Hundreds of Muslims from Bangladesh breaching U.S. border at Laredo, Texas

Longtime Geller Report readers know that Bangladesh has become a hotbed of jihad activity, with Muslims targeting atheist bloggers and others whom they consider to be infidels for assassination.

Now we learn that hundreds of Bangladeshi Muslims have crossed the border illegally at Laredo, Texas since the beginning of 2017. This report says:

“In a KGNS news special report, our Noraida Negron rides along with Border Patrol to find out why these cases are on the rise.”

Is jihad being considered as a possibility? Might at least some of these Muslims who are streaming across the border at Laredo be coming to commit murder and mayhem inside the United States? Judging from what is happening in their home country, that possibility must be considered and investigated fully.

“Bangladeshi nationals breaching US border,” KGNS, April 11, 2018:

LAREDO,Texas(KGNS)- It’s a growing concern for border patrol as Laredo has become the number 1 crossing point for Bangladeshi nationals, a country that has known ties to terrorism.

In a KGNS news special report, our Noraida Negron rides along with Border Patrol to find out why these cases are on the rise.

There is one specific area where they are crossing in South Laredo.

Agents have consistently detained 11 Bangladeshis during separate events.

That puts Laredo sector at the top, when it comes to having the highest apprehensions of Bangladeshi nationals compared to other border patrol sectors.

In 2017 they apprehended close to 180 Bangladeshi nationals, and since October of last year, there have been over 160 individuals caught….

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in The Geller Report. Pamela Geller’s shocking new book, “FATWA: HUNTED IN AMERICA” is now available on Amazon. It’s Geller’s tell all, her story – and it’s every story – it’s what happens when you stand for freedom today. Buy it. Now. Here. The featured image is of a U.S. Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine agent pears out of the open door of a helicopter during a patrol flight near the Texas-Mexico border. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

The Chick-Fil-A-Phobes Are Back With New Symptoms

Move over, Trump Derangement Syndrome. Another unhinged liberal pathology is back: Chick-fil-A-phobia.

Perhaps, in the interest of public health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention should launch a weekly C-F-A-P surveillance report to map the recurrence of this culturally infectious disease. Early-onset symptoms include fear of pressure-cooked poultry, allergic reaction to waffle potato fries, and an irrational hatred of cow costumes. Anti-Christian prejudice and coastal elitism are common comorbidities associated with this debilitating progressive condition.

Ground zero for the latest outbreak? The headquarters of The New Yorker magazine.

This week’s issue online features the bigoted lament of writer Daniel Piepenbring, who decries the fast-food chain’s “creepy infiltration” of the Big Apple and warns against the company’s “pervasive Christian traditionalism.”

Chick-fil-A opened its fourth location in the city last month. The largest franchise in the country, it seats 140, employs 150, and along with the other NYC locations, donates an estimated 17,000 pounds of food to a local pantry for the homeless and hungry. The company is reportedly on track to become the third-largest fast-food chain in the world.

What are the Chick-fil-A-phobes so afraid of?

A private business succeeding in the marketplace based on its merits, without coercion or cronyism. An enterprise that values hard work, honesty, and integrity. A family-owned American dream come true that creates jobs, pays taxes, satisfies customers of all backgrounds, and gives back to the community.

Horror of horrors, what menaces these sandwich-sellers of faith be!

Chick-fil-A’s corporate mission to “glorify God” and “enrich the lives of everyone we touch” leaves The New Yorker scribe terminally heartsick about the “ulterior motive” of its restaurant execs. So do the founding family’s commitments to faithful marriages, strong families, Sundays off, and the highest standards of character for their employees.

The frightened New Yorker critic is especially perturbed by the “Bible verses” enshrined at Chick-fil-A’s Atlanta headquarters and by the restaurant’s popular bovine mascots—which he dubs “morbid” and the “ultimate evangelists”—whose ubiquity on New York billboards and subway corridors is akin to a “carpet bombing.”

Notice, by the way, how these hysterical Chick-fil-A-phobes have no qualms about the success of Jewish-owned delis or the spread of Muslim halal food shop operators in New York City who openly pay tribute to their faiths. Imagine a reporter freaking out over Quran verses or Torah citations hung up on a business owner’s wall.

Welcome to Social Justice 101, where discriminating against Christian-owned business in the name of opposing discrimination is the definition of tolerance.

We’ve been here before, of course. It was a liberal activist reporter and gay marriage advocate at The New York Times, Kim Severson, who helped launch the first nationwide witch hunt against Chick-fil-A in 2011.

The former vice president of the National Gay and Lesbian Journalists Association used her straight-news platform to invoke fear of “evangelical Christianity’s muscle flexing” and spread false and libelous attacks on Chick-fil-A founder Truett Cathy and his family as “anti-gay.” Her propagandizing in the radical rag of record helped stoke boycotts and regulatory crackdowns by pandering Democrat Mayors Thomas Menino in Boston, Rahm Emanuel in Chicago, and Bill de Blasio in New York City.

Ultimately, those media-manufactured efforts to stifle Chick-fil-A’s free enterprise and First Amendment rights failed. The company’s products have proved irresistible to customers on all sides of the political spectrum. Gastronomical satisfaction trumps anti-Christian zealotry and zealous anti-Trumpism.

And that’s what chaps the thin hides of the far-left journalists at The New York Times and The New Yorker who choke at the sights and smells of good, old-fashioned capitalism.

If leftists only want to eat and drink at a global fast-food company whose progressive CEO shares their Democrat-supporting, gun-grabbing, open-borders, gay marriage-boosting values, they should stick to Howard Schultz’s Starbucks cafes.

Oh, wait…

COMMENTARY BY

Portrait of Michelle Malkin

Michelle Malkin is a columnist for The Daily Signal, senior editor at Conservative Review, a best-selling author, and Fox News contributor. Twitter: .

Dear Readers:

With the recent conservative victories related to tax cuts, the Supreme Court, and other major issues, it is easy to become complacent.

However, the liberal Left is not backing down. They are rallying supporters to advance their agenda, moving this nation further from the vision of our founding fathers.

If we are to continue to bring this nation back to our founding principles of limited government and fiscal conservatism, we need to come together as a group of likeminded conservatives.

This is the mission of The Heritage Foundation. We want to continue to develop and present conservative solutions to the nation’s toughest problems. And we cannot do this alone.

We are looking for a select few conservatives to become a Heritage Foundation member. With your membership, you’ll qualify for all associated benefits and you’ll help keep our nation great for future generations.

ACTIVATE YOUR MEMBERSHIP TODAY

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is of a Chick-fil-A that has moved in to New York City, to the chargrin of a few far-left writers. (Photo: Stringer/Reuters/Newscom)

VIDEO: Clinton & Mueller – A Tale of Two Investigations

In this episode of “Inside Judicial Watch,” host Jerry Dunleavy joins JW Senior Attorney Ramona Cotca to compare and contrast the Clinton email investigation & the ongoing Mueller special counsel investigation into alleged collusion between then-presidential candidate Donald Trump and Russia during the 2016 election.

Happy Birthday, Israel!

It was 70 years ago, according to the Hebrew calendar, that the Jewish state of Israel declared its independence. Eleven minutes after David Ben-Gurion, the founder of the modern state of Israel, made the declaration public, the United States became the first nation to recognize Israel’s rebirth.

Earlier today, we joined thousands of Israelis in celebrating this significant milestone as we kicked off a 10-day tour of the Holy Land. We started our day with a rare briefing and tour of one of Israel’s strategic air bases as citizens across the state took in military air shows and public displays of Israel’s military hardware.

For more, tune into “Washington Watch,” as former Rep. Michele Bachmann, Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin, and former Ambassador Ken Blackwell join me from Israel to discuss the significance of this 70th celebration.


Tony Perkins’ Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.


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Erasing the past until the United States of America is culturally disemboweled

Click on the image to order Confronting The Deception by Tabitha Korol.

While reading Tabitha Korol’s new book “Confronting The Deception: Inflamed by 9/11, fired up by eight bad years” I came across this paragraph about Islamic jihad (holy war):

Jihad’s purpose is establishing Allah’s kingdom on earth, and expropriating booty and land. Defeat and death bring everlasting Paradise and spiritual benefit. The complete imperialism, Islam seeks to erase the past so the vanquished are culturally disemboweled, with nothing left of religion or relics of historical importance, their support system destabilized. [Emphasis added]

I suddenly realized that America is fading away much like H.G. Well’s the invisible man.

