Class and Race Are Never an Excuse to Gloat over State Atrocities by Jeffrey A. Tucker

Even with all the news of terrorism around the world, there is something especially chilling and horrifying about the case of 22-year-old Otto Warmbier. Hearing the news of his death wounded me, and, I admit, more so than the usual litany of suffering around the world.

If there is anything redeeming to come of this, it should be a wake-up call to all of us to change the way we think about human rights and stop a terrible trajectory of public rhetoric.

Here was a remarkable young man, an outstanding student, and, by all accounts, an exuberant and warm person. Even if none of this were true, he still had a right not to be kidnapped and killed by an extraordinarily evil government, one of the last surviving full-blown totalitarian states in the world, one run by a leadership cult of the most disgusting type. But this is exactly what happened.

He was on a student trip to China and decided on his own to take a side trip to North Korea. The ad was posted by Young Pioneer Tours, promising “budget travel to destinations your mother would rather you stayed away from.” All seemed fine until he was boarding a plane to return to China. Suddenly, North Korean officials arrested him, accusing him of stealing a propaganda poster from the hotel.

According to NPR, he was trying to bring back a memento of his trip which he planned to take back to Wyoming in exchange for a used car. He tried to remove a sign but it proved too unwieldy and left it on the floor.

It tells you all you need to know that the regime believed that this was a high crime. After an hour-long trial, the government posted this apology video, which is one of the most heart-wrenching things you will ever watch. It is a forced confession straight out of the worst dystopian novel you have ever read.

He was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor. His parents could do nothing. Not even the US government could intervene. There was no jurisdiction. Otto was trapped in a horrid prison state.

Something terrible happened while he was there. The government eventually released him to his parents, citing “humanitarian” concerns. When he arrived for the reunion, he was essentially brain dead. He died two days later. The autopsy showed the North Korean government’s explanation that he had contracted botulism to be a lie.

The Disgrace of the Left

The news of this case first came out more than a year and a half ago, and I distinctly remember a strange schadenfreude emerging from the political left. Almost like this kid had it coming. Actually, not almost. That is what some people said.

Nick Gillespie at Reason dug up the archives to find the evidence.  On Comedy Central’s The Nightly Show, host Larry Wilmore said: “Frat Bro Privilege not valid in totalitarian dystopias.” “North Korea isn’t a playground for college pranks, Kim Jong-un isn’t a fictional character from a Seth Rogen movie, and Pyongyang isn’t some game you play with Coors Light and Solo cups… It’s just tough for me to have much sympathy for this guy and his crocodile tears.”

Then there is this from Ebony: “I’m willing to bet my last dollar that he was aware of the political climate in that country, but privilege is a hell of a drug. The high of privilege told him that North Korea’s history of making examples out of American citizens who dare challenge their rigid legal system in any way was no match for his alabaster American privilege.”

This is incredibly wicked rhetoric, and probably both writers have some regret in retrospect. And yet: what is it that would possess anyone to express such sentiments based on class and race alone, as if this young man, who had never flaunted some imagined privilege, deserved his fate, and that it should be a lesson to all people of his class and race?

The Torture State

As dreadful as this Warmbier case is, it is paradigmatic of the totalitarian behavior of states at war. Legally, the US and North Korea are still at war. Thus does everything become justified. This is true not just in this terror state. Every state uses war as the reason to trample human rights.

New details are emerging from the CIA’s torture program that was active from 2002 to 2009, along with the testimony of two psychologists who ran the program out of a secret prison. Their private company was paid $81 million to apply “enhanced interrogation techniques” to detainees.

This too sounds like a scene from dystopia. What immediately came to my mind when hearing of the techniques (which included the use of insects) was the trained psychologist/torturer known as Scarecrow from Batman Begins.

Waterboarding is only the most famous. Techniques included this one for sleep deprivation, in the words of one of the psychologists:

“There is a tether anchored to the ceiling in the center of the detention cell. The detainee has handcuffs and they’re attached to the tether in a way that they can’t lie down or rest against a wall. They’re monitored to make sure they don’t get edema if they hang on the cuffs too much.”

What useful information came out of this program, which US taxpayers paid for? Nothing, so far as anyone knows, but it is likely that hundreds of lives were ruined, to say nothing of the countless lives lost in the wars of those years. The blowback of a growing army of dedicated terrorists is not hard to predict.

And yet you don’t have to look for small-time pundits to find a defense of these actions. They were overtly defended at the highest levels by Dick Cheney, John McCain, the head of the CIA itself, and the sitting President of the United States.

Their statements are backed by partisan supporters who believe that being from the wrong country and holding to the wrong religion is sufficient reason to rob a person of basic human rights. It’s a form of identity politics taken to a different level. It’s a game everyone plays.

No More

At some point we must say: enough. And this applies not only to the left but also to the alt-right, which daily fills up Twitter with rhetoric placing all blame for all that is wrong with the world on blacks, women, Muslims, intellectuals, or whatever.

There is always someone to cast into the outer darkness, human beings deemed unworthy of rights, people who should be gassed or tossed out of helicopters or exterminated. Every month for several years now, it has gotten worse.

And the problem afflicts not only these extremist voices. Even mainstream politics these days consists mostly of accusations of how the bad group is hurting the good group, how the bad class or race needs to be brought down so that the good class and race can be raised up. Elections are no longer peaceful transitions of managers but contests of will to gain access to the levers of power to use against your enemy.

Harmony Be Gone

Whatever happened to the old liberal ideal that people can and should live in harmony? This ideal gave rise to freedom as the enabling political and social template of a flourishing life. Every human being matters. Everyone has rights. Everyone has value. Dignity should belong to all.

The seeming loss of this dream – at least as regards politics – is the outgrowth of how government serves to divide and conquer. As in The Hunger Games, the players are so wrapped up in playing the game they are given that they forget to look up and out and see that there is a common enemy that is responsible for all this division in the first place.

Which brings us back to Otto. the egregious crime that led to his death had one cause: totalitarian government power. Anyone, regardless of race or class or gender etc., who suffers under such an evil deserves every bit of sympathy from every civilized person. It is true all over the world and even in your home town.

Whenever the violence of the state is brought to bear against the innocent, it surely qualifies among the peccata clamantia, sins that cry out to the heavens for vengeance.

In such divided times, it is incumbent on all decent and civilized people to lay down the weapons we wield against each other and recognize a truth that so many want to ignore: it is only the power of the state that can legally commit such crimes and expect acquiescence from its subjects. The government that did this to this man operated under the cover of its own legal apparatus of compulsion and coercion.

The young generation today looks around to find the source of evil in the world. One side says it is inequality and hence the state is the answer. The other side wants to blame foreigners and deviants and hence the state is the answer. But look more carefully at this case, or any case of torture and death.

What you see is that the state is not the answer at all, but the cruelest possible monster that masquerades as the solution to the problems of its own making.

Otto is a martyr in so many ways. May his death be a reminder to us all that we are all united in a common interest in freedom from the forces extant in the world that took away his life.

