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George Washington’s 1789 Thanksgiving Proclamation

November 26, 2014

Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor — and whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me “to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.”

Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be — That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks — for his kind care and protection of the People of this Country previous to their becoming a Nation — for the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of his Providence which we experienced in the tranquility, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed — for the peaceable and rational manner, in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted — for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed; and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and in general for all the great and various favors which he hath been pleased to confer upon us.

And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions — to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually — to render our national government a blessing to all the people, by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed — to protect and guide all Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shown kindness onto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord — To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us — and generally to grant unto all Mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.

Given under my hand at the City of New York
the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789.

George Washington

Thanksgiving: Giving Thanks to God

November 26, 2014

From The New American By Rebecca Terrell, November 26, 2014

The impiety of many of our country’s present leaders makes it easy to forget that the United States was once governed by devout men who acknowledged the one true God and their debt to Him in everything. These statesmen were courageously unafraid to give public thanks to God. It is refreshingly edifying to review the role our founders played in establishing Thanksgiving Day.

The holiday we celebrate now has its roots in Massachusetts Governor William Bradford’s proclamation of the first Thanksgiving Day on November 29, 1623. He ordered a public ceremony to “render thanksgiving to ye Almighty God for all His blessings.” However, that was not the first thanksgiving on our nation’s soil. Long before, on September 8, 1565, Spanish explorers celebrated Mass in gratitude for their safe arrival at what is now St. Augustine, Florida. Another Mass of thanksgiving was celebrated by Spanish explorers in present-day Texas on April 30, 1598. The first official Thanksgiving ceremony in the American colonies was December 4, 1619, when English settlers arrived at the Berkeley Hundred settlement in Virginia. So Bradford was only following honorable suit.

The infant nation continued the practice. Thomas Jefferson introduced a resolution in the Virginia Assembly in 1774 calling for a Day of Fasting and Prayer, as did Richard Henry Lee in 1777. The governor of New Hampshire, John Langdon, proclaimed official days of thanksgiving, fasting, and prayer in 1785 and 1786. Massachusetts Governor John Hancock issued A Proclamation for a Day of Thanksgiving on November 8, 1783, to celebrate victory of the colonies in the Revolutionary War because, “the Interposition of Divine Providence in our Favor hath been most abundantly and most graciously manifested, and the Citizens of these United States have every Reason for Praise and Gratitude to the God of their salvation.”

Congress also acted nobly in those days. The Continental Congress issued the First National Proclamation of Thanksgiving to all colonies to thank God for victory at Saratoga during the Revolutionary War. It established Thursday, December 18, 1777 as a day of “solemn thanksgiving and praise,” to show gratitude to Almighty God, reminding Americans that “it is the indispensable duty of all men to adore the superintending Providence of Almighty God [and] to acknowledge with gratitude their obligation to Him for benefits received.” The proclamation called upon citizens to “consecrate themselves to the service of their Divine Benefactor” and to confess their “manifold sins” and beg God to “mercifully forgive and blot them out of remembrance.” It also asked God’s continued blessings and recommended that everyone abstain from servile labor, as would be “unbecoming … on so solemn an occasion.” Three years later, on October 18, 1780, the Continental Congress issued a similar proclamation after Benedict Arnold’s traitorous plans were exposed.

Congress unanimously approved yet another National Day of Thanksgiving on September 25, 1789, calling for public prayer. President George Washington also signed a “National Thanksgiving Proclamation” on January 1, 1795, pointing to, “Our duty as a people, with devout reverence and affectionate gratitude, to acknowledge our many and great obligations to Almighty God, and implore Him to continue and confirm the blessings we experienced.”

Thanksgiving Day was officially set on the last Thursday of November in 1863 when Congress passed an act signed by President Abraham Lincoln, who said, “[It is] announced in Holy Scripture and proven by all history, that those nations are blessed whose God is the Lord… It has seemed to me fit and proper that God should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged, as with one heart and one voice, by the whole American people.”

By 1939, times had changed. Thanksgiving was no longer about giving thanks but about ringing in the Christmas shopping season. Retailers pressured President Franklin Delano Roosevelt to change Thanksgiving from the last Thursday of November (which fell on November 30 that year) to the fourth Thursday so they could have an extra week to peddle their Christmas wares. He did so to the confusion of many, since calendars, and school and vacation schedules, were already set according to tradition. About half of the country celebrated one week before the other half, while Texas and Colorado celebrated both dates. The next year was just as confusing, so Congress stepped in to clear things up. It approved a 1941 joint resolution that Thanksgiving Day would always be observed on the fourth Thursday of November. The resolution became law in 1977 (Public Law 77-379), declaring “the fourth Thursday of every November: A National Day of Thanksgiving.” What a pitiful contrast to the inspiring tributes made by our founders in regard to what should be a God-centered holiday.

The tombstone of Governor William Bradford is inscribed in Latin: “What our fathers with so much difficulty attained do not basely relinquish.” That is sound advice! We should not basely relinquish our Christian heritage to materialism or to the modern idea that a nation belongs to the people who live here now rather than those who helped build her. On this Thanksgiving Day, as we thank God for our great nation, let us beg Him to convert our leaders into models of those godly statesmen of yore.

This New American article was originally published on Nov. 26, 2009. Sources used by the author: Federer, William J., America’s God and Country: Encyclopedia of Quotations, Amerisearch, Inc. 1999; Walls, Lt. Col. Timothy. “Giving Thanks is Tradition that Began with Pioneers,” Hawaii Army Weekly, December 5, 2008.

Black-on-white Violence Rampant, Ignored by Authorities and Media

September 22, 2014

From The New American by Selwyn Duke, September September 22, 2014

Imagine you’re walking down the street and someone sucker punches you, breaking your glasses and swelling your lip. Your attacker then continues raining down blows upon you, spits on you, and pejoratively refers to your religious orientation while provoking you to fight. Imagine this happens in front of tens of witnesses who are willing to corroborate events.

Black-on-white Violence Rampant, Ignored by Authorities and Media

Now imagine that the authorities tell you no arrest can be made because the incident wasn’t witnessed by a police officer.

But no imagination is necessary because this is precisely what happened to Jewish dentist Elliot Einbinder on September 11 as he was walking on Smith Ave. in Baltimore, Maryland. His attacker was a 24-year-old black female who, after initially lying to the police and claiming Dr. Einbinder initiated the confrontation, admitted she was “just having a bad day.” Baltimore Jewish Life explains the police inaction, writing, “Apparently an attack of this sort is considered a 2nd Degree Assault and unless witnessed by a Police Officer, and/or unless any type of weapon is used[,] an arrest cannot be made.… The victim must take the information to a court commissioner. The commissioner determines whether to issue a warrant for the perpetrators [sic] arrest or to send a summons for them to appear in court.” This is despite the incident smacking of a “hate crime,” with the assailant — who hasn’t even been named and shamed — challenging Dr. Einbinder with, “C’mon, fight me, Jew.”

