(From Judicial Watch)
Weeks after the House Minority leader blasted President Donald Trump for pledging to investigate voter fraud, a federal appellate court has ruled that a Peruvian immigrant can be deported from the U.S. for illegally voting in a federal election. The decision comes on the heels of a spat between Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi and the president. The California Democrat accused Trump of making false claims of election fraud and said that undermining the integrity of our voting system is “really strange.” Most Democrats in Congress agree with the former House Speaker and strongly oppose an investigation, asserting it will limit access to voting.
Not surprisingly, the overwhelming majority of the mainstream media coverage promotes the Democrats’ inaccurate version of the facts. One news network referred to Trump’s voter fraud claims as “baseless” and simply an excuse to enact restrictive voting laws. Another wrote that “Trump’s ‘iIlegals voting’ comments are false and divisive,” calling voter fraud by undocumented immigrants “patently false.” In an editorial titled “The Latest Voter Fraud Lie,” a mainstream newspaper writes that the “baseless claims continue to get converted into policy in the form of stricter voting laws like requiring prospective voters to show a photo ID…” A multitude of similar media reports have flooded the news wires in the week’s following Trump’s meeting with congressional leaders to address the issue.
This week’s appellate court ruling provides a jolt of reality that the media has chosen to ignore. Election fraud was a significant concern in 2008 and 2010, which is why Judicial Watch launched an election integrity project in 2012. The project is a legal campaign to force cleanup of voter registration rolls as well as monitor elections. As an example of the pervasive fraud, Judicial Watch uncovered that 1,046 aliens, or residents who are not U.S. citizens, were on the voter rolls in eight Virginia counites leading up to the 2016 presidential election. If that rate of non-citizen registration held in the rest of Virginia’s counties, that would mean that about 6,500 non-citizens are registered to vote in the state. Additionally, Judicial Watch’s investigation found that 57,923 Virginians were registered to vote in at least one other state as well as 19 deceased individuals. Similar issues have been uncovered in several other states as part of Judicial Watch’s ongoing probe into election fraud.
The Latin American woman in the recent court ruling who voted illegally is hardly an isolated case. Her name is Margarita Del Pilar Fitzpatrick and she lied about being an American citizen on an Illinois Department of Motor Vehicle form. It was that easy. Fitzpatrick, a legal U.S. resident with three kids, voted in two federal elections in 2006 and claims that she had official approval to cast a ballot after presenting her Peruvian passport and green card. An immigration judge and the Board of Immigration Appeals, the government’s highest administrative body for interpreting and applying immigration laws, determined that Fitzpatrick should be deported because non-U.S. citizens cannot vote in federal elections and can be removed from the country for doing so.
The Peruvian woman did not back down, appealing the decisions in federal court. The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with the two previous rulings in favor of deportation, though it acknowledged that Fitzpatrick “led a productive and otherwise-unblemished life in this country.” In its decision, the court states that the motor vehicle form sternly warns aliens not to check the U.S. citizen box and that Fitzpatrick is “literate in English and has no excuse for making that misrepresentation.” Aliens are forbidden to vote in federal elections, the ruling says, adding that “another statute provides for the removal of aliens who vote in violation of either state or federal law.” During oral argument, the appellate judges inquired whether Fitzpatrick is the kind of person the Attorney General and Department of Homeland Security want removed from the United States. “The answer was yes,” the ruling states.
Guess not all Circuit Courts of Appeal are created equal?
Of course, there will be whining from certain groups about ‘breaking up the family’, etc.
Don’t do the crime, if you can’t do the time. Elsewhere.
I was recently asked (by a liberal friend) my thoughts on the Sanctuary Cities controversy.
To be honest, I’d not given it much thought.
Initially, my gut response was (as I suspect it is with most conservatives in the Republic) they (the cities and States creating Sanctuary Zones) are in violation of federal law.
But then the libertarian part of my brain became engaged. Have these cities and States (or even those therein who are seeking Sanctuary) received due process for their actions? Or is it just the power of the federal government that is forcing these political entities to bow to their will? And, of course those individuals, too.
