Death by Democrats: The Most Shameful Injustice

In this first video in the new FIREWALL series, host Bill Whittle shows what four, five, six, seven or more decades of Death by Democrats has done to our nation’s cities.

This is Why the GOP Can’t Win Black Votes without Trump

The party establishment can’t fathom the thought of Trump being our nominee, despite him playing by the very rules that the establishment, who are trying to sabotage his campaign, created. Go figure.

I am stunned that many in the establishment ran over each other to denounce Trump over the David Duke and KKK issue, which I found kind of bizarre.

Most people are criticized for what they say, not for what they didn’t say. Many of these people that denounced Trump over what some have said was him stoking racial fears among voters all of a sudden became filled with righteous indignation over what they deemed to be a racist act by Trump.

But where were these same people when… South Carolina congressman Joe Wilson shouted to Obama “you lie” during a joint session of Congress.

Colorado congressman, Doug Lamborn said, “now I don’t want to be associated with him [Obama], it’s like touching a tar baby.”

Sarah Palin once wrote on her Facebook, “President Obama’s shuck and jive shtick with these Benghazi lies must end.”

This feigned righteous indignation over Trump is nothing more than a political stunt, because the Republican establishment is scared crapless of the possibility of a Trump nomination.

The other thing that I noticed was the lack of any Black Republicans representing any of the Republican institutions in the media. This shows once again, how tone deaf the party is when it comes to the Black community and optics.

You rarely, if ever, see the party avail a Black staffer to deal with an issue of race that involves the Black community. Part of the reason is that the few Blacks that work for the party have absolutely no standing or credibility within the Black community when it comes to issues of race.

The other reason is that most Black Republicans constantly tell their superiors that they “don’t” want to speak on issues that pertain to the Black community; they want to be an employee, not a Black employee of the party.

The party is totally oblivious to the optics of only trotting out Whites to speak out on issues perceived to be racists towards the Black community.

Where are Black Republican civil rights icons like Bob Brown or Bob Woodson? Where are people like Shannon Reeves, lifetime member of the NAACP and former board member?

Because Republicans have no Blacks with any type of authority or knowledge of PR and communications, they continue to dig themselves into a deeper hole.

Let me say for the record, there is not one shred of evidence in Trumps body of work that he has any racist tendencies whatsoever. If I have to judge a man by his words or his actions; his actions will win out every time.

But isn’t it amazing that the only person running for president that has shown an ability to build a coalition of Blacks, whites, Hispanics, blue collar, and white collar workers is the very person the party’s establishment is trying to discredit?

Trump is the only campaign that has Blacks on TV and in newspapers officially representing the campaign. Last Tuesday at his post SEC primary press conference, Trump looked directly into the camera and said that he will get 25 percent of the Black vote.

Regardless of your thoughts of Trump, he laid down his marker with the Black vote. Twenty five percent of the Black vote for Trump is not unreasonable.

I challenge my readers and members of the Republican Party to name me the last time you saw a Black person actually officially representing the party on TV, newspaper, or radio.

When was the last time a Black was empowered to negotiate on behalf of the party an appearance before a Black group like the NAACP or the National Urban League?

Trump has done more to engage with the Black community in nine months than the party has done in nine years.

Trump is the only presidential candidate that seems to think the Black vote is worth pursuing. He has verbally asked Blacks to vote for him; he has hired Blacks in extremely high-level positions; and he has showcased Blacks on stage with him on multiple occasions.

When was the last time you saw a Black with credibility in the Black community on stage with any Republican leader?

Republicans showcase more Black Democrats than they do Black Republicans.

So, before the party establishment throws Trump to the side, maybe, just maybe, that should look at what he is doing right.

If Donald Trump is a racist, then maybe the Republican Party needs to become more racist.

RELATED VIDEO: Black Pastor’s reflections on Donald Trump at Cleveland Rally:

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in BlackPressUSA.com. The featured image was taken during a political rally in Laconia, New Hamsphire in July 2015. (Micahel Vadon/Wikimedia Commons)

VIDEO: U.S. Catholic Bishops raking in millions and then dumping poverty into your town?

Not to mention the fact that the Bishops are also being paid millions of tax dollars to colonize American towns with refugees from Middle Eastern and African countries which hate us!

The NYT admitted yesterday that the Bishops are choosing the towns, see here.

Reader ‘Tomasrose’ just directed us to the Oscar winning film “Spotlight” with this comment:

“Everyone should see the movie Spotlight. I was surprised it got ‘best film’ award.I had expected it to be swept under the rug. Worth seeing and you will see some of the same cover-up methods that are used by the US refugee program today – also pretty much the same cast of characters!”

Watch the trailer here:

Checking my local theater to see if it’s still showing!

So where is the brave investigative reporting team on the refugee scam on America!

RELATED ARTICLES:

NY Times editorial board screams “xenophobe” in editorial against concerned governors

Does Immigration Mean The End Of Western Civilization?

Protestant pastors fear Muslim ‘refugees coming to the United States’

Multiple young boys brutally raped by Muslim migrants in ‘Jungle Camp’

Does Immigration Mean The End Of Western Civilization?

That is the title of an excellent discussion by John Daniel Davidson at The Federalist (hat tip: Bob).

Invasion of Europe news….

Jean_Raspail_-_Portrait_-_2010

Novelist Jean Raspail

Davidson gives readers a good summary of the on-going crisis in Europe as hundreds of thousands of migrants from Africa and the Middle East continue to pour into the continent.  He then dares to mention that “racist” 1973 book, The Camp of the Saints.  If you have not read it, you must! But, I warn you, its message will hang over you like a dark threatening storm cloud (that never goes away!).

The Federalist (emphasis mine):

Europe is more than a year into the largest migrant crisis since the Second World War. More than a million have made their way to Germany alone over the past year. Some are refugees and asylum-seekers from Syria and Iraq, but it now appears that a significant number, as much as 60 percent, are economic migrants from North Africa, Afghanistan, and the Middle East, simply seeking better prospects in Europe.

The European Union, thanks to its common border policy, is overwhelmed and paralyzed…

[….]

Europeans leaders are of course trying to downplay the severity of the crisis even as its disruptive effects become impossible to ignore. On New Year’s Eve in cities across Germany, gangs of Arab and North African men, some of whom were later discovered to be asylum-seekers, robbed and sexually assaulted scores of women. Before police had completed their investigation, the European Commission declared there was “no link” between the migrant crisis and the attacks, the incidents were merely “a matter of public order.” Fearing a xenophobic backlash, the commission proclaimed itself “the voice of reason.”

On The Camp of the Saints, Davidson says: “At the heart of the novel is a moral question: Is the West willing to defend itself?”

The Camp of the Saints

All of this calls to mind a 1973 novel by French writer Jean Raspail—The Camp of the Saints, an apocalyptic tale about the collapse of European civilization. Much of it could be lifted from the news coming out of Europe. In the book, one million impoverished Indians [Raspail had only the home continent of the invaders wrong!—ed] make their way by boat from the Ganges to the shores of southern France with no intention of adopting French ways; they come simply to claim for themselves what Europeans have and they do not.

