Creating More Unemployment In America

Investor’s Business Daily posted a story today about an executive order issued by President Obama.

The article reports:

This time, the president isn’t seeking to flood the country with tens of thousands of indigent, border-surging migrants in search of bigger benefits packages.

Instead, he plans to award via executive order work permits to 100,000 foreign college grads (including deportable aliens) to compete with U.S. workers for jobs.

Cui bono? Certainly not the U.S. workers he purports to champion.

Obama’s Homeland Security rule, published in the Federal Register on Thursday, amounts to yet another illegal power grab by explicitly treading on Congress‘ constitutional prerogative to set immigration quotas.

It also comes at a time when 94 million U.S. workers have been unemployed so long they’re no longer counted in labor-participation statistics. Some New Year’s Day present for millions of discouraged Americans.

The move is especially nefarious not just because it stands as another example of executive overreach but also because foreign workers already have U.S. workers at a disadvantage.

For one thing, they’re able to work cheaper. Unlike Americans, most have had free tuition rides from their sponsoring countries and carry no student loan debt. This enables them to tolerate lower wages than American grads saddled with high loan costs that can’t be shirked even in bankruptcy court.

The foreign workers are also exempt from Obamacare rules that add to the employer cost of hiring workers. While liberal politicians complain about sending jobs oversees, they seem to have no problem bringing foreign workers here to take American jobs. It is time Congress put an end to these endless executive orders. It is time for Congress to develop a spine.

Ignoring The Enemy Within

On Monday, Daniel Horowicz posted an article at the Conservative Review about the Islamic threat to America. The threat comes in two forms–the possibility of terrorists infiltrating the vast number of Middle Eastern migrants coming to America and the more subtle influencing of our government by the Muslim Brotherhood, which is increasingly influencing American foreign and domestic policies.

The article reports:

Three questions should automatically come to mind in light of the San Bernardino attack and the nearly daily incidents of Muslims being arrested for plotting terror attacks or attempting to join ISIS.

  1. Why is our government expunging any mention of Islamic terror from their official documents and hampering investigations into connections to local radical Muslim Brotherhood groups?
  2. Why are so few moderate Muslims speaking out against the growing trend of radicalization?
  3. Why are so many Muslims in America, even those who were born here, being drawn into groups like ISIS and Al Qaeda? 

The answer to all these questions, point to the Muslim Brotherhood and the influence of their three North American affiliates that were implicated in the Holy Land Foundation terror trial: the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), and the North American Islamic Trust.

The goal of ISIS and the Muslim Brotherhood is the same–a worldwide caliphate under Sharia Law. The difference between the two organizations is the method by which they plan to achieve this goal. ISIS believes in using direct force, and the Muslim Brotherhood believes in the concept of ‘civilization jihad,’ which refers to gradually increasing political influence to take over a government peacefully.

The article further reports:

Just last week, U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron took the unprecedented step to designate the Muslim Brotherhood a terror group after his government launched an exhaustive study into their activities.  They will now ban visas to Muslim Brotherhood officials and increase surveillance of their offices.   If the liberal Europeans are willing to protect themselves and root out their enemy within, cannot our “conservative” leaders muster the same courage?

Not surprisingly, Obama condemned Cameron’s move as a needless de-legitimizing of a non-violent group.  But their use of “non-violent” means of subversion in western countries to marginalize moderates and quietly radicalize the Muslim communities and mosques is exactly what will destroy both America and Europe from the inside. 

The article also lists some of the details of the investigation into terrorist activities in the United States prior to the shooting in San Bernardino. That investigation was shut down by the DHS at the request of the Department of State and DHS’ own Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Division.

The article explains:

It’s not surprising that DHS’s Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Division (CRCL) was responsible for shutting down the investigation.  CRCL is the nexus for the Muslim Brotherhood influence in our government.  In 2008, under the Bush administration, then-DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff drafted a memo for CRCL that called on government officials to strip all references of Islamic supremacism from their training.  This memo was drafted, in the words of Chertoff, based on “its discussions with a broad range of Muslim American community leaders and scholars.”  In 2011, based on the same recommendations of these Muslim Brotherhood “scholars,” DHS published its training and guidance manual on the Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) agenda.  The manual instructs the bureaucrats to use examples to “demonstrate that terrorists and violent extremists vary in ethnicity, race, gender, and religion.” 

Please follow the link above and read the entire article. If our next President is not willing to speak out about and deal with the threat within America, there is no way that we can end the threat.

An Example Of A False Flag Operation

Yesterday The Washington Times reported yesterday that the fire set at a Houston mosque on Christmas was set by a devout Muslim who attended the mosque.

The article reports:

A man who was charged with setting fire to a Houston mosque on Christmas Day is a devout Muslim who said he worshipped there for years, authorities said Wednesday.

Gary Nathaniel Moore, 37, of Houston, was arrested early Wednesday morning, and appeared in court 7 a.m. that day for the Dec. 25 fire. U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Special Agent Nicole Strong said they don’t know a motive but added there’s no evidence that it was a hate crime, The Associated Press reported.

…According to court records, Mr. Moore was identified from surveillance video quickly walking away from the mosque at about 2:39 p.m. and smoke could be seen coming from the mosque about three minutes later, AP reported.

