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Chicago: Man converts to Islam, writes computer code for ISIS, his lawyer says ‘liking ISIS is not illegal’

From whom did Thomas Osadzinski learn about Islam? Where did he go to mosque? Is that mosque being investigated? Why not?

US Student Faces Prison for Helping Islamic State

Associated Press, October 19, 2021:

CHICAGO — A former Chicago college student was convicted Monday of attempting to provide material support to the Islamic State group.

Thomas Osadzinski, 22, wrote a computer code to help IS bypass programs designed to block the group’s propaganda, prosecutors said. The former DePaul University student, who was born in a Chicago suburb, was living in the city when he was arrested in 2019 during an FBI sting. He faces up to 20 years in prison.

His attorney, Joshua Herman, said during closing arguments that the case centered on the right to free speech and that Osadzinski had the right to watch and share the videos.

“Liking ISIS is not illegal,” Herman said in court.

But prosecutors alleged Osadzinski worked in coordination or at the direction of IS. Authorities said Osadzinski boasted in communications about his computer skills and ability to speak Arabic, and he bragged that he would use a gun and explosives to elude authorities if need be….

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Islamic State jihadi in Afghanistan sues British Home Secretary to return to UK, says he’s afraid of the Taliban

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Australia: Muslim speaker at pro-Palestinian rally screams: ‘Oh Allah, give us the necks of the Jews!’

France: Muslim migrant rapes his ‘too Westernized’ daughter, her brother stabs her

India: Muslim cleric says ‘this is our country,’ calls on Muslims to ‘create the fear of Allah’

UK’s Johnson: ‘We will never allow those who commit acts of evil to triumph over the democracy’

EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Chicago Dyke March Plans Violent Riots, Calls for Destruction of U.S. and Israel

These people are the very definition of useful idiots. “Zionism is queerphobic,” and yet any of these marchers would be murdered in Gaza and could live in peace in Israel. The Leftist-Islamic alliance has nothing whatsoever to do with rational thought or the facts of real life.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Illinois State Rep Calls for the Abolition of History Classes in the State’s Public Schools

Rep. Ford claims that “current school history teaching leads to white privilege and a racist society.” Meleika Gardner of We Will says: “Miseducation has fed and continues to feed systemic racism for generations. If Black History continues to be devalued and taught incorrectly, then it will call for further action.” Evanston Mayor Steve Hagerty adds: “I support House Bill 4954 because I am interested in learning more and believe the history of Black people should be taught to all children and include all groups, Women, LatinX, and Native Indians who helped to build America.”

All this gives the impression that February is White History Month, not Black History Month, and that the teaching of history in public schools has more of a slant toward the Confederate States than the United States. This is, of course, absurd. We see the products of public education in America today venting their hatred for their native land every night now in Seattle and Portland.

What we need is not more focus on the grievances of this or that group, but rather on what has made the nation great for all of us, of every race and ethnic background. Rep. Ford’s initiative is yet another in a long line of Leftist attempts to erase our history and make us ashamed of being Americans, which will lead us to not having either the will or desire to defend this nation from internal and external attacks.

What we need now, when so many people are telling us that America was never great and is nothing to be proud of, is an unapologetic reaffirmation of what did indeed make this nation the greatest, most magnanimous, freest country the world has ever known. That’s why I wrote Rating America’s Presidents: An America-First Look at Who Is Best, Who Is Overrated, and Who Was An Absolute Disaster, which will be out in a few weeks and which you can preorder now. It evaluates the presidents of the United States on the simple basis of whether or not they were good for America and Americans. Along the way, it gives you a brisk reminder of the history that Leftist destroyers are trying to steal from us. If we do not know our own history, their sinister endeavor will be all the easier to accomplish. Rep. Ford himself put it best regarding why this book is urgently needed now: “the miseducation of our children must stop.”

