Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Trump Takes His Immigration Issues to Mexico and Hits a Home Run with President Peña Nieto

One of the few sane reports coming out of Washington recently was the news that Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump accepted the invitation by Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto to visit him in Mexico city. Trump made the trip Wednesday, just before his evening policy speech ion immigration in Arizona. ~~~~~~ Why is this a good idea? Take a look at the statistics. US Census Bureau data from the 2102 census analyzed by the Pew Research Center shows that a record 33.7 million Hispanics of Mexican origin resided in the United States in 2012 -- that is 10.5% of the US population. The Pew estimate includes 11.4 million immigrants born in Mexico and 22.3 million born in the US who self-identify as Hispanics of Mexican origin. About 60% of all Mexican Americans reside in the states of California and Texas. In 2012, the United States admitted 145,326 Mexican immigrants, and as of November 2015, over 1.34 million Mexicans were on the waiting list to immigrate to the United States through legal means. About 69% of the 11.3 million immigrants from Mexico aged 16 and older are working in the US. Pew Research reported in late 2015 that measuring migration flows between Mexico and the US is challenging because there are no official counts of how many Mexican immigrants are actually in the US at any one time, but the US government estimates that approximately 720,000 Mexicans cross the border each year. So, both President Peña Nieto and the next US President need to meet regularly and provide staff to keep up with the cross-border relationship. The Washington Post wrote in its Wednesday edition that when Trump declared his candidacy in 2015, he was seen by many in Mexico as insulting but not to be taken very seriously : "Mexican diplomats back then scoffed at the notion that Trump was a serious candidate or that the government was worried about his ascent.That’s all changed now. Many of Mexico’s government and business elite have grown skittish about the potential of a Trump presidency and the economic damage that his policies might inflict. The United States is Mexico’s most important trading partner. Earlier this year, Peña Nieto swapped out key diplomats, including the Mexican ambassador to the United States, to have a more aggressive presence advocating for the importance of a strong relationship between the two countries. Mexican officials were surprised to learn on Tuesday that Peña Nieto had extended an invitation to Trump." The WP wrote that one Mexican official said “Wow,” when asked to comment on the visit. Andrew Selee, a Mexico expert at the Wilson Center in Washington, told the Post : “This is an extraordinarily surprising, but welcome, development, whether it ends up happening or not. Mexico is a vital country for U.S. foreign policy and economic interests. The second destination for exports and the country of origin of a tenth of all Americans.” ~~~~~~ The Clinton campaign, in its usual holier-than-thou fashion, shrugged off Trump’s trip as a distraction from his policies : “What ultimately matters is what Donald Trump says to voters in Arizona, not Mexico, and whether he remains committed to the splitting up of families and deportation of millions,” wrote Jennifer Palmieri, a senior Clinton campaign adviser, in a statement. Another Clinton campaign official, who requested anonymity to talk to the Post, confirmed that Clinton received a letter requesting an in-person meeting with the Mexican leader. Clinton has not yet accepted : “Secretary Clinton last met with President Peña Nieto in Mexico in 2014 and our campaign is in a regular dialogue with the Mexican government officials. She looks forward to talking with President Peña Nieto again at the appropriate time.” We might add that Hillary, the candidate who says she has the Hispanic vote in the bag, seems to be treating Mexico's president in a rather offhand manner. Perhaps she feels she can take for granted her loyal Hispanic voters, in much the same way she feels she can take for granted her loyal Africqn American voters. Below, we will see that her recent polls may be signaling that her in-the-bag approach to her presidential campaign is wearing thin. ~~~~~~ Trump is returning from Mexico to go directly to the Phoenix Convention Center to outline his plan for dealing with the more than 11 million illegal immigrants in the United States. On Saturday, Trump told supporters in Iowa that "on day one, I'm going to begin swiftly removing criminal illegal immigrants from this country." His campaign manager Kellyanne Conway said on Bloomberg TV that Trump's proposals would include building a wall on the US-Mexico border, ending sanctuary cities and offering no amnesty for immigrants who are in the US illegally. Trump's frequent assurance that Mexico will pay for a border wall with the US is explained on his website : "It's an easy decision for Mexico: make a one-time payment of $5-10 billion to ensure that $24 billion continues to flow into their country year after year." Hhis plan calls for blocking remittances to Mexico from Mexicans in the US if the Mexican government does not pay. Peña Nieto several months ago told CNN that Mexico will not put up the cash : "There is no way that Mexico can pay [for] a wall like that." But, Trump believes he has the leverage needed to broker a deal with Mexico : "The United States has borne the extraordinary daily cost of this criminal activity, including the cost of trials and incarcerations. Not to mention the even greater human cost. We have the moral high ground here, and all the leverage." ~~~~~~ Late Tuesday, Trump and President Peña Nieto confirmed on Twitter that they will meet Wednesday. Trump wrote : “I have accepted the invitation of President Enrique Peña Nieto, of Mexico, and look very much forward to meeting him tomorrow.” Soon afterward, Peña Nieto’s office wrote that “El Señor” Donald Trump has accepted the invitation and will meet privately on Wednesday with President Peña Nieto, who later tweeted that he believes in dialogue in order to “promote the interests of Mexico in the world and, principally, to protect Mexicans wherever they are.” When Trump representatives contacted the US Embassy in Mexico. They were told privately by officials that it would be logistically difficult for Trump to visit. But Trump's representatives insisted that Trump would not delay his plans, a source told the Post, which reported : "Overseas visits by senior US officials normally require weeks of intricate planning on both sides. When more security is required, such trips become even more complicated. Security staffs traveling with the visitor are usually beefed up. While Mexico is not considered a hostile place, the crime level is high, and Trump, should he appear in public, would require significant protection." The invitation and visit by Trump was expected to cause a backlash in Mexico City, where Trump is widely disliked. Mexicans have bashed Trump piñatas, burned him in effigy during public street parties and staged plays about him as a comic villain, but very few demonstrators were seen on CNN videos. Several Mexican politicians strongly criticized the meeting. Miguel Barbosa, an opposition senator with the left-wing Party of the Democratic Revolution, tweeted about Trump : “Your presence in Mexico is not welcome. Get out! You come to take a photo with those you’ve offended.” Barbosa qnd other politicians who oppose Peña Nieto have called the invitation a political error. A Mexican presidential hopeful with the right-wing National Action Party, Margarita Zavala, tweeted that even though Trump was invited to Mexico, he was not welcome. And, leading the anti-Trump charge is former Mexican President Vicente Fox, who tweeted : “There is no turning back, Trump, your offenses towards Mexicans, Moslems and more, have led you to the pit where you are today. Goodbye, Trump!...Now you should quit out of dignity for yourself, get back to your ‘business.’” Fox reiterated his criticism of the Republican presidential nominee during a CNN interview Wednesday : "He is not welcome in Mexico. President [Enrique] Peña [Nieto] is taking an enormous political risk. How can you trust a guy like this?" ~~~~~~ What did the two men talk about? Mike Pence said running mate Donald Trump would reaffirm his commitment to a border wall with Mexico in his meeting with President Peña Nieto : “I’m very confident my running mate will be very clear with [Mexican] President [Enrique] Peña Nieto about our priority of securing the border, building a wall....making it clear that we are going to have a new administration that deals with and confronts not only illegal immigration but the flood of drugs and the heartbreak of human trafficking coming across our borders.” Pence also told CNN that Trump would remain steadfast in his positions while seeking common ground with Peña Nieto : “To know Donald Trump is to know not your standard-issue politician, but really a business leader that knows you’ve first got to sit down with people. You’ve got to look them in the eye, tell them where you stand and they can express their positions. That’s where real negotiations can begin. I really expect the meeting today is just the beginning of a conversation.” ~~~~~~ Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway said Wednesday on NBC’s “Today” : “It’s a decisive, presidential move. I think you’ll see a very presidential Donald Trump today meeting with the president of Mexico. He wants to establish a conversation with a neighboring country, a leader. And also to discuss the common problems and challenges that our countries face.” Conway cited Trump and Pence's visit to Louisiana and his trip to Mexico as examples of the GOP presidential team being the leaders in the race. Conway said Hillary Clinton is not keeping up with Trump : “I feel like she keeps following the leader. We’re the leader here. People are in need in Louisiana, we’re right there. The president of Mexico invites us, we accept his invitation....I’m sorry that [former] Secretary Hillary Clinton is not going and has not accepted the invitation.” Conway added Trump would have a “productive conversation” with Mexican leadership on issues including illegal immigration, trade policy and drugs, in which Trump has said illegal immigrants from Mexico have a key role because of their drug trafficking and violent crime. ~~~~~~ Trump must be doing something right -- his polls show he is rapidly catching up to Hillary Clinton -- and the rising polls are certainly greatly influenced by Trump's recent detailed explanations about his immigration policy and plans. TheHill, not a partisan Trump website news outlet, wrote Tuesday that he's gaining ground on Hillary Clinton in the polls, leaving her with a smaller lead going into the crucial month of September. Clinton had her biggest margin on August 9, with a 7.6% lead over Trump in the RealClearPolitics average of national polls. At the time, she was consistently reaching 50% support. But, TheHill says Clinton’s lead has shrunk to 4.3% in the RealClearPolitics national average, and she’s fallen short of the 50% mark in the last six national polls, settling in the mid-40% range. Trump's polling deficit is small enough to overcome as he enters the post-Labor Day sprint. TheHill says Clinton is being "dragged down by awful favorability ratings, which have prevented her from running away with the race." Monmouth University polling director Patrick Murray told TheHill : “It’s not in the bag for her yet.” A NBC News-Survey Monkey poll released Tuesday found Clinton’s lead falling from 6 points earlier this month to 4 points. In that survey, Trump reduced Clinton’s lead among independents by half, from 8 points to 4 points. Trump has also closed the gap in Reuters-Ipsos and Monmouth polls released this week, although he still trails by 3 points and 7 points, respectively. Pollsters told The Hill that Clinton’s polling bounced after her party's national convention, but opportunities exist for Trump to win over Republican holdouts and independents. GOP pollster David Winston says : “They’re both hitting ceilings of support because of their hugely