Politicizing And Misleading The Public On A Tragedy

Yesterday there was an horrific shooting at a church in Texas. The Guardian posted a story yesterday about how the gunman was stopped. An armed citizen engaged the gunman and another citizen pursued the gunman in a vehicle with the armed citizen. The police arrived after the two citizens chased the gunman and held him at bay with a rifle. It took the police between five and seven minutes to arrive. How many more people would have been killed but for the actions of the armed citizen?

There is another aspect to this story. Breitbart is reporting today that the man who shot up the church had been denied a Texas concealed carry permit.

USA Today failed to mention that in their rather biased reporting

Breitbart reports:

USA Today chided Texas for “lax” concealed carry laws after the Sutherland Springs church shooting but the attacker, Devin Kelley, was denied such a permit.

Mr. Kelley had been denied a concealed carry permit–stricter gun laws would not have mattered in this case because he was not interested in following the gun laws (or the laws against murder). Other sources indicate that he should not have been able to pass any kind of background check to purchase a weapon as he had previously been convicted of domestic violence. There is no way under current gun laws he should have been able to purchase a gun. His rampage was stopped short by a citizen with a gun permit.

Unfortunately we will never find a way to stop criminals (or those with criminal intent) from obtaining guns illegally. Therefore it makes no sense to deny law-abiding Americans the ability to defend themselves. Thank God there was a legally armed citizen to stop the rampage.

States Begin To Examine Civil Asset Forfeiture

Yesterday Hot Air posted an article about a move in Texas to abolish Civil Asset Forfeiture. I have written about this procedure in the past (here, here, and here). One of the most common examples of Civil Asset Forfeiture occurs when the government accuses a small business owner of making multiple deposits of less than $10,000 in order to avoid federal regulations that track such deposits. The law has been used to take assets away from small business owners with little regard for their Constitutional rights. The assets seized can be sold and the money used to shore up local budgets. Needless to say, there is a lot of temptation there for some local governments. A few states have taken action to limit these forfeitures. Texas is now joining them.

The article reports:

Texas is looking to become the third state in the last year to abolish civil asset forfeiture, and replace it with criminal asset forfeiture. State Senator Konni Burton filed a bill last month which requires a felony conviction before law enforcement can gobble up someone’s property. It’s a major step in Texas’ fight for justice reform which has saved the state $3B (while crime rates are at record lows).

…There’s just one problem…the asset forfeiture laws are being misapplied in cases where people who are not convicted of crimes, end up losing their property because prosecutors and police believe they “may have” been involved in/had knowledge of a crime. A Philadelphia family was forced out of their home because their son was arrested on drug charges, even though it didn’t appear they knew what the 22-year-old was doing. A Texas man had over 53-thousand dollars in cash donations for an orphanage and school seized after he was pulled over in Oklahoma.

The home and money were eventually returned to their rightful owners after the cases got a ton of press. But Right on Crime Deputy Director Derek Cohen points out media attention doesn’t always happen, because the numbers aren’t really sexy (emphasis mine).

Ordinary citizens trying to run a business and live their lives should not have to worry about a government that almost arbitrarily can take their assets. It is good to see Texas moving in the right direction. Hopefully now the federal government will follow suit.

 

Voter Fraud Is A Problem

One of the easiest ways to commit voter fraud is through the use of absentee ballots–numbers of people can be registered at one address and their ballots mailed in–whether they actually live there or not. In Florida absentee ballots were stolen, voted, and returned without having ever reached the people they were supposed to go to.

On Thursday, Breitbart posted a story about a problem with absentee ballots in California.

The article reported:

California resident Jerry Mosna found 83 unused 2016 voter ballots at his home over the weekend — each ballot had a different name but were all addressed to his neighbor’s two-bedroom apartment — causing concern and serious suspicion of voter fraud.

The office of the Registrar stated that they believe this is an isolated incident caused by a system error that issued duplicate ballots. They are working to correct the problem and have stated that the U.S. Postal Service has returned all improperly addressed ballots to the Registrar’s office.

When True the Vote investigated voter fraud in Texas (story here), one of the things they did was check for duplicate addresses. In one case, they found forty people registered at an eight-bed halfway house.

In 2011, I reported some of the results of their investigation:

“Most of the findings focused on a group called Houston Votes, a voter registration group headed by Sean Caddle, who formerly worked for the Service Employees International Union. Among the findings were that only 1,793 of the 25,000 registrations the group submitted appeared to be valid. The other registrations included one of a woman who registered six times in the same day; registrations of non-citizens; so many applications from one Houston Voters collector in one day that it was deemed to be beyond human capability; and 1,597 registrations that named the same person multiple times, often with different signatures.”

There were 22,000 plus invalid registrations. That’s enough to change an election result. It’s time to make sure our election process is secure.

 

 

The Experiment Of The States

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

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

The article reports the findings of the study:

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Common Sense Rules In Texas

Unfortunately voter fraud is a problem in America. There have been instances of voting machines incorrectly registering votes, and there are examples of people voting multiple times under various names. Voter ID laws are an attempt to solve at least part of the problem.

A few days ago I posted the following chart. I am reposting it just as a reminder of where we are:

voteridSeveral states have passed voter identification laws, and lawsuits have followed. Texas, at least, is sticking to its guns.

