Androscoggin’s Wealth Building Home Loan

Androscoggin Bank of Lewiston, ME introduced the first market rate program Wealth Building Home Loan with a soft launch back in November (called the Wealth Builder Home Loan).  The response has been enthusiastic—5 closed loans and a total pipeline (including closed loans) of $3.3 million in the dead of winter—impressive results for a $700 million asset bank.  The bank had its formal launch on February 4 (see attached PowerPoint for more detail).  The bank added an innovative feature–a 15 year 2-step loan with the bought down rate fixed for 7 years and then stepping up to a pre-set rate for the remaining term (described in detail below).

 

Also see https://www.androscogginbank.com/Personal/Loans/Mortgage/Wealth-Builder.  The February 4 event was attended by about 40 realtors and the bank described the response as “unprecedented” —92% and 8% of attendees said they would be either be “very likely” or “likely” to recommend to their clients (see realtor survey results attached).

The bank also offers a 103% LTV 15 year loan that minimizes the cash needed at closing, while still greatly reducing default risk (see worksheet below).

androscoggin home loan chart

For a larger view click on the image.

 

The chart below compares an FHA loan (96.5% loan + upfront fee, with 0.80% annual MIP) to Androscoggin Bank’s 100% LTV and two-step 15-year loan (no MI).  Home price of $100,000 used for simplicity:

 

FHA

30 year*

 

Androscoggin

15 year

2-step**

Rate/P&I (inc. MIP for FHA) on $100,000 4%/$535 1.75%/$632
Pre-tax annual income/buying power vs. FHA $27,374/100% $29,449/93%
Net equity after 7 years (10% selling expenses, 2%  annual appreciation) $18,828 $46,798
90% LTV reached in month? 54 21
80% LTV reached in month? 108 40
Payment shock (year 8) NA 13.3% (1.9% per yr.)

*96.5% LTV + upfront fee, with 0.80% annual MIP.  No use of residual income, based on 28% housing debt-to-income

**100% LTV plus 3 buydown points.  Rate fixed for years 1-7, steps to 5% for years 8-15. Use of residual income allows for 2% higher housing debt-to-income (30%).

In this next chart, you will see that the bank has a 100% or 103% LTV, max. 45% DTI, min. 4-6 months reserves, min. 660 FICO, and uses the residual income approach (the residual income #s are the same as used by the VA).  This makes for a compelling loan offering, yet results in a much lower risk loan than with FHA.

DTI FICO Reserves LTV Residual income $ and household size
        1 2 3 4 5 6+
45.00 660 4 mo. 100 $450 $755 $909 $1025 $1062 $1062
45.00 660 6 mo. 103 $450 $755 $909 $1025 $1062 $1062
                   

 

It’s Not Just Brian Williams Who Lies

“When reporters forfeit their credibility by making up stories, sources, or quotes, we are right to mock them. When their violations are significant or repeated, they should be fired,” says Charles Lipson, a professor of political science at the University of Chicago. “Demanding honest reporting has nothing to do with the reporter’s politics, personality, or personal life. It is about professional standards and our reasonable expectations.”

Writing at RealClearPolitics.com, Prof. Lipson concluded by saying, “It’s essential for our news organizations, and it matters for our democracy.”

Are we seeing a trend here? Dan Rather at CBS and now Brian Williams at NBC? Well, two news anchors are not a trend, but biased and bad reporting is. It’s not new, but it does seem to be gathering momentum and nowhere has it been more apparent than the millions of words written and spoken about “global warming” and now “climate change.”

It would be easy and convenient to lay the blame on America’s Liar-in-Chief, President Barack Obama, but the “global warming” hoax began well before he came on the scene. It was the invention of the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) dating back to its creation in 1988 when it was established by the UN Environment Program and the World Meteorological Organization.

The IPCC came to world attention with the creation of the Kyoto Protocol, an international treaty that committed the nations that signed it to reduce “greenhouse gas emissions” based on the premise that global warming—a dramatic increase—was real and that it was man-made. The Protocol was adopted in Kyoto, Japan, on December 11, 1997. The United States Senate rejected it and our neighbor, Canada, later withdrew from it. Both China and India were exempted, free to continue building numerous coal-fired plants to generate the energy they need for development.

Today, though, the President is an unrelenting voice about the dangers of “climate change” which he and John Kerry, our Secretary of State, have rated the “greatest threat” to the world. Obama’s national security strategy document was released just a day before he equated the history of Christianity with the barbarism of today’s Islamic State.

The national security document included terrorism to which it devoted one out of its 29 pages. Essentially Obama sees all the problems of the world, real and imagined, as challenges that require “strategic patience and persistence.” This is his way of justifying doing nothing or as little as possible.

Still, according to Obama, the climate is such a threat, his new budget would allocate $4 billion to the Environmental Protection Agency for a new “Clean Power State Incentive Fund” to bribe more states to close even more power plants around the nation. He wants to increase the EPA’s overall budget by 6% to $8.6 billion. The Republican Congress is not likely to allocate such funding.

As for the environment, there have been so many lies put forth by the government and by a panoply of environmental organizations of every description, buoyed by legions of “scientists” and academics lining their pockets with billions in grants, that it is understandable that many Americans still think that “global warming” is real despite the fact that the Earth is now 19 years into a well-documented cooling cycle.

Not only are all the children in our schools still being taught utter garbage about it, but none who have graduated in recent years ever lived a day during the non-existent “global warming.”

On February 7, Christopher Booker, writing in The Telegraph, a British daily newspaper, wrote an article, “The fiddling with temperature data is the biggest science scandal ever.” You are not likely to find any comparable reporting in a U.S. daily newspaper.

Citing research comparing the official temperature graphs from three weather stations in Paraguay against what had originally been reported by them, it turned out that their cooling trend had been reversed by the U.S. government’s Global Historical Climate Network and then amplified by “two of the main official surface records, the Goddard Institute for Space Studies (Giss) and the National Climate Data Center.”

Why should we be surprised that the national media continues to report on “global warming” when our government has been engaged in the deliberate distortion of the actual data? It is, however, the same national media that has provided virtually no investigative journalism to reveal what has been going on for decades.

What fate befalls Brian Williams is a mere blip on the screen of events. At this writing, I cannot see how NBC could ever keep him as the managing editor and news anchor.

What matters regarding much of the product of the mainstream media is the continuing torrent of “news” about “global warming” and “climate change”; the former is a complete hoax and the latter a factor of life on planet Earth over which humans have no control, nor contribute to in any fashion.

© Alan Caruba, 2015

President Obama’s ‘War on Christianity’

Never in the history of the United States has there been a President who has aligned himself with so many anti-Christian elements in America. President Obama promised when elected in 2008 to heal the divides in the nation and fundamentally transform it. Many took these promises as a positive, time has shown these promises have had a negative impact on America and Americans, particularly those of the Christian faith.

Anti-Christian groups in America include: Communists, atheists, agnostics, shariah compliant Muslims, homosexuals, transgenders, lesbians and members of certain religious sects. The targets of these groups include: Christians, Jews, Evangelicals, blacks and Hispanics of faith, and those who share a love for the Holy Land (Israel).

President Obama, both domestically and internationally, has taken policy stands that are nothing less than anti-Christian.

Perhaps it is best to understand how, little by little, President Obama has come to embrace those who are most violently opposed to Christians (and Jews) domestically and globally.

