Pratt: Virginia Beach Demonstrates the Failure of Gun Control

The calls for more gun control are in full swing.

Following the Virginia Beach mass shooting last Friday, Democrat presidential hopefuls are lining up to restrict the rights of honest Americans and to shred the Second Amendment.

The comments from socialist Bernie Sanders are typical. In the aftermath of the shooting, he blasted the gun lobby for “controlling Congress” and called for more “gun safety legislation” as the panacea for every societal ill. Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam followed with his own calls for specific gun restrictions.

But in the midst of all the hyperbole, there was one inadvertent admission. The chief of police in Virginia Beach — a gun control advocate himself — admitted that additional gun control would not have made a difference.

Here’s why Chief James Cervera is right on this point.

1) Gun-free zones are a failure. A key premise to the gun control view is that Americans would be safer if guns were banned at various locations. Hence, we see gun-free zones have been imposed at every school in the country, in government buildings, at sporting events, etc.

But this won’t make Americans safe. Case in point: the Virginia Beach shooting effectively occurred in a gun-free zone. City employees are prohibited from carrying firearms, so they were sitting ducks when the killer chose them as the targets. This shooting is not an isolated incident, as almost 98 percent of the mass shootings that occur in this country occur in gun-free zones.

2) Universal Background Checks proven totally ineffective. The anti-gun left incessantly argues for running every gun purchase through a background check. But they ignore the fact that 95 percent of initial denials are false positives, stopping people who are not really criminals.

Plus, they ignore the fact that virtually every mass shooter in recent memory has passed a background check. This killer was no different — he passed background checks in purchasing his firearms. So how would imposing even MORE background checks make us any safer?

3) Banning AR-15 style firearms misses the mark. Those who hold an irrational fear of firearms are relentless in their calls for banning commonly-owned firearms like the AR-15. But here again, a ban on these guns would have done no good. The Virginia Beach killer used two handguns, which by the way, is the weapon-of-choice for mass shooters — not the AR-15.

4) Suppressors don’t allow “stealth” killing. Anti-gun zealots have seized on the fact that the killer used a suppressor, as justification for banning these items. Yet suppressors are simply a safety device to protect people’s hearing. They are more like a car muffler, rather than the Hollywood notion of a “silencer.”

Suppressors don’t reduce the sound to a whisper as so deceptively portrayed in so many movies. Not surprisingly, witnesses in Virginia Beach reported that they “heard” the gunshots, which is a clear indication that the myth of the silencer is just that — a myth.

5) Limiting magazine capacity becomes harmful to the innocent. Finally, the left would have us believe that if standard-to-large capacity magazines were banned, this killer would have been unable to find magazines larger than five or 10 rounds.

But to believe that, one would have to believe that Prohibition effectively kept people from drinking booze and that the War on Drugs was equally successful.

The truth is that limiting magazine capacity will endanger law-abiding Americans. Consider recent examples of self-defense where Americans needed weapons with so-called “hi-capacity” magazines to protect themselves.

  • A Houston man fired several rounds while fighting off five home invaders this year, utilizing his AK-47 as his primary means of defense;
  • A Florida man used his AR-15 to fire 30 rounds while fighting off seven intruders in the early hours of an April Sunday morning in 2018; and,
  • Then there’s the Texas woman who wished she could have had an AR-15 or AK-47. She used a revolver in defense of two attackers in her home, firing all her rounds and severely wounding one intruder in the stomach. But she completely missed the second assailant.

When he heard the clicking sound, he turned and savagely beat her. The homeowner survived, but she has promised to buy a new gun — one with a good-sized magazine. Good thing, because she needs it.

To hear anti-gunners like Sanders and Northam speak, one would think that the United States is the world leader when it comes to mass shootings. The truth is that our country is near the bottom of the list — placing 64th (in per capita frequency) in a list of 97 countries that have had mass shootings.

And what about the worst 63 nations? They all have stricter gun control than the United States, which just goes to show that gun control is a huge failure — not just here, but around the globe, as well.

COLUMN BY

Erich Pratt

Erich Pratt is the executive director of Gun Owners of America, a gun rights organization representing more than two million gun owners.

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

Stopping China’s March To World Dominance

The Hong Kong demonstrations reveal that President Trump was right in many ways to identify China early on as a threat to the United States. He saw them as an economic threat and dishonest trading partner. To a lesser degree, he saw them as a military threat.

He was right, although ultimately, their military — including space and cyber warfare — are probably the largest threat.

To be clear, China is a bigger, long-term threat economically and militarily than anyone else, including Russia which has aging nukes but otherwise is a virtual third-world economy and a vastly weakened military. Modern militaries cannot be created and maintained in modern warfare without strong economies underwriting them.

Russia does not have such an economy. China increasingly does. And anyone who thinks China does not have as much — or more — of a goal of world domination, knows nothing of Chinese history and the current goals and philosophies that align with that history.

They continue to think of themselves as the Middle Kingdom — that is, the center of the world — and are intent on reconstituting the world so that is the case in a very real sense. Despite being an atheist Communist regime that oppress religions from Christianity to Islam to Buddhism to hundreds of sects, the Chinese still see the Middle Kingdom as a sort of spiritual destiny.

From the ambitious Belt and Road initiative, with China at the center, to exporting opioids to the U.S. through Mexico, to stealing U.S. technology and intellectual property, to building ports with 100-year leases around the world, to embedding spyware into Huawei products and its global 5G network, to dramatically improving its military capabilities in the air, sea, land and space, China confronts and affronts the U.S. everywhere.

Even presidential candidate Joe Biden has finally seen the danger of China and flipped.  (Although he flips a lot.) According to the New York Post:

Former Vice President Joe Biden toughened up his language on China Tuesday, saying the Asian nation represented a “serious challenge” and sometimes a “real threat” to the United States — just a month after saying “they’re not competition for us.”

“We are in a competition with China. We need to get tough with China. They are a serious challenge to us, and in some areas a real threat,” Biden told an Iowa audience while out campaigning for president.

It’s not readily understood, but China like Russia enjoyed a pushover of a president in Barack Obama, but are getting significant push back in the form of President Trump.

What’s well publicized is the trade war Trump has responded to. It’s so important to remember, and the media either is ignorant or just being willful partisans as usual, but Trump did not start the trade war. China has been cheating and stealing for decades, and getting more bold in recent years. They’ve been at war with us on trade for a long time. Trump has merely returned fire. Finally. But it won’t be easy.

The tariffs and trade war show how stubborn and tough the Chinese leadership can be. They take the long view toward the Middle Kingdom. And they don’t have to answer to their people at the ballot box as American presidents must. It’s one of the dynamics that makes it more difficult for American leadership, yet Trump is doing it anyway. It’s almost like he’s not your typical politician who makes decisions based on his re-election needs.

This goes to his genuineness. He’s authentically who he is. You get what you see. You shouldn’t need to agree with him on all issues to find that refreshing.

In addition to his responding to China’s trade aggressions, Trump has responded militarily with naval movements and, maybe most importantly, with treating Taiwan like the democratic ally they are — instead of quivering before the Chinese Communists like previous presidents and distancing ourselves from our Chinese ally.

As the South China Morning Post points out:

“Washington has been approving arms deals with Taipei at a much faster pace than under Barack Obama and George W Bush, while the self-ruled island has been making public US military movements near the Taiwan Strait – information that would not have been released under previous US administrations.”

In trying to close the southern U.S. border to stop the waves of illegal immigrants, the Trump administration would also be cutting deeply into the supply trough of illegal opioids that are developed in China, shipped to Mexico and smuggled into the U.S. There are many drivers of the awful opioid crisis, but ready availability is certainly one of them.

And Trump has begun the long journey of rebuilding the U.S. military, including the Navy that is critically important to projecting U.S. power in important regions such as the Middle East, but in the future, perhaps even the near future, the Asian Pacific where U.S. allies such as Japan, South Korea and the Philippines are all potential victims of Chinese military aggression one day.

There are many pieces to what China is doing. And they have vulnerabilities in all of them. What’s required is American leadership with the vision and chutzpah to push back on those vulnerabilities. Trump is doing so on trade and in Taiwan military sales and closeness.

President Trump may not understand all of the associated history ancient and recent of China, but he rightly identified the primary threat to American leadership in the world. And that is a dictatorial China. And that is not a better world.

EDITORS NOTE: This Revolutionary Action column is republished with permission. All rights reserved.

Catholic Charities Helping to Relocate Congolese Illegal Aliens

Those entering the U.S. through this route did so because they “were scared the [refugee] process was not gonna work, or that it’s last (sic) a standstill.” (Christina Higgs, Catholic Charities San Antonio)

I am furious to see that the border jumpers claim (or at least their Catholic handlers claim) that the refugee process might not work for them!

Why isn’t the media reporting that we have admitted as refugees to the US over 50,000 DR Congolese refugees in under five years with 8,000 arriving here in the last 8 months!

The DR Congolese are at the moment, by far, the largest refugee ethnic group being admitted to the US.

When is enough, enough?

Not fast enough for them so they headed to South America for a long and EXPENSIVE trip to the southern border.

I sure hope we don’t find out that the Catholic Church has been paying for the migration!

If you missed last night’s post about the Laura Ingraham segment about how cagey the Congolese were when interviewed in Portland, go here.

Then see where else this first batch was placed!  The word is that more are on the way!

From the Washington Examiner,

African migrants pass through San Antonio and swiftly fan out across the country

SAN ANTONIO, Texas — Roughly 300 Congolese and Angolan citizens who arrived in San Antonio the first week of June after crossing the U.S.-Mexico border days earlier have all briskly departed the city for destinations across the country, some with fuzzy plans based partly on hope.

