Justplainbill's Weblog

February 10, 2017

Imprimis 9/16 – Restoring America’s Economic Mobility

Restoring America’s Economic Mobility
September 2016 • Volume 45, Number 9 • Frank Buckley
Frank Buckley
Author, The Way Back: Restoring the Promise of America
________________________________________
Frank Buckley is a Foundation Professor at Scalia Law School at George Mason University, where he has taught since 1989. Previously he was a visiting Olin Fellow at the University of Chicago Law School, and he has also taught at McGill Law School, the Sorbonne, and Sciences Po in Paris. He received his B.A. from McGill University and his LL.M. from Harvard University. He is a senior editor of The American Spectator and the author of several books, including The Once and Future King: The Rise of Crown Government in America and The Way Back: Restoring the Promise of America.
________________________________________

The following is adapted from a speech delivered on July 11, 2016, at Hillsdale College’s Allan P. Kirby, Jr. Center for Constitutional Studies and Citizenship in Washington, D.C., as part of the AWC Family Foundation Lecture Series.
In the Communist Manifesto, Marx and Engels wrote that “the history of all hitherto existing societies is the history of class struggles.” Today the story of American politics is the story of class struggles. It wasn’t supposed to be that way. We didn’t think we were divided into different classes. Neither did Marx.

America was an exception to Marx’s theory of social progress. By that theory, societies were supposed to move from feudalism to capitalism to communism. But the America of the 1850s, the most capitalist society around, was not turning communist. Marx had an explanation for that. “True enough, the classes already exist,” he wrote of the United States, but they “are in constant flux and reflux, constantly changing their elements and yielding them up to one another.” In other words, when you have economic and social mobility, you don’t go communist.

That is the country in which some imagine we still live, Horatio Alger’s America—a country defined by the promise that whoever you are, you have the same chance as anyone else to rise, with pluck, industry, and talent. But they imagine wrong. The U.S. today lags behind many of its First World rivals in terms of mobility. A class society has inserted itself within the folds of what was once a classless country, and a dominant New Class—as social critic Christopher Lasch called it—has pulled up the ladder of social advancement behind it.

One can measure these things empirically by comparing the correlation between the earnings of fathers and sons. Pew’s Economic Mobility Project ranks Britain at 0.5, which means that if a father earns £100,000 more than the median, his son will earn £50,000 more than the average member of his cohort. That’s pretty aristocratic. On the other end of the scale, the most economically mobile society is Denmark, with a correlation of 0.15. The U.S. is at 0.47, almost as immobile as Britain.

A complacent Republican establishment denies this change has occurred. If they don’t get it, however, American voters do. For the first time, Americans don’t believe their children will be as well off as they have been. They see an economy that’s stalled, one in which jobs are moving offshore. In the first decade of this century, U.S. multinationals shed 2.9 million U.S. jobs while increasing employment overseas by 2.4 million. General Electric provides a striking example. Jeffrey Immelt became the company’s CEO in 2001, with a mission to advance stock price. He did this in part by reducing GE’s U.S. workforce by 34,000 jobs. During the same period, the company added 25,000 jobs overseas. Ironically, President Obama chose Immelt to head his Jobs Council.
According to establishment Repub¬licans, none of this can be helped. We are losing middle-class jobs because of the move to a high-tech world that creates jobs for a cognitive elite and destroys them for everyone else. But that doesn’t describe what’s happening. We are losing middle-class jobs, but lower-class jobs are expanding. Automation is changing the way we make cars, but the rich still need their maids and gardeners. Middle-class jobs are also lost as a result of regulatory and environmental barriers, especially in the energy sector. And the skills-based technological change argument is entirely implausible: countries that beat us hands down on mobility are just as technologically advanced. Folks in Denmark aren’t exactly living in the Stone Age.

This is why voters across the spectrum began to demand radical change. What did the Republican elite offer in response? At a time of maximal crisis they have been content with minimal goals, like Mitt Romney’s 59-point plan in 2012. How many Americans remember even one of those points? What we remember instead is Romney’s remark about 47 percent of Americans being takers. That was Romney’s way of recognizing the class divide—and in the election, Americans took notice and paid him back with interest.
Since 2012, establishment Republicans have continued to be less than concerned for the plight of ordinary Americans. Sure, they want economic growth, but it doesn’t seem to matter into whose pockets the money flows. There are even the “conservative” pundits who offer the pious hope that drug-addicted Trump supporters will hurry up and die. That’s one way to ameliorate the class struggle, but it doesn’t exactly endear anyone to the establishment.

The southern writer Flannery O’Connor once attended a dinner party in New York given for her and liberal intellectual Mary McCarthy. At one point the issue of Catholicism came up, and McCarthy offered the opinion that the Eucharist is “just a symbol,” albeit “a pretty one.” O’Connor, a pious Catholic, bristled: “Well, if it’s just a symbol, to Hell with it.” Likewise, the principles held up as sacrosanct by establishment Republicans might be logically unassailable, derived like theorems from a set of axioms based on a pure theory of natural rights. But if I don’t see them making people better off, I say to Hell with them. And so do the voters this year. What the establishment Republicans should ask themselves is Anton Chigurh’s question in No Country for Old Men: If you followed your principles, and your principles brought you to this, what good are your principles?

September 2016 • Volume 45, Number 9 • Frank Buckley

Had Marx been asked what would happen to America if it ever became economically immobile, we know what his answer would be: Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton. And also Donald Trump. The anger expressed by the voters in 2016—their support for candidates from far outside the traditional political class—has little parallel in American history. We are accustomed to protest movements on the Left, but the wholesale repudiation of the establishment on the Right is something new. All that was solid has melted into air, and what has taken its place is a kind of right-wing Marxism, scornful of Washington power brokers and sneering pundits and repelled by America’s immobile, class-ridden society.

Establishment Republicans came up with the “right-wing Marxist” label when House Speaker John Boehner was deposed, and labels stick when they have the ring of truth. So it is with the right-wing Marxist. He is right-wing because he seeks to return to an America of economic mobility. He has seen how broken education and immigration systems, the decline of the rule of law, and the rise of a supercharged regulatory state serve as barriers to economic improvement. And he is a Marxist to the extent that he sees our current politics as the politics of class struggle, with an insurgent middle class that seeks to surmount the barriers to mobility erected by an aristocratic New Class. In his passion, he is also a revolutionary. He has little time for a Republican elite that smirks at his heroes—heroes who communicate through their brashness and rudeness the fact that our country is in a crisis. To his more polite critics, the right-wing Marxist says: We are not so nice as you!

The right-wing Marxist notes that establishment Republicans who decry crony capitalism are often surrounded by lobbyists and funded by the Chamber of Commerce. He is unpersuaded when they argue that government subsidies are needed for their friends. He does not believe that the federal bailouts of the 2008-2012 TARP program and the Federal Reserve’s zero-interest and quantitative easing policies were justified. He sees that they doubled the size of public debt over an eight-year period, and that our experiment in consumer protection for billionaires took the oxygen out of the economy and produced a jobless Wall Street recovery.

The right-wing Marxist’s vision of the good society is not so very different from that of the JFK-era liberal; it is a vision of a society where all have the opportunity to rise, where people are judged by the content of their character, and where class distinctions are a thing of the past. But for the right wing Marxist, the best way to reach the goal of a good society is through free markets, open competition, and the removal of wasteful government barriers.

Readers of Umberto Eco’s The Name of the Rose will have encountered the word palimpsest, used to describe a manuscript in which one text has been written over another, and in which traces of the original remain. So it is with Canada, a country that beats the U.S. hands down on economic mobility. Canada has the reputation of being more liberal than the U.S., but in reality it is more conservative because its liberal policies are written over a page of deep conservatism.

Whereas the U.S. comes in at a highly immobile 0.47 on the Pew mobility scale, Canada is at 0.19, very close to Denmark’s 0.15. What is further remarkable about Canada is that the difference is mostly at the top and bottom of the distribution. Between the tenth and 90th deciles there isn’t much difference between the two countries. The difference is in the bottom and top ten percent, where the poorest parents raise the poorest kids and the richest parents raise the richest kids.

September 2016 • Volume 45, Number 9 • Frank Buckley

For parents in the top U.S. decile, 46 percent of their kids will end up in the top two deciles and only 2 percent in the bottom decile. The members of the top decile comprise a New Class of lawyers, academics, trust-fund babies, and media types—a group that wields undue influence in both political parties and dominates our culture. These are the people who said yes, there is an immigration crisis—but it’s caused by our failure to give illegals a pathway to citizenship!

There’s a top ten percent in Canada, of course, but its children are far more likely to descend into the middle or lower classes. There’s also a bottom ten percent, but its children are far more likely to rise to the top. The country of opportunity, the country we’ve imagined ourselves to be, isn’t dead—it moved to Canada, a country that ranks higher than the U.S. on measures of economic freedom. Yes, Canada has its much-vaunted Medicare system, but cross-border differences in health care don’t explain the mobility levels. And when you add it all up, America has a more generous welfare system than Canada or just about anywhere else. To explain Canada’s higher mobility levels, one has to turn to differences in education systems, immigration laws, regulatory burdens, the rule of law, and corruption—on all of which counts, Canada is a more conservative country.

America’s K-12 public schools perform poorly, relative to the rest of the First World. Its universities are great fun for the kids, but many students emerge on graduation no better educated than when they arrived. What should be an elevator to the upper class is stalled on the ground floor. One study has concluded that if American public school students were magically raised to Canadian levels, the economic gain would amount to a 20 percent annual pay increase for the average American worker.

The U.S. has a two-tiered educational system: a superb set of schools and colleges for the upper classes and a mediocre set for everyone else. The best of our colleges are the best anywhere, but the average Canadian school is better than the average American one. At both the K-12 and college levels, Canadian schools have adhered more closely to a traditional, conservative set of offerings. For K-12, a principal reason for the difference is the greater competition offered in Canada, with its publicly-supported church-affiliated schools. With barriers like America’s Blaine Amendments—state laws preventing public funding of religious schools—lower-class students in the U.S. must enjoy the dubious blessing of a public school education.

What about immigration? Canada doesn’t have a problem with illegal aliens—it deports them. As for the legal intake, Canadian policies have a strong bias towards admitting immigrants who will confer a benefit on Canadian citizens. Even in absolute numbers, Canada admits more immigrants under economic categories than the U.S., where most legal immigrants qualify instead under family preference categories. As a result, on average, immigrants to the U.S. are less educated than U.S. natives, and unlike in Canada, second- and third-generation U.S. immigrants earn less than their native-born counterparts. In short, the U.S. immigration system imports inequality and immobility. If immigration isn’t an issue in Canada, that’s because it’s a system Trump voters would love.

For those at the bottom of the social and economic ladder who seek to rise, nothing is more important than the rule of law, property rights, and the sanctity of contract provided by a mature and efficient legal system. The alternative—in place today in America—is a network of elites whose personal bonds supply the trust that is needed before deals can be done and promises relied on. With its more traditional legal system, Canada better respects the sanctity of contract and is less likely to weaken property rights with an American-style civil justice system which at times resembles a slot machine of judicially-sanctioned theft. Americans are great at talking about the rule of law, but in reality we don’t have much standing to do so.

Then there’s corruption. As ranked by Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index, America is considerably more corrupt than most of the rest of the First World. With our K Street lobbyists and our donor class, we’ve spawned the greatest concentration of money and influence ever. And corruption costs. In a regression model, the average family’s earnings would increase from $55,000 to $60,000 were we to ascend to Canada’s level of non-corruption, and to $68,000 if we moved to Denmark’s level.

In a corrupt country, trust is a rare commodity. That’s America today. Only 19 percent of Americans say they trust the government most of the time, down from 73 percent in 1958 according to the Pew Research Center. Sadly, that is a rational response to the way things are. America is a different country today, and a much nastier one. For politically engaged Republicans, the figure is six percent. That in a nutshell explains the Trump phenomenon and the disintegration of the Republican establishment. If the people don’t trust the government, tinkering with entitlement reform is like rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.
American legal institutions are consistently more liberal than those in Canada, and they are biased towards a privileged class of insiders who are better educated and wealthier than the average American. That’s why America has become an aristocracy. By contrast, Canadian legal institutions aren’t slanted to an aristocracy.

The paradox is that Canadians employ conservative, free market means to achieve the liberal end of economic mobility. And that points to America’s way back: acknowledge that the promise of America has diminished, then emulate Canada.

Advertisements

August 18, 2016

Mine Worker Pension Fund to be Bailed Out by YOU, [c]

[The following may be found in .pdf at: http://thf-reports.s3.amazonaws.com/2016/IB4600.pdf . In its original form, the charts are readable and the format is reader friendly. Now, as to why it is here:

As already explained in its proper place in the document, if the UMWA pension fund is bailed out, then more money that that spent on the entire defense budget will be spent bailing out underfunded union pension plans. This will lead to the bailing out of public sector pension plans, like the teachers in all of the states, especially California, Illinois, New York, and Massachusetts. Also the various police, fire, administrative staff, clerks, janitors, and any and all public employees. It means that those states who have voluntarily bankrupted themselves, will be bailed out.

Consider the following:

1. the deals made to fund these pensions was made by the properly elected union leaders, and the managers of the various industries;
2. As in the UMWA situation, consider how the interference of the various government entities, especially the EPA and FDA, have ruined so many businesses that those businesses cannot fund their pensions. Notice how the various regulations ruined the automotive industry and contributed to the failed UAW pension fund and how that contributed to the Clinton/sub-prime HUD meltdown in 2008;
3. consider how this violates constitution article IV ( might be VI, I don’t have a copy to hand ) prohibiting federal government messing with contracts; and,
4. did YOU have anything to do with these various contractual commitments? I did not. Under what legal or moral proposition should we be held to a contract that we were not party to? What is the difference between this and someone who buys a car and gets a lemon? Isn’t that person’s remedy to sue the dealer with whom he had that contract for sale? What legal or moral concept drags me into that problem?

Y’all need to contact your federal legislators and demand that they commit to NOT bailing these people, or any others similarly situated, out!]

ISSUE BRIEF
Why a Coal Miner Pension Bailout Could Open the Door to a
$600 Billion Pension Bailout for All Private Unions
Rachel Greszler
No. 4600 | August 15, 2016
Congress is looking to pass legislation that would
use taxpayer dollars to bail out the overpromised,
underfunded pension plan of the United Mine
Workers of America (UMWA). Such an unprecedented
move would send the message that Congress
will stand behind sending trillions of dollars in overpromised,
underfunded public and private pension
obligations across the country. The federal government
already provides a backstop for failed union
and other private pension plans by insuring them
through the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation
(PBGC). Congress should avoid bailing out select
pension plans at all costs and should instead reform
the PBGC so that it can meet its obligations without
a taxpayer bailout.
Coal Miner Bailout Just Tip of the
Iceberg
The UMWA pension plan is massively underfunded.
It has promised $5.6 billion more in pension
benefits than it will be able to pay.1 Although
the UMWA pension plan is among the worst-funded
pension plans, it represents only one of more than
1,300 multiemployer (union) pension plans across
the U.S. Almost all of these plans have made promises
they cannot keep.
According to the PBGC, a whopping 96 percent of
all multiemployer plans have funding ratios of less
than 60 percent—meaning they have less than 60
percent of the funds necessary to pay promised benefits.
2 In total, multiemployer plans have promised
over $600 billion more than they are estimated to be
able to pay.3
If Congress passes legislation to bail out the
UMWA pension plan with nearly a half a billion dollars
a year, what will stop it from passing legislation
to bail out the other 1,200 plans that have more than
$600 billion in unfunded promises? If Congress
forces taxpayers to bail out private union plans, why
not also private non-union plans that have $760 billion4
in unfunded liabilities, and public plans that
have as much as $4 trillion to $5 trillion5 in unfunded
liabilities?
UMWA Is Not Unique
Some policymakers argue that the UMWA is
unique—that the federal government was somehow
involved in the promises made to UMWA workers
and that the bailout would come from a coal-related
fund. The only thing unique about a UMWA bailout,
however, is that it would mark the first time in history
that Congress would force federal taxpayers to
bail out the unfunded pension promises of private
unions.
The notion that the government was somehow
involved in promises made to mine workers comes
from President Harry Truman’s intervention in
a 1946 coal-mining strike, including the government’s
involvement in an agreement that established
the UMWA health and welfare programs.
While the federal government helped to facilitate
This paper, in its entirety, can be found at
http://report.heritage.org/ib4600
The Heritage Foundation
214 Massachusetts Avenue, NE
Washington, DC 20002
(202) 546-4400 | heritage.org
Nothing written here is to be construed as necessarily reflecting the views
of The Heritage Foundation or as an attempt to aid or hinder the passage
of any bill before Congress.
2
ISSUE BRIEF | NO. 4600
August 15, 2016 
the establishment of the UMWA’s health and pension
plans, it was the union and its plan trustees—
not the federal government—that vigorously fought
to pay out benefits to retirees who did not earn
those benefits. And, it was the union and its plan
trustees—not the federal government—that consistently
promised pensions and health care benefits
as part of employees’ total compensation packages
and then failed to collect the funds necessary to pay
those benefits.
The Money Will Come from Taxpayers,
Not Just a Coal Fund
Neither policymakers nor the public should be
fooled by the claim that the $490 million per year
UMWA bailout would be paid by the existing Abandoned
Mine Land (AML) reclamation fund (AML).
The AML fund was established in 1977 exclusively
to cover the clean-up costs of damage caused by coal
mines prior to the federal government’s increased regulation.
6 The proposed UMWA pension bailout would
allow the UMWA to use interest from the AML fund
not only for its unfunded retiree health care costs (as
already allowed), but also for its unfunded pensions.
As Senator Mike Enzi (R–WY) pointed out in a recent
floor speech, this would be akin to allowing the massively
underfunded pension plan of the Central States
trucking union to access the highway trust fund.7
Regardless, it is unlikely that much, if any, of
the $490 million per year in pension bailout costs
would come from the AML fund. In recent years, the
entirety of interest earned on the AML fund, plus
hundreds of millions more in taxpayer dollars, has
gone to the UMWA for its unfunded, yet gold-plated,
retiree health care costs, leaving nothing for a
potential pension bailout. Moreover, the Administration’s
most recent budget included a request for
$363 million in taxpayer funds to “strengthen the
health care and pension funds” of UMWA retirees.8
Clearly, taxpayers—not a coal fund—would be on the
hook for the nearly half-billion dollars a year UMWA
pension bailout.
A Pension Backstop Already Exists
When a multiemployer pension plan runs out of
funds, it turns to the PBGC, which provides financial
assistance to the plan to cover insured benefits
as well as the plan’s expenses. Virtually all private
pension plans are required to purchase PBGC
insurance. The PBGC covers up to $12,870 per year
in pension benefits for a worker with 30 years of
service.9
In 2015, the PBGC paid $103 million to about
54,000 retirees of failed multiemployer pension
plans.10 This pales in comparison, however, to what
the PBGC’s liabilities will be over the coming decade
1. According to the UMWA’s form 5500 filing for the year ended December 2014, the plan has $5.6 billion in “current value” unfunded liabilities,
with assets of $4.165 billion and liabilities of $9.735 billion.
2. Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, “Data Book Listing,” Table M-13, Plans, Participants and Funding of PBGC-Insured Plans by
Funding Ratio (2013) Multiemployer Program, http://www.pbgc.gov/documents/2014-data-tables-final.pdf?source=govdelivery&utm_
medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery (accessed July 19, 2016).
3. Ibid., Table M-9, Funding of PBGC-Insured Plans (1980–2013) Multiemployer Program.
4. Ibid., Table S-44, Funding of PBGC-Insured Plans (1980-2013) Single-Employer Program.
5. Joe Luppino-Esposito, “Promises Made, Promises Broken 2014: Unfunded Liabilities Hit $4.7 trillion,” American Legislative Exchange Council,
November 12, 2014, https://www.alec.org/article/promises-made-promises-broken-2014-unfunded-liabilities-hit-4-7-trillion/
(accessed July 21, 2016).
6. Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, “Reclaiming Abandoned Mine Lands: Title IV of the Surface Mining Control and
Reclamation Act,” May 21, 2015, http://www.osmre.gov/programs/AML.shtm (accessed July 25, 2016).
7. Mike Enzi, “Supporting Pensions with Taxpayer Dollars Is a Slippery Slope,” speech on the Senate floor, July 12, 2016,
http://www.enzi.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/news-releases?ContentRecord_id=9F7D8774-13DE-4869-B684-7786212FB111
(accessed July 21, 2016).
8. Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, “The United States Department of the Interior Budget Justification and Performance
Information Fiscal Year 2016,” https://www.doi.gov/sites/doi.gov/files/migrated/budget/appropriations/2016/upload/FY2016_OSMRE_
Greenbook.pdf (accessed July 21, 2016).
9. The PBGC’s multiemployer program provides benefits based on a formula including earned benefits and years of service. This translates into
maximum benefits of: $4,290 per year for workers with 10 years of service; $8,580 for workers with 20 years of service; $12,870 for workers
with 30 years of service; and $17,160 for workers with 40 years of service. The levels are not indexed for inflation.
10. PBGC, 2015 Annual Report, http://www.pbgc.gov/documents/2015-annual-report.pdf (accessed July 21, 2016).
3
ISSUE BRIEF | NO. 4600
August 15, 2016 
and beyond as an increasing number of multiemployer
pension plans—including some very large
ones—become insolvent.
Under ordinary circumstances, when the UMWA
plan becomes insolvent sometime within the next
decade, the PBGC would begin making payments to
the plan to cover its insured benefits and expenses.11
If Congress intervenes by bailing out the UMWA
pension plan, its beneficiaries would receive 100 percent
of promised benefits, instead of the lower PBGC
guarantee. And, the UMWA would get off scot-free—
with taxpayers and other coal-mining companies
footing the bill for their unfunded promises.
Meanwhile, other multiemployer plans that
become insolvent and do not receive special-interest
bailouts would first receive cuts down to the PBGC’s
11. The UMWA estimates it will be insolvent in 2025, but more reasonable assumptions project an earlier insolvency.
IB 4600 heritage.org
SOURCES: Author’s calculations based on the UMWA’s pension benefits for a 62-year-old worker who retires in 2016 with 30 years of work
history. Data on UMWA’s pension eligibility are from UMWA Health and Retirement Funds, Pension Eligibility Requirements,
http://www.umwafunds.org/Pension-Survivor-Health/Pages/Eligibility-Requirements.aspx (accessed March 9, 2016). Data on pension benefit
cuts are based on PBGC’s guaranteed level and U.S. Government Accountability O•ce, “Private Pensions: Multiemployer Plans and PBGC Face
Urgent Challenges,” testimony before the Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor and Pensions, Committee on Education and the
Workforce, U.S. House of Representatives, March 5, 2013, http://www.gao.gov/assets/660/652687.pdf (accessed March 10, 2016).
Mine Worker Bailout Would Unfairly Preserve UMWA Pensions
While Other Pensions Face Massive Cuts
CHART 1
By bailing out the
insolvent UMWA
pension plan, the
full benefit would
remain intact at
$24,246 per year.
However, if another pension
plan that oers similar benefits
becomes insolvent, the PBGC
would take over payments and
benefits would be cut to a
maximum of $12,780 per year.
And if the PBGC itself becomes
insolvent, as is projected to occur
by 2025, pensions paid by the
PBGC would be cut by an
additional 90 percent or more,
leaving only $1,278 per year.
$1,278
$24,246 $24,246
$12,780
UMWA BAILOUT OTHER SIMILAR PENSION PLAN
4
ISSUE BRIEF | NO. 4600
August 15, 2016 
guaranteed level, and then, when the PBGC becomes
insolvent at its estimated date of 2025, benefits
would be cut even further, down to mere pennies on
the dollar in promised benefits.
Congress’s Priority: Reforming the PBGC
Congress has no role in fulfilling the unfunded
promises of private pension plans. It does have a role,
however, in providing private pension insurance
through the PBGC. While the PBGC is a government
entity, it is not taxpayer-financed. It operates with
the premiums that it collects from participating
employers and unions. To prevent taxpayers from
bailing out private pension promises, it must remain
self-financed.
The PBGC is supposed to protect pensioners
from a total loss of promised benefits if their company
or pension plan becomes bankrupt, but its current
financial situation offers little insurance. For
a whole host of reasons, the PBGC’s multiemployer
program is massively underfunded and is projected
to run dry in 2025. Without significant reforms, or
a taxpayer bailout, of the PBGC, its multiemployer
beneficiaries would quickly see their benefits cut by
90 percent or more, leaving those retirees with less
than $100 per month in pension benefits.
Instead of protecting the promises of private
union pension plans, Congress should focus on protecting
the promises it has made through its own
entity, the PBGC. This can be done by ending the
preferential treatment (including funding rules
and assumptions) of multiemployer pension plans;
granting greater authority as well as liability to
plan trustees to encourage proper funding; structuring
the PBGC like a private insurance company,
allowing it to set its own premiums and to charge
variable-rate premiums; allowing the PBGC to take
over failed multiemployer plans as it does failed single-
employer plans; and subjecting multiemployer
pension plans to the same rules as single-employer
pensions.12
—Rachel Greszler is Senior Policy Analyst in
Economics and Entitlements in the Center for Data
Analysis, of the Institute for Economic Freedom and
Opportunity, at The Heritage Foundation.
12. Rachel Greszler, “Bankrupt Pensions and Insolvent Pension Insurance: The Case of Multiemployer Pensions and the PBGC’s Multiemployer
Program,” Heritage Foundation Backgrounder No. 3029, July 30, 2015, http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2015/07/bankruptpensions-
and-insolvent-pension-insurance-the-case-of-multiemployer-pensions-and-the-pbgcs-multiemployer-program.
$52 billion:
Deficit
in 2015
2000 2005 2010 2015
IB 4600 heritage.org
SOURCE: Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, Table M–1,
“Net Financial Positions of PBGC’s (1980–2015)
Multiemployer Program,” http://www.pbgc.gov/documents/
2014-data-tables-final.pdf (accessed August 3, 2016).
NET FINANCIAL POSITION OF PBGC’S
MULTIEMPLOYER PROGRAM
The PBGC’s multiemployer
program
provides insurance to
private union pension
plans, but it faces
massive deficits and
will be unable to pay
insured benefits
without significant
reforms.
PBGC’s Multiemployer Program:
Massive and Growing Deficits
CHART 2
 ­ billion
€­ billion
‚­ billion
ƒ­ billion
­

