The facts on Immigrant Crime Published in NJ Newspaper

And, not only that!  The Trentonian, via an opinion piece by David Neese, reminds its readers in blue New Jersey about statements from politicians past that should have earned them (at least) a wrist slap from the Southern Poverty Law Center.

bernie and barack
So where was the Southern Poverty Law Center when we needed them?

You have heard the comments repeatedly lately, but I will bet a buck most Dems outside of the DC beltway have no idea both Barack Obama and Bernie Sanders were so vocal in their demands for border security!

Maybe I’m too hard on the mainstream media! Sometimes they come through with the truth!

The Trentonian:

Provocation: Documented facts about ‘undocumented’

Using at least two words that are now verboten in proper Washington circles, writer Neese begins with a little provocation about the hypocrisy that is driving us nuts these days! (Emphasis is mine)

Surely it was a white supremacist — or at a minimum a xenophobic bigot — who brazenly uttered these words: “We simply can’t allow people to pour into the United States undetected, unchecked, circumventing the people who are waiting patiently, diligently, lawfully to become immigrants in the country.”

But, lo and behold, these were not the words of some slope-browed yahoo driving around in a pickup with a confederate decal on the rear window right by the gun rack.

These were the words of none other than Barack Obama, spoken in 2005.

Okay, but surely the following words, spoken in 2007, were the sentiments of a Klan rabble-rouser:

“I don’t know why we need millions of people to be coming into the country who will work for lower wages than America works and drive down wages even lower than they are now.”

Nope, not Klan words. Those were the words of Bernie Sanders, socialist tribune for the toiling proletariat.

Then he gets to the numbers that no one should ignore:

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) puts out a report called “Criminal Alien Statistics.” The 2018 edition notes 208,800 criminal aliens in state and federal prisons, doing time for an assortment of felonies at a taxpayer cost of $1.4 billion annually.

That seems like a lot of offenders behind bars if immigrant crime is merely, as frequently asserted, a “dog-whistle” term the Know Nothings employ to incite resentment of brown people.

Looking at a sample of 197,000 criminal aliens, the GAO reports an average 10 criminal offenses per alien among this group. Ten!

For the period roughly 2011-2016, the GAO reports the following number of offenses by illegal aliens:

— Drugs: 761,200 state, 336,600 federal.

— Assaults: 397,000 state, 108,400 federal.

— Weapons: 124,709 state, 44,500 federal.

— Sex offenses: 120,300 state, 13,600 federal.

— Robberies: 54,700 state, 13,500 federal.

— Homicides: 50,300 state, 6,000 federal.

— Kidnappings: 18,600 state, 5,000 federal.

Go here to read it all.

Thank you Mr. Neese and The Trentonian.  (If you are wondering, I don’t know David Neese.)

question mark

Looking for something to do? Get Neese’s piece circulating on social media.  Not my post, but his original (here) and consider contacting The Trentonian to thank them for publishing it.

EDITORS NOTE: This Frauds, Crooks and Criminals column with images is republished with permission. The featured photo is by David von Diemar on Unsplash.

Governor DeSantis Appoints Robert Luck to the Florida Supreme Court

(Miami, FL) Today, Governor Ron DeSantis announced the appointment of Judge Robert Luck to the Florida Supreme Court.  Judge Luck currently sits on the Third District Court of Appeals (DCA) in Miami.  The Third DCA is the appeals court between the trial court and the state supreme court in South Florida.    

Judge Luck is being picked for an at-large seat and is the second of three appointments that Governor DeSantis will make to replace three of the most liberal justices who have termed out for mandatory retirement at age 70 on Tuesday, January 8, 2019.  Last week DeSantis also appointed Judge Barbara Lagoa to the Florida Supreme Court.  

Florida Family Policy Council President John Stemberger issued the following statement today regarding this appointment:

“Robert Luck is a brilliant jurist. To speak with, or listen to Judge Luck, is to realize you are in the presence of a truly unique and Scalia-like intellect.  Luck fully understands that the role of a judge is a limited one of restraint.  He has demonstrated over the years through his written decisions and public statements, that the job of a judge is to interpret law as it is written and not make law or engage in result-oriented decision making.  As an observant Jew, Luck is also grounded in ethical and moral principles that will surely guide and inform his service to the state of Florida.  Once again, Ron DeSantis has made a very solid appointment that will help to define his legacy as Governor for years to come.”

Regarding judicial philosophy Judge Robert Luck has stated the following:

“I understand how the judiciary — what Hamilton called our least dangerous branch — fits into our system of government… Having worked in each of the three branches, I understand the modest role of the judge in reviewing the laws enacted by the legislature, the actions taken by the executive, and the findings of the lower courts… I have conducted myself that way for the last five years, and I will continue to do so as long as I am permitted to serve.”

Personal and Professional Biography of Robert Luck:

Robert Luck currently sits on the Third District Court of Appeals and prior to that served on the Eleventh Judicial Circuit Court of Florida as a trial court judge. His district court nomination was made by Governor Rick Scott.  Born and raised in Miami-Dade County, Judge Luck would go on to graduate magna cum laude from the University of Florida Levin Law school and gain a prestigious clerkship with Chief Judge Edward Carnes of the 11th Circuit in Alabama. Judge Luck also has experience as Deputy Chief in the Major Crimes Section in the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida. As a trial judge he tried seventy jury trials, as an appellate judge he has written over 70 decisions and has heard dozens of appeals from the county court and municipal agencies.  Robert Luck is part of the Miami Jewish Legal Society and currently lives in Miami-Dade County with his wife and two children.  The Luck family attends a Chabad synagogue in Miami.  Chabad is one of the largest observant and orthodox movements within Judaism worldwide. 

Judge Luck’s Supreme Court Judicial Nominating Commission (JNC) interview can be watched online here: https://thefloridachannel.org/videos/11-4-18-florida-supreme-court-judicial-nominating-commission-part-1/

Judge Luck’s 57 page JNC Application can be read here: https://www-media.floridabar.org/uploads/2018/10/Luck-Robert.pdf

EDITORS NOTE: This column with images by the Florida Family Policy Council is republished with permission.

I’m A Senior Trump Official, And I Hope A Long Shutdown Smokes Out The Resistance

The Daily Caller is taking the rare step of publishing this anonymous op-ed at the request of the author, a senior official in the Trump administration whose identity is known to us and whose career would be jeopardized by its disclosure. We believe publishing this essay anonymously is the only way to deliver an important perspective to our readers. We invite you to submit a question about the essay or our vetting process here.

As one of the senior officials working without a paycheck, a few words of advice for the president’s next move at shuttered government agencies: lock the doors, sell the furniture, and cut them down.

Federal employees are starting to feel the strain of the shutdown. I am one of them. But for the sake of our nation, I hope it lasts a very long time, till the government is changed and can never return to its previous form.

The lapse in appropriations is more than a battle over a wall. It is an opportunity to strip wasteful government agencies for good.

On an average day, roughly 15 percent of the employees around me are exceptional patriots serving their country. I wish I could give competitive salaries to them and no one else. But 80 percent feel no pressure to produce results. If they don’t feel like doing what they are told, they don’t.

Why would they? We can’t fire them. They avoid attention, plan their weekend, schedule vacation, their second job, their next position — some do this in the same position for more than a decade.

They do nothing that warrants punishment and nothing of external value. That is their workday: errands for the sake of errands — administering, refining, following and collaborating on process. “Process is your friend” is what delusional civil servants tell themselves. Even senior officials must gain approval from every rank across their department, other agencies and work units for basic administrative chores.

Process is what we serve, process keeps us safe, process is our core value. It takes a lot of people to maintain the process. Process provides jobs. In fact, there are process experts and certified process managers who protect the process. Then there are the 5 percent with moxy (career managers). At any given time they can change, clarify or add to the process — even to distort or block policy counsel for the president.

