Obama Admin Busted for Approving $200k Grant to Terror-Connected Organization

By Cillian Zeal


Few nations have felt the sting of Islamism as acutely as Sudan. When the Second Sudanese Civil War started in 1983 (just 11 years removed from the First Sudanese Civil War), the east African nation was already one of the more despairing corners on God’s green earth.

Yet, the regime in Khartoum felt that what its citizens really needed — instead of economic development or jobs or anything of that ilk — was the imposition of Shariah law. And when the mostly-Christian south didn’t resign themselves to the legally codified strictures of the Quran and Hadith, among other non-religious issues of exploitation that were deeply unpopular in that region of the world, the government decided to embark on a conflict that lasted over 20 years and resulted in the highest death count of any war since World War II.

The war ended in 2005 and South Sudan later became its own nation, although one still suffering from war-induced privations. In other words, given all this, one would think any government would be somewhat sensitive to religious extremism in the region, either emanating from officialdom or an extra-governmental source.

Alas, not so much — at least where the Obama administration is concerned.

“The Middle East Forum has discovered that the Obama administration approved a grant of $200,000 of taxpayer money to an al-Qaeda affiliate in Sudan — a decade after the U.S. Treasury designated it as a terrorist-financing organization,” Sam Westrop of the Middle East Forum wrote in a piece for National Review this week. “More stunningly, government officials specifically authorized the release of at least $115,000 of this grant even after learning that it was a designated terror organization.”

The funds in question were distributed by an interlocutor to the Islamic Relief Agency or ISRA — a Khartoum-based organization also known as the Islamic African Relief Agency that had links to Osama bin Laden and Maktab al-Khidamat.

Maktab al-Khidamat was an Afghani fundraising organization that was the progenitor of al-Qaida. ISRA had raised more than $5 million for Maktab al-Khidamat by 2000, in addition to helping “to secure safe harbor for” bin Laden when things went awry.

In October 2004, the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control designated ISRA a terrorist finance group, meaning (obviously) it shouldn’t be receiving any aid from any American, much less their government. However, a July 2014 award of $723,405 to evangelical group World Vision Inc. to “improve water, sanitation and hygiene and to increase food security in Sudan’s Blue Nile state” included $200,000 for ISRA.

When the U.S. Agency for International Development had been alerted to the fact that ISRA was probably on the terror list by World Vision, they started an assessment of the situation and warned the group to “suspend all activities with ISRA.” However, World Vision was apparently unhappy with this, saying that the assessment was taking too much time and that ISRA “had performed excellent work” for the evangelical group and that the assessment was “putting contractual relationships in limbo for such a long period is putting a significant strain” with their relationship with officialdom in Khartoum, since ISRA also has close contacts with the Sudanese government.

“World Vision’s statement stunned USAID officials, who complained that World Vision’s behavior ‘doesn’t make sense,’” Westrop writes. “USAID official Daniel Holmberg emailed a colleague: ‘If they actually said that they wanted to resume work with ISRA, while knowing that it was 99% likely that ISRA was on the list then I am concerned about our partnership with them, and whether it should continue.’”

By January 2015, the Treasury Department’s OFAC had ruled that ISRA was indeed a terrorist organization, meaning World Vision would have to cut ties with them. Instead of realizing they were in bed with an organization that had helped create al-Qaida and backing away, World Vision wrote to Obama administration USAID official Jeremy Konyndyk, imploring him for a new contract to pay ISRA for “monies owed for work performed” and said that “their whole program will be jeopardized.”

There’s a lot of machinations behind the scenes here, but here’s the condensed version: the Obama administration eventually approved a new contract for ISRA after “close collaboration and consultations with the Department of State,” which World Vision said came as a “great relief as ISRA had become restive and had threatened legal action, which would have damaged our reputation and standing in Sudan.”

In other words, the Obama administration acted on behalf of an organization which in turn was willing to act on behalf of an organization with close ties to al-Qaida and the mephitic Sudanese regime.

The Obama administration has a long and storied history of ignoring extremism, from the Islamic State group to Afghanistan to Africa, where groups like Boko Haram barely made the administration’s radar. Now, we discover that the administration was giving money to a group that actively fundraised for al-Qaida in a country that’s already been devastated by Islamism.

Nineteen months on, we’re still dealing with that ugly legacy — and so, unfortunately, is the rest of the world.



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Amazon.com Abusive and Invasive Customer service

by Allen Williams


Recently, I was in the market for some new R-12 hoses to refurbish an older AC gauge set when I happened on an advertisement from Amazon featuring all three replacement hoses for about $17+ bucks.  It seemed like a good deal except for the long delay in shipping the goods but I wasn’t in any hurry so I thought I’d sign up.

Unfortunately, I quickly discovered that Amazon.com doesn’t allow ‘guest purchases’ as does EBAY, its ‘members only’ at Amazon and your order is conditional upon membership acceptance.  I received the following confirmation memo Jan 16, sent to me at our sites email address.

 Amazon

Order Confirmation

Hello Allen Williams,


Thank you for shopping with us. You ordered "Atoplee 3pcs (2500~500)PSI...". We’ll send a confirmation when your item ships.

Details Order #105-5734003-9497812

Arriving:
Monday, February 6 -
Tuesday, February 28

Amazon.com

 



 


 


This was the typical automated response however, the next day I received a follow-up email which I expected to be an actual ship date but instead my ‘account’ was frozen!

Subject: Re: Your Amazon.com order cannot be shipped
On 1/16/  12:24 PM, address-verification@amazon.com wrote:

There was a problem processing your order. You will not be able to access your account or place orders with us until we confirm your information.

You can help us resolve this issue by replying to this message with the billing name, address, and phone number registered to your card. Please reply from the email address registered to your Amazon.com account.

If needed, update your information with the card issuer.

For your security, we restrict access to your billing details to a team of account specialists. Our Customer Service team cannot access these details or provide you with more information on this issue. They can only verify that we sent this request.

