Libertarian Gubernatorial Candidate threatens Florida Press Association and Florida Association of News Editors

The Florida Press Association (FPA) and the Florida Society of News Editors (FNSE) will be hosting a Gubernatorial Candidate Forum on July 10th, 2014. However, not all candidates have been invited. It appears that at least one candidate for governor will not be attending the forum and he is not happy. He has threatened the FPA and FNSE, but is that a good political move?

Given the public’s growing wariness and outright distrust of the media at new highs, this candidate may be on to something.

wyllie press graphic

Graphic contained in email sent to supporters. For a larger view click on the image.

In an email to supporters Adrian Wyllie, the Libertarian candidate for Florida Governor, writes, “As the only third-party candidate for Florida’s governor, I am extremely disappointed in your failure to include me in your upcoming gubernatorial candidate forum at the 2014 FPA/FSNE Convention. Your exclusion of a viable third-party candidate is unacceptable, and exposes an entrenched bias in the FPA/FSNE approach to political coverage.”

“The criteria you have created make it absolutely impossible for any minor party candidate to participate, by its very definition. According to your stated rules, in order to be included, ‘a candidate must belong to a party that has at least 5% of the registered voters in Florida.’ The legal definition of a minor party in Florida is one that has less than 5% of the registered voters in the state. Therefore, your criteria guarantee that only Republican and Democrat candidates can participate,” Wyllie notes.

Wyllie concludes with, “Therefore, I refuse to accept your rules, and I present you with the following ultimatum. I will attend the FPA/FSNE Gubernatorial Forum on July 10th in Coral Gables. You may either allow me to participate in the forum, or you may have me arrested. You have no third option…As you have denied the people of Florida a third option. Govern yourselves accordingly.”

It would appear that Mr. Wyllie has a point. Florida law defines a viable party candidate. I for one would like to hear what Mr. Wyllie has to say. In politics the more the merrier and is makes for great news stories afterwards.

Florida becomes Leading Safe Haven for Gun Manufacturers

Florida in particular, and Southern states in general, have become safe havens for gun manufacturers. In response to anti-gun legislation, labor issues and over-regulation in states where gun-making once flourished, like New York and Massachusetts,  manufacturers large and small are finding better places to do business across the American South.

The map below shows the recent relocation or expansion of forty gun manufacturing companies into Southern states. Of the forty companies Florida leads with way with ten companies or 25% of the total.


Map courtesy of American Rifleman. For a larger view click on the image.


John Zent.

John Zent in Gun Culture writes, “In the past six months, three preeminent firearm manufacturers—RugerBeretta, and Remington—announced plans to build new gun factories, and it’s no coincidence that all three chose not to expand at current locations. In fact, the companies publicly stated that moves to the gun-friendly South at least partly hinged on rampant anti-gun legislation in northeastern states where they have been long-time, tax-paying fixtures in the business community. In a Washington Times op-ed piece, Dr. Ugo Gusalli Beretta slammed the hypocrisy: ‘Unfortunately, as we were planning that expansion, Maryland’s governor and legislature voted in favor of new regulations that unfairly attack products we make and that our customers want. These regulations also demean our law-abiding customers, who must now be fingerprinted like criminals before they can be allowed to purchase one of our products.’”

“Significant gun manufacturing continues to occur in the northeast, where major players like Smith & Wesson, Kimber, Colt’s and SIG Sauer appear firmly entrenched. Ruger and Remington, for that matter, still have operations at their original locations. As American Rifleman Editor-in-Chief Mark Keefe pointed out in his “Keefe Report” last July (“Moving: It Isn’t That Simple”), there are many obstacles that stand in the way of gun-company relocation, not the least of which is concern for loyal employees. Nonetheless, one must wonder what the future holds for America’s traditional “Gun Valley” if states there continue on the course of self-destructive legislation that cripples corporate vigor and strips the rights of law-abiding citizens,” notes Zent.

Zent lists the following manufacturers who have relocated or expanded their facilities in the American South:

1) Ashbury Precision Ordnance, Ruckersville, VA
2) Sturm, Ruger, Mayodan, NC
3) Para USA, Pineville, NC
4) FNH USA/Winchester, Columbia, SC
5) Ithaca Gun, Aynor, SC
6) PTR, Aynor, SC
7) Daniel Defense, Ridgeland, SC
8) Daniel Defense, Black Creek, GA
9) MasterPiece Arms, Comer, GA
10) Lothar Walthar Precision, Cumming, GA
11) Knight’s Armament, Titusville, FL
12) Kel-Tec, Cocoa, FL
13) Diamondback, Cocoa, FL
14) Taurus/Rossi, Miami, FL
15) Heritage Manf., Miami, FL
16) Doublestar, Winchester, KY
17) Remington/Marlin, Mayfield, KY
18) Beretta, Gallatin, TN
19) Barrett, Murfreesboro, TN
20) Remington, Huntsville, AL
21) Steyr Arms, Bessemer, AL
22) Wilson Combat, Berryville, AR
23) Daisy Manf., Rogers, AR
24) Bond Arms, Granbury, TX
25) American Derringer, Waco, TX
26) STI Int’l, Georgetown, TX
27) High Standard/AMT, Houston, TX
28) Mossberg, Eagle Pass, TX
29) BPI Outdoors, Duluth, GA
30) Walther Arms, Fort Smith, AR
31) Nighthawk Custom, Berryville, AR
32) Surgeon Arms, Prague, OK
33) Shield/Texas Black Rifle, Shiner, TX
34) Alexander Arms, Radford, VA
35) Jarrett Rifles, Jackson, SC
36) American Tactical, Summerville, SC
37) Glock, Smyrna, GA
38) Core Rifle Systems, Ocala, FL
39) SCCY, Daytona Beach, FL
40) Ares Defense, Melbourne, FL
41) Serbu, Tampa, FL
42) Colt Competition, Breckenridge, TX

Support Target: If We [Conservatives] Want To Save America We Must Stop Acting Like Liberals

As conservatives we genuinely bring out the anti-American side of the liberal, progressive and communist minorities in America. This is necessary to win the battles and must to be done to win the war of ideas. Liberals/progressives are destroying America, but in order to defeat the liberal agenda we can’t act like them. They are hypocritical and use double standards as part of their methodology. Sometimes conservatives, wrongly, adopt the same tactics.

Some recent instances are:

  • A few months ago the CEO of Chic-Fil-A made comments condemning ‘gay marriages’. The conservatives applauded and the liberals whined.
  • Recently Hobby Lobby won a major decision from the U.S. Supreme Court essentially agreeing with their premise that a corporation can run their business in accordance with their personal beliefs. The conservatives applauded and the liberals whined.
  • Recently Target Corporation made an official announcement that they do not want customers to enter their stores with guns. Of course this meant criminals, and in addition lawful citizens who are allowed under federal and state law to carry a weapon. The liberals applauded and the conservatives whined.
Juan Montoya, 2000 Indianapolis 500 Champion

Juan Montoya, 2000 Indianapolis 500 Champion.

When I retired from active duty (U.S. Air Force) in late 1999, I felt it was time do join the corporate world. Target Corporation has six national investigators who work corporate level security. I was hired by Target Corporation as an Executive and was based in Dallas, Texas. My primary duties were to manage the personal protective team for Target’s ‘Open Wheel’ CART Champion Juan Montoya. Montoya was from Columbia and had received several threats against his life. Whenever Montoya raced I would fly to his location and manage his protection team.

I stayed in five star hotels, ate at fine restaurants, and got to see some of the best high performance racing in the world. Montoya won the Indianapolis 500 in 2000. Target taught me valuable lessons about finances and, in general, how big corporations like Target operate and continue to operate today. I learned:

  1. Regardless if a mom and pop business or a large corporation with stores across the world, there are ‘real’ people at the highest levels of the business. They make decisions based on personal beliefs and what they feel is in the best interest of the company.
  2. Financial decisions are made to achieve long term goals and not for the short term.
  3. Businesses early on decide the consumer market (people) they want as their customers.

Based on these guidelines it comes down to this for Target Corporate and their consumer goals. Target Corporate Executives taught me early on that they do want to attract the same customers as Walmart. Target goes after the middle class to upper class consumer. In their own words they do not want the “lower class people to shop at their stores with ‘food stamps’ in hand.”

Additionally, Target’s major marketing is focused on respectable, financially secure women to come to their stores and purchase their merchandise. This is why Target does not carry the same merchandise and variety as say Walmart. Target intentionally prices their products higher than Walmart. Again they do this to keep the ‘rift raft’ out and well off women in. One needs only go to any Walmart or Target to confirm what I have just said.

This does not mean middle class and upper level classes do not shop at Walmart, but seldom do societies ‘money and benefit suckers’ shop at Target. The prices at Target are higher and they do not offer low price tobacco, alcohol, or guns for sale. Matter of fact, they do not offer them at any price.

I am a big Second Amendment Rights advocate. I believe more guns should be in the hands of law-abiding American citizens, and fewer guns in the hands of our police and law enforcement. I also believe our country was formed as a free market – capitalist nation. It was our Founding Father’s primary desire to protect private property and businesses from undue government involvement. Undue pressures, rules and regulations from a few bureaucrats on how a business operates was against our founding principles.

