Category: Charles Ortel

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Sunday's Vote Could Snap Swedes out of Their Stockholm Syndrome


Swedes are set to vote Sunday, and soon the world may view another example of citizens frustrated by arrogant politicians and bureaucrats upending the status quo and changing the landscape of a rich country whose leaders manifestly have failed the working class. For in truth, Sweden is burning, physically and figuratively.  This reality is known better outside that country, because pro-globalist elites in Sweden work so hard to obscure brutal crimes and dislocations that occur as too many unvetted immigrants sweep into their generous nation.

But it is not simply burning cars, and savage assaults that capture the concern of Swedish citizens and international observers. An expensive, thirty year experiment in Sweden promoting global governance and attacking world problems has certainly helped Swedish elites, but many voters see more financial harm than benefit for themselves.

So, in mere days, the Swedish electorate will speak, and rumblings emanating various ways suggest that parties and politicians long in control of the government will suffer erosion in their influence.  How much power will a right-leaning party – Sweden Democrats – win at the ballot box, and what roles might candidates in this party play either supporting or obstructing the coalition government destined to emerge after September 9, 2018?

How closely will voters examine the qualifications and backgrounds of candidates for office, including their criminal records, if any, and the stated goals of their political parties concerning Sweden and regarding the wider world?

These major questions and looming answers must be seen in context.

Sparks Igniting Political Changes

In February 2017, when newly inaugurated President Trump drew attention to Tucker Carlson’s Fox News special on Sweden’s mounting problems with immigration policies, most critics around the world scoffed.

So, who was correct?

Months later, on April 7, 2017, an asylum-seeker killed five persons, and injured many more. These are the brutal losses that can be seen and measured.  How many more minds were wounded then, and how many still suffer from deep, lasting anxieties knowing there may no longer be safe spaces left in once-serene Sweden, especially for children and for grandchildren?

Lax vetting of visitors and immigrants is a poor choice for governments in rich nations. Evidently, the ancient lesson of the “Trojan horse” is one casualty of trends in education.  When will we start learning from history, recent and long past?

For years, the Swedish police, government officials, mainstream “journalists,” local educators and think-tankers did their best to cover up tragic incidents where newly settled immigrants committed violent crimes against persons and against property inside Sweden.

Much has changed following events in 2017 and then on August 14, 2018, when roving bands of black-clad youths overturned and burned vehicles in Gothenburg and several additional Swedish cities.  Even Sweden’s Prime Minister, Stefan Lofven, had to admit publicly that he was outraged over violent attacks that seemed coordinated almost with military precision.

As in other nations, crime statistics in Sweden apparently are not tracked carefully enough to catalog socio-economic characteristics of attackers and victims.   Moreover, concerns arise whether crimes against the vulnerable are accurately reported in “No-Go” zones scattered across Sweden that are chiefly populated by immigrants.

Yet, evidence is unmistakable that immigrants streamed into Sweden to take advantage of taxpayer-funded financial benefits that are not available in the war-torn, economically depressed zones whence immigrants originate. Sadly, in too many cases these immigrants exhibited little interest in assimilating peaceably, and instead attacked their economic benefactors.

Long-time residents and visitors to Sweden understand that welcoming numerous immigrants who despise secular society and reject Swedish cultural norms entails profound risks.

Do Swedes really wish to inhabit a globalist world, where artificial borders unfairly deny fair access to Sweden to fellow world citizens living in economically depressed or politically challenging conditions?  Are Swedes required to welcome and subsidize all immigrants, even those who may despise secular government, and local mores?

As challenging as Sweden’s immigration problems are in September 2018, they seem to be symptoms of deeper concerns.  Sending all unvetted immigrants back to their countries of origin would still leave Swedish workers as cogs in a globalist wheel of misfortune, where their wages may be crushed by cheaper human or machine alternatives.

Regulated Nationalism or Unregulated Globalism?

For 30 years, from 1989 to the present, the Swedish people have been in thrall to elites who tirelessly sell virtues of “globalism.”

