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Does the Democratic Party have a God problem?

By Lathan Watts

Democratic presidential debates provide an excellent opportunity for the aspiring leaders of the party to address and embrace religious freedom for all Americans. Religious freedom should be considered a positive fundamental American principle by both major political parties.

At least one of the Democratic presidential hopefuls — Beto O’Rourke — has stated that churches who don’t support same-sex marriage should lose their tax exempt status. Will any of the other candidates distance themselves from this unconstitutional weaponization of the IRS?

It was not so long ago at the 2016 Democrat National Convention when the attempt to add the words “God-given” to a resolution was met with a chorus of boos from the delegates.

At their most recent summer meeting, the Democrat National Committee unanimously passed a resolution criticizing America’s First Freedom, religious liberty, claiming it is used to “justify public policy that has threatened the civil rights and liberties of many Americans, including but not limited to the LGBT community, women, and ethnic and religious/nonreligious minorities.”

Unfortunately, the DNC resolution, which also enthusiastically embraced the religiously unaffiliated as emblematic of the party’s values and “the largest religious group within the Democratic Party,” unnecessarily pits non-religious citizens and people of faith against each other in an us against them proposition at a time when our nation desperately needs more unity.

Thus far every Democrat debate has been a missed opportunity to ask the candidates their view on religious liberty. But they need to be asked. Do they agree that religious liberty is no longer a freedom worth protecting, and is, in fact, a threat to civil rights as the DNC resolution states? Do they welcome religiously affiliated Americans, or fear them in the same way it appears the DNC fears religious liberty?

Specifically, the candidates need to be asked about cases where religious liberty is under fire.

For example, do the candidates believe it was appropriate for Dallas, Texas Judge Tammy Kemp to hand former police officer Amber Guyger a Bible after she was sentenced for the murder of her unarmed neighbor? Was that a unifying act of compassion as many saw, or “inappropriate” and “unconstitutional” as one special interest group has claimed?

Do they support the inclusion of a World War II veteran’s Bible in a privately owned and operated POW/MIA Recognition Table display at the Manchester Veterans Affairs Medical Center in New Hampshire? Or do they side with the effort by some to remove the Bible?

Do they agree that people like Oregon small business owners Aaron and Melissa Klein should be penalized by the government and forced to close their small family bakery for trying to operate their business according to their faith?

Do they agree with the decision by a Washington state school board to fire football coach Joe Kennedy simply because he kneeled in prayer at the 50-yard line after games and after the players had already left the field?

Americans deserve to know.

Some polling indicates that those who claim no religious belief or affiliation are among the fastest growing groups of our population. If so, people of faith may soon be a minority group in America. But that too is exactly why the First Amendment was written — to protect the right to believe and live accordingly even when your views are unpopular.

President Thomas Jefferson, who famously penned the oft misused phrase “separation of church and state” stated in a letter to a Baptist group, “No provision in our constitution ought to be dearer to man, than that which protects the rights of conscience against the enterprises of the civil authority.”

To Jefferson and the Founders, religious liberty was about protecting each man’s right to live according to his own beliefs. They knew that if government was allowed to invade the space between a man and his God or force him to violate his own conscience, there would be no limit to government oppression. Thus, they placed religious liberty first in the Bill of Rights, without it every other freedom we hold dear would fall.

Religious freedom is so fundamental to the American way of life that it should never be used as a wedge to divide Americans. There are plenty of political issues on which the left and the right may never agree, but standing for the right to disagree, particularly when motivated by your faith, should always be bipartisan. If one of our two major political parties in America has truly abandoned this principle, then God help us all.

Lathan Watts is Director of Legal Communications for First Liberty Institute, the nation’s largest non-profit law firm and think tank exclusively dedicated to preserving religious liberty for all Americans, and a Regional Fellow of National Review Institute. Learn more at firstliberty.org

BETO O’ROURKE -Mortal enemy of the Second Amendment, – Want;s to Tax churhes who beleive Homesexualilty is a Mortal sin

Beto’s War on Religious Liberty

By Daniel John Sobieski
Having sworn himself to be a mortal enemy of the Second Amendment, pledging to go door-to-door to confiscate the AR-15s law-abiding citizens possess to protect their homes and family, Peter Francis O’Rourke now sets his sights on the First Amendment by announcing at a CNN townhall event on LGBTQ policies, a “church tax” on those religious entities who believe, based on their religious faith, that homosexuality is a sin and, based on their originalist interpretation of the U.S. Constitution, that gay marriage is not a constitutional right. As reported on The Blaze:

O’Rourke affirmed that he would strip churches and other organizations of their tax-exempt status if they refused to support the LGBT cause by opposing same-sex marriage.

CNN’s Don Lemon asked O’Rourke how far the government should punish organizations for following traditional religious beliefs about marriage.

“This is from your LGBTQ plan, and here’s what you write, here’s a quote, ‘Freedom of religion is a fundamental right but it should not be used to discriminate,'” Lemon said.

“Do you think religious institutions, like colleges, churches, charities, should they lose their tax-exempt status if they oppose same-sex marriage?” Lemon asked.

“Yes,” O’Rourke said simply to a loud applause from the LGBTQ audience.

“There can be no reward, no benefit, no tax break for any one or any institution, any organization in America that denies the full human rights and the full civil rights of every single one of us,” O’Rourke added.

Apparently, in Beto’s mind being entitled to hold one’s own religious beliefs is not a basic human right, unlike killing the unborn up until the moment of birth. Tolerance in the alternate universe of the liberal elite is a one-way street. But they don’t want tolerance. They want acceptance.  Never mind that the First Amendment says Congress shall make no law prohibiting the free exercise of religion. Never mind the touted separation of church and state. Beto would place the jackboot of government oppression on the throat of religious liberty. His “church tax” is intended to dry up contributions to  churches, religious institutions, even their charitable efforts.  He wants us to believe the Constitution was written to protect lifestyles, not liberties.
Beto seems to have fully embraced candidate Barack Obama’s famous “bitter clingers” remark made during the 2008 campaign:

Barack Obama had not yet locked up the nomination for his party when he revealed his true feelings about gun owners to attendees of a private fund raiser in San Francisco last April:

You go into these small towns in Pennsylvania and, like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing’s replaced them. And they fell through the Clinton administration, and the Bush administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not. And it’s not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy toward people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.

Beto is targeting Obama’s cartoonish characterization of “bitter clingers” who are simply law-abiding Americans who believe the Constitution means it when it says we have the right to keep and bear arms in order to protect our right to speak freely and talk about and practice our religious beliefs without government intervention or restriction. Hillary call them, called us, “deplorable” and worse yet, “irredeemables” even though redemption is what our Christianity is all about.
Early in his presidency, President Trump issued an executive order freeing religious institutions from some of the shackles imposed or supported by the Obama administration, including the Johnson Amendment, which prevented religious leaders from linking their religious beliefs to public issues from the pulpit.
It ended the official hostility of government to all things religious that was part of the Obama administration’s fundamental transformation of America. This was no small thing and means that the likes of the Little Sisters of the Poor would not be dragged into court again to fight for the religious liberty the Constitution guarantees them. Modifying regulations to honor religious conscience was significant, as was the directive not to enforce the Johnson Amendment, which forbids priests and pastors from disagreeing from the pulpit with government encroachment of our liberties.
Trump’s placing Neil Gorsuch on the U.S. Supreme Court was a huge step forward in preserving religious liberty. Gorsuch, as Lifesite News reported, was a staunch defender of the religious liberty rights in the cases of Hobby Lobby and the Little Sisters of the Poor:

Hobby Lobby and Little Sisters of the Poor. Their names were synonymous with major Supreme Court battles to stop the Obama Administration from forcing them and others to pay for drugs that cause abortions.

And when it came to their religious freedom to opt out of Obama’s abortion agenda, Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch agreed.

In a significant ruling in a major landmark case, Gorsuch outlined a broad definition of religious freedom that could point to how he would rule in similar cases regarding abortion if confirmed by the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court ultimately sided with Hobby Lobby and the Court ruled that companies like it can be exempt from the Obama abortion mandate. Gorsuch sided with Hobby Lobby in 2013, writing, “The ACA’s mandate requires them to violate their religious faith by forcing them to lend an impermissible degree of assistance to conduct their religion teaches to be gravely wrong.”

He also argued in his own separate opinion that the individual owners and directors also had valid religious freedom claims….

Gorsuch also sided with the Little Sisters of the Poor, defending the rights of nuns not to be forced to pay for abortion-inducing drugs in their health care plans.

As the late Francis Cardinal George of Chicago, former head of the U.S. Council of Catholic Bishops, once observed, President Obama’s idea of religious liberty differed little from Josef Stalin’s:

Freedom of worship was guaranteed in the Constitution of the former Soviet Union,” Chicago’s Francis Cardinal George recently wrote.

“You could go to church, if you could find one. The church, however, could do nothing except conduct religious rites in places of worship — no schools, religious publications, health care institutions, organized charity, ministry for justice and works of mercy that flow naturally from a living faith. We fought a long Cold War to defeat that vision of society.”

Beto O’Rourke wants to restore that oppressive vision of a society without true religious liberty. President Trump believes otherwise. We cannot allow the federal government to strip away the religious conscience of a nation founded by those who believed our unalienable rights came from God and not government.
Daniel John Sobieski is a former editorial writer for Investor’s Business Daily and freelance writer whose pieces have appeared in Human EventsReason Magazine, and the Chicago Sun-Times among other publications.             


The Big Picture of Trump’s Rallies

The president is adept at connecting with audiences, which will help in 2020.

