The friendly relationship between the United States and Germany has taken a turn for the worse. A new survey authorized by the Atlantik-Brücke and carried out by the polling firm Civey discovered that 85 percent of respondents assessed relations between the countries as poor to very poor.
According to a Der Spiegel editorial, US-German relations have plunged to perhaps an all-time low over deep political, social, and economic disagreements.
In the editorial, the author says that since Richard Grenell took over the reins as the American ambassador to Germany, both countries have been engaged in a kind of diplomatic ‘silent game’.
The article also quotes a statement made by the ex-president of the European Parliament and prominent SPD politician, Martin Schulz.
Schulz, when speaking of the US Ambassador, said: “Grenell is behaving not like a diplomat, but like a right-wing extremist colonial officer”.
According to Der Spiegel, Grenell’s behavior has led German officials to keep their distance. Apparently, Foreign Minister Heiko Maas prefers to keep encounters with the US ambassador as brief as possible, while Chancellor Merkel has never even spoken with him.
The editorial cites existing policy differences between Washington and Berlin on Iran, NATO defense spending, and unresolved trade disagreements.
US President Trump and US Ambassador Germany Richard Grenell have repeatedly and harshly criticized Germany’s unwillingness to comply with the NATO voluntary goal payment obligation of 2% of GDP.
In an interview with the German news agency DPA, Grenell went as far as to say that Germany abuses its friendship with the US.
“It is really insulting to expect that the US taxpayer pays for more than 50,000 Americans in Germany, but the Germans use their trade surplus for domestic purposes,” Grenell said.
The US has also considered moving some of its troops stationed in Germany to Poland.
Despite 85 percent of surveyed Germans having expressed their attitudes toward the US as negative or very negative, Berlin still hopes that the “good old days of the transatlantic partnership” will eventually return after Donald Trump’s presidency ends.
However, since current geopolitical trends seem to suggest that National Populism is here to stay, the Germans may be engaged in misplaced optimism and extreme naivety.
Is the long-standing love affair between Fox News and President Donald J. Trump hitting some rough waters?
The President said over the weekend that he “was unhappy,” with Fox News, and that “something is going on over there.”
The comments came in response to a question tossed at Trump about the network’s recent survey showing the President losing head-to-head matchups against four of the top Democratic presidential primary candidates. Trump’s full reply to the reporter was “There’s something going on at Fox [News], I’ll tell you right now. And I’m not happy with it.”
The President quickly added that he didn’t “believe” the poll, adding, “Fox has changed. My worst polls have always been from Fox.”
He then went on to complain about how Democrats had barred the network from hosting or televising the party’s 2020 primary debates and signaled a warning about the general election cycle.
“And I think Fox is making a big mistake,” the president said when asked about the polling and the network’s leadership. “Because, you know, I’m the one that calls the shots on that — on the really big debates.”
A New Target?
President Trump railing against the news media is nothing new, but the usually “Trump Friendly” Fox News has rarely been the target of his ire. But, lately, Trump has increasingly lumped in Fox News with the rest of his “enemies” for what he views as unfavorable coverage.
Earlier this year he had admonished his “favorite network” for providing a forum for 20202 Democratic candidates. Trump took jabs at Fox News over the network’s town halls with Democratic presidential candidates Bernie Sanders in April and Pete Buttigieg in May.
The polls in question that caused the current spat between Trump and Fox showed Trump’s approval rating in the low 40s and had him losing by six or more points to Democratic 2020 rivals Sens. Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders and former Vice President Joe Biden.
Of course, Trump questioned the veracity of the polls, but he seemed more upset that Fox had the audacity to report the actual results of its own poll.
The President also teed off on Fox News political analyst Juan Williams, who Trump said, “has never said a positive thing” — following up on a tweet earlier in the day in which he called Williams “pathetic,” “nasty” and “wrong.”
However, like all lovers that have a bit of a falling out, Trump went on to list “his partner’s” good qualities, following up his comments outside of Marine One on Sunday with, “I’m certainly happy [with]– I think Sean Hannity, and Lou Dobbs, and I think Tucker Carlson and Laura and Jesse Watters, and Jeanine. We have a lot of great people.”
When it comes to healthcare, Democratic 2020 hopeful Kamala Harris seems to still be struggling to get her story straight. What she truly believes seems to vacillate, especially when she is speaking to a group of wealthy donors at a fundraiser in the Hamptons, and not the American public on the debate stage.
