Miranda Blue's blog

The Big Lies That Are Delaying Immigration Reform

President Obama announced this weekend that he is delaying a planned executive action to prevent the deportation of many of the undocumented immigrants living in the United States.

In an interview with Chuck Todd, Obama pinned the delay on Americans’ reactions to the thousands of unaccompanied minors from Central America fleeing to the southern border this summer: “This problem with unaccompanied children that we saw a couple weeks ago, where you had from Central America a surge of kids who are showing up at the border, got a lot of attention. And a lot of Americans started thinking, 'We've got this immigration crisis on our hands.’”

Obama appears to have been referring to the anti-immigrant movement’s success at pushing two big lies about the unaccompanied minors: first, that they illustrated lax border enforcement and second, that they were lured by Obama's immigration policies.

The first big lie, that the unaccompanied minors exhibited weakness of border enforcement, was far from the truth. In fact, most of the unaccompanied minors sought out border patrol officials in an effort to seek asylum.

However, the anti-immigrant movement and Republican allies sought to exploit the crisis to push their “enforcement first” message on immigration reform. Texas Gov. Rick Perry dispatched hundreds of members of the Texas National Guard to the border, who have found themselves with little to do. A GOP bill to address the border crisis, designed by Rep. Steve King, provided funds for even more states to send National Guard troops to the border. Meanwhile, the anti-immigrant right pushed any number of conspiracy theories about the child “invaders,” including that they were bringing exotic diseases including Ebola into the country and might even be “trained as warriors ” to fight Americans.

The second big lie was the Right’s effort to tie the unaccompanied minors to President Obama’s executive order deferring deportation for some DREAMers. House Republicans promoted this myth when they voted to repeal the deportation relief for DREAMers as a response to the unaccompanied minors crisis. But, as we wrote at the time, that argument is based on anti-immigrant fearmongering, not on fact:

As soon as the border crisis became national news, anti-immigrant groups started trying to blame it on Obama’s DACA order. But the link just wasn’t there.

The reality is that the border crisis is a separate issue altogether. The number of unaccompanied minors from Central America fleeing to the southern border started growing far before the DACA order in response to increasing drug-war-related violence in Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador.

Anti-immigrant advocates also cite rumors among migrants that those who come to the United States are given a “permiso,” or permit, to stay. But stories on this rumor make clear that it stems from notices to appear in court that are given to some undocumented immigrants who are allowed to stay in the country while their cases are pending, and has nothing to do with the DREAM Act or DACA.

Jim Gilchrist Warns Of Future 'Islamic President' Who Will Enforce Sharia Law Through Executive Order

The Minuteman Project’s Jim Gilchrist appeared on Dove TV earlier this week, where he warned that an increasingly powerful federal government under “presidents current and past” might eventually lead to an “Islamic president” who will “give an executive order that we will all now obey Sharia law.”

Gilchrist warned that the federal government is ignoring the rule of law by rebuffing states seeking to implement harsh anti-immigrant measures, arguing that such actions pave the way for Sharia: “For some reason [they believe] the central government should control everyone, control our lives. What’s going to be next, Sharia law?”

“Many of us are now beginning not only to fear our government but to despise it, I don’t mean in a hateful way, but in a very, very distrustful way,” he said.

But he was not so concerned about California, whose pro-immigrant policies he called “a cancer.”

“This is insane, it’s absurd, it’s like living in a home with no doors and let strangers come in and have their way with your family members, with your stuff, with your property,” he said.

Anti-Immigrant Activist On Deporting Child Refugees: 'We're All Going To Die Someday'

Yesterday, the Daily Show aired an interview with the Minuteman Project’s Jim Gilchrist on his plan to patrol the border with vigilante groups to stop what he calls a “Trojan Horse invasion” of Central American children fleeing violence in their home countries. Gilchrist dismissed concerns about the safety of the children — at least five of whom have been murdered after being deported from the U.S — in home countries that are plagued by drug-related violence.

“It’s unfortunate, but throughout history there have been children in one country who could not get to another country,” Gilchrist told the Daily Show’s Michael Che. “We’re all going to die someday. We can’t stop that.”

Trying to catch himself, Gilchrist added, “I’m not giving a death wish on these children coming here or the illegal aliens, I’m just saying that there are some things, realistically, you cannot stop.”