Nate Jackson · Oct. 14, 2019
“Watching the President in [his rallies], I can’t help but think he needs to do a lot more of these,” says Erick Erickson. “Get him out of the White House, away from the TV, and with the crowds that love him. He feeds off their energy. He is deeply entertaining and funny on the stage. He drives the media crazy. … He needs to do more of these.”
Erickson has a good point. President Donald Trump is a crowd pleaser and a man who loves connecting with people from the stage. His television persona gave Americans a familiarity with him long before he ran for president that made voters amenable to his brand of populism, and he played to that strength in “yuge” rallies across the nation in 2016. It will be a necessary part of his 2020 campaign, too.
He doesn’t speak like a polished politician, rattling off the same old list of policy proposals. Instead, he hits his opponents with broadsides that connect with supporters. For instance, in a Louisiana rally Friday, he declared, “[Democrats have been] trying to stop us for more than three years with a lot of crap. They know they can’t win on Election Day so they’re pursuing an illegal, invalid, and unconstitutional bulls—t impeachment.” That’s salty language, but somehow it works for Trump — because he’s right on the merits.
Not only do Trump’s rallies inspire his supporters, they infuriate his detractors. Gary Bauer writes of last Thursday’s rally in Minneapolis, “Sadly, there was violence after the rally ended. MAGA hats were burned. Trump supporters were assaulted. Leftists waved the flag of communist China. Police officers had to create a path for cars to leave because demonstrators were attacking vehicles in the parking garage. It was a striking contrast. Inside the Target Center, Trump praised our brave men and women in uniform, our soldiers, and police officers. He defended our flag and our country. Outside, the left-wing radicals, the activist base of the Democrat Party, were attacking cops, burning flags, yelling their hatred for America, and assaulting conservatives.”
Furthermore, for those paying attention, that highlights the gross double standard of the mainstream media. Bauer notes, “If, after any speech by a leading Democrat, a mob formed outside and began punching people and attacking cars, every network would be running the footage non-stop. Every Republican would be forced to condemn it on the record. But no elected Democrat … will be asked to condemn what happened on the streets of Minneapolis.”
The more Americans are exposed to the radicalism of the Left, the more Trump’s quirks and idiosyncrasies seem like the sane choice in 2020.


U.S. and China Push Pause on Trade War

Beijing agrees to purchase U.S. agricultural products; Trump suspends new tariffs.

Thomas Gallatin · Oct. 14, 2019
President Donald Trump announced Friday that the U.S. and China had agreed to a partial trade deal, which Trump referred to as “phase one” of ongoing negotiations. One of Trump’s biggest presidential efforts has been to level the trade playing field with China, and a deal is in the interests of both the president and the entire country.
National Review reports, “The provisions include China purchasing $40 billion to $50 billion worth of American agricultural products, along with agreeing to guidelines on how it manages its currency, and policies with intellectual property, including forced technology transfer.” On America’s part, Trump has agreed to suspend the implementation of another round of tariffs on $250 billion of Chinese goods that had been scheduled to go into effect on Oct. 15. Trump heralded the deal as “very substantial” while at the same time noting that this was merely the first step in negotiating a broader and more comprehensive deal.
News of the deal sent the markets climbing — the Dow closed nearly 320 points higher Friday. The deal is likely to temporarily settle economic concerns, especially with the possibility of a more comprehensive agreement coming as soon as December. However, this long-running trade war is far from over, as China has yet to agree to make any substantive changes to its abusive trade practices.

It is to our benefit that fellow Democrats can’t be called away from their obsession with a destined-to-fail Trump impeachment

It is to our benefit that fellow Democrats can’t be called away from their obsession with a destined-to-fail Trump impeachment

As Harry Reid Defines It: Trump “A Very, Very Smart Man”

Judi McLeod imageBy  —— Bio and ArchivesOctober 13, 2019   Cover Story | 
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As Harry Reid Defines It: Trump A Very, Very Smart ManFormer Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is spot-on in reminding rank and file Democrats that President Donald Trump is: “a very, very smart man who won’t be easily beaten in 2020”.
Reid gets it while so many of his desperado Dem colleagues do not.
Mercifully, the Democrats are never in listening mode even when it comes from someone in their own Party.

“Former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has a new assessment of President Donald Trump as “a very, very smart man” who won’t be easy for Democrats to defeat in the 2020 election. (CNN, Oct. 12, 2019)

“I used to think that Donald Trump was not too smart. I certainly don’t believe that anymore,” Reid, a Nevada Democrat who served in Congress for decades until his retirement in 2016, told “Axe Files” host David Axelrod in an interview airing Saturday at 7 p.m. ET on CNN.

“The former Democratic leader had criticized Trump in harsh and colorful terms, calling him a “spoiled brat,” “a con artist” and a “human leech who will bleed the country” in comments on the Senate floor in 2016.”

Those insults were back in the days before sore-loser Democrats went on to smear Trump as an out-and-out “racist”.

“But Reid—a savvy political operator whose moves to reshape Senate procedures, like his elimination of filibusters for most nominations by presidents, were criticized by Republicans during his time in Congress—acknowledged in the interview Trump’s strategy in discrediting Democrats leading the impeachment inquiry into his actions with Ukraine. (CNN)

“I don’t think he’s, intellectually, a powerhouse but he is basically a very, very smart man. No matter what the subject, any argument he involves himself in, it’s on his terms. You’re always arguing against him. He never, never, is willing to debate an issue on terms that aren’t his,” Reid told Axelrod.”

How dare any non-Democrat president argue on his own terms?

How dare the president continue to defend himself against media propaganda, all the lies and the smears?

“Asked how he would advise a candidate running against Trump, Reid warned, “Anyone that thinks Trump’s going to be beaten easily should have another thing coming.” (CNN)

Their egos have run away from them, Mr. Reid.  They think their impeachment threats are going to make Trump “beaten easily”.

For Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and many others waiting in the ‘Resistance Wing’, it will always be ‘Someday Over The Rainbow’.

But Reid’s warning will fall on the deaf ears of Democrats who will remain out there screeching “IMPEACH!” come Hell or High Water.
Even with 92 percent of the mainstream and social media pitted against him, and with Democrat presidential hopeful Kamala Harris trying to get him banned from Twitter, the only way he has of getting his message out, Trump is always one or two steps ahead of the raging Democrats.
Unfortunately for Progressives, Brother Reid is not the only one who sees the president as “very, very smart”, half of the voting public do too.
And it is not just on “Impeachment!” where Trump is leading in the ‘Smarts Department’.
How’s this for Smarts?!
🇺🇸 Miguelifornia@michaelbeatty3

🇺🇸@realDonaldTrump 10/12/19

Embedded video

Some truths are well nigh impossible to argue against.  Today’s main headline on the Drudge Report is ’30 Minutes That Changed Trump Presidency’, based on an AP story describing ‘The Anatomy Now Imperilling Trump’s presidency’.

“As Democrats have launched an impeachment inquiry into Trump, Republicans have either defended the President’s actions or sidestepped the question whether it’s appropriate that Trump asked a foreign government to investigate his political opponent.” (CNN)

Nor should President Trump be overly concerned about ongoing negative Fox News polls.  Fox is the network, but real Fox Donald Trump is always two steps ahead—even with the network and Drudge now joining Fake News leaders CNN and MSNBC in the fight against him.  It is to our benefit that fellow Democrats can’t be called away from their obsession with a destined-to-fail Trump impeachment.
Quintessentially President Donald Trump is the fox immortalized in the Steeleye Span song:

“Run, run, I won’t give in
Run, run, I’ll never give in
Run, run, run
Run, run, run”

For those in el Rushbo’s Rio Linda, that’s basically what Harry Reid was talking about.




Producers of the Flailing Impeachment Inquiry

By Clarice Feldman
Whistleblower Won’t Testify
The leaker, incorrectly tagged a “whistleblower,” now doesn’t want to testify. Instead he wants to give his testimony “by letter,” presumably from an undisclosed location where no one can test his “testimony.”  Ostensibly this is because he fears for his safety. He is anonymous, so any claim of “death threats” seems unlikely, although as we show below,  we do have a rather good idea of his identity.
In any event the very notion is preposterous.

It was already ridiculous to think a presidential impeachment, to remove the most powerful elected political representative of The United States, could continue based on an anonymous complaint.  However, expecting the same complainant/accuser to remain invisible during the process is so far beyond nonsensical, the light from where nonsense emanates wouldn’t reach this narrative for a year.

Yes, feel free to pummel the left-wing nuts based on the absurdity of this request.  Only the most raving Moon bat imaginable would think they could impeach a sitting U.S. President via a ‘Dear Sir’ complaint letter to Congress.

These are obviously not stable-minded people.

Oh, please, please, please hold that impeachment vote now.  It is more clear than ever where this nuttery is heading.

If you thought it was delicious to watch the media meltdowns on election night 2016, just imagine the meltdowns as the media attempts to sell impeachment via a strongly worded  letter of complaint to their resistance constituents….

Perhaps he could testify via text messages, or… wait, even better… via tweets.  Too damn funny.

The real reason for this backoff, I think, is that once his identity is confirmed, it will be clear this was a stupid setup by amateurs in Congress who wanted to cover their tracks. From certain clues reported, online detectives have winkled out what appears to be his identity.
If they are right, there are a lot of reasons he wouldn’t want to testify. For one he seems to be involved with those behind the discredited Steele Dossier. “Billionaire Clinton donor Victor Pinchuk sent MP Bielkova to meet with him the same day she met with David Kramer and kicked Steele Dossier operation into high gear.” For another, his association with two members of Schiff’s staff — Abigail Grace and Sean Misko — suggests they cooked up his story together before sending it off to the Inspector General to refashion the leaker as a “whistleblower.”

Grace, 36, was hired to help Schiff’s committee investigate the Trump White House. [snip] Grace worked at the NSC from 2016 to 2018 in U.S.-China relations and then briefly at the Center for a New American Security think tank, which was founded by two former senior Obama administration officials. [snip]

Misko, 37, worked in the Obama administration as a member of the secretary of state’s policy planning staff under deputy chief of staff Jake Sullivan, who became Hillary Clinton’s top foreign policy official during her 2016 presidential campaign. In 2015, Misko was the director for the Gulf states at the NSC, remaining there into the Trump administration’s first year.

