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Our Tax Dollars At Work, Again

(from Judicial Watch)

JW Files Suit For ‘Refugee Travel Loans’ Information

Tightening our immigration and refugee programs is a matter of national security (despite what some out-of-control judges may think), and it is also a matter of cost.

In this regard, we have filed a lawsuit against the State Department for records on the number of “Refugee Travel Loans” issued by State’s Bureau for Population, Refugees, and Migration to the United Nation’s International Organization for Migration from 2010 to the present.

We are also seeking the number of loans defaulted upon and the amount of money written off on each defaulted loan. We filed the suit on January 24, 2017, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:17-cv-00157)).

Judicial Watch filed the suit after the State Department failed to respond to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request on February 5, 2016, seeking the following:

  • All records reflecting the number of Refugee Travel Loans furnished by the State Department’s Bureau for Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM) to the International Organization for Migration (IOM) per year; the number of travel loans that are defaulted upon per year; and the amount of money written off per defaulted loan.

The Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration provides funding for aid and relief work abroad and the bureau’s admissions office handles settling refugees in the United States. According to the agency’s website, it spent nearly $545 million “to provide new beginnings to the world’s most vulnerable refugees” in 2016 and more than $2.8 billion to “humanitarian assistance overseas.” It provided $103 million directly to the UN’s International Organization for Migration.

The International Organization for Migration, headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, has an annual budget of $1.4 billion  and (as of 2014) a staff of 9,000 throughout the world. According to the International Organization for Migration website, the organization provides interest-free loans “furnished by the Department of State” to “all refugees arriving in the United States:”

All refugees arriving in the United States are offered interest-free travel loans by IOM.  Refugees who accept these travel loans are required to sign a promissory note prior to departure, committing themselves to repayment of the debt within 46 months after arrival in the United States.

IOM arranges for refugee travel using funds furnished by the Department of State, and is mandated to subsequently effect collections on behalf of the Department of State.  Repayments made by refugees toward their loans are returned to the Department of State for use by the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM) to defray the cost of future refugee travel.

In July 2016, the United Nations General Assembly unanimously adopted a resolution making the International Organization for Migration part of the UN.

Even The Washington Post reported that the nine resettlement agencies contracted by the State Department to help resettle refugees in the U.S. actually make more than $5 million a year in commissions on refugee debt collection.

The State Department has stonewalled our request for refugee loan information and associated taxpayer losses for a year – an unlawful delay that screams “cover up.”  This is an opportunity for the Trump State Department to come clean and clean up this refugee welfare program.

And there’s a lot more for the Trump administration to clean up when it comes to “refugee loans.”  In June 2016, Judicial Watch reported:

The U.S. government gives refugees on public assistance special “loans” of up to $15,000 to start a business but fails to keep track of defaults that could translate into huge losses for American taxpayers, records obtained by Judicial Watch reveal. The cash is distributed through a program called Microenterprise Development run by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Refugee Resettlement.

***

HHS is not the only government agency doling out huge sums of cash for this cause, though its focus on refugees appears to be unique. Others, such as the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Department of Labor (DOL) also dedicate hundreds of millions of dollars to various microenterprise causes. For instance, in one recent year alone USAID spent $223 million  on microenterprise development activities, according to figures released by the agency. The USDA also allocates large sums to provide loans and grants to microenterprise development through a special “Rural Microloan Revolving Fund” and the DOL regularly pours lots of money into various microenterprise projects that are promoted as workforce investments in areas with high rates of poverty.

So the debate about refugees is more than about keeping dangerous refugees out, but there is also the matter of asking just how much it costs to make politicians to feel good about themselves by using our tax dollars to provide special assistance to these foreign nationals.

I have no problem with legitimate, vetted refugees or immigrants following protocols for legal residency and eventually even citizenship.  I used to know a guy who, with his family, escaped Saddam Hussein and Chemical Ali’s tyranny, to arrive here, become a citizen, and open a liquor store.  He practically hugged every customer who walked in!