Jeffrey A. Tucker

Jeffrey A. Tucker

Jeffrey Tucker is Director of Content for the Foundation for Economic Education. He is also Chief Liberty Officer and founder of Liberty.me, Distinguished Honorary Member of Mises Brazil, research fellow at the Acton Institute, policy adviser of the Heartland Institute, founder of the CryptoCurrency Conference, member of the editorial board of the Molinari Review, an advisor to the blockchain application builder Factom, and author of five books. He has written 150 introductions to books and many thousands of articles appearing in the scholarly and popular press.

White House and Department of State leakers in battle over refugee costs

Can you believe it!  Reuters is reporting on four anonymous leakers (inside and outside the Department of State) who are saying chief White House aide Stephen Miller is trying to skew numbers to make the refugee program look more expensive than they claim it is!

Former Asst. Sec. of State Anne Richard

Most interesting to me is that a former State Department “official” is in on the effort to skewer Miller (and Trump of course!).

Can you say ‘Obama shadow government’!

Note: Sorry I’m giving you a quicky post here.  I am preparing for something this evening and have no time for more comment and analysis, except to say that getting at the true cost of the overall migration of impoverished third world refugees to middle America is almost impossible because in most states, the welfare offices do not track and separate out the different classes of immigrants using social services, medicare, or sending kids to school.

For federal budget planning, I’m guessing Miller is trying to get at the true cost to admit the refugees in the first place which is where the federal budget costs are initially incurred for decision-making needed by September.

Here is Reuters on the ‘Deep State’ undermining the White House (again!), getting more cocky by the day aren’t they!

Is Simon Henshaw leaking?

Two studies that President Donald Trump hopes will buttress his case to cut the number of refugees are at the heart of a fight between senior White House adviser Stephen Miller and career U.S. government officials over immigration policy, four current and former officials said.

Trump in March ordered the U.S. State Department and other agencies to tally only the costs of resettling refugees but not the benefits that policy experts said refugees can also bring, including tax revenues, professional skills and job creation. [Virtually impossible, and are we going to tally medicare, schools, housing, SSI and criminal justice system costs for how many years?—ed]

Is Larry Bartlett leaking?

A current official said Miller had convened meetings with State Department staffers to discuss the refugee cost reports. When department specialists proposed including refugees’ economic contributions in the studies to produce a more balanced assessment, Miller rebuffed the idea, one current and one former U.S. official said.

The White House said Miller did not hold meetings on the specific subject of the cost reports and that Trump’s overall fiscal year 2018 budget proposal sought to “make transparent the net budgetary effects of immigration programs and policy.”

The current and former officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said they believe, however, that the administration wants to help make a case to restrict refugee flows by creating a skewed analysis.

“It’s a policy outcome in search of a rationale,” said a former U.S. official familiar with the debate.

Continue reading here and prepare to be outraged!

EndNote: If Henshaw and Bartlett are not the leakers, they better find out who is! They are responsible for whoever is talking to the press!  Like it or not, they work for President Donald Trump!

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Study: 5.7 million noncitizens may have cast illegal votes

Rowan Scarborough from The Washington Times reports:

A research group in New Jersey has taken a fresh look at postelection polling data and concluded that the number of noncitizens voting illegally in U.S. elections is likely far greater than previous estimates.

As many as 5.7 million noncitizens may have voted in the 2008 election, which put Barack Obama in the White House.

The research organization Just Facts, a widely cited, independent think tank led by self-described conservatives and libertarians, revealed its number-crunching in a report on national immigration.

Just Facts President James D. Agresti and his team looked at data from an extensive Harvard/YouGov study that every two years questions a sample size of tens of thousands of voters. Some acknowledge they are noncitizens and are thus ineligible to vote.

Read more.

The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) in November 2016 stated, “[N]oncitizens and illegal aliens are counted when apportioning congressional districts and when allocating state electors under the Electoral College. This means noncitizens play a role in determining how many congressional representatives a state has and exert an indirect influence on presidential elections.”

FAIR reports:

Mass immigration has had a significant effect on American electoral politics. Despite the fact that it is a crime for aliens to vote in federal elections, noncitizens and illegal aliens are counted when apportioning congressional districts. This means that areas with large numbers of illegal alien residents gain additional representatives in Congress.

In addition, there is evidence that both foreign nationals who are lawfully present in the United States and illegal aliens have voted in recent elections. During this election cycle, noncitizens have been discovered on voter registration rolls in both Virginia and Pennsylvania. And the Office of the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of New York recently announced that it charged a Canadian woman with making a false claim to citizenship after she registered and voted in more than 20 elections.

Several past elections – for the presidency and other offices – have been extremely close. Accordingly, ballots cast by noncitizen voters have the potential to improperly alter the outcome of elections. Consider how close the 2000 presidential election was. Could the outcome have been affected by noncitizen voting? The answer is yes.

Download the PDF of this Backgrounder.

President Trump signed an executive order setting up a Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity to try to find on-the-ground truth in illegal voting. The Advisory Commission is headed by Vice President Mike Pence.  The Commission’s mission:

The Commission shall, consistent with applicable law, study the registration and voting processes used in Federal elections.  The Commission shall be solely advisory and shall submit a report to the President that identifies the following:

(a)  those laws, rules, policies, activities, strategies, and practices that enhance the American people’s confidence in the integrity of the voting processes used in Federal elections;

(b)  those laws, rules, policies, activities, strategies, and practices that undermine the American people’s confidence in the integrity of the voting processes used in Federal elections; and

(c)  those vulnerabilities in voting systems and practices used for Federal elections that could lead to improper voter registrations and improper voting, including fraudulent voter registrations and fraudulent voting.

It would seem that Democrats and Republicans alike can rally around this effort.

RELATED ARTICLES:

1.4 million illegals working under stolen Social Security numbers

Study supports Trump: 5.7 million noncitizens may have cast illegal votes

Think tank backs Trump, says large number of non-citizens vote illegally

San Francisco State University sued for fostering hostile environment for Jewish students

“In particular, the suit accuses university administrators and police of being complicit in disruption of a speech last year by Nir Barkat, the mayor of Jerusalem. According to the suit, students and attendees were met with protesters shouting offensive chants and blaring bullhorns while school officials instructed campus police not to intervene.”

It is very likely that university administrators and police were complicit in this. At the University at Buffalo in April, university administrators and police did nothing while Leftist and Muslim protesters shouted me down for an hour and a half. They don’t want to face the wrath of the Leftist and Muslim students, and they agree with them anyway.

“San Francisco State University fosters anti-Semitism, lawsuit alleges,” by Emily DeRuy, Bay Area News Group, June 19, 2017:

Students and other members of the local Jewish community allege that San Francisco State University is anti-Semitic, according to a lawsuit filed Monday.

“SFSU and its administrators have knowingly fostered this discrimination and hostile environment, which has been marked by violent threats to the safety of Jewish students on campus,” reads the suit, which also names California State University’s Board of Trustees and other university employees as defendants.

The suit alleges that San Francisco State has “repeatedly denied” Jewish student groups, including Hillel and the Jewish fraternity Alpha Epsilon Pi, equal access to campus events.