Saboteurs peddling opinion as research, tasking their staff on pet projects or pitching wasteful grants to their friends. Most of my career colleagues actively work against the president’s agenda. This means I typically spend about 15 percent of my time on the president’s agenda and 85 percent of my time trying to stop sabotage, and we have no power to get rid of them. Until the shutdown.

Due to the lack of funding, many federal agencies are now operating more effectively from the top down on a fraction of their workforce, with only select essential personnel serving national security tasks. One might think this is how government should function, but bureaucracies operate from the bottom up — a collective of self-generated ideas. Ideas become initiatives, formalize into offices, they seek funds from Congress and become bureaus or sub-agencies, and maybe one day grow to be their own independent agency, like ours. The nature of a big administrative bureaucracy is to grow to serve itself. I watch it and fight it daily.

When the agency is full, employees held liable for poor performance respond with threats, lawsuits, complaints and process in at least a dozen offices, taking years of mounting paperwork with no fear of accountability, extending their careers, while no real work is done. Do we succumb to such extortion? Yes. We pay them settlements, we waive bad reviews, and we promote them.

Many government agencies have adopted the position that more complaints are good because it shows inclusion in, you guessed it, the process. When complaints come, it is cheaper to pay them off than to hold public servants accountable. The result: People accused of serious offenses are not charged, and self-proclaimed victims are paid by you, the American taxpayer.

The message to federal supervisors is clear. Maintain the status quo, or face allegations. Many federal employees truly believe that doing tasks more efficiently and cutting out waste, by closing troubled programs instead of expanding them, “is morally wrong,” as one cried to me.

I get it. These are their pets. It is tough to put them down and let go, and many resist. This phenomenon was best summed up by a colleague who said, “The goal in government is to do nothing. If you try to get things done, that’s when you will run into trouble.”

But President Trump can end this abuse. Senior officials can reprioritize during an extended shutdown, focus on valuable results and weed out the saboteurs. We do not want most employees to return, because we are working better without them. Sure, we empathize with families making tough financial decisions, like mine, and just like private citizens who have to find other work and bring competitive value every day, while paying more than a third of their salary in federal taxes.

President Trump has created more jobs in the private sector than the furloughed federal workforce. Now that we are shut down, not only are we identifying and eliminating much of the sabotage and waste, but we are finally working on the president’s agenda.

President Trump does not need Congress to address the border emergency, and yes, it is an emergency. Billions upon billions of hard-earned tax dollars are still being dumped into foreign aid programs every year that do nothing for America’s interest or national security. The president does not need congressional funding to deconstruct abusive agencies who work against his agenda. This is a chance to effect real change, and his leverage grows stronger every day the shutdown lasts.

The president should add to his demands, including a vote on all of his political nominees in the Senate. Send the career appointees back. Many are in the 5 percent of saboteurs and resistance leaders.

A word of caution: To be a victory, this shutdown must be different than those of the past and should achieve lasting disruption with two major changes, or it will hurt the president.

The first thing we need out of this is better security, particularly at the southern border. Our founders envisioned a free market night watchman state, not the bungled bloated bureaucracy our government has become. But we have to keep the uniformed officers paid, which is an emergency. Ideally, continue a resolution to pay the essential employees only, if they are truly working on national security. Furloughed employees should find other work, never return and not be paid.

Secondly, we need savings for taxpayers. If this fight is merely rhetorical bickering with Nancy Pelosi, we all lose, especially the president. But if it proves that government is better when smaller, focusing only on essential functions that serve Americans, then President Trump will achieve something great that Reagan was only bold enough to dream.

The president’s instincts are right. Most Americans will not miss non-essential government functions. A referendum to end government plunder must happen. Wasteful government agencies are fighting for relevance but they will lose. Now is the time to deliver historic change by cutting them down forever.

The author is a senior official in the Trump administration.


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EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Caller column with images is republished with permission. The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.

Should We Regulate Big Tech?

The following is adapted from a panel presentation on October 12, 2018, in Kansas City, Missouri, at a Hillsdale College Free Market Forum, sponsored by the College’s Center for the Study of Monetary Systems and Free Enterprise.

At the beginning of the twentieth century, the invention of the automobile liberated individuals from the yoke of distance. While people could travel before the invention and widespread use of the automobile, they were bound in their daily lives by the limited distance horses could cover. Railroads alleviated but did not eliminate those restrictions—movement was confined by the location of railroad tracks and by train schedules. It was only the automobile that gave individuals the freedom to move at their own leisure.

A century after the invention of the automobile, the invention of the smartphone triggered a similar revolution. And while history never repeats itself, sometimes it rhymes, and these rhymes can help us understand the present.

Before the smartphone, people were tethered to their landlines. In the 1990s, the proliferation of mobile phones and increased access to the Internet greatly expanded our freedom to communicate and our access to information. But it was the introduction of the smartphone in 2007, coupled with mobile communication and the Internet, that brought unprecedented access to information to the Western world and to a significant portion of the developing world.

We have at our fingertips today more advanced hardware and computing power than was used to send man to the moon, more information than is contained in the best library, and more power to communicate than any propaganda machine ever dreamed of possessing. The average individual, however, would not be able to take advantage of these hardware advances and computational powers without the proper applications. Companies like Apple, Google, Facebook, Twitter, and Amazon—what the press now calls “Big Tech”—enabled average people to use these powers to improve their lives.

But however much the automobile revolution improved lives, it also presented challenges that required regulatory responses —e.g., speed limits and traffic lights in response to lethal accidents and emission standards in response to air pollution. The Big Tech revolution poses challenges as well—including to free markets—and it is foolish to ignore them. While we no more want to go back to a world without smartphones than we do a world without cars, the question is whether we should manage this new technology so that it helps all of us and does not become just an end in itself.

From the outset, the car industry was fragmented. Roughly 3,000 companies were started in the United States with the intent to produce cars. Despite the fact that Henry Ford’s introduction of mass production with the Model T in 1908 significantly increased economies of scale, there were still 44 independent car companies in the U.S. at the outset of the Great Depression. Only after that did the number of U.S. car manufacturers drop to eight, and it wasn’t until the early 1980s that the Big Three (Chrysler, Ford, General Motors) emerged. By that time, however, foreign cars were on the rise. Even today, the market share of the top-selling car manufacturer in the U.S. is only 18 percent, of the largest two only 32 percent, and of the largest four only 54 percent.

What produced this fragmentation? One factor was geographical segmentation: high transportation costs favored local producers. Another was product differentiation: Henry Ford famously said that you can choose a Model T of any color as long as it is black; in reality, consumers preferred not only different colors but different models, reducing the economies of scale advantage.

The history of Big Tech is very different. Only ten years after the introduction of the iPhone, Apple’s market share as the largest smartphone seller in the U.S. is 38 percent, that of the largest two smartphone sellers 64 percent, and of the largest four 90 percent. When we look at the application markets, the picture is even starker. The market share of Google, the largest search engine in the U.S., is 86 percent, that of the largest two 93 percent, and of the largest four 99 percent. The market share of the largest social media platform in the U.S. is 60 percent, of the largest two 86 percent, and of the largest four 98 percent. To be fair, it is difficult to measure the market share of products that are free. But even if we look at a more substantive market, such as online advertising, Google and Facebook form a duopoly that commands more than 80 percent of market share.

With the tech sector, we are no longer dealing with a mainly tangible economy—an economy with tangible assets such as computers, machinery, and buildings. In the tech sector—as Jonathan Haskel and Stian Westlake explain in Capitalism without Capital—intangible assets like research and development, marketing, and software dominate. This is not an insignificant fact. As Haskel and Westlake point out, there are four main characteristics of an intangible economy that lead to higher market concentration and less competition: intangible assets are highly scalable, meaning that they can be used repeatedly with little additional investment; investments in intangible assets tend to be sunk, making their value difficult to recuperate; intangible assets are susceptible to spillover, meaning that other companies can benefit from using or mimicking them; and intangible assets, when combined, often produce valuable synergies.