Korol does a masterful job in explaining how all of America’s cultural systems are being transformed. Korol notes:

Academia, from kindergarten to university, is disinviting valuable speakers, and turning patriots into globalists. Curricula, textbooks and teaching methods are being changed, inspiration quenched, and competition discouraged by an equalizing grading system, engineering the children’s psyche to produce a compliant, nonproductive generation.

Confronting the Deception” challenges the insidious propaganda with arguments supported by irrefutable facts.

Korol exposes the gravity of the threats we face with copious links to Koranic quotes, historic accounts, and trustworthy documentation not available in any other single source, and reveals the mentality that creates the jihadi terrorist, in order to help the reader to navigate the distortions that are peddled as truths.

Deception lays out the modus operandi of Islam and the Left.

We are being indoctrinated to disrespect and dislike America, to devalue our freedoms, and to cast aside the advancements we’ve made since our founding. The “Eight Years” have brought us an increase in divisiveness, intolerance, street violence, rapes, honor killings and FGM, combined with a drip-feed of false narratives to direct the thinking of the gullible. This book is an attempt to redress our endangered world by Confronting the Deception.

Korol concludes “Confronting the Deception” with this warning:

With the end of the eight Obama years came the hope that we might quickly overcome and repair the damage done to America. Instead, we are being subjected to an intensifying twofold attack. If there is a design, as many suspect, then these twin jaws are evidently engineered to crush the substance of our culture.

While Islam slowly operates to grind down our current generation by intimidation and indoctrination, in academia, the media, and religious institutions, the Left has grown obsessed with destroying our core institutions; demolishing our historic monuments; erasing our common sense and freedoms; redefining the family unit, the sexes, our laws and policies; dismembering our language, and dividing our citizens into separate antagonistic camps. The danger of multiculturalism is that it intimidates the generous heart to suspend all intelligent discernment. Islamophobia curbs our inalienable rights and makes us submissive; and, as Aristotle warned, “the worst form of inequality is to try to make unequal things equal.” We are in danger of losing the best of what we have achieved. [Emphasis added]

This is a must read book for those who want to understand what is happening to America. We can only hope that there are those valiant warriors who will deliver us from these evils.

Republicans Call for Justice Department Investigation Into Comey, Clinton, Others

A group of House Republicans has called for the Department of Justice to investigate a laundry list of former agency heads and people involved in the investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s private email server.

The letter is addressed to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, FBI Director Christopher Wray, and U.S. Attorney for the District of Utah John Huber. It asks that each of these men use their respective powers to investigate “potential violation(s) of federal statues” on the part of Clinton and of former FBI Director James Comey, Attorney General Loretta Lynch, acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, FBI agent Peter Strzok, and FBI counsel Lisa Page.

dcnf-logo

The representatives include members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus—including Rep. Ron DeSantis of Florida, Dave Brat of Virginia, and Paul Gosar of Arizona—and other GOP House members, like Claudia Tenney of New York.

“Those in positions of high authority should be treated the same as every other American” and because of that the members want to be sure that any “potential violations of law” be “vetted appropriately,” the group of Republican lawmakers wrote.

“In doing so, we are especially mindful of the dissimilar degree of zealousness that has marked the investigations into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the presidential campaign of Donald Trump, respectively,” the lawmakers added.

The group argues that Comey mishandled the Clinton email investigation, an investigation it believes to be “motivated by a political agenda.”

The FBI released documents in October 2017 showing that Comey started drafting a letter regarding the email probe months before the former FBI director began conducting key interviews. The letter recommended that charges not be brought against Clinton.

House Republicans aren’t the only ones who believe Comey mishandled the Clinton case. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein wrote a damning memo in May 2017 in which he claimed Comey made “serious mistakes” in conducting the investigation.

“Almost everyone agrees that the Director made serious mistakes; it is one of the few issues that unites people of diverse perspectives. The way [Comey] handled the conclusion of the email investigation was wrong,” Rosenstein wrote. “As a result, the FBI is unlikely to regain public and congressional trust until it has a Director who understands the gravity of the mistakes and pledges never to repeat them.”

The group of congressmen also questions the former FBI director’s use of memos, claiming it created a “paper trail” that was then used to leak classified information to a Columbia University professor who is friends with Comey. The professor, Daniel Richman, says the FBI requested the memos he obtained from Comey and that he “voluntarily agreed” to hand them over.

Many on the Republican side of the aisle see Comey’s move as dubious and question the legality of those leaks. Four of the seven memos Comey drafted contained secret or confidential information. Comey leaked four of the memos to his confidant, Richman. Arithmetically, the numbers suggest Comey released classified information to a civilian.

House Republicans want Clinton to get investigated for “disguising payments to Fusion GPS,” an opposition research firm behind the Trump dossier, “on mandatory disclosures to the Federal Election Commission.”

The group is asking that Lynch be investigated for “her decision to threaten with reprisal the former FBI informant who tried to come forward in 2016 with insight into the Uranium One deal.”

The Clinton Foundation has found itself at the center of a number of alleged pay-to-play schemes. A few of the most notable include Laureate Education and Uranium One. Lawmakers believe Lynch used her power as attorney general to block the informant from coming forward with information regarding the Uranium One deal.

Lawmakers also want an investigation into Strzok and Page’s involvement in a potential interference scheme in the Clinton private email case. Strzok and Page had an ongoing, intimate relationship.

The group is also interested in reported texts between Strzok and Page that appear to show the FBI eliminated evidence that Clinton compromised “high-level communications.”

Furthermore, the group is concerned with texts that show Strzok texted Page to tell her that senior FBI officials “water[ed] down the reference to President [Barack] Obama,” using “senior government official” instead. At the time the statement was made public, the lawmakers argue, references to Obama and to a “senior government official” were washed from the record.

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.

New National Test Scores Show Betsy DeVos Was Right About Public Schools

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’ recent interview with Lesley Stahl on “60 Minutes” caused quite a bit of backlash from critics.

As my colleague Jonathan Butcher has written, “60 Minutes” ignored many of the facts about the state of education in America. Response to the interview drew quite a bit of criticism of DeVos and her policy solutions.

Perhaps one of the most pivotal moments came when she suggested that the United States’ heavy federal investment in education has not yielded any results. Stahl hit back, asserting that school performance has been on the rise.

But the latest government data show otherwise. According to the recently released 2017 National Assessment of Educational Progress, also known as the nation’s “report card,” we now have more evidence that DeVos was correct.

In fact, recent scores show virtually no improvement over 2015 scores. Eighth-grade reading saw a single point improvement over 2015 scores (10 points is considered equivalent to a grade level), while all other categories saw no improvement.

These lackluster results come on the heels of declines on the 2015 assessment, suggesting the beginning of a trend in the wrong direction for academic outcomes.

Indeed, Stahl’s claim that the state of public schools has gotten better simply doesn’t hold up to the data. It fact, DeVos is entirely correct to point out that public school outcomes have not meaningfully improved, and that our nation’s heavy federal intervention in K-12 education has failed to help the problem.

As Heritage Foundation education fellow Lindsey Burke writes:

Forty-nine out of 50 states were stagnant on the 2017 report card, and achievement gaps persist. Historically, federal education spending has been appropriated to close gaps, yet this spending—more than $2 trillion in inflation-adjusted spending at the federal level alone since 1965—has utterly failed to achieve that goal.

Increasing federal intervention over the past half-century, and the resulting burden of complying with federal programs, rules, and regulations, have created a parasitic relationship with federal education programs and states, and is straining the time and resources of local schools.

Indeed, for decades, Washington has poured billions of dollars into the public education system under the assumption that more federal spending will close achievement caps and improve the academic outcomes of students. With mounting evidence that more federal spending is not the answer, it may be time to consider other policy approaches.

DeVos is correct to suggest school choice as a solution to lackluster school performance. Parents who cannot afford to send their child to a school that is the right fit deserve to have options. As DeVos told Stahl:

Any family that has the economic means and the power to make choices is doing so for their children. Families that don’t have the power, that can’t decide, ‘I’m gonna move from this apartment in downtown whatever to the suburb where I think the school is gonna be better for my child.’ If they don’t have that choice, and they are assigned to that school, they are stuck there. I am fighting for the parents who don’t have those choices. We need all parents to have those choices.

In light of recent evidence from the nation’s report card, “60 Minutes” and other school choice critics should consider that DeVos was correct in her framing of problems facing the nation’s schools and is on the right track with possible solutions—namely, that empowering parents is the right approach to improving American education.

COMMENTARY BY

Portrait of Mary Clare Amselem

Mary Clare Amselem is a policy analyst in education policy at The Heritage Foundation. Twitter: .