“Chicago-Area Leaders Call for Illinois to Abolish History Classes,” NBC Chicago, August 2, 2020:

At a news conference, State Rep. LaShawn K. Ford said current history teachings lead to a racist society and overlook the contributions of women and minorities.

Before the event Sunday, Rep. Ford’s office distributed a news release “Rep. Ford Today in Evanston to Call for the Abolishment of History Classes in Illinois Schools,” in which Ford asked the ISBOE and school districts to immediately remove history curriculum and books that “unfairly communicate” history “until a suitable alternative is developed.”…

The full news release is below:

Rep. Ford Today in Evanston to Call for the Abolishment of History Classes in Illinois Schools

Concerned that current school history teaching leads to white privilege and a racist society, state Rep. La Shawn K. Ford, D-Chicago, will join local leaders today at noon at the Robert Crown Center in Evanston to call on the state to stop its current history teaching practices until appropriate alternatives are developed.

“When it comes to teaching history in Illinois, we need to end the miseducation of Illinoisans,” Ford said. “I’m calling on the Illinois State Board of Education and local school districts to take immediate action by removing current history books and curriculum practices that unfairly communicate our history. Until a suitable alternative is developed, we should instead devote greater attention toward civics and ensuring students understand our democratic processes and how they can be involved. I’m also alarmed that people continue to display symbols of hate, such as the recent display of the Confederate flag in Evanston.”

Attendees at Sunday’s press conference will discuss how current history teaching practices overlook the contributions by Women and members of the Black, Jewish, LGBTQ communities and other groups. These individuals are pushing for an immediate change in history changing practice starting this school year.

The miseducation of our children must stop,” said Meleika Gardner of We Will. “It is urgent that it comes to an end as we witness our current climate become more hostile. Miseducation has fed and continues to feed systemic racism for generations. If Black History continues to be devalued and taught incorrectly, then it will call for further action.”

Evanston Mayor Steve Hagerty notes “As Mayor, I am not comfortable speaking on education, curriculum, and whether history lessons should be suspended. This is not my area. Personally, I support House Bill 4954 because I am interested in learning more and believe the history of Black people should be taught to all children and include all groups, Women, LatinX, and Native Indians who helped to build America.”

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Spain: Muslim migrants preparing explosives for jihad massacre in Barcelona are thwarted and arrested

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EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. All rights reserved.

Illinois: Muslim who slashed tires at churches and said ‘I don’t like Christians’ now tries to burn occupied church

“In November 2019, prosecutors said that El Hannouny slashed the tires of 19 cars in the parking lots of the First Baptist and Sts. Helen and Constantine churches. Upon his arrest, he told authorities that he damaged the cars because, “I don’t like Christians,” according to police. Hate crime charges were added in January, and he was released on a $10,000 I-bond with electronic monitoring.”

We see how well that worked. Officials did not and would never dare to address the root causes of El-Hannouny’s hatred, and so he was free to act upon it again. When arrested this time, he didn’t show any sign of remorse: “While El Hannouny was being processed, police said he started spitting at officers, reports said. El Hannouny also wrote a religious slur on the wall of his cell.” Yet he will soon be free again, and will almost certainly target yet another church.

“Man Accused of Trying To Burn Down Occupied Church,” by Lorraine Swanson, Patch, April 16, 2020 (thanks to the Geller Report):

PALOS HILLS, IL — A Palos Hills man already facing hate crime and criminal damage charges is now accused of trying to set fire to an occupied church, reports said. Osama E. El Hannouny, 25, appeared Wednesday before a Cook County judge on charges of arson, hate crimes, criminal damage to property, battery to a police officer and violation of bail bond.

In November 2019, prosecutors said that El Hannouny slashed the tires of 19 cars in the parking lots of the First Baptist and Sts. Helen and Constantine churches. Upon his arrest, he told authorities that he damaged the cars because, “I don’t like Christians,” according to police. Hate crime charges were added in January, and he was released on a $10,000 I-bond with electronic monitoring.

