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Items filtered by date: Tuesday, 28 January 2020

The latest, lawless migrant caravan hurtling from Honduras to our southern border is as organic as AstroTurf.

The Central American trespassers now number between 2,500 and 4,000. Two weeks ago, slickly designed flyers disseminated on social media beckoned them to sign up for the latest journey and meet at a bus stop in San Pedro Sula. That village is caravan ground zero, where Honduras's destabilizing Libre Party and its former top legislator-turned-agitator Bartolo Fuentes, have brazenly spearheaded past caravan organizing campaigns since President Donald Trump took office.

On Monday, the throngs reached the Mexico-Guatemala border, where mobs of mostly young men threw rocks and sticks at police -- while sympathetic international "journalists" selectively captured and curated tired women and crying children on the trek with state-of-the-art cameras and livestreams.

Make no mistake: These are not desperate people suddenly seeking refuge from violence and harm. They are low-wage workers, pew-fillers and future ethnic-bloc voters being exploited by Big Business, the Vatican and the Democrat Party.

Pueblo Sin Fronteras may be the most recognizable name behind the caravans, but global Catholic elites play a central role in the coordination of this transnational human smuggling racket.

Trump-bashing, American sovereignty-trashing Pope Francis donated $500,000 nine months ago from his Peter's Pence fund to assist illegal immigrant caravan participants. The subsidies cover "27 projects in 16 dioceses and Mexican religious congregations" for "housing, food and basic necessities," as well as "migrant" assistance programs "run by seven dioceses and three religious congregations: the Scalabrinians, the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary and the Hermanas Josefinas," according to the Catholic News Service.

As I have reported on my investigations in "Open Borders Inc.," the Catholic "Underground Railroad" of migrant safe houses that extend across Central America, through Mexico, and up to and into the U.S. is a well-oiled machine. The United Nations' International Organization for Migration in Mexico has guaranteed supplies of medicine, hygiene products, construction materials, as well as therapy services and legal training, for caravan marchers who are housed at the Hermanos en el Camino shelter, along with the Catholic-run Hogar de la Misericordia shelter and Jesus el Buen Pastor del Pobre y el Migrante shelter. Funding comes not just from Catholic parishioners, but also U.S. tax dollars. The La 72 shelter in Tenosique is run by Franciscans. The El Caminante shelter in Palenque is overseen by Catholic nuns. The Scalabrinians operate Casa del Migrante in Tijuana and have managed an entire shelter ministry network since 1999.

On the southern border of Mexico in Chiapas, the city of Tapachula is the first entry point for Central Americans headed to the U.S. There, the Fray Matias de Cordova Human Rights Center provides "comprehensive support" to illegal immigrant travelers including legal consultations, monitoring of detention centers and "online resources, art and social activities, job training, and basic social services." The group has received nearly $200,000 from the liberal MacArthur Foundation.

Also in Tapachula, the Jesuit Refugee Service opens its churches and pastoral centers to provide shelter, monetary aid, voluntary aid and emergency assistance. Its team of lawyers, psychologists, social workers and Jesuit clergy spread from Tapachula to Comalapa and Mexico City. JRS staff served as sherpas for the 2018 caravan marchers and liaisons with the U.N. High Commission for Refugees.

Jaime Calderon Calderon, the Catholic bishop of Tapachula, Mexico, immediately pledged aid this month to the newest waves of border-jumpers and river-crossers, openly acknowledging that he received a heads-up from other bishops in the Northern Triangle (Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador). But while Calderon and the bishops blame "violence" for the most recent invasion, homicide rates have either fluctuated or fallen significantly in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador since Barack Obama's executive amnesty programs (DACA and DAPA) were announced in 2012.

Migrants themselves refute the "fleeing violence" narrative: An International Organization for Migration poll of more than 3,200 Guatemalan households in 2016, highlighted by the Center for Immigration Studies' Kausha Luna, reported that 91% of migrants surveyed had moved to the U.S. for economic reasons (jobs, homes, income boosts) -- while only 0.3% blamed violence, 0.2% cited extortion and 0.2% attributed their decision to gangs.

