This Is Long Overdue

Yesterday Fox News reported that President Trump has awarded the posthumous Presidential Citizens Medal to Rick Rescorla. Rick Rescorla was one of the heroes of September 11, 2001. This medal is long overdue.

The article reports:

The U.K.- born Rescorla worked as the director of security for Morgan Stanley, which had its headquarters in the South Tower of the World Trade Center. Following the 1993 bomb attack on the Trade Center, Rescorla designed and implemented evacuation drills to prepare employees for another attack.

Rescorla was born in Cornwall and served in the British army in Cyprus. He also worked as a policeman in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) before coming to America at the age of 24. He enlisted in the Army and fought in Vietnam before leaving active duty in 1967. He then studied at the University of Oklahoma, earning a bachelor’s degree in creative writing and a master’s degree in English. He also earned a law degree from Oklahoma City University and taught at the University of South Carolina. He retired from the Army in 1990.

The article continues:

After the first plane hit the towers on 9/11, Rescorla ordered Morgan Stanley employees to get out of the South Tower and ignore building announcements telling people to stay at their desks. As he directed workers in the stairwells, Rescorla went right on singing his hymns. One of Rescorla’s last phone calls was to his close friend, Dan Hill, who he had known since his days in Rhodesia. Rescorla told Hill to get to New York to help with the aftermath of the attack.

The article concludes:

Rescorla was last seen climbing up the stairs on the 10th floor of the South Tower. He is credited with saving nearly 2,700 people that day. He was 62 when he died.

Rescorla’s wife Susan, who has spent the last 18 years preserving her late husband’s memory, accepted the honor from Trump.

“Of all the accolades… and all the people along the journey who have touched my life, each is so memorable because I was able to learn more about this incredible man than I had during our short time while he was here on earth,” she said. Susan and Rick had been married for fewer than three years at the time of his death.

In his remarks, the president recalled Rescorla’s last words to his wife, spoken in a phone call from the South Tower: “I’ve never felt better in my life. I love you so.”

For more of Rick Rescorla’s story, see the article posted here on September 10, 2008.

This Really Isn’t News To Anyone Who Has Been Paying Attention

The New York Post posted an article today about some recent comments by forensic pathologist Dr. Michael Baden, New York City’s former chief medical examiner, about the death of Jeffrey Epstein.

The article reports:

“I think that the evidence points toward homicide rather than suicide,” Baden insisted on Fox News Wednesday.

“The brother (Mark Epstein) is concerned that if [Epstein] was murdered, then other people who have information might be at risk,” Baden insisted, suggesting powerful players may have been involved in the death.

“If they think he has information, his life could be in jeopardy.”

Baden said there were signs of “unusual” activity “from day one” of the autopsy, saying the wounds were “more consistent with ligature homicidal strangulation.”

The article also notes some rather strange circumstances surrounding the death of Jeffrey Epstein:

Baden noted two fractures on either side of Epstein’s larynx, and one on the hyoid bone, above the moneyman’s Adam’s apple.

“Hanging does not cause these broken bones and homicide does,” he insisted on Fox. “A huge amount of pressure was applied.”

Baden also called for federal prosecutors to release the findings from DNA samples.

 “They took fingernail clippings to see if there’s anybody else’s DNA on it and that hasn’t been released, neither has information about whose DNA is on the ligature out of torn strips of orange sheets,” he said.

“Whoever made it has to have a lot of DNA on it and the brother has been asking for that from day one.”

He also questioned the supposed “total breakdown in security,” with the “extremely unlikely” coincidences of two guards falling asleep while video cameras in Epstein’s cell and hallway were also not working.

I suspect this is not the last we will hear about this. Hopefully the truth will be revealed eventually.

What Happens Next?

One America News is reporting today that the State Department has concluded its investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private server. A Friday report claimed there are nearly 600 security incidents that violated agency policies.

The article reports:

38 individuals were found to be culpable for 91 security violations and will soon face disciplinary action. Another 497 violations occurred without attribution to the individuals responsible.

The investigation was looking into whether Clinton’s use of a private server failed to properly safeguard classified information. Clinton submitted over 30,000 emails for review after the State Department found top secret content in a handful of her correspondences.

Back in 2016, former FBI Director James Comey called the conduct “extremely careless,” but fell short of recommending charges against the former presidential candidate.

The article concludes:

In the latest probe, investigators determined Clinton’s conduct represented an increased degree of risk to the State Department. However, they emphasized there was “no persuasive evidence of systemic, deliberate mishandling of classified information.”

I disagree. Setting up a private server was a “systemic, deliberate mishandling of classified information.” We know from previous reports that the server was hacked and that at least one foreign intelligence agency received everything that traveled through the server in real time. People lost their lives because of what was on that private server. If equal justice under the law still applies in America, Hillary Clinton belongs in jail. Actually, I would not like to see that happen, but I would like her charged (then pardoned) so that she and the American people realize the seriousness of what she did.

When People Espousing Gun Control Know Nothing About The Subject

The Washington Free Beacon posted an article today about some recent statements by Representative Sheila Jackson Lee, a Democrat congresswoman from Texas.

The article reports:

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D., Texas) claimed to have held an AR-15 and immediately regretted it, saying it weighed as much as “10 boxes that you might be moving.”

Speaking to reporters last week, she added that AR-15s use a “.50 caliber” bullet that ought to be licensed.

“I’ve held an AR-15 in my hand,” she said. “I wish I hadn’t. It is as heavy as 10 boxes that you might be moving. And the bullet that is utilized, a .50 caliber, these kinds of bullets need to be licensed and do not need to be on the streets.”

Being a skeptical person and not wanting to mislead readers of this blog, I weighed an AR-15 with a thirty-round magazine. It weighed less than my cat–about 10 pounds. (One of my cats is part Maine Coon and weighs about fifteen pounds. Note: It is definitely appropriate that someone writing a blog called rightwinggranny would have multiple cats!)  I would hate to be the moving company in charge of moving Representative Lee if each moving box only contains one pound’s worth of goods.

The article concludes:

The Washington Free Beacon made a SuperCut in 2018 of gun control advocates bungling facts about firearms, and it included many Democratic elected officials.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D., Calif.) remarked it was legal to “hunt humans” with high-capacity magazines, former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg had to be corrected on the difference between automatic and semi-automatic weapons, and Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D., Fla.) warned about “rapid-fire magazines.”

