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Yesterday’s post was about the Kavanaugh nomination and ritual defamation.

Ritual defamation is a term coined by Laird Wilcox, who researches political fringe movements and is the founder of The Wilcox Collection of Contemporary Political Movements, in the Kansas Collection of Kenneth Spencer Research Library at the University of Kansas.

If you think this is being hypersensitive, here is House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-California) explaining that the Democrats ‘merchandise’ lies to the media about Republicans. Of the Wrap-up Smear, she says, ‘It’s a tactic’:

This is what Pelosi says in the video (emphases mine throughout):

It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. You demonize, and then you — we call it the ‘wrap up’ smear, if you want to talk ‘politics’. We call it the ‘wrap-up’ smear.

You smear somebody, with falsehoods and all the rest, and then you ‘merchandise’ it. And then you (pointing to the press) write it, and they’ll say “See, it’s reported in the press, that this, this, this and this…” so they have that validation, that the press reported the ‘smear’, and then it’s called ‘the wrap-up smear’.

Now I’m going to ‘merchandise’ the press’ report, on the smear, that we made.

And it’s, it’s a tactic. And it’s self-evident.

Today’s post looks at Wilcox’s list of extremist traits, which the Democrats and others on the Left, including media, have been displaying since Donald Trump won the 2016 election. One can only hope that, with all its madness, it climaxed with the Kavanaugh nomination to the US Supreme Court, because it really does seem as if demons are everywhere across the pond at the moment.

All of Wilcox’s listed traits are pertinent to the climate in America at this time. I have supplemented them with illustrations from the Kavanaugh nomination process. Excerpts follow, so please be sure to read his essay in full:

1. CHARACTER ASSASSINATION.

Extremists often attack the character of an opponent rather than deal with the facts or issues raised. They will question motives, qualifications, past associations, alleged values, personality, looks, mental health, and so on as a diversion from the issues under consideration

2. NAME-CALLING AND LABELING.

Extremists are quick to resort to epithets (racist, subversive, pervert, hate monger, nut, crackpot, degenerate, un-American, anti-semite, red, commie, nazi, kook, fink, liar, bigot, and so on) to label and condemn opponents in order to divert attention from their arguments and to discourage others from hearing them out. These epithets don’t have to be proved to be effective; the mere fact that they have been said is often enough.

3. IRRESPONSIBLE SWEEPING GENERALIZATIONS.

Extremists tend to make sweeping claims or judgments on little or no evidence, and they have a tendency to confuse similarity with sameness. That is, they assume that because two (or more) things, events, or persons are alike in some respects, they must be alike in most respects

4. INADEQUATE PROOF FOR ASSERTIONS.

Extremists tend to be very fuzzy about what constitutes proof, and they also tend to get caught up in logical fallacies, such as post hoc ergo propter hoc (assuming that a prior event explains a subsequent occurrence simply because of their before and after relationship). They tend to project wished-for conclusions and to exaggerate the significance of information that confirms their beliefs while derogating or ignoring information that contradicts them. They tend to be motivated by feelings more than facts, by what they want to exist rather than what actually does exist. Extremists do a lot of wishful and fearful thinking.

This is what happened to an ordinary American, Thomas Wictor, who tweets on politics. The Left does not like what he has to say, so one or more of their number reported him to the FBI (‘thread’ should be ‘threat’). He’s still suspended on Twitter:

5. ADVOCACY OF DOUBLE STANDARDS.

Extremists generally tend to judge themselves or their interest group in terms of their intentions, which they tend to view very generously, and others by their acts, which they tend to view very critically. They would like you to accept their assertions on faith, but they demand proof for yours

Robert ‘Beto’ O’Rourke is the Democrat candidate running against incumbent Ted Cruz for US Senate in Texas:

Now back to Judge Kavanaugh:

6. TENDENCY TO VIEW THEIR OPPONENTS AND CRITICS AS ESSENTIALLY EVIL.

To the extremist, opponents hold opposing positions because they are bad people, immoral, dishonest, unscrupulous, mean-spirited, hateful, cruel, or whatever, not merely because they simply disagree, see the matter differently, have competing interests, or are perhaps even mistaken.

7. MANICHAEAN WORLDVIEW.

Extremists have a tendency to see the world in terms of absolutes of good and evil, for them or against them, with no middle ground or intermediate positions. All issues are ultimately moral issues of right and wrong, with the “right” position coinciding with their interests. Their slogan is often “those who are not with me are against me.”

8. ADVOCACY OF SOME DEGREE OF CENSORSHIP OR REPRESSION OF THEIR OPPONENTS AND/OR CRITICS.

This may include a very active campaign to keep opponents from media access and a public hearing, as in the case of blacklisting, banning or “quarantining” dissident spokespersons. They may actually lobby for legislation against speaking, writing, teaching, or instructing “subversive” or forbidden information or opinions. They may even attempt to keep offending books out of stores or off of library shelves, discourage advertising with threats of reprisals, and keep spokespersons for “offensive” views off the airwaves or certain columnists out of newspapers. In each case the goal is some kind of information control

Republican congresswoman Marsha Blackburn represents Tennessee’s 7th District and is running for US Senate, but a senior Google engineer deems her a ‘terrorist’ and ‘violent thug’:

9. TEND TO IDENTIFY THEMSELVES IN TERMS OF WHO THEIR ENEMIES ARE: WHOM THEY HATE AND WHO HATES THEM.

Accordingly, extremists may become emotionally bound to their opponents, who are often competing extremists themselves. Because they tend to view their enemies as evil and powerful, they tend, perhaps subconsciously, to emulate them, adopting the same tactics to a certain degree. For example, anti-Communist and anti-Nazi groups often behave surprisingly like their opponents. Anti-Klan rallies often take on much of the character of the stereotype of Klan rallies themselves, including the orgy of emotion, bullying, screaming epithets, and even acts of violence …

10. TENDENCY TOWARD ARGUMENT BY INTIMIDATION.

Extremists tend to frame their arguments in such a way as to intimidate others into accepting their premises and conclusions. To disagree with them is to “ally oneself with the devil,” or to give aid and comfort to the enemy. They use a lot of moralizing and pontificating, and tend to be very judgmental. This shrill, harsh rhetorical style allows them to keep their opponents and critics on the defensive, cuts off troublesome lines of argument, and allows them to define the perimeters of debate.

This is what happened. I feel sorry for the owner/executive chef:

12. ASSUMPTION OF MORAL OR OTHER SUPERIORITY OVER OTHERS.

Most obvious would be claims of general racial or ethnic superiority–a master race, for example. Less obvious are claims of ennoblement because of alleged victimhood, a special relationship with God, membership in a special “elite” or “class,” and a kind of aloof “highminded” snobbishness that accrues because of the weightiness of their preoccupations, their altruism, and their willingness to sacrifice themselves (and others) to their cause. After all, who can bear to deal with common people when one is trying to save the world! Extremists can show great indignation when one is “insensitive” enough to challenge these claims.

13. DOOMSDAY THINKING.

Extremists often predict dire or catastrophic consequences from a situation or from failure to follow a specific course, and they tend to exhibit a kind of “crisis-mindedness”

14. BELIEF THAT IT’S OKAY TO DO BAD THINGS IN THE SERVICE OF A “GOOD” CAUSE.

Extremists may deliberately lie, distort, misquote, slander, defame, or libel their opponents and/or critics, engage in censorship or repression , or undertake violence in “special cases.” This is done with little or no remorse as long as it’s in the service of defeating the Communists or Fascists or whomever. Defeating an “enemy” becomes an all-encompassing goal to which other values are subordinate. With extremists, the end justifies the means.

15. EMPHASIS ON EMOTIONAL RESPONSES AND, CORRESPONDINGLY, LESS IMPORTANCE ATTACHED TO REASONING AND LOGICAL ANALYSIS.

Extremists have an unspoken reverence for propaganda, which they may call “education” or “consciousness-raising.” Symbolism plays an exaggerated role in their thinking, and they tend to think imprecisely and metamorphically …

16. HYPERSENSITIVITY AND VIGILANCE.

Extremists perceive hostile innuendo in even casual comments; imagine rejection and antagonism concealed in honest disagreement and dissent; see “latent” subversion, anti-semitism, perversion, racism, disloyalty, and so on in innocent gestures and ambiguous behaviors. Although few extremists are clinically paranoid, many of them adopt a paranoid style with its attendant hostility and distrust.

18. PROBLEMS TOLERATING AMBIGUITY AND UNCERTAINTY.

Indeed, the ideologies and belief systems to which extremists tend to attach themselves often represent grasping for certainty in an uncertain world, or an attempt to achieve absolute security in an environment that is naturally unpredictable or perhaps populated by people with interests opposed to their own. Extremists exhibit a kind of risk-aversiveness that compels them to engage in controlling and manipulative behavior, both on a personal level and in a political context, to protect themselves from the unforeseen and unknown. The more laws or “rules” there are that regulate the behavior of others–particularly their “enemies”–the more secure extremists feel.

Think Big Government. Now we know why we have so many nit-picking laws on the books!

19. INCLINATION TOWARD “GROUPTHINK.”

Extremists, their organizations , and their subcultures are prone to a kind of inward-looking group cohesiveness that leads to what Irving Janis discussed in his excellent book Victims of Groupthink. “Groupthink” involves a tendency to conform to group norms and to preserve solidarity and concurrence at the expense of distorting members’ observations of facts, conflicting evidence, and disquieting observations that would call into question the shared assumptions and beliefs of the group.

Right-wingers (or left-wingers), for example, talk only with one another, read material that reflects their own views, and can be almost phobic about the “propaganda” of the “other side.” The result is a deterioration of reality-testing, rationality, and moral judgment. With groupthink, shared illusions of righteousness, superior morality, persecution, and so on remain intact, and those who challenge them are viewed with skepticism and hostility.

We don’t need examples for this, do we?

20. TENDENCY TO PERSONALIZE HOSTILITY.

Extremists often wish for the personal bad fortune of their “enemies,” and celebrate when it occurs. When a critic or an adversary dies or has a serious illness, a bad accident, or personal legal problems, extremists often rejoice and chortle about how they “deserved” it …

In 2013, the Telegraph had an article detailing leftists rejoicing upon Margaret Thatcher’s death. People tweeted that she would burn in Hell, while others announced they were throwing parties.