And I remember wondering where Lee Harvey Oswald got the ‘Traveler’s Aid'(CIA) funds of $200, after renouncing his U.S. citizenship and living in the Soviet Union.  And was allowed to return back to the United States after purportedly giving away military secrets to the Russians.  With nary a hitch.

Much has changed since the 1960’s.

And not for the better.

 

Stop The National Carry Permit

Yes, Mr. Trump has a permit.

Yes, he supports the RKBA agenda (at least now where he sees his bread is buttered!)

BUT, a National Carry Permit?

NO.

Alan Korwin (the uninvited ombudsman, author of Page Nine and many gun law books) presents the argument:

The last thing you ever want is to have the federal government issuing national — or any — firearm carry permits.

The feds do not have this power. The feds should never have this power.

Your right to have a firearm anywhere in America should never depend on getting “papers” from any government, much less the federal powers in Washington, D.C.

If you have a gun — constitutionally protected private property — and you aren’t doing anything inherently wrong, that should never be a crime. There is no victim. No one is harmed. No actual crime is committed. The idea that you need a wallet card to be somewhere you have a legal right to be is preposterous.

Too many gun owners, including some leaders of the gun-rights movement, sincere but totally misinformed and misdirected, are salivating for our permit-carrying president elect to issue some sort of national carry plan. It cannot, must not, better not be a national permit in any way shape or form.

Over 20% of these United States have enacted ‘Constitutional Carry’, that is law-abiding citizens may carry firearms without the need for permitage.

Is there blood running in the streets in these States?  No, in fact crime is down.

Let’s cut to the chase, instead of pushing for more federal control and bureaucracy, let’s make The United States ALL Constitutional Carry!

Simplicity.  And less federal intrusion.  What a concept!

And We Want MORE (Undocumented) Refugees Here?

(from Brock Townsend)

France on the Verge of Total Collapse

Via Mike

On August 3, French riot police dragged a priest and his congregation from the church of St Rita in Paris, prior to its scheduled demolition. Front National leader Marine Le Pen said in fury: “And what if they built parking lots in the place of Salafist mosques, and not of our churches?”

France is in turmoil. “Migrants” arriving from Africa and the Middle East sow disorder and insecurity in many cities. The huge slum commonly known as the “jungle of Calais” has just been dismantled, but other slums are being created each day. In eastern Paris, streets have been covered with corrugated sheets, oilcloth and disjointed boards. Violence is commonplace. France’s 572 “no-go zones,” officially defined as “sensitive urban areas”, continue to grow, and police officers who approach them often suffer the consequences. Recently, a police car drove into an ambush and was torched while the police were prevented from getting out. If attacked, police officers are told by their superiors to flee rather than retaliate. Many police officers, angry at having to behave like cowards, have organized demonstrations. No terrorist attacks have taken place since the slaughter of a priest in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray on July 26, 2016, but intelligence services see that jihadists have returned from the Middle East and are ready to act, and that riots may break out anywhere, any time, on any pretext.

I’ve no problem with more immigrants moving to the United States.  Legal, vetted, immigrants.  Muslims, even!  Who wish freedom and American assimilation.
But, if you cannot be vetted, or are terrorists, smugglers, murderers or rapists, stay away!
Or face the consequences of your actions.

Hey! Rights Ain’t Dead, Yet!

This, courtesy of Wirecutter

For the first time, a federal judge has suppressed evidence obtained without a warrant by U.S. law enforcement using a stingray, a surveillance device that can trick suspects’ cell phones into revealing their locations.

U.S. District Judge William Pauley in Manhattan on Tuesday ruled that defendant Raymond Lambis’ rights were violated when the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration used such a device without a warrant to find his Washington Heights apartment.

The DEA had used a stingray to identify Lambis’ apartment as the most likely location of a cell phone identified during a drug-trafficking probe. Pauley said doing so constituted an unreasonable search.
MORE

stingray

If you are keeping score, that’s the anti-constitutional Statist bastards – 356

Liberty and Freedom – 3

 

NICE

What more can be said regarding the terrorist attack in the South of France?  What do we know?  A Tunisian emigre, armed with one pistol, two fake assault rifles.  And a fake grenade.  And a truck.  Chose to use the 19 ton refrigerated truck as an ‘assault vehicle’.

