The Daily Caller is taking the rare step of publishing this anonymous op-ed at the request of the author, a senior official in the Trump administration whose identity is known to us and whose career would be jeopardized by its disclosure. We believe publishing this essay anonymously is the only way to deliver an important perspective to our readers. We invite you to submit a question about the essay or our vetting process here.
As one of the senior officials working without a paycheck, a few words of advice for the president’s next move at shuttered government agencies: lock the doors, sell the furniture, and cut them down.
Federal employees are starting to feel the strain of the shutdown. I am one of them. But for the sake of our nation, I hope it lasts a very long time, till the government is changed and can never return to its previous form.
The lapse in appropriations is more than a battle over a wall. It is an opportunity to strip wasteful government agencies for good.
On an average day, roughly 15 percent of the employees around me are exceptional patriots serving their country. I wish I could give competitive salaries to them and no one else. But 80 percent feel no pressure to produce results. If they don’t feel like doing what they are told, they don’t.
Why would they? We can’t fire them. They avoid attention, plan their weekend, schedule vacation, their second job, their next position — some do this in the same position for more than a decade.
They do nothing that warrants punishment and nothing of external value. That is their workday: errands for the sake of errands — administering, refining, following and collaborating on process. “Process is your friend” is what delusional civil servants tell themselves. Even senior officials must gain approval from every rank across their department, other agencies and work units for basic administrative chores.
Process is what we serve, process keeps us safe, process is our core value. It takes a lot of people to maintain the process. Process provides jobs. In fact, there are process experts and certified process managers who protect the process. Then there are the 5 percent with moxy (career managers). At any given time they can change, clarify or add to the process — even to distort or block policy counsel for the president.
Saboteurs peddling opinion as research, tasking their staff on pet projects or pitching wasteful grants to their friends. Most of my career colleagues actively work against the president’s agenda. This means I typically spend about 15 percent of my time on the president’s agenda and 85 percent of my time trying to stop sabotage, and we have no power to get rid of them. Until the shutdown.
Due to the lack of funding, many federal agencies are now operating more effectively from the top down on a fraction of their workforce, with only select essential personnel serving national security tasks. One might think this is how government should function, but bureaucracies operate from the bottom up — a collective of self-generated ideas. Ideas become initiatives, formalize into offices, they seek funds from Congress and become bureaus or sub-agencies, and maybe one day grow to be their own independent agency, like ours. The nature of a big administrative bureaucracy is to grow to serve itself. I watch it and fight it daily.
When the agency is full, employees held liable for poor performance respond with threats, lawsuits, complaints and process in at least a dozen offices, taking years of mounting paperwork with no fear of accountability, extending their careers, while no real work is done. Do we succumb to such extortion? Yes. We pay them settlements, we waive bad reviews, and we promote them.
Many government agencies have adopted the position that more complaints are good because it shows inclusion in, you guessed it, the process. When complaints come, it is cheaper to pay them off than to hold public servants accountable. The result: People accused of serious offenses are not charged, and self-proclaimed victims are paid by you, the American taxpayer.
The message to federal supervisors is clear. Maintain the status quo, or face allegations. Many federal employees truly believe that doing tasks more efficiently and cutting out waste, by closing troubled programs instead of expanding them, “is morally wrong,” as one cried to me.
I get it. These are their pets. It is tough to put them down and let go, and many resist. This phenomenon was best summed up by a colleague who said, “The goal in government is to do nothing. If you try to get things done, that’s when you will run into trouble.”
But President Trump can end this abuse. Senior officials can reprioritize during an extended shutdown, focus on valuable results and weed out the saboteurs. We do not want most employees to return, because we are working better without them. Sure, we empathize with families making tough financial decisions, like mine, and just like private citizens who have to find other work and bring competitive value every day, while paying more than a third of their salary in federal taxes.
President Trump has created more jobs in the private sector than the furloughed federal workforce. Now that we are shut down, not only are we identifying and eliminating much of the sabotage and waste, but we are finally working on the president’s agenda.
President Trump does not need Congress to address the border emergency, and yes, it is an emergency. Billions upon billions of hard-earned tax dollars are still being dumped into foreign aid programs every year that do nothing for America’s interest or national security. The president does not need congressional funding to deconstruct abusive agencies who work against his agenda. This is a chance to effect real change, and his leverage grows stronger every day the shutdown lasts.
The president should add to his demands, including a vote on all of his political nominees in the Senate. Send the career appointees back. Many are in the 5 percent of saboteurs and resistance leaders.
A word of caution: To be a victory, this shutdown must be different than those of the past and should achieve lasting disruption with two major changes, or it will hurt the president.
The first thing we need out of this is better security, particularly at the southern border. Our founders envisioned a free market night watchman state, not the bungled bloated bureaucracy our government has become. But we have to keep the uniformed officers paid, which is an emergency. Ideally, continue a resolution to pay the essential employees only, if they are truly working on national security. Furloughed employees should find other work, never return and not be paid.
Secondly, we need savings for taxpayers. If this fight is merely rhetorical bickering with Nancy Pelosi, we all lose, especially the president. But if it proves that government is better when smaller, focusing only on essential functions that serve Americans, then President Trump will achieve something great that Reagan was only bold enough to dream.
The president’s instincts are right. Most Americans will not miss non-essential government functions. A referendum to end government plunder must happen. Wasteful government agencies are fighting for relevance but they will lose. Now is the time to deliver historic change by cutting them down forever.
The author is a senior official in the Trump administration.
EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Caller column with images is republished with permission. The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.
https://drrichswier.com/wp-content/uploads/trump-white-maga-hat-e1547506311877.jpg319640The Daily Callerhttp://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.pngThe Daily Caller2019-01-14 17:56:272019-01-14 18:10:13I’m A Senior Trump Official, And I Hope A Long Shutdown Smokes Out The Resistance
Some newly elected anti-gun legislators can’t seem to resist the media spotlight. Like moths to a flame, some swoop in with anti-gun rants and dishonest, deceitful statements.
Most recently two newly elected anti-gun legislators issued false statements to media about guns. Rep. Margaret Good and Rep. Cindy Polo both gave disinformation to the media.
FIRST, REP MARGARET GOOD’S STATEMENT:
As reported by TV reporter Jake Stofan, “Eighty percent of guns used in violent crimes, were purchased without a background check, said Representative Margaret Good” See the video clip below:.
Where Rep. Good came up with that statistic or who fed her that disinformation is a mystery to us. It clearly is false.
Even The Washington Post outed Barack Obama for falsely claiming forty percent of guns used in violent crimes, were purchased without a background check.
In January 2013, the Washington Post gave President Obama “Three Pinocchios” for claiming that 40 percent of firearms are sold without a background check, and noted that the authors of the study upon which the claim is based say, “we don’t know the current percentage, nor does anyone else.”Nevertheless, gun control supporters still repeat the “40 percent” claim in their propaganda materials. Whatever the percentage, the fact remains that the nation’s murder rate is at an all-time low.
A statement posted Friday, January 10, 2019 on Orlando Political Observer from newly elected state Rep. Cindy Polo (D) proves once again that facts simply don’t matter to the anti-gun crowd.
Rep. Polo rushed to bash NRA saying NRA sponsored HB-175, but NRA had nothing to do with that bill or any other bill that has been filed so far this session. Rep. Polo is either ignorant of the facts or is being deliberately untruthful.
This irresponsible behavior happens all too often after an election. The newly elected legislators come to Tallahassee determined to “make a name for themselves.” They issue statements, hold press conferences, and sponsor legislation with reckless abandon, casting aside the facts.
https://drrichswier.com/wp-content/uploads/gabriel-matula-300398-unsplash-2-e1547495951508.jpg368635NRA Institute for Legislative Actionhttp://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.pngNRA Institute for Legislative Action2019-01-14 14:59:392019-01-14 15:03:28Florida Alert! Where Do Anti-Gun Legislators Get this Stuff?
This is unlikely to succeed, but it shows widespread dissatisfaction not just with Tlaib, but with the direction the Left is taking.
“This woman is an anti-Semite, a war mongering hate filled Palestinian who has vowed to try and destroy our constitutional rights, hates America, hates American citizens.”
Can those charges reasonably be disputed?
“150,000 Sign Petition to Impeach Michigan’s Rashida Tlaib,” by Anthony Gockowski, Tennessee Star, January 12, 2019 (thanks to the Geller Report):
A Change.org petition calling for the impeachment of Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI-13) already has close to 160,000 signatures.
