Fraud in the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity

According to Jesse Panuccio, Executive Director of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO), “A core principle of the state’s economic development incentive program is that businesses are paid based on verified performance, meaning no tax dollars are paid until job creation or capital investment numbers are audited and confirmed to protect taxpayer investment.”

Since 2011 Department of Economic Opportunity has awarded $269,114,050 in incentives. In 2011 Florida businesses were paid $32,901,728 and created 2,292 confirmed jobs. That is at a cost of $14,355 per job created. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Florida employs 7,453,230 people, with a mean hourly wage of $19.78 and an annual wage of$41,140. For the cost (taxation) of three incentives one average wage job could have been created by Florida businesses.

But are incentives paid based upon verified performance? Is using Florida’s tax payer dollars to create jobs a role for government?

Director Panuccio is working to stem the bleeding in a lawsuit involving John Textor the former CEO of Digital Domain. Senator Christopher L. (Chris) Smith (D-FL District 31) is asking questions about the role played by the department and the Economic Development Council in funding Textor and Digital Domain. But is Senator Smith asking the right questions?

Senator Smith wrote to Governor Rick Scott about Digital Domain. Director Panuccio, replying to Senator Smith on behalf of the Governor, wrote:

As for the specific concerns in your letter, first, please allow me to address the forthcoming lawsuit against those associated with the Digital Domain Media Group. In 2009, the Office of Tourism, Trade, & Economic Development (“OTTED”) – predecessor agency to the Department of Economic Opportunity (“DEO”) – distributed tens of millions of taxpayer funds to Digital Domain. As noted in the 2013 Inspector General Report (Report Number 2013-11), the usual state regulatory processes governing the award of such funds were circumvented. In 2012, Digital Domain filed bankruptcy and laid off all of its employees – thereby breaching the grant fund agreement. DEO has filed a notice of claim against Digital Domain in the bankruptcy proceeding. DEO has also hired outside counsel to identify any and all legal action available against the principals of Digital Domain and any other individuals or entities involved in wrongdoing related to this deal. DEO is committed to recouping all monies owed to the state, including approximately $20 million in incentive funding.

Panuccio concludes with, “In short, Florida’s economic development system is working better today than at anytime in the past – an opinion shared by economic-development professionals across the state and nation.  We follow the law, we protect taxpayer money, and we get results.  Florida’s economy has turned around thanks to Governor Scott’s leadership.  We appreciate your support of our efforts. ”

What is missing from this entire conversation between Senator Smith and Director Panuccio: Is there a role for government in economic development and if so, what is it?

Many believe government has no role in funding, via incentive programs, business. These “incentive programs” are described as “crony capitalism” and “corporate welfare” by Main street Americans. In April U.S. Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) gave a thoughtful speech (watch the below video) warning of “America’s crisis of crony capitalism, corporate welfare, and political privilege.”  The victims are every day folks, “the poor and middle class” excluded by government “from earning their success on a level playing field.” Senator Lee noted, ““Big government isn’t just inefficient, it’s fundamentally unfair.”

Mark Shousen, writes, “In his classic work, The Spirit of the Laws (1748), Montesquieu expressed the novel view that the business of moneymaking serves as a countervailing bridle against the violent passions of war and abusive political power. ‘Commerce cures destructive prejudices,’ he declared. ‘It polishes and softens barbarous mores . . . . The natural effect of commerce is to lead to peace.’ Commerce improves society: ‘The spirit of commerce brings with it the spirit of frugality, of economy, of moderation, of work, of wisdom, of tranquility, of order, and of regularity.’”

Government does just the opposite. Digital Domain is a prime example of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity creating “destructive prejudices.”

Perhaps it is time to rethink the need for this Florida Department? For you see the only thing that creates a job is profit. Government does not create wealth, it takes it and redistributes it. Corporations are at their best when they cater to their customers, and at their worst when they lie in bed with government. Can you say corporate prostituting themselves to government?

Adam Smith wrote, “Every man, as long as he does not violate the laws of justice, is left perfectly free to pursue his own interest his own way, and to bring both his industry and capital into competition with those of any other man, or order of men.”

Throw the Bums Out and the Quality of the American Electorate

In a recent broadcast of Fox News’ newly-launched panel show, Outnumbered, the five panelists discussed recent opinion polls measuring congressional job approval.  And although the four female panelists… Sandra Smith, Harris Faulkner, Kirsten Powers, and Kimberly Guilfoyle… are not only much easier to look at than the dowdy and tiresome Obama cheerleaders on ABC’s The View, they are, individually and collectively, light-years brighter.

It is even fair to say that the token liberal on the panel, Kirsten Powers, is a rarity among liberals and Democrats… she is thoughtful and almost always fair-minded.  Unlike the ladies of The View, she is not an ideological lapdog for Democrats and the far left.  However, having tossed out that paean to the ladies of Outnumbered, it is also fair to say that they did no better at dealing with the subject of congressional job approval than any other group of talking heads.

In the course of their discussion they cited several recent polls.  Among the congressional job approval polls cited were CNS News at 12%, Fox News at 16%, The Economist at 10%, and Gallup at 15%.  They also cited a Field Poll which showed that some 44% of voters approve of the job their own congressman is doing, while 33% disapprove.  But in the unkindest cut of all, demonstrating how poorly congressional Republicans advocate for Republican principles, one poll showed that 46% said it made no difference which party controlled Congress.

But these results take on real meaning only when we look inside the numbers.  Taking a closer look at voter attitudes toward their own congressman, 57% of registered Democrats said they were likely to vote to reelect their current member of Congress, while only 33% of Republicans would vote to reelect their current member.  What this seems to indicate is that Republicans, in general, are far more thoughtful, far more discriminating, and far less likely to be influenced by “cult of personality” than Democrats.

These numbers also tell us is that people generally have a low opinion of Congress as a whole… always willing to speak ill of those who represent others… but a generally favorable attitude toward their own member, whoever he or she might be and regardless of his or her ideological stance.  Why?  Apparently because they are anxious to reconfirm what they consider to be their own perceptiveness in their voting booth decisions, while those who elected all those other dolts are dumber than bricks.  The only fair way to rate the Congress would be to add up the winning margins of every member and divide the total by 435 for House members and 100 for Senators.

Yes, it is fair to say that Congress does a very poor job of writing the laws and looking after the interests of the people, but that’s not due to any serious flaw in the way Congress is constituted. The principle shortcoming of the Congress is to be found in the quality of its leadership.  To prove the point, I might mention just four names:  Harry Reid, Mitch McConnell, John Boehner, and Nancy Pelosi.  Need I say more?

In Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi we have leaders who are truly evil and who care about nothing beyond what is good for the Democratic Party and its candidates.  Their only real concern is that, if the ship of state is to sink beneath the waves, they insist on being at the helm when it happens.  In John Boehner and Mitch McConnell we have two well intentioned men, neither of whom have the foggiest notion of how to deal with the truly evil people on the Democrat side of the aisle.  Taken together, these mutually incompatible characterizations spell nothing but total gridlock.