Here are some of President Obama’s domestic policies that are anti-Christian:

  1. The Affordable Care Act – The Affordable Care Act has impacted religious liberty by requiring faith based institutions to provide services which are against their Christian beliefs. Religious News Service reporter Kathleen O’Brian notes that Afordable Care Act religious exemptions are hard to get. O’Brien notes, “Under the [ACA] bill, anyone claiming an exemption on the grounds of religious beliefs would have to include a sworn affidavit on their annual tax return. In addition, they would lose the exemption if they sought and received medical care during that tax year.” In 2014 the U.S. Supreme Court rules against Obama in the Hobby Lobby contraception case. This ruling, at least temporarily, held back the anti-Christian ACA onslaught.
  2. Repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell – President Obama is clearly in the homosexual camp when it comes to domestic policy. The repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell is a prime example of an anti-Christian policy to transform our military from a Christian force for good into a secular petri dish for pro-homosexual social policies. In July 2011, DefendChristians.org reported, “Last year President Obama led the charge to repeal ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ that now allows open homosexuality in the military. Obama’s political payoff has altered the fabric of our military and now our military chaplains have become the victims. Christian chaplains have been ordered to go along with homosexual sin or face administrative discharge, even though they were promised that their sermons, counseling, prayers and worship could remain the same.” Commanders, soldiers and Chaplains are now subject to courts martial if they publicly profess their Christian faith.
  3. Medicare, Medicaid and “Gender Reassignment” Surgery – As recently as December of 2014, New York Governor Cuomo approved the use of Medicaid funds for low income sex change operations. In a December 17, 2014  New York Post article Carl Campanile reported, “Gov. Cuomo approved a new policy Tuesday night allowing impoverished transgender New Yorkers to bill taxpayers for sex-change surgery. The Cuomo administration issued new rules requiring New York’s highest-in-the-nation $55 billion Medicaid program — the government health-insurance program for the needy — to foot the bill for ‘gender reassignment’ operations.” Medicare also covers “gender reassignment” operations according to the National Center for Transgender Equality. The use of public funds to support sex change operations offends those of faith. The use of public funding to promote transgenderism is not a Constitutional role for the federal government.
  4. Presidential Executive Orders – President Obama has used the power of his pen to force Christian organizations and businesses to betray their religious beliefs or face stiff penalties and possible criminal prosecution. Todd Starnes from Fox News reported in July 2014, “President Obama signed an executive order Monday barring federal contractors from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity – ignoring the pleas of Christian and other faith leaders to include an exemption for religious organizations… The executive order would prevent Christian and other religious organizations with federal contracts from requiring workers to adhere to the tenets of their religious beliefs. Christianity Today reports the order could impact religious non-profits such as World Vision, World Relief and Catholic Charities.”
  5. Department of Justice failure to defend in court the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) – The U.S. Congress passed and President Bill Clinton signed into law the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in 1996. In September 2014, CNSNew.com’s Terrance P. Jeffrey reported: President Barack Obama praised retiring Attorney General Eric Holder yesterday for advancing the cause of same-sex “marriage” in the United States by refusing to defend federal law. “And several years ago,” Obama said in a joint appearance with Holder at the White House, “he recommended that our government stop defending the Defense of Marriage Act–a decision that was vindicated by the Supreme Court, and opened the door to federal recognition of same-sex marriage, and federal benefits for same-sex couples. It’s a pretty good track record.” In his own statement at the event, Holder praised Obama for advancing the “visions” he said he and Obama had “always shared.” The vision always shared was and remains an anti-Christian one.

Here are some of President Obama’s foreign policies that are anti-Christian:

  1. Failure to support and defend the Holy Land – President Obama has instituted policies and made public statements attacking Israel and its Prime Minister. What many do not see is that Israel is in fact the protector of the Holy Land. The birth place of Judaism and Christianity.
  2. Obama Declares The Future Must Not Belong to Practicing Christians at the United Nations – In September 2012 Erick Erickson wrote: In his speech to the United Nations General Assembly today the President of the United States declared that the future does not belong to practicing Christians. Already, the media and the left are in full denial, probably based on their general lack of understanding of theology. This would have been a gaffe had Mitt Romney said it. But with Barack Obama, he’s just speaking bold truths. His bold truth declares that the future does not belong to practicing Christians.Pay careful attention to what he says.” Obama has repeatedly stated “The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam.” Christians have failed to fully comprehend what President Obama stated in 2012 and on many occasions since.
  3. President Obama’s Absence at the Charlie Hebdo Rally in Paris – Reuters reported, “The absence of President Barack Obama or any top members of his administration from a huge march in Paris on Sunday to honour victims of Islamist militant attacks raised eyebrows among some in the US media. French President Francois Hollande and some 44 foreign dignitaries, including leaders from Germany, Italy, Britain, Turkey, Israel and the Palestinian territories, led up to two million people in what commentators said was the largest crowd in Paris since its liberation from Nazi Germany in 1944. Islamist militants killed 17 people, including journalists and police, in three days of attacks in the French capital last week. The United States was represented at Sunday’s march by its ambassador to France, Jane Hartley. But commentators on some US media outlets questioned why Obama did not attend or send a top administration official such as Vice President Joe Biden or Secretary of State John Kerry.”
  4. President Obama’s Quest to give Iran a Nuclear Weapon – Iran has repeatedly declared it will destroy the Holy Land (Israel) and occupy Jerusalem. In November 2014, Stuart Winer and Marissa Newman reported on Iran’s 9-point plan to destroy Isreal. Winer and Newman wrote: “A plan titled “9 key questions about the elimination of Israel” was posted on his Twitter account Saturday night, using the hashtag #handsoffalaqsa, in reference to the recent tensions on the Temple Mount. The sometimes grammatically awkward list explained the how and why of Khomeini’s vision for replacing Israel with a Palestinian state. The first point stated that “the fake Zionist regime has tried to realize its goals by means of infanticide, homicide, violence & iron fist while boasts about it blatantly.” Due to the above, Khomeini argued, “the only means of bringing Israeli crimes to an end is the elimination of this regime.” (See the chart below for the details of the 9-point Iranian plan) A nuclear armed Iran will be a precursor to implement this 9-point plan.

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IRAN’S 9-POINT PLAN TO DESTROY THE HOLY LAND (ISRAEL) – Chart courtesy of the Times of Israel.

iran 9 point plan to destory israel

For a larger view click on the chart.

Palestinian Authority Rewards Jihadis for Number of Jews they Murder

Don’t you dare call it savagery, you racist, bigoted Islamophobe. “Palestinian Authority Rewards Terrorists for Number of Jews They Kill,” by Edwin Black, Algemeiner, February 8, 2015:

Last year, Congressional legislators were astonished to learn that the Palestinian Authority was issuing monthly payouts totaling between $3 and 7 million as salaries and other financial rewards to specific terrorists and their families.

The money was channeled, in part, through the Ministry of Prisoners pursuant to the Law of the Prisoner. The law set forth a graduated scale, pegging monthly salaries to the length of Israeli jail sentences, which generally reflects the severity of the crime and the number of people killed and/or injured.

Thousands of documents, newly obtained by this reporter through a lawsuit to unseal court-protected files, demonstrate that these payouts are not blind automated payments. Rather, senior Palestinian Authority officials as high as President Mahmoud Abbas scrutinize the details of each case, the specific carnage caused, and the personal details of each terrorist act before approving salaries and awarding honorary ranks in either the PA government or the military.

Ministry of Prisoners spokesman Amr Nasser has explained, “We are very proud of this program and we have nothing to hide.” Nonetheless, in response to the international furor, the Palestinian Authority announced that it would replace the Ministry of Prisoners with an outside PLO commission known as the Higher National Commission for Prisoners and Detainees Affairs.

The PA is dependent upon foreign donor countries to supply much of its budget, which now exceeds $4.2 billion annually. About ten percent of the PA budget, more than $400 million, is contributed annually by United States foreign aid. The U.S. and many other countries have enacted laws forbidding any payments when the monies directly or indirectly support or encourage terrorism.

The interdepartmental bureaucratic notations the Palestinian Authority has recorded on each terrorist before approving the level of salaried compensation is extensive. For example, one prominent case involved Ahmad Talab Mustafa Barghouti, who personally coordinated numerous terrorist acts. These included a January 2002 shooting spree on Jaffa Street in Jerusalem, killing two and wounding 37; a March 2002 shooting spree at a Tel Aviv restaurant, killing three and wounding 31; and finally a March 27, 2002, attempt to smuggle an explosive suicide belt in an ambulance. The Israel Defense Forces arrested Ahmad. On July 30, 2002, a military court concluded that he was responsible for murdering 12 Israelis, and Barghouti was sentenced to 13 life sentences.