On Wednesday Breitbart.com reported:

An agreement between the State of Texas and groups that attempted to strike down the state’s photo voter identification law came to an agreement Wednesday that will keep the election integrity policy largely in place for the November elections and thereafter.

Under the deal, voters with valid forms of photo ID or ones “expired by no more than four years” will be allowed to vote a regular ballot, according to court documents obtained by Breitbart Texas. In trade, individuals presenting a valid “voter registration certificate, certified birth certificate, a current utility bill, a bank statement, a government check, a paycheck, or any other government document that displays the voter’s name and an address and complete and sign a reasonable impediment declaration shall be permitted” to vote a regular ballot as well.

As I reported in September 2010, an organization called True the Vote investigated voter fraud in Houston, Texas. This is what they found:

“Vacant lots had several voters registered on them. An eight-bed halfway house had more than 40 voters registered at its address,” Engelbrecht said. “We then decided to look at who was registering the voters.”

“Their work paid off. Two weeks ago the Harris County voter registrar took their work and the findings of his own investigation and handed them over to both the Texas secretary of state’s office and the Harris County district attorney.

“Most of the findings focused on a group called Houston Votes, a voter registration group headed by Sean Caddle, who formerly worked for the Service Employees International Union. Among the findings were that only 1,793 of the 25,000 registrations the group submitted appeared to be valid. The other registrations included one of a woman who registered six times in the same day; registrations of non-citizens; so many applications from one Houston Voters collector in one day that it was deemed to be beyond human capability; and 1,597 registrations that named the same person multiple times, often with different signatures.”

North Carolina is currently involved in a lawsuit against its voter identification laws–despite the fact that voter turnout was up when the laws went into effect in March. Hopefully, North Carolina can find a way to follow the example of Texas.

Some Interesting News About The Planned Parenthood Videos

On April 6, I posted an article about the charges against David Daleiden who was indicted for making undercover videos of Planned Parenthood. Yesterday CBN News posted a follow-up story of this indictment. It seems that the District Attorney who prosecuted the case violated the instructions of the Texas Attorney General.

The article reports:

Last year, Daleiden released undercover footage through The Center for Medical Progress showing Planned Parenthood officials discussing the sale of fetal tissue. CBN News has reported on the story extensively. 

Instead of finding the abortion giant guilty of criminal charges, the Harris County grand jury indicted the pro-life activist.  He was charged with tampering with government records and using fake identifications to purchase fetal tissue.

Daleiden posted bail last month in response to what his attorneys call bogus charges.

Daleiden’s indictment sparked public outcry from thousands in the pro-life community who argued that the undercover investigations were not criminal.

In the latest twist in the case, the Thomas More Society reports that the court records show Planned Parenthood attorney Josh Schaffer admitting under oath that the DA’s office shared documents and evidence with Planned Parenthood.

The Texas Attorney General had specifically asked the DA’s office not to share the videos with Planned Parenthood.

The article concludes:

“These filings also include evidence that appears to show that the DA’s office worked with Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast to undermine the Texas Attorney General’s independent investigation of that abortion provider,” he continued. “The conduct of Harris County prosecutors in this case is outrageous and illegal. We look forward to pressing our motion to quash this indictment in court.”

According to LifeNews, this is the second time attorneys from Anderson’s office and Planned Parenthood were accused of working together.

Thomas More Society lawyers assert that the National Abortion Federation is fighting “to shut down free speech and to cover-up evidence of the abortion industry’s crimes in aborted baby parts trafficking.” 

The indictment of David Daleiden was a total miscarriage of justice. Hopefully it will be quashed.

When Politics Becomes More Important Than Justice

On Wednesday, The National Review posted an article about the recent legal case against Texas Governor Rick Perry.

The article reports:

On Wednesday, Texas’s highest criminal court threw out the charges against Rick Perry, which came as no surprise. Lehmberg’s (Rosemary Lehmberg,Travis County prosecutor) predecessor, Ronnie Earle, pulled the same sort of stunts, with the same outcome, in his partisan campaigns against Kay Bailey Hutchison, a U.S. senator at the time, and Tom DeLay, who was the House majority leader. The point of such prosecutions isn’t to get convictions — Texas Democrats are a stupid lot, but they aren’t that stupid — but to ruin political careers, as DeLay’s was ruined, and to bankrupt and harass political opponents.

The lawsuit began when Governor Perry, following Lehmberg’s arrest for drunk driving and her subsequent inappropriate behavior, cut funding to her department unless she was removed.

The article further reports:

Governor Perry, being a reasonably responsible chief executive, judged this state of affairs to be intolerable. But Lehmberg is not a state employee subject to gubernatorial dismissal; she is an elected official of Travis County. Her office, however, is funded by the state government, and Governor Perry made it clear that he would veto that funding so long as the person in charge of the place was — let’s reiterate — an out-of-control criminal misusing her official prosecutorial powers in an attempt to suborn misconduct from law-enforcement personnel.

Governor Perry carried through on his promise, and Lehmberg retaliated by indicting him on felony charges, alleging that his use of the veto — an ordinary part of his prerogatives as governor — constituted an abuse of power. That Rosemary Lehmberg, of all people, was developing innovative theories about the abuse of official power is the source of some grim mirth. But politically motivated felony prosecution of governors and presidential candidates is no joke.

