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.

California and Los Angeles County to Remove 1.5 Million Inactive Voters from Voter Rolls

Good news for the voters in California and across the country.

We have signed a settlement agreement with the State of California and the County of Los Angeles under which they will begin the process of removing from their voter registration rolls as many as 1.5 million inactive registered names that may be invalid.

These removals are required by the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA), a federal law requiring the removal of inactive registrations from the voter rolls after two general federal elections (encompassing from 2 to 4 years). Inactive voter registrations belong, for the most part, to voters who have moved to another county or state or have passed away.

Los Angeles County has over 10 million residents, more than the populations of 41 of the 50 United States. California is America’s largest state, with almost 40 million residents.

We filed a 2017 federal lawsuit to force the cleanup of voter rolls (Judicial Watch, Inc., et al. v. Dean C. Logan, et al. (No. 2:17-cv-08948)). We sued on our own behalf and on behalf of Wolfgang Kupka, Rhue Guyant, Jerry Griffin, and Delores M. Mars, who are lawfully registered voters in Los Angeles County. We were joined by Election Integrity Project California, Inc., a public interest group that has long been involved in monitoring California’s voter rolls.

In our lawsuit, we alleged:

  • Los Angeles County has more voter registrations on its voter rolls than it has citizens who are old enough to register.  Specifically, according to data provided to and published by the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, Los Angeles County has a registration rate of 112 percent of its adult citizen population. 
  • The entire State of California has a registration rate of about 101 percent of its age-eligible citizenry. 
  • Eleven of California’s 58 counties have registration rates exceeding 100 percent of the age-eligible citizenry. 

The lawsuit confirmed that Los Angeles County has on its rolls more than 1.5 million potentially ineligible voters. This means that more than one out of every five LA County registrations likely belongs to a voter who has moved or is deceased. We noted: “Los Angeles County has the highest number of inactive registrations of any single county in the country.” 

Our lawsuit also uncovered that neither the State of California nor Los Angeles County had been removing inactive voters from the voter registration rolls for the past 20 years. The Supreme Court affirmed last year in Husted v. A. Philip Randolph Inst., 138 S. Ct. 1833 (2018) that the NVRA “makes this removal mandatory.”

The new settlement agreement, filed with U.S. District Court Judge Manuel L. Real, requires all of the 1.5 million potentially ineligible registrants to be notified and asked to respond. If there is no response, those names are to be removed as required by the NVRA. California Secretary of State Padilla also agrees to update the State’s online NVRA manual to make clear that ineligible names must be removed and to notify each California county that they are obligated to do this. This should lead to cleaner voter rolls statewide.

Prior to this settlement agreement, we estimated that based on comparisons of national census data to voter-roll information, there were 3.5 million more names on various county voter rolls than there were citizens of voting age. This settlement could cut this number in half.

Judicial Watch Attorney Robert Popper is the director of our Election Integrity Project and led our legal team in this litigation. We were assisted in this case by Charles H. Bell Jr., of Bell, McAndrews & Hiltachk, LLP; and H. Christopher Coates of Law Office of H. Christopher Coates.

This is only the third statewide settlement achieved by private plaintiffs under the NVRA – and we were the plaintiff in each of those cases. The other statewide settlements are with Ohio (in 2014) and with Kentucky (2018), which agreed to a court-ordered consent decree. 

You can take pride in knowing that we are the national leader in enforcing the list maintenance provisions of the NVRA. In addition to settlement agreements with Ohio and a win in Kentucky, we have filed a successful NVRA lawsuit against Indiana, causing it to voluntarily clean up its voting rolls, and we have an ongoing lawsuit with the State of Maryland

We helped the State of Ohio successfully defend their settlement agreement before the Supreme Court. In North Carolina, we supported implementation of the state’s election integrity reform laws, filing amicus briefs in the Supreme Court in March 2017. And, in April 2018, we filed an amicus brief in the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in support of Alabama’s voter ID law. In Georgia, we filed an amicus brief in support of Secretary Brian Kemp’s list maintenance process against a lawsuit by left-wing groups. We won when the Supreme Court ruled in Ohio’s favor.

This settlement vindicates our groundbreaking lawsuits to clean up state voter rolls to help ensure cleaner elections. We are thrilled with this historic settlement, which will set a nationwide precedent to ensure that states take reasonable steps to ensure that dead and other ineligible voters are removed from the rolls.

EDITORS NOTE: This column by Judicial Watch, with video and images, is republished with permission.

An Act of Sedition

In the news: “Newly elected Detroit congresswoman, Rashida Tlaib, is going to use Thomas Jefferson’s Koran for her swearing-in ceremony.”

Let’s get the facts straight.

Fact: It is not Jefferson’s Koran.  It is Mohammed’s Koran.

Fact: Jefferson owned a Koran to understand and defeat the Islamic Barbary Pirates.  How many members of Congress have read the Koran & Sunna from cover to cover or have any idea what is written on these pages?

Fact: We have evidence of our forefathers’ reference to the Koran: John Adams and Thomas Jefferson to John Jay, March 28, 1786

Fact:  Tlaib is swearing her oath on a Koran in which over 20% written in Medina is about violent jihad.

