Bernie Sanders On “That Right Wing” and “Racist” Israeli Government by Hugh Fitzgerald

At a town hall meeting in Nevada on February 18, Bernie Sanders delivered himself of some thoughts on what he described as Israel’s “right-wing” and “racist” government.

A report on that latest effort is here:

Senator Bernie Sanders says the United States must be “pro-Palestinian” as much as “pro-Israeli” and described the Israeli government as “right-wing” and “racist.”

Speaking during a televised town hall meeting in Nevada on Tuesday, the Democratic frontrunner for the US presidency said: “To be for the Israeli people and to be for peace in the Middle East does not mean that we have to support right-wing, racist governments that currently exist in Israel.”

But the American government has been “pro-Palestinian” for years; it has contributed billions in aid to the Palestinians, only to see much of that aid stolen by the leaders of Hamas and the Palestinian Authority. It only stopped contributing to the Palestinians, and to UNRWA, when the Palestinians refused to end their “Pay-For-Slay” program, by which hundreds of millions of dollars have gone to the families of imprisoned or dead terrorists. And the U.S. also objected to UNRWA’s insistence that the descendants of the Palestinians who originally left Mandatory Palestine, and then Israel in the period 1947-1949, were also “refugees” and deserve international aid. Among the hundreds of millions of refugees since the beginning of World War II, only the Palestinians have been allowed to consider their refugee status as something that can be passed down through the generations.

The American government also objected to the extraordinary corruption and theft, whereby just two leaders of Hamas, Khaled Meshaal and Mousa Abu Marzouk, managed to make off with at least $2.5 billion apiece from the Hamas treasury, while some 600 lesser figures in Hamas, living in Gaza, became millionaires living in seaside villas. Yasser Arafat, of the PLO, managed to amass – according to American sources – between one and three billion dollars. The President of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas and his sons Tareq and Yasser, have amassed a fortune of $400 million. Hanan Ashrawi, one of Abbas’s advisors, has a net worth of $46 million. Lesser figures in the P.A. have had to make do with tens of millions, or sometimes even millions. Still, for Palestinian leaders, it beats working.

Sanders apparently thinks the Likud is “right-wing” — one of his two favorite epithets for Israel — even though the party supports a welfare state that, in American terms, would be considered to be on the left. He fails to understand, too, that there is a nearly universal consensus among Israeli Jews that the country was right to annex the Golan for defensive purposes, and is justified in claiming an undivided Jerusalem as its capital. Israelis know, too, that control of the Jordan Valley is indispensable to the country’s defense against an invasion from the east, and that 460,000 Jews living in towns in the West Bank have a perfect right to be there, according to the Mandate for Palestine, which assigned to the future Jewish National Home all the territory from the Jordan River to the sea. Sanders has never given any sign that he has read, much less understood, the Mandate for Palestine, has never acknowledged the continuing relevance of that Mandate for the recognition of Israel’s rights today. He clearly has not read Article 80 of the U.N. Charter — known as the “Jewish People’s article” – by which the U.N accepted its responsibility to put into effect the Palestine Mandate’s provisions. Finally, Sanders has never mentioned U.N. Resolution 242, which established a second, independent justification for Israel holding onto those territories it won in the Six-Day War that Israel required for “secure and recognized boundaries.” Could it be that he doesn’t think the Mandate for Palestine, Article 80 of the U.N. Charter, and U.N. Resolution 242, don’t matter? How could he be so misinformed? Well, just look around at the political and media elites here and in Europe that appear, precisely, to ignore the Mandate, Article 80, and Resolution 242. Don’t confuse them with facts. Just repeat endlessly, with them, that Israel “must withdraw from occupied territories” to something close to the “1949 borders” (in truth, there were no borders established, only armistice lines, on the demand of the Arab states themselves), in order to bring about the “two-state solution.”

As for Sanders’ charge that the current Israeli government is “racist,” what is he talking about? Arab citizens of Israel have full equality with Jewish Israelis. They are members of the Knesset; they serve on the Supreme Court; they are high-ranking diplomats. They enjoy all the rights – freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, that other Israelis possess. The only difference is that they are not required to serve in the military, although they may volunteer to do so; there are now Arab and Druze officers in the I.D.F. There is hideous “racism” in the Middle East, but it is found among, and promoted by, the Muslim Arabs, not the Jews. The Muslims, after all, know from the Qur’an that they are the “best of peoples”(3:110) while the Jews, and other Infidels, are the “most vile of created beings.” (98:6).

The Qur’an contains many antisemitic verses, which have been usefully compiled by Robert Spencer: “The Qur’an depicts the Jews as inveterately evil and bent on destroying the wellbeing of the Muslims. They are the strongest of all people in enmity toward the Muslims (5:82); as fabricating things and falsely ascribing them to Allah (2:79; 3:75, 3:181); claiming that Allah’s power is limited (5:64); loving to listen to lies (5:41); disobeying Allah and never observing his commands (5:13); disputing and quarreling (2:247); hiding the truth and misleading people (3:78); staging rebellion against the prophets and rejecting their guidance (2:55); being hypocritical (2:14, 2:44); giving preference to their own interests over the teachings of Muhammad (2:87); wishing evil for people and trying to mislead them (2:109); feeling pain when others are happy or fortunate (3:120); being arrogant about their being Allah’s beloved people (5:18); devouring people’s wealth by subterfuge (4:161); slandering the true religion and being cursed by Allah (4:46); killing the prophets (2:61); being merciless and heartless (2:74); never keeping their promises or fulfilling their words (2:100); being unrestrained in committing sins (5:79); being cowardly (59:13-14); being miserly (4:53); being transformed into apes and pigs for breaking the Sabbath (2:63-65; 5:59-60; 7:166); and more.”

Bernie Sanders has never uttered a word about Muslim antisemitism. Is he afraid to confront the subject? Does he think it will go away if he refuses to discuss it? Has he not noticed the rise in antisemitism in Europe, largely attributable to the influx of millions of Muslims who bring with them, undeclared in their mental baggage, a deep and visceral hatred for Jews? Could it really be that he remains unaware of Muslim antisemitism? He never mentions the Palestinian (and other Arab) schoolbooks that drip with antisemitic venom, nor does he discuss those Palestinian children’s programs where sweet-faced Palestinian children, still in elementary school, chant their hatred for, and desire to kill, all Jews. Why not? Is it ignorance, or a desire by Bernie Sanders to protect the image of the Palestinians?

Sanders also spoke [at the town hall in Nevada] about the humanitarian crisis in the besieged Gaza Strip, where the youth unemployment rate is about 70 percent.

“Take a look at what’s going on in Gaza right now. You got youth unemployment, 70 percent, you know people can’t even leave the area,” he said.

Youth unemployment in Gaza is high for several reasons.

Mainly, there is the colossal corruption and mismanagement of the economy. Grasping Hamas leaders have been fixated on stealing money for themselves, money that was meant to improve the lives of all the Palestinians. A total of at least ten billion dollars has gone into the pockets of the late Yasser Arafat, Hamas leaders Khaled Meshaal, Mousa Abu Marzouk, Ismail Haniyeh, and 600 other second-tier leaders of Hamas, and in the P.A. gone to President Mahmoud Abbas and his two sons, Hanan Ashrawi, Saeb Erekat and others high up in the Palestinian Authority.

That money could have gone to vocational and professional training for young Gazans. It could have been used as seed money, too, to help the Gazans set up small businesses, or to invest in those that already exist but are starved for capital, so that they might expand. That would make a considerable dent in the numbers of those young Gaza’s who are currently unemployed. Sanders notes the 70% youth unemployment rate in Gaza, but has nothing to say about the reasons – which have to do with the grand theft by Hamas rulers uninterested in the plight of the people they presume to represent, as long as they and their families get theirs. The Hamas rulers have little ability to analyze and ameliorate the Strip’s economic problems. Government posts are distributed not to those who are the most capable economists and administrators, but to those whose loyalty to the leaders is assured. No wonder the Gazans have lost hope that their own Hamas-run government will help them.

Much of the aid money, too, both in Gaza and the West Bank, has gone into paying for weaponry of all kinds, and for the building of expensive terror tunnels. Those tunnels running from Gaza into Israel were built by Hamas, while those running from Lebanon into northern Israel were built by Hezbollah. These were enormously expensive to build and outfit with living quarters. All these terror tunnels have been located, and blown up, by the Israelis. A terrific waste of money that could have been used to build the Palestinian economy. Israel has tried to help the Palestinians — it left hundreds of greenhouses intact for the Palestinians of Gaza to take over once the Israelis left in 2005 — but the Gazans chose instead to destroy the greenhouses, stripping them of anything of value.

Bernie Sanders knows that the economy in Gaza is wretched, but does not see that wretchedness as the result of many bad decisions by the Palestinians themselves. It was a bad decision for Gazans ever to have allowed Hamas to be voted into power. This allowed the stupendous thefts by the new rulers, nearly seven billion dollars in aid money that was siphoned off for private gain by leaders of Hamas. In the West Bank, the Palestinian Authority, rulers also helped themselves to a total of several billion — they weren’t quite as adept as Hamas leaders at diverting aid money to themselves. It was a bad decision to spend so much of what aid money remained on arms, including rockets, and terror tunnels. Sanders should publicly recognize that the economic mess in Gaza is not the fault of Israel, but of the choices the Palestinians themselves have made.