A source familiar with Grace’s work at the NSC told the Washington Examiner, “Abby Grace had access to executive privilege information, and she has a duty not to disclose that information. She is not authorized to reveal that information.”

The same source said that Misko had not been trusted by Trump appointees. “There were a few times where documents had been signed off for final editing before they go to the national security adviser for signature,” the source said. “And he actually went in and made changes after those changes were already finished. So he basically tried to insert, without his boss’ approval.

“There were meetings in which he protested very heavily, and next thing you know, there’s an article in the paper about the contents of that meeting.” [snip]

Misko’s name surfaced in the Hillary Clinton email controversy when he worked in the State Department during the Obama administration.

In a Dec. 1, 2009, email released by Judicial Watch, Clinton adviser Huma Abedin sent classified information regarding foreign military contributions to the Afghanistan war effort to her private email account. That email originated with Misko, who wrote to Sullivan that he initially “accidentally” sent it on the “high side” (secure) but was sending the email again.

The “whistleblower” — if the supposition of his identity is true — is or was with the CIA and is a fellow on the Atlantic Council, “which has a business partnership with Hunter Biden’s holding company” the Ukrainian energy company Burisma.  JP also reports that members of the Atlantic Council include a significant number of anti-Trumpers whom we are all familiar with:

What do we know about The Atlantic Council members now?

1:  Burisma Holdings.

2:  Sean Misko (Schiff staffer)

3:  Dmitri Alperovitch.  (The CTO and cofounder of Crowdstrike)

4:  Victor Pinchuk (Ukrainian Oligarch/Hillary Funder)

..& more Obama/Hillary people than you can imagine.

You know what else is SOOOOO coincidental?  That the CTO of Crowdstrike is ALSO in The Atlantic Council.

Who funds the Atlantic Council? Hunter Biden’s Burisma.  The American Security Council is also a rats’ nest of familiar persons, notes JP:

“Let’s look at members of The Center for a New American Century… CNAS…Members: 1: Abigail Grace (Schiff staffer. Former NSC at WH) 2: Christopher Heinz. (John Kerry son, Partners with Hunter Biden) 3: Sean Misko (Schiff staffer. Former NSC at WH)”

Even the “whistleblower’s” attorney, Andrew Bakaj, has a long anti-Trump history and a connection to the Project on Government Oversight, financed by George Soros’ Open Society foundation.
Back up Witnesses Before Congress
My online friend “The Infamous Iggy” captured the unifying theme of these two witnesses best:

The DNC, Pelosi, Schiff, the media, progs in general and even the bureaucracy and FBI are in some respects a sideshow.

The real issue that ought to either-or-both frighten and enrage any honest American is that the “Intelligence Community” truly does now consider itself a law unto itself and has arrogated the power to actually decide who is a suitable president and who will be allowed to occupy the White House.

The genesis of Russia and the Ukraine has quite plainly been at its root the IC and especially the CIA.

They have, make no mistake, declared war on self-governance, unless we pick someone they approve of which is quite obviously not self-governance.

Thankfully the stupid bastards are remarkably incompetent and have been for decades but they still can, and are, causing a great deal of damage.

So absurd have been the multiple efforts by Democrats to geld the chief executive that one federal appellate court judge has termed their efforts violative of the constitutional ban on Bills of Attainder.
Hoping to inject life into a dead horse, Democrats announced two witnesses this week, both of which are disgruntled former Trump officials and neither of whom had firsthand knowledge of the phone call that prompted this nonsense.
Former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch 
The President pulled her from that post in May. She is the ambassador who didn’t let representatives of the new government of Ukraine have visas to travel to this country to provide evidence of corruption by Biden and others in their country.
I suppose her point, and that of the Democrats, is that the executive powers granted the president are to be negated. The Deep State, once in place, cannot be removed by an upstart president who disagrees with its members.
Fiona Hill
Her testimony is due next week. She likewise objected to the president setting his own foreign policy circumventing the advice of the bloated (300) membership (Obama’s doing, now trimmed back to the original 100 by Trump) of the National Security Council and herself. The President’s former Russian advisor resigned days before the call which so perturbed Adam Schiff, a call he misrepresented (“parodied”) when the White House surprisingly revealed the transcript of it. In her case, it seems that once again that policy differences and turf protection are the issues, not presidential wrongdoing.
Deep State Corruption in Ukraine is Still Only Partially Revealed
It is my belief, based on information, that the Bidens were not the only ones who treated Ukraine as a private piggy bank. Obama sent them a billion dollars and to paraphrase the Bible, he cast bread upon the waters and Biden and others got back Fig Newtons. Hunter Biden alone received $3.1 million in an 18-month period.


Hunter Biden’s bank records show that $3.1 million flowed in from the Ukrainians over an 18 month period

$142,000 was wired from a Ukrainian oligarch

$1.2M came from an LLC connected to a bank with a history of money laundering

All while his dad steered Ukrainian policy

It seems that Joe Biden may have done well, too:

Rudy Giuliani has alleged that a Ukrainian natural-gas company that employed Joe Biden’s son Hunter also paid the former vice president $900,000 in lobbying fees.

Appearing on Fox News’ “Hannity” Wednesday, President Trump’s personal lawyer cited as evidence claims made by Andriy Derkach, a member of Ukraine’s parliament. [snip]

“Funds in the amount of $900,000 were transferred to the US-based company Rosemont Seneca Partners,” Derkach told reporters, referring to the investment company the younger Biden founded with Chris Heinz, the stepson of former Secretary of State John Kerry.

“The payment reference was payment for consultative services,” Derkach said, according to Interfax, a Russian news agency.

He went on to claim Burisma — according to documents — paid $16.5 million to former Polish President Aleksander Kwasnieski, who was chair of Burisma’s board, Hunter Biden and Devon Archer.

It remains to be seen if Derkach’s claims will be proven, but Biden has a long history of corrupt dealings. Tom Brokaw first raised this issue in 2008.
 I think a thorough investigation will show that money sent to Ukraine to help develop its natural gas resources were diverted by pro-Russian Ukrainian officials who sat on it in order to allow Russia to dominate the natural gas market in Europe (and blackmail it) and disbursed a portion to the Bidens to pull this off. I also think the Obama Administration was well aware of this corrupt deal with Hunter Biden.
Ukraine was not the only piggybank Hunter tapped into. There was China as well, and there John Kerry’s stepson, Chris Heinz, joined him.

In 2015, the Aviation Industry Corporation of China teamed up with Bohai Harvest RST to buy Henniges Automotive, a producer of high-tech anti-vibration components for automobiles.  Bohai Harvest’s investment funding, though “managed” by Hunter Biden and Chris Heinz, had come in large part from Chinese government interests.  So it’s stretching the truth to say a Chinese investment pool “teamed up with” a Chinese company to buy the components-maker.  Really, it was the Chinese buying an American company.

At a big-bracket investment firm such as Goldman or Morgan, such a transaction would have had to pass muster through teams of compliance and due diligence officials.  What sort of compliance review do you think occurred at the so-called private equity firm run by a drug-addicted ne’er-do-well like Biden or like Kerry’s stepson?

Private equity funds tend to charge one or two percent a year on invested capital plus 20% of profits.  Assuming that the fund had a total of $1.5 billion of “assets under management,” the lucky fellows were — and probably still are — splitting $15 or $30 million a year.

In both cases, not only do we have the unseemly, certainly corrupt practice of officials and their children cleaning up on foreign deals obtained through political connections, but as well there is the stench of these people undermining U.S. interests for pelf.
But absent Schiff and Pelosi’s dumb and phony “impeachment inquiry” none of this would have received much attention in the press, which as John Nolte describes has hit defcon in desperation.
Incidentally, the presidency is not the only branch whose powers the Democrats want to circumscribe. Democratic Senators Whitehouse, Gilibrand, Hirono, Blumenthal, and Durbin just filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court in a Second Amendment case regarding NYC firearm transport restrictions.
The brief contained a thinly veiled threat to restructure the Supreme Court if it decides against the City of New York.
These people keep trying in every way large and small to impose a one-party autocratic rule over us, even going so far as to ignore the separation of powers among three constitutional branches of government.

