Wednesday, September 14, 2016
15 Years After 9/11 We’re Less Safe, Less Free
September 11 marks the 15th anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. As with the assassination of JFK and the attack on Pearl Harbor, 9/11 will forever be seen as a critical moment in American history.
For those who lived through the 9/11 attacks the anniversary brings up many unpleasant memories. I was young—a junior high school student. Our teachers told us there had been an attack, but refused to discuss it further. It was not until I got home and turned on the television that I began to understand that I was seeing something unlike anything I’d ever encountered.
Like many Americans, I was scared and worried about what the terrorist acts would mean for our country. I remember asking my parents if there would be more attacks and if there were terrorists living in the United States. I wondered what I would do if I or someone I loved was a victim of an attack. Although they tried to be comforting, it was clear my parents didn’t have the answers.
Lucky for me and other Americans, the chance of being killed (or even injured) in an act of terror is remarkably low—about one in 20 million. You are more likely to die while moving your couch, or from being struck by lightning, from falling out of bed, from the flu, or from brain-eating parasites!
Some would argue that this illustrates that government has done a good job since 9/11. Consider, however, that the number of Americans killed in terror attacks on an annualized basis has remained remarkably constant and low over several decades, with a few exceptions like 9/11. In the period from 1995 through 2014, for example, seven years saw no deaths in the United States related to terrorism. In six other years, one to four Americans were killed on U.S. soil in “terror-related” incidents. Even looking worldwide, the number of Americans killed in terror attacks pales in comparison to other causes of death. In 2013 just under 2.6 million U.S. citizens died. Thirteen of these deaths were terror-related, 0.0005 percent of all deaths. In 2001, taking into account the deaths from the 9/11 attacks, terror deaths still represented less than 0.2 percent of all U.S. deaths.
Yet despite these comforting numbers, Americans are less safe and less free than they were 15 years ago. The danger comes not from terrorism, but rather from the U.S. government. The War on Terror has enabled massive government expansion. The cost is not “just” the nearly $2 trillion in taxpayer money, but our liberty.
Consider that during the last 15 years, U.S. government has spied (and continues to spy) on U.S. citizens and international leaders. The U.S. government has used “enhanced interrogation,” otherwise known as torture, to combat terrorism. These techniques are not exclusively used in foreign combat zones, however. Recent investigations of the Chicago Police Department, for example, indicate that local governments have employed these same techniques at home, not against terrorists but against US. citizens.
Drones and other forms of extrajudicial killing are now standard practice. These activities not only fail to eliminate terror threats, but provide a rallying cry and recruitment tool for terrorist organizations, making Americans at home and abroad less safe. The push to use drone technology domestically by state and local law enforcement has substantial consequences for privacy. Militarized police, now on the “front lines” of the war on terror at home, have trampled the rights of Americans with a barrage of “no-knock” raids and unauthorized surveillance.
Moreover, those who speak out against these activities, whistleblowers who expose the wrongdoings of the U.S. government, are labeled as un-American, anti-military or even traitors, and punished. Meanwhile, questionable and perhaps illegal activity by government officials goes unchecked.
Many Americans look outside of the United States to determine who represents the biggest threat to freedom and safety. Fifteen years after 9/11, we’d do well to realize that the largest threat to our liberties comes not from people thousands of miles away but from our own government.
Gary Bauer: Teddy Roosevelt Banned Muslims; Jimmy Carter Banned Iranians
In a speech Friday at the Values Voter Summit in Washington, D.C., American Values Founder and President Gary Bauer said that former President Theodore Roosevelt banned Muslims during his presidency by prohibiting immigration to the U.S. of anyone who believed in polygamy, promoted it or lived in a country that practiced it.
“Donald Trump has been crucified, because a number of months ago, he said that we ought to have a pause in Muslim immigration to the United States, and it took about 10 minutes for the president and quite frankly, a number of Republican leaders to run to a microphone and basically say that’s not who we are. That’s not our values. Well they’re wrong,” Bauer said.
“Teddy Roosevelt enforced the law during his presidency that prohibited immigration to the United States of anybody who believed in polygamy, promoted polygamy, or lived in a country that practiced polygamy. Who do you think he was trying to keep out of the country, Episcopalians?” Bauer asked.
According to the Department of Homeland Security’s website, the Immigration Act of 1891 barred “the immigration of polygamists, persons convicted of crimes of moral turpitude, and those suffering loathsome or contagious diseases.”
“How about Jimmy Carter, that well known right wing bigoted extremist, right? Jimmy Carter, who the guy I worked for, Ronald Reagan, clobbered on Election Day, Jimmy Carter, after the Iranian Revolution, announced that effective immediately there would be no more immigration from Iran into the United States, but that’s not all,” Bauer said.
In 1980, Carter announced that the U.S. was breaking diplomatic relations with Iran and ordered all Iranian diplomats and officials to leave the country by midnight the next day, according to an April 8, 1980 article in The Crimson. This was 157 days into the Iran hostage crisis. Fifty Americans were held hostage by militants occupying the U.S. Embassy in Tehran. At the time, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini ruled that the Americans must stay with the militants until the new Iranian Parliament decided their fate.