According to on-going internal Palestinian Authority security reviews dated February 3, 2009, and July 6, 2009, Barghouti’s special compensation began retroactively to July 1, 2002, the first of the month that the 13 life sentences were imposed. At the time of his arrest, Barghouti was a Sergeant in the Palestinian Police. As a reward, while in an Israeli prison, Barghouti’s annual salary of 12,953 Israeli shekels was continued and gradually escalated when he was promoted to First Sergeant.

Still in prison, Barghouti was promoted again, this time to Warrant Officer, pursuant to a November 13, 2008, Presidential Order 15999/3, according to Palestinian internal security records. One document lists Barghouti’s bank account as account 36079 at the Housing Bank for Trade and Finance in Ramallah. A related document tabulates additional monthly allocations for Barghouti’s two named beneficiaries, showing they jointly received 900 shekels monthly in 2002, beginning the month he was sentenced. That monthly allocation rose to 1,000 shekels in January 2004. The beneficiary payments were deposited into account 628134 at the Arab Bank’s al Bireh Branch 9030, the documents show….

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Fidel Castro’s Testament by Brian Latell

Oddly, there is no mention in the letter of the release of the three convicted Cuban intelligence agents from American penitentiaries. The key figures of the large Cuban spy ring that operated in the United States had been heralded as national heroes by Fidel before his retirement. He was extravagantly associated with the protracted campaign to win their release. The regime’s propaganda and intelligence machines labored long and diligently, overtly and covertly. But Fidel has not taken a victory bow now that they are home.

Rumors of Fidel Castro’s precarious health may swirl again in the aftermath of a letter issued over his signature earlier this week. Addressed to the Federation of University Students, the retired leader is quoted briefly about the changing Cuban relationship with the United States.

After remaining silent for more than five weeks following the announcements by President Obama and Raul Castro of measures taken in pursuit of détente, Fidel finally weighed in. “I will explain,” he is quoted saying, “in a few words, my essential position.”

Ghost written or not, his message provides a hedged endorsement of the process, though not of any of the steps taken by either side to normalize relations. He says nothing, for example, about the impending restoration of diplomatic relations that he caused to be broken in January 1961.

Nowhere in the message does Castro express unambiguous approval for detente. Perhaps the nearest he comes is by stating that he does not reject a “peaceful solution to conflicts or threats of war.” Employing similar lofty language, the letter merely states.

  • “Defending peace is the duty of all.”
  • “Any negotiated, peaceful solution . . . which does not imply the use of force must be addressed in accordance with international principles and norms.”
  • “We will always defend cooperation and friendship with all the world’s peoples, and with those of our political adversaries.”

In short, the message can only be read as grudging. Castro is quoted saying, “I do not trust the policy of the United States, nor have I exchanged one word with them.” It recalls his militance and intransigence during decades of dealings with ten American presidents: “revolutionary ideas must always be on guard. . . . In this spirit I have struggled, and will continue to struggle until my last breath.”

All this sounds reliably like Fidel. But the odds are good that he did not actually contribute meaningfully to the drafting of the document. It is impossible to know of course, but it reads more like a skillful brief composed by Raul Castro’s designees.

They wanted Fidel’s stamp of approval for moving toward better relations with the United States. Emblazoned on the front pages of the major Cuban dailies, the letter got maximum exposure on the island.

After Fidel’s long silence it was also necessary for the regime to stifle speculation that he had died or was on his deathbed. And, for many, his extended silence left the impression that he was opposed to normalization with Washington. It was unacceptable for either of those impressions to persist.

Yet, no utterance attributed to Fidel would have been credible had he enthusiastically endorsed rapprochement. Since his university days –as he in fact mentions in the letter — he pursued radical, anti-American ideals. For him now, in his late eighties, suddenly to abandon decades of anti-American intransigence would not have made sense. After all, the American economic embargo remains fully in force. Other historic Cuban demands are also still unassuaged. How could he give unequivocal approval to a process still in its early stages?

Oddly, there is no mention in the letter of the release of the three convicted Cuban intelligence agents from American penitentiaries, or of the America contractor who served five years in a Cuban jail. The key figures of the large Cuban spy ring that operated in the United States had been heralded as national heroes by Fidel before his retirement. He was extravagantly associated with the protracted campaign to win their release. The regime’s propaganda and intelligence machines labored long and diligently, overtly and covertly. But Fidel has not taken a victory bow now that they are home.

Nor has he met with them as they are being lionized in the official media as representatives of a new generation of revolutionary heroes. If he is not on his death bed, or severely impaired, a photo op with them would have been a routine event. Other than for reasons of health, therefore, it seems inexplicable that he has failed to boast of the Cuban success in bringing them home.

Two days after the letter was aired in Cuba, the press reported that Fidel had met with his old friend and biographer, Brazilian friar Frei Betto. They engaged, it was reported, in a friendly conversation about national and international issues. Normally under such circumstances, a photo of the two would have accompanied the article.

But this time, the photo of them attached to the story was acknowledged to have been taken in February 2014 during an earlier meeting. The most recent photos of Fidel appeared in the middle of last year and he has made no public appearance in about a year. Will rumors of his imminent demise be stoked anew?


Brian Latell, Ph.D., is a distinguished Cuba analyst and a Senior Research Associate at the Institute for Cuban and Cuban American Studies at the University of Miami. He has informed American and foreign presidents, cabinet members, and legislators about Cuba and Fidel Castro in a number of capacities. He served in the early 1990s as National Intelligence Officer for Latin America at the Central Intelligence Agency and taught at Georgetown University for a quarter century. Dr. Latell has written, lectured, and consulted extensively. He is the author of After Fidel: The Inside Story of Castro’s Regime and Cuba’s Next Leader and Castro’s Secrets: The CIA and Cuba’s Intelligence Machine. Brian Latell is a contributor to SFPPR News & Analysis.

Montana’s Fight in the War on Coal by Taylor Rose

Looking into the coal industry in Montana gives us a strong insight into the present state of affairs of American coal.  Montana generally ranks around fifth in terms of coal output in the United States, while having the largest amount of reserves, roughly 25 percent of U.S. reserves, or 120 billion tons. Montana’s coal output is currently larger than Canada’s and roughly the same size as India.

In 2008, then senator and presidential candidate, Barack Obama declared war on the coal energy sector of the American economy.  Today, his ongoing war on coal is being waged aggressively through Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) mandates.  President Barack Obama’s vision is a world where coal production and use is virtually non-existent.

Though Kentucky, Ohio, West Virginia and Pennsylvania are typically regarded as the icons of American coal production, looking into the coal industry in Montana gives us a strong insight into the present state of affairs of American coal.

Montana generally ranks around fifth for coal output in the United States, while having the largest amount of reserves, roughly 25 percent of all U.S. reserves, or 120 billion tons. Montana’s coal output is currently larger than Canada’s and roughly the same size as India.

Speaking with Bud Clinch, the Executive Director of the Montana Coal Council noted how the “need for coal is decreasing in the United States because of emission restrictions, but worldwide the demand is strong, especially in China, South Korea, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Serbia.”

Though for the moment, the anti-coal president has yet to cause a significant dent in the U.S. coal industry, thanks to the massive increase in global demand. Yet, Montana and the United States will struggle to meet the growing demand for two reasons: lack of port expansion and government regulation. The common denominator between these two obstacles is the radical environmentalist lobby.

In other words, the American inability to meet global coal demand is self-imposed.

With regard to government regulations, according to Clinch, “EPA regulations are forcing plants to close because they cannot meet EPA regulations.” Therefore it is not so much that coal production is the major problem, but rather “the EPA and air quality on emissions from a power plant are where the problem is at.”

This is keeping consistent with President Obama’s plans to restrict carbon emissions.

At present, Clinch says that Montana’s “annual production is fairly stable over the last decade of around 42 million tons of coal per year,” however, “this is subject to change as power plants pull back thanks to regulations on CO2 regulations.”