21. EXTREMISTS OFTEN FEEL THAT THE SYSTEM IS NO GOOD UNLESS THEY WIN.

For example, if they lose an election, then it was “rigged.” If public opinion turns against them, it was because of “brainwashing.” If their followers become disillusioned, it’s because of “sabotage.” The test of the rightness or wrongness of the system is how it impacts upon them…

This last one cuts both ways and, today, is hardly extremist on either side. President Trump and his supporters believe that the 2016 system was rigged against him. Everyday Democrats largely believe the system is no good because they do not hold the majority at present. However, as we see from occasional reports on voter fraud, the Left do everything possible to flout voting laws (e.g. sending buses and vans of voters from polling station to polling station on election day).

But, that’s okay, because the Kavanaugh SCOTUS farce will wake up an important number of Democrats. The late Andrew Breitbart received a similar political epiphany nearly 30 years ago:

It’s important for all of us to identify extremism where it exists, no matter how downplayed it is.

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At the weekend, suddenly, a new American media narrative appeared: family separation of illegal aliens at the US border.

Anyone who is anyone chimed in about the ‘heartless policy’ of the Trump administration, including — but not limited to — former first ladies Laura Bush and Michelle Obama, Laura Bush’s brother-in-law (former presidential candidate) Jeb Bush and Senator (former presidential candidate) Ted Cruz. Massachusetts governor Charlie Baker decided not to send the National Guard to help patrol the southern border.

Even First Lady Melania Trump notionally had something to say, although her thoughts were expressed through her spokeswoman with the goal of bringing about revised immigration legislation.

On Monday, June 18, 2018, the Daily Mail posted an exposé of a Texas facility for incoming illegals. Well, those in the facility entered illegally and immigration officials are treating them as humanely as possible given their status. They are only there for a few days.

However, this is not exactly a Trump administration policy. It is one from prior administrations that is continuing today until the Democrats come to the table and work out a reasonable immigration bill with Republicans.

Please note that what everyone is in an uproar about are processing facilities only, the same way Ellis Island was a century ago for … legal immigrants.

The commentary to this video with Hillary Clinton is instructive:

The video — originally from Mediaite — was posted by a YouTube user in September 2017. An excerpt from the YouTuber’s commentary follows. Emphases mine:

This clip isn’t quite what Mediaite presents it as, though. She’s talking here about the migrant crisis in 2014, when parents in Central America sent their kids north, frequently unaccompanied, to cross the U.S. border. They were *recent* arrivals, often intercepted by Border Patrol and sent to detention facilities immediately upon entering the U.S. The case for legalizing DREAMers rests on the fact that they’re not recent — they’re fully (or mostly) assimilated into American culture, sometimes not even speaking the language of their country of birth fluently. Reportedly even Steve Bannon drew a distinction between DREAMers and other illegals during his time in the White House: “Trump was never in favor of repealing DACA,” said a source close to the president, who also said that keeping the program is in line with the immigration stance of Bannon, whose counsel Trump closely heeds. Bannon’s economic nationalist view is very much rooted in culture, and so eliminating DACA wouldn’t be a priority for him because “these kids have been here and they’re going to schools here,” the source said. “They’re Americans. They understand the culture.”

On June 16, the GOP reminded Americans that the Obama administration wanted the child migration crisis kept quiet. Note the date on the video below — 2014. Yes, children were sleeping in cages then:

The video description reads:

On CNN, Representative Henry Cuellar (D-TX) admits that the Obama Administration tried to keep the children migrant crisis on the southern border quiet.

There are a number of considerations surrounding children who show up at the border. Some are accompanied by an adult, but many are not. Not all of the adults accompanying the children are actually family members. What if they are being trafficked?

Did Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen wait too long to address the questionable narrative? By the time she spoke, the media and other anti-Trumpers had embraced it. It spread like wildfire. She should have had a statement prepared to give on television as soon as the news stories began. Why did she wait until Sunday, June 17 to address the issue? Fox News reported:

The head of the Department of Homeland Security bashed the media Sunday for their reporting on the increasingly volatile immigration controversy, writing in a string of tweets: “We do not have a policy of separating families at the border. Period.”

Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen added: “This misreporting by Members, press & advocacy groups must stop. It is irresponsible and unproductive. As I have said many times before, if you are seeking asylum for your family, there is no reason to break the law and illegally cross between ports of entry.”

The second sentence in the tweet below is the real issueillegal entry:

The tweets below are from her Monday press conference (see full transcript):

Also:

If President Trump was upset with Nielsen a few weeks ago, he must surely be furious now. On May 11, US News reported:

President Donald Trump unloaded on Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen at a heated Cabinet meeting this week, railing against her for failing to stop illegal border crossings.

Trump, who has grown increasingly frustrated by a spike in border apprehensions and legal setbacks, blamed Nielsen Wednesday for failing to do enough to stop them, according to people familiar with the exchange.

Nielsen, one person said, tried to explain the issues were complex and that the department’s powers were limited by a slew of legal restrictions. She told the president her team was doing everything it could, but the president was left unconvinced.

The episode, first reported by The New York Times, left Nielsen on the verge of resignation, according to the paper, which also said Nielsen, the former deputy White House chief of staff, had drafted — but not submitted — a resignation letter.

The department pushed back against that characterization.

Homeland Security spokesman Tyler Houlton said in a tweet that, “The @nytimes article alleging that the Secretary drafted a resignation letter yesterday and was close to resigning is false.”

Illegal immigration was always an issue for President Trump:

This is what an actual facility for young illegals looks like as of June 15, 2018:

You can read more about Casa Diego and other children’s facilities at Breitbart: ‘PHOTOS: Inside Shelter for Illegal Alien Children Separated from Parents‘. Please read the article and look at the pictures. Excerpts follow:

The Department of Health and Human Services hosted Breitbart News and other media on a tour of a facility in El Cajon, California, on Friday where migrant children are being sheltered after being separated from their parents.

The children are separated from their parents — or, to be precise, from the adults accompanying them, who may or may not be their parents — when their parents cross the southern U.S. border illegally and are caught and detained.

Previously, under the “catch-and-release” policy, the adults would be released. Under the “zero tolerance” policy of the Trump administration, the adults are being detained and prosecuted. Children cannot be incarcerated with them.

However, families that arrive together at legal ports of entry and apply for asylum status are generally not split up and are permitted to stay in the U.S. pending the adjudication of their applications (which can take several years).

It is important to remember that much of this kerfuffle about ‘cages’ started with a reporter from Playboy magazine:

On Thursday, CNN analyst and Playboy reporter Brian Karem shouted at White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders: “These people have nothing. They come to the border with nothing and you throw children in cages.” None of the reporters in the briefing room corrected him.

A non-profit organisation, Southwest Key, is in charge of these facilities, which are well equipped and clean. Casa Diego is for boys aged 6 to 17. They received schooling on the premises. A recreation area is also on site:

The goal is “reunification”: letting each child depart with a legal guardian.

Some 90% of the children at the shelter arrived at the border without adults; the other 10% were separated from the adults accompanying them. Once the children arrive — usually brought by U.S. Border Patrol agents — they are greeted in the “intake” office, where they receive any urgent medical care, are assigned a case worker, and are given food, a shower, and new clothing. They are also given toiletries and lessons in hygiene — literally how to flush a toilet, brush their teeth, and operate the shower, which some of the children may have never seen in their lives …

They have limited access to telephones to call relatives, both in the U.S. and abroad. They receive therapy, both as individuals and in group sessions. They enjoy field trips to local museums, parks, and the zoo, where they can explore the city beyond the shelter. And they also have social activities, including a recent “prom” for which they dressed up.

Girls come from another facility and share some of Casa Diego’s services.

In conclusion:

“Cages,” these are not. What is immediately striking about the facility is the enthusiasm and care of the staff who work there.

No doubt, I will post on this subject again in future.

As I wrote yesterday, President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania spent part of Saturday, September 2, 2017 in Texas, meeting with officials but, more importantly, talking with Texans affected by Hurricane Harvey.

Yesterday’s post has a news update.

Today’s post has photos and videos. Trump definitely made more friends in Texas with that trip.

This image comes courtesy of The_Donald from someone who saw it on a left-wing Houston website:

This is how the day went.

First, the media kerfuffle over the First Lady’s footwear showed no signs of abating. A particularly scathing — and inaccurate — article appeared on Yahoo, ‘Melania Trump wears $1,590 dress and stilettos (again!) for second trip to Houston’:

On her first visit to Houston after the hurricane, the first lady took a lot of flak on the internet and elsewhere in the media for her shoes. Although she tried to pull together a utilitarian look for the occasion, her stilettos threw people off.

False. The Trumps did not go to Houston last week. They went to Corpus Christi and Austin. Houston was too waterlogged and emergency crews too busy.

The New York Post described Saturday’s stilettos:

Defying the fashion scolds who expressed horror at her footwear earlier in the week, Melania Trump chose a pair of snakeskin Manolo Blahnik pumps for her stroll to Air Force One Saturday as she headed once again toward the Hurricane Harvey disaster zone.

Trump Organization employee Lynne Patton, who also made a video last year about her family’s long association with Trump, tweeted:

Speaking of footwear, here’s an irresistible digression:

It wasn’t just Mrs Trump’s shoes that freaked out the media. They also had a go at her for wearing sunglasses on a cloudy day in Washington, or as the press pool put it, ‘dark’. Well, it was sunny down South.

She took two caps with her: one for Texas and one for Louisiana, which had an appliqué of the state on the front.

Mrs Trump’s office provided this statement afterward, which details where the First Couple went and who they saw:

Then the Trumps, Dr Ben Carson (Secretary for Housing and Urban Development) and Betsy DeVos (Secretary for Education) left from Joint Base Andrews and arrived in Houston later that morning. They flew in to Ellington Field, Texas (another video here) and went from there to the NRG Stadium, one of the big shelters for Harvey victims. This video shows what the residential area looks like (25 seconds in).