Why do Democrat lawmakers want to take our guns away? Why do they want to take our guns away while they continue to have armed security guards? Is it okay for them to defend themselves but not okay for the average American citizen to be able to defend themselves? Why are lawmakers reluctant to put armed retired military in schools to defend the children, instead leaving schools on the list of ‘soft targets’ for mass shootings? Are lawmakers aware that the Aurora movie theater shooter chose that theater because it did not allow its patrons to exercise their concealed carry right? These are the questions that should be asked of our lawmakers.

Painting A Picture That Is Totally False

Sara Carter posted an article today about the media’s misreporting on the recent destruction of buildings in Israel. The media has totally misrepresented the events.

The article explains a few facts the media ignored:

– The land on which the buildings stood is not under the jurisdiction of the Palestinian Authority, but, as explicitly provided by the Oslo Accords, under the jurisdiction, for security purposes, of the Government of Israel
– Instead it was included inside Israel’s security barrier at the request of the very Arabs who are now complaining;
– The Arab complainants had the benefit of years of due process, which they flaunted by continuously disobeying orders of the Israeli courts that required both the Army and the Arabs to maintain the status quo until the courts could assess the legal merits of the Arabs’ claims;
– The Arabs chose to build right up against Israel’s security barrier even though they had clear notice that such construction was illegal because it impeded the Israeli army’s ability to defend Israel’s citizenry from Arab terrorist attacks.
The fact that these realities are completely ignored by all of the outraged international “authorities” is a disgrace.

The article continues:

Israel follows the rule of law. Seven years ago it passed a law which, for security reasons, prohibits the building of a structure within 250 meters (820 feet) of the Security Barrier

The Barrier was built starting in the early 2000s after the second Palestinian Arab Intifada (“Uprising”). Hundreds of suicide bombings and other terrorist attacks murdered and maimed more thousands of Israeli civilians during that Uprising. Those acts of terrorism were committed by Arabs sneaking into Israeli cities and towns and blowing up buses, cafes, pizzerias, and ice cream stands. Once Israel commenced building and patrolling the Barrier, terrorism dropped dramatically, ultimately leading to a 90 percent decrease in terrorism within Israel.

Please follow the link to read the entire article. It clearly illustrates the bias in the media concerning Israel. Israel lives in a bad neighborhood. The actions it has taken in preventing construction in certain areas and building walls have allowed the country to survive in that neighborhood.

Foreign Policy Wisdom

The Center For Security Policy posted the following Secure Freedom Minute on July 26:

In recent days, fast-boats of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps have seized oil tankers in the Strait of Hormuz.  This action has followed a series of other direct and indirect Iranian provocations, including attacks on shipping, Saudi oil infrastructure and U.S. assets in Iraq.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, a pair of Chinese long-range bombers joined two of their Russian counterparts and one of the Kremlin’s command-and-control aircraft in conducting a deliberate provocation in the airspace over islands claimed by South Korea and Japan. An extraordinary three hundred warning shots were fired in two separate instances before the intruders departed the area.

Make no mistake: These are probing actions designed to test the readiness and resolve of the United States and its allies. As with any bully, a failure to demonstrate both will result in more aggression worldwide.

This is a lesson we should have learned a long time ago.

Why Do We Need A Secure Border?

There are a number of different reasons we need to secure out borders–north, south, east, and west.

The researchers at The Heritage Foundation list a few basic facts about our current border situtation:

  • Over the past two years, roughly 235,000 illegal immigrants were arrested—including roughly 100,000 for assault, 30,000 for sex crimes, and 4,000 for homicides.
  • 300 Americans die of heroin overdoses a week, and 90 percent of that heroin is smuggled through our southern border.
  • Loopholes in our immigration law coupled with our porous border encourages parents to send their children on a dangerous journey to the U.S., often at the hands of threatening human traffickers. 68 percent of migrants are victims of violence along the journey. One in three migrant women are sexually assaulted on the dangerous trek to the border.
  • Securing the border is the first step. We also need rational reforms such as a skills-based migration system and an end to chain migration.

So what is the solution? Below are some of the items President Trump has asked Congress to fund:

  • $5.7 billion for construction of approximately 234 miles of steel barrier along the Southern Border
  • $675 million to deter and detect dangerous materials crossing our borders like narcotics and weapons
  • $563 million that would provide for 75 additional immigration judges and support staff who are necessary to reduce the backlog of immigration cases that are sitting right now at the border
  • $211 million for 750 additional border patrol agents, who DHS officials have deemed paramount to this fight
  • $571 million for additional ICE personnel
  • $4.2 billion for detention center materials and personnel

As a first step to combat this crisis, Congress must pass a spending bill that provides the funding that the President has requested. In addition to obtaining increased border security funding today, we must continue to push for real reforms to our legal immigration system. Necessary reforms include ending chain migration, adopting a skills-based immigration system, and closing loopholes in the asylum claim process.

Securing the border should not be a political issue. It is an issue that impacts all Americans–lower wages for low-skilled workers, drugs smuggled in that have killed countless Americans, increased crime, and an unsustainable burden on those government programs designed to create a safety net for Americans in need. It’s time to seal the border and take care of the needs of Americans among us who are homeless or living in poverty,

I Would Love To Know The Story Behind This

Yesterday The Gateway Pundit reported that Hillary Clinton will no longer be the keynote speaker at the #FireEyeSummit Cyber Security Conference in October.

The article reports:

Of course, Hillary Clinton was probably the most careless politician in history with US classified documents. 

“Cyber security is not any one defender’s responsibility, but a global effort – a cause championed by many for the good of all. By coming together as a community to innovate, build strategies and share knowledge on today’s threats and tomorrow’s risks, we empower ourselves as defenders with the collective wisdom to protect our way of life and the technologies that have become central to it,” FireEye asserts on its website.

Earlier this week conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch announced that John Hackett, the former Director for Information Programs and Services at the State Department, testified under oath that he voiced concern over how Hillary Clinton’s staff had “culled out 30,000” of her ‘personal’ emails

Hackett’s testimony suggests that Hillary Clinton’s Benghazi emails were actually under-classified in order to shield Hillary and to mislead Congress and the public.