84 dead, another 202 injured.

And while he didn’t use either the real or fake weaponry, in largely gun-prohibited France, it took the usual solution – a call to the men with guns to stop the terrorist.

ISIS claimed responsibility.

I see two solutions here.  One short term, and a second longer.

  1. Allow the French citizenry to arm themselves.
  2. Severely restrict or cease entirely immigration from Muslim countries.  And deport those already in country who have not been carefully vetted.

AND, promote doing the same in all other nations, including the United States!

Before it is too late.

Of course, this will never happen.  Especially here, where illegal aliens make up as much as 33% of the service industry work force.

I heard on the ‘news’ the other night that one-half of one percent (0.5%) of Islamic folk are estimated to be radicalizedThis translates to one million people World-wide!

Imagine if this were a regular army?

Instead, they are agents-provocateurs (agents of change – outside agitators in the very least)!  Community Organizers?

Saboteurs and terrorists.

Free people need to be able to defend themselves.  Period.

Two folks are sitting adjacent in a jumbo jet, flying over the South of France.
One looks out the window and remarks, “That’s Nice.”  –  Bennett Cerf

(Apologies.  This is GUFFAW in AZ, after all.  Had to lighten the mood.)

When In The Course Of Human Events…

Two Hundred Forty years ago…

A group of colonial representatives of the British crown voted to sever ties with the most powerful monarchy on Earth.  With the largest military.

And ultimately won our Independence.

Established a government, dissolved it, established a second government.  And immediately began ursurping the rights of the Citizenry we had fought a revolution to protect!

Governments, by their very nature, want control and power.

John Adams said, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

Well, THAT ship has sailed!

Too bad the Founding Fathers didn’t foresee some kind of reset button, which would keep the Bill of Rights as Paramount.

And allow us to begin again.

I’m rereading The Declaration of Independence at High Noon again, today.

Before my so doing is prohibited by law!

reset

4th

 

“It’s The FOOD POLICE, Again!”

The Obama administration is pressuring the food industry to make foods from breads to sliced turkey less salty, proposing long-awaited sodium guidelines in an effort to prevent thousands of deaths each year from heart disease and stroke

By MARY CLARE JALONICK – Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration is pressuring the food industry to make foods from breads to sliced turkey less salty, proposing long-awaited sodium guidelines in an effort to prevent thousands of deaths each year from heart disease and stroke.

The proposed guidelines released Wednesday are voluntary, so food companies won’t be required to comply. But the idea is to persuade companies and restaurants — many of which have already lowered sodium levels in their products — to take a more consistent approach.

It’s the first time the government has recommended such limits. Sodium content already is included on existing food labels, but the government has not set specific sodium recommendations. The guidelines suggest limits for about 150 categories of foods, from cereals to pizzas and sandwiches. There are two-year and 10-year goals.

“The totality of scientific evidence, as reviewed by many well-respected scientific organizations, continues to support lowering sodium consumption from current levels,” said Susan Mayne, director of FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. “In fact, it’s very difficult in the current marketplace not to consume too much sodium.”

Americans eat about 1½ teaspoons of salt daily, or 3400 milligrams. That’s about a third more than the government recommends for good health and enough to increase the risk of high blood pressure, strokes and other problems. Most of that sodium is hidden inside common processed foods and restaurant meals.

()

I’m overweight and diabetic.  And have high blood pressure and cholesterol.  Much less than I used to, in all respects, fortunately.  🙂

NOT BECAUSE THE GOVERNMENT CONTROLLED MY DIETARY CHOICES!

I don’t always make the ‘correct’ decisions with regard to the type of foods, or portions or ingredients – but, Hell, it’s my body and my choice!

(Where have I heard that before?)

Worst case scenario – IF the government controls how much salt is in commercially-produced products and restaurants (removing shakers from tables ala Bloomberg), and I feel the need, I’ll just bring my own!

Damn government control freaks!

