Growing Violence

MS-13 wants to send ‘younger, more violent offenders’ to the US, officials say

Greg Norman

Frustrated MS-13 gang leaders feeling the pressure from the Trump administration’s crackdown are looking to send “younger, more violent offenders” to the United States to take over the role of being enforcers, officials say.

The revelations were made Thursday during a House Committee on Homeland Security meeting on fighting international criminal organizations, where officials discussed the arrests and imprisonment of MS-13 members and leadership over the last year.

“They’re very much interested in sending younger, more violent offenders up through their channels into this country in order to be enforcers for the gang,” said Stephen Richardson, assistant director of the FBI’s criminal investigative division, according to VOA News.

Peter King, R-N.Y., the committee’s chairman, said his staff recently visited El Salvador and was told by law enforcement there that the gang — which mostly operates out of prisons in the Central American country — is “frustrated that MS-13 members in [the U.S.] are not violent enough.”

“It’s a horrifying thought,” King was quoted as saying by VOA News.

People arrested in El Salvador for being members of the MS-13 street gang flash their gang’s hand signs from inside a jail cell.  (Reuters)

Justice Department figures say the gang has 40,000 members worldwide, with around 10,000 in the U.S. carrying out crimes ranging from extortion to gun trafficking.

“We’re looking at the information we’re getting and doubling down our efforts against MS-13,” Raymond Villaneuva, an assistant director for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, told lawmakers in response to King’s comments.

The gang, also responsible for dozens of gruesome deaths throughout the U.S., was designated a “priority” last year by the Justice Department’s Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force. Prosecutors are able to pursue any legal avenue to target MS-13, according to Attorney Gen. Jeff Sessions.

U.S. officials and three Central American countries announced in September that more than 3,800 members of MS-13 and the 18th Street gangs have been charged since March.

Sessions also said in December the Justice Department convicted more than 1,000 gang members in the U.S. in 2017, VOA News reported.

MS-13 is believed to be behind 25 killings on New York’s Long Island alone in the past two years.

Trump in July 2017 visited Brentwood, N.Y., a town that has experienced the gang’s wrath, and pledged to push Congress for additional federal immigration agents to crack down on gang members who are in the country illegally. He also called MS-13 members “animals.”

Many MS-13 recruits are middle- and high-school students, predominantly in immigrant communities, who are said to risk violent retribution if they leave.

Defending the Stand

We don’t stand for the anthem to honor our veterans. That’s just so much tear jerking pandering to an emotional argument.

We stand for the anthem as we pledge our allegiance to our flag and country just as we require new citizens do when they take the oath of citizenship.

To protest by kneeling, or any other demonstration, is to disavow this oath which is implied at birth by every born American.

We, as citizens, are all pledged to defend our Country and Constitution against all foes, foreign or domestic. Those foes include those who disavow their allegiance to the flag by kneeling in disrespect. Thus, it is not a matter of a Constitutional right of free speech, but a matter of a Constitutional duty and obligation of citizenship.

Mark Buerger

hp Touchsmart Computer Failures

I can’t state this strongly enough, in my humble opinion:


I just want to comment on the 2 hewlett packard – hp – PCs I had. They were both touchscreen PCs. Between the desktop and laptop, we spent about $2500. Both died within 3 – 3 1/2 years. They are not repairable. I was told by Best Buy Geek Squad and an independent repair shop that premature death of the video cards was a common and known problem. I called hp for each and they couldn’t care less.

Michael Brown, Darren Wilson and Justice

 Michael Brown. Michael Brown. Michael Brown.I have no idea whether the shooting was justified or not. I do know it is unreasonable to venerate Michael Brown. He was quite apparently capable of punk, criminal behavior, aggressive and violent. Nobody is screaming civil rights violations for his roughing up the convenience store owner, who did not appear to be black, as he stole from the store. Nobody is screaming civil rights violations or calling for an investigation of death threats made against the family or officer involved in the shooting.

Nobody is screaming racial motivation or civil rights violations for the elderly white woman who was robbed and severely injured by 3 black youths as she was leaving a Publix grocery store. Nobody is screaming civil rights violations for the 11 year old girl who was killed in a drive by shooting recently. Why? Because she was black and so were the shooters? Does that mean civil rights aren’t violated if the perpetrator and the victim are of the same race? Nobody is screaming civil rights violations for the store owners whose store were looted by black thugs.

And let’s get off the “unarmed teenager” bandwagon. There are obviously plenty of “unarmed teenagers” that are violent criminals. The three who stole the purse of the elderly woman, knocking her to the ground and seriously injuring her, sure looked like “unarmed teenagers.”

Lt’s get off the race and civil rights band wagons and let the law and justice system run its course. And let’s let go of the poor pitiful Pearl cry that Michael was an “unarmed teenager.” I’m not saying his civil rights weren’t violated. And it is sad that he died. But let’s call it what it is; a police shooting that demands a thorough investigation. Let our system of justice work and let’s not acquit Michael or convict Darren without the facts.