In other words, conservatives should be supportive of any business legally operating in America. While I do not agree with Target’s policy of keeping lawful Americans from entering their stores with firearms, I am thrilled they have the freedom to make such a choices. We can choose where to shop. It is better the market determines corporate policy, not government.

If you do not like the way Target conducts business, then don’t shop there. I must emphasize Target wants middle and upper class WOMEN to shop at their stores. They want their female customers to feel secure and shop in a clean and safe environment.

Target executives know that millions of middle and upper class MALES will be offended at their firearms policy. Really they don’t care, because they also know that WOMAN rule the household and finances, and they will continue to shop at Target regardless of what their gun loving husbands feel. Target also knows most gun owning men will initially be upset, but in very short time stop whining. Why? Because most husbands, fathers, brothers want their female relatives to be safe and secure wherever they go. Deep down they know Target is the safest choice for a lady and her children to go to late in the evening than their competitors.

The Target Corporation spends millions upon millions of dollars on security measures to protect all their customers.

Do not behave like liberals. Support any legal business that employs one or a million employees. At least as of this writing we have the choice of where we shop and where we do not shop. Business owners for the most part can still make their own decisions about how they run their business.

Think about this if you disagree with the Target Corporate gun policy. Do you want a politician stepping in at any level and mandate the business decisions that a company may abide by? The federal government already has their hands deep into the operation of businesses (e.g. EPA, FDA, HHS, etc.), lets not give them the opportunity to dig deeper.

Conservatives must fight against further government involvement. What if President Obama stepped in and signed an Executive order requiring Target to allow guns in their stores? We would not have free enterprise and we would be closer to a socialist/communist society than we already are.

After only a few short months with Target, I left the soft beds of five Star Hotels, and rejoined the Department of Defense, went to Iraq to live in tents and be shot at. I wanted to fight for freedom again, so should you my fellow conservatives.

CAIR Director Hassan Shibly Promotes Islamic Religious Apartheid

The hypocrisy exposed in this video is epic because the issue is based on the exclusion of All non-Muslims to enter Mecca and Medina. It is either right or wrong depending on your world view, there is no middle ground, or moral equivalence.

The Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) received its non-profit 501c3 status as a ‘Civil Rights’ group.

CAIR Director Hassan Shibly is leading a trip to a place that excludes everyone who does not share his faith, Islam. There are no ‘civil rights’ known to man that can justify such exclusion, bigotry, and hatred towards the non-Muslim.

When Mr. Shibly was asked about this he blamed Saudi Arabia for the Islamic religious apartheid of the Hajj. Mr. Shibly knows the exclusion of non-Muslim from Mecca and Medina under threat of arrest or death has been a common practice long before Saudi Arabia was established.

I called Sara International Travel about Mr. Shibly’s trip. They told me Mr. Shibly would be responsible for all details of the trip from beginning to end. Sara International said that Hassan Shibly’s trip was for ‘Muslims Only’. The Sara International website has the Declaration of Conversion to Islam document that must be filled out by Mr. Shibly’s guests, signed by an Imam, and then notarized.

Hassan Shibly is a Civil Rights professional who will publicly demonize, attack, and/or take legal action against most anyone who gets his attention that challenges Islamic doctrine and theology.

I am very comfortable exposing Hassan Shibly as a Civil Rights fraud because if he championed the civil rights of All peoples he would boycott the Hajj until Mecca and Medina are open to Christians, Jews, Hindus, Atheists, Sikhs, etc….

Hassan should be championing the Civil Rights of those who are excluded from Mecca and Medina at threat of arrest. A morally honest civil rights leader would speak out publicly against the Islamic religious apartheid of Mecca and Medina.

The fact Hassan Shibly and CAIR do not do what is right but instead promote the Islamic religious apartheid exposes them to being religious and political supremacists and haters of more than 3/4 of the worlds population who are not followers of Islam.

Instead, the video shows Hassan Shibly and Muaaz Hassan running away like cowards bringing shame and dishonor on themselves. As public figures – Hassan Shibly, Muaaz Hassan, and all CAIR Directors have an obligation to be truthful no matter how easy the question is.

To give you some perspective. Imagine if the Vatican declared that only Christians were allowed to set foot in Vatican City under threat of arrest or death. There would be outrage around the world by all faiths and rightfully so. Yet the world is silent about the Islamic religious apartheid exposed in this video.

If you doubt any of the information presented in this video contact Sara International Travel and ask them if Any Non-Muslim can go Hassan Shibly’s trip to the Hajj in Mecca Saudi Arabia.

Plus I would imagine, Prince Khaled al-Faisal, Emir of Makkah region and HRH Prince Abdulaziz bin Majed bin Abdulaziz, Governor of Madinah Region – Head of the Hajj in Medina, would not be very happy to hear Hassan Shibly publicly backbiting and humiliating Saudi Arabia’s leadership and practices of the Kingdom.

Islamic Religious Apartheid is either right or wrong. Where do you stand?

Florida: Black GOP Congressional Candidate Endures Racist Attack

glo smith and family

Glo Smith and family. For a larger view click on the image.

Florida Republican congressional candidate Glo Smith has been the target of a racist attack in Jacksonville, Florida, as one of her yard signs–which features a picture of her– was vandalized by someone who “whitewashed” her face.

Of course the left-leaning mainstream media has paid little mind to this attack, probably because she is a Republican, and not a Democrat.

Smith is the former aide to Florida Lieutenant Governor Jennifer Carroll, and is challenging the ever colorful Democrat congresswoman Corrine Brown.

Yes, the same Corrine Brown who called the entire city of Jacksonville, Florida, racist because of a plan by the city to move a voting location out of the minority-heavy area of her district.

In my opinion, the message that was sent to Smith was that she was an “Uncle Tom,” and a phony black person for running as a Republican against a black Democrat incumbent.

 EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on The Shark Tank. Follow The Shark Tank on Facebook and Twitter.

Obama Continues His Attack on U.S. Energy

The delay of the Keystone XL pipeline is a perfect example of the way President Obama and his administration has engaged in, not just a war on coal, but on all forms of energy the nation has and needs. Even his State Department admits there is no reason to refuse its construction and, as turmoil affects the Middle East, there is an increased need to tap our own oil and welcome Canada’s.

The latest news, however, is that Canada has just approved the Enbridge Northern Gateway Project, a major pipeline to ship Canadian oil—to Asia.

The pure evil of the delay is compounded by the loss of the many jobs the pipeline—that will not require taxpayer funding—represents to help reduce the nation’s obscene rate of unemployment and to generate new revenue for the nation. That’s what oil, coal, and natural gas does.

Less visible has been the out-of-control Environmental Protection Agency that has, since Obama took office on January 20, 2009, issued 2,827 new final regulations totally 24,915,000 words to fill 24,915 pages of the Federal Register. As a CNSnews article reported, “The Obama EPA regulations have 22 times as many words as the entire Harry Potter series which includes seven books with 1,084,170 words.” Every one of the EPA regulations affects some aspect of life in America, crushing economic development in every conceivable way.

The worst part of the EPA regulation orgy is the fact that virtually all of it is based on a hoax. As reported by James Delingpole, a British journalist, “19 million jobs lost plus $4,335 trillion spent equals a global mean temperature of 0.018 degrees Celsius. Yes, horrible but true. These are the costs to the U.S. economy, by 2100, of the Environmental Protection Agency’s regulatory war on carbon dioxide, whereby all states must reduce emissions from coal-fired electricity generating plants by 30% before 2005 levels.”

Citing a study by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Delingpole reported that the new regulations will cost the economy another $51 billion annually, result in the 224,000 more lost jobs every year, and cost every American household $3,400 per year in higher prices for energy, food, and other necessities.”

This is an all-out attack on industry, business, and the use of electricity by all Americans.

There is absolutely no reason, nor need to reduce “greenhouse gas” emissions, particularly carbon dioxide (CO2), a gas on which all life on Earth depends because it is to vegetation what oxygen is to all living creatures. It is the “food” on which every blade of grass depends. More CO2 means more crops and healthier forests.

The EPA’s regulations would yield“Less than two one-hundredths of a degree Celsius by the year 2100.

Disastrously, even the Supreme Court—the same one that signed off on Obamacare as a tax—has not ruled against the EPA’s false assertions about CO2. In late June, however, it did place limits on the EPA’s effort to limit power plant and factory emissions blamed for a global warming that does not exist. The Earth has been cooling for seventeen years, but the Court ruled that the EPA lacked authority in some cases to force companies to evaluate ways to reduce CO2 emissions.

As Craig Rucker, the Executive Director of the free market think tank, CFACT, points out, “The Court served notice that the Executive Branch cannot unilaterally write its own laws. This is an important principle. However, the United States still remains fated to suffer most of the economic damage EPA’s regulations will cause. True reform will require congressional action.”

Thanks to the lies that have been taught about “global warming”, now called “climate change”, in the nation’s schools to a generation of Americans, and the deluge of lies about the environment that have been repeated in the nation’s media, too many Americans still do not make the connection between the use of the nation’s vast reserves of coal, oil and natural gas, and their personal lifestyles and the nation’s economic growth.

The attacks on the energy industries by environmental organizations have been attacks on all Americans who turn on the lights or drive anywhere. Their mantra has been “dirty coal” and “dirty oil” along with lies about the way energy industries contribute billions to the nation’s revenue in taxes.

