01/28/18

WATCH: Soros trashes President Trump, expects ‘Democratic landslide’ in 2018

By: Renee Nal | New Zeal

George Soros trashes President Trump at the World Economic Forum

George Soros trashed President Trump during a speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.  This was highly publicized. However, there are some creepy things Soros said that were not noted in the mainstream media.

While Soros appears to have a contentious relationship with Vladimir Putin, this is suspect. Neither are to be trusted. 

Here is his speech:

“Good evening. It has become something of an annual Davos tradition for me to give an overview of the current state of the world. I was planning half an hour for my remarks and half an hour for questions, but my speech has turned out to be closer to an hour. I attribute this to the severity of the problems confronting us. After I’ve finished, I’ll open it up for your comments and questions. So prepare yourselves.

I find the current moment in history rather painful. Open societies are in crisis, and various forms of dictatorships and mafia states, exemplified by Putin’s Russia, are on the rise. In the United States, President Trump would like to establish a mafia state but he can’t, because the Constitution, other institutions, and a vibrant civil society won’t allow it.

Whether we like it or not, my foundations, most of our grantees and myself personally are fighting an uphill battle, protecting the democratic achievements of the past. My foundations used to focus on the so-called developing world, but now that the open society is also endangered in the United States and Europe, we are spending more than half our budget closer to home because what is happening here is having a negative impact on the whole world.

But protecting the democratic achievements of the past is not enough; we must also safeguard the values of open society so that they will better withstand future onslaughts. Open society will always have its enemies, and each generation has to reaffirm its commitment to open society for it to survive. The best defense is a principled counterattack. The enemies of open society feel victorious and this induces them to push their repressive efforts too far, this generates resentment and offers opportunities to push back. That is what is happening in places like Hungary today.

NORTH KOREA

I used to define the goals of my foundations as “defending open societies from their enemies, making governments accountable and fostering a critical mode of thinking”. But the situation has deteriorated. Not only the survival of open society, but the survival of our entire civilization is at stake. The rise of leaders such as Kim Jong-Un in North Korea and Donald Trump in the US have much to do with this. Both seem willing to risk a nuclear war in order to keep themselves in power.

But the root cause goes even deeper. Mankind’s ability to harness the forces of nature, both for constructive and destructive purposes, continues to grow while our ability to govern ourselves properly fluctuates, and it is now at a low ebb. The threat of nuclear war is so horrendous that we are inclined to ignore it. But it is real.

Indeed, the United States is set on a course toward nuclear war by refusing to accept that North Korea has become a nuclear power. This creates a strong incentive for North Korea to develop its nuclear capacity with all possible speed, which in turn may induce the United States to use its nuclear superiority preemptively; in effect to start a nuclear war in order to prevent nuclear war – an obviously self-contradictory strategy.

The fact is, North Korea has become a nuclear power and there is no military action that can prevent what has already happened. The only sensible strategy is to accept reality, however unpleasant it is, and to come to terms with North Korea as a nuclear power. This requires the United States to cooperate with all the interested parties, China foremost among them.

Beijing holds most of the levers of power against North Korea, but is reluctant to use them. If it came down on Pyongyang too hard, the regime could collapse and China would be flooded by North Korean refugees. What is more, Beijing is reluctant to do any favors for the United States, South Korea or Japan– against each of which it harbors a variety of grudges. Achieving cooperation will require extensive negotiations, but once it is attained, the alliance would be able to confront North Korea with both carrots and sticks.

The sticks could be used to force it to enter into good faith negotiations and the carrots to reward it for verifiably suspending further development of nuclear weapons. The sooner a so-called freeze-for-freeze agreement can be reached, the more successful the policy will be. Success can be measured by the amount of time it would take for North Korea to make its nuclear arsenal fully operational. I’d like to draw your attention to two seminal reports just published by Crisis Group on the prospects of nuclear war in North Korea.

CLIMATE CHANGE

The other major threat to the survival of our civilization is climate change, which is also a growing cause of forced migration. I have dealt with the problems of migration at great length elsewhere, but I must emphasize how severe and intractable those problems are. I don’t want to go into details on climate change either because it is well known what needs to be done.

PRESIDENT TRUMP

We have the scientific knowledge; it is the political will that is missing, particularly in the Trump administration.

Clearly, I consider the Trump administration a danger to the world. But I regard it as a purely temporary phenomenon that will disappear in 2020, or even sooner. I give President Trump credit for motivating his core supporters brilliantly, but for every core supporter, he has created a greater number of core opponents who are equally strongly motivated.

That is why I expect a Democratic landslide in 2018.

My personal goal in the United States is to help reestablish a functioning two-party system. This will require not only a landslide in 2018 but also a Democratic Party that will aim at non-partisan redistricting, the appointment of well-qualified judges, a properly conducted census and other measures that a functioning two-party system requires.

FACEBOOK & GOOGLE

The IT monopolies I want to spend the bulk of my remaining time on another global problem: the rise and monopolistic behavior of the giant IT platform companies. These companies have often played an innovative and liberating role. But as Facebook and Google have grown into ever more powerful monopolies, they have become obstacles to innovation, and they have caused a variety of problems of which we are only now beginning to become aware. Companies earn their profits by exploiting their environment.

Mining and oil companies exploit the physical environment; social media companies exploit the social environment. This is particularly nefarious because social media companies influence how people think and behave without them even being aware of it. This has far-reaching adverse consequences on the functioning of democracy, particularly on the integrity of elections.

The distinguishing feature of internet platform companies is that they are networks and they enjoy rising marginal returns; that accounts for their phenomenal growth. The network effect is truly unprecedented and transformative, but it is also unsustainable. It took Facebook eight and a half years to reach a billion users and half that time to reach the second billion. At this rate, Facebook will run out of people to convert in less than 3 years.

Facebook and Google effectively control over half of all internet advertising revenue. To maintain their dominance, they need to expand their networks and increase their share of users’ attention. Currently they do this by providing users with a convenient platform. The more time users spend on the platform, the more valuable they become to the companies. Content providers also contribute to the profitability of social media companies because they cannot avoid using the platforms and they have to accept whatever terms they are offered.

The exceptional profitability of these companies is largely a function of their avoiding responsibility for– and avoiding paying for– the content on their platforms. They claim they are merely distributing information. But the fact that they are near- monopoly distributors makes them public utilities and should subject them to more stringent regulations, aimed at preserving competition, innovation, and fair and open universal access. The business model of social media companies is based on advertising. Their true customers are the advertisers.

