Tuesday, July 28, 2015
A Great Rattlesnake Story!!
As long as we insist on maintaining the "moral high ground" we will NEVER win the war on terrorism! We're in a conflict in which we absolutely INSIST in playing by the rules against a maniacal group who have NO rules!
After the Boston bombing the news media spent days and weeks trying to determine why these men did what they did. They want to know what America did(!) to make these brothers so angry with us. They want to know why these men were not arrested before they did something so terrible. The media is in a tizzy about this new era of homegrown radicals and about why and how they can live among us and still hate us.
A friend of mine from Texas explained it all to me: “Here in west Texas , I have rattlesnakes on my place, living among us. I have killed a rattlesnake on the front porch. I have killed a rattlesnake on the back porch. I have killed rattlesnakes in the barn, in the shop and on the driveway. In fact, I kill every rattlesnake I encounter.
I kill rattlesnakes because I know a rattlesnake will bite me and inject me with poison. I don’t stop to wonder WHY a rattlesnake will bite me; I know it WILL bite me because it's a rattlesnake and that's what rattlesnakes do. I don’t try to reason with a rattlesnake or have a "meaningful dialogue" with it…I just kill it. I don’t try to get to know the rattlesnake better so I can find a way to live with the rattlesnakes and convince them not to bite me. I just kill them. I don’t quiz a rattlesnake to see if I can find out where the other snakes are, because (a) it won’t tell me and (b) I already know they live on my place. So, I just kill the rattlesnake and move on to the next one.
I don’t look for ways I might be able to change the rattlesnake to a non-poisonous rat snake...I just kill it. Oh, and on occasion, I accidentally kill a rat snake because I thought it was a rattlesnake at the time. Also, I know for every rattlesnake I kill, two more are lurking out there in the brush. In my lifetime I will never be able to rid my place of rattlesnakes.
Do I fear them? Not really. Do I respect what they can do to me and my family? Yes!! And because of that respect, I give them the fair justice they deserve....I kill them... As a country, we should start giving more thought to the fact that these jihadists' are telling the world their goal is to kill Americans and destroy our way of life. They have just posted two graphic videos on the internet showing them beheading Americans. They are serious. They are exactly like rattlesnakes. It is high time for us to start acting accordingly!
I love this country . It's the government I'm afraid of!
Look who's new in the White House!
Arif Alikhan, Assistant Secretary for Policy Development for the U.S.Department of Homeland Security.
Mohammed Elibiary, Homeland Security Adviser.
Rashad Hussain, Special Envoy to the Organization of the Islamic Conference(OIC).
Salam al-Marayati, Obama Adviser and founder of the Muslim Public Affairs Council and is its current executive director.
Imam Mohamed Magid, Obama's Sharia Czar from the Islamic Society of North America Eboo Patel, Advisory Council on Faith-Based Neighborhood Partnerships. Not new, but the most influential Muslim in the White House: Valerie Jarrett….has more power over Barack than Michelle!
This is flat-out scary!
The foxes are now officially living in the hen house... Now ask me why I am very concerned!
Do you feel OK with this? How can this happen, and when will we wake up? We are quiet while our Country is being drastically changed!
Tuesday, July 21, 2015
Distinguished scientist Freeman Dyson has called the 1433 decision of the emperor of China to discontinue his country’s exploration of the outside world the “worst political blunder in the history of civilization.”
The United States seems at this moment about to break the record for the worst political blunder of all time, with its Obama administration deal that will make a nuclear Iran virtually inevitable.
Already the years-long negotiations, with their numerous “deadlines” that have been extended again and again, have reduced the chances that Israel can destroy the Iranian nuclear facilities, which have been multiplied and placed in scattered underground sites during the years when all this was going on.
Israel is the only country even likely to try to destroy those facilities, since Iran has explicitly and repeatedly declared its intention to wipe Israel off the face of the earth.
How did we get to this point — and what, if anything, can we do now? Tragically, these are questions that few Americans seem to be asking. We are too preoccupied with our electronic devices, the antics of celebrities and politics as usual.
During the years when we confronted a nuclear-armed Soviet Union, we at least realized that we had to “think the unthinkable,” as intellectual giant Herman Kahn put it. Today it seems almost as if we don’t want to think about it at all.
