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 HealthCare.gov.” 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 Healthcare.gov, 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 (rightwinggranny.com). 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, Heritage.org 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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There Are Some Really Good People In The World

Yesterday The Blaze posted an article about three students in New York who purchased a couch from the Salvation Army for their apartment. The couch was not particularly attractive, but it fit the space in their apartment.

As they were trying out the couch, they found a plastic envelope of money under one arm. At that point they began searching the couch.

The article reports what happened next:

After twenty minutes, the trio had uncovered $40,000 in cash. On one of those envelopes contained a woman’s name.

“We had a lot of moral discussions about the money,” Russo told the Rebellion. “We all agreed that we had to bring the money back to whoever it belonged to… it’s their money– we didn’t earn it. However, there were a lot of gray areas we had to consider.”

After each of the students spoke with their parents, they decided to attempt to reach the woman named on the envelope. Werkhoven’s mom found her number in a phone book and the group gave her a call. She answered.

“Oh, I left a lot of money in that couch,” the unidentified woman said.

The story continues:

“When we handed the money back to the woman, she told us that she felt like her husband was present in the room with us,” Guasti told the Rebellion.

The woman told the Rebellion that her husband gave her money each week before he passed away and she had hidden it inside the couch. However, when she had an operation on her back and was away for several months, her daughter sold the couch and replaced it with a full-size bed, following a doctor’s advice.

There are a few lessons to be learned from this story. The first is don’t sell your mother’s couch without asking. The second is that there are honest people in the world.

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Rewriting History For A Generation That Doesn’t Remember It

September 11, 2001 attacks in New York City: V...

September 11, 2001 attacks in New York City: View of the World Trade Center and the Statue of Liberty. (Image: US National Park Service ) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The attacks of September 11th in New York City, Washington, and Pennsylvania happened almost 13 years ago. There are many people in America under the age of 20 that have only vague memories of those attacks. We need to make sure we tell them the truth about the attacks. It would behoove us to realize that the people who initiated those attacks are still at war with us, even if we are no longer at war with them.

Well, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is hoping that as we remember those attacks in the museum that will open shortly at the site of the New York City attacks, we will forget what caused them.

CNS News posted an article today about the efforts of CAIR to urge organizers of the museum to edit a video presentation on al-Qaeda, to remove terms such as “Islamist extremism” and “jihadism.” That is the equivalent of removing the word Nazi from World War II history books about Germany.

The article reports:

CAIR said in a statement that the use in the video of terms like “Islamist extremism” and “jihadism” – and the “generalizing” way in which they are used – “conflate Islam and terrorism and carry the risk of misinforming museum visitors, particularly those unfamiliar with Islam.”

“After repeated requests to correct misrepresentations, the film ignorantly implies a religion, rather than a group of criminals, was to blame for the September 11 attacks,” said CAIR-NY board member Zead Ramadan. “Instead of unifying all Americans against evil-doers, this film continues to offensively cast suspicion on faith rather address the terrorist act.”

Note to CAIR: the people who hijacked the planes shouted, “allahu akbar.” That is not the shout of dedicated Methodists.

The hijackings of 911 were done in the  name of allah. The Koran encourages this sort of activity. Rewriting history does not change the facts, just as acting as if we are not at war with radical Islam does not change the fact that they are at war with us.

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A New Attack On Free Speech

Yesterday Godfather Politics posted a story about a new bill introduced in Congress by Massachusetts Senator Edward Markey (D) and New York Representative Hakeem Jeffries (D)  called the Hate Crime Reporting Act of 2014. For those of you that still believe that Congress names bills according to what they actually do, this bill should be a wake-up call.

The article quotes the beginning of the bill:

“To require the National Telecommunications and Information Administration to update a report on the role of telecommunications, including the Internet, in the commission of hate crimes.”

“The report required under subsection (a) shall— “

‘‘(1) analyze information on the use of telecommunications, including the Internet, broadcast  television and radio, cable television, public access television, commercial mobile services, and other electronic media, to advocate and encourage violent acts and the commission of crimes of hate, as de-scribed in the Hate Crime Statistics Act (28 U.S.C. 534 note);”

‘‘(2) include any recommendations, consistent with the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, that the NTIA determines are appropriate and necessary to address the use of telecommunications described in paragraph (1); and”

‘‘(3) update the previous report submitted under this section (as in effect before the date of enactment of the Hate Crime Reporting Act of 2014).’’

Please do not assume that I support hate speech, but there are a few problems with this bill. Who determines what is hate speech? If I quote the Bible on the subject of homosexuality, is that hate speech? If I say that Jesus Christ is Lord (under Sharia Law, that is considered slander because it implies that Mohammad is not god), is that hate speech? Is criticizing the government hate speech?

