United Arab Emerates designates Hamas-linked CAIR a terrorist organization

UPDATE: ABC News confirms this, noting in the very last paragraph of its story that the UAE has designated Hamas-linked CAIR a terrorist group. Probably they buried it out of embarrassment over the fact that the mainstream media has been going to Hamas-linked CAIR for years as if they were really what they claim to be, a civil rights organization. The fact that a government, any government, has branded it terrorist must be as embarrassing to the mainstream media as it is to Hamas-linked CAIR — that is, if either of them were capable of embarrassment.

This probably stems from Hamas-linked CAIR’s ties to the Muslim Brotherhood. President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan doesn’t want to find himself overthrown by Islamic hardliners, and replaced by a Sharia government. In any case, it is very strange — so strange that I wonder if the Emirates News Agency’s website was hacked by a mischievous hacker who added Hamas-linked CAIR to this list (which would also explain why it is the only place on the list where the line spacing is broken).

If this is authentic, no doubt Hamas-linked CAIR’s Nihad Awad and Ibrahim “Honest Ibe” Hooper are furiously working the phones today, calling on all their contacts in the U.S. government and elsewhere to get this reversed. What fun it would be to be a fly on the wall in Honest Ibe’s sumptuously appointed office today.

Will the Obama administration’s Justice Department now denounce the UAE for “Islamophobia”?

“UAE Cabinet approves list of designated terrorist organisations, groups,” Emirates News Agency, November 15, 2014:

ABU DHABI, 15th November 2014 (WAM) — The UAE Cabinet has approved a list of designated terrorist organisations and groups in implementation of Federal Law No. 7 for 2014 on combating terrorist crimes, issued by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and the Cabinet’s own resolution on the designation of terrorist organisations that provided for the publication of the lists in the media for the purposes of transparency and to raise awareness in society about these organisations.

The following is the list of organisations designated as terrorist that has been approved by the Cabinet:

:: The UAE Muslim Brotherhood.

:: Al-Islah (or Da’wat Al-Islah).

:: Fatah al-Islam (Lebanon).

:: Associazione Musulmani Italiani (Association of Italian Muslims).

:: Khalaya Al-Jihad Al-Emirati (Emirati Jihadist Cells).

:: Osbat al-Ansar (the League of the Followers) in Lebanon.

:: The Finnish Islamic Association (Suomen Islam-seurakunta).

:: Alkarama organisation.

:: Al-Qaeda in the Land of the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM or Tanzim al-Qa‘idah fi Bilad al-Maghrib al-Islami).

:: The Muslim Association of Sweden (Sveriges muslimska forbund, SMF)

:: Hizb al-Ummah (The Ommah Party or Nation’s Party) in the Gulf and the Arabian Peninsula

:: Ansar al-Sharia in Libya (ASL, Partisans of Islamic Law).

:: The Islamic Council Norway (Islamsk Rad Norge, IRN).

:: Al-Qaeda.

:: Ansar al-Sharia in Tunisia (AST, Partisans of Sharia) in Tunisia.

:: Islamic Relief UK.

:: Dae’sh (ISIL).

:: Harakat al-Shabaab al-Mujahideen (HSM) in Somalia ( Mujahideen Youth Movement)

:: The Cordoba Foundation (TCF) in Britian.

:: Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).

:: Boko Haraam ( Jama’atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda’Awati Wal-Jihad) in Nigeria.

:: Islamic Relief Worldwide (IRW) of the Global Muslim Brotherhood.

:: Jama’at Ansar al-Shari’a (Partisans of Sharia) in Yemen.

:: Al-Mourabitoun (The Sentinels) group in Mali.

:: Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (Taliban Movement of Pakistan).

:: The Muslim Brotherhood (MB) organisation and groups.

:: Ansar al-Dine (Defenders of the faith) movement in Mali.

:: Abu Dhar al-Ghifari Battalion in Syria.

:: Jama’a Islamia in Egypt (AKA al-Gama’at al-Islamiyya, The Islamic Group, IG).

:: The Haqqani Network in Pakistan.

:: Al-Tawheed Brigade (Brigade of Unity, or Monotheism) in Syria.

:: Ansar Bait al-Maqdis (ABM, Supporters of the Holy House or Jerusalem) and now rebraneded as Wilayat Sinai (Province or state in the Sinai).

:: Lashkar-e-Taiba (Soldiers, or Army of the Pure, or of the Righteous).

:: Al-Tawhid wal-Eman battalion (Battaltion of Unity, or Monotheism, and Faith) in Syria.

:: Ajnad Misr (Soldiers of Egypt) group.

:: The East Turkistan Islamic Movement in Pakistan (ETIM), AKA the Turkistan Islamic Party (TIP), Turkistan Islamic Movement (TIM).

:: Katibat al-Khadra in Syria (the Green Battaltion).

:: Majlis Shura al-Mujahedeen Fi Aknaf Bayt al-Maqdis (the Mujahedeen Shura Council in the Environs of Jerusalem, or MSC).

:: Jaish-e-Mohammed (The Army of Muhammad).

:: Abu Bakr Al Siddiq Brigade in Syria.

:: The Houthi Movement in Yemen.

:: Jaish-e-Mohammed (The Army of Muhammad) in Pakistan and India.

:: Talha Ibn ‘Ubaid-Allah Compnay in Syria.

:: Hezbollah al-Hijaz in Saudi Arabia.

:: Al Mujahideen Al Honoud in Kashmor/ India (The Indian Mujahideen, IM).

:: Al Sarim Al Battar Brigade in Syria.

:: Hezbollah in the Gulf Cooperation Council.

:: Islamic Emirate of the Caucasus (Caucasus Emirate or Kavkaz and Chechen jidadists).

:: The Abdullah bin Mubarak Brigade in Syria.

:: Al-Qaeda in Iran.

:: The Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU).

:: Qawafil al-shuhada (Caravans of martyrs).

:: The Badr Organisation in Iraq.

:: Abu Sayyaf Organisation in the Philippines.

:: Abu Omar Brigade in Syria.

:: Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq in Iraq (The Leagues of the Righteous).

:: Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)

:: Ahrar Shoummar Brigade in Syria (Brigade of the free men of the Shoummar Tribe).

:: Hezbollah Brigades in Iraq.

:: CANVAS organisation in Belgrade, Serbia.

:: The Sarya al-Jabal Brigade in Syria.

:: Liwa Abu al-Fadl al-Abbas ( rigade of Abu al-Fadl al-Abbas) in Syria.

:: The Muslim American Society (MAS).

:: Al Shahba’ Brigade in Syria.

:: Liwa al-Youm al-Maw’oud in Iraq (Brigade of Judgement Day).

:: International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS)

:: Al Ka’kaa’ Bigade in Syria.

:: Liwa Ammar bin Yasser (Ammar bin Yasser Brigade).

:: Federation of Islamic Organizations in Europe.

:: Sufyan Al Thawri Brigade.

:: Ansar al-Islam Group in Iraq (Partisans of Islam).

:: Union of Islamic Organisations of France (L’Union des Organisations Islamiques de France, UOIF).

:: Ebad ar-Rahman Brigade (Brigade of Soldiers of Allah) in Syria.

:: Jabhat al-Nusra (Al-Nusra Front) in Syria.

:: Muslim Association of Britain (MAB).

:: Omar Ibn al-Khattab Battalion in Syria.

:: Harakat Ahrar ash-Sham Al Islami (Islamic Movement of the Free Men of the Levant).

:: Islamic Society of Germany (Islamische Gemeinschaft Deutschland).

:: Al-Shayma’ Battaltion in Syria.

:: Jaysh al-Islam in Palestine (The Army of Islam in Palestine)

:: The Islamic Society in Denmark (Det Islamiske Trossamfund, DIT).

:: Katibat al-Haqq (Brigade of the Righteous).

: The Abdullah Azzam Brigades.