Unwilling to turn away the Ganges fleet for what they claim is universal brotherhood and compassion—but is in fact Western guilt—the government and all the country’s major institutions agree the migrants must be welcomed as a matter of moral duty and penance for France’s past sins.When the armada finally makes landfall, French society breaks down, exhausted and acquiescent, passively colonized by an unarmed army of castaways.

Continue reading here.

You decide: Does mass migration mean the end of Western Civilization? And, if the answer is yes! are we willing to defend ourselves?

If you are American, I think you are! Europeans? I’m not so sure.

Go here for our complete archive on the ‘Invasion of Europe.’

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VIDEO: New York Doubles — The Catholic Homosexual Mafia?

Michael Voris sits down with a high-ranking source in the archdiocese of New York to get exclusive behind-the-scenes information on what really goes on with Cdl. Timothy Dolan and the alleged homosexual mafia that reportedly runs the archdiocese.

TRANSCRIPT

A couple of weeks ago, Church Militant reached out to the archdiocese of New York to ask for a private one-on-one meeting with Cdl. Dolan.

Our continuing investigation of the Fr. Peter Miqueli sex and embezzlement case, along with the more important archdiocesan cover-up of the embezzlement, has led to a number of sources from inside the archdiocese that are now spilling the beans on what is an increasingly disturbing story.

So we contacted the archdiocese through spokesman Joe Zwilling and asked for a private meeting with His Eminence to reveal what we knew only to him with the hope of exacting some kind of promise that he would do something. Zwilling and archdiocesan attorneys replied and said there would be no meeting.

So, we are now bound to reveal the results of our ongoing investigation to this point.

The allegations from our on-camera source very close to the inner circle has been confirmed for us by a number of other New York archdiocesan personnel: that there is an unwritten code — known of by Cdl. Dolan — that priests under his care can lead a sexually active double life as long as they keep it hidden.

It would explain the reason why again Fr. Peter Miqueli’s case of embezzlement and lurid gay-for-pay sexual encounters were essentially ignored by the archdiocese despite numerous complaints from parishioners — which could result in criminal charges.

But even more alarming are the charges that Cdl. Dolan has done nothing to clean up the chancery after arriving in New York as archbishop back in 2009.

Insiders tell Church Militant it is common knowledge that senior archdiocesan clergy comprise a homosexual hotbed that existed long before Dolan arrive, stretching back to the days of Cdl. Egan and even earlier — all the way back to the 1980s, and these men’s association at St. Joseph’s Seminary in Dunwoodie, a Yonkers, New York neighborhood. Sources tell Church Militant these associations involved senior faculty and leadership at the seminary.

This flood of stories from diocese after diocese of sexual impropriety, financial misdealings, cover-ups by senior clergy, knowledge of all of it by the bishop — or in this case cardinal — these stories are ripping the heart out of the souls of faithful Catholics.

While the U.S. bishops sit around and try to develop new programs for evangelization and introduce watered-down catechetical programs like ALPHA, come up with ways to share Communion with non-Catholics and those in mortal sin, allow big-name clergy to keep spreading the lie that we have a reasonable hope that all men are saved, keep turning a blind eye to the significant problem of active homosexual clergy, continue to allow and even foster abuses at Mass — they will have nowhere except themselves to look when Our Blessed Lord asks them at the judgment throne why they let the Faith in America die on their watch.

Church Militant has been following this case very closely now for over three months, and every few days, another piece of inside information comes our way incriminating Cdl. Dolan and his senior clergy more and more.

We’ve spoken with various sources, as we said, many of them inside the chancery, to cobble together this emerging picture of damaging information. As we said, we reached out to the cardinal to let him know all that we knew — and our offer was rebuffed.

So, now we present, in full, the interview you have seen in brief cuts in this Vortex. Just click on the link.

Our informant has had to keep his identity hidden for fear of losing his job and livelihood. But we have independently confirmed with other sources all that he has told us in this interview.

Please spread the word about all this. Contact the New York archdiocese. Tell them that you demandaccountability. This kind of filth cannot be allowed to go on under the cover of the Church any longer.

If you don’t want to live according to the Church, then get out of the Church.

Augustine of Hippo — An Unjust Law Is No Law at All by Lawrence W. Reed

To write about a man known chiefly as a theologian — a bishop in the early Catholic Church, no less — might suggest at first a discourse on religious issues. Augustine of Hippo (later canonized as “St. Augustine”) was unquestionably a giant of Christian thought and teaching at the time he wrote in the early fifth century AD. He remains so to this day, among Catholic, Protestant, and Eastern Orthodox Christians as well. On matters of salvation, grace, free will, original sin, and “just war,” his brilliant observations continue to spark lively debate throughout Christendom and beyond. He could be regarded as a hero for those contributions alone, but those are largely matters for readers to explore and evaluate on their own.

Augustine was a hero because he took charge of his troubled, wayward life and transformed it. Then, once committed to the highest standards of personal conduct and scholarly inquiry, he offered pioneering insights on liberty critical to the development of Western philosophy. One does not have to be a person of any particular faith to learn a great deal from this man who lived over 16 centuries ago. The Roman province of Africa produced a no more consequential figure than Augustine, born in 354 AD in Thagaste, now called Souk Ahras, in modern-day Algeria.

It was a momentous time to be alive. By the fourth century, the old Roman Republic and its liberties had been snuffed out for 400 years, succeeded by the increasingly corrupt, tyrannical, and dysfunctional welfare/warfare state that we know as the Roman Empire. It survived barely another century after Augustine’s birth. He would live to see the Visigoths sack the “Eternal City” of Rome itself in the year 410. Twenty years later, as the Vandals laid siege to Augustine’s own city of Hippo in North Africa, he died at age 75. His life was proof that even as the world you know crumbles into dust, you can still make a difference for the betterment of humanity’s future.

Augustine’s youth was hedonistic and self-centered, in spite of the earnest prayers and intense counseling of his devoutly Christian mother, Monica. His father, a volatile and angry tax collector who converted to Christianity on his death bed, died when his son was a teenager. Augustine’s voracious sexual appetite led him into numerous affairs, which he regretted in later life.

Though a bright student with remarkable rhetorical skills, he found plenty of time to get into trouble. Years later in his magnificent autobiography, The Confessions, he recalled with analytic introspection an incident in which he and some young friends stole pears from a man’s orchard. He did not steal the fruit because he was hungry, he wrote, but purely because “it was not permitted.” Noting this as evidence of his flawed character, he explained, “It was foul, and I loved it. I loved my own error — not that for which I erred, but for the error itself.”

In his twenties, Augustine bought into the cult of Manichaeism, a strange concoction of Christian, Buddhist, Gnostic, astrological, and pagan elements. He also flirted with Neo-Platonism, a school of philosophy drawing heavily from Plato and from one of Plato’s later followers, Plotinus. While Augustine’s mother Monica despaired at her son’s shifting fancies, two encounters — one with a book and one with a man — would ultimately fulfill her hopes and change his life.

