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Monday, February 27, 2017

While excoriating U.S. Veteran, San Antonio Express-News stands by organization with direct links to terrorist groups.

On Sunday, February 26, a front-page story in the San Antonio Express-News announced that the Virginia-based group ACT for America, had revoked its affiliation with retired Lt. Colonel Roy White.  ACT describes itself as an organization which "monitors the hate education and incitement to jihad preached in mosques across America, and works tirelessly to shine a light on any radical Imam inciting hatred, jihad, or the overthrow of our government".  Lt. Col. White was the San Antonio chapter head for Act, which chose to part ways with White after he advertised a chapter meeting which was to be focused on learning how to "shut mosques down".  Why did the Express-News chose to put this story on it's Sunday front page?  Not surprisingly, the article started as a simple announcement of the decision to revoke the group's affiliation with White, and  morphed into a thinly-veiled, predictable attack on the ACT organization.

The Express-News pointed out that White's ouster "occurred against a backdrop of escalating violence against Muslims."  What an absolute load of horse crap.  On the rare occasions that I pick up an Express-News nowadays (only for the excellent Sports Section), I am reminded that the editors down on Broadway are convinced that if you print garbage often enough, people will start to believe.  As evidence of the anti-Muslim escalating violence, the Express-News reminds the reader that a mosque in Victoria and one in Lake Travis were destroyed by fire this year.  You know Victoria and Lake Travis, well-known hotbeds for anti-Islamic activities.  Then we are informed that last Friday a mosque near Tampa escaped damage from a fire which authorities believe might have been deliberately set, a clear indication that Muslims in the Sunshine State are being targeted.  In Kansas City last Wednesday, an unstable drunk shot two Indian Immigrants and two bystanders who tried to intervene.  The progressive media jumped on this incident, trying to paint it as a hate crime, but it appears that the shooter was just off-his-rocker, simply put.  The unfortunate fatality in this incident was Christian, by the way.

If anyone believes that the above-mentioned incidents constitute evidence of "escalating violence against Muslims" in a nation of almost three-hundred nineteen million people, well then, I can't imagine how you will judge the fact that during this same time period, over two-hundred Jewish headstones were desecrated in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  Earlier last week, in St. Louis, more than five-hundred graves were desecrated.  I have been unable to find either event mentioned in the Express-News, although did report on the St. Louis incident.  Something else you won't find in the Express-News: in the first weeks of 2017, sixty-nine bomb threats were called in to Jewish community centers across the country.  The truth is, these disgusting, reprehensible acts against the Jewish community could have been carried out by bigots from either side of the spectrum, just as the deliberate burning of a mosque could be the work of Islamic groups who oppose the teachings of a particular Imam, or even an act related to the centuries-old conflict between Sunni and Shia.  That said, the Express-News seems to be purposely adding on to the false narrative that Muslims face profound discrimination and violence in the United States.  If that's the case, then why are so many trying to relocate to our fair shores?

What I found most disturbing about the Express-News article was its continued positive description of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).  The article makes every attempt to paint CAIR as the peaceful, anti-violence organization, while leaving the reader with the distinct impression that ACT is a meeting place for bigots and anti-Muslim fanatics.  I respectfully ask anyone interested in this "comparison" to please to a bit of homework; read about the history of these groups, and in particular, the founders.  The Express-news will provide all the nasty tidbits about ACT.  Lets shine the light on CAIR, at least as far as the National Review, and Daniel Pipes, president of the Middle East Forum (2014), has unearthed:

In 2004, CAIR initiated a libel lawsuit over statements made by s group called Anti-CAIR.  Two years later, CAIR settled the suit with prejudice, implicitly acknowledging the accuracy of Anti-CAIR's assertions, which included: 

*CAIR is a supporting front organization that is partially funded by terrorists.
*CAIR is supported by terrorist supporting individuals, groups, and countries.
*CAIR has proven links to, and was founded by, Islamic terrorists.
*CAIR actively supports terrorists and terrorist supporting organizations.

As of 2014, at least seven board members or staff at CAIR have been arrested, denied entry to the U.S., or were indicted on or pled guilty to (or were convicted of) terrorist charges. 