Can it be fixed?  Yes, Congress can be fixed, but only in the event of a politically astute and well-informed electorate.  So long as 57% of Democrats believe that their own representatives are acting in the best interests of the country and deserve to be reelected, the problems of governance that we now experience can never be fixed.  If Democrats continue to believe that a man the caliber of Hank Johnson (D-GA) deserves to be in Congress, then there is little hope for us.  (It was Johnson who worried openly in a public hearing that the Pacific island of Guam might capsize if the U.S. Navy stationed an additional 8,000 Marines on one side of the island.)

But time is of the essence because reform is possible only so long as we still have a majority of voters who are property owners and/or wage earners, but it won’t be easy because a major portion of the Democrat Party base is comprised of uninformed non-producers, under-achievers, and the disinterested… those who are not property owners or who live off the labors of others.

Three significant reforms are sorely needed: First, we must amend our criminal laws to require mandatory prison time for those who engage in vote fraud.  Second, the right to vote should be limited only to those who are property owners and taxpayers.  And finally, before they are handed a ballot, voters should be required to score at least 60% on a simple ten-question exam, with topics chosen at random from current affairs and from the list of 100 questions used in examining immigrants who apply for American citizenship.

But can we expect Democrats to ever agree to stricter penalties for vote fraud?  Not likely.  Vote fraud is, and always has been, the “bread and butter” of Democratic politics.  In fact, Democrats are so wedded to the notion of vote fraud, so opposed to requiring photo IDs at polling places, so addicted to double and triple voting, that they would be unwilling to adopt a system in which voters would be required to dip a “pinkie” into a vial of indelible ink after voting, much like the  proud first-time voters in emerging democracies of the Third World.  So what does that tell us?

Next, we need to take a serious look at who is allowed to vote and who is not.  It makes no sense at all to have those who live off the public dole to participate in the election of the politicians who then vote to create bigger and better free lunches.  And while some may believe that voting is and always has been a universal right, such is not the case.  During the early years of the republic, only white males who owned at least 50 acres of land or had taxable income were allowed to vote.  Un-propertied men and women, slaves, and ex-slaves were prohibited from voting.  However, by the mid-19th century, most white males were allowed to vote, regardless of income or property ownership, and in the ensuing years the right to vote was further expanded.

The 15th Amendment (1870), extended voting rights to all citizens regardless of “race, color, or previous condition of servitude;” the 19th Amendment (1920) extended voting rights to all female citizens; the 23rd Amendment (1961) extended the right to vote in presidential elections to residents of Washington, DC; the 24th Amendment (1964) struck down poll taxes and other taxes as barriers to voting; and the 26th Amendment (1971) extended voting rights to 18-year-olds.

Article VI, Clause 3 of the U.S. Constitution states that “no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.”  Instead, it leaves the question of voter qualifications to the states to decide.  In short, the right to vote is not an explicit right under the Constitution.  States may deny the right to vote for reasons other than those explicitly addressed in the Constitution and subsequent amendments.  In addition to barring non-taxpayers and non-property owners, the Congress should also deny voting rights forever to those who obtain citizenship after illegally sneaking across our borders or by overstaying a visa.

Finally, it stretches credulity to suggest that the vote of an individual who cannot demonstrate the most rudimentary knowledge of current affairs or of the U.S. Constitution, should be valued as highly as the vote of the best-informed and most knowledgeable citizens.

The “man in the street” interviews popularized by late-night comedian Jay Leno and Fox News producer Jesse Watters tell us everything we need to know about the quality of the American electorate.  If we were fortunate enough to have a better educated and more informed electorate we would have a far more effective Congress and, once again, a president who would merit the respect and the admiration of the American people.

The U.S. Immigration & Naturalization Service administers a test to all those who wish to become U.S. citizens.  The test contains 100 questions from which questions are chosen at random and 60% is a passing grade.  A typical multiple choice test might appear as follows:

  1. What was the purpose of the Declaration of Independence?
  2. What are the first three words of the U.S. Constitution that define self-governance?
  3. What do we call the first ten amendments to the Constitution?
  4.  How many justices serve on the United States Supreme Court?
  5.  Who served as President of the U.S. during the Great Depression and World War II?
  6.  What nation is the only functioning democracy in the Middle East?
  7.  The Taliban is a radical Islamist group operating largely in which country?
  8.  Who currently serves as Attorney General of the United States?
  9.  How many time zones cover the U.S. from New York to California?
  10.  Which major river is the longest river in the United States?

Ten questions of this caliber, chosen at random and posed in a multiple choice format on a touch-screen monitor, could be used to screen out those with an insufficient knowledge of current affairs and our system of government to merit the privilege of voting.  Taking such a test would take less than two minutes per voter and would not in any way impede the voting process.

If we’re going to get serious about “throwing the bums out,” maybe we should begin with voters who cannot demonstrate that they deserve to be seen as members of an “informed” electorate.

Obama’s approval numbers in Florida falling

Though Democrats continue to stand behind him, 52 percent of Florida voters disapprove of the way President Obama is handling his job while 44 percent approve, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released Thursday.

The numbers are similar to a May 1 poll, which showed 50 percent of the state’s voters disapproving of the president’s performance.

The new poll reinforced a sharp divide among the state’s voters: Only 7 percent of Republican voters approved of the job Obama is doing, while 84 percent of Democrats approved. Meanwhile, 40 percent of independents approved and 54 percent disapproved.

The poll had better numbers for Florida’s U.S. senators, Republican Marco Rubio and Democrat Bill Nelson. Of those polled, 49 percent approved of the way Rubio is handling his job, while 37 percent disapproved. Nelson received approval from 45 percent of voters, with 32 percent disapproving.

The Connecticut-based Quinnipiac frequently conducts polls in Florida and other states. The latest poll of 1,251 registered voters was conducted from July 17 to July 21.

EDITORS NOTE: This column is courtesy of News Service of Florida.

Gaza-Israel Dateline Paris: Dispatch No.3

The Christians of Mosul had 24 hours, the infidels of the West have a bit more time.

The just and merciful caliph gave the Christians of Mosul 24 hours to convert, leave, or die. The payment of the jizya (= dhimmitude) option, initially included in the multiple choice injunction, was withdrawn. A church dating back 1800 years, before the advent of Islam, was burned to the ground before the Christians left. The infidels of the West were too busy decrying the “massacre” in Gaza to ask for whom the bell tolls.

Ali Khamenei proposes the elimination of Israel by referendum. Former French MFA Dominique de Villepin thinks an imposed peace plan enforced by UN peacekeepers would do the trick. Hamas leaders, safely hunkered down in tunnels or abroad, exult in victory. Western media launch lethal narratives from morning to night and Jews look for the nearest shelter. Israel’s bosom buddy, the United States of America, wants an imposed ceasefire, presumably before joining in on an imposed peace plan, while slapping a brief but telling blockade on air travel to and from Israel. Did you get the message, haverim? Do unto the blockaders as they do unto Gaza.

