Kris Kobach Kansas Attorney General
Foreign Land Ownership
U. S. citizens and companies must control our own land. It’s a hedge against the threats China and other foreign bad actors pose to national security, our food security, and the supply chain.
Foreign land ownership has doubled over the 10-year period from 2009 to 2019. According to USDA records, which have been criticized for understating foreign land ownership, foreign nationals own 35.2 million acres. That’s about the size of the state of Iowa. Percentage-wise, that is 2.7% of agricultural land and growing. Remember, actual numbers are likely much higher due to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s inability to effectively track all land purchases.
Canada owns the largest share of foreign owned land in the country, but China’s share is growing. According to the USDA, Chinese landowners control approximately 383,000 acres of U.S. farmland. From 2010 to 2021, Chinese farmland increased from $81 million to $1.9 billion. Part of the dramatic increase in China’s land ownership is due to Shuanghui International Holdings Limited’s purchase of Smithfield Foods in 2013.
Three of our four neighbors have some restrictions on foreign land purchases, leaving Kansas particularly vulnerable. In total, 24 states have some foreign land ownership restrictions. We are the only state in America’s breadbasket where there are no restrictions.
It’s no secret that China intends to use nontraditional means to gather intelligence within the boundaries of the United States. In fact, the U.S. Department of Justice calls Chinese espionage the FBI’s greatest counterintelligence priority.
The nation was aghast when a Chinese spy balloon crossed over the United States from late January to early February. Espionage isn’t the only threat, however.
China’s ability to utilize global supply chains as leverage to advance its political and military might is a concern, according to the “Annual Threat Assessment” issued by the U.S. Director of National Intelligence. Specifically, Avril Haines, Director of National Intelligence, told the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence earlier this year that China intends “to increase global supply chain dependencies…with the aim of using such technologies and dependencies, rather, to threaten and cut-off foreign countries during crisis.”
Legislation is necessary to protect Kansas’ sensitive infrastructures from intrusion by America’s foreign adversaries, to protect our state’s food security, disrupt the establishment of any unlawful foreign enterprises in our state, and provide opportunities for young Kansans to compete for acquisition of agricultural land. By limiting land ownership by non-resident aliens, our state will be taking the necessary steps to ensure Kansans are more safe and secure at home.
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Government Shutdown Looms
As the nation stands at the precipice of another government shutdown, the uncertainty looming over the country is palpable. Analysts, including Jan Hatzius, the chief economist at Goldman Sachs, have sounded the alarm, placing the odds of a shutdown at a staggering 90%, but this assessment seems low. This stark reality threatens to plunge the country into a period of turmoil and economic instability, but not more tumultuous and unstable than $33T in never-ending skyrocketing debt.
Hatzius, a respected authority in the world of finance, predicts that if the government shuts down on October 1st, it will likely persist for two to three weeks. The stakes are high, with hundreds of thousands of federal workers facing furloughs and essential services hanging in the balance. But what are the root causes of this impending crisis?
At the heart of the issue lies a divisive political landscape. A group of House Republicans has vehemently rejected spending levels proposed for fiscal year 2024, further deepening the divide between parties and within the Republican party. The lack of immediate concessions from either side exacerbates the deadlock, leaving millions of Americans in the crossfire.
A small group of U.S. Representatives has taken a stand demanding a department-by-department review and a segmented vote on the United States Annual Budget. I agree this type of budgeting would be a superior way to budget the U.S. government, where each department defends and advocates for their next financial allocation. In the past, the entire budget was pushed together and then funded through Continuing Resolutions, known as CRs. These CRs typically are “blind” votes where all expenses are approved or denied in one single vote. And if a member votes against the CR, their peers from both parties accuse them of starving mothers and babies or being anti-military or anti-American.
This is complete nonsense, and the leadership who puts every member in this tenuous position is to blame.
To be clear, a government shutdown is not a new phenomenon; in fact, this would be the fourth in the last decade. Ronald Reagan shut down the federal government six times in his eight years as president of the United States. Some folks get hurt and financially squeezed in this process, and I call on all members of Congress, both House and Senate, to forego their pay while the shutdown is in effect. That is only fair.