:: The League of Muslims in Belgium (La Ligue des Musulmans de Belgique, LMB)

EDITORS NOTE: The Muslim American Society (MAS) is a second American organization on UAE list of terrorist organizations. To learn more about the Muslim American Society (MAS) click here.

The Four Core Beliefs of Enterprise by Lawrence W. Reed & Wayne Olson [+Video]

How to solve complex business problems.

The term tunnel vision carries such a negative connotation that no one ever really wants it, even if they’re traveling through a tunnel. We say we want to be conscious of as much of our surroundings as possible, not simply a narrow sliver. We want to perceive all the relevant factors and remain aware of new things that might improve our situation.

Alas, that’s almost always easier said than done.

Just ask Bartley J. Madden, author of a new, 122-page book, Reconstructing Your Worldview. Better yet, if you’re an aspiring entrepreneur, read the book and visit his website LearningWhatWorks.com, or watch this insightful video:

Madden has spent decades trying to understand the business world during his career in money management, investment research, and university teaching. His longtime fascination with methods of solving complex business problems led him to realize that the way we say we want to see the world and the way we actually do are two very different things. It takes a conscious, thoughtful effort to open wide our mind’s eye, so to speak. If you learn to do it systematically, the result can be a new worldview that will reshape how you notice opportunities and capitalize on them.

Nearly 40 years ago, we heard Austrian economist Israel Kirzner lecture on his specialty, entrepreneurship. He employed an analogy we’ll never forget. He asked his audience to imagine a free, dynamic economy as a place where a quiet blizzard of 10-dollar bills is raging just overhead. Most people never notice it, but one very special kind of person does: the entrepreneur. He sees the bills and musters the courage to reach up and grab one. In other words, he deploys his “entrepreneurial alertness” to seize an opportunity: to buy low and sell high, to assemble factors of production to make a product or service worth more than its input costs, or to move a good from one place to another where it’s more desired. Perhaps an even more apt analogy would be a blizzard in which most of the flying bills are fake and worthless, and only a few are “winners.” But in any event, it’s the entrepreneur whose powers of observation are great enough to see any of them at all.

Entrepreneurial alertness is essentially what Madden implores us to cultivate. We must start by recognizing what he calls “the four core beliefs” we need to solve problems in business:

  1. Past experiences shape our current assumptions.
  2. Language is perception’s silent partner.
  3. Improving any system’s performance requires that we identify and fix its key constraints.
  4. Human behavior is purposeful; we act not simply in response to stimuli (much as a ball rolls in the direction in which it’s pushed) but in a conscious, living fashion. We compare our actual experiences to our preferred experiences and then act to create new experiences that come as close to the preferred ones as possible.

These four core beliefs are more profound than Madden believes we commonly assume.

Each teaches a vital lesson. On a whole, their underlying message for economics concerns how innovation develops when the market is open to new entrants. Established businesses get caught up in the same old ways of looking at the world and the opportunities for value creation. So do government bureaucracies, but the difference is that government bureaucracies tend to institutionalize the conventional ways of looking at the world and create barriers to anyone trying to change them; private industries who fail to change will be swept away.

The book is thoroughly researched and rich with citations that allow the reader to pursue the subject in depth. Madden even delves into how people form beliefs and act on them, using the latest findings.

He beautifully illustrates the first two of the four core beliefs with a Kmart-versus-Walmart example. Kmart’s management had in their minds the word “store” and defined it in ways they’d always seen a “store” behaving and delivering profitable results for them: freestanding and run independently by its own manager. So they stuck to that business model, namely: put a big box in a big town and assume that is necessary for generating the desired economies of scale. In contrast, as Madden explains, “in Sam Walton’s worldview, each store was an integrated part of a networked system” that could create value in the wide-open small-town markets.

A “worldview” is not about one innovative idea that turns out well, but about openness to experimentation and knowledge building. Madden continues, “Walmart’s networked system of stores and distribution centers resulted in fast-paced learning and high efficiencies.… Over time, Walmart greatly expanded and improved its business processes at a far more rapid pace than did Kmart,” eventually leaving Kmart in the dust, even in the larger towns.

The third core belief is that in order to make a complex process create more value, it’s not enough to pick individual components and improve them; you have to identify where the constraints are in the process. If the bottleneck is at process B in the production line, improving the efficiency of process A will merely increase the size of the problem at process B. The problem is that the managers of process A in centralized operation have every incentive to propose “improvements” that actually create no value.

Madden follows this thought to an in-depth discussion of the merits of distributed systems over centrally planned systems, including “lean thinking” concepts, where he makes this key point: “A lean culture has a horizontal orientation in order to better coordinate work and reduce waste along the entire value streams that end with the customers.… In contrast, a command-and-control orientation is composed of vertical silos with incentives to improve local efficiencies.”

Placing this belief in a much broader context, he observes that “nature has a propensity for distributed solutions” and, echoing Hayek, “when a society’s institutions evolve through a naturally “evolutionary” process, rather than one of an imposed human design, the result tends to reflect decentralization and a selection of whatever works best.”

The fourth core belief should appeal to all those who have read Ludwig von Mises’s magnum opus, Human Action or are even moderately familiar with the central insights of the Austrian school that Mises represents. When you’re dealing with people, you’re dealing with independent actors who will respond to stimuli according to their own “control systems,” which Madden likens to a thermostat. Their reaction to something depends on whether it will move them closer to a desired state that represents their goals. So you can’t ignore the incentives — you can’t move people around like pieces on a chessboard, as Adam Smith’s central-planning “man of system” tries to do.

This is where government programs almost always fall down, but Madden makes it clear that private businesses can easily fall into the same trap if they’re not mindful — in which case, the market gives them the feedback that they’ve made a mistake, something that rarely if ever happens to the people running government programs.

In the summary video above, Madden offers an example in Michelin run-flat tires. Company managers got trapped in their historical line of thinking and their accustomed vocabulary: engineering breakthrough in tire technology leads to enormous profits. They fell in love with the run-flat technology, and so, apparently, did a bunch of industry observers. You could dispense with spare tires forever! How cool is that? Michelin failed, however, to see the total value stream ending with the customer; in particular, the company failed to take into account how the customer was supposed to get a tire repaired once he experienced a flat. Repair shops have their own control systems around whether they want to invest in the physical and human capital that would be required to handle this new product. And in the end, repair shops decided not to, so the product was dead on arrival.

One outstanding example of a dysfunctional interruption in the value stream from manufacturers to customers is the approvals process for new pharmaceuticals at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Madden has fully discussed this problem and a practical means to overcome some of the worst effects in his earlier book (see Reed’s review of Free to Choose Medicine). And in the final chapter of his current book, he demonstrates that the situation at the FDA is an excellent case study in the violation of the principles underlying the four core beliefs.

If you take Madden’s advice and reconstruct your worldview through the prism of his four core beliefs, you’re likely to think and behave more like a seasoned entrepreneur. Success becomes more probable, though never assured in an uncertain world. In an age in which changes happen fast, labor and capital are more mobile than ever, and technology opens doors widest to those who grasp it first, every little bit helps.

larry reed new thumbABOUT LAWRENCE W. REED

Lawrence W. (“Larry”) Reed became president of FEE in 2008 after serving as chairman of its board of trustees in the 1990s and both writing and speaking for FEE since the late 1970s. Prior to becoming FEE’s president, he served for 20 years as president of the Mackinac Center for Public Policy in Midland, Michigan. He also taught economics full-time from 1977 to 1984 at Northwood University in Michigan and chaired its department of economics from 1982 to 1984.


Wayne is FEE’s Executive Director.

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is courtesy of FEE and Shutterstock.

FairTax Launches ‘Mega Mall’!

“I do most of my shopping online. It’s just convenient for me.” – Lauren Conrad

Let the mad rush of shopping begin – you’re not worried – you’ve got FairTaxRewards.com!

Retailers have begun previewing their Black Friday deals and promoting holiday shop-till-you-drop. And grocery stores are brimming over with Thanksgiving “must haves” like pumpkin pie filling and bags of stuffing.

