VIDEO: America’s Starvation for Truth

In Venezuela they are starving for food (thanks to Socialism), while Americans are starving for truth. A raised understanding is needed as to the realization that a major paradigm shift is under way and that we have been living in a web of deceitful lies designed to entrap us. It’s time to break free from the Matrix. Break free from the fake and faux news. “The searching-out and thorough investigation of truth ought to be the primary study of man” – Cicero. Let’s begin.

Of course You Don’t Feel So Good

We are bombarded with negative news. Fake news. Out right lies. Half truths, propaganda and the like. The news, (majority of which is owned by six major corporations who do not serve your best interests), has put you on the edge of your seat. You feel we are losing this battle to MAGA. As you watch the news, you feel that many battles are being lost. You are fearful that President Trump may be impeached or removed from office one way or the other. Even though you are not watching CNN, MSNBC, CBS, ABC etc, you are still doused with fake news and propaganda via social media and FOX. Yes FOX News, Rush, Levin and so on. FOX and Rush? Yep. Why? That’s an easy one.

FOX News And the Rest of Them

Well there is the obvious like Shep Smith and Juan Williams for example. But I am talking about the not so obvious. Yes FOX news, Rush, Levin and the rest of them I believe are in fact on our side. They do in fact support our President but they cannot cross the line. They can only go so far or face being fired, sued, skeleton’s in the closet exposed, or far worse. If you think about it, all they do, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingram, Tucker, Rush is spend half of their program showing you the CNN Fake News talking points (it’s no wonder you don’t feel so good and feel we are being defeated), then they spend the second half of their airtime defending, (and sometimes even criticizing), the President. Well better than nothing if that’s all that we have. But it is not all that we have. Change the Channel.

News Behind The News

Eventually after six more years of Trump, media, censorship and the like will be transformed. Until then, compile a list of alternative sources for data. Intel sources including Q. Qanon, and many others. Compile a list of alternative on line news feeds and commentators and as always do your due diligence.

I put together a free digital e-book titled “How to Detect Truth from Lies in the Age of Fake News” and recently did an interview with Will Johnson along with EX CIA Robert David Steele. Visit my website JohnMichaelChambers and request a copy of this free e-book which also provides a list of most valuable links and alternative Intel and resources.

Come aboard. Deliver a blow to the fake news and the enemy. Knowledge is power. Applied knowledge is wisdom. You just may start feeling better in this dark and dangerous deceptive world. You will move from effect to cause. Things will become increasingly confusing and dangerous and upsetting unless you are dealing in truths. Sign up for my free RSS feed on my home page to receive a notification each time I write an article straight to your in box. You can also learn more about my paid weekly subscription to the John Michael Chambers Report. America is starving for the truth. Seek it. You shall find it.

We are winning my friends and in 2019 and 2020 we are embarking upon multiple unprecedented turn of events and soon the world will know. Trust the plan. Stay the course. Do not waiver from our President. Freedom, it’s up to us!

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EDITORS NOTE: This Course Corrections Consulting column with images is republished with permission of the author.

Fact Checking The “Fact Checkers” On Illegal Aliens — “Outing” Orwellian fake news.

On Monday, February 11th I was a guest on a radio show, “The Americhicks” on radio station KLZ to discuss a Feb 4, 2019 CBS News article, The facts on immigration: What you need to know in 2019– CBSN fact-check on immigration.

The CBS article ostensibly responded to nine questions about immigration raised by President Trump.  I was asked to weigh in about the honesty and accuracy of the “Facts” published by CBS to discredit what the President had said.

I reviewed the article during the weekend that preceded that show and found that falsehoods permeated this supposed “fact-check on immigration.”

Unfortunately this sort of deceptive “reporting” is all too common. 

By understanding how to unravel the tapestry of lies contained in this article will provide a methodology that can be brought to bear to critically analyze all supposed “news” articles.

To begin with, the late criminal defense attorney Johnnie Cochran remarked at the O.J. trial, “If you can’t trust the messenger, you cannot trust the message.”

Voltaire wisely said, “You should judge a man’s intelligence by the questions he asked.”  The trick is to devise the incisive questions that provide you with the insight you need to determine whether the material you are reviewing is honest or propaganda.

The CBS News article quoted a number of organizations that provided the supposed “Facts” that were used to counter what President Trump said.  The first issue is to find out who these sources (messengers) are.  It is particularly helpful to find the organization’s website online and review its mission statement.  It may be posted under “About” or “About Us” at the top of the website.

The first source quoted in the CBS article was the Center For Migration Studies.  Here is how its mission statement (under “About” on its website) begins:

The Center for Migration Studies of New York (CMS) is a think tank and an educational institute devoted to the study of international migration, to the promotion of understanding between immigrants and receiving communities, and to public policies that safeguard the dignity and rights of migrants, refugees and newcomers.

Simply stated, this organization is not an objective think tank but a biased advocacy group that seeks to increase the numbers of aliens admitted into the United States and is determined to quash any objections about the influx of aliens irrespective of how they enter the United States.

The CBS article used information provided by CMS to answer the question:  How do most unauthorized immigrants enter the United States?

The answer provided in the CBS article was described as a “Fact”

Fact: Two-thirds of the recent unauthorized immigrant population entered the U.S. on valid visas, then stayed in the country after that visa expired.

This supposed “Fact” was provided to oppose the construction of the border wall, claiming that since so many aliens don’t run our borders, we don’t need to build the wall.

In reality, the actual number of illegal aliens in the United States is unknown.  Therefore it is impossible to determine what percentage of illegal aliens entered the U.S. by evading the inspections process at ports of entry vs the number of aliens who violate their visas.

Recently Harvard and MIT conducted studies that showed that although it has been estimated by many organizations that there are about 11 million illegal aliens, the number, according to the university studies may be double that number or even higher.

For more information about this issue, check out my recent article:  Twice As Many Illegal Aliens In US According To MIT.

Additionally, on February 8, 2019 ABC News reported:  Border arrests up 85 percent over same period last year: US Customs and Border Protection.

In fact, on February 11th I participated in a discussion on Fox & Friends First about the latest statistics provided by CBP.

Fox News posted the video under the title, A new report reveals the problem at the border is only getting worse:  Retired INS agent Michael Cutler weighs in on the crisis at the southern border.

No matter what the actual statistics are, given the huge number of illegal aliens present in the United States and the now routine onslaught of a human tsunami in the form of an endless succession of “caravans” of illegal aliens flowing northward from Central America to the United States, the percentage of illegal aliens who enter the U.S. without inspection is certainly great enough to be considered a true crisis that poses a threat to national security and public safety that must be effectively dealt with.

This brings us to the second question in the CBS News article, the actual number of illegal aliens who are present in the United States. 

