Of Powder Kegs and Shoulder Chips

On Wednesday morning, August 26, 2015, forty-one-year-old Vester L. Flanagan II, a.k.a. Bryce Williams, walked up to a WDBJ-TV (Roanoke) television crew in Smith Mountain Lake, Virginia, drew a gun, and opened fire, killing 24-year-old news reporter Alison Parker and her 27-year-old cameraman, Adam Ward. Vicki Gardner, executive director of the Smith Mountain Lake Chamber of Commerce, who was being interviewed by Parker when the shooting occurred, was shot in the back but is expected to survive.

A statewide manhunt ensued and within hours Virginia State Police and sheriff’s deputies drove Flanagan’s car off the road on Interstate 66 in northern Virginia. Before officers could remove Flanagan from his rented automobile he attempted suicide.   He died approximately two hours later in a Fauquier County, Virginia, hospital from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Flanagan was a TV journalist, obviously consumed with self-loathing over the color of his skin and his sexual orientation, who had apparently walked around for many years with a large chip on his shoulder and a deep-seated hatred in his heart for white people. In fact, in a rambling 23-page manifesto faxed to ABC News in the hours before the shooting, Flanagan wrote: “I’ve been a human powder keg for a while… just waiting to go BOOM!!!! You (expletive deleted)! You want a race war (expletive deleted)? BRING IT THEN YOU WHITE (expletive deleted)!!!”

As news reports describe the manifesto, Flanagan was inspired by the Virginia Tech shootings of April 16, 2007, in which 32 students and teachers were killed and 17 wounded, and the April 20, 1999, Columbine High School shootings, in Colorado, in which 13 students and teachers were killed and 21 wounded. But it was the June 17, 2015, massacre at the Emanuel A.M.E. Church in Charleston, South Carolina, that finally drove him over the edge. Flanagan felt compelled to respond to Dylann Roof’s massacre in which 9 black churchgoers were killed and one wounded.

The horrible crime that Flanagan committed is symptomatic of the stultifying frustration that so many young black people feel today. Most walk around with huge chips on their shoulders, just daring white people to show disrespect for them or even to brush past them too closely on a public sidewalk, while others, like Flanagan, are so full of seething anger that they become walking “powder kegs” of racial hatred.

Trayvon Martin, who felt he was being unfairly shadowed in Sanford, Florida, lost his life because he responded to the chip on his shoulder by physically assaulting a neighborhood watch captain, George Zimmerman. Eric Garner, who was observed selling untaxed cigarettes on a sidewalk in Staten Island, New York, lost his life when the chip on his shoulder caused him to resist arrest. Michael Brown, who ignored the instructions of a police officer not to walk down the middle of a Ferguson street, attempted to take the officer’s handgun away from him. He lost his life because the chip fell off his shoulder and he became an instantaneous “powder keg.”

These are just three stories out of millions. All over America we find young blacks engaging in deadly home invasions and a sometimes deadly activity called the “knockout game,” in which a gang of young blacks pick out an intended victim, at random, and attempt to knock that person unconscious with a single punch. But what is so frightening and unsettling about all this violence is that the difference between a young black man with a chip on his shoulder and a Vester Flanagan with a “powder keg” mentality is only a split second in time.

But none of this has happened in a vacuum. There is a reason why we’ve become two nations occupying the same piece of real estate. How did we get to this point? The answer is a political one. Beginning in the early 1930s, the Democratic Party has worked tirelessly at building a broad national coalition of special interests, and through the following eighty years, as a means of keeping elements of their coalition from becoming a conglomeration of warring factions, they created a multitude of federal giveaway programs to benefit all of their political constituencies.

As an example, they have produced a welfare state with a permanent underclass of minority citizens where three out of four babies are born out of wedlock, where government-subsidized housing developments are not only the most expensive high-rise slums in the country but, next to ISIS-controlled territory in the Middle East, the most dangerous places on the face of the Earth… places where Barack Obama’s “hope and change” have left people with nothing but crushing despair and little hope for the future.