But gradually a new business model is emerging, based not only on advertising but on selling products and services directly to users. They exploit the data they control, bundle the services they offer and use discriminatory pricing to keep for themselves more of the benefits that otherwise they would have to share with consumers. This enhances their profitability even further – but the bundling of services and discriminatory pricing undermine the efficiency of the market economy. Social media companies deceive their users by manipulating their attention and directing it towards their own commercial purposes.

They deliberately engineer addiction to the services they provide. This can be very harmful, particularly for adolescents. There is a similarity between internet platforms and gambling companies. Casinos have developed techniques to hook gamblers to the point where they gamble away all their money, even money they don’t have. Something very harmful and maybe irreversible is happening to human attention in our digital age. Not just distraction or addiction; social media companies are inducing people to give up their autonomy. The power to shape people’s attention is increasingly concentrated in the hands of a few companies.

It takes a real effort to assert and defend what John Stuart Mill called “the freedom of mind.” There is a possibility that once lost, people who grow up in the digital age will have difficulty in regaining it. This may have far-reaching political consequences. People without the freedom of mind can be easily manipulated. This danger does not loom only in the future; it already played an important role in the 2016 US presidential elections.

But there is an even more alarming prospect on the horizon. There could be an alliance between authoritarian states and these large, data-rich IT monopolies that would bring together nascent systems of corporate surveillance with an already developed system of state-sponsored surveillance. This may well result in a web of totalitarian control the likes of which not even Aldous Huxley or George Orwell could have imagined. The countries in which such unholy marriages are likely to occur first are Russia and China.

The Chinese IT companies in particular are fully equal to the American ones. They also enjoy the full support and protection of the Xi Jingping regime. The government of China is strong enough to protect its national champions, at least within its borders. US-based IT monopolies are already tempted to compromise themselves in order to gain entrance to these vast and fast growing markets.

The dictatorial leaders in these countries may be only too happy to collaborate with them since they want to improve their methods of control over their own populations and expand their power and influence in the United States and the rest of the world. The owners of the platform giants consider themselves the masters of the universe, but in fact they are slaves to preserving their dominant position. It is only a matter of time before the global dominance of the US IT monopolies is broken.

Davos is a good place to announce that their days are numbered. Regulation and taxation will be their undoing and EU Competition Commissioner Vestager will be their nemesis.

There is also a growing recognition of a connection between the dominance of the platform monopolies and the rising level of inequality. The concentration of share ownership in the hands of a few private individuals plays some role but the peculiar position occupied by the IT giants is even more important. They have achieved monopoly power but at the same time they are also competing against each other. They are big enough to swallow start-ups that could develop into competitors, but only the giants have the resources to invade each other’s territory.

They are poised to dominate the new growth areas that artificial intelligence is opening up, like driverless cars. The impact of innovations on unemployment depends on government policies.

EUROPEAN UNION

The European Union and particularly the Nordic countries are much more farsighted in their social policies than the United States. They protect the workers, not the jobs. They are willing to pay for re-training or retiring displaced workers. This gives workers in Nordic countries a greater sense of security and makes them more supportive of technological innovations than workers in the US.

The internet monopolies have neither the will nor the inclination to protect society against the consequences of their actions. That turns them into a menace and it falls to the regulatory authorities to protect society against them. In the US, the regulators are not strong enough to stand up against their political influence. The European Union is better situated because it doesn’t have any platform giants of its own. The European Union uses a different definition of monopoly power from the United States.

US law enforcement focuses primarily on monopolies created by acquisitions, whereas EU law prohibits the abuse of monopoly power irrespective of how it is achieved. Europe has much stronger privacy and data protection laws than America. Moreover, US law has adopted a strange doctrine: it measures harm as an increase in the price paid by customers for services received – and that is almost impossible to prove when most services are provided for free. This leaves out of consideration the valuable data platform companies collect from their users.

Commissioner Vestager is the champion of the European approach. It took the EU seven years to build a case against Google, but as a result of her success the process has been greatly accelerated. Due to her proselytizing, the European approach has begun to affect attitudes in the United States as well. The rise of nationalism and how to reverse it I have mentioned some of the most pressing and important problems confronting us today. In conclusion, let me point out that we are living in a revolutionary period.

All our established institutions are in a state of flux and in these circumstances both fallibility and reflexivity are operating at full force. I lived through similar conditions in my life, most recently some thirty years ago. That is when I set up my network of foundations in the former Soviet empire. The main difference between the two periods is that thirty years ago the dominant creed was international governance and cooperation.

The European Union was the rising power and the Soviet Union the declining one. Today, however, the motivating force is nationalism. Russia is resurgent and the European Union is in danger of abandoning its values. As you will recall, the previous experience didn’t turn out well for the Soviet Union. The Soviet empire collapsed and Russia has become a mafia state that has adopted a nationalist ideology.

My foundations did quite well: the more advanced members of the Soviet empire joined the European Union. Now our aim is to help save the European Union in order to radically reinvent it. The EU used to enjoy the enthusiastic support of the people of my generation, but that changed after the financial crisis of 2008.

The EU lost its way because it was governed by outdated treaties and a mistaken belief in austerity policies. What had been a voluntary association of equal states was converted into a relationship between creditors and debtors where the debtors couldn’t meet their obligations and the creditors set the conditions that the debtors had to meet. That association was neither voluntary nor equal. As a consequence, a large proportion of the current generation has come to regard the European Union as its enemy.

One important country, Britain, is in the process of leaving the EU and at least two countries, Poland and Hungary, are ruled by governments that are adamantly opposed to the values on which the European Union is based.

They are in acute conflict with various European institutions and those institutions are trying to discipline them. In several other countries anti-European parties are on the rise. In Austria, they are in the governing coalition and the fate of Italy will be decided by the elections in March. How can we prevent the European Union from abandoning its values? We need to reform it at every level: at the level of the Union itself, at the level of the member states and the level of the electorate.

We are in a revolutionary period; everything is subject to change. The decisions taken now will determine the shape of the future. At the Union level, the main question is what to do about the euro. Should every member state be required to eventually adopt the euro or should the current situation be allowed to continue indefinitely?

The Maastricht Treaty prescribed the first alternative but the euro has developed some defects that the Maastricht Treaty didn’t foresee and still await resolution. Should the problems of the euro be allowed to endanger the future of the European Union? I would strongly argue against it. The fact is that the countries that don’t qualify, are eager to join, but those that do qualify have decided against it, with the exception of Bulgaria.

In addition, I would like to see Britain remain a member of the EU or eventually rejoin it and that couldn’t happen if it meant adopting the euro. The choice confronting the EU could be better formulated as one between a multi-speed and a multi-track approach. In a multi-speed approach, member states have to agree in advance on the ultimate outcome; in a multi-track approach, member states are free to form coalitions of the willing to pursue particular goals on which they agree. The multi-track approach is obviously more flexible but the European bureaucracy favored the multi-speed approach.