In the aftermath of the shocking violence unleashed last weekend in Barbès and Sarcelles, benevolent French judges smiled upon the meager handful of culprits who were arrested after the Barbès operation. Suspended sentences of 4, 6, or 10 months were handed down like feeding candy to the wolves. The justice ministry has exercised its right to appeal these lenient sentences. Those arrested for mayhem in Sarcelles will theoretically go to jail, but perhaps not. Short sentences rarely lead to actual imprisonment here. It’s hard to prove that a given actor in an enraged mob actually committed this or that infraction. And it’s hard to have confidence in the government when thousands of punk jihadis show up for a banned demonstration and are not immediately dispersed. All the more so when a political party, the anti-capitalist NPA formerly led by the phony mailman Besancenot, brazenly maintains its call to demonstrate.

62% of French people polled said the pro-Palestinian demonstrations should be banned. But who’s listening?

Under pressure from interested parties, the Hollande government decided to authorize demonstrations on the 23rd and 26th of July… because every possible guarantee had been given by the organizers that there would be no débordements [literally, “overflow”]. The Communists had by then joined the NPA in fronting for the Brotherhood. Jean-Luc Mélenchon was there under the banner of the Front de Gauche that is part of the governing coalition, along with a handful of Socialist deputies. PM Manuel Valls had tried to stick to his guns. All last week he defended the ban, refuting claims that the ban was the cause of the violence. Note the lethal narrative: An authorized demonstration on July 13th replete with Death to the Jews culminates in attacks on synagogues. Therefore, demonstrations banned the following weekend yield 50 times more incitement and violence. Logical, n’est-ce pas? If I park in a no-parking zone and you tow my car away, it’s only to be expected that I will burn down the city hall and invite the assassination of the mayor.

Lethal narrative, cont’d. The authorized pro-Palestinian demonstration, majestically escorted by riot police, marched from Place Denfert-Rochereau to les Invalides—in the shadow of Napoleon’s tomb– via Montparnasse where artists and intellectuals, refugees from tyrannical regimes, used to gather and enrich Parisian life.

Lo and behold, it worked. All, these 14,000 blessed souls needed was the freedom to wrap themselves in Hamas keffiehs, brandish Israel-assassin posters, and confide to complaisant microphones their heartfelt concern for Palestinian victims of a massacre. “They’re killing Palestinians for no reason, for the fun of it.” “We see the images every day, it’s unbearable, we had to do something.”

Print and audiovisual media fell over themselves oohing and ahing over the concerned darlings. No anti-Semitic slogans, no threats, no destruction. When a few punks moved in on a France 2 correspondent doing his stand-up routine in the field, and covered his face with a big Palestinian flag, the incident was packaged as “demonstrators (nicely) interrupt a France 2 newscast.” A few years ago, near Cairo’s revolutionary Tahrir Square, a similar maneuver ended with a sexual assault on the French journalist that had been (nicely) interrupted during her newscast.

Nothing objectionable in this bon enfant demonstration where the good-natured, friendly citizens of France expressed (nicely) their grievances against “Israel Assassin, Hollande complice,” some dressed in soft green BDS t-shirts, others holding up horrible photos of massacred children and shouting in unison “Palestine vaincra [will triumph].

Last night, Le Monde Juif Info filled in some of the missing details. Fine-tuned ears picked up Death to the Jews that had escaped the attention of mainstream media. A camera filmed the burning of an Israeli flag. A BFM TV correspondent had proudly claimed that a woman immediately went over and stopped the unruly gesture. Monde Juif Info says she told them not to do it because it would be all over the evening news. In fact, it wasn’t. And the cameraman noticed a group of men clearly saying “Let’s go to the Marias Jewish Quarter and fight the Jewish defense League.” For these experienced stone-throwers, the Marais is NOT a stone’s throw from les Invalides You have to really be motivated to make the detour!

This morning a Jewish radio station reported that some 40 individuals had tried to attack a restaurant in the Marais.

Riposte Laïque has an eloquent photo gallery of posters the mass media didn’t see. The restaurant that was attacked, the Pitzman, is on rue Pavée next door to the synagogue and across the street from the yeshiva. Just a half block away from a main thoroughfare, rue de Rivoli, it was probably easier to hit than the shops and restaurants on rue des Rosiers.

Breaking news: A plane flying from Ouagadougou to Algiers disappeared from radar screens somewhere near northern Mali. Many, perhaps the majority of the passengers were French.

Flashback: The day the French troops landed in Bangui, the capital of the Central African Republic, 1,000 people were killed in what is described as “ethnic conflict” between Muslims and Christians. French forces gradually imposed relative calm. Remember Sabra and Chatilla?

Response to Senator Bernie Sanders on the Keystone Pipeline

Dear Senator Sanders:

As I was growing up one of the things I learned that helped this country become as successful as it did was by having cheap energy sources. Amazingly, the government that helped support achieving cheap energy is now so full of communists such as yourself and many democrats including the president who are trying to cripple the country and drive energy costs high so alternatives like wind and solar are comparably priced since their production costs resist being lowered. High energy costs drive up the cost of all goods and services.

A second thing you mention is the transporting of tar sands oil as being dangerous to transport by pipeline. Are you aware of the tens of thousands of miles of oil pipeline we have in the country today which is the safest form of transport there is.

You say there would be great envrionmental damage if the pipeline would be completed since greenhouse gases emitted are greater. I suppose you stand side by side with the former communists now posing as environmentalist in opposing Keystone. The majority of what you refer to in greenhouse gases is CO2 I assume which is what we exhale as we breathe. Perhaps we could offset that increase by enforcing our immigration laws and deporting the millions of illegal aliens that are here exhaling CO2 24 hours a day and stop mass legal immigration. Doesn’t that bother you? Tell me why environmentalists never complain about mass immigration legal and illegal adding to our environmental woes?

You tout wind and solar as real alternatives. What planet are you on? By the way senator, how many birds do the propellers on the wind farms kill annually (over 300K) and how many are killed by solar reflecting and singing feathers causing birds to crash? Why haven’t you and the other environmentalists stood up for the creatures? You and they certainly would be urinating and moaning if oil or gas was killing as many animals.

I could go on but I think you get the point Senator. You and the rest of the communists posing as environmentalists are very selective in what you recognize as a problem. Coincidentally it always has something to do with impeding our progress as a nation.

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Common Core is tool to produce a “Commie Corps” by Rabbi Aryeh Spero

Barack Obama declared six years ago that the ultimate goal of his presidency was to fundamentally transform America. This has been not only his agenda, but for decades the goal of America’s political left wing. To transform a country one must first transform its people. Transformation takes place by changing the values by which people live and by changing their self-perception of who they are and what they are supposed to become.

Common Core does exactly that.

Common Core is to education what Obamacare is to healthcare. The purpose of both programs is to take away one’s individual choice, be it regarding healthcare or local influence on education. Both programs are transformative since they assault the most fundamental American liberties, the freedom to choose one’s doctor and medical remedies, and the freedom to educate one’s children by local values. Both programs give federal bureaucrats control over these most important aspects of life. They disenfranchise us as patients and parents. Controlling the lives of “those below” is the animating principle of Leftism and the elitists who wish to do the controlling.

