**Embargo: Seattle, WA**

The scene at Temple De Hirsch Sinai in Seattle, which was vandalized with anti-Semitic graffiti.

Why ‘Holocaust Denial’ Graffiti Matters

Early Friday morning, March 10, 2017 Holocaust graffiti was discovered by an off-duty Seattle police officer on the façade of a major Reform Jewish Temple in the Capitol Hill District of Seattle, Temple De Hirsch Sinai.

According to a Buzz Feed report, the graffiti read:

“Holocaust is fake history!” A dollar sign appeared to be used in place of the letter S in the graffiti.”

The Seattle Police Department (SPD) undertook an immediate bias crimes investigation and established patrols for both the historic sanctuary on Capitol Hill as well as a companion one in Bellevue, Washington.   Later that morning, a thoughtful neighbor in the Capitol Hill district of Seattle hung a sign over the anti-Semitic graffiti with a comforting statement expressing community support for the temple, “Love wins.”Because of the heightened security, a suspicious box left at the door of the temple Friday afternoon was investigated by the SPD and found to contain a donation of old books.

Comments of the anti-Semitic incident by the  Seattle Temple Rabbi

holocaust denial graphitiA CNN report noted what Rabbi Daniel Weiner wrote on the Facebook page of Temple de Hirsch Sinai regarding the security precautions that this latest anti-Semitic incident prompted and its occurrence on the cusp of the Jewish festival of Purim:

And as we take all of these precautions, we are also adamant in our conviction that we will not allow the toxicity of intolerance and growing climate of hate to define who we are, how we live, and what our nation can be.

We take courage from the upcoming celebration of Purim and its story in the Book of Esther, as our people triumphed over the evil plans of those who seek to diminish and destroy us, and as we stand shoulder to shoulder with all who are vulnerable and in need, placing our faith in God to inspire us to perfect a broken world.

Condemnation of Anti-Semitic Seattle incident  by Washington Governor Inslee and U.S. Representative Jayapal

Washington Governor Jay Inslee condemned this latest act of anti-Semitic vandalism, saying: “It is the responsibility of each and every one of us to condemn any and all acts of hate and intolerance.”   US Rep. Pramilla Jayapal, whose 7th Congressional District  covers Seattle  tweeted:

“I condemn the anti-Semitic vandalism against Temple De Hirsch Sinai in Seattle in the strongest possible terms.”

The Seattle anti-Semitic incident reported on Friday was not the only occurrence that day.  CNN noted:

The graffiti is the latest in a wave of anti-Semitic vandalism and threats made to Jewish institutions all over the country.

Earlier in the day, staff at a Jewish community center (JCC) in Las Vegas received “suspicious communications,” according to the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, prompting them to evacuate the area and investigate. Police reported the property safe a short time later.

In Tucson, Arizona, police were investigating the second threat in two weeks sent to a JCC. Sgt. Pete Dugan, a spokesman for the police department, said a bomb threat was received via email.

There have been more than 148 reports of anti-Semitic bomb threats, calls against Jewish Community Centers across the US and several Jewish cemetery desecrations in St. Louis, Philadelphia and Brooklyn, New York. These occurrences have been condemned by both President Trump and Vice President Pence. The FBI has a task force currently investigating these occurrences and at least one arrest has been made in St. Louis of a suspect, Juan Franklin who made a string of 8 hate bombing calls. Franklin was a former staff journalist for on-line journal The Intercept, ironically fired for producing fake news stories.

Governor Inslee in a statement drew attention to this latest occurrence of intolerance in the State of Washington:

Yesterday’s act of vandalism at the Temple De Hirsch Sinai in Seattle is the latest in a wave of anti-Semitic threats against our state’s Jewish community.

We can’t ignore the reality that these threats have increased in recent months. Right here in Washington — a state known for being tolerant, open-minded and forward-thinking.   We are seeing an increase in reports of harassment, vandalism and attacks against Muslims, Sikhs, Hispanics and Latinos, African-Americans, LGBTQ individuals and other minority groups. I continue to stand with the Jewish community as I have stood with all Washingtonians. Regardless of one’s faith, color or orientation, Washington welcomes all.

2006 Seattle Jewish Federation shooter Naveed Haq. Source: Seattle Times.

The 2006 Seattle Jewish Federation lethal attack

The Seattle Jewish Community is acutely aware that anti-Semitic attacks can be lethal.  In 2006 there was a shooting attack on the Seattle Jewish Federation offices by a Pakistani – American Muslim that killed one staffer, maiming and wounding others.  We reported  a second trial and conviction  to multiple life sentences of  a Pakistani American  in December 2009 in a New English Review/Iconoclast blog post,  .“Seattle Jihad Naveed Haq found guilty in Second Trial.” 

Remember the infamous Seattle Mass shooter, Pakistani American, Naveed Haq?  He was convicted by a Seattle Jury in a second trial.  The AP report noted what he did in 2006:

Haq made several trips to gun stores in the weeks prior to the attack, wrote two documents on his father’s computer criticizing Israel and U.S. policy in the Middle East, and used MapQuest to find directions to the center from his family’s home in Pasco, 180 miles east of Seattle

Haq drove from his eastern Washington home to Seattle the day of the attack and forced a teenage girl at gunpoint to let him into the Jewish Federation. Once in the second-floor office, he opened fire, shooting some people in their cubicles, some in the hall and one, Pamela Waechter, fatally as she fled down a stairwell.

He shot and seriously injured five others. One of the shooting victims a woman who was pregnant was shot in her arm shielding her unborn fetus. Her child, a boy was born unharmed seven months later.

Here is the Seattle Times ‘harrowing testimony’ of Layla Bush in the first Haq trial in 2008. She has not been able to walk again:

As Layla Bush lay bleeding from a gunshot wound on the floor of her boss’s office, her thoughts were a jumble.

Against a backdrop of gunfire and screaming coming from other parts of the building, Bush thought about how, as the receptionist, it was her duty to call 911 and report the rampage at the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle.

But the pain in her side anchored her to the floor.

“I realized that I couldn’t move, so there was nothing I could do even if he was reloading,” she said.

Suddenly, the gunman, Naveed Haq, returned.

“We made eye contact, and he shot me again. I believe he was trying to kill me,” she testified.

According to the AP report on the second  trial outcome:

Haq was found guilty of all eight counts against him. The 34-year-old man will spend the rest of his life in prison.

Haq’s first trial ended in 2008 with jurors deadlocked on whether he was legally insane during the shooting spree on July 28, 2006, that left one woman dead and five others injured.

The eight counts against him included one count of aggravated first-degree murder; five counts of attempted first-degree murder; one count of unlawful imprisonment; and one count of malicious harassment, the state’s hate-crime law.

Jurors rejected Haq’s defense that he was not guilty by reason of insanity. His lawyers acknowledged that he committed the shooting but said his mental illness kept him from understanding what he was doing.

They also conceded he poses a danger to the public and should never be free, but asked jurors to send him to a state mental hospital rather than prison. They declined comment after the verdict.

Prosecutor Don Raz said he was pleased the verdict would bring closure to the victims.

Raz argued Haq wasn’t insane – just angry – when he stormed the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle.

“He was tired that no one was listening to the Muslim point of view. He wanted that point of view heard,” Raz told jurors as Haq’s second trial opened in October, 2009.

A major difference between this trial and the first was the playing of jailhouse phone calls.

In a recorded phone conversation after the shooting, Raz said, Haq told his mother, “I did a very good thing. I did it for a good reason.”

She said, “I know you’re not well,” to which Haq replied: “Whatever, Mom.”

One of Haq’s lawyers, John Carpenter, argued that his client believed he could change the course of wars by attacking the Jewish Federation.

Conclusion

The 2006 Seattle Jewish Federation attack was a wake-up call to Jewish communities across the country to undertake robust security precautions. Now, with this latest anti-Semitic graffiti incident in Seattle, the fear is palpable about whether this might be a prelude to another possible shooting  incident or a temple bombing like the historic one in Atlanta in 1958.   We only have to look at the March 3, 2017 shooting by a gunman wounding a Sikh  in the driveway of his  home in a Seattle suburb.   The attacker shouted: “go back to your own country.” That is why this Seattle anti-Semitic incident matters both there and throughout this country. Violent intolerance kills.

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President Trump’s First 50 Days of Action: Achieving Results for the American People

JUMPSTARTING JOB CREATION: President Donald J. Trump is looking out for the American workers who Washington has left behind.

  • President Trump has worked with the private sector to deliver tens of thousands of new jobs for Americans.
  • President Trump ordered the United States to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement and negotiations.
  • President Trump signed a Presidential Memorandum to clear roadblocks to construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline.
  • President Trump signed a Presidential Memorandum declaring that the Dakota Access Pipeline serves the national interest and initiating the process to complete its construction.
  • President Trump signed a Presidential Memorandum to help ensure that new pipeline construction and repair work use materials and equipment from the United States.

CUTTING GOVERNMENT RED TAPE: President Trump has quickly taken steps to get the Government out of the way of job creation.

  • President Trump directed each agency to establish a Regulatory Reform Task Force to identify costly and unnecessary regulations in need of modification or repeal.
  • President Trump has required that for every new Federal regulation, two existing regulations be eliminated.
  • President Trump directed the Department of Commerce to streamline Federal permitting processes for domestic manufacturing and to reduce regulatory burdens on domestic manufacturers.
  • President Trump signed legislation, House Joint Resolution 38, to prevent the burdensome “Stream Protection Rule” from causing further harm to the coal industry.
  • President Trump ordered the review of the “Clean Water Rule: Definition of Waters of the United States,” known as the WOTUS rule, to evaluate whether it is stifling economic growth or job creation.

REFORMING WASHINGTON: President Trump has taken actions to reform the old Washington way of doing business and to ensure that his entire Administration are working for the American people.

  • President Trump put in place a hiring freeze for Federal civilian employees to stop the further expansion of an already bloated government.
  • President Trump signed an Executive Order establishing new ethics commitments for all Executive branch appointees, putting in place a five-year lobbying ban and a permanent ban on lobbying for foreign governments, so that appointees serve the American people instead of their own interests.

PUTTING PATIENT HEALTHCARE FIRST: After years of false promises, rising costs, and shrinking accessibility, President Trump is championing reforms to put patients first.

