Wednesday, September 14, 2016

'ISIS in America' Cases on the Rise: Feds Call for Vigilance

Talk about burying the lead.
Way at the bottom of a Reuters story on recent statistics of ISIS-tied prosecutions in America was this tidbit:
"The Department of Justice charged 60 people last year with supporting or committing crimes because of their sympathies to Islamic State, the largest annual figure on record."
Catch that? "The largest annual figure on record" means the number of ISIS terrorists and ISIS wanna-be terrorists has risen under President Obama, to levels never before seen.
As if for comfort, Reuters then adds this:
"The number arrested this year has been less than last year's figure."
But here's the real question to ask: Why are terrorists and terrorist-wanna-bes sneaking into America and roaming suburban communities in the first place?
Common sense says a combination of open borders and the present administration's habit of drawing a moral equivalence between America and all-things-Sharia is part of the problem. But U.S. Assistant Attorney General John Carlin, speaking to reporters at the Justice Department this week, seems to suggest the American people might be to blame, at least in part, and the U.S. Constitution, in other part.
Read this, from the same Reuters story:
"U.S. Assistant Attorney General John Carlin said on Monday that more than 110 people have been publicly charged in federal court since late 2013 on counts related to the Islamic State militant group that has overrun much of Syria and Iraq.
"Carlin said the U.S. Justice Department needs the American public to be more proactive about alerting federal authorities when they witness someone showing support for foreign terrorist organizations, such as Islamic State, in remarks to reporters at the U.S. Justice Department.
"In more than 80 percent of the Islamic State cases that have been prosecuted since 2013, someone in the community of the accused person believed they had witnessed the activity for which the person was ultimately charged, according to Carlin. In more than half of those cases, the witnesses did not report anything to law enforcement authorities until after the charges were made.
"Many of the Islamic State supporters prosecuted since 2013 have been charged under 'material support' statutes that prohibit supporting designated foreign terrorist organizations ... Carlin said he is open to considering whether affiliation with a domestic extremist group could 'warrant a special penalty' for people already charged with committing a violent crime. Simply supporting a domestic group where some of the members have committed crimes should not be prosecuted, Carlin said, because it 'runs into our Constitution and our values.'"
The figures and findings are alarming enough. But read between the lines, and it gets even more alarming. What's Carlin saying, exactly?
On one hand, it appears he credits the American people with reporting suspicious behaviors, leading to prosecutions of ISIS-tied individuals. But on the other, he's calling on Americans to be more proactive in reporting suspicious behaviors, while saying the Constitution does not allow for feds to take proactive action themselves.
But this is simply a red herring argument – and one that doesn't exactly assure the White House is going to fight terrorism in any sort of successful way.
The real problem is this: America's borders are porous and Obama's policies are weak. And until those factors are properly addressed, hopefully by the incoming administration, America's safety from terrorism is far from secured.
First posted at PamelaGeller.com, here: http://pamelageller.com/2016/09/isis-in-america-cases-on-the-rise-feds-call-for-vigilance.html/

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

George Soros Lauds Efforts to Let Illegals Vote

In a Monday morning tweet, billionaire activist George Soros sent out some public praise for his own Open Society's work to make U.S. elections – in his mind – fairer, but that is really, in the views of constitutional, rule-of-law type Americans, aimed at giving illegal immigrants the ability to vote this November.

Soros is already on record supporting Hillary Clinton.

In July, Politico reported this:

"Soros has donated or committed more than $25 million to boost Hillary Clinton and other Democratic candidates and causes, according to Federal Election Commission records and interviews with his associates and Democratic fundraising operatives. And some of his associated say they expect Soros, who amassed a fortune estimated at $24.9 billion through risky currency trades, to give even more as Election Day nears."

Moreover, his personal political adviser, Michael Vachon, had this to say in the same story:

"[T]his year, the political stakes are exceptionally high. They were high even before Trump became the nominee because of the hostility on the other side toward many of the issues George cares most about and has worked to support for many years, including immigration reform, criminal justice reform and religious tolerance."

And now this, from Soros' own Twitter account, @georgesoros, just Monday morning.

He first posted a photograph and beginning of a story entitled "Why the U.S. Elections Just Got a Little Fairer," the read: "A series of court rulings ensures hundreds of thousands of eligible voters will be able to exercise their rights at the polls this November.

And he praised the "advocates' work," mirroring what the story said aboout their ensuring "elgible U.S. voters" can actually cast ballots this November.

Only problem is: Click on the story, which was written in August for Soros' own Open Society Foundations, and you'll see the "eligible voters" he's talking about are mostly those who are anything but eligible.