November 30, 2015

Tet, Take Two – Islam’s 2016 European Offensive, by Matt Bracken [c]

[Garsh, and when I pointed all of this out in my first book back in 2007, I was vilified. Pay attention to the new NRA ads, and maybe, just maybe, some of us will survive. For all of you women who think Hillary will be a good leader because she will protect you from the GOOPers’ “War on Women”, please think again. For all of you Blacks who think that you are being oppressed at Mizzou, guess what awaits you under Islam.

Semper Fi and God Bless America!]

Bracken: Tet, Take Two – Islam’s 2016 European Offensive
Posted on November 29, 2015 | 52 Comments

Merkel2-2

TET, TAKE TWO:
ISLAM’S 2016 EUROPEAN OFFENSIVE

By Matthew Bracken, November 2015

More than a decade ago I wrote my first novel, Enemies Foreign and Domestic. Part of my motivation was to establish my bona fides at forecasting social, political and military trends. I didn’t like the direction America was heading, and I wanted to warn as many readers as possible about some of the dangers I saw coming. At the end of 2015, I hope that my past success at prognostication will encourage people to pay heed to this essay.

As we roll into the New Year, we are witnessing the prelude to the culmination of a titanic struggle between three great actors. Three great social forces are now set in motion for a 2016 showdown and collision that will, in historical terms, be on par with the First and Second World Wars.

Two of these great social forces are currently allied in a de facto coalition against the third. They have forged an unwritten agreement to jointly murder the weakest of the three forces while it is in their combined power to do so. One of these two social forces would be content to share totalitarian control over large swaths of the globe with the other remaining social force. One of these social forces will never be satisfied until it achieves complete domination of the entire planet. So what are these three great social forces? They are Islam, international socialism, and nationalism. Allow me to explain the salient aspects of each, and how they relate to the coming 2016 cataclysm.

1. ISLAM

Islam is similar to a self-replicating supercomputer virus. It is a hydra-headed monster, designed by its creators to be an unstoppable formula for global conquest. It’s almost impossible to eradicate, because it has no central brain or control center. Islam is like a starfish: when you cut off a limb, another grows to replace it. The names of the Muslim leaders, and the names of their Islamic groups, are transitory and ultimately unimportant. Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda are succeeded by Al-Baghdadi and the Islamic State, but they will all pass from the scene and be replaced by others. While Muslim leaders and regimes have come and gone, Islam itself has remained steadfastly at war with the non-Muslim world for 1,400 years.

Islam does not recognize secular national boundaries. To devout Muslims, there are only two significant realms of the world. First is the Dar al-Islam—the House of Islam, which is the land of the believers. The other is the Dar al-Harb—the House of War, which must be made Islamic by any means, including violent jihad. The expansion of Islam is sometimes held in check for long periods, but more often Islam is on the march, acquiring new territory. Once conquered by Islam, territory is rarely taken back, Spain being a notable exception.

The Muslim world produces almost no books or new inventions. Short of finding oil under their feet, most Islamic nations are backward and impoverished. So wherein lies the power source for Islam’s nearly constant expansion over the past fourteen centuries? The motor and the battery of Islam are the Koran and the Hadith, or sayings of Mohammed. A messianic Mahdi, Caliph or Ayatollah with sufficient charisma can accelerate Islam’s pace of conquest, but individual men are not the driving force.

Secular “Muslim in name only” strongmen from Saddam Hussein to Muamar Qadafi can hold Islamism in check for a period with brutal methods, but strongmen are often assassinated or otherwise removed from power, and in any event, they cannot live forever. Once the secular strongmen are gone, fanatical mullahs are able to stir their zealous Muslim followers into sufficient ardor to reinstall a radical Islamist regime under Sharia Law, according to the Koran.

This pattern of secular strongmen being followed by fanatical Islamist leaders has recurred many times over the past millennia and longer. Do not be fooled by modernists like King Abdullah of Jordan. To the true believer of Islam, any king or strongman is never more than a rifle shot or grenade toss away from being kinetically deposed, and replaced by another Islamist fanatic.

The persistent virulence of Mohammed’s 7th Century plan for global domination means that it is always ready to erupt in a fresh outbreak. Islam is like a brushfire or ringworm infection: it is dead and barren within the ring, but flares up where it parasitically feeds off the healthy non-Islamic societies around it. What produces this uniquely fanatical motivation, from within nations and peoples that otherwise seem devoid of energy and new ideas?

The motivation lies within the words of the Koran and Hadith. Most simply distilled, in the earthly realm, these Islamic texts offer immoral men sanction for thrill-killing, looting, raping, and capturing infidel slaves, and when these jihadists are killed, they are promised a perpetual orgy with seventy-two nubile virgin slave girls in Mohammed’s sick, evil and perverted Muslim paradise. Unlike the Jewish and Christian Bibles, the Koran and Hadith appeal not to man’s better angels, but to the darkest aspects of human nature. (Tellingly, Moses and Jesus are said to have climbed to mountaintops to communicate with their God, while Mohammed received his messages from Allah deep inside a bat cave.)

A meaningful or permanent reformation of Islam is impossible, because a new generation of fanatics, wielding the unexpurgated Koran and Hadith as their weapons, will always declare the reformists to be apostates and murder them. In Islam, the fanatics who are holding the unalterable Koran in one hand and a sword in the other always stand ready to seize complete power and exterminate their enemies.

This latent danger breeds fear and causes nearly all non-Muslims to be carefully circumspect in their dealings with Muslims, lest they lose their heads at a later date. This intentionally fostered fear of Islam is used as a cudgel against those who would otherwise resist its domination. The immutable Koran is the constant fountainhead of bloody Islamic conquest. Radical Islam is the pure Islam, the Koranic Islam, the real Islam.

Anyone who does not understand this bitter reality is dangerously ignorant of the past 1,400 years of human history.

2. INTERNATIONAL SOCIALISM

The second great actor or social force is international socialism. It can also be aptly described under the rubrics of leftism, statism, cultural Marxism and communism. These all inhabit the international socialist spectrum. I trace these cultural Marxists at least back to the Jacobins of the 18th Century, a clique of secular humanists who were early globalists aligned with Freemasonry.

The Jacobins moved from Germany to France with a coherent and fully developed plan to engineer a social explosion as a means to take power. The Jacobin destabilization plan became the template for many more bloody “people’s revolutions” to come. Following the French Revolution, we are familiar with Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin and Mao. We are less familiar with the early 20th Century British Fabian socialists, or the Italian Marxist theoretician Antonio Gramsci, or the German “Frankfurt School” of international socialists, who transplanted their vision to the United States via Columbia University.

Unlike Vladimir Lenin and the Communists, they understood that international socialism’s goals could not be fully accomplished until the strong edifice of Western Civilization was hollowed out and sabotaged from within. In the end, the clandestine international socialist forces which burrowed deep within the Western womb achieved results which were far more permanent than the militarily-imposed revolutionary “war Communism” of Lenin and Mao.

Over the course of the past century, while Communism collapsed in the Soviet Union, the Fabian socialists have been increasingly successful at poisoning the roots of national, cultural and ethnic identity, leaving the inheritors of Western Civilization disorganized and demoralized, with no central belief system to rally behind. Why has this deliberate demoralization and dumbing-down process occurred? The international socialists have believed at least since the French Revolution that it was their duty to impose a top-down feudal order upon the ordinary “dumb masses,” a new world order managed by self-proclaimed experts chosen from among the correctly-educated elites, both for the benefit of the ignoramuses, and as a way to line their own pockets and continue to live an elite lifestyle of wealth and power.

It may seem paradoxical that major corporate and banking interests are deeply invested in the international socialist new world order, but when you untangle the threads it actually makes perfect sense. Today’s international banks and mega-corporations are powerful global actors in their own right, and they are now written into each new international trade agreement. In fact, corporate lawyers author most of the pages of the multi-thousand-page trade pacts, which are now coming down like rain. Trade pacts which were never voted on by American or European citizens, pacts which are taking on the force of international treaty law, superseding even the United States Constitution.

From the Rothschilds of Europe to the Warburgs of both continents, to the Morgans and Rockefellers of America and back to the Hungarian immigrant George Soros, for several centuries, millionaire (and more lately billionaire) bankers have written their own laws and cut their own political deals. Today, they literally create billions of new dollars and Euros per day out of thin air, and pass it over to their cronies. In the United States, the creation a century ago of the Federal Reserve—a privately run central bank of, by and for the interests of a cabal of private banking interests—is a glaring case in point.

In the USA, the heads of global mega-corporations and investment firms donate massively to both the Democrats and the Republicans alike, ensuring favorable treatment in an era of corporately directed crony capitalism. The picture is much the same in other countries. These post-nationalist crony-capitalists recognize no sovereign borders and believe that patriotism is a laughable anachronism.

For example, in America, open-border traitors bribe politicians to pass laws to allow them to import unlimited numbers of H-1 visa foreign workers to directly replace Americans at their very desks and work places, and these traitors do not lose one wink of sleep over it. The traitor class of the international business set calls this “agility,” moving fungible proles, peasants and paupers world-wide to where they can be set to work most cheaply and profitably. Ordinary American middle-class workers and their families are just collateral damage in this process. The reality is not much different in Europe.

These super wealthy open-border corporate and banking elites, who paradoxically steer the forces driving international socialism, are able to bribe their way to success after success in myriad ways. Their wealth and political connections ensure that cooperative young players with future star quality are steered to the right universities, foundations, councils, government agencies and media positions. For example, when you see a talking head on television, and his listed expert credential is that he is a member of the entirely private Council on Foreign Relations who has written articles for their house publication Foreign Affairs, you will know that he is destined for high positions, and doors will magically open in front of him.

Over on the Fourth Estate, the global mass media has been almost entirely subverted, scripted and stage-managed for decades by these über-wealthy elites through a thousand channels greased with kickbacks, no-show jobs, and secret payoffs that are disguised as special stock offerings and private land deals. Media figures morph seamlessly into senior political advisors and corporate board members, adding millions to their portfolios with each well-timed transition. Even many retired generals and admirals eagerly wallow in this swamp of sell-out and sleaze. It should not be a surprise to anyone that so many politicians leave Washington or Brussels as millionaires. Just as it should not be a surprise that long-time CBS News anchor Walter Cronkite, “the most trusted man in America,” was for his entire adult life secretly a leading member of the World Federalist Association, a fact he proudly revealed only after his retirement from in front of the camera.

3. NATIONALISM

Nationalists probably comprise most of the population of the non-Islamic world, but there is no way to know their number with any certainty. Opinion polls are so easily rigged that most of them are useless at best, and they primarily constitute false propaganda and dezinformatsiya on behalf of their sponsors.

Nationalists consider themselves to be first and foremost loyal citizens of a sovereign nation. However, it must be borne in mind that the very concept of nationhood is fairly recent in origin. The division of the globe into distinct nation-states only began in the 17th Century, usually marked by the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648 at the end of the Thirty Years’ War. Since then, the world has been divided by national borders, which often (but not always) coincided with a national ethnic group, language and culture.

This national division was particularly successful on the European continent. Shared Judeo-Christian morality, ethics and values promoted notions of fairness and equal rights, leading over time to the abolition of slavery, women’s rights, and racial civil rights. During this period of unleashed human potential, Europeans and Americans enjoyed the greatest increase in overall standards of living ever seen in the history of mankind. Great cities, universities and museums were constructed in Europe and in America. Rising European empires—wealthy, cohesive, confident and highly organized—then conquered or otherwise came to control colonies around the world. America picked up much of the business when the colonial era ended after World War Two.

Happy national outcomes were far from universal. During the 20th Century, Communism rose to take complete power in some countries, notably Russia (as the Soviet Union) and China, but their successes did not lead to an unstoppable avalanche of global revolution, as had been foreseen by Lenin, Stalin and Mao. On the other hand, the slow, grinding “Long March through the institutions” of the traitor-class Fabian socialists (including Gramsci, the Frankfurt School and others) proved far more effective and durable.

By the 21st Century, these cultural Marxist traitor-moles had subverted nearly all of academia, inculcating generation after generation of students with a contempt bordering on hatred for their own national and ethnic identities. Most of the media were also subverted, ensuring that mass communications would always reinforce the politically correct international socialist world view that had already been injected and incubated in the schools and universities.

In this era of mass-brainwashing by the cultural Marxists, Christianity was recast as a retrograde social force, obsolete at best in the modern secular world, and at worst an outright danger to humanity. In the new politically-correct secular religion of humanism, European ethnic and cultural identity became the original sin and the mark of Cain. White European skin meant white privilege, and was transformed into a cause for shame.

Meanwhile, emancipated European and American women aimed toward new goals, which increasingly did not include producing a new generation, and demographic collapse began. Both men and women alike were anesthetized into apathy with 24-hour entertainment transmitted by high-def screens and stereo ear buds planted nearly into their brains. This unceasing fountain of entertainment proved an ideal conduit for mass-brainwashing with politically-correct values and ideas. Thus distracted and demoralized, most Americans and Europeans today seem unable and unwilling to stand up and fight in defense of their diminishing cultural and national identities. Brainwashed “social justice warriors,” the latest iteration of Lenin’s “useful idiots,” hasten the demise of Western Civilization, blissfully unaware of what will follow.

Thus rendered supine, the remaining American and European nationalists constitute the weakest and the most threatened of the three major global social forces. In a few European nations, patriots like Wilders of the Netherlands, Höcke of Germany, Orban of Hungary, Farage of the UK, and Le Pen of France lead a rear-guard defense of their national, ethnic and cultural identities, while constantly being disparaged in the socialist-controlled “liar press” as racists, Nazis and xenophobes.

4. WORLD WAR THREE

Going into 2016, I believe that Europe is primed to become the central theater of a third world war. Like an overstrained zipper suddenly failing and bursting open from end to end, the European conflagration could well reignite simmering conflicts from the Ukraine to the Persian Gulf, due to interlocking alliances (NATO, including Turkey, vs. Russia), and the Sunni-Shia divide (Iran vs. Saudi Arabia, which has been imported into Europe).

Yes, World War Three. But why now?

A recurring strategic doctrine of the open-border international socialists, going back at least to the Jacobins, has been, “Out of chaos, order.” Lenin put it this way, when told that there were bread riots in Russian cities: “The worse, the better.” No “people’s revolution” (instigated and directed by traitor-class elites) has ever occurred on full bellies in happy countries that were at peace.

The international bankers and corporate elites are just as happy to underwrite revolutions, as they are to underwrite other types of war. They have regularly provided loans and armaments simultaneously to all sides of European conflicts, always profiting handsomely no matter which side won or lost, or how many people died. They have also funded revolutions, in order to stir the pot for their future profits by getting in on the ground floor with new regimes.

For example, American bankers funded the efforts of Lenin and Trotsky both before and during their returns to Russia. Once you understand the grand machinations at work behind the forces directing international socialism, this seeming paradox actually makes sense. It’s about control, and brainwashing the idiot proles into the unthinking herd behavior required to manage them under socialism directed from above. But at the very pinnacle of the proletarian worker-bee hive, the controlling nomenklatura elites live like Communist dictators, or Rockefellers, or both at the same time, as they meet at Davos, Aspen, Jackson Hole and elsewhere over champagne and caviar to arrange their next self-dealing international trade agreements.

Now, the elite shot-callers have lit the fuse for the vast social explosion that is imminent in Europe, just as they did in Russia in 1917. How? By throwing Europe’s borders wide open. The Islamist corner of my triad represents a constant threat or push, and Muslims are always eager to fill any demographic vacuum. Their avarice for fresh Islamic conquest is a given or a constant. We see a 1.5-per birth rate among European women, and they see millions of European women with no or worthless husbands, who will soon meet real Muslim men.

The current open-border policies of the European international socialists were intentionally designed to allow hundreds of thousands of culturally and religiously aggressive Islamist fighters and colonists to flood into Europe. The European traitor elites understand exactly what they are doing. They know what will happen. But why do it now?

Twentieth-century Austrian School economist Ludwig Von Mises wrote, “There is no means of avoiding the final collapse of a boom brought about by credit expansion. The alternative is only whether the crisis should come sooner as the result of voluntary abandonment of further credit expansion, or later as a final and total catastrophe of the currency system involved.” In contrast, when socialist economist John Maynard Keynes was asked if his self-styled Keynesian credit expansion could continue in the long run, he replied, “In the long run, we are all dead.” Tra-la-la, who cares? It won’t be my problem.

In 2015, the childless homosexual John Maynard Keynes is indeed long dead, but we are still alive, and his “long run” is finally upon us. Now, just before the bank failures begin, seems to be an opportune time for the traitor elites to throw over the table, scattering the cards, chips and cash, while the lights go dark and shots ring out. The evil actors lurking in the background who sometimes engineer major catastrophes always have a plan to escape their worst consequences, including taking any blame, and they even have a plan to profit from the very disasters they created. The first Baron Rothschild, around the time of the Battle of Waterloo, is credited with saying “The time to buy is when there is blood running in the streets.”

Is there any evidence of a concerted effort to deliberately throw Europe into bloody chaos and civil war? I think that there is. Thousand-passenger ferry ships cost tens of thousands of Euros a day to operate. Muslim hijra (jihad by immigration) invaders are receiving free or subsidized passage from Greek isles that are located only a few miles from Turkey, all the way across the Aegean Sea to mainland Greece. From there, chartered buses and special trains speed the migrants from border to border and onward into Germany, France and Sweden, at little or no cost to the muhajirs, or hijra migrants.

Who is paying for the operation of the ferry ships, trains and bus convoys? Who is paying for the smart phones and prepaid debit cards? Who is passing out the hundred-Euro notes seen in nearly every migrant hand, if they are truly arriving destitute after escaping war-torn Syria? Somebody is underwriting the Muslim hijra invasion of Europe. George Soros is spending billions to fund a hundred groups advocating open borders through his Open Society Foundation, so that might be a good place for intrepid researchers to explore.

5. THE TET OFFENSIVE OF 1968

As we roll into 2016, I am reminded of the Vietnam War’s Tet Offensive. In January of 1968, before the Tet Lunar New Year celebrations, thousands of Viet Cong fighters were infiltrated into Saigon and other South Vietnamese cities. Their coordinated mass attacks on January 30 came nearly by complete surprise, constituting America’s worst intelligence-gathering failure between 1950 in Korea and 2001 in New York. The experts had all agreed that the VC were too weakened and divided to accomplish mass attacks on a national scale, yet more than 80,000 irregular Communist infiltrators simultaneously struck in more than one hundred towns and cities. The Communists used a declared truce period to launch their attacks, while the American and South Vietnamese forces were on holiday leave. Bitter urban fighting in Hue, Vietnam’s third largest city, lasted for a month. Before they were defeated in Hue, the Communists executed thousands of civilian prisoners, dumping them into mass graves with their hands wired behind their backs.

The Communist bosses in North Vietnam miscalculated that the Viet Cong attacks in the cities would trigger a spontaneous national uprising against the American imperialists and their Republic of Vietnam puppets. This general uprising did not take place, and the VC were largely wiped out by hard-fighting American and South Vietnamese troops. City life went back to what constituted normal in South Vietnam. After Tet, the Viet Cong were largely a spent force, and never regained their former power. (The final takeover of South Vietnam in 1975 was accomplished by conventional NVA troops arriving from the North in tanks and on trucks, after Democrats in the American Congress cut off the resupply of ordnance and fuel to our South Vietnamese allies, leaving them unable to defend their republic.)

Yet back in America, in order to deceive and demoralize America in time of war, “Uncle Walter” Cronkite twisted the story of the Tet Offensive into a tale of rising Communist power and reach, of American military failure, and of the hopelessness of the cause to keep the Republic of Vietnam free from Communist conquest. Why did Cronkite do this? “The most trusted man in America” was secretly a leading propagandist for international socialism, which sees a strong and independent United States as the greatest barrier to their goal of eventual global governance. The case of Walter Cronkite and the Tet Offensive false narrative is just one glaring example of the pervasiveness of the international socialist grip on our mainstream media.

