Virginia Bans Electronic Voting Machines

Virginia and Texas are re-evaluating their use of easily hacked machines and considering paper ballots, in large part thanks to tireless efforts of anti-vote fraud activists like Dr. Laura Presley. 

By Mark Anderson

Thankfully, the days of those way-too easily hackable electronic voting machines may soon be coming to an end. For over a decade, AFP has been reporting on how easy it is to hack the computerized voting systems that have spread across the country. Now, two states are moving to ban them, citing charges of vote-stealing, frequent malfunctions, and lack of a verifiable paper trail as the reasons for terminating their programs.

In Virginia, election officials do not need to be convinced that electronic voting machines are upsetting the democratic process.

On Sept. 8, with media coverage largely limited to local and regional outlets, “The Virginia Department of Elections called for the immediate decertification of [electronic] voting equipment in Virginia, and the State Board of Elections approved the request in an effort to increase the security and integrity of Virginia’s voting systems ahead of the November [2017] election,” state election official Andrea Gaines announced in a news release.

Virginia’s decision to decertify electronic voting machines is effective immediately and “means that [electronic voting machines] may no longer be used for elections in Virginia,” Ms. Gaines emphasized. The machines have been used in 22 localities across the commonwealth.

It turns out that Virginia officials decertified several electronic voting machine models because hackers at a gathering in Las Vegas demonstrated how they could compromise them.

“I understand why the Virginia State Board of Elections made their decision,” Falls Church Director of Elections David Bjerke responded, speaking to local media outlet WTOP.com. “The security that was involved in these, the direct-recording electronic machines, hadn’t been updated since 2004. Obviously, technology has increased since then, and the ability to hack equipment in general has increased.”

In a precinct with 10,000 registered voters, Bjerke went on to say, “I think the paper-based system is good because you do have a tangible ballot that can be used for audits, for recounts. You don’t have to trust the machine . . .. Until security on the Internet feels like something the people can trust . . . paper is the future.”

Texas is also rethinking its computerized voting systems. An important lawsuit is challenging the widespread use of these machines because they do not meet requirements set by the state constitution and election code.

An enduring problem in Texas is that, according to Dr. Laura Pressley, a former Austin City Council candidate who is suing the state’s election establishment, the electronic voting machines that have been used so far cannot produce an onscreen ballot that conforms to the definition of a ballot under state law.

She told AFP on Oct. 1 that, to her delight and surprise, state Attorney General Ken Paxton filed an amicus brief in support of her suit in the Texas Supreme Court. Although the high court has not yet agreed to hear her case, it intends to conduct what’s known as a full briefing in the next 30 to 60 days, in which it will determine whether or not to hear her case.

A key point raised in her lawsuit is that state election law and even the state constitution—in the largest state in the contiguous U.S., which sends 36 people to the U.S. House of Representatives— require that ballots must be numbered sequentially to qualify for use in Texas.

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“But the [voting machines] here don’t number,” she said. “Over the last 16 years [since Texas began using electronic voting machines] these machines have not met the constitutional and legal requirement of numbering.”

Another point raised in her suit is the inability of the electronic voting machines to produce a verifiable paper audit trail, she said.

The problems associated with touchscreen electronic voting machines came to a sharp head recently in Hays County, Texas. In the November 2016 presidential election, a single digital vote-recording card, or “ballot box,” containing votes cast by 1,800 people, was lost.

“It was gone for two months,” Ms. Pressley told AFP. “They found it in February. Eighteen-hundred real pieces of paper would be harder to lose.”

In all, 15 states use electronic voting machines. Besides Virginia and Texas, states that are in the process of re-evaluating their electronic voting machines include Rhode Island, Georgia, and New Jersey.

Mark Anderson is a longtime newsman now working as the roving editor for AFP. Email him at truthhound2@yahoo.com.




Radio Host Pete Santilli Cops Plea to Avoid Possible Six-Year Sentence

Internet-radio host Pete Santilli’s surprising plea bargain could impact the other defendants’ cases in the ongoing Bundy proceedings, given his agreement with the prosecution’s description of events near Bunkerville when the BLM attempted to take Cliven Bundy’s cattle in March 2014. 

By Mark Anderson

LAS VEGAS—Things have taken two sharp, rather unexpected turns regarding the upcoming trial in the Bundy proceedings in the U.S. District Court in Las Vegas, Nevada. For one thing, Internet-radio personality Pete Santilli—one of the defendants in the next trial, which had been set to begin with jury selection on Oct. 10—“pled guilty today (Friday, Oct. 6) and was released pending sentencing,” his attorney, Chris Rasmussen of Las Vegas, confirmed for AFP by phone about 4:30 p.m. Eastern time that day.

Notably, the next trial involves the federal government trying cattleman Cliven Bundy, his sons Ammon and Ryan, and Ryan Payne. Due to his plea arrangement, Santilli is, of course, no longer involved in this trial. Two other defendants, O. Scott Drexler and Eric Parker, who are being retried on some counts for a third time, will join the others in this second of three planned trials of all the defendants charged in the Bunkerville “standoff.”

The second surprising turn of events is that both the prosecution and defense sought and secured yet another delay in these complicated proceedings, this time due to fear that the highly emotional aftermath of the recent deadly shooting during a country music concert outside Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas would adversely impact the attitudes and opinions of jurors for the time being.

As of this writing, the Oct. 10 date for jury selection has been postponed to on or around Oct. 30 and could be subject to change again, given the bumpy track record of these multiple-defendant trial proceedings—which the federal government has been largely losing so far. Santilli, who shot extended livestream video footage at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge building in eastern Oregon—prompting critics to allege that his “journalistic” coverage enabled the government to more closely monitor the ranchers who occupied the abandoned building in protest of onerous federal land controls—was jailed for his role in that affair.

Although cleared of Oregon-related charges, Santilli was kept behind bars and transferred to Nevada to stand trial because he had also taken part in the spring 2014 Bunkerville, Nev. “standoff.” That peaceful confrontation saw Cliven Bundy, his sons, and other supporters gather to protest the policies and conduct of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and other federal agencies that unsuccessfully attempted to confiscate Bundy’s cattle over a grazing-fee dispute.

Regarding the Nevada events, Santilli pled guilty to a felony count of obstruction of justice, based on the government’s assertion that he used his own vehicle to impede the movement of a BLM truck during the attempted cattle impoundment.

Interestingly, Rasmussen believes the government may be willing to consider the prison time that Santilli has already served—behind bars since Jan. 26, 2016—as sufficient punishment for that felony charge. But a reading of the plea memo shared with AFP by Rasmussen shows that the government reserves the right to impose a longer prison term, possibly six years, when Santilli is sentenced, probably in January. Meanwhile, two pending defense motions—one to exclude Oregon-related evidence in the government’s Nevada case against Santilli, and another to challenge the government’s claim that Santilli could not excuse his Nevada actions because of his journalistic background—are now moot, Rasmussen added.

According to court documentation, Santilli’s acceptance of pleading guilty to this single felony-obstruction charge requires, under penalty of perjury, that he accept the following government-sourced statements as “true and correct,” regarding the “standoff” in southern Nevada:

“Beginning on or around March 28, 2014, federal law enforcement officers from the United States Department of Interior, Bureau of Land Management, and National Park Service were engaged in the official duties of executing federal court orders to remove and impound cattle trespassing upon federal public lands in and around Bunkerville, Nevada, the cattle belonging to Cliven Bundy, a local rancher.

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“Defendant Santilli knew that Cliven Bundy and his sons, Ammon, Dave, Mel, and Ryan, (collectively, ‘the Bundys’), and others associated with them, planned to thwart, impede and interfere with impoundment operations.

“On April 9, 2014, Defendant Santilli used force to prevent officers from discharging their duties by using his vehicle to block BLM law enforcement officers and civilian employees as they were performing their duties related to the impoundment. Defendant Santilli drove his vehicle straight toward a BLM law enforcement officer’s vehicle, preventing the officer and the rest of the convoy behind him from being able to move forward.

“The officer ordered Defendant Santilli to move out of the way but Defendant Santilli continued to block the convoy’s path. Defendant Santilli finally reversed his vehicle out of the path of the convoy only after the officer repeated the command several times.

“By using force to block the convoy, Defendant Santilli allowed others to surround the convoy and threaten the occupants of the vehicles by force of violence and fear, inducing the officers to leave the place where their duties were required to be performed.

“Defendant Santilli acknowledges that all of the above took place within the State and Federal District of Nevada.”

The maximum penalty for “Conspiracy to Impede or Injure a Federal Officer,” the formal name of this count against Santilli under 18 U.S.C. § 372, is six years’ imprisonment, a fine of $250,000, or both. But the plea memo shows that Santilli owes no restitution under this charge, nor will he be required to forfeit any of his assets—provided he meets the strict terms of his supervised release until he’s sentenced.