It's all about the dinero. Central American workers, legal and illegal, sent back nearly $20 billion in remittances to their home countries in 2018, a tidy sum of which will end up back in Catholic collection plates. Remittances sent to El Salvador are now equal to 20% of its GDP; Guatemala, 11%; and Honduras, 18.8%. Meanwhile, the percentage of the population of Guatemala now living in the U.S. is close to 7%; for El Salvador, the percentage now stands at 22%; and for Honduras, we now have absorbed 9.2% of their people.

This is a deliberately orchestrated, relentlessly executed, slow-motion criminal invasion. If my fellow Catholics continue to aid and abet these illegal immigrant gravy trains without consequences, American sovereignty doesn't have a prayer.

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Michelle Malkin

Published in Outdoors
Wednesday, 29 January 2020 08:26

Iran’s Provocations And The Patience of Trump

Impeachment proceedings and trial have been in full swing for several weeks, and as the Democrats tried to do with Judge Kavanaugh – something new seems to be thrown at the President about every day. Along came a series of recent events involving Iran and those actions were added to the top of the Trump’s pile of alleged transgressions.

Few critics have bothered to line up Iranian vs. U.S. tensions, or actual military incidents during Trump’s presidency, to objectively evaluate his decisions and their future implications. This is a brief commentary on some of them.

Trump pulled out of Obama’s 2015 nuclear “agreement” with Iran and resumed economic sanctions for several reasons. It wasn’t a real agreement or treaty because Iran wasn’t a signatory, and the U.S. Senate did didn’t approve it because of bi-partisan objections.

The monitoring process was absurdly ineffective. Iran could easily delay scrutiny because of lenient procedures for dispute resolution and could dodge scrutiny by declaring certain military facilities off limits for inspections. Nevertheless, Obama had sweetened the nuclear deal with over a billion dollars of “unfrozen Iranian funds” which most agree ended up funding Iranian

General Suleiman’s Quds force.

In May 2019, Iran began responding with actions intended to create chaos and crisis in the U.S. For example, Iran detonated mines on one Norwegian-flagged, and three Saudi oil tankers.

The U.S. had conclusive video proof, but Iran never acknowledged involvement. Trump limited this response to a warning.

Soon thereafter, in June 2019, Iran boldly shot down an unarmed U.S. surveillance drone. After considering a retaliatory airstrike, Trump decided not to attack Iranian troops because no lives had been lost in the drone incident. He concluded that would be disproportionate, so he chose cyber-attacks and additional sanctions instead.

In September, Iran instituted an attack on Saudi oil facilities using drones and cruise missiles. While much damage was done to the facilities, Trump responded with what is referred to as “soft power sanctions.” That refers to measures more modest than military action or damaging economic sanctions.

Apparently because previous actions didn’t result in crisis, chaos, or severe military retaliations, Iran rocketed a joint U.S.-Iraqi air base and killed an Iraqi-American contractor. That went over Trump’s red line. He responded by ordering airstrikes on Iranian supported militias, killing 24 and wounding many more. That was in late December, just a few weeks ago.

Furthering their attempt to stir up criticism and chaos around Trump, General Suleimani planned and carried out an attack on the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad. You can be sure they were attempting to conjure up memories of the Benghazi incident in which several Americans were killed, including our Ambassador. Iran probably wanted Trump to over-react by ordering a massacre of the fighters attacking the embassy. That didn’t happen.

Trump initially ordered in Marine troops which ended the attack peacefully, and on January 3, 2020 ordered the fatal attack on the leader, General Suleimani and a militia leader. We’ll never know for sure, but Trump was convinced more embassy attacks had been planned by Suleimani.

Iran followed with a futile retaliatory rocket attack on U.S. Iraqi bases with no fatalities. Then came the embarrassing unintentional Iraqi missile attack on a Ukrainian commercial airliner, killing 176. Of course, Trump’s critics blame that on his mishandling this recent series of Iranian incidents.