Mike Carey, president of the Ohio Coal Association appearing before Congress testified,  “In 2008, President Obama said, ‘If someone wants to build a new coal-fired power plant they can, but it will bankrupt them because they will be charged a huge sum for all the greenhouse gas that’s being emitted.’”

To further exacerbate the problem, “environmentalists are blocking coal port construction,” Clinch said, explaining that “at the moment there are no ports in the Western USA that export coal…. the only port is in Vancouver and the Canadians are very willing to find ways to expand coal production.”

Though these coal specific ports in Canada function for the time being, the problem is that “ports in British Columbia are operating at capacity and it is difficult for other products to come into port…”

Clinch warns that “if these regulations persist, coal exports to other nations will have to increase…South Korea and China have massive demands….they will find ways to get coal one way or another from Australia or the USA.”

In looking at the future of coal development, Clinch observes that main-stream “Democrats have been temporarily stopped by the GOP and pro-coal Democrats…but nothing advantageous has been passed” and is unlikely to be passed, as long as Obama is in office.

Montana Democrats have even taken a leadership role on this issue, where  last year, Senator Jon Tester and former Senator John Walsh “pushed Senate Finance Committee to include the Indian Coal Production Tax Credit in the next round of tax legislation.”

Even former Democrat Governor Brian Schweitzer has advocated for increasing coal production, as a means to help eliminate poverty and improve America’s national security.

Their reasoning being that “reauthorizing the Indian Coal Production Tax Credit is critical to the financial stability, self-sufficiency and self-determination of several Tribes,” Tester and Walsh said. “Not only does responsible resource development have the potential of reducing unemployment on reservations, it also promotes Tribal sovereignty.”

This echoes Senator Steve Daines’ commonly known statement that Obama’s “war on coal is a war on the Crow people of Montana.”

Senator Daines has taken a leadership role in fighting back against the Obama Administration’s harmful anti-coal policies. In March 2014, when Senator Daines was a Congressman, he introduced the “Preventing Government Waste and Protecting Coal Mining Jobs in America Act,” which “would save American jobs and taxpayer dollars by preventing the Obama Administration from continuing a wasteful process to develop new job-destroying coal regulations.” The bill passed overwhelmingly with bi-partisan support, although then Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid tabled the bill and refused to bring it up for a vote.

Clinch says that at present “90 percent” of coal produced in the United States is used within the United States. However, with the rising power of environmentalists, a gradual shift towards natural gas will become more inevitable.

If no federal legislation is passed to either improve the ability of the American coal industry to meet global demand or at least reign in the EPA’s bureaucratic power, the Montana coal industry will decline and come to resemble the impoverished and high unemployment lands of Appalachia.

Regardless of whatever actions the EPA and Obama Administration take to restrict coal production and use, the global demand will still be there and continue to grow. Either the United States and working class families can benefit from Republican led efforts to restrict the EPA’s authority and expand coal production, or many of these blue-collar areas will languish in indefinite poverty.

(To read more about Obama’s EPA policies toward coal, a detailed account is provided on pp. 24-36 in a paper entitled American Energy Independence: A Policy Review published by the Selous Foundation for Public Policy Research.)


Taylor Rose is a graduate of Liberty University with a B.A. in International Relations from the Helms School of Government. Fluent in English and German he has worked and studied throughout Europe specializing in American and European politics. He is a prolific writer and author of the book Return of the Right an analysis on the revival of Conservatism in the United States and Europe. He is also a contributor to SFPPR News & Analysis.

Who is the Leader of the ‘Free World’ Obama or Netanyahu?

The question ‘Who is Leader of the Free World, Obama or Netanyahu’ may at first sound foolish. However ask yourself, which other leader of a western style democracy has a better grasp of the danger Iran and Radical Islam poses to the free world.

The leader of the free world must be able to identify the enemy and confront it.

Obama has distanced himself from the reality that Radical Islam and Iran account for most of the terrorism occurring around the world. Obama cannot even utter the words ‘Radical Islamic Terrorism’ and as a result he cannot  be considered the leader of the Free World.

Obama’s trashing Netanyahu for accepting an invitation to speak before Congress has nothing to do with protocol. It has everything to do with Netanyahu’s understanding the threat of an Iran with nuclear weapons and Radical Islam poses to America, Israel and the rest of the free world. As a result Netanyahu’s speech will stand in stark contrast to Obama’s approach to Iran and Radical Islam.

That is what is driving Obama up the wall.


Who is Leader of the Free World: Obama or Netanyahu?

By Joseph Gelman

It’s another day, so you can be pretty sure that another anonymous Obama administration “source” is trashing the Israeli Prime Minister in yet another planted story in a friendly media outlet somewhere.

This used to be news, now it’s just sad.

What is it about Benjamin Netanyahu that has the Obama administration so insecure and borderline hysterical?

Perhaps it has something to do with the way the pesky and smooth-talking Israeli Prime Minister has gradually supplanted Barack Obama as the moral leader of the free world, on the most important issue of our time.

Where there is a leadership void, someone will fill it.

Obama and his minions’ sense it, and the jealousy/resentment seem to know no bounds.

When Netanyahu, a gifted orator in the English language, speaks on the dangers of radical Islam and a nuclear Iran, he projects a confidence and persuasiveness that the administration can’t match.

In stark contrast, when Obama speaks to these matters in his painfully couched language, knowledgeable people smell politics. They can sense the hesitation and stumbling over usage of even the most basic and obvious terminology, like “radical Islam”. Not a confidence-builder when facing the mullahs of Tehran.

While the Israeli Prime Minister has no such inhibitions… the problem for Obama is, neither do most freedom-loving people in the West. They inherently know that radical Islam does in fact have something to do with Islam, no matter how desperately the President tries to convince them otherwise. And they understand that such Islamists, be them of the Shiite or Sunni variety should never be allowed the means to produce nuclear weapons.

This dynamic is not lost upon the administration, and it is, along with ego, at the very heart of the Obama administrations apoplectic reaction to Speaker John Boehner’s invitation to Netanyahu to speak before a Joint Session of Congress.

It has little to do with a “breach of protocol.” Had Boehner invited the Prime Minister of Luxemburg to speak on European monetary policy, the words “breach of protocol” would never have come up. It’s Netanyahu himself that they fear and loath.

They are beside themselves that their appeasement policies vis-à-vis Iran are to be so publicly challenged by someone they view as of inferior status and a lot of chutzpah. And yet Netanyahu is clearly of superior knowledge on the issue, of superior communications skills, and most of all, has a superior stake in the outcome of negotiations with Iran.

Netanyahu will be speaking from the world’s most prestigious platform without the administration’s permission, directly to the American people and over the administration’s head, with the full backing of a solid majority in congress and of a very large constituency in the United States, many of whom have been lifelong supporters of the president’s own party.

It’s enough to drive any anti-Semite stark-raving mad.

Unfortunately, it’s also enough to drive this administration to the brink of DEFCON 1 political hysteria. Count on an endless barrage of negativity directed towards Mr. Netanyahu between now and the speech, and until the Israeli elections on March 17th. This will be an all-out, scorched-earth campaign conducted by the administration to get Netanyahu to back down from the speech, and to ruin his reelection prospects.

The gloves are off.

RELATED ARTICLES:

As I See It: The Obama doctrine says ‘Israel’s enemy is my friend’ – The Jerusalem Post

Obama’s Iran policy rests on false assumptions and half-truths

U.S. State Department: Iran is the leading state sponsor of terrorism globally

Can you imagine any U.S. president  who would cooperate with a leading and active state sponsor of terrorism and reward them with the ability to develop nuclear weapons? Most people can’t imagine such a thing because it defies belief. However that is exactly what Obama is doing. No one knows what motivates Obama to make Iran, (the leading state sponsor of terrorism) a nuclear weapons power. If you count the number of terrorist acts and deaths attributed to Iran in Syria and elsewhere, Iran is the most dangerous country on the planet. The only possible explanation is that Obama believes the U.S. hegemony in the Middle East is worse than an Iranian hegemony.