Yet this is just the iceberg’s tip. Much like politically correct authorities who turned a blind eye to an Islamic white sex-slave trade in the U.K. — a story on which The New American has reported extensively — there has largely been a media and government blackout on black-on-white crime in America.

And Einbinder was fortunate. While he was assaulted by a single female attacker he was able to fend off, black-on-white violence often involves mobs attacking individuals they greatly outnumber — and sometimes inflicting serious injury. Just earlier this month, for instance, three Kroger employees in Memphis, Tennessee, were beaten into unconsciousness by a group of black teens. This came just about two weeks after a black mob, angry about the Michael Brown shooting, hurled racial epithets while viciously assaulting two white men in West Point, Mississippi, leaving one in a coma.

If you didn’t hear about these crimes, it’s no surprise. They didn’t receive the attention the George Zimmerman case did; they didn’t figure prominently on the nightly news or in papers that provide “all the news that’s fit to print.” As Thomas Sowell wrote:

Are race riots not news?

Ignoring racial violence only guarantees that it will get worse. The Chicago Tribune has publicly rationalized its filtering out of any racial identification of attackers and their victims, even though the media do not hesitate to mention race when decrying statistical disparities in arrest or imprisonment rates.

And it is getting worse. So much so, that Colin Flaherty — author of the book White Girl Bleed a Lot: The return of racial violence to America and how the media ignore it — has seen fit to treat the matter in three articles during just the last week and a half alone. First he reported on the racial-violence epidemic in Milwaukee, which has plagued the Wisconsin State Fair, the Mayfair Mall, soccer fields, funerals, buses, roller skating rinks, nightclubs, schools, and court rooms; has caused the cancellation of River Splash, the relocation of Greek Fest; and has become a ritual at the “Juneteenth” party. As for the 2012 Juneteenth, Flaherty wrote, “A local news helicopter captured some of the carnage: Hundreds of black people storming up a street, surrounding a car, pulling the occupants out, beating them. Then doing it again to another car. More victims.”

And now racial violence is affecting a yearly event called Tosa Fest, where at the early September “family affair,” “A large group of black people were milling around, then attacking people, then throwing things,” wrote Flaherty. Don’t tell this to Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, columnist Jim Stingl, and talk-show host Jeff Wagner, though — they claim the violence had no racial component.

However, black (and white) witnesses tell a different tale. As Daeja_Waejaaa on Twitter wrote, “TosaFest Was fun until they started acting a fool. Another thing the white ppl can say about us Blacks.” And as a black teenage video blogger named Mike Hagler said about the rioters, “That’s how y’all acting, like animals. And it is crazy to say, it’s our own people acting like that.”

Then there is Baltimore, where, reports Flaherty, authorities have found a foolproof way to improve crime statistics: stop arresting people.

In other words, Einbinder’s Charm City experience isn’t unusual. When one New Jersey visitor asked what happened to a large black flash mob that rampaged through the upscale Inner Harbor area in front of her hotel, assaulting people and vandalizing property, Baltimore Sun crime apologist Peter Hermann said, wrote Flaherty, that “what seemed ‘scary’ to her … was ‘normal and routine’ to grizzled observers of the gritty Baltimore crime beat. Police ‘made no arrests, saw no crime, had no reason to make an announcement. There’s not even a report — it’s just something that happens,’ he said.”

Something else that just happened was 50 to 100 black folks committing violence and vandalism at a local swimming pool and then stealing 40 bikes from a city-owned concession.

Police reaction?

Same as above.

Ditto for the local bicyclist who was knocked from his bike and beaten — even though the incident was caught on video. Rinse, wash, and repeat for a Baltimore-area bowling alley that has become “the scene of dozens of episodes of large-scale black mob violence over the last several years,” with violence spilling over into surrounding neighborhoods, reports Flaherty. As he explains, “All the usual stuff: Bricks through police car windows, looting nearby stores, assaulting neighbors, over and over and over. And the official reaction: Put the criminals on a bus back to Baltimore with stern admonitions not to do it again.”

These and the rest of the eight million stories in the naked city inspired Maryland legislator Pat McDonough to ask that Baltimore be declared a “No-Travel-Zone.” After all, wrote Flaherty, “Police will not arrest black criminals. Juries will not convict them,” and a correspondent told him, “Anyone who isn’t black is a target.” But Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake doesn’t want to return to the days of “mass arrests.” She loves being able to say that crime is “down.”

Crime is similarly down in other cities, too. As Flaherty recounts in his most recent piece:

• In Cincinnati “A bus full of black students beat two sisters, on video.… A few days before that, another bus full of black people beat, then robbed a white man after a Labor Day party. Then they stole a bike. All the time laughing. All of it on high-definition video.”

• “Every six months, large groups of black people disrupt [Dayton’s “Urban Nights” festival] … with fighting, mayhem and property destruction.” The police chief says it’s “not that big of a deal.”

• In Antioch, California, “Black mob violence involving hundreds of people at a local shopping center near a school is now so intense and so frequent that McDonald’s and Taco Bell are closing their doors when a nearby school lets out.” The police chief there said it’s not his business because it happens on “private property.”

Flaherty records similar events in London, England; Kansas City, Kansas; Brooklyn, New York; Athens, Georgia; and St. Louis, Missouri, among other places.

And the statistics bear these anecdotes out. As professor Walter Williams reported in 2007, “According to the 2004 FBI National Crime Victimization Survey, in most instances of interracial crimes, the victim is white and the perpetrator is black. In the case of interracial murder for 2004, where the race of victim and perpetrator is known, more than twice as many whites were murdered by a black than cases of a white murdering a black [note: Hispanics are included in the “white” category here].”

Moreover, the consequences of ignoring black-on-white crime are serious. As Williams summed up, “The failure of civil rights leaders, people like Jackson and Sharpton, as well as politicians to vocally condemn black-on-white crime — and the relative silence of the news media in reporting it — is not simply a matter of double standards. It’s dangerous, for it contributes to a pile of racial kindling awaiting a racial arsonist to set it ablaze. I can’t think of better recruitment gifts for America’s racists, either white or black.”

PA State Troopers Ambushed During Shift Change, “Person of Interest” being Questioned

September 13, 2014

From The Associated Press, September 13, 2014

Two troopers were ambushed outside a state police barracks in northeastern Pennsylvania during a late-night shift change, leaving one dead and another injured, and authorities were questioning a person of interest, state police said Saturday.