The Daily Beast among other outlets has reported that the Democrat had waffled once again on her support for Medicare for All. “I support Medicare for All,” she told the crowd of wealthy donors. But as you may have noticed, over the course of the many months, I’ve not been comfortable with Bernie’s plan, the Medicare for All plan.”
This despite being the cosponsor of Sanders’ “Medicare for All” bill. What really seems to have Harris backpedaling faster than a rewinding video of Lance Armstrong is one of the proposed legislation’s major features — the elimination of private insurance.
In late July, she finally released her own version of a “Medicare-for-all” bill, which, in a departure from Sanders’s proposal, would maintain a role for private insurance within a universal public system. Why would she do that? As her rival and bill’s cosponsor Bernie Sanders might say, “it’s all about the Benjamins.”
In other words, Harris, who unlike Bernie who has made elimination of for-profit insurance a key part of his vision for healthcare – is afraid to piss off wealthy donors and corporate interests. In fact, David Sirota, a Sanders campaign adviser, wrote in his newly minted newsletter, Bern Notice, “The Harris flip flop is a reminder that while Medicare for All received an enthusiastic response at Bernie’s Fox News townhall in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania — it doesn’t get that kind of response on the big dollar fundraising circuit in the Hamptons.”
The debate between Harris and Sanders on the healthcare issue is partly about a difference between Sanders’s proposal, which would eliminate private insurance, and Harris’s, which would preserve a role for insurers in the health care system. But by seizing on Harris’s remarks — and the venue where she made them — the Sanders campaign is connecting their healthcare plan to their candidate’s larger argument on corporate greed.
Harris Has Been All Over the Map on Healthcare
Harris really has been all over the place on Healthcare. Before she released “her plan,” it was nearly impossible to get any consistency from the candidate on healthcare. As stated earlier, she signed on to Sanders’s single-payer Medicare-for-all bill, and soon after, she was on the trail, publicly backing his idea to get rid of private insurance entirely, saying “let’s eliminate all of that. Let’s move on,” at a CNN town hall in January. She then walked that back, saying that she meant getting rid of “bureaucracy.”
Later on in April, at another CNN townhall, she emphasized that there would be some role for private insurance under Sanders’s bill, even though the Sanders Medicare for All Act would reduce private insurance’s role to things like cosmetic surgery or premium hospital rooms. And then, during the Democratic debate in June, Harris raised her hand when NBC’s Lester Holt asked, “Who here would abolish their private health insurance in favorite of a government-run plan?”
But she then walked that back to say she misunderstood the question, saying she personally would prefer to enroll in public insurance.
In fact, since becoming an upper-tier contender for the Democratic nomination, every time she seemingly endorsed the actual bill she cosponsored, she’s eventually walked it back.
On the other hand, Sanders has remained steadfast in painting corporate America as the “enemy of the people.” He sees a for-profit health care system as fundamentally broken. His campaign platform is centered on fighting the greed of major corporate interests, whether pharmaceutical companies, the fossil fuel industry, or private insurance industry.
In a speech about Medicare-for-all in June, he pledged to reject money from the insurance and drug companies, and called on other presidential candidates to do the same.
For Sanders’s campaign — healthcare, like everything else is all about his perceived influence of the wealthy. But, in Harris’s case he may be right given her propensity to flip-flop on the issue.
The New York Post and other news outlets are reporting that dead and gone, proven pedophile Jeffrey Epstein, once had three 12-year-old girls from poor families flown in from France as a sick birthday present for himself.
Just when you thought Epstein couldn’t get any more vile, according to newly unearthed court documents, Virginia Giuffre — who has claimed Epstein and his gal pal Ghislaine Maxwell coerced her into being a “sex slave” when she was 15 — said that the girls who were flown in were molested by the financier and returned to France the following day.
“The worst one that I heard from his own mouth was this pretty 12-year-old girls he had flown in for his birthday,” she said, according to the court documents.
“It was a surprise birthday gift from one of his friends and they were from France. I did see them, I did meet them,” she said.
She said they were a gift from Epstein’s acquaintance Jean-Luc Brunel, a model scout, according to the Daily Mail. “Jeffrey bragged afterward after he met them that they were 12-year-olds and flown over from France because they’re really poor over there, and their parents needed the money or whatever the case is and they were absolutely free to stay and flew out.”
