Author Archive

A Palestinian State or an Islamist Tyranny?

April 26, 2017

 A Palestinian State or an Islamist Tyranny? Gatestone InstituteGiulio Meotti, April 26, 2017

Abbad Yahiya’s novel takes aim at Palestinian taboos such as fanaticism, Islamic extremism and homosexuality. The novel’s publisher has been arrested and a warrant has been issued for the arrest of Yahiya.

The head of the Union of Palestinian Writers, Murad Sudani, attacked the writer and called for an exemplary punishment. Ghassan Khader, a Facebook user, wrote on his page that Yahiya “should be killed”.

We could go on with this list of Palestinian intellectuals who paid a high price for daring to speak the truth to Mahmoud Abbas and his corrupt circle on many issues: coexistence with the Jews, secularism, sexual freedom, freedom of conscience, human rights, or telling the truth about the Holocaust.

A Palestinian state created with the current Palestinian Authority would destroy freedom of conscience for journalists and writers; exile Christians and homosexuals; torture Arab inmates; impose sharia as the only law, and put people to death for “atheism” and “apostasy” (read, conversion to Christianity).

From the United Nations to the European Union and the mainstream press, it seems that the Jews living in Judea and Samaria are the obstacle for the Middle East coexistence. But have these well-known “observers” really observed what is going on in the areas self-governed by the Palestinian Authority, and that two-thirds of the world’s nations want to turn into another Arab-Islamic state?

Recently, one of the brightest Palestinian novelists, Abbad Yahiya, saw his fourth book, Crime in Ramallah, seized by the Palestinian police in the West Bank. The order came from Palestinian Attorney General Ahmed Barak, who ruled that the book “threatens morality“. The novel’s publisher was arrested and a warrant was issued for Yahiya’s arrest.

When Palestinian novelist Abbad Yahiya recently published his fourth book, Crime in Ramallah, the Palestinian Authority police seized all copies the book, claiming it “threatens morality”. The novel’s publisher was arrested and a warrant was issued for Yahiya’s arrest. (Image source: Wikimedia Commons)

His novel revolves around the murder of a Palestinian girl in Ramallah, and follows the lives of three other boys, from a homosexual to a drinker of alcohol. The novel takes aim at Palestinian taboos such as fanaticism, Islamic extremism and homosexuality. The young gay protagonist of the novel ends up moving to France.

“I do not know what to do”, said Yahiya, who fled to Qatar. “If I return, I will be arrested”.

The head of the Union of Palestinian Writers, Murad Sudani, attacked Yahiya and called for an exemplary punishment as happened with Boris Pasternak and other Soviet novelists. According to Sudani, Yahiya’s novel “violates national and religious values”. He went on to say that “my freedom as a writer ends when the freedom of the country begins”. So Palestinian writers should behave like the Soviet “engineers of souls”, then at the service of Communism, now of Islamic extremism and the Palestinian war against Israel.

Yahiya was also threatened on social media. Ghassan Khader, a Facebook user, wrote on his page that Yahiya “should be killed“. Yahiya should apparently meet the same fate of the Algerian writer Tahar Djaout, murdered by Islamists in 1994. Yahiya’s publisher, Fuad Akleek, was arrested in a library “in a very humiliating way”. The Palestinian police are reported to have entered five hundred libraries and bookshops of the West Bank to seize all the copies of the novel.

Yahiya’s fate is reminiscent of many others under the Palestinian Authority:

  • Waleed al Husseini is a Palestinian blogger who has spent ten months in a Palestinian prison for the same “crime” as the one for which the Charlie Hebdo magazine’s journalists were murdered: “Blasphemy”. Like the gay man in Yahiya’s novel, Waleed now lives in France, protected and blessed by Europe’s freedom.
  • Haidar Ghanem, the Palestinian human rights activist, was less lucky. He was shot to death by Islamic extremists.
  • Mohammed Dajani, the Palestinian professor who took his students on a field trip to Auschwitz, had to resign to save his own life after months-long campaign of death threats, campus riots and intimidation. He broke the Palestinian taboo of Holocaust denial. “I put my job on the line to expose the double-talk we live”, Dajani told Haaretz. “We say we are for democracy and we practice autocracy, we say we are for freedom of speech and academic freedom, yet we deny people to practice it”.
  • Many Palestinian Christian activists have also been found dead.

We could go on with this list of Palestinian intellectuals who paid a high price for daring to speak the truth to Abbas and his corrupt circle on many issues: coexistence with the Jews, secularism, sexual freedom, freedom of conscience, human rights, or telling the truth about the Holocaust.

Famous Israeli writers such as David Grossman, Amos Oz and Abraham Yehoshua, the “peaceniks” most pampered by the Western newspapers, should, instead of blaming their own country, ask themselves what Abbad Yahiya’s case means for the Arab-Israeli conflict, and if they should denounce the Palestinian Authority for what it is doing to him.

What happened to Yahiya’s novel contains the real reason for the failed negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians. Negotiations did not founder over few houses in Judea and Samaria. The failure is the result of the abyss between an open society, Israel, and a closed regime, the Palestinian entity; between a democracy based on Western liberal principles and a gangster autocracy based on an Islamic dictatorship determined to destroy the Jewish state.

And that abyss is just four kilometers wide, the distance between the Palestinian town of Tulkarem and the Israeli city of Netanya.

A Palestinian State created with the current Palestinian Authority would ethnically cleanse Jews, as Jordan did when it attacked and seized Jerusalem in 1948.