Most democrats claim Trump overreacted in his recent decisions regarding Iran. As with so many controversies surrounding Trump, it’s just a matter of politics and “personal opinion” whether one supports his actions or not.

My opinion is, this series of incidents seem to support, beyond any shadow of doubt, that Trump’s Iran actions have been patient and proportionate. I believe he did a good job of balancing restraint and force and that he seriously wants a peaceful solution in arriving at a non-nuclear Iran.

(If you want to review this subject further, there are many easy to find sources. Two brief commentaries were most valuable to me in writing this article. Appearing in the online publication “CASMII” you’ll find “The history of Trump vs. the IRGC.” And Johnathan R. Keiller assembled a brief compilation of U.S./Iran conflicts and incidents. It appeared in “American Thinker.”)

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Steve Bakke,
Fort Myers

Published in General/Features

“We caught up with Tim Beasley, a Tribute entertainer who will be coming to Fort Myers Beach next month to the Entertainment Center at the Moose Lodge on San Carlos Blvd. He will be doing tribute to Johnny Carson and Rod Stuart

He told us that as a young teenager in the mid-1960s he began watching ‘The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.’ "It was the most popular late-night TV program in the world. Doing quite well with my grades in school, my Mom allowed me to nap in the early evenings so I could stay up for “the grown-up fun” of Johnny Carson interviewing the most exciting entertainers, and also laugh whole-heartedly at his comedic genius! This led me to re-enact Johnny’s ‘cheeky’ monologues every day at lunchtime as my school chums howled with laughter…I knew this was my calling! At age 24, on New Year’s Eve 1976, I premiered my first professional “Johnny Carson” comedy show in a Roanoke, VA nightclub called G.D. Graffiti’s. It was the beginning of a grand career!”

I told him that I remember watching the show 'Copy Cats' when was a kid which was the first time I ever saw Rich Little do his impersonations and was I amazed at all the impersonation some of the actors did, he told me he has developed over 100 different impersonations? “I was always a fan of the great impressionists Will Jordan, Frank Gorshen, Rich Little and others.

Beginning with ‘Johnny Carson’ my audiences were always asking for their favorite stars, and so with that I would take the most popular requests and would learn those stars’ moves, voicings and manners. Then as an actor underneath all of my voice experiences I realized that with props, makeup and costuming I could “walk out in full dimension” as those stars…This was very popular with my audiences…and as “new requests” came along, I added to my “cast.”

He has performed national convention centers that include as the Mandalay Bay Convention Center and Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas. Also the convention centers in Pasadena, Cleveland, Myrtle Beach, Richmond, Virginia Beach, Walter E. Washington in DC, Kansas City MO, Coronado Springs Disney World, many more. Also has played at historic hotels and resorts such as The Homestead Hot Springs VA, The Menger Hotel San Antonio TX, The Renaissance Glendale AZ and again many more. He also has performed in theaters like the Mishler of Altoona PA, the Williamsburg Theater Williamsburg, VA and the Wayne Densch Performing Arts Center of Sanford FL and smaller venues like the entertainment center as well.

He is a pleasant gentleman and likes to meet his fans and attendees and closed our meeting with "I’m considered “retirement age,” but I do enjoy performing and entertaining so much that I see quite a few more years of being on the stage! My good health is my vehicle, and there’s a lot of life left on the treads! Thank you, and I hope to see you at my upcoming area show!!!"

call 239-810-4587
for your tickets

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Published in Lifestyle
Wednesday, 29 January 2020 08:18

Iranian Girl Beats Einstein in Terms of IQ

An Iranian school girl has scored 162 – the highest number ever – on the Mensa IQ test, beating renowned scientists of the history.

That means 11-year-old Tara Sharifi is well above the so-called ‘genius benchmark’ of 140.

Her score is also two points higher than the estimated IQs of physicist Albert Einstein and cosmologist Professor Stephen Hawking.