The hundreds of family members and single adults from Central Africa first showed up June 4 at the southern border’s Eagle Pass and Del Rio towns in south-central Texas. The migrants surrendered to Border Patrol agents and claimed asylum after crossing the Rio Grande.

The agency did not, as it is supposed to, turn families over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Instead, it released families onto the streets of Eagle Pass and Del Rio, according to two government and nongovernment officials with first-hand knowledge of the matter. The African migrants then bought bus tickets to either San Antonio or Austin, according to San Antonio Interim Assistant City Manager Colleen Bridger.

“If — a family, the sponsor — it’s been 24-48 hours and they can’t buy the [bus] ticket, then we’ll buy it,” Elizabeth Nemeth, executive director of Catholic Charities’ west side center, told the Washington Examiner Thursday.

[….]

“They come with a place in mind. ‘My friend told me to go to Portland, Maine, because there’s a lot of Congolese families that already live there and it’s welcoming,” said Nemeth. “And they have that plan in mind, right? But they don’t understand the geography — like where it is, how much it costs to get there. There’s a lot of misconceptions. They may think, ‘I have a friend there,’ but they don’t have a friend’s phone number … [We can look into] what is their last name, phone book, call shelter and ask about them, connect the dots. I wouldn’t say that we’re just putting them randomly.They have an idea.”

The African migrants are spending six to seven months traveling to Brazil then up to the U.S.

Those entering the U.S. through this route did so because they “were scared the [refugee] process was not gonna work, or that it’s last a standstill,” said Christina Higgs, Catholic Charities spokeswoman for the San Antonio region. Some worried traveling to or through Europe was “getting really dangerous.”

“He used the term, and I hate to say it, but they were trying to hedge their bets by coming his way and see if they couldn’t get here that way,” she added.

More here.

We have been more than ‘welcoming’ to the DR Congolese, heck we have been busy moving them en masse (on the taxpayers dime) to every corner of America and it still isn’t enough!  Hundreds simply break in!

My head is exploding!

What is it going to take to get the facts to the public when most reporters are ignorant, lazy, or worse!

RELATED ARTICLE: Illegal Aliens Sue Border Patrol. The Lawsuit’s Outcome Can Have Massive Implications. 

EDITORS NOTE: This Frauds, Crooks and Criminals column is republished with permission. All rights reserved.

19 Arrests Later, a Texas Town Is Torn Apart Over Voter Fraud

EDINBURG, Texas—The story that thrust a Rio Grande Valley city into the national spotlight is hardly a new anomaly, say residents such as Richard Monte.

“Down here, voter fraud is not all that unusual,” says Monte, a city planning consultant in a brown suit jacket, sitting with other activists at a table in Coffee Zone on McColl Road. “It’s unusual when they get prosecuted.”

Now, for this south Texas town, that unusual moment has arrived. A November 2017 mayoral election has been under scrutiny from local and state officials, and 19 arrests have been made over alleged voter fraud. The mayor—and winner of the 2017 election—was indicted earlier this month, along with his wife.

Only 8,400 votes were cast in the mayoral election, and Mayor Richard Molina’s final vote count was more than 1,200 votes ahead of the No. 2 candidate, 14-year incumbent Richard Garcia. From what’s known now, the election result couldn’t have been changed by the number of suspicious votes identified.

But Molina reportedly is the first elected official in Texas to face a felony charge under a 2017 statute against vote harvesting, casting the midsize city into the national debate over election integrity. The mayor denies the charges.

“Some people are unfortunate in that they are caught,” Monte tells The Daily Signal.

Fraud and Small Towns

Across the nation, officials made more than 60 formal findings of voter fraud in 2017 alone, according to The Heritage Foundation’s voter fraud database, and six of those cases were out of Texas. And 2018 saw more than 50 official findings of voter fraud.

“Many of the cases in our database are in small towns,” said Hans von Spakovsky, a senior legal fellow in the Meese Center for Legal and Judicial Studies at The Heritage Foundation. “That’s because, one, those kind of races are often decided by a very small number of votes. So it’s easier to commit fraud when you don’t have to fake as many votes.”

“Second, it’s in small towns, particularly rural areas, where, particularly in areas that are economically not as well off as other parts of the country, [that] county and city government are the sources of jobs and contracts,” added von Spakovsky.

“So there is a big incentive in those smaller towns and smaller county governments for people to cheat in order to be in a position of power where they can distribute jobs.”

A federal judge overturned a mayor’s race in Florida’s Miami-Dade County in 1997 because of massive voter fraud that included phony registrations, noted von Spakovsky, who also served on the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity.

“You find cases where it’s just an isolated voter taking advantage of the system,” von Spakovsky told The Daily Signal, “but there’s plenty of cases in our database where it is an organized conspiracy oftentimes involving an elected official who wants to ensure he is reelected.”

‘Shady Past’

Edinburg, filled with palm trees, Tex-Mex restaurants, and friendly people, is the Hidalgo County seat. Home to the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley and the Museum of South Texas History, it has a population of 77,000 as of the 2010 census.

Edinburg boasts parks as well as shopping plazas with box stores and fast-food eateries along streets such as Freddy Gonzalez Drive, Cano Street, and University Drive, where Edinburg City Hall stands.

A sign inside City Hall reads “PRISM,” which stands for “Professionalism and Transparency,” “Respect,” “Integrity,” “Synergy and Cross Training,” and “Maximization of Operational Performance.”

Just down University Drive is a nightclub called Sin.

Based on what prosecutors and some residents say, the nightclub’s name might better characterize the region than do the goals of integrity and transparency on the PRISM sign.

The reputation of the Rio Grande Valley, where the town of Edinburg is nestled, long precedes the mayor’s arrest.

The four border counties of Cameron, Hidalgo, Starr, and Zapata have had executive officials, top law enforcement officials, a county judge, and a sheriff either indicted or convicted of criminal charges.

That’s according to an editorial on Molina’s arrest in The Monitor newspaper in McAllen, Texas, about 12 miles away from Edinburg, which adds that various members of city councils, county commissions, and school boards also have faced corruption charges.

The U.S. Justice Department created a Rio Grande Valley Corruption Task Force in 2015, NPR reported, because the area was “steeped in corruption of every stripe: drug smuggling, vote stealing, courthouse bribery, under-the-table payoffs and health care fraud.”

The Molina voter fraud prosecution might be “selective,” suggests Fern McClaugherty, a licensed firearms instructor who was an unsuccessful candidate for City Council in 2017.

“We have a shady past,” McClaugherty said of the city, speaking with The Daily Signal during a meeting with fellow civic activists, including Monte, at the Coffee Zone.

This past, she said, includes what’s known in the region as “politiqueras,” who are paid by political campaigns or parties to turn out the vote. These local operatives visit nursing homes and adult day care centers, and sometimes entice homeless persons to vote by giving them cash or food.

At the suggestion around the table that election winners in the region “stole it fair and square,” someone jokingly corrected: “They buy it fair and square.”

‘Loud and Clear’

Molina won a four-year term as Edinburg mayor on Nov. 7, 2017, and decisively so.

“The people spoke loud and clear—1,240 votes,” Molina told The Daily Signal in a brief interview after a City Council meeting in late May at City Hall.

Molina ran a reform campaign against Garcia, questioning city contracts and other matters under the incumbent mayor’s leadership.

That winning margin over Garcia, first elected in 2003, was out of 8,400 votes cast in the three-candidate race.

“Insurmountable,” Molina said. “If you do research on any of the elections previously, maybe a couple hundred votes determine the outcome of that election. That’s the biggest margin of victory in the history of the city, four figures. It’s never been done before.”

“It’s very obvious that people wanted change,” Molina, the former Army veteran and 11-year Edinburg Police officer said. “There was an incumbent here that was here for 14 years, and people wanted a new face. The public wants me here. I’m not here because I want to be here. Nonpaying job. It’s easier to walk away.”

Edinburg’s mayor and four council members don’t draw salaries. Under the city’s weak-mayor, council-manager form of government, the city manager oversees administration while the mayor and council oversee the legislative side.

Municipal elections are nonpartisan in this heavily Democratic area.

‘Vote Harvesting Scheme’

On April 25 of this year, Molina and his wife, Dalia Molina, were arrested.

“Molina and his wife had numerous voters change their addresses to places they didn’t live—including the apartment complex he owns,” Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s office announced after the arrests, adding that Molina’s “vote harvesting scheme involved the participation of paid campaign workers, among others.”

Vote harvesting is when campaign workers collect and submit voter registration forms and absentee ballots by soliciting people.

Earlier this month, a Hidalgo County grand jury indicted Richard and Dalia Molina on one count each of engaging in organized election fraud and 11 counts of illegal voting. The indictment names nine co-conspirators.

Molina declined to speak with The Daily Signal about the criminal charges, citing the advice of lawyers. However, he noted that his margin of victory over Garcia far exceeded the number of questionable votes cast.

Ricardo Rodriguez, the Hidalgo district attorney who is prosecuting the case, declined an interview with The Daily Signal during a brief meeting at his office at the Hidalgo County Courthouse Annex, saying speaking about the ongoing case could pose legal problems.

Some of Molina’s supporters, however, insist that the other side engaged in a similar voting scheme, and they suggest the prosecutor has a conflict. They filed their own complaints against presumed Garcia voters.

Molina’s defenders also note that Rodriguez is the nephew of Terry Palacios, a law partner of the former mayor in the firm of Garcia, Quintanilla, and Palacios.

‘Pressured and Persuaded’

The criminal complaint against the mayor lays out a scathing picture of recruiting voters from Sept. 19 to Nov. 7,  2017, which was Election Day. The mayor has denied every allegation.