“This woman is an anti-Semite, a war mongering hate filled Palestinian who has vowed to try and destroy our constitutional rights, hates America, hates American citizens,” the petition states. “She’s a danger to our sovereignty, a detriment to society, and to this country, and is unfit to serve in any capacity within our government.”
The petition also takes issue with Tlaib’s election, claiming that she “lied about living in Detroit” by “using her father’s house address.”
Tlaib made headlines earlier this week when she vowed to “impeach the motherf—” during a party in celebration of her being sworn in to Congress.
“I stand by impeaching the president of the United States. I ran on that,” she said in an interview discussing her comments. She called her promise to impeach President Donald Trump something she “very much” holds “dearly.”
“They love that I’m real, and that I am very much focused on getting the government back up and running, but also making sure we’ve held the president of the United States accountable,” she said.
Tlaib later apologized that her comments caused a “distraction,” but refused to apologize for the explicit remarks….
https://drrichswier.com/wp-content/uploads/Rashida-Tlaib-facebook-page-e1547470577212.jpg407639Robert Spencerhttp://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.pngRobert Spencer2019-01-14 07:09:352019-01-15 18:14:26190,000 sign petition to impeach Muslim Rep. Rashida Tlaib who called Trump “motherf**er”
With the new Congress, they’ve hailed two new Muslim House members, made accomodations for religious headwear on the House floor, and celebrated record numbers of minorities in their freshman class.
This penchant for diversity makes their growing blind spot all the more glaring. That blind spot is anti-Christian bigotry, seen in the hostile questions that Democratic senators have aimed at Trump nominees that inch dangerously close to a religious test for public office.
Until recently, only Republicans had cried foul.
Senators like James Lankford, R-Okla., and Mike Lee, R-Utah, came to the defense of Amy Coney Barrett in 2017, whose qualifications to sit on a U.S. appeals court were questioned on account of her “dogma.” One senator had the gall to ask her directly whether she considered herself “an orthodox Catholic.”
So it comes as genuine relief this week that a Democrat, finally, is saying enough is enough.
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii published a searing op-ed on Tuesday chiding her Democratic colleagues in the Senate for questioning Brian C. Buescher, a Trump judicial nominee, over his affiliation with the Knights of Columbus, the world’s largest Catholic civic organization.
Back in December, Sens. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., and Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, used their questioning time to scrutinize the Knights’ “extreme positions” on same-sex marriage and abortion. (Shock: The Knights of Columbus oppose both, in accordance with the Catholic Church.)
Hirono asked, “If confirmed, do you intend to end your membership with this organization to avoid any appearance of bias?”
Harris pried: “Were you aware that the Knights of Columbus opposed a woman’s right to choose when you joined the organization?”
Buescher answered: “I do not recall if I was aware whether the Knights of Columbus had taken a position on the abortion issue when I joined at the age of 18.”
In her editorial for The Hill, Gabbard pulled no punches toward her colleagues for using a man’s Catholic faith and affiliations against him. She wrote:
While I oppose the nomination of Brian Buescher to the U.S. District Court in Nebraska, I stand strongly against those who are fomenting religious bigotry, citing as disqualifiers Buescher’s Catholicism and his affiliation with the Knights of Columbus. If Buescher is ‘unqualified’ because of his Catholicism and affiliation with the Knights of Columbus, then President John F. Kennedy, and the ‘liberal lion of the Senate’ Ted Kennedy would have been ‘unqualified’ for the same reasons.
Gabbard was almost completely alone among progressives. Her side reacted furiously.
But she wasn’t completely alone. Illinois Rep. Dan Lipinski, one of the only pro-life Democrats left in the House, voiced his concern on the matter:
I would never, ever have expected that membership in the Knights of Columbus would be something that would be viewed with suspicion and maybe even worse. It’s terrible to see membership in the Knights of Columbus questioned like that, but at the core this gets back to the question of religious freedom, and it’s something that we have to continue to speak out about because we, our country, can’t afford to lose that freedom that we’re guaranteed in the First Amendment to the Constitution.
Senators who dismiss the Knights of Columbus as “extreme” show just how little they know about the organization. The Knights mostly focus on charity work for the poor, disabled, and orphaned, while raising money to educate underprivileged students who come from all religious affiliations.
The Knights of Columbus are, essentially, a Catholic version of the Rotary Club. And the depth of their giving is impressive to say the least.
The Federalist’s Helen Raleigh put it best: “The only thing extreme about [the Knights of Columbus] is their generosity.”
As we have noted before at The Daily Signal, religious tests for public office are clearly forbidden by the Constitution. Senate Democrats’ increasing hostility to nominees who hold deep Christian beliefs is a regression back to a sectarian sensibility we thought we had left behind.
In the 1920s, there was heightened tension between Catholic and Protestant Christians in America. Some, like the Ku Klux Klan, openly questioned whether Catholics could even be Americans—especially in light of the sharp increase of immigrants from Catholic countries.
Democratic Sen. Robert Byrd was the last ex-klansman to serve in the Senate. But it appears some modern progressives have amnesia and are picking up the anti-Catholic torch yet again.
Certainly, a judicial nominee’s views and legal positions are relevant as to whether they are fit to serve, but attempting to disqualify them for the simple fact that they are affiliated with a specific religious group is corrosive.
The charge against the Knights of Columbus, and Buescher, seems to be that their true religion is Catholicism and not progressivism. That is a religious test in disguise—but they cannot be allowed to get by with it.
The Heritage Foundation’s Joel Griffith recently pointed out that anti-Semitism has gained a new foothold in the 116th Congress. So has anti-Catholicism. But it’s encouraging to see two brave members of the Democratic Party finally pushing back. Let their tribe increase.
https://drrichswier.com/wp-content/uploads/Tulsi-Gabbard-e1547464085714.jpg444640The Daily Signalhttp://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.pngThe Daily Signal2019-01-14 06:08:222019-01-14 06:08:23These 2 Democrats Are Finally Standing Up to Anti-Christian Bigotry in Their Party
Former Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) official Michael Cutler says the current “crisis” of mass illegal and legal immigration to the United States is the direct result of “globalists going back decades.”
In an exclusive interview with SiriusXM Patriot’s Breitbart News Tonight, Cutler argues that the country’s immigration system — which imports more than 1.5 million illegal and legal immigrants a year — is not “broken” as Democrats and Republicans often claim, but actually operating “exactly” how politicians and their billionaire donors intended it to work.
Both sides of the aisle have been globalists going back decades. And that’s how we’ve gotten ourselves into this mess. [Emphasis added]
[ … ]
When people say ‘The immigration system is broken,’ I’m going to shock you and tell you it’s not broken. It’s doing exactly what the elite want. It is a delivery system and what it delivers is an unlimited supply of cheap, exploitable labor … it delivers an unlimited supply of foreign tourists. That’s why we have 28 visa waiver countries on 9/11, today we have 38 visa waiver countries. There should be zero visa waiver countries if you look at the findings of the 9/11 Commission. [Emphasis added]
It also delivers an unlimited supply of foreign students and for the immigration lawyers … an unlimited supply of clientele. [Emphasis added]
Listen to Cutler’s full interview here:
Cutler also called out Sen. Chuck Schumer’s (D-NY) record on wanting to increase penalties for Americans who trespass on federal property while opposing the enforcement of immigration law that penalizes illegal aliens for trespassing into the U.S.
“Chuck Schumer in 2014 … wanted a federal law that would make trespassing on critical infrastructure a five-year federal felony,” Cutler said.
“The same Schumer says when you trespass on America, however, you’ve earned citizenship of the highest honor that we can bestow upon a foreign national,” Cutler continued. “It’s outrageous beyond words.”
“This is a crisis that has been festering far too long because you’ve had far too many immoral, greedy politicians willing to sell America to the highest bidder through campaign contributions,” Cutler said.
Currently, the federal government has remained partially shut down as House Democrats block any funding for physical barriers at the U.S.-Mexico border. A handful of Senate Republicans, meanwhile, crafted a plan to give amnesty to illegal aliens that ultimately failed to gain traction.
President Donald Trump has said he is reviewing a plan to deem the border and illegal immigration a national emergency in order to fund a wall along the southern border.
Breitbart News Tonight broadcasts live on SiriusXM Patriot channel 125 weeknights from 9:00 p.m. to midnight Eastern or 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Pacific.
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.
Border security is once again front and center on the American political scene as politicians in Washington posture in the debate over whether the U.S. should build some sort of border wall or fence on its porous southern border with Mexico.
Whenever the Mexican border is at the top of the news, it serves as a reminder that our southern border is almost completely unsecure. And there have been some reminders mixed in over the years that Washington has ignored this problem about the potential for a terrorist threat from south of the border, such as James O’Keefe of Project Veritas wading across the Rio Grande dressed like Osama Bin Laden.