Fact:  Tlaib is swearing her oath on a Koran that has 17% of its text from Mohammed’s time in Medina devoted to Jew hatred.

Fact:  Tlaib is swearing her oath on a Koran that says that Muslims are superior to all and the non-Muslim (Kafir) is lower than animals. It also says a Muslim is not the friend of a Kafir.

Fact:  Tlaib is swearing her oath on a Koran that says wives can be beaten.

Fact:  Tlaib is disingenuous when she says ““I believe in secular government…“ According to Islamic doctrine, a Muslim must be governed by the Allah-inspired Sharia, because Kafir (man-made) secular laws are not worth following.  So either she is not a good Muslim or she is using taqiyya, sacred deception, to advance Islam.

Fact:  Tlaib is swearing her oath on a book that declares our U.S. Constitution is not the highest law of the land.

In short, Rashida Tlaib, by swearing her oath on a Koran, commits an act of sedition.

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is of Rashida Tlaib’s personal Koran from her Facebook page.

VIDEO: Guilty! Parkland Commission Issues Brutal Verdict on Broward County Leadership

Chairman of the MSD Commission Pinellas Sheriff Bob Gualtieri joins Dana Loesch with the latest.

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GENDER-X: New York City’s Uncontested Absurdity

NBC News writer Brooke Sopelsa in a September 12, 2018 article wrote:

People born in New York City who don’t identify as male or female will soon be able to select a nonbinary gender category on their birth certificates.

The New York City Council and Board of Health voted on Wednesday to include a third gender category, “X,” on birth certificates starting Jan. 1, 2019. Furthermore, the legislation will discontinue the need for a doctor’s note or health care provider’s affidavit to change one’s gender marker.

Ayn Rand wrote:

“The uncontested absurdities of today are the accepted slogans of tomorrow. They come to be accepted by degrees, by dint of constant pressure on one side and constant retreat on the other – until one day when they are suddenly declared to be the country’s official ideology.”

In New York City the uncontested slogan of yesterday became public policy January 1, 2019. A date that will live in absurdity.

Gender is binary!

One is born either a male or female. This distinction is based upon science. One’s DNA determines one’s gender. The gender of a baby can be determined using DNA tests as early as 9 weeks of gestation.

The Family Research Council has produced a new publication with a concise explanation of Why “Sexual Orientation” and “Gender Identity” Should Never Be Specially Protected Categories Under the Law. Written by Senior Fellow Peter Sprigg, the new Issue Brief explains that SOGI laws, like that enacted in New York City,

  • are not justified in principle;
  • are invasive and cause tangible harms; and
  • are coercive and cannot be reconciled with religious liberty.

Gender Dysphoria

The American Psychiatric Association defines Gender Dysphoria.

Gender dysphoria involves a conflict between a person’s physical or assigned gender and the gender with which he/she/they identify. People with gender dysphoria may be very uncomfortable with the gender they were assigned, sometimes described as being uncomfortable with their body (particularly developments during puberty) or being uncomfortable with the expected roles of their assigned gender.

People with gender dysphoria may often experience significant distress and/or problems functioning associated with this conflict between the way they feel and think of themselves (referred to as experienced or expressed gender) and their physical or assigned gender.

Conclusion

QUESTION: How can a newly born baby in New York City select it’s gender category? ANSWER: He or she can’t.

So, who would make the determination to classify a child as Gender-X? The child’s parents? The child’s pediatrician? The child’s grandparents? What impact can classifying a child Gender-X have in the future? Will it impact the child’s education, what sports team the child plays on? Will it impact the child negatively or positively?

Is the purpose of New York City’s Gender X law to protect the LGBT community? If so, they already are under the laws of the city and state of New York, as well as the U.S. Constitution. Will this law raise a generation of children who will suffer from gender dysphoria? Perhaps, only time will tell.

This law can lead to gender confusion, significant distress and/or problems. Boy and girl, man and woman are being replace with what, exactly? Answer: Gender-X!

RELATED ARTICLES:

30 Transgender Regretters Come Out Of The Closet

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EDITORS NOTE: The featured photo is by Nicholas Gercken on Unsplash.

BREAKING NEWS: Vatican Attempts McCarrick Cover-up

More proof the pope’s investigation is a sham.


Church Militant has learned from extremely reliable sources that the Vatican investigation into disgraced former cardinal Theodore McCarrick appears to have gone into cover-up mode.

In an unbelievable turn of events, Church investigators are now presenting the accusations against McCarrick from a former altar boy as not credible. But what is proving to be astonishing is the rationale.

The case as laid out to Church Militant is that the then-16-year-old boy went to St. Patrick’s Cathedral to seek out McCarrick and serve midnight Mass in 1972 where McCarrick groped and fondled him in the sacristy.

Even though the boy did not go to St. Patrick’s with any sexual intentions in mind, investigators for the Vatican are spinning the details in such a way as to say that McCarrick is at least partially exonerated, if not totally, because the boy presented himself to McCarrick and McCarrick did not pursue him.

Additionally, they say that since the boy was 16, a question now arises regarding the age of consent and if this could still be viewed as sexual abuse of a minor.The investigators now appear to be scuttling both parts of the accusations — was it actual ‘abuse’ and was the boy an actual minor?Tweet

The investigators now appear to be scuttling both parts of the accusations — was it actual “abuse” and was the boy an actual minor?

