Pope and World Council of Churches to hold conference on xenophobia, migration, and populism

This should be fun to watch!

WCC logo

The Marxists at the World Council of Churches and Pope Francis think they are going to bring the world together in harmony and love with a conference in September on defeating xenophobia and the menace of political populism (just as a major power shift fueled by populism is sweeping Italy).

Maybe they would get a lot farther in bringing peace to the world if they cut out the insulting language….just saying!

From Breitbart:

The World Council of Churches (WCC) has announced a joint venture with the Vatican to co-host a meeting next September on “migration, xenophobia, and politically motivated populism.”

pope and WCC head

The Pope and Rev. Tveit joining forces to defeat political populism…..

The WCC said it is partnering with the Vatican department for Promoting Integral Human Development in preparing the conference to be held September 17-20 as part of ongoing work toward“peace-building and migration.”

The General of the WCC, Rev. Olav Fykse Tveit, said the meeting would be a “very useful and significant workshop to dig a bit deeper” into the problems of xenophobia as an expression of populism, as well as its links to racism, conflict, and violence in countries around the world.

Last September, the Vatican launched a two-year campaign to change people’s minds about migrants and to encourage a more welcoming attitude toward them worldwide.

“Brothers, we mustn’t be afraid to share the journey! We mustn’t be afraid to share the hope!” Francis said in his weekly General Audience on September 27, in which he inaugurated the new project, titled “Share the Journey.”

[….]

The stated goal of the project is to shed light on both the challenges and effects of migration at every stage of the journey to provoke a “shift in thinking” on the issue.

Do they really think they will get a shift in thinking when they continue to denigrate people as xenophobes who disagree with them about immigration?

Part of this shift in thinking involves dispelling common “myths about migration,” the organization declared, before laying out “some common myths around migration and the facts behind the myths.”

Caritas said these myths include the idea that there are more migrants than ever before, that migrants live off welfare benefits and steal jobs from citizens, that closing borders will stem migrant flows, and that “people from poor countries migrate to rich ones.”

Wcws logoe are told daily by these very same people that the number of migrants worldwide is greater than ever before. 

Myths? Migrants live off welfare benefits—-of course most of them do!  Would they be flocking to generous welfare states like Sweden and Germany (and in the US Minnesota!) if they were denied all welfare?

And, do they really expect us to believe that people are migrating to poor countries instead of rich ones.  Nuts!

By the way, if you didn’t know, US resettlement contractor Church World Service is a member of the World Council of Churches.

Both CWS and the US Conference of Catholic Bishops financially benefit from the movement of migrants from the third world to America, something never mentioned by them when they lecture us about “welcoming the stranger.”

Sports Tickets, Other Freebies for FBI Leakers Raise ‘Bribery’ Issues, Legal Experts Say

The Justice Department’s internal watchdog is investigating FBI leakers, as legal experts say revelations about gifts in an inspector general’s report this week raise new legal and ethical issues.

“We will separately report on those investigations as they are concluded,” @JusticeOIG says.

The Justice Department’s Office of Inspector General noted that “dozens” of FBI agents had contact with the news media, and many were taking sports tickets, golf outings, and other gifts from reporters to whom they were leaking unauthorized information about a criminal investigation.

The FBI’s Office of Integrity and Compliance discourages the acceptance by agents of anything of value, said Ron Hosko, a former FBI assistant director.

The liberal Left continue to push their radical agenda against American values. The good news is there is a solution. Find out more >>

“Accepting something from someone who clearly expects something back has the whiff of a quid pro quo,” Hosko told The Daily Signal.

“Any agreement for something of value in exchange for information—particularly, information related to an investigation—would constitute a corrupt relationship and warrants the strongest sanction,” he added.

The inspector general’s report about the FBI’s handling of Hillary Clinton’s private email server scandal, released on Thursday, said:

We have profound concerns about the volume and extent of unauthorized media contacts by FBI personnel that we have uncovered during our review.

In addition, we identified instances where FBI employees improperly received benefits from reporters, including tickets to sporting events, golfing outings, drinks and meals, and admittance to nonpublic social events.

We will separately report on those investigations as they are concluded, consistent with the Inspector General Act, other applicable federal statutes, and OIG policy.

The report goes on to recommend that “the FBI evaluate whether (a) it is sufficiently educating its employees about both its media contact policy and the Department’s ethics rules, and (b) its disciplinary penalties are sufficient to deter such improper conduct.”

The Office of Government Ethics describes specific restrictions on executive branch employees accepting gifts. A “prohibited source” of a gift is “seeking official action” or “has an interest.”

The question arises if and when that affects a news organization with an interest in information held by a government employee who is taking gifts, potentially using that job for personal gain.

“We are looking at two potential crimes. One is potential disclosure of classified information. The second is potential bribery,” Curt Levey, president of the Committee for Justice, a nonprofit conservative legal group, told The Daily Signal. “Under bribery statutes, the Supreme Court has determined you have to prove a quid pro quo.”

That would be a difficult case to prosecute, because bribery is often thought of in the context of giving a government official “cash or a Rolex,” said David Rivkin, a lawyer who served in the White House Counsel’s Office under President George H.W. Bush.

“If an FBI agent received meals and benefits in exchange for providing this information, it might fall under the bribery statute,” Rivkin told The Daily Signal. “You might convince a grand jury, but can you convince a jury?”

Rivkin said another potential offense would be FBI agents misusinggovernment property or the authority of their office to advance a purely personal agenda.

While Justice Department Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz determined political bias didn’t affect the outcome of the investigation into Clinton’s email scandal, Rivkin thinks the FBI employees demonstrated an agenda.

FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page were the only named individuals, while others were identified only as FBI employees or agents.

“I found the totality of the messages, not just Strzok and Page, but ‘Agents 3 and 4,’ absolutely appalling,” Rivkin said. “I have never seen anything like this in my years at the Department of Justice.”

On Oct. 28, the day then-FBI Director James Comey notified Congress he had reopened the Clinton probe, “FBI Employee 1” wrote, “I mean, I never really liked the Republic anyway.”

“FBI Employee 3” responded, “As I have initiated the destruction of the republic … Would you be so kind as to have a coffee with me this afternoon?”

“FBI Employee 4” chimed in, “I’m clinging to small pockets of happiness in the dark time of the Republic’s destruction.”

Fewer jokes were exchanged the day after the election, Nov. 9, 2016. “FBI Attorney 2” wrote, “I am numb.”

“FBI Employee” (no number assigned) replied, “I can’t stop crying.” “FBI Employee” later said, “You promised me this wouldn’t happen. YOU PROMISED.”

“FBI Attorney 2” wrote, “I am so stressed about what I could have done differently,” adding, “I don’t know. We broke the momentum.”

As a reassurance, “FBI Employee” wrote, “All the people who were initially voting for her would not, and were not, swayed by any decision the FBI put out. Trump’s supporters are all poor to middle class, uneducated, lazy POS that think he will magically grant them jobs for doing nothing.” (“POS” is an acronym for a barnyard epithet.)

“They probably didn’t watch the debates, aren’t fully educated on his policies, and are stupidly wrapped up in his unmerited enthusiasm,” the message continued.

What upset Rivkin the most about the messages was that no FBI employees seemed to object.

“If you looked at all the people involved in those chains of messages with disdain and anger, you don’t see any Boy Scouts,” Rivkin said. “That’s very depressing to me.”

COMMENTARY BY

Portrait of Fred Lucas

Fred Lucas

Fred Lucas is the White House correspondent for The Daily Signal and co-host of “The Right Side of History” podcast. Send an email to Fred. Twitter: @FredLucasWH.

Dear Readers:

With the recent conservative victories related to tax cuts, the Supreme Court, and other major issues, it is easy to become complacent.