It would be led by Holocaust-enablers such as Hamas, or by a Holocaust-denier such as Mahmoud Abbas. It would destroy freedom of conscience for journalists and writers; exile Christians and homosexuals (hundreds of Palestinian gays now live beyond Israel’s security fence); torture Arab inmates; continue to accept funding from Iran and Sunni Islamic extremists in the name of “the caliphate or death”; impose sharia (Islamic law) as the only law; put people to death for “atheism” and “apostasy” (read, conversion to Christianity). It would most likely oblige women to wear burqas and hijabs as in Saudi Arabia; commemorate terrorists and baby-killers who butchered 1,500 Israeli civilians during the Second Intifada; abolish democratic elections; fill libraries with anti-Semitic and anti-Western books; ban alcohol in public, and ask plainclothes officers to stop young couples to show marriage licenses, as in Iran.

How would you describe that state, if not as a carbon copy of a Nazi government? And what is the only country that would allow the creation of such a state on its own shoulders? The world’s only Jewish State? Of course.

How Trump Can Help the Cops

April 26, 2017

How Trump Can Help the Cops, Front Page MagazineHeather Mac Donald, April 26, 2017

Reprinted from City Journal

Donald Trump vigorously defended law enforcement during his presidential campaign. He pledged to restore order to the nation’s cities—where violent crime is surging—and to reinvigorate the rule of law. His appointment of conservative Republican senator Jeff Sessions as attorney general was a strong signal that Trump’s words were more than campaign rhetoric. Now that the Trump administration and the Sessions-led Justice Department are up and running, where should they focus their efforts?

The most immediate goal of the Trump administration should be to change the elite-driven narrative about the criminal-justice system. That narrative, which holds that policing is lethally racist, has dominated public discourse since the fatal shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, in August 2014. In response, officers are backing off of proactive policing, and violent crime is rising fast: 2015 saw the largest one-year spike in homicides nationwide in nearly 50 years. That violent-crime increase has continued unabated through 2016 and into the early months of 2017. A Trump administration official—perhaps Attorney General Sessions, or the president himself—should publicly address the question of what we expect from police officers: Do we want them to be proactive and to try to stop crime before it happens? Or do we want them to be purely reactive, responding to crime only after someone has been victimized? The administration should explain that data-driven, proactive policing made possible the country’s 20-year, 50 percent violent-crime decline that began in the mid-1990s.

In February, Sessions made a good start in turning around the false narrative about policing, addressing the National Association of Attorneys General. Sessions warned that the nation’s violent-crime decline is now at risk, while acknowledging that the crime increase is not happening in every neighborhood. Yet we are diminished as a nation, he said, when citizens “fear for their life when they leave their home.” (To be blunt, the violent-crime increase has hit almost exclusively in black neighborhoods. Nine hundred additional black males were murdered in 2015 compared with 2014, bringing total black homicide deaths that year to more than 7,000. It is a marker of the perversity of elite rhetoric about race that both Trump and Sessions have been fiercely attacked as racist for pledging to save black lives.)

Sessions noted that officers have become reluctant to get out of their cars to conduct discretionary stops and other “up-close” preventive policing. The administration should go further: it should convey the charged, hostile atmosphere in which officers in many urban areas now operate, thanks to the hatred spread by the Black Lives Matter movement. Gun murders of officers increased more than 50 percent in 2016, led by the targeted assassinations of cops.

A frontal assault on the dominant narrative about a racist criminal-justice system will require laying out the stark racial disparities in criminal offending and victimization. The public has been kept in the dark for decades about how vast those disparities are: blacks commit homicide at eight times the rate of whites and Hispanics combined, for example, and die of homicide at six times the rate of whites and Hispanics combined. Lifting that veil of ignorance is necessary to explain why officers operate more actively in minority neighborhoods—in order to save lives. The public must also understand that it is law-abiding members of high-crime communities themselves who beg the police to maintain order, and that such public-order policing was central to the now-jeopardized 20-year crime decline.

The federal government will be vigilant against abusive policing, the administration should say, but it will not deem police departments and police officers biased for proactively fighting crime.

The federal government’s practice of slapping years-long consent decrees on police departments calls out for reform. There is zero chance that civil rights attorneys in the federal government know more than police departments do about how to fight crime constitutionally and successfully. Yet the Obama administration opened 25 “pattern-or-practice” civil rights investigations, based on the false notions that police bias is widespread and that federal lawyers are qualified to recommend effective police practices. The Department of Justice is currently enforcing 14 consent decrees with local departments, which grew out of such investigations. At a minimum, the Trump administration should publish data on how much the Obama-era investigations and consent decrees have cost those departments.

At the end of March 2017, Sessions announced a review of existing and pending consent decrees. The immediate target of this review was a consent decree for the Baltimore Police Department, hastily signed in the waning days of the Obama administration and at that point still awaiting final approval from a federal judge. Sessions’s reevaluation was fully justified.  As is typical, the Obama-era DOJ report that preceded the Baltimore decree failed to put numbers behind its charge that the Baltimore PD engaged in a “pattern or practice” of unconstitutional policing. The Obama report blasts the Baltimore cops for “clearing the corners” of miscreants and loiterers, but the police engage in such corner-clearing at the behest of the community. Since the report came out in summer 2016, Baltimore neighborhoods have been overrun by drug dealers, who now believe that they can operate with impunity. Residents have begged the department to return to corner-clearing and other public-order enforcement.

The proposed Baltimore consent decree discourages all such self-initiated police activities. It requires officers to contact a supervisor before making an arrest for minor offenses like disorderly conduct. It prohibits officers from stopping and questioning trespassers and loiterers, unless the officer has received a call for service regarding those individuals. The spurious philosophy beneath these rules is that policing should focus on “serious offenses,” not “minor infractions.” But the best way to prevent serious offenses is to maintain public order in high-crime areas. Proponents argue that the deemphasis on low-level enforcement will save money; in fact, it will only lead to more high-level crime.