In Texas, it’s a first-degree felony to engage in organized election fraud, under a bill passed by the state Legislature that went into effect on Sept. 1, 2017.

The law outlines what constitutes an offense committed “with the intent to establish, maintain, or participate in a vote harvesting organization.”

Shortly after it went into effect, the criminal complaint alleges, Molina “aided, solicited, and encouraged” and “pressured and persuaded” persons who lived outside Edinburg to register illegally with an address inside the city so they could vote for him. One of the addresses is for an apartment complex the mayor owns, prosecutors said.

Most of the 19 arrested, including the mayor and his wife, were charged with illegal voting, a second-degree felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. Two were charged with making a false statement on a voter registration form, a Class B misdemeanor.

Documents from the Attorney General’s Office identify “cooperating conspirator witnesses” whose identities are being shielded.

The most damaging information may have come from the seventh cooperating witness, who claimed to be part of a conversation in which Molina said his strategy was to falsely register some voters with city addresses.

This witness said Dalia Molina advised him or her to register at an Edinburg address and vote for her husband, which the witness did, according to the complaint.

The criminal complaint against the mayor’s wife states that on Aug. 21, 2017, Dalia and Richard Molina first asked someone who later became a cooperating witness to make an address change. The complaint further alleges that she followed up Oct. 10 by giving “Person A” a blank voter registration form.

Mayor’s Apartment Complex

Among those arrested were three sisters and their brother whose voter registrations show them living at a four-building apartment complex at 2416 E. Rogers Rd. The apartment complex is owned by Molina, according to a public announcement and additional arrest reports provided by the Texas Attorney General’s Office.

Arrest reports note that investigators combed through motor vehicle information, school enrollment, and utility bills to determine that those arrested actually lived outside the city limits.

Residents who answered their doors at the apartment complex—located in a rural edge of Edinburg behind several manufactured houses—told The Daily Signal that they didn’t live there in 2017. Some noted that the mayor or his wife collect their rent checks.

“I heard something about a scandal, but I can’t believe he’d be involved in something like that,” said Lewis, 72, a resident who didn’t want to give a last name. “He won by a landslide, from what I heard. Anytime somebody wants to bring down a politician or a preacher or whatever, they just come up with a scandal.”

One of the mayor’s supporters, who asked not to be identified, said it is a low-income complex. Residents rent from month to month, the supporter said, which is why it’s likely someone might have had a different address before or after registering to vote.

Little Blue House

Seven out-of-towners were registered to vote with the address of 409 E. Fay St., a small blue house not far from downtown Edinburg, authorities say. At least four were from a family whose home actually is in Alamo, Texas (about 12 miles away), and another was identified as a boyfriend, according to arrest reports.

The blue house appeared abandoned when visited by The Daily Signal, with boarded-up windows and an overgrown yard. A sign on a chain-link fence says: “For Sale by Owner.”

“They said they all live there,” Molina reportedly said in May 2018 of the seven voters registered with the 409 E. Fay St. address. “I don’t know; I don’t stay in the house with them every day.”

Six others registered to vote with different addresses inside city limits other than East Rogers Road and Fay Street, but didn’t live at those addresses, according to arrest reports.

In May 2018, Texas Ranger Chad Matlock interviewed a cooperating witness who admitted to changing his or her voter registration on Sept. 19, 2017, after Molina said the witness “was permitted to do so.” The witness then voted illegally.

Another witness, in an interview with the Election Fraud Unit’s investigator Sgt. John Waits, admitted to doing the same, falsely registering on Oct. 10, 2017, before illegally voting in the municipal election. This witness claimed he or she “would have never falsely changed” the registration if Richard Molina “did not solicit” the action.

This witness claimed to have received numerous text messages from Molina for several days before the election, as a reminder to vote.

Another witness said Molina “provided the address” to use on a voter registration form.

The Texas Rangers made the first round of arrests in May 2018, charging four individuals with illegal voting, including one they said registered to vote with the Fay Street address and another with the East Rogers Road address, but who actually lived outside the city.

In November 2018, a year after the election, the Rangers made another roundup of Hidalgo County residents mostly connected to the Fay Street and East Rogers Road addresses, charging them with illegal voting.

Of the 10 charged, three were not registered at either the East Rogers Road or the East Fay Street addresses.

Al Alvarez, a McAllen lawyer who represents one of the defendants in the case, is critical of the law that led to the prosecution.

“Historically in Texas, all cases about voting were misdemeanors because we want to encourage people to vote, not discourage them,” Alvarez told The Daily Signal. “It’s difficult to know where the law ends and politics pick up, but the people suspect.”

“Election cases usually don’t do very well,” he said. “Politics don’t change through prosecutions, they change through elections.”

The Investigation’s Start

After Molina’s victory, Mary Alice Palacios, a former municipal judge with connections to the defeated mayor, compiled information about voter addresses. She sent her complaint documenting addresses to the Office of the Texas Secretary of State, which referred most of the questionable registrations to the Texas Attorney General’s Office.

Palacios “alleges that multiple persons provided false information to register to vote and voted illegally,” the attorney general’s Law Enforcement Division said in a memo dated Jan. 22, 2018.

Palacios is the aunt of the Hidalgo county prosecutor involved in the case, Rodriguez. Rodriguez disclosed his connection with her to Paxton’s office, which primarily pursued the case through Waits. Texas Rangers in the state’s Department of Public Safety also investigated, according to the April 25 criminal complaint from Paxton’s office.

Molina has also reportedly called the investigation retaliation because Palacios had a $300,000 insurance contract with the city that was cancelled when Molina was mayor.

Palacios returned a phone call from The Daily Signal, but declined to comment on the case while it is under investigation.

‘Wrong Case?’

Paxton, the attorney general, expressed appreciation in a press release for the district attorney’s “commitment to election integrity” in this and unrelated cases.

However, not everyone in Edinburg thinks the commitment is consistent.

Jerad Najvar, a Houston lawyer who has actively fought voter fraud, represents Molina in the recall matter. He contends that Paxton is pursuing the wrong case.

“Molina’s side filed the same complaints, but the attorney general wanted a big fish. This is a mayor of a reasonable-sized city,” Najvar told The Daily Signal.

Supporters of the mayor, including his wife Dalia, made complaints to Texas Secretary of State David Whitley about presumed Garcia voters. They provided motor vehicles records and land deeds as evidence that likely Garcia voters registered with Edinburg addresses were residents not only of nearby McAllen but also of Houston and San Antonio.

The Secretary of State’s Office received 12 complaints against Garcia’s campaign for recruiting nonresidents to vote in the city election. It determined six complaints had enough evidence to refer to Paxton’s Election Fraud Unit, spokesman Sam Taylor said.

“If there was not enough evidence to warrant an investigation, we didn’t refer,” Taylor told The Daily Signal.

Asked about Molina’s margin of victory, Taylor said: “I’m not aware that there were 1,200 illegally registered voters in the city; I believe [it’s] far less.”

Among the complaints against presumed Garcia voters, alleging they used phony addresses, including one complaint about Mary Alice Palacios.

The one about Palacios, the former judge who filed the first complaint against the Molina campaign, is one of the six complaints the Secretary of State’s Office confirmed forwarding to the attorney general for investigation. It accuses Palacios of living outside the city but using another address.

“They are using prosecutorial discretion to allow prosecution of just one side of the aisle,” Najvar said, referring to the case against Molina. “The incumbent Garcia and Palacios were law partners.”

“The public sees through it. This is an effort to take back the power they lost in 2017,” he said, referring to the mayoral election.

“I’m all for fighting voter fraud and I’ve done so in Hidalgo County,” Najvar said. “Attorney General Paxton is going after voter fraud. That’s fantastic. But Paxton has been jerked around on this by complicit local prosecutors.”

Taylor, spokesman for the secretary of state, said the attorney general’s office typically doesn’t confirm or deny the existence of an investigation. So it doesn’t comment on whether Garcia supporters also are under scrutiny.

Paxton spokeswoman Kayleigh Lovvorn initially told The Daily Signal that someone from the office would address the matter, but the office did not respond to several follow-up calls and emails.

The Next Chapter

As the mayor, his wife, and those accused of voting after registering with fake addresses move toward a trial, the next chapter could be a recall election.

Robert Solis, a nurse anesthetist, says he isn’t particularly political but started a petition drive to recall Molina because he thought Edinburg was getting a black eye.

“It looked bad on our city. I mean, we made The Washington Post, we made The New York Times, USA Today, Austin [American-] Statesman,” Solis told The Daily Signal. “It’s kind of embarrassing.”

Solis and others have collected more than half of the nearly 2,200 signatures they need by June 21 to trigger a recall. They seek signatures at tables set up in the Echo Hotel and at public events such as a 5K race.

Solis, leader of the recall effort, said he is familiar with allegations against both sides, but would like to see the city make a new beginning.

“I know the people that I have talked to on both sides, mainly on the recall side, really want to push, hopefully, somebody new, somebody not involved on either side, somebody that can bring new leadership to Edinburg,” Solis said.

Recall efforts are not unusual at the municipal level in Texas or nationally, and public officials frequently weather the storm, according to data from Ballotpedia, a nonprofit that tracks election information.

“In 2018, Ballotpedia covered 206 recall efforts against 299 officials” nationally, Dave Beaudoin, news editor at Ballotpedia, told The Daily Signal. “Recall attempts targeting 150 officials did not make it to the ballot.”

“Of the 123 officials whose recalls made it to the ballot,” Beaudoin said, “77 were recalled and 46 survived the attempt. Ten other officials resigned before their recalls could go to a vote. That year had the largest percentage of recalls approved at the ballot since our tracking began in 2012.”

