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VIDEO: Completely Mental. Touched. Off his rocker. Out to lunch.

TRANSCRIPT

New Yorkers have a local expression, “That guy’s mental” — as in, “Hey, Louie’s mental.” It’s not a compliment. It means pretty much what it sounds like, that there’s something wrong upstairs.

Well, for the record, Cardinal Dolan’s mental. His reaction and media comments following Governor Cuomo signing the new state abortion law reveals some serious issues upstairs with His Eminence.

He says Cuomo shouldn’t be excommunicated because it would be giving ammo to the enemy — that the Left would seize on the excommunication and portray Cuomo in a sympathetic light. Yeah, they probably would — so what? Is that worse than allowing the world to think — or actually realize — that U.S. bishops are lily-livered cowards when it comes to the hard truths.

Dolan claims it would be counter-productive. What a stupid analysis; counter-productive to what, exactly? What’s counter-productive is letting the world think leaders in the Church don’t think this is a big deal, and what’s worse, other Catholics think it’s not a big deal.

But then again, based on decades of inaction, the world already thinks that. So here’s an opportunity to actually begin to turn things around and set the record straight. The reality is Dolan is an emasculated wimp who looks for excuses to avoid teaching Church teaching.

For example, when he was on FOX & Friends answering questions from the hosts about all this, FOX actually took down and edited out part of the live interview where Dolan simply got it wrong about Church teaching.

He said, in sum, that those involved in an abortion are not excommunicated, in direct defiance of existing canon law. Here’s the exchange:

Steve Doocy: “Have the rules changed inside the Catholic Church, because it used to be pretty black and white about ‘yes, no,’ now you’re saying, ‘Come back.'”

Cardinal Dolan: “Yes, you would say, yeah, you would say that it used to be pretty, pretty clean that an abortion would cause the excommunication not only of the one who did it, people who encourage it and the one who had it. The Church, in the last 50 years, beginning with Pope John Paul II and especially intensified under Pope Francis, has said, ‘I don’t know if that’s Gospel values here’ because mercy trumps everything.”

And this is where we can freely say: Dolan’s mental.

What he said is simply incorrect. Here is canon law — existing, on the books right now — canon law 1398: “A person who procures a completed abortion incurs a latae sententiae excommunication” — meaning, kill the unborn baby and you are automatically excommunicated as well as the “doctor” other personnel and friends or family who conspired in the killing.

Sorry, Cardinal Dolan, you’re wrong — flat out wrong. There are exceptions to the canon — for example, someone physically forced against her will, or a child, but those are exceptions. The rule is the rule, and Dolan seems to have no knowledge of it. And he doesn’t get to say unchallenged that “oh, we are more merciful than that now.”

First of all, that’s wrong, so either he is flat out lying, which can’t be taken off the table, or he is woeful, this prince of the Church, woefully malformed in what the Church actually teaches. Neither option is good.

Secondly, the implication is that for the past 2,000 years the Church has been unmerciful. After all, in a first-century teaching manual — 1900 years old — the Didache, willful abortion incurred expulsion from the sacraments for 10 years.

The Didache was the first recorded teachings of the Apostles themselves. So Dolan says the Apostles were unmerciful. The man is flat out mental. And then, he writes an opinion article in the New York Post where he asks the question, “Why are Cuomo and Democrats alienating Catholics?” — again proving he’s gone completely mental.

The answer, Your Eminence, is because you and so many of your worldly emasculated brethren in the episcopate have been so busy watering down the Faith and confusing them that there aren’t really that many of them left.

Cuomo, being a prime example of that, has done the political calculus and the answer is they don’t give a rip about alienating Catholics because there are so few left that they make no difference at the polls in New York as well as many other places.

Secondly, Dolan and the rest of his mental crowd are the ones who actually helped get these guys elected and keep them elected by their constant sucking up to them and wanting to be seen in pictures with them and rubbing elbows with them and hobnobbing. It’s disgusting. Have some dignity for the love of God. Know your office.

For 10 years in New York, Dolan has been on a PR tour of the local media with his stupid bombastic laugh and “aw shucks” fake persona, thinking he could somehow charm people into believing the truth.

Dolan is viewed as a huckster, a snake oil salesman or a bad used car dude who has nothing to sell that anyone is interested in.

But he has had the prestige of his office — which has eroded tremendously under the weight of his reign — which still has another five years to go — talk about people needing mercy; resign already.

And because of his office, the media love to play him and follow him around and put his picture on the papers; and being mental, he’s believed all of that is good and helpful to the Faith. It reinforces his own bloated self-importance, which is the butt of jokes behind his back.

But — and this is the problem when someone is mental — they don’t understand the world around them. They aren’t plugged in because they lack the capacity to understand the obvious.

Dolan is 0 for 4 in his political dealings. He has been played and used in every political cause he has gone after. First, he lost — if he ever really cared about it — the gay marriage fight in the state back in 2011.

Second, he lost the state funding for Catholic education initiative, something lawmakers, including Cuomo, were never going to give him. And for that deal, he allowed gays into the St. Patrick’s Day parade — and they stabbed him in the back anyway.

Dance with the devil and, well, you know what happens.

Next, Dolan and the gang claiming to care about the abortion law, and he loses that in staggering fashion — unanimous vote in the New York state senate and almost unanimous vote in the state assembly.

And then the fourth “rock his world” defeat is the new law extending the statute of limitations for suing the Church for all their sodomite priests raping altar boys — which they deserve.

Dolan is completely mental, and the reason he is is because he long ago gave up the only job he is supposed to be doing: defending souls. He has been a boy in a man’s game with New York’s Killer Catholic politicos, and they have chopped him to pieces.

Dolan is owned by Cuomo, so much so that Dolan believes the teachings of the Church have changed — completely mental.

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

Should Governor Andrew Cuomo be Excommunicated?

George J. Marlin raises a question very much on the minds of many Catholics. Surely, some rebuke from New York’s bishops is necessary. 

In March 1970, the New York State Legislature repealed the anti-abortion law that had been on the books since 1830. The bill narrowly passed, due to support from several legislators from heavily Catholic districts who were subsequently defeated for their apostasy in the November elections.

Back in those days, the Catholic Church in New York possessed moral authority; and the Archbishop of New York, Cardinal Terrence Cooke, was not afraid to use that power in the public square.

Cardinal Cooke led the charge to repeal the law that permitted unrestricted abortions up to 24 weeks. And in May 1972, the State Legislature did just that and reinstated the 1830 statute.

Sadly, Governor Nelson Rockefeller vetoed the repeal of the liberalized abortion law shortly thereafter.

The New York abortion issue became moot, however, when the U.S. Supreme Court handed down Roe v. Wade on January 22, 1973.

Fast forward forty years and abortion has once again made headlines in New York thanks to Governor Andrew Cuomo.

Cuomo, a baptized Catholic and graduate of Archbishop Molly High School in Queens and Fordham University in the Bronx, has abandoned some major moral tenets of his faith.

In 2011, his first year in office, he engineered the passage of same-sex marriage legislation. “Marriage equality,” he declared, “is a question of principle and the state shouldn’t discriminate against same-sex couples who wish to get married.”

Then on January 16, 2014, Cuomo announced, on a radio show, that Catholics and others with traditional moral views were unfit citizens who were no longer welcome in New York:

Who are they? Are they these extreme conservatives who are right to life, pro-assault weapons, anti-gay? Is that who they are? Because if that’s who they are and they’re the extreme conservatives, they have no place in the state of New York because that’s not who New Yorkers are.

It gets worse.

Cuomo has been off the rails on the subject of abortion. In his 2013 State of the State Address, he cast his lot with the radical pro-abortion lobby, screaming four times, “It’s her body; it’s her choice!”

Cuomo introduced legislation that would repeal the 1970 abortion law, and would codify abortion as a “fundamental right of privacy,” a classification even the U.S. Supreme Court has rejected.

Cuomo’s proposal was bottled up in the Republican-Conservative-controlled State Senate for four years. But last November, the GOP lost control of that legislative chamber.

A jubilant Cuomo boasted that his so-called Reproductive Health Act would be the first order of business before the newly organized Legislature in January 2019.

And so it was.

On January 22, the 46th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Legislature passed the bill, to thundering applause and wild laughter. Minutes later, to a standing ovation, Cuomo signed it into law.


Standing (right to left in the photo), during the visit of Pope Francis to St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York (September 23, 2015), are the author, Mayor Bill DeBlasio, Sandra Lee (Andrew Cuomo’s domestic partner), and the governor.

This law goes far beyond Roe v. Wade. It removes abortion clauses from the penal code and “creates a right to the procedure under the public health law.”

Although abortions are restricted to the first twenty-four weeks of pregnancy, exceptions are so broad (i.e., economic, social, or emotional distress) that anyone will be able to procure an abortion up to minutes before giving birth. In other words, the lives of unborn children who have viability outside the womb can now be terminated by doctors and non-doctors.

Governor Andrew Cuomo is very different than his father, Governor Mario Cuomo. The elder Cuomo tried to be St. Thomas More and Machiavelli at one and the same time.