I remembered, the Republic antebellum, when the States held much more power. But Lincoln killed that concept.
And the federal government has continued to grow ever since! Have you ever seen a warrant, signed by a judge, used for the searches at the airport? Or DUI checkpoints? Or when ‘they’ spy on your computer?
If the illegal aliens avoiding the feds are in these places, they need due process to be extracted and deported. If they are more than illegal aliens (like criminals) they too need due process.
That pesky Constitution so says.
As a conservative, I say go get ’em. As a libertarian, I say wait for proper paperwork. Just withholding gov’t funds to cities and States may be a great tactic (as ‘they’ ubiquitously do with highway funds!) but blackmail is not proper paperwork.
I am a conservative libertarian.
I am all about legal aliens to be here legally, get their ‘green’ cards, and move toward proper citizenship, if they desire.
Illegal aliens? Should be deported. Except is the most special circumstances.
But the paperwork needs to be in order, first.
Not just federal force.
(in part from TFB)
There are some bold issues being addressed. One of which is point 5, the use of a stabilizing brace.
5. Firearm Arm or Stabilizing Brace:
Manufacturers have produced an arm brace or stabilizing brace which is designed to strap a handgun to a forearm to allow a disabled shooter to fire the firearm. ATF determined that the brace was not a stock, and therefore its attachment to a handgun
did not constitute the making of a short-barreled rifle or “any other firearm” under the
National Firearms Act (NFA). (NFA classification subjects the product to a tax and registration requirement.) In the determination letter, however, ATF indicated that if the brace was held to the shoulder and used as a stock, such use would constitute a “redesign” that would result in classification of the brace/handgun combination as
an NFA firearm (i.e., the “use” would be a “redesign” and making of a short – barreled rifle). ATF has not made an other NFA determination where a shooter’s use alone was deemed be a “redesign” of the product/firearm resulting in an NFA classification. This ruling has caused confusion and concern among firearm manufacturers, dealers, and consumers about the extent to which unintended use of a product may be a basis for NFA classification. To mitigate this confusion and concern, ATF could amend the determination letter to remove the language indicating that simple use of a product for a purpose other than intended by the manufacturer – without additional proof or redesign – may result in re-classification as an NFA weapon.
While many at ATF are concerned about manufacturing processes continuing to push
the boundaries between a Gun Control Act (GCA) and an NFA firearm, ATF has a
relatively consistent history of what crosses the line between GCA and NFA firearms
with which to draw from, and still maintains the ability to exercise good judgement with
future requests based upon the firearm’s individual characteristics
This could change their determination that came out back in 2015 that using a brace could constitute a redesign. As Adam Kraut had explained, misusing a product is not the same as redesigning or manufacturing.
If that got you excited wait until you see what else they got cooking.
Next up is the point about Slencers.
Silencers: Current Federal law requires ATF to regulate silencers under the NFA. This
requires a Federal tax payment of $200 for transfers, ATF approval, and entry of the
silencer into a national NFA database. In the past several years, opinions about silencers
have changed across the United States. Their use to reduce noise at shooting ranges
and applications within the sporting and hunting industry are now well recognized.
At present, 42 states generally allow silencers to be used for sporting purposes. The
wide acceptance of silencers and corresponding changes in state laws have created
substantial demand across the country. This surge in demand has caused ATF
to have a significant backlog on silencer applications. ATF’s processing time is
now approximately 8 months. ATF has devoted substantial resources in attempts to reduce processing times, spending over $1 million annually in overtime and temporary duty expenses, and dedicating over 33 additional full-time and contract positions since 2011 to support NFA processing. Despite these efforts, NFA processing times are widely viewed by applicants and the industry as far too long, resulting in numerous complaints to Congress. Since silencers account for the vast majority of NFA applications, the most direct way to reduce processing times is to reduce the number of silencer applications. In light of the expanding demand and acceptance of silencers, however, that volume is unlikely to diminish unless they are removed from the NFA. While DOJ and ATF have historically not supported removal of items from the NFA, the change in public acceptance of silencers arguably indicates that the reason for their inclusion in the NFA is archaic and historical reluctance to removing them from the NFA should be reevaluated. ATF’s experience with the criminal use of silencers also supports reassessing their inclusion in the NFA. On average in the past 10 years, ATF has only recommended 44 defendants a year for prosecution on silencer-related violations; of those, only approximately 6 of the defendants had prior felony convictions. Moreover, consistent with this low number of prosecution referrals, silencers are very rarely used in criminal shootings. Given the lack of criminality associated with silencers, it is reasonable to conclude that they should not be viewed as a threat to public safety necessitating NFA classification, and should be considered for reclassification under the GCA.