We ask that you not open new accounts as any order you place may be delayed.

Amazon.com


This makes no sense unless the real purpose of being an Amazon member is to open all of your transactions to government phishers. All the personal 'verification' needed was to PING the card in amount of $1.00 to confirm its validity otherwise the card would be rejected outright. What Amazon is really saying here is that we don't trust you to be who you claim to be without outside confirmation. That's not membership, it's abuse.

Apparently Amazon no longer limits abuse to its employees but is now including customers as Salon reports: Worse than Wal-Mart: Amazon’s sick brutality and secret history of ruthlessly intimidating workers“You might find your Prime membership morally indefensible after reading these stories about worker mistreatment.“ Don’t be overly shocked, this is simply globalism and its New World Order business practices. It’s the future of American business. Oh that’s just sour grapes. Really? Well how about Amazon used ‘neo-Nazi’ guards to control workers in German factory? Oh, too harsh, still? How about the Orwellian work environment at Amazon as in Forbes’ assessment, “What Amazon's Work Culture Tells Us About Employee Disengagement

But what disturbs me most is the Huff Post Blog reporting a $600 million dollar deal Amazon struck with the CIA for cloud services which likely means the CIA has access to all purchases made by Amazon customers. The Blog further reports: ”.. a signer in Cincinnati wrote: "If Amazon chooses to sell out their customers to the CIA, I will never visit their site again. Betrayal shouldn't be the price of convenience.” This certainly goes a long way towards explaining why Amazon would be so interested in ‘confirming’ mine and others customer information.

On Jan 17th, I called the company and spoke to a representative who was to ‘look into the problem.’  I told them what had happened and the lady I spoke with indicated that I had to respond with the email address that I opened the account with.  Well, duh.. I DID that and they acknowledged it by responding to the ORIGINAL email address that I opened the account with!!.  (Actually, I responded with both my email addresses and still received the same mind numbing response.)

So, now we know what they’re saying here is NOT the real issue.  Note that I DIDN’T GIVE permission by FAX or in my telephone conversation with the AMAZON rep to verify anything with my card issuer for ANY REASON.  They simply took it upon themselves to contact the bank anyway.  That’s uncalled for as Amazon already had the information and acknowledged it with their reply but here’s their moronic response.

Hello,
We encountered an issue with your account, and have removed your access to this account because 
the card issuer has refused to confirm your name and billing address for your Visa ending in 56.

You will not be able to access your account or place orders with us until we verify your information.
To resolve this issue, please allow the card issuer to grant our request, or send the information 
below to our secure fax line:
-- A copy of your statement for the payment card used, including the billing address
-- The last two digits of the payment card
-- Your name, phone number, and email address  
You can find our fax number on the Amazon.com Help page:
https://www.amazon.com/help/addressverification
We will convert your fax to a secure electronic image. To protect your information, 
we restrict access to your billing details to a team of account specialists.
Our Customer Service team can confirm that we sent this email, but they cannot view 
your fax or share more information about this issue.
You can expect a response from us within 24 hours of sending your fax.
If you would like us to confirm your information with the card issuer, reply to this email 
after you have arranged for them to grant our request.
In the meantime, please do not open new accounts because any new order that you place may be 
delayed. We are sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused.
 
Amazon.com
 
Yes, secure like YAHOO and FACEBOOK which had millions of their ‘secure’ customer records 
hacked. And might they also be passing my business information along to the NSA or FBI as
BEST BUY technical people are currently doing for the FBI? 

The customer rep never addressed my reply or indicated why my bank had to confirm my identity.
A few days later I got another email asking why I discontinued my account. Interestingly enough,
Amazon’s BEZOS owns the Washington Post and since I have been a written critic of that
intellectual rag, the Amazon episode begins to make a bit more sense. 
Trump may be on to something in Donald Trump's war on Jeff Bezos, Amazon and the Washington Post  Looks like Amazon.com has been getting a pretty cushy tax break in their rise to economic fame.

And of course, we all know the ‘journalistic integrity’ of WAPO as in After the WaPost’s Latest Shot, It’s Time to Call ‘Fake News’ By Its Real Name ‘Weaponized Journalism My observation to the WAPO editor on instructions from Jeff Bezos for their news coverage is that company policy (written or otherwise) dictates news coverage just as it would with any other firm subsidiary.  Don’t think for a moment that WAPO isn’t looking out for the Amazon billionaire’s interests.

Amazon’s request for my credit card statement is clearly ‘over the top’ and BS pure and simple.  
If you can't believe I who I say I am; we can not have any meaningful business relationship. I've
purchased many things online from EBAY and other suppliers and have never experienced such a request.
There is another possibility, the company is advertising the sale of an item they don't have and won't 
have available unless a sufficient number of people express interest before they order from their
China supplier. In that case you might want a verifiable customer base to motivate the Chinese.

If you’re an Amazon customer get prepared for more invasive scrutiny of your account information, and if you’re not, don’t JOIN!.









This was too good not to share

Submitted by LeRoy C


“Remember when Donald Trump was business partners with the Russian government and his company got 53 million from the Russian government investment fund called Rusnano that was started by Vladimir Putin and is referred to as “Putin’s Child”?

Oh wait, that wasn’t Trump it was John Podesta.

Remember when Donald Trump received 500 thousand for a speech in Moscow and paid for by Renaissance Capital, a company tied to Russian Intelligence Agencies?

Oh wait, that was Bill Clinton.

Remember when Donald Trump approved the sale of 20% of US uranium to the Russians while he was Secretary of State which gave control of it to Rosatom the Russian State Atomic Energy Corporation?

Oh wait, that was Hillary Clinton.

Remember when Donald Trump lied about that and said he wasn’t a part of approving the deal that gave the Russians 1/5 of our uranium, but then his emails were leaked showing he did lie about it?

