South Carolina Tells Nikki Haley “No Refugees”

photo by WLTXPresident Obama’s accelerated plan to resettle up to 200,000 Syrian refugees in the United States over the next two years faces a tsunami of opposition from American citizens, and their security concerns over the program have pressed elected officials at every level into action.

Senator Jeff Sessions conducted an oversight hearing on the resettlement plan, and today House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell called for a task force to find a way to put the program on hold until their security concerns could be addressed and resolved.  A number of congressmen have made statements in opposition, and some have proposed bills prohibiting the resettlement of Syrian refugees in the U.S.

Last night the Dept. of Homeland Security, the FBI, and the State Department held a classified briefing in an attempt to assuage the concerns of members of Congress.  South Carolina congressman Mick Mulvaney said the briefing did not offer much new information but added he has done his own research and determined that the vetting process amounts to little more than a question on a form asking, “Have you ever been convicted of a crime?”  Mulvaney expects a House vote today which would require the agencies to specifically vet each refugee in detail prior to approval for resettlement.  “That would be the ‘pause’ some have referred to,” he said.

Pressure is being applied at the state level as well, and as of this writing over 30 governors have stated opposition to Syrian refugee resettlement in their respective states.  South Carolina governor Nikki Haley was an early advocate of the program, but acquiesced to calls for tighter security and wrote a letter to the State Department requesting a hold on Syrian refugees headed for her state.  South Carolina state representative Chip Limehouse plans to file a bill that would prevent the state from funding refugee relocation.

At the local level, county councils in South Carolina, supported by fervid testimony from constituents at council meetings, are passing resolutions that they hope would prevent Governor Haley from placing refugees in their counties.  Greenville County’s resolution stated, in part: “…the Greenville County Council will not approve or proceed with the United States Refugee Resettlement Program and rejects the expenditure of state funds to assist the United States Refugee Resettlement Program in Greenville County.”

While the Greenville County resolution won unanimous approval, as did similar bills in Berkeley and Pickens counties, York County’s motion by councilman Bruce Henderson failed for lack of a second.  Councilman Robert Winkler told me he is completely opposed to any program that might bring a terrorist to our shores.  When asked why he wouldn’t second the motion, he said, “We just didn’t have enough time to know exactly what we were voting for.  But I don’t really think there is anything we can do about it anyway – if Governor Haley wants to put refugees in our county, she can just do it, no matter what we say.”  Winkler pointed out that not much county money is spent directly on refugees other than the cost of police, fire departments, and schools.  Benefits such as food stamps, cash welfare, health care and housing are funded by the state and federal governments, so the county does not have any control over expenditures for refugees.

It’s not clear exactly who, if anyone, has the authority to stop the Obama administration from proceeding with the resettlement of Syrian refugees, or, for that matter, any other refugees.

Governor Haley contends that no Syrian refugees have been resettled in South Carolina to date.  If the predominantly conservative local and state officials prevail, that status will not change any time soon.

This article is sponsored by Watchdog Arena.

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

Rockin' On the Right Side

And if she should tell you “come closer”
And if she tempts you with her charms
Tell her no no no no no-no-no-no
No no no no no-no-no-no
No no no no no
Don’t hurt me now for her love belongs to me

Tell Her No – the Zombies

They song may be from 1965.  But the Zombies are still alive!

Refugees Knockin’ At the Door – Don’t Let ‘Em In

(AP Photo/Marko Drobnjakovic)

(AP Photo/Marko Drobnjakovic)

Someone’s knockin’ at the door! Somebody’s ringing the bell!

President Obama sings, “Open the door, and let ’em in.”

Never mind that public opinion weighs heavily against allowing Syrian refugees to resettle in the United States. Or that one of the ISIS thugs who brutally murdered Parisians this week is thought to have used a fake Syrian passport, throwing question on whether refugees can be vetted. Or that thirty-one governors (at last count) are opposed to to importing Syrian refugees.