Economists since Adam Smith have taught us that in a competitive economy, the pursuit of private interests leads to the best possible outcome for everybody. But notice the qualifier: for this arrangement to work, there must be competition. It should disturb us, then, that the founders of Google themselves admit that the history of searches they have amassed creates a gigantic barrier to new entrants.

Another aspect of the Big Tech revolution that sets it apart is the quantity and precision of amassed data it makes possible. Businesses have always accumulated data on their clients, but the amount and detail of data concentrated in the hands of Big Tech companies are beyond anything previously imagined. And its value increases rather than decreases with quantity: consumption patterns of individuals are more valuable if linked to their location, more valuable still if linked to their health information, and so on. Not only does this data concentration represent an insurmountable barrier for new entrants into the market, it also represents a threat to individual privacy and can even be a threat—as recent data mining and censorship scandals suggest—to the functioning of our democracy.

Google and Facebook know more about us than our spouses or closest friends—and sometimes even more than we know about ourselves. They can predict what we’re going to do, how we’re going to vote, and what products we’re going to buy. And they use the best minds in the world to manipulate our decisions in a way reminiscent of the movie The Truman Show.

But that is only one way of using (or misusing) the massive information gathered. Thirty years ago, during the debate over Robert Bork’s nomination to the Supreme Court, The Washington Post reported the titles of the videos he rented. During the recent confirmation hearings for Justice Kavanaugh, it was only because the alleged crimes took place before the diffusion of smartphones that phone companies were not able to disclose the geolocation of the nominee and his accusers during the early 1980s. We surely do not want the government tracking our every movement. Do we want Big Tech companies tracking us? Even worse, do we want to risk having these private monopolies grant information about us to the government in exchange for protection of their monopoly power?

Some say that market competition will naturally solve these problems, but there is plenty of evidence of distortion of competition in the tech sector. Not only on the market side—consider the recent European Union case against Google, charging Google with preferring its own shopping comparison tool to others—but on the social side as well. To take one example, Google unilaterally decided to de-rank payday lenders in their search results. De-ranking is a subtle form of censorship—a company de-ranked by Google is effectively condemned to irrelevancy. Regardless of what we think of payday loans, who is Google to decide that for us? And why would Google have done it? Could it have been because the Obama administration was initiating a campaign against payday lenders at the same time? It is not hard to imagine that Google cultivates the gratitude of politicians who have the power to regulate and legislate in ways that impact Google’s interest.

The Panglossian view that technology will solve the Big Tech problem because that is what has occurred in the past suffers from the fallacy of what Bertrand Russell called “the inductivist turkey.” When a turkey observes that his owner comes each morning to feed him, the turkey inductively infers that he will continue to be fed each morning—an inference that breaks down each year at Thanksgiving. Just because something happened in the past, does not mean it will happen in the future.

It is also simply not true that technology alone has been sufficient in the past. IBM’s dominance lasted “only” 30 years and Microsoft’s less than two decades. But neither company was dethroned without government intervention. IBM lost its primacy because the Department of Justice went after it on antitrust grounds for decades. Because of this pressure, it decided to outsource part of its computer manufacturing, which is what led to the PC revolution. Similarly, Google and Facebook are not part of Microsoft today because Microsoft was under antitrust scrutiny. As one of the lawyers in that case said, “The trial is the remedy.” So historical precedent actually supports the idea of subjecting Big Tech to antitrust scrutiny. While it is absolutely true that growth comes from technological innovation, it is wrong to think that letting Big Tech companies continue unhindered will necessarily lead to that innovation.

So what do I propose? As a skeptical economist—especially with regards to government intervention—I advocate what I call a lean approach. There should be no massive overhauls, which create uncertainty and pose a danger of killing the goose that lays the golden eggs. I’m also not in favor of breaking up all of Big Tech, and especially not Google, because there are significant economies of scale in search algorithms. I would be much more in favor of splitting Instagram from Facebook, because there are no strong synergies between them and because it was a mistake for antitrust enforcers to allow Facebook to gain so much market power in the first place.

But my initial approach would be even more benign. We should try to promote competition. The reason we don’t see a conservative Facebook being developed is because people want to be where other people are, and it’s very costly in terms of time and effort for people to “multi-home”—to be on multiple social networks. Compare this, for example, with using both Lyft and Uber, which is convenient and efficient.

The same could be true with social media if users could post their content to an intermediary that disseminates it to all of their preferred social media sites. The intermediary could also collect and organize content from their friends and present it in one place. The reason this is not already happening is that federal law prevents it. Indeed, a company called Power Ventures made an application to do all this, but it was shut down by court order when Facebook sued it.

As a result of that lawsuit, it is a crime for a company—even with an individual’s permission—to obtain that individual’s data from Facebook. Here is a clear example of Facebook creating barriers to entry, and the elimination of those barriers would be pro-competition and pro-free market—not interventionist.

In the jargon, this is called “portability of the social graph,” and it’s no different than the portability of our cell phone numbers. Those of us who are a little older remember a time when we did not own our phone numbers—the telephone company did, and if we switched companies we lost our number. Why do we now think it is normal to own our phone number? Because the FCC forced phone companies to allow portability—another instance where regulation created more competition, not less, and reduced consumer prices.

We should begin with this kind of lean regulation in the tech sector to create more competition, which will lead in turn to more innovation and a better result for all of us.

COLUMN BY

Luigi Zingales
University of Chicago


Luigi Zingales

Luigi Zingales is the Robert C. McCormack Distinguished Service Professor of Entrepreneurship and Finance and the Charles M. Harper Faculty Fellow at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, where he is also director of the Stigler Center. He graduated summa cum laude from Università Bocconi in Italy and received a Ph.D. in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. A co-host of the podcast Capitalisn’t, he has published extensively in economics and financial journals and is the author of two books, including A Capitalism for the People: Recapturing the Lost Genius of American Prosperity.

EDITORS NOTE: This Imprimis column with images is republished with permission. The featured photo is by Rami Al-zayat on Unsplash.

The Constitutionality of A Presidential State of Emergency

By KrisAnne Hall, JD

My inbox is being inundated with the question de jour: “If President Trump declares a ‘State of Emergency’ to build the wall on the border of Mexico, is that Constitutional?”

I am certain that is not the right question, or perhaps not the right way to ask it, but to ask it and answer it correctly, let’s briefly remind ourselves of America’s Constitutional structure and function.

The Constitution of the United States defines the powers for the three branches of federal government. Each of these branches are delegated specific enumerated powers that are not only limited and defined by the Constitution but also separate and distinct in their delegations. The branches of government do not share powers unless that specific cooperation is ascribed by the Constitution. For example, the power to create treaties (today referred to with the obfuscatory label — “deals”) is not an autonomous power belonging to the president but one that requires specific concurrence by the Senate.

Recall that the 10th Amendment declares that any power not delegated through the Constitution remains in the hands of the States. This is the opposite of Teddy Roosevelt’s “stewardship” doctrine that says the feds can do whatever they want as long as the Constitution doesn’t say they can’t. Federal Supremacists love this perspective. That was NOT the discussion or conclusion of the ratification debates. There are no unnamed powers floating in the ether waiting to be snatched up by the central government. Roosevelt’s Secretary of War William Taft rightly conveyed the framers’ positions, “a specific grant must be either in the Federal Constitution or in an act of Congress passed in pursuance thereof. There is no undefined residuum of power which (the federal government) can exercise because it seems…to be in the public interest…”

The specific delegations of power, as well as NON-delegations, were created thoughtfully, deliberately, with knowledge of history and human nature. The limitations of those powers involved considerable debate and study into past history and ancient governments.

