The Media Is Ignoring This Story

There is a major news story currently being ignored by most of the media. On Tuesday, The Daily Caller News Foundation posted the following:

A secret server is behind law enforcement’s decision to ban a former IT aide to Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz from the House network.

Now-indicted former congressional IT aide Imran Awan allegedly routed data from numerous House Democrats to a secret server. Police grew suspicious and requested a copy of the server early this year, but they were provided with an elaborate falsified image designed to hide the massive violations. The falsified image is what ultimately triggered their ban from the House network Feb. 2, according to a senior House official with direct knowledge of the investigation.

The secret server was connected to the House Democratic Caucus, an organization chaired by then-Rep. Xavier Becerra. Police informed Becerra that the server was the subject of an investigation and requested a copy of it. Authorities considered the false image they received to be interference in a criminal investigation, the senior official said.

Data was also backed up to Dropbox in huge quantities, the official said. Congressional offices are prohibited from using Dropbox, so an unofficial account was used, meaning Awan could have still had access to the data even though he was banned from the congressional network.

Awan had access to all emails and office computer files of 45 members of Congress who are listed below. Fear among members that Awan could release embarrassing information if they cooperated with prosecutors could explain why the Democrats have refused to acknowledge the cybersecurity breach publicly or criticize the suspects.

House Democrats employed Awan and four family members for years as IT aides. After learning of the House probe, Awan and his wife, Hina Alvi, frantically transferred money to accounts in their native Pakistan.

Awan and Alvi were indicted in August on fraud charges related to the transfers, but they have not yet been charged with criminal cybersecurity violations partly because some of the 45 Democrats have been passive about helping build the case, the House official said.

The underline is mine. One wonders what kind of information Awan had on some of our Congressmen that they are so willing to protect him.

What Is True vs. What Is Reported

Media bias is old news, but every now and then it can be really interesting. The following story illustrates why President Trump needs to hold on to his Twitter account.

This morning the Associated Press reported:

WASHINGTON (AP) — The top House and Senate Democrats said Wednesday they had reached agreement with President Donald Trump to protect thousands of younger immigrants from deportation and fund some border security enhancements — not including Trump’s long-sought border wall.

The agreement, the latest instance of Trump ditching his own party to make common cause with the opposition, was announced by Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi following a White House dinner that Republican lawmakers weren’t invited to attend. It would enshrine protections for the nearly 800,000 immigrants brought illegally to this country as kids who had benefited from former President Barack Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program, which provided temporary work permits and shielded recipients from deportation.

Fox News reported today:

President Trump on Thursday denied reports that he struck a “deal” overnight with top Democrats to protect so-called “Dreamers,” while insisting “massive border security would have to be agreed to in exchange for consent.”

Trump’s Twitter post was in response to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., announcing after a dinner meeting at the White House that they had “agreed to a plan to work out an agreement to protect our nation’s DREAMers from deportation.”

They also said “we would review border security measures that didn’t include building a wall.”

The president clarified Thursday morning that he intends for the wall to be built — and while he wants to helps Dreamers, there’s no deal yet. 

The political consequences for President Trump if he does not build a wall would be enormous.

On Tuesday The Hill posted an article about support for the wall among Americans.

These are a few highlights from the article:

Last February, Pew reported similar findings: 62 percent of Americans oppose building a wall. Only 35 percent support it.

But are we telling the whole story?

First, it’s worth looking at what Pew asked: “All in all, would you favor or oppose building a wall along the entire border with Mexico?” To me, it’s a confusing question. After all, there already is a wall or fencing along approximately 700 miles of the southern border. It might make more sense to ask, “Would you favor or oppose building a wall along the remaining, unwalled portion of the border with Mexico?”

…While we’re in the weeds, assuming there’s value to asking a poll question about something that nobody is proposing, there’s additional nuance to consider. Pew ended up with a Democrat-heavy sample: 38 percent Republican/Republican leaning and 52 percent Democrat/Democrat leaning. The 14 percentage point difference means Pew interviewed 38 percent more Democrat thinkers than Republican thinkers. I can’t find any estimate that says the actual U.S. population is politically lopsided along those lines.

That is how you skew a poll.

The article at The Hill concludes:

There are two things we could do to provide more meaningful reporting. First, when addressing polls on political topics, we should disclose the breakdown of Democrats and Republicans upfront. To state the obvious: findings from a sample that’s made up of 98 percent Republicans will be entirely different than findings from a sample of 98 percent Democrats. How can meaning be put behind results on any political topic without the partisan makeup of the sample being considered?

Second, our reporting could include opposing findings and trends, if they exist. For example, in the most recent Pew poll, “three-quarters (74 percent) of Republicans and Republican-leaners supported a border wall” and that support had grown substantially in recent months. Conservative Republican support for a wall was up nine points since Trump was elected President (from 71 percent to 80 percent).

Support also grew among moderate and liberal Republicans (from 51 percent to 60 percent). An accurate headline could just as well have been: “Poll shows growing Republican support for a wall under a Trump presidency.”