While the Government Employee Fair Treatment Act of 2019 ensures that federal workers will receive back pay once a deal is reached, the damage to the economy and public trust may already be done. But, too, if that small group of Representatives can get a segmented budgeting process, America is better off in the long run.
Even if a temporary deal manages to avert an immediate crisis this weekend, another shutdown may be on the horizon before the year's end. This perpetual cycle of budgetary brinkmanship with Continuing Resolutions is no way to fund or govern a nation and it undermines the foundations of stability and progress.
The current impasse is further exacerbated by political posturing. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy calls for bolstering border security in exchange for a continuing resolution. At the same time, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell endorsed a bipartisan temporary spending patch. The political tug-of-war adds yet another layer of complexity to an already convoluted situation.
In the end, if Republicans in Congress can't stick together on the principle of financial restraint, the American people will continue to suffer the most in these times of staggering debt and protracted battles of ideology and partisanship. It is also future generations, born and unborn, who will shoulder the responsibility of this reckless financial period in American history. Our actions today will not be remembered with favor by future generations.
As we brace ourselves for the impending shutdown storm, the hope remains that our elected representatives will prioritize the nation's well-being above all else, getting our fiscal house in order. A government shutdown should not be wielded as a political weapon, but rather seen as a failure of governance and an opportunity to do and be better and more responsible. The true cost of this failure is one that we can, in every possible way, ill afford.
Yellow Journalism: Opinions Over Facts
1. Journalism that exploits, distorts, or
exaggerates the news to create sensations and attract readers.
2. Journalism which is sensationalistic and of questionable accuracy and taste.
3. Sensationalist journalism.
I spent a lot of time early in my life in the study of journalism and mass communications. In the mid-1980s, journalism was still a respectable profession where most of them had integrity and left their personal feelings aside when reporting news. At both JCCC and KSU, there were liberal and conservative reporters. Rarely did their biases bleed through. But there was one place where liberalism, even then, had already wiggled in its insidious tentacles into college journalism education: staff. The liberalism of folks who were the teachers and administrators was pervasive and they were activists.
Of course, “woke” wasn’t a thing yet, but that's what they were. They clearly believed that anything “more left, more liberal” was better. Including biased, yellow journalism as a tool to advance their personal agenda. And they condoned and encouraged it.
Now, forty years later, in the digital 24/7 news-cycle era where information flows incessantly and without restraint, the once-hallowed realm of journalism faces the stark reality as a victim
of itself. The profession has gone way too far in trying to control and manipulate what people think instead of giving them the facts in a story and letting them decide for themselves. The chickens have come home to roost.
The profession of journalism stands teetering at a crossroads, grappling with its own identity and contemplating if it is actually still fulfilling the vital need of reporting the facts and in turn being provided protection by the First Amendment.
The age-old adage, "News is the first rough draft of history," has been overshadowed by a disconcerting reality: journalism is dead. What was once a bastion of objectivity and truth-seeking has now become a battleground where opinions pass as news, and narratives precede the stories they purport to tell.
The traditional role of journalists was to be impartial observers, chroniclers of events, and purveyors of facts. And this was protected speech by the First Amendment. However, the lines have blurred, as the pursuit of truth is often subverted by partisan agendas. The sacred responsibility to report events objectively has given way to a deceitful and disingenuous trend where stories are preconceived, and quotes are selectively inserted after the story is written to reinforce the predetermined narrative. This is not journalism.
This distortion of journalism is not confined to any one ideology; it is a broader phenomenon, one that undermines the very essence of a free and responsible press. Liberalism, which has historically championed civil liberties, is ironically accused of corrupting the First Amendment, which protects freedom of speech and the press. This corrosion is not exclusive to liberalism but rather a broader manifestation of how ideology can taint the principles upon which a free society relies.
The First Amendment was designed as a bulwark against tyranny, ensuring that citizens had access to a wide range of opinions and information. Yet, the polarization of news outlets and the prioritization of ideology over objective reporting has led to a credibility crisis. When news becomes a tool for advancing a particular agenda, the public is left to navigate a treacherous landscape of half-truths and misinformation.
