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May 31, 2015

#1 Nazi Germany was a totalitarian Big Brother police state that constantly monitored everything that German citizens did.
Today, the bureaucrats that run things in the United States are also absolutely obsessed with constantly trying to monitor us. For example, there are now control freaks that inspect the lunches of preschool students in certain areas of the country in order to make sure that they contain the “right” foods….
A preschooler at West Hoke Elementary School ate three chicken nuggets for lunch Jan. 30 because the school told her the lunch her mother packed was not nutritious.
The girl’s turkey and cheese sandwich, banana, potato chips, and apple juice did not meet U.S. Department of Agriculture guidelines, according to the interpretation of the person who was inspecting all lunch boxes in the More at Four classroom that day.
The Division of Child Development and Early Education at the Department of Health and Human Services requires all lunches served in pre-kindergarten programs – including in-home day care centers – to meet USDA guidelines. That means lunches must consist of one serving of meat, one serving of milk, one serving of grain, and two servings of fruit or vegetables, even if the lunches are brought from home.
#2 Nazi officials often used their positions of power to force others to do dehumanizing things.
This is exactly what the TSA is doing today. It would be really easy to imagine some Nazi military officers forcing a young woman to walk back and forth in front of them several times so that they could admire her form. Well, that is what TSA agents are doing to American women today. The following comes from a recent Wired article….
TSA agents in Dallas singled out female passengers to undergo screening in a body scanner, according to complaints filed by several women who said they felt the screeners intentionally targeted them to view their bodies.
One woman who flew out of Dallas-Ft. Worth International Airport several months ago said a female agent sent her through a body scanner three times after the agent commented on her “cute” body.
#3 In Nazi Germany, even women and children were treated like dehumanized cattle.
Well, today schoolchildren are being strip-searched all over the United States. Down in Georgia, one student was recently strip-searched by public school officials after another student falsely accused him of having marijuana.
Another student down in Albuquerque was recently forced to strip down to his underwear while five adults watched because he had $200 in his pocket. The student was never formally charged with doing anything wrong.
#4 In Nazi Germany, authorities could stop you and search you at any time and for any reason.
In America that is not supposed to happen, but it is happening. Last year, TSA “VIPR teams” conducted approximately 8,000 “unannounced security screenings” at subway stations, bus terminals, seaports and highway rest stops.
If you are not able to produce “your papers”, there is a good chance that you will get thrown into prison in America. For example, a 21-year-old college student named Samantha Zucker was recently arrested and put in a New York City jail for 36 hours just because she could not produce any identification for police.
#5 Under Adolf Hitler, there were massive increases in government spending.
According to eyewitness Kitty Werthmann, just about everyone was getting some sort of a handout from the German government….
Newlyweds immediately received a $1,000 loan from the government to establish a household. We had big programs for families. All day care and education were free. High schools were taken over by the government and college tuition was subsidized. Everyone was entitled to free handouts, such as food stamps, clothing, and housing.
Of course, as I have written about so many times before, this is the exact same thing that we are seeing in the United States today.
#6 Under Hitler, taxes were raised dramatically in order to pay for all of these social programs.
Kitty Werthmann says that “our tax rates went up to 80% of our income.”
In the United States our tax rates have not gotten that bad yet, but when you total up all federal taxes, all state taxes, all local taxes, all property taxes and all sales taxes, there are a significant number of Americans that do pay more than 50% of their incomes in taxes.
#7 The economy of Nazi Germany was very highly socialized. 
As Ludwig Von Mises once correctly observed, the German economy under Hitler was not capitalist at all….
What Mises identified was that private ownership of the means of production existed in name only under the Nazis and that the actual substance of ownership of the means of production resided in the German government. For it was the German government and not the nominal private owners that exercised all of the substantive powers of ownership: it, not the nominal private owners, decided what was to be produced, in what quantity, by what methods, and to whom it was to be distributed, as well as what prices would be charged and what wages would be paid, and what dividends or other income the nominal private owners would be permitted to receive. The position of the alleged private owners, Mises showed, was reduced essentially to that of government pensioners.
The United States has not gotten to the level of Nazi Germany yet, but we do have a socialist president and back in 2009 the cover of Newsweek boldly proclaimed that “We Are All Socialists Now“.
#8 In Nazi Germany, if you conducted business outside of the socialist paradigm you were heavily punished.
Well, the same thing is happening in the United States today. For example, the FDA has been running elaborate entrapment schemes that are designed to entrap producers of raw milk. Any “unauthorized commerce” is dealt with very strictly by the U.S. government these days.
#9 In Nazi Germany, government regulation of business got wildly out of control.
The following is eyewitness testimony from Kitty Werthmann….
My brother-in-law owned a restaurant that had square tables. Government officials told him he had to replace them with round tables because people might bump themselves on the corners. Then they said he had to have additional bathroom facilities. It was just a small dairy business with a snack bar. He couldn’t meet all the demands. Soon, he went out of business.
If the government owned the large businesses and not many small ones existed, it could be in control.
We had consumer protection. We were told how to shop and what to buy. Free enterprise was essentially abolished. We had a planning agency specially designed for farmers. The agents would go to the farms, count the live-stock, then tell the farmers what to produce, and how to produce it.
Of course we all know about all of the ridiculous regulations that the U.S. government is burdening businesses with today. In every day and age control freaks love to stick it to business people that are just trying to make a living.
#10 Under Hitler, free market capitalism was absolutely hated. 
National Socialist theologian Gregor Strasser once stated the following….
We National Socialists are enemies, deadly enemies, of the present capitalist system with its exploitation of the economically weak … and we are resolved under all circumstances to destroy this system.
And as I have written about previously, a lot of Barack Obama’s strongest supporters are socialists and communists, and an increasing number of Americans are showing disdain for capitalism. In fact, some recent polls show that young adults in America actually have a more favorable view of socialism than they do of capitalism.
#11 In Nazi Germany, the health care system was taken over by the government.
The following is more eyewitness testimony from Kitty Werthmann….
Before Hitler, we had very good medical care. Many American doctors trained at the University of Vienna . After Hitler, health care was socialized, free for everyone. Doctors were salaried by the government. The problem was, since it was free, the people were going to the doctors for everything. When the good doctor arrived at his office at 8 a.m., 40 people were already waiting and, at the same time, the hospitals were full. If you needed elective surgery, you had to wait a year or two for your turn. There was no money for research as it was poured into socialized medicine. Research at the medical schools literally stopped, so the best doctors left Austria and emigrated to other countries.