On Thursday FireEye announced that Hillary would no longer be their keynote speaker.

Have the Clintons lost their clout?

Progress?

Yesterday Hot Air reported that Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has agreed to pass the Senate border funding bill after the House bill was defeated in the Senate. The bill has now passed the House by a vote of 305-102. Some Democrats want to be re-elected in 2020.

The article reports:

“Behind the scenes,” noted CNN, “moderates were encouraging members of the Blue Dog and Problem Solvers caucuses to vote against a procedural vote that governed floor debate and force Pelosi to pass the bipartisan Senate bill, as the White House and Hill Republicans have been demanding.” Per Politico, 18 centrist Dems were prepared to tank her revised bill on the floor if she didn’t hurry up and pass the Senate bill instead. The reason Democrats hold the House majority right now is because a bunch of centrists knocked off a bunch of Republican incumbents last year in purple districts. Those centrists are frightened of perceptions back home that Democrats don’t want to do much of anything to ease the crisis at the border except complain about how immigrants are being treated, and they know how potent Trump’s messaging on this topic can be. In the end, if Pelosi wants to keep her majority, those members need to be protected even if it makes AOC cry. So Pelosi made a hard choice: Hand the centrists a win, even at the price of being steamrolled by Mitch McConnell, even knowing how lefties will caterwaul, and get immigration off the table for now.

That choice was made slightly easier for her by the fact that McConnell’s Senate bill wasn’t a party-line matter.

The Senate border bill passed the Senate by a vote of 84-8. It has bipartisan support.

According to UPI:

The Senate passed the bill Wednesday, setting aside nearly $3 billion in humanitarian aid and increasing security measures at the border. The Democratic-controlled House passed its version of the bill earlier this week with a stronger focus on protecting migrant children.

At some point we need to understand that the more liberal Democrats are not interested in increasing security  measures at the border.

It’s Not Just About Immigrants

On Saturday, The Gateway Pundit posted an article about the “We Build the Wall” organization led by founder and organizer Brian Kolfage. They are building their first major border wall section on the West Texas-New Mexico border.

The article reports:

In the first video “Foreman Mike” discussed the latest progress on the Sunland Park project. “We Build the Wall” is closing up on their first half mile of wall. They project is approximately 2,300 feet and they have 350 more feet to go to finish the project.

The construction team has used over 600 concrete trucks so far. They are also pouring concrete for a 25 foot speedway behind the all for Border Patrol agents.

Border Patrol officials say the current project when complete will cut off 19 different foot trails on Mount Cristo Rey on the border. The cartels are bringing $100,000 to $200,000 in drugs each day through the open border in this area.

Mike added this on the effectiveness of the current project, “When I got here 17 days ago there were 450 people a night crossing.  When equipment started arriving it went to 300.   When manpower started working we went down to 200.  When we started placing the bollards it went from 70 to 30 to 0.  We’ve had no crossings in the last 8 days.”

Then Mike added this on the very security  situation,  “We have military clad specialists from the cartels probing our line.  The only thing stopping them is our specialists in the hills counteracting with them.  We expect to be completed late, late, late this evening or early tomorrow with the first segment of the wall. “

When asked about the security needed to deal with the drug cartels, Mike replied, “It’s extremely dangerous.  They got within 15 feet of the escavators last night.  They’re coming down and trying to probe against the new wall… We have approximately 15 guards on post, armed security individuals.”

This is a video of exactly what is happening with the “We Build The Wall” Project:

If nothing else, this is proof that when the government fails to act, Americans can and will get things done.

There Is Something Upside Down About The Charges Made Here

CNS News posted an article today about  a recent comment by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.

The article reports what Speaker Pelosi said in a statement issued Sunday:

“Trump must take down his disrespectful and dangerous video” of Rep. Omar’s comment.”

This is the full statement:

“Following the President’s tweet, I spoke with the Sergeant-at-Arms to ensure that Capitol Police are conducting a security assessment to safeguard Congresswoman Omar, her family and her staff. They will continue to monitor and address the threats she faces.

“The President’s words weigh a ton, and his hateful and inflammatory rhetoric creates real danger. President Trump must take down his disrespectful and dangerous video.”

So what is this disrespectful and dangerous video? It is simply a video of Congresswoman Omar stating that “CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations) was founded after 9/11 because they realized that some people did something.”

So wait a minute. I am missing something here. First of all, CAIR was founded in 1994–not after 9/11. Second of all, how is showing a video of a person making a speech disrespectful and dangerous? The Congresswoman has stood by her words–she has not apologized for them or backed down in any way. Why is the video disrespectful and dangerous when it simply shows Congresswoman Omar making a speech? If the video is not edited in any way (no one is arguing that it was altered), whose speech is dangerous–the one saying the words or the one reporting the words? Is the problem with the speaker or the one reporting the speech?

About That ‘Cover Up’ Thing

As I have previously stated, if you want an unbiased assessment of what is actually going on behind the scenes in our government, one of your best sources is Judicial Watch.

Yesterday Judicial Watch posted a Press Release about Hillary Clinton’s private server. Below are some of the highlights:

FBI notes of an interview with an unidentified Platte River Networks official in February 2016 (almost a year after the Clinton email network was first revealed) show that Platte River “gave someone access to live HRC archive mailbox at some point.” The same notes show that an email from December 11, 2014, exists that reads “Hillary cover up operation work ticket archive cleanup.” The interviewee said that the “cover up operation” email “probably related to change to 60 day [sic] email retention policy/backup.” The subject indicated that he didn’t “recall the prior policy.” The notes also indicated, “[Redacted] advised [redacted] not to answer questions related to conv [conversation] w/DK [David Kendall] document 49 – based on 5th amendment.”

The subject said that “everyone @ PRN has access to client portal.”

A December 11, 2014, Platte River Networks email between redacted parties says: “Its [sic] all part of the Hillary coverup operation <smile> I’ll have to tell you about it at the party”

An August 2015 email from Platte River Networks says: “So does this mean we don’t have offsite backups currently? That could be a problem if someone hacks this thing and jacks it up. We will have to be able to produce a copy of it somehow, or we’re in some deep shit. Also, what ever [sic] came from the guys at Datto about the old backups? Do they have anyway [sic] of getting those back after we were told to cut it to 30 days?”