Considering who may actually benefit from submitting to globalist impulses, American observers need to understand that Sweden’s economy is remarkably different from ours: Sweden’s businesses are much more dependent on foreign customers. For example, in 2016, exports from Sweden were $228 billion.  This figure is equal in size to the internal Swedish market for household goods and services (consumption). In contrast, American exports of $2,296 billion were just 17% of household consumption during 2016.  Without export sales, many Swedish companies would experience substantial economic losses. Whereas, American companies, even now, can still thrive catering primarily to our large, vibrant home market.

So, it is easy to understand why Swedish politicians would embrace globalism, thinking that doing so might help Swedish multinational companies and their employees to promote export sales.  And yes, large corporations there have indeed thrived – many Swedish-branded products sell across the world, and some private sector employees earn incomes that allow families to live well, even to save.

Academics, think-tankers, and writers in Sweden also have flourished while promoting unregulated globalism. But the people who have suffered are those in the private sector whose jobs and incomes stand ever more at risk.  Despite abundant evidence that globalist policies failed to lift wages for private sector workers in richer nations, Swedish voters, until now, continue to elect pro-globalist governments, and in so doing exhibit classic signs of “Stockholm Syndrome,” a condition that Merriam Webster’s dictionary defines as “the psychological tendency of a hostage to bond with, identify with, or sympathize with his or her captor.”

Will Swedish voters escape their captors and chart a new, more productive course for Sweden’s workers and entrepreneurs?

Will Sweden become safe again?

Soon, the world shall see.

Swedes are set to vote Sunday, and soon the world may view another example of citizens frustrated by arrogant politicians and bureaucrats upending the status quo and changing the landscape of a rich country whose leaders manifestly have failed the working class. For in truth, Sweden is burning, physically and figuratively.  This reality is known better outside that country, because pro-globalist elites in Sweden work so hard to obscure brutal crimes and dislocations that occur as too many unvetted immigrants sweep into their generous nation.

But it is not simply burning cars, and savage assaults that capture the concern of Swedish citizens and international observers. An expensive, thirty year experiment in Sweden promoting global governance and attacking world problems has certainly helped Swedish elites, but many voters see more financial harm than benefit for themselves.

So, in mere days, the Swedish electorate will speak, and rumblings emanating various ways suggest that parties and politicians long in control of the government will suffer erosion in their influence.  How much power will a right-leaning party – Sweden Democrats – win at the ballot box, and what roles might candidates in this party play either supporting or obstructing the coalition government destined to emerge after September 9, 2018?

How closely will voters examine the qualifications and backgrounds of candidates for office, including their criminal records, if any, and the stated goals of their political parties concerning Sweden and regarding the wider world?

These major questions and looming answers must be seen in context.

Sparks Igniting Political Changes

In February 2017, when newly inaugurated President Trump drew attention to Tucker Carlson’s Fox News special on Sweden’s mounting problems with immigration policies, most critics around the world scoffed.

So, who was correct?

Months later, on April 7, 2017, an asylum-seeker killed five persons, and injured many more. These are the brutal losses that can be seen and measured.  How many more minds were wounded then, and how many still suffer from deep, lasting anxieties knowing there may no longer be safe spaces left in once-serene Sweden, especially for children and for grandchildren?

Lax vetting of visitors and immigrants is a poor choice for governments in rich nations. Evidently, the ancient lesson of the “Trojan horse” is one casualty of trends in education.  When will we start learning from history, recent and long past?

For years, the Swedish police, government officials, mainstream “journalists,” local educators and think-tankers did their best to cover up tragic incidents where newly settled immigrants committed violent crimes against persons and against property inside Sweden.

Much has changed following events in 2017 and then on August 14, 2018, when roving bands of black-clad youths overturned and burned vehicles in Gothenburg and several additional Swedish cities.  Even Sweden’s Prime Minister, Stefan Lofven, had to admit publicly that he was outraged over violent attacks that seemed coordinated almost with military precision.

As in other nations, crime statistics in Sweden apparently are not tracked carefully enough to catalog socio-economic characteristics of attackers and victims.   Moreover, concerns arise whether crimes against the vulnerable are accurately reported in “No-Go” zones scattered across Sweden that are chiefly populated by immigrants.

Yet, evidence is unmistakable that immigrants streamed into Sweden to take advantage of taxpayer-funded financial benefits that are not available in the war-torn, economically depressed zones whence immigrants originate. Sadly, in too many cases these immigrants exhibited little interest in assimilating peaceably, and instead attacked their economic benefactors.