Yes, the mad rush of the holiday shopping season has begun. Dreading the cold, snowy trek to the mall? Despise the thought of all the gas you’ll waste looking for a parking place? This year, why not do things differently?

  • What if you could shop at over 2,500 of your favorite national retailers on your computer without ever leaving home?
  • What if you could access all these stores in one simple place – stores like Walmart, Best Buy, Target, Kohl’s, PetSmart, Macy’s, 1-800Flowers and Old Navy – maybe an online mega mall?
  • What if you could get daily Hot Deals, coupons and promo codes – deals that could help you realize savings of up to 80%?
  • And best of all, what if you could earn cash back on everything you buy and also have the FairTax campaign receive a small cash back reward too? That’s right, cold hard cash for you and for AFFT.

Ladies and gentleman, with FairTaxRewards.com you can.

AFFT is pleased to announce FairTaxRewards.com – an online mega mall for supporters of the FairTax Plan.

When you join and shop through FairTaxRewards.com, every purchase you make – at every store in your mega mall – earns you and the FairTax campaign cash back. Yes, real cash.

These stores want your business and they are willing to compete to get it. In days gone by, they used special ad flyers in Sunday papers to communicate their “deals.” Today, they’re using aggressive online competition strategies including 1,200 – 1,500 daily “Hot Deals” and special Promo Codes offered through member only CashBack mega malls like FairTaxRewards.com.

And all of this means extraordinary savings for you – just in time for all your Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping needs. So don’t delay – sign up today and have all your friends sign up. Remember, you and your friends get great deals and cash back, and all purchases benefit the FairTax campaign.

  • It is FREE to sign up. And a Win-Win for everyone.

Just go to http://FairTaxRewards.com or click here. Happy shopping!

FairTax Goes Texting

Here’s a quick and easy way for everyone to engage in the FairTax campaign. Just send a text message and you can sign up for membership or get more information on the FairTax.

That’s right – simple as that.

  • Someone wants to become a member – they text MEMBER to 68398. After receiving a confirmation message, a second message will arrive with a link to the AFFT membership form.
  • Someone wants to get more information on the FairTax Plan – text WHYGOFAIRTAX (no spaces) to 68398. After receiving a confirmation message, a second text and link will arrive that directs the sender to a special FairTax information link.

Try it now. Don’t delay – text today – text MEMBER or WHYGOFAIRTAX to 68398.

This is a great tool to put on your signs at events, to put on business cards and to use when you are addressing a group. When your presentation is done, just ask the people to text 68398 either to become a member or to obtain more information.

Please let me know how you are using this texting service and how it is working. I am especially interested in hearing the creative ways that others can emulate.

Finally, we are eagerly awaiting news on who will replace Chairman Dave Camp on the House Committee on Ways and Means in the 114th Congress. Rep. Paul Ryan (WI-1), who advocates his own tax reform plan, and Rep. Kevin Brady (TX-8), an outspoken advocate for the FairTax and a co-sponsor of HR 25, The FairTax Act, are the contenders.

Politico speculates the Chairmanship decision may be made later next week. We also expect there may be some changes in the membership of the committee based on the recent elections. We will keep you informed.

Obama’s Cruel and Costly Climate Hoax

The intense cold that many Americans are encountering arrives more than a month before the official start of winter on December 21.

To discuss this, we need to keep in mind that weather is what is occurring now. Climate is measured over longer periods, the minimum of which is thirty years and, beyond that, centuries.

We are colder these days because the Earth has been in a cooling cycle for 19 years and that cycle is based entirely on the Sun which has been radiating less heat for the same period of time.

Describing the role of the Sun, Australian geologist, Ian Plimer, said, “There is a big thermonuclear reactor in the sky that emits huge amounts of energy to the Earth…The Sun provides the energy for photosynthesis. The Sun is the bringer of life to Earth. If the Sun were more energetic the oceans would boil. If the Sun were less energetic the oceans would freeze and all life on Earth would be destroyed.”

We don’t control the Sun. Or the climate. It controls us.

Sun & EarthConsider the fact that the Sun has a diameter of 865,000 miles. The Earth’s diameter is 7,917.5 miles. Thus, the Sun’s diameter is 109 times greater than the Earth’s. Carbon dioxide is barely 0.04% of the Earth’s atmosphere. Reducing it as the U.S.-China agreement proposes would have zero effect on the Earth’s climate.

We not only can, but should ignore the blatant lies of President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry, both of whom have been saying things about “climate change” without a scintilla of science to back them up. They’re not alone, however. In August, the U.N. Climate Chief, Christiana Figueres, warned of climate “chaos” in 500 days and told the World Health Organization that climate change was on a par with the outbreak of Ebola as a public health emergency.

It was big news on November 11 when The Wall Street Journal’s lead story on its front page reported that “The U.S. and China unveiled long-term plans to curb emissions of carbon dioxide and other gases linked to climate change, a surprise move aimed at kick-starting a new round of international climate negotiations and blunting domestic opposition to cuts in both countries.”

Someone needs to tell the Wall Street Journal there is no “climate change” that is not entirely NATURAL and unrelated to anything humans are doing.

The announcement plays into the longtime efforts of the environmental movement to impose energy limits on the world’s population. Similar limits will be called for when climate talks are launched in December by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in Lima, Peru.

Why the leaders of nations keep calling for limits that can only result in the reduction of energy production, the loss of economic benefits from industrial activity and the jobs it provides, and the modern lifestyle of advanced nations is one of life’s great mysteries.

If you really disliked America, you would no doubt pursue President Obama’s anti-energy agenda. That agenda is expressed by a series of climate and pollution measures that an article in Politico.com says “rivals any presidential environmental actions of the past quarter-century—a reality check for Republicans who think last week’s election gave them a mandate to end what they call the White House’s ‘War on Coal.’”

AA - Cold WeekendThe authors of the Politico.com article, Andrew Restuccia and Erica Martinson, note that Obama’s assault on the nation is “Tied to court-ordered deadlines, legal mandates and international climate talks” over the next two months, all in the name of a climate change “And incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will have few options for stopping the onslaught, though Republicans may be able to slow pieces of it.”

“The coming rollout includes a Dec. 1 proposal by EPA to tighten limits on smog-causing ozone, which business groups say could be the costliest federal regulation of all time; a final rule Dec. 19 for clamping down on disposal of power plants’ toxic coal cash; the Jan. 1 start date for a long-debated rule prohibiting states from polluting the air of their downwind neighbors; and a Jan. 8 deadline for issuing a final rule restricting greenhouse gas emissions from future power plants. That last rule is a centerpiece of Obama’s most ambitious environmental effort, the big plan for combating climate change that he announced at Georgetown University in June 2013.”

This vile assault flies in the face of actual climate trends: record low tornadoes record low hurricanes, record gain in Arctic ice, record amount of Antarctic ice, no change in the rate of sea level rise, no evidence of a Greenland meltdown, and again no warming for 19 years.

As this and future winters turn colder, arrive sooner and stay around longer, Americans will be affected by the reduction of coal-fired plants that generate electrical power. The nation will encounter blizzards that will leave some homeowners and apartment dwellers without heat. It is predictable that some will die.

A cruel and costly climate hoax is being perpetrated by President Obama and, in particular, by the Environmental Protection Agency. The new Congress must take whatever action it can to reverse and stop the harm that it represents; people’s jobs and lives depend on it.

© Alan Caruba, 2014

RELATED ARTICLE: Obama Pledges $3 Billion to Aid… Climate Change

Welcome to EbolaCare — but the Website is Down

A well known phenomenon in the animal kingdom is that when taking over a new pride, a lion will sometimes kill all the cubs. We don’t know exactly what kind of feeling drives him in this bloody act, but there’s obviously a lack of attachment. Suffice it to say the problem can be summed up thus: it’s not his family.

