Tag Archives: Supreme Court

Bill Lockwood: LBJ Steals An Election-But Did America Learn? 4 (1)

by Bill Lockwood

The year is 1948. The man is Lyndon Baines Johnson, an operative of ruthless power with no moral compass to guide him. The arena is the Democratic Primary for a Senate seat vacated by W. Lee (Pappy) O’Daniel. Opposing him for that seat in the U.S. Congress is Coke Stevenson, a strict conservative who boasted he had “never voted for a tax bill.” Stevenson was the product of the hills of Texas, had been a cowboy, a country lawyer, and spent time as a freighter.

The lesson that follows is pertinent to America in 2021: it is a story of stuffing ballot boxes, stealing an election, and twisting the Constitutional system completely out of shape. Did America learn?

LBJ Goes to Washington

Richard Kleberg, of King Ranch fame, had been elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from the 16th District in south Texas in 1931. Accompanying him to Washington was his secretary, LBJ. Once there LBJ, ever the wheeler-dealer, became solidly in the New Deal socialistic camp of FDR. “The devious ways of Washington were duck-soup” to LBJ.  In 1935 FDR put him over that boondoggle of a program, the National Youth Program.

In 1937, after resigning from the NYP, Johnson became a Congressman from Texas’ 10th Congressional District. LBJ was unsuccessful in a 1941 bid for a Senatorial seat that Pappy O’Daniel eventually won. Coke Stevenson became governor of Texas that same year.

However, in 1948 O’Daniel decided not to re-run for Congress, which set the stage for a Democratic Primary contest between LBJ and Coke Stevenson. Coke was popular in Texas, and the New Dealers were his enemies by principle. LBJ was a leading socialist, supported by FDR, the Washington establishment, and the Brown & Root Texas contractors whose war-time contracts had become a scandal in itself. Also in LBJ’s corner was George Parr, a multi-million-dollar criminal whose profits from illegal liquor, gambling establishments and houses of prostitution landed him in jail. He became a huge power-broker in south Texas after his incarceration.

Perhaps the saddest part of the saga is that the New Deal socialism had already begun showing its deleterious effects on the American people by means of a steady erosion of character with its sordid appeal to the most selfish traits of human nature.  Ideological confusion was the order of the day, class warfare had begun in earnest and hatred was growing—the full flowering of this one can witness today.

Jim Wells County

Just west of Corpus Christi, Texas is situated Jim Wells County with its county seat being the community of Alice. With the voting in the Democratic Primary being extremely close on July 24, Johnson was behind. Stevenson’s lead began to dwindle, however, as more precincts reported. Then, Johnson votes began to “magically appear.” Yet, Stevenson maintained a lead by a mere 349 votes and election officials declared him the winner. But the “counting” was not finished.

Johnson calls George Parr, the “Duke of Duval” County, whose family machine controlled much of the politics in south Texas. Parr told Johnson “not to worry.” Jim Wells County “re-canvassed the votes” and by September 3, Jim Wells County called in a 200-vote change that gave Johnson an 87 vote-lead.

The State Democratic Executive Committee convened in Fort Worth before their official meeting time, their subcommittee having already met in Austin, and they said they accepted the votes from “Box 13”—Jim Wells County. As R. Cort Kirkwood noted, Coke “Stevenson wasn’t fooled.”

Stevenson, the man who taught himself bookkeeping by campfire light and had caught rustlers with friend and now Texas Ranger Frank Hamer, traveled personally to Jim Wells County to check the vote tallies. Hamer went with him, along with two lawyers. They went to the bank in Alice and demanded to see the records which were kept in a vault. Parr’s henchmen, armed with Winchesters, were guarding the bank. Neither Hamer nor Stevenson were intimidated.

Once inside the bank an election official allowed them to see the election records where the evidence was in plain sight that the entire election had been stolen. Looking at the poll list, they found that 200 names had been added to the list, all in the same handwriting, all in alphabetical order, all written in blue ink—which was distinct from the black ink in which the other names had been registered. They had their proof.

An LBJ crony, Judge Roy Archer in Austin, however, gave an injunction against Stevenson and Hamer and forbad the County Committee to meet. Friends in high places. The counter attack came to a standstill. Stevenson appealed to a Federal Court where Judge T. Whitfield Davidson presided.

When Davidson heard the evidence from Stevenson’s lawyers and had listened to LBJ’s attorneys, he became at one point personally enraged against the LBJ team. Not only were Stevenson’s contentions completely unchallenged, but LBJ’s lawyers, in typical liberal fashion, spent all of their time berating Stevenson on a personal level for being a “poor loser.” Judge Davidson cut them short. “There has not been one word of evidence submitted!” he thundered against the LBJ team. He put off the final decision until September 28.

LBJ’s connections to the “powers that be” seemingly knew no bounds, however. Perhaps it is simply that socialism creates its own fraternity. Be that as it may, Hugo Black, the former Ku Klux Klansmen, and ardent supporter of the New Deal, now on the bench at the Supreme Court, issued a sweeping order in behalf of Johnson and ending the hearings in Davidson’s court in Ft. Worth.

Judge Davidson, knowing that the Supreme Court had no jurisdiction in this matter—it being a State primary over a party nominee–nevertheless was forced to close shop. “The US Supreme Court has altered my opinion,” quipped Davidson, “but it hasn’t changed my mind.”

Johnson goes to Washington as Senator, later as President. His Great Society finished establishing the New Deal socialism into America as a ubiquitous nightmare.

What Are We to Learn?

Lessons come hard for “we the people.” Vote stealing, stuffing ballot boxes, loss of integrity of the election process—it has been occurring for a long time, generally at the hands of socialists who intend to change America, trashing the Constitution in their wake. We are seeing the same thing today, only now it appears to have swept the entire nation, placing Joe Biden where he should not be.

More importantly, America is now encased in a socialistic cage which has all but destroyed our nation. The Welfare State in which we currently live has entrenched globalists and Marxists in positions of power while at the same time gnawing the morals and ethics of people like an aggressive cancer eating away the organs of a body. Citizens hardly know the difference between government theft and redistribution and personal charity, and frequently put the former for the latter.

Perhaps most pertinently, the alternative conservatives seek of recourse to the Court system to stop the onslaught against freedom is a placebo. Oh, there may be a few court wins here and there. But look at the big picture.

We live in an unconstitutional welfare state—with the imprimatur of the Court system. God has been exiled from classrooms and public places—thanks to activist courts. Murdering the unborn continues unabated—by “rights” invented by the Court. Homosexual marriage has been installed as a legitimate civil union—once again by the Court, overstepping the will of the people. California itself has had ballot initiatives successfully voted on by the citizens of the state—against same-sex marriages and another denying taxpayer funding to illegals—both to be cancelled by activist courts and judges. Self-rule by citizens is effectively dead. We live in a black-robed oligarchy.

Add to this now that censorship of conservatives is on steroids; we have no effective border any longer; and Marxists rule in Washington behind chained-linked fences. Will we ever see freedom again? Will the Court System save us? Hardly.

Maybe instead of “waiting for the next election,” of which the integrity is in serious question anyway, it is time to drive toward State Sovereignty by Nullifying at a State Level federal unconstitutional laws. If our state representatives and senators have not the backbone for this, then perhaps a people’s move toward secession is in order.