Revelations Part of an Ongoing Case
The allegations were revealed in 2015 court papers, as part of a 2008 civil lawsuit filed by two Epstein accusers against the US following a plea deal that they argued violated the federal Crime Victims’ Rights Act.
Despite Epstein’s death, civil proceedings are allowed to continue, and the case is still ongoing. Federal Judge Kenneth Mara recently ruled that Florida federal prosecutors acted illegally when they failed to inform Epstein’s underage victims of the wrist-slap deal — which included a non-prosecution agreement that shielded the financier’s alleged co-conspirators.
Epstein, who served just 13 months in prison after pleading guilty to having sex with a minor, hanged himself in a Manhattan jail cell Aug. 10 while being held on federal sex-trafficking charges, authorities said.
Giuffre said Epstein had described to her how the girls had messaged him and performed oral sex, according to the Daily Mail.
“He went on to tell me how Brunel ‘bought them’ in Paris from their parents, offering them the usual sums of money, visas, and modeling career prospects,” she said, according to the London based news outlet.
“Laughing the whole way through, Jeffrey thought it was absolutely brilliant how easily money seduced all walks of life, nothing or no one that couldn’t be bought.”
The same civil suit filed against the Miami US Attorney’s Office alleged that young girls from South America and Eastern Europe also were recruited for sex with Epstein.
The multimillionaire financier invested $1 million to help launch Brunel’s Miami-based modeling firm MC2 in return for a “supply of girls on tap,” according to the lawsuit.
MC2 has continually denied any connection to Epstein’s crimes and previously said Brunel no longer actively works for the firm.
“I strongly deny having committed any illicit act or any wrongdoing in the course of my work as a scouter or model agencies manager,” he told The Guardian, another London paper.
Perhaps the political class is starting to realize that we the people are sick and tired of the rhetoric warfare in which differences of opinion are consolidated into warring camps. It is bad enough that politicians are victims of strategic character assassination. As in any “war,” the people are propagandized into evil incarnate.
During World War II, we had to temporarily hate the German people, the Japanese people – and the same during the Vietnam War. The fact that we have good relations with these nations today gives hope for our own contemporary people-to-people hatemongers will find tolerance and acceptance in the future.
In recent days, there has been a rising call for civility. The family of the late Senator John McCain has launched a civility project to encourage people to reach out to what is unfortunately dubbed “the other side” in reasonable dialogue. Even the strident talking heads on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” have been talking about toning down the rhetoric.
“Morning Joe” regular Eugene Robinson, of the Washington Post, said that no one on the left believes that all Trump supporters are racists – and assumedly not sexists, xenophobes, homophobes and all those other pejoratives so often heard emanating from the left-wing of the Fourth Estate.
One of the mainstays of left-wing commentary has been the broad-brush branding of Trump’s supporters in the vilest stereotyping imaginable. If Robinson were to watch MSNBC – and not only appear on the network – he would have heard several hosts and panelists saying that supporting Trump makes the person a racist by extension. Folks like Donny Deutsch, host of “Saturday Night Politics” (one of the worst political talk shows ever conceived by the left), made their rejection of civility very clear.
You cannot – emphasized Deutsch – say you like Trump policies but not his personality (people like me). You must take the entire package. If you are a Trump voter, then YOU are guilty of everything the left ACCUSES him – no matter how outrageous the accusations may be. This same theme was played out across the MSNBC line-up by folks like Princeton Professor Eddie Glaude, MSNBC utility infielder John Heilemann and any number of other pop-up panelists.
Attacking Trump voters and supporters was not limited to the biased panels of parroting pundits but was part of the Democrat presidential candidate’s playbook. Beto O’Rourke led the assault on 40 percent of America to be quickly followed by such fellow struggling luminaries as Julian Castro, Tim
Ryan and Cory Booker.
Sorry Eugene, you just do not know what you are talking about. Or maybe you are just knowingly peddling a propaganda narrative – as usual.
Political incivility is largely a one-way street. Most of the venomous verbiage is directed at Republicans, conservatives and all those who disagree with the Democrats left-wing ideology – an ideology that is embraced and promoted in round-the-clock infomercials that the elitist east coast press passes off as news.
No, I am not absolving President Trump for his contribution to the acridity of contemporary political dialogue. I have never liked his pugnacious style and name-calling. I think he has done damage to the cause with his bellicosity. The problem of maligning the right is much bigger than him, however – and preceded his presidency. Unfortunately, he has given credence to Democrat complaints and provided a false appearance of equivalency.