Texas is known for this kind of shenanigans. If I were to criticize Rick Perry for anything during his time as governor, it would be failing to deal with the legal system in Texas that allows the use of legal actions to destroy political careers. The population of Texas is increasing as people and corporations from states with higher taxes move there. Now is the time to fix a legal system that has too often been used for political purposes.

 

 

What Are We Doing To Our Children?

This is the latest undercover video from Project Veritas posted on YouTube. It deals with Common Core.

The highlights below come from Breitbart.com:

“The dead white guys did not create this country,” Koerber says. “They [presumably conservatives] want to talk about those dead white guys.”

Koerber continues that Common Core is necessary because “it needs to be come cohesion between the states.” She expresses frustration, however, that “Texas keeps screwing it up over and over again.”

“People who say they want to teach the Constitution, only want to teach the part of the Constitution that they like,” she tells the journalist, who then asks her about the Second Amendment.

“But yet they don’t want to teach all of it,” she replies. “Damn the Second Amendment.

…Kim Koerber (KK): People that are not educated, Fox TV viewers think that Common Core comes from the educated liberal groups and that’s why they are against it. They don’t know anything about it. They think it’s liberal so they’re against it. That’s what I think it is. It’s a knee jerk reaction. My mother, oh my God, she’s a Fox person. If I could remove Fox from my television set, I would…

I did a big presentation yesterday for AP US History and the AP US History agenda was set, until Texas got upset about it and they wanted to have their founders – they wanted founders in it. And it’s like – come on. The dead white guys did not create this country. It was a whole bunch of different kinds of people. And yes there were women, and yes there were people of color, and yes…you need to talk about them too. But they want to talk about those dead white guys.

Note the tolerance for opposing ideas–“If I could remove Fox from my television set, I would…”

Note the hostility to ‘dead white guys’ who wrote the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution, and the Bill of Rights.

Republicans want to get in there and talk about stuff and change things about school stuff because they want to, they want to influence what is being taught. Common core doesn’t put up with that.

Common Core is copyrighted–there is no room for local school boards to make changes.

PV: I am really glad I’m here in California, whatever religious affiliation you want to take is fine, but in Texas they want to push the Christianity.

KK: Because they think it’s the only one.

PV: They do, and I see that.

KK: That’s why it’s so offensive to have these prayers in the school board.

PV: Christianity is totally out of the common core?

KK: Yes it is. Totally. It’s not a core concept at all.

PV: But then there is a mention of other religions like Islam.

Christianity played a part in the founding of this nation–the churches of America played a role both in the Revolutionary War and the Civil War. The settlers at Jamestown and Plymouth Rock both declared America to be a Christian nation–even before it was America. Christianity is an important part of our history. To say that Christianity is not an important part of the America’s history is to leave out a good portion of the story.

The article at Breitbart.com concludes:

“It doesn’t matter if it’s corporate cronyism or liberal ideology, if you are slipping your agenda into our education system, we are going to expose you, one by one, until the whole rotten system is revealed,” O’Keefe tells Breitbart News about his project on Common Core and education. “Corporate cronyism and underhanded political deals have contributed to Common Core’s massive disruption and the unraveling of America’s educational fabric.”

This Won’t Help Me Sleep Nights

Breitbart.com reported yesterday that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has confirmed that eight Syrian illegal aliens were taken into custody as they attempted to enter America in the Laredo Sector.

The article reports:

Agent Garza further stated that in matters as sensitive as Syrians crossing the border from Mexico, it would be highly unlikely that federal agencies would publicize it or inform a broad group of law enforcement. He did say that Local 2455 is taking the reports seriously and that they “will be issuing an officer safety bulletin advising Border Patrol agents to exercise extra precautions as they patrol the border.”

Breitbart Texas can confirm that a Syrian did attempt to enter the U.S. illegally through Texas in late September. The Syrian was caught using a passport that belonged to someone else and U.S. authorities decided against prosecuting anyone involved due to “circumstances.”

The obvious question here is, “If eight were caught, how many got through?”

More Information That Changes The Story

We have all heard the story of Ahmed Mohamed, the Irving Texas high school student who was arrested for taking a clock to school. It was noted that the clock looked like a suitcase bomb, but that was just an unfortunate coincidence. Many people who read the story were horrified that the student was handcuffed and arrested. Well, not so fast.

The Daily Caller posted an article about the incident yesterday.

These are a few random facts that were included in the story. I am not sure I have seen them posted elsewhere:

Let’s start with the clock. It doesn’t remotely resemble one. No, it resembles a briefcase bomb. Photos show a vintage Radio Shack clock, dissembled and put back into a case, with a wire sticking out.  Once it began beeping inside a back-pack, that’s when the trouble started. When police questioned young Ahmed, they said he was “passive aggressive,” stubbornly repeating it was a clock and stonewalling other questions. But here’s the thing, even if the Pope or Dalai Lama brought that device into a school, and then played games with teachers and police, they’d get arrested too.

In today’s world, is it an everyday occurrence for a school child’s backpack to start beeping? Why did it start beeping? Is it possible that it was programmed to start beeping?

Let’s look at Ahmed’s family:

His dad, Mohamed Elhassan Mohamed has engaged in publicity stunts before, like defending the Koran in Florida Pastor Terry Jones’ mock trial in 2010. In a 2011 television debate with Robert Spencer of Jihad Watch entitled, “Does Islam Respect Human Rights?” Mohamed identifies himself as President of Al-Sufi Islamic Center in Dallas and former presidential candidate of Sudan. It’s the country where the Muslim Janjaweed militia carried out genocide against non-Muslim black Africans in Darfur.