A communist society takes choice away from the people and places it in the hands of a centralized apparatus removed from the people. In other words, it deprives the individual his liberty. Through centralization, the individual loses not only his liberty but is socially engineered to think a certain way and act in conformity and lock-step with how the ruling elite want its new underclass to act. Common Core seeks to create a common-ness among people, what the Communists refer to as “the masses.” America’s students are being groomed today to be future members of the “Commie Corps,” advocates and robots of a trans-individual system.

Americans have succeeded because of our special Judeo-Christian outlook on life, local control, and the confidence in a rugged individualism that inspired us to be the best we can be. Common Core changes all that. Our children will be trained by educators not to be rugged but common; not masters of our own fate but subjects of a ruling bureaucracy; not the possessors of a unique Judeo-Christian outlook but proponents of a transnational, socialist worldview.

One of the hallmarks and goals of socialist Marxism is to strip a country of its unique culture, history, attitudes, and self-perception. The first order of business for the Russian communists was to denude Russia of its Russo-ism as did Mao when stripping his country of its unique Chinese heritage. Thus, throughout the curriculum of Common Core, American heroes are minimized and castigated, our history maligned, our historic values seen as an affront to multiculturalism. Much of Common Core is an indictment of America. It indicts so as to remove.

Too often far more information is supplied about Islam and too little about Christianity and Judaism. For many in the ruling clique, the Biblical religions and Testaments of Christianity and Judaism are passé and the problem while Islam and its Koran are seen as the new universal religion requiring our veneration. President Obama and Hillary Clinton epitomize this attitude of deference, often referring in their remarks to the “Holy Koran” and “the Prophet,” majestic references they rarely extend to Christianity or Judaism.

By transforming the values of our children, as well as their perception of themselves as individuals, the ruling elites will be able to transform America completely and create transnational citizens, pupils educated to conform to the social engineering from above. Common Core is the ultimate vehicle in erasing excellence for mediocrity and individuality for conformity. Common Core reflects the arrogance of the social engineers and their condescension and little regard for their “subjects” below. Common Core is the thief that robs individual students of their potential.

Because of Obamacare, many outstanding doctors are leaving the practice of medicine. Understandably, they wish not to be pre-programmed, mere medical clerks of the government… as if they were postal workers. It is an affront to the creativity, integrity, and the personal spirit they were trained to give to their craft. Similarly, we now hear of outstanding teachers who are leaving our schools and teaching due to the imposition of Common Core.

As with the students, their individuality is being snatched away through mandates of a new centralized education system. They will no longer be able to teach in a manner that reflects their innate talents, their unique intuition and experience, their personal insight. As with anything socialist and Marxist, the personal is crushed. It extinguishes the fire in the provider and levels and deadens the spirit in the receiver.

Common Core will stifle the potential of our youngsters and make them much too common. It will transform America by making our would-be heroes and achievers into but robots of the Commie Corps.

Rabbi Spero is a theologian and social and political commentator. He is author of Push Back: Reclaiming Our American Judeo-Christian Spirit, and was a pulpit rabbi for almost forty years.

EDITORS NOTE: A version of this article was published in The Blaze.

Net worth up for majority of Florida lawmakers by Jim Turner

THE CAPITAL, TALLAHASSEE, July 24, 2014 — For most state lawmakers, 2013 was another good year financially, regardless of party.

Still, those with an “R” affixed to their names are doing better, in general, when it comes to the bottom line thanks mostly to stronger housing and stock markets.

Updated financial-disclosure reports for 2013 were due July 1. And from the reports posted online as of Thursday, the average net worth in the Senate is just under $3.77 million, while the average net-worth figure is a little more than $1.4 million in the House.

The totals run from a high of $26 million for outgoing Senate President Don Gaetz to a negative $127,138 for Rep. Darryl Rouson, a St. Petersburg Democrat who remains underwater on a pair of home loans.

Gaetz, a Niceville Republican with two years remaining in the Senate, was a co-founder of VITAS Healthcare Corp. He actually saw his net worth slip slightly in 2013, by about $140,000, from the prior year.

“The decline in my net worth is forcing me to make economies,” Gaetz quipped in an email response. “I’m afraid I will have to cancel some newspaper subscriptions.”

Of the 156 lawmakers who served during both the 2012 and 2013 sessions and whose reports were available, 119 recorded increases in net worth, 35 went down and two posted no change.

The reports represent an individual’s net worth on Dec. 31, 2013. While the reports were due July 1, lawmakers have until Sept. 2 to file them before facing fines.

As of Dec. 31, 2012, the average for all 40 senators stood at $3.34 million. The average for the 120 House members was $1.27 million.

A little more than $30,000 in income for each legislator comes from their state salaries.

Senate Republicans on average are worth $4.3 million per the latest reports, while their House GOP counterparts chime in at an average of $1.7 million. Democrats in the Senate averaged $2.77 million, while in the House the average stands at $865,224.

The averages are all up from a year earlier.

Dan Krassner, executive director of the watchdog group Integrity Florida, said lawmakers should be praised for major ethics reforms in 2013 that require the financial-disclosure reports to be posted online. However, the information still fails to provide a full picture of individual lawmakers’ wealth, he said.

“Many lawmakers receive significant income from special interests who lobby the Legislature,” Krassner said in an email. “The Legislature has created disclosure loopholes so conflicts of interest are easily hidden or just made legal.”

Among the problems with the reports, according to Integrity Florida, are that the self-reported numbers are never audited, assets can be easily hidden under a spouse’s name and lawmakers don’t have to reveal if firms they own or work for have business before the Legislature or state government. Also, Integrity Florida contends that with the requirement that numbers be based on a single day rather than the full-year lawmakers can “secretly engage in major transactions throughout the year undetected.”

Of the 40 Senators, 18 are millionaires, one more than during the prior year.

Tampa Democrat Arthenia Joyner, a longtime attorney, joined the seven-figure crowd, with her net worth growing from $908,422 to $1,009,588.

In the House, 35 of the 120 members are members of the millionaires club, the same number as the previous year though the list of millionaires does not include all the same representatives.

Not among those seven-figure lawmakers is outgoing House Speaker Will Weatherford, a Wesley Chapel Republican who reported his net worth declined from $288,075 to $285,259.

Weatherford, who reported his leadership post paid $39,585 last year, also drew $16,000 from the Dallas-based Breckenridge Enterprises and $102,785 from Red Eagle Group, a company under the umbrella of Simpson Environmental Services, which is headed by Sen. Wilton Simpson, R-Trilby.

Simpson, worth $18.1 million, is the second-wealthiest senator.

Weatherford is slated to be replaced this fall as House speaker by Rep. Steve Crisafulli, R-Merritt Island. Crisafulli, a real estate broker from a prominent citrus family, posted a net worth of $453,989. A year earlier, Crisafulli’s net worth was at $375,127.