…Despite Mr. Moore’s claim of being a member of the mosque, MJ Khan, president of the Islamic Society of Greater Houston, which operates the mosque, said he’s never heard of him.

This was obviously not an example of hate crimes against Muslims by non-Muslims. Hate crimes against Muslims in America are not a major problem, as shown by the chart below taken from an NBC News post in June of this year:

Hate crimes by religion

Whether encouraged by his local mosque or some other group, this was an attempt to show people that hate crimes against Muslims are a problem. Hate crimes against anyone are a problem, but the majority of hate crimes in America are not directed at Muslims.

A Dissenting Opinion From The Co-Chairman Of The North Carolina Academic Standards Review Commission


Wilmington, NC, December 30, 2015 – In an open letter to her fellow commission members, Tammy Covil expressed dissatisfaction with the commission’s final vote on recommendations she states will result in nothing more than a rebrand of Common Core.

Ms. Covil serves as co-chair of the North Carolina Academic Standards Review Commission. The commission was formed by the General Assembly in 2014 to review and recommend replacement for the state’s K-12 math and English language arts standards, formerly known as Common Core. Their final report is due to be released today.

“Having spent so much time and energy on such an important endeavor, I felt it necessary to recount the events that transpired over the past 15 months. Sadly, much of what occurred behind the scenes undermined our final recommendations,” Mrs. Covil stated. “Although I am disappointed that we were unable to complete our charge to the degree that the legislature had intended, I am proud of the work that went into vetting the standards. There is more than enough evidence in our findings to warrant replacement of the math standards.”

The following is the text of Mrs. Covil’s dissenting opinion:

Commission Members,

As co-chair of the North Carolina Academic Standards Review Commission, I wish to inform you that I will not endorse this commission’s final recommendations.

Although one would have expected the overwhelming evidence of Common Core’s shortcomings to have convinced even the most biased individual toward the obvious conclusion of replacement, it became clear to me long before the final vote that many of the appointees had no intention of producing substantive changes to North Carolina’s academic standards.

The General Assembly appointed us to act in good faith on their legislative mandate to repeal and replace Common Core. To say that many of you disregarded your duty as an appointed member is an understatement. Some of you not only snubbed this obligation, you appeared to be actively working against it.

Over the past fifteen months, this commission entertained testimony from a multitude of education stakeholders, most notably two highly regarded experts in the field of standards development and a child brain development specialist. These experts offered compelling evidence that exposed the developmental inappropriateness and academic inefficiencies of Common Core. They provided detailed examples and cited comprehensive research to support their claims. Most of this testimony confirmed the North Carolina commission’s findings. Sentiments expressed by classroom teachers through multiple feedback opportunities and survey data further cemented the need for standards replacement.

In contrast, the education non-profits and lobby groups that were insistent upon coming before the commission to extoll the virtues of Common Core offered little more than vague platitudes, regurgitated talking points, and skewed data. Many of them failed to grasp the difference between standards and curriculum. Nor did they understand that rigor is delivered through instruction, not a standard.

What was evident in their testimony, however, was the extreme desire to protect Common Core at all costs. As was quickly determined, this was all being driven by the expectation of financial gain; one that only a nationalized curriculum could generate. Unfortunately in education, money tends to cloud sound policy decisions.

Nonetheless, their agendas and biases were exposed, yet summarily ignored.

Perhaps the most revealing aspect of this entire exercise was exhibited in the unwarranted and vicious attack on Dr. Scheick and his math group, most of whom possess more individual teaching experience than those who wrote the Common Core math standards combined. The fact that certain commission members waited until the final meeting to reveal their true colors is evidence of their intent to undermine this commission’s work from the beginning.

Even the media was stunned by this duplicitous about-face.

As you are well aware, Dr. Scheick and his team labored tirelessly for months to vet the math standards. They took to the task of ensuring that the state’s standards would meet the criteria mandated in Senate Bill 812. They did so in a very short period of time and under less than supportive circumstances. Not only were North Carolina’s math standards carefully scrutinized, they were compared to other states’ standards (both pre and post Common Core adoption), as well as other countries in order to balance global competitiveness.

How were they rewarded for their efforts? They were treated to a dog and pony show orchestrated by certain members who rarely participated during the monthly meetings, refused to offer any assistance during the math review process, and who failed to attend any of the teacher focus group meetings, despite the fact that they insisted upon them in the first place.

Impugning the character and teaching credentials of Dr. Scheick’s math team and holding the validity of their recommendations to a higher burden of proof than your own State Superintendent is the height of hypocrisy.

Interestingly enough, none of the commissioner members disputed the findings, which are quite damning, to say the least. Had anyone harbored doubt or disapproval of the findings, it was never expressed. Those of us committed to the task at hand noted this lack of cooperation and apathy.

Unlike Common Core, the Minnesota math standards have a proven track record of success. According to the math team, the Minnesota math most closely aligned with the criteria outlined by the legislature. Since it was determined in the findings that the Common Core math standards are fundamentally flawed, tweaking them would actually require more work than adopting a new set of standards and building upward. Why this was considered an unreasonable recommendation is beyond me.