To an American nationalist, Walter Cronkite is a classic traitor, but to a dedicated international socialist, national borders and national sovereignty are no more important than they are to a devout Muslim. To both supranational groups, borders and nations are anachronistic constructs to be ignored, trampled, and discarded over time. Cronkite was a traitor to America, but he is a hero to the cultural Marxists. Typical of his dishonorable breed, Cronkite kept his true allegiance a secret until after he had retired from broadcasting lies and propaganda. I am convinced that the global mainstream media is infested with hundreds of Walter Cronkites today, both in front of and behind the cameras.

6. TET, TAKE TWO

Which brings me to the main thrust of this essay. I believe that Europe is being prepared for a Muslim-jihad version of the 1968 Tet Offensive in Vietnam. A vast and concerted act of treason has been taking place across Europe since the creation of the European Union. Under the Schengen Agreement, Brussels promised to guard the outer frontiers of the EU, while abolishing internal border controls. The Eurocrat elites broke the first promise but kept the second, thus opening a wide path for the onrushing Muslim hijra immigration invasion.

Right now, approximately a million new Muslim migrants are engaged in a struggle to find a warm place to sleep in a continent with nothing approaching the capacity to adequately house them. At least 75% of the migrant invaders are Muslim men of fighting age. Native-born ethnic Germans, Swedes and others are being thrown onto the street to provide emergency housing for Muslim “refugees.” Tens of thousands of migrants are currently living in tents, and in temporary shelters like school gymnasiums and underused warehouses.

There will be no means of finding or creating permanent quarters for them before the Central European blizzards come. When the snow is deep in Germany and across Europe, these men are going to enter local houses, demanding to be taken in as boarders—or else. Where it is useful, small migrant children will be held up in front as human shields for their emotional blackmail value; elsewise, they will be discarded. One way or the other, Muslim migrants will be attempting to move inside of German homes and apartments seeking heat and food, and the young Muslim men will be seeking undefended infidel or kafir women to slake their lust (which is their right, under Islamic Sharia law).

In disarmed Europe, any group of a dozen or more cold, hungry and angry Muslim men armed with clubs and knives will be able to enter any German house or business that they like. Worse, there are now reports of vast quantities of firearms being smuggled into Europe by the muhajirs, with cowed European authorities afraid to search the migrants or their baggage, lest they provoke riots. And weapons are not only smuggled in “refugee” baggage: eight hundred assault-style shotguns were just seized in a single truck in northern Italy, bound from Turkey to Belgium. How many truckloads of weapons and explosives have not been stopped?

In Germany, even before the winter snows, the migrants are flash mobbing and looting shops and stores. Seeking to forestall a social eruption, police do not respond until the mobs have safely departed. For now, the German government is paying these store owners for their lost merchandise, but this cannot continue forever. Businesses are closing and Germans are retreating in fear, as the muhajirs learn that they can invade private property and rob Germans without repercussions, convincing them even further of the docile passivity of their hosts, and the inevitability of their ultimate hijra invasion success.

As attacks mount, the German police will nearly always fall out on the side of the traitor-elite politicians who pay their salaries, and they will not come to the rescue of besieged ethnic Germans. At least, not under official orders, or in uniform. This calculated disregard by the international socialist elites for the safety and welfare of ordinary German citizens will in time lead to vigilantism and death squad actions by “off-duty” German military and police personnel. They will be acting against their “hands off the Muslims” orders, which are ultimately emanating from Brussels. And in time, enough firearms will find their way from the military, police and black markets into the hands of ordinary European nationalists for them to mount an armed resistance.

The accelerated pace of the 2015 Muslim hijra invasion was conceived, planned and executed by Quisling traitors comprising the elite leadership of the European branch of the international socialist movement, headquartered in Brussels. To paraphrase British nationalist patriot Paul Weston, if a farmer deliberately inserts a fox into the henhouse, who is guilty of killing the hens?

Now, today, across Europe the stage is being set for the genocide of the weak, confused and defenseless European hens. Former East German Communist functionary Angela Merkel achieves high marks at both Muslim fox insertion and German hen repression. (Meanwhile, former Soviet Communist KGB Colonel Vladimir Putin evolves to become a Russian nationalist who always advances Russian interests, at least as they are perceived by himself and his cronies).

A few days after the Paris attacks, French police commandos fired some 5,000 rounds down an urban street into an apartment set into a crowded block. A year from now, I predict that when police arrive on that street, they could be met with sniper fire, improvised barricades, IEDs and possibly RPGs. In short, Paris, Brussels and many other European cities will in time resemble Beirut during the 1980s.

To understand Europe’s future, simply ask the Lebanese what follows when a nation takes in tens of thousands of angry Muslim “refugees.” Civil war is what happens, even if it begins among the various competing refugee factions. It is a threadbare hope that a wished-for peaceful silent majority of Muslims will be able to influence the radical Islamists away from violence, and thus forestall the coming European Civil War, any more than imagined peaceful silent majorities could have prevented the civil wars in Lebanon, Bosnia, Syria or a dozen other places. Actual peace-loving Muslims will be as insignificant to the outcome of the coming conflict as were any Quaker pacifists hiding in 1944 Berlin. The only significance of the alleged silent majority of peaceful Muslims is that they will serve as living camouflage for the jihadists to hide among.

It is critical to note that none of the examples I just mentioned (Lebanon, Bosnia, Syria) constituted neat bipolar wars between two national state actors. All were three-sided wars—at least. These formulations are inherently unstable and constantly veer toward violence, as temporary alliances of convenience shift and today’s friend becomes tomorrow’s enemy. In this environment of deception, subterfuge and betrayal, the false-flag terror operation becomes a standard operating procedure. It is a simple matter for Group A to conduct a massacre of Group B while wearing the outward uniforms or other insignia of Group C. And it is no trouble at all for Group C to fire a few mortar rounds into the market square of Group A from the territory of Group B. Ethnic cleansing, reprisal operations and mass executions proliferate like mushrooms in this free-booting environment, which is devoid of the behavioral controls normally inherent in a war fought at the national level between two uniformed militaries.

When any non-Islamic country, such as France, attains approximately a ten-percent Muslim population through dangerously naive immigration policies, violence and civil war become a constant threat. Ten percent of a total national population translates into more than fifty-percent of fighting-age men in key urban districts, due to the concentration of Muslims in Sharia-zone ghettos, combined with aging European demographics. Later, these Muslim ghettos will serve as sanctuaries and bastions for the jihadists, until and unless they are finally pulverized with artillery shell fire or aerial bombs. France and Germany will not be exempt from the lessons of history that were hard taught in Beirut, Sarajevo, and Damascus.

Thousands of the recent Muslim muhajirs currently arriving in Europe were schooled in prolonged and savage religious and ethnic civil wars. Today’s Europeans, deliberately brainwashed with politically correct fairytales about the benefits of multi-culturalism, have utterly no idea what horrors await them. Increasing European discomfort will not change the outcome one iota. Just because the Europeans may tire of the irritating presence of Muslims (both new immigrants and native born), the Muslims will never willingly leave Europe. Nor will the Muslim immigrant invaders knuckle under and turn quiet and docile again.

7. A SCORE OF BESLANS

The hard core of the battle-hardened jihadists now fanning out across Europe understands the tried-and-true process of igniting a civil war through terror. They will calculate that the European military and police cannot and will not sustain the battle against an unceasing campaign of terrorism. Brussels cannot remain on virtual lockdown forever without its economy being wrecked. What will happen when a Paris-type attack, or worse, is a daily event in a dozen European cities?

As I mentioned above, just the other day in northern Italy eight hundred combat-style pistol-grip shotguns were discovered in a truck on their way from Turkey to Belgium. Do the math. The Paris attacks were carried out by approximately eight jihadists armed with Kalashnikovs, shotguns and TATP suicide vests (which can be manufactured anywhere there is a kitchen). Now imagine a “Super Tet Offensive,” with every type of target on the hit list from airports to zoological parks, each being assaulted by an eight-man squad of such killers. Some attacks smaller, some larger, from pairs to platoons in strength.

Today, perhaps only a few short months prior to Tet 2016, there is no Islamic high command located in Europe or elsewhere in charge of planning specific terror operations. There is no OKW (Oberkommando der Wehrmacht, the supreme command of the German Nazi armed forces) planning an Islamic Operation Barbarossa. Hence, there is no command and control structure for Western intelligence to penetrate and disrupt.

Instead of a central brain directing many hands, think of a vast swarm of stinging jellyfish, all moving in loose formation, with the same generalized attack plan in their collective hive-mind. At the end of 2015, individual muhajirs may have only a basic awareness that they are heading to Europe to conduct a great jihad. As D-Day draws nearer, coded messages will proliferate with cryptic references to portentous events from Islamic history. “Get ready, and prepare to conduct major operations” will be the thrust of the online chatter and encrypted wireless messages. In each European city, targets will be individually scouted by local mujahirs in anticipation of a general outbreak of jihad terror attacks.

How many mosques have already received a truckload of shotguns or Kalashnikovs? Run the numbers again: eight jihadists per terror attack, eight hundred weapons per truck, 80,000 Viet Cong fighters in the original Tet Offensive, and an estimated 800,000 muhajirs flooding into Europe. Using radical mosques as clandestine armories is S.O.P in the Middle East, so why would the jihadists not use the same tactics in safe and docile Europe? Out of a sense of fairness and respect for European laws? Please. In the words of Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan, “The mosques are our barracks, the domes our helmets, the minarets our bayonets and the faithful our soldiers…” And bear in mind that anyplace an AK-47 can be smuggled, so too can a few kilos of Semtex.

Imagine a dozen or even a score of Beslan-type school sieges, all happening at the same time, across that number of European cities. Initially, the first string of major surprise attacks will be coordinated by the most well-organized terror networks using currently unbreakable wireless encryption. Many of the attacks will involve numerous captured hostages, often children, with impossible demands being made to guarantee their safety. Or no demands will be made; just rape and slaughter will ensue, as in the Russian Beslan example. This outbreak of major attacks will be the signal for the general jihad offensive to begin.
The Beslan Massacre happened in 2004 at the hands of yet another killer gang of aggrieved Islamists. Two squads of Chechen Muslim terrorists arrived on the first day of school in a Russian town, using false police vans as camouflage. They took a thousand young hostages and held them for three days. The Muslim terrorists murdered over four hundred innocents, often after rape and torture. Now, imagine twenty ongoing European Beslans, with simultaneous infrastructure and “soft-target” (people) attacks happening everywhere in between.

What Hitler’s Nazis accomplished with Stukas and Tigers and motorized divisions, the Islamonazis will attempt to accomplish by a massive “Tet Offensive on steroids,” overwhelming and stunning the European meta-system into immediate paralysis and first psychological, then material defeat. At least, that is the outcome that the Islamonozis will be striving to achieve. The 1968 Tet infiltration and mass-attack strategy didn’t succeed in Vietnam, and maybe it won’t work in Europe, either. It’s more likely that the hoped-for general uprising by all European Muslims against the kafirs will not be triggered, and it may simply stall and sputter out.

In strategic terms, if nothing else, the 2016 jihad offensive and subsequent civil war in Europe will open up a second major front in the war against the Islamic State, causing NATO and the West to turn their attention inward toward their own survival, and thereby take pressure off the other theaters of war in Iraq and Syria.

And for the Europeans to win the coming civil war, they will have to be at least half as brutally ugly as their Muslim invaders, and that means pretty damn brutally ugly. But while the jihadists will be operating at maximum brutality from day one, the placid and polite European authorities will be starting from far behind in that department. For example: a standard jihadist tactic is to flee from a terror attack straight back into the embrace of their co-religionists in the Sharia-zone ghettos, and hide behind their women and children. Then what will the authorities do? Go in and try to arrest them? (Just joking.) Wait for their next excursion with more terror bombs? Or gut the entire suspected block with shell fire? This is what I mean by damn ugly. The French reaction to the Paris attacks gives a hint of how this phase will run.

Best case scenario, and I don’t see this as likely: the 2016 Islamic Tet attackers will be wiped out the way the Viet Cong were in 1968. But if there are enough simultaneous attacks, in total numbers involving anywhere near the 80,000 or so fighters of the Vietnamese Tet, I can’t see how the present European forces can defeat the jihadists in less than a month, if at all. By very simple math, that number of jihadists means ten thousand Paris-level attacks. Think about that. Ten thousand Paris level attacks! All taking place in the same month, the same week, even on the same day, right across Europe. The politically-correct and overly polite European policemen (and even their militaries, at first) won’t be up to mounting successful counterattacks and rescue operations against a score of Beslans happening in schools, hospitals and concert halls. Not while at the same time, airports, train stations, power plants and other targets are being hit by Paris-sized terror squads right across Europe.

And count on this, for it is a standard tactic used by all Islamonazis in this extremely dirty style of warfare: just like in Beslan in 2004, where the killers arrived in false police vans, in 2016, ambulances, emergency vehicles and other official conveyances will either be hijacked or painted to simulate the real thing. Suicide bombers will arrive in official uniforms to sneak past security. This is a standard tactic, I repeat for emphasis. A jihadist dressed in a policeman’s uniform will drive a hundred-kilo bomb straight into the police headquarters in an official, marked police car. Goodbye, police HQ. (And incidentally, good luck at planning the rescue operation for your town’s local Beslan-in-progress, after your local police HQ is cratered, and much of their crisis leadership is wiped out.)

A few examples: I could go on for pages. The milk truck or bakery van will deliver terrorists to the middle school at mealtime. An ambulance will pull into the hospital’s underground parking garage and detonate. The cement truck won’t be delivering cement. Muslim jihadists are very proud of coming up with ever more clever ways to fool stupid infidels by abusing their naïve faith in official uniforms and corporate logos. The jihadists hurry to sign up for suicide driver school, just for the prospect of exploding a massive bomb inside of a crowd of filthy kafirs, and launching themselves straight into the arms of their seventy-two waiting virgins. This is how they will fight in Tet 2016. Forget this lesson at your extreme peril.

Another painful European history lesson has been largely forgotten since the days of the Troubles in Northern Ireland. In the 1990s, the IRA forced the British to the peace table when it became clear to all parties involved that the Brits could not prevent car bombs from exploding in the heart of the London financial district, costing billions in repair and lost-opportunity costs after each new blast. Essentially, a competent terrorist organization can hold a modern city hostage in this manner.

A few dozen to a hundred (at most) active IRA terrorist fighters managed to pull off this feat. And they were not even trying to kill people, rather, their goal was to wreck important office towers, with the British economy as their primary target. Usually, the IRA detonated their London car bombs during off-hours in these final terror actions of the Irish Troubles. The Muslim car bombers will not be as considerate in the coming European Civil War. They will strike for maximum civilian casualties, in an attempt to terrorize European leaders into surrender and submission to their Islamist demands.

8. HAMA RULES

I predict that the unfolding European Civil War (after the initial Tet 2016 phase) will comprise a steady escalation from Paris-style rifle attacks and suicide bombers, to snipers, to IEDs, to car and truck bombs. This is why I mentioned the possibility of eventually reducing the Sharia-zone ghettos to ruins by air and artillery bombardment. This will indeed happen, after the car bombs begin to explode in European cities. At that point, an urban civil war loses any vestige of civilized norms. Fortified ghetto bastions that provide sanctuary to Muslim jihad terrorists will be destroyed if the Islamic conquest is to be quelled.

This type of no-quarter urban warfare already has a name, “Hama Rules,” from the 1982 obliteration of that Syrian town. Hama was a Muslim Brotherhood stronghold used to launch attacks against the regime of Hafez al-Assad, the father of the current Syrian strongman. These guerrilla (or terrorist if you prefer) attacks occurred beginning in 1976, and didn’t stop until Hama was reduced to rubble, and at least ten thousand Sunni Muslim Syrians were killed among the ruins.

If the Europeans don’t have the stomach for that level and scale of total civil war, then over time they will be defeated, and either forced to convert to Islam, or forced into subjugated dhimmi status, or they will be executed (if they can’t be put to useful work as slave laborers first). Those are Islam’s unchanging options for defeated male foes, at the pleasure of their Muslim vanquishers. The captured girls and women of the defeated kafirs will be taken as slaves – that is a given. So it will be war to the knife, and knife to the hilt, with no holds barred, and no quarter asked or given.

Going into 2016, a peaceful de-escalation is improbable, not with up to a million fresh muhajirs of fighting age currently cast all about Europe without housing or prospects as winter comes on. This rapid mass influx of hundreds of thousands of unattached Muslim men into Europe is the equivalent of pouring a jug of nitroglycerin down the barrel of a cannon, then loading a double gunpowder charge, ramrodding three or four cannon balls on top, and lighting the fuse. It is the perfect recipe for a disastrous explosion.

The 1968 Tet Offensive involved approximately 80,000 armed Viet Cong infiltrators sneaking into Vietnamese cities and towns, (unnoticed by the “experts” in intelligence, I will add.) How many of the almost a million muhajirs now loose in Europe will take up arms for the cause, after the first initiating wave of Tet 2016 terror attacks? Does anybody really have any idea? There is a point when stealthy hijra transitions into overt jihad, and I believe this will occur in the coming year. Historians will look back and marvel at what I think of as the coming European Jihad Tet Offensive of 2016. Or perhaps they will call it the European Trojan Horse Civil War. (I only hope that they don’t call it The Final Islamic Conquest of Europe.)

Historians will study how this mass hijra invasion, and the consequent Tet 2016 and European Civil War came to happen. The truth is it was an inside job by the traitor class, the cultural Marxist open-border international socialists. First, they numbed and dulled their own compatriots into apathy, before opening the gates to the Islamist barbarians. They injected the paralyzing curare of multi-cultural political correctness into their own societies, in order to render them unable to defend themselves from the planned attack.

In reality, the international socialists and the Islamist forces have agreed upon a murder pact, wherein their common enemy, the nationalists, will be removed as a threat to either of them forever. In 2016, European nations will deliberately be torched, in order to finish off their people’s last remaining notions of national pride and cultural identity. In effect, the coming conflict will constitute an agreement about the dinner menu made between a jackal, a hyena, and a supremely stupid bliss-ninny lamb, who was raised on Utopian multi-cultural fantasies. The lamb believes that by its own sweet example, the jackal and the hyena can be turned into vegetarians—but the choice for the dinner entree is already a foregone conclusion. European nationalists will be shot and stabbed in their fronts and their backs until they go down and are consumed by both of their rapacious destroyers.

And depend on this: standing before the crater, in front of the smoking building, after the tenth car bomb to explode that month, telegenic media traitors will mangle the truth into a false narrative that supports the inexorable spread of international socialism as the only possible solution to the “tragic cycle of violence.” The liar press will call patriots Nazis, and Nazis patriots; they will damn saints and praise mass-murderers. These media presstitutes are loyal only to their traitor-class paymasters, and to their common international socialist vision of global tyranny imposed from above by the all-knowing elites. “Out of chaos, order,” will be in their minds if not on their lips.

9. THE END GAME

If the traitor elites can imagine sufficiently far into the future, then they must surely see international socialism lining up next for its climactic struggle against Islam, which shall be fought atop the still-warm corpse of European nationalism. Will these traitor-elite international socialists be able to hold the line against the ultimate victory of Islamic supremacism in Europe, or anywhere? Let us compare their assets and armaments.

The traitor elites control vast wealth and many levers of power. But will the ready offer of unlimited wealth and fast-track career promotion outweigh the fear of the Muslim assassin, kidnapper, and beheader? Which motivating force will prove stronger in the long run, the proffered bribe, or the kidnapped child and her threatened decapitation? International socialism and world Islamism are both evil totalitarian ideologies rooted in a quest for absolute power, but I believe that more socialists will convert to Islam than the other way around, tending to tip the final outcome in that direction. Why? Because you can live without accepting a suitcase full of Euros or a juicy job offer as a bribe. But you cannot live with your head removed from your shoulders.

Another enduring but rarely examined weapon in the Islamic conquest armory is the offer of amnesty to well-placed infidel leaders who agree to convert to Mohammedism. Can I see Angela Merkel wearing a hijab? Yes, certainly. Whether the badge she wears on her suit is red or black won’t matter to the former Communist, not if it is a matter of saving her neck while retaining her status. Study the history of Islamic conquest, and you will find numerous cases where Western leaders announced—after clandestinely opening the city gates to hijra invasion—that they had already converted to Islam.

As reward for this valuable service, well-placed defectors to Islam are often allowed to preserve their wealth and positions by taking fresh Muslim names and swearing fealty to the new Islamic regime. It’s intentionally made very easy to convert to Islam. The shahada conversion prayer is only a sentence, a handful of words. Sincere inner belief is not required, only publicly outward submission, which is the true (and nearly always obscured) meaning of the Arabic word Islam. Submission.

So when it comes to last-stand defenses, and head chopping time draws near, will the secular humanist international socialists fight to their last breath against Islamism? Not likely, not when simply repeating a silly and trite incantation about Allah and Mohammed can save their inherently dishonorable and traitorous lives. Simply stated, they will submit to Islam.

I think that in the end, Mohammed’s evil and satanic Koranic blueprint for world conquest will prove to be even more virulent and persistent than the evil and satanic blueprint of the international socialists, going back through the Jacobins, Marxists and Communists. The unchanging Koranic blueprint for global domination is still replicating and advancing after fourteen centuries, while the international socialist blueprint is only two and a half centuries old. Based on proven longevity alone, a betting man would have to favor the Islamic formulation for conquest and tyranny over the international socialist version.

And in the event that Islam either destroys or co-opts international socialism, I would expect the strife to continue until there were only Sunni or Shia Muslims left alive. Then there would arise schisms and conflicts among new competing sects, because of the innately violent instructions central to the Koranic blueprint. But without an external host for the parasitic Islamic ringworm to feed upon, (having killed and consumed the golden goose of productive Western society), Islam itself will most likely fester and decay. What would succeed a failed global Caliphate, I can’t imagine. By that time, the last believing and practicing Christians in Europe will be lying cold and forgotten in their unmarked mass graves.

10. ALTERNATIVE ENDINGS

But perhaps the conflict between the three major forces will turn out differently. Perhaps, after the Islamic Tet Offensive of 2016 is turned back, European nationalism will experience a miraculous resurgence, following a rejection of the international socialism which dragged the EU nations toward disaster. Sometimes invading forces badly miscalculate their chances and underestimate the resolve of their enemies, and after sweeping to early success, they are rolled far back from their high-water marks. Napoleon and Hitler in Russia, and the Greek experience in Anatolian Turkey from 1919 to 1922 come readily to mind.

Or perhaps the Islamists will take their jihad a step too far, and a nuclear device or other WMD set off in a Western city might finally provoke a commensurate counter-strike against the nexus of Islam in Mecca and other Muslim holy sites, such as Karbala in Iran. Certainly Vladimir Putin can be expected to evince more steely-eyed resolve than the current crop of effete and dithering Western European leaders.

