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California Nightmare: Political Correctness Kills in San Bernardino

Daniel Greenfield of the David Horowitz Freedom Center wrote a truly reflective article below, one professionals in law enforcement, threat assessment, and counter-terrorism fields will study, and elected officials should.

We are not ready. 

We as a nation simply are still not ready to face the truly ugly tenants of Islam that clearly teaches and applauds the attacks seen in Paris and San Bernardino.  We are not ready to accept that jihadists have been traveling into America for a number of years now, through southern borders many elected officials love to proclaim secure and so very closely monitored.  The “official/unofficial” policy of the current national administration and its’ many departments and agencies is that Islamic Terrorism does not exist, much less here in America.  If you mean a defined army in dedicated assaults much like WWII or Korea, and partially in Vietnam, I would agree.  But covert operations, special small teams, even individuals dedicated to carry-out atrocities against the Great Satan (America) are far more difficult to defend against.  People embedded in our neighborhoods that we see at the local park or grocery store, or work at the same factory, business complex or Walmart who, in reality, are terrorists hiding in plain site is what is here now, and still coming.

Adding to the complexity is that the Islamic State has been encouraging jihadist world-wide to act on their own, not to travel to Syria to practice jihad or receive training.  Islamic followers so already inclined can launch attacks where they live, and select their own targets.  ISIS will provide online and covert training, instructions on IEDs, and even financing.  An example is this latest attack where the couple amassed sophisticated equipment, weaponry, well over 5,000 rounds of ammo, and at least 15 pipe bombs with triggering capacity.  Add to this their tactical gear, belts capable of carrying extra implements, and Go cameras to record their successful Jihad, plus a detailed plan to carry-out their heinous actions.  Counter-terrorism, threat assessment, and law enforcement on the front lines know all this; yet, elected officials in varied offices work terribly hard to use soft and denying language to dispel the reality that America is under a massive assault that will not be disappearing any time soon.

The threat is here in our communities, and it is quite real. 


Daniel Greenfield is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center.

When the Redlands Tea Party Patriots objected to the resettling of Syrian Muslim migrants in their community, CAIR accused them of “paranoia and phobia is rooted in a combination of ignorance and bigotry.”

But  “paranoia and phobia”  are the modern condition that the free world has found itself living in. Islamic terrorism can strike anytime  and  anywhere  from  a  Paris  concert  hall to a San Bernardino County facility where disabled children were being helped. Its ignorance to ignore that and bigotry to defend it. “What will be done to ensure the safety of our community?  Our biggest concern is the safety of our family, our children  and  our  grandchildren,”  Victoria  Hargrave  of  Redlands    Townhall had asked.

It was a good question. As the country watched police charge towards a home in the Redlands, it has become an even better question.  The shooter, Sayeed Farouk, was described by his father as a religiously devout Muslim. “He was very religious. He would go to work, come back, go to pray, come back.”  Neighbors say that he “grew a beard and started to wear religious clothing.  The long shirt that’s like a dress and the cap on his head.”  And at some point his “religiosity” took him down the familiar path of Jihad.  Neighbors knew something was wrong, but were afraid that they would be accused of Islamophobia if they reported it. Officially the motive of this religiously devout Muslim couple in carrying out a terrorist attack is still unknown. The evolving media narrative is that familiar standby of “workplace violence”. The sort of workplace violence involving an attack by multiple terrorists wearing body armor and throwing pipe bombs shortly after an argument at a party.

If you believe this version of the  “workplace violence”  story, the shooter stormed out of a party and 20 minutes later had managed to round up multiple heavily armed attackers to avenge his party argument.

It’s certainly a story. Even if it isn’t a very good story. And yet it’s a story that we keep hearing over and over again.  It begins with lies and ends with body bags.  Everything possible was done to deny Nidal Hassan’s terrorist motivations in the Fort Hood Massacre.   His attack was deemed workplace violence.   Even his own attempts to explain that he supported the terrorists were shut down so that he was reduced to smuggling messages to get his story out.  And despite multiple statements by Hassan that he was a terrorist, the official story is still workplace violence.   Right after the shooting, it was some strain of airborne PTSD that had somehow transmitted itself from American veterans to the Muslim employee who had never seen combat until he began killing them.

There are always excuses.

The Times Square bomber had financial issues.   The Tsarnaev terrorists were poorly adjusted. Once the media digs into Farouk’s life, it will no doubt find that he had financial issues, was poorly adjusted and may have even been suffering from some mysterious form of airborne PTSD.  Obama and the media would like to make this story about “gun violence”.   But guns don’t shoot themselves.   There is a hand that pulls the trigger and a mind whose foul purposes that hand serves.  Gun violence is not a mechanical problem.   It is not a hardware problem of guns going off at random.   It is not a biological problem of fingers randomly twitching on triggers. It is a problem of the mind.  Behind each massacre, there is a mind. And it is that mind, its ideas and its beliefs, that kills.

San Bernardino is home to what is described as a “growing Muslim population” and that growth comes with terrifying growing pains.  This latest attack appears to be one of them.  It’s a matter of simple math that as the population most likely to commit terrorist acts increases, so do the acts themselves.

Two months ago, Marilyn Snyder of the Redlands Tea Party Patriots wrote of “the runners and spectators of the Boston Marathon who never imagined that refugee jihadists were stealthily plotting their demise — just because they were not Muslims.”  Most people in San Bernardino County did not expect that anyone was plotting to kill them. They did not think that one evening the events from far-off France would suddenly be taking place where they lived.  And yet that is the new reality.  Islamic terrorism can strike anywhere and everywhere.  “While it is impossible to prevent death delivered by madmen who kill because of religious extremism, it is possible to put in place federal policies that limit the influx of Muslim extremists through the wide-open refugee doors of the Obama administration,” Marilyn wrote.  That remains true.

Sayeed Farouk, like Nidal Hassan, did not suddenly fly over here from Syria. But that only makes it more vital that we prevent the next attack and the next massacre by closing the doors and keeping our country safe.

We cannot bring back the dead, the victims of the long horrifying roll of Islamic terror that stretches back for thousands of years, but we can protect the living.  The left approaches this as a mechanical problem, but it’s an ideological problem. It’s a conflict between two sets of ideas and two sets of worldviews. It is a war between those who believe that men must be ruled by the dead will of Mohammed and his brutal successors and those of us who believe in the freedom of our founding documents and the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  It is not a war that we will win through appeasement or disarmament. And we can begin to fight back by protecting ourselves and our country.  “We Redlanders and all Americans need to stand up with “common sense and judgment” with an emphatic “No!” to Syrian refugee resettlement. It’s time to bar the doors against jihadi infiltration,” Marilyn wrote.  From Redland to Paris, it’s time that we did the right thing, for our towns, our cities and our country.

ABOUT DANIEL GREENFIELD

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam.

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Father of San Bernardino shooting suspect: Son a “very religious” Muslim

“He was very religious. He would go to work, come back, go to pray, come back. He’s Muslim.” Not that this has anything to do with…

“Father of Calif. shooting suspect speaks out,” by Nancy Dillon and Denis Slattery, New York Daily News, December 2, 2015:

One of the suspects in Wednesday’s mass shooting in San Bernardino, Calif. has been identified as Syed Farook, according to reports….