Of course we all know what is going on in America today. The government spends nearly half of all health care dollars and Obamacare is going to mean more government control over the health care system than ever before.
#12 Under Adolf Hitler, abortion was made “safe and legal” in Germany.
It turns out that Hitler was a huge fan of the founder of Planned Parenthood, Margaret Sanger. And as I wrote about recently, it was Sanger that once said the following….
“The most merciful thing that a family does to one of its infant members is to kill it.”
Hitler echoed this sentiment when he wrote the following in Mein Kampf….
“The demand that defective people be prevented from propagating equally defective offspring. . . represents the most humane act of mankind.”
After the Nazis came to power in 1933, abortion was very quickly legalized. By 1935 there were approximately 500,000 abortions being performed in Germany every single year.
Yes, Hitler very much encouraged Aryan women to have as many children as possible. But he also very much viewed abortion as a way to reduce “undesirable” populations.
Unfortunately, something very similar is happening today. Abortion clinics are often located in the “poor” part of town, and a staggering 72 percent of Planned Parenthood’s “customers” have incomes that are either equal to or beneath 150 percent of the federal poverty level.
#13 In Nazi Germany, killing the “defective”, the “weak” and the “disabled” was considered to be a good thing because it made the German people “stronger”.
Unfortunately, many in America today have fully embraced the eugenics principles which were so dominant in Nazi Germany.
A 3 year old girl named Amelia was recently denied a kidney transplantbecause she is considered to be “mentally retarded”, and we all remember what happened to Terri Schiavo.
Not only that, the editorial page editor of the Detroit News recently proposed putting contraceptives into the drinking water in Michigan because the state has become a “breeding ground for poverty“.
This kind of sick thinking is rapidly spreading in America, and that is a very frightening thing.
#14 In Nazi Germany, education was nationalized and God was kicked out of the schools.
The following is more eyewitness testimony from Kitty Werthmann….
Our education was nationalized. I attended a very good public school. The population was predominantly Catholic, so we had religion in our schools. The day we elected Hitler (March 13, 1938), I walked into my schoolroom to find the crucifix replaced by Hitler’s picture hanging next to a Nazi flag. Our teacher, a very devout woman, stood up and told the class we wouldn’t pray or have religion anymore. Instead, we sang Deutschland, Deutschland, Uber Alles, and had physical education.
Unfortunately, the exact same thing is happening to U.S. public schools.
#15 Under Adolf Hitler, God was mocked and religion was pushed out of every corner of public life.
Just check out the following information uncovered by author Bruce Walker….
The Nazi tract Gott und Volk was distributed in 1941, and it describes the life cycle of German youth in the future, who would: “With parties and gifts the youth will be led painlessly from one faith to the other and will grow up without ever having heard of the Sermon on the Mount or the Golden Rule, to say nothing of the Ten Commandments… The education of the youth is to be confined primarily by the teacher, the officer, and the leaders of the party. The priests will die out. They have estranged the youth from the Volk. Into their places will step the leaders. Not deputies of God. But anyway the best Germans. And how shall we train our children? Thus, as though they had never heard of Christianity!”
Once again, this parallels what we are seeing happen in America today. Last year, a high school student in Southern California was suspended for two days because he had private conversations with his classmates during which he discussed Christianity. He was also banned from bringing his Bible to school ever again.
For many more examples of this phenomenon, please see this article: “18 Examples Of How Christians Are Being Specifically Targeted By Big Brother“.
#16 Adolf Hitler fully embraced the theory of evolution, and Darwinism provided the intellectual foundation for much of Nazism.
At a Nazi Party rally in Nuremberg in 1933, Hitler declared that “higher race subjects to itself a lower race . . .a right which we see in nature and which can be regarded as the sole conceivable right“.
Hitler was obsessed with the “survival of the fittest” and he took this theory to its logical extremes. The following is how one author put it….
“Hitler was influenced above all by the theories of the nineteenth-century social Darwinist school, whose conception of man as biological material was bound up with impulses towards a planned society. He was convinced that the race was disintegrating, deteriorating through faulty breeding as a result of a liberally tinged promiscuity that was vitiating the nation’s blood. And this led to the establishment of a catalogue of ‘positive’ curative measures: racial hygiene, eugenic choice of marriage partners, the breeding of human beings by the methods of selection on the one hand and extirpation on the other”
But of course we have no problem with teaching this flawed theory to our children in the public schools of America today.
Haven’t we learned anything from history?
#17 Under Adolf Hitler, the state started taking over the job of child care.
The following is more eyewitness testimony from Kitty Werthmann….
When the mothers had to go out into the work force, the government immediately established child care centers. You could take your children ages 4 weeks to school age and leave them there around-the-clock, 7 days a week, under the total care of the government. The state raised a whole generation of children. There were no motherly women to take care of the children, just people highly trained in child psychology.
Of course this is exactly what is happening in America today. Children are raised by day care centers and public schools, and most parents spend very little time with their own children.
#18 In Nazi Germany, it became fashionable to mock Christians and the Christian faith.
The following is more from author Bruce Walker….
By 1935, the virulently anti-Christian leader of the Hitler Youth, Baldur von Shirach issued a regulation that prohibited any child from belonging simultaneously to a church youth group and the Hitler Youth, and gradually membership in the Hitler Youth became almost obligatory – parents were told that their children would not get jobs in the civil service unless they belonged to the Hitler Youth and employers were told not to hire children who did not belong to the Hitler Youth. Christian schoolchildren who did not belong to the Hitler Youth or its female counterpart were routinely beaten up by young Nazi thugs.
Boys inducted into the Hitler Youth were required to explicitly reject Christianity by oaths like this: “German blood and Christian baptismal water are completely incompatible.” At Hitler Youth center at Halle, was the following prominent statement: “The Faith fanatics, who still to-day slide down on their knees with faces uplifted to heaven, waste their time in churchgoing and prayers, and have not yet understood that they are living on the earth and that therefore their task is of a thoroughly earthly kind. All we Hitler people can still only look with the greatest contempt on those young people who still run to their silly Evangelical or Catholic Churches in order to vent their quite superstitious religious feelings.” 
Those that believe that the Nazis embraced Christianity are delusional. The following are direct quotes out of Hitler Youth training manuals….
“Christianity is a religion of slaves and fools.”
“How did Christ die? Whining at the Cross!”
“The Ten Commandments represent the lowest instincts of man.”
“Christianity is merely a cloak for Judaism.”
This is definitely where things are going in America today. Our television shows and our movies regularly mock Christians and they are always portrayed as the “bad guys”.