Two of the Five Pillars of Islam literally revolve around the black moon rock set into the corner of the Kaaba in the center of Mecca. After 1,400 unchanging years, Islam cannot simply erase two of its five pillars and continue with business as usual. “Allahu Akbar” means our god is greatest. If Mecca was turned into a vast, glowing crater, this would be visibly untrue. When the Aztec and Inca man-gods were visibly thrown down by the Spanish conquistadors, those religions and social systems collapsed. If Mecca were to be destroyed, eliminating two of the five pillars, it’s an open question as to what would happen in and to the worldwide Muslim community. “We used to think our god was greatest” won’t be an effective rallying cry. But I don’t suppose I’ll be around to see how this all plays out. For 1,400 years, uncounted millions of Christians and other infidels have died not knowing if Islam would ultimately prevail or be vanquished.

I’m not sure if there is a future ahead for sovereign nation-states as they have been constituted for the past four centuries, especially nations with their own unique histories, cultures and languages. I don’t know if the wealth and influence of the traitor-elite international socialists can overcome the constant threat of terrorism contained within the deadly Koranic conquest plan. And when it comes to how the approaching European storm will affect China and Asia, my crystal ball is cloudy on the other side. It’s hard to imagine a world war extending from Scandinavia to the Persian Gulf not going nuclear at some point. Perhaps the patient and cautious Chinese will simply inherit the ruins of the West. Perhaps they will be drawn into the world war.

No matter what else happens over the coming decade, 2016 is shaping up to be an epic year in European and world history. I hope that whatever develops across the Atlantic might at least provide clear lessons that will be valuable for the defense of a free and sovereign United States of America – including lessons about the extreme danger of importing millions of Islamic muhajirs.

And lastly, thank God—through our Founding Fathers—for the First and Second Amendments to the United States Constitution. Unlike the Europeans, we are at least still free to warn one another of impending dangers, without our being silenced by the traitor elites who operate the levers of state power. And because of the Second Amendment, we will never be pulled down to the ground like helpless lambs by the Islamist hyenas and socialist jackals. When one-too-many ravenous foxes are placed into the henhouse by socialist traitors, in due time both the foxes and the traitors might just get a face full of buckshot.

Just remember: never, ever give up your guns.

You’re going to need them.

So remember: never, ever give up your guns.

You’re going to need them.

ummaheuropa

islam jellyfish

Matthew Bracken was born in Baltimore, Maryland in 1957, and attended the University of Virginia, where he received a BA in Russian Studies and was commissioned as a naval officer in 1979. Later in that year he graduated from Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training, and in 1983 he led a Naval Special Warfare detachment to Beirut, Lebanon. Since then he’s been a welder, boat builder, charter captain, ocean sailor, essayist and novelist. He lives in Florida. Links to his short stories and essays may be found at EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com .

PS: Matt’s essay is running concurrently at Gates of Vienna; volunteers to help in translating this work should sign up there. Please also help spread the word about Matt’s generous offer below:

July 31, 2015

Still Blind to the Costs of Illegal Immigration, by Bruce S. Thornton [c]

Still Blind to the Costs of Illegal Immigration
July 31, 2015 11:12 am / Leave a Comment / victorhanson
What really explains Trump’s rapid climb to the top of the polls.

by Bruce S. Thornton // FrontPage Magazine
Photo via FPM

Photo via FPM

Donald Trump’s blunt and clumsy comments about illegal immigration sparked the usual firestorm of criticism from the well heeled of both parties. Particularly vocal were those Republicans who think that an amorphous, make-believe category comprising “Hispanics” or “Latinos” will vote Republican if only Republican meanies like Trump would stop insulting them by complaining about illegal aliens. As usual, willful ignorance or blindness about the costs of illegal immigration underwrites these dubious ideas.

Trump’s comments about crimes committed by illegal aliens, for example, were attacked by the usual denial and obfuscation. Various statistics, some mixing illegal and legal immigrants, were touted as showing illegal criminal activity was proportionately less than that of the native-born. But as Brietbart reported, while illegal aliens are 3.5% of the population, based on federal sentencing data they represent 12% of murder convictions. Add state crime data, and according to an analysis at American Thinker illegals commit 10 times more murders than do citizens.

Murder obviously gets the most attention, especially after a five-time deported illegal alien felon in San Francisco gunned down Kate Steinle in broad daylight. Yet the champions of the “path to citizenship” typically ignore the less spectacular disorderly behavior of the sort rife in regions with large concentrations of illegal aliens like the San Joaquin Valley. Driving under the influence or while intoxicated, driving without insurance, perpetrating hit-and-run accidents, discarding garbage and trash along roads, disregarding laws and codes covering construction, animal control, restaurants, and sanitation, breaking into homes and cars, stealing copper wire from farm pumps––all these quality of life infractions have increased as more illegal aliens have settled in the Valley.

In other words, the “broken windows” theory of policing that many conservatives are criticizing New York mayor Bill di Blasio for attacking––the idea that cracking down on minor quality of life crimes creates a sense of enforced public order that deters more serious crimes––is nowhere to be found in many parts of the rural San Joaquin Valley. The social costs of this breakdown in civic order, of course, are born by those––law-abiding Americans of whatever ethnicity–– tied by tradition or necessity to these Valley towns. And the economic costs are paid by every state and federal taxpayer whose billions of dollars––$20 billion a year in some estimates–– fund the costs of unpaid emergency room visits, criminal prosecution and incarceration, highway mayhem, illegal welfare benefits, schools crowded with the English deficient, and fraudulent social security disability payments.

Nor is it true, as the race industry hacks claim, that such criticism merely reflects bigotry or racism against the oppressed brown “other.” The Mexican-American legal immigrants of the sort I grew up with in the 50s and 60s suffer today just as much from this influx of peoples from cultures with very different mores and attitudes towards law, relationships to legal authority, and civic obligations. Yes, America in the past took in many other ethnic groups and nationalities with similar differences that often caused social problems. But back then, immigrants were faced with a brutal trade-off: change your cultural habits, learn and obey American law, political principles, and social customs, and speak English. If not, go back home, or pay a price for your refusal. No one had a right to come to America and then demand that Americans adjust their culture and mores to those of the newcomer.

That old mechanism of assimilation has been broken. The triumph of multiculturalism and its evil twin “diversity” have taught many immigrants, legal and illegal alike, that they should not have to assimilate, that their culture is just as good or even superior to America’s, and that political and civic institutions must adapt to their culture and language. Organized lobbies like La Raza and LULAC institutionalize such separatism, demanding all the privileges and boons of living in a liberal democracy ruled by law, at the same time they counsel their clients to resist endorsing and practicing the very culture that underwrites their freedom. Rather than a privilege to be earned, American citizenship and its advantages are considered justified reparations for all the historical sins Americans have inflicted on their southern neighbors. Add a porous border with Mexico continually refreshing the old country’s culture with new arrivals, and the obstacles to transforming illegal immigrants into Americans make the “path to citizenship” rhetoric a pipe dream.

Of course, there are millions of illegal immigrants who don’t commit crimes other than the first one of crossing the border. They don’t illegally receive welfare benefits––though their children born here can and do. No doubt many would become good citizens, and want their children and grandchildren to become more American. The problem is that no one touting “comprehensive immigration reform” can lay out for us a specific program for sorting out the potential good Americans from the murderers, welfare cheats, and thugs. It’s so much easier politically just to confuse illegal with legal immigration, indulge Emma Lazarus “nation of immigrants” sentiments, and scold critics that they are keeping Republicans from winning millions of voters.

Trump’s rapid climb to the top of the polls, at least for now, reflects a widespread anger with establishment Republicans who refuse to tell the truth about the costs of illegal immigration. Trump’s fans are sick of their reasonable complaints being dismissed as the bigotry or stupidity of “crazies,” as John McCain called them, or as the bitter tantrums of the narrow-minded fearful of change. They are very much like the New Yorkers of the 70s, who finally had enough of bums, punks, criminals, hookers, welfare freeloaders, and all the other detritus that made New York the dystopia of Taxi Driver and Death Wish.

Those New Yorkers got Mayor Rudy Giuliani and a police force empowered to restore civic order by enforcing the law. Those today fed up with the costs of illegal immigration disorder and violence, or the virtual nullification of federal law wrought by “sanctuary cities,” get insulted and ignored by their own party. Is it any surprise that they are supporting a politician who, for all his political opportunism, takes their anger seriously and promises to do something about it?

[Secession and The Heartland Plan. Review the intermediate argument for secession elsewhere on this blog.]

GOP sells U.S.A. to U.N. [nc]

Joseph R. John
To jrjassoc@earthlink.net
Today at 4:59 AM

Almost $200 Million Donated to Congressmen to Vote for Unconstitutional TPP/TPA & Eliminate US Sovereignty in Favor of International Tribunals

By Capt Joseph R. John, July 29, 2015

Please watch the two below listed very short videos, by clicking on the link, you will fully understand just how Speaker Boehner and Senate Majority Leader McConnell have betrayed what American citizens voted for in 2014. By ramming the SECRET 800 page Fast Track Trade Promotional (TPP) Bill and the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) Bill thru Congress, that nearly 4 weeks after it was signed into law, American citizens are still not being permitted to read it.

TPP and TPA violate the US Constitution and eliminates US Sovereignty in favor of International Tribunals. The Republican leadership ignored the demands of millions of Americans who have been demanding that Congress to reduce illegal immigration by a substantial majority of 3 to 1 in a national opinion poll, and are treating American citizens as if they have no right to know what law they have passed—hiding the fact that it violates the US Constitution. Even though the Republican Congress controls the power of the purse, Obama has not lost a single major policy battle since Cong Boehner became Speaker of the House in 2010; in fact, Obama is delighted with Boehner’s Speakership. On July 3rd, when Obama signed the Unconstitutional SECRET TPP/TPA bills into law, Boehner and McConnell were nowhere to be found, they were hiding during the signing ceremony, that law is a thorn in the side of every American voter who worked tirelessly to give the US House a conservative majority.

Both Democrat and Republican Congressmen received of over $200 million in payments from the International Chamber of Commerce to vote for the TPA Bill (the US Chamber of Commerce is no longer a US Chamber, most members are now anti-American foreign corporations who control the Speaker and the Senate Majority Leader with financial payoffs). If the TPA Bill hadn’t passed, the provisions in the SECRET TPP Bill stated it would not have become effective. Millions of dollars in payments that were paid to members of Congress by the International Chamber of Commerce as outlined in the below listed article, bribed Congressmen.

Speaker Boehner received $5.3 million, Cong Ryan received $2.4 million, and it was reported that McConnell received $9 million to ram TTP thru Congress for Obama. Their complicity and close cooperation with Obama, Pelosi, and Reid is what guaranteed the payoffs of millions of dollars to them; there support for TPP/TPA will result in permit Obama to bring in millions of non-Christian Illegal Aliens from 50 countries (including Mexico) to enter and work in the US. Millions of Illegal Aliens added to the 20 million Illegal aliens already here, will destabilizing the US unemployed work force of 104 million Americans, and strike another blow to the Free Enterprise System.

Millions of Illegal Aliens from 50 countries will be able unfairly compete with 104 million unemployed Americans and 46 million Americans on Food Stamps, because 5 or 6 illegals co-habituating in the same apartment, will be able to work at a much lower wages than Americans can afford to do. Unlimited entry of foreign workers into the US, with no background investigations, to determine if they have terrorist ties, will continue to violate Federal Immigration Laws (ISIS Radical Islamic Terrorists have let it be known that they plan to enter the US using the TPP as cover).

The FBI recently informed Congress that over 200 Muslim immigrants, who were put on a fast track for US Citizenship by Obama, are now fighting with ISIS killing Christians in Iraq. Because the SECRET TPP passed, the massive pending entry of illegal aliens will effectively eliminate US Immigration controls, because a percentage of the millions of foreigners whose backgrounds will not be reviewed for terrorist ties, will pose a very serious terrorist threat to the National Security of the United States, the SECRET TPP/TPA Law is not only leaving the porous Southern Border wide open, but has effectively eliminating “all” US Borders.

Congressional sources reported that Boehner has withheld millions of dollars of campaign support for conservatives Congressmen who voted in favor of their constituents conscious and refused to support TPP. In some cases, Congressmen lost assignments, or were ridiculed, mocked, and relentlessly pressured because they wouldn’t vote for the SECRET Unconstitutional TPP Bill, or the TPA Bill——-very few Congressmen who voted for the TPP Bill even read it’s 800 pages.

We object to the way that Speaker Boehner and Cong Ryan met out punishment against some of the endorsed and elected Combat Veterans For Congress who didn’t toe the line, but instead, voted against the unconstitutional 800 page SECRET TPP/TPA Bills. They voted against it because it violated the Constitutional authority of Congress, violated US Sovereignty of the United States in favor of International Tribunals, opposed it because no American citizen has ever been allowed to read what is in the SECRET TPP Law, and they opposed Cong Paul Ryan’s steady stream of misinformation about what he was alleging was in the Unconstitutional SECRET TPP bill and the TPA Bill.

The following Combat Veterans For Congress refused to support that Unconstitutional and SECRET TPP Bill:

Cong Duncan D. Hunter, Maj-USMCR (R-CA-50)

Cong Steve Pearce, Capt-USAF (R-NM-2)

Cong Paul Cook, Col-USMC (R-CA-8)

Cong Chris Gibson, Col-USA (R-NY-20)

Cong Scott Perry, Col/PA-ARNG (R-PA-4)

Cong Steve Russell, LTC-USA (Ret) (Ranger) (R-OK-5)

Cong James Bridenstine, Lcdr-USNR (R-OK-1)

The new TPP Law is not and has never has been about “Free Trade”, the nation already had “Free Trade” without the need for the 800 page SECRET TPP Bill, and the 196 page TPA Bill that the a plurality of members of Congress never read before they voted for them. The American voters should ask their Congressmen on this Congressional recess why the TTIP and the TISA portions of both Bills are still being cloaked in SECRECY, even after they were signed into law on July 3rd. The US Government is a Republic, not a dictatorship run by 5 individuals (Obama, Boehner, McConnell, Pelosi, and Reid). In 2016, the American voters should elect new members of Congress who then elect leaders of congress who will protect and defend the US Constitution from the repeated assault by the Caucus of Progressives, Leftist, Marxists, and Communist members of Congress.

Speaker Boehner and Leader McConnell not only betrayed the American voters for millions of dollars in payoffs, but they fully funded Obamacare, funded the amnesty for 5 million Illegal aliens Obama planned to give alimony to, funded the federal Common Core curriculum pushing it into American schools thru the 50 State Education Departments, continue to refuse to enact legislation to close the wide open southern border, have never opposed Obama’s use of tax payers dollars to cover the cost of the UN Resettlement Program for hundreds of thousands of Muslims while excluding the resettlement of over 300,000 Christians fleeing ISIS genocide in the Greek Catholic Refugee Program, have struck a secret deal with Pelosi & Reid to give Congress special exemptions from Obamacare, and have not used the power of the purse to prevent Obama from degrading the strength of the US Armed Forces to levels below the level of strength they had prior to WWI. The Congressional leadership has failed to oppose Obama’s devastating “Changes” in America’s family values and the US Armed Forces; the American voters should insist that their Congressmen make “Change” in the leadership of Congress, and elect leaders who will oppose the devastating Socialist “Changes” Obama has been making in the Republic.

The Congressional leaders allowed Obama to reverse the Constitution safeguards, put in place by the Founding Fathers, the require a 2/3 vote of Congress, in order to pass the Iranian International Nuclear Weapons Treaty. Instead they reversed that process and are now requiring a 2/3 vote of Congress, in order to be able to defeat the flawed Iranian International Nuclear Weapons Treaty (while permitting Obama to call the International Treaty an Agreement). The American voters should ask their Congressmen on this Congressional recess why they allowed the Constitutional safeguards to be reversed by the Congressional leaders.

Copyright 2015, Capt. Joseph R. John. All Rights Reserved. This material can only be posted on another Web site or distributed on the Internet by giving full credit to the author. It may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission from the author.

Joseph R. John, USNA ‘62

Capt USN(Ret)

Former FBI/ Reagan Administration Alumnus

2307 Fenton Parkway, Suite 107-184

San Diego, CA 92108

Fax: (619) 220-0109

Then I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?” Then I said, “Here am I. Send me!” -Isaiah 6:8

______________________________________________________________________________________________________

Almost $200 Million Donated to Representatives to Pass TPA

June 16, 2015 Paola Casale

Share

Many think our government is for sale. However, by taking a look at the facts below provided by the Open Secrets, it is easy to understand where they are coming from. Looking back at Friday the 12th, the House voted on Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), the controversial bill that gives power to the executive branch to negotiate treaties. TPA limit’s Congress’ ability to better a trade deal by subjecting members of Congress to 90 days of reviewing the trade agreement, prohibiting any amendments on the implementing legislation, and giving them an up or down vote. TPA passed with a mere 219-211 vote with only 218 needed to pass. The real shocker comes from the amount of money each Representative received for a yes vote. In total, $197,869,145 was given to Representatives for a yes vote where as $23,065,231 was given in opposition.

John Boehner (R-OH) received $5.3 million for a “yea” vote and was the highest paid legislator.
Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) received $2.4 million for his “yea” vote.
Paul Ryan (R-WI) received $2.4 million for a “yea” vote and came in at the third highest paid legislator.
Pat Tiberi (R-OH) follows Paul Ryan, coming in the fourth spot having received $1.6 million for his “yea” vote.

The fifth highest paid legislator is somewhat of a “hero” in comparison to others. Representative Steny Hoyer (D-MD) received $1.6 million for a yes vote and only $282,710 for a no vote. Despite of his high contribution from those in favor of TPA, he still voted a solid nay. However 28 Democrats joined Boehner to vote for TPA and were financially rewarded by the Chamber of Commerce.

House Democrats to call before Fast Track Vote

We also have real Democratic and Republican hero stories.

Joe Crowley (D-NY) was offered 1.3 million for a “yea” vote and only $72,550 for a “nay” vote and he still voted against TPA.
Patrick Murphy (D-FL) was offered 1.1 million for a “yea” vote and only $213,360 for a “nay” vote and still voted against it.
Richard Neal D(MA) was offered $1.1 million for a “yea” vote and a mere $47,625 for a “nay” vote and still voted against it.

Mick Mulvaney (R-SC) was offered $541,746 for a “yea” vote and no money at all for a “nay” vote and he still voted “nay!”
Andy Harris (R-MD) was offered $254,803 for a “yea” vote and no money at all for a “nay” vote and he still voted “nay”.
Thomas Massie (R-KY) was offered $250,328 for a “yea” vote and no money at all for a “nay” vote and he still voted “nay.”
Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) was offered $180,832 for a “yea” vote and no money at all for a “nay vote” and he still voted “nay.”

Where did this kind of money come from? Those in favor of TPA were Security Brokers and Investment Companies who donated a whopping $11.3 million dollars for a “yea” vote. Or big banking companies who donated $10.1 million dollars. In other words, Wall Street hashed out millions and millions of dollars to push for the passage of TPA.

Those numbers are absolutely staggering. Corporations are taking control of what policies are approved or blocked in the U.S. We cannot sit around while corporations decide what is “good” for America or not! This is a democracy, not a plutocracy! Contact your representatives and let them know that you do not want them to vote in favor of TPA!

July 16, 2015

Martial Law in the U.S., by Robert Richardson [nc]

Martial Law in the United States: How Likely is it, and What will happen under Martial law?
Filed under Man-made Disasters, Preparedness, Threats
Posted by: Robert Richardson

The march towards martial law is something that is often ignored by the general public, often labeled as Quackery or something belonging on conspiracy websites. But what’s happening in this country is exactly what our founders warned us about, and martial law is something they took very, very seriously.
What is martial law?

If you’re looking for a definition, then Martial Law basically means using state or national military force to enforce the will of the government on the people.

Under a declaration of martial law, Constitutional freedoms and liberties are suspended, and civilians are no longer entitled to their civil rights. It basically allows the government, or a tyrannical politician, to shred the Constitution and impose its will through military force.
History of Martial Law in the United States of America

“Those that fail to learn from history, are doomed to repeat it.”
Winston Churchill

In one way or another there have always been tyrants who have used the power of government to suppress and control the public. But if we are looking for specific examples of Martial Law being used inside the United States, we don’t have to look very hard or far to find them.

Using the strictest definition of the term, we can see the roots of martial law in America take hold during the lead up to the Revolutionary war. Although there were many reasons for the war, including resistance to taxes imposed by the British parliament, the main catalyst was England’s decision to use military troops to enforce everyday law throughout the colonies.
The beginning of the end? The Civil War Ushers in a Strong Central Government through Martial Law Enforcement

Civil War Soldiers

Flash forward a hundred years, and many of the most egregious examples of martial law can be found throughout the civil war. While today’s history books largely ignore the real reasons for the war, or the many atrocities committed by President Lincoln, the facts of what really happened cannot be disputed.

The reason we have lost so many of our liberties can be tied directly to the civil war.

On September 15, 1863, President Lincoln imposed Congressionally-authorized martial law. While history contends the war was fought to end slavery, the truth is, Lincoln by his own admission never really cared about freeing slaves. In fact, Lincoln never intended to abolish slavery, his main interest was centralizing government power and using the federal government to exert complete control over all citizens. The abolishment of slavery was only a byproduct of the war; it actually took the 13th amendment to end slavery, since Lincoln actually only freed Southern slaves, not slaves in states loyal to the Union.

During the Civil War, Lincoln continually violated the Constitution, in some cases suspending the entire Constitution that he swore to uphold.

He suspended the writ of Habeas Corpus without the consent of congress.
He shutdown newspapers whose writers displayed any dissent to Union policy or spoke out against him.
He raised troops without the consent of Congress.
He closed courts by force.
He even imprisoned citizens, newspaper owners and elected officials without cause and without a trail.

Our founders were very wary of using the military to enforce public policy, and concerns about this type of abuse date back to, and largely influenced, the creation of the Constitution. The founders continually warned about using military force to uphold law and order; unfortunately, most Americans are rather ignorant of history and are even more ignorant to what our actual founders intended when they created the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
What will happen under Martial law?

Military Style SWAT Team Raid

The actual words martial law will probably never be used.

The first thing you will likely see is a declaration of a “State of Emergency”. This may be done nationally, in cases of war or a large-scale terrorist attacks; or it may happen locally, as witnessed in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

In August of 2005, New Orleans was declared a disaster area and a state of emergency was declared by the governor. This allowed state officials to order evacuations and forcefully remove residents from their homes, suspend certain laws, confiscate firearms, and suspend the sale of items like liquor, firearms and ammunition.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans police, the U.S. Marshalls office, and the Louisiana National Guard forcibly confiscated over 1,000 legal firearms from law-abiding citizens.

Depending on the reasons behind the declaration you may also see:

The suspension of the Constitution, probably starting with the first and second amendment.
Confiscation of firearms; it has happened and it will happen again.
Suspension of Habeas corpus: Imprisonment without due process and without a trail.
Travel Restrictions, including road closures and possibly even quarantine zones.
Mandatory Curfews and Mandatory Identification.
Automatic search and seizures without warrant.

When can Martial Law be enacted?

Military Force

When Martial Law can be enacted is a pretty touchy subject, largely because our founders never intended the federal government or a standing army be permitted to take such actions. Unfortunately, most people accept these unconstitutional activities, and are more than willing to give up their essential liberties in exchange for peace of mind and not having to think for themselves.

This is something Benjamin Franklin warned about when he famously wrote,
“Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”

How likely is martial law in the United States?