Back in July, Gilchrist sympathized with a caller to a radio show who suggested putting the child migrants in a prison camp and gassing them to death.

Infighting Among Anti-Choice Groups Intensifies With Personhood Trademark Feud

The effort of hardline “personhood” groups to break free of an anti-choice movement they see as too compromising is hitting a roadblock as the two major groups advocating fetal personhood are now feuding with each other .

The conservative website Z Politics printed an email this week from Personhood USA, the group that brought radical “personhood” initiatives to states like Colorado and Mississippi, announcing that it has cut ties with a new group, the National Personhood Alliance (NPA), which was founded this year by the disgruntled former Georgia chapter of the National Right to Life Committee. NPA hoped to bring together activists who believe that the strategy of groups such as NRLC to chip away at abortion rights doesn't go far enough, pledging to instead enact personhood laws that would give legal rights to zygotes.

Personhood USA initially supported the new group, as did its national spokeswoman Rebecca Kiessling, and Z Politics reports that NPA’s founder, Dan Becker, “initially gained support from Personhood USA by suggesting that the two groups work alongside one another as counterparts.” In fact, NPA is billing its first convention next month as “the founding coalition of two new national groups seeking to give voice to the pro-life battle of the 21st century.”

But the good feelings apparently didn’t last long, as Personhood USA is now accusing Becker and NPA of “trying to replace Personhood USA by using our structures and Intellectual property” — including copying its logo — and “violating Personhood USA’s trademark of Personhood.” (For what it’s worth, the only official “personhood” trademark we could find in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s database belongs to Becker’s group).

Personhood USA’s email also hints at possible legal action.

After much prayer and deliberation, the Personhood USA board is deeply sadden to inform you, that Personhood USA will not be participating in the new National Personhood Alliance.

From everything Dan Becker had told us about his vision of NPA while he was in our employment. We had great hopes that it would be a complement to the Personhood movement, a counterpart to Personhood USA. Instead it appears that National Personhood Alliance is trying to replace Personhood USA by using our structures and Intellectual property.

NPA has incorporated in Georgia as a 501c4 under the name “Personhood Inc.” and will be doing business as “Personhood”, Violating Personhood USA’s trademark of Personhood. In addition, the emails and documents we have seen indicate that they intended to use our logos, branding, and intellectual property.

One of the main concerns here is duplication of focus and confusion among all grassroots supporters.

When we contacted Dan and asked that NPA stop using our logos and name, he agreed to stop using our logos and to allow us to preview any new logos before they are implemented, but he has refused to un-incorporate Personhood Inc. and suggested we enter into arbitration.

We have worked for years developing our branding. We are known as Personhood, PersonhoodUSA, Personhood Education, Personhood PAC & have invested in promoting Personhood(insert your state). We do not want to fight over a name, but we do feel if a separate virtually identical organization is started it will hurt the movement.

We want to honor God and protect all innocent life. We want to see the movement grow and branch off in new directions. We want abortion to be abolished. We want to fight abortion, not each other.

All we ask of NPA is to create it’s own logos, names, and branding without using ours, and ask that they keep NPA as it was presented to us: a separate organization with unique purpose created to build the movement. Not a divisive, confusing organization meant to compete with Personhood USA.

Laurie Higgins: Libraries Need Books About The 'Joy' Kids Feel When Their Gay Parents Die

Illinois Family Institute “cultural analyst” Laurie Higgins has had quite enough of the American Library Association’s Banned Books Week and the “self-righteous, dissembling librarians” who promote it.

In a blog post for IFI today, Higgins attacks librarians for their “hysteria-fomenting” efforts to prevent the banning of books about families with LGBT parents (or, as Higgins calls them, “children or anthropomorphized animals being raised by parents in homoerotic relationships").

It is in fact the librarians, Higgins writes, who are censoring books by failing to go out of their way to seek “pro-heteronormativity books,” children’s literature that depicts the “harrowing fights” of “lesbian mothers,” or, even better, “picture books that show the joy a little birdie experiences when after the West Nile virus deaths of her two daddies, she’s finally adopted by a daddy and mommy.”

Self-righteous, dissembling librarians are seeking once again to foment “book-banning” hysteria through their annual dishonest Banned Books Week campaign (Sept. 21-27) sponsored by the self-righteous, dissembling, and politically partisan American Library Association (ALA).

