[Excerpted from The Austrian.]
Readers of Judge Napolitano’s outstanding book will at once be struck by its unusual title. What is the “suicide pact” referred to there? The phrase occurs in a famous dissenting opinion by Justice Robert Jackson. In Terminiello v. Chicago (1949), the Supreme Court held that the city of Chicago had wrongly restricted the free speech of an incendiary speaker. The claim that doing so was needed to preserve public order did not suffice, the Court maintained. Jackson disagreed, warning that “there is a danger that, if the Court does not temper its doctrinaire logic with a little practical wisdom, it will convert the constitutional Bill of Rights into a suicide pact.”
It is precisely this thesis that Judge Napolitano takes as his principal task in this book to oppose. He strongly supports natural law. On this view, human beings have rights that the state cannot infringe.
The core concept of Natural Law is the idea of self-ownership and limitless personal liberty … rights, specifically natural rights, are intangible and enforceable legal choices that are inalienable and exist a priori to any political or economic system, and for the exercise of which one does not need government approval.
From this bedrock point, the Judge constructs a remarkable argument. He distinguishes between rights, which cannot be given away or exchanged, and goods, which can be. Security falls into the latter class; and, as such, it cannot be traded against a right.
How can one balance a derivative against an a priori right? One cannot. In order to create a social arrangement that validly enacts laws or defines man’s relationship to other persons and their property, the underlying premise of self-ownership and natural rights both precedes and acts as precedent to the lawful acquisition of any good … security, like that provided by the government, is a good, which cannot be freely exchanged between persons or entities, like states, without first recognizing a priori natural rights. Therefore, in considering the good of security and the right of free speech, no balancing act is possible or even conceivable.
From this standpoint, Judge Napolitano reviews security policy throughout the course of American history. Unfortunately, the natural rights approach has rarely guided American policy. To the contrary, “it has largely been ignored by every American government since George Washington. Those governments have all reflected the inevitable growth of the power of government and the shrinkage of personal freedoms.”
Why has this been so? The chief culprit has been war and the threat of war. Wars vastly increase the power of the government; and, contrary to natural law, “national security” all too often tramples liberty afoot. Napolitano aptly quotes Randolph Bourne: “War is the health of the state.” Elaborating on Bourne’s claim, Napolitano remarks: “A galvanized people [is] fearful of dissent and willing to accept suppression of their and others’ natural rights to free speech based on the seemingly xenophilic content of a viewpoint alone … individual liberty suffers incomparably during war.”
We see this pattern from the beginning of America’s government under the Constitution. Tense relations with France fueled the Federalists’ endeavor in the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798, contrary to the First Amendment, to suppress criticism of the government. Fortunately, these measures aroused great popular resistance, culminating in the Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions. In this connection, Napolitano says of nullification: “In large part, the doctrine of nullification follows logically from the idea of the consent of the governed. … The states, by act of state legislature or convention, ratified the Constitution; the people did not do so as individuals. … Nullification then seems to follow very logically.”
No history of how the government destroys rights during wartime can ignore Abraham Lincoln. All constitutional rights depend on the right to the writ of habeas corpus. Without it, the government is free to violate whatever rights it wishes. There is no recourse against arbitrary imprisonment. Lincoln, flouting the Constitution, suspended the writ. Chief Justice Taney, sitting as a circuit judge, declared the president’s actions illegal, but “Lincoln, revealing his antipathy for the Constitution, personal liberty, and the rule of law, rebuked the chief justice and refused to obey the order.” Napolitano sums up Lincoln’s views in this way: “The president … was essentially advocating for dictator-like control of the government. Lincoln would have the Court declare the president a Caesar in times of war instead of having a federal government with checks and balances.”
In his account of Woodrow Wilson, Napolitano makes an important contribution to political theory. Concerning the oceans of misleading propaganda circulated by George Creel’s Committee on Public Information, he says:
In a social compact, the power of the government to act in any manner derives from the people’s acquiescence en masse to the ability of the government to act only as they have agreed to in the compact that it may. Parties to a contract have a duty not to misinform the other party or parties to the contract in a material manner. The people have ceded the power to make war to the government in this compact, but their representatives cannot do so under false pretenses and through falsehoods and remain faithful to the compact — that is fraud of the highest caliber. Wilson’s misinformation justifying war with Germany and social conditioning of the people represent an unconscionable violation of the social compact.
Suffice it to say that matters did not improve under Franklin Roosevelt. During World War II, Japanese Americans on the West Coast were interned in concentration camps; and the Supreme Court in the Korematsu case upheld this measure. Napolitano’s verdict is scathing: “Thus, in the face of difficult and trying times, actions that were not justifiable under necessity, but were manifestations of racism, hysteria and the ‘herd’ mentality lamented in the [Randolph] Bourne essay, were made legal and constitutional. The counter-majoritarian branch, the Court, charged with halting the majority encroachment on the civil and natural liberty of personal movement and use of property, had failed miserably in its delegated task.” Justice Frank Murphy issued a “vigorous dissent [which] would destroy his personal friendship with FDR.”
Napolitano’s aims in the book go beyond historical inquiry. He wishes to combat the gross violations of liberty which have accompanied the “war on terror”; and he devotes nearly half of the book to this endeavor. After the 9/11 attacks, “the executive branch, through the use of the noble lie and the organs of state powers, would abjure liberties in the guise of fighting a War on Terror, starting with our ostensible enemy, then moving on to personal vendetta and perpetual, aimless war.”