On April 14, police said El Hannouny used leaves to set fire to Sacred Heart Church, 8245 W. 111th St. According to the police report, El Hannouny was caught on video looking through the doors of the church building and noticing that it was occupied. Police said he made numerous trips to pile leaves near the gas main and air conditioning unit. El Hannouny allegedly set the leaves on fire, but firefighters quickly extinguished the flames.

While El Hannouny was being processed, police said he started spitting at officers, reports said. El Hannouny also wrote a religious slur on the wall of his cell, according to the report. El Hannouny allegedly scratched, bit and spit at police when they tried to stop him….

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Killing for Muhammad’s Honor: The Highest Expression of the Islamic Faith

Egypt: Muslims who targeted Christians for jihad massacre planned to strike under cover of coronavirus curfew

Tunisia: Two jihadis arrested for trying to infect police with coronavirus

Germany: Government pays $19,500 to jihad preacher who is classified as a threat and is already on welfare

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EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. © All rights reserved.

Obama’s former DOE Secretary Wanted More Mayoral Control of Public Schools Nationwide

Not long after President Obama brought former Chicago Public Schools (CPS) CEO Arne Duncan to Washington, D.C., to become U.S. Secretary of Education, Duncan spouted out this March 31, 2009, declaration regarding his desire to establish mayoral control over more school systems. As NBC Chicago reports:

Education Secretary Arne Duncan said Tuesday that mayors should take control of big-city school districts where academic performance is suffering.

Duncan said mayoral control provides the strong leadership and stability needed to overhaul urban schools.

Mayors run the schools in fewer than a dozen big cities; only seven have full control over management and operations. That includes Chicago, where Duncan headed the school system until joining the Obama administration.

Speaking at a forum with mayors and superintendents, Duncan promised to help more mayors take over.

“At the end of my tenure, if only seven mayors are in control, I think I will have failed,” Duncan said.

He offered to do whatever he can to make the case. “I’ll come to your cities,” Duncan said. “I’ll meet with your editorial boards. I’ll talk with your business communities. I will be there.”

To my knowledge, no school system has been placed under mayoral control since Duncan was appointed as U.S. Secretary of Education in December 2008. Certainly there was no rush for U.S. cities to place their education systems under control of a mayor. And though there is a lot more about Duncan to which one might tie failure (not the least of which are his coercive No Child left Behind waivers), let us consider a marvelous irony about mayoral control in Duncan’s own backyard of Chicago, Illinois:

On March 03, 2016, the Illinois House passed a bill to convert CPS’s mayorally-appointed school board into an elected board. The legislation, HB 4268, sponsored by Rep. Richard Markwell (D-Chicago) passed by a vote of 110-4 and is currently in the Senate. From the article:

The bill would partition the city into 20 local districts and a 21st board member would be elected at large as president. Each would serve an initial five-year term if elected on March 20, 2018, then four years each to coincide with municipal elections.

The legislation also addresses a few regular criticisms of the appointed board by pushing at least half of the elected board’s meetings until after hours so working parents and community members can attend.

Some believe that the Senate might not get to act on HB 4268 because of addressing Illinois’ state budget crisis. Still, what is remarkable about HB 4268 are the numerous House sponsors the bill has garnered along the way– 44 co-sponsors in all– and all Democrats– the same party affiliation as Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

Duncan praises mayoral-run districts for their top-down control– which logically appeals to a guy who held states ransom via Title I funds connected to his NCLB waivers. From Duncan’s 2009 NBC spiel:

Duncan told The Associated Press that urban schools need someone who is accountable to voters and driving all of a city’s resources behind children.

“Part of the reason urban education has struggled historically is you haven’t had that leadership from the top,” he said.

“Where you’ve seen real progress in the sense of innovation, guess what the common denominator is? Mayoral control,” Duncan said.

I do not know of anyone who would describe what Emanuel has done to CPS as “progress” and certainly not as “innovative.”