It does not matter what side of the political divide you take up residency, the one thing that seems to unify most Americans – and should unify ALL Americans – is a disgust and repulsion of the degradation of political discourse. It is sad to note that false accusations, mendacious narratives and child-like name calling have supplanted serious political dialogue.
It has been evolving over the years. Back in the 1990s, President Clinton called out the trend toward “the politics of personal destruction.” Perhaps the beginning goes back to the mid-1960s, when “I like Ike” (President Eisenhower for those of you who went to school in more recent years) to “Tricky Dick” – a pejorative tagged on President Nixon by the Democrat he beat in the 1950 Senate race, Helen Gahagan Douglas.
One only need read and hear the words of our national leaders of generations past to see just how badly our current political language has been corrupted. The words of our Founders, Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Roosevelt, and others were eloquent and poetic.
We are told by the mavens of the media that both sides – Democrats and Republicans, conservatives and liberals – use coarse language and personal attacks as a means of satisfying and solidifying their respective bases. The assumption is that supporters of one candidate or another – one perspective or another – relish the verbal mud wrestling.
That may be true – and even that is only “maybe” – of the fringe elements on the far left and right edges of the political continuum. It is certainly not the attitude of the vast majority of Americans on the rational left, right or in the middle. We are sick and tired of our national leaders communicating in ways that would bring parental correction if our children talked that way.
AND, we conservatives are particularly sick and tired of being maligned as cold, callous, heartless, inhumane, toxic human beings.
What is so hypocritical of the left is that they call on us all to be more civil while they continue to mischaracterize and malign those of us on the right with full abandon. The shallow lip-service call for civility — that was allotted less time than a commercial on MSNBC — was followed by business-as-usual brand bashing of Republicans and conservatives – and of course, Trump.
One cannot expect civility unless there is honesty. We can respect people with different opinions – even love them. All options for civility end, however, when we are unfairly and viciously maligned and demeaned – not by just another person, but by the major institutions of our society as a matter of form.
Political civility is not a grassroots phenomenon. It starts at the top and can only be stopped from the top.
So, there ‘tis.
In an apparent response to the most offensive actions and recent comments of U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn. The U.S. State Department has recently updated its official definition of “anti-semitism.”
The previous definition of anti-semitism, issued in May by the State Department, listed 10 examples. The revised definition now lists 11 examples, adding one that now includes “Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis,” as a form of anti-semitism.
The leader of a U.S.-based pro-Israel organization has praised the move.
“Kudos to @SecPompeo and Special Envoy Elan Carr,” Adam Milstein, a philanthropist and co-founder of the Adam and Gila Milstein Foundation, wrote on Twitter. “It’s more clear now, the BDS Movement is disgustingly Antisemitic.”
“BDS” as used in the tweet, refers to the pro-Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, whose supporters call for the withdrawal of financial support for the Israeli government in protest of the treatment of Palestinian people.
The State Department revision follows last month’s overwhelming bipartisan 398-17 vote by the U.S. House of Representatives to oppose BDS and any international effort to boycott Israel.
Omar Has Made Her Support of BDS Clear
Omar cast one of the 17 dissenting votes on the resolution mentioned above. The freshman Representative, one of the so-called “Squad,” countered with a resolution of her own, supporting the right to boycott foreign governments “to advocate for human rights abroad,” and likening the action to boycotts of Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union.
Her resolution did not mention Israel or the Palestinians — but she made her intention clear when she spoke with reporters.
“We are introducing a resolution … to really speak about the American values that support and believe in our ability to exercise our First Amendment rights in regard to boycotting,” Omar told Al-Monitor. “And it is an opportunity for us to explain why it is we support a nonviolent movement, which is the BDS movement.”
Israeli Officials Express Some “Concern” Over the Resolution
Meanwhile, according to Fox News, nearly two dozen members of Israel’s parliament sent a letter to Congress on August 8, thanking them for the resolution opposing the international effort to boycott Israel but, warned that some of the language in the resolution “would be far more dangerous” to the country.
As stated above, the resolution put the House on record opposing the BDS movement and its efforts to target U.S. companies doing business with Israel.