Violent street crime in Baltimore has remained at alarming levels in 2017; shootings were up 78 percent through February 25, compared with the same period in 2016; homicides were up 38 percent through early March. These increases come on top of the highest per-capita homicide rate in the city’s history in 2015 and close to that record rate in 2016. Complying with the consent decree will cost financially struggling Baltimore millions of dollars—money that could be better spent hiring new officers and giving them rigorous tactical training. Officers will be pulled from the streets to compile reports for the overpaid federal monitor, covering matters including—as reported in the Power Line blog—whether beat cops respect an individual’s chosen “gender identity” in addressing him (or “zim”). In March 2017, seven plainclothes Baltimore officers were indicted for extortion and fraud. The consent decree is irrelevant to this egregious failure of supervision, focusing as it does on the usual policing-is-racist narrative. Five of the seven indicted officers were black.

The Sessions Justice Department requested a 90-day pause before District Court Judge James Bredar made the Baltimore decree irrevocable. This request triggered strenuous protest, not just from activists and Democratic politicians but also, bizarrely, from Baltimore police commissioner Kevin Davis himself. Davis in essence was declaring his inability to manage his own police department without federal oversight. Judge Bredar rejected the DOJ request for a 90-day extension and approved the decree on April 7, consigning Baltimore and Maryland taxpayers to a depleted and demoralized police force and to tens, if not hundreds, of millions of dollars of unnecessary costs and fees.

The next target of the Sessions consent decree review is an as-yet unfinalized consent decree in Chicago. Since no agreement between the Justice Department and Chicago officials has been signed, the Justice Department should drop negotiations and pull out. The Obama-era report that triggered the pending consent decree suffers from the same flaws as the Baltimore report: it provides no quantified evidence for its claim that the Chicago Police Department engages in systemic civil rights abuses. The mayhem in Chicago in February and March 2017 alone included the slaying of a two-year-old boy and two other children in separate drive-by shootings over four days, and the spread of rape, robberies, carjackings, and kidnappings into downtown and other previously safe neighborhoods. Quelling that violence will not be made easier by diverting police resources into the care and feeding of a federal monitor.

The 2012 police consent decree in New Orleans, for example, is projected to cost $55 million over five years; the actual cost will be much higher. A recent news story trumpeted the fact that sexual-assault complaints rose 83 percent in 2015 (allegedly suggesting greater “gender” sensitivity in the New Orleans Police Department). What should be of greater concern is the fact that New Orleans is also in the midst of an ongoing violent-crime spike. Shootings and homicides more than doubled in January 2017 over January 2016, notwithstanding that 2015 and 2016 had already seen a significant rise in murder and shootings.

Sessions’s announced review of pending consent decrees brought forth the same claims of impotence on the part of Chicago officials as it did in Baltimore. The attorney general should ignore these professions of dependency on the federal government and do the right thing for the law-abiding residents of Chicago’s gang-terrorized neighborhoods by tearing up the proposed decree.

The Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division should formulate and publish the criteria that it will use to open pattern-or-practice civil rights investigations of police departments. It should quantify the constitutional violations that it uncovers during pattern-or-practice investigations and explain how it concludes that these infractions rise to the level of a “pattern or practice” of civil rights abuses.

The federal government should analyze police actions against a benchmark of crime rates, not population data. If 55 percent of police stops in a jurisdiction have black subjects, for example, the relevant starting point for analysis is the percentage of violent crime committed by blacks, not the black percentage of the resident population.

The specious population benchmark for finding police discrimination is typical of the disparate-impact analysis that drove most criminal-justice policy under the Obama administration. Such analysis should be extirpated in its entirety. There is not a single colorblind law-enforcement practice that does not have a disparate impact on blacks and Hispanics, given their higher rates of crime. The only way to avoid a disparate impact in law enforcement is to stop enforcing the law.

Before the election, the FBI announced a worthy initiative to collect and publish data on all officer uses of force. Such reporting must be accompanied, however, by information on local crime rates, since police use of force will occur most frequently where cops encounter armed and resisting suspects.

Crime-fighting remains overwhelmingly a local matter. But federal agents—from the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, and the U.S. Marshals Service—can provide vital assistance. Federal law enforcement reoriented itself toward counterterrorism and cybercrime following the 9/11 Islamist terror attacks. With violence skyrocketing in many urban areas, it is time for a rebalancing. Embattled police departments are calling for more federal agents to work on joint gun and drug task forces. Trump’s proposed budget for the Justice Department has recognized that demand by allocating an additional $175 million to address violent crime.

U.S. gun and drug prosecutions fell significantly during the Obama years, discouraged by the administration’s belief that mandatory-minimum federal sentences, especially for drug trafficking, have resulted in the “mass incarceration” of minorities. In fact, drug enforcement plays no role in disproportionate black incarceration rates. If all drug prisoners were removed from the nation’s prisons, the share of black prisoners would drop from 37.4 percent to 37.2 percent. Libertarians might welcome the five-year, 18 percent drop in federal drug prosecutions, but neighborhoods riven by drug violence do not. In Baltimore, when the local police stopped making drug arrests following the anti-cop riots of April 2015, shootings spiked. Attorney General Sessions must encourage U.S. attorneys in high-crime areas to increase their gun and drug cases, including RICO prosecutions. While modest changes in the federal sentencing guidelines for drug trafficking are acceptable, they should not be undertaken in the name of “racial justice.”

