Saturday, August 27, 2016

Obama’s Sneak Attack on U.S. Sovereignty Sets Stage for Climate Regulation Nightmare

The regulations, they are a-coming.

That’s what at least one noted climate skeptic warned, pointing to the very capable pen and phone politicking of President Obama that’s allowed him great success in bypassing Congress on various pet agendas – particularly, on those dealing with the environment, and even more particularly, on one provision he signed earlier this year, the Paris Accord. The measure supposedly commits America to abide what the Obama administration described as “the most ambitious climate change agreement in history.”

But as Marc Morano, publisher of “Climate Depot” and producer of the new film, “Climate Hustle,” a production that exposes the propaganda side of environmentalism, said in an interview: The commitment is smoke and mirrors, but a “cunning” Obama may see his long-held green-based regulatory visions achieve reality all the same, due to an unaware populace.

The accord itself is far-reaching and requires participating nations to actively prevent, via regulatory controls, the average global temperature from rising more than two degrees Celsius above “pre-industrial levels,” and to “undertake rapid reductions” on various emission levels around the world. In other words, bye-bye U.S. economic production.

Technically, though, Obama’s signature means nothing. Why?

The Senate never ratified the treaty, as required by the Constitution. Obama can sign all he wants, but truly, the accord won’t last past January, when his administration ends.

So says the legalese, anyway.

But this president operates under a policy of act first, seek permission – never. And if America turns a blind eye to what he’s done in recent months -- not just with the Paris treaty, but with his use of the Environmental Protection Agency to press regulatory controls turned down by Congress -- the reality is the provisions of the accord and more will take root and become the new national norm. It won’t be long before all these environmental measures are considered binding.

“If the next president continues the policies of President Obama with the EPA and the U.N. climate treaty, we are going to have a situation where these climate regulations will be codified,” Morano said.

One immediate impact?

“The coal industry will be long dead and buried,” he said.

More detriments will soon follow.

“Be afraid, be very afraid of the U.N. agenda,” Morano said. “The U.N. has been trying now since at least 1992 to get the U.S. tied up in an environmental regulatory scheme … but the United Nations openly admits they want to redistribute wealth via climate policy. It’s social engineering.”

The situation is all the more alarming because the will of the American people has been clear for years: Voters don’t want overly restrictive climate change regulations. Not only has cap-and-trade consistently gone down in legislative flames – not only has the United Nations failed to receive U.S. Senate ratification on its many environmental treaties and accords. But these climate skeptic camp wins have come even as Democrats have held a clean sweep of the country’s highest political offices == while holding majorities in both House and Senate and serving under their own party’s president.

“We are facing political defeat for the first time on global warming,” Morano warned.

All eyes may be currently turned on the presidential campaign. And voters of free-market minds and conservative bents may be waiting with anticipation and relief for the exodus of Obama. But his departure does not automatically undo the last eight years. Remember, it was Attorney General Loretta Lynch who said in early 2016 her “goal is to position” the Justice Department to continue President Obama’s law enforcement agenda, long after he leaves office.

It seems the White House has set the same designs on Obama’s environmental agenda, leaving the fate of America’s sovereignty, post-January 2017, in a state of uncertainty, danger and potentially further demise. Only an aware constituency, emboldened by a passion for freedom and a love of country, can control the bureaucratic beast of Washington and press the new president, whomever that might be, to keep to an “American first” mindset. 

First published at the Blaze: http://www.theblaze.com/contributions/obamas-sneak-attack-on-us-sovereignty-sets-stage-for-climate-regulation-nightmare/

Friday, August 26, 2016

Donald Trump and his Chicken Little detractors

It’s late August, the campaign clock is ticking. Donald Trump’s poll numbers are down – and not just by slim margins – and Hillary Clinton’s camp has all but locked up the race.

So the story goes, anyway.

But Donald Trump, if nothing else, is a competitor. His entire campaign has been marked by detractors, scoffers, mockers, predictors of gloom, declarers of doom, prognosticators of losses and more losses – and yet, in the end, the candidate’s steadfastly risen to the top. The smart voter, the savvy pundit, ought not close the door on a Trump administration just yet.

Guessing in August which candidate will win in November is nearly as impossible as predicting the Second Coming – and that’s not even based on polls. That’s just common sense. Why? Polls are snapshots in time, fickle by nature. They’re also about as scientific as climate change modeling, with outcomes that depend largely on the data that’s inputted. A poll that queries, “If the election were held today, would you vote for Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump,” is going to bring a lot different results than one that poses 10 questions about platforms, policies and issues and then asks, after each, “Which candidate, Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump, would do the best job” on the particular topic. Heck, polls are so persnickety that even the order of the candidates during the presentation of the question, or the phrasing – the inquiring, for example, of which would prove more “successful” versus “do a better job” -- influences the respondents and therefore, the results.

Historically speaking, polls just aren’t always what they’re cracked up to be.

