THIS WILL APPEAR IN THE BERNICE BANNER, BERNICE LOUISIANA THE WEEK OF 2/23/2019
In November of 2014 a young female took her father provided college tuition, boarded a plane and flew to the Middle East to join ISIS. This female, Hoda Muthana, was born in Hackensack, New Jersey in October of 1994. Her father had been a diplomat to the United Nations and represented the country of Yemen. Her father was no longer deemed a diplomatic from Yemen one month prior to Hoda’s birth. This small fact will become a major point as Hoda attempts to re-enter America.
When Hoda Mathana arrived in Syria she was placed in a barracks where she was made available as an ISIS bride for fighters. Her first husband was an Australian jihadist that had come to Syria to fight for ISIS. He was killed in 2015 and she then married another fighter from Tunisia who was killed in 2017. She then married and divorced a third fighter. The fact that ISIS was being kicked all over the battlefield and losing much of its’ conquered land must have lead to that sinking feeling that the caliphate was losing and the thrill of the victory was over. On January 10th Hoda and Kimberley Gwen Polman, a dual citizenship holder of American and Canadian citizenship, surrendered to American troops in Hajin in the final days of the battle.
Hoda now wants to return to America. She states that she is ready to face the consequences of what she has done. What is truly being said is that being in a prison in the United States is better than being in a refugee camp in Syria. Amazing how America is so bad until the rest of the world is experienced and it is realized that we are really not so bad after all; in fact it is pretty dang good. The Trump administration says she is to be denied admission to the United States and Mike Pompeo, Secretary of State, has stated this quit emphatically. While the emotions run high and so many are quick to bar her admission to the United States, the laws of our great nation may differ with that opinion.
If Hoda is an American citizen she can not be barred entrance to America. This may not be as bad as it seems. In this case the majority of America despise her and she needs to face the punishment she deserves; but to bar a person from re-entering the United States due to anything that is not a documented law sets a dangerous precedent. In the future a President or Secretary of State may want to bar a citizen from re-entering the country for anything that is felt to be a threat to himself, use the country’s security as an excuse and then use Hoda as the precedent that has been established. Mike Pompeo states that Hoda was never a citizen since her father was a diplomat and children of diplomats are not automatically accorded citizenship if born in America. If this is the case then Hoda is a citizen of Yemen and not the United States; therefore, she does not deserve entrance to our great country. If, in fact, she was born after her father was no longer a diplomat, she is a citizen of America and can not be barred from entering the United States.
There is another option to address. A person can be stripped of citizenship for several reasons. If a person declares a voluntary allegiance to another country they can be stripped of citizenship. This happens if a person works for a foreign government or serve in the military of a country that is at war with the United States. ISIS had declared itself a country and Hoda volunteered to go to be a part of this. This has to be settled in court.
Another action that can be taken is to declare treason. This is one of the most despicable actions that can be performed by any American. To be found guilty of treason a person must “levy war” against the United States or provide “aid and comfort” to an enemy of the United States. If found guilty of treason, Hoda could lose citizenship after serving a prison sentence. The one aspect of this action is that Hoda must return to the United States and stand trial according to the laws of our nation.
Since 1979 America had stripped 107 people of their citizenship and these were all naturalized citizens, not people accorded citizenship by being born in the country. Stripping a person of birth right citizenship has not happened except in the fictional story “Man Without a Country” by Edward Everett Hale. If Hoda is stripped of citizenship it will be a first for America.
Some may think that if she burned her passport and denounced America she has renounced her citizenship. In fact the United States is quit specific on this manner. She would have to appear at a United States foreign mission and formally renounce her American citizenship. It is doubtful that this ever happened.
My opinion on what will happen is that the action to keep her out of America will be settled in court and may go as high as the United States Supreme Court and it will be proven that she is in fact an American citizen. She will be allowed entrance to the United States where she will be immediately arrested and will stand trial for various and numerous charges to which she will go to prison. Her son will receive American citizenship and will be raised by Hoda’s parents in Alabama.