The article at the Daily Caller mentions that Ahmed’s handlers include the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), a Muslim Brotherhood group founded in the 1990’s to advance Islam (and Sharia Law in America)–they serve as the legal arm of the Muslim Brotherhood in America.

So why target Irving, Texas? Well, in March, Irving Mayor Beth Van Duyne pushed a Texas legislature bill, “American Laws for American Courts.” She also opposed Sharia mediation at a local mosque.

The article concludes:

So, enter the fresh faced, nerdy kid with the NASA shirt, who tinkers with go-carts and just wants to be an engineer someday. Hollywood couldn’t have cast him better. Just three weeks into high school, he secretly carries in a device that any TSA agent at airport security would think is a bomb. Then provokes police to get arrested, leaving the cuffs on just long enough for his sister to snap a photo.

My fellow Americans, we’ve been trolled. And if we don’t get wise to it, the next Ahmed may very well blow up his school. That’s the inevitable result of silencing teachers and disarming police. Time to face truth, or forever live with the consequences.

We can be politically correct or we can survive as a nation. It’s time to make a choice.

Fast And Furious Shows Up Again

Yesterday Katie Pavlich posted an article at Townhall.com about the shooting in Texas at a Mohammed cartoon contest. Nadir Soofi and Elton Simpson were the two gunmen who carried out the attack, after driving from Phoenix, Arizona, to Garland, Texas.

The article reports:

It turns out Soofi purchased his gun under the Holder Justice Department’s Operation Fast and Furious back in 2010. As a reminder, Operation Fast and Furious was a program that ran from 2009-2010 in which federal agents purposely allowed the sale of thousands of weapons, including handguns, AK-47s and .50-caliber rifles, to known drug cartels. Agents deliberately allowed weapons to be trafficked and lost in Mexico.

On Saturday, The Los Angeles Times reported some of the details of the gun purchase:

Five years before he was shot to death in the failed terrorist attack in Garland, Texas, Nadir Soofi walked into a suburban Phoenix gun shop to buy a 9-millimeter pistol.

At the time, Lone Wolf Trading Co. was known among gun smugglers for selling illegal firearms. And with Soofi’s history of misdemeanor drug and assault charges, there was a chance his purchase might raise red flags in the federal screening process.

Inside the store, he fudged some facts on the form required of would-be gun buyers.

What Soofi could not have known was that Lone Wolf was at the center of a federal sting operation known as Fast and Furious, targeting Mexican drug lords and traffickers. The idea of the secret program was to allow Lone Wolf to sell illegal weapons to criminals and straw purchasers, and track the guns back to large smuggling networks and drug cartels.

Instead, federal agents lost track of the weapons and the operation became a fiasco, particularly after several of the missing guns were linked to shootings in Mexico and the 2010 killing of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry in Arizona.

Soofi’s attempt to buy a gun caught the attention of authorities, who slapped a seven-day hold on the transaction, according to his Feb. 24, 2010, firearms transaction record, which was reviewed by the Los Angeles Times. Then, for reasons that remain unclear, the hold was lifted after 24 hours, and Soofi got the 9-millimeter.

As the owner of a small pizzeria, the Dallas-born Soofi, son of a Pakistani American engineer and American nurse, would not have been the primary focus of federal authorities, who back then were looking for smugglers and drug lords.

He is now.

The Fast and Furious Program has fallen out of the national spotlight. However, the consequences of the poor judgement exercised in the conception of that program is still with us. It is ironic that a poorly conceived program to capture drug lords would be used by terrorists to push forward their agenda.

 

The Need To Protect Free Speech

Free speech is something most Americans take for granted. We don’t necessarily agree with what someone is saying or approve of their language, but generally speaking, we respect free speech. Free speech is under attack in America from a number of directions. Some of them are very subtle and seem almost logical, and some are totally obvious. Both need to be dealt with quickly and openly.

As I have stated in previous articles, I am reading Stephen Coughlin’s book Catastrophic Failure, which is about the dangers America faces at the hands of the Muslim Brotherhood and other related groups. The book talks about the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and the human rights movement in the United Nations. The book explains that the OIC definition of human rights includes the provision that these rights have to be in compliance with Sharia Law. This means that any negative statements about Islam are not considered acceptable free speech, but are punishable by law and may result in the death penalty. The goal of the OIC is to bring non-Muslim countries under Sharia Law–in America that means ending the First Amendment right of free speech. We saw the OIC in action recently when Pamela Geller was condemned for a “Draw Mohammed” contest in Texas which resulted in violence. She was blamed for the violence–not the people who committed the violence. This was an attempt to turn public opinion away from the idea that all free speech is protected. There is nothing in our Constitution that protects us from being offended. However, the First Amendment does protect our right of free speech. The press response to what happened in Texas was a very subtle attack on free speech. It needs to be exposed and countered.

A more obvious attack on free speech was initiated by the U.S. Government recently against “Reason Magazine.” Reason posted an article yesterday telling the story.

The article gives the background of the attack on free speech:

For the past two weeks, Reason, a magazine dedicated to “Free Minds and Free Markets,” has been barred by an order from the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York from speaking publicly about a grand jury subpoena that court sent to Reason.com.

