Why is CAIR Smearing ACT! for America?
And is CAIR breaking the law?
Dear Press For,
CAIR, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, is revving up its propaganda machine against ACT! for America. Clearly, CAIR has decided we’ve become too effective in getting the word out about the threat of radical Islam.
CAIR, the U.S. propaganda front group for the terrorist organization Hamas, is notorious for aiming its invective at anyone or any group that dares to expose the threat of radical Islam or expose who CAIR really is.
The reason is simple. Unable to debate the substance of the information published by organizations like ours, CAIR attempts the age-old ploy of smearing the messenger in hopes of diverting attention from the information that is so damning.
As Brigitte Gabriel noted in a recent interview with FrontPage Magazine, CAIR is getting more desperate with every passing month. Desperate organizations—like desperate people—do desperate things.
The blog below (highlights added) is well worth reading.
The Pastor, the Pedophile and CAIR
by Adam Savit
On April 5 the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) issued a press release urging GOP leaders to “insist” that Congresswoman Sue Myrick (R-NC) withdraw support from the non-profit grassroots advocacy organization ACT! for America. CAIR referred to ACT! for America, one of the largest national security (and pro-American and pro-Israel) citizens organizations in the United States, as an “anti-Islam hate group.”
As we at the Center for Security Policy have reported previously at Big Government, we believe – with the backup evidence to prove it at CAIRObservatory.org – that CAIR has been operating as an unregistered foreign agent, as defined by the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA). FARA § 611 (o) states that foreign agents who engage in any activity to “influence any agency or official of the Government of the United States or any section of the public within the United States” must register as a foreign agent and report such activity to the Department of Justice. Therefore as Rep. Myrick and GOP leaders are “officials of the government of the United States,” CAIR’s attempt to influence their conduct and associations in this way is a clear violation of the FARA statute.
On April 13 CAIR-Tampa echoed the CAIR national office message with this action alert and directed readers to a petition calling for 5,000 signatures condemning the GOP and Myrick for associating with ACT! for America. CAIR could only find a single spokesperson to prop up their attack on ACT! For America, a certain Reverend Wilifred Allen-Faiella of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Coconut Grove, FL. The CAIR action alert quotes from her letter which echoes, word for word, CAIR’s talking points from their smear campaign:
“As a minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ who preached love for all I am appalled that a Congresswoman can support a hate-filled group such as “Act for America”. Their statements about Muslims constitute hate speech and no responsible leader of this country founded on the principles that all are created equal should associate herself with such an anti-American group.”
Big mistake in spokepersons, CAIR.
The question is open as to whether CAIR bothered to investigate Allen-Faiella’s questionable background before they chose her to be their sole spokeperson, since she is best known for her starring role in a well-publicized 2004 Miami scandal when she allowed a convicted pedophile to volunteer at the thrift shop next to her church’s K-6 elementary school. On November 4, 2004 the Miami New Times reported that the volunteer, church member Steven Sypnieski, told the pastor in a “confidential pastoral setting” that he “had some problems in his past.” Apparently Allen-Faiella didn’t bother to check Sypnieski’s criminal record, easily accessible online. In 1992 Sypnieski was arrested by police for sexual battery on an 8-year-old boy he was babysitting, according to the arrest affidavit. He gave a confession and pleaded guilty to ‘custodial sexual battery.’ Astoundingly, he was sentenced only to ten years probation.
In October, 2003 – 11 years after the confession, just after his probation sentence ended – Sypnieski was brought into the Church School’s thrift shop as a volunteer by Allen-Faiella. Allen-Faiella admitted “I was made aware of his record on the sixteenth of December [a Tuesday in 2003],” but because the Christmas break was to begin Friday, she stated that “I intended to take care of the situation as soon as we got back. In fact I put it on the calendar for January 7 to talk with my priest assistant how we were going to handle the matter.” According to the Miami New Times, “When parents discovered the man’s criminal record, Allen-Faiella failed to take immediate action, so the school’s principal, Carol Shabe, forcefully confronted the pastor, demanding that the man’s school access be revoked at once….” According to the report, the school principal had to ask Allen-Faiella two more times to take Sypnieski’s keys away from him before Allen-Faiella would take action. Parents and donors withdrew support for the school in reaction to the pastor’s behavior; and Pastor Allen-Faiella fired the school principal Carol Shabe later that year for “divisiveness.”