At NRG Stadium, the Trumps made many new friends. There were lots of selfies. The children particularly gravitated towards the president. I bet it killed CNN to cover this:

(By nightfall, CNN’s — and MSNBC’s — coverage returned to Russian collusion, with no further mention of the Texas-Louisiana trip.)

This was in the play area of the stadium’s shelter. CBSN’s video has a bit more footage than CNN’s of the kids when the Trumps entered. They can’t get to him quickly enough! You can also see Governor Abbott with a little girl on his lap. He’s giving her a ride in his wheelchair:

First Lady Melania has young admirers, too:

The Trumps handed out hot dog and potato chip lunches to grateful Houstonians. (Vegetarian options are unpopular in the city.)

Before doing so, Trump answered a few questions from the media. This is important, because he told the media, ‘Have a good time, everybody’, not the hurricane victims (25-second mark):

The president revived a joke from the Republican primary season in 2016 about the size of his hands:

Look at all the men. They can hardly wait to shake Trump’s hand, talk to him and get a selfie. More from CNN (no doubt fuming):

This video shows more of Trump’s new fans. Skip to the five-minute mark. More conversations, more selfies:

At the beginning of this video, Trump sat and spoke to a little lad enthralled by a camera:

Governor Abbott was also delighted to be able to meet with so many people:

Trump was asked to autograph the wall in the rescue centre before he left. He duly obliged.

The Trumps then went to Pearland (pron. ‘Pear-land’), where they helped distribute supplies in a drive-through operation at the First Church of Pearland. Admittedly, Trump tells the first man — but only him — ‘Have a good time!’ As the man’s wife (?) was busy filming the president, it could be they are not suffering immense loss but needed interim emergency supplies. Note that Trump loads the vehicles himself:

This next video is touching. A lady tells Trump she prays for him every day. Note how she keeps her hand on his arm:

A young woman wrote into The_Donald to say that the lady is her great aunt:

My great-aunt got to meet President Trump and he helped load her car with supplies. She says he was one of the most compassionate people she ever met!

The president also thanked the church’s volunteers and reminded them that he officially proclaimed Sunday, September 3 as a national day of prayer (another version featuring huge cheers is here). Senator Ted Cruz, Trump’s last Republican rival last year, stands on the right:

Afterwards, the Trumps went to meet with residents of a neighbourhood impacted by Harvey, which is in the first minute of the video below. Trump spoke with them for several minutes to listen to their experiences:

The Trumps also took time for a photo opportunity. Incidentally, the shirt the man is wearing below came from Infowars in a limited run post-election:

I’m not sure whether this next video was filmed at the beginning or the end of the Texas visit, but the first couple also spent time with the US Coast Guard:

The Trumps then flew to Louisiana, where they were welcomed by Governor and Mrs John Bel Edwards (another copy of the video is here):

They went to the National Guard Armory in Lake Charles to thank the military, first-responders and Cajun Navy for their efforts in helping people affected by flooding there once Harvey turned into a tropical storm. They also received a briefing on progress thus far.

Here they are arriving at the armoury. You’d think film or pop stars were inside the vehicle. I’ve never heard a crowd cheer a president and first lady so loudly and enthusiastically:

In Lake Charles, the First Lady got support for her footwear:

This short video has various clips of the crowd and Trump speaking to various people involved in the relief effort:

The next video shows Trump met people and shook hands until the last moment before returning to Washington:

Ultimately:

These are some of the best photos ever. As soon as the woman in the pink shirt saw Trump, she screamed, ‘Dooonaald!’ and grabbed his arm, which she held onto. Everyone who met the Trumps showed incredible enthusiasm, which I hope will translate into electoral support when the time comes.

While she was taking the selfie, she said, ‘I just met my President!’:

Here’s the selfie. In my humble estimation, it’s the photo of the year. This cannot be scripted:

Brief interview:

The Left — Dems included — won’t like that one bit. Those ladies are far from alone.

You can see more photos from the day at The Conservative Treehouse, the Daily Mail and BT.com.

America’s Department of Homeland Security could be actively fighting terrorism — had the Obama administration not taken away a valuable tool: a database developed by Philip Haney, author of See Something, Say Nothing, which went on sale on May 24, 2016.

Earlier that year, Haney wrote an article for The Hill, ‘DHS ordered me to scrub records of Muslims with terror ties’. Please read it in full. Obama and his people threw the intelligence community under the bus.

On Christmas Day in 2009, a Nigerian terrorist attempted to blow up Northwest Airlines Flight 253, which was to take off from Amsterdam and land in Detroit. Fortunately, the explosives in the man’s underwear failed to detonate and passengers were able to subdue him until police arrested him.

Afterwards, Haney says (emphases mine):

Following the attempted attack, President Obama threw the intelligence community under the bus for its failure to “connect the dots.” He said, “this was not a failure to collect intelligence, it was a failure to integrate and understand the intelligence that we already had.”

Haney, a founding member of the Department of Homeland Security in 2003, explains:

Just before that Christmas Day attack, in early November 2009, I was ordered by my superiors at the Department of Homeland Security to delete or modify several hundred records of individuals tied to designated Islamist terror groups like Hamas from the important federal database, the Treasury Enforcement Communications System (TECS). These types of records are the basis for any ability to “connect dots.”  Every day, DHS Customs and Border Protection officers watch entering and exiting many individuals associated with known terrorist affiliations, then look for patterns. Enforcing a political scrubbing of records of Muslims greatly affected our ability to do that. Even worse, going forward, my colleagues and I were prohibited from entering pertinent information into the database.

A few weeks later, in my office at the Port of Atlanta, the television hummed with the inevitable Congressional hearings that follow any terrorist attack. While members of Congress grilled Obama administration officials, demanding why their subordinates were still failing to understand the intelligence they had gathered, I was being forced to delete and scrub the records. And I was well aware that, as a result, it was going to be vastly more difficult to “connect the dots” in the future—especially before an attack occurs.

On June 26, 2016 FaithFreedom.org interviewed Haney. The transcript is lengthy and eye-opening. I recommend people read this for a full understanding of why terror attacks continue. Again, the scrubbed database has a lot to do with it. The interview by Frank Gaffney, a friend of his, centres around Haney’s book, which had been on sale for a month. Excerpts and a summary follow.

Years before Haney entered the DHS, he was an entomologist — a scientist who studies insects. He worked with farmers in the Middle East. To better communicate with them and understand local culture, he learned Arabic, then Koranic Arabic.

His work speciality was studying ants. He published several scientific papers on them.

Knowing Arabic, understanding Middle Eastern culture and studying ant behaviour prepared him for the future, although he did not know that at the time. He told Gaffney:

… two of the qualities of an entomologist that have direct application to counter-terrorism are close attention to detail and observation of behaviour. All living creatures have behaviour patterns that they follow. And in entomology, if you want to learn how to control a pest, you have to know how it behaves. So watching that gives you clues to points along their life cycle that you might be able to intervene and help the farmer reduce his pesticide costs. And attention to detail, that’s another key component of counter-terrorism. That’s what we call connecting the dots. Well, it has direct application in science as well. You connect dots, you make observations, your write things down on your famous clipboard, and pretty soon a picture emerges. Then you do statistical analysis on it. Develop your premise and prove that it was true. Well, the other component is, being a specialist in ants, I simply began to follow the trail and I would find the nest. And in counter-terrorism, you do the same thing.

One of the things that many people in Western countries refuse to do is to connect terrorism with Islam. We speak of ‘moderate Islam’ or may even know Muslims who are more secular than religious. Haney says that the United States, for example, sees a ‘composite’ view of Islam:

the full spectrum from virtual complete disavowal of following shariah all the way up to extremely strict application of shariah. We see that in some of these emerging areas of cities around America where it’s becoming more and more obvious that they’re implementing shariah all the way to, you know, people you might call secular Muslims that don’t appear to observe any of the mandates of shariah. It’s all in a kaleidoscope right here in the United States. We can see every portion of it, every form of expression of shariah that exists in the world is being expressed right here in the America, the whole spectrum.

Haney gives a detailed explanation of the manifestations of jihad, which can differ according to group.

About the Muslim Brotherhood (MB), he explains:

it’s a global organisation and they have very strict rules and regulations they follow. Everything that the Muslim Brotherhood does is based on shariah law. This isn’t a political organisation that happens to be Islamic. This is an Islamic organisation whose highest goal is to implement shariah law. Therefore, of all organisations, they’re going to be most strictly observant of the subtle elements of shariah law. And their role, like in the United States, is to make sure that the Muslim community is doing their utmost to submit to the regulations and guidelines found in shariah law, one step at a time.

Furthermore, the MB have a document which:

states plainly that the global organisation has set up a shura council, a guidance council, here in North America, which means includes Canada, for a very distinct purpose. That very distinct purpose is to bring to the North American Muslim community, create an observant Muslim base. Again, this is in the first paragraph of the first page. The observant Muslim base. That is al-Musima [PH], al-Islamiyah, al-Qaeda, in Arabic. And I’m sure everybody listening heard the third word and have heard that word many times before, al-Qaeda. The observant Muslim, al-Qaeda, in North America. That’s important because al-Qaeda is not actually an organisation. Even though there are some jihad groups we know of as al-Qaeda. al-Qaeda is an abstract concept. It means the base. The base of operation. The Muslim Brotherhood’s goal is to have all Muslims in the United States observant and essentially submitted to the standards and guidelines of shariah law. And once they do that, that’s a base and from there, they go out and do promotion of Islam

It’s the same in Europe, by the way.

When 9/11 happened, Haney already understood much about Islam. When DHS was established in May 2003, Haney was a Customs and Border Protection officer but was promoted thanks to his intelligence briefings and analyses:

And I was eventually authorised to get pulled completely out of the agricultural arena and I got put into a unit called the Advanced Targeting Unit. Where we look at incoming passengers for possible links to terrorism. And they told me specifically, we want you to keep doing what you have already been doing, which is develop intelligence and help us connect the dots. Well, that’s exactly what I did. And by 2006, I had produced a report on the Muslim Brotherhood network in the United States. And basically outlined all of the major organisations and all of the leaders of these organisations and put them into our database so that my colleagues in other parts of the country would be able to have access to the same information. We’re all on the same page, and we’re all looking at the same individuals and organisations. And initially, I was considered an asset and we had great success. We had a lot of what we called law enforcement actions based on those reports that I put into the system.