The only price blacks have had to pay for all the free money, food stamps, subsidized housing, free healthcare, and preferential treatment in jobs and higher education was to pull the Democrat lever on Election Day.  With that “devil’s bargain” in place, blacks have consistently given 90-95 percent of their votes to Democrats.  Yet, decades later, and in spite of endless promises of “better times” by liberals and Democrats, blacks have seen little social and economic progress.

So is it any wonder that, in 2015, as blacks look back over more than half a century of fidelity to the Democrat Party on the one hand, and an almost complete absence of social and economic progress on the other, they would tend to be a bit angry?  In assessing where they are today they tend to blame white Republicans more than white Democrats because Democrats have convinced them that they are the “victims” of an economic system that benefits only white Republicans.

But how does a young black man in 2015 suddenly turn all of the seething anger and resentment he feels into the sort of positive energy that has made Dr. Ben Carson, a world-famous pediatric neurosurgeon, what he is today?  It simply is not possible to do so because we cannot go back in time and start all over again with the same wise counsel that Dr. Carson received as a child.  Many black men are irretrievably lost and cannot be rehabilitated or redirected at this late date.

These are the cold, ugly facts of American political history in the 20th and 21st centuries.  But as damaging as all those years of Democratic social experimentation have been, it’s clear they have not finished their long term goal of the complete and utter destruction of the greatest nation on Earth.  According to a July 20, 2015 National Review article by Stanley Kurtz, describing Barack Obama’s plan to reorient our cities and suburbs, “It is difficult to say what’s more striking about President Obama’s Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) regulation: its breathtaking radicalism, the refusal of the press to cover it, or its potential political ramifications.  The danger AFFH poses to Democrats explains why the press barely mentions it.  This lack of curiosity, in turn, explains why the revolutionary nature of the rule has not been properly understood.”

So exactly what is this new Obama proposal that is so “breathtakingly radical” that not even his apologists in the mainstream media are willing to discuss it for fear that, if the American people begin to understand it, it will severely damage the long term prospects of the Democrat Party?

According to Kurtz, the Obama plan has three major elements: 1) Inhibit suburban growth and, when possible, encourage suburban re-migration to cities, 2) Force the urban poor into the suburbs through the imposition of low-income housing quotas, and 3) Institute “regional tax-base sharing” where states force upper-middle-class suburbs to share tax revenues with nearby cities and less-well-off suburbs.

As Kurtz correctly concludes, “If you press suburbanites into cities, transfer urbanites to the suburbs, and redistribute suburban tax money to cities, you have effectively abolished the suburbs.”  In short, the Obama AFFH rule represents such a radical approach to population control and distribution that it immediately brings to mind the 1973 Khmer Rouge policy of driving Cambodian city dwellers into the countryside, where they were savagely brutalized and murdered.  Since Obama is the sort of man who cares about nothing but his legacy and his place in history, would it not be ironic for history to record him as the “Pol Pot of the 21st century?”

The prescription for what ailed the black community some 60 years ago was precisely what Dr. Carson discussed in his breathtaking USA Today editorial of August 24, 2015.  Dr. Carson points out that “our schools are failing and we have no power to abandon them.  The actions of rogue police officers take black lives one at a time.  Our public school system has destroyed black lives not in the ones and twos, but in whole generations… The schools don’t teach and our children don’t learn.  Too many public schools are controlled by teachers unions focused more on the convenience and compensation of adults rather than the education of children who started out far behind.  Their failures don’t kill as quickly, but they do kill as surely as a bullet.”

Finally, he suggests that black people need to have a talk with the Democratic Party.  “Let’s tell them, we don’t want to be clothed, fed, and housed.  We want honor and dignity.  We don’t want a plan to give us public housing in nice neighborhoods.  We want an end to excuses for schools that leave us without the means to buy our own houses, where we choose to live.  We want the skills needed to compete, not a consolation prize of Section 8 (housing), food stamps, and a lifetime of government paperwork.”

That is precisely what black people need and want, but that’s not what Democrats have given them.  In fact, there is not a smidgeon of evidence that liberals and Democrats care a whit about black people beyond the votes they deliver on Election Day.  And as more and more blacks come to the stark realization that they’ve been played for suckers, the result is often a violent one.