All things considered, I came up with my own headline that’s more transparent than many of the ones I saw: “In polls with Democrat-heavy sampling, there’s overwhelming opposition to building a wall along the ‘entire’ border; a concept that nobody is, in fact, proposing.”

The article at The Hill was written by Sharyl Attkisson (@SharylAttkisson), an Emmy-award winning investigative journalist, author of the New York Times bestsellers “The Smear” and “Stonewalled,” and host of Sinclair’s Sunday TV program “Full Measure.” If you are not familiar with her story, please search for her on the Internet and read her history. She definitely knows what she is talking about.

Securing Our Elections

Yesterday The Washington Examiner posted a story about voting in the Netherlands.

The article reports:

Mickey Kaus notes that the Netherlands is going to go back to conducting its elections with paper ballots. “Dutch go old school against Russian hacking,” he notes, linking to a Politico Europe story. Kaus adds an appropriate shout-out to Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit, who has been calling for paper ballots for years.

Going back to paper ballots may strike many people, as it used to strike me, as retrograde. Isn’t it a lot faster to count electronic votes? Isn’t there a danger that paper ballots can be altered, defaced, and burned? Isn’t electronic voting cooler and more up to date?

As I have stated before, technical things mystify me. However, it does seem to me that having a paper record to verify voting totals is a good idea. It may not be necessary to go back to counting paper ballots by hand if we can scan them by machine and have the physical ballots to verify the totals.

The article concludes:

The fact is that sacrificing a bit of speed for reliability is probably a good trade. The strongest argument for paper ballots is that they can’t be hacked. The second strongest is that there is an independent record of each ballot cast, which some computerized systems lack.

It may take a long time to count ballots in some states where they include many offices and ballot propositions, but people can wait. And recounts of paper ballots can result in disputes over hanging chads and the like, but these are difficulties our republic has been handling for over 200 years. My vote is for paper ballots.

Good idea.

Benghazi Drip, Drip, Drip

Fox News posted a story today that sheds some light on the reason the outpost at Benghazi was so poorly defended. It seems that decisions made by the State Department regarding security were not based on reality.

The article reports:

Brad Owens and Jerry Torres, of Torres Advanced Enterprise Solutions, say they faced pressure to stay silent and get on the same page with the State Department with regard to the security lapses that led to the deaths of four Americans.

They spoke exclusively with Fox News for “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” revealing new information that undermines the State Department’s account of the 2012 terror attack in Benghazi, where Islamic militants launched a 13-hour assault from Sept. 11-12 that killed U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens, foreign service officer Sean Smith and former Navy SEALS Ty Woods and Glenn Doherty.

The article explains that the State Department awarded the Benghazi compound security compound to a company in Wales that had no experience in diplomatic security. I need to say here that I am all in favor of allowing security companies to gain experience, but they need to start in a place that does not have a major terrorism problem.

The article continues:

According to Torres, the Blue Mountain Group came in 4 percent lower than their bid – and they challenged the decision, claiming the American company should have been preferred over the foreign one.

Torres said State Department contracting officer Jan Visintainer responded that the State Department had the “latitude to apply” that preference or not.

And there was more: The Blue Mountain Group hired guards through another company who were not armed.  

Problems soon arose. One month before the attack — in August 2012, with The Blue Mountain Group still in charge of compound security — Ambassador Stevens and his team alerted the State Department via diplomatic cable that radical Islamic groups were everywhere and that the temporary mission compound could not withstand a “coordinated attack.” The classified cable was first reported by Fox News.

Why would you put security in a troubled area in the hands of people who are not armed?

The article concludes:

“Let’s just say there’s been a change at management at Department of State,” Owens said. “I feel now that, given that the politics has been taken out of the Benghazi situation, now that there’s no longer a candidate or anything related to it, a change of administrations, that actually, we have an opportunity here to fix the problems that made it happen.”

On the fifth anniversary, Torres said he thinks about the four families who lost a father, a brother or a son in the 2012 attack, and feels sorry “for not bringing this up earlier. For not actually being there, on the ground and taking care of these guys.”

I’m not sure the politics has been taken out of the Department of State, but I definitely wish President Trump luck in his efforts to drain the swamp.

Don’t Look For Me On The First Page Of A Google Search

Yesterday PJ Media posted an article about a new research paper from Leo Goldstein.

The article reports the following:

Google Search is found to be biased in favor of left/liberal domains and against conservative domains with a confidence of 95%,” Goldstein found. “Further, certain hard-Left domains have such a high [percentage of domain traffic, referred by Google Search, net of brand searches] that their standing raises suspicions that they have been hand-picked for prominent placement,” he says, adding that “certain respected conservative domains are blacklisted.”

The article includes the following chart:

Conservatives need to realize that they are going to have to get smarter in their research about the news. I strongly recommend DuckDuckGo as a search engine. Not only are their searches unbiased–they don’t keep track of your searches. It’s time for google to lose its users and its advertisers. That is one way conservatives can make their voices heard.