Sen. Andy Gardiner, an Orlando Republican who is vice president of external affairs at Orlando Health, is slated to replace Gaetz as Senate president this fall. Gardiner came in with a net worth of $751,353 in 2013, up from $585,023 in 2011 to $681,653 in 2012.

Rep. Michael Bileca, a Miami Republican who co-founded the Towncare Dental Partnership firm now located throughout Central and South Florida, topped the House in terms of net worth, at $14.2 million.

Sen. Darren Soto, an Orlando Democrat and attorney with more than $300,000 in liabilities mostly involving home loans, is the only senator to record himself as financially underwater. Soto listed his net worth at a negative $6,663, an improvement from a negative $32,351 a year earlier.

In the House, 12 members — two fewer than a year earlier — owe more than they’re worth, mostly due to outstanding home, student and auto loans.

EDITORS NOTE: This column is courtesy of News Service Florida. Involved, invested, or interested in Florida politics? Buy your copy of the Political Almanac of Florida 2014 by Dave Royse today!

Protect U.S. from identity theft by foreign call centers

I work at a major insurance agency in Indiana. On July 24, 2014, I phoned a major insurance company in Indiana to tell them that one of our clients had died and to request that the automatic bank draft for premium be cancelled.

It was while working on this task that I learned that the insurance company had moved much of its customer service call center to Jamaica. The Philippines and India are used for call centers by many U.S. companies.

This is bad for Americans and especially for senior citizens. Allowing people in other countries to view and use sensitive private information about Americans can easily lead to identity theft crimes in which U. S. law enforcement officials are unable to track and arrest the guilty parties. Foreign governments could even frustrate an investigation to protect their citizens who conspire to perpetrate identity theft against Americans.

This is not a new issue.

The Communications Workers of America (CWA) released a report in December 2011 titled “Why Shipping Call Center Jobs Overseas Hurts Us Back Home.” The CWA report noted:

Offshored call center jobs pose a serious threat to consumers’ personal data, according to an updated report released by CWA.

Building on the December 2011 report, which examined how offshoring call center jobs hurts the US economy and workers, CWA has established a disturbing pattern of fraudulent and criminal activity targeting U.S. customers being serviced by overseas call centers.

Key findings include a recent investigation by The Sunday Times, which discovered that call centers in India are gathering personal financial data from several UK banks and peddling the information on the black market. In the United States, the Federal Trade Commission uncovered a telemarketing scam this year, in which call center employees in India impersonated debt collectors and defrauded Americans out of more than $5 million.

Senior citizens are especially vulnerable to such crimes because their identity information is routinely shared by phone and over the internet in order to process medical claims.

Laws and regulations to stop the use of foreigners for call centers or other such services in foreign countries in which sensitive personal information is shared should be enacted at the federal and state levels immediately. Such protective laws and regulations would have the additional benefit of forcing major banking and insurance companies to hire Americans in America for these services.

“Moral Idiots” from Code Pink Disrupt Israeli Ambassador’s Speech at CUFI Gala

Last night, Christians United for Israel (CUFI) held their ninth annual Night to Honor Israel gala. This was  the kickoff event for the Christian Zionist group’s Washington Summit held at the DC convention Center.  More than 5,000 were in the audience, composed of CUFI delegates, honored speakers and guests. Having attended andwritten about the first CUFI Washington Summit, held in the midst of the Second Lebanon War in 2006, interspersed with Israeli music, dancing in the aisles and waving of American and Israel flags. That inaugural CUFI event was held at the convention center of  the Washington Hilton.

This year I watched it on-line at GETV reminiscing mentally about the inaugural event I attended. The remarks conveyed by speakers at the CUFI gala were punctuated by references to the war raging in Gaza. A war with IDF ground forces pitted against the fortified terrorist army of Hamas supported by Turkey and Qatar with rockets and engineering experts provided by Iran’s Quds Force and proxy Hezbollah.

Watch this YouTube video of Ambassador Dermer’s speech at last night’s CUFI Night to Honor Israel:

Last night, hecklers from Code Pink somehow entered the Convention Center heckling Israeli Ambassador to the US Ron Dermer’s stem winding speech near the close of the two hour event. They shouted  “war Criminal!” Dermer, not missing a beat, referred to the hecklers as “moral Idiots.” That led to loud cheers of “Israel, Israel” by the CUFI audience.

Code Pink has perennially protested both AIPAC Washington Policy Conferences and CUFI Summit events. Code Pink representatives were involved with the aborted Free Gaza flotillas. Most notorious of which occurred in 2010 involving the Israeli navy commando raid on the Turkish ferry, the Mavi Marmara owned by Turkish Islamist charity and Hamas backer, IHH.

The CUFI Night to honor Israel last was an emotional gathering keyed to uplifting spirits and girding for battle citizens lobbying on Capitol Hill the following day. The CUFI delegate audience at the DC Convention Center traveled from across the US to hear rousing speakers led off by Pastor Hagee. The speeches were directed at energizing the delegates to charge up Capitol Hill the next day buttonholing Congressional Representatives and Senators endeavoring to stop funding of the Palestinian Authority and support funds for Israel’s Iron Dome system that has spared mass casualties in Israeli population centers. When cameras panned the audience I noticed Erick Stakelbeck, CBN’s noted terrorism commentator. Rabbi Jonathan Hausman was also in the audience.

The CUFI Night to Honor Israel began with an invocation by Rabbi Aryeh Scheinberg of orthodox Rodei Sholom Synagogue of San Antonio, Texas. That was followed by an introductory speech by his friend Pastor Hagee supportive of Israel’s Operation Protective Edge in Gaza. An Operation necessitated by Hamas’ rocket war covering 80 percent of Israel  and sending its citizens scrambling for shelter triggered by wailing red alert sirens or pings on their cell phones from a downloaded app. His message conveyed the hope that Israel’s ground incursion into Gaza world crush Hamas. Five days into ground operations, the IDF is faced with a daunting, tough slog with significant casualties deployed to destroy a network of tunnels crossing the frontier threatening Israeli Kibbutzim and towns in the western Negev. The creation of those expertly built tunnels with tons of concrete and steel appear to be taken from the playbook of Hezbollah, Iran’s proxy, who fortified Southern Lebanon after Israel left in 2000.

Sheldon Adelson and his wife Miriam were honored at last night’s CUFI event. They spoke of their appreciation for this flagship Christian Zionist organization founded by Pastor John Hagee of the Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, Texas. US Sen. Lindsey Graham spoke about his first trip to Israel in 1996 with the Adelsons. He  drew attention to the threat of Iran’s nuclear weapons project and the necessity of picking up the cudgel of tougher sanctions given the extension this past weekend of P5+1 talks with Iran. CUFI’s Executive Director David Brog spoke of the rise of CUFI student chapters combating campus Israeli Apartheid Awareness Weeks and  BDS campaigns. He noted the disruption of former Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren’s speech in February 2010 at UCIrvine. Brog was followed by a speech by one of the 1,000 CUFI college chapter delegates from Mississippi   chronicling his path towards his campus leadership advocating  support Israel and Jews.

Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer at July 2014 CUFI Washington Summit.