Some on the Left insist on downplaying the threat from terrorism on America’s southern border, almost to the point that they insist that there is NO threat from terrorists associated with our insecure borders (the reality is that the potential threat exists on our northern border as well).
But there IS a Jihadist threat from south of the border and it is not new. It has been discussed since well before 9/11. The Jihadist threat on the southern border is real and it is multifaceted.
There is no way to estimate how many jihadists may already have crossed into the U.S. from Mexico. But the time to play politics with the border issue is long past. The shallow sloganeering and race-baiting that have dominated the national debate about border controls should be recognized as what they are: hindrances to sane and sensible national defense measures.
OTM is an acronym for illegal aliens who are ‘Other Than Mexican’ — SIA stands for ‘Special Interest Aliens’ from 34 nations like Iraq, Iran, Libya, Syria, Afghanistan, Sudan, Somalia, Pakistan, and Yemen.
Mexicans trying to enter the U.S. illegally are often simply processed at the border and sent back. But Mexico won’t allow us to send citizens from other countries back through Mexico, and under U.S. law, they’re entitled to a formal deportation hearing. The immigration service lacks beds to hold them, so the vast majority of OTMs are released from custody and asked to voluntarily return for their court date.
From 2008-2010, an estimated 180,000 OTMs (Other Than Mexicans) were believed to have crossed the border illegally. In that same period, 1,918 “Special Interest” OTMs were apprehended on the border.It is generally believed that for every illegal alien apprehended at the border, there are several who elude border security and are not apprehended.
Law enforcement sources in Arizona have told me that it has become increasingly common for Muslims in Mexico to change their Islamic surnames to Hispanic sounding names to facilitate moving across the border. Apologists claim this is simply to avoid discrimination.
Perhaps not coincidentally, there has been a noticeable proliferation of Salafist mosques in Latin America since the early 1990s and an increasing proselytization campaign on the part of Wahhabi and Saudi-funded nongovernmental organizations like the World Assembly for Muslim Youth (WAMY). It is worth mentioning that WAMY’s U.S. operations were shut down by the Justice Department due to the organization’s massive material support for Jihad.
My law enforcement sources tell me that drug cartels have been involved in trafficking Al Qaeda, Al Shabaab and Hezbollah operatives into the US.
The vast majority of the time, the media line is that the overwhelming majority of the people crossing our southern border are just poor innocents looking for work and a meager wage. Evaluated in the most simplistic terms, this is of course, partly true. But the more complex reality isn’t that simple or sanitary.
According to law enforcement personnel I have spoken to, the majority of border crossers are NOT economic immigrants.
An examination of anecdotes about general enforcement conditions on the U.S.-Mexican border paint a picture that indicates that America has not taken the steps necessary to defend itself from terrorist infiltration.
For instance, there are severe constraints on border enforcement personnel. The Border Patrol is forbidden from patrolling on federal land, opening large swathes of territory by default. Demoralized Border Patrol officers also report receiving instructions over the years to avoid detaining and processing illegal aliens.
Against these constraints, our border and immigration enforcement personnel are going up against a robust, sophisticated alliance of drug cartels and Jihadis.
According the law enforcement personnel in Arizona, cartels are buying real estate on both sides of the border to set up staging areas and camps. The cartels employ high-tech communications gear superior to that in the hands of US law enforcement. Cartels and “coyotes” employ scouts and snipers on the high ground along trafficking routes—as far north as Phoenix.
Border enforcement personnel report that the Mexican army has in fact provided surveillance and cover fire FOR traffickers on more than one occasion in the past.
Arizona ranchers report that they are afraid to use their cell phones in the open because cartel snipers might think they are calling in reports to law enforcement and kill them. Even U.S. law and border enforcement personnel are careful about using communications gear in the open on the southern border.
• In an infamous undated video, a Muslim cleric in Kuwait, Abdullah al-Nafsi, in a sermon in his mosque said that “there is no need for airplanes and planning; one man with the courage to carry a suitcase of anthrax through the tunnels from Mexico to the United States could kill 330,000 Americans in one hour.”
• In June 2004, the US Border Patrol arrested 77 “Middle Eastern” men attempting to cross the border from Mexico illegally.
• In October 2004, US intelligence officials received reports that 25 Chechans had illegally crossed into Arizona from Mexico.
• In December 2004, a Bangladeshi Muslim named Fakhrul Islam, was arrested crossing the southern border from Mexico in the company of the Central American gang MS-13.
• In January 2005, two Hamas operatives, Mahmoud Khalil and Ziad Saleh, were arrested as part of a criminal enterprise in Los Angeles. Both had entered the U.S. after paying a smuggler $10,000 each to take them across the border.
• In September 2007, Texas’ top homeland security official, Steve McCraw, told the El Paso Times that terrorists with ties to Hezbollah, Hamas and Al Qaeda had been arrested crossing the Texas border with Mexico in recent years.
• In November 2007, the FBI issued an advisory about a plan by jihadists in league with Mexican drug lords to cross the border via underground tunnels and attack the intelligence training center at Fort Huachuca, Arizona, twenty miles from the border with Mexico. “The Afghanis and Iraqis,” one official explained, paid the Mexicans $20,000 or “the equivalent in weapons” for their help in getting into the U.S., and “shaved their beards so as not to appear to be Middle Easterners.”
• In February 2008, three Afghanis were arrested at an international airport in India for traveling on forged Mexican passports.
• A 2010 GAO report detailed the ease with which WMD might be smuggled across the southern border. In a simulation exercise conducted by intelligence and law enforcement agencies, in three states, investigators were able to cross undetected, successfully simulating the cross-border movement of radioactive materials or other contraband into the United States.
“The Border Patrol nabbed two Pakistani men with ties to terrorism at the U.S.-Mexico border in September in the latest instance of illegal immigrants from so-called “special interest countries” using the southern border as a point of entry to the U.S.
Muhammad Azeem and Mukhtar Ahmad, both in their 20s and from Gujrat, were caught Sept. 20 by agents south of San Diego and just over the international border from Tijuana. When agents checked their identities through databases they got hits on both of them: Mr. Ahmad popped up as an associate of a known or suspected terrorist, while Mr. Azeem’s information had been shared by a foreign government for intelligence purposes.
Both men had been processed two months earlier by immigration officials in Panama, suggesting they took advantage of smuggling networks or other routes increasingly used by Central American illegal immigrants to sneak into the U.S.”
• The recent migrant caravans originating in Central America have included “several SIAs, and potentially” known or suspected terrorists traveling toward the U.S. border.
• The U.S. Department of Homeland Security continues to prioritize the SIA threat as one of the top threats to the homeland because of the consistently “large number” of individuals from special interest countries that travel to the Western Hemisphere using illicit pathways.
• Written ISIS materials and publications have encouraged ISIS followers to cross the U.S. Southwest Border.
• DHS Border Patrol Agents “routinely” encounter SIAs at the border using routes controlled by transnational criminal organizations.
• Statistics on the number of known or suspected terrorists on routes to the border are often classified, but the threat posed by “the existence of illicit pathways into the United States” highlights that “border security is national security” as terrorist groups seek to exploit vulnerabilities among neighboring countries to fund, support, and commit attacks against the homeland.
• The report lists five open-source, unclassified cases representing the types of individuals and threats associated with illicit routes to the homeland. (CIS recently compiled and published a list of 15.) A number of heavily redacted cases are included in which biometric enrollment information uncovered suspected terrorists in 2013, 2015, and 2018.
• The frequency of international flights from special interest regions into Latin America and the Caribbean continues to increase due to economic and governance challenges in those countries that create an attractive environment for illicit SIA travel to the U.S. border.
• ICE Homeland Security Investigations is deeply enmeshed in investigations and operations throughout Central America to counter human smuggling organizations that move SIAs in Panama, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Colombia, and Brazil.
• Abdulahi Sharif, Somalia, detained in Alberta, Canada, September 2017, ISIS (“It soon emerged that some years earlier, in 2011, Sharif smuggled through Latin America and Mexico to the California border.”)
• Ibrahim Qoordheen, Somalia, detained in Costa Rica, March 2017, probable al-Shabaab (Detained in Costa Rica en route to U.S. southern border)
• Unidentified Afghan national, reported smuggled into the United States, between 2014-2016, Pakistani Taliban. (In 2017, federal prosecutors convicted Sharafat Ali Khan, a Pakistani human smuggler based in Brazil, for transporting between 25 and 99 illegal immigrants from Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Afghanistan from Brazil to Texas and California over the Mexican border. According to the Washington Times, at least one of Khan’s customers was an Afghan “who authorities said was involved in a plot to conduct an attack in the U.S. or Canada and had family ties to members of the Taliban.”)