negative favorability ratings. The challenge is figuring out how to get people who don’t like them at all to get out and vote for them.” One task for Trump is shoring up votes in his own party. Clinton routinely receives support from more than 80% of Democrats polled, but the latest Reuters/Ipsos survey found Trump taking 73% support from likely Republican voters. Romney got 93% GOP support in 2012 and still lost by almost 4% nationally. ~~~~~~ In July 2015, Newsmax published an article titled "16 Reasons Donald Trump Is Not Wrong on Immigration," by Jim Meyers. You can google it. Much of it is still valid today. Here are the highlights : (1) The border is extremely porous : The UN reported that 97% of the illegal immigrants who enter the US clandestinely do so across the nearly 2,000-mile Mexican border, but only 20% of those who cross illegally are caught. (2) Illegal immigrants do bring crime : Of the 61,529 criminal cases initiated by federal prosecutors in 2013, more than 40% were filed in court districts neighboring the border, with 22% drug-related, 19.7% violent crimes, and 10.2% white-collar offenses. (3) Immigrants are killing Americans : According to the Center for Immigration Studies, 57% of the 76 fugitive murderers wanted by the FBI in 2009 were foreign-born. The Center also disclosed that in Maricopa County in Arizona, 22% of felons are illegal immigrants. (4) Illegal immigrants pose a danger on the roads : About 4.5 million illegal aliens in the US drive on a regular basis, many without licenses or insurance or even the ability to read road signs written in English, The New York Times reported. In Arizona, 63% of cited drivers have no license, no insurance, and no registration for the vehicle, and 97% of them are illegal aliens. Of the 188,380 deportations of illegal aliens in one recent year, 23% had committed criminal traffic offenses, primarily driving under the influence. Representative Steve King of Iowa has estimated that illegal alien drunk drivers kill 13 Americans every day. (5) Statistics back up Trump's charge that illegals bring drugs: In Pinal County, Ariz., about 70 miles from the Mexican border, Sheriff Paul Babeu said marijuana seizures went from about 19,000 pounds in 2008 to more than 45,500 pounds in 2010. Babeu observed : "The Mexican drug cartels have almost toppled the Mexican government and they are crossing into Arizona at will. Pinal County has seen mass murders, execution-style slayings, sexual assaults, kidnappings, shootings, armed robberies, burglaries, and more — all tied to illegal immigration." (6) Many immigrants entering the country illegally have a criminal record in the US : In 2010, the Border Patrol reported that 212,000 illegals were caught in the Tucson, Arizona., sector alone, and as many as 30 percent of them already had a criminal record in the US. Many illegal alien convicts have been arrested multiple times: A Government Accountability Office study of 55,000 illegal aliens found that they were arrested at least 459,614 times, averaging about eight arrests per alien. About one-quarter of them had 11 or more arrests. (7) Deportation of illegal immigrants doesn't keep them out of the US : Due to the wide-open Mexican border, the number of people prosecuted for coming into the country illegally after being deported has increased by 175% since 2005, according to a report cited by the Constitution Party website. The illegal alien recently accused of randomly murdering a woman in San Francisco had previously been deported five times.(8) The Mexican border is being used by illegals from other countries : Arrests by the Border Patrol of illegals from countries other than Mexico, particularly from Central America, increased from 59,000 in 2010 to 99,000 in 2012. (9) Immigrants are filling U.S. jails: One quarter of all inmates in California detention centers are Mexican nationals, as are 40% of inmates in Arizona and 48% in New Mexico. And 75% of those on the most wanted criminals list in Los Angeles, Phoenix, and Albuquerque are illegal aliens. (10) Illegals do include "rapists," as Trump charged : Among many examples, an undocumented alien was arrested in Baltimore for raping a 9-year-old girl. In Austin, Texas, police arrested two Mexican nationals who allegedly participated in the gang rape of a 13-year girl. As many as 13 men took part, and some filmed the crime on their cell phones. Early in 2105, an illegal alien from Mexico admitted in court that he raped a 12-year-old girl. (11) Ordinary Americans agree with Trump : According to Rasmussen Reports, 63% of Americans want the US to gain control of the border. Relatives of victims know that Trump is right : The mother of a teenager who was murdered by an illegal immigrant gang member, Army Sgt. Anita Shaw, praised Trump for "trying to do something about a failed immigration system." Even wealthy Mexicans agree with Trump : Reuben Navarette Jr. wrote in The Daily Beast that Mexico's elite, despite displaying "outrage" at Trump's comments, often say the same things as Trump privately. ~~~~~~ Dear readers, some may be thinking, these are the same "right wing statistics" used against African Americans. But, if you read yesterday's blog, you saw similar criminal situations relating to migrants described in Germany. Most EU countries who have followed German Chancellor Merkel's open border migrant policy are seeing similar statistics -- and they are compiled by leftist governments because most EU governments are leftist. But, some EU countries are now limiting migrant entries significantly and showing reduced crime rates and more empty jail cells as a result. The Pew Research Center estimates that there are nearly 12 million illegal aliens in the US -- the key word is "estimate." As Donald Trump forced CNN's Anderson Cooper to admit last week, illegal immigration is : "coming from more than Mexico. It's coming from all over Latin America, and it's coming probably from the Middle East. But we don't know. Because we have no protection and we have no competence, we don't know what's happening. And it's got to stop." Mexico was the logical first stop on Trump's plans to eliminate illegal immigration, deport illegal immigrants who are criminals, and close the porous border between the US and Mexico. The joint news conference after their historic hour-long meeting found both Trump and Peña Nieto statesmanlike and polite. Trump called for an end to the "humanitarian disaster" of illegal immigration : "This is a humanitarian disaster -- the dangerous treks, the abuse by gangs and cartels and the extreme physical dangers -- and it must be solved." He added that neither country can "win" when the border is filled with "human smugglers and drug traffickers," or when illegal weapons and cash flow into Mexico from the north while immigrants come into America from the south. Trump outlined five crucial areas of agreement between the two nations -- ending illegal immigration, securing the border, dismantling drug cartels and the flow of illicit guns and money between the border, improving NAFTA, and preserving manufacturing wealth in the hemisphere. During a brief question-and-answer session with the press, Trump confirmed that he spoke with Peña Nieto about his proposal to build a wall along the US-Mexico border. Asked whether they discussed Trump’s insistence that Mexico pay for the wall, Trump replied, “We didn’t discuss that," framing the meeting as "preliminary." He struck a more conciliatory tone as he stood alongside Peña Nieto, lauding the "great honor" of the invitation by the Mexican president and noting his "tremendous feelings for Mexican-Americans." And Trump reached out to shake hands with Peña Nieto at the conclusion of the remarks. CNN's analysts were left almost speechless -- calling the meeting an obvious successful first step. Howard Wolfson, a former spokesman for Hillary Clinton, praised Trump for his speech in Mexico alongside Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto. Wolfson, who worked as Clinton's communications director in 2008, tweeted following the joint press conference that Trump's address was a "home run" : "If you believe Trump needed to pivot, moderate and look more Presidential, that event was a home run." As we would expect, earlier Wednesday, Clinton slammed Trump's "photo-op" visit as Trump's attempt to make up for a year's worth of insults : "You don’t build a coalition by insulting our friends or acting like a loose cannon. You do it by doing the slow hard work of building relationships. You do it by doing the slow hard work of building relationships. That was my job every day as your secretary of State. It’s more than a photo-op...and it certainly takes more than trying to make up for a year of insults and insinuations by dropping in on our neighbors for a few hours and then flying home again. That’s not how it works.” Of course, Hillary knows "how it works" if she is selling favors, but she has it all wrong about how getting things done should work -- Trump will change diplomacy from the snails-pace torture of rounds of meetings in diplomacy-speak about how to organize the next round of meetings -- Hillary did that for four years and did nothing but destroy Libya, alienate Russia, kick Israel and Egypt in the shins, and sell clandestine arms to Syrians, which Syrians we don't yet know. Trump's cut-to-the-core-issue approach will actually result in plain-language progress. Refreshing, I would say. Just to hear each man say that they share democratic values and put their citizens' interests first is far above Hillary's Progressive-speak . And to hear Donald Trump say "I love America and will protect her people" is absolutely heartwarming after eight years of America-baiting by President Obama. Mr. Trump, we are with you all the way on this critical issue.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Progressives Are Finding It Very Difficult to Destroy National and Ethnic Cultures

Yesterday, we talked about the stupidity of attacking the American flag since it is the symbol of the constitutional system that allows everyone to speak freely, even if their comments are, to put it mildly, dumb. It seems that Colin Kaepernick is angry at American police officers because they sometimes shoot-to-kill assailants. It would be better to run for office, fund organizations that are working to resolve America's remaining racial problems, or even to use one's celebrity to get on TV and start a dialogue. But, sitting out the National Anthem is just not in the cards, and neither is boiling Donald Trump in grease, Don Cheadle -- were you high when you hit your keyboard?? Could be.. The end of yesterday's blog was about how nations that lose the 'glue' of trust that holds them together as functioning small communities in a larger community will crumble into warring factions. Today, let's follow up on that thought. ~~~~~~ Europe is crumbling into warring factions over the issue of migration and refugees. Very few Europeans heartily support German Chancellor Angela Merkel's continuing insistence on bringing in more "refugees" -- many of whom are economic migrants hiding in the midst of real refugees -- from the Middle East, mostly because the cultural clash between the "refugees" and their host European nations is significant and often physical -- a French woman and her two daughters were eating breakfast in a southern French resort town in July when they were stabbed by a Moslem living in Paris, and staying in the same hotel, because they were not dressed modestly enough. A German man was attacked by a Moslem "refugee" for eating a ham sandwich in a cafe. These may seem trivial -- but certainly not to those attacked. ~~~~~~ However, the clash is more fundamental. Gatestone Institute published in early August an article entitled "Germany's Migrant Rape Crisis Spirals out of Control" by Soeren Kern, a Senior Fellow at the New York-based Gatestone Institute and a Senior Fellow for European Politics at the Madrid-based Grupo de Estudios Estratégicos / Strategic Studies Group. You can read the entire article, including a summary of the rapes and attacks in July in Germany at Kern writes : "Germany's migrant rape crisis has now spread to cities and towns in all 16 of Germany's federal states. Germany now finds itself in a vicious circle: most of the perpetrators are never found, and the few who are frequently receive lenient sentences. Only one in 10 rapes in Germany is reported and just 8% of rape trials result in convictions, according to Minister of Justice Heiko Maas. Up to 90% of the sex crimes committed in Germany in 2014 do not appear in the official statistics, according to André Schulz, the head of the Association of Criminal Police. There are strict instructions from the top not to report offenses committed by refugees. It is extraordinary that certain offenders are deliberately NOT being reported about and the information is being classified as confidential." -- High-ranking police official in Frankfurt, quoted in Bild." Sexual violence in Germany has become an epidemic since Merkel admitted into the country more than one million mostly male migrants from Africa, Asia and the Middle East. Merkel now says another 300,000 migrants will enter Germany in 2016. Kern says : "Germany is effectively under siege; public spaces are becoming increasingly perilous. Police have warned about a potential breakdown of public order this summer, when young male migrants are likely to see women lightly dressed. During the month of July 2016, hundreds of German women and children were sexually assaulted by migrants (see Appendix attached to the full article). The youngest victim was nine; the oldest, 79. Attacks occurred at beaches, bike trails, cemeteries, discotheques, grocery stores, music festivals, parking garages, playgrounds, schools, shopping malls, taxis, public transportation (buses, trams, intercity express trains and subways), public parks, public squares, public swimming pools and public restrooms. Predators are lurking everywhere; safety nowhere. Dozens of women and children have been assaulted by migrants at summer festivals and public swimming pools — staples of ordinary German life. In July, at least 24 women were sexually assaulted at the Breminale music festival in Bremen. Women were also assaulted at outdoor festivals....In July, women and children were also sexually assaulted at public swimming pools....Most of the crimes were downplayed by German authorities, [apparently] to avoid fueling anti-immigration sentiment. Almost invariably, the crimes are said to be isolated incidents, not part of a nationwide problem. Information about sexual assaults can usually be found only in local police reports. Rapes are sometimes treated as local interest stories and covered by local or regional newspapers. Only the most spectacular incidents of rape and sexual assault make it into the national press." Kern reports that three rape cases did make it into Germany's national media in July : (1) On July 24, a 40-year-old migrant from Eritrea raped a 79-year-old woman in a cemetery in Ibbenbüren. The woman, who lives in a local nursing home, was visiting the grave of her late sister at 6 a.m. when the attack occurred. The migrant, living as a refugee in Germany since 2013, was arrested at the scene. He is unlikely to be deported, however, because Eritrea is considered a conflict zone. (2) On July 14, it emerged that one of the women raped by Moslem sex mobs in Cologne on New Year's Eve became pregnant. She failed to report the attack to police because she felt ashamed. (3) On July 3, a 24-year-old woman raped by three migrants in Mannheim in January admitted that she lied about the identity of the rapists. Selin Gören, a Turkish-German woman, initially said that her attackers were German nationals, when in fact they were Moslem migrants. In an interview with Der Spiegel, Gören, the spokeswoman of Germany's left-wing youth movement, Solid, said she lied because she was afraid of fueling racism against migrants. She also posted a letter on Facebook to a fictional refugee : "I am really sorry that your sexist and line-crossing treatment of me could help fuel aggressive racism. I am going to scream... I will not stand by and watch, and it can happen that racists and concerned citizens name you as the problem. You are not the problem. You are usually a wonderful human being who deserves as much as any other to be safe and free." This, my friends, is perhaps more excessive than most defenses of migrant attacks on women, but Germany has been brainwashed to believe that migrants must always be protected, apparently even by the women they attack. ~~~~~~ On July 7, according to Kern, the German parliament approved changes to the criminal code that expand the definition of rape and make it easier to deport migrants who commit sex crimes. Under the bill, also known as the "No Means No" ("Nein heißt Nein") law, any form of non-consensual sex will now be punishable as a crime. Previously, only cases in which victims could show that they physically resisted their attackers were punishable under German law. The reforms, which are designed to make it easier for victims of sexual assault to file criminal complaints, are unlikely to end Germany's migrant rape epidemic. This is because Germany's politically correct justice system is notoriously lenient when it comes to prosecuting, sentencing and deporting foreign offenders. On February 25, the newspaper, Die Welt, reported that authorities in the German state of Hesse were suppressing information about migrant-related crimes, ostensibly due to a "lack of public interest." On January 24, Die Welt reported that the suppression of data about migrant criminality is a "Germany-wide phenomenon." According to Rainer Wendt, the head of the German police union, "Every police officer knows he has to meet a particular political expectation. It is better to keep quiet [about migrant crime] because you cannot go wrong." On January 22, the newsmagazine, Focus, reported that the Federal Anti-Discrimination Agency put pressure on police in North Rhine-Westphalia to remove a reference to "North African criminal groups" in a press release, to avoid stigmatizing all North African migrants. On January 8, the newspaper, Bild, published an article titled, "Are the Police Being Prohibited from Telling the Truth?" The paper quoted a high-ranking police official in Frankfurt, who said : "There are strict instructions from the top not to report offenses committed by refugees. Only direct requests from media representatives regarding specific crimes should be answered....It is extraordinary that certain offenders are deliberately NOT being reported about and the information is being classified as confidential." Meanwhile, reports Kern, "Boris Palmer, the 'progressive' mayor of Tübingen, thinks he has found a solution to the problem of migrants who are raping German women and children in public swimming pools. He wants migrants to become swimming pool superintendents. In a Facebook post, Palmer wrote : 'Our municipality has embraced a great prevention and integration measure. We have a Syrian lifeguard who can make known in Arabic and with authority what behavior is allowed and what is not.' Palmer's first hire is a 24- year-old Syrian named Aiham Shalghin. In an interview with Schwäbisches Tagblatt, Shalghin portrayed migrants as the victims of their circumstances: "Many male refugees have never before swum with women. In Syria, most public swimming pools are separated by gender. Men do not want to see women in swimming attire." ~~~~~~ Most of us recall the incident in July in which a 17-year-old Afghan asylum seeker brandishing an axe and shouting "Allahu Akbar" seriously injured five people on a train in Würzburg, Bavaria. The assailant was shot dead by police after he charged at them with the axe. The teenager, who had claimed asylum after arriving in Germany in June 2015 as an unaccompanied minor, had been placed with a foster family just two weeks before the attack as a reward for being "well integrated." Shortly after the attack, ISIS released a video purporting to show an Afghan asylum seeker holding a knife and making threats against Germany : "In the name of Allah, I am a soldier of the Caliphate and am launching a martyrdom operation in Germany. Here I am. I have lived among you, lived in your homes. I planned this in your own land. And I will slaughter you in your own homes and in the streets. I will make you forget about the spectacular attacks in France, if Allah permits. I will fight to the death, if Allah permits. I will slaughter you with this knife and sever your necks with an axe, if Allah permits." After the blood-splattered train -- an eyewitness said it "looked like a slaughterhouse" -- came to a stop at a station in Heidingsfeld near Würzburg, the teenager jumped off and tried to escape. Surrounded by police, he lunged at them with an axe. Police shot the attacker dead because "there was no other option." But, much like the woman who refused to condemn her attacker, Green Party MP Renate Künast criticized the police for using lethal force. In a tweet, she wrote: "Why could the attacker not have been incapacitated without killing him???? Questions!" Künast's comments provoked a furious backlash, according to Soeren Kern, with many accusing her of showing more sympathy for the perpetrator than for the victims. The chairman of the German police union, Rainer Wendt, said : "The final rescue shot is clearly regulated by law. The policemen were attacked and used their firearm to defend against an immediate danger to life and limb. That is their statutory duty. The Green MP Renate Künast has absolutely no idea about the reality of dangerous police actions." The head of the police union in Bavaria, Peter Schall, said: "If a police officer is not allowed to shoot in such situations, he might as well stop carrying a weapon." Mike Mohring, a politician with the ruling Christian Democratic Union (CDU), called for stiffer penalties for those who attack police officers. He said attacks against police are on the rise across Germany and "the only effective deterrent is that the law provides an appropriate penalty." Andreas Scheuer, the general secretary of the Christian Social Union, the Bavarian sister party to Chancellor Angela Merkel's CDU, said Künast's comments were "perverse." He added: "The CSU's policy is: protection of victims takes priority over protection of perpetrators." ~~~~~~ Dear readers, the anger voiced against Künast indicates that Germans have had enough of their politically correct politicians. Is Germany losing the 'glue' of trust that holds the nation together? Is Germany crumbling into warring factions? Not yet. But, as in the United States, Progressive German, French, Swedish and other EU politicians who favor world government and open borders are grossly at odds with their citizens. Progressives in Europe and the US have sold a bill of goods to their nations' youngsters in schools that teach that "resistance is not politically correct," that all people of all nations are alike and must live together in harmony. The flaw -- in addition to the fact that this political dogma that tries to erase cultures and make all humans little UN bunnies is simply incorrect -- is that no Progressive schools in Moslem countries are teaching similar dogma. Moslem radicals want to terrorize their way into being the cultural "majority." Europeans are now rebelling against this PC erasure of cultural differences. What Hillary & Hacks, and other Progressives in the US are now calling the "Alt-Right" are for the most part ordinary citizens who want their rights restored, who are sick of PC Progressives telling them how to behave and what to think. The Alternative Right in Europe is very similar to those in the US who support Donald Trump -- the differences stem from the European experience with fascism and the Nazis -- both very far right or left of the democratic ideals of freedom and governance, which has deeply scarred Europeans, making them wary of any "movement," left or right. And, interestingly, in both Europe and America, these ordinary citizens strongly defend their police forces because they see them as their protectors against PC politicians trying to efface their cultural traditions. Colin Kaepernick and Don Cheadle, instead of attacking the flag and whining about Donald Trump, should be waving the flag and thanking Trump for putting out the fire under the cauldrons Progressives are heating up to melt down their culture and destroy their right to be freely who they are.