If Hamas would stop firing its rockets into Israel, the Israelis have indicated they would lessen restrictions on the movement of Gazan workers into Israel, where even now tens of thousands of jobs in construction and agriculture remain to be filled. The Israelis are even more keen than Bernie Sanders is to relieve unemployment among Gazan youth, because they know that many of those unemployed young men listen to the siren songs of terrorist recruiters, and furnish the cannon fodder for terror attacks on Jewish civilians.

What American foreign policy has got to be about in the Middle East is bringing the Israelis, bringing the Palestinians together under the banner of justice.”

Sanders said: “It cannot just simply be that we’re just pro-Israel and we ignore the needs of the Palestinian people.”

The American government, Sanders needs to be reminded, has not been “just pro-Israel.” It was not “just pro-Israel” when, in 1956, President Eisenhower threatened to cut aid if Israeli troops did not withdraw from the Sinai. It was not “just pro-Israel” – in fact, was distinctly anti-Israel – when President Carter and National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski praised Sadat to the skies and exhibited a visceral dislike of Prime Minister Begin during the negotiations over the Camp David Accords; Carter always supported Sadat’s demands and belittled Begin’s attempts to explain Israel’s security needs; the result was the Camp David Accords, with Sadat – who was the one getting back all of the Sinai, territory Egypt had lost in its 1967 war of aggression – being heralded as a veritable Prince of Peace. Meanwhile, poor Begin, who was the one giving up “land for peace,” that is, tangible assets in exchange for a promise of peace, from Muslims who regard Muhammad’s Treaty of Al-Hudaibiyya, and subsequent breach of that treaty concluded with the Meccans in 628 A.D., as the model for all subsequent treaty-making, was depicted by Carter, Brzezinski, and much of the mainstream press as being “unreasonable” in his own modest demands, none of which were met. Nor was America “just pro-Israel” when Barack Obama was president. He repeatedly demonstrated his palpable want of sympathy for the Jewish state, especially when, at the U.N.’s Security Council, the American ambassador, Samantha Power, abstained for the first time, instead of voting against, a resolution calling Israeli settlements “illegal.”

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

The Myth of Bernie Sanders’ Honesty

Ah, feel the Bern. Love him or hate him — and avowed socialist Bernie Sanders does evoke extremes in feeling — even conservatives will credit him with being honest. But they shouldn’t. Not only has the Vermont senator and presidential contender changed positions to capture today’s “woke” Democrat Party left flank, but there are three factors to be considered when assessing honesty, and Sanders fails in the most dangerous way possible.

Oh, he certainly possesses authentic passion. Sanders isn’t empty to the core, as an early Arkansas Democrat critic said of Bill Clinton; he’s not a full-fledged opportunist such as Queen of Mean Amy Klobuchar or Pistol Pete Buttigieg, whose Marxist father, unbelievably, was a founding member of the International Gramsci Society (you can’t make this stuff up!). Nonetheless, Sanders would certainly understand late comedian Lenny Bruce’s observation, “We’re all as honest as we can afford to be.”

First there are the obvious, Romney-esque flip-flops. Sanders used to take what was once a not uncommon liberal position on immigration: Warning of how foreigners could take jobs from American workers and lower their wages (late head of the United Farm Workers union Cesar Chavez was a staunch opponent of illegal migration). Now he proposes decriminalizing border jumping, breaking up ICE and CBP and insists that free health care for illegals is a human right.

Sanders would also often part with Democrats and support Second Amendment rights, being from a largely rural state with little crime and a notable gun culture. But he flip-flopped badly enough in 2016 on protecting firearms manufacturers from unjust lawsuits that even Hillary Clinton could launch an attack on him while telling the truth. Oh, Bernie, we hardly knew ya’!

Yet these walk-backs are obvious and expected. Far more dangerous is the unseen dishonesty.

A great saying informs, “A man capable of deceiving only others is not nearly as dangerous as a man capable of deceiving himself.” The worst deception is self-deception. A normally dishonest person is to be reviled, but he could conceivably experience conscience pangs and decide to tell others the truth. But the self-deluded mislead others as a matter of course simply by relating what they’ve convinced themselves is truth, and, barring an epiphany-inducing conversion of heart and soul, can never set the record straight because their own perception is crooked.

I have great doubt there were many intellectually honest socialists even in the days of the Fabian Society and George Bernard Shaw. But now, being able to look back on the ideology’s history of blood and broken promises and economies — starting with Robert Owen’s failed New Harmony project in 1825 to the Bolsheviks to the Maoists to the Khmer Rouge and to Venezuela most recently, where people were eating cats and dogs — they must be rarer than a chaste starlet in Hollywood.

Socialism fails because it ignores man’s nature, that without a profit motive most people won’t be productive; wealth creation must be incentivized, and insofar as it’s not, poverty and suffering result.

Even the Soviets recognized that man’s nature contravened their aims. This is why the self-delusion of Lysenkoism, which preached the heritability of acquired traits (e.g., a plant whose leaves are plucked will have leafless descendants), was their official biological “science” until 1964. They knew that without an alteration in man’s nature that people could transmit to their progeny, their socialist program was imperiled.

While Sanders is no genius and more wizened than wise, he’s not a dumb man, either. So is there an excuse for his not knowing, at this late date, the devil he dances with in socialism? It’s like a 21st-century psychiatrist still subscribing to trepanation or a modern investment advisor recommending alchemy to increase precious metals holdings. It’s gross, damnable malpractice.

Yet, actually, while there may be no excuse for Sanders, there is an explanation. It’s called self-deception — and it’s anything but honest.

Then there’s the final factor to consider. People will state regarding Sanders, “Wow, say what you want about him, he’s sincere and just lets it all hang out. He flat out says he’s a socialist!” The idea is that the man is truly an open book.

Yet this is a flawed, dangerous analysis. It’s wiser to ask: If the beliefs Sanders openly espouses are this radical, how radical are the beliefs he’s keeping hidden?

Remember, again, as with all politicians, Sanders is “as honest as [he] can afford to be.” Everyone has filters. The Brooklyn-born son of an immigrant was a socialist activist long before he won political office (Mayor of Burlington, Vt.) at age 40. So masquerading as, let’s say, a Mitt Romney would never have flown. Moreover, you don’t have to provide all the details — in fact, you must avoid doing so — but you can’t ever effect socialism without creating a movement of fellow travelers. And proselytization is a prerequisite for doing this.

So Sanders had to find a place where his known radicalism was acceptable; ergo the Green Mountain State (where there just must be something in the water). He has been safely and lucratively ensconced in its politics ever since.

But what may Sanders be hiding that might not even be Vermont-approved? Well, note that recent Project Veritas undercover videos showed his campaign staff talking about putting political opponents in gulags, Soviet style, and even summarily executing them. (This, not to mention the Bernie supporter who committed the 2017 congressional baseball shooting and the one who just tried to burn a Calif. GOP office.) Of course, it would be unfair to definitively attribute to a man beliefs stated, unauthorized, by underlings.

Except that Sanders has not fired even one of these Marxists.

Consider as well that Bernie honeymooned in the Soviet Union and defended that evil empire’s bread lines.

So does the senator condone his underlings’ plans? The media aren’t asking — and he’s not telling. But in this case, inaction speaks louder than words, and birds of a feather….

Also note that one Sanders strange bird, Iowa field organizer Kyle Jurek, agrees with my assessment. “I think that he’s a legit socialist masquerading as a democratic socialist,” he said of his boss.

“Masquerading,” of course, is to pretend to be someone you’re not, and it characterizes politicians. So unless you’d risk a Bolshevik Bern, perhaps you should take the advice here of another left-winger, the late writer Maya Angelou: “When people show you who they are, believe them.”

Don’t be sandbagged by Sanders — because he’s many things, but honest ain’t one of ‘em.

Contact Selwyn Duke, follow him on Gab (preferably) or Twitter, or log on to SelwynDuke.com.

© All rights reserved.

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Pro-Life Is ‘Today’s Civil Rights Issue,’ Black Anti-Abortion Activists Say

African American pro-life leaders decry what they call the eugenics mentality of abortion providers perpetuating the high abortion rate among black women and urge promoting crisis pregnancy centers as an anti-abortion outreach to minority communities, as an alternative to Planned Parenthood.

The black anti-abortion activists also say the right to life is the civil rights issue of our time.

A recent panel discussion, “How Defunding Planned Parenthood Impacts the Black Community,” weighed in on those and other abortion-related issues at the recent National Pro-Life Summit 2020, a one-day training conference for young pro-lifers, held at the Marriott Marquis hotel in Washington.

“Eugenics is more than just a philosophy. It is directly implanted in policies that target African Americans and minorities,” said panelist Patrina Mosley, director of life, culture, and women’s advocacy at the Family Research Council, a Washington-based research group that supports pro-family legislation and education. “You can abort a child because they’re black, in some states, and you can abort a child because they have a disability.”


In these trying times, we must turn to the greatest document in the history of the world to promise freedom and opportunity to its citizens for guidance. Find out more now >>


Ryan Bomberger, a co-founder of the Purcellville, Virginia-based Radiance Foundation, a group that advocates for human dignity, has spearheaded numerous public campaigns aimed at exposing what he says are Planned Parenthood’s eugenicist roots.