The Hazards Of Lying

No one will ever accuse the Clinton Family of being entirely honest, but sometimes they just seem to go over the top. Hillary Clinton is currently making her ‘put the blame on everyone else’ book tour. In a CBS interview, Mrs. Clinton claims that she made the ‘deplorables’ remark in response to the leaking of the Hollywood access tape showing President Trump engaging in locker room talk. Well, she should have fact checked her lie before she lied.

Yesterday The Daily Caller reported some of her comments:

“I thought Trump was behaving in a deplorable manner. I thought a lot of his appeals to voters were deplorable. I thought his behavior, as we saw on the ‘Access Hollywood’ tape was deplorable. And there were a large number of people who didn’t care. It did not matter to them,” Clinton said.

But there’s a gaping hole in that defense: Clinton attacked Trump’s “deplorable” supporters on September 9 — almost a full month before the Washington Post published the “Access Hollywood” tape on October 7.

In other words, Trump’s “behavior” on the “Access Hollywood” tape couldn’t have been the reason Clinton associated the word “deplorable” with Trump supporters.

She is commenting on what Donald Trump said. Has she ever commented on what her husband has done?

 

Remembering 911

This was originally posted on September 11, 2009

This is a picture of the Teardrop Memorial, Russia’s gift to the United States in memory of 911. The monument To the Struggle Against World Terrorism was dedicated on September 11, 2006, by President Clinton.   It is located in Bayonne, New Jersey, at a place where the twin towers were visible.

To read the entire story of the monument and how it came to rest there, please follow the link to 911monument.com.    The website tells the story of what inspired the monument and how it came to be. This is another picture of the monument.    I stumbled on this monument in an article at the American Thinker.

 

Letting Children Go Through Stages As Children

On Friday, The Washington Free Beacon posted an article about a twelve-year-old boy who changed his mind about transitioning to a girl.

The article reports:

As a young child, Patrick Mitchell had always wanted to be a girl, the Independent reported. “You wish you could just change everything about you, you just see any girl and you say, ‘I’d kill to be like that,'” Mitchell told interviewers.

After speaking with doctors, Mitchell was diagnosed with gender dysphoria and began taking estrogen hormones in anticipation of a full transition. Mitchell grew out his hair and the treatment caused the prepubescent boy to grow a pair of breasts.

When teachers began to call him a girl in class, however, Mitchell began to question if he made the correct decision. “I began to realize I was actually comfortable in my body. Every day I just felt better,” he said.

Mitchell’s mother recounted his change of heart.

“He looked me in the eye and said, ‘I’m just not sure that I am a girl,'” she told “60 Minutes.” Mitchell has since stopped taking his estrogen treatment and plans to have surgery to remove the breast tissue.

Children go through stages when they identify with either parent as a role model. They pass through these stages and go on to the next stage (if they are allowed to do so). In my opinion it borders on child abuse to begin a sex change on any person under 21.

The article concludes:

Some studies have indicated that at least a portion of children who are diagnosed with gender dysphoria ultimately embrace the sex they were assigned at birth, New York Magazine reported. One study conducted by the Center of Expertise on Gender Dysphoria at VU University Medical Center, a famous gender clinic in Amsterdam, found that around two-thirds of gender dysphoric minors eventually desisted. That is, the minors ultimately reverted to identify with the gender corresponding with their birth sex. Another study, conducted in conjunction with Toronto’s Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), found 88 percent of male minors ultimately desisted.

Trans activists strongly dispute those studies, arguing that they are “built upon bad statistics, bad science, homophobia, and transphobia,” HuffPost reported.

Fifteen Years Later (Originally posted September 10, 2016)

This article was originally posted on September 10, 2016. Has anything changed?

This is the fifteenth anniversary of the day before 9/11. It is the anniversary of a day when Americans were going about their business—getting children ready to start school, beginning to put away summer clothes and get out fall clothes, and doing fall housekeeping. It was not in any way a noteworthy day. However, there were Americans who understood the threat hanging over us. Unfortunately, those Americans did not have the ability to wake up either our government or the American people.

John O’Neill was one of the people who understood the threat. In 1995 John O’Neill was appointed chief of the FBI’s counterterrorism section. When he arrived at FBI headquarters initially, he stayed there for three days. O’Neill was not very diplomatic, but he got things done. He also had the ability to tie loose ends together to see what was coming. Early on in his career, O’Neill became very interested in the activities of Osama Bin Laden to the point where his colleagues began to question his judgement [The Looming Tower by Lawrence Wright Page 237 (paperback)]. He retired from the FBI early in 2001 to become chief of security at the World Trade Center. I have heard stories of the evacuation drills he led at the World Trade Center that probably saved many people’s lives on 9/11. John O’Neill understood that the terrorists would try to destroy the World Trade Center again. He was right. Unfortunately, due to personalities in the FBI, he was no longer in a position to connect the dots and possibly avoid the attack on the Trade Center.