RELATED ARTICLE:  Nation’s ‘Report Card’ Shows Federal Intervention Has Not Helped Students

Dear Readers:

With the recent conservative victories related to tax cuts, the Supreme Court, and other major issues, it is easy to become complacent.

However, the liberal Left is not backing down. They are rallying supporters to advance their agenda, moving this nation further from the vision of our founding fathers.

If we are to continue to bring this nation back to our founding principles of limited government and fiscal conservatism, we need to come together as a group of likeminded conservatives.

This is the mission of The Heritage Foundation. We want to continue to develop and present conservative solutions to the nation’s toughest problems. And we cannot do this alone.

We are looking for a select few conservatives to become a Heritage Foundation member. With your membership, you’ll qualify for all associated benefits and you’ll help keep our nation great for future generations.

ACTIVATE YOUR MEMBERSHIP TODAY

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is by Amy Beth Bennett/TNS/Newscom.

Comprehensive new report shows ‘troubling’ social media censorship of conservative views

“War is being declared on the conservative movement in this space and conservatives are losing — badly.”

For years I have warned the greatest threat to our nation, our precious freedoms, was the left’s war on our first amendment rights. We filed suit against the social media giants — little notice was paid. As if censoring Geller was OK. No one wanted to dirty themselves with that fight. But it was never about Geller. It was about our freedom, I was merely the tip of the spear. Going on two years later, and now we have reached a tipping point which may be unrecoverable.

On Monday, the Media Research Center released a comprehensive report detailing the suppression of conservative opinions on major social media platforms. Empirical evidence what was previously described as a “rightwing conspiracy theory.”

There is conspiracy theory and conspiracy fact. This is surely the latter.

I document in detail the breathtaking war on free speech in social media in my book, FATWA: Hunted in America. Get the book, you will be shaken.

The 50-page report, “Censored! How Online Media Companies Are Suppressing Conservative Speech” examines the four largest internet entities — Google, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube — and declares that their handling of political speech is “far more troubling than most conservatives realize.” Indeed. It lists the conservative blog Legal Insurrection, foreign policy commentator Pamela Geller, conservative columnist Michelle Malkin, video bloggers Diamond and Silk, Dennis Prager’s PragerU series, and several pro-gun channels as having seen their videos either deleted, age-restricted, or demonetized, and in the cases of Geller and Legal Insurrection, their accounts terminated entirely [after taking action, my account was reinstated].

Facebook has adopted sharia-complaint policies for some time now. My feed is blocked from my millions of followers on Facebook, and I have seen my circulation drop precipitously in the past three months. For news publishers, Facebook is the motherboard of link traffic. No news site can survive without them. None of us are immune, which is why my traffic is down upwards of 70% since the block. My Facebook page has a million followers; add my organizations to that, and it is roughly 1.5 million people. Now imagine their sharing capability, and their friends and their friends — you get the picture. It’s how we fight fake news. All of my FB followers experience similar issues with their posts and shares. I receive scores of emails everyday from readers telling me of new blocks, bans and Facebook jail sentences. It’s why I am suing.

I do not know how far my lawsuit against the social media giants will get, but I do know that something must be done. Whether through legislation or anti-trust lawsuits, the chokehold that the uniformly leftist corporate media managers at social media giants like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google have on our means of communication must be broken.

If the US government could break up Ma Bell, the USG can break up Facebook. Today’s IP address is yesterday’s phone number. It’s how we communicate today — whether by FB comment, messenger, Twitter DM, etc.

Related: Facebook Executive travels to Pakistan to assure government it will remove “anti-Islam” material

NEW REPORT SHOWS ‘TROUBLING’ SOCIAL MEDIA CENSORSHIP OF CONSERVATIVE VIEWS

By Calvin Freiburger, LifeSiteNews, April 17, 2018:

April 17, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — On Monday, the conservative Media Research Center released a comprehensive report detailing the suppression of conservative opinions on major social media platforms.

The 50-page report, “Censored! How Online Media Companies Are Suppressing Conservative Speech,” was written by Ashley Rae Goldenberg and Dan Gainor. It examines the four largest internet entities — Google, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube —  and declares that their handling of political speech is “far more troubling than most conservatives realize.”

“War is being declared on the conservative movement in this space and conservatives are losing — badly,” the report’s executive summary says. “If the right is silenced, billions of people will be cut off from conservative ideas and conservative media.”

The report finds that all four websites actively hide or deemphasize conservative content from users, and that in some cases staffers have admitted doing so was intentional. It further criticizes the platforms for relying on left-wing organizations to provide advice and screening sources that are presented as impartial.

The report finds that Google, the world’s most influential search engine, displayed a “tendency toward left-wing bias in its search results.” Its lead source was a study by Robert Epstein of the American Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology, which found that search results for decided voters “were nearly twice as biased in favor of (Hillary) Clinton” in the 2016 presidential election.

“Censored!” also highlights a January 2018 Project Vertias video, which filmed Twitter employees admitting that they “shadow-ban” some conservative users — a practice by which others cannot see a shadow-banned user’s content, but the target has not been notified of an action against him. Twitter has attempted to block several pro-life advertisements, as well.

The report also notes that Twitter attorney Sean Edgett admitted to a House panel that during the election Twitter censored 25 percent of tweets carrying the #PodestaEmails hashtag, and 48 percent of those tagged #DNCLeak (referencing a scandal over leaked emails from the Democratic National Committee).

Regarding Facebook, the report calls attention to a 2016 Gizmodo report that quoted several former employees as admitting that Facebook “routinely” manipulated its trending news feature to exclude topics such as the Conservative Political Action Conference, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, and the scandal concerning former IRS official Lois Lerner.

“It was absolutely bias. We were doing it subjectively. It just depends on who the curator is and what time of day it is,” one former news curator is quoted as saying.

YouTube has suppressed conservative content as well, according to MRC. It lists the conservative blog Legal Insurrection, foreign policy commentator Pamela Geller, conservative columnist Michelle Malkin, video bloggers Diamond and Silk, Dennis Prager’s PragerU series, and several pro-gun channels as having seen their videos either deleted, age-restricted, or demonetized, and in the cases of Geller and Legal Insurrection, their accounts terminated entirely.

Prager and Diamond and Silk’s cases are ongoing, but YouTube has since reversed most of the decisions listed here, claiming they were unintentional errors.

Nevertheless, suspicions remain that the trend is due to a persistent, deliberate bias rather than occasional, benign mistakes. “Censored!” notes that each company takes advice and outsources some fact-checking and guideline enforcement to organizations that themselves have left-wing biases.

Twitter relies on a “Trust and Safety Council” to provide advice on “safety products, policies, and programs.” Its America-based member organizations include just one conservative group, the Network of Enlightened Women, but 12 left-wing groups, including the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and the pro-homosexual GLAAD. Bothorganizations have labeled mainstream conservative organizations as “hate groups.”

ADL is also one of the groups YouTube employs to flag “hateful content” for restriction, as is the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), another left-wing organization infamous for accusing mainstream conservatives of “hate.”

Facebook’s “fact-checking” feature relies primarily on left-leaning publications such as Snopes and PolitiFact for ostensibly-impartial “fact checking,” as well (in fairness, the conservative Weekly Standard is also listed as a fact-checker). Facebook does not formally employ SPLC as part of that process, but in August 2017 it deleted 57 of more than 200 alleged “hate groups” suggested by SPLC. Google faces similar criticism.

The report lists several recommendations for tech companies, including greater transparency for when and how content restriction decisions are made, publishing clear guidelines for ideological content, cutting ties with “bad actors” such as GLAAD and SPLC, employing truly neutral fact-checkers, and overhauling their algorithms, advertising policies, and systems for flagging and reporting disputed content.

“The conservative movement is facing a threat to its very existence — a new, insidious form of media censorship,” Goldenberg and Gainor warned. “It’s almost too much for conservatives even to contemplate fighting. But they need to do much more than contemplate it.

“Americans have always had to be willing to fight for a righteous cause, from Lexington and Concord to the beaches of Normandy,” they concluded. “Now it’s the conservative movement’s turn to fight. This is a different kind of battle, but it’s still a fight for freedom.”

White House:  https://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/#page
Ajit Pai, head of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)  Email: Ajit.Pai@fcc.gov.

RELATED ARTICLE: The Urgent Case for Legislation against Facebook and Google – American Thinker

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in The Geller Report. Pamela Geller’s shocking new book, “FATWA: HUNTED IN AMERICA” is now available on Amazon. It’s Geller’s tell all, her story – and it’s every story – it’s what happens when you stand for freedom today. Buy it. Now. Here. The featured image is by Zach Guinta. Twitter: @zach_guinta.