A man who identified himself as Farook’s father told the Daily News his son worked as a health technician inspecting restaurants and hotels….

“He was very religious. He would go to work, come back, go to pray, come back. He’s Muslim.”

RELATED ARTICLE: San Bernardino: NBC News reports suspect as ‘Syed Farook’

VIDEO: California School Board allows Students to draw Muhammad

“Agua Dulce resident Chris Burgard, a parent with school-aged children, made a heart-felt speech in which he said it was unreasonable, and a direct violation of every American’s First Amendment rights, to be prohibited from drawing images of Moses, Jesus, Abraham, Muhammad or other patriarchs as a result of one parent’s complaints. ‘If our kids wanted to draw a Christmas card with a Nativity scene on it, they would be breaking the rules,’ he said.”

Indeed.

The prohibition on drawing Muhammad was a capitulation to Sharia and a surrender of American values. So here is a small bit of good news amid the avalanche of bad news.

An update on this story. “California School Allows Students to Draw Muhammad,” by Adelle Nazarian, Breitbart, November 13, 2015 (thanks to Bill):

ACTON — Members of the Acton-Agua Dulce school board voted unanimously (5-0) Thursday evening to allow students to choose to draw Muhammad–or not–in one of America’s smaller school districts.

The mother of a 7th grade student at High Desert School in Acton had complained when her 12-year-old son brought home a worksheet from his history class two weeks ago titled “Vocabulary Pictures: The Rise of Islam.” The worksheet listed words such as Quran, Mecca, Bedouins and Muhammad, and asked for students to draw images related to the words.

She then complained that the assignment, which turns out to be part of the approved curriculum, was inappropriate and suggested it taught children “how to insult a religious group.” The Los Angeles Daily News reported that district superintendent Dr. Brent Woodard told staff permanently to prohibit the drawing of all religious figures in order to prevent the offending of all religious groups.

During Thursday night’s town hall meeting, Woodard disputed the Daily News story.

“There was never an intention to ban the drawing of all religious figures,” he explained, noting that he had called for a suspension of drawing the figures until he had discussed the issue with the school district’s board members. “We believe very strongly in the Fist [sic] Amendment… No child would be required to draw religious figures if they object to that kind of the assignment.”

Woodard told Breitbart News that “we will no longer require students to participate in something that they find offensive.” But he would not ban students from drawing Muhammad and other religious figures just because others were offended. He noted that to ban something would be in direct violation of the First Amendment. “That’s not the case here.”

Matt Ridenour, who serves on the school board, said he wanted to make sure the press corrected the record, noting that the school was proud of a curriculum that seeks to educate its children about the diversity that exists in the United States, which is composed of people hailing from various religious and ethnic backgrounds.

“This issue grew from a very innocent practice on the part of a district and a teacher following state-mandated 7th grade curriculum instructions,” Mark Distaso said. He said the assignment came out of a book that was adopted by the school district calledMidieval and Modern Times, and noted that the assignment stemmed from a standard teaching mechanism, which has found that students learn better by drawing pictures associated with words.

Distaso reiterated that Superintendent Woodard merely gave temporary directions to have students refrain from drawing religious figures until he could address the board and come back with a salient resolution.

Agua Dulce resident Chris Burgard, a parent with school-aged children, made a heart-felt speech in which he said it was unreasonable, and a direct violation of every American’s First Amendment rights, to be prohibited from drawing images of Moses, Jesus, Abraham, Muhammad or other patriarchs as a result of one parent’s complaints.

“If our kids wanted to draw a Christmas card with a Nativity scene on it, they would be breaking the rules,” he said….

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California Dreaming: Two Muslims try to join the Islamic State

“According to the document, on the last Friday of April, after prayer services at a mosque in Orange County, Elhuzayel and Badawi spoke enthusiastically about Islamic State….She had described her son as ‘Muslim, but not very religious, just normal.’ Over the last year, he had become more observant, frequently attending Friday prayer services at a mosque in Anaheim.”

Are these mosques being investigated? Is what they teach being closely monitored by people who know what they’re looking for, and aren’t in thrall to the “Islam is a religion of peace” propaganda? Or would that be “Islamophobic”?

“O.C. men accused of trying to join Islamic State are charged with financial crimes,” by Richard Winton, Los Angeles Times, October 7, 2015 (thanks to Darcy):

Two Orange County men accused of conspiring to aid Islamic State militants fighting in Iraq and Syria are now facing additional charges involving bank fraud and financial aid crime.

A new indictment revealed Wednesday accuses Anaheim residents Nader Elhuzayel, 25, and Muhanad Badawi, 24, of a series of financial crimes. Elhuzayel is accused of 25 counts of bank fraud, and Badawi is charged with federal financial aid fraud.

In April and May, Elhuzayel got cash through a scheme to defraud three different banks, according to the indictment, which says he deposited stolen checks into his personal checking accounts and then withdrew cash at Orange County branch offices and ATMs.

Badawi is charged with using his federal financial aid to buy a plane ticket to Turkey for Elhuzayel.

The indictment also includes preexisting charges of providing material support to a foreign terrorist organization, Islamic State. Both men have pleaded not guilty to the original charges.

Federal authorities said the men drew the attention of counter-terrorism agents with inflammatory comments on social media, prompting an investigation that led to their arrests last month. They are due back in court July 6 and are scheduled to go to trial July 28. Details of a call between the two men before their capture were contained in an FBI agent’s affidavit.

According to the document, on the last Friday of April, after prayer services at a mosque in Orange County, Elhuzayel and Badawi spoke enthusiastically about Islamic State. It says one proclaimed a wish to join the group and die a martyr on a battlefield.

Although Yemen was attractive for its natural beauty, the men agreed they would prefer to fight in Syria, the document said. It said they talked about drinking wine together in the paradise that awaited them after they were killed. Federal agents said they overheard the conversation….

Elhuzayel and Badawi are accused of setting in motion a plan for Elhuzayel to travel to the Middle East and fight for Islamic State. Agents from a counter-terrorism task force intercepted Elhuzayel at Los Angeles International Airport before he boarded a plane bound for Turkey last month. Badawi was taken into custody at an Anaheim gas station, an FBI spokeswoman said….

Elhuzayel’s mother, Falak, has previously called the allegations against her son “impossible.” Speaking on the phone before her son’s initial court appearance, Falak Elhuzayel described her son as “a very good kid — not the kind of person who would fit into this kind of category.”

She said she and her husband dropped their son off at LAX the day of his arrest and confirmed he was preparing to board a flight to Istanbul and continue on to Israel. The family, she said, is Palestinian and her son was traveling to visit relatives in the West Bank.

That evening, federal agents raided the room at the Crystal Inn motel in Anaheim where Nader Elhuzayel had lived with his parents since the family declared bankruptcy and lost their house two years ago.

Falak Elhuzayel said a team of agents upended the room in the search for evidence and asked her why her son had purchased a one-way ticket. She said she told them that he had decided to buy a return ticket later because he did not know how long he would stay in the West Bank.

