But What Are They For?

The Washington Free Beacon posted an article today about the activities of the Center for American Progress  The Center for American Progress has an Action Fund, which they are planning to use to fund anti-Trump activities around the country during the Congressional recess. Think about that for a minute. Why are they funding anti-Trump activities? Did anyone ever fund the Tea Party?

The article reports:

The Town Hall Project, a group that has served as the central hub for raucous town hall events against Republican lawmakers, announced the partnership with CAP Action to amplify their efforts.

“So today I’m excited to announce a partnership between Town Hall Project and the Center for American Progress Action Fund,” an email from Town Hall Project said. “With CAP Action amplifying our town hall event research, we can even better ensure that that all Americans have the tools needed to channel their organic energy to ensure their voices are heard and their elected representatives held accountable.”

“Let me emphasize that this is collaboration towards a common goal,” the email continued. “Town Hall Project is 100% independent and will never waiver [sic] from our core values of grassroots research and citizen engagement. While we stay true to ourselves—and to supporters like you—we know the way we win is to build a big coalition of progressive groups: big and small, new and old, online and offline, all working together to fight back.”

The email urges readers to visit ResistanceNearMe.org, a re-launched CAP Action website run in conjunction with the Town Hall Project.

“In partnership with Town Hall Project, Resistance Near Me is a hub for progressive local #resist actions, designed for you to find any public event, rally, town hall, protest, and more, near you, as well as the information you need to contact your member of Congress,” the website states. “It’s never been more important to raise our voices to resist Trump’s harmful agenda and the elected representatives who aren’t speaking for us.”

Jimmy Dahman, the founder of Town Hall Project, claimed on CNN in February that previous, explosive town hall events were “all organic and happening at the grassroots level.”

Wow. Funded grassroots. I think that’s called astroturf!

The concluding paragraph of the article explains who is behind this effort:

The Action Network’s board of directors includes Mark Fleischman, a former vice president of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU); Jeffrey Dugas, who worked for Podesta’s Center for American Progress and Elizabeth Warren’s 2012 Senate campaign; and Brian Young, who worked for John Kerry and Howard Dean.

The Town Hall Project website now acknowledges a partnership with NextGen Climate, an environmentalist super PAC founded by liberal billionaire Tom Steyer.

In the email announcing the CAP partnership, the Town Hall Project took credit for “some incredible victories” with their progressive allies. The group linked to a Yahoo article on how activists organized to defeat the Republican health care reform bill.

The Town Hall Project did not return a request for comment on its partnership with CAP Action.

Donald Trump has made an effort to help the average American by rolling back regulations, cutting some government spending already, and planning to prevent the crash of ObamaCare. He is also planning to change the tax code to make it work for everyone. Which part of these things is the Center for American Progress against? What are they for? How many paid protesters does it take before people begin to see the game being played here by the political left?

What Happens When Government Interference Skews The Free Market

America has been on a search for green energy for a long time. Historically man has been  on a quest for a perpetual motion machine. I am not sure the two searches are unrelated.

Yesterday John Hinderaker at Power Line posted an article about the environmental impact of solar energy. Solar energy is not as environmentally friendly as one might assume.

The article cites the example of a 60-acre solar farm at the Minnesota National Guard’s facility at Camp Ripley, Minnesota.

The article reports:

If we devoted a fraction of that space to a natural gas, coal or nuclear facility we could produce 100 times the energy–even at night time, when people need to turn lights on.

It is sad to see military personnel who should know better, and probably do, mouthing the inane pieties of global warming:

“Camp Ripley is now capable of producing as much energy as it consumes,” said Maj. Gen. Richard C. Nash, adjutant general of the Minnesota National Guard. “We can make a better Minnesota and a better world by joining the worldwide initiative to address the serious challenge of climate change.”

Right. We’d prefer you address the serious military challenge of Russia, China, North Korea, Iran and so on. Tom Steward (Tom Steward in a story at the American Experiment) points out the costly reality:

The project’s astonishing $25 million price tag has led to the utility taking fire from state regulators for overpaying for solar panels and long-term lease with the National Guard. The collateral damage includes the northern Minnesota utility’s residential ratepayers, whose bills will rise as a result of the costly solar farm.