The book was Hortensius by the great Roman republican, Marcus Tullius Cicero. Though the text was eventually lost to history, scholars have reconstructed its core message through citations by contemporaries and Augustine himself. According to Robin Lane Fox’s magisterial biography, Augustine: Conversions to Confessions, “Cicero defined philosophy as the ‘love of wisdom’ (philo-sophia), words which struck home to his young reader.” It ignited what Augustine termed “an incredible blaze” in his heart for truth and a disdain for pseudo-philosophers, hypocrites, and deceivers. Cicero’s emphasis on acquiring knowledge would play a key role even in Augustine’s sexual life. He concluded that the passions of the flesh were a distraction from his growing love of wisdom, though this was a transition that took a little time. Before becoming a celibate priest in his early thirties, he famously asked God, “Give me chastity … but not yet.”

The other life-altering encounter was with Ambrose, the bishop of Milan who was considered one of the greatest orators in the Roman world. Reflecting on Ambrose’s influence, Augustine credited the bishop as the decisive factor in his own conversion to Christianity. That conversion would dominate his every waking moment in the second half of his life. Before his 40th birthday, it was apparent to contemporaries that, thanks to Cicero and Ambrose and, secondarily, his mother Monica, Augustine had developed a remarkable, searching intellect combined with a deeply Christian conscience. His account of his conversion in The Confessions is a classic of Christian theology and a seminal text in the history of autobiography. It’s been described as “an outpouring of thanksgiving and penitence” and includes observations about the nature of time, causality, free will, and other central topics in philosophy.

Augustine was as prolific and eloquent in his writing as he was in his verbal rhetoric. The Confessions is highly regarded and widely read today, but so is his City of God. He wrote the latter as an encouragement to his fellow Christians in an increasingly violent world. It was a ringing defense of Christianity in the face of erroneous claims that Roman abandonment of the old pagan “gods” was the reason for Rome’s decline. Of special interest to me is that in both books, as well as other writings and sermons, Augustine says things that resonate with lovers of liberty.

Augustine was more than a little skeptical of earthly political power. “The dominion of bad men is hurtful chiefly to themselves who rule,” he said,

for they destroy their own souls by greater license in wickedness; while those who are put under them in service are not hurt except by their own iniquity. For to the just all the evils imposed on them by unjust rulers are not the punishment of crime, but the test of virtue. The good man, though a slave, is free; the wicked, though he reigns, is a slave, and not the slave of a single man, but — what is worse — the slave of as many masters as he has vices.

He did not subscribe to any sort of “divine right” of rulers. Nor did he believe that legislation or decrees should pass unquestioned. “An unjust law is no law at all,” he maintained. To Augustine, government was at best a necessary evil that could only grow more evil the bigger it becomes. In this passage from City of God, he questioned the legitimacy of government itself:

Justice being taken away, then, what are kingdoms but great robberies? For what are robberies themselves, but little kingdoms? The band itself is made up of men; it is ruled by the authority of a prince, it is knit together by the pact of the confederacy; the booty is divided by the law agreed on. If, by the admittance of abandoned men, this evil increases to such a degree that it holds places, fixes abodes, takes possession of cities, and subdues peoples, it assumes the more plainly the name of a kingdom, because the reality is now manifestly conferred on it, not by the removal of covetousness, but by the addition of impunity. Indeed, that was an apt and true reply which was given to Alexander the Great by a pirate who had been seized. For when that king had asked the man what he meant by keeping hostile possession of the sea, he answered with bold pride, “What thou meanest by seizing the whole earth; but because I do it with a petty ship, I am called a robber, whilst thou who doest it with a great fleet art styled an emperor.”

Writing for the blog Discourses on Liberty, Will Harvard notes, “the fact that man has dominion over other men is not a product of God’s intended world, but rather the result of sin.”

Augustine argued that a rational creature made in God’s image was meant to have dominion over nature, not over fellow men. At a time when slavery was common and widely viewed as acceptable, declaring it unequivocally sinful was positively bold and refreshing. He even used church funds to purchase the freedom of individual slaves. The scholar from Thagaste also railed against torture and capital punishment. And theft, in his view, was “absolute wickedness” because it violated something sacred: “the law written in our hearts.”

Rome had its own immorality to blame for its decline and vulnerability to invasion, Augustine thundered. He argued that the old pagan gods imparted no morality to their followers in either Rome or Greece. Romans had allowed their personal and civic virtues to erode. If legionnaires failed to prevent the assaults they had once repulsed, it was because Rome was rotten at its core. Lust for power and ill-gotten gain had come to plague a people who once rose to greatness because of honesty, self-discipline, mutual respect, and responsibility. The welfare/warfare state of the late empire was a den of iniquity presided over by a nest of vipers. Why should decline come as a surprise?

Henry Chadwick in Augustine: A Very Short Introduction observes,

With remarkable prescience of what was to come in the West within a generation of his death, Augustine suggested that the world would be a happier place if the great and proud empire were succeeded by a number of smaller states. The kingdom of God had as much room for Goths as for Romans.

Augustine’s language angered imperialist patriots. He was aware that empires come and go. He did not think the Roman empire was doomed, as some contemporary pessimists were saying. Rome would collapse only if the Romans did. People cursed the times they lived in; but (in Augustine’s words) “whether times are good or bad depends on the moral quality of individual and social life, and is up to us.” Each generation, he remarked, thinks its own times uniquely awful, that morality and religion have never been more threatened. He thought it his duty to attack fatalism and to arouse people to a sense of being responsible if things went wrong. They could have a say in what happened next.

Augustine was a man of peace. He urged Christians in particular to engage only in voluntary interactions with themselves and others unless and until a grave wrong required violence to be stopped. His was, in effect, an early defense ofself-defense and of a concept now known in libertarian circles as the nonaggression principle.

Of all the virtues of personal character, Augustine reserved the highest praise for one that’s often overlooked in our times, as it may have been in his as well. “Humility,” he asserted, “is the foundation of all the other virtues; hence, in the soul in which this virtue does not exist there cannot be any other virtue except in mere appearance.” Was he overrating humility? I don’t think so.

Until the 20th century, most cultures held that having too high an opinion of oneself was the root of most of the world’s troubles. Misbehavior — from drug addiction to cruelty to wars — resulted from hubris or pride, a haughtiness of spirit that needed to be deterred or disciplined. The idea that you were bigger or better, or more self-righteous, or somehow immune from the rules that govern others — the absence of humility, in other words, gave you license to do unto others what you would never allow them to do unto you.

These days, however, it’s a different story. Being humble rubs against what millions have been taught under the banner of “self-esteem.” Even as our schools fail to teach us elemental facts and skills, they teach us to feel good in our ignorance. We explain away bad behavior as the result of the guilty feeling bad about themselves. We manufacture excuses for them, form support groups for them, and resist making moral judgments, lest we hurt their feelings. We don’t demand repentance and self-discipline as much as we pump up their egos.

In an extraordinary 2002 article in the New York Times, “The Trouble With Self-Esteem,” psychologist Lauren Slater concluded that “people with high self-esteem pose a greater threat to those around them than people with low self-esteem, and feeling bad about yourself is not the cause of our country’s biggest, most expensive social problems.”

Augustine, who was quite familiar with the bloviating demagogues of the late Roman Empire, would surely agree.