He must not violate any federal, state, or local laws, is restricted from any significant travel, and among other things must avoid any known association with anyone who’s breaking any law. Nor can Santilli possess a gun or any other item deemed a weapon by the government. Failing to show up for a hearing or other procedural matter would also result in this deal being dissolved.

Mark Anderson is a longtime newsman now working as the roving editor for AFP. Email him at truthhound2@yahoo.com.




Mental Health Laws Used to Silence Critic

Pennsylvania powerbrokers abuse legal system to lock up political opponent

By Dave Gahary

A law on the books in the Keystone State intended to apply to individuals with mental illness is now being used for a more sinister purpose: to involuntarily commit political opponents who pose a threat to the established power structure in the commonwealth’s capital. Andrew J. Ostrowski, a former Pennsylvania civil rights attorney, found himself in the sights of the powers-that-be in Harrisburg, and learned the hard way how the 1976 Mental Health Procedures Act (MHPA) is being used to chill criticism of the power prism.

The MHPA “establishes procedures for the treatment of mentally ill persons” and “set[s] forth the Commonwealth’s policy and procedures regarding the provision of mental health services.” Article III of the act defines the requirements and limitations on involuntary emergency examination, treatment, and hospitalization of individuals who present a “clear and present danger to others.”

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That key phrase is defined as meaning “within the past 30 days the person has inflicted or attempted to inflict serious bodily harm on another and that there is a reasonable probability that such conduct will be repeated.” Longtime AMERICAN FREE PRESS subscriber and supporter Dorene Shutz tipped off this reporter to Ostrowski’s recent kidnapping.

“He is awake to the corrupt courts,” she explained. On Aug. 26, this reporter spent most of the day with Ostrowski, Ms. Shutz, and other mild-mannered patriots at The Nationalist Times conference, and found all the participants to be scholarly truth-seekers. None who were present that day could ever be considered severely mentally ill and in need of involuntary treatment by even the most incompetent authority, but that says nothing of corrupt authority.

Ostrowski was born and raised in Lancaster, Pa., attended Millersville University, and “was in the first graduating class at Widener University” in Harrisburg. “I trained for several years in the formal legal law firm environment,” he told AFP.

He soon discovered, however, that his chosen profession as an “officer of the court” wasn’t what he thought it might be. “I had been a practicing lawyer until 2010 when I ran into disciplinary issues,” he said, “and, as I distanced myself from the formal practice and started to look at these things, I started to see that there really was no basis for the licensing of the practice of law. The licensing of the practice of law really is an impediment to everybody’s access to justice, because your attorney is not free to advocate without risking his or her own property.”

On Aug. 23, Ostrowski filed a motion, attacking what he saw as a corrupt system. “I filed what is called a motion for declaratory relief,” he explained, “which is a vehicle that gives you access to have declarations made that certain things are constitutional, not constitutional, lawful, and unlawful. And I did it to challenge the basis of the attorney law license. This . . . is a very significant motion that really would upset the entire judicial structure in this country.”

Sitting at his desk on Sept. 19, Ostrowski found out how significant it really was. “I posted a notice on Facebook and sent out emails notifying people I was going on Facebook Live and, within 15 minutes of that, the police were at my door.”

Facebook Live allows a user to broadcast live video streams, requiring nothing more than a computer with a video camera and a Facebook account.

“I looked out the front window,” he said, “and there was a cop climbing over my railing to come around back, so I went around to the back door and locked it, and I went on Facebook Live. And then somehow, they got a key and they came in with gloves on and with their tasers pulled, three of them, a female and two males.”

The webcam captured the interaction between Ostrowski and the police, who entered his home without his permission. In the video, Ostrowski can be seen asking the officers to show him their warrant. Viewers see an officer telling him they have one but then forcingOstrowski from his desk before the video ends.

“They did not have a proper warrant; they didn’t have any paperwork,” Ostrowski said. “I had to kind of—as passively as I could—resist them dragging me into an ambulance and throwing me in without seeing some paperwork.” The short trip from his house to the ambulance was not without injury.

“I had bruises and a cut on my wrist from the handcuffs,” he said. AFP asked what happened next. “I was taken in to the local emergency room where they process you,” he explained, “and then they sent me to [Brooke Glen Behavioral Hospital] down in the Philadelphia suburbs. That was a horrific experience. It was clear that the agenda was, as expressed to me by the doctor, to get me on some kind of pharmaceuticals, and/or, if I refused or resisted, to have me placed long-term, and do it involuntarily. He specifically advocated for that in the hearing on Sept. 22.”

They held him there for seven days, two days longer than Section 302 of the MHPA ostensibly allows. Eventually a judge signed an order denying any commitment petition.

“They basically said I shouldn’t have been there,” explained Ostrowski. AFP asked if he had any recourse, as the judge’s ruling can’t erase the fact that he had been kept there against his will for all that time. “Of course, yes,” Ostrowski said. “This is a gross violation of all my fundamental civil rights. There’s not one that you can discount from it, [except] maybe cruel and unusual punishment.” Alarmingly, this wasn’t the first time they came for Ostrowski, “all directly related,” he believes, “to my advocacy efforts.”

“This is the third time this year,” he explained. Ostrowski contends that the abuse of this mental health law to truncate people’s due process rights is a clear problem.

“This is why AMERICAN FREE PRESS exists,” he said. “This is why The Nationalist Times exists. This is why you guys do what you do, because this stuff happens to real folks.”




No Justice

A district judge appointed by Obama has ruled a Louisiana sheriff’s deputy permanently injured during a Black Lives Matter melee can’t sue the organization or its leaders because the radical group is a “social movement” and its leaders were only expressing their rights to free speech when they rallied the crowds into chaos. 

By John Friend

In the wake of a string of violent and all too often fatal attacks on police officers across the country last year—attacks that were instigated by radical activists, subversive leftist organizations, and an entirely dishonest mainstream mass media—two separate lawsuits were filed on behalf of American law enforcement officials charging Black Lives Matter (BLM) and its top leaders with inciting, encouraging, and justifying the violence leveled against police.

In late September, however, a federal judge appointed by President Barack Obama shot down one of those suits, claiming that the group and its leaders cannot be sued because they are part of “a social movement” and are, ironically, engaging in free speech that is protected by the Constitution.

As this newspaper recently reported, an unnamed East Baton Rouge Parish sheriff’s deputy sued BLM and its most prominent leaders, including DeRay Mckesson, a national spokesman for the movement known for his incendiary and radical anti-American views, in the aftermath of an ambush on Louisiana police officers following the shooting death of Alton Sterling, a young black man. The lawsuit alleges that Mckesson and other BLM leaders, along with the overall Black Lives Matter movement, “caused or contributed to” the violence carried out against Baton Rouge law enforcement officers.

BLM and its leaders incited and even justified the violence, the lawsuit contends. Attorney Donna Grodner, who has thus far declined to comment to this reporter, filed the lawsuit on behalf of the sheriff’s deputy. Grodner also filed a separate lawsuit on behalf of yet another police officer, charging BLM—funded by George Soros among others—as being at least partially responsible for the serious injuries inflicted upon the officer during protests following the death of Sterling. During the protests, the officer was struck in the head by a rock hurled by BLM activists, severely injuring his face, jaw, and teeth.

In late September, U.S. District Judge Brian Jackson, who was appointed by Barack Obama in 2009, dismissed the unnamed officer’s suit, declaring BLM to be a social movement rather than an organized entity capable of being sued. “Although many entities have utilized the phrase ‘black lives matter’ in their titles or business designations, Black Lives Matter itself is not an entity of any sort,” Jackson opined in his 24-page ruling dismissing the lawsuit. Jackson argued that Mckesson and the other BLM leaders “solely engaged in protected speech” during the protests that turned violent.

“Plaintiff has pleaded facts that merely demonstrate that Mckesson exercised his constitutional right to association and that he solely engaged in protected speech at the demonstration that took place in Baton Rouge on July 9, 2016,” Jackson stated in his ruling. “I’m happy that this was dismissed and that the judge ruled that the movement can’t be sued because the movement is not an entity,” Mckesson said in an interview with NPR following the judge’s ruling. “It wasn’t started by any one, two or three people.”

Billy Gibbens, Mckesson’s attorney, argued in court proceedings that because BLM is simply a social movement, “there isn’t a person who is responsible for it, or the leader or the founder of it.” Ms. Grodner countered that BLM was an “unincorporated association” and should be held liable for her client’s injuries sustained during the violent protests.

“It’s organized. They have meetings. They solicit money. They have national chapters,” Ms. Grodner argued in court. “This shows a level of national organization.” According to GuideStar, which specializes in reporting on non-profit organizations, there are 35 different non-profit organizations associated with the Black Lives Matter brand comprising various state and national non-profit entities.