Republicans wrestle with impeachment strategy

Republicans wrestle with impeachment strategy

Senate Republicans realize they need to push back more aggressively on the fast-moving impeachment inquiry in the House, but they have yet to display a unified strategy.
The disunity comes as public opinion polls show growing support for impeachment proceedings, giving more momentum to congressional Democrats almost three weeks after Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) announced the inquiry.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) is spearheading the GOP counteroffensive and plans to call President Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, before his panel to testify about former Vice President Joe Biden and Ukrainian corruption.
But Senate GOP aides warn the risky move could backfire on Republicans.
“I think bringing Rudy Giuliani to the Senate Judiciary Committee is probably a mistake,” said a Senate Republican aide, who requested anonymity to discuss party strategy. “He’s not the stable lawyer that he once was. He’s become Trumpian in saying whatever sounds good at the moment. It’s one thing when you’re doing that on TV, it’s another when you’re under oath to a congressional committee.”
The aide, however, said there’s pressure on Graham to get more aggressive in response to the escalating tactics of House Democrats.
“If the House isn’t going to follow the norms of impeachment and do a vote and do legitimate live hearings then I think Graham is going to be more inclined to do some stunts,” the aide said.
Graham initially said he did not want to delve into the allegations being pushed by Giuliani, who claims that efforts to interfere in the 2016 election likely originated in Ukraine. He is also calling for an investigation into unsubstantiated allegations that Biden interfered in Ukrainian anti-corruption efforts.
Graham told reporters before the two-week October recess that he didn’t want to unleash a storm of partisan bickering by launching a Ukraine probe.
“I don’t want to turn the Senate into a circus,” he said. “We’re not going to do anything because we don’t have any jurisdiction. I have no interest in opening up that front. I don’t want to blow up the Senate.”
But Graham, who has been in contact with Giuliani, abruptly shifted gears this past week, announcing he will now have Trump’s personal lawyer testify.
“It’s very helpful because at the right time it will give me the opportunity to show all my evidence as if I were prosecuting a case. If they don’t think they I have evidence, they don’t me,” Giuliani told The Hill in an interview Thursday.
Giuliani called Graham “a good friend of mine,” saying he has talked to the South Carolina Republican, considered one of Trump’s strongest Senate allies, about efforts to delve into the Ukraine controversy.
Senate Democrats, meanwhile, are itching to pounce on Giuliani if he comes up to Capitol Hill. Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) has demanded he testify under oath.
Democrats could barrage Giuliani with a range of questions about Trump’s involvement in efforts to push Ukraine to investigate Biden, and give the three Democrats on the panel running for president — Sens. Amy Klobuchar (Minn.), Cory Booker (N.J.) and Kamala Harris (Calif.) — a national platform to go on the attack.
Giuliani told The Hill that he would expect to testify under oath but hasn’t yet decided whether he’ll accept Graham’s invitation.
If he doesn’t testify, it would present Graham with a serious dilemma of whether to move ahead without a star witness.
Giuliani told The Hill that he’s working on lining up alternative witnesses.
“I began it and I have the best overview of it,” he said of his investigation into Ukrainian corruption and possible ties to Biden. “Some of these Ukrainians have a lot more information than I have. So I’m trying to get them to come over here to get interviewed.”
Democrats would undoubtedly challenge the credibility of Giuliani’s witnesses, particularly in the wake of federal charges filed against two of his associates, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, who helped dig up information on Ukrainian corruption and potential links to Biden.
Ukrainian-born Parnas and Fruman, who was born in Belarus, were arrested Wednesday night at Dulles International Airport with one-way tickets out of the country. Both men are U.S. citizens.
Giuliani suggested that Graham has also changed his mind on inviting Biden and his son Hunter to testify.
But the Senate Republican aide predicted that’s unlikely.
“I don’t think that Biden would be called. I think that’s probably Giuliani more than Graham,” the aide said.
Launching a Senate investigation into Ukrainian corruption and the Bidens could put vulnerable Republicans in a tough spot heading into 2020.
Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), a top Democratic target next year, repeatedly declined to say Thursday if it was appropriate for Trump to ask a foreign leader to investigate Biden.
GOP Sens. Joni Ernst (Iowa) and Martha McSally (Ariz.), two other incumbents up for reelection next year, also stopped short of rendering a judgment.
Ernst said she didn’t have enough information and McSally just urged Congress to treat the impeachment inquiry in a “serious and solemn manner.”
A second Senate Republican aide said GOP leaders initially wanted to steer clear of the politics of impeachment and paint it as a frivolous, partisan exercise by House Democrats that would interfere with passing regular legislation.
But the thinking has changed in light of new polls showing Democrats are making strides in the court of public opinion, with a growing number of Americans now saying Trump should be impeaching.
“What Graham is thinking is the House is producing all this news and information and it’s all against the president, and when it’s not, they don’t release it,” said the GOP aide.
“I think there’s a desire within the conference to go on offense and that’s what this is,” the aide added.
A Fox News poll released Wednesday showed that a record 51 percent of voters want to see Trump impeached and removed from office.
A survey by PBS NewsHour, NPR and Marist published Thursday found that 52 percent of Americans and 54 percent of independents support the impeachment inquiry.
Graham said he plans to circulate a letter among fellow Senate Republicans informing Pelosi that a majority of the Senate GOP conference believes Trump’s phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was not an impeachable offense.
Other Senate Republicans have also stepped up their attacks on Pelosi in recent days.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Tuesday blasted House Democrats for launching the impeachment inquiry.
“Overturning the results of an American election requires the highest level of fairness and due process, as it strikes at the core of our democratic process,” he tweeted. “So far, the House has fallen far short by failing to follow the same basic procedures that it has followed for every other President in our history.”
The emerging consensus among Republicans is that the best way to respond to any articles of impeachment passed by the House is to dismiss them as quickly as possible in the Senate, likely without a trial.
Giuliani told The Hill that a Senate trial would have negative repercussions on the country.
“It would probably be dismissed immediately,” he said, adding it would be “horrible” if impeachment articles passed the House and resulted in a Senate trial.


Sebring High School Young Americans for Freedom car wash in progress until 4:00 PM today Saturday 10/12! We are at Auto Zone in Sebring across from Fairmont Cinema Square! $5.00 plus additional donation appreciated!


Sebring High School Young Americans for Freedom car wash in progress until 4:00 PM today Saturday 10/12! We are at Auto Zone in Sebring across from Fairmont Cinema Square! $5.00 plus additional donation appreciated!


Star Spangled Banner As You’ve Never Heard It

A story of how our national anthem came to be. I was asked by someone to put a video together for this audio and upload it, so here it is. I was never expecting it to get so many views. Yes I’m aware some info is sketchy and wording isn’t exactly right. Please stop sending complaints. Like I said before, I’m doing a favor for someone here. You can look up the accurate story if want the precise info. Here’s a link to one of many sources for info on the true story: https://tinyurl.com/yb6laets Hope you enjoy the message of this video though. God Bless America P.S: Really sorry about the typos in the anthem

The Story Behind the Star Spangled Banner

How the flag that flew proudly over Fort McHenry
inspired an anthem and made its way to the Smithsonian


A conservator works on the Star-Spangled Banner in 1914. (Corbis)

On a rainy September 13, 1814, British warships sent a downpour of shells and rockets onto Fort McHenry in Baltimore Harbor, relentlessly pounding the American fort for 25 hours. The bombardment, known as the Battle of Baltimore, came only weeks after the British had attacked Washington, D.C., burning the Capitol, the Treasury and the President’s house. It was another chapter in the ongoing War of 1812.

A week earlier, Francis Scott Key, a 35-year-old American lawyer, had boarded the flagship of the British fleet on the Chesapeake Bay in hopes of persuading the British to release a friend who had recently been arrested. Key’s tactics were successful, but because he and his companions had gained knowledge of the impending attack on Baltimore, the British did not let them go. They allowed the Americans to return to their own vessel but continued guarding them. Under their scrutiny, Key watched on September 13 as the barrage of Fort McHenry began eight miles away.

“It seemed as though mother earth had opened and was vomiting shot and shell in a sheet of fire and brimstone,” Key wrote later. But when darkness arrived, Key saw only red erupting in the night sky. Given the scale of the attack, he was certain the British would win. The hours passed slowly, but in the clearing smoke of “the dawn’s early light” on September 14, he saw the American flag—not the British Union Jack—flying over the fort, announcing an American victory.

Key put his thoughts on paper while still on board the ship, setting his words to the tune of a popular English song. His brother-in-law, commander of a militia at Fort McHenry, read Key’s work and had it distributed under the name “Defence of Fort M’Henry.” The Baltimore Patriot newspaper soon printed it, and within weeks, Key’s poem, now called “The Star-Spangled Banner,” appeared in print across the country, immortalizing his words—and forever naming the flag it celebrated

Nearly two centuries later, the flag that inspired Key still survives, though fragile and worn by the years. To preserve this American icon, experts at the National Museum of American History recently completed an eight-year conservation treatment with funds from Polo Ralph Lauren, The Pew Charitable Trusts and the U.S. Congress. And when the museum reopens in summer 2008, the Star-Spangled Banner will be its centerpiece, displayed in its own state-of-the-art gallery.

“The Star-Spangled Banner is a symbol of American history that ranks with the Statue of Liberty and the Charters of Freedom,” says Brent D. Glass, the museum’s director. “The fact that it has been entrusted to the National Museum of American History is an honor.”

Started in 1996, the Star-Spangled Banner preservation project—which includes the flag’s conservation and the creation of its new display in the renovated museum—was planned with the help of historians, conservators, curators, engineers and organic scientists. With the construction of the conservation lab completed in 1999, conservators began their work. Over the next several years, they clipped 1.7 million stitches from the flag to remove a linen backing that had been added in 1914, lifted debris from the flag using dry cosmetic sponges and brushed it with an acetone-water mixture to remove soils embedded in fibers. Finally, they added a sheer polyester backing to help support the flag.

“Our goal was to extend [the flag’s] usable lifetime,” says Suzanne Thomassen-Krauss, the conservator for the project. The intent was never to make the flag look as it did when it first flew over Fort McHenry, she says. “We didn’t want to change any of the history written on the artifact by stains and soil. Those marks tell the flag’s story.”

While the conservators worked, the public looked on. Over the years, more than 12 million people peered into the museum’s glass conservation lab, watching the progress.

Smithsonian photographers created this composite image of the Star-Spangled Banner in 2004 from 73 separate photographs. The flag’s large size (30-by-34 feet) prevented photographers from capturing it in one image while conservators worked on it in the specially-built conservation lab. (Courtesy of the National Museum of American History)

The Flag’s Beginnings

The Star-Spangled Banner’s history starts not with Francis Scott Key, but a year earlier with Maj. George Armistead, the commander of Fort McHenry. Knowing that his fort was a likely British target, Armistead told the commander of Baltimore defenses in July 1813 that he needed a flag—a big one. “We, sir, are ready at Fort McHenry to defend Baltimore against invading by the enemy…except that we have no suitable ensign to display over the Star Fort, and it is my desire to have a flag so large that the British will have no difficulty in seeing it from a distance.”

Armistead soon hired a 29-year-old widow and professional flagmaker, Mary Young Pickersgill of Baltimore, Maryland, to make a garrison flag measuring 30 by 42 feet with 15 stars and 15 stripes (each star and stripe representing a state). A large flag, but one not unusual for the time. Over the next six weeks, Mary, her daughter, three of Mary’s nieces, a 13-year-old indentured servant and possibly Mary’s mother Rebecca Young worked 10-hour days sewing the flag, using 300 yards of English wool bunting. They made the stars, each measuring two feet in diameter, from cotton—a luxury item at the time. Initially they worked from Mary’s home (now a private museum known as the Flag House), but as their work progressed they needed more room and had to move to Claggett’s brewery across the street. On August 19, 1813, the flag was delivered to Fort McHenry.