The ALA pursues its hysteria-fomenting goal chiefly by ridiculing parents who, for example, don’t want their six-year-olds seeing books about children or anthropomorphized animals being raised by parents in homoerotic relationships. (Scorn and woe to those parents who hold the now-censored belief that homoeroticism—even homoeroticism presented in whitewashed, water-colored images—doesn’t belong in the picture books section of public libraries).

Next year, will the Schaumburg librarians display photos of empty shelves where books that challenge Leftist assumptions about the nature and morality of homosexuality should be (you know, pro-heterosexuality/pro-heteronormativity books)?

Will they ask for young adult (YA) novels about teens who feel sadness and resentment about being intentionally deprived of a mother or father and who seek to find their missing biological parents?

Will they ask for dark, angsty novels about teens who are damaged by the promiscuity of their “gay” “fathers” who hold sexual monogamy in disdain?

Will they ask for novels about young adults who are consumed by a sense of loss and bitterness that their politically correct and foolish parents allowed them during the entirety of their childhood to cross-dress, change their names, and take medication to prevent puberty, thus deforming their bodies?

Will they ask for novels about teens who suffer because of the harrowing fights and serial “marriages” of their lesbian mothers?

Will they ask for picture books that show the joy a little birdie experiences when after the West Nile virus deaths of her two daddies, she’s finally adopted by a daddy and mommy?

Surely, there are some teens and children who will identify with such stories.

How Catherine Engelbrecht Got Greg Abbott To Shut Down A Houston Voter Registration Drive

This weekend, the Dallas Morning News ran a long investigative piece exposing for the first time an armed raid that state Attorney General Greg Abbott's office ordered on a Houston voter registration operation, Houston Votes, back in 2010. The aftermath played out like ACORN in miniature: Despite the fact that nobody at Houston Votes was charged with any wrongdoing, the organization folded under the pressure of Abbott’s investigation.

The story provides an interesting look at the mechanics of the GOP’s obsessive search for certain types of extraordinarily rare voter fraud in order to justify extreme measures making it harder to cast a ballot. And it also stars two people who have since become familiar names in the national effort to make it more difficult to vote: Abbott, who is now the GOP nominee for governor of Texas, and Catherine Engelbrecht, who now runs the national group True the Vote, but who got her start running a Texas Tea Party group called King Street Patriots.

The raid on Houston Votes was part of a larger campaign by Abbott to uncover what he calls an “epidemic” of voter fraud, in an apparent effort to build support for a restrictive Voter ID law in Texas. Abbott’s campaign hasn’t exactly been a success: According to MSNBC’s Zach Roth, “over the 13 years of Abbott’s tenure, his office can only cite two fraudulent votes that might have been stopped by the ID law.” In the meantime, Abbott’s effort has resulted in some strangely zealous prosecutions, including those of a group of Tea Party activists who tried to cast protest votes in a resident-less utility district.

Dallas Morning News reporter James Drew explains how a racially charged speech by Engelbrecht led to Abbot’s investigation of and raid on Houston Votes:

On an overcast Monday afternoon, officers in bulletproof vests swept into a house on Houston’s north side. The armed deputies and agents served a search warrant. They carted away computers, hard drives and documents.

The raid targeted a voter registration group called Houston Votes, which was accused of election fraud. It was initiated by investigators for Attorney General Greg Abbott. His aides say he is duty-bound to preserve the integrity of the ballot box.

His critics, however, say that what Abbott has really sought to preserve is the power of the Republican Party in Texas. They accuse him of political partisanship, targeting key Democratic voting blocs, especially minorities and the poor, in ways that make it harder for them to vote, or for their votes to count.

A close examination of the Houston Votes case reveals the consequences when an elected official pursues hotly contested allegations of election fraud.

The investigation was closed one year after the raid, with no charges filed. But for Houston Votes, the damage was done. Its funding dried up, and its efforts to register more low-income voters ended. Its records and office equipment never were returned. Instead, under a 2013 court order obtained by Abbott’s office, they were destroyed.

Fred Lewis formed Texans Together in 2006.

The nonprofit community organizing group used volunteers to register voters in 2008 under the name Houston Votes. It registered only about 6,000 people that year.

For the next big election, in 2010, Lewis wanted to register 100,000 new voters in Harris County. He knew he couldn’t hit that number with volunteers. Houston Votes decided to use paid workers.