In the second half of his life, Augustine was keenly focused on truth and wisdom. He knew that a humble person is a teachable person because he’s not so puffed up that his mind is closed. A humble person reforms himself before he attempts to reform the world. A humble person treats others with respect, and that includes other people’s lives, rights, and property. A humble person takes criticism or adversity as an opportunity to grow, to build character. A humble person knows that graduation from formal schooling is not the end of learning but only a noteworthy start of what ought to be a lifelong adventure. Augustine regarded the power-seeking know-it-alls of his day the same way that the Austrian economist and Nobel laureate F.A. Hayek saw “central planners” more than 15 centuries later: as dangerous fools armed with a “pretense of knowledge.”

Augustine deeply influenced leading figures in the world for centuries: men and women such as Thomas Aquinas, Martin Luther, John Calvin, Soren Kierkegaard, Russell Kirk, Hannah Arendt, and a long list of popes, preachers, philosophers, and politicians.

But even in his day, Augustine inspired appreciation from unlikely quarters. Within weeks of his death in 430, the Vandals lifted their siege of Hippo but returned shortly thereafter to burn the city to the ground. They spared only two buildings: Augustine’s cathedral and his library.

For further information, see:

Lawrence W. Reed

Lawrence W. Reed

Lawrence W. (“Larry”) Reed became president of FEE in 2008 after serving as chairman of its board of trustees in the 1990s and both writing and speaking for FEE since the late 1970s. Follow on Twitter and Like on Facebook.

Each week, Mr. Reed will relate the stories of people whose choices and actions make them heroes. See the table of contents for previous installments.

Gun Control Supporters Distort Iowa Legislation on Youth Handgun Possession

Willful ignorance of firearm function, culture, and law are well-known characteristics of the gun control movement. However, the principals in a recently manufactured controversy, surrounding legislation in Iowa that would allow properly supervised youth to use handguns for the shooting sports, have shown a particular disregard for the facts and prevailing law.

Current Iowa law makes it a misdemeanor to transfer a handgun to those under the age of 21, with a few exceptions. A parent, guardian, or spouse over 21 may allow those ages 14-20 to possess a handgun while the minor is under their direct supervision, or while receiving instruction. Iowa has a blanket prohibition on handgun possession for all those under 14, regardless of parental supervision. Current law even prevents those under 14 from engaging in traditional handgun safety instruction.

This restriction is significantly out-of-step with the vast majority of the country; including some of the most anti-gun jurisdictions. While the various states have different contours dealing with youth handgun possession, a cursory look at Iowa’s immediate neighbors proves instructive.

Take for instance Iowa’s neighbor, Illinois. The Land of Lincoln allows those under 18 to participate in “lawful recreational activity” using a handgun, while in the custody or control of a parent or guardian with a valid Firearm Owners Identification Card. Similarly, Wisconsin, allows those under 18 to participate in “target practice under the supervision of an adult or in a course of instruction in the traditional and proper use of the dangerous weapon under the supervision of an adult.”

In Minnesota, those under 18 may possess a handgun “in the actual presence or under the direct supervision of the person’s parent or guardian.” Nebraska law makes clear that their restriction on the possession of handguns by those under 18 does not apply to the “temporary loan of handguns for instruction under the immediate supervision of a parent or guardian or adult instructor.”

South Dakota law bars handgun possession by those under 18, but provides exceptions for youth in certain circumstances with the consent of their parent or guardian. Missouri prohibits transferring a firearm to those under 18 without consent of the minor’s parent or guardian.

These state laws properly place with parents the right and responsibility for determining when a young person is mature enough to safely handle a handgun.

NRA is supporting legislation to bring Iowa law in line with the rest of the country. House File 2281, the Youth Safety & Parental Rights Act, allows those under 21 to possess a handgun while under the direct supervision of a parent, guardian, or spouse, or when receiving instruction. The legislation holds the parent or guardian strictly liable for any damages. It is important to note that under this legislation, Iowa law would still be more restrictive than much of the nation, as persons ages 18-20 would still require supervision in order to possess a handgun. H.F. 2281 was passed by the Iowa House on February 23, and is now being considered by the state Senate.

Unfortunately, from reading accounts in the mainstream press about this simple fix to Iowa law, one might get the impression that the Hawkeye State is about to resemble Lord of the Flies.

Iowa State Rep. Kirsten Running-Marquardt did her part in the fear-mongering campaign with absurd comments reported by Des Moines CBS affiliate KCCI. The news outlet quoted Running-Marquardt as stating, “What this bill does, the bill before us, allows for 1-year-olds, 2-year-olds, 3-year-olds, 4-year-olds to operate handguns. We do not need a militia of toddlers. We do not have handguns that I am aware of that fit the hands of a 1- or 2-year-old.”

Shortly after the bill’s passage in the House, the national anti-gun media felt compelled to weigh in. Syndicated anti-gun columnist Dan K. Thomasson called the legislative fix “insanity” and accused the “gun lobby” of “bringing up baby in the sacred gun culture.” In his rambling hyperbole-filled screed, the writer managed to attack the mundane proposal using ridiculous references to 1930s gangster John Dillinger and “African rebel armies… made up of AK-47 carrying children as young as 9 or 10.” Media outlets have run stories with deliberately misleading headlines, such as “Iowa Lawmakers Approve Bill That Would Let Kids Have Handguns,” and “Iowa Legislature Debates Giving Handguns to Children.” Such stories fail to recognize the prevailing law throughout the country.

The opponents of this legislative fix are hoping that those unfamiliar with firearms law will have a knee-jerk reaction to a salacious headline about kids in Iowa owning handguns. It is up to NRA members to help explain to others how this legislation brings Iowa in accordance with prevailing national standards, and how the gun control movement and a willing media thrive on ignorance.

The $15 Minimum Wage and the End of Teen Work by Jack Salmon

A new report from JP Morgan Chase & Co. finds that the summer employment rate for teenagers is nearing a record low at 34 percent. The report surveyed 15 US cities and found that despite an increase in summer positions available over a two year period, only 38 percent of teens and young adults found summer jobs.

This would be worrying by itself given the importance of work experience in entry-level career development, but it is also part of a long-term trend. Since 1995 the rate of seasonal teenage employment has declined by over a third from around 55 percent to 34 percent in 2015. The report does not attempt to examine why summer youth employment has fallen over the past two decades. If it had, it would probably find one answer in the minimum wage.

Most of the 15 cities studied in this report have minimum wage rates above the federal level, with cities such as Seattle having a rate more than double that. Recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics seen in the chart show exactly how a drastic rise in the minimum wage rate affects the rate of employment.

Seattle has experienced the largest 3 month job loss in its history last year, following the introduction of a $15 minimum wage. We can only imagine the impact such a change has had on the prospects of employment for the young and unskilled.

Raising the minimum wage reduces the number of jobs in the long-run. It is difficult to measure this long-run effect in terms of the numbers of never materializing jobs. However, the key mechanism behind the model—that more labor-intensive establishments are replaced by more capital-intensive ones—is supported by evidence. That is why recent research suggesting that minimum wages barely reduce the number of jobs in the short-run, should be taken with caution. Several years down the line, a higher real minimum wage can lead to much larger employment losses.