Long-time residents and visitors to Sweden understand that welcoming numerous immigrants who despise secular society and reject Swedish cultural norms entails profound risks.

Do Swedes really wish to inhabit a globalist world, where artificial borders unfairly deny fair access to Sweden to fellow world citizens living in economically depressed or politically challenging conditions?  Are Swedes required to welcome and subsidize all immigrants, even those who may despise secular government, and local mores?

As challenging as Sweden’s immigration problems are in September 2018, they seem to be symptoms of deeper concerns.  Sending all unvetted immigrants back to their countries of origin would still leave Swedish workers as cogs in a globalist wheel of misfortune, where their wages may be crushed by cheaper human or machine alternatives.

Regulated Nationalism or Unregulated Globalism?

For 30 years, from 1989 to the present, the Swedish people have been in thrall to elites who tirelessly sell virtues of “globalism.”

Considering who may actually benefit from submitting to globalist impulses, American observers need to understand that Sweden’s economy is remarkably different from ours: Sweden’s businesses are much more dependent on foreign customers. For example, in 2016, exports from Sweden were $228 billion.  This figure is equal in size to the internal Swedish market for household goods and services (consumption). In contrast, American exports of $2,296 billion were just 17% of household consumption during 2016.  Without export sales, many Swedish companies would experience substantial economic losses. Whereas, American companies, even now, can still thrive catering primarily to our large, vibrant home market.

So, it is easy to understand why Swedish politicians would embrace globalism, thinking that doing so might help Swedish multinational companies and their employees to promote export sales.  And yes, large corporations there have indeed thrived – many Swedish-branded products sell across the world, and some private sector employees earn incomes that allow families to live well, even to save.

Academics, think-tankers, and writers in Sweden also have flourished while promoting unregulated globalism. But the people who have suffered are those in the private sector whose jobs and incomes stand ever more at risk.  Despite abundant evidence that globalist policies failed to lift wages for private sector workers in richer nations, Swedish voters, until now, continue to elect pro-globalist governments, and in so doing exhibit classic signs of “Stockholm Syndrome,” a condition that Merriam Webster’s dictionary defines as “the psychological tendency of a hostage to bond with, identify with, or sympathize with his or her captor.”

Will Swedish voters escape their captors and chart a new, more productive course for Sweden’s workers and entrepreneurs?

Will Sweden become safe again?

Soon, the world shall see.



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Media Matters: Bully Masquerading as Tax-Exempt Charity


According to public records, David Brock’s Media Matters group has ignored important legal requirements for tax-exempt charities.  Instead of reveling in the impact of his attacks against Laura Ingraham, David Brock and his team at Media Matters for America  (MMFA) need to try complying with the strict laws that do regulate activities of publicly supported, tax-exempt organizations.

In theory, MMFA is an “educational” charity.  IRS guidance concerning how an educational charity may avoid illegal partisan and legislative advocacy is instructive:

“The problem relating to the definition of “educational” is now a comparatively narrow one— how to classify public discussion of controversial topics. Rev. Rul. 68–263, 1968–1 C.B. 256, holds that the publication of material which discredits particular institutions and individuals on the basis of unsupported opinions and incomplete information about their affiliations is not educational. In Rev. Rul. 66–256, 1966–2 C.B. 210, however, an organization that conducted public forums, lectures, and debates on controversial social, political, and international questions was held to be educational. Although the speakers were frequently controversial, the organization adopted an unbiased position. Organizations doing research or educating the public on controversial public issues must stick to the reasoned approach and avoid unsupported opinion. They must also avoid the advocacy of specific legislation as a substantial part of their activity.”

So, if MMFA were, in fact, a lawfully organized and operated charitable organization in each jurisdiction where it solicited contributions and/or carried out activities in furtherance of its specific and authorized tax-exempt purposes, MMFA would have to avoid publishing “material which discredits particular institutions and individuals on the basis of unsupported opinions and incomplete information about their affiliations,” adopt “an unbiased position,” “stick to [a] reasoned approach and avoid unsupported opinion,” and “avoid the advocacy of specific legislation as a substantial part of their activity.”