An example of these attacks have been those directed against “fracking”, the short term for hydraulic fracturing, a technology that has been in use for more than a half century and whose development has generated a boom in natural gas these days. Claims about fracking pollution have no basis in fact.

A new book, “The Fracking Truth—America’s Energy Revolution: The Inside, Untold Story”, by Chris Faulkner is well worth reading for the extraordinary way he explains fracking and the facts he provides about energy in America. It is published by Platform Press.

America has huge reserves of coal, oil and natural gas. “This phenomenon of energy abundance and efficiency,” says Faulkner, “makes it almost a certainty that the cost of powering our nation—already a bargain by international standards—is going to become even less of a burden for our economy for many decades to come.” But not if the EPA and other Obama government agencies such as the Department of the Interior have their way.

One example: “According to the American Petroleum Institute, at least 87% of our federal offshore acreage is off-limits to drilling. API commissioned the consultancy Wood Mackenzie to assess the foregone offshore opportunity in specific terms. The upshot: Increased access to oil and gas reserves underlying federal waters could, by 2025, generate an additional 4 million barrels of oil equivalent per day, add $150 billion to government revenues, and create 530,00 jobs.”

“In fact, since 2007, about 96% of the increase in America’s oil and gas production occurred on private lands in the United States. Meanwhile, oil and gas production on federal lands declined to a ten-year low in fiscal years 2011-2012.”

Who is forcing coal-fired electricity plants to close? The Obama administration. Who is denying access to vast reserves of coal, oil and natural gas on federal lands? The Obama administration. Who continues to lie about “climate change” pegged to carbon dioxide emissions? The Obama administration. And this is happening as China and India cannot build new coal-fired plants fast enough and Europe abandons wind and solar energy.

Who is the enemy of energy, current and future, in the United States? Barack Obama.

© Alan Caruba, 2014

RELATED ARTICLE: U.S. Seen as Biggest Oil Producer After Overtaking Saudi Arabia – Bloomberg

What Has Happened to Protests in America?

Photo: Murrietta, CA protest against dumping of illegal aliens by feds.

The U.S. began with protests that evolved into a full scale rebellion we call the Revolution. Throughout our history, there have been many protests and those against slavery evolved into the Civil War. War—whether for or against it—has been a prime generator of protests.

On the evenings of Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday Megyn Kelly of Fox News interviewed Bill Ayers, the leader of the Weather Underground, a group he cofounded in 1969 as a self-described communist revolutionary group. These days he calls himself “a Communist with a small ‘c’”

During the early 1970s the group engaged in bombings to protest the war in Vietnam. During the interview, Ayers insisted that he and others only bombed property and did not kill anyone, although at one point a group he described as breakaway was planning to kill officers, their wives and girlfriends attending a dance at a military base, but instead they were killed when their bombs went off in a New York townhouse. Neither Ayers nor his wife, Bernadine Dohrn ever served time for their bombings. Both entered academia. Ayers taught at the University of Illinois for many years.

obama-nation-free-readAs Jerome R. Corsi reported in his 2008 book, “The Obama Nation: Leftist Politics and the Cult of Personality”, he noted that when Alice Palmer, an Illinois state senator decided to run for Congress, “she went out of her way to name Obama as her handpicked successor.” Palmer was a dedicated Communist and admirer of the then-Soviet Union. In 1995, “To get Obama’s state senate race off to a good start, Palmer arranged a function for a few influential liberals in the district, at the Hyde Park home of Weather Underground activists, Ayers and Dohrn.”

Corsi wrote, “Palmer would never have introduced Obama to the Hyde Park political community at the Ayers-Dohrn home unless she saw an affinity between Ayers and Dohrn’s radical leftist history, her own history of far-leftists politics, and the politics of Barack Obama.” Ayers and Obama would serve together on the board of the Woods Fund for three years, beginning in 1999, the year Obama joined it.

Megyn Kelly did not explore the Obama-Ayers relationship. When he campaigned in 2008, it was brushed off as their just being “neighbors” in Hyde Park and it was pointed out that Obama was about eight years old when Ayers was bombing in the name of his leftist revolution. Between then and when he met Ayers in 1995 Obama had grown up in a family of far-leftists and had been mentored in Hawaii by Frank Marshall Davis, a card-carrying member of the Communist Party USA.

It did not surprise me to hear Bill Ayers say on Wednesday evening that he was not proud to be an American and did not consider it an exceptional nation. In both cases, he was reflecting the result of a recent Pew Research poll that indicated that self-described liberals expressed these views.

I recall the bombings of the 1970s. There were lots of them, along with massive marches in Washington, D.C. to protest the Vietnam War. I recall the Civil Rights movement that used marches and other non-violent means to achieve their goals. Earlier the suffrage movement and secured the vote for women.

DC Tea PartyIt strikes me that the present generation of both young and older Americans seem to be devoid of much, if any, rebellion against an intrusive government, except for expressions of it on their blogs and in their tweets. We surely do not need bombings, but only the protest against Obamacare in 2009 managed to evoke a significant turnout in Washington. D.C. Since its passage it has proven to be a nightmare for everyone.

Much has changed from the era of the 1970s and the resistance to the war in Vietnam. The wars that followed 9/11, first in Afghanistan and later in Iraq, did not evoke much protest. Initially they were popular. The first Iraq conflict, 1990-91, drove the Iraqis out of Kuwait and was so swift and successful that the troops were welcomed home with parades. The 2003 invasion, however, devolved into a sense of weariness as 4,500 casualties and over a trillion dollars seemed to achieve nothing

What was different? In the 1960s the leftist teachers unions had begun to exercise increasing control over the curriculums being taught. By 1979, Jimmy Carter signed off on a Department of Education that began operations in 1980. Earlier, conscription for military service was replaced by an all-volunteer military in the 1970s. Those of us that served prior to that understand the value of the draft and the service it required because it forged a bond between a man and his nation. These days, of course, it is a very different military with females, as well as openly gay members.

Throughout the 1980s and 1990s the economy was robust. The generations being born and coming of age received a relatively poor, but thoroughly liberal education regarding U.S. history and civics. On graduation they could focus on jobs, family, and “the good life.” There was little to protest and even less initiative to do so. Even Bush 43’s Iraq war generated little by way of an organized protest.

The 2008 financial crisis left no room for protest in the lives of Americans because the economy left millions unemployed and/or dependent on a government welfare program. It was a perfect time for Obama to suddenly emerge as a candidate for President. He had a celebrity’s personality and he was black, affording generations of liberals the opportunity to fulfill the promise of equality that had begun in the 1960s. He promised “hope and change.” He delivered years in which one scandal after another occurred.

Still, so many Americans devoted so little time to news of the Obama administration and received such a biased version of it from the mainstream media that they reelected him in 2012. That is indifference to the welfare of the nation. That is an apathetic approach to national politics. That is the failure to distinguish between character and celebrity.

It is a very different America today and one which is sharply divided between liberals and conservatives. It is an America being led by a President who has tossed aside the Constitution and announced his intention to govern with “a pen and a phone.” Such an intention would have been greeted with a huge outcry of rage in the past.

The one issue that is evoking protests these days is illegal immigration and the protest in Murrieta, California that turned away buses filled with illegal aliens may lead to larger and more numerous protests to end this practice and reform immigration starting with more and higher walls on the southern border.

Today protest, except for signing a petition or participating on an Internet chatroom, is all that too many of today’s Americans can manage to perform. We don’t want to see a return to the bombings of the Ayers’ era and we may not fill the streets, but it would be nice if more serious-minded Americans would show up to vote in the November midterm elections.

© Alan Caruba, 2014

RELATED ARTICLE: ICE can no longer call illegal immigrant children ‘aliens’ 

Dark Forces: The Truth About What Happened in Benghazi

Dark Forces: The Truth About What Happened in Benghazi by veteran investigative author Kenneth R. Timmerman is a gripping expose, replete with evidence of deception and cover up about who perpetrated the Benghazi attack that killed four Americans; Ambassador Chris Stevens, communications aide Sean Smith, ex-Navy Seals CIA-contractors, Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty on 9/11/2012.

dark forces book cover

Broadside Books, an imprint of Harper Collins Publishers. Published June 24, 2014

Dark Forces presents a thoroughly researched investigative dossier on the events behind the crime that took the lives of  four  valiant Americans who perished in the attack that night.  Timmerman discloses a major cover-up by the Obama Administration of possible violations of the National Security Act of 1947 related to covert activities in the Libyan rebellion and overthrow of the Qaddafi regime. Those Administration actions opened a literal Pandora’s box spawning  dangerous illicit arms trade with jihadist forces in Africa, the Middle East and even Afghanistan.  Based on his research, Timmerman believes the Administration engaged in a purposeful diversion  about the real facts to deflect inquiries during a critical phase of the 2012 Presidential campaign. That cover up began unraveling with a late night news release by the White House  accusing a US made internet video of  offending Muslim sensibilities triggering the planned Benghazi  terrorist attack. It has subsequently been revealed that former Secretary of State Clinton told the President  that the draft statement “was not credible” nevertheless acquiescing to the deception.

That cover up by the Administration may not be lost on  South Carolina Rep. Trey Gowdy, an experienced former federal prosecutor. His appointment to Chair the House Select Committee on Benghazi was announced on May 2, 2014. Gowdy is charged with conducting  investigations and ultimate Hearings about the Benghazi episode. A few days prior to the publication of Dark Forces, Timmerman personally delivered a copy to Chairman Gowdy.