However, the liberal Left is not backing down. They are rallying supporters to advance their agenda, moving this nation further from the vision of our founding fathers.

If we are to continue to bring this nation back to our founding principles of limited government and fiscal conservatism, we need to come together as a group of likeminded conservatives.

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

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

ACTIVATE YOUR MEMBERSHIP TODAY

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is by Yuri Gripas/Reuters/Newscom.

Merkel’s Leadership Threatened by Killings by Immigrants, Wrought by Open Borders

Diana Feldman received an unusual text message from the phone of her 14-year-old daughter, Susanna, late last month.

Written in broken German, the message said she would be back home in a few weeks and that her mother should not try to find her.

Yet the message was not from Susanna. She had already been raped and strangled, and her body was dumped next to some railroad tracks in the city of Wiesbaden in western Germany.

Almost three years earlier, German Chancellor Angela Merkel had faced a crisis. Millions were fleeing the humanitarian catastrophes in Iraq and Syria and heading to Europe, and the enormous flow of people was placing unsustainable pressure on landing ports in Greece and threatening the territorial integrity of the Balkans.

Merkel responded by opening Germany’s borders, subsequently letting in a mix of genuine asylum seekers and economic migrants.

One of the beneficiaries was Susanna Feldman’s killer.

Ali Bashar, a 20-year-old Iraqi Kurd, entered Germany in October 2015 with his parents and was a blight from the beginning. According to the BBC, he was allegedly tied to a robbery, possession of a weapon, and sexual assault on an 11-year-old girl in the refugee shelter where he lived (and where he dealt drugs).

Bashar’s asylum claim was rejected toward the end of 2016, but he was allowed to stay in the country while he appealed the decision.

Over 18 months later, when he killed Susanna, a decision on his appeal still had not been made. Days after his crime, Bashar and seven other members of his family returned to Iraq. However, he was tracked down by Kurdish authorities and extradited to Germany.

Bashar has since admitted to killing Susanna.

It’s clearly a tragic case, but it’s also not an isolated one.

Hussein Khavari arrived in Europe in January 2013. He proceeded to throw a woman over a cliff that summer in Corfu, Greece, and was subsequently imprisoned for 10 years in February 2014 for attempted murder. However, he was released after just 18 months, part of a government amnesty aimed at reducing strain on its overcrowded prisons.

Khavari journeyed on to Germany, where he arrived in November 2015, and claimed asylum the following February. He claimed to be a 17-year-old Afghan upon arrival, saying that his father had been killed fighting the Taliban.

In October 2016, Khavari raped and strangled Maria Ladenburger, a 19-year-old German student, in Freiburg, in southwest Germany. Khavari left his still-breathing victim to drown in a nearby river after his attack. He was sentenced to life in prison.

During his trial, it emerged that rather than being a 17-year-old fatherless Afghan, Khavari was a Iranian. His father was alive and well, living in Iran. Khavari’s asylum claim was also undecided at the time of Ladenburger’s killing.

Another case from southwest Germany, this time in Kandel, saw Mia Valentin, a 15-year-old girl, being stabbed to death by her ex-boyfriend last December. The killer, Abdul D., came to Germany from Afghanistan in April 2016, claiming to be 14 years old. In reality, he is now 20.

Such stories—coming in the wake of the mass sexual assault of more than 1,000 women in Germany on New Year’s Eve of 2015—have a variety of consequences.

One consequence is political. Concern over immigration could lead to the collapse of Merkel’s coalition government. Horst Seehofer, Germany’s interior minister, wants to begin turning away refugees who have passed through another European Union country before getting to Germany. Merkel is refusing, concerned about the effects this would have on forging a coherent EU-wide refugee policy.

The coalition is splintering, and if an agreement cannot be reached, a vote of confidence in Merkel—and new elections—could be imminent.

Another consequence relates to security. One recent study demonstrated that violent crime had increased by more than 10 percent in 2015 and 2016. Ninety percent of that increase was because of violent crimes committed by male refugees.

Similarly, the sharp increase to the Islamist terrorism threat in Germany is not primarily from radicalized Germans, but from recently arrived asylum seekers. While some plots were thwarted, those in WurzburgAnsbachBerlin, and Hamburg were not.

In that environment, many Germans have turned to a radical, outsider party that made a platform out of cracking down on immigration. Alternative for Germany got about 6 million votes (13 percent) in September 2017 and is now the third-biggest party in Germany.

That’s not because Germany has a hitherto concealed population of racists who were unearthed in the election, but because Merkel very clearly made a cataclysmic mistake.

Germany did take in too many people. It did not know who they were then, and so, it has no idea who is living in the country now. It was too trusting in accepting asylum applicants’ backstories—and the German Medical Association is still speaking out against checking claimants’ ages.

Germany is not deporting enough of those who have no right to be in the country, or making decisions on asylum appeals quickly enough.

If this were solely a German problem, then perhaps it would be easier to contain. Yet it also extends to Sweden, which is dealing with a surge in crime in areas with high concentrations of immigrants.

One recent study in Sweden showed that more than 75 percent (at a minimum) of those claiming to be children were actually adults. Austria, Italy, and other countries in Europe face similar challenges.

A responsible approach would be for nations to listen to voters’ concerns and craft policies that address them.

Merkel’s desire for an EU-led solution demonstrates the hopelessness of the current approach. An unresponsiveness to democratic impulses in the EU is a well-established theme.

Meanwhile, the numbers continue to grow. About 10,000 new asylum seekers come to Germany every month. The government hopes they will integrate, but has no real idea how to make that happen, and the crisis rolls on.

COMMENTARY BY

Portrait of Robin Simcox

Robin Simcox is the Margaret Thatcher Fellow at The Heritage Foundation. Twitter: .

Dear Readers:

With the recent conservative victories related to tax cuts, the Supreme Court, and other major issues, it is easy to become complacent.

However, the liberal Left is not backing down. They are rallying supporters to advance their agenda, moving this nation further from the vision of our founding fathers.

If we are to continue to bring this nation back to our founding principles of limited government and fiscal conservatism, we need to come together as a group of likeminded conservatives.

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

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

ACTIVATE YOUR MEMBERSHIP TODAY

Once Again, Obamacare’s Constitutionality Comes Into Question

Readers might recall that, in 2012, the Supreme Court of the United States upheld the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, colloquially known as Obamacare, by a 5-4 vote in a case captioned NFIB v. Sebelius.

Last year, Congress revised Obamacare. In the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, Congress eliminated the penalty imposed on people who do not purchase health insurance by reducing the penalty to $0 effective January 2019.

What makes that 2017 law interesting for present purposes is this: Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the controlling opinion in NFIB v. Sebelius; he concluded that the Obamacare penalty can be characterized as a “tax”; and he decided that, so viewed, Obamacare was a constitutional exercise of Congress’ power to raise taxes.

Enter Texas. In February of this year, Texas and several other states filed a lawsuit alleging that, by reducing the Obamacare tax to zero, Congress eliminated the only basis on which the Supreme Court had upheld the constitutionality of Obamacare. A sine qua non of a tax is that it generates revenue, Texas argued, and beginning in January 2019 Obamacare will no longer do so.

Accordingly, concluded Texas, starting next year Obamacare can no longer be upheld as a lawful exercise of Congress’ taxing power, so the federal courts should hold the law unconstitutional now.

The possibility that Obamacare could yet be consigned to the ash heap delighted some and troubled others. (For my opinion on the matter, see here.) Recently, the Department of Justice filed its answer to the Texas complaint. In it, the department agreed with the plaintiffs that Obamacare will become unconstitutional once the individual mandate penalty effectively disappears next year.

