish identity.  In some ways, the RJCF is like thelandsmanschaften associations of the early twentieth century that provided communal support to Jewish immigrants who came from the shtetls of Eastern Europe.  The RJCF’s core membership hails from the former Soviet Union, where seventy years of Jewish suffering under the yoke of Communism instilled a survival mentality and loyalty to heritage.  Instead of facilitating assimilation, the experience of Russian Jews as a persecuted minority seems to have fostered a commitment to identity, devotion to democratic ideals, and passion for the Jewish State.

The RJCF’s ardor for Israel was on full display at its recent, annual end-of-the-year Gala, where the theme was “United with Jerusalem” in honor of the fiftieth anniversary of the reunification of the ancient Jewish capital.  The keynote address was delivered by retired Lt. Colonel and former U.S. Representative Allen West, and the honoree for RJCF’s Jewish Advocacy Award was Rabbi Jonathan Hausman, who was recognized for his work on behalf of Israel and the international free speech movement.

The choices of Colonel West and Rabbi Hausman reflected the RJCF’s assertive commitment to Israel and to the free speech that is so essential for protecting democratic ideals and preserving Jewish identity in America.  Though both gentlemen have been attacked for their stances on radical Islam by progressive groups ambivalent or hostile towards Israel and traditional Judaism, and despite whisperings from some corners of the community that attendance would be hampered by their participation, the Gala’s organizers were resolute in choosing them as speaker and honoree.  And this resolve was rewarded by a tremendous turnout and enthusiastic audience response when the Colonel and Rabbi spoke.

The RJCF’s President, Alex Koifman, set the tone in his opening remarks by noting how Jews from the former Soviet Union strongly identify with Jerusalem’s reunification and draw strength and inspiration from Israel’s assertion of sovereignty over her ancient capital.  He also observed how bias against Israel and hatred of Jews is on the rise globally, and that the RJCF is committed to combatting both.  Because of their unique history and experience, it seems Russian Jews are particularly sensitive to the dangers of anti-Semitic hate speech and the need to confront it proactively.

These sentiments were echoed by Colonel West, who emphasized the importance of teaching and learning Jewish history – from Torah times to the present – and of understanding that the Jews’ presence in Israel is part of an unbroken historical continuum, while Palestinian claims have no history to back them up.  Organizations like the RJCF are important because they affirm Jewish history and the symbiotic relationship between the United States and Israel, he said, noting that Russian Jews know from personal experience that leftist ideology leads to totalitarian dictatorship, suppression of individual freedoms, and denial of personal autonomy.

Colonel West also emphasized the need to strengthen the American-Israeli relationship and undo the damage caused by the failed policies of the Obama administration, which gave billions of dollars to an Iranian regime sworn to exterminating Israel and bestowed moral legitimacy on the anti-Semitic BDS movement.  It’s up to the Trump administration to acknowledge the historical legitimacy of the Jewish State and influence other governments to do the same.  “There can be no peace in the Middle East without recognition of who [the Jews] are, and until Europe and the Arab nations stop shunning Israel,” he said.  This vision is not simply good politics, said West, but represents the fulfillment of the words spoken to Avraham by G-d in Sefer Breishit (Genesis).  “And I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse, and all the families of the earth shall be blessed in you.” (Parshah Lech-Lecha, Breishit, 12:3.)

In his remarks, Rabbi Hausman emphasized the Jewish tradition of debate, discussion and intellectual inquisitiveness, and that Jews thrive in societies that cherish free speech and critical discourse.  Freedom of expression and the exchange of ideas were once hallmarks of liberal democracy, but have come under attack in recent years by those who simply cannot tolerate disagreement and dissent, he said.  Though progressives claim to be the standard bearers of liberal ideals, they have turned their backs on classical liberalism, which in earlier generations had treasured critical thought and the interplay of opposing viewpoints.  “Societies where discussion becomes impossible are susceptible to totalitarianism, and nobody knows this better than Jews from the former Soviet Union,” Rabbi Hausman said to applause from the audience, noting further that such societies “are not conducive to the safety and security of the Jewish People or the State of Israel.”

Rabbi Hausman’s remarks gave perspective as to why Hotovely’s comments rankled liberals, especially those who tolerate or enable leftist totalitarianism, progressive anti-Semitism, and Islamist excess.  She clearly unnerved those whose political ideals are fundamentally incompatible with authentic Jewish values, but who nevertheless strain to claim consistency with Jewish tradition.  In redefining their identity according to politics that contravene Jewish religious and cultural continuity, liberal “social warriors” have lost the tools necessary for Jewish survival, and have politically aligned themselves – wittingly or not – with leftists who promote assimilation and Islamists who seek to eradicate Israel.

If the RJCF’s constituency is any indication, the Russian Jewish community has no tolerance for such religious and cultural suicide, as evidenced by its strong support for Israel in terms of both dollars and personal commitment.  Russian Jewish immigrants are extremely patriotic to the US and Israel, and they see more of their children serving as lone soldiers in the IDF than does the liberal mainstream.  Indeed, many lone soldiers from this community have parents who served before them – in sharp contrast to those progressives who disparage Israel and who shamefully condemned President Trump’s formal recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

One gets the sense that the RJCF’s members might stop identifying as Russian after a generation or two, but will never cease being Jewish.  For them, “Russian” is the adjective that describes where they or their parents were born, but “Jew” is the noun that defines their essence.  If they were to cease identifying as Russian, they would still be Jewish because of their self-awareness and historical connectedness.  In contrast, American progressives who lose their political faith are deprived of the only thing by which they define Jewishness.  Take away their liberalism, and you take away their validation as Jews.  The irony, of course, is that there is nothing inherently Jewish about political values that encourage assimilation and undercut Jewish observance and national integrity.