The subpoena demanded the records of six people who left hyperbolic comments at the website about the federal judge who oversaw the controversial conviction of Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht. Shortly after the subpoena was issued, the government issued a gag order prohibiting Reason not only from discussing the matter but even acknowledging the existence of the subpoena or the gag order itself. As a wide variety of media outlets have noted, such actions on the part of the government are not only fundamentally misguided and misdirected, they have a tangible chilling effect on free expression by commenters and publications alike.

Yesterday, after preparing an extensive legal brief, Reason asked the US Attorney’s Office to join with it in asking that the gag order – now moot and clearly an unconstitutional prior restraint – be lifted. This morning, the US Attorney’s Office asked the Court to vacate the order, which it did. We are free to tell the story for the first time.

The article at Reason further reports:

Regardless of the legal details, the growing government demand for user data and our own experience with court-enforced silence on a self-evidently ridiculous investigation raise important questions about free speech and the abuse of power.

Reason’s unmoderated comment space is rare among comparable publications and has, over the years, developed into a forum that is by turns exciting, intellectually advanced, outlandish, cringe-inducing, and more foul-mouthed than any locker room this side of the Crab Nebula. It is something to be celebrated as a voluntary community that can be engaged or ignored as the spirit moves you (we say that as writers whose work and physical shortcomings rarely escape unscathed from any thread). However trollish many of our commenters can be, they have created a sphere of free speech that delivers on one of the great promises of the Internet, which is unbridled expression, dialogue, and argument.

We took risks by creating an autonomous zone in which our readers are left to their own devices. Some of the risk is reputational—how many other serious outlets allow anonymous commenters to run riot as we do? Some of the risk is legal, as in the current situation.

One further note about anonymity in our comment threads. Commenting on our site requires registration using a working email address (which is hidden from public view unless a commenter chooses to have it displayed). We also log IP addresses. We do both of these things in order to fight spammers and trolls–people who have shown enormous determination in their efforts to disrupt the discussion. 

Our commenters are generally a tech-savvy bunch. It is likely that those who have a desire for a very high degree of anonymity are taking control of that themselves, using anonymous email addresses and tools to prevent us from logging IPs connected to them.

But Reason.com is not the dark web. Many of our regular commenters voluntarily display either personal website information or their email addresses. In fact, three of the six commenters subject to this very subpoena voluntarily displayed public links to personal blogs at Blogger as part of their comments, one of which further links to a Google+ page. Raising the question: How can the government view these so-called “threats” as so nefarious when people posted them in such a non-anonymous fashion? 

Please follow the link above to read the entire article. It is an amazing saga of an out-of-control government trying to conceal the fact that it is out of control. Thank you, editors of Reason for standing up to this threat.

 

Will Someone Please Read The Consitituion

President Obama stated many times that he did not have the power to grant amnesty to illegal aliens–then he did it. A number of states sued the government to stop the move, stating that it would be damaging to their states. A judge in Texas blocked President Obama’s amnesty program from being implemented.

The Hill posted an article yesterday updating the situation:

The Department of Justice on Wednesday said it will not make an emergency request to the Supreme Court to lift an order blocking President Obama’s executive action on immigration.

…The decision by DOJ means that a Texas federal judge’s order to temporarily block Obama’s controversial immigration executive orders will remain in place, at least for now.

On Tuesday, a panel on the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 against lifting that hold, with the majority opinion written by two Republican-appointed judges arguing that the “public interest favors maintenance of the injunction.”

In July, the 5th Circuit will hear the appeal of the Obama Administration.

The article points out:

The same 5th Circuit is also reviewing a separate challenge on the injunction and will hear oral arguments in that case during the first full week of July. The administration will try to persuade the judges to lift the injunction during that argument.

The injunction stems from a larger suit filed by 26 states on whether Obama’s executive actions are constitutional.

President Obama has brought executive orders to a whole new level. Hopefully the courts will stop this, as Congress has not exercised its proper role.

The Threat

Andrew McCarthy posted an article in National Review yesterday about the shootings in Texas at the Draw Mohammed event.

The conclusion of the article is the most important point:

You may not like the provocateurs’ methods. Personally, I am not a fan of gratuitous insult, which can antagonize pro-Western Muslims we want on our side. But let’s not make too much of that. Muslims who really are pro-Western already know, as Americans overwhelmingly know, that being offended is a small price to pay to live in a free society. We can bristle at an offense and still grasp that we do not want the offense criminalized.
It would be easy, in our preening gentility, to look down our noses at a Mohammed cartoon contest. But we’d better understand the scope of the threat the contest was meant to raise our attention to — a threat triggered by ideology, not cartoons. There is in our midst an Islamist movement that wants to suppress not only insults to Islam but all critical examination of Islam. That movement is delighted to leverage the atmosphere of intimidation created by violent jihadists, and it counts the current United States government among its allies.

The First Amendment does not give you the right not to be offended. It is almost guaranteed that if the First Amendment is followed you will be offended at some point. That is not the point. The point is that in a free society, everyone has the same right of free speech. If the Muslims who live in America cannot accept free speech, they need to return to a place where it is not honored. If we cave into the threat of violence, then we are in danger of losing our First Amendment rights.