Likewise, and despite the fact that 60% of high school math teachers expressed a strong desire to return to the traditional math sequence of Algebra I, Geometry, and Algebra II, the commission inexplicably chose to abandon this recommendation. There was virtually no professional development prior to implementation of Integrated Math, nor were there textbooks or an appropriate curriculum available to teach it. As a result, most teachers were forced to haphazardly piece together a curriculum in the hopes that it would meet course expectations. For all the talk about ensuring teacher flexibility, you could not even agree to make a recommendation that would allow teachers the option of the teaching the material in the format that they are most comfortable – So much for teacher advocacy.

Ultimately, the majority decided to punt their responsibility for offering a solution to this quagmire back to the very same department that created it. Abdicating your responsibility in this way not only implies an aversion to leadership; it indicates contempt for the educational well-being of North Carolina’s 1.5 million students and the 95,000 teachers shackled by these standards.

Rather than side with the most important stakeholders in education – teachers, parents and students – many of you predictably and shamefully cow-towed to education elitists, corporate interests and big government.

For those who so emphatically feigned concern for the costs involved in replacing Common Core with a more appropriate set of academic standards, you have failed to consider the lost funding that will result due to frustrated parents pulling their children out of the state’s public school system in protest over your decision to maintain the status quo.

Maybe that is the answer, as nothing else seems to break through the bureaucratic inertia within public education like the threat of funding cuts.

Tammy J. Covil


More Questions Than Answers

The Wall Street Journal posted an editorial this morning about Hillary Clinton’s charges that Donald Trump is sexist. Excuse me for being cynical, but I suspect that if you questioned or listened to most men long enough, you could eventually find something to refer to as sexist. I wouldn’t use the word sexist to describe Donald Trump. I would be more inclined to use the words rude, crude, and blunt, and frankly, based on the persona he shows to the media, he is not someone I would be interested in hanging around with. However, that in itself does not disqualify him as a presidential candidate.

The Wall Street Journal points out that Hillary needs to be careful when charging people with sexism and conducting a ‘war on women.’ Her closet does not lack skeletons in this area due to the escapades of her husband, Bill.

The Wall Street Journal editorial reminds us:

Yet no one in American politics better personifies a war on women than Mrs. Clinton’s husband. For readers too young to recall the 1990s, we aren’t merely referring to Trumpian gibes about female looks or “Mad Men” condescension. Mr. Clinton was a genuine sexual harasser in the classic definition of exploiting his power as a workplace superior, and the Clinton entourage worked hard to smear and discredit his many women accusers.

Start with “bimbo eruptions,” the phrase that Mr. Clinton’s Arkansas fixer Betsey Wright used to describe the women who had affairs with Bill. Gennifer Flowers almost derailed his primary campaign in 1992, until Hillary stood by her man on CBS ’s “60 Minutes” and the media portrayed Ms. Flowers as a golddigger.

The article also quotes James Carville‘s statement about Paula Jones, “If you drag a hundred-dollar bill through a trailer park, you never know what you’ll find.” Hardly an affirming statement. There were also the charges that Monica Lewinski was a stalker.

There have been various reports on the internet about Hillary Clinton being fired from the Watergate investigation for unethical behavior. When I checked out these stories, I found contradictory information. However, World Net Daily posted a story in 2008 that seems to verify that there were some problems with Mrs. Clinton’s conduct during the investigation. I have no idea if the story is true, but it is telling that Mrs. Clinton’s actions often seem right on the edge of honesty and ethics.

Losing Due Process And The Second Amendment

The Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution states:

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

The Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution states:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Someone needs to explain this to the people writing laws in California. Yesterday reported:

According to KPCC (Member of National Public Radio, operated by Pasadena City College), GVROs (gun violence restraining orders) “could be issued without prior knowledge of the person. In other words, a judge could issue the order without ever hearing from the person in question, if there are reasonable grounds to believe the person is a threat based on accounts from the family and police.” And since the order can be issued without the gun owner even being present to defend him or herself, confiscation can commence without any notice to the gun owner once the order is issued.

To be fair, Los Angeles Police Department Assistant Chief Michael Moore does not use the word “confiscate” when talking about confiscating firearms. Rather, Moore says, “The law gives us a vehicle to cause the person to surrender their weapons, to have a time out, if you will.”

California laws already ban people from owning guns if they have committed a violent crime or were involuntarily committed to a mental health facility. It seems odd than an additional law would be required. The potential for mischief under this new law is endless–a neighborhood spat, a divorce, a lover’s quarrel could all result in someone losing their guns without due process and also without any real reason. Hopefully, the first time anyone attempts to take away a legally owned gun without due process, there will be a massive lawsuit filed that will result in the law being declared unconstitutional, which I believe it is.

The Laffer Curve Also Applies To Cigarette Taxes

Investor’s Business Daily posted an article today about the increased cigarette taxes in New York State.

The article reports:

The state of New York thought it would reap a bonanza after increasing taxes on cigarettes. But there was no bonanza. In fact, the tax take actually fell. New Yorkers, may we introduce Art Laffer?

Art Laffer is the creator of the Laffer Curve, seen below:

LafferCurveThe Laffer Curve illustrates the relationship between tax rates and revenue, showing that increasing tax rates will only increase revenue up to a point.

