The Experiment Of The States

America is made up of 50 different states. Each state is unique–politically, economically,  geographically, ethnically, etc. So if people could live anywhere they wanted to, where would they live? Actually, the age of the internet has made that somewhat possible–telecommuting has grown in recent years. So let’s look at where people live.

John Hinderaker at Power Line posted an article yesterday about a study of trends in population growth in states within America. The data for the study came from the IRS. The results were not really surprising.

The article reports the findings of the study:

To measure the states that are most attractive to Americans on the move, we developed an “attraction” ratio that measures the number of domestic in-migrants per 100 out-migrants. A state that has a rating of 100 would be perfectly balanced between those leaving and coming.

Overall, the biggest winner — both in absolute numbers and in our ranking — is Texas. In 2014 the Lone Star State posted a remarkable 156 attraction ratio, gaining 229,000 more migrants than it lost, roughly twice as many as went to No. 3 Florida, which clocked an impressive 126.7 attraction ratio.

Most of the top gainers of domestic migrants are low-tax, low-regulation states, including No. 2 South Carolina, with an attraction ratio of 127.3, as well as No. 5 North Dakota, and No. 7 Nevada.

…Overall, many of the most affluent states are the ones hemorrhaging high-income earners the most rapidly. As in overall migration, New York sets the standard, with the highest outmigration of high income earners (defined as annual income over $200,000) relative to in-migrants (attraction ratio: 53). New York is followed closely by Illinois, the District of Columbia and New Jersey, which are all losing the over-$200,000-a-year crowd at a faster pace than California.

The big winners in terms of affluent migration tend to be historically poorer states, mainly in the Sun Belt and the Intermountain West. Florida has an attraction ratio for people earning over $200,000 a year of 223, the highest in the nation, followed by South Carolina, Montana, Idaho and North Carolina.

Given the opportunity, Americans move to states with lower taxes and less regulation over their businesses and daily lives. Now if we could only teach them to vote that way in national elections…


Is This Even Legal?

Lady Liberty 1885 posted an article today about some campaign donations accepted by North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper.

The article reports:

A review of Roy Cooper’s second quarter campaign finance filings with the NC Board of Elections reveals that a donation has come from one of the parties involved in suing North Carolina over House Bill 2 (HB2).

On May 2nd, 2016 Rachel Tiven was made the CEO of Lambda Legal, which is involved on multiple legal fronts involving HB2. In fact, Lambda Legal is involved in the HB2 related lawsuit, Carcaño v. McCrory.  Read  full complaint.

On May 4th, 2016, Tiven, who lists her address in NYC, donated the maximum amount of $5,100 to Roy Cooper’s campaign.

According to the 2nd quarter filings for the Cooper campaign, Tiven listed her occupation as “Attorney” with “Immigrant Justice Corps.” and not that of CEO of  Lambda Legal. According to Immigrant Justice Corps’ 2014 press release, Tiven was named as their new Executive Director.

In March of 2016, North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper announced that he would not support HB2. I am sure that the fact that he will not defend HB2 has nothing to do with the fact that he has taken large campaign contributions form those organizations attacking HB2. Yeah, right.

The article further reports:

Cooper’s second quarter totals showed that $821,931 came from outside the state of North Carolina.

The top out of state donations were made by 277 donors in New York which totaled $276,930. California came in second with 231 donations to the tune of $92,073. Washington D.C. rounded out the top three, with 136 donations totaling $58,681.

These three states represent more than half of all of the out of state donations made in the second quarter.

Other NY Donations of note include:

04-07-16 George Soros $5,100
04-07-16 Alexander Soros $5,100
04-26-16 William E. Little Jr., $1,000
05-18-15 Lorne Michaels $1,000
05-18-16 George Little, $1,000
06-24-16 William E. Little Jr., $2,000

I am not in favor of limiting campaign donations in any way. However, I am very much in favor of letting the voters know where their candidates money is coming from. Roy Cooper’s list of out of state donors tells us all we need to know about who the man is working for.

American Educators Have Totally Lost Their Minds

On Tuesday, The Washington Post posted an article about a school in New York that cancelled its annual year-end kindergarten show.

This is a screenshot of the letter sent to parents followed by the text of the letter:

KindergartenShowApril 25, 2014

Dear Kindergarten Parents and Guardians,

We hope this letter serves to help you better understand how the demands of the 21st century are changing schools, and, more specifically, to clarify, misperceptions about the Kindergarten show. It is most important to keep in mind is [sic] that this issue is not unique to Elwood. Although the movement toward more rigorous learning standards has been in the national news for more than a decade, the changing face of education is beginning to feel unsettling for some people. What and how we teach is changing to meet the demands of a changing world.

The reason for eliminating the Kindergarten show is simple. We are responsible for preparing children for college and career with valuable lifelong skills and know that we can best do that by having them become strong readers, writers, coworkers and problem solvers. Please do not fault us for making professional decisions that we know will never be able to please everyone. But know that we are making these decisions with the interests of all children in mind.