U.S. News & World Report wrote in September 2015, in a piece bluntly titled, “The Problem With Polls,” how Mitt Romney was supposed to beat Barack Obama, then-Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell was supposed to lose to political upstart Alison Lundergan Grimes and Scots weren’t all that decided on whether to declare independence from Great Britain – all according to separate surveys at the time. Well, how wrong the pollsters were, leading the news outlet to conclude “public opinion polls have racked up a few big-time fails in recent years, embarrassments that compelled a leading firm to conduct an internal audit to find out what went wrong.”

Yet here we are, a year later, gasping a collective breath about what MSNBC reports: “Latest polls reinforce Republicans’ sense of dread.” Fox News hosts and pundits Eric Bolling and Dana Perino gave a real-time sense of what this supposed dread’s all about during a recent televised discussion on Trump’s falling numbers and the validity and value of polls. When Bolling cited skewing as a factor, Perino blasted back, in essence: Don’t be absurd.

“The future of this party is at risk,” she tweeted, shortly after. And in another tweet, she vowed, “I will not lie to you about the state of this race.”

But really, isn’t the only truth here the one that says predicting the outcome of this presidential race is impossible?

Both Trump defenders and Trump detractors can find plenty in the polls to support their respective causes. On the pro-Trump side, there’s the botched Literary Digest straw poll in 1936 that predicted Alf Landon over Franklin Delano Roosevelt; the 1996 failure of three television stations to properly place Bob Dole in the race against Steve Forbes and Pat Buchanan for the presidential primary in Arizona; the epic exit polling fails, and subsequent mistaken media announcements, that gave wins to the wrong presidential candidates in 2000 -- Al Gore over George Bush – and in 2004, John Kerry over again, Mr. Bush. Don’t forget the famous Ronald Reagan-Jimmy Carter campaign season, and the wide discrepancies in real numbers versus polled numbers. 

On the “Trump’s going down in flames” side, however, there’s this: Polls sometimes prove correct. And just because they aren’t 100 percent accurate, that doesn’t mean they aren’t sometimes accurate.

If that’s the argument – and it has to be, because that’s the base truth of the matter – then the smart voter, the smart pundit, resists the panicked “sky is falling” politicking and realizes the race is long, the candidates are savvy, the campaigns are both making adjustments and in response, so will the numbers. Let’s not call the race just yet – let’s put Chicken Little back in the cage.

First published at the Washington Times:  


Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Massachusetts Uber Tax Sheds Light on the Socialist Mindset

Massachusetts has a new tax aimed at punishing Uber and Lyft drivers who dare to compete with the government regulated taxi companies.

Of course, the tax advocates don’t describe it that way. Rather, they say the 20-cent fee – and note, it’s always a fee in bureau-speak, never tax – is a win-win for all that will take a cut of all Uber and Lyft rides to distribute among the taxi companies, the cities and towns and to the state. The estimated pot of this fee-not-tax could reach millions of dollars annually, and provide big bucks to the state’s transportation fund. On top of that, the revenues will also be used to help taxi services identify and put in place “new technologies and advanced service, safety and operational capabilities” that could also lead to more workforce development, according to the text of the bill signed into law by Gov. Charlie Baker, a Republican no less.

Wow. It’s like a wonder drug -- a cure-all for the state’s transportation and job opportunity woes that seem to include failing taxi technology, whatever that means. But peer past the politicking and take a whiff of the stink. The tax, which take a nickel per Uber ride for the taxi companies, a dime per ride for the local governments, and another nickel for the state to deposit in its transportation coffers, is rooted in socialist ideology.

As Reuters reported, Larry Meister of the Boston-area Independent Taxi Operator’s Association cheered its passage by saying it’s about time – Uber and Lyft drivers have been dodging the regulations that taxi companies have had to abide for years. One such regulation? Vehicular inspections by police.

“They’ve been breaking the laws that are on the books that we’ve been following for many years,” Meister reportedly said.

So the answer is more laws – more fees, taxes and government controls and interventions? That’s a miserable mentality that has no place in a free-market America.

As Kirill Evdakov, the chief executive of Fasten ride service, said while opposing the tax in the same Reuters story: “I don’t think we should be in the business of subsidizing potential competitors.”

That’s exactly right.

Only a socialist – someone who thinks the government should oversee and control business and the economy – could applaud a tax that takes money from a private enterprise and siphons it into the hands of another private enterprise. It’s particularly galling, though, when the money being taken from the private business is being used to bolster the bottom line of a competing business – and then sold as a “safety” benefit for all.

This is theft, pure and simple.  And the perpetrator is the government.

Calling it a fee, dressing it as a workforce development benefit, touting it as a safety measure and talking it up as a fairness issue that levels the free market field so all can compete is nothing but spin. You want an equitable playing field for both taxi and Uber drivers – one that provides a fair shot at profit for all? Think less government, not more. Think capitalism, not socialism.

Taxi drivers ought to be fighting for less regulation of their companies, not more rules and burdens for their competitors. That, after all, is the free-market way.



Wednesday, August 10, 2016

LGBTs vs. the First Amendment: The Fight for Religious Freedom Ratchets


Tread carefully, America. The skirmishes around the nation centered on rights for lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders are not really about rights for lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders.