Mayors accounted for 13% of the recall efforts across the country in 2018, down from 19% the year before.

The mayor’s office contends it’s business as usual.

“Day-to-day operations are not affected at all,” city spokeswoman Cary Zayas told The Daily Signal, talking about the case against Molina. “The mayor remains the mayor. … He has been very much accessible at all times.”

“He’s at the meetings,” Zayas said of Molina. “He’s conducting business, he’s going to groundbreakings. He’s carrying on with business as usual because he denies any wrongdoing, No. 1; and No. 2, there is no reason why he shouldn’t.”

Monte, the planning consultant, said he worries that a recall election for Molina at this stage is “putting the cart before the horse.”

“Whether you believe the mayor is guilty or not, I think that we need to wait for the process,” Monte said. “He has been arrested, but he has not been tried. He has not been found guilty. There is already a recall. It’s politically based in reference to other people that wish they were mayor or want to be mayor, rather than anything else.”

Other Edinburg residents have differing views.

“If the mayor committed voter fraud, he should pay a price,” Sara Reyes, 47, told The Daily Signal outside a shopping center in Edinburg. “He should stay clean. This is why people don’t trust politicians.”

Abel Rocha, 46, said Molina “seems like a good man.”

“I’ll leave it up to God,” Rocha said in an interview near the same shopping center. “If he committed a crime, or it ends up he did something wrong, he’ll be punished.”

Joseph Schubert, 51, had a more decided view.

“I’ve heard people talk about it, but the mayor won in a landslide,” Schubert said in a parking lot interview. “I think some people are just sore losers.”

COLUMN BY

Fred Lucas

Fred Lucas is the White House correspondent for The Daily Signal and co-host of “The Right Side of History” podcast. Lucas is also the author of “Tainted by Suspicion: The Secret Deals and Electoral Chaos of Disputed Presidential Elections.”Send an email to Fred. Twitter: @FredLucasWH.

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This is the mission of The Heritage Foundation. We want to continue to develop and present conservative solutions to the nation’s toughest problems. And we cannot do this alone.

We are looking for a select few conservatives to become a Heritage Foundation member. With your membership, you’ll qualify for all associated benefits and you’ll help keep our nation great for future generations.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Signal column is republished with permission. All rights reserved.

The Deadly Detriments of a Doctrine of Defense

Every round of violence, in which the results are not a clear-cut IDF victory is, in the eyes of Israel’s enemies, another nail in the coffin of the Zionist entity.” – Veteran war correspondent, Ron Ben Yishai, June 1, 2019.

…the ability to defeat the enemy means taking the offensive. Standing on the defensive indicates insufficient strength; attacking, a superabundance of strength.—Sun Tzu, “The Art of War”, circa 400 BCE


I am, of course, aware that I used this exact same excerpt in commencing my recent column, Cracks in the Dome?, in which I warned of the disturbing defects of adopting an essentially defensive doctrine in facing the escalating threat from Gaza.

However, I make little apology for its re-use, as it is equally—arguably more—fitting for this week’s topic.

Disturbing indications

Indeed, for a considerable time, I have cautioned against Israel’s excessive reliance on defensive measures and its operational derivative of “managing the conflict”—see for example “Conflict management”: The collapse of a concept, and The ruinous results of “conflict management”.

Significantly, recent media reports have provided disquieting signs of corroborating the emergence of at least three perils of which I have warned repeatedly in recent years—and, although some may be inclined to downplay their significance, this would be a grave error.

For while they are, admittedly, very preliminary—indeed, even embryonic—indications of potential future developments, the compelling rationale for their evolution into phenomena far more substantial is too grave to be disregarded.

Readers will doubtless recall that I have warned incessantly that Israel’s current policy:

(a) will eventually result in the erosion of the Jewish population in the Negev;

(b) will allow the Gazan terror groups to devise methods to neutralize the efficacy of the billion dollar anti-tunnel barrier encircling the Gaza Strip—particularly the use of drones; and

(c) because of its innate reticence to engage in a large-scale decisive offensive against the Gazan terrorist entity, is causing Israel to continually back away from conflicts that it can win, risking backing itself into a conflict that it cannot win—or win only at ruinous cost.

Arabs in Gaza or Jews in the Negev?

With regard to the Jewish presence in the Negev, I have argued constantly that unless the violence in Gaza is terminated permanently, Israel may well face the grim prospect of the Negev being depopulated by Jews, who, unable to raise families in adequately secure conditions, will abandon the region for safer locations– see Israel’s stark option: Arabs in Gaza or Jews in Negev.

Last week, reinforcing this very caveat, the media gave high profile coverage to the decision of almost a dozen families in the Gaza border area to leave their homes in the wake of the recent outbreak of violence—see for example here, here and here.

This of course, is only a tiny number, especially given the significant increase in the Jewish population in the South since the end of the 2014 Protective Edge operation. Despite this, the decision led some to express fear that it may well spark the prelude to a larger scale exodus from areas under regular menace of rocket fire and incendiary balloons.

After all, it is not an isolated expression of disaffection by residents of the region. To the contrary, it reflects a wider—and seemingly growing—sentiment of frustration and impatience with life under the ongoing threat from Gaza. Indeed, there is clearly rising exasperation with the government’s impotence in responding to the challenge posed by the continual terror attacks, together with its manifest failure to discharge its most basic duty—providing security to its citizens. Clearly, there should be little wonder at the mounting unwillingness to endure the evermore onerous conditions in which they are being forced to live, with their local economy being devastated—particularly tourism and agriculture—and their livelihoods drastically diminished, with the constant disruption of daily life, and with the ongoing danger to their lives and their families…

The danger of drones

With regard to the almost one billion dollar anti-tunnel barrier currently being constructed to encircle the Gaza Strip, I have forecast time and again that the Gazans will devise methods to neutralize it—or at least greatly reduce its efficacy.

Thus, last year I observed: “Every time the Gazan terrorists developed some offensive tactic, Israel devised some countermeasure that was designed to thwart the attacks, rather than prevent them being launched in the first place.”

Detailing this sequence of measures and counter measures, I wrote: “Thus, suicide attacks resulted in a security fence and secured crossings; which led to the development of enhanced rocket and missile capabilities; which lead to the development of the multimillion dollar Iron Dome; which led to the burrowing of an array of underground attack tunnels; which led to the construction of a billion dollar subterranean barrier; which led to the use of incendiary kites and balloons that have reduced much of the rural South, adjacent to the Gaza border, to blackened charcoal”.

Finally, I cautioned: “…it takes little imagination to envisage the deployment of future modes of Judeocidal assault on the Jewish state and its citizens—such as a possible drone swarm carrying explosive—perhaps even some non-conventional—charges, to be detonated on, or over, some luckless Jewish community.”

Drones (cont.)

Barely two weeks ago, a widely reported incident seemed to indicate that the drone threat is becoming increasingly operational, when the Islamic Jihad released footage allegedly showing a drone attacking an Israeli tank.

The fact that the attack caused little damage should be of scant comfort. Indeed, echoing my earlier concern, one source noted that while: “Security agencies will overlook the minor impact of the device depicted in the video, [they] will instead focus on the implied threat that a larger or more ominous payload would represent.”

Indeed, the Gazan –based terror groups have shown impressive ingenuity in devising, enhancing and honing their aggressive capabilities to assault the Jewish state. Today they have achieved abilities that would have appeared inconceivable in 2005, when Israel unilaterally abandoned the area—and had anyone then predicted Israel would be facing the threat it faces today, he undoubtedly would have been dismissed as an unrealistic scaremonger.

Significantly, the drone threat is gradually receiving increased attention in the public discourse. For example, last month Haaretz ran a piece highlighting Hamas’s focus on drone development with Iranian help.

Thus, although Hamas’s drone program suffered a severe setback with the assassinations in Tunisia (2016) and Malaysia (2018) of leading engineers involved in its development, it is hardly beyond the limits of plausibility that Israel will have to contend with the specter of a swarm of drones, armed with biological or chemical payloads, directed at nearby Israeli communities—rendering the billion dollar anti-tunnel barrier entirely moot. For those who might dismiss this as implausibly alarmist – see here, and here.

“Why Israel will not win the next war”

Of course, while such an attack on a rural community may not constitute a devastating strategic blow, physically, it certainly is likely to constitutes a grave strategic blow to national morale—which leads into the third topic for discussion: Israel’s reluctance to launch a large-scale offensive aimed, not at punishing terror attacks but at preempting them; not at thwarting them, but at preventing them from being launched in the first place.

It is this reluctance that is causing Israel to continually back away from conflicts that it can win, until it backs itself into a conflict that it cannot win or win only at ruinous cost.

In this regard, a stern caveat (in Hebrew) appeared recently in the highly trafficked Ynet web site, entitled Why we will not win the next war .Written by Ron Ben Yishai, one of Israel’s most authoritative military correspondents, it catalogued the reasons preventing the IDF from adopting a strategy of decisive victory over its terrorist adversaries and warned of the grave consequences thereof.

Among the reasons for the relative flaccidity of the IDF’s approach, Ben Yishai enumerates the undue involvement of politicians and the media in security affairs; overly harsh censure of field commanders for operational errors, disproportionate sensitivity to abductions; and excessive interference from soldiers’ parents in determining the conditions of their sons’/daughters’ IDF service.

Emasculating the IDF operational capacity

But, according to Ben Yishai, perhaps the most severe inhibiting factor on the IDF strategy is the hypersensitivity to casualties, which has made avoiding them more important than achieving operational objectives.