Things changed in 2006, when he wrote an article for FrontPage Magazine called ‘Green Tide Rising: Hamas Ascends’ which now appears as ‘The Ascension of Hamas (What Was)’:

Well, that article I shared with some of my CIA colleagues at a training course that I took. And I say CIA openly, because they said so openly. I thought that they would be interested in an article on Hamas, which, after all, was a globally designated terrorist organisation already. But I was wrong. Instead of reading the article and having a discussion about it, they turned me into headquarters and said that I had accessed classified information to write the article. And they charged me with unethical use of classified information and plus the fact that I posted it on an open source website. And they investigated me for it. The entire investigation took eleven months and ultimately I was exonerated.

Then it got worse with the Obama administration, as mentioned above. But there was more:

I was investigated a total of nine times. Before it was all over, the last nine months of my career, they took my gun, they suspended – revoked my secret clearance. They cut off all access to all systems and sequestered me in a little cubicle while I sat there, day by day, waiting to see what the outcome of these three, last of nine, simultaneous investigations – what would happen. The Department of Justice investigated me for – they said that I had misused a government computer and they convened a grand jury. They were going to charge me on criminal charges. In the end, I retired honourable. July 31st, 2015. They dropped the charges on the DOJ case. And nothing else came of the other administrative investigations. I was exonerated.

One possible adverse consequence of the database scrubbing was the San Bernardino attack late in 2015:

The mosque that Syed Farook attended was part of that Tablighi Jamaat network. The administration deleted sixty-seven records out of the system that I had worked on as a component of the Tablighi case. So the question remains, if those records had not been deleted, it’s very plausible that Syed Farook would have never been able to travel to Saudi Arabia and it’s also just as plausible that his pending fiancée would have never been given a visa. And then we would have stopped the attack.

One useful way to think of Islamic groups and movements, Haney says, is to liken them to the NFL. There are different teams, all competing to ultimately win the Superbowl, however, they are all in the same league and abide by the same playbook:

Well, the thing with the Islamic movement is they have a playbook. It’s called shariah law. They are bound by the constraints of shariah law to behave in a very predictable manner. As I mentioned earlier about behaviour, which is why I brought it up. If you put all these allegories together, we can actually expect what they’re going to do. Because they have to live within the boundaries, the communication system as described by shariah law.

This brings me to an article about President Trump’s new head of DHS, James Kelly. On Tuesday, January 31, 2017 the Washington Examiner reported:

“We have to be convinced that people who come here, there is a reasonable expectation that we know who they are, and what they’re coming here for, and what their backgrounds are,” Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly told reporters Tuesday.

Kelly reiterated that Trump’s order — which suspended most travel from Iraq, Iran, Libya, Syria, Sudan, Somalia and Yemen — is “not a ban on Muslims,” contrary to Democratic characterizations of the order. “Religious liberty is one of our most fundamental and treasured values,” he said.

Instead, he argued that the 90-day travel suspension is aimed at countries that don’t have the public institutions required to conduct customary background checks. “There are many countries, seven that we’re dealing with right now, that in our view, in my view, don’t have the kind of law enforcement records-keeping, that kind of thing, that can convince us that one of their citizens is indeed who that citizen says they are and what their background might be,” said Kelly, a retired Marine Corps general who led the U.S. military in South America.

Which brings me to Philip Haney’s database. Now that the Obama administration — with its many ties to the Middle East and Islam — is out of the way, someone somewhere must have a copy of the original. As Lame Cherry wrote on February 1, 2017:

the NAMES OF EVERY MUSLIM TERRORIST WHO HAS SLAUGHTERED AMERICANS DURING THE OBAMA YEARS was on that file and who their contacts were, and the Obama regime ordered this entire protocol to be deleted.

Phillip Haney, has reported to Sean Hannity, that before deleting, he forwarded this system to members of Congress, so it apparently still exists, and Mr. Haney noted that Senator Ted Cruz hinted at the existence of this file network in his public statements.

The reality of this is simple in the Trump Administration must recover this database for National Security, as Phillip Haney literally developed a complete dossier on the Muslim Mafia which has infiltrated the United States from government to press, and Attorney General Jeff Sessions must convene a Grand Jury to indict all those involved in this crime of aiding terrorists, and that starts with image Obama, Valerie Jarrett, CIA Director Clapper and Homeland Security heads, Napolitano and Johnson.

Mr. Haney reported that when queried about this file an his name, Homeland Security Director Jeh Johnson who was involved in hacking Georgia State voting operations, termed it a political matter and claimed to have never heard of Phillip Haney.

N.B.: Jeff Sessions is not yet Attorney General.

In closing, one cannot help but wonder if — and hope that — there is a role for Philip Haney in the Trump administration. Personally, I would have downloaded a copy of the database to a memory stick and kept it securely at home. Perhaps he did.

https://a.thumbs.redditmedia.com/VSxB-oFgeCCNvj31vHSzz1JgIMSuVrhBBse5u37uCp8.pngToday, let’s look at the lighter side of Christmas.

The Trump as Santa image comes from one of his fans at The_Donald.

It has a lot of clever detail. Ted Cruz is the elf on the outside looking in. Below Cruz’s picture are images of Trump’s unofficial campaign mascots, Harambe the Gorilla and Pepe the Frog. Hillary is in the snowball on his desk. On the opposite side is Trump’s favourite beverage, Diet Coke. Slightly to the right of that is the little red Trump Train. One of the balls on the tree has Jeff Sessions’s picture (second from the top), and another Ben Carson’s (bottom). Santa Trump’s list has Rosie O’Donnell‘s and Megyn Kelly‘s names on the Naughty side. Mike Pence and Carrier made the Nice list.

Trump’s latest achievement was getting Boeing’s CEO to back down on the cost of the new Air Force One planes. Lockheed Martin also drew the president elect’s ire over the cost of the F-35 fighter jet project. Their CEO has also agreed to re-examine pricing.

Today, December 22, Trump appointed the first successful female presidential campaign manager Kellyanne Conway as counsellor to the president. The married mother-of-four said on December 20 that she and her family would be moving to Washington DC where she planned to work on behalf of Trump in some capacity.

Now on to posts about the secular nature of Christmas.

Historically, this time of year did not have a religious nature even when the Church took root across Europe. Efforts were made during the Middle Ages with Nativity Plays, but a widespread Christian focus occurred only in the 19th century. This eventually extended to Christmas cards, which were quite bizarre when they first appeared. My posts below explain more:

The Christmas tree — a history (related to Christianity)

Christmas gifts — a history (and a Christian defence thereof)

British attitudes towards Christmas

Bizarre Christmas cards from the 19th century

Louis Prang — father of the American Christmas card

Christmas feasting and revelry (the rehabilitation of Christmas)

Ted Cruz suspended his campaign after the Indiana primary on Tuesday, May 3, 2016.

Donald Trump won the state with 53.3%. Cruz’s share of the vote was 36.6%. John Kasich picked up the remainder.

A number of Cruz’s supporters will not be supporting Trump — at least for now.

However, it is worth noting two things.

One is that Trump’s life has been an open book since he entered the Manhattan property market in the 1970s. I have been following his life and career since 1980. Everything worth knowing about him — good and bad — appeared in the media as it happened, not years later.

The other is that he is the only Republican who can defeat Hillary Clinton in the general election. He has the facts and the rhetoric, whether one likes his style or not, to reveal who she is.

The possibility of Bernie Sanders winning the Democratic Party nomination is rather narrow at this point. However, should he win, Trump will prevail.

Trump struck a chord with Hoosiers (Indiana residents) because he understands the economic climate. While Cruz focussed on conservatism, Trump spoke of jobs and lamented the number of firms going overseas. Indiana’s governor Mike Pence heard this and praised him for it. Pence’s fine words for Trump greatly outweighed his tepid endorsement of Cruz, no doubt pledged sometime earlier.

As I write, it is unclear as to what the exact catalyst was for Cruz’s withdrawal from the race was. The first few days of May were difficult for him, even though he went to Indiana at the end of April to make the state his. At the time, it seemed possible.

Soon, things began to derail. Cruz called a basketball hoop a ‘ring’ in a basketball-mad state. Then, with just over half of Trump’s delegate total, Cruz strangely named Carly Fiorina — another of the failed GOP presidential hopefuls this year — his running mate. On Monday, the day before the primary, she lost her footing at one of Cruz’s rallies and fell off the stage. Was it a sign? One cannot help but wonder.

Also that day, five out of six polls for the state showed Trump in the lead between two and 15 percentage points.

Then, on Tuesday morning, the polls had been open only a few hours when Cruz launched into an attack on Trump, who had spoken of a National Enquirer story linking Cruz Sr with Lee Harvey Oswald. (Wayne Madsen’s story about the two, complete with photos, has been on the Internet for several weeks now.) CNN described Cruz’s lengthy tirade as:

extraordinary even by the standards of the 2016 campaign …

Trump responded, in part, with this:

Today’s ridiculous outburst only proves what I have been saying for a long time, that Ted Cruz does not have the temperament to be president of the United States.

There are a number of unanswered questions surrounding Ted Cruz and his parents: his father’s political involvement before and after leaving Cuba, his mother’s possible Canadian citizenship in years past and, more importantly, Cruz’s own citizenship story. He appears not to be a natural born citizen of the United States, a requirement for both the presidency and the vice presidency. No one can say for sure because his records are sealed. However, all that can rest unless, heaven forfend, he has a major role to play in a possible Trump administration or puts his hat into the ring in 2020.

For the moment, we can focus on Donald Trump. Let us hope that it is he and not Hillary Clinton who nominates Antonin Scalia’s replacement on the Supreme Court. The next president may also have to make between one and three more Supreme Court nominations between now and 2020.

Thomas L Friedman wrote a considered editorial for The New York Times called ‘Trump and the Lord’s Work’. The last two paragraphs read in part (emphasis mine):

It’s clear: Free trade with China has hurt more people than originally thought. It’s clear: Low-skilled illegal immigration has hurt more American workers than we’ve fully understood. (And more high-skilled immigration in a knowledge age would enhance our economy more than most people understand.) It’s clear: Social Security, Medicare and Obamacare all need fixes to remain sustainable. It’s clear: Capitalism driven more by machines and robots poses new challenges for both white-collar and blue-collar workers.

