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20 minutes could be libel

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In the age of social media, it is important to remember that while you may appear anonymous in your postings, chances are that you can be identified if someone works hard enough. If you handle your postings through Uzbekistan or Turkmenistan, you, might be harder to track, just ask the Democratic National Committee, but most Americans can be tracked down because we aren’t nearly devious enough. So if, in a political cat fight, you accuse a member of the other side of being a child molester, it could go badly for you.

Here’s the facts as laid out in a recently completed jury trial in Cherokee County, Georgia. The Tea Party Patriots and a rival group, the Tea Party Express, were having a tit-for-tat argument as rival political groups are want to do. Mr. James Lyle, the ultimate plaintiff in the case, was the significant other to Amy Kremer, who had left the Patriots and helped the Express get its footing. Lyles and Kremer were in the crosshairs of the Patriots because of supposed theft of email lists, contributor lists and such when Kremer left Patriots. Mr. Lee Martin, an officer of the Patriots, put up a post on Facebook, under a false identity of Dale Butterworth, accusing James Lyle of being a child molester. Butterworth, err Martin, made the accusation that Kremer’s daughter had accused Lyle of abusing her and that Kremer had kicked her own daughter out of the house. “Would you side with a child molester over your own daughter just to keep a roof over your head?” the post of Butterworth, err Martin, read.

It was alleged that the post was only viewable for 20 minutes before Butterworth, err Martin, took it down. The “24 hour rule” about not sending a snarly letter until you’ve had 24 hours to think about it would have been a good idea here.

A general law reminder here: Libel is when something false and damaging about someone is printed, slander is when something false and damaging about someone is spoken. Obviously someone can both slander and libel a person, but in this case, it is libel because it was printed (posted on Facebook).

After a jury trial, the jury returned a $833,000 verdict against Martin AND the Patriots. One of the interesting arguments for the Patriots being liable for Martin’s actions was that the Patriots picked the lawyer for Martin, therefore the Patriots were all in this case. The case may get appealed, as these things are wont to do, so a final decision may be a year away.

But in this age of Twitter, Instagram, Flickr, Tinder and Facebook, it is important to recognize that a post, tweet, text or whatever is potentially a libelous act. The length of time it is posted is relevant only for the issues of damages. The longer it remains up, the stronger the damages one can expect. And in  the political realm where people tend not to “forgive and forget”, calling someone a child molester may result in a hefty penalty. 

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Democrats

Tell the migrants: AOC calls border detention centers ‘concentration camps’

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A warning to migrants AOC calls border detention centers concentration camps

Attention current and potential migrants from Central America intent on breaching our southern border: Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez says if you cross the border, America will put you in concentration camps.

As much as I’d like to tackle the absurdity of the statements she made on Instagram last night, I’ve decided to run with her story as if it were based on facts. After all, Democrats have made a habit out of wild claims about migrant treatment at the border, yet they simultaneously impede every effort to make things better such as more beds, more border patrol agents, and a wall. They could change the laws for asylum seekers to dissuade migrants from making the dangerous trip with their cartel chaperones. There are so many things they can do instead of making wild claims, but they won’t do it.

So instead of calling them out, it’s time to embrace them. If AOC wants to spread the word that migrants are being held in concentration camps and forced to endure the whims of a “fascist” in charge, we should let her do it. Perhaps then they’d think twice about stealing our sovereignty by breaking our laws to achieve their goals.

The detention centers at the border are not concentration camps, of course. It’s almost certain AOC got her talking points from one of several articles written last week about Andrea Pitzer, author of One Long Night: A Global History of Concentration Camps, in which she makes the claims about what’s happening at the border. AOC’s talking points seemed to match Pitzer’s almost verbatim.

Heavy on whiny rhetoric but short on solutions to a clear problem, Ocasio-Cortez has once again used radical claims to foment outrage. But what if it can be used to establish fear? I’m not a fan of lying nor spreading fear, but if the Democrats want to establish the narrative that asylum-seekers are tossed into concentration camps once they cross the border, who am I to stop them?

The knee-jerk reaction to AOC’s lies would be to debunk them. But I’m not going to this time. If she can convince migrants they’ll be placed in concentration camps, maybe they’ll think twice about breaching our borders.

We are currently forming the American Conservative Movement. If you are interested in learning more, we will be sending out information in a few weeks.

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Foreign Affairs

General Jack Keans on Trump’s plan to send more troops to Middle East

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General Jack Keans on Trumps plan to send more troops to Middle East

As the Pentagon sends 1000 more troops to the Middle East to counter Iran’s latest round of aggressions, many Democrats and media talking heads are attacking the whole mess. They’re blaming the President for antagonizing the Iranians, first by pulling out of the nuclear deal and then by imposing harsh sanctions on them. But as General Jack Keans told Shannon Bream on Fox News last night, the Iranians have been the ones antagonizing the whole time.

Where did all the money go that the Obama administration sent them? Over $100 billion is apparently gone as the people continue to struggle to survive, yet nothing seems to have come from the generous gift.