Napolitano justifies to the hilt this severe indictment. The NSA program of electronic eavesdropping, promulgated by George W. Bush, “was the broadest known expansion of presidential spying powers in history.” In its ceaseless efforts to gather information useful to it, the Bush administration did not shrink from torture. “Detainee treatment at Abu Ghraib [in Iraq] became public in 2004 … causing immeasurable global damage to the credibility of the United States as a defender of natural and civil liberty. According to the initial Abu Ghraib investigator, Army Maj. Gen. Antonio M. Taguba, the prison’s MP engaged in … ‘torture, abuse, rape and every indecency.’” Napolitano concludes that “even under the broadest reading of the Constitution, war powers do not permit the president and his military agents knowingly or even negligently to permit torture. The president and his senior officials enormously expanded war powers to effect inhumane and shameful treatment upon U.S. prisoners … while concentrating power in the hands of a few depraved individuals who carried out this systematic regime of torture under an ideological, imperial, unitary presidency.”
Many hoped that the presidency of Barack Obama would change matters for the better; but unfortunately he continued and extended the policies of his predecessor. “The president has claimed a new and awesome power. President Obama claimed the unnatural and unconstitutional right to decide unilaterally which American shall die. … Using his fleet of drones, Obama killed four U.S. citizens between 2011 and 2013.” So far as programs that invade privacy are concerned, Napolitano mordantly inquires: “Does a president who murders care about privacy?”
Faced with this melancholy record, we must ask, is the cause of liberty hopeless? Napolitano does not think so. “Jefferson himself predicted that in the long march of history, power and order would become concentrated in the government, and the personal liberty of individuals would be diminished. In this book, I have attempted to demonstrate not the inevitability of Jefferson’s prediction, but the need for eternal vigilance — another warning he gave us.”
Judge Napolitano has given us a comprehensive survey of the dangers to liberty we face today. He is a jurist of great distinction and provides an expert account of the legal issues in a vast number of key cases. I especially recommend his analysis of Judge Learned Hand’s reformulation of the “‘clear and present danger’ rule to adopt a balancing test for First Amendment constitutionality.” Suicide Pact is an indispensable weapon in the battle for liberty.
Tuesday on Newsmax TV’s “The Steve Malzberg Show,” FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai said because of the new FCC net neutrality rules passed in February that reclassified broadband as a telecommunications, which placed it under Title II regulations and taxes of the Communications Act of 1934, “your bills are going to go up.”
Pai said, “Most immediately I think what is going to happen is that the FCC has specifically opened the door to a increase on the tax that is going to be placed on broadband. We are waiting for a joint board to recommend to us on April 7 how big that tax is going to be.”
He added, “So I would imagine in the next month or two we are going to see, for the first time, taxes placed on broadband bills so your bills are going to go up .”
Birch Gold Group
Desperate for cash in order to maintain its spend-happy ways, our government just set this dangerous precedent
You know things are getting bad when your government begins to stick its hand into retirement accounts just so that it can remain solvent for a few more months.
With the debt limit about to come back into full swing at a staggering $18.1 trillion this week, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew has undertaken drastic measures to kick the can down the road until later this year.
One such plan to fund the government includes raiding the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP), a 401(k)-style retirement savings plan set up for federal employees.
Specifically, the Treasury wants to go after the G Fund, the largest fund in the plan, which contains Treasury securities that help to finance the national debt. As of last month, those securities in the G Fund make up $193.3 billion of the $451.7 billion of investments in the TSP.
According to Lew, the government currently has $25 million left to spend before it breaches the imposed limit without these actions. Hence he’s urging Congress to fill the purse:
“I respectfully urge Congress to protect the full faith and credit of the United States by acting to increase the statutory debt limit as soon as possible,” Lew wrote in a letter.
So what happens come November when these ‘temporary’ measures leave us facing the precipice of the debt ceiling once again? Who is going to have their money taken next?
These proposals by the Treasury Secretary are no more than vain efforts to delay dealing with the giant elephant in the room: There is no plan in place to deal with the underlying cause of this nation’s rampaging debt – a debt that continues to skyrocket with each passing year.
The fact of the matter is that our government is insolvent and can only stay afloat through further debt creation, or, in this case, stealing from whatever it can get its hands on. Right now, it has found its (temporary) solution in the retirement accounts of government employees.
And no wonder Lew is so desperate to make sure Congress increases the limit without debate. The last two times there was a standoff regarding the debt limit, we saw a downgrade of the U.S. credit rating by Standard & Poor’s (August 2011) and then a budgetary dispute over the debt ceiling that resulted in a 16-day partial government shutdown (October 2013).
This begs the question, yet again, for what seems like the thousandth time: What is Washington’s long-term plan to solve the debt crisis?
Oh, that’s right, the answer has always been the same: There isn’t a plan.
But don’t you find it oddly “convenient” that the new myRA retirement savings plan is opening the door to millions of more Americans to put their money in an investment that “mirrors the G Fund”? Could the government turn to this new source of funding next?
But where does it end? When our representatives have depleted the retirement accounts they have easiest access to, could they turn to other ones? Could they turn to the billions of dollars in Treasuries and bonds in IRA’s and 401(k)’s?
The lesson here is simple: Just because Washington doesn’t have a definitive plan doesn’t mean that YOU shouldn’t have a plan.