So where are we today? What have we learned and what have we done about it? One of the best sources on the failure of the Obama Administration to deal with terrorism is the book Catastrophic Failure by Stephen Coughlin. In that book, Mr. Coughlin details the Obama Administrations inability to understand the root of the threat; and therefore, its inability to counter the threat. I strongly suggest you read the book, but I will try to summarize the main points here.

In October 2011, elements of the American Muslim Brotherhood wrote the White House demanding an embargo or discontinuation of information and materials relating to Islamic-based terrorism. The letter was addressed to John Brennan, who at the time was Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism.  Days later John Brennan agreed to create a task force to address the problem by removing personnel and products that the Muslim Brotherhood deemed “biased, false, and highly offensive.” This move in effect allowed the Muslim Brotherhood to control the information given to the people charged with stopping the terrorism initiated by groups affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood. At this point, the 9/11 reports and other actual historic documents were altered to make them compliant with the new paradigm. (I thought only the Russians rewrote history.)

Just a note—Stephen Coughlin is no longer briefing the Pentagon and our law enforcement communities. His briefings were not in compliance with the standards the Muslim Brotherhood placed on such briefings and were no longer permitted. That fact along should give all of us pause.

There are some real questions as to whom President Obama listens to on matters of terrorism. Those same questions apply to Hillary Clinton. Would you have put someone with family ties to Hitler in an advisory role to Franklin Roosevelt during World War II? I realize you can’t choose your family, but would the FBI hire a secretary whose father was a Mafia Don to work in their domestic crime bureau?

There is substantial evidence that the upper levels of our government have been compromised by the Muslim Brotherhood. One of the most reliable sources for this information is The Center for Security Policy. There are many resources available on their website.

So as we look back on this time fifteen years ago, we need to realize that we are still in danger and that the danger we face is getting more serious. The attacks in Europe (reported and unreported) should awaken us to the dangers of allowing refugees into America without proper vetting and the dangers of allowing immigrants who have no intention of assimilating into American culture to set up enclaves within our country.

Unless we want to experience a terror attack far worse than 9/11, Americans need to inform themselves about the enemy we are facing. It is obvious that the government is not going to inform us or take care of us.

Free Speech In Danger In America

On Friday, The Washington Examiner reported on efforts by Democrats on the Federal Election Commission to limit political speech on the internet. The latest effort by these Democrats was triggered by the fact that unnamed Russians spent $100,000 for politically themed ads on Facebook. Somehow no Democrats on any committees were concerned when Saudi Arabia was funding anti-fracking movies.

The article reports:

Weintraub (Commissioner Ellen Weintraub) also demanded that the FEC address the issue of “internet political communications” at its next meeting on Sept. 14.

Facebook’s involvement and proof of Russian spending on political ads could give Democratic FEC critics of the freewheeling Internet the case they’ve needed.

Republicans on the FEC have claimed for years that the Democrats have been focused on the Internet in part because they want to silence conservative outlets like the Drudge Report, conservative videos, and even movies.

But the Facebook revelation and huge amount of money involved should give the Democrats a new weapon in their fight to regulate spending on Internet sites beyond paid advocacy. Under current rules, paid online ads that say, for example, “Vote For” or “Vote Against,” are regulated. The so-called Internet freedom rule, however, exempts free Internet posts and advocacy by third parties.

This sort of government intervention into free speech never ends well. I have no problem with anyone posting anything on Facebook as long as the source of the post is obvious. Where were these people when conservative groups were being denied tax-exempt status? This is a political move partially caused by the fact that Democratic election and fund-raising efforts are not going well. This is an attempt to slant the playing field to the Democrats advantage. It needs to be stopped.

Immigration In Britain

Breitbart is reporting today on the impact immigration policies have had on the population of Britain.

The article reports:

A report by think tank Civitas says that the population of the United Kingdom is growing at a rate of more than 500,000 a year – the equivalent of a new town of about 10,000 people being created every week.

The article further notes that one in three babies born in Britain and Wales had at least one foreign parent.

So what caused this?

The article explains:

Blair (former prime minister Tony Blair) has been accused of presiding over a “silent conspiracy” to flood the UK with migrants whilst he was prime minster, ordering his ministers to not discuss the subject in public, with his government working to force the country to “see the benefit of a multicultural society”.

The Civitas report identifies EU enlargement, “with the admission of the countries of Eastern Europe”, as the second reason for population growth trends to change so rapidly.

Again, the arch-europhile’s New Labour government decided not to implement transitional immigration controls like the majority of other EU countries, with Blair admitting in 2017 that he had no idea how many people would migrate to Britain when the bloc expanded to include former Communist nations such as Poland.

Government policies have consequences. Britain is clearly in danger of losing its identity as a nation.

Is The Department Of Justice Just?