Bill Lockwood: Christian Nationalism? 5 (3)

by Bill Lockwood

A new bogeyman has supposedly made an entrance in the American scene: Christian Nationalism. Multitudes of Christians – specifically white people who support the Republican Party platform–are said to be in its clutches. The Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF), a humanist organization that attacks all things Christian, co-founded by atheist Dan Barker and whose board boasts rabid anti-Christian heavy-weights such as Richard Dawkins and Daniel Dennett, summarized what the concept means in a 2007 article by Michelle Goldberg.

She explains that it is a political ideology masquerading as a faith. Christian Nationalism basically holds that America was founded as a Christian nation, that the founders never intended to separate church and state, and that church/state separation is a lie and a fraud perpetrated by secularists in the last 100 years, which has to be undone so America can reclaim its ‘former glory.’

Christian Nationalism is the charge against those who believe America was founded as a “Christian Nation.” Goldberg worries that “this movement” seeks to “Christianize all the institutions of American life, from the schools to the judiciary to the federal government, the presidency, Congress, etc.” A similar screed by FFRF (10-14-19) blasted former Attorney General William Barr with “Christian Nationalism” for referring to the values upon which our nation was founded as “Judeo-Christian” ethics.

A 2017 booklet entitled Christian Nationalism in the United States, edited by Mark T. Edwards, a professor of US History and Politics at Spring Arbor University in Michigan, likens Christian Nationalism to the belief that America is a “Christian Nation,” even when the verbiage itself is absent. The accusation includes that even in the early 19th century, “lettered men and women were ‘reinventing’ the United States as a Christian nation. Outspoken Christian nationalists like Justice Joseph Story joined [Alexis de] Tocqueville in solidifying the Pilgrims and the Puritans as the foundation of religious and political liberty present in antebellum America.”

Kevin Kruse, professor of history at Princeton University, in his book, One Nation Under God (2015), makes the identical accusation against conservatives. George S. Benson, long-time president of Harding University, is heavily criticized for having advanced the cause of “religious nationalism.” The thesis of Kruse’s book is that America was “re-branded” as a “Christian Nation” in the 20th century. The chief culprits for such a plot were the religious professors, conservative politicians, and preachers, including Harding’s National Education Program, headed by Benson.

Fred Schwarz, the Baptist preacher from Australia who began the Christian Anti-Communism Crusade, who worked in the same fields as did Benson’s NEP, is also called out by Kruse for pressing “religious nationalism.” As a matter of fact, the NEP’s model of a nation which is founded upon a “Fundamental Belief in God,” is singled out by Kruse for harsh criticism as being completely erroneous (p. 71).

The Christian Nationalism charge was picked up by Christianity Today in an article by Michael Horton (What Are Evangelicals Afraid of Losing? 8-31-2018). In it he lambasts preachers and professors who are on board with President Trump’s “America First” agenda as, “courting political power and happily” allowing “themselves to be used by it.” “This always happens when the church confuses the kingdom of Christ with the kingdoms of this present age. Jesus came not to jump-start the theocracy in Israel, much less to be the founding father of any other nation.” That which is “at stake” here, according to Horton, is “whether evangelical Christians place their faith more in Caesar and his kingdom than in Christ and his reign.”

Christian Nationalism in the churches of Christ?

From here the idea has been uncritically picked up and repeated in articles by members of the churches of Christ. In a blog entitled, For King, Not Country, Brian Casey (7-8-2020) informs us that “’Christian Nationalism’ is a contradiction in terms. ‘God and country’ is a misleading amalgamation.” “Things get very confused as Christian and national identities are blended indiscriminately and ignorantly. The mixture is so toxic to the Christian life…”

He introduces the article by criticizing with heavy-hand Harding’s George Benson for the mistake of confusing the church and the country. “…he promulgated the false marriage of the Kingdom of God (and the ideal of Harding) with the political machine of the United States. The National Education Program became the center of conservative political activism.” The madness in America today could have been avoided, says Casey, if Benson “not merged” nationalistic ideals” with “Christianity.”

Benson, the tireless missionary to China and president of Harding College, according to Casey even confused evangelism for Christ with “making America safe for democracy.” This is an “ill-blended mindset,” he intones.

Now comes The Christian Chronicle with articles written by Bobby Ross, Jr. (10-30-2020; 1-13-21) which carries the same ill-informed charges of Christian Nationalism against members of the churches of Christ who happen to be conservative Trump supporters. Interviewed in the articles are a number of ministers and church workers. The recent rash of attention on the topic is supposedly because some Trump supporters rioted and broke into the Capitol building on January 6. But that wrong-doing merely highlights a much more sinister sin, per these ministers.

Jeremie Beller, congregational minister of the Wilshire church of Christ in Oklahoma City and adjunct professor at OCU, repeats the Michael Horton charge (Christianity Today) that “Christian nationalism is the intertwining of the Kingdom of God with the kingdoms of men.”

Tanya Smith Brice is the dean of the College of Professional Studies at Bowie State University in Maryland. She gravely warned that Christian Nationalism is a “form of civil religion that places one’s earthly citizenship above one’s obligation as a follower of Christ.” Those who do this “falsely” give to a “nation-state a Messianic identity.” The “nation-state” is seen as the “primary mechanism for ‘saving’ human history.”

Tanya Smith Brice, who is black, now levels the racist charge. “White evangelicals are more likely to support the oppressive class and behaviors of our current federal administration than those who don’t identify as White evangelical.” She then remarks, “Christian nationalism has become inextricably linked with White Supremacy.”

Lee Camp, professor of theology as David Lipscomb University, goes so far as to say that this Christian Nationalism is “idolatry.”

Melvin Otey, former U.S. Justice Department trial lawyer for the Obama Administration and law professor at Faulkner University, says that “People believe that being an American or being a patriot or being a part of a political party is part of their faith. It absolutely is not. That’s what keeps people divided.” He admonishes with words of the apostle Paul, that we are “citizens of heaven.” Says Otey, “we have too many people in the church who aspire to be Christian Republicans, Christian Democrats …Their alliances and their allegiances are not first and foremost to Christ.”

Divided allegiances; white supremacy; confusing the church with Americanism; mistaking missionary activity for Christ for Americanism; idolatry invented in the 20th century—a heavier list of dark sins is hard to be found.

What Shall We Say to These Things?

First, America was founded as a Christian Nation. This is no “re-invention” by later generations, for the Founding generation spoke almost with one voice on this topic. It is noteworthy that celebrated authors such as Kevin Kruse of Princeton, in his One Nation Under God, hardly takes a glance at what the founding generation of Americans actually said. He assumes that in the mid-20th century the entire concept was invented, and he moves forward from there.

When our Founding Fathers referred to this nation, as “Christian Nation,” as did John Jay, one of authors of Federalist Papers, they did not intend that this be understood in the sense that an official church had been established, or that a “Theocracy” was in place, but rather that the principles upon which our republic rests were Christian in origin. Benjamin Morris, a second-generation American, in surveying the mass of material on this topic, summarized:

“Christianity is the principle and all-pervading element, the deepest and most solid foundation, of all our civil institutions.  It is the religion of the people—the national religion; but we have neither an established church nor an established religion.”

