07/16/14

Germany is Hardly a U.S. Ally

By: Cliff Kincaid
Accuracy in Media

The media are full of stories about “two allies,” the U.S. and Germany, in a controversy over alleged “U.S. espionage” against Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government. All of the fingers are pointing at the NSA, and now the CIA, whose station chief in Berlin has reportedly been told to leave.

The Washington Post reported, “In ordering the CIA station chief to leave, Germany resorted to a form of retaliation that is occasionally employed by espionage adversaries such as the United States and Russia, but rarely by such a close ally.”

But where is the evidence that Germany under Merkel is such a close ally?

The paper fails to cite the evidence that Merkel is regarded with suspicion because she came out of East Germany, when it was a Communist state, and hid a very important aspect of her early life—as a propagandist for a communist youth group.

Breitbart picked up the controversy in a story headlined, “Questions raised Over Merkel’s Communist Past.”

Even without this damaging information, one has reason to be suspicious about Merkel.

If you continue reading the Post and take a look at the paper’s editorial on Ukraine, you might get a different impression of our “ally.”

It starts out by saying that “Ukraine’s new leader is making progress in regaining control over eastern areas of the country that were seized by Russian-backed insurgents, but he’s getting no help from the United States or the European Union.” The European Union (EU) primarily means Germany and France.

It says Russia’s Vladimir Putin “can only be encouraged by the fecklessness of the European Union and the United States,” another clear reference to Germany and France, as well as the Obama administration. It goes on to complain that “German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President François Hollande are leaning on [the Ukrainian President] Mr. Poroshenko to stop trying to regain control over his country” from Russian forces.

In other words, they are working on Putin’s behalf.

So if Merkel is working on behalf of Putin, why shouldn’t the German government be under surveillance? And perhaps France as well?

Referring to “crippling unilateral sanctions on Russia” that can be imposed by the West, the Post editorial says, “If the Ukrainian government can act [against Russian forces] without the permission of France and Germany, so can the United States.” But it’s doubtful that Obama will do anything significant to thwart Putin’s war drive.

Earlier in the editorial, the Post says that “Germany and France have been pressing for a cease-fire and peace talks [in Ukraine] that would include the rebels, Russia and Ukraine but not Western governments.”

In other words, they want to settle the conflict on terms agreeable to Russia.

Hollande is a socialist and his political party is a member of the Socialist International. By contrast, Merkel represents the supposedly “conservative” Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party.

M.E. Synon, the Europe correspondent for Breitbart London, writes, “Some Americans are now asking: was there a good reason the US needed to keep an eye on Merkel’s private conversations?” Yes, indeed.

In our column, “The NSA, Glenn Greenwald, and Angela Merkel,” we noted that, “Merkel, who grew up in the formerly communist East Germany and spent 35 years of her life under the dictatorship, is the subject of a book by Günther Lachmann and Ralf Georg Reuth titled, The First Life of Angela M., which suggests that she had deeper ties to the communist regime than previously known or acknowledged.”

The strange thing is that the Post and other “mainstream media” will not breathe a word about the book, The First Life of Angela M.

However, the Post “news” article about the controversy between the U.S. and Germany goes on to report, “Hans-Christian Ströbele, an official in Germany’s Green Party and member of the parliamentary inquiry, described the CIA expulsion as ‘a necessary symbolic act to show our friends on the other side of the Atlantic how serious this matter is.’”

Friends? Who is this Ströbele?

Our column, “Edward Snowden’s Communist and Terrorist Friends,” notes that he is a prominent German lawyer who represented the communist terrorist group, the Baader-Meinhof Gang—also known as the Red Army Faction (RAF).”

The RAF was supported by East Germany and the Soviet Union.

These facts are reminiscent of an old English Proverb: With friends like these, who needs enemies?

So what we need from the media, at least from their news departments, is a definition of the term “ally.”

Instead what we are getting is media pressure on the U.S. to accommodate Germany’s concerns and “heal the rift.”