The solar facility can provide electricity for only 1,700 homes, a ridiculously small number, at “full capacity.” But solar installations never reach full capacity, and if it is dark or cloudy, they are irrelevant. No one would argue for ugly 60-acre scars on the landscape based on a cost/benefit analysis.

In Duluth, the best proxy for Camp Ripley, there are an average of 77 sunny days per year. Hey, that is better than one in five! Of course, they don’t have any sunny nights in Duluth, so there’s that.

Solar energy is not perfect. In 2014 I wrote an article about the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System in the Mojave Desert. The solar energy complex has the potential to kill as many as 28,000 birds annually. Last month I wrote an article about Nitrogen trifluoride (NF3), a key chemical agent used to manufacture photovoltaic cells for solar panels. There has been a 1,057 percent in NF3 over the last 25 years. In comparison, U.S. carbon dioxide emissions only rose by about 5 percent during the same time period. There are also problems with wind energy. Spain attempted to move to green energy a few years ago and nearly wrecked its economy (article here).

If the free market is allowed to work, we may actually approach something like green energy at some point in the future. However, as long as the government subsidizes and encourages things that are not actually working, the progress will be delayed.

 

It’s Not The Income–It’s The Spending

CNS News posted an article today about the tax revenue the government has received in the first six months of fiscal 2017 (Oct. 1, 2016 through the end of March). The government has collected $7,387,280,000 more in income tax revenue in the first six months of fiscal 2017 than were collected in the first six months of fiscal 2016.

The article reports:

The federal government also collected $547,491,000,000 in Social Security and other payroll taxes during the first six months of fiscal 2017. That is about $2,731,820,000 more than the $544,491,000,000 in Social Security and other payroll taxes (in constant 2017 dollars) that the government collected in the first six months of fiscal 2016.

Despite collecting record amounts of individual income taxes and payroll taxes, the Treasury still ran a deficit of $526,855,000,000 in the first six months of fiscal 2017. (The emphasis is mine)

No matter how much money we give them, it will never be enough. We need a budget (not continuing resolutions) that does the things that are constitutional for the federal government. All other functions need to be left for the states (as stated in the Tenth Amendment). Spending cuts are needed.

How Much Did It Cost?

Yesterday The Daily Caller posted a story about the MOAB (Mother Of All Bombs) recently used in Afghanistan.

The article reports:

The giant bomb U.S. forces dropped Thursday on an ISIS training camp in Afghanistan did not cost $314 million to develop, or $16 million per unit as reported by multiple news outlets.

Every news report about cost of the “Mother of All Bombs” relied on a misreading of a 2011 article or a dubious internet website that InfoWars once linked to with a “healthy bit of skepticism.”

The actual cost of the bomb is unknown. The actual cost of the program isn’t publicly available because the Mother of All Bombs, officially known as GBU-43 or the Massive Ordnance Air Blast (MOAB), is manufactured by the military and not a private defense company.

The article goes on to explain that the cost estimates the news media is making are based on the cost of the cost of the Air Force’s biggest bunker busting bomb, the 5,300 pound Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP), or GBU-57, which is built by private defense contractor Boeing Company.

The article further explains:

While the two bomb types are related, they serve different functions — the MOP is designed to destroy underground bunkers as deep as 200 feet below the surface, while the MOAP wipes out everything on the surface within a mile radius. The MOAB, like its Daisy Cutter predecessor, can only be dropped out of a C-130 built by Lockheed Martin, and the MOP is deployed from the B-2, a Boeing aircraft.

Many news organizations, including TIME and CNBC, also cited Deagel.com, a site with extensive lists of weapons assets owned by multiple countries, which claims the MOAB costs $16 million per unit, the same amount as the reported cost of the MOP.

Deagel links to no source to verify its information. The site’s IP is registered to an address in Spain, and the most press they’ve received was for a 2015 prediction that the U.S. population would drop by more than 80 percent by 2025 due to an economic and cultural collapse. “The American collapse is set to be far worse than the Soviet Union’s one [sic],” the forecast said.