According to Ben Yishai, these factors create a situation in which “Israel’s civil society is slowing but surely emasculating the operational ability, the initiative and innovativeness of ]IDF[ field commanders”.

All of this has led to the IDF abandoning the notion of a decisive victory as an attainable objective. Ben Yishai describes the grave implications of this: “Without a clear victory, both physical and psychological, in the battle field, deterrence is eroded, which shortens the period of time until the next conflict occurs…[T]he strategic damage in this is the perception of [Israeli] weakness it conveys to the countries in the region…and gives our enemies the hope that in the long run they will be able to wipe Israel off the map as a sovereign state.”

He warns: “Every round of violence in which the results are not a clear-cut Israeli victory is, in their eyes, another nail in the coffin of the Zionist entity.”

In Ben Yishai’s  assessment: “In order to defeat—once and for all—this strategy of attrition, and the motivation that drives it, Israel must achieve military and psychological victory in every future conflict…until our enemies despair of the possibility of destroying us by means of attrition.

However, to achieve such a victory both “Israeli civil society and the media must adopt a more realistic and less emotionally sensitive attitude to casualties…and restore the value of executing the mission to the top of military priorities.”

“Attack is the secret of defense…”

I began this column with an excerpt from Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War.”  It is, thus, perhaps fitting to end it with one: “Attack is the secret of defense; defense is the planning of an attack.”

It is precisely in this spirit that Ben Yishai concludes his article: “Every…military clash with any enemy in the area must end with an unequivocal IDF victory. Our very existential interest—as a nation and as a people—mandates that we get rid of everything and anything that impedes attaining this objective”.

Doubtless, Sun Tzu would approve.

Money Can’t Buy You Health

Preview:  So how would government-funded primary care have prevented the diseases my patients have had? Heart failure? (Statin drugs probably make it worse.) Heart attacks? (When the patient has one, it is too late to prevent it.) Stroke? (Preventive aspirin is now criticized because of the bleeding it may cause.) Osteoarthritis? (We have great joint replacements but are much better at blocking access to surgery than at curing the arthritis.) Gall bladder disease, cancer, pneumonia, blood clots, thyroid disease, cataracts, arrhythmias such as atrial fibrillation, herniated disks, asthma, endocarditis from drug abuse, on and on. If we put all the doctors to work pretending to keep people healthy, who would treat disease and injury?

Healing the sick is what medicine is about. The politicians who promise to “fix healthcare” can only destroy medicine—while bankrupting the country.


“Healthcare” is supposed to be the big election issue, and politicians promise to give people universal and equal “healthcare,” or prevent the bad guys from taking it away.

Everyone of course wants to be healthy, and a $3 trillion industry wants to keep the money flowing.

So, I have a confession to make as a doctor: I don’t think I have ever kept anybody healthy. If someone comes to me asking for “health maintenance,” I don’t have a shot of “health” to give, or a prescription for “health” to be filled at your neighborhood Walgreens, CVS, or Rite-Aid.

And as a patient, I can’t recall any ways in which doctors kept me healthy, although they did save my life by taking out my appendix, and they treated some illnesses and injuries. I am very grateful to them, and whatever I paid them seemed reasonable and well worth it.

To my mind, a healthy person is one who does not have to see a “healthcare provider” regularly or take medicine every day, and who can go to work, take care of family, and generally lead an active life.

We hear endless complaints about how we spend too much money treating sickness instead of preventing it. If only we had the government take all the money, plus trillions more, and “invest” it in health, we wouldn’t have to spend so much, and everyone would be healthier—so they say.

This was the rationale for the National Health Service in Britain. Once the NHS took care of the backlog of untreated illnesses, much of the need for it would melt away. This did not happen. Expenditures kept rising and were never enough. The backlogs and waiting lists grew. Ambulances circle emergency departments, and patients are crammed into hallways and storage rooms.

Suppose you go for your government-funded, “value-based” health maintenance visit. Details of your once-private life will be entered into a very expensive electronic health record. (For most people, it will be their own data, but occasionally someone else’s will be cut-and-pasted in, causing endless trouble.) You will be checked for diabetes or pre-diabetes, hypertension or pre-hypertension, tobacco use, cholesterol, in many cases gun ownership, body mass index, and other government-mandated items. You will get educated about the evils of tobacco (in case you have been on Mars and hadn’t heard). You’ll be lectured about obesity if your BMI is too high. You’ll very likely get a prescription to lower your blood pressure or cholesterol, and you may get vaccinated for something.

Your provider will likely get a bonus for checking all the right boxes and for “keeping you healthy,” and will get penalized if your “numbers” don’t improve or you get sick. Since I don’t think others are any better than I am at creating health, there is a huge incentive to “manage the case mix” to discourage unhealthy or noncompliant patients from joining the practice.

People on drugs for blood pressure or cholesterol may feel worse rather than better, but are supposed to be less likely to have a heart attack or stroke decades later. Studies with huge numbers of patients, who may be very different from you, have shown a decrease in such events with treatment. So far, a decrease in expenditures has not been shown, in view of the cost of all the drugs and side effects.

Of course, as an internist I treat high blood pressure and diabetes, but I consider this to be disease management. Would better diet prevent these things? Possibly, but what diet? I recommended low-fat diets for years. This government-approved advice is now questioned.

So how would government-funded primary care have prevented the diseases my patients have had? Heart failure? (Statin drugs probably make it worse.) Heart attacks? (When the patient has one, it is too late to prevent it.) Stroke? (Preventive aspirin is now criticized because of the bleeding it may cause.) Osteoarthritis? (We have great joint replacements but are much better at blocking access to surgery than at curing the arthritis.) Gall bladder disease, cancer, pneumonia, blood clots, thyroid disease, cataracts, arrhythmias such as atrial fibrillation, herniated disks, asthma, endocarditis from drug abuse, on and on. If we put all the doctors to work pretending to keep people healthy, who would treat disease and injury?

Healing the sick is what medicine is about. The politicians who promise to “fix healthcare” can only destroy medicine—while bankrupting the country.

FINALLY: Trump administration to scrutinize impact of foreign funding of US colleges and universities

The U.S. Education Department has opened investigations into foreign funding at Georgetown University and Texas A&M University as part of a broader push to monitor international money flowing to American colleges:

“The inquiries are part of a broader campaign to scrutinize foreign funding going to universities and to improve reporting by schools, according to a Trump administration official familiar with the effort.

More schools probably will face questioning as federal officials focus on an issue they see as crucial to transparency and national security, according to the official, who was not authorized to publicly discuss the investigations and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Federal law requires U.S. colleges to report contracts and donations from foreign sources totaling $250,000 or more, but past filings from Georgetown and Texas A&M “may not fully capture” that information, according to the letters.

As an example, department officials wrote, both schools should have reported funding related to branch campuses they operate in Qatar, an oil-rich nation in the Mideast that hosts the outposts of several U.S. colleges.

The records being sought by investigators go far beyond Qatar, though, and include dealings with China, Russia and Saudi Arabia, and specific companies in those nations. Investigators ordered both schools to disclose funding from Huawei or ZTE, the Chinese tech giants that some U.S. officials call a threat to national security. Georgetown is being asked to detail money it received from any sources in Saudi Arabia or Russia, including Kaspersky Lab, a Russian cybersecurity company.

The letters warn that Georgetown and Texas A&M could face legal action and financial penalties if they’re found to have broken the rules. If investigators find a violation, it can be referred to the U.S. attorney general’s office for action “to compel compliance and to recover the full costs’” of the investigation and enforcement, according to the letters.”

This is not a new issue, but it is one that has gone unnoticed until the Trump administration wisely decided to start making sure that America’s colleges and universities were in fact complying with the law.

The American public has an interest in knowing the forces that influence and impact the education of our children.

Various groups make large donations to institutions of higher education for reasons of self-interest. Funding sources can inhibit the independence and autonomy of academia because donors generally have the ability to determine how benefactors use the money they donate.

When funding comes from foreign entities–individuals, organizations, corporations, royal families or governments–the potential for influence can be even more disturbing.

There is precedent elsewhere in the Western world regarding worrying influence from foreign donations to colleges and universities.

Large foreign donations are influencing courses at British universities, according to an April 2009 report (A Degree of Influence, from the Centre for Social Cohesion http://www.christopherdavidson.net/files/Foreign_funding.pdf). Money from foreign donors comes with strings attached. And dangerously so, according to this research that claims foreign governments have corrupted British universities and threatened their academic impartiality. Robin Simcox, the report’s author, says foreign donors that give enough money get a say in how things are run. “Edinburgh and Cambridge received £8m each from Prince Alwaleed bin Talal of Saudi Arabia to set up Islamic studies centres,” he said. “He got to appoint as many as three or five members of the management committee.”

To regard all or even most foreign donations to America’s colleges or universities as somehow nefarious would obviously be a serious mistake. America’s universities — with their superb curricula and research in science, medicine, agriculture, engineering and other fields — justifiably benefit from the financial support of America’s foreign friends and allies, many of whom have benefited directly from the technical expertise developed in these institutions. On the other hand, there are also reasonable grounds to suspect that some foreign gifts may purchase undue influence over the way in which highly controversial subjects are treated in American university lecture halls and texts.

Disclosure of Foreign Gifts to Higher Education

After the terrorist attacks of 9/11, many suggested the need for further disclosure of contributions, gifts and contracts made to America’s colleges and universities from foreign governments, corporations, foundations and individuals.  Often, these donations are made by foreigners who want to influence the college’s or university’s policies and curricula.

Sunshine is the best disinfectant, especially for taxpayer-funded public entities. Foreign gifts disclosure laws allow for the sun to shine on significant foreign contributions made to our public colleges and universities by requiring public disclosure of gifts from foreign governments, entities and individuals to state colleges and universities.