That was an important contributor to the rigidity of the EU’s structure. At the level of the member states, their political parties are largely outdated. The old distinction between left and right is overshadowed by being either pro or anti-European. This manifests itself differently in different countries. In Germany, the Siamese twin arrangement between the CDU and the CSU has been rendered unsustainable by the results of the recent elections. There is another party, the AfD further to the right than the CSU in Bavaria. This has forced the CSU to move further to the right in anticipation of next year’s local elections in Bavaria so that the gap between the CSU and the CDU has become too great. This has rendered the German party system largely dysfunctional until the CDU and CSU break up.

In Britain, the Conservatives are clearly the party of the right and Labor the party of the left, but each party is internally divided in its attitude toward Brexit. This complicates the Brexit negotiations immensely, and makes it extremely difficult for Britain as a country to decide and modify its position towards Europe. Other European countries can be expected to undergo similar realignments with the exception of France, which has already undergone its internal revolution.

At the level of the electorate the top-down initiative started by a small group of visionaries led by Jean Monnet carried the process of integration a long way but it has lost its momentum. Now we need a combination of the top-down approach of the European authorities with the bottom-up initiatives started by an engaged electorate. Fortunately, there are many such bottom-up initiatives; it remains to be seen how the authorities will respond to them.

So far President Macron has shown himself most responsive. He campaigned for the French presidency on a pro-European platform and his current strategy focuses on the elections for the European Parliament in 2019 – and that requires engaging the electorate.

While I have analyzed Europe in greater detail, from a historical perspective what happens in Asia is ultimately much more important. China is the rising power. There were many fervent believers in the open society in China who were sent to be re-educated in rural areas during Mao’s Revolution. Those who survived returned to occupy positions of power in the government. So the future direction of China used to be open-ended; but no more.

The promoters of open society have reached retirement age and Xi Jinping, who has more in common with Putin than with the so-called West, has begun to establish a new system of party patronage. I’m afraid that the outlook for the next twenty years is rather bleak. Nevertheless, it is important to embed China in institutions of global governance. This may help to avoid a world war that would destroy our entire civilization.

That leaves the local battlegrounds in Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia. My foundations are actively engaged in all of them. We are particularly focused on Africa, where would-be dictators in Kenya, Zimbabwe and the Democratic Republic of Congo have perpetrated electoral fraud on an unprecedented scale and citizens are literally risking their lives to resist the slide into dictatorship. Our goal is to empower local people to deal with their own problems, assist the disadvantaged and reduce human suffering to the greatest extent possible. This will leave us plenty to do well beyond my lifetime. Let me end on this positive note and invite your comments and questions.”

Some of his comments can be viewed here:

READ MORE:

01/27/18

FBI takes on ‘Islamophobia’: White nationalism seen as bigger threat than jihadism

By: Leo Hohmann | LeoHohmann.com

Bushra Alawie is the FBI’s outreach to the metro Detroit area and gave a training workshop for local law enforcement Jan. 10 on “cultural education” about Islam. Screenshot/WXYZ

Two Michigan residents attended a BRIDGES meeting hosted by the Detroit office of the FBI recently that left them stunned by the level of Islamist infiltration at the Bureau.

BRIDGES is a quarterly FBI outreach program that stands for Building Respect in Diverse Groups to Enhance Sensitivity, whereby the FBI hosts workshops for law enforcement and various immigrant communities. They’ve been held in Boston, Detroit, Houston and Minneapolis-St. Paul and some city police departments host similar meetings on their own, without the FBI in attendance.

According to the FBI website, BRIDGES “brings together members of diverse communities and state, local, and federal law enforcement agencies to discuss issues and concerns within their communities.”

In southeastern Michigan, those diverse communities include an array of Islamic migrant enclaves, both Shia and Sunni, as well as Coptic, Chaldean and Assyrian Christians forced to flee their Middle Eastern homelands by the Islamic State and other jihadist groups.

The outreaches can sometimes go to bizarre lengths to demonstrate the FBI’s respect for Islam.

In St. Paul, for example, the FBI boasted in its Oct. 7, 2014 edition of the Law Enforcement Bulletin that the local police department “hosted its first halal cookout” with the Somali Muslim community.

The Jan. 10 BRIDGES meeting in Michigan serves as a fresh reminder of how the FBI has made a concerted effort to divert the eyes of law enforcement away from Muslim communities as potential breeding grounds for terror and refocus attention on “Islamophobic” American citizens.

The meeting, held at the Troy Police and Fire Training Center in Oakland County, an affluent suburb of Detroit, was described as “painful to watch” by two guests who attended.

Dick Manasseri, an activist with Secure Michigan and a resident of Oakland County, gained entry to the meeting by way of a guest invitation from the American Middle Eastern Christian Congress, a regular attendee. But he said he heard nothing about the plight of persecuted Middle Eastern Christians now living in Oakland County.

Instead, almost the entire hour-and-a-half meeting was spent focusing on Islamic religious and cultural practices and trying to debunk any derogatory information police officers may have received about Islamic ideology.

The FBI’s point person for this task was Bushra Alawie, a young female Muslim wearing a full head covering, or hijab. Alawie served in the Army National Guard and upon leaving the Guard in September 2016 the FBI hired her to be its “community outreach specialist” in Detroit.

The mother of four spoke confidently and without any trace of an accent during her presentation on Islamic “cultural education.”

“I get that initial look like, ‘is that really Bushra’ because of my visibly Muslim attire,” she told Detroit’s WXYZ-TV in 2016. “Immediately those rumors are dispelled and it’s business as usual.”

Alawie admitted in the WXYZ interview that her real mission at the FBI is not to ferret out tips and information useful in the apprehension of terrorists but rather it is to “combat Islamophobia.”

That just happens to be the same exact mission of the Muslim Brotherhood-offshoot Council on American-Islamic Relations, which has an entire division called the Department to Monitor and Combat Islamophobia. And while he did not attend the January meeting, CAIR’s Michigan chapter head, Dawud Walid, has a standing invitation to the FBI’s quarterly BRIDGES meetings in metro Detroit.

Also on the FBI’s invite list is CAIR’s former Michigan chapter leader, Muthanna Al-Hanooti, who was convicted in 2011 of conspiring to work for a foreign government, Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, and making false statements to the same FBI. Yes, that would be the same FBI which now courts him as a guest at its Detroit-area outreach meetings.

WATCH VIDEO: Meet Bushra Alawie, a Muslim woman working for the FBI

About that phrase “Allahu Akbar,” so frequently shouted during the commission of Islamic terrorist attacks, Alawie assured the police officers in attendance not to worry or give it a second thought.