Our politicians have kicked the can down the road — and it is the biggest, most annihilating explosive can of all, that will be left for our children and grandchildren to try to cope with.
Back in the days of our nuclear standoff with the Soviet Union, some of the more weak-kneed intelligentsia posed the choice as whether we wanted to be “red or dead.” Fortunately, there were others, especially President Ronald Reagan, who saw it differently. He persevered in a course that critics said would lead to nuclear war. But instead it led to the peaceful conclusion of the Cold War.
President Barack Obama has been following opposite policies, and they are likely to lead to opposite results. The choices left after Iran gets nuclear bombs — and intercontinental missiles that can deliver them far beyond Israel — may be worse than being red or dead.
Bad as life was under the communists, it can be worse under nuclear-armed fanatics, who have already demonstrated their willingness to die — and their utter barbarism toward those who fall under their power.
Americans today who say that the only alternative to the Obama administration’s pretense of controlling Iran’s continued movement toward nuclear bombs is war ignore the fact that Israel bombed Saddam Hussein’s nuclear facilities, and Iraq did not declare war. To do so would have risked annihilation.
Early on, that same situation would have faced Iran. But Obama’s years-long negotiations with Iran allowed the Iranian leaders time to multiply, disperse and fortify their nuclear facilities.
The Obama administration’s leaking of Israel’s secret agreement with Azerbaijan to allow Israeli warplanes to refuel there, during attacks on Iran’s nuclear facilities, was a painfully clear sabotage of any Israeli attempt to destroy those Iranian facilities.
But the media’s usual practice to hear no evil, see no evil and speak no evil in the Obama administration buried this news, and allowed Obama to continue to pose as Israel’s friend, just as he continued to assure Americans that, if they liked their doctor they could keep their doctor.
Some commentators have attributed Barack Obama’s many foreign policy disasters to incompetence. But he has been politically savvy enough to repeatedly outmaneuver his opponents in America. For example, the Constitution makes it necessary for the President to get a two-thirds majority in the Senate to make any treaty valid. Yet he has maneuvered the Republican-controlled Congress into a position where they will need a two-thirds majority in both Houses to prevent his unilaterally negotiated agreement from going into effect — just by not calling it a treaty.
If he is that savvy at home, why is he so apparently incompetent abroad? Answering that question may indeed require us to “think the unthinkable,” that we have elected a man for whom America’s best interests are not his top priority.
Wednesday, July 15, 2015
The Best Arguments for an Iran Deal The Heroic Assumptions, and False Premises, of our Diplomacy
“Or maybe we won’t be lucky. Maybe there’s no special providence for nations drunk on hope, led by fools.”
In formal rhetoric, prolepsis means the anticipation of possible objections to an argument for the sake of answering them. So let’s be proleptic about the Iranian nuclear deal, whose apologists are already trotting out excuses for this historic diplomatic debacle.
The heroic case. Sure, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei is an irascible and violent revolutionary bent on imposing a dark ideology on his people and his neighborhood. Much the same could be said of Mao Zedong when Henry Kissinger paid him a visit in 1971—a diplomatic gamble that paid spectacular dividends as China became a de facto U.S. ally in the Cold War and opened up to the world under Deng Xiaoping.
But the hope that Iran is the new China fails a few tests. Mao faced an overwhelming external threat from the Soviet Union. Iran faces no such threat and is winning most of its foreign proxy wars. Beijing ratcheted down tensions with Washington with friendly table-tennis matches. Tehran ratchets them up by locking up American citizens and seizing cargo ships in the Strait of Hormuz. Deng Xiaoping believed that to get rich is glorious. Iranian President Hasan Rouhani, a supposed reformer, spent last Friday marching prominently in the regime’s yearly “Death to America, Death to Israel” parade.
If there is evidence of an Iranian trend toward moderation it behooves proponents of a deal to show it.
The transactional case. OK, so Iran hasn’t really moderated its belligerent behavior, much less its antediluvian worldview. And a deal won’t mean we won’t still have to oppose Iran on other battlefields, whether it’s Yemen or Syria or Gaza. But that doesn’t matter, because a nuclear deal is nothing more than a calculated swap. Iran puts its nuclear ambitions into cold storage for a decade. In exchange, it comes in from the cold economically and diplomatically. Within circumscribed parameters, everyone can be a winner.