However, the letter, (a copy of which was obtained by Fox News) expressed “a concern” regarding the “anti-BDS resolution.” The letter read, in part, “We believe [the Congressional Resolution] contains a grave error because it expresses, among other things, support for a so-called ‘Two-State Solution,’ meaning the establishment of a ‘Palestinian state’ in the heart of tiny Israel.
The members of Israel’s parliament also wrote, “We would like to make our position clear that the establishment of a Palestinian state would be far more dangerous to Israel than BDS.”
The letter then outlined several reasons, including security concerns.
“The establishment of an additional Arab (so-called Palestinian) state in the region would severely damage the national security of both Israel and the United States,” members of Israel’s parliament wrote, adding that “such a state would undoubtedly be a dysfunctional terrorist state, which would distance peace and undermine stability in the Middle East.”
It was signed by 21 members of the Knesset (Israeli parliament), which included former security officials.
The resolution has been endorsed by The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the influential Israel lobby in Washington.
“Unfortunately, in the last few years, AIPAC is independently advancing the two-state solution,” said, Yossi Dagan, the head of the Samaria Regional Council in the northern West Bank, and one of the signers of the letter.
Dagan added, “The Two-State Concept is not the policy of the current government coalition, nor is it stated as policy in the agreements between the coalition partners.”
An AIPAC spokesman declined to comment when Fox News’ contacted the organization for a response to the letter and Dagan’s comments.
Congresswomen Rashida Tlaib and Ihan Omar had to unpack their bags when the Israeli government declared them to be persona non grata. In the spirit that nothing negative in the world happens without President Trump being involved. You know … it was his fault that a nut-case shooter killed 22 people in El Paso, that the stock market declined for a couple days and that Jeffery committed suicide – and if it is discovered that Epstein was murdered, that makes Trump even more culpable.
Of course, Tlaib and Omar hit the airwaves in outrage that members of the United States Congress would be denied a visa for a semiofficial visit. Even Speaker Nancy Pelosi thought it was a bad move on the part of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
But was it?
Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East – unless you are inclined to believe that Turkey is still one. It is our most steadfast ally. However, that is not how the political twins see it. They describe the Jewish nation as a terrorist state. They accuse American Jews of using campaign money to “buy” the support of Congress.
Though both had promised Jewish voters that they would not support the BDS movement – which stands for boycott, divestment and sanctions. Yes, those ladies want the United States, our businesses and our people to boycott Israel, to hurt it economically by refusing to do business and to impose further damage by imposing sanctions. If those sound like the actions we take against our adversaries, you are not wrong.
They do not want to punish Israel. They want to destroy it. Neither has committed to the right of Israel to exist. They have described Netanyahu in the harshest terms. They do not want the United States to supply military equipment to Israel. They have never condemned the missile attacks by Hamas. They have referred to violence against the Jewish state as “protests.” They support policies that would reduce Israeli border security. They side with Israel’s enemies. In short, in terms of Israel, they are enemies of the state.
With Tlaib and Omar, their positions on Israel are not merely differences of opinion on matters of policies. Au contraire. They have a visceral and existential disdain for America’s ally in the Middle East – and more than a tinge of anti-Semitism in their remarks.
After being informed that they were on El Al Airlines’ no fly list – at least for this trip – Tlaib played the bleeding-heart card. It seems that she would be denied visiting her ailing 90-year-old grandmother in Palestine – possibly for the last time. She bled that heart for all it was worth in every interview. We could feel her pain.
I did sympathize with her. Family love is important. It should stand apart from politics, business and most other distractions. I sort of felt sorry for Tlaib and her grandmother. I am sure the old lady would have longed to see her famous and powerful grandchild. Grandmas are like that.
The Israeli government is not without heart. It offered Tlaib a humanitarian visa to visit granny. No official meetings. No pomp and circumstances. No organizing protests against the Israeli government. Just an American citizen visiting her grandmother in a distant land. This was the making of a Hallmark movie.
Then came the shocker. If you were expecting to see sweet pictures of Tlaib with her arms wrapped around her frail progenitor, you will be terribly disappointed. Tlaib would NOT be going to Israel under what she called oppressive conditions.
Apparently hugging grandma for possibly the last time was not that important after all. With her rejection of the offer, Tlaib demonstrated that the pathos of her public statements was nothing more than concocted political theater. I would suspect that grandma is heartbroken. She may never see her granddaughter again – not because Tlaib cannot come to her, but because she refuses.
