Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

IRS auditing conservative news provider Breitbart.com

Yes, the same IRS that targeted Tea Party groups in order to help Obama win re-election.

Ted Cruz wrote a letter to the IRS about the audit, and you can read it here on the Breitbart web site.

Excerpt:

Dear Commissioner Koskinen:

I write to express deep concern over the recent announcement by Breitbart News that the Internal Revenue Service recently notified the Breitbart News Network, LLC that it would be subject to a far-reaching, burdensome, and open-ended audit.

As you know, the Breitbart News Network LLC is a conservative-leaning press outlet. It has editors and reporters who cover daily political news and regularly breaks stories that are critical of the Obama Administration’s policies. To conduct this audit, Breitbart News Network, LLC was asked to provide the IRS with all of its organizational documents, financial records, W-2s, W-4s, 1099s, and K-1s filed, personal income tax returns for each member of the company, payroll tax forms, information regarding properties and assets acquired by the company, bank statements, and array of other records documenting revenues, expenses, and depreciation costs.

This media audit, coupled with the recent proposal of 49 Senate Democrats to amend the Constitution to give Congress plenary power to regulate political speech, paints a disturbing picture of a coordinated assault on the First Amendment.

In another time, under another Administration, the decision to audit a conservative news organization might not have risen to a worrisome level of concern. However, given the IRS’s disturbing track record of illegally targeting conservative organizations-including the IRS recently paying a $50,000 settlement for having wrongfully leaked a conservative group’s confidential tax information-and the persistent refusal by the current Department of Justice to meaningfully investigate or prosecute those crimes, the decision to audit Breitbart News Network, LLC appears highly questionable.

For the IRS to behave like a partisan political organization, targeting media organizations whose views differ from the President’s, would represent a gross abuse of power. It would undermine the statutory mission and integrity of the IRS. And it would likely subject IRS employees to criminal prosecution.

The rest of the letter is Ted Cruz’s questioning of the IRS for their actions. It’s cases like this that make me want to abolish the entire IRS and go with a two-tier flat tax system with almost no deductions. Put the corrupt bureaucrats out of a job. That’s the only thing they will understand – the unemployment line.

Filed under: News, , , , , ,

California State University system de-recognizes IVCF from 23 campuses

Princess Mandy posted this story from Christianity Today, and I am blogging it.

Excerpt: (links removed)

InterVarsity Christian Fellowship (IVCF) has been, in modern campus terminology, “derecognized” by California State University schools. Basically, they will no longer be a recognized campus organization on any of the 23 schools in that system. IVCF has been derecognized because they require their leaders to have Christian beliefs.

It’s not just InterVarsity that will be impacted. Following the same logic, any group that insists on requiring its leaders to follow an agreed upon set of guiding beliefs is no longer kosher (irony intended) at California’s state universities. This will impact many other faith-based organizations with actual, well, faith-based beliefs. Presumably, even People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals would have to allow Oscar Meyer to lead their campus chapters.

[...]Now, it’s not persecution. Christians are not banned. People can share their faith. But, now, what we once called “equal access” has taken another hit—people of faith do not have equal access to the university community, like the environmentalist club, the LGBT organization, or the chess club.

The university system has decided that speech with beliefs that undergird it—and shape how it is organized—has to be derecognized.

I asked Greg Jao, who is National Field Director & Campus Access Coordinator, what this actually meant. He explained,

Loss of recognition means we lose 3 things: free access to rooms (this will cost our chapters $13k-30k/year to reserve room). We also lose access to student activities programs, including the new student fairs where we meet most students. We also lose standing when we engage faculty, students and administrators.

And while they still have freedom to request a meeting spot in some buildings, they no longer have the status when other officially recognized groups request the same spot—even though they are, well, fee-paying students in a facility owned by the people of California.

Jao indicated the work is not done, explaining,

We still intend to minister on campus but loss of recognition is a significant impediment.

The bigger, and ongoing, issue is the continual sanitization of unacceptable religious voices from universities. It’s ironic—those who champion nondiscrimination, in the name of nondiscrimination, are creating rules that push out those who “discriminate” based on biblical belief statements.