07/16/14

Congress: Use the Power of the Purse to Save the Border

Written by: Diana West

This week’s syndicated column

Dear Members of Congress,

Here’s an assignment for you: Watch the 1939 classic “The Wizard of Oz” and pay particular attention to the part in which Dorothy realizes that in her ruby red slippers, she had the magic power she needed all along.

You do, too. Not in fancy footwear, of course. It’s called the power of the purse.

You don’t like what’s going on where the border used to be before Barack Obama eliminated it? I realize you are probably not equipped to deliver the Constitutional remedy of impeachment, but how about this: When Barack Obama’s multi-billion-dollar “supplemental” budget request for the “unaccompanied children” crisis comes knocking on the door of the Appropriations Committee, put your hands in your pockets and whistle. You do not have to fund it. And why would you? As Texas Gov. Perry points out in USA Today, “out of $3.7 billion in President Obama’s request, only $68.4 million — or 1.8 percent — is directly dedicated to border security efforts.” That “supplemental” request, by the way, which initial reports pegged at $2 billion, has now grown to $4.3 billion.

Just say no. You can tell the occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave: “Not good enough, Mr. President. Up here on Capitol Hill, we are persuaded by our Senate colleague Tom Coburn, R-Okla., that there is a cheaper, better option. As Sen. Coburn says, $20 million will fly all of these aliens home — first class! Even if we agree to spend the $68.4 million more of taxpayers’ money that you have designated to secure (read: attempt to reinstate) the border, we will still rack up savings of well over $3 billion!”

That’s real power — and it’s all yours. Get used to it. Remember, absolute powerlessness corrupts absolutely, too. Think of this way: You are useless to your bosses (constituents) if you are nothing more than a bunch of rubber-stamping, executive branch yes-men. And speaking of the power of the purse, that’s just not what we pay you for.

To be sure, there’s much more financial flexing to do. Not to alarm anyone unduly, but it is a fact that in this immediate and truly existential crisis, the federal government is seizing more dictatorial powers than ever. Look at the way the feds are blocking journalists and you, democratically elected representatives, from even seeing what is going on at the holding centers for the “unaccompaned alien minors,” aka (according to federal fiat) “unaccompanied children,” soon to be known as “unchaperoned debutantes.”

Attempting to inspect aliens held at Ft. Sill in his own district, Rep. Jim Bridenstine, R-Okla., was turned away on July 1 by the Department of Health and Human Services. HHS told him to return three weeks later. According to Politico, “Later in the week, the Department of Health and Human Services granted Bridenstine and members of the media a scheduled visit to the detention center on July 12” — did you catch the offending word, “granted”? — “but only on the conditions that pictures, questions and interactions with those in the facility are not allowed.”

Says who — the Communist Party bosses of Upper Slobovia? Aptly, Bridenstine told CNN that “this is the kind of media (censorship) that they had in the former Soviet Union. This is not the kind of unfettered access that we expect in the United States” — certainly not in installations for illegal aliens that run on public monies.

Wouldn’t you say HHS is getting a little big for its britches?

Me, too. Well, who do you think is responsible for providing HHS with its budget, which comes to roughly $1 billion annually?

You people. If you, the Reps., of We, the People, can’t get into these black holes of federal overreach in your own districts, then you need to think long and hard about turning off the juice to them.

OK, time’s up. Tell HHS run amok, with its Office of Refugee Resettlement and its Administration for Children and Families, and the rest, that transparency is their New World Order, that the elected representatives of the American people, whom they work for every day, are on their way over ASAP with the ladies and gents of the Fourth Estate (such as they are), and nothing is off limits or off the record — or else two weeks’ notice is waiting them all at the door.

Hey, that’s a good idea anyway. Think it over. Meanwhile, do what it takes to get the one-way tickets for the Central American Airlift bought and paid for. There may still be some good summer deals.

As Dorothy said, “There’s no place like home.” But you, our elected representatives, must do everything that is Constitutionally in your power to protect it.