Near the close of the two hour CUFI gala came Amb. Dermer’s speech. He drew attention to the sobering loss of more than 27 fallen IDF soldiers in the ground incursion, among them two Americans, Max Steinberg of Woodland Hills, California, and Sean Carmeli from South Padre Island, Texas. 20,000 attended Carmeli’s funeral in Israel signifying solidarity and recognition of his commitment and those of his Golani Brigade mates to defeat Hamas. Dermer drew attention to Hamas’ strategy of purposefully placing human shields in front of launching sites and the extensive network of tunnels in Gaza, many with entrances in homes and apartment complexes. Tunnels designed to infiltrate suicide commandos inflicting casualties on IDF troops across the frontier and seeking to kill and kidnap Israel service personnel and civilians.

In response to hecklers from pro-Palestinian Jewish Voice for Peace and Code Pink, Amb. Dermer drew a comparison to the London blitz of WWII and the Nazi  V -1 and 2 flying bombs and rockets that took the lives of tens of thousands of brave British civilians. Jacob Kornbluh in his JP- Jewish Politics News and Updates report captured Dermer’s remarks:

During his speech, which was interrupted several times by code pink hecklers, Ambassador Dermer emphasized that no military in history has taken greater care than the IDF to protect the innocents of the other side.

“Does anyone believe that America would use less force? Does anyone believe that Britain would use less force?” he asked.

Dermer drew a distinction between the responses Israel has shown for rockets being fired at its cities to Churchill’s response when bombarded by missiles fired by the Nazis on Britain during WWII. “I won’t accept criticism of Israel for not exercising restraint that would not be shown by any nation on earth.” “Israeli Defense Forces should be given a Nobel Peace prize for fighting with unimaginable restraint,” Dermer proclaimed.

Dermer referenced the “evil” of Hamas placing Palestinian civilians as human shields. He said it was part of a deliberate strategy directed at cultivating leftist groups of Jewish fellow travelers like the hecklers of his speech and the media with graphic pictures of injured or dead children and women aimed squarely at placing the blame on Israel. He said “it is time for the UN and the world to find a moral compass and backbone.” He drew attention to the rise of radical Islam, whether Shia Iran and proxy Hezbollah, Sunni ISIS and Hamas denying rights for women and  no tolerance for Jews and Christian. He noted the 35,000 Assyrian Chaldean Christians who fled Mosul conquered by the Islamic State for the security of Kurdistan in Iraq.

What occurred at CUFI’s Washington Gala was “a night to remember.” A night that honored Israel.

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

Is Charlie Crist buying the Democrat Party of Florida?

The August 26th primary nears to pick the Florida Democrat gubernatorial nominee. The race is heating up between Democrats Nan Rich and Charlie Crist.  The question for Democrat primary voters: Who are you going to trust – Nan or Charlie? Perhaps some background and new information will help Democrat primary voters make a decision.

Nan Rich is a life long Democrat. Charlie Crist is not. So how does Charlie become the Democrat favorite? Can you say money? Charlie Crist is inextricably tied to big money. His relationship with the law firm of Morgan & Morgan gave him access to those with deep pockets when he was a Republican and this close relationship continues now that he is a Democrat gubernatorial primary candidate.

According to News Service of Florida:

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist and closely aligned political committee raised about $98,000 from July 5 to July 11, while continuing to funnel large amounts of money to the Florida Democratic Party, according to newly filed campaign finance reports.

The committee, known as “Charlie Crist for Florida,” sent $400,000 to the state party on July 8. That came after similar moves in past months, including $400,000 sent to the party in June. Crist’s campaign raised $61,059 from July 5 to July 11, bringing its overall total to nearly $4.2 million.

The committee raised $37,000 during the seven-day period, bringing its total to $10.16 million. Former state Senate Minority Leader Nan Rich, Crist’s opponent in the Aug. 26 Democratic primary, collected $5,175 for her campaign account from July 5 to July 11, giving her a total of $408,704. A committee backing Rich, known as “Citizens for a Progressive Florida,” collected $25,000 during the seven-day period, bringing its total to $140,315.

[Emphasis mine]

So is Crist buying the Democrat Party of Florida? It appears so given the largess of the Crist for Florida campaign to the FL party in excess of $.8 million.

Crist is known to use money to make his way to the top. While the leader of the Republican Party of Florida he used and misused donations. In 2010 the Orlando Sentinel reported, “State Republicans moved the three-way U.S. Senate race to a new level Saturday, with party leaders pointing to an audit of their books they say implies Gov. Charlie Crist — now an independent candidate for U.S. Senate — ran up potentially ‘hundreds of thousands’ of dollars in inappropriate charges. Party Chairman and state Sen. John Thrasher said the expenses came to light during the just-completed forensic audit by Alston & Bird LLP — which was the examiner in energy giant Enron’s 2002 bankruptcy. He said the party may sue their former standard bearer to get the money back.”

As George Santayana wrote, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

Crist uses money to get what he wants. At some point, history tells us, Crist will begin withdrawing his investments in the FL Democrat party. Is that what Florida Democrats want in their nominee? We shall see on August 26th.

UPDATE: CRIST COMMITTEE SHIPS ANOTHER $600K TO PARTY

July 25, 2014

A committee closely tied to Democrat Charlie Crist’s gubernatorial campaign raised $221,600 from July 12 to July 18 and funneled $600,000 to the Florida Democratic Party, according to newly filed finance reports. The committee, known as “Charlie Crist for Florida,” has sent a series of large checks to the party recently. Along with the $600,000 payment July 18, for example, the committee reported sending $400,000 to the party on July 8. Overall, the committee had raised a total of nearly $10.4 million as of July 18 and had spent $2.2 million. Updated totals for Crist’s campaign account had not been posted on the state Division of Elections website Friday morning.

Meanwhile, Gov. Rick Scott’s campaign and the closely aligned “Let’s Get to Work” committee raised $221,695 from July 12 to July 18, according to the reports. And while the committee did not report spending money on TV ads during the week, it shelled out $213,752 to a Ponte Vedra Beach firm for yard signs. Scott’s campaign raised $200,695 during the period, bringing its overall total to $5,840,775. It also had spent a total of $1,051,206. The committee, meanwhile, raised $21,000 during the week, bringing its overall total to $32,980,927. Let’s Get to Work had spent a total of $19,080,722.

Florida Appeals Court says “NO” to homosexual “marriage” licenses in the state.

The Christian Family Coalition (CFC) Florida reports that the Florida Democratic League (FDL), and People United to Lead the Struggle for Equality (PULSE), two parties in the homosexual so-called “marriage” lawsuit,  filed more than 6,000 signatures with Miami-Dade County Clerk Harvey Ruvin calling on Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Sarah Zabel to dismiss the pending discriminatory lawsuit.

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“In a nation of laws, no one can be above the law. What law gives Plaintiffs the right to arbitrarily,  declare a personal behavioral choice, be it sexual or otherwise, a constitutional “right,” and then file a sham lawsuit to force the rest of society to accept it as such?, said Florida Democratic League Chairman Dr. Eladio Jose Armesto.