She had described her son as “Muslim, but not very religious, just normal.” Over the last year, he had become more observant, frequently attending Friday prayer services at a mosque in Anaheim, she said. But she insisted it was impossible that he’d slipped into extremism. He was, she said, “a simple, gullible, nice kid.”

If convicted, Nader Elhuzayel faces up to 30 years imprisonment on each bank fraud count and Badawi faces up to five years imprisonment on the financial aid fraud count. Each man also faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted of providing material support to Islamic State.

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Data: ‘Global warming’ NOT behind California drought

The media is once again attempting to portray the current California drought as historically unprecedented. See: Californian water source at 500-year low: “We should be prepared for this type of snow drought to occur much more frequently because of rising temperatures,” lead author Valerie Trouet, a professor at the University of Arizona, said in a statement. “Anthropogenic” –- or manmade –- global warming “is making the drought more severe,” she added. 

But recent peer-reviewed studies and historical data refute these drought claims.

Two new studies show that global warming is not behind California drought – there is a gigantic warm blob in the Pacific Ocean that is fueling California’s four-year-long drought, and it has nothing to do with global warming. Two new studiesreleased in the journal “Geophysical Research Letters”, explain how this large expanse of warm ocean water is affecting California’s weather as well as the East Coast’s past two brutal winters. Read more here.

Other studies counter the notion that California is experiencing unprecedented drought.

AMS Journal study finds California drought is ‘not unprecedented’ over past 440 years: 9 other droughts as bad or worse – Published in American Meteorological Society journal – Study: ‘An analysis of the October 2013–September 2014 precipitation in the western United States and in particular over the California-Nevada region suggests this anomalously dry season, while extreme, is not unprecedented in comparison with the ~120-year long instrumental record of water year (WY, October–September) totals, and in comparison with a 407-year WY precipitation reconstruction back to 1571. Over this longer period nine other years are known or estimated to have been nearly as dry or drier than WY 2014. The three-year deficit for WY’s 2012–2014, which in the California-Nevada region exceeded the annual mean precipitation, is more extreme but also not unprecedented, occurring three other times over the past ~ 440 years in the reconstruction.’

NOAA Study: Causes of Calif. drought are natural, not man-made – Natural weather patterns and climate variability, not man-made global warming, are causing the historic drought that’s parching California, says a study out today from federal scientists. “It’s important to note that California’s drought, while extreme, is not an uncommon occurrence for the state,” said Richard Seager, report lead author and professor with Columbia University’s Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory. The report, “Causes and Predictability of the 2011-14 California Drought,” was sponsored by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

California drought: Past dry periods have lasted more than 200 years, scientists say – ‘The state has been parched for much longer stretches before that 163-year historical period began’ – Scientists who study the West’s long-term climate patterns say the state has been parched for much longer stretches before that 163-year historical period began. Through studies of tree rings, sediment and other natural evidence, researchers have documented multiple droughts in California that lasted 10 or 20 years in a row during the past 1,000 years — compared to the mere three-year duration of the current dry spell. The two most severe megadroughts make the Dust Bowl of the 1930s look tame: a 240-year-long drought that started in 850 and, 50 years after the conclusion of that one, another that stretched at least 180 years.’

E&E News on 2012 U.S. drought: ‘For the scientists who take the long view of history, it’s merely a climatological blip’ — 1930s ‘Dust Bowl & 1988 both eclipse 2012 drought, scientists say’ – ‘Scientists say [2012] drought is practically embryonic compared with severity & extent of others in America’s past…The Dust Bowl held on for as many as 8 years in some parts of Great Plains, with successive dry spells hitting in 1934, 1936 & 1939-1940. The multiyear drought of 1950s began in SW but eventually spread to cover 10 states before it ebbed in 1957. The current drought, in contrast, is just about 2 months old’

In addition, many other peer-‘reviewed studies and data refute the notion of unprecedented drought in California or elsewhere.

Extreme weather failing to follow ‘global warming’ predictions: Hurricanes, Tornadoes, Droughts, Floods, Wildfires, all see no trend or declining trends – Extreme weather at or near historic lows.

NPR: 3 new papers make the case that forest fires in the West today burn less than in historical times

New Research Confirms Human CO2 Not Causing A Global Drought Increase

New Research Confirms Human CO2 Not Causing A Global Drought Increase – ‘Droughts in the U.S. are more frequent and more intense during COLDER periods’

New study finds drought 1100 years ago in southwest US was much more severe & extreme than any drought since – Published in PNAS

New paper debunked: Claims AGW pushed the ‘Western US toward the driest period in 1,000 years’ – The claim that AGW has “pushed the Western US toward the driest period in 1,000 years” is not supported by the proxy data shown in the paper. In addition, the modeling claim that AGW will cause “unprecedented risk of drought in the 21st century” is entirely based upon overheated climate models which have been falsified at confidence levels exceeding 98%.
Hillary Clinton’s ‘Drought’ debunked: Claimed ‘climate change was causing extreme weather and droughts’

Climatologist Dr. John Christy in testimony to Congress: ‘Extreme events, like the recent U.S. drought, will continue to occur, with or without human causation’ — ‘These recent U.S. ‘extremes’ were exceeded in previous decades’ — ‘The expression of ‘worse than we thought’ climate change as documented in [James] Hansen’s OpEd does not stand up to scrutiny’

Prof. Pielke Jr. on new Nature drought study: ‘It means that a widely accepted and oft-repeated consensus position expressed in IPCC 2007 now appears to have been incorrect’ — Pielke Jr.: ‘This should not be unexpected as a consensus position is a snapshot of perspectives, and in science, perspectives can change based on new evidence and study…This places drought into a category with tropical cyclones, floods, tornadoes & other phenomena where the evidence does not support claims that things are progressively getting worse — with more frequent and intense extreme events on climate time scales’

Prof. Pielke Jr. on new Nature drought study: ‘Once again the lesson is that if you are looking for a signal of human-caused climate change, it is best not to look at such extremes’ — Pielke Jr.:’There is very little evidence to support claims that the influence of such changes can be observed
in the observational record of extreme events. Advocates who justify action on climate change by appeals to the latest extreme event go well beyond what science can support, and in the process undercut the very cause that they are advocating for’

Nature paper: Global droughts unchanged in 60 years: ‘Worldwide drought is about the same now as it was in 1950′ — ‘Researchers finally accounting for fact that warmer world usually means more evaporation (especially from oceans) & thus more rain’ — ‘How many images have we seen of drought-stricken cracked land, or been told this is future?…Since end of WWII humans have produced 85% of all their CO2 emissions, but here is a new study showing that for all those emissions, & for all that warming, droughts back then were just as bad globally as they are today’

Prof. Roger Pielke Jr.: Over the climate time scales ‘droughts have, for the most part, become shorter, less frequent, and cover a smaller portion of the U. S. over the last century’ — ‘Some places have become dryer, others wetter, and not much confidence in asserting the presence of any trends at the global scale.’ — Pielke Jr. summarizing the bottom-line conclusions of two of the most recent major scientific assessments of extreme events and climate change, one by the US govt. released in 2008 then reaffirmed in the CCSP Unified Synthesis under the Obama Admin., and the 2nd from the UN IPCC.