Those with intimate knowledge of the investigation are saying it’s part of a “cover-up,” claiming the Vatican is trying to recast the molestation as somehow consensual sex — a theme actually brought forward by Chicago Cdl. Blase Cupich at the bishops’ November meeting in Baltimore — that consensual homosexual sex involving a priest is a different matter.  

The fallout from this latest news has sent shock waves through the ecclesiastical world, especially the archdiocese of New York, which publicly announced the McCarrick news back on June 20.

New York Cdl. Timothy Dolan’s entire charge of credible evidence against McCarrick was now severely jeopardized by the way the Vatican was spinning the case.

And this is why: James Grein, longtime victim of McCarrick, was interviewed at length by New York archdiocese Vicar General Richard Welch last week about details surrounding his abuse at the hands of McCarrick.

With Dolan’s original case against McCarrick apparently blown out of the water by Vatican investigators, Dolan needed to put together another case and do it fast. This one would have to be airtight, and in the case of James Grein, he found it.

Grein’s story first appeared in The New York Times but did not identify him by his full name. He first came completely public at the Silence Stops Now rally in Baltimore hosted by Church Militant and a coalition of concerned lay groups.

In his speech at the rally, Grein gave details of the decade-plus homosexual abuse endured by him from McCarrick. He also gave further details on a YouTube video with Dr. Taylor Marshall.

Between the New York Times article, his speech at the rally, his interview with Taylor Marshall and an additional interview he gave Church Militant following his testimony against McCarrick given in New York last week, it appears Dolan may have his airtight case.Rome and Pope Francis are the problem here — Rome, Pope Francis and the homosexual clerical culture dominating the Church.Tweet

But what is extremely telling — as well as disturbing — according to insiders, is that the knee-jerk response from the Vatican seems to be to want to cover up, or in the very least discredit and downplay, the charges against McCarrick, and that, faithful Catholics tell Church Militant, is a big red flag that the Vatican is more concerned with cover-up than the truth.

At the moment, U.S. bishops are huddled at Mundelein Seminary in Chicago for a week-long retreat about sex abuse ordered by Pope Francis, and in just six weeks time, the sex abuse summit gets underway in Rome.

Given these latest developments and leaks, many are thinking that all of this is just one huge smokescreen, that Rome has no real concern about this issue, too easily adopts a “blame the victim” approach and is content to treat this entire scandal as just an “American thing” that will be forgotten soon enough.

Conclusion: Rome and Pope Francis are the problem here — Rome, Pope Francis and the homosexual clerical culture dominating the Church.

Stay close to Church Militant for further news as developments warrant.

EDITORS NOTE: This column by Church Militant with images is republished with permission.

The Peace Cross And Restoring Religious Freedom

Once again, the U.S. Supreme Court is being tasked with tackling the most significant of societal issues: our freedom to worship.

This time, the argument is embodied in The American Legion v. American Humanist Association. Familiarly enough, the legal action pits the American people’s abilities to have a longstanding religious symbol remain in the public square against those of secular activists to have them forcibly removed.

The present controversy involves a cross that sits at the center of an intersection in Bladensburg, Maryland dating back to 1922 when local residents set out to build a structure honoring 49 local soldiers who died serving the United States in World War I.  The plan called for the construction of a 40-foot tall cross as homage to the fallen heroes.

The Peace Cross, as it eventually came to be known, was completed in 1925, where it has stood as a symbol of the city’s reverence and respect for those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our great country. As the nation’s history progressed and America suffered through other conflicts, the Cross served as a natural gathering place to honor the fallen heroes from World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and Gulf Storm, among other conflicts.

As things progressed, Bladensburg grew, and the property upon which the Peace Cross stood came to rest at the intersection of multiple growing thoroughfares. Eventually, the state bought the land upon which the Cross stood in 1961, instantly transforming it into the public domain.

Despite the change in the Peace Cross’s status, there was still no objection to its continued presence; that is until the American Humanitarian Association came along.

The Association is made up of a group of individuals who claim to be offended by the Cross’s presence and want it removed. Its argument is that the Cross represents an unconstitutional intermingling between church and state, since, according to the Association, its presence on public land represents the adoption or approval of religion by the government.

In keeping with its strong objection to the Peace Cross, the Association, along with a group of local residents, brought an action against the Maryland National Park And Planning Commission to have the cross removed. The Planning Commission fought back and was eventually granted summary judgment by the district court and told that the Cross could remain. The case was subsequently appealed to the Fourth Circuit, which disagreed and ordered that the Cross be removed. The case is now being argued before the Supreme Court.

The Peace Cross case is a manifestation of the many problems of American jurisprudence in the way it handles cases of religious freedom.

The issue of public worship and respect for our religious freedoms is of elemental importance to all Americans. Religious liberty is at the very root of the nation’s foundation, and its scope and ramifications are fundamental to what it means to be human. Without the direct relationship between our Creator and each one of us, there is no limit to the intrusion government can theoretically have upon the individual. In fact, the only factor placing a limit upon government’s authority over each person is the individual’s greater allegiance to God. Absent this, government may logically run rampant over man.

