After nearly forty ;years of ugly mismanagement and carelessly ignoring of basic needs of a normally run sovereign state, the military has placed the crusty despot, Robert Mugabe, under house arrest. His wife of many years, Grace, has fled, it is said, to neighboring Namibia, to the west.
One cannot rue this turn of events, as a worse situation can scarcely be envisioned than has been the case for decades.
It is barely useful to speculate on the reaction of the U.S. to these developments, since President Obama paid little attention to the country for eight years. It does not seem likely that President Trump will see much benefit to jumping in, since we have few trade arrangements with the country. Their product lines are marginal at best. The better part of valor, it would seem, might be remaining observational, hands off.
Since 1980, Robert Mugabe has run Zimbabwe with an eye to enriching himself – and making life for his citizenry, including his European-backgrounded farmers, businessmen, and landowners, unnervingly uncomfortable. And enduringly poor.
When Zimbabwe was known as Rhodesia, now a dirty word not ever mentioned in the once bountiful country in southern Africa, it was the breadbasket of that continent. But Rhodesia stopped existing in 1976, replaced by Zimbabwe, run by the egotistical Robert Mugabe. When Mugabe took over, his initial intentions sounded beneficent. He was at that time just ascended to the newly renamed country, something of an idealist. That ebbed rather soon. As the years passed, he reverted to perhaps the unhappy African ruler stereotype: greed, avarice, obliviousness to the needs of his people, and his one-time good intentions were extinguished in a rush of takeovers of land and property. Shortages soon eventuated; inflation ballooned.
Cattle belonging to others now became his, to use or hand out to favored underlings. Food became scarce, as the economy no longer worked, out of balance by decrees that placed price controls unrealistically set and impossible to observe.
My own experience in Zimbabwe, with Canadian friends living in Namibia and Lesotho at the time, was one of sorrow, as we had difficulty obtaining food, bakeries functioned once a week or less, mail was spotty and unreliable, and services were shabby, even in upscale establishments. Cafés and restaurants were amusing, as the term "waiter" meant a shoeless skinny person without the barest knowledge of where the cutlery went and how to serve water, let alone wine.
One bargained with urchins on the streets for fruit, gasoline, household necessities.
The roads were in poor repair. The fantastic riches of the country were in its exotic topography, which resembles the rocky likes of the painted desert, but with colossal rock formations that resemble a giant's playroom, boulders perched precariously and impossibly on each other in random and bizarre formations. And the wildlife, phenomenal clutches of biodiversity and biomass – elephants, zebra, gazelles, dik-dik, antelopes, lions and cougars, and others fleet of foot and hungry of eye. Water is not plentiful, and many of the herds are skinny, their ribs showing from lack of forage and hydration.
White property owners who have resided in the country for many decades have long been disenfranchised and have seen their property stripped, their livestock stolen, depredated by Mugabe's pets, wholesale squatting becoming the norm.
Former owners have salvaged what they could, sealing their few assets inside their clothing hems, as diamonds, or buying multiple air tickets they will convert back to cash once they have landed elsewhere. The country has little it can sell. Industry has languished, unsupported by the rule of dependable law.
Exit restrictions confine the outgoing Zimbabwean emigrant to a paltry few dollars, making selling one's possessions something of a joke. Smuggling jewelry out is a career endeavor in order to leave with something with which to start afresh elsewhere on the continent. Inflation long ago ruined the economy, in a bid to outrace the rocket inflation of Germany in pre-WWII Deutschland. Beer at one point was several million units of local currency.
It remains to be seen what the army can do to correct the misery that has been Zimbabwe for so long.
Protesters wearing Trump hats and shirts shouted down California’s attorney general and the state’s assembly majority leader during a forum at Whittier College on October 5.
In the video of the altercation, an audience member demands that CA Attorney General Xavier Becerra answer if they’re going to work with U.S. General Attorney Jeff Sessions and with ICE, presumably over arresting illegal immigrants. When they refuse to answer, protesters yell “fraud” at him.
At another point, a protester asks why they won’t have a town hall meeting in Mexico. Police tried to get protesters to stop interrupting, but they continued on. Protesters yelled at the California lawmakers, calling them “morons” and “lawbreakers.”
The pro-Trump protesters yelled slogans like “Americans first,” “obey our laws,” “enforce our laws,” “work with ICE,” and “work with our president.”
Was their protest successful?
If they were just seeking to disrupt, then yes. But it is doubtful that these kinds of aggressive disruptions actually help the political agenda they’re seeking to spread.