Whatever the cost of the bomb, it effectively sent a strong message to those who seek to harm America or its soldiers. We will fight back.

Notre Dame Has Lost Its Way

Yesterday Western Journalism posted an article about the commencement speaker at Notre Dame this year. The University has a long standing tradition of inviting the president to give the commencement address during his first year in office. However, this year, in order to avoid the predictable protest, the University invited Vice-President Mike Pence. Well, that didn’t go exactly as planned.

The article reports:

Notre Dame seniors Immane Mondane and Jourdyhn Williams started a “#NotMyCommencementSpeaker” white board campaign in protest of the vice president’s scheduled commencement speech.

The students are inviting their classmates to take photos holding white boards with “direct quotes from Pence that are racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, offensive, or ostracizing to members of our community.”

…“For me personally, [Pence] represents the larger Trump administration,” Mondane told Notre Dame’s student-run newspaper, the Observer. “ … his administration represents something, and for many people on our campus, it makes them feel unsafe to have someone who openly is offensive but also demeaning of their humanity and of their life and of their identity.”

Williams added that the presence of Pence on the grounds of Notre Dame’s campus is in direct violation of the University’s Catholic mission.

The Catholic Church used to be pro-marriage and pro-life. Has that changed? These are university students, why are they so opposed to hearing ideas that might not agree with their ideas? Who is teaching them this lack of tolerance? Are they typical of our university students? If they are, the country had better look elsewhere for its future leaders.

They are illustrating one of the principles of one of the best-known communist leaders in America.

Rule 13 of Saul Alinsky‘s Rules for Radicals:

“Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.” Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions.

If they can’t attack President Trump, they will go after his Vice-President instead. It is no wonder it is so difficult to find honest men to hold public office. Why would anyone put up with being accused of all sorts of awful things because he holds a Christian view of marriage? Isn’t it ironic that students at one of our leading Catholic Universities no longer support the Christian view of marriage.,

The Spin Numbers Just Don’t Add Up

Yesterday The Chicago Tribune posted an article that seems to correct some of the charges made against President Trump about the cost of his travels to Florida. President Trump has visited Mar-a-Lago six times since he took office. I would like to note that he is not paying rent while he is there–he owns the place. As for arguments that the Secret Service is paying rent, I don’t know, but I do know the Secret Service paid rent to Joe Biden when they stayed on his property, so that is not anything new.

At any rate, the article reports:

With President Donald Trump making his seventh presidential trip this weekend to his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, government watchdogs and Democrats are once again seeing dollar signs: namely, $3 million.

There are a few problems with the way this figure was reached. It was based on a trip President Obama made in 2013 to Palm Beach:

…Another problem with extrapolating from the October 2016 GAO report is that it included a leg from Washington to Chicago, where Obama gave an economic speech before heading to Palm Beach for a long weekend of golf.

Obama was only in Chicago for a few hours, but costs pile up because each destination triggers the need for the Secret Service to prepare and protect the site and the Defense Department to move the equipment involved.

Another significant cost-driver, GAO noted, is the per-hour cost of military aircraft, such as the president’s plane, Air Force One. So it’s not just a matter of slicing off a few hundred thousand dollars to come up with the $3 million estimate.

“If you take out Chicago, that just means the equipment is going to have to come from other bases,” Lepore said. Sometimes that means more money, sometimes less.

Judicial Watch arrives at its $1 million figure by estimating flight time and typical Secret Service costs, leaving out airlifting equipment such as the presidential limousines. Those costs also aren’t fully included in Judicial Watch’s $96 million total for Obama.

I would like to note that President Trump has been doing business while in Mar-a-Lago. Certainly it is an impressive place to meet with foreign leaders. I also wonder if it has less of a change of electronic surveillance than meetings in the White House. Considering all that we have learned about the surveillance of the Trump team, that might be a valid consideration.