Let’s face it, this country is a ticking time bomb. From widespread social unrest, crime and violence to a growing national debt which includes an entire subset of our population that depends on government assistance to exist, the writing is on the wall: Trouble is Coming.

Riots in the Streets of America

In my opinion, we are already under a form of martial law. The founders never intended standing armies policing the citizens of the United States; sadly that is exactly what we have.

Drones, armored vehicles with high power weapons, tanks, and battlefield helicopters are no longer something that you see on some foreign battlefield; it’s now standard operating procedure at police stations throughout the country. Our federal government has poured billions of dollars into militarizing and taking over our country’s local police forces, in what can only be described as a domestic military force or standing army meant to enforce federal law.

President Bush Expands Martial Law Authority

George Bush Signing Bill

On September 29, 2006, President George W. Bush signed the John Warner National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2007 (H.R. 5122). The law expanded the President’s authority to declare Martial Law under revisions to the Insurrection Act, and actually allowed the President to take charge of National Guard troops without state governor authorization.

While certain aspects of the bill were rolled back in 2008, President Obama used the 2012 NDAA to further strengthen the Executive offices ability to declare Martial Law, and added provisions that would allow military troops to detain U.S. citizens without a trial.

President Obama Forms National Police Task Force; Uses Social unrest as Justification.

Obama Signing Bill

In March of 2015, the Obama administration put together a task force that outlined rules for our nation’s police.

In his Task Force on 21st century policing report, he outlined the formation of a National Policing Practices and Accountability Division within the federal government. The report went on to describe how the Department of Homeland Security could be used to “ensure that community policing tactics in state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies are incorporated into their role in homeland security.”

Increasing number of Joint Police/Military Drills are using American Citizens as Theoretical Threats.

Military Style Police Force

From the Jade Helm Military drills that classified Texas and Utah as hostile zones, to National Guard troops in California using crisis actors to portray “right-wing” U.S. citizens in their training exercises, there is a growing number of military style drills that are portraying American citizens as the perceived threat.

Back in 2012, an army report about the future use of the military as a police force within the United States looked at theoretical situations where the U.S. Army could be used against Tea Party “insurrectionists” who take over U.S. cities. During that same time period, the Department of Homeland Security released a report titled, “Hot Spots of Terrorism and Other Crimes in the United States,” where they outlined who the federal government sees as the largest terrorist threat in the country – that threat was U.S. citizens with extreme “right-wing” views.

The United Stated of America that our Founders created is gone; it’s been replaced by a system that has grown so powerful that most people don’t even realize they’ve become enslaved by that very system.

So how likely is Martial Law in the United States? Well, it’s already here; unfortunately, most people will choose to ignore the reality of the situation.

June 15, 2015

fyi video on Cannabis produced by The Economist, must see

Well, I may be forced to change my position on legalizing marijuana. This is the first set of evidence that I have seen actually collected by a reputable news organization. I had to replay the Portuguese data on heroin reduction twice, then reconsider the data on Colorado, and consider that the Colorado data is incomplete and that it is too early to tell. The increase in trafficking from CO through to St. Louis MO is up, but it is too early to tell the long-term effect.

It is about 16 minutes, but well worth the viewing:

http://www.economist.com/content/global-compass-drugs-war-or-store

January 8, 2015

An Unavoidable Truth About Terrorism, by L. Neil Smith [nc]

An Unavoidable Truth About Terrorism
by L. Neil Smith
lneil@netzero.com

Attribute to L. Neil Smith’s The Libertarian Enterprise

When I boot up every morning, my “homepage” for at least twenty years has been The Drudge Report. I don’t possess broadcast television (I watch Netflix), so this morning I was surprised by screaming headlines concerning some homicidal loonie taking over a chocolate shop full of hostages in downtown Syndney, Australia, in the name of Allah.

I followed the story to the online Daily Mail, which was full of the same photographs, enormous and in full color, we’ve all seen a thousand times before: the idiot himself, the religious and political slogans, mostly written (one wonders why) in an alphabet I can’t read, terrified hostages, relieved when they had escaped, a splash or two of blood {“If it bleeds, it leads.”) and what seemed like hundreds of government tough-guy typess, all carrying automatic weapons—M-16s—standing around, waiting for their glorious leaders to get off the pot.

Three people died before it was over, two of them unnecessarily. My first thought was that it was the fault of Australian legislators, and the morally lazy voters who offer them support, who stripped the Southern Continent of its personal weaponry—brutally violating a thousand-year-old tradition among English-speaking peoples—and leaving it helpless before genetic culls like this. Speaking plainly, this asshole should have died the instant he opened his mouth about taking over the shop, at the hands of the barista, armed with a .45 automatic.

And hundreds of millions of decent, productive, nonviolent Muslims around the world wouldn’t have to go on taking the rap for jerks like him.

I also knew it was time to declare that the dangerous delusion which has been destroying Western Society is over. Peace is neither won nor maintained by the unarmed. Clearly, government cannot—will not—protect us; we must protect ourselves. I was reminded recently that I once said that terrorism is decentralized. It has no leader. It has no center. It’s a diffuse phenomenon, best dealt with by diffuse means: in this country, that means hundreds of millions of armed individuals.

Terrorism is the kind pf problem that can’t be solved by a handful of heavily-armed thugs, prancing around in their military fat-suits, but by the average suburban housewife—multiplied by a hundred million—with three small kiddies in tow and a .380 automatic in her purse.

Self-defense is a wholly individual bodily function tha can no more be delegated to somebody else—especially to the thumb-fumbling government—than can going to the bathroom, eating, or making love. If the individual people of the United States, Canada, Great Britain (or the United Kingdom—I’m unaware the distinction), Australia, New Zealand and any territories associated with them, were to arm themselves, even with .22s and .25s, that would be an end to terrorism.

(Yes, yes, I know there would still be bombs, poison gas, and various biological and radiological threats. Those are different problems, every one of them with different soutions. Want another essay?)

The simple change that I propose would not be unaccomanied by screaming, wailing, hair-tearing, and tooth-gnashing by the whining babies who have made this mess. Every proposal they make, every law they pass and enforce only make it easier for hobgoblins like this one in Sydney to have their way, to get their fifteen minutes of fame. Those who oppose what I am calling “ballistic democracy” are nothing more than knowing, willing enablers and accessories to terrorism and mass-murder.

The king of them all, multi-billionaire Michael Bloomberg is nothing more than a jumped-up Charles Manson, with a haircut and necktie.

In 1776, the great economist Adam Smith wrote that, if only each individual looked out for his own interests, and minded his own business, a nation would prosper as if guided by an “Invisible Hand”. It is our task now to make sure that the Invisible Hand has a gun in it.

December 7, 2014

From 1939, Thanks to Butch and www.vonmises.org [c]

Hard to believe this was written in 1939.

The Criminality of the State

http://mises.org/library/criminality-state

·

·

DECEMBER 29, 2006Albert Jay Nock

TAGS Big GovernmentWar and Foreign PolicyInterventionism

[This essay first appeared in The American Mercury in March 1939.]

As well as I can judge, the general attitude of Americans who are at all interested in foreign affairs is one of astonishment, coupled with distaste, displeasure, or horror, according to the individual observer’s capacity for emotional excitement. Perhaps I ought to shade this statement a little in order to keep on the safe side, and say that this is the most generally expressed attitude.

All our institutional voices — the press, pulpit, forum — are pitched to the note of amazed indignation at one or another phase of the current goings-on in Europe and Asia. This leads me to believe that our people generally are viewing with wonder as well as repugnance certain conspicuous actions of various foreign States; for instance, the barbarous behavior of the German State towards some of its own citizens; the merciless despotism of the Soviet Russian State; the ruthless imperialism of the Italian State; the “betrayal of CzechoSlovakia” by the British and French States; the savagery of the Japanese State; the brutishness of the Chinese State’s mercenaries; and so on, here or there, all over the globe — this sort of thing is showing itself to be against our people’s grain, and they are speaking out about it in wrathful surprise.

I am cordially with them on every point but one. I am with them in repugnance, horror, indignation, disgust, but not in astonishment. The history of the State being what it is, and its testimony being as invariable and eloquent as it is, I am obliged to say that the naive tone of surprise wherewith our people complain of these matters strikes me as a pretty sad reflection on their intelligence. Suppose someone were impolite enough to ask them the gruff question, “Well, what do you expect?” — what rational answer could they give? I know of none.

Polite or impolite, that is just the question which ought to be put every time a story of State villainy appears in the news. It ought to be thrown at our public day after day, from every newspaper, periodical, lecture platform, and radio station in the land; and it ought to be backed up by a simple appeal to history, a simple invitation to look at the record. The British State has sold the Czech State down the river by a despicable trick; very well, be as disgusted and angry as you like, but don’t be astonished; what would you expect? — just take a look at the British State’s record! The German State is persecuting great masses of its people, the Russian State is holding a purge, the Italian State is grabbing territory, the Japanese State is buccaneering along the Asiatic Coast; horrible, yes, but for Heaven’s sake don’t lose your head over it, for what would you expect? — look at the record!

That is how every public presentation of these facts ought to run if Americans are ever going to grow up into an adult attitude towards them. Also, in order to keep down the great American sin of self-righteousness, every public presentation ought to draw the deadly parallel with the record of the American State. The German State is persecuting a minority, just as the American State did after 1776; the Italian State breaks into Ethiopia, just as the American State broke into Mexico; the Japanese State kills off the Manchurian tribes in wholesale lots, just as the American State did the Indian tribes; the British State practices large-scale carpetbaggery, like the American State after 1864; the imperialist French State massacres native civilians on their own soil, as the American State did in pursuit of its imperialistic policies in the Pacific, and so on.

In this way, perhaps, our people might get into their heads some glimmering of the fact that the State’s criminality is nothing new and nothing to be wondered at. It began when the first predatory group of men clustered together and formed the State, and it will continue as long as the State exists in the world, because the State is fundamentally an anti-social institution, fundamentally criminal. The idea that the State originated to serve any kind of social purpose is completely unhistorical. It originated in conquest and confiscation — that is to say, in crime. It originated for the purpose of maintaining the division of society into an owning-and-exploiting class and a propertyless dependent class — that is, for a criminal purpose.

No State known to history originated in any other manner, or for any other purpose. Like all predatory or parasitic institutions, its first instinct is that of self-preservation. All its enterprises are directed first towards preserving its own life, and, second, towards increasing its own power and enlarging the scope of its own activity. For the sake of this it will, and regularly does, commit any crime which circumstances make expedient. In the last analysis, what is the German, Italian, French, or British State now actually doing? It is ruining its own people in order to preserve itself, to enhance its own power and prestige, and extend its own authority; and the American State is doing the same thing to the utmost of its opportunities.

What, then, is a little matter like a treaty to the French or British State? Merely a scrap of paper — Bethmann-Hollweg[i] described it exactly. Why be astonished when the German or Russian State murders its citizens? The American State would do the same thing under the same circumstances. In fact, eighty years ago it did murder a great many of them for no other crime in the world but that they did not wish to live under its rule any longer; and if that is a crime, then the colonists led by G. Washington were hardened criminals and the Fourth of July is nothing but a cutthroat’s holiday.

The weaker the State is, the less power it has to commit crime. Where in Europe today does the State have the best criminal record? Where it is weakest: in Switzerland, Holland, Denmark, Norway, Luxembourg, Sweden, Monaco, Andorra. Yet when the Dutch State, for instance, was strong, its criminality was appalling; in Java it massacred 9,000 persons in one morning which is considerably ahead of Hitler’s record or Stalin’s. It would not do the like today, for it could not; the Dutch people do not give it that much power, and would not stand for such conduct. When the Swedish State was a great empire, its record, say from 1660 to 1670, was fearful. What does all this mean but that if you do not want the State to act like a criminal, you must disarm it as you would a criminal; you must keep it weak. The State will always be criminal in proportion to its strength; a weak State will always be as criminal as it can be, or dare be, but if it is kept down to the proper limit of weakness — which, by the way, is a vast deal lower limit than people are led to believe — its criminality may be safely got on with.

So it strikes me that instead of sweating blood over the iniquity of foreign States, my fellow-citizens would do a great deal better by themselves to make sure that the American State is not strong enough to carry out the like iniquities here. The stronger the American State is allowed to grow, the higher its record of criminality will grow, according to its opportunities and temptations. If, then, instead of devoting energy, time, and money to warding off wholly imaginary and fanciful dangers from criminals thousands of miles away, our people turn their patriotic fervor loose on the only source from which danger can proceed, they will be doing their full duty by their country.

Two able and sensible American publicists — Isabel Paterson, of the New York Herald Tribune, and W.J. Cameron, of the Ford Motor Company — have lately called our public’s attention to the great truth that if you give the State power to do something for you, you give it an exact equivalent of power to do something to you. I wish every editor, publicist, teacher, preacher, and lecturer would keep hammering that truth into American heads until they get it nailed fast there, never to come loose. The State was organized in this country with power to do all kinds of things for the people, and the people in their short-sighted stupidity, have been adding to that power ever since. After 1789, John Adams said that, so far from being a democracy of a democratic republic, the political organization of the country was that of “a monarchical republic, or, if you will, a limited monarchy”; the powers of its President were far greater than those of “an avoyer, a consul, a podesta, a doge, a stadtholder; nay, than a king of Poland; nay, than a king of Sparta.” If all that was true in 1789 — and it was true — what is to be said of the American State at the present time, after a century and a half of steady centralization and continuous increments of power?

Power, for instance, to “help business” by auctioning off concessions, subsidies, tariffs, land grants, franchises; power to help business by ever encroaching regulations, supervisions, various forms of control. All this power was freely given; it carried with it the equivalent power to do things to business; and see what a banditti of sharking political careerists are doing to business now! Power to afford “relief” to proletarians; and see what the State has done to those proletarians now in the way of systematic debauchery of whatever self-respect and self-reliance they may have had! Power this way, power that way; and all ultimately used against the interests of the people who surrendered that power on the pretext that it was to be used for those interests.

Many now believe that with the rise of the “totalitarian” State the world has entered upon a new era of barbarism. It has not. The totalitarian State is only the State; the kind of thing it does is only what the State has always done with unfailing regularity, if it had the power to do it, wherever and whenever its own aggrandizement made that kind of thing expedient. Give any State like power hereafter, and put it in like circumstances, and it will do precisely the same kind of thing. The State will unfailingly aggrandize itself, if only it has the power, first at the expense of its own citizens, and then at the expense of anyone else in sight. It has always done so, and always will.

The idea that the State is a social institution, and that with a fine upright man like Mr. Chamberlain at the head of it, or a charming person like Mr. Roosevelt, there can be no question about its being honorably and nobly managed — all this is just so much sticky flypaper. Men in that position usually make a good deal of their honor, and some of them indeed may have some (though if they had any I cannot understand their letting themselves be put in that position) but the machine they are running will run on rails which are laid only one way, which is from crime to crime. In the old days, the partition of CzechosLovakia or the taking-over of Austria would have been arranged by rigmarole among a few highly polished gentlemen in stiff shirts ornamented with fine ribbons. Hitler simply arranged it the way old Frederick arranged his share in the first partition of Poland; he arranged the annexation of Austria the way Louis XIV arranged that of Alsace. There is more or less of a fashion, perhaps, in the way these things are done, but the point is that they always come out exactly the same in the end.

Furthermore, the idea that the procedure of the “democratic” State is any less criminal than that of the State under any other fancy name, is rubbish. The country is now being surfeited with journalistic garbage about our great sister democracy, England, its fine democratic government, its vast beneficent gift for ruling subject peoples, and so on; but does anyone ever look up the criminal record of the British State? The bombardment of Copenhagen; the Boer War; the Sepoy Rebellion; the starvation of Germans by the post-Armistice blockade; the massacre of natives in India, Afghanistan, Jamaica; the employment of Hessians to kill off American colonists. What is the difference, moral or actual, between Kitchener’s democratic concentration camps[ii] and the totalitarian concentration camps maintained by Herr Hitler? The totalitarian general Badoglio[iii] is a pretty hard-boiled brother, if you like, but how about the democratic general O’Dwyer[iv] and Governor Eyre[v]? Any of the three stands up pretty well beside our own democratic virtuoso, Hell Roaring Jake Smith,[vi] in his treatment of the Filipinos; and you can’t say fairer than that.

As for the British State’s talent for a kindly and generous colonial administration, I shall not rake up old scores by citing the bill of particulars set forth in the Declaration of Independence; I shall consider India only, not even going into matters like the Kaffir war or the Wairau incident in New Zealand. Our democratic British cousins in India in the Eighteenth Century must have learned their trade from Pizarro and Cortez. Edmund Burke called them “birds of prey and passage.” Even the directors of the East India Company admitted that “the vast fortunes acquired in the inland trade have been obtained by a scene of the most tyrannical and oppressive conduct that was ever known in any age or country.” Describing a journey, Warren Hastings wrote that “most of the petty towns and serais were deserted at our approach”; the people ran off into the woods at the mere sight of a white man. There was the iniquitous salt monopoly; there was extortion everywhere, practiced by enterprising rascals in league with a corrupt police; there was taxation which confiscated almost half the products of the soil.

If it be said that Britain was not a sister democracy in those days, and has since reformed, one might well ask how much of the reformation is due to circumstances, and how much to a change of heart. Besides, the Black-and-Tans[vii] were in our day; so was the post-Armistice blockade; General O’Dwyer’s massacre was not more than a dozen years ago;[viii] and there are plenty alive who remember Kitchener’s concentration camps.

No, “democratic” State practice is nothing more or less than State practice. It does not differ from Marxist State practice, Fascist State practice, or any other. Here is the Golden Rule of sound citizenship, the first and greatest lesson in the study of politics: you get the same order of criminality from any State to which you give power to exercise it; and whatever power you give the State to do things for you carries with it the equivalent power to do things to you. A citizenry which has learned that one short lesson has but little more left to learn.

Stripping the American State of the enormous power it has acquired is a full-time job for our citizens and a stirring one; and if they attend to it properly they will have no energy to spare for fighting communism, or for hating Hitler, or for worrying about South America or Spain, or for anything whatever, except what goes on right here in the United States.

Editor’s Notes

[i] Theobald von Bethmann-Hollweg (November 29, 1856 – January 1, 1921) was a German politician and statesman who served as Chancellor of the German Empire from 1909 to 1917. He was particularly upset by Britain’s declaration of war following German violation of Belgium’s neutrality in the course of her invasion of France, reportedly asking the departing British Ambassador Goschen how Britain could go to war over a “mere scrap of paper” (the Belgian Neutrality Treaty of 1839).

[ii] Horatio Herbert Kitchener (24 June 1850 – 5 June 1916) was an Irish-born British Field Marshal, diplomat and statesman. During the Second Boer War (1899–1902), Kitchener’s policy was to destory Boer farms and move civilians into concentration camps whose conditions led to wide opprobrium in Britain and Europe.

[iii] General Pietro Badoglio succeeded Benito Mussolini as Prime Minister of Italy (Provisional Military Government), from July 25, 1943 to June 18, 1944.

[iv] Sir Michael Francis O’Dwyer (April 1864 – March 13, 1940), was Lieutenant Governor of the Punjab from 1912 to 1919, where he oversaw the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre on April 13, 1919. According to official figures, 379 unarmed civilians were killed by Gurkha troops. Unofficial estimates place the figure much higher, at perhaps 2,000, with many more wounded. In the wake of the massacre O’Dwyer was relieved of his office.

[v] Edward John Eyre (5 August 1815 – 30 November 1901) was an English land explorer of the Australian continent and a controversial Governor of Jamaica, where he ruthlessly suppressed the Morant Bay Rebellion, and had many black peasants killed. He also authorized the judicial murder of George William Gordon, a mixed-race member of the colonial assembly who was suspected of involvement in the insurrection. These events created great controversy in Britain, leading to calls for Eyre to be arrested and tried for Gordon’s murder. John Stuart Mill organized the Jamaica Committee — comprised of such classical liberals as John Bright and Herbert Spencer — calling for his prosecution. Eyre was twice charged with murder, but the cases never proceeded.

[vi] General Jacob Hurd Smith (1840–1918) was a veteran of the Wounded Knee massacre and well known among Indian campaigners. As brigadier general in charge of the Samar campaign in the Philippine-American War (1899–1913), Smith became infamous for his orders to “kill everyone over the age of ten” and make the island “a howling wilderness.” He was dubbed “Hell Roaring Jake” Smith, “The Monster”, and “Howling Jake” by the newspapers.

[vii] The term “Black and Tans” refers to the Royal Irish Constabulary Reserve Force, which was one of two paramilitary forces employed by the Royal Irish Constabulary from 1920 to 1921, to suppress revolution in Ireland by targeting the IRA and Sinn Féin.

[viii] On March 13, 1940 — one year after Nock published this essay — Punjabi revolutionary Udham Singh shot O’Dwyer dead in Caxton Hall in London as an act of revenge for the massacre.

[Both “The Albany Plan Re-Visited” and TAPR 2nd Edition, solve this problem in the section on Federal Authority and Citizenship. Of the three ways to curtail this form of federal criminality, only Secession may be peaceful. The other two require an armed revolution or insurrection as one, and the other is conquest by an outside force. Both are violent, bloody, and expensive. Secession.]

November 25, 2014

When a Country goes Bust, The Economist Explains [c]

The Economist explains
What happens when a country goes bust
Nov 24th 2014, 23:50 by S.N.

Timekeeper

FROM the days when monarchs over-borrowed for their mercantile adventures, to Argentina’s recent failure to pay its creditors, countries have long run into trouble paying back what they have borrowed. Spain’s 16th-century king, Philip II, reigned over four of his country’s defaults. Greece and Argentina have reneged on their commitments to bondholders seven and eight times respectively over the past 200 years. And most countries have defaulted at least once in their history. But what precisely happens when countries stop paying what they owe?

When a country fails to pay its creditors on time, it is said to go into “default”, the national equivalent of going bankrupt. But sovereign defaults are quite different from business bankruptcies as it is far harder for creditors to repossess the assets of a sovereign entity than to repossess the assets of a company (an unarmed Argentinian naval vessel detained in Ghana for ten weeks in 2012 was an exception). In the first instance, to curry favour in international markets, defaulting countries tend to restructure their debt rather than simply refusing to pay anything at all. But these so-called “haircuts”, where the original value of a bond is reduced, can be much more painful for the holders of government bonds than a simple clip of the scissors. After its $81 billion default in 2001, Argentina offered to pay its creditors a third of what it owed—93% of the debt was eventually swapped for performing securities in 2005 and 2010. But the remainder, which is held by vulture funds and other investors, is still in dispute. These “holdouts” are waiting for $1.3 billion plus interest. And when Greece defaulted in 2012, bondholders were forced to take hits as high as 50%. In less severe cases, countries may choose to restructure their debt by requesting more time to pay. This has the effect of reducing the present value of the bond—so it isn’t entirely pain-free for investors. Some suggest that this is the right course of action for Ukraine as it struggles to balance its immediate domestic priorities against its obligations to bondholders.