They’re about the decimation of the First Amendment and the destruction of traditional family. And the latest local battle to drive a wedge in the national norm is in Utah, where 25 groups dedicated to advancing the LGBT rights’ movement have signed on to a letter urging the Big 12, which is considering a team expansion, to turn a blind eye on Brigham Young University.

Of the Mormon school, the coalition wrote: “[BYU] actively and openly discriminates against its LGBT students and staff. In fact, through its policies, BYU is very clear about its intent to discriminate against openly LGBT students, with sanctions that can include suspension or dismissal for being openly LGBT or in a same-sex relationship. … Given BYU’s homophobic, biphobic and transphobic policies and practices, BYU should not be rewarded with Big 12 membership.”

But that’s typical special interest-driven bunk.

BYU, a private facility in Provo that’s owned and operated by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, does in fact have policies regarding homosexual relations. It also has them – and curious, but the coalition’s letter doesn’t speak to this – for heterosexuals. In fact, the school’s honor code, which speaks to the need of students and staff to “demonstrate in daily living on and off-campus those moral virtues encompassed in the gospel of Jesus Christ,” is specific in its expectations for everybody who attends. It requires all BYUers to “be honest,” to live a chaste and virtuous life,” and to “participate regularly in church services.” It doesn’t even allow them to swear – or drink coffee or caffeinated tea.

It’s in the context of discussing the do’s and don’ts of proper BYUer behaviors that homosexuality is brought up, in a special section that makes clear: “Homosexual behavior is inappropriate.”

But before cracking the “see, I told you so” whip wielded by the rabidly pro-LGBT rights’ crowd, read a little bit more. Simply professing same-sex attraction is not a code violation.

“One’s stated same-gender attraction is not an Honor Code issue,” the policy reads. “[BYU] will respond to homosexual behavior rather than to feelings or attraction.”

That means an honor code violation is only given in those instances when students or staffers act on those sexual attractions. But here’s the part the LGBT agenda-drivers conveniently overlook and ignore: BYU’s sex-based prohibitions apply equally to homosexuals as well as heterosexuals. In other words: the honor code demands chastity for all unmarried students and staffers, no matter their sexual preferences.

If the whole LGBT movement is aimed at demanding and receiving equal rights and equal treatment – at getting the same types of societal benefits as heterosexuals – then the reaction to BYU’s honor code should be this: Mission accomplished. But it’s not. And that’s because the LGBT community’s clamor for rights at choice spots around the nation in recent months has little to do with justice and equality and everything to do with destroying societal roots, norms and standards.

In 2012, lesbian activist Masha Gessen said in a speech “it’s a no-brainer that the institution of marriage should not exist” and that sanctioning a man and a woman as the legal caretakers of children is ridiculous.

In 2013, the far-left Nation published opinions from LGBT activists Tamara Metz and Amber Hollibaugh who said, respectively, the next step for the movement was to “disestablish marriage” and to “queer” the country’s economy.

“I want a LGBTQ movement that queers the reality of Walmart line jobs, sex work and homeless shelters,” Hollibaugh wrote.

And in 2016, the Huffington Post’s “Queer Voices” section blasted this headline in a story about offering stock photographs of gays to wire services like Getty: “Redefining the ‘Traditional’ American Family in 7 Stunning Images.”

Meanwhile, the battle over bathroom genders goes on, with entities from the White House to Target retail demanding men dressed as women be given access to female facilities, and vice versa. But this BYU battle is a First Amendment religious freedom hit in disguise. What the coalition of LGBT groups is in effect saying in their letter is that Christian-based organizations have a right to their religious beliefs – so long as those religious beliefs don’t conflict or oppose the LGBT agenda. And they’re trying to steamroll that belief into the common culture via the sports world. Americans, particularly those of Christian faith and patriotic bent, take heed. BYU today; the local church tomorrow.



Saturday, August 6, 2016

North Carolina Bathroom Battle Brings Out the Big Guns – DOJ Plus Business

Talk about a federal clamp-down. Nearly 70 of the country’s largest corporations have jumped into the LGBT boat with the Obama administration’s heavy-handed Department of Justice and set course toward one target: North Carolina’s bathroom law.

Who’d have thought transgender rights would be the issue that finally moved this administration past campaign rhetoric and into the field of actual action?

After all, America suffered through red line after red line in the Syria fiasco – in which President Obama kept threatening, then backtracking on threats, then threatening again to take military action if President Assad didn’t turn over his cache of chemical weapons. Then Americans suffered through month after month, turning to year after year, of dismal job prospects, all the while tuning in to national TV to hear a do-nothing Obama brag about the feds’ more positively skewed statistics. Then the world watched and waited for Obama to take decisive action on terrorism and ISIS – and, sadly, as any good Orlando, Florida, or Nice, Paris, resident could confirm, is still watching and waiting.

But making sure girls’ bathroom doors are open to boys, and women’s to men? Obama’s on it.