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THE CANCER AMONG US

Posted: February 17, 2019 in Uncategorized

THIS WILL APPEAR IN THE BERNICE BANNER, BERNICE, LOUISIANA, THE WEEK OF 2/172019
Cancer begins in a very small location within the body. It grows undetected until the deadly disease has spread and the damage has become apparent. Today our country is seeing a cancer form that appears to be isolated and led by a small group of politicians that have been elected to offices in our Federal government. While most of America ignores the initial disease, it is present and due to the fervor created by its’ leadership the potential for growth is there and the consequences threaten the very foundation of our country.
In the 1920s a small unknown political organization was taking root in Germany. The group was made up of young idealistic young men. Eventually women would join the political party and they even adopted a unique and smart uniform. Their leader was charismatic and could sway a crowd with his vibrant speaking ability. His ideas were revolutionary and unique and since they were outside the norm of how the country and most of the world operated the leader was not taken as a legitimate threat to the German leadership. One American magazine of the time said that the new movement was not to be taken seriously. The organization was compared to very little more than a group of Boy Scouts. A major theme of the group was anti-Semitism; however, the New York Times ran a story in 1922 that said this was no real threat and the anti-Semitism was merely a way to attract followers but nothing else. Like the cancer this small movement hooked the interest of the population of Germany and filled a need the country looked for. Behind pomp and circumstance, blaring trumpets and highly charged speeches Adolph Hitler grew his Nazi movement to become the scourge of the world while systematically killing six million Jews. The cancer began small, very small. It grew and like the pinnacles of cancer the Nazi doctrine almost consumed the world.
Germany was also home to another zealot; a fanatic that predated Adolf Hitler but one that felt like the world was wrong and the socio-economic make-up of this planet needed to change. His power of persuasion came from his writings, not his speaking ability. He was the father of socialism and felt that capitalism was a curse that must be eliminated. In the mid-1800s when much of the working class of the world felt despair while the aristocracy of a monarchy style of European government lived in luxury, socialism drew supporters from the working class of Europe. Again, the desire to have a better life saw socialism grow across Europe. The teachings of Carl Marx lead to the ultimate disgrace of human society, communism; a doctrine that saw millions of fellow Russians die in the purges eventually launched by Joseph Stalin. America had its’ earlier minor experiments with socialism only to see these fail miserably. Instead America was the shining beacon for capitalism and defeated the Nazi regime on the battlefield and destroyed socialism and communism with economic policies.
Can we find economic disparity in America today. Yes, in certain areas of our great nation it is there but it is not socialism that will lift those that want to excel in life. Capitalism and a free democratic system will continue to allow a person to grow and provide the opportunity to better themselves. Unfortunately, some do not want to put a maximum effort in building their lives and thus grow our nation. To these, socialism is the course to take. The allure of the doctrine is tempting. A central government that will provide all the worldly needs can attract many to this form of government.
At this time this doctrine is beginning to grow in the halls of Washington. Like our cancer that started small, socialistic tendencies will grow into full blown socialism and then we will see the decline of a nation that prided itself on individualism, self-reliance and freedom to choose ones’ journey in life. We must insure that our country provides an opportunity for its’ population to make its own decisions, unencumbered by regulations and without someone telling it how it should live.