• Muhammad Azeem and Mukhtar Ahmad, Pakistani nationals, Mexico-California border, September 2015, affiliation unknown. (U.S. Border Patrol agents apprehended Azeem and Ahmad just north of Tijuana after the pair had traveled from their home in Gujrat, Pakistan, through Latin America. Database checks revealed that both migrants were on U.S. terrorism watch lists.)
• Unnamed Somali national, detained at the Texas-Mexico border port of entry, June 2014, probable al-Shabaab. (This Somali entrant told U.S. immigration officials that two months prior to his border entry to claim asylum he had completed training for a suicide attack in Mogadishu but instead went to African Union troops who were able to thwart the planned terrorist operation. He stated that he had trained with 13 other Somalis for 10 weeks to use suicide belts, AK-47s, and grenades.)
• Unnamed Sri Lankan national, detained at Texas-Mexico border, March 2012, Tamil Tigers. (This Sri Lankan was with two other Sri Lankans apprehended by Border Patrol agents in McAllen, Texas. He stated that he belonged to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, a U.S.-designated foreign terrorist organization.)
• Unnamed Somali national, detained at Mexico-California port of entry, May 2011, probable al-Shabaab. (Somali individual crossed the border at the San Ysidro, Calif., port of entry. He had previously been denied a U.S. immigration visa and was on multiple U.S. terrorism watch lists. His mother, father, and four siblings also were on terrorism watch lists.)
• Unnamed Bangladeshi national, detained near Naco, Ariz., June 2010, Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami Bangladesh. (One of two Bangladeshis apprehended after traveling together and illegally crossing from Mexico admitted to U.S. Border Patrol interviewers that both had worked in the “General Assembly” for the U.S.-designated terrorist group Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami Bangladesh. Subsequently, one of two detainees was deported, but the other was granted bond on an asylum claim and absconded.)
• Abdullahi Omar Fidse, Somalia, detained at Mexico-Texas Border, June 2008, al-Shabaab. (In July 2013, a U.S. District Judge sentenced Fidse on convictions for lying to the FBI about his terrorism associations after he traveled through Latin America to a Mexico-Texas port of entry in 2008. An FBI counterterrorism investigation found he had served as an al-Shabaab combat operative, crossed the border intending to conduct an unspecified operation, possessed the cell phone number of a terrorist implicated in the 2010 Uganda bombing that killed 70 soccer fans, and laid out details of a plan to assassinate the U.S. ambassador to Kenya and his Marine guard.)
• Mohammad Ahmad Dhakane, Somalia, detained at Mexico-Texas border port of entry, October 2008, al-Ittihad al-Islamiya. (In 2010, Dhakane was convicted at trial in San Antonio, Texas, on asylum fraud charges derived from an FBI terrorism investigation, which began when he was recorded speaking about his work as a terrorist to an undercover informant inside a Texas detention facility. Dhakane had worked as a Brazil-based smuggler of fellow Somalis to the U.S. border )
The Al Qaeda threat in Latin America has been well documented:
• On June 30, 2004 it was announced by the Honduran Security Ministry that high-ranking Al Qaeda operative Adnān Shukrī Jumaʿah (Adnan Gulshair el Shukrijumah) had been in Honduras during the previous month meeting with members of the MS13 street gang. He is also believed to have conducted surveillance of the Panama Canal. He was still one of the most wanted terrorists in the world at the time he was killed in Pakistan in 2014. (He happened to be the son of an Imam from Miramar, FL incidentally)”
• In July 2004, a woman named Farida Goolam Mohamed Ahmed was arrested at a Texas airport boarding a flight to New York after she either walked or swam across the Mexican border into Texas. According to the Washington Post, she was connected to a Pakistani terrorist group and was believed to be ferrying instructions to U.S.-based Al Qaeda operatives.
• In November 2004, captured Al Qaeda Egyptian Jihadist Sharif al-Masri told US interrogators that Al Qaeda sought to exploit the US’s porous southern border and possibly smuggle radiological material across it from Mexico.
• In February 2005, Porter Goss, the director of central intelligence, told the Senate Intelligence Committee that Al Qaeda had considered infiltrating the United States through the Mexican border.
• In February 2005, Adm. James M. Loy, the deputy secretary of homeland security testified before Congress that intelligence “strongly suggests” that Al Qaeda operatives have considered using the Mexican border as an entry point. Admiral Loy cited recent information from investigations and detentions as the basis for his concern about the Mexican border. He added, “Several Al Qaeda leaders believe operatives can pay their way into the country through Mexico and also believe illegal entry is more advantageous than legal entry for operational security reasons.”
• Also in 2005, FBI Director Robert Mueller’s congressional testimony indicated that “there are individuals from countries with known Al Qaeda connections who are changing their Islamic surnames to Hispanic-sounding names and obtaining false Hispanic identities, learning to speak Spanish and pretending to be Hispanic.”
• In November 2005, Texas Congressman John Culberson described on national TV how an Iraqi al-Qaeda operative on the terror watch list was captured living near the Mexico-Texas border.
The east African Jihadist organization Al Shabaab has been discovered to have a footprint in Mexico. They are receiving Mexican language and cultural assimilation training, have been discovered to have a relationship of convenience with the Mexican drug cartels, and have been smuggling their operatives into the United States to raise money and to recruit members to their cause:
• In 2010, a man named Ahmed Muhammad Dhakane allegedly secreted “hundreds of people” — including Somalis believed to be associated with Al Shabaab — into the United States. Prior to arriving to Congress, Congressman Michael McCaul (R-Texas) worked as chief of counterterrorism in the U.S. Attorney’s office in the Western District of Texas — part of the Lone Star State that borders with Mexico. McCaul’s statement on this incident is chilling: “To this day we do not know where those 300 Somalis are … We do know they are in the United States.”
• In May 2010, the DHS sent an alert to Texas law enforcement to be on the lookout for a suspected member of Al Shabaab suspected of entering Texas from Mexico.
• In June 2010, Mexican Marines raided a house occupied by an Al Shabaab member in Mexico City, uncovering a large cache of explosives reportedly to be used in an attack on the US embassy, which was less than a mile away.
The Iranian-backed Shia Jihadist terrorist group Hezbollah is probably the biggest threat on the southern border:
• In February 2001, Mahmoud Kourani (the brother of Hezbollah’s security chief in southern Lebanon) came across the border from Tijuana into California in the trunk of a car, after bribing a Mexican embassy official in Beirut to get a visa. He eventually settled in Dearborn, Michigan. Kourani had received training in weapons, intelligence, and spycraft in Iran.
• In December 2002, Salim Boughader was arrested for smuggling 200 Lebanese, including Hezbollah operatives, across the border from Tiajuana into California. Boughader had previously worked for Hezbollah’s Al-Manar TV satellite network.
• In April 2006, FBI Director Robert Muller announced that the Iranian-backed Hezbollah had succeeded in smuggling operatives across the Mexican border into the U.S. Mr. Muller claimed the FBI had dismantled the smuggling ring, identified the people who had been smuggled in and “addressed” them. Or at least “addressed” those we knew about. Or something.
• In July 2010, Mexican authorities announced that they had broken up a Hezbollah network operating in their country.
• An indictment was handed down on August 30, 2010 by the Southern District Court of New York that showed a connection between Hezbollah and the drug cartels that violently plague the U.S.-Mexico border. In short, a well-known international arms dealer was trying to orchestrate an arms-for-drugs deal in which cocaine from FARC – the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, which works with Mexican drug cartels to take cocaine into America – would be traded for thousands of weapons housed by a Hezbollah operative in Mexico.
• Michael Braun, a former Drug Enforcement Administration chief of operations, has even been quoted as saying, “Hezbollah relies on the same criminal weapons smugglers, document traffickers and transportation experts as the drug cartels. … They work together; they rely on the same shadow facilitators. One way or another, they are all connected.” In February 2012, Braun testified before Congress that Hezbollah, had developed strong, sophisticated relationships with Mexican drug cartels: “And by developing those relations it provided them with the ability to operate far from home in our neighborhood and on our doorstep.”
• In September 2012, three members of Hezbollah–including a US citizen named Rafic Mohammad Labboun Allaboun–were arrested in Merida, Mexico and turned over the US authorities. Allaboun was carrying a fake passport identifying him as a citizen of Belize at the time of arrest. Once a prominent Muslim leader in Northern California, Labboun spent over two years in prison for credit card fraud. Authorities suspected that the $100,000 in credit card fraud was linked to Hezbollah’s money laundering activities.