In his famous 1984 Notre Dame speech on “Religious Belief and Public Morality,” the More-Cuomo said “The Catholic Church is my spiritual home. My head is there and my hope. . . .[and] I accept the Church’s teaching on abortion.” But the Machiavelli-Cuomo gave himself an “out” by claiming that as a public official, he could not impose his private religious views on the rest of society.

Mario Cuomo demonstrated the absurdity of his position every time he vetoed death penalty legislation that was approved overwhelmingly by the Legislature and was supported by over 60 percent of New Yorkers. Cuomo imposed his personal moral objections even though there was public opinion against him.

Andrew Cuomo is vastly different from his father. There is no duality; he prefers to be a Machiavellian and he promotes whatever works to advance his political ambitions.

In fact, it has been reported that when he was Clinton’s Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, one of his first acts “was to distribute the book by Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince, to his key aides. . .telling them: ‘This is my leadership philosophy.’”

Cuomo uses or spurns the Church when it suits his political ends. While he discarded Church teaching on abortion, he embraced and praised Pope Francis’s message concerning the needy and the marginalized. And when the pope visited St. Patrick’s Cathedral on September 24, 2015, Cuomo made sure he was in a front pew. It was great political theater for the governor.

Since Andrew Cuomo has dismissed the fundamental Church teaching that all persons have the right to life because they are made in the image of God, maybe it’s time the Church dismissed him.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church clearly states that “Anyone who uses the power at his disposal in such a way that it leads others to do wrong becomes guilty of scandal and responsible for the evil that he has directly or indirectly encouraged.”

So, at the very least, the bishops of New York should announce publicly that because Cuomo has caused public scandal, he must be denied Communion.

Or the bishops, if they have the mettle, might call Cuomo in and point out the canonical penalties they are prepared to impose if he does not renounce his heresy. Whether or not that includes excommunication is a matter for canon lawyers.

But something really must be done, lest New York’s bishops confirm the growing perception that the Catholic Church is a compromised paper tiger.

COLUMN BY

George J. Marlin

George J. Marlin

George J. Marlin, Chairman of the Board of Aid to the Church in Need USA, is the author of The American Catholic VoterNarcissist Nation: Reflections of a Blue-State Conservative, and Christian Persecutions in the Middle East: A 21st Century Tragedy. . His new book, Sons of St. Patrick, written with Brad Miner, was published on St. Patrick’s Day 2017.

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Trump Administration Has Sided With a Faith-Based Adoption Provider. Here’s Why That Matters.

Andrew Cuomo Defends Legalizing Abortions Up to Birth: “I’m Not Here to Represent” the Catholic Church

Planned Parenthood: Flush with Taxpayer Cash

New York and the Conscience of a Nation

EDITORS NOTE: This Catholic Thing column with images is republished with permission. © 2019 The Catholic Thing. All rights reserved. For reprint rights, write to: info@frinstitute.org. The Catholic Thing is a forum for intelligent Catholic commentary. Opinions expressed by writers are solely their own. The featured image of
Governor Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) is from his Facebook page.

U.S. Supreme Court (Finally) Takes Another Second Amendment Challenge to a Gun Control Law

This week, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear a Second Amendment challenge to a gun control law for the first time in nearly 10 years. Arguments in the case will likely be heard during the court’s next term, which starts in October.

During the opening decade of the 21st Century, the U.S. Supreme Court issued two landmark rulings that many hoped would revitalize the Second Amendment, which had been all but read out of the Constitution by activist lower judges that favored banning or heavily restricting firearms.

District of Columbia v. Heller (2008) and McDonald v. City of Chicago (2010) made abundantly clear that the Second Amendment is a fundamental civil right and should be respected as such by the nation’s courts and public officials.

That did not happen. 

Instead, the rulings seemed mainly to energize the resistance to the right to keep and bear arms both within and without the judicial system. 

Billionaires turned social engineers – most notably Michael Bloomberg – created a new industry around more sophisticated and organized anti-gun efforts. 

Elite universities created research departments entirely devoted to engineering empirical support for gun control and rewriting American history as it pertains the Second Amendment and gun ownership.

The same judges with their same lifetime appointments who refused to acknowledge the obvious import of the Second Amendment’s history and text refused to acknowledge the obvious import of the Heller and McDonaldopinions. 

And one lower court decision after another upheld the most sweeping and oppressive forms of gun control, including bans on America’s most popular riflesbans on magazines used for self-defensebans on dealer sales of handguns to military-aged adultsmandatory handgun licensing fees of $340discretionary licensing for the carrying of firearmslengthy waiting periods to acquire guns, and infeasible manufacturing requirements that effectively ban new models of handguns.

Throughout it all, the high court seemed to have turned its back on the Second Amendment, refusing review in case after case. This sometimes provoked impassioned dissents from justices who believed the Second Amendment was being treated as a “disfavored right” and a “constitutional orphan.” 

Only once in all this time did the U.S. Supreme Court revisit the Second Amendment in an unsigned opinion that summarily reversed, without argument, a Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court opinion that upheld the state’s ban on electrically-powered “stun guns.” 

That changed on Tuesday when the high court granted review to the NRA-backed case of New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. City of New York. This case concerns a challenge under the Second Amendment and other constitutional provisions to New York City regulations that effectively ban law-abiding handgun owners from traveling outside the city with their own secured and unloaded handguns.

The bizarre and unique nature of this regulation – apparently the only one of its kind in the nation – and the exceedingly thin “public safety” justification for it potentially make the case low-hanging fruit for another positive Second Amendment ruling. 

But whether the Supreme Court will use the occasion to bring lower court defiance of the Second Amendment to heel or simply to rule narrowly on this particular regulation remains to be seen.

The development does, however, underscore the importance to gun owners of President Trump’s appointments to the high court, including Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brent Kavanaugh. 

The latter replaced Justice Anthony Kennedy, who was considered the crucial swing vote in the Heller and McDonald cases. Yet Kennedy’s sustained commitment to a robust Second Amendment was always in question, leading to speculation that neither the court’s pro- or anti-gun blocs had the confidence to take another case.

Unlike Kennedy, however, Justices Gorsuch and Kavanaugh are committed originalists, the same mode of judicial interpretation that the late Justice Antonin Scalia used in authoring the Heller opinion. Fidelity to that method and to the court’s opinions in Heller and McDonald are the surest guarantees we can have that the Second Amendment will get the respect it is due by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Left-leaning pundits are already issuing hysterical predictions about what this development means for gun control in the United States. 

May they be right and then some. 

The more sober and mature outlook, however, is a wait-and-see attitude, along with a healthy appreciation of how President Trump’s appointments to the court may finally reenergize a Second Amendment that has been neglected for too long. 

Those appointments would not have happened without the steadfast work of NRA members who understand the importance of the U.S. Supreme Court as the final backstop against infringements of our Second Amendment rights. We may now be on the threshold of realizing the fruits of that labor.

RELATED ARTICLES:

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Washington: Attorney General Introduces Additional Gun Ban Legislation

EDITORS NOTE: This NRA-ILA column with images is republished with permission. The featured photo is by Sofia Sforza on Unsplash.

The Connection Between Russia and 2 Green Groups Fighting Fracking in U.S.

New Yorkers who are missing out on the natural gas revolution could be victims of Russian spy operations that fund popular environmental groups, current and former U.S. government officials and experts on Russia worry.

Natural gas development of the celebrated Marcellus Shale deposits has spurred jobs and other economic growth in neighboring Pennsylvania. But not in New York, which nearly 10 years ago banned the process of hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, to produce natural gas.

Two environmental advocacy groups that successfully lobbied against fracking in New York each received more than $10 million in grants from a foundation in California that got financial support from a Bermuda company congressional investigators linked to the Russians, public documents show.

The environmental groups Natural Resources Defense Council and the Sierra Club Foundation received millions of dollars in grants from the San Francisco-based Sea Change Foundation.

“Follow the money trail, and this [New York] ban on fracking could be viewed as an example of successful Russian espionage,” Ken Stiles, a CIA veteran of 29 years who now teaches at Virginia Tech, told The Daily Signal.

To Stiles and other knowledgeable observers, this looks like an actual case of knowing or unknowing collusion with Russia.

Both Natural Resources Defense Council and Sierra Club Foundation also accepted tens of millions from the Energy Foundation, the top recipient of grants from Sea Change, according to foundation and tax records.

When New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, renewed his state’s ban on fracking three years ago, the Natural Resources Defense Council issued a statement supporting the ban. So did the Sierra Club, the primary recipient of grants from its sister organization, the Sierra Club Foundation.

Environmental activists associated with the groups receiving Sea Change Foundation grants continued to pressure Cuomo and other public officials to maintain and expand New York’s fracking ban.

Most recently, the two environmental groups scored another victory when the Delaware River Basin Commission, an interstate regulatory agency that includes the governors of New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware, proposed a ban on fracking within the Delaware River Basin cutting across all four states.

The Sierra Club and the Natural Resource Defense Council have pressed the regional commission to impose the ban, issuing statements (here and here) calling for  restrictions that are tighter than what the commission proposed.