Article in Nature says extreme weather events can’t currently be attributed to global warming — An editorial published in the current issue of nature notes that ‘Better models are needed before exceptional events can be reliably linked to global warming.’ — ‘One critic argued that, given the insufficient observational data and the coarse and mathematically far-from-perfect climate models used to generate attribution claims, they are unjustifiably speculative, basically unverifiable and better not made at all.’

1974: Flooding, Drought, Crop Loss And Mild Winters Blamed On Global Cooling: TIME Magazine June 1974: ‘Another Ice Age?’: ‘In Africa, drought continues for the sixth consecutive year, adding terribly to the toll of famine victims. During 1972 record rains in parts of the U.S.,
Pakistan and Japan caused some of the worst flooding in centuries. In Canada’s wheat belt, a particularly chilly and rainy spring has delayed planting and may well bring a disappointingly small harvest’

1976 CIA Shock News: Global Cooling To Kill Us All – ‘The CIA warned in 1976 that global cooling will increase the frequency of droughts’

1975: Newsweek Explained How Global Cooling Causes Extreme Droughts, Floods, Dry Spells And Heatwaves -Global cooling ’causes an increase in extremes of local weather such as droughts, floods, extended dry spells, long freezes, delayed monsoons and even local temperature increases – all of which have a direct impact on food supplies’
Scientists reject notion that human-caused climate change led to war in Syria – ‘Human-influenced climate change impact on the drought conditions was almost certainly too small to have mattered’

2014 Study: ‘The humanitarian crisis of the late 2000s largely predated the drought period.Focusing on external factors like drought and climate change in the context of the Syrian uprising is counterproductive as it diverts attention from more fundamental political and economic motives behind the protests and shifts responsibility away from the Syrian government.

Study: Drought Of 1934 In North America, During The Dust Bowl, Was The Worst In Thousand Years – ‘The drought of 1934 in North America was the driest and the most widespread of the last millennium, according to a new study based on a reconstruction of North America’s history of drought over the last 1,000 years. – Study published in the Oct. 17 edition of Geophysical Research Letters by researchers from NASA and Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory.

“It was the worst by a large margin, falling pretty far outside the normal range of variability that we see in the record,” Ben Cook, a climate scientist at NASA and the study’s lead author, said in a statement.

California: Santa Cruz Muslim Threatened to Bomb Two Colleges

“University of California Santa Cruz police officers arrested a 25-year-old Santa Cruz man in connection to an anonymous social media post that referenced homicide, suicide, explosives, and a past university shooting.” “The post didn’t target any individuals, though it included general threats against two campus colleges, Oakes and Porter.” Hawari doesn’t seem to have actually had any explosives; he may have simply been trying to “strike terror into the hearts of the enemies of Allah” (Qur’an 8:60).

AYMAN-KAREEM-HAWARI

Ayman Kareem Hawari

An update on this story. “Man accused of making terrorist threats against UC Santa Cruz,” KSBW, August 21, 2015:

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. —University of California Santa Cruz police officers arrested a 25-year-old Santa Cruz man in connection to an anonymous social media post that referenced homicide, suicide, explosives, and a past university shooting.

A concerned parent called UCSC police at 7 p.m. Wednesday after he discovered the post.

Investigators identified Ayman Kareem Hawari as the post’s creator, UCSC Police Chief Nader Oweis said.

Officers arrested Hawari on a suspicion of making terrorist threats and resisting arrest. He was booked into the Santa Cruz County Jail Thursday.

So far, officers have found no connections between Hawari and the university.

“The post didn’t target any individuals, though it included general threats against two campus colleges, Oakes and Porter,” Oweis said….

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Stop Iran Now Rally: Santa Barbara, CA Courthouse

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Places with More Marijuana Dispensaries Have More Marijuana-Related Hospitalizations

In a first analysis of the impact of marijuana dispensary locations on health, researchers mapped California hospital discharge data that had a primary or secondary code for marijuana dependence or abuse to patients’ zip codes. Then they cross-referenced the data to the number of dispensaries in those zip codes.

Hospital marijuana codes increased from 17,469 in 2001 to 68,408 in 2012 in the state. More than 85 percent were coded as abuse rather than dependence. Nearly all (99.2 percent) were secondary codes, meaning patients were hospitalized for something other than marijuana (like someone hospitalized with internal injuries after crashing while driving under the influence of alcohol.)

“Each additional dispensary per square mile in a zip code was associated with a 6.8 percent increase in hospitalizations linked to marijuana abuse and dependence.” The density and location of dispensaries paralleled the density and location of liquor stores, which tend to be located in areas with lower household income and lower educational attainment.

Read Science Daily summary of the study here.

Geert Wilders Speaks at the Conservative Forum of Silicon Valley

Geert Wilders, leader of the Dutch Freedom party (PVV) spoke at a heavily guarded forum last night  at IFES Portuguese Hall in Mountain View, California in the heart of liberal Silicon Valley. The sponsor for Wilders event was the Conservative Forum of Silicon Valley where an appreciative audience of 300 showed up. The topic of wilders speech was: “Hard Facts about Islamic Extremism”. Because of the jihadi attack at the Garland, Texas  Mohammed Cartoon AFDI event in May 2015 Wilders was heavily guarded by both police SWAT teams and the ubiquitous Royal Dutch Protection Service which has  continually provided him with 24/7 protection since 2004. The parking lot for the venue was completely surrounded to prevent a possible attack on Wilders, a noted international anti-Islam critic and Dutch politican whose Freedom Party is ranked at the top of political polls in The Netherlands. This writer experienced that first hand when we arranged for a speech by Wilders at one of my alma maters, Columbia University in New York in 2009.

Watch this NBC Bay Area video report on Wilders speech in Mountain View, California.

Note these comments in the NBC Bay area report from attendees and bystanders at the Wilders Mountain event:

“I thought it was an amazing speech, I think he’s a tremendously brave man, and saying what’s very plain it’s all right in front of our eyes,” San Jose-resident Jane Kearney said.

Christian Perez lives near the hall, and said the road closure was an inconvenience. He was also unsure of the event’s speaker.

“I think it’s great we can actually have forums and discuss topics like this safely, but I don’t necessary have to agree with the opinions held,” he said.

Wilders’ speech at the Mountain View Conservative Forum can be found on his weblog.  The following are some excerpts.

On Islam as totalitarianism

Islam is totalitarian. It wants to submit us all and according to Islam there is no room for anything but Islam. It is not voluntary either. No Muslim is allowed to renounce it. Apostates must be killed. It commands the submission of every nation on earth to Islamic Sharia law.
The Koran is full of verses such as Sura 47:4: “When ye meet the unbelievers, smite at their necks and cause a bloodbath among them.” There are over 150 verses in the Koran calling for jihad or holy war. It is put in practice every day. Just put on the television news and you can see Islam in action.

We are all the victims of Islamization. Look around you. This building is surrounded by heavily armed law enforcement officers. This gathering here tonight is heavily protected. Why? We are no criminals. We are peaceful, ordinary citizens exercising a fundamental right in our free society, the right of free speech. This is something the American Founding Fathers fought for, and enshrined in the First Amendment of your Constitution.