Additionally, three individuals—Patrisse Cullors, Opal Tometi, and Alicia Garza—are identified as founding members of the official #BlackLivesMatter Organization, which has numerous chapters across the country. Mckesson is also regularly identified by major media outlets as a national spokesman and leader of the organization. On its official website, BLM describes itself as “a chapter-based national organization working for the validity of black life” that seeks to “(re)build the black liberation movement.”

The organization affirms the lives of all blacks, including “black queer and trans folks, disabled folks, black-undocumented folks, folks with records, women, and all black lives along the gender spectrum,” demonstrating its radical leftist agenda.

It alleges that “black people are intentionally left powerless at the hands of the state” and that “black lives are deprived of [their] basic human rights and dignity,” when in reality blacks are often elevated in American society and popular culture, while also receiving special privileges such as affirmative action and other state-sanctioned benefits. Ms. Grodner’s other lawsuit, filed on behalf of East Baton Rouge Parish sheriff’s deputy Nick Tullier, who was severely injured when he was shot three times in an attack by former Marine Gavin Long, is still pending in court and is being reviewed by Jackson as well.

John Friend is a writer who lives in California.




Fighting ‘Hate,’ Killing Free Speech

Anti-Defamation League undercutting free expression by indoctrinating mayors, police

By John Friend

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL), an organization openly hostile to the First Amendment that seeks to advance pro-Israel interests and shut down free expression with often baseless charges of “anti-Semitism,” has partnered with the United States Conference of Mayors in the wake of the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Va. in an effort to combat “hate” and “extremism,” Marxist buzzwords that are applied to patriotic Americans willing to buck the tyrannical system of political correctness plaguing the West. The United States Conference of Mayors is an official, non-partisan organization representing American cities with populations exceeding 30,000. More than 300 mayors from major American cities across the nation have collaborated with the ADL on the project, and have pledged to implement the 10-point Mayors’ Compact to Combat Hate, Extremism, and Bigotry, developed almost entirely by the subversive, anti-American organization.

Some of the 10 key initiatives outlined in the compact include “rejecting extremism, white supremacy, and all forms of bigotry,” as well as prioritizing and promoting “anti-bias” and “anti-hate” programs—which are also developed by the ADL—in America’s public and private schools. Additionally, the compact encourages local residents and community members to report “hate incidents”; seeks to strengthen “hate crime” laws; and promotes training for law enforcement officials across the country to respond to and deal with “hate.”

The compact represents an attempt by the ADL to institutionalize its subversive, anti-free speech agenda, a major and long-running goal of the antiAmerican organization. The Unite the Right rally, which was legally organized by leading members of the alt-right, a burgeoning, loose-knit, right-wing movement that embraces racial identity and populism while rejecting globalism, multiculturalism, and massive non-white immigration to America and the wider Western world, has been used as an excuse to advance a number of blatantly anti-free speech agendas, including the censoring of some alt-right commentators on the Internet.

The rally was legally permitted, yet faced enormous obstacles from local political leaders in Charlottesville. The entirely distorted narrative spun by the political and media establishment portrayed the altright organizers and supporters as hateful, racist bigots who were determined to violently confront and attack the counterprotesters who showed up to peacefully demonstrate against the rally. The fake news media and establishment political and media pundits hysterically condemned everyone in the altright as violent extremists and terrorists, white supremacists, neo-nazis, and even Ku Klux Klansmen. Meanwhile, Antifa and other leftist extremists who engaged in physical confrontations and violence against the alt-right were portrayed as righteous and honorable protesters simply attempting to exercise their First Amendment rights. Needless to say, the concept of “hate” will be defined by the ADL and will, of course, encompass any form of criticism or resistance to its subversive, antiAmerican agenda.

“What happened in Charlottesville . . . reminds us all that violent hate and racism are very much alive in America in 2017,” Tom Cochran, the CEO and executive director of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, said when the compact was announced. “For decades, America’s mayors have taken a strong position in support of civil rights and in opposition to racism and discrimination of all kinds. At this critical time mayors are doing so again through this compact in an effort to combathate, extremism, and bigotry in their cities and in our nation.”

The ADL has played a key role in politicizing and militarizing law enforcement in the United States for decades, and routinely offers training courses for local, state, and federal law enforcement officials and entities across the country. The ADL openly describes itself as “the foremost non-governmental organization in the United States that offers law enforcement training on terrorism, extremism, and hate crimes” and boasts that it has “trained well over 100,000 federal, state, local, and military law enforcement officers.”

Law enforcement officials at all levels of government also regularly travel to Israel to receive training and advice from their Israeli counterparts, particularly in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, which many prominent researchers believe the Zionist state played a central role in carrying out, further militarizing American law enforcement, as is the case in Israel. This often involves U.S. law enforcement working closely with the Israeli military and police, both of which have been accused of carrying out war crimes against Muslims and Christians in the Holy Land.

Interestingly, Anita Gray, a regional director for the ADL in Cleveland, Ohio, admitted in a revealing interview with Cleveland Jewish News shortly after the rally that her organization had been “working on the ground and behind the scenes leading up to, during, and after the rally” in Charlottesville. “We remain in close contact with law enforcement, elected officials, community leaders, and others and continue to provide critical research, resources, and community support,” Ms. Gray went on to explain. “All of our offices have been working around the clock to respond, inform, and take action.”

The insidious agenda of the ADL could not be clearer in the aftermath of the Unite the Right rally, i.e., to stamp out criticism of Israel.




Texas Blacks Back Rebel Monuments

Many activists realize stone and marble not the worst problems facing blacks

By Dave Gahary

Following the government- and mainstream media-instigated violence in Charlottesville, Va. last month, various municipalities across this once-great nation are taking and considering taking preemptive steps to remove Confederate monuments from public land, so as not to invoke the wrath of the ascendant terrorist groups Black Lives Matter and the more loosely organized Antifa. In the halcyon days of these United States, if mask-wearing thugs arrived in any town or city intent on waging war in that community, they were met with the iron fist of law and order. No more. On Aug. 14, Philip Kingston, who serves on the Dallas city council, took aim at a Robert E. Lee statue and other monuments in the city. Kingston believes “monuments to the Confederacy should not be on public land,” as reported in an article by the local CBS fake-news outlet. So biased and hateful have the fake-news media become that the caption under the photo of the Lee statue reads:

The Confederate War Memorial in Dallas, Texas, is a monument that attempts to glorify the treasonous acts of those who fought to defend slavery on the Confederate side of the American Civil War.

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Kingston’s resolution requires action by Sept. 13, when, if passed, a citizen-based task force will be created to decide the fate of the monuments. Interestingly, the Southern heritage-destroying councilman made news in July when the city’s chief financial officer sent a memo to Kingston demanding he return $8,160 of his $60,000 salary because he missed too many council meetings. “I was just busy,” Kingston said, as reported by The Dallas Morning News. Some Dallas residents are busy as well, but for a different reason. A predominantly black group led by former city councilwoman Sandra Crenshaw is calling for Dallas’s Confederate monuments to remain standing, since removing them will not help alleviate media-alleged “racism.”

“I’m not intimidated by Robert E. Lee’s statue,” Ms. Crenshaw told the aforementioned newspaper. “It doesn’t scare me. We don’t want America to think that all African-Americans are supportive of this. Some people think that by taking a statue down, that’s going to erase racism. Misguided.”

Naturally, Kingston struck back. “What we don’t do is leave up a monument that celebrates the very idea that some of us are not equal to the others,” he said. “These monuments distort history; they don’t teach history.” On cue, Democratic mayor, former Pizza Hut CEO, and ad agency head Mike Rawlings chimed in by stating that the “white supremacists” in Charlottesville were “pure evil.”

AMERICAN FREE PRESS asked 69-year-old black Confederate supporter H.K. Edgerton for his views on the happenings in Dallas and across the country. “I applaud the fact that they’re coming together to oppose the removal of statues,” he began. “However, I don’t like the tone of this message. Instead of saying ‘not intimidated by Robert E. Lee,’ she should’ve been very proud of Gen. Robert E. Lee, probably one of the most admired and respected men of his time and this time.” Edgerton commented on the culture destroyers.

“What we have now is a continuation of what these folks did after the war when they sent these Northern school teachers to the Southland of America,” he said, “trying to divide and separate black folks and white folks. “The biggest problem I have is not with black folks, it’s with white folk guilt,” he said. “Most of the Black Lives Matter folks I see are young white folks. I’ve been all across this country and I’ll tell you right now most black folks don’t like being used as a weapon of choice to [enable] this destruction of our heritage and our history, [by] tearing down these monuments. This looks like Reconstruction all over again.”

He added: “I ran into Black Lives Matter and I’ve run into Antifa, in places where I was going to speak. These folks are domestic terrorists. If ‘black lives matter,’ they ought to be in Houston right now trying to help some black folks. If ‘black lives matter,’ they ought to be in Chicago trying to help those black folks who are killing each other in record numbers.” H —— Dave Gahary, a former submariner in the U.S. Navy, prevailed in a suit brought by the New York Stock Exchange in an attempt to silence him. Dave is the producer of an upcoming full-length feature film about the attack on the USS Liberty. See erasingtheliberty.com or call (850) 677-0344 for more information.




