USA Transnational Report 12-19-2015

USA Transnational Report


Our panel discusses this week’s politics and headlines…

Topics to be addressed

  • GOP Debate Debrief
  • Obama’s Trifecta of speeches this week, and the public is still spooked
  • Paul Ryan’s Budget Betrayal… worse than Boehner?
  • Saudi Arabia’s anti-terror coalition
  • Islamic indoctrination in our schools and universities

more . . .

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Getting Around Protected Rights

Constitution 03BY T.F. STERN

This past week many sites, to include The Federalist Papers Project, linked to a video of Congressman Trey Gowdy’s public hearings.  Acting on behalf of the American public he carefully and methodically destroyed Deputy Assistant Secretary Ms. Burriesci, representing the Department of Homeland Security, as government officials attempted to explain the ‘process’ by which American citizens could petition the government to restore rights which had been removed, those who’d been denied their right to own and purchase firearms, these same individuals who’d been placed on the Do Not Fly List.

Congressman Gowdy wanted to know more about the ‘process’; but what he really wanted was to remind Ms. Burriesci about a different ‘process’, one which was being ignored completely…

Congressman Gowdy thoughtfully explained his use of the word ‘process’ as he originally referred to it, to be more specific, the term is Due Process.  He reminded the witness that our constitution limits government’s ability to infringe on any individual’s God given inalienable rights without Due Process.

For clarification purposes, Ryan Williams’s entry to the 2010 Yale Law Journal defined this term and concept more precisely:

“In United States constitutional law, substantive due processis a principle which allows courts to protect certain rights deemed fundamental from government interference under the authority of the due process clauses of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution, which prohibit the federal and state governments, respectively, from depriving any person of “life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.” That is, substantive due process demarcates the line between acts by persons that courts hold are subject to government regulation or legislation and those acts that courts place beyond the reach of governmental interference. Whether the Fifth and/or Fourteenth Amendments were intended to serve this function continues to be a matter of scholarly as well as judicial discussion and dissent.”

Timothy Sandefur recorded in, The Right to Earn a Living: Economic Freedom and the Law, as published via the Cato Institute in 2010:

“In contrast, substantive due process aims to protect individuals against majoritarian policy enactments that exceed the limits of governmental authority—that is, courts may find that a majority’s enactment is not law, and cannot be enforced as such, regardless of how fair the processes of enactment and enforcement actually are.”

Trey Gowdy Congressman South CarolinaIn short, there are laws being enforced (far too many) which are outside of restrictions placed on government, restrictions intended to safeguard individual God given rights (or Natural rights) and it is important to remind those in government that they are not above the Constitution and have no such powers.   We are, after all, a nation dependent on the Rule of Law.

Let me insert a partial transcription of Congressman Gowdy’s efforts…

“What process is afforded a United States citizen before that person’s Constitutional right is infringed. That [The President] is fine with doing it with the Second Amendment.

My question is, how about the First? How about we not let them set up a website, or a Google account?

How about we not let them join a church until they petition Government to get off the list? How about not get a lawyer? How about the 6th amendment?

How about you can’t get a lawyer until you petition the government to get off the list? Or my favorite, how about the 8th amendment?

We’re going to subject you to cruel and unusual punishment until you petition the government to get off the list?

Is there another Constitutional right that we treat the same way for American citizens than we do the Second Amendment? Can you think of one?”

“The No-Fly List itself is a violation of Constitutional rights all by itself, but to use that illegal list as a way to snatch other rights away from the people is abhorrent and sets a dangerous precedent for the future.”

When our government tries to get around the Rule of Law as if it were outside of restrictions placed on it by the Constitution, at that time we can say without equivocation that tyranny has replaced our representative form of government.

