Short video asks why
Napolitano refuses to
U.S. Rep. Sue Myrick, Co-chair of the House Anti-Terrorism Caucus, penned an op-ed in The Washington Times recently (below) regarding the presence of Hezbollah on our southern border.
She also posted a short, 2:30 video that we encourage you to view and forward to your friends and family. Brigitte Gabriel has been warning America for some time now that Hezbollah is infiltrating our southern border and establishing terror cells here in the U.S.
The threat of Hezbollah terrorism coming across our southern border continues to grow—while Department of Homeland Security director Janet Napolitano ignores calls for a task force to investigate this threat.
MYRICK: Hezbollah car bombs on our border
Why isn't Obama's Department of Homeland Security concerned?
By Rep. Sue Myrick
The Washington Times
An indictment was handed down Aug. 30 by the Southern District Court of New York that shows a connection between Hezbollah - the proxy army of Iran and a designated terrorist organization - and the drug cartels that violently plague the U.S.-Mexico border.
In short, a well-known international arms dealer was trying to orchestrate an arms-for-drugs deal in which cocaine from FARC - the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, which works with Mexican drug cartels to take cocaine into America - would be traded for thousands of weapons housed by a Hezbollah operative in Mexico.
This most recent case brings up several questions: Why would a member of Hezbollah be in Mexico? Why would Hezbollah need thousands of weapons in Mexico? Why are members of Hezbollah willing to work with FARC? Perhaps to exchange weapons for drugs? If Hezbollah has guns in Mexico and wants drugs, isn't it logical to assume that it is trading with more accessible Mexican drug cartels?
This is just the most recent incident in which it's clear that Hezbollah may have a presence in Mexico and along our southern border. There have been more incidents - which have been ignored by the Obama administration and the Department of Homeland Security.
On June 23, I sent a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano asking her to establish a task force to investigate the presence of Hezbollah along the U.S.-Mexico border.
The evidence is there: Hezbollah's cooperation with countries across South America. Highly sophisticated tunnels for transferring drugs across the U.S.-Mexico border, ones very similar to the tunnels dug by Hezbollah into Israel. The close relationship between Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and the increase in Iranian nationals traveling through Venezuela to receive false documents, which they use to cross into the United States. Mexican officials raising concerns about Hezbollah operatives possibly training Mexican drug cartel enforcers in making car bombs.
Michael Braun, a former Drug Enforcement Administration chief of operations, has even been quoted as saying, "Hezbollah relies on the same criminal weapons smugglers, document traffickers and transportation experts as the drug cartels. ... They work together; they rely on the same shadow facilitators. One way or another, they are all connected."
Only a few weeks after I sent this letter, it was reported that Jameel Nasr, a Mexican national with ties to Hezbollah in Lebanon, "entrusted with forming a base in South America and the United States to carry out operations against Israeli and Western targets," was arrested by the Mexican government. Days later, a cell-phone-detonated car bomb - the first of its kind reported used by Mexican drug cartels - was deployed just across the U.S.-Mexico border in Juarez. On Aug. 27, another car bomb exploded in a U.S.-Mexico border state. These car bombs show an evolution in the tactics being used by the drug cartels and bear a strong resemblance to those employed by Hezbollah, raising questions as to who trained the cartels.
Doesn't the protection of the American public deserve answers? The primary role of the federal government is to protect its citizens. Unfortunately, the administration continues to sit by idly while security threats go uninvestigated. And that's all I'm requesting - an investigation to find out what's going on along our southern border.
To date, I have not received a response from the Department of Homeland Security informing me of any decision to investigate. How much more is it going to take?
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."