Feds Fail to Convict More Bundy Supporters

TWO MORE BUNDY SUPPORTERS GO FREE

By Mark Anderson

In the ongoing “Bundy” trials, as they’ve come to be known, on Aug. 22, a jury was unable to convict four defendants who were retried this summer after prosecutors failed to get a conviction the first time around. Two of those four, Steven Stewart and Richard Lovelien, have been acquitted of all charges and are free men. O. Scott Drexler and Eric Parker, however, were acquitted on most but not all counts and are still in federal custody. After languishing in federal prison for around 18 months like the rest of the defendants in this saga, Drexler and Parker have been released to home detention. Although their retrial saw them formally acquitted on some charges, it ended simply with “no verdict” on other charges: assault on a federal officer and related firearm charges stemming from their part in a protest against the attempted seizure of Cliven Bundy’s cattle during an April 12, 2014 “standoff” with armed U.S. Bureau of Land Management agents. This means that Drexler and Parker will be retried on the remaining charges —for a third time. And the charges are rather serious.

Parker is still facing four counts of assaulting a federal officer, threatening a federal officer, using a firearm in a crime of violence while assaulting a federal officer, and the same firearm charge to threaten a federal officer. Drexler’s remaining charges are assaulting a federal officer and using a firearm in a crime of violence to assault a federal officer. More good news is that, amid the hard reality of having been imprisoned and denied a speedy trial as the Constitution requires, Cliven Bundy— the patriarch of a family synonymous with protesting often heavy-handed federal land policies—will finally be going to trial in the same federal court. He’ll be joined by several other defendants who backed him and his family at that April 2014 protest, where some protestors did carry firearms to exercise their Second Amendment rights in an open-carry state, yet no shots were fired in the encounter.

Drowning in debt

Judge Gloria Navarro of the U.S. District Court in Las Vegas set a date of Oct. 10 for jury selection to begin there for the trial of the second set of defendants, which includes Cliven and several others. According to the original court schedule, there were to be three trials. Cliven, his sons Ammon and Ryan, Internet radio host Pete Santilli, and Ryan Payne have long been slated to be the second trial’s defendants. But due to the most recent developments, Drexler and Parker will join them in mid-October. “This next trial involving Cliven is the so-called ‘leadership’ trial, as the government sees it,” said legal expert Roger Roots of Montana, who has attended nearly every day of the trial. Cliven, his two sons, Santilli, and Payne each face 15 charges generally including conspiracy, assault and threats against federal officers, firearms counts, and obstruction and extortion. Though it seems unlikely at this juncture, conviction on all charges would ensure life imprisonment for all.




Who Gets to Define What’s ‘Hate’?

Christian urban renewal activist says “alt-left” following an insidious path

By Star Parker

As if recent events don’t give us enough to worry about, now we have a new missive in The Atlantic magazine from former Vice President Joe Biden concerning the incident in Charlottesville.

Biden wants to declare America a hate-free zone. He says we should declare “no place for these hate groups in America. Hatred of blacks, Jews, immigrants—all who are seen as ‘the other’—won’t be accepted or tolerated or given safe harbor anywhere in this nation.”

As sickening as the “alt-right” racist bigots may be, at least we know where they’re coming from. They make no claim to the high ground. Their racism is on the table, in the light of day. But the “alt-left” is far more insidious. Take, for instance, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). They are self-appointed mission control for identifying who and where are the haters in America.

They publish a “Hate Map” on their website, in which 917 “hate groups” are identified, ripe for elimination in the spirit of Biden’s appeal. Included are 101 anti-Muslim hate groups, but somehow not a single anti-Christian hate group is identified. Actually, Christian groups, in their map, turn out to be the haters.

SPLC identifies at least 19 Christian organizations as hate groups. Groups like the Alliance Defending Freedom, which provides legal counsel to those whose religious freedom has been abrogated (e.g., a Christian baker being sued for refusing to create a cake for a same-sex wedding), or Family Research Council, which publishes research in support of public policy consistent with traditional Christian values, or D. James Kennedy Ministries, which, through its church and media, disseminates the Christian gospel and sermons of its founder, Dr. D. James Kennedy.

Peacefully preaching Christian gospel is, in the eyes of the SPLC, an act of hate because part of this gospel chastises homosexual behavior as sinful. Unfortunately, in today’s tortured culture, sources deemed by some authority like CNN or GuideStar, which provides data on evaluating nonprofit  organizations, reference the SPLC “Hate Map” as a guide to hate in the country.

Two major corporations, JP Morgan and Apple, announced six-figure contributions to the SPLC after the  events in Charlottesville. In a memo to employees, JP Morgan’s head of corporate responsibility noted that their contribution to SPLC is “to further their work in tracking, exposing, and fighting hate groups and other extremist organizations across the country.”

In 2012, a young man entered the office of the Family Research Council in Washington, D.C., and shot  the building manager. He, fortunately, was caught and subsequently sentenced to 25 years in prison. He has a volunteer at a pro-gay organization and told the FBI that he used the SPLC hate map to find FRC and that his plan was to kill as many as he could. D. James Kennedy Ministries recently filed a lawsuit against the SPLC for defamation.

In recent media appearances discussing Charlottesville, I noted the equivalency I see between the LGBT rainbow flag and the Confederate flag. Both stand, as I explained, for particular dogma and are statements of exclusion to those who don’t fit their worldview. Those who don’t agree with me are  welcome to say so. But, instead, the so-called advocates of tolerance shut down my office in Washington, D.C., with an avalanche of calls and threats.

We can’t legislate what people feel. But we can and must recapture the American vision of freedom, where law protects individual life, liberty and property, so our large and diverse population can  live together peacefully and productively.

Star Parker is an author and president of CURE, Center for Urban Renewal and Education. Contact her at www.urbancure.org.

 




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Doctor Sues to Stop Naled Spraying

A Miami physician and an attorney have filed an injunction against Dade County to stop the rampant, dangerous use of naled, an organophosphate insecticide in its “air war on mosquitoes.” The plaintiffs say local government is not following EPA guidelines that require proper notification to residents to take precautions. Other, non-harmful mosquito management techniques are available and should be implemented as an alternative to spraying us all with poisons. 

By James Spounias

You can almost hear the soundtrack from the popular show, “Twilight Zone,” which aired from 1959-1964, with this introduction: “Imagine your local government sprays a dangerous pesticide to kill non-disease carrying nuisance mosquitoes without warning or giving precautions, as it has for decades. Those who object are dubbed ‘woo-woo’ and ‘pseudo-science’ even though those who spray have no proof it is harmless to human and ecological health. Those who object are crazy. Those who spray, though, are right.”

It’s not a script from a science-fiction movie but something that has occurred in much of the world without much scrutiny. Until now.

Dr. Michael Hall and Cindy Mattson, attorney at law, filed an injunction against Dade County to halt the use of naled, an organophosphate insecticide, on the grounds that local governmental bodies are not following Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) guidelines, which require that local agencies provide notice and warn residents to take precautions.

The suit requests that the spraying be halted until evidence about safety can be presented.

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Hall has created a crowdfunding page on the Internet to raise money for the suit, detailing the harm naled brings to people.

Many Florida counties are spraying naled to kill “marsh” mosquitoes, which have appeared in unusual activity this year.

Marsh mosquitoes are a nuisance but do not carry disease, making the “basis” for using naled more hollow than using it against disease carrying Aedes aegypti, which is said to carry Zika.

Gideon Elite book cover

This writer has debunked lies about the threat of the disease called Zika and the use of naled in several articles published in American Free Press, underscoring many among the long list of environmental assaults that go under the radar yet pose serious danger to the health of humanity.

Hall’s crowdfunding page appeal states: “We seek an immediate federal injunction and litigation to prevent and stop the use of naled in south Florida. We have a legal team ready to move if we can finance the cause. Why do we need to do this? It’s simple. We need to stop the poisoning of our environment, ecosystem, and human species or we will destroy our planet. If we don’t draw a line in the sand, the spraying of naled will continue.”

Hall makes the case that naled kills natural predators of mosquitoes, such as dragonflies, that each eat hundreds of mosquitoes a day. Many other parts of the ecosystem are also affected, including birds, amphibians, reptiles, fishes, and other insects.

The Miami doctor writes that naled is a “carcinogen, neurotoxin, and endocrine disruptor” that is problematic for those with “compromised immune and nervous system, which would allow for the development of life-long allergies or autoimmune disorders and gut disorders.”

Fetuses are especially susceptible to damage by naled and all organophosphates, as they “disrupt the normal functioning of brain development in human fetuses.”