And as far as the initial plan is concerned, what would make Tlaib and Omar think they would be welcomed in Tel Aviv after all the things they have said and proposed against the state of Israel specifically and the Jewish people generally?
So, there ‘tis.
After deciding to block U.S. Reps. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., and Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., from entering the country as part of a planned visit, the Israeli government rescinded that block – on Tlaib at least – lifting the ban and allowing her to come on a “humanitarian visit.”
However, after earlier accepting the olive branch that was held out by the Israelis and saying she would go, the Michigan Representative has now released a statement saying she will not visit the Jewish State, citing “oppressive & racist policies” for not going to Israeli-occupied West Bank, allegedly to see her grandmother.
“The Israeli government used my love and desire to see my grandmother to silence me and made my ability to do so contingent upon my signing a letter – reflecting just how undemocratic and afraid they are of the truth my trip would reveal about what is happening in the State of Israel and to Palestinians living under occupation with United States support,” she said in a statement.
“I have therefore decided to not travel to Palestine and Israel at this time. Visiting my grandmother under these oppressive conditions meant to humiliate me would break my grandmother’s heart,” Tlaib’s statement continued.
No change was made regarding Omar’s visit.
President Trump Defends Israel’s Decisions
Originally, President Trump supported the ban by Israel. Soon after hearing about the move to bar their visit, Trump called Tlaib and Omar “very anti-Jewish and anti-Israel” and defended his statements urging Israel to block them from entering the country, amid a massive outcry from Democrats.
Speaking to reporters after deplaning Air Force One at Morristown Municipal Airport in New Jersey, Trump said recent comments by the two freshmen Democratic lawmakers about Israel were “disgraceful,” arguing they have become the “face of the Democrat Party.”
The President continued, “They are very anti-Jewish and they are very anti-Israel, I think it is disgraceful the things they’ve said.” Trump then added, “This isn’t a one-line mistake. What they have said about Israel and Jewish people is a horrible thing and they’ve become the face of the Democrat Party.”
The unprecedented move to bar Tlaib, D-Mich., and Omar, D-Minn., from visiting marks a deep foray by Israel into America’s bitterly polarized politics. Israel’s move came shortly after Trump tweeted that the Israeli government would “show great weakness” if it allowed the lawmakers in.
President Trump has not weighed in on the latest in this head-spinning series of reversals concerning plans by Tlaib and Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., to visit Israel.
It remains unclear whether either congresswoman will make any new attempt to visit the region at this stage.
Two illegal immigrants from El Salvador living in the sanctuary jurisdiction of Montgomery County, Maryland, have been arrested and charged with the rape of an 11-year-old girl.
29-year-old Mauricio Barrera-Navidad and 28-year-old Carlos Palacios-Amaya, both illegal immigrants from El Salvador, were arrested by police in Montgomery County after the young female victim told a social worker about the rapes, WJLA 7 reports.
The victim who is now 12-years-old was just 11-years-old at the time of the alleged rapes. She told a social worker at her elementary school that in July of last year, she met Barrera-Navidad at a family birthday party. During the party, Barrera-Navidad took her into a bedroom and raped her. Following the alleged rape, the victim said that Barrera-Navidad continued to make contact with her against her wishes.
The victim told the social worker that she met Palacios-Amaya in September of 2018. Shortly after, she said that he raped her on several occasions. One time, the victim said that the Palacios-Amaya took a video of the rape on his cell phone. She also said that he would often try to coerce her into skipping school so she would be left at her home defenseless without any parents.
According to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency, Barrera-Navidad had been issued deportation orders back in December of 2016 but had continued to live in the sanctuary jurisdiction of Montgomery County, which actively prevents ICE from doing their job.
ICE officials have said that Palacios-Amaya had already been deported from the country once before in 2014. Sometime after he was deported, the violent illegal immigrant was able to slip back into the country and slithered his way to Montgomery County where he was shielded from another deportation.
Barrera-Navidad has been charged with one count of rape while Palacios-Amaya has been charged with four counts of rape.
Seventeen states and the District of Columbia have passed red flag anti-gun laws that allow a judge to sign a legal order allowing police to raid the property, with no prior knowledge or consent, of someone accused by someone else of being mentally unstable.
Forget due process. No crime has been committed. A family member with a grudge or a friend you owe money might sign a petition that questions your sanity and ability to handle a firearm responsibly. Perhaps it is a healthcare professional or law enforcement official who makes the anonymous accusation.