The following statement was posted at Judicial Watch yesterday:

(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton made the following statement regarding the  Department of Justice’s decision not to bring charges against Lois Lerner, former director of the Exempt Organizations Unit of the IRS, whose own emails place her at the heart of the politicization of the IRS for the targeting of conservative groups:

I have zero confidence that the Justice Department did an adequate review of the IRS scandal. In fact, we’re still fighting the Justice Department and the IRS for records about this very scandal. Today’s decision comes as no surprise considering that the FBI collaborated with the IRS and is unlikely to investigate or prosecute itself. President Trump should order a complete review of the whole issue. Meanwhile, we await accountability for IRS Commissioner Koskinen, who still serves and should be drummed out of office.

Judicial Watch released 294 pages of FBI “302” documents revealing top Washington IRS officials, including Lois Lerner and Holly Paz, knew the agency was specifically targeting “Tea Party” and other conservative organizations two full years before disclosing it to Congress and the public.  An FBI 302 document contains detailed narratives of FBI agent investigations.  The Obama Justice Department and FBI investigations into the Obama IRS scandal resulted in no criminal charges.

The FBI 302 documents confirm the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) 2013 report that said, “Senior IRS officials knew that agents were targeting conservative groups for special scrutiny as early as 2011.” Lerner did not reveal the targeting until May 2013, in response to a planted question at an American Bar Association conference.  The new documents reveal that then-acting IRS Commissioner Steven Miller actually wrote Lerner’s response: “They used names like Tea Party or Patriots and they selected cases simply because the applications had those names in the title. That was wrong, that was absolutely incorrect, insensitive, and inappropriate.”

Judicial Watch’s litigation forced the IRS first to say that emails belonging to Lerner were supposedly missing and later declare to the court that the emails were on IRS back-up systems.  Lerner was one of the top officials responsible for the IRS’ targeting of President Obama’s political opponents.  Judicial Watch exposed various IRS record keeping problems:

  • In June 2014the IRS claimed to have “lost” responsive emails belonging to Lerner and other IRS officials.
  • In August 2014, Department of Justice attorneys for the IRS finally admitted Judicial Watch that Lerner’s emails, indeed all government computer records, are backed up by the federal government in case of a government-wide catastrophe. The IRS’ attorneys also disclosed that Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) was looking at several of these backup tapes.
  • In November 2014, the IRS told the court it had failed to search any of the IRS standard computer systems for the “missing” emails of Lerner and other IRS officials.
  • On February 26, 2015, TIGTA officials testified to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee that it had received 744 backup tapes containing emails sent and received by Lerner.  This testimony showed that the IRS had falsely represented to both Congress, Judge Sullivan, and Judicial Watch that Lerner’s emails were irretrievably lost. The testimony also revealed that IRS officials responsible for responding to the document requests never asked for the backup tapes and that 424 backup tapes containing Lerner’s emails had been destroyed during the pendency of Judicial Watch’s lawsuit and Congressional investigations.
  • In June 2015, Judicial Watch forced the IRS to admit in a court filing that it was in possession of 6,400 “newly discovered” Lerner emails. Judge Emmet Sullivan ordered the IRS to provide answers on the status of the Lerner emails the IRS had previously declared lost. Judicial Watch raised questions about the IRS’ handling of the missing emails issue in a court filing, demanding answers about Lerner’s emails that had been recovered from the backup tapes.
  • In July 2015, U.S District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan threatened to hold John Koskinen, the commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service, and Justice Department attorneys in contempt of court after the IRS failed to produce status reports and recovered Lerner emails, as he had ordered on July 1, 2015.

Obama IRS Commissioner Koskinen was nearly impeached in September 2016 for misleading Congress on Lerner’s emails.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) clearly violated the free speech rights of American citizens because the Obama Administration wanted to silence their views. This is a serious affront to our representative republic and should not go unpunished. Attempting to use the IRS for political purposes was one of the items of impeachment drawn up against President Richard Nixon. Has the Justice Department forgotten what the law is? If so, it is time for a new Justice Department.

Leading By Example

This is the list of where President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump‘s $1 million dollar donation for victims of Hurricane Harvey is going:

The list is posted at the El Paso Times.

Has The Senate Read The Constitution?

Article VI, Section 3 of the U.S. Constitution states:

…but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.

This is a YouTube video of Diane Feinstein questioning appeals court nominee Amy Barrett during Judge Barrett’s confirmation hearing:

This line of questioning is unconstitutional and inappropriate. This is a religious litmus test. This is not anything new. During the 1960’s, there was a lot of reporting about the fact that John Kennedy was Catholic when he was running for President. He was elected in spite of that. We need to remember that the roots of our judicial system are Judeo-Christian. The people who founded and supported this nation in the early days of the republic were Christians and Jews. In the early days of America, weekly church services were held in the Capitol building.

The Declaration of Independence states:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights

Questioning a judicial nominee on her religious beliefs is totally inappropriate and not in alignment with the founding documents of America.

