One of the greatest sins of the Obama administration has been the absolute destruction of the Department of Justice. Once the agency tasked with keeping American government honest, the DOJ has now become a designated political hit squad led by the White House. The latest evidence: three separate DOJ field offices wanted to fulfill the FBI’s request to investigate the Clinton Foundation, but the DOJ turned them down.
The Clinton Foundation has, of course, been under heavy fire for its significant coordination with the State Department. The Clintons used the Foundation as a slush fund; big donors were then granted special access to Hillary and her aides at the State Department.
And the DOJ doesn’t care.
Most Americans now shrug at such improprieties.
That’s because Barack Obama has hollowed out whatever moral core was left at the DOJ. As early as 2011, former DOJ attorney J. Christian Adams revealed that the DOJ had dumped its investigation into the Black Panthers for voter intimidation for racial reasons. According to Adams, “The end result when racial extremists dominate such a powerful division of federal law enforcement is, in a word, lawlessness.” Adams reported that the DOJ hierarchy implemented a “long campaign of political resistance to the Panther lawsuit that ultimately resulted in the dismissal of most of the case – after we had effectively won it.”
And of course, the DOJ, headed by Eric Holder was involved in corrupt dealings from Fast and Furious gunwalking to the racially-motivated investigations into the Trayvon Martin shooting and the Michael Brown shooting. The Holder DOJ spied on journalists from both the Associated Press and Fox News. They refused to prosecute the IRS’ Lois Lerner for clearly abusing her power in targeting conservative 501(c)3 applicants. In June 2012, Eric Holder was held in contempt of Congress, and Obama promptly defended him by utilizing executive privilege.
Now, Loretta Lynch’s DOJ has become the rightful heir to Holder’s dishonorable legacy. But that’s no surprise: when government is this big and this powerful, Democrats will use that power to their own advantage.
No wonder Hillary Clinton can sleep well at night. She knows that no matter what she does, her defenders at the DOJ will shield her from harm.
“The bottom line is clear: a rich range of course offerings isn’t a nicety. It’s a vital part of a thorough education and a crucial element of social justice.” – Dr. John King, Jr., US Secretary of Education, April 15, 2016.
I’m always on the literacy story, and the Secretary of Education, Dr. John King, Jr., is clearly on the same page. On April 15 of this year, he called for the school system to ensure that all children get the knowledge-rich, awe-inspiring education that is essential for literacy, curiosity, and lifelong learning. In fact, he in his statement he argued against the current shift in reading instruction that takes time away from art, science, and other “non-essential” courses. How does that make sense?
One of the top reading researchers in the country explains, “Perhaps the greatest obstacle to improving primary-grade reading is a short-term orientation toward instruction and instructional reform. When the aim is to show reading improvements in a short period of time, spending large amounts of time on word-reading skill and its foundations, and relatively little on comprehension, vocabulary, and conceptual and content knowledge, makes sense…. Yet the long-term consequences of failing to attend to these areas cannot be overstated.”
In other words, reading comprehension is largely a reflection of a child’s overall education. If we provide children with a rich education in science, social studies, and the arts, we are ultimately helping them gain reading comprehension skills.
Dr. King mentioned low-income families and minority groups as the children who are most affected by this shift towards reading instruction at the expense of other courses, but how can we implement these important ideas into our schools?
Create rich, abundant libraries with consistent access. The exposure to exciting and relatable books is an important piece of the literacy puzzle. When surrounded by books on a range of topics from science fiction and World War II to graphic novels and deep sea exploration, students will uncover a thrilling and electrifying world. Keeping the library open throughout the school day so that students can wander in and pick up a book will also enhance the pleasure of reading. This contact with books that are not inherently for reading instruction will make them more likely to be invested in reading in the future.
Encourage principals to make time for all subjects. Even though your goal might be better literacy, research shows that piling on the literacy instruction does not necessarily lead to gains. Therefore, petition the school to keep the curriculum varied. Children should do science experiments, learn about historical movements, and listen to Beethoven’s “Symphony #9.” Students who are invested in their own learning will ultimately be more committed and better readers in the future.