PennEast Pipeline Co. is set to begin construction on a 120-mile-long pipeline to transport natural gas from the Marcellus Shale across Eastern Pennsylvania into New Jersey. In a new public relations campaign, PennEast asks New Jersey residents if they would rather obtain their energy from Pennsylvania or Russia.

PennEast cites media reports describing how anti-pipeline policies in Massachusetts forced the state into a position where it had to rely on Russian imports of liquified natural gas during peak cold periods this past winter.

The Russian Money Trail

Government officials and environmental leaders have a responsibility to track the money, Stiles, the former CIA officer, told The Daily Signal in an interview.

“The Russians are very adept and skilled at making long-term investments,” Stiles said. “They sit back very patiently to see how their funding can pay off over a period of many years.”

Stiles added:

Whether these environmental groups realize it or not, they could be operating as what we [in the CIA] call ‘agents of influence.’ By working to block natural gas production, environmental activists are advancing policies that work to the advantage of Russia and to the disadvantage of America and America’s allies.

Logo of the Natural Resources Defense Council

Karen Moreau, who is in charge of the New York office of the American Petroleum Institute, a trade association for gas and oil companies, argues that the resulting policy hurts state residents and businesses.

“New York remains at a disadvantage because other states are not just more pro-energy, they are more pro-business and therefore pipelines that could have been constructed in New York taking gas from the Marcellus Shale are instead moving south, not north,” Moreau told The Daily Signal.

“The manufacturing renaissance that is taking place in this country thanks to the president’s policies is not happening in states like New York,” she said.

A senior adviser to the State Department told a recent conference that Trump administration policies supporting energy dominance could help the U.S. eclipse the amount of natural gas Russia exports to the European Union.

The Daily Signal unsuccessfully sought comment from the Sierra Club Foundation and its affiliate the Sierra Club, as well as Natural Resources Defense Council and Sea Change Foundation, on the allegations of Russian financial support for environmentalists’ anti-fracking and anti-pipeline campaigns.

The Marcellus Shale is a geological formation of sedimentary rock with large deposits of natural gas that cuts across southwestern New York, northern and western Pennsylvania, western Ohio, most of West Virginia, and small portions of Kentucky and Tennessee.

The U.S. Geological Survey determined that the Marcellus Shale contains “about 84 trillion cubic feet of undiscovered, technically recoverable natural gas and 3.4 billion barrels of undiscovered, technically recoverable natural gas liquids.”

Since the U.S. is now the top producer of natural gas in the world, and well positioned to export liquefied natural gas across the globe, Russia recognizes it gradually could lose influence in parts of the world where Moscow has been the dominant supplier of oil and gas, Stiles said in a phone interview.

“America’s natural gas revolution has huge geopolitical ramifications, so Russia’s motivation to try to block our natural gas development is easy to understand,” the CIA veteran said. “If you are worried about the Russian bear rearing its ugly head in the next several years, the way to stop that and put it back into its cage is to cut it off at the knees financially.”

“That’s what natural gas pipelines are all about and that’s what fracking is all about. We are providing affordable energy to average Americans at home and our allies overseas.”

The Sierra Club Foundation’s logo

US Gains in Market

In the fracking technique applied to shale formations, engineers inject water mixed with sand and chemicals into a well at high pressure, producing a fluid that fractures the rock and releases trapped oil or natural gas.

Environmentalists continue to challenge fracking, arguing among other things that it contaminates well water.

The natural gas import-export equation has changed radically in the past few years, with trends pointing to the U.S. becoming a net exporter.

Richard Westerdale, the senior adviser with the State Department, made this point in November during the Heartland Institute’s America First Energy Conference in Houston, Texas.

“By 2020, the U.S. will be approaching nearly 100 billion cubic meters in [liquefied natural gas] exports,” Westerdale said in a presentation. “It’s simply amazing to me to think that back in 2010, we were building [liquefied natural gas] import terminals.”

As natural gas markets become increasingly competitive, the “world wins,” he added, since “well-functioning markets reinforce global energy security, foster economic growth and commercial interests abroad, and, depending upon how host countries choose to use [natural gas resources], it can in fact enhance environmental stewardship.”

In three of the first five months of 2017, U.S. natural gas exports were greater than imports, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The most recent available data shows that U.S. exports of liquefied natural gas increased for the duration of 2017 as new facilities went operational.

Logo of Sea Change Foundation

What Consumers Know

Stiles, who teaches espionage and national security issues in Virginia Tech’s geography department, defines espionage, or spying, as “an operation that is planned and executed as to conceal the identity of, or permit plausible denial by, the sponsor.”

One way for Moscow to conceal its sponsorship of anti-fracking campaigns in New York or elsewhere in the U.S. is to move its funding indirectly and anonymously through various entities, the former CIA analyst told The Daily Signal.

“I think the groups and individuals on both sides of the debate over fracking and pipelines have a tendency to just look in their own back yards, without looking at the larger geopolitical picture,” Stiles said. “If it was more widely known that anti-fracking, anti-pipeline operations may be benefitting from a foreign source of funding, this would certainly impact the debate.”

The agents of influence described by Stiles range from “controlled agents” and “trusted contacts” who know they’re working for a foreign government to “manipulated sources” who have no idea that they’re doing the bidding of a foreign power.

The former CIA analyst said he is inclined to characterize environmental activists who received Russian funding through indirect channels, such as Sea Change or the Energy Foundation, as manipulated sources.

Stiles calls on the leadership of environmental groups such as the Sierra Club and Natural Resources Defense Council, which accepted large amounts through such channels, to start asking hard questions.

“It’s either a lack of due diligence or incompetence, or they may actually know something about a particular donor, but they don’t want to ask that question,” Stiles said. “I tend to think the issue is more that they are just not looking the gift horse in the mouth, and they are just taking the money.”

Energy Foundation’s logo

Paperless Money Trail

Sea Change Foundation, a family charity, is identified in congressional reports and correspondence as a major incubator of funding from foreign sources, including Russia. That money ends up in the coffers of U.S. environmental groups opposed to natural gas development and drilling techniques such as fracking that make that development possible.

Nathaniel Simons and his wife, Laura Baxter-Simons, established Sea Change Foundation in 2006. Simons is the son of James Simons, founder of the New York-based Renaissance Technologies hedge fund firm.

Sea Change, according to its website, works to “address the serious threats posed by global climate change,” focusing on “climate change mitigation and clean energy policy in the United States and internationally.”

In July 2014, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee released a report describing how a Bermuda-based company, Klein Ltd., “was set up for the sole purpose of funneling anonymous donations to Sea Change.”

Bermuda law permits Klein Ltd. to conceal foreign sources of funding, the report explains.

“It appears that Klein exists on paper only, as it does not have an internet presence, and was set up for the sole purpose of funneling anonymous donations to Sea Change,” the report says.

Subsequent investigations building on the findings of the Senate committee—including that of the Washington-based Environmental Policy Alliance—established a connection between Wakefield Quin, the law firm that set up Klein, and top Kremlin officials, including Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Lawyers and others at Wakefield Quin have been associated with Russian energy companies and worked with Leonid Reiman, a former Russian minister of telecommunications and longtime Putin ally, these investigations found.

Environmental Policy Alliance, which opposes the agenda of liberal green groups, is affiliated with Washington lobbyist Rick Berman and his Berman & Co. public affairs firm.

Sea Change has not responded directly to The Daily Signal in the past, and did not respond for this report.

In an email to Salon, however, the foundation in July 2017 acknowledged receiving financial support from Klein, saying it accepted the company’s grant money as “general support” with no proviso that it be used for specific programs.

Response From Klein Ltd.

In an email to The Daily Signal, Roderick M. Forrest, a Wakefield Quin lawyer representing Klein Ltd., described allegations against his Bermuda-based client as “completely false and irresponsible.” Klein, he said, “has no Russian connection whatsoever.”

Forrest made similar assertions in an email to The Washington Times in July 2017.

The Daily Signal had sought the law firm’s comment on allegations of Russian funding of U.S. environmental groups and Klein’s alleged role in easing movement of Russian funds to the Sea Change Foundation.

“Our firm has represented Klein since its inception,” Forrest said in the email, “and we can state categorically that at no point did this philanthropic organization receive or expend funds from Russian sources or Russian-connected sources and Klein has no Russian connection whatsoever.”

The lawyer for Klein added:

Attorneys, law firms, financial institutions and all other companies based in Bermuda operate under a regulatory and anti-money laundering regime which applies standards which are amongst the highest in the world. Illicit movement of funds falls well below such standards and any informed party would understand that, not only is there no substance or truth to such allegations in this case, the allegations appear to be intended to damage the reputation of the Bermuda-based individuals and businesses named.

Bermuda and the U.S. have in place an information exchange framework under which the U.S. government, its regulators and law enforcement agencies have access to all information concerning financial transactions in Bermuda and by Bermuda entities. Through this framework, information is available to such proper authorities, enabling them to be satisfied as to the probity of any alleged payments.

Julie Hill, a professor at University of Alabama School of Law with expertise in regulation of financial institutions, told The Daily Signal that it is not “as easy as it was at one time to engage in money laundering” in places such as Bermuda and the Cayman Islands.