With this dangerous precedent set – and with so much money sitting in retirement accounts across the nation – do you really want your retirement savings sitting in assets that are so easily accessible with the click of a mouse?
What would you feel safer in: A retirement account that’s backed by nothing but paper and some promises, or a retirement account that’s backed by hard, physical gold?
The move to a cashless society won’t happen overnight. Instead, it is being implemented very slowly and systematically in a series of incremental steps. All over the planet, governments are starting to place restrictions on the use of cash for security reasons. As citizens, we are being told that this is being done to thwart criminals, terrorists, drug runners, money launderers and tax evaders. Other forms of payment are much easier for governments to track, and so they very much prefer them. But we are rapidly getting to the point where the use of cash is considered to be a “suspicious activity” all by itself. These days, if you pay a hotel bill with cash or if you pay for several hundred dollars worth of goods at a store with cash you are probably going to get looked at funny. You see, the truth is that we have already been trained to regard the use of large amounts of cash to be unusual. The next step will be to formally ban large cash transactions like France and other countries in Europe are already doing.
Starting in September, cash transactions of more than 1,000 euros will be banned in France. The following comes from a recent Zero Hedge article which detailed what these new restrictions will do…
Prohibiting French residents from making cash payments of more than 1,000 euros, down from the current limit of 3,000 euros.
Given the parlous state of the stagnating French economy the limit for foreign tourists on currency payments will remain higher, at 10,000 euros down from the current limit of 15,000 euros.
The threshold below which a French resident is free to convert euros into other currencies without having to show an identity card will be slashed from the current level of 8,000 euros to 1,000 euros.
In addition any cash deposit or withdrawal of more than 10,000 euros during a single month will be reported to the French anti-fraud and money laundering agency Tracfin.
French authorities will also have to be notified of any freight transfers within the EU exceeding 10,000 euros, including checks, pre-paid cards, or gold.
Of course Spain has already banned cash transactions of more than 2,500 euros and Italy has already banned cash transactions of more than 1,000 euros.
We don’t have these kinds of outright bans in the United States just yet, but what we do have are some very strict reporting requirements.
For example, if you regularly deposit large amounts of cash, there is a very good chance that you have been the subject of a “suspicious activity report”. In 2013, approximately 1.6 million suspicious activity reports were submitted to the federal government.
The following guidelines for when a suspicious activity report should be filed come from a government website…
Banks, bank holding companies, and their subsidiaries are required by federal regulations53 to file a SAR with respect to:
- Criminal violations involving insider abuse in any amount.
- Criminal violations aggregating $5,000 or more when a suspect can be identified.
- Criminal violations aggregating $25,000 or more regardless of a potential suspect.
- Transactions conducted or attempted by, at, or through the bank (or an affiliate) and aggregating $5,000 or more, if the bank or affiliate knows, suspects, or has reason to suspect that the transaction:
- May involve potential money laundering or other illegal activity (e.g., terrorism financing).54
- Is designed to evade the BSA or its implementing regulations.55
- Has no business or apparent lawful purpose or is not the type of transaction that the particular customer would normally be expected to engage in, and the bank knows of no reasonable explanation for the transaction after examining the available facts, including the background and possible purpose of the transaction.
Most people don’t realize this, but there are minimum quotas for suspicious activity reports that banks must meet. If they do not submit enough suspicious activity reports, they can be fined (or worse).
And now the Obama administration is saying that just filling out suspicious activity reports may not be good enough.
According to the Wall Street Journal, banks are actually being encouraged to directly contact law enforcement if they see something that does not look right…
The U.S. Justice Department’s criminal head said banks may need to go beyond filing suspicious activity reports when they encounter a risky customer.
“The vast majority of financial institutions file suspicious activity reports when they suspect that an account is connected to nefarious activity,” said assistant attorney general Leslie Caldwell in a Monday speech, according to prepared remarks. “But, in appropriate cases, we encourage those institutions to consider whether to take more action: specifically, to alert law enforcement authorities about the problem.”
The remarks indicate that banks may be expected to do more than just file SARs, a responsibility that itself can be expensive and time-consuming.
That should send a chill up your spine.
In a recent piece, Simon Black imagined a future scenario in which some unsuspecting American citizen goes to the bank to withdraw a large amount of cash…
Imagine going to the bank to withdraw some cash.
Having some cash on hand is always a prudent strategy, and especially today when more and more bank deposits are creeping into negative territory, meaning that you have to pay the banks for the privilege that they gamble with your money.
You tell the teller that you’d like to withdraw $5,000 from your account. She hesitates nervously and wants to know why.
You try to politely let her know that that’s none of the bank’s business as it’s your money.
The teller disappears for a few minutes, leaving you waiting.
When she returns she tells you that you can collect your money in a few days as they don’t have it on hand at the moment.
Slightly irritated because of the inconvenience, you head home.
But as you pull into your driveway later there’s an unexpected surprise waiting for you: two police officers would like to have a word with you about your intended withdrawal earlier…
Perhaps you don’t think that anything like that could ever happen to you.
Well, consider what the feds are doing to one widow in Iowa…
A widow’s bank account was seized by the IRS and she now faces criminal charges for depositing her legal inheritance money in lumps instead of all together.
Janet Malone, 68, had $18,775 seized from her — money that was legally earned and was legally bestowed to her by her late husband, Ronald Malone. The problem, according to the government, was the fact that she deposited it in several lumps instead of all at once.