The sources quoted by CBS in response to this question were the Pew Research Center and the Migration Policy Institute.  Both organizations have historically attempted to downplay the magnitude of the immigration crisis.

In point of fact, Doris Meissner, the Commissioner of the INS (Immigration and Naturalization Service) under the Clinton administration, joined the Migration Policy Institute about a year after it was formed as a senior fellow.  Meissner, as INS commissioner, was responsible for implementing a massive naturalization program known as CUSA (Citizenship USA) that sought to naturalize as many new citizens as possible and resorted to shortcuts including approving applications for citizenship before fingerprint records were consolidated with the immigration files.  Under CUSA approximately 1.1 million aliens were naturalized and because of the extreme shortcuts and threats of extreme discipline against INS District Directors if quotas were not met, concerned employees of the INS contacted the Office of the Inspector General.

The eye-opening OIG report about the allegations of malfeasance of this program was published and is well worth reading.

INS Commissioner Meissner had an adversarial relationship with the special agents of the INS and was hostile towards immigration law enforcement justice.

On May 4, 1999 the House Immigration Subcommittee conducted a hearing on the Designations Of Temporary Protected Status And Fraud In Prior Amnesty Programs

John F. Shaw, the former Assistant Commissioner for Investigations, Immigration and Naturalization Service, testified at that hearing.  His testimony about his frustrations with Doris Meissner provides insight into her hostility to immigration law enforcement.

Here is an excerpt from his testimony:

In its determined efforts to establish control of the border by tightening security on the perimeter, Congress has seemingly ignored the critical, complementary roles and responsibilities of Interior Enforcement . . . and these fall mainly on the shoulders of Investigations.

I believe that the concept of Interior Enforcement, supported by a well articulated strategy document, ought to be as familiar in the nomenclature of immigration enforcement as the concept, or term, Border Control. Although, I must admit that even in-house at INS, the Commissioner has said that Interior Enforcement is a term of usage invented by Investigations and devoid of meaning.

The CBS article also made much of how the majority of drugs are seized at ports of entry and therefore more needs to be done to prevent smuggling through ports of entry and not be concerned about the amount of drugs that are smuggled across the border between ports of entry.

The fact is that we don’t know what we don’t know.  Obviously, DEA has no way of knowing the total amount of narcotics that is successfully smuggled between ports of entry.  There is no shortage of heroin in the United States and therefore with all of the seizures made by CBP at ports of entry, huge quantities are still getting into the U.S.  Clearly open borders must be considered as a serious threat to the integrity of our efforts to interdict smuggled drugs as well as smuggled aliens.

The article additionally asks the absurd question, “Is asylum a form of illegal immigration?”

The article then provides the assertion:

Fact: No. “If you are eligible for asylum you may be permitted to remain in the United States.”  Source: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)

Of course, while filing for any immigration benefit does not constitute “illegal immigration”, lying on such applications and therefore committing fraud is a felony.

The issue of asylum fraud was, in fact, the focus of a November 21, 2013 Washington Times news report, “Mexican drug cartels exploit asylum system by claiming ‘credible fear.’”

That article was predicated on two House Judiciary Committee hearings: Asylum Abuse: Is it Overwhelming our Borders? and Asylum Fraud: Abusing America’s Compassion?

The CBS article ignored that the majority of applications filed by aliens from Central America are denied and that immigration fraud was a key concern of the 9/11 Commission.  That was the predication for my article, Immigration Fraud: Lies That Kill-9/11 Commission identified immigration fraud as a key embedding tactic of terrorists.

The CBS article claimed that the majority of aliens who applied for asylum attended their hearings.  They did not, however, divulge how many aliens whose applications were denied subsequently absconded and failed to depart from the United States.

The CBS article also asked (and answered):

Do illegal immigrants commit more violent crimes than legal residents?

Fact: Studies say that undocumented immigrants are less likely to commit violent crimes than American-born citizens.

Source: The Cato Institute and The University of Wisconsin.

My article, Illegal Immigration And Crime: The stunning numbers the Left cannot refute includes this excerpt:

President Trump’s Executive Order on Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States requires the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to collect relevant data and provide quarterly reports on data collection efforts. On Dec. 18, 2017, DOJ and DHS released the FY 2017 4th Quarter Alien Incarceration Report, complying with this order.  The report found that more than one-in-five of all persons in Bureau of Prisons custody were foreign born, and that 94 percent of confirmed aliens in custody were unlawfully present.

Here is an excerpt from the press release that provides some quick statistics and a paragraph that addresses the lack of information about aliens in city and state facilities.

A total of 58,766 known or suspected aliens were in DOJ custody at the end of FY 2017, including 39,455 persons in BOP custody and 19,311 in USMS custody. Of this total, 37,557 people had been confirmed by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to be aliens (i.e., non-citizens and non-nationals), while 21,209 foreign-born people were still under investigation by ICE to determine alienage and/or removability.

Among the 37,557 confirmed aliens, 35,334 people (94 percent) were unlawfully present. These numbers include a 92 percent unlawful rate among 24,476 confirmed aliens in BOP custody and a 97 percent unlawful rate among 13,081 confirmed aliens in USMS custody

This report does not include data on the foreign-born or alien populations in state prisons and local jails because state and local facilities do not routinely provide DHS or DOJ with comprehensive information about their inmates and detainees—which account for approximately 90 percent of the total U.S. incarcerated population.

The rest of the material in the CBS News article can be similarly discredited, proving that, as John Adams famously observed, “Facts are stubborn things.”

RELATED VIDEO: FAIR Discusses the Crisis on the Southern Border.

EDITORS NOTE: This column with images originally appeared in FrontPage Magazine. It is republished with permission. The featured image is by Pixabay.

Wars We Were Never Meant to Win

It has been over 17 years since George Bush announced the war on terrorism and 47 years since Richard Nixon announced the war on drugs. 

Does anyone wonder why the most powerful nation on earth has not won either? I do.

The current border war and heated debate over the building of a security wall on our southern border sounds disturbingly familiar.

Terrorism, illegal drugs, and the flow of illegal immigrants are all weapons in the hybrid war being waged against America by those with common cause to destabilize and collapse America from within. Unlike a traditional military war using bombs and bullets, the hybrid war uses political warfare, lawfare, and fake news to destroy the enemy – but exactly WHO are the players in this unconventional war? Who is the enemy? What is at stake?

America is threatened by domestic enemies within who are collaborating with foreign enemies to destabilize America and bring her into the fold of internationalized one world government. Americanism is being attacked by globalism.
Globalism is not to be confused with global trade. Globalism is a system of internationalized government – a new world order of global citizenship with global citizens being ruled by the globalist elites under the auspices of the corrupt United Nations. So, what is the problem? What is wrong with the globalist vision of one world government? EVERYTHING if you value your freedom! This is the way it works.

America-first President Donald J. Trump is the existential enemy of globalism. He is an American patriot who insists upon national sovereignty, secure borders, and adherence to the Constitution.