The foundation has used public advertising, including a billboard campaign, to address the fact that abortion rates are much higher among black women, compared with the rest of the population.

“The NAACP and Planned Parenthood denounced our billboards as ‘horribly racist’ because they said the billboards gave the false impression that Planned Parenthood kills black babies,” Bomberger told the Jan. 25 gathering. “In truth, Planned Parenthood kills black babies, white babies, and every hue in between.”

Because of the lengths that Planned Parenthood goes to in order to be the primary pregnancy resource in minority communities, Christina Bennett, communications director for the Family Institute of Connecticut, stressed the need to “combat the narrative that Planned Parenthood is the only place people can go when they’re dealing with a crisis pregnancy.”

According to Bennett, connecting women with pro-life crisis pregnancy centers and lobbying state legislatures to support pro-life issues are ways to address the problem.

“In my state of Connecticut, the legislators and elected officials really think that Planned Parenthood is the one serving women of color and low-income women,” Bennett said. “But really, [crisis pregnancy centers] are the ones offering women holistic care.”

When asked about how to reach out to minority communities on the topic of abortion, the panelists advocated forming personal connections with the women, rather than just presenting the facts of the issue.

“Once you identify what they really care about, you can connect it to the issue of life,” Mosley said. “If they want to talk about institutional racism or Black Lives Matter, we can work with that. You don’t have to agree with them on everything, but keep giving them the facts, and let God’s eternal truth do the work.”

Bomberger said that kind of relational development is key to attaining pro-life victories.

“The pro-life movement is today’s civil rights issue,” he said. “We have to work together, and if we aren’t willing to have relationships, we can’t expect much. We have to be able to build friendships.”

Mosley encouraged the African Americans in the audience to tell their pro-life stories.

“In this business, you will be the minority for a while, but that needs to change,” she said. “We need more African Americans in the business of advocating for pro-life policies, at the state legislature, and at the Capitol. No one can tell the story like you of how this systematically impacts you.”

COLUMN BY

Virginia Aabram

Virginia Aabram is part of the Young Leader’s Program at the Heritage Foundation and interns at The Daily Signal.


A Note for our Readers:

This is a critical year in the history of our country. With the country polarized and divided on a number of issues and with roughly half of the country clamoring for increased government control—over health care, socialism, increased regulations, and open borders—we must turn to America’s founding for the answers on how best to proceed into the future.

The Heritage Foundation has compiled input from more than 100 constitutional scholars and legal experts into the country’s most thorough and compelling review of the freedoms promised to us within the United States Constitution into a free digital guide called Heritage’s Guide to the Constitution.

They’re making this guide available to all readers of The Daily Signal for free today!

GET ACCESS NOW! >>


RELATED ARTICLE: Liberals Oppose Equal Status for Faith-Based Organizations

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

12 Times Gun Owners Defended Themselves and Others

Many lawmakers around the country welcomed in the new year by pursuing legislation that would severely curtail the right of law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms.

Meanwhile, law-abiding citizens began 2020 just as they ended 2019—by showing repeatedly just how instrumental that right is to the security of a free state.

According to almost every major study on the issue, Americans use their firearms defensively between 500,000 and 3 million times each year. Even if we assume the lower end of this range, it means an incredible number of times that Americans relied on the Second Amendment—not government getting there on time—to protect their inalienable rights.

During every month of last year, we highlighted some of the stories of average, everyday Americans who used their guns to protect their lives and livelihoods from criminals.


In these trying times, we must turn to the greatest document in the history of the world to promise freedom and opportunity to its citizens for guidance. Find out more now >>


The first month of 2020 provided still more examples of citizens exercising their Second Amendment rights in defense of themselves and others. Here are 12:

  • Jan. 1, Dublin, California: A lawful gun owner relied upon his Second Amendment rights to defend his life when an ex-girlfriend and her armed acquaintance assaulted him in his own home. Police said the ex-girlfriend and acquaintance showed up purporting to want some of her possessions back, but instead threatened the resident with a gun. He fired at his two attackers as he fled and called police. The ex-girlfriend was killed, and her acquaintance wounded in the exchange of gunfire. Police determined that the lawful gun owner acted in self-defense. The armed acquaintance was charged with her death under the state’s Provocative Act Doctrine, since he ultimately provoked the violent confrontation.
  • Jan. 4, Columbus, Indiana: A homeowner shot and killed an intruder wielding a baseball bat who broke into his home in the middle of the night. The intruder may have been in the middle of a mental health crisis, as the Department of Veterans Affairs recently had requested that local law enforcement take the man to a hospital, but he refused to go. Neighbors reported that, in the minutes before the shooting, the man was seen walking up and down the street in a highly agitated manner, smashing windows and cursing loudly.
  • Jan. 7, Pascagoula, Mississippi: A man suspected in a string of burglaries picked the wrong house to break into, at the wrong time. The armed homeowner returned in the middle of the morning to find the burglar in his bedroom. The burglar tried to pull his gun, but the homeowner instead shot and killed him.
  • Jan. 10, Dallas: A concealed-carry permit holder was socializing with guests at a home cookout when three armed men attempted to rob them all at gunpoint. The permit holder drew his own handgun and fatally shot one of the robbers. The other two fled.
  • Jan. 11, Tulsa, Oklahoma: A homeowner’s son was asleep in the living room when he was awoken by the family dogs barking at a man on the porch. The man demanded to see his fiancée but was told he had the wrong house and needed to leave. Instead, the man broke into the family’s car, then tried to kick in the back door. The homeowner’s son warned the man multiple times that he was armed and would shoot him if he stepped foot in the house. Nonetheless, the man barged inside. True to his word, the son shot and wounded the man, who retreated and was later arrested.
  • Jan. 12, Pittsburgh: A young father used his handgun to defend himself, his fiancée, and their 10-month-old child after an intruder broke into their apartment and threatened them at gunpoint. The man shot and killed the intruder.
  • Jan. 14, Pierce County, Washington: The driver of a pickup truck began passing cars dangerously on a winding two-lane road, then took offense when another driver honked at him. Police said the pickup driver stopped his truck, halting traffic, then climbed out with a gun, pointing it at the people in the car behind him. A passenger in that car also was armed and ultimately was forced to shoot and kill the pickup driver in defense of himself and those around him.
  • Jan19, Danville, Illinois: When several armed men in ski masks kicked in his door one night, a 31-year-old homeowner defended himself with his handgun, firing multiple rounds at the intruders. One was killed and the others fled, police said.
  • Jan. 22, Warren, Michigan: A young man with a concealed-carry permit was returning home from a late night out at a show when he was accosted on his doorstep by a man with a gun. A neighbor’s doorbell camera captured the next harrowing moments: The permit holder drew his gun in self-defense and fired approximately 10 rounds at his would-be attacker. The attacker, wounded, fired back but did not hit the permit holder. About 20 shots were fired, police said, most apparently by the permit holder. Police arrested the intruder.
  • Jan. 24, Cape Coral, Florida: A good Samaritan with a firearm in his truck defended three women from a man who followed them out of a bar in a threatening manner. The women yelled at passing vehicles for help, and the truck driver stopped and allowed the women to take refuge inside as he confronted the aggressive man. The man retreated to his own vehicle when he saw that the truck driver was armed. He then rammed the truck several times while the women were still inside. The truck driver fired a couple of rounds into the tailgate of the man’s vehicle and held him at gunpoint until police arrived. Police charged the man with aggravated assault and determined that the truck driver acted in lawful defense of himself and the women.
  • Jan. 27, Brown County, Texas: A 13-year-old boy used the family rifle to protect his grandmother during a domestic violence incident, shooting and wounding a man because he was “fearful that his grandmother was going to be killed,” police said. Investigators said the man was “actively assaulting” the boy’s grandmother and threatened other family members, including a juvenile.
  • Jan. 31, Detroit: A woman shot and wounded a man who broke into her apartment in the middle of the night. A neighbor told reporters that it is a dangerous neighborhood and that there are regularly “gunshots up and down the area.” This time the gunshots were from a law-abiding citizen defending herself against a criminal.

As we noted in closing out 2019, it’s vital that Americans routinely hear these stories.

The “good guy with a gun” is not a myth but an integral part of American society, serving to protect individual liberty and increase public safety.

We all want safe communities, but our focus should be on doing the right thing instead of just doing “something.” The right thing certainly includes protecting the constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens, who regularly rely on those rights.

COMMENTARY BY

Amy Swearer

Amy Swearer is a senior legal policy analyst at the Meese Center for Legal and Judicial Studies at The Heritage Foundation. Twitter: .


A Note for our Readers:

This is a critical year in the history of our country. With the country polarized and divided on a number of issues and with roughly half of the country clamoring for increased government control—over health care, socialism, increased regulations, and open borders—we must turn to America’s founding for the answers on how best to proceed into the future.

The Heritage Foundation has compiled input from more than 100 constitutional scholars and legal experts into the country’s most thorough and compelling review of the freedoms promised to us within the United States Constitution into a free digital guide called Heritage’s Guide to the Constitution.

They’re making this guide available to all readers of The Daily Signal for free today!

