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Alien Nation: America’s Immigration Disaster
Mr. Brimelow discussed his book Alien Nation: Common Sense About America’s Immigration Disaster, published by Random House. The book focuses on U.S. immigration policy and cycles of control on immigration. Mr. Brimelow argues that legislation passed in 1965 has resulted in negative trends in immigration to the United States, including an influx of immigrants from a very few countries that he says are engulfing America. The author says that the latest immigration wave consists of immigrants who are less educated, less skilled, and less likely to share American ideals, which he argues is a detriment to American culture.
Peter Brimelow Reflects on Immigration in America, Post-Alien Nation
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Peter Brimelow, Immigration Road to Hell
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Inequality and Immigration (1 of 3)
Inequality and Immigration (2 of 3)
Inequality & Immigration (3 of 3)
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US Concludes Malaysian Airline was Shot Down, Both Russia and Ukraine Deny Involvment
One radar system saw a surface-to-air missile system turn on and track an aircraft right before the plane went down Thursday, according to the official. Photo:mashable.com
The United States has concluded the Malaysian airline was shot down, a senior U.S. official told CNN’s Barbara Starr. They are analyzing the trajectory of the missile to try to learn where the attack came from.
“[US intelligence has] another asset that gives them a heat signature, an infrared heat signature that tells them there was a massive event … they put both of these pieces of information together and concluded that the plane was shot down,” Starr said.
One radar system saw a surface-to-air missile system turn on and track an aircraft right before the plane went down Thursday, according to the official. A second system saw a heat signature at the time the airliner was hit, the official said.
US intelligence is reportedly still working to determine the exact location from which the missile was fired, and whether it was on the Russian or the Ukrainian side of the border.
The UN Security Council plans to hold an emergency meeting over the shooting down of Malaysian airliner in Ukraine, and the deteriorating situation in the country. The meeting was called in by the UK, Itar-tass reports.
NATO’s chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen has also urged an immediate international investigation into the crash of the Malaysia Airlines MH17 plane in Eastern Ukraine, RIA-Novosti news agency reports.
“No surface-to-air systems are involved in the military operation against separatists in the east, and the plane was out of reach of other Ukrainian air defence forces,” the statement from Ukraine’s Defence Ministry added.
Yet, The Ukrainian military reportedly deployed a battery of Buk surface-to-air missile systems, capable of bringing down high-flying jets, to the Donetsk region the day before the Malaysian passenger plane crashed in the area.
Itar-Tass and Interfax news agencies are citing a source familiar with the issue, who said that another battery of Buk systems is currently being prepared for shipment to Donetsk region from the Ukrainian city of Kharkov.
Meanwhile, Ukraine’s state security chief accused two Russian military intelligence officers of involvement in the downing of a Malaysian passenger plane on Thursday. The SBU chief Valentin Nalivaychenko added they must be punished for their “crime.” The Ukrainian official said he based his allegation on intercepts of phone conversations between the two officers.
The purported telephone intercepts have been posted to YouTube (Russian), as have past recordings of alleged conversations between rebels, some of whom are accused of being agents with Russian agents.
In the recordings, men nicknamed “Demon”, “Mayor,” and “Grek” panic and curse as they realize they’ve shot down a passenger plane and killed civilians, describing to each other the “bodies of women and children”.
The authenticity of the recordings, however, cannot be confirmed.
IHS Jane’s Defense analyst, Nick de Larrinaga, shared the belief that the self-defense forces lack the capability to bring the Malaysian plane down.
“At normal cruising altitude a civilian passenger aircraft would be out of the range of the sort of manned portable air (defense) systems that we have seen proliferate in rebel hands in east Ukraine,” he said in a statement.
But the aircraft would be within range of Buk or other medium-range surface-to-air missile systems, he stressed.
“Both Russia and Ukraine have such SAM systems in their inventories,” the expert added.
It seems unlikely that the self-defense forces could’ve used Buk surface-to-air missile systems to down the Malaysian plane, retired Brig. Gen. Kevin Ryan, the director of the Defense and Intelligence Project at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, said.
“It takes a lot of training and a lot of coordination to fire one of these and hit something,” he told CNN. “This is not the kind of weapon a couple of guys are going to pull out of a garage and fire.”
According to Ryan, if the plane was really taken down then it was done by a professional military force.
Ukraine Adviser: Malaysian Airlines Jet Shot Down By Missile Near Ukraine-Russia Border
July 17, 2014 2:35 PM
A picture taken on July 17, 2014 shows wreckage of the Malaysian Airliner carrying 295 people from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur after it crashed, near the town of Shaktarsk, in rebel-held east Ukraine. (credit: DOMINIQUE FAGET/AFP/Getty Images)
Ukraine said a Malaysia Airlines passenger plane carrying 295 people was shot down Thursday as it flew over the country, and both the government and the pro-Russia separatists fighting in the region denied any responsibility for downing the plane.
As plumes of black smoke rose up near a rebel-held village of Grabovo in eastern Ukraine, an Associated Press journalist counted at least 22 bodies at the crash site 40 kilometers (25 miles) from the Russian border.
Anton Gerashenko, an adviser to Ukraine’s interior minister, said on his Facebook page the plane was flying at an altitude of 10,000 meters (33,000 feet). He also said it was hit by a missile fired from a Buk launcher, which can fire missiles up to an altitude of 22,000 meters (72,000 feet).
A similar launcher was seen by Associated Press journalists near the eastern Ukrainian town of Snizhne earlier Thursday.
Malaysia Airlines confirmed that it received notification from Ukrainian aviation authorities that it had lost contact with flight MH17 at 1415 GMT some 30 kilometers (20 miles) from Tamak waypoint, approximately 50 km (30 miles) from the Russia-Ukraine border.
It said the plane had 280 passengers and 15 crew aboard a Boeing 777 that left Amsterdam at 12.15 p.m. and was to arrive at Kuala Lumpur International Airport at 6.10 a.m. Friday.
CBS News had yet to confirm if the Boeing 777 was shot down.
Interfax reports that the Ukrainian Interior Ministry says that everyone on board was killed. The Interior Ministry claims that 23 Americans were killed in the crash, according to Interfax. The State Department is looking into whether Americans were on the flight.
A source told Interfax that the plane “began to drop, afterwards it was found burning on the ground on Ukrainian territory.”
Reuters reports that body parts have been scattered seven miles within the crash site, an indication that the plane came apart mid-air. A Ukrainian Emergency Ministry official told Reuters that first responders have found at least 100 bodies.
Ukrainian pro-separatists have denied responsibility for the Malaysian Airlines civilian jet crash as Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko says his country’s military did not shoot down the plane.
“We do not exclude that this plane was shot down, and we stress that the Armed Forces of Ukraine did not take action against any airborne targets,” Poroshenko stated.
Poroshenko said “we are sure that those who are guilty in this tragedy will be held responsible.”
According to Interfax, Poroshenko called it a “terrorist act.”
The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry claims in a statement obtained by CBS News that Russia is complicit, if not responsible, for the downing of the plane.
“The plane was shot down, because the Russian air defense systems was affording protection to Russian mercenaries and terrorists in this area,” the statement read.
Dmitry Peskov, spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin, told The Guardian that allegations that Russia was behind the crash was just sheer “stupidity.”
CBS News reports that President Barack Obama has been briefed on the crash. Obama has instructed his team to be in touch with Ukrainian authorities.
“The world is watching reports of a downed passenger jet at the Russia-Ukraine border and it looks like it might be a terrible tragedy,” Obama said during an event held in Wilmington, Del., adding that the U.S. is working on confirming if Americans were on the flight.
During a phone call with Obama Thursday morning to express his dissatisfaction to the latest economic sanctions, Russian President Vladimir Putin brought up that there were early reports of a downed Malaysian Airlines jet in Ukraine, CBS News reports.
The Federal Aviation Administration tells CBS News that the agency prohibited U.S. carriers from flying through this region.
It was the second time that a Malaysia Airlines plane was lost in less than six months. Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 disappeared in March while en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. It has not been found, but the search has been concentrated in the Indian Ocean far west of Australia.
Malaysian Defense Minister Hishamuddin Hussein said on Twitter there’s no confirmation that Thursday’s plane was shot down. He said he has instructed the country’s military to check and get confirmation.
The Donetsk region government said Thursday’s plane crashed near a village called Grabovo, which it said is currently under the control of armed pro-Russian separatists. The region where the flight was lost has seen severe fighting between Ukrainian forces and pro-Russia separatist rebels in recent days.
A launcher similar to the Buk missile system was seen by Associated Press journalists near the eastern Ukrainian town of Snizhne, which is held by pro-Russia rebels, earlier Thursday.
On Wednesday evening, a Ukrainian fighter jet was shot down by an air-to-air missile from a Russian plane, Ukrainian authorities said Thursday, adding to what Kiev says is mounting evidence that Moscow is directly supporting the separatist insurgents in eastern Ukraine. Security Council spokesman Andrei Lysenko said the pilot of the Sukhoi-25 jet hit by the air-to-air missile was forced to bail after his jet was shot down.
Pro-Russia rebels, meanwhile, claimed responsibility for strikes Wednesday on two Ukrainian Sukhoi-25 jets. The Ukrainian Defense Ministry said the second jet was hit by a portable surface-to-air missile, but added the pilot was unscathed and managed to land his plane safely
Moscow denies Western charges that is supporting the separatists or sowing unrest in its neighbor. The Russian Defense Ministry couldn’t be reached for comment Thursday about the Ukrainian jet and Russia’s foreign ministry didn’t respond to multiple requests for comment.
Earlier this week, Ukraine said a military transport plane was shot down Monday by a missile fired from Russian territory.
The Malaysia Airlines plane is a Boeing 777-200ER, which was delivered to Malaysia Airlines on July 30, 1997, according to Flightglobal’s Ascend Online Fleets, which sells and tracks information about aircraft. It has more than 43,000 hours of flight time and 6,950 takeoffs and landings.
If the plane was shot down, it would be the fourth commercial airliner to face such a fate. The previous three were:
- April 20, 1978: Korean Airlines Flight 902, which diverted from its planned course on a flight from Paris to Seoul and strayed over the Soviet Union. After being fired upon by an interceptor aircraft, the crew made a forced landing at night on the surface of a frozen lake. Two of the 97 passengers were killed by the hostile fire.
- Sept. 1, 1983: Korean Air Lines Flight 007 shot down by at least one Soviet air-to-air missile after the 747 had strayed into Soviet airspace. All 240 passengers and 29 crew were killed.
- July 3, 1988: Iran Air Flight 655 Aircraft was shot down by a surface to air missile from the American naval vessel U.S.S. Vincennes. All 16 crew and 274 passengers were killed
The Meaning of Independence Day – Ayn Rand Center for Individual Rights
Dr. Michael Berliner, co-chairman of the Board of Directors of the Ayn Rand Institute, former professor of philosophy and executive director of the Ayn Rand Institute, reminds us of the true meaning of Independence Day.
Story 1: Political Establishment Elite (PEE) vs. Tea Party Movement — PEE Republican Candidate Eric Cantor, House Majority Leader Loses To Tea Party Candidate David Brat in Republican Primary — The Remnant Rallies — Videos
Political Establishment Elite (PEE) Candidate Eric Cantor and Republican House Majority Leader Loses Primary
Tea Party Movement Candidate David Brat Wins Republican Primary
That the free enterprise system is the most productive supplier of human needs and economic justice,
That all individuals are entitled to equal rights, justice, and opportunities and should assume their responsibilities as citizens in a free society,
That fiscal responsibility and budgetary restraints must be exercised at all levels of government,
That the Federal Government must preserve individual liberty by observing Constitutional limitations,
That peace is best preserved through a strong national defense,
That faith in God, as recognized by our Founding Fathers, is essential to the moral fiber of the Nation.
• Mark Levin • Tea Party Victory • Cantor Loses • Hannity • 6/10/14
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Isaiah’s Job | by Albert Jay Nock
HOUSE MAJORITY LEADER CANTOR DEFEATED IN PRIMARY
BY ALAN SUDERMAN AND DAVID ESPO
In an upset for the ages, Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia, the second-most powerful man in the House, was dethroned Tuesday by a little-known, tea party-backed Republican primary challenger carried to victory on a wave of public anger over calls for looser immigration laws.
“This is a miracle from God that just happened,” exulted David Brat, an economics professor, as his victory became clear in the congressional district around Virginia’s capital city.
Speaking to downcast supporters, Cantor conceded, “Obviously we came up short” in a bid for renomination to an eighth term.
The victory was by far the biggest of the 2014 campaign season for tea party forces, although last week they forced veteran Mississippi Sen. Thad Cochran into a June 24 runoff, and hope state Sen. Chris McDaniel can prevail then.
Cantor’s defeat was the first primary setback for a senior leader in Congress in recent years. Former House Speaker Thomas Foley of Washington and Senate Democratic leader Tom Daschle of South Dakota both lost their seats at the polls in the past two decades, but they fell to Republicans, not to challengers from within their own parties.
The outcome may well mark the end of Cantor’s political career, and aides did not respond Tuesday night when asked if the majority leader, 51, would run a write-in campaign in the fall.
But its impact on the fate of immigration legislation in the current Congress seemed clearer still. Conservatives will now be emboldened in their opposition to legislation to create a path to citizenship for immigrants living in the country illegally, and party leaders who are more sympathetic to such legislation will likely be less willing to try.
The majority leader had been tugged by two warring forces in his party and in recent weeks sought to emphasize his opposition to far-reaching immigration legislation as Brat’s challenge gained force. Last month, a feisty crowd of Brat supporters booed Cantor in front of his family at a local party convention.
Still, neither he nor other House leaders betrayed any serious concern that his tenure was in danger, and his allies leaked a private poll in recent days that claimed he had a comfortable lead over Brat.
In the end, despite help from establishment groups, Cantor’s repudiation was complete in an area that first sent him to Congress in 2000.
With votes counted in 99 percent of the precincts, 64,418 votes were cast, roughly a 37 percent increase over two years ago.
Despite that, Cantor polled fewer votes than he did in 2012 – 28,631 this time, compared with 37,369 then.
House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, issued a statement hailing Cantor as “a good friend and a great leader, and someone I’ve come to rely upon on a daily basis as we make the tough choices that come with governing.”
It was unclear if Cantor intended to remain in his leadership post for the duration of the year or who might replace him in the new Congress if Republicans hold their majority.
Democrats seized on the upset as evidence that their fight for House control this fall is far from over.
“Eric Cantor has long been the face of House Republicans’ extreme policies, debilitating dysfunction and manufactured crises. Tonight is a major victory for the tea party as they yet again pull the Republican Party further to the radical right,” said the Democratic leader, Nancy Pelosi of California. “As far as the midterm elections are concerned, it’s a whole new ballgame.”
Cantor was appointed to his first leadership position in 2002, when he was named chief deputy whip of the party and became the highest-ranking Jewish Republican in Washington. It was a recognition of his fundraising skills as well as his conservative voting record at a time Republican leaders were eager to tap into Jewish donors for their campaigns. Since Boehner became speaker in 2009, Cantor has been seen as both a likely eventual successor and at times a potential rival.
Jay S. Poole, a Cantor volunteer, said Brat tapped into widespread frustration among voters about the gridlock in Washington and issues such as immigration. “I can’t tell you how amazing this is to me,” Poole said.
Much of the campaign centered on immigration, where critics on both sides of the debate have recently taken aim at Cantor. Brat accused him of being a top cheerleader for “amnesty” for immigrants who are living in the U.S. illegally. Cantor responded forcefully by boasting in mailers of blocking Senate plans “to give illegal aliens amnesty.”
It was a change in tone for Cantor, who has repeatedly voiced support for giving citizenship to certain immigrants brought illegally to the country as children. Cantor and House GOP leaders have advocated a step-by-step approach, rather than the comprehensive bill backed by the Senate – but were persistently vague on the details.
Brat teaches at Randolph-Macon College, a small liberal arts school north of Richmond. He raised just over $200,000 for his campaign, while Cantor spent more than $1 million in April and May alone to try to beat back his challenge.
Washington-based groups also spent heavily in the race. The American Chemistry Council, whose members include many blue chip companies, spent more than $300,000 on TV ads promoting Cantor in the group’s only independent expenditure so far this election year. Political arms of the American College of Radiology, the National Rifle Association and the National Association of Realtors also spent money on ads to promote Cantor.
Brat offset the cash disadvantage with endorsements from conservative activists like radio host Laura Ingraham and with help from local tea party activists angry at Cantor.
In the fall, Brat will face Democrat Jack Trammel, also a professor at Randolph-Macon, in the solidly Republican district.
Associated Press writers David Pace and Erica Werner in Washington and Larry O’Dell, Steve Szkotak and Michael Felberbaum in Richmond contributed to this report. Espo reported from Washington.
His district includes most of the northern and western sections of Richmond, along with most of Richmond’s western suburbs and portions of the Shenandoah Valley. Cantor is the highest-ranking Jewish member of Congress in its history, and currently the only non-Christian Republican in either House.
On June 10, 2014, in his bid for re-election, Cantor lost the Republican primary to economics professor Dave Brat. Following his primary defeat, Cantor announced his resignation as House Majority Leader. Cantor will remain a member of Congress until the start of the 114th United States Congress commencing on January 3, 2015.
Cantor worked for over a decade with his father’s business doing legal work and real estate development.
Virginia House of Delegates
Cantor served in the Virginia House of Delegates from 1992–January 1, 2001. At various times he was a member of committees on Science and Technology, Corporation Insurance and Banking, General Laws, Courts of Justice, (co-chairman) Claims. Cantor announced on March 14, 2000 that he would seek the seat in the United States House of Representatives that was being vacated by Tom Bliley. Cantor had chaired Bliley’s reelection campaigns for the previous six years, and immediately gained the support of Bliley’s political organization, as well as Bliley’s endorsement later in the primary.
Cantor and other House and Senate leaders meeting with President Barack Obama in November 2010.
On November 19, 2008, Cantor was unanimously elected Republican Whip for the 111th Congress, after serving as Deputy Whip for six years under Blunt. Blunt had decided not to seek reelection to the post after Republican losses in the previous two elections. Cantor was the first member of either party from Virginia to hold the position of Party Whip. As Whip, Cantor was the second-ranking House Republican, behind Minority Leader John Boehner. He was charged with coordinating the votes and messages of Republican House members. Cantor became the Majority Leader when the 112th Congress took office on January 3, 2011. He is still the second-ranking Republican in the House behind Speaker Boehner, who is considered the leader of the House Republicans.
As House Majority Leader, Cantor was named in House Resolution 368, which was passed by the House Rules Committee on the night of September 30, 2013, the night before the October 2013 government shutdown began, as the only member of the House with the power to bring forth bills and resolutions for a vote if both chambers of Congress disagree on that bill or resolution. Prior to the resolution’s passing in committee, it was within the power of every member of the House under House Rule XXII, Clause 4 to be granted privilege to call for a vote. This amendment to the House rules was blamed for causing the partial government shutdown and for prolonging it since Cantor refused to allow the Senate’s continuing resolution to be voted on in the House. Journalists and commentators noted during the shutdown that if the Senate’s version of the continuing resolution were to be voted on, it would have passed the House with a majority vote since enough Democrats and Republicans supported it, effectively ending the government shutdown.
As of December 2010, Cantor is the only Jewish Republican in the United States Congress. He supports strong United States-Israel relations. Hecosponsored legislation to cut off all U.S. taxpayer aid to the Palestinian Authority and another bill calling for an end to taxpayer aid to the Palestinians until they stop unauthorized excavations on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. Responding to a claim by the State Department that the United States provides no direct aid to the Palestinian Authority, Cantor claimed that United States sends about US$75 million in aid annually to the Palestinian Authority, which is administered by the U.S. Agency for International Development. He opposed a Congressionally approved three-year package of US$400 million in aid for the Palestinian Authority in 2000 and has also introduced legislation to end aid to Palestinians.
In May 2008, Cantor said that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is not a “constant sore” but rather “a constant reminder of the greatness of America”, and followingBarack Obama‘s election as President in November 2008, Cantor stated that a “stronger U.S.-Israel relationship” remains a top priority for him and that he would be “very outspoken” if Obama “did anything to undermine those ties.” Shortly after the 2010 midterm elections, Cantor met privately with Israeli Prime MinisterBenjamin Netanyahu, just before Netanyahu was to meet with US Secretary of StateHillary Clinton. According to Cantor’s office, he “stressed that the new Republican majority will serve as a check on the Administration” and “made clear that the Republican majority understands the special relationship between Israel and the United States.” Cantor was criticized for engaging in foreign policy; one basis for the criticism was that in 2007, after Nancy Pelosi met with the President of Syria, Cantor himself had raised the possibility “that her recent diplomatic overtures ran afoul of the Logan Act, which makes it a felony for any American ‘without authority of the United States’ to communicate with a foreign government to influence that government’s behavior on any disputes with the United States.”
In October 2008, Cantor advocated and voted for the TARP program which aided distressed banks.
On September 29, 2008 Cantor blamed Pelosi for what he felt was the failure of the $700 billion economic bailout bill. He noted that 94 Democrats voted against the measure, as well as 133 Republicans. Though supporting the Federal bailout of the nation’s largest private banks, he referred to Pelosi’s proposal to appoint aCar czar to run the U.S. Automobile Industry Bailout as a “bureaucratic” imposition on private business.
The following February, Cantor led Republicans in the House of Representatives in voting against the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and was a prominent spokesman in voicing the many issues he and his fellow Republicans had with the legislation. Cantor voted in favor of a 90% marginal tax rate increase on taxpayer financed bonuses, despite receiving campaign contributions from TARP recipient Citigroup.
In his book Young Guns, Cantor summarized Keynesian economics with the following opinion, “The idea is that the government can be counted on to spend more wisely than the people.”
As Majority Leader, Cantor steered the STOCK Act through the House, which requires Congressmen to disclose their stock investments more regularly and in a more transparent manner. The legislation passed the House in a 417-2 bipartisan vote on February 9, 2012. It was ultimately signed by President Obama on April 4, 2012. In July 2012, CNN reported that changes made by the House version of the legislation excluded reporting requirements by spouses and dependent children. Initially, Cantor’s office insisted it did nothing to change the intent of the STOCK Act; however, when presented with new information from CNN, the Majority Leader’s office recognized that changes had unintentionally been made and offered technical corrections to fulfill the original intent of the legislation. These corrections were passed by Congress on August 3, 2012.
As Majority Leader, Cantor shepherded the JOBS Act through the House, which combined bipartisan ideas for economic growth – like crowdfunding for startups – into one piece of legislation. Ultimately, President Obama, Eric Cantor, Steve Case and other leaders joined together at the signing ceremony.
Cantor has proposed initiatives which purport to help small businesses grow, including a 20 percent tax cut for businesses that employ fewer than 500 people.
Other foreign affairs
In an article he wrote for the National Review in 2007, he condemned Nancy Pelosi‘s diplomatic visit to Syria, and her subsequent meeting with President Bashar al-Assad, whom he referred to as a “dictator and terror-sponsor”; saying that if “Speaker Pelosi’s diplomatic foray into Syria weren’t so harmful to U.S. interests in the Middle East, it would have been laughable.”
Cantor was first elected to the Virginia House of Delegates 73rd district unopposed.
Cantor was opposed by Independent Reed Halstead in his re-election campaign for the Virginia House of Delegates. Cantor won 79.26% of the vote while Halstead won 20.66%.
Cantor was unopposed for re-election to the Virginia House of Delegates.
Cantor was unopposed for re-election to the Virginia House of Delegates.
Cantor was unopposed for re-election to the Virginia House of Delegates.
Cantor was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2000, succeeding retiring 20-year incumbent Republican Tom Bliley. He defeated the Democratic nominee, Warren A. Stewart, by nearly 100,000 votes. Cantor had won the closely contested Republican primary over state Senator Stephen Martin by only 263 votes. During his first term, he was one of only two Jewish Republicans serving concurrently in the House of Representatives, the other being Benjamin A. Gilman of New York. Gilman retired in 2002 and Cantor has been the only Jewish Republican since.
Cantor won against Democratic nominee Anita Hartke.
In August 2008 news reports surfaced that Cantor was being considered as John McCain‘s Vice Presidentialrunning mate, with McCain’s representatives seeking documents from Cantor as part of its vetting process. Those rumors were later scoffed at by John McCain as just a rumor from the Cantor camp. The idea for Cantor to be McCain’s running mate was supported by conservative leaders like Richard Land and Erick Erickson.