So, who are the domestic enemies of American sovereignty, secure borders, and adherence to the Constitution?

● Obama and his entire resistance movement.

● Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer who are leading the seditious Democrat party in Congress.

● RINOS – Republicans in name only like Mitch McConnell and Richard Shelby who subvert POTUS’ America-first initiatives.

● Mueller and his team of lawfare specialists leading the smear campaign against President Trump designed to destroy his re-election chances in 2020.

● FBI deep state operatives Rosenstein, Comey, McCabe, Strzok, Page et al.

● CIA operatives Brennan, Clapper et al.

● Muslim Brotherhood terrorist organization and its offshoots like CAIR, ISNA, MSA et al.

● 9th circuit court and the radical leftist judges across America who legislate from the bench and use lawfare to stop POTUS from enacting his America-first policies.

What is most unconventional about the hybrid war against America is the staggering list of participating American politicians who are RINOS or members of the radical leftist Democrat party leading the attempted coup against duly elected President Trump.

We have come to expect that Pelosi and Schumer will obstruct President Trump’s initiatives. The Washington Post reported that Democrat leaders directed their deputies on the 2019 security panel not to gloat – concerned that if they celebrated their victory they might anger Trump enough to veto the deal.

In a stunning display of political disloyalty, malfeasance, and collusion, RINOS on the security panel led by Mitch McConnell (KY) including Richard Shelby (AL), Shelley Capito (VI), John Hoeven (ND), and Roy Blunt (MO) hid the the Democrat border security wins from President Trump!  

War tactics are being used by Americans against Americans in a seditious attempt to destroy President Trump. Why? Why would RINOS and leftist Democrats collude to destroy President Trump?

The answer is in President Trump’s promise to drain the Washington swamp because exposing the deep state and its colluding politicians explains why the most powerful nation on earth has not won its war against drugs, its war against terrorism, or its current border wars. 

War is big business. Drugs finance wars and President Trump is the first American president in decades who is serious about stopping the flow of illegal drugs into America.

Illegal immigration is big business. Illegal immigrants vote illegally for Democrats and provide cheap labor for companies that don’t care if American workers are unemployed. President Trump is the first American president in decades who is serious about election integrity and about protecting the jobs of American workers.

The hybrid war being waged inside America has targeted President Donald Trump specifically because he is committed to making America great again by winning the war on drugs, winning the war on terrorism, winning the border wars, and ultimately winning the globalist war against Americanism.  

As President Trump’s America-first policies continue to strengthen our country, the domestic and foreign enemies arrayed against him will continue their unconventional warfare. We must ask ourselves if this is the future we want for America? I certainly don’t.  

I am an American. I am horrified by the deep state – I prefer the United States. I am outraged by deep state actors in the Washington swamp and their coordinated efforts to destabilize the country and overthrow a sitting president. I demand a return to a Constitutional America where election outcomes are determined by honest elections and respected by the entire country. 

We have presidential elections every four years so that we can maintain the peaceful transfer of power that distinguishes America from the military coups in third world countries. We cannot allow the deep state and the radical leftist Democrat party to dissolve our Constitution and transform America into a tyrannical socialist/globalist new world order of one world government.

We must resist the resistance. We can win the war on drugs. We can win the war on terrorism. We can win the border wars. We can make America great again and win the wars we were never meant to win.

America first is very presidential!

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the Goudsmit Pundicity. The featured image is by Pixabay.

Los Angeles City Council Blacklists NRA Members

“The city council voted 14-0 to pass an ordinance that now requires any company that has a contract with the city to disclose any and all ties they have to the NRA. Let’s be clear about what this is. This is an attempt at public shaming for anyone in the city who supports the NRA. This is a direct attempt to go at someone’s wallet just for having ties with the NRA and believing in the Second Amendment.” —Grant Stinchfield

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EDITORS NOTE: This NRA-ILA column with video and images is republished with permission.

Muslim U.S. Air Force Intelligence Specialist tried to pass classified American information to Iran

But if anyone had questioned her loyalty, he or she would have been denounced as a racist, bigoted “Islamophobe.”


Monica Elfriede Witt (a.k.a.
Fatemah Zahra)

“Iran Conducted Cyber Hacks on U.S., Recruited U.S. Air Force Officer to Steal Classified Info,” by Adam Kredo, Washington Free Beacon, February 13, 2019:

WARSAW, Poland—The Trump administration announced a new package of sanctions on Iranian entities tied to the cyber backing of U.S. individuals, a move that comes on the heels of American authorities indicting a U.S. Air Force officer who allegedly tried to pass classified information to Tehran after defecting to the country.

The Department of Justice announced early Wednesday that it had indicted Monica Elfriede Witt, also known as Fatemah Zahra, a former active duty U.S. Air Force Intelligence Specialist and Special Agent, for attempting to pass classified American information to Iran.

Witt had access to secret and top-secret information, according to the indictment, unsealed early Wednesday.

Witt was deployed to several overseas location to conduct “classified missions collecting signals intelligence,” including those of adversaries.

Witt had access to “classified information, including details of ongoing counterintelligence operations, true names of sources, and the identities of U.S. agents involved in the recruitment of those sources,” according to the indictment.

“In or around January 2012 to in or around May 2015, in Iran, and elsewhere outside the jurisdiction of any particular State or district, defendant [Witt] did knowingly and unlawfully combine, confederate, and agree with other persons, both known and unknown to the grand jury, including officers of the IRGC, to knowingly and unlawfully communicate, deliver, and transmit to a foreign government, specifically Iran, and to that foreign government’s representatives, officers, and agents, directly and indirectly, documents and information relating to the national defense of the United States, with the intent and reason to believe that the same would be used to the injury of the United States and to the advantage of Iran, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 794(a),” the indictment alleges.

The disclosure of this information leak was timed to coincide with an announcement by the Treasury Department that it is sanctioning a handful of Iranian entities for their role in cyber hacks on Americans.

The sanctions hit an Iranian-based entity tied to the country’s Revolutionary Guards Corps, or IRGC. This includes “efforts to recruit and collect intelligence from foreign attendees [of various conferences], including U.S. persons, and four associated individuals,” according to the Treasury Department.

Sanctions also were leveled on “a separate Iran-based entity and six associated individuals involved in the targeting of current and former U.S. government and military personnel as part of a malicious cyber campaign to gain access to and implant malware on their computer systems.”…

RELATED ARTICLE: Health and Human Service’s Fugitives from Justice: all New Americans?

EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column with images is republished with permission. The featured image is by Pixabay.

Hawaii’s Attempt to Raise Tobacco Age to 100 Reveals the Soft Tyranny of Neo-Moralists

No matter how noble a cause, efforts to legislate morality have a rather dubious track record.