A few years ago, I asked in the pages of USAToday, are evangelicals no longer welcome in the public arena? If that arena is a California state university, and those evangelicals want an official school organization, that answer is obvious.

This has already happened in other places, perhaps most notably at Vanderbilt University in Nashville. But, Vanderbilt is a private university. Now, state schools have decided that, due to their odd policies restricting belief based organization from requiring belief, students who have evangelical beliefs—and think the leaders of their belief-based campus organization should also have beliefs—are no longer welcome as a student organization.

Christian taxpayers in California are paying into this school system, thanks to the compulsory collection of taxes. So now Christian families will have less money to send their own kids to schools that actually allow freedom of association and equal access to Christians. We have to pay twice – once into a system that treats us as second-class citizens, and once into a private system that recognizes our fundamental rights. This is why we should be voting to cut off the money supply to the non-essential responsibilities of government. We need to keep our money to work around the discrimination of the secularists.

Filed under: News, , , , , , , , , , ,

When the U.S. military retreats: ISIS beheading Christian kids and kidnapping sex slaves

Fox News has the story, I doubt the rest of the anti-war leftist news media will cover this story – because they caused it. They wanted it. They lobbied for it.

Excerpt:

Hundreds of women from the Yazidi religious minority have been taken captive by Sunni militants with “vicious plans,” an Iraqi official said Friday, further underscoring the dire plight of Iraq’s minorities at the hands of the Islamic State group.

Kamil Amin, the spokesman for Iraq’s Human Rights Ministry, said hundreds of Yazidi women below the age of 35 are being held in schools in Iraq’s second largest city, Mosul. He said the ministry learned of the captives from their families.

“We think that the terrorists by now consider them slaves and they have vicious plans for them,” Amin told The Associated Press. “We think that these women are going to be used in demeaning ways by those terrorists to satisfy their animalistic urges in a way that contradicts all the human and Islamic values.”

The U.S. has confirmed that the Islamic State group has kidnapped and imprisoned Yazidi women so that they can be sold or married off to extremist fighters, said a U.S. official who spoke on condition of anonymity because the information came from classified intelligence reports. There was no solid estimate of the number of women victimized, the official said.

Tens of thousands of Yazidis fled when the Islamic State group earlier this month captured the northern Iraqi town of Sinjar, near the Syrian border. The Yazidis practice an ancient religion that the Sunni Muslim radicals consider heretical.

The extremist group’s capture of a string of towns and villages in the north has sent minority communities fleeing for their lives. The Islamic state views Yazidis and Shiite Muslims as apostates, and has demanded Christians either convert to Islam or pay a special tax.

About 50,000 Yazidis — half of them children, according to U.N. figures — fled to the mountains outside Sinjar where many of them remain, trapped and running out of food and water. Late Thursday, the U.S. military cargo jets dropped humanitarian aid to the mountains.

Amin’s comments were the first Iraqi government confirmation that some women were being held by the group. On Tuesday, Yazidi lawmaker Vian Dakheel made an emotional plea in parliament to the Iraqi government to save the Yazidi people, saying the “women have been sold in a slavery market.”

President Obama said the humanitarian airdrops were made at the request of the Iraqi government as the Islamic State militant group tightened its grip on northern Iraq. In his remarks late Thursday, he mentioned “chilling reports” of fighters with the group “rounding up families, conducting mass executions, and enslaving Yazidi women.”

And beheading Christian children, reports CNS News.

Excerpt:

“Christianity in Mosul is dead, and a Christian holocaust is in our midst,” said Mark Arabo, a Californian businessman and Chaldean-American leader. In an interview with CNN’s Jonathan Mann, he called what’s happening in Iraq a “Christian genocide” and said “children are being beheaded, mothers are being raped and killed, and fathers are being hung.”

“Right now, three thousand Christians are in Iraq fleeing to neighboring cities,” he told Mann. Arabo is calling on the international community to follow France’s lead and offer the Christians of Iraq asylum.