  • President Trump has supported efforts by Republicans in Congress to repeal the worst parts of Obamacare and replace them with the American Health Care Act.
  • President Trump acted on his first day in office to instruct Federal agencies to minimize the burden of Obamacare on Americans.

PRIORITIZING AMERICAN NATIONAL SECURITY: President Trump has taken action to ensure the safety and security of the United States homeland, its borders, and its people.

  • Under President Trump’s leadership, the Department of the Treasury sanctioned 25 entities and individuals involved in Iran’s ballistic missile program.
  • President Trump implemented new protections against foreign terrorists entering our country.
  • President Trump has proposed increasing the military’s budget by $54 billion so that it can begin to rebuild.
  • As a result of a Presidential Memorandum President Trump signed on January 28, he has received a plan to defeat ISIS designed by the Secretary of Defense and other members of his Cabinet.
  • President Trump ordered a review of military readiness and made it the policy of the United States to rebuild the United States’ Armed Forces.
  • President Trump has negotiated to bring down the price of the F-35, saving millions of dollars.

DELIVERING ON IMMIGRATION REFORM: President Trump has made enforcing the Nation’s immigration laws a priority of his Administration.

  • President Trump signed an Executive Order to start work on a southern border wall.
  • President Trump signed an Executive Order to enhance the public safety of Americans through enforcement of immigration laws.
  • President Trump signed an Executive Order to halt funding to jurisdictions in the United States that do not comply with Federal immigration rules.
  • President Trump signed an Executive Order to begin the removal of illegal immigrants who have committed certain crimes.
  • Following through on President Trump’s direction, the Department of Homeland Security will hire 10,000 Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers and agents and 5,000 border patrol agents.

RESTORING PUBLIC SAFETY TO AMERICAN COMMUNITIES: President Trump is following through on his promise to restore public safety for all Americans.

  • President Trump signed an Executive Order directing the Attorney General to develop a strategy to more effectively prosecute people who engage in crimes against law enforcement officers.
  • President Trump signed an Executive Order to establish a task force, led by the Attorney General, to reduce crime and restore public safety in communities across America.
  • President Trump signed an Executive Order re-focusing the Federal Government’s energy and resources on dismantling transnational criminal organizations, such as drug cartels.

HELPING WOMEN AND MINORITIES SUCCEED: President Trump knows the country cannot reach its potential unless every American has a chance to prosper.

  • President Trump signed an Executive Order strengthening and repositioning the Historically Black Colleges and Universities initiatives within the White House to foster better opportunities in higher education.
  • President Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau launched the United States-Canada Council for Advancement of Women Entrepreneurs and Business Leaders.
  • President Trump signed into law the Promoting Women in Entrepreneurship Act to encourage the National Science Foundation’s entrepreneurial programs to recruit and support women to extend their focus beyond the laboratory and into the commercial world.
  • President Trump signed into law the Inspiring the Next Space Pioneers, Innovators, Researchers, and Explorers (INSPIRE) Women Act to encourage women to study science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), pursue careers in aerospace, and further advance the nation’s space science and exploration efforts.

KEEPING HIS PROMISE TO DEFEND THE CONSTITUTION: President Trump promised a U.S. Supreme Court justice in the mold of late Justice Antonin Scalia selected from his previously announced list of 20 judges

  • President Trump nominated Judge Neil M. Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court because of his consistent record defending the Constitution.

RELATED ARTICLE: How President Trump Is Performing on His Promises Halfway to First 100 Days

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The Trojan Horse of Terrorism

In a March 7, 2017 story by Dan Bilefsky, headlined “Hungary Approves Detention of Asylum Seekers in Guarded Camps,” the New York Times reported that,

“Europe’s simmering backlash against immigration came into sharp relief on Tuesday when the Hungarian Parliament approved the detention of asylum seekers in guarded and enclosed camps on the country’s southern border, in what human rights advocates called a reckless breach of international law.”

According to the Times,

“Prime Minister Viktor Orban justified the measure on the grounds that it would secure the European Union’s borders from migrants and act as a powerful deterrent against migration, which he called the ‘Trojan horse of terrorism.’ ”

The Prime Minister is quoted as saying,

“We are under siege.  The flood of migration has slowed down but has not stopped.  Laws apply to everyone.  This includes those migrants who want to cross Hungary’s border illegally.  This is the reality, which cannot be overruled by charming human rights nonsense.”

Unfortunately, it is “charming human rights nonsense” that now informs immigration policy on the political left in the United States, just as it has in most Western European nations.  While liberals and Democrats oppose any and all limitations on immigration from majority Muslim countries… in the apparent hope that American Muslims will repay the favor by becoming a reliable Democratic voting bloc… even they express concern over the potential for isolated terror attacks in the near term.  What apparently escapes their attention is the clearly stated long term goal of Muslim migration: the complete domination of Islam over all the nations of the world.

In his first speech before a joint session of Congress on February 28, President Trump paused, gazed directly into the camera, and carefully enunciated words that Barack Obama famously refused to utter. He said,

“Our obligation is to serve, protect, and defend the citizens of the United States… We are also taking strong measures to protect our nation from radical Islamic terrorism.”

However, as appealing and as essential as that resolve might be, by focusing only on the unspeakable atrocities of radical Islamists, we run the risk of overlooking or downplaying what is an even more deadly and more pervasive long term threat: the danger of what Hungarian Prime Minister Orban referred to as the “Trojan horse of terrorism,” the unfettered flow of Muslim migrants and refugees across international frontiers into the Western world.

In his book, Slavery, Terrorism, and Islam: The Historical Roots and Contemporary Threat, Dr. Peter Hammond explains something that every Christian, every Jew, and every other non-Muslim on the face of the Earth must understand… which is that Islam does not qualify as a religion in the normally accepted sense of the word.  Instead, as a complete legal, political, economic, social, and military system with a religious component, the West’s dangerous flirtation with multiculturalism can only be described as “charming human rights nonsense.”  And while most non-Muslims worry about the possibility of being murdered in an isolated “lone wolf” terror attack, they all but ignore the long term implications of Muslim expansionism.    

Dr. Hammond explains the process of “stealth jihadism” carried out by muhajirs, or Muslim immigrants.  He tells us that “Islamization begins when there are sufficient Muslims in a country to agitate for their religious privileges.  When politically correct, tolerant, and culturally diverse societies agree to Muslim demands for their religious privileges, some of the other components tend to creep in as well.”

In his May 8, 2015 treatise, titled, Islam, Interreligious Dialogue, and Evangelization, Andre Villeneuve, Ph.D. of Saint John Vianney Seminary, describes the ecumenical schizophrenia displayed by the Catholic Church in their approach to Islam in just the past two decades.  He quotes Pope Benedict XVI in his Regensburg Lecture of September 12, 2006.  Benedict quoted the 14th century Byzantine emperor Manuel II Paleologus, who said,

“Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached.”

However, Villeneuve goes on to describe a contrary view held by the current prelate, Pope Francis.  He writes,

“After praising the commitment to prayer, faith, devotion, and ethical values of many Muslims, (Pope) Francis encourages Christians to adopt a welcoming attitude towards the increasing number of Muslim immigrants in traditionally Christian countries, while asking for a reciprocal freedom of worship for Christians living in Muslim countries.”

Reciprocal freedom of worship?  It is, at best, a naive pipe-dream.  While a few majority Muslim nations have tolerated Christian congregations in their midst, many of those Christians are now victims of genocide.  To expect that those attitudes will ever change is worse than naïve… it is dangerous and it is suicidal.

Christians are taught from early childhood to heed the words of Jesus in Matthew 5:39.  In his Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said,

“But I say unto you, that ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.”

As the leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Roman Catholics, Pope Francis is obliged to instruct his flock to “turn the other cheek.”  However, while that counter-intuitive advice may be valuable to me in a one-on-one relationship with my next door neighbor or a co-worker, just how far does it go?  In other words, how are we to react when all of western civilization hangs in the balance?

On September 3, 2011, Swiss parliamentarian Oskar Freysinger, of the Christian Democratic People’s Party addressed some very important thoughts to a Berlin audience… thoughts that the American people would do well to hear and heed in 2017.  He said, in part, “My dear Berlin friends, I come to you today as a neighbor and as a concerned friend…”

Referring to the rules imposed on non-Muslims living in majority Muslim nations, Freysinger said, “The dhimmi attitude of Europeans sustained a wound which must not heal over if the millennia-old European civilization is to survive, for Europe is more than a plot of land, more than a continent, more than the sum of its countries.  Europe is an idea, a cultural landscape, an intellectual space shaped by history.  Europe is the cradle of the modern constitutional state, the treasure house of human rights, of freedom of opinion and expression.

“This is ever more strongly endangered by the possibility that our political elite will bend their necks before (an Islamic) religious dogma that is alien to our intellectual history, our values, and our constitutional state.  This dogma is gnawing away at the pillars of our system of laws, wherever it is allowed some space.  This dogma demands total obedience from its followers.

“They are in no case to integrate into our value system.  That would be like treason and can even be punished with death.  They are expected to conquer our intellectual home, make the Western world subject.  Not with tanks, rockets, or riflemen.  Not through brutal revolution.  No, Islam is in no hurry.  It has an eternity.  A long process of softening up and leisurely occupation of our child-poor society is foreseen.  The Islamic doctrine is expected to gradually creep into everyday life and Fortress Europe will crumble from within.

“And what are we doing?  We are allowing this violent doctrine, unhindered in cultural ghettos, to strain at toppling the nation of laws…  When women are beaten and whole city districts are taken over, we look the other way.  We believe we can soften the power hunger of the holy warriors with welfare money.  We believe we can buy peace! What lunacy!  No one fingers the Prophet’s beard.  Fanatics cannot be bought.  Germany should know that better than any country in the world…”

He concluded by saying, “If we lose this battle there will be no second chance, for Islam does not give back what it has conquered.  So I summon all the humanists of this continent not to keep their heads in the sand and to resist the Islamic dogma’s drive to conquest.  Let us stand together and uncompromisingly insist upon the primacy of our civil law over any religious dogma.  Let us find our way back to our precious intellectual heritage.  Islam is only as strong as we are weak”

It is estimated that, by the end of this century, in the absence of some unforeseen divine intervention, Muslims will exceed 50 percent of the world’s population.  But long before that time, it is reasonable to assume that most of 21st century Western civilization will have become unraveled and our descendants will find themselves facing a squalid 7th century lifestyle. As Prime Minister Orban so aptly describes it, the current level of Muslim immigration into the West can best be described as the “Trojan horse of terrorism.”  Left unfettered, it can have no good end.  As matters now stand, we cannot assume that the Europe we have known and loved for many centuries, and from which our forbears emerged, will continue to exist beyond ten or twenty more years.