By that summer, Houston Votes had come to the attention of the King Street Patriots, a Houston-based tea party group. At the group’s regular meeting in Houston, its leader, Catherine Engelbrecht, talked about the New Black Panther Party. She then played a Fox news clip of an unidentified black man saying: “We have to exterminate white people off the face of the planet.”

The clip was 5 years old. It came from a forum in Washington about media coverage of Hurricane Katrina. But after the clip ended, Engelbrecht showed a picture of a house in Houston. She said it was the office of the New Black Panthers, at Main and Dowling streets.

Dowling Street is infamous for a 1970 gun battle between police officers and African-American militants, one of whom was killed.

“Houston has a new neighbor,” Engelbrecht said. She added that a person outside the house appeared to be an employee of Houston Votes.

The house shown on the screen was the office of Houston Votes. It had nothing to do with the New Black Panther Party. And it was about 9 miles from Dowling Street.

Two weeks later, the King Street Patriots held another meeting. Paul Bettencourt, the former Harris County tax assessor-collector, was a guest speaker.

He said Houston Votes was worse at registering voters than ACORN, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now. Dozens of ACORN employees across the nation were convicted of voter registration fraud.

The next day, Bettencourt’s successor as tax assessor-collector, fellow Republican Leo Vasquez, held a news conference.

“The integrity of the voter roll of Harris County, Texas, appears to be under an organized and systematic attack by the group operating under the name ‘Houston Votes,’” he said.

Houston Votes had submitted about 25,000 voter registration applications. Vasquez said many were duplicates, or already registered. Only 7,193 were “apparently new voters,” he said.

Houston Votes later pointed to public records showing that at the time of the news conference, about 21,000 of the 25,000 who applied to register were already validated by the county and pending final approval by the secretary of state. Among those 21,000, the state had already given final approval to 7,193.

Vasquez announced he was referring the matter for “investigation and possible prosecution” to the Texas secretary of state and the Harris County district attorney.

The secretary of state, who advises local election officials on election laws, forwarded Vasquez’s information to the attorney general’s office on Sept. 14, 2010.

Abbott’s office opened a criminal investigation soon after.

WorldNetDaily Pundit Inadvertently Explains Why Bundy Supporters Went Quiet On Ferguson

Yesterday, we asked why the anti-government “Patriot” movement that was so angry about perceived government overreach at Cliven Bundy’s ranch in Nevada was all but silent about the arrival of police officers in military grade gear to quell protests in Ferguson, Missouri.

The best explanation, we said, was race: both the Right’s general denial that race plays a role in American life until liberals bring it up, and the sense among some in the anti-government Right that African Americans, even when they are protesting government overreach, are actually tools of the government.

Today, WorldNetDaily columnist Ilana Mercer demonstrated this very point for us in a column in which she says she will not stand with those protesting in Ferguson, even though she agrees with them on many issues, because they are trying to make it about race.

Mercer, who defended Cliven Bundy in his stand-off with the government, writes that she is very angry about “police brutality,” the “militarization of the police force” and the “rise of the warrior cop”; that she supports drug decriminalization; and that she thinks that the shooting of Michael Brown was “an unjustified use of lethal police force.”

But, she says, she won’t ally with anybody who sees these issues as racial issues, such as the “two pimps in a pod” Al Sharpton and President Obama, and she blasts Sen. Rand Paul for acknowledging the role of race in Michael Brown’s death.

Police brutality? Yes! Militarization of the police force? You bet! “A Government of Wolves”? Yes again! “The Rise of the Warrior Cop”? No doubt! But racism? Nonsense on stilts! So why have some libertarians applied this rhetoric to the murder-by-cop of black teenager Michael Brown, in Ferguson, Missouri? The same people who would argue against color-coded hate-crime legislation – and rightly so, for a crime is a crime, no matter the skin pigment of perp or prey – would have you believe that it is possible to differentiate a racist from a non-racist shooting or beating.

Laws prohibiting the individual from purchasing, selling, ingesting, inhaling and injecting drugs ought to be repudiated and repealed on the grounds that they are wrong, not racist. But statism is not necessarily racism. Drug laws ensnare more blacks, because blacks are more likely to violate them by dealing in drugs or engaging in violence around commerce in drugs, not necessarily because cops are racists.