Thomas More Law Center Will Provide Legal Assistance To Students On National Pro-Life T-Shirt Day

ANN ARBOR, MI – The Thomas More Law Center (“TMLC”), a national public interest law firm based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, is again collaborating with American Life League’s annual National Pro-Life T-Shirt Day which will take place this Friday, April 20, 2018. TMLC lawyers will defend, without charge, the right for students to wear their pro-life t-shirts. Students requiring legal assistance from TMLC should contact Margaret at Life Defenders via email at mhaislmaier@all.org or by phone at 571-398-9904.

American Life League has spearheaded National Pro-Life T-Shirt Day (“NPLTD”) for over two decades. The goal of NPLTD is to empower young people to witness to the dignity of all human beings by wearing their favorite t-shirt with a pro-life message. Students are encouraged to post pictures on social media wearing their t-shirts and use the hashtag #NPLTD18.

This year’s featured t-shirt, pictured above, was designed by two teenage brothers, who created the shirt to resemble a nutrition label found on most packaged food products. The purpose of the design is to show the value of the preborn, the elderly and people of all abilities as being worthy of the right to life. The design features the “ingredients” as virtues needed to be pro-life: courage, compassion, charity, hope, understanding, and perseverance.

TMLC proudly stands with American Life League to support the students choosing to participate in the National Pro-Life T-Shirt Day.

Trump’s Vitally Important Anti-Poverty Initiative

It takes a lot of courage for a president to target almost a quarter of the federal budget for reform in an election year.

But this is exactly what President Donald Trump is doing with his executive order, “Reducing Poverty in America by Promoting Opportunity and Economic Mobility.”

We’re now spending more than $700 billion per year on low-income assistance, which is more than we are spending on our national defense. And there are plenty of reasons to believe this spending is inefficient, wasteful, and counterproductive.

Over the last half-century, some $22 trillion has been spent on anti-poverty programs and yet the percentage of poor in this nation remains unchanged. And it is not only a matter of the percentage staying the same but also that the people and families who are born poor stay that way.

The “Better Way” report produced by the House speaker’s office in 2016 reported that 34 percent of those born and raised in the bottom fifth of the income scale remain there all their lives.

The point has often been made that the greatest charitable gesture is teaching those in need to help themselves.

This principle defines the president’s reforms to our anti-poverty programs and spending. Let’s make sure that every dollar spent goes to those truly in need and that those dollars are spent to maximize the likelihood that the recipients will get on their feet and become independent, productive, income-earning citizens.

The executive order directs federal agencies to review the some 80 federal anti-poverty programs, consolidate where there is redundancy and overlap, and look to reform by applying the principles of hard work and self-sufficiency.

Needless to say, the usual left-wing megaphones, those that can’t tell the difference between compassion and spending billions of other people’s dollars, have wasted no time to go on attack.

The headline from the Southern Poverty Law Center screams, “Trump’s executive order on work requirements punishes low-income people for being poor.”

Calling the executive order “heartless,” the Southern Poverty Law Center rejects the premise that there are those receiving benefits from these programs who could work but don’t.

However, Robert Doar of the American Enterprise Institute reports that there are almost 20 million working-age Americans receiving benefits under Medicaid and food stamps who don’t work.

The Better Way report notes that “44 percent of work-capable households using federal rental assistance report no annual income from wages.”

But it’s not just about work requirements.

Vital to this reform project is moving programs out of Washington’s grasp and into the administrations at the state and local levels. Assistance programs need humanity and flexibility. This can only be done locally. There’s no way an army of bureaucrats in Washington can develop and implement programs for 50 million needy individuals that can properly recognize what unique individuals need to move out of poverty.

Assistance programs need to promote and embody those principles that go hand in hand with prosperity—ownership, investment, savings, and personal freedom and responsibility.

According to the Better Way report, almost 10 million Americans have no bank account and another 25 million have an account but get financial services outside of the banking system.

When I was a young woman on welfare, I saw the destruction that occurs when assistance programs penalize work, marriage, and saving, as was the case with the Aid to Families with Dependent Children program. Subsequently, this was reformed and transformed with great success to the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program.

We can’t go on spending hundreds of billions of dollars of limited taxpayer funds on programs that may have been conceived with sincerity and compassion but don’t work.

Trump deserves credit for exercising the courage and vision to move to fix what is broken in our anti-poverty programs. It is vital for the poor and vital for the nation.

COMMENTARY BY

Portrait of Star Parker

Star Parker is a columnist for The Daily Signal and president of the Center for Urban Renewal and Education. Twitter: .

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is of Ivy Imboden, originally from Anchorage, Alaska, clutching a warm drink after arriving at a new tent established for the homeless in San Diego, California. (Photo: John Gastaldo/Zuma Press/Newscom). The Daily Signal depends on the support of readers like you. Donate now

Gorsuch Defends the Rule of Law in Immigration Case

If you take anything away from Justice Neil Gorsuch’s opinion concurring with the Supreme Court’s so-called “liberal” bloc in an immigration case this week, it should be his continued faithfulness to the rule of law and the separation of powers.

In Sessions v. Dimaya, Justice Elena Kagan wrote the court’s opinion—joined by Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and in part by Gorsuch—holding that part of the Immigration and Nationality Act, which defines a “crime of violence” for purposes of removal proceedings, is unconstitutionally vague.

Gorsuch wrote a separate opinion expressing concerns about how vague laws can lead to the arbitrary exercise of governmental power.

Some media outlets and noted conservatives have suggested that Gorsuch’s opinion is surprising or misguided, ruling with the liberal justices and against the Trump administration. For example, a New York Post headline reads, “Gorsuch Sides With Liberal Justices in Supreme Court Immigration Vote.” And Mark Levin tweeted, “Gorsuch blows it, big time.”

Whatever you think of any immigration policies or other issues surrounding this case, one thing is clear: Gorsuch faithfully applied fundamental constitutional principles and upheld the rule of law.

In many ways, Gorsuch also carried on Justice Antonin Scalia’s legacy.

Consider what the law in this case required, and what Gorsuch wrote.

The Immigration and Nationality Act

Under the Immigration and Nationality Act, any alien who is convicted of an “aggravated felony” in the United States is subject to deportation, regardless of their ties to the country. Congress defined “aggravated felony” by a long list of specific offenses and offense types (at 8 U.S.C. §1101(a)(43)), one of which is “a crime of violence” punishable by imprisonment for at least one year.

Congress defined “crime of violence” elsewhere, in 18 U. S. C. §16, in part by stating that it includes any felony “that, by its nature, involves a substantial risk that physical force against the person or property of another may be used in the course of committing the offense.”

Only that provision, known as the residual clause, was at issue in this case.

But in order to figure out which convictions trigger that residual clause, the court assesses the presence of “substantial risk” by looking not at the facts of the case, or the elements of the crime, but to “the ‘nature of the offense’ generally speaking,” and asks this: Does “‘the ordinary case’ of [this] offense pose[] the requisite risk”?

Immigration judges held that James Dimaya, a Philippine native and lawful permanent resident, is deportable because he was convicted—twice—of first-degree burglary under California law. The government sought to remove Dimaya after his second conviction, and immigration judges found that first-degree burglary counts as a “crime of violence” under federal law.

Dimaya appealed to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which ruled that the “residual clause” is unconstitutionally vague.

The 9th Circuit relied in part on Johnson v. United States, a 2015 opinion that the Supreme Court published while Dimaya’s appeal was pending.

In Johnson, the court struck down part of the definition of “violent felony” under the Armed Career Criminal Act on vagueness grounds.

That law increased the sentence of a defendant convicted of being a felon in possession of a firearm if he had three or more previous “violent felony” convictions, which includes any felony that “involves conduct that presents a serious potential risk of physical injury to another.”

Scalia wrote the majority opinion for the court in that case, joined by Chief Justice John Roberts, Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan.

Scalia concluded that the residual clause left “grave uncertainty about how to estimate the risk posed by a crime,” and further “uncertainty about how much risk it takes for a crime to qualify as a violent felony.” Rather than make up those aspects of the law himself, Scalia chose instead to send Congress back to the drawing board.

For that, Scalia’s opinion advanced the rule of law and the separation of powers.

Gorsuch’s Concurring Opinion

In his concurring opinion this week in Dimaya, Gorsuch provided thorough reasoning for a narrow conclusion: that “to the extent it requires an ‘ordinary case’ analysis, the portion of the Immigration and Nationality Act before us fails the fair notice test for the reasons Justice Scalia identified in Johnson.”

