October 20, 2017

This Week’s Winners! A Pregnant Government Criminalizes It’s Own People

This week’s contest is bittersweet. Winning Council member Soccer Dad is giving up his spot on the Watcher’s Council and leaves us with a fine piece of journalism detailing how the mainstream media filters just about every bit of news coming out of Israel in a manner that skews the first draft of history. This is insidious, as Soccer Dad Demonstrates:

And so every Israeli self-defense is subject to a filter, which suggests that each such action might well be a violation worthy of condemnation if not punishment.

Consider the other side of the coin. On Friday Israel released twenty female security prisoners in exchange for a video of captured soldier, Gilad Schalit. Schalit has been held for three years and not allowed any visits by the Red Cross. How did the Associated Press orient its story? On the plight of the prisoners!

Women make up only a tiny minority of more than 7,000 Palestinians held in Israeli prisons, but they often pay a high personal price for what has largely been a supporting role in the Palestinian uprising.

Some have raised babies behind bars, and others have watched their families torn apart in their absence.

Now notice in these opening paragraphs there’s nothing about what the women may have done to deserve incarceration. It’s as if the Israelis arbitrarily picked the women off the street.

Fatima Ziq, 41, was pregnant when she was arrested in May 2007 as an alleged accomplice in a foiled suicide bombing. She returns to Gaza City with a toddler — her ninth child — who has known only prison life.

Zhour Hamdan, 45, was a married mother of eight when she was picked up in 2003, also as an accomplice in an aborted bombing. Her husband has remarried, and her children were forced to fend for themselves.

“Our mother was the heart of our family,” said one of her daughters, Neveen, 22. “When she was arrested, our entire life changed.”

This is just one of many documented mis-characterizations coming out of a media hell bent on subjecting the world to their corrupt world view of the Arab-Israeli conflict and cast it in stone as historical fallacy.

On the non-council side the winning entry is from the Washington Times detailing the increasing over-criminalization of the nation’s people due to vaguely worded federal laws that give the federal government unprecedented powers. It is a dangerous precedent as detailed in the following excerpt:

“You don’t need to know. You can’t know.” That’s what Kathy Norris, a 60-year-old grandmother of eight, was told when she tried to ask court officials why, the day before, federal agents had subjected her home to a furious search.

The agents who spent half a day ransacking Mrs. Norris’ longtime home in Spring, Texas, answered no questions while they emptied file cabinets, pulled books off shelves, rifled through drawers and closets, and threw the contents on the floor.

The six agents, wearing SWAT gear and carrying weapons, were with – get this- the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Kathy and George Norris lived under the specter of a covert government investigation for almost six months before the government unsealed a secret indictment and revealed why the Fish and Wildlife Service had treated their family home as if it were a training base for suspected terrorists. Orchids.

That’s right. Orchids.

By March 2004, federal prosecutors were well on their way to turning 66-year-old retiree George Norris into an inmate in a federal penitentiary – based on his home-based business of cultivating, importing and selling orchids.

Mrs. Norris testified before the House Judiciary subcommittee on crime this summer. The hearing’s topic: the rapid and dangerous expansion of federal criminal law, an expansion that is often unprincipled and highly partisan.

Chairman Robert C. Scott, Virginia Democrat, and ranking member Louie Gohmert, Texas Republican, conducted a truly bipartisan hearing (a D.C. rarity this year).

These two leaders have begun giving voice to the increasing number of experts who worry about “overcriminalization.” Astronomical numbers of federal criminal laws lack specifics, can apply to almost anyone and fail to protect innocents by requiring substantial proof that an accused person acted with actual criminal intent.

Mr. Norris ended up spending almost two years in prison because he didn’t have the proper paperwork for some of the many orchids he imported. The orchids were all legal – but Mr. Norris and the overseas shippers who had packaged the flowers had failed to properly navigate the many, often irrational, paperwork requirements the U.S. imposed when it implemented an arcane international treaty’s new restrictions on trade in flowers and other flora.

The judge who sentenced Mr. Norris had some advice for him and his wife: “Life sometimes presents us with lemons.” Their job was, yes, to “turn lemons into lemonade.”

It’s time to reinvent our government, kick the bums out, and take back our country. Lemonade couldn’t taste better. I’m hoping for a whole pitcher in 2010.

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Please read all the winning entries and pass these on to your friends.

Winning Council Submissions

Non-Council Submissions

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  3. The Razor » Blog Archive » The Council Has Spoken: October 9, 2009

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