Monday, August 29, 2016

There Is No Tomorrow, There Is Only Now : Forget Kaepernick and Cheadle; Fight for America

On Sunday, a true friend who reads my blog and offers comments privately to keep me sharp, sent me this email : "I can't believe after all the suspensions, and the Dallas Cowboys being told not to wear patches on their uniforms for the policemen killed there, that the NFL Commissioners Office has NOTHING to say about Kaepernick. Freedoms carry a high degree of responsibilities with them, none of which, I'm beginning to believe, the Black community (for the MOST part) understands or wants any part of." Then, later on Sunday, as I was posting the blog about Hillary Clinton's hiding from the press, I read this comment on Saturday' blog : "In recent months, we’ve seen the rise of a movement known as the “Alt-Right,” which seeks to replace constitutional conservatism -- rooted in ordered liberty, patriotism, and in the Judeo-Christian foundation -- with European-style nationalism/populism. Hillary Clinton is set to deliver a speech today addressing her feigned outrage over the rise of the Alt-Right, and in her mind, how it embodies the entire Right in this country. What nobody in the media bothers to mention is that we are having all of these debates on the Right precisely because there are different points of view. On the Left, there is no longer any debate. Every single elected Democrat is now a full-throated member of an extremist coalition the media refuses to recognize : the “Alt-Left,” and Hillary Clinton herself was the original pioneer of the modern movement. This is a movement that is not just liberal but seeks to fundamentally alter the character of our nation as founded." These two messages made me return to the Colin Kaepernick private war on the American flag -- something I had dismissed as merely the tantrum of a pampered professional jock whose brain was probably destroyed sometime during his high school JV days. I've spent the better part of today trying to get hold of the reality of the Kaepernick affair. ~~~~~~ The Patriot Post published on Monday the details of just how pampered Colin Kaepernick is : "San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick signed a six-year, $114,000,000 contract, as well as a $12,328,766 signing bonus, $61,000,000 guaranteed, and an average annual salary of $19,000,000." ~~~~~~ Despite his great good fortune, last Friday, Kaepernick refused to stand for the National Anthem before the San Francisco 49ers pre-season game, later saying he is "not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color." The Patriot Post concluded that Kaepernick must not know that "the vast majority of murdered people of color are killed by other people of color. He also neglected to mention that he was adopted by white parents." ~~~~~~ The 49ers declared that it is Kaepernick's "right" to not stand for the anthem : "The national anthem is and always will be a special part of the pre-game ceremony. It is an opportunity to honor our country and reflect on the great liberties we are afforded as its citizens. In respecting such American principles as freedom of religion and freedom of expression, we recognize the right of an individual to choose and participate, or not, in our celebration of the national anthem." ~~~~~~ That, more than the stupidly, frankly sophomoric actions and comments of Colin Kaepernich, sent me scurrying to my keyboard. What the 49er team statement contained was not wrong -- it was insufficient. The 49ers are right as far as they go -- nobody has said that Kaepernick didn't have the "right" to be a first-class jerk. But his use of his uniquely American freedom of speech doesn't make him any less a jerk. To show such contempt for the country that made him a wealthy man, that has treated him as the near-great quarterback he is, smacks of the ingratitude of a philistine. What the 49er team statement should have said is that every American has the duty to show respect for the American flag -- as Aretha Franklin sang, "R-E-S-P-E-C-T." Those Stars and Stripes are the living symbol of the freedom of speech Kaepernick knows he has, but that he obviousml has little real understanding of or appreciation for. ~~~~~~ The NFL Commissioners Office has basically agreed withthe 49er team statement on Kaepernick's disrespectful action. This is the same NFL Commissioners Office that denied the Dallas Cowboys' request to wear a helmet decal honoring fallen Dallas police officers killed last month in an ambush in Dallas. The attack was the deadliest single incident for law enforcement in US history, except for the terror attacks on 9/11 when 72 officers died. The team had been wearing a decal with the words “Arm in Arm” since the first day of training camp this summer. Dallas police Chief David Brown and Mayor Mike Rawlings paid the team a visit on that day, according to Fox 4 News. The NFL said its strict rules on uniforms forced the league to deny the Cowboys’ request to wear the decal for the upcoming season. Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones told the media that NFL officials said every team “must be uniform” and the stickers were not allowed. Jones said the team will “respect their decision” and drop the plans to show support for the Dallas PD.The Dallas Police Department thanked the Cowboys for their support : “Their concern for the families of our fallen officers, the Dallas Police Department, and the City of Dallas is what matters most, and we know that support will continue for the immediate and long term future." Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and tight end Jason Witten, who created the decal, said they were disappointed with the league’s decision but said they believed the stickers already served its purpose. The Dallas Fallen Officer Foundation told TMZ they were “extremely upset” over the NFL’s decision : "The NFL had an opportunity to be leaders and advocates for change in law enforcement," Sgt. Demetrick Pennie, president of the foundation, told the website. These are our friends and our loved hurts to not have the NFL fully support us. The NFL is in a very influential position and has the ability to evoke change, raise awareness and show its support for law enforcement by making the decals available to all NFL teams,” Dallas Fallen Officer Foundation President and Dallas PD Sergeant Demetrick Pennie told Breitbart Texas that the NFL missed an opportunity to facilitate positive change, as well. But, Dallas Morning News Sports Columnist Tim Cowlishaw applauded the decision, however, noting that the NFL was wise not to open a “political door” when honoring fallen officers, tweeting : "NFL gets stuff wrong but got this right. Other ways to honor them without opening this political door." Cowlishaw said in a live chat regarding the decision : “If you allow that, do you allow decals saying Black Lives Matter? Pro Life? Pro Choice? Repeal Obamacare? John 3:16? Where does it end? I think there’s a place for protest and there’s a place to honor victims in different ways.” Sergeant Pennie strongly disagreed, noting that honoring police should be held above the political fray : “[That statement is] unbelievable. We’re talking about the loss of five police officers. We’re not talking about Obamacare or Hillary 2016 -- we’re talking about police officers that lost their lives protecting individuals that were protesting against them. There’s no greater honor than what the [Dallas Cowboys] did for us. This is above politics. This was the greatest loss of law enforcement life since 9/11. The individual teams should have been left to decide.” But, just a reminder -- the NFL that doesn't mind when Los Angeles Rams players take the field in the "hands up, don't shoot" posture, but refuses to let the Dallas Cowboys wear a helmet sticker showing solidarity with Dallas police. Freedom of Speech?? Only for those who show disrespect for the American flag or for police officers. ~~~~~~ In this regard, in addition to accusing police of racism, Barack Obama has a new training program for police, as reported by Patriot Post. Officers will learn how to treat transgender individuals through the Social Justice™ Department's Community Relations Service. In one of the [training] examples," according to the DOJ, "the video demonstrates an officer laughing [at] a transgender individual who appears to be the victim of a crime, and the officer's partner pulls him aside to correct his behavior. Afterwards, the offending officer apologizes for his prior conduct and approaches the rest of the interview with the necessary respect and professionalism. This illustration not only highlights how officers should act with members of the transgender community, but also addresses the need for officers to say something to their peers when they see problematic behavior." Obama seems less inclined to teach Black Lives Matter marchers that reverse racism directed at police is "problematic behavior." Patriot Post also reported that Obama issued an "incredibly patronizing reminder" to emergency personnel responding to massive flooding in Louisiana : "Care must be taken to ensure that actions, both intentional and unintentional, do not exclude groups of people based on race, color, national origin (including limited English proficiency), religion, sex, or disability." One particular response printed by the Patriot Post was a bullseye : "Dear Mr President, I want to thank you for reminding us in South Louisiana not to discriminate against anyone based on race or religion. Had you not reminded us of this I don't know what we would have done. See we rode around in a boat saving people and well race or religion never entered my mind. Not once. It didn't enter my buddies mind or my wife's. Just saving people. I understand you may be miss informed because of all the race baiting that the media did a couple months ago here is South Louisiana. But I assure you that's not what we stand for in South Louisiana. We love each other when the times get hard. We look out for our own. Now I know this doesn't fit your agenda. But facts are facts. Thanks, The true citizens of Louisiana." ~~~~~~ The Gatestone Institute, led by John Bolton, on Monday published an article entitled "Greece: The Freedom-of-Speech Canary Died," written by Maria Polizoidou. The article reports that the Bishop of the Greek island of Chios, Markos Vasilakis, is being prosecuted for incitement to racial hatred under a 2014 anti-racist law, because he correctly observed that most of the migrants arriving in Greece from Turkey were not refugees but illegal migrants. Polizoidou says : "The Minister for Immigration Affairs himself, repeatedly stated that 50% to 70% of migratory flows to Greece were illegal migrants and the rest were refugees. The illegal migrants come from 77 different countries." She then asks : "If it is a "racist crime" for a citizen to express accurately the percentages of refugees and illegal migrants entering the country, what will come next, the Thought Police?" For Polizoidou : "The real reason for prosecuting Bishop Markos, it seems, is that the government expects that Turkey's migration deal with the EU will collapse, and that if it does, the migrant flows in the coming months will increase dramatically. The government, according to some members in the opposition, has no friendly way to manage illegal migration and therefore prefers to impose restrictions on freedom of speech and prosecute anyone who objects. The government might scare the Bishop of Chios Island by pressing charges against him and trying to stigmatize him as a racist. But the government will still not scare the angry majority of Greeks. In coalmines, from 1911 to 1986, canaries operated as an early warning system for the leakage of hazardous gases. Whenever the birds showed signs of distress, the miners knew trouble was coming. Greece has deep problems. Greece is presently in the "coalmine" of an endless economic and immigration crisis." Chios is only 3.5 nautical miles from Turkey, and therefore migrants and refugees easily cross from Turkey into the European Union. Chios is also one of a few Greek islands that has received the largest waves of migrants. Its population of 51,320 inhabitants now accommodates, according to the latest official data, 3,078 migrants, with more on the way. Polizoidou reports that : "It seems the government coalition, through the Secretary of Human Rights, has decided that the solution of Greece's migrant/refugee problem will come if the Bishop of Chios Island is prosecuted for incitement to racial hatred, and if the constitutional right of Greek citizens to freedom of speech is overturned. Secretary of Human Rights Kostas Papaioannou asked the district attorney to prosecute Bishop Markos for these specific charges. Is Bishop Markos Vasilakis a Greek Orthodox fanatic or a neo-Nazi? Did the church close its doors to refugees and migrants? Did the bishop try to turn the population of Chios against anyone? Not at all. Bishop Markos is highly educated, with a PhD in Byzantine Philology from the Philosophical and Theological School of Athens University. Since the beginning of the migrant crisis, according to the residents of Chios, Bishop Markos opened all the island's churches to accommodate the refugees and illegal migrants. Under his command, all the available spaces on the island were given to caring for whoever left his homeland and home. He has fought hard to collect clothing, shoes and food for refugees and illegal migrants. His work speaks for itself." Bishop Markos' "crime" was to speak the truth. He said that the people arriving in Greece were not refugees but illegal migrants. According to the Hellenic Coast