Yes, black Americans have every right to be angry… even as angry as Vester Flanagan… but, if blame is to be assessed, their anger and their deep-seated rage are more appropriately directed at Democrats who bear total responsibility for where black people are today.  Unfortunately, when black men with chips on their shoulders decide to give vent to their anger and their frustrations, they never stop long enough to ask to see anyone’s voter registration card.

Paul R. Hollrah is a retired government relations executive and a two-time member of the U.S. Electoral College.  He currently lives and writes among the hills and lakes of northeast Oklahoma’s Green Country.








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A Watershed Moment in U.S. History

After weeks of agonizing by establishment Republicans and the mainstream media… agonizing over the question of what a bull-in-the-china-shop candidate like Donald Trump is doing among the largest-ever field of well-qualified Republican presidential candidates… Trump has announced a simple, straightforward plan for immigration reform, a plan that could represent a “watershed moment” in U.S. history. The Trump plan is based on three core principles:

1.  That the US-Mexican border must be secured by building a wall or a fence along the entirety of our southern border,

2.  That all immigration laws currently on the books must be fully and rigidly enforced, and

3.  That the number one priority for any future immigration plan must be based on what is in the best cultural and economic interests of the American people… and nothing else.

As part of his immigration plan, Trump calls for a nationwide system to identify and locate all illegal aliens… those who have entered the country illegally, as well as those who’ve entered legally and overstayed their visas. To accomplish that end, Trump proposes tripling the number of immigration and customs enforcement (ICE) agents.

What he suggests is precisely what conservatives and Republicans have been promoting ever since mass illegal immigration began. However, Trump departs from Republican orthodoxy by taking a totally no-nonsense approach to the problem of the so-called “anchor babies,” defined as infants born to pregnant foreign women who come to the Unites States, illegally, just to insure that their babies can acquire U.S. citizenship by being born on American soil.

The purpose of the 14th Amendment, ratified in 1868, was to grant U.S. citizenship to former slaves and their children who were born on U.S. soil. The authors of the amendment could never have conceived of a time when pregnant women would travel great distances from foreign lands for the sole purpose of taking advantage of the 14th Amendment. The “anchor baby” concept has created an entire underclass of undocumented aliens who are allowed to remain in the country under an unwritten law that protects families from being separated and prevents infants with U.S. citizenship from being forcibly deported along with their illegal alien parents. Trump, who says what conservatives and Republicans have always feared to say, merely scoffs at suggestions that to deport all illegal aliens would separate foreign parents from their minor children. In an August 16 appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” he made his position on “anchor babies” crystal clear, saying, “We have to keep the families together, but they have to go.”

He also ventures outside Republican orthodoxy by taking a no-nonsense approach to the status of Obama’s so-called “Dreamers” – non-citizens who were brought to the United States illegally as children, who’ve grown up here, who’ve been educated here, and who would be political and cultural strangers in the native lands of their parents. He expresses no desire to separate “Dreamers” from their illegal alien parents by allowing them to remain in the United States while their parents are deported. Instead, he insists that Obama’s executive order shielding the “Dreamers” from deportation must be rescinded.

So what is it about Trump’s immigration reform plan that would qualify it as a “watershed moment” in American history? Its significance is not that it has a chance of being enacted and fully implemented; as a nation we are still far too politically correct and we have far too many “squeaky wheels” among liberals and Hispanic activists to accomplish that anytime soon. No, the significance of Trump’s immigration reform proposal is much more subtle. Just as Rush Limbaugh’s major contribution to our national persona is not that he has caused elections to be won or lost, but that he has caused millions of politically uncommitted Americans to understand where they fit in the political spectrum, Trump’s straightforward approach to solving the illegal immigration problem has made it okay for previously hesitant Americans to openly agree with his no-nonsense approach. It is what most Americans have always believed, but were afraid to put into words for fear that they would be branded as racists or xenophobes.

The point is, Americans are fair and reasonable people. Scratch almost any American and you’ll find a person who would fully expect to be deported from a foreign country where they were living illegally. So why would they not expect foreigners living in the United States illegally to react in the same way? In short, it’s time we expected our uninvited guests to act like grownups, and Trump’s no-nonsense approach to the problem of illegal immigration gives us all license to finally put those expectations into words.