That’s because monetary authorities now collect more information from companies than they did previously, Hill said.

“This information is not made public, but it can be given to foreign governments,” Hill said in an interview, adding:

The advantage in Bermuda and the Cayman Islands now would be more in terms of tax neutrality rather than anonymity. But it’s certainly true that various entities have in the past engaged in money laundering schemes in these locations, and the Russians would be part of this history. Today there are more barriers than in the past. That doesn’t mean it can’t be done, it just means it’s harder.

‘Ripe for Investigation’

Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, chairman of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, sent a letter in June to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin saying allegations of Russian financial support for U.S. environmental groups “are ripe for an investigation” by the Treasury Department.

In the letter, previously reported by The Daily Signal, Smith noted that Klein Ltd. and Wakefield Quin share the same Bermuda address “with more than 20 other companies” apparently run through the law firm.

A review of IRS 990 Forms shows that Klein contributed $23 million to Sea Change in 2010 and 2011, almost half of what the California foundation received in that time. The 990 forms indicate Sea Change then made grants concentrated on environmental advocacy groups.

From 2010  through 2015, the Sierra Club Foundation received more than $18 million from Sea Change and Natural Resources Defense Council received more than $15 million.

Both groups are on record opposing natural gas development in New York, and both are among the top 10 recipients of Sea Change grants, according to an analysis of foundation records.

The Energy Foundation, at $64 million, was the top recipient of Sea Change grants from 2010 through 2015, the most recent year for which 990s are available.

The 2014 Senate report describes the Energy Foundation as a “pass through” public charity that donates to environmental activist groups such as the Sierra Club Foundation and Natural Resources Defense Council.

The idea behind a “pass through” organization, according to the Senate report, is “to create the appearance of a more diversified base of support” and to “shield” donors from accountability.

Between 1998 and 2015, the Energy Foundation paid 30,178 grants to 12,058 recipients totaling more than $1.2 billion, records show. Grantees included environmental groups active in opposing natural gas development of the Marcellus Shale.

The top recipient was Natural Resources Defense Council, with more than $35 million. The Sierra Club Foundation received more than $16 million. (The council has $236.5 million in net assets, while the foundation has $113.2 million in net assets.)

Recalling Cold War History

Paul Kengor, a Grove City College political science professor who has researched the history of Moscow’s manipulation of U.S. political figures, told The Daily Signal that he sees an “old Cold War powder keg that went dry suddenly being reignited.”

“What makes the current situation more nefarious today is the possibility—if this is indeed accurate—of Russian manipulation of domestic groups inside the United States and the willful cooperation of those domestic environmentalists,” Kengor, a biographer of Ronald Reagan, said in an email, adding:

In the 1980s, Ronald Reagan had one heck of a time trying to enlist the support of our Western allies in blocking the Siberian gas pipeline in Russia. Even [British Prime Minister] Margaret Thatcher balked; in fact, that’s an understatement: Thatcher was vehemently opposed because she wanted Britain to have the cheap Russian gas and wanted some British firms to have some of the construction contracts. The same was true for the West Germans and the French.

Ronald Reagan boldly proceeded almost alone in this effort in the 1980s. But here today … we have the extremely troubling possibility of our own U.S. citizens being targeted by the Russians for manipulation in undercutting our own domestic energy industry, our workers, and our citizens.

What stands out in terms of Cold War history and its relevance to contemporary questions of espionage is the role of Putin, warns Bonner Cohen, a senior fellow with the National Center for Public Policy Research, a Washington-based think tank that supports free market solutions to policy challenges.

“Putin, let’s not forget, is an old hand at using Western pressure groups to serve the Kremlin’s purposes,” Cohen said in an email.

“When, in the 1980s, the old Soviet Union was manipulating self-styled ‘peace groups’ in Western Europe and the U.S. in an effort to divide NATO and isolate the U.S., Putin was a mid-level KGB agent in East Germany.”

Cohen added:

Though that effort ultimately failed, Putin learned his lesson well. Then it was U.S. missiles to defend Western Europe that had to be demonized; today, it is U.S. oil and natural gas that are portrayed as a threat. In both cases, money changed hands, and scare tactics were the order of the day.

New Yorkers and High Energy Costs

New York residents continue to pay the price for Cuomo’s ban on drilling techniques that make it possible to access natural gas from the Marcellus Shale, laments Moreau, executive director of the American Petroleum Institute’s New York office.

“People who could have had inexpensive natural gas instead have had to pay very high electricity prices due to the cold snap this winter,” Moreau told The Daily Signal, “and many power generators were actually forced to burn oil instead of natural gas due to the constraints on natural gas.”

The 625 members of API, a national trade association, include major energy companies in the oil and gas industry.

Although New York is the fourth-largest consumer of natural gas in the nation, that natural gas primarily is imported from other states, Moreau said.

“If not for the pro-energy development policies of other states, New Yorkers would be bitterly freezing this winter,” she said.

The Daily Signal sought comment from Cuomo’s office to ask if the New York governor had concerns about allegations of Russian support for environmental groups active in his state. His office has not responded.

Cohen, of the National Center for Public Policy Research, said he sees a connection between Putin’s government in Moscow and influential U.S. environmental groups that is difficult to deny.

“The Sierra Club, Natural Resources Defense Council, and other advocacy groups may have their own ‘green’ reasons for opposing America’s realizing the energy potential of its abundant fossil fuels,” Cohen said in an email to The Daily Signal.  “At the same time, these groups know full well that they receive funding from the Sea Change Foundation and the Energy Foundation, both of which, according to a congressional report, are funded by Russian interests via a Bermuda-based shell company.”

Some green groups and Russia under Putin “have a common interest in demonizing fracking and related technologies that have tilted global energy markets in America’s favor,” Cohen said.

“Just as the shale revolution has been an economic godsend to millions of Americans, providing them with affordable electricity and transportation fuel, it has been a nightmare for Russia and environmental activists.”

Ken McIntyre contributed to this report.

COMMENTARY BY

Portrait of Kevin Mooney

Kevin Mooney

Kevin Mooney is an investigative reporter for The Daily Signal. Send an email to Kevin. Twitter: @KevinMooneyDC.

RELATED ARTICLE: PennEast Pipeline Backers Tout Lower Energy Prices in Fighting Well-Funded Green Groups

Dear Readers:

With the recent conservative victories related to tax cuts, the Supreme Court, and other major issues, it is easy to become complacent.

However, the liberal Left is not backing down. They are rallying supporters to advance their agenda, moving this nation further from the vision of our founding fathers.

If we are to continue to bring this nation back to our founding principles of limited government and fiscal conservatism, we need to come together as a group of likeminded conservatives.

This is the mission of The Heritage Foundation. We want to continue to develop and present conservative solutions to the nation’s toughest problems. And we cannot do this alone.

We are looking for a select few conservatives to become a Heritage Foundation member. With your membership, you’ll qualify for all associated benefits and you’ll help keep our nation great for future generations.

ACTIVATE YOUR MEMBERSHIP TODAY

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is of New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo speaking on Jan. 21st in Lower Manhattan, renewed a ban on fracking for natural gas in his state. (Photo: John Roca/Polaris/Newscom)

Muslim known to FBI arrested for bomb threat against LaGuardia airport

His bomb threat turned out to be false, but it still served to “strike terror in the enemies of Allah” (Qur’an 8:60).

But not to worry, Monroe Police Detective David Lee is on the case: “He does have some issues.” Of course: it’s just another manifestation of the global outbreak of mental illness.

abdurrahman-qadan

Abdurrahman Issam Qadan

“Police: Man claiming to be ISIS supporter makes false bomb threat in Monroe,” by James Nani, Times Herald-Record, October 12, 2016:

VILLAGE OF MONROE – An Oregon man who claimed early Wednesday morning that he was on his way to leave explosives at LaGuardia Airport has been charged with falsely reporting an incident and making terroristic threats.

Abdurrahman Issam Qadan, 26, of Tigard, Ore., was stopped by a Village of Monroe police officer at about 1 a.m. along Route 17M near the entrance of ShopRite, police say. The officer was on patrol and thought the man was acting suspicious, police said.

Qadan told the officer that he had affiliations with ISIS, an acronym for the Islamic State terrorist group. According to police, Qadan said that he had gotten into a fight with his girlfriend while she was driving them to LaGuardia Airport in Queens. Qadan got out of the vehicle with his belongings, which included a duffle bag.

Police say the officer asked where the duffle bag was, and Qadan said he placed it behind the Mobil gas station on Route 17M next to an oil tank. He also said the bag had explosives in it.

Qadan told the officer that he planned to place the bag with explosives at the airport but when he got out of the car he decided to dispose of it behind the gas station instead, police said.

Qadan warned police not to go near the bag because the explosives could explode, police said. The officer also found a laptop and cell phone near the bag, which was leaning against an oil tank.

A state police bomb unit was called to the scene and a perimeter was set up around the gas station. Parts of Route 17M and Route 208 were shut down.

A search by the bomb squad of the items found no explosives. Qadan, later interviewed by investigators with the FBI Joint Terrorist Task Force at the Monroe Police headquarters, admitted he lied about the explosives, according to police.