Praise for  Dark Forces comes from several retired military experts. Col. Richard F. Brauer, Jr. USAF (Ret.), founder of Special Operations Speaks,  endorsed Dark Forces as a “must read” saying that it is “ packed with new and previously undisclosed information. It asks the right questions and provides answers to some that have yet to be asked. If you want to know what the Obama Administration does not want you to know about Benghazi.”  Charles Woods, father of Navy Seal Tyrone Woods killed while defending the  CIA annex in Benghazi said, “it is clear from the facts as described in Ken Timmerman’s account that the lives of my son and three other American heroes could have been saved.” Admiral James A Lyons, Jr. USN (Ret.) praised Dark Forces saying, “he presents clear insight on the illicit transfer to Syrian rebels.”

Dark Forces  is a fast paced factual thriller in which  Timmerman reveals the deaths  of these Americans in Benghazi  was the result of  a deliberate  state act of  terrorism planned and organized  by Iran’s Quds Force.  It is the Islamic Regime’s  equivalent  of  CIA and Special  operations covert force headed by Maj. Gen. Qassem Suleymani.   The Iranian regime allegedly coordinated the Benghazi attack. The group that took credit for the Benghazi attack, Ansar al-Sharia, was trained and equipped by the Quds Force, the overseas expeditionary arm of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps. Both the CIA in Benghazi, the Delta Force and Special Operations troops in Tripoli were actively monitoring Iranian operations in Benghazi. They warned their chain of command – including Ambassador Stevens – that Iranians were preparing a terrorist attack on the U.S. compound in Benghazi. However, they were deceived by a faked kidnapping of Quds Force operatives posing as humanitarian workers by paid Ansar al-Shariah operatives.

Timmerman  said in an interview we published at the New English Review that “in Libya  Iran’s  agenda was primarily to kick the Americans out, to smash any semblance of normality to keep the country from recovering.  They did not want to see Libya become a modern pro-Western Arabic/Muslim country at peace.  So they were really hoping to  perpetuate the violent civil unrest in Libya. Going after our legation, driving the American diplomatic force out of Libya was part of that plan”.

As to why Iran would coordinate attacks with Sunni terrorist groups, Timmerman responded,

“The thing to remember is the Iranians will work with whoever they need to accomplish their goals.  For many years the U.S. intelligence community said because they are Shia they won’t work with Al Qaeda because they are Sunni fundamentalists.  In fact we learned that they did,  in 9/11 and they did  in Benghazi.  They are doing it with Hamas.  They are working with Sunnis in the Taliban.   Iran will work with whomever they need to kill Americans and kill Jews.”

Timmerman’s Dark Forces  questions the recent seizure of Ansar al Shariah operative Ahmed Abu Khattala off the streets of Benghazi  by the FBI and US Delta Force. Khattala recently pled not guilty in a US court to charges of committing terrorism and remains in federal detention awaiting prosecution. Timmerman noted in a Lisa Benson Radio Show interview:

“The FBI was looking only at the surveillance tapes  at the Libyans who were out  in front of the legation and Annex. The Iranians were across the street. They were across the street up in a building observing from a short distance. The Iranians put the Ansar al-Shariah militia force in the forefront.  I think the FBI is going to be very interested to follow the Hezbollah operatives from Lebanon who were there on the ground. They know very well the Iranians who I named in the book because these people are on their radar screen. They have been out killing Americans in Afghanistan and Iraq and now as I reveal in Dark Forces in Libya as well.”

Dark Forces conveys the thesis that the attacks in Benghazi were preventable. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton bears responsibility for ignoring those warnings, and preventing a military response. Ambassador Stevens and his security team had repeatedly warned Clinton of the precarious security situation in Tripoli and Benghazi requesting additional resources. Clinton for reasons of her own opposed any military response to the attacks. U.S. Special Forces operators on the ground 9/11/2012  might  have saved the Americans who perished.

Benghazi was the hub of the U.S. covert arms smuggling to Islamist groups in Libya and Syria. The Administration supplied weapons to fight Qaddafi in Libya and Assad in Syria knowing full well that many of the rebel leaders were al Qaeda operatives. The White House sent members of the National Security “Staff” (ex NSC) to Libya on operational missions to negotiate arms buybacks from Libyan rebel leaders in an apparent violation of the National Security Act of 1947.  An estimated  2,500 surface to air missiles (MANPADS) went “missing” in Libya. Many of them – upgraded with CIA Technology- fell  into the hands of al Qaeda terrorists.  In an episode in Dark Forces, called John Brennan’s Iron Claw, Timmerman reveals how a former CIA deputy Station chief  in Baghdad  brought evidence MANPADS filtering into the hands of terrorist groups to former CIA Director Gen. Petreaus.  However, a CIA internal investigation was quashed by Brennan, then Obama White House Counterterrorism Czar.  Timmerman in the recent interview said, “If this was going on with John Brennan’s awareness or his approval and there was no Presidential Finding then John Brennan f has a lot to answer for. He should be brought before Congress to give a full accounting.”

Timmerman is the New York Times bestselling author of earlier exposes Countdown to Crisis: The Coming Nuclear Showdown with Iranand Shadow Warriors: The Untold Story of Traitors, Saboteurs and the Party of SurrenderHis thriller fiction Honor Killing dealt with an Iranian plot to secret a nuclear device into Washington, DC.  St.  Peter’s Bones, is a novel that conveys  the dire  threats to the ancient Assyrian Chaldean Christian community in Iraq driving them  to secure refuge in their diaspora. Timmerman spent 24 days in a PLO-Fatah dungeon as a captive during the First Lebanon War in 1982. That episode did not deter him from returning to Lebanon, Egypt, Iraq and Israel to report on arms trafficking and state and non-state terrorism. Both he and former UN Ambassador John Bolton were nominated by a former Swedish Foreign Minister for a Nobel Peace Prize their work disclosing Iran’s nuclear program.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on The New English Review.

For Too Many, It’s a Very Unhappy Fourth of July

As Americans pause to celebrate the 238th signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776, it well may be one of the saddest Fourth’s in decades. The six and a half years of the Obama regime has failed to unleash the nation’s capacity to recover from the 2008 financial crisis and has left the nation saddled in debt and dependency.

This is not what freedom is about, nor did the Founding Fathers conceive of a President who ruled with “a pen and a phone.”

As The Wall Street Journal reported on January 13, “The year began with the news that “World economic freedom has reached record levels according to the 2014 Index of Economic Freedom released Tuesday by the Heritage Foundation and The Wall Street Journal. But after seven straight years of decline, the U.S. has dropped out of the top ten most economically free countries.” What this means is that “those losing freedom risk economic stagnation, high unemployment, and deteriorating social conditions.”

That is a description of life in America today. It is a nation in which regard for Congress and the mainstream media has plunged to new lows.

In February, CNSnews reported that “The debt of the U.S. government has increased $6,666 trillion since President Barack Obama took office on January 20, 2009, according to the latest numbers release by the Treasury Department.” When he was first inaugurated, the debt was $10,626,877,913.08 and as of January 31, 2014 the debt was $17,293,019,654,983.61.” Looking back in time, the total debt of the U.S. did not exceed $6,666 trillion until July 2003, meaning that the U.S. has accumulated as much debt as it did in its first 227 years.

As the year began, the unemployment figures cited by the government were in dispute. One influential Wall Street adviser, David John Marotta, calculated that those not working when the year began represented 37.2% of the labor force as defined by the portion of people who did not have a job, had given up looking for one, and those who had no intention of working for a living. The government calculated the unemployment rate at 6.7%.

Being a native-born American offered no advantage for those seeking work. The Center for Immigration Studies released a study that said that “Since the year 2000 all of the net increase in the number of working-age (16-65) people holding a job has gone to immigrants (legal and illegal)” even though native-born Americans accounted to two-thirds of the growth in the total working-age population.

Since 2000 more than 17 million immigrants arrived in the country, a time period in which native employment “has deteriorated significantly.” Given the wholesale invasion of illegal immigrants that is occurring, this calls for the enforcement of existing immigration laws and a secure southern border.

Since Obama took office, all manner of government benefit programs have been expanded. They include Medicaid, food stamps, Supplemental Security Income, public housing, and  temporary Assistance for Needy Families. In the fourth quarter of 2011, the Census Bureau calculated that there were 109,592,000 who lived in a household that included people “on one or more means-tested programs.”

Contrast that with 86,429,000 full-time private sector workers and it means that 14,802,00 non-veteran benefit takers outnumbered those whose taxes support them by a rate of 1.7 to 1.

There are more Americans, 10,982,920, receiving disability benefits than the individual populations of Greece, Portugal, Tunisia, and Burundi. November 2013 was the 202nd straight month that the number of disabled workers in the United States increased.

We live in a welfare state in which the federal government funds 126 separate programs targeted toward low-income people, 72 of which provide either cash or in-kind benefits to individuals. The Cato Institute said that “Congress and state legislatures should consider strengthening work requirements in welfare programs, removing exemptions, and narrowing the definition of work.” Keep in mind that welfare benefits are not taxed while wages are.

