~ Featuring ~
Social Security, Medicaid 
Rapidly Nearing Collapse 
by Louis DeBroux
Unleash the Potential of Federal Lands
by Daniel Di Martino
{ } ~ Over 1,900 local governments received $553 million from the Department of Interior this year to compensate them for lost tax revenue for federal lands... that cannot be developed in their territory. These payments are the consequence of more than 640 million acres of land or 28 percent of the U.S. territory owned by the federal government. The costs of federal ownership are not only payments to local governments, but environmental damage due to mismanagement and deferred maintenance, and the lost economic activity that cannot occur in 28 percent of the country. Of all federal land, 27.4 million acres are National Parks, while approximately 600 million acres are managed by the Bureau of Land Management, the National Forest Service, the Fish and Wildlife Service, and the National Park Service. These government agencies allow grazing and other economic activities on federal lands in exchange for fees. However, since fees are not enough for the expenses of these agencies, the federal government spends several billion dollars per year to cover the difference...
Ethiopia-Eritrea: A New Hope for Peace
by Ahmed Charai
{ } ~ The leaders of Ethiopia and Eritrea signed a declaration on July 9, ending a state of war between the two countries... It was a major step toward resolving one of post-colonial Africa's bloodiest and most protracted conflicts. The U.N. Security Council said the peace declaration signed by Ethiopia and Eritrea after 20 years as enemies "represents a historic and significant development with far-reaching positive consequences for the Horn of Africa and beyond." The council commended Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki for signing the agreement and welcomed their commitment "to resume diplomatic ties and open a new chapter of cooperation and partnership." A statement by the governing party of Ethiopia, the second-most populous country in Africa,  said it would "fully accept and implement" the agreement with Eritrea, a former province of Ethiopia, which was signed but never honored...
Why Do Palestinian Leaders Oppose Helping Their People?
by Bassam Tawil
{ } ~ For years, Palestinian leaders have been complaining that the Gaza Strip was "on the verge of a humanitarian catastrophe."... Time and again, they have warned that unless the world helps the Palestinians living there, the Gaza Strip will "erupt like a volcano." Israel and the US are now offering to help improve the living conditions of the Palestinians living under Hamas rule in the Gaza Strip. But guess who is fiercely opposed to any attempt to resolve the "humanitarian and economic crisis" in the coastal enclave, home to some two million Palestinians? Answer: Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and his ruling Fatah faction. In the past few weeks, both Israel and the US administration have come up with different ideas to help the Palestinians of the Gaza Strip. US envoys Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt, who recently visited the Middle East, are said to have presented initiatives that included providing necessities such as electricity, desalinating drinking water, employment opportunities and reviving the industrial zone in the Gaza Strip...
Justice Dept pulls virtual trigger for online 3D guns
{ } ~ In its settlement of a free speech lawsuit, the federal government has agreed to acknowledge that popular semi-automatic sporting rifles such as the AR-15 are not inherently military weapons... “Not only is this a First Amendment victory for free speech, it also is a devastating blow to the gun prohibition lobby,” explained Alan M. Gottlieb, the founder and executive vice president of the Second Amendment Foundation. Gun-control activists frequently argue that military weapons are not appropriate for consumer use. But then they define consumer products such as the AR-15 to be a “military” weapon. The new admission by the government could affect many proposed bans across the nation...
liar-nObama-Nominated Judge 
Orders Return to Catch and Release Policy
by Shawn

{ } ~ liar-Obama-nominated Judge Dolly Gee dealt a blow to both the Trump administration and the rule of law on Monday with a ruling that orders a return to the failed... unethical, illegal catch-and-release policies that have allowed illegal immigration to get to the unmanageable state it is in today. Gee ruled that when an illegal immigrant crosses into the U.S. with a minor child, they must be processed and immediately released to await their court date. In practice, this means that very few of these migrants will ever be seen by immigration officials again. They will descend into the shadows and wait until we once again have a legislature and/or president who deems them fit for amnesty. Gee’s ruling comes about as a result of a case in which the Department of Justice asked the court for a revision to the 1997 Flores decision, in which the court ruled that child migrants could not be detained for more than 20 days. In order to get around the family separation crisis that led to so many terrible headlines, the Trump administration wanted to revise that ruling so that children and adults could be kept in detention together, solving two problems at once. In her decision on Monday, however, Gee stomped on any possibility of a compromise. The only solution thus left on the table is a return to catch-and-release; in other words, the abdication of American immigration law... .