GET ACCESS NOW! >>


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

VIDEO: Why the Movie Industry Is Fleeing California

Why is the film industry abandoning its Mount Olympus?


Ah, Hollywood. The Mecca of filmmaking. Thousands of would-be actors, screenwriters, and directors flock to Los Angeles, California to fulfill their dreams of becoming a star because, after all, that’s where movie-making happens. Everyone knows this.

And for close to a century, it was true. But today, Hollywood—the way we generally think of it—is fading away and going elsewhere. In fact, in 2017, only ten of the top 100 movies produced that year were made mostly in California.

It’s no secret that the entire state of California is experiencing a large and sustained out-flow of residents, but Los Angeles County, in particular, is showing the biggest losses. The question is why.

Why is the film industry abandoning its Mount Olympus?

A Hollywood Origin Story

Let’s back up for a minute and look at how Hollywood (the term used to describe the mainstream film industry because, yes, you’re correct, Hollywood, originally Hollywoodland, came from the name of a specific neighborhood in Los Angeles) came to be in Los Angeles to begin with.

Back at the end of the 19th century, motion pictures were a very new technology, and a handful of people held almost all of the patents related to the filming and screening of said films. Chief among them was Thomas Edison.

History remembers Edison as an important inventor but not so much as a nice guy. That’s probably a fair assessment, especially when it comes to early film-making technology.

Films at the tail-end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century in America were made almost exclusively on the East Coast—New Jersey, mostly. Films were short, silent, and lacked much of the subtlety and nuance that modern moviegoers have come to expect from cinema. At the time, though, they were cutting-edge and incredibly popular.

One could make a very good living running a show house or nickelodeon in any big city.

Right up until December 1908, that is.

That’s when Edison spearheaded the creation of the Motion Picture Patents Company (MPPC), generally referred to as the Edison Trust. It was comprised of the holders of all the significant patents related to the production and screening of motion pictures, including Biograph, Vitagraph, American Mutoscope, Kodak, and others.

Edison was widely known for having strong opinions about what kinds of movies should be made, how long they should be, who should be credited in them, and what it should cost to show them. With the control of the patents he himself owned combined with the collective clout of the other members, the MPPC ruled the movie-making industry with an iron fist. They sued those who didn’t comply with their dictates for patent infringement, refused to sell them equipment and film, and, occasionally, sent hired hooligans to wreck up movie sets or show houses.

As Dan Lewis at Mental Floss writes,

In short, if you wanted to be in the movie business, you did so at the pleasure of Thomas Edison. And Edison (via the MPPC) was not one to back down. The Company took to the courts to prevent the unauthorized use of everything from cameras to projectors — and in many cases, the films themselves. According to Steven Bach in his book, Final Cut, the MPPC even went to the extreme “solution” of hiring mob-affiliated thugs to enforce the patents extra-judiciously. Pay up — or else.

As you might imagine, some filmmakers chafed under such rigid constraints and looked for ways to escape Edison and his MPPC. Their solution? Head west.

After Arizona failed its audition, Los Angeles became the destination for aspiring filmmakers. In addition to being as far away as possible from New Jersey and the MPPC, the tiny town boasted a copious amount of sunny weather—critical to filmmakers in the days of extremely limited artificial lighting—as well as an abundance of cheap real estate and high-skill, low-cost labor.

The local government was pro-business. Should the MPPC actually manage to send a lawsuit that far away, the Mexican border was close enough to duck across until the process server gave up and went home. The geography was varied and beautiful.

After WWI broke out, Los Angeles became the movie-making hot-spot as American film production was sought out to replace the movies that were no longer being made in war-torn Europe. Hollywood’s star was on the rise, and millions of people over the decades decided to hitch their wagons to it.

Hollywood’s Act II Problems

For most of the 20th century, it was good to be Hollywood. There was no shortage of money and talent coming in the door. But over time, things began to change. As film technology made big advancements like broadcast TV in the 1950s and home video in the 1980s, the various roles in the film industry in California also saw surges in unionization.

This led to the various roles on film sets to be increasingly tightly-defined and contractually protected. No one may step even an inch into someone else’s lane.

Nick Bilton in Vanity Fair relates the “Raindrop Story” he heard from a Hollywood screenwriter:

The production was shooting a scene in the foyer of a law firm, which the lead rushed into from the rain to utter some line that this screenwriter had composed. After an early take, the director yelled “Cut,” and this screenwriter, as is customary, ambled off to the side with the actor to offer a comment on his delivery. As they stood there chatting, the screenwriter noticed that a tiny droplet of rain remained on the actor’s shoulder. Politely, as they spoke, he brushed it off. Then, seemingly out of nowhere, an employee from the production’s wardrobe department rushed over to berate him. “That is not your job,” she scolded. “That is my job.”

The screenwriter was stunned. But he had also worked in Hollywood long enough to understand what she was really saying: quite literally, wiping rain off an actor’s wardrobe was her job—a job that was well paid and protected by a union. And as with the other couple of hundred people on set, only she could perform it.

And it’s not just unionized labor that’s expensive in California. Sticking with labor costs, California has the second-highest minimum wage in the country at $13 an hour, though that’s set to increase to $15 an hour by 2022. And though there’s still some back-and-forthing going on regarding the notorious AB5 law, many businesses in the state are being told they need to hire their freelancers as (far more expensive) permanent employees.

Not only that, but California’s real estate and housing markets are among the most expensive in the country, a trend that shows no real sign of improving. The state’s zoning and building regulations make innovation difficult. Special preferential political treatment of the California agriculture industry has led to water rationing for individuals during drought conditions.

In fact, drinking water isn’t the only beverage subject to regulation in California. Furthermore, the state’s 2019 kerfuffle with electricity provider PG&E’s rolling blackouts for customers during high winds is also largely a problem created by the meddlesome state government.

Once all of these factors—and the above list is by no means comprehensive—are taken into account, California has the highest poverty rate in the US.

It isn’t that filmmakers don’t want to film in Los Angeles—they do. But all of these combined constraints significantly increase the total costs of filming and producing in California. Heck, not even films set in Los Angeles are being shot in Los Angeles these days.

So, take the barriers and high costs in California, combine it with fewer and fewer people going to the movies anymore, and the result is a shrinking profit margin for production studios. Something was bound to give.

Around the mid-1990s, other states and countries saw a chance to entice production companies away from California and to bring their cool—and taxable—jobs with them. States like Louisiana and Georgia along with Canada began offering some pretty sweet incentives packages for filmmakers and production companies.

Some places offered subsidies (direct payments), but the lion’s share of pretty much all of the financial incentive packages was tax breaks (a lower tax bill). Though those two kinds of incentives are often conflated, they are not, in fact, the same thing.

And it worked. The state of Georgia, the UK, and Canada all top California when it comes to the number of films shot and produced there.


via Gfycat

Why would production companies leave what has become their ancestral homeland for Georgia or Louisiana? The same reasons they went to California in the first place: to make more money.

Outside constraints—whether from tyrannical patent trolls like the Edison Trust, micromanaging union guidelines, or well-meaning but poorly-considered legislation—made making movies expensive enough that a reduction in production costs was enough to outweigh the hassle of relocating. It was true in 1909, and it was true in 1997. It remains true today.

Though the film industry is one of the most visible ones to ease its way out of California, it’s by no means alone. The entire state is seeing residents of all kinds leaving. In 2018 alone, the state saw a net loss of about 190,000 residents. That’s slightly more than the entire population of Shreveport, Louisiana. According to a recent UC Berkeley poll, about half of the people still living in California have considered leaving.

When asked why, 71 percent cited the high cost of housing and 51 percent said it was because of the high tax burden.At the end of the day, filmmakers are just trying to make a living creating art. That’s already a difficult path to navigate. It should surprise no one that when a smoother route opens up, a lot of people would choose it over the more difficult one.

And the same is true for every industry everywhere. Instead of making life more difficult and expensive by putting up barriers like high taxes, occupational licensing requirements, compulsory union membership, expensive building requirements, and so on that satisfy special interest requests without doing much to improve life for everyday people, California could just let individuals, businesses, and industries succeed or fail based on their own merits in the market. With fewer obstacles to overcome just to get started, individuals and their businesses would stand a much better chance of improving their lives.

For Hollywood, history is repeating itself. California used to be a safe haven for those looking to escape the control freaks of the Edison Trust. Now California itself is the control freak that entertainment entrepreneurs are fleeing as they seek refuge elsewhere. The exodus of talent (and tax dollars) from California won’t stop until it restores the relative economic freedom that allowed Hollywood to become the entertainment capital of the world in the first place.

Jen Maffessanti

Jen Maffessanti is a Senior Associate Editor at FEE and mother of two. When she’s not advocating for liberty or chasing kids, she can usually be found cooking or maybe racing cars. Check out her website.

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

Rush Limbaugh, Trump and the Tea Party Family

It was an exciting time. In 2009, a grassroots movement of concerned Americans scheduled 800 Tea Party rallies nationwide on tax day, April 15th. Forty percent of tea partiers voted for Obama, naively believing it would end our nation’s racial divide. They did not realize that Obama was a Trojan Horse; a progressive-warrior hiding inside his black-skin exterior. Once Obama began implementing his undercover mission to transform America into a socialist/progressive country, Americans said, no. His sinister policies included persecuting Christians and opening borders to illegals. Obama betrayed Americans.