Defaults can also be very painful for the offending country, particularly if they are unexpected and disorderly. Domestic savers and investors, anticipating a fall in the value of the local currency, will scramble to withdraw their money from bank accounts and move it out of the country. To avoid bank-runs and precipitous currency depreciation, the government may shut down banks and impose capital controls. As punishment for default, capital markets will either impose punitive borrowing rates or refuse to lend at all. And credit-rating agencies will no doubt warn against investing in the country. But as history shows, in most countries yield-hungry lenders will eventually start lending again so long as they are adequately rewarded for the risk they are taking on. Moreover, credit-default swaps—financial instruments which act as a form of insurance against sovereign and corporate defaults—allow bondholders to hedge their risk. But not all defaults are the same: Argentina defaulted again this year by refusing to pay $1.3 billion plus interest to the “holdouts” from 2001.

Critically, there is no international law or court for settling sovereign defaults, which helps explain why they are so varied in length and severity. More international regulation has been proposed—including powers to prevent minority holders from hijacking the process—but such conditions ultimately remain up to the issuing country. The first bond issuances since the new proposals (by Kazakhstan and Vietnam) include these clauses. Other countries might follow suit, but this doesn’t resolve the $900 billion of bonds outstanding that were issued under the old rules. Like any messy divorce, drawn out negotiations around defaults can be costly for all parties involved. Working towards better pre-nuptial terms might not be such a bad idea.

[Not mentioned, is that the domestic GDP has historically shrunk between 7 and 19%, with corresponding increase in box 6 of the employment stats, meaning REAL unemployment, not the misleading box 3 stats released by the gov’t.]

Note specifically Paragraphs one and two, (The Economist is London UK based)

The Economist Espresso
To
me
Today at 5:19 AM
Espresso Logo

The Economist Espresso via e-mail for Tuesday November 25th

Today’s agenda

Race, justice and protest: the Michael Brown verdict
“There is inevitably going to be some negative reaction, and it will make for good TV.” So Barack Obama concluded a press conference late last night, after prosecutors in Ferguson, Missouri, announced that a grand jury had decided not to indict Darren Wilson, the police officer who in August shot an unarmed black man, Michael Brown. The decision, inexplicably, did not come until 8pm, by which time protesters in Ferguson were facing off with police. Even as the president spoke, cable-TV channels screened pictures of men throwing bottles and bricks and the police firing tear gas. There were mainly peaceful demonstrations in several other cities. Mr Obama condemned violence, but he also pointed out that “communities of colour are not just making these problems up.” As the tear gas clears, the investigation goes on: Eric Holder, the attorney-general, said that the federal Justice Department’s investigation into the shooting of Mr Brown continues.

Collateral damage: Obama fires Hagel
When you’re in a hole, fire someone. That being Washington’s way, Barack Obama’s national security team is now wondering who will be next, after the easing out yesterday of Chuck Hagel, the defence secretary. Mr Hagel was picked for his Obama-like caution less than two years ago. His mission: to help wind down the Afghan conflict and shrink America’s war machine to fit a new era in which military force would be a tool of last resort. Then Team Obama learned that, alas, in foreign policy, others get a vote: from Islamic State fanatics to muscle-flexing Chinese generals and revanchist Vladimir Putin. Poor, decent, briefed-against Mr Hagel—a former Republican senator who came by his war-wariness honourably, seeing action in Vietnam—was judged an inept salesman for the old Obama doctrine, and never penetrated the president’s inner circle. More departures surely loom. Some inner-circle sackings would actually help, but don’t count on them.

Indian Kashmir: Modi’s new frontier
Polls open in the perpetually disgruntled Indian state of Jammu & Kashmir today, in the first of five rounds of voting for the state assembly. For the first time the Bharatiya Janata Party of the prime minister, Narendra Modi, known for its Hindu nationalism, stands a chance of leading a coalition government in the Muslim-majority state. It is expected to win by a landslide in the largely Hindu Jammu, but may find allies even in the troubled Kashmir valley. The insurgency there, fired by local resentment at Indian rule and by infiltration from Pakistan, which still claims sovereignty over all of Kashmir, is at a low ebb. So turnout will be high, despite separatists’ call for a boycott. The election will not bring peace, however, without an agreement between India and Pakistan. And, though their leaders may talk at a summit in Nepal this week, that is not on the cards.

Time is money: the IMF and Ukraine
A mission from the IMF leaves Ukraine today, after a two-week visit for talks with the newish coalition. In April, when Ukraine was at real risk of defaulting on its debts, the fund promised it $17 billion: $4.6 billion has arrived. Ukraine wants more; the IMF wants a commitment to reform. Ukraine could yet default: foreign-exchange reserves are probably about $10 billion, and $14 billion-worth of external repayments fall due before the end of 2016. The currency, the hryvnia, has lost half its value this year: some think it may soon fall to 25 to the dollar, from 15 now. The country’s banks are struggling: one, VAB Bank, was declared insolvent on Friday. Meanwhile the conflict with Russian-backed separatists in the east drags on, despite a notional ceasefire. Arguments within the coalition could delay the next slug of IMF money until next year. That may be too late.

Printing banknotes: no more easy money
De La Rue, a British company that prints banknotes for dozens of countries, reported gloomy half-year results today: revenues fell by 8%, year-on-year, and profits by 36%. Its new boss, Martin Sutherland, who joined last month, will have to work hard for his cash. A profit warning in September, the second within a year, caused De La Rue’s shares to plunge by 34%, shortly after the firm won the contract to print plastic banknotes for the Bank of England from 2016. Overcapacity in the industry and growing competition have squeezed margins; De La Rue is thought to have won the Bank of England contract only by offering a huge discount. Fortunately, its other area of expertise—printing passports—offers brighter prospects, as governments everywhere add new security features. For Mr Sutherland, more emphasis on travel documents may be just the ticket, now that producing banknotes is no longer a licence to print money.

The world in brief

The “P5+1” countries (America, Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia) and Iran pushed back their deadline for an agreement on Iran’s nuclear programme from yesterday to the end of June. Iran insists its motives are peaceful and wants sanctions lifted; the other powers want to cut Iran’s enrichment capacity.

Hong Kong’s government began removing tents and barricades from roads in the volatile Mong Kok area, amid signs that public support for the two-month-old pro-democracy protests has started to fizzle, and the movement itself appears increasingly divided between a peaceful majority and a more confrontational splinter group.

Tunisia’s presidential election is heading for a run-off next month between the favourite, Beji Caid Sebsi, and the incumbent, Moncef Marzouki, after Sunday’s first round. Mr Sebsi’s secular Nidaa Tounes (“Tunisian Call”) came top in recent parliamentary elections; Mr Marzouki may attract supporters of Nahda (“Awakening”), an Islamist party with no candidate of its own.

BT, Britain’s biggest fixed-line telecoms provider, said it was in preliminary talks with two mobile operators about a possible merger. One is O2, a mobile network owned by Spain’s Telefónica that BT spun off in 2002. The other is reportedly EE, owned by Orange, of France, and Deutsche Telekom.

The chief executive of United Technologies, which makes Otis lifts, Pratt & Whitney engines and Sikorsky helicopters, resigned unexpectedly. The company did not say why Louis Chenevert had stood aside, to be replaced by Gregory Hayes, the chief financial officer, but insisted it had nothing to do with its unspectacular financial performance.

Executives from Sony told investors today that they expected revenues in the company’s troubled electronics division to rise by 70% in the next three years. They are pinning their hopes mainly on the PlayStation 4, a successful games console, and image sensors; they warned of cuts to Sony’s TV and smartphone units.

A museum in Bern said it would accept a bequest of artworks from the estate of Cornelius Gurlitt, whose hoard of paintings included many collected by Jewish families in Nazi Germany. The museum said it would work to return looted art to its rightful owners.

Markets & Currencies

International markets
At last close

DJIA : 17817.90 (+7.84 / +0.04%)

S&P 500 : 2069.41 (+0.00 / +0.00%)

FTSE 100 : 6729.79 (-20.97 / -0.31%)

DAX : 9785.54 (+52.99 / +0.54%)

Nikkei 225 : 17407.62 (+50.11 / +0.29%)

Hang Seng : 23843.91 (-49.23 / -0.21%)

Crude Oil (WTI) : 76.04 (+0.26 / +0.34%)

Gold : 1201.00 (+5.30 / +0.44%)

Major world currencies
Last updated: Tue 25 November, 11:06 GMT

Currency

EUR – USD 1.2439

GBP – USD 1.568

USD – JPY 118.115

AUD – USD 0.8551

USD – CAD 1.1293

USD – CHF 0.9666

EUR – GBP 0.7933

That’s it!

“Cultivation of the mind is as necessary as food to the body.” — Marcus Tullius Cicero

We’re delighted that you are reading the e-mail edition of Espresso. If you have an iPhone or Android smartphone, why not try the app version? The words are the same, but many readers prefer the design.

The Economist Espresso via e-mail has been tailored for the Americas | Change | Unsubscribe

Connect with us on Twitter | Facebook | Google+ | LinkedIn
Copyright © The Economist Group 2014. All rights reserved.

November 21, 2014

Federal Immigration and Nationality Act 1952 [nc]

Federal Immigration and Nationality Act 1952
Section 8 USC 1324(a)(1)(A)(iv)(b)(iii)

“Any person who . . . encourages or induces an alien to . . . reside . . . knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that such . . . residence is . . . in violation of law, shall be punished as provided . . . for each alien in respect to whom such a violation occurs . . . fined under title 18 . . . imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both.”

Section 274 felonies under the federal Immigration and Nationality Act, INA 274A(a)(1)(A):

A person (including a group of persons, business, organization, or local government) commits a federal felony when she or he:

* assists an alien s/he should reasonably know is illegally in the U.S. or who lacks employment authorization, by transporting, sheltering, or assisting him or her to obtain employment, or
* encourages that alien to remain in the U.S. by referring him or her to an employer or by acting as employer or agent for an employer in any way, or
* knowingly assists illegal aliens due to personal convictions.

November 20, 2014

1862 Quote by Dr. Henley of SC, how prophetic is this?

“If they (the North) prevail, the whole character of the Government will be changed, and instead of a federal republic, the common agent of sovereign and independent States, we shall have a central despotism, with the notion of States forever abolished, deriving its power from the will, and shaping its policy according to the wishes, of a numerical majority of the people; we shall have, in other words, a supreme, irresponsible democracy. The Government does not now recognize itself as an ordinance of God, and when all the checks and balances of the constitution are gone, we may easily figure to ourselves the career and the destiny of this godless monster of democratic absolutism. The progress of regulated liberty on this continent will be arrested, anarchy will soon succeed, and the end will be a military despotism, which preserves order by the sacrifice of the last vestige of liberty. They are now fighting the battle of despotism. They have put their Constitution under their feet; they have annulled its most sacred provisions; they future fortunes of our children, and of this continent, would then be determined by a tyranny which has no parallel in history.” ~Dr. James Henly Thornwell of South Carolina, In Our Danger and our Duty, 1862

[Secession.]

November 14, 2014

ABA Weekly – Note particularly 2 articles: 2 lawyers stab 2 lawyers, & bar exam scores way down

ABA Journal Weekly Newsletter

ABA Journal Weekly Newsletter Home Topics Magazine Blawgs Stay Connected

The Top Stories of the Week
November 14, 2014

Prominent attorney and wife stabbed in home invasion are identified; lawyer suspects are in custody

Nov 13, 2014, 7:52 am CST
A Message From Abacus Data Systems
12 Proven Ways the Cloud Helps Law Firms Do More With Less

Sep 4, 2014, 4:53 pm CDT
Study of chief legal officers finds more bad news for law firms

Nov 10, 2014, 8:49 am CST
Drop in nationwide bar exam scores is likely due to ‘less able’ test takers, memo says

Nov 11, 2014, 8:11 am CST
Posner researches Chabad online; Bauer explains his ‘religious inclinations’ concurrence

Nov 11, 2014, 5:45 am CST
Would-be condo developer sues residents who spoke out against project at city meeting

Nov 11, 2014, 10:35 am CST
Woman is in hot water over spilled-coffee claim against McDonald’s

Nov 11, 2014, 3:35 pm CST
Lawyer cites high-risk pregnancy in trial delay request; federal judge questions her travel plans

Nov 10, 2014, 7:36 am CST
How to curb the law firm exodus? Study looks at traits of those most likely to leave law practice

Nov 13, 2014, 5:45 am CST
Once described as ‘creepy’ in judge’s opinion, former Sedgwick partner says he’s been vindicated

Nov 10, 2014, 8:52 am CST
It’s unethical for prosecutors to lend out letterhead to debt collectors, ABA opinion says

Nov 12, 2014, 7:02 am CST
SCOTUS overturns ‘perplexing’ appellate decision, rules for cop asserting warrant exception

Nov 10, 2014, 9:55 am CST
Attack ads will target SCOTUS as ‘least accountable’ branch of government

Nov 12, 2014, 9:25 am CST
Unconscious woman with medical insurance is taken to out-of-network hospital, owes $50K

Nov 12, 2014, 5:20 pm CST
Jail escapee eludes detection for 33 years because of typo

November 7, 2014

Californicates the rest of the U.S.A., CA grants illegals driver’s licenses [nc]

California plans to issue 1.4 million driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants under new law
Published November 07, 2014
FOX 40

undocumented cali.jpg

California (FOX 40) – California Division of Motor Vehicles is preparing for roughly 1.4 million new driver’s license applicants after Jan. 1.

That’s when Assembly Bill 60, or the Safe and Responsible Drivers Act, goes into effect.

FOX40 spoke with a Maria Rodriguez, an undocumented immigrant living in West Sacramento who plans to apply for a license under the new law.

“It’s the best thing that could have happened to us in California. We’ve been waiting for it for many, many years,” Rodriguez said.

To prepare for all of the new applicants, the Department of Motor Vehicles has hired about 900 new employees and opened several temporary offices across the state.

The DMV is encouraging all eligible applicants to start preparing for their drivers tests early.

When Nevada adopted a similar law, about 90 percent of undocumented immigrants failed the written exam.

Undocumented immigrants will go through the same steps everyone else does to get a license.

They’ll take a written and vision test, if they pass they’ll get their permit then they’ll take a behind-the-wheel test and if they pass that, they will get a license but theirs will look a little bit different than everyone else’s.

On the front, it will say “Federal Limits Apply.” On the back it reads: “This card is not acceptable for official federal purposes” and that it can only be used as a license to drive.

The requirements are: proof of California residency, fingerprints and proper identification.

“Our challenge has been to identify documents that are produced by other countries that are secure enough. That means that they verify that the person who is getting them is actually the person who is applying for them,” California DMV spokesperson Armando Botello said.

The DMV believes a licensed driver equals a safer driver.

“We strongly believe that by having more people with a driver’s license and having gone through the whole process, the roads will be somehow safer in California,” Botello said.

The law has an outspoken opponent.

Don Rosenberg’s son was hit and killed by an undocumented immigrant driver in 2010. Last summer, Rosenberg was the only person to testify against AB60 at the capitol.

Safety is his big concern.

“There’s no evidence that giving drivers test to anyone – not necessarily people here illegally but giving drivers licenses to anyone makes the roads safer and makes them better drivers and to the contrary the evidence is overwhelming that it doesn’t,” Rosenberg said.

Rosenberg feels undocumented immigrants are not experienced enough to drive, and says because the DMV’s written test is offered in 10 languages, he fears they will not be able to read and understand signs on the road.

Maria Rodriguez says the language barrier won’t be an issue for her because she speaks perfect English. Getting a license will give her the freedom to drive her kids around without worry.

“Even though they would not give driver’s licenses, there`s still people like me driving out there, so they`re still gonna do it. As a matter of fact, just give something good to the people that deserve it, that will really take advantage of it,” Rodriguez said.

Like it or not, starting after January first, Maria Rodriguez and roughly 1.4 million others can begin the process of becoming licensed to drive.

California will become the 11th state to allow undocumented immigrants to get drivers licenses.

It will cost the standard amount of $33. Like all drivers, undocumented immigrants are required to have insurance.

They must provide proof of residency and ID. The DMV still has not released the list of documents accepted to prove identity.

A DMV spokesperson expects the list to be released in the coming weeks.

Read more news at FOX 40

November 3, 2014

Massive Voter Fraud, Capt John USN [nc]

Joseph R. John
To
jrj@combatveteransforcongress.org
Today at 4:03 AM

In the 2008 Presidential election, Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) had 1200 neighborhood chapters with 500,000 members in 100 major cities across the nation; ACORN was funded by Congress to register voters. ACORN employed massive Voter Fraud to get Obama elected. In 2009, in the wake of the production of video tapes portraying members of ACORN engaged in the registration of illegal aliens, a nationwide controversy erupted. ACORN was found to be falsifying then filing voter registration forms in Missouri, Ohio, Colorado, Indiana, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Nevada, Texas, Arizona, Florida, California, Wisconsin, Washington, New York, and Illinois, resulting in felony convictions in Federal Court in those states for Voter Fraud. As a result, millions of illegal votes were cast by illegal voters, and the previous funding for ACORN to register voters was terminated by Congress. ACORN was disbanded following multiple convictions for felony Voter Fraud in Federal courts in multiple states. The Obama administration morphed the 1200 ACORN chapters into many newly named organizations in 50 states, and those newly named organization employed the same ACORN operatives who are being well funded by the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, as they continued perpetrating massive Voter Fraud in the 2012 Presidential election.

It was reported in the below listed article, that in the 2012 Presidential election, that 6.4% of the 124,026,000 votes cast by voters, or 7,937,664 vote cast, were cast by illegal aliens. For 6 years Holder, following Obama’s instructions, has been aggressively filing law suits against any state that passes a voter photo ID law to prevent them from opposing the massive Voter Fraud again in 2012, like they did in 2008 and the number of illegal aliens voters grew in to over 7 million voters in 2012. States have been passing voter ID laws requiring that voters present a photo voter ID, in order to vote at the polls for comparison to the list of registered voters.

Even when states offered to pay for the issuance of those voter photo IDs, Holder still filed suits against the states to oppose the requirement for a photo voter ID, by saying those ;laws were designed to suppress minorities from voting. The long term goal of Obama and his leftists and Marxist supporters appointees in the bloated bureaucracy is to CHANGE the Republic into a one party Socialist State. Obama’s leftist supporters are continuing the employment of Voter Fraud to register more illegal aliens than the 7.937,644 illegal aliens that voted in 2012.

Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL-Senate) addressed the US Senate in a 30-minute floor speech and alerted the nation to the fact that after the November 4th election, Obama is preparing, once again, to unilaterally circumvent Federal Immigration Laws by issuing an Executive Order in order to violate Federal Immigration Law and the US Constitution, without the consent of Congress. Obama had previously violated Federal Immigration Laws, without the consent of Congress, by issuing an Executive Oder to prevent ICE from deporting nearly 1 million illegal aliens, termed Dreamers, who are now protected from deportation by the Obama administration’s ill-conceived Deferred Action-Childhood Arrival Program (DACA).

Obama gave temporary lawful status to those illegal aliens in the DACA program, up to age 31, and provided them with identity documents, expediting their rapid pathway to citizenship, without so much as a face-to-face interview with ICE or Immigration officials. The Obama administration has made it very easy for another 1 million Illegal aliens to obtain drivers licenses and register to vote, when those 1 million Dreamers are added to the 7,937,6644 illegal aliens who violated Federal Law by voting in 2012, there will be nearly 9 million Illegal aliens violating Federal Law and voting on November 4th. The Obama administration knows the that Immigration Service does not have the resources to conduct field investigations of the 1 million DACA Illegal aliens, in order to check their applications, so the Immigration Service could uncover fraud, determine if they have criminal records, or determine if they might be listed in the CIA terrorist data base. Although Congressional leaders have the power of the purse, they have done absolutely nothing to cancel the funding required to expedite the pathway to citizenship for the DACA program.

After the November election, according to Senator Sessions, Obama is planning to issue another Executive Order, that will provide legal status and work authorization cards to an additional 5 to 6 million illegal aliens in the United States. Obama plans to issue those work permits to 6 million illegal aliens at a time when 44 million American citizens are unemployed & on food stamps, all American citizens would be required to compete for jobs with the 6 million Illegal aliens Obama plans to issue work permits to. When those 6 million illegal aliens, are added to the 1 million DACA illegal aliens previously provided with legal status, and the 7,937,664 illegal aliens who illegally voted in 2012. Obama will have been behind and responsible for helping nearly 15 million illegal aliens to register to vote for President in 2016.

Current examples of the massive Voter Fraud:

Maryland–Massive voter fraud in Maryland has been uncovered where illegal aliens who say they are not citizens on jury duty survey forms are found to have registered to vote by the thousands http://conservativebyte.com/2014/10/massive-non-citizen-voting-uncovered-maryland/ Early voting just started in Maryland, but there are already accusations that some voting machines are changing Republican votes to Democrat Now Republicans are calling for an investigation by the State Board of Elections.

Illinois—Early voting in Illinois got off to a rocky start last Monday, as votes being cast for Republican candidates were transformed into votes for Democrats. Republican state Representative candidate Jim Moynihan went to vote at the Schaumburg Public Library. “I tried to vote for myself and instead it cast a vote for my opponent.” Moynihan said Cook County Board of Elections Deputy Communications Director, Jim Scalzitti, told Illinois Watchdog, the machine was taken out of service to be tested

North Carolina—The North Carolina Board of Elections has found 1,425 registered voters who likely are illegal aliens. The audit sample 10,000 registered voters in with data provided by the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles and the US Department of Homeland Security.

New York—A single Bronx voter listed in official records as being 164 years old led to the Board of Elections officials to review their files—–where they turned up another 849 New Yorkers who were supposedly alive when Abraham Lincoln was President.

Examples of Voter Fraud in Connecticut, Kentucky, Georgia, Virginia, Minnesota, Alabama, Texas, Massachusetts, Tennessee, California, Idaho, Ohio, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York, New Hampshire, Mississippi, Wisconsin, Indiana, Florida, South Dakota, Nevada, Oregon, Iowa, Colorado, Kansas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Michigan, Hawaii, Maryland, Rhode Island, etc. can be reviewed by clicking on the link https://www.rnla.org/votefraud.asp

To prevent the massive scale Voter Fraud underway being perpetrated by the Obama administration, every state should pass laws to require voters to show a photo ID in order to cast a vote at the polls. The Republicans in Congress must use the power of the purse to shut down the issuance of legal documents to provide legal status for DACA illegal aliens and the 6 million Illegal aliens that Obama plans to provide legal state to. The Governors of every state should close down the issuance of drivers licenses for illegal aliens, so they cannot use their drivers licenses as proof of residence, so they can register to vote. We encourage voters to volunteer to be poll observers or poll workers to assure Federal voting laws are observed on November 4th.

“If we lose freedom here, there is no place to escape to. This is the last stand on Earth. And this idea that government is beholden to the people, that it has no other source of power except to sovereign people, is still the newest and most unique idea in all the long history of man’s relation to man. This is the issue of this election. Whether we believe in our capacity for self-government or whether we abandon the American revolution and confess that a little intellectual elite in a far-distant capital can plan our lives for us better than we can plan them ourselves.”