Social Security, Medicaid Rapidly Nearing Collapse 

by Louis DeBroux:  For years, fiscal conservatives have warned of the ticking time bombs that are America’s entitlement programs and were rewarded with mockery and contempt, dismissed as “The Boy Who Cried Wolf.” Unfortunately, as readers of Aesop’s fables recall, in the end the wolf actually existed, and it devoured the sheep.

             Several recent reports combine to paint a frightening picture for America’s economic future if corrective action is not taken swiftly.
               The first is a recent report by the Social Security Board of Trustees. It reveals that for the first time since 1982, the program must dip into its trust fund to pay benefits because the fund is now running a $200 billion annual deficit even as the number of beneficiaries (60 million and rising, with an average of 10,000 Baby Boomers a day retiring through 2029) continues to skyrocket.
               This skyrocketing increase in beneficiaries is occurring at a time when Americans are having fewer children, or none at all (a staggering 60 million children have been aborted since Roe v. Wade, equivalent to killing the entire populations of New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Ohio and Georgia). These are children who will never live to enter the workforce or have families.
               When FDR established Social Security, there were 42 workers for every beneficiary. Today that ratio is 3:1 and quickly approaching 2:1. There are simply not enough workers to fund the full benefits for 60-80 million retirees.
               Even worse, bankruptcy is even nearer than we thought. According to researchers from Harvard and Dartmouth, the Social Security Trustees have been using antiquated accounting methods (which they describe as “steering by sextant and dead reckoning” rather than using “global-positioning-systems”) and outdated demographic information to paint a rosier picture of Social Security’s future than is warranted. Updated projections from the Trustees report that the program will be insolvent within 16 years, but with their outdated accounting methods, insolvency is likely to occur within the next 10 years.
               Politicians talk of a Social Security “trust fund,” but as the Washington Examiner’s Philip Klein notes, the trust fund is “an accounting fiction that pretends that spending doesn’t ultimately all come from the bank accounts of taxpayers.” He further notes that, with politicians borrowing from it for decades to cover general budget expenditures, the “trust fund” is nothing more than $3 trillion in IOUs, meaning the money is gone unless we raise taxes on current workers to repay the IOUs.
               This is nothing more than “generational theft.” We must either slash benefits to current retirees by 25% or more, or raise payroll taxes significantly on current workers, placing a tremendous burden on working families.
               Up through 2010, retirees received more in benefits than they paid in contributions. That year, a couple received about $20,000 less than they paid in, and that ratio is getting worse each year. That is compounded by the fact that inflation drains even more from retirement accounts. According to a new study, Social Security benefits, due to rising costs and inflation, provide 34% less purchasing power than just 18 years ago.
               Clearly, the answer is private retirement accounts, which not only accrue wealth far greater than Social Security benefits (which are now losing money for retirees), with even modest returns on investment “allow[ing] middle-income earners to retire on six-figure incomes,” but unlike Social Security, there are property rights in private accounts.
               Americans would be shocked and outraged to discover that the Supreme Court has twice ruled that there is no right to Social Security benefits, regardless of how long or how much has been paid into the system. In Helvering v. Davis (1937), the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of Social Security, agreeing with Asst. AG Robert Jackson’s argument: “There is no contract created by which any person becomes entitled… [to] a claim for any particular sum of money. Not only is there no contract implied but it is expressly negatived, because it is provided in the act, section 1104, that it may be repealed, altered, or amended in any of its provisions at any time.”
               The Supreme Court further expanded that ruling in Flemming v. Nestor (1960), concurring with the government’s argument that a beneficiary acquires no property right to benefits, stating that the claim that Social Security benefits are “fully accrued property rights” is “wholly erroneous.” For those who still doubt that Congress can reduce or even eliminate benefits at any time, the Social Security Administration states it right there on its website.
               So, barring a rare display of political bravery, which President George W. Bush and Speaker Paul Ryan were politically crucified for attempting with partial privatization, Congress will kick the can down the road until the house of cards collapses. Social Security is nothing more than a Ponzi scheme, legal only because it is run by the government and more despicable because government forces us to participate in the fraud.
               The situation with Social Security is bad enough, but Medicaid is even worse, projected to be insolvent in just eight years. Couple this with a $20 trillion national debt, rising federal spending and an estimated $91 trillion in unfunded entitlement liabilities, and the situation is dire. The time to act is now, before the wolf eats us.