In 2009, I was among only a few blacks in the Tea Party movement. When Obama told Joe the Plumber that he intended to “spread the wealth around”, I knew he was talking socialism and was not the right man to lead my beloved country. Therefore, my brother Jerry and I were the only blacks in our circle of family and friends who did not vote for the first black president.

One day I was in Florida driving to Walmart when I wrote the “American Tea Party Anthem” in my car. I few days later, I was in a recording studio recording the song. A few days later, I was interviewed on Fox News about the song. A few days later, I was on a flight to Santa Barbara California to perform the song at a Tea Party rally. I’ve performed at 500 tea party rallies on 14 Tea Party Express and other national bus tours.

Proven psychopathic liar Elizabeth Warren is all over TV telling the tale of receiving $3 for her presidential campaign from a college student who only had $6 in the bank.

Warren’s tale triggered my memory of the woman I fondly call my “Five Dollar Lady.” At a Tea Party rally in Texas, a humble white woman approached me with tears rolling down her cheeks. She thanked me and our team for touring the country pushing back against Obama’s over-reaching and job-killing regulations which cost her trucker husband his job. She grabbed my hand and placed a crumbled $5 bill in it towards gas for our tour bus. We were family.

The Tea Party truly felt like a huge family, united in our love for God, family, country, liberty, our military and our flag. I believe Billy Graham said if you find a perfect church, don’t join it because you will screw it up. In other words, wherever there are humans, there will be some corruption. I watched some original Tea Party leaders abandon our principles. In their minds, the movement became solely about furthering their careers and financial gain. They betrayed the Tea Party.

Despite 1.7 million tea partiers showing up in Washington DC to protest Obamacare, it was made law in the midnight hour against the will of a majority of Americans. Obama lied 29 times. “If you like your health care plan, you can keep it.” Americans were betrayed.

The Tea Party transitioned from hosting rallies to creating activist organizations. We labored long and hard to elect conservatives who vowed to fight on our behalf in Washington DC. Sadly, several became swamp dwellers. We were betrayed.

Republicans promised the Tea Party that if we helped them win the House, they would repeal Obamacare. We did and they did not. We the People were betrayed again.

We held our noses to rally behind Mitt Romney for president. We were devastated when Mitt Romney wimped out, refusing to forcefully challenge Obama’s rhetoric during their second debate. In essence, Romney gifted Obama an undeserved second term. We felt betrayed.

Then, along came Donald Trump. Democrats, fake news media, Hollywood and deep state elites saw a clown. But to all of us who love our country, Trump’s America first agenda ignited a resurgence of the spirit of the Tea Party.

Unlike those who have abandoned Tea Party values, Rush Limbaugh has faithfully remained a constant peerless voice, boldly speaking truth.

Millions are praying in response to Rush’s advanced cancer diagnosis. Trump awarding Rush the Presidential Medal of Freedom meant a lot to us all. People are actually calling Rush’s radio show offering him a lung. Wow!

It occurred to me that the outpouring of love for Rush has caused me to once again feel a part of a huge great American family, similar to the early days of the Tea Party. We are family folks. We are family.

Neither Rush nor Trump have betrayed us. We must reelect Trump in November.

© All rights reserved.

RELATED VIDEO: Trump Train 2020

New Yorkers Blister De Blasio Over Rising Crime, Bail Reform [Video]

In a town hall in Queens, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio was lambasted by New Yorkers who are fed up with the rising crime rate, with his policies of neighborhood jails and homeless shelters, and with the state’s failed new “bail reform.”

“I’m 56 years old, lived in this city my whole life, and you are the worst mayor that New York City has ever seen,” one resident stated. “Many people are being beaten, slashed, and hurt by criminals being released,” said another resident regarding Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s new bail reform law, in the wake of which violent crime has risen. “New York City is becoming a crime city. Could you please get rid of bail reform to make our city safer?”

“Forget bail reform. Bail reform is not working. Do you understand?” pleaded a resident. “I think you have no clue what goes on in regular people’s lives,” declared another. “Why don’t I feel safe Mr. Mayor?”

De Blasio dismissed their concerns as the result of listening to “right-wing propaganda” and to people “whipping up fear.”


Bill de Blasio

47 Known Connections

De Blasio Voices His Support for Socialism

In an interview that was published in New York magazine in September 2017, de Blasio made the following comments:

  • “What’s been hardest is the way our legal system is structured to favor private property. I think people all over this city, of every background, would like to have the city government be able to determine which building goes where, how high it will be, who gets to live in it, what the rent will be. I think there’s a socialistic impulse, which I hear every day, in every kind of community, that they would like things to be planned in accordance to their needs. And I would, too. Unfortunately, what stands in the way of that is hundreds of years of history that have elevated property rights and wealth to the point that that’s the reality that calls the tune on a lot of development…. Look, if I had my druthers, the city government would determine every single plot of land, how development would proceed. And there would be very stringent requirements around income levels and rents. That’s a world I’d love to see, and I think what we have, in this city at least, are people who would love to have the New Deal back, on one level. They’d love to have a very, very powerful government, including a federal government, involved in directly addressing their day-to-day reality.”

To learn more about de Blasio, click on the profile link HERE.

RELATED VIDEO: Antifa calls for violence in New York City

MISSOURI: 11-year-old Gives Birth in Bathtub After Being Raped for Months

This is a sick story about people who should not have been in the US in the first place.

Thanks to reader Maria for sending it.

From the New York Post:

Teen charged with incest, rape after 11-year-old relative gives birth

A St. Louis teen confessed to raping his 11-year-old relative about 100 times after she gave birth to his baby in a bathtub, according to a news report.

Cops were tipped off to the alleged abuse at the hands of Norvin Leonidas Lopez-Cante when his father brought an infant to St. Joseph Hospital on Tuesday and told police someone left the child on his front porch, KSDK-TV reported.

The baby still had its umbilical cord and placenta attached and a body temperature of 90 degrees, the NBC affiliate said.

On Thursday, police visited the father, Francisco Javier Gonzalez-Lopez, and he told them his 17-year-old son was the father of the child and their 11-year-old relative was the baby’s mother — but claimed he had no knowledge of the abuse or the pregnancy until the girl gave birth.

Lopez-Cante later admitted to authorities that he had sex with the girl about twice a week, a total of about 100 times, the report said.

The story gets worse!

From KSDK Five on Your Side:

Woman charged after 11-year-old daughter gives birth to baby in a bathtub

ST CHARLES, Mo. — A mother was charged after her 11-year-old daughter gave birth in a bathtub last week.

Lesbia Cante pleaded not guilty Wednesday to a charge of endangering the welfare of a child. In court Wednesday, her cash-only bail was increased to $100,000 from $10,000.

[….]

Gonzalez-Lopez said he did not know the girl was pregnant or that Lopez-Cante was raping her until she gave birth to the child in their bathtub.

After police read Lopez-Cante his Miranda rights, he told police he had sex with the girl about 100 times but did not know she was pregnant. He said he did not know when he first had sex with her but said it happened about twice a week.

[….]

Lopez-Cante was charged with first-degree statutory rape, statutory sodomy and incest. His bond was set at $25,000, cash-only.

Gonzalez-Lopez was charged with endangering the welfare of a child for his role in the incident. His bail was set at $10,000, cash only.

Charging documents said he entered the country illegally and was previously deported.

Look at those bail amounts—Gonzalez-Lopez who has been previously deported gets the lowest bail of the bunch!

I didn’t see any mention of the nationality of these sickos..  Let me know if you do!

Aside from wreaking the girl’s life, the illegal aliens will now cost taxpayers a fortune as their cases move through the criminal justice system. Expensive incarceration will surely follow.

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

VIDEO: ‘Antifa Bully’ Threatens Pelosi’s Republican Challenger With Death

A man identified as an ‘Antifa bully’ by Rep. Nancy Pelosi’s Republican challenger John Dennis threatened Dennis with death.

Dennis, who is also chair of the San Francisco Republican Party, filmed the incident with the Far-Left protester which took place during a clean-up event on the streets of San Francisco.

The man, who did not know Dennis, accused him of being a racist. During the incident, the ‘Antifa bully’ also said to Dennis, “I’m going to catch you when all the cameras aren’t around and I’m gonna f— you up!”

Dennis said the man was making “all kinds of vulgar gestures to suburban moms who came in to clean up San Francisco. He was also threatening every guy he could find in the crowd.”

Dennis decided to approach the man to try to defuse the situation.

Watch Laura Ingraham’s interview with John Dennis on the Ingraham Angle

Also this month, police in Portland refused to protect a videographer attempting to film masked Antifa protesters ostensibly demonstrating against a Ku Klux Klan (KKK) rally — a rally that never happened.

As reported by News Radio WRVA, the videographer — Nate Millsap, who runs a YouTube page called Stumptown Matters – said the Antifa protesters had “concealed objects or weapons in their hands” and that one of them approached him while shaking a can of pepper spray.

According to the report, “Millsap retreated and ran into police fitted with riot gear. At this point, the group had stopped chasing him, but were still shouting insults at him. But Millsap received little help or sympathy from the police, who told him if he ran back toward the mob, ‘We’re not gonna come out and save you.’