Some of founders even referred to America as a “Christian Republic.” That generation demonstrated this by the fact that they adorned public buildings with biblical symbols such as Moses crossing Red Sea; or Moses holding tablets of stone carved on the building of the Supreme Court; or that the state papers of the Continental Congress that are filled with Christianity.

One of the formative laws of the United States, listed in the U.S. Code, is the Declaration of Independence. It reads more like a theological statement that a political thesis. Our republic posited that rights come from God and that the single role of government is to protect what God gave us, inclusive of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The Republic itself is an outgrowth of Christian principles.

Roger Sherman, from Connecticut, one of the most influential of the founders, having signed not only the Declaration of Independence, but the Articles of Confederation as well as the Constitution. He wrote to Samuel Baldwin in 1790 that “his faith in the new republic was largely because he felt it was founded on Christianity as he understood it.”

Joseph Story, a jurist who served on the Supreme Court during the founding era and wrote the first lengthy Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States, commented as follows:

Probably at the time of the adoption of the Constitution, and of the amendment to it now under consideration, the general, if not the universal sentiment was, that Christianity ought to receive encouragement from the state, so far as was not incompatible with the private rights of conscience and the freedom of religious worship. An attempt to level all religions, and to make it a matter of state policy to hold all in utter indifference, would have created universal disapprobation, if not universal indignation.

The Supreme Court in numerous cases has referred to this as “A Christian Nation.” Most notable is the 1892 case entitled The Church of the Holy Trinity v. The United States. Here the Court packed its decision with a litany of precedents from American history to establish “this is a religious people, … this is a Christian Nation.”

The First Amendment, which states that “Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion …” simply forbade the establishment of an official National Denomination in the sense of a state church supported by federal taxes. Fisher Aimes, who offered the wording of the Amendment, makes clear from his original version that “religion” meant “a single Christian denomination.” This is also how Thomas Jefferson understood the Amendment in his comment upon it in which he used the phrase “separation of church and state.”

Even Justice Anthony Kennedy in 1989 expressed the same.

It was never intended by the Constitution that the government should be prohibited from recognizing religion …The Christian religion was always recognized in the administration of canon law, and so far that the law continues to be the law of the land, the fundamental principles of that religion must continue to be recognized … (County of Allegheny v. ACLU, 492 U.S. 573).

The charge therefore that our Founders desired “Christian Nationalism” because they spoke of a Christian Nation reveals a fundamental misunderstanding. The modern pretension misfires completely by suggesting that some of our brethren have been guilty of “re-inventing history” when they point to a Christian foundation of America.

Second, the blanket charge that great evangelists of modern times, such as George Benson, somehow confused the kingdom of God, or heavenly reward, with a Christian America is flagrant falsehood. I challenge any of these who make such an outlandish charge to produce one statement from Benson or James D. Bales, who also worked for the National Education Program, or any other prominent evangelist such as Baptist Fred Schwarz, who has made any statement that remotely resembles these accusations.

The truth is, our modern-day professorships completely misunderstand the concept of a Christian Nation. The reason our founders desired to have a nation established on a Christian principles was that it provided—for the first time in modern history—a zone of order established upon the fundamental concepts that God provided us our rights, including life, liberty, and property—that the government was merely an institution designed to protect those rights.

And instead of inventing charges of “Christian Nationalism” against fellow Christians, as if someone somewhere wishes to establish a theocracy where an official State Church would rule, I would like one of these ministers to take in hand to defend how a Christian can in any way subscribe to the Democratic Party platform, that enshrines as a principle the destruction of innocent human life through infanticide and abortion and champions the practice of sodomy in our land. It would be interesting to hear one of these professors defend supporting a political platform that sounds as if had been written by King Herod.

Professor Otey’s rebuke is that Christians are “citizens of heaven.” The logical conclusion to that argument in this context is that one should not be involved at all in anything that partakes of civil government. Yet, he is one who continually calls for “conversations” about “race” in the church. What does “race” have to do with being a citizen of heaven? (Gal. 3:28). Apparently there are things about which he thinks we should be concerned as citizens of the United States as well.

Politics is nothing more than the organizing of human society and its institutions upon certain principles. Why should not Christians desire biblical principles to help regulate conduct at various societal levels? The apostle Paul’s ultimate citizenship was in heaven, but that did not stop him from appealing to his Roman citizenship (Acts 22) and ultimately to Caesar (Acts 25) to prevent miscarriage of justice in civil society.

Earlier Paul had been beaten with rods—unjustly by Romans in the city of Philippi. When the magistrates of the community discovered his Roman citizenship they were fearful and invited him to leave quietly (Acts 16:22ff). The apostle would have none of it. He utilized his Roman citizenship to his own benefit. “They have beaten us in public without trial, men who are Romans, and have thrown us into prison; and now are they sending us away secretly? No indeed! But let them come themselves and bring us out.”

Did Paul do wrong to press his Roman citizenship and fair treatment in Roman society? Should we have remonstrated with him that his “citizenship is in heaven” and not to worry about such matters? Was Paul “blending his Christian and national identities,” in the words of Brian Casey? Was he “conflating” Roman citizenship with being a citizen of heaven?

There is nothing more erroneous about speaking of a Christian Nation than of a Christian Family. What is a Christian family? It is one where biblical principles are implemented. Does that mean it is a perfect family? Is this family absent of sins committed by mother, father, children? No. But the principles there taught we recognize as Christian and refer to it as a Christian family. No one objects by suggesting that the entire family has not been baptized into Christ, or that not every family member is a Christian. But we still recognize what is a Christian family. So also a Christian nation.

More importantly, shall we say that when someone uses the phrase “Christian family” that we have “conflated the concepts of heaven and the family?” Have we laid ourselves open to the charge that we have “confused the Lord’s church with the family?” The answer is obvious. Brother Benson and others who worked with the NEP merely recognized that just as a godly, Christian family is more conducive in which to rear children to love and respect God, so also the nation.

Cultural Marxism

Third, perhaps the most dangerous element revealed of the above critiques of Christian Nationalism is that they are born of Cultural Marxism. Classical Marxism, revealed in The Communist Manifesto, written by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, is rooted in atheism. This atheistic creed demands that the sole factor that determines a person is his economic status. A person thinks and moves as he does because of the class into which he is born.

Society is divided between the bourgeois (land-owners, middle-class) and the proletariat (the workers, who do not have property to sell, but only their labor). Between these classes there is an inevitable class struggle. This is the dialectic. People are not considered as individuals, but as part of a class.

The Italian philosopher, Antonio Gramsci (1891-1937), built on Marx’s materialistic base and developed the concept of “cultural hegemony” meaning that the dominant ideology of society reflects beliefs and interests of the ruling class. Nicki Lisa Cole, Ph.D. explains:

Cultural hegemony refers to domination or rule maintained through ideological or cultural means. It is usually achieved through social institutions, which allow those in power to strongly influence the values, norms, ideas, expectations, worldview, and behavior of the rest of society.

