(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch today announced that in response to a Judicial Watch Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit, the Justice Department (DOJ) admitted in a court filing last night that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court held no hearings on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) spy warrant applications targeting Carter Page, a former Trump campaign part-time advisor who was the subject of four controversial FISA warrants.
In the filing the Justice Department finally revealed that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court held no hearings on the Page FISA spy warrants, first issued in 2016 and subsequently renewed three times:
[National Security Division] FOIA consulted [Office of Intelligence] … to identify and locate records responsive to [Judicial Watch’s] FOIA request…. [Office of Intelligence] determined … that there were no records, electronic or paper, responsive to [Judicial Watch’s] FOIA request with regard to Carter Page. [Office of Intelligence] further confirmed that the [Foreign Surveillance Court] considered the Page warrant applications based upon written submissions and did not hold any hearings.
In February, Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee released a memo criticizing the FISA targeting of Carter Page. The memo details how the “minimally corroborated” Clinton-DNC dossier was an essential part of the FBI and DOJ’s applications for surveillance warrants to spy on Page.
Judicial Watch recently filed a request with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court seeking the transcripts of all hearings related to the surveillance of Carter Page.
“It is disturbing that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance courts rubber-stamped the Carter Page spy warrants and held not one hearing on these extraordinary requests to spy on the Trump team,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “Perhaps the court can now hold hearings on how justice was corrupted by material omissions that Hillary Clinton’s campaign, the DNC, a conflicted Bruce Ohr, a compromised Christopher Steele, and anti-Trumper Peter Strzok were all behind the ‘intelligence’ used to persuade the courts to approve the FISA warrants that targeted the Trump team.”
I am very critical of China’s government. It’s corrupt, authoritarian and in some respects totalitarian. I have deep reservations about Chinese culture as well. The Chinese government bans sex-selective abortions — i.e., killing females in utero — but Chinese people still do it in staggering numbers. China also practices ethnic discrimination that would be instantly recognizable as a kind of Jim Crow or apartheid if the majority Han Chinese were white and minorities such as the Uighurs were black. I could go on, but you get the point.
The reason I bring all of this up is that I want to be clear that my imminent praise for China is selective, even grudging. But you’ve got to hand it to China. It has something we’re sorely missing today: civilizational confidence.
Exhibit A: The Chinese think we’re idiots when it comes to the absurd panic over “cultural appropriation.”
By now you’ve probably heard that an American teenager wore a traditional Chinese dress to her prom. The young lady, Keziah Daum, is not ethnically Chinese or Asian. And this infuriated a lot of people on Twitter. Someone responded to Daum’s pictures by tweeting, ”My culture is NOT your g—— prom dress.”
Cultural appropriation was originally a sociological term to describe how a majority culture borrows or adapts from a minority culture some custom, fashion, cuisine or practice. At some point, alas, it went from being descriptive to proscriptive.
Proscriptive rules — the opposite of prescriptive rules — tell people what they cannot do. And while it’s not quite a law (yet), save on some college campuses, there’s an organized and passionate movement to pass a new social commandment: “Thou shalt not appropriate someone else’s culture.”
It must be noted that this is different than saying, “Thou shalt not mock or denigrate someone else’s culture.” That’s a valuable social norm. But this is a distinction the anti-cultural-appropriation forces want to obliterate. They argue that any form of cultural appropriation is essentially indistinguishable from attacking someone’s culture.
And that is idiotic.
Without cultural appropriation, American blacks would never have picked up European musical instruments to create the blues and jazz. Without cultural appropriation, white and black artists alike would never have spun these wonderful creations into rock ’n’ roll.
Nearly every meal you’ve ever eaten is the byproduct of centuries of cultural appropriation, to one extent or another. This column is written in English, a language that contains hundreds of thousands of words appropriated from other tongues. Just under two-thirds of our language derives from Latin or French. About a quarter is Germanic in origin. And about a sixth comes from Greek, Arabic and other languages.
Christianity was a Middle Eastern religion “appropriated” by Europeans.