Monroe Police Det. David Lee said he couldn’t say whether Qadan suffered from any mental issues, but said something did seem off about him.

“He does have some issues,” Lee said….

Lee said Qadan has been on the FBI’s radar in the past.

“They were interested in him before the incident,” Lee said. “He wasn’t a direct target, but there had been other people he had been associated with.”….

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Why Won’t The Press Call the NY Bomber An Islamist Terrorist?

Certain sections of the media have been reticent to identify Ahmad Khan Rahami’s Muslim identity in their coverage of his attack.

New York bomber Ahmad Khan Rahami, who stands accused of setting a pressure cooker bomb in Chelsea which injured 29 people on Saturday, has been charged in a criminal complaint. Rahami was arrested after a shootout on Monday.

He is also suspected of planting bombs in Seaside Park and Elizabeth, New Jersey.

After the shootout, police recovered a journal containing Islamist rhetoric and praise for known terrorist groups and ideologies.

“I looked for guidance came Sheikh Anwar, Brother Adnani, Dawla. Said it clearly – Attack the kuffar (non-believer) in the back yard,” Rahami wrote, referencing American Al-Qaeda ideologue Anwar al-Awlaki who was killed in a drone strike in 2011 and the Islamic State’s spokesperson Abu Muhammad al Adnani who was killed in August. (Dawla is an honorific term for a ruler or senior statesman.)

Adnani issued frequent calls to Westerners to carry out terrorist attacks within their home countries.

Rahami also wrote, “The sounds of bombs will be heard in the streets.”

The federal complaint makes mention of Rahami’s support for Al-Qaeda, but not his support for the Islamic State. However, an official told Fox News that more charges and complaints would most likely be brought and the complaint may be included later on.

Pictures of the journal, which is covered in blood from the shootout, are available on Fox News.

Yet networks such as NBC downplayed or ignored Rahami’s faith. The Media Research Center’s Dan Gainor assessed coverage of the attack and found that many news outlets sought to downplay possible links to terrorism as a motivation.

ABC and CBS focused on the fact that Rahami’s family filed a suit a few years ago against the local mayor and police alleging they had been subjected to anti-Muslim harassment.

USA Today wrote a piece on Tuesday which did not mention Rahami’s Muslim faith.

There are several reasons why the press and the government might want to downplay the Islamist motivations behind a terrorist attack:

1To Avoid Mass Panic

The desire to avoid mass panic by presenting the incident as calmly as possible may be a factor. While some may say this is a laudable goal, it sacrifices the virtue of accuracy. Media are supposed to bring their audience the truth in order to help them make informed decisions about the world.

Also, it remains questionable if an incident such as this would cause mass panic in the American public.

2To Downplay the Influence of Islamist Terror Groups

The press and government may think that they are avoiding strengthening Islamist terrorist groups by not giving them the oxygen of publicity for their ideas. If an attack carried out in the name of Islamist terrorism is not widely reported as such, then, so says this logic, the attack will be less effective.

Yet, if we are unable to accurately discern the motives we will not be able to construct effective solutions. Misdiagnosing the problem can lead to misapplication of solutions and therefore it behooves the media to give all the information it can in their coverage.

3To Avoid Accusations of Islamophobia  

Our politically correct society is hyper-focused on avoiding accusations of Islamophobia. Highlighting the perpetrator’s Islamic faith may be perceived as causing undue distress to the Muslim community by putting them under the spotlight. No one wants to be a bigot or to be accused of bigotry. Neither do people want to make a community uncomfortable in an increasingly tense climate.

But the rationale is misguided. The fastest way to combat anti-Muslim bigotry is to deal with the menace of Islamist extremism and put a stop to it. Once that is done, relations between Muslims and non-Muslims will improve and anti-Muslim bigots will lose credibility.

Contrary to the goal of decreasing bigotry, obfuscating in this way actually increases it, since people feel there is a cover-up.

4Lack of Importance in the Eyes of the Media

News organizations may have actually convinced themselves that Rahami’s Muslim faith is not an important part of the story. However, if this is really their reason, they are simply wrong. As his own journal shows, his radical ideology was a major factor in motivating him to carry out the attack.

Failing to mention Rahami’s faith is not only poor journalism, it’s an omission of necessary facts.

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EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is of Ahmed Rahami superimposed over his journal. (Photo: © House Homeland Security Committee)

Confirmed: Top Saudi Officials Aided the 9/11 Jihad Plot

The 28-page section of the 9/11 report detailing Saudi involvement in the September 11, 2001 jihad attacks have finally been released (albeit with substantial portions still redacted), and it is now clear why one President who held hands with the Saudi King and another who bowed to him worked so hard all these years to keep these pages secret: they confirm that the 9/11 jihad murderers received significant help from people at the highest levels of the Saudi government.

Obama-Bows

President Obama bowing to Saudi royalty.

The report states that Omar al-Bayoumi, who “may be a Saudi intelligence officer,” gave “substantial assistance to hijackers Khalid al-Mindhar and Nawaf al-Hamzi after they arrived in San Diego in February 2000. Al-Bayoumi met the hijackers at a public place shortly after his meeting with an individual at the Saudi consulate.” Around the same time, al-Bayoumi “had extensive contact with Saudi Government establishments in the United States and received financial support from a Saudi company affiliated with the Saudi Ministry of Defense.” That company “reportedly had ties to Usama bin Ladin and al-Qa’ida.”

Another possible Saudi agent, Osama Bassnan, who “has many ties to the Saudi government” and was also a supporter of Osama bin Laden, boasted that he did more for al-Mindhar and al-Hamzi than al-Bayoumi did. He also “reportedly received funding and possibly a fake passport from Saudi government officials.” The report says that at one point, “a member of the Saudi Royal Family provided Bassnan with a significant amount of cash,” and that “he and his wife have received financial support from the Saudi ambassador to the United States and his wife.” That ambassador was Prince Bandar, about whom the New York Times later noted: “No foreign diplomat has been closer or had more access to President Bush, his family and his administration than the magnetic and fabulously wealthy Prince Bandar bin Sultan of Saudi Arabia.”

Then there was Shaykh al-Thumairy, “an accredited diplomat at the Saudi consulate in Los Angeles and one of the ‘imams’ at the King Fahad mosque in Culver City, California,” who also “may have been in contact” with al-Mindhar and al-Hamzi.

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President Bush holding hands with Saudi royalty. Photo: AP

Saleh al-Hussayen, “reportedly a Saudi Interior Ministry official, stayed at the same hotel in Herndon, Virginia where al-Hazmi was staying. While al-Hussayen claimed after September 11 not to know the hijackers, FBI agents believed he was being deceptive. He was able to depart the United States despite FBI efforts to locate and re-interview him.” Who got him out of the country?

There is much more. The report redacts the name of “another Saudi national with close ties to the Saudi Royal Family,” but notes that he “is the subject of FBI counterterrorism investigations and reportedly was checking security at the United States’ southwest border in 1999 and discussing the possibility of infiltrating individuals into the United States.” There is no telling who this could have been, but Prince Bandar’s unlisted phone number turned up in a phone book of Abu Zubaida, “a senior al-Qa’ida operative captured in Pakistan in March 2002.” Abu Zubaida also had the number of “a bodyguard at the Saudi Embassy in Washington, DC.”

The report also mentions a CIA memorandum that “discusses alleged financial connections between the September 11 hijackers, Saudi Government officials, and members of the Saudi Royal Family. This memorandum was passed on to an FBI investigator; yet “despite the clear national implications of the CIA memorandum, the FBI agent included the memorandum in an individual case file and did not forward it to FBI Headquarters.” Why?

There is still more, and with this much smoke, there is almost certainly fire: the Saudi connection to 9/11 goes to the highest levels of the Saudi government. And as I detail in my new book The Complete Infidel’s Guide to Iran, a U.S. District Judge ruled in 2011 that the Islamic Republic of Iran was liable for damages to 9/11 families because of Iran’s role in facilitating the 9/11 attacks. The judge found that Iran and its proxy Hizballah had cooperated and collaborated with al-Qaeda before 9/11 in planning the attacks, and continued that cooperation after the attacks.

After 9/11, the U.S. declared war on terror and entered Iraq and Afghanistan. But if Bush had really been serious about attacking jihad terror at its root, he would have invaded Saudi Arabia and Iran instead. Under Obama, the betrayal has gotten exponentially worse. There needs to be a full Congressional investigation now into why these 28 pages were kept secret for so long, with those responsible punished accordingly. And above all, the next American administration must make a searching reevaluation of our relationship with Saudi Arabia, and stop treating enemies as allies.

Saudi involvement in 9/11 ‘deliberately covered up at highest levels’ of U.S. government

What has the U.S. gained by doing the Saudis’ bidding all these years? Has global jihad terrorism abated? Have the Saudis stopped spreading their violent and virulent Wahhabi ideology around the world? Have the Saudis stopped the rise of the Islamic State? In fact, the whole “alliance” has been a disaster that has severely weakened the United States.