The Justice Department believes that, as a result, several provisions of Obamacare must go, such as the requirement that insurance companies provide coverage to someone with a pre-existing condition—but the Justice Department thinks that the rest of the statute can stand.

Texas disagrees. It argues that the Obamacare statute is like the base in Jenga: Once you remove the critical elements, the entire superstructure falls apart.

So what happens now? Here is how the case might proceed.

The district court is likely to act without delay. Why? There are no facts in dispute, only (at most) two legal issues: Is Texas right that Obamacare can no longer be upheld as a lawful exercise of Congress’ taxing power? If “No,” game over. If “Yes,” then is Texas also right that the unconstitutional portion(s) of the law cannot be severed from the remainder without leaving Obamacare a jumble of words that does not make sense?

Those issues may be difficult to resolve legally, but there is no need for a trial over the facts. Plus, the district court knows that, in all likelihood, the Supreme Court will ultimately have to resolve this dispute and that, the closer it gets to January 2019, the more attention there will be on the effect of eliminating the “tax” on the insurance markets.

The Supreme Court will need to decide this issue because of the odd way that it upheld the constitutionality of Obamacare in NFIB v. Sebelius. Four justices concluded that Obamacare was a lawful regulation of commerce, and four disagreed. Roberts was the fifth vote to uphold Obamacare. He decided that the health care law could be upheld as a tax, but not as a regulation of commerce.

The result was that five justices found the law constitutional, but they disagreed about why.

Given the odd nature of the court’s lineup in NFIB v. Sebelius and the pending disappearance of the “tax,” it is incumbent on the Supreme Court to take up the issue once again and—hopefully—come up with a majority opinion that puts the matter to rest.

Once the district court issues its decision, it is possible for one or more parties to ask the Supreme Court to review the case even before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit does.

How? One of the parties could file in the Supreme Court what is known as a “petition for a writ of certiorari before judgment,” a mechanism that allows a party to leapfrog over the appeals court and go directly to the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court does not have to grant such a petition, and it prefers to have at least one appeals court review an issue before taking it up, because it likes the help that comes with having three circuit judges write about a problem. But it may not make much of a difference because the court of appeals is also likely to act expeditiously.

Regardless of how the case reaches the Supreme Court, it is likely that the Supreme Court will revisit the constitutionality of Obamacare this fall. With luck, the whole matter will finally be resolved before the end of this year. Stay tuned.

COMMENTARY BY

Portrait of Paul J. Larkin Jr.

Paul J. Larkin Jr. directs The Heritage Foundation’s project to counter abuse of the criminal law, particularly at the federal level, as senior legal research fellow in the Center for Legal and Judicial Studies. Read his research.

Dear Readers:

With the recent conservative victories related to tax cuts, the Supreme Court, and other major issues, it is easy to become complacent.

However, the liberal Left is not backing down. They are rallying supporters to advance their agenda, moving this nation further from the vision of our founding fathers.

If we are to continue to bring this nation back to our founding principles of limited government and fiscal conservatism, we need to come together as a group of likeminded conservatives.

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

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

ACTIVATE YOUR MEMBERSHIP TODAY

If Twitter and Facebook ban all hate speech, what will Democrats do for social media?

I saw this tweet from Bill Mitchell (@mitchellvii),

If Twitter and Facebook are gonna ban all hate speech, what will Democrats do for social media?

This is a very good question.

As Charlie Kirk (@charliekirk11) noted in a tweet:

“Accuse your opponent of what you are doing, to create confusion and to inculcate voters against evidence of your own guilt”

Saul Alinsky, Rules for Radicals

Guardian News posted the below YouTube video stating, “The actor and long-time critic of Donald Trump receives a standing ovation at Sunday night’s Tony awards in New York after attacking the US president on stage at Radio City Music Hall.” WARNING GRAPHIC LANGUAGE.

Has the political and social media rhetoric escalated from being anti-Trump to being anti-American?

Here is an interview with former Governor Mike Huckabee and Jessie Waters on the rising level of vitriol.

As Governor Huckabee notes, there are three bubbles in the United States. They are New York, Washington, D.C. (the Swamp) and Hollywood. There was a time when hate like this was only seen in foreign lands.

Now hate is the only tool left for Democrats and their supporters.

Sad but true.

EDITOR NOTE: The featured image is by Shoreditch, London, United Kingdom

Antitrust Matters Matter

United States antitrust laws regulate the organization and conduct of business corporations on state and national levels to provide fair competition for the benefit of consumers. Why are they necessary?

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has the answer.

“Free and open markets are the foundation of a vibrant economy. Aggressive competition among sellers in an open marketplace gives consumers – both individuals and businesses – the benefits of lower prices, higher quality products and services, more choices, and greater innovation. The FTC’s competition mission is to enforce the rules of the competitive marketplace – the antitrust laws. These laws promote vigorous competition and protect consumers from anticompetitive mergers in business practices. The FTC’s Bureau of Competition, working in tandem with the Bureau of Economics, enforces the antitrust laws for the benefit of consumers.”

The Sherman Antitrust Act, passed by Congress in 1890 under President Benjamin Harrison, was the first Federal act that outlawed interstate monopolistic business practices. It is considered a landmark decision because previous laws were limited to intrastate businesses.

In 1890 Utah, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arizona, Alaska, and Hawaii were not even states. The Transcontinental Railroad that connected the eastern United States with the Pacific coast was in its infancy. That was then, this is now. Today there are 50 states, world travel is commonplace, and antitrust matters matter to every person on Earth.

Why? What do antitrust matters have to do with me? The answer is EVERYTHING.

The protections of antitrust laws focus on the unfairness of business monopolies on consumers. What about the unfairness of political monopolies on citizens? America broke free from the monopolistic centralized power of the British monarchy and won its independence after years of war and death. Why? To create a country based on the principles of individual freedom and liberty.

Every freedom articulated by our Founding Fathers was designed to protect the citizenry by promoting individualism and fairness. The Constitution and Bill of Rights are the greatest antitrust documents ever written providing:

  • Freedom of religion
  • Freedom of speech
  • Freedom of the press
  • Freedom of assembly
  • Freedom to petition
  • Right to keep and bear arms
  • No quartering of soldiers
  • Freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures
  • Right to due process
  • Right to speedy trial
  • Freedom from cruel and unusual punishment

The United States Constitution protects citizens from anticompetitive mergers in government practices. The United States of America is the greatest experiment in individual freedom and liberty the world has ever known specifically because of its antitrust antimonopolistic infrastructure. The Constitution defines the checks and balances of power and the individual rights of its citizens.

The current battle for our national sovereignty is an antitrust struggle against global governance. Globalism must not be confused with fair global trade between independent nations. Globalism is the monopolistic anticompetitive political practice of concentrating world power in the hands of a few globalist elite rulers. It is a return to the feudal infrastructure of a paternalistic pyramid with the few elites at the top and the masses of enslaved people at its base.

In 1890 antitrust legislation was necessary to protect consumers from exploitive business practices that focused on goods and services in the interstate marketplace. In 2018 the competition is over the world of ideas. Political systems of national sovereignty supporting individual freedom are battling political systems supporting collectivist globalism.

Globalists are selling planetary governance. They are facilitating the sale by concentrating their power with mergers and acquisitions that limit the information the public is offered. Monopolistic information through censorship and partisan program content on the Internet, television, radio, films, and particularly in academic curricula indoctrinate the unsuspecting public toward collectivism and planetary governance.

Today’s consumers need protection from exploitive political practices to provide fair competition for the benefit of consumers. The American public needs to become aware of how protective antitrust legislation that prevents monopolistic concentration of power affects them. Global governance is a worldwide concentration of power that eliminates individual freedom in the same way global monopolies on goods and services eliminate fair competition. Free and open markets are the foundation of a vibrant economy just like the free and open marketplace of ideas is the foundation of freedom.