Cultural appropriation manifested itself in every society and civilization since the concepts of society and civilization were born. We are living through the greatest period of poverty alleviation in all of human history right now because countries in Asia and Africa have appropriated many economic policies and practices — free markets, property rights, etc. — that began as quirky artifacts of English and Dutch culture.
They got him. Just as I feared they would.
My nephew Kyle came to live with us this summer after his freshman year of college. Apparently he’s now a deputized member of the cultural-appropriation police.
He hadn’t even unpacked his massive bag of dirty laundry when he made a snide comment about the three straw hats hanging in our hallway collected during our years living in Southeast Asia.
The next day when Kyle and I were backing out of the driveway and I called out “Adios” to my neighbor, Kyle mumbled, “Appropriate much?”
I poked my head around the corner. “Mmm. Kayaks. You mean that watercraft appropriated from the Inuit people of the Arctic region?”
Quick on his feet, Kyle recovered and retorted, “I meant to say we’re renting canoes.”
“As in the canoe that was developed by the indigenous people of North America?”
Stymied, Kyle canceled his plans. He and Brenna spent the day sitting quietly on a park bench.
The following Monday our neighbor offered Kyle 50 bucks to move a mound of dirt into his backyard. I was glad to see the boy working. But when I saw he’d helped himself to the wheelbarrow from my shed, I couldn’t help myself.
“Whatcha doing there, McFly?”
“Moving this dirt for some quick cash.”
“Using a wheelbarrow?”
He continued shoveling.
“As in the one-wheeled cart invented by the Chinese?”
Kyle looked at me for a long moment as he processed this information before finally lowering the handles of the wheelbarrow.
He switched to lugging the dirt in a five-gallon bucket. It took him the rest of the afternoon. The job worked out to four dollars an hour.
The next day he was so stiff and sore, Brenna suggested they go stretch out at “Yoga in the Park.” Until I pointed out yoga is a sacred practice rooted in Hinduism.
Brenna went by herself.
My wife told me to leave the poor boy alone. But hey, as his uncle, I feel it’s my job to help him live out his passionately held core values.
A “Social Justice Task Force” is urging SUNY Plattsburgh to adopt a broad array of initiatives designed to create a “culture of social justice” on campus.
In addition to hiring a “chief diversity officer” and “actively and visibly” promoting social justice on campus, the task force also suggests “compulsory” social justice training for students and faculty.
A group of conservative students at Ripon College have been told their 9/11 “Never Forget” posters violate the school’s bias policy, citing the fact that its imagery is exclusively focused on Islamic terrorism.
At a meeting Tuesday between members of the Young America’s Foundation and the campus bias response team, a school official said the posters focus “relentlessly on one religious organization, one religious group, one religious identity–in associating that one religious identity with terrorist attacks which go back far before 9/11 and after 9/11–creates for some students here an environment which they feel like they are not able to learn,” according to an audio recording of the meeting obtained by YAF.
A school official said the posters create an “environment” where “students from a Muslim background would feel singled out” or “harassed,” according to the recording.
“There is nothing that this poster, in particular, adds to the conversation about 9/11, or about the politics of terrorism, or about national security or responses to it that couldn’t be done easily and more constructively without it,” one administrator reportedly said.
This week’s shooting at a video game tournament in Jacksonville has predictably provoked calls for stricter gun control, but the ritualistic recommendations make even less sense than usual. It is hard to imagine how any of the usual proposals could have prevented this attack.
David Katz, the 24-year-old gamer who police say murdered two people and injured 11 before killing himself, legally bought the two handguns he used from a dealer in Maryland. That state has some of the country’s strictest firearm regulations, earning an A–from the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. Maryland bans so-called assault weapons, restricts magazine capacity, allows concealed carry for only a select few, requires handgun buyers to obtain a state license, keeps records of all handgun transfers, requires background checks for private sales, and imposes stricter screening criteria than the federal government. None of those measures stopped Katz from arming himself or carrying out his attack.