The Cost Of Executive Amnesty

One of the talking points of the Obama Administration regarding executive amnesty is that it will be good for the American economy. That is debatable considering the number of legal Americans currently unable to find jobs, but what it is about to do to the American taxpayer is definitely destructive.

Judicial Watch posted an article on its website today detailing the cost of President Obama’s executive amnesty.

The article reports:

The U.S. government will spend nearly half a billion dollars, expand its workforce by 3,100 and open a 280,000-square-foot compound in Virginia to carry out President Obama’s amnesty order, according to detailed government figures provided to Judicial Watch.

The numbers are breathtaking and include a $647,590 monthly rent bill for a new facility at 2200 Crystal Drive in Arlington Virginia. It will be the processing headquarters for two Obama amnesty plans—Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA)—that will allow millions of illegal immigrants to remain in the U.S. Last month a federal court in Texas blocked the amnesty order, but records show the administration is ready to pull the trigger if it succeeds in appealing the ruling.

The article goes on to break down the administrative costs of executive amnesty–both the initial cost and the ongoing cost. This is an unbelievably bad deal for all Americans. We do need to streamline our immigration policies, but we cannot successfully assimilate three thousand people in a matter of months without bankrupting federal and state governments.

Executive amnesty is a nightmare waiting to happen.

It Would Be Interesting To Know If She Was Working For Herself Or Someone Else

On Friday, the Dallas Morning News posted an article about Sherin Thawer, 45, an Irving, Texas, immigration lawyer, who was arrested on federal fraud charges for allegedly forging visa applications for illegal immigrants she represented.

The article reports:

The seven-count indictment, issued earlier this week and unsealed on Friday, charges Thawer with one count of conspiracy to commit fraud in connection with immigration documents; one count of mail fraud; one count of transfer or use of the means of identification of another person; and four counts of aggravated identity theft.

Thawer represented immigrants who were applying for various visas to enter or remain in the U.S., officials said. That included U Nonimmigrant Status, known as a U-Visa.

To qualify for a U-Visa, an immigrant must have been a victim of a certain crime and helped law enforcement with the investigation or prosecution. Applicants must submit a form completed by the law enforcement agency that worked on the case.

From around March 2012 to September 2014, Thawer submitted forged law enforcement certification forms to get U-Visas for the immigrants she represented, authorities said.

What in the world was this woman thinking? When she was admitted to the bar, there were certain standards that she was expected to uphold. It is really sad that she chose to violate the law instead of enforce it.

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.

Preserving The Integrity Of Our Elections

There have been some real questions as to the integrity of American elections as of late. Many private organizations who have examined voter rolls have found thousands of people in some areas who are registered to vote but who are not legal voters.

Judicial Watch has been one of the groups working to restore integrity to our elections. In a recent newsletter, Judicial Watch cited a Pew Report published in 2012 that stating:

“nearly 2 million dead people are still registered to cast ballots, about 3 million eligible to vote in two or more states and millions more that are inaccurate, duplicate or out of date. The alarming figures were published recently in a report issued by the non-partisan Pew Center on States. It reveals that approximately 24 million active voter registrations in the United States are no longer valid or have significant inaccuracies. The problem, apparently, is an outdated registration system that can’t properly maintain records.”

Texas has been fighting a battle to keep its elections honest. Fox News is reporting today that the Supreme Court has allowed Texas to enforce its new voter identification law in the coming election.

The article reports:

In a rare weekend announcement, a majority of the high court’s justices rejected an emergency request from the Justice Department and civil rights groups to prohibit Texas from requiring voters to produce certain forms of photo ID to cast ballots. Three justices dissented.

The law was struck down by a federal judge last week, but a federal appeals court had put that ruling on hold.

The judge found that roughly 600,000 voters, many of them black or Latino, could be turned away at the polls because they lack acceptable identification. Early voting in Texas begins Monday.

Quite frankly, I don’t believe the judge’s numbers. We live in a world where identification is required for almost everything. If you are collecting Social Security, you needed identification to sign up, so the elderly population would have the necessary identification. If you are collecting government assistance, you needed identification to sign up, so poor people would have the necessary identification. If you have ever boarded an airplane, cashed a check, bought alcohol or cigarettes, rented a video, entered any federal building, visited a doctor, picked up a prescription, or entered a hospital, you have had to show identification. Most Americans have done at least one of those things at one time or another.

We need honest elections. I cannot figure out why there are people in our government who are refusing to acknowledge that fact.

How Important Is The Safety Of Women?

Yesterday CBN News reported that thirteen Texas abortion clinics have closed because of a new abortion law that requires abortion clinics to meet the same standards as other hospital-style surgical centers. I hate to be difficult, but shouldn’t abortion clinics have been required to meet those standards a long time ago? It seems to me that if you support abortion, you would want it to be as far as possible from the days of back alley abortions and as safe as possible for the women having the procedure.

The article reports:

Attorney General Greg Abbott, a Republican gubernatorial candidate, is defending the law in court.

“This decision is a vindication of the careful deliberation by the Texas legislature to craft a law to protect the health and safety of Texas women,” Abbott spokeswoman Lauren Bean said.

There are seven abortion clinics left in the state, and none are south or west of San Antonio.

Many clinics have already closed in the past two years under a part of the law requiring doctors who perform abortions to obtain hospital admitting privileges.