CONGRESSIONAL INDIGNITY

Posted: February 16, 2019 in Uncategorized

North America is a human magnet and the United States has the strongest attraction. It has always been that way ever since Christopher Columbus let the little-known secret out of the bag after he landed in the Dominican Republic that there is a new world for those that want it. The lure of freedom from persecution and a chance to grow and be the best a person can be pulled people from all parts of the globe to the “New World”.
When America gained its’ independence from England the gates remained open for immigrants to come to our shores. Over time America grew geographically either through acquisitions such as the Louisiana Purchase or through armed conflict such as the Mexican American war. One thing was certain, people that came to America came to be Americans. Many times they settled in communities populated with individuals of the same ethnic background. New York had little Italy where thousands from Italians settled while our own Cajun population settled in the bayous and swamps of Louisiana. While people lived where they felt comfortable with individuals of their own background, they all had one common bond; they were Americans. There did not come to America to change the complexion of the country, they came to America to embrace what America had to offer. They did not come to America seeking a handout; they came to America for an opportunity to make their own living without oppressive government regulations. They wanted the boot of government oppression lifted from their necks. They wanted to have input in their future without a dictatorial centralized government that monitored and controlled their every part of life.
Certain small demographical points of America have changed from the core values that freemen once embraced. Instead of proving oneself and having the satisfaction of achievement, some individuals would rather let a central government provide all the creature comforts, dictate what is consumed and tell the population what is good or what is bad. Values that built this great nation are not important and opening the door to cultures that want to come to America and then rebuild it into a new image is what the Socialist movement in America aspires to. Two newly elected members of Congress, Ilhan Omar and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, are not happy with a nation that allows them to sleep under a free moon while encouraging them to be an active part in a governmental process that saved the world for democracy while cuddling the oppressed of the world in its benevolent bosom. These two are not satisfied with providing leadership and guidance in their new positions. Instead they are only happy when they feel they are punishing the men and women that are continually building and growing our great nation.
Omar was the first African immigrant to be elected to the American congress. She was born in Mogadishu, Somalia. Here mother died when she was two and she spent four years in a refugee camp while being raised by her father. Eventually America opened its arms and welcomed her and her father to America. High school was not easy and she would be bullied for her religious attire. Not a good American virtue. When she ran for public office she was accused of misuse of campaign finances to use for her personal use. She is identified as a socialist democrat and her support of the socialist Maduro’s government in Venezuela discloses her disdain for the Trump administration. Her unprofessional grilling of Elliot Abrams, Venezuelan special envoy and a delegate in the Trump Administration, was a low point in the history of the United States Congress. Her smirk appeared to bring pleasure as she attempted to embarrass and attack this career diplomat. Perhaps she should find pleasures in a country that saved her from a refugee camp in Kenya instead of trying to change the structure of this noble nation.
Next week we will look at another freshman congressman that feels that punishment of the hard working men and women and beating them into a submissive socialist regime is the way to change America.

RELIGIOUS TOLERANCE IN AMERICA

Posted: February 11, 2019 in Uncategorized

THIS WILL APPEAR IN THE FARMERVILLE GAZETTE THE WEEK OF 2/11/2019
Following the end of World War II America was among the countries that supported the formation of a homeland for the Jews. This country was to be in the original homeland of the Israelites and thus Israel was born. The country has never seen true peace since that time but instead of cowering down and pleaded for handouts from the international community, it has grown and prospered and has become a vibrant country.
Many say that the United States, Britain, France and other Western countries back Israel and turn their backs on the Arab countries and the plight of the Palestinians, the people that lived in the lands carved out for Israel. The truth is that America and its’ allies are supporting the country it built and have not sided against the Arabs. Israel has never blown up an American plane, killed any American hostages nor blown up one building in the United States nor have they backed groups that have done so. Unfortunately, many in the world see America as the aggressor and feel that America is the “Great Satan” for its’ support of Israel.
Earlier this week the a democratic Muslim congresswomen, Omar , was called out for  anti-Semitic rhetoric. America was founded on religious tolerance and it is important that anti-Semitic rhetoric, just as anti-Muslim, anti-Christian, anti-Hindi or anti-any religion should not be part of our national leadership.
I lived in a country that was completely anti-Semitic. It was a part of the countries dialogue and I accepted that this was their belief and though I did not like the rhetoric, I made the choice to live there and not to dissent with what the country believed. The word Israel was not to be used by the countries citizens and the term occupied Palestine was to be used instead. There was once an anti-Israeli black list and anyone doing business with Israel would not be allowed to sell to the Arab League. Names such as Coke, Ford and Jeep were included. Desert Storm and the support provided by Western countries ended the embargo. If a person had an Israeli stamp in their passport, they would not be allowed to enter the Arab countries.
It was good to get back to the United States where a person could speak as they wished and where anti-Semitic voices were not heard. Tolerance for religion is a hallmark of our great nation and there is no place for hate speech against another religious group. This is especially true in the halls of our Federal government in Washington. As expected the Republican side of the house is in an uproar and some strong willed Democratic individuals with a strong conscience have spoken up in protest to the comments levied at Israel. Chelsy Clinton, daughter of former democratic president Bill Clinton has spoken out against the anti-Semitic comments. As of Monday, one Democratic congressman had berated the comments. Unfortunately, the Democratic leadership in Washington has not found it within themselves to denounce hate speech by their own colleagues. This is in stark contrast to the noble Democrats in Virginia who have called for the three leading elected officials in the state, all Democrats, to step down amid stories of racism and sexual assault. Perhaps Washington could take a lesson from the Virginia turmoil.
What we need by everyone in this great nation is to reflect on what made us great and build on these strengths, especially when it comes to religious tolerance.