“Six days ago, Monroe Circuit Judge Luis Garcia shocked voters when he arrogantly trashed the votes of nearly 8 million Floridians. The backlash to that corrupt decision was so great that over the last six days more than 6,000 Miami-Dade residents  signed a letter to Judge Zabel calling on her to dismiss this discriminatory lawsuit”, stated People United to Lead the Struggle for Equality (PULSE) Executive Director Nathaniel Wilcox.

“Undoubtedly, there is a growing backlash to the homosexual so-called ‘marriage’ lawsuit in Miami-Dade when 6,000 of those who elected Judge Zabel signed a letter in just days asking for the sham lawsuit’s dismissal. This is evidence of the growing anti-corruption backlash taking place”, concludes Anthony Verdugo, Founder and Executive Director, Christian Family Coalition (CFC) Florida.

Planned Parenthood’s War on Women: Counselor Tells Teen to Let Her Boyfriend Beat Her

LifeNews.com reports:

Abortion activists claim pro-lifers are engaging in a “war on women:” by passing legislation to protect women and unborn children from abortion. But a new expose’ video catches a Planned Parenthood staffer engaging in her own war on women.

The pro-life group Live Action released the third installment today in its “SexEd” investigative series, showing a Planned Parenthood staffer in Portland, Oregon offering disturbing sex counseling to someone she thinks is a fifteen-year-old girl. The video clearly shows the counselor encouraging the young girl to allow herself to be victimized in violent sexual encounters with her partner.

The staffer tells the investigator that “it’s very common to experiment with different things,” including “being tied up” and “whipped” and “the baby thing, where they will put on diapers[.]”

Some girls like being “spanked,” “hit,” or “whipped,” said the counselor.

Watch the video interview with a Planned Parenthood counselor (WARING: This material is not suitable for children. Viewer discretion is advised):

Read more.

The Portland video is the third in a series. Previous SexEd installments showed Planned Parenthood locations in Indianapolis and Denver offering similarly disturbing advice to investigators posing as minor girls. Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, under whose jurisdiction the Denver facilities lie, is now being sued for sending a 13-year-old abuse victim back to her abuser after aborting her baby.

The “B” in Obama stands for “Boycott” Israel

In a July 23rd, 2014 press release Senator Ted Cruz of Texas stated:

Aiding Hamas while simultaneously isolating Israel does two things.  One, it helps our enemy. Two, it hurts our ally.

The facts suggest that President Obama has just used a federal regulatory agency to launch an economic boycott on Israel, in order to try to force our ally to comply with his foreign-policy demands. [Emphasis mine]

Sen. Cruz is asking the Obama Administration to answer five specific questions regarding the FAA’s decision to suspend flights to Israel:

  1. Was this decision a political decision driven by the White House?
  2. If the FAA’s decision was based on airline safety, why was Israel singled out, when flights are still permitted into Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Yemen?
  3. What was the FAA’s ‘safety’ analysis that led to prohibiting flights to Israel, while still permitting flights to Ukraine—where a commercial airline flight was just shot down with a BUK missile?
  4. What specific communications occurred between the FAA and the White House? And the State Department? Why were any such communications necessary, if this was purely about airline safety?
  5. Was this a safety issue, or was it using a federal regulatory agency to punish Israel to try to force them to comply with Secretary Kerry’s demand that Israel stop their military effort to take out Hamas’s rocket capacity?

Full remarks of Senator Ted Cruz on the ban on flights by U.S. carriers to Israel:

“Today, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced that it was extending its ban on flights by U.S. carriers into Israel. The rationale was that because one Hamas-launch rocket had landed in a field one mile from Ben Gurion International Airport, the ‘potentially hazardous security situation created by the armed conflict between Israel and Gaza’ necessitated this extreme action that has so far cancelled some 160 flights and left tens of thousands stranded.

“Obviously, no one wants to place civilian travelers in harm’s way, and the recent downing of Malaysian Airways flight 17 by pro-Russian militants in Ukraine is a stark reminder of the dangers posed by regional unrest. But security concerns in Israel are hardly breaking news, and given the exceptional challenge Israel faces, Ben Gurion has rightly earned the reputation as one of the safest airports in the world due to the aggressive security measures implemented by the Israeli government.

“Given that some 2,000 rockets have been fired into Israel over the last six weeks, many of them at Tel Aviv, it seems curious to choose yesterday at noon to announce a flight ban, especially as the Obama Administration had to be aware of the punitive nature of this action.

“Tourism is an $11 billion industry for Israel, which is in the middle of a summer high season already seriously diminished by the conflict initiated by Hamas. Group tours have been cancelling at a 30% rate. This FAA flight ban may well represent a crippling blow to a key economic sector through both security concerns and worries that additional bans will down more flights and strand more passengers. It hardly matters if or when the ban is lifted. At this point, the damage may already be done.

“Even given the remarkable resilience and prosperity of its economy, Israel has always been vulnerable to economic blackmail. In the 1970s, we saw the Arab League boycott, which tried to punish any financial institution that did business with Israel.

“Today we have similar noxious efforts by the Boycott, Divest, Sanction or ‘BDS’ movement, which seeks to punish Israel for the fact that the militant terrorist elements embraced by the Palestinian Authority make any peace deal an intolerable security risk to Israel at this time. But the Obama Administration has refused to robustly denounce this effort to undermine our ally.

“Instead, Secretary of State John Kerry issued a veiled threat last February when he encouraged boycotts of Israel and said that absent serious Israeli concessions at the negotiating table, Israel’s economic prosperity was ‘not sustainable’ and ‘illusory.’ Secretary Kerry unfortunately reprised this theme just this April, when he threatened that Israel risked becoming an ‘apartheid state’ if Israel did not submit to his chosen solution to the Israel-Palestinian crisis.

“Taken in the context of Secretary Kerry’s comments, yesterday’s action by the FAA raises some serious questions:

  1. Was this decision a political decision driven by the White House?
  2. If the FAA’s decision was based on airline safety, why was Israel singled out, when flights are still permitted into Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Yemen?
  3. What was the FAA’s ‘safety’ analysis that led to prohibiting flights to Israel, while still permitting flights to Ukraine—where a commercial airline flight was just shot down with a BUK missile?
  4. What specific communications occurred between the FAA and the White House? And the State Department? Why were any such communications necessary, if this was purely about airline safety?
  5. Was this a safety issue, or was it using a federal regulatory agency to punish Israel to try to force them to comply with Secretary Kerry’s demand that Israel stop their military effort to take out Hamas’s rocket capacity?

“When Secretary Kerry arrived in Cairo this week his first act was to announce $47 million in additional aid to Gaza, which is in effect $47 million for Hamas. In short order, this travel ban was announced by the FAA. Aiding Hamas while simultaneously isolating Israel does two things. One, it helps our enemy. Two, it hurts our ally.

“Until these serious questions are answered, the facts suggest that President Obama has just used a federal regulatory agency to launch an economic boycott on Israel, in order to try to force our ally to comply with his foreign-policy demands.

