The Front Page Cover
 2016             The truth will set you free 
No, America isn't 100 percent safe from terrorism.
And that's a good thing
Juliette Kayyem 
 Vetoing Religious Liberty 
On Monday, religious liberty took another hit when Georgia Republican Governor Nathan Deal vetoed a bill passed by the state legislature earlier this month. We have long warned that the path to same-sex marriage was a slippery slope because the Rainbow Mafia won't stop their bullying until they get total acceptance of their way. And it's made worse when proper protections can't be put in place.
          Deal apparently caved to the pressure of big business and chose to side with economic interests over Liberty and common sense. For a governor who has a reasonably conservative track record, this compromise on the principles of Liberty comes as a double blow. But it also demonstrates how the homosexual lobby along with big businesses that support that agenda won't even tolerate the mildest form of protection for those who cherish religious freedom.
          As the Heritage Foundation's Ryan Anderson notes, "The Georgia religious freedom bill that Deal vetoed would have safeguarded clergy from having to officiate same-sex weddings, prevented faith-based organizations from being forced to hire someone who publicly undermines their mission, and prohibited the state government from discriminating against churches and their affiliated ministries because they believe marriage is between a man and a woman."
          But he also noted the bill was "the result of a series of compromises that significantly watered down the original version." For example, the bill did not protect bakers, florists and other small business owners who might be involved in wedding ceremonies. Those are the ones who would benefit most from this legislation, but nevertheless several big business executives from Disney, Apple, Time Warner, Intel and Salesforce called governor Deal asking him to veto the legislation. The NFL and NCAA also threatened to yank future sporting events from the state.
          Apparently the economic pressure, and threats of boycotts and of canceling football championships were too much for the governor and he sided with uncommon sense over the common good.
          Anderson notes that in explaining his veto, Deal argued that the religious liberty bill "doesn't reflect the character of our state or the character of its people." He also added that states should not pass any religious freedom laws, for religious freedom "is best left to the broad protections of the First Amendment."
          Ideally, he's correct, but the governor is missing the point behind the bill that he just vetoed. As Anderson notes, "Americans need both broad protections and specific protections."
          Yes it is true that the First Amendment shields Americans from government encroachment on religious freedom. But it is also true that the Rainbow Mafia is increasingly aggressive in its fascist efforts to enforce "tolerance" — to force individuals and businesses to either violate conscience or be charged with discrimination.
          This bill was designed to protect pastors, churches and Christian schools in Georgia from being forced to comply with the demands of homosexual activists. It is not enough for the homosexual activists and big businesses that support them to recognize that there are already some so-called churches and religious organizations that do accept and promote their lifestyle. No, they want everyone to accept and celebrate it.
          Where is the tolerance in this? If you believe that marriage is between one man and one woman, yet you can't operate a business or a church on that belief, then where is the freedom? Obviously, there is no tolerance, only compliance, and if there isn't compliance then there are and will be penalties.
          Deal missed the perfect opportunity to take a stand for the truth. And by not taking a stand on principle, the liberty of the pastors, churches and religious schools in the Peach State is jeopardized, while the Rainbow Mafia is emboldened by a victory.
          Our culture has and is changing, and for that reason alone it is essential that state and local governments preserve liberty for those who desire to maintain the traditional view of marriage being between one man and one woman.
          There will be numerous legal challenges ahead, regardless of the outcome in Georgia. While this battle for religious liberty was lost, the war for our culture will continue. We must not cave to the pressures from those who seek to strip away one of our most fundamental freedoms.  -The Patriot Post
Thomas Sowell: "[T]he 'advice and consent' provision of the Constitution is a restriction on the President's power, not an imposition of a duty on the Senate. It says nothing about the Senate's having a duty to hold hearings, or vote, on any Presidential nominee, whether for the Supreme Court or for any other federal institution. The power to consent is the power to refuse to consent, and for many years no hearings were held, whether the Senate consented or did not consent. ... When the shoe was on the other foot, the Republicans made the same arguments as the Democrats are making today, and the Democrats made the same arguments as the Republicans are now making. The obvious reason, in both cases, is that the party controlling the Senate wants to save the appointment for their own candidate for the Presidency to make after winning the upcoming election. The rest is political hypocrisy on both sides. ... If judges confined themselves to acting like judges, instead of legislating from the bench, creating new 'rights' out of thin air that are nowhere to be found in the Constitution, maybe Senate confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominees would not be such bitter and ugly ideological battles. Chief Justice Roberts himself practically repealed the 10th Amendment's limitation on federal power when he wrote the decision that the government could order us all to buy nObamaCare insurance policies. When judges act like whores, they can hardly expect to be treated like nuns. Politicians, journalists and judges should all spare us pious hypocrisy."  -The Patriot Post