In March 2015, Platte River Networks specifically discusses security of the email server.

[Redacted] is going to send over a list of recommendations for us to apply for additional security against hackers. He did say we should probably remove all Clinton files, folders, info off our servers etc. on an independent drive.

Handwritten notes that appear to be from Platte River Networks in February 2016 mention questions concerning the Clinton email system and state of back-ups

The documents show Platte River Networks’ use of BleachBit on the Clinton server. The BleachBit program was downloaded from a vendor called SourceForge at 11:42am on March 31, 2015, according to a computer event log, and over the next half hour, was used to delete the files on Hillary’s server.

…From: [Redacted]

Sent: Saturday, June 27, 2015 2:46 PM

To: Grafeld, Margaret P [Peggy]

Subject: Concerns about the HRC Review …

While working with this inspector, I have personally reviewed hundreds of documents in the HRC collection. I can now say, without reservation, that there are literally hundreds of classified emails in this collection; maybe more. For example, there are comments by Department staff in emails relating to the Wikileaks unauthorized disclosures; many of the emails relating to this actually confirm the information in the disclosures. This material is the subject of FOIA litigation, and the emails will now have to be found, reviewed and upgraded. Under the EO 13526, it would be in in our right to classify the entire HRC collection at the Secret level because of the “mosaic effect.” While there may be IC equities in the collection, I am very concerned about the inadvertent release of State Department’s equities when this collection is released in its entirety — the potential damage to the foreign relations of the United States could be significant.

The Press Release concludes:

“Judicial Watch uncovered new ‘cover-up’ records on the illicit Clinton email system that further demonstrate the sham nature of the FBI/DOJ ‘investigation’ of her,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “These shocking new documents show that various Obama agencies were protecting Hillary Clinton from the consequences of her misconduct. It is well past time for the DOJ to stop shielding Hillary Clinton and hold her fully accountable to the rule of law.”

In a different lawsuit Judicial Watch previously released 186 pages of records from the DOJ that include emails documenting an evident cover-up of a chart of potential violations of law by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

And, in a separate lawsuit, Judicial Watch uncovered 215 pages of records from the DOJ revealing former FBI General Counsel James Baker discussed the investigation of Clinton-related emails on Anthony Weiner’s laptop with Kendall. Baker then forwarded the conversation to his FBI colleagues.

Judicial Watch has previously released numerous instances of classified information distributed through Clinton’s unsecure, non-government email system. For example, see here, here and here.

And, Judicial Watch is currently conducting depositions of senior Obama-era State Department officials, lawyers, and Clinton aides.

Here’s the evidence. What is the government going to do about it?

About That Privacy Thing

Breitbart is reporting today that Google failed to tell consumers about a secret microphone in its home security product, Nest Secure. So your security system may be eavesdropping on you. Great.

The article reports:

According to Business Insider, Google announced this month “users would now be able to use Google Assistant” on Nest Secure devices.

However, “users didn’t know a microphone even existed on their Nest Secure devices to begin with.

Google apologized for failing to disclose the “secret” microphone on Tuesday, claiming it was due to an “error.”

“The on-device microphone was never intended to be a secret and should have been listed in the tech specs. That was an error on our part,” declared a Google spokesman. “The microphone has never been on, and is only activated when users specifically enable the option.”

“Security systems often use microphones to provide features that rely on sound sensing,” the spokesman explained. “We included the mic on the device so that we can potentially offer additional features to our users in the future, such as the ability to detect broken glass.”

There is a saying that you should never put anything in writing that you wouldn’t want your mother to see as a headline in The New York Times. I think we need to change that saying to never say anything within range of your security system, your cell phone, or Alexa that you wouldn’t want to see as a headline in The New York Times.

Fighting Human Trafficking

One America News reported yesterday that President Trump signed a bill to curb human trafficking yesterday.

The article reports:

President Trump is ramping up efforts to combat human trafficking through a bill he signed into law Wednesday.

…The new law will grant the State Department more funding for its annual human trafficking report, which monitors efforts being made to combat the global crisis.

Despite ongoing efforts, the president suggested a wall will substantially help stop the practice domestically.

“Human trafficking cannot be stopped if we don’t have a steel barrier or a concrete wall, something very powerful — it cannot be stopped,” said President Trump. “We have the most talented law enforcement people in the world as far as I’m concerned…it doesn’t mean a thing if they’re going to be driving women and children through sections of the border where nobody is, where you can’t be because you don’t have enough man power.”

Somehow most of the media neglected to cover the signing ceremony.

The Numbers–Do They Actually Matter?

On January 6th, The Conservative Tribune posted an article about illegal immigration.

The article reported:

According to an Economist/YouGov survey, a jaw-dropping 93 percent of Americans believe that illegal immigration is a problem.

“A wide-ranging Economist/YouGov survey gauged the level of concern Americans have on the issue to find that only 7 percent of the overall public say illegal immigration is ‘not a problem’; 2 percent of Republicans, 7 percent of independents and even 12 percent of Democrats agree with the statement,” The Washington Times reported.

There are differences in how serious people believe the immigration problem is, but those who shrug off illegal immigration are few and far between.

“40 percent of Americans overall say illegal immigration in the U.S. is a ‘very serious problem’; 73 percent of Republicans, 38 percent of independents and 15 percent of Democrats agree,” The Times explained.

“22 percent overall say illegal immigration is a ‘somewhat serious problem’; 19 percent of Republicans, 21 percent of independents and 26 percent of Democrats agree,” the paper summarized. Another 24 percent of Americans said that it was a “minor problem.”

At the same time, the Economist/YouGov survey revealed some inconvenient results for liberals.

When respondents were asked if they trusted Republicans or Democrats to deal with border security, a higher percentage — 31 percent — said “Republicans.” Meanwhile, 62 percent thought Congress should compromise with the president to end the government shutdown.

It seems as if most Americans are aware of the problems associated with illegal immigration regardless of what the media is trying to tell us. A border wall is a good idea. However, we also need to do something about America’s very broken immigration system. Our current immigration laws have been exploited by major corporations to replace American workers with cheaper workers. This has been done not only on the low end of the pay scale, but also on the higher end.