~The Patriot Post

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Newt Says What The Rest Of Us Are Thinking:
It’s Time To Throw Peter Strzok In Jail

Disgraced FBI special agent Peter Strzok, a senior member of the bureau who gained notoriety in recent months over his anti-Trump text messages to a colleague, was grilled for nearly 10 hours during a joint congressional committee hearing on Thursday.

At issue was Strzok’s anti-Trump texts to former FBI lawyer and lover Lisa Page that coincided with his leading of the investigations into both former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s private email server scandal and the alleged Trump/Russia 2016 election collusion, as well as his involvement in the subsequent Robert Mueller special counsel probe.

The hearing proved to be a heated battle, as Strzok displayed an arrogant smugness in defiance of pointed questions from Republicans that he largely danced around, while Democrats sought to upend and undermine the entire hearing with a plethora of interruptions, parliamentary maneuvers and outright praise for the man who helped let Clinton off the hook while ferociously targeting Trump.

Former House speaker and presidential candidate Newt Gingrich was less than impressed with Strzok’s performance and cooperation in the hearing and suggested during an appearance on Fox Business that the FBI agent should be held in contempt of Congress.

“I think they have to move to hold him in contempt and throw him in jail,” Gingrich said of Congress and Strzok.

“This is a person who is willfully standing up and refusing to appear as a congressional witness and he was a government employee at the time,” he continued.

“He has every obligation to inform the legislative branch, and I don’t think they have any choice except to move a motion of contempt because he is fundamentally — and so is his girlfriend (Page) — they’re both fundamentally in violation of the entire constitutional process,” he added.

Page had been subpoenaed to appear before Congress on Wednesday but refused to appear, saying she’d been unable to review relevant documents prior to the scheduled hearing, a closed-door hearing that has since been rescheduled for Friday.

Gingrich was not the only one who thought Strzok deserved to be held in contempt of Congress, as House Judiciary Committee chairman Bob Goodlatte informed Strzok that he remained at risk of such during the hearing, according to The Daily Caller.

That warning from Goodlatte came after Strzok had refused to answer a straightforward question posed by House Oversight Committee chairman Trey Gowdy, regarding how many people Strzok had personally interviewed between a specific set of dates in relation to the Clinton email investigation.

“Mr. Strzok, please be advised that you can either comply with the committee’s direction to answer the question or refuse to do so,” Goodlatte stated. “The latter of which will place you in risk of a contempt citation and potential criminal liability. Do you understand that? The question is directed to the witness.”

Strzok still refused to answer, citing instructions received from his counsel and the FBI to not answer certain questions on certain topics.

Goodlatte replied, “Mr. Strzok, in a moment we will continue with the hearing, but based on your refusal to answer the question, at the conclusion of the day we will be recessing the hearing and you will be subject to recall to allow the committee to consider proceeding with a contempt citation.”

It is unclear if Goodlatte and the committee ultimately did consider a contempt citation for Strzok following the contentious hearing, nor is it clear if Page will be held in contempt for blowing off her subpoenaed appearance on Wednesday.

Hopefully Congress will follow through on the threats of contempt followed by actual jail time against Strzok and Page in response to their uncooperative behavior and failure to appear when subpoenaed, if only to ensure that future witnesses called before Congress for sensitive or contentious hearings don’t think they can get away with the same sort of behavior.


Cops Sent To Seize Veteran’s Guns Without A Warrant, He Refused To Turn Them Over

“No one from the state was going to take my firearms without due process,” says Leonard Cottrell, after successfully staving off law enforcement and the courts from confiscating his firearms. Cottrell, an Iraq War veteran, was at work when he received a phone call from his wife. The cops were there, busting in to take his guns away. It all started after a casual conversation his son had at school.

Ammoland reports:

Police said their visit was sparked by a conversation that Leonard Cottrell Jr.’s 13-year-old son had had with another student at the school. Cottrell said he was told his son and the other student were discussing security being lax and what they would have to do to escape a school shooting at Millstone Middle School.