Dan Riehl wrote an article the day after the San Bernardino premeditated attack in which Muslim Terrorists proudly admitted their association with ISIS and then murdered 14 Americans.  Riehl pointed out that Attorney General, Loretta Lynch, on behalf of the Department of Justice was more concerned about anti-Muslim rhetoric’s effect on those of that faith than the threat posed to the American public.

“Loretta Lynch, at a press conference yesterday, termed the San Bernardino shootings a “wonderful opportunity” to change the nature of police work: “We’re at the point where these issues have come together really like never before in law enforcement thought and in our nation’s history and it gives us a wonderful opportunity and a wonderful moment to really make significant change.”

The Obama administration continues to use any gun related tragedy as a means to launch additional gun control measures.  They went to extreme measures to cover this event, as with other shootings as if guns walked in and shot all those folks without a Muslim Terrorist holding those guns.

Obama has threatened to implement extreme gun control actions via Executive Order, effectively bypassing Congress.  If you put these two thoughts together we have a totalitarian effort (tyranny) to eradicate the 2nd Amendment; but also destroy freedom of speech as protected by the 1st Amendment.

So, back to Congressman Gowdy’s questions regarding our government’s attempts to get around the constitution, to get around inalienable God given rights and deny any American their right to own and bear arms, to express their thoughts without fear of government interference or imprisonment… to get around Due Process…

What part of Due Process, more specifically, what part of substantive due process do these department heads not understand?  (Really, you actually consider that a possibility?)   No, under the Obama administration there is a willful and calculated effort to get around the constitution.

David A. Patten, along with almost every other political correspondent, recordedBarrack Hussein Obama’s comments regarding the Constitution back when he was running for the presidency.

“Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama described the U.S. Constitution as having “deep flaws” during a September 2001 Chicago public radio program, adding that the country’s Founding Fathers had “an enormous blind spot” when they wrote it.

Obama also remarked that the Constitution “reflected the fundamental flaw of this country that continues to this day.”

Obama’s promise to America has been, and continues to be a great Transformation, to make it what (he thinks) it should be.  His actions support his promise.

America will no longer be a land of liberty; but instead will become a totalitarian communist state where your constitutional republic, your God given inalienable rights as set down by the Founding Fathers, and without question, Due Process and the Rule of Law will become a faded memory.

T.F. SternThe Moral Lib­eral’s Senior Edi­tor, T.F. Stern,is a retired City of Hous­ton police offi­cer, self-employed lock­smith, and gifted polit­i­cal and social com­men­ta­tor. His pop­u­lar and insight­ful blog, T.F. Sterns Rant­i­ngs, has been up and at it since Jan­u­ary of 2005.


Trump Seeks to Make Russia Great Again

By: Cliff Kincaid
Accuracy in Media

Donald Trump has hired an attractive young woman to spin the news in his favor. But it’s a difficult job, especially when a cold-blooded killer endorses your candidate. On CNN on Thursday night, Katrina Pierson attempted to soften the impact of the Russian president’s endorsement of—or high praise for—Trump for U.S. president.

“This wasn’t an endorsement,” she said. “This was simply just a powerful man recognizing someone in the United States running for president who is also a powerful man. It was not an endorsement.”

That “powerful man” in Russia is a former KGB spy whose regime is murdering innocent people in Ukraine and Syria. It is the same regime whose terrorists in Eastern Ukraine shot down a Malaysian airplane and killed almost 300 people.

Putin said about Trump, “He is a very flamboyant man, very talented, no doubt about that…He is the absolute leader of the presidential race, as we see it today. He says that he wants to move to another level of relations, to a deeper level of relations with Russia. How can we not welcome that? Of course we welcome it.”

It certainly sounded like something approaching an endorsement.

Trump provided a statement to ABC News saying, “It is always a great honor to be so nicely complimented by a man so highly respected within his own country and beyond.” Trump went on: “I have always felt that Russia and the United States should be able to work well with each other towards defeating terrorism and restoring world peace, not to mention trade and all of the other benefits derived from mutual respect.”