Stanley Kurtz at National Review outlined the conservative argument against such protests and why they can be counter-productive:
Whether these disruptors were students or not, this is a very bad sign. Commentators both right and left have warned leftist campus disruptors that they are endangering their own rights by shouting down others. That kind of danger may be hard to take seriously on campuses where the left clearly dominates. Yet in a deeply divided country, the end of free speech for some could easily cascade into chaos, conflict, and the end of freedom for all.
These Pro-Trump disruptors may not have been students, but their methods and message could spread. If we don’t stop the epidemic of shout-downs now, chaos and civil conflict may follow someday soon.
The FBI has “uncovered” documents related to the June 2016 Arizona tarmac meeting between then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch and former President Bill Clinton, despite previously claiming documents about the rendezvous didn’t exist.
Lawyers for the FBI revealed the existence of the documents in response to a Freedom of Information Act Request from government watchdog group Judicial Watch. The new development comes after the FBI previously told the group that no documents related to the June 27, 2016, meeting existed.
However, through a separate FOIA request, the Justice Department revealed that some of its officials had been in contact with FBI officials about the infamous meeting, and were seeking “guidance” about how to properly respond.
It was only after the Justice Department released its documents did the FBI acknowledge that it had documents that Judicial Watch’s FOIA request sought. “Upon further review, we subsequently determined potentially responsive documents may exist,” the FBI said.
So far, the FBI has not revealed the contents of the documents, only that 30 pages exist.
How did Judicial Watch respond?
In response, Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton lambasted the government for the “stunning” development.
He said: “The FBI is out of control. It is stunning that the FBI ‘found’ these Clinton-Lynch tarmac records only after we caught the agency hiding them in another lawsuit. Judicial Watch will continue to press for answers about the FBI’s document games in court. In the meantime, the FBI should stop the stonewall and release these new records immediately.”
Fitton added in a video that this revelation is a “scandal” and said he believes the FBI was “hiding” the documents.
When will the documents be released?
The government has until Nov. 30 to review and release the documents to Judicial Watch pursuant to the FOIA request. The FBI will likely wait until that day to release the documents.
Why is this significant?
The revelation is significant because it shows the government was potentially attempting to hide something that the public has the right to know. But it’s also significant because the infamous tarmac meeting came just days before the Justice Department announced it would not pursue criminal charges against Hillary Clinton for her private emails scandal.
Lynch and President Clinton denied discussing Hillary’s pending case, but many believe that’s what the meeting was intended for, especially since the existence of the meeting was never suppose to be made public. It’s likely that what Clinton and Lynch discussed will never be truly known, but government records about the meeting may shed light into whether or not something illegal or unethical took place.
In the Sept. 27 edition of the Indy, we report that those with concealed carry permits has grown by 100 percent since 2012 in El Paso County.
Worthy of note is the growth of those local permit holders who are women. From the end of 2012 to June this year, the number of females with permits in El Paso County increased by 53.9 percent, compared to the increase in men holding permits of 35.9 percent.
Back in 2012, 8,193 women had concealed carry permits in the county, while as of June, that number was 12,610, according to data provided by the El Paso County Sheriff's Office.
The biggest surge in total permits in the county, 41.8 percent, came in 2013 after the Aurora theater shooting and the slaughter of 20 children and six staff at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, both in 2012. It's worth nothing that 2013 also was the year that gun control measures became effective statewide on July 1.
The second biggest surge in the county, 15.9 percent, came in 2015 after two shooting incidents here in Colorado Springs — the Halloween shooting by Noah Harpham and Robert Dear's rampage at the Planned Parenthood clinic.
Pam Zubeck, a journalist for 34 years, earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Emporia State University. She worked at the Tulsa Tribune before coming to Colorado Springs, where she spent 16 years at the Gazette and in September 2009 came to the Indy.
Wisconsin could soon become the 14th U.S. state to allow permitless concealed carry of firearms if legislation working its way through the state legislature becomes law.
A bill that would change Wisconsin’s concealed carry law advanced through a committee of the state Senate last week. The Committee on Judiciary and Public Safety voted 3-2 along party lines to move Senate Bill 169 to the floor, where a vote has not yet been scheduled. If it passes the upper chamber, it will have to be approved by the state Assembly before being sent to Gov. Scott Walker to be signed into law.
SB169 would modify Wisconsin’s 2011 concealed carry law by removing the requirement for people who want to conceal carry a weapon to obtain a permit and go through training.
If passed into law, the bill would allow concealed carry without a permit or training, although it would retain other restrictions on where concealed carry is allowed.
According to the bill summary, provided by the Legislative Reference Bureau of the Wisconsin legislature, “This bill eliminates the general prohibition against going armed with a concealed weapon without regard to licensure status.”
It also loosens restrictions on carrying a concealed weapon in school zones, police stations, “a house of correction, or a secure mental health facility.” In addition, the bill removes restrictions on owning “electronic firearms,” or tasers, and muzzle-loaded weapons and weapons made before 1898.