In particular, the suit accuses university administrators and police of being complicit in disruption of a speech last year by Nir Barkat, the mayor of Jerusalem. According to the suit, students and attendees were met with protesters shouting offensive chants and blaring bullhorns while school officials instructed campus police not to intervene.

“These defendants seem to believe that they are above the law, that discrimination against Jews is entirely acceptable, and that their response to criticism must go only so far as to placate Jewish donors,” said Amanda Berman, director of legal affairs for the Lawfare Project, which is representing the plaintiffs, in a statement….

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Cosby and Leftists’ War on Non-Victim-minded Blacks

The Bill Cosby sexual assault trial ended in a mistrial. I will not address the case because I am clueless regarding his guilt or innocence. I am going to address the insidious campaign to destroy a black American icon.

I remember hearing black relatives trash the Cosby TV Show, claiming it was unrealistic and misrepresented the black American experience.

Democrats have relentlessly worked to convince blacks that America is a hellhole of racism where whites, Republicans and conservatives plot 24/7 how to keep blacks down. Therefore, it is not surprising that my relatives believed the TV show “Good Times” about a struggling black family living in the projects painted a truer portrait of black life in America. The truth is the Cosby Show was accurate. Blacks have pursued and achieved their American dreams since slavery. As a matter of fact, the first self-made female millionaire in America was Madam C. J. Walker, a black woman born in 1867.

It puzzled me why my relatives had a problem with a TV show exposing black youths to bigger and better things, inspiring them to pursue their American dreams. Football superstar, Deion Sanders lived in the projects. Going to a cook-out at his coach’s home changed Deion life. It was the first time Deion visited a home with a driveway.

As a black kid living in a Baltimore ghetto, my dad drove me through upscale neighborhoods. Dad said, “If you work hard and get an education, you can live like this.”

I find it incredible that Hollywood and the civil rights mafia turned on Cosby when he began speaking out; encouraging blacks to stop blaming whitey and take responsibility for their lives. Relying on someone other than yourself, weakens you. Therefore, Cosby offered real black empowerment. Outraged, Leftists launched war on Cosby when he instructed black males to pull their pants up, learn to speak English, stop having babies out of wedlock, stay in school and so on.

Black comedian Hannibal Buress trashed Cosby, accusing him of talking down to blacks.

Buress even criticized Cosby for not cussing on stage. In other words, Buress suggested that Cosby is a sell-out for speaking out against the I’m-from-the-hood persona.

Why do we do that to our fellow blacks? White people are free to pursue whatever paths in life they please. Liberals, black and white, try to keep blacks in their little black box of what they decree to be acceptable black behavior. Pro football quarterbacks Robert Griffin, III and Russell Wilson have been accused by Leftist sports writers of not acting according to their dictates of acceptable black behavior. My brother loves country music. I prefer sushi over KFC. Does this make us less black? In the minds of liberals, yes.

We have witnessed Leftists’ bring-down-Cosby campaign repeated numerous times against successful high profile blacks. The crime of these blacks is not viewing themselves as victims of racist America and achieving success the old fashion way — by earning it. How else can you explain Leftists’ visceral hatred for world renown retired neurosurgeon Dr Ben Carson, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, businessman extraordinaire Herman Cain and Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas? All these extremely successful and inspiring blacks have endured major campaigns by Leftists to destroy and silence them.

Cosby was a powerful black role-model trailblazer, funny without being vulgar or telling black jokes. He achieved remarkable success and earned great wealth. Cosby’s life testifies that America truly is the greatest land of opportunity on the planet for all who choose to go for it.

What really landed Cosby atop Leftists’ excrement list was inspiring black youths to follow the road he paved to success. Leftists in essence said, “Cos, your black derriere is goin’ down.” Truly unfortunate.

Study: The Surprising Effect of Marijuana Legalization on College Students

Researchers from Oregon State University and the University of Michigan studied marijuana use among 10,924 college students at one large Oregon university and six other universities in states that have not legalized marijuana. Using data from the Health Minds Survey, they looked at marijuana use before and after Oregon legalized the drug for recreational use.

They found that marijuana use increased among all college students but was significantly greater among Oregon students compared to those attending universities in non-legal states. Although the legal age for using marijuana in Oregon is 21, more younger students used the drug than older students. Surprisingly, the greatest increase took place among Oregon students who also reported binge drinking (four to five drinks in about two hours). These students were 73 percent more likely to report marijuana use compared to their peers at the other six schools.

Read The Atlantic story here. Read Science Daily summary here. Read journal abstract here.

Contaminated Marijuana Still Reaching Consumers in Oregon

Oregon has the toughest rules in the nation to keep pesticide-tainted marijuana off store shelves, yet contaminated pot continues to be sold. The state wrote even tougher rules but faced such a backlash from growers it modified them somewhat.

The Oregonian/OregonLive recently conducted a spot check to see if the modified rules are keeping pesticide-containing pot from being sold. The media outlet’s 2015 reporting on widespread contamination prompted the state to establish the rules in the first place.

The paper had ten samples tested by two different labs; three came back contaminated. A second round of tests of the same products resulted in only one showing contamination. Everyone – both the state and the industry — is frustrated with the lack of precision in the testing process.

A manager of Oregon’s Health Authority, which wrote the rules, says the state’s system isn’t a promise that every product on the shelf is pure. “I don’t think it’s reasonable for the general public to think that everything is 100 percent clean and safe,” he says. Instead, the system is designed to reduce but not eliminate risk.

Read OregonLive story here.

Senators Reintroduce CARERS Act to Repeal Federal Prohibition Of Medical Marijuana

Would you take a medicine that can contain hazardous pesticides, harmful bacteria, several kinds of fungi, molds, mildew, and even dangerous heavy metals? One whose labeled dose has been shown to be inaccurate? Whose labeled potency has been shown to be untruthful or inconsistent from dose to dose?

Fortunately, the medicines available today are so safe we don’t even think to ask such questions. Advances in science and medicine over the last century extended the average lifespan by 30 years.

Part of the reason for this achievement is the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which requires that all medicines be pure, safe, and effective before they can be marketed to the public. Drug makers spend millions of dollars and many years to develop and test a new medicine to obtain FDA approval. And patients who wish to take part in clinical trials to test the new medicine are told all its known harms so they can decide whether to participate.

But several members of Congress have decided such protections are not necessary for marijuana. They have reintroduced a bill to legalize medical marijuana in states that legalized the drug for medical use despite the fact that not one medical marijuana product produced in those states has been approved by FDA.

A particular irony is that the lead senator introducing the bill, Rand Paul, a libertarian who wants to reduce the size of government, is creating a situation where the states will need to create 50 FDA’s to protect the public health.

Or, states can take the view of the Oregon Health Authority manager in the story above:
“I don’t think it’s reasonable for the general public to think that everything [every marijuana medicine] is 100 percent clean and safe.”

Buyer beware.

Read A Libertarian Future story here. Read Senator Booker’s press release here.
Read Carers Act here.