Highly respected? Does Trump not understand how the Kremlin manipulates the media and eliminates opposition political figures and independent journalists?

Trump’s reaction was more embarrassing than the news that “Bolshevik Bernie” Sanders, who is running for the Democratic presidential nomination, had honeymooned in the old Soviet Union. Based on his praise for Putin, who ran one of the successor agencies to the KGB before he became Russian president, Trump may turn out to be another billionaire more comfortable with the policies of the Democratic Party.

During the 2012 campaign, in the final presidential debate, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney called Russia “a geopolitical foe.” President Obama mocked him, saying Romney was stuck in the past. The Obama/Hillary Clinton policy was the Russian “re-set,” which was supposed to increase trade and political cooperation with the Putin regime. Instead, it set the stage for Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. Before that, in 2008, Russia had invaded its former Republic of Georgia.

Trump seems not to understand how the Obama/Clinton Russian policy failed.

In the current campaign, Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) has been strongly critical of Putin, calling him a “gangster” and “an organized crime figure who controls the government and a large territory.”

That territory is growing.

As a businessman himself, Trump should know that property rights are not respected in Russia and that most of the important business is concentrated in the hands of Putin’s former KGB associates and cronies. That makes his comments about developing a trade relationship with Putin even more incomprehensible.

Businessman Bill Browder, who ran an investment fund in Russia called Hermitage Capital Management, was forced to flee Russia after his assets were stolen. His lawyer, Sergei Magnitsky, was tortured and murdered, and his death has become an international symbol of human rights violations in Russia.

The evidence shows that Putin and his group of former KGB officers are looting Russia, consolidating their power, and eliminating through torture and murder anyone who gets in their way. Browder’s book, Red Notice, tells the story in detail. His website, Russian Untouchables, names the names of the Russian officials involved in the case.

A film that was shown on December 15 at the Newseum, “From Russia with Cash,” explains how Russian government figures seek to steal and launder their money abroad through real estate transactions involving shell companies.

Pierson told CNN that Trump’s acceptance of the Putin endorsement was made “in the context of fighting terrorism, fighting ISIS in the Middle East.” She said, “Vladimir Putin has stepped up. Many people do respect him for that, including Americans who may not like Vladimir Putin but they like the fact that he’s stepping up and taking action against ISIS.”

Pierson is a victim of the Russian propaganda operations being waged in the U.S. and other countries by such Kremlin outlets as Russia Today (RT).

Putin has “stepped up” to save the long-time Soviet/Russian client state of Syria. The other guest on the show, radio host Ben Ferguson, pointed out, “Putin is propping up Assad. You should understand that, so should Donald Trump.” But Trump apparently does not.

What’s more, the evidence indicates that Putin’s military has been targeting anti-Assad pro-Western rebel groups, not ISIS. In fact, British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond says pro-Assad military strikes have allowed ISIS “to seek advantage on the ground.” He said, “The majority of Russian air strikes continue to target Syrian opposition forces.”

ISIS itself has confirmed in one of its own publications that Russia is mainly targeting other groups, declaring that Russia is bombing “the allies of America” and that its intervention in Syria has “confused American analysts, think tanks, intelligence, and policy-makers.”

Trump has to be considered in the ranks of the “confused.”

In the wake of Trump’s gaffe during the recent debate, when he demonstrated ignorance about the nuclear triad, his acceptance of Putin’s endorsement may put this businessman in the ranks of official Russian dupes. In effect, the leading GOP presidential candidate has become captive to Moscow’s propaganda.

Once the voters understand how Trump has emerged as a stooge of Putin in the presidential race, his days as a serious candidate will be numbered.

“I’m like a really smart person,” Trump has said. This is the candidate who accepts praise from Vladimir Putin and returns the compliment, but says he doesn’t want Jeb Bush’s endorsement “because he is a low energy person and he does not represent strength, power and stamina, which are qualities our country desperately needs.”