Cantor faced a primary challenger, Floyd C. Bayne, in the June 12, 2012 Republican Primary. Cantor won that primary and then defeated Democratic challenger Wayne Powell. Although he won with 58% of the vote, Cantor received his lowest vote percentage since taking the hill in 2000.
In the June 10, 2014 Republican primary, Cantor lost to Tea Party challenger Dave Brat in an upset, becoming the first sitting House majority leader to lose a primary since the position was created in 1899.
Threats and campaign office incident
After the passage of the health care reform bill in March 2010, Cantor reported that somebody had shot a bullet through a window of his campaign office inRichmond, Virginia. A spokesman for the Richmond Police later stated that the bullet was not intentionally fired at Cantor’s office, saying that it was instead random gunfire, as there were no signs outside the office identifying the office as being Cantor’s. Cantor responded to this by saying that Democratic leaders in the House should stop “dangerously fanning the flames” by blaming Republicans for threats against House Democrats who voted for the health care legislation.
Cantor also reported that he had received threatening e-mails related to the passage of the bill. In March 2010, Norman Leboon was arrested for threats made against Eric Cantor and his family.
In 2011, Cantor was receiving two threatening phone calls, where Glendon Swift, an antisemite, was “screaming, profanity-laden messages (that) allegedly stated that he was going to destroy Cantor, rape his daughter and kill his wife”. Swift was sentenced in April 2012 to 13 months federal prison.
*Write-in candidate notes: In 2000, write-ins received 304 votes. In 2002, write-ins received 153 votes. In 2004, write-ins received 568 votes. In 2006, write-ins received 272 votes. In 2008, write-ins received 683 votes. In 2010, write-ins received 413 votes. In 2012, write-ins received 914 votes.
Jump up^Cox, Kirk (February 11, 2008). “HJ382: Commending Diana F. Cantor”. Retrieved 2008-12-14. “Diana F. Cantor will step down from her position in 2008, having served the Commonwealth since April 24, 1996, as the outstanding founding executive director of the Virginia Higher Education Tuition Trust Fund, subsequently renamed the Virginia College Savings Plan…” 02/15/2008 Agreed to by Senate by voice vote.
2014 race for 7th congressional district Republican primary
Brat ran against House Majority Leader Eric Cantor for the Republican nomination for Virginia’s 7th congressional district and defeated Cantor by a 12-point margin. Brat was outspent by Cantor 40 to 1. Cantor spent over $5 million and Brat raised $200,000, but did not spend all of it. Brat’s win was a historic and stunning victory, as it was the first time a sitting House Majority Leader had lost a primary race since the creation of the position in the 19th century.
Brat ran well to Cantor’s right. His campaign laid particular stress on immigration reform, stating Rep. Cantor favored “amnesty” for illegal immigrants.Radio talk show host Laura Ingraham endorsed Brat’s candidacy and hosted a rally with him in a Richmond suburb. Radio talk show host Mark Levin also supported and endorsed Brat.Ann Coulter expressed support for his candidacy.
Brat is the BB&T Ethics Program Director, serving 2010–2020. The program arose from a $500,000 grant, given by the charitable arm of the Fortune 500 financial services and banking firm BB&T, awarded to Randolph-Macon College for the study of the moral foundations of capitalism and the establishment of a related ethics program. Other board and leadership positions include:
Governor’s Advisory Board of Economists, GABE/JABE, 2006 – present
One evening last autumn, I sat long hours with a European acquaintance while he expounded a political-economic doctrine which seemed sound as a nut and in which I could find no defect. At the end, he said with great earnestness: “I have a mission to the masses. I feel that I am called to get the ear of the people. I shall devote the rest of my life to spreading my doctrine far and wide among the population. What do you think?”
An embarrassing question in any case, and doubly so under the circumstances, because my acquaintance is a very learned man, one of the three or four really first-class minds that Europe produced in his generation; and naturally I, as one of the unlearned, was inclined to regard his lightest word with reverence amounting to awe. Still, I reflected, even the greatest mind can not possibly know everything, and I was pretty sure he had not had my opportunities for observing the masses of mankind, and that therefore I probably knew them better than he did. So I mustered courage to say that he had no such mission and would do well to get the idea out of his head at once; he would find that the masses would not care two pins for his doctrine, and still less for himself, since in such circumstances the popular favourite is generally some Barabbas. I even went so far as to say (he is a Jew) that his idea seemed to show that he was not very well up on his own native literature. He smiled at my jest, and asked what I meant by it; and I referred him to the story of the prophet Isaiah.
It occurred to me then that this story is much worth recalling just now when so many wise men and soothsayers appear to be burdened with a message to the masses. Dr. Townsend has a message, Father Coughlin has one, Mr. Upton Sinclair, Mr. Lippmann, Mr. Chase and the planned economy brethren, Mr. Tugwell and the New Dealers, Mr. Smith and Liberty Leaguers – the list is endless. I can not remember a time when so many energumens were so variously proclaiming the Word to the multitude and telling them what they must do to be saved. This being so, it occurred to me, as I say, that the story of Isaiah might have something in it to steady and compose the human spirit until this tyranny of windiness is overpast. I shall paraphrase the story in our common speech, since it has to be pieced out from various sources; and inasmuch as respectable scholars have thought fit to put out a whole new version of the Bible in the American vernacular, I shall take shelter behind them, if need be, against the charge of dealing irreverently with the Sacred Scriptures.
The prophet’s career began at the end of King Uzziah’s reign, say about 740 B.C. This reign was uncommonly long, almost half a century, and apparently prosperous. It was one of those prosperous reigns, however – like the reign of Marcus Aurelius at Rome, or the administration of Eubulus at Athens, or of Mr. Coolidge at Washington – where at the end the prosperity suddenly peters out and things go by the board with a resounding crash.
In the year of Uzziah’s death, the Lord commissioned the prophet to go out and warn the people of the wrath to come. “Tell them what a worthless lot they are.” He said, “Tell them what is wrong, and why and what is going to happen unless they have a change of heart and straighten up. Don’t mince matters. Make it clear that they are positively down to their last chance. Give it to them good and strong and keep on giving it to them. I suppose perhaps I ought to tell you,” He added, “that it won’t do any good. The official class and their intelligentsia will turn up their noses at you and the masses will not even listen. They will all keep on in their own ways until they carry everything down to destruction, and you will probably be lucky if you get out with your life.”
IIIsaiah had been very willing to take on the job – in fact, he had asked for it – but the prospect put a new face on the situation. It raised the obvious question: Why, if all that were so – if the enterprise were to be a failure from the start – was there any sense in starting it? “Ah,” the Lord said, “you do not get the point. There is a Remnant there that you know nothing about. They are obscure, unorganized, inarticulate, each one rubbing along as best he can. They need to be encouraged and braced up because when everything has gone completely to the dogs, they are the ones who will come back and build up a new society; and meanwhile, your preaching will reassure them and keep them hanging on. Your job is to take care of the Remnant, so be off now and set about it.”
Apparently, then, if the Lord’s word is good for anything – I do not offer any opinion about that, – the only element in Judean society that was particularly worth bothering about was the Remnant. Isaiah seems finally to have got it through his head that this was the case; that nothing was to be expected from the masses, but that if anything substantial were ever to be done in Judea, the Remnant would have to do it. This is a very striking and suggestive idea; but before going on to explore it, we need to be quite clear about our terms. What do we mean by the masses, and what by the Remnant?
As the word masses is commonly used, it suggests agglomerations of poor and underprivileged people, labouring people, proletarians, and it means nothing like that; it means simply the majority. The mass-man is one who has neither the force of intellect to apprehend the principles issuing in what we know as the humane life, nor the force of character to adhere to those principles steadily and strictly as laws of conduct; and because such people make up the great and overwhelming majority of mankind, they are called collectively the masses. The line of differentiation between the masses and the Remnant is set invariably by quality, not by circumstance. The Remnant are those who by force of intellect are able to apprehend these principles, and by force of character are able, at least measurably, to cleave to them. The masses are those who are unable to do either.
The picture which Isaiah presents of the Judean masses is most unfavorable. In his view, the mass-man – be he high or be he lowly, rich or poor, prince or pauper – gets off very badly. He appears as not only weak-minded and weak-willed, but as by consequence knavish, arrogant, grasping, dissipated, unprincipled, unscrupulous. The mass-woman also gets off badly, as sharing all the mass-man’s untoward qualities, and contributing a few of her own in the way of vanity and laziness, extravagance and foible. The list of luxury-products that she patronized is interesting; it calls to mind the women’s page of a Sunday newspaper in 1928, or the display set forth in one of our professedly “smart” periodicals. In another place, Isaiah even recalls the affectations that we used to know by the name “flapper gait” and the “debutante slouch.” It may be fair to discount Isaiah’s vivacity a little for prophetic fervour; after all, since his real job was not to convert the masses but to brace and reassure the Remnant, he probably felt that he might lay it on indiscriminately and as thick as he liked – in fact, that he was expected to do so. But even so, the Judean mass-man must have been a most objectionable individual, and the mass-woman utterly odious.
But Isaiah was a preacher and Plato a philosopher; and we tend to regard preachers and philosophers rather as passive observers of the drama of life than as active participants. Hence in a matter of this kind their judgment might be suspected of being a little uncompromising, a little acrid, or as the French say, saugrenu. We may therefore bring forward another witness who was preeminently a man of affairs, and whose judgment can not lie under this suspicion. Marcus Aurelius was ruler of the greatest of empires, and in that capacity he not only had the Roman mass-man under observation, but he had him on his hands twenty-four hours a day for eighteen years. What he did not know about him was not worth knowing and what he thought of him is abundantly attested on almost every page of the little book of jottings which he scribbled offhand from day to day, and which he meant for no eye but his own ever to see.If the modern spirit, whatever that may be, is disinclined towards taking the Lord’s word at its face value (as I hear is the case), we may observe that Isaiah’s testimony to the character of the masses has strong collateral support from respectable Gentile authority. Plato lived into the administration of Eubulus, when Athens was at the peak of its jazz-and-paper era, and he speaks of the Athenian masses with all Isaiah’s fervency, even comparing them to a herd of ravenous wild beasts. Curiously, too, he applies Isaiah’s own word remnant to the worthier portion of Athenian society; “there is but a very small remnant,” he says, of those who possess a saving force of intellect and force of character – too small, preciously as to Judea, to be of any avail against the ignorant and vicious preponderance of the masses.
This view of the masses is the one that we find prevailing at large among the ancient authorities whose writings have come down to us. In the eighteenth century, however, certain European philosophers spread the notion that the mass-man, in his natural state, is not at all the kind of person that earlier authorities made him out to be, but on the contrary, that he is a worthy object of interest. His untowardness is the effect of environment, an effect for which “society” is somehow responsible. If only his environment permitted him to live according to his lights, he would undoubtedly show himself to be quite a fellow; and the best way to secure a more favourable environment for him would be to let him arrange it for himself. The French Revolution acted powerfully as a springboard for this idea, projecting its influence in all directions throughout Europe.
His success is unimpressive. On the evidence so far presented one must say, I think, that the mass-man’s conception of what life has to offer, and his choice of what to ask from life, seem now to be pretty well what they were in the times of Isaiah and Plato; and so too seem the catastrophic social conflicts and convulsions in which his views of life and his demands on life involve him. I do not wish to dwell on this, however, but merely to observe that the monstrously inflated importance of the masses has apparently put all thought of a possible mission to the Remnant out of the modern prophet’s head. This is obviously quite as it should be, provided that the earlier preachers and philosophers were actually wrong, and that all final hope of the human race is actually centred in the masses. If, on the other hand, it should turn out that the Lord and Isaiah and Plato and Marcus Aurelius were right in their estimate of the relative social value of the masses and the Remnant, the case is somewhat different. Moreover, since with everything in their favour the masses have so far given such an extremely discouraging account of themselves, it would seem that the question at issue between these two bodies of opinion might most profitably be reopened.On this side of the ocean a whole new continent stood ready for a large-scale experiment with this theory. It afforded every conceivable resource whereby the masses might develop a civilization made in their own likeness and after their own image. There was no force of tradition to disturb them in their preponderance, or to check them in a thoroughgoing disparagement of the Remnant. Immense natural wealth, unquestioned predominance, virtual isolation, freedom from external interference and the fear of it, and, finally, a century and a half of time – such are the advantages which the mass-man has had in bringing forth a civilization which should set the earlier preachers and philosophers at naught in their belief that nothing substantial can be expected from the masses, but only from the Remnant.
But without following up this suggestion, I wish only, as I said, to remark the fact that as things now stand Isaiah’s job seems rather to go begging. Everyone with a message nowadays is, like my venerable European friend, eager to take it to the masses. His first, last and only thought is of mass-acceptance and mass-approval. His great care is to put his doctrine in such shape as will capture the masses’ attention and interest. This attitude towards the masses is so exclusive, so devout, that one is reminded of the troglodytic monster described by Plato, and the assiduous crowd at the entrance to its cave, trying obsequiously to placate it and win its favour, trying to interpret its inarticulate noises, trying to find out what it wants, and eagerly offering it all sorts of things that they think might strike its fancy.
Isaiah, on the other hand, worked under no such disabilities. He preached to the masses only in the sense that he preached publicly. Anyone who liked might listen; anyone who liked might pass by. He knew that the Remnant would listen; and knowing also that nothing was to be expected of the masses under any circumstances, he made no specific appeal to them, did not accommodate his message to their measure in any way, and did not care two straws whether they heeded it or not. As a modern publisher might put it, he was not worrying about circulation or about advertising. Hence, with all such obsessions quite out of the way, he was in a position to do his level best, without fear or favour, and answerable only to his august Boss.The main trouble with all this is its reaction upon the mission itself. It necessitates an opportunist sophistication of one’s doctrine, which profoundly alters its character and reduces it to a mere placebo. If, say, you are a preacher, you wish to attract as large a congregation as you can, which means an appeal to the masses; and this, in turn, means adapting the terms of your message to the order of intellect and character that the masses exhibit. If you are an educator, say with a college on your hands, you wish to get as many students as possible, and you whittle down your requirements accordingly. If a writer, you aim at getting many readers; if a publisher, many purchasers; if a philosopher, many disciples; if a reformer, many converts; if a musician, many auditors; and so on. But as we see on all sides, in the realization of these several desires, the prophetic message is so heavily adulterated with trivialities, in every instance, that its effect on the masses is merely to harden them in their sins. Meanwhile, the Remnant, aware of this adulteration and of the desires that prompt it, turn their backs on the prophet and will have nothing to do with him or his message.
If a prophet were not too particular about making money out of his mission or getting a dubious sort of notoriety out of it, the foregoing considerations would lead one to say that serving the Remnant looks like a good job. An assignment that you can really put your back into, and do your best without thinking about results, is a real job; whereas serving the masses is at best only half a job, considering the inexorable conditions that the masses impose upon their servants. They ask you to give them what they want, they insist upon it, and will take nothing else; and following their whims, their irrational changes of fancy, their hot and cold fits, is a tedious business, to say nothing of the fact that what they want at any time makes very little call on one’s resources of prophesy. The Remnant, on the other hand, want only the best you have, whatever that may be. Give them that, and they are satisfied; you have nothing more to worry about. The prophet of the American masses must aim consciously at the lowest common denominator of intellect, taste and character among 120,000,000 people; and this is a distressing task. The prophet of the Remnant, on the contrary, is in the enviable position of Papa Haydn in the household of Prince Esterhazy. All Haydn had to do was keep forking out the very best music he knew how to produce, knowing it would be understood and appreciated by those for whom he produced it, and caring not a button what anyone else thought of it; and that makes a good job.
Digito monstrari et dicier, Hic est!In a sense, nevertheless, as I have said, it is not a rewarding job. If you can tough the fancy of the masses, and have the sagacity to keep always one jump ahead of their vagaries and vacillations, you can get good returns in money from serving the masses, and good returns also in a mouth-to-ear type of notoriety:
We all know innumerable politicians, journalists, dramatists, novelists and the like, who have done extremely well by themselves in these ways. Taking care of the Remnant, on the contrary, holds little promise of any such rewards. A prophet of the Remnant will not grow purse-proud on the financial returns from his work, nor is it likely that he will get any great renown out of it. Isaiah’s case was exceptional to this second rule, and there are others, but not many.
It may be thought, then, that while taking care of the Remnant is no doubt a good job, it is not an especially interesting job because it is as a rule so poorly paid. I have my doubts about this. There are other compensations to be got out of a job besides money and notoriety, and some of them seem substantial enough to be attractive. Many jobs which do not pay well are yet profoundly interesting, as, for instance, the job of research student in the sciences is said to be; and the job of looking after the Remnant seems to me, as I have surveyed it for many years from my seat in the grandstand, to be as interesting as any that can be found in the world.
What chiefly makes it so, I think, is that in any given society the Remnant are always so largely an unknown quantity. You do not know, and will never know, more than two things about them. You can be sure of those – dead sure, as our phrase is – but you will never be able to make even a respectable guess at anything else. You do not know, and will never know, who the Remnant are, nor what they are doing or will do. Two things you do know, and no more: First, that they exist; second, that they will find you. Except for these two certainties, working for the Remnant means working in impenetrable darkness; and this, I should say, is just the condition calculated most effectively to pique the interest of any prophet who is properly gifted with the imagination, insight and intellectual curiosity necessary to a successful pursuit of his trade.
The fascination and the despair of the historian, as he looks back upon Isaiah’s Jewry, upon Plato’s Athens, or upon Rome of the Antonines, is the hope of discovering and laying bare the “substratum of right-thinking and well-doing” which he knows must have existed somewhere in those societies because no kind of collective life can possibly go on without it. He finds tantalizing intimations of it here and there in many places, as in the Greek Anthology, in the scrapbook of Aulus Gellius, in the poems of Ausonius, and in the brief and touching tribute, Bene merenti, bestowed upon the unknown occupants of Roman tombs. But these are vague and fragmentary; they lead him nowhere in his search for some kind of measure on this substratum, but merely testify to what he already knew a priori – that the substratum did somewhere exist. Where it was, how substantial it was, what its power of self-assertion and resistance was – of all this they tell him nothing.
Similarly, when the historian of two thousand years hence, or two hundred years, looks over the available testimony to the quality of our civilization and tries to get any kind of clear, competent evidence concerning the substratum of right-thinking and well-doing which he knows must have been here, he will have a devil of a time finding it. When he has assembled all he can and has made even a minimum allowance for speciousness, vagueness, and confusion of motive, he will sadly acknowledge that his net result is simply nothing. A Remnant were here, building a substratum like coral insects; so much he knows, but he will find nothing to put him on the track of who and where and how many they were and what their work was like.
Concerning all this, too, the prophet of the present knows precisely as much and as little as the historian of the future; and that, I repeat, is what makes his job seem to me so profoundly interesting. One of the most suggestive episodes recounted in the Bible is that of a prophet’s attempt – the only attempt of the kind on the record, I believe – to count up the Remnant. Elijah had fled from persecution into the desert, where the Lord presently overhauled him and asked what he was doing so far away from his job. He said that he was running away, not because he was a coward, but because all the Remnant had been killed off except himself. He had got away only by the skin of his teeth, and, he being now all the Remnant there was, if he were killed the True Faith would go flat. The Lord replied that he need not worry about that, for even without him the True Faith could probably manage to squeeze along somehow if it had to; “and as for your figures on the Remnant,” He said, “I don’t mind telling you that there are seven thousand of them back there in Israel whom it seems you have not heard of, but you may take My word for it that there they are.”
At that time, probably the population of Israel could not run to much more than a million or so; and a Remnant of seven thousand out of a million is a highly encouraging percentage for any prophet. With seven thousand of the boys on his side, there was no great reason for Elijah to feel lonesome; and incidentally, that would be something for the modern prophet of the Remnant to think of when he has a touch of the blues. But the main point is that if Elijah the Prophet could not make a closer guess on the number of the Remnant than he made when he missed it by seven thousand, anyone else who tackled the problem would only waste his time.
The other certainty which the prophet of the Remnant may always have is that the Remnant will find him. He may rely on that with absolute assurance. They will find him without his doing anything about it; in fact, if he tries to do anything about it, he is pretty sure to put them off. He does not need to advertise for them nor resort to any schemes of publicity to get their attention. If he is a preacher or a public speaker, for example, he may be quite indifferent to going on show at receptions, getting his picture printed in the newspapers, or furnishing autobiographical material for publication on the side of “human interest.” If a writer, he need not make a point of attending any pink teas, autographing books at wholesale, nor entering into any specious freemasonry with reviewers. All this and much more of the same order lies in the regular and necessary routine laid down for the prophet of the masses; it is, and must be, part of the great general technique of getting the mass-man’s ear – or as our vigorous and excellent publicist, Mr. H. L. Mencken, puts it, the technique of boob-bumping. The prophet of the Remnant is not bound to this technique. He may be quite sure that the Remnant will make their own way to him without any adventitious aids; and not only so, but if they find him employing any such aids, as I said, it is ten to one that they will smell a rat in them and will sheer off.
The certainty that the Remnant will find him, however, leaves the prophet as much in the dark as ever, as helpless as ever in the matter of putting any estimate of any kind upon the Remnant; for, as appears in the case of Elijah, he remains ignorant of who they are that have found him or where they are or how many. They did not write in and tell him about it, after the manner of those who admire the vedettes of Hollywood, nor yet do they seek him out and attach themselves to his person. They are not that kind. They take his message much as drivers take the directions on a roadside signboard – that is, with very little thought about the signboard, beyond being gratefully glad that it happened to be there, but with every thought about the directions.
This impersonal attitude of the Remnant wonderfully enhances the interest of the imaginative prophet’s job. Once in a while, just about often enough to keep his intellectual curiosity in good working order, he will quite accidentally come upon some distinct reflection of his own message in an unsuspected quarter. This enables him to entertain himself in his leisure moments with agreeable speculations about the course his message may have taken in reaching that particular quarter, and about what came of it after it got there. Most interesting of all are those instances, if one could only run them down (but one may always speculate about them), where the recipient himself no longer knows where nor when nor from whom he got the message – or even where, as sometimes happens, he has forgotten that he got it anywhere and imagines that it is all a self-sprung idea of his own.
Such instances as these are probably not infrequent, for, without presuming to enroll ourselves among the Remnant, we can all no doubt remember having found ourselves suddenly under the influence of an idea, the source of which we cannot possibly identify. “It came to us afterward,” as we say; that is, we are aware of it only after it has shot up full-grown in our minds, leaving us quite ignorant of how and when and by what agency it was planted there and left to germinate. It seems highly probable that the prophet’s message often takes some such course with the Remnant.
If, for example, you are a writer or a speaker or a preacher, you put forth an idea which lodges in the Unbewußtsein of a casual member of the Remnant and sticks fast there. For some time it is inert; then it begins to fret and fester until presently it invades the man’s conscious mind and, as one might say, corrupts it. Meanwhile, he has quite forgotten how he came by the idea in the first instance, and even perhaps thinks he has invented it; and in those circumstances, the most interesting thing of all is that you never know what the pressure of that idea will make him do.
For these reasons it appears to me that Isaiah’s job is not only good but also extremely interesting; and especially so at the present time when nobody is doing it. If I were young and had the notion of embarking in the prophetical line, I would certainly take up this branch of the business; and therefore I have no hesitation about recommending it as a career for anyone in that position. It offers an open field, with no competition; our civilization so completely neglects and disallows the Remnant that anyone going in with an eye single to their service might pretty well count on getting all the trade there is.
Even assuming that there is some social salvage to be screened out of the masses, even assuming that the testimony of history to their social value is a little too sweeping, that it depresses hopelessness a little too far, one must yet perceive, I think, that the masses have prophets enough and to spare. Even admitting that in the teeth of history that hope of the human race may not be quite exclusively centred in the Remnant, one must perceive that they have social value enough to entitle them to some measure of prophetic encouragement and consolation, and that our civilization allows them none whatever. Every prophetic voice is addressed to the masses, and to them alone; the voice of the pulpit, the voice of education, the voice of politics, of literature, drama, journalism – all these are directed towards the masses exclusively, and they marshal the masses in the way that they are going.
One might suggest, therefore, that aspiring prophetical talent may well turn to another field. Sat patriae Priamoque datum – whatever obligation of the kind may be due the masses is already monstrously overpaid. So long as the masses are taking up the tabernacle of Moloch and Chiun, their images, and following the star of their god Buncombe, they will have no lack of prophets to point the way that leadeth to the More Abundant Life; and hence a few of those who feel the prophetic afflatus might do better to apply themselves to serving the Remnant. It is a good job, an interesting job, much more interesting than serving the masses; and moreover it is the only job in our whole civilization, as far as I know, that offers a virgin field.