Angry parents described Allen-Faiella as “intransigent and unresponsive.” Indeed, the pastor told the Miami newspaper “I think it’s being blown totally out of proportion… The appropriate people knew about it. No big deal was made about it. And suddenly it became a big issue.” According to the Miami New Times:
“Allen-Faiella also says that following Sypnieski’s dismissal, she’s learned his probation had ended prior to him volunteering, and that she’d read something indicating ‘he was not considered a criminal threat to the community.’ (She can’t recall where she saw the information.) Had she known these things earlier, would she have allowed Sypnieski to work at the parish? ‘That’s a moot point now,’ she responds.”
So let’s sum up. We assert that CAIR is an unregistered foreign agent under the Foreign Agent Registration Act (see our report here at CAIRObservatory.org). This particular influence operation by CAIR targeted Congresswoman Sue Myrick (R-NC), using a related influence operation to smear a national grassroots organization – ACT! For America, with nearly 80,000 members and 380 chapters – as “hate-filled…anti-American.” And the sole spokesperson that CAIR-Tampa could find to support their smear campaign is best known for her earlier tolerance for a convicted pedophile, for whom she permitted potential access to children in her care, according to news reports in the mainstream newspaper Miami New Times. We’ve sent the Reverend Wilifred Allen-Faiella a letter, posted below, to alert her that when CAIR chose her as a spokesperson, she was being targeted in a possible unreported political influence operation. We urge her in the letter to report the details to FARA.
And who are the foreign principals – individuals, companies, organizations, government offices – bankrolling CAIR’s smear campaign using that most tolerant (of pedophiles at least) Reverend Allen-Faiella? A major one is the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), who gave CAIR $325,000 in 2007 – just part of the $6.6 million in cash and loans given to CAIR by foreign principals based in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates and Iran. The OIC’s Ten Year Plan demands “deterrent punishments” for any alleged acts of so-called “Islamophobia” in non-Muslim countries.
These CAIR smear campaigns – against Congresswoman Myrick, and against ACT! For America – are only two of CAIR’s many political influence operations, targeting critics of CAIR’s Muslim Brotherhood links and critics of CAIR’s attempted enforcement of Shariah Law to silence free speech. Neither of these influence operations has been reported to the FARA office by CAIR as required by the Foreign Agents Registration Act.
And we think that’s against the law.
Two UCLA economists say they have figured out why the Great Depression dragged on for almost 15 years, and they blame a suspect previously thought to be beyond reproach: President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
After scrutinizing Roosevelt's record for four years, Harold L. Cole and Lee E. Ohanian conclude in a new study that New Deal policies signed into law 71 years ago thwarted economic recovery for seven long years.
"Why the Great Depression lasted so long has always been a great mystery, and because we never really knew the reason, we have always worried whether we would have another 10- to 15-year economic slump," said Ohanian, vice chair of UCLA's Department of Economics. "We found that a relapse isn't likely unless lawmakers gum up a recovery with ill-conceived stimulus policies."
In an article in the August issue of the Journal of Political Economy, Ohanian and Cole blame specific anti-competition and pro-labor measures that Roosevelt promoted and signed into law June 16, 1933.
"President Roosevelt believed that excessive competition was responsible for the Depression by reducing prices and wages, and by extension reducing employment and demand for goods and services," said Cole, also a UCLA professor of economics. "So he came up with a recovery package that would be unimaginable today, allowing businesses in every industry to collude without the threat of antitrust prosecution and workers to demand salaries about 25 percent above where they ought to have been, given market forces. The economy was poised for a beautiful recovery, but that recovery was stalled by these misguided policies."
Using data collected in 1929 by the Conference Board and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Cole and Ohanian were able to establish average wages and prices across a range of industries just prior to the Depression. By adjusting for annual increases in productivity, they were able to use the 1929 benchmark to figure out what prices and wages would have been during every year of the Depression had Roosevelt's policies not gone into effect. They then compared those figures with actual prices and wages as reflected in the Conference Board data.