Furthermore, Emanuel made sure he was not “accountable to voters” by suppressing evidence of the Laquan McDonald shooting until after his runoff election against Chuy Garcia on April 07, 2015.

As of February 01, 2016, Emanuel’s approval rating hit a record low of 27 percent. As WGN-TV reports:

According to the poll, only 27% of Chicagoans approve of the job he is doing.  41% believe he should resign.  55% would support legislation to allow a Chicago mayor to be recalled.

59% of those surveyed say Emanuel is not honest and trustworthy. 70% believe his administration is not transparent. Only 25% believe Emanuel is in touch with people like them.

The mayor’s slide in the polls has accelerated as the result of his handling of the investigation into the police shooting death of teenager Laquan McDonald.  A police dashcam video that shows McDonald being shot 16 times was not released until last Spring, after Emanuel was re-elected.

58% of the poll respondents believe the mayor was not justified in withholding the release of the video; 74% don’t believe his statements about the shooting.

985 registered Chicago voters were polled between January 20 and January 28.  The poll has a margin of error of 3.2%.

Looks like Emanuel is losing his mayoral control on many fronts.

As for the condition of CPS under his (and his appointed board’s) control, Emanuel is also taking a hit. As HB 4268 co-sponsor Greg Harris (D- Chicago) notes on his web page circa November 2015:

There is only one school district in the State of Illinois that does NOT have an elected school board, and that is the Chicago Public Schools.  Currently all members of the Chicago Board of Education are appointed by Mayor and are not accountable to the parents, students or communities they serve. It is time for a change. That is why I am proud to cosponsor HB 4268 which would change Chicago’s school board from appointees to an elected school board.

We know about the recent pay-to-play scandals rocking CPS. But for our neighborhoods there are so many other reasons that we need to take back control of our schools. We have seen our neighborhood schools losing resources for enrichment programs such as music, art, sports, foreign languages, advanced placement and special education. This year, CPS is proposing over $8.7 million in cuts to schools in our area.

It is also worth noting that at the same time the Board is cutting our schools and asking for a property tax increase, we will be paying $238 million in termination fees to banks and investors to get us out of interest rate swaps and other financial deals that the CPS Board itself instigated.

Harris posted the above appeal right around the time of the CPS scandal related to a federal investigation and guilty plea of former CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett and Emanuel’s withholding emails related to the incident.

Add to the above the following observations regarding an Emanuel-controlled board by Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) President Karen Lewis in the March 03, 2016, NBC article:

Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis has complained for years that the appointed board rarely listens to teachers and families when imposing decisions — or it wouldn’t have closed 50 schools or rubber-stamped a no-bid contract deal that since ousted the CEO and might land her in prison.

“Nearly one year ago, 90 percent of Chicago voters expressed their support for an elected school board, and now, the city’s students and their families are closer to ending the devastation of mayoral control and Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s handpicked Board of Education,” Lewis said. “The CTU now calls on the Senate to pass this bill and give the voters what is long overdue — democracy in our education.”

Mayoral control has not worked in Chicago. Whether or not Duncan admits as much in 2016 is irrelevant. He is currently in no position to advocate for mayoral control.

However.

Illinois should stay alert to Duncan’s December 2015 return to Illinois and the possibility of his doing so in order to qualify to run for governor in November 2018.

For now, as of February 2016, Duncan is not in the public eye, though he has signed Creative Artists Agency (CAA) to represent him, as Deadline reports, “in all areas including books and speaking engagements.”

I wonder what Duncan would get CAA or any other agency to market as his USDOE success in a future bid for any political position of note, Illinois governor included.

And I wonder if he plans to write or speak on the glories of mayoral control, especially in Chicago.

Three words:

Litter box liner.

Muslim Student Association demands ‘zero tolerance policy for Islamophobic speech’

Here again we see how Leftist and Islamic supremacist groups use the term “Islamophobia” for both attacks on innocent civilians, which have no justification under any circumstances, and for honest examination of how Islamic jihadists use the texts and teachings of Islam to incite hatred and violence. These groups use the former to quash the latter, which will have the effect of allowing the jihad to advance unimpeded and unopposed.