On June 3, 2015, The New York Times reported:

Instead, about 250 Disney employees were told in late October that they would be laid off. Many of their jobs were transferred to immigrants on temporary visas for highly skilled technical workers, who were brought in by an outsourcing firm based in India. Over the next three months, some Disney employees were required to train their replacements to do the jobs they had lost.

Of course that was legal immigration, but it was a typical case of a corporation using a bad law to its advantage.

I don’t know if the wall will actually be built. It should be. The wall is opposed by Democrats (present and future voters–many illegals are currently voting in our elections) and Republicans (U.S. Chamber of Commerce members who support illegal immigration because it depresses wages in the lower sectors of the economy and increases their profits). We have reached a point where our representatives not only do not represent us–they have forgotten to represent the best interests of America.

I Think We Have Gone Over The Edge

The Daily Wire is reporting today that the TSA will be replacing many of its pointy-eared dogs at airports with floppy-eared dogs. It seems that children are less scared of the floppy-eared dogs. So this decision was made not on the basis of public safety, but on the basis of children who might be intimidated by dogs with pointy ears.

The article reports:

“We find the passenger acceptance of floppy ear dogs is just better. It presents just a little bit less of a concern,” Pekoske added. “Doesn’t scare children.”

My former Examiner colleague Anna Giaritelli reports that the TSA currently has 1,200 doggos across the country performing security checks, and about 80% have floppy ears (such as Labradors or Golden Retrievers). In order to phase out the remaining 20%, the TSA is replacing retiring pointed-ear dogs with their floppy-eared cousins. Further, the TSA is purchasing sporting or hunting breeds, since they are easier to find.

“TSA uses five types of sporting breeds: Labrador Retrievers, German Short-haired Pointers, Wirehaired Pointers, Vizslas, and Golden Retrievers,” Giaritelli wrote. “It also uses two types of pointy-ear, or working breed, dogs: the German Shepherd and Belgian Malinois.”

Christopher Shelton, branch manager of the San Antonio, TX, canine training center, told Giaritelli that the TSA wouldn’t rule out a pointy-eared pup just because of his or her ears. The dog’s health, willingness and ability to sniff out security risks and its disposition still matter more. Training these dogs costs between $26,000 and $42,000, so the agency can’t be too picky about looks.

I remember coming into Logan Airport in Boston many years ago from an overseas trip. I was surprised to see beagles running around the area where we picked up our luggage. Although it seemed a little odd, it made perfect sense–beagles have very good noses. The top three breeds considered to have the best sense of smell are the bloodhounds, the basset hounds, and the beagles. It’s just that the look of the German Shepherd and the Belgian Malinois seems much more appropriate for a dog involved in law enforcement.

At any rate, I wish the TSA luck with their new program. It’s nice to see some of the working breeds get the recognition they deserve.

Why Immigration Matters

Immigration with assimilation is a wonderful thing. Immigration without assimilation is a threat to the national sovereignty of the country involved. Massive immigration without assimilation will eventually change the public policies of the country involved. We are currently seeing that change in Britain.

National Review posted an article today about the case of Asia Bibi. The article was written by Douglas Murray.

The article reports:

When I wrote The Strange Death of Europe, I wanted to highlight the sheer scale of change that immigration brings. Some people might be happy with it, others unhappy: but to pretend that the change doesn’t occur, or won’t occur, or isn’t very interesting so please move along has always seemed an error to me. For instance, as I noted then, an internal document from the Ministry of Defence that leaked a few years back said that Britain would no longer be able to engage militarily in a range of foreign countries because of “domestic” factors. It takes a moment to absorb this. We’re used to wondering about how immigration changes domestic politics. But foreign policy as well?

All of this is to say that the latest news from the U.K. is both thoroughly predictable and deeply disturbing. Readers of National Review will be familiar with the case of Asia Bibi. She is the Christian woman from Pakistan who has been in prison on death row for the last eight years. Her “crime” is that a neighbor accused her of “blasphemy.”

Because it is not safe for Ms. Bibi to remain in Pakistan because of her Christian faith, she is seeking asylum in various western countries. Britain has stated that it will deny Ms. Bibi asylum.

The article reports:

But today there are reports that the British government has said that it will not offer asylum to Asia Bibi. The reason being “security concerns” — that weasel term now used by all officialdom whenever it needs one last reason to avoid doing the right thing. According to this report, the government is concerned that if the U.K. offered asylum to Bibi it could cause “unrest among certain sections of the community.” And which sections would that be? Would it be Anglicans or atheists who would be furious that an impoverished and severely traumatized woman should be given shelter in their country? Of course not. The “community” that the British government will be scared of is the community that comes from the same country that has tortured Asia Bibi for the last eight years.

The article concludes:

In any case, if it is true that the British government has declined to offer Asia Bibi asylum for this reason, then it should lead to a huge national and international outcry. Among other things, it suggests that the British government has got its priorities exactly the wrong way around. For it is not Asia Bibi who should not be in Britain. It is anyone from the “communities” who would not accept Asia Bibi being in Britain who should not be in the country. Though I wouldn’t expect any British politician to express that simple truth any time soon.

Immigration without assimilation is not a good thing for any country.

 

In Areas Involving Security, The Government Needs To Function More Like A Business

Yesterday Fox News posted an article with the title, “Here’s why Hillary Clinton losing her security clearance matters for the rest of us.”

The article explains:

Hillary Clinton no longer has a security clearance. A letter released from the Department of State to Senator Chuck Grassley, a Republican from Iowa, says she lost her clearance on August 30 at her request. The State Department also withdrew security clearances from five people Clinton had previously requested clearances for, as she had designated them “researchers.” One was Cheryl Mills, who was once the deputy White House counsel for President Bill Clinton who defended him during his 1999 impeachment trial. The names of the others were redacted.

The mainstream media is treating the loss of these clearances as a move by Clinton to avoid a political snub by the Trump administration.

The article points out that Hillary Clinton should have lost her clearance when it was discovered that she had classified information on her private servers. Unfortunately, Hillary’s servers were not the only problem.

The article continues:

For instance, the group of House IT aides who made up what amounted to a spy ring didn’t even have to undergo background checks to get their insider positions—jobs that allowed them to see and copy all of the emails and more from the members of Congress they worked for.