THIS WILL APPEAR IN THE BERNICE BANNER THE WEEK OF 2/11/2019

The Constitution of the United States of America is one of the most powerful documents created by man. It is amazing to think that the authors of these dynamic words were assembled from the back woods of a country viewed by its’ European owners as primitive and lacking culture and education. What was not understood was that the independence required to uproot a family and move to a new land took a unique individual and this type of person was a requirement to carve out a nation such we are now citizens of.

When our founding fathers assembled in Philadelphia, created treason against England and carved out the document that anchors the laws of our great country, they were actually influenced by the writings of a man that lived ninety years prior to the Constitution Convention.
John Locke was an English physician and philosopher and was considered to be an early enlightenment thinker. Thomas Jefferson directly adopted some of Locke’s writings to include the notion that man is entitled to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. Jefferson added to this unique philosophy that the government will insure these tenants of the constitution are protected.

John Locke influenced many parts of our early crafting of this great nation. One aspect that he wrote about was his view of tolerance. While we have prided ourselves at keeping the American Government separate from the religious institutions that freely worship without bias within the boundaries of our country, there is no denying that the Judeo-Christian influence was paramount in the early days of our government’s development. Locke’s writing of tolerance are not to be denied and his “Letter Concerning Tolerance” is a hallmark describing how man should be tolerant of man.

Locke stated that “toleration to be the chief characteristic mark of the true Church”. He went on the say, “The toleration of those that differ from others in matters of religion is so agreeable to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and to the genuine reason of mankind, that it seems monstrous for men to be so blind as not to perceive the necessity and advantage of it in so clear a light.” In essence, we need to be tolerant of others beliefs and live in harmony in the land of the free.
The intent of this guarantee of tolerance was intended to insure that the majority does not impose its beliefs and religion on to the minority. Unfortunately, this has been lost in translation and a politically correct society has turned the table on the laws of the land. Instead of allowing institutions in the minority to freely display their brand of society without retribution, we are now seeing that the minority are declaring that the majority cannot practice its own beliefs because theY differ from the minority. Unfortunately a large segment of corporate America cowered down to the protests of minority groups who claim that their rights are being violated and the government should be tolerant toward the minority and not allow the majority to practice their beliefs.
What we need is a strong dose of values where we are tolerant of other’s beliefs. Instead of screaming insults at someone because of their beliefs we should take the time to try to understand why another person believes the way they believe.

There has been a lot of discussion about the Federal Reserve and the role it plays in the American economy. In recent months much of the rhetoric surrounding the Federal Reserve is used in the context of the stock market and how the Federal Reserve can negatively affect the market. While the Fed, as it is commonly called, does affect the market, it has a far greater impact on the overall economy.
Our current Central Bank, the Federal Reserve, is the third central Bank of the United States. The first Central Bank was created in 1791 and signed into existence by George Washington, This bank was encouraged by Alexander Hamilton with opposition by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. The charter was for twenty years and expired in 1811. Ironically it was Madison who reenacted the second central bank in 1816. The bank was again chartered for twenty years and in 1836 the charter expired and was not renewed therefore there was no central control of money. In 1873, 1893 and 1907 America saw bank panics.
The current Fed is the central bank of the United States. It was created by the Woodrow Wilson administration in 1913 following the several financial panics in the country. The purpose of the Federal Reserve was to provide central control of the monetary system to reduce the threat of a financial crisis. Financial events such as the Great Depression and the financial crisis we witnessed in the 2000s led to greater control given to the Fed.
Originally the Fed was given three objectives. These were to maximize employment, stabilize prices and moderating long-term interest rates. Following the inauguration of the Fed and after various financial crisis ensued, other mandates, responsibilities and authorities were given to the Federal Reserve. These include bank regulation, financial system stability, providing financial services to depository institutions and the U.S. government and foreign institutions. This collection of responsibilities is large, wide ranging and very powerful when viewed from the importance of the United States impact on the world economy.
The Fed was chartered in a manner that it will remain independent of dictates of Congress or the President. This will insure that political affiliation does not enter into the decisions made by the Federal Reserve.
The most apparent influence of the Federal Reserve that we see today is the prime interest rate. The Fed sets the discount rate which is the interest rate a bank can borrow money from the Federal Reserve. This rate, commonly called the overnight rate, then influences the prime rate which is the interest rate a bank will lend to its favored customers, the customers with a good credit rating. This authority given to the Fed has major implications for our economy. If the economy is heating up and inflation raises its’ ugly head the Fed will raise the discount rate to increases the rate banks lend to customers and slow down the economy. If unemployment is high, the Fed can lower the rate and stimulate the economy and thus encourage more employment. To stimulate the economy for labor issues or if it appears that the United States is slipping into a recession, the Fed must have an established interest rate that it can reduce.
Recently there has been a cry for the Feds to stop raising rates. The Fed had lowered the rate to almost 0 % to save the country from a major recession in the early 2000s. To insure that they would have the ability to lower this rate during future emergencies, the Fed has slowly raised the rate it will lend commercial banks. The stock market felt that the rates are beginning to hurt the economy so the stock market saw a dramatic slide. Last week the Fed announced that they will not raise the interest rate for the immediate time and thus the concerns within our economic community have been quieted and a more stable business model will ensue.
In the future if it is felt that a fund rate is required, it would be more prudent to raise the rate at 1/8% increases instead of the larger 1/4 % we have witnessed over the past several years. This will provide a more manageable increase to a vibrant economy.