Cultural hegemony functions by framing the worldview of the ruling class, and the social and economic structures that embody it, as just, legitimate, and designed for the benefit of all, even though these structures may only benefit the ruling class. This kind of power is distinct from rule by force, as in a military dictatorship, because it allows the ruling class to exercise authority using the “peaceful” means of ideology and culture.

Gramsci would argue that “consent to the rule of the dominant group” in a nation is achieved by the “spread of ideologies—beliefs, assumptions, and values—through social institutions such as schools, churches, courts, …” The dominant values in America—designed solely to maintain power of this class—is white male heterosexual.

To Gramsci’s Marxism the founders were only “a group of white men” constructing a government to protect their own cultural dominance. So also today. Laws in America supposedly reflect whiteness; the proof of this is the fact that minorities comprise the majority of prison populations. The assumption is that white America—the dominant culture– is racist. Hence, Cancel Culture rages in our streets.

Tanya Brice Smith’s blanket charge of sin of White Supremacy among Trump supporters is nothing less than this cultural Marxism. An entire class of people—white males—are guilty. Period. No need for evidence or fact. It just is. White people may insist continually the opposite of these things, but to no avail.

Cultural hegemony also explains why Jim Wallis, the “spiritual advisor” to Barack Obama, lambasted America by saying that “Racism is America’s Original Sin.” Sin attaches to white people because of whiteness. Again, no proof necessary. Whites are guilty. Lamentable as it is, now there are black preachers among us who will sound more like Jim Wallis than the Apostle Paul. Some suggest white people have “racism” in their “DNA.” Again, no proof necessary before a bar of justice. Just assume and blast away. Cultural Marxism.

It is indeed a sad day in America when preachers of the gospel of Christ will be more about beating the drums against an entire culture that has provided the greatest freedom to preach since the days of Adam and Eve. And that a Christian paper would allow these types of blanket Marxist-style charges indicting a large portion of the brotherhood of Christians shows how far we have gone.

Bill Lockwood: It is the Mammoth-Sized Government Which Destroys Lives 4 (1)

by Bill Lockwood

Whatever one may think about the United States’ Government leaders’ involvement in bringing about the 1930’s Depression, the crisis was certainly used by the Democratic left to usher us into an unconstitutional era of Big Government intrusion. And it is this mammoth-sized government which, in the name of assisting the poor, crushes the lives and liberties of citizens.

Amity Shlaes, in her new masterful recounting of Lyndon Johnson’s socialistic Great Society programs, provides ample proof that big government erodes freedom. Her book, Great Society: A New History, documents how the do-gooders of yesteryear in reality “shackled millions of families in permanent government dependence.”

Setting the American people on the course of entitlement dependency – which is dependency upon government confiscated taxpayer money– Lyndon Johnson practically “precluded” a return to constitutionalism. One particular episode perfectly illustrates the destructive force of bureaucracy. It is the formation of the Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and its implementation of “urban renewal.”

Destroying Families

As with its precursor, the Federal Housing Administration, HUD began using public monies to bribe the local communities to establish local housing authorities as receptacles to receive and dispense funds. As with all funds funneled through the federal government, these federal monies now controlled the projects themselves. One can see even today that every element of social and private life is controlled by Uncle Sam.

Illustrative of this is the fact that when massive housing structures such as Pruitt-Igoe in St. Louis were built, only “welfare families were entitled to the lowest rents.” But to receive welfare in Missouri a family could have only one parent—normally, the mother. The government itself thus incentivized single-parent families. Where there were two-parent families, a mom and dad, many of these families actually “lost a father” in order to move into Pruitt-Igoe.

“’The stipulation was that my father could not be with us,’ recalled a former tenant, Jacquelyn Williams. ‘They would put us into the housing projects only if he left the state.’” The social workers even policed apartments at night, checking to see if father had secretly returned, grounds for eviction. Williams remembered this all her life. “We’re giving you money, so we have the right to make stipulations as to how you use it.”

Confiscating Private Property—Evicting Citizens

Next, “the only way to make grand-scale building possible [for public housing] was for the authorities to condemn and claim large swaths of private land.” For this they used the old doctrine of “eminent domain.” “Under the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution, this was the taking of private property for ‘public use.’” This was specifically constructed by the Founders for military and other public purposes.

But Johnson “began to bulldoze whole sections of cities, and then hand the land with its rubble to private developers. In Detroit, the violence to old neighborhoods was especially great.”

Black Detroit in the 1940’s and 1950’s lived packed in areas known as Paradise Valley and Black Bottom. The main retail thoroughfare, Hastings Street, was legendary, known the nation over because it was frequented by the singers and agents who later gave the country Motown music. Stores, churches, and homes stood tightly together, sometimes tightly enough to be called ‘slums,’ but often containing a vibrant life, much loved by the inhabitants.

However, liberty is lost in Big Government schemes, and regardless of what was and was not loved by the people who actually lived there, in “the eyes of the government, Black Bottom looked like blight. To the eyes of the auto unions and the Big Three automakers, pedestrian zones were a threat: highways that replaced sidewalks represented not only modernity but job security and high company share prices.”

The bulldozers leveled it all. Room was made for “public housing towers, for [Walter] Reuther’s Lafayette Park and for freeways. “Families had been herded into tall, anonymous apartment buildings, or had simply disappeared.” Hundreds of thousands of Americans, many poor or black, were evicted in this way.

Such grandiose government on the scale of Lenin was taken to court by home and business owners who resented the confiscation of their properties. As a matter of fact, both sides appealed to the Supreme Court. The homeowners and the government. In its decision, Berman v. Parker, Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas “stretched the old concept of eminent domain like a rubber band.” His words are remarkable for the disdain of individual rights and the Constitution.

“’Public welfare,’ Douglas wrote, equating ‘public welfare’ with public use, should be ‘broad and inclusive.’ Authorized agencies could make their decisions about what to take freely.”

“’It is not for us to reappraise them,’ Douglas said. Douglas concluded by handing over his rubber band to government authorities. ‘If those who govern the District of Columbia decide that the nations’ capital shall be beautiful as well as sanitary, there is nothing in the Fifth Amendment that stands in the way.’”

Shlaes points out that more than 600,000 Americans were displaced by this totalitarian process.

Predictably, Johnson’s socialistic utopia of urban renewal failed. The vacancy rate of Pruitt-Igoe in St. Louis was at 23.9 percent and 29.3 percent, much higher than in the free market. Poor maintenance meant that elevators jammed, windows were regularly broken by wild youngsters, gangs of thugs lurked in the halls, and the entire community surrounding it became a sorry joke. Even the architect hired by Johnson, Minoru Yamasaki apologized publicly for Pruitt-Igoe.

In the end one cannot but draw the conclusion that it is the government itself which destroys lives. Pruitt-Igoe a perfect illustration.

Bill Lockwood: Socialism is the Gradual Loss of Freedom 4 (1)

by Bill Lockwood

Private property is an essential element of man’s freedom. Biblical injunctions not to steal (Exodus 20:15) imply the right to private property as an extension of my labor. And, people have a right to enjoy the fruit of their labor. Frederic Bastiat, the French economist and statesman (1801-1850) summarized God-given rights as “Life, Liberty and Property” and noted that these do not exist because men have made laws. On the contrary, life, liberty and property existed before hand which caused men to make laws in the first place.