Ellen Best-Laimit

Angela Casano

Keri Colmone

Stefanie Gallagher

Martha DeMartini

The elementary school my children attended did a lot of plays. The plays were a chance for children to work on their memorization skills, their singing skills (if they had them) and to learn about different things. There were plays about outer space, Mary Poppins, and Alice in Wonderland. Those plays were part of their learning experience. It is a shame these teachers have decided that participating in the arts is not valuable for children–it is.

The First Amendment Is In Danger

The First Amendment protects the right of free speech. It reads:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Evidently some of our state attorneys general are not aware of this law.

On Friday, The Blaze reported:

It only took a week before the warnings from free speech advocates to come to fruition about the 17 state attorneys general launching investigations into climate change skeptics, as the probe has expanded beyond an energy company to a think tank.

The Competitive Enterprise Institute, a free market think tank in Washington, moved to quash a subpoena from the U.S. Virgin Islands Attorney General Claude Walker.

The Virgin Islands subpoenaed 10 years worth of communications, emails, statements, drafts, and other documents regarding CEI’s research on climate change and energy policy. This included private donor information. The demand is for information from 1997 to 2007.

“CEI will vigorously fight to quash this subpoena,” CEI General Counsel Sam Kazman said in a statement. “It is an affront to our First Amendment rights of free speech and association for Attorney General Walker to bring such intimidating demands against a nonprofit group.”

The subpoena itself is part of several states’ investigations into whether Exxon-Mobil violated any laws in showing skepticism about climate change. Several other states, led by New York state Attorney General Erich Schneiderman, are using the racketeering statutes – commonly used to go after organized crime – to investigate companies government officials say might have misled the public about global warming.

States are investigating whether Exxon-Mobil violated laws by showing skepticism about climate change. What? Showing skepticism about something is now a crime?

On Monday, The Daily Signal reported:

Speaking at a press conference on March 29, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said, “The bottom line is simple: Climate change is real.” He went on to say that if companies are committing fraud by “lying” about the dangers of climate change, they will “pursue them to the fullest extent of the law.”

The coalition of 17 inquisitors are calling themselves “AGs United for Clean Power.” The coalition consists of 15 state attorneys general (California, Connecticut, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington State), as well as the attorneys general of the District of Columbia and the Virgin Islands. Sixteen of the seventeen members are Democrats, while the attorney general for the Virgin Islands, Claude Walker, is an independent.

The inquisitors are threatening legal action and huge fines against anyone who declines to believe in an unproven scientific theory.

In the Middle Ages, I believe that those who stated that the earth was round were treated the way that climate change skeptics are being treated by these attorneys general.

The Daily Signal further reports:

The officials on hand during the announcement talked only about targeting large companies. But Anthony Sadar, a certified consulting meteorologist and author of “In Global Warming We Trust: Too Big to Fail,” fears it could expand to individuals.

“RICO, to my knowledge, is meant to target organized crime, drug traffickers and illegal gambling, not energy companies,” Sadar told TheBlaze. “If it can be used to make big industries cave, then they could go after others that view long-range global climate projections with some skepticism.”

Attorney and author Chris Horner, a senior fellow at CEI, agrees.

“It is clear that, with most opposition already chilled and most support for opponents already scared off, the itch this effort is trying to scratch is the desire to coerce a massive fund to underwrite the global warming industry,” Horner told TheBlaze.

“That explains the call for civil RICO. Still, if they manage to get an investigation rolling into political speech as racketeering, nothing inherently limits it from turning into a criminal pursuit; any state or federal department of justice official who joined in in such a scheme would have already abandoned any normal restraining impulses,” Horner said. “Similarly, there is nothing inherently limiting these investigations to corporations or groups.”

It is my fondest hope that the companies investigated will sue the state attorneys general involved in this into the next galaxy. This is a total affront to free speech. It also sounds very much like a totalitarian government bringing in the thought police. This is a total misuse of the RICO statutes. There needs to be a huge pushback against the states that are involved in this.

When watching this situation, we need to remember that climate change could very quickly become a billion dollar industry. To some extent it already has. Government subsidies finance alternative energy companies, and the United Nations wants to redistribute the wealth of prosperous countries in the name of past sins that may have impacted the climate. Oddly enough, the wealth would move from free countries to countries where the  money would go to tyrants leading the country and not to the poorer people who might actually need it.

For anyone new to reading this blog, one of the most informative sites on the internet for valid information on climate change is wattsupwiththat. I strongly recommend checking that site periodically to see the next stunt attempted by those who will profit greatly if they can convince the rest of us that we cause climate change.

The Laffer Curve Also Applies To Cigarette Taxes

Investor’s Business Daily posted an article today about the increased cigarette taxes in New York State.

The article reports:

The state of New York thought it would reap a bonanza after increasing taxes on cigarettes. But there was no bonanza. In fact, the tax take actually fell. New Yorkers, may we introduce Art Laffer?