“I was shocked when I got the result – I never expected to get such a good score,” she said.

Tara took the test in Oxford and had to answer questions within a set time. It was a non-verbal test which focused on Tara’s ability to understand the meanings of words.

“It was a joint decision between me and my parents to take the test,” she said. “It will be a wonderful opportunity to meet other people within the Mensa system,” Tara added.

Tara now qualifies for membership of Mensa, also known as the High IQ society, and says she looks forward to meeting other members of Mensa at some of the organisation’s gatherings.

“I have told some of my friends at school and they were really impressed,” she added. “When I am older, I would like to do something related to mathematics.”

“I am extremely proud but very surprised at how well Tara scored,” said her father. “I figured she might do well when we watched TV and she would get math questions before the contestants,” he added.

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Published in General/Features

Chuck Schumer sure has balls to demand a “fair trial”…after his counterparts did everything EXCEPT, a fair Impeachment!

The 6th Amendment of the Constitution demands Due Process for anyone accused of a crime. So what’s the crime Trump is accused of?

Due process calls for an accused to be allowed to face, confront and cross examine his accuser ,please read the 6th Amendment! This House of Democrat Congressmen, led by Schiff, denied the President the right to even know who his accuser is, the right to cross examine his accuser and denied the Right to a lawyer and to call witnesses. In any court in the United States…this case would be laughed out of court by any Judge and not allowed to move forward!

Put yourself into the President’s position…someone was told by your neighbor who told a friend who told the Police that you are a “child molester”, and you are arrested and charged with “child molestation”. You cannot know who your accuser is, you cannot have an attorney nor can you cross examine your accuser. You are not allowed to call witnesses. That is exactly what the liar Congressman Schiff did to the President and the Republicans who tried to defend him, because President Trump was NOT allowed to defend himself. Yet this piece of human excrement, Schiff, has the gall to go before the Senate and claim the president was allowed to call witnesses…sure…he called them but if their name was NOT on Schiff’s list of allowed witnesses ,they were denied!!! How many of the witnesses that the President, through Republican Congressman Collins, asked for… were allowed? NONE! That’s the “fairness” Schiff allowed and Schumer claims he wants in the Senate!

There is no crime that rises to the level of High Crime or Misdemeanor. What the President is accused of doing is using his Presidential Authority as defined by Article 2 of the Constitution…and abusing his authority. The last “charge is funny”…that’s exactly what Hussein Obama did twice ,and was so egregious that the Supreme court Justice Scalia, admonished Obama for overstepping his authority, twice …and two weeks after the 2nd admonishment, Scalia died” naturally” fully clothed, at a remote hunting camp, with “suspicious” marks on his body, the remains scurried off by Washington “officials”, for a full day and then cremated at the Funeral parlor that rented these “officials” the hearse they drove all over Texas with Scalia’s remains.

That was very normal…nothing suspicious there?!

Now ,what is the crime this President, who was never admonished by any Judge for overstepping his authority, committed…what’s the Crime, Schumer?

It truly is a shame that neither Schumer, Pelosi nor Schiff read the US Constitution!

How Sen Schumer can tell the American public that he demands a fair trial, is hysterical?! If you can’t beat him…Impeach him! That’s Schumer’s type of fairness. He seems to think all

Republicans are as dumb as he is!

Please believe me America, with the evidence the House used to Impeach (Indict) the President, they could not make a $100 small claims case in Judge Judy’s Court. She would throw it out…it’s all hearsay! Why do you think the Constitutional Scholar Allan Dershowitz, says this Impeachment by Schiff and Pelosi is not legal…violates our Constitution?

Schumer wants John Bolton, Trump’s UN National Security Advisor and the President’s personal Attorney to testify…is he nuts? Obama claimed Executive Privilege when Eric Holder was caught with his pants down on Fast and Furious, why?

If this President allows Bolton or any of his staff to testify he needs his head examined!