According to the Associated Press, Mrs. Malone deposited the cash in increments between $5,800 and $9,000. The widow’s private financial affairs evidently set off red flags under the watchful gaze of the federal government.
Remember, she was not guilty of committing any crime other than depositing cash in lumps instead of all at once.
If this is how ruthless the feds will be with an elderly widow, how would they treat you under similar circumstances?
So why are they doing this?
The truth is that they want to discourage the public from using cash. Our government, just like governments all over the planet, is not being shy about the fact that it does not like cash. If they can make people afraid to use cash, that suits their purposes very well.
And with each passing year the restrictions on the use of cash globally will just get tighter and tighter and the role that cash plays in our lives will just become smaller and smaller.
In the end, a transition to an almost entirely cashless society will seem almost natural. Cash is being killed off one slow step at a time, and at this point hardly anyone is objecting.
Congress is considering new immigration laws that would flood the U.S. with “guest workers” from the Middle East and Asia, a plan some are calling an open invitation for jihadists to walk right through America’s front door.
Critics say lawmakers – including top Republican leaders – are playing with fire and could jeopardize national security with the proposals to double or even triple the number of H1B work visas.
The legislation’s potential impact on the American worker has been widely debated on Capitol Hill, with experts warning lawmakers at a Senate subcommittee hearing last week that the plan would eliminate certain technology and IT jobs for Americans. But, so far, little has been said about the risks to national security.
The bills’ proponents in Washington and among Silicon Valley’s technology centers say America is not producing enough university graduates with so-called STEM degrees (science, technology, engineering and math). Their argument, put forth most passionately by presidential contender Jeb Bush, is purely economic. By inducing more foreign STEM students to immigrate to the U.S. and by expanding the visa program for skilled workers, it will fuel growth and bolster the tax base, they say.
But that argument falls flat on critics of the two bills floating in Congress — the so-called I-Squared bill in the Senate and the SKILLS Visa Act in the House.
They point to research from several think tanks that indicates, if anything, the U.S. has a glut of STEM graduates who are coming out of universities and not finding work in STEM fields. And by radically increasing the number of H1B visas issued, the United States will further increase the number of high-risk immigrants entering the country from Islamic states such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Yemen, Iran, Iraq, Turkey and Pakistan.
Citizens of Muslim countries already have several paths into the United States – as refugees through the State Department’s refugee resettlement program, as students attending U.S. universities, and as employees of an American company willing to sponsor them on an H1B (temporary) visa or a permanent green card. Once in the country, these immigrants are joined by thousands of their family members.
The H1B visa lasts for three years and can be renewed once for a total of six years. At this point, many H1B workers are able to obtain a permanent green card.
In total, about 100,000 new immigrants come to the United States from Islamic countries every year, according to Steve Camarotta, director of research for the Center for Immigration Studies.
Camarotta recently authored a study of the H1B guest-worker program and concluded there is no shortage of STEM workers in America.
“In 2012, there were more than twice as many people with STEM degrees (immigrant and native) as there were STEM jobs — 5.3 million STEM jobs vs. 12.1 million with STEM degrees,” Camarotta said. “Only one-third of natives who have a STEM degree and hold a job do so in a STEM occupation.”
In fact, as Camarotta explains it, the “skilled-labor shortage” argument is little more than a con game waged on Congress and the American public by corporate interests seeking to further their goal of open borders or what they call “labor mobility.”
One of the most impassioned proponents of this strategy is Bush, the former Florida governor.
Bush, in an interview about a year ago with Thane Rosenbaum, said America’s best chance to rejuvenate itself and get back on the path of sustained economic growth lies with increased immigration. He calls for unlimited growth in guest-worker visas and is critical of the “border security first” approach to immigration.
“Border security should be based on the fact that coming here legally should be easier, with less cost and less risk than coming illegally,” Bush said. “And in fact today in America for most people who want to come to our country, coming here illegally is the only way.
“So if you want to have secured borders you also have to have an open legal system where aspiring people can come in. So, ‘security first’ misses that point. You could have greater border security if you had a guest-worker program, where people who can come and work and provide for their families can come and go, work in our fields, work in our hotels, take the jobs no one else wants.”
He also argued for “higher-end type immigration” where H1B visas are “expanded” and “economically driven immigrants can come and go.”
In the globalist dream world, corporations would shift workers from Bangkok to Birmingham or from Islamabad to Atlanta as easily as they would from New York to Chicago in a borderless, seamless system geared toward labor mobility, multiculturalism, and maximum hedging against wage inflation.
They overlook the fact that immigration is already at historic highs, with a record 41.3 million immigrants now living in the U.S. (both legal and illegal), making up 13.1 percent of all U.S. residents, the highest percentage in 93 years, according to the CIS study. As recently as 1980 that percentage was 6.2 percent. This historic influx has kept a lid on wages for the average American worker, including tech workers. Immigrants are also far less likely to come from Europe now than 40 years ago and more likely to come from Asia and the Middle East, the study found.
If there really was a shortage of “knowledge workers” as the globalists maintain, Camarrota asks how they would explain the fact that real wages for U.S. STEM workers, with the exception of oil-field engineers, have remained stagnant for more than a decade.
Congress paving way for TPP?