“You’re startling me with the severity of what you’re describing,” the CNN host said. “You said they are — beheading children?”

“They are systematically beheading children,” Arabo repeated slowly. “And mothers and fathers. The world hasn’t seen an evil like this for generations.”

“There’s actually a park in Mosul where they actually beheaded children and put their heads on a stick… this is crimes against humanity. They are doing the most horrendous, the most heart-breaking crimes that you can think of.”

Meanwhile, Secretary of State John Kerry was seen giving speeches critical of global warming. Priorities. We needed to pull out of Iraq after Bush won the war because we had to focus our government on more important things, like global warming.

I lay these tragedies at the feet of anyone who wanted to retreat from Iraq and Afghanistan. This is what happens when American forces retreat from fighting evil. And make no mistake, these terrorists will be back in America, and this time, they’ll have money they seized from Iraqi banks and Stinger missiles they seized from Iraqi forces. And they’ll walk right across our southern border with those missiles, too.

I would recommend checking out The Weekly Standard podcast to get the real story on this, it’s my favorite political podcast and they have had wall-to-wall foreign policy for the last little while. Bill Kristol has just posted an episode on ISIS.

Filed under: News, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

What to do about Iraq: arm the Kurds and start air strikes against ISIS

Map of the Middle East

Map of the Middle East

Fox News reports.

Excerpt:

Iraqi militants seized control Thursday of the country’s largest Christian city — reportedly telling its residents to leave, convert or die — while members of another religious minority remained trapped on a mountain without enough food or water, circumstances that fueled calls for the U.S. and U.N. to get more involved.

[...]The takeover in Qaraqoush is the latest in a basket of foreign policy crises testing the Obama administration. Secretary of State John Kerry dropped into Afghanistan unannounced Thursday to meet with feuding presidential candidates, on the heels of a U.S. general’s murder at an army training post — while the White House plots its next move in a tense chess match over Ukraine with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Meanwhile, one U.S. lawmaker is warning that the latest developments in Iraq could become a “genocide,” as the Islamic State (IS) — the militant group formerly known as ISIS — continues its march through the north, imposing its brand of Islam on Christians and other minorities.

“Genocide is taking place before our eyes — and on your watch — in Iraq,” Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Va., wrote in a letter earlier this week to Obama.

[...]In the latest development, IS militants overran a cluster of predominantly Christian villages alongside the country’s semi-autonomous Kurdish region, sending tens of thousands of civilians and Kurdish fighters fleeing from the area, according to several priests in northern Iraq.

The capture of Qaraqoush, Iraq’s biggest Christian city, and at least four other nearby hamlets, brings the group to the very edge of the Iraqi Kurdish territory and its regional capital, Irbil.

The Islamic State has already seized large chunks of northern and western Iraq in a blitz offensive in June, including Iraq’s second-largest city of Mosul. The onslaught has pushed Iraq into its worst crisis since the 2011 withdrawal of U.S. troops.

Last week, the Islamic State also seized the northwestern town of Sinjar, forcing tens of thousands of people from the ancient Yazidi minority to flee into the mountains and the Kurdish region.

According to the U.N., between 35,000 and 50,000 fled to nearby Mount Sinjar and other areas, “reportedly surrounded by ISIS armed elements” and lacking water and other aid.

The Washington Post detailed dire circumstances, reporting Thursday that thousands of families hiding on Mount Sinjar are desperate for help and that Iraqi government airdrops of aid are not sufficient.

CNN had some of the details of what ISIS is doing to Christians. (H/T WGB)

Excerpt:

If you’re following the news about ISIS, which now calls itself the Islamic State, you might think you’ve mistakenly clicked on a historical story about barbarians from millennia ago.

In a matter of months, the group seized territory in both Iraq and Syria and declared an Islamic caliphate, celebrating its own shocking slaughter along the way.

“I don’t see any attention from the rest of the world,” a member of the Yazidi minority in Iraq told the New Yorker. “In one day, they killed more than two thousand Yazidi in Sinjar, and the whole world says, ‘Save Gaza, save Gaza.'”