Other governors, like Republican Nikki Haley of South Carolina and Democrat Steve Bullock of Montana are doing the Kabuki dance on the refugee issue. They were for it before they were against it, and then for it again, kinda, but maybe against it. That kind of Charlie Brown leadership does not enhance political resumes.

Republican presidential candidates? Lock the door. Democrats? Let ’em in.

Refugee resettlement advocates would have us believe that this is not such a big deal – it’s only about a relatively small number of Syrians, most of whom are abused Christians, who are seeking refuge in the United States. If only that were true – any of it.

In the first six weeks of this year 98% of all Syrian refugees resettled in the U.S. were Sunni Muslim. At least 75% of the immigrants flooding into Europe every day through doors specifically swung open for Syrians are not Syrian, and are not refugees. They are opportunists from third-world countries all over Africa and the Middle East, seeking economic benefits. Why shouldn’t we expect the same in the U.S., especially since nearly all refugees here are on food stamps, cash welfare, and other government benefits, according to the Office of Refugee Resettlement?

Not mentioned by the refugee advocates are all the others who are arriving here – the unvetted non-Syrian refugees, the fake asylum seekers, or the illegals who overstayed visas or walked across our porous borders. The recent election of a refugee-happy prime minister to our north doesn’t brighten the situation.

Don’t fall for the crocodile tears. This is not a question of charity – those who clamor for more immigration and refugee resettlement are taking food from the mouths of our own hungry, jobs from our own unemployed, and the hope for a safe nation with traditional American values from our own children. There is no comparing today’s immigration and refugee situation with Ellis Island. This is nothing short of an invasion of our home by people who want to replace us, not join us.

If altruism demands that we help those truly in need, let’s help them in their home countries.  Let’s help them defeat their oppressors, if that’s the cause of their misery.  But if they won’t defend their own homes and families, and come knocking at our door demanding our food, shelter, and safety, we have no choice.

Close the door. Don’t let ’em in.

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

Rockin' On the Right Side

Someone’s knockin’ at the door,
Somebody’s ringin’ the bell,
Someone’s knockin’ at the door,
Somebody’s ringin’ the bell,
Do me a favor, open the door
And let ’em in!

Let ‘Em In – Paul McCartney

Police Body-Cameras – A Good Idea Seeking Funds

On April 4, 2015, Walter Scott was stopped in North Charleston, SC by officer Michael Slater because his brake lights weren’t working. While the officer was on his car radio, learning that Scott had some outstanding warrants, Scott took off on the run.  Slater pursued him, and they scuffled; Scott was tasered at least once, and ran off again.  Officer Slater fired eight shots at Scott, hitting him five times, once fatally in the heart.  The officer’s initial report said he “feared for his life” because Scott had taken his taser, even though Scott was unarmed.

An eyewitness, Feiden Santana, recorded the incident on his smart phone.  He released his video recording when police reports contradicted what he saw.  According to Santana, Scott never took the taser, and was in fact fleeing to avoid being tasered again.

The shooting received considerable national publicity in the wake of allegations of police excesses in Missouri and New York. The Charleston Police Dept. fired Scott four days later, and the community rallied to prevent what could have been an ugly backlash. Officer Slate was subsequently charged with murder.

This ugly incident was quickly and appropriately dealt with by local officials, but the South Carolina legislature took the matter a step further, passing the “Walter Scott” bill – a law that requires all South Carolina law enforcement officers to wear body cameras.   Governor Nikki Haley said, “This is going to strengthen the people of South Carolina. This is going to strengthen law enforcement, and this is going to make sure Walter Scott did not die without us realizing that we have a problem.”

We do, however, still have a problem: coming up with the funds to pay for the newly-required technology, estimated at $23 million over the first two years.  The South Carolina legislature has yet to fully fund the plan.

Meanwhile, law enforcement officials across the country are ready to make the move to body cameras, should a source of funding become available.  The Reporters Committee has compiled a list and map of states showing their status on the body-camera issue.