Oh wait, that was Hillary Clinton and John Podesta.

Remember when Donald Trump got 145 million dollars from shareholders of the uranium company sold to the Russians?

Oh wait, that was Hillary Clinton and the Clinton Foundation.

Remember when Donald Trump accepted millions in donations from Russian Oligarchs like the chairman of a company that’s part of the Russian Nuclear Research Cluster, the wife of the mayor of Moscow, and a close pal of Putin’s?

Oh wait, that was the Clinton Foundation.

Remember when Donald Trump failed to disclose all those donations before becoming the Secretary of State, and it was only found out when a journalist went through Canadian tax records?

Oh wait, that was Hillary Clinton.

Remember when Donald Trump told Mitt Romney that the 80s called and it wanted its Russian policy back. The Cold War is over?

Oh wait, that was President Obama.

Remember when Trump got caught on a hot mic telling the Russian ambassador he’d have much more flexibility after the elections, and the ambassador said he’d pass it on to Putin?

Oh wait, that was Obama.”

Emails, IG, server. They have it all.


http://fourwinds10.com/siterun_data/government/fraud/deep_state_-_shadow_gov_-_ses/news.php?q=1532108423

http://www.stage2omega.com/this-was-too-good-not-to-share/






The Clinton Cabal aka: The Clinton Foundation An Incestuous Club

by Buster Hyde USMC/Ret


If this is HALF true it is already more scandalous than I had imagined. Funny, I never read much about this in the mainstream corporate media.

From 2001 to 2005 there was an ongoing investigation into the Clinton Foundation. A Grand Jury had been empaneled.
Governments from around the world had donated to the “Charity” known as the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation


Yet, from 2001 to 2003 NOT EVEN 1 of those “Donations” to the Clinton Foundation were declared.

hmm, you think an honest investigator would be able to figure this out.  Guess who took over this investigation in 2002?  Bet you can’t guess.

None other than James “Wassup Homey?” Comey.  Now, that’s interesting, isn’t it? 

FBI Director Comey was board member of HSBC – Clinton Foundation & Drug Cartel ‘bank of choice’  21stcenturywire.com/2016/07/13/fbi…


What many are not aware of is the political and organizational links between Hillary Clinton and James Comey behind the curtain of international high finance.  Many are unaware that Comey served on the board of banking giant HSBC (aka ‘international drugs & terrorism money laundering clearing house’) before parachuting softly into the head of the FBI in 2013.

That’s only the beginning…

It appears that James Comey (who is actually a lawyer by trade) also has long history of cases ending favorable to Clintons, including the case of Sandy Berger, a former Clinton Administration aid.


During the Berger probe, Comey said publicly that ‘we take issues of classified information very seriously’, all the while seeming to undermine the scope of the investigation   – presumably to protect the Clintons:


2004, Comey, then deputy atty general in Justice Dept, apparently limited the scope of criminal investigation of Sandy Berger, which left out fmr Clinton admn officials who may have coordinated w/Berger in his removal &destruction of classified records from the National Archives.

The documents were relevant to "accusations that the Clinton administration was negligent in the build-up to the 9/11 terrorist attack.”

“Curiously, Berger, Lynch and Cheryl Mills all worked as partners in the Washington law firm Hogan & Hartson,

..which prepared tax returns for the Clintons & did patent work for a software firm that played a role in the private email server Hillary used when she was secretary of state.”

Hogan & Hartson in Va filed a patent trademark request on May 19, 2004, for Denver-based MX Logic Inc., the computer software firm that developed the email encryption system used to manage Clinton’s private email server beginning in July 2013.
washingtonian.com/2011/12/12/how…

1999, Bill Clinton nominated Loretta Lynch for 1st of her 2 terms as US attorney for the Eastern District of New York, a position she held until she joined "Hogan & Hartson" in March 2002 to become "a partner" in the firm’s Litigation Practice Group.” opensecrets.org/revolving/sear…Many are unaware b4 Comey was installed by Obama as FBI Dir, he was on the board at HSBC Bank – a bank implicated in international money laundering, incl laundering of billions on behalf of international drugs & narcotics trafficking cartels.

Many are unaware b4 Comey was installed by Obama as FBI Dir, he was on the board at HSBC Bank – a bank implicated in international money laundering, incl laundering of billions on behalf of international drugs & narcotics trafficking cartels.  
Also Forbes points out Comey was at the key choke-point during the case involving dodgy auditor KPMG which followed on by the HSBC criminal case:

Auditor KPMG which followed on by the HSBC criminal case:

If Comey, & his boss Atty Gen Alberto Gonzalez, had made a different decision about KPMG back in 2005, KPMG would not have been around to miss all the illegal acts HSBC & Standard Chartered SCBFF +% were committing on its watch.

Bloomberg reported in 2007 that back in June of 2005, "Comey was the man thrust into the position of deciding whether KPMG would live or die for its criminal tax shelter violations.”

So according to the establishment narrative, Comey was the one who will “keep an eye on the banks” & “help stamp out corruption,” while the opposite seemed to happen.

Comey was he put in place to stop corruption, or to enable it?  His record certainly warrants some study on this point.
It seems that our beloved Leaking & Lying former FBI Director was also a director & board member of HSBC, which is "tightly connected to the Clinton Foundation."

Check out some of these links:  hsbc.com/news-and-insig…

“Mr. Comey’s appointment will be for an initial 3-yr term which, subject to re-election by shareholders, will expire at the conclusion of the 2016 Annual General Meeting.”

 
“Clinton foundation received up to $81,000,000.00 million dollars from clients of controversial HSBC bank” (where James Comey was sitting on their board - "weird" I Know right..!?)

It’s like a revolving door of ca$h and "special projects" that the "bank" & the "charity" known as the Clinton Foundation are involved in.This is the same HSBC accused of laundering drug cartel money, was heavily involved in the LIBOR scandal, and who knows what else, and all while our esteemed FBI Director James “she didn’t intend it” Comey was part of the senior leadership.