Hall warns that “well-known short-term and long-term human biologic damage to DNA based on epigenetics factors is known to occur with organophosphate pesticides retained in humans (young infant through elderly), pets, home garden vegetables, and fruit etc.,” raising the important point that we really don’t know what the long-term effects are on the human body, let alone generational defects that may occur in progeny.

Hall cites a study that implicates the use of organophosphates to rises of autism and related disorders in areas that have been sprayed.

What’s left unsaid is just because we don’t drop dead from pesticide spraying does not mean the practice is “safe.”

It may well be that organophosphates are the cause or at least a key contributing factor to bringing on disease states as part of the “toxic burden” plaguing much of the world.

While it is a tall order to ask a federal court to stop a practice local counties have been doing for decades, it is the hope of this writer that the practice is halted and the use of organophosphates is eliminated.

Non-Pesticide Solutions to Mosquitoes

Counties should be considering using other, non-toxic methods to control populations of mosquitoes. In Caguas, Puerto Rico, local officials are using modified five-gallon buckets to make what are known as autocidal gravid ovitraps (AGOs). They are placing these all over to cover their city center.

The Miami Herald reported: “The buckets are a study in simplicity. Each one holds a few inches of water and fermenting hay that lures the Aedes aegypti in through a fist-sized opening at the top. A screen prevents the mosquito from reaching the water, and the insects get caught in sticky, non-toxic resin inside the opening. The traps cost about $11 each, and although they’ve been used to monitor mosquito populations in the past, they’re just now being considered eradication tools.”

Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (Bt) is a bacterium that kills mosquito larvae, which is effective in preventing the proliferation of mosquitoes. Killing larvae doesn’t affect existing mosquitoes but rather prevents the growth of more, and it is much safer than genetic modification. Bt is considered non-toxic to people and fishes and often used by organic gardeners.

We must explore these and other pest control methods given the danger of pesticides to health.

James Spounias is the president of Carotec Inc., originally founded by renowned radio show host and alternative health expert Tom Valentine.




Judge Will Rule on Arpaio Case Soon

Attorneys for retired Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio are “highly optimistic” the lawman will get a favorable verdict in the Obama DOJ-carryover case against him. Arpaio has been charged with misdemeanor contempt of court for turning over illegal aliens who had been arrested by his department to federal immigration authorities—one of the key things that got him repeatedly re-elected by the people of a county that borders Mexico and appreciated his work.

By Mark Anderson

PHOENIX, Ariz.—Mark Goldman, one of the attorneys for former Sheriff Joe Arpaio in the veteran lawman’s criminal trial that just wrapped up in Arizona, says he’s highly optimistic that Arpaio will not be convicted, because the three essential conditions under which he could be found guilty of a misdemeanor “contempt of court” charge were not met in court.

“We feel very happy,” Goldman told this AFP writer July 7, the day after closing arguments were heard in this widely watched case. The trial, initially expected to last at least eight days, ended up with only four days of testimony in late June, plus closing arguments on July 6.

Goldman feels good about the case because federal prosecutors evidently didn’t come close to proving even the first of those three conditions, let alone the other two.

IRS Loses Cases

The first condition is that a 2011 federal court injunction—purportedly issued to try to stop Arpaio from apprehending illegal aliens—must have been “clear and definite” in its meaning. While Arpaio is accused of contempt of court for allegedly defying the injunction, it appears the injunction was worded too vaguely for federal prosecutors to have a clear shot at winning their case against the popular lawman.

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During Arpaio’s time as Maricopa County sheriff, the former Drug Enforcement Agency officer’s deputies would turn over apprehended illegal aliens to the federal government for processing, due to serious concerns in the densely populated county—just a few miles from the border—about drug-running, human trafficking, and other crimes fostered by U.S. open-borders policies and attitudes.

In federal district court in Phoenix, Judge Susan Bolton “picked up on the fact that the [injunction] was anything but clear and definite,” Goldman summarized. He stressed that, since testimony from both sides revealed that the 40-page injunction failed to be clear and definite, then the other two conditions that the prosecution trotted out could not realistically be met.

Those other conditions were that Arpaio was aware of the injunction’s details and that he knowingly and willfully violated the injunction.

“No one who testified understood [the injunction’s meaning] when it was issued,” Goldman told American Free Press .

He said that the apparent clincher came when the star witness of the Department of Justice, Tim Casey—Arpaio’s former attorney, who evidently turned against Arpaio—admitted during cross-examination that the injunction was not clear and definite. “To me, that’s enough to make this whole case go away . . . so Joe’s feeling pretty good at this point,” Goldman said.

Arpaio himself was not yet at liberty to directly speak with AFP, pending the judge’s decision.

Gideon Elite book cover

Also according to Goldman, Joe Sousa, who was Arpaio’s lieutenant for the human-smuggling unit at the sheriff’s department, testified for the defense that, with Casey serving as Arpaio’s attorney at the time, never once did Casey inform Sousa or the department that they may have incorrectly interpreted the injunction when going about their job of apprehending those found to be illegal aliens during standard law enforcement, which the feds have constantly labeled as “racial profiling.”

Casey had free access to the smuggling unit, and it would have been his job to know of or discover a possible injunction violation and communicate his views to the sheriff’s department, Goldman added.

“Joe never interfered. And he had Casey as an attorney to instruct [Joe’s] subordinates on how to interpret the injunction,” Goldman said.

Since Arpaio was unable to secure a jury trial, Judge Bolton will decide the matter. That won’t happen until July 21 or later, however, the date that attorneys for both sides were asked to submit briefs on “applicable law” to aid the judge in deciding this case.

Prosecutors have maintained that Arpaio intentionally and defiantly prolonged patrols to apprehend illegal aliens for 17 months after the injunction was issued. But as July 21 approaches, it appears that this narrative is part of an effort by the Justice Department, in a carryover from the Obama administration, to conduct a political hit against Arpaio.

That view is widely held, because the misdemeanor lawsuit, filed just days before the last sheriff’s election in November 2016, helped unseat Arpaio in his re-election bid.

Arpaio’s backers say that the case vividly illustrates one key way that left-leaning politicians and their cohorts in the courts, major media, and elsewhere go about discrediting concerted, effective efforts to secure America’s borders.

Mark Anderson is a longtime newsman now working as the roving editor for AFP. Email him at truthhound2@yahoo.com.




We Have the Freedom to Starve

“Anti-Semitic” and “racist” epithets are trotted out any time “establishment truth” is challenged or Israeli policies are criticized, in an effort to create in the reader a knee-jerk emotional aversion to a writer or publication. But it’s valuable to pause and ask, first, what does “anti-Semitic” even mean? Furthermore, does challenging the politics or culture of a particular group—such as a nation’s government—necessarily equate with “racism”? 

By Kevin Barrett

Wells Fargo is one of America’s sleaziest and most disreputable big banks. Their deceptive credit-card pitches contain small-print clauses allowing them to suddenly jack up their “introductory rates” and hit you with usurious 30%-plus interest. So it shouldn’t really surprise anyone that Wells Fargo canceled AFP’s credit-card processing account because some billionaire banker somewhere doesn’t like some of the books AFP sells. And it is shocking—but hardly surprising—to learn that the banking industry is trying to put AFP out of business by adding it to a credit-card-processing blacklist.

A spokesman for the blacklisters said the reason for this financial war is that AFP sells “racist and anti-Semitic books,” namely those by Michael Collins Piper. Naturally, he hasn’t even read any of Piper’s books. If he had, he would know that there was never a single racist bone in Piper’s body.

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Let’s define our terms here. “Racist and anti-Semitic” is a redundant expression. “Anti-Semitism” is a form of racism holding that Jews are biologically inferior because they are a “Semitic” people related to Arabs. Actually, neither Jews nor Arabs are their own race. Judaism is a religion professed by people from many races and cultures, while “Arabs” are simply the many different kinds of people, ranging from Sudanese blacks to blond-haired, blue-eyed Syrians and Lebanese, who happen to speak Arabic.

The pseudo-scientific racist theory known as “anti-Semitism” was popular in the 19th and early 20th centuries, but today, it is Arabs, not Jews, who are the main victims of this kind of racism. Ironically, the country with the worst anti-Semitic (anti-Arab) racism is the state of Israel.

As for Piper’s books, they contain no racial hatred or bigotry of any kind. They are critical of certain aspects of Jewish culture, specifically the ruthless tribalism that prevails among some Jewish-Zionist elites, especially those that work with the criminal underworld. That is cultural critique, not racism.

I am highly critical of the segment of the Arab-Muslim political elite that runs “Saudi” Arabia. That does not make me an anti-Arab or anti-Muslim bigot.

Freedom means nothing if we are not free to critique the culture and politics of the various power elites that rule our world. Piper saw the rising power of Jewish-Zionist elites in the U.S. and discussed the issue reasonably and rationally—if sometimes passionately—in an evidence-based fashion without any reference to or interest in “race.” His investigations into such issues as the JFK assassination and 9/11 were ahead of their time.