At first glance, another Maryland statute seems more relevant. A law that takes effect in October authorizes “extreme risk protection orders” that prohibit people deemed a danger to themselves or others from possessing firearms. Since Katz had a history of psychological problems and psychiatric treatment (none of which disqualified him from gun ownership under current state law), it is natural to wonder whether a relative, a police officer, or a mental health professional might have sought such an order if the option had been available. But as USA Today notes, “His mental health troubles appeared to have been largely in the past, and there were no signs of violence in recent years.”
It’s not clear that Katz ever met these criteria, although court records related to his parents’ protracted divorce indicate that he was a troubled teenager with an “extremely hostile” attitude toward his mother who would play video games through the night and go days without bathing. As Daniel Webster, director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research, points out in the USA Today story, such behavior does not necessarily indicate that someone poses a threat to public safety.
“If we rolled back the clock and you showed me his background, would I say he’d commit a mass shooting?” Webster asks. “I wouldn’t.” He notes that “the best predictor of future violence is prior violence,” while “being treated for a mental health condition is a poor predictor for future acts of violence,” since “the vast majority of people being treated for mental illness aren’t a threat.”
The mass media are infused with hypocrisy? Naaa.
I saw a news item about the resignation of the Santa Fe, Texas police chief and it mentioned a mass murder that had slipped my mind.
There were ten dead and thirteen wounded. Why had it slipped my mind? No constant yammering in the media about it. Probably because it involved a handgun and a shotgun.
And the owner had broken a law that I have no objection to, and I was surprised to see that Texas had: “Under Texas law guns cannot be made accessible to minors outside hunting or under parental supervision,” Where’s the potential when existing sensible laws are ignored?
I predicted that the Washington State Supreme Court was going to put I-1639 back on the ballot and it turns out I was correct.
As I told you on Friday, our state Supreme Court does not rule based on the law or on the Washington State Constitution. When I was talking about the late Sen. John McCain on Friday, I praised the way that he didn’t vote based on party lines — he always voted based on his conscience, even if it was not popular.The Washington State Supreme Court, however, is the exact opposite of John McCain — you know exactly how they’re going to rule on everything. It’s predetermined because of their politics.
Our state Supreme Court is owned by the teachers union and by leftist propaganda groups. They will never cast a vote that goes against their masters. The people who funded the justices getting on the Supreme Court are anti-gun; the anti-gun advocates bought and paid for those justices. And so every gun control issue that goes before the state Supreme Court is pre-determined.
What the Thurston County judge had ruled is that the font on these I-1639 initiatives was so small, the people signing the petitions couldn’t even read it. The Supreme Court didn’t address that at all. Now they’re saying that if the initiative passes, they will take that issue up. But you know exactly how that will turn out. Whatever the left wing wants, we will do their bidding.
Between Bob Ferguson, who will not prosecute anybody on the left, and the Supreme Court, which has been bought and paid for by leftist groups, there is only one prevailing opinion in our state government.
“Stop me if you’ve heard this one before.”
Dinklage, an accomplished actor who happens to have dwarfism, will play Villechaize in an upcoming HBO movie called “My Dinner with Hervé.” The “Game of Thrones” star has been accused of “whitewashing” because Villechaize was supposedly half-Filipino.
Except he wasn’t.
Villechaize was actually French, and was of German and English descent. But because he looked like he may have been Filipino — and Wikipedia told them so — social justice warriors accused Dinklage of “yellow face.”
Fulani Muslim militants launched raids on eight villages in central Nigeria this week, burning alive a Christian pastor along with his wife and three of their children.
In the village of Abonong in Plateau State, the Islamic raiders, armed with machetes and AK47 rifles, looted and destroyed 95 houses, along with farmland and three churches. They killed Pastor Adamu Gyang Wurim and his family by setting fire to their house while they were inside and shot the pastor’s wife in the bathroom. The assailants killed two other villagers as well, wounding several others.