But a transaction requires some degree of trust. Since we can’t trust Iran we need an airtight system of monitoring and verification. Will the nuclear deal provide that? John Kerry will swear that it will, but as recently as January Czech officials blocked a covert $61 million purchase by Iran of “dual-use” nuclear technologies. A month before that, the U.S. found evidence that Iran had gone on an illicit “shopping spree” for its plutonium plant in Arak. That’s what we know. What do we not know?
Also, how does a nuclear deal not wind up being Iran’s ultimate hostage in dictating terms for America’s broader Mideast policy? Will the administration risk its precious nuclear deal if Iran threatens to break it every time the two countries are at loggerheads over regional crises in Yemen or Syria? The North Koreans already mastered the art of selling their nuclear compliance for one concession after another—and they still got the bomb.
The defeatist case. All right: So the Iran deal is full of holes. Maybe it won’t work. Got any better ideas? Sanctions weren’t about to stop a determined regime, and we couldn’t have enforced them for much longer. Nobody wants to go to war to stop an Iranian bomb, not the American public and not even the Israelis. And conservatives, of all people, should know that foreign policy often amounts to a choice between evils. The best case for a nuclear deal is that it is the lesser evil.
Then again, serious sanctions were only imposed on Iran in November 2011. They cut the country’s oil exports by half, shut off its banking system from the rest of the world, sent the rial into free fall and caused the inflation rate to soar to 60%. By October 2013 Iran was six months away from a severe balance-of-payments crisis, according to estimates by the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. And that was only the first turn of the economic screw: Iran’s permitted oil exports could have been cut further; additional sanctions could have been imposed on the “charitable” foundations controlled by Iran’s political, military and clerical elite. Instead of turning the screw, Mr. Obama relieved the pressure the next month by signing on to the interim agreement now in force.
It’s true that nobody wants war. But a deal that gives Iran the right to enrich unlimited quantities of uranium after a decade or so would leave a future president no option other than war to stop Iran from building dozens of bombs. And a deal that does nothing to stop Iran’s development of ballistic missiles would allow them to put one of those bombs atop one of those missiles.
Good luck. Americans are a lucky people—lucky in our geography, our founders and the immigrants we attract to our shores. So lucky that Bismarck supposedly once said “there is a special providence for drunkards, fools, and the United States of America.”
Maybe we’ll get lucky again. Maybe Iran will change for the better after Mr. Khamenei passes from the scene. Maybe international monitors will succeed with Iran where they failed with North Korea. Maybe John Kerry is the world’s best negotiator, and this deal was the best we could do.
Or maybe we won’t be lucky. Maybe there’s no special providence for nations drunk on hope, led by fools.
Sunday, July 12, 2015
No American concession ever empties President Obama’s appeasement reservoir or satisfies Iran’s appetite. So on drone the negotiations toward a disastrous deal that would end sanctions against the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism while paving its way to a nuclear-weapons arsenal. In that connection, as Patrick Brennan noted on the Corner Friday, Senator Ben Sasse has penned a letter to the president that makes a compelling case against a key aspect of the contemplated Iran deal. Specifically, on the critical matter of establishing violations by Iran that would theoretically trigger reinstatement of the sanctions, Senator Sasse objects that Obama is foolishly shifting the burden of persuasion. The deal, he argues, would require the United States to prove Iranian violations rather than forcing Iran to prove it is in compliance. So here’s my problem: Since the obviously perspicacious senator grasps how critical the burden of persuasion is, why did he support the Corker bill?
That legislation, co-sponsored by Sasse and enacted as the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015, shifts the burden of persuasion away from President Obama and onto opponents of the Iran deal, thus making the deal virtually impossible to stop or undo. Sasse could not be more right that, in a dispute, the question of who carries the burden of proof can be just as significant as the question of what must be proved. This is best illustrated by our criminal-justice system. How do we put into action the proud boast that we’d rather see the guilty go free than the innocent wrongly convicted? By imposing the burden of persuasion on the state, not the accused. This establishes apresumption of innocence that often makes all the difference: Even if jurors believe the accused has probably committed the charged crime, they must acquit him if the state fails to carry its burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Iran, of course, is not just an accused party; it is an incorrigible recidivist. In overt contempt for our nation and president, Tehran is already in flagrant violation of the “Joint Plan of Action” it agreed to with the administration. The mullahs see that, even as they systematically flout this interim deal, Obama is hell-bent on looking the other way.