For making the Star-Spangled Banner, Mary was paid $405.90. She received another $168.54 for sewing a smaller (17 by 25 feet) storm flag, likely using the same design. It was this storm flag—not the garrison flag now known as the Star-Spangled Banner—which actually flew during the battle. The garrison flag, according to eyewitness accounts, wasn’t raised until the morning.

After the Battle of Baltimore

Armistead remained in command of Fort McHenry for the rest of his life. Historians are not sure how the Armistead family came into possession of the flag, but upon Armistead’s death in 1818, his wife Louisa inherited it. It is she who is thought to have sewed the red upside-down “V” on the flag, beginning the stitches for the letter “A.” She is also thought to have begun the tradition of giving pieces of the flag away to honor her husband’s memory, as well as the memories of the soldiers who defended the fort under his command.

When Louisa died in 1861, she passed the flag down to their daughter Georgiana Armistead Appleton over the legal objections of their son. “Georgiana was the only child born at the fort, and she was named for her father,” says Thomassen-Krauss. “Louisa wanted Georgiana to have it.”

The Missing Pieces

In 1873, Georgiana loaned the flag to George Preble, a flag historian who until that time had thought the flag was lost. That same year, Preble had the first known photograph of it taken at the Boston Navy Yard and exhibited it at the New England Historic Genealogical Society, where he stored it until 1876.

While the Star-Spangled Banner was in Preble’s care, Georgiana allowed him to give away pieces of the flag as he saw fit. Georgiana, herself, had given away cuttings of the flag to other Armistead descendants, as well as family friends. She once noted, “[H]ad we given all that we have been importuned for little would be left to show.” This family tradition continued through 1880 with Armistead’s grandson giving away the last documented piece, says Thomassen-Krauss.

Several of these cuttings from the Star-Spangled Banner have been located over the years, including about a dozen that are owned by the American History Museum. “We’re aware of at least a dozen more that exist in other museums and private collections,” says Kendrick.

But a missing 15th star has never been found. “There’s a legend that the star was buried with one of the soldiers from Fort McHenry; another says that it was given to Abraham Lincoln,” says Kendrick. “But no real evidence has surfaced to support these stories, and the true fate of the star remains one of the Smithsonian’s great unsolved mysteries.”

100 Years at the Smithsonian

After Georgiana’s death, the flag passed to Eben Appleton, Armistead’s grandson, who loaned it to the city of Baltimore for the 1880 sesquicentennial celebration. It then remained in a safe-deposit vault in New York City until Appleton loaned it to the Smithsonian in 1907. Five years later, he made the gift permanent, saying he wanted it to belong “to the Institution in the country where it could be conveniently seen by the public and where it would be well cared for.”

When the flag arrived at the Smithsonian it was smaller (30 by 34 feet), damaged from years of use at the fort and from pieces being removed as souvenirs. Recognizing its need for repair, the Smithsonian hired Amelia Fowler, an embroidery teacher and well-known flag preserver, in 1914 to replace the canvas backing that had been added in 1873. Having worked on historic flags for the United States Naval Academy, Fowler had patented a method of supporting fragile flags with a linen backing that required a honeycomb pattern of stitches. With the help of ten needlewomen, Fowler spent eight weeks on the flag, receiving $1,243 for the materials and work.

For the next 50 years, with the exception of a brief move during World War II, the Star-Spangled Banner was displayed in what is now the Arts and Industries Building. Because of the flag’s size and the dimensions of the glass case it was displayed in, the public never saw the entire flag while it was housed in this location.

That changed after architects designed the new National Museum of History and Technology, now the National Museum of American History, with space to allow the flag to hang. The Star-Spangled Banner remained in Flag Hall from 1964 until 1999, when it was moved to the conservation lab.

With the recent completion of the project, the Star-Spangled Banner will remain an icon of American history that can still be seen by the public. Says Glass, “The survival of this flag for nearly 200 years is a visible testimony to the strength and perseverance of this nation, and we hope that it will inspire many more generations to come.”


Sean Hannity
Controversial Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez slammed her Republican colleagues on social media Monday; saying the GOP “treats our country as a joke” and routinely “plays games with people’s lives.”
“When Republicans say our nation’s laws are ‘just a joke,’ they mean it. They treat our country as a joke, our communities as a joke, and our future as a joke. For the GOP, as long as the rich get richer, they are happy to play games with American lives,” posted Ocasio-Cortez on social media.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez @AOC
When Republicans say our nation‘s laws are “just a joke,” they mean it.
They treat our country as a joke, our communities as a joke, and our future as a joke.
For the GOP, as long as the rich get richer, they are happy to play games with American lives. https://twitter.com/cnnpolitics/status/1181319568196808709 
CNN Politics  @CNNPolitics
Republicans try a new excuse to defend Trump: It’s just a joke
| Analysis by CNN’s Gloria Borger https://cnn.it/337iWBK 

View image on Twitter
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez  @AOC

Chelsea Handler  @chelseahandler
10 days. He’s spending the same amount of time in jail that parents who committed college bribery are spending. Why? Because he’s black.
“‘Billionaires should not exist’ does not mean certain people should not exist. It means no person should have a billion dollars. The ascent of billionaires is a symptom & outcome of an immoral system that tells people affordable insulin is impossible but exploitation is fine,” posted AOC on Twitter.

#Impeach Congress creeps Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, Adam Schiff and all ‘Progressives’ who enrich political careers by the spreading of noxious lies

Bottom Lining the Democrat-manufactured Trump-Ukraine Scandal

One perfect meme, currently doing rounds over the Internet, bottom lines the entire Ukraine Joe and Hunter Biden scandal.
You can quit with the endless yada, yada,  talking heads—including all of those recently being promoted by Fox News and the Drudge report.
“When the Democrats Investigate Trump For Over 2 Years; And The Only Thing They Can Uncover Is Their Own Crimes” is exactly what’s happening—proving it is the leaders of the Desperado Democrats who should be impeached.
And now an unearthed valid Document reveals that Ukraine officials had already reopened an official probe of the Hunter Biden-linked firm—months before President Trump’s phone call.

Savvy Fox contributor John Solomon dropped the bombshell last night on “Hannity”.

Significant shift in the factual timeline

“Solomon said Tuesday on “Hannity” that the U.S. government knew Ukraine was planning to look again into activities at Burisma Holdings, an energy company that employed then-Vice President Joe Biden’s son as a member of its board of directors, early this year. The report is noteworthy because President Trump has been accused by Democrats of threatening in July to withhold foreign aid to Ukraine unless its new president pursued an investigation into the company and the younger Biden’s role there.  (Fox News, Oct. 9, 2019)
“The U.S. government had open-source intelligence and was aware as early as February of 2019 that the Ukrainian government was planning to reopen the Burisma investigation,” he claimed. “This is long before the president ever imagined having a call with President Zelensky,” he added, noting Petro Poroshenko was still Ukraine’s president at that time.
“This is a significant shift in the factual timeline.”

NABU—an FBI-like anti-corruption agency in Ukraine—requested the probe into Burisma and owner Mykola Zlochevsky be reopened earlier this year

No kidding.
“Solomon said the information he obtained, including documents shown on “Hannity” Tuesday, was omitted from a U.S. intelligence community whistleblower’s complaint lodged against Trump last month. (Fox News)
“Solomon said that NABU—an FBI-like anti-corruption agency in Ukraine—requested the probe into Burisma and owner Mykola Zlochevsky be reopened earlier this year. The investigation then went forward, Solomon said. The new probe later resulted in a “Notice of Suspicion” being filed, alleging the existence of “illicit funds” running through the firm, Solomon also claimed.
“Since the initial story broke, presidential candidate Joe Biden has sought to play down allegations made by Trump against his 49-year-old son’s role with Burisma.
“The Democrat also faced criticism from Trump and his allies after a video resurfaced showing the ex-vice president appearing to brag about pressuring to get a Ukrainian prosecutor fired. That prosecutor, Viktor Shokin, also had been looking into Burisma.


“Unusual transactions” in the natural gas giant’s accounts

“On “Hannity,” Solomon said his reporting revealed the requested reopening of the probe into Burisma involved, in part, “unusual transactions” in the natural gas giant’s accounts.
“Solomon said the timeline of the alleged “illicit funds” coincided in part with the time Hunter Biden held a place on the firm’s board. The younger Biden was reportedly paid as much as $1 million per year for his time on the board, but Solomon said investigators in Ukraine filed a 15-page “notice of suspicion” indicating they were “looking at the possibility that the $3.4 million paid to Hunter Biden’s firm may have been part of the illicit funds that were moving through the company.”
“A month later, in April, the prosecutor’s office—open-source intelligence, again—the U.S. government officials confirming they were aware of this—made a request of another investigative agency in Ukraine for assistance in going through these bank records,” Solomon claimed.

Down with anonymity for all fake and fictitious Democrat-manufactured ‘whistleblowers’

“That is a significant change in the timeline—it was omitted from the whistleblower’s complaint, and the question is did he not know it or did he exclude it because it didn’t fit the narrative he was trying to write,” he continued.
“That’s a question for Congress to answer.”
Problem with that is that all the perps in the ongoing pumped-up scandal are comfortably nestled and protected inside a most devious Congress.Down with anonymity for all fake and fictitious Democrat-manufactured ‘whistleblowers’ having the unmitigated gall to claim their
lives are at risk.
#Impeach Congress creeps Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, Adam Schiff and all ‘Progressives’ who enrich political careers by the spreading of noxious lies.


Judi McLeod — Bio and Archives

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Judi McLeod is an award-winning journalist with 30 years’ experience in the print media. A former Toronto Sun columnist, she also worked for the Kingston Whig Standard. Her work has appeared on Rush Limbaugh, Newsmax.com, Drudge Report, Foxnews.com.