If such a change were to be considered, a revision in the definition of a silencer
would be important. The current definition of a silencer extends to “any combination of
[silencer] parts, ” as well as “any part intended only for use in” a silencer. Compared to
the definition of a firearm, which specifies the frame or receiver is the key regulated
part, any individual silencer part is generally regulated just as if it were a completed
silencer. Revising the definition could eliminate many of the current issues encountered
by silencer manufacturers and their parts suppliers. Specifically, clarifying when a part
or combination of parts meets a minimum threshold requiring serialization would be
These two points are huge. There are other great points addressed in the White Paper and I encourage you to read it all.
The conclusion of the White Paper addresses it nicely:
There are many regulatory changes or modifications that can be made by or through ATF that would have an immediate, positive impact on commerce and industry without significantly hindering ATFs mission or adversely affecting public safety.
There are also areas where adjustments to policy or processes could improve ATF operations. Alleviating some of these concerns would continue to support
ATF’s relationships across the firearms and sporting industry, and allow ATF to further focus precious personnel and resources on the mission to combat gun violence.
The future looks bright and I hope the ATF accepts these issues and solutions.
I wonder if this ‘reversal’ of some contentious regulations has anything to do with the rumor that the President, in his consolidation and streamlining of government bureaucracy, wants to eliminate the BATFE and create a division of the FBI to handle such matters? (Fast & Furious come to mind?) Are they trying to appear more ‘user friendly’ to their constituency to keep their agency and their jobs?
Naw, not possible…
(from Judicial Watch, in part)
The U.S. Border Patrol alters statistics involving the apprehension of criminal illegal immigrants to conceal that thousands are being released, a new federal audit reveals. The frontline Homeland Security agency charged with preventing terrorists and weapons—including those of mass destruction—from entering the country also skews figures to drastically deflate the high recidivism rate of aliens caught entering the U.S.
The distressing details of this crucial agency’s crafty record-keeping practices are outlined in a scathing report issued this month by the investigative arm of Congress, the Government Accountability Office (GAO). The probe focuses on a Border Patrol system developed to address a smuggling crisis along the southwest border. It’s officially known as Consequence Delivery System (CDS) and is used to identify the most effective and efficient consequences to deter illegal cross border activity in each of the agency’s sectors. For the system to work, the Border Patrol must report accurate information involving illegal aliens who are apprehended.
Instead, it appears that federal agents on the ground are being ordered to fudge the numbers as part of a broader Obama administration effort to protect illegal immigrants and falsely portray the Mexican border as safe. The GAO report suggests that Border Patrol headquarters directed agents to misclassify criminal illegal aliens, presumably to hide the fact that they were being released instead of prosecuted. Officials interviewed as part of the probe “said that agents received oral direction from headquarters to reclassify criminal aliens who cannot be given a consequence of federal prosecution, and that written data integrity guidance to sectors did not include activities for checking the accuracy of alien classifications,” the GAO report states.
The misclassification of apprehended illegal immigrants resulted in nearly 4,000 criminal aliens being returned to their home country rather than prosecuted between 2013 and 2015, the GAO found. After analyzing Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) data, congressional investigators determined that an astounding 94% (109,080) of the 116,409 aliens given a consequence of warrant or notice to appear still had an open case and “may remain in the United States.” Thousands more escaped criminal prosecution because they were not properly classified. “Specifically, of the approximate 15,000 apprehensions of criminal aliens who were not classified according to CDS guidance between fiscal years 2013 and 2015, 8 percent were recommended for criminal prosecution (3,912 apprehensions) compared to 47 percent of all criminal aliens during that timeframe,” the GAO writes.