It is therefore certain that they will violate the final deal — which will be so frontloaded with carrots (e.g., a $150 billion signing bonus in the form of immediate sanctions relief) that the sticks can be laughed off. So Senator Sasse is right: In the final deal, the burden of persuasion is key. If Iran must prove its compliance to earn concessions, that is one thing; but if the United States must prove violations — not to an impartial jury but to hostile players such as Russia and China, and to Europeans as anxious as Obama to capitulate — then the sanctions are dead and buried.
In light of how crucial the burden of persuasion is, however, would it not have been better to leave in place the one the Constitution imposes on the president? The one that could have prevented Obama from making a legally enforceable deal in the first place? Under the Constitution, the president must persuade a two-thirds supermajority of senators to approve an agreement with a foreign power. That is, as I’ve repeatedly contended in connection with the Iran negotiations, the Constitution’s presumption is against legally binding international pacts. Of course, a president may make a legally non-binding agreement with a foreign sovereign, and he may act on it to the extent allowed by his broad constitutional power to conduct foreign affairs. This, however, does not enable him to ignore valid laws, such as international sanctions, that Congress properly enacts pursuant to its constitutional powers. To undo those, a president must either persuade the Senate to ratify a treaty or persuade the full Congress to repeal the sanctions by ordinary legislation — bills passed by a majority of both houses and signed by the president. Under the Constitution’s burden of persuasion, then, the Iran deal did not have a prayer of becoming law. Senator Sasse is right: In the final Iran deal, the burden of persuasion is key.
Enter the Corker legislation. It undermined the Constitution’s presumption against international agreements by shifting the burden of persuasion: Rather than forcing the president to persuade two-thirds of the Senate to approve the deal, it imposes on opponents the burden of persuading two-thirds of the full Congress to reject it. Even worse, this scheme also undermines the Constitution’s legislative process. The Corker legislation authorizes the president to waive sanctions against Iran even if Congress fails to pass, or to get the president to sign, a resolution approving the waiver. In fact, even if Congress passes a resolution disapproving Obama’s Iran deal, the Corker legislation allows Obama to veto the resolution and waive the sanctions anyway. (See “(c) EFFECT OF CONGRESSIONAL ACTION WITH RESPECT TO NUCLEAR AGREEMENTS WITH IRAN,” subsection (2) describing “statutory sanctions relief” procedure.) Sasse’s letter observes that Obama “administration officials have all but admitted that the sanctions relief will be used by Iran at some level to support terrorism.”
Yup. Sasse warns that “the message [Obama is] sending to other countries is that they can cheat and defy the international community and get away with it.” Indeed. The senator forcefully adds that in the absence of “anywhere-anytime inspections and verification measures, full disclosure of previous weaponization efforts, gradual and conditional sanctions relief, and automatic snap-back of sanctions” — all of which Iran has rejected with the Obama administration’s apparent acquiescence — “Congress should reject the deal and ensure that both sanctions and military action remain on the table.”
Exactly. So, with Republicans in control of both houses of Congress and seemingly unified against Obama’s awful Iran deal, what was the point of supporting and enacting legislation that has made it exponentially harder for Congress to reject the deal, preserve the sanctions, and keep the military option on the table? It is good that Senator Sasse recognizes the importance of the burden of persuasion.
The problem is that President Obama recognized it back when the Corker bill was being considered. That’s why he signed it. — Andrew C. McCarthy is a policy fellow at the National Review Institute. His latest book is Faithless Execution: Building the Political Case for Obama’s Impeachment.
Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/421047/iran-deal-ben-sasse-letter
Saturday, July 11, 2015
I’m a straight white male born of east European ancestry, a taxpaying American citizen now retired after gainful employment for 40 years with no handicaps or religious affiliation. I have no standing to be offended.
But I am. I’m offended by people constantly being offended. Seems that every conceivable minority group who is “offended” gets just what they are looking for: attention from news media and politicians. News organizations cash in with stories while politicians wave their wet fingers in the air to cash in voting blocs.
