Foreign Policy Immigration War and Peace WTF?!

Ben Carson’s Syrian Refugee Plan: Money For Halloween Candy Can Support Them

I’ve said this before and apparently it’s necessary to keep repeating it: Ben Carson may be a brilliant man–a doctor, a neurosurgeon!–but when it comes to matters of domestic and foreign policy, he’s a certified idiot.

As evidence of my thesis, I present Dr. Carson’s appearance on “Face the Nation” and “This Week.” Carson, who has just finished visiting Syrian refugee camps in Jordan, remarked:

“They said the United States and other countries could be much more supportive of the Herculean efforts manifested by the Jordanians in taking in people at a lot of expense to themselves. They cannot continue that without help from the international community.”

And where might the money needed to assist the Jordanians and other nations that have accepted refugees? Carson has a brilliant plan for that:

“You know, you look at last month. We spent $3 billion on Halloween candy. That’s the amount of money needed to bridge the shortfall for a year that they’re having in Jordan with the refugees.”

So is he advocating that we just stop buying candy and instead donate money to the refugees? That’s fine if he is, but I want to hear him actually say the words and tell every kid in the United States that Halloween has been officially canceled.

Carson was reminded that the United States already provided $4 billion in humanitarian aid.

But one wonders if Dr. Carson’s mention of Halloween isn’t tied to the fact that he is a member of the Seventh Day Adventist church, which is not exactly fond of “pagan” holidays and celebrations. In publications, the church has written:

“The church’s opposition to the occult and the demonic preclude any support for this type of festival. Participation in Halloween customs may seem innocent fun for children and adults, but it is one more way Satan can use to deceive people into thinking there is no harm in playing a little bit with the world of spirits and demons.”

Now I admit that I’m not a big fan of Halloween, but I sure was when I was a child. How often do you get to go from door to door and beg for candy? It’s a dream come true for kids.

Yet now we hear Ben Carson telling us we have to take that candy money and spend it on the Syrian refugee crisis. That’s noble, no doubt about it. But it’s just about guaranteed to get him named as the Grinch Who Stole Halloween.

This article was originally published by the same author at

Discrimination Islamophobia Politics

Seth Meyers Schools Sarah Palin On Syrian Refugee Vetting Process

It’s pretty sad when a talk show host has to explain reality to someone in the political world, but when the person being schooled is Sarah Palin, it doesn’t exactly surprise anyone.

Such was the case last night when Palin appeared on “Late Night” with Seth Meyers and Palin wrongly proclaimed there was no screening process for Syrian refugees. Palin began by defending the 31 governors who said they would not accept refugees from the civil war in Syria in their states:

“Their message is not, we don’t want Syrian refugees. Their message is, what is the vetting process? How do we know that these are the innocents who are coming over and actually needing aid, and they’re not the bad guys infiltrating under the guise of refugee? And they want a vetting process, because we don’t have that from the top, we don’t have that at the federal level.”

Meyers told the former half-term Alaska governor that there is indeed a process, and he even tried to explain it to her:

“In order for any refugees to come in, it is, like, an 18- to 24-month process for them to get through. It starts at the UN, and then it comes through multiple government agencies here in the states. Is it maybe just that, at the core, I think there’s just a lack of trust across the board of the federal government? Do you think that’s what these governors are really saying, that ultimately anything the federal government tells them, they don’t trust?”

Palin, always a fan of any conspiracy theory she can fashion out of some rumor she has heard, replied that she never trusts the federal government:

“Well, I don’t trust what the federal government is telling us. But even you should not trust that the federal government is telling you about the 18- to 24-month vetting process is as legit as perhaps they’re trying to make the public believe, because truly, there is no way to filter out those that would want to do this country harm with the process that we see in place today. And that’s why it’s not just Republican governors, but Democrats, too, who are saying, wait a minute — somebody’s got to be the last line of defense here, so the states are taking on that authority.”