Art Laffer is the creator of the Laffer Curve, seen below:

LafferCurveThe Laffer Curve illustrates the relationship between tax rates and revenue, showing that increasing tax rates will only increase revenue up to a point.

The article further reports:

The New York Post cites a National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine report that says the state’s losses are much bigger — some $1.3 billion in taxes aren’t collected each year, due to behavioral changes.

Of course, some of that loss might be considered favorable in that it represents people who simply quit rather than pay the higher levy. Indeed, estimates say that 19% of those who smoked have quit in the last decade.

Taxable sales, however, are down 54% in the same period. If the goal of the higher tax was just to get some smokers to quit, then mission accomplished. But if the goal was twofold — get smokers to quit and raise revenue — then it has failed.

But for many others who still smoke, the behavioral changes haven’t been as favorable. Some just pay up. But others simply buy black-market cigarettes, supplied mostly by organized crime. The Tax Foundation estimates that 58% of cigarettes in New York come from out of state. So roughly 6 in 10 cigarettes now are not taxed by New York.

The article also points out that the year after the tax increase imposed, a household earning less than $30,000 a year spent 23.6% on cigarettes, as opposed to 11.6% in 2004. A family earning over $60,000 a year, spent 2.2% on cigarettes. Seems a little uneven to me.

The article concludes:

So is it any surprise that the tax take is shrinking? No. This was in fact entirely foreseeable. But, of course, foreseeing it would have required New York voters and the politicians they put into office to actually learn something about economics.


This Is Ridiculoous

I realize that there is a small group of people in America who oppose the Second Amendment. Some of them understand it, but don’t understand the reasoning behind it, and some simply have no idea why it is there. Occasionally it is somewhat amusing to watch the gyrations of the people who oppose guns.Today Hot Air posted a really good example of people going over the edge on the subject.

The article reports:

Three dozen online retailers will no longer be able to sell realistic-looking toy guns, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced Tuesday.

Schneiderman reached a settlement with 30 online toy gun retailers who sell their products through The third-party retailers have sold over 5,000 imitation toy guns in New York, and they are illegal because they did not meet state safety standards, he said.

“When toy guns are mistaken for real guns, there can be tragic consequences,” Schneiderman said in a statement. “New York state law prohibits the sale of imitation weapons that closely resemble real guns.”

…We may not be able to put the actual criminals in jail at a reasonable rate, but by golly we’re going to stick it to those toy retailers. The 30 or so retailers are paying fines which total more than $27K. (That’s on top of his move back in August when he nailed Amazon, Kmart, Sears, Wal-Mart and ACTA for $300K, so if nothing else the state coffers are getting fatter.) If these scofflaws want to peddle their dangerous wares in the Empire State in the future they will have to be colored “white or bright red, orange, yellow, green, blue, pink or purple.”

I realize that occasionally mistakes are made, but I refuse to believe that toy guns are a major part of any gun problem. However, you notice that this new law will provide money for the state. The law serves two purposes–it pleases a certain political group and it provides money for the state. Unfortunately, it does nothing to deal with criminals with guns.

When Is A Hate Crime Not A Hate Crime?

Haaretz is reporting today that the New York City Police Department has identified the arsonist who has set fire to seven Bukharan Jewish homes in Forest Hills, a heavily Jewish neighborhood of Queens.

The article reports:

Police said the fires are not hate crimes, but were motivated by the arsonist’s opposition to new construction of Bukharan Jewish homes in Forest Hills, a heavily Jewish neighborhood of Queens.

…“If seven Jewish homes had been burned in France within a month, there would be much more of an uproar,” said Boris Yuabov, a doctor who has lived in the community for the past six years.

“We are scared,” he added. “These fires are started in the dead of night in a neighborhood with many children and elderly individuals. This is a life-threatening situation.”

This is what anti-Semitism looks like. If these houses had belonged to a different group of people, I wonder if it would have been considered a hate crime.

There Is A Problem In The United Nations

It is becoming very obvious that the world has a terrorism problem. The civil war in Syria and the rise of ISIS in the Middle East have caused a tremendous amount of instability in the region and around the world. The goal of both the Iranians and ISIS is the establishment of a world-wide caliphate to be ruled by Sharia Law. They are in total agreement on that—what they don’t agree on is whether the Shia or the Sunnis should run the caliphate. Iran and ISIS have a lot in common in the way they treat non-Muslims, gays, and anyone who stands in the way of their desire for this caliphate. Enter the United Nations, established after World War II to prevent any more wars.

CNS News posted an article today about the United Nations’ comments on the cause of the violence in the Middle East.

The article stated:

Amid a wave of jihadist terrorism in France, Sinai, Lebanon and Mali, members of the United Nations met on Monday to focus on “Palestine,” with several speakers accusing Israel of fueling the violence across the region.

“The continued Israeli occupation of Arab and Palestinian territory is the main challenge before the international community to achieve peace and stability in the region and the world,” said Arab League secretary-general Nabil al-Arabi, in a speech read out by his representative.