Patrick Henry said in his famous “Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death” speech: “I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided; and that is the lamp of experience. I know of no way of judging of the future but by the past.” Alexander Hamilton wrote in Federalist #20: “Experience is the oracle of truth…”

However, it is not uncommon in the evolution of the American Republic to see the government AND the citizenry cast off the wisdom and experience enshrined in the founding documents to address some “urgent necessity.” Instead of taking the intentionally cumbersome path to do it right, Americans willingly run roughshod over Constitutional barriers because — “we have to get this done ,” or “there is no other way to do it!” These instances have slowly transmuted the Republic into the nearly limitless federal behemoth we know today.  We would be well-served to paste a banner over our televisions and computers reminding us of what William Pitt said in 1783:

“Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves.”

So when people ask questions like “Can the president do…?” “Can the House, Senate, or Supreme Court do…?” the first sources that must be consulted are the Constitution and the people who drafted it.  If the Constitution provides no authority for the activity, then the power does not Constitutionally reside in the hands the federal government. So more to the root of the question being asked, “Does the Constitution enumerate a power to the President to declare a state of emergency?” The short answer is No.S

Every state of emergency refers to the National Emergencies Acts as the source of its authority. So the real question is “Does the Constitution authorize Congress to alter (expand or contract) executive power by legislative act?”  The constitutional answer to this question is obviously No.  Congress cannot add powers that the Constitution has not delegated to the president nor can they take away powers that have been delegated.  For Congress to have the authority to add power to the executive branch, they would have to possess the authority to actually amend the Constitution by congressional act, which they do not.  Additionally, for Congress to delegate a power to the executive branch that has been constitutionally delegated to Congress, is a per se violation of the Constitution by crushing the principle of Separation of Powers.  James Madison, quoting political philosopher Montesquieu, was very direct with his words regarding separation of powers:

“There can be no liberty where the legislative and executive powers are united in the same person, or body of magistrates…” Federalist #47

Spending, war, appropriations, national defense, and naturalization are all powers specifically delegated to Congress.  For Congress to abdicate its power to the executive branch is not only not authorized by the Constitution, it is necessarily forbidden by the principle of Separation of Powers to ensure the security of the Liberty of the people.

Shockingly, this debate over states of emergency has raged for decades and nobody seems to offer the obvious correct answer — if we want the President to have such powers we must amend the Constitution.

Yet if you consider how far we have strayed and how long we have been off the path, President Trump is doing nothing out of the ordinary, he is following a long history of extra-Constitutional (aka unconstitutional) action.  We have just accepted a broken government as the norm since at least 1861 when it comes to “national emergencies.”

If you tell a lie long enough, people believe it to be truth and the lie of expanded executive power has a long history.  I think this principle is even more powerful when that lie comes from someone you like, or applies to a situation you happen to agree with.  But that lie can only operate as truth with very dire consequences, the most obvious consequence would be that the lie operates as truth not only for the people you like but also the people you don’t like.

Some claim expansion of executive power began with the George Washington administration’s response to the whiskey rebellion. Yet in this instance, Congress authorized Washington to quell an “insurrection” which falls within the constitutional authority of both Congress and President. It was Congress that then began creating “stand-by laws” to give the President powers beyond the grant of the Constitution in time of “national emergency.” They should have proposed a Constitutional amendment, not passed a law. (Interestingly, Washington later pardoned everyone who was arrested during the rebellion, if they were not already acquitted.)

The first unilateral act of a president arose when Lincoln blockaded American ports and expanded military forces without Congress.  The Congress and the courts eventually went along and this became the confirmation and justification of the President’s emergency power.  Woodrow Wilson and FDR faced similar emergency power controversies and were not thwarted by Congress.  In 1917, President Woodrow Wilson started the “Presidential Proclamation” that triggered the availability of all so-called stand-by laws for these declarations of emergency.  The process came to a head when, after Truman proclaimed an emergency in response to Korean hostilities, the same order was used to wage war in Vietnam 22 years later. 

Congress, led by Senator Church, launched an investigation. One of numerous Congressional studies in 1973 showed that the Congress had already passed over 470 statutes granting the President “EXTRAORDINARY POWERS” during time of emergency.  In an attempt to restrain and proceduralize the use of emergency powers, perhaps restrain the monster they allowed to grow, Congress passed the National Emergencies Act on in September of 1976.

In light of the fact that Congress is not authorized through Congressional act to expand delegated authority, consider these two points from two constitutional delegates:

“There is no position which depends on clearer principles, than that every act of a delegated authority, contrary to the tenor of the commission under which it is exercised, is void.  No legislative act, therefore, contrary to the Constitution, can be valid.” Federalist #78 — Alexander Hamilton

“…the power of the Constitution predominates.  Any thing (sic), therefore, that shall be enacted by Congress contrary thereto, will not have the force of law.” James Wilson, Pennsylvania Ratifying Convention 1787

The Constitution, as well, is not silent on this issue.  Article 6 clause 2 codifies the principles laid down by the above drafters of the Constitution when it says:

“This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; …shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.”

Every law must be made, every federal action must be taken, “in pursuance” to the Constitution.  If that act is not specifically authorized by the Constitution, then the “Judges in every State” are NOT bound thereby.  What that means is the “National Emergencies Act,” “War Powers Act,” 8 US 1182- empowering the president to determine the admissibility of aliens, and many, many others are all unconstitutional delegations of power by Congress to the president.  Which makes them, by the terms of the Constitution AND the drafters of that document, null and void.

So the question is NOT: “If the President declares a national emergency and builds the wall, is that Constitutional?” That’s an easy question to answer, No. The question is “Will we keep pretending to live in a Constitutional Republic, while making it up as we go along?”  Other than electing a Congress that actually cares for the security, safety and integrity of the nation, there are two simple options: Amend the Constitution and have the states give the president this authority or stop pretending, get rid of the Constitution and go back to a monarchy.

ABOUT KRISANNE HALL, JD

KrisAnne Hall is a former biochemist, Russian linguist for the US Army, and former prosecutor for the State of Florida. KrisAnne also practiced First Amendment Law for a prominent Florida non-profit Law firm. KrisAnne now travels the country teaching the foundational principles of Liberty and our Constitutional Republic. KrisAnne is the author of 6 books on the Constitution and Bill of Rights, she also has an internationally popular radio and television show and her books and classes have been featured on C-SPAN TV. KrisAnne can be found at www.KrisAnneHall.com.

RELATED ARTICLE: Trump Has a Strong Legal Argument That He Can Declare National Emergency at Border

EDITORS NOTE: This column from The Revolutionary Act is republished with permission. The featured photo is by Anthony Garand on Unsplash.

Background Checks: No Impact on Criminals

We have seen a generation of gun-grabbers rise and fall. The new generation of gun-grabbers are pushing for the same tired and baseless policies that won’t so much as inconvenience criminals. We understand the emotional response to violence and the desire to “do something.”

But that “something” has to be the right thing, a policy that will be effective on the target population and is backed by sound evidence. To design a policy that will stop criminals from getting guns, the first step should be to find out where criminals get guns.

Fortunately, the Bureau of Justice Statistics within the Office of Justice Programs at the Department of Justice just this week released a report that provides this very information. The report is the “Source and Use of Firearms Involved in Crimes: Survey of Prison Inmates, 2016” and its findings are quite clear.   

More than one in five prisoners in state or federal prisons (20.8%) possessed or used a firearm during their crime; 18.4% had or used a handgun.

A plurality – 43.2% – got their guns off the street or on the underground market which does not include gun shows, flea markets, or private sales. The underground market only includes “markets for stolen goods, middlemen for stolen goods, criminals or criminal enterprises, or individuals or groups involved in sales of illegal drugs.”

About ten percent (10.1%) acquired the gun from a retail source. This includes 8.2% whom acquired it from a licensed dealer at a retail source. Just under 7% bought the firearm under their own name and then at least 6.7% underwent a background check; we say “at least” because some number of prisoners are unaware if a check was conducted. The remaining 3.3% includes people who may not be aware they were submitted to a check because, for many people, the check is completed instantly. As you know, federal law requires firearms dealers to conduct background checks.