In addition, the name of Jesus is rapidly becoming a forbidden word. Some U.S. courts have even ruled that it is unconstitutional to use the name of “Jesus Christ” during any official government meeting. The following comes from a recent WorldNetDaily article….
But the American Civil Liberties Union and Americans United for Separation of Church and State are standing by their victory in a U.S. circuit court decision that states even “a solitary reference to Jesus Christ” in invocations before the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners’ meetings could do “violence to the pluralistic and inclusive values that are a defining feature of American public life.”
#19 Under Adolf Hitler, sexual promiscuity was actually encouraged.
The following is more eyewitness testimony from Kitty Werthmann….
My mother was very unhappy. When the next term started, she took me out of public school and put me in a convent. I told her she couldn’t do that and she told me that someday when I grew up, I would be grateful. There was a very good curriculum, but hardly any fun no sports, and no political indoctrination. I hated it at first but felt I could tolerate it. Every once in a while, on holidays, I went home. I would go back to my old friends and ask what was going on and what they were doing. Their loose lifestyle was very alarming to me. They lived without religion. By that time unwed mothers were glorified for having a baby for Hitler. It seemed strange to me that our society changed so suddenly. As time went along, I realized what a great deed my mother did so that I wasn’t exposed to that kind of humanistic philosophy.
Of course the exact same thing is happening in America today. If you doubt that your tax dollars are going to promote sexual promiscuity, then I have a video for you to watch. It is a video from the American Life League, and you can view itright here. DO NOT let any children watch this video. It is done by a pro-life organization but it is very graphic. I have posted a link to it because it isimperative that parents understand what is really going on out there. But please be warned that it is very, very graphic.
#20 Once the Nazis took power, they rapidly implemented gun control legislation and later on they took all of the guns away from the populace.
Kitty Werthmann remembers very well what happened in Austria under the Nazis….
Next came gun registration. People were getting injured by guns. Hitler said that the real way to catch criminals (we still had a few) was by matching serial numbers on guns. Most citizens were law abiding and dutifully marched to the police station to register their firearms. Not long after-wards, the police said that it was best for everyone to turn in their guns. The authorities already knew who had them, so it was futile not to comply voluntarily.
Last year, more than 10 million guns were sold in the United States, but gun control legislation continues to become even more strict, and it is only a matter of time before the federal government tries to disarm the U.S. population completely.
#21 Under the Nazis, large numbers of children were taken away from good families.
The following is more from author Bruce Walker….
Parents who resisted Nazi anti-Christian indoctrination too strongly simply had their children taken away from them. The Nazis even forbade parents to give their children Christian names and ordered babies instead to be given names like Dietrich, Otto or Siegfried. The home teaching of Christianity by parents in the home was forbidden. Not content with simply driving Christianity out of public schools, Himmler banned all Confessing Church seminaries and instruction in 1937 and he closed all private religious schools two years later.
Doesn’t this sound exactly like where America is headed?
In many states, CPS (“child protective services”) has become one of the most feared government agencies. All over the nation, thousands upon thousands of children have been removed from good homes because the parents were not raising them “correctly”.
You can read about one particularly bad CPS horror story right here.
#22 Under Adolf Hitler, society became very highly militarized.
Of course we are seeing the same thing in the U.S. right now.
Sadly, this is even happening to our public schools. According to blogger Alexander Higgins, students in kindergarten and the 1st grade in the state of New Jersey are now required by law to participate “in monthly anti-terrorism drills”. The following is an excerpt from a letter that he recently received from the school where his child attends….
Each month a school must conduct one fire drill and one security drill which may be a lockdown, bomb threat, evacuation, active shooter, or shelter-in place drill. All schools are now required by law to implement this procedure.
This is the kind of thing that a sicko like Adolf Hitler would try to do, and it is not good for our children.
#23 In Nazi Germany, the prisons were absolutely packed.
Right now, the United States has the highest incarceration rate in the world by far and the largest total prison population on the entire globe by far.
Even children are being arrested in alarming numbers. In a previous article, I described how one 12-year-old girl down in Texas was recently arrested for spraying herself with perfume and how police were recently sent out to collect an overdue library book from a 5-year-old girl in Massachusetts.
#24 Under Adolf Hitler, there was basically no freedom of speech.
In the United States today we are told that we still have freedom of speech, but that freedom is being “chilled” in thousands of different ways.
For example, the FBI is now admittedly recording Internet talk radio programs all over the United States. The following comes from a recent article by Mark Weaver of WMAL.com….
If you call a radio talk show and get on the air, you might be recorded by the FBI.
The FBI has awarded a $524,927 contract to a Virginia company to record as much radio news and talk programming as it can find on the Internet.
The FBI says it is not playing big brother by policing the airwaves, but rather seeking access to what airs as potential evidence.
So please speak freely on talk radio. Just realize that the feds will be recording every single word.
#25 Under Adolf Hitler, paranoia was standard operating procedure.
In Nazi Germany, every citizen was a potential threat and everyone had to be constantly watched for suspicious activity.
Of course the exact same thing is happening in America today. Just about anything you do can get you labeled as a “potential terrorist” by the government.
According to a new DHS report, the following are some of the beliefs and ideologies of potential terrorists….
-“fiercely nationalistic (as opposed to universal and international in orientation)”
-“anti-global”
-“suspicious of centralized federal authority”
-“reverent of individual liberty”
-“believe in conspiracy theories”
-“a belief that one’s personal and/or national “way of life” is under attack”
-“a belief in the need to be prepared for an attack either by participating in paramilitary preparations and training or survivalism”
-“impose strict religious tenets or laws on society (fundamentalists)”
-“insert religion into the political sphere”
-“those who seek to politicize religion”
-“supported political movements for autonomy”
-“anti-abortion”
-“anti-Catholic”
-“anti-nuclear”
And the definition of “suspicious activity” has become so broad in America that it pretty much covers 100% of us. In 2012, the following activities are considered to be “suspicious” by the FBI….
-shielding your computer screen from others
-paying with cash
-acting “nervous”
-using multiple cell phones
-requesting a specific room at a hotel
-traveling with a large amount of luggage
-refusing maid service at a hotel
-staying in your room for too long
-changing your appearance
In addition, the U.S. government has decided that it would be a really good idea for all of us to spy on one another. The “If You See Something, Say Something” campaign looks like it could have been pulled right out of a Gestapo security handbook.
But America is not supposed to be about spying on one another and reporting each other to the secret police.
America is supposed to be about liberty and freedom.