The article further reports:

The New York Post cites a National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine report that says the state’s losses are much bigger — some $1.3 billion in taxes aren’t collected each year, due to behavioral changes.

Of course, some of that loss might be considered favorable in that it represents people who simply quit rather than pay the higher levy. Indeed, estimates say that 19% of those who smoked have quit in the last decade.

Taxable sales, however, are down 54% in the same period. If the goal of the higher tax was just to get some smokers to quit, then mission accomplished. But if the goal was twofold — get smokers to quit and raise revenue — then it has failed.

But for many others who still smoke, the behavioral changes haven’t been as favorable. Some just pay up. But others simply buy black-market cigarettes, supplied mostly by organized crime. The Tax Foundation estimates that 58% of cigarettes in New York come from out of state. So roughly 6 in 10 cigarettes now are not taxed by New York.

The article also points out that the year after the tax increase imposed, a household earning less than $30,000 a year spent 23.6% on cigarettes, as opposed to 11.6% in 2004. A family earning over $60,000 a year, spent 2.2% on cigarettes. Seems a little uneven to me.

The article concludes:

So is it any surprise that the tax take is shrinking? No. This was in fact entirely foreseeable. But, of course, foreseeing it would have required New York voters and the politicians they put into office to actually learn something about economics.


The Clintons Seem To Have A Hard Time Playing By The Rules

Today’s Washington Examiner posted a story about a Congressional request for the documents related to ethics office discussions with the Clinton Foundation and both Clintons about speech fee disclosures made since Dec. 2008, when Clinton struck a deal with the White House just before becoming secretary of state. The article explains that the deal imposed stricter reporting requirements on Bill Clinton and the family’s foundation given Hillary Clinton’s impending position as the nation’s chief diplomat.

The article reports:

Rep. Jason Chaffetz pressed the Office of Government Ethics last week for an explanation of its decision to exempt Clinton from laws compelling public officials to disclose all forms of income.

“Earlier this year, press reports indicated that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her husband failed to disclose millions of dollars in paid speeches over the past thirteen years under the belief they did not have a duty to report that because the speeches were delivered on behalf of the Clinton Foundation, and not in the Secretary’s or the President’s personal capacity,” Chaffetz wrote.

The Utah Republican cited “at least five speeches” for which Clinton routed her speaking fee to the philanthropy between 2014 and 2015. She did not list that income on her disclosure form as the law typically requires.

Bill and Hillary Clinton have amassed a tremendous amount of money since leaving the White House. A lot of that money has been channeled through the Clinton Foundation, which the Charity Navigator refused to rate because its “atypical business model . . . doesn’t meet our criteria.” The Federalist posted an article in April pointing out that the Clinton Foundation actually spends approximately 10 percent of its donations on charity.

It is time to examine closely the Clinton Foundation and the Clintons’ sources of income. Hopefully, Congress will not be blocked in this investigation.

An Interesting Perspective

Herman Cain posted an article in the Canada Free Press today about Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. In the article, Mr. Cain explains why conservatives are supporting Donald Trump despite the fact that he is not a politician with a conservative record. The reasons are actually quite simple.

The article states:

But here’s what a lot of conservatives see when they look at the big picture: The proper and appropriate people who pass judgment on Trump’s comportment have given us $19 trillion in debt, and offer “solutions” like 10-year plans that might (but probably won’t) reduce the amount added to the debt by $1 trillion or so over 10 years.

These same people have given us 12 million illegal immigrants living among us because they have refused to enforce current laws, and refuse to either start enforcing those laws or take new border security steps to ensure the problem will not get even worse.

These same people have given us a leviathan of a tax code so complicated that we Americans spend billions of dollars each year just trying to understand it – and that’s before we pay the taxes.

These same people think they’ve accomplished something grand when they manage to pass a spending bill that doesn’t shut down the government. That’s a pretty low bar, wouldn’t you say?

The fact that Trump shows no respect for any of this is not a negative in the minds of people who want to see these problems solved. They correctly perceive Washington’s political culture long ago stopped being serious about really solving these problems, and they’re tired of being lectured about how politics is the “art of the possible.” If the things that would actually work are impossible in the current political culture, the solution is not to conform to that culture. It’s to blow it up.

As I have previously explained, I am not a supporter of Donald Trump. However, I will gladly vote for him if he is the Republican nominee for President. It is time to elect a President who is not part of the Washington establishment and will not be pushed around by the Washington establishment. That would be either Donald Trump or Ted Cruz. I don’t see anyone else I could support.

We Obviously Need A New Foreign Policy

Jim Geraghty posted an article in The Corner at National Review today about the situation in Afghanistan and Iraq. In the article he reminds us that CNN reported the following:

During a National Security Council meeting held at the Pentagon on Dec. 14, President Barack Obama told top military officials and other officials he wanted to see a better job of having the so-called “narrative” of the war on ISIS communicated to the American people, a senior defense official told CNN.

Communication is not the problem.

The article at The Corner reports:

In Afghanistan, Taliban Controls Most Territory Since 2001; ISIS Preparing ‘Greatest Religious Cleansing in History

The story includes this report from a German journalist:

A German journalist who spent 10 days with Islamic State says that the radical jihadist group that has captured wide swaths of Syria and Iraq is deterred by only one Middle Eastern country – Israel.

