Sunday, December 28, 2014

To those nattering nabobs of negativity who don’t trust government to do the right thing, or even to stop doing the wrong thing once discovered, I just want to say: “You’re right.”


Last April, a Washington Post exposé about a bizarrely tyrannical debt collection program caused the Social Security Administration (SAA) to publicly promise it would cease and desist from said program. The Social Security bureaucracy had been snatching the income tax refund checks of grown children whose parents, many decades ago, had allegedly been sent excess money intended for the care and feeding of these then-youngsters by this same incompetent outfit.

The booty? A not insignificant $75 million. The victims? A whopping 400,000 of them.

Due process? The SSA didn’t go before a judge to prove these people owed a valid debt, nor even bother to inform folks that their tax refunds were being seized. Instead, the Social Security gang just flat-out took the money . . . surreptitiously, like any other thief in the night.

In a stark break with their name, Social Security officials decided to collect these “debts” by intercepting state and federal tax refunds before they could be sent to the adults whose parents or parent had allegedly received excess benefits some three or even four decades ago.

Of course, Congress has its bloody, rotten hands in this. A provision in the 2008 farm bill authorized SSA to beginning collecting overpayments going back beyond the 10-year limit that had been the law.

In some of these collection cases, the SSA wasn’t certain who exactly owed the money. In one case, the agency went after a child even when they could find the mother who supposedly owed the money. Why? The mother had already beaten them in federal court.

The SSA flouted more than common sense and decency. Children should not be held legally responsible for the debts of their parents.

Hasn’t this been settled law for at least the last couple of centuries?

“They are going after kids, and their briefs prove it,” explains Robert Vogel, an attorney litigating against the SSA, “They’re asking the court to be the first court in the United States to force a child to pay a debt incurred by the parents. It’s really quite disgusting.”

NEW YORK (AP) — Thousands of police officers, state troopers, sheriff's deputies and others from law enforcement agencies big and small across the country gathered at the New York City funeral of a slain officer killed with his partner in a brazen daytime ambush a week ago.

The sea of blue uniforms stretched for blocks outside the Christ Tabernacle Church in Queens on Saturday, as police helicopters flew above in a missing-man formation and Officer Rafael Ramos' body was carried by pallbearers in a casket draped in the New York Police Department flag. The NYPD estimates more than 20,000 officers attended.

"When an assassin's bullet targeted two officers, it targeted this city and it touched the soul of an entire nation," Vice President Joe Biden said in his eulogy.

But the somber day, reminiscent of the bond New Yorkers shared after the Sept. 11 attacks and Superstorm Sandy, was not without tension.

During the eulogy, a few hundred officers outside the church turned away from giant screens showing de Blasio, who has been harshly criticized by New York police union officials as a contributor to a climate of mistrust that preceded the killings of Ramos and his partner, Wenjian Liu.

Sgt. Myron Joseph of the New Rochelle Police Department said he and fellow officers turned their backs spontaneously to "support our brothers in the NYPD."

In a statement, de Blasio's spokesman said: "The Ramos and Liu families, our police department and our city are dealing with an unconscionable tragedy. Our sole focus is unifying this city and honoring the lives of our two police officers."

In his eulogy, the mayor said hearts citywide were broken after the Dec. 20 shootings.

Police Commissioner William Bratton, who said Ramos and Liu were targeted because they wore a uniform, was scheduled to appear on CBS' "Face the Nation" on Sunday. On Friday he made Ramos — who was studying to become a pastor and kept Bible study books in his locker — an honorary chaplain of his Brooklyn precinct.

Picture of Western teen jihadi sparks fears of Islamic State propaganda coup

Pamela Geller / Jihad Watch

Another young convert “misunderstanding” Islam in exactly the same way as millions of other Muslims and converts. At least that’s what the media and political elites tell us – as if they understood Islam better than the devout.

“Sparks fear of ‘propaganda coup.'” It should spark fear of the Islamic texts and teachings that command holy war.

If the Islamic State is not Islamic, what is it? How did this misunderstanding of Islam become so widespread? Why are so many more Western Muslims and Muslim converts  than ever joined al Qaeda joining the Islamic State?

And while Muslims in the West condemn the Islamic State, where are they teaching against the ideology that gave rise to it?

 Right now,...


Obama: Afghanistan “not going to be a source of terrorist attacks again”