What all this adds up to is that the American people are being sold a bill of goods.
When politicians call for action to “reform” immigration they ignore the reality that the most pressing need for true reform is border security and there has been no Congressional action on that issue whatsoever.
This is despite the fact that there is a true national security threat on the southern border. Our Jihadist enemies have openly discussed this vulnerability and have already exploited it in documented cases. Pundits who go on national television and declare that there has never been a single credible report of a terrorist threat on the southern border are either ignorant or dishonest.
The American people are right to be concerned about the vulnerability of our porous, undefended borders. Open borders in the age of global Jihad amount to insanity.
Christopher Holton is Vice President for Outreach at the Center for Security Policy. Mr. Holton came to the Center after serving as president and marketing director of Blanchard & Co. and editor-in-chief of the Blanchard Economic Research Unit from 1990 to 2003. As chief of the Blanchard Economic Research Unit in 2000, he conceived and commissioned the Center for Security Policy special report “Clinton’s Legacy: The Dangerous Decade.” Holton is a member of the Board of Advisers of WorldTribune.com. Follow Holton on Twitter @CHoltonCSP
https://drrichswier.com/wp-content/uploads/AdobeStock_126032922-1024x683-e1547429163879.jpeg427640Center For Security Policyhttp://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.pngCenter For Security Policy2019-01-13 20:27:512019-01-14 07:31:38The Terror Threat on the Southern Border
The following is adapted from a panel presentation on October 12, 2018, in Kansas City, Missouri, at a Hillsdale College Free Market Forum, sponsored by the College’s Center for the Study of Monetary Systems and Free Enterprise.
At the beginning of the twentieth century, the invention of the automobile liberated individuals from the yoke of distance. While people could travel before the invention and widespread use of the automobile, they were bound in their daily lives by the limited distance horses could cover. Railroads alleviated but did not eliminate those restrictions—movement was confined by the location of railroad tracks and by train schedules. It was only the automobile that gave individuals the freedom to move at their own leisure.
A century after the invention of the automobile, the invention of the smartphone triggered a similar revolution. And while history never repeats itself, sometimes it rhymes, and these rhymes can help us understand the present.
Before the smartphone, people were tethered to their landlines. In the 1990s, the proliferation of mobile phones and increased access to the Internet greatly expanded our freedom to communicate and our access to information. But it was the introduction of the smartphone in 2007, coupled with mobile communication and the Internet, that brought unprecedented access to information to the Western world and to a significant portion of the developing world.
We have at our fingertips today more advanced hardware and computing power than was used to send man to the moon, more information than is contained in the best library, and more power to communicate than any propaganda machine ever dreamed of possessing. The average individual, however, would not be able to take advantage of these hardware advances and computational powers without the proper applications. Companies like Apple, Google, Facebook, Twitter, and Amazon—what the press now calls “Big Tech”—enabled average people to use these powers to improve their lives.
But however much the automobile revolution improved lives, it also presented challenges that required regulatory responses —e.g., speed limits and traffic lights in response to lethal accidents and emission standards in response to air pollution. The Big Tech revolution poses challenges as well—including to free markets—and it is foolish to ignore them. While we no more want to go back to a world without smartphones than we do a world without cars, the question is whether we should manage this new technology so that it helps all of us and does not become just an end in itself.
From the outset, the car industry was fragmented. Roughly 3,000 companies were started in the United States with the intent to produce cars. Despite the fact that Henry Ford’s introduction of mass production with the Model T in 1908 significantly increased economies of scale, there were still 44 independent car companies in the U.S. at the outset of the Great Depression. Only after that did the number of U.S. car manufacturers drop to eight, and it wasn’t until the early 1980s that the Big Three (Chrysler, Ford, General Motors) emerged. By that time, however, foreign cars were on the rise. Even today, the market share of the top-selling car manufacturer in the U.S. is only 18 percent, of the largest two only 32 percent, and of the largest four only 54 percent.
What produced this fragmentation? One factor was geographical segmentation: high transportation costs favored local producers. Another was product differentiation: Henry Ford famously said that you can choose a Model T of any color as long as it is black; in reality, consumers preferred not only different colors but different models, reducing the economies of scale advantage.
The history of Big Tech is very different. Only ten years after the introduction of the iPhone, Apple’s market share as the largest smartphone seller in the U.S. is 38 percent, that of the largest two smartphone sellers 64 percent, and of the largest four 90 percent. When we look at the application markets, the picture is even starker. The market share of Google, the largest search engine in the U.S., is 86 percent, that of the largest two 93 percent, and of the largest four 99 percent. The market share of the largest social media platform in the U.S. is 60 percent, of the largest two 86 percent, and of the largest four 98 percent. To be fair, it is difficult to measure the market share of products that are free. But even if we look at a more substantive market, such as online advertising, Google and Facebook form a duopoly that commands more than 80 percent of market share.
With the tech sector, we are no longer dealing with a mainly tangible economy—an economy with tangible assets such as computers, machinery, and buildings. In the tech sector—as Jonathan Haskel and Stian Westlake explain in Capitalism without Capital—intangible assets like research and development, marketing, and software dominate. This is not an insignificant fact. As Haskel and Westlake point out, there are four main characteristics of an intangible economy that lead to higher market concentration and less competition: intangible assets are highly scalable, meaning that they can be used repeatedly with little additional investment; investments in intangible assets tend to be sunk, making their value difficult to recuperate; intangible assets are susceptible to spillover, meaning that other companies can benefit from using or mimicking them; and intangible assets, when combined, often produce valuable synergies.
Economists since Adam Smith have taught us that in a competitive economy, the pursuit of private interests leads to the best possible outcome for everybody. But notice the qualifier: for this arrangement to work, there must be competition. It should disturb us, then, that the founders of Google themselves admit that the history of searches they have amassed creates a gigantic barrier to new entrants.
Another aspect of the Big Tech revolution that sets it apart is the quantity and precision of amassed data it makes possible. Businesses have always accumulated data on their clients, but the amount and detail of data concentrated in the hands of Big Tech companies are beyond anything previously imagined. And its value increases rather than decreases with quantity: consumption patterns of individuals are more valuable if linked to their location, more valuable still if linked to their health information, and so on. Not only does this data concentration represent an insurmountable barrier for new entrants into the market, it also represents a threat to individual privacy and can even be a threat—as recent data mining and censorship scandals suggest—to the functioning of our democracy.
Google and Facebook know more about us than our spouses or closest friends—and sometimes even more than we know about ourselves. They can predict what we’re going to do, how we’re going to vote, and what products we’re going to buy. And they use the best minds in the world to manipulate our decisions in a way reminiscent of the movie The Truman Show.
But that is only one way of using (or misusing) the massive information gathered. Thirty years ago, during the debate over Robert Bork’s nomination to the Supreme Court, The Washington Post reported the titles of the videos he rented. During the recent confirmation hearings for Justice Kavanaugh, it was only because the alleged crimes took place before the diffusion of smartphones that phone companies were not able to disclose the geolocation of the nominee and his accusers during the early 1980s. We surely do not want the government tracking our every movement. Do we want Big Tech companies tracking us? Even worse, do we want to risk having these private monopolies grant information about us to the government in exchange for protection of their monopoly power?
Some say that market competition will naturally solve these problems, but there is plenty of evidence of distortion of competition in the tech sector. Not only on the market side—consider the recent European Union case against Google, charging Google with preferring its own shopping comparison tool to others—but on the social side as well. To take one example, Google unilaterally decided to de-rank payday lenders in their search results. De-ranking is a subtle form of censorship—a company de-ranked by Google is effectively condemned to irrelevancy. Regardless of what we think of payday loans, who is Google to decide that for us? And why would Google have done it? Could it have been because the Obama administration was initiating a campaign against payday lenders at the same time? It is not hard to imagine that Google cultivates the gratitude of politicians who have the power to regulate and legislate in ways that impact Google’s interest.
The Panglossian view that technology will solve the Big Tech problem because that is what has occurred in the past suffers from the fallacy of what Bertrand Russell called “the inductivist turkey.” When a turkey observes that his owner comes each morning to feed him, the turkey inductively infers that he will continue to be fed each morning—an inference that breaks down each year at Thanksgiving. Just because something happened in the past, does not mean it will happen in the future.