You can see where this would go if the law were passed. Anything that limits our freedom of speech is wrong. Period. There will always be those among us who will say things we consider hateful, but it is their right to say those things. We have the option of attempting to correct them or ignoring them–we do not have the option of silencing them.

This is another reason why your vote is important when voting for Congressional representatives. Please do not vote for anyone who supports the idea of limiting free speech in America. It is a major part of our foundation as a nation.,

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Fraud In The Census Bureau

John Crudele has been reporting on fraud in the Census Bureau for the past six months. His work has been posted at The New York Post website. His latest story deals with data on unemployment and inflation being falsified by a data collector named Julius Buckmon.

The article in the New York Post explains how this false data impacts the reports we hear on the news:

Because the Census Bureau’s surveys are scientific — meaning each answer, in the case of the jobless survey, carries the weight of about 5,000 households — Buckmon’s actions alone would have given inaccurate readings on the economic health of 500,000 families.

Buckmon alleged that he was told to fudge the data by higher-ups. There was no formal probe back then into what Buckmon was doing or what he was alleging, although a Census investigator — who is now under indictment for other crimes against the bureau — did question a few people.

A source told me from the start of my investigation last October that Buckmon’s actions weren’t isolated and that falsification continued in the Philadelphia office right through the 2012 presidential election, only stopping when I exposed the practice last fall.

This is not acceptable. Mr. Crudele also reports that some of the people who work for the Census Bureau are talking to the Office of Inspector General (OIG) and the House Oversight Committee about their allegations. The OIG, Oversight Committee and several others will be investigating the claims of these workers.

The story in the New York Post goes on to explain exactly how the fraud is taking place. Please follow the link to the article to learn more about how the numbers in the jobs report are being falsified.

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The Senate’s Latest Attempt At Muzzling The Press

Senate Bill S987 is sponsored by New York Senator Charles Schumer. It is called the “Free Flow of Information Act of 2013.” The name is totally misleading.

According to Thomas.gov:

Free Flow of Information Act of 2013 – (Sec. 2) Prohibits a federal entity (an entity or employee of the judicial or executive branch or an administrative agency of the federal government with the power to issue a subpoena or other compulsory process), in any proceeding or in connection with any issue arising under federal law, from compelling a covered journalist to disclose protected information, unless a U.S. judge in the jurisdiction where the compulsory process has been or would be issued determines, after providing notice and an opportunity for the journalist to be heard, that all reasonable alternative sources have been exhausted and that separate specified conditions have been met depending on whether the matter is a criminal investigation or prosecution. (Thus, establishes a qualified privilege for journalists to withhold confidential information unless a judge makes a determination to compel disclosure under conditions that apply differently in criminal and civil matters.) (the bold italics are mine)

DaTechGuy posted an interesting article on this today.

DaTechGuy reports:

As we watch the spectacle of the mainstream media decide which internal investigations are believable (White House investigations on Benghazi & the IRS scandal) and which are not (Chris Christie Bridge Scandal) the Senate Judiciary Committee is advancing a bill “The Free Flow of Information Act of 2013” (S.987) that supposedly enhances freedom of the press by providing journalists with a legal shield in order to keep them from being forced to testify concerning sources.

While the actions of this administration might suggest a need of such a law, there is a huge catch in this bill that’s getting little play.  In order to determine who gets this shield privilege the bill devotes seven pages to define who a “journalist” and who is not.

In other words, this bill codifies the government’s the power to decide who is a legitimate journalist and who is not,  in effect licensing journalists.

DaTechGuy reminds us of where we would be if the government had declared that Matt Drudge was not a ‘covered’ journalist (remember the blue dress?) or Woodward and Bernstein were not ‘covered’ journalists. The White House already controls the press. There is no need to make it official.

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Losing The Second Amendment

On Wednesday Guns.com posted a story detailing the latest chapter in Connecticut’s war on gun owners. A law was passed at the end of last year that required certain gun owners to register their weapons with the State of Connecticut by December 31, 2013. Many gun owners simply did not register their guns. Others sent their applications in late or their applications were delivered late. Those people recently received a letter from the state:

http://www.rightwinggranny.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/CT-Assualt-Weapon-Letter.jpg

The long and short of it it–if you missed the deadline, we will take your weapon away.

The article states:

According to the Journal Inquirer, 106 rifle owners and 108 ‘large capacity magazine’ owners in Connecticut were recently sent letters from the state police advising them that they had missed the deadline for registering their now-illicit firearms and accessories.

The state knew these individuals had these items because their registration applications were sent in, but postmarked too late to be processed.