In the three years following the implementation of Roosevelt's policies, wages in 11 key industries averaged 25 percent higher than they otherwise would have done, the economists calculate. But unemployment was also 25 percent higher than it should have been, given gains in productivity.
Meanwhile, prices across 19 industries averaged 23 percent above where they should have been, given the state of the economy. With goods and services that much harder for consumers to afford, demand stalled and the gross national product floundered at 27 percent below where it otherwise might have been.
"High wages and high prices in an economic slump run contrary to everything we know about market forces in economic downturns," Ohanian said. "As we've seen in the past several years, salaries and prices fall when unemployment is high. By artificially inflating both, the New Deal policies short-circuited the market's self-correcting forces."
The policies were contained in the National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA), which exempted industries from antitrust prosecution if they agreed to enter into collective bargaining agreements that significantly raised wages. Because protection from antitrust prosecution all but ensured higher prices for goods and services, a wide range of industries took the bait, Cole and Ohanian found. By 1934 more than 500 industries, which accounted for nearly 80 percent of private, non-agricultural employment, had entered into the collective bargaining agreements called for under NIRA.
Cole and Ohanian calculate that NIRA and its aftermath account for 60 percent of the weak recovery. Without the policies, they contend that the Depression would have ended in 1936 instead of the year when they believe the slump actually ended: 1943.
Roosevelt's role in lifting the nation out of the Great Depression has been so revered that Time magazine readers cited it in 1999 when naming him the 20th century's second-most influential figure.
"This is exciting and valuable research," said Robert E. Lucas Jr., the 1995 Nobel Laureate in economics, and the John Dewey Distinguished Service Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago. "The prevention and cure of depressions is a central mission of macroeconomics, and if we can't understand what happened in the 1930s, how can we be sure it won't happen again?"
NIRA's role in prolonging the Depression has not been more closely scrutinized because the Supreme Court declared the act unconstitutional within two years of its passage.
"Historians have assumed that the policies didn't have an impact because they were too short-lived, but the proof is in the pudding," Ohanian said. "We show that they really did artificially inflate wages and prices."
Even after being deemed unconstitutional, Roosevelt's anti-competition policies persisted — albeit under a different guise, the scholars found. Ohanian and Cole painstakingly documented the extent to which the Roosevelt administration looked the other way as industries once protected by NIRA continued to engage in price-fixing practices for four more years.
The number of antitrust cases brought by the Department of Justice fell from an average of 12.5 cases per year during the 1920s to an average of 6.5 cases per year from 1935 to 1938, the scholars found. Collusion had become so widespread that one Department of Interior official complained of receiving identical bids from a protected industry (steel) on 257 different occasions between mid-1935 and mid-1936. The bids were not only identical but also 50 percent higher than foreign steel prices. Without competition, wholesale prices remained inflated, averaging 14 percent higher than they would have been without the troublesome practices, the UCLA economists calculate.
NIRA's labor provisions, meanwhile, were strengthened in the National Relations Act, signed into law in 1935. As union membership doubled, so did labor's bargaining power, rising from 14 million strike days in 1936 to about 28 million in 1937. By 1939 wages in protected industries remained 24 percent to 33 percent above where they should have been, based on 1929 figures, Cole and Ohanian calculate. Unemployment persisted. By 1939 the U.S. unemployment rate was 17.2 percent, down somewhat from its 1933 peak of 24.9 percent but still remarkably high. By comparison, in May 2003, the unemployment rate of 6.1 percent was the highest in nine years.
Recovery came only after the Department of Justice dramatically stepped enforcement of antitrust cases nearly four-fold and organized labor suffered a string of setbacks, the economists found.
"The fact that the Depression dragged on for years convinced generations of economists and policy-makers that capitalism could not be trusted to recover from depressions and that significant government intervention was required to achieve good outcomes," Cole said. "Ironically, our work shows that the recovery would have been very rapid had the government not intervened."