His latest is to make sure North Carolina, which passed a law – (Note to Obama: You know, that thing that goes through the legislative process and is duly debated and decided by the constitutionally elected?) – called the “Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act,” requiring individuals to use the public restrooms that conform to their birth genders. The law was North Carolina’s defense against Obama’s unilateral – meaning, devoid of Congress – dictate to states, via Justice Department and Education Department letters, to open public school restrooms and changing facilities to those of both genders, so that boys who went to bed on Monday as males but awoke on Tuesday as females could then use the girl’s facilities.

North Carolinians didn’t agree with that line of thinking, and thus, HB2 was born, via electorate-supported legislation.

But Obama doesn’t agree with North Carolina’s stance, aligned with the Tenth Amendment and states’ rights as it is, and sent out his federal top law enforcement dogs to issue a quick smack-down. The Justice Department in early May filed a suit to halt North Carolina’s law from taking effect – and this time, dozens of big businesses piled on to pressure the state to back down. Specifically, in early July, almost 70 of the country’s top corporations, including PayPal, Nike, Capital One, IBM, Salesforce, Apple, American Airlines and Marriott, jumped into the legal fray and filed a legal brief with the Human Rights Campaign in support of the Obama administration and its Justice Department’s demands.

What a heavy boot for something like 0.3 percent of the country’s population. If only Obama could amass such a speedy and hefty show of force against America’s enemies – against radical Islamists, for example, or North Korean dictators vowing to obliterate the West.

But this battle for transgender rights being waged by the Obama administration is not really about transgender rights. It’s about upsetting a republic and overturning a Constitution – about tossing out the traditional and heralding in a new order, one that talks a talk of fairness and justice but walks a walk of intolerance for all views tinged with conservatism, Christianity or even unbridled American patriotism.

With the suit, this is the message Obama, the Justice Department and Big Business send: White House wishes trump legislatively enacted law.

Or, as Justin Danhof, legal counsel and director of the Free Enterprise Project for the National Center for Public Policy Research put it: “Since the DOJ doesn’t have the constitutional authority to rewrite laws, it is trying to seek the same result by establishing precedent with this court case. Such a result would irreparably damage America’s unique separation of powers and open the floodgates for increased executive branch control over state and local matters.”


In other words, not only would Obama get to play king, once again. But future presidents, both Democrats and Republicans, would have a clear path to play the king’s role themselves. Bathroom rights? Think longer term. Transgender justice? Hardly. This battle over gender is about power, control and the fate of Americans to govern as Founding Fathers envisioned.

Friday, August 5, 2016

IRS, DOJ Slapdown: One Small Step for 4th Amendment

David, meet Goliath. Incredibly enough, a small-town Maryland dairy farmer and his wife just won their legal claim against the Internal Revenue Service and Department of Justice and will now be able to recoup tens of thousands of dollars seized in what turned out to be an unconstitutional application of civil asset forfeiture.

What’s more, the win could prove a chip in the whole block of forfeiture laws, also known in constitutional circles as the Devil of the Fourth Amendment and by property and business owners as government-sanctioned theft.

That’s because civil asset forfeiture laws, as overseen and implemented by the Department of Justice and the U.S. Marshals Service, with some help from the IRS, allow government entities to seize properties – including cash, cars, computers and a host of other items beginning with the letter A and running through the letter Z – from those who have not been convicted of any crime. In some cases, like in that of the Maryland dairy farmers, Randy and Karen Sowers, the targets of seizures don’t even have to be formally accused of any crime.

It’s a profitable business, this government taking, In 2015 alone, the Department of Justice oversaw the collection of more than $1.6 billion from the 50 states participating in the civil asset forfeiture “equitable sharing” program that then disburses funds back to localities.

The Sowers were just another statistic caught in the government’s civil asset forfeiture ring.

For years, the couple operated South Mountain Creamery in Middletown, selling eggs, milk and other dairy products at local farmers’ markets, in mostly cash transactions that poked the interest of the IRS. In 2012, the agency seized tens of thousands of dollars from the couple’s bank account, saying they had purposely deposited money in amounts less than $10,000 to avoid tripping the banking reporting requirements – a practice known as “restructuring” and one that feds say is commonly used by criminals to dodge taxes and prosecutions for illegal business ventures.

But as Forbes pointed out in a recent article: “Randy and Karen were never charged with structuring (or any other crime).”

With civil asset forfeiture, the absence of criminal behavior is not a defense. Cash seized, the Sowers faced the dismal prospect of fighting in court to prove their innocence, or forfeiting $29,500 to the feds – so they chose the payoff, Option B. Then in 2014, the IRS changed its policy and said restructuring laws, the frequent precursor to civil asset forfeitures, could only be applied to actual criminals – ostensibly, no longer to those who simply deposited the wrong amounts of cash in the bank from milk and ice cream sales. Good news for the Sowers; they sued, and the Institute for Justice that handled their case won.

In a letter, the Department of Justice wrote “the forfeiture in this matter is being mitigated in the full amount forfeited of $29,500,” and advised the Sowers to contact the IRS Asset Forfeiture Coordinator for payment. What a win – and now, the Institute for Justice is predicting the victory could “set a precedent that should make it possible for hundreds of other property owners in similar cases to get their money back as well.”