While Europe may be the “cradle of the modern constitutional state, the treasure house of human rights, of freedom of opinion and expression,” the United States is the laboratory in which those concepts were tested and proven.  That fact, alone, gives Islamists all the justification they need to see us wiped from the face of the Earth.  There is far too much at stake to be gambled away in some “charming human rights” experiment, in a contest we cannot win.  And if we are so unwise as to invite the forces of Islam to coexist with us, on our own soil, then we too, like Europe, will crumble from within.

RELATED ARTICLE: Trump reportedly considering Mideast peace conference

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U.S. Senator Rand Paul Introduces Bill to Repeal/Replace Obamacare

The Obamacare Replacement Act (S. 222) introduced by Sen. Rand Paul, M.D. accomplishes the following:

Repealing Obamacare

Effective as of the date of enactment of this bill, the following provisions of Obamacare are repealed:

  • Individual and employer mandates, community rating restrictions, rate review, essential health benefits requirement, medical loss ratio, and other insurance mandates.

Protecting Individuals with Pre-Existing Conditions

  • Provides a two-year open-enrollment period under which individuals with pre-existing conditions can obtain coverage.
  • Restores HIPAA pre-existing conditions protections. Prior to Obamacare, HIPAA guaranteed those within the group market could obtain continuous health coverage regardless of preexisting conditions. Equalize the Tax Treatment of Health Insurance
  • Individuals who receive health insurance through an employer are able to exclude the premium amount from their taxable income. However, this subsidy is unavailable for those that do not receive their insurance through an employer but instead shop for insurance on the individual market.
  • Equalizes the tax treatment of the purchase of health insurance for individuals and employers. By providing a universal deduction on both income and payroll taxes regardless of how an individual obtains their health insurance, Americans will be empowered to purchase insurance independent of employment. Furthermore, this provision does not interfere with employer provided coverage for Americans who prefer those plans.

Expansion of Health Savings Accounts

Tax Credit for HSA Contributions

  • Provides individuals the option of a tax credit of up to $5,000 per taxpayer for contributions to an HSA. If an individual chooses not to accept the tax credit or contributes in excess of $5,000, those contributions are still tax-preferred.

Maximum Contribution Limit to HSA

  • Removes the maximum allowable annual contribution, so that individuals may make unlimited contributions to an HSA.

Eliminates the requirement that a participant in an HSA be enrolled in a high deductible health care plan

  • Currently, in order to be eligible to establish and use an HSA, an individual must be enrolled in a high-deductible health plan. This section removes the HSA plan type requirement to allow individuals with all types of insurance to establish and use an HSA. o This would also enable individuals who are eligible for Medicare, VA benefits, TRICARE, IHS, and members of health care sharing ministries to be eligible to establish an HSA.

Allowance of Distributions for Prescription and OTC Drugs

  • Allows prescription and OTC drug costs to be treated as allowable expenses of HSAs.

Purchase of Health Insurance from HSA Account

  • Currently, HSA funds may not be used to purchase insurance or cover the cost of premiums. Allowing the use of HSA funds for insurance premiums will help make health coverage more affordable for American families.

Medical Expenses Incurred Prior to Account Establishment

  • Allows qualified expenses incurred prior to HSA establishment to be reimbursed from an HSA as long as the account is established prior to tax filing. Ø Administrative Error Correction Before Due Date of Return
  • Amends current law by allowing for administrative or clerical error corrections on filings. Ø Allowing HSA Rollover to Child or Parent of Account Holder o Allows an account holder’s HSA to rollover to a child, parent, or grandparent, in addition to a spouse.

Equivalent Bankruptcy Protections for HSAs as Retirement Funds

  • Most tax-exempt retirement accounts are also fully exempt from bankruptcy by federal law. While some states have passed laws that exempt HSA funds from being seized in bankruptcy, there is no federal protection for HSA funds in bankruptcy.

Certain Exercise Equipment and Physical Fitness Programs to be Treated as Medical Care

  • Expands allowable HSA expenses to include equipment for physical exercise or health coaching, including weight loss programs.

Nutritional and Dietary Supplements to be Treated as Medical Care

  • Amends the definition of “medical care” to include dietary and nutritional supplements for the purposes of HSA expenditures.

Certain Providers Fees to be Treated as Medical Care

  • Allows HSA funds to be used for periodic fees paid to medical practitioners for access to medical care.

Capitated Primary Care Payments

  • HSAs can be used for pre-paid physician fees, which includes payments associated with “concierge” or “direct practice” medicine.

Provisions Relating to Medicare o Allows Medicare enrollees to contribute their own money to the Medicare Medical Savings Accounts (MSAs).

Charity Care and Bad Debt Deduction for Physicians

Amends the Internal Revenue Code to allow a physician a tax deduction equal to the amount such physician would otherwise charge for charity medical care or uncompensated care due to bad debt. This deduction is limited to 10% of a physician’s gross income for the taxable year.

Pool Reform for the Individual Market

  • Establishes Independent Health Pools (IHPs) in order to allow individuals to pool together for the purposes of purchasing insurance.
  • Amends the Public Health Service Act (PHSA) to allow individuals to pool together to provide for health benefits coverage through Individual Health Pools (IHPs). These can include nonprofit organizations (including churches, alumni associations, trade associations, other civic groups, or entities formed strictly for establishing an IHP) so long as the organization does not condition membership on any health status-related factor.
  • Requires that the IHP will provide insurance through contracts with health insurance issuers in fully insured plans and not assume insurance risk with respect to such coverage. Allows the IHP to provide administrative services to members, including accounting, billings, and enrollment information.

Interstate Market for Health Insurance

Cooperative Governing of Individual Health Insurance Coverage

  • Increases access to individual health coverage by allowing insurers licensed to sell policies in one state to offer them to residents of any other state.
  • Exempts issuers from secondary state laws that would prohibit or regulate their operation in the secondary state. However, states may impose requirements such as consumer protections and applicable taxes, among others.
  • Prohibits an issuer from offering, selling, or issuing individual health insurance coverage in a secondary state:
  1. If the state insurance commissioner does not use a risk-based capital formula for the determination of capital and surplus requirements for all issuers.
  2. Unless both the secondary and primary states have legislation or regulations in place establishing an independent review process for individuals who have individual health insurance coverage; or
  3. The issuer provides an acceptable mechanism under which the review is conducted by an independent medical reviewer or panel. Gives sole jurisdiction to the primary state to enforce the primary state’s covered laws in the primary state and any secondary state.
  • Allows the secondary state to notify the primary state if the coverage offered in the secondary state fails to comply with the covered laws in the primary state.

Association Health Plans

  • Association Health Plans (AHPs) allow small businesses to pool together across state lines through their membership in a trade or professional association to purchase health coverage for their employees and their families. AHPs increase the bargaining power, leverage discounts, and provide administrative efficiencies to small businesses while freeing them from state benefit mandates.
  • While AHPs currently exist, strict Department of Labor standards exist regarding the types of organizations that may qualify as a single large-group health plan under ERISA. The standard stipulates that the association must be a group of employers bound together by a commonality of interest (aside from providing a health plan) with vested control of the association to such an extent that they effectively operate as one employer. This is considered a difficult standard for most associations to meet.
  • Amends ERISA to define AHPs and allow for their treatment as if they were large group single employer health plans. This definition would allow a dues-collecting organization maintained in good faith for a purpose other than providing health insurance to benefit from the insurance regulation exclusions currently afforded to large-group health plans under ERISA.
  • Requires solvency standards to protect patients’ rights and ensure benefits are paid. o Requires AHPs to have an indemnified back-up plan in order to prevent unpaid claims in the event of plan termination.
  • AHPs must undergo independent actuarial certification for financial viability on a regular basis. o Requires AHPs to maintain surplus reserves of at least $500,000 in addition to normal claims reserves, stop loss insurance, or indemnification insurance.

Anti-Trust Reform for Healthcare

  • Provides an exemption from Federal antitrust laws for health care professionals engaged in negotiations with a health plan regarding the terms of a contract under which the professionals provide health care items or services.
  • This section applies only to health care professionals excluded from the National Labor Relations Act. It would also not apply to contracts or care provided under Medicare, Medicaid, SCHIP, the FEHBP, or the IHS as well as medical and dental care provided to members of the uniformed services and veterans.

Increasing State Flexibility to Conduct Medicaid Waivers

  • Provides new flexibilities to states in their Medicaid plan design, through existing waiver authority in current law.
  • For many years, including under Obamacare, States have had the option to request a waiver from HHS to allow states to test new coverage rules under Medicaid and other programs. This provision would allow states to make changes to their Medicaid plans without interference from Washington.

Self-Insurance Protections

  • Amends the definition of “health insurance coverage” under the Public Health Service Act (PHSA), and parallel sections of ERISA and the Tax Code, to clarify that stop-loss insurance is not health insurance.
  • This provision is designed to prevent the federal government from using rule-making to restrict the availability of stop-loss insurance used by self-insured plans.

RELATED ARTICLES:

House GOP Obamacare Plan Faces Uphill Battle in Senate

Breitbart.com: Sen. Tom Cotton says Paul Ryan’s healthcare bill does not deliver on GOP, President Trump’s promise to repeal, replace Obamacare

Mulvaney: GOP healthcare plan a ‘framework’

Adviser: Trump willing to accept improvements to healthcare proposal

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16 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Live In California

I was privileged to attend high school at a military academy in Carlsbad, California from 1965-1969, at which time I returned to Arizona to attend Northern Arizona University.  My years in southern California were terrific for many reasons one being the magic which was the California of yesteryear.  The beach (the academy had its own private 200 yard long beach) the weather, the life-style of the late 60s’ all contributed to a vision which is still etched into my memory.  Over the decades, I would travel for various events back to the academy, and you could see the not-so-good changes occurring in California.  For reasons that escape me, “California Dreamin” as the Beach Boys would sing, began to morph into a society almost separate from the rest of America; sort of like the individual style setting California which had been became even more stand alone, and even third-world-like as more third-world people slipped in and filled every nook and cranny of the once Golden State.