The road to hell is paved with good intentions. And on that road, there is, perhaps, nothing more dangerous than legislators committed to making sure those intentions come to pass. However, no matter how noble a cause, efforts to legislate morality have a rather dubious track record.

Yet, no matter how true this may be, governments are always trying to regulate morality by banning behavior they deem wrong. From the prohibition of alcohol to the drug war to anti-dancing campaigns, we have seen this happen throughout US history. And the latest example comes from Hawaii, where buying cigarettes may become an illegal act for roughly 99 percent of the population.

Legislative season is upon us, and if one lawmaker from Hawaii gets his way, the state may become the first to effectively outlaw cigarettes. Though to be clear, the text of the proposed bill does not actually ban smoking—it just prohibits the sale of cigarettes to anyone under the age of 100.

Already, Hawaii is one of six states that has raised the legal smoking age to 21. The other states include California, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Oregon, and Maine. The proposed law takes this concept even further, incrementally raising the legal smoking age to 100. The legal age would rise to 30 in 2020, 40 in 2021, and 50 in 2022, finally reaching 100 in 2024. Vape devices and cigars would be exempt from the ban.

The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Richard Creagan, who is also a doctor, said, “We, as legislators, have a duty to do things to save people’s lives. If we don’t ban cigarettes, we are killing people.” As a doctor, Creagan is absolutely correct: It is his job to save lives, and he has sworn an oath to do so. As a legislator, however, he does not have the moral authority to tell his constituents which peaceful behaviors they can and cannot engage in, no matter how well-intentioned his motives may be.

Creagan commented:

We essentially have a group who are heavily addicted—in my view, enslaved by a ridiculously bad industry—which has enslaved them by designing a cigarette that is highly addictive, knowing that it [is] highly lethal…And, it is.

While he is clearly passionate about the topic, that does not make his attempts to outlaw smoking any less of an affront to individual liberty. To be sure, smoking is an unhealthy habit. And while I recommend avoiding it at all costs, that is a decision for the individual to make, not their state representative.

Supporters of the proposed legislation argue that the timing of the bill is right since the rise of tobaccoless vape products has resulted in a decrease in cigarette sales. Michael Siegel, a professor at Boston University’s School of Public Health said:

Because smoking rates are getting so low, we can actually start thinking about what I call end-game strategy, meaning we’re at the point where we can feasibly just make smoking history…We couldn’t even talk about it when there was a large percentage of people smoking because there were too many people affected.

It is important to reiterate that there is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting people to quit smoking and live healthier lives. There is, however, something very wrong with prohibiting buyers and sellers of cigarettes from engaging in a peaceful transaction under the threat of force, which is what laws of this nature effectively do.

Already, innovative market alternatives to traditional tobacco products, like vape pens, are directing tobacco users away from cigarettes and towards safer products. This shows that the market is working without the need for regulation. It would be silly, then, for the local government to get involved when things are already getting better on their own. If anything, it shows that government bans are not needed.

Adding to the hysteria, Creagan said:

We don’t allow people free access to opioids, for instance, or any prescription drugs…This is more lethal, more dangerous than any prescription drug, and it is more addicting. In my view, you are taking people who are enslaved from a horrific addiction, and freeing people from horrific enslavement.

You cannot force someone out of their own captivity; each individual is responsible for that. And as well-intentioned as Creagan is, he would be wise to heed the wisdom of Lysander Spooner (1808-1887), who reminded us that vices are not crimes.

In 1875, Lysander Spooner—an abolitionist and founder of America’s only private postal service—wrote an essay called “Vices Are Not Crimes,” in which he famously denounced the government’s proclivity for passing laws that attempt to regulate “unsavory” individual behavior. 

While Spooner does not praise “bad” behavior, he does assert that individuals, and to some extent their communities, are responsible for correcting their own actions. And by punishing and outlawing vices, like alcohol, drugs, and cigarettes, no real personal transformation or change can occur. By relying on the state to determine what is right or wrong, individuals completely relinquish personal responsibility.

Spooner argues that it is for this reason that vices, which he describes as “those acts by which a man harms himself or his property,” should not be outlawed by governments. Instead, individuals should be free to learn through trial and error, so long as they are not harming others.

“And, unless he can be permitted to try these experiments to his own satisfaction,” Spooner writes, “he is restrained from the acquisition of knowledge, and, consequently, from pursuing the great purpose and duty of his life.”

In fact, Spooner viewed the freedom to experiment with potential vices with such importance, he believed it was the foundation of individual freedom. He wrote that “unless this clear distinction between vices and crimes be made and recognized by the laws, there can be on earth no such thing as individual right, liberty, or property.” One can only imagine how he would view Hawaii’s new proposal.

In juxtaposition to his definition of “vices,” Spooner defined “crimes” as “those acts by which one man harms the person or property of another.” And unfortunately for Hawaii lawmakers, smoking cigarettes does not fit that definition. So long as smoking is done on private property where no one else’s liberties are being violated, there is no victim and thus, no crime.

He continues:

No one of us, therefore, can learn this indispensable lesson of happiness and unhappiness, of virtue and vice, for another. Each must learn it for himself. To learn it, he must be at liberty to try all experiments that commend themselves to his judgment.

Author C.S. Lewis also echoed this sentiment in his book God in the Dock: Essays on Theology when he wrote:

Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated, but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. They may be more likely to go to Heaven yet at the same time likelier to make a Hell of earth. This very kindness stings with intolerable insult. To be “cured” against one’s will and cured of states which we may not regard as disease is to be put on a level of those who have not yet reached the age of reason or those who never will; to be classed with infants, imbeciles, and domestic animals.

Rep. Creagan most certainly cares about his constituents, but that does not justify his proposed legislation. Local governments can absolutely encourage individuals to be healthy. But they should not, under any circumstances, ban products or activities it finds undesirable. In order for individual liberty to flourish, people must be free to make their own choices, even if we think they have made the wrong choices.

COLUMN BY

Brittany Hunter

Brittany Hunter

Brittany is a senior writer for the Foundation for Economic Education. Additionally, she is a co-host of Beltway Banthas, a podcast that combines Star Wars and politics. Brittany believes that the most effective way to promote individual liberty and free-market economics is by telling timely stories that highlight timeless principles.

EDITORS NOTE: This FEE column with images is republished with permission. Image credit: Pixabay.

VIDEO: How Democratic Party Lawyers Win Contested Elections

A fair and trustworthy vote accepted by all citizens is necessary for functioning democratic processes. The actions of the Democratic National Committee, Marc Elias, and George Soros have jeopardized that. What Elias has done in recounts is proof that we need strong election integrity laws, ones that partisans can’t overpower.

Watch our video on partisan election litigation here.

Support Capital Research Center’s award-winning journalism

Donate today to assist in promoting the principles of individual liberty in America. 