And this is something that the RJCF’s members understand – as do emigres from any society in which Jews have suffered persecution.  Those who must fight to maintain their religious and cultural identity have a similar mentality to Israelis who fight not only for their own survival, but for that of the Jewish People.  They know that Jewish continuity depends on loyalty to history and tradition, which is a lesson that many American Jews have either forgotten or never learned in the first place.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in Israel National News.

Overlooked in the Immigration Debate: Gender-based Violence

The Departments of Justice and Homeland Security released a report this week showing that 3 out of 4 individuals convicted of international terrorism-related charges between September 11, 2001, and December 31, 2016, are foreign-born individuals who entered the United States through our immigration system.

Recent reports from DOJ and DHS also draw attention to an issue often lost in the immigration debate: gender-based violence.

  • A 2011 Government Accountability Office report found that criminal aliens were convicted of 69,929 sex offenses between fiscal years 2003 and 2009.
  • A 2014 study estimated that approximately 1,500 forced marriages occur in the U.S. every year.
  • That same 2014 study showed there to be an average of 23 to 27 honor killings in America each year—with 90 percent of victims murdered for being “too westernized.”

Numbers like these show that regardless of political affiliation, all Americans should want an immigration system that supports and defends our values.

Read more about how our current immigration system jeopardizes American security.

Six Convicted Felons Are Running for the U.S. Congress in 2018

There is no law that prevents a convicted felon from running for the U.S. Congress. Six convicted felons are running during the 2018 midterm elections, two for the U.S. Senate and four for the U.S. House of Representatives. Four are Republicans and two are Democrats.

They are in alphabetical order:

  1. Democrat candidate David Alcorn who was convicted of stalking. Alcorn is one of nine candidates for the Democratic Party’s nomination in New Mexico’s 2nd Congressional District.
  2. Former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio who is running in the Republican primary the U.S. Senate seat in Arizona. Then Sheriff Arpaio was convicted of misdemeanor criminal contempt of court in July 2017 for defying a court order requiring him to stop detaining people he suspected of being illegal aliens. President Donald Trump pardoned him one month later.
  3. Don Blankenship, the former head of the coal mining company Massey Energy who is running in the Republican primary to challenge Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.). Blankenship served one year in prison on a misdemeanor conviction for conspiring to evade safety laws after the death of 29 miners at his Upper Big Branch Mine in 2010.
  4. Congressman Greg Gianforte (R-Mont.) is running for re-election. Gianforte plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge of assaulting a reporter in 2017.
  5. Former Rep. Michael Grimm, who is challenging incumbent Rep. Dan Donovan (R-N.Y.) Grimm is a former FBI agent who pleaded guilty to felony tax evasion in 2014.
  6. Bradley Edward (Chelsea) Manning who was convicted by court-martial in July 2013, of violations of the Espionage Act and other offenses, after disclosing to WikiLeaks nearly 750,000 classified, or unclassified but sensitive, military and diplomatic documents. Manning’s sentence was communted by former President Barack Obama in 2016. Manning is running in the Democratic primary in Maryland for the U.S. Senate.

Perhaps the two most interesting candidates are Republican Sheriff Joe Arpaio and Democrat Bradley Edward (Chelsea) Manning.

Both have something in common. Both are convicted felons and both have been pardoned by a U.S. President. Control of the U.S. Senate is critical to furthering any president’s agenda. President Trump has taken strong positions on rebuilding the military, border security, immigration and growing the economy by reducing taxes and regulations.

It is clear that the Democratic Party is not and will not help further President Trump’s agenda of making America great, again.

The Family Research Council in an article titled “Chelsea Manning: The Voice of Treason” notes:

Chelsea Manning had a chance to serve his country — and betrayed it. Now he wants to serve in the U.S. Senate. The former Army private-turned-transgender-activist stunned everyone this week by announcing a run for elected office, one year after he was pardoned for treason. Welcome to the new Democratic Party.

For most people, the idea would be outrageous even if Manning weren’t sure which gender to identify with. This is, after all, a man who was convicted of war crimes against the very country he’s running to represent. “All Manning would have to do,” a Fox News commentator pointed out, “is swear another meaningless oath and promise to obey it this time to once again gain access to our national security secrets, which [he] could leak again if [he] wished. That should fill you with confidence.”

Read more.

In a Huffington Post column titled “Republicans Have 4 Convicted Criminals Running For Congress In 2018” Paul Blumenthal notes:

When Joe Arpaio, the former Maricopa County sheriff, announced his Senate candidacy on Tuesday, he became the fourth viable Republican 2018 congressional candidate who’s been convicted of a crime. And like two of the other GOP cons running for office, he has cited his criminal record as a partial justification for his candidacy.

Arpaio was convicted of misdemeanor criminal contempt of court in July 2017 for defying a court order requiring him to stop illegally detaining people he suspected of being undocumented immigrants based on their race. President Donald Trump pardoned him one month later.

The midterm elections will be notable is many different ways, the idea of convicted felons running is just one more anomaly.

This reminds us of the Capitol One commercial. What’s in your Congress?

PODCAST: Why the March for Life Matters

Susan B. Anthony List’s Mallory Quigley joins us to discuss pro-life priorities in 2018, and why the March for Life, happening this Friday and featuring a live video from President Donald Trump, matters. Plus: a fashion designer’s flirtation with skirts for men, and Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., compares Trump to Josef Stalin.

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Katrina Trinko is managing editor of The Daily Signal and a member of USA Today’s Board of Contributors. Send an email to Katrina. Twitter: @KatrinaTrinko.

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Daniel Davis

Daniel Davis is the commentary editor of The Daily Signal. Twitter: @JDaniel_Davis.