No matter – if a judge can be persuaded that the targeted individual sounds crazy enough to be a threat, the police will be authorized to conduct a raid and confiscate personal property with no formal charges or legal defense as required by U.S. law.
After 31 people were killed in recent mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, a bipartisan effort is using the public outrage, whipped up by the liberal press, into a feel-good call for action that grossly oversimplifies a very complex social issue.
Supporters of red flag laws believe that, since sociopathic mass shooters are mentally ill, taking guns away from people who own guns and are rumored to be psychologically unbalanced must be a good way to solve the problem. A mass murderer deprived of a firearm will pick up a knife, drive a car or shoot acid out of a squirt gun.
Now, Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) wrote legislation that announced federal support for states that voluntarily surrender their state’s rights and pass red flag laws. This is institutionalized bribery, of course, and shows no sign of slacking.
“My goal is to have a system that can identify truly a person about to blow, and do something about it before it’s too late,” said Graham, who also stated that mass shootings “involved individuals who showed signs of violent behavior that are either ignored or not followed up. State red flag laws will provide the tools for law enforcement to do something about many of these situations before it’s too late.”
President Trump is accelerating the gun grab by giving a thumbs-up to extreme risk protection orders (ERPOs) on August 5, 2019:
“We must make sure that those judged to pose a grave risk to public safety do not have access to firearms and that if they do, those firearms can be taken through rapid due process. That is why I have called for red flag laws, also known as extreme risk protection orders.”
The following states have already turned away from the 2nd Amendment and down the slippery slope of eroding due process in the U.S. The kind of person who is allowed to submit a red flag petition is also shown:
California: Family, household members, and law enforcement
Colorado: Family, household members, and law enforcement
Connecticut: One state attorney or any two police officers
Delaware: Family, household members, and law enforcement
District of Columbia: Family, household members, mental health professionals, and law enforcement
Florida: Law enforcement
Hawaii: Family, household members, teachers, medical professionals, coworkers, and law enforcement
Illinois: Family, household members, and law enforcement
Indiana: Law enforcement
Maryland: Family, household members, certain health professionals, and law enforcement
Massachusetts: Family, household members, and law enforcement
Nevada: Family, household members, and law enforcement
New Jersey: Family, household members, and law enforcement
New York: Family, household members, school administrators, and law enforcement
Oregon: Family, household members, and law enforcement
Rhode Island: Law enforcement
Vermont: State attorneys or the office of the state attorney general
Washington: Family, household members, and law enforcement
All states allow ex parte orders to confiscate a flagged person’s firearm without official notification. The identity of the accuser remains anonymous for the duration of the ex parte order, which can be executed quickly but holds for a short time. Most states require a court hearing to issue a final order to take away the weapon for a longer period of time. The flagged individual has the opportunity to contest the order at this hearing.
Colorado jumped on the red flag bandwagon in a big way on April 12, 2019, when Gov. Jared Polis signed HB 1177 into law, making the state #15 on the anti-gun-toting list. Talk about a good idea that could go horribly wrong:
“Under Colorado’s recent law, anyone at all can make a phone call to the police. They don’t even have to be living in the state. There is no hearing. All the judge has before him is the statement of concern.”
Weld County Sheriff Steve Rheams spoke for many when he said during a public radio interview:
“Just taking someone’s firearms away and leaving them in place doesn’t solve the problem in my mind. It could actually make it worse in some scenarios. And you know, we’re just, we’re kicking the can down the road to deal with the mental health issue.”
Rep. Meg Froelich (D-CO) said:
“We are a western state with a libertarian streak. We are a strong outdoors state with hunting and fishing. And so I think all of those make for a more nuanced discussion on this issue.”
Rather than being innocent until proven guilty, a person whose gun has been confiscated has the burden of proof to show that s/he is no longers a threat. This is the opposite of the way the American legal system is supposed to work. Yet, no one seems to care about that little legal detail.
Likewise, people pushing red flag laws assume it’s okay to violate the 2nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
Sheriff Rheams is a staunch supporter of the Constitution and said he’d go to jail rather than follow a court order to take away someone’s guns without due process:
“My oath of office, it reads that I will support the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution and laws of the state of Colorado. Obviously, that creates a concern if a law is adopted that I believe is in conflict with either the state Constitution or the United States Constitution.”
Counties across the nation calling themselves “Second Amendment sanctuaries” are defying the unconstitutional red flag laws.