“This occupation represents the main cause for the spread of terrorism and extremist ideology in the region,” he said.

“Failure to find a just solution to the Palestinian cause – as the core issue in the Middle East – has started fueling conflicts in the region, threatening to affect international peace and security,” said Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Secretary-General Iyad Ameen Madani.

This statement is a result of what has happened to the United Nations in recent years. The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has become the major voting bloc in the United Nations. One of the goals of the OIC is to rid the Middle East of the State of Israel. In attempting to reach this goal, the OIC has been behind numerous votes in the United Nations citing Israel for civil rights violations, war crimes, and anything else they could invent. The average consumer of news has no idea who the people behind these charges are or what their goals are.

The article further reports:

“We cannot separate the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from this global threat,” he said.

Monday’s meeting in New York kicked off an annual intensive U.N. focus on the Israeli-Palestinian issue. This year’s U.N. “International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinia People,” Nov. 29, falls on a Sunday so was marked instead on Monday.

Later on Monday, the U.N. General Assembly began considering a raft of reports and draft resolutions related to two ongoing agenda items, “the question of Palestine” and “the situation in the Middle East.”

(At the U.N., the “situation in the Middle East” does not refer to the situation in the Middle East writ large – for example, to developments in Syria, Iraq, Yemen or Iran – but deals solely with Israel and its relations with the Palestinians and neighbors like Syria.)

It is long past time for America to get out of the United Nations and remove them from New York City. The United Nations is telling the U.S. government how many and which refugees to accept from the Middle East. The United Nations is also involved in attempted to undermine the Second Amendment rights of Americans. The United Nations is also attempting to impose a legal definition of free speech on its member countries that would put those countries in compliance with Sharia Law. Any altruistic goals that might have been there at the founding of the United Nations have long since been replaced by petty politics. It is time to end what might have been a good idea at the time, but has become a miserable failure.

The Economic Recovery Is Still Struggling

Market Watch is reporting today that New York area manufacturing conditions fell rapidly in August.

The article reports:

The Empire State general business conditions index nose-dived to a reading of negative 14.9, from positive 3.9 in July, marking the worst level since April 2009, the New York Fed said. The index, on a scale where any positive number indicates improving conditions, was far worse than the positive 4.5 forecast in a MarketWatch-compiled economist poll.

The article includes the following chart:


The only good news in this is that the decline may cause the Federal Reserve to delay interest increases for a while.

Unfortunately, This Didn’t Come From A Satire Site

As the debate on fracking continues, the discussion coming out of New York State has gotten ridiculous. I guess the political left is desperate to frame every issue as a ‘war on women‘ issue that can be used to help Hillary Clinton in her quest for the presidency.

The Washington Times posted an article yesterday about the debate on the impact of fracking.

The article reports:

A key figure behind New York’s statewide ban on hydraulic fracturing says that losing out on oil and gas jobs is no big deal because the industry only creates work for women as prostitutes and hotel maids.

In an April 6 lecture at the University of Pittsburgh, biologist Sandra Steingraber of New Yorkers Against Fracking described the fight over oil and natural gas development as a feminist issue.

“Fracking as an industry serves men. Ninety-five percent of the people employed in the gas fields are men. When we talk about jobs, we’re talking about jobs for men, and we need to say that,” Ms. Steingraber says in a video posted on YouTube by the industry-backed group Energy in Depth.

“The jobs for women are ‘hotel maid’ and ‘prostitute,’” she says. “So when fracking comes into a community, what we see is that women take a big hit, especially single women who have children who depend on rental housing.”

What about single women who get paid more because the economy in the area begins to grow and employers pay more because their profits increase? What about the fact that cheaper energy costs will help single women balance their budgets?

The article refutes the claim that women will not benefit from fracking:

Supporters of the industry swung back by citing a 2014 report from the American Petroleum Institute, which found that women filled 226,000 oil, gas and petrochemical industry jobs, or 19 percent of those jobs.

The article lists some of the arguments the opponents are making–even going so far as comparing fracking to rape. If this is the level to which the opponents of fracking have stooped, I wonder if they actually have any scientific evidence to back their concerns.
Please follow the link above to read the entire article. When you find out which groups support biologist Sandra Steingraber of New Yorkers Against Fracking, it is easy to understand why she is saying the things she is saying.

Some Perspective On Parallel Government

Yesterday Commentary Magazine posted an article entitled, “Clinton’s Parallel Government and Obama’s Great Miscalculation.” The article deals with some of the implications of the recent revelation regarding Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State using a private email account and her own private server. This is not normally the way government business is conducted.

The article points out:

Operating her own server would have afforded Clinton additional legal opportunities to block government or private subpoenas in criminal, administrative or civil cases because her lawyers could object in court before being forced to turn over any emails. And since the Secret Service was guarding Clinton’s home, an email server there would have been well protected from theft or a physical hacking.

But homebrew email servers are generally not as reliable, secure from hackers or protected from fires or floods as those in commercial data centers. Those professional facilities provide monitoring for viruses or hacking attempts, regulated temperatures, off-site backups, generators in case of power outages, fire-suppression systems and redundant communications lines.