According to her, “Allahu Akbar”:

  • Is said by Muslims 85 times a day
  • Was said by Jews and Christians before Islam began
  • Would be used to celebrate the birth of a child or in the prayer of a sick person
  • Is perfectly normal and not particularly associated with violent jihad.

She explained that “jihad” means:

  • An inner struggle – for her to “not eat cheesecake”
  • Higher jihad – inner struggle
  • Lower Jihad – to defend one’s property.

She mentioned that “Jihad” was even a name taken by Christian men on occasion and that there was an FBI employee of Palestinian descent whose name was Jihad.

According to Alawie, if we Americans understand these subtleties, then we will be well on our way to wiping out Islamophobia.

Where did the impetus for this FBI focus on Islamophobia come from? It certainly did not originate in Oakland County, Michigan, or even Washington. It’s international in scope.

“Combatting Islamophobia” has been a top priority, since at least 2005, of the United Nations and the Muslim Brotherhood-dominated Organization of Islamic Cooperation, a 57-nation group of Muslim-majority nations that makes up the largest voting bloc at the U.N.

The OIC adopted its 10-year Strategic Action Plan to Overcome Islamophobia in 2005, calling for nations to pass new laws “including deterrent punishments” for those guilty of Islamophobia. This crime was described as any speech that counters the OIC’s statement that “Islam is the religion of moderation and tolerance.”

This 10-year plan served as the basis for the 2011 U.N. Human Rights Resolution 16/18, which encourages every nation in the world to adopt hate-speech laws making “defamation of religion” a crime. There is only one religion, however, that seeks to punish people for speech deemed offensive to its members – Islam. Many nations in Western Europe, including the UK, Germany and Sweden obliged, as did Canada, and passed hate-speech laws geared toward punishing these vile Islamophobes.

It was also around this same time frame – 2010 to 2012 – that lesson plans in public schools across the United States started incorporating large sections on Islam, emphasizing it as a religion of peace and tolerance. Any teacher who resisted was an Islamophobe.

In 2013 the OIC opened an office in Brussels explicitly for the purpose of combatting Islamophobia in Europe.

In February 2017 U.N. Secretary General Antonio Gutteres cited “Islamophobia” as the fuel that has ignited the rise of global terrorism. This U.N. focus on Islamophobia came during the peak offensives of ISIS, al-Nusra and other jihadist groups conducting a genocide against Christian minorities in Iraq and Syria – exposing the global body’s agenda as more concerned about speech deemed offensive to Muslims than beheadings, rapes and mass-murdering of Christians.

Philip Haney, a former Customs and Border Protection officer who became a founding member of the Department of Homeland Security in 2003 and a member of the Advanced Targeting Team before retiring in July 2015, said the FBI did not get to the point of rolling out Bushra Alawie overnight.

When Haney tried to blow the whistle on Homeland Security ineptitude, he found himself the target of repeated investigations and harassment. A critical data template he developed to catch terrorists before they strike was erased from the DHS computer system. He was an Islamophobe.

Haney believes the term “Islamophobia” was created by the global Islamic movement to set up a watered-down version of the blasphemy laws that terrorize Christians and other religious minorities in the Middle East.

Instead of a stern-looking mullah or sheikh enforcing the blasphemy laws under penalty of death, the Muslims in the West use people like Bushra Alawie, who deliver the same warning with a smile, under penalty of losing one’s reputation and career.

“She wouldn’t have been given that platform under the old rules,” Haney said. “These concessions to Islam have been developing for a long time, and the fact that someone like her would be endorsed by the FBI and given that platform, it would never have happened without all those previous developments at the OIC, U.N., and the fervent work of Obama holdovers in the FBI.”

Scrubbing FBI training manuals

One of the more crucial developments came in 2011 – the same year the U.N. adopted Resolution 16/18. That’s when more than 50 Muslim organizations, many with ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, sent a letter to Obama’s then-deputy national security adviser John Brennan demanding he remove from FBI training manuals all references to Islam deemed offensive to Muslims. They also requested that the FBI and DHS rid themselves of all “biased experts” – people like Haney – and “immediately create an inter-agency task force to address the problem.”

Brennan and then-FBI chief Robert Mueller fell over like a stack of dominos. They immediately scrubbed the training manuals and began purging federal agencies of patriots with expert knowledge of Islamist ideology.

Instead of true terrorism experts, police would receive training from people like Bushra Alawie, the smooth-talking, hijab-wearing Muslim apologist with the contagious smile.

Since most local police chiefs get training from the FBI Academy, the same drivel that now passes for counter-terrorist instruction at the Bureau gets filtered down to police departments nationwide.

But Trump is rectifying all of this right? Unfortunately, no. All of the Muslim infiltrations of the government remain in place. Hiring a woman like Alawie to present an unrealistic view of Islam is the new normal at the FBI.

Other highlights from the BRIDGES meeting:

  • Troy Mayor Dane Slater welcomed the meeting attendees to the “most diverse city in Michigan.”
  • Troy Police Chief Gary Mayer, along with four of his senior officers, welcomed their federal counterparts from the FBI and witnessed the guidance provided by the FBI regarding the normalcy of “Allahu Akbar” and benevolent jihad.
  • Praise was offered for the Obama-appointed former U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade who was fired by Trump.
  • Examples offered of domestic terrorism repeatedly focused on white supremacist groups, who are seen as more dangerous than Islamic terrorism according to the teaching of the previous administration and the United Nations-endorsed Strong Cities Network.
  • The FBI’s special agent in charge of Detroit said there remains no clear motive for the Las Vegas massacre.
  • Mental health was injected as an explanation for violent activity per the Muslim Brotherhood playbook.
  • Celebration of the long-standing civil rights partnership between the FBI and the Muslim community was marked with recognition awards.

“Everything was about welcoming, welcoming, welcoming,” Manasseri said. “It was terribly discouraging, including when they talked about domestic terrorism and they kept coming back to white supremacism and how do you protect us from white nationalism? Stunning.”

To counter the false and incomplete training being given by the FBI, Manasseri has co-founded a project called Sharia Crime Stoppers in partnership with a retired police chief.

“The Muslim Brotherhood-managed FBI and its pandering to Islam at 60-plus BRIDGES meetings since the 9/11 terrorist attacks provides ample evidence that Michigan is already living under Sharia, even while it contemplates the candidacy of Sharia-compliant and Muslim Brotherhood-groomed candidate Abdul El-Sayed for governor,” Manasseri said.

El-Sayed is running on the Democratic ticket in Michigan’s 2018 gubernatorial race. CAIR’s Dawud Walid has already said, in an article for the Detroit News, that any questions to Muslim candidates about Sharia law are off limits. For any journalist or concerned citizen to ask such a question would be Islamophobic.