Is that what the MSA wants? Probably, since it is a Muslim Brotherhood organization. According to Discover the Networks, “The Muslim Students Association of the United States and Canada, or MSA (also known as MSA National), was established mainly by members of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) in January 1963 at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Nyack College theologian Larry A. Poston writes that “many of the founding members of this agency [MSA] were members of, or had connections to,” the Muslim Brotherhood or Jamaat-i-Islami. The three most significant founders of MSA were Hisham al Talib, Jamal Barzinji, and Ahmed Totanji, and all of whom were MB leaders of Iraqi descent. Other noteworthy individuals who served as early co-founders of MSA were Mahboob Khan and Malika Khan.”

Meanwhile, our nation’s universities are increasingly becoming thuggish centers of Leftist indoctrination where opposing views are forcibly silenced. This holds true across the country, from ostensibly Catholic entities such as Saint Anselm College in New Hampshire to secular ones such as San Diego State University.

“Muslim Student Association demands all ‘Islamophobic speech’ be punished,” by Alec Dent, College Fix, December 28, 2015:

The Muslim Student Association at San Diego State University is demanding that administrators combat Islamophobia by developing a “zero tolerance policy explicitly for Islamophobic speech and actions.”

The demands, modeled after similar ones issued by black student associations at campuses across the nation, were lodged after a female Muslim student was allegedly attacked by a white man in a campus parking lot on the afternoon of Nov. 19, about a week after the Paris terrorist attacks, which killed 130 people.

At SDSU, despite reports that several witnesses stood by and did nothing as the attacker grabbed the woman’s hijab, as well as a police sketch of the alleged attacker, a police investigation could not identify a suspect, according to the San Diego Union Tribune.

Meanwhile, the female student who said she was attacked has not been identified. But she told Hanif Mohebi, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations-San Diego, that her attacker grabber her from “behind,” called her a terrorist, “choked her with the hajib” and told her to “get out of this country,” the Union Tribune reports.

Several comments on the article expressed incredulity over the attack, questioning whether it is a hate-crime hoax.

Yet less than a week after the alleged hate crime, SDSU’s Muslim Student Association held a protest against Islamophobia on campus that attracted hundreds of students.

Yasser Kaziha, a member of the Muslim Student Association, said that he personally knew the victim of the attack, and “when the attack on our Muslim sister happened here at SDSU, she felt alone after bystanders and witnesses who watched the attack did nothing,” he told the Union Tribune.

At the rally, the Muslim Student Association issued its list of demands, which members claim will help prevent future acts of bigotry against the Muslim community.

They demanded that the university adopt a zero-tolerance policy toward “Islamophobic speech,” mandatory bystander training, develop more courses on Islam, and increase funding for The Center for Intercultural Relations. Moreover, they demanded that “the SDSU administration address, alleviate, and eliminate systems of oppression that disproportionately target students of color, womyn, and all marginalized students on campus.”

Beth Chee, a representative for the university, told The College Fix in an email that the university has not issued a formal response to the demands, but members of the administration have reviewed the list and are currently “meeting internally and with the students to discuss their concerns.”…

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Muslim National Guard soldier planned Paris-style slaughter in U.S., tried to join the Islamic State

He was in the National Guard. He converted to Islam and plotted to massacre 150 non-Muslims and join the Islamic State. Authorities remain uncurious, however, about the process of converting to Islam and how Islamic texts and teachings may incite converts to commit acts of violence.

Hasan Edmonds

Hasan Edmonds

“National Guard soldier ‘who planned Paris-style attack on US soil’ to kill 150 people facing 30 years in prison and a $500,000 fine after pleading guilty to trying to join ISIS,” by Darren Boyle, Mail Online, December 15, 2015 (thanks to The Religion of Peace):

A National Guard soldier who conspired with is cousin to join ISIS and massacre up to 150 people at his military base is facing up to 30 years in prison after pleading guilty to providing support to a terrorist organisation.