The brightness that California once was known for (among beaches, mammoth freeways, laid back life styles, fertile farm lands and mountains, and of course Home of Mickey Mouse) was being altered by gangs, poor populations requiring almost full subsidies from the State just to live, multiple cultures that no longer respected American culture, schools that no longer prepared students to become productive members of society; heck schools that barely teach reading, writing, arithmetic, steadily creeping higher costs of everything, closures of many things that use to be landmarks thereby further dulling the brightness that helped make California the Golden State.  But I chose to push all of that aside in my mind (hindsight bias is what this type of selective thinking is named), and I would still travel to the beach of Carlsbad or Oceanside remaining in small pockets next to those beaches, and recall a kinder and gentler era, as I walked up and down those beaches I had become so acquainted with during my youth.

At one time, California seemed to be the epicenter of the American Dream.  From “WolfMan Jack” on the radio to the movie American Graffiti depicting cruising up and down main streets talking to those walking, whistling to those simply sitting on sidewalk benches, and laughing all the while the “WolfMan” was talking and howling over the radio, Beach Boy music everywhere along with Jan and Dean, “California Dreamin” was a reality, a way of life – even for kids in other states.  But something happened sadly.  Of course times change, but have they changed really for the better?

The following article sheds light on the California Dream that has become very dull, without much brightness like the famous California coastal haze that burns off around noon, but now seems not to burn off revealing a clear and clean image like once.  Where did California go?  Where is California going??  I wish I knew.  I wish I could pull this once unique state back in time, or at least pull it away from what appears to be certain self-destruction.  Hard to believe I know thinking California will not always be there.  The below article by Nwo Report peeks behind the “California here I come curtain,” and reveals a once Great State in great need of new leadership; a return to principles that were simpler, but more honest and in keeping with American values than what is unraveling before our eyes.


16 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Live In California

by Nwo Report

At one time, California seemed to be the epicenter of the American Dream

It has been said that “as California goes, so goes the nation”.  That is why it is such a shame what is happening to that once great state.

At one time, California seemed to be the epicenter of the American Dream.  Featuring some of the most beautiful natural landscapes in the entire world, the gorgeous weather and booming economy of the state inspired people from all over the world to move to the state.  But now people are moving out of the state by the millions, because life in California has literally become a nightmare for so many people.

I certainly don’t have anything against the state personally.  My brother and sister were both born there, and I spent a number of my childhood years in stunning northern California.  When I was younger I would sometimes dream of getting a place on the coast eventually, but for reasons I will discuss below I no longer think that would be advisable.

In fact, if I was living in California today I would be immediately looking for a way to move out of the state unless I specifically felt called to stay.  The following are 16 reasons why you shouldn’t live in California…

#1 The entire California coastline is part of the “Ring of Fire” seismic zone that roughly encircles the Pacific Ocean.  The San Andreas Fault has been described as a “time bomb“, and at some point there will be a catastrophic earthquake that absolutely devastates the entire region.  In fact, a study that was just released says that a “major earthquake” on the San Andreas Fault “is way overdue” …

A recently published study reveals new evidence that a major earthquake is way overdue on a 100 mile stretch of the San Andreas Fault from the Antelope Valley to the Tejon Pass and beyond.

Researchers with the U.S. Geological Survey released the results of the years-long study warning a major earthquake could strike soon.

#2 Out of all 50 states, the state of California has been ranked as the worst state for business for 12 years in a row

In what is sounding like a broken record, California once again ranked dead last in Chief Executive magazine’s annual Best and Worst States for Business survey of CEOs – as it has all 12 years the survey has been conducted. Texas, meanwhile, earned the top spot for the 12th straight year.

Among the survey’s subcategories, the 513 CEOs from across the nation ranked California 50th in taxation and regulation, 35th in workforce quality and 26th in living environment, which includes cost of living, the education system and state and local attitudes toward business. Notably, California placed worst among the nine states in the Western region in all three categories.

#3 California has the highest state income tax rates in the entire nation.  For many Americans, the difference between what you would have to pay if you lived in California and what you would have to pay if you lived in Texas could literally buy a car every single year.

#4 The state government in Sacramento seems to go a little bit more insane with each passing session.  This time around, they are talking about going to a single-payer healthcare system for the entire state that would cost California taxpayers 40 billion dollars a year

On Friday, State Senator Ricardo Lara introduced legislation that would transition California’s healthcare into a single-payer system. (RELATED: Read what a retired colonel said about the real purpose of Obamacare). The system would be very similar to the healthcare system currently in place in Canada and would cost California taxpayers roughly $40 billion for the first year alone. Given the poor economic climate California has already created for itself, this will no doubt be just one more burden on the people of California, and one step closer towards total bankruptcy.

Micah Weinberg, the president of the Economic Institute at the Bay Area Council, raised concerns over the financial consequences of the proposed legislation. “Where are they going to come up with the $40 billion?” he asked. He went on to suggest that adopting a state level single-payer system is “just not feasible to do as a state.”

#5 The traffic in the major cities just keeps getting worse and worse.  According to USA Today, Los Angeles now has the worst traffic in the entire world, and San Francisco is not far behind.

#6 A lot of money is being made in Silicon Valley these days (at least for now), but poverty is also exploding in the state.  In desperation, homeless people are banding together to create large tent cities all over the state, and the L.A. City Council recently asked Governor Jerry Brown “to declare homelessness a statewide emergency“.

#7 Thanks to unchecked illegal immigration, crime is on the rise in many California cities.  The drug war that has been raging for years in Mexico is increasingly spilling over the border, and many families have moved out of the state for this reason alone.

#8 California is one of the most litigious states in the entire nation.  According to the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform, the “lawsuit climate” in California is ranked 47th out of all 50 states.

#9 Every year wildfires and mudslides wreak havoc in the state.  Erosion is particularly bad along the coast, and I have previously written about how some portions of the California coastline are literally falling into the ocean.

#10 California has some of the most ridiculous housing prices in the entire country.  Due to a lack of affordable housing rents have soared to wild extremes in San Francisco, where one poor engineer was actually paying $1,400 a month to live in a closet.

#11 All over the state, key infrastructure is literally falling to pieces.  Governor Jerry Brown recently issued a list of key projects that needed to be done as soon as possible, and the total price tag for that list was 100 billion dollars.  Of course that list didn’t even include the Oroville Dam, and we all saw what happened there.

#12 Radiation from the ongoing Fukushima nuclear disaster continues to cross the ocean and wash up along the California coastline.  The impact of this crisis on the health of those living along the west coast could potentially be felt for generations.

#13 Illegal drug use in the state is on the rise again, and emergency rooms are being flooded by heroin overdose victims.

#14 On top of everything else, it is being reported that Russia is “quietly ‘seeding’ the U.S. shoreline with nuclear ‘mole’ missiles”.  The following comes from retired colonel and former Russian defense ministry spokesman Viktor Baranetz

“What are these mysterious ‘asymmetrical responses’ that our politicians and generals speak about so often? Maybe it’s a myth or a pretty turn of phrase? No! Our asymmetrical response is nuclear warheads that can modify their course and height so that no computer can calculate their trajectory. Or, for example, the Americans are deploying their tanks, airplanes and special forces battalions along the Russian border. And we are quietly ‘seeding’ the U.S. shoreline with nuclear ‘mole’ missiles (they dig themselves in and ‘sleep’ until they are given the command)[…]

“Oh, it seems I’ve said too much. I should hold my tongue.”

Hopefully what Baranetz is claiming is not accurate, because if it is even partly true the implications are absolutely staggering.

#15 North Korea is a major nuclear threat as well.  It is being reported that the North Koreans are developing an ICBM that could potentially reach the west coast of the United States…

Defense officials have warned that North Korea is on the brink of producing an ICBM that could target the United States. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un announced in January during his New Year’s address that Pyongyang had “entered the final stage of preparations to test-launch” an ICBM that could reach parts of the United States.

#16 Someday a very large earthquake will produce a major tsunami on the west coast.  According to the Los Angeles Times, one study found that a magnitude 9.0 earthquake along the Cascadia fault could potentially produce a massive tsunami that would “wash away coastal towns”…

If a 9.0 earthquake were to strike along California’s sparsely populated North Coast, it would have a catastrophic ripple effect.

A giant tsunami created by the quake would wash away coastal towns, destroy U.S. 101 and cause $70 billion in damage over a large swath of the Pacific coast. More than 100 bridges would be lost, power lines toppled and coastal towns isolated. Residents would have as few as 15 minutes notice to flee to higher ground, and as many as 10,000 would perish.

Scientists last year published this grim scenario for a massive rupture along the Cascadia fault system, which runs 700 miles off shore from Northern California to Vancouver Island.

Over the past decade, approximately five million people have moved away from California.

After reading this article, perhaps you have a better understanding why so many people are getting out while they still can.

To me, one of the greatest concerns is the rise in seismic activity that we are seeing all over the world.  In my latest book I express my belief that the United States will be greatly affected by this increase in seismic activity, and California is going to get hit harder than just about anywhere else.

Once again, I don’t have anything against California or the people that live there.  It is such a beautiful place, and it once held so much promise.

Unfortunately that promise has been shattered, and there is a mass exodus out of the state as families flee the horrific nightmare that California is in the process of becoming.

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The Case for a ‘Religious Test’ in America

There has been a narrative that there cannot be a “religious test” for public office. This is based upon Article VI of the U.S. Constitution which reads:

The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the members of the several state legislatures, and all executive and judicial officers, both of the United States and of the several states, shall be bound by oath or affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.

Note that Article IV says “required as a qualification to any office or public trust.” Article VI does not say that citizens cannot establish a personal “religious test” when voting for anyone running for or currently holding public office. Voters do vote their values. This raises the question:

Should there be a religious test, and if so, who should be tested?

Recently Oklahoma State Representative John Bennett ask those visiting his office who are Mohammedans, followers of Mohammad, to fill out a questionnaire. The Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) Adam Soltani asked: “The question that comes to mind is, does he do this to others? Does he ask question to his Christian constituents? His Jewish constituents? If the answer is no, that’s discrimination. There’s no other way to call it.”

Mr. Soltani has a valid point, which raises two fundamental questions:

  1. Do elected officials have the right to ask their constituents to take a “religious test” questionnaire before meeting with them?
  2. Do citizens have the same right to present a “religious test” questionnaire to their elected officials?