Evidence shows that Imran Awan, the head of the group who was an IT aide working for Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a Democrat from Florida, was spying on congressmen and even congressional staffers. A current IT aide who wants his name kept out of print told me Awan even used his own email address as the Apple IDs when setting up staffer’s phones.

“The only reason I can think of for why Imran would do that is this would have given him the ability to see everything these staffers were doing,” said the House IT aide, a contracted employee who has more than a decade of experience working for congressmen.

This IT spying scandal, however, was covered up – as it only had to do with Democrats in Congress, the mainstream media apparently had no interest in pursuing the story.

But this lax security is not simply a political story. It puts every one of us in jeopardy. A congressman whose private emails or other data are in the hands of someone who can blackmail or otherwise influence them is a risk. For all of us. And without public pressure, it’s next to impossible to know whether Congress has tightened security to prevent this kind of spying from taking place.

There is a more recent incident:

Only weeks ago, a volunteer on the staff of a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, Jackson A. Cosko, was arrested after Capitol Police became aware the Wikipedia pages of three U.S. Senators had been edited to include restricted personal information without their knowledge or permission.

“On the night of Oct. 2, 2018, according to the affidavit,” says a Department of Justice press release, “a witness saw Cosko at a computer in the office of a U.S. Senator who had once employed him. The witness confronted Cosko, who left the office. An investigation led to Cosko’s arrest by the U.S. Capitol Police.”

If Cosko hadn’t posted the information, as he is alleged to have done, for political purposes (called “doxxing”) but had instead used it privately or even gave it or sold it to a news agency or a foreign government, he might never have been arrested. Or he might have gotten off just as Imran Awan and his associates did.

The article reminds us that private companies do a much better job of internet security:

What other employer allows former employees to access their networks? Companies commonly terminate employees email accounts and access before they even tell them they’ve been let go.

The government needs to learn the lesson that private companies have already learned.

The Ignored Threat

On October 5, The Daily Signal posted an article about the threat posed to the United States by China.

Vice-President Pence lists four major threats to America from China:

1. Cyber Espionage

…Microchips, about the size of a grain of sand, were inserted into the manufacturing of equipment in China of Super Micro Computer Inc., which is a server supplier for several major companies in the United States.

Investigators determined the chips allowed attackers to create backdoor entry to alter computers. However, Amazon, Apple, Super Micro itself, and the Chinese government all disputed the Bloomberg reporting.

“This is a backdoor into the hardware level in determining personal identification, health care records, and possibly even voting machines,” Dean Cheng, research fellow on Chinese political and security affairs at The Heritage Foundation, told The Daily Signal.

“If the chip story is true, there is something fundamentally wrong with our supply chain,” he added.

Cheng contends these cybersecurity concerns are far weightier than concerns about election interference and spreading propaganda.

2. Election Meddling

…“It’s using wedge issues, like trade tariffs, to advance Beijing’s political influence,” he said.

“When it comes to influencing the midterms, you need only look at Beijing’s tariffs in response to ours,” Pence added. “The tariffs imposed by China to date specifically targeted industries and states that would play an important role in the 2018 election.

“By one estimate, more than 80 percent of U.S. counties targeted by China voted for President Trump and I in 2016. Now, China wants to turn these voters against our administration,” he said.

3. Squeezing US Companies

Pence called out Google for its seeming willingness to work with the Chinese government.

“Google should immediately end development of the ‘Dragonfly’ app that will strengthen Communist Party censorship and compromise the privacy of Chinese customers,” he said in his Thursday speech.

Pence also noted that Chinese officials tried to influence business leaders.

“In one recent example, China threatened to deny a business license for a major U.S. corporation if they refused to speak out against our administration’s policies,” Pence said.

4. Military Buildup

…China wants nothing less than to push the United States of America from the Western Pacific and attempt to prevent us from coming to the aid of our allies. But they will fail.

America had hoped that economic liberalization would bring China into a greater partnership with us and with the world.

Instead, China has chosen economic aggression, which has in turn emboldened its growing military.

Please follow the link to read the entire article. We ignore this threat at our own peril.

This Says A Lot About How Things Work In Washington

Yesterday The Daily Wire reported the following:

A Democratic staffer arrested last week on charges that he revealed the personal information of several Republican Senate Judiciary Committee members was not an “intern” for Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), as originally reported. The 27-year-old career staffer, Jackson Cosko, was, instead, reportedly a “fellow” paid by an “outside institution” who served as a primary adviser in Lee’s Congressional office.

This wasn’t some unpaid intern–it was an advisor in a Congressional office.

The article notes:

As the Tennessee Star points out, that raises questions: “It seems clear Cosko isn’t some unlucky and overzealous intern who got caught being a naughty boy. Rather, it seems Cosko might be a Democratic operative, paid by an outside organization, planted in an unpopular congresswoman’s office possibly so he could engage in exactly the type of behavior that just got him arrested.”

Cosko was arrested last week after federal investigators discovered he was responsible for editing a Wikipedia article revealing the personal names, addresses, and phone numbers of several Republican senators, almost immediately after Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) concluded a fiery speech defending then-Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

This is simply another example of totally unacceptable behavior by Democrat operatives. This creates a nightmare for the security details of these Senators. The Senators are considerably safer when the crazies out there don’t know where they live. How many attacks on Senators do we need before we admit the need for absolute secrecy regarding their home addresses?

Hopefully this paid operative will spend some time in jail.

Quite Often There Is A Reason For Protocols And Procedures

The Hillary Clinton private email server scandal is old news. However, there is a new aspect of this story that has just recently come out.

Yesterday The Daily Caller posted an article about the Chinese hacking into Hillary Clinton’s email server.

The article reports:

  • A Chinese-owned company penetrated former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s private server, according to sources briefed on the matter.
  • The company inserted code that forwarded copies of Clinton’s emails to the Chinese company in real time.
  • The Intelligence Community Inspector General warned of the problem, but the FBI subsequently failed to act, Texas Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert said during a July hearing.

Wow. The Chinese had all of our classified correspondence from the State Department in real time. That is scary.