In Syria, the group hoisted some of its victims severed heads on poles. One of the latest videos of the savagery shows a Christian man forced to his knees, surrounded by masked militants, identified in the video as members of ISIS. They force the man at gunpoint to “convert” to Islam. Then, the group beheads him.

The solution is, of course, to immediately provide the Kurds with relief supplies and to begin air strikes against ISIS.

And CNN says as much:

“The world now faces two urgent challenges: to prevent the genocide of the Yazidis and to stop ISIS from continuing to conquer swaths of the Middle East,” global affairs columnist Frida Ghitis wrote on CNN.com. “Bombing ISIS positions would help save the Yazidis, but supporting the Kurds is key to success on both counts.”

The Iraqi Kurdish army, known as the Peshmerga, has fought ISIS but is “outgunned,” partly because the Iraqi army dropped its weapons “and fled when ISIS rolled in from Syria and captured Mosul,” Ghitis says.

Ghitis wants the United States to help arm the Kurds against ISIS.

[...]Filkins notes that Iraq has begun air strikes aimed at helping the Kurds — but, he says, “the Iraqi Army has proved itself utterly ineffectual in combating ISIS.”

The New Yorker has a very good story about a pro-US Iraqi who had to flee Sinjar, a city seized by ISIS.

I remember during the war, which I supported wholeheartedly, the anti-war/isolationist left kept crying for us to have an “exit strategy”. And this is exactly what they meant. They wanted this to happen. They voted for this to happen. You cannot influence the world  for good when you pull out of a war, and back away from evils, evils like radical Islam. We caused this, by refusing to stay the course in Afghanistan and Iraq – this is the “exit strategy” of the anti-war left: genocide against minorities by Muslim terrorists. We needed to stay and finish the job.

One other thing. In a situation like this, it’s not Code Pink or some other anti-war group that you call on to solve the problem. Air drops of food and water will be performed by the military. And that’s why we research weapons and fund a defense budget. A lot of people like to talk about problems in the world – especially on the left. But when it comes time to solve them, it often requires the work of brave men, armed and ready for battle.

I would recommend checking out The Weekly Standard podcast to get the real story on this, it’s my favorite political podcast and they have had wall-to-wall foreign policy for the last little while. You won’t have to wait long for them to post an episode, but it’s not up yet as of now (Thursday night).

Filed under: News, , , ,

Meriam Ibrahim arrives in US after escaping imprisonment for her Christian faith

Fox News reports.

Excerpt:

A Sudanese woman who faced the death penalty for refusing to recant her Christian faith has arrived in New Hampshire, ready to begin a new life.

Meriam Ibrahim, her husband and the couple’s two children arrived Thursday night at Manchester-Boston Regional Airport, where they were greeted by a throng of supporters from the city’s Sudanese community before getting into an SUV and leaving the airport, the New Hampshire Union Leader reports.

“Thank you so much,” her husband, Daniel Wani, told reporters. “I am so relieved.”

Ibrahim, who met Pope Francis at the Vatican last week after fleeing the U.S. embassy in Khartoum, did not speak.

Her brother-in-law, Gabriel Wani, said Ibrahim has been granted asylum by the United States and will soon meet with U.S. State Department officials.

Daniel Wani, a U.S. citizen since 2005, met Ibrahim on a trip to Sudan in 2011. He traveled to the war-torn African country last year to arrange for his wife and child to move to New Hampshire.

Ibrahim had been sentenced to death over charges of apostasy. Her father was Muslim, and her mother was an Orthodox Christian. She married Wani, a Christian from southern Sudan, in 2011. Muslim women in Sudan are prohibited from marrying non-Muslims. By law, children must follow their father’s religion.

Sudan initially blocked Ibrahim from leaving the country even after its highest court overturned her death sentence in June.

That’s good news. I find it interesting that she chose New Hampshire, the live-free-or-die state. She certainly made her choice to live according to her own conscience or die in the attempt. She’s a hero. Thank God there was a happy ending this time.

Filed under: News, , ,

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