Albert Jay Nock (1870–1945) was an influential American libertarian author, educational theorist, and social critic. Murray Rothbard was deeply influenced by him, and so was that whole generation of free-market thinkers. See Nock’s The State of the Union.
Throughout his life, Nock was a deeply private man who shared few of the details of his personal life with his working partners. He was born in Scranton, Pennsylvania (U.S.), to a father who was both a steelworker and an Episcopal priest, and he was raised in Brooklyn, New York. Nock attended St. Stephen’s College (now known as Bard College) from 1884–1888, where he joined Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity. After graduation he had a brief career playing minor league baseball, then attended a theological seminary and was ordained as an Episcopal priest in 1897. Nock married Agnes Grumbine in 1900 and had two children, Francis and Samuel (both of whom became college professors), but separated from his wife after only a few years of marriage. In 1909, Nock left the clergy and became a journalist.
However, while Nock was a lifelong admirer of Henry George, he was frequently at odds with the left-leaning movement that claimed his legacy. Further, Nock was deeply influenced by the anti-collectivist writings of theGerman sociologist Franz Oppenheimer, whose most famous work, Der Staat, was published in English translation in 1915. In his own writings, Nock would later build on Oppenheimer’s claim that the pursuit of human ends can be divided into two forms: the productive or economic means and the parasitic, political means.
His editorials during the three brief years of the Freeman set a mark that no other man of his trade has ever quite managed to reach. They were well-informed and sometimes even learned, but there was never the slightest trace of pedantry in them. –H.L. Mencken
“The Myth of a Guilty Nation,” which came out in 1922, was Albert Jay Nock’s first anti-war book, a cause he backed his entire life as an essential component of a libertarian outlook. The burden of the book is to prove American war propaganda to be false. The purpose of the war, according to Nock, was not to liberate Europe and the world from German imperialism and threats. If there was a conspiracy, it was by the allied powers to broadcast a public message that was completely contradicted by its own diplomatic cables. Along with that came war propaganda designed to make Germany into a devil nation. The book has been in very low circulation ever since. In fact, until a recent release by the Mises Institute, it had been very difficult to obtain in physical form.
In the mid-1920s, a small group of wealthy American admirers funded Nock’s literary and historical work to enable him to follow his own interests. Shortly thereafter, he published his biography of Thomas Jefferson. When Jefferson was published in 1928, Mencken praised it as “the work of a subtle and highly dexterous craftsman” which cleared “off the vast mountain of doctrinaire rubbish that has risen above Jefferson’s bones and also provides a clear and comprehensive account of the Jeffersonian system,” and the “essence of it is that Jefferson divided all mankind into two classes, the producers and the exploiters, and he was for the former first, last and all the time.” Mencken also thought the book to be accurate, shrewd, well-ordered and charming.
In his two 1932 books, On the Disadvantages of Being Educated and Other Essays and Theory of Education in the United States, Nock launched a scathing critique of modern government-run education.
In his 1936 article “Isaiah’s Job”, which appeared in the Atlantic Monthly and was reprinted in pamphlet form in July 1962 by The Foundation for Economic Education, Nock expressed his complete disillusionment with the idea of reforming the current system. Believing that it would be impossible to convince any large portion of the general population of the correct course and opposing any suggestion of a violent revolution, Nock instead argued that libertarians should focus on nurturing what he called “the Remnant“.
The Remnant, according to Nock, consisted of a small minority who understood the nature of the state and society, and who would become influential only after the current dangerous course had become thoroughly and obviously untenable, a situation which might not occur until far into the future. Nock’s philosophy of the Remnant was influenced by the deep pessimism and elitism that social critic Ralph Adams Cram expressed in a 1932 essay, “Why We Do Not Behave Like Human Beings”. In his Memoirs of a Superfluous Man, Nock makes no secret that his educators:
did not pretend to believe that everyone is educable, for they knew, on the contrary, that very few are educable, very few indeed. They saw this as a fact of nature, like the fact that few are six feet tall. [...] They accepted the fact that there are practicable ranges of intellectual and spiritual experience which nature has opened to some and closed to others.
In 1941, Nock published a two-part essay in the Atlantic Monthly titled “The Jewish Problem in America”. The article was part of a multi-author series, assembled by the editors in response to recent anti-Semitic unrest in Brooklyn and elsewhere “in the hope that a free and forthright debate will reduce the pressure, now dangerously high, and leave us with a healthier understanding of the human elements involved.”
Nock’s argument was that the Jews were an Oriental people, acceptable to the “intelligent Occidental” yet forever strangers to “the Occidental mass-man.”Furthermore, the mass-man “is inclined to be more resentful of the Oriental as a competitor than of another Occidental;” the American masses are “the great rope and lamppost artists of the world;” and in studying Jewish history, “one is struck with the fact that persecutions never have originated in an upper class movement”. This innate hostility of the masses, he concluded, might be exploited by a scapegoating state to distract from “any shocks of an economic dislocation that may occur in the years ahead.” He concluded, “If I keep up my family’s record of longevity, I think it is not impossible that I shall live to see the Nuremberg laws reenacted in this country and enforced with vigor” and affirmed that the consequences of such a pogrom “would be as appalling in their extent and magnitude as anything seen since the Middle Ages.”
Despite this obvious dread of anti-Semitism, the article was itself declared by some to be anti-Semitic, and Nock was never asked to write another article, effectively ending his career as a social critic.
Against charges of anti-Semitism, Nock answered, “Someone asked me years ago if it were true that I disliked Jews, and I replied that it was certainly true, not at all because they are Jews but because they are folks, and I don’t like folks.”
In 1943, two years before his death, Nock published his autobiography, Memoirs of a Superfluous Man, the title of which expressed the degree of Nock’s disillusionment and alienation from current social trends. After the publication of this autobiography, Nock became the sometime guest of oilman William F. Buckley, Sr., whose son, William F. Buckley, Jr., would later become a celebrated author and speaker.
Nock died of leukemia in 1945, at the Wakefield, Rhode Island home of his longtime friend, Ruth Robinson, the illustrator of his 1934 book, “A Journey into Rabelais’ France”. He is buried in Riverside Cemetery, in Wakefield.
Describing himself as a philosophical anarchist, Nock called for a radical vision of society free from the influence of the political state. He described the state as that which “claims and exercises the monopoly of crime”. He opposed centralization, regulation, the income tax, and mandatory education, along with what he saw as the degradation of society. He denounced in equal terms all forms of totalitarianism, including “Bolshevism… Fascism, Hitlerism, Marxism, [and] Communism” but also harshly criticized democracy. Instead, Nock argued, “The practical reason for freedom is that freedom seems to be the only condition under which any kind of substantial moral fiber can be developed. Everything else has been tried, world without end. Going dead against reason and experience, we have tried law, compulsion and authoritarianism of various kinds, and the result is nothing to be proud of.”
During the 1930s, Nock was one of the most consistent critics of Franklin Roosevelt‘s New Deal programs. In Our Enemy, the State, Nock argued that the New Deal was merely a pretext for the federal government to increase its control over society. He was dismayed that the president had gathered unprecedented power in his own hands and called this development an out-and-out coup d’état. Nock criticized those who believed that the new regimentation of the economy was temporary, arguing that it would prove a permanent shift. He believed that the inflationary monetary policy of the Republican administrations of the 1920s was responsible for the onset of the Great Depression and that the New Deal was responsible for perpetuating it.
Nock was also a passionate opponent of war and what he considered the US government’s aggressive foreign policy. He believed that war could bring out only the worst in society and argued that it led inevitably to collectivization and militarization and “fortified a universal faith in violence; it set in motion endless adventures inimperialism, endless nationalist ambitions,” while, at the same time, costing countless human lives. During the First World War, Nock wrote for The Nation, which was censored by the Wilson administration for opposing the war.
Despite his distaste for communism, Nock harshly criticized the Allied intervention in the Russian Civil War following the parliamentary revolution and Bolshevik coup in that country. Before the Second World War, Nock wrote a series of articles deploring what he saw as Roosevelt’s gamesmanship and interventionism leading inevitably to US involvement. Nock was one of the few who maintained a principled opposition to the war throughout its course.
Jump up^Harris, Michael R. (1970). Five Counterrevolutionists in Higher Education: Irving Babbitt, Albert Jay Nock, Abraham Flexner, Robert Maynard Hutchins, Alexander Meiklejohn, Oregon State University Press, p. 97.
Story 1: Obama’s Reckless Endangerment, Human Trafficking and Murder of Illegal Alien Children — Obama’s Response Is $2 Million to Pay For Lawyers — Disease and Virus Spreading To USA — Unbelievable President Obama — Enforce Immigration Laws By Deporting All 30-50 Million Illegal Aliens ! — Videos
‘Kelly File’ Exclusive: Texas Border Patrol on Brink of Collapse
Foreign Children At Mexican Border Creating Humanitarian Crisis For U.S.
Flood of immigrant children strain Arizona holding center
Drug War Refugees Cause Humanitarian Crisis on the Border | Brainwash Update
Number of kids immigrating to U S alone surges Defenders
Illegal Immigrants Face Dangerous Mexican/US Border — One Story
Immigration Enforcement Officials Rip Obama’s Executive Amnesty Order
Latest influx of illegal aliens brings disease
Illegal Immigrant Children Causing Border Crisis
Congressman Henry Cuellar talks about the influx of illegal immigrant children
More illegal immigrants mean budget issues for the U.S.
Judge :DHS Assisting Human Traffickers With Children Smuggled Across Mexican Border
Safe Passage’ Brings Legal Aid to Children Facing Deportation
Illegal Aliens Flood Border Using Same Key Phrase To Seek U S Asylum Wake Up America
Hundreds Of Abandoned Immigrant Children Found In Mexico
Obama To Stop Deporting Young Illegal Immigrants
Obama again over-reaching his authority, granting illegal immigrants a stay in the USA
New Immigration Guidelines: Schools Prohibited From Turning Away Children of The Undocumented
Immigration by the Numbers — Off the Charts
How Many Illegal Aliens Are in the US? – Walsh – 1
How Many Illegal Aliens Are in the US? – Walsh – 2
Mark Levin Interviews Sen. Sessions On Immigration [FULL]
Immigrant America: The High Cost of Deporting Parents
Crossing Mexico’s Other Border
Living on US-Mexico Border, Native Americans Face Daily Struggles
EXCLUSIVE–SEN. JEFF SESSIONS: OBAMA ‘COMMITTED TO ESCALATING’ LAWLESSNESS AT BORDER
There is now an unprecedented crisis unfolding at the border. The flow of illegal immigrant youth across the southern border is on track to reach 130,000 next year—a projected increase of more than 2,000% from 2011. The White House estimates the cost of “resettling” these illegal immigrants in the United States will reach $2.3 billion in a single year.
This crisis is a direct and predictable result of the President’s sustained and deliberate campaign to dismantle immigration enforcement. His administration has announced to the world that our nation’s immigration laws will not be enforced and that, in particular, they will not be applied to foreign youth.
The world has heard and heeded the President’s message. A wave of illegal immigration has overwhelmed authorities, producing a completely preventable humanitarian crisis—and further diminishing the integrity of our national borders. And there is but one way for the crisis to end: for the President of the United States to declare to the world: “Do not attempt to come here illegally. Our border is no longer open. Our laws will be enforced.”
A local TV station in Texas recently issued a telling report. They revealed that information is being disseminated in Central America urging people to make the life-threatening trek north in pursuit of amnesty: “A mother and child told Channel 5 News that the message being disseminated in their country is, ‘go to America with your child, you won’t be turned away.'”
The New York Times reported last week that an illegal immigrant youth said: “If you make it, they take you to a shelter and take care of you and let you have permission to stay… When you appeal your case, if you say you want to study, they support you.”
In response to this emergency, the Administration has taken steps to incentivize even more illegal immigration. Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson—who swore an oath to uphold the law—just last week announced that 560,000 illegal immigrants will be given formal work authorization in the United States despite average unemployment rates of 20 percent for American teenagers without high school diplomas. Meanwhile, the President’s Labor Department has unilaterally authorized the admission of an additional 100,000 guest workers to compete against unemployed Americans. Among those who suffer the most as a result of these policies are African-American and Hispanic youth.
Secretary Johnson went on to emphasize that the United States will continue exempting foreign youth from America’s immigration laws. He explained: “almost all of us agree that a child who crossed our border illegally with a parent, or in search of a parent or a better life, was not making an adult choice to break our laws and should be treated differently than adult law-breakers.” In effect, Mr. Johnson is signaling to everyone in the world: if you come here by a certain age you will get amnesty and, ultimately, so will your family. It is a recipe for permanent lawlessness, open borders, and a continuing humanitarian catastrophe. (It must also be noted that many of those crossing illegally do not have parents, or even relatives, in the United States. And many of them are not minors at all.)
The nation’s chief law enforcement officer, Eric Holder, has even described amnesty as a “civil right.” Of course, if amnesty is a civil right then immigration laws can never be enforced and amnesty can never be denied, because such rights are immutable.
Cecilia Muñoz, who runs immigration policy for the White House—and who is a former executive for the open borders group La Raza—also likened amnesty to a civil right. And only days ago she absurdly argued that the surge in illegal immigration bears no relation to the President’s suspension of immigration laws or campaign for amnesty. As Breitbart News reported: “Muñoz pushed back against the idea that the influx could be due to discussions of [amnesty]… ‘Neither the bill which passed the Senate last year, nor the deferred action program for childhood arrivals would benefit these kids,’ she continued. ‘They both have cutoff dates. You had to have been in the country by a particular date in order to qualify for either of those things.’”
Perhaps an earlier report from the New York Times provides the best rebuttal to Ms. Munoz:
With detention facilities, asylum offices and immigration courts overwhelmed, enough migrants have been released temporarily in the United States that back home in Central America people have heard that those who make it to American soil have a good chance of staying. “Word has gotten out that we’re giving people permission and walking them out the door,” said Chris Cabrera, a Border Patrol agent who is vice president of the local of the National Border Patrol Council, the agents’ union. “So they’re coming across in droves.”
For all practical purposes, the Administration’s policy is that anyone in the world, of any age, is free to come and stay in the interior of the United States, to illegally work and receive taxpayer benefits, so long as they are not caught, tried, and convicted of a serious crime. And even then, thousands of criminal aliens are released each and every year.
Unfortunately, the President remains committed to escalating—rather than ending—the lawlessness. It therefore falls on the shoulders of Republicans alone to make the case for new leadership that will restore America’s borders. Republicans are the last line of defense for the American worker. They are the last bulwark for the rule of law.
That means prominent Republicans must cease issuing ill-conceived statements that it is somehow morally or legally improper for the United States to apply immigration laws to illegal immigrants who arrive by a certain age. As USCIS Council President Kenneth Palinkas has warned, these arguments will produce not merely a one-time amnesty but a “perpetual amnesty.” Palinkas explained that such promises lead to “extending birthright citizenship in the future to include the foreign citizens of other countries” (as opposed to the children of illegal immigrants born in the U.S.). It cannot be the policy of the United States that any of the 2 billion people in the world who have yet turn to turn 18 have a right to illegally enter the United States and claim residency.
For the law enforcement to function, lawmakers and law officers must encourage—not discourage—the law’s application.
Imagine, for instance, that the Administration announced it would no longer enforce any tax fraud violations in amounts under $1 million, as a matter of “prosecutorial discretion.” Would we not see a massive spike in tax fraud in amounts less than a million dollars? It would be a unilateral repeal of an entire section of the criminal code by the Executive Branch. Now further imagine the Administration expanded the policy to say that tax fraud—in any amount—will be permitted so long as the proceeds are transferred to a minor relative. After all, this minor, the Administration argues, received the money “through no fault of their own” and so it would be morally improper to apply the law in such cases—it would be a violation of their “civil rights.” Does anyone doubt this would lead to a total collapse of tax enforcement nationwide?
Of course not. Yet this administration has effectively adopted the philosophy that immigration law, on its own, cannot be enforced in the interior of the United States and that, further, foreign nationals who arrive by a certain age—and their relatives—have a “right” to become citizens of the United States.
It is time for the GOP to look the American people in the eye and say: We will end the chaos. We will stop the lawlessness. And we will restore for the American people the immigration protections that have been callously stripped away by this Administration.
Jeff Sessions (R-AL) is the Ranking Member of the Senate Budget Committee and former Ranking Member of the Judiciary Committee. He is also a former U.S. Attorney and Attorney General for the State of Alabama.
There’s only a few weeks left until the summer recess swallows Congress’ legislative agenda for 2014, but a group of key Republicans haven’t given up immigration quite yet.
Helping guide a secretive effort to informally gauge support for legislative action on the issue before August are two expected names: Reps. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) and Paul Ryan (R-WI).
But joining them is a young conservative lawmaker whose efforts on the issue have shocked conservative power brokers and prompted a behind-the-scenes backlash.
“Absolutely,” Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-SC) told Breitbart News, “I have been talking about immigration with my colleagues for months. Talking about important issues is part of my job.”
Mulvaney was quick to add he isn’t “whipping” support for a bill per se – “I haven’t even seen a bill on immigration reform that I could whip even if I wanted to,” he said – and that he remains firmly opposed to the Senate “Gang of Eight” bill.
“I have absolutely no interest in taking up the Senate bill or going to conference on the Senate bill. Securing our borders is my first priority on any immigration reform, and the Senate bill falls woefully short on that point. Furthermore, I will not support a special pathway to citizenship for those who are here illegally. The Senate bill has always been and remains a non-starter,” Mulvaney said.
Still, his support for House action on the issue this year, and his backing for a separate issue, reauthorization of the Export-Import bank, has prompted new scrutiny on Mulvaney from the right.
“He needs to be called out for this,” one prominent conservative says.
Mulvaney not only has one of the most conservative voting records in the House Republican conference, he has been a leader of a group of conservative dissidents looking to push Speaker John Boehner to the right. In 2013, Mulvaney pointedly took a seat near the front of the House chamber and sat silently as his name was called repeatedly during the Boehner’s reelection as speaker.
His new movement on immigration isn’t his first foray into the issue. In February, he was profiled by a New York Times reporter who traveled to his South Carolina district to witness his first town hall conducted in Spanish.
But then, he said legislative action was out of the question because President Obama is an untrustworthy partner. “We are afraid that if we reach an agreement, he will take the parts he likes and he won’t take the parts that he doesn’t like,” Mulvaney told the audience in Spanish, according to the Times.
Mulvaney’s active involvement on the issue now suggests that calculation may have changed for him, although the sentiment is felt even more deeply by top immigration hawks who note President Obama has continued to aggressively wield his executive action pen in the months since.
At a town hall last week, Mulvaney used rhetoric on the issue similar to that of top amnesty proponents.
“Immigration is not a simple issue. There are at least three major parts of it: there’s border security, legal immigration, and the status of the 11 million, 15 million, 30 million … pick a number – it’s the status of the folks who are here illegally. People say, ‘oh, comprehensive reform is a bad idea.’ Ok? But, unless you deal with all three of those you haven’t dealt with immigration,” Mulvaney said.
“There are jobs that American citizens will not do. There are jobs that American citizens will not do. We can talk about why that is. We can talk about how our welfare state is broken, how we encourage people not to work, but that doesn’t help the farmer pick his peaches this summer. We have businesses that rely on migrant – legal – migrant workers, and a lot of them are in this state,” he added.
The secretive immigration talks by Diaz-Balart, Ryan and Mulvaney still face severe hurdles if they are to successfully bring legislation to the floor in June or July.
Many top GOP aides say the tide has not turned since February, when the House GOP leadership’s immigration principles were unveiled to an outcry that foisting a civil war on the party just ahead of a midterm election was political suicide.
Still, last week, Rep. Mark Amodei told a local newspaper that what he described as a “quiet whip effort” was making progress.
“They started a quiet whip count, trying to gauge what the support was for doing something on immigration within the Republican conference. We want to see where we stand on that whip count because, obviously, the Speaker does not want to get out in front of it and then have the limb sawed off behind him,” Amodei said.
“But I said, you know what? I’m hopeful. My sense — and I could be wrong — but I think there are 165 to 180 people in the Republican conference that will be open minded to this and support it,” he added.
Asked for comment about Ryan’s involvement in the issue, his spokesman, Kevin Seifert, said, “Congressman Ryan has laid out his principles for immigration reform. He’s said that the House should not take up or conference with the Senate bill and that there should be no special pathway to citizenship for those here illegally. Congressman Ryan has also said that any reform effort should begin by securing our border and enforcing our laws.”
A sharp spike in illegal immigration has caused facilities and resources along the U.S.-Mexico border to become overwhelmed. As a result, U.S. Border Patrol has been releasing thousands of illegal immigrants onto U.S. soil each week. Some released immigrants are even criminals–as Breitbart Texas previously reported, more than 36,000 convicted criminal illegal alienswere released by U.S. authorities in 2013 alone.
Texas Senator Ted Cruz told Breitbart Texas that this “humanitarian crisis” is a “direct consequence” of the Obama Administration’s actions and rhetoric surrounding illegal immigration.
“We need a president who is willing to uphold the law,” Cruz said. “On issue after issue the Obama Administration has openly ignored, defied, and unilaterally tried to change the law. With respect to securing the border, the Obama Administration has handcuffed the courageous men and women who serve in Border Patrol. Morale in ICE is at an all-time low because the political operatives leading this Administration are preventing them from doing their job and upholding the law.”
He continued, “Just a few months before the last election the president illegally and unconstitutionally granted amnesty to some 800,000 people illegally. If the president wants to change federal immigration laws, the Constitution lays out a way to do so–you go and make your case to Congress and you convince Congress to change the laws…unfortunately for President Obama, following the Constitutional structure is apparently too cumbersome. One of the consequences were seeing on the border is a humanitarian crisis that is a direct consequence of Obama’s lawlessness.”
Cruz argued that by granting amnesty to such large numbers of illegal immigrants, Obama prompted a “change in behavior.” In Cruz’s view, the recent spike in illegal immigration can be attributed to such actions by the Administration.
Earlier this week, Breitbart Texas Managing Director Brandon Darby released leaked photos of children in U.S. processing cells who entered the U.S. illegally and unaccompanied. The photos encapsulated the humanitarian crisis in relation to young, often unaccompanied, border crossers.
Cruz said of the skyrocketing number of children crossers, “When I was down at the border, Border Patrol agents were telling me with horror that roughly 10 percent of apprehended people were unaccompanied minors.”
He continued, “The people who are bringing men, women, and children in illegally are not pleasant, happy, placid coyotes. These are criminal cartels. These are ruthless, brutal, nasty criminals. The idea that you have parents handing their teenage daughter or son over to a global criminal cartel is a humanitarian crisis. Untold numbers of these teens are facing assault, are facing a life of hell being turned over to drug kingpins.”
“It is a direct consequence of the presidents illegal actions,” he said. “The parents think, ‘If I send my child [to the U.S.], my child will have amnesty.’ That’s what the president of the U.S. has said. It is the exact opposite of a humane approach to immigration or to securing our borders.”
Ultimately, Cruz said there are many areas where the left and right can find common ground.
“There is overwhelming bipartisan support outside of Washington that we need to finally secure our borders, enforce our laws, and stop the problem of illegal immigration,” he concluded. “But that’s not going to happen as long as the president is ordering Border Patrol officers not to enforce the law.”
Border crisis: Why the surge in illegal border-crossers with children? (+video)
US Border Patrol is struggling to cope with throngs of mothers and even unaccompanied children, apparently drawn by rumors that the Obama administration will let undocumented families stay. Critics say Obama’s policies are in fact largely to blame.
By Patrik Jonsson
A recent wave of migrant mothers with children, as well as unaccompanied children, crossing theUS southern border is, to President Obama, an “urgent humanitarian crisis.” To critics, the surge of humanity on America’s doorstep stems at least in part from Mr. Obama’s own policies that appear to lay out the welcome mat for illegal immigrants.
With the surge in needy immigrant families, makeshift camps are springing up at Arizona bus depots, and the US is opening military barracks in Texas to house the growing number of unaccompanied children.
According to press reports, rumors are flying throughout Central America that parents won’t be detained by the US Border Patrol if a child is by their side. That’s true, for the most part. They are sent to live with relatives, or anywhere else, until their deportation hearings (usually within 15 days).
The Border Patrol, in an internal memo, acknowledges it is having to take its eyes off securing the border and busting human- and drug-trafficking rings in the Rio Grande Valley sector in south Texas to focus instead on a wave of migrants, mostly from strife-torn Central American countries like Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala.