In some cases, Department of Justice (DOJ) restrictions limit the number of illegal aliens that can be referred for prosecution, the report says. This leaves agents in a bind and hesitant to apply consequences that require referral to federal partners. Here’s an example: “Rio Grande Valley sector officials said that while agents apprehended over 129,000 aliens in fiscal year 2015, the sector can only refer about 40 immigration-related cases each day to the corresponding USAO District (Southern District of Texas) for prosecution. Once this daily limit is reached, agents must apply an alternative consequence that is not the Most Effective and Efficient as defined by the CDS guide.”
Recidivism numbers are kept down by using an unscrupulous system that only classifies an apprehended illegal alien as recidivist if he or she had been previously caught within a fiscal year. The system doesn’t account for immigrants with no record of removal after apprehension and who may have remained in the United States without the opportunity to recidivate. The Border Patrol guidance also states that a first-time apprehension classification may be used on an alien that has been apprehended by another agency. Congressional investigators determined that the Border Patrol system slashed recidivism numbers in half. In one outrageous case cited in the report an “alien apprehended 54 times in the Rio Grande Valley sector between October 2012 and May 2015 was classified as a First Time Apprehension 6 times.”
Two of my ‘spies’ in FEDGOV tell me that President Trump requested letters of resignation from all department heads, so he could then choose which to accept. The FIRST he accepted was the head of the Border Patrol.
The Border Patrol has been, in varying degrees, hamstrung for the past eight years. Essentially, get paid but don’t do your job!
Reportedly, for the first time in it’s history, The Border Patrol (union) openly supported a presidential candidate.
Reports of wild cheering and dancing along the border once the election had been completed were unconfirmed.
Death, obviously knows no change in calendars…
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Mike Connors, who starred as a hard-hitting private eye on the long-running television series “Mannix,” has died. He was 91.
The actor died surrounded by family Thursday afternoon at a Los Angeles hospital from complications of leukemia that had been diagnosed a week earlier, said his son-in-law, Mike Condon.
“Mannix” ran for eight years on CBS beginning in 1967. Viewers were intrigued by the tall, smartly dressed, well-spoken detective who could mix it up with the burliest of thugs and leap on the hood of a racing car to prevent an escape. Episodes normally climaxed with a brawl that left the culprits bruised and beaten.
“Up until Mannix, most private investigators were hard-nosed, cynical guys who lived in a seedy area and had no emotions,” Connors theorized in 1997. “Mannix got emotionally involved. He was not above being taken advantage of.”
In the first season, Joe Mannix was a self-employed Los Angeles private investigator hired by a firm that used computers and high-tech equipment to uncover crime. The ratings were lukewarm. Connors feared the series would be canceled but it was produced by Lucille Ball’s Desilu studio, and CBS was reluctant to antagonize its biggest star.
In the second season, Mannix opened his own office and combatted low-lifes by himself. The ratings zoomed.
When “Mannix” was revised the office acquired a secretary, played by African-American actress Gail Fisher.
The network was concerned that affiliates in the South might object to her character but “there wasn’t any kind of backlash,” Connors recalled.
Another highlight was the theme music by legendary screen composer Lalo Schifrin.
Connors also starred in the TV series “Tightrope!” and “Today’s FBI.” Each lasted one season.
His movie and TV career stretched from the 1950s to 2007, when he had a guest role on “Two and a Half Men.”
Connors made his film debut in 1952’s “Sudden Fear,” which starred Joan Crawford. Other films included “Island in the Sky,” ”The Ten Commandments,” and a remake of “Stagecoach.”
Connors, born Krekor Ohanian in 1925, was from an Armenian community in Fresno. He served in the Air Force during World War II and played basketball at the University of California, Los Angeles.