New Study Estimates the Cost of Driving Under the Influence of Cannabis in Canada

In a first of its kind study, the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction calculated the number of Canadians who use marijuana (10 percent) and drive under the influence (just under half of users) and the estimated costs associated with such behavior. Data were from the year 2012.

Driving Under the Influence of Cannabis (DUIC) collisions caused 75 deaths at a cost of $8,532,200 per death, 4,407 injuries at a cost of $84,600 per injury, and 7,794 people involved in property damage at a cost of $10,700 per person. Total costs add up to $1.09 billion.

Sadly, those ages 16-34 who make up approximately one-third of the population accounted for nearly two-thirds of the victims.

Read Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction press release here. Read journal article here.

Entrepreneur Explains How to Set Up a Home Marijuana Garden as The Fresno Bee Warns That ER Docs Are Seeing Frequent Cases of Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome (CHS)

Emergency room physicians have seen an uptick in compulsive vomiting since California legalized marijuana for recreational use last November. The patients’ vomiting is accompanied by frantic screaming and kicking.

The phenomenon is called Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome of CHS. It occurs exclusivity in chronic marijuana users and was not identified until 2004 when Australian doctors made the link between chronic use and CHS.

Doctors say THC and other cannabinoid concentrations are much higher in today’s marijuana and may be contributing to more cases. The only long-term treatment is to stop using pot.

Read Fresno Bee story here.

Tobacco-Marijuana Nexus Begins . . .

Imperial Brands, a tobacco giant in the UK that removed the word “tobacco” from its name 18 months ago, is looking to diversify as smokers quit. It has hired medical marijuana expert Simon Langelier, who is chairman of the Canadian firm PharmaCielo which supplies cannabis oil extracts. Prior to that, Mr. Langelier spent 30 years at rival tobacco firm Philip Morris.

Imperial chairman Mark Williamson said Imperial will benefit from Mr. Langelier’s experience in tobacco and “wider consumer adjacencies.”

Skeptics have long warned that the tobacco industry, given its expertise in crop farming and distribution, will likely join and probably take over the marijuana industry. If so, it will likely apply its Joe Camel marketing tactics targeting adolescents as new smokers to targeting teens as new marijuana users.

Read the Independent story here.

Pictured: a Nevada legislator on a study tour of medical marijuana dispensaries, sniffs sample product.

. . . And So Does the Alcohol-Marijuana Nexus

The legalization proponents who wrote the Nevada recreational marijuana ballot initiative, which passed last November, had some help from the state’s alcohol industry. Mysteriously, the law specifies that all marijuana grown in Nevada will be distributed by alcohol distributors. This is unique to Nevada.

The state wants to license others to sell pot, but the liquor lobby has sued the state claiming it has exclusive marijuana distribution rights.

Just this afternoon, the judge hearing the lawsuit ruled for the alcohol industry and against the Nevada Department of Taxation which would have issued temporary licenses to medical marijuana dispensaries to sell recreational pot between July 1 and January 1, 2018 when licensing regulations will be completed.

Read Daily News article here.

HuffPo Scrambles to Scrub Website Piece on Executing Donald Trump

The Huffington Post scrambled to pull a piece about executing President Donald Trump, written by contributor Jason Fuller, from its website, after a shooting attack at an Alexandria, Virginia, ball field left House Majority Whip Steve Scalise in serious condition, and an aide to another Republican lawmaker, along with two Capitol Hill police, wounded by gun fire.

A Huffington Post writer called for the executive of President Donald Trump and Republican leadership.

The shooting seemed a target on Republicans, given the anti-Trump postings of the now-dead shooter, James Hodgkinson.

The HuffPo piece, titled “Impeachment Is No Longer Enough: Donald Trump Must Face Justice,” was published June 11.

And it read, in part, like this:

“Trump’s impeachment and removal from office are no longer enough,” the HuffPo contributor wrote. “Draining the swamp means not only ejecting Trump from the presidency, but also bringing himself and everyone assisting in his agenda up on charges of treason. They must be convicted (there is little room to doubt their guilt). And then —  upon receiving guilty verdicts  —  they must all be executed under the law. Anything less than capital punishment  — or at least life imprisonment without parole in a maximum security detention facility  — would send yet another message to the world that America has lost its moral compass.”

Fuller also called for similar actions against Republican leadership.

“Nothing would do more than to convict them of the highest offense defined by our Constitution, and then to deliver the ultimate punishment. Donald Trump deserves nothing less,” the author wrote. “Mitch McConnell, Steve Bannon, and Paul Ryan should also share Donald Trump’s fate, for they have done more than practically anyone to protect him and to throw our country under the proverbial bus. In order to survive, we as a nation must deliver the ultimate punishment under the law to all involved in its current destruction.”

The HuffPo pulled the piece in the aftermath of the Alexandria shooting. But The Daily Caller found it and ran it on its own website.

Fuller, meanwhile, showed litte remorse.

He wrote, on Medium:

“What appears to have garnered the most vitriol was my opinion that President Trump and his co-conspirators within the government should be executed for treason if found guilty in a court of law. …

“‘In other words: I want President Trump to be fully investigated, face the charges of treason, and then executed under the law should a guilty verdict be attained. […] I 100 percent stand behind every word that I wrote and make no attempts to apologize or to appease the Trump supporters who are unable to comprehend those words.’

RELATED ARTICLE: The ‘Resistance’ is using any and all means — lies, leaks, lawbreaking, and violence — to overturn the results of the 2016 election

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in The Geller Report.

Mainstream Media is the Public Relations Firm for Russian Intelligence

The mainstream media has become obsessed with the made up story of “collusion” between Trump and Russia, though there has been absolutely no evidence presented to substantiate such intense coverage.

In a lot of ways, an objective observer could make the case that mainstream media (MSM) is actually colluding with the Russian government.

But before I lay out my case, let’s set the stage.

So-called journalists that work in MSM argue that they are the arbiters of the truth and the guardians of our democracy. Their mission from God, in their narcissistic view, is to protect American’s free speech and keep the government in check.

Let me make this perfectly clear: MSM is not an integral part of our democracy; MSM journalists are not the arbiters of truth. The American people are the only integral part of our democracy and the final arbiters of the truth. We don’t need a biased middleman.

I graduated from Oral Roberts University with a degree in tax accounting. When I worked in corporate America, I was bound by the standards established by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA); those standards were my Bible for all things accounting.

Likewise, journalists are “supposed” to be governed by the principle established by the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ). But of course, journalists in MSM believe they are not bound by the standards delineated therein.

I wrote about this last October, when I critiqued MSMs coverage of the presidential campaign last year. It was discovered that journalists from CNN, New York Times, POLITICO etc., were shown to be aiding and abetting the Clinton campaign and were never pulled off the campaign beat. This was proven through emails sent from the reporters to the Clinton campaign and revealed by WikiLeaks; not with “anonymous” sources.

Recently, I have written several columns explaining how Russia has unleashed a psychological operations (PSY-OPS) campaign on the American people and the mainstream media has been in direct collusion with them.