“If so, Congress should demand answers.”

RELATED ARTICLE: Obama’s Economic Isolation Of Israel

Saint Thomas Aquinas on Immigration: Man’s relations with foreigners are twofold, peaceful and hostile

Saint Thomas Aquinas was a Roman Catholic priest who authored the Summa Theologica and Summa Contra Gentiles, which shaped the Catholic Church and its philosophies for centuries. His teachings are still influential. But is the Catholic Church following his teachings on the issue of immigration.

What would Saint Thomas Aquinas say to Pope Francis and the U.S. Council of Catholic Bishops about immigration?

summa Theological book coverIn the column “What Does Saint Thomas Say About Immigration?” John Horvat II asks the same question and provides an answer by quoting Saint Thomas Aquinas. Horvat notes, “Immigration is a modern problem and so some might think that the medieval Saint Thomas would have no opinion about the problem. And yet, he does. One has only to look in his masterpiece, the Summa Theologica, in the second part of the first part, question 105, article 3 (I-II, Q. 105, Art. 3). There one finds his analysis based on biblical insights that can add to the national debate. They are entirely applicable to the present.”

Saint Thomas: “Man’s relations with foreigners are twofold: peaceful, and hostile: and in directing both kinds of relation the Law contained suitable precepts.”

Commentary: In making this affirmation, Saint Thomas affirms that not all immigrants are equal. Every nation has the right to decide which immigrants are beneficial, that is, “peaceful,” to the common good. As a matter of self-defense, the State can reject those criminal elements, traitors, enemies and others who it deems harmful or “hostile” to its citizens.

The second thing he affirms is that the manner of dealing with immigration is determined by law in the cases of both beneficial and “hostile” immigration. The State has the right and duty to apply its law.

Saint Thomas: “For the Jews were offered three opportunities of peaceful relations with foreigners. First, when foreigners passed through their land as travelers. Secondly, when they came to dwell in their land as newcomers. And in both these respects the Law made kind provision in its precepts: for it is written (Exodus 22:21): ’Thou shalt not molest a stranger [advenam]’; and again (Exodus 22:9): ’Thou shalt not molest a stranger [peregrino].’”

Commentary: Here Saint Thomas acknowledges the fact that others will want to come to visit or even stay in the land for some time. Such foreigners deserved to be treated with charity, respect and courtesy, which is due to any human of good will. In these cases, the law can and should protect foreigners from being badly treated or molested.

Saint Thomas: “Thirdly, when any foreigners wished to be admitted entirely to their fellowship and mode of worship. With regard to these a certain order was observed. For they were not at once admitted to citizenship: just as it was law with some nations that no one was deemed a citizen except after two or three generations, as the Philosopher says (Polit. iii, 1).”

Commentary: Saint Thomas recognizes that there will be those who will want to stay and become citizens of the lands they visit. However, he sets as the first condition for acceptance a desire to integrate fully into what would today be considered the culture and life of the nation.

A second condition is that the granting of citizenship would not be immediate. The integration process takes time. People need to adapt themselves to the nation. He quotes the philosopher Aristotle as saying this process was once deemed to take two or three generations. Saint Thomas himself does not give a timeframe for this integration, but he does admit that it can take a long time.

Read Horvat’s entire analysis of immigration through the eyes of Saint Thomas Aquinas.

RELATED ARTICLE: Gutiérrez: ‘I Think We Can Get 3 or 4, Maybe Even 5 Million People’ Amnesty via Executive Action (+video)

AGENDA: Grinding America Down

All American citizens who hold their FREEDOM dear, and support family values should watch the below listed video entitled “AGENDA: Grinding America Down.”   We’ve received thousands of E-mails each week for 5 years; “AGENDA: Grinding America Down” is one of the most significant presentations we’ve viewed over these past 5 years.

Before you watch “AGENDA: Grinding America Down”, please watch this 19 second video:

The video is about the values you want to ensure your children & your extended family members benefit from, it supports the different religious faiths that provide the foundation upon which human values are based, it’s about supporting the members of the US Armed Forces—many of whom gave their last full measure of devotion in order to defend the Republic—it is mainly about the FREEDOMS accorded to all American citizens in the US Constitution by the Founding Fathers.

AGENDA: Grinding America Down

Using Obama’s own words, when he said that he fully intends to “fundamentally transform” our 238 year old Republic; we now have witnessed his true goal to create a Socialist State by any means necessary.  By repealing President Clinton’s requirement that welfare recipients must work for financial aid from the government, over the past 6 years, Obama has managed to enroll a record number of Americans and illegal immigrants in government welfare program with 40 million on food stamps, and millions of new recipients on the disability rolls.

Obama has been framing traditional US work ethics as the foolish belief that President Ronald Reagan once supported, with President Reagan’s thesis that anyone can lift themselves up by their bootstraps being the promise that always has been America and the success that comes about from hard work.  In order to “fundamentally transform America”,  Obama in his speeches and his bloated bureaucracy has been working to replace President Reagan’s well held belief  in American’s work ethic, that contributed to the most successful economy in the history of mankind with something that has never worked in any country in history.  Obama wants to replace American work ethic with the Marxist principal that government must distribute the wealth created by hard working Americans to those who have little interest in working.  Obama wants to more heavily tax the top 10% of successful American earners who already pay 68% of all the taxes in the nation each year (the bottom 50% of earners in America pay 3% of all the taxes).

Obama’s unrelenting attack on the Second Amendment and the right of American citizen’s to bear arms, and the protections accorded all American citizens by provisions of  the Second Amendment that is under relentless assault by the Obama administration.  Obama’s use of the IRS to suppress the rights of conservative Americans who were trying to exercise their right to participate in a national presidential elections should have a special Prosecutor assigned, but Holder refuses to appoint one.   Obama is also using Holder’s Justice Department to prevent states from issuing voter IDs to endure American citizens only vote once, in the last presidential election 7 million voters voted in two states; voter fraud was not controlled; the fear of rampant voter fraud looms large in the November election.

AGENDA Grinding America Down graph

For a larger view click on the chart

The Obama administration will eventually meet with serious and widespread “unorganized” opposition from American citizens because of his violation of Federal Laws, Immigration Laws, and provisions of the US Constitution.   The  Obama administration has been preparing for possible citizen’s unrest, by creating heavily arming federal police force swat teams in the Capital Police Force, Park Police, DHS, the Wildlife Service, the Marshal Service, in the IRS, the Postal Police, the Department of Defense Police, the Federal Protective Service, the Secret Service, and Obama ‘s National Police Force authorized & funded by the Obamacare Law, while providing DHS with armored vehicles, and purchasing excessive amounts of ammunition (more than the US Army and the US Marine Corps uses each year in training their personnel).

The most important Congressional election in 238 years will be held in about 3 months, we encourage you to support the endorsed Combat Veterans For Congress listed in the attachment.  They have the courage to stand up to bureaucratic excesses, will work to rein in the out of control spending by irresponsible members of Congress & the Obama administration, and will protect and defend the US Constitution.