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3 Out of 4 Convicted Terrorists Came to U.S. Legally Via Current Immigration System

Illustrating the national security threats created by the nation’s immigration system, the overwhelming majority of individuals convicted of terrorism are foreigners who entered the United States legally through various federal programs. Three out of every four convicted terrorists between September 11, 2001 and December 31, 2016 are foreign born and came to the United States through our immigration system, according to a new report issued jointly by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of Justice (DOJ).

At least 549 individuals were convicted of terrorism-related charges in American federal courts since 2001 and 402 of them—approximately 73%–were foreign-born, the report says. Here’s the breakdown by citizenship at the time of their convictions; 254 were not U.S. citizens, 148 were naturalized and received American citizenship and 147 were U.S. born. Additionally, 1,716 foreigners with national security concerns were removed from the United States. The Trump administration stresses that figures include only those aliens who were convicted or removed and therefore do not represent the total measure of foreign terrorist infiltration of the United States. Statistics on individuals facing terrorism charges who have not yet been convicted will be provided in follow-up reports that will be made available to the public.

This DHS/DOJ report, issued this month, is disturbing enough and reveals that a significant number of terrorists entered the country through immigration programs that use family ties and extended-family chain migration as a basis for entry. Among them is Mufid Elfgeeh, a national of Yemen who benefitted from chain migration in 1997 and was sentenced to more than 22 years in prison for attempting to recruit fighters for ISIS. Sudanese Mahmoud Amin Mohamed Elhassan came to the U.S. in 2012 as a relative of a lawful permanent resident and eventually pleaded guilty to attempting to provide material support to ISIS. Pakistani Uzair Paracha was admitted to the U.S. in 1980 as a family member of a lawful permanent resident and in 2006 was sentenced to more than three decades in prison for providing material support to Al Qaeda. Khaleel Ahmed, a national of India, was admitted to the United States in 1998 as a family member of a naturalized United States citizen. Ahmed eventually became an American citizen and in 2010 was sentenced to more than eight years in prison for conspiring to provide material support to terrorists.

Other convicted terrorists came to the U.S. through the controversial visa lottery program, the multi-agency probe found. Among them is Abdurasaul Hasanovich Juraboev, a national of Uzbekistan who was admitted into the country as a diversity visa lottery recipient in 2011. In 2015, he pleaded guilty to conspiring to support ISIS and in 2017 Juraboev was sentenced to 15 years in prison. Sudanese Ali Shukri Amin was admitted to the U.S. in 1999 as the child of a diversity visa lottery recipient and subsequently obtained American citizenship through naturalization. In 2015, he was sentenced to more than 11 years in prison for conspiring to provide material support and resources to ISIS. Amin admitted to using social media to provide advice and encouragement to ISIS and its supporters and facilitated ISIS supporters seeking to travel to Syria to join the terrorist group. Amin also helped a Virginia teen named Reza Niknejad get to Syria to join ISIS in 2015.

“The United States faces a serious and persistent terror threat, and individuals with ties to terror can and will use any pathway to enter our country,” the new DHS/DOJ report states. “Accordingly, DHS has taken significant steps to improve the security of all potential routes used by known or suspected terrorists (KST) to travel to the United States to ensure that individuals who would do harm to Americans are identified and detected, and their plots are disrupted. These figures reflect the challenges faced by the United States and demonstrate the necessity to remain vigilant and proactive in our counterterrorism posture.”

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Whatfinger News: What the Drudge Report Was Meant to Be

In this anti-establishment age, people are increasingly moving toward anti-establishment news sources. Many good examples exist, but as far as news aggregators go, one stands out: Whatfinger News (Whatfinger.com).

That’s right, not the Drudge Report. That titan of news-aggregator traffic loses out because of an area in which it may be without peer: providing eyeballs for left-wing websites. More on that momentarily.

It’s not hard to put your finger on what makes Whatfinger stand out: much more news, more conservative news and better views. Whatfinger is well organized and above-board, presenting headline news from various sources, categories for right-wing and left-wing outlets (with the latter far smaller!), and a prominent video section.

Most of Whatfingers’ readers are ex-Drudge fans alienated from Drudge due to perceived establishment bias. And its web traffic levels reflect the anti-establishment wave. SimilarWeb shows Whatfinger’s “numbers at 1.63M in the traditionally slow month of December while back in August they were pulling in about 400K hits. That’s a pretty fast-paced build in the Sabermetrics of digital publishing,” reports Liberty Nation.

Speaking of a liberty nation, Drudge just doesn’t seem to be doing much to help us maintain that status. Let’s first understand that, as they may teach in journalism school, everyone and every entity have a bias. Note that unlike a “prejudice,” a bias doesn’t have to be negative by definition. What really matters is whether you’re biased in favor of the Truth — or a lie.

Unfortunately, too many of Drudge’s sources have a very definite leftist bias; this is not mere perception, either. As Liberty Nation also informs, reporting on a 2015 study:

The Drudge Report is Numero Uno for referring traffic primarily to the rogue’s gallery of narrative-driven left-wing media outlets like CNN, the New York Times, and The Washington Post. As a conservative who’s now well versed in the power and money that traffic gives these outlets, one must ask[:] What’s up with that? Why is such a robust website on the right driving so much traffic to the left? Don’t these legacy properties [that] perform palace guard functions for the establishment already have enough influence and power to get there on their own? Do conservatives need to be giving them a helping hand?

Note that traffic is a website’s lifeblood, equating to influence and income. Feed the beast, and the beast grows. Wither on the vine the knights trying to slay the dragon, the knights get slain. We conservatives already have to deal with Twitter’s shadowbanning, Facebook’s censors and Google’s blacklists. Et tu, Drudge?

Perhaps Drudge’s failure is explained by O’Sullivan’s First Law: “Any institution that is not explicitly right wing will become left wing over time.” A more precise way of putting it, however, is that any institution not rooted to ageless principles will bend to the age’s preferences.