Of course that is exactly what the corporate elites want, is to keep wages low for both skilled and unskilled labor. These wage-deflating guest-worker programs are also being built into the TransPacific Partnership trade deal being secretly negotiated by the Obama administration with the support of both Democrat and Republican leaders in Congress.
The so-called labor mobility issue was also a key driver for the implementation of Common Core national education standards, which are more accurately seen as global educational standards supported by UNESCO. If every nation adopts the same basic standards for its schools, it becomes easier for CEOs to transfer what they call “human capital” around the globe.
It is no coincidence that Bush has been the loudest, most unapologetic advocate of Common Core within the Republican Party.
But the emergence of one neglected issue – national security – could be the pig on the parlor that disrupts the globalist agenda.
Since many of the guest workers flooding into U.S. firms and universities would come from countries like Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Iran, they could test the U.S. government’s ability to screen out potential terrorists in a post-Arab Spring world in which radical Islam is blossoming.
The most troubling issue regarding this legislation, which has not been debated on Capitol Hill, would be to dramatically increase immigration from the Middle East, which is already at historic highs.
‘Irresponsible and insane’
“They call it the I-Squared bill. That’s appropriate to me because I would call it the Irresponsible and Insane bill,” said Jessica Vaughn, director of policy studies with the Center for Immigration Studies. “It’s irresponsible on so many levels, both because of the destructive impact it would have on opportunities for American workers but also for the security risk it would bring.”
Employment-based and student-based immigration is notoriously lax in screening for potential terrorists and terrorist sympathizers, Vaughn said.
Even the U.S. State Department’s refugee resettlement program, which applies the most rigorous screening process of all the immigration programs, has botched dozens of cases over the past few years, accepting “refugees” who later turned out to be terrorists or were providing material support to terrorist organizations.
The FBI announced last month its newest “most wanted terrorist” is a naturalized Somali-American who entered the U.S. as a refugee and worked as a cab driver in the Washington, D.C., area. That was his day job. He spent the bulk of his evenings recruiting for al-Qaida and its affiliate, al-Shabab. The Boston bombers were radical Muslims who entered the U.S. as asylum-seeking refugees from war-torn Chechnya.
Compared to the refugee program, those entering the U.S. through the H1B visa program are only lightly screened.
“We know that the government agencies processing these applications are not equipped and do not make enough of an effort to screen out the risks,” Vaughn said. “And now we’re talking about more than doubling the numbers, so it will be guaranteed to become even more of a rubber-stamping than it already is.”
Republican Senators Orin Hatch of Utah, Marco Rubio of Florida and Jeff Flake of Arizona are joined by Democrats Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, Chris Coons of Delaware and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut in sponsoring the I-Squared bill. On the House side, the SKILLS Visa Act is sponsored by Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., and has more than 22 co-sponsors.
Vaughn said it’s a “myth” that America has a shortage of workers qualified to fill the jobs being created in Silicon Valley, the Research Triangle Park and other tech hotspots.
“That is borne out by a number of studies, and the best evidence of that is the fact that salaries have not been rising in these fields for a number of years,” she said.
The SKILLS Visa Act would increase the annual cap on H1B temporary work visas from 65,000 to 115,000 annually, while also authorizing spouses of visa holders to work and giving a grace period to the visa holder allowing for the change of jobs.
The bill would also set aside 55,000 green cards each year for employers to hire foreign graduates of U.S. universities with advanced degrees in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields.
The H1B program was designed to allow foreigners with special skills to fill jobs in the U.S. when there are not enough Americans to fill those jobs. Over time, businesses have found ways to evade its loosely worded restrictions, such as the requirement to first recruit Americans for the jobs and to pay foreign workers the “prevailing rate” of U.S. wages.
One lawmaker who is fighting the effort to expand the program is Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala.
“People aren’t commodities,” Sessions said at a March 18 Senate subcommittee hearing on the program. “We have no obligation to yield to the demands of big businesses that want cheaper labor.”
In his “Immigration Roadmap,” written for the new Republican Congress, Sessions included a chapter titled “The Silicon Valley STEM Hoax.”
“It is understandable why these corporations push for legislation that will flood the labor market and keep pay low; what is not understandable is why we would ever consider advancing legislation that provides jobs for the citizens of other countries at the expense of our own,” Sessions wrote to lawmakers. “Who do we work for?”
Ron Hira, a research associate at the Economic Policy Institute and a professor of public policy at Howard University, told the Senate panel that the H1B guest-worker program has evolved into a highly profitable business model of bringing in cheaper H1B workers to replace American workers.
In explaining the H1B rules, he said the U.S. Department of Labor clearly states that the hiring of a foreign worker “will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of U.S. workers comparably employed.”
“That’s a direct quote from the website that describes the H1B program to employers. The reality is, that in fact the intent of the law is not being met,” he said. “The recent replacement of 500 American IT workers at Southern California Edison shows that this intent is clearly not being met and that U.S. workers are clearly getting adverse effects in terms of their wages and working conditions.”
Watch clip of Professor Hira’s testimony March 18 before Senate panel:
Hira laid out a series a “myths” used to propagate the “skilled labor shortage” narrative.
Myth No. 1: Employers must prove there are no qualified American workers before hiring an H1B. In fact there are no requirements to demonstrate there is any shortage of American workers before hiring H1B workers, Hira said. “The Southern California Edison story tells you that straight up. Not only are they not recruiting American workers they are directly replacing American workers. They’re taking their jobs directly. They’re even sitting in their cubicles. So there is no recruiting requirement and H1B workers are replacing Americans. And oftentimes employers are earmarking jobs directly for H1B workers.”