Congressman Tim Scott (R-SC) hopes to provide federal funding for that purpose, proposing his “Safer Officers and Safer Citizens Act”, which would allocate $500 million federal dollars over five years to help local agencies acquire body-camera technology.  Scott said,

“Across our nation, too often we are seeing a lack of trust between communities and law enforcement lead to tragedy. While rebuilding that sense of trust will take time, I believe that providing law enforcement agencies with the resources they need to equip officers with body-worn cameras is an important step. We have seen that body-worn cameras can keep both officers and citizens safer, and that video can help provide clarity following an altercation. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a video is worth a thousand pictures.”

Congressman Scott’s bill offers what many call a common-sense solution to a nagging problem:  how to balance the effectiveness of police officers with the rights and safety of citizens.  Like all federal solutions, its fate lies in the ability to muster enough support to win an appropriation of funds.

This article can be seen in its entirety at Watchdog Arena.

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

Rockin' On the Right Side

 

I am the eye in the sky
Looking at you
I can read your mind

Eye In the Sky – Alan Parson Project

 

With a smart phone in every pocket, the “Eye In the Sky” is inescapable.  I can’t explain why I have always loved this song.  As a musician, there are just a lot of things going on here that excel.

Is the U.N. Sending Muslim Refugees to Your Town?

Very few Americans are aware of the US Refugee Resettlement Program.  In compliance with a United Nations directive, the US government pays nine government contractors (six of them ostensibly church-related) handsome fees to arrange for drops of third-world refugees in cities and towns all over our country, without warning or gaining permission from local governments, who are then forced to provide education, medical care, and social services.  Ann Corcoran, founder of Refugee Resettlement Watch, has been waving the red flag for many years, trying to draw attention to what she says is a dangerous, secretive program:

In April residents of Spartanburg, SC, were alarmed to learn that their city was slated to receive about 60 of the 70,000 incoming refugees in the upcoming year, without any public approval or information about how they would be assimilated into the community.  Under pressure from his constituents, Congressman Trey Gowdy demanded answers from Secretary of State John Kerry:

Dear Secretary Kerry,

I write regarding the potential resettlement of refugees to the Spartanburg, South Carolina, area. It has been reported by media outlets, and confirmed by staff within your Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM), that a resettlement agency submitted a proposal to open an office in Spartanburg. In addition, it is my understanding that the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) approved the request to resettle a certain number of refugees in Spartanburg.

As the Member of the U.S. House of Representatives representing the Spartanburg area, I am deeply concerned about the lack of notice, information, and consultation afforded to me and my constituents about this issue . . .

Congressman Gowdy asked: Who authorized the resettlement and when?  How was the decision communicated to state and local officials?  What plans are in place to provide and fund food, housing, education and employment for the refugees?   The State Department sent a response, but it did not satisfy Congressman Gowdy, and he continues to press the issue.

Meanwhile, South Carolina governor Nikki Haley came out in support of the refugee resettlement program.  But she admits the lack of transparency has been a problem.

A main criticism of the resettlement program is inadequate screening of the refugees.  Recent news stories about resettled refugees report violent crime, abuse of women and children, refusal to assimilate, and connections to Muslim terrorists. Conservatives also point to the economic impacts – not only the cost of the program, but the seemingly clandestine way that taxpayer funds are diverted to pseudo-charitable agencies run by officials who draw huge salaries.

Since the USA has nothing to gain, and in fact incurs significant cost and risk, by immigrating foreigners from countries who are hostile to us and abhor our way of life, the resettlement program must be considered charity.  But by definition, charity is a voluntary act of giving.  The refugee resettlement program is yet one more instance of our government taking wealth from taxpaying citizens and extending charity without their consent – or even their knowledge.  Our government and news media must provide transparency on this program.

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

Rockin' On the Right Side

We got somethin’ we both know it, we don’t talk too much about it
Yeah, it ain’t no real big secret all the same, somehow we get around it
Listen it don’t really matter to me, baby
You believe what you want to believe
You see, you don’t have to live like a refugee

Refugee – Tom Petty

Reid Out, McConnell In. I Should Be Happy, Right?

reid-and-mcconnellTwo years ago Obama won re-election and the Democrat propaganda machine (war on women, everybody is racist, global warming, gay marriage, blah blah blah) seemed unstoppable.   I was in shock and dismay for a long time.