07/16/14

MSNBC Analyst Caught in Major Distortion [video]

By: Roger Aronoff
Accuracy in Media

Some on the left are so determined to advance the Obama administration narrative on the immigration crisis that they are prepared to completely distort the reality of the situation. On the July 10th edition of “Morning Joe” on MSNBC, former Obama administration “Car Czar” and “Morning Joe Economic Analyst” Steve Rattner was making the case for why America should be more open to the “refugees” leaving Central America to come to the U.S.

Joe Scarborough asked Rattner “What is going on [there] that’s driving this? [starting at 4:00]

Rattner replied that the statistics on the murder rate are quite remarkable. Honduras has gone from approximately 3,000 murders per 100,000 people, per year, going back to 2000, to about 7,000 in 2012. They put a chart up on the screen that was titled, “Violence is the Primary Driver.” Rattner said, “Let me put this in perspective for you.” He said that in Honduras, you had a one in 14 chance of being murdered during a single calendar year, and said that by comparison, in New York City your chances were one in 25,000. The chart showed that there were 7,172 murders per every 100,000 people there in 2012. With a population of about 8.5 million, that would mean that there were more than 600,000 murders there that year.

My radar immediately went on full tilt. Scarborough said, “That’s remarkable,” and Rattner reiterated his point—that it is a refugee crisis.

The source cited on the chart was UNDOC. I went on the site, and this is the chart I found:

It shows that in fact the number in 2010 was 82 murders per 100,000, or, approximately 7,000. And that is the mistake. The 7,172 figure on Rattner’s chart was actually the total number of murders in Honduras in 2012, not the murder rate per 100,000—which was 90—as reflected in this chart from the same website.

Somehow Rattner discovered the error, and tweeted out a mea culpa:

Rattner says, “Basic point remains.” However, it does no such thing. His actual basic point was that the reason the number of children coming into the U.S. was increasing so dramatically was that the murder rate was increasing dramatically. There was no increase in the number of kids fleeing the country for most of the years that the murder rate was climbing. The dramatic increase occurred after President Obama instituted DACA, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, in 2012. It was a memorandum written by the Obama administration suggesting greater prosecutorial discretion in deporting young people who had come into this country illegally, and granting those eligible a two-year reprieve on being deported. Obama did this after failure to get his so-called “Dream Act” through Congress, which would have granted residency to young adult illegal aliens who had attended college or been in the military. But it’s real world effect was to post a welcome sign to people in Central America, saying, in effect, if you can get here, now is the time, and we won’t be deporting you.

So the dishonesty by Rattner, and others making the same argument, is in attempting to tie the surge of illegal aliens crossing the border to increased violence, especially murder, in their home countries, when in fact it was the welcome sign put up by the Obama administration.

Rattner’s tweet to his 14,000 followers, was seen by far fewer than the number who saw it presented on MSNBC. Well, maybe not far fewer.

The inaccuracy of Rattner’s graph and commentary was so egregious that MSNBC, or Morning Joe himself, should issue a retraction and apology, as some of Rattner’s twitter followers demanded. It wasn’t just the sloppy research that was wrong, but once Rattner realized the embarrassing mistake he made on national TV, he acted like that didn’t change the validity of his point.

I addressed some of these issues that same day as a guest on “Cavuto” on the Fox Business Network, which you can see here:

07/16/14

California: A State Divided Over the Illegal Alien Flood

By: Susan Knowles
Gulag Bound

Stand for Truth

SusanKnowles-com-Murrieta-protesters

It appears that things have finally calmed down a bit in California since the people of Murrieta, who stood in defiance of the federal government, forced buses carrying illegal immigrants to turn around and leave their town. The actions of the Murrieta protesters sent a clear message to President Obama that the crisis was caused by his failure to protect the border and that they were not going to carry the burdens caused by the influx of illegal immigrants.

Pro-amnesty protesters’ personal convictions stood in sharp ontrast, however. Many pro-amnesty protesters criticized the pro-legal immigration protesters as being haters of children while at the same time claiming that the opposing protesters had stolen the land belonging to Native Americans and Mexico.

They further claimed that the pro-legal immigration protesters needed to go back to Europe, even though they were here legally, because of this alleged land grab. Perhaps that is why a couple of pro-amnesty protesters decimated the American flag on July 4 by setting fire to it.