But more importantly, his courageous stance on illegal immigration also provides us with the opportunity to bring other critically important issues to the fore… issues that, until now, have been stuck in quagmires of constitutional uncertainties and/or political correctness. Of these, none are more important than the unrelenting invasion of radicalized Muslims and the chilling threat of Islamic terrorism inside our own borders.

According to the Center for Immigration Studies, “Islamists arrive in the United States despising the country and all it represents, intending to make converts, exploit the freedoms and rights granted them, and build a movement that will effect basic changes in the country’s way of life and its government. The superpower status of the United States makes it especially attractive to those who wish to change the world order; what better place to start? Islamists do not accept the United States as it is but want to change it into a majority Muslim country where the Qur’an replaces the Constitution.”

The United States has already provided refugee status for more Muslims than all the other nations in the world combined. Yet, in spite of that insanity, the Obama administration has recently announced that we are prepared to receive an additional 70,000 unvetted Muslim refugees, including many with strong ties to ISIS and al-Qaeda. Some come seeking safety, some come seeking a better life, but many others come in the hope of doing us great harm.

In order to neutralize and reverse radical Islam’s contribution to the cultural infestation of the United States, we must attack the problem of Muslim immigration with the same level of courage with which Donald Trump approaches illegal immigration.  In short, we should not hesitate to confront Muslim infiltration by enacting new legislation, tailoring the language of the Communist Control Act of 1954 to read as follows:

SEC. 1. PREAMBLE. The Congress hereby finds and declares that certain organizations exist within our borders which, although purporting to be political or religious in nature, are in fact instrumentalities of foreign political or religious entities or ideologies whose purpose it is to overthrow the Government of the United States by any available means, including force and violence. Such organizations operate as authoritarian dictatorships within our borders, demanding for themselves the rights and privileges generally accorded to all political parties and religious denominations, but denying to all others the liberties guaranteed to them by the U.S. Constitution.                                                                                                                                          

SEC. 2. PROSCRIBED ORGANIZATIONS. Any political or religious organization as described herein, or any successors or affiliates of such organizations, regardless of the assumed name, whose object or purpose is to overthrow the government of the United States by force or violence, or the government of any State, Territory, District, possession, or political subdivision thereof, are not entitled to any of the rights, privileges, and immunities attendant upon legal bodies created under the jurisdiction of the laws of the United States or its political subdivisions; and whatever rights, privileges, and immunities heretofore granted to said religious or political organizations, or any subsidiary or affiliate organizations, by reason of the laws of the United States or any political subdivision thereof, are hereby rescinded: Provided that nothing in this section shall be construed as amending the Internal Security Act of 1950, as amended.

With that statute on the books, making the practice or the promotion of Islamic jihad illegal, we can make it very uncomfortable for radical Islamists. We can make their presence in our country so unpleasant that they will long for a return to whatever hellhole they and their predecessors crawled out of, ccausing them to self-repatriate in increasingly large numbers. With eyes and ears planted in every mosque and every Muslim cultural center in America, radical Islamists could be readily identified and FBI agents could quickly make arrests.

American policymakers could take a lesson from the Slovakians. When asked by United Nations officials to accept “their share” of Muslim refugees, a spokesman for the Interior Ministry, Ivan Metic, replied, “We could take 800 Muslims, but we don’t have any mosques in Slovakia so how can Muslims be integrated if they are not going to like it here?” Clearly, what Metic was saying is that building permits for mosques might be very difficult to obtain in Slovakia. Officials in the United States and other western nations should learn to be equally “welcoming” to Islamists.

What Donald Trump’s straightforward no-nonsense approach has done is to finally make it acceptable to debate some of our major national problems by putting political correctness behind us. When all is said and done, Trump may not be electable. However, if his presence in the race ultimately makes it permissible for us to deal with racial discord, immigration reform, and the threat of radical Islam without fear of being branded racist, Islamophobic, xenophobic, or politically incorrect, his candidacy will truly be seen as a “watershed moment” in U.S. history.

Paul R. Hollrah is a retired government relations executive and a two-time member of the U.S. Electoral College. He currently lives and writes among the hills and lakes of northeast Oklahoma’s Green Country.