Yesterday the Democrats got a serious butt-whoopin’ as voters roundly repudiated their tired cliches and failed policies, electing a flood of Republicans.  Shouldn’t it feel better than this?  Seems like we should be dancing in the streets.

Harry Reid is no longer the Senate majority leader.  Hooray!  Has there ever been a more corrupt, cynical, dishonest person in such a position of power?  The best interests of the country and its citizens never made Reid’s priority list.  The accumulation of personal wealth and political power were his only ambitions and he pursued both relentlessly.

Republican minority leader Mitch McConnell won his re-election bid, and will assume Reid’s role at the helm of the Senate.  I should be happy . . . I guess.

Mitch McConnell is the face of the Republican insider club who promised he would “crush” the Tea Party.   McConnell, John Boehner, and other old-guard Republicans view their sweeping victory as a death-blow to the conservatives – the very same without whose effort and money his Republican party could not have prevailed.

McConnell consummated his re-election by stating that he would not take any extraordinary measures to address our $18 trillion dollar debt.

 

Asked whether he would insist on more deficit-reduction before going along with raising the debt ceiling, McConnell noted that when the House of Representatives and Senate write their fiscal 2016 budget blueprints, there could be a “mechanism” for addressing this issue. – Reuters

 

Looks like it will be spending-as-usual in Washington, DC.

I’m trying to crawl out from under my wet blanket.  What a joy it will be to have Joni Ernst, the soldier-mom from Iowa, in the Senate.   She blew up the Democrats’ pet “war on women” mantra: “I’m a woman, and I’ve been to war.  This is not a war.”

Scott Walker, the utterly fearless governor of Wisconsin, won his third election in four years, once more deflecting everything the Democrat machine and the unions could throw at him.   He has managed his state prudently and efficiently, and treats his citizens like adults.   If that isn’t vetting for a presidential run, I don’t know what it.

In fact, Democrats are job-hunting all over the country as voters continue to replace them at every level from school boards to state legislatures.  My new home state, South Carolina, boasts a conservative all-star team that includes Nikki Haley, Trey Gowdy, Tim Scott and my own congressman, Mick Mulvaney.

Yeah, I guess it was a good week.  But I have a message for Mssrs McConnell and Boehner:

We conservatives have expended great effort and money to stop the liberal Democrats’ assault on our Constitution and destruction of our economy.  In some cases we had to, again, plug our noses as we marked our ballots.  We saved your bacon, but not your pork.  If you continue to disrespect and disregard us, there’s gonna be a showdown!

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

Rockin' On the Right SideBad dreamer, what’s your name?
Looks like we’re riding on the same train
Looks as though there’ll be more pain
There’s gonna be a showdown.

Showdown – Electric Light Orchestra

Take a minute to enjoy this amazing live performance by Jeff Lynne, the genius who glues together all the magical musical pieces known as the Electric Light Orchestra.  As a musician, I marvel at the perfection of his production at every level.

 

Herman Cain Calls Out the Racist NY Times

I was reminded today why I am such a huge Herman Cain.   Here is a man with that rare gift of clarity – the ability to cut right through to the truth.  I call it “lazer vision”.  My wife has that gift too, and it’s why I don’t try to pull even a thread of wool over her eyes.

Just to be clear, I don’t favor Herman Cain because he is African American.  I abhor bigotry of any kind, in any direction, by anyone against any perceived or actual “group”.   I couldn’t care less what color Cain, or any other public figure, is.  What I like is his strong conservative values, his business sense, and his ability to filter out all the nonsense and get down to what’s important and what’s right, with a brevity that every writer or speaker should envy.

Today’s reminder is the response he wrote to a New York Times article by Professor Adolph Reed, Jr.