SB169 does retain licenses but makes them optional. Under the bill, licenses would still be required for federal purposes, such as carrying a weapon in a federally designated school zone, as well as for other states that require gun owners to be licensed.
The bill gives the state Department of Justice the authority to issue a license for non-Wisconsin residents, which it cannot do under current law. It would also make licenses available for those who want them.
“Wisconsin has long allowed open carry without a government permit," Sen. David Craig, R-Town of Vernon, who is sponsoring the bill, said in a statement. "The rules should be no different for those who carry concealed.”
A spokesman from his office said that SB169 would align concealed carry regulations with current open carry law, which allows for unpermitted open carry.
Dominic Lynch is the Midwest News Editor for Watchdog.org, focusing on the Upper Midwest. Previously, Lynch served as an editor at RealClearPolitics. He has also been published in the Chicago Tribune, The Federalist and Chicagoly Magazine.
Last Friday, a federal judge issued a stay, ordering a Michigan city to reopen its farmers market to a Christian couple who were barred from selling apples because they refuse to host same-sex weddings at their orchard, a popular wedding spot. The stay will allow the farmers to sell apples at the market while their lawsuit against the city proceeds.
"The City is disappointed in the Court's ruling," East Lansing, the city involved, declared in a statement on Friday. While the city announced it would consider asking for a stay and appealing the ruling, it nevertheless agreed to comply with the judge's order to allow the couple to sell apples.
"This isn't just about our ability to sell at the farmers market, it's really about every American's right to be able to make a living and not have to worry about the fear of being punished by the government," Steve Tennes, owner of Country Mill, told The Daily Signal in a video interview.
After seven years of serving "people of all backgrounds and beliefs," Tennes recalled that last year, a Facebook user asked whether Country Mill would host a same-sex wedding.
"Due to our personal religious beliefs, we do not participate in the celebration of a same sex union," Country Mill responded on Facebook. "We have and will continue to respectfully direct wedding inquiries to another mid-Michigan orchard that has more experience in hosting same sex weddings. We welcome all customers for our other activities and products on the farm. We have friends, family and business associates in the LGBT community."
As if this measured response were not enough, Country Mill added, "We respect other people's beliefs and we can only hope that others will respect ours. We have always tried our best to be respectful in this area."
Even so, East Lansing took the extraordinary step of excluding the Tenneses from the farmers market, citing the Facebook post.
Assistant Editor of PJ Media, Tyler O'Neil is a conservative commentator. He has written for numerous publications, including The Christian Post, National Review, The Washington Free Beacon, The Daily Signal, AEI's Values & Capitalism, and the Colson Center's Breakpoint. He enjoys Indian food, board games, and talking ceaselessly about politics, religion, and culture.
We recently reported how anti-Jihad websites were the subject of attempts to deprive them of funding and internet access as a result of appearing on “hate” lists from the Southern Poverty Law Center and Anti-Defamation League.
PayPal cut them off after outreach from ProPublica, as discussed in our post, Charlottesville is being exploited to attack freedom of speech and internet freedom.
This is part of a broader threat to free speech and internet freedom. As documented in my post Gathering Storms And Threats to Liberty, even internet gatekeepers, such as domain registrars, are being pressured to remove “hate” groups from the internet.
The problem, of course, it that “hate” group is a subjective standard, and at least as far as the SPLC and ADL lists are concerned, includes non-violent political opponents of the liberal creators of the lists. For my prior reporting on the SPLC lists, see my post Southern Poverty Law Center “extremist” lists used “to silence speech and speakers”.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation sounded the alarm about this trend:
Even for free speech advocates, this situation is deeply fraught with emotional, logistical, and legal twists and turns. All fair-minded people must stand against the hateful violence and aggression that seems to be growing across our country. But we must also recognize that on the Internet, any tactic used now to silence neo-Nazis will soon be used against others, including people whose opinions we agree with. Those on the left face calls to characterize the Black Lives Matter movement as a hate group. In the Civil Rights Era cases that formed the basis of today’s protections of freedom of speech, the NAACP’s voice was the one attacked.
Protecting free speech is not something we do because we agree with all of the speech that gets protected. We do it because we believe that no one—not the government and not private commercial enterprises—should decide who gets to speak and who doesn’t.
I can now report that two anti-Jihad websites that were cut off by PayPal have been restored, Robert Spencer’s Jihad Watch and Pamela Geller’s American Freedom Defense Initiative.
Spencer writes, Victory: PayPal removes ban on Jihad Watch:
Congratulations, lovers of freedom: your messages to PayPal and your cancellations of your account worked: PayPal has restored the Jihad Watch account….