Schedule varied extracurricular activities during the lunch hour. While we all know elementary students have tight schedules and need recess to play and give their minds an academic break, schools can also use lunch periods as a way to entice students into extra learning. Students, even in first or second grade, might be interested in eating their lunch while working on an art project or listening to music. Students in the higher grades might enjoy eating their lunch while working on interior design or learning about the history of Jewish athletes. The goal is to create a rich learning environment – and also to engage in learning for learning’s sake. When we do this, we spark creativity and curiosity.
Read all genres of books at home. I cannot stress enough the importance of reading to your children even as they get old enough to read to themselves. This time with your children not only allows them to gain a closeness with you (and associate reading with pleasant time with a parent), it also exposes them to rich vocabulary and new ideas. Choose books from all genres – non-fiction, fantasy, and even almanacs. Your children will learn more words and more worlds.
“I think it’s highly inappropriate that a United States Supreme Court judge gets involved in a political campaign, frankly,” Republican presumptive nominee Donald Times told the NY Times following a Monday interview with Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in which she confessed, “I can’t imagine what this place would be — I can’t imagine what the country would be — with Donald Trump as our president. . . . For the country, it could be four years. For the court, it could be — I don’t even want to contemplate that.” Ginsburg cited something her late husband used to say on such occasions, “Now it’s time for us to move to New Zealand.”
“I think it’s a disgrace to the court and I think she should apologize to the court,” Trump told the Times. “I couldn’t believe it when I saw it.”
Trump then tweeted early Wednesday morning: “Justice Ginsburg of the US Supreme Court has embarrassed all by making very dumb political statements about me. Her mind is shot – resign!”
But Ginsburg, 83, did not seem to shy away from a good bar brawl when she said about Trump on Monday, speaking to CNN “He is a faker. He has no consistency about him. He says whatever comes into his head at the moment. He really has an ego.”
Which could also be said about a Supreme Court Justice shooting her mouth off in the middle of a heated political campaign.
The Justice’s unusual outbursts have not been accepted with approval by the legal community. New York University law professor Stephen Gillers wrote a Times op-ed titled It’s Clearly Not Right for Justices to Say Which Candidate They Support: “Apart from judicial ethics, the structure of the U.S. Constitution makes the judiciary the nonpolitical branch of government. The executive and legislature are the political branches. Members of Congress and presidents have constituents and seek votes. Federal judges do not.”
“Why do we keep judges out of politics? To protect the rule of law,” Gillers continued. “We want the public to view judicial rulings solely as the product of law and legal reasoning, uninfluenced by political considerations. Acceptance of court rulings is undermined if the public believes that judicial decisions are politically motivated. It’s not that judges don’t disagree among themselves. But disagreements must be over legal principles, not a ruling’s effect on a political candidate or party.”
Stetson University law professor Louis Virelli said that “public comments like the ones that Justice Ginsburg made could be seen as grounds for her to recuse herself from cases involving a future Trump administration.”
“I don’t necessarily think she would be required to do that,” Virelli wrote, “and I certainly don’t believe that she would in every instance, but it could invite challenges to her impartiality based on her public comments.”
After rejecting dozens of objections, the Constitution, Law and Justice Committee on Wednesday approved for its second and third readings in the Knesset plenum a bill which would require non-governmental organizations that get more than half their funding from foreign governments or governmental agencies to make the public servants and elected officials they meet with aware of this fact and also report it in all their written publicity material.
The committee decided to merge three bills: one sponsored by the government and two other proposed by MKs Robert Ilatov (Yisrael Beitenu) and Bezalel Smotrich (HaBayit HaYehudi).
NGOs that will violate the so-called NGO Transparency Law will be fined $7,500. The law, if passed, will not apply retroactively, meaning these organizations will not have to declare such contributions that were received in the past. The law, should it be approved, will go into effect in January 2017 and will only apply to donations received from that date on.
Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked (Habayit Hayehudi) praised the transparency law, saying it would expose the fact that anti-Israeli NGOs are being funded by foreign governments. She said in a statement, “Countries should know that expressing their opinion about events inside Israel should be done via the familiar diplomatic channels. There is no comparable foreign intervention in a state’s internal affairs anywhere in the world, and there is no democracy that would have approved it. We, too, will not permit such a blunt intervention without exposing its foreign funding sources and bringing it to the public’s attention and to the attention of its elected officials.”
After the bill was approved by a vote of 7-6, Constitution Committee Chairman Nissan Slomiansky (HaBayit HaYehudi) said the bill was revised to avoid any constitutional harm. Addressing members of the opposition, he said, “You also admit that nothing much is left of [the bill].”
As to the opposition, its members on the committee were not happy. Neither was MK Benny Begin (Likud), who was elected with the strong intervention of Prime Minister Netanyahu, but who might as well be in the opposition. Begin said the legislation may produce results that do not coincide with the legislator’s intention. “We should operate thrrough diplomatic means,” he argued. “This was proven by the negotiations with Holland, Britain and Switzerland.”
MK Elazar Stern (Yesh Atid) said, “If it were up to MK Smotrich, the law would differentiate between Jewish and Arab donors. The law is devoid of any legal content.”
MK Yael German (Yesh Atid) said the bill “shames and slanders NGOs which criticize the government’s work. Someone recently said that there are buds of fascism in the country. That is what there is in this law – buds of fascism against organizations that promote human rights.”
MK Michal Rozin (Meretz) said the bill clearly “persecutes” NGOs, and called to “throw out of the Knesset legislators who introduce such bizarre laws.”
MK Osama Sa’adi (Joint Arab List) said, “There is a person who contributes tens of millions of dollars to an NGO through a company that is listed in Panama. If we are talking about transparency, then an NGO which is hiding its funds should reveal its sources [of funding].”
MK Revital Swid (Zionist Camp) said the bill was introduced solely “for the political gain of parties that want to show their public that they acted and labeled.”
MK Micky Rosenthal (Zionist Camp) stated that the purpose of the law is to “poke in the eye and say ‘Here, we did it to you on purpose.'” He said NGOs will easily find a way to circumvent the law.
Back in January, Bild, Germany’s largest circulation daily newspaper, supported Shaked’s NGO transparency bill, which had been attacked as anti-democratic by a Washington Post editorial. Bild noted that the criticism of the bill ignores the fact that millions of foreign dollars are given each year to anti-Israeli NGOs which operate inside Israel and support the boycotts against the Jewish State. Can the bill, which merely requires those NGOs to openly reveal their funding sources, really be compared to Putin’s blatantly anti-democratic rule, Bild was wondering.
When those written transcripts start popping up on your local news broadcasts, and you don’t hear or see the parts from Orlando terrorist Omar Mateen about pledging allegiance to Islamic State — there’s a reason for that. The Department of Justice is having the transcripts censored.
Attorney General Loretta Lynch explained, in an interview with NBC’s Chuck Todd on Meet the Press:
“What we’re not going to do is further proclaim this man’s pledges of allegiance to terrorist groups, and further his propaganda,” Lynch said. “We are not going to hear him make his assertions of allegiance [to the Islamic State].”
It appears, from the interview, that we will get to see Mateen’s references to his stated motive for the attack: that he “wanted America to stop bombing his country.” He made this widely reported statement during hostage negotiations with the police.
(The interview with Lynch starts at the 2:00 mark.)
So Mateen’s claims and state of mind will be presented to the American public in the light most sympathetic to his cause. You’ll be bombarded with an accusation that you’re “bombing his country” (which for the record is actually the United States of America, not Afghanistan, given that Mateen was born here and was an American citizen). But the Obama administration won’t let you read, hear, or otherwise inspect his pledges of allegiance to a vile, bloodthirsty, atrocity-committing Islamic guerrilla-terrorist group.