All federal law-enforcement agencies should adopt a CompStat system for information-sharing and analysis. CompStat, first developed in the New York Police Department under Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, holds commanders ruthlessly accountable for measurable results. A White House allegedly informed by business acumen should welcome such a proven system for bottom-line accountability.

Obama’s first attorney general, Eric Holder, called on local U.S. attorneys to involve themselves in prisoner reentry and rehabilitation activities. The Trump administration should determine if that initiative is producing enough crime reduction to justify the diversion of scarce prosecutorial resources; arguably, reentry activities are most efficiently carried out by U.S. probation officers. Federal prisons, on the other hand, can serve as a model for prison work policies and prisoner education. The Bureau of Prisons should partner with private business for job-skills development, as recommended in the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act of 2015.

Sanctuary cities, counties, and states must be severely penalized. These scofflaw jurisdictions, numbering about 300, refuse to cooperate with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) efforts to deport convicted illegal-alien criminals. When ICE requests that a jail in a sanctuary jurisdiction briefly hold a criminal who has finished serving his sentence so that ICE can pick him up for deportation, the jail will deliberately release him before ICE can arrive, unless his crime was particularly heinous. Over just one week in late January 2017, ICE found 206 criminal aliens who had been released back to the streets in defiance of a detention request. Their convictions included aggravated assault with a weapon, robbery, rape, aggravated assault against a family member, domestic violence, life-threatening arson against a residence, burglaries of homes and businesses, battery, carrying a prohibited weapon, resisting an officer, driving under the influence, forgery, and indecent exposure. Pending charges against those released aliens included homicide, aggravated assault against an officer with a weapon, and indecent exposure to a minor.

Such disobedience of lawful federal requests undermines the constitutional system. It is also a betrayal of a fundamental truth that big-city police chiefs purport to believe: that all violations of public order, including so-called low-level offenses, threaten community cohesion and safety. There is no public benefit to sending an illegal-alien criminal back into the community if grounds exist for removing him. Congress should impose liability on local law-enforcement officials if someone is victimized by an illegal-alien criminal released in defiance of ICE.

Passage of the Mandatory Minimums for Illegal Reentry Act of 2015, which establishes a compulsory five-year sentence for illegal reentry, would encourage U.S. attorneys to prosecute illegal aliens who have reentered the country following deportation. Trump’s proposed 2018 budget rightly funds 75 additional immigration-judge teams and 20 additional attorneys and support staff for immigration litigation in order to speed up removal proceedings.

Local police departments are shaking the cup for more federal funding, but the Trump administration should resist. Federal grants are not new money; they are merely the same taxpayers’ dollars that localities rely on, minus the huge administrative costs of being routed through Washington. Though many departments desperately need more officers and more tactical training, the better way to provide those resources is to lower federal spending mandates and the federal tax burden so that localities can pay for their own policing needs. Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel is taking the lead in demanding more federal money for social programs and summer jobs. But if government welfare programs were the solution to crime, we would have had crime-free inner cities decades ago.

Only initiatives that are truly national in scope should be federally funded. Research on what works in crime-fighting is a proper federal function, since local police departments lack the money to conduct their own studies. Topics to be explored include: the effectiveness of public-order and hot-spot policing; the relationship between criminal history and recidivism; and the success rate of electronic monitoring. The federal Task Force on Crime Reduction and Public Safety, announced in February, will explore how to improve data collection in order to fight crime more effectively; a crash course in CompStat data analysis would help detect unmet data needs.

The Obama DOJ spent a lot of time talking about police “legitimacy”; by contrast, the Trump DOJ should advocate for more hands-on, scenario-based tactical training that helps officers avoid the need to use deadly force. Officers should be taught how to cope with stress. When cops use foul language, threats, and unjustified force, they are usually overreacting to stress. The current fad for de-escalation training is appropriate, so long as the proposed principles do not jeopardize officer safety.

From dash-cam videos to body cameras on officers, technology plays an increasingly vital role in policing and in public perceptions of policing. Several areas need to be addressed. The cost of storing video from police body cameras has become a huge problem. The federal government could help determine if a federal cloud for storage or a state consortium is the best solution. Washington should encourage departments to adopt lawful surveillance technology such as aerial cameras and family genetic matching to target criminals surgically.

National legislation is needed on encryption. Law-enforcement agencies now fear “going dark” during the surveillance of criminals and terrorists, thanks to encryption. The feds could also help with technology to improve communications (interoperability) between the nation’s 18,000 police departments. Anti-cop activists and anarchists are breaking into law-enforcement communications. Police WiFi was hacked during the November 2014 anti-cop riots in Ferguson, Missouri; the previous month, a radio operator tried to interfere with police movements and air-support operations in the area. Masked Black Bloc anarchists and Black Lives Matter activists will join forces in the Trump era to attack law and order, as happened in the Berkeley, California, riot in early February 2017. Federal and local law enforcement need to up their game in countering such lawlessness; the wearing of masks to facilitate crime must be severely penalized.

The Obama Justice Department ordered more than 28,000 federal law-enforcement officers and prosecutors into “implicit-bias” training—a form of sensitivity reeducation aimed at teaching police how to combat their own (alleged) subliminal prejudices. Attorney General Sessions should cancel this initiative and lift the pressure on local police departments to put their own officers through this wasteful exercise. The claim that policing, especially police shootings, is riven with “implicit bias” is untrue—in 2016 alone, four academic studies showed that if there is a bias in police shootings, it works in favor of blacks and against whites. The Office of Community Oriented Policing (COPS) has partnered with the Office of Violence Against Women to combat “gender bias.” This is another waste of money and should be ended. There is no significant gender bias in American society, and it is not a criminal-justice issue.