It is also simply not true that technology alone has been sufficient in the past. IBM’s dominance lasted “only” 30 years and Microsoft’s less than two decades. But neither company was dethroned without government intervention. IBM lost its primacy because the Department of Justice went after it on antitrust grounds for decades. Because of this pressure, it decided to outsource part of its computer manufacturing, which is what led to the PC revolution. Similarly, Google and Facebook are not part of Microsoft today because Microsoft was under antitrust scrutiny. As one of the lawyers in that case said, “The trial is the remedy.” So historical precedent actually supports the idea of subjecting Big Tech to antitrust scrutiny. While it is absolutely true that growth comes from technological innovation, it is wrong to think that letting Big Tech companies continue unhindered will necessarily lead to that innovation.
So what do I propose? As a skeptical economist—especially with regards to government intervention—I advocate what I call a lean approach. There should be no massive overhauls, which create uncertainty and pose a danger of killing the goose that lays the golden eggs. I’m also not in favor of breaking up all of Big Tech, and especially not Google, because there are significant economies of scale in search algorithms. I would be much more in favor of splitting Instagram from Facebook, because there are no strong synergies between them and because it was a mistake for antitrust enforcers to allow Facebook to gain so much market power in the first place.
But my initial approach would be even more benign. We should try to promote competition. The reason we don’t see a conservative Facebook being developed is because people want to be where other people are, and it’s very costly in terms of time and effort for people to “multi-home”—to be on multiple social networks. Compare this, for example, with using both Lyft and Uber, which is convenient and efficient.
The same could be true with social media if users could post their content to an intermediary that disseminates it to all of their preferred social media sites. The intermediary could also collect and organize content from their friends and present it in one place. The reason this is not already happening is that federal law prevents it. Indeed, a company called Power Ventures made an application to do all this, but it was shut down by court order when Facebook sued it.
As a result of that lawsuit, it is a crime for a company—even with an individual’s permission—to obtain that individual’s data from Facebook. Here is a clear example of Facebook creating barriers to entry, and the elimination of those barriers would be pro-competition and pro-free market—not interventionist.
In the jargon, this is called “portability of the social graph,” and it’s no different than the portability of our cell phone numbers. Those of us who are a little older remember a time when we did not own our phone numbers—the telephone company did, and if we switched companies we lost our number. Why do we now think it is normal to own our phone number? Because the FCC forced phone companies to allow portability—another instance where regulation created more competition, not less, and reduced consumer prices.
We should begin with this kind of lean regulation in the tech sector to create more competition, which will lead in turn to more innovation and a better result for all of us.
Luigi Zingales University of Chicago
Luigi Zingales is the Robert C. McCormack Distinguished Service Professor of Entrepreneurship and Finance and the Charles M. Harper Faculty Fellow at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, where he is also director of the Stigler Center. He graduated summa cum laude from Università Bocconi in Italy and received a Ph.D. in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. A co-host of the podcast Capitalisn’t, he has published extensively in economics and financial journals and is the author of two books, including A Capitalism for the People: Recapturing the Lost Genius of American Prosperity.
https://drrichswier.com/wp-content/uploads/rami-al-zayat-170349-unsplash-e1547426950742.jpg372640Imprimis Digesthttp://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.pngImprimis Digest2019-01-13 19:49:242019-01-13 20:01:53Should We Regulate Big Tech?
Pope Francis said teaching children about being transgender is a moral problem which he calls “ideological colonisation”. He said explaining gender theory to youngsters is wrong because it can change their “mentality”. The pontiff shared, “A father asked his ten-year-old-son: ‘What do you want to do when you grow older?’ The child replied: ‘A girl’. The father realized that in the school books the gender theory was taught. This is against the natural things.” Pope Francis declared gender theory is part of a “global war against the family”.
Unexpected voices like renowned feminist professor Camille Paglia are saying well-meaning adults transgendering minors is child abuse. Professor Paglia actually called it “evil” to help troubled kids make permanent decisions for which there is no turning back. As commonsense normal thinking adults, our response to Ms Paglia’s comment is, “Well dah”.
Public radio show host Jesse Thorn identified his two-year-old son as a girl; dressing his son as a girl and calling him a girl name. Ponder that folks, a two-year-old. We all know this is insane child abuse. When comedian Owen Benjamin compassionately said Thorn was abusing his child, LGBTQ enforcers crushed Benjamin’s career. His tours were canceled and he was blacklisted in Hollywood.
Benjamin has a comedy special. Here is the headline of a hit-piece written to end Benjamin’s career. “Why is Amazon promoting this anti-trans alt right troll’s comedy special?” Do you see how this works folks. Benjamin courageously exposed the abuse of a child and he is branded an extreme-right nutcase hater. LGBTQ enforcers seek to shame and destroy anyone who dares to state the obvious truth that gender theory is child abuse hiding in plain sight.
American College of Pediatricians president, Dr Michelle Cretella, wrote, “Transgender Ideology Has Infiltrated My Field and Produced Large-Scale Child Abuse.” Dr Cretella said transgender ideology is not rooted in reality. She said sex is hardwired before birth and it cannot change. Dr Cretella continued, “By feeding children and families these lies, children are having their normal psychological development interrupted. They’re being put on puberty blockers which essentially castrates them chemically – followed by surgical mutilation later on. This is child abuse. It’s not health care.”
Dr Cretella made this important point. “See, according to most mainstream medical organizations, if you want to cut off a healthy arm or a healthy leg, you’re mentally ill. But if you want to cut off healthy breasts or a penis, you’re transgender. Dr Cretella enraged LGBTQ enforcers by saying, “No one is born transgender.” Dr Cretella is under severe attack.
Folks, can you believe we live in such a crazy evil time in which stating scientific facts and publicly expressing a desire to protect children could cost you your livelihood and even your life (death threats)?
Every time I write about LGBTQ enforcers bullying the masses into submission, my frustrated wife Mary says, “Let people know they are only 3 percent of the population.”
So this is where we are folks. We instinctively know LGBTQ indoctrination is child abuse. And yet, far too many are afraid to say it out loud. LGBTQ enforcers are using government, corporations, the medical profession, social media and mainstream media to bully the mainstream into allowing the abuse of children. How did such a tiny segment of our population (3%) obtain such dictatorial power?
God will severely judge those who lead new believers and children astray. “but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.” (Matthew 18:6)
God instructs parents to loving protect and raise their children. “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6) God does not want government usurping parental authority over America’s children.
It takes courage to stand in a culture which humiliates and high-tech executes all who refuse to kneel in worship to their god of debauchery. Shouldn’t abusing children be our red line in the sand?
The next time you see a gushing news story where you live about how “new Americans” are causing your city’s economy to blossom, check the study and see if the “Welcoming” gang has factored in the amount of money LEAVING your community!
Remittances are the dollars, US dollars, leaving the US economy and are the primary reason countries like Mexico, El Salvador, India, countries in Africa (e.g. Somalia!) and so forth want their migrants to get to the US where they can find employment and welfare (and fraud/crime) in order to send money back ‘home.’
Legal and illegal migrants sent $53.4 billion in remittances back to Mexico and Central America in 2018. That’s $53.4 billion – with a “B” – and more than double the projected cost of building a border barrier.
Remittances to Mexico alone reached $33.7 billion in 2018, up 21 percent from roughly $27.8 billion in 2016, the World Bank reported.
Remittances to Central America are spiking with a growing inflow of asylum seekers benefiting from U.S. catch-and-release laws. Wire transfers to Central America hit $19.7 billion last year, up from $15.8 billion in 2016. The southbound windfall includes payments to human-trafficking cartels.
With an estimated 83 percent of Mexicans who enter the U.S. illegally sending money home, a surcharge on remittances is one sure way for President Trump to make good on his promise to make Mexico pay for the wall.
For a few cents on the dollar it wouldn’t take long for Mexico to pay for the wall! Dane continues,
At the current (and rising) rate of remittances, a nominal 2 percent surcharge on Mexico-bound funds would raise $674 million for a border wall in the first year. Slap a fee on all foreign remittances — $150 billion last year — and the 2,000-mile barrier is fully paid off within eight years.
See the World Bankstudy. There is big money for global banks in this migration business, while those billions leaving the US are no longer available for circulation in your local economy!
Looking for something to do?
The next time you see any mention in local news about how your city is booming because of “new Americans,” call the reporter, ask him/her for the study the news is based upon and look to see if any mention is made of money leaving your city or state for a third world country. If it’s not there, write a letter to the editor to tell the public that the study is bogus.
And, hey, I will bet there is no mention of costs for the criminal justice system in the glowing economic report either. There might not even be the costs for your local school system!
https://drrichswier.com/wp-content/uploads/daria-nepriakhina-107503-unsplash-e1547382832420.jpg377640Ann Corcoranhttp://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.pngAnn Corcoran2019-01-13 07:34:032019-01-13 07:34:05Remittances: The “R” Word No One Talks About
The House Democrats clearly think that President Trump is a greater threat than jihad terrorism, which they don’t recognize as a threat at all, so why not?