 One trooper was leaving the barracks in Blooming Grove, Pike County, and another was arriving when shots were fired at 10:50 p.m. Friday, State Police Commissioner Frank Noonan said.

A person of interest identified as Jeffrey Hudak, 48, was being questioned by police, Trooper Connie Devens said.

“No one is in custody or under arrest,” she said. “Mr. Hudak is being questioned as a person of interest.”

Noonan confirmed that one trooper was killed and the other was injured and taken to Geisinger Medical Center in Scranton, where he was in stable condition after undergoing surgery.

He provided few details on the shooting but said the attack seemed to be directed at state police.

“This has been an emotional night for all of us,” Noonan told reporters.

Law enforcement officials from across the region, including New York and New Jersey, descended on northeastern Pennsylvania to help with the search on foot and by helicopter. The Blooming Grove barracks is in a wooded area, surrounded by state game lands.

At a news conference after daybreak Saturday, Noonan said authorities were following several leads.

“We can’t say that the situation is completely in hand,” he said.

Noonan said police did not believe the general public was at risk, but they are asking everyone to be on the lookout for anything suspicious.

“People in the area can come and go freely but should be alert,” he said.

Several roads around the barracks, including parts of Interstate 84, were closed Saturday morning. Blooming Grove is a township of about 4,000 people about 35 miles east of Scranton.

Trooper Adam Reed, a state police spokesman, said the Blooming Grove barracks covers most of Pike County, which runs along the Delaware River and borders New Jersey and New York.

“There’s a lot of rural area up where they patrol,” he said. “As the primary police force in the county, they’re going to respond to anything and everything.”

Michael Brown’s Criminal Past Revealed To Journalist By St. Louis Authorities

August 30, 2014
From by B. Christopher Agee, August 29, 2014
Journalist Charles C. Johnson of Got News confirmed earlier this month that he was told by multiple St. Louis area authorities that Michael Brown had a substantial criminal record as a juvenile – including a second-degree murder charge.

Brown, whose death in a police shooting sparked ongoing protests in Ferguson, Mo. and across the country, has been portrayed by some as an innocent victim of a racist officer. Subsequent reports have cast doubt on that depiction, and Johnson hopes to shed even more light on the man’s past by releasing details from his prior arrests.

KMOX spoke to a lawyer currently suing to have Brown’s juvenile records released.

“What we’re arguing is that since he is deceased, those documents revert from being confidential,” Johnathon Burns said, “they revert back to the public sphere. Missouri common law applies, and under Missouri common law, court records and virtually all other documents are open to the public.”

Others see the situation differently, including Tricia Harrison, an associate law professor at Saint Louis University.

“To suggest that the general public has a right to know what any juvenile does in any situation is ludicrous,” she asserts.

Of course, the actions of minors are made public for a variety of reasons on a regular basis; and as Johnson notes, it is telling that even legal scholars are unaware of the law in regards to his request.

Johnson wrote that, as part of the suit to gain access to Brown’s records, Burns is citing another case that bolsters his claim. In 1984, he explained, an 18-year-old was beaten and ultimately died after stealing a pack of cigarettes. During a subsequent wrongful death lawsuit, the victim’s parents pleaded for the court to keep his juvenile record private to no avail.

Former Marine Left With ‘Life-Threatening Injuries’ After Being Warned Restaurant Wasn’t a Safe Place for Whites: Witness

August 30, 2014

From by Jason Howerton, August 25, 2014

WEST POINT, Miss. (TheBlaze/AP) — The police chief in West Point, Mississippi, says he expects an arrest soon in what police are investigating as an aggravated assault that left Ralph Weems IV, a 32-year-old former Marine and Iraq war veteran, hospitalized with a brain injury.

Investigators are reviewing surveillance video from one of two restaurants where police were called early Saturday, Chief Tim Brinkley told The Associated Press on Monday. He said they’re also trying to find out why it took so long for anyone to call 911 about the fight outside the Huddle House

David Knighten of West Point says he and Weems, who also lives in the city of 12,300, apparently were followed to the Huddle House from a Waffle House where Weems had argued with other patrons.

Knighten told AP on Sunday that a man had waved him over outside a Waffle House and told him politely that people were upset by the killing of 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and it wasn’t a safe place for whites. When he went in, he said, Weems was inside and was arguing with other men.

They left after an argument that brought police, Knighten said.

That was about 1 a.m., according to police.

On the way to Weems’ house, Knighten said, they went into a Huddle House restaurant with a nearly vacant parking lot.

However, he said, they apparently had been followed by more than 20 people.

“From what we have seen from surveillance video and from what other witnesses say, it doesn’t appear it’s going to be nearly that many,” Brinkley said.

In an updated version of its story, the Associated Press seemingly removed comments from Knighten recalling “racial slurs being yelled from the crowd.” When he got outside, he said Weems was on the ground being kicked by a group of attackers.

Knighten says he has broken bones in his face, a cut over his left eye and a blood clot in his right eye.

“All my injuries were minor fractures and lacerations. I just wish I could have reached him sooner. Please keep your thoughts and prayers on Ralph,” he wrote on Facebook.

Protesters hold up signs, Friday, Aug. 15, 2014, in front of a convenience store that was looted and burned following the shooting death of teenager Michael Brown by police in Ferguson, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Protesters hold up signs, Friday, Aug. 15, 2014, in front of a convenience store that was looted and burned following the shooting death of teenager Michael Brown by police in Ferguson, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Reports described Weems’ injuries as “life-threatening” and noted he had to be placed into a medically induced coma after undergoing brain surgery.

Although the caller to 911 about 2 a.m. Sunday said a fight was going on, when officers arrived “all of the perpetrators had left,” Brinkley said.

Police are trying to determine whether Weems was beaten by people who followed the men from Waffle House, Brinkley said.

Weems’ brother-in-law Bradley Barnes says he has not had an update Monday on Weems’ condition.

He was in fair condition Sunday, according to Genie Causey, spokeswoman for North Mississippi Medical Center spokeswoman in Tupelo.

A $1,000 Crime Stoppers reward for information leading to an arrest apparently had not brought any tips as of Monday morning, Brinkley said.

In a press release, Brinkley said the attack “does not appear to be a hate crime.”

Al Sharpton Continues to Gain Influence Inside the White House

August 30, 2014

From The New American by Bob Adelmann, August 25, 2014

In noting that Al Sharpton will be giving the eulogy in Ferguson, Missouri, on Monday at the funeral of Michael Brown, Fox News analyst Howard Kurtz reviewed Sharpton’s rise to prominence despite his incendiary background and asked: “How is this allowed?” He wrote:

In the Trayvon case, he met with the family and its attorney, Ben Crump (who is also representing Michael Brown’s family). One minute, he was speaking as their advocate. The next, he was interviewing them on his show. This isn’t blurring the lines, it’s obliterating them.