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40

May 31, 2015

u2’s 40 is from Psalm 40….
1 I waited patiently for the LORD; he inclined to me and heard my cry. 

2 He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure. 

3 He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the LORD. 

4 Blessed is the man who makes the LORD his trust, who does not turn to the proud, to those who go astray after a lie! 

5 You have multiplied, O LORD my God, your wondrous deeds and your thoughts toward us; none can compare with you! I will proclaim and tell of them, yet they are more than can be told. 

6 In sacrifice and offering you have not delighted, but you have given me an open ear. Burnt offering and sin offering you have not required. 

7 Then I said, “Behold, I have come; in the scroll of the book it is written of me: 

8 I delight to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart.” 

9 I have told the glad news of deliverance in the great congregation; behold, I have not restrained my lips, as you know, O LORD. 

10 I have not hidden your deliverance within my heart; I have spoken of your faithfulness and your salvation; I have not concealed your steadfast love and your faithfulness from the great congregation. 

11 As for you, O LORD, you will not restrain your mercy from me; your steadfast love and your faithfulness will ever preserve me! 

12 For evils have encompassed me beyond number; my iniquities have overtaken me, and I cannot see; they are more than the hairs of my head; my heart fails me. 

13 Be pleased, O LORD, to deliver me! O LORD, make haste to help me! 

14 Let those be put to shame and disappointed altogether who seek to snatch away my life; let those be turned back and brought to dishonor who delight in my hurt! 

15 Let those be appalled because of their shame who say to me, “Aha, Aha!” 

16 But may all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you; may those who love your salvation say continually, “Great is the LORD!” 

17 As for me, I am poor and needy, but the Lord takes thought for me. You are my help and my deliverer; do not delay, O my God! 

FIFA

May 31, 2015

FIFA President Sepp Blatter criticized U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch and an American federal investigation into soccer corruption which could yet lead directly to his door.

In a defiant interview with his local Swiss broadcaster, Blatter said “there is something that smells” about the timing of dawn raids to arrest soccer officials in Zurich two days before his re-election Friday.

Two FIFA vice presidents and a recently elected FIFA executive committee member were among seven men detained and accused of racketeering, money laundering and fraud in connection with bribes worth $150 million for tournament television rights in North and South America.

Lynch said Wednesday that indicted FIFA and marketing officials had “corrupted the business of worldwide soccer to serve their interests and to enrich themselves.”

“I was shocked by what she said,” Blatter told French-language broadcaster RTS. “As a president I would never make a statement about another organization without knowing.”

Blatter then suggested the U.S. Department of Justice went too far in its actions which brought a torrent of condemnation down on FIFA, which he has led for 17 years.

“Listen, with all the respect to the judicial system of the U.S. with a new minister of justice,” Blatter said, “the Americans, if they have a financial crime that regards American citizens then they must arrest these people there and not in Zurich when we have a congress.”

Blatter spoke late Friday hours after FIFA member federations ignored the global protests to elect him to a fifth four-year term at the age of 79, voting 133-73 in favor of the Swiss against challenger Prince Ali bin al-Hussein.

He even suggested a political motive for the American investigation.

“The United States, it is the main sponsors of the Hashemite kingdom,” Blatter said, referring to the Jordanian prince’s home country.

Emboldened by his election win, Blatter explained his earlier comments Friday that FIFA’s legal problems stemmed from choosing Russia and Qatar five years ago as the 2018 and 2022 World Cup hosts.

“The Americans were the candidates for the World Cup of 2022 and they lost,” he said. “The English were the candidates for 2018 and they lost, so it was really with the English media and the American movement that came down.”

Blatter’s comments echo those of his close ally Vladimir Putin. The Russian president said this week that the U.S. was meddling in FIFA’s affairs to influence the election and provoke his country being stripped of World Cup hosting rights. Putin sent a telegram to Blatter on Saturday congratulating him on the victory.

Lynch has said the American federal case is just at the beginning, with 14 men indicted and four more making guilty pleas, including American former longtime FIFA executive committee member Chuck Blazer.

The seven detained in Zurich are fighting extradition to the U.S. and face 20 years in prison.

They include CONCACAF president Jeffrey Webb, a banker from the Cayman Islands. Webb was a member of FIFA’s audit committee more than a decade ago when Blatter’s organization was in severe financial crisis after a World Cup marketing agency collapsed into bankruptcy.

A separate Swiss federal investigation is also under way into possible financial corruption during the 2018-2022 bidding contests. Russian and Qatari bid officials have always denied wrongdoing.

FIFA’s headquarters was also raided early Wednesday to seize evidence for the investigation which was prompted by a criminal complaint filed by Blatter last November.

Sadly, this stunning and unnecessary increase in crime is all part of the Left’s plan. You paralyze the cops with persecution, justify riots and looting, and by extension empower the criminals. The result is city-wide chaos, despair, and hopelessness. The result is victims desperate for someone to blame and even more dependent on a central government. The result is an empowered central government with even more control over the lives of those most in need of empowerment, not dependence.Keep ‘em down. Keep ‘em angry. Pretend you are their savior not their oppressor, and keep ‘em voting for the very thing destroying them: big government and the Democrats who control it.This sinister plot is no secret. It’s openly called the Cloward-Piven Strategy.The Ferguson Effect isn’t a bug, it’s a feature.