Hasan Edmonds, 23, of Aurora, Illinois, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to provide material support to ISIS and one count of attempting to provide material support to the same organisation.

His cousin Jonas Edmonds, 30, also admitted the conspiracy charge as well as one count of making a false statement to authorities regarding international terrorism. He is facing a maximum jail term of 23 years when he reappears in court for sentence next year.

Hasan Edmonds, made contact with an undercover FBI agent whom he believed was an ISIS terrorist in Libya.

He requested advice on ‘how to fight and defeat the US military’. At the time, Hasan Edmonds was serving with the Illinois National Guard in Joliet. He told undercover agents were willing to attack the United States.

Both cousins later met with another undercover agent in March who pretended to help the younger Edmonds travel to Mosul in Iraq to join ISIS.

They also discussed a plan for Jonas Edmonds, 30, to use his cousin’s military uniforms to attack the base in Joliet, Illinois where Hasan Edmonds was assigned.

Jonas said he wanted the undercover agent to help him achieve a ‘body count’ of 100 to 150 people.

Hasan Edmonds took his cousin and the undercover agent to the base on March 24 to conduct surveillance and retrieve a training schedule in order to pick the best time to attack, the plea agreement said.

Hasan Edmonds and his cousin Jonas Edmonds spoke to undercover federal agents about their plan to attack the Illinois National Guard Armory in Joliet, pictured, where Hasan served as a soldier.

Jonas Edmonds drove his cousin to the airport the next day, but Hasan Edmonds was arrested before he could board the flight to Egypt. Jonas Edmonds drove from the airport to his cousin’s house but was arrested before he could retrieve the uniforms…

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EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is of Hasan Edmonds (left), a National Guard specialist, and his cousin, Jonas Edmonds who are charged with a conspiracy in which Hasan would travel overseas to join ISIS, while Jonas would coordinate an attack on the National Guard facility where Hasan had trained. Photos supplied to CBS News.

Illinois: The leading state for Syrian Muslim refugee resettlement

This is a longish article at the Chicago Tribune that anyone concerned with Illinois should have a look at.  Any ‘pockets of resistance’ in Illinois?

Bill_Frelick_print_0

Bill Frelick of Human Rights Watch.

But, this whining bit (below) jumped out at me and I want to bring it to your attention.

The article implies that Syrian Muslims are not getting into the US in the refugee stream, but that just isn’t true. In 2015, 97% of the Syrians arriving in the U.S. through the State Department’s Refugee Admissions Program are Muslims (the vast majority are Sunnis) coming from UN camps.

We know this from the US State Department’s own Refugee Processing Center data base (if you don’t believe me, see for yourself) where the State Department tracks nationality and religion!

Last week we reported, here in that same post, that Illinois had the 4th highest number of Syrians resettled so far.

Here is a snip below from the Chicago Tribune story. Is Frelick ignorant or purposefully being deceptive and why don’t reporters at these big papers try to find out the truth—that we are bringing mostly Muslim Syrians and NOT the Christians.

Incidentally, we wouldn’t have such a difficult time screening Christians, would we?

But Syrian Muslims figure low on the list of asylum-seekers designated as being of “special humanitarian concern” when U.S. politicians consider applicants from among the world’s 60 million refugees because of fears that would-be terrorists from Islamic State, also known as ISIS, occupying much of northeastern Syria, might slip in among those trying to escape the violence, said Bill Frelick, director of the refugee rights program at Human Rights Watch.

And, what the hell does he mean when he says ‘when US politicians consider applicants.’  What politicians?  Does he mean Obama because it is the Administration that actually considers applicants.  Sad to say, Congress doesn’t have much of a role in the final decisions (LOL! assuming Congress would have the guts to stop anything anyway).