Now we see the same syndrome in the Ferguson tragedy: Sharpton with the family; Sharpton leading rallies; Sharpton quietly working with Obama; Sharpton denouncing the police on MSNBC.

Al Sharpton Continues to Gain Influence in the White House

A better question to ask would be: Why hasn’t his tawdry, revolutionary — even incendiary — background as a race baiter a hindrance to his rise to prominence rather than its genus? Sharpton is no “useful idiot,” a term used to describe people acting as propagandists for a cause whose goals they are not fully aware of, who unwittingly support a malignant cause that they naïvely believe to be a force for good. In Sharpton’s case, he knows exactly what he is doing and with whom and for whom he is laboring.

Sharpton’s relationship with President Obama began when Obama was an obscure state senator from Illinois in 2008. They connected, each recognizing in the other the essential self-serving interest of using race as one tool to gain national prominence. As Glenn Thrush noted in his article at Politico, each discovered the other to be coldly calculating, recognizing the power of racial division to promote their own agendas. When Sharpton was asked recently about how he bonded so well with Obama, Sharpton responded, “He’s calculating…. He gets the game.” Added Sharpton: ”I realized he [Obama] was just a different kind of guy…. He wasn’t going to be guided by emotions. He was not intimidated. There was no game you could play [with him].”

Their relationship was strengthened later in 2008 when Sharpton, on his own volition, planned to visit Iowa in the days leading up to a critical caucus vote. Political advisors working with Obama saw the potential for disaster and asked Obama to call Sharpton to cancel his trip. After hearing what Obama had to say, Sharpton called off his trip. Sharpton says now that Obama “told people he never forgot that.” According to Thrush, this was the turning point in their relationship.

After connecting with Obama’s intimate presidential advisor, Valerie Jarrett, Sharpton now has free rein at the White House. Says one White House official, “There’s a trust factor with ‘The Rev’ from the Oval Office on down. He gets it, and he’s got credibility in the [black] community that nobody else has got. There’s really no one else out there who does what he does.”

At the height of the Ferguson crisis, the White House relied heavily on Sharpton for inside information on what was happening on the ground. Jarrett quizzed him mercilessly, asking: How bad was the violence? What outside groups were involved in stirring up trouble? Where could Sharpton be used to best advantage? What did the Brown family want the White House to do?

Even Democratic advisors to the White House have questioned how Sharpton was able to make such a move into the inside of the administration. Basil Smikle, a Democratic operative long active in Harlem politics and a veteran Sharpton observer, said,

I don’t know how he’s managed to do it. He’s an outsider’s insider or an insider’s outsider, depending on your perspective. He’s essentially covering for the president in Ferguson…. His power has slowly and steadily supplanted that of other black leaders locally and nationally…. Obama … has provided a platform for him to alternate between agitator of institutions and defender of its leaders.

Others are not so generous. Hard left Harvard professor and black nationalist Cornel West called Sharpton the “house Negro” of the Obama administration:

Brother Martin [Luther King] himself, I think, would have been turning over in his grave. We saw the coronation of the bona fide house Negro of the Barack Obama plantation: our dear brother, Al Sharpton.

Sharpton hasn’t focused his attention entirely on the Obama administration. He has ingratiated himself into the de Blasio administration in New York City, as well. Said Sharpton, “People shouldn’t forget that I opposed the black candidate for de Blasio,” and now de Blasio considers Sharpton his source for inside information into the black community there as well. One of Sharpton’s longtime aides at his National Action Network, Rachel Noerdlinger, is now conveniently the chief of staff to de Blasio’s wife.

Sharpton is able to return the favor by giving his allies prominent positions at speaking events sponsored by his organization, the National Action Network. At the recent national convention, President Obama was the keynote speaker along with five members of his Cabinet, including Attorney General Eric Holder.

What plans does Sharpton have for the hapless city of Ferguson once the present crisis has subsided? Sharpton told Thrush that he plans “a series of nonviolent protests to get [St. Louis County Prosecutor] Robert McCulloch out of the case within the next few weeks, when everything cools down a bit.” With friends such as Obama, Holder, and de Blasio, Sharpton is sure to continue to use his increasing prominence to promote racial divisions and demagoguery as the White House’s go-to political racial bigot.

Photo of Al Sharpton: David Shankbone

Nine-year-old Girl Accidentally Shoots Instructor: Should Our Freedoms Be Casualties, Too?

August 30, 2014

From The New American by Selwyn Duke, August 29, 2014

Must every tragic and unusual gun death be accompanied by irrational calls for more government intrusion into our lives? Virtually all of us have heard about Arizona firearms instructor Charles Vacca, who was accidentally shot and killed Monday at the Last Stop gun range by a nine-year-old girl he was teaching to shoot a fully automatic Uzi. The incident was caught on video and, not surprisingly, has caught the nation’s attention. Unfortunately, though, it’s reason and reality that are caught in the crosshairs.

Many Internet commenters have seized the opportunity to place blame for this unfortunate accident on who they call “gun nuts”: NRA members and Second Amendment defenders in general. They also frequently place undue onus on the young girl’s parents, perhaps not considering that the couple was at a gun range that offered machine gun rentals (with supervision) — in much the same way that people can pay to race cars on a closed track — and that the parents had the expectation that this professional recreational facility was safe. And this expectation was not unrealistic. As the New York Times itself reported, quoting Last Stop gun range owner Sam Scarmado, “‘In the last 14 years, we’ve probably had 100,000 people shoot five million rounds of ammunition, and of those, a thousand to two thousand of them were children,’ he said. ‘We’ve never given out a Band-Aid — no one’s never even got a scratch.’” The paper added further perspective, writing, “Daniel Webster, the director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research, said that what happened at Last Stop was ‘an outlier.’ Shooting ranges are generally regarded as safe places, where guns are fired in a controlled setting and under the supervision of trained instructors.”

This doesn’t stop the critics, however, from saying that because of that “outlier” a man is dead. It doesn’t stop them from calling for new laws (a.k.a. “removals of freedom”). It’s tiresome bleating. And, at risk of seeming frivolous, I’ll say it reminds me of when, responding to his daughter Gloria’s rhetorical question about how many people are killed with handguns, All in the Family curmudgeon Archie Bunker replied, “Would it make you feel any betta’, little goirl, if dey was pushed outta’ windas’?” The remark was meant to be humorous — and was not intended to buttress the Second Amendment cause — but it gets at a truth about anti-gun fanatics:

They would feel better if people were pushed out of windows.