Guard, for the period of July and August 2016, of the 1,950 people who illegally entered Greece from Turkey, only 500 -- or 25% -- were refugees from Syria; all the others were illegal migrants. But, the government might scare Bishop Markos of Chios Island by pressing charges against him and trying to stigmatize him as a racist. The government forced him to publish a press release claiming that for him, all people are created in the image of God and that all he had explained to his congregation was the legal difference between refugees and illegal migrants. But the government will still not scare the angry majority of Greeks." As we well know, Greece has suffered terribly during seven years of economic downturn and is in practical term bankrupt, but each municipality will have to accommodate 1,000 migrants, whether it wants to or not; in a country, sqys Polizoidou, that sees on the news migrants fight each other, the natives and the police; in a country where 12 municipalities are already in quarantine because of the migration problem, according to the Health Ministry, and where gun sales increase day by day : "The last thing we need is to abolish the constitutional rights of citizens. Violence and social unrest will then be the next stage in a drama that will have a bad end. In Greece -- the "coalmine" of the Eurozone -- the canary seems to have died. If this is the beginning of a methodical abolition of constitutional rights such as freedom of speech, Greece could turn into a Turkish style of democracy -- like that of Erdogan, which he seems hell-bent on turning into an Islamic caliphate. What a very sad fate that would be for Greece, the nation which gave birth to democracy." ~~~~~~ Why compare the tragedy that is Greece to a young idiot millionaire quarterback? That question led me to an August 29 article published by The Catholic Thing, a Newsmax affiliate, titled "Meddling and Puritanical Jacobins," in which Brad Miner writes : "The worst thing that can happen is the despair that arises when too many feel the loss of the trust that binds. This is largely what drove Brexit; it’s mostly what’s driving discontent in the United States. Personal power slips away; the social fabric frays. And we see and fear the proliferation of factions about which James Madison warned in Federalist #10." Thomas Jefferson, at the time of America’s founding, wrote : "Ours is a nation built from the ground up..." G.K. Chesterton, when he visited America, wrote that America is the “only nation in the world founded on a creed. We begin with that creed and not with hierarchies of wealth or class...a nation," Chesterton wrote, “with the soul of a church.” A century before Chesterton visited America, Alexis de Tocqueville surveyed the intersection of Catholicism and Americanism and expressed his belief that there were reasons to worry and reasons for hope for religion in America. But, Miner writes : "None of these luminaries could ever have imagined that factions would take possession of two of America’s separated powers or that the nation’s younger citizens, abetted by the Executive and the Judiciary, would see traditions, moral and legal, as inimical to justice, now become merely a synonym for equality." In 1790, writes Miner, Edmund Burke made a similar analysis of the first Jacobins...noting what he termed the “profligate disregard of a dignity which they [elites] partake with others, whereas: to love the little platoon we belong to in society, is the first principle (the germ as it were) of public affections. It is the first link in the series by which we proceed towards a love to our country, and to mankind. . . . [N]one but traitors would barter it away for their own personal advantage." For Miner, the intuitive loss of this first link is behind the anger so much in evidence this year. Our political parties care little about it, though they pander to it, and America seems evermore a nation with the soul of an infomercial, our patrimony bartered away for the political equivalent of thirty pieces of silver." (Brad Miner is senior editor of The Catholic Thing, senior fellow of the Faith & Reason Institute, and a board member of Aid to the Church In Need USA. He is a former Literary Editor of National Review. His book, The Compleat Gentleman, is available on audio and as an audio iPhone app.) ~~~~~~ Dear readers, we have come full circle. Freedom is lost because countries lose their soul -- the glue that binds them together as fellow citizens with the same ethical values and sense of justice. When that glue is destroyed -- as Barack Obama has deliberately set out to do, succeeding to convince different groups of Americans that they can 'win' only by destroying other groups -- when Americans cease to trust each other and to feel that government is not their champion but their enemy, when the symbol of that deliberate destruction of the social glue of America becomes a silly young man sitting out the National Anthem, or when a 51-year-old actor who ought to know better, Don Cheadle, feels it appropriate to attack the half of America he feels estranged from by saying that he hopes Donald Trump will "die in a grease fire" -- then we need to come to full-dress attention. There is no tomorrow. There is only now. And it may be the last 'now' America will ever see. President Ronald Reagan said : "I won a nickname, 'The Great Communicator.' But I never thought it was my style or the words I used that made a difference: it was the content. I wasn't a great communicator, but I communicated great things, and they didn't spring full bloom from my brow, they came from the heart of a great nation -- from our experience, our wisdom, and our belief in the principles that have guided us for two centuries." Many, perhaps most, Amricans are near despair. The great nation that was America is dying, may already have been killed while we, polite and good citizens who believe in the Constitution, sat by, giving our killers the keys to the kingdom. If you care -- even a little bit -- about the future of your country, your children, yourselves -- yes, it has finally come down to that, yourselves -- then for the love of Heaven get up, stand up, fight for America.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Hillary, Come Out, Come Out, Wherever You Are, Hold a Press Conference and Answer All Those Difficult Questions

In an interview with Jennifer Granholm, the former Attorney General and Governor of Michigan, CNN Clinton reporter, now anchor, Brianna Keilar asked if Hillary Clinton will hold a press conference soon. Granholm considered it a non-issue and was unable to provide an answer. Keilar then said : “It’s not like she’s unreachable. […] This is more of a press issue than the public. There’s 300+ interviews, a fifth of them, according to NPR, aren’t even with journalists and most of these are, you know, quick little interviews between 3 to 8 minutes.” ~~~~~~ The turth is that the last time Hillary Clinotn gave a 'press conference' was on December 4, 2015, when she answered 7 -- that's right, 7 -- questions from the reporters who were covering her campaign in Fort Dodge, Iowa. Why is Our Girl Hillary avoiding the press?? Why do Hillary & Hacks defend her unavailability during her presidential campaign -- while Donald Trump is on TV giving almost daily interviews to journalists and holding regular press conferences?? What is Our Girl Hillary afraid of and what does she not want to have to answer for?? There are lots of possibilities. ~~~~~~ Maybe a journalist would ask Hillary about her cozy relationship with disgraced Democratic National Committee chairman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, a relationship so cozy that Wasserman-Schultz actually favored Hillary, allowing her staff to email each other about how to deep-six rival Bernie Sanders -- including the possibility of attacking him because he is Jewish -- during the primary season when the DNC was supposed to be a neutral facilitator for all Democrat candidates. ~~~~~~ Maybe a journalist would ask Hillary about her arguments with the same Democratic National Committee when the DNC refused to go along with Hillary's plan to separate Donald Trump from other Republicans like House Speaker Paul Ryan, to make Trump appear to be "much worse than regular Republicans." Wikileaks has released emails showing the May email exchange between then-DNC communications director Luis Miranda and then-DNC CEO Amy Dacey, sent out under the subject line "Problem with HFA," an acronym for the 'Hillary For America' campaign, according to The Hill. The exchange, released earlier in August, is getting new attention after Clinton this week delivered a speech claiming GOP nominee Donald Trump is courting the "alt-Right" side of the Republican Party. Both Miranda and Dacey resigned their posts in the aftermath of a WikiLeaks email release that resulted in the resignation of Chairman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz. In his email, Miranda complained the Clinton camp wanted the DNC to : "basically praise Ryan. I pushed back that we cannot have our state parties hold up Paul Ryan as a good example of anything, and that we can't give down ballot Republicans such an easy out." Miranda emailed that it would be more damaging to force the GOP to "own Trump." Separating Trump from other Republicans, he wrote, would mean the DNC would have thrown out its whole strategy that the "GOP made Trump through years of divisive and ugly politics. Also, that would mean the DNC would need to say 'Republicans are reasonable and that the good ones will shun Trump. It just doesn't work from the Party side.'" It is interesting that the candidate that Democrats champion as a million times better than Donald Trump was so inept that the DNC, widely-recognized as truly inept, had to step in. Hillary & Hacks, touted as the most experienced choice Americans have on November 8, don't seem be very professional when it comes to campaign strategy. Too bad the DNC stopped the idea, because the GOP and Trump would have had a field day with it. ~~~~~~ Maybe a journalist would ask Hillary about an article by the New York Times that concluded that "liberal Democrats and Progressive activists are wary about the state of the 2016 presidential race, unhappy with Hillary Clinton’s big-tent courtship of Republican leaders they have long opposed and fearing the consequences of shaping the contest as a referendum on Donald J. Trump." The NYT said Hillary may use this tactic to win by a mandate-level margin : "But what, exactly, would the mandate be for?" Even Robert Reich, Secretary of Labor in Bill Clinton's administration, was quoted by the NYT : "If she’s going to get anything done as President, she is going to have to have a mandate....but temperament doesn’t give you a mandate to do anything.” The NYT said Clinton’s dogged pursuit of Republican votes has especially irritated Progressives, who grumble at her eager promotion of endorsements from veterans of the George W. Bush and Reagan administrations, including diplomats and intelligence officials under Bush. Benjamin T. Jealous, a former NAACP president who initially supported Sanders, told the NYT : “Secretary Clinton’s decision to aggressively court Mitt Romney’s base has her looking more and more like Mitt Romney every day. That’s not a good thing.” Many of Sanders’ backers believe that two of the principal issues he raised during his primary contest against Mrs. Clinton -- her foreign policy hawkishness and her Wall Street ties -- remain central to her political core. Helen Gym, a Philadelphia City Council member who supported Clinton in the primary, told the NYT that the dynamics between Clinton’s team and the party’s activist base reflected : “a fragile negotiation. The coalition has to hold together. Is a Clinton victory synonymous with a progressive victory? It depends. I don’t think I can give a full yes or no.” Hillary boasts she is “a progressive who likes to get things done.” The NYT said : "In both of her presidential primary runs, Mrs. Clinton accused her opponents -- first Barack Obama in 2008, then Mr. Sanders -- of promising more than they could credibly deliver. But when approached at her rallies, even zealous Clinton supporters are often hard-pressed to name a signature policy proposal of hers." Democrats tell us that Hillary has a policy statement for every possible issue -- on her website. And we know that Clinton has pledged to grant amnesty to all illegal immigrants and to reform gun safety laws so that local gun shops will in some way become legally responsible for the illegal use of guns they sell -- buzz words for destroying the Second Amendment right to bear arms. Hillary has also promised to continue Obama's unconstitutional executive action approach when she does not get her way with Congress. Robert Reich told the NYT : “Her policy proposals are admirably detailed, but they cover so much ground that their whole is less than the sum of their parts. She really needs to focus on a few big ideas.” At a press conference, journalists might be able to ferret out exactly what Hillary Clinton stands for and what she would see as "big idea" issues if elected. ~~~~~~ Maybe a journalist would ask Hillary about what she sees as being so wrong with Trump's immigration position that is, after all, the position of more than 2/3 of American voters. This past weekend, Trump met with about two dozen Latino supporters in Nevada to discuss strategies for boosting Hispanic turnout in the swing state. The meeting was part of his effort to demonstrate that his economic policies would be better for small minority-owned businesses than Democratic rival Hillary Clinton's. Trump said on Friday : "People don't know how well we're doing with the Hispanics, the Latinos. We're doing really well." Trump has recently hammered home that minorities have been left behind by Democratic economic policies and called US sluggish GDP growth as "a catastrophe," saying that the United States has "some very, very serious problems and it's going to get worse with this group of people" in charge. Trump has not wavered on his desire to build an impenetrable wall along the border with Mexico, and Friday he reiterated : "My stance is very strong. It's going to remain very strong. There will be no amnesty. There's no legalization." Trump will give a policy speech on immigration in the near future. Clinton, meanwhile, kept up her verbal assault on Trump's campaign Friday, saying in an MSNBC interview that it is built on "prejudice and paranoia" and caters to a radical fringe of the Republican Party. This is Hillary's attempt to counter Trump's effort to win over moderate voters unsettled by some of his remarks and proposals. She also continues to target moderate voters -- especially Republicans -- by depicting Trump and his supporters as extremists, and casting the race as "not a normal choice between a Republican and a Democrat." Trump running mate Indiana Governor Mike Pence told CNN on Sunday that there will be no path to citizenship for illegal immigrants unless they leave the country. Pence said Trump will announce details in two weeks about whether there'll be a deportation force. Pence told CNN : "His position and his principles have been absolutely consistent. We're going to secure the border. We're going to build a wall, have a physical barrier, enforce the laws of this country, end sanctuary cities, implement e-verify. And we will have a mechanism for dealing with people in this country -- you heard the word 'humanely'...but there will be no path to legalization and citizenship unless people leave the country. He has said that consistently. You're going to hear in more detail in the next two weeks that lays out all the policies." Pence said the issue of an estimated 4.5 million so-called anchor babies, whose legal citizenship Trump has opposed, "is a subject for the future. What Donald Trump was referring to is part of the issue that we need to deal with in this country," he said. "He is a man who speaks his mind. And he has put this issue front and center with the American people." Pence also pushed back at Hillary Clinton and Democratic vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine's charges that former KKK leader David Duke's support of Trump proves he's helping a radical fringe take over the GOP. Pence said : "I think his [Kaine's] comments, Hillary Clinton's comments on Thursday night sound desperate to me. I mean, the fact that an individual, a contemptible individual like that supports my running mate is no more relevant than the fact that the father of a man who killed 49 people in Orlando, Florida, was cheering Hillary Clinton in one of her rallies. " So, a brave journalist -- given the chance if there were ever any Hillary press conferences -- might ask why Hillary attacks Trump's efforts to sort out the mess Obama and she have made of US immigration policy and law enforcement, why they have admitted 10,000 unvetted Syrian refugees whose ranks surely include jihadist terrorists, and why her failure to protect US diplomats in Benghazi should not be seen as a sign of her indifference to the violence of islamist terrorists, as well as putting the re-election of her pal Obama above the safety of the diplomats she was officially charged to protect. ~~~~~~ Dear readers, there are many more questions journalists could ask Hillary Clinton, if she would hold a press conference. But, she won't do that in any reasonable fashion, relying on press releases, surrogate commentary, snippets from her campaign speeches, and carefully controlled one-on-one interviews with longtime friends in the mainstream media to try to paper over her routine absence from contact with the media, even the mainstream media that adores her Progressive program to, as Barack Obama said, "remake America." Hillary Clinton hides from the press because she is afraid -- afraid of questions about her Benghazi lies, and her ties to George Soros, whose violent campaign to disrupt the 2106 election is partly carried out by using paid agitators under the Black Lives Matter banner. But, most of all, Hillary Clinton is afraid of the inevitable questions that would be asked about her emails, about the blunt characterization by FBI Director Comey of her "extremely reckless" with classified information, about her illegal ties to the Clinton Foundation while Secretary of State, about the criminal pay-for-play scheme cooked up by Bill and her to sell America to foreign interests who paid with contributions to the Foundation. Hillary Clinton has a lot to answer for. As Donald Trump said last Friday, "She shouldn't even be running for President....She should be in jail." Maybe that's why Bill announced last week that he will separate himself from the Clinton Foundation if Hillary is elected -- maybe this is the latest Clinton scam to try to stay ahead of the law and out of jail. And -- one last observation -- almost every US elected official wears a small American flag pin on their jacket -- even Barack Obama. Hillary always wears a jacket, but all I ever see are expensive necklaces and earrings. I have never seen an American flag pin on the left side of Hillary's jacket, above her heart, as a sign of love for America and its flag. Maybe no foreign interest has as yet offered her a flag pin studded with diamonds and rubies -- as payment for future favors.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Saturday Politics : Hillary & Hacks Defend Emails and Clinton Foundation Pay-for-Play While America Holds Its Nose

Saturday Politics is often about the time bomb that is Hillary & Hacks -- ticking over America and threatening to destroy it. ~~~~~~ THE EMAILS. Last week a federal judge ordered the State Department to accelerate its production of nearly 15,000 previously-unreleased emails uncovered by the FBI. District Court Judge James E. Boasberg on Monday ordered the FBI to complete the first part of the process in a month’s time. On September 23, the court will convene to set a release schedule for the documents. The State Department is under intense pressure from Republicans to release the full set of new emails before the November 8 election. Experts and Hillary Hacks have been estimating that the first batch likely won't be released until mid-October -- just weeks before Americans head to the polls. It is not clear what the emails contain. All we know is that they weren't in the original set of 30,000 emails Clinton voluntarily turned over to the State Department in 2014, after she deleted 30,000 emails prior to turning over the other half , arguing that they were personal correspondences. ~~~~~~ The latest 14,900 emails were discovered by the FBI during their investigation into whether Clinton illegally transmitted classified information through her private server. In July, Director James Comey said investigators uncovered “several thousand” work-related emails that were not in those Clinton returned to State. Investigators pieced together the deleted emails from Clinton’s correspondence with other officials and reconstructed “fragments” from old servers and machines connected to her email domain. Many questions have not been answered about the emails. Self-styled experts have argued that the process and timing for handling them is complex. But, the FBI has committed to releasing the documents under a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request from Judicial Watch, and must first eliminate personal emails and duplicates of the 30,000 it already had. Then, State Department authorities must read through the emails to determine which ones are subject to the FOIA request and redact any classified information. State Department lawyers say State's part of the process is extremely time-consuming, especially if there are many emails to review and redact. Government lawyers are likely to push for as much time as they can get during the September hearing. Judicial Watch continues to accuse the FBI of slow-walking the release to guard Clinton against damaging revelations on the eve of the election. JW president Tom Fitton told TheHill : “Our concern is that politics will intrude upon the process and as, they’ve already done, delay the records unnecessarily,” calling State’s arguments that reviewing the documents is resource-intensive “ridiculous.” Fitton added : “Evidently they’re more concerned with not hurting Mrs. Clinton’s election prospects as opposed to complying with the Freedom of Information Act.” BUT, Hillary & Hacks got a surprise late this week when Judge Boasberg ordered the State Department to start releasing the additional 15,000 emails uncovered during the FBI's investigation into former Secretary Hillary Clinton's private server starting on Septembr 13, according to Reuters. The date is a full month earlier than agency officials had hoped to begin the release. ~~~~~~ The release of the 14,900 additional documents occurred on the same day, Monday, that the release of another set of emails exposed very close ties between Clinton’s staff and the Clinton Foundation during her tenure as Secretary of State -- just the latest development in a long controversy Hillary & Hacks have tried to ignore. That release from Judicial Watch, concerning the Clinton Foundation, led to heightened allegations that she ran a “pay-for-play” operation while in office. GOP nominee Donald Trump pounded Clinton over the emails Thursday night during an interview with CNN's Anderson Cooper saying : "She should be in jail. You know it. The FBI knows it. We all do." The Justice Department cleared Clinton of illegally mishandling classified information, but Comey still damned her use of the server as “reckless.” On Tuesday, Trump called for the Justice Department to appoint an independent special prosecutor to investigate her. Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus has also repeatedly demanded the emails be released prior to the election. ~~~~~~ Bradley Moss, a lawyer who specializes in matters related to open records laws, told TheHill : "What everyone wants to know is, will any of the information [in the new emails] be deemed classified? Because that would be just one more nail in the proverbial coffin for Hillary.” Clinton’s campaign has claimed not to know what’s in the newly uncovered emails. Spokesman Brian Fallon said : "As we have always said, Hillary Clinton provided the State Department with all the work-related emails she had in her possession in 2014. We are not sure what additional materials the Justice Department may have located, but if the State Department determines any of them to be work-related, then obviously we support those documents being released publicly as well." ~~~~~~ THE FOUNDATION. FBI Director Comey famously said he could find no intent to break the law on Hillary's part by her use of a secret unsecured server that transmitted classified information. The new Foundation-related batch of emails may actually provide intent, showing that the emails were deliberately concealed as part of a Hillary-and-Bill scam using the Clinton Foundation as conduit for pay-to-play with Secretary of State Hillary. That wuold make the setting up of her private server and lying to Congress and the FBI part of a cover-up of criminal activities. ~~~~~~ And, TheHill published an article by contributor Kenneth R. Timmerman that suggests that "the Clinton campaign is attempting once again to sweep important questions under the rug about top aide Huma Abedin, her family ties to the Moslem Brotherhood and to Saudi Arabia, and her role in the ballooning Clinton email scandal." The New York Post published a detailed investigative piece last weekend about Abedin’s work at the Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs from 1995 through 2008, a sharia law journal whose editor-in-chief was Abedin’s own mother. Huma Abedin was for many years listed as an associate editor of the London-based publication and wrote for the journal while working as an intern in the Clinton White House in the mid-1990s. Her mother, Saleha Abedin, sits on the Presidency Staff Council of the International Islamic Council for Da’wa and Relief, a group that is chaired by the leader of the Moslem Brotherhood, Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi. Timmerman says : "Perhaps recognizing how offensive such ties will be to voters concerned over future terrorist attacks on this country by radical Moslems professing allegiance to Sharia law, the Clinton campaign on Monday tried to downplay Ms. Abedin’s involvement in the Journal and the Moslem Brotherhood. The Clinton surrogate group Media Matters claimed predictably there was “no evidence” that Ms. Abedin or her family had ties to the Moslem Brotherhood, and that Trump campaign staffers who spoke of these ties were conspiracy theorists. To debunk the evidence, Media Matters pointed to a “fact-check” piece that cited as its sole source...Senator John McCain, who met Libyan militia leader Abdelkarim Belhaj, a known al-Qaida associate, and saluted him as “my hero” during a 2011 visit to Benghazi. Further, Senator McCain and others roundly criticized Representative Michele Bachmann in 2012 when she and four members of the House Permanent Select Committee Intelligence and the House Judiciary Committee cited Ms. Abedin in letters sent to the Inspectors General of the Department of Defense, Department of State, Department of