 

Leadership Matters

Yesterday The City Journal posted an article which contained the following statement from New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio:

the “way our legal system is structured to favor private property” provokes his “anger, which is visceral.” The mayor elaborated on this point, insisting that “people all over this city, of every background, would like to have the city government be able to determine which building goes where, how high it will be, who gets to live in it, what the rent will be.”

Wow. Private property is one of the foundations of our Representative Republic.

In December 2010, I posted an article showing the relationship between private property ownership and the lack of poverty in a country. The article was based on a Townhall article by John Stossel.

The article stated:

”To get an address, somebody’s got to recognize that that’s where you live. That means … you’ve a got mailing address. … When you make a deal with someone, you can be identified. But until property is defined by law, people can’t … specialize and create wealth. The day they get title (is) the day that the businesses in their homes, the sewing machines, the cotton gins, the car repair shop finally gets recognized. They can start expanding.”

“That’s the road to prosperity. But first they need to be recognized by someone in local authority who says, “This is yours.” They need the rule of law. But many places in the developing world barely have law. So enterprising people take a risk. They work a deal with the guy on the first floor, and they build their house on the second floor.”

What Mayor DeBlasio is suggesting is communism or socialism. Historically, neither has been proven to work.

The article in The City Journal concludes:

De Blasio insists that New Yorkers fervently want to have a powerful government that gets involved in the minutest details of how they organize their lives. Based on their voting behavior, he may be right. But New Yorkers are also obstreperous, entrepreneurial, and small-d democratic; they typically reserve a Bronx cheer for authorities who dare to tell them what to do. De Blasio has now come out explicitly as a central planner whose politics sound frankly Bolshevik. We’ve been warned.

Benjamin Franklin replied when asked what the Constitutional Convention had created, “A republic, madam, if you can keep it.” Obviously, not everyone wants to keep it.

 

Let’s Look At Some Facts

While everyone in Washington is screaming that DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) should be repealed, let’s look at some of the facts about President Obama‘s Executive Order that began the program.

From YouTube:

When DACA was originally enacted, Paul Ryan and other Republicans agreed that it was an illegal executive overreach. They criticized it frequently. Now they are criticizing President Trump for ending it.

Red State has a very logical explanation for this change of heart:

The reason for the inaction is pretty banal. If Ryan convinces Trump to leave DACA intact, he gets his caucus through 2018 without having to cast a vote to either grant “amnesty” so some 800,000 illegals or to okay the deportation of some 800,000 people who are pretty much American in outlook. If Trump pulls the plug on DACA, then Ryan has to decide which hurts his caucus more: acting or not acting. Neither of those options is going to sell all that well.

What Ryan said is utter gibberish. Congress has uncontested power to regulate immigration and naturalization. The President is charged with faithfully executing the laws. DACA is a violation of that charge. Congress is part of the solution; in fact, Congress is the whole solution. Unfortunately, Paul Ryan wants Congress to continue being part of the problem and he wants cover from Trump to do it.

Congress has lost the ability to do anything but worry about its own re-election. We should take that worry away from them by voting them out of office.

Meanwhile, Breitbart posted an article yesterday about some of the people DACA has allowed to remain in America.

The article includes the following:

Below, Breitbart News has compiled a list of 50 of the 2,139 DACA recipients, deemed “DREAMers” by the open borders lobby, who have had their temporary protected status revoked due to crimes including: “A felony criminal conviction; a significant misdemeanor conviction; multiple misdemeanor convictions; gang affiliation; or arrest of any crime in which there is deemed to be a public safety concern,” according to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) agency.

The majority of crimes by DACA recipients include: “Alien smuggling, assaultive offenses, domestic violence, drug offenses, DUI, larceny and thefts, criminal trespass and burglary, sexual offenses with minors, other sex offenses and weapons offenses,” USCIS has stated.

Do we really want these people in our country?

The adults who were brought here as children are a unique problem, but DACA is not the correct answer. Congress should actually do something constructive. The best way to handle this would be to begin to document who the ‘dreamers’ are and begin a path to citizenship for those who are actually contributing to the welfare of America. It would also be necessary to end ‘chain migration’ for the dreamers. I would allow those people brought here as children to stay, but I would prohibit them from receiving government benefits and from bringing their relatives here. Any dreamer convicted of a crime should be sent back to their home country, regardless of whether or not they have a relationship with that country. If you won’t respect our laws, you can’t stay here.

The dreamers are already here.–you can’t put toothpaste back in the tube, but America should not have to support them. They need to find a way to support themselves.

Good News

As google, facebook, and twitter censor conservative speech, it is going to be more difficult to find alternative sources of news. A website called ‘government slaves‘ has made a list of 400 sites google does not want you to visit. Rightwinggranny.com has made that list. That is something of a mixed blessing–it is an honor to be recognized as an alternative news site, but chilling that any news site is being blocked because of their perspective. At any rate, it is a good idea to bookmark ‘government slaves‘ for future reference. I am sure the list will be updated as time goes on, and the websites on it are good alternative news sources.