Last year, a poor little Indiana boy named Dylan Williams died after being struck in the head with a baseball. Another young boy, Illinoisan Eric Lederman, had been killed after being struck with a baseball the year before. I knew a 12-year-old boy in my area who died jet-skiing. None of these cases — or the thousands of others involving accidental recreational-activity death — received the national attention of the Arizona shooting. And they never inspired calls for the activity’s banning. They’re instead met with due compassion, prayer, and statements such as “It just brings to light that there are no guarantees [in life],” which is what a school official said in the Lederman case.

The fact is, we accept the risk inherent in recreational activities all the time, including those listed as the most dangerous sports, such as horseback riding, hang gliding, rock climbing, skateboarding, motorcycle racing, cave diving, and heli-skiing. Of course, critics say that guns aren’t at all like these things. And they’re right.

Owning and being proficient in the use of firearms is infinitely more important.

While there is the Second Amendment, the Founding Fathers would never have even contemplated making big-wave surfing, baseball, or cave diving a right explicitly guaranteed in the Constitution even if these activities had existed at the time. They’re frivolous, examples of risk taken for no reason other than fun. But shooting sports are fun and more.

Consider: rock climbing can definitely teach a certain situation-specific survival skill. And survival skills are held in high esteem, which is why children participate in programs such as Outward Bound. But what, by definition, is more of a survival skill than self-defense? It’s the ultimate survival skill. This is why the Swiss require adult males, all part of the nation’s militia, to keep an assault rifle at home. They are not, last I heard, required to own skateboards.

This appreciation for firearms recreation and its benefits is nothing new, either. As Thomas Jefferson wrote in a 1785 letter to Peter Carr:

A strong body makes the mind strong. As to the species of exercises, I advise the gun. While this gives moderate exercise to the body, it gives boldness, enterprise and independence to the mind. Games played with the ball, and others of that nature, are too violent for the body and stamp no character on the mind. Let your gun therefore be your constant companion of your walks.

So guns are different for the above reasons — and for another: Liberals are scared of them. It’s in their heads. A level of risk they readily accept in non-firearm-related activities induces apoplexy when the subject is guns. It’s not rational. It not thought out. It’s not mature. And it should not influence policy.

Yet there’s a wider problem related to risk: Living our heavily-insured, security-system, bubble-wrap lifestyles, we sometimes behave as if all risk can somehow be divorced from life. But simple truth:

Death happens.

Accidents happen.

People die.

Get over it.

As soon as you’re conceived your life is at risk (especially, it seems, until birth). And if you want to drink deeply of the cup of life, where spillover runs down your chin, you’ll risk your neck even more. You may play baseball, go hang gliding, or ride motorcycles — or shoot guns. Why, some even take the risk of not seeing to self-defense and leaving themselves easy prey.

Another argument we hear in the Arizona tragedy’s wake is that no nine-year-old should ever fire a gun. Now, while I personally wouldn’t have a young child discharge a fully-automatic weapon, this is silly. Historically, boys in America were taught to shoot and hunt at tender ages, and they even sometimes fought in war. David Farragut was commissioned a U.S. Navy midshipman at the age of 9, and he fought in, and captained a ship during, the War of 1812 when he was 12.

Speaking of which, we’ll also hear anti-gun critics say that certain firearms should be outlawed because “they were made for military purposes.” This has been said about the Uzi, but the reality is that all types of firearms were originally made for this reason. Should a collector be disallowed from owning an antique flintlock because it was made for “military purposes?”

Moreover, even insofar as civilians do become “militarized,” is this always a bad thing? Consider: Second Amendment critics, along with many others, have recently been alarmed by the militarization of police forces and by how even government agencies such as the Department of Agriculture now have SWAT teams. I share this concern. But please read something the great G.K. Chesterton wrote in his 1905 book Heretics:

The professional soldier gains more and more power as the general courage of a community declines. Thus the Pretorian guard became more and more important in Rome as Rome became more and more luxurious and feeble. The military man gains the civil power in proportion as the civilian loses the military virtues. And as it was in ancient Rome so it is in contemporary Europe. There never was a time when nations were more militarist. There never was a time when men were less brave.

Digest the above passage thoroughly. As it was in ancient Rome, so it is in contemporary America. Know that insofar as you discourage civilian military virtue, you’ll inadvertently increase the power of the authorities. Oh, that power may not accrue to the actual military in our time and place (at least not yet), owing mainly to our strong separation between military and civilian life. But this is precisely why that power devolves to the authorities that do directly interact with the enfeebled civilians: governments at all levels and their “militaries,” meaning, police forces and other law-enforcement agencies.

So, ironically, it may be the people most lacking in military virtues — liberals, city residents, and anti-gun activists (almost complete overlap there, I know) — who are most responsible for the militarization they fear. And that’s what happens when you’re governed by fear and engage in something far more dangerous than firearms accidents: accidental policy conclusions.

So just stop. Think. Guns haven’t killed nearly as many people as irrationality has.

Obama as “Emancipator” of Illegal Immigrants

August 30, 2014

From The New American  by Jack Kenny, August 28, 2014

“Not since Abraham Lincoln pondered his Emancipation Proclamation in 1862 has a president considered ordering a more sweeping adjustment to membership in the American community than the mass relief for illegal immigrants that President Obama is said to be contemplating.”

So wrote editorial writer Charles Lane in the Washington Post of August 6. Lane acknowledged, of course, that the comparison of Lincoln’s predicament in the Civil War and Obama’s battle with House Republicans over immigration reform is more than a little strained. “Among many other differences,” he wrote, “the undocumented arrived voluntarily, searching, often successfully, for a better life. Also, they established residence unlawfully, for which there must be some reckoning.”

But the “reckoning” Obama is “said to be contemplating” is an executive order or “policy directive” that will allow up to five million illegal immigrants the freedom to remain here, free of the fear of deportation, while obtaining work permits enabling them to pursue that “better life” they sought by surreptitiously entering and remaining in their unlawfully adopted homeland. Some reckoning.

A reckoning of a different sort will follow such executive action, one that surely is anticipated by the constitutional lawyer in the White House. Our Constitution simply does not permit the president to make up or amend laws at his own discretion. The first sentence of the first article of that document says, “All legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and a House of Representatives.” Congress has at various times been remarkably eager to accommodate the legislative wishes of a president, especially when the president’s party is a heavy majority in both houses. Obama’s situation is quite different. He is faced with a divided Congress that won’t pass the “comprehensive immigration reform” legislation that he has hoped to make the signature accomplishment of his second term in office, as ObamaCare is (in liberal eyes) the crowning achievement of his first term.