In this age of information overload, it is crucial to distinguish between news and opinion. While opinion pieces have their place, they should not masquerade as news. The erosion of journalism occurs when sensationalism and bias obscure the line between factual reporting and commentary. Journalists must uphold their duty to provide unbiased information, allowing readers to form their own opinions based on facts rather than being force-fed a predetermined viewpoint.
And, yes, these types of “journalists” are here in Kansas and Topeka. They’ve forgotten and ignored what the word “unbiased” means, using their predetermining bias to frame the story with an outcome they want to see. They then text asking for a quote. A few minutes later, the story is blasted out, with or without a response or a quote from me. This is unacceptable. They are not fulfilling their obligation as a journalist when this happens. They are simply acting as a political hack.
The resurrection of journalism as a pillar of democracy hinges on a return to its foundational principles: accuracy, objectivity, and a commitment to the truth, regardless of where it may lead. It requires a collective effort to rebuild the public's trust in the media, which can only be achieved by rekindling the spirit of responsible journalism and embracing the First Amendment as a sacred trust to inform, rather than manipulate, the masses.
In conclusion, the death of journalism is not inevitable, but it is a perilous path they tread and they are very far into this journey to the left. The rise of opinion over fact, the preconceived narratives, and the corrosive influence of left ideology all threaten the very essence of a free and responsible press. To rescue journalism from its current state, we must demand the return of unbiased reporting, where the pursuit of truth takes precedence over the pursuit of partisan agendas. We can no longer reward yellow journalism. Only then can journalism be resurrected to serve its indispensable role in safeguarding democracy and prove deserving of protection of the First Amendment.
No DHS Funding Until Border Closed and Integrity Restored
The power of the purse, vested in the U.S. House of Representatives by the Constitution, is a formidable tool to ensure government integrity. It is with this power that I urge our federally elected representatives to take a resolute stance: withhold funding for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) until our southern border is closed and Secretary Mayorkas resigns.
John Brennan, James Clapper, Paul Kolbe, and others penned a letter that falsely suggested Russian disinformation was behind the contents of the Hunter Biden laptop. This blatant falsehood is an affront to the principles of honesty and transparency that our government should embody. It insults the American people, who deserve truth and accountability from their public officials. These hacks who peddled false claims about the Hunter Biden laptop's origins must also be replaced.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who initiated this deceitful letter, has already faced calls for resignation. Those who deliberately misled the public should face harsh criticism. One such consequence should be the revocation of security clearances and a ban on these individuals from future government employment, for starters. Jail time should also be on the table.
Individuals who have shown a reckless and irresponsible disregard for truth and integrity should never again be entrusted with sensitive government information, nor should they be rewarded with high-ranking positions and taxpayer-funded salaries. Their actions have damaged America, tarnished the credibility of our institutions, and considerably eroded trust in our electoral system.
Secretary Mayorkas' decision to ignore the dishonesty of these individuals and commend their involvement in the Homeland Intelligence "Experts" Group further calls into question his judgment and leadership. He, too, should resign in disgrace immediately for what he has done to America with a wide open border and intentionally lying to America about the situation.
The power to rectify this situation rests with our elected representatives. By withholding funding for the DHS until individuals of integrity are in charge, Congress can send a clear message that truth and ethics must prevail in our government. We must hold our leaders of both political parties to the highest standards, and this starts with ensuring that those who engage in dishonesty and deceit do not have positions of power and responsibility.
In conclusion, Congress must safeguard the integrity of our government. The power of the purse is a potent instrument to ensure that ethical leadership prevails and that our southern border is closed to illegal immigration. We cannot allow falsehoods and deception to go unchecked, and we must demand accountability from those who betray the American people's trust. Refusing DHS funding until principled leadership is in place is a necessary step toward upholding the values upon which our nation was founded.
The Parallel Universe
News & Opinion Stories You May Have Missed This Week
Source: The Hill
Source: Washington Examiner
Source: The Messenger
Source: New York Post
Source: The Voter Network - History and Financials
Source: The Hill
Source: New York Post
Source: National Review
Source: Washington Examiner
Source: The Hill