It is for this reason that the acknowledgment of man’s divinity is so important in a democratic society as it is a constant reminder that both government and man are limited in their scope and power by a greater being, our Creator. Conversely, removing such reminders, like the Cross, serve to diminish the role of religion and worship in people’s daily lives and makes it that much easier for government to intrude upon our freedoms.

Sadly, whereas symbols like the Peace Cross were rarely disturbed during the nineteenth century, beginning in the middle of the twentieth century, they were openly assaulted, not only culturally, but by jurists and advocates.

One of the defining moments of the assault came in a case called Lemon v. Kurtzman involving a state’s ability to apply tax money in support of private schools, many of them religious. Here, the Court prohibited such an association as an intrusion upon the wall of separation between church and state. More importantly, the Court created a three-pronged test it would apply in order to determine whether an action or a law offended the Constitution. In short, the Court said that in order to have a law stand constitutional scrutiny related to religious freedom, the government would have to show three things: 1) a secular purpose; 2) that the law or act did not act principally to advance or inhibit religion; and 3) it did not create an “excessive entanglement with religion.”

Under these requirements, secularists have met with great success in attacking public expressions of worship, religious symbols, and prayer.  Since the Lemon test, secularists have been able to force courts to order the removal of crosses and Ten Commandment tablets from public lands, prevent prayer in schools, keep people from praying at commencement ceremonies, and erase Christmas symbols from municipal seasonal celebrations. If your city no longer calls its December tree a Christmas tree, or now calls its Christmas parade a Holiday parade, there is a big chance it is due to the fear of the Lemon test.

But the Lemon test has not escaped criticism. Many, including renowned law professors and jurists have argued that the test allows absurd outcomes and does not properly reflect the wishes of the American people. Some have even called for the test to be displaced. In fact, in a case questioning whether the Ten Commandments should be removed from the Texas Capitol, Justice Stephen Breyer opted not to use the test. In upholding the ability of the tablets to remain, Breyer suggested an approach different from the one used in Lemon. Breyer acknowledged that the Ten Commandments were openly religious, but despite that, he maintained that the tablets should remain because it was “part of what is a broader moral and historical message reflective of a cultural heritage.”

The fact is that if Breyer had employed the Lemon test, his conclusion would likely have been opposite of what he felt was the more correct posture, and we would have witnessed yet another situation where religion and religious freedom would have been beaten down.

Enter the 2018 conservative Supreme Court. It is interesting that the Supreme Court decided to hear the Peace Cross case. Indeed, the lower court applied the Lemon test and arrived at the conventional position. The Supreme Court could have passed on this case and let it stand. But it did not.

The fact that the Court opted to hear this case is an opportunity for it to enter the arena of religious freedom and religious worship. What the Court actually does with this case, of course, remains to be seen. In the end, it could use the Lemon test and provide further clarification on its application.

It could, on the other hand, do something truly innovative. It could review the assault that has taken place upon religious freedom with the Lemon sword and take the future of the First Amendment in a more permissive direction.

For our posterity’s sake, let’s hope that it does the latter.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in The Revolutionary Act. It is republished with permission. The featured image is from the Save The Peace Cross Facebook page.

Are “New American” Doctors Fueling the Opioid Crisis?

Surely some of the doctors who prescribe unnecessary pain medications and hook hundreds of thousands of Americans on drugs are American born and bred, but check out this story from Michigan in December.

Screenshot (821)

No bond for Dr. Rajendra Bothra

Not only did these ‘new American’ doctors and health professionals turn unsuspecting Americans into drug addicts, but they did it by using your taxpayer dollars in multi-million dollar fraud schemes involving Medicare and Medicaid.

They got rich destroying lives!

And, when they got caught, many fled the country!

From the Detroit News:

Rich and on the run: Doctors flee country amid fraud, opioid crackdown

Detroit — More than a dozen doctors and medical professionals charged with federal crimes locally have fled the country in recent years amid a federal crackdown on illegal opioid use and health care fraud.

Prosecutors used the fugitive status of 16 medical professionals who have fled since 2011 to keep Dr. Rajendra Bothra jailed Wednesday while he awaits trial in a nearly $500 million conspiracy, one of the largest health care fraud cases in U.S. history.

Here is a bit more, but please read the shocking story!

The medical professionals who have fled for overseas destinations including Jordan, Pakistan and Egypt in recent years have two things in common: foreign ties and big bank accounts that have financed flights from justice. In Bothra’s case, he has eight siblings in India and amassed a $35 million fortune and vast-real estate holdings, including a $1.99 million island estate.

Screenshot (822)
The Detroit News did a great service by publishing this list of Detroit doctors/medical professionals who have left the country to avoid prosecution. Too bad those last two columns are blank!

More here.

In case you have forgotten, last summer then Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the largest healthcare bust of Medicare and Medicaid fraud scammers in US history and linked it to the opioid crisis.

Medicare Fraud Strike Force

To help find and prosecute frauds and crooks, the feds established the Medicare Fraud Strike Force involving a coordinated effort between the Fraud Section of the US Justice Department, US Attorney’s offices, the FBI, the Department of Health and Human Services Inspector General and local law enforcement.