Cultural turmoil begins when “the Law” or its enforcer—the “government”–turns into an instrument of plunder to redistribute my earnings to others. This is precisely what has occurred in America. Amity Shlaes, in her new book, Great Society: A New History, recounts that during Lyndon Johnson’s implementation of his socialist welfare-state “Great Society,” one of the modernist thinkers involved with his administration was Charles Reich, a young law professor at Yale and former clerk to the liberal Supreme Court justice Hugo Black.

“To help the poor, Reich turned old property rights arguments on its head…Payments [of welfare] were a right, not a privilege. Reich called what the poor or old received ‘new property.’” In other words, government assumed the right to decree that other people have a right to my private property—the fruit of my labor. This is the essence of the Welfare State.

Bastiat reflected on this perversion—for perversion it is. “It is impossible to introduce into society a greater change and a greater evil than this: the conversion of the law into an instrument of plunders.” This insight reaches right into the current political climate of the American welfare state proudly trumpeted by both parties, Democrat and Republican.

If one doubts that outright plunder is occurring in America fostered by the government itself, just try Bastiat’s test. “See if the law takes from some persons what belongs to them, and gives it to other person to whom it does not belong. See of the law benefits one citizen at the expense of another by doing what the citizen himself cannot do without committing a crime …”

Our institutions of welfare, HUD housing, Medicaid, Medicare, green energy, public education, suggested reparations, even quota systems in hiring, firing, and punishment–and a host of other programs of which time would fail to list– are all results of plunder by the federal government—and all completely unconstitutional.

Consequences

What are the consequences when this occurs?

“In the first place, it erases from everyone’s conscience the distinction between justice and injustice. No society can exist unless the laws are respected to a certain degree. The safest way to make laws respected is to make them respectable. When law and morality contradict each other, the citizen has the cruel alternative of either losing his moral sense or losing his respect for the law.”

Exactly. Talk today about “social justice” is nothing but just that—talk. It is not “justice” neither is it sociable.

Second, and most importantly here, this creeping socialism equates to a gradual loss of freedom. When decisions of the individual are supplanted by decisions from the government, this is a loss of freedom. “Powerful government, by its very nature, always has and always will tend to make itself more powerful and more dictatorial” (The Ethics of Capitalism: A Study in Economic Principles and Human Well-Being, Chamber of Commerce of the United States: Washington, D.C., 1960). “When government gains control over the livelihood of individuals, national planning can only be carried out by subjecting the lives of individuals to control or regimentation.”

What inevitably occurs in this type of a climate is the decline of enterprise which entails the loss of inventiveness and improvements. “It means less variety in life, and variety is a large, although often unrecognized, element in a high standard of living.” Like a huge snake coiled around the breast of a person that gradually squeezes out the life, so socialism does to a nation.

In his blockbuster book, The Problem with Socialism, professor Thomas J. DiLorenzo, exposes how this slow fade in the economy worked in Sweden when socialists implemented their plans. “Socialism nearly wrecked Sweden, and free market reforms are finally bringing its economy back from the brink of disaster.”

Starting in the 1930’s, Swedish politicians became “infatuated with fascist-style, socialist ‘planning.’ … Government spending as a percentage of GDP rose from what would today seem a relatively modest 20% in 1950 to more than 50% by 1975. Taxes, public debt, and the number of government employees expanded relentlessly. Swedes were, in essence, living off of the hard work, investments, and entrepreneurship of previous generations.”

America has unfortunately, copied the Swedish model. But what happened in Sweden? The Scandinavians could not avoid economic reality. “It is impossible to maintain a thriving economy with a regime of high taxes, a wasteful welfare state that pays people not to work, and massive government spending and borrowing.”

By the 1980’s, Sweden’s collapse of economic growth and a government attempt to jump-start the economy with a massive expansion of credit resulted in “economic chaos” complete with stock market bubbles that burst, and interest rates “that the Swedish central bank pushed up to 500 percent.” By 1990 Sweden had fallen from fourth to twentieth place in international income comparisons.”

It is a slow road back for Sweden. And the same will be for America. But the point remains that socialism resembles a slow bleeding of prosperity, liberty, and right to property.

Bill Lockwood: Shelby Steele’s White Guilt-How Blacks and Whites Together Destroyed the Promise of the Civil Rights Era 4.5 (2)

 

by Bill Lockwood

Shelby Steele came of age in the “radical ‘60’s”—when America’s character began to fall apart. Personally moving from a position of “black anger” to a mature conservatism over the years, he presents an incisive and clear diagnosis of America’s most pressing cultural problem—race. (White Guilt: How Blacks and Whites Together Destroyed the Promise of the Civil Rights Era)

Steele begins with personal experiences of segregation in the 1950’s wherein “white supremacy” was the norm and moves the reader through the current morass wherein “white guilt” now controls the narrative in America. “White guilt” is Steele’s characterization of the primary cultural concept that has been absorbed by the majority population. This was because of historical wrongs to black America, such as slavery and segregation.

Steele uses the term “disassociation” to explain how “white guilt” continues to drive the political and cultural agenda in the western world. By “disassociation” Steele references the continuing effort of white America to distance themselves from the racism of America’s past. Everything from public policy to collegiate admissions to housing and social behavior has been dictated by this disassociation or “white guilt.” Unfortunately, explains Steele, this is a complete hijacking of the civil rights movement of the 1960’s.

Eisenhower, Clinton, and Johnson

Steele begins his diagnosis with the observation that President Bill Clinton politically survived his sexual immorality with Monica Lewinsky. But that sexual scandal would have destroyed the presidency of Dwight Eisenhower. On the other hand, the rumor was that Eisenhower used the “n word” in referring to blacks; but Bill Clinton would never have survived had he done that.

So what changed? Morality has become relativistic in America– but “there is no moral relativism around racism, no sophisticated public sentiment that recasts racism as a mere quirk of character” (p. 5). Even the hint of “racism” is enough to destroy one’s career. Steele finds the answer to all of this in Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society programs. Two years before Johnson launched the Great Society he stated in the famous Harvard University speech, “You do not take a person who, for years, has been hobbled by chains and liberate him, bring him up to the starting line in a race and then say, ‘You are free to compete with all the others.’”

Johnson’s Great Society, however, has had a deleterious if not disastrous effect upon the culture of America. It has embedded the assumption that though there may have been racism against blacks in the past, the white culture continues to be racist and operates upon that reality. Everything occurring now in America is seen by the main stream culture as through this prism.

Effects of the Great Society

What are some of the effects of this assumption? First, responsibility has been removed from black America. Johnson’s “Great Society was … a redistribution plan for responsibility by which he asked white America to assume considerable responsibility for black achievement” (p. 53). At the same time white America lost its moral authority “to enforce a single standard of responsibility for everyone because—by its own admission—it had not treated everyone the same.”

In slavery, blacks were not free, “but they were not entirely responsible for their lives” (p. 46). The Great Society ingrained this same principle into the black community—no responsibility. We are witnessing the results of this on the streets of America today.