Nevertheless, politicians continue to push the idea that minimum wage laws are somehow helping the young “earn a decent wage.” It is important to remember the underlying motives behind pushes for higher minimum wage rates. Milton Friedman characterized it as an “unholy coalition of do-gooders on the one hand and special interests on the other; special interests being the trade unions.”

Several empirical studies have been conducted over the course of more than two decades, with all evidence pointing toward negative effects of minimum wage rises on employment levels among the young and unskilled. A study conducted by David Neumark and William Wascher in 1995 noted that “such increases raise the probability that more-skilled teenagers leave school and displace lower-skilled workers from their jobs. These findings are consistent with the predictions of a competitive labor market model that recognizes skill differences among workers. In addition, we find that the displaced lower-skilled workers are more likely to end up non-enrolled and non-employed.”

Policy makers who continuously raise the minimum wage simply assure that those young people, whose skills are not sufficient to justify that kind of wage, will instead remain unemployed. In an interview, Friedman famously asked “What do you call a person whose labor is worth less than the minimum wage? Permanently unemployed.”

The upshot: Raising the minimum wage at both federal and local levels denies youth the skills and experience they need to get their career going.

This post first appeared at CEI.org.

Jack SalmonJack Salmon

Jack Salmon is a research associate at the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

Blatant anti-Semitism: New wave of anti-Jewish hatred by Iranian regime [Video]

The Iranian American Forum, reports:

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The Iranian regime has started a widespread campaign to portray the Saudi royal family as Jewish and at the same time, calling Jews filthy anti-Islamic conspirators responsible for all the Middle Eastern crisis and blood shedding. This campaign is well illustrated in a speech by panahian, the most renowned preacher close to the Supreme Leader and tied to revolutionary guards during a state organized rally in defense of Yemeni rebels. He declared: “For the last hundred years, the Jews in the region have been committing atrocities and killing Muslims. We blame anti-Islam Jews and Zionists for the plight of Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Bahrain, and Yemen. We also blame the rich Jews and evil Zionists for all the troubles faced by people in Europe and America. Once we save the region from the evil oppression of the anti-Islam Jews, then we will have also saved the people of Europe and America from the oppression of the Zionists.”

As the world marked International Holocaust Remembrance Day on January 27, 2016, Iran Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei published a video titled “Are the Dark Ages Over,” on his official website that included one of his speeches from two years ago in which he questions the reality of the holocaust.

The publication of the video on such a day is a direct attempt to minimize Nazi crimes while clearly demonstrating the Iranian regime’s profound anti-Semitism.

Although the Iranian regime has consistently continued its anti-Semitic policies for the past 37 years, it has intensified it dramatically and become more blatant in the last few months.

Since the tensions between Iran and its regional rival Saudi Arabia has been mounting, the Iranian regime has started using the media, state-organized demonstrations and religious platforms to advance a widespread campaign to portray the Saudi royal family as Jewish and consequently calling Jews filthy anti-Islamic conspirators responsible for all the Middle Eastern crisis and blood shedding. Thus, the Iranian regime is inciting and exploiting anti-Jewish sentiments in order to weaken Saudi Arabia.

They claim that the Saudi royal family’s ancestors hail from the Khaybar tribe who were located near the city of Medina. The regime has also used its proxies in Iraq and several other countries to further the same campaign of portraying the Saudi royal family as Jewish.

According to the ruling mullahs in Iran, the Jews of Khaybar tribe conspired and started a war against Prophet Mohammad in the seventh century but justice was ultimately served when they were defeated by the army of Islam in battle of Khaybar. The regime is now attempting to portray its rivalry with the Saudis as a continuation of Prophet’s war against the Khaybari Jews.

Along with denouncing the Saudis as “Jewish, the Iranian regime has escalated its anti-Jewish hate campaign. The anti-Semitism being promoted by the Iranian regime combines both traditional Islamic prejudices such as regarding Jews as “wretched anti-Islamic conspirators” and the European – Nazi myth which depicts Jews as powerful , wealthy people who control Western governments and media, and who instigate crisis and wars to maintain their power.

The Iranian regime’s anti-Semitism is well demonstrated in an important speech given by Alireza Panahian, a well-known regime preacher during a rally staged by the security forces in Tehran in April 2015 in support of the Yemen Houthi rebels.

Alireza Panahian and Iran Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei

Panahian is one of the most renowned preachers with close ties to the Iranian leader and revolutionary guards. He is a regular speaker at the revolutionary guards and Bassiji force ceremonies, conferences or demonstrations. He is a member of High Council of Qom seminary. below is part of Panahian’s April 2015 anti-Semitic speech. A speech that highlights the Iranian regime’s increasingly extreme anti-Semitism: (Here is the Farsi  audio file of Panahian’s speech)

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Panahian: “When Prophet Mohammad arrived at Medina, his eminence traded the Jews with the utmost mercy and kindness. Although the Jews in Medina were certain that Mohammad was the last prophet to be sent by God, they did not convert to Islam and while their denial was punishable, the prophet of Islam treated them with mercy.

Read more.

64% Say Supreme Court Vacancy Important Factor in Voting

family research council logoWASHINGTON, D.C. /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Today, Family Research Council (FRC) released the results of a commissioned national survey conducted by WPA Opinion Research showing that 64 percent of likely voters agree the Supreme Court will be “an important factor in determining who you vote for in November’s elections.”

71% of Republican voters and 63% of Democratic voters rank the Supreme Court as an important factor.

The survey also found that 71 percent of those who frequently attend worship services (once a week or more) say the Supreme Court is an important factor in determining their vote.  Even 59 percent of those who never attend worship services consider the Supreme Court important to their vote.

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins made the following comments in response:

“This survey tells us that the American people have a sobering perspective following the passing of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. Reality is sinking in for voters in both parties that the next president will likely appoint two or three justices to the U.S. Supreme Court, which will impact our nation for decades to come.

“By an 8 point margin, Republican voters are more concerned than Democrats about the future of the Supreme Court. I believe this is in part due to previous Republican presidents who have either been unable to identify liberal jurists in conservative clothing or have been unwilling to fight for nominees who were true constitutionalists.

“The survey also shows that frequent churchgoers are even more concerned than non-churchgoers about the direction of the Court. This higher level of concern is no doubt due to the Supreme Court preempting social consensus by imposing its abortion and marriage views on all 50 states.

“While the country is divided over whether the Supreme Court vacancy should be filled now or after the November elections, it’s clear that the Court is a greater motivating factor for Republican voters and frequent churchgoers than it is for Democrats and those who attend worship services less frequently.

Justice Scalia’s replacement may very well be the deciding vote on major cases involving religious liberty, state abortion laws, gun control, and immigration. With so much at stake, the American people should be allowed to decide in November who picks the next Supreme Court justice,” concluded Perkins.

Click here to download the full survey results.