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Venezuelans regret gun ban, ‘a declaration of war against an unarmed Population’
In this April 13, 2010 file photo, members of the National Revolutionary Militia hold up their weapons and a painting of Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez at an event marking the 9th anniversary of Chavez's return to power after a failed 2002 coup, in Caracas, Venezuela. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos, File)

CUCUTA, Venezuela/Colombia border – As Venezuela continues to crumble under the socialist dictatorship of President Nicolas Maduro, some are expressing words of warning – and resentment – against a six-year-old gun control bill that stripped citizens of their weapons.
“Guns would have served as a vital pillar to remaining a free people, or at least able to put up a fight,” Javier Vanegas, 28, a Venezuelan teacher of English now exiled in Ecuador, told Fox News. “The government security forces, at the beginning of this debacle, knew they had no real opposition to their force. Once things were this bad, it was a clear declaration of war against an unarmed population.”
Under the direction of then-President Hugo Chavez, the Venezuelan National Assembly in 2012 enacted the “Control of Arms, Munitions and Disarmament Law,” with the explicit aim to “disarm all citizens.” The law took effect in 2013, with only minimal pushback from some pro-democracy opposition figures, banned the legal commercial sale of guns and munitions to all – except government entities.
Chavez initially ran a months-long amnesty program encouraging Venezuelans to trade their arms for electrical goods. That year, there were only 37 recorded voluntary gun surrenders, while the majority of seizures – more than 12,500 – were by force.
In 2014, with Nicolás Maduro at the helm following Chavez’s death but carrying through his socialist “Chavista” policies, the government invested more than $47 million enforcing the gun ban – which has since included grandiose displays of public weapons demolitions in the town square.
A former gun store owner inside Venezuela – who told Fox News he has now been relegated to only selling fishing supplies since the ban – said he can’t sell any type of weaponry – even a slingshot – and underscored that even BB ammunition and airsoft guns are only issued to police and military officers.
The punishment for illicit carrying or selling a weapon now is 20 years behind bars.
CARACAS, VENEZUELA - MARCH 04: A sticker on a car window honors former Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez near the military barracks where Chavez is entombed on March 4, 2014 in Caracas, Venezuela. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

CARACAS, VENEZUELA – MARCH 04: A sticker on a car window honors former Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez near the military barracks where Chavez is entombed on March 4, 2014 in Caracas, Venezuela. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images) (2014 Getty Images)

Prior to the 2012 reform, there were only around eight gun stores in the entire country. And the process of obtaining a legal permit to own and carry was plagued by long wait lines, high costs and bribery “to make the process swifter” at the one department allowed to issue licenses, which operated under the umbrella of the Ministry of Defense.
“Venezuelans didn’t care enough about it. The idea of having the means to protect your home was seen as only needed out in the fields. People never would have believed they needed to defend themselves against the government,” Vanegas explained. “Venezuelans evolved to always hope that our government would be non-tyrannical, non-violator of human rights, and would always have a good enough control of criminality.”
He said it didn’t take long for such a wide-eyed public perception to fall apart. “If guns had been a stronger part of our culture, if there had been a sense of duty for one to protect their individual rights, and as a show of force against a government power – and had legal carry been a common thing – it would have made a huge difference,” he lamented.
Since April 2017, almost 200 pro-democracy protesters in Venezuela – armed mostly with stones – were shot dead by government forces in brutal retaliation to their call to end the oppressive socialist regime. The once oil-wealthy nation has continued its downward spiral into financial ruin, extreme violence, and mass human rights violations. An estimated three million Venezuelans have been forced to flee since 2015.
“Venezuela shows the deadly peril when citizens are deprived of the means of resisting the depredations of a criminal government,” said David Kopel, a policy analyst, and research director at the Independence Institute and adjunct professor of Advanced Constitutional Law at Denver University. “The Venezuelan rulers – like their Cuban masters – apparently viewed citizen possession of arms as a potential danger to a permanent communist monopoly of power.”
More than three million Venzuelans have fled into neighboring Colombia since the crisis of 2015.

More than three million Venezuelans have fled into neighboring Colombia since the crisis of 2015.

Although the bill was sold to the population as a hardline effort to improve security, and sharply reduce crime, many now point to Venezuela as a case study for how gun prohibition can actually produce the opposite effect.
The violent crime rate, already high, soared. Almost 28,000 people were murdered in 2015 – with the homicide rate becoming the world’s highest. Compare that, according to GunPolicy.org – an international firearms prevention and policy research initiative – to just under 10,000 in 2012, and 6,500 thousand in 2001, the year before Chavez came to power.
The total number of gun deaths in 2013 was estimated to 14,622, having steadily risen from 10,913 in 2002. While comprehensive data now goes unrecorded by the government, in September this year, Amnesty International declared Venezuela had a murder rate “worse than some war zones” – 89 people per 100,000 people – and three times that of its volatile neighbor Brazil.
Much of the crime has been attributed by analysts to government-backed gangs – referred to in Spanish as “collectivos” – who were deliberately put in place by the government.
“They were set up by the government to act as proxies and exert community control. They’re the guys on the motorcycles in the poor neighborhoods, who killed any protesters,” said Vanessa Neumann, the Venezuelan-American president and founder of Asymmetrica, a Washington, D.C.-based political risk research and consulting firm. “The gun reform policy of the government was about social control. As the citizenry got more desperate and hungry and angry with the political situation, they did not want them to be able to defend themselves. It was not about security; it was about a monopoly on violence and social control.”
So while Venezuelan citizens were stripped of their legal recourse to bear arms, the “collectivos” – established by Chavez when came to power – were legally locked and loaded. Deemed crucial to the survival of the socialist dictatorship, the “collectivos” function to brutally subjugate opposition groups, while saving some face as they aren’t officially government forces, critics contend.
Eduardo Espinel, 35, who serves as a representative for the rapidly growing Venezuelan population in the Colombian border town of Cucuta – having fled his ailing nation two years ago under the threat of being kidnapped by local gangsters – said the law had proliferated the violence by allowing the collectivos to freely and legally shoot and kill.
“Everyone else but the common citizen. This law asks for the disarming of the common people, but everyone else can carry,” Espinel said. “The kind of law might make sense in a normal country, but in Venezuela, it makes no sense. People are faced with crime and have no easy means to defend themselves.”
Eduardo Espinel, 35, who serves as a representative for the rapidly growing Venezuelan population in the Colombian border town of Cucuta, said a gun bam law had actually proliferated the violence in Venezuela.

Eduardo Espinel, 35, who serves as a representative for the rapidly growing Venezuelan population in the Colombian border town of Cucuta, said a gun bam law had actually proliferated the violence in Venezuela. (Fox News/Hollie McKay)

And Maribel Arias, 35, who was once a law and political science student at the University of Los Andes in her home state of Mérida but fled to the Colombian border with her family two years ago – living mostly on the streets as she and her husband take turns finding odd jobs such as selling water and attending bathrooms and while sharing the parenting duties of tending to their four children – bemoaned that they simply cannot rely on the nation’s law enforcement.
“The people of Venezuela should have rights for gun carrying because there is just too much crime and people should have the right to defend themselves because the justice system is not working,” Arias asserted. “If you call the police, the police come only if they want. If they capture the criminal maybe they will take away whatever they stole, but they normally go free again. It’s a vicious cycle.”
Maribel Arias, 35, who fled to the Colombian border with her family two years ago – living mostly on the streets as she and her husband take turns finding odd jobs while sharing the parenting duties for their four children – said Venezuelans cannot rely on the nation’s law enforcement.

Maribel Arias, 35, who fled to the Colombian border with her family two years ago – living mostly on the streets as she and her husband take turns finding odd jobs while sharing the parenting duties for their four children – said Venezuelans cannot rely on the nation’s law enforcement.

Many contend the gun ban has in some ways hurt police and law enforcement, who have themselves become a more fervent target of street gangs. There was a 14 percent increase in police murders in 2016. And more than 80 percent of assailants subsequently stole the officer’s gun, according to Insight Crime.
Some experts contend many of the weapons and ammunition used by gangsters were once in the hands of government forces, and obtained either through theft or purchase from corrupt individuals.
And adding to the complication, the ranks of the police force are beleaguered by crime and corruption. “Crimes are committed by police, a lot of the criminals are police themselves,” said Saul Moros, 59, from the Venezuelan city of Valencia.
Luis Farias, 48, from Margarita, said that gun violence was indeed bad when guns were freely available for purchase. But it became much worse after the gun ban was passed. “Now the criminal mother is unleashed,” Farias said. “Trying to ban guns didn’t take guns off the streets. Nobody cares about the law; the criminals don’t care about the law.”
“Crimes are committed by police, a lot of the criminals are police themselves,” Saul Moros, 59, from the Venezuelan city of Valencia. (left) Luis Farias, 48, said gun violence was bad when guns were freely available – but became much worse after the so-called prohibition.

“Crimes are committed by police, a lot of the criminals are police themselves,” Saul Moros, 59, from the Venezuelan city of Valencia. (left) Luis Farias, 48, said gun violence was bad when guns were freely available – but became much worse after the so-called prohibition. (Fox News/Hollie McKay)

A black market in weapons is also thriving. There are an estimated six million unregistered firearms circulating in Venezuela, but they remain far from reach for the average, non-criminal Venezuelan.
“The black market of weapons is very active, mostly used by violent criminals,” said Johan Obdola, a former counter-narcotics chief in Venezuela and now president of Latin America-focused, Canada-based global intelligence and security firm IOSI. “Venezuelans simply looking to protect themselves from the regime are totally vulnerable.”
Prices vary daily. But an AR-15 rifle goes for around $500, sources said, while handguns sell for about $250. Those prices are far beyond the reach of the average Venezuelan.
“Most guns can be bought illegally in a sort of pyramid structure. A big irregular group or criminal organization has the best access to weapons directly from the government, and they sometimes even get access to basically new unused weaponry,” explained Vanegas. “The longer down the pyramid you are, you must get your weapon from the nearest big irregular group that overpowers you within your territory. This is not an option for any moral person, due to the fact that you need to deal with criminals in order to get an illegal gun. And for many obvious reasons, people will not even consider this.”
The Venezuelan government denies it is in a deeply deteriorating crisis, caused by its own policies. Rather, it blames the United States and opposition leaders for waging an “economic war.”
Feb. 22, 2014: A group of masked men run for cover after riot police launched tear gas in Caracas, Venezuela.