In the United States there are voters who cast their ballots based upon their beliefs. These beliefs can be political, social and religious. Many argue that these three are inextricably linked. Whether you are an atheist, agnostic, Christian, Jew, Mohammedan, Democrat, Republican, Independent or other, you will vote your values.

So, where do values come from? Answer: Religious beliefs!

The First Amendment gives everyone the right to freedom of speech and to petition their elected representatives.

Religious beliefs are a measure of ones character as Dr. Martin Luther King noted in his “I have a dream” speech. Therefore a religious test is really a test of one’s character and is not only necessary but fundamental to our Constitutional republican form of government.

As John Adams said, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

To help determine the character of citizens and elected officials alike, we have modified the questionnaire used by Representative Bennett and added another to be given to all those who are not Mohammedans.

Please feel free to use them as you wish.

Questions for non-Mohammedans

  1. The the Book of Genesis states: “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.” Do you agree with this?
  2. “You shall have no other gods before me.” Do you agree with this? If not what God do you worship?
  3. “You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.” Do you agree with this? Do you bow down to false images?
  4. “You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.” Do you agree with this?
  5. “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.” Do you agree with this?
  6. “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.” Do you agree with this?
  7. “You shall not murder.” Do you agree with this?
  8. “You shall not commit adultery.” Do you agree with this? Have you ever committed adultery?
  9. “You shall not steal.” Do you agree with this? Have you ever stolen?
  10. “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.” Do you agree with this? Have you lied?
  11. “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.” Do you agree with this? Have you coveted?

Questions for Mohammedans

  1. The Sunna of Mohammed says that Muslims must be punished for leaving Islam. Do you agree with this?
  2. Mohammed was a killer of pagans, Christians and Jews that did not agree with him. Do you agree with this example?
  3. Mohammed repeatedly advised Muslims to deceive Kafirs to advance Islam. The Koran has over 90 versus that say Mohammed is the perfect example for Muslims to follow. Do you follow the perfect example of Mohammed? Have you deceived a Kafir?
  4. The Koran, the Sunna of Mohammed and Shariah Law of all schools say that the husband can beat his wife. Do you beat your wife?
  5. Shariah law says that if must rule over the kafirs, the non-Muslims. Do you agree with this?
  6. I have heard that, according to accepted Islamic sources, Mohammed, at the age of 49, married a 6-year old girl, and that he had sex with her when he was 52 and she was only 9 years old. Is that really true?
  7. In December 1948, the United Nations passed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which enshrines the most important values of Western Civilization such as freedom of religion, freedom from religion, freedom of conscience, equality of religions, and equality of men and women. It is a fact that not a single one of the 57 Muslim countries has accepted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Instead, all of the Muslim countries signed the Cairo Declaration of Human Rights in Islam which makes Islam superior to all other religions, and which explicitly makes shariah Law, the only source of human rights. What, exactly, is it about the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which shariah law finds unacceptable?
  8. The Koran says: The unbelievers are your inveterate enemy. (4:101). The Koran also says that unbelievers are the “vilest of all creatures” (96:8) and “worst of animals” (8:55). What hope is there of coexistence when Mohammed teaches practicing Muslim to have this attitude toward non-Muslims?
  9. A fundamental principle of Christianity and Judaism is the “Golden Rule” which says “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Yet, the Koran says: “Mohammed is God’s apostle. Those who follow him are ruthless to the unbelievers but merciful to one another.” (48:29) With this attitude, how can orthodox followers of Mohammed possibly co-exist with non-Muslims?

RELATED ARTICLE: The Eighth Deadly Sin

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How Energy Companies Should Talk About Energy – Internally and Externally

I’m writing this from Midland Texas, part of the now-legendary Permian Basin, a once-denigrated oilfield that became the envy of the world once it was transformed by shale energy technology.

I’m about to speak at a forum with 100+ executives here in Midland, and then tomorrow I’ll stay in the area to hold a Stakeholder Strategy Session with a local company.

Earlier this week I was at CERAWeek, the world’s leading energy conference. One of the highlights of the conference is the incredible concentration of industry thought leaders, including top executives. I took the occasion to pick the brains of many of the nation’s top energy CEOs on how they think about the industry’s communications challenges—and opportunities. I also shared my own experiences and strategies.

As I was leaving the conference our newest team member, Evan Le, asked me to do a quick video on internal and external communications strategy. I hope you enjoy it. If you’re in the industry and would like to discuss how the strategies can empower your company, email Nikki Norris and she can set up a call.

How Energy Companies Should Talk About Energy – Internally and Externally:

P.S. If you want my “I Love Fossil Fuels” tie, click here.

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VIDEO: The ‘TOP 5’ Under Reported Scariest Facts About the Vault 7 WikiLeaks Release

In this video, we go over the latest news collected from the WikiLeaks Vault 7 release about the CIA. We go over scariest revelations from this release giving you some context on Donald Trump, The Russia Hysteria and the vast amount of accountable power the CIA actually has.

RELATED ARTICLES:

Who is Attorney General Loretta Lynch? FISA court handled two requests to wiretap Donald Trump

WikiLeaks: CIA Uses ‘Stolen’ Malware to ‘Attribute’ Cyberattacks to Nations Like Russia

Phished Wiretap Scandal Implodes by Dennis G. Hurst

Non-Denial “Denial” Demands Criminal Investigation Into Obama’s Silent Coup

Freedom Watch offers to represent President Trump and White House over illegal Obama wiretapping

Obama & FISA: Trump Wiretap May Have Been Sought | National Review

Obama spox says Obama never wiretapped a US citizen — immediately receives harsh history lesson – TheBlaze

DOJ seized phone records for Fox News numbers, reporter’s parents | Fox News

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Coca-Cola Puts Out Gay Ad: Brother/Sister Fight Over Boy

Coca-Cola Co has launched a gay-friendly ad in a recent campaign that is winning “praise” for diversity and inclusion.

The minute-long ad features a brother and sister vying for the attention of a handsome pool boy and fighting for the right to offer him an ice-cold Coke.

The ad is a part of the company’s global ‘Taste the Feeling’ campaign, and features a teenage girl eyeing the hunky pool boy from a downstairs window while her brother lustfully watches the boy from upstairs.

The two then race to the refrigerator in an effort to be the first to offer him a cold Coke.

Despite the best efforts of the brother and sister, Mom gets there first and has first dibs on the pool boy.

In a complicated statement, the Coca-Cola PR agency said:

‘We are managing culturally relevant messages organically within our spots not as the main subject of the story but as sub-text.”

Okay, enough of that gibberish.  Here’s what you really need to know about this ad campaign. And it’s more than you think.

Most older Americans will be perplexed at the purpose of this new Coca-Cola ad.  As well as they should be.

Is this an ad to attract more gays into buying Coca-Cola?  Or an ad to indoctrinate young Americans into accepting the gay lifestyle? No doubt this is part of the objective by Coca-Cola’s advertisement team.  But those reasons are not the complete, or perhaps even the main, answer.

Young adults run ad agencies, nowadays.  And as we all know these young adults have no qualm about using other people’s money (company money) to push their own political/moral beliefs and worldviews on society

But even this is not the compete answer.

Corporations view older Americans as an established, but dying, breed of purchasers.  Even if they are offended, they will remain loyal to the product.  They key word is “loyal.”  That is the objective of ad agencies: to get loyal purchasers.  Once you have a loyal buyer, the reasoning goes, that purchaser will ultimately withstand many offenses down the line.  You may lose some, but not enough to make a significant dent in profits.

Ad agencies, therefore, must focus on young Americans because they are not yet ‘loyal’ to the product.  Being gay-friendly, the reasoning goes, will win over the ‘loyalty’ of the young.  And with that loyalty, they will be Coca-Cola purchasers for decades.

And what about those who HAVE ALREADY BEEN loyal for decades?  Well, Coca-Cola already has their money…which can now be used to promote an immoral lifestyle to gain the acceptance, love and loyalty of an immoral people.

Most major companies don’t sell you on a product any more; they are in the business of selling you on their beliefs.

Perhaps what’s really sad is that people would buy a product, not because “Coke adds life,” but because “Coke adds perversion.”

RELATED ARTICLE: Homecoming at University of Minnesota Bows to ‘Gender Inclusivity’

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FLORIDA: Bills introduced empowering parents to ‘review, object to and approve instructional materials’

On February 23rd and 24th, 2017 critically important Instructional Materials companion bills were filed in the Florida House and Senate. These curriculum bills will restore local control, empowering parents and taxpayers a meaningful place in the process for reviewing and acquiring of all textbook and online materials used to teach public school children.

Sen. Tom Lee and Rep. Byron Donalds are the sponsors for SB 1210 and HB 989. Think of them as “fixit” companion bills to a very “well-intentioned Senate Bill passed into law in 2014. However, the 2014 law was not implemented by a single school district.  The original intent was to establish each school board to be constitutionally responsible for the instruction materials used in their respective districts and to establish an open, transparent process for reviewing, raising objections to and approving instructional materials used with K-12 students.

When passed these “fixit” bills will restore the original intent in 5 key ways:

  1. Require each school district shall implement a transparent Policy/Process within their District whether they acquire from the State list or create their individual acquisition program.
  2. Provide a definition of quality materials and requirement for providers to meet Florida existing laws.
  3. Tighten the definition of instructional materials to include “on-line” materials.
  4. Give each District School Board greater flexibility to use instructional materials that meet or exceed current Florida Standards.
  5. Expand a parent’s right to object to include the rights of all taxpayers.

At the heart of these fixit bills are the enhanced definition of “quality materials”. Every product you buy as a consumer has an explicit set of quality standards. Obvious examples: the car you drive and the cellphone and computer you use. Not so with the 100’s of millions of dollars Florida spends on textbooks.

Today, the materials are provided by Pearson PLC and one or two other large publishers. They are riddled with political and religious indoctrination; revised history teaching our children they are victims of oppressive and outdated founding principles; and age inappropriate sexually explicit materials aimed at destroying family values.

See the documentation at www.floridaCitizensAlliance.com – Search for “Objectionable Materials Report”


Background

SB 864 (FS 1006.283) was the K-12 Curriculum Bill signed into law by Governor Scott in July of 2014.