This situation here, tonight, is absolutely un-American. But, unfortunately, it has become a reality in America and the rest of the Western world. Why? I will tell you why: Because Islam has entered America and is taking over Europe.

Islam is fundamentally changing our societies. Fanatics, brainwashed by a totalitarian ideology, are ready to kill us if we simply try to inform people about Islam. They terrorize people into submission. I am grateful that you did not give in to these threats. But the fact remains:
Our Judeo-Christian identity, our traditions, our freedoms and values, including free speech, are no longer a given. They are in danger. They have to be protected. And that is a sad thing, unworthy of a free society.

Only last month, we saw another tragic example of Islamization in America.
A gunman in Chattanooga. Tennessee, murdered four American Marines and a Navy officer. The assassin, Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez, was an immigrant from Kuwait.
This makes one think of events in France in March 2012, where Mohammed Merah, an immigrant of Algerian descent, killed three French paratroopers. The same assassin later attacked a Jewish school, murdering three children and a rabbi.

On European abdication to Islamization:

During the past decades, the European governments have made a terrible mistake. They have foolishly allowed millions of immigrants from Islamic countries to settle within our borders.

And now, we are witnessing a new reality:
Islamic neighborhoods are expanding. Many European cities have rapidly expanding Islamic populations: just take Amsterdam, Brussels, Bradford, Marseille and Malmö in Sweden and so many other cities in Euope. Europe is becoming a continent of head scarves and mosques.

In the Netherlands, Muhammad is currently already the second most popular name among newborn boys nationwide and even the most popular name in our three largest cities, Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague. This is also the case in the Belgian capital Brussels, the Norwegian capital Oslo, the British capital London. As a matter of fact even in the whole of Great-Britain, Muhammad has become the most popular name for newborn boys.

Europe is also becoming a continent of extremism and intolerance.

Last Summer, in my home town, The Hague, sympathizers of the Islamic State paraded in the streets. They carried swastikas and the black flags of IS. They shouted “Death to the Jews.” In broad daylight in my home town. According to the Koran, Jews are monkeys and pigs.

In Britain, Islamic gang have been filmed patrolling London streets, demanding that passersby confirm to Sharia law.

Recently, a young girl was beaten up in the French city of Reims by so-called Islamic religious police, because she was sunbathing in a park in her bikini.

In every Western nation, there are homegrown jihadis, prepared to commit violence. ISIS calls them “city wolves.” There are thousands of them. According to the European police agency Europol, 5,000 homegrown jihadis have left Europe to fight in Syria and Iraq. And many of them return.

Last January, an ISIS operative said that his organization had already sent some 4,000 fighters into Europe. The British authorities have uncovered an ISIS plot to blow up Queen Elizabeth. And the organization has announced that by 2020 it aims to conquer large parts of Europe, including Spain and the entire Balkans, as well as the northern half of Africa and the Indian peninsula.

Our political leaders, your president Barack Obama, Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, my own Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, they still say that Islam is a religion of peace.

Let me tell you: They are wrong!

John Quincy Adams, America’s sixth President said: “The precept of the Koran is perpetual war against all who deny that Mahomet is the prophet of God.”
Winston Churchill, the great British wartime Prime Minister, called Islam a “retrograde force” and called Adolf Hitler’s anti-Semitic book Mein Kampf a “new Koran.”
Adams was right. Churchill was right. Obama and Cameron are wrong!

So, let us stop bowing to Islam! No appeasement anymore!
The jihadis and their sympathizers do not belong in our societies.
I say: Let us reclaim our freedom!

[..]

We must not give in. We cannot allow the terrorists to win and evil to triumph.
Where are the Western government leaders with the wisdom of Adams and Churchill?

On the eve of the battle of Long Island, the first major battle of the American War of Independence, George Washington told his men: “The time is now at hand which must determine whether Americans are to be freemen or slaves. Our cruel and unrelenting enemy leaves us only the choice of brave resistance, or the most abject submission.” These words – these wise words – apply to us as well today.

Where are the Western government leaders with the courage of George Washington?

Extent of Muslim support for ISIS in the Netherlands and the U.S.

Let me give you some shocking numbers. The University of Amsterdam did a study about the 1 million Muslims in my country. It found that 11% is prepared to use violence for the sake of Islam. That is a staggering 110,000 people in a small country that is only half the size of Maine.

And it gets even worse. While the terrorists are only a minority, polls show that they have the support of the majority.
73% of the Islamic population in the Netherlands say that Muslims who go to Syria to fight in the jihad are heroes. 73%,
80% of the Turkish youths in the Netherlands do not think that the violence by ISIS against non-believers is wrong. 80%!
Can you believe it!?

Last June, a survey among US Muslims revealed that a majority of 51% want to be able to live under Sharia law.
Even more disturbing is the fact that 29% of American Muslims are okay with violence against people who so-called “insult” Muhammad.
25% – a staggering one in four – agree that violence against Americans here in the US is justified as part of jihad.

Indeed, you have a serious problem. We have a serious problem. We all have a problem.

It is called Islam. The problem is growing. And we cannot afford to ignore it any longer because our existence is at stake.

Clarion Call to combat Islamic Extremism and stand for Freedom

What we are witnessing today is how freedom dies. It dies because politicians are unwilling to defend it. It dies because of cowardice, ignorance and political opportunism and false correctness.

But that is not my way.

We owe it to the past generations always to speak the truth and not to take our liberties for granted.
We owe it to the future generations not to sign away their freedom.
We can halt the global expansion of Islam if we do our duty.
We can turn the tide if we act today. Today, my friends, must be our finest hour.
We must confront cowardice with the truth. We must confront ignorance with the truth.
We must confront political opportunism with the truth.
The truth about Islam.

I am from Europe, you are Americans, but we are all in the same boat.
We must unite against a common threat. The Islamic tide is strong, but the West has repulsed it before. And we can do so again if we stand together.

[…]

Indeed, my friends, a choice has to be made. The choice between Islam and freedom.
Let us make the right choice.
Let us continue the legacy our ancestors bestowed on us, with liberty and justice for all.
Let us never surrender.
Let us choose freedom.

Let me finish by quoting one of your great president. Thomas Jefferson. I also quote him in my book Marked for Death. His words are a great inspiration to me.
Jefferson said: “In matters of principle, stand like a rock.”

And that, my friends, is exactly what we will do.

We will stand like a stone wall in the defense of our freedoms.

EDITORS NOTE: The column originally appeared in the New English Review.

Obama, J Street and the American Jewish Divide

Former Israeli Ambassador to Washington, Michael Oren is a native of West Orange, New Jersey best exemplifies the special relations between the two allies, Israel and the U.S. Ally-book cover jpgWith the publication of his memoir, Ally: My Journey Across the American-Israeli Divide (2015), he has another best seller. Previous ones were Six Days of War: June 1967 and the Making of the Modern Middle East (2003) and Power, Faith, and Fantasy: America in the Middle East, 1776 to the Present (2007)Having read Ally, I concur with praise from two pundits: Bret Stephens, the Tuesday Wall Street  Journal columnist of note, and Vic Rosenthal, a former resident of Fresno, California, now a Jerusalem resident whose Abu Yehuda blog  posts are a must read about an American  living in Israel.