The previous Justice Department’s concern with phantom police bias extended to personnel practices. An October 2016 report called for law-enforcement agencies to boost their minority hiring. The report recommended that departments weaken or eliminate their requirements of a clean criminal record in order to make more minorities eligible. This report and the message behind it should be withdrawn. There is no evidence that minority officers are “fairer” in their policing. The Justice Department itself found in 2015 that black and Hispanic officers in Philadelphia were more likely than white officers to shoot an unarmed black suspect based on the misperception that he was armed. Lowering hiring standards, particularly criminal-background standards, is a sure recipe for corruption and incompetence on a police force.

Obama’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing recommended that police departments mandatorily report to the DOJ their race and gender composition. This recommendation should be axed. And any mandated reporting on police activity that includes the race of suspects stopped or arrested should be accompanied by data on racial crime rates in the police agency’s juridiction. Ideally, the word “diversity” would be excised from all federal communications when it refers to race, sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity. Those traits have no bearing on federal programs or on qualifications for federal employment.

Trump is under pressure from conservatives to fire FBI director James Comey for his actions regarding presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s e-mail server, his refusal to corroborate Trump’s wiretap allegations against Obama, and the FBI’s investigation of ties between Trump associates and Russia. Trump should resist the pressure to fire him. Comey was virtually the only voice in the Obama administration to call attention to the urban crime increase. He also correctly identified its cause because he understands the power of policing. He will be a valuable asset in quelling the crime spike.

Finally, while police officers have an indefeasible obligation to treat everyone they meet with courtesy and respect and within the confines of the law, community members have a reciprocal obligation to obey police commands and not resist arrest. The Trump administration could start a national campaign: “Comply now, complain later.” Such a campaign would publicize the fact that the vast majority of questionable police shootings over the last several years, as well as the justified police shootings, were triggered by the noncompliance of the victims.

Hundreds Vote Illegally in North Carolina after Court Bans Election Integrity Law

April 26, 2017

Hundreds Vote Illegally in North Carolina after Court Bans Election Integrity Law, Judicial Watch, April 26, 2017

Even in the North Carolina probe, we’ll never know if that’s the whole number. “These kinds of stories are a feature of every election and that’s despite the fact that most states often don’t even track these crimes in a systematic way,” said Robert Popper, a former Deputy Chief of Justice Department Voting Section who heads Judicial Watch’s Election Integrity Project. “Some states admit they don’t track them at all,” Popper added.

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Less than a year after a federal appellate court sided with the Obama administration to strike down North Carolina’s election integrity reforms, a state audit reveals that hundreds of votes were illegally cast by felons and non-citizens in just one election. Voter impersonation, double voting and irregularities in absentee ballots sent via mail also tainted the election, according to the investigation conducted by the North Carolina State Board of Elections (NCSBE). The probe analyzed records from the 2016 general election.

State auditors found that about 500 ineligible people voted in 2016, more than 440 of them felons. Dozens of non-citizens from 28 different countries also cast ballots, the probe found. “A number of non-citizens said they were not aware that they were prohibited from voting,” the report states. “Interviews and evidence show that some non-citizens were misinformed about the law by individuals conducting voter registration drives or, in at least one document case, by a local precinct official.” North Carolina authorities are also investigating 24 substantiated cases of double voting in 2016. “Some violators appear to be ‘testers’ trying to find holes in the system,” according to the report. “Others claim property ownership in multiple jurisdictions should allow them to vote in each, and others brush past the law to support their candidate by any means necessary. Additionally, a case that initially appears to be a double voter—an individual who votes twice—may actually be a case of voter impersonation—an individual who casts a ballot using the identity of another person.”

The NCSBE concedes that there are probably many more cases of double voting but identifying them is difficult and there’s no reliable method to consistently find them and other types of election fraud. “While no audit exists to catch all possible cases of voter impersonation, double voter or deceased voter audits may detect such cases,” the report says. This brings up another alarming point; if duplicate registrations are voted, there’s no way to tell if that’s fraudulent voting by a single individual—which everyone assumes—or impersonation fraud. Even in the North Carolina probe, we’ll never know if that’s the whole number. “These kinds of stories are a feature of every election and that’s despite the fact that most states often don’t even track these crimes in a systematic way,” said Robert Popper, a former Deputy Chief of Justice Department Voting Section who heads Judicial Watch’s Election Integrity Project. “Some states admit they don’t track them at all,” Popper added.

Judicial Watch has been heavily involved in the North Carolina case and in 2015 filed an amicus curiae brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in opposition to a lower court ruling preventing the state from implementing its election integrity reform law. Passed by the legislature in 2013 the measure requires voters to present a photo identification, eliminates same-day registration, shortens the early voting period from 17 to 10 days and requires voters to cast ballots in their own precinct. The Obama administration joined a group of leftist organizations to challenge the law in federal court, alleging that it disparately and adversely affects minority voting rights. A federal judge, Thomas D. Schroeder, rejected the claims and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit ruled against North Carolina just prior to the November 2014 elections. State officials asked the Supreme Court for a temporary stay of the Fourth Circuit’s ruling and the high court granted it, allowing North Carolina’s election integrity rules to be used in 2014.

In its unanimous decision, the three-judge panel from the Fourth Circuit wrote that North Carolina’s voter integrity law harmed blacks, who overwhelmingly cast ballots for Democrats. “The new provisions target African Americans with almost surgical precision” and “impose cures for problems that did not exist,” the appellate ruling states. “Thus the asserted justifications cannot and do not conceal the State’s true motivation.” Under the racial “disparate impact” theory, which is at the heart of the controversial Fourth Circuit opinion, a defendant can be held liable for discrimination for a policy hat statistically disadvantages a minority group, even if that negative impact was neither foreseen nor intended. The more broadly accepted view by courts under Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act (VRA) says that a violation occurs only when voting practices are motivated by a discriminatory intent and that any incidental racially disparate impact of a voting law is not sufficient on its own to prove a violation of Section 2.