In the Senate, where Democrats are in the majority, the “Gang of Eight” — four Democrats and four Republicans — managed a year ago to avert a filibuster and persuade a majority of their Senate colleagues to pass a “bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform” bill to provide legal status and a “path to citizenship” to an estimated eight million of the 11 million or more people now living illegally in the United States. The leadership of the Republican-controlled House has refused to take up the measure, however, a “failure” for which Obama pledged to compensate through executive action.

“The failure of House Republicans to pass a darn bill is bad for our security, is bad for our economy, is bad for our future,” an obviously angry and frustrated Obama said on June 30, the same day he met with Latino and Hispanic activists pushing for a loosening of immigration laws. “America cannot wait forever” for the House to act, the president said, promising “a new effort to fix as much of our immigration system as I can on my own, without Congress.” Attorney General Eric Holder and Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson would “identify additional actions my administration can take within my existing legal authorities, to do what Congress refuses to do,” he said.

DACA and the DREAMers

Two years earlier, Obama’s policy of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) was the DREAM come true for advocates of greater leniency in immigration law. The DREAM Act (Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors) had been languishing in Congress since 2001, when it was introduced as a Senate bill by Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and in the House by Illinois Democrat Luis Gutierrez. While the bill has undergone some modifications over the years, it essentially would allow young illegal immigrants who were brought here as children the opportunity to apply for permanent residence, provided they had committed no crimes, were in school or had either graduated high school or earned a GED, and had lived in the United States for five consecutive years before the bill’s enactment.

Though the bill was reintroduced several times, was incorporated into the Comprehensive Immigration Reform bills of 2006 and 2007, and was even offered by Durbin as an amendment to the 2008 Department of Defense Authorization bill, Congress never passed the DREAM Act. But on June 15, 2012, Obama announced his “deferred enforcement” policy, saying illegal immigrants who were brought here before their 16th birthday could apply for a two-year renewable residency shielding them from deportation and allowing them at the same time to apply for work permits. To be eligible, applicants would have to be 30 years old or younger and have lived in the United States since 2007. In effect, Obama had adopted the essential features of the DREAM Act as a matter of “prosecutorial discretion.” Opponents of the DREAM Act said the bill would reward illegal immigration and encourage more of it. Critics of its DACA equivalent now point to numbers that suggest that’s exactly what happened.

“If you look at the history of this issue,” said Republican Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, “in 2011 there were roughly 6,000 children apprehended coming in illegally.” That was before the president announced the DACA policy. “The direct foreseeable consequence of that was the number of unaccompanied children skyrocketed so that this year the Obama administration is estimating 90,000 kids will come, next year 145,000. That’s up from just 6,000 three years ago.”

“They’re Here and They’re Staying.”

This spring and summer brought continued reports of some 57,000 people, most said to be children from Central America, who have illegally crossed the Texas border since last fall. A federal law, written to protect children from human trafficking, requires that each minor from anywhere but Mexico and Canada be given a hearing to determine eligibility for asylum as refugees. The backlog of cases in immigration courts has reached the level where the new arrivals, hailing mostly from Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador, may have months or years to wait before their hearings. While some remain in detention centers, others have been placed with relatives or in foster homes in several states, leaving governors, mayors, and school officials in a state of uncertainty over how many undocumented children will be added to their communities and what impact they will have on state and local budgets. Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam protested in a July 25 letter to President Obama that no one in his state government had received notice of the unaccompanied minors who had been relocated in the Volunteer State.

“It is unacceptable that we became aware via a posting on the HHS website that 760 unaccompanied children have been released by the Office of Refugee Resettlement to sponsors in Tennessee without my administration’s knowledge,” Haslam wrote. “Not only was our state not informed prior to any of the children being brought here, I still have not been contacted and have no information about these individuals or their sponsors other than what was posted on the HHS website and subsequently reported by media.”

Six governors signed a letter to the president expressing similar concerns about the impact the relocation of the illegal immigrant minors will have on their states.

“We are concerned that there will be significant numbers who will end up using public schools, social services and health systems largely funded by the states,” said the letter signed by Governors Robert Bentley of Alabama, Scott Walker of Wisconsin, Sam Brownback of Kansas, Pat McCrory of North Carolina, Tom Corbett of Pennsylvania, and Gary Herbert of Utah. The governors said they were troubled to learn the federal government is not requiring that relatives taking in the undocumented minors be citizens themselves.

“This raises real questions as to whether these children will maintain appropriate contacts with our legal system and will follow necessary procedures designed to protect both them and the American public,” the governors wrote. Nearly half of the immigrant children who are sent to live with relatives fail to show up for immigration proceedings, they said.

“They’re here, and they’re staying, and whatever else might happen to them is at least a year or more away,” Doris Meissner, a former Immigration and Naturalization Service commissioner, told the Wall Street Journal. “Until people’s experience changes, more are going to continue to come, because they’re achieving what they need: safety and reunification with their families.”

Warning Signs Ignored

Unlike previous waves of illegal border crossers, those now crossing into McAllen, Texas, show no fear of being caught, said Mayor Jim Darling.

“They get across, wave to Border Patrol and say, ‘I’m here,’” Darling said at a July hearing of the Homeland Security and Public Safety Committee of the Texas House of Representatives. The flood of arrivals has overwhelmed Border Patrol facilities in McAllen and El Paso, David Lakey, commissioner of the Texas Department of State Health Services, told the committee. In McAllen, children have been crowded 45 to a cell with a single toilet, he said. In El Paso, Border Patrol agents have used their own money to buy diapers and milk for children. “None of us want that one-year-old to die in any of our facilities,” said Darling, reporting McAllen had already spent $1.5 million to deal with the crisis. “What I’m here about is, I want to know how we’re going to sustain this.”

While the “humanitarian crisis” at the border seemed to spring up overnight in media accounts of tens of thousands of unaccompanied children arriving in a new wave of unauthorized immigration, the Obama administration had been aware of the developing crisis well before it became the stuff of headlines and TV talk-show topics. A posting on the government’s Federal Business Opportunities website said Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, a division of Homeland Security, was seeking the services of a “responsible vendor” to transport up to 65,000 “Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC) from U.S. Border Patrol and other Federal agencies … to Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) shelters located throughout the continental United States.” The posting was dated January 29, 2014.

On average 66 foreign children were apprehended at the border each day last year and “more than 24,000 were cycled through Texas patrol stations in 2013,” the Washington Post reported in a recent account of warning signs the Obama administration missed or ignored on the way to the current crisis. Among them was a 41-page report a team of researchers from the University of Texas-El Paso sent to the federal Department of Homeland Security warning of the limited capacity of the federal government to manage a situation at the border that was likely to grow worse.