But...I Digress.

BTW,Guess who was transferred in to the IRS to run the "Tax Exemption Branch" of the IRS? (You know like for "non-profit charity organizations" like oh...say The Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation)

Your friend and mine,..our favorite person in the whole world (HINT: if you are aTea Party mbr, Pro-Life or a 'True the Vote' supporter)……. ding, ding, ding, ding via @YouTube

None Other Than
Lois -I -Plead -The -5th Lerner. 

Hauled b4 Congress, Lerner said:  “I have NOT done anything wrong, I have NOT broken ANY laws, I have NOT violated ANY IRS rules &res, & I have NOT provided false info to this or any other congressional committee.”  She then invoked her 5th Amendment & refused 2 answer ANY questions

Obama had the audacity to pre-judge the outcome of a DOJ (fake) "investigation" of IRS abuses against conservative groups, proclaiming "there's not a smidgen of corruption" – by which he seems to mean not a "scintilla of criminality." 

This "family" however, is not done growing.

So, Comey is at the bank, Lynch is at the law firm, Lerner is at the IRS and Obama was at the wheelhouse sharing the "wheel" w/Hillary herself....But Wait! That's Not All....

It gets better, well not really "better" in a good way, but I am sure this is all just a series of strange "coincidences", ...right? or....no?

Guess who ran the Tax Division inside the Department of Injustice from 2001 to 2005?  No, really....take a guess...

None other than our favorite Lawyer (abt to get burned) the Assistant Attorney General of the United States,  Rod Rosenstein.
justice.gov/tax/criminal-t…
Now, THAT IS interesting, ....isn’t it? 

And now that this incestuous, slobbering lust for power & money affair is nearly a "family"...it's not quite there yet.  "Will the next family member step forward please?"

Guess who was the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation during this exact same time-frame?  I know, it’s "a miracle"
just "a coincidence",  just "an anomaly" in statistics and chances,

Why it's none other than James Comey's "Mentor" and Herman Muenster-Wannabe: "Robert Mueller."
Yes "WAY!" 
 
OK Quick Quiz On What We Learned (hopefully)

~What do all casting characters have in common?

Answer:  They were ALL briefed and/or were front line investigators re: the Clinton Foundation Investigation.  Now that’s a YUUGE coincidence.....right?

 Fast forward to 2009:
~James "I don't Leak" Comey leaves the Justice Department to go & cash-in at Lockheed Martin.
~Hillary's running the State Dept, on her own personal email server out of a bathroom closet in her home.
~The Uranium1 “issue” comes to HRCs attention .

Like all good public servants do, you know looking out for America’s best interest, Hillary decides to support the decision to approve sale of 20% of US Uranium to no other than, those rascally Russians.

Now you would think that this is a fairly straight up deal...except it wasn’t, the People got absolutely nothing out of it.
However, b4to the sale approval, an Arkansas former Gov "Cigar-Stuffin-Slick-Willy"  aka: Former US President & Hubby 2 Hillary (& Head of Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation) goes to Moscow, is paid 500K for a 30min speech then meets w/Vladimir Putin at his home for a few hours.

Yup.That "Putin"

Same Putin that was helping @realDonaldTrump become the 45th @POTUS destroying Crooked Hillary by "spying" and "Colluding" and anything else that CNN & the DNC & Hillary can think of. (even Russian chicks peeing on ea othr just 4fun) thegatewaypundit.com/2017/10/photos…

Here's a question/answer that will make you want to punch a liberal in the pie-hole. You ready for this one?
Alright then: Guess who was the FBI Director during this time frame?  Mueller!

Yep, THAT Robert Mueller. Oh, but I am far, far from the MEAT of this one:  Robert "Special Prosecutor" Who Is Telling US To: "Sssshhhhh, Be Vewy Vaaawy Qwuit..I'm Hunting Wusshins!"

HE HAND DELIVERED a Uranium Sample FROM HILLARY to Moscow in 2009.

(Yes, Moscow IS IN RUSSIA)

If he had 1/4 ounce of integrity he would have recused himself before taking this post based on overwhelming conflicts of interest … But so too would :
~James Comey
~Rod Rosenstein
~Andrew McCabe
~Loretta Lynch
and on...and on...and on...

They ARE ONE BIG INCESTUOUS FAMILY!

The ARTICLE continues HERE


Lisa Page Admits Her Texts ‘Mean Exactly What They Say’

by Randy DeSoto


Texas Republican Rep. John Ratcliffe told reporters this week that former FBI attorney Lisa Page testified behind closed doors that the anti-Trump text messages between herself and FBI agent Peter Strzok “mean exactly what they say.”

In many cases she admits that the text messages mean exactly what they say as opposed to Agent Strzok, who thinks we’ve all misinterpreted his own words on any message that might be negative,” said Ratcliffe, who is a member of the House Judiciary Committee.

Ratcliffe further stated in an interview with Fox News host Maria Bartiromo on Sunday that Page gave the members of Congress attending the hearing “new information that Strzok wouldn’t or couldn’t that confirmed some of the concerns we have about these investigations and about the people running them.” {Like the Obama White House as new information reveals by Zero Hedge - ED]

Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s report released last month concerning the Hillary Clinton email investigation found Strzok’s anti-Trump texts with his then-mistress Page “deeply” troubling.

“We were deeply troubled by text messages sent by Strzok and Page that potentially indicated or created the appearance that investigative decisions were impacted by bias or improper considerations,” the report stated.

“No. No he won’t. We’ll stop it,” Strzok responded.

Strzok testified before the combined House Oversight and Judiciary committees last week that he did not remember writing the text, but he meant the “American people” would stop Trump by not voting for him.

“What I can tell you is that text in no way suggested that I or the FBI would take any action to influence the candidacy,” Strzok stated.

In texts released by the inspector general in December, Strzok described Trump during the campaign as a “loathsome human” and an “idiot,” and found the prospect of him being president “terrifying.”

Page wrote Strzok in August 2016, “There is no way (Trump) gets elected.”

Strzok responded, “I want to believe the path you threw out for consideration in Andy’s office …that there’s no way he gets elected — but I’m afraid we can’t take that risk. It’s like an insurance policy in the unlikely event you die before you’re 40.”

“Andy” apparently referred to then-Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe, who stepped down from the position in January to go on administrative leave. He was fired in March, two days before he was due to retire.




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Sportsmen Benefit from Interior Sec. Zinke’s Leadership

by H Sterling Burnett


The Department of the Interior (DOI), under the leadership of Secretary Ryan Zinke, has reversed Obama administration policies that hindered state wildlife management, harming hunters and anglers in the process. Consequently, sportsmen are now able to hunt and fish without undue restrictions, and nature-lovers are able to enjoy the great outdoors more fully.

On his last day in office, Dan Ashe, President Barack Obama’s director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), imposed a directive to phase-out the use of lead ammunition and fishing tackle on the 307 million acres of federal land controlled by the agency.

Some FWS wildlife managers and their partners in state agencies expressed objections about the order. The Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (AFWA), which represents the 50 states’ fish and wildlife agencies, issued a press statement saying, “the Association views this Order as a breach of trust and deeply disappointing given that it was a complete surprise and there was no current dialogue or input from state fish and wildlife agencies prior to issuance.”  Not surprisingly, Ashe’s directive did not last long. As one of his first official acts, Zinke rescinded Ashe’s lead ban.

According to John Jackson III, president of Conservation Force, “this directive skipped the normal regulatory process, including scientific and public input—with good reason, because there is no sound conservation basis for the order. This was clearly a payoff by the outgoing Obama administration to radical environmental allies.”

With the support of the Trump administration, Congress used the Congressional Review Act to rescind an Obama-era takeover of wildlife management on public lands in Alaska. In 1980, President Jimmy Carter signed the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA), which designated 157 million acres for national parks, national wildlife refuges, national monuments, wild and scenic rivers, and national forests. As a compromise for seizing so much land, the federal government recognized Alaska’s authority to manage various natural resources, including fish and wildlife, on the vast majority of the lands appropriated by the federal government.

Contrary to ANILCA, the Obama administration took management of more than 78 million acres of Alaskan land, halting the Last Frontier’s management of predators on these lands. With President Donald Trump and Zinke’s encouragement, Congress reversed this action, returning wildlife management back to its rightful place: state officials.

Obama designated an unprecedented amount of federal land as national monuments, banning hunting and fishing across millions of acres of land and water, which undermined sound wildlife management. Trump requested Zinke review all the national monuments declared in the past 27 years to determine if they were sound decisions. Zinke recommended cutting the size or changing the management of 10 monuments. So far, Trump has followed Zinke’s advice on two monuments: reducing the size of the Bears Ears National Monument from 1.5 million acres to 220,000 acres and cutting the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument from two million acres to one million acres, reopening millions of acres for outdoor recreation.

In November 2017, Zinke acknowledged the critical role hunters and anglers have played in wildlife and habitat protection and improvement with the establishment of the International Wildlife Conservation Council (IWCC). Under the American wildlife conservation model, taxes on guns, ammunition, fishing tackle, and other hunting and fishing equipment, combined with state and federal license sales, fund the vast majority of wildlife and habitat recovery, protection, and management efforts.

Zinke selected experienced members of the hunting, fishing, and wildlife management community to serve on the council, which will advise DOI concerning how to improve wildlife conservation abroad and expand the public’s awareness of hunters’ contributions to wildlife conservation and in helping wildlife law enforcement.

In his statement announcing the formation of IWCC, Zinke said, “built on the backs of hunters and anglers, the American conservation model proves to be the example for all nations to follow for wildlife and habitat conservation.”

As one of its first acts, to combat poaching, IWCC recommended DOI allow the importation of the heads and hides of African elephants and lions taken on trophy hunts. IWCC said the species would go extinct without anti-poaching programs funded in large part by the fees paid by trophy hunters to take them.

FWS agreed with the decision to reverse the Obama administration ban on trophy hunting and importation. FWS determined revenue from permits to hunt elephants and lions, among other species, aids long-term conservation of the species by providing additional resources to anti-poaching and other conservation efforts.

More recently, in mid-May, Wyoming announced it would hold the first grizzly bear hunt in the lower 48 states in more than 30 years. This only happened because DOI announced it would not reinstate protections for the bears in and around Yellowstone National Park. Grizzly bears had been protected under the Endangered Species Act since 1975.

The population of grizzly bears now exceeds 700, well greater than FWS’s population goal for the region. Accordingly, FWS concluded the bears were no longer endangered and delisted them, leaving it to the states to develop management plans to maintain bear populations at sustainable levels.

As a result, limited public hunts for grizzly bears should begin soon. The Wyoming Game and Fish Department voted to approve a limited grizzly bear hunt in the fall of 2018. Wyoming’s proposal would allow, at most, 22 grizzly bears to be killed by licensed hunters.

Idaho, with a much smaller population of grizzly bears, would allow just one bear to be taken this fall, while Montana has decided not to permit grizzly bear hunting yet.

Zinke has also opened hunting and fishing on hundreds of thousands of additional acres of the nation’s wildlife refuges. National wildlife refuges are bought and paid for with fees from hunters and fishers. In November 2017, FWS finalized regulations opening or expanding hunting and fishing opportunities on 132,000 acres on 10 national wildlife refuges located across eight states.

On May 31, FWS issued proposed rules to open an additional 248,000 acres in the national wildlife refuge system to new and expanded hunting and fishing opportunities. FWS has proposed to open three new refuges to hunting and increasing hunting and fishing activities on 26 refuges. If the rule is finalized, there would be 377 hunting and 322 fishing wildlife refuges in total.