America’s pride is falling. And few things illustrate this better than the open-borders mentality that has allowed foreigners to bring diseases — most notably Ebola but also EV-D68 and others — into our country.

There was a time when a threat such as Ebola would have inspired travel bans reflexively. Not today. In this enlightened age, Barack Obama and underlings such as CDC director Tom Frieden tell us, with a straight face, that such measures just wouldn’t work. They also claim that banning commercial flights would frustrate efforts to aid Ebola-affected nations and thus increase the long-term chances of an epidemic in the U.S.

Space constraints preclude me from exploring every detail of their argument, but the bottom line is that it’s fallacious. A travel ban combined with a policy of issuing no visas to citizens from affected nations, a prohibition against entry by any foreign national holding a passport with a stamp from one of them, and a mandatory quarantine for Americans returning from such countries absolutely would work. No, it wouldn’t reduce the chances of more Ebola cases reaching our shores to zero, but such a requirement is unreasonable. We can’t eliminate all murder, but we still see fit to minimize it by having necessary laws, police and a criminal-justice system.

As for aid, it goes without saying that medical professionals and other emergency workers would be granted travel clearance and that charter and military planes could ferry them where they needed to go. Moreover, we’ve isolated Americans who contracted Ebola, and no one claims it prevented us from giving them sufficient treatment.

In fact, the arguments against common sense and the common good are so obviously flawed that it’s clear they are not reasons, but rationalizations. So what really explains our leaders’ common senselessness? National Review’s Mark Krikorian put it well last month:

Much of our political class is simply uncomfortable with the idea that border and immigration controls should be used vigorously and unapologetically to protect Americans. You can hear the objections now: It would be xenophobic, it might stigmatize West Africans, those countries will object to our State Department that they’re being discriminated against.

This is what it boils down to. And there’s a reason why people such as Barack Obama don’t believe in using immigration controls “vigorously and unapologetically to protect Americans.”

People such as Obama are not American.

This has nothing to do with theories about where Obama was born; as Thomas Sowell recently pointed out, native American Benedict Arnold is one of our most infamous traitors, while people born overseas have sometimes risked their necks to defend America. Nor does it even just concern Obama, as the phenomenon in question is exhibited by millions. What it has to do with is attitude.

This brings me to an October Forbes article by evolutionary biologist J.V. Chamary in which he inveighs against travel bans, calling the desire for them understandable but “selfish.” Born in France to parents from Mauritius and now living in the U.K., Chamary is the epitome of the attitude in question; he’s an internationalist, a philanderer of nations and a citizen of the world. And the thinking goes like this: we’re all just people, whether in Sacramento or Sierra Leone, Livermore or Liberia. Why should “my” country’s needs be elevated above another’s? This is the “intellectual” point of view, the conclusion someone arrives at upon thinking deeply and recognizing the truth of George Bernard Shaw’s statement, “Patriotism is the belief your country is superior to all other countries because you were born in it.”

Of course, it warrants noting that the affected West African nations have behaved just as “selfishly,” sometimes quarantining large areas within their borders to contain the Ebola. And neighboring African countries have been “selfish” enough to completely isolate the affected nations. We also might wonder how selfish it actually is if our concern is for others, our fellow Americans. But, no matter, Chamary has a point.

Not a good point — but a point.

Now let’s see if he actually believes it.

An easy way to find out is to ask: would you apply the same unselfish standard to your home? Would you temporarily house a couple of the people from affected nations who’ve been allowed to enter the U.S., thus exposing your children to them on a long-term basis?

When I briefly corresponded with Chamary and asked the above, his said it was a false dilemma that he was “unwilling to waste time addressing.” But it’s sufficiently analogous. Everything said about foreigners relative to Americans applies to outsiders relative to family members. We’re all just people; “undocumented family members” are children of God just like your documented family members. And what is God’s perspective (atheists can view this as a thought exercise), which is the highest perspective? He doesn’t gaze upon our blue orb and deem the Smiths more important than the Johnsons. Why, we could even say that “family patriotism is the belief your family should be prioritized over all other families because you were born in it,” couldn’t we, Mr. Barack Bernard Chamary? So why subordinate outsiders’ needs to your family’s?

This analogy is especially apt because a nation is an extension of the tribe, which in turn is an extension of the family. Yet it’s safe to say that Chamary, Obama and their fellow travelers would not endanger their families as they have the country. Why the different standards?

I suggest that their “enlightened,” citizen-of-the-world perspective isn’t the fruits of intellectualism at all, but is merely what feels right. The difference is that they’re emotionally attached to their families.

They’re not emotionally attached to America.

This is for a simple reason.

America is not their family.

Their pride lies elsewhere

Such people are not just internationalists; they sometimes feel more of a kinship with foreign nations than the one whose passport they happen to carry. And in the case of Obama, the antipathy for his passport place is so profound that he aims to eat the cubs. Or, at least, replace them via immigration.

This is why, even though a nation without secure borders is like a house without walls, Obama will keep his walls and open our borders. For some Americans this will mean death from disease and at the hands of illegal-alien criminals, but Obama doesn’t care. Lions, even cowardly ones, do what they do. And we’re not his family.

Contact Selwyn Duke, follow him on Twitter or log on to SelwynDuke.com

Open Memo to the 114th U.S. Congress

On January 3, 2015, the 114th Congress of the United States will convene for the new sessions which will run through January 3, 2017. The 2014 mid-term election was a seismic political shift in Washington D.C. power and the American people didn’t make broad changes in power for no reason.

Sometimes, gridlock is the best people can do when in no position to lead. However, American voters made certain that the Republican Party would emerge from the 2014 mid-terms in full control of both chambers of Congress, stripping all congressional support for the Obama Administration leaving the lamest administration in U.S. history in a lame-duck status.

Voters took no prisoners…. And Republicans cannot afford to take any prisoners either for the next two years. They were elected to reverse course in our nation, not to make peace with those across the aisle who have been running roughshod over them and the American people for the past six years.

Republicans were not elected to slow down the demise of a once great country. They were elected to stop the demise and destruction, reverse course 180 degrees and save America from the brink of extinction. They were elected to represent every American who is fed up with the runaway Federal Government. They were elected to turn the tide…

What do “the people” think?

The Associated Press ran broad-based exit-polling in the mid-terms in an effort to properly interpret voter sentiments behind the election results. Here’s what the people had to say…

  • 88% of Republicans believe that the country is headed in the WRONG direction under Democrat leadership. 46% of Democrat voters finally agreed. The country wants an overall change in direction, away from Global Marxism and towards secure national sovereignty.
  • 90% of Republicans believe that the nation’s economy is in BAD shape and that Federal economic policy is responsible. Over half of Democrat voters finally agreed. The country wants an end to the economic policies of bankruptcy.
  • Over 80% of Republicans believe that economic conditions will worsen on the past Democrat “social justice” welfare for all track. Over 1/3 of Democrats finally agreed.
  • 64% of Republicans believe that the next generations will have it worse and over 30% of Democrats finally agreed.
  • 80% of Republicans and 60% of Democrats are worried about the growing threat of terrorism on our soil under the Obama Administration.

What do “the people” want?

  • 81% of Republicans want an end to deficit spending. 52% of Democrats agreed.
  • 77% of Republicans want a change in foreign policy. 53% of Democrats agreed.
  • 73% of Republicans want NO AMNESTY of any kind and our immigration laws enforced. 52% of Democrats agreed.
  • 87% of Republicans and 67% Democrats want the U.S. to get tough on terrorism.
  • 88% of Republicans and 78% of Democrats want the Federal government to get out of the way of our free economy.
  • And almost every American wants members of congress to become accountable and hold others accountable for the destruction of our Constitutional Republic. – (Source)

What do “the people” NOT want?