Great. But before cheering, consider this: The U.S. Marshals Service says it’s currently managing $3.1 billion worth of assets seized under the forfeiture program. That translates into 17,564 individual pieces of property or sums of seized cash, according to the agency’s own website. In 2015, roughly $365 million of seized assets were shared with state and local law enforcement. And since 1985, a total of $7.4 billion of seized properties have been shared with participating agencies. The point?


The Sowers’ win is tremendous. The chance for the Sowers’ case to set a precedent that will lead to the return of wrongfully seized properties for hundreds of other families is terrific. But that’s just a dent. Anything less than what the Fourth Amendment promises – that the “right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probably cause” – is an unconstitutional taking. A handful of wins does not an intact Fourth Amendment make.

Monday, July 18, 2016

'Pakistan Kim Kardashian' Murdered in Honor Killing as Brother Brags: 'Yes Of Course I Strangled Her'

A 26-year-old woman dubbed the “Pakistan Kim Kardashian” for her many social media postings of herself in sultry poses, was strangled to death by her brother, who told police and press conference attendees he carried out the honor killing to protect his family’s name and reputation.

Fouzia Azeem, known in celebrity circles as Qandeel Baloch
The woman, born Fouzia Azeem, went by the Instagram and Facebook celebrity name of Qandeel Baloch and also advocated for women’s rights in Pakistan.

The ‘Stop Hillary’ campaign is on fire! Join the surging response to this theme: ‘Clinton for prosecution, not president’

“Yes of course I strangled her,” said Muhammad Wasim, to reporters during a press conference after his arrest, the Daily Beast reported.

He then described how he allegedly committed the crime, beginning with feeding her a sleeping pill and waiting until she fell asleep.

“She was on the ground floor while our parents were asleep on the roof top,” he said, citing her “intolerable behavior” as the motivating force and decrying how her many media postings were bringing “dishonor” on the family.

And he wasn’t the least bit contrite.

“I am not embarrassed at all over what I did,” Wasim said, the Daily Beast reported.

Baloch’s photos, posted on the Internet – and followed by thousands – are tame compared to Western standards. While the real Kim Kardashian might post nudes of herself, Baloch was fully dressed, even wearing full-length pants and a black top in one.

But in Muslim-dominated Pakistan, where Shariah law adherents have been trying to block legislation that would protect women from violence, the photos were racy enough to warrant outrage. As the Daily Beast reported, the nation’s Human Rights Commission has recorded almost 1,000 so-called honor killings and crimes against women in the last year alone.

In September, for instance, a man in Sargodha shot and killed two of his sisters for displaying what he deemed “bad character,” the news outlet reported, citing Human Rights Commission findings. And in that same time period, another man shot and killed three of his cousins in the Punjab province for the same “honor” reasons.

Outraged social media followers posted angry comments beneath Baloch’s photos on Facebook, saying her poses were too risque for a proper woman to adopt.

“What’s ur goal? U want to [be] most insulted person in the world?” wrote one.

And another: “If u closely look at her face, u can see clearly she looks just like a prostitute.”

Baloch was more than a social media celebrity, however. She also spoke out strongly for women’s rights and against Pakistan’s patriarchal system, referring to herself as a “one-woman army,” the Daily Beast reported.

In one July 4 post, that included a link to a BBC news report about her, she wrote: “At least international media can see what i am up to. How i am trying to change the typical orthodox mindset of people who don’t wanna come out of their shells of false beliefs and old practices.”

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Republican Freedom Caucus Moves to Impeach IRS John Koskinen, Saying He 'Lied' on Scandal

Members of the House Freedom Caucus on Capitol Hill, made up entirely of select members of the Republican Party, pushed forward with a resolution seeking to impeach John Koskinen, the IRS commissioner.

The group, led by Reps. John Fleming and Tim Huelskamp, filed the resolution to impeach late Wednesday evening, Fox News reported. The resolution isn't "privileged," and therefore must wait its turn in line for vote – an often lengthy process that can drag for months.

But GOPers in the caucus said they're tired of waiting on leadership to give the thumbs-up to try and impeach Koskinen, even though doing so would move the resolution to the front of the voting line and onto the House floor for a quick pass or fail decision.

Koskinen has been in the crosshairs of Republicans – and many Americans – for years, due to a 2010 IRS scandal that saw many tea party-type and conservative organizations seeking non-profit status placed on hold. Later investigation revealed officials within the IRS unduly delayed the permit applications of groups that leaned ideologically right.

Republicans who called Koskinen to Congress to explain the agency's actions accuse that he intentionally ignored and "lied" about goings-on at the IRS in the non-profit application division.

The resolution to impeach will most likely force leadership to make a decision about its outcome this fall, Fox News reported.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Man Dressed as Woman Arrested for Voyeurism Tied to Picture-Taking in Pro-LGBT Target Dressing Rooms

A man named Sean Patrick Smith who identifies as a woman by the name of Shauna Patricia Smith was arrested on charges tied to taking photographs of women inside a dressing room at a Target retail store in Ammon, Idaho.