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And the Beat Goes On

In an October 2008 column titled “Obama is Bought, but Who Owns Him?” we disclosed what should have become the nation’s largest ever campaign finance scandal.

Just days earlier, Obama had boasted that his fundraising base had increased by 1.0 million people, from 1.5 million to 2.5 million in the five month period between May and October, and that the total amount raised approached $600 million.  This represented a significant increase from his May 31, 2008, report when he claimed that one-fourth of his $265 million, or $66.26 million, came from those contributing $2,000, or more… some 33,200 people.

If we can assume that, as of October 2008, 25% of his contributions still came from individuals giving $2,000 to $2,300, that major contributor base would have grown from 33,200 to 65,200 people in a time span of just five months.

While it is true that Obama is the kind of guy who could read Bill Clinton’s golf scorecard off a teleprompter and make it sound convincing, simple arithmetic should have told him that 75% of his October total, or $450 million, could not be contributed by 2.44 million people in “$5, $10, or $20” amounts, or whatever they could afford,” as Obama assured us.  Each of those 2.44 million people would have had to contribute, on average, $185 to create a pool of $450 million, and that simply does not happen.  It has never happened before in American politics and it did not happen in 2008.

So what was the truth of the matter?  In our July 25, 2008 column, and again in our October 21, 2008 column, we pointed out that UBS Americas, headed by Robert Wolf… along with George Soros, one of Obama’s top two money men… had been accused of highly unethical and illegal banking practices in six months of hearings by the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations.  According to an article in The Nation, UBS Americas, a subsidiary of UBS, of Zurich, Switzerland, had advised wealthy Americans, including many of our most unwholesome characters, how to shelter funds from the IRS, as well as from prosecutors, creditors, business associates, family members, and each other.

In a Statement of Facts in the criminal trial of former UBS executive Bradley Birkenfeld, it was alleged that UBS took extraordinary steps to help American clients manage their Swiss accounts without alerting federal authorities.   For example, UBS advised American clients to avoid detection by using Swiss credit cards to withdraw funds, to destroy all existing off-shore banking records, and to misrepresent the receipt of funds from their Swiss accounts as loans from the Swiss bank. According to The Nation, UBS established an elaborate training program which taught bank employees how to avoid surveillance by U.S. Customs and law enforcement, falsify visas, encrypt communications, and secretly move money into and out of the country… ”

It was the perfect instrument for funneling illegal campaign contributions into the coffers of an unscrupulous American politician. Putting two and two together, I suggested that a very wealthy individual, a cartel, or an Islamic terrorist group, wishing to influence the outcome of a U.S. presidential election, could transfer unlimited sums of money through this device. A U.S. recipient, such as the Obama campaign, could have received tens of thousands of illegal foreign contributions via Swiss credit card transfers, with names, addresses, etc. of bogus contributors… “borrowed” from the campaign’s list of $10 and $20 contributors… being entered by teams of staffers working in a “boiler room” setting. The owners of the Swiss accounts would receive periodic statements indicating: a) debits of varying amounts, up to $2,300 each, and b) offsetting credits provided by the cartel, or by the wealthy, but unnamed, “international financier.”

For most of the super wealthy, especially those attempting to hide income and assets from U.S. authorities, an unexplained debit and credit of $2,300, or less, would not even raise an eyebrow. They would assume that a bank employee had simply made a data entry mistake, followed by an immediate correction. They would have no way of knowing that a sum of money had actually been withdrawn from their account and contributed to the Obama campaign, with a like amount deposited in the account by an illegal foreign source… the entire transaction facilitated by a high-ranking bank employee. So who would ever know the source of such contributions?

In an October 20, 2008, article in Newsmax, writer Kenneth Timmerman provided details from Federal Election Commission records that gave substantial weight to my theory. In studying Obama’s FEC filings, Newsmax found more than 2,000 donors who had given substantially more than their $4,600 limit ($2,300 in the primaries and $2,300 in the General Election). The law requires that such excess contributions must be returned to the donor within 60 days. However, many of the donors contacted by Newsmax said that they had not made those large contributions to Obama. They had not been contacted by the Obama campaign, nor had they received refunds.