I had the distinct honor of meeting Lt. Col. White on one occasion, and I will happily put my reputation on the line by assuring anyone interested that he is not a bigot.  He is an honest, dedicated, passionate patriot who has done more than his part to defend our country.  As for the Express-News, history has demonstrated that the reality of diminished subscribers no longer discourages political activism on the part of journalists.  Its up to us to chose who and what we read, and to educate ourselves as much as possible in the meantime.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Where does the "official" Democratic Party stand on Sanctuary Cities and illegal aliens who have committed felonies?

I'm truly relieved that President Trump has tackled the immigration issue early on in his Presidency.  Our deportation system, which at one time worked so smoothly to remove foreign national felons after they had completed their sentences, basically came to a halt under the Obama Administration.  Before I get into the heart of this post, its important that I point out my experience with this issue.  In 1996, I completed seven months of training at the Immigration Officer Academy, Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC), located in Glynn County, Georgia.  This program included intensive courses on Immigration Law.  Its my understanding that the law has not changed must since those days, so I feel comfortable discussing some of the more controversial aspects of Immigration Enforcement.  After graduating from the Academy, I started my INS (now Homeland Security) career as an Inspector on a bridge in Laredo, Texas.  That job required a solid understanding of Immigration Law, as did my next posting in Huntsville, Texas.  Basically, I went from being an Immigration Inspector to being an Immigration Agent, and I was tasked with completing the necessary paperwork required to return a convicted foreign national felon to their home country.  I was very fortunate in that my Supervisor assigned me to work with a former Border Patrol officer named Kelly Grimes, who knew Immigration Law like nobody's business.  I learned so much from Grimes, so that by the time I left INS, I could quote from the Justice Department's Immigration Law manuals.  Every Monday through Friday, and many times on Saturday, Grimes and I were interviewing and processing foreign national felons for subsequent deportation.  If anyone would like to argue Immigration Law with me, I'm happy to oblige.

Within the last two weeks, an illegal alien was deported from Arizona, after she had been convicted of using a fake Social Security number.  This case garnered much attention from the mainstream media, in order to promote the idea that President Trump's new emphasis on Immigration Enforcement is focused on destroying families.  Actually, its the self-identified "Sanctuary Cities", incorporated areas who chose to ignore the Federal Law, who are contributing to the destruction of families.  First and foremost, we are a nation of laws.  Our system exists so that if a law is unjust or no longer supported by the people, the mechanisms exist to change that law.  Simply put, in the United States, you don't get to pick and chose which laws you like.  This reality includes cities and states as much as it includes every single American citizen.  Because we have communities who advertise the fact that they ignore Immigration Detainers, undocumented persons flock to these places (an Immigration Detainer is the Federal Law which requires local law enforcement to hold any undocumented person who has been incarcerated, until a Federal Agent arrives to take custody of the individual and begin deportation proceedings).  This is why you have illegal aliens getting arrested five and six times, and then being released after completing whatever obligations they had with the local authority.  The number of illegal aliens who have been released by sanctuary communities, who then go on to commit felonies including rape and murder, is disturbing and continues to grow.  Does anyone on the left care about THOSE FAMILIES?  Regarding the case from Arizona which resulted in a Mexican national woman being deported after living in the United States illegally since 1991, the media continues to portray the woman as a victim.  In particular, they repeat the lie that she was never in a position to legalize her presence in the United States.  Actually, since she had two children in this country, she absolutely had the opportunity to adjust status (through her kids).  Unfortunately, she would have been obliged to return to Mexico for a period of time while her case was processed, then return to the nearest Port of Entry and present herself for inspection with her new documents.  Of course, this option does require hiring an Immigration Attorney.  Returning to Mexico and saving the money to hire an attorney can be heavy burdens, but worth the effort from the perspective of this law-abiding citizen.