MSM has been using Russian officials as some of their anonymous sources. Yeah, you heard right, Russian officials. This is how ridiculous Russia’s pys-ops campaign has gotten. The Russians are good.
The story goes like this: MSNBC reports that The New York Times is reporting that an anonymous source tells their reporter, that Jared Kushner is a person of interest in the FBI probe into possible collusion of the Trump campaign with Russia.

Do you have a headache yet? I do. Furthermore, there is absolutely no such legal term in law enforcement as a person of interest! Either you are under investigation or you are not.

More importantly, MSM and their sanctimonious reporters are in total violation of their own code of journalistic ethics, not that MSM ever had any.

According to the SPJ, “The Society declares these four principles as the foundation of ethical journalism and encourages their use in its practice by all people in all media.” Their four principles are: Seek Truth and Report It, Minimize Harm, Act Independently, and Be Accountable and Transparent.

How many journalists can say with a straight face that the mainstream media has lived up to these standards?

Harvard University’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics, and Public Policy issued an interesting study in May. The center analyzed coverage of Trump’s first 100 days in the MSM.

A few of their findings were: CNN’s coverage was 93 percent negative, NBC was 93 percent negative, and CBS was 91 percent negative. The New York Times was 87 percent negative, The Washington Post was 83 percent negative, and The Wall Street Journal was 70 percent negative.

Juxtapose that with other facts from the study. Obama got 41 percent negative stories during his first 100 days; G.W. Bush received 57 percent negative coverage, and Clinton received 60 percent negative.

The study didn’t survey any Black media outlets, but I know from personal experience that many of them are far worse than the mainstream media.

Radical leftist Black media like The Root, The Grio, TV One, The Tom Joyner Morning Show are all part of the Democratic National Committee for all practical purposes. Did you know that The Root is owned by Univision Communications and that the company’s chairman is an ardent Clintonite?

Yes, you heard right, The Root—a website which is supposed to be the quintessential platform for Black intellectual thought from the diverse perspectives in the Black community—is run by a company that largely caters to Hispanics.

So, we now have empirical data the supports Trump’s theory of a “dishonest media.”

This whole debate about alleged Russian collusion with Trump to defeat Hillary Clinton is simply the Russians showing everyone that they control the American media, when it comes to how the media covers the Trump Administration. MSM has become the personal public relations firm of record for Russian intelligence.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on Black Press USA.

Trump must fight on refugee issue as he did on climate ‘deal’

Our friend Leo Hohmann at World Net Daily tells us what he thinks of the Trump Administration’s weakness on the refugee issue.

From WNDRead it all, but here is the wrap-up:

Hohmann does not believe Trump is taking the refugee resettlement issue seriously enough. The veteran journalist warned in his book there is a historic demographic shift of Muslims out of the Middle East and Africa into Western Europe, Canada and the U.S. That shift is known as “civilization jihad,” and the resettlement of Muslim refugees in the West is one component of it.

“This is a situation where 1,500 foreign nationals are entering our country now every week,” Hohmann cautioned. “In many cases, when they come from chaotic, broken nations like Somalia, Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria, we have no idea who these people are and are simply accepting whatever story they give us about their so-called persecution. Yet, we allow Christians who are legitimately under a genocide in Iraq and Syria to languish there unprotected.

“Something must change, and soon, or there will be no more hint of Christianity in the Middle East, which is where the faith took root 2,000 years ago. Trump the candidate seemed to understand these troubling trends, but Trump the president seems confused, misdirected and ill-advised.”

Hohmann wishes Trump would fight the establishment on the refugee issue the same way he fought it on the climate change issue.

“I’d like to see the president approach the refugee issue with the same wisdom, energy and courage with which he approached the Paris climate-change deal,” the writer stated. “It took a lot of guts to defy the globalists and pull out of that bad deal, so we know President Trump has it in him to take on these entrenched, anti-American interests.”

More here.

Readers ask me all the time: what can I do?  Read ‘Stealth Invasion’ and contact the White House by clicking here.

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70 MEN held in Australian offshore detention will soon be told if they are moving to Anytown, USA

436 ‘refugees’ came to US from S. Africa (so far) this fiscal year, zero are South Africans

The 2016 Election & the Demise of Journalistic Standards by Michael Goodwin

The following is adapted from a speech delivered on April 20, 2017, in Atlanta, Georgia, at a Hillsdale College National Leadership Seminar.

I’ve been a journalist for a long time. Long enough to know that it wasn’t always like this. There was a time not so long ago when journalists were trusted and admired. We were generally seen as trying to report the news in a fair and straightforward manner. Today, all that has changed. For that, we can blame the 2016 election or, more accurately, how some news organizations chose to cover it. Among the many firsts, last year’s election gave us the gobsmacking revelation that most of the mainstream media puts both thumbs on the scale—that most of what you read, watch, and listen to is distorted by intentional bias and hostility. I have never seen anything like it. Not even close.

It’s not exactly breaking news that most journalists lean left. I used to do that myself. I grew up at The New York Times, so I’m familiar with the species. For most of the media, bias grew out of the social revolution of the 1960s and ’70s. Fueled by the civil rights and anti-Vietnam War movements, the media jumped on the anti-authority bandwagon writ large. The deal was sealed with Watergate, when journalism was viewed as more trusted than government—and far more exciting and glamorous. Think Robert Redford in All the President’s Men. Ever since, young people became journalists because they wanted to be the next Woodward and Bernstein, find a Deep Throat, and bring down a president. Of course, most of them only wanted to bring down a Republican president. That’s because liberalism is baked into the journalism cake.

During the years I spent teaching at the Columbia University School of Journalism, I often found myself telling my students that the job of the reporter was “to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.” I’m not even sure where I first heard that line, but it still captures the way most journalists think about what they do. Translate the first part of that compassionate-sounding idea into the daily decisions about what makes news, and it is easy to fall into the habit of thinking that every person afflicted by something is entitled to help. Or, as liberals like to say, “Government is what we do together.” From there, it’s a short drive to the conclusion that every problem has a government solution.

The rest of that journalistic ethos—“afflict the comfortable”—leads to the knee-jerk support of endless taxation. Somebody has to pay for that government intervention the media loves to demand. In the same vein, and for the same reason, the average reporter will support every conceivable regulation as a way to equalize conditions for the poor. He will also give sympathetic coverage to groups like Occupy Wall Street and Black Lives Matter.

A New Dimension

I knew all of this about the media mindset going into the 2016 presidential campaign. But I was still shocked at what happened. This was not naïve liberalism run amok. This was a whole new approach to politics. No one in modern times had seen anything like it. As with grief, there were several stages. In the beginning, Donald Trump’s candidacy was treated as an outlandish publicity stunt, as though he wasn’t a serious candidate and should be treated as a circus act. But television executives quickly made a surprising discovery: the more they put Trump on the air, the higher their ratings climbed. Ratings are money. So news shows started devoting hours and hours simply to pointing the cameras at Trump and letting them run.

As his rallies grew, the coverage grew, which made for an odd dynamic. The candidate nobody in the media took seriously was attracting the most people to his events and getting the most news coverage. Newspapers got in on the game too. Trump, unlike most of his opponents, was always available to the press, and could be counted on to say something outrageous or controversial that made a headline. He made news by being a spectacle.