In an interview with the British Jewish News, Jurgen Todenhofer recalls his brief time behind enemy lines during which he spoke with ISIS fighters.

“The only country ISIS fears is Israel,” Todenhofer, a former member of the German parliament, told Jewish News. “They told me they know the Israeli army is too strong for them.”

The writer said that ISIS wants to lure British and American forces into Syria and Iraq, areas where it thinks it has an advantage.

“They think they can defeat US and UK ground troops, who they say they have no experience in city guerrilla or terrorist strategies,” he told Jewish News. “But they know the Israelis are very tough as far as fighting against guerrillas and terrorists.

This doesn’t sound as if we are making progress in the War on Terror.

Losing Our Culture And Harming Our Young Girls

As the debate about accepting Muslim refugees into America continues, there is something we need to understand–assimilation of the new Muslim population cannot be assumed. There is one statistic that illustrates that the Muslims that are already here are not interested in assimilation, but instead are carrying out a practice that is illegal in America.

The Population Reference Bureau reported the following in July:

The ABC News piece, “Underground in America: Female Genital Mutilation,” quotes PRB’s figures revealing that 500,000+  women and girls are at risk of female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) in the United States—more than twice the number of women and girls estimated to be at risk in 2000.

Mark Mather, a co-author on the PRB article and associate vice president of U.S. Programs, told ABC News: “There haven’t been new numbers made available for more than a decade. We knew the immigrant population had grown considerably over the past 10 years, so for a population changing so rapidly, it’s important not to wait to get more updated estimates.”

FGM/C is illegal in the United States. PRB looked at immigrant families coming from countries with a high prevalence rate of FGM/C, including places where 80 percent to 90 percent of women undergo the procedure. So the rapid increase in women and girls at risk reflects an increase in immigration from these countries—or daughters with parents from those countries—to the United States, rather than an increase in the share of women and girls at risk of being cut.

Advocates warn that the risk of FGM/C can go up during summer months—”vacation cutting”—when girls often travel back to their home countries, particularly in Africa, to visit family. PBS NewsHour cited the PRB data analysis, underscoring the risk of FGM/C being a particular concern in New York, which has the largest population of African immigrants in the country. In 2013, about 97 percent of U.S. women and girls at risk were from African countries, while just 3 percent were from Asia (Iraq and Yemen).

This is not a practice that is welcome in America. We need to make it clear to immigrants that this is unacceptable. If families want to come to America, they need to refrain from breaking our laws in the name of their customs or religion.

Facts Can Be Ugly

I have mentioned more than once in this blog that the gun culture of the south is unfamiliar to me. I am rapidly coming to the point where I will apply for a gun permit and get a concealed carry permit. My husband is already there. I don’t like the idea of having to defend myself with a gun, but unfortunately there are people walking around in America who do not respect the property and lives of their fellow Americans. There were four stories cited in the past week that show the need for average citizens to be prepared to defend themselves.

Today The Daily Caller posted an article citing these stories. The first story deals with two men trying to buy a car on Craigslist. When the men arrived to see the car, the man who met them pulled out a gun. One of the men trying to buy the car shot the man in self defense. Had the man wanting to buy the car not been armed, the story would have had a very different ending.

The next story involved an armed robbery attempt of a seafood market in Florida. The seafood market employee pulled out a gun and shot the robber.

In Detroit a man attempted to use pepper spray on a dog that attacked his dog. When the pepper spray had no effect, he shot the dog, saving his dog and possibly himself from injury.

The final story involved a man in Georgia. On Christmas night Antonio Bagley shot a man who attempted to rob him. Had not Mr. Bagley carried a concealed gun, the story would have had a different ending.

Most of us have grown up in a world where we depended on the police to keep us safe. The police do a good job, but they cannot be everywhere at once. Americans have to take responsibility for their own safety. I don’t like this, but I suspect it is where we are and where we will be for at least a while.

From A Friend On Facebook

We all recognize this picture. Here is some history:


Just in case some of you young whippersnappers (& some older ones) didn’t know this. It’s easy to check out, if you don’t believe it. Be sure and show it to your family and friends. They need a little history lesson on what’s what and it doesn’t matter whether you are Democrat or Republican. Facts are Facts.

Social Security Cards up until the 1980s expressly stated the number and card were not to be used for identification purposes.

Since nearly everyone in the United States now has a number, it became convenient to use it anyway and the NOT FOR IDENTIFICATION message was removed.

Franklin Roosevelt, a Democrat, introduced the Social Security (FICA) Program. His promises are in black, with updates in red.

1.) That participation in the Program would be Completely voluntary [No longer voluntary],

2.) That the participants would only have to pay 1% of the first $1,400 of their annual Incomes into the Program [Now 7.65% on the first $90,000, and 15% on the first $90,000 if you’re self-employed],

3.) That the money the participants elected to put into the Program would be deductible from their income for tax purposes each year [No longer tax deductible],

4.) That the money the participants put into the independent ‘Trust Fund’ rather than into the general operating fund, and therefore, would only be used to fund the Social Security Retirement Program, and no other Government program [Under Johnson the money was moved to the General Fund and Spent], and

5.) That the annuity payments to the retirees would never be taxed as income [Under Clinton & Gore up to 85% of your Social Security can be Taxed].