I don’t care if Donald Trump ever becomes president, but I will defend his right to freely express viewpoints as a public figure just as I would Sen. Bernie Sanders who openly espouses his politics as socialist. “Socialism” was once a dirty word in American politics, as was “communism,” and for good reason. No more.
Times have changed. Socialists are often applauded today in liberal circles, but anyone who exclaims being offended over illegal aliens committing crimes in our country is branded a “racist.” Donald Trump became an overnight threat to his opposition within Democratic and Republican circles when he quickly rose to No. 2 in the polls. When making general statements about the flow of undocumented immigrants from Mexico, everyone — including his enemies — knew exactly that his message concerned out-of-control illegal immigrants committing violent crimes in America. That’s telling the truth, nothing else. Plenty of statistical data supports that assertion. But in today’s America, criminal supporters get offended while the truth tellers are rebuked.
Thousands of horror stories exist to support Trump’s assertion, like illegal alien Francisco Sanchez, recently arrested for randomly shooting and killing an innocent woman in San Francisco. Sanchez had seven felonies on record, plus five deportations, all of which achieved nada for law-abiding citizens. Statistics are alarming. According to the FBI:
•83 and 86 percent of warrants for murder in Phoenix and Albuquerque are for illegals, respectively
•75 percent on the Most Wanted lists in these cities, and L.A., are illegal aliens.
•Illegals account for 25 percent of the federal prison population, plus 48.2 percent in New Mexico.
•630,000 illegal alien felons fill state and federal prisons daily, costing $1.6 billion annually
•Per Huffington Post, 80 percent of women coming across the border are raped in the process.
As the saying goes, never pass up a good crisis. This crisis has been manufactured against Mr. Trump, much like black conservative Herman Cain experienced in 2008 when he rose near the top in the polls. A pair of females suddenly emerged to “expose” Mr. Cain as a notorious flirt/sexist. Score one for the offended.
Now, the Hispanic anti-conservative sector has flexed its offended muscles, because being offended has rewards. Being offended is in vogue, particularly for gays and lesbians, illegal aliens, Muslims, blacks, Asians, women, Native Americans and others. Purveyors have even formed an agenda against a professional football team for a nickname it’s had for 80 years.
It’s impossible for Anglo white males to be offended — they have no political niche. Evangelical Christians are mostly conservative, so when they’re offended, who will listen? Then there are Jews. More than 60 percent of religion-based hate crimes are directed toward Jews, while 13.7 percent target Muslims (FBI; 2013). Yet, we hear little blustering about “offensiveness” from the Jewish community, but offending Muslims draws headlines.
While politicians mutter the same old mantra about needing immigration reform, Trump came out more forceful than others. Fact: All the blah blah from both sides of the aisle about immigration for the past 20 years has accomplished zero. So, maybe Trump’s approach should be commended, not condemned.
The wall is still unfinished, the border remains porous, border officers are hamstrung, illegals find open arms in sanctuary cities and a good percentage of them commit crimes. The president’s executive orders allowing de facto amnesty to illegals has exacerbated, rather than improved, an on-going criminal dilemma.
All of that offends me. But…who am I?
WASHINGTON — We need a pick me up. Amid the vandalizing of Palmyra, the imminent extinction of the northern white rhino, the disarray threatening Europe’s most ambitious attempt ever at peaceful unification — amid plague and pestilence and, by God, in the middle of Shark Week — where can humanity turn for uplift?
Meet New Horizons, arriving at Pluto on July 14. Small and light, the fastest spacecraft ever launched, it left Earth with such velocity that it shot past our moon in nine hours. A speeding bullet the size of a Steinway, it has flown 9 1/2 years to the outer edges of the solar system.
To Pluto, the now-demoted “dwarf planet” that lives beyond the Original Eight in the far distant “third zone” of the solar system — the Kuiper Belt, an unimaginably huge ring of rocks and ice and sundry debris where the dwarf is king.
After 3 billion miles, New Horizons will on Tuesday shoot right through Pluto’s mini-planetary system of five moons, the magnificently named Charon, Styx, Nix, Hydra and Kerberos.
Why through? Because, while the other planets lie on roughly the same plane, Pluto and its moon system stick up at an angle to that plane like a giant archery target. New Horizons gets one pass, going straight by the bull’s-eye. No orbiting around, no lingering for months or even years to photograph and study.