Every one of these challenges can be met if we put our heads and hands together. For that to happen, though, this version of the Republican Party had to be destroyed, so a thinking center-right party can emerge. If that is what Trump has done, he’s done the Lord’s work

Amen!

This evening, my better half and I will celebrate with lobster and a glass of Meursault.

May God bless Donald Trump and keep him and his family safe from harm.

The 2016 presidential primary season in the United States is unprecedented. We’ve never seen anything like it in living memory.

Every day brings intrigue and drama, especially on the Republican side. You could not make it up.

A few years from now, someone should make a television series of it in documentary form with news clips and objective narration.

What follows are viewpoints on two candidates and one upcoming concern.

Ted Cruz

City dwellers and suburbanites in southern Wisconsin chose Ted Cruz over Donald Trump in their primary on April 5, 2016. This demographic handed the win to Cruz. (Bernie Sanders beat Hillary Clinton.)

They voted for the GOPe(stablishment) man ‘showing America the face of God’, as his wife Heidi puts it.

Nearly one month ago I wrote a piece on Cruz and Donald Trump. It discussed Cruz’s dominionist religiosity and the globalist connections through his wife. I concluded:

I’ll take an honest sinner any day.

One of my readers, chrystalia99 of Fortune’s Thoughts, recently posted several more reasons not to vote for Cruz. Everyone who thinks he is a true outsider and upstanding man should read her post. I was particularly intrigued by the reasoning behind his desire to possibly abolish the IRS. It’s not necessarily an altruistic one.

Here’s Cruz trying to kiss his elder daughter in February:

This video shows Cruz coaching his family on doing campaign ads for him:

Some might find that convincing or heartwarming. Others will cringe.

GOP Convention

We’re still a few months away from the Republican convention in Cleveland.

Trump supporters are rightly worried that their man will be deprived of the Republican nomination. The GOPe are doing nothing to dispel that concern. In fact, they are stoking it.

Some people want to go and protest. Riots are rumoured. However, Fortune’s Thoughts explains the narrative of notional ‘delegate stealing’ and advises caution to those wanting to protest at the convention in July (highlights and caps in the original):

THE DELEGATES ARE NOT BEING STOLEN. Delegates aren’t magic beings–they are ordinary people from Main street. Anyone who is a republican can be elected a state delegate, and get to the National convention as well. What is happening is very simple. Cruz is playing the game, making sure that those who vote for HIM go the extra step and go for a delegate slot. And the GOPers are busily helping him, by making sure that their PRECINCT PEOPLE, OR THOSE WHO VOTE ON DELEGATES, ARE EITHER CRUZ SUPPORTERS OR ARE VOTING FOR PEOPLE WHO ARE. This is how the delegate system works. It is NOT the GOP’s “job” to make sure a candidate’s delegates actually support them.

Also:

I really shouldn’t have to spell this out, but I will anyway. THE GOPers KNOW CRUZ IS NEARLY COOKED. They also know that Trump IS our choice, which scares the Bejeevers out of them, for good reason. If Trump gets 1237+ the ONLY thing they can do to stop him is change the rules at the convention (which they do have the right to do BTW, yet ANOTHER reason we need to take back the GOP). They also know if they do that, we’ll likely go write in, or revolt. To prevent Trump REACHING 1237+, they have to demoralize the voting base. They have to convince people Trump is losing (look at the news and nonsense over WI, for instance), or that Trump HAS ALREADY LOST PLEDGED DELEGATES WHEN HE HASN’T.

As for the MSM:

  • The media is deliberately trying to create panic and civil unrest, by allowing people to think we’re “doomed”, WHEN THIS IS NOT THE CASE.
  • The media is also making sure that they don’t tell you the whole story, because if they told you what I wrote above, you’d do 2 things–you’d say “oh, OK, so I’ll LEARN HOW TO PLAY THE GAME SO MY VOTE COUNTS”, and you’d stop worrying about delegates in states where they have already been chosen, and start worrying about states going forward, and lock in THOSE delegates.
  • They are NOT telling you the whole story, or telling what they ARE telling you accurately, because they are hoping either Trump or the voters do something stupid that violates some arcane RNC by-law, so they can nullify the binding pledge, making ALL THE DELEGATES UNBOUND AT THE CONVENTION. They are doing this at the behest of the GOPers.

Here are excellent reasons not to march on Cleveland during the convention (purple highlights mine):

But, and this is far more important at this point: The media and the uniparty, both GOPers, AND Dems, are trying to get the people angry enough to fall for idiocy like Roger Stone’s “Days of Rage”, and march on Cleveland “just to be sure the people are listened to”. 

AND IF WE DO THAT–WE LOSE. EVERYTHING. THE NOMINATION, TRUMP IN THE WHITE HOUSE, AND PERHAPS WORSE. WHY???   THINK, AND THINK HARD, ABOUT THIS–

Under the RNC rules, if the convention isn’t “safe”, they can suspend it. Technically, as the rules expire THE NIGHT BEFORE THE CONVENTION, They can just change them anyway.

The RNC also has rules in place that allow them to nominate who they choose, if the binding of delegates is nullified by some action on the part of the candidate. Do you think they couldn’t make a case that Roger Stone is employed by Trump? Or that Roger Stone is trying to create civil unrest because Trump told him to? THINK AGAIN.

Chrystalia99 goes on to explain that the Left are bringing out their own people to protest Trump’s nomination. Cleveland Police are gearing up for riots. The National Guard will be on alert. As this concerns the presidency, anyone arrested for disrupting proceedings or protesting could be charged with a felony. With things being as they are today, charges of terrorism could also apply.

Cleveland has a population of only half a million people. The city will find the convention challenging enough without the added chaos from protesters, left-wing or conservative.

Roger Stone, who, as chrystalia99 says, does talk about this a lot with Alex Jones, really should stop. Although he is no longer working directly for the Trump campaign, he is investigating cases of alleged voting fraud for them.

Trump supporters should stay at home and let him do the ‘art of the deal’ with the GOPe at the convention. The media would be only happy to portray any peaceful protests from the his supporters as ‘angry’, ‘unhinged’ displays that they told us we could expect from them. This is a no-win proposition.

Bernie Sanders

Wouldn’t it be great if it were Donald Trump v Bernie Sanders in the general election?

Two renegades from New York battling it out for the presidency!

Every day of the campaign would engage the American public and the world, just as the primary season has.

Sanders has a one-minute campaign ad called ‘Bringing People Together’:

It hasn’t gone down well with everyone. Veteran blogger Dave Hitt is one of them. In his post on the advert, he says:

… it’s a reason so many of us are deeply afraid of a Bernie presidency.

I don’t want the government to bring me together with anyone. I, and I alone, should get to pick who I get together with. They, and they alone, get to decide if they want to get together with me. Choosing your own associations is one of the most basic of all human rights.

You want to get us together, Bernie? Then get out of the damn way. Let us peacefully decide what we want to do and who we want to do it with. Let us start a business doing whatever we want, without thousands of dollars worth of permits and three-inch-thick books of regulations. Let us decide for ourselves how we want to live our lives, and keep the resources we need to do it.

Hitt then reminisces about the brilliant cigar evenings he used to enjoy in a brew pub, where he and his friends were a microcosm of what Sanders wants to see:

There were about twenty of us. It would be hard to imagine a more diverse group. We were different races, had different educational backgrounds and were on different rungs of the socioeconomic ladder. Our politics and religious beliefs were all over the place. We had different jobs and different interests. The only thing we all had in common was the love of fine cigars …

Everything was good, but the conversations – the conversations were great. We’d joke and discuss and debate and explain and argue and be charming and offensive and everything in between, and never once, in all the years we did it, was a voice ever raised in anger. Nothing brings out good conversation better than fine cigars.

Then the smoking ban in his state took effect, which broke the group up. Hitt rightly observes:

Your tribes took that from us, Bernie. Your Government Tribe and your Nanny Tribe reached in with their diseased claws and ripped it from our lives. They intentionally destroyed something wonderful that brought people together.

Just so!

But, is Sanders himself an anti-smoker? The incomparable Frank Davis did some investigating and found that, indeed, he is. From ‘Tearing People Apart’:

This may clarify:

The Senate health committee took up anti-smoking legislation that would authorize the Food and Drug Administration to regulate the marketing, advertising and product standards of cigarettes and other tobacco products. “I support this long-overdue legislation. If anything, I don’t think this bill goes far enough,” Sanders said. He suggested doubling the current level of resources for programs to help smokers quit. He also compared tobacco company executives to heroin dealers. “The only difference is they wear three-piece suits and hang out at country clubs.”

I think it’s pretty clear where Bernie Sanders is coming from.

Me, too. Thanks, Frank. No different to Hillary Clinton, then — at least on that score.

Conclusion

2016 will see the beginning of ‘yuge’, as Trump would say, change in the United States. It will be real change, too, starting at the ballot box in early November.

We will not see another election cycle like this for at least a generation, probably longer. It will go down in history as being one of the most memorable, especially during the primaries. Millions of us have never paid any attention to them. Millions of Americans who have never voted in their lives have registered to vote in the primaries!

The votes Americans cast this year will, as Trump says, be the most important ones of their lives, regardless of whom they vote for.

America may never be the same again. Let us pray that the Great Republic is transformed rather than destroyed.

A few weeks ago, I said that I would try not to write too much about the 2016 presidential primaries and election.

However, it is important to point out a few things with regard to the Republican — GOP (Grand Old Party) — candidates for my fellow churchgoers.

Donald Trump

https://i2.wp.com/thumbs2.picclick.com/d/w1600/pict/381337539333_/Donald-Trump-For-President-2016-Campaign-Posters-Rally.jpgDr Ben Carson formally endorsed Donald Trump on Friday, March 11, 2016.

(Photo credit: picclick.com)

The retired neurosurgeon suspended his campaign last week. The media are expressing surprise that he went to Trump rather than one of the other candidates. (Trump’s other GOP candidate endorsement came from Chris Christie, the Governor of New Jersey.)