And, If MMFA were to form an affiliated action organization under IRS Code section 501 [c]4, operators of both entities would need to ensure that each is a lawfully constituted organization in every relevant jurisdiction.

Ongoing review of public filings for MMFA and certain of its affiliates in key U.S. jurisdictions reveals that MMFA and a purported organization called “Media Matters Action Network” do not appear to have passed the “organizational test” and the “operational test” — key markers that the I.R.S. normally uses to distinguish a “formless aggregation” or club from an “organization.”

Media Matters Action Network (MMAN)

According to information available through the New York Attorney General Charity Bureau website,MMAN was formed in Washington, D.C. by Aug. 15, 2004 by David Brock and others with a “mission” that is indistinguishable from that of MMFA, specifically: “Monitoring, analyzing, and correcting conservative misinformation in the U.S. media.”

According to the only registration record posted currently for MMAN on the NY AG Charity Bureau website, MMAN did not bother to register inside NY, as is required under NY laws until Jan. 4, 2006 at the earliest. Yet, on Nov. 17. 2006, MMAN president Bradley Beychok and CFO Pilar Martinez signed an annual report to New York, and conveyed a copy of an annual report to the I.R.S. concerning 2015 that showed substantial activities in the year before MMAN had registered, yet also acknowledged a need to send the I.R.S. report in question to N.Y. government authorities.

In simplest terms, then, MMAN declarations seem to show that key officers knowingly violated a raft of NY state laws that require organizations to register truthfully in advance before soliciting and operating purported tax-exempt organizations inside the state. Links to these laws are found here:

But wait, as they say on annoying infomercials, it gets worse.

The annual report to NY reveals that MMAN employed the fundraising services of The Bonner Group, Inc. starting in July 2014, yet Bonner has not registered in NY to provide such services as is required by law, according to search results through the NY Attorney General Charity Bureau website.  However, MMAN affirms in its NY filings that it paid substantial sums to Bonner for fundraising services.

Finally, for now, a search through the NY Secretary of State online records shows that MMAN may never have registered to do business in the state as state laws strictly require.

Where may this leave MMFA, David Brock, their common “fundraiser” and their common “independent” auditor, Gelman, Rosenberg & Freedman?

Either these purported entities and individuals are simply ignorant of applicable laws, or are aware of the laws, but believed they might never be held accountable for violations of them.

Brock’s fighting arm, MMAN, is certainly not an “organization” or tax-exempt looking at only some of the available evidence, because it fails both the organizational and operational tests. This means that any disallowed and partisan activities carried out so visibly against Laura Ingraham and others cannot be shielded by claiming they were perpetrated by Brock, his associates, and their advisors outside MMFA through MMAN.

What may happen now?

If New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, the I.R.S., the F.B.I., and the Department of Justice do not care, perhaps the illegal bullying in guise of charity plays on.

Most Americans believe the vital charity sector is a force for immense good, a few exceptions notwithstanding.

For tax-exempt organizations, key deadlines approach in mid-May — trustees, executives, and their professional advisors take these filing requirements seriously and report truthfully.

Americans across the political spectrum expect that laws must be applied even-handedly in all sectors.

Only brazen scoundrels embrace the practice of charity fraud

To be continued.

Charles Ortel, a retired investment banker, concentrates on exposing complex frauds in his new career as an investigator, writer and commentator. Since August 2017, he has been hosting the “Sunday with Charles” podcast.

According to public records, David Brock’s Media Matters group has ignored important legal requirements for tax-exempt charities.  Instead of reveling in the impact of his attacks against Laura Ingraham, David Brock and his team at Media Matters for America  (MMFA) need to try complying with the strict laws that do regulate activities of publicly supported, tax-exempt organizations.

In theory, MMFA is an “educational” charity.  IRS guidance concerning how an educational charity may avoid illegal partisan and legislative advocacy is instructive:

“The problem relating to the definition of “educational” is now a comparatively narrow one— how to classify public discussion of controversial topics. Rev. Rul. 68–263, 1968–1 C.B. 256, holds that the publication of material which discredits particular institutions and individuals on the basis of unsupported opinions and incomplete information about their affiliations is not educational. In Rev. Rul. 66–256, 1966–2 C.B. 210, however, an organization that conducted public forums, lectures, and debates on controversial social, political, and international questions was held to be educational. Although the speakers were frequently controversial, the organization adopted an unbiased position. Organizations doing research or educating the public on controversial public issues must stick to the reasoned approach and avoid unsupported opinion. They must also avoid the advocacy of specific legislation as a substantial part of their activity.”