  • 69% of Democrats think governmental environmental intervention is important. 31% of Democrats and 64% of Republicans disagree.
  • 70% of Democrats want governmental forced redistribution of private wealth. But 30% of Democrats and 58% of Republicans stand opposed.
  • 80% of Democrats want healthcare reform of some sort and 75% of Republicans agree, though they disagree on the federal government’s role in healthcare.
  • 47% of Democrats want abortion on demand and 33% of Democrats want gay marriage rights, a minority in both cases. Republicans stand opposed to both.

So, why did “the people” elect Republicans in 2014?

As if the election results themselves are not clear enough, news agencies worked to dig a little deeper in voter sentiments via exit polling that should leave no doubts in any reasonable mind.

All available information confirms the purpose of the shift in congressional power structure for the 114th Congress. A national about-face! After decades of abuses of power at the federal level, there are literally thousands of things that need to be done or undone in order to restore our republic and rule of constitutional law.

Despite a total rebuke of his policies, Obama remains committed to further destruction of our country, even if he has to go it alone via executive powers that do not even exist.

“The People’s” Priorities


Already, before amnesty… we have illegal aliens voting in our elections, taking our jobs, abusing access to our schools, our hospitals, and our social services. Recent reports state that 42% of all new Medicaid enrollees are “illegal immigrants.” – Health and Human Services Chief Sylvia Burwell called for extending Obamacare benefits to DREAM-eligible illegal immigrants. My previous column, IMMIGRATION: THE LAW AND ASSIMILATION AT ISSUE lays out the history behind the current immigration disaster.

The new Republican majority must use its power to STOP OBAMA from illegal abuse of so-called executive power in the DNC effort to forever alter American social demographics by granting full citizenship rights to illegal invaders. Anything less is an act of complicity in treason.

The new Republican majority must walk away from any form of amnesty by any means and become the party of Constitutional Law. They must end all efforts for amnesty and begin to enforce all existing immigration laws, period.

Then, they must use the power of Impeachment to hold Obama and his Marxist Democrat comrades fully accountable for the laundry list of treasonous acts that has entirely defined their administration.


The past six years of the Obama administration have been built upon usurpation of office, abuse of power, fraud and multiple acts of treason. There is NO WAY for the American people or the Republican Party to turn this country around without removing a long list of bad actors from power and holding them fully criminally accountable for their treasonous acts against the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, our men and women in uniform, our states and every legal American citizen.

North American Law Center has issued a very carefully crafted and vetted set of Articles of Impeachment against Barack Hussein Obama and his evil cabal. The Articles correctly base impeachment upon the following;

ARTICLE 1 – Usurpation of the Oval Office via criminal identity fraud

ARTICLE 2 – Malfeasance, misconduct and abuse of the Oval Office

ARTICLE 3 – Aiding and Abetting known enemies of the United States

House Republicans know that the Obama administration must be impeached. They used the excuse that they did not control the Senate, in refusing to impeach before the 2014 elections. Now that Republicans will control both chambers of congress, they must use this rare opportunity in power to right the greatest wrongs of this century by impeaching the worst administration in U.S. history.

If they don’t, this will be the final nail in the coffin of the Republican Party. The evidence against Obama is well beyond any reasonable doubts. The evidence that Republicans lack the decency, honor and courage to lead this nation will be complete, if they fail to hold Obama & Co. fully accountable for their acts against the United States of America.

This is NOT about policy differences…. This is about a criminal organization using the White House and the Senate to run roughshod over the American people and their states, to the demise and destruction of our Constitutional Republic. It must not be allowed to stand… people must be held accountable.

Before addressing a thousand little things that need to be corrected, the new Republican majority must accomplish these two critical steps in restoring the rule of constitutional law. There is no doubt that stopping amnesty and impeaching Obama is a tall order or that it will require extraordinary courage to do either, much less both. But both must be done, no matter the difficulty.

Old go along to get along Republicans like John Boehner and Mitch McConnell do not have the courage and decency required to lead this charge. They cannot be allowed to lead the new congress.

Extreme circumstances require extreme measures… and new leadership is required in order to carry out what must be done to save our Republic from an enemy operating within.

If the new Republican majority fails either test of honor, if they allow any form of amnesty and fail to enforce existing laws, if they fail to impeach the entire Obama regime for acts of treason against our nation, this will have signed their own death warrant as a viable political entity.

The people elected Republicans to congressional power to reverse everything that democrats have done to this country over the past six years, to restore the rule of constitutional law and to march this Republic back from the brink of extinction.

Republicans have just this one chance to be all that the American people need them to be. If they fail, the American people will seek other remedies outside of the political arena, to restore the rule of law and our Constitutional Republic.

I pray that the new Republican majority is wise enough to understand the very dangerous position they are in today. I pray that they will be wise enough to summon the courage it will take to turn this great country around, while they have an opportunity to do so peacefully.

They must deal with millions of illegal invaders and they must deal with those in the federal government who have worked to destroy our country from within. If they fail, they will soon wish that they had lost every election in 2014… for they will be held accountable by the people who elected them.

To Republicans I say… Save our Constitution and our Republic, or be gone! There is no room for any negotiations now.

Miami-Dade votes to allow Sexual Predators in all bathrooms, locker rooms and dressing rooms!

On November 13th, a Miami-Dade County Commission committee, by a 3-1 vote, illegally approved a highly dangerous, discriminatory “sexual identity or expression” proposal allowing men claiming to be women to use women’s bathrooms, locker rooms, showers and dressing rooms.

It also allows men to undress in front of minor girls, as happened at Evergreen State College in Washington State when Colleen Francis, a 45-year-old male, claiming to be “female” took his clothes off in front of a minor girl in the women’s facilities and was protected by this very same law.

The War on Women ordinance basically criminalizes any and all disagreement with an individual’s “sexual identity or expression” fantasy. Whenever you refuse to go along with whichever “transsexual” claims to be his “sexual identity or expression,” you will be FIRED, PERSECUTED, or SUED!

This is what happened to Natalie Johnson, fired from her job at Macy’s department store for not allowing a man claiming to be a “transsexual” to use the women’s dressing room.

This law is also being used in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, to force two ministers, Donald and Evelyn Knapp, who own the Hitching Post, a privately-owned chapel to perform a so-called “homosexual marriage”.

The Christian Family Coalition (CFC) Florida issued the following statement following the vote:

“County commissioners Audrey Edmonson, Sally Heyman and Bruno Barreiro’s approval of this proposed highly dangerous, discriminatory ordinance is nothing short of criminal. It legalizes discrimination against everyone who disagrees with an individual’s “sexual identity or expression” fantasy. Furthermore, it’s a declared War on Women that legalizes the violation of their safety and constitutional right to privacy.

According to the Miami-Dade Police Department, forcible sex offenses in Miami-Dade have increased by 16.26% in the last five years, so when a concerned mother testified that her daughter was molested in a bathroom by a boy who claims he’s a girl, these commissioners were so cruel and vicious they ignored her plea and approved this measure anyway. We commend Commissioner Esteban Bovo for opposing this public-endangering, discrimination-legalizing proposed ordinance.”

Over three-hundred (300) civic-minded Miami-Dade residents attended the public hearing to oppose the discriminatory “sexual identity or expression” proposal. A total of 112 people spoke at the hearing, 81 against the proposal and only 31 in favor.

A final vote is tentatively scheduled for Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014.

RELATED ARTICLE: United Nations May Seek Prosecution of Therapists Who Help Victims of Homosexual Abuse

You Lie!: The Evasions, Omissions, Fabrications, Frauds, and Outright Falsehoods of Barack Obama

Former Assistant Sec of Defense Frank Gaffney interviews renowned author and academy award winning filmmaker Jack Cashill on his new book You Lie!: The Evasions, Omissions, Fabrications, Frauds, and Outright Falsehoods of Barack Obama.

Plus a live interview from Israel with me, Tom Trento.

Inside look – The Man who killed Bin Laden

Billy and Karen Vaughn, Gold star parents of Navy Seal Team 6 Aaron Vaughn, give an inside look at the controversy surrounding the mission to kill Osama bin Laden.