Indictment Could Be Only Weeks 
Away for Clinton
C. Mitchell Shaw
{} ~ There is a growing sense — expressed by legal experts over the past few weeks — that Hilly Clinton will soon be indicted for storing and transmitting classified information over her unsecured, private e-mail server... Now, that sense is beginning to take the form of formal interviews, as investigators are poised to question some people very close to the former secretary of state. The Los Angeles Times reported Sunday that federal prosecutors working on the high-profile case “have begun the process of setting up formal interviews with some of Clinton's longtime and closest aides, according to two people familiar with the probe, an indication that the inquiry is moving into its final phases.” This seems to substantiate the statements of some — including Judge Napollitano — that the immunity offered to Brian Pagliano, who set up and maintained the server for Clinton, is an indication that a grand jury is hearing evidence in the case...
What Guides the US Intelligence Community
David R. Shedd
{} ~ For more than 30 years, every president has used Executive Order 12333 to provide both organizational and implementation direction to the intelligence community... This executive order, which was first signed by President Ronald Reagan in 1981, has directed the intelligence community to collect and provide information to the president using all available legal means under the U.S. Constitution and in accordance with the president’s national security priorities. The objective of Executive Order 12333, and its various amendments, is to ensure that the president and the cabinet members with national security responsibilities are provided with information obtained by the intelligence agencies...
Quantitative easing’s chickens
coming home to roost
Desmond Lachman
{} ~ Since 2008, the Federal Reserve has engaged in three rounds of quantitative easing that has enormously expanded the size of the Federal Reserve’s balance sheet from $800 billion to around $4.5 trillion at present... It has done so with the intention of stimulating the U.S. economy through increasing asset prices and through encouraging more risk taking by lenders. In the process, the Federal Reserve has helped to produce a strong bull market in equity prices and a large reduction in borrowing rates for high risk borrowers both at home and abroad. It has also resulted in extraordinarily low interest rates on bank deposits and on other instruments of household saving. While the Federal Reserve might claim that its policy of aggressive quantitative easing helped to shorten the U.S. economic recession and to promote the gradual economic recovery of the past several years, it also contributed to a sense of economic unfairness among a broad segment of the electorate. Equally troubling, it seems to have set up the stage for large corrections in both domestic and global financial markets that could entail substantial long run costs to the American and global economies. At a time that a strong boom in equity prices substantially boosted the wealth of stockholders, who for the most part are in the upper income brackets, real wages continued their long-run secular stagnation. Similarly, at a time that equity holders were prospering on the back of a rising stock market, savers, especially in the older age brackets, were seeing their interest earnings decimated. It should be little wonder then that a large part of the electorate are now clamoring for a basic change in economic policy direction that might be of greater benefit to their own economic wellbeing than have past policies...
Taxpayers Are Footing Bill for Solar Project
That Doesn’t Work
David Kreutzer
{} ~ As every 10-year-old who ever got a sweater for a birthday present has been told, “it’s the thought that counts.” That seems to be the guiding principle at the Department of Energy and the California Public Utilities Commission when it comes to solar power... The latest example is the $2.2 billion Ivanpah solar thermal plant in California. (Note: Solar thermal plants do not use solar panels to directly convert sunshine to electricity; they use sunshine to boil water that then drives conventional turbines.) In spite of all this, Ivanpah has fallen woefully short of its production targets. The managers’ explanation for why production came up 32 percent below expected output is the weather. In addition to raising questions about planning for uncertainty, it is not all that clear how a nine-percent drop in sunshine causes a 32-percent drop in production...
"Excuses" for Terrorists
Douglas Murray