Andrew Romero, the suspect in the Memorial Day shooting death of Rio Rancho, New Mexico, Officer Gregg “Nigel” Benner, is a felon who is consequently barred from gun possession.

According to KOB 4, Romero was a front seat passenger in a  1999 Dodge Durango when Benner pulled the vehicle over at approximately 8 pm Monday night. He stopped the vehicle because of improper plates. The Durango was being driving by a woman and police believe “Romero likely reached around the woman in the driver’s seat and shot Benner several times in the torso.”

Officer Benner did not even have time to draw his gun.

KOAT 7 reports that Romero went to prison in 2006 for killing man and was released two years later. He has a 2010 arrest for shoplifting, a 2012 arrest “for drug trafficking,” and a 2013 arrest “for felon in possession of a firearm and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.”

Felons, like Romero and Marvin and Curtis Banks — two of the suspects in the May 9 shooting deaths of Hattiesburg Officers Benjamin J. Deen and Liquori Tate — faced 100 percent gun control. But the deaths of Benner, Deen, and Tate, stand as testimony to the fact that gun control is powerless against people with alleged criminal intent.

The whole scenario highlights the impotency of the left’s contention that a law against criminal gun possession will actually keep allegedly criminals from possessing guns.

Late 70’s Babies

May 24, 2015

Anyone born in the late ’70s or early ’80s probably has memories of huddling around a bulky desktop with five (or more) friends to play Oregon Trail. This article, titled “The Oregon Trail Generation: Life Before and After Mainstream Tech” and originally featured on Social Media Week, discusses what life was like for that generation who grew up at the cusp of modern technology.

We’re an enigma, those of us born at the tail end of the ’70s and the start of the ’80s. Some of the “generational” experts lazily glob us on to Generation X, and others just shove us over to the Millennials they love to hate — no one really gets us or knows where we belong.

We’ve been called Generation CatalanoXennials, and The Lucky Ones, but no name has really stuck for this strange micro-generation that has both a healthy portion of Gen X grunge cynicism, and a dash of the unbridled optimism of Millennials.

A big part of what makes us the square peg in the round hole of named generations is our strange relationship with technology and the Internet. We came of age just as the very essence of communication was experiencing a seismic shift, and it’s given us a unique perspective that’s half analog old school and half digital new school.

You Have Died of Dysentery

If you can distinctly recall the excitement of walking into your weekly computer lab session and seeing a room full of Apple 2Es displaying the start screen of Oregon Trail, you’re a member of this nameless generation, my friend.

We were the first group of kids who grew up with household computers, but still novel enough to elicit confusion and wonder. Gen X individuals were already fully-formed teens or young adults when computers became mainstream, and Millennials can’t even remember a time before computers.

But, when we first placed our sticky little fingers on a primitive Mac, we were elementary school kids whose brains were curious sponges. We learned how to use these impressive machines at a time when average middle class families were just starting to be able to afford to buy their own massive desktops.

This made us the first children to grow up figuring it out, as opposed to having an innate understanding of new technology the way Millennials did, or feeling slightly alienated from it the way Gen X did.

An AOL Adolescence

Did you come home from middle school and head straight to AOL, praying all the time that you’d hear those magic words, “You’ve Got Mail” after waiting for the painfully slow dial-up Internet to connect? If so, then yes, you are a member of the Oregon Trail Generation. And you are definitely part of this generation if you hopped in and out of sketchy chat rooms asking others their A/S/L (age/sex/location for the uninitiated).

Precisely at the time that you were becoming obsessed with celebrities, music and the opposite sex, you magically had access to “the Internet,” a thing that few normal people even partially grasped the power of at the time.

We were the first group of high school kids to do research for papers both online and in an old-fashioned card catalogue, which many millennials have never even heard of by the way (I know because I asked my 21-year-old intern and he started stuttering about library cards).

Because we had one foot in the traditional ways of yore and one foot in the digital information age, we appreciate both in a way that other generations don’t. We can quickly turn curmudgeonly in the face of teens who’ve never written a letter, but we’re glued to our smartphones just like they are.

Those born in the late ’70s and early ’80s were the last group to have a childhood devoid of all the technology that makes childhood and adolescence today pretty much the worst thing imaginable. We were the last gasp of a time before sexting, Facebook shaming, and constant communication.

We used pay-phones; we showed up at each other’s houses without warning; we often spoke to our friends’ parents before we got to speak to them; and we had to wait at least an hour to see any photos we’d taken. But for the group of kids just a little younger than us, the whole world changed, and that’s not an exaggeration. In fact, it’s possible that you had a completely different childhood experience than a sibling just five years your junior, which is pretty mind-blowing.

Napster U

Thanks to the evil genius of Sean Parker, most of us were in college in the heyday of Napster and spent many a night using the university’s communal Ethernet to pillage our friends’ music libraries at breakneck speeds. With mouths agape at having downloaded the entire OAR album in under five seconds, we built our music libraries faster than any other dorm-dwelling generation in history.

We were the first to experience the beauty of sharing and downloading mass amounts of music faster than you can say, “Third Eye Blind,” which made the adoption of MP3 players and music streaming apps perfectly natural. Yet, we still distinctly remember buying cassette singles, joining those scam-tastic CD clubs and recording songs onto tapes from the radio. The very nature of buying and listening to music changed completely within the first 20 years of our lives.

A Youth Untouched by Social Media

The importance of going through some of life’s toughest years without the toxic intrusion of social media really can’t be overstated. Myspace was born in 2003 and Facebook became available to all college students in 2004. So if you were born in 1981-1982, for example, you were literally the last graduating class to finish college without social media being a part of the experience.

When we get together with our fellow Oregon Trail Generation friends, we frequently discuss how insanely glad we are that we escaped the middle school, high school and college years before social media took over and made an already challenging life stage exponentially more hellish.

We all talked crazy amounts of sh*t about each other, took pictures of ourselves and our friends doing shockingly inappropriate things and spread rumors like it was our jobs, but we just never had to worry about any of it ending up in a place where everyone and their moms (literally) could see it a hot second after it happened.

But unlike our older Gen X siblings, we were still young and dumb enough to get really into MySpace and Facebook in its first few years, so we understand what it feels like to overshare on social media and stalk a new crush’s page.