I bet you’ve never even heard of it because the national media rarely (if ever!) mentions its work, which the Strike Force says has resulted in successful prosecutions of 4,000 defendants who have collectively billed the Medicare program for more than $14 billion.

In addition to the Detroit area, the Strike Force is operating in 12 locations around the US: Miami, FL, Los Angeles, CA, Houston, TX, Brooklyn, NY, Baton Rouge and New Orleans, LA, Tampa and Orlando, FL, Chicago, IL, Dallas, TX, Washington, DC, Newark, NJ, Philadelphia, PA and the Appalachian Region.

question mark

I wonder why these huge Medicare and Medicaid fraud stories never seem to be front page news across the country and why aren’t they widely reported by cable news?

RELATED ARTICLE: Delaware: Largest “Known” Food Stamp Fraud Bust in State’s History

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

Virginia: Alexandria “Man” Arrested on Christmas Eve for Filming a Minor in Mall Dressing Room

Ladies beware!

The “man,” Mumtaz Rauf, 39, was arrested at Fair Oaks Mall in Fairfax, Virginia after a sharp-eyed teen saw what looked like a camera peeping down at her while she was trying on clothes in a mall shop.

Mumtaz Rauf
Mumtaz Rauf

The incident is alleged to have happened at Forever 21 in the late afternoon of Christmas eve.

The girl reported her fear about someone possibly filming her to a store clerk who then spotted a man hurrying from the store.

Rauf was arrested in a dressing room in another store a short time later.

NBC Washington reported (see the video too!) that when police arrived Rauf had a pinhole camera on him, some black tape and a Bluetooth transmitter.

Rauf “was charged with unlawful filming of a minor, which is a felony because of the victim’s age,” continued the NBC report.

Mumtaz rauf gear
Rauf’s tools of the trade from INSIDENOVA story

Rauf was previously a bartender in Alexandria and had been profiled almost a year ago to the day in the Old Town Crier.

In the interview Rauf was asked, “How did you get started in the bartending business?”

His reply: “High hopes of money, women and fame.” (Hmmm!)

Fairfax County Police believe that this was not a one-time event, so if you think you may have been filmed in a dressing room at Fair Oaks Mall, call police at 703-591-0966.

The story was reported by other local news outlets here and here.

EDITORS NOTE: This column with images originally appeared on Frauds, Crooks and Criminals. It is republished with permission. The featured photo is by Alex Bocharov on Unsplash.

It Didn’t Have To Be A Wall Of Separation.

In our prior installments of “Sunday Thoughts,” we saw a few examples of authoritarian opinions by the courts that have been used to support the leftist contention that the “wall of separation between church and state” ought to be insurmountable.  But alternative conclusions to those expressed in Jefferson’s letter to the Danbury Baptist Church exist; ones that could just as easily have been adopted by the court. 

Chief Justice John Marshall, the most prolific jurist in American jurisprudence wrote, “The American population. . . is entirely Christian, and with us, Christianity and religion are identified. It would be strange indeed, if with such a people, our institution did not presuppose Christianity.”  This phrase, delivered in ex parte fashion, just like Jefferson’s, and delivered by one of the great participants in the nation’s creation could have very easily employed by the various Supreme Courts to support a more Christian-based interpretation of the First Amendment’s establishment clause. 

Justice Joseph Story, one of the early members of the Supreme Court and amongst its strongest strict-constructionists said, “My own private judgment has long been (and every day’s experience more and more confirms me in it) that government can not long exist without an alliance with religion to some extent; and that Christianity is indispensable to the true interests and solid foundations of free government.”

And then, there is John Adams, our nation’s second president, a member of the Constitutional Convention and signer of the Declaration of Independence who famously wrote, “Statesmen my dear Sir, may plan and speculate for Liberty, but it is Religion and Morality alone, which can establish the Principles upon which Freedom can securely stand. . . The only foundation of a free Constitution, is pure Virtue, and if this cannot be inspired into our People, in a great Measure, than they have it now, they may change their Rulers, and the forms of Government, but they will not obtain a lasting Liberty.  (suspension points included by Adams)

Based on these authoritative precedents, courts could have easily crafted phrases vastly different from “a wall of separation of church and states” to guide their rulings.  With equal intellectual credibility, they could have said, “American governance presupposes Christianity” (based on Marshall); “Christianity stands as indispensable to the true interests and solid foundations of a free government” (based on Story); and “no lasting liberty can exist without moral and religious virtue” (based on Adams).  Had they done so, America would be a much different nation, one where children still prayed, or stood silently and respectfully while others did, and adults publicly and comfortably revered the many blessings mercifully given to them by their Creator.  

The fact that twentieth century jurists did not select these equally valid, but pro-religion guidelines reveal their secularist agenda, an agenda that has sought ready refuge in the chambers of our nation’s courts.  If our aim is truly to restore our nation’s moral standing, if we want to buttress families and faith advocates, then it is fundamentally important that we remove that bastion of safety from the secularist and force them to defend their views in the public square and within the legislative branches of government. As we have previously written, a legislative override provision in our Constitution is the only way to rid secularism of its asylum. 

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

Florida Newspaper Publishes Exhaustive Parkland Report: Sheriff’s Office ‘Cost Children Their Lives’

Authorities and school officials either failed to act or were unclear about procedures when confronting the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooter Feb. 14, 911 logs, surveillance videos, and interviews show.