After graduation he studied law for two years but his good looks and imposing presence attracted him to acting. In an era when film actors were given names like Tab and Rock, he appeared as Touch Connors — “Touch” being his basketball nickname. He later changed it to Michael and finally, Mike.
Connors and his wife, Mary Lou, were married in 1949 and had two children: a son, Matthew, and a daughter, Dana. Their son, beset by hallucinations starting in his teens, was diagnosed with schizophrenia and before his death lived in a small residential care facility. Connors and his wife championed efforts to erase the stigma of mental illness.
In addition to his wife, daughter and son-in-law, Connors is survived by a granddaughter, Cooper Wills.
The late Associated Press writer Bob Thomas contributed biographical material to this report.
We humans always seem to make the passing of time with a New Year, with the hope that Death will do the same.
But, he never stops.
There have been others, Mary Tyler Moore being the most notable.
But my high school TV years were filled with shows like Mission Impossible.
For me, Mannix filled the generational gap between 77 Sunset Strip and Magnum.
This was Mike Connors image, even though he did other things.
He even did a show where he was named Ohanian – his real Armenian name – but it didn’t take.
He once quipped as Mannix he was hit on the head something like 57 times, but always came back. Maybe PIs should be issued safety helmets?
Godspeed, Mike. R.I.P.
Sometimes, you are digging in the wrong place!
It was FIFTY YEARS AGO (1967!) that my interest
obsessive-compulsion in the Assassination of John F. Kennedy began. That, coupled with my family history in police work lead me to security and investigation work, an associates degree in Police Science, and my private investigation business. Followed by a career as a credit card fraud investigator.
But I always came back to the JFK thing. As a ‘hobby’.
It began when I was in high school, newly disabled, complete with a pair of crutches and my right leg in a steel brace. For a year. I’d read the condensed ‘report’ in the high school library, and soon walked the two miles to the university library.
And I found the 26 volumes of the Warren Commission exhibits and testimony. And proceeded to read them all.
See, not compulsive at all!
Years passed. Books and films critical of the Warren Report came out, And I devoured them – to the best of my ability. And kept notes.
But, there was one problem. I had no copies of the 26 volumes in my home. I couldn’t afford them, and my parents would not spring for them. (I think they were $185 at the time).
This meant many a trek to the university library, and having to deal with my regular high school work, my family, friends and life. What a P.I.T.A. ! 🙂
Time passed. I still occasionally dabbled in the JFK stuff, when my marriage, fatherhood, auto accident, etc. didn’t get in the way. I DID recognize I could be obsessive about it and would voluntarily pull back when I felt it suck me in for more than a few days
But, I never had my own 26 volumes. And the price went up when they went out-of-print. Even with the advent of the Internet, it just seemed they weren’t available.
I recently had a birthday. Good friend Biff, lauded often in these pages, and I met for coffee, and he gave me a birthday present!
Apparently, I was digging in the wrong place on the Internet! Now I can return to my obsession in peace! With my forty or fifty Warren Commission critic’s books, the few by apologist’s, the Internet, my notes, and MY 26 volumes!
(Maybe life would have been simpler had I eaten the bad date?)
(from my friend Borepatch)
I strongly recommend that you do NOT buy the My Friend Cayla doll, the i-Que robot, or the Barbie Hello Dream House as gifts due to a grotesquely dangerous security flaw in the toy’s design.
I often rant about poor security in products and how “security wasn’t an afterthought, it wasn’t thought of at all.” Mostly it’s about something that is unlikely to effect most of all y’all. This time is different – here are some toys that can endanger children, and I STRONGLY recommend that you do NOT buy these as gifts this holiday season.
My Friend Cayla is a doll with embedded voice recognition technology similar to Apple’s Siri, that can interact with children. It not only listens to what the child says but can respond appropriately.
While it’s somewhat concerning that the doll “phones home” over the Internet for the voice recognition to work, the issue isn’t that it’s listening in on your kid. Mind you, I find this more than a little creepy, but I remember when there were only 3 TV channels.