Justice, Department of Homeland Security, and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, warning about Muslim Brotherhood infiltration of the United States government." Timmerman adds that after being criticized, Bachmann laid out the evidence in a 16-page memo, which has never been refuted by Senator McCain or the elite media. Timmerman says : "The evidence, in my opinion, is overwhelming: Huma Abedin is nothing short of a Moslem Brotherhood princess, born into an illustrious family of Brotherhood leaders. Her father, Syed Zaynul Abedin, was a professor in Saudi Arabia who founded the Institute for Moslem Minority Affairs, an institution established by the Government of Saudi Arabia with the support of the Moslem World League. The oslem World League was “perhaps the most significant Moslem Brotherhood organization in the world,” according to former federal prosecutor Andrew C. McCarthy. Its then-General Secretary, Umar Nasif, founded the Rabita Trust, “which is formally designated as a foreign terrorist organization under American law due to its support of al-Qaida,” McCarthy wrote. Timmerman says : "That is not guilt by association but what federal prosecutors would call a 'nexus' of like-minded people who shared the same goals. A Saudi government document inspired by Ms. Abedin’s father explains the concept of “Muslim Minority Affairs,” the title of the Journal Mr. Abedin founded, and its goal to 'establish a global Sharia in our modern times.' Simply put, Huma Abedin worked for thirteen years as part of an enterprise whose explicit goal was to conquer the West in the name of Islam. No wonder the Clinton campaign wants to sweep this issue under the rug." Hillary Clinton has referred to Huma Abedin as her “second daughter.” Whether it was because of this, or for some other reason, Clinton has, according to Timmerman, "done much to further the Moslem Brotherhood agenda while Secretary of State, and can be counted on doing more as President. As Secretary of State, she relentlessly pushed the overthrow of Libyan leader Mohammar Qaddafi, a dire enemy of the Brotherhood, even when President Obama and his Secretary of Defense were reluctant to go to war. Along with Obama, she pushed for the overthrow of Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak and his replacement by Moslem Brotherhood leader Mohammad Morsi. She pushed for direct US involvement in the Syrian civil war, including the arming of Syrian rebels allied with al-Qaida." ~~~~~~ New Abedin emails released to Judicial Watch this week show that Huma Abedin served as liaison between Clinton Foundation donors, including foreign governments, and the State Department. When foreign donors had difficulties in getting appointments with Clinton through normal State Department channels, Clinton Foundation executive Douglas Band would email Huma Abedin, and the meetings would be quickly scheduled. Donald Trump has criticized this as “pay-for-play.” Can Americans vote for Hillary Clinotn to be President, knowing she will have even more power to aid the Moslem Brotherhood and impose its sharia agenda on America? [Timmerman is a Donald Trump supporter. He was the 2012 Republican Congressional nominee for MD-8 and is the author of "Deception:The Making of the YouTube Video Hillary & Obama Blamed for Benghazi," published by Post Hill Press.] ~~~~~~ Donald Trump is not the only one sounding the alarm over conflicts-of-interest urrounding Hillary Clinton's nonprofit Foundation. This week, government watchdog groups -- all of them champions of heightened transparency, campaign finance reform and other democratic priorities -- are also warning of potentially "very serious" conflicts of interest if the Clinton Foundation continues business as usual with Clinton in the White House. The transparency advocates are not calling for the Foundation to shut its doors, as Trump has done, but, they are urging the adoption of tough new firewalls to eliminate any perception that Clinton Foundation donors could use their wallets to gain undue access to a Hillary Clinton White House. Craig Holman, government affairs lobbyist at Public Citizen, said Thursday : "The Clinton Foundation has posed a very serious conflict of interest for the entire time that it's existed. The conflicts of interest are very real, and that gives Trump some ammunition to throw at it, and we're going to hear about it [until the campaign ends]." Holman said Clinton's recent vow to bar all foreign and corporate donations to the Clinton Foundation if she wins the presidency is "a big, big step in the right direction," while many analysts say this would just be window-dressing and the Clinton pay-for-play scam would grow to new heights in a President Hillary White House. Holman also said : "The Clintons will have to snip all family ties to the Foundation, including the removal of Chelsea Clinton from the group's board -- a step the Clinton team said it's not ready to take. Chelsea Clinton's role on the board will only perpetuate the "pay-to-play" perceptions and accusations. As long as the Clinton Foundation is tied to the family," Holman said, 'very wealthy' people and special interests will try to find a way 'to throw money at the feet' of the Clinton family. And if Chelsea Clinton remains on the board -- especially if she retains a fundraising roll -- 'she would be the avenue.' Holman concluded : "If she really wants to get out from under the cloud, she should sever ties completely with the Foundation." Larry Noble, general counsel at the Campaign Legal Center, agreed. He warned that the State Department saga, even with no direct evidence that donors were given special access, has created "a very serious perception problem" that threatens to undermine the public's faith in the government and its institutions. Barring foreign and corporate donations to the Clinton Foundation is a start, he said, but that alone won't counteract appearances that the game is rigged. Noble said : "You'd still have large individual donations that could raise a question." Noble emphasized that the Clinton Foundation debate is illustrative of a larger systemic problem surrounding money in politics -- a system in which even the appearance that wealthy donors have special influence stirs distrust in the public's mind. Noble said : "Regardless of how well-founded a meeting is...the suspicion is always going to be there is some connection" to the donor's largess. In the case of the Clinton Foundation, I'd want to know what other safeguards they're going to have [to ensure] the Foundation is not being used as a conduit to get access to the White House. To do that, the Clintons must "sever all connections and not have any contact with the Foundation. I think the Foundation can still exist, but there are going to have to be a lot of safeguards there." ~~~~~~ Clinton Foundation conflict of interest charges exploded this week after the Associated Press reported that an outsized number of people "outside the government" who gained access to Clinton when she was State Secretary were donors to the Foundation -- "either personally or through companies or groups." Trump has repeated that "crooked Hillary" is simply too dishonest to merit the presidency : "She wants to sell out American security to the Clinton Foundation for a big, fat pile of cash," Trump said Wednesday during a speech in Jackson, Mississippi, "It's hard to tell where the Clinton Foundation ends and where the State Department begins." ~~~~~~ Representative Jason Chaffetz, chairman of the powerful House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, sent a letter Thursday to Secretary of State John Kerry. Chaffetz requested more information about State's relationship with the Clinton Foundation in the wake of reports that "give rise to a perception that access to our State Department's official resources were for sale." The response from Hillary & Hacks has been aggressive -- Clinton campaign officials asked the AP to remove a tweet announcing its story; they shot an email to reporters Wednesday highlighting a Vox analysis characterizing the AP story as "a mess" of inaccuracies. Brian Fallon, a top spokesman, has made the rounds on cable TV refuting the story; and other Clinton surrogates were employed Thursday for the same purpose. ~~~~~~ So, Hillary Clinton has been forced to play defense this week over the Clinton Foundation. In an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper on Wednesday evening, she said her work as Secretary of State was “not influenced by outside forces. I know there’s a lot of smoke and there’s no fire,” she said. Aides and Democrats close to the Clinton campaign think their candidate can survive the recent pitfalls. As she faces increasing scrutiny, allies acknowledge it highlights the larger problem that looms over her campaign -- TRUST. David Axelrod, who served as Obama’s chief strategist said Wednesday on CNN : “There’s often smoke and that has followed her around like a cloud.” Other Democrats said the Foundation and email controversies are both problems for Clinton. Pollster John Zogby told Newsmax on Mondat that one group of voters that once supported President George W. Bush before defecting to back President Barack Obama is once again switching sides and getting behind Donald Trump. During an interview on "Newsmax Prime," Zogby told host J.D. Hayworth the race for the White House is "very, very close." "What's very interesting here is that initially, weekly Wal-Mart shoppers who we have been tracking for a decade and a half now, and NASCAR fans, were solidly with George W. Bush," said Zogby, whose most recent poll has Hillary Clinton leading Trump by 2 points. "And then their demographics actually changed in the last seven or eight years following the recession. They were solidly with Barack Obama in 2008 and in 2012. They're swinging back now, back over to Donald Trump." Asked about a USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll that has Trump ahead by more than a point, Zogby said : "What it means obviously is the post-convention bounces are over. This is a very tight race. Whether a poll has Donald Trump up by actually 2 points in the last couple of hours in Southern California, or mine that has Hillary Clinton up by 2 points, the bottom line is this is a very, very close race right now." ~~~~~~ Dear readers, Donald Trump on Monday called for the Clinton Foundation to be shut down even before a potential Hillary Clinton presidency : "What they were doing during Crooked Hillary’s time as Secretary of State was wrong then, and it is wrong now. It must be shut down immediately. It is now clear that the Clinton Foundation is the most corrupt enterprise in political history." Trump, appearing on "Fox and Friends" on Monday morning, also called for the Foundation to return money from foreign countries with poor human rights records : "That money should be given back. They should not take that money." The Hillary & Hacks who say that nothing was actually "sold" while Hillary was Secretary of State are deliberately protecting her, or they are too naive to be taken seriously. And those who would like us to believe that the entire American system is corrupt, that every officeholder and administration sells favors, are pitifully mired in the Clintons' pals-to-all-who-love-us-and-in-danger-if-you-don't world and will not see the truth. America needs cleaning up, but the cleaning is not because every insider uses a Clinton pay-to-play scam -- they do not -- only Bill and Hillary have used public office for personal gain in a pay-to-play scam so destructive to America. The clean-up Donald Trump promises is related to streamlining bureaucracy, making the federal government work as it is supposed to under the Constitution so that Congress and the courts and the President have equal and separate roles, and electing officials who are "public servants" in the traditional sense, not pawns of special interests. The Clintons are scoundrels who have hijacked America for their personal financial gain. They will not succeed to "fool all the people" or even half of them on November 8. America will prevail.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Trump's Immigration Policy Is and Will Remain Conservative, with America's Welfare and Safety in First Place