Its purpose was to:

  • Assign each school board the constitutional responsibility to select and provide adequate instructional materials.
  • Require each district to create a transparent review policy/process allowing parents to review instructional materials and raise objections if the material was not accurate or was objectionable.
  • Allow School districts to implement their own selection and acquisition programs as an alternative to buying from the State approved lists.

NOTE: It contained numerous loopholes that resulted in many School District ignoring the law.

2017 Companion bills SB 1210 and HB 989 fix the loopholes:

  • Require that each District School Board shall implement a transparent Policy/Process within their
  • District whether they acquire from the State list or create their individual acquisition program.
  • Provide a definition of quality materials and require all materials meet Florida existing laws (notes).
  • Tighten the definition of instructional materials to include “on-line” materials.
  • Give each District School Board greater flexibility to use instructional materials that meet or exceed current Florida Standards.
  • Expand a parent’s right to object to include the rights of taxpayers.

Bottom Line: This law will empower parents and community taxpayers a meaningful seat at the table to significantly improve the quality of instructional materials in public schools.

Note 1: Florida has a very good statute FS 1003.42 2a-f that requires the teaching of our founding principles and “historically accurate materials”. This statute is not being followed today in Florida as many textbook providers distort and reconstruct our history to promote a political agenda.
Note 2: FS 847.011 and FS 847.012 clearly prohibit age inappropriate sexually explicit material in K-12 public schools.

Definition of quality materials spelled out in SB 1210 and HB 989

When passed into law, these Instructional Materials companion bills will restore local control of curriculum to each school district, give a meaningful voice to parents and the local community in the selection process for instructional materials, and require instructional materials used in the classroom meet the following criteria:

a. Be research-based, and be proven to be effective in supporting student learning

  1. Provide a non-inflammatory, objective, and balanced viewpoint on issues
  2. Be appropriate to the students’ ages and varying levels of learning
  3. Be accurate and factual
  4. Be of acceptable technical quality
  5. Shall strictly adhere to the requirements of Florida Statute 1003.42(2) US Constitutional Founding values and principles
  6. Not contain pornography or sexually explicit content as is otherwise prohibited by Florida Statute 847.012(3).

The Detailed 11 page report of objectionable materials in Florida Schools documenting extensive political and religious indoctrination, revisionist history, issues with APUSH, pornographic material and destructive math pedagogy can be found at http://floridacitizensalliance.com/liberty/?s=objectionable+materials+report

flca logoABOUT THE FLORIDA CITIZENS ALLIANCE (FLCA)

Florida Citizens Alliance is a grassroots Alliance working with 80+ grassroots organizations committed to dramatically improving the outcomes for our Florida children. FLCA helped draft this legislation and we are strong citizen advocates for its passage. Our Goal is simple- to unleash the individual learning potential of every child! We invite your support. Subscribe to our website. Adding your voice makes our collective voice louder!

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Soviet Fascism in America: Agents of Influence

Headlines about President Trump’s connection with Russia are all over the world, 24/7. There is some truth to it—the connection of a U.S. President and Russia is reality-with a small correction to the name of the President. It is President Barack Obama, who had constant clandestine ties to Russia. I have been reporting this secret connection since 2008 in my latest two books. The recent Trump tweet about the wiretapping of his campaign by the Obama Administration is the same, a logical and monumental addition to the history of aiding the enemy. This is the moment in history for President Trump to reveal the Truth about Russia, the KGB, and the Soviet Mafia in America…

History of President Reagan and Russia

When a medical doctor treats a patient, he or she fights against a disease and its causes. As a rule, after finding the causes a doctor deals with the disease. That way the patient is cured – his body is healed. These physicians are knowledgeable professionals with the experience to make a correct diagnosis. However, unlike those specialists, the medical profession has another type of doctor—they treat the symptoms of disease. In this case the patient will never be cured and the treatment will never bring healing. This is similar to politicians on the world stage—the leaders of the Western civilization. At this time of war, while we are fighting terrorists, knowledge and the ability to arrive at the correct diagnosis, is only in identifying the enemy. Then we will have the assurance of success and victory in the War on Terror.

A history of America’s presidents shows leaders who, based on their knowledge and ability to correctly assess the world predicament, have united all citizens to rebuff the enemy. Under the leadership of such leaders the country eventually won the war and began the process of healing. Immigrating to the United States in 1981, I watched one great leader. There are no words to express my love for him, because he saved not only America, but the entire planet. His vision of the world, knowledge of the enemy, and guts to deliver the truth made him the greatest leader of the Twentieth Century. President Ronald Reagan unified all Americans; Democrats and Republicans, white, black, Latino, and Asian, by telling the truth in identifying the Soviet Union as the Evil Empire! He was right on all accounts, though many people did not know a lot of information then. It became known later. Yet, trusting the President, the country joined his motto Peace through Strength and the great leader of the twentieth century had been born!

That was written by me at the end of the 20th century. The conclusion is clear—knowledge of the enemy is a must. President Reagan knew the disease and the symptoms– the modus operandi of the KGB and its method and policy of disinformation. Today, in March 2017 we have the exact same predicament only the name of our President has changed. Yet, in addition to that, we gave Russia and Putin twenty-five years to undermine international order and develop the KGB modus operandi and the disease—the ideology of Soviet Fascism. As a result, today we are dealing with the Evil Empire of Global Terrorism and witnessing a political drama of incompetence within some media outlets in covering the world and especially Russia…

Whether President Donald J. Trump is the man of history in the 21st century and the second Ronald Reagan, only the time will tell. He correctly listed American carnage—the symptoms of the disease in his Address to Congress. But, for an unknown to me reason, he has not directly identified the disease, the way President Reagan had done it thirty-six years ago. He did not pronounce the name of the ideology, I have been writing about for the last twenty years—Soviet Fascism. By the way, I have listed some signs of Soviet Fascism on American soil in my column American Carnage, February 11, 2017.

President Trump was telling us that he “inherited a mess.” He is right, but he is not aware of the depth of the mess—the Washington DC swamp is deadly. It is the ideology of Soviet Fascism that makes it deadly. Soviet/Russian subversive activities have never ended: the recent talk on “fake news,” about an alleged Trump contact with Russia is only a part of that. Regrettably, the disinformation method of the KGB, not reported by the media, yet, the Obama holdovers are well aware of the method…

What an irony! The media was deaf and mute for the last eight years of Obama’s Administration, when a secret cooperation with Russia in many respects, including military collaboration was flourishing. I was presenting recently that exact information in details in my column American Carnage, February 11, 2017 and had been writing about it during the last eight years. If you read Socialist Lies you are familiar with the term Obama/Putin joint venture. For those who had never heard that term, here is a brief information and description.

Obama/Putin Joint Venture

Neither Benghazi nor any other of Obama’s scandals will ever be uncovered without the knowledge of Obama/Putin joint venture. Moreover, a mess, inherited by President Trump will continue undeterred by any of his actions until Obama’s holdovers are eliminated. In fact, they are the Soviet Mafia on the soil of America. When I introduced you to the Obama/Putin joint venture, I also named it–Destruction of the American Republic. It has the common ideology, a foundation in Soviet Fascism. The logic should tell you that any of Trump’s success in Making America Great Again requires authentic knowledge of Obama/Putin joint venture to fight it.

We are dealing with the same symptoms of a disease President Reagan identified and defeated. Did you know that people from former Soviet Republics are now joining ISIS? Field commanders of ISIS are known to be Saddam’s former security operatives, trained by the Soviet/Russian security forces. Did you notice a pattern of Obama being late to many of the important issues of our day: ISIS, Syria, Iraq, Iran, IRS, Benghazi, and Ukraine? In fact, those events are the components of an ideology working against the interests of America.

And again as you can see in all of Obama actions or non-actions connected to Russia; Putin is up, and America is down. Watching Obama for the last eight years and knowing the ideology of Soviet fascism, I have invented the term Obama/Putin Joint Venture. In fact, it means—Obama/KGB joint venture. I don’t believe one word Obama eloquently speaks—eloquence used by him to hide his real thoughts in the best traditions of Stalin’s political correctness. You should know the Soviet Mafia to understand Obama’s behavior. By the way, the Russian ambassador Kislyk visited the White House twenty-two times and had personal meetings with Obama four times. Obama was not lazy, stupid or incompetent, as some suggested, on the contrary he was very successful in his joint venture to expand the implementation of political correctness and Soviet Fascism in America. Regrettably, NATO had missed it. Look at what I had written in 2014:

Fortunately, there are signs that NATO is beginning to grasp some truth about the Russia that emerged after the fall of the Soviet Union, the truth, I have been writing about for the last twenty-five years. “NATO has struggled to counter Moscow’s tactics in a conflict where traditional military force is only one part of the fight…” NATO underestimated the role of political correctness–that insidious evil of the world… Financial Times, Friday August 29, 2014: Russia’s new art of war. Unfortunately, NATO had not realized the help provided by Obama to Russia then in 2014. NATO also has not been familiar with the ideology that united Obama and Putin, NATO had not realized that we have the Evil Empire of Global Terrorism in the 21st century.

As you can see President Trump has inherited a very complicated and dangerous world. To solve those monumental domestic and overseas problems requires presentation of the whole truth and only the truth. This is the major task before President Donald J Trump. Unfortunately, some Republicans still do not understand whom they are dealing with. Do you remember a woman-voter who complained to John McCain about her fear of an Obama presidency before the 2008 election? Senator McCain assured her that Obama is “an honest and decent man.” It was enough for me to vote for Romney in the next 2012 election. I was shocked, when Republicans confirmed Loretta Lynch as Attorney General. They forgot or even did not know her connection to Bill Clinton…

Politicized Media and Intel

To derail a positive public response to a very successful Trump presentation before Congress, the Democrats sent an army of surrogates to exacerbate the Trump alleged collusion with Russia. The collective choruses of loud voices prevailed in the media: radio, internet, and TV. And Trump’s tweet about Obama’s wiretapping of Trump Tower was a timely and essential response. To understand the symptoms and the political disease, I purposely gave you a paragraph from the Soviet Decision of 1955, introducing the term “agents of influence” in my column February 11, 2017.

There are two types of “agents of Influence”—the enemies trained to subversive activities and those ill-informed Americans in both political parties. Let me give you an example of an enemy in the media. The correspondent of the New York Times, Walter Durante in the 1930s was the KGB agent of influence. Find him in Wikipedia and you will see how he helped Stalin during the Purges and Show Trails to kill thousands of innocent people. Stalin paid him very well for deceiving and fooling the West.