“Jimmy Carter went on national TV and said, there are 25,000 Iranian students attending our universities. You have 30 days to report to your closest immigration center with your papers. He expelled thousands of Iranian university students from the United States,” Bauer said. “That was weakling, left-wing, Democrat Jimmy Carter.
“And today, taking that commonsense position gets you attacked the way Trump is attacked. It’s unbelievable what’s happening in this country,” he said, referring to GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump’s initial proposal to ban Muslims from entering the country.
“Donald Trump has done a little bit more on his proposal. Now he says that he’s gonna really zero in on a handful of countries, and that’s fine – countries where there’s a lot of terrorist activity, etcetera, but then he said something else that again set people off on a tirade,” Bauer said.
“He said we’re going to start having an ideological test. Of course we should. The Pew Research Center did a study of the Muslim world and found that it is permeated with hatred of Jews, of Christians, rejection of religious liberty. Why would we import that to the United States?” Bauer asked.
Bauer said the world has been “cursed with leaders that at best are clueless” when it comes to combatting terrorism.
“We have been cursed with leaders that at best are clueless,” Bauer said, pointing to President Barack Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. “How do you explain Merkel in Germany, who doesn’t have an unexpected influx of young Muslim migrants coming to the country?
“She invites them in, and a million of them accept her invitation, pouring across the borders, and then in the weeks and months that follow, Merkel expresses surprise and shock that German women are being molested and raped,” Bauer said.
“What did she think would happen when you bring in hundreds of thousands of young men from third world countries that have been taught in their houses of worship that infidel women are all whores and you could do to them what you want to do? That’s who she invited into Germany,” he said.
“How about in France, where after the brutal attack in Nice, families run over by a jihadist in a truck, empty carriages littered all over the beach where babies used to be sitting, and a French government official says, ‘well, this is almost impossible to stop. The French people may just have to get used to tolerating a certain level of terrorism in our pluralistic country,’” Bauer said.
“And then there’s President Obama. My gosh, if I’d shared with you all of his contributions to helping us understand what is going on, I’d be speaking through the rest of my time and the next two speakers,” Bauer said.
“A few months ago, he had this really incredible insight to share with us. The president said you America, you Americans have more risk of drowning in a bathtub, he said, than you do of being killed by terrorists. Well thank you, Mr. President, for that incredible insight. Churchill, he ain’t,” Bauer added.
“I guess my reaction would be that when my bathtub starts yelling Allah Akbar and trying to kill me, I’ll start worrying about baths, but right now, I’m going to worry about the people, whose numbers are growing ladies and gentleman, who have declared war on western civilization – Judeo-Christian civilization,” he said.
Bauer then referenced Kerry’s comments Bangladesh in August during a press availability in Dhaka.
“Secretary Kerry a couple weeks ago went to a conference in Europe – don’t want to leave him out. This was a conference on the importance of open societies, and he brought the crowd – many of them journalists and government officials - to their feet in raucous applause when he said if the media would just stop reporting the terror attacks, the impact they have would be lessened,” Bauer said.
“He offered no guidance on what reporters should do when they come across the mass graves. Should they not report those either? Cause if you report that they just found another grave with a thousand dead Christians in it or Yazidis or other religious minorities, people might go, Wow, that’s big news. Who killed them?” Bauer added.
Houston Jury Rules Against SEIU Tactics
Marking the end of a 10-year legal battle, a Houston jury today ruled in favor of Professional Janitorial Services and against the SEIU, ordering the union to pay $5.3 million in damages for the union’s campaign to drive away the company’s business.
The “Kill PJS” campaign was a three-year effort by the SEIU to do exactly what the name suggests. Throughout that time, the union implemented a three pronged strategy of media collaboration, baseless lawsuits, and union-planted employees in an effort to drive customers away from the janitorial company.
“The jury found what PJS and its employees have known for more than a decade, which is that SEIU is a corrupt organization that is rotten to its core,” said Brent Southwell, CEO of PJS. “The next step is to ensure the union is removed from Texas and sent packing back to Chicago.”
Founded in Chicago, the Service Employees International Union is a DC-based union with deep ties to the Obama administration.
Throughout the four week trial, jurors learned of false allegations, threatening tactics, and an all-out smear campaign waged by the SEIU against the janitorial company for one simple reason— PJS refused to allow the union to organize its workforce of janitors without a secret ballot election.
In a statement, PJS added that they “will now ask local prosecutors to investigate apparent perjury by union officials and an attorney who testified in the trial, and will increase its efforts with state legislators to remove the SEIU from eligibility in state-provided union dues collection programs.”
The PJS trial was the first time the union’s tactics were brought in front of a jury, as other companies have opted to settle their cases and avoid a trial.
Today’s ruling sends a clear message that unions who attempt to use corrupt tactics and political connections to pressure business owners into giving in to their demands will no longer be tolerated in the Lone Star State.
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Posted by JR at 12:18 AM