Why The United Nations Is No Longer Relevant

This is Article I of the United Nations Charter (from the U.N. website):

Article 1

The Purposes of the United Nations are:

  1. To maintain international peace and security, and to that end: to take effective collective measures for the prevention and removal of threats to the peace, and for the suppression of acts of aggression or other breaches of the peace, and to bring about by peaceful means, and in conformity with the principles of justice and international law, adjustment or settlement of international disputes or situations which might lead to a breach of the peace;
  2. To develop friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples, and to take other appropriate measures to strengthen universal peace;
  3. To achieve international co-operation in solving international problems of an economic, social, cultural, or humanitarian character, and in promoting and encouraging respect for human rights and for fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion; and
  4. To be a centre for harmonizing the actions of nations in the attainment of these common ends.

Reuters reported yesterday:

Russia blocked a Western-led effort at the U.N. Security Council on Wednesday to condemn last week’s deadly gas attack in Syria and push Moscow’s ally President Bashar al-Assad to cooperate with international inquiries into the incident.

It was the eighth time during Syria’s six-year-old civil war that Moscow has used its veto power on the Security Council to shield Assad’s government.

In the latest veto, Russia blocked a draft resolution backed by the United States, France and Britain to denounce the attack in the town of Khan Sheikhoun and tell Assad’s government to provide access for investigators and information such as flight plans.

If the United Nations cannot even denounce a poison gas attack on civilians, what good is it?

Between 1955 and 2013, the United Nations issued at least 77 resolutions targeting Israel (statistics and list here), and the United Nations can’t even come up with a resolution condemning a poison gas attack on civilians? Wow.

American taxpayer dollars provide a major portion of the funding of the United Nations. I think the fact that the U.N. can’t even condemn a poison gas attack on civilians justifies the end of that funding. Until all members of the United Nations are willing to admit that it is wrong to use poison gas on civilians, I don’t think the U.N. has much relevance or credibility. Their moral authority no longer exists.

The Story vs. The Spin

Yesterday The Washington Post reported some interesting information about the allegations that President Obama used electronic surveillance on President Trump’s campaign and transition team. I seriously wonder if anything will come of this, but I believe we have a smoking gun.

The article reports:

The FBI obtained a secret court order last summer to monitor the communications of an adviser to presidential candidate Donald Trump, part of an investigation into possible links between Russia and the campaign, law enforcement and other U.S. officials said.

The FBI and the Justice Department obtained the warrant targeting Carter Page’s communications after convincing a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court judge that there was probable cause to believe Page was acting as an agent of a foreign power, in this case Russia, according to the officials.

This is the clearest evidence so far that the FBI had reason to believe during the 2016 presidential campaign that a Trump campaign adviser was in touch with Russian agents. Such contacts are now at the center of an investigation into whether the campaign coordinated with the Russian government to swing the election in Trump’s favor.

I would like someone to explain to me how the Russian government could swing the election in Trump’s favor. The investigation into any Russian involvement in the Trump campaign is nothing more than a smoke screen for the illegal surveillance done by the Obama Administration.

The New York Post reported yesterday:

In what the paper (The Washington Post) described as a lengthy declaration, the government said Page “engaged in clandestine intelligence activities on behalf of Moscow.”

The application was submitted in July and the ensuing 90-day warrant has been renewed at least once, the paper reported.

The government agencies are trying to determine whether Page or any other members of the Trump campaign had improper contacts Russian agents as the Kremlin sought to influence the presidential election.

Page told the paper that he was just a target in a political hit campaign.

“This confirms all of my suspicions about unjustified, politically motivated government surveillance,” Page told The Washington Post Tuesday. “I have nothing to hide.”

This makes Watergate look like amateur hour. People went to jail because of the Watergate break-in. People should go to jail for the surveillance of the Trump campaign and the Trump transition team. What was done was unconstitutional and a violation of the civil rights of the people under surveillance. The leaking of this information with the names unmasked was also a violation of the law. If no one is held accountable, then the precedent is set that unwarranted surveillance of American citizens and releasing the information is acceptable.