EDITORS NOTE: This CRC column with video and images is republished with permission. The featured image is by Pixabay.

What’s Good, Bad, and OK in the Omnibus Bill

Congress is back at it with a last-minute, massive spending bill that no one will have time to read.

Late Wednesday night, House and Senate negotiators released text of a nearly 1,200-page omnibus spending bill that does nothing to reduce wasteful spending and is a letdown for America’s taxpayers.

Lawmakers are expected to vote on the bill by Thursday evening, less than 24 hours after its release, leaving no time for a thorough debate and amendment process.

In total, the compromise agreement provides $333 billion to fund the nine remaining Cabinet agencies and related programs through Sept. 30.

As is the case with most compromises, the bill is far from perfect. It makes no effort to rein in wasteful spending and would limit funding for Immigration and Customs Enforcement to provide detention beds.

However, the agreement could have been even worse. Unlike past omnibus bills, this legislation does not include a laundry list of add-ons and does provide additional resources for border security.

Here’s the good, the bad, and the OK of the fiscal year 2019 omnibus bill.

The Good

Disaster Funding and Other Add-Ons Not Included

It was assumed that any compromise agreement would include billions of dollars in uncapped disaster spending. In the past month, the House and Senate both pursued disaster packages of $14.2 billion and $12.7 billion respectively.

While supplemental disaster funding is sometimes warranted, neither proposal directed any funding toward Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Disaster Relief Fund, the federal government’s primary lead in disaster response efforts. Instead, much of the money would have continued to abuse the disaster spending designation by sending funding to ineffective grant programs and subsidies that have no direct role in disaster response. 

Just because the omnibus didn’t include disaster funding doesn’t mean that Congress won’t pursue a package later. But the fact that Congress is separating disaster spending from a “must-pass” spending bill is a step in the right direction. It allows for a more thorough debate and alleviates the pressure for lawmakers to vote for something they may not agree with just because it is tied to a broader funding bill. 

The omnibus also didn’t attach reauthorization language for programs such as the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund and Violence Against Women Act programs. In the past, government shutdown threats have been exploited as an opportunity to stuff legislation full of unrelated provisions. Not doing so will allow these programs and other federal expenditures to be more fully and openly debated outside the context of a massive spending bill.

The Bad

Adheres to the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 Spending Levels

The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 increased the Budget Control Act of 2011 discretionary spending caps by $296 for fiscal year 2018-19. This omnibus adheres to the higher spending levels.

Instead of using this bill as an opportunity to exhibit fiscal restraint and roll back some of the $68 billion in fiscal year 2019 domestic spending increases, Congress has instead chosen the status quo.

With the national debt now over $22 trillion, that’s doesn’t cut it. Lawmakers must get serious about making spending reforms and putting the budget back on a path to balance. This bill should have been the time to start taking small steps toward that goal.

Uses Gimmicks to Increase Spending

Changes in Mandatory Programs are one of the most commonly used gimmicks in the appropriations process. On paper, mandatory spending is delayed, creating new savings that can be put toward unrelated discretionary spending.

In reality, the vast majority of the delayed funding would never have been spent in the first place and generated no real savings. Each year, billions of dollars in new spending is enabled through Changes in Mandatory Programs.

The largest change each year is delayed spending from the Department of Justice’s Crime Victims Fund. The bill would cap spending from the Crime Victims Fund at $3.35 billion dollars in fiscal year 2019. However, the fund would consistently carry a balance of around $13 billion, meaning that any unobligated balance above $3.35 billion can now be captured as savings and used to circumvent the Budget Control Act caps.

And the Crime Victims Fund is not the only Change in Mandatory Programs. In fiscal year 2018, changes with no real savings increased spending by nearly $18 billion.

This gimmick undermines fiscal accountability and transparency and wastes taxpayers’ money. Congress must take steps to end this practice once and for all.

$3.3 Billion Federal Pay Raise Ignores Performance While Increasing Pay Inequity

The omnibus includes a 1.9 percent pay raise for federal employees, costing roughly $3.3 billion in 2019, and more than $40 billion over the next 10 years.

This would overturn a December 2018 executive order from President Donald Trump freezing federal pay. And, for more than half of federal workers, it will serve as their second pay raise in 2019 because federal workers receive both cost-of-living increases as well as step increases based on tenure.

On average, federal employees receive $121,000 in total compensation, compared to average private-sector total compensation of $69,000. Part of this differential stems from the fact that federal workers have more education and experience, on average, but studies consistently find that federal employees receive a significant compensation premium.

While a freeze in federal pay is not the most efficient way to address this gap (primarily because the government’s highest-level employees are actually undercompensated), it is one way of chipping away at the growing inequity.

Until Congress enacts comprehensive federal compensation reforms, lawmakers should not increase the compensation gap through automatic pay raises that ignore performance. A better solution would have been to provide funding for the president’s proposed $1 billion workforce fund to attract, retain, and reward the government’s highest performers.

Limits Funding For Immigrant Detention Beds and Fails to Close Loopholes

The area of the bill with the most potential for harm is in the critical areas of immigration enforcement, particularly detention beds.

As the number of caravans, children, families, and asylum seekers has drastically risen, the administration has been handcuffed by loopholes and prevented from quickly removing many illegal immigrants. The result is that many illegal border crossers or asylum seekers are “caught and released,” and many will disappear into the public and never be seen again.

The Trump administration has attempted to limit catch and release, both at the border but also in the interior, by expanding the number of detention beds.

In this bill, Democratic efforts to set a hard cap on immigration detention were stopped, but the bill does try to push the administration to reduce the number of detention beds by limiting funding. That said, administration is allowed to transfer or reprogram funds to expand detention, but does so at the expense of other homeland security programs.

In essence, the bill forces the Department of Homeland Security to steal from other important security and preparedness missions in order to fulfill the immigration enforcement mission.

Critically, the bill fails to address the key loopholes in U.S. immigration law that have encouraged the drastic increases in asylum claims and families and children coming to the border. Without fixes to these loopholes and other immigration enforcement tools, border security is only a superficial fix and detention beds will always be too few.

Overall, the bill may take some steps forward on immigration, but it falls short of providing the fixes we desperately need.

Continues Congress’ Dysfunctional Budget Process

Text of the 1,169-page compromise bill was released just before midnight on Wednesday. Within 24 hours, Congress will likely have voted on it and by Friday morning, the omnibus could already be law.

Once again, Congress is ignoring its own budget rules. The House requires that text of legislation be available for at least 72 hours before a vote is held.

This is not the way the process is supposed to work. It leaves no time for lawmakers to even read the bill, let alone have a chance to debate and offer amendments to improve the legislation.

That’s just a symptom of the larger problem. The fiscal year is already more than four months old and Congress still hasn’t finalized funding. If lawmakers were doing their job and passing budget and appropriations bills on time, continuing resolutions, omnibus bills, and government shutdowns could become obsolete, or at least the exception rather than the rule.