{| ~ If there is a question in all this, it is not why it took more than 24 hours for the UK to find its Belgian-colored lights, but why after 67 years of terror, it still has not found the simple blue and white lights it would need to project the flag of Israel onto any public place... It is not as though there haven't been plenty of opportunities. Israel's enemies have provided us with even more opportunities for light displays than have now been offered to the light-infatuated by the followers of ISIS. You could argue that in the last seven decades, public attitudes have changed; that today futile gestures of "solidarity" are all the rage, but in generations past they were not. It might have been unheard of for any British institution to beam the colors of the Israeli flag into buildings in 1948, 1956, 1967 or 1973. But when sentimentalism came to Britain, it came in a big way. If it had not struck us by the time of the first intifada (1987-1993), it certainly had by the time of the second one (2000-2005)...
Honoring Our Vietnam Veterans
Jeff Dunetz
{} ~ March 29 was declared Vietnam Veterans Recognition Day in 2012 for Americans to remember and thank those who served “in one of the most divisive conflicts in U.S. history.”... These Veterans served this country with honor and through no fault of their own, when they came home they never got the thank you they deserved, instead as a nation we acted dishonorable by not honoring their sacrifice. Vietnam Veterans Day commemorates the sacrifices of Vietnam veterans and their families and is part of a national effort to recognize the men and women who were denied a proper welcome upon returning home more than 40 years ago...
nObama Administration Withholds Draft Whitewater Indictment of Hillary Clinton
Judicial Watch
{} ~ Judicial Watch announced today that it is asking a federal court to order the National Archives and Records Administration to release draft criminal indictments of Hilly Clinton... In its motion for summary judgment, the National Archives claimed that “the drafts involve a significant Clinton privacy interest that is not outweighed by any public interest….” In its March 11 opposition brief, Judicial Watch counters that allegedly “making false statements and withholding evidence from federal investigators bears on Mrs. Clinton’s honesty, credibility, and trustworthiness … for the position she currently seeks,” rendering the National Archives claim “neither serious nor credible.” These developments stem from an October 20, 2015, Judicial Watch Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit (Judicial Watch v. National Archives and Records Administration (No. 15-cv-01740)) seeking: All versions of indictments against Hilly Rodham Clinton, including but not limited to, Versions 1, 2, and 3 in box 2250 of the Hickman Ewing Attorney Files, the “HRC/_ Draft Indictment” in box 2256 of the Hickman Ewing Attorney Files, as well as any and all versions written by Deputy Independent Counsel Hickman Ewing, Jr. prior to September of 1996...
The Gaza Time Bomb
Yaakov Lappin
{} ~ On the surface, the Gaza Strip looks relatively calm, with few security incidents occurring since the end of the protracted 2014 summer conflict between Hamas and Israel... Behind the scenes, pressure within the Islamist-run enclave is gradually building again, just as it did prior to the 2014 war. Gaza's civilian population is hostage to Hamas's dramatically failed economic policies, and its insistence on confrontation with Israel, rather than recognition of Israel and investment in Gaza's economic future...
John Hanoi-Kerry’s New Terror Treason
Daniel Greenfield
{} ~ Stop by your local post office and you might just see a poster of Rodrigo “Timochenko” Londono hanging next to the Most Wanted posters of bank robbers and fugitives... The State Department is offering a $5 million reward for information about the Communist terrorist leader. But all the State Department had to do was ask Secretary of State Hanoi-Kerry. nObama did the wave with the Cuban dictator and Hanoi-Kerry met with Timochenko , the leader of FARC, a Marxist terrorist organization that appears on his own department’s list of foreign terrorist organizations a little above Al Qaeda. Timochenko is a Communist who was trained at the USSR’s infamous Patrice Lumumba University. The State Department accuses him of ordering the kidnapping of Americans and responsibility for much of the cocaine that is smuggled into the United States. But none of that bothered Hanoi-Kerry who accepted a signed copy of a memoir by the terror group’s former leader which was addressed to “Senor” Hanoi-Kerry...
nObama: "Republican Base had been Fed this Notion
that Islam is Inherently Violent"
Daniel Greenfield
{} ~ Oh my goodness. "We got here in part because the Republican base had been fed this notion that Islam is inherently violent, that this is who these folks are... And if you’ve been hearing that a lot, and then somebody shows up on the scene and says, well, the logical conclusion to civilizational conflict is we try to make sure that we’re not destroyed internally by this foreign civilization, that’s what you get.” Who could have fed the "Republican base" this ahistorical and utterly false notion that Islam is violent? Was it history? Current events? Theology? Anyway nObama is here to clear this up right now. Remember when the left lied and said Communism wasn't a threat? Remember when they claimed Mao and the Viet Cong and the Sandinistas weren't bad guys? Just moderates we alienated by backing their opponents? Now they're telling the same exact lies about Islam...
No, America isn't 100 percent safe from terrorism. And that's a good thing
Juliette Kayyem 
{} ~ Admit it. After the terrorist attacks in Brussels this past week, after the brief reflection for those lost or wounded and the sense of "oh, no, not again" passed, other thoughts quickly followed.