Rob O’Neill , the former Navy SEAL who shot and killed Osama bin Laden, told Fox News that he expected to die during the 2011 raid.


$420,000,000 in U.S. weapons, “sensitive items” missing in Afghanistan

Iranian negotiator: U.S. must bow to our ‘inalienable nuclear rights’

Robert Spencer in Truth Revolt: Persecuted Christians: Sacrificed On The Altar of “Dialogue”

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is courtesy of FOX News.

Being Anti-Energy is Being Anti-Humanity

Everything you need to know about how perverse and dangerous the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is summed up in its latest report. Released on November 2, it issued the same tired, old and untrue claims of “severe, pervasive and irreversible impacts for people and ecosystems”

The IPCC wants the world to stop using coal, oil and natural gas, saying that they must be “phased out almost entirely” by the end of the century. The report reeks of their contempt for humanity.

Losing electricity, no matter where you live, is losing every technology that enhances and preserves your life. You lose the ability to cool or warm your home, apartment or workplace. You lose the ability to keep food safe in your refrigerator and freezer. You most certainly lose the lighting. You lose the ability to turn on your computer or television. Indeed, to use everything you take for granted.

Since the discovery and generation of energy with coal, oil and natural gas, generations have lived lives not only different from all who preceded them, but better in so many ways, not the least of which is extended life expectancy. Nations with energy are places where people live longer, healthier lives. They are also wealthier nations where the energy translates into industry, jobs, transportation, and all the other attributes of modern life.

Cover - Moral Case for Fossil FuelsAlthough we usually don’t associate energy with morality, Alex Epstein has. His book, “The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels” ($27.95, Portfolio, an imprint of the Penguin Group) is the finest case for the role coal, oil and natural gas has played in our lives and the positive, emancipating impact they have had on humanity. Everyone should read it.

“I hold human life as the standard of value” says Epstein. “I think that our fossil fuel use so far has been a moral choice because it has enabled billions of people to live longer and more fulfilling lies, and I think the cuts proposed by the environmentalists in the 1970s were wrong because of all the death and suffering they would have inflicted on human beings.”

“Eighty-seven percent of the energy mankind uses every second comes from burning one of the fossil fuels: coal, oil or natural gas.” That has not stopped environmentalists from denouncing coal and oil as “dirty” or because their use generates carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. What they never tell you is how small those emissions are and that they play an infinitesimal role to influence the Earth’s weather or climate. They never tell you that the Earth has centuries more of untapped reserves. The modern world could not exist without them.

“In the last eighty years, as CO2 emissions have most rapidly escalated, the annual rate of climate-related deaths worldwide fell by an incredible rate of 98 percent. That means the incidence of death from climate is fifty times lower than it was eighty years ago.”

Epstein points to “the power of fossil-fueled machines to build a durable civilization that is highly resilient to extreme heat, extreme cold, floods, storms, and so on” to demonstrate the foolishness of those who oppose their use. Primary among them is the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. As part of its 40th session, in early November the IPCC adopted the final “synthesis” report of its Fifth Assessment Report; a full-scale update calling for the reduction of energy worldwide. They base this on the claim that “human influence on the climate system is clear.”

It is not clear. Despite the CO2 emissions, the Earth has been in a cooling cycle for the last nineteen years, during the same time the IPCC’s “climate experts” and others were telling us the Earth was going to become dangerously warm.

Epstein reminds us that “In 1972, the international think tank, the Club of Rome, released a multimillion-copy-selling book, “The Limits of Growth”, which declared that its state of the art computer models had demonstrated that we would run out of oil by 1992 and natural gas by 1993 (and, for good measure, gold, mercury, silver, tin, zinc and lead by 1993 at the latest.)

It is essential to understand that every one of the “global warming” predictions made in the 1980s and the decades since then has been WRONG. Every one of the computer models on which those predictions were based was WRONG.

A younger generation graduating from high school this year has never spent a day when the overall temperature of the Earth was warming. The Earth’s natural cooling cycle is based on a natural low cycle of solar radiation. The Sun is generating less heat. Indeed, the Earth is nearing the end of the Holocene cycle, one of warmth for the past ten thousand or more years that has given rise to human civilization.

Epstein’s book is more than just philosophical opinion. It is based on documented facts regarding fossil fuel use. At one point he quotes Paul Ehrlich who, in his 1968 book, “The Population Bomb”, declared that “the battle to feed humanity is over.” Epstein notes that in 1968 the world’s population was 3.6 billion people. “Since then it has doubled, yet the average person is better fed than he was in 1968. This seeming miracle was due to a combination of the fossil fuel industry and genetic science…” Farming today is mechanized and that requires fuel!

The claims that Epstein debunks are accompanied by the fundamental truths about fossil fuel use and science. His book, comprehensible to anyone whether they have any knowledge of science or not, should be on everyone’s reading list.

At the heart of environmentalism and its “save the Earth” agenda is the reduction, if not the elimination, of humans from planet Earth.

© Alan Caruba, 2014

Eighteen Essay book ‘Common Ground on Common Core’ released

EssayCover_v9Resounding Books today officially announced publication of Common Ground on Common Core: Voices from across the Political Spectrum Expose the Realities of the Common Core State Standards. The 18-essay volume uniquely gathers 20 top education experts and activists. The authors hold widely varied political and ideological viewpoints, yet they stand firmly united against the Common Core.

Standards expert Sandra Stotsky and prominent mathematician R. James Milgram are among the book’s authors. Both served on the national Common Core validation committee but refused to sign o’ on the standards. Former U.S. Congressman and presidential candidate Ron Paul, a passionate advocate for true education in his own rite, graciously contributed.

Edited to ensure that readers of any political stripe could inform and empower themselves and others in the growing fight to push back against the controversial education initiative, Common Ground on Common Core enables understanding and appreciation not just of the basics but also crucial anti-Common Core arguments and insights they might not otherwise encounter, because those concerns have been raised principally on only one side of the political continuum.

“Common Ground on Common Core takes the fight against Common Core to new levels by encouraging open dialogue and alliances across political lines,” asserts Resounding Books’ Founder and Editor, Kirsten Lombard. “Interacting with Common Ground’s many authors—who self-identify as everything from radical Leftists to social conservatives to libertarians—has made it clear to me that we all have a lot more in common than we’d previously been led to believe.”

The book stands out in yet another way. All of the authors agreed to forego royalties so that Resounding Books, established in early 2013 as a super political action committee, could dedicate a significant percentage of the book’s proceeds to funding anti-Common Core activism at the state and local levels. “Resounding Books is strongly committed to encouraging and funding citizen activism around the subjects on which we publish,” Lombard asserts. “We look forward to realizing that goal.”

In addition to Stotsky and Milgram, other contributors to Common Ground on Common Core who will be more familiar to readers include Ze’ev Wurman, who helped to review the standards for the State of California, education researcher Christopher H. Tienken (author, The School Reform Landscape: Fraud, Myth, and Lies) as well as activists Kris L. Nielsen (author, Children of the Core), Jane Robbins (American Principles Project), Ceresta Smith (United Opt Out National), William A. Estrada (HSLDA), and Shane Vander Hart (Truth in American Education).

There will also be plenty of new and valuable discoveries for readers among the the essay collection has already begun to receive nods from key individuals in various political corners. In addition to Ron Paul, for example, Democratic New York State Senator George Latimer (Dist. 37) describes the book as “a thoughtful presentation of why we must have a slow, deliberate government that always asks who will benefit when we implement any new programs, but especially in education.” Dr. Gary Thompson, a Utah psychologist who has become known for his opposition to the experimental nature of Common Core assessments, calls the book a “brilliant, diverse compilation…which forever will put to rest the notion that Common Core critics emanate exclusively from the Right Wing.”