“One officer added, “You better come up with a different plan, like maybe go somewhere else, dude.”

Watch Millsap’s video of the incident:

Meanwhile in New York, two university teachers face questioning over their reported involvement in the violent and destructive January 31 rampage through the New York City subway system.

The teachers were named as Nitasha Dhillon, a professor at the University of Buffalo, and Amin Husain, an adjunct instructor at New York University. The two are co-founders of the Far-Left movement Decolonize this Place, which called for a “city-wide convergence” at Grand Central Station to “f— the police.”

The January 31 event saw hundreds of protesters storm the subway system, jumping and vandalizing the turnstiles and spraying graffiti on the walls.

NYC estimates that the protest cost the city $100,000. Thirteen people were arrested in the melee.

Among the demands of the protesters were banning police from patrolling the subway system and making subway rides free.

RELATED STORIES:

Police Stand By While Conservative Reporter Assaulted by Antifa 

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Dems Meet Privately With Iranian FM: How Is This OK?

Democrat members of Congress met privately with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif without the knowledge or approval by the State Department.

The meeting took place at the recent Munich Security Conference, an annual forum where world leaders discuss international threats, reported The Federalist, which broke the story.

At least one senator who was at the meeting, Chris Murphy (D-CT), defended his actions in an online post, writing,

“I have no delusions about Iran — they are our adversary, responsible for the killing of thousands of Americans and unacceptable levels of support for terrorist organizations throughout the Middle East. But I think it’s dangerous to not talk to your enemies … A lack of dialogue leaves nations guessing about their enemy’s intentions, and guessing wrong can lead to catastrophic mistakes.”

Murphy, a staunch critic of Trump’s Iran policy, said he asked Zarif whether the reprisals against the U.S. for the recent assassination of Iranian terror general Qasem Soleimani were over and told him that if groups in Iraq that are affiliated with Iran attack U.S. forces, it will be “an unacceptable escalation.”

He also said he brought up the issue of American prisoners held by Iran and the recent increase in attacks by the Houthis (an Iranian proxy group in Yemen) since the Soleimani hit.

Murphy concluded by stating,

“I don’t know whether my visit with Zarif will make a difference. I’m not the President or the Secretary of State — I’m just a rank and file U.S. Senator. I cannot conduct diplomacy on behalf of the whole of the U.S. government, and I don’t pretend to be in a position to do so. But if Trump isn’t going to talk to Iran, then someone should.”

He then erroneously states,

“Congress is a co-equal branch of government, responsible along with the Executive for setting foreign policy.”

It is for this reason that Murphy and other Democrats were wrong in meeting with Zarif (in addition to the fact that these members of Congress have a history of being virulently against almost anything the president does).

In fact, according to the Constitution, it is the responsibility of the executive branch of government (the president) to set foreign policy. It is the responsibility of the Senate to ratify treaties (which the Obama administration brazenly circumvented when making the Iran deal).

In fact, there is a law on the books that addresses such meetings. The Logan Act, promulgated in 1799, prohibits private citizens from conducting official diplomacy and makes it a felony for unauthorized Americans to negotiate with governments in disputes with the U.S.

The U.S. cut off diplomatic relations with Iran after President Trump withdrew from the 2015 nuclear agreement in May 2018. Since then, the U.S.’ policy has been to isolate and bankrupt Iran – the largest state sponsor of terrorism in the world – through a “maximum pressure campaign.”

Meetings such as Murphy’s and other Democrat members of Congress with an Iranian regime official defy that policy. Moreover, they send a message of disunity – and hence, weakness — to Iran.

During the conference, “Murphy and Zarif both criticized U.S. foreign policy during a two-hour discussion on the Middle East,” The Federalist reported.

The news outlet also noted that,

“Murphy’s meeting with Zarif comes while Murphy has defended Democratic rogue meetings with foreign leaders in the past while offering harsh criticism of Republicans who sent an open letter to the Iranian regime while the Obama administration stamped out the details of a nuclear agreement with the Middle Eastern adversary. Murphy, a staunch defender of the agreement said the Republicans were ‘undermining the authority of the president.’

“In 2017, Murphy also condemned former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn following anonymous leaks of a phone call between Flynn and Russian ambassador Sergey Kysylak surfaced.

“‘Any effort to undermine our nation’s foreign policy – even during a transition period – may be illegal and must be taken seriously,’ Murphy said at the time.”

Murphy and his cohorts should be censored and perhaps even prosecuted for their actions.

Tell us what you think. Take a minute to answer out poll below:

Was it OK that the Dems met privately with the Iranian foreign minister?

RELATED ARTICLES:

Did John Kerry Commit Treason? 

Kerry: ‘We Gave [Iran] a Little Bit of Money’

Kerry: ‘No Knowledge’ that ‘Death to America’ is ‘Specific Plan 

EDITORS NOTE: This Clarion Project column is republished with permission. © All rights reserved.

Canada: Seeding the State With Totalitarianism

I was born and raised in Pakistan. Later in life, my husband and I lived in at least three Arab cities. We have also traveled extensively through most of the Muslim majority countries. As a young couple, our goal was to establish our careers and gain financial stability.

We quickly learned that in order to achieve these goals, there were certain things we could never discuss publicly. This included absolutely no criticism of the ruling family in any given country or any aspect of religion, government, laws, gender inequality or human rights aberrations (all of which we saw).

In short, there was no freedom of expression.

At the end of 1988, already a young family, we moved to Canada to embrace the values of freedom of speech, freedom of (or from) religion, gender equality and a healthy respect for debate and discussion.

It took some time to absorb all this and feel empowered to speak out. I started by writing in the local newspaper. I could now freely critique and question the status quo – especially gender issues and the growing Islamist agenda I saw.

Thirty years down the road, can I do this in Canada today? The answer is a resounding “no!” Is Canada beginning to resemble the theocracies we left behind? Yes, because Canada is starting to show signs of totalitarianism.

The freedoms that we came here for are at stake, with the most important of all being freedom of speech. It started with a wave of political correctness leading to Motion 103 (M103) which does not allow for any critique of Islam or Muslims.

M103 has petrified Canadians into silence so much so that they can’t even question extremist attacks on our soil or the rise of hate-speech in places of worship.

Then we have Bill C-25 which seeks to impose “diversity” within all corporations, complete with financial penalties against organizations that do not comply with these government standards.

This has resulted in people routinely running to the Human Rights Commission with complaints if they happen to be a minority and did not get their coveted job (forget about the fact that they might not have the proper credentials).

Diversity has become the buzz word for the Human Rights Commission. I’ve always held that diversity can only happen organically (without being imposed), but it seems that now it is being forced.

In addition, there is Bill C-16 which prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender identity and gender expression. The bill mandates all citizens must address others by their preferred pronouns and transgender fantasies … or else!

It’s “zir,” “ze,” “zem” or “zeir.” The keyword here is “mandate” which means that at places of work or academic institutions if this choice is not followed, there is trouble.

An example of someone who has suffered terribly due to these totalitarian laws is Canadian Professor Jordan Peterson, who received massive backlash for refusing to adhere to the gender pronouns which he called “compelled speech” and for speaking out against political correctness. I agree with Professor Peterson that these expressions can’t and should not be mandated by the government of a “liberal” democracy.

David Solway in a piece in American Thinker writes

“To describe Canada as a totalitarian state-in-progress sounds like a gross and indeed absurd exaggeration. Yet many premonitory signs are present.”

He goes on to say “There are other laws on the books, bills such as C-59C-75 and C-76 that reduce and even criminalize freedom of expression, infringe on privacy rights, compromise due process and render government transparency a thing of the past.”

Are we headed down a slippery slope? It sure looks that way.

Fear of being called a racist or a bigot does not allow for any exchange of ideas. And in that fear, freedom dies.

RELATED STORIES:

The Indomitable Raheel Raza Takes on M-103

Stripping Away Our Freedoms

Did the Canadian Gov’t Try to Swing the Muslim Vote?

EDITORS NOTE: This Clarion Project column is republished with permission. © All rights reserved.

The Tradwife movement reminds us of the virtue of service in marriage

In a culture that has championed feminism, the Women’s March, #MeToo, and national campaigns to close the gender pay gap, life as a full-time homemaker seems anything but progressive. And yet, the growing #TradWife social media movement celebrates the classic domestic female as its role model.

The movement, often illustrated with 1950s posters of apple-cheeked housewives brandishing vacuums or serving their husbands dinner, consists of a growing multitude of women who proclaim their choice to be “traditional” wives by staying at home and fulfilling household duties rather than pursuing a career outside the home.

Not surprisingly, the trend has met fierce backlash. Critics have called it backwardsdangerous, and even racist. The reactions generally claim either that misogynistic males are hypnotizing their wives into submission, or that women who somehow prefer domestic life are spreading an insidious message that hinders the female crusade for equality.

The critiques raise plenty of questions about gender roles and feminism, but they also prove that our culture has largely abandoned an important reality: that while a happy marriage has nothing to do with servitude, it has everything to do with service.

Alena Pettitt, one of the most prominent public faces of the Tradwife movement, makes this abundantly clear. In a BBC interview with Victoria Derbyshire last month, the British marketing-manager-turned-housewife explained why she embraced the Tradwife life: “My talents lie in domesticity and cooking, and I love it,” she said. Soon after, she added, “It’s also an act of service for my husband, and it’s a way I demonstrate and show love.”