The article reports the timeline:

Two officials with the ICIG, investigator Frank Rucker and attorney Janette McMillan, met repeatedly with FBI officials to warn them of the Chinese intrusion, according to a former intelligence officer with expertise in cybersecurity issues, who was briefed on the matter. He spoke anonymously, as he was not authorized to publicly address the Chinese’s role with Clinton’s server.

Among those FBI officials was Peter Strzok, who was then the bureau’s top counterintelligence official. Strzok was fired this month following the discovery he sent anti-Trump texts to his mistress and co-worker, Lisa Page. Strzok didn’t act on the information the ICIG provided him, according to Gohmert.

Gohmert mentioned in the Judiciary Committee hearing that ICIG officials told Strzok and three other top FBI officials that they found an “anomaly” on Clinton’s server.

The former intelligence officer TheDCNF spoke with said the ICIG “discovered the anomaly pretty early in 2015.”

“When [the ICIG] did a very deep dive, they found in the actual metadata — the data which is at the header and footer of all the emails — that a copy, a ‘courtesy copy,’ was being sent to a third party and that third party was a known Chinese public company that was involved in collecting intelligence for China,” the former intelligence officer told TheDCNF.

“The [the ICIG] believe that there was some level of phishing. But once they got into the server something was embedded,” he said. “The Chinese are notorious for embedding little surprises like this.”

As if this were not discouraging enough:

London Center for Policy Research’s vice president of operations, retired Col. Anthony Shaffer, told TheDCNF that Clinton’s server was vulnerable to hacking.

“Look, there’s evidence based on the complete lack of security hygiene on the server. Fourteen-year-old hackers from Canada could have probably hacked into her server and left very little trace,” Shaffer said. “Any sophisticated organization is going to be able to essentially get in and then clean up their presence.”

For a list of the federal laws that may have been violated in setting up the private server go here.

It is difficult to create a totally hack proof server, but had Hillary used her proper email address and government servers, it is much less likely that the Chinese would have been able to obtain the classified information that flowed through the State Department during her tenure. The rules and regulations regarding email by government bureaucrats are there for a reason. Although I have my theories as to why she ignored them, by ignoring them she put national security issues of America at risk. That is not acceptable.

When Justice Takes A Vacation

No, this is not an article about either Paul Manafort or Michael Cohen. This is an article about former Democratic IT aide Imran Awan.

Yesterday The Daily Caller reported:

A federal judge declined to give jail time to former Democratic IT aide Imran Awan Tuesday, saying he has “suffered enough” at the hands of politicians “at the highest levels of government.” In addition, the Department of Justice said it did not find any evidence that supported criminal charges.

…Judge Tanya Chutkin gave Imran three months of supervised release. Imran’s attorney had hoped to avoid the supervision, indicating Imran wanted to go back to Pakistan: “By ending this today, you will allow Hina to build her family wherever she chooses and allow Imran to visit his father’s grave and secure his legacy,” the attorney said.

The lawyer, former Hillary Clinton aide Chris Gowen, said Imran was motivated by love for his father, who was dying in Virginia when Imran flew to Pakistan. Imran, he said, was in a “panic” to get money to urgently build a charity hospital, described in court as a “women’s shelter.” He described the urgent moves as “securing his father’s legacy.”

Well, I guess everyone is entitled to their version of the story.

The article continues:

The story is at odds with a 2009 Pakistani newspaper article, police reports and lawsuits in Pakistan, as well as interviews. Those allege Imran tried to cut others out of a fraud-plagued real estate deal and secure a massive inheritance in the form of a major real estate complex, known as a “colony.”

A dozen farmers accused Imran and his father of stealing their land and subdividing it to build the development. The 2009 article said that Imran used political “muscle” stemming from his job in Congress to attempt to frame his alleged victims. Later, Faisalabad Agricultural University faculty apparently paid for some of those plots, but said that they, too, were ripped off. Dr. Zafar Iqbal, a university professor and president of the faculty association, told TheDCNF that Imran and his father refused to turn over the deeds and that in January 2017, Imran cautioned them that he “has got powerful political connections.”

In addition to two separate groups of victims, the Awans had two partners in this land deal — Rashid Minhas and Shabbir Ahmed — both of whom were allegedly cut out of the partnership. Minhas said that when he went out of town, they seized his share of the proceeds. Ahmed’s widow, Bushra Bibi, said in the 2009 article that, immediately after a car crash killed both Ahmed and the Awans’ mother, Imran threatened her with “dire consequences” to force her to give up her share, and framed her brother-in-law. A support letter submitted by a former aide to Rep. Robert Wexler seemed to contradict the widow’s own statements, claiming “Imran would send money every month to the widow and children of the driver to help take care of them.”

As if that were not enough, let’s look at some of the past antics of Mr. Awan.

In July, The Daily Caller reported the following:

A secret memo marked “URGENT” detailed how the House Democratic Caucus’s server went “missing” soon after it became evidence in a cybersecurity probe. The secret memo also said more than “40 House offices may have been victims of IT security violations.”

In the memo, Congress’s top law enforcement official, Sergeant-at-Arms Paul Irving, along with Chief Administrative Officer Phil Kiko, wrote, “We have concluded that the employees [Democratic systems administrator Imran Awan and his family] are an ongoing and serious risk to the House of Representatives, possibly threatening the integrity of our information systems and thereby members’ capacity to serve constituents.”

The July article in The Daily Caller might shed some light on what just happened:

Eighteen months after the evidence was recounted in the urgent memo, prosecution appears to have stalled for reasons not publicly explained. Imran is in court July 3 for a possible plea deal in the bank fraud case. Gohmert said the FBI has refused to accept evidence demonstrating alleged House misconduct, and some witnesses with first-hand knowledge say the bureau has not interviewed them.

Let’s bring a little common sense into this. Mr. Awan had access to a large number of computers of Democrat House members. In some cases he had their passwords. He was aware of everything that went on in their computers and quite likely made copies of much of the information. Might there be some information people high up in our government are keeping from the American public? Is this another example of injustice in the Washington Swamp?

Maybe We Need To Rethink This

A website called Clearancejobs.com includes an article answering the question, “What happens to your security clearance after you’ve been fired, suspended or retired?” The website explains the various procedures based on the circumstances. The website points out that in many cases a clearance may remain in effect or be suspended but easily renewed if necessary. When you consider the politicization of the Justice Department and FBI during the Obama administration, it would seem logical to cancel all of the security clearances of those at the top of those organizations who are no longer employed there. However, as usual with anything involving common sense, this is considered a controversial idea.