The good doctor laid out his position yesterday (emphases mine):

Carson said earlier in the day in a Fox News Radio interview with John Gibson that he would be open to being an adviser for Trump.

I’m willing to be an adviser to anyone who is going to have a significant effect on the future of our nation,” he said.

Trump and Carson both have homes in West Palm Beach and proved to be friendly adversaries throughout the nominating process …

In Thursday’s radio interview, Carson suggested that there are two versions of Trump.

“There’s the Donald Trump that you see on television and who gets out in front of big audiences, and there’s the Donald Trump behind the scenes,” Carson said.
 
“They’re not the same person. One’s very much an entertainer, and one is actually a thinking individual,” the retired neurosurgeon said of his personal experience with his former rival.
 
Carson went on to describe Trump as someone whom one could “reason with very easily and who is very comfortable talking about issues and recognizing that he doesn’t have all the answers.”

The media are still confused. So, it was time to wheel out Ralph Reed, as is customary for every GOP presidential campaign. I remember Reed back when he was the fresh-faced young adult seen to be the future of Evangelical politics. Dobson, Fallwell Sr and many other faith and family types loved him.

On March 10, he wrote an article for the Wall Street Journal about Evangelical voting patterns this year and the support they are giving to Trump. N.B.: To read the article, open the link in a private window.

Reed says that whilst one-third of Evangelicals are voting for Trump, this is likely to narrow when the GOP race is between the billionaire and Rafael ‘Ted’ Cruz, the notional Evangelical standard bearer.

He explains that Evangelicals’ concerns are the same as those of many other Americans:

Mr. Trump benefits from an issue mix custom-made for an outsider businessman promising toughness on the international stage. After the Great Recession of 2008 and the terror attacks in Paris and San Bernardino late last year, Americans desire a strong leader who will revive the economy and protect the homeland. This is true for evangelicals too.

Despite what liberal pundits imagine, they don’t vote solely based on abortion and gay rights. A February Quinnipiac University survey found that the top issues for evangelical voters in the Republican primary were the economy (26%), terrorism (21%) and immigration (9%). Only 6% listed abortion.

Looking back to the 1980 election campaign, during which Reed was interviewed regularly:

Reagan, while he was a deeply spiritual man, rarely attended church and eschewed the label “born again.” But evangelicals admired him because he was pro-life and cast the Cold War in starkly moral terms. Those stands trumped Mr. Carter’s piety.

Reed then makes the error of saying this is more about class than religiosity. In fact, Trump’s numbers show that he is steadily attracting highly-educated, high-income people at the ballot box, not just the low-information voters.

However, Reed’s conclusion is spot on:

Mr. Trump may not worship at the same church or share the theology of most evangelicals. But he is a voice and vehicle for the disenchantment they feel toward Washington, and their yearning for a strong leader to transform it. Republicans would be wise to figure out how to harness this force in a positive—and winning—direction before it runs them over.

In other news, one Hollywood conservative has endorsed Trump. Jon Voight declared his support on March 9:

“When he decided to run for president, I know he did it with a true conviction to bring this country back to prosperity,” Voight’s statement read. “He is the only one who can do it. No frills, no fuss, only candid truths.”

There are many Republicans fighting to keep him from winning the Republican nomination,” noted Voight. “You know why? Because he has no bull to sell, and everyone will discover the bull most politicians spew out is for their own causes and benefits. They never dreamed they would be losing control.”

Just so.

Ted Cruz

Ted Cruz is supposed to be the GOP candidate Evangelicals are voting for. However, even the deeply Christian state of Mississippi went for Trump. Trump has taken more southern states than has Cruz.

(Image credit: brandchannel)

Note how the flame suggests that of Pentecost. It is unknown whether that is intentional or coincidental.

On February 10, Cruz’s wife Heidi said that he:

was showing America “the face of the God that we serve” through his faith-based Republican presidential campaign …

“We are at a cultural crossroads in our country, and if we can be in this race to show this country the face of the God that we serve—this Christian God that we serve is the foundation of our country,” she said. “Our country was built on Judeo-Christian values. We are a nation of freedom of religion, but the God of Christianity is the God of freedom, of individual liberty, of choice and of consequence.”

However, scratching beneath the surface, things are not as straightforward as that.

Whilst Cruz stands to do very well, if not win, states that are similar in outlook to Idaho, neither Cruz nor his wife is entirely independent of large, globalist ties.

It’s ironic that former GOP candidate businesswoman Carly Fiorina said this in her endorsement of Cruz on March 9:

It is time to take our party back. It is time to take our government back. It is time to take our country back. And so it is time now to unite behind the one man who can beat Donald Trump, who can beat Hillary Clinton, who can beat the cartel.

On January 18, The New York Times had an excellent article on Heidi Nelson Cruz, powerful businesswoman and former Seventh Day Adventist (sect). I highly recommend reading it in full.

The article describes Heidi’s bout of depression in 2005, from which it took some time to recover. Ted was supportive throughout this period and:

It did not take long for Mrs. Cruz to find her footing. She soon joined Goldman Sachs, where she was early to arrive each day and among the last to leave, impressing her boss at the time, Peter Coneway, who helped recruit her to the firm in 2005 and later recommended her to lead the office.

Mr. Coneway recalled Mrs. Cruz’s thriving in a region where the money management industry was largely a men’s club.

As she built a network of clients, she found politics to be an icebreaker and her husband a willing partner at dinners with prospective investors.

Hmm.

There’s also this:

On the campaign trail, Mrs. Cruz can appear at turns upbeat and disarmingly sincere. Greeting supporters at a luncheon recently in Andover, Mass., she toggled between the warm, conspiratorial tone of a close friend and the campaign fluency of an operative.

Heidi is a driven woman. The NYT says this was true even when she was a student at Claremont McKenna College. After earning her degree there, she took a job with an investment bank — JP Morgan, no less — before she:

earned a master of European business degree from the Université Libre de Bruxelles in Belgium and enrolled at Harvard Business School.

Working on George W Bush’s campaign in 2000 not only propelled her further upwards but also enabled her to meet Ted:

In 2000, she secured a spot on George W. Bush’s 2000 presidential campaign as an economic policy aide in Austin, where she met Mr. Cruz, another Bush policy adviser. Their first date was a dinner that lasted nearly four hours. In a 2001 New York Times Magazine article about couples who met while working on the Bush campaign, Mr. Cruz said he had driven her to the airport so she could fly back to finish her Harvard M.B.A.

The couple married in May 2001. After Bush assumed office that year:

Mrs. Cruz climbed the ranks of the Bush administration, eventually working at the National Security Council under Condoleezza Rice, Mr. Cruz’s Washington track stalled, prompting him to return to Texas, where in 2003 he was appointed solicitor general, an influential post.

After many months of living apart, Heidi returned to Texas — and to investment banking, at Merrill Lynch. She was working in Houston, he in the state capital of Austin, but at least they were only 160 miles apart from each other.

It appears the NYT left out an interesting detail about Heidi’s career. The Marshall Report says that she

sat on a Council on Foreign Relations task force for the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)? Yes right up until 2011 when Ted announced he was running for the Senate!

Furthermore, The Marshall Report discovered that she was Special Assistant to Robert B. Zoellick, U.S. Trade Representative. Zoellick has been a vice chairman of Goldman Sachs between 2006 and 2007 and was also the president of the World Bank between 2007 and 2012. He has worked on the biggest international trade agreements in history. His involvement in these agreements made him a source of controversy when Mitt Romney put him on his 2012 campaign team.

So, Heidi is definitely involved in globalism, at a high level. You can see further proof on at least one Council of Foreign Relations page.

This puts Carly Fiorina’s words in sharp relief about Heidi’s husband being the only one who can ‘break the cartel’. If anything, Americans will be soaking in globalism with no means of escape.

What about Cruz, you ask? After all, he’s the one running, not she.

Speaking of ‘the cartel’, The Conservative Treehouse exposed Ted Cruz’s donors and funding on February 2. Whilst Cruz claims to not want or get money from DC lobbyists or power players, Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse and the Club for Growth are among his donors. Read the Treehouse post to find out more and see actual documentation.

Therefore, it does not appear that Cruz will be divorcing himself from ‘the cartel’ anytime soon.

On matters religious, in 2013, Cruz’s father Rafael gave a sermon at the New Beginnings Church of pastor Larry Huch, in Irving, Texas. Alternet reported at the time that:

Rafael Cruz indicated that his son was among the evangelical Christians who are anointed as “kings” to take control of all sectors of society, an agenda commonly referred to as the “Seven Mountains” mandate, and “bring the spoils of war to the priests”, thus helping to bring about a prophesied “great transfer of wealth”, from the “wicked” to righteous gentile believers. link to video of Rafael Cruz describing the “great transfer of wealth” and the role of anointed “kings” in various sectors of society, including government, who are to “bring the spoils of war to the priests”.

I wrote about the roots of this dominionism in 2010. This is highly dangerous and goes against the New Testament — regardless of what a small minority of misguided Christians say.

On February 8, 2016, Cruz’s father Rafael joined a handful of men led by televangelist Kenneth Copeland in his church (emphases in the original):

Ted Cruz‘s father joined with televangelist Kenneth Copeland in his church on Sunday to announce that the Texas senator has been anointed by God to be the next president of the United States.

But, you say, Ted Cruz is a Southern Baptist. Indeed, he is. However, Religion News points out that the acorn does not fall far from the tree:

Anyone who has watched Cruz on the stump knows that he often references the important role that his father, traveling evangelist Rafael Cruz, has played in his life.

One of Ted Cruz’s most trusted advisers is David Barton. Religion News tells us that (emphases mine):

When Cruz says he wants to “reclaim” or “restore” America, he does not only have the Obama administration in mind. This agenda takes him much deeper into the American past. Cruz wants to “restore” the United States to what he believes is its original identity: a Christian nation.

But before he can bring the country back to its Christian roots, Cruz needs to prove that Christian ideals were indeed important to the American founding. That is why he has David Barton on his side.