 

A Republican Victory In The Kansas Special Election

Fox News is reporting today that Kansas state Treasurer Ron Estes has won the special election in Kansas to fill the House seat vacated by CIA Director Mike Pompeo. Why does this matter? Because it is an indication that other than in the northeast and California, Americans are happy with the leadership of President Trump.

The article reports:

The race had been closely watched nationally for signs of a backlash against Republicans or waning support from Trump voters in a reliably GOP district. Trump won 60 percent of the votes cast in the 17-county congressional district this past November.

The president himself entered the fray Monday with a recorded get-out-the-vote call on Estes’ behalf and tweeted his support on Tuesday morning.

Other nationally known Republicans pitched in over the final days of the race. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas campaigned for Estes Monday in Wichita, while Vice President Mike Pence also recorded a get-out-the-vote call. The National Republican Congressional Committee spent roughly $90,000 in last-minute TV and digital ads.

Thompson (Democratic civil rights attorney James Thompson) reckoned that the high-profile support for Estes helped push him over the top, and claimed he could have won had national Democrats rallied to him sooner. Readers of the liberal blog Daily Kos donated more than $200,000 to Thompson in the final days of the race. Thompson was also backed by Our Revolution, the group that grew out of Sen. Bernie Sanders‘ 2016 presidential campaign.

The Our Revolution backing of Attorney Thompson is interesting. If you remember, Bernie Sanders ran as an outsider and definitely leaned to the left side of the political spectrum. In 2016, Bernie Sanders won the Kansas Democratic Primary with 67 percent of the votes.

The article includes some comments by voters:

All those GOP calls prompted Charlene Health, a 52-year-old homemaker and Republican in Belle Plaine, to cast a ballot for Estes.

“I wasn’t even going to vote,” she said as she left her polling site Tuesday morning. “I finally did. I realized this was important.”

Alan Branum, 64, a retired construction worker is a Wichita Democrat who voted for Estes and plans to change his party affiliation to Republican since he leans more conservative. He thinks Trump has been been doing fine so far.

“I don’t think it is fair people condemn him,” he said of the president. “He hasn’t been in long enough to make a judgment. People need to give him some time.”

Estes supported Trump last year and backs the president’s policies. He supports the repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act, backs funding for a wall on the border with Mexico, opposes funding for Planned Parenthood, and does not believe an independent investigation into Russian hacking of the election is needed.

Lucy Jones-Phillips, a 31-year-old insurance representative and Democrat, acknowledged she doesn’t vote in every election, but said she voted for Thompson because she wanted to ensure supporters of Gov. Sam Brownback are not in office. She was especially upset when the Republican governor recently vetoed Medicaid expansion.

There are upcoming special elections in Georgia, Montana, South Carolina, and California. California is the only special election this year for a seat formerly held by a Democrat.

This Might Be A Place Where We Need To Increase Spending

CNS News posted an article today about the role of the Coast Guard in fighting drug trafficking.

These are a few highlights from the article;

On Feb. 16, U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Joseph Napier, assisted by the coast guards of Trinidad and Tobago, seized 4.2 tons of cocaine with an estimated value of $125 million from a fishing boat off the coast of Suriname.

This is the largest single seizure of cocaine by the Coast Guard in nearly 20 years.

More recently, the crew of U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Spencer worked with the Costa Rican coast guard to successfully intercept 2,900 pounds of marijuana. Both interdictions were made possible through persistent U.S. Coast Guard presence and broad international cooperation.

…In the last 25 years, the task force’s efforts have led to the arrest of over 4,600 traffickers, the capture of over 1,100 vessels, and deprived drug cartels of hundreds of billions of dollars in profits.

However, the Coast Guard does not currently have the budget to do its job effectively:

Despite the Coast Guard’s increased interdictions in recent years, the size of its fleet and extent of its resources remain insufficient to meet the even higher rate of cocaine shipments.

Commandant of the Coast Guard Paul Zukunft stated that while the Coast Guard has “80 percent awareness” of all illegal operations, “we can only act on about 20 percent of that because of the resource constraints we have. We’re giving 60 percent of what we know, literally, a free pass.”