Myth No. 2: H1B workers cannot be cheaper than Americans because employers must pay the prevailing wage. “The reality is, they can legally do this because of the way the prevailing wage rules are written. And we see this again in the Southern California Edison case,” Hira said. “The American workers were being paid $110,000 a year. Their H1B replacements are being paid 70,000 a year. That’s more than $40,000 in cost wage savings right there, a $20 million windfall for Southern California Edison, and they are not alone. It’s Disney, it’s Harley Davidson, it’s Xerox, it’s Northeast Utilities.
He said accounting giant Deloitte is now hiring exclusively H1B workers to service the state of California’s unemployment insurance IT system.
Hewlett-Packard is laying off 55,000 workers in the U.S., replacing many of them with lower-cost H1B workers.
Tata and Infosys, the two outsourcing firms used in the SoCal Edison case, brought in 12,000 H1B workers in fiscal year 2013.
“That’s 12,000 jobs that should have gone to Americans or should have stayed with Americans,” Hira said. He said Cargill in Minnesota, Harley Davidson in Wisconsin and Pfizer in Connecticut are all following suit and exploiting the H1B loophole.
In the case of SoCal Edison and Northeast Utilities, the American workers were required to train their foreign replacements as a condition of their severance, Computerworld reported.
“If you create a profitable business model where you can substitute cheaper guest workers for Americans, many businesses will take advantage of that…regardless of what we might think of whether that’s a good thing for America,” Hira said.
“So this is a very widespread and massive problem,” he said. “In fact the Indian government dubs the H1B program ‘the outsourcing visa.’”
Joining Hira on the Senate panel was Professor Hal Salzman of Rutgers University and another expert on the H1B program.
“Based on our analysis we find the preponderance of evidence is fairly clear. That, A, the U.S. supply of top-performing graduates is large and far exceeds the hiring needs of STEM industries with only one of every two STEM graduates finding a STEM job,” he told the panel. “The guest-worker supply is very large and it’s highly concentrated in the IT industry, leading to both stagnant wages and job insecurity.”
Vaughn said the guest-worker program also promotes a downward longterm spiral. The more foreign workers who fall into these tech jobs, the more that get promoted and then prefer to hire more foreign workers over Americans.
‘Green cards for grads’ scams run by colleges
Corruption at U.S. universities is also a problem.
Salzman said guest-worker policies provide incentives for universities to establish masters’ degree programs that “almost exclusively recruit foreign students into lower-quality programs that provide easy entry into the U.S. labor market, fueling the oversupply of entry level STEM workers.”
Salzman said the “green cards for grads” provisions embedded in the I-Squared, SKILLS Act and S.74 bills provide incentives for universities to provide masters programs that function as a sort of global services business, essentially offering a green card for the price of a graduate degree.
Salzman said expanding the guest worker program will only further encourage universities to see foreign students as a cash cow, at the expense of U.S. students.
“This will eventually lead state universities to close their doors to American students, just as the California state university system did when it recently declared its graduate programs were closed to state residents,” he said. “In order to increase revenues it favored admissions to foreign students, which now make up 90 percent or more of some graduate programs.”
Vaughn said it is the same members of Congress who back the guest-worker legislation every year.
“This is one of those perennial immigration expansion proposals that certain members of Congress keep bringing up,” Vaughn told WND. “We have employers that want to have unlimited ability to bypass American workers and drive down wages overall.”
Vaughn said there was a time, in the 1990s and the height of Y2K fears, when there was a legitimate shortage of skilled tech workers.
“My husband, who works in the tech industry, was able to shift jobs often and each time he got a substantial pay increase. That is not happening now,” she said. “Employers are finding ways to exploit the guest-worker laws already on the books and students are getting discouraged because they don’t see any good employment options. Universities are among the worst violators of exploiting low-wage foreign workers, sometimes using them to work on government grants. That’s sort of an open secret in academia and the nonprofit world.”
The system is also rife with fraud, she said. Up to 20 percent of the H1B system is marred by fraud, whether it be the integrity of the companies doing the hiring or questionable foreign elements being allowed into the country. “They’ve even found fake companies getting approved as H1B employers,” Vaughn said.
“And there’s nothing special about these workers,” she added. “What we’ve found is these companies classify them as entry-level employees and trainees and so they’re able to pay them much lower wages even though they are quite skilled at writing code and other skills. They’re doing it by pretending these are new workers for the purpose of pay, then turning around and telling Congress they need these workers because Americans don’t have the advanced skills they need. So now it’s a major pipeline that has been established to replace American workers, who can do this work and have been doing it. It’s a complete charade.”
Importing terrorists ‘with tech skills’
Washington policy makers like to argue that tech workers make unlikely terrorists. The argument seemed plausible. That was before ISIS. It has been proven that some of the world’s most notorious terrorists are highly educated. That was underscored by the recent identification of the infamous “Jihadi John,” who turned out to be a man from Britain in his late 20s with a computer science degree. He joined ISIS and became its most well-known terrorist, seen on many propaganda videos slicing off the heads of helpless Westerners. Scores of other ISIS terrorists use social media and specialized software programs to recruit new members while still others have demonstrated the special skill of hacking Western computer systems.