Time after time, we late ’70s and early ’80s babies were on the cusp of changes that essentially transformed modern life and, for better or worse, it’s shaped who we are and how we relate to the world.

Fascism

May 22, 2015

Fascism is an economic system that marries the state to business, where business holds the title but state holds control.

Transcript:

Some of you, though I trust not all of you, are familiar with what we call “Godwin’s law.” This is a particular law which is born out of empirical study of the Internet and it holds that, given enough time, any and all internet arguments will eventually involve some side of the argument accusing the other side of the argument of either being like Hitler or of being a Nazi. The corollary to that is that the first one to make that observation loses the argument.

Well, I don’t know how many times we’ve done “-isms,” but we have finally come to “fascism” in our -ism study today. The truth of the matter is of course, there aren’t a whole lot of people out there, though there are some, who actively, happily, publicly, and unapologetically argue in defense of fascism. The problem is, however, that because we don’t know what fascism is, and because we associate it with a bunch of accidental trappings to it, we miss it when it comes us.

Fascism, first and foremost, is an economic theory. It has precious little to do with the horrors of the Holocaust, it has precious little to do with world conquest, and it certainly has nothing whatever to do with goose stepping and “heil hitler” signs and all the other kinds of stock bad-guy things that we get from Nazi Germany. Fascism is an economic system that is distinguished from socialism or communism in a very narrow way. Don’t forget that, while we like to present fascism as the hard right on the political spectrum and communism as the hard left on the political spectrum, fascism is a socialistic concept. The name “Nazi” stands for the “National Socialist Party.” What distinguishes the fascists and the communists is not socialism or not-socialism but rather national socialism versus international socialism.

There is also this critical distinction: communism exists as a theory that suggests that the only way to have economic justice is not merely to divvy up the fruit of production equally among all members of society, but that it is about ownership of the means of production. This has to be universal or ultimately in the hands of the state. The state owns the means of production. Fascism disagrees with that. Fascism is a system that affirms that private individuals certainly may own property, they certainly may own the means of production, the tools and the factory, the ways in which things get made. What defines fascism however is that while individuals may own property or the means of production, control of that property and the means of production remains in the hand of the state.

Now if we know much at all about what ownership is, what property is, we would recognize that essential to the concept of “property” is control. If you control my car, you drive it, you fill it with gas when you want to fill it with gas, you change the oil when you want to change oil, but you let me hold onto the title in my file cabinet at home then I don’t really own that car, you own that car. Ownership requires control. Fascism then is that system that maintains the facade of private property, but what you end up having is this bizarre marriage of business and state. Where the business is protected by the state, the business is shielded from competition, guaranteed of profits but ultimately controlled by the state.

Does this, I wonder, sound awfully familiar to anyone? Fascism allows us to own property, but it tells us what we have to pay those who work inside our factory. It tells us what percentage of this material we must include in the thing that we make. It tells us how many hours people are allowed to work. It tells is this and it tells us that until finally you are left with the obvious conclusion that the state owns what we think we own because it controls all that we have.

Friends, we don’t have a socialist economy here in United States, despite all the squawking and screaming about President Obama. Nor do we have a free market, despite what we would like to believe or what we once might have enjoyed. What we are living in, economically speaking, is fascism where property is held privately in name only, but controlled by an army of bureaucrats from the central government. This is one reason why we are called to love and to seek liberty because fascism is a betrayal and assault upon the right of property–a right which was given to us by God Himself. That is what our founding documents say and, more importantly still, that is what the ten commandments say. Fascism isn’t just bad economics, it is theft.

“You need to tell me what’s wrong with this trade agreement, not one that was passed 25 years ago,” a frustrated President Barack Obama recently complained about criticisms of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). He’s right. The public criticisms of the TPP have been vague. That’s by design—anyone who has read the text of the agreement could be jailed for disclosing its contents. I’ve actually read the TPP text provided to the government’s own advisors, and I’ve given the president an earful about how this trade deal will damage this nation. But I can’t share my criticisms with you.

I can tell you that Elizabeth Warren is right about her criticism of the trade deal. We should be very concerned about what’s hidden in this trade deal—and particularly how the Obama administration is keeping information secret even from those of us who are supposed to provide advice.

So-called “cleared advisors” like me are prohibited from sharing publicly the criticisms we’ve lodged about specific proposals and approaches. The government has created a perfect Catch 22: The law prohibits us from talking about the specifics of what we’ve seen, allowing the president to criticize us for not being specific. Instead of simply admitting that he disagrees with me—and with many other cleared advisors—about the merits of the TPP, the president instead pretends that our specific, pointed criticisms don’t exist.

What I can tell you is that the administration is being unfair to those who are raising proper questions about the harms the TPP would do. To the administration, everyone who questions their approach is branded as a protectionist—or worse—dishonest. They broadly criticize organized labor, despite the fact that unions have been the primary force in America pushing for strong rules to promote opportunity and jobs. And they dismiss individuals like me who believe that, first and foremost, a trade agreement should promote the interests of domestic producers and their employees.

I’ve been deeply involved in trade policy for almost four decades. For 21 years, I worked for former Democratic Leader Richard Gephardt and handled all trade policy issues including “fast track,” the North American Free Trade Agreement and the World Trade Organization’s Uruguay Round, which is the largest trade agreement in history. I am also a consultant to various domestic producers and the United Steelworkers union, for whom I serve as a cleared advisor on two trade advisory committees. To top it off, I was a publicly acknowledged advisor to the Obama campaign in 2008.

Obama may no longer be listening to my advice, but Hillary Clinton and Elizabeth Warren might as well be. Warren, of course, has been perhaps the deal’s most vocal critic, but even the more cautious Clinton has raised the right questions on what a good TPP would look like. Her spokesman, Nick Merrill, said: “She will be watching closely to see what is being done to crack down on currency manipulation, improve labor rights, protect the environment and health, promote transparency and open new opportunities for our small businesses to export overseas. As she warned in her book Hard Choices, we shouldn’t be giving special rights to corporations at the expense of workers and consumers.”

On this count, the current TPP doesn’t measure up. And nothing being considered by Congress right now would ensure that the TPP meets the goal of promoting domestic production and job creation.