The choice that Americans must make is between “free” stuff in a monopolistic collectivist political system of global governance that will enslave them, or freedom in an independent sovereign United States of America. The coordinated effort to delegitimize and overthrow President Donald Trump is the coordinated effort to delegitimize and overthrow our national sovereignty. Antitrust matters matter because monopolistic oppression is never good for the consumer whether they are buying goods, services, or their freedom.

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is of President Donald Trump arrives for the official welcoming ceremony the G7 Summit in the Charlevoix town of La Malbaie, Quebec, Canada, June 8, 2018. (Christinne Muschi/Reuters) This column originally appeared on the Goudsmit Pundicity.

Free Speech Case Involving Twitter Moves Forward

I first told you about the case filed by Jared Taylor (American Renaissance) against Twitter here in February.

Now we learn that Taylor’s lawsuit can advance as a California judge refuses Twitter’s effort to dismiss the case.

Twitter-Jail-300

NOTE: I use Twitter almost daily and was steadily moving upward in follower numbers until a few months ago.  It isn’t my imagination, I know that Twitter is doing something (maybe shadow-banning to some of my 14 thousand followers) to keep my numbers down. So they don’t have to ban you outright as they did Taylor, they simply make sure you can’t expand your reach.

Here is the news from AP at ABC News:

Lawsuit over white nationalist’s Twitter ban clears hurdle

A California judge has refused to throw out a lawsuit that accuses Twitter of violating the free speech rights of a leading white nationalist figure by banning his social media account.

San Francisco Superior Court Judge Harold Kahn ruled in Jared Taylor’s favor during a hearing Thursday on Twitter’s request to dismiss the suit, court records show.

Taylor claims Twitter permanently suspended accounts belonging to him and hundreds of other far-right users in December based solely on their political views and affiliations.

The judge described Taylor’s case as a “classic public interest lawsuit” and said it “goes to the heart of free speech principles that long precede our constitution,” according to a transcript of the hearing.

Jared Taylor 2

Jared Taylor

“Now, it may be speech that you and I don’t wish to enjoy, but that’s not germane to the determination of whether it’s public interest. Public interest doesn’t have a flavor of ideology to it; public interest is whether it benefits the public,” Kahn said.

Company attorney Patrick Carome argued that platforms like Twitter have a First Amendment editorial right to choose what kind of content to distribute.

[….]

The judge asked Carome if he was arguing Twitter has an “absolute First Amendment right” to remove anybody from its platform, including on the basis of their religion or gender.

“Twitter doesn’t do that,” Carome responded, “but that is what the First Amendment guarantees to First Amendment actors.”

Taylor is a Yale-educated, self-described “race realist” who founded an Oakton, Virginia-based, tax-exempt nonprofit called the New Century Foundation. He operates American Renaissance, an online magazine that touts a philosophy that it’s “entirely normal” for whites to want to be a majority race.

Taylor’s lawyers argue access to Twitter is “essential for meaningful participation in modern-day American democracy.”

More here.

LOL! I’m wondering if the SPLC is going to say AP and ABC News are racist outfits for publishing this important news about free speech.

This should be good—-stay tuned!

By the way, even if you aren’t on Twitter, you can see my Twitter feed in the right hand column of RRW. I post all of my RRW articles there plus other things that interest me.

If you are on Twitter, I am @RefugeeWatcher.  Yesterday’s post about the Maine man murdered by Somali ‘youths’ in Lewiston went viral on Twitter.

RELATED ARTICLES: 

Lewiston, ME: Man attacked by gang of Somali teens dies

In new age of ‘Aquarius’, Mama Merkel between a rock and a hard place

Ronald Reagan was NOT responsible for Refugee Act of 1980; fake news from The Salt Lake Trib

Senators Announce Bill to Protect States’ Legalization of Marijuana

One likes to think of policymaking as a deliberative process, one where legislators base their debates on scientific information to craft evidence-based bills. Au contraire, mes amis.

For several years, an emerging marijuana industry has poured money into sponsoring ballot initiatives and lobbying state legislators to legalize marijuana. Industry’s money not only legalized pot for medical use in 31 states and for recreational use in 8 of those states, but also silenced the nonprofit voices of prevention, treatment, and public health that lack the wherewithal to compete. The legislative playing field is by no means level.

In January, Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded the Obama Administration’s Cole Memo, which gave the industry a pass from federal enforcement so long as it adhered to eight conditions (all of which were violated within weeks without follow-up enforcement).

Infuriated by Sessions’ action, Colorado Sen. Cory Gardener put a hold on all judicial candidates nominated by President Trump until he capitulated in April, promising he would uphold states’ rights to legalize pot.

Last week, Senators Gardener and Elizabeth Warren (MA) introduced the Strengthening the Tenth Amendment Through Entrusting States (STATES) Act. Representatives Jared Polis (CO), David Joyce (OH), and Earl Blumenauer (OR) introduced the companion bill in the House. President Trump announced he would support the bill.

The STATES Act would exempt states that have legalized marijuana from the US Controlled Substances Act. If Congress passes the Act, the marijuana industry will not only be able to expand in states that have made pot legal, it will amass even more money to lobby for full legalization in the 42 states that haven’t.

Americans have no idea how much money is being spent by the marijuana industry to get what it wants: full legalization nationwide at the expense of public health.

Read ABSNews story here.


Yes, You Can Become Addicted to Marijuana. And the Problem is Growing.

Although many Americans are unaware that marijuana can cause addiction, in the public health and medical communities, “it is a well-defined disorder that includes physical withdrawal symptoms, cravings and psychological dependence,” and increasing numbers of people are seeking treatment for it, notes this Pew Charitable Trusts story.

Experts are trying to find out why. Some think the intense levels of THC in marijuana strains (up to 20%) and concentrates (up to 80%) are responsible for the upsurge. Others think it may be because more users are taking the drug multiple times a day.

Nearly 3 million Americans meet the diagnostic criteria for marijuana dependence.

This article chronicles the trajectory of marijuana addiction in one young man, Quintin Pohl, pictured above, now age 17. Quintin began smoking marijuana in middle school and is now free of the drug thanks to treatment at a California residential treatment center and extensive follow-up aftercare.

Read this Pew Charitable Trusts story here.


Vermont Marijuana: What Parents Should Know about Pot and Juuling THC

The latest fad for teens and tweens is “to Juul.” Picture above, Juuls are e-cigarettes popular with young people who often post pictures of themselves on social media inhaling candy-flavored liquids from them. Juuls and other e-cigarettes heat the liquids and produce vapors which can then be inhaled.

The liquids can contain nicotine or cannabis oil. No one can tell the difference, but both can be harmful to health. Some chemicals in e-cigarette liquids are carcinogenic.

Schools are developing policies that ban Juuls on campus and recommend that parents reinforce that message at home with their teenagers. Legal marijuana will soon be available in Vermont but not for anyone under age 21. This article offers six tips to parents to help them talk with their teenagers about marijuana.

Read the Burlington Free Press article here.


Helping to End Addiction Over the Long-term (HEAL)

The directors of the National Institutes of Health, the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke; and the National Institute on Drug Abuse lay out a research plan for ending addiction over the long term.

Read the JAMA article here.

The Marijuana Report is a weekly e-newsletter published by National Families in Action in partnership with SAM (Smart Approaches to Marijuana).

Visit National Families in Action’s website, The Marijuana Report.Org, to learn more about the marijuana story unfolding across the nation.

Subscribe to The Marijuana Report.

Our mission is to protect children from addictive drugs by shining light on the science that underlies their effects.

Addictive drugs harm children, families, and communities.