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Some still Believe This Is the Land Of Free Speech, Hmm…

Article One of the Bill of Rights plainly states Congress shall make no respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or the press; or the right of the people to peaceably assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

So one has to wonder, why oh! why are the mad, mad political correct speech police are allowed so much unlawful authority in our republic turned mob ruled democracy?  Growing up, I always thought of southern society to be where a man or a woman could speak their mind and would be respected for their own opinion.  On the other hand, if someone says something a little off key they may be reprimanded if need be.

But I have a serious problem with a society that places the sensibilities of thugs above those of police officers and sheriffs, who are by the nature of their jobs are placed in constant mortal danger.  Throughout America, thugs are becoming more brutal in their actions of being an extreme displeasure to homeowners, drivers (via car jackings) people walking down the street etc. etc.

A day in the life of a typical American sheriff or police officer is often emotionally charged by numerous horrific crime scenes and criminal acts. As a result, officers may be affected by the shear madness and barbaric nature of the thugs of today.

What happened to one sheriff who had the audacity not to speak in glowing terms about brutish thugs is in itself, criminal.

Sheriff Clay Higgins is outspoken and sometimes known to be a bit brash, (big deal) was captain of the St. Landry Parish office in Opelousa, La.  He is known to be a tough but fair outspoken critic of those who seek to wreak havoc through criminal activity.  In today’s politically correct environment, the fact that the good sheriff is a Christian probably didn’t bode well for him when he was recently shown in a video circulated on line through Acadiana, La., ABC affiliate KATC in which he called for wanted members of the Gremlins gang to turn themselves in.

Addressing the thugs, Sheriff Higgins called the alleged gang members “thugs” “heathens” and “animals.”  (Oh the horror of it all) Whew!  Of course, the brash sentiments drew the ire of the most anti unalienable rights, anti-authentic American organizations throughout the republic.  The deplorable Southern Poverty Law Center and the A.C.L.U. which I have dubbed in my syndicated radio commentary (The Edwards Notebook) the Anti-Christian Liberal Union.

“We live in a system of laws, and there are legal rights that apply to everyone,” the ACLU said in a statement sent to KATC TV.  “It is the job of law enforcement to protect those rights, while also keeping our communities safe.  The ACLU statement lingered on stating “Nothing that Mr. Higgins said will make his community safer, but there is much to suggest violations of fundamental rights of all…  In doing so he must honor the laws of this country, or he is unfit to serve.”

I have never ever read or heard a reaction of any worthwhile significance from either the ACLU or the Southern Poverty that Law Center progressives when thugs burned up Baltimore and Ferguson, MS.  Not a whimper was heard from either the ACLU or the Southern Poverty Law Center when a mad muslim broke United States Laws by going on a murderous shooting campaign at Fort Hood in Texas.

So, I guess it is more about who did whatever it is the progressives don’t like as oppose to actual U.S. laws.  I find it disingenuous that progressives would seek to punish a human being for calling criminal humans animals.  So if the illogical thinking of progressives would be carried to conclusion, one would think they would commend the sheriff for being kind enough to call thugs animals.

I am increasingly agitated by the fact that the progressive, don’t know it-all gumps as usual make excuses for and want to treat thugs who harm people and private property as if they are privileged characters.  Yet, they ae quick to condemn a man like Sheriff Higgins who should be honored for an overall job well done.

I have a simple, yet great idea. Since the progressives of the A.C.L.U. and Southern Poverty Law Center think they know so much about how to enforce the law and protect the people from thugs let them do it.  Deputies sheriffs and the thin blue line should stand by and let the “non” animals do what they desire until the A.C.L.U. and Southern Poverty Center cone heads figure out how to talk to and respect and coax the cretins into being law abiding citizens.

Oh wait a minute, the mission of both the Southern Poverty Law Center and the A.C.L.U. is to help break down the good and stable norms and elements of American society so they may further permeate our republic with their dogmatic anti Bill of Rights agenda. Unfortunately, I am only scratching the surface here.  With Providential guidance and God’s grace America will be soon restored to her rightful place of greatness.  But We the People who love and appreciate America will have to work together and get the job done.  Remember, this is supposed to be a government of, by and for the people.

Pope Francis: ‘We can speak today of an Arab invasion’ of Europe

One that he and his minions have aided and abetted. “If Europe wants to rejuvenate, it is necessary for it to find anew its cultural roots” — yet Catholic bishops in Europe wouldn’t dream of standing for Christianity, or trying to preach it among the Muslim migrants. That might harm the “dialogue.”

In any case, the problem is not Arabs coming into Europe. The problem is Muslims coming into Europe believing that Sharia is superior to Constitutional government and determined to impose it in their new countries.

“Pope: ‘Yes, we can speak today of an Arab invasion [of Europe],’” Rorate Caeli, March 2, 2016 (thanks to David):

In his interview with French religious periodical La Vie, Pope Francis was asked about the current situation in Europe, and this was his response:

“The only continent that can bring about a certain unity to the world is Europe,” the Pope adds. “China has perhaps a more ancient, deeper, culture. But only Europe has a vocation towards universality and service.” … “If Europe wants to rejuvenate, it is necessary for it to find anew its cultural roots. Of all Western countries, the European roots are the strongest and deepest. By the way of colonization, these roots even reached the New World. But, by forgetting its history, Europe weakens itself. It is then that it risks becoming an empty place.”

[La Vie:] Europe, an empty place? The expression is strong. … Because in the history of civilizations, emptiness always calls fullness to itself. Incidentally, the Pope becomes clinical [in his diagnosis]:

“We can speak today of an Arab invasion. It is a social fact.” … “How many invasions Europe has known throughout its history! It has always known how to overcome itself, moving forward to find itself as if made greater by the exchange between cultures.”

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Heroin Is A Border Problem

Since the anti-gun crowd is so concerned about stopping deaths shouldn’t they be up in arms over the fact that heroin overdoses are responsible for more loss of life than homicides in New York City?

If attention were directed to this killer, one might have to actually look at what has led to the drug becoming rampant across the country, and more importantly, how its flow through our porous borders displays the inadequacy of the DHS leadership in Customs and Border Control.

The use of heroin, a drug that is produced in Columbia, Mexico, Afghanistan, and Burma, is said to be up 400%. This fact suggests a direct correlation to the health of our borders. If the borders were secure, we simply wouldn’t be seeing this astronomical increase in illegal drugs or illegal aliens for that matter.

There are tens of thousands of honorable Americans working to secure our borders and keep us safe, but what cannot be overstated is the failure of this administration and politicians from both sides who continue to ignore the critical issue of security not only along the southern border, but along our coastlines, through our ports, and each of our fifty states, in view of air travel.

I don’t think  the issue is that we can’t secure the border. We just don’t have the leaders possessing the backbone to make it happen.

One of the consequences of our faulty border is the skyrocketing use and availability of heroin. Who would have thought school nurses in middle schools and high schools would be stocking naloxone, a reversal drug to opiate overdose, in their first-aid kits? What brought us into this situation?

In a nutshell, around 1997 a company called Purdue Pharma brought OxyContin to the attention of physicians nationwide and recommended the use of them by giving away goodies like trips and cool stuff to take home to the family.

Pretty soon the docs were writing prescriptions left and right for Oxycontin, and by 2002 they were handing out 10 times more than they were in 1997. Simply put,  there was an abundance of happy pills for the taking if you were so inclined. And, the addictiveness of the drug had been far down-played in exchange for profit.