Last year I was shocked to see images of young people in the United States, waving the Mexican flag, celebrating Mexican Independence Day, and in some instances, desecrating the American flag.  After the last few months, I'm no longer as sensitive to seeing people use their right to free speech as an opportunity to insult this country and all those who sacrificed to give us the life we have today.  There seems to be a small but growing group of people who absolutely hate the United States, but continue to live here and enjoy the same rights and privileges I have.  These people have hijacked the immigration issue, and are attempting to frame it as proof that President Trump is a racist.  Trying to understand who President Trump hates from one week to the next can get confusing.  First it was Mexican Americans, then the Muslims and Black Americans.  These folks had better be prepared for a long struggle, because President Trump will follow through on the promises he made during the campaign.  

Thursday, February 16, 2017

What would we do without celebrities to tell us how to vote and how to live our lives?

During the 2016 presidential campaign, the media delighted in reminding everyday Americans that most actors, singers and athletes lean hard to the left politically, and that the arrival of candidate Donald Trump on the scene for the GOP had spun up Tinseltown this year like a kicked-over anthill.  Anyone who has paid even the slightest amount of attention to national politics over the past few decades is no doubt aware that most Hollywood personalities and professional sports stars vote Democrat.  There are exceptions, but they are harder to find all the time.  I hope that the numbers are a bit more balanced than we are led to believe, and that intimidation and bullying keep a decent percentage of conservative voters in the entertainment community from expressing their political convictions, but each election makes me more pessimistic.  The truth is, none of this should matter.  Theater and film actors, directors, writers, singers, technicians, cameramen and movie extras are all entitled to support which candidate they choose, and the same holds true for professional athletes, coaches, and sports journalists.  So why have I wasted a paragraph, restating the obvious?  Because many personalities within the entertainment and professional sports community have decided to take advantage of their access to the press and media, and verbally abuse and threaten the candidate they dislike.  This development has provided me with the opportunity to examine the entertainment community in America today, in an effort to determine what they have accomplished, which makes them feel entitled to lecture the everyday folks of this great nation regarding their respective personal choice for president.

The Entertainment Industry has created, and continues to create, more millionaires percentage-wise than any other industry in the nation.  I don't watch the sitcom the "Big Bang Theory", but I am aware that the two main stars each make more than one-million dollars an episode, with the rest of the cast probably not far behind.  This kind of money seems obscene to me, and I have no clue how much more money these particular actors make from endorsements and the seemingly never-ending percentage earned since the show has become syndicated.  Jennifer Lawrence, one of Hollywood's hottest stars, makes an average of forty-six million dollars annually, Jennifer Aniston clocks in at twenty-one million, Jennifer Lopez at forty-million, and Meryl Streep, the doyenne of the group, brings in a not-too-shabby seven million dollars a year.  On the other side of the coin, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson commands over sixty-four million per year, Matt Damon fifty-five million, Tom Cruise fifty-three million, and Johnny Depp can expect to make forty-eight million dollars this year.  Again, these figures do not include a whole variety of opportunities that are available to famous folks.  Of course, these are estimates that I collected from various websites, including the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, and TMZ, but the point I'm attempting to make can be understood without down-to-the-penny details.  Sure, I'm only commenting on the artists who sit at the top, but if you have the skill and charisma to be successful, Hollywood will hand you a paycheck to make all your dreams come true, and this includes the television actors whose names may not be familiar.  When I read that the actors in a recently-canceled, less-than-successful television series each made more money in only one season than I made in my entire career working for the CIA, I realized that the Entertainment Industry truly is drowning in cash.  The companies that create movies make most of their profit from overseas ticket-sales.  Interestingly enough, all that is required to sell out the movie theater in Paris or Kuala Lumpur, is to remind the theater-goer that the film was a huge success in the United States!  The sad American dichotomy that many performers and athletes make more money in a month than most Americans make in a lifetime of work, continues to grow with impunity. 

The average salary of a professional basketball or baseball player in 2017 is over four million dollars annually; the pro football player makes a bit less, at two million.  In the pro leagues, the team owners and the athletes take home unbelievable paychecks, regardless of the particular sport.  Where does all this money come from?  Have you noticed the price of a movie ticket lately?  Have you paid over thirty bucks for a medium Coke, a hot dog and some nachos lately?  Not to mention the two-hundred dollar authentic Dak Prescott jersey and the "official" NFL Cowboys baseball cap, which ran upwards of thirty dollars.  People are willing to pay two-hundred dollars to see the San Antonio Spurs play (the cheaper tickets require you to bring your own oxygen).  I'm a strong supporter of capitalism, so I'm in no position to complain when people make money from the system.  Also, people have the right to spend their money as they see fit, even if its on a three-hundred dollar Green Bay Packers blanket.  I'm hopeful that our economic system will eventually bring some balance to this issue.  I can't imagine salaries continuing to rise for both entertainers and athletes in this fashion, but I guess its possible.  I can't help but think that the average American will reach the point of having to choose between filling up the gas tank or taking the family to a movie.  Maybe at that point some sanity will return to the industry.