No mulligans. And no navigating. Can’t do that when it takes 4 1/2 hours for a message from Earth to arrive. This is a preprogrammed, single-take, nine-day deal.
For what? First, for the science, the coming avalanche of new knowledge. Remember: We didn’t even know there was a Pluto until 85 years ago when astronomer Clyde Tombaugh found a strange tiny dot moving across the star field.
Today, we still know practically nothing. In fact, two of the five moons were not discovered until after New Horizons was launched. And yet next week we will see an entirely new world come to life. “We’re not planning to rewrite any textbooks,” said principal investigator Alan Stern in a splendid New York Times documentary on the mission. “We’re planning to write them from scratch.”
Then there’s the romance. The Pluto fly-by caps a half-century of solar system exploration that has yielded staggering new wonders. Such as Europa, one of Jupiter’s moons, with its vast subterranean ocean under a crust of surface ice, the most inviting potential habitat for extraterrestrial life that human beings will ever reach.
Yes, ever. Promising exoplanets — the ones circling distant stars that we deduce might offer a Goldilocks zone suitable for water-based life — are being discovered by the week. But they are unreachable. The journey to even the nearest would, at New Horizons speed, take 280,000 years. Even mere communication would be absurdly difficult. A single exchange of greetings — “Hi there,” followed by “Back at you, brother” — would take a generation.
It’s the galactic version of the old Trappist monastery joke where every seven years one monk at one meal is allowed one remark. A young novice arrives and after seven years a monk stands up at dinner and says: “The soup is cold.” Seven years of silence. Then another monk stands and says: “The bread is stale.” Seven years later, the now-aging novice rises and says: “If you don’t stop this bickering, I’m outta here.”
Which is what a conversation with Klingons would be like, except with longer intervals. Which is why we prefer to scour our own solar system. And for more than just the science, more than just the romance. Here we are, upright bipeds with opposable thumbs, barely down from the trees, until yesterday unable to fly, to communicate at a distance, to reproduce a sound or motion or even an image — and even today barely able to manage the elementary decencies of civilization — taking close-up pictures and chemical readings of a mysterious world 9 1/2 years away.
One final touch. Every ounce of superfluous weight has been stripped from New Horizons to give it more speed and pack more instruments. Yet there was one concession to poetry. New Horizons is carrying some of Clyde Tombaugh’s ashes. After all, he found the dot. Not only will he fly by his netherworldly discovery, notes Carter Emmart of the American Museum of Natural History, he will become the first human being to have his remains carried beyond the solar system.
For the wretched race of beings we surely are, we do, on occasion, manage to soar.
Thursday, July 09, 2015
The random, heartless murder of a young tourist on San Francisco’s Pier 14 by a five-time illegal alien deportee who benefited from the “progressive” city’s sanctuary policy has law-abiding Americans, law enforcement officials and political opportunists of all stripes up in arms.
But for decades, feckless government leaders ignored the pleas of families who suffered the bloody consequences of open borders.
For every Kate Steinle who died at the hands of an illegal alien sanctuary beneficiary, there is a Tony, Michael and Matthew Bologna in San Francisco.
A Jamiel Shaw (age 17) or Xinran Ji (age 24) in Los Angeles.
A Martin Kudlis (age 3) in Denver.
An Iofemi Hightower, Dashon Harvey, Terrance Aeriel, or Natasha Aeriel in Newark.
A Zina Linnik (age 12) in Tacoma.
A Vanessa Pham (age 19) in Fairfax County, Va.
As I’ve reported time and again, liberal “sanctuary” programs in these metropolitan areas have protected, harbored and enabled criminal illegal aliens who disappeared into the deportation abyss. Both Democrats and Republicans, goaded by Big Government and Big Business interests, collaborated to turn America into a collective sanctuary nation. Non-enforcement is the rule, deportation evasion is the game, and the country is a safe haven — for law-breakers from around the world.
Yet, even as born-again tough-on-borders grandstanders now race in front of cameras to condemn these dangerous policies, churches across the country are brazenly thumbing their noses at our immigration laws. And political phonies are doing nothing to stop them.
In Northeast Portland, Ore., the Augustana Lutheran Church is shielding illegal alien Francisco Aguirre-Velasquez after he committed drunk driving and drug crimes and violated deportation rules.