Since many of us have paid into FICA for years and are now receiving a Social Security check every month — and then finding that we are getting taxed on 85% of the money we paid to the Federal government to ‘put away’ — you may be interested in the following:

Q: Which Political Party took Social Security from the independent ‘Trust Fund’ and put it into the general fund so that Congress could spend it?

A: It was Lyndon Johnson and the democratically controlled House and Senate.

Q: Which Political Party eliminated the income tax deduction for Social Security (FICA) withholding?

A: The Democratic Party.

Q: Which Political Party started taxing Social Security annuities?

A: The Democratic Party, with Al Gore casting the ‘tie-breaking’ deciding vote as President of the Senate, while he was Vice President of the US


Q: Which Political Party decided to start giving annuity payments to immigrants?

A: That’s right! Jimmy Carter and the Democratic Party. Immigrants moved into this country, and at age 65, began to receive Social Security payments! The Democratic Party gave these payments to them, even though they never paid a dime into it!

Now, after violating the original contract (FICA), the Democrats turn around and tell you that the Republicans want to take your Social Security away!

And the worst part about it is uninformed citizens believe it! If enough people receive this, maybe a seed of awareness will be planted and maybe changes will evolve. Maybe not, though. Some Democrats are awfully sure of what isn’t so — but it’s worth a try. How many people can YOU send this to?

Actions speak louder than bumper stickers.

Sometimes You Just Wonder About Motives

American Military News reported on Wednesday that the U.S. government suppressed information on chemical weapons found in Iraq.

The article cites a CNN story:

The U.S. government suppressed information about chemical weapons it found in Iraq, and several servicemembers were injured by their exposure to those weapons, The New York Times is reporting.

In an article published late Tuesday, the newspaper says it found 17 American servicemembers and seven Iraqi police officers who were exposed to mustard or nerve agents after 2003. They were reportedly given inadequate care and told not to talk about what happened.

The article further reports:

According to new reports from the New York Times, between 2003 and 2011 U.S. troops were exposed to Chemical weapons in Iraq regularly, and on 6 occasions were injured by them.

 All in all 5,000 chemical warheads were found in Iraq dating back to the Saddam Hussein regime. Many of these warheads were made in close conjunction with western nations.

I don’t mention this to bring it up as an excuse for the invasion of Iraq. I bring it up to remind people that our government has not always been truthful with us. As far as the invasion of Iraq is concerned, we need to remember the situation at the time–the Iraqi government was violating a United Nations no-fly zone and other conditions of the United Nations agreement signed after Iraq invaded Kuwait. If we wanted the United Nations to survive, we had to deal with Iraq. I personally would not miss the United Nations, but that was the situation at the time. We also need to remember that the Democratic party supported the invasion of Iraq at the beginning and later used the war as a political issue. The war in Iraq is another example of politicians interfering in ways that are unhelpful in military situations.

Something We Need To Remember

Andrew McCarthy posted an article at the National Review today that should cause us all to stop and think for a moment. In America, we hear a lot of things from the media, and as Americans we tend to accept what we have been told. However, some of what we have been told is patently ridiculous.

Mr. McCarthy poses the question, “Supposing that you are a moderate Muslim, is there any insulting thing I could say, no matter how provocative, or any demeaning video I could show you, no matter how lurid, that could convince you to join ISIS?”

He reminds us that he was the prosecutor of the“Blind Sheikh,” Omar Abdel Rahman after the bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993.

After asking the question above, Mr. McCarthy points out that when the American media and American presidents refer to Islam as ‘a religion of peace,’ they are overlooking some very obvious points.

The article at National Review concludes with this comment on the trial of the World Trade Center bombers:

At trial, the jihadists tried to tell the jury they were just moderate, peace-loving Muslims who had been provoked by American foreign policy, a perception of anti-Muslim bias, and videos of Muslims being persecuted in Bosnia. The Blind Sheikh insisted his incitements to jihad were simply a case of faithfully applying sharia principles, which, according to his lawyers, the First Amendment gave him the right to do.

So I asked the jury a simple question: Is there any obnoxious, insulting, infuriating thing I could say to you, or show to you, that would convince you to join up with mass-murdering terrorists? To become a terrorist yourself? Of course, a dozen commonsense New Yorkers did not need to be asked such a question. They laughed the defense out of the courtroom.
Alas, in the 20 years since, the defense they laughed out of the courtroom has become the bipartisan government policy of the United States.

We have forgotten the lessons of history.

When Facts Get In The Way

Top Right News posted a story today about the wonderfully warm weather we are having this Christmas. I never thought weather would get political, but that’s where we are now.

The article includes the following quote:

Science advocate Bill Nye explained on Tuesday that many parts of the United States were expected to see record temperatures over the Christmas holiday because of weather patterns associated with climate change.

But Nye chastised meteorologists for refusing to utter the words “climate change” to their viewers. “We have a situation where no one in regular television will say the phrase ‘climate change,’” Nye declared, calling out MSNBC meteorologists by name. “Nobody will mention this phrase. But the world’s getting warmer!”