Five years ago I began writing about Syria and how America needed to inject its’ support for the opposition militia that was attempting to overthrow the tyrannical Hafez al-Assad regime. Less that three hundred people had been killed at that time as America stood on the sidelines; mute. In April of 2016 the United Nations estimated that approximately four hundred thousand men, women and children had been killed. That same year the united Nations stated that approximately six million refugees had fled the Syrian Civil War. Many are in Jordan putting a large burden on one of America’s key ally’s when a large sector of the refugee are spread across Europe. Initially we warned Syria to not use chemical weapons which they did in 2013 and again we did nothing. In 2018 Syria again used gas and America and allies responded with a massive missile attack.
As America stood by and watched, ISIS formed and grew and built a structured military that spread across the Mid-East in much the same manner as Atilla the Hun did in Europe in the 5rd Century. Though the movie VICE inappropriately blamed Richard Cheney for the formation of ISIS, it was the delay of action by America under the Obama Administration that led to the massive growth of this terror group. It is estimated that ISIS killed 17,000 Christian and Shiite Muslims in Iraq alone.
While America stood by and watched what was happening in Syria, Russia and Vladimir Putin seized the opportunity to insert itself in the conflict and became a key supporter of the Assad regime. Russia, not America, was the key figure in Syria and provided support that kept the deplorable regime in power.
America stood by in silence as the American influence witnessed over the last two hundred years dwindled to a point of leading from behind. America did finally take a more active approach to ISIS and it has greatly diminished; however, Assad remains in control of Syria and is likely to remain in power.
I have also been vocal about the socialist regime in Venezuela and how the government uses America as the great threat to the country to disguise the failure of the Venezuelan government. The beautiful South American country is now at a key turning point in its’ history. A second democratically designated government is claiming to be the legitimate government; a government that can bring peace and a bright future to the citizens of this corrupt country.
America now has an opportunity to perform in Venezuela as I had hoped we would have done in Syria and the Trump administration is doing just that. As riots are breaking out in the streets of Caracas our Vice President Pence has contacted the opposition leadership and told them that America supports them. Other countries around the world are likewise recognizing the new opposition government. The American announcement was broadcast to the world so all know who we are backing. America has now blocked funds from the oil giant Citgo from going back to the current regime in an effort to choke the governmental cronies. Also, the half million barrels a day of oil sold to American refineries in Texas and Louisiana has been sanctioned. The effect of this is unclear as Russia and China have stated they will purchase the crude and Putin has formally backed the current Madura socialist regime. The thaw in the cold war is beginning to re-freeze.
It is going to be interesting to see how Venezuela turns out. One thing is certain, America is rising to the cause of freedom and liberty and is once again standing tall in the world. America’s divine guidance is to be a participant and not an observer and we have now resurrected this direction.