Feb. 22, 2014: A group of masked men run for cover after riot police launched tear gas in Caracas, Venezuela. (AP)

According to Omar Adolfo Zares Sanchez, 48, a lawyer, politician, and former mayor of Campo Elías municipality in the Venezuelan state of Mérida, it is now all but too late to make guns legally accessible to the average person.
“Without a doubt, if there had been a balance of armed defense we could have stood up and stopped the oppression at the beginning,” he contended. “But there is too much anarchy on the streets now. Making guns easier for anybody to buy now would start a civil war.”
Other Venezuelans argue that while violence has indeed rapidly increased in the years since the gun ban, it might have been that much worse as the economy collapsed, and the country deteriorated.  “The problem from the beginning and still now is that there are too many people in Venezuela who are lawless. Crime is a way of living,” said Emberly Quiroz, 25, mother of three. “Access to weapons won’t solve the problem.”
Hollie McKay has a been a Fox News Digital staff reporter since 2007. She has extensively reported from war zones including Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Burma, and Latin America investigates global conflicts, war crimes and terrorism around the world. Follow her on Twitter.


Read the White House’s official response to Speaker Pelosi and Democrat leaders

This eveningthe White House sent an eight-page letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other House Democrat leaders, responding to the unprecedented, unconstitutional “impeachment inquiry” launched against President Donald J. Trump.
The letter, written by White House Counsel Pat Cipollone, lays out how Democrat leaders designed a politically motivated inquiry that violates the constitutionally mandated due process protections:

You have denied the President the right to cross-examine witnesses, to call witnesses, to receive transcripts of testimony, to have access to evidence, to have counsel present, and many other basic rights guaranteed to all Americans. You have conducted your proceedings in secret. You have violated civil liberties and the separation of powers by threatening Executive Branch officials, claiming that you will seek to punish those who exercise fundamental constitutional rights and prerogatives. All of this violates the Constitution, the rule of law, and every past precedent. Never before in our history has the House of Representatives—under the control of either political party—taken the American people down the dangerous path you seem determined to pursue.

The facts are clear. The House Democrats’ “impeachment inquiry,” undertaken without a single vote of authorization by the full House—an astonishing breach of precedent—is constitutionally invalid and violates both basic due process rights and the separation of powers. By the admission of its own advocates in Congress, it plainly seeks to reverse the election of 2016 and to influence the election of 2020. Not only is there no legitimate basis for the inquiry, but the committees’ actions in pursuing it themselves raise serious questions that demand full transparency with the American people.
Read the White House’s full response to Speaker Pelosi and Democrat leaders.

How President Trump is securing our border—without Congress’ help
At a White House briefing todayActing Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection Mark Morgan announced the fourth straight month of a sharp decline in illegal immigrant apprehensions along America’s southwest border.
In September, just over 52,000 apprehensions occurred—a stunning improvement from the 144,000 in May.
Acting Commissioner Morgan: The President’s actions are working.
How did this happen? It’s not because Congress finally stepped up after decades of broken promises and inaction. Instead, President Trump combined stricter enforcement of long-neglected laws with tough negotiations between the United States and its neighbors to the south. Today, for example, Mexico is helping to address the flow of illegal caravans that had been marching unimpeded through Mexico to the U.S. border.
Part of this renewed enforcement, of course, includes building the wall.
The work is far from finishedhowever. The underlying cause of our country’s immigration crisis—incentives in our laws to circumvent America’s safe, legal, and fair immigration system—are still there. If Congressional Democrats continue to insist on outsourcing control of our borders to criminal smugglers and cartels, both American citizens and migrant families will suffer.
“The bottom line: We still need Congress to pass meaningful legislation to address our broken legal framework when it comes to immigration,” Acting Commissioner Morgan said. “And while Congress has failed to bring a single piece of meaningful legislation to the floor, this President and this Administration is doing exactly what he promised to the American people.”
Check out the very short videos
Watch: The media won’t report it, but our Border Patrol officers are saving lives!
Mile by mile: We are building the border wall.
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RELATED ARTICLE: The Left’s Real Impeachment Wish




This picture was caught as the members of Congress
prepare to leave town for another break without
getting anything done.

AMERICAN THINKER – Steve Hilton explains Ukraine with new insight – VIDEO

Steve Hilton explains Ukraine with new insight

Steve Hilton of Fox News used about 10 minutes of his Sunday night show to expose some aspects of the relationship between Ukraine and prominent Democrats that have not come to light elsewhere.  It was a tour de force, demonstrating that Joe Biden was not alone and that John Kerry and Senators Jeanne Shaheen and Ed Markey had their hands in the cookie jar.
I rarely ask readers to spend 10 minutes of their precious time watching videos because the printed word is much more efficient in conveying information.  But this is an exception.
Along the way, Steve points out some major hypocrisy on the Green New Deal and media covering for Dems.
Clarice Feldman recommended this video to me, and I thank her.
Steve Hilton of Fox News used about 10 minutes of his Sunday night show to expose some aspects of the relationship between Ukraine and prominent Democrats that have not come to light elsewhere.  It was a tour de force, demonstrating that Joe Biden was not alone and that John Kerry and Senators Jeanne Shaheen and Ed Markey had their hands in the cookie jar.
I rarely ask readers to spend 10 minutes of their precious time watching videos because the printed word is much more efficient in conveying information.  But this is an exception.
Along the way, Steve points out some major hypocrisy on the Green New Deal and media covering for Dems.
Clarice Feldman recommended this video to me, and I thank her.

Read more: https://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2019/10/steve_hilton_explains_ukraine_with_new_insight.html#ixzz61uUsCpPG
Follow us: @AmericanThinker on Twitter | AmericanThinker on Facebook

Anti-Trump Psychodrama 10.0? By VICTOR DAVIS HANSON October 8, 2019 6:30 AM

Anti-Trump Psychodrama 10.0?

Groundbreaking’ disclosures fall apart, hoaxes are exposed, the media are discredited, over and over and over again.
What do the Kavanaugh hearings, Jussie Smollett, the Covington kids, the Mueller investigation, and now the Trump phone call all have in common?
Staged melodrama, media collusion hysteria, progressive demands that justice be served immediately, promises of walls-are-closing-in blockbuster revelations from new witnesses, supposed surprise revelatory documents, fusions between Democratic politicians and Washington bureaucrats — and then bust, nada, and teeth-gnashing as the truth catches up to various rumor-mongers.
The disgraced purveyors of lies — a Christine Blasey Ford, Michael Avenatti, Nathan Phillips, Jussie Smollet, Adam Schiff — for a time go mute, content with progressives’ praise that they lied for a moral cause and almost pulled it off.
The particular narrative is not all that important, at least compared with a general overriding theme: We are in a virtual civil war, and the Left believes that it can win over the hearts and minds of 20 to 30 percent of the swing voters in the United States with therapeutic tales of racism, sexism, unearned white privilege, and right-wing greed and selfishness, and also by destroying the elected president. Particular events in the news are warped and twisted, to the degree that they can be, to serve that narrative — on the principle that the superior moral end of ensuring a radical equality of result more than justifies the often tawdry and dishonest means to achieve it.
Christine Blasey Ford’s recovered-memory accusations that a teenaged Brett Kavanaugh, nearly 40 years ago, had assaulted her were not corroborated by any firsthand witnesses, and Ford provided no reliable information on the place or date of the alleged assault. The investigation did turn up plenty of contradictory evidence, including denials from her closest friends and from people she herself named as witnesses to the alleged attack.

NOW WATCH: Republicans Rally around Trump’

About ten months ago, we witnessed another progressive morality farce, between stereotypical evil white Christian kids wearing MAGA hats and a saintly Native American, Vietnam veteran Nathan Phillips, who was threatened by the punk kids and yet spoke truth to power when he resisted their slurs by beating a drum.
Phillips, we were told, had served in battle on behalf of spoiled white kids who repaid with insults and racism befitting their privileged airs. When it was revealed that the activist Nathan Phillips had never been to Vietnam, that he was a chronic liar, that he was the one who had first walked over to the teenagers and initiated the stand-off by banging a drum in their faces, and that the kids were being mocked by a group of African-American cult activists, the Left shrugged, went quiet for a bit, and then assumed that facts were not very important because a greater truth had been revealed in yet another pushback against the white male Christian hierarchy.


A prominent Arab government thinks so.

We who follow the Islamist movement fell off our collective chair on November 15, when the news came that the United Arab Emirates’ ministerial cabinet had listed the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) as one of 83 proscribed terrorist organizations, up there with the Taliban, al-Qaeda, and ISIS.
This came as a surprise because the UAE authorities themselves have a record of promoting Islamism; because CAIR has a history of raising funds in the UAE; and because the UAE embassy in Washington had previously praised CAIR.

On reflection, however, the listing makes sense for, in recent years, the Islamist movement has gravely fractured. Sunnis fight Shiites; advocates of violence struggle against those working within the system; modernizers do battle against those trying to return to the seventh century; and monarchists confront republicans.

This last divide concerns us here. After decades of working closely with the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) and its related institutions, the Persian Gulf monarchies (with the single, striking exception of Qatar) have come to see the MB complex of institutions as a threat to their existence. The Saudi, Emirati, Kuwaiti, and Bahraini rulers now view politicians like Mohamed Morsi of Egypt as their enemies, as they do Hamas and its progeny — including CAIR.
While the Gulf monarchs have not become any less Islamist, they have acquired a clear-eyed appreciation of the harm that MB-related groups can do.