Facts are inconvenient things. The article also includes the following quote from Real Science:

Christmas Eve 1955 was much warmer. Three fourths of the country was over 60 degrees, and Ashland Kansas,  Geary Oklahoma and Encinal Texas were all over 90 degrees. Fort Lauderdale was 85 degrees. All of the stations below were over 60 degrees on Christmas Eve, 1955.

Last winter, the East Coast had record cold. That was ignored because it was “less than 1% of the Earth.”  But this week, the Eastern US defines the global climate.

In Irving Berlin’s 1954 musical “White Christmas” – the story line was 70 degrees in Vermont on Christmas eve and no snow. That was why they were “Dreaming of a White Christmas”

The article at Top Right News notes that in 1955 the greenhouse gases were 80 percent lower than in 2015. So what caused the warm temperatures then?

Facts are inconvenient things.

Giving More Power To The Internal Revenue Service

I suspect that most Americans are big fans of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). They are something of a necessary evil in sorting out the complex set of lobbyists’ rules that make up our tax code. The have been politicized under President Obama and that may continue under the next President. The last thing we need to do is give them more power, but that is what is happening.

Investor’s Business Daily reported yesterday that the massive transportation bill that a Republican Congress passed this month gives the Internal Revenue Service new powers to authorize the State Department to revoke U.S. passports. Doesn’t that make you feel secure?

The article reports:

But beware: Beginning next year, those living in states that haven’t upgraded their state IDs as federally mandated may need passports to fly domestically.

So if the IRS has an issue with you, you may find yourself kept off the jet that was supposed to take you to spend Thanksgiving with your folks.

Without freedom of movement, this simply isn’t a free country. Standing at the Berlin Wall in 1963, President Kennedy said, “Freedom has many difficulties, and democracy is not perfect, but we have never had to put a wall up to keep our people in, to prevent them from leaving us.”

That has changed. This new rule could well be called “The IRS Wall,” and its express purpose is “to keep our people in” — that is, until they’ve emptied their pockets to the satisfaction of Uncle Sam.

IRS power was already disturbing. Last year, the proprietor of a small, cash-only Mexican restaurant in Iowa, a woman not charged with any crime or suspected of cheating on taxes, saw tens of thousands of dollars seized from her checking account by the IRS without a warrant, just because she made frequent small deposits.

It is time to remind those in Washington that the U.S. Constitution was designed to curtain the power of government–not the freedom of Americans.

Sometimes You Wonder About The ‘What If’s’

The U.K. Daily Mail posted a story yesterday (and updated it today) about a Muslim man who was planning to go to Disneyland with his family, but was stopped from boarding his flight and his visa to America revoked. It seems that there was a Facebook page set up by someone who lived as his address claiming links to Al Qaeda and the Taliban.

The article reports:

When asked about the account, Mr Mahmood believed hackers may have been to blame, adding: ‘That could be anything, maybe a mistake.’

He said: ‘It is not my son’s Facebook page. It has a similar name, but not the same as my son’s. 

‘The page is also linked to our home address and that could be coincidence. I don’t know why it is linked there. The name is not even the same. The authorities must have linked it simply because of the name Hamza.’

It was understood that the wives of Mr Mahmood and his brother had stayed at home for the trip because one of them was ill and one of the children did not have a valid passport.

But it is now believed that Mr Mahmood’s wife was in Pakistan at the time.

The family say were given no explanation why their visas, organised six weeks before the flight, were suddenly cancelled at the last minute and have now lost the £11,000 they had saved for the holiday.

It has also been suggested the move by US authorities could be due to Mr Mahmood’s brother having been refused entry to Israel eight years ago, but no official explanation has been given by the US Embassy.

Obviously, I have no way of knowing if the man is actually linked to terrorism or not, but I would rather inconvenience one family than let a terrorist into America. If the Facebook page was a joke done by Mr. Mohmood’s son, it was a joke done in extremely bad taste. It was also a joke that had unintended consequences.

I am sorry for the disappointment that this family experienced, but considering the contents of the Facebook page, I don’t think they should have been allowed to come to America until that was explained.

Sometimes Protests Accomplish Very Little

Scott Johnson posted an article at Power Line today about the Black Lives Matter protest at the Mall of America in Minneapolis. The protest was handed very well.

The article includes John Hinderaker‘s view of the protest:

Thugs indeed, but the story at the Mall of America turned out to be heartwarming. The mall was well prepared for the demonstrators, who got nowhere. Mall police cleared the East rotunda, where the demonstration was to take place, of shoppers. Stores were temporarily closed. When the demonstrators arrived, the mall was briefly locked down. Police wasted no time in clearing the demonstrators. They ordered the demonstrators out; most complied, apparently, and those who didn’t were shepherded out with only a few arrests.

Protest is a First Amendment right, but disrupting commerce is not. Thankfully the Mall handled the protesters well and sent them on their way. Black lives do matter, but so do all lives. The majority of murders in the black community are done by other blacks–not by policemen. Policemen are simply trying to protect the innocent. There would be fewer blacks killed by police if the black community would discourage stealing and other criminal activity within its own community.


One State Takes Action

The Daily Caller is reporting today that on Tuesday a federal judge ruled that Utah can stop funding Planned Parenthood clinics in the state.