A fringe Islamic prince turned United Nations “High Commissioner for Human Rights” infamous for comparing President Donald Trump to Hitler and ISIS, and for protecting child-raping UN troops from exposure, has a new target: free speech on the Internet. Under the guise of stopping “hate speech,” a concept first pushed by the murderous Soviet regime that has evolved to encompass any speech the establishment hates, outgoing UN “human rights” boss Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein called on the Big Tech companies to “proactively” step up their escalating censorship campaign. Facebook and Google seemed more than happy to comply.
A Bexar County grand jury has indicted a 30-year-old San Antonio man who was arrested in July after he was captured on video grabbing a ‘Make America Great Again’ cap from a teenager who was dining at a San Antonio Whataburger. Bexar County court records show Kino Jimenez was indicted Wednesday on a charge of theft of person, which is a state jail felony. He was located in Universal City in July by San Antonio police robbery task force detectives who took him into custody on an arrest warrant.
The claim that the US has by far the most mass public shootings in the world drives much of the gun-control debate. Many argue that America’s high rate of gun possession explains the high rate of mass shootings.
“The one thing we do know is that we have a pattern now of mass shootings in this country that has no parallel anywhere else in the world,” President Barack Obama warned us. To justify this claim and many other similar quotes, Obama’s administration cited a then-unpublished paper by criminologist Adam Lankford.
Lankford’s claim received coverage in hundreds of news stories all over the world. It still gets regular coverage. Purporting to cover all mass public shootings around the world from 1966 to 2012, Lankford claimed that the United States had 31 percent of public mass shooters despite having less than 5 percent of the population.
But this isn’t nearly correct. The whole episode should provide a cautionary tale of academic malpractice and how evidence is often cherry-picked and not questioned when it fits preconceived ideas.
Lankford’s study reported that over the 47 years there were 90 public mass shooters in the United States and 202 in the rest of world. Lankford hasn’t released his list of shootings or even the number of cases by country or year. We and others, both in academia and the media, have asked Lankford for his list, only to be declined. He has also declined to provide lists of the news sources and languages he used to compile his list of cases.
These omissions are important because Lankford’s entire conclusion would fall apart if he undercounted foreign cases due to lack of news coverage and language barriers.
Lankford cites a 2012 New York Police Department report which he claims is “nearly comprehensive in its coverage of recent decades.” He also says he supplemented the data and followed “the same data collection methodology employed by the NYPD.” But the NYPD report warns that its own researchers “limited [their] Internet searches to English-language sites, creating a strong sampling bias against international incidents,” and thus under-count foreign mass shootings.
Does Lankford’s paper also have that problem?
We know of no way to discover most of the cases where four people have been shot to death in an incident in Africa or many other parts of the world during the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s or even 1990s, and that is the reason the new study just looked at the last 15 years from 1998 to 2012 of the 47 years he examined.
Lankford’s data grossly undercount foreign attacks. We found 1,423 attacks outside the United States. Looking at just a third of the time Lankford studied, we still found 15 times as many shooters.
The legacy media’s ongoing obsession with President Trump as they work to destroy his presidency has a side benefit for those who want a return of the establishment status quo: There isn’t much coverage of a new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report. The Washington Times headline said it all, “CDC: 72,000 died from drug overdoses in 2017, 42,000 from opioids.”
Think about that: 72,000 Americans dead, in one year, due to overdoses.
“The death toll is higher than the peak yearly death totals from HIV, car crashes, or gun deaths,” reported The New York Times. “Analysts pointed to two major reasons for the increase: A growing number of Americans are using opioids, and drugs are becoming more deadly …” noted the newspaper.
Many things contribute to drug abuse, but there is one big factor our reliably liberal legacy media ignore: The disaster of ObamaCare and its destruction of our health care infrastructure. We know it made actual health care unaffordable, and then was combined with an economy that further destroyed the options of millions of under- and unemployed Americans.
We then had a president determined to convince the American public that doctors couldn’t be trusted and that a pill could solve your problems. Because when the government is paying for your health care, they need to redefine what “care” really means.
Consider the focus of newly elected President Barack Obama. In 2009, the first year of his first term, Obama began a public campaign to convince people that going to the doctor can be fraught with risk, and even dangerous. He argued on multiple occasions that doctors want to perform surgeries and cut things off just to make a buck.