Considering the news that surfaced over the weekend about the FISA abuse regarding the spying on Carter Page, anyone who was involved in that escapade should be fired and have their security clearance revoked. Clearly, the government’s ability to spy on American citizens was used for political purposes by the Obama administration. However, the media is not going to let common sense enter into the argument.

Bloomberg posted an article today stirring up the kerfuffle about revoking security clearances.

The article is headlined, “Trump Weighs Revoking Security Clearances for Several Ex-Obama Officials.” It should read, “Some of the people involved in the misuse of intelligence gathering within the United States may face consequences.”

The article states:

The president is “exploring the mechanism” to remove their access to classified information because of criticism the officials have leveled against his conduct of relations with Russia, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters Monday.

“They’ve politicized and in some cases monetized their public service and security clearances,” Sanders said. “Making baseless accusations of improper contact with Russia or being influenced by Russia against the president is extremely inappropriate.”

Sanders said Trump also was considering stripping security clearances from James Clapper, the former director of national intelligence; Michael Hayden, former director of the National Security Agency; and Susan Rice, President Barack Obama’s national security adviser.

The article concludes:

The idea of moving to revoke Brennan’s security clearance gained traction recently in conservative media circles. Fox News host Tucker Carlson on July 19 called Brennan an extremist with “a documented history of dishonesty” and said he shouldn’t have a clearance.

Republican Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky said he urged Trump to revoke Brennan’s security clearance at a meeting with the president Monday. Trump is trying to court Paul to vote to confirm Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh despite reservations the senator has expressed about Kavanaugh’s commitment to privacy rights.

I have my doubts as to whether anyone will face consequences for misusing FISA for political purposes. However, removing a few security clearances might send a message to those holding those clearances to use them judiciously.

 

Nothing To See Here–Keep Moving

Yesterday The Daily Caller posted an article about the House Democratic Caucus’s server. It seems that the server went missing soon after it became evidence in a cybersecurity probe. Wow. What a coincidence. A newly obtained secret memo also said more than “40 House offices may have been victims of IT security violations.”

The article reports:

In the memo, Congress’s top law enforcement official, Sergeant-at-Arms Paul Irving, along with Chief Administrative Officer Phil Kiko, wrote, “We have concluded that the employees [Democratic systems administrator Imran Awan and his family] are an ongoing and serious risk to the House of Representatives, possibly threatening the integrity of our information systems and thereby members’ capacity to serve constituents.”

The memo, addressed to the Committee on House Administration (CHA) and dated Feb. 3, 2017, was recently reviewed and transcribed by The Daily Caller News Foundation. The letter bolsters TheDCNF’s previous reporting about the missing server and evidence of fraud on Capitol Hill.

It details how the caucus server, run by then-caucus Chairman Rep. Xavier Becerra, was secretly copied by authorities after the House Inspector General (IG) identified suspicious activity on it, but the Awans’ physical access was not blocked.

…Rep. Louie Gohmert — a Texas Republican on the House Committee on the Judiciary who has done oversight work on the case — said the missing server contained copies of Congress members’ emails.

“They put 40 members of Congress’s data on one server … That server, with that serial number, has disappeared,” he said.

The article concludes:

A Democratic IT aide who alleged that Imran solicited a bribe from him told TheDCNF he believes members of Congress are playing dumb and covering the matter up. Wendy Anderson, a former chief of staff to New York Rep. Yvette Clarke, told House investigators that she suspected that her predecessor, Shelley Davis, was working with Abid on a theft scheme, but Clarke refused to fire Abid until outside investigators got involved, TheDCNF reported.

Eighteen months after the evidence was recounted in the urgent memo, prosecution appears to have stalled for reasons not publicly explained. Imran is in court July 3 for a possible plea deal in the bank fraud case. Gohmert said the FBI has refused to accept evidence demonstrating alleged House misconduct, and some witnesses with first-hand knowledge say the bureau has not interviewed them.a

I will admit that over the years of writing this blog I have become somewhat cynical–with that in mind, I am convinced that there is someone or some people walking around Washington that have a lot of pictures showing many of our Congressmen that the Congressmen do not want revealed. I suspect those pictures and information will eventually come out. My suspicion is based on a public, but unique, internet source that I will not name. It is possible that the July 3 court date could take an interesting turn. Stay tuned. This story is totally underreported by the mainstream media, but The Daily Caller has followed it from the beginning.

An Invitation To Identity Theft

ObamaCare could have a very negative affect on my life in the coming months. My husband and I will be losing our health insurance on January 1. The questions is, “Do we go to the ObamaCare website and risk having our identity stolen, or do we go without health insurance?” How dangerous is it to type your personal information into the ObamaCare website? Well, an article posted at the CNBC website last Monday provides answers to that question.

The article reports:

It could take a year to secure the risk of “high exposures” of personal information on the federal Obamacare online exchange, a cybersecurity expert told CNBC on Monday.

“When you develop a website, you develop it with security in mind. And it doesn’t appear to have happened this time,” said David Kennedy, a so-called “white hat” hacker who tests online security by breaching websites. He testified on Capitol Hill about the flaws of HealthCare.gov last week.

“It’s really hard to go back and fix the security around it because security wasn’t built into it,” said Kennedy, chief executive of TrustedSec. “We’re talking multiple months to over a year to at least address some of the critical-to-high exposures on the website itself.”

This is not encouraging. Another online security expert stated that the ObamaCare website needs to be torn down and rebuilt from scratch.

The article further reports:

Last month, a Sept. 27 government memorandum surfaced in which two HHS officials said the security of the site had not been properly tested before it opened, creating “a high risk.”

HHS had explained then that steps were taken to ease security concerns after the memo was written, and that consumer information was secure. Technicians fixed a security bug in the password reset function in late October, the agency said.

But on CNBC, Kennedy disputed those claims, saying vulnerabilities remain on “everything from hacking someone’s computer so when you visit the website it actually tries to hack your computer back, all the way to being able to extract email addresses, users names—first name, last name—[and] locations.”

It really is time for Plan B.

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