Kirsten Lombard

EDITORS NOTE:Common Ground on Common Core is currently available in print, with two digital formats planned. It is available for purchase on the Resounding Books website. Bulk orders are also possible. To interview editor Kirsten Lombard or any of the book’s authors, telephone Resounding Books at 608.467.0877 or email kirsten@resoundingbooks.org.

2014 Mid-Term Election: A Really Great First Step

The American people have spoken. But will elected officials, particularly Republicans place the desires of the American people above political correctness or the open borders crowd? Once again and probably for the last time, congratulations to the Republicans who won an historic election victory and swept away Democrat party control of the Senate. It was great to see Republicans win gubernatorial races in Massachusetts, Maryland and even Illinois. Democrats lost their grip on the legislative branches in Nevada, Colorado, Minnesota, New Mexico, Maine, West Virginia and New Hampshire. Republicans now control more state legislatures than they have at any point since the 1920s.

Republicans now have a larger House majority than they have had since 1928. For the first time in over six years a measured sense of optimism has resurfaced after Obama’s gloomy version of hope and change has wreaked much havoc throughout America. Before the first election of President Obama, I had predicted that his administration would be the political slap across the face of America that would awaken many of my fellow countrymen out of their political stupor. In other words, I believed that many great Americans would grow tired of the president’s leftist Marxist agenda that has been transforming our nation into a weakened shadow of her former self. Finally, many sovereign citizens utilized the ballot box to say enough is enough!

So now, despite the legions of negative nellies who proudly said that Republicans would never regain prominence, because they felt George W. Bush was such a horrible president, Republicans have regained a political stronghold. But, the question is, will the beltway statesmen and women listen and ride this momentum correctly? “We the people” or at least many of us will not settle for politicians creating magnets for illegal immigrants. We are tired of preferential treatment for defiant border crossers, deportation fugitives and visa over steppers. We still want approval of the Key Stone Pipeline. Also the transfer of vast areas of land under federal control to the private sector.

America’s corporate tax rate is the highest on earth and must be significantly reduced or done away with altogether. If not, the corporate headquarter march out of America will continue. Our military has been purposefully demoralized by the Obama regime. But now there is a chance to at least stop the president’s mission of hollowing out our armed forces and avoid being placed in mortal danger. After all, Russia, China and numerous Muslim nations are arming to the teeth and are now beginning to be a major thorn in the side our nation. In the world as it stands now, the only way for the United States to have a chance of peace is through strength, not weakness.

Hopefully, there are now enough conservative Republicans in the legislative branch who will make sure that House Speaker Boehner won’t be allowed to go along with Obama’s plan to grant amnesty to the 34 million illegal immigrants trespassing upon our great nation. Speaker Boehner has vowed to repeal Obama care. Is that an empty promise, or will he follow through? There is now a bipartisan majority in both the House and the Senate for repealing the medical device tax. The individual mandate portions of the Affordable Care Act should be done away with great haste.

For the long term good of America, Republicans must agitate for the abolishment of all international agreements and entanglements that undermine the stability of the United States. So, the big question remains to be answered. Will the Republicans put the desires of the American people above political correctness, the open borders crowd, the gun grabbers, etc. etc.? Only time will reveal the true motives of the Republican majority.

May “We The People” also remember to pray that providential guidance will be sought to help our elected officials lead America back to her rightful place of greatness as one nation under God.

Federal Court finds Palestinian Woman Guilty of Naturalization Fraud

On November 10th, a Detroit federal district court jury returned a verdict of guilty in the naturalization fraud case of 67 year old Rasmieh Odeh, who failed to disclose on her citizenship application her involvement in a 1969 terrorist bombing in Jerusalem that killed two Hebrew University Students. Odeh could face a 10 year federal prison term before deportation. The Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT) which has followed the Odeh case reported the circumstances behind the verdict in the Eastern Michigan federal district court case, “Rasmieh Odeh Guilty of Naturalization Fraud”:

U.S. District Judge Gershwin A. Drain told jurors the “verdict is a fair and reasonable one based on the evidence that came in,” the Associated Press reports.

That means jurors were convinced she knowingly lied on her immigration applications, and did not accept defense arguments that she merely misunderstand questions she found ambiguous.

While she claims her Israeli conviction was unjust, the fraud case was focused on what Odeh told U.S. immigration officials when she first applied to come hereon a visa obtained in 1995 and when she applied for naturalization in 2004.

In both instances, Odeh claimed she had never been arrested, convicted or imprisoned. She also claimed to have lived only in Amman, Jordan since turning 16, omitting the 10 years she spent in an Israeli prison. She was released in 1979 as part of a prisoner exchange with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and spent four years living in Lebanon. The 1969 bombings of a Jerusalem Supersol grocery store and of a British consulate in the city were PFLP attacks.

The Supersol attack claimed the lives of Edward Joffe and Leon Kanner, two Hebrew University students who stopped in for supplies before a planned hiking trip.

Odeh testified Friday that she didn’t understand English when she applied for the visa 20 years ago. She relied on answers her brother provided. When she applied to become an American citizen, she said she thought the criminal history questions, which asked if she “EVER” had a record, applied only to her time in the United States.

But prosecutors noted that, for those who did have a record, the form asks for more information, including the charges involved, and the city, state and country where it happened. In addition, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services officer Jennifer Williams – who interviewed Odeh in 2004 as part of the naturalization process – testified that she asks all immigrant applicants to disclose any criminal history “anywhere in the world.”

A pre-trial hearing on October 27, 2014 in the Eastern District Court in Detroit Michigan basically “destroyed”   the defense’s case leaving only one thin reed, “the prosecution’ cannot use the terms, “terrorism” or “terrorist.” According to William A Jacobson, Cornell University Professor of Clinical Law, in an evaluation of the Odeh case on the blog, Legal Insurrection:

All in all, these rulings are devastating to the defense. The government now only needs to introduce evidence of her convictions in Israel and her application in which those convictions were not disclosed. The defense cannot counter with claims that the convictions were wrongful, or that she suffered any form of PTSD as a result of her alleged coercion.

Couple this with protections the Court has put in place to protect jurors from influences by pro-Palestinian activists, and there doesn’t seem to be any viable defense.

IPT in late October 2014 released a five part series, “Spinning a Terrorist into a Victim.” Rasmieh Odeh, a Chicago area Palestinian activist was the subject that investigative series. The IPT team, Emerson said, had interviewed a number of the relatives and friends of the students killed and injured in the PFLP bombing, many now in their 50’s and 60’s.

 Odeh was arrested on October 22, 2013 under a Federal indictment for not disclosing her prior Israeli conviction, sentencing and incarceration for the PFLP terror bombing.   Odeh defended her misrepresentations on her application for citizenship on the grounds that she had been tortured while incarcerated in Israel.

 Given today’s Eastern Michigan federal court verdict, Odeh could face a 10 year sentence and deportation.   The IPT report today noted  who rallied to her defense:

Her prosecution sparked a campaign by colleagues and supporters aimed at pressuring the U.S. Attorney in Detroit to drop the case. Dozens of people traveled from Chicago, where Odeh now lives, to Detroit, to pack the courtroom during the trial and demonstrate in front of the Theodore Levin U.S. Courthouse.

The Investigative Project on Terrorism tracked the campaign on Odeh’s behalf for months, including the support it attracted from the Arab-American Anti-Discrimination CommitteeAmerican Muslims for Palestine, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and a group of 124 feminist academics.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review. The featured photo is of Rasmieh Odeh. Source: The Investigative Project on Terrorism.

The New Frontier: Peer technologies are enabling self-government in the cloud by Max Borders

Today there is no territory left to settle, but human freedom is about to enjoy a renaissance.

Imagine we’re standing on a ridge. We look out on a valley awash in sunlight — surveyors contemplating a new city. We squint and ask: What will it look like? Will it have its own rules, culture, and commercial life? Will it be a bustling metropolis or a constellation of villages?

The Internet has only been with us for about 20 years. If the Northwest Ordinance and the Homestead Acts were legal sanction for expansion across the American continent, networking technologies are invitations for people both to spread out and to connect with others in novel ways. This opportunity has important implications.