Derbyshire’s immediate follow-up: “Is it servitude?”

Even though Pettitt continued to speak about her free decision to work in the home, the question had already proven that Derbyshire, along with most modern feminists, missed the point.

By and large, full-time female homemaking is interpreted as servitude, even when it is freely chosen. In part, that is because it is associated with a time in which women were restricted legally, professionally, financially, and socially. While many of those restrictions have been lifted, the interpretation remains. Why? One big factor is that our culture’s emphasis on individual career success, particularly for women, has fuelled and intensified it.

Within a worldview that urges women to be just as successful (if not more so) than men, domestic life is an entirely backwards choice, because 1) it limits a woman’s chances to achieve that success, and 2) it hands over the glorious career path to the man in the house, thereby placing her below him.

While there is certainly a place for voicing women’s needs when they are overlooked and fighting for their rights when they are violated, hyper-individualism and careerism do neither. They overshadow the reality that any kind of work is more fulfilling when it is done not for me but for you. And not you in a collective, abstract sense of community, but you as a real person within a relationship. In marriage, that means that whatever work is being done (inside or outside the home) has meaning when it is placed at the service of one’s spouse and the family that grows from that bond.

My husband, for instance, has always referred to his work not as “my career” but as “our career.” To him, the sole purpose of his profession is to give me and our children a happy life, and he works hard to excel at his job for that purpose.

The same logic of loving service applies to the work of the home. All of us have experienced its impact: When we walk into a dining room with the table set, napkins folded, and delicious food beautifully presented, we can’t help but feel loved. Someone not only took the time to prepare that meal but also invested effort to do it well, with attention to detail. Like any profession, doing something with precision and finesse leaves an impression. And when it is done for someone, it becomes more than an accomplishment. It becomes a gift.

This is what makes Pettitt and so many women (myself included) find deep fulfilment in homemaking. Some of us may have a better knack for housework than others, but for all of us, our work in the home is essentially about creating a bright and cheerful space for our families.

That total, loving dedication is not oppressing but empowering. It brings joy. It spreads love. That’s how humans are wired: when we give of ourselves in a full-hearted effort of love, we receive love abundantly in return. In Pettitt’s interview, one comment from a viewer captured this virtuous cycle of giving: “The more my wife puts me first, the more I put her first.”

With that outlook, life is no longer about “your career” versus “my career,” or about housework placed at the service of one spouse’s career advancement. Instead, it’s about “our home,” with each spouse’s work devoted to making that home flourish.

Such an outlook need not be confined to the #TradWife setup. A thriving marriage and family is possible whether or not both spouses work full time, and whether or not spouses share the work of the home. But regardless, the dedication to each other and the primacy of the family must remain constant.

Alena Pettitt’s approach has simply shone new light on the beauty of service within marriage, and for that, it is anything but a regression. It is a breath of fresh air in our individualistic culture, one that could rescue the happiness in homes of all shapes and sizes.

COLUMN BY

Sophia Martinson

Sophia Martinson is a writer with a primary focus on cultural and family topics. She lives with her husband in New York City.

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

Islamic State Bride Justifies Slavery: ‘She said she really loved her slave-master, and she accepted Islam’

Slavery is acceptable in Islam. The Qur’an has Allah telling Muhammad that he has given him girls as sex slaves: “Prophet, We have made lawful to you the wives to whom you have granted dowries and the slave girls whom God has given you as booty.” (Qur’an 33:50)

Muhammad bought slaves: “Jabir (Allah be pleased with him) reported: There came a slave and pledged allegiance to Allah’s Apostle (may peace be upon him) on migration; he (the Holy Prophet) did not know that he was a slave. Then there came his master and demanded him back, whereupon Allah’s Apostle (may peace be upon him) said: Sell him to me. And he bought him for two black slaves, and he did not afterwards take allegiance from anyone until he had asked him whether he was a slave (or a free man).” (Muslim 3901)

Muhammad took female Infidel captives as slaves: “Narrated Anas: The Prophet offered the Fajr Prayer near Khaibar when it was still dark and then said, ‘Allahu-Akbar! Khaibar is destroyed, for whenever we approach a (hostile) nation (to fight), then evil will be the morning for those who have been warned.’ Then the inhabitants of Khaibar came out running on the roads. The Prophet had their warriors killed, their offspring and woman taken as captives. Safiya was amongst the captives. She first came in the share of Dahya Alkali but later on she belonged to the Prophet. The Prophet made her manumission as her ‘Mahr.’” (Bukhari 5.59.512) Mahr is bride price: Muhammad freed her and married her. But he didn’t do this to all his slaves:

Muhammad owned slaves: “Narrated Anas bin Malik: Allah’s Apostle was on a journey and he had a black slave called Anjasha, and he was driving the camels (very fast, and there were women riding on those camels). Allah’s Apostle said, ‘Waihaka (May Allah be merciful to you), O Anjasha! Drive slowly (the camels) with the glass vessels (women)!’” (Bukhari 8.73.182) There is no mention of Muhammad’s freeing Anjasha.

“Trini, Bajan woman on life with ISIS: We thought it was irie,” by Simon Cottee, Trinidad and Tobago Newsday, February 13, 2020:

Aliya Abdul Haqq, one of the hundred or so TT citizens currently stranded in the Al Hol camp in Syria, recently told two foreign journalists that life inside the ISIS caliphate was “irie” – a Jamaican expression for nice or cool. Abdul Haqq, 34, is the sister of Tariq Abdul Haqq, a former lawyer and Commonwealth Games boxing finalist who traded his enviable life in Trinidad for war and death in Syria.

Abdul Haqq was interviewed alongside Abbey Greene, 33, who is from Barbados and was married to Abdul Haqq’s brother Tariq….

Abdul Haqq and Greene travelled to Syria in November 2014 with their respective husbands, Osyaba Muhammad and Tariq Abdul Haqq. While 240 TT citizens travelled to Syria between 2013 and 2016, Greene, to my knowledge, is the only Bajan to have gone to join ISIS.

Abbey Greene, the Barbadian widow of Trinidadian Tariq Abdul Haqq, brother of Aliya Abdul Haqq. –

“We came (to Syria) with our husbands, we made hijrah (migrated) to live under the Islamic State, under the law of Islam, and we basically followed our husbands,” says Greene.

Miraculously, both women survived the slaughterhouse of Baghuz, the last sliver of the ISIS caliphate, which fell in March 2019.

Abdul Haqq says before leaving TT she was never radical.

“I was into makeup, piercings and all these crazy things, which I still like.” It wasn’t until after her father died – Yacoob Abdul Haqq was accidentally shot and killed in May 2013 – that she and her family “made this big turnaround.”

Tariq, in Abdul Haqq’s telling, spearheaded this metamorphosis: “My brother came home one day and he said he was going to Syria.

“I started laughing,” she recalls, but within months she had come round to his way of thinking, because in Syria, “it’s strict sharia, which is what I like, so I said, ‘Let me try and see what Syria is about.’”…

Asked what life was like when she first arrived in Syria, Abdul Haqq relays that she was based in Raqqa, then the de-facto capital of the caliphate.

Aliya Abdul Haqq –

“It matched pretty well (my expectation). There were airstrikes, but it was really mild, so it was still very much like my country (TT). But under sharia, it wasn’t extreme then…It was normal life, we had tea parties, pyjama parties, it was really irie…cool, calm.”

Apparently, she deliberately avoided seeing the public beheadings that were a regular feature in the city back in 2014, but admitted her son had been exposed to several and that it had a violent effect on him.

Do these women have any regret over following their husbands to Syria and for all that ISIS has done?

Not one bit, it seems.

In fact, at several points in the interview, when Abdul Haqq and Greene are questioned about ISIS’s extreme violence against civilians and the rape and sexual enslavement of Yazidis, their default response is either to dodge the question or to rationalise ISIS’s violence as a legitimate response to the violence meted out against ISIS….

What about the beheading of western hostages?

“I don’t know…The men deal with this,” says Abdul Haqq.

Did the brutality of ISIS cause them to rethink their commitment to the group? This question prompts a long pause.

Then this from Greene: “I really don’t think about that question.”

On the sexual enslavement of Yazidi girls and women, Abdul Haqq confides that she had met two Yazidi women in Raqqa: “They were slaves to a Bosnian guy…and from what (one of them) told me, she said she really loved her slave-master, and she accepted Islam.”

What about ISIS’s systematic killing of Yazidi men – what can justify that?

More silence. Then Greene repeats what has become a mantra for her: “For me, this war is never-ending, and it’s on both sides.”

When probed about slavery, Greene seemed reluctant to condemn it outright, insisting: “Slavery in Islam is not like slavery back in the day — there are certain rules you have to follow, you have to show rahma (mercy), you must feed them, take care of them.”…

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

Delivering Truth to Secular Conservatives

In the latest edition of “The Rubin Report” podcast, two people I adore, commentators Dave Rubin and Heather Mac Donald, dialogue about some of the great issues facing America. Interestingly, though both are secular, Rubin opened the interview by asking Mac Donald about God and religion.