There should be NO trial, based upon all the hearsay evidence! The Senate should issue a dismissal due to the lack of substantive evidence and the fact that the President was not only denied his Constitutional Rights under the 6th and 14th (Equal Rights) Amendment, all the


This is the Schiff/ Pelosi circus and NOT an Impeachment!

When they cry foul, play back the video of Tliab saying, “I/we will impeach the MF’er” and the other comments that go to “intent” that Schumer and Pelosi made before the President was sworn in, before the new Congressmen and the new Speaker were sworn in and then after Trump was JUST sworn in. What evidence did Tliab have when she shot off her mouth…put every one of those “fair trial” loud mouths, on the Senate stand! Ask, “What was the evidence against the President elect that made you want to Impeach him before you even became a Congressman?

Allowing these House clowns to make a trial into a circus is foolish, thoughtless, and about as dumb as anyone can be because their “Impeachment” is not legal…there are no crimes, therefore this Impeachment is VOID!

Members of the Senate; Do you not understand this is a GAME according to these Congressmen… a way and means to harass, disrupt and try to overthrow a duly elected President that they dislike, for no other reason…why should you succumb to their illegal and unethical demands?

gary small



Published in Politics

Florida’s 20 major military installations, three combat command centers and numerous research grant recipients support 914,787 jobs and generate an annual economic impact of $95 billion, making national defense one of the Sunshine State’s most important industries.

According to the "2020 Florida Military & Defense Economic Impact Study," defense-related expenditures in Florida have increased by $10 billion and employment by 113,040 since 2017.

“The results of this study demonstrate that maintaining and protecting military bases and industry in Florida is a win-win for both Florida and the United States,” Gov. Ron DeSantis said in a statement following the release of the report by Enterprise Florida, Inc. (EFI) and the Florida Defense Support Task Force (FDSTF).

“Florida offers unmatched conditions for training air and sea forces with access to some of the highest quality test and training ranges in the country,” added DeSantis, a Navy veteran.

“Florida’s military and defense industry has never been more vital to the economic success of our state.”

According to the report, Florida’s 73,000 defense contractors garner the fourth-largest sum of defense spending among all states and, with nearly 135,000 active duty military, National Guard and reservists, the state ranks fifth in the number of military personnel stationed or living there.

Direct military spending was nearly $44 billion in 2018, which the report calculates via a “multiplier effect” translated into $95 billion of overall economic impact in 2019.

By comparison, tourism, the state’s leading industry in 2017, contributed $85.9 billion to the state’s economy and supported 1.5 million jobs.

According to the report, the defense sector has the greatest impact on Northwest Florida, where one-third of the regional economy comes from military spending.

Additionally, the report states, defense manufacturing has nearly doubled since 2015 with the aerospace and engineering sectors centered in Brevard and Orange Counties leading the way.

One example of that growing economic influence is the Department of Defense’s Industrial Base Analysis & Sustainment office's $20 million contract awarded in 2019 to BRIDG, a public-private partnership in Osceola County “to provide a new technology for next-generation microelectronic multi-chip systems that will strengthen national security and cyber resiliency for the

United States defense industrial base.”

The report also notes that Florida, with 1.6 million residents who are veterans, has the nation’s second-largest military retiree population and the third-largest veteran population.

The report follows a 2018 research paper by Connor James of the Tallahassee-Based James Madison Institute that documented the state’s 17,900 defense-related companies and military spending accounts for 9.2 percent of the state’s gross domestic product.

“In 2016, the Florida Chamber Foundation said that the military and defense industry’s total economic impact may be over $100 billion by 2030,” James wrote.

That $100 billion estimate by 2030 may have been a bit conservative.

“Today’s announcement is great news for Florida,” said Florida Secretary of Commerce and Enterprise Florida President & CEO Jamal Sowell, a former Marine officer. “Enterprise Florida and the Florida Defense Support Task Force will continue to maintain Florida’s reputation as the most military-friendly state in the nation by strengthening our state’s support for military members and their families and ensuring our bases remain resilient.”