There are a few interesting things here. How many investigations into the Benghazi attack failed to note the private email account? If the investigations missed that, what else did they miss? How many people in the Obama Administration received emails relating to government business from this private email account and failed to notice that it did not come from a government email account? Was this noted? Did anyone care?

The article concludes:

…Sometimes the Clintons’ parallel government works in Obama’s favor, such as Clinton’s Benghazi disaster. Her independent email server and private addresses enabled her to hide her correspondence on the attack, which also shielded the rest of the administration from that scrutiny. Obama is infamously secretive about his own records and his administration’s unprecedented lack of transparency was a good match for the Clintons.

But it also meant a certain degree of this went beyond his control. Hillary’s family foundation, which essentially became a super-PAC for foreign governments, was supposed to have donations vetted. They didn’t. They were supposed to have Bill Clinton’s paid events cleared. And they did–they were cleared by Hillary’s State Department. They weren’t supposed to accept foreign-government money while Hillary was secretary of state. They did.

Clintonworld operated as a distinct, independent entity for its own purposes while also running American foreign policy. The phrase “conflict of interest” does not even begin to approach the disturbing ethical calculations here. But it can’t be argued that Obama didn’t know what he was getting the country into. He just thought he could control it. He was wrong, and he was wrong to try. And we’re only beginning to see the consequences.

This could get interesting. There is, after all, no honor among thieves.



Politics vs. Reality

The Washington Times posted an article on Tuesday about President Obama’s summit on Tuesday aimed at countering ‘violent extremism.’

The article reports:

The summit is aimed at combating the root causes of terrorism, and President Obama and his top advisers are determined not to portray extremists as motivated by radical Islam. But some critics said the administration is partnering in its three-city pilot program a group called the Islamic Society of Boston and its political arm, the Muslim American Society, which have ties to individuals convicted of terrorist activities.

Charles Jacobs, president of the Boston-based Americans for Peace and Tolerance, said the ISB has connections to at least a dozen extremists who have either been killed, imprisoned, deported or sought as fugitives on terror-related charges, including the Tsarnaev brothers accused of the Boston Marathon bombings in 2013. The administration also has started pilot outreach programs to discourage terrorism recruitment in Los Angeles and Minneapolis.

“Most everybody [connected to the Boston mosque] has been and is moderate,” Mr. Jacobs said in an interview. “The problem is the leadership. The leadership of the Islamic Society of Boston is replete with people in the past and now who have connections to terror.”

One of the things to look at when evaluating a mosque in America is who paid for the mosque and who is funding it. Unfortunately, many of the seemingly innocent mosques in America are simply recruiting stations for jihad. A book entitled Muslim Mafia by P. David Gaubatz lists the Muslim American Society as a front group for the Muslim Brotherhood. That is the group the Obama Administration is planning on working with. That is a really bad idea.

Meanwhile, in the world of ‘violent extremism,’ America is at risk. Yesterday the Clarion Project website posted a story about a jihadist enclave in Texas.

The article reports:

The enclave belongs to the network of Muslims of the Americas, a radical group linked to a Pakistani militant group called Jamaat ul-Fuqra. Its members are devoted followers of Sheikh Mubarak Ali Gilani, an extremist cleric in Pakistan.

The organization says it has a network of 22 “villages” around the U.S., with Islamberg as its main headquarters in New York. Clarion Project obtained secret MOA footage showing female members receiving paramilitary training at Islamberg. It was featured on the Kelly File on FOX News Channel in October. A second MOA tape released by Clarion shows its spokesman declaring the U.S. to be a Muslim-majority country.

A 2007 FBI record states that MOA members have been involved in at least 10 murders, one disappearance, three firebombings, one attempted firebombing, two explosive bombings and one attempted bombing. It states:

“The documented propensity for violence by this organization supports the belief the leadership of the MOA extols membership to pursue a policy of jihad or holy war against individuals or groups it considers enemies of Islam, which includes the U.S. Government. Members of the MOA are encouraged to travel to Pakistan to receive religious and military/terrorist training from Sheikh Gilani.”

The document also says that, “The MOA is now an autonomous organization which possesses an infrastructure capable of planning and mounting terrorist campaigns overseas and within the U.S.”

It is time for the Obama Administration to get their head out of the sand and understand that it is their responsibility to protect Americans from terror. I don’t care what they call it or don’t call it, this enclave is a threat to Americans. Please follow the link above to read the entire article and see the history of this group. We can pay attention, or we can do 9/11 all over again. The responsibility belongs with the Obama Administration.

They Are Already Here

The Center for Security Policy posted an article today about six Bosnian immigrants who have been accused of sending money and equipment to Islamic State and Al-Qaeda fighters overseas. The indictment of the six was released Friday.