One of the arguments the pro-abortion people have always used to say that we need legalized abortion was that abortions were a necessary medical procedure and the procedure needed to be as safe as possible. So why are they so upset over Texas’ new law? Unfortunately the abortion industry (yes, it is an industry) has become one of the most lucrative industries in the United States. Abortion is no longer about safety for women–it is about money. That alone should make us want to rethink the way we deal with the subject of abortion.

The Report From Those Who Are Actually Handling The Crisis

Yesterday the U.K. Telegraph posted a story about American nurses saying that they are unprepared to deal with an outbreak of the Ebola virus in America.

The article reports:

The warning comes after it emerged Thomas Eric Duncan, the country’s first case, had told health workers he had recently been in Liberia yet was still sent home from a hospital in Texas with nothing more than painkillers and antibiotics.

However, health officials insist that American hospitals are ready for such patients and on Friday White House advisers tried to reassure the nation that an outbreak was extremely unlikely.

Lisa Monaco, Barack Obama’s senior counter-terrorism adviser, said: “The United States is prepared to deal with this crisis, both at home and in the region.

“Every Ebola outbreak in the past 40 years has been stopped. We know how to do this and we will do it again.”

That may be true, but there was another story out of Dallas today that was not very reassuring. CBS News in Dallas reported today Dallas officials had located a homeless man who may have had contact with Eric Duncan before he was hospitalized. Mr. Duncan was released from the emergency room at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital when he first went there with the symptoms of Ebola. He told the Hospital that he had recently arrived from West Africa, but somehow that information was not relayed, and he was released. Now Dallas health authorities have to figure out who he had contact with before he was finally admitted, and they have to monitor those people for symptoms. Releasing Mr. Duncan was a rather serious mistake that may have severe consequences.

The U.K Telegraph reported:

A survey by the National Nurses United union across 31 states found 80 per cent of respondents said their hospital had no Ebola admissions policy and 30 per cent said they lacked proper protective equipment.

This is not the time to panic, but it is the time to be aware of the people around you and make sure to practice common sense health habits like washing your hands frequently. In a month or so, we will know where we stand with Ebola. Until then, we just need to be careful.

 

Texas Gets It Right

We have all heard about the good things that are happening in Texas–the state economy is booming, the population is growing, laws have been passed to encourage businesses to relocate there (and businesses are relocating there). Well, Texas has done something else right–it has rejected the Advanced Placement United States History (APUSH) Curriculum put out by the College Board. I recently posted an article detailing a few of the ideas put forth in APUSH (rightwinggranny.com).

Yesterday a website called education views.org posted an article detailing what the State of Texas has done with APUSH. Texas is regarded as the state that sets the standard for textbooks across the nation.

The article states:

Texas has decided that the curriculum standards adopted by the elected members of the SBOE (State Board of Education) will prevail and that the College Board (a private entity that is totally aligned now with the Common Core) will not be allowed to dictate its biased and revisionist curriculum to Texas students.  

The free enterprise system and American exceptionalism will prevail in Texas, and many other states are expected to follow Texas’ example.

Please follow the link to the article to see the videos of the testimony of Larry Krieger and Alice Linahan as they testified before the SBOE.

The article also includes the Resolution which adopts the SBOE standards. That Resolution includes the following:

WHEREAS the Texas Education Code (TEC) Section 28.002(h) states:  “The State Board of Education and each school district shall foster the continuation of the tradition of teaching United States and Texas history and the free enterprise system in regular subject matter and in reading courses and in the adoption of instructional materials.  A primary purpose of the public school curriculum is to prepare thoughtful, active citizens who understand the importance of patriotism and can function productively in a free enterprise society with appreciation for the basic democratic values of our state and national heritage.”; and  

…WHEREAS the Framework reflects a view of American history that is critical of American exceptionalism, the free enterprise system, and emphasizes negative aspects of our nation’s history while minimizing positive aspects; and

 WHEREAS Howard Zinn’s book A People’s History of the United States is recommended as supplementary material in the four model syllabi originally presented at the APUSH 2014 Summer Institute and online; and

 WHEREAS the Framework omits discussion of various critical topics, including the Founding Fathers and the Declaration of Independence, constitutional principles, significant religious influences, military history, commanders and heroes, as well as individuals who have traditionally been part of APUSH; and

…RESOLVED, That the SBOE strongly recommends that the College Board revise the APUSH Framework so that it is consistent both with the course’s traditional mission and with the shared purpose of the CCRS, the TEKS and the Texas Education Code; and be it further

 RESOLVED, That the SBOE respectfully requests that the College Board revise the key concepts of the APUSH Framework and examination in a transparent manner that accurately reflects U.S. history without an ideological bias and that restores and encourages flexibility to states, school districts and teachers in how to teach the course; and be it further

 RESOLVED, That the SBOE will diligently monitor the proposed actions of the College Board to ensure that the remedial measures set out above are implemented in an effective and meaningful manner; and be it finally

 RESOLVED, That upon approval of this resolution the Texas State Board of Education shall deliver a copy to the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and Speaker of the House.

Thank you, Texas, for showing America how to deal with APUSH!

 

 

Following The Money On The Rick Perry Indictment

Yesterday Newsbusters posted an article about the indictment of Texas Governor Rick Perry. It is not news to anyone that this indictment is politically motivated. According to NewmaxHarvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz told Newsmax TV’s “America’s Forum” that the governor’s indictment was driven by politics and is representative of “what happens in totalitarian societies.” What also needs to be reported is the money funding the group behind the indictment.