John Haughey
The Center Square

Published in Business

Genetic testing through companies such as and provide people inexpensive and often illuminating access to their DNA and family histories.

At the same time, the increasing popularity of genetic testing kits is fostering fears about how the data is used, who “owns” it and raising questions about how to balance access with privacy.

In 2019, Florida lawmakers pondered bills to prohibit life insurers from denying policy coverage based on genetic tests and from requiring DNA tests. All stalled.

Companion 2020 House-Senate bills seek to prohibit life, disability and long-term care insurers from canceling, limiting, denying coverage, or charging more for Floridians based on genetic information.

House Bill 1189, filed by Rep. Chris Sprowls, R-Palm Harbor – who will succeed Jose Oliva as House Speaker in 2021 – passed the Health & Human Services Committee, 17-0.

HB 1189 now goes before the House Commerce Committee, it’s final stop before a floor voter. As of Monday, the panel had not scheduled its next meeting.

Its Senate companion, Senate Bill 1564, was filed by Sen. Kelli Stargel, R-Lakeland. SB 1564’s first stop is the Senate Banking & Insurance Committee. It also faces hearings before theJudiciary and Rules committees.

The Senate Banking & Insurance Committee meets Tuesday but, as of Monday afternoon, SB 1564 was not on the agenda.

During HB 1189’s Thursday Health & Human Services Committee hearing, Sprowls said adopting the measure is among his top 2020 priorities and would make Florida the first to adopt such a genetic privacy law.

“There’s nothing greater for our privacy than our genetic code,” Sprowls said. “Handing that over to large insurance companies is bad public policy.”

Life insurers are aggressively seeking access to people’s genetic information, he said. “Insurance is about spreading risk, not guaranteeing the outcomes or rewards to the characters.

Affordable life, disability and health insurance should not be available simply to the genetic elite.”

“I’m glad Florida’s going to be the state that leads the way on this issue,” committee chair Rep. Ray Rodrigues, R-Estero, said.
The bills are endorsed by the Florida Association of Genetic Counselors, the AARP and Protecting Our DNA, an advocacy group financed by Floridians for Economic Freedom, a political committee chaired by Sprowls, which previewed a minute-long television ad during the hearing.

“Jane thinks her DNA is private, but it’s not,” the narrator states. “Insurance companies want to invade Jane’s privacy and get a look at her genetic code. Why? The more they know about Jane, the more they can profit off her DNA. Raising her rates, reducing their risk, padding their profits.”

The bills are opposed by the Florida Insurance Council (FIC), the American Council of Life Insurers and the James Madison Institute, who argue they will allow customers to hide important information to secure lower rates than those they should pay.

During November’s Florida Chamber of Commerce’s Insurance Summit, FIC President Cecil Pearce compared the use of genetic data in insurance rates to the way auto insurance rates are calculated.

Drivers with clean records are in one pool while those with traffic tickets and offenses are in another, making it “fair” for “good” drivers not forced to subsidize “bad” drivers.

“Imagine,” he said, “if insurers didn’t have access to driving histories” to distinguish between “good” and “bad” drivers.

James Madison Institute Vice President Sal Nuzzo said an outright ban on using genetic test data could have unforeseen circumstances.

If such a ban were adopted, he predicted, insurance salesmen nationwide would be advising clients to “take a weeklong vacation in Florida and buy a $1 million life insurance policy while you’re there.”

John Haughey
The Center Square

Published in Lifestyle

A district encompassing Greater Seattle is set to become the first in which every voter can cast a ballot using a smartphone — a historic moment for American democracy.

The King Conservation District, a state environmental agency that encompasses Seattle and more than 30 other cities, is scheduled to detail the plan at a news conference on Wednesday.

About 1.2 million eligible voters could take part.

The new technology will be used for a board of supervisors election, and ballots will be accepted from Wednesday through election day on Feb. 11.

"This is the most fundamentally transformative reform you can do in democracy," said Bradley Tusk, the founder and CEO of Tusk Philanthropies, a nonprofit aimed at expanding mobile voting that is funding the King County pilot.