After Arizona officials complained about the Border Patrol shipping migrants in from Texas and dropping them at bus stations, the Department of Homeland Security on Friday halted that policy. The US has instead begun housing unaccompanied migrant children on military installations in Texas and California, under the supervision of Federal Emergency Management Agency Director Craig Fugate.
The new wave of illegal immigrants may also affect the politicking in Washington over immigration reform, given that the emerging crisis appears to be drawing into question the government’s ability to contain the border. An adequately sealed border is a key sticking point in negotiations between Democrats and Republicans over a proposed immigration reform measure that includes a path to citizenship for certain illegal immigrants already in the US.
“For those who are friendly to migration, this gets highlighted for the same reason they highlighted DREAM-ers: There’s a very clear moral proposition” around protecting innocent children, says Allert Brown-Gort, an immigration policy expert at the University of Notre Dame, citing a proposed law to give legal status to undocumented young people brought to the US as minors.
“The other side wants to highlight … the idea of migrants on the other side with catapults, just flinging their children across [the border],” because the US has been signaling that it’s become friendlier, under Mr. Obama, to undocumented migrants, Mr. Brown-Gort adds.
Critics say Obama’s 2012 executive order that lets young people brought to the US illegally as children apply for a two-year deferral from deportation, as well as the Bush administration’s 2008 decision to close a major detention facility in Texas, have helped to create conditions for a new wave of illegal immigration.
Some migrants are telling reporters on the border that they’ve heard in their home countries that there’s a “new opportunity” to emigrate to the US illegally and stay indefinitely, reports the Los Angeles Times’ Cindy Carcamo on Friday.
“The word has gotten back that [the Obama administration] is letting people stay – not just unaccompanied minors, but women with children – which is creating an opportunity to sneak in and get while the getting’s good,” says Mark Krikorian, director of the Center for Immigration Studies in Washington, which backs “low migration.”
“What it means is they haven’t locked down the border, and all this talk about how tough the administration is on enforcement is being exposed as false,” he adds.
The border patrol just tripled its projection of how many “unaccompanied alien children” are expected to cross the border. New estimates project 90,000 so-called unaccompanied children will try to cross this year and as many as 165,000 will try in 2015 (up from about 13,000 in 2012 and 24,000 in 2013).
Overall, illegal immigration from Central America is now inching toward 180,000 people a year – about half of the flow at the 2005 peak, but up from 130,000 two years ago.
Children are about 10 percent of that flow, and as many as 70 percent of those children are unaccompanied, Brown-Gort says. Many of the children are 12 and older, and most are boys. At home, boys that age are chief targets of cartels, and rising violence is pushing them to head north.
“It sounds easy to say, ‘Well, they’re being told that all they have to do is show up and everything will be OK,’ but people are balancing that with the really horribly increased dangers of migration,” including shakedowns and sexual violence, he says. “This kind of migration is a big roll of the dice, and not easy.”
Border Patrol Deputy Chief Ronald Vitiello raised alarms about the current policy in an unsigned May 30 memo obtained by the Washington Times and reported by the Associated Press. Releasing mothers with kids and reuniting unaccompanied children with relatives in the US are serving as “incentives to additional individuals to follow the same path,” Mr. Vitiello wrote.
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) complained in a recent letter to Obama that the policy has resulted in women and children with few connections in the US lingering in makeshift camps while awaiting deportation hearings, including one at the Phoenix Greyhound station. Meanwhile, churches and nonprofit groups have kicked into overdrive to try to keep susceptible families and children fed and safe in the 110-degree desert heat.
Obama’s two-year ‘amnesty’ for illegal immigrant minors sparks TWELVE-FOLD spike in numbers pouring across border
A San Antonio Air Force base, a California Navy base, and a makeshift detention center in Nogales, Arizona have become temporary shelters for children and youths caught crossing the border without their parents
Republicans blame the Obama administration for the problem, citing a 2012 policy that relaxed deportations
It’s ‘an administration-made disaster,’ says the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee
President Obama now concedes that it’s an ‘urgent humanitarian situation’ and is setting aside $2 million to pay lawyers for the children
The US government expects as many as 80,000 child immigrants to illegally enter the US this year, a twelve-fold jump in just three years
More than 33,000 have been picked up in Texas since October; the Arizona facility has ordered 2,000 mattresses to handle its overload
‘Instead of having an application of the immigration law, we are taking mothers and children and dumping them,’ another claimed
A federal judge castigated the Obama administration in December, saying it was ‘completing the criminal mission’ of human traffickers
President Barack Obama is calling tens of thousands of illegal-immigrant children languishing in temporary U.S. holding pens an ‘urgent humanitarian situation,’ but Republicans are pointing the finger of blame squarely at the White House.
Obama instituted an immigration policy that the GOP says enticed tens of thousands of Central American children to cross America’s southern border illegally without any parents to guide them.
More than 33,000 have been picked up in Texas alone since October. The U.S. border patrol says its forces are overwhelmed, and the courts are bracing for a flood of immigration cases from children held in temporary detention facilities designed to handle a fraction of the numbers. Sanitation problems are beginning to rear their ugly heads.
Obama rolled out a controversial Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in 2012, allowing many illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. as minors to escape deportation for two years. The White House gave them another two-year window last week.
As a result, say some GOP leaders, America’s system for handling illegal immigration has been strained to the breaking point and is attracting hundreds of new illegal-immigrant children every day.
Compared to the year before Obama’s policy took effect, twelve times as many kids are coming north illegally this year.
Overflowing: Immigration authorities have opened a shelter at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas to house a rising number of unaccompanied minors who have been crossing the U.S.-Mexico border illegally
Hundreds of immigrants believed to be in the country illegally from Central America and Mexico being held in crowded concrete rooms similar to a jail cell
Many of the children appear to be teenagers but some clearly are younger
Lackland has become a temporary shelter for youths caught crossing the border illegally and alone
A half-century-old section of a U.S. Air Force base in Texas is now a holding and processing center for thousands of children who managed to enter the U.S. alone. The same is true of a Navy base in California.
And a makeshift detention center in Arizona holding 700 illegal immigrant children has ordered 2,000 mattresses to keep up with an expected influx in the coming months.
Judge: US ‘has simply chosen not to enforce … border security laws’
In a landmark court ruling in December, a federal judge ruled against the Department of Homeland Security for releasing a Salvadoran girl to her mother.
The mom had hired a smuggler to transport her daughter into the U.S., and was herself in the country illegally.
U.S. District Judge Andrew Hansen wrote that ‘this court is quite concerned with the apparent policy of the Department of Homeland Security of completing the criminal mission of those who are violating the border security of the United States.’
‘The DHS,’ Hansen added, ‘should enforce the laws of the United States – not break them.’
Many of the children there were sleeping on plastic boards.
According to the Associated Press, toothbrushes and toothpaste hadn’t arrived yet and were expected Monday.
Hundreds of children had not bathed in days, and were taking turns using just four showers.
Tony Banegas, Honduras’ honorary consul in Phoenix, told the AP that there were 236 Honduran children there on Saturday, including an 8-year-old.
Republicans on Capitol Hill are beyond angry.
Leaked photos from the base, which were obtained by the Breitbart.com news blog, show hundreds of children holed up in crowded concrete rooms, many of them sleeping on the bare floor without blankets or pillows.
‘The recent surge of children and teenagers from Central America showing up at our southern border is an administration-made disaster,’ Virginia GOP Rep. Bob Goodlatte, who chairs the House Judiciary Committee, told Fox News last week.
‘Word has gotten out around the world about President Obama’s lax immigration enforcement policies and it has encouraged more individuals to come to the United States illegally,’ Goodlatte said in a statement.
‘Enforcement at the border and in the interior of the U.S.,’ not ‘another bureaucratic task force’ is needed, he claimed.
Arizona Rep. Paul Gosar, who sits on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said Friday that ‘instead of having an application of the immigration law, we are taking mothers and children and dumping them … and violating the rule[s] over and over.’
Policy shift: President Barack Obama announced on June 15, 2012 that the U.S. would stop deporting young illegal immigrants who satisfied a broad set of criteria; the move has enticed tens of thousands of children to sneak across the border even though the policy doesn’t apply to them
Immediately contentious: Neil Munro (C), the White House Correspondent for the Daily Caller, peppered Obama with unexpected questions during the announcement, during which the president hadn’t planned to take questions at all
At the base, children are provided with three hot meals and two snacks a day. They can call home twice a week. They have access to mental health clinicians and on-site medical care
The minors flooding over the border are often teenagers leaving behind poverty or violence in Mexico and other parts of Central America such as Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala
The Obama administration expects as many as 80,000 of these ‘unaccompanied minors’ to cross the border in 2014, according to the Christian Science Monitor.
That number is twelve times what it was in 2011, the year before Obama announced his deferred-action plan.
The administration now estimates the holding facilities where the youngsters are being held cost taxpayers $252 per child per day, far more than the cost of a hotel and more than the children could expect to earn in two weeks of hard work picking crops, work that many were slated to do.
Facing the question of whether to deport the minors or play a game of catch-and-release, the administration has set aside $2 million to pay for their lawyers.
‘We’re taking a historic step to strengthen our justice system and protect the rights of the most vulnerable members of society,’ Attorney General Eric Holder said Friday in a statement.
‘How we treat those in need, particularly young people who must appear in immigration proceedings – many of whom are fleeing violence, persecution, abuse or trafficking – goes to the core of who we are as a nation.’
Obama’s ‘deferred action’ program for minors, which he announced in a fanfare-laden June 15, 2012 Rose Garden press conference, applies only to children who came to America before mid-2007.
‘It makes no sense to expel talented young people, who, for all intents and purposes, are Americans,’ the president said then.
Photos leaked to U.S. and Mexican media outlets on Thursday show unaccompanied children crammed into Border Patrol holding cells elsewhere, sleeping on concrete floors
About 850 that were being housed at the facility have been released to a vetted family member or a sponsor
Republicans blame President Obama for the situation, pointing to his 2012 policy that sent a message of hope to kids yearning to stay in the U.S.
Photos leaked Thursday from a U.S. Border Patrol facility in the Rio Grande Valley show overflowing holding facilities of immigrants, many of whom are children
Children between the ages of 12 and 17 are handed several sheets and towels when they arrive and checked for lice and scabies
But Capitol Hill is rife with fears that the message was garbled by the time it reach Guatemala, Honduras and other countries where poverty runs rampant. Many children traveling north on their own hope the policy will include them.
That’s what ‘coyotes,’ the smugglers who bring them in, are telling them to expect, according to Tania Chavez, a representative with La Union del Pueblo Entero, told KRGV-TV. in southern Texas.
The minors flooding over the border are often teenagers leaving behind poverty or violence in Mexico and other parts of Central America such as Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala.
With the president traveling in Europe last week, there have been no press briefings at the White House where questions might be put to outgoing press secretary Jay Carney.
But Obama met privately Monday morning with a group of nurses from across the country ‘to discuss the importance of passing commonsense immigration reform,’ according to the White House.
The Associated Press reported Monday that in a May 30 memo to the National Security Council’s transborder security directorate, Border Patrol Deputy Chief Ronald Vitiello warned that the influx of unexpected illegals has stretched the border patrol beyond reason.
But releasing them or reuniting them with family members in the United States would serve as ‘incentives to additional individuals to follow the same path.’
President Barack Obama said the sharp influx of unaccompanied children from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala was an ‘urgent humanitarian situation’
More than 33,000 minors were apprehended in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas since October last year, it has been reported
Republicans angered about the situation point to a federal judge who castigated the Obama administration for relaxing its immigration policy and encouraging human traffickers.
In a December ruling, U.S. District Judge Andrew Hansen ripped the Department of Homeland Security for releasing a Salvadoran girl to her mother – a woman who had hired a smuggler to transport her daughter into the U.S., and was herself in the country illegally. of \
Hansen wrote that ‘this court is quite concerned with the apparent policy of the Department of Homeland Security of completing the criminal mission of those who are violating the border security of the United States.’
‘The DHS,’ he added, ‘should enforce the laws of the United States – not break them.’
In a related case, the El Paso Times reported Monday that a Catholic charity was assisting 130 illegal immigrant children flown to El Paso, Texas.
Many were traveling with their parents when they were apprehended trying to cross the U.S.-Mexico border.
One Guatemalan woman named Maria, who enter the United States with her two children, told the Times that she wanted to go to Tennessee to reunite with her sister.
Immigration officials, she said, had released her from custody and let her travel north.
‘Immigration told me, “You are free, you can leave”,’ she said.
SURGE IN KIDS CROSSING BORDER ALONE STRAINS PATROL
BY ALICIA A. CALDWELL ASSOCIATED PRESS
Border Patrol agents could arrest as many as 90,000 children trying to illegally cross the Mexican border alone this year, more than three times the number of children apprehended in 2013, according to a draft internal Homeland Security memorandum reviewed by The Associated Press.
In the May 30 memo from Border Patrol Deputy Chief Ronald Vitiello to the National Security Council’s transborder security directorate, Vitiello said Homeland Security’s Office of Immigration Statistics estimates that by 2015 the number of children apprehended while traveling alone could grow to 142,000.
The government has previously estimated that more than 60,000 children could be apprehended along the border this year. All the estimates are for the government’s fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1. Children apprehended with their parents are not part of this count of illegal border crossings.
Most of the children caught crossing alone are from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala and have been apprehended in the Border Patrol’s Rio Grande Valley Sector in South Texas. That sector is the now the Border Patrol’s busiest area along the Mexican border and has seen a significant increase in the number of border crossers from Central America.
Customs and Border Protection said the memo “appears to be an internal, incomplete working document.”
The spike in children trying cross the border alone has forced DHS to divert resources away from other missions, including combating human and drug trafficking, Vitiello wrote in his four-page memo.
The increase in apprehensions has also led the government to fly some migrants who are from countries other than Mexico to other parts of the border, including Arizona, for processing by Border Patrol agents in less-busy sectors. Many families from countries other than Mexico have been released on their own recognizance in the U.S. while they await deportation proceedings in immigration court.
Releasing those people and taking other actions such as reuniting children caught alone at the border with parents or other relatives already in the U.S. serve as “incentives to additional individuals to follow the same path,” Vitiello wrote.
The number of children found trying to cross the Mexican border without parents has spiked in recent years. Between 2008 and 2011, 6,000 to 7,500 children per year ended up in the custody of the Health and Human Services Department’s Office of Refugee Resettlement. In 2012 border agents apprehended 13,625 unaccompanied children and that number surged to more than 24,000 last year.
Vitiello’s memo was drafted just days before President Barack Obama declared the situation on the border an “urgent humanitarian situation” and appointed the head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Craig Fugate, to manage the government’s response. In a presidential memo issued Monday, Obama said the government would temporarily house some of the children at two military bases.
Last month the Office of Management and Budget said in a two-page letter to the chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations Committee that the increase in the number of children crossing alone would likely cost the government at least $2.28 billion, about $1.4 billion more than the administration had initially asked lawmakers to budget for its “Unaccompanied Alien Children” program.
Rampant crime and poverty across Central America and a desire to reunite with parents or other relatives are thought to be driving many of the young immigrants.
Detained children are supposed to be transferred within 72 hours to HHS to be housed in shelters until they can be reunited with parents or guardians. Officials then begin searching for relatives or other potential guardians in the U.S.
The average stay for a child in a U.S. shelter last year was 45 days. Most are reunited with family to wait for their immigration cases to move forward. Migrant kids remain in removal proceedings even after they’re reunited with their parents here, though many have been able to win permission from a judge to stay in the U.S.
Surge in kids illegally crossing into U.S. alone strains Border Patrol
Numbers far worse than Obama administration had admitted
The flood of young children pouring across the southwestern border is worse than the administration has previously acknowledged, and efforts to deal with unaccompanied minors are overwhelming the Border Patrol, distracting it from going after smugglers and other illegal immigrants, according to an internal draft memo from the agency.
The four-page memo, authored by Deputy Border Patrol Chief Ronald D. Vitiello and dated May 30, contradicts the administration’s argument that the border is secure enough to begin legalizing current illegal aliens already in the U.S.
Instead, Chief Vitiello paints a picture of a government struggling to cope, leaving the children suffering poor conditions, agents unable to focus on major security threats and little sense that it will get better.
Known within the Homeland Security Department as Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC), their numbers have skyrocketed this year, forcing the department to siphon manpower and money from its other critical border duties.
“The large quantity of DHS interdiction, intelligence, investigation, processing, detention and removal resources currently being dedicated to address UAC is compromising DHS capabilities to address other transborder criminal areas, such as human smuggling and trafficking and illicit drug, weapons, commercial and financial operations,” Chief Vitiello wrote in the memo, which was viewed by The Washington Times.
“Insufficient attention to these mission areas will have immediate and potentially long-lasting impacts on criminal enterprise operations within the Rio Grande Valley and across the country,” Chief Vitiello wrote.
According to the draft memo’s estimates, agents and officers will apprehend more than 90,000 unaccompanied children on the border this year, rising to 142,000 in 2015. By contrast, there were fewer than 40,000 caught last year.
The numbers represent a stunning percentage of the illegal crossers — and only account for those caught. An unknown number get by the Border Patrol and make their way into the interior of the country.
Chiefly from Guatemala, Honduras or El Salvador, they are usually fleeing horrendous poverty or gang violence. They brave harsh conditions and, in the case of the girls, often face being raped, during their journey through Mexico and across the U.S. border.
A Customs and Border Protection official said the memo was “an internal, incomplete working document, neither signed nor made official.”
But the official acknowledged the large increase in unaccompanied children crossing the border and the intense steps being taken to combat it.
“The rising flow of unaccompanied children and family units into the Rio Grande Valley present unique operational and resource challenges for CBP and [the Department of Health and Human Services],” the official told The Washington Times on condition of anonymity.
Last week, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson told Congress the problem is a top priority for him.
“I have been closely following this emerging issue since coming into office, with a particular focus on the Rio Grande Valley,” he said in testimony to the House Judiciary Committee. “I traveled to McAllen, Texas, to view the situation and saw the children there firsthand — an overwhelming number of whom were under 12 years old.”
Earlier this week he and the White House announced that the government’s emergency management director will coordinate the response to the flood of children.
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Labor Secretary Dismisses Historical Drop in Labor Participation Rate
Labor Force Participation Rate
Labor participation rate is down to unprecedented levels
BLS Commissioner Groshen on drop in job participation rate- “It’s certainly not a sign of strength.”
Will The Unemployment Rate Stall
1 : Data affected by changes in population controls.
Civilian Labor Force
1 : Data affected by changes in population controls.
Labor Participation Rate
Unemployment Rate U-3
Unemployment Rate U-6
Employment Situation Summary
Transmission of material in this release is embargoed until USDL-14-0987
8:30 a.m. (EDT) Friday, June 6, 2014
Household data: (202) 691-6378 • firstname.lastname@example.org • www.bls.gov/cps
Establishment data: (202) 691-6555 • email@example.com • www.bls.gov/ces
Media contact: (202) 691-5902 • PressOffice@bls.gov
THE EMPLOYMENT SITUATION -- MAY 2014
Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 217,000 in May, and the unemployment rate was
unchanged at 6.3 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Employment
increased in professional and business services, health care and social assistance, food
services and drinking places, and transportation and warehousing.
Household Survey Data
The unemployment rate held at 6.3 percent in May, following a decline of 0.4 percentage
point in April. The number of unemployed persons was unchanged in May at 9.8 million.
Over the year, the unemployment rate and the number of unemployed persons declined by
1.2 percentage points and 1.9 million, respectively. (See table A-1.)
Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (5.9 percent),
adult women (5.7 percent), teenagers (19.2 percent), whites (5.4 percent), blacks
(11.5 percent), and Hispanics (7.7 percent) showed little or no change in May. The
jobless rate for Asians was 5.3 percent (not seasonally adjusted), little changed
from a year earlier. (See tables A-1, A-2, and A-3.)
Among the unemployed, the number of job losers and persons who completed temporary
jobs declined by 218,000 in May. The number of unemployed reentrants increased by
237,000 over the month, partially offsetting a large decrease in April.(Reentrants
are persons who previously worked but were not in the labor force prior to beginning
their current job search.) (See table A-11.)
The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was essentially
unchanged at 3.4 million in May.These individuals accounted for 34.6 percent of the
unemployed. Over the past 12 months, the number of long-term unemployed has declined by
979,000. (See table A-12.)
The civilian labor force participation rate was unchanged in May, at 62.8 percent.
The participation rate has shown no clear trend since this past October but is down by 0.6
percentage point over the year. The employment-population ratio, at 58.9 percent, was
also unchanged in May and has changed little over the year. (See table A-1.)
The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as
involuntary part-time workers), at 7.3 million, changed little in May. These individuals
were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable
to find a full-time job. (See table A-8.)
In May, 2.1 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, essentially
unchanged from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) These individuals
were not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work, and had looked for a
job sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed because they
had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey. (See table A-16.)
Among the marginally attached, there were 697,000 discouraged workers in May, little
different from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) Discouraged
workers are persons not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are
available for them. The remaining 1.4 million persons marginally attached to the labor
force in May had not searched for work for reasons such as school attendance or family
responsibilities. (See table A-16.)
Establishment Survey Data
Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 217,000 in May, with gains in professional
and business services, health care and social assistance, food services and drinking
places, and transportation and warehousing. Over the prior 12 months, nonfarm payroll
employment growth had averaged 197,000 per month. (See table B-1.)
Professional and business services added 55,000 jobs in May, the same as its average
monthly job gain over the prior 12 months. In May, the industry added 7,000 jobs each in
computer systems design and related services and in management and technical consulting.
Employment in temporary help services continued to trend up (+14,000) and has grown by
224,000 over the past year.
In May, health care and social assistance added 55,000 jobs. The health care industry
added 34,000 jobs over the month, twice its average monthly gain for the prior 12 months.
Within health care, employment rose in May by 23,000 in ambulatory health care services
(which includes offices of physicians, outpatient care centers, and home health care
services) and by 7,000 in hospitals. Employment rose by 21,000 in social assistance,
compared with an average gain of 7,000 per month over the prior 12 months.
Within leisure and hospitality, employment in food services and drinking places continued
to grow, increasing by 32,000 in May and by 311,000 over the past year.
Transportation and warehousing employment rose by 16,000 in May. Over the prior 12
months, the industry had added an average of 9,000 jobs per month. In May, employment
growth occurred in support activities for transportation (+6,000) and couriers and
Manufacturing employment changed little over the month but has added 105,000 jobs over
the past year. Within the industry, durable goods added 17,000 jobs in May and has
accounted for the net job gain in manufacturing over the past 12 months.
Employment in other major industries, including mining and logging, construction,
wholesale trade, retail trade, information, financial activities, and government,
showed little change over the month.
The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls was unchanged at 34.5
hours in May. The manufacturing workweek increased by 0.2 hour in May to 41.1 hours, and
factory overtime was unchanged at 3.5 hours. The average workweek for production and
nonsupervisory employees on private nonfarm payrolls was unchanged at 33.7 hours. (See
tables B-2 and B-7.)
In May, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by
5 cents to $24.38. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have risen by 2.1
percent. In May, average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory
employees increased by 3 cents to $20.54. (See tables B-3 and B-8.)
After revision, the change in total nonfarm employment for March remained +203,000, and the
change for April was revised from +288,000 to +282,000. With these revisions, employment
gains in March and April were 6,000 lower than previously reported.
The Employment Situation for June is scheduled to be released on Thursday, July 3, 2014,
at 8:30 a.m. (EDT).
| Upcoming Changes to the Establishment Survey Data |
|Effective with the release of July 2014 data on August 1, 2014, the establishment survey|
|will implement new sample units into production on a quarterly basis, replacing the |
|current practice of implementing new sample units annually. There is no change to the |
|establishment survey sample design. More information about the quarterly sample |
|implementation is available at www.bls.gov/ces/cesqsi.htm. |
Employment Situation Summary Table A. Household data, seasonally adjusted
Summary table A. Household data, seasonally adjusted
[Numbers in thousands]
Civilian noninstitutional population
Civilian labor force
Not in labor force
Total, 16 years and over
Adult men (20 years and over)
Adult women (20 years and over)
Teenagers (16 to 19 years)
Black or African American
Asian (not seasonally adjusted)
Hispanic or Latino ethnicity
Total, 25 years and over
Less than a high school diploma
High school graduates, no college
Some college or associate degree
Bachelor’s degree and higher
Reason for unemployment
Job losers and persons who completed temporary jobs
Duration of unemployment
Less than 5 weeks
5 to 14 weeks
15 to 26 weeks
27 weeks and over
Employed persons at work part time
Part time for economic reasons
Slack work or business conditions
Could only find part-time work
Part time for noneconomic reasons
Persons not in the labor force (not seasonally adjusted)
Marginally attached to the labor force
- Over-the-month changes are not displayed for not seasonally adjusted data.