My own selfish but natural worry, as a mother of three: Should we cancel that trip to Europe this summer?

And the questions I've fielded from family and friends, as a professional in homeland security and counterterrorism in the nearly 15 years since 9/11, have varied but never ceased: Should I buy a gun? Only with training and safety measures at home, and certainly not to combat Islamic terrorists. Is Times Square safe on New Year's Eve? Like every crowd scene, you have to stay alert, but security is high at events like that. Or my personal favorite, because it combines parental insecurities with disaster management: Is Tulane a good school so many years after Hurricane Katrina? Yes; it had a few rough months, but your kid should still apply.

All these queries about a world in mayhem boil down to: Is my family safe? The answer is both simple and liberating: No, not entirely. America was built vulnerable, and thank goodness for that. The flow of people and things, the movement to and within cities, the congregation of the masses that makes our lives meaningful, whether at church or at Fenway Park, are inherently risky.

Our system a federal government with limited powers, mayors overseeing police departments, governors directing National Guards wasn't designed to produce a seamless shield against every conceivable threat. Every day, more than 2 million passengers board planes at U.S. airports. The movement of goods and services - the expectation that everything from airline tickets to groceries can be purchased with just a few mouse clicks - is our lifeline. We've traded a measure of safety for convenience. And in our America, there are sometimes monsters under the bed.

In the immediate years after 9/11, the security establishment sold a vision of an America that never existed, a vision based on some notion that the country had been invulnerable and risk-free before the terrorists struck. The shock of such a massive attack on civilians in the homeland caused much of the public to experience collective amnesia, as if our nation had never before navigated perils, including ones much more dangerous than al-Qaida.

Threats constantly change, yet our political discourse suggests that our vulnerabilities are simply for lack of resources, commitment or competence. Sometimes, that is true. But mostly we are vulnerable because we choose to be; because we've accepted, at least implicitly, that some risk is tolerable. A state that could stop every suicide bomber wouldn't be a free or, let's face it, fun one.

We will simply never get to maximum defensive posture. Regardless of political affiliation, Americans wouldn't tolerate the delay or intrusion of a public mass-transit system that required bag checks and pat-downs. After the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, many wondered how to make the race safe the next year. A heavier police presence helps, but the only truly safe way to host a marathon is to not have one at all. The risks we tolerate, then, are not necessarily bad bargains simply because an enemy can exploit them.

No matter what promises are made on the campaign trail, terrorism will never be vanquished. There is no ideology, no surveillance, no wall that will definitely stop some 24-year-old from becoming radicalized on the Web, gaining access to guns and shooting a soft target. When we don't admit this to ourselves, we often swing between the extremes of putting our heads in the sand or losing them entirely.

This is not to say we should throw up our hands and hope for the best; our sense of unease is real. Yes, gun-related deaths firearms are responsible for more than 30,000 American fatalities per year far outstrip any violence in our country associated with terrorism, and our chance of dying in a terrorist attack is 1 in 20 million, which is why President nObama says the Islamic State is not an existential threat. But it doesn't help much to criticize the nervous and anxious simply because terrorism makes them feel terrorized. If that 1 in 20 million is my child, it's an existential threat to me.

Yet we still live, often joyfully, in a world with gun violence. And drunk drivers. And disease. We implore government to allocate resources as best it can to minimize those risks. Once we move past our angst, this becomes the most rational way to approach terrorist violence.

Accepting these vulnerabilities means our safety can be measured and evaluated on three core premises: how well we minimize our risks, maximize our defenses and maintain our spirit. Minimizing risk includes actions as far-ranging as intelligence-gathering, the disruption of terrorist cells abroad by drone strikes or police sweeps, diplomatic efforts and criminal cases. It's reasonable to debate the relative weight we should put on each, but risk will remain as long as long as our enemies do.

Maximizing our defenses includes implementing visa and border controls, supporting first-responder training and equipment, and hardening soft targets to the extent practicable. A bunch of state police officers watching a crowded bridge can often look like security theater, but its intent is to display a layer of defense that could make an attack less likely.

If the attributes of our homeland security sound familiar risk-reducing, defense-building, spirit-maintaining, it is because we practice them every day at home. We lock doors, wear helmets and keep a fire extinguisher in the kitchen - but we don't shy from cooking on the stove. Stuff also happens in the homeland. We must demand much from our government to make us safer. But we must also accept that vulnerability isn't always failure.

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Florida Sheriff — “I Will Not Enforce Assault Weapons Ban, Neither Will Most Sheriffs”

Dennis Lemma, who is the Sheriff in Central Florida’s Seminole County, told a group of 2nd Amendment activists recently that he would not enforce an assault weapons ban that could soon become Florida law if the “Ban Assault Weapons Now” amendment passes in the Sunshine State.

According to News965, the ban has the following specifications.

The amendment proposed in the state legislature would ban possession of assault weapons, which are defined as “semiautomatic rifles and shotguns capable of holding more than 10 rounds of ammunition at once, either in fixed or detachable magazine, or any other ammunition feeding device.”

Lemma, an ardent supporter of the 2nd Amendment and a first term sheriff who is running for re-election, said this about whether or not he would enforce such a law.

“It’s not only that I wouldn’t, the majority of sheriffs across the state would not do it,” Lemma said in the video. It’s up to the sheriffs what they are willing to enforce.”

Trump Holds Rally in Milwaukee, WI 1-14-20

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