Gorsuch’s concern in Dimaya was, like Scalia’s in Johnson, a fundamentally conservative one: hostility to vague laws and arbitrary power.

Gorsuch wrote that “vague laws … can invite the exercise of arbitrary power … by leaving the people in the dark about what the law demands and allowing prosecutors and courts to make it up.” Gorsuch explained:

[T]he Immigration and Nationality Act requires a judge to determine that the ordinary case of the alien’s crime of conviction involves a substantial risk that physical force may be used. But what does that mean? Just take the crime at issue in this case, California burglary, which applies to everyone from armed home intruders to door-to-door salesmen peddling shady products. How, on that vast spectrum, is anyone supposed to locate the ordinary case and say whether it includes a substantial risk of physical force? The truth is, no one knows.

Gorsuch gave the following examples of the confusion that results from the “ordinary case analysis”:

Does a conviction for witness tampering ordinarily involve a threat to the kneecaps or just the promise of a bribe? Does a conviction for kidnapping ordinarily involve throwing someone into a car trunk or a noncustodial parent picking up a child from daycare? These questions do not suggest obvious answers.

Because the statute “leaves judges to their intuitions and the people to their fate,” Gorsuch wrote, “the Constitution demands more.”

And Gorsuch explained exactly why that is.

Looking to history, Gorsuch cited early American court cases and turned to the Federalist Papers for the principle that “[w]ithout an assurance that the laws supply fair notice, so much else of the Constitution risks becoming only a ‘parchment barrie[r]’ against arbitrary power.”

And Gorsuch discussed exactly how vague laws might jeopardize other constitutional rights.

“Take the Fourth Amendment’s requirement that arrest warrants must be supported by probable cause,” Gorsuch wrote, “and consider what would be left of that requirement if the alleged crime had no meaningful boundaries.”

Finally, Gorsuch observed precisely how vague criminal laws undermine the separation of powers.

Only Congress may enact law, but if Congress writes vague statutes, Gorsuch wrote, then it leaves judges, prosecutors, and police “free to ‘condem[n] all that [they] personally disapprove and for no better reason than [they] disapprove it.’”

Thus, to “keep the separate branches within their proper spheres,” Gorsuch wrote, is “the more important aspect” of the vagueness doctrine.

And that is the most important aspect of Gorsuch’s opinion in Dimaya.

To judge how individual justices vote in particular cases in relation to one another, without regard to the substance of their opinions, unjustifiably politicizes the judiciary.

Dimaya is interesting not because of how the justices voted in relation to one another, but because of how the justices—especially Gorsuch and Justice Clarence Thomas—debated legal history and precedent, and did so respectfully.

Yes, the other conservative justices all dissented. Roberts dissented, joined by Thomas and Justices Anthony Kennedy and Samuel Alito, arguing that, unlike the law in Johnson, the statute at issue in this case was not vague.

Thomas also wrote a separate dissent, joined by Kennedy and Alito, challenging Gorsuch on the merits of the vagueness doctrine.

And yes, Gorsuch’s opinion is not what the government hoped for in this case.

The government had pointed to the executive’s “considerable constitutional authority” in immigration and foreign affairs but, as Gorsuch wrote, “to acknowledge that the president has broad authority to act in this general area supplies no justification for allowing judges to give content to an impermissibly vague law.”

Now, Congress can go back to the drawing board and draft a more precise law.

Gorsuch’s opinion has explained why that is a job for Congress, echoing his prior statements on the role of the judge: “to put aside their personal politics and preferences to decide cases and to follow the law and not try and make it.”

And by echoing Scalia’s opinion in Johnson, this case also illustrates how Gorsuch carries Scalia’s legacy.

COMMENTARY BY

Portrait of John-Michael Seibler

John-Michael Seibler is a legal fellow in the Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies at The Heritage Foundation. Twitter: .

EDITORS NOTE: The Daily Signal depends on the support of readers like you. Donate now. The featured image of Justice Neil Gorsuch is by Oliver Contreras/Sipa USA/Newscom.

Parkland Student Plans Conservative Livestream on Columbine Anniversary [April 20, 2018]

Conservative Parkland student Kyle Kashuv is organizing a pro-Second Amendment Facebook Live show on the 19th anniversary of the Columbine High School shooting.

Kashuv, 16, tweeted that the goal is to “discuss ways to save lives without infringing on [the Second Amendment] and the importance of mental health and not bullying.”

Confirmed speakers for the livestream so far include Sebastian Gorka, former deputy assistant to President Donald Trump; Charlie Kirk, founder and executive director of Turning Point USA; Anthony Scaramucci, former White House communications director; and Matt Schlapp, chairman of the American Conservative Union.

Originally, Kashuv planned to bring Kirk to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, on Friday for a discussion of the Second Amendment.

However, the school blocked Kirk from coming on the grounds that “non-school sponsored, student-initiated guest speaker assemblies/meetings are not permitted to take place on campus,” according to a spokeswoman with Broward school district, reported the Sun Sentinel.

Kirk spoke to “Fox & Friends” Sunday about his intended message, had he been allowed to speak in Florida.

“My mission would not have been to offend. I did not want to make anyone feel uncomfortable, but instead … here’s what really troubles me. Ever since that horrific shooting, the national conversation predominantly from students from that school has been about gun confiscation, about taking people’s guns away,” he said.

Kirk went on to say that conversations about the law enforcement failures at state and local levels are important to address, even though the left wants to stay focused on gun control.

Another Parkland student, David Hogg, is promoting a walkout Friday.

COMMENTARY BY

Portrait of Ginny Montalbano

Ginny Montalbano

Ginny Montalbano is a contributor to The Daily Signal. Send an email to Ginny. Twitter: @GinnyMontalbano.

RELATED ARTICLE: How Better Treatment of the Mentally Ill Could Reduce Mass Shootings

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is of Kyle Kashuv and Patrick Petty, both Parkland survivors, hugging outside the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., on March 13. (Photo: Kevin Dietsch /UPI/Newscom). The Daily Signal depends on the support of readers like you. Donate now

The Church and Islam: Nostalgia for the Sixties

William Kilpatrick notes that many (including the pope) adhere to an outdated, multicultural view of Islam, which has lately reverted to its 7th-century militancy.

I recently received an email from a reader who took issue with my skeptical view of Islam. Between 1963 and 1965, he worked for the Peace Corps in a Muslim area of Nigeria. He came away from the experience convinced that “all people are basically the same” and “all want the same basic things.” Cultural differences, he maintained, were merely surface phenomena.

His view is common among people who came of age in the Sixties and Seventies. And, since many of our society’s controlling narratives were developed in that period, that optimistic view is still widespread. But times change, even if narratives don’t.

For example, the reality in Nigeria today is quite different from what my correspondent experienced in the mid-1960s. It no longer seems that all want the “same basic things.” In fact, many Muslims want to deny Christians some of those basics – such as the right to worship in peace, and even the right to life.

Bishop Joseph Bagobiri of Kafanchan (in northwestern Nigeria) reports that in his diocese alone: “53 villages burned down, 808 people murdered and 57 wounded, 1422 houses and 16 Churches destroyed.” Moreover, last year a report by the International Society for Civil Liberties and the Rule of Law revealed that 16,000 Christians had been murdered in Nigeria since June 2015.

What’s happening in Nigeria has been happening all over the Muslim world. Open Doors USA reports that globally some 215-million Christians face severe persecution, mostly at the hands of Muslims. The question is, which is the real Islam: the peaceable Islam experienced by my correspondent in the mid-Sixties or the aggressive Islam of today?

In the context of Islam’s 1,400 years of aggression, the relatively peaceful interval that began with the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire in the early 20th century seems to be the aberration. At the time my correspondent worked for the Peace Corps in Nigeria, the Muslim world was far more moderate than it is today or was in the past. The Islam he experienced was a marked departure from traditional Islam.

Some of the flavor of that period is captured in an article in the Chronicle of Higher Education by Ali A. Allawi, a former Iraqi cabinet minister:

I was born into a mildly observant Muslim family in Iraq. At that time, the 1950s, secularism was ascendant among the political, cultural, and intellectual elites of the Middle East. It appeared to be only a matter of time before Islam would lose whatever hold it still had on the Muslim world. Even that term – “Muslim world” – was unusual, as Muslims were more likely to identify themselves by their national, ethnic, or ideological affinities than by their religion.