President Ronald Reagan’s “A Time for Choosing” Speech on October 27, 1964

Joseph R. John, USNA ‘62

Capt USN(Ret)

Chairman, Combat Veterans For Congress PAC

2307 Fenton Parkway, Suite 107-184

San Diego, CA 92108

Fax: (619) 220-0109

http://www.CombatVeteransForCongress.org

Then I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?” Then I said, “Here am I. Send me!”
-Isaiah 6:8

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

WaPo Publishes Scientific Evidence of Voter Fraud on a Massive Scale — As Previously Predicted By This Here Very Blog

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:29 pm

What you are about to read should be front-page news in every newspaper in the country tomorrow. You know it won’t be — but I want you to treat it as that important . . . because it is. Jesse Richman and David Earnest write in the Washington Post:

Could control of the Senate in 2014 be decided by illegal votes cast by non-citizens? Some argue that incidents of voting by non-citizens are so rare as to be inconsequential, with efforts to block fraud a screen for an agenda to prevent poor and minority voters from exercising the franchise, while others define such incidents as a threat to democracy itself. Both sides depend more heavily on anecdotes than data.

In a forthcoming article in the journal Electoral Studies, we bring real data from big social science survey datasets to bear on the question of whether, to what extent, and for whom non-citizens vote in U.S. elections. Most non-citizens do not register, let alone vote. But enough do that their participation can change the outcome of close races.

Our data comes from the Cooperative Congressional Election Study (CCES). Its large number of observations (32,800 in 2008 and 55,400 in 2010) provide sufficient samples of the non-immigrant sub-population, with 339 non-citizen respondents in 2008 and 489 in 2010. For the 2008 CCES, we also attempted to match respondents to voter files so that we could verify whether they actually voted.

How many non-citizens participate in U.S. elections? More than 14 percent of non-citizens in both the 2008 and 2010 samples indicated that they were registered to vote. Furthermore, some of these non-citizens voted. Our best guess, based upon extrapolations from the portion of the sample with a verified vote, is that 6.4 percent of non-citizens voted in 2008 and 2.2 percent of non-citizens voted in 2010.

This is astonishing — but Richman and Earnest fail to convey just how astonishing it is . . . because they don’t explain how many people they are talking about.

Allow me to remedy that.

The progressive think tank Center for American Progress puts the number of noncitizens in the U.S. at 22.1 million in 2012. Of these, “13.3 million were legal permanent residents, 11.3 million were unauthorized migrants, and 1.9 million were on temporary visas.” These numbers are roughly consistent with numbers offered by the Department of Homeland Security (.pdf) and Kaiser Health News. So let’s take 22 million as our number of noncitizens.

Richman and Earnest estimate that 6.4% of noncitizens voted in 2008. 6.4% of 22 million is 1,408,000.

That’s 1.4 million illegal votes likely cast in the presidential election of 2008.

Richman and Earnest also estimate that 2.2% of noncitizens voted in 2010. (In off-year elections, such as 2010 and the approaching election in 2014, turnout is obviously lower.) 2.2% of 22 million is 484,000. That’s nearly half a million illegal votes likely cast in the election of 2010 (and the same number could be cast in the upcoming election).

How important is this? Richman and Earnest say:

Because non-citizens tended to favor Democrats (Obama won more than 80 percent of the votes of non-citizens in the 2008 CCES sample), we find that this participation was large enough to plausibly account for Democratic victories in a few close elections. Non-citizen votes could have given Senate Democrats the pivotal 60th vote needed to overcome filibusters in order to pass health-care reform and other Obama administration priorities in the 111th Congress.

I don’t like to say I told you so, but . . . ah, hell. Y’all know I actually love to say I told you so. And I have, repeatedly. In November 2008, I cited reports that huge increases in Latino voter registration had accompanied huge increases in illegal immigrant populations, and argued that this was probably not a coincidence. As I said then:

It certainly seems logically possible that there were hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of illegal votes cast in this past election. If this is true, it is possible that illegal immigrants decided this election.

If Richman and Earnest are correct, there may well have been hundreds of thousands, indeed almost a million and a half, votes cast by noncitizens (including legal residents who may not vote in federal elections, as well as illegals). And I argued in 2010:

Over time, as our population increases, your vote becomes worth less and less. This problem is exacerbated by factors such as voter fraud. Oh, I know: the liberals all assure us that there is no such thing. But let’s just take one likely rich vein of illegal votes: votes cast by illegal immigrants. What’s that, you say? Votes cast by illegal immigrants? Yes. Estimates say that there are anywhere from 10 million to 18 million illegal immigrants in the country. This means millions are of voting age. What’s more, many of them are experts at obtaining false documents, allowing them to work, drive, and participate in all other aspects of civic life. Do we really think that none of them vote? None? Let’s go with a conservative estimate of 10,000,000 illegal immigrants. If only one percent of them vote — just one percent! — that’s 100,000 illegal votes. That is voter fraud on a massive scale — certainly enough to tip a close election. This sort of thing dilutes your vote.

One percent? In 2010, Richman and Earnest say it was more than two percent, and in 2008 it was more than six percent. And again, I overlooked the population of legal noncitizen permanent residents, which more than doubles the number of people we are talking about. But, although my numbers were conservative, I will modestly concede that I totally nailed the main point — which is: hundreds of thousands of illegal votes are potentially being cast in every federal election, and nobody talks about it.

Always trust content from Patterico.

P.S. I can’t leave this post without noting this by Richman and Earnest:

We also find that one of the favorite policies advocated by conservatives to prevent voter fraud appears strikingly ineffective. Nearly three quarters of the non-citizens who indicated they were asked to provide photo identification at the polls claimed to have subsequently voted.

Really? That’s “strikingly ineffective”? (Well, yeah, it could be a lot better. But read on.)

The converse of that is that more than a quarter of the people who were asked for voter ID did not vote. We’re not told how many of the 1.4 million who voted illegally in the 2008 election were asked for IDs, but if voter ID laws were in effect in all 50 states, rather than only about 15 states, we might see over 25% of 1.4 million illegal votes prevented in a presidential election. That’s over 350,000 illegal votes that could potentially be prevented by voter ID laws.

Now: I’m perfectly happy to consider other means for preventing illegal voting. But voter ID laws work, and this study helps prove it.

This is hugely important, folks. Bookmark this post, right now. The next time people try to tell you there is no such thing as voter fraud, I want you to take this link and shove it right down their throats.

P.P.S. The authors do say: “Finally, extrapolation to specific state-level or district-level election outcomes is fraught with substantial uncertainty.” We can’t know for sure whether the extrapolation I present here is overstated, understated, or completely accurate. But one thing we can say: despite the false claims by the left, there is definitely massive voter fraud occurring in every federal election.

October 31, 2014

ABA article: Municipalities vs Homeless in Venice CA [nc]

Main
Blawgs
Special
More

Home
In-Depth Reporting
Cities get mired in civil rights disputes…

Cover Story
Cities get mired in civil rights disputes in trying to deal with growing homeless populations

Posted Nov 01, 2014 05:00 am CDT

By Lorelei Laird
house on venice beach

Photo of Mark Ryavec by Kyle Monk.
Mark Ryavec lives in a beautifully restored duplex in Venice Beach, the artsy beachfront neighborhood of Los Angeles.

He’s about half a mile from the shore and even closer to Abbot Kinney Boulevard, a trendy artery filled with pricey restaurants and boutiques. Depending on which real estate website you consult, his improvements and recent gentrification in the area have pushed the property’s value to roughly three or four times what he paid for it in 1989.

Across the street, one of his sometime neighbors lives in a van. Drinking coffee in his front yard, Ryavec watches a young man slip out. Shortly afterward, the man comes back with a car that jump-starts the van. This is necessary because it’s a street sweeping day and the space ceases to be legal at noon. This, Ryavec says, means the van-dweller will take up a parking spot that a resident could be using—in a parking-poor neighborhood that gets 16 million visitors a year.

But this is just the beginning of Ryavec’s problems with homelessness in Venice Beach. A much smellier problem is that people living in vehicles have limited access to bathrooms. As a result, he says, vehicle-dwellers routinely relieve themselves behind million-dollar homes.

“There’s a street down there, and they’ll have two or three [vehicle-dwellers], and it’s like their alley is the one that’s consistently used as a toilet,” he says. Homeowners “used to call the police all the time … and now they can’t do that. Unless they snap a photo of them in the process —[and] who wants to stake that kind of thing out?”

Homeless Camper in parking lot, Venice Beach

A homeless camper in a Venice Beach, California, parking lot. Photo by Jennifer Kelton.

Ryavec’s neighbors can no longer call the police without proof of public elimination because of Desertrain v. City of Los Angeles. On June 19, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals at San Francisco struck down a Los Angeles city ordinance forbidding using a vehicle “as living quarters either overnight, day by day or otherwise.” The unanimous three-judge panel ruled that the ordinance was unconstitutionally vague, overturning a district court’s summary judgment ruling.

“Section 85.02 is broad enough to cover any driver in Los Angeles who eats food or transports personal belongings in his or her vehicle,” wrote Judge Harry Pregerson. “Yet it appears to be applied only to the homeless. The vagueness doctrine is designed specifically to prevent this type of selective enforcement.”

This displeases Ryavec, president of a group called the Venice Stakeholders Association that is pushing for more city intervention in Venice’s homeless problem. It’s had some success; citations for vehicle-dwellers grew substantially after increased neighborhood complaints.

But the courts have complicated things. Desertrain is the third in a line of 9th Circuit cases striking down LA’s homelessness laws. In 2012, the court ruled in Lavan v. City of Los Angeles that seizing and destroying the personal possessions of homeless people, left on sidewalks so their owners could go inside to do things like shower, violates the Fourth and 14th amendments. The city now must hold seized possessions for 90 days before destroying them.

And in 2006, the 9th Circuit ruled in Jones v. City of Los Angeles that it’s cruel and unusual to punish people for sitting, sleeping or lying on public roads at night. The resulting settlement required the city to permit sleeping on sidewalks from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. until an additional 1,250 units of supportive housing were built.

Carol Sobel on Venice Beach

Carol Sobel questions whether community leaders have the political will to advance long-term solutions to homelessness. Photo by Kyle Monk.

In all three cases, the plaintiffs’ attorneys included civil rights lawyer Carol Sobel, whose Santa Monica office is just over the Venice border and a few blocks from Venice’s “Skid Rose,” a stretch of Rose Avenue with a notorious homeless encampment.

“It is unlawful, it is immoral to put people in jail when there’s not enough shelter, in a city where everybody’s writing about the lack of housing,” says Sobel, a former ACLU Foundation attorney.

But for residents like Ryavec, the cases represent another lost tool for solving the problems homeless people bring to the neighborhood. In addition to parking and sanitation concerns, he notes that residents sometimes have a well-founded fear of violence, thanks to some high-profile crimes. These include a 2009 rape and murder by a transient with a past stint in a mental hospital and an incident last year when a transient drove a car onto the pedestrian-only beach boardwalk, killing an Italian honeymooner and injuring 16 others.

“What’s happened is the court keeps whittling away at the police’s powers to do anything when there is a problematic situation, to the point that the residents can’t do anything when you really have somebody scary,” Ryavec says.

man enjoying his coffee

Mark Ryavec is not enthused about recent court decisions that he believes have whittled “away at the police’s powers to do anything when there is a problematic situation.” Photo by Kyle Monk.

Though LA’s three trips to the 9th Circuit stand out, similar laws have been at issue across the United States.

And they’re on the rise. In a July study examining 187 U.S. cities, the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty, based in Washington, D.C., found a 119 percent increase since 2011 in city bans on sleeping in vehicles. The NLCHP also found a 25 percent increase in citywide laws against begging, a 60 percent increase in citywide camping bans and a 35 percent increase in citywide loitering or vagrancy laws. This doesn’t count laws that apply only to a specific district.

Similarly, Michael Stoops of the National Coalition for the Homeless says 53 cities had enacted or considered restrictions on feeding the homeless between January of 2013 and this past June. Over the last decade, Albuquerque, Dallas, Las Vegas, Orlando and Philadelphia have all been sued over feeding restrictions. (Los Angeles proposed such a law this year, but ultimately took no action.)

Jeremy Rosen, director of advocacy for the law center, believes more laws are being passed because more poverty is becoming visible.

“Why you’re seeing a whole lot more of them is because it’s actually occurring in a whole lot more places,” says Rosen of D.C., who is also a member of the ABA’s Commission on Homelessness and Poverty. “So the cities are seeing more of this than they ever saw before. They don’t like it and so they’re passing these laws rather than coming up with a productive way to deal with it.”

When sued, cities generally defend these laws by citing concerns that food, trash and human waste litter the streets; that a homeless presence will scare customers away from commercial areas; and that helping homeless people in place prevents them from seeking out social services that could be more beneficial. Before the 9th Circuit, Los Angeles argued that the Desertrain plaintiffs were unsafe in vehicles crowded with belongings, pets and garbage.

But Rosen is not so sure. He says taking a “criminal justice approach” suggests that the city’s concerns about public health are pretextual.

“Cities that use the criminal justice system are saying ‘If you stick around here, you’re going to go to jail,’ ” he says. “And that’s not a productive approach for people living outdoors.”

It’s not productive because criminalization tends to perpetuate homelessness rather than solve it, the NLCHP report says. People without homes have limited options for where they can perform basic life activities like eating and sleeping. Businesses don’t always let them in—a Venice homeless man wrote an essay for the Free Venice Beachhead blog this year about being asked to leave a Starbucks. And according to the Department of Housing and Urban Development, there are more homeless people than available shelter beds in the U.S. As a result, homeless people may not be able to avoid breaking laws that make it a crime to sleep, eat or urinate outdoors.

Desertrain has roots in a push from Venetians like Ryavec for greater police intervention. Venice has long been known as a beach community for free spirits—and it’s always had a homeless population.

Rosendahl

Bill Rosendahl foresees continued tension in Venice unless permanent housing options are developed. Photo by Kyle Monk.

“Venice is a magnet,” says former LA city councilman Bill Rosendahl, who represented the area before he retired in 2013. “Those who have issues—psychiatric issues, homeless issues—they’re just like any other person, attracted to the beach.”

Venice became even more of a magnet after the LAPD got the neighborhood’s 1990s gang problem under control. This brought in wealthier residents, as did the “Silicon Beach” group of tech companies clustered in LA’s beach communities. (Among others, Google’s LA offices are in Venice, not far from Skid Rose.)

Some perceive these newer residents as less tolerant of the homeless than longtime Venetians. Rosendahl strongly disputes this but says that “Venice has been more accommodating in the past.”

At the same time, the Los Angeles Times reported in February that younger and more aggressive people have moved into the homeless population, changing its character. Ten-year resident Jack Hoffman, a neighborhood activist like Ryavec, also believes methamphetamine has changed the homeless population. Some of these new people have not proved to be good neighbors. For example, an RV dumped its septic tank along Rose Avenue in 2010, requiring the city to send a hazardous materials cleanup crew.

homeless on the pier in Venice Beach

Photo by Jennifer Kelton.

The resulting community complaints brought more city pressure to bear on the area’s homeless. The city stepped up police presence and enforcement with an LAPD Venice Homelessness Task Force, instituted a beach curfew between midnight and 5 a.m., approved a ban on oversize vehicles in neighborhoods that asked for them, and originally supported the Venice Stakeholders Association’s fight with the California Coastal Commission for overnight parking restrictions. (The city dropped its support not long before former city attorney Carmen Trutanich left office in July 2013 after an unsuccessful re-election bid.) And LA started enforcing its 1983 ordinance forbidding living in vehicles, resulting in the citations challenged in Desertrain.

Venice residents are sharply divided on homeless issues, with some feeling threatened by the situation and others arguing that driving the homeless out changes something unique and important about Venice culture. Online debate can quickly get heated, with personal attacks on people like Ryavec and Sobel and the homeless themselves.

It spills over into the real world. In 2012, the city put a shipping container on the beach to store homeless people’s property while they slept at winter shelters. The container became a subject of fierce community debate. Eventually, someone sneaked extra padlocks onto it in the middle of the night. This required the city to cut them off, creating delays for homeless people trying to collect their things.

In January, Councilmember Mike Bonin told a Venice Neighborhood Council meeting that the container was required by the Lavan decision. He called for “a more civil discourse,” noting that his office had gotten numerous complaints about the container based on misinformation.

Though nothing is proven, some of the area’s homeless believe the debate also leads to violence. In May, someone broke all the windows in an inhabited camper shell near Penmar Park, according to the Venice Update and Free Venice Beachhead blogs. The next night, the blogs said, someone firebombed the camper shell as its owner, Ernest Roman, lay in bed. Roman escaped, but the fire destroyed his home and almost everything he owned. In July, the Los Angeles Fire Department confirmed that a vehicle fire at that time and location was being investigated as arson.

homeless in an alley in Venice Beach

Photo by Jennifer Kelton.

UNPAID TICKETS LEAD TO CRIMINAL RECORDS

At a weekly dinner for the poor given by the First Baptist Church of Venice, vehicle-dweller Charles Moore said there are homeless people with 10, 15 or even 20 parking tickets. He said he watched a police officer pass up a chance to arrest such a person—but then issue yet another ticket, which Moore thought was an odd way to handle alleged lawbreaking.

Moore said he’d gotten four tickets himself since arriving in Venice about a month before. One was a parking ticket—which he said he’d paid because it was legitimate—and three other tickets for $197 each, which he planned to contest. One was for blocking the sidewalk; Moore said he was helping another man fix a bicycle at the time. Another was for jaywalking.

Other vehicle-dwellers at the dinner said they were given warnings during the crackdown on living in vehicles, but no tickets for living in a car. One said he was told he had to move if neighbors complained, but it wasn’t illegal to sleep in the car. (This was contradicted to some extent by testimony from the Desertrain plaintiffs, one of whom started sleeping on the sidewalk after police warned him not to sleep in his car.)

Another man parked on the Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu for three months before returning to Venice. He said everyone in vehicles is “breathing a lot easier” after the Desertrain decision.

Moore claimed he was living in his car by choice and could pay the tickets. But for homeless people with very low incomes, the NLCHP report says, criminalization creates more barriers to ending homelessness. Arrests and citations generate fines they can’t pay, creating bench warrants later. A criminal record can mean being turned down for jobs and for public housing subsidies, which are crucial for housing very-low-income people. Going to jail can mean losing public benefits, a job or an opportunity. And losing belongings to arrest or confiscation can mean losing basic tools like identification, cellphones and medication.

Laws like these often violate the civil rights of the homeless, or sometimes (as in cases involving church groups giving out food) their advocates. Just as the ban on living in a vehicle was found unconstitutionally vague in Desertrain, vagrancy and loitering laws have also been struck down as vague, especially when defendants can point to uneven or arbitrary enforcement. Laws prohibiting public performance of basic life activities like sleeping can be struck down under the Eighth Amendment, if homeless people have nowhere else to perform those activities. That was the ruling in LA’s Jones case.

Laws permitting seizures of homeless people’s property can be struck down under the 14th Amendment’s due process clause and the Fourth Amendment’s ban on unreasonable seizures. These formed the basis of the 9th Circuit’s Lavan decision. The First Amendment right to freedom of speech prohibits blanket bans on panhandling. That was the holding of both the Richmond, Virginia-based 4th and the Cincinnati-based 6th circuits last year in Clatterbuck v. City of Charlottesville and Speet v. Schuette.

And organizations that feed the homeless have invoked their own First Amendment rights to freedom of religion or political speech. Over the past decade, federal district courts have often struck these laws down on religious freedom grounds, although the Atlanta-based 11th Circuit upheld Orlando’s restrictions in 2011 as a reasonable time, place or manner restriction on political speech.

These humanitarian and civil rights concerns are why the ABA House of Delegates passed Resolution 117 at the 2013 annual meeting, urging governments to “promote the human right to adequate housing for all through increased funding, development and implementation of affordable housing strategies and to prevent infringement of that right.” It was sponsored by nine ABA groups, including the ABA Commission on Homelessness and Poverty. The commission itself advocates for laws and policies to lift people out of homelessness, and it provides resources for advocates for the poorest Americans.

“The criminalization of homelessness is perhaps the least effective way to end homelessness and is a tremendous distraction from the real solutions to homelessness, which are housing and income for people in poverty,” says Antonia Fasanelli, immediate-past chair of the commission and executive director of the Homeless Persons Representation Project in Baltimore.

homeless asleep on the sidewalk, Venice Beach

Photo by Jennifer Kelton.

Perhaps most important for municipalities with limited budgets, letting homeless people cycle through jails and hospitals is actually more expensive to taxpayers than providing housing, research shows.

That’s because homelessness tends to lead to increased reliance on emergency medical services, as well as more dealings with the criminal justice system (as both victims and perpetrators).

A few localities have tried “housing first” models and documented considerable savings. One of the first such programs was the Albuquerque Heading Home initiative, which was launched in January 2011. The goal was to house some of the city’s toughest cases: chronically homeless people who had documented behavioral health and substance abuse problems. Those people are usually the most vulnerable within the homeless population—and use the most police and medical services. Combining a mixture of public and private funding, the program moved those individuals into housing and provided social workers to address their underlying problems.

After a year in the program, a University of New Mexico study found, clients were costing the public 31 percent less than they had the previous year—an average of $12,831.68 less per person. Those savings largely came from less use of emergency rooms, hospitals, jails and jail-based treatment programs. Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry said in June that the city saved $3.2 million over the three years of the program.

So why don’t more cities try it? Rosen suggests that the greater immediate cost of supportive housing might blind people to the long-term costs of overusing the criminal justice system.

“It requires a willingness and ability to make that upfront investment,” he says. “There’s a desire to find an immediate solution that doesn’t cost money, and so people turn to ‘Well, just arrest everyone.’ Of course, that does actually cost money.”

There have already been some efforts toward housing-first programs in Los Angeles County, although none directly sponsored by the city. One was Los Angeles County’s Project 50, which from 2007 to 2012 sought to permanently house 50 chronically homeless, vulnerable people on downtown LA’s notorious Skid Row. In the end, a county report says, the project housed 67 people and saved more money than its cost to taxpayers.

Also underway is the Home for Good initiative, a collaboration between the United Way of Greater Los Angeles and the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, which seeks to end chronic and veteran homelessness by 2016. Program Associate Emily Bradley says it works closely with several area governments, including that of Los Angeles, and had housed 14,249 people through April.

The city itself has taken a softer approach. In 2010, when homelessness became a serious issue in Venice, then-councilman Rosendahl started Vehicles to Homes, a program that he later said moved about 100 people into stationary homes.

Rosendahl also wanted to establish a parking lot where vehicle-dwellers could park for the night legally and have access to social services, modeled after programs in Santa Barbara, California, and Eugene, Oregon. But Sobel says Rosendahl was stymied by community opposition to all three of the potential sites. (Rosendahl says a site near LAX is still under consideration.)

“This is the problem with homelessness in LA generally,” says Sobel. “There is not the political will to address the solutions; there is only the political will to put people in jail. And that doesn’t address anything.”

A similar problem arose when advocates for the homeless made plans to establish permanent supportive housing for homeless veterans at the VA campus in West Los Angeles. The land is expressly designated for veterans’ care, but it’s also near the expensive neighborhoods of Brentwood and Westwood, and some of those residents didn’t want the project nearby.