“How US covered up Saudi role in 9/11,” by Paul Sperry, New York Post, April 17, 2016:

In its report on the still-censored “28 pages” implicating the Saudi government in 9/11, “60 Minutes” last weekend said the Saudi role in the attacks has been “soft-pedaled” to protect America’s delicate alliance with the oil-rich kingdom.

That’s quite an understatement.

Actually, the kingdom’s involvement was deliberately covered up at the highest levels of our government. And the coverup goes beyond locking up 28 pages of the Saudi report in a vault in the US Capitol basement. Investigations were throttled. Co-conspirators were let off the hook.

Case agents I’ve interviewed at the Joint Terrorism Task Forces in Washington and San Diego, the forward operating base for some of the Saudi hijackers, as well as detectives at the Fairfax County (Va.) Police Department who also investigated several 9/11 leads, say virtually every road led back to the Saudi Embassy in Washington, as well as the Saudi Consulate in Los Angeles.

Yet time and time again, they were called off from pursuing leads. A common excuse was “diplomatic immunity.”

Those sources say the pages missing from the 9/11 congressional inquiry report — which comprise the entire final chapter dealing with “foreign support for the September 11 hijackers” — details “incontrovertible evidence” gathered from both CIA and FBI case files of official Saudi assistance for at least two of the Saudi hijackers who settled in San Diego.

Some information has leaked from the redacted section, including a flurry of pre-9/11 phone calls between one of the hijackers’ Saudi handlers in San Diego and the Saudi Embassy, and the transfer of some $130,000 from then-Saudi Ambassador Prince Bandar’s family checking account to yet another of the hijackers’ Saudi handlers in San Diego.

An investigator who worked with the JTTF in Washington complained that instead of investigating Bandar, the US government protected him — literally. He said the State Department assigned a security detail to help guard Bandar not only at the embassy, but also at his McLean, Va., mansion.

The source added that the task force wanted to jail a number of embassy employees, “but the embassy complained to the US attorney” and their diplomatic visas were revoked as a compromise.

Former FBI agent John Guandolo, who worked 9/11 and related al Qaeda cases out of the bureau’s Washington field office, says Bandar should have been a key suspect in the 9/11 probe.

“The Saudi ambassador funded two of the 9/11 hijackers through a third party,” Guandolo said. “He should be treated as a terrorist suspect, as should other members of the Saudi elite class who the US government knows are currently funding the global jihad.”

But Bandar held sway over the FBI.

After he met on Sept. 13, 2001, with President Bush in the White House, where the two old family friends shared cigars on the Truman Balcony, the FBI evacuated dozens of Saudi officials from multiple cities, including at least one Osama bin Laden family member on the terror watch list. Instead of interrogating the Saudis, FBI agents acted as security escorts for them, even though it was known at the time that 15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudi citizens.

“The FBI was thwarted from interviewing the Saudis we wanted to interview by the White House,” said former FBI agent Mark Rossini, who was involved in the investigation of al Qaeda and the hijackers. The White House “let them off the hook.”

What’s more, Rossini said the bureau was told no subpoenas could be served to produce evidence tying departing Saudi suspects to 9/11. The FBI, in turn, iced local investigations that led back to the Saudis….

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‘Feelin’ the Bern’ Hillary Blames Vermont for New York Crime

Hillary Clinton apparently wants to make sure that no matter how her current campaign fares, she will at least retain her title as the least trusted person in American politics. In campaign-panic mode on Monday, having lost the last five state caucuses to Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Clinton made another statement to be added to her ever-lengthening list of lies and misrepresentations.

The New York Post reports that Clinton falsely attacked Sanders by implication, telling a group of Democrats, “It’s going to be coming out in the very near future that many of the catastrophes that have taken human lives in the state of New York have been the product of guns coming over the border from Vermont.”  The implication, of course, is that Vermont’s lack of restrictive gun laws – as in New York – is to blame for New York’s crime woes.

Clinton must really be “feelin’ the Bern,” because her statement is preposterous, for at least three reasons.  First, ATF firearm tracing data show that crime guns don’t come from Vermont. In 2014, the most recent year for which data are available, only 0.7 percent of guns recovered by police in New York had first been sold at retail in Vermont.

Second, the average time between a firearm’s original retail sale, and its recovery by police in New York, is 15 years. For all Clinton knows, the exceedingly small number of guns from Vermont made their way to New York legally. A person may have moved from Vermont to New York and subsequently sold a firearm to a firearm dealer in the state, for example.

Third, Clinton’s attack upon Sanders isn’t even rational. Vermont’s gun control laws are established by its state legislature and governor. Sanders, a U.S. senator, serves in Congress. And Clinton and Sanders are running for president of the United States. It shows how desperate Clinton is, when she thinks she can beat Sanders on the basis of issues that have no relationship to the presidency.

Vermont’s governor, who has a role in determining his state’s laws, is reportedly a Clinton supporter. But maybe less so now, after what Clinton said. Speaking as diplomatically as possible, Gov. Peter Shumlin said, “things are sometimes said by all the candidates that sometimes aren’t entirely accurate. . . . I think you’d have a hard time convincing Vermonters that New York’s crime problems are coming from Vermont.”

A McClatchy-Marist poll released on Wednesday, the day after Sanders trounced Clinton in Wisconsin (by 57-43 percent) finds that 25 percent of Sanders’ supporters wouldn’t vote for Clinton in November, while only 69 percent would do so. The poll also finds that Sanders edges Clinton among Democrats nationally.

Clinton certainly cannot expect to improve those numbers by hurling unfair and dishonest accusations against Sanders and the state from which he hails. To the contrary, if she persists in the dishonest style that have become her trademark, she only adds to the numerous reasons voters already have to keep her out of the White House.

New York in the Toilet: Gender Confused Governor Cuomo (D) Bans Travel to Mississippi

It appears that Democrats, particularly New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor of New York City Bill De Blasio, are gender confused. They appear to want New Yorkers to believe the absurd.

Ayn Rand wrote;

The uncontested absurdities of today are the accepted slogans of tomorrow. They come to be accepted by degrees, by dint of constant pressure on one side and constant retreat on the other – until one day when they are suddenly declared to be the country’s official ideology.

The grand absurdity of the 20th Century is that we may be biologically someone other than who we are at birth. It is the absurd notion that a male (man) or female (woman) can chose what sex they are simply by ignoring anatomy, biology and genetics.

In an attempt to make this absurdity the “official ideology” of the City and State of New York requires putting constant pressure on those who believe otherwise.

 from The Blaze reports:

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) banned all non-essential travel to Mississippi in an executive order after the Magnolia State passed a religious liberty bill that he described as “hateful injustice against the LGBT community.”

The bill, known as House Bill 1523 or the “Protecting Freedom of Conscience from Government Discrimination Act,” was signed into law by Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant (R) Tuesday and will go into effect July 1.

All-Gender-Restroom-SignIt appears that Governor Cuomo is confused about the gender identity of some New York citizens and has imposed a travel ban to Mississippi because HB 1523 states:

The sincerely held religious beliefs or moral convictions protected by this act are the belief or conviction that:

(a) Marriage is or should be recognized as the union of one man and one woman;
(b) Sexual relations are properly reserved to such a marriage; and
(c) Male (man) or female (woman) refer to an individual’s immutable biological sex as objectively determined by anatomy and genetics at time of birth.

[Click here to read the full text of HB 1523]

When Cuomo used the words “hateful injustice” he is referring to political correctness. Cuomo, like the Democratic Party, are all in for homosexuals and will defend that life style regardless of its consequences.

Michael F. Haverluck, reporter for OneNewsNow.com, writes on a new Center for Disease Control study:

After conducting an extensive study on homosexual behavior, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that those involved in such lifestyles experience a far greater amount of violence from one another than those in heterosexual relationships.

CDC’s National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey is a first-of-its-kind study geared to determine the difference between the victimization of men and women by sexual orientation.

The results show that men and women involved in homosexual behavior undergo much higher rates of sexual violence than men and women who are heterosexual.

Surprising to many, homosexual women experience more violence than men. According to the study, a whopping 44 percent of lesbians were either raped, experienced physical abuse, and/or were stalked by their intimate partners during their lifetime. Even more shockingly, 61 percent of bisexual women endured such violence from their partners.

It is also reported that 37 percent of bisexual women indicated they were stalked, which is more than double the rate that heterosexual women experience from their male partners.

Furthermore, the CDC found that 37 percent of bisexual women were injured during the rape, physical violence, and/or stalking that they experienced at the hands of their sexual partners. [Emphasis added]

In March Cuomo boycotted North Carolina where the legislature, as reported by Vanity Fair, passed a bill “to override the city of Charlotte’s attempts to pass a localized ordinance expanding L.G.B.T. protections, specifically by targeting constituents’ fears that transgender individuals could use the planned Charlotte rule to prey on the opposite sex in bathrooms.”

In a 2014 column titled, “‘It Happened to Me’: How Transgender ‘Bathroom Bills’ Discriminate Against Women by Allowing Men in Women’s Spaces” Donna Miller, from AFTAH, reported:

While these so-called “anti-discrimination”/”gender identity” laws are presented to limit discrimination, these radical laws and policies discriminate against women by forcing them to endure public indecent exposure.  Do you know any other law or policy that a sets apart rules for less than 1 percent of the population (transgenders), but another huge portion of the population (women and girls) are told that they must endure men’s publicly indecency – all in the name of civil rights?