”‘You come in and you’ve got a bad sore throat, or your child has a bad sore throat or has repeated sore throats,’ President Obama explained at Wednesday’s press conference. ‘The doctor may look at the reimbursement system and say to himself, ‘You know what? I make a lot more money if I take this kid’s tonsils out,’ ” the Wall Street Journal reported in June 2009.
He then immediately moved the argument to pill taking.
” ‘If there’s a blue pill and a red pill and the blue pill is half the price of the red pill and works just as well,’ he asked, ‘why not pay half price for the thing that’s going to make you well?’ ” the Journal reported.
In other words, why trust a doctor when you can take a pill? Besides, it’s less expensive. That’s the point and the irony — saving your life is the only time the government is suddenly interested in cutting costs. Why? Because it means more money for the system and its bureaucrats.
Aaannnnd what do we see just to the left of the President?
Aaannnd what does he ‘tweet’ on?
A smart phone (which is also mini computer).
Aaannnd what does Slate have?
— Slate (@Slate) August 31, 2018
A new analysis of Census Bureau jobs data puts the “fake news” label on the pro-immigration mantra that there are many jobs Americans just won’t do and that’s why legal and illegal immigrants are needed.
According to the deep-dive analysis by the Center for Immigration Studies, just six of 474 job categories are majority immigrant, and none are majority illegal immigrant.
The report suggests that claims made by immigration proponents for greater access to American jobs because Americans don’t want them is false.
What’s more, the report indicates that in low-income jobs given to illegal immigrants puts pressure on poor Americans who want those jobs, according to CIS.
“If immigrants ‘do jobs that Americans won’t do,’ we should be able to identify occupations in which the workers are nearly all foreign-born. However, among the 474 separate occupations defined by the Department of Commerce, we find only a handful of majority-immigrant occupations, and none completely dominated by immigrants (legal or illegal). Furthermore, in none of the 474 occupations do illegal immigrants constitute a majority of workers,” said the study.
A soldier based in Hawaii pleaded guilty Wednesday to trying to help the Islamic State group — admitting he provided secret military information, a drone meant to track U.S. troops and other support to undercover agents he believed were members of the terrorist organization.
Sgt. 1st Class Ikaika Kang, handcuffed and wearing beige prison jumpsuit, spoke in a clear and confident voice when he told a U.S. magistrate judge in Honolulu he’s guilty of all four counts charged in an indictment filed last year.
Just laying out the ‘race card’ as a magic talisman simply doesn’t work anymore. Especially when it’s done so ignorantly.
CNN’s chief legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin raised a few eyebrows Wednesday when he claimed that Antifa — the violent “anti-fascist” group responsible for a number of destructive protests and counter-protests nationwide — was “widely perceived as an African American organization.”
In the wake of another mass shooting in a place that was to be a gun-free zone, some gun rights advocates want either armed security provided, or to let people conceal carry so they can protect themselves.
“You walk into a gun-free zone, you’re walking into a killing zone,” Craig Schnieder said.
He has spent over four decades as a law enforcement officer and has taught hundreds of people gun safety, concealed carry and self defense courses.
“The gun-free zone is not working. Everyone of these of these shootings are gun-free zones,” Schnieder said.
(Reuters) – Dick’s Sporting Goods (DKS.N) reported a bigger-than-expected drop in quarterly same-store sales on Wednesday and forecast further declines this year, hit by tighter gun controls and a drop in Under Armour sales.
Shares in the company fell as much as 10 percent after it posted a 1.9 percent drop in same-store sales, bigger than analysts’ average estimate of a 0.62 percent dip.
Dick’s was one of the first retailers to stop selling assault rifles and high-capacity magazines as well as bar the sale of guns to people under age 21 following a massacre at a Florida high school in February.
The company had predicted that its hunting guns business would be pressurized by the change in policy but said the move should also attract more people to its stores.
Dick’s said on Wednesday it expected annual same-store sales to decline by 3 percent to 4 percent, compared with a 0.3 percent decline in 2017.