The article reports:

All six individuals’ names have been released; Mediha Medy Salkicevic from Chicago, 34, Ramiz Zijad Hodzic, 40, Sedina Unkic Hodzic, 35, Armin Harcevic, 37, all three from St. Louis, Nihad Rosic, 26, of Utica, New York, and Jasminka Ramic, 42, of Rockford Illinois. The indictment states that all knew where the funding was going and that all are Bosnian natives who either legally immigrated to the United States or had refugee status. Five of the six have been already arrested; Ramic has fled the country but the Justice Department has not yet disclosed her location. According to the indictment, Rosic tried to go to Syria to join Islamic State last July.

The suspects used social media such as Facebook to communicate and sent their funding online via PayPal and Western Union. In order to conceal their intentions from any investigation, coded terms were used such as “the beach” for Iraq and Syria as well as “brothers” for Islamic militants. The US Postal Service was used to ship the equipment purchased.

The article concludes:

These most recent arrests show continues to show that the Islamic State continues to possess a powerfully draw on potential supporters, and while this is traditionally understood through the lens of foreign fighters, law enforcement must remain on watch to break up logistic and funding cells such as the one in St. Louis.

If we are to remain safe as Americans, we need to be aware of the threats against us. Susan Rice recently stated that ISIS is not an existential threat to the United States. ISIS specifically may or may not be, but the splinter groups and people inspired by ISIS represent a real threat to America because those groups and people are already here. We accomplish nothing by burying our heads in the sand and ignoring the fact that there are people in America who are currently supporting those who want to end freedom in America.

Rewarding Incompetence At Taxpayer’s Expense

On Wednesday, Fox News reported that the government has awarded a $4.5 million IT contract for its new ObamaCare tax program to CGI, the company responsible for the ObamaCare internet roll out. This is an IRS contract to provide “critical functions” and “management support” for its Obamacare tax program. Really? Wasn’t there anyone else?

The article reports:

Prior to terminating CGI’s contract, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told Congress, “I am as frustrated and angry as anyone with the flawed launch of” She called the CGI-designed website a “debacle.”

A joint Senate Finance and Judiciary Committee staff report in June 2014 found that Turning Point Global Solutions, hired by HHS to review CGI’s performance on, reported they found 21,000 lines of defective software code inserted by CGI.

Scott Amey, the general counsel for the non-profit Project on Government Oversight, which reviews government contracting, examined the IRS contract with CGI.

“CGI was the poster child for government failure,” he told The Daily Caller. “I am shocked that the IRS has turned around and is using them for Obamacare IT work.”

Who in the world is making these decisions, and why?

The article reports:

Curiously, CGI features its online health work in Helsinki, London, Alberta, Saskatchewan and for the New York State of Mental Health, but says nothing about its ruined rollout of Obamacare web sites.

In Canada, CGI’s parent company, Montreal-based CGI Group, was just as deficient.

Ontario health officials fired CGI after it failed to deliver a flagship provincial online health registry.

About 7 million Obamacare policyholders and about 20 million Americans who don’t have healthcare coverage will depend this year on the proper IRS processing of their 2014 income tax returns.

Improper processing of health information could cause some Americans to receive smaller tax refunds, or even pay more out-of-pocket for their government-issued healthcare policies.

Welcome to a government run by the Keystone Kops.

The Law Of Unintended Consequences At Work

On Tuesday, the Daily Caller posted a story about Governor Andrew Cuomo‘s ban on hydraulic fracturing (fracking). The farmers the ban was supposed to protect are complaining about the ban.

The article reports:

“I’m devastated,” apple farmer David Johnson told The Guardian after Wednesday’s announcement that New York was banning fracking. “I have concerns about how to continue this farm that’s been in the family for 150 years.”

“If we had been able to get some gas drilling going it would have made our lives a little easier and taken a few of the stresses away,” echoed Judi Whittaker, who owns a dairy farm and hoped for gas royalties to help pay her high property taxes. “We’ll just have to rethink what we’re doing and move ahead. Agriculture has ups and downs all the time. You just have to go along for the ride.”

There is so far no scientific evidence that fracking harms the environment.

The article further explains:

Just across the border from Johnson’s farm, the economy is booming in rural Pennsylvania where the state allows oil companies to extract natural gas using fracking. Oil and gas activities support 300,000 jobs in the state and contributed $34 billion to Pennsylvania’s economy.

“I mean, I would say to New Yorkers, ‘Come to Pennsylvania and take advantage of these jobs that are available with this well-paying industry,’” Stephanie Catarino Wissman, head of the Pennsylvania branch of the American Petroleum Institute, told NPR.

We are crippling state economies for the sake of unproven science.


There Might Be A Bit Of A Double Standard Here

Charlie Rangel has served continuously in the House of Representatives since 1971. He has had a few challenges along the way. There was the question of using Congressional letterhead to raise money for the Charles B. Rangel Center for Public Service at City College of New York, the question of receiving unusually low rents on his four Harlem apartments, failure to pay taxes on income from his Dominican home, along with unreported assets and other challenges.