“This is political correctness run amok,” North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory said, dismissing the claims of discrimination against homosexuals by Cuomo.

We agree. Political correctness wants and demands we believe the absurd. You become an enemy of the state, in this case New York, if you choose to not believe the absurd.

It appears that Governor Cuomo is exhibiting macroagression towards the citizens of Mississippi and North Carolina. These two states are resisting and have drawn a red line in the sand against the grand absurdity.

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Video of anti-Trump rally: Followers of Marx and Mohammed battle NYPD, scream ‘f–k the police!’

Even those who, like me, aren’t supporters of Trump, should see what is at stake here. Everywhere Leftist protesters occupy the streets, those whose opinions are deemed insufficiently progressive are abused, mocked, ridiculed, brutalized and physically menaced. This lawlessness is rapidly becoming the norm. The American public square is being transformed beyond recognition and is ceasing to be an arena for free discourse.

Although this violence and brutalization of political opponents is a new phenomenon in American politics, it has a historical antecedent: the Nazi Brownshirts. In The Coming of the Third Reich, historian Richard J. Evans explains how, in the early days of National Socialist Germany, Stormtroopers (Brownshirts) “organized campaigns against unwanted professors in the local newspapers [and] staged mass disruptions of their lectures.”

To express dissent from Nazi positions became a matter of taking one’s life into one’s hands. The idea of people of opposing viewpoints airing their disagreements in a civil and mutually respectful manner was gone. One was a Nazi, or one was silent (and fearful). That is just the kind of public arena that the Left has been trying to bring to the United States for years, and is bringing to us now.

AntiTrumphijabis2

racism and Islamophobia antiTrump

“‘F- the police!’ Total mayhem as protesters swarm NYC; police struggle to fight back vicious crowd,” by Carmine Sabia, BizPac Review, March 19, 2016:

It didn’t take long for protesters to take to the streets of New York City and march against Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump.

They were taking their cue from the other side of the country, where in Arizona protesters blocked roads, causing delays for people on their way to a Trump rally attended by former Gov. Jan Brewer and Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

The New York City protesters marched from Columbus Square to Trump Tower with signs such as “#CrushTrump” and chanted slogans like the super creative “Hey, hey – ho, ho – Donald Trump has got to go,” CNN Reported.

At one point the “peaceful” protesters, as the mainstream media continues to call them, got into an altercation with police who were trying to regain order. The following clip shows the crowd struggling against police. As tensions escalated obscenities were thrown at the officers. ‘F**k the police!’ can be heard along with other countless other insults….

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VIDEO: New York Doubles — The Catholic Homosexual Mafia?

Michael Voris sits down with a high-ranking source in the archdiocese of New York to get exclusive behind-the-scenes information on what really goes on with Cdl. Timothy Dolan and the alleged homosexual mafia that reportedly runs the archdiocese.

TRANSCRIPT

A couple of weeks ago, Church Militant reached out to the archdiocese of New York to ask for a private one-on-one meeting with Cdl. Dolan.

Our continuing investigation of the Fr. Peter Miqueli sex and embezzlement case, along with the more important archdiocesan cover-up of the embezzlement, has led to a number of sources from inside the archdiocese that are now spilling the beans on what is an increasingly disturbing story.

So we contacted the archdiocese through spokesman Joe Zwilling and asked for a private meeting with His Eminence to reveal what we knew only to him with the hope of exacting some kind of promise that he would do something. Zwilling and archdiocesan attorneys replied and said there would be no meeting.

So, we are now bound to reveal the results of our ongoing investigation to this point.

The allegations from our on-camera source very close to the inner circle has been confirmed for us by a number of other New York archdiocesan personnel: that there is an unwritten code — known of by Cdl. Dolan — that priests under his care can lead a sexually active double life as long as they keep it hidden.

It would explain the reason why again Fr. Peter Miqueli’s case of embezzlement and lurid gay-for-pay sexual encounters were essentially ignored by the archdiocese despite numerous complaints from parishioners — which could result in criminal charges.

But even more alarming are the charges that Cdl. Dolan has done nothing to clean up the chancery after arriving in New York as archbishop back in 2009.

Insiders tell Church Militant it is common knowledge that senior archdiocesan clergy comprise a homosexual hotbed that existed long before Dolan arrive, stretching back to the days of Cdl. Egan and even earlier — all the way back to the 1980s, and these men’s association at St. Joseph’s Seminary in Dunwoodie, a Yonkers, New York neighborhood. Sources tell Church Militant these associations involved senior faculty and leadership at the seminary.

This flood of stories from diocese after diocese of sexual impropriety, financial misdealings, cover-ups by senior clergy, knowledge of all of it by the bishop — or in this case cardinal — these stories are ripping the heart out of the souls of faithful Catholics.

While the U.S. bishops sit around and try to develop new programs for evangelization and introduce watered-down catechetical programs like ALPHA, come up with ways to share Communion with non-Catholics and those in mortal sin, allow big-name clergy to keep spreading the lie that we have a reasonable hope that all men are saved, keep turning a blind eye to the significant problem of active homosexual clergy, continue to allow and even foster abuses at Mass — they will have nowhere except themselves to look when Our Blessed Lord asks them at the judgment throne why they let the Faith in America die on their watch.

Church Militant has been following this case very closely now for over three months, and every few days, another piece of inside information comes our way incriminating Cdl. Dolan and his senior clergy more and more.

We’ve spoken with various sources, as we said, many of them inside the chancery, to cobble together this emerging picture of damaging information. As we said, we reached out to the cardinal to let him know all that we knew — and our offer was rebuffed.

So, now we present, in full, the interview you have seen in brief cuts in this Vortex. Just click on the link.

Our informant has had to keep his identity hidden for fear of losing his job and livelihood. But we have independently confirmed with other sources all that he has told us in this interview.

Please spread the word about all this. Contact the New York archdiocese. Tell them that you demandaccountability. This kind of filth cannot be allowed to go on under the cover of the Church any longer.

If you don’t want to live according to the Church, then get out of the Church.

New York’s Chilling Global Warming Witch Hunt by Walter Olson

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is pursuing an investigation of the Exxon Corporation in part for making donations to think tanks and associations like the American Enterprise Institute and American Legislative Exchange Council, which mostly work on issues unrelated to the environment but have also published some views flayed by opponents as “climate change denial.”

Assuming the First Amendment protects a right to engage in scholarship, advocacy, and other forms of supposed denial, it is by no means clear that information about such donations would yield a viable prosecution. Which means, notes Hans Bader of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, that the New York probe raises an issue of constitutional dimensions not just at some point down the road, but right now:

A prolonged investigation in response to someone’s speech can violate the First Amendment even when it never leads to a fine. For example, a federal appeals court ruled in White v. Lee, 227 F.3d 1214 (9th Cir. 2000) that lengthy, speech-chilling civil rights investigations by government officials can violate the First Amendment even when they are eventually dropped without imposing any fine or disciplinary action.

It found this principle was so plain and obvious that it denied individual civil rights officials qualified immunity for investigating citizens for speaking out against a housing project for people protected by the Fair Housing Act.

In another case, in which a company had been sued seeking damages over its participation in trade-association-related speech, a federal appeals court found that the pendency of the lawsuit all by itself caused enough of a burden on the firm’s speech rights that the court used its mandamus power to order the trial judge to dismiss the claims, a remarkable step.

Moreover, Bader writes, a string of federal precedents indicate that the constitutional rights Schneiderman is trampling here are not just Exxon’s but those of the organizations it gave to, which have a right to challenge his action whether or not the oil company chooses to do so:

These groups themselves can sue Schneiderman under the First Amendment, if Schneiderman’s pressure causes them to lose donations they would otherwise receive. Government officials cannot pressure a private party to take adverse action against a speaker.

Meanwhile, writing at Liberty and Law, Prof. Philip Hamburger of Columbia Law School takes a different tack: the subpoenas imperil due process and separation of powers because they issue at the whim of Schneiderman’s office.

Earlier ideas of constitutional government “traditionally left government no power to demand testimony, papers, or other information, except under the authority of a judge or a legislative committee.” In more recent years executive subpoena power has proliferated; so has the parallel power of lawyers in private litigation to demand discovery, but the latter at least in theory goes on under judicial supervision that can check some of its abuse and invasiveness.

Extrajudicial subpoenas by AG offices are particularly dangerous, Hamburger argues, because of their crossover civil/criminal potential: the targets do not enjoy a high level of procedural protection when “attorneys general claim to be acting merely in a civil rather than a criminal capacity,” yet the same offices can and do threaten criminal charges. Especially dangerous is New York’s Martin Act, a charter for general invasion of the private papers of anyone and anything with a connection to New York financial transactions.

An attorney general’s concern about fraud or the “public interest” is no justification for allowing him to rifle through private papers.

When he thereby extracts the basis for a criminal prosecution, he evades the grand jury process. When he thereby lays the groundwork for a civil enforcement proceeding, he evades the due process of law, for there ordinarily is no discovery for a plaintiff until he commences a civil action.