“KEEPING AMERICA SAFE: Dems Want To Replace Subcommittee On Terrorism With One Investigating Trump,” by Hank Berrien, Daily Wire, January 11, 2019:
The Democrat who has taken over the House Foreign Affairs Committee has indicated that he will eliminate the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Terrorism and replace it with a subcommittee to investigate President Trump.
Eliot Engel (D-NY) told The New Yorker that he would eliminate the terrorism subcommittee, claiming there “wasn’t a great clamor” to keep it. Engel added that in contrast, his members are eager to pursue what they regard as the teeming number of Trump foreign-policy scandals. Engel insisted, “We just thought, if we’re going to do something relevant in this era where Congress is going to reassert itself, where there are so many questionable activities of this Administration vis-à-vis foreign policy, that it made sense to have this.”
The New Yorker, always a bastion of leftist thought, succinctly summed up, “Trump, in other words, is a bigger threat than terrorism. At least for now.” The New Yorker notes that the Foreign Affairs Committee does not normally spend its time investigating issues, rather, it holds hearings on foreign issues of note. The New Yorker surmises that under Engel, international crises will be a part of the new committee’s agenda but will not “top its agenda, which will be dominated, as so many other areas of our public life now are, by President Trump’s uniquely chaotic and unsettling approach to the rest of the world.”
Asked what he planned to investigate, Engel replied that one issue will be what Trump agreed to when he met privately with Russian President Vladimir Putin last year. He commented, “It’s been many months since Helsinki, and we still don’t know what Putin and Trump talked about.” Additionally, Engel named “the business interests of the President” and how Trump’s financial dealings have “affected what he’s done in foreign policy.”
Engel said smugly, “Many other committees would love to poach some of our jurisdiction.”
The New Yorker tried to justify the new emphasis of the committee, writing, “But a probe of Trump, Inc., given the President’s tendency to conflate his personal interests with the national interest, now seems indispensable to the foreign-policy concerns of the day, whether it’s explaining Trump’s otherwise hard-to-fathom pro-Russia tilt or shedding light on his family’s pursuit of business deals with Middle Eastern figures who are also key to Trump’s geopolitical priorities.”
Other Trump-related issues Engel plans to address: Trump’s relationship with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un; the death of the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi; the relationship between the Saudi Crown Prince and the Trump family, and Trump’s decisions regarding Syria.
The New Yorker trumpeted: “For Engel and the other newly empowered Democrats in the House of Representatives, it’s a moment to show whether they can do more than assert their relevance. Will all the investigations and subpoenas amount to more than political posturing against the President?”…
EDITORS NOTE: This column with images by Jihad Watch is republished with permission. The featured image is courtesy of Rep. Eliot Engel on Twitter.
https://drrichswier.com/wp-content/uploads/democrat-house-leadership-116th-congress-twitter.jpg349640Robert Spencerhttp://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.pngRobert Spencer2019-01-13 07:15:272019-01-13 07:22:18Democrats to replace House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Terrorism with subcommittee investigating Trump
The Gallup organization has just published an on-going study on trends in political ideology, titled, “U.S. Still Leans Conservative, but Liberals Keep Recent Gains” (Jan 8th). Not surprising, conservatives continue to outnumber liberals by 35% to 26%. Nor is it a surprise that 76% of Republicans consider themselves conservative.
The startling news here is, for the first time ever, the majority of Democrats now consider themselves liberal as opposed to moderate or conservative. Whereas I have always thought of Democrats as being liberal, I have had many Democrats over the years push back claiming this is simply not so. Now, according to Gallup, there is evidence confirming this suspicion. Whereas is was 50% in 2017, it went up a single tick (51%) in 2018, to push them over the top to clinch the majority.
According to the study, here is how DEMOCRATS viewed themselves:
51% – Liberal 34% – Moderate 13% – Conservative
And here is how REPUBLICANS viewed themselves:
76% – Conservative 22% – Moderate 04% – Liberal
Last, but certainly not least, here is how INDEPENDENTS saw themselves:
45% – Moderate 28% – Conservative 22% – Liberal
Not surprising, it is the Moderate Independents that both parties are wooing as we approach 2020. Conservatives and liberals have their own unique perspective, but is is the moderates the news media is after in terms of shaping their opinion.
Interestingly, the study reveals there are two groups perfectly balanced between being conservative and liberal: Women and Latinos. These groups are also up for grabs.
In a related study, “Record Numbers of Americans Want to Leave the U.S.,” Gallup reveals 16% of the populace want to move out of the country, preferably to Canada. According to the study, the pristine candidate desiring to leave the country are women between the ages of 15-29, and representing the most poor.
I hope they know how to read a map. BTW, Canada is just north of the United States.
Keep the Faith!
EDITORS NOTE: This column with images is republished with permission. All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies. The featured photo is by Paweł Czerwiński on Unsplash.
https://drrichswier.com/wp-content/uploads/pawel-czerwinski-730619-unsplash-1-e1547380049240.jpg350640Tim Brycehttp://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.pngTim Bryce2019-01-13 06:47:442019-01-13 06:47:46NO SURPRISE HERE: Democrats Are Liberal
I thought I would weigh in on what lies ahead here in 2019. Although no one knows for sure but God and perhaps President Trump, I think there is a high probability that 2019 will be an historical year on many fronts as President Trump leads America’s second revolution restoring power to the people.
Top Five Events
If you are following the many sources I have referenced throughout the articles I have written here on this bog site, you too may come to the very same conclusions that I have. 2019 will be an eventful, historic and volatile year to say the least, which may include these top five events.
* National State of Emergency: (the wall will be built and Mexico is paying for it) Read more.
* Global Financial Reset: Stock market meltdown, US dollar revaluation and the initial steps of taking over the Federal Reserve (already has begun). Request a special report via contact us I. will e-mail it to you.
* Military Tribunals: (this too has already begun). The public at large will come to learn of this along with indictments, grand juries, hearings and trials against the deep state and its operatives, nationally and globally. See “Scale of Discovery“.
* Martial Law: The probability of martial law is becoming increasingly more real to me. With the onslaught of subpoenas, hearings, law suits, impeachment proceedings, and other various baseless attacks against the President and his allies and supporters, we cannot expect the Democrats and the deep state and its operatives to simply do nothing. Be prepared for false flag events of potential magnitude. Martial Law, (revised in Executive Orders by the President), may be the only way to seize control from the clutches of the deep state cabal.
Doom and gloom? Nah, not at all. We are resurrecting America and redirecting humanity. It took a long time to get into this mess. It will take some years and sacrifice to get out of it. The great awakening has begun. It will be dangerous and these times will try men’s souls. So what to do?
For those of us of faith? Seek wisdom, comfort and protection and pray for the President and for this country. Surround yourself with like-minded individuals who understand the times in which we live and expand these circles. Spread the truth. Expose the lies. Become politically active by joining and supporting various groups in this movement towards restoring freedom. Have a plan B in place to protect you and your loved ones, to not only survive, but thrive. Request the Global Financial Reset Special Report. Stay the course. Support this President.
Freedom…it’s up to us!
EDITORS NOTE: This column with images is republished with permission.
https://drrichswier.com/wp-content/uploads/FAQ-e1547379350483.jpg362640John Michael Chambershttp://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.pngJohn Michael Chambers2019-01-13 06:36:172019-01-13 13:59:06VIDEO: What Lies Ahead
Energy improvement does not depend on geography or race but on the right institutions. Sustainable energy—available, affordable, and reliable—requires private property rights, voluntary exchange, and the rule of law.
here are two energy futures for America. One is freedom and prosperity. The other is politics, conflict, and waste. As with other goods and services, energy’s availability and affordability will depend on whether natural incentives and economic law are respected or hampered by government policy.
The future of free-market energy is bright and open-ended. “It’s reasonable to expect the supply of energy to continue becoming more available and less scarce, forever,” Julian Simon wrote in his magnum opus, The Ultimate Resource II. “Discoveries, like resources, may well be infinite: the more we discover, the more we are able to discover.”
Resourceship, entrepreneurship applied to minerals, explains the seeming paradox of expanding depletable resources. Statistics confirmed Simon’s view, yet Malthusian critics belittled him as a naïve romantic. To which Simon responded: “I am not an optimist, I am a realist.”
Energy coordination and improvement do not depend on geography or race but on the right institutions. Sustainable energy—available, affordable, and reliable—requires private property rights, voluntary exchange, and the rule of law. Cultural and legal freedom unleash human ingenuity and problem-solving entrepreneurship, what Simon called the ultimate resource.