Leo Hohmann is author of the 2017 book “Stealth Invasion: Muslim Conquest through Immigration and Resettlement Jihad.” Donate to this website and help support his investigative reporting on topics most journalists are afraid to touch.

01/26/18

Egyptian regime: Closes many churches, Builds one cathedral

By: Dr. Ashraf Ramelah | Voice of the Copts

This Christmas Eve, January 6, Coptic Christians celebrated mass during the grand opening of the brand-new state-built Nativity of Christ Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in the state’s new administration district of Cairo. Those in attendance rejoiced the occasion while many rural villagers had no local church to attend. Cairo now has another (a third) cathedral, thanks to President Al-Sisi who is also responsible for the rise in church closings in 2017. This brings the total number of shut-downs for Christians to twenty-seven hundred.

Roughly half of all Orthodox churches in the country are nonoperational. This did not happen overnight. It was a gradual process beginning with the Nasser regime that continued through the subsequent Islamization of Egypt. In 2017, Law 80-2016 was enforced by the Al-Sisi regime so that all premises used for worship by Christians, yet still without permits, would be grandfathered in and issued one.  When all clergy around the country responded to the state’s request for comprehensive lists of churches for this purpose, local police instead used the master list to legally close them down. The Al-Sisi government never responded.

Last year, Copts experienced an increase in violence. A common thread in most cases was that police, if at all present, stood down or were nowhere to be found in crucial moments. This fact reflects poorly on Al-Sisi who has vowed to protect Christians. The final two weeks of December alone demonstrates their vulnerability after four years with a president who claims favor with the Copts.

Year-end terror targeting Copts

Approximately two thousand worshipers leaving a mosque ambushed a village church in the Giza governorate, north of Cairo, in order to stop the erection of a church bell (disallowed by law). It turned out to be a false accusation. Injuries to seven parishioners and damage to sacred property was a result of the weaponized use of wooden clubs, heavy rocks and steel bars. Satisfied, the attackers dispersed. Police patrols stood down and watched, then stepped in to board up the church.

Seven days later two men with bombs strapped to their bodies fired rounds from machine-guns and killed a church guard (uniformed police officer) during a church service south of Cairo in Helwan. Parishioners heard the rapid fire from inside the church and ran to lock the doors while the gunmen proceeded to kill ten Christians on the church grounds. One perpetrator was shot and killed by the church guard before the guard was in turn killed. The other spent ten minutes more at-large while police patrolled the perimeters and surrounding streets doing nothing to step in. Finally, a pedestrian snatched up the gun of the dead guard and shot the second perpetrator, injuring him. He was captured by civilians and handed over to police who suddenly appeared.

On New Year’s Eve two Coptic Christian men with their children stopped to visit a store owner and friend in Omranya, the suburban town of Cairo, on their way back home from a church service. Two masked gunmen who yelled slurs and curses at Christians opened fire and killed the two brothers. Traumatized, the children survived the bloody scene begging for their fathers.

Copts celebrating Al-Sisi in the new state cathedral

After a terrible year of violence and church closings, Copts who attended the Cairo cathedral’s Christmas Eve service paid homage to Egypt’s head-of-state. On what is normally a solemn religious occasion, congregants waved Egyptian flags and leapt over pews — yelling praise at the president upon the dais. The strictly conservative clergy allowed this commotion, making an exception in order for parishioners to celebrate the visiting president. Coptic support for Al-Sisi is at an all-time high as he approaches his re-election campaign in March.

Orthodox clergy including the pope overwhelmingly support the president. Symbolically, two gold framed poster-sized portraits of the pope and the president hung prominently side-by-side on the interior side wall of Nativity Cathedral. This is completely out of character for the church as the sanctuary only ever carries pictures of saints and never insinuates politics.

This violation of centuries-old Orthodox tradition represents the strong influence of the Islamic state and President Al-Sisi over the church and Pope Tawadros II. By all appearance, the pope is submitted to Islam and with him is the Orthodox body. He recently met with the Grand Imam and declared that while God protects Christians from heaven, “Muslims protect us in the earth.” His diplomacy apparently included the removal of his ever-present cross worn upon his chest so as not to offend Islam’s religious head. Is this the pope’s strategy to bring safety and peace to the Copts? If so, it’s not working.

The US Congress is aware of the bloodshed and so recently presented a bill to deal with the discrimination and oppression of the Egyptian Coptic minority. However, Pope Tawadros II condemned the American attempt to alleviate persecution of Christians by deeming it “interference” and not welcome. He is not the first pope to show his loyalty to the Islamic state and the regime, forsaking his people by appeasing their oppressors.

More and more Copts are beginning to openly criticize clergy statements and actions. In their observations and discussions of the pope resides a daring never before seen. Strong opposition and questioning can be heard within blogging circles. Although the discontented have both voice and sound reason, it is unlikely any sort of unified political voice will emerge in the near future for the Coptic community as long as the clergy fills this role.

01/26/18

What Could Push Oil To $100?

If anyone thought the latest oil market outlooks of the EIA and the IEA are upbeat, here’s an even more upbeat one from Energy Aspects: The consultancy expects crude demand this year to grow by 1.7 million bpd, and says Brent could touch above $100 a barrel in 2019.

According to Energy Aspects, the reason for the further jump in prices will be a drop in new production outside the U.S. shale patch. It’s a little hard to buy that, however, if one remembers that there is 1.8 million bpd in production capacity ready to be tapped again once OEPC and Russia taper their production cuts. That alone should take care of the demand growth that the consultancy predicts for this year. That is, unless it booms by 2 million bpd, which is the top of the range forecast by Energy Aspects. But even then, the U.S. and Russia alone could take care of it: The Russian state majors are itching to expand production in eastern Siberia.

Of course, the likelihood of OPEC and Russia bringing all that production online is highly debatable, as the partners in the cut deal seem still determined to continue with the original plan. Nevertheless, the barrels are there, so there’s no urgent need for actual new production yet. However, if global demand grows so much so quickly, does anyone have any doubts that the new, expanded oil cartel will be flexible enough to make the best of the situation? Hardly.

So how likely is this demand growth? According to Energy Aspects, there is currently “no real drag on demand growth.” The global economy is in growth mode, which lends strong support to the price momentum, and the short-term forecasts for the top consumers of crude oil are all bullish. Yet, there’s one potential drag: prices.

Here’s what Bloomberg Gadfly’s Julian Lee says: “Rising prices can have a chilling effect on demand growth, and benchmark crude prices have risen more than 55 percent since their rally started in June. End-user retail prices are feeling this.”