The text of the TPP, like all trade deals, is a closely guarded secret. That fact makes a genuine public debate impossible and should make robust debate behind closed doors all the more essential. But the ability of TPP critics like me to point out the deal’s many failings is limited by the government’s surprising and unprecedented refusal to make revisions to the language in the TPP fully available to cleared advisors.

Bill Clinton didn’t operate like this. During the debate on NAFTA, as a cleared advisor for the Democratic leadership, I had a copy of the entire text in a safe next to my desk and regularly was briefed on the specifics of the negotiations, including counterproposals made by Mexico and Canada. During the TPP negotiations, the  United States Trade Representative (USTR) has never shared proposals being advanced by other TPP partners. Today’s consultations are, in many ways, much more restrictive than those under past administrations.

All advisors, and any liaisons, are required to have security clearances, which entail extensive paperwork and background investigations, before they are able to review text and participate in briefings. But, despite clearances, and a statutory duty to provide advice, advisors do not have access to all the materials that a reasonable person would need to do the job. The negotiators provide us with “proposals” but those are merely initial proposals to trading partners. We are not allowed to see counter-proposals from our trading partners. Often, advisors are provided with updates indicating that the final text will balance all appropriate stakeholder interests but we frequently receive few additional details beyond that flimsy assurance.

Those details have enormous repercussions. For instance, rules of origin specify how much of a product must originate within the TPP countries for the resulting product to be eligible for duty-free treatment. These are complex rules that decide where a company will manufacture its products and where is will purchase raw materials. Under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), 62.5 percent of a car needed to originate within NAFTA countries. In the US-Australia Free Trade Agreement, it was lowered to 50 percent. It further dropped to 35 percent in the US-Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS). In essence, under our agreement with Korea, 65 percent of a car from South Korea could be made from Chinese parts and still qualify for duty-free treatment when exported to the U.S.

That fact is politically toxic, and for that reason, we should expect the TPP agreement to have higher standards. But will it reach the 62.5 percent NAFTA requirement? Or will it be only a slight improvement over KORUS? Without access to the final text of the agreement, it’s impossible to say.

State-owned enterprises may, for the first time, be addressed in the TPP. But, once again, the details are not clear. Will exemptions be provided to countries like Vietnam, Malaysia and Singapore, all of which could be heavily impacted by such a rule? What will be the test to determine what is or is not acceptable behavior? Will injury be required to occur over a substantial period of time, or will individual acts of non-commercial, damaging trade practices be actionable? Again, it’s impossible to say for sure.

Advisors are almost flying blind on these questions and others.

Only portions of the text have been provided, to be read under the watchful eye of a USTR official. Access, up until recently, was provided on secure web sites. But the government-run website does not contain the most-up-to-date information for cleared advisors. To get that information, we have to travel to certain government facilities and sign in to read the materials. Even then, the administration determines what we can and cannot review and, often, they provide carefully edited summaries rather than the actual underlying text, which is critical to really understanding the consequences of the agreement.

Cleared advisors were created by statute to advise our nation’s trade negotiators. There is a hierarchal structure, starting with the USTR’s Advisory Committee on Trade Policy & Negotiations at the top—a committee that includes people like Steelworkers President Leo Gerard, Mastercard CEO Ajay Banga, Etsy CEO Chad Dickerson and Jill Appell, co-owner of Appell’s Pork Farms. Then there are specific Committees covering subjects like labor, the environment and agriculture that make up the next tier. The last tier consists of the Industry Trade Advisory Committees (ITACS), which focus on individual sectors such as steel and aerospace. At last count, there were more than 600 cleared advisors. The vast majority of them represent business interests.

In an effort to diminish criticism, USTR is now letting cleared advisors review summaries of what the negotiators have done. In response to a question about when the full updated text will be made available, we’ve been told, “We are working on making them available as soon as possible.” That’s not the case overseas: Our trading partners have this text, but the government’s own cleared advisors, serving on statutorily-created advisory committees, are kept in the dark.

How can we properly advise, without knowing the details?

Questions pervade virtually every chapter of the proposed agreement, including labor and the environment, investor-state, intellectual property and others. The answers to these questions affect the sourcing and investment decisions of our companies and resulting jobs for our people. Our elected representatives would be abdicating their Constitutional duty if they failed to raise questions.

Senator Warren should be commended for her courage in standing up to the President, and Secretary Clinton for raising a note of caution, and I encourage all elected officials to raise these important questions. Working Americans can’t afford more failed trade agreements and trade policies.

Congress should refuse to pass fast track trade negotiating authority until the partnership between the branches, and the trust of the American people is restored. That will require a lot of fence mending and disclosure of exactly what the TPP will do. That begins by sharing the final text of the TPP with those of us who won’t simply rubber-stamp it.

Michael Wessel is a cleared liaison to two statutory advisory committees and was a commissioner on the U.S. Trade Deficit Review Commission, as well as the international trade co-chair for the Kerry-Edwards Presidential Campaign.

Winners and Losers

May 7, 2015

Riots work. The Baltimore riots achieved a number of goals for the political left, which is why the left defended the riots as a quasi-legitimate outgrowth of fully justified anti-police, anti-white feeling – in a majority black city with a majority black police force and a majority black city council, in a country with a black president and a black attorney general.

This is nothing new: Back in the 1960s, as Fred Siegel of the Manhattan Institute writes in his terrific book, The Future Once Happened Here, “riot ideology” took hold. “Riot ideology,” wrote Siegel, sprang from the belief that in the wake of race riots, “more money for the cities was essential — if not to halt riots, then to contain the still rising racial anger, which expressed itself in rising rates of often violent crime.” Poverty, the logic goes, leads to rioting; rioting leads to fear; fear leads to siphoning cash to solve poverty.

President Lyndon Johnson utilized riot ideology to great effect; his attorney general, Nicholas Katzenbach, said that there would be riots in “thirty or forty” cities if the Model Cities legislation giving cash to cities didn’t pass. Marion Barry, the now-sainted-former-felon mayor of Washington D.C., felt the same way: “I know for a fact that white people get scared of the [Black] Panthers, and they might give money to somebody a little more moderate.” In New York City, Mayor John Lindsay tried to enroll people in welfare, hoping that it would prevent them from rioting; his aide explained, “our experience is that some good can come of confrontation politics.”