The face of Islam in Nigeria

In short, Muslim societies were more moderate in those days because they were moving away from Islam. As Allawi notes: “To an impressionable child, it was clear that society was decoupling from Islam. Though religion was a mandatory course in school, nobody taught us the rules of prayer or expected us to fast during Ramadan. We memorized the shorter verses of the Koran, but the holy book itself was kept on the shelf or in drawers, mostly unread.”

The more moderate Muslim world of the last century was not the result of deeper piety, but rather of increased secularization. There are still remnants of that moderation in Muslim lands, but it should be clear to anyone who is paying attention to current events that traditional, by-the-book Islam is once again ascendant. Mini-skirts are no longer worn in Tehran and Kabul as they were in the Seventies, and the hijab has made a comeback almost everywhere in the Muslim world. In other words, the process of secularization has been reversed.

The amazing thing is that much of the Western world hasn’t caught up with the changes. Why? Perhaps because the return of 7thcentury Islam undercuts the multicultural belief that all cultures share the same values. Hence, many prefer to think that the Muslim world is still much the same as it was in the days of King Farouk and the Shah of Iran – that relatively brief moment when “secularism was ascendant.”

Unfortunately, one of the important organizations that still lives in the past in regard to Islam is the Catholic Church. Many in the Church seem to think and act as though it’s still 1965, and that Nostra Aetate (which was promulgated in 1965) is still the last word on Islam.

The section on the “Moslems” in Nostra Aetate reflects the multicultural notion that cultural differences are unimportant, and that all people have the same basic desires. Thus, the writers of the document took pains to emphasize the similarities between Christianity and Islam, even going so far as to suggest that the two faiths share the same moral values.

Of course, it’s nearly impossible to ignore the radicalization that so many Muslims have undergone since 1965. But in their anxiety to preserve the Nostra Aetate “narrative” about Islam, Church leaders have found a way to get around this inconvenient fact.  Muslims who persecute and terrorize non-Muslims are said to have “distorted” or “perverted” their religion because, in the words of Pope Francis,“authentic Islam and a proper understanding of the Koran are opposed to every form of violence.”

Indeed, as recently as March 16, Pope Francis told the head of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation that there is no link between Islam and terrorism. On other occasions, the pope had even said that the remedy for radicalization is for Muslims to go deeper into their faith, and find guidance in the Koran. That, of course, is the very opposite of Allawi’s first-hand observation that moderation is the result not of deepened faith, but of “decoupling from Islam.”

Church leaders are still clinging to a view of Islam that should have gone out with the Seventies. Unless and until they acquire a longer view of Islam, they will continue to be part of the problem rather than part of the solution.

William Kilpatrick

William Kilpatrick

William Kilpatrick is the author of Christianity, Islam and Atheism: The Struggle for the Soul of the West, and a new book, The Politically Incorrect Guide to Jihad. For more on his work and writings, visit his website, The Turning Point Project.

EDITORS NOTE: © 2018 The Catholic Thing. All rights reserved. For reprint rights, write to: info@frinstitute.orgThe Catholic Thing is a forum for intelligent Catholic commentary. Opinions expressed by writers are solely their own.

Jihadis and Drug Cartels at our Border: A nightmare on the horizon.

The border that is supposed to separate the United States from Mexico must be made secure.

There is no shortage of compelling reasons why this must happen, and the sooner the better, but today, given the lunacy of Sanctuary Cities and Sanctuary States and the globalist goals of politicians from both political parties, particularly the Democratic Party leadership, rational and reasonable thought processes have been supplanted by greed, corruption and cowardice- fear of upsetting party leaders or fear of alienating deep-pocketed campaign contributors.

Indeed, it is irrational for any leader in the United States to refuse to take whatever measures must be taken to protect America and Americans from the rampant violence, corruption and potential for terrorists to traverse that highly porous border into the United States.

Yet this is precisely the situation that exists today in the United States.

Therefore, today we will consider some of the more compelling facts that demand that, for once and for all, the U.S./Mexican border be secured.

First of all, given the unstable and volatile situation in the Middle East, particularly Syria and U.S.-led military strikes in Syria, undoubtedly Iran and radical Islamists would like to be able to carry out terror attacks within the borders of the United States.

Iran and radical Islamists have a significant presence in Latin America, therefore, all that separates them from us is the U.S./Mexican border.

On April 21, 2017 I wrote an article, Border Security Is National Security in which I referenced an April 12, 2017 Washington Times report, Sharafat Ali Khan smuggled terrorist-linked immigrants.

Khan is a citizen of Pakistan who had established himself as a permanent resident in Brazil and then smuggled numerous illegal aliens from the Middle East into the United States through Mexico.  ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) issued a press release about this case,

Foreign national extradited and pleads guilty to human smuggling conspiracy.

That Khan first became a resident of Brazil prior to beginning his smuggling operation is of particular concern.

Terror training camps run by Hamas and Hezbollah are to be found in the Tri-Border region of Brazil (where Brazil abuts with Argentina and Paraguay).  While there was no specific mention of Khan making use of those camps, given the nature of his crimes, this is a very real and troubling possibility.

It is also entirely possible that members of ISIS and al-Qaeda are present in those terror training camps.

Concerns about the Tri-Border Region were ably reported on in a paper, Islamist Terrorist Threat in the Tri-Border Region that was published by Jeffrey Fields, Research Associate, Center for Nonproliferation Studies.

Khan is hardly the only alien smuggler who was operating in Latin America and has ties to the Middle East.

In addition to the nexus between Brazil and radical Islamic training camps, Iran routinely flies its Quds Forces, also known as “Shock Troops” into Caracas Venezuela.  They are not present in the the Western hemisphere for vacation.

In addition to the threats posed by Middle Eastern terrorists operating in Latin America, we need to also consider the deteriorating situation to be found in Mexico where it has been reported that last year more than 29,000 people were murdered.

On April 11, 2018 the San Diego Union-Tribune report, Studies find record violence costing Mexico billions of dollars included this excerpt:

As fighting between drug trafficking groups drives up violence in Mexico to record levels, a new study released on Wednesday measures the economic impact in 2017 at $249 billion in losses — close to 21 percent of the country’s gross domestic product.

Authors of the study presented at the University of San Diego say that focusing on homicides alone fails to address the broad range of factors that drive the violence, and affect the well being of Mexicans on a multitude of levels.

To bring down the violence will mean addressing issues such as corruption and the weak rule of law, the study states.

[ … ]

With more than 29,000 murders, last year was Mexico’s most violent year on record, “with the peacefulness in Mexico deteriorating by 10.7 percent,” states the institute’s study, the fifth in a series of annual reports focusing on Mexico.

The study found that the economic impact violence in 2017 “amongst the highest in the world.” The total economic impact of violence “was seven times higher than the education budget in 2017,” according to the report. “A one percent decline in the economic impact of violence would equal the federal government’s investment in activities related to science, technology and innovation last year.”

In an effort to somehow paint a less pessimistic and alarming image of the level of violence in Mexico, the report concluded with the following:

In spite of public perceptions, “Mexico’s violence is ‘average’ for the Western Hemisphere,” according to the USD study, with homicide rates well below those of smaller countries, including Belize, Colombia, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, and Venezuela.

This is no comfort to be found in that last quote.  A caravan of citizens of Honduras making its way north through Mexico and headed for the United States, prompted President Trump to deploy National Guard troops along the southern border to augment the U.S. Border Patrol in non-law enforcement capacity- providing support for the Border Patrol as was reported in an April 4, 2018 USA Today report,  Trump keeps focus on caravan of Honduran asylum seekers headed to U.S.

It appears that the caravan of Hondurans is being egged on by the government of Honduras, consider that The Arizona Republic reported on April 12, 2018:

Although many migrants traveling in the caravan have decided to remain in Mexico, many still plan to continue on to the U.S. border and apply for asylum, especially the large number of women and children, and a small group of about 25 gay and transgender migrants.

The Honduran ambassador to Mexico, dressed in a suit, tie and dress shoes, joined the migrants in a 9-mile walk from the Honduran embassy in the Condesa neighborhood of Mexico City to the Casa de Peregrino near the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mexican news media reported.

Given the totality of circumstances, the potential exists that criminals such as members of MS-13 and other such violent gangs and members of drug cartels may well infiltrate this and other such caravans.

In point of fact, it is not beyond the realm of possibility that terrorists from the Middle East might also seize the opportunity to infiltrate large-scale smuggling groups to gain entry into the United States, not unlike terrorists in Europe infiltrated refugee flows.

Furthermore, as we have seen in the past, the potential exists that aliens who seek asylum in the United States might actually be such criminals and/or terrorists.