But the move is sure to polarize the elections community as democracy-watchers across the country debate the age-old push-and-pull between voting access and voting security.

The U.S. trails most developed democracies when it comes to its election turnout rate, and local races typically lag far behind presidential November elections.

The board of supervisors election in the King Conservation District, for example, in past years has drawn less than 1% of the eligible population to the ballot box.

Tusk says low turnout contributes to dysfunction in government because candidates aren't forced to craft positions that represent the entire population.

"If you can use technology to exponentially increase turnout, then that will ultimately dictate how politicians behave on every issue," he said.

But just four years ago, Russia used cyberattacks to disrupt the presidential election, including targeting and hacking into election infrastructure.

There's no evidence that the attacks changed any votes or data, but intelligence officials, election experts and even former special counsel Robert Mueller have warned that adversaries would target elections again.

Because of that, security experts have been nearly unanimous in their opposition to mobile-voting expansions in recent years. Some say that technology has not advanced enough yet, while others say the Internet will never be safe or transparent enough for something as important as democracy.

In its bipartisan report on Russian election interference, released last year, the Senate Intelligence Committee said, "States should resist pushes for online voting."

Many outside specialists continue to agree.

"There is a firm consensus in the cybersecurity community that mobile voting on a smartphone is a really stupid idea," said Duncan Buell, a computer science professor at the University of South Carolina who specializes in election technology. "I don't know that I have run across cybersecurity experts whose mortgages are not paid by a mobile-voting company who think it's a good idea."

How it works

King County voters will be able to use their name and birthdate to log in to a Web portal through the Internet browser on their phones, says Bryan Finney, the CEO of Democracy Live, the Seattle-based voting company providing the technology.

Once voters have completed their ballots, they must verify their submissions and then submit a signature on the touch screen of their device.

Finney says election officials in Washington are adept at signature verification because the state votes entirely by mail. That will be the way people are caught if they log in to the system under false pretenses and try to vote as someone else.

The King County elections office plans to print out the ballots submitted electronically by voters whose signatures match and count the papers alongside the votes submitted through traditional routes.

While advocates say this creates an auditable paper trail, many security experts say that because the ballots cross the Internet before they are printed, any subsequent audits on them would be moot. If a cyberattack occurred, an audit could essentially require double-checking ballots that may already have been altered, says Buell.

"If you're doing phone voting or Internet voting, it's pretty much 'garbage in, garbage out.' You don't really know what you're getting in or what's coming out the other side," said Joseph Lorenzo Hall, the former chief technologist at the Center for Democracy and Technology, in an interview with NPR last year.

Voters who use the smartphone portal also have the option to not submit their ballots electronically. They can log in, fill out the ballot and then print it to either drop off at designated drop-off locations or put in the mail.

Glimpse of the future?

Voting online has had a bumpy history over the past decade.

In a widely publicized incident, Washington, D.C., saw an online voting pilot program get hacked in 2010. The project was scrapped.

And the Democratic National Committee decided to nix a plan this year that would have allowed voters to caucus remotely in Nevada and Iowa. Precinct and party officials in Iowa, however, do intend to use a smartphone app to report results from their level.

Other states and counties also have shown a willingness to experiment to chase better voting turnout.

Before the King County announcement on Wednesday, however, that experimentation had been limited to populations that tended to have more difficulty getting to the polls.

West Virginia used a mobile app in the 2018 midterm elections to allow military voters and voters living overseas to cast ballots. One county in Utah allows the same for disabled voters.

All the recent developments have one thing in common: They've been funded by Tusk Philanthropies. Bradley Tusk told NPR that he hopes to fund between 35 and 50 mobile-voting pilots over the coming five years and then campaign for even wider use based on the data compiled from those programs.

Tusk took on the security worries directly. "Everyone who doesn't want this to happen is never going to say, 'We oppose mobile voting because we don't want higher turnout,' Tusk said.