This should be a wake-up call for anyone who doesn’t see gun registration as the beginning step of gun confiscation.

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An Interesting Solution To “Inequality”

Jonah Goldberg posted an article at Townhall.com today that offers an interesting solution to the ‘inequality’ President Obama and some of the political left seem to be focused on lately. Oddly enough, the solution does not include giving more money or power to Washington.

In referring to the culture of Alaska (many of Mr. Goldberg’s wife’s family members live in Alaska, so he has spent some time there), he notes:

In my experience, Alaska stands out in another way: social equality. When I started going there regularly, I was shocked to discover how casually different economic classes intermingle. Scanning the attendees of a party or patrons of a restaurant, it’s pretty much guesswork to figure out who’s a millionaire and who’s a mechanic. Nothing like that happens in places like Washington, New York or Los Angeles, where upper and lower classes get along little better than the Morlocks and Eloi did in H.G. Wells‘ “The Time Machine.” But it does happen in lots of places — liberal and conservative — outside the Amtrak Acela corridor.

Mr. Goldberg points out a very logical solution to ‘inequality’ in America:

For practical purposes, people don’t live in the United States of America. They live in their neighborhoods, towns and communities. Yes, these are American communities, but your neighbors live in your neighborhood, not seven states over. Your kids don’t go to “U.S. schools”; they go to the school down the road.

Yet most of our money goes to the government in Washington, and so does most of the power. Why not flip that around? Want to see the rich, poor and middle class interact more? Give them a reason to show up to a city council or school board meeting. Sure, money has power at the local level, too, but so do votes.

Moreover, when rich people get their way at the local level, people usually know who they are and why they are doing things. And you can bend their ear at the supermarket or at soccer practice.

But when all the decisions are made in Washington or New York, most Americans are simply out of the loop.

And they resent it.

Having lived in New England for many years, I attended many Town Meetings where budgets, roads, zoning, and community growth were discussed. It was a way to see politics on a local level, and it was a way to be involved in the politics of your town. The taxpayers voted on the budget; the taxpayers voted on the zoning; and the taxpayers got to see their elected city officials at work. The taxpayers also had a chance to talk to their elected officials after the meeting. I don’t know if a Town Meeting would work in a larger setting, but certainly if more Americans felt that they had some sort of power, they would attend some of the various committee meetings in their cities and towns. Involving taxpayers in their local governments would be a step forward. I think Mr. Goldberg is on to something.

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Silencing The Opposition Before 2014

I have written a number of articles about the IRS and the Justice Department targeting of conservative groups and their donors. It seems to be a way of life under the Obama Administration. (Use the search engine at the top of the page if you are curious to see who has been targeted and when.)  Evidently Governor Cuomo has decided to follow the example being set by the White House.

NewsMax is reporting today that James O’Keefe, founder of Project Veritas, a group based in New York has been served a subpoena by the Board of Labor asking for every single financial transaction over the last three years.

Mr. O’Keefe is considering relocating to New Jersey because of the harassment he has experienced in New York.

The article concludes:

O’Keefe said among the documents the New York State Department of Labor is demanding to see by next week are general ledgers, journals, caches, pay roll records, checks, stubs, and copies of Social Security returns.

“Like I said, I’m happy to comply with all this stuff, it’s not my first audit, I’ve been audited nonstop for the last three years but it gives us pause. We’ve got to take a step back and look at what’s happening to our country right now,” O’Keefe said.

“I’m a journalist, OK, and I’ve decided to maintain a small nonprofit. When you look at the corruption in the state of New York, when it comes to the pension funds have been robbed and the state university system, all the stuff that’s going on, I wasn’t going to look into these things but now I think I am.

“The American people need to know that they think this is just standard procedure, [but] it’s politically motivated and it’s got to stop.”

James O’Keefe has done a good job of uncovering corruption in our government from ACORN to voter fraud. Any state government that was interested in honest, transparent government should be glad to have his organization in the state. If he is being harassed and driven out of the state, there is probably something in the state that those leading the state do not want exposed. New York needs more of James O’Keefe and less of Andrew Cuomo.

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Things That Make Me Wonder

Ed Morrissey at Hot Air posted an article today about the indictment of Dinesh D’Souza, the producer of the documentary 2016: Obama’s America. Mr. D’Souza is being charged with allegedly pushing $20,000 in straw-man contributions into a Senate race in New York.

The US Attorney’s office in the Southern District of New York released a statement that included the following:

The Indictment is the result of a routine review by the FBI of campaign filings with the FEC by various candidates after the 2012 election for United States Senator in New York. Mr. Bharara praised the investigative work of the FBI.