“People can come in on basis of their degree and then have a completely different goal when they get here,” Vaughn said. “These (H1B) visas give you six years in the country.”
Another problem not discussed at this week’s Senate committee hearings is that of espionage – both government and corporate.
“The Chinese have taken this to an art form,” Vaughn said. “They work on government contracts, technological development for the private sector, sensitive work, and it is then that proprietary information is stolen for the Chinese government or Chinese companies.”
Vaughn said the government has cut back on fraud assessment in recent years.
“So we have no idea how much fraud is going on because fraud assessment is simply not a priority for this administration. It’s not just the type of fraud where, OK, we’re going to lie about the qualifications of this person we want to bring in so we can pay him less, but it’s also completely fictitious companies.”
So if the existing system encounters a doubling or tripling of H1B applicants without a comparable increase in screeners, the amount of fraud slipping by the government can only be expected to increase exponentially, she said.
“There are plenty of legit applicants and when there are so many the chances of fraud just skyrockets,” Vaughn said. “So they’ve got to clean up the program first before they can talk about expanding it.”
Law enforcement agencies struggling to fill their ranks or connect with their increasingly diverse populations are turning to immigrants to fill the gap.
Most agencies in the country require officers or deputies to be U.S. citizens, but some are allowing immigrants who are legally in the country to wear the badge. From Hawaii to Vermont, agencies are allowing green-card holders and legal immigrants with work permits to join their ranks.
At a time when 25,000 non-U.S. citizens are serving in the U.S. military, some feel it’s time for more police and sheriff departments to do the same. That’s why the Nashville Police Department is joining other departments to push the state legislature to change a law that bars non-citizens from becoming law enforcement officers.
Department spokesman Don Aaron said they want immigrants who have been honorably discharged from the military to be eligible for service.
“Persons who have given of themselves in the service to this country potentially have much to offer Tennesseans,” he said. “We feel that … would benefit both the country and this city.”
Current rules vary across departments.
Some, like the Chicago and Hawaii police departments, allow any immigrant with a work authorization from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to become an officer. That means people in the country on temporary visas or are applying for green cards can join.
Colorado State Patrol Sgt. Justin Mullins said the department usually struggles to fill trooper positions in less populous corners of the state, including patrol sectors high up in the mountains. He said immigrants from Canada, the Bahamas, the United Kingdom, Mexico and Central America who are willing to live in those remote places have helped the agency fill those vacancies.
“People that want to live there and build a family there and work there is a little more difficult to find,” Mullins said. “People moving from out of state, or out of the country, if they’re willing to work in these areas, then that’s great for us.”
Other agencies, like the Cincinnati Police Department and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, require that officers at least have a pending citizenship application on file with the federal government. And others, like the Burlington, Vt., and Boulder, Colo., police departments, require that officers be legal permanent residents, or green-card holders.
With more immigrants moving to places far from the southern border or away from traditional immigrant magnets like New York City or Miami, agency leaders say it’s important to have a more diverse police force to communicate with those immigrants and understand their culture. Bruce Bovat, deputy chief of operations in Burlington, said their immigrant officers help the agency be more “reflective of the community we serve.”
Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, said he has no problems with green-card holders becoming police officers because they’ve made a long-term commitment to the country and have undergone extensive background checks. But he worries about the security risks associated with allowing any immigrant with a work permit to become an officer, especially considering that the Obama administration has given hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants work permits.
“We’re handing over a gun and a badge to somebody whose background we don’t really know a lot about,” Krikorian said.
Ali Noorani, executive director of the National Immigration Forum, said any immigrant authorized to work in the U.S. has already undergone a thorough background check and will undergo even more screening in the police application process.
“The security risk is a straw man,” he said. “This is about people who have gone through criminal background checks, who are meeting the very high standards that we set as a country to stay here and who only want to serve and protect their communities.”
A group of House lawmakers is moving to strip the armed services’ civilian leaders of the power to revoke combat valor awards in response to Army Secretary John McHugh unilaterally canceling the Silver Star, one of the military’s highest honors, for a former Green Beret officer.
Mr. McHugh took the action against Maj. Mathew Golsteyn, who braved repeated enemy fire in Afghanistan, even though he has not been charged with any offenses. The Army now is seeking to release him with a less-than-honorable discharge. The officer plans to fight the move, his attorney says.
The secretary acted after the CIA informed the Army that Maj. Golsteyn, during a polygraph exam for a job application, told of killing a terrorist who was making improvised explosive devices (IEDs), the weapon that has killed more Americans in Afghanistan than any other. The Army also removed Maj. Golsteyn from the elite ranks of the Green Berets.
Rep. Duncan Hunter, the California Republican who is spearheading the restrictive legislation, says he wants to prevent service secretaries from retaliating against personnel by stripping their awards in cases where there is insufficient evidence to charge them for nonjudicial, or court-martial, punishment.
“Secretary McHugh made a political decision,” Mr. Hunter said. “He used his power as a weapon to retaliate against a soldier when the Army was unable to prove an allegation.” (Read more from “Army’s Withdrawal of Officer’s Silver Star Sparks Ire of Congress” HERE)
The United States of America, primarily through the political left and Democrat Party, has been virtually colonized by the Muslim Brotherhood. Also known by their Arabic name, Ikhwan, they are a totalitarian, terrorist Islamic group that seeks our destruction because we are a free people.