It is a national scandal, and a symptom of our national decline, that the whole banking establishment can wage an economic war aimed at the suppression of Piper’s books—without a peep of protest from the ACLU and the supposedly free speech-supporting mainstream media.

Liberty Stickers

The economic assault on AFP is just the latest salvo in what is becoming an all-out Zionist war on free speech. Professor William Robinson’s book We Will Not Be Silenced: The Academic Repression of Israel’s Critics covers several Zionist attempts to quash academic freedom. Now they are targeting booksellers, not just academics.

When I was driven from the academy for questioning 9/11, I assumed I would be free to sell books and articles and solicit donations to support my independent scholarship and radio broadcasts. How could such activities ever be quashed? After all, we still have the First Amendment, right?

Unfortunately, the Constitution only limits the power of government, not the corporate sector. As private monopolies gobble up entire industries, grabbing as much power as governments but without any of the transparency or responsibilities, they have begun to insist that we toe their ideological line on pain of expulsion from the economy. A few months ago, Amazon banned hundreds of history books. At about the same time, my main fundraising platform and database (GoFundMe) closed my account and stole more than $1,000. Various Facebook accounts, including the Nation of Islam’s, have been frozen or shut down for political reasons. Now AFP is being blacklisted.

To buy and sell information, we will soon be microchipped with a “Mark of the Beast” guaranteeing that our views are inoffensive to the powers-that-be. Violators will be banned from economic transactions. They will still be free—free to starve.

Such evil acts of political censorship are exactly what we should expect from the too-big-to-fail financial pharaohs who seized the reins of power in America in the Federal Reserve coup d’état of 1913.

The lesson is clear: If we want to preserve what’s left of freedom in America, we need to overthrow the banksters in a Second American Revolution. 􀀀

Kevin Barrett, Ph.D., is an Arabist-Islamologist scholar and one of America’s best-known critics of the War on Terror. From 1991 through 2006, Dr. Barrett taught at colleges and universities in San Francisco, Paris, and Wisconsin. In 2006, however, he was attacked by Republican state legislators who called for him to be fired from his job at the University of Wisconsin-Madison due to his political opinions. Since 2007, Dr. Barrett has been informally blacklisted from teaching in American colleges and universities. He currently works as a nonprofit organizer, public speaker, author, and talk radio host. He lives in rural western Wisconsin.




Gun Control: A Colorblind Issue

In yet another appalling example of political correctness-induced cowardice on the part of America’s so-called mainstream media, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch has dumped a black conservative columnist. Why? She penned a column defending the National Rifle Association and the rights of gun owners in response to an outrageous opinion piece from a retired leftist professor in Missouri asserting there is no difference between the NRA and ISIS, and that gun owners love their guns more than their children.

By Mark Anderson

Conservative columnist Stacy Washington wrote a column challenging a recent editorial written by an academic who compared the National Rifle Association (NRA) to the radical Islamic ISIS terrorist organization.

However, rather than stand up for her right to free speech, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, where her freelance column had been a regular feature, unceremoniously dumped her.

Ms. Washington, a decorated Air Force veteran, Emmy-nominated TV personality, and host of the nationally syndicated radio program “Stacy on the Right,” already had an understanding with the Post-Dispatch that if any one of her freelance columns was deemed unsuitable for publication, then the paper, which paid her on a per-column basis under an “at-will” arrangement, could simply refrain from running the column in question, but keep her on board. Yet she was let go after the April 28, 2017 column that sparked this controversy had already appeared in print.

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Her column had challenged Missouri State University Journalism School professor (emeritus) George Kennedy, a regular guest columnist for the Columbia Missourian. He had claimed that the NRA was no better than ISIS, and that gun owners care more about their guns than their children. She wrote that Kennedy’s column was absurd, so the Post-Dispatch opinion editor Tod Robberson dropped her.

What was the reason Robberson cited for dropping her columns?

Ms. Washington’s unpardonable “sin” was that she allegedly failed to let Robberson know about her dastardly NRA affiliations. While attending the NRA’s annual conference in Atlanta, Ms. Washington saw an email from Robberson, in which he said that he was suspending her column. Referring to that April column, he claimed Ms. Washington was “advocating for the NRA while failing to disclose that you did media work on behalf of this lobbying organization and its official television station,” which “goes far beyond the bounds of any acceptable journalistic standard.”

He also alleged that she didn’t disclose that she served “multiple times” as a co-host and commentator on NRA-TV’s “Cam & Company.”

Liberty Stickers

In a follow-up article that appeared in the NRA journal 1st Freedom, Ms. Washington explained that, before the start of her column, and again in January of this year, articles describing her participation in an NRA documentary appeared in the Post-Dispatch.

Her biography and online social media accounts “all state that I am a fourth-generation veteran, gun owner, Second Amendment supporter, and NRA member,” Ms. Washington explained. “Besides, does my appearance as a guest host for ‘Cam & Company’ on a few occasions make the [professor’s] NRA-ISIS comparison valid?

Here are excerpts from the column, headlined “Guns and the Media,” that led to her suspension:

Missouri School of Journalism professor emeritus George Kennedy offered his opinion of gun-owning NRA members in a Columbia Missourian commentary [as follows]: “The NRA is the acronym for the National Rifle Association, founded in 1871, headquartered in Fairfax, Virginia, and feared by politicians across America.” Really. Tons of politicians cowering in fear of the NRA, eh?

Kennedy . . . describes the barbaric nature of the Islamic State and goes on to say of law abiding, gun-owning Americans: “What makes the NRA so feared is its willingness to spend heavily and campaign aggressively in pursuit of its goal of removing all restrictions on the possession and use of firearms just about anywhere by just about anyone.”

To further illustrate the ridiculous nature of Kennedy’s comparison, when has a member of the NRA ever decapitated, set on fire, tossed from a rooftop or otherwise terrorized another American? The association [of the NRA with reported ISIS actions] is not only rife with improper context; it is false on its face. Yet the Missourian saw fit to publish it without question.

In her 1st Freedom piece, Ms. Washington summarized, “Upon reading [Kennedy’s] assertion that ‘we love our guns more than we love our children,’ I was compelled to write about this spurious comparison and the obvious editorial malpractice that permitted the approval of such copy without so much as a rebuttal.”

As for the bigger picture, Ms. Washington—a black woman who, being conservative and pro-gun, doesn’t fit the “liberal PC” image that media often project in order to stereotype and divide people—sees great irony in the fact that traditional print media is constantly losing its readership but still omits or misrepresents conservative viewpoints, rather than winning over more readers with better editorial balance in order to stay in business.

Mark Anderson is a longtime newsman now working as the roving editor for AFP. Email him at truthhound2@yahoo.com.




Amish Healer Sentenced to Six Years in Prison

Following the FDA’s lengthy persecution of an Amish man in Kentucky, a judge has meted out an outrageous prison sentence for the herbal salve maker—despite the fact no victims were shown to have ever been harmed by his salves. Once again, pharmaceutical companies, as represented by the FDA, have won out over a peaceful citizen of  the United States.

By Jacob Tyler

LEXINGTON, Ky.—The Food and Drug Administration (FDA)’s decade-long persecution of an Amish man whose family enterprise specializes in the manufacture of home-made salves reached a disturbing conclusion on June 30 in the U.S. district court in Lexington, Ky., when he was sentenced to six years in prison for the crime of “mislabeling” and selling a natural remedy.

Samuel A. Girod, 57, was sentenced by Judge Danny Reeves to 72 months in prison to be followed by a supervised release period of three years, during which time he is prohibited from making and selling any product intended for medical purposes. Girod is also required to pay the court $14,000 in restitution and $1,300 in court fees, though the judge did not impose the potential fine of $25,000-$250,000 on the basis that doing so would impose undue hardship to the family.

The convoluted history of U.S. v. Girod traces back to 2001 when FDA agents first contacted Girod. After allegedly receiving an anonymous tip notifying them Girod’s product label asserted his topical tincture made from bloodroot was good for skin cancer, FDA agents informed Girod they considered this a medical claim that must be either irrefutably proven or altogether removed from his product label. Girod complied by amending the label.

IRS Loses Cases

In 2013, the FDA contacted Girod again, claiming a “victim” had been “harmed” by his salve.

However, during the investigation, no victim was produced and the salve in question was revealed to be from a different manufacturer. Still, Girod allowed FDA agents to conduct a warrantless search of his farm. A federal judge in Missouri then enjoined Girod’s products and ordered that no products could be sold until medical claims were removed, that Girod’s bloodroot salve could never be made available for sale, and that Girod must allow FDA inspections of his property for five years.

In late 2013, Girod refused an inspection and in 2014 began selling his products again, through a private members’ club.

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The FDA began criminal proceedings against him for disobeying the injunction and added two more severe charges. FDA agents claimed that Girod and his family threatened them with physical violence when they returned for the second inspection, despite the fact that the sheriff’s deputy, who had accompanied FDA agents, testified under oath that no threats were made. Finally, Girod was also charged with witness tampering because he had sent a letter to customers explaining the facts of the lawsuit and apologizing for causing them distress.