NOTE: Persons whose ethnicity is identified as Hispanic or Latino may be of any race. Detail for the seasonally adjusted data shown in this table will not necessarily add to totals because of the independent seasonal adjustment of the various series. Updated population controls are introduced annually with the release of January data.
Summary table B. Establishment data, seasonally adjusted
Footnotes (1) Includes other industries, not shown separately. (2) Data relate to production employees in mining and logging and manufacturing, construction employees in construction, and nonsupervisory employees in the service-providing industries. (3) The indexes of aggregate weekly hours are calculated by dividing the current month’s estimates of aggregate hours by the corresponding annual average aggregate hours. (4) The indexes of aggregate weekly payrolls are calculated by dividing the current month’s estimates of aggregate weekly payrolls by the corresponding annual average aggregate weekly payrolls. (5) Figures are the percent of industries with employment increasing plus one-half of the industries with unchanged employment, where 50 percent indicates an equal balance between industries with increasing and decreasing employment. (p) Preliminary
37.2%: Percentage Not in Labor Force Remains at 36-Year High
June 6, 2014 – 8:05 AM
By Ali Meyer
The percentage of American civilians 16 or older who do not have a job and are not actively seeking one remained at a 36-year high in May, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
In December, April, and now May, the labor force participation rate has been 62.8 percent. That means that 37.2 percent were not participating in the labor force during those months.
Before December, the last time the labor force participation rate sunk as low as 62.8 percent was February 1978, when it was also 62.8 percent. At that time, Jimmy Carter was president.
In April, the number of those not in the labor force hit a record high of 92,018,000. In May, that number declined by 9,000 to 92,009,000. Yet, the participation rate remained the same from April to May at 62.8 percent.
The labor force, according to BLS, is that part of the civilian noninstitutional population that either has a job or has actively sought one in the last four weeks. The civilian noninstitutional population consists of people 16 or older, who are not on active duty in the military or in an institution such as a prison, nursing home, or mental hospital.
In May, according to BLS, the nation’s civilian noninstitutional population, consisting of all people 16 or older who were not in the military or an institution, hit 247,622,000. Of those, 155,613,000 participated in the labor force by either holding a job or actively seeking one.
The 155,613,000 who participated in the labor force equaled only 62.8 percent of the 247,622,000 civilian noninstitutional population, matching (along with the 62.8 percent rate in May) the lowest labor force participation rate in 36 years.
At no time during the presidencies of Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton or George W. Bush, did such a small percentage of the civilian non-institutional population either hold a job or at least actively seek one.
When President Barack Obama took office in January 2009, the labor force participation rate was 65.7 percent. By the beginning of 2013, the start of Obama’s second term, it had dropped to 63.6 percent. Since January 2014, when the participation rate was 63.0,it has continued to decline, hitting a 36-year low of 62.8 percent in May.
People in the civilian noninstitutional population who did not have a job and did not actively seek one in the last four weeks are considered “not in the labor force.” The number of Americans not in the labor force has climbed by 11,480,000 since Obama took office, rising from 80,529,000 in January 2009 to 92,009,000 in May 2014.
Sessions: 7 Million Have Left Workforce Since Obama Took Office
BY DANIEL HALPER
Senator Jeff Sessions has released a statement that says, “7 Million People Have Left The Workforce Since The President Took Office.” The statement is in response to today’s jobs numbers.
“Today’s jobs numbers are only enough to tread even with population growth, maintaining unemployment at 6.3 percent. When you include discouraged workers, the unemployment rate doubles to an alarming 12.2 percent. There are still 3.2 million fewer full-time employed persons than there were in 2007,” says Sessions.
“Since President Obama came into office in 2009, 7.2 million people have left the workforce entirely. One out of every six men aged 25–54 is not working. Employment in this group fell by 72,000 last month, while the number of employed women aged 25–54 fell by 37,000. Meanwhile, the workforce participation rate for women is at its lowest level in 23 years. Median household income is down almost $2,300 from what it was when the President took office. Real wages are lower than they were in 1999. Growth in the first quarter of this year was negative.
“These numbers are grim and make clear that this economy is nowhere close to performing at an acceptable level.”
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Is Ransomed U.S. Soldier Bowe Bergdahl a Deserter? UPDATED: Was Release of Taliban Prisoners Illegal?
Two GOP lawmakers charge that the Obama administration violated a law requiring the White House to give Congress a month’s notice before transferring or releasing Gitmo captivies. From the AP via Business Insider:
The White House said it moved as quickly as possible given the opportunity that arose to secure Bergdahl’s release. Citing “these unique and exigent circumstances,” the White House said a decision was made to go ahead with the transfer despite the legal requirement of 30 days advance notice to Congress.
For President Barack Obama (and thus America), foreign policy in every way remains a disaster. The latest incident? In swapping five Taliban leaders for a U.S. soldier who was held prisoner in Afghanistan for five years, Obama may have just exchanged somecertifiably bad guys for…a deserter from the U.S. Army. CNN’s Jake Tapper explains:
The sense of pride expressed by officials of the Obama administration at the release of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl is not shared by many of those who served with him—veterans and soldiers who call him a deserter whose “selfish act” ended up costing the lives of better men.
“I was pissed off then and I am even more so now with everything going on,” said former Sgt. Matt Vierkant, a member of Bergdahl’s platoon when he went missing on June 30, 2009. “Bowe Bergdahldeserted during a time of war and his fellow Americans lost their lives searching for him.”
According to first-hand accounts from soldiers in his platoon, Bergdahl, while on guard duty, shed his weapons and walked off the observation post with nothing more than a compass, a knife, water, a digital camera, and a diary.
At least six soldiers were killed in subsequent searches for Bergdahl, and many soldiers in his platoon said attacks seemed to increase against the United States in Paktika Province in the days and weeks following his disappearance.
This is all completely apart from the question of whether exchanging prisoners for prisoners is a good idea while the U.S. still has over 30,000 troops in Afghanistan (and more than 100 detainees in Gitmo). And once again, yesterday, Susan Rice—she of Benghazi talking points fame—was making spurious claims on Sunday talk shows. She emphasized that Bergdahl had been“captured” on the battlefield, which may not be exactly right. Or even at all right.
I caught a few minutes of MSNBC’s Morning Joe earlier today and co-host Mika Brzezinski cautioned that whatever else we know about the five-for-one prisoner deal (which involves the Taliban going to Qatar, where they will be monitored by the government there for at least a year), we don’t know everything. Which is likely accurate and besides the point: Leaving aside the Obama administration’s constant invocations about its super-fantastic dedication to transparency, this White House has managed to make itself toxic to increasing swaths of the public and drive faith in its best intentions and ability to cross the street through the floor.
Here’s hoping that after more than a dozen years of poorly conceived and executed wars—and declining public support for the idea of America as globocop—that official foreign policy will start to appreciate the idea that we cannot undertake large and small-scale military interventions lightly.
The Gitmo detainees swapped for Bergdahl: Who are they?
Together with the announcement that U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl was released after nearly five years of captivity came the news that five detainees at Guantanamo Bay were being transferred to Qatar.
A plane carrying the detainees left the U.S. Navy base in Guantanamo, Cuba, after the announcement that Bergdahl, who was captured by the Taliban in Afghanistan in 2009, had been exchanged for the five men.
Saturday’s transfer was brokered through the Qatari government, a senior Defense official said. According to senior administration officials, Qatar agreed to take custody of the detainees and provide assurances they would not pose a threat to the United States, including a one-year ban from travel out of Qatar.
Two senior administration officials confirmed the names of the five released detainees as Khair Ulla Said Wali Khairkhwa, Mullah Mohammad Fazl, Mullah Norullah Nori, Abdul Haq Wasiq and Mohammad Nabi Omari.
They were mostly mid- to high-level officials in the Taliban regime and had been detained early in the war in Afghanistan, because of their positions within the Taliban, not because of ties to al Qaeda.
CNN profiled them two years ago, when their names first surfaced as candidates for a transfer as part of talks with the Taliban: Khair Ulla Said Wali Khairkhwa
Khairkhwa was an early member of the Taliban in 1994 and was interior minister during the Taliban’s rule. He hails from the same tribe as Afghan President Hamid Karzai and was captured in January 2002. Khairkhwa’s most prominent position was as governor of Herat province from 1999 to 2001, and he was alleged to have been “directly associated” with Osama bin Laden. According to a detainee assessment, Khairkhwa also was probably associated with al Qaeda’s now-deceased leader in Iraq, Abu Musab al Zarqawi. He is described as one of the “major opium drug lords in western Afghanistan” and a “friend” of Karzai. He was arrested in Pakistan and was transferred to Guantanamo in May 2002. During questioning, Khairkhwa denied all knowledge of extremist activities. Mullah Mohammad Fazl
Fazl commanded the main force fighting the U.S.-backed Northern Alliance in 2001, and served as chief of army staff under the Taliban regime. He has been accused of war crimes during Afghanistan’s civil war in the 1990s. Fazl was detained after surrendering to Abdul Rashid Dostam, the leader of Afghanistan’s Uzbek community, in November 2001. He was wanted by the United Nations in connection with the massacre of thousands of Afghan Shiites during the Taliban’s rule. “When asked about the murders, he did not express any regret,” according to the detainee assessment. He was alleged to have been associated with several militant Islamist groups, including al Qaeda. He was transferred into U.S. custody in December 2001 and was one of the first arrivals at Guantanamo, where he was assessed as having high intelligence value. Mullah Norullah Noori
Noori served as governor of Balkh province in the Taliban regime and played some role in coordinating the fight against the Northern Alliance. Like Fazl, Noori was detained after surrendering to Dostam, the Uzbek leader, in 2001. Noori claimed during interrogation that “he never received any weapons or military training.” According to 2008 detainee assessment, Noori “continues to deny his role, importance and level of access to Taliban officials.” That same assessment characterized him as high risk and of high intelligence value. Abdul Haq Wasiq
Wasiq was the deputy chief of the Taliban regime’s intelligence service. His cousin was head of the service. An administrative review in 2007 cited a source as saying that Wasiq was also “an al Qaeda intelligence member” and had links with members of another militant Islamist group, Hezb-e-Islami Gulbuddin. Wasiq claimed, according to the review, that he was arrested while trying to help the United States locate senior Taliban figures. He denied any links to militant groups. Mohammad Nabi Omari
Omari was a minor Taliban official in Khost Province. According to the first administrative review in 2004, he was a member of the Taliban and associated with both al Qaeda and another militant group Hezb-e-Islami Gulbuddin. He was the Taliban’s chief of communications and helped al Qaeda members escape from Afghanistan to Pakistan. Omari acknowledged during hearings that he had worked for the Taliban but denied connections with militant groups. He also said that he had worked with a U.S. operative named Mark to try to track down Taliban leader Mullah Omar.
The Taliban turned over Bergdahl Saturday morning to US special forces in exchange for five notorious Islamic militants who had been held at Guantanamo Bay and will be sent to Qatar, where they will stay for a year under the terms of the trade.
At least one of the prisoners, ranking Taliban leader Khairullah Khairkhwa, had direct ties to Osama bin Laden.
Bergdahl was picked up by helicopter in western Afghanistan, near the Pakistan border.
After climbing aboard, the 28-year-old Idahoan, trying to communicate with his rescuers over the roar of the rotors, scrawled “SF?” on a paper plate — asking his rescuers whether they were special forces.
“Yes,” one of the men shouted. “We’ve been looking for you for a long time.”
The Army infantryman — himself nicknamed “SF” by his comrades for his gung-ho interest in special-forces tactics — began to weep.
Bergdahl’s parents, who had lobbied continuously for his release, had not seen him by Saturday night, but intimated that he faces an arduous recovery from his ordeal.
Bergdahl is speaking in what appears to be Pashto, said his dad, Bob Bergdahl. It was not clear whether his son can still even speak English, Bob said.
When the father spoke to his son — for the first time in five worried years — it was to say both in Pashto and English, “I am your father, Bowe.”
“We will continue to stay strong for Bowe while he recovers,” said his mom, Jani.
The search for Bergdahl began soon after he went missing on June 30, 2009, in the same rugged wilds of southeastern Afghanistan where NFL player-turned-Army Ranger Pat Tillman was killed.
Bergdahl’s mysterious disappearance from the small military outpost there and the subsequent revelation that he was in enemy hands prompted questions that still linger.
But in the weeks before his capture, Bergdahl had made murky statements that suggested he was gravitating away from the soldiers in his unit and toward desertion, a member of his platoon told Rolling Stone.
As a teen, the home-schooled son of Calvinists took up ballet — recruited to be a “lifter” by “a beautiful local girl,” Rolling Stone reported, “the guy who holds the girl aloft in a ballet sequence.” The strategy worked: Bergdahl — who also began dabbling in Buddhism and tarot card reading — soon moved in with the woman.
Even as a teen, he could fire a .22-caliber rifle with precision.
At age 20, he traveled to Paris and started learning French in hopes of joining the French Foreign Legion.
His application was rejected, and he was devastated, the magazine reported.
Bergdahl would drift for years, working mainly at a coffee shop near home. He briefly considered moving to Uganda to help villagers being terrorized by militias before deciding on a different adventure.
“I’m thinking of joining the Army,” he told his folks after already having signed up.
Bergdahl’s dream was to help Afghan villagers rebuild their lives and learn to defend themselves, his dad told the magazine.
“The whole ‘COIN’ thing,” Bob explained, referring to America’s strategy of counter-insurgency. “We were given a fictitious picture, an artificially created picture of what we were doing in Afghanistan,” the dad said.
Bowe Bergdahl would detail his disillusionment with the Afghanistan campaign in an email to his parents three days before he went missing.
“I am sorry for everything here,” he wrote. “These people need help, yet what they get is the most conceited country in the world telling them that they are nothing and that they are stupid.”
Bergdahl also complained about fellow soldiers. The battalion commander was a “conceited old fool,” he said, and the only “decent” sergeants, planning to leave the platoon “as soon as they can,” told the privates — Bergdahl then among them — “to do the same.”
“I am ashamed to be an American. And the title of US soldier is just the lie of fools,” he concluded. “I am sorry for everything. The horror that is America is disgusting.”
Bob Bergdahl responded in an email: “OBEY YOUR CONSCIENCE!”
One night, after finishing a guard-duty shift, Bowe Bergdahl asked his team leader whether there would be a problem if he left camp with his rifle and night-vision goggles — to which the team leader replied “yes.”
Bergdahl then returned to his bunker, picked up a knife, water, his diary and a camera, and left camp, according to Rolling Stone.
The next morning, he was reported missing, and later that day, a drone and four fighter jets began to search for him.
Weeks of searching turned into months. The military pushed his parents and fellow soldiers to sign nondisclosure agreements. But before everyone signed, a comrade from his unit publicly called on Facebook for Bergdahl’s execution as a deserter.
Propaganda videos of his captivity — which featured Bergdahl denouncing American foreign policy — were released.
At least once, in 2011, the prisoner, looking more haggard, fought back and tried to escape.
“He fought like a boxer,” a Taliban fighter told Newsweek.
Why Bergdahl was captured in the first place remained a mystery by the time high-level US government talks began in 2012 regarding a trade for his release.
“Frankly, we don’t give a s–t why he left,” one White House official said at the time. “He’s an American soldier. We want to bring him home.”
There was fierce debate over exchanging him for the five Taliban combatants. Sen. John McCain, himself a former POW, once described the five as “the five biggest murderers in world history,” according to Rolling Stone.
For five years, soldiers have been forced to stay silent about the disappearance and search for Bergdahl. Now we can talk about what really happened.
It was June 30, 2009, and I was in the city of Sharana, the capitol of Paktika province in Afghanistan. As I stepped out of a decrepit office building into a perfect sunny day, a member of my team started talking into his radio. “Say that again,” he said. “There’s an American soldier missing?”
There was. His name was Private First Class Bowe Bergdahl, the only prisoner of war in the Afghan theater of operations. His release from Taliban custody on May 31 marks the end of a nearly five-year-old story for the soldiers of his unit, the 1st Battalion, 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment. I served in the same battalion in Afghanistan and participated in the attempts to retrieve him throughout the summer of 2009. After we redeployed, every member of my brigade combat team received an order that we were not allowed to discuss what happened to Bergdahl for fear of endangering him. He is safe, and now it is time to speak the truth.
And that the truth is: Bergdahl was a deserter, and soldiers from his own unit died trying to track him down.
On the night prior to his capture, Bergdahl pulled guard duty at OP Mest, a small outpost about two hours south of the provincial capitol. The base resembled a wagon circle of armored vehicles with some razor wire strung around them. A guard tower sat high up on a nearby hill, but the outpost itself was no fortress. Besides the tower, the only hard structure that I saw in July 2009 was a plywood shed filled with bottled water. Soldiers either slept in poncho tents or inside their vehicles.
The next morning, Bergdahl failed to show for the morning roll call. The soldiers in 2nd Platoon, Blackfoot Company discovered his rifle, helmet, body armor and web gear in a neat stack. He had, however, taken his compass. His fellow soldiers later mentioned his stated desire to walk from Afghanistan to India.
The Daily Beast’s Christopher Dickey later wrote that “[w]hether Bergdahl…just walked away from his base or was lagging behind on a patrol at the time of his capture remains an open and fiercely debated question.” Not to me and the members of my unit. Make no mistake: Bergdahl did not “lag behind on a patrol,” as was cited in news reports at the time. There was no patrol that night. Bergdahl was relieved from guard duty, and instead of going to sleep, he fled the outpost on foot. He deserted. I’ve talked to members of Bergdahl’s platoon—including the last Americans to see him before his capture. I’ve reviewed the relevant documents. That’s what happened.
Our deployment was hectic and intense in the initial months, but no one could have predicted that a soldier would simply wander off. Looking back on those first 12 weeks, our slice of the war in the vicinity of Sharana resembles a perfectly still snow-globe—a diorama in miniature of all the dust-coated outposts, treeless brown mountains and adobe castles in Paktika province—and between June 25 and June 30, all the forces of nature conspired to turn it over and shake it. On June 25, we suffered our battalion’s first fatality, a platoon leader named First Lieutenant Brian Bradshaw. Five days later, Bergdahl walked away.
His disappearance translated into daily search missions across the entire Afghanistan theater of operations, particularly ours. The combat platoons in our battalion spent the next month on daily helicopter-insertion search missions (called “air assaults”) trying to scour villages for signs of him. Each operations would send multiple platoons and every enabler available in pursuit: radio intercept teams, military working dogs, professional anthropologists used as intelligence gathering teams, Afghan sources in disguise. They would be out for at least 24 hours. I know of some who were on mission for 10 days at a stretch. In July, the temperature was well above 100 degrees Fahrenheit each day.
These cobbled-together units’ task was to search villages one after another. They often took rifle and mortar fire from insurgents, or perhaps just angry locals. They intermittently received resupply from soot-coated Mi-17s piloted by Russian contractors, many of whom were Soviet veterans of Afghanistan. It was hard, dirty and dangerous work. The searches enraged the local civilian population and derailed the counterinsurgency operations taking place at the time. At every juncture I remember the soldiers involved asking why we were burning so much gasoline trying to find a guy who had abandoned his unit in the first place. The war was already absurd and quixotic, but the hunt for Bergdahl was even more infuriating because it was all the result of some kid doing something unnecessary by his own volition.
On July 4, 2009, a human wave of insurgents attacked the joint U.S./Afghan outpost at Zerok. It was in east Paktika province, the domain of our sister infantry battalion (3rd Battalion, 509th Infantry). Two Americans died and many more received wounds. Hundreds of insurgents attacked and were only repelled by teams of Apache helicopters. Zerok was very close to the Pakistan border, which put it into the same category as outposts now infamous—places like COP Keating or Wanat, places where insurgents could mass on the Pakistani side and then try to overwhelm the outnumbered defenders.
One of my close friends was the company executive officer for the unit at Zerok. He is a mild-mannered and generous guy, not the kind of person prone to fits of pique or rage. But, in his opinion, the attack would not have happened had his company received its normal complement of intelligence aircraft: drones, planes, and the like. Instead, every intelligence aircraft available in theater had received new instructions: find Bergdahl. My friend blames Bergdahl for his soldiers’ deaths. I know that he is not alone, and that this was not the only instance of it. His soldiers’ names were Private First Class Aaron Fairbairn and Private First Class Justin Casillas.
It is important to name all these names. For the veterans of the units that lost these men, Bergdahl’s capture and the subsequent hunt for him will forever tie to their memories, and to a time in their lives that will define them as people. He has finally returned. Those men will never have the opportunity.
Bergdahl was not the first American soldier in modern history to walk away blindly. As I write this in Seoul, I’m about 40 miles from where an American sergeant defected to North Korea in 1965. Charles Robert Jenkins later admitted that he was terrified of being sent to Vietnam, so he got drunk and wandered off on a patrol. He was finally released in 2004, after almost 40 hellish years of brutal internment. The Army court-martialed him, sentencing him to 30 days’ confinement and a dishonorable discharge. He now lives peacefully with his wife in Japan—they met in captivity in North Korea, where they were both forced to teach foreign languages to DPRK agents. His desertion barely warranted a comment, but he was not hailed as a hero. He was met with sympathy and humanity, and he was allowed to live his life, but he had to answer for what he did.
The war was already absurd and quixotic, but the hunt for Bergdahl was even more infuriating because it was the result of some kid doing something unnecessary by his own volition.
I believe that Bergdahl also deserves sympathy, but he has much to answer for, some of which is far more damning than simply having walked off. Many have suffered because of his actions: his fellow soldiers, their families, his family, the Afghan military, the unaffiliated Afghan civilians in Paktika, and none of this suffering was inevitable. None of it had to happen. Therefore, while I’m pleased that he’s safe, I believe there is an explanation due. Reprimanding him might yield horrible press for the Army, making our longest war even less popular than it is today. Retrieving him at least reminds soldiers that we will never abandon them to their fates, right or wrong. In light of the propaganda value, I do not expect the Department of Defense to punish Bergdahl.
He’s lucky to have survived. I once saw an insurgent cellphone video of an Afghan National Police enlistee. They had young boys hold him down, boys between the ages of 10 and 15, all of whom giggled like they were jumping on a trampoline. The prisoner screamed and pleaded for his life. The captors cut this poor man’s head off. That’s what the Taliban and their allies do to their captives who don’t have the bargaining value of an American soldier. That’s what they do to their fellow Afghans on a regular basis. No human being deserves that treatment, or to face the threat of that treatment every day for nearly five years.
But that certainly doesn’t make Bergdahl a hero, and that doesn’t mean that the soldiers he left behind have an obligation to forgive him. I just hope that, with this news, it marks a turning point for the veterans of that mad rescue attempt. It’s done. Many of the soldiers from our unit have left the Army, as I have. Many have struggled greatly with life on the outside, and the implicit threat of prosecution if they spoke about Bergdahl made it much harder to explain the absurdity of it all. Our families and friends wanted to understand what we had experienced, but the Army denied us that.
I forgave Bergdahl because it was the only way to move on. I wouldn’t wish his fate on anyone. I hope that, in time, my comrades can make peace with him, too. That peace will look different for every person. We may have all come home, but learning to leave the war behind is not a quick or easy thing. Some will struggle with it for the rest of their lives. Some will never have the opportunity.
And Bergdahl, all I can say is this: Welcome back. I’m glad it’s over. There was a spot reserved for you on the return flight, but we had to leave without you, man. You’re probably going to have to find your own way home.
The Obama administration announced today that Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who has been held by the Taliban for several years, has been freed from his captors. Reading the stories of his newfound freedom it is impossible not to feel joy for Bergdahl and his family. NBC Newsreports that Bergdahl held up a sign once he was on board an American helicopter that read, “SF?” The operators quickly confirmed that they were in fact U.S. Special Forces: “Yes, we’ve been looking for you for a long time.”
“On behalf of the American people, I was honored to call his parents to express our joy that they can expect his safe return, mindful of their courage and sacrifice throughout this ordeal,” President Obama said in a statement. The president rightly noted: “Sergeant Bergdahl’s recovery is a reminder of America’s unwavering commitment to leave no man or woman in uniform behind on the battlefield.”