This very topic was the focus of a November 21, 2013 Washington Times news reportMexican drug cartels exploit asylum system by claiming ‘credible fear.’

The report quoted Bob Goodlatte, the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee:

“It’s outrageous that members of Mexican drug cartels and others involved in illicit activity are so easily able to exploit our asylum laws and live in the U.S. virtually undetected,” said Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, Virginia Republican.

“Our asylum laws are in place to help individuals who are facing truly serious persecution in their country,” he said. “However, dangerous criminals are gaming the system by claiming they have a ‘credible fear’ of persecution when often they’ve been the perpetrators of violence themselves.”

Concerns about the lack of integrity to this system were the focus of two House Judiciary Committee hearings conducted as a result of Chairman Goodlatte’s concerns.

Of course while one of the hearings focused on how asylum abuse was overwhelming our borders, in reality, asylum abuse is overwhelming the entire immigration system throughout the entire United States of America.

Furthermore, this is not simply a matter of “asylum abuse” but of immigration fraud.

The official report that was authored by the 9/11 Commission Staff, 9/11 and Terrorist Travel noted on page 98:

Terrorists in the 1990s, as well as the September 11 hijackers, needed to find a way to stay in or embed themselves in the United States if their operational plans were to come to fruition. As already discussed, this could be accomplished legally by marrying an American citizen, achieving temporary worker status, or applying for asylum after entering. In many cases, the act of filing for an immigration benefit sufficed to permit the alien to remain in the country until the petition was adjudicated. Terrorists were free to conduct surveillance, coordinate operations, obtain and receive funding, go to school and learn English, make contacts in the United States, acquire necessary materials, and execute an attack.

Those concerns are very much as relevant today as they were at the time of those hearings and at the time that the 9/11 Commission reported its findings.

What more needs to happen before our “leaders” finally act to secure that dangerous border?

RELATED ARTICLES:

Asylum Abuse: Is it Overwhelming our Borders?

Asylum Fraud: Abusing America’s Compassion?

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in FrontPage Magazine.

James Comey and the Stinking Fish Factor

(In August 2016, I wrote an article entitled “James Comey and the Stinking Fish Factor,” warning readers that the Comey fish was already rotting and that things were bound to get worse. Clearly, they just did. And it’s just as clear that the uncontrolled hysteria we are witnessing from Democrats has to do not with bogus accusations about Russia but about the criminal indictments coming down the pike for the people they’ve blindly defended for decades—that would be Bill & Hill Clinton—and possibly against even bigger fish! I’ve updated this article by abbreviating its length but also adding a few sentences. -JS))

I always thought that James Comey was a company man. As it happens, the company he headed is among the most influential, powerful and scary companies in the world—the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

But still, a company guy. Whether working for a president on the moderate-to-conservative spectrum like G.W. Bush or for a far-left Alinsky acolyte like Barack Obama, makes absolutely no difference to this type of obedient—and also subservient—accommodator.

The red flag of skepticism should have gone up years ago to the American public when lavish praise was heaped on Comey by people who revile each other. While the spin insists that Comey is a lot of virtuous things—“straight-shooter,” “unbiased,” “fair-minded,” “non-partisan” “man of his word”—don’t be fooled. That’s Orwellian newspeak for someone who will do and say anything to keep his job, including, as Comey did in yet another Clinton fiasco case last summer, allow her to create out of whole cloth an “intent” criterion in federal law to let a clearly corrupt politician—that would be Hillary—off the hook, and, appropriate the job of the Attorney General in announcing what the outcome of the FBI’s investigation should be.

While citing Hillary’s “extreme negligence” in handling classified information, a virtual litany of illegal acts committed by the then-Secretary of State, and the fact that hostile foreign operatives may have accessed her email account, Comey said he would not refer criminal charges to Attorney General Loretta Lynch and the Justice Department. Hillary, he said, was “extremely careless” and “unsophisticated,” among other spitballs he hurled in her direction before completely letting her off the hook!

Comey’s friend and colleague, Andrew C. McCarthy, said that the FBI director’s decision is tantamount to sleight-of-hand trickery. “There is no way of getting around this,” McCarthy wrote. “Hillary Clinton checked every box required for a felony violation…in essence, in order to give Mrs. Clinton a pass, the FBI rewrote the statute, inserting an intent element that Congress did not require.”

Thomas Lifson, editor and publisher of AmericanThinker.com, wrapped the entire debacle up neatly, saying that “the director of the FBI offered 15 of the most puzzling minutes in the history of American law enforcement. James Comey spent the first 12 minutes or so laying out a devastating case dismantling Hillary Clinton’s email defense. Then, “in a whiplash-inducing change of narrative, he announced that `no reasonable prosecutor’ would bring the case he had just outlined, an assertion that was contradicted within hours by luminaries including former U.S. attorney (and NY City mayor) Rudy Giuliani and James Kallstrom, former head of the FBI’s New York office.”

Which begs the question: Why would Comey act contrary to the wisdom of virtually every legal scholar who has written or spoken about this case?

It is certainly not because he wasn’t taught by his upstanding parents the difference between right and wrong, good and bad, moral and immoral. One could make the case—and many have—that he is as close to a moral man as it gets in public life. According to his bio in Wikipedia, Comey, a lawyer, majored in religion at the College of William and Mary, and wrote his thesis about the liberal theologian Reinhold Niebuhr and the conservative televangelist Jerry Falwell, emphasizing their common belief in public action.

THE LOOKING-THE-OTHER-WAY FACTOR

That’s what company guys do.

Affirming this unflattering opinion, Jerome Corsi, journalist and NY Times bestselling author, said that Comey has a long history of cases ending favorable to the Clintons.

In 2004, Corsi says, Comey was a deputy attorney general in the Justice Department when he “apparently limited the scope of the criminal investigation of Sandy Berger…[and Berger’s] removal and destruction of classified records from the National Archives. The documents were relevant to accusations that the Clinton administration was negligent in the build-up to the 9/11 terrorist attack.”

“Curiously,” Corsi continues, “Berger, Lynch and Cheryl Mills (Hillary’s longtime advisor and Chief of Staff during her years as Secretary of State) all worked as partners in the Washington law firm Hogan & Hartson, which prepared tax returns for the Clintons and did patent work for a software firm that played a role in the private email server Hillary Clinton used when she was secretary of state.”

Corsi said that “various statements Comey made about Berger’s mishandling of classified documents bear comparison to his comments regarding Hillary Clinton’s email server” and that Berger, “a convicted thief of classified documents, had been advising Clinton while she served as secretary of state and had access to emails containing classified information.”

Yep… a company guy. As an editorial in The Wall St. Journal stated: “Three days after James Comey’s soliloquy absolving Hillary Clinton of criminal misuse of classified information, the big winner is—James Comey. He often poses as the deliverer of `hard truths,’ and the hard truth is that he has helped himself politically but not the cause of equal treatment under the law.”

Indeed, recommending that Hillary be indicted would have been bad for—ta da—James Comey! “Doing that, however,” the editorial goes on, “would have courted fury among Democrats and their media friends. And if Mrs. Clinton later won the election, Mr. Comey might have had to resign before his 10-year term expires in 2023. Otherwise he’d risk becoming persona non grata as Louis Freeh was under Bill Clinton.”

The entire, protracted, and fraudulent investigation seems now like a dog-and-pony show for the American public. Here, journalist Bill Still says that during Hillary’s interview with the FBI, not only was Comey not present, but it wasn’t recorded and she was not under oath!

THE PERSUASION FACTOR

Let’s take another upstanding guy, the once-esteemed Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, conservative John Roberts. Did I say “conservative”? Silly me. At midnight on Christmas Eve in 2009, the Democrats voted unanimously—without one Republican vote—for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, aka ObamaCare, to inflict the proven-failure of socialized medicine on the American public.

When the constitutionality of the legislation was challenged up to the Supreme Court, a vote of 5-4 affirmed that the individual mandate was constitutional under Congress’s taxation powers. It was Roberts who tipped the balance, sending shockwaves of disbelief throughout the country—much like the reaction to Comey’s incomprehensible decision on Hillary.

At the time, there was talk of Roberts’ “caving” because “someone” had “reached” him and threatened to expose the fact that his two young children had been adopted illegally, a revelation that, if true, would have effectively forced him to resign in ignominy for lying under oath about the adoption. I have no idea if that allegation is true or not, but it made sense to me at the time, particularly because his decision made no sense.