Both Donald Trump and his new campaign manager Kellyanne Conway said on Thursday that Trump's stance on immigration is "what it's always been," rejecting concerns that he's softened his stance on the hardline policies he's backed since the beginning of his campaign last summer. Conway told CNN's Chris Cuomo : "Donald Trump's against amnesty." Cuomo told Conway that Trump's words could sound like a departure for other hardliners, who call for deportation, but Conway said what "voters need to see is what Donald Trump is saying his immigration plan is. That plan is 'no amnesty, no sanctuary cities' so that innocent victims like Kate Steinle who was murdered right in front of her father in San Francisco, by a man who had been deported five times. That should outrage everybody in the United States, regardless of their political affiliation." Conway added that Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton supports sanctuary cities and amnesty : "She's actually considerably to the left of [President] Barack Obama on the issue of immigration, and the only way the voters are going to know that is if we tell them." Trump's plans also continue to include building "the wall" at the US-Mexico border, she added. Conway told Cuomo Trump is now working on a new message on immigration with Alabama GOP Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama, who calls for a border, and with Stephen Miller, a Trump advisor and former Sessions staff worker. Both men are "immigration experts," Conway told Cuomo. "I think that they are trying to find a way for Donald Trump to articulate to Americans a very complex issue and how he feels about it." ~~~~~~ Donald Trump's son Eric told CNBC on Wednesday that his father is not flip-flopping on immigration...he wants "America to come first." Eric said : "We've got a lot of problems in this country and we need to take care of our own first." His explanation came as the mainstream media is trying to use the immigration issue to once more attack Trump as changeable and unable to develop serious policies. This bru-ha-ha started simply because Donald Trump eased his call for total deportation of all undocumented immigrants -- a proposal that everyone knows is, in practical terms, impossible. In a "Hannity" town hall on Fox News, Donald Trump said Tuesday he's open to "softening" laws dealing with undocumented immigrants, indicating his policies could allow "working with" some undocumented immigrants to stay in the United States, drawing comparisons to Jeb Bush and departing from calls he'd made before about deporting the 11 million or more undocumented immigrants living in the country : "No citizenship. Let me go a step further -- they'll pay back-taxes, they have to pay taxes, there's no amnesty, as such, there's no amnesty, but we work with them," Trump told Hannity, promising “no amnesty” for undocumented immigrants, adding that his administration would “work with” those who came to America illegally years ago and haven’t committed other crimes. ~~~~~~ Trump’s Wednesday speech in Tampa, which has a large community of Cuban immigrants, included a departure from his prepared remarks as he reached out to Hispanic voters : “To the Hispanic parent, you have a right to walk outside without being shot. You have a right to good education for your child....You have a right to own your home. You have a right to have a good job. I am going to fight to give every Hispanic citizen in this country a better future.” Later, Wednesday evening in Jackson, Mississippi, Trump accused the media of downplaying the “plight of Americans who have lost their children to illegal immigrants” while the media "pushes for amnesty.” He told the crowd that any immigration policy he blesses must improve wages, jobs, safety and quality of life for US citizens. ~~~~~~ Conservative commentators are not happy with Trump's immigration expanations this week. Ann Coulter wrote on Twitter that his immigration statements could risk his losing the support of his base while he works to engage Hispanic voters. Meanwhile, the Trump campaign has rescheduled his immigration speech for next Wednesday in Phoenix, according to The Arizona Republic. Arizona is the home of one of Trump’s top supporters, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who has made his name thanks to his hard-line position on immigration. And, Arpaio told CNN on Wednesday : “I’m not disappointed. He’s going the law, and he’s going to follow the law and see where that takes us on enforcing the illegal immigration problem that we have.” ~~~~~~ Trump spokeswoman Katrina Pierson told CNN : "What he has always said from the beginning is that he does not want to allow people to stay in this country illegally. He does want to build a wall. Everyone on the news is saying that he's a bigot and that he's a racist because of the words that he uses...he's simply saying, yeah, we are going to follow the law. We are going to enforce the law. ~~~~~~ Concerning the immigration issue related to Trump's stand on not letting terrorists into the US, there is an immigration law on the books that was enacted in 1952 -- the McCarren-Walter Act [officially the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952] that supports his position. All the counterpunching, with the media, Democrats and Hillary Clinton calling him racist, bigoted and ignorant about US law and the Constitution -- overlooks the historical fact of the McCarren-Walter Act, making one wonder if any of the people Americans elect to Congress or the White House have the slightest idea about laws that already exist. Trump is severely criticized for suggesting that the US should limit or temporarily suspend the immigration of certain ethnic groups, nationalities, and even people of certain religions (Moslems). The criticisms condemn such a suggestion as, among other things, being un-American, dumb, stupid, reckless, dangerous and racist. Congressmen and Senators have sworn that they would never allow such legislation, and President Obama called such a prohibition on immigration unconstitutional. Surprise! The selective immigration ban is already law and has been applied on several occasions. The McCarran-Walter Act allows for the "Suspension of entry or imposition of restrictions by the President. Whenever the President finds that the entry of aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, the President may, by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or non-immigrants or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate." The act was utilized by Democrat President Jimmy Carter in 1979 to keep Iranians out of the United States, but he actually did more. He made all Iranian students already in hte US check in, and then he deported many. Seven thousand were found in violation of their visas, 15,000 Iranians were forced to leave the United States in 1979. It is of note that the McCarren-Walter Act also requires that an applicant for immigration "must be of good moral character and attached to the principles of the Constitution." ~~~~~~ Dear readers, this, too, shall pass. Like every other attempt by Progressives, Democrats, Obama and Hillary to tar and feather Donald Trump for putting the welfare and safety of Americans first, their current effort to destroy him by attacking his immigration position will fail. It is clear that Trump is simply trying to : (1) clarify that it is not possible to deport 11 million people, but it is possible to deport all illegals with criminal records; (2) with this in focus, mold the rest of his immigration policy into a plan that is not amnesty, and does not reward illegal entry with citizenship; (3) enforce immigration law as it exists and add to it what is missing so that the current abandonment of immigration law enforcement is stopped; and, (4) close the borders, building a wall where needed, and support and strengthen the Border Patrol so that the flood of illegal immigrants is ended. That makes a lot of sense to me, and it certainly beats the Obama/Hillary open borders-amnesty policy that got America into the mess it is in today.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

We Pause to Pray for Italy, and to Remember All Earthquake Victims

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims of the Italian earthquake and to all of Italy, that sunny, happy country that has a special place in every heart. ~~~~~~ The earthquake hit in an area of Umbria less that 100 miles northeast of Rome during the night of Tuesday-Wednesday, literally destroying several villages. Tremors were felt as far away as Rome and Venice. The US Geological Survey says the quake was of a magnitude of 6.2 on the Richter Scale, making it the worst earthquake to hit Italy since the 2009 Aquila 6.3 earthquake that killed 309, injured 2,000 and left 65,000 homeless. Remy Bossu, head of a government emergency service in France, said shallow earthquakes of this magnitude were not highly unusual in the zone hit Wednesday. In addition to the 2009 L'Aquila earthquake, another hit in 1997 in Umbria and Marche that severely damaged the Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi. He said the main problem in the area are the great numbers of older buildings that cannot withstand earthquakes of this magnitude : "The problem is that the [earthquake-proof] building code only applies to new buildings. To retrofit an old building is a very complex and costly operation. So it's only done for key buildings, such as hospitals." The villages worst hit were near the epicenter, 6 miles deep, at Norcia -- Accumoli, Amatrice, Posta and Arquata del Tronto. Everyone who has been in an Italian restaurant indirectly knows Amatrice, the little village of 2,700 where the classic amatriciana pasta sauce was born. Amatrice is also known in Italy for supplying cooks for the Vatican. The mayor of Accumoli told local media that his village was half destroyed, adding "the town no longer exists." Sabrina Sbermola, a resident of another central Italian town hit by the quake -- Arquata del Tronto -- told the BBC : “This was very, very bad. I’ve never seen anything like it,” Estimates of the dead have rising as search and rescue efforts go on. As of late evening Wednesday, the death toll was at least 150. ~~~~~~ Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said in a national address : “No family or village or town will be left alone,” adding that Italy would vigorously accelerate the ongoing rescue effort : “we will continue to find people alive.” The Washington Post reported that in Amatrice, the village hardest hit by the earthquake -- as rescue workers and local residents desperately clawed through rubble to save buried victims -- "several survivors, including a small girl, were plucked alive from heaps of debris. Hospitals in the impacted areas were fast filling up with injured people. Thousands of residents were left homeless....a dazed Mariana Lleshi, a Catholic nun from Albania, walked toward the destroyed religious institute where she lived along with a group of other nuns and elderly women. Of the 20 women who lived there, she said, seven were still unaccounted for. Lleshi clutched her head, where a large bandage covered the wound she sustained as the ceiling collapsed in her bedroom. 'I remember hearing something, a loud noise, and then hiding under my bed,” she said. 'I was screaming, and I got out and started running when the ceiling started coming down.' She said a young Colombian man who was staying overnight at the institute found her in the chaos and guided her out to safety. 'All I could see was destruction around me. I had lost all hope to get out of this alive, but God sent me his messenger.'” ~~~~~~ The earthquake damage covered a wide area, according to the WP, "with devastation striking the narrow, cobblestone streets of historic towns scattered across a sprawling zone including the earthquake-prone provinces of Marche and Lazio, which sustained some of the heaviest casualties. Images showed heavy rubble from fallen buildings piled high on the narrow streets of old Roman towns. The blocked roads, officials said, were hindering rescuers attempting to reach victims." Aftershocks as strong as 5.5 magnitude continued, as the devastating quake hit Italy during the high August vacation period when Italian temperatures can be as high as 100-110°F and large numbers of Italians leave cities and towns for annual holidays -- the region where the quake struck is a popular tourist area in August. Luca Cari, spokesman for the Italian fire department, told Reuters that rescue workers took to the air in helicopters to assess the damage at dawn. The Amatrice mayor told local media that "dozens" had died in his town. People draped in white blankets stood next to destroyed buildings. Aerial views of before and after pictures showed the magnitude of the destruction in what used to be a picturesque town. The mayor gave alarming assessments, saying debris was so bad that streets needed to be cleared to reach stranded residents : “The streets are not passable, and there are people under the rubble. We are trying by all means to bring first aid, but we are working without light [during the night].” The mayor of another hard-hit town, Accumoli, described extensive damage and casualties : “Four people are under the rubble, but they are not showing any sign of life. Two parents and two children.” The WP quoted authorities calling on residents in Lazio and other affected provinces to avoid congesting roadways to help rescue workers get through faster. They also issued appeals for blood as hospitals dealt with a rush of earthquake injuries. Late on Wednesday, the Italian Army had moved into place heavy eauipment and was organizing the search effort in cooperation with the Italian police and fire services. Their work is often halted by the ongoing serious aftershocks. The residents of Amatrice have been told not to sleep in any building on Wednesday night because of the aftershocks and the unassessed state of the bulidings left standing. Speaking in St. Peter’s Square in Vatican City, Pope Francis said: “I cannot but express my great pain and say I am with the people in all the places stricken by this earthquake.” Aid stations were set up to distribute warm drinks and on Wednesday efforts began to set up camps for the homeless. ~~~~~~ Dear readers, a more powerful 6.8-magnitude earthquake rocked central Burma on Wednesday, damaging scores of ancient Buddhist pagodas, but it was 52 miles below the surface, the USGS reported, and the destruction was far less severe than in the Italian earthquake. I don't report on every deadly earthquake, principally because they often occur in inaccessible areas of central Asia where news reports appear slowly and the news of casualties lags. Reporting on the Italian earthquake gives us all a better understanding of how traumatizing and destructive any serious earthquake is. When we can, we should contribute to relief groups or give blood. And, always, we think of and pray for the communities in every part of the world where earthquakes cause such devastation and suffering.