Newsbusters reports:

Sometimes it seems like there isn’t a single political issue that a Soros-funded group isn’t involved in. Texans for Public Justice, one of the groups behind Rick Perry’s indictment charges, is part of a “progressive” coalition that has received $500,000 from liberal billionaire George Soros

…According to KXAN, a local NBC affiliate in Austin, Texans for Public Justice filed a complaint against Perry in court last June

According to an Open Society Institute press release, OSI has given $500,000 to help form a coalition that “could change the way the progressive community engages public policy in Texas.” Besides Texans for Public Justice, this coalition includes Texans Together, the Sierra Club, Texas Legal Services, La Fe Policy Research and Education Center, Public Citizen, and the Center for Public Policy. 

Even some liberals have defended Rick Perry and dismissed the indictment charges as politically motivated. Obama senior aide David Axelrod defended Perry on Twitter, tweeting that “[u]nless he was demonstrably trying to scrap the ethics unit for other than his stated reason, Perry’s indictment seems pretty sketchy,” and MSNBC called the case against the Texas governor “weak” and “fishy.” ABC, CBS and NBC have completely ignored these liberal criticisms of the indictment. 

George Soros is not an asset to the American political system.

The Democrats Attempt To Destroy Another Contender

Unfortunately the Democrat party is very skilled at using the media to destroy Republican candidates who are a threat to Democrats in future elections.  Actually, it’s not much of a challenge, because the media tends to lean left anyway. In the past, Mitt Romney was painted as an uncaring, wealthy snob, although in Massachusetts he was known for his compassion and generous giving to those less fortunate. Sarah Palin never said, “I can see Russia from my back porch.” Tina Fey said that on Saturday Night Live, yet the quote was made to illustrate that Sarah Palin was an idiot, which she is not. The Republicans were accused on waging a ‘war on women,’ when more than one Democrat was accused of sexually harassing or groping his staff. Somehow that was overlooked. Anyway, the list goes on. The latest attempt to take out a Republican before he becomes dangerous is currently going forward in Texas. The tactic that was used to remove Tom DeLay from the political scene is now being used on Rick Perry.

Yesterday John Hinderaker at Power Line reported on the indictment of Rick Perry. He noted that the Travis County district attorney’s office was also the office that indicted Tom Delay. The article notes that it took Tom DeLay years to clear his name, and by that time, his political career was ruined. That is what the Travis County district attorney’s office is attempting to do to Rick Perry.

The article reports:

A grand jury in Travis County, Texas, indicted Governor Rick Perry today. Why? For exercising his constitutional prerogative by threatening to veto, and then vetoing, an appropriation to support the public corruption unit in Travis County’s district attorney’s office. This followed the arrest of the county’s district attorney, Democratic Party activist Rosemary Lehmberg, for drunk driving, after she was found “with an open bottle of vodka in the front passenger seat of her car in a church parking lot in Austin.” Ms. Lehmberg served 45 days in jail.

…Conservatives should respond to this indictment by rallying around Perry. The indictment is a bad joke, intended simply to generate negative publicity. As with the bogus DeLay indictment from the same source, years may go by before it is finally proved baseless. In the meantime, conservatives should stand behind Perry and denounce the politically-motivated machinations of Texas Democrats.

The politics of personal destruction has worked for Democrats in the past. It will continue to work until Republicans learn to recognize it and expose it for what it is. It’s up to conservatives to stop this attack on Rick Perry. It is quite possible that the country-club Republicans will not join us in exposing this as a political attack. Rick Perry has done and is doing a good job in Texas. He does not deserve this sort of nonsense.

Massachusetts Has Become A Border State

No, the geography didn’t change, just the influx of refugees from the border.

Today’s Boston Herald is reporting that several secret flights of illegal immigrants have made their way to Massachusetts.

The article states:

I guess Attorney General Martha Coakley and state police are out of the loop because they said in recent weeks they had no knowledge of it.

What does that tell you about the politics of this?

The article reports:

We’ve learned from immigration officials that four planes filled with detainees nabbed on the border landed at Hanscom Field and Logan International Airport since April as the U.S. scrambles to cap the immigration crisis.

Three other flights chartered by President Obama’s immigration crew have also stopped in Massachusetts to pick up illegals and deport them.

So why haven’t local communities been notified?

This should alarm everybody in the Bay State, because we don’t know how many illegals are passing through or hanging around; what communicable diseases they may carry; if any are sex offenders, drug-runners, gang members or terrorists.

This operation of moving illegals from Texas to Hanscom to Logan and back again has been shrouded in secrecy, putting our health and security at risk.

It’s unacceptable for the president to run such a risky loop without coming clean with the American people.

The president promised transparency in his administration and that is a flat-out joke. We have a right to know who’s coming into our community.

ICE agents and doctors treating illegals are being told to clam up.

This begs the question: Is something really bad is going on?

This has been a pattern with the Obama administration.

Whistleblowers have been demonized in one scandal after another. Republican Congressional candidate Richard Tisei has come up with a plan to protect whistleblowers … and it can’t come too soon.

In four months, Americans vote on the entire House of Representatives and one-third of the Senate. We need to elect people who will stand up to President Obama and who will protect America.