In a lawsuit concerning the misleading of the public regarding the risk of addiction, Perdue plead guilty and paid the DOJ $634.5 million dollars. But according to an Atlantic.com article,

“One of the consequences of the marketing blitz was a fundamental change in the way pain was perceived, both by doctors and by patients. Pain was no longer understood as something that had to be endured—it could be easily and quickly treated with pills.”

Such is the instant gratification culture of today. There is little to no perseverance being taught or displayed today when it comes to physical pain. So our young people, for example, immediately look to alleviate any unwelcome feeling, when in reality it is generally a short lived nuisance as our bodies are wonderfully created to heal themselves, if given the chance.

In regards to the Oxycontin, the doctors, lawyers and pharmacies wised up to the overwriting of these types of opioids, and they slowed the scripts. Thus, the pills became more rare on the street which pushed their value up. The lack of prescription drugs produced a need, and that need was filled by heroin. Some say a single Percocet, a combination of acetaminophen and oxycodone, sells for $20-$40 a pill, whereas heroin is about the price of a pack of cigarettes.

So, many addicts and others, to include young teenage kids, turned to heroin which is the cheaper high and abundantly available in big cities and even rural areas. West Virginia has double the rate of  the national average of heroin overdoses. Obama was in West Virginia last Wednesday to talk about drug overdoses, especially of prescription type and heroin. His advice was:

“governments at all levels need to better coordinate with each other and with private and faith-based groups for earlier treatment, more hospital beds, counseling and getting past the stigma.”

What he didn’t talk about was his environmental policies that have crippled West Virginia’s economy, which in turn feeds into those searching to escape the depression, frustration, and boredom that lack of work produces. These are the types of people who look to drugs for the answer. I don’t think this state ever received a helping of Obama’s hope and change.

The president also failed to mention how those at the federal level could do a heck of a lot more to stop the influx of heroin at our borders. He takes no responsibility of the multibillion dollar heroin business that finances the cartels, gangs and terrorism. After all, over the years he has basically supplied the cartels with guns, allowed MS13 gangs to come across our borders and won’t even name our enemy when it comes to terrorism on our soil.

It appears, once again, he is working hard at destroying the American people by not providing for the fundamental Constitutional protection from enemies both foreign and domestic. Any entity pushing heroin into this country should be considered our enemy, but the gates are open wide to this substance.

Seeing that the supply and demand of heroin is up, but the price is low makes me think there is a glut on the market and the need on the street may be for more peddlers of the trade.

I wonder if all these low level drug dealers who are being released from prisons might just have jobs waiting for them as they exit their confinement? Leave it to Obama to figure out how to ease unemployment and overcrowded prisons.

Simon & Schuster Publishing ‘Compelling’ Muslim-Themed Children’s Books

Last week it was announced that Simon and Schuster will publish a line of Muslim-themed books for children called Salaam Reads.

Zareem JafferyThe undertaking appears to have been prompted by one Zareem Jaffery [pictured right], an executive editor at the publishing house, who says the “aim with the Salaam Reads imprint is in part to provide fun and compelling books for Muslim children” that will also be “entertaining and enriching for a larger non-Muslim audience.” She convinced Simon and Schuster that the time was right to get with this program, the program being to make Muslim children feel at home by reading about Muslim children just like themselves and to make familiar, and palatable, Muslim religious observances and beliefs to non-Muslim children, by showing how kids of four different “faith traditions” — “Musa, Moises, Mo, and Kevin” (can you spot the Catholic?) – become friends, pal around together, and find out about each other’s faiths, without anything to trouble their carefree, innocent friendship as each learns, in turn, about the religious practices and beliefs of each of the three other members of the group.

All this sweetness and light, however, will almost certainly be based on a lie, or rather on a series of lies. Of course, none of the books has yet been published, but we can confidently predict what in them will not be included, and what will. Just imagine, for a minute, how the two most important Muslim holidays, Eid Al-Adha and Eid Al-Fitr, are likely to be presented by Salaam Reads. At both of these feasts, an animal — a lamb, a goat, a cow, a camel — is sacrificed, its throat slit, and then it is left to bleed to death, often in full view of smiling and excited onlookers. You can find photographs of such scenes online, at Muslim websites. If the aim of Salaam Reads is to convey a truthful picture of Islam, then it ought to show how almost all Muslims practice it, and that includes the way those animals are killed, which is part of the violence that suffuses Islam. But do you think those responsible for Salaam Reads will provide any such pictures or photographs of these animals, dying or dead? When it comes to sharing knowledge of this aspect of the Muslim faith, Salaam Reads will not only avoid showing the practice, but in the text will provide only a vague brusque admission that “animals are sacrificed” at the two Eids, while carefully not hinting at how.

Ramadan will undoubtedly be given a lot of attention in the Salaam Reads series. After all, this month of fasting and prayer is comfortingly akin to the Christian observance of fasting and prayer at Lent. The treacly analogizing in a Salaam Reads book for middle-schoolers will likely go something like this: “Ramadan and Lent are both times for prayer. And just as Christians fast during 40 days of Lent, Muslims fast for a month of Ramadan. But there are differences. When Christians fast for Lent, they don’t give up all food – even the well-known giving-up of meat is not total, for it is abstained from mostly on Fridays and on Ash Wednesday. And individual Christians often choose to give up some particular food they especially like – such as chocolate or honey-glazed donuts or ice cream — or abstain from some activity that the one abstaining finds particularly pleasurable, such as shopping or watching television. When we Muslims fast, our fast is total, and goes from dawn to dusk.” (All this slyly implying the moral superiority of Muslim Ramadan to Christian Lent.)

You will likely find the following: “And at Ramadan we Muslims give to charity.” That is a most misleading phrase. What I am certain you will not find anywhere in the Salaam Reads books is the important information that for Muslims “zakat” (giving to the needy) means “giving to needy fellow Muslims,” and only to them. This is quite different from the Christian practice of giving to one’s fellow man, not just to one’s fellow Christians.

And readers will be treated to the heartwarming, cloudless and practically identical family lives of Musa, Moises, Mo and Kevin. These practitioners of the “three abrahamic faiths” will be shown to have so much in common. Perhaps not the quintessential It’s-A-Wonderful-Life home for all four families, but in all four families there will be one wife for one husband (thereby airbrushing out the actual arrangements of tens of millions of Muslim families all over the world), and in Mo’s Muslim family, his mother and sisters will not be off-puttingly niqabbed, but dutifully and demurely hijabbed. There will be no mention of plural wives, nor any discussion of the total authority of the Muslim father over his wife (wives) and children. No discussion of what can and has happened to Muslim girls who defied that authority and refused to wear the hijab – see the case of Aqsa Parvez, and of so many more like her.