Jeff Sessions Meets with Mayors as Court Blocks President Trump’s Order on ‘Sanctuary Cities’

April 26, 2017

Jeff Sessions Meets with Mayors as Court Blocks President Trump’s Order on ‘Sanctuary Cities’, BreitbartIan Mason, April 25, 2017

The ruling may not, however, effect Sessions’s demands for compliance. The DOJ grants he is threatening to withdraw already had their own provisions preventing them from being dispensed to jurisdictions that fail to comply with 8 U.S.C. 1373 before President Trump’s executive order.

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The mayors of 15 large American cities, including some from so-called “sanctuary” jurisdictions, met with Attorney General Jeff Sessions in Washington Tuesday to discuss the DOJ’s efforts to cut funding from cities that frustrate federal immigration enforcement.

Session’s Justice Department sent a letter to eight sanctuary cities and the “sanctuary state” of California last week demanding they show compliance with federal immigration laws or lose law enforcement grant money. In a statement issued after Tuesday’s meeting, Sessions clarified what he expects from cities in states in the fight against illegal alien crime:

 The Department of Justice will fulfill our responsibility to uphold and enforce our nation’s immigration laws, including 8 U.S.C. 1373.  Under the Obama administration, the Department of Justice required certain grantees to certify compliance with federal law, including 8 U.S.C. 1373, as a condition for receiving grant funding.

8 U.S.C. 1373 prohibits local jurisdictions from preventing the Immigration and Naturalization Service from getting immigration status information on people they detain.

At least two leaders from such jurisdictions attended the morning meeting with the Attorney General, Mayor Mitch Landrieu of New Orleans, and Mayor Steve Adler of Austin. The Associated Press reported the mayors saying the legal definition of that term “sanctuary cities” was clarified at the meeting.

Cutting funding from sanctuary cities has been a centerpiece of Session’s new policy at DOJ and a major effort of the Trump administration. The meeting with mayors was to serve as an opportunity to explain these efforts to city leaders, beginning with the already announced plan to withhold law enforcement grants. In his statement, Sessions explained:

We are pleased that the mayors who met with us today assured us they want to be in compliance with the law.  The vast majority of state and local jurisdictions are in compliance and want to work with federal law enforcement to keep their communities safe.  Of course, compliance with 8 U.S.C. 1373 is the minimum the American people should expect.  We want all jurisdictions to enthusiastically support the laws of the United States that require the removal of criminal aliens, as many jurisdictions already do.

A U.S. district court ruling, handed down only hours after Sessions met with the mayors, frustrates wider efforts by the administration to stop grant money flowing to jurisdictions that refuse to comply with 8 U.S.C. 1373. The ruling, by Judge William Orrick of the San Francisco-based U.S. District Court for the District of Northern California, blocks a section of President Donald Trump’s February executive order authorizing the withdrawal of all federal funds from such jurisdictions. That authority will now be suspended while the lawsuit, launched by a group of California sanctuary cities, works its way through the courts.

The ruling may not, however, effect Sessions’s demands for compliance. The DOJ grants he is threatening to withdraw already had their own provisions preventing them from being dispensed to jurisdictions that fail to comply with 8 U.S.C. 1373 before President Trump’s executive order.

How the Media Glorifies Palestinian Female Terrorists

April 26, 2017

How the Media Glorifies Palestinian Female Terrorists, Clarion ProjectRachel Avraham, April 26, 2017

Inset Photos (L-R): Suicide bombers Wafa Idris, Ayat al-Akhras and Hanadi Jaradat

JerusalemOnline news editor and political analyst Rachel Avraham, who recently published a book titled Women and Jihad: Debating Palestinian Female Suicide Bombings in the American, Israeli and Arab Media, explains how the international media continues to justify Palestinian female terrorism from the Second Intifada to our times.

Brian Jenkins proclaimed, “Terrorism is theater.” According to my recently published book titled “Women and Jihad: Debating Palestinian Female Suicide Bombings in the American, Israeli and Arab Media,” terrorists do not engage in meaningless violence. Each terrorist act is carefully choreographed in order so that they can obtain maximum publicity for their cause. For the terror organizations, the goal is not to harm the immediate victims although that is certainly a bi-product of their wanton destruction but rather to solicit the attention of the wider spectators via the international press.

Women and Jihad argues that during the Second Intifada in Israel (September 2000 – February, 2005), the Arab, American and even the Israeli media gave into the publicity objectives of the Palestinian terror groups.  The media in the Arab world for the most part glorified Palestinian terrorism, thus rallying the Arab masses behind the Palestinian cause.

For example, the first Palestinian female suicide bomber Wafa Idris was compared to the Mona Lisa, Jesus Christ, Joan D’Arc and Khadija (the first wife of the Prophet Mohammed).  Suicide bomber Ayat Al Akhras was described to be “as tender and beautiful as a rose” and her suicide bombing was deemed to be “the height of bravery.”

Meanwhile, media outlets in the United States and sometimes even in Israel justified Palestinian terrorism in the name of covering the news objectively.   For instance, following the suicide bombing of Andaleeb Takafta, ABC’s Nightline interviewed a number of Palestinian officials, a Palestinian psychiatrist and an Israeli official.  Despite the asymmetrical nature of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, Nightline related to them all as sources with equal credibility.