It All Comes Down To Perspective

Yesterday The U.K. Independent posted a story about some changes to British law that occurred this year.

The headline of the story is, “While you celebrate the third royal baby, remember all of the women in Britain who aren’t allowed a third child.” First of all, the headline is totally misleading–there is no law prohibiting a third child.

The article reports:

In April this year the Government reformed child tax credits, introducing what is commonly referred to as the “rape clause”. From now on, a woman will be unable to claim tax credits for any child after her first two unless she can demonstrate conception occurred “as a result of a sexual act which [she] didn’t or couldn’t consent to” or “at a time when [she was] in an abusive relationship, under ongoing control or coercion by the other parent of the child”. To claim this exemption, she must complete an eight-page “rape assessment” form, countersigned by a third party professional to whom she must disclose her assault. Continuing to live with the father of her child will render her ineligible for support.

So what the law actually does is say that there will be no tax credits for the third child unless extraordinary circumstances are involved–not that a person cannot have a third child. One wonders if the tax credit is significant enough to make a difference. In America, we get a tax deduction for each child, but that deduction in no way even approaches the cost of feeding, clothing, and housing that child for a year.

There is another interesting aspect of this law. In recent years, Britain has taken in a large number of Muslim refugees and immigrants who tend to have large families. One wonders what impact this law will have on the Muslim population. Does the two-child rule apply to each wife or to every wife of a Muslim man? Is polygamy now legal in Britain since they now have Sharia courts? These are also questions that may apply to this law?

In 2015, The Guardian reported:

The Muslim population of England and Wales is growing faster than the overall population, with a higher proportion of children and a lower ratio of elderly people, according to an analysis of official data.

One in three Muslims is under 15, compared with fewer than one in five overall. There are also fewer elderly Muslims, with 4% aged over 65, compared with 16% of the overall population.

In 2011, 2.71 million Muslims lived in England and Wales, compared with 1.55 million in 2001. There were also 77,000 Muslims in Scotland and 3,800 in Northern Ireland.

The Muslim Council of Britain’s (MCB) study of data from the 2011 census found that Muslims are still a small minority of the overall population – one in 20. This contrasts with popular perceptions held by Britons, who overstate the proportion of Muslims in the country by a factor of four, according to a recent survey by Ipsos Mori.

In September 2016, the U.K. Mail reported:

Mohammed is the most popular name for boys in England and Wales- but it doesn’t top the official list because there are so many different ways to spell it.

There were 7,361 children born last year called Mohammed, Muhammed, Mohammad or Mohamed, according to the Office for National Statistics, which would have made it the number one boys name if the variations were taken into account.

Demographics can change very quickly. I wonder if this law is an attempt to slow down that change.

What Needs To Be Done

Congress has had a rather lackluster session so far this year. They failed to repeal ObamaCare and generally have not done anything to help the economy or the American people come out of the recession. Any economic growth has been the result of undoing regulations. That has been done by President Trump without the help of Congress. Now, as Congress comes back from their recess, it would be very nice to see them actually accomplish something. However, that is definitely wishful thinking, considering Congressional leaders and their agendas. The thing to remember here is that even though Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell have R’s after their name, they are not Republicans who believe in the Republican platform. They are Washington establishment types who believe in big government, expanding budgets, and expanding control over the lives of ordinary Americans. They have no intention of ever having to live under the laws they passed (they made sure they exempted themselves from any changes due to the repeal of ObamaCare before they discussed repeal). Keep in mind that the biggest nightmare of the Washington establishment is a successful Trump presidency. That is one of the reasons President Trump is so viciously attacked in the mainstream media.

One of the big items on the agenda for Congress this fall is tax reform. Our current tax system is a tribute to the efforts of lobbyists. Unfortunately, many of our political leaders are in the pockets a those lobbyists, so I am not optimistic that anything meaningful will be accomplished (other than possibly convincing Americans to vote these leaders out of office).

The Daily Signal posted an article today listing some of the problems with our current tax code. The current tax code is outdated, unfair, overly complicated, and an indication of the corruption that has crept into our government over the years.

The article lists some of the major areas where change is needed:

Problem 1: Our Tax Code Is Not Pro-Growth

Our current tax code suppresses business creation, expansion, and reinvestment thanks to high tax rates. The U.S. corporate tax rate is the highest in the industrialized world, which makes it difficult for American businesses to compete with their foreign counterparts.

America’s tax code puts companies at a disadvantage by failing to allow full expensing, or the ability to allow all businesses to deduct the full cost of new capital investments such as a building, machinery, technology, etc., necessary for business creation and growth.

It also taxes companies on the profits they earn overseas, discouraging foreign investment here in the U.S. to the tune of $2.6 trillion.

Finally, the tax code punishes saving and investment through double or even triple taxation, hurting small businesses and families looking to grow their personal wealth.

The tax code needs to be changed to encourage the growth of entrepreneurship and small business.