Legalizing them creates commercial industries that make drugs more available, increase use, and expand harms.

Science shows that addiction begins in childhood.

It is a pediatric disease that is preventable.

We work to prevent the emergence of commercial addictive drug industries that will target children.

We support FDA approved medicines.

We support the assessment, treatment, and/or social and educational services
for users and low-level dealers as alternatives to incarceration.


About SAM (Smart Approaches to Marijuana)

SAM is a nonpartisan alliance of lawmakers, scientists and other concerned citizens who want to move beyond simplistic discussions of “incarceration versus legalization” when discussing marijuana use and instead focus on practical changes in marijuana policy that neither demonizes users nor legalizes the drug. SAM supports a treatment, health-first marijuana policy.  SAM has four main goals:

  • To inform public policy with the science of today’s marijuana.
  • To reduce the unintended consequences of current marijuana policies, such as lifelong stigma due to arrest.
  • To prevent the establishment of “Big Marijuana” – and a 21st-Century tobacco industry that would market marijuana to children.
  • To promote research of marijuana’s medical properties and produce, non-smoked, non-psychoactive pharmacy-attainable medications.

Freed: Independent IGs Are Being Unshackled From Obama’s Muzzling

In light of Thursday’s bombshell IG report on the corruption, malfeasance and incompetence in the FBI and Department of Justice, it’s worth remembering what was largely ignored during the Obama years:

President Obama’s administration actively muzzled the independent Inspectors General in multiple federal agencies. In fact, it became so bad that six years into the Obama administration, more than half of the 73 federal IGs — the majority of whom were Obama appointees — signed a letter stating that the Obama administration had stonewalled the IGs “ability to conduct our work thoroughly, independently, and in a timely manner.”

The IGs cited a long list of examples of the Obama administration refusing to turn over incriminating documents necessary for the IG to conduct fair investigations — from the EPA to Amtrak to OMB to the TARP bank bailout. These were not classified or secret documents, simply held in the trust of various Obama department heads.

This meant that the Obama administration was systematically putting up walls around its actions to keep the independent federal watchdogs from seeing what it was actually doing. Of course, this is not what honest, “scandal-free” administrations do.

The frustrated nonpartisan IGs cited systematic Obama administration refusals to turn over what was likely incriminating evidence and basic documents that were central to their investigations. When 47 Inspectors General sign a letter complaining of a pattern of roadblocks and obstruction in their efforts to do their job, there’s a pretty good chance bad things were being done.

That is an astonishing level of condemnation from generally staid and nonpartisan IGs, and one almost no one knows about because of the media’s chronically soft and protective coverage of President Obama. That both IG Michael Horowitz and Special Counsel Robert Mueller have been allowed to pursue their investigations with largely unfettered cooperation from the White House is particularly refreshing.

If Hillary Clinton had won the presidency, considering the laundry list of scandals and corruption in her past, it seems likely we would never have had this investigation or seen any such report. Nor would we have had the IG’s previous report that ended up being a criminal referral for fired Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe. At least six other FBI employees retired, resigned or were fired resulting from that report — which also likely would not have seen the light of day under a President Hillary Clinton.

Ironically considering the unfounded charges of Trump and fascism and threat to the Republic nonsense, his administration is allowing all of the investigations and light to be shone on them. And that is a substantial departure from the Obama years and is a step toward saving the Republic.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in The Revolutionary Act.

Thank you, Punchy

I remember as a young teenager going by myself to see “On the Waterfront” at the Whalley Theater in New Haven. I was so mesmerized by the performance of Marlon Brando (30-years old at the time) that it took a dozen more viewings—really, that’s how many times I saw the film, maybe more—before I realized that the greatest actors of the day—Eva Marie Saint, Karl Malden, Lee J. Cobb, Rod Steiger—were also featured in the movie.

In the years since that spellbinding experience, I saw dozens more movies, many with tremendously talented stars and amazing performances. But Brando remained a towering icon to me, unchallenged by any of his many idolaters and competitors.

But 20 years later, in 1974, Godfather: Part II debuted, and 31-year-old Robert De Niro, playing the young godfather-to-be, Vito Corleone, hypnotized me as Brando had decades before.

In fact, I remember walking out of the theater and, like a crazy person talking out loud to myself, I said, “I’m sorry, Marlon.” In fact, at that moment, I left Marlon for Robert. Not that I still didn’t—and still do—love Brando for the artistry he has given to the world. But for me, it was De Niro all the way, in spite of the silly films he has made in recent years to keep his decadently lavish lifestyle afloat.

Again, I saw Godfather Two at least a dozen times, even quite recently on TV, and always marvel at De Niro’s staggeringly powerful and affecting performance. The performance, I remind myself, of an actor, a person who pretends professionally to be someone else.

THE CHILD WITHIN

But when the pretending is done, and the actor returns to his or her actual persona, that is when the public gets an inside view of “the real thing.”

No matter how people describe themselves—which is usually in positive, even self-aggrandizing terms—the arch determinant of who they really are—their characters, decency, maturity—comes down to their behavior.

Show me a man or woman of great accomplishment, who in public has what amounts to an obscenity-spewing temper tantrum, and I’ll show you an adult fixated in childhood, in essence a child who has no self-control, no concern about the effect vile language has on young viewers, no respect for community norms, no awareness of his or her infantilism.

And the support that such a person receives—as Robert De Niro’s standing ovation at the recent 2018 Tony Awards attests—is a testimony to the uniform immaturity of his show business colleagues.

That’s right, when De Niro stood up and practically spat into the microphone: “I’m just going to say one thing—F…Trump! It’s no longer ‘down with Trump.’ It’s ‘f… Trump!’” The crowd of like-minded children jumped to their feet to applaud the vulgarity.

As I said, children. Examples abound….here is a teeny tiny sample:

  • Think of all those Madonna fans who bought what she pretended to be—a peace-preaching, red-bracelet-wearing, love-and-understanding adherent of Kabballah—only to realize that she was just another leftist hypocrite when she suggested that the only way to cope with a Trump presidency was to blow up the White House…this before she segued into obscene language for the entire world to hear, including her children.
  • Think of Kathy Griffin, the consistently unfunny comedienne, who thought the only way to cope with a Trump presidency was to hold up a grotesquely gory, blood-soaked head of the president, detached from his body.
  • Think of Bill Maher, another remarkably unfunny comedian, who thought that they only way to cope with a Trump presidency was to wish dire economic hardship on his fellow citizens in the form of a crashing economy and recession.
  • That is not to omit classless media people like Samantha Bee, who could not control inflicting her poisonous venom on Ivanka Trump, or the scandal-plagued Joy Reid whose Twitter tantrum objected to the president’s use of the words church, family, police, military, and national anthem in his State of the Union address.

Once again….children.

De Niro was echoing the behaviors of these children—all Democrats, significantly—who simply cannot control themselves in public and invariably resort to flailing tantrums and filthy language to express their displeasure

What does this remind you of? Hint, hint….visit any daycare or preschool or elementary school playground in America where children ages three to six are playing. What do they do when they get into a conflict? Why they have tantrums, they throw things, they call names, and they cry.

Speaking of calling names, blogger Jeff Dunetz reminds us that, “Just a few weeks before Trump was elected president, De Niro confessed: “I’d like to punch him in the face…he’s a punk, he’s a dog, he’s a pig, he’s a con, a bullshit artist, a mutt who doesn’t know what he’s talking about, doesn’t do his homework, doesn’t care…”

Uh huh….a child.

AN AHA MOMENT

Aside from Brando and De Niro, one of the actors I also admired for his blazing talent on screen was Rod Steiger, not only pitch perfect as Marlon Brando’s older brother Charley as the right-hand man of mob boss Johnny Friendly in “On the Waterfront,” but for his searing performances in “The Pawnbroker, “In the Heat of the Night,” and “Dr. Zhivago,” among many other unforgettable movies.