The danger is that the doll is Bluetooth enabled, and the Bluetooth is completely unprotected. What this means is that anyone within Bluetooth range (which at 100 yards is actually further than many think) can connect to the doll and start talking to your child as she plays.
Let me say that again – Joe Shmoe in the park across from your house can connect to your little Princess’ doll and have a chat.There’s a video of this, although they’re wrong to call it a “hack”. It’s simply use of the functionality as it was designed.
Also using the exact same technology with exactly the same flaw is the i-Que robot: this isn’t just a threat to little girls.
Unconfirmed reports also include the Barbie Hello Dream House. I don’t know whether this is vulnerable to remote Bluetooth access, and it’s almost certain that nothing definitive will be published on this before the holidays. Given that I recommend that you don’t buy this, either.
This seems to me to be bordering on criminal negligence by the companies involved (certainly My Friend Cayla and i-Que; possibly Mattel). The idea that a child’s toy could be released that would allow someone to remotely talk with your child his his or her own bedroom is mind bogglingly stupid.
To reiterate, I strongly recommend that you do NOT buy the My Friend Cayla doll, the i-Que robot, or the Barbie Hello Dream House as gifts due to a grotesquely dangerous security flaw in the toy’s design.
Anyone remember “My name is Talky Tina” from Rod Serling’s Twilight Zone? These toys take that to a whole new level.
Protester telling a false story and engaging in criminal activity? Perish the thought!
CANNON BALL, ND (KFGO) – The North Dakota Highway Patrol says law enforcement officers were not responsible for injuries sustained by a New York woman who nearly lost an arm in an explosion during a pipeline protest.
“We are aware of the information about the woman on social media who has claimed she sustained injuries to her arm due to law enforcement tactics. The injuries sustained are inconsistent with any resources utilized by law enforcement and are not a direct result of any tools or weapons used by law enforcement” according to North Dakota Highway Patrol Lt. Tom Iverson. “This incident remains under investigation by the North Dakota BCI and ATF. Additional details will be released as the investigation progresses.”
(from Brock Townsend)
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.
(from Joel in part)
Here’s an actual headline I did not make up…
SAFE Act seems to fail at keeping guns from criminals
You guys remember the New York Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act of 2013, right? It was going to make New Yorkers safe from scary-looking rifles and standard-capacity magazines, as well as restricting ammo sales and forcing shrinks to snitch on their patients. Thus, you know, ushering in the glorious millennium or some thing, I dunno.
And here’s a total shock: In addition to turning virtually every New York gun owner into a felonious scofflaw, it doesn’t do any of the things promised! Wow. It’s just so out of the blue. Who saw that coming?
Undismayed, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman attacks the problem head-on with strawmen and buzzwords blazing:
“Target on Trafficking: Analysis of New York Gun Crimes” found that 74 percent of guns used in a crime recovered in New York came from outside this state.Of these, 70 percent originated “in just six states with weak gun laws — the states along I-95 that make up the Iron Pipeline,” says an online presentation on the report.
Yes, of course it’s not the fault of New York’s well-meaning totalitarians. They wrote a perfect nightmare of a law, which would have worked perfectly if not for all those other state lawmakers with all those weak gun laws! Yeah!
“The Iron Pipeline.” I love it. I hope whichever writer came up with that one got paid a generous bonus. Then had a piano fall on his head.
Surprising to me, though, is that the article writer actually dares point out that it ain’t necessarily so…
However, the report’s data shows that the percentage of crime guns from out of state remained remarkably even before and after New York’s SAFE Act was passed in 2013. From 2010 to 2015, it only fluctuated between 73 and 75 percent. The number of recovered crime guns went down, along with the violent crime rate throughout the Northeast, but the out-of-state percentage stayed the same.
[B]y Mr. Schneiderman’s measure, it hasn’t worked. If the out-of-state gun percentage had spiked since the new restrictions took effect, that might indicate criminals were being foiled here and turning more often to other states, but that doesn’t seem to have happened.
Careful there, kid. Speaking truth to power works best from a respectful distance.