In Tucson, Ariz., illegal alien Daniel Neyoy Ruiz took open, public refuge at Southside Presbyterian Church and then First Christian Church to avoid deportation. Fellow illegal alien Rosa Robles Loreto has been living at First Christian for nearly a year.
In Austin, Texas, First Unitarian Universalist church is harboring illegal alien Sulma Franco after the feds denied her deportation appeal.
In Denver, illegal alien Arturo Armando Hernandez Garcia has taken up long-term residence at First Unitarian Society of Denver church.
In Chicago, illegal alien Elvira Arellano settled at the United Methodist Church of Adalberto for a year before finally being ejected back to Mexico. Last year, the serial law-breaker somehow returned to the Windy City to protest her status “in the shadows.”
The Catholic Church has been at the forefront of the 1960s-era sanctuary movement, with top officials openly promoting immigration anarchy and lawlessness among their flock in the name of “humanity” and “compassion.”
As I’ve long noted, it’s one thing to show compassion to legal immigrants, legitimate refugees and asylees, and those abused and mistreated by smugglers. It’s quite another to conspire against an orderly immigration and entrance system that imposes common-sense limits, eligibility requirements, criminal background checks, medical screening and a commitment to assimilation. Catholic groups have contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to building shelters for illegal aliens from Central America and way stations in southern Mexico.
The unholy alliance between church leaders and the open-borders lobby extends from the Vatican to Rev. Jim Wallis’ Faith in Public Life (FPL) network, the Los Angeles-based Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice (CLUE) and the George Soros-tied Interfaith Worker Justice (IWJ). It’s a web of nearly 100 interfaith committees, campus agitators and “workers centers” steeped in the organizing tactics of Saul Alinsky on behalf of millions of illegal aliens filling the pews and coffers of their abettors.
Capitol Hill’s abdication of its duties to protect and defend our borders is bad enough. But if people of faith choose to sit silently as a “new sanctuary movement” of tax-exempt houses of worship defiantly and recklessly undermines our immigration laws, our national sovereignty doesn’t have a prayer.
Friday, July 03, 2015
WASHINGTON -- The devil is not in the details. It's in the entire conception of the Iran deal, animated by President Obama's fantastical belief that he, uniquely, could achieve detente with a fanatical Islamist regime whose foundational purpose is to cleanse the Middle East of the poisonous corruption of American power and influence.
In pursuit of his desire to make the Islamic Republic into an accepted, normalized “successful regional power,” Obama decided to take over the nuclear negotiations. At the time, Tehran was reeling—the rial plunging, inflation skyrocketing, the economy contracting—under a regime of international sanctions painstakingly constructed over a decade.
Then, instead of welcoming Congress' attempt to tighten sanctions to increase the pressure on the mullahs, Obama began the negotiations by loosening sanctions, injecting billions into the Iranian economy (which began growing again in 2014) and conceding in advance an Iranian right to enrich uranium.
It has been downhill ever since. Desperate for a legacy deal, Obama has played the supplicant, abandoning every red line his administration had declared essential to any acceptable deal.
They were to be anywhere, anytime, unimpeded. Now? Total cave. Unfettered access has become “managed access.” Nuclear inspectors will have to negotiate and receive Iranian approval for inspections. Which allows them denial and/or crucial delay for concealing any clandestine activities.
To give a flavor of the degree of our capitulation, the administration played Iran's lawyer on this one, explaining that, after all, “the United States of America wouldn't allow anybody to get into every military site, so that's not appropriate.” Apart from the absurdity of morally equating America with the world's foremost state sponsor of terrorism, if we were going to parrot the Iranian position, why wait 19 months to do so—after repeatedly insisting on free access as essential to any inspection regime?
Coming clean on past nuclear activity
The current interim agreement that governed the last 19 months of negotiation required Iran to do exactly that. Tehran has offered nothing. The administration had insisted that this accounting was essential because how can you verify future illegal advances in Iran's nuclear program if you have no baseline?
After continually demanding access to their scientists, plans and weaponization facilities, Secretary of State John Kerry two weeks ago airily dismissed the need, saying he is focused on the future, “not fixated” on the past. And that we have “absolute knowledge” of the Iranian program anyway—a whopper that his staffers had to spend days walking back.