Philosopher Alex Epstein has reframed the energy-environmental debate in terms of human flourishing. Under this standard, consumer-chosen, taxpayer-neutral, dense, storable mineral energies are essential and moral.
Free-market energy is a process of improvement, not a state of perfection. There is always room for betterment as the good is no longer the best and as problems and setbacks occur. Profit/loss and legal consequences propel correction in a way that government intervention does not.
Problems spur improvement in ways that otherwise might not occur. “Material insufficiency and environmental problems have their benefits,” noted Julian Simon. “They focus the attention of individuals and communities, and constitute a set of challenges which can bring out the best in people.”
Government interventionism has plagued domestic energy markets in pronounced and subtle ways. Price and allocation controls during wartime and in the 1970s caused shortages of gasoline, fuel oil, natural gas, and other essential products. More subtly, tariffs, quotas, entry restrictions, efficiency edicts, punitive taxes, tax subsidies, forced access, profit guarantees, and other government intervention distort energy markets away from consumer demand.
Socialism has reversed resource abundance in nations around the world. Venezuela is today’s example and is not unlike Mexico’s plunge into nationalism a century ago. International statism is responsible for much of the price volatility experienced in global oil markets.
American citizens must be educated on the perils of politicized energy and corporate cronyism at all levels of government. Capitalist institutions need to be introduced in state-dominated oil regions. Subsoil mineral rights and infrastructure privatization are golden opportunities for wealth creation and wealth democratization around the world.
“The world’s problem is not too many people,” Julian Simon concluded, “but a lack of political and economic freedom.” He explained:
The extent to which the political-social-economic system provides personal freedom from government coercion is a crucial element in the economics of resources and population…. The key elements of such a framework are economic liberty, respect for property, and fair and sensible rules of the market that are enforced equally for all.
This message for 2019 will be the same a century hence. It is optimistic and realistic. And it points toward a continuing open-ended role for natural gas, coal, and oil as the master resource.
Let freely functioning supply meet demand, and let market demand meet supply. Banish alarmism, pessimism, and coercion—the very things that incite and define government intervention and socialism where markets can and should prevail.
Robert L. Bradley Jr. is the CEO and founder of the Institute for Energy Research.
EDITORS NOTE: This column by FEE with images is republished with permission.
https://drrichswier.com/wp-content/uploads/oil-rig-drill-engineer-equipment-extraction-1454193-pxherecom-e1547344117409.jpg372640Foundation for Economic Education (FEE)http://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.pngFoundation for Economic Education (FEE)2019-01-12 20:48:482019-01-12 20:51:03The Two Energy Futures Facing America
For decades, Shaw was a staunch proponent of genocide, refusing to soften his views even after the full horror of the Nazi death camps was brought to light.
In an excerpt from her recently published book Why Women Have Better Sex Under Socialism, Kristen Ghodsee freely quotes from the works of the playwright and Fabian Socialist George Bernard Shaw to bolster her argument that capitalism is inherently sexist. The free market forces women to be reliant upon men, wrote Shaw, turning sex into a virtual bribe for financial security. Based on Shaw’s analysis, Ghodsee concludes that capitalism makes slaves out of women who, under socialism, would supposedly be happy and free.
To say the least, citing Shaw is an odd choice if one is advocating for greater freedom and independence. An apologist for the world’s most brutal and oppressive dictators, Shaw had a passionate hatred for liberty, writing,
Mussolini, Kemal, Pilsudski, Hitler and the rest can all depend on me to judge them by their ability to deliver the goods and not by … comfortable notions of freedom.
For Shaw, “the goods” could only be delivered if the people were bound in universal slavery to the state. This enslavement was necessary for the people’s welfare; most of the population were brutes who, when left to their own devices, could not fend for themselves and thus required the state to “reorganize” their lives for them.
In Shaw’s eyes, the pinnacle of civilization had been reached by the Soviet Union. During his 1931 “pilgrimage” to Stalin’s wonderland, Shaw was given a glimpse of what he referred to as a “land of hope.” He denied that the regime had imprisoned significant numbers of political dissidents, describing the gulags as popular vacation destinations. “From what I gather, they can stay there as long they like,” he said.
That’s not to say he was willfully ignorant of Stalin’s atrocities. Rather, he defended them. Blindly accepting Communist propaganda, Shaw argued that the dictator was forced to organize mass executions to keep the country safe from “exploiters and speculators.” Mass murders were also necessary to maintain a competent workforce. As Shaw wrote in 1933, the “unfortunate Commissar” must shoot his own workers “so that he might the more impressively ask the rest of the staff whether they yet grasped the fact that orders are meant to be executed.”
But killing the disobedient and inefficient was only the first step in building a better society. Shaw also advocated for a far-reaching eugenics program. “[I]f we desire a certain type of civilization and culture,” he wrote, “we must exterminate the sort of people who do not fit into it.” This included a whole range of “defectives.”
If you can’t justify your existence, if you’re not pulling your weight … then clearly, we cannot use the organizations of society for the purpose of keeping you alive, because your life does not benefit us and it can’t be of very much use to you.
But his murderous impulses didn’t stop there. A considerable number of people, Shaw argued in 1948, will never toe the line and are therefore no use to the rest of society. “[T]he ungovernables, the ferocious, the conscienceless, the idiots, the self-centered myops and morons, what of them?” he asked rhetorically. “Do not punish them. Kill, kill, kill, kill, kill them.”
Socialism at All Costs
Though many early 20th century intellectuals were enamored with eugenics, arguably none were as committed to the wholesale slaughter of millions as George Bernard Shaw. For decades, Shaw was a staunch proponent of genocide, refusing to soften his views even after the full horror of the Nazi death camps was brought to light. And yet, there are many leftists today who continue to look to Shaw for political wisdom.
Writing for The Irish Times, Fintan O’Toole declares “The world has never needed George Bernard Shaw more.” Employing a fittingly violent metaphor, O’Toole lauds the way in which Shaw trained his machine gun-like personality on the “pieties of Victorian imperial patriarchy.”
Like Kristen Ghodsee, O’Toole praises Shaw for his polemics against gender inequality and the “tyranny” of family life. No mention is made of his fondness for eugenics. Other writers have taken to Shaw’s defense, admitting he sometimes said distasteful things but ultimately brushing off his more extreme statements as mere “satire.” However, given that Shaw’s penchant for promoting totalitarianism carried on for decades, it’s difficult to believe there was anything “satirical” about it. His bloodthirsty political philosophy seems to be have been all too genuine.
Nonetheless, Shaw was also a steadfast critic of capitalism and “Victorian” social values. His fiery denunciations of wealth inequality and traditional sexual morality resonate well with modern progressives. For them, an individual’s adherence to socialist orthodoxy is enough to absolve him of almost any crime.
From the relatively quiet and “respectable” anti-semitism of Ilhan Omar to the brutal and homicidal radicalism of Che Guevara, socialists have not only been willing to ignore the bigots and authoritarians in their midst but have gone so far as to embrace them. And few have been more adored than that eccentric playwright and unapologetic Stalinist George Bernard Shaw.
Tyler Curtis works as a lender at a community bank in Missouri. He also holds an undergraduate degree in Economics from the Missouri University of Science and Technology.
RELATED VIDEO: George Bernard Shaw: Justify Your Existence
EDITORS NOTE: This column by FEE with images is republished with permission.
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President Trump’s Oval Office address last night made a security and safety centered case for upholding the rule of law and the importance of having a wall on America’s southern border. As the President noted, America welcomes legal immigrants and noted that Americans of all races and backgrounds will especially benefit from proper border policies.
As the robust debate over America’s southern border continues, one group stands out for its divisive rhetoric and blatant politicization of the issue. UnidosUS, formerly known as La Raza, continues to smear those who desire to enforce immigration law and promote the notion that legal immigrants aren’t welcome in America. Via Twitter:
UnidosUS has a clear record of opposing measures that would make our cities and communities safer. These activists have a long history of promoting sanctuary city policies in order to advance the left’s agenda, and they at the forefront of the left’s fight to prevent border security.
However, you might be surprised to learn the UnidosUS’s dangerous agenda is financed by well-known corporations using your dollars. Companies like AT&T, Pepsi, and Walmart all directly fund the activists working to prevent border security and the enforcement of immigration law. (All of UnidosUS’ corporate backers can be seen here.)
We need your help holding these companies accountable for enabling UnidosUS:
1. Tell AT&T, Pepsi, and Walmart to stop their support for this radical organization: