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 on: December 08, 2016, 01:01:45 AM 
Started by Crafty_Dog - Last post by Crafty_Dog
White House "Champion" Blasts Muslims Who Talk to Any Pro-Israel Jews
IPT News
December 7, 2016

 Palestinian activist Linda Sarsour took to Twitter Nov. 22 with a quick, venting post: "You know what I can't stand? Bitter people. That's all."

Sarsour spoke at the annual American Muslims for Palestine (AMP) conference three days later. Evidently, she can't stand herself.

Sarsour, who describes herself as a "racial justice and civil rights activist," lashed out at Jews who extended a hand of friendship and solidarity over concerns that increasing hostility toward Muslims in America might lead to draconian government action. And she lashed out at fellow Muslims who accepted the gesture and joined in a new inter-faith dialogue.

Why the bitterness?

The Jews at issue support the state of Israel, support its existence and its vitality. Sarsour wants none of that.
"We have limits to the type of friendships that we're looking for right now," Sarsour told the AMP conference, "and I want to be friends with those whom I know have been steadfast, courageous, have been standing up and protecting their own communities, those who have taken the risk to stand up and say we are with the Palestinian people, we unequivocally support BDS [boycott, divestment and sanctioning Israel] when it comes to Palestinian human rights and have been attacked viciously by the very people who are telling you that they're about to stand on the front line of the Muslim registry program. No thank you, sisters and brothers."

It's a message that fit right in at the AMP conference. AMP claims its "sole purpose is to educate the American public and media about issues related to Palestine and its rich cultural and historical heritage." But in practice, the group has defended Hamas and its leaders admit they seek "to challenge the legitimacy of the State of Israel."

 Sarsour, a media darling honored by the Obama White House as a "Champion of Change" and a high-profile surrogate for Bernie Sanders' failed Democratic presidential nomination campaign, seems to strike a different tone in public appearances. Her biography says she is "most known for her intersectional coalition work and building bridges across issues, racial, ethnic and faith communities." That clearly wasn't her intent at the AMP conference.
She acknowledges there's a rift among Islamists about how hard a line to draw in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, yet she was intent on pouring gasoline on the fire.

The "cracks in our community" are so wide, she said, they're visible to "right-wing Zionists, Islamophobes, white supremacists.  They know where we're divided. They know that we're segregated," she said. "So they, we could easily be targeted when we're a fragmented community. But if we were a strong, united, steadfast community that stood up for each other first and foremost, you'd better believe that no opposition would ever be trying to take us down, because we'd be too big, too strong and too united."

Some of her comments likely were directed at Anti-Defamation League chief Jonathan Greenblatt. Should a Trump administration create a registry for Muslims, an idea that does not seem to be on the table, Greenblatt recently pledged that "this proud Jew will register as Muslim."

Sarsour not only rebuked the gesture, she cast Muslims who might respond more positively as sellouts of the Palestinian cause. Cooperation and solidarity gestures should only be reserved for those who share the depth of her hatred toward Israel, she said.
"I am tired of Muslims working towards acceptance and not respect of our communities. And I'm also tired of the Muslims willing to sell Palestine just for a little acceptance and nod from the white man and white power in these United States of America," Sarsour said.
Despite this extreme stance, Sarsour is a rising star among American Islamist activists. She has been welcomed to the White House at least 10 times during President Obama's tenure, most recently in July for a celebration of the Muslim Eid holiday. Last year, a glowing New York Times profile described her as "a Brooklyn Homegirl in a Hijab."

"But the most apparent thing about her voice is that it is exceedingly Brooklyn," the story said. "She says 'swag' instead of 'charisma.' ('Mr. B. has swag ...) She calls her father, a Palestinian immigrant in his 60s, 'Pops.' Like the actress Rosie Perez in a hijab, Ms. Sarsour has perfected her delivery of the head-swaying 'Oh no you dih-int' and pronounces the word 'Latino' like, well, a Latino."

Sarsour also says "nothing is creepier than Zionism," and all-but accused the CIA of faking an attempted terrorist attack.

Those statements didn't make the Times profile. And they didn't prompt the Obama administration to reconsider the wisdom of elevating Sarsour's clout with repeated White House access.

In February, just over a year after terrorists massacred the staff at the French magazine Charlie Hebdo, saying they "avenged the Prophet," Sarsour told a Council on American-Islamic Affairs (CAIR) banquet in Chicago that she would not stand with the victims. The magazine was "a bigot and a racist" for publishing caricatures of Islam's prophet Muhammad, she said. The images served to "vilify my faith, dehumanize my community [and] demoralize my prophet."

Building off Sarsour's rejection of anyone who breaks bread with Zionists, former AMP New York President Raja Abdulhaq defined the BDS movement not as a tool to lead to peaceful negotiations but as way to break Israel into total surrender.
"The rights are non-negotiable. And that's the whole point of BDS, is that we demand, we want to apply pressure," Abdulhaq said, "not sit down in a negotiated setting and figure out what you can give up so that I can give up something in return, because what you're essentially doing is you're asking the other side give up your illegality, stop your illegality and I will give up my rights. What kind of negotiation is that? No, I demand my rights, and you stop your illegality. And that's the whole basis of BDS."

Among the non-negotiable "rights" Abdulhaq says AMP and the BDS movement insist upon is the so-called "right of return" for Palestinians. That would lead to a huge influx of Palestinians into Israel, swamping the country demographically and ending its existence as a Jewish homeland.

That's just fine with conference speaker Lamis Deek, an attorney and board member for CAIR's New York chapter. She repeatedly described Israelis as "serial killers" intent on ethnic cleansing.
"There is a serial killer in our home," Deek said. "And what do you do when you are confronted with a serial killer, right? You protect yourself. You protect your family. You scream for help. And you expect that when you scream for help from a serial killer everybody is gonna come to your aid, they're gonna come protect and defend you. Right? You don't expect somebody to intervene on behalf of the serial killer ... and say 'the serial killer has some rights, let us tell you about the rights the serial killer has' as he begins to kill you. Right?"

Like Sarsour, Deek expressed frustration at Muslims who accept other viewpoints.

"Nothing has set back the Palestinian movement in the U.S. more than demands by people who want to work and focus their efforts on [Washington] D.C., by their demands that we tame our demands for Palestine," she said.

Dawud Walid, CAIR's Michigan director, echoed the message about Muslim groups who appear too accommodating. "If these organizations claim to represent the Muslim community," he said, "then when we see them doing things that go outside of the mainstream of the (UI word) of our community, we need to hold them accountable, and if they continue to step outside of the boundaries, then we should withdraw our support and make that very public."
Walid has acknowledged that his employer, which works hard to project an image as a civil rights organization, really sees itself as "defenders of the Palestinian struggle."

Deek, meanwhile, spoke of the harm done to the Palestinian cause by the U.S.-brokered Oslo Accords. While that initiative may have given Palestinians autonomy, it came at the cost of unity, she said.

It's not clear what she means. But, since 2006, the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority has governed the West Bank while Hamas controls Gaza.
Oslo also made it more difficult to engage in terrorism what Deek calls "armed resistance."
"Now armed resistance, self-defense, has been the only direct challenge to Zionist colonial expansion. Nothing else is a direct challenge," she told the AMP conference. "Everything else is an indirect challenge, right? Pressure economic pressure, diplomatic pressure. So this national united Palestinian body was able by supporting the resistance was able to be part of directly impacting and influencing Zionist policy."

Advocating more Palestinian violence is consistent for an AMP gathering. The organization's message never mentions peaceful co-existence. An Investigative Project on Terrorism investigation found connections between at least five AMP officials and speakers and the defunct Hamas support network called the "Palestine Committee."

During the 2014 war between Israel and Hamas, AMP's then-National Campus Coordinator Taher Herzallah posted images of wounded Israelis, calling them "The most beautiful site (sic) in my eyes." He defended indiscriminate Hamas rocket fire at Israeli civilian communities as "an audible cry for help" and "an act of resistance."

Two clear messages emerged from the AMP conference. "Resistance" is better than renouncing violence and seeking peace. All Muslims who might disagree, even if they see eye-to-eye on other issues, are no longer welcome.

These extreme stands came from speakers who enjoy prominent political profiles and high-level contacts.

Sarsour is right about one thing. There is a rift in her community. She and her AMP panelists are the ones widening it.

 on: December 07, 2016, 06:39:53 PM 
Started by rachelg - Last post by Crafty_Dog

 on: December 07, 2016, 06:39:28 PM 
Started by Crafty_Dog - Last post by Crafty_Dog

 on: December 07, 2016, 06:28:25 PM 
Started by Crafty_Dog - Last post by Crafty_Dog

 on: December 07, 2016, 03:39:36 PM 
Started by Crafty_Dog - Last post by Crafty_Dog
Nonfarm Productivity Increased at a 3.1% Annual Rate in the Third Quarter To view this article, Click Here
Brian S. Wesbury, Chief Economist
Robert Stein, Deputy Chief Economist
Date: 12/6/2016

Nonfarm productivity (output per hour) increased at a 3.1% annual rate in the third quarter, unchanged from last month's preliminary report. Nonfarm productivity is unchanged versus last year.

Real (inflation-adjusted) compensation per hour in the nonfarm sector increased at a 2.2% annual rate in Q3 and is up 1.8% versus last year. Unit labor costs rose at a 0.7% annual rate in Q3 and are up 3.0% versus a year ago.

In the manufacturing sector, productivity rose at a 0.4% annual rate in Q3, slower than among nonfarm businesses as a whole. The smaller gain in manufacturing productivity was due to slower growth in output. Real compensation per hour increased at a 2.0% annual rate in the manufacturing sector, while unit labor costs rose at a 3.3% annual rate.

Implications: Nonfarm productivity growth was unrevised at a 3.1% annual rate in the third quarter. That may seem odd given the upward revisions to real GDP growth for Q3, but the number of hours worked were revised up as well, leaving output growth per hour unchanged. Still, that 3.1% annualized gain in productivity for the third quarter represents the fastest gain in two years, a break from the trend in declining productivity readings over the prior three quarters, and a clear improvement from the 2% annualized pace of productivity growth seen over the past twenty years. But despite the healthy rise in Q3, productivity remains unchanged from a year ago. We believe government statistics underestimate actual productivity growth. Have you ever had to call a cab or a limo to come pick you up on short notice? Now, with the press of a button, UBER sends a car directly to your door. And it's faster, easier, and often cheaper than ever before. Meanwhile Yelp gives you instant restaurant reviews and Facetime lets you talk face-to-face with people thousands of miles away. The benefits from these technologies have been immense. But because many of these incredible new technologies are free, they aren't directly included in output measures, making their impact on productivity difficult to measure. So while our quality of life continues to rise, it's not completely showing up in the government statistics. As the tax and regulatory environment improves, expect productivity growth to pick up in the next couple of years. In particular, a lower tax rate on corporate America will encourage greater efficiency. In addition, continued employment gains are pushing down the unemployment rate and putting rising pressure on wages, which give companies a greater incentive to take advantage of the efficiency-enhancing technology that entrepreneurs have been inventing in troves.

 on: December 07, 2016, 03:22:15 PM 
Started by Crafty_Dog - Last post by Crafty_Dog
Third post

 on: December 07, 2016, 12:51:44 PM 
Started by Crafty_Dog - Last post by Crafty_Dog
Second post:

 on: December 07, 2016, 12:43:45 PM 
Started by Crafty Dog - Last post by Crafty_Dog

It Will Take More Than a Wall to Solve Border Crime
Security Weekly
December 1, 2016 | 08:05 GMT Print
Text Size
A view of Nogales from the American side of the U.S.-Mexico border. If walls were an effective way to halt the cross-border movement of contraband, cartels would not bother to expend so much blood and treasure to capture cities like Nogales. (FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)

By Scott Stewart

Nearly a month has passed since U.S. voters chose their next president, and over the past few weeks it has become a little clearer how the policies of President Donald Trump will differ from the promises of candidate Trump. As we have seen since January 2009, when newly elected President Barack Obama received the Nobel Peace Prize for his campaign pledges of change and hope, reality has a way of constraining a leader's ability to effect real change. More often than not, the policies that presidents put into practice look very different from the ideas they put forth on the campaign trail.

The same will probably be true of Trump's vow to seal the U.S.-Mexico border by building a wall. One of the biggest problems with this proposal is that the flow of illegal immigrants and contraband between the two countries is not a simple matter of physical security, international relations, or customs and immigration law. Rather, the cross-border movement of goods and people is driven by formidable economic forces that are powerful enough to overwhelm any barrier just as they have with walls built for the same purpose in the past.

Digging Into the Economics

Anyone who knows me or has read my columns is aware that I love to analyze criminal and terrorist tactics. As a former special agent who spent years investigating bombings, crime and fraud, those subjects get my blood pumping much faster than talk of politics and economics. (Needless to say, I wasn't at all excited when I was forced to take economics in high school and college.) That said, the more I study criminal trends, the more I see the principles of economics at work.

No matter what kind of barrier the U.S. government tries to build along its border with Mexico, it will be impossible to stop the flow of drugs and people north (or the flow of guns and money south) so long as there is money to be made in the process. A kilo of methamphetamine, for example, might cost $300-$500 to synthesize in Mexico but sell for $20,000 in the United States. By the same token, guns purchased legally in the United States can be sold for three to five times that in Mexico. Those are profit margins any businessman would envy.

As we've seen over the past few decades, border barriers can redirect the illicit flow of people or goods, but they cannot stop it. Driven by the prospect of striking it rich, smugglers have come up with any number of creative means to go over, under or through walls. They are constantly coming up with new ways to hide contraband in commercial cargo shipments, personal vehicles or people's bodies. In fact, far more drugs cross the U.S.-Mexico border through official checkpoints than are smuggled through the empty expanses of desert on either side especially when it comes to high-value drugs such as methamphetamine, cocaine and heroin.

This is why Mexican drug cartels spend so much effort fighting for control of walled border-crossing cities (referred to as "plazas" in Spanish). Massive amounts of illegal trade pass through these towns, and the organizations that control them can collect a tax (or "piso") on the smuggling activities taking place there. If walls were truly an effective way to halt the movement of contraband at the border, cartels would never bother to expend the blood and treasure needed to capture and hold cities such as Nuevo Laredo, Reynosa, Juarez and Tijuana all of which have had walls running through them for decades.

One of the biggest gaps smugglers have discovered in border security is people. The U.S.-Mexico border is the most heavily trafficked land border in the world: Some 6 million cars, 440,000 trucks and 3.3 million pedestrians move northward across it every month. These volumes skyrocket when you add in the goods and people traveling between the two countries by train, bus, air and sea. And all of these individuals present transit opportunities for smugglers.

Nevertheless, barriers have become more effective (and screening equipment more sophisticated) in recent years, making it more difficult to illegally sneak people or goods through checkpoints. As a result, the number of corruption cases involving border inspection and law enforcement officials has spiked, and corruption has seeped through every layer of local, state and federal government. In some places, it is simply cheaper and easier for smugglers to pay an inspector to look the other way as a shipment of drugs passes through an inspection lane than it is to dig a tunnel or find some other means of bypassing it. Similarly, as it has become harder to legally cross the border, the level of interest in obtaining legitimate border crossing cards, visas and passports from corrupt authorities has risen.

Another Brick in the Wall

Fences have existed along some parts of the U.S.-Mexico border for decades. In the early 1990s, Washington began to construct more substantial barriers in urban areas, many of which were made with surplus metal runway mats (known as perforated steel planking) from the Vietnam War. More sophisticated fencing techniques did not appear until 1995, when Sandia National Laboratories created a barrier three layers deep that was designed to slow intruders until border patrol agents could respond to the breach. In this scheme, the layer closest to the foreign country is a thick metal wall, separated from the middle layer a metal mesh fence by a well-lit open area blanketed with technological surveillance, including cameras, thermal imaging and an array of sensors.

Then, in areas most prone to heavy traffic, a low fence forms the third and innermost layer.

In 2006, the Secure Fence Act sought to extend existing fences along the border. Yet even with the additions, there are still gaps that are hundreds of kilometers long in the nearly 3,200-kilometer (2,000-mile) border. Lawmakers have repeatedly proposed measures that would fund fence-building in these areas, but none have been approved because of the serious doubts that remain on fences' effectiveness in deterring illegal border crossings. According to The Washington Post, the Department of Homeland Security spent $3.4 billion and completed 1,030 of the 1,050 kilometers of fencing and vehicle barriers called for by the Secure Border Initiative before it was shuttered. Filling in the rest of the border (with the exception of a 322-kilometer stretch of land in southwest Texas) is estimated to cost somewhere between $7 billion and $10 billion. But despite the money spent on the Secure Border Initiative, there has been no discernable drop in the flow of narcotics into the United States, based on their steady prices on the street.

The Buck Stops Here

The bottom line is that until Americans stop paying premium dollars for drugs being transported through or manufactured in Mexico, it simply won't be possible to keep them from entering the country. When I talk to U.S. or Mexican politicians and law enforcement agents, they are well aware of this fact and understand that they are fighting an unwinnable war. Nevertheless, they feel compelled to keep trying to stem the drug trade as best they can.

If government authorities could quash the demand for drugs, Mexican cartels would implode. They would continue to be groups of criminals, but they would be criminals with far fewer resources. Smuggling plazas would no longer be worth fighting bloody battles for, and they would not need to worry about getting cash across the border in bulk. Moreover, cartels would not have the money to pay top dollar for U.S. guns, or to buy off government officials on both sides of the border.

Unfortunately, reducing demand for narcotics is easier said than done. Drug addiction is a serious social, moral, public health and mental health issue to which there is no simple solution. We cannot just arrest our way out of the problem, either: People will continue to spend exorbitant amounts of money on illegal drugs, regardless of the risk of imprisonment. And as long as the demand for drugs exists, the lure of massive profits will continue to push smugglers to find new ways to circumvent border security.

The same is largely true for illegal immigration. It is clear that the improving health of the Mexican economy has done more to reduce the flood of job seekers heading to the United States than stricter border controls have. That said, Venezuela and Central America's northern triangle are still suffering from steep crime and bleak economies. If Americans are willing to hire workers who are here without documentation, laborers will find ways to come to the United States.

Clamping down on demand for illegal labor is a little easier than eliminating the need for drugs. In fact, all it takes is the strict enforcement of laws prohibiting the employment of undocumented workers. So, if the U.S. government is serious about halting illegal immigration, it could put more effort into arresting and fining the U.S. citizens who hire illegal immigrants rather than the immigrants themselves, drying up the demand that is drawing job-seekers in droves. The fines collected from these cases could even be used to build the rest of the border wall. This approach, however, would be deeply unpopular with construction and landscaping firms, poultry processors and other powerful agriculture groups, which is why these laws are not tightly enforced now. That U.S. companies in these sectors employ undocumented workers is a poorly kept secret, and immigration authorities know which ones are guilty of doing so. But any attempt to slap these firms and their leaders with fines or criminal charges would probably amount to political suicide, as would fining people who hire illegal immigrants as gardeners, nannies or maids. Cracking down on these practices could also damage certain U.S. industries, making it a strategy unlikely to be implemented anytime soon.

Of course, even if demand for illegal labor were significantly slashed, criminal aliens those who migrate to the United States to commit crimes instead of finding work would not be directly affected. Even so, if the total number of undocumented aliens greatly declines, more law enforcement resources could be funneled toward countering criminal aliens and more sinister threats such as terrorist operatives, rather than be spent chasing day laborers.

With no surefire way to decrease demand for drugs and no politically feasible method of reducing demand for undocumented labor, border security will continue to be punted from one administration to the next.

 on: December 07, 2016, 12:34:19 PM 
Started by Crafty Dog - Last post by Crafty_Dog
DHS: Hamas-Tied NJ Imam Must Prove Why He Shouldn't Be Deported
by John Rossomando    Dec 7, 2016 at 11:09 am
Evidence being used against him in the Department of Homeland Security's effort to deport him is the product of torture and is not credible, a Hamas-connected imam testified Tuesday in a Newark, N.J. immigration court.

Mohammad Qatanani is imam at the Islamic Center of Passaic County. Immigration officials have been fighting to deport him since 2006, alleging he failed to disclose connections with Hamas when he applied for permanent residency. When he came to the United States 10 years earlier, he claimed he had never been arrested or belonged to any terrorist groups.  That history makes Qatanani subject to deportation, DHS says.

Tuesday's hearing centered on Qatanani's October 1993 arrest and conviction by an Israeli military court on charges he provided support to Hamas. He claims Israeli authorities detained him and never charged him.

"No lawyer prior to 2008 ever told me that I had a conviction," Qatanani said.

U.S. Immigration Judge Judge Alberto Reifkohl ruled in 2008 that the bulk of the evidence and testimony introduced by the Department of Homeland Security was not credible and granted Qatanani permanent residency, better known as a "green card."

The Justice Department's Board of Immigration Appeals sent the case back to Reifkohl in October 2009, finding that he erred rejecting the credibility of evidence and government testimony.  In addition, DHS attorneys bolstered some of the evidence obtained from Israeli officials, including two confessions which include statements Qatanani made about his Hamas connection. Three additional witness statements came from people who told Israeli officials that Qatanani recruited them to join Hamas.  Qatanani claims he never was given translations of the Hebrew-language Israeli court records and never knew what they alleged. "There is no confession to my understanding" Qatanani said Tuesday.

He also disputed that the signatures on the documents were his, saying instead they were "similar" to his signature. DHS evidence was able to match the fingerprints on the documents to Qatanani.

He claims he was mistreated in Israeli custody, but never signed any documents he thought were confessions, describing them as "finishing papers."
The legal standard in immigration court is less stringent than a criminal conviction. This means DHS only needs to show that Qatanani had associations with Hamas that he hid on his visa application. Under immigration law, the Qatanani has the burden of proof to show he is not a terrorist, said Department of Homeland Security Deputy Chief Counsel Chris Brundage.

It's impossible for Qatanani to get around the fact he lied when he said he never had been arrested, Brundage said.

No ruling was issued before the hearing recessed. It is scheduled to resume next month.

 on: December 07, 2016, 12:15:11 PM 
Started by Crafty Dog - Last post by Crafty_Dog

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