And then it happened. While my husband Steve and I were watching late-night TV, we saw Johnny Carson interview Rod Steiger. I don’t remember the exact words the famed actor said, but it was crystal clear from the beginning of the interview to the end that we were witnessing a person of bloviating self-importance and genuine stupidity!

How could this be? How could someone with the sensitivity and insight to portray both a mob boss lackey and a Holocaust survivor be such a stupendous idiot?

Actually, it’s not such a mystery. As we saw with De Niro’s unhinged, Travis Bickle performance at the Tony Awards, it’s pretty easy to pretend, but impossible to fake who you really are.

At this point, as President Trump approaches 18 months of non-stop dazzling accomplishments—from an upwardly-zooming GDP to record employment to the end of strangulating regulations to strengthening our military to unprecedented leaps forward in foreign affairs to the complete dismantling of every destructive program and policy of the Obama regime—the Democrat children among us are still drooling, spitting, kicking, throwing mud pies, hurling dirty words, crying, lying, and generally devolving at a record pace.

Frankly, I’m quite pleased. For all the contempt the left has for We the People, they proved in the last election that they are not only infantile but clueless. While they—and their corrupt enablers in the media and Hollywood and Obama’s FBI, CIA and DOJ, et al—were clucking about President Hillary, every poll they cited, every spin of every expert was wrong, wrong, wrong.

What they failed to appreciate was that America was watching….and listening…and absorbing the sheer power and promise of Donald Trump and the utter fecklessness and, well, crookedness of Crooked Hillary.

America is still watching, still listening, and now more than ever valuing the difference between a tireless warrior who is Making America Great Again and an entire population of whining, dirty-mouthed, out-of-control children.

President Trump, in response to De Niro’s deranged rant at the Tony Awards, speculated that he had “received too many shots to the head by real boxers in movies” and that “he may be ‘punch-drunk.’”

“Wake up Punchy!” the president tweeted.

Personally, I can’t wait to see the ads of “Punchy’s” tantrum in the upcoming midterm races! They ought to be worth millions of votes.

Thank you, Punchy!

RELATED ARTICLE: Pro-Trump Jews are the Future of American Zionism – Zionism without chutzpah is unsustainable.

SPLC’s Dangerous Bigotry: Empowered by Facebook, Twitter, Google, & Amazon

2ndVote readers are familiar with the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). The famed civil rights organization has devolved into little more than a left-wing fundraising machine, naming Christian organizations “hate groups” for doing nothing more than holding to traditional values on sexuality.

In a rational world, SPLC would be out of business for its dangerously false designations, which have been linked to at least one attempted mass shooting. Instead, it has massive corporate supportis regularly given credibility by mainstream media outlets, and — as was uncovered last week by The Daily Caller News Foundation (DCNF) — is consulted by Google, Facebook, Twitter, and Amazon for censorship purposes.

The DCNF reports that of the four organizations, Amazon gives SPLC the greatest free rein:

“We remove organizations that the SPLC deems as ineligible,” an Amazon spokeswoman told TheDCNF.

Amazon grants the SPLC that power “because we don’t want to be biased whatsoever,” said the spokeswoman, who could not say whether Amazon considers the SPLC to be unbiased.

The Smile program allows customers to identify a charity to receive 0.5 percent of the proceeds from their purchases on Amazon. Customers have given more than $8 million to charities through the program since 2013, according to Amazon.

Only one participant in the program, the SPLC, gets to determine which other groups are allowed to join it.

Christian legal groups like the Alliance Defending Freedom — which recently successfully represented a Christian baker at the Supreme Court — are barred from the Amazon Smile program, while openly anti-Semitic groups remain, The DCNF found in May.

One month later, the anti-Semitic groups — but not the Alliance Defending Freedom — are still able to participate in the program.

The other social media giants are not far behind in using SPLC to punish groups with which don’t follow left-wing ideology. Google uses SPLC to police alleged hate speech on YouTube even as it has been accused of demonetizing YouTube videos with conservative content. Facebook and Twitter both consult with SPLC to police alleged hate speech.

Conservatives at the Family Research Council, Alliance Defending Freedom, and the Ruth Institute haven’t bowed to SPLC’s bullying, and the DCNF’s new report gives more credibility to conservative concerns. The refusal to back down has brought adherents from the mainstream press. The Atlantic published a defense of one of SPLC’s Muslim targets while former Politico reporter Ben Schreckinger and former Bloomberg columnist Megan McArdle criticized SPLC’s overall methodology.

Now it’s your turn. We urge you to use your second vote to let SPLC’s corporate backers know that you won’t stand for the SPLC’s dangerous bigotry against conservatives:

ICYMI: Facebook Is Still Targeting Conservatives, Protecting Planned Parenthood’s Abuse Cover-Ups

Last week, we told you that Starbucks is still funding Planned Parenthood despite the abortion giant’s cover-ups of sexual abuse of underage girls. We’ve now been made aware that Live Action — the amazing organization which has exposed this illegal and immoral practice — has been blocked from promoting one of their videos on Facebook!

Check out that video here.

Live Action’s exposure campaign may be followed here and here.

We all know that Facebook doesn’t like conservatives. But blocking access to exposing a taxpayer-funded organization’s shocking cover-ups is just too far. Planned Parenthood has long protected its abortion bottom line by sending little girls back to sexual abusers. One abortion center in Mobile, Alabama gave two abortions to one girl in 2014 in just four months — and only admitted it to state authorities after they were caught.

That’s illegal. But authorities let Planned Parenthood slide, just as corporate backers have. This must stop. We urge you to spend your second vote dollars at companies that don’t back Planned Parenthood. This is an abortion company which protects sexual abusers, kills unborn children, and has illegally sold babies’ body parts.

You can see all the companies that support Planned Parenthood’s abortion industry on 2ndVote’s resource page here. Let them know they won’t be getting your second vote!

Help us continue developing the content and research that conservatives are using to hold corporations for their activism by becoming a 2ndVote Member today!

Immigrate Expectations

Now that President Trump’s scored big points for his historic meeting with Kim Jong Un, his opponents are desperate to change the subject. Anxious to turn the country’s attention away from the administration’s diplomatic success, they’ve returned to an issue that the Congress has repeatedly failed to resolve — immigration.

Yesterday’s Washington Post got the ball rolling with an inside look at one of the 100 shelters where children, whose parents were arrested for entering America illegally, are housed. The article couldn’t help but tug on heartstrings, since almost 1,500 boys are living in a warehouse-sized summer camp, separated from their parents when they crossed the border illegally. What was once a Walmart super center is now full of classrooms, medical rooms, basketball courts, and even a pool hall. Juan Sanchez, who manages the nonprofit that’s housing the kids, says that the circumstances are difficult, especially for kids struggling to adapt, but promises, “We’re trying to do the best that we can taking care of these children. Our goal ultimately is to reunite kids with their families,” he said. “We’re not a detention center… What we operate are shelters that take care of kids. It’s a big, big difference.”

Obviously, the situation is a tragic one for thousands of children, who are the innocent victims of their moms’ and dads’ decision to break the law. It’s impossible to feel anything but compassion for these kids, who must be dealing with a great deal of pain and confusion. But the origin of that pain and confusion isn’t U.S. law or the Trump administration. That burden lies with their parents who knowingly put them in this position. “If you are smuggling a child,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions has said, “then we will prosecute you and that child will be separated from you as required by law. If you don’t like that, then don’t smuggle children over our border.”