But that’s not all. While Lee acknowledges that higher prices at the pump will affect demand in Europe and North America, the effect of more expensive fuels will be much more palpable in developing nations, which are the main drivers of global growth, after all. There, Lee notes, governments used the oil price slump to reduce fuel subsidies, and now that prices have started climbing up again, the end-user price jump will be much higher. This will inevitably interfere with economic activity, potentially undermining that growth everyone is talking about.

And then there’s gas — the bridge fuel, the alternative. Both countries and oil majors are investing a large percentage of total capex in natural gas production and infrastructure, with China as the best example. Gas is cheap, the market is oversupplied and unlikely to swing into a deficit anytime soon, given the number of large-scale LNG projects in Australia coming online. True gas-fueled cars are few, and car fuels account for the biggest portion of oil demand. But higher prices are higher prices. Too high, and people start using public transport if it’s available.

But let’s forget about prices at the pump and the switch from oil to gas. Let’s talk about that economic growth that the IMF forecast in its latest World Economic Outlook and that so many consultancies are also predicting. There are voices being heard — including from the IMF itself — that the next recession is not far away.

In fact, according to some, such as Forbes’ Michael Lynch, a recession is pretty close by. Lynch uses an indicator he calls “more money than brains” to anticipate recessions. Describing it as “conspicuously ridiculous consumption”, he exemplifies it with the current fad of raw water. He also notes that the U.S. stock market is at historic highs. It is time for a correction, Lynch says, and he is not the only one. With a correction in stock markets and a slowdown in the economy of the world’s largest consumer, what are the chances of Brent hitting $100 a barrel? Slim.

Link to original article: https://oilprice.com/Energy/Oil-Prices/What-Could-Push-Oil-To-100.html

By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com

01/26/18

Fourth Quarter GDP Released At 8:30 AM

By: Kent Engelke | Capitol Securities

There is a strong probability the economy ended last year with the longest stretch of 3% or better growth since 2005. Consumer spending is solid. Business investment spending is accelerating. Housing is robust and rebounding. GDP is expected to rise by 3.0% after a 3.2% gain in the third quarter and 3.1% in the previous period.

I think the tax cuts amplified by an increase in monetary velocity should permit a first quarter growth rate in excess of 3.0%, the first such year of 3% plus growth since 2003-04. And then there is the dollar which is around three year lows, a decline that should make US products more competitive. Against this backdrop, JP Morgan’s Dimon is suggesting a 4% pace.

Wow! Growth at this rate would shatter all assumptions.

President Trump presents today at Davos, the first President to speak since President Clinton. President Trump is the antithesis of the leaders of Davos…economic nationalism versus globalism.

As I have commented several times, global leaders are still espousing multipolarity while their societies have endorsed economic nationalism. Many have pontificated China will fill the void as the US focuses domestically.

It is very evident why China has adopted this globalization philosophy. China is an export dominated economy defined as their growth is dependent upon the health and trading practices of the west, specifically the US. If the US changes philosophy, it has a major impact upon China. It is generally accepted an export dominated country is a sign of weakness not strength.

Commenting about global trade, global trade is thriving after Trump’s first year. Data is suggesting world trade rose by 4.1% in three-month year-on-year terms in November. Exports from the Euro zone are up almost 8% in 2017. Asian trade is up about 5%.

Is this a function of an accelerating US and global economies and from the recognition that Trump’s rhetoric is just where his words fall short from reality?

What I find interesting is that many are now expecting four interest rate hikes in 2018, the result of growing trade and accelerating global economies led by the US. A month ago, two rate hikes were all that was to be expected believing the Fed was off course with their forecasts of three.

If four hikes were to occur and if historical relationships are to be maintained, 2018 could be regarded as the worst year for Treasuries in over 50 years, eclipsing the 1994 fiasco when rates were then increased at a rate faster than expected. During 1994, the economy and profits expanded at a greater rate than expected, but equities were flat to down.

Commenting about yesterday’s market activity, averages were again bifurcated with the Dow posting a nominal advance and the S & P / NASDAQ flat.

Last night the foreign markets were up. London was up 0.41%, Paris was up 0.87% and Frankfurt was up 0.08%. China was up 0.28%, Japan was down 0.16% and Hang Sang was up 1.53%.

The Dow should open nominally higher ahead of Trump’s 8:00 AM speech and 8:30 GDP data. The 10-year is off 7/32 to yield 2.65%.

01/26/18

#TRUMPDreamers?? Lindsey Graham confident Trump will agree to DACA Amnesty

By: Renee Nal | New Zeal

BIZARRO WORLD: Lindsey Graham tweeted this meme on January 25 2018.

On Friday, South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham tweeted a video of himself with a group of illegal alien activists. In the tweet, Graham breathlessly reports: “Great to speak with these young people who will be #TRUMPDreamers.”

#TrumpDreamers???

Perhaps Graham missed the memo, but Americans voted for Trump in part because of his strong stand against illegal immigration. Additionally, Americans voted for this president due to their intense distrust for the Republican establishment of which Lindsey Grahamnesty is firmly entrenched.

Today, he doubled down, using the insanely out-of-touch and seriously offensive hashtag:

It appears that Lindsey Graham, an establishment republican and well-known amnesty advocate, is confident that President Trump will make a deal that will grant amnesty to DACA recipients and most likely, their families.

What Lindsey Graham MUST know is that the push for DACA Amnesty is a highly organized, decades-old goal of a chilling and little known organization called NAKASEC.

NAKASEC (and their Chicago affiliate HANA Center) was founded by fugitive activist Yoon Han Bong who fled from South Korea during the May 18th Gwangju People’s Uprising of 1980 and became a “primary contributor to the progressive Korean American grassroots movement.” 

Yet here he is.

https://twitter.com/krcla/status/954502104504250370

 

The question is: Is it possible to be any more out of touch than Lindsey Graham? It is this author’s fervent hope that President Trump stops listening to this man.

READ MORE:

01/25/18

George Jetson And Today’s Markets

By: Kent Engelke | Capitol Securities

Several years ago, I attended a lecture given by the last man who walked on the moon. Eugene Cernan’s comments centered upon the dangers of extrapolating the past into the future. The example he used was air travel, commenting jet travel has changed very little since 1950; however the changes in air travel from 1940 to 1950 were exponential. Yes, safety has improved since 1950, but the basic mechanics defined as speed and altitude have not.

I vividly recall him talking about the 1960’s cartoon The Jetsons with many believing this is how society would travel in 50 years. He also mentioned Disney World’s Carousal of Progress where that iconic attraction extrapolated current travel advances into the future that has yet to materialize.