The Sovereign State

Obama has just announced that he is sending Eric Holder to Ferguson, Missouri. Once again, the line of state sovereignty has been blurred. Like state highway speed limits*, the issue in Ferguson is a local issue. If there is no impartial oversight of this shooting investigation locally, then the State of Missouri should step in. The Federal government should only jump in when there is a strong probability of a civil rights violation. But just because this man (the argument that he was only a teenager is negated by the fact that he was very large) was black and the cop was white, doesn’t mean that this was racially motivated. And in the absence of evidence to that, the AG has no business in Ferguson. And the FBI should only be ordered into the investigation if the state has requested help due to a lack of resources.

And now, Obama has said he’ll be watching over the National Guard deployment to see whether or not it is doing any good. It’s not his job. It is the purview of the Governor of the State of Missouri, not the President.


* Interstate speed limits are effectively set by the Federal Government, even though, in my opinion, they should be set by the state. If a state fails to comply with the Fed’s wishes in establishing



The Need for a Change of Focus

The ever increasing uproar in Ferguson and the constant focus is very wearing. First of all, not one credible witness statement has been made. Yes, there have been several who say they know what happened. But like the proverbial 10 witnesses to an accident, each with his own story, none of the witnesses is credible until there has been a proper, unbiased vetting process. All the statements made heretofore have been made in the ‘heat of battle.”

It’s fairly certain, everyone will get their day in court. There certainly has been more than enough publicity. Now we have many miniature ‘Al Sharpton’s’ thinking they all need a soapbox to vent. And those are the peaceful ones.

In most cities, even to have a peaceful gathering you often have to get a permit. Good grief, you have to get a permit just to have a block party. But in the face of what most might consider a questionable shooting we now have mass gatherings blocking traffic, violent looting, throwing of bricks, bottles, stones, and firebombs. And there has been gunfire. Not by the police, but by the people that are screaming for peace and taunting and mocking the police. And they can say it’s the other guy, that the troublemakers are not from Ferguson,, but if they weren’t creating the cover of the crowd that affords anonymity, the shooters wouldn’t be so tough as to jump out by themselves. The honorable citizens are creating the theater where the criminals are using the stage.

Of course, the temptation to dive into the fray even got Obama and Holder jumping into the streets of Ferguson. Really? Does Obama think speaking from a 3 week vacation in Maratha’s Vineyard has any credibility? It certainly hasn’t calmed the crowd. And since when does Holder have the right to order an autopsy? Would he have done this if the cop had been shot. Well, he better get on the phone because there are plenty of cops who are shot every year. The Federal government shouldn’t be getting involved in state and local issues. Both Obama & Holder need to practice restraint. They are not black enough (they are people of privilege) to identify with the people of Ferguson. And as the Federal government, they have no place violating the sovereignty of the State of Missouri. This is not George Wallace’s Alabama, at least that we know of with any certainty.

The media is just as frustrating. CNN’s Don Lemon is standing in front of the camera reporting hearsay as if it has a high degree of credibility. There has been no independent verification. He hasn’t done any fact checking. But to the casual viewer (most who aren’t paying close attention) it sounds like he is reporting facts. His casual, hearsay reporting is nothing less than inflammatory … self fulfilling job security for a reporter.

So, the message should be, “Go home. Every body, go home. Let our system of justice, as fallible as it may be, do what it is intended to do. There is nothing you can do to bring Michael Brown back to life. And you’re not going to get away with lynching Darren Wilson. So go home. Wailing and gnashing of teeth accomplishes nothing.

A final note … let’s change our focus to the persecution and execution of religious minorities in the mid-east, the innocent men, women & children. And lest the agnostics and atheists think this is an over-reaction, they should remember that as they are not of Islam, they too are targets.

At Any Price

I just watched President Obama award the Medal of Honor to Kyle Carpenter. It is awarded, not won. It is not a prize in a contest. It is not a goal to be achieved.The MoH is earned and awarded for exceptional heroism as defined by the degree of selflessness, the magnitude of sacrifice, the heat of passion in the act and the perception of witnesses and those who become aware of it.

There are many who risk their lives for others every day. There are those who bypass relative comfort to devote themselves to the welfare of others. There are many whose very job description requires them to be willing to sacrifice themselves.

I cannot watch such a ceremony without welling up past the point of tears. Kyle’s loss saddens me greatly. Anyone’s great sacrifice in service to another saddens me greatly. And yet, the sacrifice made by one for another gladdens me, encourages me.

What Kyle did wasn’t required. It wasn’t expected. If he dove for cover, rather than to cover, nobody would have criticized him. So what Kyle did, as others have done before him, and others will do in time to come, is to willingly stand for the value of one’s life, welfare, liberty … even the pursuit of happiness. It wasn’t for a cause, a party, a flag or an ideology. It was for a person. It was an act of incredible selflessness for another person or persons. It is what every combatant does every day. It is what every firefighter, law enforcement officer and first responder does every time they report for duty.