For several decades Barton has been a GOP activist with a political mission to make the United States a Christian nation again. He runs “Keep the Promise,” a multimillion-dollar Cruz super-PAC.  He’s one of Cruz’s most trusted advisers.

Barton is the founder and president of WallBuilders, a Christian ministry based in his hometown of Aledo, Texas. He writes books and hosts radio and television shows designed to convince evangelicals and anyone else who will listen that America was once a Christian nation and needs to be one again.

Incidentally, in 2012, Barton completed a book notionally demonstrating that Thomas Jefferson was not a deist but, in fact, a committed Christian. Publishers Thomas Nelson pulled the book from print, it was so loaded with historical errors.

Think Progress notes that Cruz:

typically concludes campaign events by asking voters “to caucus for him, to sign up to volunteer and persuade others, and to pray and ask God to continue the awakening.”

That implies more than simply voting for him as a GOP candidate.

Whilst Cruz himself might not be a dominionist as his father is, questions do need to be asked. The media need to do it. As a post on Patheos says:

Cruz should be asked if he agrees with his father that he has been anointed to be a king apostle to rule in the political sphere. Does Cruz believe that adultery, unruly children, and homosexuality should be recriminalized? Does Cruz believe that civil law should reflect and restate his interpretation of biblical morality? Does he believe in an “end time transfer of wealth?”

Since Cruz is using his religion as a facet of his appeal to voters, we have a right to know what the implications would be for his public policy positions as president. Political reporters might find those questions difficult but … such questions would get at the heart of what the public needs to know about Ted Cruz and those animate his campaign.

I’ll take an honest sinner any day.

ben carsonIt was disappointing that Dr Ben Carson, 64, had to drop out of the Republican (GOP) presidential race at the weekend.

(Photo credit: Blue Nation Review)

Carson’s campaign

In October, despite his being a Seventh Day Adventist (sect), I was hopeful for his campaign. Polls showed that only he had a chance of beating Hillary Clinton: early in December, he was ahead by one point and early in February 2016, she was ahead by just 1.3 points.

However, the endless focus on race in the West, particularly in the United States, makes it difficult for a black to declare himself (or herself) as a conservative. An offended Left — including the MSM — would have to take Carson down.

Before that happened, however, Carson revealed vulnerability in the GOP (Grand Old Party) debates, particularly on foreign policy.

Another thing people remember from his participation in the debates was his statement that the pyramids were grain silos. Before I go into that, however, leftists commenting online seized on it and called him all sorts of names, including ‘stupid’, ‘idiot’ and ‘fool’. They were frothing at the mouth. These comments continued until Carson dropped out of the race.

Early in November, Politico tried to make Carson out to be a liar. Mollie Hemingway, writing for The Federalist, explains the story and subsequent retraction. In short, Politico‘s Kyle Cheney accused Carson of fabricating receiving a West Point scholarship. Cheney had to retract this shortly afterwards.

Hemingway says:

Ben Carson’s campaign did not “admit” that a central point in his story “was fabricated.” Quite the opposite. The central point of the story is falsely described by Cheney/Politico as being that he applied and was accepted at West Point. Carson, in fact, has repeatedly claimed not to have applied. So any claim regarding the absence of West Point records of such an application would not debunk Carson’s point. And, again, Carson’s campaign never “conceded” the story was false at least in part because the story, as characterized by Politico, is not one he told. Further, Cheney is unable to substantiate his claim that Carson told this story. Nowhere in the article does he even explain, with facts, where he came up with the idea that Carson has ever made this claim.

What happened was that, in 1969, as a 17-year-old, Carson had the exceptional opportunity to meet General William Westmoreland, recently retired from service in Vietnam, for dinner. Westmoreland offered him a full scholarship to West Point, but Carson politely declined. Politico said there was no record of Carson’s application to West Point. Again, he never applied.

Politico changed the headline of their story to:

Exclusive: Carson claimed West Point ‘scholarship’ but never applied

Hardly an improvement.

Carson had been in the cadets in high school in Detroit. Furthermore, as one would expect of a future brain surgeon, his academic performance was excellent. It’s no wonder the general asked him to apply to West Point, offering a full scholarship.

By December 19, GOP polls had changed. Fox News reported:

Donald Trump, a candidate even Republicans once considered a side show, increases his lead yet again in the nomination race, according to the latest Fox News national poll. 

The poll also finds Ted Cruz ticking up, Marco Rubio slipping, and Ben Carson dropping.

At that point, he was in fourth place on

9 percent. He was at 18 percent last month and had a high of 23 percent support earlier this fall.

Yet, he still had more approval points than Jeb Bush, who had 3%!

On December 26, Real Clear Politics had a go at Carson about his paid speaking engagements and book tour during his candidacy. This ‘concern’ piece wondered if there was enough separation between his revenue generating interests and his campaign. Carson’s campaign spokesman Doug Watts said:

We segregate as much as feasible.

The Atlantic had similar ‘concerns’.

Most of this would have gone under the radar of Republican voters. However, as with the grain silos, Carson’s book tour became a running theme of online leftists. That also continued until he dropped out at the weekend.

Rafael ‘Ted’ Cruz’s cheating at the Iowa caucus — saying Carson had dropped out of the race — cost the good doctor dearly. Donald Trump still talks about it, and rightly so, because Cruz’s team’s intimidation of Carson voters created a win for the Christian constitutional expert from Texas, pushing Trump into second place — and leaving Carson in fourth with 9% of the vote.

Cruz and his team seized their opportunity when Carson said that he was going home to Florida the weekend before the Iowa caucus for a change of clothes. Cruz’s people said they got the information from CNN.

I feel badly for Carson. He assumed Cruz was a nice guy and that the media would play fair ball. At a press conference held after the Iowa caucus, Carson rightly took issue with both.

However, I wonder why Carson didn’t just say that he was going home to regroup before going to Washington DC for the annual National Prayer Breakfast, after which he would go on to campaign in New Hampshire. Donald Trump is always clear about where he is going next, probably to avoid similar speculation.

So, as much as the Left wanted Carson to fail because, in their eyes, blacks have no business being conservatives, the true kisses of death came from two of his fellow candidates — avowed Christians, let’s remember — and their people. In addition to Cruz’s was Marco Rubio’s team. The Politistick has the full story about a tweet from a Rubio supporter, since deleted, which said that Rubio’s campaign was spreading the narrative that Carson was dropping out of the race.

Whilst there were also internal issues in Carson’s campaign, such as spending, the Iowa rumours dogged him in New Hampshire. His party after the primary there was a damp squib, sadly.

In mid-February, he said he would be open to discussing running with Trump as the Vice Presidential nominee and would stay on through the South Carolina primary to help the billionaire. Having a lot of primary candidates is good; they help split the vote, thereby preventing an immediate overall dominant front-runner.

Super Tuesday — March 1 — was the decider. The next day, Fox News reported that it was ‘game over’ for Cruz, Rubio, Kasich  — and Carson. (Since then Cruz is proving to be Trump’s main rival.)

He suspended his campaign on March 4, which also made the news in France.

How Carson’s campaign came about

The Washington Post (WaPo) report was the only one I saw that actually explained how Carson came to run for president in the first place.

In 2013, he addressed the National Prayer Breakfast where:

he spoke about the dangers of political correctness, put forward the idea of a flat tax and criticized President Obama’s health-care law. What stood out was that he did so right beside a steely-faced Obama.

Brilliant!

The Wall St Journal thought so, too, and they carried an editorial to that effect days later, entitled:

“Ben Carson for President.” By August of that year, there was a “National Draft Ben Carson for President Committee.” Before he launched his presidential bid last May, the group had raised close to $16 million, gotten a half-million signatures encouraging Carson to run and had 30,000 active volunteers across the country, according to organizers.

WaPo‘s article goes on to say that, at age 33, Carson was the youngest major division director in the history of Johns Hopkins Hospital and:

he was the first pediatric neurosurgeon to successfully separate twins conjoined at the head. He wrote a best-selling book, “Gifted Hands,” about his life, which later became a television movie.

He got a lot of flak for his blunt opposition to Obamacare, his comparison of the United States to Nazi Germany and his denunciation of same-sex marriage.

It was hard for him to not speak about morality in uncertain terms and, paradoxically, be more assertive against other GOP candidates, such as Trump. If he knew something to be immoral, he would say so. Yet, he did not want to be seen to go on the attack against a candidate just for a show of strength.

Of politics, WaPo quotes him as saying:

“Many people told me that this business is corrupt, that it’s evil, that it’s how it’ll always be,” Carson said in a phone interview Monday. “But I don’t believe that we have to accept that. We should rail against that, fight against it, and get something that’s decent and inspirational.”

I couldn’t agree more. This is one of the reasons I read a lot about politics. I continue to look for the ‘decent and inspirational’. Hmm. Like digging for gold.

One thing Dr Ben Carson can be proud of in his campaign: he outlasted Jeb!

Tomorrow: Ben Carson and the grain silo theory

Rafael Edward ‘Ted’ Cruz presents himself as a conservative, Constitutionally-minded, Evangelical-friendly presidential candidate.

Indeed, he is a Southern Baptist.

He also won the Iowa Caucus.

Iowa Caucus 2016

Cruz siphoned votes from retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson. Was it CNN’s fault for tweeting that Carson wanted to return home to Florida giving rise to the rumour he was dropping out of the race? Or does fault lie with a prominent Iowa Cruz supporter who tweeted the rumour, causing Cruz’s Iowa workers to spread the word among Carson’s supporters that their man was dropping out, so they should change their votes to Cruz? Carson said he was only returning home for a change of clothes, nothing more.

Magnanimous in victory, Cruz apologised to Carson after the caucus votes had been tallied. Not surprisingly, the Carson camp feels hard done by. And they were. The Hill talked with Carson supporters on February 3:

Carson’s close friend and adviser Armstrong Williams told The Hill in an interview on Wednesday that the Cruz campaign’s tactics were “nasty, brutal and deceitful.”

“We’ve been told all along that Cruz’s operatives play dirty and were capable of this stuff, but Dr. Carson never believed it, he felt like they had a respectable operation,” Williams said. “Now we see firsthand that having integrity just doesn’t matter to them. It’s about honor and character, either you have it or you don’t” …

Carson’s wife, Candy Carson, was at one of the precincts where the person speaking on Cruz’s behalf told voters that Carson was out …

Carson is giving a speech at the National Press Club on Wednesday afternoon to address the matter.