There is no justification for this censorship, of course. Consider the contrast between this bizarre, unjustified, Orwellian redaction and the constant references to the Confederate battle flag after the Dylann Roof atrocity in Charleston last year — a stream of references in which the Obama Justice Department fully participated.
Not only was the Confederate-flag theme constantly invoked. The media and Democratic politicians and activists did way more than do Dylann Roof’s dirty work for him. They manufactured the impression of a Mateen-like explicitness in Roof’s motives.
There were a few photos of Roof posted on social media with the Confederate flag or flag-themed items, but Roof made no declarations of allegiance during the attack, or before or after it, for that matter. I don’t doubt the particular trend of his evil views, but he didn’t proclaim them clearly as a motive for his attack on the black church in Charleston. Others had to flog that theme to increase its prominence and clarity in the public mind.
The DOJ was apparently happy to do that — to “further” Roof’s imputed propaganda, and “further proclaim pledges of allegiance” that he never actually made in relation to the attack. For some reason, it wasn’t dangerous to the American public to have the Confederate flag (and a hysteria-wave about “white supremacism”) shoved in its face after the Charleston attack. It was perfectly fine for the federal authorities to not just let Americans get a big load of Roof’s imputed propaganda, but to make it up and broadcast it for him.
In the case of Islamic terrorist Omar Mateen, however, the DOJ won’t even let the most basic truth about his clearly-stated motive into the written record, or onto the public airwaves. Instead, DOJ is going to effectively sell the American public a lie, and censor the truth from history.
Once more: this is Stalinism. The U.S. Department of Justice is behaving like an organ of the Soviet State circa 1935. It’s already here.
*UPDATE*: It’s a roller-coast week already, and it’s only Monday night. After Lynch made her absurd case on Sunday for omitting the truth from the 911 transcript, DOJ decided on Monday to relent and release the whole transcript — albeit still a doctored one. NY Post notes the ridiculous obviousness of the words originally left out:
Mateen claimed he was under God’s order to kill people at Pulse nightclub in the early hours of June 12. He also dropped the name of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, both of which were blanked out of the earlier versions.
“In the name of God the merciful, the beneficent (in Arabic),” Mateen said during his call at about 2:35 a.m.
“Praise be to God, and prayers as well as peace be upon the prophet of (Arabic). I let you know, I’m in Orlando and I did the shootings.”
The operator asked Mateen his name.
“My name is I pledge of allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi of the Islamic State,” Mateen responded.
Asked his name one more time, Mateen replied: “I pledge allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, may God protect him (Arabic), on behalf of the Islamic State.”
Ryan and other lawmakers couldn’t grasp the motive for ignoring the obvious ISIS connection.
“Selectively editing this transcript is preposterous,” Ryan said in a statement Monday. “We know the shooter was a radical Islamist extremist inspired by ISIS. We also know he intentionally targeted the LGBT community.”
As posted earlier on Monday, however, the 911 transcript still suffers from politically-motivated inaccuracy. Mateen didn’t speak of “God” in his ritual Arabic statements. He spoke of “Allah.” But FBI translators substituted “God” for “Allah” in the released transcript — thus both promoting a lie and obscuring the truth.
The Justice Minsitry NGO Registrar on Thursday published the official document detailing the 27 NGOs and Associations which would be compelled to mention in all their official literature that the bulk of their funding comes from foreign countries, and their representatives would have to wear special ID tags while visiting the Knesset — should the “NGO Law” be passed. The law was initiated by Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked (Habayit Hayehudi).
The list was published upon request by five opposition members of the Knesset Constitution Committee of the Knesset legal adviser Eyal Yinon, after the Committee Chair, MK Nissan Slomiansky (Habayit Hayehudi), had refused to reveal the list. The opposition members were concerned that Slomiansky refuses to share the list because it proves that the law affects primarily leftwing organizations.
The list notes the names of the NGOs, next to their annual turnover, the amount they received from foreign entities and the percentage of their income those foreign funds constitute.