Unfortunately, America is not the only party in this war that is committed to leaving no man behind. So are the Taliban and other al Qaeda-linked groups. But the president did not say who America exchanged for Bergdahl: five of the most dangerous Taliban commanders in U.S. custody.
The Taliban has long demanded that the “Gitmo 5” be released in order for peace talks to begin in earnest. The Obama administration has desperately sought to engage the Taliban as American forces are drawn down in Afghanistan, but those talks have gone nowhere to this point. At first, the administration set preconditions for the talks, including that the Taliban break its relationship with al Qaeda. When it became clear that this was a non-starter, the administration decided to make the Taliban’s desired break with al Qaeda a goal, and no longer a precondition, for its diplomacy.
There is little hope that the peace talks will be more successful now. But the president seems to believe that Bergdahl’s exchange for the Gitmo 5 (who are reportedly being transferred to Qatar) may break the ice. “While we are mindful of the challenges, it is our hope Sergeant Bergdahl’s recovery could potentially open the door for broader discussions among Afghans about the future of their country by building confidence that it is possible for all sides to find common ground,” Obama said in his statement.
The Obama administration says that security measures have been put into place to make sure that the Gitmo 5 do not pose a threat to American national security. Let’s hope that is true; it certainly has not been the case with many ex-Gitmo detainees in the past.
THE WEEKLY STANDARD has profiled these jihadists previously on multiple occasions, and what follows below is culled from these accounts.
There are good reasons why the Taliban has long wanted the five freed from Gitmo. All five are among the Taliban’s top commanders in U.S. custody and are still revered in jihadist circles.
Two of the five have been wanted by the UN for war crimes. And because of their prowess, Joint Task Force-Guantanamo (JTF-GTMO) deemed all five of them “high” risks to the U.S. and its allies.
The Obama administration wants to convince the Taliban to abandon its longstanding alliance with al Qaeda. But these men contributed to the formation of that relationship in the first place. All five had close ties to al Qaeda well before the 9/11 attacks. Therefore, it is difficult to see how their freedom would help the Obama administration achieve one of its principal goals for the hoped-for talks.
Here are short bios for each of the five Taliban commanders. All quotes are drawn from declassified and leaked documents prepared at Guantanamo.
Mullah Mohammad Fazl (Taliban army chief of staff): Fazl is “wanted by the UN for possible war crimes including the murder of thousands of Shiites.” Fazl “was associated with terrorist groups currently opposing U.S. and Coalition forces including al Qaeda, Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU), Hezb-e-Islami Gulbuddin (HIG), and an Anti-Coalition Militia group known as Harakat-i-Inqilab-i-Islami.” In addition to being one of the Taliban’s most experienced military commanders, Fazl worked closely with a top al Qaeda commander named Abdul Hadi al Iraqi, who headed al Qaeda’s main fighting unit in Afghanistan prior to 9/11 and is currently detained at Guantanamo.
Mullah Norullah Noori (senior Taliban military commander):Like Fazl,Noori is “wanted by the United Nations (UN) for possible war crimes including the murder of thousands of Shiite Muslims.” Beginning in the mid-1990s, Noori “fought alongside al Qaeda as a Taliban military general, against the Northern alliance.” He continued to work closely with al Qaeda in the years that followed.
Abdul Haq Wasiq (Taliban deputy minister of intelligence): Wasiq arranged for al Qaeda members to provide crucial intelligence training prior to 9/11. The training was headed by Hamza Zubayr, an al Qaeda instructor who was killed during the same September 2002 raid that netted Ramzi Binalshibh, the point man for the 9/11 operation. Wasiq “was central to the Taliban’s efforts to form alliances with other Islamic fundamentalist groups to fight alongside the Taliban against U.S. and Coalition forces after the 11 September 2001 attacks,” according to a leaked JTF-GTMO threat assessment.
Khairullah Khairkhwa (Taliban governor of the Herat province and former interior minister): Khairkhwa was the governor of Afghanistan’s westernmost province prior to 9/11. In that capacity, he executed sensitive missions for Mullah Omar, including helping to broker a secret deal with the Iranians. For much of the pre-9/11 period, Iran and the Taliban were bitter foes. But a Taliban delegation that included Kharikhwa helped secure Iran’s support for the Taliban’s efforts against the American-led coalition in late 2001. JTF-GTMO found that Khairkhwa was likely a major drug trafficker and deeply in bed with al Qaeda. He allegedly oversaw one of Osama bin Laden’s training facilities in Herat.
Mohammed Nabi (senior Taliban figure and security official): Nabi “was a senior Taliban official who served in multiple leadership roles.” Nabi “had strong operational ties to Anti-Coalition Militia (ACM) groups including al Qaeda, the Taliban, the Haqqani Network, and the Hezb-e-Islami Gulbuddin (HIG), some of whom remain active in ACM activities.” Intelligence cited in the JTF-GTMO files indicates that Nabi held weekly meetings with al Qaeda operatives to coordinate attacks against U.S.-led forces.
Thomas Joscelyn is a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies
Ron Chernow’s extraordinary new book paints the first president as a man in a struggle to contain his emotions
Two unforgettable images run through Ron Chernow’s great book, “Washington: A Life,” and they have nothing to do with cherry trees or wooden teeth or silver dollars thrown across the Potomac.
The first is the image of a gallows. It appears early in the narrative, when Colonel George Washington of the Virginia Militia, seeking to terrify his untutored, undisciplined, ragamuffin soldiers into obedience, builds a 40-foot-high gibbet. Soon after, he sentences 14 of his men to death for desertion and insubordination. Though he will eventually spare 12 from the noose, he will still punish them with absolutely fierce and shocking floggings, an average of 600 lashes per prisoner. “Washington made a point of hanging people in public,” Ron Chernow writes, “to deter others.” It is an expression of “his blazing temper.” It is also a result of his experience as explorer and soldier in the Virginia wilderness, “which darkened his view of human nature.” His lifelong practice will be to see “people as motivated more by force than kindness.” When he hangs his first man, the year is 1756, Virginia is still a British colony, and Washington is 24 years old.
These gallows will recur. They are what novelists call a “through-line” or motif, a pattern of figures within a story. To a historian they are that and more. They are a kind of portal into Washington’s famously elusive, enigmatic character.
Gallows and nooses were, of course, an ordinary part of Washington’s time and world. To hang a disobedient solider — or rebel — was commonplace in 18th century warfare. The British government routinely punished treason this way, with the additional flourish of disemboweling the offender while he was still alive, and then decapitating him. When Benjamin Franklin cautions the Continental Congress that “we must all hang together, or we will all hang separately,” only the first part of his famous sentence is metaphorical.
FORMER OFFICER: SOLDIERS WERE ‘THREATENED’ IF THEY QUESTIONED BERGDAHL STORY
A former U.S. officer who served in Afghanistan with Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl claims that soldiers were threatened by U.S. authorities if they questioned his story.
After he was captured, Bergdahl said on a video from his captors that he lagged behind on patrol, although other sources in the military suggested anonymously that he walked away from his post.
“Not only has this nebulous non-story been put out for years but you know these soldiers of 4th Brigade 25th Infantry Division were threatened with legal repercussions if they spoke about Bergdahl. Everybody officially mandated silencing of what we saw has been so frustrating,” Bethea explained on BBC World Service Radio today.
Bethea served in Sgt. Bergdahl’s unit, and was an infantry officer in the U.S. Army from 2007 to 2014
CNN’s Jake Tapper also reported that many of Bergdahl’s fellow troops signed nondisclosure agreements agreeing to never share any information about Bergdahl’s disappearance and the efforts to recapture him.
Bethea explained that now he was safe, more soldiers would be trying to tell the truth of his disappearance.
BBC interviewed Bethea after he wrote an article for the Daily Beast, asserting that Bergdahl was a deserter.
“He is safe, and now it is time to speak the truth,” he wrote. “And that the truth is: Bergdahl was a deserter, and soldiers from his own unit died trying to track him down.”
Bethea admitted that it would probably be unlikely that Bergdahl would face a court martial, because it would cast doubt on the deal the United States made with the Taliban to secure his release.
“I would at least like to see an official statement on what happened,” he said, referring to the Department of Defense.
Bergdahl is currently at an American military hospital in Germany, where he is being evaluated.
Bethea said that he would reserve judgement whether or not Bergdahl betrayed his country.
“I’m not going to call the guy a traitor just because it sounds like a stronger or harsher word than deserter,” Bethea said, admitting that he didn’t know what happened to him after he was captured.
Many people confuse the terms, AWOL and Desertion. Some people believe that AWOL is when someone is absent for less than 30 days, and someone absent from the military for 30 days or more is a deserter. That’s not quite true.
A military member has violated Article 87 if he/she is ordered to be on a ship or an aircraft, or deploy with a unit on a certain date and time, and then fails to show up. It doesn’t matter if the member failed to show up through intention or because of neglect, but it is required that the member knew about the movement. A viable defense would be that the member missed the movement through physical inability (as long as that physical inability wasn’t a result of misconduct or neglect). The possible punishment is more severe if the member missed the movement on purpose. It’s not uncommon for Missing Movement to be charged in conjunction with AWOL or Desertion, depending on the circumstances.
AWOL, or “Absent without Leave,” is usually called “Unauthorized Absence” (or UA) by the Navy and Marine Corps, and AWOL by the Army and Air Force. The use of “UA” by the Navy/Marine Corps and “AWOL” by the Army/Air Force is historical. Prior to enactment of the Uniform Code of Military Justice in 1951 the services were governed by separate laws. However, its official title under the current UCMJ is “AWOL” (a rose by any other name is still a rose). It simply means not being where you are supposed to be at the time you are supposed to be there. Being late for work is a violation of Article 86. Missing a medical appointment is a violation. So is disappearing for several days (or months, or years). The maximum possible punishments, which I’ll discuss later in this article, depends on the exact circumstances of the absence.
Did you know that desertion can result in the death penalty? It’s true. The maximum punishment for desertion during “time of war” is death. However, since the Civil War, only one American servicemember has ever been executed for desertion — Private Eddie Slovik in 1945.
The offense of desertion, under Article 85 carries a much greater punishment than the offense of AWOL, under Article 86. Many people believe that if one is absent without authority for 30 days or more, the offense changes from AWOL to desertion, but that’s not quite true.
The primary difference between the two offenses is “intent to remain away permanently,” or if the purpose of the absence is to shirk “important duty,” (such as a combat deployment).
If one intends to return to “military control” someday, one is guilty of AWOL, not desertion, even if they were away for 50 years. Conversely, if a person was absent for just one minute, and then captured, he could be convicted of desertion, if the prosecution could prove that the member intended to remain away from the military permanently.
If the intent of the absence was to “shirk important duty,” such as a combat deployment, then the “intent to remain away permanently” to support a charge of desertion is not necessary. However, Such services as drill, target practice, maneuvers, and practice marches are not ordinarily “important duty.” “Important duty” may include such duty as hazardous duty, duty in a combat zone, certain ship deployments, etc. Whether a duty is hazardous or a service is important depends upon the circumstances of the particular case, and is a question of fact for the court-martial to decide.
(1) without authority goes or remains absent from his unit, organization, or place of duty with intent to remain away therefrom permanently;
(2) quits his unit, organization, or place of duty with intent to avoid hazardous duty or to shirk important service; or
(3) without being regularly separated from one of the armed forces enlists or accepts an appointment in the same or another on of the armed forces without fully disclosing the fact that he has not been regularly separated, or enters any foreign armed service except when authorized by the United States;
is guilty of desertion.
(b) Any commissioned officer of the armed forces who, after tender of his resignation and before notice of its acceptance, quits his post or proper duties without leave and with intent to remain away therefrom permanently is guilty of desertion.
(c) Any person found guilty of desertion or attempt to desert shall be punished, if the offense is committed in time of war, by death or such other punishment as a court-martial may direct, but if the desertion or attempt to desert occurs at any other time, by such punishment, other than death, as a court-martial may direct.
Note: For specific details concerning this offense, including elements of proof, maximum punishments, and detailed explanation, see Punitive Articles of the UCMJ.
Benghazi Scandal – Where Was Obama? – Visitor Logs Show He Had Debate Prep Night – Fox & Friends
Fox News Reporting – Benghazi White House Cover-Up Revealed? – Part 1 of 5
Fox News Reporting – Benghazi White House Cover-Up Revealed? – Part 2 of 5
Fox News Reporting – Benghazi White House Cover-Up Revealed? – Part 3 of 5
Fox News Reporting – Benghazi White House Cover-Up Revealed? – Part 4 of 5 – Military Option
Fox News Reporting – Benghazi White House Cover-Up Revealed? – Part 5 of 5 – What We Now Know
Benghazi Scandal – Peters: If There’s 1 Chances In Hell, You Try! – Kerry To Testify – Lt Col Peters
Benghazi Scandal Obama’s Paid Liar New Documents Revealed
Rep. Schiff on Fox News Sunday: Benghazi Select Committee A “Colossal Waste of Time
House To Form Select Committee On Benghazi To Get To The Truth – Special Report 1st Segment
Benghazi Scandal – Uncovering The Truth Speaker Forming Select Committee On Benghazi – Trey Gowdy
Boehner To Appoint Select Benghazi Committee
Congressman Mark Meadows (R-NC) discusses Benghazi on Fox News
McCarthy: Boehner Not Calling for Select Committee for Benghazi ‘Inexplicable’
Fmr. WH Spox to Baier on Benghazi
Bret Baier: Jay Carney’s Spin On Benghazi Briefing Materials “Surreal”
Chaffetz: Someone should be fired for Benghazi
Special Ops Vets Rally on Capitol Steps for Benghazi Select Committee
Wolf Calls For House Select Committee To Investigate Benghazi Attack
Rep. Frank Wolf on Benghazi – Politicizing the FBI & the CIA
SYRIA Rand Paul “Maybe We Were Facilitating Arms Leaving Libya Going Through Turkey Into Syria”
CNN Benghazi Claims: Report alleges CIA operatives in Libya were sending weapons to Syrian rebels
SYRIA Geraldo Rivera: My Sources Say The US Running Libya Arms To Syrian Rebels
SYRIA CNBC: Benghazi Is Not About Libya But An Operation To Put Arms & Men In Syria
Unguarded Weapons in Libya
20,000 Surface-to-Air Missiles Stolen in Libya
Thousands of Surface To Air Missiles Are Missing In Libya
FSA Takes Out Helicopter With Surface to Air Missile!
Embedded with Al-Qaeda in Syria
CIA Begins Delivering Weapons To AL-Qaeda In Syria
Al Nusra USA and France Co-ordinate Joint attacks on Syria
Report: Al-Qaeda Missile Manual Found
Obama Considering Secret Order Authorizing Covert Ops in Libya
Retired Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin suspects US Was Running Guns To Syrian Rebels Via Benghazi
SOCOM and the Secret Missions of Special Ops (Full Documentary)
CIA Covert Action in Iran, Vietnam, Laos, the Congo, Cuba, and Guatemala: Documentary Film (1965)
A covert operation (also as CoveOps or covert ops) is a military, intelligence or law enforcement operation that is carried clandestinely and, often, outside of official channels. Covert operations aim to fulfill their mission objectives without any parties knowing who sponsored or carried out the operation. It is normally sponsored by taxes from the government.
Under United States law, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is the sole US Government agency legally allowed to carry out Covert Action. The CIA’s authority to conduct Covert Action comes from the National Security Act of 1947. President Ronald Reagan issued Executive Order 12333 titled in 1984. This order defined covert action as “special activities”, both political and military, that the US Government could legally deny. The CIA was also designated as the sole authority under the 1991 Intelligence Authorization Act and in Title 50 of the United States Code Section 413(e). The CIA must have a “Presidential Finding” issued by the President of the United States in order to conduct these activities under the Hughes-Ryan amendment to the 1991 Intelligence Authorization Act. These findings are then monitored by the oversight committees in both the US Senate and the House of Representatives. As a result of this framework, the CIA “receives more oversight from the Congress than any other agency in the federal government.” The Special Activities Division (SAD) is a division of the CIA’s National Clandestine Service, responsible for Covert Action and “Special Activities”. These special activities include covert political influence and paramilitary operations. The division is overseen by the United States Secretary of State.
The following persons are known to have participated in covert operations, as distinct from clandestine intelligence gathering (espionage) either by their own admission or by the accounts of others: Robert Baer Jozef Gabčík and Jan Kubiš, Czechoslovak British-trained agents sent to assassinate one of the most important Nazis, Reinhard Heydrich, in 1942 as part of Operation Anthropoid. Aaron Franklin, World War II US Office of Strategic Services (OSS) officer who created a fake group of the German Army, made up of POWs, with the mission of killing Hitler. As a colonel, he was the first commander of United States Army Special Forces. Charles Beckwith, US Army colonel who was an early exchange officer with the British Special Air Service (SAS), and created the Delta Force (1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta) based on the SAS. Gary Berntsen, CIA field officer and team leader during Operation Enduring Freedom Wendell Fertig, United States Army Reserve officer who organized large Filipino guerrilla forces against the Japanese in World War II Virginia Hall, American who first worked for the British Special Operations Executive, then for the American Office of Strategic Services in German-occupied France. Only U.S. woman to receive the Distinguished Service Cross. Eric Haney, founding member of Delta Force. Michael Harari, Israeli Mossad officer who led assassination operations (Operation Wrath of God) against PLO members accused of the 1972 Munich Massacre. Bruce Rusty Lang, commander of a mixed United States Army Special Forces & Montagnard (Degar/Bru people) commando Recon Team (RT Oklahoma) of Command and Control North, Studies and Observations Group. Previously served on Project 404, U.S. Embassy Laos, Assistant Army Attaché (“Secret War” in Laos 1970). Edward Lansdale, United States Air Force officer (and eventually major general) seconded to the CIA, and noted for his work with Ramon Magsaysay against the Hukbalahap insurgency in Philippines during the early 1950s, and later involved in Operation Mongoose against Cuba. T. E. Lawrence, British “Lawrence of Arabia” who organized Arab forces during World War I. Alain Mafart, French DGSE officer convicted, in New Zealand, for sinking the Greenpeace ship Rainbow Warrior. Richard Meadows, United States Army Special Forces officer known for many operations, including the POW rescue attempt at Son Tay, North Vietnam, and for deep operations in support of Operation Eagle Claw.
America’s Roundtable: Congressman Frank Wolf Calls for Select Committee – Benghazi Terrorist Attack
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Boehner to Establish Select Committee on Benghazi
Posted by Speaker Boehner’s Press Office
May 2, 2014
House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) is announcing today that he intends for the House to vote to create a new select committee to investigate the September 11, 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya that killed four Americans. He released the following statement:
“Americans learned this week that the Obama Administration is so intent on obstructing the truth about Benghazi that it is even willing to defy subpoenas issued by the standing committees of the People’s House. These revelations compel the House to take every possible action to ensure the American people have the truth about the terrorist attack on our consulate that killed four of our countrymen. In light of these new developments, the House will vote to establish a new select committee to investigate the attack, provide the necessary accountability, and ensure justice is finally served.
“The administration’s withholding of documents – emails showing greater White House involvement in misleading the American people – is a flagrant violation of trust and undermines the basic principles of oversight upon which our system of government is built. And it forces us to ask the question, what else about Benghazi is the Obama administration still hiding from the American people?
“The House committees that have been investigating this attack have done extraordinary work, using their subpoena power, holding dozens of hearings, and conducting hundreds of interviews. Without this work we would not know much that we do today. But it’s clear that questions remain, and the administration still does not respect the authority of Congress to provide proper oversight. This dismissiveness and evasion requires us to elevate the investigation to a new level. I intend for this select committee to have robust authority, and I will expect it to work quickly to get answers for the American people and the families of the victims.
“Four Americans died at the hands of terrorists nearly 20 months ago, and we are still missing answers, accountability, and justice. It’s time that change.”
Boehner announces special committee on Benghazi, Kerry subpoenaed
House Republicans moved on two fronts Friday to dig for answers on Benghazi, with Speaker John Boehner announcing a special committee to investigate and a key panel subpoenaing Secretary of State John Kerry to testify.
In a significant shift, Boehner announced that the House will vote on establishing a select committee to investigate, on the heels of newly released emails that raised additional questions about the White House’s response.
Top Republicans claimed those emails should have been released to Congress months ago, and Boehner signaled those concerns prompted him to rethink the need for a select committee.
“Americans learned this week that the Obama Administration is so intent on obstructing the truth about Benghazi that it is even willing to defy subpoenas issued by the standing committees of the People’s House. These revelations compel the House to take every possible action to ensure the American people have the truth about the terrorist attack on our consulate that killed four of our countrymen,” he said in a statement.
“In light of these new developments, the House will vote to establish a new select committee to investigate the attack, provide the necessary accountability, and ensure justice is finally served.”
Boehner has long faced pressure from rank-and-file members to form such a panel to probe the attacks which killed four Americans including a U.S. ambassador, and until now had resisted. Fox News is told the speaker made the decision Thursday to go forward with a vote.
The committee is expected to be bipartisan, and Fox News is told Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., is among those being considered to lead it.
House GOP Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., said the “continued obstruction” made clear that a select committee is needed. Many of the details are still being worked out but Boehner claimed the panel, if approved in a vote by the full House, would have “robust authority.”
He called the alleged “withholding” of documents a “flagrant violation of trust.”
“This dismissiveness and evasion requires us to elevate the investigation to a new level,” Boehner said.
But Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid blasted the decision as an election-year stunt. “There have already been multiple investigations into this issue and an independent Accountability Review Board is mandated under current law,” Reid said in a statement. “For Republicans to waste the American people’s time and money staging a partisan political circus instead of focusing on the middle class is simply a bad decision.”
The movement comes after newly released emails raised questions about the White House role in pushing faulty claims about the attacks.
The emails in question were obtained and published by the conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch, following a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit. One email showed White House adviser Ben Rhodes discussing a “prep call” with then-U.N. ambassador Susan Rice, before she went on several Sunday shows and made controversial and flawed statements linking the attack to an anti-Islam Internet video.
The email from Rhodes emphasized the role of the Internet video — leading to GOP charges that this “smoking gun” shows the White House politicized the tragedy.
The White House maintains the “prep call” was in reference to protests elsewhere in the Middle East and Africa.
On the heels of those documents, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee also announced Friday that it has issued the subpoena for Kerry to testify at a May 21 hearing. The chairman of that committee has accused the administration of hiding records following an earlier subpoena.
“The State Department’s response to the congressional investigation of the Benghazi attack has shown a disturbing disregard for the Department’s legal obligations to Congress,” Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., wrote in a letter to Kerry.
He added: “Compliance with a subpoena for documents is not a game. Because your Department is failing to meet its legal obligations, I am issuing a new subpoena to compel you to appear before the Committee to answer questions about your agency’s response to the congressional investigation of the Benghazi attack.”
Before the subpoena was announced, Boehner also called on Kerry to testify before Congress in light of these revelations.
A State Department official voiced surprise at the announcement, telling Fox News that the department has been cooperating with the committee all along.
White House officials have pushed back hard on Republican claims that the Rhodes email was a “smoking gun” that proves the administration politicized the attack.
Former White House spokesman Tommy Vietor told Fox News on Thursday that he wished the documents had been released earlier.
“I bet you every single person in that White House wished that email has been released earlier. I wish it too because it tells us nothing new, It tells us what we said privately was what we said publicly, because that is what we thought had occurred,” Vietor said.
As for the special committee, one of the biggest backers of such a panel, Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Va., commended Boehner for the decision.
He also cited Fox News’ reporting. “In the case of Benghazi, much credit goes to FOX News’ Catherine Herridge and Bret Baier for their tenacious commitment to this story and investigation,” he said in a statement.
Seniors, wake up and call Janet Yellen. With an increase in interest rates next year, as Chair Yellen implied in her press conference on Wednesday, she can restore your savings accounts to relevance. The end for low rates might be in sight, and that is good news, despite the initial reaction from markets.
Chair Yellen continued the taper, and suggested that she would start to raise rates when the taper was over. The Fed has plenty of wiggle room, though, because it will keep current policies “until the outlook for the labor market has improved substantially in a context of price stability,” according to the Federal Open Market Committee statement . That is a fuzzy goal that should not give much hope to those who want a sounder system.
Back in the 1970s or 1980s or 1990s, you might have expected a 5% interest rate or higher on your savings to generate income for your golden years. Now, it is not even 1%.