Matt Drudge, the eponymous founder of the Drudge Report, has embraced the label “conservative.” Sadly, however, he too often seems to be conserving the legacy media’s power.

As to power, Drudge is still where it lies in the news-aggregator business. But if Drudge is the aging heavyweight champ, Whatfinger is the younger, more vibrant up-and-coming contender who only needs a title shot to hoist the belt. I hope it gets it, too, because the current media status quo has conservatives heading for a knockout.

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

RELATED ARTICLE: Whatfinger is a Drudge Alternative for the New Year

Connecting the Dots: How the Latest Affordable Housing Policy Benefits Homeowners and Realtors, not First-time Buyers

Tobias Peter, senior research analyst at the AEI Center on Housing Markets and Finance, wrote the following blog post: Connecting the Dots: How the Latest Affordable Housing Policy Benefits Homeowners and Realtors, not First-time Buyers.

In it he explains how “another government housing policy intended to open “the door to home purchase mortgages for large numbers of new buyers” has failed.  Instead of bringing income-constrained borrowers into the market, it making housing less affordable by adding more fuel to a national house price boom that is pricing them out of the market, while providing a windfall to home sellers and real estate agents.”


Connecting the Dots: How the Latest Affordable Housing Policy Benefits Homeowners and Realtors, not First-time Buyers

Tobias Peter (Tobias.Peter@AEI.org), Senior Research Analyst

AEI’s Center on Housing Markets and Finance

January 16, 2018

The numbers are in and yet another government housing policy intended to open “the door to home purchase mortgages for large numbers of new buyers” has failed.  Instead of bringing income-constrained borrowers into the market, it is making housing less affordable by adding more fuel to a national house price boom that is pricing them out of the market, while providing a windfall to home sellers and real estate agents.

Let’s connect the dots.  As of the weekend of July 29, 2017, Fannie Mae, one of the two government sponsored housing enterprises (GSE), started buying and securitizing many more mortgages with a debt-to-income ratio (DTI) of up to 50 percent.  The DTI measures the ratio of monthly payments to income.  The higher the ratio, the greater a borrower’s monthly debt payments and the greater a borrower’s likelihood to default.

Prior to the policy change, the large majority of Fannie borrowers were limited to a DTI of 45 percent, with only a few borrowers allowed to go as high as 50 percent with compensating factors such as a certain number of months of cash reserves or a higher down payment.  Fannie’s move thereby allowed borrowers to take on more debt relative to their income.  Freddie Mac, the other GSE, had been buying more mortgages with DTIs over 45 percent than Fannie, but it too ramped up its purchases after Fannie’s announcement as data from the AEI National Mortgage Risk Index (NMRI) show.

Sensing an opening for income-constrained borrowers to now enter the housing market, housing advocates hailed Fannie’s move as a “win for expanding access to credit.”  Yet this line of reasoning was always flawed.  Access for income-constrained borrowers already existed.  The Federal Housing Administration (FHA), another government housing entity, already guarantees loans with a DTI up to 57 percent and with less stringent credit score and down payment requirements than Fannie or Freddie ever would.  By offering this service at a lower cost to certain borrowers, Fannie’s (and Freddie’s) move thereby pitted one government guaranteed insurer of mortgages against another.

The effect of the change has been stunning since it took effect.  First, the share of Fannie borrowers with a DTI above 45 jumped 11 percentage points to 17 percent within just three months after the program’s implementation.  Yet precious few of these borrowers were new market entrants while the large majority were Fannie borrowers taking on more debt.

This is problematic.  In today’s seller’s market, prices have been rising rapidly.  The measures from a variety of sources all show prices rising 6 to 7 percent over the past year, and as much as 10 percent for entry-level homes.  DTIs function as a friction slowing the increase of house prices through binding limits.  Remove the friction and house price increases will pick up.  This happens the following way: First, income-constrained borrowers take advantage of the higher limits, as they initially no longer have to settle for lower priced homes.  Then, because supply is limited, the extra debt ends up raising prices – either directly through more aggressive bidding for houses or indirectly through appraisals when inflated home sales become comparables for other sales as our research shows.  Soon, the cycle feeds on itself and everyone, not just income-constrained borrowers, has to take on more debt.  This is exactly what happened as the NMRI data also show (see chart).

What is driving up prices so rapidly today is the combination of a seller’s market, which is now in its 63rd month, and more liberal access to credit through, for example higher DTI limits, or generally looser lending standards as documented by the NMRI.  Since 2012, national house prices have risen by around 50 percent as shown by the Case-Shiller index, but in the bottom tier of the market, where supply is more constrained and credit more liberal, prices have doubled.

And so, what started as a policy change by Fannie Mae to close the growing affordability gap has added yet more fuel to the house price boom, especially at the lower end of the market.  Thereby this policy will benefit existing homeowners, realtors, and builders, but it will hurt first-time buyers and those with limited resources as they will have to stretch further to afford homeownership or be forced to remain on the sidelines.

164 Companies Credit Tax Reform for Bonuses and Pay Raises

One hundred sixty-four companies have gone on record stating they gave bonuses and pay raises to employees because of the new tax reform law, according to Americans for Tax Reform.

The list has been continually updated and jumped from 40 companies to 164 in 10 days, the Washington Examiner reports.

dcnf-logo

The businesses include American Airlines, AT&T, prominent banks and savings and loans, Boeing, Comcast, Pacific Power, and Visa.

The list shows what each company paid in bonuses and includes attached statements or press releases, saying tax reform was the catalyst for each company’s decision.

AT&T showed direct support for President Donald Trump in its statement and said it expects the changes to produce more jobs and “economic growth.”

“Congress, working closely with the president, took a monumental step to bring taxes paid by U.S. businesses in line with the rest of the industrialized world,” AT&T Chairman and CEO Randall Stephenson said in a statement. “Tax reform will drive economic growth and create good-paying jobs. In fact, we will increase our U.S. investment and pay a special bonus to our U.S. employees.”