Liberty Stickers

During a jury trial, which concluded in March, Girod was found guilty on 13 charges: conspiracy to impede an officer, obstruction of a proceeding before an agency, failing to register with the FDA, eight counts of causing misbranded drugs to be introduced into interstate commerce, tampering with a witness, and failure to appear.

It’s important to note that the FDA’s classification of “drugs” here is based solely upon its insistence that Girod’s brochure for his salve, which quoted a customer’s testimonial that the product treated skin cancer, constitutes a medical claim. Therefore, according to the FDA, this salve, which anyone can produce in their own kitchen following one of numerous recipes readily available online with ingredients readily available at a local grocery store, is a “drug.”

Reeves explained that the court calculates the offense level in part based on the number of victims, though throughout the entirety of the hearing, the court did not reference a single one.

The FDA has a long track record of granting its seal of approval to substances produced by big pharma that have been proven to harm victims by the thousands annually. Yet it would seem that going after an Amish family business that produces a natural product, which has harmed no proven victims, that has been tested in the FDA’s own laboratories, and subsequently vindicated as both safe and natural, is what this government bureaucracy deems to be where the taxpayer dollars that help pay its budget are most gainfully prioritized.

It’s no great wonder that this has caused a major outcry among concerned Americans. Girod’s sentencing hearing on June 30—during which numerous security personnel were present in the courtroom, a bomb-sniffing dog was on hand, and Homeland Security officers were stationed outside—was attended by over 120 Amish men, women, and children from numerous communities around the nation, dozens of activists, and numerous reporters for both local and alternative news outlets, filling the courtroom to capacity.

Perhaps the most recognizable face amidst the large number of supporters was former sheriff and Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association founder Richard Mack (pictured in the photograph above speaking to the crowd), who has 20 years’ experience in law enforcement and one year working in narcotics.

This writer interviewed Mack about the Girod proceedings.

According to Mack, the sentencing guidelines for Girod outlined by Reeves were absurdly in excess of those for crimes of equal severity committed by repeat offenders. He added that in all his years of experience in law enforcement he had never seen a first-time offender be sentenced in such a draconian fashion. What’s more, he pointed out, actual drug dealers often only get 5-10 years prison time when convicted.

Girod, who represented himself for the majority of his case, asserted his rights as a sovereign citizen at numerous points during the hearing, responding to every question directed at him by the court with the words: “I do not waive my immunity to this court. I do not consent.”

During sentencing, as if to refute the widespread cries of foul play from the public, Reeves claimed: “This is not about the government coming down on a man who just wants to sell salve. It’s about a man that has no respect for the rule of law.”

Reeves spoke of a prevailing need to “protect the public from any future crimes of the defendant.”

Conspicuously absent during the trial, however, was so much as a single example of an actual victim, past or present.

Also noteworthy was the candor of the prosecution. Two statements by federal prosecutor Kate Smith were particularly indicative of an overt agenda on which the FDA and the court were in painfully apparent collusion.

“He has not accepted responsibility for his actions,” she claimed, followed by, “The government has put a lot of money into this case and I would hate to see Mr. Girod released—and be back in here for the same thing.”

IMMEDIATE AFTERMATH

Supporters both inside the courtroom and assembled outside—some of whom carried signs and placards that read “Notice to Feds: Stop targeting our peaceful Amish neighbors”—gathered in front of the courthouse immediately afterward, as local news cameras rolled and activists livestreamed the gathering.

Mack’s vociferous denunciation of Reeves’s decision rang out in front of the news cameras. His bold words were met with equally exuberant applause and cries of “Amen!” from scores of the Amish present.

Mack called for intervention by officials like Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Girod’s own senator. Having spearheaded numerous successful efforts to vindicate Amish people being targeted by the FDA thus far, Mack is also calling for both congressional and presidential commissions to investigate not just this, but all similar cases.

“This has nothing to do with safety,” said Mack. “The only crime committed here is that a family has been torn apart. . .. Every American has something to fear after this.”

When asked to comment on the sentencing outcome, Girod’s father told AFP, “The Constitution isn’t working anymore. This is all on the government.”

Another Amish community leader added: “It is a slap in the face to the Amish to send him to prison . . .. [Sheriff Mack said] that [Sam] is being lied about and railroaded. Sam did not have a fair trial. If he’d had an attorney he could have had a fair chance.”

The palpable spirit of righteous indignation evident in the gathered protestors was well summarized in the statements of Mrs. Sally Oh, who has covered the Girod case from its outset and writes for the Kentucky Free Press:

“There are no victims. Sam didn’t hurt anybody. The only victim here is the FDA, if you can even call them victims. The most egregious counts against him are based on common law: ‘Don’t hurt people and don’t take their stuff.’ Sam did none of those things. This is a clear case of the FDA flexing its muscle and throwing its weight around.”

There is still a chance for the ruling against Girod to be appealed to the 6th Circuit. Considering that five lawyers have offered to take his case pro bono and numerous others at a reduced rate since his conviction, he may yet have an opportunity to turn this around. But whether or not Girod, who didn’t trust lawyers to begin with, can trust any representatives of a legal system that has so recently trampled his rights into the mud remains to be seen.

Jacob Tyler is a freelance writer and web designer.




You Want a Picture of the Future? Imagine a Boot Stamping on Your Face

Not so long ago, prescient people who were paying attention tried to spread the message that the United States was rapidly becoming a police state. They encouraged their fellow Americans to take action while there was time, usually dismissed with a nonchalant, “That could never happen in my country!” Most people went about their business as usual. Now, those early warnings have been realized. Is it too late to turn things around and restore the promise of liberty?  

By John Whitehead

“The Internet is watching us now. If they want to. They can see what sites you visit. In the future, television will be watching us, and customizing itself to what it knows about us. The thrilling thing is, that will make us feel we’re part of the medium. The scary thing is, we’ll lose our right to privacy. An ad will appear in the air around us, talking directly to us.”—Director Steven Spielberg, Minority Report

We have arrived, way ahead of schedule, into the dystopian future dreamed up by such science fiction writers as George Orwell, Aldous Huxley, Margaret Atwood, and Philip K. Dick.

Much like Orwell’s Big Brother in 1984, the government and its corporate spies now watch our every move.

Much like Huxley’s A Brave New World, we are churning out a society of watchers who “have their liberties taken away from them, but . . . rather enjoy it, because they [are] distracted from any desire to rebel by propaganda or brainwashing.”

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Much like Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, the populace is now taught to “know their place and their duties, to understand that they have no real rights but will be protected up to a point if they conform, and to think so poorly of themselves that they will accept their assigned fate and not rebel or run away.”

And in keeping with Philip K. Dick’s darkly prophetic vision of a dystopian police state—which became the basis for Steven Spielberg’s futuristic thriller “Minority Report,” which was released 15 years ago—we are now trapped into a world in which the government is all-seeing, all-knowing, and all-powerful, and if you dare to step out of line, dark-clad police SWAT teams and pre-crime units will crack a few skulls to bring the populace under control.

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“Minority Report” is set in the year 2054, but it could just as well have taken place in 2017.

Seemingly taking its cue from science fiction, technology has moved so fast in the short time since “Minority Report” premiered in 2002 that what once seemed futuristic no longer occupies the realm of science fiction.

Incredibly, as the various nascent technologies employed and shared by the government and corporations alike—facial recognition, iris scanners, massive databases, behavior prediction software, and so on—are incorporated into a complex, interwoven cyber network aimed at tracking our movements, predicting our thoughts, and controlling our behavior, Spielberg’s unnerving vision of the future is fast becoming our reality.

Both worlds—our present-day reality and Spielberg’s celluloid vision of the future—are characterized by widespread surveillance, behavior prediction technologies, data mining, fusion centers, driverless cars, voice-controlled homes, facial recognition systems, cybugs and drones, and predictive policing (pre-crime) aimed at capturing would-be criminals before they can do any damage.

Surveillance cameras are everywhere. Government agents listen in on our telephone calls and read our emails. Political correctness—a philosophy that discourages diversity—has become a guiding principle of modern society.

The courts have shredded the Fourth Amendment’s protections against unreasonable searches and seizures. In fact, SWAT teams battering down doors without search warrants and FBI agents acting as a secret police that investigate dissenting citizens are common occurrences in contemporary America.

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We are increasingly ruled by multi-corporations wedded to the police state. Much of the population is either hooked on illegal drugs or ones prescribed by doctors. And bodily privacy and integrity has been utterly eviscerated by a prevailing view that Americans have no rights over what happens to their bodies during an encounter with government officials, who are allowed to search, seize, strip, scan, spy on, probe, pat down, taser, and arrest any individual at any time and for the slightest provocation.