Professor Reed was critical of South Carolina governor Nikki Haley’s decision to name Tim Scott, a black Republican, to replace Jim DeMint as the state’s US senator.  DeMint is retiring from the Senate to take a post as president of the Heritage Foundation.  Reed cynically claims that “modern black Republicans have been more tokens than signs of progress.”  He says that Scott’s politics are “utterly at odds with the preferences of most black Americans. Mr. Scott has been staunchly anti-tax, anti-union and anti-abortion.”  Is he saying African Americans are required, because of their skin color, to be pro-tax, pro-union, and pro-abortion?

Most putrid of all is Professor Reed’s contention that all whites are racist:  “whites . . . are inclined to vote Republican but don’t want to have to think of themselves, or be thought of by others, as racist.”  If he were in front of me, I would punch him in the nose.  I don’t “have to” think of myself as a racist?

Clear-thinking Herman Cain nails Reed and all the other Democrats who just can’t remove the tired, old race card from their playbooks.  Cain says:

So it’s worth asking, then: What, exactly, are “black interests”? To hear Professor Reed tell it, blacks are a monolithic group of people whose best interests are served when they can be recipients of redistributionist policies at the hands of big government. Let me simplify that for you: He thinks black people need welfare, and can’t make it under the kinds of free-market policies advocated by the likes of Samuel Pierce, Clarence Pendleton, Clarence Thomas and Tim Scott.

When are black Democrats going to reject the continuing insults and humiliation hurled at them by their sacrosanct political leaders and media?  When will they stand up and protest their second-class status in the eyes of their “benefactors”?  While I’m punching noses, I would certainly tweak the beak of anyone who told me I am so stupid and unmotivated that I, like anyone whose skin pigmentation is similar to mine, am not capable of feeding myself and my family without their merciful help .

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

Rockin' On the Right Side

(What they do)  They smile in your face!
All the time they want to take your place,
The back stabbers (back stabbers!)
They smile in your face!
Smiling faces, Smiling faces sometimes tell lies (back stabbers!)
They smile in your face!
I don’t need low down dirty bastards (back stabbers!)

Back Stabbers – the O’Jays

Do You Vote By Color?

I have enjoyed some outstanding speakers on television from the Republican convention.

Condi Rice was firm, clear and decisive about the importance of maintaining our military strength in the face of a “chaotic and dangerous world”.  And she hit the nail on the head when she said, “When the world looks at us today, they see an American government that cannot live within its means.  They see a government that continues to borrow money, mortgaging the future of generations to come.”  I’m a huge Condi Rice fan.

But I wouldn’t vote for her or support her just because she’s black.

I was impressed by Puerto Rico’s young and very bright governor, Luis Fortuño.  He has proved Paul Ryan’s contention that “we can do this”.  “We cut government expenses by almost 20 percent, starting with my own salary,” Fortuño said.  “We reduced our deficit 90 percent, while continuing to invest in our schools, hospitals, and highways.  At the same time, we slashed taxes 50 percent on individuals and 30 percent on businesses, the largest tax cuts in Puerto Rico’s history.  And our private sector – the real economy – began to create jobs again.”  As I listened I realized that this is a government leader who ‘gets it’.

But I wouldn’t vote for him or support him just because he’s Hispanic.

Nikki Haley is a pistol.  I couldn’t help but grin when she talked about “watching that first brand new, mac daddy plane rolling onto the runway sporting a ‘Made With Pride In South Carolina’ decal and surrounded by 6,000 nonunion employees, cheering, smiling and so proud of what they had built.”  And I felt pride in America hearing how her family came from India and muscled together a $30 million company that started in their living room.

But I wouldn’t vote for her or support her just because she is a woman.  Or from an immigrant family.

I could care less what color our political leaders are, or where they were born, or whether they cry at sad movies.

I just want people who understand the realities of economics, love the USA, and are LEADERS.

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

Said the fight to make ends meet
Keeps a man upon his feet
Holding down his job
Trying to show he can’t be bought

Ooh, it takes every kind of people
To make what life’s about, yeah
Every kind of people
To make the world go ’round

Every Kind of People – Robert Palmer