When it rains, it pours…

morton

REMEMBER

And, in case you forgot…

Memorial-Day

Nothing more need be said.

Except perhaps a silent prayer of thanks.

REMEMBER

Is ‘Instant’ Media Good, Or Not?

hbBack-in-the-day (the 60’s), if news happened during the day, we had to wait until the 5:30 Huntley/Brinkley Report to hear about it.

Unless it was of a catastrophic nature, like the JFK assassination.  Then, someone who had been listening to a transistor radio passed the news along word-of mouth.  (The school janitor?)  And people with TVs ran to them for the latest reports.  Because, not everyone had a TV!

Otherwise, if the evening news had been missed, it was the next morning’s Arizona Republic that brought the news.  Usually bad – because news of a good nature is rarely news.

Fast-forward (another antiquated term from VHS tape days) to this post-Internet era.  I’ve a smartphone which I am rarely without.  She lives in my right, front pocket (having a fused hip means my back pocket isn’t a good idea for access) with my keys, .38 speed strip and my Blur lockblade knife.  (The .38 S&W snub is in my LEFT front pocket, in a pocket holster, me being sinestral, and all!)

I keep my smartphone on, because, why not?  She bleeps and chirps with receipt of texts, emails and the latest headlines.  (I do put her on vibrate or mute as appropriate!)  And sometimes she even rings announcing a telephone call! 🙂  Or a specific ringtone advising me of particular callers, like my roomie or close friends.  Roomie’s ringtone is Moonlight Sonata, and Biff’s is the Peanuts theme!

Which brings me to my point (finally!)

Biff has a smartphone, but he doesn’t keep it on.  Doesn’t use it for spur-of-the-moment research, or shopping or to-do lists.  He doesn’t use it for email or texts, either.  Or receipt of the latest news!

He uses it as a telephone, when he chooses to have it turned-on.

And, I razz him mercilessly about this.  The term Luddite has been bandied about.

Why have a smartphone, if one isn’t going to use it as such?

He says he doesn’t want to be that connected.  And usually leaves it in his car, anyway!

We met for coffee the Saturday evening last, and were having our usual conversations, and I brought up the death earlier in the day of Justice Scalia.

And, he didn’t know about it – he hadn’t heard!  And he’s a radio news guy!

(I’d received a notification minutes after it had been reported, from three news sources!)

To be fair, he hadn’t worked that day.

So, which is better? – to be voluntarily ignorant of the day’s events, to choose to call only when one makes that choice, or to be tethered to the electronic instantaneous (or nearly so) news cycle?  And at the mercy of people who choose to call, whenever?

Being already a volunteer for the tethering, my opinion in the matter is skewed one direction.  Much like having a P.C. at home with a router, I don’t think I could revert to dial-up.

Or no Internet access at all…

So, which is better?

no sp

(Not mentioning potential for brain cancer and/or government surveillance/tracking, because so doing would further muddy the issue!)

You Only THINK You Own Your Land

You hold title to it.

But must pay the government in perpetuity taxes for that privilege.

Then, there’s this –

Hammond Family Declared as Terrorist and Sentenced to Five Years in Federal Prison

Via Iver

Our hearts and prayers go out to the Hammond family with deep empathy.  The magnitude of the injustices dealt to them is hard to comprehend.  Their once happy lives have been forever darkened with pains of corruptions.  The nature of their sentencing proves once again that justice is currently not found in the federal courts. The Hammonds are a simple ranching family that for generations has cared for the land they live upon.  Prescribed burns are a vital process in keeping the land healthy and productive in the area.  The BLM also performs prescribed burns and have let it get out of control many times, but never has it cost any federal agent hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines and years of life in prison.

The Hammonds prescribed a fire that moved to public land, they extinguished the fire themselves.  The courts found that the burn increased vegetation for the following years, and had a positive impact on the land.  With no authority or justification to prosecute, eleven years after the fire, federal attorneys have obtained judgment that the Hammonds are terrorists and must be punished severely for their actions.

h/t Brock Townsend

"Round up the usual suspects."

In Loving Memory…