Whether you think the U.S. has too much influence in the world and Middle East in particular is not the point. Nuclear weapons in the hands of a state sponsor of terrorism with missiles that can reach the U.S. homeland present a clear and present danger.

Iran is responsible for more deaths than the Islamic State. If Iran has nuclear weapons why shouldn’t the Islamic State have them as well? Iran’s leadership is equally cruel and has little regard for life. Iran demonstrated this in its war with Iraq when it sent tens of thousands boys as young as nine years of age to detonate mine fields with their bodies and certain death. Iran is responsible for the death of 250,000 Syrians and millions refugees. Containment with a society that loves death and martyrdom more than life is an illusion. Is this the enemy we want to have nuclear weapons?

The State Department Report

In July 2012, the United States State Department released a report on terrorism around the world in 2011. The report states that “Iran remained an active state sponsor of terrorism in 2011 and increased its terrorist-related activity” and that “Iran also continued to provide financial, material, and logistical support for terrorist and militant groups throughout the Middle East and Central Asia.”

The report states that Iran has continued to provide “lethal support, including weapons, training, funding, and guidance, to Iraqi Shia militant groups targeting U.S. and Iraqi forces, as well as civilians,” despite pledging to support the stabilization of Iraq, and that the Qods Force provided training to the Taliban in Afghanistan on “small unit tactics, small arms, explosives, and indirect fire weapons, such as mortars, artillery, and rockets.” The report further states that Iran has provided weapons and training to the Assad regime in Syria which has launched a brutal crackdown on Syrian rebels, as well as providing weapons, training, and funding to HamasPalestinian Islamic Jihad, and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command, among others, and has assisted in rearming Hizballah.

The report states as well that Iran has remained unwilling to bring to justice senior members of Al Qaeda that it continued to detain, and also refused to publicly identify these senior members, as well as that Iran has allowed Al Qaeda members to operate a core facilitation pipeline through Iranian territory, which has enabled Al Qaeda to carry funds and move facilitators and operatives to South Asia and elsewhere.

RELATED ARTICLES:

As I See It: The Obama doctrine says ‘Israel’s enemy is my friend’ – The Jerusalem Post

Obama’s Iran policy rests on false assumptions and half-truths

Israel’s Offshore Gas Discoveries are in Jeopardy

On February 3rd, there was a  Conference  in Tel Aviv co-sponsored by the Israeli Ministry of Infrastructure, Energy and Water and Maala – a group concerned with Socially Responsible Business. Globes Israeli Business and Reuters covered it, “Energy minister: Foreign companies aren’t coming to Israel.”

 Silvan Shalom, Israeli Minister of Infrastructure,  the Israel Manager of  Houston –based Noble Energy, Inc. co-developer with Israel’s Delek Group and a representative of Australian  energy company Woodside, Pty.  appeared among other presenters. They were all  bemoaning the arbitrary, some would say capricious draft ruling of Dr. David Gilo, Director General of Israel’s Antitrust Authority (IAA) , basically stopping development of the offshore Leviathan  gas field and  forcing the possible sale of the existing Tamar gas field in Israel’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).  Gilo,as we have discussed  in prior posts, has confounded Israel’s energy independence and possible export opportunities with his draft consent order based on misguided consumerist  populism.  His understanding of the economics of pricing of gas as a commodity in the international markets is simplistic at best and simply panders to  misguided domestic  populist concerns over maintaining low energy prices.  His proposals to enhance competition  in the domestic  market come amidst the looming March Knesset elections.  Many  suspect that his actions were in support of the Labor-Hanuat coalition objective of unseating Prime Minister Netanyahu.  Not surprising as Israel’s founding generation, save for  Menachem Begin, were Socialist  Marxists. They created the country’s dual economy with Histadrut – the labor union dominated institution – owning  key sectors in the country’s economy that have  only been partially privatized. The exception being Israel’s much vaunted high tech sector.

Gilo’s  misguided logic is reflected in the comments of the Israeli National Infrastructure-Maala conference presenters. It was bolstered by an announcement that the Noble Energy –Delek Group partners  were on the verge of concluding a deal with Egypt to provide much needed gas from the Aphrodite field in the adjacent Republic of Cyprus EEZ.  Neither Noble or Delek accept the separate marketing proposals and sales of  both Tamar and smaller fields, originally part of an IAA deal agreed to by Gilo.

Note these comments from the Globes article:

“We don’t see foreign gas companies coming to Israel,” Minister of National Infrastructure, Energy, and Water Silvan Shalom admitted. “The foreign companies have interests in countries like Saudi Arabia and the Gulf, and bringing them to Israel is no easy task. Israel is small country, with a small gas market. In a utopian and theoretical world, companies would come, but that’s not how it is in the real world.”

“Unfortunately, our business in Israel was unsuccessful, but our connections with Noble Energy have become stronger,” Woodside VP Corporate Affairs Roger Martin said at a conference organized by the Ministry of National Infrastructure, Energy, and Water and the Maala organization.

Woodside, which planned to acquire 25% of the rights in the Leviathan natural gas reservoir for $2.7 billion, backed out at the last minute, and left Israel. “We’re working together with Noble Energy in Africa, and we signed an additional agreement with them in October for oil and gas exploration off the Cameroon coast,” Martin said.

“Our pride in making our contribution to the community was met with cynicism. They tell us cynically, ‘This is very American’,”  [Nobel Energy Israel Manager]  Zomer said angrily. “What do you want from me? What’s very American? I don’t understand this. Since when is doing good considered American? Why should companies in Israel apologize for their success? Of course Noble Energy hoped to make a profit in Israel, but it also meant to do good for Israel.”

Gidon Tomer [CEO Delek Drilling  Partnership] noted , “That state could expect NIS 250 billion  ($65 Billion) in revenues from the first stage of developing Leviathan. He added, “This revenue doesn’t take into account the immediate saving from the consumption of cheap gas. You have to look at the enterprises saved by natural gas. These enterprises are boosting their competitiveness. It’s a reduction in the cost of living.”

Alexander Varshavsky of the National Gas Authority  asserted that Israel could expect to lose NIS 3 billion ($780 million)  annually starting in 2018 from the delay in developing Leviathan. “Beyond that, it’s a blow to Israel’s credibility,” he argued.

On the matter of Gilo’s express goal of enhancing competition and energy pricing, Globes noted comments of   a conference participant who said, ‘If you want to talk about responsibility, Israel’s responsibility is to bring gas to factories. There are factories in the outlying areas that closed down because of their energy costs. At enterprises like Phoenicia Flat Glass Industries and Shaniv Paper Industry Ltd. (TASE: SHAN), it was a do or die question. Today, they’re hooked up to natural gas and saving money. That’s the most important thing.”

Should PM Netnayahu win the March 17th election perhaps a priority will be to pass legislation amending the mandate of the IAA remodeling it in on 100 year precedent of the U.S. Federal Trade Commission.  Otherwise , director General Gilo of the IAA, will thwart Israel’s economic future and energy independence.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review. The featured image of the Tamar deep oil platform is courtesy of Oil in Israel.

Bosnian Muslims in U.S. used Facebook, PayPal for Jihad plotting

Why would Bosnian Muslims get involved in plotting jihad terror activity? We have for years now been repeatedly assured that all the Muslims in and from Bosnia were moderates who loved America, and threatened with charges of “Islamophobia” if we even questioned that dogma. Those learned analysts have yet to explain the activities of these Bosnians and others like them.

Meanwhile, Facebook would do well to stop its jihad against counter-jihadists and keep better watch on activities like these.

More on this story. “Indictment: Bosnian immigrants plotted over Facebook,” by Jason Keyser, Associated Press, February 7, 2015:

CHICAGO (AP) – Six Bosnian immigrants accused of sending money and military equipment to extremist groups in Syria used Facebook, PayPal and other readily available services to communicate and transfer funds, according to a federal indictment.