The conversation was overheard by another student, who went home and told his parents, and his mother panicked. The mom then contacted the school, which contacted the State Police, according to Cottrell.

The visit from the troopers came around 10 p.m. on June 14, 2018, Cottrell said, a day after Gov. Phil Murphy signed several gun enforcement bills into law.

After several hours, Cottrell said police agreed not to take the guns but to allow him to move them to another location while the investigation continued.

“They had admitted several times that my son made no threat to himself or other students or the school or anything like that,” he said.

Cottrell said he made it very clear to the police that he was “not going to willingly give up my constitutional rights where there’s no justifiable cause, no warrants, no nothing.”

The troopers searched his son’s room and found nothing, Cottrell said.

“To appease everybody, I had my firearms stored someplace else,” he said. “That way, during the course of the investigation, my son doesn’t have access to them and it’s on neutral ground and everything and everybody’s happy.”

“In the Garden State, the usual approach is to confiscate first and ask questions later, and victims of this approach often don’t know their rights. ‎In this case, the victim pushed back and confiscation was avoided — but the circumstances surrounding the incident are outrageous. A student expressing concern over lack of security is not a reason to send police to the student’s home — but it might be a reason to send police to the school to keep students and teachers safe” said Scott L. Bach, executive director of the Association of New Jersey Rifle & Pistol Clubs and a member of the NRA board of directors. adds:

Cottrell, a disabled U.S. Army veteran who served three tours during “Operation Iraqi Freedom,” owns a shotgun and a pistol. He has all the correct permits to own the firearms, he said, and predominately uses the shotgun to hunt.

He said his wife allowed the officers to enter the home, and with her permission, they searched his son’s room — but they did not find any weapons, he said. The officers, he said, didn’t have a warrant but still wanted to take his guns. Cottrell wouldn’t let them.

“No one from the state was going to take my firearms without due process,” he said Thursday.

He said the attempted seizure resulted because of a new law Gov. Phil Murphy signed into law that makes it easier for police to confiscate guns when someone in the state poses a threat to themselves or others. The law is part of a broader statewide effort to make New Jersey’s gun laws even tougher amid the national outcry for more gun control in the wake of the school shooting in Parkland, Florida.

Cottrell said the officers “danced around the issue” when he confronted them about the new law.

A New Jersey State Police spokesman declined to answer questions about whether this incident had anything to do with the new gun laws.

In an email, Sgt. First Class Jeff Flynn said, “Troopers responded to Mr. Cottrell’s residence in reference to the report of a possible school threat. Based on their investigation, it was determined that Mr. Cottrell’s weapons did not need to be seized.”

David Codrea, writing for Ammoland, further added:

To appease everybody, I had my firearms stored someplace else,” New Jersey gun owner and Army veteran Leonard Cottrell Jr. told New Jersey 101.5 after a June 14 visit from State Police,. “That way, during the course of the investigation, my son doesn’t have access to them and it’s on neutral ground and everything and everybody’s happy.”

Cottrell was recalling state troopers showing up at his door to confiscate firearms after his 13-year-old son was overheard discussing lax school safety with a friend.

Indoctrinated by a pervasive snitch culture — one that never seems to deter the blatantly obvious demonic nutjobs — the eavesdropping student told his parents, who told school administrators, who in turn called the cops. (Note “If you see something, say something” carries risks of its own – if you report the wrong person, you could end up smeared as a “hater.”)

“Cottrell said he made it very clear to the police that he was ‘not going to willingly give up my constitutional rights where there’s no justifiable cause, no warrants, no nothing,’” the report continued. Despite that, his home is now a “gun free zone” and that has been publicized by the media. He has, in fact, willingly ceded those rights, and by his own words in order to make authorities “happy.”

Before judging him for that, consider the environment that is New Jersey. Then consider the overwhelming force the state can bring to bear, and its predisposition to using it, especially if it’s to enforce citizen disarmament. It’s easy to anonymously declare “Molon Labe” on the internet. In meatspace, resistance is more effective when the aggressor doesn’t get to dictate the time and place, especially if that place is your home and you have family inside.

Appeasing gun-grabbers, generally couched as “compromise,” is impossible. It’s like throwing a scrap of flesh to a circling pack of jackals and expecting them to be sated and leave you alone — instead of sensing opportunity and fear, and moving in closer.

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