Suspect Smith, who claims to be a woman
Target, which recently opened its bathrooms and dressing rooms to both genders, allowing users to visit the facility that most corresponded with their chosen sex – so men could use women's facilities, and vice versa – has caused widespread outrage among shoppers. The American Family Association, for example, launched a petition signed by more than 1.3 million demanding a reversal of open-door policy. Shareholders concerned about falling stock prices confronted CEO Brian Cornell at a June meeting in California and asked him to consider a return to single-sex bathrooms. And Franklin Graham, president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, issued a scathing criticism of Target over what he called a policy that "encourages sexual predators and puts women and children in danger,."

Now Graham's prediction seems to have come to pass.

Smith, a 46-year-old Idaho Falls man, was booked into the Bonneville County Jail on a felony count of voyeurism after a woman reported to deputies how a man, dressed in women's clothing, entered the female dressing room at Target and started snapping pictures. East Idaho News reported he took pictures of the woman in the stall next to his, while she was changing.

"The woman was begging for help as she chased the man out the door," a witness said, the local newspaper reported. "She kep saying she wanted those pictures deleted."

Detectives located Smith some time later, at a location outside of Target. Bonneville County Sgt. Bryan Lovell said investigators are trying to determine if there were other victims.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

NeverTrumper Brags He 'Humiliated' Trump Campaign, as Judge Tosses Law Binding Vote to Billionaire

In a win for the never-die wing of the Never Trump crowd, a federal judge in Virginia said the state could not force delegates to support the state’s primary winner at the coming national convention.

The case involved a Republican delegate, Carroll “Beau” Correll Jr., who supported Sen. Ted Cruz for president, but not Donald Trump. Trump won Virginia’s primary, however. And according to state law, as well as party rules, that meant GOP delegates had to vote for Trump at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland this month, else face possible fines.

But Correll didn’t want to, so he went to court and challenged the party regulations.

The judge just sided with him, tossing the rule as antithetical to the First Amendment – and sending Correll into very public expressions of glee.

“[Trump’s campaign got] morbidly humiliated,” he said, NBC News reported. “They put all their chips on the table and they lost all of them. If I were them I’d go hide in a closet in Trump Tower.”

Correll then issued a written plea to others in the party who don’t want to vote for Trump.

“To national political figures that are on the sidelines and awaiting your calling,” he wrote, “I implore you to take a step forward from the darkness and into the light. Show us that you have the courage to stand for leader of the Free World, appeal to the better angels of our nature, and to deliver this Republic from the abomination of a Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton presidency.”

Legally speaking, the judge’s ruling only affects Virginia delegates. It also doesn’t change RNC rules – rules that Correll agreed to abide when he accepted the appointment as delegate. And one rule? Party delegates have to vote for the candidate who wins the primary, something the Trump campaign said the judge actually reinforced in his ruling.

As such, the billionaire businessman’s political operatives aren’t seeing the judge’s decision as a loss at all – rather a “fatal blow to the anti-Trump agitators,” the campaign said in a statement.

“The court has confirmed what we have said all along: Rule 16 is in effect and thus delegates, including Correll, are bound to vote in accordance with the election results,” said Trump campaign attorney and former FEC chairman Don McGahn, NBC News reported.



Thursday, July 7, 2016

Republican-Controlled Senate Rejects Defunding of Sanctuary Cities

The Republican dominated Senate failed to pass a couple of bills that would have stripped funding to cities with sanctuary policies sheltering illegal aliens from deportation.

The Senate, with 54 Republicans versus 44 Democrats and two Independents, both of whom generally caucus with the Democratic Party, voted 53-44 in favor of the bill that would have stripped funding. But because the vote didn't meet the Senate's own self-imposed filibuster rule requiring 60 votes to act, the measure died.

"We are failing to adequately deter deported illegal aliens from illegally re-entering the country, especially those with violent criminal records," said Sen. Ted Cruz, Fox News reported.

Cruz sponsored one of the bills; his would have granted the courts the right to sentence illegals caught re-entering the country to a 10 years in prison. It failed on a 55-42 vote.

Sen. Pat Toomey sponsored the other; his would have prevented federal tax dollars going toward cities with sanctuary policies. Toomey's stemmed from the widely reported 2015 public shooting death of Kate Steinle as she walked a California pier with her father. An illegal immigrant with a felony record who was deported on several prior occasions was charged in her murder.

"Sanctuary cities are Orwellian in their logic," Toomey said, after his bill failed on a 53-44 vote, Fox News reported. "They give extra protection to dangerous criminals, just because they happen to be in the country illegally."

Both bills were subject to the Senate's 60-vote standard to move forward – a threshhold described by one legal mind as "artificial" and an outrage to the constitutional process.

"Since the Senate operates under a self-imposed filibuster rule requiring 60 votes to act, senators representing 11 percent of the national population can veto laws supported by senators representing 89 percent of the population," wrote New York University School of Law professor Burt Neuborne said in an April 2913 written opinion for the Hill. "That's not democracy. It's more like being governed by the British House of Lords. Actually, it's more like being governed by the American House of Cowboys."