Bret Stephens’ opening stanza in his June 29, 2015 WSJ column “The President Against the Historianexplains why Oren’s memoir is a must read:

Michael Oren, Israel’s former ambassador to the United States, has written the smartest and juiciest diplomatic memoir that I’ve read in years, and I’ve read my share. The book, called “Ally,” has the added virtues of being politically relevant and historically important. This has the Obama administration—which doesn’t come out looking too good in Mr. Oren’s account—in an epic snit.

Vic Rosenthal in his July 2, 2015, Abu Yehuda blog post, Michael Oren is tired of American Jews, and so am I, addresses  the yawning  divide between Israel and American Jews, another of Oren’s themes in Ally:

Rabbi Eric Yoffie is offended by Michael Oren, on behalf of (non-Orthodox) American Jews. These Jews, like America’s “first Jewish president,” turn out to be very easy to offend: just suggest that Israelis are more qualified than they are to decide the future of their country.

Oren’s new book has offended both Yoffie and the Obama Administration, which has launched an all-out media blitz against him (as far as I know, Obama spokespeople haven’t called him a ‘chickenshit’ yet, but give them time).

Yesterday morning, I dialed into an Israel Project  (TIP)sponsored presentation by Oren. He told the listeners ,unlike the daylight between Obama and Netanyahu over the Iranian nuclear nightmare threat, that there is no daylight across the political divide in the  obsessive democratic cockpit of the Knesset. As Oren tells it, whether Likud, Zionist Union and even Arab parties, all Israel is united that Iran achieving nuclear breakout is “a very bad deal”. Further, he said while some  in the media, the Obama claque of  “senior officials’ and former aides have excoriated him for the early publication  of his memoir, he was heartened that they haven’t addressed the facts of what the Administration has perpetrated. Listen to this recorded  TIP presentation by Oren and the following Q&A.

Oren’s memoir has a lot to say about President Obama and his Administration acolytes isolating Israel over Iran and  Netanyahu’s vigorous defense of Israel  sovereign right of Israel to warn America and the untrusting world about Iran’s nuclear  threat and the very bad P5+1  deal. Perhaps  a  deal about to be announced in Vienna in a few days. Or if not simply kicked down the road.  All while Iran’s  Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei  and Mahdist acolytes of terrorism perfect the means of taking out the “little Satan”, Israel ,with one bomb and the “big Satan”, the  US, with a nuclear tipped ICBM.

Oren clearly takes pride that his well honed skills as a Columbia and Princeton educated historian who earned his PhD in Middle East Studies with the venerable Bernard Lewis.   Not bad for a pudgy dyslexic , pigeon toed 15 year old who shook the hand of the late Israeli PM Yitzhak Rabin, when the latter was  Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the US.  He exclaimed on that memorable occasion that some day he would be Israel’s Ambassador.  A late bloomer in high school Oren fulfilled his quest, slimed down hardened through rowing .  Equipped with his backpack he made aliyah to Israel to go through  grueling  paratrooper training  earn his coveted red beret along with an oath taken  to defend Israel on Masada with his IDF comrades.  He ends up in combat and later as a reserve officer during the Second Lebanon War as a military spokesperson to the foreign press.  Along the way he  meets his  American wife Sally Edelstein, a  Jersey girl, dancer and former San Francisco hippy groupie when she makes Aliyah to Israel and they ultimately form their Israeli family.

Ally  depicts what it was like for an American-Israeli to fulfill his dream as his adopted country’s Ambassador in Washington  Israel’s  interests in the byzantine politics of the Obama era from 2009 to 2013. After leaving Washington, Oren turns home to Tel Aviv to lecture, teach at Harvard and Yale and write his memoir.   Oren is now a member of the Kulanu party headed by former  Likud Communications Commissioner and economic reformer Moshe Kahlon.  Oren is a thinking liberal and  both he and the family are members of a Reform synagogue.  His memoir culminates on a dramatic note when he  and Sally attend  a  Bar Mitzvah celebration for 13 year olds at  Kibbutz Na’an, with one of his former Washington Embassy aides, Lee Moser, mother of  one of the bar mitzvah candidates when a red alert sounds, sirens wail and they scurry for shelter. He writes:

I held Sally’s hand and glanced over my shoulder over my shoulder just as two Hamas rockets roared in. Then with twin booms that rattled the tin overhang  and shook the ground below, the missiles exploded. Iron Dome interceptors, developed by Israel and funded by the United States, scored perfect hits. For moment afterward, as we emerged into the uncertain night, the glow of those bursts hovered over us, beaming like kindred stars.

All  of which brings  us to why he has frosted the J Street  fawning rabbinic leadership of the Reform Movement in America and  earned  both Vic Rosenthal’s and my admiration. This came on the cusp of having orchestrated a  recent viewing and panel discussion of the Americans for Peace and Tolerance documentary, J Street Challenge with Pensacola pro-Israel colleagues; Rabbi Eric Tokajer of Brit Ahm synagogue, Mike Bates, 1330amWEBY general manger of “Your Turn host and Florida State Representative Mike Hill, a U.S. Air Force Academy grad.

Vic Rosenthal notes a similar experience in his Fresno in his Abu Yehuda column:

We tried to bring the local Jewish community – the organizations, the synagogues and individual Jews – along with us. With a few exceptions, mostly people like us who had lived in Israel or had relatives there, we had to drag them kicking and screaming. Most of our pro-Israel events drew the same few supporters.

The local Reform temple was probably the most frustrating. A film critical of J Street, followed by a discussion? Absolutely not, it would be ‘divisive’! The Jewish Federation and Hadassah were better, but it was always easier to organize an event about Jewish culture than Israel.

Is Oren right that American Jews are more interested in helping others than their own? Certainly they were far more upset about terrorism in Charleston than Jerusalem, and far more ready to criticize our Prime Minister than their own Administration. The Reform rabbi threw himself into activities to help the poor and homeless. He is seen on TV on panels with the Imam of the Islamic Cultural Center. He is an outspoken advocate of liberal causes, but he did not give a sermon in favor of PM Netanyahu’s speech about Iran before the Congress.

In preparation for the recent J Street Challenge  Pensacola event, we culled excerpts from Oren’s Ally about his views on J Street  and its defenders inside the Obama Administration, illustrative of what  concerns Vic Rosenthal.

On J Street’s inclusion in Major American Jewish organizations meeting with Obama in 2009 p. 78

He promised to be more evenhanded in asking all parties, not just Israelis, to make sacrifices for peace. Yet the meeting would be remembered as a turning point in the administration’s approach toward the Jewish State.

Included for the first time with the mainstream Jewish leaders were the heads of Americans for Peace Now and the newly founded J Street, both organizations stridently critical of Israel and its traditional American supporters.  Their presence rattled the other participants, many of whom had been personally slighted by these parvenus.

The President concluded, “When there is no daylight, Israel just sits on the sidelines and that erodes our credibility with the Arabs”.

Commenting on the discussion, J Street founder Jeremy Ben Ami cited Obama’s ability to connect with the Muslim World and his immense standing in America and the World. “He was very clear that this is a moment that has to be seized and he intends to seize it.  By contrast the other American Jewish leaders emerged from the meeting concerned about Obama’s departure from the long standing principle of “no daylight” in U.S. –Israel relations.