Haggling Over Price

There is an old story about a man out on a date with a woman to whom he is very attracted. During dinner he gets up the nerve to ask her, “Would you sleep with me for a million dollar?” After thinking about it for a while, she says, “Yes, I will.”  A little while later, he asks, “Would you sleep with me for a dollar?” Insulted, she quickly responds angrily, “What do you think I am?” He replied, “We’ve already established that. Now we’re just haggling over price.”

Today, many men and women readily give away their greatest physical intimacy. There is no consideration for anything other than immediate gratification. The gratification sought can be physical or emotional or both. But in any case, it is sought without regard to the conscience. Sometimes there is no conscience speaking at all. Sometime it speaks, but is just stuffed into the darkness and disregarded.

God’s Word tells us we are not to commit adultery. We usually think that means we are not to have extramarital sex. That’s part of it. But God tells us adultery is more than that. It is also lust. He tells us that one who lusts after another also commits adultery. He is very specific that sex is for marriage only and that marriage is one man and one woman. Nothing less. Nothing more.

So, whether one sells their sex or one gives it away outside of marriage, it is adultery. Lusting after images or pornographic videos is adultery. And if we continue to repeat these behaviors, we numb our conscience and put ourselves in grave danger. What’s grave danger? Grave danger is eternal separation from God. Eternal separation in eternal agony.

Fortunately, by God’s grace, He gives forgiveness and salvation to those who confess their sins (to Him), repent (change their way of living) and trust in Jesus their Savior. It’s not as hard for us as we think. We just have to stop willfully walking away from Him. And you don’t have to take my word for it. You can read His Word. Just pick up a Bible. Start with the book of John. He’ll give you all the answers that matter.

Choice Is Not The Answer

I believe God when He said you should not murder.And I trust my conscience to know that it is wrong to take a life. I know life begins at conception. I didn’t say believe, I said know. What is abortion if it is not stopping a life? And because it stops a life intentionally, it is murder. Thus, what is contained in this video and conversation is very sad. And it is contrary to God’s will for us. It is a willful dismissal and termination of a life. And as suspected by the reporters asking the question, a trivialization. How is it that when an abortion is sought by the mother, it is OK. But if she is murdered and the baby dies, the murderer is guilty of two murders? Yes, abortion is murder, no matter whose choice it is. And neither it nor the baby are trivial. Choice is not the answer.

Thankfully, for those who confess, repent (change their way of living) and trust in Jesus their Savior, there is forgiveness. And in His forgiveness, there is peace, comfort and hope.

Hell on Earth … and what are you going to do about it?

On April 15th, in northern Nigeria, 326 girls, ages 15- 18 were kidnapped from their boarding school by Boko Haram, a militant Muslim extremist group. (Boko Haram reportedly means ‘western education is a sin.’) I saw this a 2nd time in a NY Times Op-Ed piece by a Mr. Nicholas Kristoff on May 3rd.

These girls were taken to be auctioned off as ‘wives’ for the terrorists. Whatever the reason, I am certain that their lives are a living hell. Although 50 of the girls escaped, 275 are still in captivity. You can imagine what the terrorists, who have no regard for life in general, and who hold women in great disdain, are doing to these girls. Every moment for each girl is filled with sheer terror and abject humiliation. Each has probably been raped at least once. Each has probably been tortured. Many may have already been killed. Their bodies have been violated beyond anything you have ever encountered, probably beyond anything you can even imagine.

STOP for a moment! If you think you are not capable of making a difference in the lives of these 276 teenage girls, give me just a minute here.

Go and get a pointed but dull tool, like a letter opener or a screwdriver. Now take it and press it into any part of your body until it hurts. How was that? You see, there are two considerations here.

First, this hurts. Pain is real. It is not just a word in an article. It is not just a ‘scale’ in your doctor’s office or the ER. Second, pain inflicted by someone other than yourself is out of your control. When that other person doesn’t care about you at all, there is no limit to the pain they are willing to inflict. They don’t care about how badly they hurt you. They don’t care how long they hurt you. And they don’t care if you live or die. And unless you die, they will not stop.

It is embarrassing to me that Secretary of State Kerry, in response to being asked about this terrifying crime, said that the United States is applying pressure. I don’t know the details of that, but I do have a thought. I suggest we combine our forces, perhaps with the other free nations like Britain, Germany, Australia, Canada, and Japan to suggest a few, to send our specialized troops to rescue these girls. I can only imagine that our elite forces, such as our Seals, Rangers, CIA, and Marines would gladly knock on the door of Boko Haram and get these girls back. Why? Because these girls aren’t somebody else’s girls. They are your girls. They are our girls.

GO! Now what are you going to do about it? Well, you could do nothing and try yo forget about these young girls living in a nightmarish hell on earth. That would be terribly sad. Sad for the girls, yes. But actually sadder for you.

Or… you can write to every public official you can think of. And you can write to every press and broadcast organization for which you can find the email or postal address. If you don’t know what to write, copy and paste this.  But just write. Just spread the word. As Kristoff said, “Bring back our girls.”

Finally,and most importantly,  if you believe in God, pray. Pray fervently. And pray faithfully until our girls are brought back home.