This worked to the benefit of the Palestinian terror groups.  On the program, Palestinian psychiatrist Dr. Iyad Sarraj declared, “We are so desperate.   We have nothing left except our bodies to turn into bombs.”  And following the suicide bombing of Hanadi Jaradat, Israeli newspaper Yedioth Achronot described the terrorist as “a pretty girl dressed in Western clothes like young Israeli girls.”   By describing the terrorist in this way, the terrorist was humanized.

My book argues that if the terrorist is a female, the media is eight times more likely to give the Palestinian terror group positive publicity. The atmosphere that existed in the American press following each Palestinian female terror attack during the Second Intifada also affects Israel during this present wave of terror as the American media relates to the female terrorists of our times in a similar manner.

This helps to create an atmosphere abroad where BDS motions, lawfare against Israeli officials, anti-Israel resolutions at the UN, anti-Israel reports by human rights organizations and other anti-Israel actions flourish.

Under this atmosphere of intense international pressure, the Palestinian terror groups hope that Israel will be forced into withdrawing to the 1967 Armistice Lines without the Palestinian Authority having to give Israel much in return and this will make it easier for the Palestinian terror groups to obtain their ultimate goal, which is the destruction of the State of Israel.

CUNY Defends Decision to Host Anti-Israel Activist as Commencement Honoree

April 26, 2017

CUNY Defends Decision to Host Anti-Israel Activist as Commencement Honoree, Washington Free Beacon, April 26, 2017

(Gosh Darn! Next year, they will probably invite Ayaan Hirsi Ali unless Berkley gets to her first. Right? Please see also, Sharia-Advocate Sarsour to Give Graduation Address at CUNY. “Brigette Gabriel=Ayaan Hirsi Ali. She’s asking 4 an a$$ whippin’. I wish I could take their vaginas away – they don’t deserve to be women.”– DM)

BROOKLYN, NY – APRIL 20: Women’s March National Co-Chair Linda Sarsour speaks onstage during Vanity Fairís Founders Fair at the 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge on April 20, 2017 in Brooklyn City. (Photo by Andrew Toth/Getty Images for Vanity Fair)

CUNY has defended its decision to host Sarsour, telling students in a community message it is committed to all types of free speech.

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The City University of New York (CUNY), a taxpayer-funded institution, is doubling down on its decision to host a leading anti-Israel activist who has been accused of anti-Semitism as its honored commencement speaker next month, a move that has generated calls for New York Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo to step in and cancel the address.

CUNY is set to host Linda Sarsour, a leading voice in the anti-Israel movement who has been condemned by human rights groups for her rhetoric and promotion of terrorism against the Jewish state.

Sarsour, a Palestinian American and executive director of the Arab American Association of New York, is scheduled to give the commencement speech for CUNY’s Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy.

Local lawmakers and pro-Israel activists have expressed outrage over the decision, calling on CUNY to cancel Sarsour’s appearance. CUNY leaders have continued to praise Sarsour and maintain the speech will take place as scheduled.

Sarsour has earned a reputation as one of the country’s most virulent anti-Israel activists. She has attacked Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a “bigot” and routinely condemns the Jewish state as racist. Sarsour attracted outrage in 2015 when she tweeted out a picture of a Palestinian child with a rock in his hand accompanied by the caption, “the definition of courage.”

Sarsour became a darling of the activist left as a participant in the Women’s March against President Donald Trump and other demonstrations. She also has embraced and partnered with Rasmea Odeh, an anti-Israel activist and convicted terrorist who was recently found guilty of immigration fraud in the United States for failing to disclose her ties to terrorism.

Dov Hikind, a New York City assemblyman and pro-Israel advocate, told the Washington Free Beacon that Americans across the country should be outraged that a taxpayer-funded school is celebrating an individual who once praised child terrorism.

“This is a woman who not so long ago put out a tweet with a picture of a young child holding rocks in his hand and Linda Sarsour put in that message, ‘the definition of courage,'” Hikind said in an interview with the Free Beacon.

“The idea this woman would get this honor at a CUNY commencement, a place my tax dollars pay for, is unbelievable audacity.”

Sarsour “is someone who is an apologist for terrorists, and that’s who we need to be an example for graduate students at a tax-funded university here in New York?” Hikind asked. “How do you justify in any way [these views]? People should speak out everywhere. This should be a no brainer.”

While Hikind and other pro-Israel voices have spoken out against Sarsour’s appearance at CUNY, Cuomo and activist voices such as the Anti-Defamation League have remained silent.

“The ADL speaks out 24/7 on defamation of the Jewish people and nothing can be more defamatory than Linda Sarsour’s statements about Jews and her glorification of Arabs throwing rocks at Israelis,” Hikind said in a statement. “But following the invitation from CUNY for Sarsour to address their graduates, the ADL’s silence has been deafening and shameful.”

One senior official at a national Jewish organization told the Free Beacon that Sarsour’s appearance at CUNY demonstrates that anti-Israel activism is still being mainstreamed.

“Linda Sarsour advocates a version of feminist intersectionality that, by design, excludes liberal Jews who support Israel but welcomes radical Muslims who deny women’s rights,” said the official, who was not authorized to speak on record. “In that sense she’s perfect for today’s upside-down academy. That doesn’t make what she says or what CUNY’s doing any less disgraceful. It makes the whole thing more disgraceful.”

CUNY has defended its decision to host Sarsour, telling students in a community message it is committed to all types of free speech.

Ayman El-Mohandes, the dean of CUNY’s Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy, said in a statement that CUNY is committed to academic freedom.

“I hope you all join me in my firm view that a diversity of viewpoints and an open exchange of ideas is at the heart of our country’s strength, and our university’s strength,” El-Mohandes said in a statement. “It is why we at CUNY are so committed to academic freedom, a bedrock principle of our university.”