A quarter (25.3%) of prisoners acquired the firearm they had at the time of their crime from an individual; 14.5% of these bought, traded, borrowed, or rented the gun from a family member or friend. The other 10.8% were given the firearm as a gift or it was purchased for the prisoner.

That sounds like it likely includes straw purchases, which are a federal crime.

Theft was not uncommon, at 6.4%, though not as common as anti-gun organizations would have you believe.

The remaining 17.4% cited some other source; 6.9% found it at the scene of the crime or it was the victim’s, 4.6% say the gun was brought by someone else, and 5.9% from “other” sources. This last category is a catch-all, including sources that are different from all of the other sources listed in the report. It is important to note that none of the types of “other” sources had enough responses to warrant their own category.

In other words, there weren’t enough prisoners saying they bought a gun online or from a stranger to categorize these straw-man arguments into categories. Some quick, back of the envelope math shows that just under 5,200 prisoners surveyed reported having a gun during their criminal offense.

How would so-called universal background checks impact any of these categories?

First, you have to rule out the retail purchases because most already underwent a background check. You would also have to concede that those who obtained the firearm from a family member or friend wouldn’t be affected, because of the exemptions in so-called universal background checks laws for family members and… well, come on. If someone is going to give a known criminal a gun, then they’re not going to change their minds because of a law. It’s already a crime to knowingly give a gun to a prohibited person.

Sellers on the underground market aren’t going to start running background checks because they are, themselves, criminals. Burglars won’t stop burgling to get a background check run on the firearms they’re stealing.

Criminals who somehow manage find a gun at the scene of the crime through no action of their own wouldn’t be affected by a background check.

So, please, tell us: which source of firearms for criminals will dry up under so-called universal background checks?

Unless drug dealers and purveyors of stolen goods set up shop with clipboards, log books, and internet access to run background checks, criminals will still have a source of illegal guns.

Oh, and don’t forget that universal background checks don’t work.

Tell Your Members of Congress to Oppose “Universal” Background Check Bills

RELATED ARTICLES:

Canada’s Gun Control Advocates Boast Handgun Ban is “Within Reach”

Media Contagion Effect and Mass Shootings

Now With More Banning! Dianne Feinstein Introduces “Updated” Federal “Assault Weapons” Ban

EDITORS NOTE: This column with images by NRA-ILA is republished with permission.

The Irony of Refusing to Swear in on the Bible

Last week, the first openly bisexual senator was sworn in…and she refused to be sworn in on the Holy Bible, as is customary. She instead opted for a law book with the Arizona Constitution and the U.S. Constitution, because, she says, of her “love for the Constitution.”

Senator Kyrsten Sinema has a first name that ironically means, in Latin, “Follower of Christ.” In addition to being openly bisexual, she is also listed, according to the Pew Research Center for Religion and Public Life, as the “only member of the Senate who does not identify as a member of a religion.”

Why do we have this system of swearing in public officials in the first place? And swearing in on the Bible? And saying, “So help me, God.”—which, by the way she did (indirectly, at least)?  Who cares about such “antiquated” customs?  Do these symbols matter? Well, Senator Sinema has a role in our government, thanks in part to the Bible for the creation of that government.

I wrote a whole book about how the Bible played a pivotal role in the founding of America. And the more I study the subject, the more convinced I become of it.

Historically, taking oaths is a way to seal one’s commitment —but to do it with God as a witness. Just as marital vows are oaths before God.

George Washington noted in his Farewell Address (1796) that if we undermine religion (in his day, he was speaking to a largely Christian audience), we undermine oaths and fidelity.

Said Washington,

“Let it simply be asked: Where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths which are the instruments of investigation in courts of justice?”

If there is no God to Whom we shall give an account, we can do whatever we want.

When George Washington was sworn in as our first president under the Constitution, he used the Holy Bible. After being sworn in with his hand on the Bible, Washington even bent down and kissed the holy book. Dr. D. James Kennedy once remarked of that action: “Why, that’s enough to give the ACLU apoplexy!”

I’ve seen documentary footage where President Truman, our 33rd president, also deferentially kissed the Holy Bible as he was being sworn in.

But some people today don’t even want to be sworn in on the holy book. Meanwhile, some recent Muslim elected officials expressed an interest in swearing in on Thomas Jefferson’s copy of the Qur’an—but, as Bill Federer points out, the reason Jefferson got a copy of the Muslim holy book was to try and figure out why Muslims were, without provocation, attacking U.S. ships in the Mediterranean and elsewhere. Early 19th century jihad ultimately led to our Marines being sent “to the shores of Tripoli” to get Islamic attackers to stop stealing our men on the sea and selling them into slavery. 

One of the key points about America’s heritage that is often overlooked is that the Biblical concept of covenant gave rise ultimately to our two key founding documents, the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.

They are written agreements, under God, signed by the participants. More importantly, our founding documents are the culmination of about a hundred or so compacts and frames of government created by the Puritans and other Christians, using a Biblical covenant as the model.

I once interviewed Dr. Donald S. Lutz of the University of Houston, who has been studying constitutions for decades. He told our viewers, “Without a belief in the Bible, we would not have the Declaration of Independence or the U.S. Constitution as we have it.” 

In his book, The Origins of American Constitutionalism, Lutz notes:

“The American constitutional tradition derives in much of its form and content from the Judeo-Christian tradition as interpreted by the radical Protestant sects to which belonged so many of the original European settlers in British North America.”

For example, the first fully developed Constitution on American soil was the Fundamental Orders of Connecticut (1639), which declares the purpose of the colony is “the liberty and purity of the gospel of our Lord Jesus.” This Constitution was inspired by a sermon based on Deuteronomy 1:13 and 1:15, where Moses essentially implements “the consent of the governed” around 1400 B.C. This is just one example of hundreds of how the Scriptures helped pave the way to create the United States.

No wonder the U. S. Supreme Court declared in 1892, when it reviewed all the evidence:

“These and many others which might be noticed, add a volume of unofficial declarations to the mass of organic utterances that this is a Christian nation.” 

Senator Sinema might not like that. But the very authority she has been given comes courtesy of those who sacrificed so much to create this nation in the first place, with the help of God and His holy Word.

EDITORS NOTE: This column with images is republished with permission. The featured photo is by Kiwihug on Unsplash.

Is your Neighborhood Pharmacist a Crook?

Some are, but maybe not your local friendly, helpful health professional!

sessions and weed
You can bet the drug industry and the Medicare fraudsters were happy to see Sessions out as Attorney General

A little over six months ago, then Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced a major federal crackdown on doctors, pharmacists and other health providers for fueling the opioid crisis and using your Medicare and Medicaid dollars to line their pockets.

Here is a bit of one story about Sessions’ announcement.

From State News  June 28, 2018:

Federal agencies on Thursday announced charges in what Attorney General Jeff Sessions called “the largest health care fraud takedown in American history,” an investigation into over $2 billion in alleged fraud by doctors, pharmacists, and nurses.

Many of the allegations centered on illegitimate opioid prescriptions. The Justice Department charged 162 defendants, including 76 doctors, for their roles dispensing opioids and narcotics, the result of investigations spanning 30 state Medicaid programs and numerous enforcement agencies.

[….]

“Some of our most trusted medical officials, professionals, look at their patients, vulnerable people suffering from addiction, and they see dollar signs,” Sessions said.

The alleged fraud and false billings collectively accounted for 13 million illegal opioid dosages, the Justice Department said, and also included 23 pharmacists and 19 nurses.

The Department of Health and Human Services also announced that since July 2017, it has excluded over 2,700 individuals and 587 providers from Medicare and Medicaid “for conduct related to opioid diversion and abuse” — including 67 doctors, 402 nurses, and 40 pharmacy services.

More here.

Here are a couple of more recent cases of Pharmacy fraud

Don’t miss my post from last week about Pharmacist Haytham “Tom” Fakih in Dearborn, Michigan.