Neuborne at the time had been criticizing the failure of Democrat-pressed gun background checks passing through the Senate, despite a vote of 55-45.

The White House had already indicated disapproval with both measures, saying in a statement neither bill provided "comprehensive reforms needed to fix the nation's immigration laws."

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Sarah Palin Blasts Stubborn '#NeverTrump Traitors' as Hillary Clinton's Biggest Supporters

At this point ... she has a point.

Sarah Palin, former governor of Alaska and vice presidential candidate, took to Facebook to react to FBI Director James Comey's recommendation to not indict Hillary Clinton and ended up blasting those in the Republican Party who still, after all the former secretary of State's scandals and deceptions, refuse to support presumptive GOP White House pick Donald Trump.

Her all-capped headline read: "GOP #NEVERTRUMP TRAITORS – HILLARY DELIGHTS IN YOU, FOR SHE CAN'T WIN WITHOUT YOU."

Palin also linked to the statement from Judicial Watch about Comey's findings.

"Ironic, tragic, but not unexpected – amidst America's Independence Day celebrations the Ruling Class put another boot on our neck to snuff liberty's life out of We the People," she wrote. "It's a farce that 'no one is above the law' and my heart goes out to all who've been unjustly accused and destroyed over much lesser crimes than Hillary's."

Palin then appealed for patriotic Americans to take heart – to not give up the fight for a just government.

"We MUST redouble efforts to restore the rule of law that had sustained the most exceptional nation on earth, with everyone doing their part," she wrote.

And among her recommendations: "Don't put blind faith in any politician ... Teach your children American's foundation built on the rule of law ... United behind those who have no part in the corrupt political machine that would mock, silence and destroy the outsiders committed to serving for the right reasons ... Get your boots on the ground and work for what you know is right for our country's survival. Don't just preach to the choir – infiltrate and influence outside your comfort zone to empower others to take a stand."

Palin then called the FBI "forgiveness of tyrants' illegal acts" an example of why patriots ought to "rise up and tear down this tyrannical system that is destroying America from within," and said bluntly: "Truly, you're either with us or you're against us."

And to Republicans who still refused to endorse Trump, Palin had the harshest words.

"Message to all the 'Republican' elites throwing in for Hillary, boasting they'll stay home instead of vote because their particular weakened good ol' boy is not the GOP nominee (the R.A.T.s suffering chappedass because their power and purse are threatened by the grassroots movement to destroy their failed politics-as-usual), Hillary thanks you. She knows she can't win without you," Palin wrote.




Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Fireworks Deception: 'Milli Vanilli' PBS Fields Fire For Fake 4th Show Billed as Live

Is nothing sacred anymore??? This is why the media cannot be trusted.

PBS came under heavy social media fire for its broadcast of the Washington, D.C., Independence Day fireworks' show – a broadcast billed by the publicly funded television station as "live," but which actually contained splices and clips of previous years' displays.

The station defended its actions by saying in several messages the cloudy weather and overcast conditions made it tough to see the fireworks.

"With the weather being overcast we showed a combination of the best fireworks from this year and previous years. #July4thPBS," the station said, on it "A Capitol Fourth" Facebook page.

And on Twitter, PBS wrote: "We showed a combination of the best fireworks from this year and previous years. It was the patriotic thing to do. #July4thPBS."

But it was the deception more than the actual deed that angered and outraged PBS viewers.

It wasn't until 10 p.m. Eastern Time, well into the show that was being billed as a "live" broadcast, that PBS admitted the images its station was beaming were taken in part from past years' shows, NBC News reported. And that admission only came after angry viewers pointed out the scene PBS was broadcasting was of a clear and beautiful evening – rather than the overcast and cloudy skies that dotted Washington, D.C., on Independence Day.

One Twitter user wrote, NBC News found: "@July4thPBS Only in DC could a PBS show become a scandal."

Another referenced a pop singing duo busted for lip-synching during a concert billed as live: '@July4thPBS the Milli Vanilli of fireworks #shame."

And yet another tweeted: "@July4thPBS How is using stock video patriotic? If I wanted that, I'd watch YouTube. #fakee #July4thPBS."

You decide ... these are screen shots from the PBS broadcast ....

The fireworks as PBS showed them.
The skies as they really were.

Monday, July 4, 2016

ChristianMingle.com Dating Site Ordered by California Judge to Admit Gays

ChristianMingle.com, one of the nation's best known dating sites for those seeking partners of the same faith, was ordered by a judge to open its online access to gays, and allowing men seeking men and women seeking women the same search abilities as heterosexuals.

The suit was filed by two gay men seeking to capitalize one California's law requiring businesses to provide "full and equal accommodations" to those of all sexual preferences. A state judge found in their favor and now Spark Networks, a Los Angeles based company that operates ChristianMingle. com, as well as SilverSingles.com, BlackSingles.com and CatholicMingle.com, must open dating doors to all.