Congress should strengthen the budget process that it has in place and provide incentives to make the process function more smoothly.

One potential option would be a “no budget, no pay” provision, in which lawmakers’ salaries are withheld when budget deadlines are missed. This could motivate them to abide by budget deadlines. Sen. Mike Braun, R-Imd., recently introduced a bill that would implement this enforcement mechanism.

The OK

Provides New Border Wall and Technology Funding

The most controversial elements of the bill are the immigration provisions.

The bill includes $1.375 billion for new border wall funding—short of what the president has requested, but which will still be put to good use in high-traffic areas in the Rio Grande Valley Sector.

It also included much-needed technology and tools that can support physical infrastructure and also support inspection of vehicles at ports of entry. Given that most dangerous drugs like Fentanyl and other opioids enter the U.S. through U.S. ports of entry, such tools are important additions.

These provisions strike a good balance between cost-effective border barriers, border security technology, and valuable infrastructure and tools at our ports of entry—yet they are unlikely to be enough to secure the border.

The bill also worryingly adds some limits on where border barriers can be placed, such as in various natural parks and some cities.

Taxpayers Deserve a Responsible and Transparent Spending Process

While the omnibus bill is not exactly what conservatives would have wanted, it could have been worse—for instance, spending even more money on wasteful programs and less money on border security.

But the process that led to this bill was a complete failure. Lawmakers must get serious about following the budget process that is already in place and stop this dysfunction. Taxpayers cannot afford year after year of bloated spending bills and budget uncertainty.

COMMENTARY BY

Portrait of Justin Bogie

Justin Bogie

Justin Bogie is a senior policy analyst in fiscal affairs at The Heritage Foundation. Twitter: @JustinBogie

Portrait of David Inserra

David Inserra

David Inserra specializes in cyber and homeland security policy, including protection of critical infrastructure, as policy analyst in The Heritage Foundation’s Allison Center for Foreign Policy Studies. Read his research. Twitter: @dr_inserra

Portrait of Rachel Greszler

Rachel Greszler

Rachel Greszler is research fellow in economics, budget, and entitlements in the Grover M. Hermann Center for the Federal Budget, of the Institute for Economic Freedom, at The Heritage Foundation. Read her research.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Signal column with images is republished with permission. The featured image is by Pixabay.

Another Illegal Alien Arrested in Gruesome Murder

You have probably seen this news about another illegal alien killer, however I’m mentioning it because the sensational aspects of the case have made it news around the world.

The victim was beautiful and her body was stuffed in a suitcase and dumped in the woods making the news apparently more interesting to the mainstream media than the Reno, Nevada case I reported recently where four older Americans were killed in their homes by another illegal alien creep—a story that didn’t get nearly the coverage this one is getting.

The man alleged to have murdered the young and beautiful Valerie Reyes is in the country illegally as a visa overstay.

From the Washington Times,

Suspect in suitcase death in U.S. illegally, authorities say

A man accused of killing his ex-girlfriend and dumping her body in a suitcase in Connecticut is a citizen of Portugal who has been in the U.S. illegally for more than a year, federal authorities said Wednesday as the victim’s loved ones gathered for her funeral.

Javier Da Silva Rojas, who had been living in New York City, was taken into custody Monday and charged with kidnapping resulting in death in the killing of 24-year-old Valerie Reyes, of New Rochelle, New York. The charge carries the possibility of the death penalty.

Da Silva, also 24, entered the U.S. on May 8, 2017, through the Visa Waiver Program and was required to leave by Aug. 5, 2017, Immigration and Customs Enforcement said in a statement.

If you are interested in reading more about the alleged killer, simply search his name and you will see stories about the murder everywhere.

We spend a lot of time talking about “the Wall,” but the feds need to do more to round-up visa overstays and get them the heck out of the country!  Why not let the President know how you feel about the need for greater enforcement!

RELATED ARTICLE: Former U.S. Counterintelligence Agent Charged With Espionage on Behalf of Iran

EDITORS NOTE: This Frauds, Crooks and Criminals column with images is republished with permission. The featured image is by Pixabay.

New Study: Voter ID Laws Don’t Deter Turnout or Fraud

Yet another study has found that voter ID laws do not suppress voter turnout, but the study also asserted such laws have no clear effect on stopping voter fraud. 

The study was compiled by two professors, Vincent Pons of Harvard University Business School and Enrico Cantoni of the economics department at the University of Bologna in Italy. It was issued by the National Bureau of Economic Research, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. 

“For all the heated debates around strict voter ID laws, our analysis of their effects obtains mostly null results,” the study says, adding: 

First, the fears that strict ID requirements would disenfranchise disadvantaged populations have not materialized. Second, contrary to the argument used by the Supreme Court in the 2008 case Crawford v. Marion County to uphold the constitutionality of one of the early strict ID laws, we find no significant impact on fraud or public confidence in election integrity. This result weakens the case for adopting such laws in the first place.

In 2008, the Supreme Court upheld Indiana’s voter ID law in a 6-3 ruling in the case of Crawford v. Marion County Election Board. 

Typically, Republican-controlled state legislatures have passed voter ID laws as a measure to prevent voter fraud, while Democratic lawmakers have alleged that such laws are voter suppression. 

Past studies have drawn the same conclusion that voter ID laws do not deter voter turnout, but the new study is “totally wrong” to conclude ID laws don’t prevent voter fraud, said Hans von Spakovsky, manager of the Election Law Reform Initiative at The Heritage Foundation. 

“How would you show it deters fraud if that’s something that didn’t happen because of voter ID laws?” von Spakovsky told The Daily Signal. “You have to look at convictions in absentee ballot fraud cases. In just four states, the voter ID laws apply the same to both in-person and absentee voting. So, it’s difficult to say.”

Currently, 17 states have photo ID laws at the polls, and 18 states have voter ID laws that do not require a photo, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures

Various studies in recent years done by professors at the University of Missouri, the University of Delaware, the University of Nebraska surveying elections from 2000 through 2016 found similar results that voter ID laws do not suppress voter turnout. 

Of those states, the National Conference of State Legislatures classifies 10 states as “strict,” meaning if a voter is without acceptable voter ID under that state’s law, most vote on a provisional ballot. Three of those “strict” states do not require photo ID. 

The National Bureau of Economic Research study’s researchers used data from Catalist, a company that provides data for progressive-leaning groups that target voter turnout. 

It looks at elections from 2008 through 2016 with a sampling across 30 states. 

The study stated: “Measuring voter fraud represents a challenge, as federal and state agencies vary in the extent they collect and share information on it.”

The research cited The Heritage Foundation voter fraud database that includes 1,177 proven cases of voter fraud. Of those, 1,019 cases ended in criminal conviction. 