Blacks have little or no responsibility to do well in school. Since African-Americans have been victims of injustice in the past, our standards are lowered in academia to accommodate minority achievement. We have included all manner of gimcrack educational ideas, the ‘beauty’ of which was that they always promised to let us achieve great things by demanding less of our students and of ourselves.

We talked of ‘black ways of knowing,’ which, of course, effectively gave all black teachers a kind of racial teaching credential that whites could never have. We devalued rigorous academic work by insisting that black students learned ‘experientially’ and ‘intuitively,’ and by arguing that ‘street knowledge’ was often more valuable than ‘book’ knowledge. There were certainly exceptions to all of this, people who worked earnestly with their students and taught substantive classes. But these serious people found themselves in an atmosphere of black excuse-making and incompetence … (119-20).

Another obvious result of the Great Society is that the concept of diversity is paramount above all other considerations. Campuses, government jobs and private places of business must tout “diversity” or be accused of racism. Diversity has become the god in America, effecting even Supreme Court decisions. Steele offers the landmark University of Michigan Affirmative Action case (2003) as an example. Justice Sandra Day O’Conner’s majority opinion has some “odd reasoning,” to say the least.

O’Conner borrowed “pseudoscientific doublespeak”—“learning outcomes,” “soft variables,” “selection index,” “nuanced judgments,” “critical mass,” and “holistic reading”—O’Conner piles one social science banality on top of another, hoping against hope that we buy her tall tale of ‘diversity’ as so ‘compelling’ a state interest that it justifies racial preferences. Her opaque language is a textbook illustration of George Orwell’s famous critique of political language as words used to ‘obscure’ and hide reality rather than to illuminate it (p. 127-28).

In turn, the god of “diversity” has birthed an entire “quota” system—spoken or unspoken—for almost every system in America, whether it be in education, job markets, and personal associations. African-Americans must be included, regardless of real achievement.

As an illustration of how strong this mantra is, Steele asks us to consider the fact that the very “possibility of racism” is enough to overturn science. DNA testing meant less in the O.J. Simpson case than did the possibility that Mark Fuhrman, one of the investigators in the O.J. Simpson case, had used “racist” terminology to refer to blacks. DNA and science, which should be an open and shut case, was thrown out due to racism.

Ethnic studies in schools is another form “disassociation.” Steele gives a personal illustration from a collegiate campus that included obvious sub-standard literature studies for students simply because the authors were black. He comments that “inclusion” has now become a literary value all its own.

Poverty itself is seen unrelated to personal dysfunction of those who suffer it. Once again, the removal of responsibility. This, in turn, has brought about the “treatment” by government “interventions” and more redistribution of money—of which we can never have enough. “With this ‘blameless’ poverty (poverty that never ‘blames the victim’), the government can be responsible for poverty even as it lacks authority over it.”

Steele explains how this has brought on big government. “So ‘blameless’ poverty is not more than a white ingenuity which allows institutions to steal responsibility for a problem they lack the authority even to honestly define” (p. 122).

In the end, white America is always trying to “prove a negative.” Prove they are not “racist”—which is the given assumption of our culture. But proving a negative is never possible. White America might elect the first black president in Barack Obama, they may have submitted to racial preferences in hiring and admissions for fifty years, they may have financially supported LBJ’s Great Society to the tune of billions of dollars—but that is never enough.

Now our culture is bombarded with efforts to dismantle America entirely. The newly proposed bill sponsored by Reps. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts is a case in point. These Democrat women unveiled this week the BREATHE ACT which de-funds the Police, abolishes surveillance tactics which they say “disproportionately” targets minority communities, ending asset forfeiture, repeal laws that criminalize illegal immigration, encourages states to actually close down detention facilities, and eliminate gang databases while forgiving all fees and surcharges within the justice system.

The bill also demands reparations for mass incarcerations for blacks who have been “caught up in the War on Drugs” or been the victims of police violence and it eliminates federal programs and agencies used to finance ICE.

This is tantamount to a country with no borders, no responsibility required by its minority citizens, and no enforcement mechanism when laws are broken. The only reason such proposals has any legs is due to what Shelby Steele correctly calls “White Guilt.” It is a concept that will completely destroy the fabric of America.

Bill Lockwood: Losing Property Rights 0 (0)

by Bill Lockwood

Fox & Friends reported Monday that an Ohio business owner “is receiving threats for cooperating with law enforcement officials investigating the looting of her cupcake store last month.” “Kelly Kandah, the owner of Colossal Cupcakes in Cleveland, which was destroyed by looters, said some of those threats include people telling her that when her store is rebuilt, ‘it’s going to happen again.’”

Ms. Kandah said that some of the “complaints” of rioters were due to the fact that her cooperation with the FBI is “upsetting people” because she would involve the police over something such as property.”

The family-owned business, which is Ms. Kandah’s investment of her own private capital, is afraid to re-open after repairs because her plea to law enforcement for protection is seen by the looters as “racist” for “not supporting ‘black lives.’”

Kelly Kandah’s story is only one example of literally hundreds and thousands of private business owners who have lost, and are in the process of losing their own private property to the forces of evil. Violence is sweeping the country in the aftermath of the George Floyd death leaving cities such as Minneapolis looking like the streets of Baghdad.

Socialism Cancels Property Rights

Much of the current hedonistic lawlessness, inclusive of the disrespect of private property, is due to the infusion of socialistic “values” in our people. The doctrine of socialism disdains the very concept of “private property.” Private property is itself considered to be evil, according to Spargo & Arner (Elements of Socialism).

Not only is private property considered to be evil, but is the very cause and root of all societal problems. “Dishonesty” is supposedly caused by “private property” (p. 23); property is that which “divides mankind into classes” (p. 206), and therefore, all property must be leveled.

A malicious view of these socialists is found in their comment regarding “Negroes” and private property. “The ‘thieving propensities’ of the Southern negro do not come from a criminal nature, but from the failure of a simple barbarous people fully to appreciate the conception of private property” (p. 71).

Since private property is seen as a development of evolutionary changes through centuries, and people are as well, Spargo & Arno are suggesting that blacks have not evolved to the point where they have appreciated the developments of civilization.

It is ironic that the current slew of Marxists and socialists in our universities have maligned Christianity with a backward view of blacks and private property—when in point of fact, it is SOCIALISM itself which teaches it.

Like Spargo & Arno of yesteryear, the current Mayor of NYC, Bill de Blasio, himself a Marxist, has decried the very concept of private property in a 2017 interview, as reported by USA Today (9-13-17). Private property is a roadblock to economic progress, per de Blasio.

The mobs, looters, and violence mongers stalking our city streets agree with him. Private property is for destruction. A godless worldview.

The Founders

The founders of America correctly recognized that all of private property is an extension of one’s life, energy, and ingenuity (see W. Cleon Skousen, The Five-Thousand Year Leap, 171). Therefore, “to destroy or confiscate such property is, in reality, an attack on the essence of life itself.”

“The person who has worked to cultivate a farm, obtained food by hunting, carved a beautiful statue, or secured a wage by his labor, has projected his very being—the very essence of his life—into that labor.”

Property rights—or more correctly, the right to property, is in reality an extension of personal liberty. Justice George Sutherland of the U.S. Supreme Court once stated, “… the individual—the man—has three great rights, equally sacred from arbitrary interference: the right to his LIFE, the right to his LIBERTY, the right to his PROPERTY.”