Despite the mockery of journalists and late-night comics, something extraordinary was happening. Trump was dominating a campaign none of the smart money thought he could win. And then, suddenly, he was winning. Only when the crowded Republican field began to thin and Trump kept racking up primary and caucus victories did the media’s tone grow more serious.

One study estimated that Trump had received so much free airtime that if he had had to buy it, the price would have been $2 billion. The realization that they had helped Trump’s rise seemed to make many executives, producers, and journalists furious. By the time he secured the nomination and the general election rolled around, they were gunning for him. Only two people now had a chance to be president, and the overwhelming media consensus was that it could not be Donald Trump. They would make sure of that. The coverage of him grew so vicious and one-sided that last August I wrote a column on the unprecedented bias. Under the headline “American Journalism Is Collapsing Before Our Eyes,” I wrote that the so-called cream of the media crop was “engaged in a naked display of partisanship” designed to bury Trump and elect Hillary Clinton.

The evidence was on the front page, the back page, the culture pages, even the sports pages. It was at the top of the broadcast and at the bottom of the broadcast. Day in, day out, in every media market in America, Trump was savaged like no other candidate in memory. We were watching the total collapse of standards, with fairness and balance tossed overboard. Every story was an opinion masquerading as news, and every opinion ran in the same direction—toward Clinton and away from Trump.

For the most part, I blame The New York Times and The Washington Post for causing this breakdown. The two leading liberal newspapers were trying to top each other in their demonization of Trump and his supporters. They set the tone, and most of the rest of the media followed like lemmings.

On one level, tougher scrutiny of Trump was clearly defensible. He had a controversial career and lifestyle, and he was seeking the presidency as his first job in government. He also provided lots of fuel with some of his outrageous words and deeds during the campaign. But from the beginning there was also a second element to the lopsided coverage. The New York Times has not endorsed a Republican for president since Dwight Eisenhower in 1956, meaning it would back a dead raccoon if it had a “D” after its name. Think of it—George McGovern over Richard Nixon? Jimmy Carter over Ronald Reagan? Walter Mondale over Reagan? Any Democrat would do. And The Washington Post, which only started making editorial endorsements in the 1970s, has never once endorsed a Republican for president.

But again, I want to emphasize that 2016 had those predictable elements plus a whole new dimension. This time, the papers dropped the pretense of fairness and jumped headlong into the tank for one candidate over the other. The Times media reporter began a story this way:

If you’re a working journalist and you believe that Donald J. Trump is a demagogue playing to the nation’s worst racist and nationalist tendencies, that he cozies up to anti-American dictators and that he would be dangerous with control of the United States nuclear codes, how the heck are you supposed to cover him?

I read that paragraph and I thought to myself, well, that’s actually an easy question. If you feel that way about Trump, normal journalistic ethics would dictate that you shouldn’t cover him. You cannot be fair. And you shouldn’t be covering Hillary Clinton either, because you’ve already decided who should be president. Go cover sports or entertainment. Yet the Times media reporter rationalized the obvious bias he had just acknowledged, citing the view that Clinton was “normal” and Trump was not.

I found the whole concept appalling. What happened to fairness? What happened to standards? I’ll tell you what happened to them. The Times top editor, Dean Baquet, eliminated them. In an interview last October with the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard, Baquet admitted that the piece by his media reporter had nailed his own thinking. Trump “challenged our language,” he said, and Trump “will have changed journalism.” Of the daily struggle for fairness, Baquet had this to say: “I think that Trump has ended that struggle. . . . We now say stuff. We fact check him. We write it more powerfully that [what he says is] false.”

Baquet was being too modest. Trump was challenging, sure, but it was Baquet who changed journalism. He’s the one who decided that the standards of fairness and nonpartisanship could be abandoned without consequence.

With that decision, Baquet also changed the basic news story formula. To the age-old elements of who, what, when, where, and why, he added the reporter’s opinion. Now the floodgates were open, and virtually every so-called news article reflected a clear bias against Trump. Stories, photos, headlines, placement in the paper—all the tools that writers and editors have—were summoned to the battle. The goal was to pick the next president.

Thus began the spate of stories, which continues today, in which the Times routinely calls Trump a liar in its news pages and headlines. Again, the contrast with the past is striking. The Times never called Barack Obama a liar, despite such obvious opportunities as “you can keep your doctor” and “the Benghazi attack was caused by an internet video.” Indeed, the Times and The Washington Post, along with most of the White House press corps, spent eight years cheerleading the Obama administration, seeing not a smidgen of corruption or dishonesty. They have been tougher on Hillary Clinton during her long career. But they still never called her a liar, despite such doozies as “I set up my own computer server so I would only need one device,” “I turned over all the government emails,” and “I never sent or received classified emails.” All those were lies, but not to the national media. Only statements by Trump were fair game.

As we know now, most of the media totally missed Trump’s appeal to millions upon millions of Americans. The prejudice against him blinded those news organizations to what was happening in the country. Even more incredibly, I believe the bias and hostility directed at Trump backfired. The feeling that the election was, in part, a referendum on the media, gave some voters an extra incentive to vote for Trump. A vote for him was a vote against the media and against Washington. Not incidentally, Trump used that sentiment to his advantage, often revving up his crowds with attacks on reporters. He still does.

If I haven’t made it clear, let me do so now. The behavior of much of the media, but especially The New York Times, was a disgrace. I don’t believe it ever will recover the public trust it squandered.

The Times’ previous reputation for having the highest standards was legitimate. Those standards were developed over decades to force reporters and editors to be fair and to gain public trust. The commitment to fairness made The New York Times the flagship of American journalism. But standards are like laws in the sense that they are designed to guide your behavior in good times and in bad. Consistent adherence to them was the source of the Times’ credibility. And eliminating them has made the paper less than ordinary. Its only standards now are double standards.

I say this with great sadness. I was blessed to grow up at the Times, getting a clerical job right out of college and working my way onto the reporting staff, where I worked for a decade. It was the formative experience of my career where I learned most of what I know about reporting and writing. Alas, it was a different newspaper then. Abe Rosenthal was the editor in those days, and long before we’d ever heard the phrase “zero tolerance,” that’s what Abe practiced toward conflicts of interest and reporters’ opinions. He set the rules and everybody knew it.

Here is a true story about how Abe Rosenthal resolved a conflict of interest. A young woman was hired by the Times from one of the Philadelphia newspapers. But soon after she arrived in New York, a story broke in Philly that she had had a romantic affair with a political figure she had covered, and that she had accepted a fur coat and other expensive gifts from him. When he saw the story, Abe called the woman into his office and asked her if it were true. When she said yes, he told her to clean out her desk—that she was finished at the Times and would never work there again. As word spread through the newsroom, some reporters took the woman’s side and rushed in to tell Abe that firing her was too harsh. He listened for about 30 seconds, raised his hand for silence, and said (this is slightly bowdlerized): “I don’t care if you have a romantic affair with an elephant on your personal time, but then you can’t cover the circus for the paper.” Case closed. The conflict of interest policy was clear, absolute, and unforgettable.