Ten years ago, in 2004, the federal funds rate was about 1%. Then, it temporarily climbed to a plateau of about 5.25% between the summers of 2006 and 2007. However, from the end of 2007 to the beginning of 2009, the rate declined to practically zero and has remained there.
Income inequality is “the defining challenge of our time,” President Obama said last December, and a zero interest rate for savers contributes to inequality. Those with stock portfolios gain because asset prices are inflated as people look for higher returns. Seniors on fixed incomes have to get returns somehow, and junk bonds and riskier stocks are the answer for many.
Economists and politicians tend to believe in the greatest good for the greatest number. But the idea of a system in which the returns to frugal saving are zero with certainty, while the returns to investing money in risky high-yield stocks and bonds — a form of gambling — often pays off, is troubling, to say the least. It might pay for a senior to invest in riskier assets in the short run, but if interest rates rise to historical levels and the stock markets adjust down, such senior investors will suffer.
It is not only gambling that pays off, it is also borrowing. With mortgage rates at historic lows, people can take on a lot of debt.
So winners from low rates include those who want to borrow, and those who hold stocks and commodities. Losers include those who save and lend because they receive less in interest payments from their assets.
This situation disproportionately affects seniors. According to data from the Census Bureau, seniors ages 65 and over made an average of $3,239 from interest in 2012, and an average of $32,849 in total income. Thus, just under 10% of their income came from interest. In contrast, people ages 25 to 64 earned an average of $1,356 annually from interest, and $47,364 in total income. Less than 3% of income came from interest for people ages 25 to 64.
McKinsey concluded in a November 2013 report that from 2007 to 2012, defined-benefit pension plans and guaranteed-rate life insurance plans lost $270 billion of income due to the Fed’s low-interest-rate policies because they have far more interest bearing assets than liabilities. McKinsey estimated that American households have lost $360 billion of income. On average, American households are net savers.
The big winners of the Fed’s policies were the U.S. government, which gained about $900 billion, and non-financial corporations, which gained $310 billion.
McKinsey calculated that households headed by people under the age of 45 are net debtors and so have benefitted from lower rates. In particular, those households with heads ages 35 to 44 have gained $1,700 more in spending each year because of lower rates. Those under 35 gained $1,500 a year.
The losers are the seniors, especially household heads aged 75 and over, who lost $2,700 a year in income. Those aged between 65 and 74 lost $1,900.
If markets were perfectly liquid, seniors would be able to take advantage of falling interest rates to refinance their mortgages. But many seniors have no mortgage. Those that do are often unwilling to refinance. Others, even though they might want to refinance, find that their houses are worth less than the mortgage, and they cannot meet tighter credit standards.
Keeping interest rates low is not only bad for seniors and savers, it is bad for the economy as a whole. In a global marketplace, low interest rates in the United States discourage lending to the United States. The reason the Fed had to step in to buy Treasury paper is that there is lower demand because of ultra-low interest rates. When interest rates rise, and eventually they will, many parts of our financial system will have a rude awakening and a difficult adjustment. Our deficit will balloon with our high level of debt. Many businesses predicated on low interest rates will fail.
Small- and mid-sized economies cannot pretend that easy money is a successful monetary policy. Japan and Europe have tried easy money. It has not worked. The United States has performed slightly better, not because easy money is a good policy, but because people around the world still look to the dollar as a safe haven in times of trouble. And the world today has more than its fair share of troubles.
All Americans, and seniors in particular, will be better when the Fed abandons its low-interest-rate policy, despite some initial turbulence. Almost five years into the recovery, economic growth is stunted, and labor force participation rates are at 1978 levels. Seniors always tell their children they know better — now they should tell Janet Yellen to let those rates rise.
Wild Horses on Public Lands and the impact on Ranching and Communities
We took the show to Beaver County this week to get an on the ground look at how wild horses impact the range. In Utah the population of wild horses is over the Appropriate Management Level (AML) by 1,300 animals. Nationally the problem of dealing with the number of wild horses increases to 14,000 beyond the AML. The management of wild horses costs the BLM tens of millions of dollars every year but despite the efforts to gather wild horses off the range; the numbers keep increasing.
Chad Booth talks to Beaver County Commissioner, Mark Whitney; Iron County Commissioner, David Miller; and local rancher Mark Winch about the impacts on ranchers and the ultimate impact it has on the economies of rural Utah.
Transfer of Public Lands
Public Lands in Utah County Seat Season3, Episode 8
In recent years there has been a public outcry from Utahans asking the State to take a more active role in how management decisions are made on public lands. The take back Utah movement has looked at the history of public lands in the United States and began to ask why hasn’t Utah received the same treatment as other states in the Union. Utah has about 67% of its lands controlled and managed by the federal government. Some counties in the state are about 90% federally owned which creates a burden on the local governments because there is no property tax base to pay for the services that citizens need.
Last year Utah passed the Utah Public Lands Transfer Act, HB148; which basically asks the federal government to dispose of the remaining unallocated federal lands within the state by 2014. HB148 has opened up a conversation about what the proper role of the federal government should be in the management of public lands. Today’s show takes a look at the issues from a federal, state, and county perspective.
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Don’t Fence Me In – Roy Rogers & The Sons of the Pioneers –
Roy Rogers & Sons of The Pioneers Sing “The Last Roundup”
Wild horses targeted for roundup in Utah rangeland clash
By Jennifer Dobner April 11, 2014 8:41 PM
Two of a band of wild horses graze in the Nephi Wash area outside Enterprise, Utah, April 10, 2014. REUTERS/Jim …
ENTERPRISE, Utah (Reuters) – A Utah county, angry over the destruction of federal rangeland that ranchers use to graze cattle, has started a bid to round up federally protected wild horses it blames for the problem in the latest dustup over land management in the U.S. West.
Close to 2,000 wild horses are roaming southern Utah’s Iron County, well over the 300 the U.S. Bureau of Land Management has dubbed as appropriate for the rural area’s nine designated herd management zones, County Commissioner David Miller said.
County officials complain the burgeoning herd is destroying vegetation crucial to ranchers who pay to graze their cattle on the land, and who have already been asked to reduce their herds to cope with an anticipated drought.
Wild horse preservation groups say any attempt to remove the horses would be a federal crime.
On Thursday county workers, accompanied by a Bureau of Land Management staffer, set up the first in a series of metal corrals designed to trap and hold the horses on private land abutting the federal range until they can be moved to BLM facilities for adoption.
“There’s been no management of the animals and they keep reproducing,” Miller said in an interview. “The rangeland just can’t sustain it.”
The conflict reflects broader tension between ranchers, who have traditionally grazed cattle on public lands and held sway over land-use decisions, and environmentalists and land managers facing competing demands on the same land.
The Iron County roundup comes on the heels of an incident in neighboring Nevada in which authorities sent in helicopters and wranglers on horseback to confiscate the cattle herd of a rancher they say is illegally grazing livestock on public land.
In Utah, county commissioners warned federal land managers in a letter last month that the county would act independently to remove the horses if no mitigation efforts were launched.
Cattle rancher Jeremy Hunt looks out over land, at a barbed wire fence in the Nephi Wash area outsid …
“We charge you to fulfill your responsibility,” commissioners wrote. “Inaction and no-management practices pose an imminent threat to ranchers.”
The operation was expected to last weeks or months.
“The BLM is actively working with Iron County to address the horse issue,” Utah-based BLM spokeswoman Megan Crandall said, declining to comment further.
Attorneys for wild horse preservation groups sent a letter this week to Iron County commissioners and the BLM saying the BLM, under federal law, cannot round up horses on public lands without proper analysis and disclosure.
“The BLM must stop caving to the private financial interests of livestock owners whenever they complain about the protected wild horses using limited resources that are available on such lands,” wrote Katherine Meyer of Meyer, Glitzenstein and Crystal a Washington, DC-based public interest law firm representing the advocates.
The BLM puts the free-roaming wild horse and burro population across western states at more than 40,600, which it says on its website exceeds by nearly 14,000 the number of animals it believes “can exist in balance with other public rangeland resources and uses.”
Wild horse advocates point out that the tens of thousands of wild horses on BLM property pales into comparison with the millions of private livestock grazing on public lands managed by the agency.
Wild horses have not been culled due to budget constraints, according to Utah BLM officials, who say their herds grow by roughly 20 percent per year.
Pressure on rangeland from the horses may worsen this summer due to a drought that could dry up the already sparse available food supply, according to Miller.
“We’re going to see those horses starving to death out on the range,” he said. “The humane thing is to get this going now.”
Adding to frustration is BLM pressure on ranchers to cut their cattle herds by as much as 50 percent to cope with the drought, Miller said.
A tour of Iron County rangeland, not far from the Nevada border, illustrates the unchecked herds’ impact on the land, said Jeremy Hunt, a fourth generation Utah rancher whose cattle graze in the summer in a management area split through its middle by a barbed wire fence.
On the cattle side of the fence, the sagebrush and grass landscape is thick and green. The other, where a group of horses was seen on Thursday, is scattered with barren patches of dirt and sparse vegetation.
“This land is being literally destroyed because they are not following the laws that they set up to govern themselves,” said Hunt, who also works as a farmhand to make ends meet for his family of six.
“I want the land to be healthy and I want be a good steward of the land,” he added. “But you have to manage both sides of the fence.”
Wholesale Prices in U.S. Rise on Services as Goods Stagnate
By Lorraine WoellertApr 11, 2014 9:07 AM CT
Wholesale prices in the U.S. rose in March as the cost of services climbed by the most in four years while commodities stagnated.
The 0.5 percent advance in the producer-price index was the biggest since June and followed a 0.1 percent decrease the prior month, the Labor Department reported today in Washington. The recent inclusion of services may contribute to the gauge’s volatility from month-to-month, which will make it more difficult to determine underlying trends.
Rising prices at clothing and jewelry retailers and food wholesalers accounted for much of the jump in services, even as energy costs retreated, signaling slowing growth in emerging markets such as China will keep price pressures muted. With inflation running well below the Federal Reserve’s goal, the central bank is likely to keep borrowing costs low in an effort to spur growth.
“Every six months or so service prices seem to pop, but over the year, service prices tend to dampen inflation more often than not,” Jay Morelock, an economist at FTN Financial in New York, wrote in a note. “One month of price gains is not indicative of a trend.”
Also today, consumer confidence climbed this month to the highest level since July, a sign an improving job market is lifting Americans’ spirits. The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan preliminary April sentiment index rose to 82.6 from 80 a month earlier.
Stocks dropped, with the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index heading for its biggest weekly decline since January, as disappointing results from JPMorgan Chase & Co. fueled concern that corporate earnings will be weak. The S&P 500 fell 0.4 percent to 1,826.29 at 10:02 a.m. in New York.
Today’s PPI report is the third to use an expanded index that measures 75 percent of the economy, compared to about a third for the old metric, which tallied the costs of goods alone. After its first major overhaul since 1978, PPI now measures prices received for services, government purchases, exports and construction.
Estimates for the PPI in the Bloomberg survey of 72 economists ranged from a drop of 0.2 percent to a 0.3 percent gain.
Core wholesale prices, which exclude volatile food and energy categories, climbed 0.6 percent, the biggest gain since March 2011, exceeding the projected 0.2 percent advance of economists surveyed by Bloomberg. They dropped 0.2 percent in February.
The year-to-year gain in producer prices was the biggest since August and followed a 0.9 percent increase in the 12 months to February. Excluding food and energy, the index also increased 1.4 percent year to year following a 1.1 percent year-to-year gain in February.
The cost of services climbed 0.7 percent in March, the biggest gain since January 2010. Goods prices were unchanged and were up 1.1 percent over the past 12 months.
Wholesale food costs climbed 1.1 percent in March, led by higher costs for meats, including pork and sausage. Energy costs fell 1.2 percent last month.
Food producers and restaurants say they’re paying more for beef, poultry, dairy and shrimp. At General Mills Inc. (GIS), maker of Yoplait yogurt, Cheerios cereal and other brands, rising dairy prices helped push retail profit down 11 percent in the third quarter, said Ken Powell, chairman and chief executive officer of the Minneapolis-based company. Powell called the inflation “manageable.”
“While the economy is improving slowly and incomes are strengthening slowly, they are improving,” Powell said on a March 19 earnings call. “As incomes continue to grow and consumers gain confidence that will be a positive sign for our category.”
Today’s PPI report provides a glimpse into the consumer-price index, the broadest of three inflation measures released by the Labor Department. The CPI, due to be released April 15, probably climbed 0.1 percent in March, according to the median forecast in a Bloomberg survey.
The wholesale price report also offers an advance look into the personal consumption expenditures deflator, a gauge monitored closely by the Fed. Health care prices make up the largest share of the core PCE index, which excludes food and energy costs. The next PCE report is due from the Commerce Department May 1.
This week, Fed policy makers played down their own predictions that interest rates might rise faster than they had forecast, according to minutes of the Federal Open Market Committee’s March meeting. The minutes bolstered remarks made by last month by Chair Janet Yellen.
“If inflation is persistently running below our 2 percent objective, that is a very good reason to hold the funds rate at its present range for longer,” Yellen said at a March 19 press conference following the committee meeting.
Story 1:16 Year Old Teenager Stabs 20 in High School — Progressives Call For Registration of All Knives, Concealed Knife Carry Permits and Ban On All Assault Knives — Will Baseball Bats Be Next? — Videos
News Wrap: Teenager stabs students at Pennsylvania school
High School Stabbing Franklin Regional High School Murrysville Pennsylvania 20 Students
Alex Hribal Did High School Stabbing At Franklin High Murrysville Pennsylvania
BREAKING: Surgeon Reports Over Mass Stabbing at Franklin High School
Mass Stabbing 20 Students injured Franklin Regional High School in Murrysville PA YouTube
BREAKING: Mass Stabbing Suspect Alex Hribal to be Tried as Adult
News Wrap: Teenager stabs students at Pennsylvania school
CNN Contributor Compares MASS Stabbing VS Shooting: You Get Your Hands Dirty
Suspect in School Stabbing Spree Is ‘Confused, Scared and Depressed’
By BEN CANDEA, COURTNEY CONDRON and DAN GOOD
Alex Hribal, the 16-year-old student who police say stabbed 22 people at his Pennsylvania high school Wednesday, is “confused, scared and depressed,” his attorney told ABC News in an exclusive interview.
“I think he understands what he did,” attorney Patrick Thomassey said in an interview with “Good Morning America.”
“I don’t think he at this point understands the gravity of what he did. I don’t think he realizes how severely injured some of these people are. And, hopefully, there’s no death involved in any of these. We’re praying that everybody is all right.”
Thomassey said he’s unaware of any signs of Hribal’s being bullied, adding that the teen’s parents are shocked and horrified.
“They could not have predicted that this was going to happen,” he said. “They don’t understand how this occurred.”
The stabbing spree happened at Franklin Regional High School in Murrysville, a suburb located about 20 miles east of Pittsburgh. Morgan Ritchey, who said she had two classes with Hribal, described him as being “a little misunderstood.”
I just always felt like he had a different side to him that nobody knew and it was, like, hard to uncover,” said Ritchey. Hribal, a sophomore, used two 8-to-10 inch “kitchen-type” “straight” knives in the attack, which started shortly after 7 a.m., police said. Murrysville Police Officer William “Buzz” Yakshe, a school resource officer, heard a disturbance in the hallway and joined a school security guard to go find out what was happening, according to a police affidavit. The guard and officer split up. The next time Yakshe saw the guard, he was leaning against a wall, bleeding from his stomach. Sam King, the school’s assistant principal, told police he saw Hribal stab the security guard. King tackled the teen and subdued him while Yakshe handcuffed him. King heard one of the victims say, “I’ve been stabbed,” he told police. Authorities charged Hribal as an adult with four counts of attempted criminal homicide, 21 counts of aggravated assault and one count of possession of weapons on school property. He was being held without bail in a juvenile detention center in Westmoreland County. Murrysville Police Chief Thomas Seefeld said someone pulled a fire alarm during the attack, raising attention and getting students and teachers to evacuate. “When we got there we saw a hallway in chaos, as you can imagine,” Seefeld said at a news conference. “There was a lot of evidence of blood on the floors and in the hallway, we had students running about, trying to get out of the area.” Nate Moore, 15, was stabbed during the rampage and said he had to be treated with 15 stitches. “It was really fast. It felt like he hit me with a wet rag because I felt the blood splash on my face. It spurted up on my forehead,” Moore told The Associated Press. Student Gracey Evans said heroes emerged during the attack. “My best friend, he stepped in front of me and in the meantime, he got stabbed in the back protecting me,” she said. “You couldn’t step a single place without pretty much stepping in blood.” At least 22 people were injured after the stabbings at the start of the school day, Westmoreland County emergency management spokesman Dan Stevens said. The motive for the rampage is under investigation. Seefeld said officials were unaware of any warning signs from the suspect, a sophomore at the school. At least four people with injuries emergency management officials described as “serious” were flown to hospitals for treatment. Others were not actually stabbed, he said, and some of their injuries included cuts and scrapes. http://gma.yahoo.com/suspect-school-stabbing-spree-confused-scared-depressed-115319444–abc-news-topstories.html
A BLANK LOOK, FOLLOWED BY BLOODSHED AT HIGH SCHOOL
It was just before the start of class and the hallways were packed with students at their lockers or chatting with friends.
Nate Moore was walking to homeroom, book in hand, when a classmate he knew to be quiet and unassuming tackled a freshman boy a few feet in front of him. Moore thought it was the start of a fistfight and went to break it up.
But 16-year-old Alex Hribal wasn’t throwing punches — he was stabbing his victim in the belly, Moore said. The suspect got up and slashed Moore’s face, then took off down the hall, where authorities said he stabbed and slashed other students in an attack that injured 21 students and a security guard — and might have been even worse but for the “heroes” who Pennsylvania’s governor said helped prevent further injury or loss of life.
An assistant principal tackled and subdued Hribal, who was charged Wednesday night with four counts of attempted homicide and 21 counts of aggravated assault and jailed without bail. Authorities said he would be prosecuted as an adult.
The suspect’s motive remained a mystery.
“He wasn’t saying anything,” Moore recalled hours later. “He didn’t have any anger on his face. It was just a blank expression.”
At a brief hearing Wednesday night, District Attorney John Peck said that after he was taken into custody, Hribal made comments suggesting he wanted to die. Defense attorney Patrick Thomassey described him as a good student who got along with others, and asked for a psychiatric examination.
Thomassey told ABC’s Good Morning America on Thursday that any defense he offers would likely be based on Hribal’s mental health. He said he hoped to move the charges against the teenager to juvenile court, where he could be rehabilitated. If convicted as an adult, Hribal faces likely decades in prison.
Thomassey told several media outlets that Hribal is remorseful, though he acknowledged his client didn’t appear to appreciate the gravity of his actions.
“At this point, he’s confused, scared and depressed. Over the next few days we’ll try to figure out what the heck happened here,” Thomassey told ABC. “I think he understands what he did. … I don’t think he realizes how severely injured some of these people are.”
At least five students were critically wounded in the attack, including a boy who was on a ventilator after a knife pierced his liver, missing his heart and aorta by only millimeters, doctors said. He had additional surgery overnight, they said.
The rampage comes after decades in which U.S. schools have focused their emergency preparedness on mass shootings, not stabbings.
While knife attacks at schools are not unusual, they’re most often limited to a single victim, said Mo Canady, executive director of the National Association of School Resource Officers.
Nevertheless, there have been at least two major stabbing attacks at U.S. schools over the past year, the first at a community college in Texas last April that wounded at least 14 people, and another, also in Texas, that killed a 17-year-old student and injured three others at a high school last September.
The attack in Pittsburgh unfolded shortly after 7 a.m. Wednesday, a few minutes before the start of classes at 1,200-student Franklin Regional High School, in an upper-middle-class area 15 miles east of Pittsburgh. By Thursday morning, the school was no longer being treated as a crime scene, according to police and school officials, who said they expected it to reopen Monday.
Mia Meixner, 16, said the freshman boy who was tackled tried to fight back, then, when his assailant got off him, stood up and lifted his shirt to reveal a midsection covered in blood.
“He had his shirt pulled up and he was screaming, ‘Help! Help!'” said another witness, Michael Float, 18. “He had a stab wound right at the top right of his stomach, blood pouring down.”
As students rushed to the boy’s aid, the attacker slashed Moore before taking off around a bend.
“It was really fast. It felt like he hit me with a wet rag because I felt the blood splash on my face. It spurted up on my forehead,” said Moore, whose gashed right cheek required 11 stitches.
The boy ran down about 200 feet of hallway, slashing and stabbing other students with kitchen knives about 8 to 10 inches long, police said. The assault touched off a “stampede of kids” yelling, “Run! Get out of here! Someone has a knife!” according to Meixner.
Assistant Principal Sam King heard the commotion and found a chaotic scene in the blood-soaked hall.
“I’ve been stabbed,” he heard a student say, according to a police affidavit.
King then saw Hribal stab a security guard, who leaned against the wall, bleeding from his stomach, the affidavit said. King tackled Hribal and kept him on the floor until a school police officer handcuffed him.
The rampage lasted about five minutes.
“There are a number of heroes in this day. Many of them are students,” Gov. Tom Corbett said in a visit to the town. “Students who stayed with their friends and didn’t leave their friends.”
He also commended cafeteria workers, teachers and teacher’s aides who put themselves at risk to help others.
Looking for a motive, Murrysville Police Chief Thomas Seefeld said investigators were checking reports of a threatening phone call between Hribal and another student the night before. He didn’t say whether the suspect received or made the call.
The FBI went to the boy’s house, and local media reports said agents removed at least one computer along with other items.
Meixner and Moore called the attacker a shy and quiet boy who largely kept to himself, but they said he was not an outcast and they saw no indication before the attack that he might be violent.
“He was never mean to anyone, and I never saw people be mean to him,” Meixner said. “I never saw him with a particular group of friends.”
During the attack, the boy had a “blank look,” she said. “He was just kind of looking like he always does, not smiling, not scowling or frowning.”
Associated Press writers Michael Rubinkam in northeastern Pennsylvania, Joe Mandak in Pittsburgh and JoAnn Loviglio in Philadelphia contributed to this report.
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Al Sharpton’s Secret Work As FBI Informant
Untold story of how activist once aided probes of NYC wiseguys
When friends and family members gathered recently at the White House for a private celebration of Michelle Obama’s 50th birthday, one of the invited partygoers was a former paid FBI Mafia informant.
That same man attended February’s state dinner in honor of French President Francois Hollande. He was seated with his girlfriend at a table adjacent to President Barack Obama, who is likely unaware that, according to federal agents, his guest once interacted with members of four of New York City’s five organized crime families. He even secretly taped some of those wiseguys using a briefcase that FBI technicians outfitted with a recording device.
The high-profile Obama supporter was also on the dais atop the U.S. Capitol steps last year when the president was sworn in for a second term. He was seated in front of the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, two rows behind Beyonce and Jay Z, and about 20 feet from Eric Holder, the country’s top law enforcement officer. As head of the Department of Justice, Attorney General Holder leads an agency that once reported that Obama’s inauguration guest also had La Cosa Nostra contacts beyond Gotham, and engaged in “conversations with LCN members from other parts of the United States.”
The former mob snitch has become a regular in the White House, where he has met with the 44th president in the East Room, the Roosevelt Room, and the Oval Office. He has also attended Obama Christmas parties, speeches, policy announcements, and even watched a Super Bowl with the First Family (an evening the man has called “one of the highlights of my life”). During these gatherings, he has mingled with cabinet members, top Obama aides, military leaders, business executives, and members of Congress. His former confederates were a decidedly dicier lot: ex-convicts, extortionists, heroin traffickers, and mob henchmen. The man’s surreptitious recordings, FBI records show, aided his government handlers in the successful targeting of powerful Mafia figures with nicknames like Benny Eggs, Chin, Fritzy, Corky, and Baldy Dom.
Later this week, Obama will travel to New York and appear in a Manhattan hotel ballroom at the side of the man whom FBI agents primarily referred to as “CI-7”–short for confidential informant #7–in secret court filings. In those documents, investigators vouched for him as a reliable, productive, and accurate source of information about underworld figures.
The ex-informant has been one of Obama’s most unwavering backers, a cheerleader who has nightly bludgeoned the president’s Republican opponents in televised broadsides. For his part, Obama has sought the man’s counsel, embraced him publicly, and saluted his “commitment to fight injustice and inequality.” The president has even commented favorably on his friend’s svelte figure, the physical manifestation of a rehabilitation effort that coincided with Obama’s ascension to the White House. This radical makeover has brought the man wealth, a daily TV show, bespoke suits, a luxury Upper West Side apartment, and a spot on best seller lists.