Contributions made to universities by foreign governments, entities, and persons have come under heightened scrutiny, especially some made from Islamist foundations whose active denial of the Holocaust and outspoken anti-Semitic views have caused great criticism. Some contributions have funded university-sponsored Islamic centers, whose denunciation of US foreign policies, support for the application of Shariah Law in the US and lack of condemnation against calls for “jihad” against Americans are worrisome.

Universities that receive federal funding must report foreign gifts to the Department of Education, however, federal enforcement has been poor to non-existent. As a result of federal incompetence, some states have taken the initiative

The purpose of the state laws is to promote transparency in government on the state level and ensure disclosure of all financial arrangements and relationships to the taxpayers and elected officials.

These laws simply require public disclosure of these foreign gifts. They in no way discourage legitimate donations from foreign governments, entities or individuals; they merely mandate that the donations to state colleges and universities be made transparent and disclosed to the public. Public disclosure is the check and balance that will ensure that our taxpayer-supported public colleges and universities will not accept gifts or contributions that are not publicly defendable. Any gift not given by a foreign entity due to public disclosure is a gift that should not be accepted.

Below are examples of these laws on the state level:

New York

New York Education – Part 1 – § 207-A Disclosure of Gifts Made to Institutions of Higher Education by Foreign Governments, Persons and Entities

http://law.onecle.com/new-york/education/EDN0207-A_207-A.html

Utah

Disclosure of Donations to Higher Education Institutions

http://le.utah.gov/~2010/bills/hbillenr/hb0114.htm

Louisiana

Disclosure of Gifts Made to Institutions of Higher Education by Foreign Governments, Persons, and Entities

https://law.justia.com/codes/louisiana/2013/code-revisedstatutes/title-17/rs-17-1818/

The extent of the problem has perhaps been most starkly demonstrated at Harvard Law School, which has established a Shariah Law and Shariah Finance section, while also receiving tens of millions of dollars from royalty in Islamic nations, notably Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

When such donations find their way into taxpayer-supported public colleges and universities, the public has a right to know where the foreign donations are coming from and to what purpose they are directed. Elected officials and other policymakers have a duty to see to it that there is full public disclosure on all aspects of such donations.

Again, sunshine is the best antiseptic. Any foreign donation to a taxpayer-supported public college or university that cannot be disclosed to the public probably should not be accepted in the first place.

Hopefully more states will follow the example set by New York, Utah and Louisiana and pass laws enforcing full disclosure–at least until “the swamp” on the federal level decides to get out of the way.

COLUMN BY

Christopher Holton

Christopher Holton is Vice President for Outreach at the Center for Security Policy. Mr. Holton came to the Center after serving as president and marketing director of Blanchard & Co. and editor-in-chief of the Blanchard Economic Research Unit from 1990 to 2003. As chief of the Blanchard Economic Research Unit in 2000, he conceived and commissioned the Center for Security Policy special report “Clinton’s Legacy: The Dangerous Decade.” Holton is a member of the Board of Advisers of WorldTribune.com. Follow Holton on Twitter @CHoltonCSP.

View all posts by Christopher Holton →

EDITORS NOTE: This CFSP column is republished with permission. All rights reserved.

The Connection Between Hollywood and China

Don’t be fooled by the Americans behind the camera. In today’s Hollywood, there’s one director — and that’s China. As important as U.S. audiences are, filmmakers know there’s a bigger one. And they’re willing to do anything they can to tap into it, even if it means becoming co-conspirators with one of the most evil censorship operations in the world.

It’s the biggest partnership no one knows about, and according to some experts, the most dangerous. The majority of Americans probably have no idea when they buy a ticket to the latest blockbuster that the film they’re about to see was either partially financed by China or altered because of it. In the last several years, there hasn’t been a more powerful influence over Hollywood than the communist regime — and with Chinese ticket sales set to overtake the U.S., the situation is only going to get worse.

There’s a sinister side to all of this, which is that the more Hollywood relies on China’s market to make movies, the more those movies are going to cater to the country’s demands. The Heritage Foundation’s Mike Gonzalez has been tracking the major revolution in filmmaking because of the Chinese market and thinks more Americans need to be paying attention. “Hollywood does all kinds of things to make sure they have a slice of the Chinese pie,” he told listeners on “Washington Watch.” “And they’re quite open about it. They don’t hide it. They’re quite happy to submit to the censorship of the Chinese Communist Party.”

“It goes something like this,” he explained. “In order for the U.S. film to crack the Chinese market, certain themes cannot be portrayed, certain products must be taken out, and certain speech must be limited.” The process has become so rigorous that a lot of studios are actually flying over these Chinese censors to sit in on filming. In some instances, entire scripts have been changed — either to conform to the communists’ messaging or showcase China in the best possible light. Others try to save themselves the time and money of those overhauls by just co-producing their movies with the Chinese from the start — including, in 2018, some of the biggest box office successes: Mission: Impossible: Fallout, Venom, The MEG, and Pacific Rim: Uprising.

The obvious result of all this, Mike argues, is that “American audiences are being submitted to censorship — not our own censorship, but a foreign power’s censorship — and a Communist Party censorship. We get shown a very benign view of China, in which China is a normal country, no different from Paris, or Britain, or Germany. That isn’t the case obviously. If you speak against the government in Germany, nothing happens to you. If you speak against the government in China, they’ll throw you in jail.”

By letting China call the shots, these filmmakers have actually become complicit in the attack on free expression — their expression. Just think about it, Mike said. “How come there’s never been a movie about the Tiananmen Square massacre? That was drama there. There were students who were crushed by soldiers. There was blood, there was death, there was scheming. And yet Hollywood has never made a movie about Tiananmen. Why? Because any studio who makes a movie about Tiananmen knows that will be shut out forever from the Chinese box office market.”

This is a country with such suffocating strictness that even Winnie the Pooh is banned. Why? Because the government is worried he’ll be compared to President Xi Jinping. (Maybe they don’t want the world’s worst human rights abusers to look soft.) Either way, Hollywood is going along with it, prostituting its voice — and America’s influence — in the process.

Of course, most people probably aren’t surprised that Tinseltown would sell its soul to make a few bucks. What they are amazed by is all of the political sanctimony from filmmakers here at home. This is an industry in partnership with the Chinese government, a notoriously brutal regime, who’s turning around and telling places like Georgia: We’re not doing business with you because you passed pro-life laws.

Unbelievable. Hollywood has no problem climbing down from its moral high horse to sell tickets in China — where people are being viciously tortured and killed — but decides it can’t possibly ally itself with states that protect their own people. They’d rather be a puppet of the communist state and its nightmarish record on human rights than support a democratic process that saves lives. That’s 100-percent hypocrisy no matter what language you speak.

If the entertainment industry wants to wrap itself in the Chinese flag, that’s literally their business. Just don’t be shocked when the alliance backfires. Because in a world of bad actors, the People’s Republic is the worst.


Tony Perkins’ Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.


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Don’t Say They Didn’t Warn You: Left Leaning Voices Question Democrats’ Anti-Gun Proposals, Fervor

If the 2020 Democrat presidential primary is any indication, that party’s base and donor class will accept nothing less from their nominee than commitments to sweeping gun control. And the contenders appear happy to accommodate them.

No one doubts that the political hard left is unified around the idea of gun control in principle. But some in that camp are expressing concern that the pathway to the presidency may not lie in promising to criminalize otherwise law-abiding gun owners and to seize firearms that were obtained lawfully and never misused by their owners.

Honesty, in other words, is not the best policy when it comes to infringements of the right to keep and bear arms.

Leftist political pundit and talk show host Bill Maher claims to be a reluctant firearm owner, but no one would mistake him for a Second Amendment advocate. “[T]he Second Amendment,” he has repeatedly said, “is bull-[expletive deleted].”

Nevertheless, he is among the seemingly dwindling number of those on the far left who still maintain some awareness that America is a big country and that its politics are not necessarily defined by its most “progressive” coastal enclaves.

Last Friday, Maher used a panel discussion on his cable show “Real Time” to caution fellow opponents of Donald Trump that many Americans like guns. “Lots of people do,” he said, “and their view is, ‘Yes, there is a violence problem with guns, but not me. And you’re going after me.’”

Referring to the Democrats’ gun control proposals, Maher continued: “And I’m just saying, some of their solutions, all of the solutions, I don’t know if it would solve the gun problem.”

Maher went on to remind his guests that “we’ve lost elections before on this issue, which is not a winning issue for Democrats.” He also said that “liberals should learn more about guns” and noted that primary contender Cory Booker – who recently invoked the Virginia Beach murders to argue for gun control – did not answer the questions of CNN’s Jake Tapper about how his own proposals would have prevented those crimes.

Maher’s advice, unsurprisingly, was not well received by his guests. Charles Blow, a writer for the New York Times, insisted that “journalists have to stop asking that horrible question.” Blow indicated that picking out one incident to focus on is unfair, given the broader scope of firearm-related deaths in America. “The framing of the question is wrong,” Blow lectured.

Blow might have had a valid point, but for the fact that Booker and his fellow candidates essentially demand these inquiries by constantly bringing up rare but infamous and highly-publicized mass murders that account for a tiny fraction of firearm-related deaths, most of which are suicides.

Commonplace firearm-related homicides, meanwhile, very often occur in cities with strict gun control and involve repeat offenders who ignore the laws already on the books and undoubtedly would do the same to any additional laws that were imposed.