The following statements are, I believe, not mutually exclusive: Cops deal with the reality of crime. The culture of U.S. cops is that of a craven disregard for American lives.

By all means, argue against laws prohibiting victimless “crimes” on the ground that these disproportionally ensnare blacks. But do not err in accusing all cops of targeting blacks, when the former are entrusted with enforcing the law, and the latter violate the law in disproportion to their numbers in the general population.

The left-liberal trend continued on the libertarian LewRockwell.com, where white sympathy with the police was conflated with racism: “This doesn’t mean that racism is not also involved [in Ferguson]. Polls show that a majority of white Americans are content with the police justification for the killing.”

Could it be that ordinary Americans maligned as racists are honestly waiting for more information, or suffer an authoritarian, submissive mindset; are ignorant about “police state USA,” or have simply experienced “black crime” firsthand, or are fearful of experiencing “black-on-white violence” in all it ferocity?

Clearly, there are many reasons for the acquiescence of whites in what might seem to many of us – myself included – as an unjustified use of lethal police force.

MSNBC host Al Sharpton is that fellow whose intelligible spoken English is confined to the words “racial discrimination.” The country’s second-leading race agitator has been deputized by its first as liaison to the White House in Ferguson. With his choice of Sharpton as point man on the ground, President Barack Obama, who was to usher in an America in which “ebony and ivory live together in perfect harmony,” is stoking more strife.

Like two pimps in a pod, Sharpton and Obama have collaborated to keep racial grievance going.

JD Hayworth Takes On GOP's Women Problem With Incomprehensible Speech About Marriage

Former Arizona Republican congressman J.D. Hayworth, who lost his primary challenge to Sen. John McCain in 2010, has since landed a job as an anchor for Newsmax, where he delivers the news and conducts interviews in a style eerily reminiscent of Parks and Recreation’s Perd Hapley.

Hayworth fully deployed this characteristic flare in an interview today with Kellyanne Conway, a GOP pollster, about a new poll showing that women view the Republican Party as “intolerant” and “stuck in the past.”

When Conway’s Skype connection cut out, Hayworth quipped that she was “frozen in time,” which prompted him to muse that that would be a great attack line for his political opponents.

Hayworth then launched into a barely comprehensible soliliquy about how Conway had changed her name when she married “because people marry and they take different names” and how “you can’t allow your marriage to be caricatured.”

All of which means that there is no gender gap. Or something:

Phyllis Schlafly: Women Can Avoid Sexual Assault By Focusing on Marriage, Not Career

In her radio address yesterday, Phyllis Schlafly took on the issue of domestic violence and sexual assault, which she said could be eliminated if women would just get married instead of focusing so much on their careers.

Noting that “marriage settles men down,” Schlafly asked, “So what’s the answer for women who worry about male violence? It’s not to fear all men. It’s to reject the lifestyle of frequent 'hookups,' which is so much promoted on college campuses today, while the women pursue a career and avoid marriage.”

We all know that married men can still be violent to their families, but they are far less likely to be violent against women than are live-in boyfriends.

Why is this? It’s true that women who have found men who are already better partners are more likely to marry them, but it’s also true that marriage settles men down. Being married makes a man care more about his family’s expectations and future because he sees his family as enduring. It also makes him more faithful and committed to his partner. Marriage makes men directly protective of their wives, and living in a home with their daughters gives them the opportunity to be directly protective of them as well. Marriage also creates indirect protection for wives and daughters, because married women and their children tend to live in safer neighborhoods.

So what’s the answer for women who worry about male violence? It’s not to fear all men. It’s to reject the lifestyle of frequent “hookups,” which is so much promoted on college campuses today, while the women pursue a career and avoid marriage.

Sandy Rios: Women 'Brainwashed' By Women's Studies Programs To Ignore That It's Really Men Who Are 'Being Degraded'

On her American Family Association radio program this morning, Sandy Rios interviewed Malcolm Kline of Accuracy in Academia, a sister organization of the conservative group Accuracy in Media, about the supposed terrible liberal bias in academia.

When the two inevitably got to talking about women’s studies programs, Rios told Kline about an encounter she had had with a young woman who had been “brainwashed” by a women’s studies program to think that “even in this day in this time, that women are somehow mistreated."

Rios said she told the young woman that because women now make up the majority of college graduates and men are supposedly not allowed to “speak up against anything about a woman” that in fact “men are the ones being degraded.”

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