Florida Fraudster

From a Justice Department Press release in December, here.

The owner of a Miami, Florida-area pharmacy who caused Medicare to pay more than $8.4 million over a six-year period for prescription drugs that were never provided to beneficiaries was sentenced today to 87 months in prison.

[….]

Antonio Perez Jr., 48, of Miami Beach, Florida, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Federico A. Moreno of the Southern District of Florida, who also ordered Perez to pay $8,415,824 in restitution and to forfeit the same amount. Perez was ordered to forfeit four Miami-area properties worth approximately $700,000 and multiple bank accounts totaling over $250,000. Perez previously pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud.

[….]

During the course of the scheme, Medicare paid Valles Pharmacy Discount over $32 million, of which at least $8.4 million was for prescription drugs that Valles Pharmacy never purchased and never provided to Medicare beneficiaries, Perez admitted.

ahktmar-pharmacy
The owner of Akhtamar Pharmacy will be sentenced in February.

California case

Also in December a federal jury found Pharmacist Tamar Tatarian, 39, of Pasadena, California guilty of a Medicare fraud scheme after she billed Medicare $1.3 million for drugs she never purchased or distributed.

You will be interested to see that she was one of those caught in Sessions’ big sweep earlier this year.

Tatarian, the owner of Akhtamar Pharmacy, will be sentenced next month.

Secret decoder ring at work!  Tatarian must be Armenian. See the Legend of Akhtamar.  My reference to Secret decoder ring comes from Ann Coulter’s ‘Adios America’ where she rightly points out that readers of news stories about crooks and criminals must search for clues about where the alleged perp might come from and how he/she got in to the country.

Exception!  See yesterday’s post about the Russians ripping off Washington staters! There the reporter actually says where those arrested were from.

EDITORS NOTE: This column with images by Frauds, Crooks and Criminals is republished with permission. The featured photo is by rawpixel on Unsplash.

Fake News Field Day in Story about Texas Shooting

Sometimes our criminals at Fraud, Crooks and Criminals will be Americans like the man who allegedly killed little Jazmine Barnes in a drive-by shooting ten days ago.

barnes case white guy
This is the man the New York Times and CNN were already lynching!

The black child was killed by a black thug, but the New York TimesCNN and all the rest had already lynched a “white man with blue eyes” whose likeness had been sent out around the world after other children in the car where Jazmine died told authorities this is what the shooter looked like.

I’ve told some of you previously that I watch CNN the first thing in the morning so that I can get a feel for where they are steering the Leftwing segment of America on any given day.

Oh boy, here they go I thought when that drawing went out and the race hucksters headed to Houston.

CNN actually led one segment of their morning news with the shooting “hate crime” story, even before they launched in to their daily hate fest against the President.

eric black jr
Eric Black Jr arrested in killing of black child

That was until two days ago when, oopsy! turns out the man arrested in the case looks like this.

A second black man has been arrested.

And, guess what! No updates during my early a.m. review of CNN today.

But it wasn’t just CNN, the New York Times had gone on a ‘it has to be a hate crime’ frenzy.

Here is just one segment of a New York Times story (before the arrest of the black thug):

The Harris County Sheriff’s Office believes the gunman fired at random into the car in which Jazmine was riding with her mother and three sisters, a 6-year-old and two teenagers. A bullet struck Jazmine in the head, her mother said.

The police said Wednesday that they still had not identified the gunman. But the case has drawn the attention of national civil rights activists and fueled speculation that the shooting was racially motivated. The gunman is white, the police said, and Jazmine was black.  [Note how the reporter phrases that, I doubt the police said the gunman is white!—ed]

[….]

In another effort to garner the public’s help, Mr. Merritt [family attorney] and Shaun King, a prominent racial justice activist and a columnist at The Intercept, have offered a $100,000 reward for information leading to the gunman’s arrest.

Maybe the New York Times has apologized, but I don’t see it.

Even in a story where the NYT has to admit the truth, they keep ginning up the “hate crime” meme by quoting Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, here:

“Do not be afraid to call this what it seems to be — a hate crime,” Representative Sheila Jackson Lee, a Houston Democrat, told hundreds of people at a rally last week near the site of the killing.

Now, this is the story they are pushing widely. It is about how the poor family got confused.

Meanwhile, speaking of poor families, the family of the white man who may have witnessed the shooting is getting bullied and threatened.  This is from local ABC news:

Family of man wrongfully accused by activist Shaun King in Jazmine Barnes’ shooting speaks out

Will the NYT and CNN follow-up and report that news?  I’m not holding my breath!

Maybe the “white man with blue eyes” should sue the whole bunch of them!

I haven’t done this story (“Justice for Jazmine”) justice. Some feature writer should go through the media coverage of the case and expose in exquisite detail how the frauds in the Leftwing media spin the news.

You know they couldn’t wait to blame this on Donald Trump’s America!

New category at Frauds and Crooks: Media fraud!

Would someone keep an eye on this case and see if major media outlets ever mention it again after this week?

EDITORS NOTE: This column with images from Frauds, Crooks and Criminals is republished with permission. The featured photo is by rawpixel on Unsplash.

New Hampshire: Chinese Prostitution Ring Busted by Feds

Just now when I was tweeting about how everyone should be calling their members of Congress and Senators today (even the Dems!) to demand they fund the President’s wall, I noted that my top tweet of the last month was one about a Chinese sex trafficking ring operating in New Hampshire and Maine.

The poor young girls were brought to the US on tourist visas and literally held prisoner by their Chinese pimps.

From the New Hampshire Union Leader:

MANCHESTER — Two homes in the city — one in a middle-class neighborhood — were used as houses of prostitution in a sex trafficking ring that involved as many as two dozen Chinese women under the control of a Concord couple, federal prosecutors said Friday.

manchester polic
Police raid house of prostitution 

Neighbors of 87 Harrington Ave. — on a quiet residential street within earshot of Our Lady of the Cedars Church — said they had been complaining for two years about the operation. On Thursday, Manchester police and sheriff deputies used battering rams on the door and took away at least one Asian woman.

“Merry Christmas. For two years we’ve been waiting. Now our kids can come out and play,” said a woman who lived across the street who did not want to be identified.

[….]

….federal officials in Maine announced the indictment of a Concord couple and charged them with running the sex ring spanning Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont. Other sites of prostitution listed included hotels in Dover, Portsmouth and Kittery, where Portsmouth Naval Shipyard is located.

Multiple locations in the Portland, Maine area were also cited.

Sou Chao Li and Derong Maio, both 37, are each charged with one count of conspiracy to engage in interstate transportation and travel for prostitution; two counts of sex trafficking by fraud and coercion; and five counts of interstate transportation for prostitution. Li also is charged with possessing a victim’s passport as part of the sex trafficking scheme.

[….]

Neighbors of the Harrington Avenue home, nearly all of whom did not want to be identified, said they have been enduring traffic all hours of the day and night for years. They said middle-aged white men typically, many in SUVs and pickups, drive to the neighborhood, park on the street, enter the house and leave after 10 or 15 minutes. Some would wait in the car while another man was in the house.

“Sometimes they’d show up at my door,” one neighbor said. “I’d say ‘you guys looking for STDs? Go next door.’” [STD=Sexually Transmitted Diseases].

There is much more to the story, click here to read it all.

Here is what I want to know, did no one who reviews tourist visas from China notice any trend? We never hear about the details of that process. Was there fraud going on at the US Embassy in China?

EDITORS NOTE: This column by Frauds, Crooks and Criminals is republished with permission. The featured photo is by gabrielle cole on Unsplash.

‘Gingerly Preparations’ Underway In Case Of Ginsburg Vacancy

Quiet preparations are underway within conservative legal circles and the White House counsel’s office in the event that Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg retires, two sources familiar with the process tell The Daily Caller.