All are charged with conspiring to provide and providing material support to groups designated by the U.S. as foreign terrorist organizations, including the Islamic State group and an al-Qaida-affiliated rebel group known as the Nusra Front.

The indictment unsealed Friday in U.S. District Court in St. Louis alleges they plotted by phone, Facebook and email; shared videos and photos related to their plans on social media sites; sent money via PayPal and Western Union; and shipped boxes of military gear through the U.S. Postal Service.

The defendants are accused of donating money themselves and, in some cases, collecting funds from others in the U.S. and sending the donations overseas. It says two of the defendants, a husband and wife in St. Louis, used some of the money to buy U.S. military uniforms, firearms accessories, tactical gear and other equipment from local businesses and ship it to intermediaries in Turkey and Saudi Arabia who forwarded the supplies to fighters in Syria and Iraq.

One of the suspects, Mediha Medy Salkicevic, a 34-year-old mother of four from the Chicago suburb of Schiller Park, appeared Saturday in federal court in Chicago. Wearing an orange jail uniform, she spoke only to confirm that she understood the charges. She appeared calm and smiled occasionally while consulting with her attorney.

Speaking to reporters afterward, defense attorney Andrea Gambino stressed that Salkicevic is considered innocent until proven guilty.

The indictment says the suspects used “coded language” in their communications over email and social media, using terms like “the beach” for places in Iraq and Syria.

But it says they also used terms such as brothers, lions, mujahids and shaheeds, or holy warriors and martyrs. Such language is commonly used among Islamic extremist groups and would seem likely to draw law enforcement scrutiny if posted openly on the Internet.

But terrorism financing expert Loretta Napoleoni said it’s a clever tactic to use such usual channels for communicating and sending money as long as the amounts are small, noting that so many people use them that it’s easy to “go below the radar.”

“That’s the easiest way to send money. … And frankly using the U.S. Postal Service is also a very good way not to be caught,” said Napoleoni, author of “The Islamist Phoenix.” ”There is so much stuff going through.”

The FBI arrested Salkicevic on Friday. If convicted, she could face up to 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $50,000 on each charge. The case will be tried in Missouri, where several other defendants were arrested. A bond hearing Monday will determine whether Salkicevic travels there on her own or in custody.

The indictment alleges the conspiracy began no later than May 2013.

All six people who are charged are natives of Bosnia who were living in the U.S. legally. Three are naturalized citizens; the other three had either refugee or legal resident status, according to the U.S. attorney’s office.

Besides Salkicevic, the indictment names Ramiz Zijad Hodzic, 40, his wife, Sedina Unkic Hodzic, 35, and Armin Harcevic, 37, all of St. Louis County; Nihad Rosic, 26, of Utica, New York; and Jasminka Ramic, 42 of Rockford, Illinois….

RELATED ARTICLES:

UK: Muslims threaten female army cadets with beheading

Jihadis returning to France from Islamic State and making more recruits

Baghdad: Islamic jihadists murder 37 people, wound 86

UPDATE: Victory for Iran — Hegemony Over the Arabian Peninsula

Iran has thrown  a lasso around Arabian peninsula with Houthi Shia takeover in Yemen.  Friends of ours here in Pensacola have two serving U.S. Marine Captains. One of them was in charge of  Marine Security for our embassies in the Middle East.  He called home to say that he was in the last group of 10 persons that  vacated the U.S. Embassy in Saana, Yemen, He told his parents in a phone call of the circuitous trip to the airport in Yemen’s capital evading Houthi checkpoints. The flight took the group to safety in Dubai. Yemen is now a failed state that will likely devolve into sectarian war between the minority Houthi and the divided majority Sunni.  It also marks another failure of this  exemplar  of the Obama ‘no name’ counterterrorism strategy.

Saudi Arabia’s fences on its northern and southern borders may become the equivalent of France’s Maginot Line that failed to stop the Nazi blitzkrieg in 1940 that saw the demise of Third Republic. The Kingdom has the largest number of Islamic State foreign fighters who will constitute a fifth column upon return to the Wahhabist realm.  That gives Iran virtual control of Iraq, Syria, Yemen, plus Lebanon with Proxy Hezbollah.  Then  there are restive majority Shia in Bahrain and oppressed Shia sitting atop Saudi Arabia’s oil fields in the eastern province on the Persian Gulf. Some argue that Iran may have even been complicit  fostering the rise of ISIS despite the alleged hatred between radical Islamist Salafist and Apocalyptic Twevlers in Tehran.

If President Obama’s quest for a nuclear pact with the Islamic Regime in Tehran occurs on March 24th with the P5+1 final agreement, Iran becomes a nuclear hegemon threatened the region, America’s ally Israel  and the West. Remember that agreement excludes ICBMs that may be capable of covering Europe and beyond.  Yesterday Uruguay arrested a senior Iranian diplomat  alleged to be involved in a possible repeat in Montevideo  of the Iranian sponsored 1992 Buenos Aires blast at the Israeli Embassy.

Obama’s ‘Strategic Patience”  document released Thursday amounts to capitulation and appeasement of Iran, the Muslim Brotherhood, IS, Taliban and Al Qaeda. To say nothing of his failed Russian reset with Imperialist Putin in the Ukraine and  failed pivot to contain China’s saber rattling in East Asia  He even changed the wording of his original war declaration against IS  from “degrade and destroy” to “degrade and destroy”.  He is worse than British PM Neville Chamberlain at Munich in 1938 that sold out pre-war Czechoslovakia. At least Chamberlain brought Sir Winston Churchill into his cabinet after the declaration of war against Nazi Germany on September 3, 1939  as First Lord of the Admiralty, a prelude to Churchill being asked by King George VI to form a government on May 10,1940 following Chamberlain’s resignation.

Obama and  many Democratic Senators and Representatives deplore the proposed speech by Israel’s PM Netanyahu on the dangers of  Iran and radical Islam before a Joint Session of Congress on March 3rd at the invitation of U.S. House Speaker John Boehner. If that does occur then the leader of America’s only democratic ally in the Middle East, who is said to speak in Churchillian cadence, will like the fabled UK wartime premier, have a third opportunity to present his prescient views.

NOTE: This Twitchy headline and  tweeted  comments  posted on ‘Victory for Iran’: Shia rebels in ‘success story’ Yemen dissolve parliament, take charge

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review. The featured image is of Houthi Shia rebels in Yemen.

Iranian Diplomat expelled from Uruguay for Attempted Israeli Embassy Bombing

This Breitbart /Ha’aretz report of an  Iranian diplomat attempting a bombing of the Israeli Embassy in Montevideo, Uruguay may be payback for the IAF attack on a convoy in Quneitra, Syria on January 18th. That attack that took out 11 Hezbollah and Iranian commanders, including Jihad Mughniyah and Iranian Revolutionary Guards General Muhammad Allahdadi.

Mughiniyah’s father, Imad, Hezbollah’s and Iran’s terrorist mastermind was at the top of the FBI’s most wanted terrorist list prior to 9/11. He was alleged to have planned the execution of the 1983 Beirut US Embassy, U.S. Marine and French Paratrooper Barracks with hundreds killed and wounded. He was alleged to have killed U.S. Navy diver Robert Stethem aboard TWA Flight 847 diverted from Athens to Beirut in June 1985 whose body was dumped on the tarmac at Beirut Airport. He may have orchestrated the 1992 Israeli Embassy, 1994 AMIA Jewish Center blasts in Buenos Aires. There is suspicion that Maghniyah may have been behind the mid-air blast by an Arab suicide bomber of a Panamanian air commuter flight that killed all 21 passengers and crew, including 12 Jewish businessmen en route from Colon to Panama City the day following the 1994 AMIA bombing. Then there was the June 1996 Khobar Towers truck bombing that took the lives of 19 USAF service personnel and injuring nearly 500 had the fingerprint of a Hezbollah attack perpetrated by Mughniyah. He also figured in the 2011 New York Federal Court 9/11 Iran Links case given evidence from Iranian defectors that Mughniyah was allaged to have been involved in facilitating the travel and training of the 19 perpetrators of 9/11. There are conflicting reports that Mughniyah may have been taken out in a car bombing on February 12, 2008 by a joint CIA Mossad operation.