The Left, seeing a golden opportunity when a Nazi psychopath plowed his car into a crowd of Leftists in Charlottesville, tried to use the moment as its Reichstag Fire, and crush all dissent from the hard-Left line. And there is no doubt that initiative will continue. But in banning Jihad Watch, PayPal overreached, and encountered a crowd of free citizens.
I have no intention of restoring the PayPal buttons on Jihad Watch. I know where they stand now, and do not intend to place myself at their mercy again. But nonetheless, this is a victory. Free people still exist in the United States, and the fascists who call themselves anti-fascists will not prevail.
Union leaders in Washington state who plotted to undermine a U.S. Supreme Court ruling overturning mandatory union dues are now seeing the other end of that boot in the form of free speech activism and diminished membership.
“What a favorable Supreme Court ruling really means is that our work is just beginning,” @FreedomFdtn’s Brian Minnich says.
It’s illegal to force individuals who provide health care services in private homes to pay union dues.
But the powerful Service Employees International Union partnered with compliant government officials to prevent the caregivers from understanding their First Amendment rights, according to the Freedom Foundation, a nonprofit think tank headquartered in Olympia, Washington.
More than 20,000 union members opted to leave SEIU affiliates in Washington state and Oregon, however, after an aggressive outreach involving door-to-door canvassing, targeted mailings, phone calls, and television commercials.
The Freedom Foundation’s Brian Minnich told The Daily Signal that payroll data obtained from the state of Oregon indicate 11,399 out of 28,667 home care providers no longer paid dues to the SEIU affiliate there. That’s a drop of almost 40 percent.
Kevin Mooney is an investigative reporter for The Daily Signal
Europe’s migration crisis is a lesson in historical and philosophical degeneration, a best-selling British author argues.
“Almost everything in this book is also a warning, in my view, to America,” said Douglas Murray, author of “The Strange Death of Europe: Immigration, Identity, Islam,” in remarks earlier this summer at The Heritage Foundation.
“All the things I described in my book are processes, which are the same ones that I think [are] happening in this country,” he said.
Murray is the founder of the British think tank Centre for Social Cohesion, now part of another think tank, the Henry Jackson Society. A journalist and commentator who is an associate editor of the conservative British magazine The Spectator, he argued in his speech that Europe has become resigned to a broken immigration system, which ultimately will mean passing down “a total mess.”
To solve the problem, he said, Europeans must ask two questions: “Who is Europe for?” and “What are we doing?”Who Is Europe For?
Europeans are “profoundly confused and embarrassed” by this first question, Murray said.
In September 2016, Pew Research Center published an article, “European Opinions of the Refugee Crisis in 5 Charts,” spotlighting how majorities in 10 European countries disapprove of the European Union’s management of refugees. The numbers include 94 percent in Greece, 77 percent in Italy, 70 percent in the United Kingdom, and 67 percent in Germany.
Murray referred to this common sentiment as “anti-immigration, but not anti-immigrant.” But, he said, the problem extends beyond the war in Syria.
The author recalled recent travels to immigration entry points, to “see human faces and speak to the humans” in the mass movement toward Europe. He said firsthand experience revealed that Europeans make a “major mistake” by assuming most, if not all, immigrants are Syrian refugees.
Afghans submitted the second-largest number of first-time asylum applications in 2015, according to BBC News.
“‘Why should Syrian migrants get privilege? They’ve had a civil war for five years. We’ve had one for 15,’” Murray said one Afghan man asked him.
What Are We Doing Here?
The “Tyranny of Guilt,” a concept coined by French philosopher Pascal Bruckner, has undermined Europe’s sense of self, Murray said. Europe has punished itself for standards to which it does not hold the rest of the world, he said:
I’ve particularly never heard, for instance, that the country of Turkey should have a large infusion of Yorkshiremen or people from Wales, Dublin, in order to not only diversify that country but to make some kind of reparation for the Ottoman Empire.
Murray said European culture is changing because migration to European countries does not mean automatic acceptance of that culture.
“We’ve taken a very strange, unhistorical, and uninformed approach in recent years, which is to basically think that when somebody walks into Europe, they become as European as the next person,” Murray said.
This, he argued, is not so.
A majority of those surveyed in eight of 10 European countries said they believe Muslims “do not want to adopt our customs and way of life,” according to a Pew Research Center poll published in July 2016.
“Islam is the most important challenge to the values vacuum in Europe,” Murray said. “The effects of it are obviously most visibly seen now, where terrorist attacks happen every few days.”
To preserve their culture, he said, Europeans must define themselves more precisely.
“If you invite the world to live with you, aside from the fact that if you invite the world’s people, you invite the world’s problems … you’ve got to have the broadest self-description to encompass the whole world.”
Watch Murray’s full remarks here.