The pro-legal immigration protesters, on the other hand, many of whom have children and grandchildren of their own, showed their support of this country by waving the flag and demanding that Obama adhere to the U.S. Constitution by securing the borders.

Each side in the debate continues to have its own perception of what’s right and wrong. Neither side has wavered. It was an ugly situation about to get uglier. That’s when the administration reversed its earlier decision to send the illegal immigrants to California and instead, kept them in Texas.

The illegal immigration issue showcased the continuing debate between the Blue vs. Red counties in a state where its people are heavily divided. So divided, in fact, that there has been recent talk of splitting the state up into six separate states.

Murietta meeting, photo: Susan Knowles

Murietta meeting, photo: Susan Knowles

Murrieta’s recent stand, however, was a defining moment and a first for California, no matter which side of the debate you may find yourself on. Murrieta, was the first to tell the federal government, “No.”

It was surprising to say the least when a small town in California, of all places, stood up as those who love this country, and declared they were not going to take it anymore. Even Texas would have to admit that they never thought they would see that in California, especially not before Texas took a stand.

In a state, with a history of liberalism, you would expect a California city to be the first to ban fracking, as Beverly Hills recently did. You might also expect to find out that an elementary school in Calabasas, Calif., near Los Angeles, is the first school in the nation, to have an all vegan school lunch program. What better state would fit the stereotypical mold of these liberal agendas than California?

Also, Murrieta took its strong position without the support of its governor. Until recently, Gov. Jerry Brown had stayed out of the limelight on the topic of illegal immigration coming to his state from Central America.

Brown-Jerry-unkn-sourceBrown recently spoke out about the influx of illegal immigrants when he said, “We got a problem, and the only way we solve it is if Republicans and Democrats, if congressmen and congresswomen, work with the president to deal with a very difficult problem.” Brown went on to say, “And it’s a human problem. Not a problem for the next politician jumping on board to get himself ahead.” He concluded by suggesting that presidents from Central American be included in any discussions.

Brown’s response to the Central American illegal immigration issue is a far cry from when Brown dealt with a similar issue in 1975, during his first stint as governor of California. You may recall that immigrants of another country were being sent to California by the federal government. Back then, the country was Vietnam, not Central America.

Brown didn’t hesitate to stand up and tell the federal government, under Republican President Ford, how he felt about the immigration issue. Brown said that the federal government was trying to “dump Vietnamese on California. We can’t be looking 5,000 miles away and at the same time neglecting people who live here.” Many of today’s pro-amnesty protesters in Murrieta, who likely voted for Brown, might be surprised to know that he also tried to prevent planes carrying refugees from landing at Travis Air Force Base near Sacramento, Calif., not unlike what the pro-legal immigration protesters did in Murrieta recently when they stopped the buses from unloading in their city.

biden_indy_082310Even Joe Biden, a Senator at the time, complained about President Ford’s move to bring the Vietnamese to the U.S. He said the White House “had not informed Congress adequately about the number of refugees” coming to the U.S. Apparently, Murrieta isn’t allowed to feel the same frustrations toward the Obama administration as Biden once felt as a member of Congress toward the Ford administration.

In any event, the state of California remains sharply divided on the issue concerning the influx of illegal immigrants coming across its borders. Apparently, the Blue vs. Red controversy will live on in the Golden state for quite some time!

——-GB——-

Knowles-Freedoms-FlightSusan Calloway Knowles, is a licensed California psychotherapist, former practicing California attorney, author, and political/cultural blogger.

Her website is SusanKnowles.com. Susan’s book, a political fiction, is entitled Freedom’s Fight: A Call to Remember and is available on Amazon.

Susan can be reached by email at [email protected]

Photos: of Murrieta by Susan Knowles

© 2014, Susan Knowles. The Logo, Articles, and Photos (by Susan Knowles) are protected by U.S. Copyright Laws, and are not to be downloaded or reproduced in any way without the written permission of Susan J. Knowles. Copyright 2014 Susan J. Knowles All Rights Reserved.