Most importantly, he has the ear of the President of the United States, an equally remarkable and perplexing achievement for the former FBI asset known as “CI-7,” the Rev. Al Sharpton.
A lengthy investigation by The Smoking Gun has uncovered remarkable details about Sharpton’s past work as an informant for a joint organized crime task force comprised of FBI agents and NYPD detectives, as well as his dealings with an assortment of wiseguys.
Beginning in the mid-1980s and spanning several years, Sharpton’s cooperation was fraught with danger since the FBI’s principal targets were leaders of the Genovese crime family, the country’s largest and most feared Mafia outfit. In addition to aiding the FBI/NYPD task force, which was known as the “Genovese squad,” Sharpton’s cooperation extended to several other investigative agencies.
TSG’s account of Sharpton’s secret life as “CI-7” is based on hundreds of pages of confidential FBI affidavits, documents released by the bureau in response to Freedom of Information Act requests, court records, and extensive interviews with six members of the Genovese squad, as well as other law enforcement officials to whom the activist provided assistance.
Like almost every other FBI informant, Sharpton was solely an information source. The parameters of his cooperation did not include Sharpton ever surfacing publicly or testifying on a witness stand.
Genovese squad investigators–representing both the FBI and NYPD–recalled how Sharpton, now 59, deftly extracted information from wiseguys. In fact, one Gambino crime family figure became so comfortable with the protest leader that he spoke openly–during ten wired face-to-face meetings–about a wide range of mob business, from shylocking and extortions to death threats and the sanity of Vincent “Chin” Gigante, the Genovese boss who long feigned mental illness in a bid to deflect law enforcement scrutiny. As the mafioso expounded on these topics, Sharpton’s briefcase–a specially customized Hartman model–recorded his every word.
Task force members, who were interviewed separately, spoke on the condition of anonymity when describing Sharpton’s work as an informant and the Genovese squad’s activities. Some of these investigators provided internal FBI documents to a reporter.
Records obtained by TSG show that information gathered by Sharpton was used by federal investigators to help secure court authorization to bug two Genovese family social clubs, including Gigante’s Greenwich Village headquarters, three autos used by crime family leaders, and more than a dozen phone lines. These listening devices and wiretaps were approved during the course of a major racketeering investigation targeting the Genovese family’s hierarchy.
A total of eight separate U.S. District Court judges–presiding in four federal jurisdictions–signed interception orders that were based on sworn FBI affidavits including information gathered by Sharpton. The phones bugged as a result of these court orders included two lines in Gigante’s Manhattan townhouse, the home phone of Genovese captain Dominick “Baldy Dom” Canterino, and the office lines of music industry power Morris Levy, a longtime Genovese family associate. The resulting surreptitious recordings were eventually used to help convict an assortment of Mafia members and associates.
Investigators also used Sharpton’s information in an application for a wiretap on the telephone in the Queens residence of Federico “Fritzy” Giovanelli, a Genovese soldier. Giovanelli was sentenced to 20 years in prison for racketeering following a trial during which those recordings were played for jurors. In a recent interview, the 82-year-old Giovanelli–now three years removed from his latest stint in federal custody–said that he was unaware that Sharpton contributed in any fashion to his phone’s bugging. He then jokingly chided a reporter for inquiring about the civil rights leader’s past. “Poor Sharpton, he cleaned up his life and you want to ruin him,” Giovanelli laughed.
While Sharpton’s acrimonious history with law enforcement–especially the NYPD–rankled some Genovese squad investigators, they nonetheless grudgingly acknowledged in interviews that the activist produced for those he would go on to frequently pillory.
Genovese squad members, however, did not share with Sharpton specific details about how they were using the information he was gathering for them. This is standard practice since FBI affidavits in support of wiretap applications are filed under seal by Department of Justice prosecutors. Still, Sharpton was briefed in advance of his undercover sorties, so he was well aware of the squad’s investigative interest in Gigante and his Mafia cronies.
Sharpton vehemently denies having worked as an FBI informant. He has alleged that claims of government cooperation were attempts by dark forces to stunt his aggressive brand of civil rights advocacy or, perhaps, get him killed. In his most recent book, “The Rejected Stone,” which hit best seller lists following its October 2013 publication, Sharpton claimed to have once been “set up by the government,” whose agents later leaked “false information” that “could have gotten me killed.” He added, “So I have been seriously tested in what I believe over the years.”
In an interview Saturday, Sharpton again denied working as a confidential informant, claiming that his prior cooperation with FBI agents was limited to efforts to prompt investigations of drug dealing in minority communities, as well as the swindling of black artists in the recording industry. He also repeatedly denied being “flipped” by federal agents in the course of an undercover operation. When asked specifically about his recording of the Gambino crime family member, Sharpton was noncommittal: “I’m not saying yes, I’m not saying no.”
If Sharpton’s account is to be believed, he was simply a concerned citizen who voluntarily (and briefly) joined arm-in-arm with federal agents, perhaps risking peril in the process. The other explanation for Sharpton’s cooperation–one that has uniformly been offered by knowledgeable law enforcement agents–presents the reverend in a less noble light. Worried that he could face criminal charges, Sharpton opted for the path of self-preservation and did what the FBI asked. Which is usually how someone is compelled to repeatedly record a gangster discussing murder, extortion, and loan sharking.
Sharpton spoke for an hour in an office at the House of Justice, his Harlem headquarters, where he had just finished addressing a crowd of about 200 people that included his two adult daughters and his second wife (from whom he hasbeen separated for ten years). A few minutes into the interview, Sharpton asked, “Are you taping this?” A TSG reporter answered that he was not recording their interview, but had a digital recorder and wished to do so. Sharpton declined that request.
In the absence of any real examination/exhumation of Sharpton’s past involvement with the FBI and the Mafia, his denials have served the civil rights leader well. Scores of articles and broadcast reports about the Obama-era “rehabilitation” of Sharpton have mentioned his inflammatory past–Tawana Brawley, Crown Heights, Freddy’s Fashion Mart, and various anti-Semitic and homophobic statements. But his organized crime connections and related informant work have received no such scrutiny.
In a “60 Minutes” profile aired three months before the August 2011 launch of Sharpton’s MSNBC show, correspondent Lesley Stahl reported on the “tame” Sharpton’s metamorphosis from “loud mouth activist” to “trusted White House advisor who’s become the president’s go-to black leader.” As for prior underworld entanglements, those were quickly dispatched: “There were allegations of mob ties, never proved,” Stahl flatly declared.
As host of MSNBC’s “PoliticsNation,” Sharpton now reluctantly identifies himself as a member of the media, if not actually a journalist. He spends his time at 30 Rockefeller Plaza surrounded by reporters, editors, and researchers committed to accuracy and the exposure of those who violate the public trust. In fact, Sharpton himself delights in a daily feature that seeks to expose liars, hypocrites, and others engaged in deceit (his targets tend to be Republican opponents of the Obama administration). As he wraps this segment, Sharpton points his finger at the camera and addresses his quarry: “Nice try, but we gotcha!”
In addition to his MSNBC post, Sharpton heads the National Action Network, which describes itself as a “Christian activist organization.” Obama, who refers to Sharpton as “Rev” or “Reverend Al,” is scheduled to deliver a keynote address Friday at the group’s annual convention in New York City. Mayor Bill DeBlasio will preside Wednesday over the convention’s ribbon cutting ceremony, while Holder and three Obama cabinet secretaries will deliver speeches.
Sharpton has been a leading supporter of Holder, who spoke at the National Action Network’s 2012 convention and saluted the reverend for “your partnership, your friendship, and also for your tireless efforts to speak out for the voiceless, to stand up for the powerless, and to shine a light on the problems we must solve, and the promises we must fulfill.” Last Friday, Sharpton appeared on a panel at a Department of Justice forum led by Tony West, the agency’s third-ranking official. West thanked Sharpton for his “leadership, day in and day out, on issues of reconciliation and community restoration.”
According to its most recent IRS return, which Sharpton signed in mid-November 2013, the National Action Network pays him $241,402 annually for serving as president and CEO. In return for that hefty salary, Sharpton–who hosts a three-hour daily radio show in addition to his nightly cable TV program–reportedly works a 40-hour week for the not-for-profit (which lists unpaid tax liabilities totaling $813,576).
For longtime observers, the “new” Sharpton’s public prominence and West Wing access is bewildering considering that his history, mob ties included, could charitably be described as checkered. In fact, Obama has banished others guilty of lesser transgressions (see: Wright, Jeremiah).
Sharpton now calls himself a “refined agitator,” an activist no longer prone to incendiary language or careless provocations. Indeed, a Google check confirms that it has been years since he labeled a detractor a “faggot,” used the term “homos,” or derisively referred to Jewish diamond merchants.
* * *
As an “informant in development,” as one federal investigator referred to Sharpton, the protest leader was seen as an intriguing prospective source, since he had significant contacts in politics, boxing, and the music industry.
Before he was “flipped” in the course of an FBI sting operation in 1983, Sharpton had established relationships with promoter Don King, various elected officials, and several powerful New York hoodlums involved in concert promotion, record distribution, and talent management. At the time, the music business was “overrun by hustlers, con artists, black and white,” Sharpton recalled in his 1996autobiography. A federal agent who was not part of the Genovese squad–but who also used Sharpton as an informant–recalled that “everyone was trying to mine” his music industry ties.
In fact, by any measure, Sharpton himself was a Mafia “associate,” the law enforcement designation given to mob affiliates who, while not initiated, work with and for crime family members. While occupying the lowest rung on the LCN org chart–which is topped by a boss-underboss-consigliere triumvirate–associates far outnumber “made” men, and play central roles in a crime family’s operation, from money-making pursuits to more violent endeavors.
For more than four years, the fact that Sharpton was working as an informant was known only to members of the Genovese squad and a small number of other law enforcement agents. As with any Mafia informant, protecting Sharpton’s identity was crucial to maintaining the viability of ongoing investigations. Not to mention keeping him alive.
For example, an episode recounted by TSG sources highlighted the sensitive nature of Sharpton’s cooperation with the FBI/NYPD task force.
In advance of seeking court authorization to bug a pair of Genovese family social clubs and a Cadillac used by Gigante and Canterino, a draft version of a wiretap affidavit was circulated for review within the Genovese squad, which operated from the FBI’s lower Manhattan headquarters. The 53-page document, which detailed the “probable cause” to believe that listening devices would yield incriminatingconversations, concerned some investigators due to the degree to which the activities of Sharpton were described in the document.
While the affidavit prepared by FBI Agent Gerald King and a federal prosecutor only referred to Sharpton as “CI-7,” the document included the name of a Gambino mobster whom Sharpton taped, as well as the dates and details of five of their recorded meetings. Such specificity was problematic since the possibility existed that the affidavit’s finalized version could someday be turned over to defense lawyers in the discovery phase of a criminal trial.
Investigators fretted that Sharpton could easily be unmasked by the Gambino member, who, if ever questioned about his meetings with “CI-7,” would surely realize that Sharpton was the wired informant referred to in the FBI affidavit. That discovery, of course, could have placed Sharpton’s life in grave danger. The Gambino wiseguy, too, likely would have faced trouble, since he was recorded speaking about a wide range of Mafia matters, including Gigante’s illegal operations. The Genovese power–rightly paranoid about bugged phones and listening devices–famously forbid fellow gangsters from even speaking his name. In fact, if a wiseguy had to refer to Gigante during an in-person meeting, a quick stroke of the chin was the acceptable means of identification.
In response to concerns about the King affidavit, the draft, which a source provided to TSG, was rewritten to carefully shroud Sharpton’s work with government agents. The affidavit’s final version–which was submitted to two federal judges–no longer included the disclosure that “CI-7” had “consensually recorded his conversations” with a gangster. The wiseguy’s name was also deleted from the document, as was any reference to the Gambino family or the informant’s sex.
Instead, the revamped affidavit simply noted that “CI-7 reported” to the FBI various details of Genovese family rackets. The actual source of that valuable intelligence about Gigante & Co. had been carefully obscured. As were the details of how that information was obtained via Sharpton’s battery-powered valise.
But despite efforts like this to protect Sharpton, some details of his informant work leaked out in January 1988, when New York Newsday reported that the civil rights activist had cooperated with federal investigations targeting organized crime figures and Don King. Though he reportedly made incriminating admissions to the newspaper, Sharpton quickly issued vehement denials that he had snitched on anyone.
While acknowledging contact with law enforcement officials, Sharpton–then involved in the early stages of the Tawana Brawley hoax–said he sought the help of investigators to combat the crack cocaine epidemic ravaging New York’s poorest communities. Sharpton also claimed to have contacted agents (and pledged his assistance) after a Mafia associate allegedly threatened him over a music industry dispute.
Sharpton asserted that a phone installed in his Brooklyn apartment by federal investigators in mid-1987 was there to serve as a “hotline” for the public to report drug dealing. He flatly denied recording phone conversations at the direction of law enforcement agents. In one radio interview, Sharpton even declared, “We have an ethical thing against wiretapping.”
In fact, Sharpton had been cooperating with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Brooklyn as part of an investigation targeting Don King. According to a source involved with that probe, federal agents “ran him for a couple of months,” during which time Sharpton “did some recordings” via his new home telephone. But the nascent Department of Justice operation was abruptly shuttered in the wake of the New York Newsday story.
The Brooklyn investigators were introduced to Sharpton in late-1987 by Joseph Spinelli, one of the reverend’s former FBI handlers (and one of the agents who initially secured his cooperation with the bureau). While Spinelli had left the FBI for another government post, he still helped facilitate Sharpton’s interaction with other investigators. “Joe was shopping him around,” one source recalled.
For example, in July 1987, Spinelli called a federal prosecutor in Los Angeles and offered Sharpton’s assistance with a matter the lawyer was handling. The case involved Salvatore Pisello, a mobbed-up music industry figure who had just been indicted for tax evasion (and whom Sharpton had previously accused of threatening his life).
Referring to Sharpton, ex-prosecutor Marvin Rudnick said in an interview, “I didn’t know who he was” when Spinelli called. In subsequent conversations with Rudnick, Sharpton provided information about Pisello and a related music industry matter that was being scrutinized by Justice Department investigators.
While Sharpton would not prove particularly helpful to Rudnick, the attorney clearly recalled his brief, unorthodox dealings with the New York activist. “I remember having to go to a pay phone to take the call because he didn’t want it to be traced,” Rudnick laughed.
* * *
So why did Sharpton agree to become an FBI informant? And why was he willing to risk the dangers inherent in such cooperation?
“He thought he didn’t have a choice,” one Genovese squad agent recalled.
In the course of an investigation being run by Spinelli and his partner John Pritchard, Sharpton was secretly recorded in meetings with an FBI undercover agent posing as a wealthy drug dealer seeking to promote boxing matches.
As previously reported, Colombo crime family captain Michael Franzese, who knew Sharpton, enlisted the activist’s help in connecting with Don King. Franzese and Sharpton were later surreptitiously filmed during one meeting with the undercover, while Sharpton and Daniel Pagano, a Genovese soldier, were recorded at another sit-down. Pagano’s father Joseph was a Genovese power deeply involved in the entertainment industry (and who also managed the crime family’s rackets in counties north of New York City).
During one meeting with Sharpton, the undercover agent offered to get him “pure coke” at $35,000 a kilo. As the phony drug kingpin spoke, Sharpton nodded his head and said, “I hear you.” When the undercover promised Sharpton a 10 percent finder’s fee if he could arrange the purchase of several kilos, the reverend referred to an unnamed buyer and said, “If he’s gonna do it, he’ll do it much more than that.” The FBI agent steered the conversation toward the possible procurement of cocaine, sources said, since investigators believed that Sharpton acquaintance Daniel Pagano–who was not present–was looking to consummate drug deals. Joseph Pagano, an East Harlem native who rose through a Genovese crew notorious for narcotics trafficking, spent nearly seven years in federal prison for heroin distribution.
While Sharpton did not explicitly offer to arrange a drug deal, some investigators thought his interaction with the undercover agent could be construed as a violation of federal conspiracy laws. Though an actual prosecution, an ex-FBI agent acknowledged, would have been “a reach,” agents decided to approach Sharpton and attempt to “flip” the activist, who was then shy of his 30th birthday. In light of Sharpton’s relationship with Don King, FBI agents wanted his help in connection with the bureau’s three-year-old boxing investigation, code named “Crown Royal” and headed by Spinelli and Pritchard.
The FBI agents confronted Sharpton with the undercover videos and warned that he could face criminal charges as a result of the secret recordings. Sharpton, of course, could have walked out and ran to King, Franzese, or Pagano and reported the FBI approach (and the fact that drug dealer “Victor Quintana” was actually a federal agent).
In subsequent denials that he had been “flipped,” Sharpton has contended that he stiffened in the face of the FBI agents, meeting their bluff with bluster and bravado. He claimed to have turned away Spinelli & Co., daring them to “Indict me” and “Prosecute.” Sharpton has complained that the seasoned investigators were “trying to sting me, entrap me…a young minister.”
In fact, Sharpton fell for the FBI ruse and agreed to cooperate, a far-reaching decision he made without input from a lawyer, according to sources. “I think there was some fear [of prosecution] on his part,” recalled a former federal agent. In a TSG interview, Sharpton claimed that he rebuffed the FBI agents, who, he added, threatened to serve him with a subpoena to testify before a federal grand jury investigating King. After being confronted by the bureau, Sharpton said he consulted with an attorney (whom he declined to identify).
Following bureau guidelines, agents formally opened a “137” informant file on Sharpton, a move that was approved by FBI supervisors, according to several sources. Agents anticipated using Sharpton in the “Crown Royal” case focusing on King, but during initial debriefings of their new recruit, it became clear that his contacts in the music business were equally appealing.
Sharpton had met James Brown in the mid-70s, and became extremely close to the R&B superstar. He worked for and traveled with the mercurial performer, married one of Brown’s backup singers, and wore the same processed hairdo as the entertainer. Like Brown, Sharpton would sometimes even wear a cowboy hat atop his tribute conk.
It was first through executives at Spring Records, a small Manhattan-based label affiliated with Brown, that Sharpton–who worked from the firm’s office–was introduced to various wiseguys, including Franzese. His circle of mob contacts would grow to include, among others, the Paganos, Carmine DeNoia, an imposing Pagano associate known as “Wassel,” and Joseph “Joe Bana” Buonanno, a Gambino crime family figure involved in record distribution and production.
At one point before he was “flipped,” Sharpton participated in a mob scheme to create a business front that would seek a share of lucrative Con Edison set-asides intended for minority-owned businesses. That deal, which involved garbage collection contracts, cratered when the power company determined that Sharpton’s silent partner was Genovese captain Matthew “Matty the Horse” Ianniello. Details of the Con Ed plot emerged at a federal criminal trial of Ianniello and his business partner Benjamin Cohen. It was Cohen, who worked across the hall from Spring Records, who recruited Sharpton for the mob garbage gambit.
The longtime agitator, civil-rights activist and TV host was exposed Monday as an alleged former key FBI informant whose tips helped take down some of the biggest names in New York Mafia history.
The Rev. Al launched his sensational secret life as a paid mob snitch in the mid-1980s, pressured to cooperate after being ensnared in a developing drug sting, according to a bombshell report bythesmokinggun.com.
As “CI-7,” the then-portly Harlem leader would tote a customized Hartmann briefcase equipped with an FBI bug to hobnob with members of some of the city’s most notorious crime families, the site said.
Sharpton’s main job was to dig dirt on the Genovese crime family, according to sources and court documents.
He was so good at “playing dumb’’ that he wound up helping to bring down such names as Venero “Benny Eggs’’ Mangano, Dominick “Baldy Dom’’ Canterino and even the muttering “oddfather” of Greenwich Village, family boss Vincent “Chin’’ Gigante, the site said.
He was a “very reliable informant, and his information ‘has never been found to be false or inaccurate,’ ” the report said, quoting a 1986 court document.
While it was known that Sharpton had spied for the FBI on music- and sports-promotion figures, the new data said he also extracted juicy information from wiseguys.
The feds later used the dirt to obtain warrants to bug key Genovese spots.
Because of Sharpton’s undercover work, listening devices were surreptitiously installed in two crime-family social clubs, including Gigante’s Village headquarters, three cars used by Mafiosos and more than a dozen phone lines, the site said.
Information gleaned from those bugs then helped nail the mobsters.
One of Sharpton’s main unsuspecting founts of useful information was Joseph “Joe Bana’’ Buonanno.
During 10 face-to-face chats between the pair, “Joe Bana just gave him a whole insight into how ‘Chin’ and [music-industry honcho] Morris [Levy] operated,’’ said an NYPD source with the joint FBI-Police Department “Genovese Squad.”
Before his rapt audience of one, Buonanno expounded on the mob’s past extortions and death threats.
He even allegedly revealed to Sharpton a few not-so-flattering details about his boss, Gigante, who for years pretended he was crazy by shuffling around the West Village in a bathrobe to escape prosecution from the feds.
Buonanno told Sharpton of the godfather’s purported illiteracy and the fact that he “hates everyone not Italian,” the site said.
The mob soldier even detailed how Gigante “was present” at the hit of Genovese captain Thomas “Tommy Ryan’’ Eboli, to “make sure it was done right,” the site said.
Still, while Sharpton had the gift of gab and got Buonanno to unwittingly spill his guts, the mob soldier snottily referred to the preacher as “a nose picker’’ behind his back, an associate told the site.
Both Buonanno and Gigante are now dead.
The revelation of Sharpton’s involvement with the feds couldn’t have come at a more embarrassing time.
Sharpton is set to convene the annual convention of his National Action Network in New York this week — with Mayor de Blasio cutting the opening-ceremony ribbon Wednesday and President Obama flying in to give the keynote address Friday.
Sharpton, in an interview with The Post on Monday, didn’t deny that he cooperated with the FBI — but said the thesmokinggun.com report was the equivalent of a mob hit.
“It’s crazy. If I provided all the information they claimed I provided, I should be given a ticker-tape parade,” said Sharpton, 59, who now regularly rubs elbows with Obama and his wife Michelle, Attorney General Eric Holder and congressmen and other national leaders.
“What did Al Sharpton do wrong? Eliot Spitzer did do something wrong, and he got a TV show,” said the Rev. Al, referring to the hooker-loving former governor.
Sharpton is currently the host of MSNBC’s “PoliticsNation.’’ He regularly wraps up one segment by pointing a finger at the camera and yelling, “Nice try, but we gotcha!”
He denied being paid to snitch and said he never carried a brief case with a listening device.
He insisted that if he did cooperate with the feds, it was because he’d been threatened by a mobster while working with black concert promoters.
“The article is embellished. The real story is I told the FBI about being threatened because I was a civil-rights leader helping black concert promoters,” Sharpton said.
He griped that the report was simply an attempt to “muddy’’ him before this week’s NAN convention.
A Sharpton confidante who’s known him for decades was caught off guard by the extent of the activist’s alleged dealings with the FBI.
“Holy s- -t,’’ the source said. “This comes out of left for me. I’m actually driving off the road.’’
But veteran Democratic political consultant George Arzt said the report is more likely to boost Sharpton’s standing with the public rather than hurt it.
“This is just going to add to his luster of being a character,” Arzt said. “It does raise questions about an anti-establishment guy cooperating with the FBI. But now he is establishment.”
Sharpton was considered prime fodder as a mole for the FBI’s Mafia unit because of his already-existing connections to the underworld, the site said.
For example, he knew Genovese soldier Joseph Pagano, who was involved in entertainment-industry schemes for decades, allegedly controlled “Rat Pack’’ singer Sammy Davis Jr. and once even “lost a big roll [of money] to Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra,’’ FBI sources said.
Sharpton allegedly told the feds he had an in with Pagano because he’d introduced him to boxer Muhammad Ali and his reps.
In trying to nail the Genovese Mafiosos with Sharpton’s help, the feds embarked on their bugging scheme — sometimes producing hilarious results, the report said.
At one point, the Genovese Squad tried to wire mobster Dominick Canterino’s Cadillac in front of his Gravesend, Brooklyn, home.
An agent broke into and hot-wired the car to briefly drive it off to plant the bug before returning it.
“Piece of cake,’’ he radioed to fellow agents down the block.
“You’re burned!” an NYPD detective shouted back a minute later, as he spotted Canterino watching the agent drive away with his car.
“In retrospect, it was like a Keystone comedy,’’ chuckled a former FBI agent who was there that day. “But it wasn’t so funny when it occurred.”