Thus far, Trump and Zinke have been allies and advocates for hunters, anglers, and anyone who thinks wildlife and wildlands are best managed by local professionals—not politicians. As an outdoorsman myself, I can only hope they continue their efforts on behalf of the sports and wildlife I love.




H. Sterling Burnett, Ph.D. (hburnett@heartland.org) is a research fellow on energy and the environment at The Heartland Institute, a nonpartisan, nonprofit research center headquartered in Arlington Heights, Illinois.


Linking The Dollar To Gold: The Recipe for an American Economic Boom


Alexander Hamilton was America’s first Secretary of Treasury under President George Washington. When he first entered office in 1789, America was an agricultural nation of just 4 million still broke from its financially costly victory over the British Empire in the Revolutionary War.

The states had accumulated relatively massive debts to finance that war, which mostly remained unpaid. The United States did not even have a national currency, with Spanish coins still in wide circulation and use. Steve Forbes explains in his recently published definitive work, Money: How the Destruction of the Dollar Threatens the Global Economy and What We Can Do About It, “America’s finances were in a state of disarray after the wild inflation resulting from massive money printing during the American Revolution.” As a result, “Hamilton faced the challenge of restoring the economy of the young republic that had been devastated by the Revolutionary War….”

Hamilton boosted America’s economy first by advancing legislation for the federal government to assume and pay off the debts of the states, establishing the foundation for America’s historic creditworthiness. That was recognized by America’s AAA credit rating for over 200 years, until 2011 when the relentless spending of the Obama Democrats led to the first credit downgrade of the nation in history.

But even more importantly for the nation’s long term economic growth and prosperity, Hamilton promoted The Coinage Act of 1792, which established the first U.S. Mint, and fixed the value of the dollar at $19.39 per ounce. That was devalued slightly in 1834 to $20.67, which prevailed for 100 years, until President Roosevelt adopted the only major U.S. devaluation in history during the Depression, to $35 an ounce. That prevailed until President Nixon took America off the gold standard in 1971.

Forbes explained the results: “Overnight the economy sprang to life. Capital poured in from the Dutch and also America’s former enemies, the British. Barely a century after Hamilton’s reforms, the United States was the premier industrial power in the world, surpassing even Great Britain.” He added, “Hamilton’s system of banking and stable money quickly attracted and generated capital. It turned the American economy into the leading industrial power in the world.”

Forbes further explains that while America was under the gold standard, the economy boomed at an astounding 4% real rate of economic growth. At that rate, our economy, incomes and standard of living would double every 17 years. That was the foundation of the American dream and our historic, geometric explosion into the world’s leading “hyperpower.”

Forbes adds that in the U.S., “Between 1870 and 1914, real wages more than doubled even though the country had millions of immigrants [greatly expanding the supply of labor]. Agricultural output tripled. Industrial production… surged a jaw-dropping 682%.”

Campaign poster showing William McKinley holding U.S. flag and standing on gold coin “sound money”, held up by group of men, in front of ships “commerce” and factories “civilization”. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The question is why did Hamilton understand economics so much better than the Ivy League poobahs of today, like Paul Krugman, who are more interested in promoting the socially hip stagnation of socialist equality than the dynamic economic growth of capitalism.

If only Colonel Hamilton was alive today, he would be more worthy of the Nobel prize in economics than at least half of those prize winners living today.

Great Britain experienced quite similar results under the gold standard. In 1696, the Enlightenment philosopher John Locke was joined by the path-breaking scientist and physicist Isaac Newton in arguing against devaluation in the process of Britain replacing or “recoining” its debased currency with new, unshaved, fully restored coins.

By 1717, Newton was Master of the Royal Mint, and he fixed the British pound to the value in gold of 3.89 pounds an ounce. That exact same historic value remained the same for more than 200 years, until 1931.

Forbes notes, “When it tied the pound to gold, Britain was a second-tier nation. Soon all of that would change.” A century later, “By the end of the Napoleonic Wars in 1815, Great Britain emerged indisputably as the world’s major power and global center of innovation.”

Economic Benefits of the Gold Standard

Fixing a nation’s currency to gold assures that the currency maintains a stable long term value, without inflation, or deflation. That enables a nation’s money to serve as a measure of value, like a ruler measures inches, or a clock measures time. Such a stable measure of value, in turn, means money can best perform its most essential function in facilitating transactions.

When money serves as a stable measure of value, it most clearly expresses the value of everything in terms of everything else.

That best enables producers to determine whether their production is adding or wasting value as compared to the value of the inputs to that production. Or whether they should be producing something else instead that might create greater value. That information is essential for an economy to maximize output and economic growth over time.

When a farmer trades his crop for such stable money, he immediately knows what that crop is worth. And he knows that he can keep that value of his production in the currency because it will hold its value over time, until he is ready to buy something with it.

That stability of the reward for production undisturbed by monetary fluctuations adds further to the incentive for such production.

Similarly, with a stable value for money, investors know the money they will receive back from their investment will be worth the same as the money they put in it, undepreciated by inflation. That encourages greater savings, investment and capital formation from within the country. And it encourages investment and capital to flow into the country from abroad. This maximizes overall investment, production and economic growth.

Nixon Takes America Off the Gold Standard

On August 15, 1971, President Nixon took America, and the world, off the gold standard completely, leaving a world of unanchored fiat currencies, by terminating the postwar Bretton Woods monetary regime.

Nixon and his advisors mistakenly believed that this would help the economy by promoting American exports, which Forbes recognizes as 18th century mercantilist thinking. [It was Roosevelt who took America off the Gold Standard, See the end of Bretton Woods - ED]

But it was a decisive turn for the worse for the American economy, and the entire global economy. Since that time, real annual U.S. economic growth has averaged 3%, down 25% from the prior gold standard long term trend. Forbes explains,

“If America had grown for all of its history at the lower post-Bretton Woods rate, its economy [today] would be about one quarter of the size of China’s. The United States would have ended up much smaller, less affluent, and less powerful.”