He went on to note that “the three rights are so bound together as to be essentially one right. To give a man his life but deny him his liberty, is to take from him all that makes his life worthy living. To give him his liberty but take from him the property which is the fruit and badge of his liberty, is to still leave him a slave.”

Property rights is an essential ingredient to liberty and freedom. John Adams saw it clearly. “The moment the idea is admitted into society that property is not as sacred as the laws of God, and that there is not a force of law and public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence. Property must be secure or liberty cannot exist.”

Thomas Jefferson wrote, “A right to property is founded in our natural wants, in the means with which we are endowed to satisfy these wants, and the right to what we acquire by those means without violating the similar rights of other sensible beings.”

For the reasons cited above, “Life, liberty, and property” is the phrase enshrined two times in our Constitution.

What Occurs When Property Rights Are Not Respected?

W. Cleon Skousen, in The Five-Thousand Year Leap, observed that FOUR things will occur, and have occurred, where the right to property is not preserved.

One, the incentive of an industrious person to develop and improve property is destroyed. This is exactly, to the tee, what is occurring in America right now as Marxist lawless gangs loot and destroy. Kelly Kandah is “AFRAID” to re-open her business, just as she was afraid to DEFEND her business as thugs destroyed it while she hid in the back rooms while the ransacking occurred. “My family built it up, [I] listened to it get absolutely destroyed,” she said on June 2. “That whole time we were locked in there [back bathroom]… I just listened to everything getting shattered and crushed.”

Two, the industrious individual would also be deprived of the fruits of his (or her) labor. Witness again Kelly Kandah, as well as a host of other law-abiding citizens who have lost their life fortune’s while their businesses went up in smoke in recent George Floyd riots.

Three, marauding bands would be tempted to go about the country confiscating by force and violence the good things that others had frugally and painstakingly provided. Who has not seen the video clips of huge Black Lives Matter crowds plus Antifa and useful idiots robbing and pillaging businesses, homes, and grocery stores?

Four, mankind would be impelled to remain on a bare-subsistence level of hand-to-mouth survival because the accumulation of anything would invite attack. Kelly Kandah, who has laboriously accumulated something of value through the years in her Colossal Cupcakes, invites lawless attacks simply due to that fact alone. It matters not that she declares she is “absolutely for the cause” (Black Lives Matter). That cuts no figure to Marxists and violence-mongers. She has accumulated something of value.

Be sure of this. In the wake of destruction of private property also comes destruction of innocent lives. Indeed, some of this has already been occurring. And all of this from a “WOKE” crowd.

Matt O’Brien: Mass Incarceration Remains a Myth, Mass Migration Is Still a Problem 0 (0)

by Matt O’Brien

The Intercept has published an article titled, “Immigration Detention Is Part of Mass Incarceration: The Case for Abolishing Ice and Everything Else.” It is, in essence a promotion piece for two unabashedly anti-Trump screeds: Migrating to Prison: America’s Obsession With Locking Up Immigrants, written by law professor César Cuauhtémoc García Hernández and All-American Nativism: How the Bipartisan War on Immigrants Explains Politics as We Know It, by Daniel Denvir.

Both authors argue that the Trump administration’s attempts to strengthen immigration enforcement are not intended to preserve American sovereignty and national security. Rather, they claim, Team Trump is exploiting systemic racism, fear of migrants and a “mass incarceration problem” that undermines civil rights in the United States. Moreover, both García Hernández and Denvir assert – against the weight of historical evidence – that only recently has the U.S. government begun to take immigration violations seriously.

But, even for The Intercept, which is unabashedly anti-Trump and pro-open-borders, touting such over-the-top hyperbole is a bit much. Neither García Hernández’ nor Denvir’s claims have any validity whatsoever.

To begin with, the United States in its relatively brief history has received more immigrants than all the other nations of the world combined. Clearly, we don’t have any fear of migrants. Not to mention that, since immigrants aren’t a race – they come from every corner of the globe – it’s patently ridiculous to claim that being broadly in favor of border enforcement renders someone a “racist.”

When it comes to the detention of lawbreakers, the U.S. isn’t even close to having a “mass incarceration problem.” As Rafael A. Mangual of the Manhattan Institute has pointed out, the U.S. does have a fair and impartial justice system. And that system regularly incarcerates violent felons and other serious criminals who pose a danger to the American public. What’s more, unlike many other countries in the world, the U.S. transparently reports the number of people it jails each year. Meanwhile, the notion that the U.S. regularly incarcerates people who simply don’t deserve to be in jail just isn’t supported by any objective data.

As far as the severity with which immigration offenses have been viewed throughout American history, both García Hernández and Denvir are way off base. In 1798, Congress passed the Alien Friends Act, which empowered the president to imprison or deport aliens believed to be “dangerous to the peace and safety of the United States.”

In 1799, in Frie’s Case, Supreme Justice James Iredell applied the Alien Friends Act and related legislation. He noted that no one had ever argued, “that aliens had a right to go into a foreign country, and stay at their will and pleasure without any leave from the government.” Justice Iredell’s statement is proof positive that even the earliest government officials believed that foreign nationals may enter and remain in the U.S. only with the permission of the Executive Branch. Furthermore, it’s a clear acknowledgement that the federal government has always had the authority to take enforcement actions against foreigners who enter the U.S. without permission or who exceed the bounds of permissions granted.

So, what’s up with The Intercept and the authors it cites? They believe that the actions of individuals are not a product of conscious choice. Instead, they see crime and illegal migration as things that people are forced into. And they consider anything other than total forgiveness for any type of criminal behavior to be immoral. It’s what Kurt Schlichter of Townhall.com calls “decriminalizing crime.” However, eliminating all restrictions on bad behavior only leads to chaos and the breakdown of the social order needed for the United States to remain successful.

American voters know that we don’t have a mass incarceration problem, we have an unchecked mass migration problem. That’s why they elected Donald Trump as president. He was the first candidate in five decades who seemed to understand their frustrations with immigration policies that put the desires of foreign nationals above American’s basic need for safety, security and economic stability.

IR: https://www.immigrationreform.com/2020/01/06/incarceration-illegal-immigration-criminals-immigrationreform-com/


Matt O’Brien joined the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) in 2016. Matt is responsible for managing FAIR’s research activities. He also writes content for FAIR’s website and publications. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in French from the Johns Hopkins University and a Juris Doctor from the University of Maine School of Law.

Matt O’Brien: ProPublica’s “Big Story” Is More Than a Little Wrong 0 (0)

by Matt O’Brien

Radical news outlet ProPublica is currently running a scare piece claiming, “Border agents can now get classified intelligence information. Experts call that dangerous.” According to ProPublica, “…the Trump administration is creating a new center in suburban Virginia that will allow immigration agents to access, for the first time, the sprawling array of information scooped up by America’s intelligence agencies….”

The article, part of the organization’s “Big Story” newsletter, further claims, “Migrants and others denied entry will be unable to see the evidence against them because it is classified.” It also asserts that, “It could also be nearly impossible for those denied entry to challenge faulty information if wrongly accused, they say, since most of it is classified.”