The 85-year-old Ginsburg did not appear for oral arguments at the Supreme Court on Monday, missing the first session in her 25 years on the court for reasons of ill health. Ginsburg is currently recuperating from recent surgery to remove cancerous nodules from her lungs, marking her third bout with the disease.

U.S. Supreme Court justices pose for group portrait at the Supreme Court in Washington

U.S. Supreme Court justices pose for their group portrait at the Supreme Court in Washington, U.S., November 30, 2018. (REUTERS/Jim Young)

“Gingerly preparations are underway, not just for Ginsburg but for any SCOTUS retirement,” a source directly involved in the Supreme Court nominations of Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh told TheDC.

Another source emphasized to TheDC that the quiet preparations are all that is realistically needed in case of a vacancy on the court because much of the required infrastructure already exists within the White House.

Both sources said that the White House counsel’s office and its conservative legal allies have now been through two successful confirmation processes, and that they have developed an intimate and professional feel for how to run the process again, if necessary.

Trump is particularly proud of his handling of the Gorsuch and Kavanaugh nominations, a source close to the White House said, noting that the president views proper handling of the Supreme Court as a necessary part of maintaining the support of his voters.

U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justices (L-R) Clarence Thomas, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer. REUTERS/Jim Bourg

U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justices (L-R) Clarence Thomas, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer. REUTERS/Jim Bourg

The opening would be the first under White House counsel Pat Cipollone, who assumed the position after Don McGahn. Cipollone is a longtime Washington lawyer intimately familiar with the conservative legal eco-system.

“By appointing Pat, Trump made sure he has a White House counsel who is both able to handle the investigation and a movement conservative philosophically aligned with the base of the party,” American Conservative Union Chairman Matt Schlapp told TheDC.

Pressed on Trump’s lack of public discussion of any potential Supreme Court nomination, Schlapp noted that “Trump has figured out there are some things you keep close to the vest. He likes to be the explainer-in-chief but understands there’s a downside to sharing too much.”

John Malcolm, Senior Legal Fellow at the Heritage Foundation, similarly told TheDC that Cipollone has “very bright movement conservatives” around him as staffers, and expressed confidence in his preparations to fill a vacancy on the court.

Malcolm speculated that if Ginsburg’s seat becomes vacant, “there would be a lot of pressure to appoint a woman, I would think that one person the president would seriously look at would be Amy Coney Barett.”

The White House did not respond to a request for comment.

COLUMN BY

Saagar Enjeti

Saagar Enjeti

White House Correspondent

RELATED ARTICLE: How The Supreme Court Selection Process Went Down, As Told By Brett Kavanaugh

EDITORS NOTE: This column with images by The Daily Caller is republished with permission.

The Constitution’s Affirmation Option Was Not Designed To Accommodate Secularists.

It’s one of the most often utilized arguments by secularists when making the case that the Constitution is a secular document and that the nation’s Founders, in thirteen short years, went from affirming the central role of the Creator in informing the relations of man and government to a complete abandonment of God.  As the argument goes, so dismissive were the Framers of religion’s role in governance that the even the Oath was given an elective role in the swearing of a public servant’s allegiance to the United States and the Constitution; a role that was equal in standing to the godless affirmation.  

In point of fact, nothing could be further from the truth. 

There are two major reasons for the Constitution’s apparently secular tone.  First, it was a working document designed to serve as a blueprint for government. Unlike the Declaration of Independence, it did not have an aspirational or declaratory purpose, nor did it need to explain itself “to a candid world.”

Second, the Constitution had to specifically avoid, as much as it could, any references to religion because, as discussed by countless sources of the time and memorialized in the subsequent First Amendment to the Constitution, religion was to remain within the purview of the states, not under the auspices of the new national government.  This is also why the Framers prohibited any religious test from being employed to determine the qualifications of any of its members.  

Even so, deference to God is still encountered within the Constitution of the United States in at least two locations.  First, the Constitution specifically references God in acknowledging that the date of attestation took place “in the year of our Lord.”  Second, the Constitution skips Sunday in the number of days allowed for the President to return a bill passed by Congress.  There is no coincidence that this day was skipped because it was one of rest and worship amongst Christians.  

Secularists foolishly argue that notwithstanding those two references, the placement of the affirmation as an alternative to an oath clearly demonstrates the Framers’ secularist intent and their secularist design for their new nation.  That assertion is wrong.  

In Article II, the Framers required an incoming President to take an “Oath or Affirmation.” Additionally, in Article VI, the Framers wrote, “The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the members of the several states, shall be bound by oath or affirmation, to support this Constitution.” 

The importance of this requirement is striking when one considers that an “oath” is often defined as “a solemn promise”[i]with the words “calling on God” as witness included in many definitions.[ii] It is viewed as an appeal to God to witness the veracity or solemnity of the words or actions about to be taken.[iii] No greater act of contrition, or of subservience to God, can be required of one about to undertake an action than to require the person to make the statement under the direct appeal to God.  The oath requirement within the Constitution of the United States is a preeminent acknowledgment of the existence of God and of the subservience of every American elected official to Him.

However, what about the affirmation?  

In point of fact, the affirmation was designed to accommodate those with an ostensibly greater subservience to God; not to secularists.  According to Professor Steve Sheppard, a law professor at the University of Arkansas, in including the affirmation as an option, the Framers were attempting to appease the faith requirements of Quakers and those like them, whose fears of God was so great that they were prohibited from undertaking an oath.[iv] Consequently, the affirmation inscribed within the Constitution was far from Godless, as some would like to argue today. It was merely an option to be exercised by those whose fear and respect for God was so great that they could not bring themselves to invoke His name in an oath, but would nevertheless place themselves under the threat of perjury when making their declaration.  

It stands as indisputable that the Constitution is a document divinely inspired.  Man could not arrive at such a solemn document, albeit with its many imperfections, without some guidance from God. However that modern-day secularists should use a capitulation made in honor of the most pious as an affirmation of the document’s secularity, is as ironic as it is false.  

REFERENCES:

[i] American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Ed. (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company).
[ii] Ibid.
[iii] West’s Encyclopedia of American Law, 2nd ed.. (The Gale Group, Inc.: 2008),
[iv] Steve Sheppard, “What Oaths Meant to the Framers’ Generation: A Preliminary Sketch,” Cardozo Law Review,de Novo 27, (2009): 279.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in The Federalist Pages. The featured photo is by John Bakator on Unsplash.

The American Way of Life Was Assaulted in the Murder of Cpl. Ronil Singh

During an early morning traffic stop in a small town near the Bay Area, everything we fight against came together in a perfect storm and led to the death of a man who symbolized everything we at NRATV stand for. The man in question was a police officer, a legal immigrant, a father and a husband. But he served a community bound by laws that put him last.

Police Car

Illegal immigration, the war on cops, illegal-weapons possession, all embodied by a man in a pickup, joined together and ended the life of a law enforcement officer. With no regard for life, no respect for law enforcement, and no regrets for his actions, an illegal immigrant, who escaped deportation twice because of sanctuary-city laws, wielded an illegal weapon and carried out an attack on one of America’s finest.

For days, the murderer was on the run, asking for help from those who would, doing everything he could to traverse the hundreds of miles back to his home country of Mexico. He sought refuge from the demands of American law.

He had crossed the border into Arizona illegally years before, but that didn’t matter to the California state government. They welcomed it.

He was a prime candidate for deportation, but that didn’t matter to state law enforcement. They concealed it.

He had already been arrested twice for driving while intoxicated, but that didn’t matter to the judge. He pardoned it.

Gustavo Perez Arriaga was a product of political correctness, disrespect for the rule of law, and prosecutorial discretion run amok. Because of the implementation of these progressive positions, Gustavo Perez Arriaga was enabled to kill Cpl. Ronil Singh.

Lane Lines at Night

All Ronil Singh ever wanted was move to the United States and become a cop. To him, there was no better place than America and no nobler profession than that of police officer—at least that’s what he told Newman Police Chief Randy Richardson almost eight years ago. “[I] came here solely to be a police officer and be a part of this country,” the Fiji native said, “to protect what was given and allowed to [me].”