Meyers then asked the obvious question: Is there really any possible way to guarantee absolute safety in any country? And Palin tried to duck and weave around the question:

Then Meyers used the best line of the night:

“I think this idea that they’re coming here to infiltrate, I think that is fear-based. I do think they want to come here and enjoy the same things you and I are lucky enough to enjoy.”

The studio audience erupted into loud applause for what Meyers had just said, leaving Palin to timidly state:

“I do think most people want to come to America to enjoy what it is that we’ve been blessed with, I do, I do. It’s just unfortunate that we know, as we saw in Paris, there are some people who want to get to a country to do harm. But no, I agree with you — for the most part, people want to be here to enjoy that exceptionalism that we’re all blessed to enjoy.”

Sarah, you’re a freaking idiot. And the world would be a lot better off if you’d stay in Alaska, hunt moose, and stay off television.

This article was originally published by the same author at


Immigration War and Peace

Governor Of Oregon Says She Welcomes Syrian Refugees In Passionate Facebook Post

While 31 governors–the majority of them in the South–have said they don’t want Syrian refugees in their state, one governor is going against that trend and saying those fleeing the Syrian civil war and ISIS are more than welcome in her state.

Oregon Governor Kate Brown, in a Facebook post, noted that America is a land of immigrants:

‘The words on the Statue of Liberty apply in Oregon just as they do in every other state. Clearly, Oregon will continue to accept refugees – they bring their hopes and dreams to America, and we will continue to welcome them and open the doors of opportunity.”

I can only speak for myself, but I’m willing to bet that most of us, unless we are Native American, descended from relatives who immigrated here from other countries. My family made their way from Ireland, Scotland, and England for a chance at a better life in the United States. Were the Irish welcomed with open arms when they arrived? No. Were the Scots? No they weren’t. But thankfully this country saw the great potential and promise of immigrants. Had they not, I would not be an American today. Most of us wouldn’t.

So let’s take a moment to consider what it says on the Statue of Liberty, which so many immigrants have seen as they arrived in America:

“Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.

“’Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!’ cries she
With silent lips. ‘Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!’”

Could that be any clearer? I don’t think so.

And to those governors who want to issue proclamations which have no legal authority, I say this: Pack your bags! We’re shipping you back where you came from! Have a nice trip.

How does it feel when the shoe is on the other foot?

This article was originally published by the same author at

Immigration Islamophobia War and Peace

These Photos Of Syrian Refugee Children Will Break Your Heart

Less than 24 hours after the attacks in Paris which left 129 people dead and at least 352 injured, the GOP candidates began to rush to the nearest TV camera so they could declare that if they were President, there was no way they would ever allow any refugees from the Syrian civil war into the United States.

And then yesterday the governors of 19 states–most of them in the South–signed orders refusing to admit any Syrian refugees into their states. This is, of course, nothing but political theater, as they have no power to allow or disallow any refugees. That power rests with the President of the United States.

But what about the children? Should children have to suffer? What about the orphans who have no family left because they have perished in the brutality of war?

Photographer Magnus Wennman will not allow us to look away or pretend the crisis does not exist. The Swedish photographer has begun a photo project that forces anyone looking at these images to confront the horrible reality these precious children are facing.

These images will haunt you. They did me.

This is Maram. She is 8 years old. A rocket destroyed her home. She was injured so badly that she was in a coma for 11 days. She is unable to speak due to a broken jaw.


This is Walaa. She is five years old, and lives in a refugee camp in Lebanon. Instead of the cozy bedroom she once enjoyed, she now sleeps on dirty pillows, which she is afraid of. Why is she afraid of the pillows? Because when she uses them to rest at night, the camp is attacked.


This is Ahmed. He is six years old, and sleeps on the bare grass at night. During the day, he travels long hours on foot with the rest of his family.


This is Ralia. Ralia is 7, and her brother, Rahaf, is 13. Their brother and mother are deceased, due to a grenade. They, along with their father, sleep on cardboard boxes in the streets of Beirut.


This is Shehd. She is 7, and she loves art. But all of her recent projects are frightening for a 7-year-old, and are full of guns and carnage. She and her family often struggle to find food to feed themselves.

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