To his credit, Maher himself seems to recognize this. “You really don’t think it’s that simple?” he asked Blow. “It’s complicated. If you did everything that the Democrats wanted – and I support all of that – I still think you would have this problem, because it’s much more complicated than just the guns … or the type of guns.”

Later, Jake Tapper would find himself fending off a social media mob incensed that he would ask an embarrassing, if obvious, question of a left-leaning politician who favors gun control. “Booker changed his speech in CA to talk about the Virginia Beach shootings and need for more gun laws,” Tapper tweeted the Sunday after the Maher piece aired. “Asking what laws would have prevented/mitigated the specific tragedy he wanted to discuss was a natural question and a sincere one too.”

Maher and Tapper are hardly the first on the left to recognize the conundrum of gun control advocates who exploit the victims of mass murders to promote their agenda without actually offering any responsive proposals.

Mark Glaze was a founding figure and executive director of Michael Bloomberg’s anti-gun empire, Everytown for Gun Safety. Glaze stepped down from that position in 2014, telling the Wall Street Journal at the time: “Is it a messaging problem when a mass shooting happens and nothing that we have to offer would have stopped that mass shooting? Sure it’s a challenge in this issue.”

Later, Glaze would become an advisor to another gun control group, Guns Down America, which aims to “take down the NRA, ” “reduc[e] the number of guns in circulation,” and “[m]ake guns significantly harder to get … .”

Glaze, in other words, can at least take satisfaction in now being more honest about his intentions. It’s not a question of preventing unpreventable crimes. It’s simply a question of doing everything possible to get rid of guns and to silence those who advocate for the right to keep and bear arms.

The real problem for anti-gun Democrats and gun control advocates, however, isn’t how they package their message.

It’s that they want to take away the hard-won freedoms of a freedom-loving people.

And while their occasional moments of self-reflection may not be making much of a dent in the fanaticism the hard left has for gun control, voters who support the Second Amendment should pay close attention.

Because when the oversharing of the primary ends and the real presidential campaign begins, the eventual nominee may well heed Maher’s advice and take a much more moderate (and misleading) tone on guns.

Yet the Democrat hopefuls have by now expressed all that needs to be said to betray their true designs on your Second Amendment rights.

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Obama Lies about Guns… Again

EDITORS NOTE: This NRA-ILA column is republished with permission. All rights reserved.

For those concerned about Leftism taking over in the church, this was a sad week.

Judd Saul is the producer of the film Enemies Within the Church.

Judd wrote in an email:

The Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) voted to affirm Critical Race Theory and Intersectionality as analytical tools.

Critical Race Theory and Intersectionality are Leftist frameworks for dividing society.

From these theories come the terrible ideas you hear about on a daily basis:

  • Microaggressions
  • White privilege
  • Victimology
  • Identity politics

… The list doesn’t stop there:

  • Oppressors/oppressed
  • Rejecting “color-blindness” in judging people’s character
  • Institutionalized partiality
  • Race-based reparations

This week, the Southern Baptist Convention, the largest Protestant denomination in the US, made its first tepid resolution to allow the Devil’s foot in the door.

Though the wording included qualifications, the resolution nevertheless will be seen as a huge victory for the growing contingent of Leftists intent on re-writing the Bible and dressing up Cultural Marxism in a clerical collar.

The SBC endorsed the idea that these wicked postmodern theories can work within Christianity.

This is what we have been working to warn people about. We know you see it. It’s time to wake up our friends and our churches.

That’s why we’re creating the film Enemies Within the Church.

What the SBC did this week is just the tip of the iceberg. We are going to name the names. We are going to expose the bad actors.

We are going to tell the truth about where the America church went wrong, who sold out the church to postmodernism, and how the deed was done.

RELATED ARTICLES:

Abortion, gay Christians and critical race theory: The statements Southern Baptists made at their annual meeting

Southern Baptist Convention To Officially Affirm Marxist Critical Theory as Viable | Reformation Charlotte

Why I Left the Southern Baptist Convention

UK: Muslim Conservative leader compares Boris Johnson to ‘Hitler’, vows to quit if he becomes PM

Boris Johnson has been “compared to Adolf Hitler by a Muslim leader in the Conservative Party. Mohammed Amin blasted the Tory leadership frontrunner for not having the “basic morality and integrity” to be PM. And the Conservative Muslim Forum chairman vowed to quit the party after 36 years” if Mr Johnson becomes Prime Minister.

Islamic supremacists are obsessed with Hitler. Take the following instances:

  • In a Palestinian Authority TV sermon it was declared that “Hitler was sent by Allah to punish the Jews”
  • 4 Muslim men shouted to terrified Jewish teens in NYC recently:”Allah Akbar, do you know Hitler? We Love Hitler”
  • The President of the British Pakistani Youth Council came out in praises of Adolf Hitler killing Jews
  • Egyptian Researcher Mohamed Gad El-Zoghby said “We should erect a statue of Hitler for what he did to the Jews”
  • CAIR official declared: “i wish hitler was alive to f*** up the jewish ppl and add more to the 6 million he killed”
  • In Canada, in the Greater Toronto Area, Scarborough-Agincourt New Democratic Party candidate Tasleem Riaz was caught praising Hitler online and openly shared pro-Nazi memes while accusing Canadian soldiers of war crimes.

Hitler is quite often exalted and praised for his evil against the Jews, after-all, it was the joint alliance between the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem–Mohammed Amin al-Husseini–and Hitler that created the Holocaust and despite it, there is still widespread Holocaust denial among jihadist leaders, including Palestinian Authority leader, Mahmoud Abbas. Yet, when there is opposition to Islamization, all of a sudden, certain Islamic supremacists deride Hitler in comparing their target to Hitler.

Boris Johnson was once threatened to be sent by his party to “diversity training” over face veil comments he made in which he refused to apologize for, amid loud shouts of “islamophobia”.  Johnson’s resistance to the Islamization of Britain has infuriated Islamic supremacists.  On the good news side, Amin has vowed to quit if Johnson becomes Prime Minister. Johnson has emerged as “‘the bookmakers’ favorite choice” to replace Theresa May in leading the UK, so if this happens, good riddance to Mr. Mohammed Amin.

“Boris Johnson compared to Adolf Hitler by Conservative Party Muslim chief”, by Dan Bloom, UK Mirror, June 14, 2019:

Boris Johnson was today compared to Adolf Hitler by a Muslim leader in the Conservative Party.

Mohammed Amin blasted the Tory leadership frontrunner for not having the “basic morality and integrity” to be PM.

And the Conservative Muslim Forum chairman vowed to quit the party after 36 years if Mr Johnson reaches No10.

The comments are a devastating attack on the favourite to be Prime Minister after he compared veil-wearing Muslim women to letterboxes and bank robbers.

Mr Johnson won 114 MPs’ backing yesterday , more than his three closest rivals combined, and polling shows he should win a final vote of 160,000 Tory members.

But told Mr Johnson was popular, Mr Amin told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “There are many horrible people who have been popular.

“Popularity is not the test.

“The test is, ‘is this person sufficiently moral to be Prime Minister’. And I believe he fails that test.”

Told many Tory MPs say he’s the right man to sort out the country, Mr Amin replied: “A lot of Germans thought that Hitler was the right man for them.”

Told that was a shocking comparison he added: “Yes.

“I’m not saying Boris Johnson wants to send people to the gas chamber. Clearly he doesn’t, he’s a buffoon.

“But he as far as I’m concerned has insufficient concern about the nature of truth for me to ever be a member of a party that he leads.”

Mr Amin claimed Mr Johnson mocked Muslim women in his infamous “letterboxes” newspaper column for his own political purposes – knowing they’d be harassed on the street…..

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EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. All rights reserved.

Trevor Loudon documentary on ANTIFA, a worthy use of one’s time

Published by Eeyore.

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The Humanitarian Hoax of Black-Only College Graduation Ceremonies: Killing America With Kindness

The Humanitarian Hoax is a deliberate and deceitful tactic of presenting a destructive policy as altruistic. The humanitarian huckster presents himself as a compassionate advocate when in fact he is the disguised enemy.

The humanitarian hoax of black-only college graduation ceremonies is a classic example of destruction disguised as altruism. Let’s examine how resegregation has become fashionable.

Martin Luther King Jr. was the icon of the civil rights movement in the United States from 1955 until his assassination in 1968. Dr. King advocated nonviolence and civil disobedience similar to Gandi’s nonviolent activism. At the legendary 1963 March on Washington Dr. King delivered his famous “I have a dream” speech which exhorted Americans to judge each other by the content of their character, not the color of their skin. His impassioned speech facilitated the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which outlawed discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.

The Civil Rights Act, signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson, is considered the most comprehensive civil rights legislation since Congress passed the 13th Amendment to the Constitution that abolished slavery in 1865. What happened?

The 13th Amendment and the Civil Rights Act were legislative remedies designed to achieve the Constitutional principle that all men are created equal. Black Americans, white Americans, brown Americans, red Americans, and yellow Americans – one united American family indivisible by color. Being American is the foundation and common denominator of equality.

In a shocking 5.16.19 article written by Drew Van Voorhis, he reports the findings of the National Association of Scholars (NAS) study of Neo-Segregation, the voluntary racial segregation of students. WHAT??

Neo-Segregation is the consequence of social scientists eliminating the merit system in favor of racial quotas. Racial quotas in the 60s resulted in elite universities like Yale, admitting under-qualified minority students who were doomed to fail. Over a third of the students dropped out, and those who remained were bitter and angry.

It is important to remember that had an equal number of under-qualified white students been admitted they would have suffered the same failure rate. This was always a qualification issue and not a racial issue even though it was race-based.