What does the above have to do with the markets? Everything. Many believe the current advances in technology will continue ‘To Infinity and Beyond’ quoting Buzz Lightyear. Have the limits been reached and the valuations of the must owned technology names far exceeded the most exuberant expectations?

Yesterday at the Davos Conference, Saudi Arabia echoed Continental Resources, Exxon, BP, Conoco Phillips, etc. opinions’ that fracking has reached its technological limits. The exponential gains have been achieved and the technology advances, hence production increases, are slowing considerably.

Returning back to Cernan’s lecture, Cernan commented this extrapolation of the current is typical with any new technology.

I think this perspective is pivotal especially in today’s environment of passive/index investing where the current is believed to last indefinitely. As noted many times, today’s geopolitical changes are tectonic. Moreover, a thirty-five-year bull market in bonds is over. I adamantly believe that this is not reflected in the markets.

Fortunes will be made and lost in the next 10 years and perhaps the only definitive statement to make is that change will occur quickly, the catalyst being the one that no one has yet discussed.

Speaking of possible change, equities yesterday experienced a bout of volatility not experienced in many months. At one time, averages were posting considerable gain then considerable losses. Averages eventually ended mixed as the NASDAQ was down about 0.61% and the S & P 500 was flat.

What will happen today?

Last night the foreign markets were mixed. London was up 0.16%, Paris was up 0.49% and Frankfurt was up 0.15%. China was down 0.31%, Japan was down 1.14% and Hang Sang was down 0.92%.

The Dow should open nominally higher as the markets await the outcome of the ECB monetary policy discussions. Oil is again higher following a record number of weeks of inventory drawdown and the acknowledgement of global unrest that may impact production. The 10-year is unchanged at 2.64%.

01/24/18

Baseball Hall of Fame and Sour Grapes

By: T.F. Stern | Self-Educated American

With winter comes the inevitable doldrums while awaiting Spring Training.  In only three short weeks pitchers and catchers from every team will report to get things going as the 2018 season promises to bring a smile back on our faces.  We can only watch so many repeats of The Natural, For Love of the Game, Major League, The Rookie and of course The Pride of the Yankees; couldn’t leave that one out, before we go stark raving mad.

(Image courtesy of MLB via Wikipedia)

I noticed on one of the social media forums an interest in who should or shouldn’t be considered as candidates for induction into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Everyone has a favorite ball player and reasons why each deserves that highest of honors; but then again there are just as many who would argue, some vehemently, that because of ‘this, that or the other’ certain players should never be considered (Sour Grapes?).

A few names come to mind on the ‘this, that or the other’ list of players; those who’ve done something unforgivable, an unpardonable sin against the game which banishes them into outer darkness; well, maybe not quite that far; but certainly keeps them out of Cooperstown.

Start with everyone’s favorite bad guy, Pete Rose, who committed the unpardonable sin of betting on baseball games.  Never mind that he might well be one of the best players to ever put on a uniform…that’s not to be considered; he violated a rule so that’s it, he’s out  (Sour Grapes?).

A couple of others stick out; Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds.  Their names are sullied due to the ‘alleged’ use of banned substances that may or may not have lifted their natural abilities to such an extent as to make their careers stand out.  In the case of Bonds there was also his use of a specially designed arm hinge which ‘may’ have assisted his ability to lift the ball at just the right trajectory to get it over the wall and out of almost any stadium.  So if you mix that with physical enhancement steroids you can become a home run junkie (Sour Grapes?).

Then there’s Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire; both could knock the cover off of a baseball; but was it their own strength or was it due to steroid use?  Sosa also got caught with a corked bat when it snapped in half during a game (Sour Grapes?).

I’m sure the list could be extended with lots of names; ball players who for one reason or another ‘fell from grace’ with a portion of the public.  These individuals will never get the 75% of votes required as they appear on the ballot form.

Here’s my solution; a way of honoring the dishonored if you will.

Create a special room at Cooperstown, call it the Asterisk Room (that’s a joke, I say, that’s a joke… in honor of the 61* attached to Roger Maris by those who couldn’t stand his hitting one more Home Run than Babe Ruth; …but of course he did have more games to do it in).

In this Asterisk Room (Sour Grapes Room) we could identify the great players who totally screwed themselves from being in with all the other truly great players.  Custodians responsible for cleaning and maintenance are going to love the new annex as they clean spit off the glass more often; some folks never forgive or forget.  That said; these players deserve a place in Cooperstown.

I got through the entire article and never once mentioned the hair brained idea of speeding up the game to keep fans interested…oh please; don’t get me started.

01/24/18

The “Compact” Gimmick to circumvent the Powers granted to Congress by Article V

By: Publius Huldah

The supremacy clause at Article VI, clause 2, US Constitution, says:

“This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.”

Two bills, SJR 31 & HJR 49, which purport to provide for the selection and control of “commissioners” to an “interstate convention” for “proposing amendments” to our federal Constitution, have recently been filed in the Virginia General Assembly.  The bills assert that such an “interstate convention” is authorized by Article I, §10, clause 3; the 10th Amendment; and Article V of our Constitution.

As shown below, the bills are unconstitutional because they seek to circumvent Article V, and are not encompassed within Article I, §10, clause 3, or the 10th Amendment.  Under the supremacy clause, they would be struck down.

I. What Article V says about amending our Constitution

Article V says:

“The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing amendments…”

Our existing 27 Amendments were obtained under the first method:  Congress proposed them and sent them to the States for ratification or rejection.

We’ve never had a convention under Article V – they are dangerous!  If Congress calls an Article V convention, our existing Constitution could be replaced with a new Constitution which sets up a completely new structure of government. 1

Nevertheless, the People granted to Congress at Article V the power to “call” a convention; and to the Delegates to the convention, the power to “propose amendments”. 2

Yet the Convention of States Project (COS), in brazen disregard of the plain meaning of Article V, has long insisted that the States “call” the convention; the States propose the amendments for the convention to rubberstamp; and the States will have total control over the Delegates to the convention.

SJR 31 & HJR 49 are an implicit admission that we who oppose an Article V convention have proved our point:  Congress really does “call” the Convention; and pursuant to its grant of power to “call” the convention, Congress really is granted by Article I, §8, last clause, the power to make all laws “necessary and proper” to carry out the powers granted to Congress by Article V; and the States actually have no power over an Article V convention – except to ask Congress to “call” one. 3

The Congressional Research Service Report dated April 11, 2014 likewise reflects Congress’ clear awareness that it alone has the power to organize and set up an Article V convention. The Report says:

“First, Article V delegates important and exclusive authority over the amendment process to Congress…” [page 4]

“Second . . . Congress has traditionally laid claim to broad responsibilities in connection with a convention, including . . . (4) determining the number and selection process for its delegates; 4 (5) setting internal convention procedures, including formulae for allocation of votes among the states; . . .” [page 4] [italics added]

And contrary to COS’s previous assurances that the States would have total control over an Article V convention, the CRS Report says on page 27:

“In the final analysis, the question what sort of convention?” is not likely to be resolved unless or until the 34-state threshold has been crossed and a convention assembles.”