The Montevideo arrest illustrates that the more than three decade secret war between Iran and Israel is still going despite the recent mysterious death of Argentine Jewish prosecutor Alberto Nisman. His death occured on the cusp of Congressional testimony involving a Compliant and arrest warrants alleging that Argentine President Cristina de Fernandez Kirchner and Jewish Foreign Minister had offered to withdraw criminal charges against Iranian officials in exchange for a trade deal that Nisman had evidence were involved in the 1994 AMIA bombing that took 85 lives, perhaps 86 including his own.


Report: Senior Iranian Diplomat Attempted Bombing Of Israeli Embassy In Uruguay

Uruguay has reportedly declared a senior Iranian diplomat persona non grata after he was involved in a bomb plot against Israel’s embassy in early January, according to senior Israeli officials who told Haaretz.

Uruguayan intelligence found that the man was involved in placing an explosive device outside of the Israeli embassy. After uncovering the plot, the Uruguayan government reportedly contacted the Iranian government, and both sides decided it was best to remove the Iranian diplomat from the country.

On January 8, a partially detonated explosive device was found on the ninth floor of a building in the capital city of Montevideo, on the same floor where the Israeli embassy is located. Uruguayan officials reportedly reached out to Israeli officials regarding the matter, but kept it a low profile matter for reasons that have not been explained.

Israeli officials told Haaretz that they believe that the attempted bombing was either a measure seeking to “harm the embassy or explore its security preparedness.”

Iran is known to have sophisticated networks in much of South America, through its Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and its Hezbollah proxy.

Montevideo is only about 100 miles from Buenos Aires, Argentina, where Iran is believed to be responsible for the 1994 bombing of the Argentina-Israelite Mutual Association (AMIA), which resulted in the deaths of 85 with hundreds more wounded in the terror attack. According to recently deceased prosecutor Alberto Nisman, the Argentinian government conspired to cover up Iran’s role in the bombing in exchange for a lucrative oil deal with the Iranian regime.

The Iranian regime is also heavily involved in furthering defense partnerships and trade agreements with South American countries Bolivia and Venezuela.

Iran is believed to be actively engaged in attempting to retaliate for a recent Israeli air strike that neutralized a Hezbollah commander and Iranian General who were stationed in the Golan Heights.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review. The featured image is of Uruguay Police. Source: AFP.

County Sheriff Stands Up to the IRS

Mentioned below is an article regarding the tension in Carlsbad, New Mexico as a County Sheriff stood between a resident in his county, and the Federal Marshall Service!  Sheriff Scott London had a nationally known and respected Constitutional Lawyer spend a day teaching his department the reality of the US Constitution, especially the protection of private property rights from intrusion by an unchecked federal government and it’s agencies and departments.  KrisAnne Hall is a former State’s Attorney with many years of prosecution experience.  Between returning to school to study Constitutional Law and studying on her own, KrisAnne has become recognized nationally as a subject-matter expert.  Her books and DVDs will attest to that statement.

I have been most fortunate to have met KrisAnne on a couple of occasions, and was proud to host her for a full-morning seminar at the Arizona State Capitol this past January.  Sheriff London of Eddy County, New Mexico has participated in one of KrisAnne’s eye-popping, quick note taking, head spinning, and solid constitutional law and facts training.  The Arizona Legislators, law enforcement officers, and various elected officials from across the State of Arizona took more notes than they have since college, or so they reported.  A month later and I have about a dozen requests from law makers to “bring KrisAnne back to Arizona!”  I am quite certain Sheriff London, and his department, wants a return seminar, also.

Sheriff London decided to act on his authority and rights as the Constitutionally-elected Chief Law Enforcement Officer of Eddy County, New Mexico.  This authority gives the Sheriff absolute authority to stand against federal intervention in his county, and neither can a Board of Supervisors or County Commissioners, a State Legislature, the Governor, or even Federal Departments order the Sheriff.  The people of Eddy County, New Mexico have the authority to cause the sheriff to be turned-out of office, even recalled if the Sheriff is abusing his authority.

The 3,200 Sheriffs across America are accountable to the people! 

The Framers of our Constitution especially created this document with that provision in mind.  As a guard against runaway tyranny and heavy handed federal intrusion, our Forefathers created the Office of the Sheriff to be a watchdog for breaches of sovereignty, and a protector of people’s rights and constitutional gifts.

Sheriff London has been informed that much help is available to him and his department if he so chooses.  The Sheriff is not running for reelection, so statements that he is grandstanding are typical grandstanding in their own verbiage.  A single sheriff in an out-of-the-way county in the Southwest stood on his U.S. Constitutional authority and protected a citizen, and a citizen’s private property.  Hooray for this Sheriff of Eddy County, New Mexico!  Hooray for those sheriffs across this land who do likewise.  I am afraid they will be put to the test far more in coming months.

The Sheriff is far more than a law enforcement professional, he/she are truly our last line of defense against tyranny and runaway federal intrusion.


EXCLUSIVE: Sheriff Stands Up to IRS, Cancels Land Sale

By: Priscilla Jones Feb 7, 2015

The first Republican elected sheriff in Eddy County, New Mexico, became the first sheriff in 25 years to stand up to the IRS. He physically stood at the gate of a troubled citizen’s property while US Marshals threatened his arrest. The landowner filed an appeal with the court and expects his case to receive due process before his land is publicly sold. The sheriff agrees. The judge does not.

Sheriff Scott London says he learned more about the Constitution in the year he spent campaigning for his job than in all of his years of schooling combined.

WASHINGTON, February 7, 2015—New Mexico’s Eddy County Sheriff Scott London notified the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) via letter that the sale of county resident Kent Carter’s property is canceled until Carter receives due process of law and his appeal is heard. The certified letter dated February 4 received an immediate response from the Undersecretary of the Treasury’s office. According to the Treasury’s website, however, the public auction is still slated for February 19.

“Many officers have stood up over the years for the rights of citizens being victimized by the federal government,” said Sheriff Mack, founder of the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association, “But Sheriff London is the first one to stand up to the IRS since the early 1990s.” Mack said, “His actions show courage and humility. London is setting a good example for the rest of our sheriffs.”

Approximately ten days before Christmas, U.S. Marshals broke in the door of Carter’s rental property with their guns drawn. The tenant was a young mother with a new baby—home alone while her husband was at work. Sheriff London was called to the property to intervene. He advised the Marshals that Carter’s case was in appeal and he deserved due process. They threatened to arrest London, but he stood his ground and they backed off.

Carter has battled the IRS for decades over taxes on the earnings of his modest construction business. One court document listed his debt at $145,000, a figure Carter says an assessing agent “pulled out of thin air.” Every time he challenged them, his bill would shoot up a few hundred thousand dollars. His legal complaints state that the IRS failed to adhere to its own tax code, did not use proper accounting methods, and that the collection activity was unlawful because no notices of deficiency were given. Carter says his private and confidential information, including his social security number, was filed in public records and given to third parties. The IRS countered that it can publish and disperse the private information of Americans if it is trying to collect their money or property. A judge agreed.

Carter says the IRS is currently claiming he owes $890,000, a figure that “doubled with the stroke of a pen.”

The Taxation & Revenue Department ordered Carter to cease “engaging in business in New Mexico” until his arbitrary tax debt was paid. Carter appealed this injunction on the grounds that it was both unconstitutional and vague, as it deprived him of his right to make a living and also prohibited him from, “carrying on or causing to be carried on any activity with the purpose of direct or indirect benefit.”

“The IRS fabricates evidence against citizens by pulling numbers out of a hat and adding fees,” said Mack, “They wear people down emotionally and financially until they can’t take it anymore. No citizen should ever have to fight the IRS for decades in order to keep his land.”