Americans for Tax Reform tweeted the list and said companies also provided increased 401K contributions along with the bonuses as a result of the new tax law.

EDITORS NOTE:  Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities for this original content, email licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

VIDEO: The Truth About ‘Sh*thole Countries’

On January 12th, 2017 Paul Joseph Watson published the below video on his YouTube channel:

Watson concludes, “Trump was right. Some countries are sh*tholes.”

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Headline from 2014: San Francisco’s public defecation map highlights a shitty situation

It appears that the word sh_thole is making major network news lately. Various media outlets like CNN, MSNBC and ABC can’t seem to get enough of the word “sh_thole.” WARNING GRAPHIC LANGUAGE:

Perhaps its time to take a look back at a stark reality in San Francisco, California. A sanctuary city that has literally turned into a sh_thole because of its public policies.

Steve Dent from Engadget.com posted a column dated December 21st, 2014 titled “San Francisco’s public defecation map highlights a shitty situation.” Dent wrote:

Wondering what that smell near the Civic Center is, San Francisco resident? As far as serious interactive maps go, Human Wasteland is one of the strangest we’ve seen. Created by civil-engineer-turned-web-developer Jennifer Wong, the project plots human excrement “incidents” reported by the public to SF311. Her project won an internal hacking contest for employees of a real estate website, an ironic honor considering the city’s contentious housing issues. The highest concentration of crap is at a downtown alley next to the financial district, right in a high-traffic area frequented by tourists.

While the odd drunk or other soul may have had an emergency, the map is more about folks who don’t have a toilet, period. According to the SF Weekly, the map (graphically) reflects the city’s problems with limited, filthy public restrooms and lack of services for the homeless. So while it’s amusing for non-residents and disgusting for city center dwellers or tourists, it did make me think: “Where would I go in public if I had no choice?”

According to its website, (Human) Wasteland is a mochimachine project. It uses human waste reports made to 311 in San Francisco from DataSF and maps them in several ways. Human Wasteland links to three 2014 articles that address the problem of homelessness and lack of resources for the homeless in San Francisco:

When you go to the Human Wasteland webpage you see the below map of San Francisco:

Click on the image to view an interactive map of where people are defecating on the streets of San Francisco.

It appears that San Francisco has a serious poop problem. But it gets worse. Heather Knight in a June 26th, 2017 San Francisco Chronicle column titled “Despite money and effort, homelessness in SF as bad as ever” wrote:

On the face of it, San Francisco’s homeless problem should have improved dramatically over the past year.

After all, last summer Mayor Ed Lee formed the Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing to focus on the city’s most perplexing problem.

The city spent $275 million on homelessness and supportive housing in the fiscal year that ends Friday, up from $241 million the year before. Starting Saturday, that annual spending is projected to hit an eye-popping $305 million.

Public Works cleanup crews were busier than ever, picking up more than 679 tons of trash from homeless tent camps since June 1, 2016, and collecting more than 100,000 used syringes from the camps in that time span.

Read more.

According the San Francisco Chronicle, on 311 complaints in San Francisco:

Complaints to the city’s 311 service about encampments, human waste and needles have steadily increased from about 6,300 in 2011 to more than 44,000 in 2016.

Here is a map of the ongoing and growing problem:

The problem is clear. Rewarding bad behavior creates more bad behavior. If you don’t believe this just look at San Francisco.

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Why Is There So Much Human Shit on the Streets? — The Bold Italic — San Francisco

CALIFORNIA UNVEILS “HOMELESS BILL OF RIGHTS”, RIGHT TO PUBLIC URINATION: It may actually be the first law ever that turns public urination into a right.

Watch: Illegals Erect Huge Camp In Major Sanctuary City – Disgusting!

RELATED VIDEO: Illegal alien camp in sanctuary city of Santa Ana, California.

Dumb & Dumber: A Hawaii government employee sends out false missile alert, a ‘progressive’ veterans group blames the POTUS

Sometimes movies are parodies of real life. It appears that the movie Dumb & Dumber is a parody of a progressive veterans group. According to Google:

Since it began tracking such responses seven years ago, nine states have consistently ranked among the top 10 most-Democratic each year. They are Massachusetts, Maryland, Rhode Island, New York, Vermont, California, Hawaii, Delaware and Illinois.

The Governor of Hawaii is David Ige, a Democrat. Hawaii’s congressional politics are typically dominated by Democrats. The state has elected just one Republican U.S. senator, Hiram Fong, who served from 1959 to 1977, and two GOP House members. The rest have been Democrats. Hawaii is currently represented in the Senate by Democrats Mazie Hirono and Brian Schatz.

On January 13th something went very wrong in Hawaii. 

At 8:07 a.m. on Saturday, January 13, 2018, the Emergency Management authorities in Hawaii sent out an emergency alert advising all residents that there was a ballistic missile threat inbound to Hawaii, that they should seek immediate shelter, and that this was not a drill. This alert left some people crying and screaming. The false alert has drawn the attention of FEMA and a federal investigation has been launched.

On January 14th, 2017 the self identified “progressive” organization VoteVets.org sent out the following in a fundraising email titled “Ballistic missile threat inbound to Hawaii. Seek immediate shelter. This is not a drill”:

By now you’ve heard the news: yesterday morning, people in Hawaii received an emergency alert on their phones that a ballistic missile attack was imminent.

Obviously, the good news is that it was a mistake. But the truth of the matter is the extraordinary international reaction to the error is a testament to the perception of how unsafe we are as a nation with Donald Trump as our Commander in Chief. [Emphasis added]

This is not the first time a Hawaiian government agency has sent out a false alert. On January 3rd, 2017 at 8:07 the Honolulu Department of Emergency Management inadvertently activated the emergency sirens while preparing for a scheduled test of the emergency notification system.