As for reporters’ opinions, Abe had a similar approach. He didn’t want them in the news pages. And if you put them in, he took them out. They belonged in the opinion pages only, which were managed separately. Abe said he knew reporters tended to lean left and would find ways to sneak their views into the stories. So he saw his job as steering the paper slightly to the right. “That way,” he said, “the paper would end up in the middle.” He was well known for this attitude, which he summed up as “keeping the paper straight.” He even said he wanted his epitaph to read, “He kept the paper straight.” Like most people, I thought this was a joke. But after I related all this in a column last year, his widow contacted me and said it wasn’t a joke—that, in fact, Abe’s tombstone reads, “He kept the paper straight.” She sent me a picture to prove it. I published that picture of his tombstone alongside a column where I excoriated the Times for its election coverage. Sadly, the Times’ high standards were buried with Abe Rosenthal.

Looking to the Future

Which brings us to the crucial questions. Can the American media be fixed? And is there anything that we as individuals can do to make a difference? The short answer to the first question is, “No, it can’t be fixed.” The 2016 election was the media’s Humpty Dumpty moment. It fell off the wall, shattered into a million pieces, and can’t be put back together again. In case there is any doubt, 2017 is confirming that the standards are still dead. The orgy of visceral Trump-bashing continues unabated.

But the future of journalism isn’t all gloom and doom. In fact, if we accept the new reality of widespread bias and seize the potential it offers, there is room for optimism. Consider this—the election showed the country is roughly divided 50-50 between people who will vote for a Democrat and people who will vote for a Republican. But our national media is more like 80-20 in favor of Democrats. While the media should, in theory, broadly reflect the public, it doesn’t. Too much of the media acts like a special interest group. Detached from the greater good, it exists to promote its own interest and the political party with which it is aligned.

Ronald Reagan’s optimism is often expressed in a story that is surely apocryphal, but irresistible. He is said to have come across a barn full of horse manure and remarked cheerfully that there must be a pony in it somewhere. I suggest we look at the media landscape in a similar fashion. The mismatch between the mainstream media and the public’s sensibilities means there is a vast untapped market for news and views that are not now represented. To realize that potential, we only need three ingredients, and we already have them: first, free speech; second, capitalism and free markets; and the third ingredient is you, the consumers of news.

Free speech is under assault, most obviously on many college campuses, but also in the news media, which presents a conformist view to its audience and gets a politically segregated audience in return. Look at the letters section in The New York Times—virtually every reader who writes in agrees with the opinions of the paper. This isn’t a miracle; it’s a bubble. Liberals used to love to say, “I don’t agree with your opinion, but I would fight to the death for your right to express it.” You don’t hear that anymore from the Left. Now they want to shut you up if you don’t agree. And they are having some success.

But there is a countervailing force. Look at what happened this winter when the Left organized boycotts of department stores that carried Ivanka Trump’s clothing and jewelry. Nordstrom folded like a cheap suit, but Trump’s supporters rallied on social media and Ivanka’s company had its best month ever. This is the model I have in mind for the media. It is similar to how FOX News got started. Rupert Murdoch thought there was an untapped market for a more fair and balanced news channel, and he recruited Roger Ailes to start it more than 20 years ago. Ailes found a niche market alright—half the country!

Incredible advances in technology are also on the side of free speech. The explosion of choices makes it almost impossible to silence all dissent and gain a monopoly, though certainly Facebook and Google are trying.

As for the necessity of preserving capitalism, look around the world. Nations without economic liberty usually have little or no dissent. That’s not a coincidence. In this, I’m reminded of an enduring image from the Occupy Wall Street movement. That movement was a pestilence, egged on by President Obama and others who view other people’s wealth as a crime against the common good. This attitude was on vivid display as the protesters held up their iPhones to demand the end of capitalism. As I wrote at the time, did they believe Steve Jobs made each and every Apple product one at a time in his garage? Did they not have a clue about how capital markets make life better for more people than any other system known to man? They had no clue. And neither do many government officials, who think they can kill the golden goose and still get golden eggs.

Which brings me to the third necessary ingredient in determining where we go from here. It’s you. I urge you to support the media you like. As the great writer and thinker Midge Decter once put it, “You have to join the side you’re on.” It’s no secret that newspapers and magazines are losing readers and money and shedding staff. Some of them are good newspapers. Some of them are good magazines. There are also many wonderful, thoughtful, small publications and websites that exist on a shoestring. Don’t let them die. Subscribe or contribute to those you enjoy. Give subscriptions to friends. Put your money where your heart and mind are. An expanded media landscape that better reflects the diversity of public preferences would, in time, help create a more level political and cultural arena. That would be a great thing. So again I urge you: join the side you’re on.

ABOUT MICHAEL GOODWIN

Michael Goodwin is the chief political columnist for The New York Post. He has a B.A. in English literature from Columbia College and has taught at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. Before joining the Post in 2009, he was the political columnist for The New York Daily News, where he served as executive editor and editorial page editor and led its editorial board to a Pulitzer Prize. Prior to that, he worked for 16 years at The New York Times, beginning as a clerk and rising to City Hall Bureau Chief. He is the co-author of I, Koch and editor of New York Comes Back.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in Inprimis Digest.

VIDEOS: Senator Rubio on President Trump’s ‘New Cuba’ Policy

Miami, FL – U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), a member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and Foreign Relations Committee, appeared on CNN’s State of the Union, CBS’s Face the Nation, Fox News’ Sunday Morning Futures, and NBC’s Meet the Press today to discuss President Trump’s announcement on U.S. policy towards Cuba, the Russia investigation and healthcare. A partial transcript of key exchanges is below.

VIDEO: On State of the Union, Rubio discusses Cuba policy 

RUBIO: Well, the one thing I would say to you is that they challenge the world to do more to create stability in their own regions. And the Western Hemisphere is the region that we’re in. And I would say it’s in our national security interest to have human rights and democracy in our region because the absence of those two things leads to migratory pressure and instability, whether it’s Haiti or Cuba, or Mexico or Central America, so much of the migratory pressure on the United States is created by instability in the Western Hemisphere. And so there is a national security interest in our region in creating stability and democracy.

And the other thing I would say is, if you look at the Western Hemisphere thirty years ago, the majority of the countries were governed by dictatorships or strongmen. Today every country in the hemisphere has had at least one free and fair election in the last decade and a half or so, except for one—the island of Cuba. So hopefully we’re getting closer to the day where that happens there as well.

VIDEO: On Face the Nation, Rubio discusses how to empower Cuban people

RUBIO: This basically says that American travelers to Cuba, they’ll continue to fly on commercial airlines or get there on a cruise, but when they get there they have to spend their money primarily with individual Cubans who own these private businesses, which is everybody who supported the Obama opening was always bragging about. They were saying, there was all these new small businesses, well we want to put them in a privileged position. And so American travelers to Cuba will have to spend their money with them instead of the Cuban military. That was the goal of this, is to empower individual Cubans to be economically independent of the Castro military and of the Castro regime.