Not to worry, we are told. The accounting will be done after the final deal is signed. Which is ridiculous. If the Iranians haven't budged on disclosing previous work under the current sanctions regime, by what logic will they comply after sanctions are lifted?
These were to be gradual and staged as the International Atomic Energy Agency certified Iranian compliance over time. Now we're going to be releasing up to $150 billion as an upfront signing bonus. That's 25 times the annual budget of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. Enough to fuel a generation of intensified Iranian aggression from Yemen to Lebanon to Bahrain.
Yet three months ago, Obama expressed nonchalance about immediate sanctions relief. It's not the issue, he said. The real issue is “snap-back” sanctions to be reimposed if Iran is found in violation.
Good grief. Iran won't be found in violation. The inspection regime is laughable and the bureaucratic procedures endless. Moreover, does anyone imagine that Russia and China will reimpose sanctions? Or that the myriad European businesses preparing to join the Iranian gold rush the day the deal is signed will simply turn around and go home?
The administration insisted that the nuclear talks would not affect separate sanctions imposed because of Iranian aggression and terrorism. That was then. The administration is now leaking that everything will be lifted.
Taken together, the catalog of capitulations is breathtaking: spot inspections, disclosure of previous nuclear activity, gradual sanctions relief, retention of non-nuclear sanctions.
What's left? A surrender document of the kind offered by defeated nations suing for peace. Consider: The strongest military and economic power on Earth, backed by the five other major powers, armed with what had been a crushing sanctions regime, is about to sign the worst international agreement in American diplomatic history.
How did it come to this? With every concession, Obama and Kerry made clear they were desperate for a deal.
And they will get it. Obama will get his “legacy.” Kerry will get his Nobel. And Iran will get the bomb.
Thursday, July 02, 2015
VIENNA—Iranian officials said Monday that the Islamic Republic’s Central Bank has successfully repatriated 13 tons of gold as part of a package of sanctions relief provided to Iran by U.S. and Western powers.
The gold was transferred to Iran by the government of South Africa, which had been holding onto the assets due to harsh sanctions meant to pressure Tehran to reign in its rogue nuclear program.
The gold appears to have been released as part of a sanctions relief package that will have awarded Iran nearly $12 billion in unfrozen cash assets by the time negotiations wrap up next week.
Iran received $4.2 billion in unfrozen assets under the 2013 interim agreement with the United States and was then given another $2.8 billion by the Obama administration last year in a bid to keep Tehran committed to the talks.
The State Department calculates that Iran will have received a total of $11.9 billion in cash assets.
The governor of Iran’s Central Bank announced to the country’s state-controlled media that the South Africans have finally returned the 13 tons of gold.
“A sum of 13 tons of gold that had been purchased before and was deposited in South Africa in the past two years and could not be transferred to Iran due to the sanctions… was delivered to the Central Bank of Iran’s treasury last night,” Central Bank Governor Valiollah Seif was quoted as saying by the Fars News Agency.
Seif said Iranian officials had been working for some time to secure the gold’s release, but that the country was prevented from doing so as a result of the “illogical problems that were created under the pretext of the sanctions.”
“The removal of Iran’s sanctions and gaining access to the country’s financial and gold resources abroad is one of the main objectives of Iran’s negotiating team in the ongoing nuclear talks,” Fars reported.
Meanwhile, Iran’s ambassador to Paris this weekend stressed that his country’s main objective in the talks is to end international sanctions, which had nearly crippled Iran’s economy at their peak.
“Fortunately, the West has come to realize that the weapon of sanctions has not been effective and has been forced to change its approach and recognize Iran’s legitimate rights,” the official was quoted as saying on Tuesday.
Iran’s GDP has grown 3 percent in the last year, prompting experts to warn that ongoing sanctions still imposed on Tehran are not working.
“The report represents the latest sign of improvement in Iran’s economy in part as a result of the partial sanctions relief it received after signing an interim nuclear agreement in November 2013,” according to Iranian expert Saeed Ghasseminejad, an associate fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD).
This rate of growth has enabled Iran to grow its oil sector and halve its rate of inflation.
“The erosion of the sanctions regime raise serious questions over Western countries’ leverage over Tehran in nuclear negotiations, and whether reaching an acceptable nuclear deal is even possible,” Ghasseminejad said.