The South Florida Sun Sentinel released a minute-by-minute rundown of the Parkland, Florida, shooting in “Unprepared and Overwhelmed.” The Sentinel acknowledged many teachers and police officers were “heroic,” but Broward County Public Schools and the Broward County Sheriff’s Office were hesitant and disorganized as a whole.

The shooting left 17 people dead.

“A gunman with an AR-15 fired the bullets, but a series of blunder, bad policies, sketchy training and poor leadership helped him succeed,” the Sentinel wrote.

There were three separate instances of school monitors failing to lock down the school and call for a Code Red, an indicator for people to hide in classrooms. A watchman spotted suspected gunman Nikolas Cruz on campus at 2:19 p.m., but no one called a Code Red until 2:24 p.m.

School monitor and baseball coach Andrew Medina—who was unarmed—first saw Cruz walk through the gates. Medina had previously referred to Cruz as “Crazy Boy” and even speculated he would someday shoot up the school, the Sentinel reported.

David Taylor was another school monitor who followed Cruz on the first floor before turning around at 2:21 p.m. Taylor told investigators he wanted to confront Cruz on the second floor of the building, but he hid in a janitor’s closet when the first shots were fired, according to the Sentinel.

There is also no record that monitor Aaron Feis called a Code Red, despite a ninth-grader warning him about a person with a gun.

“You’d better get out of here,” Cruz allegedly told the freshman passing by. “Things are gonna start getting messy.”

The fire alarm added to the confusion, causing uninformed teachers and students to leave their classrooms unaware of the active shooter. Additionally, bathroom doors required a key to unlock—reportedly to prevent students from vaping in them—and one of the teachers accidentally locked his classroom door behind him.

The district also failed to follow through on classrooms having “hard corners,” or places to be out of sight, after security experts advised teachers to do so. Only two teachers in the building designated hard corners in their classrooms.

Deputy Scot Peterson, the school’s resource officer, was the only armed person on campus before reinforcements arrived. He failed to confront the shooter, according to the report. Peterson ordered the school to go on lockdown at 2:25 p.m., but did not order deputies to head toward the building. He also remained in a sheltered location for 48 minutes.

“Basically, what we’re trained to do is just get right to the threat as quick as possible and take out the threat because every time you hear a shot go off it could potentially be a kid getting killed or anybody getting killed for that matter,” neighboring Coral Springs Officer Raymond Kerner said, the Sentinel reported.

The report also showed the Broward County Sheriff’s Office’s disjointed 911 system was partially responsible for the slowed response time along with radio and video problems.

The Broward County Sheriff’s Office did not respond to The Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment in time for publication. Broward County Public Schools did not respond due to being on school break.

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

Plot Against Toledo Synagogues Is the 105th Islamist Terror Plot or Attack

In early December, an FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force in Ohio arrested 21-year-old Damon Joseph for planning an attack on a synagogue in Toledo, Ohio. Joseph was inspired by ISIS, making this the 105th Islamist terror plot or attack since 9/11 against the U.S. homeland.

Law enforcement first located Joseph on social media where he made posts of weapons and in support of ISIS.

Undercover agents contacted Joseph and he sent them ISIS propaganda and recruitment literature. He expressed support for violent “martyrdom operations” in the U.S. and following the attack on the Pittsburgh Tree of Life synagogue in October.

Joseph expressed interest in carrying out a similar attack.

He then spent the next month deliberating over whether or not to conduct such an attack but ultimately decided that it was time for him to move from “virtual jihad” to “physical jihad.”

By the end of November, Joseph was plotting the specifics of his act of terror, still interested in attacking a synagogue with firearms.

Joseph asked one of the undercover agents if they would be interested in participating in an attack and when the agent responded that he had money available for such an operation, Joseph forwarded a plan of attack and the need for firearms and ammo.

Joseph said there were two synagogues that could be targets but he preferred the larger one because he wanted to “go big or go home.” Joseph then met in person with undercover agents to talk about specific weapons and tactics.

In the following days, the undercover agents sent photos of the weapons they had acquired for the attack. They then met with Joseph to exchange the weapons, which had been rendered inoperable.

Once he took the weapons, Joseph was arrested.

This plot was the 92nd homegrown plot—the terrorist radicalization and plotting occurred here in the U.S.

While many policymakers express concerns over the entry of terrorists in the U.S., this remains a rare area of attack. The U.S. has significantly improved its vetting following 9/11 so that most threats from abroad are now stopped abroad. This does not mean the U.S. can rest on its laurels as policymakers should always be scrutinizing the U.S.’ vetting programs to make sure they are working as well as they can.

But it does mean that the U.S. should be focusing more on how to stop terrorists who radicalize here in the U.S.

Domestic intelligence, undercover agents, other internal law enforcement activities should be improved to counter this internal threat.