We witness the Muslim Brotherhood’s planned destruction of America in many areas of contemporary life. A purposefully weak economy fails to produce the capitalist dynamism that has defined America for generations, and many millions remain unemployed. Abroad, the Muslim Brotherhood’s domination of American foreign policy instigated and backed the failed “Arab Spring,” which may ultimately result in Iranian domination of the Middle East. We feel their suffocating effects on our democracy every day, as our freedoms, traditions, opportunities, and rule of law slip away. The people suffer as prices continue to rise and the public sinks into a bottomless pit of debt.
The hostile, conquered government in Washington strangles our liberty each time Obama, like a self-crowned emperor, passes new regulatory laws without Congress.
Each of these trends is related to the predominant problem in America today: the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood to a place of eminence in American government – the Executive, the Presidency. The People’s office, established by Article II of the Constitution, is now either occupied by a Muslim Brother in Barack Hussein Obama, or a man who happens to go along with their every policy at every turn.
To understand the nature and evil of the Muslim Brotherhood, recall their intimate involvement with Hitler’s Nazi war machine and Holocaust. This genocidal syndicate has birthed virtually all major Islamic terrorist groups and their various offshoots. Financially, they have the backing of the Qatar, whose ruling Al-Thani family is likely the world’s richest family.
Within the United States, Muslim Brotherhood finger prints are on the administration’s biggest scandals: IRS targeting of conservative groups, eavesdropping on the press, the scrubbing of counterterrorism material of the words “Islam” and “Muslim,” NYC police murders in December 2014, Benghazi, and more.
In Syria and Iraq, to the extent that these countries still distinctly exist and are not viewed as part of an emerging Islamic caliphate, the Muslim Brotherhood is directly responsible for the rise of ISIS and the entire Arab Spring. The Obama-backed project to replace strongmen in the region (e.g. Mubarak, Gaddafi, Assad) is such a failure that Libya today is in a state of anarchy, occupied by ISIS’s bloodthirsty armies, who are training to invade Europe.
Paralyzed by Inaction and Complicity
The U.S. Congress refuses to act. They are in denial, and paid well to be so. Lobbyists and government perks keep them fat, happy, and stupid. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has a regional headquarters in Doha, Qatar, home of the Brotherhood’s spiritual leader Yusuf al-Qaradawi. Indeed, some of America’s most respected companies do business with Al-Thani family, who last year pledged $1 billion to the terrorist government, including Hamas, in Gaza. Georgetown University and the Brookings Institution are also in this sand-swept desert oasis of revolutionary Islam, along with many other top-tier universities and think tanks.
So far has the establishment, in particular the Obama administration and the progressive left, merged with the global Muslim Brotherhood, that Harvard University and Northwestern University are actually helping build an Islamic sharia law school in Qatar – a country which has been aptly nicknamed an “ATM for Terrorists.”
There are enough hard, verifiable facts available on Muslim Brotherhood’s infiltration of Washington, D.C. that there is no need to stretch the truth. Qatar’s associations with the nation’s capital and the players who run it are alone enough to fill a volume, or two.
So why doesn’t the Press report just the facts?
What is the reason for such an incredible failure by the press to inform the American people of the dire state of their government under Barack Obama? There are several.
Many advisors to Obama are married into the media, or have worked in media themselves prior to joining the administration. Both Ben Rhodes and Susan Rice have familial connections with powerful executive in (what was once known as) the free press. Four times more journalists identify as liberal compared to conservative. Evidently, with the case of Brian Williams coming to light, some in the media don’t care about the truth and would rather make up bald-faced lies.
Yet the biases above don’t fully explain the conspicuous silence of the mainstream press on the Muslim Brotherhood.
For it is no longer bias or loyalty that sway the press, but fear. The Obama administration has proved that it will stonewall, punish, illegally wiretap, and in general make life difficult for inquisitive members of the press. Case in point, Sharyl Attkisson, who refused go along with the official lies regarding Benghazi. Her documented harassment by the administration sends the intended message, and most spineless editors and producers listen: shut up and report what we say, or else!
Overseas, an aggressive Russia is looking to reassert the power it had under the Czars and the Soviets. Civil unrest in Ukraine has resulted in a war that threatens Russia’s economic security. Simultaneously, Russian-allied Syria, on the Mediterranean, is under attack by U.S.-backed terrorists, who are referred to by the administration and parroting media as “moderates” (that, according to Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper).
When it comes to the genocide and cultural annihilation of Middle Eastern Christians and other minorities, the word is in Washington is mum.
Today’s parallels with the 1930s are hard to miss. In an ominous signal of what may come, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called all European Jews to Israel. All signs point to the conclusion that a much broader war is on the horizon unless something big changes, and fast. And because our allies have very little trust in us, as we continue to back a genocidal Islamic movement, the country finds itself with few international friends and in considerable danger.
If we want to change our future, it behooves us to face reality, no matter what it is. The Muslim Brotherhood is not going to disappear on its own – they are too entrenched. One potential first step would be to formally designate that the Muslim Brotherhood and all affiliated groups are terrorist entities. This has already been done in Egypt, Russia, Syria, the United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia. It is most definitely not “Islamophobic.”
Following the designation, patriotic law enforcement must conduct a thorough investigation of all levels of government, and prosecute all guilty parties according to the Constitution.
Most urgently, the people must demand action! Before too much more time passes, before it is too late.