I was also aware of the many allegations listed in websites like Clinton Body Count (and this one too), Bush Body Count, and Obama Body Count, which detail the many people who have gone missing, been killed, had “accidents,” or “committed suicide” under each president’s tenure, the implication being, of course, that each of these chief executives had a personal “hit” squad to, ahem, remove anyone who threatened their tenure in office, or, more seriously, could land them in prison. Oh, let’s not forget the Hillary list compiled by noted radio host Tami Jackson.

Around the time of Comey’s colossal whitewash of Hillary’s email scandal, the prominent former President of the United Nations General Assembly, John Ashe, died when a barbell dropped on his throat and crushed his larynx. Coincidentally, that very day he was scheduled to testify in a trial about “Chinagate” (of Bill Clinton fame) and, specifically, of the bribery charge against Chinese businessman Ng Lap Seng, and even more specifically of Hillary’s links to Seng.

I’ve followed the persuasion factor not only through “The Godfather” and other mafia-themed movies, but in real life watching Rudy Giuliani deal with and decimate the mob, first as Associate Attorney General under President Reagan and later as mayor of New York.

It’s really quite simple how the thug culture works, be it in the Mafia or in government: Find out what a person values and then home in on that vulnerability. Isn’t that how ObamaCare passed?

Here Perry Peterson, a retired auditor and tax accountant, documents the many backroom deals that persuaded various politicians to sign on, such as Nebraska’s Senator Ben Nelson, who was promised the “Cornhusker kickback” that would pay the full price of expanded Medicaid coverage in Nebraska forever, or Senator Mary L. Landrieu’s agreement to sell her vote in the “Louisiana Purchase” for $300,000,000.00 that would flood into her state through added benefits in the ObamaCare bill, on and on and on.

There’s more hardball persuasion, to be sure, like reminding the target that you know that his daughter just moved to an off-campus apartment, or that his wife would feel terrible learning about his girlfriend.

Mmmmm…what “persuasion” could possibly be employed on a rich, successful guy like Comey?

THE CONFLICT-OF-INTEREST FACTOR

Well whaddaya know? According to Investment Watchdog, “It seems that our beloved FBI Director was once a director and board member of HSBC, which is tightly connected to the Clinton Foundation…this is the same HSBC [Swiss bank] that was accused of laundering drug cartel money, was heavily involved in the LIBOR scandal, and who knows what else, and all while our esteemed FBI Director was part of the senior leadership.”

Writer Kim McLendon elaborates upon a report issued by one of the few major whistleblowers about the foundation, Wall St. analyst Charles Ortel, who exposed AIG as well as the massive discrepancies in General Electric’s finances in 2008. Ortel found more massive discrepancies “between what some of the major donors say they gave to the Clinton Foundation…and what the Clinton Foundation said they got from the donors and what they did with it.” The letter he sent to donors, charity regulators, and investigative journalists labeled the charity “the largest charity fraud ever attempted‚Äö that being the network of illegal activities worldwide, whose heart is the Bill, Hillary, and Chelsea Clinton Foundation.”

Ortel goes on to say: “The Clinton Foundation…has been part of an international charity fraud whose entire cumulative scale (counting inflows and outflows) approaches and may even exceed $100 billion measured from 1997 forward. Yet state, federal and foreign government authorities, that should be keenly aware of this massive set of criminal frauds, so far, move at a snail’s pace, perhaps waiting for the Federal Bureau of Investigation to reveal the scope of its work and the nature of any findings.”

Aha! “Perhaps” the powers-that-be are “waiting for the FBI” to investigate this international con game. And wouldn’t that be one James Comey? Is there indeed a conflict of interest that prevents the esteemed director from looking into this ostensibly criminal enterprise?

Writer Tim Brown says that just because Comey was a Director with HSBC “does not assume corruption.” But it’s notable, he adds, that according to The Guardian, the “Clinton foundation received up to $81 million from clients of controversial HSBC bank.”

In March, Judicial Watch documented the piles of money taken in by The Clinton Foundation, and reported: “Our lawsuit had previously forced the disclosure of documents that provided a road map for over 200 conflict-of-interest rulings that led to at least $48 million in speaking fees for the Clintons during Hillary Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state.

All of this and more led InfoWars reporter Kit Daniels to conclude, “Comey may be on the periphery of Clinton’s use of foreign policy to raise money for her foundation, but his position at HSBC may explain in part why she received kid glove treatment while others accused of similar crimes were prosecuted. His connection, however tenuous, should be reason enough to revisit the case and appoint a special prosecutor, as Rep. Matt Salmon of Arizona has demanded.”

According to a report by Investors Research Dynamics, “in 2003, Comey became the deputy attorney general at the Department of Justice (DOJ). In 2005 he signed on to serve as general counsel and senior vice president at defense contractor Lockheed Martin. In 2010 he joined Bridgewater Associates, a Connecticut-based investment fund, as its general counsel. On September 4, 2013, James B. Comey was sworn in as the seventh Director of the FBI. Talk about the revolving door in and out of government! A shill for the private defense industry and later a Wall Street investment firm, two of the groups that support Hillary’s ascent to the Throne.”

Meanwhile, last month, the IRS preempted the FBI by launching an investigation into what appears to be a full-blown, multi-tentacled criminal enterprise that spans the globe. Was this timed to let Comey slither away untarnished?

Is that why Comey failed to ask Hillary even one question about her Foundation and its seemingly nefarious Kremlin connections? About the indictments (as reported by Michael Sainato) of several of her super-delegates for corruption and ethics violations involving huge sums of money? Of her closest aides for funny money vis-a-vis the Clinton Foundation? About the 181 Clinton Foundation donors who lobbied the State Department while Hillary Clinton served as secretary of state? About State Department favors for weapons manufacturers and foreign governments? How about how Hillary’s campaign chairman John Podesta bagged $35 million but failed to fully disclose this windfall, or about how Hillary showed remarkable disinterest in going after the murderous butchers of Boko Haram (as reported by Mindy Belz and J.C. Derrick in WORLD Magazine) because, allegedly, millions of dollars in donations were given to the Clinton Foundation by Nigerian billionaires with oil interests in northern Nigeria? On and on and on.

And is it not relevant that Comey’s brother, Peter Comey, works at the law firm that does the Clinton Foundation’s taxes?

Do any of these (and other) “dots” connect to Comey? Did he ever wonder if any of the 33-thousand emails that Hillary destroyed involved these explosive subjects? Is he just an incurious guy, or does his high position with HSBC and its oh-so-close Clinton Foundation connection make the conflict-of-interest suggestion too uncomfortably plausible?

THE STINKING FISH FACTOR

Whether it’s in industry or the military or sports or show business, if failure occurs, it’s always the top dog who is accountable. Not the assembly line worker or the buck private or the third baseman who calls the shots, but the one who occupies the ultimate seat of power. Look at what happened at the Democratic National Committee…the Chief Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer, Chief of Communications, and Chairwoman all resigned because of the hacking that proved the DNC to be both crooked and racist.

That is why they say that the fish stinks from the head, or, in the DNC case, the hydra-headed monster. And the same is true in politics. Which may be the real reason why Comey punted, taking the coward’s way out in steadfastly refusing to do what both the law and morality demanded of him.

No matter how you look at Hillary’s email scandal, as well as the murders of Ambassador Christopher Stevens, information Officer Sean Smith, and CIA operatives Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods in Benghazi—and for all we know, a dozen paths to the Clinton Foundation—they all led directly to the Oval Office and its former occupant, one Barack Obama. Reminds me of the cards in a Monopoly game: Go to Jail, Go Directly to Jail, Do not Pass Go!

Legal scholar Henry Mark Holzer reminds us that,” Hillary was not under oath when she testified before Comey’s FBI investigators. Seems to get her off the hook, doesn’t it? But under 18 United States Code Section 1001, it is a five-year felony to lie to an FBI agent (and other government officials) about a material fact relevant to an investigation. The federal criminal dockets are loaded with convictions of people who beat the underlying charge only to be convicted of an 18 USC 1001 offense. If Hillary loses the election, keep an eye out for an Obama pardon, to choke off a retributive indictment by a Trump Department of Justice. There is a long road ahead for Mrs. William Jefferson Clinton before the statutes of limitations expire on her crimes.”

Whether or not it’s the stinking fish factor or something else that compelled James Comey to cave to the Obama Justice Department and the Clinton Machine will be for historians to determine. Personally, however, I can’t imagine a man of James Comey’s stature tolerating the fact that history will include obituaries of him that state in their opening paragraphs that he was the first Director of the FBI who took a fall—and now the second FBI Director in history to be fired!