Instead of learning from the failure rates and emotional misery that failure inevitable brings, the social scientists doubled down and provided remedial classes for under-qualified students in another ill-advised attempt to level the playing field.

The result, according to the NAS study, was that students turned to each other for emotional support and found inspiration in black nationalism. Radical and militant black groups on campus offered a new separatist ethic that rejected integration in favor of identity politics.

The NAS report states:

“On campus after campus, black separatists won concessions from administrators who were afraid of further alienating blacks. The pattern of college administrators rolling over to black separatists demands came to dominate much of American higher education. The old integrationist ideal has been sacrificed almost entirely. Instead of offering opportunities for students to mix freely with students of dissimilar backgrounds, colleges promote ethnic enclaves, stoke racial resentment, and build organizational structures on the basis of group grievance.”

More that 76 of the 173 universities studied by the National Association of Scholars, a whopping 44%, host black-only graduation ceremonies. Even Harvard University hosted its first black-only graduation ceremony in 2017.

What would possess university administrators to surrender to black separatists demands and implement black-only study lounges, black-only clubs, black-only housing, black-only classes, black-only scholarships, black-only student associations, and black-only graduation ceremonies? Why has segregation become desirable again?

If you want to know the motive look at the result. Race based distinctions foment racial divisiveness and are antithetical to racial harmony. Leftism preaches unity but its policies foment racial tension. Can anyone imagine if these same universities held white-only graduation ceremonies or had white-only study lounges and housing?

Reverse discrimination is the wrong answer to the right problem, and is as egregious as the original discrimination. Harvard disingenuously describes its segregated graduation ceremony in lofty terms as being, “designed to celebrate their unique struggles and achievements at the elite institution that has been grappling with its historical ties to slavery.” REALLY?

If the nation’s goal is racial inclusion and harmony, then graduation ceremonies would be expected to celebrate the shared value of student achievement regardless of the color of their skin. Graduations would honor white students, black students, Asian students, Indian students, and Latino students experiencing student life together. It would recognize the social value of studying together, and the commonality of learning together, achieving together, and graduating together.

Young children on playgrounds naturally fulfill Martin Luther King’s dream effortlessly because they naturally focus on character and not on race. Students at leftist colleges unnaturally focus on race instead of character. What happened?

Why did resegregation become fashionable? Because the left realized that racism is a useful and powerful political tool to create divisiveness and social chaos in America.

Race-based policies are not only an admissions debacle, they are a threat to the productivity of America. Lowering academic standards and course requirements collapses the integrity of universities and results in many useless degrees. Caps and gowns become costumes of competence that do not reflect actual competence.

Under-qualified students who cannot compete in the classroom cannot compete in the workplace either. This creates more anger, bitterness and simultaneously makes America less productive. It is the merit system that drives the engine of a fair, successful, competent, independent, productive America. In the real world, competence is the mother of self-esteem.

It is the acquisition of skills and competence that actually make students proud of themselves – not the social engineering of leftist sociologists disingenuously insisting that performance, achievement, and merit are oppressive constructs of the white man. The blame game is a destructive, regressive, and deceitful strategy calculated to foment racial discord because the leftist leadership understands that anger fuels the revolution.

Social chaos is the prerequisite for seismic social change. The regressive left is inciting divisiveness, discord, and violence to make America ungovernable in its quest to make America socialist. Leftism has a lot of help these days from Islamists and globalists who have common cause to join the “resistance” and destroy America from within.

Neo-Segregation is a deliberate and alarming return to the fractious, divisive, hateful, era of racial conflict before Martin Luther King.

The racism and black separatism that has torn college campuses apart is now embraced by New York public schools K-12.

Consider the “white-supremacy culture” training program for school administrators being promoted by New York City Department of Education and Schools, Chancellor Richard Carranza. His shockingly racist slide show presentation is derived from “Dismantling Racism: A Workbook for Social Change Groups” by Kenneth Jones and Tema Okun.

These are the dirty dozen hallmarks of “white-supremacy culture” that school administrators are directed to avoid:

1. Perfectionism
2. Sense of Urgency
3. Defensiveness
4. Quantity over Quality
5. Worship of the Written Word
6. Only one right way
7. Paternalism
8. Either/or thinking
9. Power Hoarding
10. Fear of Open Conflict
11. Individualism
12. Progress is Bigger, More
13. Objectivit
14. Right to Comfort

Chancellor Carranza’s openly race-based perspective is explosive. His 14-point mandatory training program assumes “implicit bias” and “white privilege.” His directive creates reverse discrimination and a doctrine of “toxic whiteness.” Instead of embracing Martin Luther King, Chancellor Carranza has chosen civil rights activist Malcolm X to emulate. Malcolm X, a black separatist and supremacist, advocated against racial integration. Instead of supporting an American family of equality, integration, and equal opportunity, Malcolm X indicted the white community and blamed “whitey” for the failures in the black community.

In a letter addressed to Dr. King on July 31, 1963, Malcolm X describes the power of racial tensions saying, “A racial explosion is more destructive than a nuclear explosion.” Malcolm X, minister of Muhammad’s New York Mosque at the time, sarcastically acknowledged the “minor” differences between his own approach and that of Dr. King.

Failed university policies of racial divisiveness are being repeated in New York schools by Chancellor Carranza, and are supported by his leftist boss Mayor Bill de Blasio. De Blasio, a radical socialist/communist, understands the long game of social chaos that racial divisiveness necessarily generates.

Race-based policies will fail in K-12 just as they failed in universities. Instead of Dr. King’s dream of harmony and respect, Carranza’s racial policies encourage the nightmare of racial divisiveness and anarchy.

America is based on equal opportunity – not equal outcome. Competence is the mother of self-esteem. If administrators want to develop students who become citizens with self-esteem, they must abandon the failed strategy of artificially leveling the playing field and insist upon equal opportunity for all students white, black, brown, or yellow. Only then will America reunite and judge each other by the content of character and not the color of our skin.

Resegregation is not a humanitarian effort that respects the black experience. It is a sinister exploitation of black students that fuels their anger and makes them useful to the revolution. Social chaos is the prelude to tyranny. The humanitarian hoax of black-only college graduations is the deeply dividing intentional fomenting of racism designed to tear America apart and make it ungovernable.

Esegregation is the humanitarian hoax designed to ignite racial tensions that will trigger the nuclear explosion of anarchy that Malcolm X predicted. Anarchy is the leftist strategy for seismic social change designed to make America socialist – the necessary precursor to one world government. Game over.

EDITORS NOTE: This Goudsmit Pundicity column is republished with permission. All rights reserved.

VIDEO: Based on Crime Rates, Pro-2A Advocates Should Control the Narrative

Anti-gun advocates have claimed that the gun-rights lobby has been running rough-shod over our nation’s gun laws for thirty years. Interestingly enough, though, in those thirty years, gun crime has been on the decline.

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Trump’s Coming Blowout Kickoff in Orlando

There’s still something going on with the Trump presidency that is lost on pollsters, the media and Democrats: The white-hot support of his base, which is definitely larger and perhaps hotter than in 2016.

This is demonstrated in rally after rally he holds, which all the talking heads told us was going to peter out. My gosh these people are wrong a lot. Consider what is happening in the lead up to Trump’s official campaign 2020 kickoff next week in Orlando.

The President tweeted Wednesday:

“Wow! Just got word that our June 18th, Tuesday, ANNOUNCEMENT in Orlando, Florida, already has 74,000 requests for a 20,000 seat Arena. With all of the big events that we have done, this ticket looks to be the ‘hottest’ of them all. See you in Florida!”

These numbers will overwhelm the Amway Center’s capacity of 20,000 for an NCAA basketball crowd maximum. Center stage concerts hold 19,700 while end-stage concerts hold about 16,000. Of course Trump frequently draws more than his venues can hold. He also did this as a candidate in the primaries. Are any Democrats anywhere near this? No. Polls do not capture this.

Orange County GOP Chair Charles Hart told the Orlando Sentinel that the extraordinary request-to-availability ratio for tickets to the kickoff is “epic even for his rallies…This is a phenomenally hot ticket.”

The campaign will likely set up outdoor screens for people to watch it live with others even if they cannot get inside Amway.

If the venue held 150,000 (and there is not such a thing) it’s possible Trump could fill it in Florida. Republican clubs from The Villages, Sarasota, Fort Myers, Jacksonville, Tampa, Miami and other Florida areas have chartered buses to take people to the event.

But here’s the deal. A lot more Republicans would go if they thought they could get in. Most are aware that the Amway Center is overwhelmed and have decided not to go to Orlando because their chances of getting in are minimal. Anecdotally, I was in a group where several said they were planning to go until they realized they probably could not get in. It’s a lot to go through just to stand outside and watch it on large screens.

And yet tens of thousands will likely do just that — knowing that is what they will be relegated to.

That displays a level of support you don’t see in any other candidates, or really in any candidates in recent memory. Obama at his peak did not come close to swamping major venues. And he was going to be the one to lower the seas!

In addition, it shows the level of organization now in the Florida Republican Party. The Party was split organizationally and financially between Rick Scott forces and the statewide party during Scott’s governorship. But that is all united now under Gov. Ron DeSantis and Florida GOP Chair Joe Gruters. DeSantis and Gruters were both early and strong supporters of Trump.

The simple reality is that the state is more unified and organized than it was in 2016.

And that shows in events such as Trump’s kickoff. The President picked Florida because of course it is the largest swing state and critical to victory. But also because the Party is healthier, and no state has a stronger economy right now.

These are positive trends you will not see reported in the mainstream media or typically reflected in these broad national polls. But they can make all the difference in 2020.

EDITORS NOTE: This Revolutionary Act column is republished with permission. All rights reserved.