But on the day after Christmas, during what seemed to be a relatively routine call, Cpl. Singh came face to face with a deadly and counterfeit version of the American dream and lost his life.

Gustavo Perez Arriaga, who was later revealed to actually be named Paulo Virgen Mendoza, fled the scene, but after a two-day manhunt, he was caught 200 miles away from the scene of the crime.

U.S. Southern Border
U.S. Southern Border.

For the 12 years he served as governor of California, Jerry Brown gave his stamp of approval on countless bills that have resulted in anti-cop legislation and California’s current and illegal status as a sanctuary state. California is a place where neither the law nor the Second Amendment matter—a place where political correctness reigns freely and the lives of law enforcement officers are just a bump in the road to Utopia.

California is a place where neither the law nor the Second Amendment matter.

The laws aren’t unique to California, though. The House of Representatives is controlled by the party of open borders, sanctuary cities, and the war on cops. They continue to pursue an agenda that will leave countless in its wake, solely for a strengthened voting bloc and perpetual power.

It’s up to us—those who are members of a group we call freedom’s safest place—to make our voices heard, to make a stand for the American dream, for legal immigration, for a secure border, for the lives of our officers, and for a safe and prosperous country.

EDITORS NOTE: This NRA-ILA column with images is republished with permission.

California: Thousands of Mourners See Police Officer Ronil Singh Laid to Rest

This is one of the better stories I’ve read on the funeral for a man, an immigrant who gave everything for America, who should be alive today.  Instead some Mexican low-life who allegedly entered the US illegally is still breathing.

singh funeral 2
Singh’s dog Sam says good-bye

From the Modesto Bee (emphasis is mine):

CrossPoint Community Church overflowed with mourners. The main Worship Hall was standing-room only, reserved for uniformed law enforcement and family members.

Three additional viewing areas inside the church for the general public also were packed and in Newman a livestream viewing was held at Orestimba High School.

[….]

The funeral for the 33-year-old Singh, who was shot and killed while performing a traffic stop in the early hours of Dec. 26, drew some 4,000 people and officers from more than 100 agencies up-and-down the state, as far away as New York and Massachusetts and even two members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

[….]

The family immigrated to the United States in 2003, and he worked his way up working various positions at local law enforcement agencies including the Modesto Police and Turlock Police departments and the Merced County Sheriff’s Department. Then in 2011 he achieved his dream of becoming a police officer when he was hired by the Newman Police Department. He was promoted to become a K9 officer in 2013 and the rank of corporal in 2016.

[….]

Aside from the speakers’ voices, the quiet hall was interrupted only by laughter at Singh’s jokester antics and the occasional burbling sounds of Singh’s five-month-old son, Arnav, who sat in the front row held by with his widow, Anamika Chand-Singh.

[….]

About 2,000 law enforcement representatives took part. Modesto Police Department spokesman Billy Boyle said he had never seen as large a combined police and public turnout as at the funeral service, and that it spoke to the close relationship local law enforcement has with the community.

And, it spoke to the public’s universal outrage at the monstrous unfairness of it —that an illegal alien creep who shouldn’t have been in the country in the first place allegedly took Singh’s life.

Read more at the Modesto Bee.

Donate to the family through the police department

There is no official GoFundMe account for the family.  The Stanislaus County PD makes it clear on their facebook page that there is only one legitimate fundraising effort on-going for the family.

Please be aware there are NO other approved or authorized memorial fund or online fundraising accounts that will be established.

Click here to see how you can donate.

Michelle Malkin wants to know why the Democrats are silent, especially California Democrat women!  And, it seems to me that the Rs should be talking about Corporal Ronil Singh every day as the wall debate continues.  Indeed his death could save thousands in the future if the US finally controls the southern border!

RELATED ARTICLE: Trump could use emergency powers to build wall, Dem congressman says

EDITORS NOTE: This column with images by Frauds, Crooks and Criminals is republished with permission.

ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION: Do We Really Have a Problem?

Earlier this week (Jan 2nd), Sec. Kirstjen Nielsen of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was asked to give a border security briefing in the Situation Room of the White House to ranking Congressional leaders, both the House and the Senate. Just six seconds into her presentation, Sec. Nielsen was interrupted by Democrats who wanted no part of it. Sen. Dick Durbin (IL) was quoted as saying the presentation was “preposterous,” and “At a time when we have the lowest level of apprehensions at the border — stopping people from coming in illegally — the lowest level historically, she is saying that we have all these terrorists and criminals and all these people on their way in.”

In other words, the Secretary’s report was quickly dismissed as irrelevant and both parties took to the microphones to defend their positions. Whereas Sec. Nielsen reported an influx in arrests of illegal immigrants with criminal records during 2018, the Democrats responded this simply wasn’t so. The question is, what is the truth?

The meeting was closely followed by the news media, but interestingly, there was no mention of the DHS report accompanying Sec. Nielsen’s briefing. In short, it was buried by the press. Fortunately, I had little difficulty locating it on the DHS web site where it was titled, “Fiscal Year 2018 ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations Report” by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The purpose of the 22 page report was to summarize U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) activities in Fiscal Year 2018.

Among the statistics listed were a couple of eye-openers:

* There were 158,581 administrative arrests in FY2018, ICE and ERO recorded the greatest number of administrative arrests as compared to the two previous fiscal years, and the highest number since FY2014. ICE and ERO made 15,111 more administrative arrests in FY2018 than in FY2017, representing an 11 percent increase, and a continued upward trend after FY2017’s 30 percent increase over FY2016.

* In FY2018, ERO arrested 138,117 aliens with criminal histories (convicted criminals and those pending criminal charges) for an increase of 10,125 aliens over FY2017. This continued the growth seen in FY2017 when ERO arrested 26,974 more aliens with criminal histories than in FY2016 for a 27 percent gain.

The types of crimes cover the spectrum; everything from DUI traffic offenses, to drugs, assault, larceny, burglary, weapon offenses, homicide, kidnapping, etc. (See diagram for specifics).

And finally, FY2018 saw an increase in criminal violations causing an increase in removal of illegal immigrants. Interestingly, the Top 10 countries include:

TOP 10 COUNTRIES – REMOVALS BY COUNTRY OF CITIZENSHIP

FY2017FY2018
MEXICO128,765141,045
GUATEMALA33,57050,390
HONDURAS22,38128,894
EL SALVADOR18,83815,445
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC1,9861,769
BRAZIL1,4131,691
ECUADOR1,1521,264
COLOMBIA1,0821,162
HAITI5,578934
NICARAGUA832879

It’s interesting that America provides substantial foreign aid to these countries, including:

FY2017
MEXICO$290M
GUATEMALA$257M
HONDURAS$181M
EL SALVADOR$118M
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC$ 61M
BRAZIL$ 28M
ECUADOR$ 18M
COLOMBIA$518M
HAITI$307M
NICARAGUA$ 44M

Source: USAID

One should ask what is the point of giving these countries money, if their citizens want to leave them. They are obviously squandering the money and not improving working conditions there. In other words, it is wasteful. Also consider this, the foreign aid to these Top 10 countries alone represents over $1.8B, not to mention the many other countries on the list. The United States probably could build an opulent southern wall by simply diverting foreign aid.

So, what was the message Sec. Nielsen was trying to communicate? That a legitimate problem exists in illegal immigration, and it is growing. The data presented in the report is not fictitious or a figment of someone’s imagination. It is real. The fact remains, there is an increase, not a decrease in people wanting to enter our country illegally, with many possessing a criminal background. Now we have to ask if we want these undesirables to run amok in our country. Our safety, security, and sovereignty depends on your answer.

Keep the Faith!

EDITORS NOTE: This column with images is republished with permission. All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies. The featured photo is by Andy Feliciotti on Unsplash.