Moreover, “Since 1971, the dollar’s purchasing power has declined by more than 80%,” with about a third of that (26%) since 2000. Real incomes have been stagnant, or even declined. “[A] man in his thirties or forties who earned $54,163 in 1972 today earns around $45,224 in inflation adjusted dollars — a 17% cut in pay.”

Unemployment has been significantly higher on average. Globally, “After the 1970s, world economic growth has been a full percentage point lower; inflation 1.5% higher.”

Forbes observes, “The correlation between unstable money and an unstable global economy would seem obvious.” Indeed, the termination of any link between the dollar and gold immediately inaugurated worsening boom and bust cycles of inflation and recession in the 1970s, with inflation soaring into double digits for several years. Inflation peaked at 25% over just two years in 1979 and 1980.

It took the worst recession since the Great Depression in 1981-1982 to tame that inflation, with double digit interest rates for years, and unemployment peaking at 10.8%. The Reagan/Volcker/Greenspan strong dollar monetary policies effectively restored a discretionary link to gold, with gold stabilizing around $300 to $350 for 20 years. That kept close control over inflation.

But this discretionary standard broke down as 2000 approached. The Fed loosened money and reduced interest rates over the Y2K scare, contributing to the tech stock bubble. Much worse, the Bush Administration supported a weak dollar monetary policy again on the mercantilist/Keynesian confusion that would help the economy by promoting exports.

That included more loose money and 2½ years of negative real interest rates which served to pump up the housing bubble and lead, along with Clinton’s wild over regulation (in the name of affordable housing), to the 2008 financial crisis and recession.

The best thing about Steve Forbes’ new book, Money, is that it discusses exactly the specific reforms that should be adopted today to establish a modern, 21st century link to gold for the dollar. That new system would not require the federal government to hold any gold stockpiles, and the money supply would not be limited to the availability of any quantity of gold.

Federal law would fix the dollar’s value in gold at a specified market price. That price would be set by some index to recent market prices for gold, perhaps the average gold price for the last five to 10 years, marked up by 10% as a hedge against causing deflation in the process. Federal law would mandate that the Fed conduct its monetary policy to ensure a stable value of the dollar at that market price.

The Fed would enforce that price through its open market operations buying and selling U.S. government bonds. If the price of gold began wandering in the market above the specified market price, that would signal the threat of inflation, and the Fed would begin tightening monetary policy by selling bonds to the market in return for cash withdrawn from the market.

That reduced money supply would hold down price increases in the market, including for gold. The Fed would continue this policy, until the market price for gold returned to its specified target value.

If the price of gold began wandering in the market below the specified market price, that would signal the threat of deflation. The Fed would then begin loosening monetary policy by printing cash to buy U.S. government bonds in the market. That would increase the money supply, which would tend to increase prices in the marketplace, including for gold.

The Fed would continue this policy until the market price for gold returned to its specified target value. The Fed would be required by the federal law to take such actions to prevent the price of gold from varying from the target price by more than 1%, which was the range permitted under the Bretton Woods system for currencies to fluctuate against the then gold backed dollar.

The federal law would provide that this new monetary policy would become effective at a specific date set in the future, perhaps 12 months away, to enable the private economy to plan for and adjust to the new policy. The law should grant the President or some other federal official the power to adjust the target price for gold to reflect more recent market prices as the implementation date approaches.

Those more recent market prices would better reflect what the target gold price should be when the dollar is based on this new link to gold.

A lesson learned from experience with President Obama, the law should also specify that any member of Congress would have standing to sue the President or other designated official if he or she did not carry out the law regarding this later market based adjustment as provided, and that federal courts would have the power to enforce relief. For example, not following more recent market prices in adjusting the target price would be a violation of the law.

This would effectively mean that the Fed would no longer have any power to pursue discretionary monetary policies to try to guide the economy in one direction or another. The new federal law would bar the Fed from attempting to manipulate interest rates, for example.

The Fed would no longer have the power to set the federal funds rate, which is the rate banks pay to one another to borrow reserves. The Fed would continue to have the power to act as a lender of last resort to deal with financial panics that might temporarily threaten an otherwise sound bank.

So the Fed could continue to set the “discount rate” that it would charge for such short term, lender of last resort borrowing. But even that would be required to be set above market rates, so that the Fed would not become a cheap source of funds for banks to borrow to lend out.

Along with a federal balanced budget amendment to the Constitution, this would effectively make Keynesian economics illegal. That would be highly desirable, because Keynesian economics is proven not to work, and Keynesian advocates are so oblivious to reasoned discussion on the point.

As a safeguard to help ensure that the Fed did follow its responsibilities under this new law, the law should specify that anyone could turn dollars into the Fed, and get gold at the legally specified target price. If the Fed was following the law, it could always buy gold in the market to pay for such a redemption in return for the target price for gold.

If the Fed was not following the law, then it would likely not be able to finance such mandatory redemptions. The new federal gold law should again specify that any member of Congress would have automatic standing to sue the Fed to enforce the law.

Another safeguard would involve removing all barriers to the rise of private, competing, alternative currencies, to challenge the Fed to enforce and follow the law. That would mean no taxes, including capital gains taxes, could be assessed on sales of gold and silver. If the Fed did not follow the law, then these competing currencies could displace the dollar.

Such a new gold link to the dollar would be the last, missing component to any comprehensive strategy to restore traditional, world leading, American prosperity. Such a strategy would include as well personal and corporate tax reform to lower tax rates, deregulation of unnecessary regulatory costs and barriers, reduced federal spending to balance the budget and reduce the national debt as a percent of GDP, and free trade.

Those policies could be expected to restore long-term U.S. economic growth to 4% of GDP, which would leapfrog the American economy another generation ahead of the rest of the world.