So, if MMFA were, in fact, a lawfully organized and operated charitable organization in each jurisdiction where it solicited contributions and/or carried out activities in furtherance of its specific and authorized tax-exempt purposes, MMFA would have to avoid publishing “material which discredits particular institutions and individuals on the basis of unsupported opinions and incomplete information about their affiliations,” adopt “an unbiased position,” “stick to [a] reasoned approach and avoid unsupported opinion,” and “avoid the advocacy of specific legislation as a substantial part of their activity.”

And, If MMFA were to form an affiliated action organization under IRS Code section 501 [c]4, operators of both entities would need to ensure that each is a lawfully constituted organization in every relevant jurisdiction.

Ongoing review of public filings for MMFA and certain of its affiliates in key U.S. jurisdictions reveals that MMFA and a purported organization called “Media Matters Action Network” do not appear to have passed the “organizational test” and the “operational test” — key markers that the I.R.S. normally uses to distinguish a “formless aggregation” or club from an “organization.”

Media Matters Action Network (MMAN)

According to information available through the New York Attorney General Charity Bureau website,MMAN was formed in Washington, D.C. by Aug. 15, 2004 by David Brock and others with a “mission” that is indistinguishable from that of MMFA, specifically: “Monitoring, analyzing, and correcting conservative misinformation in the U.S. media.”

According to the only registration record posted currently for MMAN on the NY AG Charity Bureau website, MMAN did not bother to register inside NY, as is required under NY laws until Jan. 4, 2006 at the earliest. Yet, on Nov. 17. 2006, MMAN president Bradley Beychok and CFO Pilar Martinez signed an annual report to New York, and conveyed a copy of an annual report to the I.R.S. concerning 2015 that showed substantial activities in the year before MMAN had registered, yet also acknowledged a need to send the I.R.S. report in question to N.Y. government authorities.

In simplest terms, then, MMAN declarations seem to show that key officers knowingly violated a raft of NY state laws that require organizations to register truthfully in advance before soliciting and operating purported tax-exempt organizations inside the state. Links to these laws are found here:

But wait, as they say on annoying infomercials, it gets worse.

The annual report to NY reveals that MMAN employed the fundraising services of The Bonner Group, Inc. starting in July 2014, yet Bonner has not registered in NY to provide such services as is required by law, according to search results through the NY Attorney General Charity Bureau website.  However, MMAN affirms in its NY filings that it paid substantial sums to Bonner for fundraising services.

Finally, for now, a search through the NY Secretary of State online records shows that MMAN may never have registered to do business in the state as state laws strictly require.

Where may this leave MMFA, David Brock, their common “fundraiser” and their common “independent” auditor, Gelman, Rosenberg & Freedman?

Either these purported entities and individuals are simply ignorant of applicable laws, or are aware of the laws, but believed they might never be held accountable for violations of them.

Brock’s fighting arm, MMAN, is certainly not an “organization” or tax-exempt looking at only some of the available evidence, because it fails both the organizational and operational tests. This means that any disallowed and partisan activities carried out so visibly against Laura Ingraham and others cannot be shielded by claiming they were perpetrated by Brock, his associates, and their advisors outside MMFA through MMAN.

What may happen now?

If New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, the I.R.S., the F.B.I., and the Department of Justice do not care, perhaps the illegal bullying in guise of charity plays on.

Most Americans believe the vital charity sector is a force for immense good, a few exceptions notwithstanding.

For tax-exempt organizations, key deadlines approach in mid-May — trustees, executives, and their professional advisors take these filing requirements seriously and report truthfully.

Americans across the political spectrum expect that laws must be applied even-handedly in all sectors.

Only brazen scoundrels embrace the practice of charity fraud

To be continued.

Charles Ortel, a retired investment banker, concentrates on exposing complex frauds in his new career as an investigator, writer and commentator. Since August 2017, he has been hosting the “Sunday with Charles” podcast.



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