The study also used data from News21, an investigative project funded by the Carnegie Corp. and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Through research of government documents, the project found 2,068 cases of suspected voter fraud reported from 2000 through 2012. 

The study does not claim to be the last word on the matter. 

“Because states adopted strict ID laws only two to 12 years ago, our results should be interpreted with caution: we find negative participation effects neither in the first election after the adoption of the laws nor in following ones, but cannot rule out that such effects will arise in the future,” the study says. 

COLUMN BY

Portrait of Fred Lucas

Fred Lucas

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

The Daily Signal depends on the support of readers like you. Donate now

How Tech Giants Are Banning True Speech About Biological Sex

Like a strong cocktail that promises a quick buzz, social media offers us instant gratification that can be hard to resist.

But just as alcohol disguises the smell of chemicals, social media hides the bitter poison of identity politics—a poison that increasingly dominates the content we read.

This toxic cocktail is killing our freedom to speak the truth. And sadly, some of the world’s most powerful companies are siding against freedom and truth.

Twitter’s latest move against free thought came in the form of a ban on “misgendering” and “deadnaming.” This essentially means users who use pronouns and names that align with a person’s biology rather than their professed gender identity will be punished.

This is a victory of feelings over facts. Big tech is enabling identity politics to dominate the virtual public square—and it’s even aiding its takeover of the real one, too.

Take the United Kingdom. In England, police have already used tweets to investigate and arrest citizens for referring to individuals according to their biology rather than transgender ideology. In two separate incidents, police responded to complaints against women from men who identify as women.

Police arrested Kate Scottow at home in front of her children and then held her in a jail cell for seven hours after transgender activist Anthony Halliday (aka Stephanie Hayden) accused her of “misgendering” him.

Halliday/Hayden also seemed to suggest that transgender activists ought to “[storm] into” a parish church to ask “robust questions” of a priest’s wife who has opposed transgender ideology.

View image on Twitter

Police also went after a 74-year–old woman named Margaret Nelson. The reason: She posted two statements on Twitter that didn’t accord with transgender ideology: “gender is fashionable nonsense” and “in life or in death, trans women are not women, no matter how many times you say it’s so.”

Forced to Speak Untruths

In the novel “1984,” George Orwell coined the phrase “Big Brother is watching” to refer to the government. Today, he’d have to include social media companies as enforcers.

Twitter’s ban on “misgendering” and “deadnaming” crosses a red line. Twitter users should be able to choose what pronouns and names they use for each other. When Twitter punishes users for misgendering and deadnaming, the company pressures us to speak untruths.

Princeton University professor Robert George has warned, “Ordinary authoritarians are content to forbid people from saying things they know or believe to be true. Totalitarians insist on forcing people to say things they know or believe to be untrue.”

Social media companies’ embrace of identity politics has led to biased enforcement of content standards that favors transgender activists.

In Canada, for instance, feminist journalist Meghan Murphy testified before the Canadian Senate against the notorious Bill C-16, which added “misgendering” to the human rights code and criminal code in May 2017. In August 2018, Twitter told her to delete tweets that referred to a biological man, Ryan Kreut (who self-identifies as a woman named Lisa), as a man.

Then, last November, Murphy tweeted several rhetorical questions: “How are transwomen not men? What is the difference between a man and a transwoman?” She referred to transgender activist Jonathan Yaniv according to his biology. In the past he had filed lawsuits against female beauticians who refused to give him “bikini waxes.”

Twitter classified these statements from Murphy as hateful and permanently shut down her account. Yaniv then bragged that he was personally responsible for getting Murphy banned from Twitter.

Murphy is now suing Twitter over the ban.

Companies like Twitter clearly see themselves as defending transgender individuals. But they are much more passive about enforcing “hateful conduct” policies when it comes to protecting women from transgender activists.

Trans activists frequently target Murphy and others by name, referring to them as trans-exclusionary radical feminists (TERFs). A website called terfisaslur.comdisplays tweets like “All TERFs deserve to be shot in the head.” “All TERFS need to cease existing. Wipe them from the earth.”

Transgender activists have also targeted Kaeley Triller, co-founder of Hands Across the Aisle, a coalition of women opposed to transgender ideology, on Facebook by posting her home address and violently threatening her children.

“Ironically,” Triller says, “the least ‘safe spaces’ in the history of the world are spaces where speech is censored and dissent is punished. If people are not safe to disagree, they are not safe at all.”

Social media companies could be protecting women from the violent, graphic, and threatening content against feminists documented at terfisaslur.com, but instead, Twitter is “protecting” those who identify as transgender from the “hateful conduct” of those who simply say that we are born male and female.

The Eclipse of Women’s Rights

For a brief moment during the #MeToo movement, it seemed that women were ascending the identity politics hierarchy. But as PayPal founder Peter Thiel predicted, when conflict comes between identity groups, the solution will be brokered in a way that most benefits the left as a coalition, not any particular group.

Twitter and Facebook’s double standards are proving Thiel correct. Transgenderism is making war on feminism, and feminists are losing out.

Identity politics is poisonous to freedom. It divides Americans up by ethnicity, race, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, etc., and ranks us in a hierarchy based upon degrees of “victimization.”

This is deeply out of step with America’s founding, which championed the legal equality of each citizen based on inalienable natural rights. It is also out of step with the way most Americans developed their identities—from their families, religious communities, and civic groups.

But as our society has become more atomized, identity politics has filled the void and offered an alternative kind of social identity—albeit a toxic one.

The Marxist struggle, which originally was seen as a struggle for power between economic classes, has been recast as a struggle between social identity groups. Individual guilt, virtue, and responsibility are replaced with collective guilt, virtue, and responsibility. And because this scheme treats the group as the fundamental unit of responsibility and agency, individual freedoms become irrelevant. At worst, they are seen as tools that “oppressors” can use to exploit the “oppressed.”

We should not be surprised, then, when incidents of identity politics seem to reveal a totalitarian streak. Identity politics doesn’t just produce a grievance culture, it produces a vengeance culture—one that never ends and can never be resolved.

When students and faculty who hold unpopular views are shouted down or even physically assaulted, we are witnessing the fruit of a tree that is rotten to the core. 

Identity politics requires the jettisoning of America’s constitutional heritage. It would ultimately replace ordered liberty with a society in which freedoms are enjoyed only by those who have earned them through victimization.

Tech Giants Driving the Train

Twitter, Facebook, and Apple are among 107 major companies that have endorsed federal legislation that would make “misgendering” a punishable offense. Named the “Equality Act,” this bill is anything but.

State and local bureaucrats have already used similar laws and policies to derail the careers of people like high school teacher Peter Vlaming and professor Nicholas Meriwether at Shawnee State University because they referred to students according to biology and not gender ideology.

These laws give government control over our freedom to speak and think according to the truth. The Equality Act would extend that to all 50 states.