“The IRS is a lie. The income tax is a lie,” said Carter. “Why should they be able to take anything? They’re worse than the mafia.”

The Carter properties have liens placed against them. A locksmith was instructed to change the locks. The IRS authorized the United States Marshal Service to arrest/evict anyone found on the premises. London, however, physically stood in front of Carter’s gate until the Marshals backed down. A public auction on the front steps of the Eddy County Courthouse is scheduled, but the local county sheriff—trained in the Constitution—resisted.

Carter voluntarily vacated his property and relocated his mobile home to an undisclosed location. “I chose to leave to keep it from escalating to something ugly—like Ruby Ridge, Idaho,” he said. Carter said he advised the Marshals and IRS Agents who publicly claimed he had armed friends on his land, “If there is going to be any violence, it is going to be you who starts it.”

Carter says 100% of his Social Security benefits is seized each month by the IRS, in addition to $2,800 the agency drained from his bank account. Legally, he says, the IRS can take no more than 15% of Social Security benefits.

Mack says banking institutions quiver when faced with the IRS’ gestapo tactics and generally hand over customers’ personal banking information, including access to accounts, without requiring a warrant or even any documentation. He encourages county sheriffs to brief every bank in their jurisdiction to refer inquiries from IRS agents to them.

Sheriff Mack is calling for the IRS to start following the law, including no “random” audits without probable cause, as they violate the Fourth Amendment. He asks them to stop committing crimes and rewarding IRS employees with bonuses for cheating on their personal taxes. “I agree with Senator Ted Cruz and others who say the IRS should be abolished,” said Mack. “It’s time they got off the backs of the American people.”

Carter says he prays daily for wisdom, and that he is surviving to be able to look into his grandchildren’s eyes and tell them he fought for their future and for America.

London is the first Republican to ever be elected sheriff in Eddy County. He distributes Bibles on behalf of Gideon International and met his wife in choir practice.

pricilla jonesAbout Priscilla Jones

Priscilla Jones is a business writer and communications strategist based in the nation’s capitals—Austin and D.C. Shedding light on incidences of abuse by overreaching government entities is her passion. Priscilla pens political humor pieces, a few of which are pure satire. When authentic investigative journalism is required, however, she delivers. Her beats are the criminal “justice” system, the security industry, and gun + private property rights. If you have a lead, please contact her. She is PatriotWriter on Twitter.

Ronald Reagan’s Free-Market Mentors by John Fund

Have you ever gone back and revisited or recalled the books or mentors who shaped your political or philosophical thinking? I got that chance this past weekend when I attended the annual summit meeting of the Foundation for Economic Education in Ft. Myers, Fla. A slim pamphlet reprinted by the Foundation for Economic Education was given to me by Dennis Miller, a school teacher, when I was 14 years old. It was “The Law,” by the 19th-century French economist FredericBastiat, and it set me on my current path of thinking.

I’m not the only one whom FEE has influenced. Milton Friedman described “I, Pencil,” FEE’s account of the hundreds of people and the raw materials that contribute to the making of that humble writing instrument, as “one of the clearest explanations of how markets work to benefit consumers” he had ever encountered. The Nobel Prize–winning economist F. A. Hayek said that FEE had helped inspire him to found the free-market Mont Pelerin Society. Ronald Reagan credited FEE materials he read in the 1950s with aiding his conversion to conservatism.

FEE says its mission is to “inspire, educate, and connect future leaders with the economic, ethical, and legal principles of a free society.” In the last five years, it has shifted its emphasis to reaching young people ages 14 to 24 through seminars, readings, and social media. Detroit’s public schools have made FEE’s Common Sense Economics its primary textbook for tenth-graders studying the economy. With a budget of only $3.6 million a year, FEE punches way above its weight in reaching future “influencers” who will populate academia, business, the media, and legal circles.Founded in the immediate aftermath of World War II by Leonard Read, a former head of the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce, the free-market outreach group has distributed millions of copies of classic texts such as Henry Hazlitt’s Economics in One Lesson, Hans Sennholz’s Up from Poverty, and Lawrence Reed’s Are We Rome?

Take Romina Boccia, a 30-year-old German immigrant of Italian ancestry. “When I was in state schools in Bavaria, I realized that there must be other perspectives on society I wasn’t getting,” she told me. “Then someone handed me a copy of Bastiat’s ‘The Law’ on a train, and I was hooked.” She now is a research fellow in economic policy at the Heritage Foundation.

Another person who got hooked on FEE’s materials was a middle-aged actor named Ronald Reagan. The story is fascinating, as detailed in the 2006 book The Education of Ronald Reagan, by Thomas Evans.

From 1954 to 1962, Reagan worked as the host of CBS’s top-rated General Electric Theater and served as General Electric’s official spokesman. For weeks at a time he would tour GE’s 139 plants, eventually meeting most of the 250,000 employees in them. Reagan himself estimated that he spent 4,000 hours before GE microphones giving talks that started out with Hollywood patter but ended up as full-throated warnings about Big Government. “GE tours became almost a post-graduate course in political science for me,” he later wrote. “By 1960, I had completed the process of self-conversion.”

Evans, a lawyer who served in the Reagan administration before turning amateur historian, identified Reagan’s mentor at GE as Lemuel Boulware, the man behind both the company’s PR efforts and its labor-negotiation policy. Boulware believed that at the start of contract talks, GE should make an offer it viewed as fair to stockholders, workers, and customers and then stick with it, allowing for almost no changes. This “take it or leave it” approach was so successful (strikes became almost unknown at GE) that it entered the lexicon of labor relations as “Boulwarism.”

But Boulware also believed that the policy would work only if executives went over the heads of union officials and educated the workers directly about why they had a stake in GE’s prosperity. Evans notes that “a worker who learned that GE’s profit margin was much smaller than he had been led to believe or that union officials had not been truthful with him” was unlikely to join a picket line or insist on over-the-top demands. Thanks to his outreach to workers, and his surveys of them, Boulware was “reputed to understand blue-collar workers better than anyone in the country.”

Boulware’s efforts included an elaborate campaign to educate GE’s workers as well as the public on the moral and economic benefits of free enterprise. He encouraged workers to form book clubs and read free-market texts published by FEE, especially Hazlitt’s Economics in One Lesson and Wilhelm Ropke’s Economics of the Free Society. He also encouraged his managers to read William F. Buckley Jr.’s brand-new National Review.

Boulware’s free-market message so penetrated GE’s work force that Reagan, his traveling ambassador, quickly saw how important it was for him to become familiar with what the workers were reading. Over time, his own reading and his conversations with GE workers had an effect. By the late 1950s, Reagan was lambasting those “who can’t see a fat man standing beside a thin one without automatically concluding the fat man got that way by taking advantage of the thin one.” Historian Rick Perlstein has concluded that “Reagan was an integral component in the Boulwarite system.”

The lessons Reagan had learned during his GE barnstorming stuck with him. Several passages in his famous 1964 speech on behalf of Barry Goldwater came directly from his GE talks. (“There is no such thing as a left or right. There is only an up or down: up to man’s age-old dream, the ultimate in individual freedom consistent with law and order; or down to the ant heap of totalitarianism.”)

The influence of those years lasted well into Reagan’s presidency. The Timemagazine journalist Hugh Sidey recalled admiring some of Reagan’s White House speeches so much that he asked a speechwriter who exactly had written them. “Reagan,” he was told. “They were actually pretty much the speeches he had given when he worked for General Electric.” And for the GE talks, Reagan was his own speechwriter.

Of course, few of the people that FEE has influenced turned out to be the gifted popularizer of liberty that Ronald Reagan was. But FEE marches on, adapting its outreach to the digital age and the fourth generation of young people to have come on the scene since its founding. Not a bad record at all for a group that shuns harsh rhetoric in favor of quiet persuasion.

This piece was first published here at National Review Online. Reprinted with permission.

ABOUT JOHN FUND

John Fund is currently the national-affairs columnist for National Review Online and a senior editor at the American Spectator.