If the sanctions were really the problem, why won’t Iran stop engaging in proxy wars, funding terrorism, and continuing their development of nuclear weapons? They were testing ballistic missiles even before the sanctions. They were engaged in Yemen before the sanctions. And yes, they never stopped funding terrorism. If they would stop these things, the sanctions could be lifted, but Iran refuses.

Keans is correct in asserting the President has made the right moves. The only question that remains is whether or not Iran will comply or if they’ll continue down the road to war.

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Foreign Affairs

An open letter to Sen. Lindsey Graham on his two-state solution resolution

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An open letter to Sen Lindsey Graham on his two-state solution resolution

Dear Senator Graham,

It is being reported in the news that you are planning to introduce a nonbinding resolution in the Senate, together with Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), calling on President Trump to support a “two-state solution” between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. If true, it would be a tragic error.

As a longtime supporter of Israel, I am sure that you’re aware that the GOP removed the two-state solution from its platform in 2016. I’m sure that you also know that the president’s Middle East team has been discussing Israel’s right to retain parts of Judea and Samaria (the so-called West Bank). By supporting the two-state solution at this time, you are not only going against the growing sentiment in your party that opposes a Palestinian (Fatah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad) state and the danger it would be to Israel’s survival, but you are also taking a stand against the obvious democratic wishes of the Israeli people. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has recently made it clear that he no longer supports such a path to resolving the conflict by announcing his intention to annex the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria (the so-called West Bank).

In a recent interview with the McClatchy news service, you were quoted as saying “I don’t want to get in the way of Jared,” referring to Deal of the Century architect Jared Kushner, “but I can’t envision a one-state solution. It won’t work. I mean, you’d have to disenfranchise the Palestinians. That won’t work. If you let them vote as one state, they’ll overwhelm the Israelis. That won’t work. So, if you want to have a democratic, secure Jewish state, I think you have to have two states to make that work.”

Sen. Graham, with all due respect, you are echoing the common wisdom that has prevailed for the past forty years, but the facts on the ground have changed. Recent polling shows that Israelis understand the new reality, but the world is lagging beyond, with the very noticeable exception being the growing number of realists in the GOP. President Trump, as well, has expressed a remarkable willingness to explore “new ideas”, since the “land for peace” formula clearly hasn’t worked. This was proven by the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza in 2005, which simply gave Iranian-backed Hamas the land from which they are now firing rockets at Israeli cities. Doing the same in Judea and Samaria and Jerusalem (which is the primary Palestinian demand) would be suicidal for Israel.

However, you have mentioned that a Palestinian state must be created, because of the demographic danger; that without creating a separate Palestinian state, Israel would be “overwhelmed” by the Palestinian vote. This presumes that in a one-state solution, all the Arab residents of Judea and Samaria would be given automatic citizenship. Yes, you and I seem to agree, granting such instant citizenship would be the definition of foolishness. No self-preserving country in its right mind would grant citizenship (and the right to vote in national elections) without a lengthy process of vetting such non-citizens, as is done in the United States and most free countries.

In my peace plan, which is pointedly called Peace for Peace (as opposed to the failed land for peace formula), I call for Israeli sovereignty in Judea and Samaria, alongside a path to loyal citizenship for the non-citizens, mostly Arabs (or Palestinians, if you prefer), now residing in the areas that Israel recaptured in the defensive Six Day War of 1967. Such a process would include a three-year comprehensive good citizenship course, followed by two-three years of national service, culminating with an oath of loyalty to the State of Israel.

Many non-citizens in Judea and Samaria, many of whom I know personally, would seize at the opportunity to become loyal Israeli citizens. Many others would refuse, thereby minimizing the demographic danger to Israel, but the truth be told, noted demographers such as Yoram Ettinger have shown that the Jewish birth rates in Judea, Samaria, and Jerusalem have been sky-rocketing for the past two decades, way beyond that of the Arabs. Israel is undergoing a social renaissance, in which the traditional family is having a resurgence and having large Jewish families is fashionable once again. Therefore, when we examine the current reality, we see that the demographic threat is greatly exaggerated by those who cling to the land for peace agenda.

Of course, I haven’t yet mentioned Israel’s historical rights to these areas, which I have documented extensively in my most recent book, “Trump and the Jews”, but you haven’t disputed those rights. I also haven’t mentioned that we can’t make peace with a Palestinian Authority that for years has been giving salary payments to each and every terrorist that has killed or wounded an Israeli. This includes the three Fatah terrorists who shot and wounded me and my then three-year-old son in December of 2001 and their salaries continue to this day.

Given the new, pragmatic approach of President Trump, I am strongly urging you to rethink the dual mantras of land for peace and the two-state solution. As Donald would say, it’s time for new ideas.

Bio: David Rubin, former Mayor of Shiloh Israel, is the author of the new book, “Trump and the Jews”. Rubin is the founder and president of Shiloh Israel Children’s Fund, established after he and his then three-year-old son were wounded in a terror attack. He can be found at www.DavidRubinIsrael.com or at www.ShilohIsraelChildren.org.

We are currently forming the American Conservative Movement. If you are interested in learning more, we will be sending out information in a few weeks.

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