The plot also shows the sad reality that anti-Semitic beliefs find fertile ground in many extreme ideologies, including the far right, the far left, and among Islamists. Such beliefs are abhorrent and cut against the founding ideals of the U.S. In his letter to the Hebrew congregation in Newport, Rhode Island, George Washington wrote in 1790 that in the U.S.:

All possess alike liberty of conscience and immunities of citizenship It is now no more that toleration is spoken of, as if it was by the indulgence of one class of people, that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent natural rights. For happily the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens, in giving it on all occasions their effectual support…

May the Children of the Stock of Abraham, who dwell in this land, continue to merit and enjoy the good will of the other Inhabitants;  while everyone shall sit in safety under his own vine and figtree, and there shall be none to make him afraid.

COMMENTARY BY

Portrait of David Inserra

David Inserra

David Inserra specializes in cyber and homeland security policy, including protection of critical infrastructure, as policy analyst in The Heritage Foundation’s Allison Center for Foreign Policy Studies. Read his research. Twitter: @dr_inserra.

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EDITORS NOTE: This column with images by The Daily Signal is republished with permission. Photo: Michal Fludra/Zuma Press/Newscom

BREAKING: O’Malley Turns in Dolan for Abuse Cover-Up

DETROIT (ChurchMilitant.com) – Church Militant has learned that Boston’s Cdl. Sean O’Malley has reported a case of predatory homosexual sex abuse by a New York priest and the ensuing cover-up by New York’s Cdl. Timothy Dolan to the papal nuncio to the United States, Abp. Christophe Pierre.

In a letter dated Dec. 21, O’Malley draws the nuncio’s attention to the case of Fr. Donald Timone, a priest of the archdiocese of New York, whom Dolan allowed to remain in active ministry — even calling him “remarkably tender and holy” in 2013 — after he knew of the credible allegations of sex abuse.

The story about Timone broke in a recent New York Times article, which detailed that Dolan compensated two of Timone’s victims and allowed him to remain in active ministry, even as recently as this week.

It is an extraordinary turn of events for one cardinal to essentially turn in another cardinal for neglect, and especially with the indirect pointing of a finger regarding sex abuse cover-up — but that is precisely what this amounts to.

What impact this will have on the U.S. bishops upcoming week-long retreat of prayer and reflection regarding their failures in the arena of sex abuse and the resulting decades of cover-up is uncertain, but it seems as though this latest bombshell will at the very least make some encounters among various bishops uncomfortable.

Nearly the entire body of U.S. bishops will be gathering at Mundelein Seminary near Chicago starting next week, and this seems like news that will cause quite the commotion.

O’Malley, who is president of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, seems to have fallen out of favor, at least to a degree, with Rome and Pope Francis, perhaps relating back to his revelations regarding the involvement of multiple Chilean bishops in homosexual sex abuse and cover-up and his own criticism of the Holy Father’s mishandling of the case of Bp. Juan Barros.

O’Malley’s public declaration that he had indeed passed a letter to Pope Francis from Juan Carlos Cruz, a sex abuse victim of Fr. Fernando Karadima, whom Barros protected, became an enormous embarrassment for the pope and high-ranking Vatican officials, with the pope having to go as far as publicly acknowledging his own personal failure in the case and apologizing for his actions.

EDITORS NOTE: This column with images by Church Militant is republished with permission.

2018 Government Report Card

As 2018 comes to a close, I thought I would grade how our federal government did this past year, and ask if we truly got our money’s worth:

115th Congress – Grade=D – Blew it due to weak leadership; should have done much more. The Brett Kavanaugh hearing was an embarrassing political nightmare we didn’t need. Congress let the country down on immigration reform, health care and financial responsibility. Then again, what’s new? Now it’s the Democrats’ turn to show their incompetence. As Will Rogers said, “We all joke about Congress but we can’t improve on them. Have you noticed that no matter who we elect, he is just as bad as the one he replaces?”

President – Grade=A – Did great considering he had to work under extreme pressure from an incompetent Congress, a resistance movement delaying his every move, and a news media bent on his destruction. Mr. Trump proved to be a worthy adversary to push back against his detractors, something few presidents knew how to do. The Mueller investigation proved itself to be a witch hunt and that we were investigating the wrong people. President Trump persevered and made inroads in appointing judges, a Supreme Court justice and new appointments for his administration, revising trade agreements and stoking the economy, and keeping his campaign promises, something he received little credit for.

Supreme Court – Grade=A – Finally back to a full court, but remains somewhat partisan, always will be. They ruled on such things as the Presidential Travel Ban, Immigration, Internet Sales Taxes, Voting Rights, Gay Rights and Religion, Sports Betting and more. Nothing earth-shattering, but they did their job without much fanfare.

News Media – Grade=F – as in “F”ake News. The “F”ourth Estate has let the American people down due to their partisanship and hatred of the president. Americans no longer trust the press and desperately seek information from other sources, including social media. As in 2016, the political polls again let us down and were incapable of predicting accurate results. For those concerned with collusion, start with the relationship between the news media and polls.

Happy New Year and let us hope 2019 is better. Frankly, I am not holding my breath as we will likely experience two years of Congressional gridlock, as the Democrats continue to resist the President. God only knows when the government will reopen.

Bottom-line: No, I do not believe the country got it’s money’s worth from the government this year. Our political polarity is preventing us from achieving greatness. The time is rapidly approaching when we must morally decide what interpretation of America is proper, left or right.

Again, quoting Will Rogers, “Last year we said, ‘Things can’t go on like this’, and they didn’t, they got worse.”