“This will be a very special and meaningful commencement for all of us,” El-Mohandes added. “I hope to see you all there to celebrate women in leadership.”

The EMP Threat From North Korea Is Real, and Terrifying

April 26, 2017

The EMP Threat From North Korea Is Real, and Terrifying, PJ Media, John R. Moore, April 25, 2017

(“Hardening the grid” would be a good first step but would not prevent a massive disaster. Our civilization is largely based on computers — trucks and automobiles built during the last decade, aircraft, communications, medical equipment, the banking system and much more. Food delivery to stores would be very difficult and getting the little available food would be as well.  Paying for it? Credit cards could not be processed and ATMs would not function. What little food remained available would be stolen and massive rioting would likely ensue. The author states that “An EMP strike would be suicidal for North Korea. . . .” Why? How would we retaliate? Preventing an EMP attack will be very difficult, but is the only viable solution.– DM) 

North Korean military personnel visit Mansu Hill in Pyongyang to lay flowers at the bronze statues of the country’s two late leaders, Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il, on April 25, 2017, the 85th anniversary of the founding of its armed forces. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

Fifty-five years ago, the U.S. tested a nuclear weapon high above the atmosphere over the Pacific. At the time, my father — a nuclear weapons engineer — was listening on our ham radio.

When the device exploded, we heard nothing in Albuquerque. But, in Honolulu, 1000 miles from the detonation, the sky turned red as streetlights and telephones went out. EMP (Electromagnetic Pulse) effects from the distant nuclear explosion had struck.

Today we hear concern that cities might be destroyed by North Korean nuclear tipped missiles, but Starfish Prime should alert us to a more imminent danger: EMP. North Korea can launch an EMP attack before it has developed nuclear missile technology, and EMP may be far more deadly.

An EMP disaster from a high-altitude blast seems like science fiction: There is a silent flash high in the sky, and everything using electricity just … stops. Cars stop, power goes out, the Internet dies, satellites quit working, landline and mobile phone systems go out, and computers are destroyed. In a moment, we are back to 1850, as was dramatized in William Forstchen’s 2009 novel One Second After.

While the total wipeout depicted in One Second After is probably exaggerated, the effects could knock out our power grid for months, and destroy critical communications and computer systems. As former CIA chief James Woolsey recently said:

If you look at the electric grid and what it’s susceptible to, we would be moving into a world with no food delivery, no water purification, no banking, no telecommunications, no medicine. All of these things depend on electricity in one way or another.

In such a situation, there simply is no way to rule out the possibility that hundreds of millions could die.

To nuke one of our cities, the North needs to master ICBM construction, nuclear weapons miniaturization, precision long-range guidance technology, atmospheric re-entry vehicles, and fusing to trigger detonation at the right time after the hazardous re-entry. In contrast, an EMP attack requires only a small, light nuclear weapon and the ability to launch it as a satellite. Once over the U.S., it is detonated.

Already, two satellites launched by North Korea cross the U.S. every day.

Do they contain nuclear weapons? Probably not, but how can we know? Nuclear weapons don’t emit much radiation until they go off, so they are hard to detect. I used to fly in a nuclear bomber with the weapon station just a few feet from my station with no shielding — no need.

Meanwhile, North Korea continues striving to miniaturize its nukes — and may have already succeeded. They have released pictures of a miniaturized bomb, although that may just be propaganda.

Starfish Prime used a thermonuclear weapon, a “hydrogen bomb,” which was very powerful but which the North is still striving to build — a difficult task. But only a fission weapon or “atomic bomb” is needed for an EMP, and North Korea has tested several. The yield would probably need to be increased over their latest test, but getting there is only a matter of time. Fusion boosting the weapon to higher yield is not a difficult step. The North recently restarted its Yongbyon reactor, which can produce the necessary tritium.

The EMP danger isn’t only from North Korea. Iran has the capability to launch missiles from ships at sea — the EMP attack depicted in Forstchen’s novel.

We currently have little defense against this threat. Our land based anti-ballistic missile systems are oriented towards warheads coming across the North Pacific, while North Korea launches satellites to the south, which later cross the U.S. from the south or north. The anti-satellite ability of the Navy’s AEGIS ships is unclear — one satellite in a very low orbit has been intercepted, and ships need to be positioned within range of the orbit. Shooting a satellite down before it reaches orbit is another possibility, but AEGIS has a very limited window for such a “boost phase” intercept.

A decision to intercept would have to be quick – within a few seconds after launch for boost phase, or before the first partial orbit is completed for a satellite intercept. Complicating the decision process is the difficulty in knowing that the launch is of a nuclear device — and any intercept is an act of war. Even if we have the capability, the knowledge, the decision time, and the will, our missile defense system is nowhere near foolproof.

If our infrastructure were better protected, at least we might survive an attack with few deaths. One estimate says $20 billion might be enough protect the power grid — a drop in the bucket of national spending. Hardening communications and computing systems would also be needed.

A recent Electric Power Research Institute study reported that the damage from the delayed “E-3” pulse of EMP probably would not be crippling, although they cannot be sure. Moreover, the “E-1” pulse was not addressed, but it would take out the control systems, and might destroy power transformers from flashover. Other critical systems — such as the internet and parts of the transportation system — are very vulnerable to both.

Because a modern state has never suffered an EMP attack, our knowledge is limited.

An EMP strike would be suicidal for North Korea, but they may see it differently, or in some crisis, not care. In any case, the threat of an EMP strike would be a powerful deterrent.

James Woolsey and Newt Gingrich are right and it is time to listen: we need a national program to counter this threat. And we need to defang North Korea and Iran — soon.