And in Salaam Reads publications will be no mention of what Muslims are instructed to think about, and how to behave toward, non-Muslims, which are very different from what one would gather from the cheerful palling around of Muslim Mo with non-Muslims Musa, Moises, and Kevin. No Qur’an 60.4: “enmity and hatred have appeared between us [Muslims] and you [non-Muslims] forever until you believe in Allah.” Nothing about the many other verses instructing Believers such as Mo to be merciful with other Believers, but stern with the disbelievers, such as Musa, Moises, and Kevin. Nothing about the Islamic doctrine known as Al Wala’ Wal Bara’ (loyalty and disavowal), whereby a Muslim is required to love what Allah loves, and hate what Allah hates, and to be kind to Believers and harsh or angry with the Disbelievers.

The five pillars of Islam, incumbent on all Believers – shehada, zakat, salat, Ramadan, hajj – will be listed and discussed (as noted above, “zakat” will be translated as “charity,” instead of as “charity to fellow Muslims”), for they are relatively innocuous. The duty of Jihad, incumbent upon Muslims and so important that it has been described by some Sunni scholars as the “sixth pillar of Islam,” will either not be mentioned or, if mentioned, will be given the usual misleading maquillage, presented prettily as the individual Muslim’s “struggle to master himself, to be a better person” (part of the confusing folderol about the “greater jihad” and the “lesser jihad”), when Jihad’s main meaning, in Muslim minds, is the “struggle” to remove all obstacles to the spread, and then the dominance, of Islam, all over the world.

Salaam Reads will certainly be sure to include Quran 5:32, in its popular but incomplete and misleading form:

“The Holy Koran teaches that whoever kills an innocent, it is as if he has killed all mankind; and whoever saves a person, it is as if he has saved all mankind.”

But Salaam Reads will not include the modifying verse Qur’an 5:33:

“The only reward of those who make war upon Allah and His messenger and strive after corruption in the land will be that they will be killed or crucified, or have their hands and feet on alternate sides cut off, or will be expelled out of the land.”

And I can just imagine the four boys – Musa, Moises, Mo, and Kevin – visiting each other’s churches, synagogues, mosques as part of Interfaith Outreach, and one of the non-Muslim boys proudly proclaiming that in this great land of ours, the First Amendment guarantees the free exercise of religion, and Mo then replying, “You know, some people seem to think that Muslims don’t respect freedom of religion, but nothing could be further from the truth. Why, more than a thousand years before the First Amendment guaranteed freedom of religion here in our home, we Muslims observed freedom of religion as guaranteed in the Holy Qur’an: ‘There is no compulsion in religion.’” (2.256) What that phrase actually meant in practice is that all non-Muslims have three choices under Muslim rule: death, or conversion to Islam or, if you were a Christian or Jew, and thus of the People of the Book (Ahl al-Kitab) you could be “tolerated” as long as you agreed to a life of indignity and humiliation as a “Dhimmi,” and agreed to pay a special tax, the “Jizyah.” If, in the Salaam Reads series, the word “Jizyah” appears at all, it will no doubt be defined as “an amount non-Muslims pay the Muslim state to protect them.” But protect them from whom? From the Muslims themselves. The exaction of the “Jizyah” is classic extortion.

Muhammad is the central figure in Islam. He is the Perfect Man (al-insan al-kamil) and the Model of Conduct (uswa hasana). But I’m fairly sure that in the Salaam Reads series, there’s a lot you won’t be told about Muhammad. You won’t learn of Muhammad’s consummation of his marriage to little Aisha when she was six, or about the assassination of the poetess Asma bint Marwan or the killing of the elderly Jewish poet Abu ‘Afak, who had mocked Muhammad in verse. You won’t find out about Muhammad’s raid on the Khaybar Oasis, where this “Perfect Man” seized loot from the inoffensive Jewish farmers, and in the afternoon took for himself as a sex slave a Jewish girl, Safiyya, whose husband, father, and brothers Muhammad had had killed that very morning. You won’t hear about the slaughter of 600-900 members of the Banu Qurayza in Medina after they had surrendered.

When the Salaam Reads books start to come out, see if you can find anywhere in their texts “kitman” and “taqiyya.” You won’t find those words printed on the pages. But not to worry: they’ll both be staring you in the face.

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The United Nations Must Consider This Torture by Haley Halverson

The United Nations must recognize that all individuals have an inherent right to be free from the sexual exploitation, objectification, and violence which are inherently found in prostitution and pornography.

The experiences of physical, mental, and verbal abuse commonly experienced in both pornography and prostitution are consistent with torture and should be addressed accordingly. This is why the National Center on Sexual Exploitation submitted two important reports to help inform the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture, Juan Méndez, as he formulates a thematic report on gender perspectives on torture. These documents, The Gender-Based Torture Found in the Pornography Industry and On a Street Corner Near You: Pimps as Practitioners of Torture, addressed research and precedent in international codes that the UN ought to apply to a formal recognition of pornography and prostitution as forms of torture.

This would not be the first time that the United Nations addressed prostitution and pornography as forms of exploitation.

At the International Conference on Population and Development in 1994, it was stated that, “Countries should take effective steps to address the neglect, as well as all types of exploitation and abuse, of children, adolescents and youth, such as abduction, rape and incest, pornography, trafficking, abandonment and prostitution.”(1) The United Nations must continue to build upon this history of recognizing the harms of these interrelated industries.

Due to the advent of the Internet, the problem of pornography has especially escalated to a pervasive and globe scale. An individual in Africa can watch the torture of an American woman, while someone in Germany can be downloading the digital evidence of sexual abuse that occurred in the Middle East.

One of the world’s largest pornographic websites recently released an annual review that revealed statistics on porn consumption by country. By percentage of traffic, the United States was the primary consumer of the videos, followed by the U.K., India, Canada, Germany, France, Australia, Italy, Brazil, and Mexico. The violent and sexualized torture that is inherently part of the nature of pornography must be recognized on an international level.

The treatment experienced by female pornography performers and prostituted persons is often identical to the treatment of women who are recognized as torture victims. It is therefore time for the United Nations to take a stand, and to fight for the dignity of all.

DOWNLOAD THE GENDER-BASED TORTURE FOUND IN THE PORNOGRAPHY INDUSTRY REPORT HERE.*

*Trigger warning for descriptions of scenarios and themes in pornography


(1) International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD). (1994). 5.9. Retrieved February 02, 2016

ABOUT HALEY HALVERSON

Untitled design-5DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS

Haley Halverson joined the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) as Director of Communications in May of 2015. Haley cares deeply about human rights and the issue of sexual exploitation, particularly regarding those exploited in the sex industry. In her role, Haley acts as a spokesperson for NCOSE and oversees strategic messaging development, press outreach, email marketing, social media marketing, and creative video production.

Prior to working at NCOSE, Haley wrote for Media Research Center. Haley graduated from Hillsdale College (summa cum laude) where she double majored in Politics and interdisciplinary religious studies, and conducted a senior thesis on the abolitionist argument regarding prostitution. During her studies, she studied abroad at Oxford University and established a background in policy research through several internship experiences in the DC area.

Since arriving at NCOSE, Haley has appeared on, or been quoted in, several outlets including the New York Post, the Washington Times, USA Radio Network, CBC News, The Rod Arquette Show, the Christian Post, Lifeline with Neil Boron, KCBS San Francisco Radio, LifeSiteNews, News Talk KGVO, and American Family News.

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