In other words, we’ll have to get a convention before we know what the Delegates are going to do!

II. The new Gimmick to circumvent Congress’ powers under Article V

SJR 31 & HJR 49 make the bizarre claim that Article I, §10, clause 3, which says:

“No State shall, without the Consent of Congress … enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State…”

is really talking about an “interstate convention” for the States to meet and “propose amendments” to our Constitution!

First of all, our federal Constitution doesn’t address “interstate conventions”! 5 State and local governments and private organizations may hold nationwide conventions (gatherings) on an endless list of matters: trade shows, book fairs, sports events, high school marching band contests, agricultural fairs, meetings of County Sheriffs, whatever they like!  And they don’t need permission from Congress.

Secondly, a “Compact with another State” within the meaning of Article I, §10, clause 3, is separate, distinct, and totally unrelated to the Article V convention called by Congress for the purpose of addressing our federal Constitution. “Compact”, as used in Article I, §10, clause 3, means binding agreements or contracts between States which deal with state matters. Traditionally, “compacts” have been used to resolve such matters as boundary disputes between States; and may be used to address various other issues between States. 6

Article V governs amendments to our Constitution – not Article I, §10, clause 3!  Virginia may not lawfully set up any gimmick to circumvent the powers granted by Article V to Congress.  And Congress may not lawfully approve a “compact” which violates our Constitution!

Thirdly, SJR 31 & HJR 49 claim the 10th Amendment gives States the power to hold an “interstate convention” to propose amendments to the Constitution.  Rubbish!  The 10th Amendment addresses powers “reserved to the States…or to the people.”  It is inapplicable here because no powers respecting an Article V convention were reserved to the States: The People granted to Congress the power to “call” an Article V convention; and to the Delegates, the power to “propose amendments”.  The only power the States have is to ask Congress to call the convention.

Once the requisite number of States has applied to Congress, it’s out of the States’ hands.  Pursuant to Article I, § 8, last clause; 7 Congress has the power to make all laws necessary and proper to carry out its power to “call” the convention.  And then, our Fate is in the hands of the Delegates; and they can do whatever they want – as they did in 1787.

III. The new Gimmick attempts to circumvent the Plenipotentiary Powers of the Delegates

to an Article V Convention.

Article V shows on its face that the convention is the deliberative body.  The Delegates hold the Power to “propose amendments”; or, to do what our Framers did at the federal “amendments” convention of 1787 (invoke the 2nd paragraph of the Declaration of Independence) and write a new Constitution which creates a new government.

So, while the States are free to propose amendments to their Congressional Delegations [and this is what James Madison advised]; 8 the States have no authority to dictate the amendments to be proposed at the convention called by Congress.

And as shown in “Why states can’t prevent a runaway convention” and “Delegates to an Article V Convention can’t be controlled by state laws!” attempts to control Delegates with “unfaithful delegate” laws are laughably ineffective.

Apparently, the convention lobby  now concedes that “unfaithful delegate” bills won’t work, since with SJR 31 & HJR 49, they attempt to circumvent the plenipotentiary powers held by Delegates to an Article V convention, by fabricating a new kind of convention (meeting) out of  Article I, § 10, clause 3!

IV. The solution is to enforce the Constitution we already have

Americans don‘t know what our Constitution says and don’t care what it says. They want what they want; and elect politicians like themselves. The politicians made a mess. To fix the mess, Americans must read our Declaration of Independence and Constitution, and enforce them with their votes and by repudiating unconstitutional federal programs.  State and local governments must enforce our Constitution by renouncing federal funds to implement unconstitutional programs and by nullification. See also James Madison’s specific suggestions on how States & Citizens can resist federal usurpations.

End notes:

1 This is why Brilliant Men (Madison, Hamilton, four US Supreme Court Justices, and other eminent jurists and scholars) have warned against another convention.  And this flyer sets forth the Facts of the federal “amendments convention” of 1787 at which our existing Constitution was drafted to replace our first Constitution (the Articles of Confederation).

2 The issue in U.S. v. Sprague  (1931) was whether the 18th Amendment (Prohibition) should have been ratified by conventions in each State instead of by State Legislatures. The Supreme Court held that Article V “is a grant of authority by the people to Congress” and that the people “deliberately made the grant of power to Congress in respect to the choice of the mode of ratification of amendments.” Accordingly, Congress had authority to select ratification of the proposed 18th Amendment by State Legislatures instead of by conventions in each State.

3 THIS handy chart lists who has the power to do what respecting an Article V convention.

4 Congress is under no obligation to permit States to participate in the Convention.  Congress has the power to appoint its own members, federal judges, or whomever else they want as Delegates!

5 “Convention” has several meanings. It can be a meeting or gathering, such as a national convention of County Court Clerks or architects; or it can refer to a treaty with foreign countries, such as the Hague and Geneva Conventions on the laws of war.  The author of SJR 31 & HJR 49 may have fallen victim to the Fallacy of Ambiguity since he slips and slides between the two meanings.  “Compact” in Art. I, §10, cl. 3, means “agreement” or “contract” – not meetings!

6 E.g., States could properly enter into “Compacts”, within the meaning of Art. I, §10, cl. 3, wherein they agree to prohibit waste being discharged into a River shared by them; or respecting the construction of a hydroelectric dam on the River.  Even though the federal government has no delegated authority to deal directly with such issues; the requirement of Consent by Congress to such Compacts is proper because States situated above or below the proposed dam could be affected by the dam.

Neither the Federalist Papers nor Madison’s Journal of the Federal Convention of 1787 set forth what our Framers meant by “compacts” at Art. I, §10, cl.3.  Here are two secondary sources: The Evolving Use and the Changing Role of Interstate Compacts: A practitioner’s guide, by Caroline N. Broun & Michael L. Buenger (see pages 1-9 for the historical basis of “interstate compacts”).  See also Justice Story’s “Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States” (1833), Book 3, Ch. 35, §§ 1395-1403.

7 Former law professor and pro-convention operative Rob Natelson’s statements to the contrary are untrue.  See “Rob Natelson perverts the Necessary and Proper Clause and thinks in circles”.

8 E.g., Madison’s letter of Nov. 2, 1788 to Turberville (pages 297-301) at the end of Madison’s point 2 [and then read Madison’s point 3!]