But, there are so many factual errors in ProPublica’s overwrought monument to pointless, fake news hyperbole that it is difficult to know where to begin debunking it.

Immigration officers throughout The United States Department of Homeland Security already have access to classified information. They have, for decades. In Jay v. Boyd, decided in 1956, the Supreme Court explicitly held that, when determining an alien’s admissibility to the United States, the government may rely on “confidential information not disclosed to the alien.”

In fact, over 20 years ago, in 1998, U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) General Counsel Paul Virtue appeared before Congress to discuss the government’s need to consider classified information in connection with immigration applications in order to protect America’s national security. And that was under the Democrat, left-leaning Clinton administration.

And the Trump administration isn’t setting up any shadowy new intelligence center in the capital city’s suburbs. There are already a number of information-collection-and-sharing facilities all around the Washington, D.C., area. They range from the National Counterterrorism Center, operated by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, to U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) National Targeting Center (whose motto is “Catching smugglers, terrorists and lawbreakers works better through partnership.”). Many other agencies also run information-sharing centers in the area. Their collective purpose is to protect the United States from foreign national security threats, particularly terrorism.

The suburban Virginia facility referenced by ProPublica is called the National Vetting Center (NVC). And it serves one simple purpose that its parent agency, United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP), has loudly and publicly proclaimed:

Over time, the U.S. Government has developed multiple, unconnected processes to bring together threat information already lawfully held by the government about individuals seeking to enter the United States or obtain benefits under our immigration laws.  The NVC is centralizing and improving these processes to more efficiently and effectively inform department and agency vetting.  Relevant, appropriate information will be accessible in a consolidated and timely manner to the departments and agencies leveraging the NVC’s process and technology.

As for those “civil rights concerns” that ProPublica is crowing about: There aren’t any. As the Supreme Court has repeatedly pointed out, requests by foreign nationals for admission to the United States don’t give rise to constitutional civil rights claims, because “the admission of aliens to this country is not a right, but a privilege, which is granted only upon such terms as the United States prescribes” – Ekiu v. United States (1892), Fong Yue Ting v. United States(1893), Knauff v. Shaughnessy (1950), Kliendienst v. Mandel (1972).

Finally, ProPublica’s claim that individuals denied entry to the United States on the basis of classified information will be denied an opportunity to review and contest such information is utterly specious. Foreign nationals can’t even challenge a denial of admission made on the basis of unclassified information. Under existing statutes and case precedent, the Department of State can summarily deny a visa to a foreign national and CBP personnel at the border may deny admission to anyone who fails to establish his/her admissibility – and the law provides absolutely no legal mechanism  for challenging a denial of admission.

In reality, it turns out that this “Big Story” is actually much ado about nothing.

IR: https://www.immigrationreform.com/2019/11/04/pro-publica-bias-reporting-fake-news-immigrationreform-com/


Matt O’Brien joined the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) in 2016. Matt is responsible for managing FAIR’s research activities. He also writes content for FAIR’s website and publications. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in French from the Johns Hopkins University and a Juris Doctor from the University of Maine School of Law.

Bill Lockwood: Christianity in the Cross-hairs 0 (0)

by Bill Lockwood

The Democrats have Christianity in their cross-hairs. It must be eliminated. According to presidential candidate Joe Biden, his top priority in the Oval Office, should he be elected, will be to pass and enforce the “Equality Act”—a proposed bill that normalizes deviant sexual behavior while penalizing biblical Christianity.

Recently, Joe Biden honored the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) for moving “the moral arc in this nation towards justice.” The HRC is a prominent homosexual advocacy group. He was referring to the so-called Equality Act, which passed the House Judiciary Committee in May. The Equality Act would effectively gut the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 which has protected Americans with a Christian conscience from interference from Big Brother Government. As Bill Donohue, president and CEO of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, wrote in May:

The Equality Act is the most comprehensive assault on religious liberty, the right to life, and privacy ever packaged into one bill in the history of the United States. …this act is based on the idea that sexually challenged men and women—those who think they can transition to the other sex—should be treated as if hey were members of a minority race.

In short, the Equality Act takes “political correctness” and puts a statist government’s teeth into it. Let’s see the background.

Religious Freedom Restoration Act

The RFRA began as a reaction following a 1990 Supreme Court decision (Employment Division v. Smith) which concerned Christians that religious liberty might be threatened. In 1993 none other than Chuck Schumer (D-NY) introduced the RFRA, a bill which was intended to keep federal laws from burdening a person’s religious convictions. The bill passed and was signed into law by Bill Clinton.

It is important to note that this resulted from a huge national movement of Christians to protect their First Amendment God-given rights. The Left, however, has never appreciated it, to say the least. For example, in 2014, the RFRA was used as a basis to challenge the ObamaCare mandate that required all for-profit companies to cover abortion-inducing drugs in their health-care plans. Hobby Lobby successfully challenged in Court Obama’s iron-fisted unconstitutional law.

The Left, therefore, has not only despised Christianity itself, but the basic protections that our Constitution has guaranteed them, including the First Amendment. After the 1993 RFRA, the war began to rage openly.

In 1997 the Supreme Court “ruled” that the RFRA could not apply to the states—only the federal government. This left the states open to irreligious assaults. The Christian communities around the country then began to pass at state levels their own religious freedom bills. Enough!, says the Left. We will eradicate Christian liberty once and for all—hence, the Equality Act.

The Equality Act

This historic proposal will take the 1964 Civil Rights Act and apply it to the Homosexual Network operating in the United States. It will therefore gut the RFRA by granting homosexuals and other deviant sexual behaviors preferential treatment in hiring; houses of worship would be turned into places of “public accommodations” where the Equality Act would rule; beginning in kindergarten children will be indoctrinated with the LGBTQ agenda; freedom of speech by Bible-oriented Christians would be endangered by law; privacy rights in bathrooms and gym locker rooms would be a thing of the past as would parental rights to teach children the sin of homosexuality. In short, liberty would be lost.

Bill Donohue adds,

If anyone thinks this is an exaggeration, check out what has happened to religious liberty in New Jersey and Ohio where Catholic hospitals have been targeted. Unless they agree to perform a hysterectomy on a woman who claims to be a man, they can be sued. The ACLU has been suing Catholic hospitals all over the nation trying to force them to adopt its anti-Catholic agenda. While it typically loses, this legislation will reverse that record.

In short, the Equality Act could put people out of work for their beliefs, according to the Heritage Foundation. Those who believe the Bible will be disallowed by law from expressing those beliefs in public. The biblical definition of marriage will be relegated to your closet. Your family will have been invaded by the federal mandates that favor homosexuality as a “protected class.”

What is occurring in Great Britain will be occurring here as well. There, the Muslim community is seeking protection from criticism by having Islam classified as a “race” via the United Nations. Those who criticize the teachings of Mohammed become “racists” with all that that word carries. No open dialogue, no open thought—just conformity. So here. No dialogue. No debate. No scientific proof—just a statist government enforcing its will.

Your iniquities have separated between you and your God, your sins have hid his face from you …therefore justice is far from us, neither does righteousness overtake us; we look for light, but behold, darkness; for brightness, but we walk in obscurity. – Isaiah 59:1,9

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