The VoteVets.org email went on to state:

Thankfully Trump was at the golf course when this happened and it didn’t come across the screen on Fox and Friends during his “executive time.”

This president is dangerous. That’s why we are organizing veterans who have seen war in Korea to speak out. We can’t wait for you to hear from them.

Chip in $3 today…

QUESTION: Why is a progressive veterans group blaming President Trump for sending out the false missile alert in Hawaii?

Is it proper for any veterans organization to use this event, caused solely by a Hawaii government employee that frightened many thousands of citizens, families and visitors, to raise money and denigrate the Commander-in-Chief?

VoteVets.org needs to take a serious look at itself in the mirror.

President Trump is not unsafe, did not cause this error, does not have “executive time” on Fox & Friends and the state of Hawaii, run by the Democratic Party, is now taking action, in conjunction with the federal government, to insure this does not happen again.

RELATED ARTICLE: Troubling Information Coming From FCC Investigation of False Hawaii ‘Incoming Missile Alert’

VIDEO: Twitter Security Engineer, ‘It is a creepy big brother.’

Before you watch Part III of our investigation into Twitter, I have to warn you that the discussions held by these Twitter employees IS NOT family friendly.

If you’re at the office, turn down your speakers or put on your headphones.

If the children are in the room, ask them to cover their ears.

With that warning out of the way, here’s what you should be really worried about . . .

If you have held a private conversation on Twitter, and possibly any other social platform, your conversation was NOT private.

Even if you deleted sensitive discussions you held privately online, not only are they still there, the information you discussed — attached to your personal profile — is being traded like a commodity.

Have you discussed personal family matters with others over private messages?
Have you talked about your health or the diagnosis of a loved one?
Have your vented relationship challenges to a close friend?
Have you expressed intimate sentiments to your spouse or partner?

If you’ve done any of those things, and again, even if those messages have been deleted, they are now attached to your personal “virtual profile” and bought and sold thousands of times over.

As one Twitter employee called it, “it’s creepy big brother.”

WARNING GRAPHIC LANGUAGE BY TWITTER EMPLOYEES:

witter has over 300 million users across the world and in essence has turned itself into a giant database of virtual personalities with preferences, likes and dislikes all attached to each and every one of us . . . . even if you don’t use Twitter!

Clay Haynes, Twitter’s Senior Network Security Engineer, admits that “You leak way more information than you think… Like, if you go to Twitter for the first time, we have information about you.”

I’d guess that 99.8% of people never read Twitters terms and conditions, and those that do have a 99.9% chance of not understanding the depth and implications of them.

That’s why, as an avid Twitter user myself, I was shocked to hear what is really going on behind the closed doors of this tech giant.

Watch this video and tell others to do so, and we will wait and see how Twitter responds to this one.

Our video is already being featured at the top of the Drudge Report site, which has had over 890 million site visitors over the past 30 days alone.

Drudge Report

Thanks again for everything and as always . . . stay tuned.

In truth,

James O’Keefe
Project Veritas

Leftist Toilet Mouths Condemn Trump as They Corrupt Nation

President Trump denies having used a vulgar term last Thursday to describe dysfunctional Third World countries. Yet there’s no denying that the leftist media, believing he did, responded by repeatedly disgorging the term in a childish orgy of decadence. Of course, the media no doubt think they’re damaging Trump — but they’re actually damaging society.

Let’s be clear: Leftists certainly object to the substance of Trump’s comments, that we shouldn’t continually absorb poor, unskilled, often functionally illiterate and unassimilable people from Third World nations. But they also object to his alleged style, labeling as obscene the use of s***hole (toilet) to describe such places. So to show us how bad such language is, the Crude News Network (CNN), for example, used it at least 36 times on Thursday. It’s sort of like inveighing against animal abuse and then bludgeoning dozens of dogs to death on air to prove your point.

WARNING GRAPHIC LANGUAGE:

Let’s be clear about a few other matters:

  1. You probably wouldn’t lose money betting that all the leftists now complaining about the toilet term use vulgarity themselves off air.
  2. In reality, most media leftists actually have mouths resembling sewers.
  3. It’s the Left that, mainly via entertainment, has coarsened society, defining deviancy downwards and normalizing vulgarity. This is why the younger generations now use profanity, publicly, as a matter of course.
  4. This is very, very destructive to society.

Why it’s destructive I’ll explain momentarily. Note, however, that this article isn’t about immigration, which I take a hard line on and believe should be completely ended. Something else that should be ended, however, is our increasing tolerance for public crudity.

Let’s begin with what the Father of Our Nation and first president, George Washington, wrote about vulgarity in a 1776 order:

The General is sorry to be informed that the foolish, and wicked practice, of profane cursing and swearing (a Vice heretofore little known in an American Army) is growing into fashion; he hopes the officers will, by example, as well as influence, endeavour to check it, and that both they, and the men will reflect, that we can have little hopes of the blessing of Heaven on our Arms, if we insult it by our impiety, and folly; added to this, it is a vice so mean and low, without any temptation, that every man of sense, and character, detests and despises it.

In point of fact, few of us had great-grandparents who wouldn’t have been at least somewhat appalled at today’s tawdry tongues. And whatever a few of them might have occasionally uttered in private, they certainly wouldn’t use bad language in polite company (does this even still exist?) or around children. Now note that every time we use profanity publicly — on the Internet, for example — we are using it in front of children.

This raises the matter of the blessed asterisk and its cloaking cousins. Many will ask what the point is, since kids have already heard every vulgar word we’re obscuring. Yet this is a bit like saying: If children know about serial killers, what’s the big deal about inundating them with snuff films?

We (should) use asterisks in print, bleep out words in broadcast and generally obscure the obscene because doing so sends an important message:

The obscured things are wrong.