The article lists the second problem:

Problem 2: Our Tax Code Is Too Complex

When it started in 1913, the tax code was 400 pages long. By 2013 it was over 74,000 pages.

Americans spend 9 billion hours complying with the tax code every year, which costs them over $400 billion in lost economic productivity every year. It’s critical that we don’t just cut the tax rate, but that we work to simplify it as well.

More and more tax professionals are specializing in a small segment of the tax code, such as estate tax or small business taxes or companies with large assets that depreciate.

Four hundred pages was too long, seventy-four thousand is ridiculous.

Problem number three:

Problem 3: Our Tax Code Is Full of Corporate Favoritism

Well-connected people and businesses routinely game the tax system, precisely because it’s designed that way. This leaves the majority of hard-working taxpayers at a disadvantage.

For example, Nevada agreed to give Elon Musk’s Tesla $1.3 billion in tax incentives in exchange for them building a lithium battery production plant in the state.

Timothy Carney points out that other producers of batteries were experimenting with other types of battery power, but when they found about the special interest subsidy given to lithium batteries, they abandoned their testing of those battery types and focused on producing lithium.

Not only are taxpayers having to foot the bill for nearly a quarter of this for-profit investment, but there are opportunity costs lost in what could have come out of further innovation that was halted because business owners wanted to take advantage of a tax break.

Thank God the people manufacturing buggy whips didn’t have a better lobbyists. Who knows what subsidies they would be getting!

It’s time for common sense to intervene. It is questionable whether or not Washington is capable of common sense, but if the current Congress intends to be re-elected, they need to do what needs to be done to correct the problems in our tax system. It is long past time for an overhaul and long past time for excuses.

What Does It Cost?

From a friend on Twitter:I know it’s hard to read, but you get the idea. A country without borders will not remain a country for long. It’s time to reform our immigration policies to allow people to come here to work. Illegal immigrants should not be entitled to welfare benefits. We simply cannot afford to support them. If Americans want to support illegal immigrants through private charities, that is their privilege, but taxpayer money should go to those who are here legally.

Exactly What Did The Stimulus Do?

The American Thinker posted an article today about what happened to the Middle Class under President Obama. Basically the value of the American dollar shrank and the Middle Class shrank.

The article reports:

A December 2015 study of the American middle class done by the Pew Research center found that for the first time in over forty years the middle class no longer includes the majority of Americans.  The plain fact is, after the largest so-called stimulus government spending program in world history, conducted by President Obama and his Democratic Party, both the number of persons in the middle class and the proportion of the population shrank.

The Pew Hispanic Center May 2016 Study found that at the end of President Obama’s second term, the middle class had been shrinking in the vast majority of metropolitan areas of the US.  The important of the metropolitan areas is that 1) 76% of all Americans live in metro areas, 2) metro areas are the areas where most jobs are located, and 3) illegal immigration is promoted in metro areas all across the nation.

While the shrinking middle class proves that government cannot raise the incomes of middle class persons in the US through stimulus spending, at the same time it shows that the increasing tax burden on the middle class eats away at their disposable income and their lack of spending hurts the local economies.

The article concludes:

The Tax Foundation also looked at the sources of state and local taxes and published a study in June 2017.  While property taxes remain the single greatest source of tax revenues, the idea that the property tax goes solely to fund public services such as police, water and sewer maintenance, street lighting, etc. is now a lie in many areas.   The Illinois Policy Institute audited all the cities of Illinois and found that in 10 of the cities including Chicago, all of the property taxes collected go only to pay public sector pensions.  This leaves a huge gap in the funding of local public services, which is why Chicago has the highest sales tax, some of the highest taxes on tobacco products, alcoholic beverages, etc.

OXFAM reported that during Obama’s terms, 95% of the wealth created went to the top 1% of the world’s wealthy.  This can be interpreted as proof that stimulus programs don’t work or, as I have argued, that the spending was never intended to stimulate the economy: only to bolster the equities values of public sector union pension plans, since they are the largest contributors to the Democratic Party’s national machine in all fifty states.  We are losing our incomes because we’ve been forced to subsidize Obama’s political party.   The debt, Fed balance sheet, and financial instability indicate there’s no end in sight. 

There are a number of conclusions we can draw from this. First of all, when workers in local municipalities formed unions, bad things happened. Unions donate to political candidates. Therefore people elected to municipal offices have an incentive to be nice to unions. How do you be nice to unions and also nice to taxpayers? When negotiating contracts, you provide benefits that will not immediately show up in the budget. You create unfunded liabilities such as permanent health care for retirees or wonderful pensions that employees don’t have to pay into.  Unfunded liabilities are the burden that is poised to sink many of our towns and cities in America.

In actuality, if the federal government had simply given every taxpaying American $40,000, the stimulus would have been cheaper and actually made a difference in the average American’s life. Instead, the President who claimed to represent the little people simply paid off the wealthy donors who paid to elect him.