On J Street’s promotion of the Goldstone Report that Maligned Israel in Operation Cast Lead in 2008 – 2009 p. 102

Though J Street refrained from formally endorsing the [Goldstone Report], activists in the organization escorted Goldstone to Congress for meetings with progressive members.  Assistant Secretary of State Michael Posner told the UNHRC of America’s disappointment with the document’s double standards. But he also cited Goldstone’s ‘distinguished record of public service” and called on Palestinians to investigate Hamas abuses. This, for Israelis, was tantamount to asking al-Qaeda to investigate 9/11.

On the contretemps between the Israeli Embassy and J Street P. 107

Irksome was the embassy’s continued imbroglio with J Street. Unlike my predecessor, Sallai Meridor, who had shunned the lobby, I initially engaged it in a dialogue.  I had no illusions about the group, which received funds from anti-Israel contributors, supported every legislator critical of Israel, and stridently attacked mainstream American Jewish leaders. Though J Street defined itself as “pro-Israel” and “pro-peace”, its logo bore no connection to Israel whatsoever, not even the color blue, and portrayed other pro-Israel organizations as anti-Israel. Before becoming Ambassador, I chanced to meet one J Street board member and asked him why he had joined. “I’m uncomfortable with the special relationship,” he told me. “I want to normalize U.S.-Israel ties.”

Outrageously, J Street members hosted Goldstone in Congress and lobbied  against sanctions on Iran. These actions were deeply deleterious to Israel’s security – “they endangered seven million Israelis,” I said –and made interacting with J Street virtually impossible. Both the Prime Minister [Netanyahu] and the foreign minister [Avigdor Liberman] vetoed my participation in its annual conference.

On the Obama White House relations with J Street p. 108

J Street… fashioned itself as the Administration’s wing in the American Jewish Community. Obama acknowledged that fact by sending his National Security Advisor [former Marine General] Jim Jones, one of Washington’s most powerful officials to greet the organization. “I’m honored to represent President Obama at the first national J Street conference.  And you can be sure that this administration will be represented at all other J Street conferences…” Obama’s newly appointed advisor on anti-Semitism, Hannah Rosenthal, an early J Street supporter, issued her first denunciation not of anti-Semites, but rather of me for boycotting the summit.

Michael Oren’s Ally might be considered a 21st Century version of Emile Zola’s J’accuse.  Oren , like Zola in the fin de siècle Dreyfus affair,  addresses the calumnies of President  Obama, nurtured  in Muslim Indonesia, creating daylight isolating Israeli PM Netanyahu over nuclear Iran and recognition of a Faux Palestinian State.  Daylight promised  to Obama’s  Chicago anti-Israel confreres, Rashid Khalidi, holder of the Edward Said Endowed Chair on Modern Arab Studies  at Columbia and Ali Abunimah , editor of The Electronic Intifada blog, that he wouldn’t forget them. Oren chronicles how Obama delivered on that promise.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review. The featured image is of President Obama and former Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren, July 2009. Source: White House Photo

California Government Puts Uber on Blocks by Jeffrey A. Tucker

The California Labor Commission, with its expansive power to categorize and codify what it is that workers do, has dealt a terrible blow to Uber, the disruptive ride-sharing service. In one administrative edict, it has managed to do what hundreds of local governments haven’t.

Every rapacious municipal taxi monopoly in the state has to be celebrating today. It also provides a model for how these companies will be treated at the federal level. This could be a crushing blow. It’s not only the fate of Uber that is at stake. The entire peer-to-peer economy could be damaged by these administrative edicts.

The change in how the income of Uber drivers is treated by the law seems innocuous. Instead of being regarded as “independent contractors,” they are now to be regarded as “employees.”

Why does it matter? You find out only way down in the New York Times story on the issue. This “could change Uber’s cost structure, requiring it to offer health insurance and other benefits, as well as paying salaries.”

That’s just the start of it. Suddenly, Uber drivers will be subject to a huge range of federal tax laws that involve withholding, maximum working hours, and the entire labor code at all levels as it affects the market for employees. Oh, and Obamacare.

This is a devastating turn for the company and those who drive for it.

Just ask the drivers:

Indeed, there seems to be no justification for calling Uber drivers employees. I can recall being picked up at airport once. Uber was not allowed to serve that airport. I asked the man if he worked for Uber. He said he used to but not anymore.

“When did you quit?”

“Just now,” he said. Wink, wink. He was driving for himself on my trip.

“When do you think you will work for Uber again?”

“After I drop you off.”

That’s exactly the kind of independence that Uber drivers value. They don’t have to answer any particular call that comes in. They set their own hours. They drive their own cars. When an airport bans Uber, they simply redefine themselves.

They can do this because they are their own boss; Uber only cuts them off if they don’t answer a call on their mobile apps for 180 days. But it is precisely that rule that led the commission to call them “employees.”

That’s a pretty thin basis on which to call someone an employee. And it’s also solid proof that the point of this decision is not to clarify some labor designation but rather to shore up the old monopolies that want to continue to rip off consumers with high prices and poor service. No surprise, government here is using its power to serve the ruling class and established interests.

This is exactly the problem with government regulations that purport to define and codify every job. Such regulations tend to restrict the types and speed of innovation that can occur in enterprises.

The app economy and peer-to-peer network are huge growth areas precisely because they have so far manage to evade being codified and controlled and shoe-horned into the old stultifying rules.

If everyone earning a piecemeal stream of income is called an employee — and regulated by relevant tax, workplace, and labor laws — many of these companies immediately become unviable.

There will be no more on-demand hair stylists, plumbers, tennis coaches, and piano teachers. The fate of a vast number of companies is at stake. The future is at stake.

For now, Uber is saying that this decision pertains to this one employee only. I hope that this claim is sustainable. If it is not, the regulators will use this decision to inflict a terrible blow on the brightest and fastest growing sector of American economic life.


Jeffrey A. Tucker

Jeffrey Tucker is Director of Digital Development at FEE, CLO of the startup Liberty.me, and editor at Laissez Faire Books. Author of five books, he speaks at FEE summer seminars and other events. His latest book is Bit by Bit: How P2P Is Freeing the World.

LA Unions Demand Exemption from $15 Minimum Wage They Created by Daniel Bier

If there was ever any doubt that LA’s minimum wage hike was meant to help the labor unions at the expense of everyone else, I hope we can now put that idea to bed.

The LA Times reports,

Labor leaders, who were among the strongest supporters of the citywide minimum wage increase approved last week by the Los Angeles City Council, are advocating last-minute changes to the law that could create an exemption for companies with unionized workforces. . . .

Rusty Hicks, who heads the county Federation of Labor and helps lead the Raise the Wage coalition, said Tuesday night that companies with workers represented by unions should have leeway to negotiate a wage below that mandated by the law.

“With a collective bargaining agreement, a business owner and the employees negotiate an agreement that works for them both. The agreement allows each party to prioritize what is important to them,” Hicks said in a statement. “This provision gives the parties the option, the freedom, to negotiate that agreement. And that is a good thing.”