Opening up the closet of the coarse, crude and carnal sends the message that such things are okay. Sure, kids have heard bad language. But the point is to not normalize and legitimize it through continual and cavalier adult use. The point is to instill in the young virtue, good moral habits, not the bad ones called vice. And habits are created via repetition — a fact that should make us think twice about on-air repetition of vulgarity.

Instinctively, many of us still sense vulgarity’s ugliness. This ugliness is best illustrated by putting it in the prettiest of mouths: Would you find a group of nine-year-olds cursing like a drunken sailor an uplifting scene? Would you think they were on a good moral path?

Well, as poet William Wordsworth put it, “The Child is father of the Man”; a youth’s well-learned dark lessons become adult transgressions. Yet some will still wonder why this matters, maintaining that vulgarities are “just words” (actually, they’re unjust words). For an in-depth exposition on this, I strongly urge you to read “Cussing & Cultural Decay,” a magazine piece I penned last year that I believe is the definitive short work on the subject (it’s hard to find online but is available here).

Put simply, though, an immoral society cannot yield a moral government. Echoing many great thinkers, British philosopher Edmund Burke warned, “It is ordained in the eternal constitution of things, that men of intemperate minds cannot be free. Their passions forge their fetters.” (The Founding Fathers often expressed the same principle in different words.) Now, do people who habitually disgorge vulgarity — not to mention indulge decadence in general — strike you as men of temperate minds? Or do you think such habits reflect fetters-forging passions?

Too many suppose we can compartmentalize our virtue and vice. Like believing we can continually pollute one side of a lake yet swim in pure waters on the other, we act as if impurity intensely indulged in certain areas won’t bleed over into areas we’d like to keep pristine. But just as former labor secretary Lynn Martin said in 1992 that “[y]ou can’t be one kind of man and another kind of president,” we can’t be one kind of people and have another kind of polity. Do you really think we can embrace profound vice in language, entertainment and sexuality but then enjoy that for which profound virtue is necessary: fiscal restraint, respect for rights, honesty in government affairs, dutiful law-enforcement agencies, a Constitution-limited judiciary, sound schooling and truth-oriented media? As our second president, John Adams, put it, “Public virtue cannot exist in a nation without private [virtue], and public virtue is the only foundation of republics.”

Thus is it distressing that even some conservative media outlets now lower standards, using terms such as a**, c**p, s***storm and WTF (with everyone knowing the acronym’s meaning). Perhaps they’re not mindful that it was yesterday’s leftists who normalized such vulgarity. Perhaps they don’t care. But it’s why I’ve long said that conservatives are the caboose to liberals’ engine of cultural decay. It’s why, ultimately, they lose political wars. For politics is downstream of culture, and conservatives never saw a culture-war battle they couldn’t lose.

As for Trump, his alleged potty-mouth moment was reported by Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), a scoundrel with a history of lying about White House meetings, according to Daily Wire. But whatever the president said, he said in private. This is far different from Durbin, who introduced the story. It’s far different from ex-California Democratic Party chairman John Burton, who led a “F*** Donald Trump!” chant at California’s Democratic Party convention in Sacramento early last year. And it’s far different from CNN and the rest of the effluent-stream media, which, like an exhibitionist, just revel in the chance to flaunt publicly what excites them privately.

They are despicable. May they be the first to drown in the wave of tyranny they invite.

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

EDITORS NOTE: In 2014 BlackAndRight published the below video titled “How Liberals Use Children.” It showed children using foul language to promote liberal causes. WARNING: Children using foul language.

Martin Luther King Jr.’s Niece: ‘My Uncle Would Have Been Very Pro-Life’

Martin Luther King Jr.’s niece says her uncle’s legacy as a civil rights leader has a strong impact on the pro-life movement today.

“As the niece of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and I emphasize the ‘reverend’ because history has not always recorded his spiritual aspects … I have been mostly impacted by his messages of unity, of racial reconciliation, of course nonviolence, and the strongest has always been and will always be for me the agape love message,” Alveda King told The Daily Signal in an interview Friday. “One of the things that we would say [is], ‘We must learn to live together as brothers,’ and I’ll add, as sisters, ‘or perish together as fools.’”

Alveda King, director of Civil Rights for the Unborn for Priests for Life, said her uncle’s words show his commitment to respect for life.

“He said the Negro cannot win if he is willing to sacrifice the futures of his children for immediate personal comfort and safety,” King said. “Abortion, of course, forces us to do exactly that.”

King, who formerly served in the Georgia state House of Representatives and was a college professor, said she had two abortions herself.

“I actually had a miscarriage that was related to those abortions during my younger life, and so of course through the years I have become a born-again Christian, repented, and been healed and delivered, but I always think about those words from my uncle,” King said.

Martin Luther King Jr.’s widow, Coretta Scott King, received an award from Planned Parenthood in 1996 on behalf of her husband, but Alveda King says she knows her uncle would not have believed in the mission of Planned Parenthood:

His wife accepted that in his stead, because she was like me, she had accepted that agenda without understanding, I believe, but my uncle would have been very pro-life today.

The 31st annual March for Life in Washington will take place Jan. 19, and King said her uncle’s crusade for civil rights applies to the pro-life movement today.

“I really believe that if my uncle were here today, he would encourage us to find solutions to the problems, even women’s problems, and all problems, without having to do violence to babies in the womb. I am just convinced that he would agree with that,” she said.

Portrait of Rachel del Guidice

Rachel del Guidice

Rachel del Guidice is a reporter for The Daily Signal. She is a graduate of Franciscan University of Steubenville, Forge Leadership Network, and The Heritage Foundation’s Young Leaders Program. Send an email to Rachel. Twitter: @LRacheldG.

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Here’s How Young Black Conservative Women Are Changing the Face of the GOP

“I definitely think that we can do more and that’s kind of what the Black Republican Congressional Staff Association is doing on the public sector side,” Ayshia Connors says.