I never cease to be amazed at the greed that is regarded as normal behavior in the entertainment world.  Once a performer has become established and successful, there are no qualms about hiring a ghost writer and putting out a book a two.  Successful singers have a habit of sliding over into the acting business, grabbing even more dough while they can still take advantage of their familiarity to the American public and their access to the media.  Athletes have a habit of transitioning from professional sports to the world of motivational/public speaking, which can be very lucrative, especially when Apple, Google, Facebook or Microsoft are willing to pay two-hundred thousand dollars for speaking appearances.  The CEOs of these billion-dollar companies are only interested in finding a familiar face that will impress investors and stockholders who will be in attendance.  Back in the ancient days, when I was in grade school, actors were actors, athletes were athletes, writers were writers, and motivational speakers were non-existent.  I am disgusted with this community of multi-millionaire performers and athletes, who don't hesitate to elbow into other professions, taking audiences and resources away from persons who are singularly dedicated to their craft.  I will never forget when I glanced over the NY Times best-seller list and saw two books written by Bravo "housewives" and a self-absorbed, badly-written effort by Dr. Phil taking up spots that should have been occupied by dedicated, talented, sincere writers.  Successful performers and athletes have an unfair advantage.  They are able to use their access to the rich and famous in the business world and publishing, along with a recognizable face, to put away another million or two with little effort.  At least ghostwriters are doing good business.

Besides being actors, singers, athletes, authors, and writers, many persons within the entertainment community have also decided that they are much smarter than the average American.  They have accepted the obligation to instruct us on how to vote, because obviously the American people can't get along without their guidance.  This particular annoyance would be much less a distraction, if it weren't for the offensive and threatening attitude taken by these "entitled" folks.  Twice I have read that Robert DeNiro wants to punch President Donald Trump, and I can't count how many times the Baldwins, the Streeps, the Kathy Griffins, and the Madonnas have labeled all Trump supporters as Nazis and Racists.  We've experienced this type of aggressive political bullying on the part of the leftist entertainment community before, but never with such self-satisfaction and moral superiority.  And all from people with mansions, property in the Caribbean, secret offshore bank accounts, chauffers, and not one who could guess the price of milk or eggs.  Another new element was the inclusion of the know-it-all, leftist professional athlete (or in the case of the San Antonio Spurs basketball team, know-it-all, multi-millionaire Coach Gregg Popovich).  I was fascinated observing the left, as they struggled to decide whether or not to embrace the Colin Kaepernick "insult the National Anthem" movement (they did).

I'm convinced that Hillary Clinton lost valuable votes in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Florida because of the liberal left's willingness to accept America-bashing as part of its effort to discredit the Trump candidacy.  For years the media has painted Conservatives as evil, intolerant, name-calling fascists, and yet the average American voter had no trouble identifying the party and the ideology behind the hate injected into the 2017 campaign.  The mouthpieces for this message of nastiness was no doubt the rich and famous leftists within the entertainment community.  The famous personalities who were happy to go before the camera and label anyone with an opposing opinion a "racist" or a "Nazi" never seemed to end.  For some time I tried to keep track of them, so to avoid watching their programs or buying tickets to see their movies.  After a while, though, it became apparent that I would have to cut off my television altogether, which may not be such a bad idea after all.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Why its so important to defend President Trump's Executive Order dealing with refugees.