All of this has come about with little more than a whimper from a clueless American populace largely comprised of nonreaders and television and Internet zombies. But we have been warned about such an ominous future in novels and movies for years.

The following 15 films may be the best representation of what we now face as a society.

Fahrenheit 451 (1966). Adapted from Ray Bradbury’s novel and directed by Francois Truffaut, this film depicts a futuristic society in which books are banned, and firemen ironically are called on to burn contraband books—451 Fahrenheit being the temperature at which books burn. Montag is a fireman who develops a conscience and begins to question his book burning. This film is an adept metaphor for our obsessively politically correct society where virtually everyone now pre-censors speech. Here, a brainwashed people addicted to television and drugs do little to resist governmental oppressors.

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968). The plot of Stanley Kubrick’s masterpiece, as based on an Arthur C. Clarke short story, revolves around a space voyage to Jupiter. The astronauts soon learn, however, that the fully automated ship is orchestrated by a computer system—known as HAL 9000—which has become an autonomous thinking being that will even murder to retain control. The idea is that at some point in human evolution, technology in the form of artificial intelligence will become autonomous and that human beings will become mere appendages of technology. In fact, at present, we are seeing this development with massive databases generated and controlled by the government that are administered by such secretive agencies as the National Security Agency and sweep all websites and other information devices collecting information on average citizens. We are being watched from cradle to grave.

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Planet of the Apes (1968). Based on Pierre Boulle’s novel, astronauts crash on a planet where apes are the masters and humans are treated as brutes and slaves. While fleeing from gorillas on horseback, astronaut Taylor is shot in the throat, captured and housed in a cage. From there, Taylor begins a journey wherein the truth revealed is that the planet was once controlled by technologically advanced humans who destroyed civilization. Taylor’s trek to the ominous Forbidden Zone reveals the startling fact that he was on planet earth all along. Descending into a fit of rage at what he sees in the final scene, Taylor screams: “We finally really did it. You maniacs! You blew it up! Damn you.” The lesson is obvious here, but will we listen? The script, although rewritten, was initially drafted by Rod Serling and retains Serling’s Twilight Zone-ish ending.

THX 1138 (1970). George Lucas’s directorial debut, this is a somber view of a dehumanized society totally controlled by a police state. The people are force-fed drugs to keep them passive, and they no longer have names but only letter/number combinations such as THX 1138. Any citizen who steps out of line is quickly brought into compliance by robotic police equipped with “pain prods”—electro-shock batons. Sound like tasers?

A Clockwork Orange (1971). Director Stanley Kubrick presents a future ruled by sadistic punk gangs and a chaotic government that cracks down on its citizens sporadically. Alex is a violent punk who finds himself in the grinding, crushing wheels of injustice. This film may accurately portray the future of Western society that grinds to a halt as oil supplies diminish, environmental crises increase, chaos rules, and the only thing left is brute force.

Soylent Green (1973). Set in a futuristic overpopulated New York City, the people depend on synthetic foods manufactured by the Soylent Corporation. A policeman investigating a murder discovers the grisly truth about what soylent green is really made of. The theme is chaos where the world is ruled by ruthless corporations whose only goal is greed and profit. Sound familiar?

Blade Runner (1982). In a 21st century Los Angeles, a world-weary cop tracks down a handful of renegade “replicants” (synthetically produced human slaves). Life is now dominated by mega-corporations, and people sleepwalk along rain-drenched streets. This is a world where human life is cheap, and where anyone can be exterminated at will by the police (or blade runners). Based upon a Philip K. Dick novel, this exquisite Ridley Scott film questions what it means to be human in an inhuman world.

Nineteen Eighty-Four (1984). The best adaptation of Orwell’s dark tale, this film visualizes the total loss of freedom in a world dominated by technology and its misuse, and the crushing inhumanity of an omniscient state. The government controls the masses by controlling their thoughts, altering history, and changing the meaning of words. Winston Smith is a doubter who turns to self-expression through his diary and then begins questioning the ways and methods of Big Brother before being re-educated in a most brutal fashion.

Brazil (1985). Sharing a similar vision of the near-future as 1984 and Franz Kafka’s novel The Trial, this is arguably director Terry Gilliam’s best work, one replete with a merging of the fantastic and stark reality. Here, a mother-dominated, hapless clerk takes refuge in flights of fantasy to escape the ordinary drabness of life. Caught within the chaotic tentacles of a police state, the longing for more innocent, free times lies behind the vicious surface of this film.

They Live (1988). John Carpenter’s bizarre sci-fi social satire action film assumes the future has already arrived. John Nada is a homeless person who stumbles across a resistance movement and finds a pair of sunglasses that enables him to see the real world around him. What he discovers is a world controlled by ominous beings who bombard the citizens with subliminal messages such as “obey” and “conform.” Carpenter manages to make an effective political point about the underclass—that is, everyone except those in power. The point: We, the prisoners of our devices, are too busy sucking up the entertainment trivia beamed into our brains and attacking each other up to start an effective resistance movement.

The Matrix (1999). The story centers on a computer programmer Thomas A. Anderson, secretly a hacker known by the alias “Neo,” who begins a relentless quest to learn the meaning of “The Matrix”—cryptic references that appear on his computer. Neo’s search leads him to Morpheus who reveals the truth that the present reality is not what it seems and that Anderson is actually living in the future—2199. Humanity is at war against technology, which has taken the form of intelligent beings, and Neo is actually living in The Matrix, an illusionary world that appears to be set in the present in order to keep the humans docile and under control. Neo soon joins Morpheus and his cohorts in a rebellion against the machines that use SWAT team tactics to keep things under control.

Minority Report (2002). Based on a short story by Philip K. Dick and directed by Steven Spielberg, the setting is 2054 where PreCrime, a specialized police unit, apprehends criminals before they can commit the crime. Captain Anderton is the chief of the Washington, DC, PreCrime force which uses future visions generated by “pre-cogs” (mutated humans with precognitive abilities) to stop murders. Soon Anderton becomes the focus of an investigation when the precogs predict he will commit a murder. But the system can be manipulated. This film raises the issue of the danger of technology operating autonomously—which will happen eventually if it has not already occurred. To a hammer, all the world looks like a nail. In the same way, to a police-state computer, we all look like suspects. In fact, before long, we all may be mere extensions or appendages of the police state—all suspects in a world commandeered by machines.

V for Vendetta (2006). This film depicts a society ruled by a corrupt and totalitarian government where everything is run by an abusive secret police. A vigilante named V dons a mask and leads a rebellion against the state. The subtext here is that authoritarian regimes through repression create their own enemies—that is, terrorists—forcing government agents and terrorists into a recurring cycle of violence. And who is caught in the middle? The citizens, of course. This film has a cult following among various underground political groups such as Anonymous, whose members wear the same Guy Fawkes mask as that worn by V.

Children of Men (2006). This film portrays a futuristic world without hope since humankind has lost its ability to procreate. Civilization has descended into chaos and is held together by a military state and a government that attempts to keep its totalitarian stronghold on the population. Most governments have collapsed, leaving Great Britain as one of the few remaining intact societies. As a result, millions of refugees seek asylum only to be rounded up and detained by the police. Suicide is a viable option as a suicide kit called Quietus is promoted on billboards and on television and newspapers. But hope for a new day comes when a woman becomes inexplicably pregnant.

Land of the Blind (2006). This dark political satire is based on several historical incidents in which tyrannical rulers were overthrown by new leaders who proved just as evil as their predecessors. Maximilian II is a demented fascist ruler of a troubled land named Everycountry who has two main interests: tormenting his underlings and running his country’s movie industry. Citizens who are perceived as questioning the state are sent to “re-education camps” where the state’s concept of reality is drummed into their heads. Joe, a prison guard, is emotionally moved by the prisoner and renowned author Thorne and eventually joins a coup to remove the sadistic Maximilian, replacing him with Thorne. But soon Joe finds himself the target of the new government.

All of these films—and the writers who inspired them—understood what many Americans, caught up in their partisan, flag-waving, zombified states, are still struggling to come to terms with: that there is no such thing as a government organized for the good of the people. Even the best intentions among those in government inevitably give way to the desire to maintain power and control at all costs.

Eventually, as I point out in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, even the sleepwalking masses (who remain convinced that all of the bad things happening in the police state—the police shootings, the police beatings, the raids, the roadside strip searches—are happening to other people) will have to wake up.

Sooner or later, the things happening to other people will start happening to us and our loved ones.

When that painful reality sinks in, it will hit with the force of a SWAT team crashing through your door, a taser being aimed at your stomach, and a gun pointed at your head. And there will be no channel to change, no reality to alter, and no manufactured farce to hide behind.

As George Orwell warned, “If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face forever.”

Constitutional attorney and author John W. Whitehead is founder and president of The Rutherford Institute. His book, Battlefield America: The War on the American People, is available from AFP  at www.americanfreepress.net or 1-888-699-6397. Whitehead can be contacted at johnw@rutherford.org.