Attorney General Jeff Sessions defended the White House’s position on Wednesday, telling a gathering, “Persons who violate the law of our nation are subject to prosecution. I would cite you to the Apostle Paul and his clear and wise command in Romans 13, to obey the laws of the government because God has ordained them for the purpose of order.” Critics quickly attacked the AG’s comments — with particularly harsh criticism from those on the Far Left, many of whom don’t appreciate scriptural references unless it can be twisted to justify their agenda.

Thursday, reporters took out their frustration on Press Secretary Sarah Sanders press conference, asking how the administration could possibly defend a policy that prosecutes adults for crossing the border illegally. Sanders stood her ground. “…[It’s] very biblical to enforce the law. That is actually repeated a number of times throughout the Bible,” she said. “It’s a moral policy to follow and enforce the law.” And, she went on, if you’re looking for someone to blame for this situation, try Democrats. “The separation of illegal families… is the product of the same legal loopholes that Democrats refuse to close, and these laws are the same that have been on the books for over a decade. The president is simply enforcing them.” President Trump echoed that sentiment earlier: I hate the children being taken away. The Democrats have to change their law. That’s their law… That’s the Democrats’ law. We can change it tonight. We can change it right now.”

When all else is equal, of course we want families to stay together. But let’s also remember that this situation isn’t unique to the border. I can tell you from my time in law enforcement: If a parent or parents are arrested here in the states, the children are turned over to Child Protection Services, who holds them until a foster family can be identified. In both circumstances, the children are compassionately cared for — not held in dank rooms behind bars, as some liberals would have you believe. As immigration officials have said, “Our goal is to reunite these children with their families as soon as we can do that.” But if parents aren’t deterred by the consequences of breaking the law, the fault lies solely with them. If these families are looking for a way to stay together, here’s an idea: come to America through the legal immigration process rather than crossing the border illegally.

Let’s also consider the precedent it would create if we didn’t enforce the law. Are liberals suggesting that we shouldn’t incarcerate anyone who has kids? Are children the new get-out-of-jail-free card? As Sessions said, “If you bring a child, it is still an unlawful act. You don’t get immunity if you bring a child with you. We cannot have open borders for adults with children.”

I’m not suggesting that our laws don’t need work — or that this crisis isn’t urgent. They do, and it is. I’ve felt strongly about this issue for years, so much so that I included immigration as a core value in my first bookPersonal Faith, Public Policy. Maybe these new small faces of the immigration crisis will prompt Congress to work across lines and unite in an effort to reform an immigration system that’s dividing families and our country.


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


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The Rolling Stone Continues its Inaccurate Anti-NRA Reporting

It is by no means a closely held secret that Rolling Stone magazine has aggressively promoted an anti-gun agenda for many decades. It started in 1980, with the death of John Lennon at the hands of Mark David Chapman, when the magazine’s founder, Jann Wenner, decided he wanted to “make something good come out of (the murder).” Wenner started the Foundation on Violence in America, which was apparently designed to promote a public-relations campaign aimed at convincing Americans to accept restrictions on handguns.

This effort to cast handguns in a negative light came just before Californians were set to go to the polls in November 1982 to vote on Proposition 15, a referendum that sought to implement a handgun registration scheme in the Golden State. The Times wrote that police chiefs were supporting the measure, a poll conducted in April of that year showed support for Prop 15 at 60%, and the editorial crowed, “The gun lobby is running scared.”

For those unfamiliar, rather than cowering in fear, NRA mounted an aggressive education campaign in opposition to Proposition 15, designed to dispel the myth that ratcheting up restrictions on law-abiding gun owners would have any discernible impact on criminals. Voters listened, and Prop 15 was soundly defeated, with 63% voting against it. Clearly, Californians were not interested in the kind of gun control promoted at Rolling Stone, nor were Americans in general. Wenner must have got that message, at least, and his Foundation on Violence in America faded into obscurity.

Given this history, another anti-gun/anti-NRA article from Wenner’s magazine should come as no surprise.  But a recent one titled “A Brief History of Pro-Gun Rallies at Sites of Mass Shooting” is wrong on so many levels that it warrants mention.

First, the title suggests there were “rallies” held at the actual sites where a large number of people were killed by a violent, deranged person or persons using a firearm. Of the five examples cited, however, none were planned to take place at the actual site. One event, planned in Toronto, Canada (and 28 years after the actual crime took place), was eventually moved from a location Rolling Stone even describes as merely “nearby the site of the tragedy.”

The article takes even greater liberties with the definition of a “site of mass shooting” when it seems to scold students who support the Second Amendment in Colorado and Utah for organizing events in those states to show support for our Right to Keep and Bear Arms. These students chose to get involved in the political dialogue on guns as a response to the anti-gun messaging and rallies that had been promoted in response to the horrific events that took place at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School earlier this year. As virtually everyone in America knows, that school is in Florida, not Colorado or Utah. Apparently, roughly 2,000 miles away equates to being on the “site of a mass shooting” to Rolling Stone.

But Rolling Stone saves its worst assault on journalistic integrity for its description of the NRA Annual Meeting that was held in Denver, Colorado in 1999.

First, it should be pointed out that the NRA Annual Meeting is not really a “rally.” As a non-profit corporation, NRA is subject to both its own bylaws and the laws governing non-profit corporations. One of the many things NRA is required to do each year is hold its Annual Meeting of Members, where it conducts critical functions, such as holding the election for members of its Board of Directors, as well as determining who will hold key positions as NRA officers.

These Annual Meetings, as NRA members are aware, are enormous events, regularly drawing tens-of-thousands of members from across America. This year’s meeting in Dallas reached nearly 90,000 attendees. Events of this size take years to schedule and organize.

In 1999, NRA was scheduled to hold its Annual Meeting in Denver, Colorado, in May. The site and date had been determined years before. Less than two weeks before NRA’s Annual Meeting was to begin, however, ten miles away in the town of Littleton, Colorado, two deranged students of Columbine High School murdered 12 of their fellow students, one teacher, and wounded 21 others.

NRA grieved with the rest of the nation over this tragedy, and out of respect for those who suffered, virtually every aspect of the NRA Annual Meeting was canceled. What wasn’t canceled, however, were the functions required under both our bylaws and the laws governing non-profit corporations.

In its latest screed against NRA, however, Rolling Stone states, “The NRA had a major gun rally planned in Denver just two weeks after the attack.” The article is clearly intended to imply that our Denver Annual Meeting was simply a pro-gun rally, coordinated after the horrific events in Littleton, rather than a required function of a non-profit corporation that had been scheduled years in advance. The article also ignores the fact that the Denver Annual Meeting was scaled back dramatically out of respect for the community.

But the coup de grace comes with the absolute lie that, at the Denver Annual Meeting, “Charlton Heston himself took the stage, hoisted a rifle in the air and shouted to a packed crowd that it could only be torn ‘From my cold, dead hands!’” That simply did not happen. Heston famously made that pronouncement the following year, at NRA’s Annual Meeting in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Of course, Rolling Stone is hardly a bastion for journalistic integrity. In 2014, the magazine famously published a sensationalized article about an alleged rape on the University of Virginia campus. When many questions began to arise regarding the story, Rolling Stone published an apology, apparently blaming the source of the story. An updated apology followed a day later, with the magazine now taking the blame for mistakes. A deputy managing editor soon resigned. A number of lawsuits against the magazine popped up. One found for the plaintiff and awarded $3 million in damages. One was settled for $1.65 million.

While it is unlikely we will see an apology from Rolling Stone for its grossly misleading article, perhaps we will at least see a correction regarding Mr. Heston. The magazine clearly has no love for the rights of law-abiding gun owners, and a deep hatred of NRA. But does it also support rewriting history? Well, probably, but being exposed for publishing a blatant lie should at least inspire someone at the magazine who has even a modicum of journalistic integrity left to encourage doing what is right, and have a correction about Mr. Heston’s speech posted.