Cecilia Muñoz, the president’s domestic policy advisor, said federal officials realized by May of this year that the numbers of minors illegally entering the country this fiscal year would exceed the anticipated 60,000, a projection since revised to 90,000. “This trend was more like a hockey stick, going up and up and up,” she told the Post. “Nobody could have predicted the scale of the increase we saw this year. The minute we saw it, we responded in an aggressive way.”

Yet it was not until July 8 that Obama declared a humanitarian crisis on the border and asked Congress for an emergency appropriation of $3.7 billion to deal with it. And that was more than two years after Texas Governor Rick Perry, in an April 2012 letter to Obama, told of a 90-percent increase over the previous year in the arrival of unaccompanied minors from Central America. Without “immediate action to return these minors to their countries of origin and prevent and discourage others from coming here, the federal government is perpetuating the problem,” Perry wrote. “Every day of delay risks more lives. Every child allowed to remain encourages hundreds more to attempt the journey.”

As to why they are coming, the reason most often given is that the young émigrés are fleeing lawlessness in their own Central American countries, including murder, sexual molestation, and human trafficking. Teenage and young adult gangs, often involved in drug dealing, are contributing to an overall climate of violence and terror. Kevin Appleby, migration policy director for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, told CBS News that many of the children are targeted by networks of organ­ized crime and thus have valid claims to asylum under international refugee law. Before adjourning this summer, the House passed a bill to shorten the process for adjudicating such claims, a strategy Obama at first supported, then opposed. To dispose of such claims “without the benefit of an immigration judge or legal representation,” would reduce the children’s chances of receiving U.S. protection, Appleby said. “It is akin to sending a child back into a burning building and locking the door.”

Gang Members Turned Loose

But the present situation might be likened to an open door that allows the flames from that burning building to follow the children across the border. Border Patrol agent Chris Cabrera, the vice president of the National Border Patrol Council Local 3307 in the Rio Grande Valley, told Fox News that violent gang members are among the youths who are coming across the border and being released to family members in various parts of the United States.

“We’ve had a couple that had admitted to murders in their home country,” Cabrera said. “They were 17 years old, 16 years old, and the United States government thought it fit to release them to their parents here in the United States.” Other reports have surfaced of members of the Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) gang apprehended at Arizona’s Mexican border.

“If [the] Border Patrol is overwhelmed, what consideration is being given — and what is being done — to determine if any of these illegal aliens have criminal histories or gang affiliations?” asked Arizona Governor Jan Brewer in a June 12 letter to Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.). “The administration’s refusal to properly verify that violent criminals are not among those entering the United States shows an alarming lack of concern for our homeland’s security.”

A Breitbart News story on August 3 cited a leaked Customs and Border Patrol intelligence analysis showing that illegal immigrants attempting to enter the United States from 2010 to July of this year have come from more than 75 countries. While Central America is the source of much of the illegal immigrant traffic, it is also on the route of human smuggling from Syria and Albania, the report said. In this year alone, border-crossers who either turned themselves in or were apprehended by the Border Patrol include more than 3,200 from China, 239 from Pakistan, and 181 Egyptians. A total of 38 came from the al-Qaeda stronghold of Yemen, along with 294 from Somalia, a hotbed of Islamic terrorism. Many might have come simply seeking a better life for themselves and their families in the United States. Others might have come to escape murder and terror in their own lands. And some might have come to spread deadly terror and chaos here. While the analysis raises obvious safety and security issues, there are also public health concerns. At least 71 individuals from the three nations affected by the current Ebola outbreak have either turned themselves in or were caught attempting to illegally enter the United States, according to the Breitbart report.

“Removals” or “Returns”?

It’s not as though the Obama administration has abandoned deportations altogether. In fact, the Post reported, the administration has been averaging nearly 400,000 returns a year, the number for which Congress has provided the necessary funding. But in December 2010, the Post called into question the administration’s claim to have deported a record number of immigrants in the fiscal year just ended, noting the 392,862 “deportations” included more than 19,000 who had exited the previous fiscal year and that another 6,500 would have normally been classified as returns by the U.S. Border Patrol. An undetermined number of others exercised a “voluntary return” option as an alternative to facing charges ranging from drunk driving to domestic violence to misdemeanor assault.

But it might also be the case that more illegals are coming here because, given the administration’s announced policy of selective enforcement of immigration laws, word has spread that those who make their way into the United States and lie low, not engaging in criminal activity while here, will probably not be troubled by immigration officials coming after them. In 2011, a series of memos from Immigration and Customs Enforcement chief John Morton and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano advised ICE agents to use “prosecutorial discretion” regarding non-criminal illegal residents or those who had been here for several years.

“The People Will Not Stand for It.”

Obama did not get the $3.7 billion emergency appropriation he requested. The House passed a much more modest $694 million bill, while the Senate deadlocked and went off on its summer recess without passing anything. Before leaving town, some members of Congress warned against the type of executive action the president has promised. Representative Steve King (R-Iowa) spoke of impeaching the president if he attempted to make de facto changes in immigration law without the approval of Congress. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) did not use the “I-word,” but he did warn of a “constitutional crisis” if Obama attempts to implement immigration reform by executive fiat.

“Such calculated action strains the constitutional structure of our republic,” Sessions said in an impassioned speech on the Senate floor. “Such unlawful and unconstitutional action, if taken, cannot stand. No Congress, Republican or Democrat, can allow such action to occur or to be maintained. The people will not stand for it. They must not stand for it.”

Reports have surfaced nonetheless of White House meetings in which the president’s advisors have been questioning immigration lawyers and advocates in an effort to identify a broader population of immigrants that might be eligible for the type of immunity from prosecution and work opportunities that has been granted to childhood arrivals by the DACA program. Speculation has centered around the estimated four million to five million illegal immigrants whose children are either U.S. citizens or current beneficiaries of the 2012 deferred action program. Since the Hispanic population tends to vote overwhelmingly Democratic, the political considerations are never far behind the policy recommendations.

“The president is going to get the same amount of grief from the right no matter what he does, whether it’s small or whether it’s bold,” AFL-CIO President Richard L. Trumka told the Washington Post. “The difference is, if it’s small, it’s not going to energize his base. If it’s bold, it will.”

Can He Be Stopped?

Obama has tested the limits of his constitutional authority before. In 2011, he conducted an air war against the Libyan government without either seeking or obtaining congressional approval. Despite Congress’ refusal to pass an increase in the minimum wage, Obama has ordered companies contracting with the federal government to pay a minimum wage of $10.10 an hour. In June, the Supreme Court ruled, 9-0, that the president had exceeded his constitutional authority in making a “recess appointment” to the National Labor Relations Board when the Senate was not in recess. Before the summer recess, the House of Representatives voted to sue the president over twice postponing the implementation of the employer mandate in the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare), though the effective date is in the law that Congress passed and the president signed in 2010.