Unions want to give workers and business the option — the freedom! — to prioritize what’s important to them and negotiate their own pay! Isn’t that nice. But only if those workers are paying union dues, and only if those businesses are using union labor.

The minimum wage hike was always meant to make independent workers more expensive and make unions look better by comparison. But it’s a bold move for the unions to simply say, in one breath, “Everyone deserves a living wage! It’ll be good for everyone! Except us, thank you. We’ll set our own pay — and also, give a break to any businesses who agree to go back to union labor.”

More on this transparently corrupt policy of the minimum wage by FEE’s Jeffrey Tucker.


Daniel Bier

Daniel Bier is the editor of Anything Peaceful. He writes on issues relating to science, civil liberties, and economic freedom.

Emerson College Poll: California May Be In Play For 2016 Presidential Race

BOSTONApril 14, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — A new poll conducted in California by the Emerson College Polling Society (ECPS) suggests that the perennially blue state, which has not been won by a Republican presidential candidate since 1988, may be in play for the 2016 election.

Hillary Clinton holds a commanding 46-point lead over Senator Elizabeth Warren, her nearest potential rival for the Democratic nomination. However, in head-to-head matchups with the top two GOP contenders, Jeb Bushand Scott Walker, Clinton’s 53% to 47% edge is within the poll’s margin of error of +/- 3.2%.

California Republicans are split on who their candidate will be. Among those who plan to vote in the GOP primary, Bush and Walker are tied at 17%, physician Ben Carson trails by two points at 15%, and TexasSenator Ted Cruz is at 11%. Nearly 1 in 5 are undecided.

Harris is Leading the U.S. Senate Race

The poll also looked at the U.S. Senate seat being vacated in 2016 by the retirement of Democratic incumbent Barbara BoxerCalifornia Attorney General Kamala Harris is leading a hypothetical field with 23% of the vote, followed by former eBay executive and 2010 gubernatorial loser Meg Whitman at 13%. Rocky Chavez, the only Republican to officially enter the race so far, came in third at 9%.

Water is the Top Issue

Water scarcity is the biggest issue facing California according to 31% of those polled, followed by immigration (21%) and jobs and the economy (13%). Seven in ten Californians (71%) support the mandatory water-use restrictions imposed by Governor Jerry Brown, including 48% who are strongly supportive. Only 18% oppose the cuts. Asked where they would make major reductions at home, 44% said they would reduce watering lawns and plantings, 15% cited showers and baths, and 9% would stop filling their swimming pools. 14% would make no reductions.

Worry is highest (41%) in the agriculturally important Central Valley region. A much larger percentage of Democrats (83%) favor water restrictions than Republicans (60%) and non-aligned voters (55%).

EDITORS NOTE: The ECPS survey was conducted statewide in California in English and Spanish from April 2-8, using an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system. The survey sample consisted of 881 registered voters. The poll has a margin of error of +/-3.2% with a 95% confidence level. The full survey methodology and results can be found at www.theecps.com

New O’Keefe Video Shows Support for ISIS, Hamas & Hezbollah Across California

Professors, Administrators, and Students Pledge Economic Support to Terrorist Organizations ISIS, Hamas, and Hezbollah on Numerous California Campuses.

California professors support ban of U.S. flag on campus as racist symbol

The University of California, Irvine basketball team will be heading to the “Big Dance.” Ok, for those of you who have no clue, that’s March Madness, the NCAA Basketball tournament. It starts this Tuesday with the “play in games” – in the vein of every kid gets a trophy. I remember when the NCAA tourney was just 32 teams — then it went to 64, and now it’s up to 68 teams. So congrats to the UC-Irvine hoops team, but I am perplexed. As Irvine cheers on its team, would they also cheer on their country? I’m not so sure.

Last week we shared the story about how the U.C. Irvine student government association voted 6-4-2 to remove Old Glory from a campus lobby for the sake of cultural inclusivity. When the U.C. Irvine Student Government leader stood against that ban, we all thought that was the end of it — but not so fast my friend. It seems these little progressive socialist leftists in training have garnered the support of the grown-up leftists.

As Fox News reports, “A group of university professors has signed a letter showing their solidarity with students who tried to ban the American flag at the University of California, Irvine – because they said Old Glory contributes to racism.”

“U.S. nationalism often contributes to racism and xenophobia, and that the paraphernalia of nationalism is in fact often used to intimidate,” read a letter obtained by the website Campus Reform. Hundreds across the nation have signed the letter – including some U.C. Irvine professors, Campus Reform reported.

“We admire the courage of the resolution’s supporters amid this environment of political immaturity and threat, and support them unequivocally” the letter stated.”

I don’t know what to say about this, but it truly attests to what is dangerously permeating our country — those who rant about a baby being swaddled in an American flag by his Navy dad — while there are those who disparage our national symbol.

To believe that the American flag is a symbol of colonialism and nationalism, to see the American flag as a symbol of racism and xenophobia is just beyond comprehension.

This is the same American flag that draped my own dad’s casket when he passed away in May 1986. That American flag gave Herman West Sr. a sense of purpose and dedication to this great nation that he passed on to several generations in his blood line — there was nothing to do with racism — save for the Democrat party that promoted such practice.

So maybe it’s time we say, fine, the flag will be banned from your campus –along with any American taxpayer dollars. Maybe it’s time we look at these professors who feel that America is so bad, and stop sending them any American taxpayer dollars grants for their research. After all, why should they want the funding of a racist and xenophobic country? They don’t want to be tarnished by such a demeaning currency that states something so repulsive as “In God We Trust.”

“Even Breitbart quoted an unnamed student who said the student government association feared the flag might hurt the feelings of illegal aliens. “There were people who were like, ‘the flag triggers me’ – that was their exact wording, too,” the student said.”

Meanwhile, a group of Californian lawmakers is working on a bill that that would prohibit publicly funded universities from banning the American flag. I just hate to ask the question, how many of these students who want to ban the American flag and support those who wish that are on federal student loans? Oops, forgot, since the Affordable Care Act, those are the only loans available.

Combine this with Brown University student Peter Makhlouf who referred to ROTC students as criminals — and we have the next generation of far left progressive socialist America haters.

So does this cycle ever stop, does it end? You know, I have no problem with freedom of speech and expression — that is what I served to protect. But all this reminds me of quote from George Washington in a letter to James Madison in 1785:

“We are either a United people, or we are not. If the former, let us, in all maters of general concern act as a nation, which have national objects to promote, and a national character to support. If we are not, let us no longer act a farce by pretending to it.”

So, do we still believe that we have national objects and a national character? Is American exceptionalism just like everyone else? Should we get off our high horse?

Are the days of America over and should we just stop acting the farce? Nah, we are far from being over. The fight has only begun. It is one worth having and we, the American patriots, shall not lose. It may seem the progressive socialist left is winning – but only because they’ve been very adept at manipulating the culture of entertainment, politics, and media. But there is a groundswell out there and something is building in this country which will reverse the fundamental transformation of America — and recommit to our Constitutional principles and values.

There is just one need: a courageous, resolute American who will lead the charge. The troops are ready, and the liberal progressive left will have no idea what hit them.

Molon Labe.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on AllenBWest.com.