Attorney Talia Sasson, President of the New Israel Fund, said on Thursday that about half the NGOs on the list receive funding from NIF.
In 2005, Talia Sasson issued the Sasson Report, an official Israeli government report that concluded that Israeli state entities had been discreetly diverting millions of shekels to build settlements and illegal outposts in Judea and Samaria. The report was rife with inaccuracies and outright lies, including intentional misquotes of the dates when settlements had been approved so that they would appear illegal.
Here are a few choice NGOs who are, for all intents and purposes, foreign agents working to influence Israeli policy:
The NGO Ir Amim, which on Thursday appealed to the Supreme Court to ban Jerusalem Liberation Day flag marchers from entering the Muslim Quarter Sunday, has an annual turnover of $844,539.90, out of which 64%, or $537,405.17 come from foreign entities. It is the most current and vivid example of how the will of the majority of Jews living in Israel is being directly subverted using millions of dollars from groups which are often the declared or tacit enemies of the Jewish State.
It should be noted that US organizations that receive any of their funding—not 50% or more as the Shaked bill demands—from non-American sources must register as foreign agents in their dealing with any of the branches of government.
Polish Justice Minister and Prosecutor General (in Poland you can be both) Zbigniew Ziobro on Tuesday declared that he plans to appeal a Polish court ruling not to extradite 82-year-old, Oscar-winning film director Roman Polanski, to face charges of jumping bail for a 1977 case of statutory rape, news agencies reported. Ziobro told Polish radio that the reason for his attempt to extradite Polanski is that “he is accused of a terrible crime against a child, the rape of a child.”
Justice Minister Ziobro has gained a reputation in Poland of a stickler for the law, but also of being a polarizing figure in Poland’s politics. His uncompromising prosecutorial style has earned him the title of Man of the year for 2006, awarded by Newsweek-format Wprost magazine. But his policies have been criticized as partisan and overzealous by local and international press.
According to Wprost, Ziboro has turned the Polanski extradition into one of his pet campaign issues, and last October, after a Krakow Regional Court ruled against the extradition of Roman Polanski to the United States, Ziobro promised to take action to extradite Polanski. “Mr. Polanski cannot stand above the law,” he declared. “Therefore, I believe that the future minister of justice, whoever he may be (wink, wink, nudge, nudge) should agree to extradite Polanski to the United States. There can be no protection from responsibility due to the status of a person for such heinous acts, such as sexually abusing a minor in the absence of her parents. Pedophilia is evil and must be definitely removed.”
Krakow Regional Judge Dariusz Mazur wrote in his October ruling that “had Poland accepted the US extradition request, it would have violated the rights of Mr Polanski and at the same time the European Convention on Human Rights.”
Jerzy Stachowicz, an attorney for the aging Polanski, told AFP: “We were expecting this. Ziobro had previously announced he was going to do this. For the moment, we won’t be commenting because we don’t know whether he has already done it or whether he is about to do it.”
Presumably, Polish defendants receive some manner of notification in these instances.
Roman Polanski / Photo credit: FICG.mx
In 1977, Polanski was arrested in Los Angeles and charged with five counts against Samantha Gailey, 13: rape by use of drugs, perversion, sodomy, lewd and lascivious act upon a child under 14, and furnishing a controlled substance to a minor. At his arraignment Polanski pleaded not guilty to all charges, but later accepted a plea bargain which dismissed the five initial charges in exchange for a guilty plea to the lesser charge of engaging in unlawful sexual intercourse. Polanski underwent a court-ordered psychiatric evaluation, followed by a recommendation of probation. But according to the documentary “Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired,” things changed after a conversation with LA Deputy District Attorney David Wells and the judge, Laurence J. Rittenband. Polanski’s attorneys insist that the judge suggested to them he planned to send the director to prison and order him deported. In response to the threat of imprisonment, Polanski fled the United States, first to England, then to Paris. He was born in Paris in 1933 to Polish Jewish parents, and his family returned home to Poland just before World War II.