Even worse, when a prosecutor uses a subpoena to get a remunerative settlement, it is akin to extortion — this being the most complete end run around the courts.

Previously on the probe here and here (and earlier here and here), and on the New York attorney general’s office here and here.

Cross-posted from Overlawyered.

Walter OlsonWalter Olson
Walter Olson is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute’s Center for Constitutional Studies.

Bloomberg for President?

Amid reports that the FBI is close to recommending that the Department of Justice (DOJ) prosecute Hillary Clinton for mishandling classified materials, and that FBI Director James Comey and other agency personnel investigating Clinton may resign if the DOJ refuses to do so, sources close to Michael Bloomberg say the billionaire former mayor of New York City may run for president if Clinton appears unable to win the Democratic Party’s nomination.

CBS New York reports, “[t]hey say Bloomberg would strongly consider running if the general election looked like it would be a contest between Democrat Bernie Sanders and Republicans Donald Trump or Ted Cruz.” Bloomberg, who has let on that he would be willing to spend 1 billion dollars on a campaign, is expected to make his decision by March. Four states are holding their presidential primaries and caucuses in February, and another 14 will do so on Super Tuesday, March 1st.

Appearing unfazed by her troubles, Clinton insists “nothing that I did was wrong” and said of the Bloomberg news, “the way I read what he said was if I didn’t get the nomination, he might consider it. Well, I’m going to relieve him of that and get the nomination, so he doesn’t have to.”

Unfortunately, from Clinton’s perspective, that may be a fairly big “if.” Polls show her being trounced by Sen. Bernie Sanders in New Hampshire and also losing Iowa, where the country’s first presidential primaries and caucuses will be held, and that her national figures are dropping. Other polls show that more Americans view her unfavorably than favorably.

Fox News reports, “[t]he FBI investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of private email as secretary of state has expanded to look at whether the possible ‘intersection’ of Clinton Foundation work and State Department business may have violated public corruption laws.” Fox followed up on the story on Tuesday, saying, “The security investigation is now part and parcel with the criminal [public corruption] investigation.”

Bloomberg must theorize that he could appeal to voters on the basis of his success as a businessman and his time as the mayor of the nation’s most populous city. But he faces a difficult “if” of his own. Clinton been casting herself as the most anti-gun presidential candidate in American history, a distinction Bloomberg would certainly want to challenge if he threw his hat into the ring. Also, and perhaps for the same reason, a Morning Consult poll released this week found Bloomberg at 13% in a hypothetical three-way race against Donald Trump and Clinton, 11% when the Republican candidate is Sen. Ted Cruz, and down to 10% when the Republican is Sen. Marco Rubio.

Bloomberg might be able to bump those numbers up among Democrats a bit, if he promised to pardon Clinton on the first day of his presidency. That would not only endear him to Clinton’s most fanatical supporters, it would wipe the slate clean, at least legally-speaking, for someone who shares his deep antipathy for guns. With public opinion trending steadily against gun control, a President Bloomberg couldn’t afford to have one of his strongest anti-gun allies in court or in prison.

Trump, Cruz and New York Values

New York City values are going through the roof. And it’s not just real estate. A prime story the last many days has been the GOP debate dust-up between Donald Trump and Senator Ted Cruz. After the senator impugned “New York values” in an effort to call into question the businessman’s conservative bona fides, Trump responded with an impassioned defense of New Yorkers’ character. Trump won the exchange on style with rhetorical effectiveness, but, frankly, Cruz was right on substance.

This is not a commentary on whether Trump exemplifies NY values. In fact, I love most of what The Donald is saying; furthermore, while I have great respect for Cruz, the fact that no other candidate Thursday night could join Trump in supporting a halt to Muslim immigration — a common-sense measure — calls their qualifications for the presidency into question. But this isn’t a commentary on that, either, or on NY values, although I will touch on them. This article is about something far deeper.

All of us generalize. And most of us bristle at generalizations we don’t’ like — whether true or not. It’s then that we, waxing emotional, may complain about the “folly of generalization.”

Now, it may come as a shock to the critics of mine who suppose I live in West Virginia and eat chicken-fried steak, but I was born in NY and grew up in NYC — the Bronx, to be precise. And believe me, there are NY values (along with an ever decreasing number of NY virtues). Moreover, as Cruz said, most people know what they are. Trump certainly does; after all, he referenced his NY values in a 1999 interview. And while radio host and Trump supporter Michael Savage, another man I greatly respect, took exception to Cruz’ remarks, I remember when he complained on air that Vermont was ruined and became Sandersized when too many New Yorkers moved there.

What are NY values? Well, state residents elected a governor who said in 2014 that pro-life, pro-Second Amendment conservatives “have no place in the state of New York, because that’s not who New Yorkers are’”; and the Big Apple elevated to mayor Bolshevik Bill, a Marxist who honeymooned in Cuba and once raised money for the Sandinistas. You figure it out.

My real concern here, however, is not how people value New Yorkers or Cruz or Trump, but how they value generalization itself. For our refusal to properly generalize is one of the characteristic faults of our time — and a dangerous one at that.

Here’s a good example: if it’s wrong to generalize about New Yorkers because, in principle, it’s wrong to generalize, how can we then generalize about terrorists or Muslims? Doesn’t it make it harder to justify a halt to Muslim immigration if generalization is taken off the table? So some may get offended and say “Not all New Yorkers are liberals,” but this is reminiscent of liberals opposing common-sense profiling and saying “Not all Muslims are terrorists” (or “Not all terrorists are Muslim”). In point of fact, the percentage of Muslims who are terrorists is lower than the percentage of New Yorkers who are liberal, but this is irrelevant. The fact that virtually all the terrorists bedeviling us are Muslim is significant and indicates the importance of honest examination of Islamic values — which, like NY values, certainly exist.

The reality is that “not all _____ are _____” is not a valid argument against generalization, only reflective of a misunderstanding of it. If I say “Men are taller than women,” it’s silly to respond “But not all men are taller than all women!” After all, I didn’t say “all” and wasn’t implying the absence of individual variation; rather, I was referring to men and women as groups. And just as we must judge every individual as an individual and not paint everyone with the same brush, we must judge an individual group as an individual group and not paint every one with the same brush.

In fact, the only reason we can even identify groups as “groups” is that there are differences among them. And barring the rare cases in which groups are differentiated solely by location (as when dividing a class of boys into two groups placed at different tables), those differences are often neither arbitrary nor insignificant. Is location the only thing differentiating Afghans from Americans? Is location the only thing differentiating New Yorkers from Alabamans? Just as there’ll be very different government if you replace the 320 million Americans in the US with 320 million Muslims, there’ll be very different state government if you replace the 4.8 million Alabamans in Alabama with average New Yorkers.

In fairness, most NY counties without big population centers are red. “Aha,” you say, “what about those rural values in the Empire State?!” Yes, there can be sub-groups within groups, and there is a general ideological divide between the woods and the hoods. But the point is that speaking of “rural values” is a generalization, too — and a correct one.

Why does this matter? Question: who’s in closer touch with reality, someone who only understands individual variation or someone who also understands group variation? In fact, the latter is necessary for survival. Just as being able to judge individual character (as when choosing a babysitter) is important, so is being able to judge group character (related to this is being able to properly judge what faults are found mostly in a given group, even if they’re exhibited by only a minority in the group). This is especially true given that understanding group character aids in assessing individual character.

This is not synonymous with prejudice. It rather is part of profiling, which, to paraphrase Dr. Walter Williams, is a method by which we can make determinations based on scant information when the cost of obtaining more information is too high. For example, since an Israeli airport-security agent can’t spend a month living with and becoming acquainted with every traveler, he must make judgments based on group associations; thus, knowing not all Muslims are terrorists but virtually all Mideast terrorists are Muslim, he’ll scrutinize a Muslim flier more closely.

We all make such generalization/profiling-based judgments. A stranded woman motorist may refuse to roll down her window and accept aid from a young man with greasy hair who’s peppered with tattoos and body-piercings; of course, he could conceivably be well-meaning, but this is a situation where she really does have to judge the book by its cover. Likewise, she may refuse to lower her window for any man, knowing that while most men aren’t rapists, most all rapists are men. I’m not hiring a member of the Communist Party USA as a babysitter no matter how pleasant the person appears. And not all dogs bite, but it’s still a good policy to not pet strange dogs.

Doctors also must consider group characteristics, to do their patients justice. For example, understanding that Pima Indians have the world’s highest diabetes rate and that black men’s prostate-cancer rate is twice white men’s can serve as indicators for screening. And only women are routinely examined for breast cancer even though men occasionally develop the disease.

Of course, no good person wants generalization to descend into prejudice, a fault man so often exhibits. But to consequently dismiss generalization, and thus throw out of the baby with the bathwater, is much like dispensing with medical diagnostics merely because witch doctors have existed. Moreover, note that since “prejudice” is defined as “an unfavorable opinion or feeling formed beforehand or without knowledge, thought, or reason,” such an uninformed, unfavorable opinion of generalization is a prejudice itself. And it’s a prejudice that can get you killed.