"They're going to say, 'It's not safe.' And if we have proven 30, 40, 50 times over that it is safe, it's a lot harder for those objections and arguments to fly."

Buell, the University of South Carolina computer science specialist, admits that mobile voting probably will continue to expand this decade. That is due in part, he says, to a miscalculation by advocates and the public about how insecure the Internet and mobile phones are.

"Until we have a total collapse of some election, I think this sort of thing is going to continue," Buell said. "People want to believe that they can do everything on their phones."

Published in Technology


The US Navy is to name its new aircraft carrier after a black sailor who fought in World War II.

Doris Miller earned the Navy Cross for his actions during the Japanese attack on Hawaii's Pearl Harbor in 1941.

At the time, the US military was strictly segregated on racial grounds. Miller became an icon for black Americans in the

Naming the ship after the heroic sailor comes more than 78 years after the events that made his name.

It will be the first time an aircraft carrier has been named after an African American. Until now, they have been named after famous battles, military leaders and US presidents.

The official announcement was scheduled for last Monday - Martin Luther King Jr's birthday - at Pearl Harbor. The bay is the site of a massive US naval station and the base of the country's Pacific Fleet.

Who was Doris Miller?

Miller was born in 1919 in Texas, the third of four sons. He was named Doris, as his mother had thought she was having a girl, but often went by the nickname "Dorie".

Jim Crow laws - a system of policies that denied black Americans their rights and segregated them from their white neighbours - dominated in the south at the time. After dropping out of high school and struggling to find work, Miller joined the Navy in 1939 at the age of 20.

"Navy policy at that time limited blacks to those duties that were manual, that they thought didn't require a whole lot of intellect,"
historian Regina Akers told CBS News.

After training, Miller was made a mess attendant - someone who took care of the white officers - and in 1940 was assigned to the battleship West Virginia.

He was sorting laundry on the ship one morning when a Japanese torpedo slammed into the vessel.

It was the first of nine torpedoes which would hit and sink the West Virginia on 7 December 1941.

The Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor killed more than 2,300 people and brought the US into World War II.

Miller ran to help his fellow sailors. He first moved his mortally wounded captain to shelter, before manning an anti-aircraft gun - strictly against regulations, as a black sailor - and firing back at the hundreds of Japanese aircraft .

"It wasn't hard. I just pulled the trigger and she worked fine," he said afterwards, "I think I got one of those [Japanese] planes. They were diving pretty close to us."

He fired until he ran out of ammunition, before helping his wounded shipmates. He abandoned ship with the survivors as the West Virginia sank to the bottom of the harbor.

In January 1942, the US Navy announced a list of commendations for US servicemen on Pearl Harbor - including one for an unnamed black man.

Two months later, the Pittsburgh Courier revealed the sailor to be Doris Miller. "No longer is his name unknown," the report read.

Soon after, a senator and a congressman launched separate bills in both houses of Congress calling for Miller to receive the Medal of Honor - the highest military honour in the US. African

American rights groups also campaigned for Miller to get an award for his actions, while the media hailed him as one of the "first US heroes" of the war.

Other groups however campaigned against any recognition for Miller on the grounds of his race.

In May that year, President Franklin Roosevelt ignored the controversy and awarded him the Navy Cross - at the time the third highest honour awarded by the US Navy.

Miller went on a speaking tour and became a nationwide celebrity, but returned to sea aboard the aircraft carrier Liscombe Bay. He was killed when the ship was sunk by a Japanese submarine in the Battle of Makin in November 1943.

But his legacy has lived on as one of the first African American heroes of World War II. Cuba Gooding Jr played the role of Doris Miller in the 2001 film Pearl Harbor, while Waco unveiled a statue of Miller in 2017.

Now a new aircraft carrier will be built and eventually launched in 2028 bearing Miller's name.

"It is tremendous," historian Regina Akers told CBS, saying the decision showed "that heroism is in no way limited by race, by gender, by background, by rank or rating."

Published in Technology

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