It may be too late, considering the damage his comments have caused to his campaign and reputation, but Trump ought to devote some of his own energy to understanding how the Kremlin is waging a war of propaganda and disinformation regarding subjects like the wars in Ukraine and Syria. He should also read businessman Bill Browder’s book on corruption in Russia.


Make America Dumb Again?

By: Cliff Kincaid
Accuracy in Media

Asked during the debate which leg of the nuclear triad requires the most attention, Donald Trump said a few things about the danger of terrorists getting a nuclear weapon. Then, he added, “I think, for me, nuclear is just the power, the devastation is very important to me.” Two days before these words of wisdom were spoken by The Donald to a national television audience, I had gotten in the mail a copy ofMAD, my favorite humor magazine, with a parody of Donald Trump’s campaign that proclaimed, “Make America Dumb Again.”


Stupidity in the nuclear arena spells death for America.

I understand that MAD has a liberal bias and tends to focus its humor on conservatives and Republicans. But I couldn’t argue with the cover story on Trump, especially after it became clear in the debate that Trump didn’t understand what he was talking about. He sounded authoritative nonetheless. Moderator Hugh Hewitt had asked the question while noting, “The B-52s are older than I am. The missiles are old. The submarines are aging out.” The air, land and sea components of our nuclear forces are the three legs of the triad. Any serious presidential candidate should know that. Trump seemed to be out to lunch at the Trump Tower.

Trump has been good for a few laughs during the campaign, while making some serious points that others have been reluctant to make, especially on immigration. That helps explain his popularity. But announcing that “devastation is very important to me” is laughable when he was asked for a serious comment on weapons that could obliterate us. This is comic-book rhetoric that can’t be excused or forgiven.

Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) got a pat on the back from Trump for playing along with his buffoonery. But to the credit of Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), he followed upon Hewitt’s question with a serious treatment of the issue. Rubio said:

“First, let’s explain to people at home who the triad—what the triad is. Maybe a lot of people haven’t heard that terminology before. The triad is our ability of the United States to conduct nuclear attacks using airplanes, using missiles launched from silos or from the ground, and also from our nuclear subs’ ability to attack. And it’s important—all three of them are critical. It gives us the ability at deterrence. Now, some have become more critical than others; for example, the submarines. And that’s the Ohio Class submarine that needs to be modernized. The air component also needs to be modernized. The B-52, as someone earlier pointed out, is an outdated model that was flown by the grandparents of the people that are flying it now. And we need a serious modernization program as well on our silo-launched missiles. All three are critical for the defense of the country.”

Publications on both sides of the political spectrum were aghast over Trump’s declaration about the awesome power of nuclear weapons. The conservative National Review commented that Trump seemed “stumped” by the question and had responded by “stammering.” The Washington Free Beacon said Trump “appeared not to know” what he was talking about. The left-wing Rolling Stonesaid that “Trump had absolutely no idea what Hewitt was asking, and his answer was genuinely terrifying.” Kevin Drum of Mother Jones said, “I seriously want to hear anyone on the right side of the aisle defend Trump as a potential commander-in-chief after hearing this. Any conservative who still wants this guy as president has forfeited their last smidgen of credibility as anything more than a crude partisan hack.”

Trump’s comments are inexcusable because under the Obama/Hillary Clinton policies the United States has become more vulnerable to a Russian nuclear first strike. Hewitt’s question was a softball that Trump should have hit out of the park.

The increasing Russian nuclear threat must be one of the major issues of the 2016 presidential campaign. Stephen Blank, a Senior Fellow at the American Foreign Policy Council, wrote in July 2015 that “a critically important element of Russian strategy that we overlook at our and our allies’ peril” is “a continuing series of unilateral Russian violations of arms-control agreements and treaties with the United States and Ukraine.” He said, “The systematic dismantling of arms-control agreements through unilateral violations has become a consistent theme of Russian policy.” He added, “It’s a strategy of coercion and intimidation aimed at the West, and it’s meant to give Russia time to build up and improve its conventional and nuclear capabilities, and block both European integration and the sovereign choice of post-Soviet states.”