VIDEO: On Fox News’ Sunday Morning Futures, Rubio discusses new Cuba policy

RUBIO: Look at the migratory pressure, whether it’s people coming across the border from Central America or Mexico or people on rafts coming from Haiti or Cuba, it’s all driven by one thing. And that is the lack of political freedoms, and the lack of human rights, and economic rights.

And so the United States, as national security interest, needs stability in our region. If you look at the Western Hemisphere, every country in the region has had at least one free and fair election in the last decade and a half or so except for one. Cuba has not had a free election in almost 65 or 70 years—that needs to change.

Now the Obama policy towards Cuba made all sorts of concessions. Those concessions have allowed the Cuban military, which controls upwards of 50, 60 percent of their economy, to enrich itself and to tighten its grip through a monopoly that they control and we’re reversing that—the president is reversing that.

What he is saying is that if Americans travel to Cuba now you will have to spend your money with private individual Cubans, not with the Cuban military. That is a very appropriate thing. And I don’t understand how anyone could argue that we should not have a policy that enriches the Cuban people instead of the Cuban military.

Tennessee: World Relief accused of not taking care of their refugees

When refugees were initially being placed in the county where I live (now more than 10 years ago), our community’s first impression was that the ‘Christian’ resettlement agency—the Virginia Council of Churches—was basically dropping off a couple hundred refugees, placing them in deplorable housing, and then not providing them with some of their basic needs.

I wanted to know what sort of program was this.  Did the government allow this? But, of course as we know now, nine major federal resettlement contractors (including World Relief)*** are federal government contractors who oversee a network of over 300 subcontractors.  The nine sign agreements with the US State Department laying out what services they will provide refugees in their care. Indeed the contractor is paid by the head for each refugee it is assigned.

Over the years, we have reported on many cases like this one being made in Tennessee that the contractor is not fulfilling its end of the bargain.

Abdou Kattih has been an outspoken critic of efforts by the legislature to keep Shariah law out of Tennessee and to rein-in the refugee industry in the state.

From The Tennessee Star:

During the March “Murfreesboro Muslim Youth” (MMY) meeting soliciting help for refugees brought to Rutherford County by federal resettlement contractor World Relief, it was disclosed that goods and services that the government paid for were not provided to the new refugees.

Abdou Kattih

According to Abdou Kattih, founder and president of MMY, were it not for his organization, special emergency needs such as getting medical care for the refugee who arrived with a broken jaw or simply providing household essentials and even clothing, would not have been addressed, explaining they had taken care of “someone that does not have literally anything but the clothes they had off of last month.”

Melissa Sohrabi, who merged her group “Roots for Refugees” with MMY, was more direct in detailing the deficiencies of the government contractor in this talk she delivered in March:

“There is an expectation of what should happen and there’s reality of what really does happen. . . Why didn’t World Relief give them a table and chairs? Why didn’t they bring them a couch? What’s going on? . . . Not only did it not happen but if it did happen, those families are charged for every belonging, every item that is donated to World Relief, the family is then charged for, for having it delivered to them.”

World Relief (WR), based in Baltimore, is one of nine national refugee resettlement organizations that sign a “Cooperative Agreement” with the U.S. State Department to receive federal funding to resettle refugees. This is taxpayer money allocated for each refugee brought to a community; the funds are split between the refugee and the agency. In addition, the resettlement agency is required to provide the goods and services as detailed in the signed agreement.

Between fiscal years 2016 -17, WR was paid over $40 million by the federal government to resettle refugees in communities where they operate local offices which also receive federal funding through grants administered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Continue reading here.

One of several things that came to mind when I read this, is something I have been wondering about for some time.  Five of the nine resettlement contractors are ‘Christian charities’, one is Jewish and three are secular.

They all eagerly resettle Muslim refugees, but I have wondered when will some Muslim charity demand to get in on the federal gravy train? Laying the groundwork in this story?

Here are the nine federal contractors that monopolize the US Refugee Admissions Program:

Europeans Are Paying to Subsidize Jihadists by Barry Brownstein

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

All Men Are Brothers

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

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

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

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

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

Become a Stranger to Humanity

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

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

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

Consider these facts:

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

Undermining the Brotherhood of Man

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

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

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

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

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

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

Reprinted from Intellectual Takeout.

Barry Brownstein

Barry Brownstein

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

Assassinating Congressmen

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

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

Cut Subsidies, Get Rich by David Boaz

Ever since President Trump and budget director Mick Mulvaney released a proposed federal budget that includes cuts in some programs, the Washington Post has been full of articles and letters about current and former officials and program beneficiaries who don’t want their budgets cut. Not exactly breaking news, you’d think. And not exactly a balanced discussion of pros and cons, costs and benefits. Consider just today’s examples:

[O]ver 100,000 former Fulbright scholars, among them several members of Congress, are being asked to lobby for not only full funding but also a small increase.

As a former Federal Aviation Administration senior executive with more than 30 years of experience in air traffic control, I believe it is a very big mistake to privatize such an important government function.

On Thursday, all seven former Senate-confirmed heads of the Energy Department’s renewables office — including three former Republican administration officials – told Congress and the Trump administration that the deep budget cut proposed for that office would cripple its ability to function.

This is nothing new. Every time a president proposes to cut anything in the $4 trillion federal budget — up from $1.8 trillion in Bill Clinton’s last budget — reporters race to find “victims.” And of course no one wants to lose his or her job or subsidy, so there are plenty of people ready to defend the value of each and every government check. As I wrote at the Britannica Blog in 2011, when one very small program was being vigorously defended:

Every government program is “well worth the money” to its beneficiaries. And the beneficiaries are typically the ones who lobby to create, expand, and protect it. When a program is threatened with cuts, newspapers go out and ask the people “who will be most affected” by the possible cut. They interview farmers about whether farm programs should be cut, library patrons about library cutbacks, train riders about rail subsidy cuts. And guess what: all the beneficiaries oppose cuts to the programs that benefit them. You could write those stories without going out in the August heat to do the actual interviews.

Economists call this the problem of concentrated benefits and diffuse costs. The benefits of any government program — Medicare, teachers’ pensions, a new highway, a tariff — are concentrated on a relatively small number of people. But the costs are diffused over millions of consumers or taxpayers. So the beneficiaries, who stand to gain a great deal from a new program or lose a great deal from the elimination of a program, have a strong incentive to monitor the news, write their legislator, make political contributions, attend town halls, and otherwise work to protect the program. But each taxpayer, who pays little for each program, has much less incentive to get involved in the political process or even to vote.

A $4 trillion annual budget is about $12,500 for every man, woman, and child in the United States. If the budget could be cut by, say, $1 trillion — taking it back to the 2008 level — how much good could that money do in the hands of families and businesses? How many jobs could be created? How many families could afford a new car, a better school, a down payment on a home? Reporters should ask those questions when they ask subsidy recipients, How do you feel about losing your subsidy?

Republished from Cato Institute.

David Boaz

David Boaz

David Boaz is the executive vice president of the Cato Institute and the author of The Libertarian Mind: A Manifesto for Freedom and the editor of The Libertarian Reader.