Having explained why the UAE listed CAIR on its terror manifest, we must ask a second question: Is the listing warranted? Can a Washington-based organization with ties to the Obama White House, the U.S. Congress, leading media outlets, and prestigious universities truly be an instigator of terrorism?

CAIR can rightly be so characterized. True, it does not set off bombs, but, as the UAE’s foreign minister explains, “Our threshold is quite low. . . .
We cannot accept incitement or funding.” Indeed, CAIR incites, funds, and does much more vis-à-vis terrorism:
It apologizes for terrorist groups: Challenged repeatedly to denounce Hamas and Hezbollah as terrorist groups, CAIR denounces the acts of violence but not their sponsors.
It is connected to Hamas: Hamas, designated a terrorist organization by the U.S. and many other governments, indirectly created CAIR and the two groups remain tight. Examples: In 1994, CAIR head Nihad Awad publicly declared his support for Hamas; the Holy Land Foundation (HLF), a Hamas front group, contributed $5,000 to CAIR; in turn, CAIR exploited the 9/11 attacks to raise money for HLF; and, this past August, demonstrators at a CAIR-sponsored rally in Florida proclaimed “We are Hamas!”
It settled a lawsuit: CAIR initiated a libel lawsuit in 2004 over five statements by a group called Anti-CAIR. But two years later, CAIR settled the suit with prejudice (meaning that it cannot be reopened), implicitly acknowledging the accuracy of Anti-CAIR’s assertions, which included:
  • “CAIR is a terrorist supporting front organization that is partially funded by terrorists”;
    “CAIR . . . is supported by terrorist supporting individuals, groups and countries”;
    “CAIR has proven links to, and was founded by, Islamic terrorists”; and
    “CAIR actively supports terrorists and terrorist supporting groups and nations.”
It includes individuals accused of terrorism: At least seven board members or staff at CAIR have been arrested, denied entry to the U.S., or were indicted on or pled guilty to (or were convicted of) terrorist charges: Siraj Wahhaj, Bassem Khafagi, Randall (“Ismail”) Royer, Ghassan Elashi, Rabih Haddad, Muthanna Al-Hanooti, and Nabil Sadoun.
It is in trouble with the law: Federal prosecutors in 2007 named CAIR (along with two other Islamic organizations) as “unindicted co-conspirators and/or joint venturers” in a criminal conspiracy to support Hamas financially. In 2008, the FBI ended contacts with CAIR because of concern about its continuing terrorist ties.
On learning of the UAE listing, CAIR called it “shocking and bizarre,” then got to work to have the Department of State protest and undo the ruling. Nothing loath, department spokesperson Jeff Rathke noted that the U.S. government, which “does not consider these organizations to be terrorist organizations,” has asked for more information about the UAE decision. The UAE minister of state for foreign affairs replied that if organizations can show that their “approach has changed,” they are eligible to appeal “to have their names eliminated from the list.”


CAIR and the Rabbis

As anti-Semitism grows in America, synagogue safety has become an urgent concern for most American Jewish leaders. Not so, it would seem, for the Massachusetts Board of Rabbis (MBR). Recently, MBR joined forces with the Hamas front group CAIR (the Council on American Islamic Relations) to picket the Ahavath Torah Congregation in the South Shore town of Stoughton for hosting speakers whom CAIR calls “anti-Muslim hate group leaders.” The scare campaign ended up working. The synagogue had to permanently shut down its speaker series after CAIR and MBR publicized the synagogue’s address on social media. The synagogue’s rabbi, Jonathan Hausman, got death threats and was forced to hire security guards for his family.
CAIR is a strange ally for a rabbinical board. CAIR’s Massachusetts branch is headed by an anti-Semitic conspiracy theorist and an anti-police activist with a history of Israel-bashing. In 2009, a federal district judge ruled  that there is “at least a prima facie case as to CAIR’s involvement in a conspiracy to support Hamas.” Ever since, the FBI has refused to work with CAIR because there might still “be a connection between CAIR or its executives and Hamas.” Even the United Arab Emirates, not exactly the most Israel-friendly country in the world, banned CAIR as a terrorist organization in 2014.
Unlike CAIR, Ahavath Torah’s guest speakers would seem like strange enemies for a rabbinical board. Invited by Rabbi Hausman for a talk titled, “National Security Chaos: Are We Passing the Tipping Point?”, the panelists were all former U.S. government officials. One, retired Lieutenant General Jerry Boykin, is an American hero. A veteran of many wars, General Boykin commanded the Delta Force units in the Mogadishu battle dramatized in the movie Black Hawk Down. Off the battlefield, he served as the Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence between 2002 and 2007. Another guest was former congresswoman Michelle Bachmann, who worked at a kibbutz as a teenager and has spoken at many an AIPAC event without previous rabbinical umbrage. General Boykin and the event moderator, Tom Trento, together with the third guest, Frank Gaffney of the Center for Security Policy, have all been honored with “Genesis Awards” by the Boston-based group, Christians and Jews United for Israel, which represents the values and opinions of many Jewish New Englanders.
In CAIR’s telling, Rabbi Hausman had assembled an “unholy trinity” of guests at his synagogue; and the MBR rabbis slathered their own religious hyperbole on top of CAIR’s as they urged their flocks to come out to the picket. In a homily on Noah’s flood, Victor Reinstein, the chair of MBR’s Public Policy Committee compared himself to a “dove flying above” what he described as “the churning flood of hate” spewing from Ahavath Torah. In Reinstein’s telling, CAIR’s picket was “the people standing together, each as the dove that went out from the ark and offered hope beyond the flood.”
Ahavath Torah’s Rabbi Hausman had a different perspective:
“People in my congregation witnessed the MBR picketing — arm-in-arm with members of CAIR — in front of my synagogue over a panel on national security that discussed a number of issues relative to the U.S.-Israel relationship… The MBR brought enemies of the Jewish people to my synagogue’s gates and did so without bothering to review the content of the program they were picketing.”
CAIR and the rabbis also organized a public statement denouncing Ahavath Torah, signed by MBR members on behalf of their congregations, and by far-left Christian clergy on behalf of theirs. This ecumenical “fatwa” against Ahavath Torah declared: “Our houses of worship should be spaces for prayer, reflection, study, and community building. While free political debate is a vital element in our democracy, voices that demonize ethnic, racial, or faith groups have no place in our sanctuaries.”
By those same standards, CAIR certainly has no place in the rabbis’ sanctuaries, and the rabbis had no place standing outside of Rabbi Hausman’s, arm-in-arm with CAIR. According to the Anti-Defamation League: “CAIR has a long record of anti-Israel activity… Its chapters partner with various anti-Israel groups that seek to isolate and demonize the Jewish State.” Yet under the presidency of Rabbi Toba Spitzer, MBR rabbis have gladly given CAIR leaders places of honor at their synagogues’ podia.
In 2017, for example, a CAIR official was given a place of honor in the sanctuary of former MBR president Howard Jaffe, where the CAIR official asked Rabbi Jaffe’s congregation for donations while accusing Israel of “maleficence.” Strangely, when my non-profit group, Americans for Peace and Tolerance (APT), wondered why voices that demonize Jews and Israel should have a place in Rabbi Jaffe’s sanctuary, the MBR rabbis had a very different reaction. In a mass denunciation statement, similar to the one it had used to attack Rabbi Hausman and his congregation, MBR condemned what it saw as APT’s “attacks on Rabbi Jaffe and his congregation.”
“There is no place in our community for this kind of verbal violence,” the MBR rabbis declared (a year after helping Hamas supporters picket a synagogue), recycling the silly totalitarian trope, likely as old as language itself, that speaking truth to power is violence. MBR president Rabbi Spitzer went even further in an interview with the local Jewish paper, presuming to excommunicate APT president Charles Jacobs, like some modern-day Baruch Spinoza, from the New England Jewish community.
All the lies that CAIR and MBR had poured on General Boykin and the other Ahavath Torah guests came from the disgraced Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), which was forced last year to apologize and pay a British Muslim $3 million for smearing him as an Islamophobe. In 2012, a violent zealot incited by SPLC lies attempted to kill General Boykin and many others. (It is very hard to kill General Boykin.) The armed progressive activist broke into the offices of the Family Research Council — a conservative Christian group where General Boykin serves as vice-president — and started shooting before being disarmed by a security guard, who was wounded in the process.  According to court records, the progressive activist “had identified the FRC as an anti-gay organization on the Southern Poverty Law Center website.” His plan was to “enter the FRC that day to kill as many people as possible and smother Chick-Fil-A sandwiches in their faces… to make a statement against the people who work in that building.”
The shooter at the FRC, bizarrely, brought chicken sandwiches for his targets. In Stoughton, CAIR and its Jewish collaborators brought donuts for theirs. Both were meant to feed fear, not stomachs, as part of a political intimidation strategy by totalitarian bigots. In Massachusetts, thanks to Rabbi Spitzer and her MBR gang, the intimidation has, so far, worked.


“U.S. discloses ruling last year by Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court that FBI’s data queries of U.S. citizens were unconstitutional,”

FISA Fallout: Court Ruled FBI Violated Americans’ Privacy in Foreign Surveillance Activities

A new report from the Wall Street Journal is shedding more light on the US government’s Foreign Surveillance Court system; revealing a judge ruled last year that the FBI had violated the rights of American citizens.

“U.S. discloses ruling last year by Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court that FBI’s data queries of U.S. citizens were unconstitutional,” reports the Wall Street Journal.

“Some of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s electronic surveillance activities violated the constitutional privacy rights of Americans swept up in a controversial foreign intelligence program, a secretive surveillance court has ruled,” adds the WSJ. “The ruling deals a rare rebuke to U.S. spying activities that have generally withstood legal challenge or review.”

U.S. discloses ruling last year by Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court that FBI’s data queries of U.S. citizens were unconstitutional

The FISA court system was thrust into the national headlines after former and current State Department and DOJ officials allegedly used the system to obtain warrants against members of President Trump’s 2016 campaign.
This is a developing story. Read the full report at the Wall Street Journal.

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