The story, written by Erica Teasley Linnick, reads in part:

"Three years ago this summer, the U.S. Supreme Court gutted a key portion of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. The court’s ruling in Shelby County v. Holder left voters in 15 states without protections previously afforded them under the landmark civil rights legislation. State legislators whose election policies had previously been deemed discriminatory by the Justice Department were emboldened to enact voter ID and other suppressive measures that negatively impact voters of color, using false arguments about the prevalence of fraud to fuel their efforts.

In response to these challenges, the Open Society Foundations created the Shelby Response Fund, bringing together litigators, researchers, state and local advocates, communications strategists, and organizers. The fund’s members worked on a number of fronts to try to restore voting rights protections stripped away by the high court ruling.

Lately, one aspect of their efforts in particular has been bearing fruit. In recent weeks, our voting rights grantees have celebrated court victories ensuring that hundreds of thousands of eligible voters will be able to exercise their rights at the polls this November.

On August 11, a federal district court in North Carolina held that the state legislature had unconstitutionally used race in redrawing district boundaries in 2011, unnecessarily increasing the percentage of black voters in districts where they had been successfully electing their candidates of choice for years. This case, filed by the Southern Coalition for Social Justice, was five years in the making—an example of how long justice can take, as well as the importance of the courts as a corrective.

Last month, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit ruled that North Carolina’s 2013 voter ID legislation was enacted with discriminatory intent in violation of both the Voting Rights Act and the U.S. Constitution. This voter ID measure was infamously referred to as the “monster bill” because of its far-reaching impact on voting rights—it also eliminated early voting, same-day registration, preregistration for 16- and 17-year-olds, and out-of-precinct voting.

Also in July, a federal court decided to provide a safety net for Wisconsin voters who, under a 2011 law, are required to present voter ID at the polls. With this ruling, the court gives voters who have a difficult time getting qualifying ID the option to vote by affidavit and receive a regular ballot instead of a provisional one. The court found that the state’s interests could not justify disenfranchising voters who cannot obtain ID with reasonable effort.In Texas, after three years of litigation, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled that the state’s 2013 voter ID law does indeed violate Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act by denying black and Latino voters an equal opportunity to cast a ballot.

And in North Dakota, a federal court ruled that North Dakota’s voter ID law placed a disproportionate burden on Native American voters who didn’t have driver’s licenses or a tribal ID that included an address. “[N]o eligible voter, regardless of their station in life, should be denied the opportunity to vote,” the court held.

The story ends with one final note of caution for citizens – legal ones – concerned about the possibility for shenanigans at the polls this fall.

"This work is by no means done," it read. "These refcent victories will help bolster the advocates' efforts in the coming months and years, and ensure that so many voters disenfranchised by suppressive laws have an opportunity to participate fully in the elections this November."

First posted at PamelaGeller.com: Here ... http://pamelageller.com/2016/09/george-soros-lauds-efforts-to-let-illegals-vote.html/

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Hillary Clinton’s Health: All Fun and Games Until the FBI Finds Coincidence

Once upon a time, a brash, bold-faced candidate called Hillary Clinton thought she’d take a seat in the back of the campaign room, collect donor dollars, and adopt a wait-and-see plan as her platform to the presidency, her sole strategy seeming: Donald Trump is a circus act and well – who ya gonna vote for, except me?

Her strategy was underscored by her 18 months-plus of dodging press conferences, and by her near-disappearance from the public campaign trails in August, in favor of private fundraisers.

Then came this, from the pundit and media class: What’s up with all her coughing during public speeches? And this, from the medical community, the latest of which included Dr. Drew: Her brain is malfunctioning due to past injury, and she ought to get a neurological exam to prove fitness for the presidency. And then this, perhaps most damning: The FBI itself reported a tie between Mrs. Clinton’s memory lapses and her prior concussion.

In the course of investigating Clinton’s long-running email scandal, and in the course of asking the former secretary of State to explain her take on the many briefings she attended while serving President Barack Obama’s administration that spelled out just how agents of government ought to handle classified information and public documents – queries she addressed by saying she didn’t remember -- the FBI, inadvertently but no less shockingly, drew a direct parallel between her brain injury and her inability to lead.

“In December of 2012,” the FBI wrote, in summary of interrogations of Clinton over her use of a private, home-based email server for secretary of State business, Reuters reported, “Clinton suffered a concussion and then around the New Year had a blood clot. Based on her doctor’s advice, she could only work at State for a few hours a day and could not recall every briefing she received.”

While the FBI didn’t specifically say Clinton’s memory fails were due to her brain injury, the link speaks volumes. And when combined with other health-related snafus on the campaign trail, the question of her presidency has undergone a dramatic shift. No longer are Americans wondering which candidate, Clinton or Trump, would provide the best security, open the doors to the most vibrant economy, pave the way for the most sound and logical border plan. But rather the focus becomes: Will Hillary make it through the day without a visit to the hospital?