It is not clear, however, what Republicans in Congress can do to stop the president if he decides to forge ahead with his immigration reform plan. They can pass a bill to bar it, as the House on August 1 passed a bill to repeal DACA, but in either case the Democratic majority in the Senate will kill the bill and the president would veto it even if it passed. The House could, again, sue the president, but it has yet to be determined if Congress can persuade the Supreme Court that it is itself a victim of the president’s executive actions and thus has standing to sue.

Impeachment is always a possibility, but there appears to be little public support for it, especially in light of the embarrassingly futile 1999 Senate trial of the impeached President Clinton.

There is nothing in the U.S. Constitution that denies states the power to enact legislation of their own to deal with illegal immigration, though federal courts have generally upheld the primacy of federal law in that regard. The U.S. Supreme Court in 2012 struck down provisions of a 2010 Arizona law that required immigrant non-citizens to carry their registration papers, made it a crime for illegal aliens to seek employment, and allowed police to arrest persons believed to be subject to deportation. Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, and Samuel Alito dissented in the 6-3 decision. The Arizona statute was “not in contradiction to the federal law, but in complete compliance with it,” wrote Scalia. “If securing its territory in this fashion is not within the power of Arizona, we should cease referring to it as a sovereign state.”

Obama vs. Obama

The president insists he must act because Congress — or more specifically, the Republican House — chooses not to. But that is a choice the Constitution gives the Congress. To not act on a bill is as much a decision as to pass or defeat legislation. Other presidents have been denied what they wanted by Congress. Theodore Roosevelt was the first president to ask Congress for a national healthcare plan. He didn’t try to implement one by executive order. Woodrow Wilson didn’t send an ambassador to the League of Nations after the Senate rejected membership.

It shouldn’t take, in any case, a battery of lawyers arguing or a roomful of witnesses to prove the president has no authority to change immigration law on his own. Obama has already given eloquent witness to that point on a number of occasions, including his following statement from a March 28, 2011 Univision telecast: “There are enough laws on the books by Congress that are very clear in terms of how we have to enforce our immigration system that for me to simply through executive order ignore those congressional mandates would not conform with my appropriate role as president.”

Sheriff Mack: “We’re Taking Back America One County at a Time”

August 30, 2014

From The New American by Bob Adelmann, August 27, 2014

In an exclusive interview with The New American, retired Arizona Sheriff Richard Mack (shown), founder of the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association (CSPOA), highlighted the successes that members of his organization are having in resisting unconstitutional challenges by the federal government and declared that with these successes, “We are taking back America one county at a time!”

It’s not just rhetoric. CSPOA members have pledged to keep their word to uphold, defend, protect, preserve, and obey the U.S. Constitution. And they are doing just that.

Sheriff Tony Desmond of Schoharie County, New York, put it simply: “If you have an assault weapon which under the state’s [new] SAFE act is considered illegal, I don’t look at it as being illegal just because someone says it is.”

Sheriff Mack: “We’re Taking Back America One County at a Time”

Sheriff John Cook of Weld County, Colorado — one of nine sheriffs who sued the state of Colorado over its draconian gun control laws passed last summer — declared, “It’s not [legislators’] job to tell me what I can and can’t enforce. I’m still the one who has to say, ‘Where do I put my priorities and resources?’ And it’s not going to be there [enforcing gun control laws].”

Another organization, Oath Keepers, comprised of current or former members of the military or law enforcement, has committed to following the constitutional position explained by Franklin Shook, a member of that group’s board of directors:

What Oath Keepers is saying [to its members] is: when you get an order to go to somebody’s house and collect one of these illegal guns, just stand down.

Say peacefully: “I refuse to carry out an unlawful order,” and we… will do everything in our power to keep public pressure on your side to keep you from getting in trouble for standing down.

That makes Oath Keepers extremely dangerous to the system.

When asked if sheriffs are walking the walk and not just talking the talk, Mack replied that there are dozens, if not hundreds, of examples of sheriffs doing precisely that.

There is Grant County, Oregon Sheriff Glenn Palmer, who sent a letter on March 31, 2011 to the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) refusing their demand that he sign a “cooperative policing agreement” whereby USFS officials would assume police powers in his county:

I’m advising you in writing that I will not be signing the agreement. I do not believe that it is in the best interest of the people I serve or the Grant County Sheriff’s office to continue with the agreement…

Under Article 1 Section 8 of the United States Constitution, the federal government is limited in its powers and authority. Your jurisdiction as I see it is limited in nature to the Federal Building in [the city of] John Day.

Within the confines of Grant County, Oregon, the duties and responsibilities of law enforcement will rest with the County Sheriff and his designees.

To date, that policing agreement remains inoperative in Grant County, Oregon.

There’s Sheriff Tony DeMeo of Nye County, Nevada. Before he took office, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), an agency of the Department of the Interior, seized some of Nye Count resident Wayne Hage’s cattle from his ranch using armed federal agents. When DeMeo was elected sheriff, he told his deputies that cattle seizures by federal agents were prohibited and that any federal agents attempting to confiscate cattle in the future would be arrested. Shortly thereafter BLM agents arrived at Hage’s ranch, whereupon one of DeMeo’s deputies informed them that there would be no seizure of any of Hage’s cattle.

DeMeo based his decision on the Constitution. The deputy was told that BLM federal agents would arrest the sheriff and use armed force to take Hage’s cattle. Sheriff DeMeo advised the federal agents that their SWAT team would be faced with DeMeo’s SWAT team if they proceeded. DeMeo explained that his deputies were empowered to refuse unlawful orders if the orders violated the U.S. Constitution, the Nevada state constitution, local laws, or policies.

The armed confrontation threatened by the federal agents never materialized.

DeMeo added that while Nevada is more than 90 percent federally managed, those public lands are actually owned by the people, and the federal government is limited in its authority under the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution.

Then there’s Elkhart, Nevada County Sheriff Brad Rogers, who traveled to Bunkerville in April to prod the local sheriff there to intercede in the showdown between Cliven Bundy and agents from the BLM. The confrontation was defused with the departure of the BLM agents. Following that stand down, Rogers wrote, “I will continue to fight against tyranny at all levels, and for all people (including liberals) and will be the proactive Constitutional Sheriff most Elkhart County citizens expect.”

As the interview with Sheriff Mack drew to a close, he emphasized that in every case in which a constitutional sheriff or peace officer had challenged federal authorities, the federal authorities had stood down. He could not think of a single instance in which any member of either CSPOA or Oath Keepers was forced to stand down in the face of unconstitutional federal pressure.

As sheriffs and peace officers continue to increase their numbers and influence across the country, they are indeed taking back America one county at a time.


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