It’s pretty easy to name a couple of black women working in progressive circles and organizations, but it’s a lot harder to name the ones working within the conservative movement.

There’s a substantial national conversation about progressive black women like Tamika D. Mallory, an organizer of the Women’s March; or Alicia Garza, a queer black woman who founded Black Lives Matter, who brought police brutality to the forefront of America; or Tarana Burke, who first created the #MeToo campaign that launched a conversation about the sexual harassment women face daily.

What’s less discussed are the young conservative, black women who are working every day to change and influence the Republican Party.

These women want to bring home a message of empowerment, not only to black women across the country, but also to the black community at large. Women such as Antonia Okafor, the founder of gun rights advocacy organization EmPOWERed, Ayshia Connors, a senior policy adviser to a Pennsylvania congressman and president of the Black Republican Congressional Staff Association, and Candace Owens, the director of Urban Engagement for Turning Point USA, all work tirelessly in advocating for their community and to make black conservative voices heard.

“Essentially, I believe in this day and age, for whatever reason, there is a largely ignored, growing group of voices, which is essentially black conservatives. We’ve been largely dismissed and de-legitimized in the media as something that is not allowed to exist,” Owens, who labels herself an independent thinker, told The Daily Caller News Foundation.

Owens is currently working on creating the first black leadership summit for Turning Point USA with the intent to bring young black conservatives from across the country to hear from other black leaders on how to become trailblazers and entrepreneurs within their community. Owens especially wants these young black conservatives to hear from fellow black leaders who don’t carry with them the same message the mainstream media does.

Okafor and Connors are also trying to make big strides within the conservative movement.

“I’m spreading the message of female empowerment through gun ownership, one that transcends all races,” Okafor said of her focus on her EmPOWERed college tour.

Connors, as the president of the Black Republican Congressional Staff Association, has not only doubled the number of members since she entered, but is also intent on using the organization to help young black Republicans and conservatives find jobs on Capitol Hill. Before joining as Pennsylvania GOP Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick’s senior policy adviser, Connors worked with the Republican National Committee during the 2016 election.

Okafor is currently on her EmPOWERed tour, visiting college campuses to talk about female empowerment through gun ownership, a message not only for black women, but women of all races. Her tour includes stops at historically black colleges such as Howard University and Spelman College, where she hopes the face-to-face interaction with students will open their eyes.

“I think that what I hope to gain is that they see I am a person, a human being, and I’m like them,” Okafor told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “I’m doing it because I want to empower the black community. I came out of being a closeted conservative and I’m vocal because when other people can see that there is someone else who looks like them and believes like them, unlike what society tells them to be like, it gives them courage.”

What many people don’t know is American history is a rich history with black women being unashamed of having conservative values.

There was Mildred Fay Jefferson, a pro-life activist, who was the first black woman to graduate from Harvard Medical School, as well as Constance Berry Newman, a former assistant Secretary of State for African affairs under President George W. Bush’s administration. Also, Ida B. Wells, a founding member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, fought against the lynching of black people in America.

There’s still a lot more work that needs to be done, according to the women The Daily Caller News Foundation spoke to. They noted the GOP should work on messaging and how the party conveys their values to the black community should they wish to be successful with minorities in the future.

“A lot of the times when they have good ideas, they have trouble communicating them in a way that seems attainable,” Owens, also a vlogger, said, adding that the GOP should develop a sense of humor. “I think they just need a lot more personality.”

Connors also agreed that the Republican Party needs to work on messaging, but also how it explains those ideas to the black community. Most black Americans are naturally conservative and receptive to a message that centers around education leading to upward mobility. Criminal justice reform, often advocated by Sens. Tim Scott, R-S.C., and Rand Paul, R-Ky., also needs to pushed to the forefront, Connors said.

Connors suggested making access for young people who want to serve on Capitol Hill but may not have the resources to do so is crucial.

“You see a lot [of] people who aren’t able to come and intern on Capitol Hill because of financial hardship. Normally, it’s unpaid internships and a lot of people aren’t able to come and get that experience on Capitol Hill, which is why I don’t think you see a lot of minorities,” Connors said.

Okafor emphasized face-to-face interactions with people, saying the only way there can be a huge shift is if people talk one-on-one. She pointed to Paul’s actions when he visited Howard University in 2015. Too often Republicans only enter the black community during an election cycle. Paul entered a black space and spoke to them about his conservative values, but focused on issues that resonated with the black community, Okafor said.

“He talked about criminal justice reform, he talked about economic empowerment zones, he talked about school choice,” Okafor said. “Those are thing that African-Americans have been wanting as a percentage to do something about but they only go to progressive policies because we haven’t done much to bring the message home that our conservative values actually do empower them in those problems.”

The GOP is often quick to dismiss diversity efforts and it shows in numbers—7 percent of the black community identifies as Republican and recent GOP presidential candidates have received between 8 to 9 percent of the black vote in recent elections. This leads to the question: Should the GOP focus on diversity?

Connors gave an empathetic yes, but also pointed out the GOP often doesn’t get enough credit for its efforts with minority outreach. Owens doesn’t care about the color of someone’s skin, but said she’s more concerned with the results they achieve for the black community.

“But I definitely think that we can do more and that’s kind of what the Black Republican Congressional Staff Association is doing on the public sector side,” Connors said. “They do a lot with trying to bring in diversity and trying to create space for people to be involved with the party, whether that is employment or deploying people out for campaigns or getting people involved in policy discussions.”

The Republican National Committee did not return The Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment in time for publication.

Amber Randall

Amber Randall is a reporter for The Daily Caller News Foundation. Twitter: @ARAND1990.

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is of Ayshia Connors. (Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call/Newscom) Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities for this original content, email licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.