Advocates say those complaints caused government agencies to slow the project. Though the permanent supportive housing was announced in 2007, renovations on the three abandoned buildings chosen didn’t start until 2010. And the original federal funding allocated was enough for renovating only one of the buildings, Rosendahl says, with nothing left over for staffing. Rosendahl believes the city can’t solve its homelessness problems without greater funding and support from other levels of government. “Venice will continue to have tensions until we get permanent housing,” he says. “And we’re talking about tens of millions of dollars, and actually talking about hundreds of millions of dollars.”

homeless veteran in a wheelchair with an American Flag on Venice Beach, California

A homeless veteran displays his patriotism along the shores of Venice Beach. Photo by Jennifer Kelton.

At least some funding might be coming.

In July, Mayor Eric Garcetti pledged to join the Obama administration’s Mayors Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness, which advocates a housing-first approach. Garcetti was reportedly in talks to secure related federal funding.

There are also signs that the city is changing its day-to-day approach to homelessness. City officials said in July that the LAPD would reduce arrests on downtown’s Skid Row for petty offenses. And the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, an entity that coordinates homeless services for most of the county, has begun offering social services on Skid Row in combination with major street-cleaning efforts.

As for vehicle-dwellers, City Attorney Mike Feuer said in June that he wouldn’t appeal Desertrain. Instead, he said he would work with other city officials to write a new law that balances homeless civil rights with neighborhood quality-of-life issues.

But Sobel isn’t optimistic about those changes. As of August, she says, the 1,250 units of supportive housing ordered by the settlement in Jones were nearly built. In fact, she says the city even allocated general-fund money for that purpose in 2013. That means the city will soon no longer be enjoined from enforcing its law against sitting, sleeping or lying on sidewalks at night.

The city “went out of its way to speed it up … so that, as one of the council people said when they came out of closed session, they can return to enforcement,” Sobel says. It’s “not over, and they know they’re going to get sued again.”

This article originally appeared in the November 2014 issue of the ABA Journal with this headline: “Unwanted Guests: Trying to manage a growing homeless population, Los Angeles and other cities get mired in civil rights disputes.”
Clarification

“Unwanted Guests,” November, should have described Mark Ryavec’s duplex as being built about 1905. The Los Angeles County assessor’s office lists that date and 1947. Ryavec says the house was built in 1907 and a two-bedroom structure in back was built in 1949.

Previous:
Chicago teens tell how guns affected them and their neighborhoods

Next:
ABA Announcements
Filed under:
4th Circuit Court | 9th Circuit Court | 11th Circuit Court | States | First Amendment | Constitutional Law | Criminal Justice | Civil Rights | Real Estate & Property Law | Trials & Litigation | Government Law | Law Practice Management | Legislation & Lobbying | ABA | California | Criminal Procedure | Features | Verdicts & Settlements | Pro Bono | Executive Branch | Bar Associations | Business of Law
You might also like:

Scheme to defraud Mayer Brown nets 27-month sentence for former employee
Has the BigLaw recovery arrived? Revenue per lawyer is at a low point, when adjusted for inflation
Baker Donelson forms ‘policy affiliate’ to be led by former US senator
Ex-partner says he loved Geoffrey Fieger like a brother but couldn’t work with him
Avvo launches service providing on-demand legal advice for a fixed fee

We welcome your comments, but please adhere to our comment policy. Flag comment for moderator.

October 29, 2014

Another hidden Obama-Democrat attack on US citizens. What else do we not know? [nc]

Record Number of Americans Renouncing Citizenship Because of Overseas Tax Burdens
ABC News
By ALI WEINBERG 20 hours ago




Bloomberg
Why Are U.S. Tax Policies Sending Americans Packing

Frustration over taxes is as American as apple pie, but some U.S. citizens are becoming so overwhelmed by the Internal Revenue Service that they’ve decided to stop being Americans altogether.

According to new Treasury Department data, 776 Americans renounced their citizenship over three months ending in September for a total of 2,353 renunciations this year, on pace to surpass the previous year’s record number of 2,999 renouncers.

Experts say this growing number of ex-Americans is a side effect of new tax regulations within the last few years intended to crack down on tax evasion but that also make it harder for all citizens abroad to conduct even routine financial transactions. Chief among them is the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, or FATCA, passed by Congress in 2010 and in effect since July 2014. FATCA aimed to cut down on the use of secret offshore accounts by requiring foreign banks to report all Americans with accounts over $50,000 or face a 30 percent surcharge on the accounts.

Marylouise Serrato, the executive director of American Citizens Abroad, an advocacy group, said the measure ended up hurting otherwise law-abiding citizens living in foreign countries, of which the most recent estimates say there are 6.32 million. Serrato cited a 2014 poll conducted by the group Democrats Abroad that found an average of 12.7 percent of applicants for various foreign financial services were denied by their banks.

“The problem is not paying taxes or not wanting to pay taxes, the problem is that they’re having an inability to find financial providers and people who are still willing to deal with them as American citizens,” Serrato said.

There’s also the problem of so-called “accidental Americans,” who were born in the United States but have lived most of their lives in Canada. American tax law mandates that citizens pay U.S. taxes regardless of the country in which they reside, meaning that in the last five years, when the U.S. government started cracking down on foreign tax evaders, many Canadians born in the U.S. realized for the first time that they might owe the IRS back taxes.
View gallery
Record Number of Americans Renouncing Citizenship Because …
Record Number of Americans Renouncing Citizenship Because of Overseas Tax Burdens (ABC News)

Among them was one man who was born in the U.S. but was brought to Canada right after birth, who insisted on anonymity because he is still in the process of renouncing his American citizenship – which he didn’t even realize he had until, on a 2011 trip south of the US-Canada border, he was told he needed an American passport in order to re-enter the United States.

He was eventually allowed to pass, but upon returning home realized the agent who let him through was correct. “Sure enough, if you are considered a US citizen you can’t travel into the US using anything other than a US passport,” he said.

He learned he could either declare five years of back taxes to the IRS under a new voluntary disclosure program, which he said would have cost him thousands of dollars in legal and accounting fees, or renounce his American citizenship, which so far has taken him more than a year and several trips to his nearest consulate to do.

“I don’t break any laws,” he said. “It’s an accident of birth.”

And when he does renounce his American citizenship, the Canada resident will also have to pay a onetime fee of $2,350 for what the State Department says is the cost of processing a citizenship renunciation.

That fee is more than a five-fold increase from what the cost was before September 2014, when renouncing one’s American citizenship cost $450.

A State Department spokesperson said the fee was increased to reflect the real, unsubsidized cost of providing the service. “In addition to the work done at the embassy or consulate, the case comes back to the department for a final review and decision, which involves additional resources. A renunciation is a serious decision, and we need to be certain that the person renouncing fully understands the consequences,” the spokesperson said via email.

Serrato’s group American Citizens Abroad recommends that Congress add a “same-country exception” to FATCA, which would exempt citizens living in a foreign country from paying a U.S. tax for financial services from a bank in the same country where they live. The intended goal would be for FATCA to affect only the groups it intended to target: potential tax evaders who live in one country but have foreign accounts in others.

“This is a community that’s not tax evaders and living the high life. There’s a real need, if the US is going to be a global player and we want Americans overseas selling products, that people need to have certain tools in order to do that,” she said.

October 26, 2014

Stephen Flatow, from Rabbi Brenner Glickman [c]

[ Additional commentary at the end: Keep in mind while reading this, that the timeline for Counselor Flatow’s actions actually start in the 1970’s when this “Foundation” was taken over by the Iranian Theocracy. Thus, the criminal activity detailed herein, took place during the following administrations: Carter, Reagan, HW Bush, Clinton, H Bush, and Obama.]

Stephen Flatow: The Amazing Story of What One Person Can Accomplish
By Rabbi Brenner Glickman, Rosh Hashanah 5775/2014

Tonight, I will tell you a story. It is the true story of a seemingly inconsequential man who, driven by passion and determination, has accomplished the extraordinary. It is a David and Goliath story of our times, and it continues to unfold. When you hear this story, I think you will agree that someone needs to write a book about this man. I can’t believe that no one has yet.

Our hero’s name is Stephen Flatow. He is a real-estate attorney in northern New Jersey. He does title work, mostly, out of a small, cluttered office. He is well-regarded in his field, but not especially well known. He makes a living. He is famous, however, in other circles, as an activist. His courage and determination are unmatched. This lone man has stood up to the greatest powers and has not blinked. He has challenged the State Department, the Justice Department, the courts, and the largest banks in the world. He has failed and prevailed, stumbled and triumphed, over and over again. He does not quit. He is driven by the love of his daughter, a daughter who was killed by a suicide bomber twenty years ago. This is his story.

Alisa Flatow was a student at Brandeis University. She chose to spend a semester studying abroad in Jerusalem. After a few months in Israel, she and her roommates decided to spend a weekend at a beach resort in Gaza. This was 1995, soon after the Oslo accords, and Gaza was still under Israeli control. It seems unfathomable now, but people used to vacation in Gaza at the beach resorts. On the way to the beach, their bus was struck by a van filled with explosives. The terrorist group Palestinian Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the killing. Seven Israeli soldiers riding on the bus were killed. Alisa was severely wounded, but she did not die right away. The terrorist van was filled with shrapnel that exploded through the windows of the bus and struck her head. She was unconscious, but her body was unharmed.

The doctors called her father in America, and told him to come right away. When he landed in Ben Gurion airport, government agents met him on the runway, and escorted him straight from the plane to the hospital. By the time he arrived, Alisa was brain-dead. The doctors offered their condolences, and asked the father if he would be willing to donate her organs.

This was not a simple question. The Flatow family was Orthodox and observant. It was not customary for Orthodox Jews to donate organs, and they were not sure it was allowed by Jewish law. So the parents called their rabbi and asked what to do. He told them to donate the organs, and so they did.

That single act became a sensation in Israel. To understand its significance, I need to give a little background information. There is much in Jewish law and custom that would discourage organ donation. It has been our longstanding tradition to treat a dead body as sacred. Our custom is to watch over it, cleanse it, and prepare it carefully for burial. The body is buried whole and unaltered. That is why rabbinic authorities have generally discouraged autopsies.

But organ donation is special. It presents the opportunity to save a life. In Jewish law, the saving of a human life takes special precedence. You can violate just about all the other commandments if you can save a life. Therefore, Jewish law does not just allow organ donation, it requires it. Reform and Conservative rabbis immediately encouraged organ donation, and by the 1970s, Orthodox rabbis did as well.

The problem was that most Jews in Israel were not aware of this. The rates of organ donation were extraordinarily low. Israel was part of a European consortium of organ sharing nations, but was suspended because too few Israelis were registered donors. It was a stunning irony for a nation famous as an innovator of advanced medical technologies. The problem was that Israelis knew about the tradition of burying a body whole; they were not so aware that their rabbis allowed organ donation.

Throughout the 1970s and 80s, various medical groups and the government in Israel tried to educate the public, but nothing worked. Organ donation rates were terribly low. People were desperate for organs, but few were donating. It just wasn’t what people did.

And then the Flatows offered their daughter’s organs to the people of Israel. The news made headlines in every newspaper throughout the nation. Her heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, pancreas, and corneas were able to save six lives in Israel. Notably, at least one of the recipients was Arab Palestinian. The people of Israel were amazed, and grateful. They had felt so alone in suffering against terrorism, and here this family from America made such a gesture. They felt that the world Jewish community was with them. We were one.

Days later, Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin came to Washington DC and spoke before a gathering of 12,000 American Jews. What he told them would be printed in newspapers throughout America. He spoke about what Alisa’s gift meant to the Israeli people. “Today,” he said, “her heart beats in Jerusalem.” There is more. After Alisa’s death, the Flatows lives were shattered. Alisa’s mother withdrew into herself and her home. But the father, Stephen, decided to take action. He wanted justice. It was widely reported that the State of Iran was the sponsor and financial backer of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. It angered him that there were no consequences for Iran. They had funded his daughter’s murderers, and no one was doing anything about it. The bomber himself was killed. The terrorist ring was being pursued by Israel. Stephen Flatow decided to take it upon himself to go after Iran.

A lawyer by training, he sought justice through the courts. He had a brilliant idea. If he and other victims of terror could file suit against Iran, they could exact punishment on the regime. They would make it costly for states to sponsor terror, and then maybe Iran would think twice about doing it again.

But there was a problem. United States law did not allow private citizens to sue foreign governments. It was expressly forbidden. So Stephen Flatow went to Washington to change the law. His senator, the Jewish Frank Lautenberg, happened to be in Israel at the time of Alyssa’s death. He took a special interest in her family and drafted legislation. Flatow testified before congress, and even gained the backing of President Clinton. Congress passed the Anti-Terrorism Act of 1996 to make an exception to the longstanding rule. In cases of state-sponsored terror, individual US citizens could sue foreign nations for damages in US courts. It was the first victory.

It did not last. The courts threw it out. So back to Washington he went for a new law, one written specifically to override the objections of the court. Once again he sued the state of Iran in a US court. But his time, one of his allies became an adversary. The Clinton administration began to see Flatow as interfering in national diplomacy. The White House was against Iran, but they did not want Flatow dictating the terms. So the U.S. Department of Justice intervened in the case, and actually filed a brief in support of Iran and against the victims of terror. Once more, Flatow returned to Congress and this time he got a third law that gave citizens even more strength to sue foreign governments, this time with teeth.

Finally, in 1997, he received his judgment. A court ruled in favor of the Flatows and against Iran. The family was awarded $26 million in compensatory damages, and over $200 million in punitive damages.

But the issue was hardly over. How do you collect money from a rogue state? They weren’t paying. Stephen Flatow devised a plan. Since the United States had ended diplomatic ties with Iran following the rise of the Ayatollah, the Iranian embassy in Washington and the residence of the Iranian ambassador have been in control of the United States Government. The State Department holds them in trust with the goal of returning them to Iran someday when relations resume. Stephen Flatow now had a ruling that said the Iranian government owed him $247 million. He sought possession of the embassy and the residence, property owned by Iran. The State Department refused. They feared that if the United States confiscated sovereign property here, our embassies and properties abroad would become threatened. So instead, they paid Flatow $20 million from US funds with the understanding that the United States would collect that money from Iran someday.

Stephen Flatow was furious. His goal was not to get money. His goal was to make Iran pay so they would stop sponsoring terror. He had won in court and he had received money, but Iran had still not paid one cent.

And this leads to the third chapter of this amazing saga. Stephen Flatow did not give up. He began to look for other assets in the United States that were owned by the government of Iran. Officially, there were none. United States sanctions prohibited Iran from doing any business in the United States, or for anyone to do business with Iran in the United States. But Flatow had suspicions that a charitable foundation in New York was actually a front, laundering money for the Iranian regime.

Why would the Iranians funnel their money through New York? Because the financial exchanges are there, and you can’t get anything done internationally without going through New York’s markets. Iran’s economy, its nuclear weapons development, its sponsorship of Hezbollah and other jihadists groups – all required moving money across currencies. They needed a secret foothold in New York. The Alavi Foundation was established decades ago by the Shah to promote Iranian culture abroad. It owned a gleaming skyscraper on 5th Avenue in Manhattan, between Rockefeller Center and the Museum of Modern Art. Ivan Boesky used to office there. Stephen Flatow did a lot of digging, and then filed papers in court demonstrating that the foundation and the building were secretly operated by the Iranian government. And if they belonged to the state of Iran, they were subject to his financial ruling.

Stephen Flatow’s case was a civil matter, but it came to the attention of a young analyst sitting in a cubicle at the Manhattan District Attorney’s office. If what Flatow was saying was true, there was some serious criminal wrongdoing going on. That young analyst’s name was Eitan Arusy. Before he starting working for the District Attorney, he served in the Israel Defense Force as a spokesman. He was one of the first responders to the scene of the carnage on the day that Alisa Flatow’s bus was bombed. He had a special interest in the case. The district attorney’s office did their own digging, and came to the same conclusion as Flatow – the Alavi Foundation was actually a front for Bank Melli, the State of Iran’s government-owned national bank. But how did the Iranians do it? How did they get their money in and out of the United States? The district attorney’s office soon discovered that two European Banks, Credit Suisse and Lloyds of London, were moving money and falsifying documents for the Iranians. When the FBI raided the records of the charity, they found vast deposits from Credit Suisse and Lloyds. The banks cooperated with investigators. They provided emails and memos detailing how they took Iranian money and sent it to the United States in their own names. Without admitting guilt, Lloyds agreed to pay a fine of $350 million, and Credit Suisse $536 million.

They were not alone. It was soon discovered that most of the major European banks were laundering money for the Iranians into the United States, in direct violation of US law. Barclays Bank settled in 2010, paying the United States $298 million. In 2012, ING, Standard Chartered, and HSBC also settled. HSBC agreed to pay $1.9 billion.

Then came the big one. While all these banks were making deals with the US government, two employees of BNP Paribas became whistleblowers. They shared with investigators that their bank had laundered tens of billions of dollars of Iranian money. They had also laundered money for Sudan while its regime was committing genocide.

BNP is the largest bank in France. This summer you may have seen the news. BNP became the first bank to admit guilt in laundering money for the Iranian government. They agreed to pay $8.9 billion in fines to the United States. It was far and away the largest penalty ever paid by a bank in history. The New York Times headline said it best: “A Grieving Father Pulls a Thread that Unravels BNP’s Illegal Deals.” A dad lost his girl. The hole in his life will never be filled. He thinks about her every day. He never gives up. He is a small-time attorney doing title work in New Jersey. But his tenacity and his grit and his smarts were beyond anyone’s estimation. This one man in New Jersey uncovered an international conspiracy of bank fraud.

The story is not over. Stephen Flatow is not done. The man who instantly changed the culture of organ donation is Israel is trying to do the same here in America. He takes every opportunity to speak to Orthodox congregations to encourage organ donation. Though the rate of donation consent in America is strong at 60%, the rate among Flatow’s fellow Orthodox Jews is only 5%. He is on a mission to change that.

He and his wife have also established a foundation in Alisa’s name. They sponsor young Jewish women from around the world to take a semester of study in Jerusalem. The money they have received in their fight against Iran is now sponsoring women’s Torah study and the vitality of the State of Israel.

And, in the months ahead, he may finally achieve his goal of making Iran actually pay. A federal judge has the ruled that the assets of the Alavi Foundation be liquidated. The gleaming office tower in New York and other properties around America will be sold and the proceeds will go to the victims of Iranian-sponsored terrorism. That will be Iranian money. Finally, Iran will pay a price.

All of this because of one man in Northern New Jersey. One man who never quit.

Earlier this summer, I did my own digging and I found Stephen Flatow’s contact information. I sent him an email.

Dear Mr. Flatow,

My name is Brenner Glickman and I am a rabbi with a congregation in Sarasota, Florida. I admire you and am writing a sermon about you and your family for this High Holidays. Thank you for all that you have done and continue to do for Israel and America.
You are an inspiration.

He replied the same day:
Dear Rabbi Glickman,

Thanks very much for your note. But it’s really Alisa who has been the source of strength and encouragement these past 19 years. As I like to remind people , I’m still her father and we do anything for our children.
Stephen Flatow

[Aside from the obvious corruption evident in the entire narrative, here are some things that are passed over; both FINRA and the OCC were established decades ago to prevent all of this. High members of the administrations listed in my opening comment MUST have known, including those at the Cabinet Level, Secretary of State, Secretary of the Treasury, Department of Labor, Securities and Exchange Commission, to list just a few. Whether or not these cabinet level officiasl informed their respective president or respective chief of staff, is a matter for the pertinent Congressional Oversight Committee.

Y’all keep wondering and sending me emails about secession, but it is the only way to get rid of this institutional corruption which never reaches the media, much less your notice. I redirect your attention to, once again, the posts below on wealth, economics, education, and the argument for secession.

Secession is the only way to remove all of the bureaucrats who have allowed this form of corruption to exist for as long as it has, and to prevent its continuance.]

September 22, 2014

Feds & CA grant illegals drivers licenses [c]

It took a while, but the federal government late last week finally signed off on the California Department of Motor Vehicles’ design for driver’s licenses for people in the country illegally.
The inevitable reaction to such accommodations is to say, deport them all. But that’s not going to happen. –

The cards, which will be issued beginning Jan. 1, will have the phrase “federal limits apply” on the front. The Department of Homeland Security rejected the initial design, which would have placed a small mark on the front and add to the back the sentence: “This card is not acceptable for official federal purposes.” So the new version will be less subtle than backers had hoped (Ted Rall explores that here, and in the cartoon above).

It’s a reasonable compromise. The editorial board last year endorsed the state’s move under AB60 to issue licenses to immigrants in the country illegally who learn the rules of the road and pass a driver’s test, among other requirements. The September editorial said:

“That would bring California in line with at least nine other states that have adopted similar measures. Since 1993, most immigrants living here illegally have been barred from obtaining California licenses (except for some young people who qualify for temporary federal work permits).

“Already, critics of AB 60 are arguing that providing driver’s licenses to people who are in the United States illegally rewards them for breaking the law. But that’s putting politics before common sense.
cComments

What “shadows”…?!?! They are getting Drivers Licenses for crying out loud. The only shadows they are hiding in are the ones provided by Lib blowhards!
joesand128
at 2:04 PM September 22, 2014

Add a comment See all comments
5

“AB 60 doesn’t condone illegal immigration. Rather, it recognizes the argument made by some law enforcement officials, including Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck, that we are all safer if those immigrants who are currently driving without a license are taught to operate a car safely and are tested to ensure that they meet the same standards as other drivers. Licenses will also deter hit-and-run accidents by taking away one of the chief incentives to flee the scene.”

It’s a smart move for the state, and for the country. Since that editorial, the number of issuing states has increased to 11, plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Ensuring that immigrants in the U.S. illegally know how to drive safely does not reward them for violating the immigration laws. Rather, it helps make the roads safer for all of us.

The inevitable reaction to such an accommodation is to say, deport them all. But that’s not going to happen. Nor should it. DHS estimates there are at least 11.5 million immigrants in the country illegally – equal to the population of Ohio – which the New Republic estimated earlier this year (based on a Center for American Progress report) would cost $216 billion to deport, compared with DHS’ annual budget of $60 billion.

And if those here illegally were rounded up and sent home, the effect on the economy would be around $260 billion a year, the libertarian Cato Institute estimated based on the assumption of 8.3 million immigrants living here illegally and working in the country.

At some point Congress must find a way to bring these immigrants out of the shadows while creating disincentives for future such immigration. No easy task, I know. But the status quo appeals to no one, and the nation can’t deport them all. We need a common sense approach. While pragmatism is hard to find in Congress these days, we still should demand it.

[Thanks to US Constitution Article IV, the ACLU, La Raza, and other “it discriminates against a minority” diversity proponents, the “undocumented worker” hologram will, after a court challenge to the 9th Circuit, then SCOTUS affirming that it is discriminatory and therefore must be removed, all illegal aliens will automatically become voters and citizens. Establish residency in CA, get a standard driver’s license, move to another state, and use the standard CA DL as proof of citizenship, register to vote, and own the country.

I have written about this for years, just look through the various posts.

BTW, we DO have the resources to kick them all out. Just enforce the laws, especially Mazzoli 1986, and E-Verify!

Secession, before Sylvia Thompson’s prophecy becomes reality.

Secession.]

Older Posts »

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.