Stalin died March 5, 1953, but his Doctrine is alive and well. Look at what happened March 5, 2017 on CNN. The State of the Union had a show named “crises of public trust.” They were accusing Trump of lying and misleading. They were the convenient toys of the KGB due to their total ignorance. None of the participants knew that they were discussing Russia in the day of Stalin’s death, let alone that their knowledge of the KGB or the Soviet Mafia was ZERO. The CNN show, GPS, has repeated the same main motive– Trump is wrong in all accounts on the same exact day, no word about Stalin. Those people are the second type of the “agents of influence” due to their political ignorance. They are spreading “fake news” and helping the KGB to create confusion and chaos in America…

The same picture is a politicized Intelligence Community, all seventeen of them. I don’t know whether any of the seventeen had vetted a “community organizer,” named Barack Obama. If you read any of my books, you know that I didn’t trust American Intel, for a very simple reason—any country’s Intel is a primary target for the KGB and GRU. I was surprised when none of the seventeen agencies of our Intel stopped a massive transfer of American high technology to the Russian military by the Clinton Mafia, or stopped Iran Nuclear Deal beneficiary for Putin. By the way, why do we need seventeen agencies? Russia has only three and very successfully runs half of the world. They are the FSB (a former KGB), GRU, and Investigative Committee. Stalinist Doctrine has prevailed over all three.

My explanation of two types of “agents of influence,” can be applied to our Intel as well. Today they constitute a Shadow Government run by Obama. He operates through his accomplices—they together ran America and the world for the last eight years. They are the soldiers of the Democrat Party, who hate Trump and will fight his administration to the last drop of their blood. Some of them have no idea of Obama/KGB joint venture, having been fooled and deceived by Obama.

There is another reason for me to discuss our Intel—I am a victim of their ignorance. Bill Clinton eliminated all research of Russia, he also tried to silent myself, as the author and researcher of Russian history and the KGB. A FISA court under Bill Clinton has launched multiple surveillances against me: my computer and phone were wiretapped, my mail arrested, and I was fired from my teaching position in a University. I had been a conservative, teaching the truth about Soviet Russia to Americans. Despite that, I continued writing my books and columns, but since then the information about them has been blocked by our Intel. Due to those activities by Intel, Americans were prevented from learning the Truth about Soviets/Russia. You can see the result of that today, in March 2017—nobody understands the predicament in America and the world. Look at our incompetent media and tell me why a FISA court made me a “foreign agent.” What an overwhelming confusion and chaos…

My friend, a former CIA officer, knowing my research of Soviet Fascism, sent me this e-mail: Video / Mark Levin: Lays out evidence supporting accusation that Obama’s Authorized Spying Is Police State Tactics.

“The republic is in great danger. The trusted assessment several months ago was that there many in the intelligence community were waging war against Trump. Unfortunately Mark Levin who is held in high regard presents evidence here (short outtake from TV interview):

I agree with my friend. The American Republic is in great danger! Due to the civil war against ignorance and “agents of influence”, America is on the threshold of Watergate No.2. Please, read my two latest books—better late than never!

To be continued www.simonapipko1.com

communism3

U.S. Catholic Bishops promise to ‘disrupt’ President Trump

In January 2016 The Vortex reported on Communists infiltrating the Catholic Church. The Church Militant’s Michael Voris reported:

During the early years of Communism in the 1920s and 30s, the evil was being spread worldwide as the Blessed Mother had predicted at Fatima in 1917. Communist parties were being formed in various European countries and in American cities as well. They were already attempting to upset the political and cultural order.

alice_von_hildebrand-255x362

Alice von Hildebrand

But what only a very small number of people knew was that the top dogs of Communism had already released the hounds on the Church. The carefully organized plan was to recruit young men who were loyal Communists and get them placed in seminaries. This was carried out by various agents during the 1920s and 30s.

Fast forward 30 years to the 1960s, and the fruits were beginning to be seen. Learned, dedicated, faithful men and women in the Church were looking around and fretting, not sure from what framework they should understand the demolition of the Faith they were witnessing. At one point, Pope Paul VI even said that it appeared the Church was in auto-demolition.

One of those deeply distressed was a refugee from Hitler’s Germany, the brilliant theologian Dietrich von Hildebrand. He and his wife Alice were sitting down one day with a friend, a woman by the name of Bella Dodd. Bella Dodd had been received back into the Catholic Church by Abp. Fulton Sheen in April of 1952.

Read more.

VIDEO: The Vortex—Trump and Catholics

In the Life Site News article “These US Catholic bishops promise to ‘disrupt’ Trump” John Zmirak reports:

…Cardinal Peter Turkson and twenty-four American Catholic bishops have recently endorsed a political program that is dangerous, unbiblical, un-Catholic and uncharitable. In fact it is soaked in ideological rage, and explicitly aligns itself with the anti-Trump movements to “disrupt” the president’s enforcement of U.S. law. At least one of the bishops present, Robert McElroy of San Diego, has promised that the church he controls will actively help flout U.S. immigration laws.

This program was laid out at the First U.S. Regional Meeting of Popular Movements, which happened two weeks ago, and summed up in a manifesto called “Message from Modesto.” That “Meeting” included not just the cardinal and the bishops, but staff from the Vatican department for the Promotion of Integral Human Development and the Catholic Campaign for Human Development [CCHD].

The CCHD is the organization that radical Saul Alinsky personally helped left-wing Catholics to design, as the exposé A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing documents. The Chicago branch of the CCHD, with the approval of then Cardinal Joseph Bernardin, cut the check that sent the young Barack Obama to his first Saul Alinsky “community organizing” school.

Another group that took part in the “Meeting”  was PICO, the Latin American far-left organization that used George Soros’ money  to spin Pope Francis’ 2015 U.S. visit as a boost to Democrats in the 2016 election.

Read more…

Zmirak lists five proposals made by these 25 Catholic bishops, the first being, “We urge every faith community, including every Catholic parish, to declare themselves a sanctuary for people facing deportation …. All cities, counties and states should adopt policies that get ICE out of our schools, courts and jails, stop handing over people to ICE…”

The Holy Bible says:

Matthew 22:21 Jesus said “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s; and to God the things that are God’s.”

Romans 13:1 “Let every person be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God and those which exist are established by God.”

These bishops are welcome to their personal views on President Trump and the federal laws dealing with immigration and refugee resettlement. But they are not ordained to deny the word of God.

Please watch this excerpt of the interview with Dr. Alice von Hildebrand:

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woman crying

ANSWERING FACEBOOK: Playing Dodgeball with Abortion Realities

The abortion debate inevitably travels in the same issue-avoiding circles. I was recently on an ABC panel debating the courts blocking Florida’s 24-hour wait period for a woman to get an abortion after receiving counseling, providing time for her to weigh more information into her life-and-death decision.

Naturally enough, it devolved into a debate on abortion — as it always should. I was debating a pro-choice feminist and board member of the ACLU. And a friend. Our debate was feisty but civil — an important goal.

However, the debate continued on Facebook, where it became decidedly less civil. One of the great canards thrown at me all the time is that I cannot have an opinion on this because I am a man. This is so easily cut down and burned that there is never a response to my point. It’s just reiterated that I can’t. I’m male.

What this and so much of the rest of abortion debate dodgeball suggest is that rational thought, morals and, more than ever, science, make the pro-choice position completely indefensible. There is simply no way to defend a woman’s “right” to end the life of another human being for any reason she chooses, at any point in the pregnancy she chooses.

Canards flying everywhere

Hence we have the dodgeball arguments that this is a “choice”; that this is about “reproductive health rights”; that this is about “health care”; that a man cannot have an opinion.

No, the first and central issue is whether that which is in the womb is a human being with rights inherent as a human being. Most people actually see that is the case, at least after a month or two. Science gives us evidence with brain waves, heartbeats and in-womb pictures.

So when I make these points, they are really never refuted head-on. This is demonstrated with painful clarity in the Facebook debate that followed. It’s linked below.

Here is a sampling from Facebook, from both men and women:

“I watched it last night. I still don’t understand why men think they have a say in women’s health.”

“The next segment should be on prostate health. I’m looking forward to (a woman) expressing her opinion on that.”

“A man’s opinion on a women’s health and body issue is just not on equal footing with (a woman’s), no matter how eloquent and reasonable it may be.”

“What if women were up in arms because of men’s selfish refusal to get vasectomies?? What if we tried to FORCE men to get vasectomies for the safety of women?”

“Another man chimes in, lol.”

FYI, the response that men cannot have an opinion on this is astonishingly faulty thinking. Morals are not gender-dependent. Right and wrong is right and wrong. There is not a different set of rights and wrongs based on gender. It is not morally acceptable for a woman to steal from a man because she is a woman, because *stealing* is wrong. It is not morally acceptable for a man to kill a woman, or another man, because *murder* is wrong. Stealing and murder are wrong independent of which gender is doing it and which gender is considering its morality. In the same way, killing an unborn baby is either morally acceptable or not morally acceptable, independent of which gender is doing it or which gender is considering its morality.

Let’s play abortion dodgeball!

All of this is dodgeball. You see how all of the accusations avoid the central point. I’m convinced most know deep down this is the willful taking of an innocent human life. They know that is not defensible on any moral grounds.

So they play dodge the issue.

  • I throw out “Is it a human life in the womb?” They dodge left with “It’s a woman’s choice!”
  • I throw again “Is it a human life in the womb?” They dodge right with “It’s about reproductive rights!”
  • I throw again “Is it a human life in the womb?” They duck with “It’s about healthcare!”
  • I throw again “Is it a human life in the womb?” They spin sideways with “Pro-lifers don’t care about the life outside the womb!”
  • I throw again “Is it a human life in the womb?” They slide down with “If pro-lifers really cared about abortions, they would support better sex education!”
  • I throw again “Is it a human life in the womb?” They spin sideways with “You’re a man!”

I throw one last time “Is it a human life in the womb?” And one may finally answer with “No! It’s a clump of cells. Nothing more than a tumor.”

Finally. Someone admits to being a science-denier. But at least we can get on to debate the core issue with all the scientific evidence that it is indeed a measurable human being within weeks. We measure the death of a human with heartbeat and brainwaves. The baby has both of those in six to eight weeks.

That’s it. Dodge the ball of what abortion really is.