They talk big—like Rep Michael McCaul, here, but he really doesn’t have much authority to stop Obama short of legislation that could stall the whole process.

We will be watching to see if there is any action by McCaul or other House leaders responsible for refugees—Reps Goodlatte and Gowdy—in the coming weeks.

The Chicago Tribune goes on to tell us more of what Frelick said:

“If there is even a whiff of a security concern, no consular officer or security officer (from the multitude of U.S. agencies vetting applicants) wants to be the one that has his name on the bottom of a form where someone turns out to have done something horrible,” Frelick said of the asylum-seekers from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and other Muslim countries in conflict. “There is every incentive to say no and very few incentives to say yes. This stigma of terrorism, the fear of a needle in the haystack, tends to hold the whole haystack back.”

That is all fine and dandy, but always remember that history tells us that the Jihadist tendency is more likely to rear its ugly head in the next generation as we have seen innumerable times with the Somalis.  The parents aren’t the Jihadists, it is the youths that we helped raise with our tax dollars who are radicalized in neighborhood mosques who have turned to Islamic terrorism.  It might be 10-15 years before we see the Syrian refugee kids make their move.  Why gamble?  Save the Christians first.

Continue reading here and listen to a Syrian Muslim doctor whine.

One final funny note (NOT)!  The family which serves as the star of the story (there is always a heartwarming refugee story) has a three-year-old name ‘Osama.’   I think if someone named their kid ‘Hitler’ it would send a message wouldn’t it?  Same goes for Osama!

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Martin O’Malley on the bandwagon: U.S. should take 65,000 Syrians in 2016

Rush Limbaugh on European refugee crisis and Syrians to the U.S.

Illinois Judges Block Citizens from Voting on Term Limits in November 2014 General Election

U.S. Term Limits Senior Fellow Paul Jacob once called the citizen initiative process “the political lifeblood of the people.”

“Without initiative and referendum the politicians can ignore the people and monopolize power,” he added.

Nowhere are Paul’s words more relevant right now than in the state of Illinois, where a citizen committee collected over 590,000 signatures to place a term limits and legislative reform question on the November ballot. If passed, it would have enacted solid eight-year term limits on the Illinois State House and State Senate and cut back on the overall size of the General Assembly.

But that was not to be. Last week, a corrupt alliance of career politicians and activist judges made sure that the term limits initiative would not appear on the ballot. After allies of 29-year Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan filed a lawsuit against the measure, a circuit court judge ruled it unconstitutional. Then an appeals court concurred with the county judge, and the state Supreme Court refused to hear a final appeal.

The judges, all with political ties to the Speaker, claimed the reforms didn’t make “structural and procedural changes” to the legislature. If term limits and altering the size of a legislative body aren’t “structural and procedural” fixes, then nothing will ever meet the definition. Clearly, this was a case of legislators exploiting any loophole they could find to delay the inevitable.

Now, citizens of the nation’s third most corrupt state are livid. Gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner, who also led the term limits initiative committee, tells voters in a new ad to take out their frustrations on Madigan and current Governor Pat Quinn at the ballot box.

Bruce Rauner is Chair of the Term Limits and Reform Committee and a candidate for Governor.

Elections are not term limits, so it remains to be seen whether citizens have the ability to throw out the political machine come November. If elected, Rauner will be able to push for a legislative referral on term limits or a rewrite of the state’s initiative law. Either option could be the magic bullet the state needs to finally free itself from career politicians.

The insider-dominated political atmosphere in Illinois is a cautionary tale for Congress and other states weighing whether to keep or enact term limits. A small group of leaders with indefinite terms will always block reforms that threaten its own power. Under term limits, surrender of power is structurally and procedurally a part of the legislature. Citizens have access to the lawmaking process without fear that self-interest will block the door.

EDITORS NOTE: The featured photo is of Michael Madigan who has been Speaker of the Illinois House for 29 of the past 31 years. it was his associates who filed a lawsuit against the term limits and reform amendment.