Mrs. Clinton’s campaign has become like a NASCAR race – one boring lap after another, while waiting to see if there’s a crash and burn.

The New York Post ran this headline, in January: “Hillary Clinton Can’t Stop Coughing During Speech,” in reference to her address before Iowa supporters.

In mid-February, it was this from the Conservative Outfitters: “Hillary Clinton Suffers From Another Severe Coughing Fit While Speaking in NYC.”

In April, Mrs. Clinton suffered yet another bout of coughing during an interview with a radio station host, after which she pointed to the “allergy season” as the blame. In May, it was more of the same – this time, as the Washington Free Beacon reported – during a California campaign event.

“On June 4,” the American Mirror reported, “Clinton was [simply] listening during a round table discussion when she began hacking uncontrollably.”

Now this latest, another spasm of coughing just this week in Ohio – and videos are making the rounds.

As the Daily Beast opined: “Is Hillary Clinton’s Cough the New Benghazi?”

It’s actually a valid question – and one, like Benghazi and the death of four Americans on Mrs. Clinton’s watch, the mainstream media hates to ask. CNN even has a name for those who question Mrs. Clinton’s physical ability to hold the high office – “healthers,” a play on the “birthers” who doubted Mr. Obama’s constitutional right to the presidency.

But the facts are: Mrs. Clinton suffered a concussion in 2012. She was shortly after hospitalized for a blood clot in her head. She can’t remember key details of her own government briefings, according to the FBI. And now, her campaign trail is marked by one curious coughing fit after another. Her supporters may scoff, but the reality remains: A president who can’t speak, is going to be hard pressed at diplomacy. A president who isn’t healthy, especially in brain and in head, sets an uncertain White House tone and therefore, puts the fate of the nation at risk.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Human Chip Implants Move Mainstream, Despite ‘Mark of Beast’ Fears

Call it the coolness factor. Blame the millennial mindset of convenience at all costs. Or shrug it off as a natural technological progression – the inability of a society to close a Pandora’s Box once it’s been opened. But what’s becoming increasingly clear is what used to be regarded as creepy and science fiction-like has now gone mainstream.

Take RFID technology. Formerly the stuff of animal identification chip implants, the technology’s now moved into the human hand. It’s not – as this headline from the mainstream CBS News shows – exactly a topic of underground discussion any longer.

“Meet the humans with microchips implanted in them,” the news organization reported in June, in a piece about a Minnesota software engineer who used his chip in his finger to control his smartphone and a Dallas woman who used hers to open doors at her place of work, in place of a key card.

The once-queasy technology seems destined now to grow popularity. Catholic Online may have recently written how “a microchip implanted on human beings has chilling implications, conjuring up images of the ‘Mark of the Beast’ as mentioned in the Book of Revelations.” But in the same article, it was noted at length: the boon for society from chip implant technology is being touted as just too good to pass up.

The genie’s out and he ain’t headed back to his lamp any time soon.

Fox News reported this, way back in 2014: “[For] soldiers and journalists in war zones, such an implant could be the difference between life and death. A chip implant could also help law enforcement quickly locate a kidnapped child, … help monitor the location of people with Alzheimer’s … track the activities of felons who have been released from prison.”

All good – inarguably so.

Meanwhile, on the convenience side, there’s this: Chip implants in hands could make it really fast to open a locked door, speed through a security checkpoint at the airport, to provide crucial medical information to emergency response officials. And don’t forget the quick-pay option. Rather than waste valuable seconds fishing into pockets or pawing through purses to find debit or credit cards – or even more archaic, personal checkbooks or cash – customers may one day be able to pay for purchases simply by flashing a hand over a scanner.

But technology doesn’t always mean convenience. Just ask somebody whose computer’s been hacked, or car alarm’s been activated. Technology also doesn’t always mean progress. Sometimes it brings loss of personal freedom, and opens the door for government intrusion and control.

This, also from Fox News: “Chips are being used today to manage farm animals. Farmers can track sheep, pigs and horses as they move through a gate, weigh them instantly and make sure they are eating properly.”

Never mind the imagery from George Orwell’s “Animal Farm” that passage brings to mind. The real question that emerges is this: Is any technology that’s being used to manage farm animals really something that human beings, created in the image of an omniscient, omnipresent God, ought to be volunteering to implant? Common sense says no. The constitutionally wise say heck no. And those of faith with fears of taking the “Mark of the Beast” should stick with their instincts: The chip itself may not be satanic, but the road it could lead to sure doesn’t pass the smell test of the discerning.



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.