Last week during the Question and Answer segment of a speaking engagement, a young person asked me how I could be sure that I was on the correct side of any particular issue.  No doubt at one time or another, most people have considered this question.  When I was younger and knew very little of the world, I was very careful before pronouncing an opinion on political or international issues.  Frankly put, I didn't want to look foolish.  During my college days, if some group or another was protesting apartheid or speaking up on the issue of abortion, for instance, I would find the time to learn as much as I could before I put my credibility on the line by stating my opinion, and my audience was usually limited to my friends and family.  Today when I listen to the various groups protesting President Donald Trump and his actions since his inauguration, I frequently hear Trump and his supporters referred to as "Nazis and Racists", with the President himself constantly being compared to Nazi Dictator Adolf Hitler.  I'm willing to bet that the great majority of people using the term "Nazi" and making comparisons to Hitler, probably could not find Germany on a map, let alone accurately explain Hitler and his National Socialist movement.  Regardless, the name-calling and bullying won't be ending anytime soon, so those of us who support President Trump had better prepare ourselves for the long-haul.

When President Trump took office, he immediately went to work following through on a number of his campaign promises.  Anyone who followed the 2016 presidential election shouldn't be surprised by Trump's Executive Order temporarily halting immigration from seven Muslim-majority nations.  Contrary to what is regularly written by the left-wing press, the order does not "ban" immigrants from any country.  Instead, it temporarily freezes the process, to allow officials from the Department of Homeland Security to review and properly investigate each applicant.  According to Trump's own language, the review must be completed within a four-month window.  Actually, on two separate occasions, President Obama took the same action, albeit his effort included only two "Muslim-majority" nations.  What were President Obama and now President Trump intending when issuing these orders?

We have been incredibly fortunate in that significant terror attacks in the United States over the last decade have only occurred about once a year.  Europe, which is ground-zero for refugee resettlement, is basically at war with Muslim extremists.  The French have felt the brunt of violence, with the United Kingdom and Germany not far behind.  Terror-related deaths have also occurred in Belgium, the Netherlands, and Spain.  Along with individual terrorist actions, Europeans have had to deal with rampant sexual assaults against women at public celebrations, including New Years.  It seems that Muslim extremists have decided that any woman wearing what they consider to be revealing attire, is a justified target fro sexual assault.  The terror attacks that fill the headlines of European newspapers are almost always directly tied to the refugee community.  Why hasn't the United States suffered the same frequency of terror-related events?  One reason is because we have just recently bought into the refugee "come-one, come-all" attitude that the left seems to believe is safe, intelligent policy.  President Trump's Executive Order was intended to prevent some of what Europe has suffered.  With so many refugees arriving on the borders of Hungary, Greece and Italy every day, it has been impossible for European law enforcement to adequately investigate each new arrival.  President Trump enacted his Executive Order so that our law enforcement would have the time and resources to accomplish what the Europeans have so far failed to do- protect innocent civilians from terrorists who have been purposely seeded into refugee communities.

The fact that one court in Washington State and another in California have ruled against the President should come as no surprise.  These activist, leftist judges believe that their authority overrides the Executive Branch, which flies directly in the face of the Constitution.  If the President of the United States does not have the authority to control the border, then who does?  If you speak to rank-and-file Border Patrol and Immigration Enforcement Officers, those who are most familiar with Immigration Law (yours truly has a bit of experience in that area as well), they will tell you that the President absolutely has the authority to take action limiting immigration.  Interestingly enough, our Justice Department includes the existence of Immigration Courts, who are trained to interpret law relating to immigrants.  Instead, we have the California-based 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ignoring the Constitution for the sole purpose of damaging a President whom they despise.

At the end of the day, those of us who call ourselves Conservatives must be more aggressive in support of our President and the policies for which he was elected.  At the moment, the left is running rampant, destroying property, threatening people and bullying our society into hiding behind our locked doors.  Their behavior, which has yet to be criticized by any national Democratic Party leader, is an attempt to overurn the results of the 2016 election through intimidation and fear.  But they may have a surprise coming.  Sixty-four million American citizens voted for Donald Trump, and groups within that block are beginning to mobilize, so that our voices may be heard.  At times I almost regret not behaving in such a fashion when Obama was piling up twenty trillion dollars in debt, destroying our reputation internationally, and leaving wounded veterans to die on the streets.  Hindsight is 20/20,  as the cliche reminds us, so I'm going to focus on the future.