For much of history, we have thought of the law and the land as being inseparable, particularly as the conquerors were so often the lawgivers. Not anymore. For the first time, jurisdiction and territory can be separated to a great degree thanks to innovation.

So many of the administrative functions of jurisdiction can increasingly be found in the cloud. It’s early, yes. The network is fragile. But we will soon be able to pass in and out of legal systems, selecting those that benefit us, employing true self-government. It is time to follow Thoreau, who in Civil Disobedience asked, “Is a democracy, such as we know it, the last improvement possible in government?”

Already, we can buy and sell using cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin. We can take Lyft downtown, bypassing obsolete local ordinances on the way. Google and Apple are selling us privacy again. These are just the first brushfires of a new form of social coordination in which technology itself makes it possible to upgrade our social operating systems.

Peer-to-peer interaction means we’re a nation of joiners again — on steroids. It seemed for a while we had lost the republic to special interests. But the hopeless calculus of cronyism — concentrated benefits and dispersed costs — is being flipped on its head. Internetworking makes it so we’re enjoying the fruits of the sharing economy — quite rapidly, in fact. Cronies and officials are finding it hard to play catch up.

New constituencies are forming around these new benefits. Special interests that once squeaked to get oil are confronted by battalions bearing smart phones. Citizens are voting more with their dollars and their devices, fed up with leaving prayers in the voting booth. Free association is now ensured by design, not by statute.

Technology that changes the incentives can change the institutions. The rules and regulations we currently live under came out of our democratic operating system (DOS). It used to be that these institutions shaped our incentives to a great degree. Now we have ways of coordinating our activities that go right around state intermediaries, corporate parasites, and moribund laws.

The incentives for social change are strong, so strong that the gales of creative destruction can finally blow apart much of the state apparatus, which seemed impervious to reform. And that’s a good thing for a self-governing people.

That celebrated old historian Frederick Jackson Turner summed up his famous treatise on the American West, agreeing — perhaps despite himself — that the people of the frontier had been moving away from hierarchy:

In spite of environment, and in spite of custom, each frontier did indeed furnish a new field of opportunity, a gate of escape from the bondage of the past; and freshness, and confidence, and scorn of older society, impatience of its restraints and its ideas, and indifference to its lessons, have accompanied the frontier.

But in 1893, as Turner wrote that passage, the frontier had already closed.

Today, the seekers and strivers have reopened the frontier, no longer a peculiarly American terrain. It’s a space beyond nation or territory — without end and without the need for Caesar’s imprimatur. As people start to gather there, there will be every form of vice, as in the past. But there will also be rapid advance and innovative wonders. Everything will be subject to continuous trial, error, and revision. And paradoxically, that infinite space in which we can spread out and try new things allows us to be closer than ever before.

We’re becoming cultural cosmopolitans, radical communitarians, and standard bearers for a right of exit. Most importantly, we’re freer than ever before. As my colleague Jeffrey Tucker writes on the workers’ revolution, “This whole approach might be considered a very advanced stage of capitalism in which third parties exercise ever less power over who can and cannot participate.”

In this infinite space, there will be little room for political progressives with big plans. They’ll find it difficult to impose hierarchy on the new frontier folk who will run among network nodes. The progressive program, as such, will dwindle down to what Steven B. Johnson calls “peer progressivism.”

Rejecting the dirigisme of today’s progressives, Johnson writes:

We don’t think that everything in modern life should be re-engineered to follow the “logic of the Internet.” We just think that society has long benefited from non-market forms of open collaboration, and that there aren’t enough voices in the current political conversation reminding us of those benefits.

Tocqueville couldn’t have said it any better. If such becomes the sum of tomorrow’s progressivism, we might all be headed for a great convergence, where once we were as stark and separate as red and blue.


Max Borders is the editor of The Freeman and director of content for FEE. He is also co-founder of the event experience Voice & Exit and author of Superwealth: Why we should stop worrying about the gap between rich and poor.

The Case Against Rent Control: Bad housing policy harms lower-income people most by Robert P. Murphy

To someone ignorant of economic reasoning, rent control seems like a great policy. It appears instantly to provide “affordable housing” to poor tenants, while the only apparent downside is a reduction in the income flowing to the fat-cat landlords, people who literally own buildings in major cities and who thus aren’t going to miss that money much. Who could object to such a policy?

First, we should define our terms. When a city government imposes rent control, it means the city makes it illegal for landlords to charge tenants rent above a ceiling price. Sometimes that price can vary, but only on specified factors. For the law to have any teeth — and for the politicians who passed it to curry favor with the public — the maximum rent-controlled price will be significantly lower than the free-market price.

The most obvious problem is that rent control immediately leads to a shortage of apartments, meaning that there are potential tenants who would love to move into a new place at the going (rent-controlled) rate, but they can’t find any vacancies. At a lower rental price, more tenants will try to rent apartment units, and at a higher rental price, landlords will try to rent out more apartment units. These two claims are specific instances of the law of demand and law of supply, respectively.

In an unhampered market, the equilibrium rental price occurs where supply equals demand, and the market rate for an apartment perfectly matches tenants with available units. If the government disrupts this equilibrium by setting a ceiling far below the market-clearing price, then it creates a shortage; that is, more people want to rent apartment units than landlords want to provide. If you’ve lived in a big city, you may have experienced firsthand how difficult it is to move into a new apartment; guides advise people to pay the high fee to a broker or even join a church because you have to “know somebody” to get a good deal. Rent control is why this pattern occurs. The difficulty isn’t due to apartments being a “big-ticket” item; new cars are expensive, too, but finding one doesn’t carry the stress of finding an apartment in Brooklyn. The difference is rent control.

Rent control reduces the supply of rental units through two different mechanisms. In the short run, where the physical number of apartment units is fixed, the imposition of rent control will reduce the quantity of units offered on the market. The owners will hold back some of the potential units, using them for storage or keeping them available for (say) out of town guests or kids returning from college for the summer. (If this sounds implausible, consider just how many people in a major city consider renting out spare bedrooms in their homes, as long as the price is right.)

In the long run, a permanent policy of rent control restricts the construction of new apartment buildings, because potential investors realize that their revenues on such projects will be artificially capped. Building a movie theater or shopping center is more attractive on the margin.

There are further, more insidious problems with rent control. With a long line of potential tenants eager to move in at the official ceiling price, landlords do not have much incentive to maintain the building. They don’t need to put on new coats of paint, change the light bulbs in the hallways, keep the elevator in working order, or get out of bed at 5:00 a.m. when a tenant complains that the water heater is busted. If there is a rash of robberies in and around the building, the owner won’t feel a financial motivation to install lights, cameras, buzz-in gates, a guard, or other (costly) measures to protect his customers. Furthermore, if a tenant falls behind on the rent, there is less incentive for the landlord to cut her some slack, because he knows he can replace her right away after eviction. In other words, all of the behavior we associate with the term “slumlord” is due to the government’s policy of rent control; it is not the “free market in action.”

In summary, if the goal is to provide affordable housing to lower-income tenants, rent control is a horrible policy. Rent control makes apartments cheaper for some tenants while making them infinitely expensive for others, because some people can no longer find a unit, period, even though they would have been able to at the higher, free-market rate. Furthermore, the people who remain in apartments — enjoying the lower rent —receive a much lower-quality product. Especially when left in place for decades, rent control leads to abusive landlords and can quite literally destroy large portions of a city’s housing.

20141014_RobertMurphyABOUT ROBERT P. MURPHY

Robert P. Murphy has a PhD in economics from NYU. He is the author of The Politically Incorrect Guide to Capitalism and The Politically Incorrect Guide to The Great Depression and the New Deal. He is also the Senior Economist with the Institute for Energy Research and a Research Fellow at the Independent Institute. You can find him at http://consultingbyrpm.com/

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is courtesy of FEE and Shutterstock.