This case is being prosecuted by the Office’s Public Corruption Unit. Assistant United States Attorneys Carrie H. Cohen and Rebecca Ricigliano are in charge of the prosecution.

The charges contained in the Indictment are merely accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

This indictment raises a lot of questions in my mind. I don’t know whether Mr. D’Souza is guilty or innocent, but I would love to know how many other people were investigated by this group. It is also ironic that Mr. D’Souza is being investigated when there was no investigation of the security on the website for donations to President Obama’s campaign when the website disabled the programming that would have disallowed foreign contributions.

This appears to be more thuggery from the Obama Administration, but we shall see what happens next.

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A Small Step Forward For Religious Freedom In America

No one has yet argued that Christians have the right to practice their faith in their churches, but ObamaCare has raised the question as to whether they are permitted to practice their faith outside their churches and even in the business world. Two of the major players in the legal fight to defend religious principles in regard to ObamaCare are Hobby Lobby and the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church has recently won a significant victory.

Ed Morrissey at Hot Air is reporting today that New York, US District Court Judge Brian Cogan ruled that the HHS mandate forces the Catholic Church and its associated organizations to curtail its religious expression, and enjoined HHS from enforcing it.

Ed Morrissey points out that the HHS mandate on birth control is not a legislative mandate and was never passed by Congress. This is a regulatory mandate.

The article reports the Judge’s statement:

Cogan ruled the plaintiffs “demonstrated that the mandate, despite accommodation, compels them to perform acts that are contrary to their religion. And there can be no doubt that the coercive pressure here is substantial.”

“They consider this to be an endorsement of such coverage; to them, the self-certification compels affirmation of a repugnant belief,” Cogan wrote. “It is not for this Court to say otherwise.”

The article looks at this decision in the light of the coming case regarding Hobby Lobby and how that will impact the implementation of ObamaCare on the whole. Please follow the link to read the article and see why this case matters.

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Soup Nazi????

For those of you who watched Seinfeld, you remember the character on the show called the “Soup Nazi” who epitomized what non-New Yorkers think of New Yorkers. As someone who went to school in New York City and spent a lot of time there, I loved the Seinfeld show. The show captured a lot of the ambiance of New York City–both good and bad.

Yesterday Marta H. Mossburg posted an article at the American Spectator comparing the behavior of the Obama Administration during the government shutdown to the Soup Nazi on Seinfeld.

The article reports:

Take the park rangers who last week locked under armed guard a group of senior citizens that included visitors from Japan, Australia, Canada and the U.S. inside Old Faithful Inn in Yellowstone National Park. Gordon Hodgson, the guide of the 41-person tour group, told the Livingston, Montana Enterprise that officials told him they could stay at the hotel but could not do anything.

…According to a report in USA Today, the Parks Service is now allowing veterans to visit memorials, but “non-veterans not practicing free speech are still barred from the memorials and mall.”

Who gets to decide who is practicing free speech or not? Are there “essential” federal employees assigned to the task?

What American law allows this?

The article concludes:

The ironic thing is that being mean is not helping the administration politically. Republicans are taking the most blame for the government shutdown according to polls, but President Barack Obama’s approval rating is only 37 percent, hardly a PR victory for him.

Ultimately the only thing he is proving through his nasty tactics is that he governs like the “Soup Nazi” of “Seinfeld” dispenses soup — arbitrarily and rudely. Shutdown or no shutdown, “No soup for you!” is not a way to run a country.

All of us need to remember the Soup Nazi the next time we vote.

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A Great Weekend Story

Yesterday Yahoo News posted a story that reminds us that compassion is still a part of our world. Inbar Chomsky of Rehovot, Israel, was on her way to Camp Simcha in Glen Spey, New York, a camp for children who suffer from cancer and other hematologic illnesses. As she was seated on the plane in Israel, preparing for the flight to New York, the flight attendants could not find her passport. After an extensive search, her passport was not found, she was taken off the plane and her mother was called to pick her up. The plane prepared for take off and headed for the runway.

As the plane approached the runway, someone located Inbar Chomsky’s passport. The plane turned around, picked up the child and headed for New York.

The article reports:

Although Yahoo! Shine could not reach an El Al spokesperson for comment, the airline sent a statement to the Times of Israel that read, “Planes rarely return to the gate after departing. The plane was on its way to the runway, when the passport was found on the plane. After consulting with El Al crew on the plane and El Al staff at the airport the decision was made and the plane returned to pick up Inbar. El Al was honored and proud to help Inbar’s dream to go to the camp in the USA come true. We wish Inbar full recovery and health.”

What a fantastic story!

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