The Ukraine reference has to do with a 1994 memorandum signed by the presidents of Ukraine, the Russian Federation and the United States of America (under Bill Clinton); and the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. The memorandum deals with the former Soviet republic’s surrender of nuclear weapons in exchange for the major powers respecting its territorial integrity. The agreement, which was the basis for Ukraine joining the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, was later joined by China and France. Of course, Putin blatantly violated this agreement with his invasion of Ukraine.

Other violations of international agreements or treaties included the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty signed by President Ronald Reagan and Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev at a summit meeting in Washington on December 8, 1987. Senator Cruz notes that the Obama State Department has confirmed Russian violations of this treaty, but does nothing about it.

On October 7, 2015, at a Heritage Foundation event, I asked Dr. Mark B. Schneider, a Senior Analyst at the National Institute for Public Policy, about the growing Russian nuclear advantage over the U.S. I asked him whether the Russians are in a position where they could launch a nuclear first strike on the United States and survive a counter strike. Schneider, a former senior official in the U.S. Department of Defense, said, “Not today, but certainly the long term trends, the combination of U.S. force reductions and Russian deployments go in that direction…”

While the U.S. nuclear arsenal has been declining, the arsenals of Russia and other anti-American states keep growing. In October 22, 2015, testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Thomas G. Mahnken, Senior Research Professor and Strategic Studies Director of the Advanced Strategy Program at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, said, “The United States faces a growing and increasingly capable set of adversaries and competitors, including great powers such as China and Russia as well as regional powers such as Iran and North Korea…China and Russia possess growing ambitions and, increasingly, the means to back them up. They possess sizeable and modernizing nuclear arsenals and are investing in new ways of war that have been tailored, at least in part, to challenge the United States.”

He added, “North Korea appears to be developing a sizeable nuclear arsenal and the ability to deliver nuclear weapons against the United States. P’yongyang has also demonstrated a willingness to sell nuclear technology to other states, such as Syria. Iran has growing reach and influence in the Middle East. Its nuclear program is at best frozen; its missile program continues apace.”

Meanwhile, the Russian media are full of stories about how Russian President Putin is modernizing Russian nuclear forces and threatening a nuclear attack. Consider the story from Moscow mouthpiece Russia Today about how U.S. missile defenses are “incapable of withstanding a massive strike of Russian nuclear intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs).” The source is the commander of Russia’s Strategic Missile Troops, Colonel General Sergey Karakaev. RT reports that Russian military experts have determined that the U.S. could not survive “a swarm attack of the Russian nuclear triad.”

It seems like Putin and his military commanders have a complete understanding of why a nuclear triad is important.

The evidence is clear that Putin has a nuclear gun pointed at America’s head and we have little defense against it. We are getting weaker by the day. Bluster and bombast from Donald Trump won’t save us. What’s more, the United States may, even now, be succumbing to nuclear threats and blackmail. The latest news is that the Obama administration has decided that Russian/Iranian puppet Assad in Syria can remain in power. The U.S. policy of “regime change” has been abandoned now that Putin’s war planes have effectively obliterated many of the pro-Western, anti-Assad rebel groups. Russia’s military strikes have left ISIS largely untouched, so they can continue to plan terrorist attacks on the West, and Russian Muslims continue to leave their homeland by the thousands to join ISIS. It seems clear that Putin is stoking the conflict in the Middle East while extending his strategic position.

Republicans who want to be perceived as serious on national security should tell us in detail how they would challenge Putin’s Russia. Making America great again means taking on Russia before their triad eclipses ours and America is reduced to a burned-out cinder. The failure to save our nuclear deterrent would truly be mad, but not in the MAD magazine sense.