Keep the Faith!

EDITORS NOTE: This column is republished with permission. All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies. The featured photo is by Elijah O’Donnell on Unsplash.

The Myth That Standard Oil Was a ‘Predatory Monopoly’

In light of recent calls to enforce antitrust laws against Google, it is worth scrutinizing the argument behind antitrust regulation. As is often the case, these regulatory efforts hurt consumers more than they help.

Consider some history. The Sherman Antitrust Act was passed in 1890 against the backdrop of the nascent Industrial Revolution and the rise of big business in America. The ostensible rationale for antitrust regulation was to protect consumers from the “predatory pricing” of large companies. The theory holds that a company could cut its prices low enough to drive competition out of the marketplace. Then, when it corners a market, it could raise prices and exploit consumers. It’s a plausible-sounding theory. But almost never has it been documented in practice.

Take the case against Standard Oil, which is regarded today as textbook evidence of predatory monopoly power. In 1870, when it was in its early years, Standard Oil owned just 4 percent of the petroleum market. John D. Rockefeller, however, obsessed over improving efficiency and cutting costs. Through economies of scale and vertical integration, he vastly improved oil-refining efficiency. His business grew as a result.

By 1874, his share of the petroleum market jumped to 25 percent, and by 1880 it skyrocketed to about 85 percent. Meanwhile, the price of oil plummeted from 30 cents per gallon in 1869 to eight cents in 1885. Put simply, Rockefeller increased production and lowered prices while creating thousands of well-paid jobs along the way (he usually paid his workers significantly more than his competition did). His business was a model of free-market efficiency.

But neither his competitors nor the US Supreme Court seemed to take note. In 1911, the court declared Standard Oil a monopoly and ordered its breakup. Revealingly, as scholars have noted, the court made no mention of either predatory pricing or withholding production, as monopoly theory maintains. In fact, economist John S. McGee reviewed over 11,000 pages of trial testimony, including the charges brought by Standard Oil’s competitors. Publishing his findings in the Journal of Law and Economics, he concluded that there was “little to no evidence” of wrongdoing, adding that “Standard Oil did not use predatory price cutting to acquire or keep monopoly power.”

Furthermore, and also in contradiction to monopoly theory, Standard Oil’s share of the market had declined from close to 90 percent in the late 1800s to about 65 percent at the time of the court’s ruling. These facts, however, did not faze the judiciary. The court ruled that because Standard Oil had consolidated some 30 divisions under one single management structure it counted as a monopoly. In other words, Standard Oil did precisely the opposite of what monopoly theory maintains—it reduced rather than raised prices, it increased rather than cut production, it lost rather than “controlled” market share, and it paid its employees more rather than less than its competitors—yet the theory that Standard Oil engaged in “predatory practices” and “exploited” consumers has prevailed in our history books.

But the truth is the theory is as lacking as the evidence is scarce. First, it is incredibly risky for a company to artificially hold down its prices in hopes that it drives competitors out of the market. No company knows how long that might take—weeks, months, years? Who can afford that risk? Second, at any point a competitor could enter the market and force a predatory business to continue driving its prices down, thus inflicting even more financial pain. Third, artificially low prices encourage increased consumer demand, meaning a business that sells product below cost must step up its production to meet higher demand, accelerating its financial losses.

For these reasons, private monopolies are virtually non-existent in the historical record. Indeed, University of Hartford economics professor and antitrust expert Dominick Armentano reviewed 55 of the most famous antitrust cases in US history. In his landmark book, Antitrust and Monopoly: Anatomy of a Policy Failure, he concluded:

Antitrust policy in America is a misleading myth that has served to draw public attention away from the actual process of monopolization that has been occurring throughout the economy. The general public has been deluded into believing that monopoly is a free-market problem, and that the government, through antitrust enforcement, is on the side of the ‘angels.’ The facts are exactly the opposite. Antitrust…served as a convenient cover for an insidious process of monopolization in the marketplace.

In other words, the very antitrust policies that were designed to prevent monopolies have in fact created them. For example, economist Tom DiLorenzo documents that following the breakup of Standard Oil, the government created the Oil Division of the US Fuel Administration and the Federal Oil Conservation Board, effectively making the oil industry a government-protected monopoly.

While the purported purpose was to assure steady oil production during and after WWI, it, in fact produced the full repertoire of predatory monopoly policies: price fixing (at artificially high rates), the elimination of competition, inefficiency, corruption, and waste. Moreover, this pattern has been a consistent feature of antitrust policy. As Armentano notes, “the entire antitrust system—allegedly created to protect competition and increase consumer welfare—has worked, instead, to lessen business competition and lessen the efficiency and productivity associated with the free-market process.”

Thus, the record is clear: Antitrust has inflicted far more harm than good. Those calling to enforce it against Google ought to study that record. Doing so would encourage them to realize that antitrust policy is the problem and that applying it is far from a helpful solution.

COLUMN BY

David Weinberger

David Weinberger

David Weinberger previously worked at a public policy institution. He is currently a freelance writer. Follow him on Twitter @dweinberger03.Email him at dwdweinberger@gmail.com.

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EDITORS NOTE: This column with images by FEE is republished with permission.