The article reports:

Republican Gov. Gary Herbert ordered the state to cut off the money flow after the Center for Medical Progress released a series of videos earlier this year that brought to light Planned Parenthood’s dealings in aborted fetuses. Top Planned Parenthood doctors talk frankly about harvesting aborted fetuses, and clinic staff are seen picking through abortion remains in the videos.

The article points out that the Utah clinics do not sell fetuses to researchers, but are affiliated with clinics that do.

The videos that came out about Planned Parenthood were horrifying. I honestly do not understand how anyone could watch them and still support Planned Parenthood. Personally, I do not oppose abortion in cases where the life of the mother is in danger, but that is such a small number of cases, the procedure could be done in hospitals. It is unfortunate that killing babies has become a million dollar industry.

What Happens When The Government Makes Something Better

Investor’s Business Daily posted an article about what has happened to student loans under the Obama Administration.

This is the picture:

The Obama Administration took over the student loan program in 2010.

The article reports:

In a nutshell, federal loan aid to colleges is pushing up tuition faster than inflation. Students must take out ever higher amounts of debt to pay for their education, but starting salaries haven’t kept up. If students don’t get good jobs when they graduate, many will default.

The study, published by the National Bureau of Economic Research, shows conclusively that growth in one program — the Federal Student Loan Program — was more than enough to account for the entire rise in college tuition from 1987 to 2010 — a stunning conclusion that suggests a massive market failure.

From 2006 to today, total student loan debt soared from $517 billion to $1.3 trillion, a 152% jump, to cover surging tuition costs. Over that same period, real starting wages for college grads were essentially flat.

Sadly, this should be no surprise, given recent history.

Whenever government gets involved in subsidizing anything — from sugar to home mortgages — higher prices emerge, leading to market disruptions and, often, a “crisis.”

At some point, we need to realize that the private sector does a better job at everything than the government. The bubble of the student loan debt will be bailed out by the taxpayers, and the national debt will continue to spiral out of control. This is our future unless we begin to elect people who understand both human nature and free markets.

Taking A Stand

The Washington Times reported today that Franklin Graham has left the Republican Party. He left the party after the omnibus spending bill was passed. The bill continues the government funding of Planned Parenthood and was passed with both Republican and Democratic votes.

The article reports:

“This is an example of why I have resigned from the Republican Party and declared myself Independent. I have no hope in the Republican Party, the Democratic Party, or Tea Party to do what is best for America,” Mr. Graham said in a Facebook post. 

“Seeing and hearing Planned Parenthood talk nonchalantly about selling baby parts from aborted fetuses with utter disregard for human life is reminiscent of Joseph Mengele and the Nazi concentration camps!” Mr. Graham continued. “That should’ve been all that was needed to turn off the faucet for their funding.”

I totally understand his decision. I have remained in the Republican party in the hope that at some point they will return to the pro-life stand stated in their platform. I don’t see the possibility of having a strong voice in Washington without being associated with either the Republican or Democratic parties. That is unfortunate and has gotten us into the mess we are in, but I believe it is where we are. I hope Reverend Graham will continue to speak out for the principles that made America great.

Our Representatives Have Forgotten Who They Are Working For

America is a Representative Republic. We send people to Congress to represent us. Some do a good job, and some simply forget who elected them. A website called The Pulse 2016 posted an article yesterday about the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) that just passed Congress. The article includes a number of quotes from Arne Duncan, current Education Secretary.

Here are some of the quotes from the article:

“[I]f you look at the substance of what is there . . . embedded in the law are the values that we’ve promoted and proposed forever. The core of our agenda from Day One, that’s all in there – early childhood, high standards [i.e., Common Core], not turning a blind eye when things are bad. For the first time in our nation’s history, that’s the letter of the law.”

…We had many, many conversations behind the scenes . . . . And I said for us to support it, they’d have to shed their far, far right [i.e., constituents who support the Constitution and oppose Common Core] . . . . I honestly didn’t know if they’d have the political courage to do that. But they both said they would and they did. I give them tremendous credit for that.

…About a month before [final Senate passage of the bill], I ran into Speaker [Paul] Ryan and we just talked briefly. I asked if he was going to back this, whether he’s willing to take on the far right. I just asked him straight up. And he said, “Absolutely. We’re going to back this.” And, he did. That’s when I thought it had a real shot.

…We were intentionally quiet on the bill – they asked us specifically not to praise it – and to let it get through. And so we went into radio silence and then talked about it after the fact. . . . Our goal was to get this bill passed – intentionally silent on the many, many good aspects of the bill . . . [W]e were very strategically quiet on good stuff . . . .

…The final thing is we have every ability to implement, to regulate the law . . . it’s just a Washington typical storyline. . . .  And candidly, our lawyers are much smarter than many of the folks who were working on this bill. There are some face-saving things you give up, some talking points you give up, which we always do because we’re focused on substance.  And we have every ability to implement.  That’s all I’ve ever wanted.

I am reminded of the words of Ben Franklin when leaving the Constitutional Convention of 1787 when asked, “Well, Doctor, what have we got—a Republic or a Monarchy?” Ben Franklin replied, “A Republic, if you can keep it.”

Unless more Americans begin to pay attention, we will lose it.