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, the great Russian writer who survived life in the Soviet gulag, once told the Nobel Prize Committee: “One word of truth shall outweigh the whole world.”

As big tech seeks to restructure both our virtual and brick-and-mortar public squares according to the frame of identity politics, now more than ever, we must fight for the freedom to use language to speak the truth.

COMMENTARY BY

Portrait of Emilie Kao

Emilie Kao

Emilie Kao is director of the Richard and Helen DeVos Center for Religion & Civil Society at The Heritage Foundation. Twitter: @EmilieTHF.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Caller column with images is republished with permission. The featured image is by Pixabay.

Red Flag Gun Laws Turn Due Process on Its Head

Americans should resist the trend of assumed guilt and demand elected officials end this assault on our constitutional rights.

Red flag laws have spurred quite a bit of controversy. This legislative movement seeks to create a process to remove firearms from the homes of people who are rumored to be dangerous to themselves or others. The proponents of such laws cite this as a possible way to help combat mass shootings and suicides. However, the truth is far more damning.

The 5th & 14th Amendments of the U.S. Constitution mandate that no one shall be “deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law.” Although this should be clear to anyone with a basic comprehension of English, it’s often ignored by judges and politicians. Depriving people of a constitutional right before a trial and without charges tramples on the notion of innocent until proven guilty and severely erodes the core values of justice.

Proponents of red flag laws argue due process is respected by allowing the deprived to appeal to the courts to reinstate their rights. However, this backward process would imply that the Second Amendment is a privilege, not a right. Furthermore, state agents finding cause for a warrant and subsequently seizing private property while denying access to a constitutional right seem to be a perfect setup for a kangaroo court system. There is a serious risk that citizens found guilty of nothing and charged with no crime will be paying expensive fees to petition the courts to restore what should be their constitutionally guaranteed rights. Such concerns aren’t just wild superstitions. Our nation’s history of the corrupt process of civil asset forfeiture gives ample reason to believe the aforementioned outcome is more likely than not.

If the open assault on our rights and criminal justice system wasn’t reason enough to reject red flag laws, one should note the paternalistic tone of the advocates. Proponents are selling these bills as a way to reduce suicides. But let’s take a step back and think about the core of this argument. We have authority figures claiming they need the means to deny you of your constitutional rights in order to protect you from yourself. This disturbingly authoritarian doublespeak implies that some of our elected officials believe that people can’t be trusted with their rights. This clear attempt to coax ordinary citizens into surrendering their rights should be rejected as the degradation of free society that it is.

Americans should also pay very close attention to states that have implemented these laws. In places like Maryland and Florida, success isn’t measured in lives saved. Intuitively, it’s impossible to determine how many lives were saved or if lives were ever truly at risk; thus the only practical measure of success for such a law is the number of guns seized and people denied their rights. Americans should resist the trend of assumed guilt and demand elected officials end this assault on our constitutional rights.

This article was reprinted from Intellectual Takeout.

COLUMN BY

Raheem Williams

Raheem Williams

Raheem Williams is an active economist who has worked for numerous liberty-based academic research centers and think-tanks. He received his B.A. in economics at Florida International University and his M.A. in financial economics from the University of Detroit Mercy. He is the founder of “The Policy,” a forum that promotes public policy dialogue across socio-economic levels.

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EDITORS NOTE: This FEE column with images is republished with permission. Image credit: U.S. Air Force Photo/Tech. Sgt. Thomas Dow

VIDEO: Fence and Sensibility

With all of the uproar over late-term abortion, it’s easy to forget that Congress is juggling other crises — including the one on our southern border. With the clock ticking down to another government shutdown, both parties have been hunkered down, trying to cobble together an immigration bill before time runs out on Friday. Yesterday, negotiators announced that they’d finally struck a deal. But agreeing to a compromise is one thing — getting the president to support it is another.

“I can’t say I’m happy,” President Trump said this afternoon. “I can’t say I’m thrilled.” It’s no wonder. The compromise includes less than a quarter of the $5.7 billion he requested for the wall. At just $1.3 billion, the administration would have enough money for 55 miles of fencing — not the 200 it wanted. In a small concession by Democrats, Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) wouldn’t have to cap the number of illegal detainees it holds. But by and large, the deal doesn’t include any meaningful immigration reform — not even to the DACA program.

“I would hope that there won’t be a shutdown,” Trump said before making it clear, “I am extremely unhappy with what the Democrats have given us.” At a rally in Texas last night, the president hinted that executive actions were still on the table to finish the other 150 miles of fencing. “Just so you know,” he told the crowd in El Paso, “we’re building the wall anyway.”

That would come as relief to the dozens of sheriffs and other law enforcement who showed up on the Hill yesterday to demand better immigration enforcement. “We are at wits end on this,” said Sheriff Thomas Hodgson. “This really is a catastrophe.” Over the weekend, two national sheriffs groups delivered letters to the House and Senate warning them that if they put a limit on detainees, most of these offenders would go out “and commit more crimes.” As for cutting ICE funding — an agenda near and dear to the likes of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) — the sheriffs warned, don’t even think about it. “They put our people at risk just to take care of their political agenda,” Hodgson argued.

Elsewhere, the deal is hardly a House Freedom Caucus dream either. Democrats aren’t being “serious” about border security Chair Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) fired back. Even after hearing about the needs from people on the ground, he points out, liberals still think they know better. “Border Patrol came in to brief the conference. They gave their top-three priorities. And the conferees have said ‘zero money for those top three priorities.’ How can you be serious about securing our border if the very people that are experts on securing it say, ‘These are our top three priorities, we need money,’ and yet they’re saying, ‘zero dollars for that?'”

When it comes to a dollar figure for the wall, Meadows said there’s plenty of room for improvement. “Honestly, when you look at 0 to 5.7, somewhere in the middle would be a $2 billion to $3 billion range,” he said. “But it’s not as much just the dollar amount. It’s the flexibility in how to spend it.”

For now, President Trump insists he’s “considering everything.” One thing he won’t have to worry about is the country’s support. CBS polling showed Americans solidly in the administration’s camp on this issue. Seventy-two percent who watched the State of the Union agreed with the president’s ideas on immigration. And fortunately, those ideas didn’t include political surrender.

For more on the debate, check out FRC’s Ken Blackwell on Fox Business last night.


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


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EDITORS NOTE: This FRC column with video and images is republished with permission.

VIDEO: In The UK Misgendering Gets You Thrown in Jail — Coming to America?

British citizens are being handcuffed and jailed for posting on Facebook about transsexuals. Is the same thing coming to the USA?

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EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is from Pixabay.

Fight Corporate Sexploitation Now! Watch Video of 12 American Sex Exploiters

Watch the reveal of the 2019 Dirty Dozen List – which names 12 mainstream contributors to sexual exploitation in America.