This is not to say that people on welfare are lazy. Surveys consistently demonstrate their desire for a job. The reality in America on the Fourth of July 2014 is that jobs do not exist and the cause is Big Government and policies that thwart the creation of new businesses and add costs to those that do. In America, corporations are taxed at a rate higher than most other nations.

Over recent years, the U.S. government has given our taxpayer money to a long list of other nations and even to terrorist organizations such as Hamas, a Palestinian non-state entity, which annually receives $440 million. Others include Mexico which has received $662 million, Kenya which received $816 million, and Nigeria which received $816 million. Pakistan has received $2 billion and Iraq which received $1.08 billion.

As the Fourth of July arrives, we have learned that American veterans are dying for lack of care by the Veterans Administration, conservative groups seeking non-profit status have been targeted by the Internal Revenue Service, and Obama immigration policies have deliberately triggered a wholesale invasion by illegal aliens. We have witnessed the failures associated with the introduction of Obamacare and are learning that it is filled with taxes while destroying what was regarded as the best healthcare system in the world.

As of late June, Gallup polls put the disapproval of the President at 52%. Confidence in the President was only 29% while Congress received only 7%.

It is not a happy Fourth of July in America and far too many Americans—nearly half—still believe the President is doing a good job despite ample evidence that his “transformation” of America has harmed the nation in countless ways.

© Alan Caruba, 2014

Open letter to the Saudi Embassy, Washington, D.C.

TO: His Royal Highness King Saud
Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia
601 New Hampshire Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20037

I just read with interest that the government of Saudi Arabia has deployed 30,000 troops to the Saudi – Iraq border to beef up the security interest because President Obama’s handling of Iraq is a total and utter failure much like his entire foreign policy.

My question to you is this your Royal Highness, who pay 5 cents a gallon for gas. Yes, you guys with your big kufiya’s imported from China wrapped around your heads and the giant black agal’s of black goat fur wrapped tightly around your camel – with steak filled bellies.

Why did you not respond the same way when Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait in 1990? Why did you stick your necks in the sand and sniff petrol dollar fumes instead of backing up your fellow Muslims in Kuwait with direct military support?

Why did you turn down Usama Bin Laden’s offer to send in 75,000 of his mujaheddin fighters fresh from kicking the Soviet Union’s back side in Afghanistan. You know our military men and women had to all the way around the world over to your camels and desert to save their skin when you could have done it yourself.

Now, I also understand your nation is currently funding the the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) forces. ISIS, the terror army supported by you Saudi Arabia, the CIA and trained by the Pentagon, have now declared a caliphate in the Middle East. It has changed its name to the Islamic State, dispensing with Iraq, Sham and the Levant.

How neat is that?

So the result of the New World Order discombobulated removal of Saddam Hussein from Kuwait in January 1991 and again when we went back in March 2003 resulted in:

(1) US military bases being set up in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia including the Khobar Towers. On June 25th 2006 a huge truck-bomb was then detonated adjacent to Building #131, an eight-story structure housing United States Air Force personnel from the 4404th Wing (Provisional), primarily from a deployed rescue squadron and deployed fighter squadron. In all, 19 U.S. servicemen were killed at the Khobar Towers plus over 400 wounded.

(2) The wrath of Usama Bin Laden was raised when US troops under orders from the New World Order (UN) set up military bases on Muslim lands. Bin Laden, a man whom was an ally of the United States when we were funding the Mujahedeen in Afghanistan later to be called Al Quaida was getting pissed off. Yes we both hated the Soviet Union and we learned NOTHING from their nation building efforts in 1979. Jimmy Carter was so weak he allowed the Russian invasion to go forward with no fear of US retaliation on Moscow.

(3) Usama Bin Laden was very unhappy with US military troops (as he called us foreign invaders on Muslim lands) declares war (Jihad) against the United States. On August 23, 1996, Osama bin Laden signed and issued the “Declaration of Jihad Against the Americans Occupying the Land of the Two Holy Mosques,” meaning Saudi Arabia.

(4) March 1993. The first attack on the World Trade Center was attempted to try and disrupt world financial markets because of our foreign entanglements on Muslim lands in 1990 – 91. The Muslims may not have attacked us if we let you guys sort-out your own problems. We must trade with foreign nations not bomb them unless they attack us first.

(5) September 11th 2001. The second attack on the World Trade Center resulting in the deaths of over 3,000 American and foreign nationals was successful. We, the United States had absolute Constitutional authority to parachute into Afghanistan to wipe out the terror bases (formerly freedom bases). They were formerly used against the Russian Communists that sprung up when the Soviet Union attacked Afghanistan. Now they were used against us. Why? Because we invaded Muslim lands in 1990- 1991 and stayed instead of flipping the ball into your court Mr. Saudi Ambassador.

So if we the American people would just force our government to follow the US Constitution especially Article 2 Section 8 we may not be in the mess we are in now. No foreign entanglements I believe President Washington had mentioned to our countrymen a few hundred years ago. We are a young country and we are still learning but its cost to us American in lives. With that said and by following the U.S. Constitution maybe and just maybe,

(1) The World Trade Center would still be standing.

(2) The Russians would still be bogged down in an un-winnable war with the Afghan Freedom Fighters (a.k.a Mujahedeen).

(3) Iraq would still be held under a strong arm of Saddam Hussein and Iran would be kept in check. I mean come on where in the Constitution does it say we have to liberate Muslims from Muslims when they invade each other and then install no fly zones? We have no such authority and then we the taxpayers get the bill.

(4) Usama Bin Laden may still be fighting the Russians and bringing chaos to the Russian economy.

(5) Barack Hussein Obama may never have come into power because the American people would not have been politically angry at Bush and the Republican controlled Congress for the unconstitutional invasion of Iraq in 2003.

(6) The unconstitutional Obamacare would never have passed because the Republicans would never have lost control of the House in 2006. But of course they supported invading Iraq and the dumbed down sheeple not looking further ahead than the next episode of American Idol put the Communist Democrats in control of the House as pay back to the unconstitutional decision making of our government. Nancy Pelosi the wicked witch of the East was unleashed upon us and tyranny was shove down our throats. But on a positive note the TEA Party was created and more Americans are buying guns, reading the Bible and the U.S. Constitution than ever before.

So Mr. Saudi guys, 1990, 1993, 2001 and 2003 were bad years for us and it rolled out a lot of bad things for the American people not including all the men and women that died trying to keep your sorry Muslim pitch a tent backsides free. The next time one of your Muslim “I believe in peace nations” invades another “Allah be with you nation” please don’t include us. We are not interested in dying for you any more because when we do it just creates more chaos and economic devastation. Besides you don’t appreciate us anyway.

Have a Happy Ramadan. Good luck at your next beheading and if you have another local stoning on the Embassy grounds invite Harry Reid along to watch it. Perhaps now you know what Israel faces on her borders. Peace be on you.


Saudi Arabia sends 30,000 troops to Iraq border
Colorado Muslima who wanted to aid Islamic State menaced church, called herself “slave of Allah”
Jihad group vows to cleanse Lebanon of churches
UK airports on alert over jihad plots involving surgically implanted bombs

Immigrant camp worker: People won’t believe what is going on in America

Obama has stated he will use his executive authority to “fix” the immigration problem in America. In fact he recently stated these illegal immigrant kids who have flooded across our southern border must go back home. We shall wait and see if rhetoric meets action.

In the meantime, we could be facing a serious health crisis at the immigrant border camps. It’s so bad, staff have been threatened with arrest if they reveal the truth.

kid-300x180According to a report by Todd Starnes at, “A government-contracted security force threatened to arrest doctors and nurses if they divulged any information about the contagion threat at a refugee camp housing illegal alien children at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio.”

Starnes says, “In spite of the threat, several former camp workers broke their confidentiality agreements and shared exclusive details with me about the dangerous conditions at the camp. They said taxpayers deserve to know about the contagious diseases and the risks the children pose to Americans.”

The fact that we have a situation where Americans are being threatened for telling the truth is in itself disturbing — but is sadly reflective of the progressive socialist, Chicago way of political thuggery, intimidation and coercion.

“There were several of us who wanted to talk about the camps, but the agents made it clear we would be arrested,” a psychiatric counselor told Starnes. “We were under orders not to say anything.” Starnes reports that the sources said workers were guarded by a security force from the Baptist Family & Children’s Services, which the Department of Health and Human Services hired to run the Lackland Camp.

At the immigrant camp, Starnes say “workers were stripped of their cellphones and other communication devices. Anyone caught with a phone was immediately fired. “Everyone was paranoid,” a worker said. “The children had more rights than the workers.” She said children in the camp had measles, scabies, chicken pox and strep throat as well as mental and emotional issues. “It was not a good atmosphere in terms of health,” she said. “I would be talking to children and lice would just be climbing down their hair. You could see the bugs crawling through their hair,” she said. “After we would rinse out their hair, the sink would be loaded with black bugs.”

Of course all of this may seem inconsequential to some folks — like Nancy Pelosi who said there’s not a crisis but an opportunity in all of this. However, we do know our federal government and its Department of Homeland Security has been transporting these illegal immigrants across the country in commercial buses and airplanes. The question is, were the aliens transported before or after delousing, and will the buses and planes now be used to transport the general American public?

Starnes says, “a former nurse at the camp addressed how she was horrified by what she saw. “We have so many kids coming in that there was no way to control all of the sickness – all this stuff coming into the country,” she said. “We were very concerned at one point about strep going around the base.” Both the counselor and the nurse said their superiors tried to cover up the extent of the illnesses. “When they found out the kids had scabies, the charge nurse was adamant – ‘Don’t mention that. Don’t say scabies,’” the nurse recounted. “But everybody knew they had scabies. Some of the workers were very concerned about touching things and picking things up. They asked if they should be concerned, but they were told don’t worry about it.”

The counselor, who wishes to remain anonymous, told Starnes she kept a detailed journal about what happened during her tenure at the facility. “When people read that journal they are going to be astonished,” she said. ‘I don’t think they will believe what is going on in America.”

The counselor received a call from federal agents demanding that she return to the military base and hand over her journal but she refused.

So what happened to the “most transparent administration?” The last thing we need in America is a health crisis, a sort of biological assault on the country.

However, in the world of liberal progressives, the ends justify the means. Apparently, the goal of fundamentally transforming America must happen “by any means necessary.”

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on

Live Report and Commentary From Miami: Defending Florida’s Marriage Amendment in Court By John Stemberger

I was in Miami yesterday afternoon and evening to attend the court hearing where six same-sex couples are suing the Miami Dade Clerk of Court asking the judge to strike down Florida’s Marriage Amendment which was passed by just under 5 million voters in 2008 when 62% of Floridians defined marriage between one man and one woman.

The courtroom was an older but beautifully ornate room that has been totally restored and is actually the same courtroom Al Capone was tried in years ago.   The courtroom was packed with about 60% supporters of marriage and about 40% gay rights activists.  There was an overflow courtroom with about another 150 people watching by video who were mostly our supporters.  Marriage supporters wore small signs saying “Respect my Vote”.

I appeared on behalf of Florida Family Action as “Amicus” (friend of the court) and Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel represented us.  I also presented an affidavit to the court which gave a very personal and detailed account of my motivation for leading the four year effort to pass the amendment.  The “Stemberger affidavit” was referred to several times during the hearing.

Overall, the legal arguments presented for same sex marriage were surprisingly weak.  After the first short legal argument, the other lawyers arguing spent a lot of time reading stories, citing antidotal evidence, misrepresenting the impact of multiple cases, and generally dispensing an assortment of inappropriate political rhetoric before the court.  In contrast, Mat Staver had a command of the law, the Constitution, legal procedure and the social science research.  His case was compelling and clear.  Not surprisingly, none of the plaintiff’s gay-rights lawyers ever cited let alone mentioned the only clear and controlling legal precedent before the court – Florida’s Constitution and its marriage definition.

One of the lawyers for the Plaintiff’s made the stunning statement that when we as voters amended the constitution to define marriage that this represented the “tyranny of the majority”. Seriously?  Amending the constitution is tyranny?  It was hard not to just LOL.

He then claimed that studies show “two parents are better than one” and that “gay people and straight people make equally good parents”.  But that is not the issue.  The comparison is not the mere quantityof parents — one vs two.  The issue is whether a mom and a dad are superior to two moms and what isbest for children.  And an enormous body of social science research is crystal clear.  Having both a mother and a father produces the highest levels of human flourishing for children.  And the absence of a mom or a dad produces significantly increased levels of social maladies.  This exposes the real weakness and problem with same sex marriage.  Their position devalues the uniqueness and importance of gender in the rearing of children.  Their Position has to be that two moms are just as good as a mom and a dad– and this is empirically false.  With all due respect to Mr. Mackelmore, (the white rapper) the love of a father is not the “same love” as a mother.  And law and policy should reflect the opportunity for children to have the best chance of having both a mom and a dad.

I was very thankful that the Attorney General’s office moved to intervene in the case and had a lawyer appear in person.  But it was disappointing that the lawyer only made one point in a couple of minutes and then quickly sat down.  Much was made by the other lawyers and the judge about the inadequacy of the AG lawyer’s response in the case but it was still good that they asserted the rights of states (through the people) to define marriage.

Lawyers for the Dade County Clerk of the Court who were sued as the Defendant stated that they were “neutral” in the matter and not taking a position.  But then in the next breath they reminded the court that Florida marriage license applications have the words “husband” and “wife” and asked the judge to tell them what to do if the court enters an order and same-sex couples go to get licenses with forms that are not “gender neutral”.  Neutral?  Not so much.

Even Orlando’s Mayor Buddy Dyer had a lawyer representing the City Council (using our local tax dollars) saying that they were in support of homosexuals marrying.  They argued that because Florida was an “anti-gay” state that we were losing “millions and millions” of dollars a year in revenue from same sex couples who might otherwise get married in Florida.  Between Disney “Gay Days”, Key West’s year round gay celebrations, no less than 25 gay-pride weeks and parades all over the state and the “gay-friendly everything” that goes on in Dade and Broward Counties, it was honestly hard for me to not just burst out in open court with laughter hearing this all argued with a straight face.  Anti-gay Florida?  The left plays fast and loose with the facts and indeed with reality itself.

After the hearing there was a heated demonstration outside on the steps of the courthouse. Check out this video to the left linked into the image which shows the back and forth between the crowd.  The natural marriage supporters clearly out numbered and even dwarfed the homosexual rights protesters.  With the crowds shouting in the background I also did several TV and radio interviews and made statements in a press conference with Mat Staver.  The crowds were shouting back and forth to each other and were divided between yellow caution tape.  It was quite a circus and both emotions and security were high.

The high point of the whole day for me occurred after my last TV interview.  A young, neatly dressed reporter asked me several insightful questions and unusually inquisitive follow-up questions.  I did my best and gave him the most honest and sincere responses I could.  After the interview he pulled me aside and asked to speak with me privately.  He said, “Listen, I am an openly gay man.  But I want you to know how much I appreciate the answers you just gave to me and how respectful you were in talking about gay persons not even knowing that I am one of them.” Wow– Thank God for whatever grace he has given me to be able to make that kind of an impression on this young reporter.  Please pray for this man.

The judge did not rule from the bench after the hearing and it is unclear when she will rule.  The real concern here is that if the judge were to rule against our position (finding some new right of marriage out of thin air, defying the highest law of the land-Florida’s Constitution) then the six same sex couples could immediately run down to the courthouse and get marriage licenses.  Unless the Attorney General’s office files a motion to stay (halt) the judge’s order until the federal lawsuits are heard then the couples could be granted illegitimate marriage licenses based on a single judges opinion before any appeal and final hearing of the matter.

The judge sounded unapologetically warm and inviting to the plaintiff’s pro-gay rights positions.  Honestly, she sounded so biased it felt like she was coaching the oppositions attorneys and helping them to not forget certain points, etc… I was really taken back by how comfortable she felt just coddling the other side’s arguments in an open and public court.  Sadly, from my perspective she did not even try and attempt to appear neutral in her demeanor and questioning.  At this point we can only pray that she does the right thing.

But the bottom line is this–if the judge does her job and follows the law in Florida we will prevail.  If she ignores the constitution and ignores the will of the people, then she could rule against us and with a stroke of a pen strike down the vote and intentions of millions of Floridians.

Please continue to pray for us and for this case and follow us on Twitter and check out all of the photos of the hearing and rally on our Facebook page.  Stay tuned for further updates and news on this historic and developing story.  Thanks again for your faithful support of our mission to fight for life, marriage, family and liberty.

RELATED VIDEO: WSVN-TV – 7 NEWS Miami Ft. Lauderdale News

Bill Gates and Localizing Common Core and Standardized Testing by Paul DiPerna

“Innovations that are guided by smallholder farmers, adapted to local circumstances, and sustainable for the economy and environment will be necessary to ensure food security in the future.” – Bill Gates

The Andrew Carnegie of our time—and as a native of Pittsburgh, I say that respectfully—may want to consider how that same approach can augment education reform. In 2014, the “de facto organizer” of the contentious Common Core State Standards Initiative is now a witness with the rest of us to the mounting challenges to that grand framework—and they’re emerging from local sources.

Indeed, in recent months, outcries have inspired Indiana, Arizona, South Carolina, Oklahoma, and Louisiana to depart (to varying degrees) from the Common Core, committing to “homegrown” state-based standards and/or tests. As the Hechinger Report and Education Week reported, of the original 45 states that signed up for one of the two big assessment regimes tied to Common Core, 36 states as of now are still participating.

Is that 20 percent drop in state participation the start of a larger reactionary theme to standards, testing, and accountability in education?

To find out, we asked a nationally representative sample of the general population (“American Adults”)—in the latest installment of the Friedman Foundation’s “Schooling in America Survey”—their attitudes and opinions about:

  • developing and implementing academic standards;
  • Common Core (with and without context);
  • standardized testing;
  • who (respondents believe) are accountable to tests; and who (respondents say) should be accountable to tests.

Just as Bill Gates has recognized in agriculture, our findings indicate that local ownership—exemplified by parental input/action and teachers’ roles —also matters enormously in education:

When it comes to developing and implementing academic standards, Americans believe teachers and school district officials should take the lead. Respondents suggest it may be preferable for parents to play a larger role in development rather than implementation. Government officials at the state and federal levels should take a backseat in both.

Interviews suggest a mixed message about the Common Core State Standards. 
Without any context, Americans say they oppose Common Core. However, when providing some context, support increases substantially while the opposition remains about the same.

  • Certain demographic groups set themselves apart either in their support of or opposition to Common Core. Groups most inclined to be supportive with the highest positive margins are: Midwest region (56 percent favor | +21 points), urbanites (60 percent favor | +26 points), Democrats (58 percent favor | +26 points), and African Americans (57 percent favor | +22 points).
  • The views on Common Core are more negative among school parents (44 percent favor | -5 points) and middle-income earners (43 percent favor | -5 points).

There is no mixed message about the most intense reactions to the Common Core items in the survey. Respondents who hold hardened views on Common Core are mostly likely to be negative rather than positive—with or without context.

  • The intensity (defined as the difference between “strongly favor” and “strongly oppose” responses) is negative against Common Core. Without any context and on first impression, 24 percent say they “strongly oppose” versus 11 percent who say they “strongly favor” (-13 points). Even with context, 25 percent say they “strongly oppose” versus 16 percent who say they “strongly favor” (-9 points). The intensity improves with further information but it still is considerably negative.
  • Intensities are more heavily negative than positive for most groups. Just four observed demographics have a positive intensity (and it is relatively mild): urbanites (+6 points), Democrats (+4 points), African Americans (+6 points), and Latinos (+3 points).
  • Intensity against Common Core is strongest among school parents (-21 points), small-town residents (-16 points), rural residents (-18 points), Republicans (-17 points), and middle-income earners (-17 points).

A plurality of Americans (36 percent) said the amount of time spent on standardized testing is “too high,” compared with 24 percent who said “too low.”

  • Nearly half of high-income earners believe there is too much testing in America’s schools (49 percent too high vs. 15 percent too low). This group registers the highest level of resistance among observed demographics.
  • The groups inclined to say there is not enough standardized testing are low-income earners (24 percent too high vs. 31 percent too low), African Americans (21 percent too high vs. 34 percent too low), and Latinos (28 percent too high vs. 35 percent too low).
  • The most ambivalent groups on standardized testing are westerners (31 percent too high vs. 28 percent too low), urbanites (31 percent too high vs. 28 percent too low), and young adults (31 percent too high vs. 29 percent too low).

More than two out of five Americans (42 percent) believed students spend at least 16 days or more of the school year—roughly 10 percent of the year—on standardized testing activities.


  • This response—16 or more school days—is even higher among school parents (51 percent), middle-age Americans (50 percent), and high-income earners (53 percent).

The average American believes teachers are being held most accountable to test results today, more so than other school officials, and far surpassing the proportion who believe students are held accountable to tests.

Americans appear to support some degree of test-based accountability and believe the focus should be on teachers, students, and school district officials.


Common Core and standardized testing will remain flashpoints for policy debates in K-12 education. For now, when weighing the most adamant views on testing and Common Core, Americans are resistant and likely to be negative. Interestingly, the parents of school-age children appear to be the most negative toward Common Core and resistant to the current level of standardized testing.

Politicians, especially local ones, tend to respond to the most vocal constituents and grassroots groups. The implications of our polling suggest that Common Core—and standardized testing to a lesser degree—will continue to face loud local and state-level opposition for months to come.

We’ll find out this November and in early 2015, once legislatures convene, whether such upheavals threaten the future of standards-based reform.

It seems Bill Gates and his foundation are taking it seriously, as evidenced by their suggested moratorium on “high-stakes decisions based on tests aligned with the new (Common Core) standards.” Perhaps that signals Gates’ belief in the power and influence of local forces isn’t limited to farming. Regardless, our survey can provide some additional food for thought.

For more on what Americans think about other education-related topics, including how Common Core would affect their electoral considerations, read the full “2014 Schooling in America Survey: Perspectives on School Choice, Common Core, and Standardized Testing.”


Paul DiPerna is Research Director for the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice. He joined the Foundation in September 2006. Paul’s research interests include surveys and polling on K-12 education and school choice policies. He has developed and issued more than 20 state polls and other survey projects over the last four years. His other responsibilities include directing and managing all research projects commissioned by the foundation.

Deterring Terror Tactics: Israel’s Kidnap Problem

Israel’s Strategic and Political Context

Israel is facing an adversary that has proven extremely capable, displayed a total disregard for human rights and the laws of war and is pursuing asymmetric warfare utilising the full spectrum of strategic pain points.  The murder of the three teenagers by Hamas near Jerusalem is indeed a “reprehensible act of terrorism” (according to Ed Miliband) and an “appalling and inexcusable act of terror” requiring Britain to stand with Israel (per Prime Minister Cameron), but it is also a botched operation in a much larger war Hamas is fighting to destroy Israel.

Israel faces the most acute and existential threat out of any nation by the rise of radical Islam.  The brutality and annihilationist antisemitism these movements bring to bear is a crucial starting point when considering what is fundamentally a zero-sum game of survival that is difficult to fully comprehend from the relative security that other Western democracies such as the United Kingdom enjoy.

The Israeli electorate is committed to the search for peace based on a two-state solution, supported by an overwhelming majority, but is simultaneously aware of the historical rejectionism – the ongoing, systematic refusal by the Palestinians and much of the Arab world to accept Israel’s basic right to exist as a Jewish state – as well as the growing threats their country now encounters. Hamas is now part of a unity Palestinian Authority government in Gaza and the West Bank. Hezbollah, a terrorist organisation which shares Hamas’s annihilationist aims, menaces Israel from the north, and whilst Hezbollah is at war with ISIS in Syria (an Al-Qaeda offshoot that now also threatens Jordan – a potential calamity for Israel’s security), all three agree on the destruction of the Jewish state as a primary goal.

Tactical Utility of Kidnap Operations in the War on Israel

President Obama joined the chorus of British political leaders, condemning the murder of the teenagers as “a senseless act of terror”.  Soothing though the concept may be, there is nothing senseless about it once seen through the lens of the openly declared war the terrorist movements that surround Israel have been waging against the country.  Indeed, terrorist abduction-murders have a long history in the tactical arsenal of Hamas and Hezbollah’s war against Israel.

As early as 1989, Hamas founder Ahmed Yassin encouraged the tactic of kidnapping and murdering Israelis in order to use their bodies to negotiate prisoner releases – an implicit recognition of the value Israel places on its citizens’ lives.  Hamas has gone as far as publishing handbooks on how to conduct abductions effectively, including the ideal targets and hideout locations.  In 1994, after Yassin was arrested for terrorist offences, Hamas kidnapped a 19-year-old American-Israeli to demand his release for 200 of its own prisoners. Less than a week later, the hostage’s Hamas captors killed him during an IDF rescue attempt.

The most prominent application of the kidnap tactic came in July 2005 with the capture of IDF Cpl. Gilad Shalit.  After five years of captivity, Shalit was released in a prisoner exchange for 1,027 Palestinian prisoners – many of them with Israeli blood on their hands.  Hamas’ leaders are on the record citing the kidnap operation a huge success – its Political Bureau Chief and top decision-maker Khaled Mashaal touted it as a “great achievement” and publicly promised more to come.

In 2006 Hezbollah – a Shia terrorist organisation created by Iran and based in south Lebanon – attempted its own version of the tactic, mounting an attack to abduct Israeli soldiers as bargaining chips.  Having killed five Israeli soldiers and captured two wounded troops, it badly miscalculated Israel’s reaction to its latest blackmail attempt, sparking the month-long Second Lebanon War.  After the war ended, Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah was forced to concede that he had miscalculated the consequences and would not have ordered the abduction had he known the scope of Israel’s reaction.  Israel’s unexpectedly strong response cost Nasrallah significant support and re-established Israel’s deterrent power against the asymmetric threat posed by those seeking its annihilation, with a clear impact on their calculations vis-a-vis Israel to this day.

A Botched Terrorist Operation and Its Consequences

The abduction of the three Israeli teenagers appears to be a Hamas operation gone badly wrong. Israel has identified two suspects in the abduction-murder, both of them well-known Hamas operatives:  Marwan Kawasmeh and Amar Abu-Isa. The first suspect hails from the Kawasmeh tribe, a Hamas-affiliated clan of whom at least 9 members have blown themselves up in suicide bombings, killing scores of Israelis.

Though the Hamas leadership praised the operation, as it became clear it had gone awry they began to insist they had no information about it, nor were involved in any way.  The Palestinian President’s advisers, drawn from the Fatah movement that governs alongside Hamas, made clear to journalists that Hamas would pay a steep price for the operation.  President Abbas then went public condemning the kidnapping as an action that hurts the Palestinians, before attempting to build a preemptive coalition of international support to condemn any action Israel might take to defend its citizens.  Once it became clear the operation had been badly botched, Hamas announced preemptive threats in their usual vivid terms of “opening the gates of hell” for any Israeli security operation against Gaza.  Both President Abbas and Hamas are well aware that this is a deadly tactical game Hamas has instigated, and the Lebanese experience meant they know fully the risks Israeli defensive actions carry, meaning such calculations can go very badly wrong.

The Urgency of Deterrence for Israel

As Israel’s Security Cabinet deliberates over what action to take, it will be acutely aware of the outrage the Israeli electorate feels over this latest atrocity.  The Lebanese and Shalit cases have established the kidnap problem as a now intolerable dynamic for Israelis and they are calling for effective measures to deter future attacks.

Israel’s actions in Lebanon have effectively put its enemies to the north on notice about the severity of the response they can expect when trying to test her defences, but the dynamic inside the country with Hamas is different, given the complexities of the political landscape.  Israel has enjoyed good security cooperation with Fatah elements of the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, working together to keep Hamas from establishing a foothold.  With the advent of the Fatah-Hamas unity government, the situation became increasingly complicated for the Israelis, and with this latest terrorist attack it is likely that the security balance will not hold.

The Way Forward

In seeking to defend itself from an asymmetric, existential threat, Israel will be forced to take strong actions to re-assert its deterrence power.  Diplomatic attempts at even-handedness, or reflexive condemnations of the ‘cycle of violence,’ are strategically and morally myopic: the random murder of Israeli civilians demands an equally strong, or stronger, response. Denunciations of the Israeli ‘occupation’ are also misdirected: the abduction was conducted in a ‘consensus’ settlement bloc the PA recognises will remain Israeli after a future peace deal, despite Hamas’s claims to all land between the Jordan Valley and Mediterranean Sea.  That is why politicians worldwide were so clear in their denunciation of this terrorist attack.

As Israel seeks to deter its foes from further attacks on civilians, it is crucial the United Kingdom, United States and other Western world leaders give Israel diplomatic cover in the international arena – in particular, in the ever-biased forum of the United Nations. A country with a keen appreciation for life has implemented targeted operations – not a collective punishment as has been claimed by Hamas and others.  Israel has conducted air strikes against Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip and arrested its leaders in the West Bank, targeted action against an organisation classified as a terror group by the United States, Canada, the European Union, the United Kingdom and even Arab states like Jordan and Egypt.  Should Jerusalem deem additional action necessary against Hamas, she must be given the time and space to do so.

For its part, Hamas has never disavowed terrorism against Israel but rather encourages it at every opportunity. The organisation continues to deny Israel’s right to exist and to abide by previous Palestinian agreements with the Jewish state. Hamas therefore fails all three conditions set by the Quartet of international peacemakers (the US, EU, UN and Russia) for inclusion in negotiations with Israel.

The unity government struck between Abbas’s Fatah faction and Hamas just days before the kidnapping is therefore itself illegitimate. The West’s tentative recognition of it – by the Obama administration, the EU, and Britain’s Conservative and Labour parties – is credulous and destined to fail. Rather than leading to further ‘dialogue’, bringing Hamas into the government has simply allowed Hamas to carry out its terrorists activities under the auspices of a legitimate body.

Instead, the same Western actors must enforce conditions they themselves set out: until Hamas explicitly meets those pre-conditions, it must not be included in any diplomatic process. It is important to recall that the Oslo Accords could not have been sealed until the PLO recognised Israel and disavowed terrorism (at least rhetorically). There is no strategic justification for lowering the induction criteria for the extremists of Hamas.

As for Fatah, it too needs to prove it is committed to a peaceful resolution of the conflict. Despite its reputation as the ‘moderate’ alternative to Hamas, Abbas’s faction has itself glorified the abduction, posting images to its official Facebook page depicting the teens as captured rats and of young Palestinians triumphantly holding up three fingers. Fatah’s own school textbooks and media routinely incite Palestinians to terrorism and portray convicted murderers as national heroes. This time, Fatah social media sites triumphantly posted photos of Israelis mourning for the three victims, erroneously referred to as “soldiers”.  Moreover, the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority continues to pay the salaries of Palestinian terrorists in prison, regardless of the brutality of their crimes.  These payments are in part funded by UK taxpayers whose aid contribution to the Palestinian Authority in light of the latter’s policy of doling out terror stipends has been a serious diplomatic bone of contention between Israel and the United Kingdom for some time.

President Abbas should be praised – as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has done – for condemning the abduction, but he and his Fatah faction must now match words with deeds. First and foremost, its unity government with Hamas must be declared null and void until and unless Hamas meets the necessary conditions for inclusion. It must redouble security cooperation with Israel against Hamas in the West Bank. It must demonstrate its good faith by ending incitement and the glorification of terrorists in its textbooks and media. Lastly, it must stop paying salaries to prisoners convicted of terrorist crimes. Twin bills circulating in committees of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives would cut Washington’s funding to the PA by nearly half-a-billion dollars for precisely the PA’s failure to meet those conditions as long as an unreformed Hamas remains a partner in it. Similarly in the UK, it should be inconceivable that our taxpayers’ money is going to support a terrorist organisation. The United Kingdom, other EU member states and all parties interested in Middle East peace should stand behind their democratic ally in the region and must send a clear signal that an unreformed terrorist organisation such as Hamas, actively engaged in a pan-Radical Islamic war of annihilation against Israel can under no circumstances be a partner to any diplomatic process.

To find out more about the work of The Henry Jackson Society, visit our website:

How Government Makes Us Fatter by Jenna Robinson

The government, with its accomplices in the food lobby, has helped to make and keep us fat. Through subsidies and misguided food suggestions, Congress, the FDA, and the USDA have made it more difficult for Americans to make smarter dietary decisions.

It’s not as if we don’t care. Americans spend $33 billion annually on weight-loss products and services. At any given time, 45 percent of women and 30 percent of men in the United States are trying to lose weight. And yet Americans are more out of shape than ever.

Obesity is a major health risk in the United States, where 65 percent of adults are overweight. The prevalence of obesity rose from 14.5 percent in 1980 to 30.5 percent today. The percentage of children who are overweight is at an all-time high: 10.4 percent of two- to five-year-olds, 15.3 percent of six- to 11-year-olds, and 15.5 percent of 12- to 19-year-olds.


Remember the food pyramid? In 1982, government authorities told Americans to reduce fat consumption from 40 percent to 30 percent of daily intake—and we took their advice. Instead of fats, Americans began eating more carbohydrates: an increase of 57 grams per person from 1989 to today, according to UCSF Professor of Pediatrics Dr. Robert Lustig. Today, the typical American diet is about 50 percent carbohydrate, 15 percent protein, and 35 percent fat.

At the same time, a committee at the Food and Drug Administration awarded sugar “Generally Recognized As Safe” status—even for diabetics—despite internal dissent from the USDA’s Carbohydrate Nutrition Laboratory. As part of the 2011 Agriculture Appropriations Bill, Congress legislated that pizza sauce can count as a vegetable in school lunches.

Setting aside the issue of whether such government recommendations are correct, its actions as food nanny essentially absolve Americans from the responsibility of making their own nutrition decisions. In the 1990s, American women blindly gobbled up low-fat Snackwells desserts masquerading as sensible treats. After all, Snackwells cookies met government standards: They were low in fat and contained “safe” sugar. Parents send their kids to school assuming school lunch contains healthy fruits and vegetables—never stopping to ask what their kids are actually eating each day.

Government recommendations also dissuade private nutrition groups from attempting to compete with “official” advice. Consider Dr. Atkins’ critical reception when he wrote Dr. Atkins’ Diet Revolution; although a best-seller, it was panned by the nutrition establishment. The USDA’s Agricultural Resource Service still warns that the diet started out as a “gimmick” and hedges on whether it’s ultimately “worthwhile or worthless.”

Over the years, government recommendations have contributed to the replacement of lard with trans-fats (the latter of which are now considered deadly), the substitution of margarine for butter and back to butter again, and conflicting recommendations about eggs, orange juice, vitamins, certain types of fish, and the temperature at which it’s safe to eat meat. Is it any wonder that Americans are no closer to their health goals?


Farm subsidies reinforce the government’s recommendations. Most go to just a few crops: soy, corn, rice, and wheat—all of which can be converted into cheap, highly processed foods.

Take the case of corn. Starting in the mid-1980s, government subsidies made corn profitable for farmers even when market prices for corn were low. So farms across the Midwest began to produce it in abundance. Food companies funneled this cheap corn into the production of high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) as a replacement for more-expensive sugar—the price of which had been artificially sweetened by tariffs, import quotas, and subsidies meant to shut cheaper foreign suppliers out of the United States.

HFCS then made its way into previously unsweetened foods. Today, the average American eats 41.5 pounds of HFCS per year—financed by U.S. corn subsidies. That’s in addition to the 29 pounds of traditional sugar the USDA reports we eat on average.

Wheat, rice, and soy are turned into similarly processed food products. Wheat is extruded, robbing it of its protein, or milled and bleached into mineral-free white flour. Rice is stripped of its vitamin-packed bran to make it cook more quickly. Soybeans are mashed, pulped, extruded, and pressed into thousands of products.

And government subsidies make these foods very, very cheap—much cheaper than unsubsidized raw produce, fish, or meat. Naturally, Americans respond to these low prices by buying in bulk. Today, 23 percent of Americans’ grocery budgets go to processed foods and sweets (compared to 12 percent in 1982).

Getting Government Out of the Grocery Aisles

Nutrition is far from settled science. Various researchers recommend low-carb, vegetarian, vegan, “whole” food, or simple calorie-counting diets as the route to weight loss and improved health. But one thing is clear: Government interference is steering us in the wrong direction—toward sweetened and processed foods that no doctors, nutritionists, or researchers recommend. To improve the “Standard American Diet,” the first thing government can do is get out of the way.


Jenna Robinson is director of outreach at the Pope Center for Higher Education Policy.

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