ChristianMingle.com now must allow gays to use the site.
Specifically, the judge said the option buttons on the sites that force users to register as "man seeking woman" or "woman seeking man" violated the Unruh Civil Rights Act and that the businss must allow for some option for homosexuals to join.

The judge also ordered Spark to pay the plaintiffs' $9,000 each, along with $450,000 in attorney fees.

Vineet Dubey, one of the attorneys for the plaintiffs, said in LGBTQ Nation: "I am gratified that we were able to work with Spark to help ensure that people can fully participate in all the diverse market places that make our country so special, regardless of their sexual orientation."

ChristianMingle.com bills itself as a match site for those on the same "faith spectrum" seeking long-term Christian relationships. As LGBTQ Nation pointed, the site opened in 2001 and has grown to be one of the largest communities for Christian singles seeking to date.

ChristianMingle.com reacted to the ruling with a Facebook post of an article entitled, "Why a Test of Faith is Something to Be Thankful For," alongside a photo and caption that read: "Trials are never fun, but it's helpful to know that God is working through them."




Elie Wiesel's Death Sends Shockwaves, as World Remembers 'Ray of Light' Holocaust Survivor

We should probably all go buy "Night" in his honor ... one of the most important books ever written.

The world grieved Monday as news of Elie Wiesel's death spread, with heads of state from Israel to America to Britain to France sending out sentiments that recognized the Holocaust survivor for his spirit "to overcome the darkest of evils," as one said.

"We bid farewell to a hero of the Jewish people and a giant of all humanity," said Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, NBC News reported. "Elie Wiesel, of blessed memory, embodied the determination of the human spirit to overcome the darkest of evils, and survive against all the odds. His life was dedicated to the fight against all hatred and for the sake of man as created in the image of God, he was a guide for us all. One of the Jewish people's greatest sons, who touched the hearts of so many, and helped us to believe in forgiveness, in life, and in the eternal bond of the Jewish people. May his memory be a blessing, everlastingly engraved in the heart of the nation."

Wiesel, who overcame the Holocaust and went on to pen a poignant memoir about the horrors of the concentration camps and dedicate his life to fighting against inhumanity the world over, died at the age of 87 over the weekend at his home and was memorialized in a Sunday service in Manhattan.

"This is really the double tragedy of it, not only the loss of someone who was so rare and unusual but the fact that those ranks are thinning out," said Rabbi Perry Berkowitz, the president of the American Jewish Heritage Organization and a former assistant to Wiesel, said during the Fifth Avenue Synagogue service, to Politico. "At the same time anti-Semitism, Holocaust revisionism keeps rising. The fear is that when there are no more survivors left, will the world learn the lesson because those voices will be silenced."

Wiesel's book "Night" touched the world with its raw power, becoming one of the most widely read and discussed books of the 20th century.

President Obama called Wiesel, who went on to win the Nobel Peace Prize, "the conscience of the world" and "a living memorial."

And Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Wiesel "served as a ray of light" in a dark world.

"The state of Israel and the Jewish people express sorrow over the death of Elie Wiesel," Netanyahu said. "Elie, a master of words, gave expression to the victory of the human spirit over cruelty and evil with his unusal personality and captivating stories. In the darkness of the Holocaust when our brothers and sisters perished, the six million, Elie Wiesel served as a ray of light and an example of humanity that believes in the goodness of man."

Netanyahu also said he was "grateful for the honor" of knowing Wiesel and "learning so much from him," and called for his "memory [to] be blessed forever."

Justin Trudeau, prime minister of Canada, sent out a Twitter message expressing sorrow.

"Elie Wiesel spent his life in service to humanity, keeping the memory of the Holocaust's horror alive," he tweeted. "It is for us all to carry this torch."

French President Francois Hollande, meanwhile, spoke of the special bond between Wiesel and France.

"This universal man had a special relationship with France, where he studied after the war, where he published the first edition of 'The Night,' thanks to Jerome Lindon, where he created the Universal Academy of Cultures in 1992. France honors the memory of a grand humanist, tireless defender of peace."

Others weighed in similarly:

* U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry called Wiesel "one of our most poignant and passionate voices for justice, for remembrance and for applying the lessons a dark past to shape and inform a brighter future."

* New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo tweeted: "Rest in peace Elie Wiesel. Thank you for your stories of triumph of the human spirit in the face of evil. The world will never be the same."

* Presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton, and her former presidential husband, Bill Clinton, issues a joint statement: "We join all those around the world in mourning his loss and giving thanks for his life. ... As he often said, one person of integrity can make a difference.

* Ronald Lauder, president of the World Jewish Congress, said: "We have lost the most articulate witness to history's greatest crime. Without Elie Wiesel in the world, it is up to every one of us now to stand up to the deniers."

* And even Hollywood took notice, with actor George Clooney writing: "We had a champion who carried our pain, our guilt and our responsibility on his shoulders for generations. Now he's gone. It's hard to fathom. So I guess it's up to us now. To fight for the disenfranchised. To speak truth to power and to never forget how cruel man can be to man."