In March of 2010, Charlie Rangel temporarily stepped down from his chairmanship of the ethics committee because of the charges against him ( There was no talk of him leaving Congress, it was simply an embarrassment to the Democrats to have him as chairman of the ethics committee.

Now, fast forward four years. Roll Call is reporting today that House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi became the first member of leadership on either side of the aisle to call for Rep. Michael G. Grimm’s ouster from Congress. Michael Grimm has been charged with felony tax evasion. I guess Representative Grimm is simply not as good at making up excuses as Representative Rangel was.

I am not endorsing tax fraud, but even a quick glance at Representative Rangel’s tax history causes one to wonder why he is still on Congress. Representative Rangel only had to step down from his chairmanship of the ethics committee while he was under investigation. It seems to me that Representative Rangel and Representative Grimm should either both be asked to resign from Congress or they both should be allowed to stay. I really don’t think anything else makes any sense.

Why It Is Important To Know Your Rights

On Friday, the New York Post reported the story of Nancy Genovese, 58, who was arrested in Suffolk County New York in July 2009 and charged with criminal trespass. Ms. Genovese was taking pictures of a decorative helicopter in front of the Gabreski Airport Air National Guard base in Westhampton Beach for a “Support Our Troops” website.

When her car was searched, Southhampton police found a legally owned rifle she was taking home from a nearby shooting range.

The article reports what happened next:

She contends a deputy sheriff arrived on the scene later and said to her, “I bet you are one of those Tea Party people.” When Genovese said she’s gone to Tea Party rallies, he allegedly said, “You’re a real right-winger, aren’t you?” and “You are a ‘Teabagger’” and then added that she’d be arrested for terrorism to make an example of other “right wingers.”

“Ms. Genovese was subjected to a level of abuse because [authorities] did not share the same political views as she did and saw this as an excuse to deny her even the most basic civil rights,” her lawyer Frederick Brewington said.​​

Genovese said in a statement said she was “relieved” by the jury’s verdict. She added, “if this can happen to me, and officers can abuse their power like this, I can only imagine how other people who are not as fortunate as me have been treated.”

Ms. Genovese has been awarded ​$1.12 million​ by a federal jury over her false prosecution by Suffolk County authorities. It obviously pays to know your constitutional rights!

Facing A Real Problem In New York City

Recent mayors of New York City have been concerned with such things as decreasing the size of soft drinks, taking salt shakers off the table at restaurants, and taking the carriage rides out of Central Park. Generally they have been involved in trivial pursuit instead of dealing with some of the major problems the city has. Well, now they have a genuine problem to deal with.

The New York Times reported yesterday that Craig Spencer, a doctor in New York City who recently returned from treating Ebola patients in Guinea with Doctors Without Borders.

The article reports:

While officials have said they expected isolated cases of the disease to arrive in New York eventually, and had been preparing for this moment for months, the first case highlighted the challenges involved in containing the virus, especially in a crowded metropolis. Dr. Spencer, 33, had traveled on the A and L subway lines Wednesday night, visited a bowling alley in Williamsburg, and then took a taxi back to Manhattan.

If the Center for Disease Control is correct and the Ebola virus cannot be contracted from anyone until they start having symptoms, the virus may be contained at this point. Hopefully that is the case.

I hope that the mayor and public officials of New York City will give this situation the attention it deserves. It is frightening to think of the consequences of an Ebola epidemic in New York City.

A Serious Breach Of Military Etiquette

Today’s Daily Caller posted a picture of President Obama returning the salutes of the Marines on his U.S. Marine Corps helicopter in New York with a coffee cup. That is a serious breach of military etiquette.

The article reports on the picture shown:

“President Obama just landed in New York for #UNGA2014,” says the caption. The salute is “the most important of all military courtesies,” says a manual for Marine Corps officer candidates.

“In some situations, the salute is not appropriate,” says the manual. “In general, do not salute when… carrying articles with both hands or being otherwise so occupied as to make saluting impractical,” says the manual, titled “Customs and Courtesies.”

If the President had a better understanding of what it takes to become a Marine, maybe he would show them a little more respect. The picture in the article makes me want to send President Obama to Marine boot camp on Parris Island so that he would understand the character and quality of the men saluting him. He is a disgrace as the Commander-in-Chief.

This Might Be Part Of The Problem

This video is posted on YouTube:

Matthew 18:6 “But if you cause one of these little ones who trusts in me to fall into sin, it would be better for you to have a large millstone tied around your neck and be drowned in the depths of the sea.” New Living Translation    These children are being brainwashed and their innocence stolen from them. The UN stands silent.

There is a video on Facebook that I could not successfully embed called “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” that shows how Hamas is training children to kill and using them as human shields. It is time for the United Nations to say something or to hang their head in shame. A civilized world would declare this as child abuse and demand an end to it. It is time to disband the United Nations and kick it out of New York.

Have You Seen Penelope?

This article is posted as a public service to the people of Park Slope in Brooklyn, New York. The New York Post reported the following today:

A hairy Mexican red rump tarantula named Penelope is on the loose in Park Slope, and her owner is frantically trying to find her before she pops out her tiny, creepy spawn.