Donald Trump has seized on the controversy to claim that the election was stolen from him.

Karl Rove correctly predicted that the Cruz camp’s manoeuvre would also cost Donald Trump the win in Iowa (emphasis in the original):

Now the gap between Donald Trump and Ted Cruz is 6,239 votes. There are 1,500 precincts. Do the math… If that message cost Carson four votes per precinct to switch to Cruz, then Cruz beats Trump. If he doesn’t switch four, then he loses.

On February 3, Trump wanted the result nullified and a second round of voting, accusing Cruz of voter fraud. He also tweeted that Cruz’s team sent out ‘voter violation’ certificates to ‘thousands of voters’. Trump rightly took the opportunity to get a pithy jibe in about it at the next Republican debate.

Perhaps Cruz honestly didn’t know that this was taking place at the time. Who knows? However, the fact that this unethical move moved the Iowa result to him shows that his team are not above dirty tricks.

This also begs the question of what sort of person Ted Cruz is. It is difficult to imagine a devoted God-fearing Christian allowing this sort of thing to happen, especially towards a fellow candidate who has no political experience and is an underdog. If he was aware of it, biblical morality and Christian ethics dictate that he should have put a stop to it immediately, including issuing an apology before the vote, not after.

Natural born citizenship status

Then there is the question of whether Ted Cruz is a natural born citizen of the United States.

Read any political blog and the reader’s comments on the topic and you’ll find four strongly-held positions on what constitutes a natural born citizen. This has been going on since 2008, when the present incumbent was running for election. In the end, it was Donald Trump, as late as 2011, who finally managed to get Barack Obama to put a copy of his original long-form birth certificate on the White House website.

Obama’s camp drove it into everyone’s head by verbal force and insults that only one parent needed to be a US citizen, in his case, his mother Stanley Ann Dunham. In any event, they added, Obama was born in Hawaii, which is US soil, so there was no problem. Those who held to the prevailing principle — up to then — that both parents had to be American citizens at the time of a child’s birth in order for him or her to be considered a natural born citizen. The last time a controversy like that arose was over Chester Arthur’s father’s citizenship status in the 19th century. That, too, was quickly kicked into the long grass at the time.

Certainly, questions have arisen over presidential candidates since then. Some, like Barry Goldwater (1964) and George Romney (Mitt’s dad, 1968) were grandfathered in as the territories where they were born became part of the southwestern United States after their birth.

More recently, the Senate had a hearing on John McCain’s natural born status in 2008 and decided that he was as his parents were both natural born Americans and that Panama was under US control at the time of his birth.

However, Bobby Jindal and Marco Rubio — also presidential candidates in 2016, although Jindal once again dropped out — are not natural born American citizens. Their parents were not American citizens at the time of the candidates’ births, even though both Jindal and Rubio were born on US soil.

A case could be made that Ted Cruz is not natural born, either, even if his mother is American.

Ted Cruz’s intriguing citizenship situation

This is Ted Cruz’s mother’s birth certificate. Her name was Eleanor Darragh.

This is Ted Cruz’s birth certificate, issued by the Department of Health in Edmonton, Canada. Note that his mother had her name recorded as Eleanor Elizabeth Wilson.

In his book A Time for Truth: Reigniting the Promise of America Cruz explained that his mother married an American, Alan Wilson, in 1956. The couple moved to London in 1960 for Mr Wilson’s work as a mathematician.

McClatchy DC did a lot of admirable investigation and managed to interview Alan Wilson in London. Please read the article and share it with your Cruz-supporting friends.

In his book Cruz claims the couple had a child in 1965 — Michael Wilson — who died of cot death. The trauma of it, he says, caused the marriage to dissolve.

Alan Wilson remembers circumstances very differently. By 1965, they were already divorced: Wilson thinks in 1963 (emphases mine below):

Wilson, floored to learn that he was mentioned in Cruz’s book, said, in a bombshell of his own, that the account is not accurate: He was not the father of the baby.

“We were divorced and she was living on her own,” said Wilson. He said that Eleanor asked him if she could use his last name on the birth certificate. When Michael Wilson later died, he said, “I hadn’t even met the baby.”

Alan Wilson said by chance he and Eleanor Wilson were being treated in the same hospital when she was pregnant when a nurse told him “his wife” was there – startling the Fort Worthian. “I didn’t know she was pregnant. We were definitely divorced.”

Asked what went wrong, he said, “Marriages don’t always work. It wasn’t because of infidelities or anything like that.”

Now, admittedly, Cruz trusted his mother to tell him the truth about baby Michael. She did not relate the story to him until he was an adolescent.

Another intriguing fact is that Wilson was unaware Eleanor used his family name on Ted’s birth certificate:

Told that Eleanor had used his last name on Ted Cruz’s birth certificate, Wilson said, “I see. That’s interesting.” Pressed to say how he felt about it, he said, “I don’t have any feelings about it.” He later wondered, “Why did she do that? Maybe she’s adopting that name for no reason.”

After little Michael’s death, Eleanor returned to the United States. She met Rafael Cruz, a Cuban national, there and the two married in 1969. They then moved to Canada, where Ted was born in 1970. Cruz Sr became Canadian in 1973.

The family moved to Texas in 1974.

Lawrence Sellin, Ph.D., a retired US Army Reserves colonel, says that a Cruz spokeswoman says Eleanor recorded Ted’s birth with American officials in 1986 so he could get a passport for his class trip to England. He also states that this CRBA — Consular Report of Birth Abroad of a Citizen of the United States of America — has not been released as part of Cruz’s candidacy vetting:

no CRBA has been released that would verify that Ted Cruz was registered as a U.S. citizen at birth.

Sellin believes that Cruz did not enter the US from Canada in 1974 with the right paperwork. At age four, that would have been Mr and Mrs Cruz’s responsibility. However, I went to Canada several times from the United States in the 1960s and 1970s and all one needed was a US or Canadian birth certificate at the time.

Then there is the question over Cruz’s citizenship as an adult. It is incredible that a Princeton-educated, Harvard Law School magna cum laude graduate would not have thought about the issue prior to running for the US Senate in 2012. Seriously?

Cruz claims that when he was a child, his mother told him that she would have to make an affirmative act to claim Canadian citizenship for him, so his family assumed that he did not hold Canadian citizenship.[142] In August 2013, after the Dallas Morning News pointed out that Cruz had dual Canadian-American citizenship,[143][144] he applied to formally renounce his Canadian citizenship and ceased being a citizen of Canada on May 14, 2014.[142][145]

In January 2016, suit was brought seeking a judicial determination as to whether Cruz should be disqualified as a presidential candidate on the grounds of not being a natural born US citizen.[146] After Donald Trump repeatedly questioned whether Cruz met the qualifications of being a natural born citizen, Houston attorney Newton B. Schwartz Sr. filed suit in Texas, claiming that “This 229-year question has never been pled, presented to or finally decided by or resolved by the U.S. Supreme Court… Only the U.S. Supreme Court can finally decide, determine judicially and settle this issue now.”[146]

Too right. Americans should be up in arms about this, but most could not care less.

As Sellin says:

The fact that it is still an open question at this stage of the Presidential campaign is a testament either to the galactic ignorance of our political-media elite or their willingness to place political expediency ahead of the Constitution and the law.

Even assuming a CRBA was filed, the weight of the legal evidence indicates that Ted Cruz is a naturalized U.S. citizen because he was born outside of the jurisdiction of the U.S. and obtained U.S. citizenship by an Act of Congress (Article 1 Section 8 of the Constitution). As a naturalized citizen, he is not eligible for the Presidency (Article 2 Section 1 Clause 5 of the Constitution).

It is disturbing to this writer that, Ted Cruz, a man who claims to be a “principled conservative” and a staunch supporter of the Constitution, should be so opaque about his personal history and unwilling to release his records.

The inadvertent omissions

Cruz also failed to disclose full financial reporting in two instances during his 2012 Senate run:

After Time magazine reported on a potential violation of ethics rules by failing to publicly disclose his financial relationship with Caribbean Equity Partners Investment Holdings during the 2012 campaign, Cruz called his failure to disclose these connections an inadvertent omission.[96]

In January 2016, the New York Times reported that Cruz and his wife had taken out low-interest loans from Goldman Sachs (where she worked) and Citibank, and failed to report the nearly $1 million in loans on Federal Election Commission disclosure statements as required by law.[97] Cruz disclosed the loans on his Senate financial disclosure forms in July 2012, but not on the Federal Election Commission form.[98] There is no indication that Cruz’s wife had any role in providing any of the loans, or that the banks did anything wrong.[98] The loans were largely repaid by later campaign fundraising. A spokesperson for Cruz said his failure to report the loans to the FEC was “inadvertent” and said he would be filing supplementary paperwork.[97]

So it appears that it is up to everyone else to vet Ted Cruz and figure out what else is shadowy or has been inadvertently omitted.

Conclusion

This is why it is so important for Christians to exercise discernment about the candidates they vote for.

Many say, ‘Well, politics is worldly and doesn’t concern me.’

Then an ‘Evangelical’ candidate comes along and they rush in to vote for him. As if the ‘Evangelical’ label is truthful just because the media and the candidate say it is.

Don’t be hoodwinked by what a candidate claims to be or how the media are representing him (or her).

Super Tuesday is quickly approaching — and other primaries before then. Use your Spirit-given gift of wisdom to investigate before voting.

And for those who aren’t concerned about natural born citizen status, what about prominent people who are citizens of other countries but have one American parent or were born in the United States?

Before New York-born British citizen London mayor Boris Johnson revoked his American citizenship in 2015, he had ambitions to run for the presidency.

Jordan’s Prince Hamzan bin Al Hussain has an American mother. Should he consider running for the presidency of the United States?

There could be all comers. Indeed, as we know, there already are.

Ultimately, the people decide — at the ballot box.

Vote wisely.

Check your vote at the ballot box before registering it. If your candidate does not show as per your vote, please contact an election official.

Your future, your children’s future and the future of your country depend on it.

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