Peter Ferrara is Director of Entitlement and Budget Policy for the Heartland Institute, Senior Advisor for Entitlement Reform and Budget Policy at the National Tax Limitation Foundation, General Counsel for the American Civil Rights Union, and Senior Fellow at the National Center for Policy Analysis. He served in the White House Office of Policy Development under President Reagan, and as Associate Deputy Attorney General of the United States under President George H.W. Bush.

This article is published under a creative commons license here.

National Guard Deployment Nets Arrest of 10,000 ‘Deportable Aliens’

by Jack Davis


The deployment of National Guard members along the United States’ southern border has led to more than 10,000 arrests, Customs and Border Protection officials said Monday.

About 1,600 Guard members have been deployed along the border since April, assisting Border Patrol agents with a variety of duties.

Their presence has led to 10,805 “deportable alien arrests,” said CBP press secretary Corry Schiermeyer, according to the Washington Examiner.

Guard members cannot make arrests because they are members of America’s military, but they can both lead agents to places where illegal immigrants have crossed and perform duties that free up agents to patrol the front lines.

More than 3,300 attempted border crossers were turned back because the Guard was on duty, Schiermeyer said. Further, 11,686 pounds of marijuana has been seized due to the presence of Guard units.

Guard troops providing support include those performing surveillance duties and those playing support roles to maintain equipment.

“From the get-go, our goal has been to return agents back to the border. Not all soldiers are directly replacing an agent, but every soldier contributes to the overall mission,” Assistant Chief Alfredo Lozano told Stars and Stripes last week.

Guard units are deployed through the end of September.

Despite the efforts of multiple law enforcement and military units, illegal immigrants still make it across the border.

On Friday, Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers arrested 18 smugglers and 117 illegal immigrants in southern New Mexico and El Paso, Texas, Fox News reported.

“We remain steadfast in our commitment to vigorously pursue members of transnational criminal networks that exploit and endanger people they smuggle into our country,” Jack P. Staton, special agent in charge of ICE Homeland Security Investigations in El Paso, said in a statement.

The Washington Post  has reported that the Trump administration is considering a financial agreement with Mexico in which Mexico would help reduce the numbers of illegal immigrants coming across the border.

“We believe the flows would drop dramatically and fairly immediately” if such a deal took place, the Post quoted an unnamed senior Department of Homeland Security official as saying.

The way the plan would work is that illegal immigrants coming from Central America through Mexico would apply for protection there. Then, the U.S. can return anyone crossing the border illegally to Mexico.

Mexico would be paid, the Post reported.

“Look at the amount of money spent on border security, on courts, on detention and immigration enforcement,” the senior DHS official said, according to the Post.

“It’d be pennies on the dollar to support Mexico in this area.”




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The White House Fence

by Anonymous


Three contractors are bidding to fix a broken fence at the White House.
 
One is from Chicago, another is from Kentucky, and the third is from New Orleans.All three go with a White House official to examine the fence.
 
The New Orleans contractor takes out a tape measure and does some measuring, then works some figures with a pencil.
 
"Well," he says, "I figure the job will run about $9,000. That's $4,000 for materials, $4,000 for my crew and $1,000 profit for me."
 
The Kentucky contractor also does some measuring and figuring, then says, "I can do this job for $7,000. That's $3,000 for materials, $3,000 for my crew and $1,000 profit for me."
 
The Chicago contractor doesn't measure or figure, but leans over to the White House official and whispers, "$27,000."
 
The official, incredulous, says, "You didn't even measure like the other guys. How did you come up with such a high figure?”
 
"The Chicago contractor whispers back, "$10,000 for me, $10,000 for you, and we hire the guy from Kentucky to fix the fence."
 
"Done!" replies the government official.
 
And that, my friends, is how the Government Stimulus plan worked.
 
Remember... Four boxes keep us free: the soap box, the ballot box, the jury box, and the cartridge box.
 
"I love my country, it's the government I'm afraid of!"

WaPo Forced To Issue Correction after Citing Satirical Website as Credible Source

by Jack Davis


When The Washington Post went to chronicle a British protest linked to the upcoming arrival of President Donald Trump, it included information that even The Post later had to agree was fake news.

As reported by Entertainment Weekly, British music fans are working to drive the 2004 Green Day song “American Idiot” up in the charts as their way of protesting Trump’s visit.

As of Tuesday, the song was, in fact, atop Amazon U.K.’s top-seller list and well toward the top on other charts as well.

In its reporting on that, The Post was on target. But the story went astray when it included information from Clickhole.com, a website that offers satire and not facts, the Washington Free Beacon reported.

The site had a satirical Op-Ed attributed to Green Day frontman Billy Joe Armstrong about the song, some of which found its way into The Post’s article.

“But despite the song’s ubiquity, Armstrong waited 13 years to reveal — in an article he wrote for Clickhole.com — that the ‘American Idiot’ was President George W. Bush,” The Post wrote.


The satirical piece, which remains up on Clickhole, further slams Bush.

“The main reason we made George W. Bush the ‘American Idiot’ is because he started a war,” the Clickhole article quotes Armstrong as saying.

It took a little time, but eventually The Post learned it had conflated satire with news and tweeted a correction.

Does this erode your trust in the mainstream media?

“A previous version of this report included information about the meaning of ‘American Idiot’ that was attributed to a Clickhole.com article. Clickhole.com is a satire site. The information has been removed from the story,” the note read.

The campaign to boost the song has been a long time in the works.

Paul Shane and Jeffrey Holland, who are behind the effort, said they started working on the project in January 2017. “(When British Prime Minister) Theresa May offered Trump a full state visit, 1.8 million people signed a government petition to protest this,” they said, according to Newsweek. “We thought we’d protest in a different way. We thought this would be amusing.

Trump will arrive in Britain on Thursday and remain through Sunday. During his visit, he is scheduled to meet with May and Queen Elizabeth II.



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