None of these remotely approach a defense for a state policy of allowing the willful killing of a human being with inherent rights by another human being for any reason, or no reason.

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

Christians-CROSS

The Truth about Christians Amoung the Refugees

Executive summary

A female interpreter of Eritrean origin, who lives in Germany and of whom neither the Muslim migrants nor the locally hired Muslims know that she is a Christian, revealed what she experienced in refugee shelters in Germany:

  • Adult Muslim migrants threaten and physically attack Christian and Yazidi refugees.
  • Muslim migrant kids do not play with Christian refugee kids, then they explain that they hate them, just like their parents do.
  • Locally hired Muslim interpreters and security men seem integrated on the outside, they grew up in Germany, went to German schools and have jobs, but when they are among themselves, they reveal their true colors by stating that Germany must be Islamized, and that they disdain Germany and its values.
  • In mosques in Germany, pure hate is preached against people of other religions.
  • Muslim migrant women want to out breed Christians, because they want to annihilate them.

German aid organizations and Christian politicians have confirmed her words with their own experience. They also added that Muslim interpreters intentionally mistranslate the words of Christian refugees to make them unable to obtain asylum, cover up Muslim mobbing on Christians, and arbitrarily move Christians to the end of the charity recipients’ list.


Incognito in refugee shelters: Everything Christians live through

What a Christian female interpreter hears in shelters, is terrifying. An article by idea editor-in-chief Daniela Städter.

Wetzlar (kath.net/idea)

Only 14 per cent of refugees who filed for asylum in Germany in 2015 were Christians – over 73 per cent are Muslims. Recently, there have been aggravated reports by Christians about discrimination by Muslims in refugee accommodations. Even some Muslim interpreters and security duty coworkers would put pressure on Christians. A Christian female interpreter observes this, but she is not detected as a Christian. What she hears in the shelters, is terrifying. An article by idea editor-in-chief Daniela Städter.

In September 2016, the call of a long-standing German top female politician reaches the Evangelical News Agency idea (in Wetzlar). She has contact to a female Christian engaged in refugee assistance, who could tell controversial things about the situation in German refugee shelters. Nevertheless, the name of the woman shall not be mentioned. Subsequently, a discussion takes place in Wetzlar among the female politician, an expert in the field of refugee issues, and the 39-year-old Christian female interpreter originating from Eritrea. She speaks Arabic fluently and has already worked in various refugee shelters as an interpreter – mostly only with Muslim colleagues.

The woman acts “undercover” at it. Nobody suspects that she is Christian. The native-born Eritrean fled for Germany in 1991 on her own. She is thankful that she was taken in openly in her new homeland and was supported in many ways. Later she wants to give something back and begins to help in refugee shelters five years ago or so in an honorary capacity. She has been active mainly as an interpreter since the summer of 2016. That she is Christian, she has not mentioned it in the accommodations since the beginning. Because of her knowledge of the Arabic language, she notices quickly: “Christians are getting subjugated, intimidated and harassed by Muslim refugees. That is usual.” Often nobody realizes the mobbing, by which Yazidis and homosexual refugees are affected, too.

 “Germany must be Islamized”

Security duty coworkers and interpreters are, according to her data, almost always Muslims. They make, says the 39-year-old, a very nice impression at the first glance: “Most of them grew up here, often studied, have esteemed occupations, and they behave open-mindedly.” However, that changes as soon as they are “among themselves”: “Then they show their true colors and say sentences like ‘Germany must be Islamized’. They disdain our country and our values.” The young woman is appalled, and for a long time she does not want to take this for real. She still withholds that she is Christian in order to learn more. Among other things, she visits the Quran courses of various mosques: “There, pure hate is preached against people of other religions. The kids get that here, in Germany, taught to them from an early age.” It is similar in the refugee shelters. She notices how Muslim boys refuse to play with Christians. The female interpreter tries to mediate: “You are Muslim, he is Christian. What difference does it make?” The five-year-olds answer her:

“With the Christians, I do not play. My parents hate them, too.” The female interpreter becomes frightened: “They fled from the war to Germany and should be happy after all, that a Christian country takes them in.”

We, Muslims must get more kids than the Christians

She also tries to establish contact with the Muslim women. Many of them, despite their young age, have already had multiple kids. She cautiously wants to enlighten them about contraception methods. “After that, some women told me: We want to multiply. We must get more kids than the Christians. Only this way can we annihilate them.” As she objects and says that it is, after all, the Christians who help them, she bumps into rejection. Helping the Christians is a sin.

The might of the interpreters

The European Mission Community (in Penkun, Vorpommern) has lived through the might of the Muslim interpreters, too. Its chairman, Frank Seidler reports that at the hearings at the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees, they sometimes falsely rendered the testimonies of Christian refugees within the asylum process. That is why now, a Persian-speaking coworker is accompanying the refugees to the interviews, so that he can directly intervene in an emergency: “Since then it has been running better.” Seidler tells further about an Afghan having converted to Christianity, who was beaten up in his collective accommodations and was injured very severely. After he was helped to press charges, there were immediately countercharges by multiple Muslim refugees. The process is still running, although he counts with cessation, because testimony stands against testimony: “Unfortunately, we have already gone through this lapse often.” But where this leads is that the attackers think that they could allow themselves everything in Germany and would never be held accountable, so says Seidler.

A permanent pressure burdens Christians

The Christian aid organization Open Doors (in Kelkheim at Frankfurt am Main) makes similar observations. It is often hard to prove incidents. “With the incidents, it is not always about violence”, says the coordinator of public relations, Ado Greve, “but rather about forms of discrimination, for example at food distribution, or about threats. A permanent pressure burdens the Christians – especially the converted ones.” When a Christian is being threatened in his mother tongue in the corridor, “We cut through your neck!”, or “We will rape your wife!”, then it triggers great fear. Greve:

“The religious features imprinted by Islam in their homeland are often brought with by the perpetrators. However, to prove that, it is hard in most cases.”

But it should not lead to that the incidents are not taken seriously:

“It is important to give credit to the reports of the affected Christians.”

When Muslims translate falsely

Also from the point of view of the leader of the refugee-related work group within the Central Council of Oriental Christians in Germany, Paulus Kurt (in Munich), false translations by Muslim interpreters are a problem. From the refugees whom he advises, he makes them hand over the filled hearing questionnaires after the interview date at the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees in order to verify them together with the Christian asylum seekers. Sometimes the data of religion are false there – from an Aramean Christian, for example, becomes an Arabic Muslim. The flight reasons, too, are rendered partially inaccurately and to the disadvantage of the questioned Christians. If they notice this, they file an objection within the legal deadline of two weeks. Nevertheless, many refugees did not even know the expiration date at all, and thus passed the deadlines.

Christians often have no knowledge of their rights

According to Kurt, asylum seekers also have the right for a retranslation of the questionnaire filled in German to their mother tongue. However, some interpreters did not inform the Christians about that at all. By contrast, the interpreters communicated to the coworkers of the Federal Office that the questioned one has waived the retranslation. “By that, the chance of Christians to get a long-term recognition for asylum here drops.” In the accommodations, too, the language barrier is a problem: “There, a Christian gets beaten by a Muslim, because he is eating pork in the communal kitchen – and the interpreter relays to the leadership afterwards that there was merely a general altercation about the use of the kitchen.”

What nobody realizes

According to the data by two Hessian female refugee helpers of the Central Council of Oriental Christians in Germany, it is also often about forms of discrimination in the accommodations, which go on in the background without being noticed. They name, for example, the issuance of articles of clothing. The maintainer of the accommodations provides a list with refugees who should get clothes. The slip of paper is passed to the interpreters who organize the issuance in the respective languages. At the readout, the list gets changed by them. Whoever has a Christian name, will be called at the end, and must take potluck with the rest, they say: “Nobody realizes that.”

The state assumes false preconditions

From the point of view of auditor Thomas Günster (in Fulda) engaged in refugee-related work, it is about a system error. The state assumes integration in the case of Muslim interpreters, most of them having grown up in Germany, toward the local value system, but that has not happened at all. Günster, who stands in close contact with Hessian refugee helpers and supports them at their work, says: “A sort of independence is assumed here, which is not there at all.” Rethinking must happen here.

There are positive developments in Hessen

Meanwhile, there have been positive developments, too, means Günster, who is also the chairman of the Diocesan Group Fulda of the Association of Catholic Entrepreneurs (BKU). Thus the Hessian Ministry of the Interior strives to protect religious minorities from abuses. In addition, too, the teams in the scope of security duty and interpreters should be staffed in the future with coworkers of different religious affiliations: “Minorities among the refugees must be protected and their complaints taken seriously. We must pay attention that the Christian refugees in Germany do not go to the dogs anymore.”

It looks worse in Bremen

The situation in Bremen is worse. There, the City Senate adopted a new Protection Against Violent Acts concept for refugee facilities at the end of October [2016]. In it, however, they did not go into the situation of Christian refugees. The target group of the Protection Against Violence Acts concept is girls, women, and persons who, due to their sexual or gender identity, are particularly threatened by violence. The alderwoman in the Bremen City Assembly, Sigrid Grönert (CDU) [Christian-Democratic Union, a German political party] basically welcomes the concept indeed, but already pointed out in May that beyond that, Christians also feel mobbed by Muslims over and over again.

By contrast, the Bremen City Senate stated in February that “no abuses” on religious minorities are known. Grönert: “That, unfortunately, does not correspond to reality.” According to their own data for the time frame between January 2015 and June 2016, nine cases of bodily abuses in Bremen were reported to Open Doors.

Christians do not press charges out of fear

None of the affected Syrian Christians has pressed charges – out of fear, that the situation could get worse. That abuses are not known to the authorities, simply does not mean that they do not exist, emphasizes Grönert, who is also the assistant chairman of the Evangelical Workgroup of the CDU in Bremen: “It is a pity that the issue is not being taken up over here at us, while a Federal Province like Hessen has recognized the problems. I wish that the issue were taken seriously by politics across the Federation [i.e. Germany].” She is not alone with this wish. Professor Heiner Bielefeldt, UN special rapporteur for freedom of religion and world view, incumbent till the end of October [2016], demanded at the beginning of November an honest discussion about the hints of abuses against Christian refugees in asylum accommodations.

It would be a big mistake of politics to spread the cloak of silence over it, said Professor Bielefeldt.