She began by saying that she is not conservative because of religion but because of her commitment to empirical truth. It is empirical truth that leads her to affirm, for example, “the necessity of the two-parent family” and “most traditional values.”

Mac Donald is right that one cannot be committed to empirical truth and be a leftist (though one can be a conservative or a liberal).

Left-wing assertions that are false include that men give birth; that America was founded in 1619 (when the first enslaved black was brought to the American colonies); that people can be lifted from poverty on a mass scale without capitalism; that there are no innate differences between men and women; that America is a racist nation; that women are paid less than men for the same type and amount of work because they are women; and innumerable others.


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But although a secular conservative may be committed to the two-parent family because of empirical truth, marriage and family are not “empirical truths” nearly as much as they are religious values.

Few secular arguments to get married and/or have children are as compelling as religious ones. That’s why religious people are so much more likely to get married and have children.

Mac Donald said: “People who I respect enormously … whether it’s Dennis Prager or Michael Medved … are making the argument that you cannot have a moral society without a foundation of religious belief.”

That is precisely the argument nearly every founder of America made. Not all were Christ-centered Christians, but virtually every one believed that inalienable rights come from the Creator, and only from the Creator. And none (except perhaps Thomas Paine) believed that America could endure if it were to become a godless society.

Mac Donald said:

Part of my resistance to this is simply I don’t find claims of petitionary prayer and the idea of a personal loving God consistent with what I see—what I call the daily massacre of the innocents.

To me it’s a very hard claim to make that I should expect God to pay attention to my well-being when he’s willing to allow horrific things to happen to people far more deserving and innocent than I am.

So, for me, it’s partly just a truth value. I cannot stomach what appears to me to be a patently false claim about a personal, loving God.

I agree with her premises, but not with her conclusion.

I have never believed that God has any reason to pay more attention to me than to any other innocent human being. And I, too, “cannot stomach” the “daily massacre of the innocents”—so much so that I have written how I find the commandment to love God the hardest commandment in the Bible.

But what I also cannot stomach is the thought of a universe in which the horrible suffering of innocents is never compensated by a good and just God: The good and the evil all die; the former receive no reward and the latter no punishment.

The problem of unjust suffering troubles every thinking believer. But the Jewish theologian Milton Steinberg offered a powerful response: “The believer in God has to account for unjust suffering; the atheist has to account for everything else.”

Between the two, I would argue that the atheist’s burden is infinitely greater. And insurmountable.

Mac Donald said: “The idea of what started the universe—we can’t really answer that. I think to say, ‘God’—that’s just a placeholder for ignorance. That doesn’t help.”

Maybe we really can’t answer what started the universe. But as Charles Krauthammer, a great secular conservative, said, “The idea that this universe always existed, that it created itself ex nihilo—I mean, talk about the violation of human rationality. That, to me, is off the charts.”

God, therefore, is not “just a placeholder for ignorance.” Since science can never and will never answer the question “Why is there anything?” attributing the origins of the universe to an intelligent force (which we call “God”) strikes me as the most rational explanation.

Rubin: “I might have to get you in here with Prager.”

Mac Donald: “I’d love to.”

I’d love to, too.

Mac Donald asked: “Where are we all headed? What is the meaning of life? To me, anybody who claims … he doesn’t find meaning in life when there is Mozart and Haydn—to invoke a Dennis Prager favorite—or Beethoven or John Milton or Aeschylus or Anthony Trollope—”

Rubin: “Or just waking up with purpose for whatever you do.”

Mac Donald: “Exactly … trying to do the best you can do. I don’t find life meaningless for one second.”

Joseph Haydn began every manuscript with the Latin words “in nomine Domini”—”in the name of the Lord”—and ended each with the words “Lauds Deo”—”Praise be to God.”

I would ask Mac Donald and other secular conservatives: Do you or don’t you identify the steep deterioration of the arts with the death of God and religion? Is a secular society capable of achieving artistic achievement equal to that which was accomplished in tribute to God?

As for meaning, you—and I—may find meaning every day in trying to do the best we can do, or in great works of art. But, as I know you will agree, that does not mean life has any ultimate meaning. If there is no God, we are nothing more than self-conscious stellar dust. And stellar dust has no meaning.

We really need to continue this dialogue. In the meantime, for what it’s worth, I want to say to both Dave Rubin and Heather Mac Donald, who do so much for our country: God bless you.

COPYRIGHT 2020 CREATORS.COM

COMMENTARY BY

Dennis Prager is a columnist for The Daily Signal, nationally syndicated radio host, and creator of PragerU. Twitter: .


A Note for our Readers:

This is a critical year in the history of our country. With the country polarized and divided on a number of issues and with roughly half of the country clamoring for increased government control—over health care, socialism, increased regulations, and open borders—we must turn to America’s founding for the answers on how best to proceed into the future.

The Heritage Foundation has compiled input from more than 100 constitutional scholars and legal experts into the country’s most thorough and compelling review of the freedoms promised to us within the United States Constitution into a free digital guide called Heritage’s Guide to the Constitution.

They’re making this guide available to all readers of The Daily Signal for free today!

GET ACCESS NOW! >>


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

Parents Ask Court to Stop Schools From Helping Children Make Gender Transitions

A group of Wisconsin parents is asking a state court to halt a public school district’s policy that they say instructs teachers to assist and encourage children in adopting transgender identities without notifying—and possibly while deceiving—parents.

The lawsuit is being brought by 14 parents, representing eight families, who allege the Madison Metropolitan School District’s policy violates constitutionally protected parental rights.

The lawsuit, filed in Dane County Circuit Court, includes an affidavit from Dr. Stephen B. Levine, a distinguished life fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, in which he asserts that gender transitions for minors expose vulnerable children to dangerous, lifelong physical, social, and mental health risks.

“For a child to live radically different identities at home and at school, and to conceal what he or she perceives to be his or her true identity from parents, is psychologically unhealthy in itself, and could readily lead to additional psychological problems,” Levine writes in the affidavit. “Extended secrecy and a ‘double life’ concealed from the parents is rarely the path to psychological health. For this reason at least, schools should not support deceit of parents.”


In these trying times, we must turn to the greatest document in the history of the world to promise freedom and opportunity to its citizens for guidance. Find out more now >>


Levine’s affidavit continues:

 Most children are both legally and developmentally incapable of giving informed consent to such a life-altering intervention. And parents, of course, cannot give informed consent if the fact of their child’s wish to assume a transgender identity is concealed from them.

The 14 parents are represented by lawyers with Alliance Defending Freedom and the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty, both nonprofit, public interest legal organizations.

“This is a life-altering decision that educators have no business making,” Roger Brooks, ADF senior counsel, said. “As Dr. Levine explains based on decades of experience and extensive scientific literature, putting children on a pathway to puberty-blockers and cross-sex hormones can have devastating effects across a lifetime. That should serve as a wake-up call to parents and all Americans: When schools cast aside biological reality in favor of gender-identity ideology, it’s children who are hurt the most.”

The legal motion formally requests the court to impose a temporary injunction against the school district’s policy.

The school district hadn’t been served with the lawsuit as of late Wednesday, said Tim LeMonds, public information officer for Madison Metropolitan School District. LeMonds said the district wouldn’t comment without reviewing the claims.

The school district “prioritizes working in collaboration with families to support our students and it is always our preferred method of support,” LeMonds said in a formal statement, adding:

MMSD must also prioritize the safety and well-being of every individual student who walks through its doors each day. It is with this focus [that] the district stands by its guidance document on transgender and non-binary students, and recognizes its tremendous responsibility to uphold the right of every child to be educated in a safe, all-inclusive, and nondiscriminatory learning environment.

The lawsuit calls for school officials to be transparent and honest when dealing with parents, and to meet standards of informed consent.

The 50-page affidavit from Levine says that multiple studies show that among children who experience gender dysphoria or transgender identification but do not socially transition, 80% to 98% “desisted,” or became comfortable with their biological sex, by young adulthood, according to Alliance Defending Freedom.

The affidavit also says that among boys “who engaged in a partial or complete social transition before puberty,” according to other data, fewer than 20% had desisted when surveyed at age 15 or older.

“It is profoundly unethical to reinforce a male child in his belief that he is not a boy (or a female child in her belief that she is not a girl), and it is particularly unethical to intervene in the normal physical development of a child to ‘affirm’ a ‘gender identity’ that is at odds with bodily sex,” Ryan T. Anderson, a senior research fellow at The Heritage Foundation, told The Daily Signal in an email, adding:

To do any of this without parental involvement not only harms children but violates parental authority. Childhood and adolescence are difficult enough as it is. Adults should not corrupt the social ecology in which children develop a mature understanding of themselves as boys or girls on the pathway to becoming men or women.

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.

RELATED ARTICLES:

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A Note for our Readers:

This is a critical year in the history of our country. With the country polarized and divided on a number of issues and with roughly half of the country clamoring for increased government control—over health care, socialism, increased regulations, and open borders—we must turn to America’s founding for the answers on how best to proceed into the future.

The Heritage Foundation has compiled input from more than 100 constitutional scholars and legal experts into the country’s most thorough and compelling review of the freedoms promised to us within the United States Constitution into a free digital guide called Heritage’s Guide to the Constitution.

They’re making this guide available to all readers of The Daily Signal for free today!

GET ACCESS NOW! >>


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