What Newsmax found in studying Obama’s FEC filings were some 66,383 highly suspicious contributions, from 37,265 donors, in which contributions were not rounded to even dollar amounts. For example, Timmerman reported that an insurance agent from Burr Ridge, Illinois, gave a total of $8,724.26. He gave in odd amounts such as $188.67, $1,542.06, $876.09, $388.67, $282.20, $195.66, $118.15, and one of $2,300.

A self-employed caregiver in Los Angeles made 36 separate contributions totaling $7,051.12. Thirteen of her contributions were later refunded. However, in an odd coincidence those 13 refunds, in amounts such as $233.88 and $201.44, came to an even $2,300, the maximum amount allowable in any one election.

One contributor interviewed by Newsmax, a retired schoolteacher from Rockledge, Florida, gave a reported $13,800… $9,200 over his limit. However, the contributor did not remember giving that much money to Obama, nor has anyone from the campaign ever contacted him about a refund.

Of the 66,383 contributions in odd amounts, 44,410 were in unrounded amounts of less than $100, 15,269 contributions were in unrounded amounts of between $101 and $999, and 704 contributions were in odd amounts greater than $1,000. Lest anyone suggest that those 37,265 donors either emptied their piggy banks or emptied their pockets and purses periodically and just sent it all to Obama, pennies and all, allow me to suggest something a bit more Machiavellian. Those 66,383 contributions were the proceeds of foreign currency conversions, smuggled into the country in foreign credit card receipts, and converted to U.S. dollars.

According to Newsmax, the Obama campaign finance reports contained some 370,500 unique names… a far cry from the 2.5 million contributor base claimed by the campaign. Of course, when your money is coming in large chunks from offshore accounts, such as hundreds of thousands of dollars at a time from the Middle East and from Third World African countries, then laundered though UBS accounts in Zurich, it takes a bit of creativity to put authentic-sounding names on all of it for the FEC records.

But now there is new evidence that UBS continues to be a Democrat Party playpen. The Wall Street Journal reports that, in early 2009, shortly after being sworn in as U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton flew to Geneva where she met with the Swiss foreign minister. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the status of an IRS lawsuit against UBS in which the IRS was attempting to obtain the identities of Americans with secret Swiss bank accounts… under normal circumstances, a matter that would be negotiated by the U.S. Treasury Department.

The Swiss foreign minister insisted that, if the IRS case proceeded, Switzerland’s largest bank could face prosecution on both sides of the Atlantic, either facing criminal charges in US courts, or in Swiss courts for violating Swiss bank secrecy laws.

According to the Journal report, a few months after the meeting, Clinton reported a tentative settlement. As part of the deal, UBS agreed to give up information on 4,450 American account holders, out of a total of more than 52,000 accounts containing an estimated $18 billion in untaxed cash. This amounted to roughly 8.6 percent of the total number of accounts sought by the IRS. But what is so unusual about the Clinton-negotiated settlement is that:

  1. In the wake of the negotiations, total UBS contributions to the Clinton Foundation increased from less than $60,000 through 2008, to a cumulative total of $600,000 by the end of 2014;
  2. UBS joined the Clinton Foundation in creating a pilot entrepreneurship program in which the bank agreed to provide some $32 million in business loan guarantees;
  3. UBS agreed to underwrite a $100,000 charity golf tournament; and,
  4. UBS agreed to pay Bill Clinton a $1.5 million honorarium, the largest since he left the White House, “to participate in a series of question-and-answer sessions with UBS Wealth Management Chief Executive Bob McCann.”

As might be expected, the Journal reports that they could find “no evidence” of a direct link between Hillary Clinton’s involvement in the case and the bank’s donations to the Clinton Foundation, nor to its hiring of her husband for a $1.5 million series of informal chats with a bank executive.

Just as the Obama campaign was able to cover its tracks in 2008 when the UBS Bank appeared to be complicit in helping the campaign smuggle many millions of dollars in illegal contributions into the country, it appears as if the Clintons have been milking the same Swiss Bank in their unending quest for wealth, power, and fame. And the beat goes on… and on, and on.


Paul R. Hollrah is a retired government relations executive and a two-time member of the U.S. Electoral College. He currently lives and writes among the hills and lakes of northeast Oklahoma’s Green Country.




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