Trump Administration Opens Office to Find Naturalization Fraudsters

On June 11, 2018 the Washington Times published an article, U.S. launching office to identify citizenship cheaters, reporting that the Trump administration is opening an office to identify aliens who defrauded the naturalization process by concealing material facts in filing for U.S. citizenship and seek their denaturalization.

This is an important measure and one that enhances the enforcement of immigration laws from within the interior of the United States that will plug yet another gap in the highly porous immigration system.

This, as you will see, also has serious implication for national security.

However, generally most aliens who commit naturalization fraud also committed fraud in their applications for various immigration benefits that subsequently enabled the to apply for U.S. citizenship.

Because of the huge number of applications for various immigration benefits, more than six million applications for various benefits are processed each year by the beleaguered adjudication officers employed by USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services), many applications are adjudicated without so much as an in-person interview, let alone a field investigation conducted to verify the information contained in the applications.

This creates an invitation for fraud on a massive scale.

The Wasington Times article draws the parallel with this new effort to uncover aliens who lie on application for U.S. citizenship to previous efforts to identify Nazi war criminals who also gamed the naturalization process in order to secure U.S. citizenship to evade prosecution for their heinous crimes against humanity.

Naturalization fraud is of particular concern because U.S. citizenship provide the aliens with the veritable “Keys to the kingdom” as I have described in a series of previous articles and in my testimony before several Congressional hearings.

Here are a few reasons why citizenship is of particular concern and how some of the vulnerabilities must be addressed.

As the Washington Times article noted, aliens who acquire U.S. citizenship may be granted security clearances.  I recently wrote an article about an April 2018 Congressional hearing on how Iranian Sleeper Cells Threaten U.S.

Immigration fraud, including naturalization fraud, enables sleeper agents from foreign countries to embed themselves in the United States in furtherance of their nefarious and often deadly goals.

Additionally, aliens who naturalize may legally change their names.  In such instances, their U.S. passports only reflect their new names.

Criminals and terrorists can thus put themselves into their own “Witness Protection Program” concealing their original identities and gaining entry into countries around the world that might be aware of their original names and would never admit them if they knew who they really were.

However, when such an individual seeks entry with a new name, a name not known to border officials in that country it is likely that he/she will be permitted to enter that country.

The solution to this problem is simple and inexpensive-  have U.S. passports reflect both names.

I raised this issue when I appeared at a Congressional hearing but no action was taken.

This is further exacerbated because many of these naturalized citizens have dual citizenship, they retain the citizenship and passports of their countries of birth.

Dual citizen terrorists and fugitives who defraud the naturalization process can travel easily around the world by using their U.S. passport to travel to an intermediate foreign country, let’s say Germany.  They then conceal their U.S. passport and travel on the passport issued to them by their county of birth to travel to another country, perhaps to engage in terror-related activities. They return to Germany.  In Germany they conceal the passport from their country of birth and return to the United States on their U.S. passport.

A review of entry stamps in their U.S. passport will make it appear that they spent several weeks in Germany when, in reality, Germany was just an intermediate destination on their way to other countries.

Alternating passports covers their tracks the way a smuggler drags branches behind him to cover his tracks in the sand in the desert.

The Trump administration must finally require that the U.S. passports issued to naturalized citizens reflects all names that these individuals have used, to thwart the tactic I have described above.

While it is encouraging that for the first time in decades we have an administration that is determined to not only secure our borders against illegal immigration but restore integrity to the immigration system to protect America and Americans.

The administration would do well to do more than simply attempt to identify aliens who secured U.S. citizenship via fraud.  Denaturalization may be an involved process.  It would be far better to uncover fraud in applications for immigration benefits that precede U.S. citizenship.

In order to qualify for citizenship, an alien must first become a lawful immigrant.  In order to become a lawful immigrant an alien may have been granted political asylum or married a U.S. citizen or lawful immigrant.

Consider this except from the official report, 9/11 and  Terrorist Travel:

Although there is evidence that some land and sea border entries (of terrorists) without inspection occurred, these conspirators mainly subverted the legal entry system by entering at airports.

In doing so, they relied on a wide variety of fraudulent documents, on aliases, and on government corruption. Because terrorist operations were not suicide missions in the early to mid-1990s, once in the United States terrorists and their supporters tried to get legal immigration status that would permit them to remain here, primarily by committing serial, or repeated, immigration fraud, by claiming political asylum, and by marrying Americans. Many of these tactics would remain largely unchanged and undetected throughout the 1990s and up to the 9/11 attack.

Thus, abuse of the immigration system and a lack of interior immigration enforcement were unwittingly working together to support terrorist activity. It would remain largely unknown, since no agency of the United States government analyzed terrorist travel patterns until after 9/11. This lack of attention meant that critical opportunities to disrupt terrorist travel and, therefore, deadly terrorist operations were missed.

My recently published booklet, Immigration Fraud:  Lies That Kill also focused on the threat posed to national security by various forms of immigration fraud, including but not limited to naturalization fraud.

Let’s consider a few specific examples of terror suspects who engaged in immigration fraud.

The infamous Tsarnaev brothers Dzhokhar and his older brother Tamerlan carried out the deadly terror attack at the Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013.  They and other members of their family were granted political asylum when their authorized temporary period of admission into the United States expired, and they claimed to have “credible fear” that if they were to return to their native Russia, they would face persecution or worse.

Shortly after being granted political asylum in the United States, members of the family voluntarily returned to Russia.  There had been no regime change and therefore, it must logically be presumed that they committed immigration fraud by making a false claim to “credible fear” upon which their application for political asylum rested.

However, no such investigation was launched into this obvious fraud.

Members of the Tsarnaev family were subsequently granted lawful immigrant status making them eligible to apply for United States citizenship.

Tamarlan was killed during the terror attack.  Although he had applied for U.S. citizenship his application was held up when information was provided by the Russian government linking him possibly to Chechen terrorists.

Dzhokhar, however became a naturalized citizen.  He is now on death row awaiting execution.

On January 23, 2018 the Justice Department issued a press releaseOhio Man Sentenced for Providing Material Support to Terrorists, Making False Statements to Authorities.

That “Ohio man” was Abdirahman Sheik Mohamud, a native of Somalia who had become a naturalized U.S. citizen as part of his strategy to facilitate his travel to Syria.

I wrote about this case in two previous articles, A Terrorist and Naturalization Fraud and How DHS Ineptitude Facilitates Terrorist Operations. As I noted in the first of those two commentaries, Mohamud committed fraud when he lied on his application for his U.S. passport by claiming he intended to travel to Greece when, in reality, he traveled to Syria.

Finally, on January 16, 2018 the DOJ and DHS jointly issued a press release, DOJ, DHS Report: Three Out of Four Individuals Convicted of International Terrorism and Terrorism-Related Offenses were Foreign-Born.

That press release noted that:

The report reveals that at least 549 individuals were convicted of international terrorism-related charges in U.S. federal courts between September 11, 2001, and December 31, 2016.  An analysis conducted by DHS determined that approximately 73 percent (402 of these 549 individuals) were foreign-born.  Breaking down the 549 individuals by citizenship status at the time of their respective convictions reveals that:

  • 254 were not U.S. citizens;
  • 148 were foreign-born, naturalized and received U.S. citizenship; and,
  • 147 were U.S. citizens by birth.

According to information available to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), since September 11, 2001, there were approximately 1,716 removals of aliens with national security concerns.

Clearly the Trump administration is on the right path, but more and bigger steps need to follow and follow quickly.

Nothing less than national security is at stake.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in FrontPage Magazine.