“I know she looks crazy scary but she’s mostly harmless,” the owner says on a missing-pet sign, which includes a photo, posted in South Slope.

“She’s pregnant, so I’m hoping to find her before she has her babies. She’s mostly active at night and she tends to hide in dark corners,” it notes.

“She shouldn’t bite but sometimes she jumps,” it adds.

It has never occurred to me to be concerned about my neighbors’ choice of pets, but maybe it is something I should consider.

This is Penelope’s missing poster:

It would probably be a really good idea to call the owner quickly if you spot this animal.

Irony At Its Best

On July 1, the U.K. Telegraph posted the story of Hessy Taft, the baby the Nazis used in their propaganda to epitomize the perfect Aryan child. What the Nazis did not know was that Hessy was Jewish. Ms. Taft is now Professor Taft and teaches chemistry in New York.

The article explains what happened:

In 1935, with the city rife with anti-semitic attacks, Pauline Levinsons took her six-month-old daughter Hessy to a well-known Berlin photographer to have her baby photograph taken.

A few months later, she was horrified to find her daughter’s picture on the front cover of Sonne ins Hause, a major Nazi family magazine.

Terrified the family would be exposed as Jews, she rushed to the photographer, Hans Ballin. He told her he knew the family was Jewish, and had deliberately submitted the photograph to a contest to find the most beautiful Aryan baby.

“I wanted to make the Nazis ridiculous,” the photographer told her.

He succeeded: the picture won the contest, and was believed to have been chosen personally by the Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels.

…Her photograph appeared on widely available Nazi postcards, where she was recognised by an aunt in distant Memel, now part of Lithuania. But the Nazis never discovered Prof Taft’s true identity.

Mrs. Taft recently submitted her photograph to Yad Vashem.

Some Good News To Begin The Weekend

I realize that this story may not interest everyone, but I love it.

This is a picture of Falk’s Market in Plainville, MA.

During the 1980’s, it was a place where the children in the town bought penny candy from Mr. Falk. It was the preferred destination of young children on bicycles.

Over the years, Falk’s Market began to deteriorate. By the turn of the century, it was becoming an eyesore. Everyone in the town had fond memories of Falk’s Market, but no one seemed to have the knowledge or the money to know what to do with it.

In 2013 it was torn down by its new owner–‘Wimpy Kid’ author, Jerry Kinney. Mr. Kinney had hoped to restore the building, but the foundation was beyond repair. The new building is currently under construction.

This is a picture of the new building:

It is wonderful to see the new building going up, but there is something even more wonderful in store for Plainville.

The Sun Chronicle reported today that Mr. Kinney intends to use the lower level of the building to open a bookstore.

The Sun Chronicle reports:

They have said they want the new Falk’s Market to be a gathering place for the community and have set aside space in it for public meetings.

“When Julie and I bought the building we wanted to make sure it served to bring the community together,” Kinney said.

“An independent bookstore that sells gifts seemed like the perfect fit. With the function space we’ll have on the second floor, it’s our hope that we can create events for the community that are enriching and fun.”

Although rumors have been floating for months that the new building would house a bookstore, Kinney did not confirm it until he made a presentation at a conference in New York.

He provided more details to The Sun Chronicle this afternoon.

“We think that a bookstore will capture the spirit of what made Falk’s Market special and give people who live in Plainville and the surrounding towns a chance to come together,” he said.

Thank you, Jeff Kinney. You are definitely an asset to the community.

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Stopping The Truth From Leaking Out

On Thursday, posted an article about news coverage of the coming Benghazi hearings. Recently emails obtained by Judicial Watch through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) have shown that previous investigations have not had access to the information they needed to investigate the attack at Benghazi.

The article at Heritage reports:

At a dinner with journalists in New York earlier this week, CNN’s president indicated the TV network wouldn’t cover the Benghazi committee unless it was “of real news value.”

“We’re not going to be shamed into it by others who have political beliefs that want to try to have temper tantrums to shame other news organizations into covering something,” CNN’s Jeff Zucker said in response to a question about the Benghazi probe. “If it’s of real news value, we’ll cover it.”

At the dinner, Zucker defended CNN’s non-stop coverage of the missing Malaysia Airlines jet. He also suggested climate change was “one of those stories that deserves more attention.”

I think Mr. Zucker’s statement is one reason CNN is rapidly losing viewers. I’m sorry Mr. Zucker feels that covering the Benghazi hearings is not something he needs to do–the hearings themselves have news value–Americans want to know what happened that night and why we did not come to the aid of those under attack.

The article also reminds us that the Democrats debated whether or not they wanted to be included in an investigation of Benghazi, even after more emails that had been kept from other investigations surfaced. The Democrats really did not seem to want to find out what happened or why emails and other information had been withheld from the investigating committees for so long.

This entire investigation could have ended a year ago if the Obama Administration had simply provided Congress with the information they requested. That would have been so much easier.

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