Modern riot ideology follows the same pattern: after riots, politicians immediately emerge to suggest that solving riots requires delegating them more power, more money, and more discretion. On Sunday, former Maryland governor and prospective 2016 presidential candidate Martin O’Malley said just that: “$130 million… is a spit in the bucket compared to what we need to do as a nation to rebuild our country. American cities are the heart of our country and we need an agenda for American cities. We need to stop ignoring especially people of color and acting like they are disposable citizens.”

NBC’s Tom Brokaw explained that America required a “Marshall plan” for inner cities.

PBS host Tavis Smiley said, “My sense is that this is going to become the new normal. These kinds of uprisings and riots will happen a lot more if we can’t get serious about jobs, jobs, jobs with a living wage for all fellow citizens.”

Riot ideology has now extended well beyond simple government growth, however. There are more players who rake in the cash from rioting, more people who get what they want after a few local shops are transformed into flamed-out husks.

Ratings Rise. The media love riots. Love them. That’s particularly true for CNN, which sees a massive ratings boost each time Americans take to the streets to attack police and loot businesses. Last November, CNN capitalized heavily from the riots in Ferguson, beating Fox News in both the 25-54 demographic and overall. Anderson Cooper won over 6 million viewers; during the primetime hours, CNN drew 2.3 million viewers in the demo over Fox News’ 1.4 million. During the Baltimore riots last week, CNN drew the viewers in massive numbers: the network actually saw a 574 percent improvement over the previous week’s demo. Whipping up riots for ratings: it’s the CNN way, and it’s a hell of a lot easier than making a Malaysian airliner disappear.

Lynch Mobs Win. The rioters got their way in Baltimore: they saw six officers indicted to the tune of dozens of charges, including second-degree murder and manslaughter, on evidence that could best be described as marginal. Protesters and rioters held a victory rally based on State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby’s press conference, despite Mosby’s massive conflict of interest and politically-motivated rabblerousing. These protesters were not interested in truth; after all, Ferguson rioters rioted despite the fact that Officer Darren Wilson justifiably shot Michael Brown. They were interested in the scalps of police officers. And they will get them. As Alan Dershowitz says, the process in Baltimore amounts to a “show trial.”

Criminals Win. MSNBC headlined a recent report on Baltimore, “Scenes from occupied Baltimore.” David Simon, creator of The Wire, called Baltimore police officers “an army of occupation.” MSNBC’s Joy Ann Reid likened Baltimore to the Gaza Strip (or at least what the Gaza Strip represents in her insipid mind, given that Israel pulled out of Gaza a decade ago). But the case for a lessened police presence does serve the interests of some in the Baltimore community: criminals. When the Mayor of Baltimore, Samantha Rawlings-Blake, said that she had created space for rioters to destroy, she wasn’t kidding: rioters prompt politicians to handcuff the police. The law-abiding pay the price for such cowardice.

More Payoffs. As always, riots bring forth the specter of Al Sharpton, who sat across from Rawlings-Blake for a press conference as the riots unfolded. Sharpton then called for a federalized police force: “We need the Justice Department to step in and take over policing in this country…We’re going to have to fight states’ rights in terms of closing down police cases. Police must be held accountable.” Anytime there’s a riot, Sharpton makes headlines; that gives him added credibility to go after law-abiding businesses, whom he can then shake down for donations to his National Action Network. Life sure is sweet when you’re a tax cheat on the right political side.

Democrats Reinforce The Narrative.Democrats revel in riots. Riots allow them to proclaim that America suffers from broad racial ills, that structural inequity is somehow responsible for economic inequality – even in cities they’ve run for decades, like Baltimore or Detroit or Chicago or Los Angeles or Washington D.C. President Obama used the riots as an opportunity to talk up his radical agenda at a speech at Lehman College in New York City yesterday: “America’s future depends on us caring about about this. If we don’t, then we will just keep going through the same cycles.” By caring, of course, President Obama means giving him more power and cash to spend. And last week, Obama blamed Republicans for not giving him that power: “I’m under no illusion that under this Congress we’re going to get massive investments in urban communities.” Never let a good riot go to waste.

Conservatives Silence Themselves. Meanwhile, conservatives are deathly afraid to speak about the real cause of riots and inner city decay: lack of values, forwarded by government programs designed to reward such lack of values. Instead, we get Speaker of the House 

talking about a national policing crisis: “I think that if you look at what’s happened over the course of the last year, you just got to scratch your head.” Most Republicans have avoided comment altogether, which is a great pity, given that policing crime used to be a top priority for Republicans rather than caving to benevolent media coverage of such crime.

A new poll shows that 96 percent of Americans believe more race riots are on their way. They’re right, so long as media and political actors benefit from such riots. Meanwhile, the law-abiding citizens who have to live in rioting communities suffer the fallout.


Ben S. 

Divider 

May 2, 2015

On a recent episode of “Hannity,” he focused his comments strictly on President Obama.

Fox News Insider reports that Sheriff Clarke feels that Obama is “enjoying this”:

“He’s built a career off of dividing people. Creating divisions, stoking animosity, the rich versus the poor, the one percent, tax the rich, the war on women…It’s been very destructive for America.”

Clarke followed his comments by saying that Obama has a “general disdain for the American police officer.” He also acknowledged that the best way to create change in American is to begin with our politicians.

Clarke asserted that he thinks a change needs to happen in Baltimore and that it should start with the politics in the city.

“Nothing’s gotten better,” he said. “…The failed liberal Democrat policies have kept people mired in misery in the American ghetto.”

“…All these failed liberal government policies have done is mired black people in generational poverty, kept their kids in failing schools, chronically unemployed, they can’t find meaningful work [and] having to live in crime infested neighborhoods.”

Clarke said that blacks have been left behind by Obama’s economic policies.

Clarke also weighed in on the accusation that Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake ordered police officers to stand down and not confront the looters and rioters in the city Monday night.

“That is a dereliction of duty, she abandoned her police officers, she put them in harm’s way with no way to defend themselves.  I find that unfathomable, I find it unconscionable that she would do such a thing…She left them high and dry.”