Programs such as the Offshore Patrol Cutter and unmanned aerial vehicle programs would be wise investments in the fight against drug trafficking.

The Coast Guard, in cooperation with other federal agencies and international partners, plays a critical role in mitigating the flow of illegal drugs from Latin America to the United States.

American leadership in both the White House and Congress should ensure the Coast Guard and other entities receive the resources they need to meet the growing demands of maritime security, while also facilitating strong relationships that mutually benefit the security of the U.S. and its partner nations.

There are many places where Congress can cut wasteful government spending if they are willing. At the same time, Congress needs to increase the money going to the Coast Guard to fight the drug war. Drugs are killing our children and ruining their future. It is in our best interests to do everything we can to stop illegal drugs from coming into America.

Opposing Honest Elections

It kind of makes me wonder what in the world is going on when I see someone opposing a voter integrity group. Does the group oppose the idea of honest elections?

The Washington Free Beacon posted an article today about group that is opposing voter integrity lawsuits. Oddly enough, one of the leaders of the group is Senator Elizabeth Warren‘s daughter. The group is funded by George Soros.

The article reports:

Demos, a New York City-based progressive public policy organization, is assisting unions in pushing back against election lawsuits filed in North Carolina and Florida. The group is also writing letters of interest in another lawsuit in Pennsylvania. Amelia Warren Tyagi, Warren’s daughter, chairs the board of Demos.

The Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF), an Indiana-based legal group that litigates to protect election integrity, filed a lawsuit against Wake County, N.C., on behalf of Voter Integrity Project NC, a research organization dedicated to fair elections, after the county had failed to accurately maintain their voter rolls.

…”According to publicly-available data, Wake County has more registered voters on the rolls eligible to cast a ballot than it has citizens who are alive,” PILF wrote. “The complaint states that ‘voter rolls maintained by the Defendant for Wake County contain or have contained more registrants than eligible voting-age citizens. The number of registrants in Wake County, North Carolina has been over 100 percent of eligible voting-age citizens.”

A motion to dismiss the lawsuit was filed February 21 by the Wake County Board of Elections and three attorneys. Senior U.S. Judge W. Earl Britt ruled in favor of the Voter Integrity Project and denied the request.

Cameron Bell, a legal fellow at Demos, is assisting the attorneys on the case. One of the main goals of Demos is to reduce the role of money in politics and to guarantee “the freedom to vote,” according to its website. Demos received hundreds of thousands in funding from George Soros’ Open Society Foundation.

Individuals from the Southern Coalition for Social Justice, a progressive nonprofit in North Carolina, are also assisting on the lawsuit. The Southern Coalition for Social Justice has also received funding from Soros.

I will admit to being a fairly simple person, but it seems to me that if a county has more registered voters than it has live citizens, there might be a problem with the voter rolls. It would also be interesting to know what the percentage of actual voters was. I would like to note that in the 2016 presidential election, the early voting turnout in Wake County broke all previous records (story here). Since most voter fraud occurs in early voting and same-day registration, that is an interesting statistic.

The article further reports:

Broward County (Florida), like Wake County, has more registered voters on their rolls than the number of eligible citizens who can vote in 2014, PILF said.

Cameron Bell, the Demos attorney who is involved in North Carolina, also interjected in Broward County. In addition to Bell, Scott Novakowski and Stuart C. Naifeh, counsel from Demos, are involved in Florida.

Individuals from Project Vote, a nonprofit that formerly teamed up with the scandal-plagued and now defunct Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), are also in Broward County.

Demos and Project Vote additionally wrote amici in a Philadelphia lawsuit but has not intervened.

“Just like when leftist financiers tried and failed to block voter ID laws from coast to coast, the checkbooks are open again to preserve the status quo were poor record maintenance is concerned,” Logan Churchwell, PILF’s spokesman, told the Washington Free Beacon. “When you view vulnerability as currency, it must come natural to want to protect not only the weaknesses in a system, but the actors who exacerbate them.”

Democrats have scrambled to build up a massive network to counter voter integrity efforts after Donald Trump’s victory over Hillary Clinton.

Voters are disenfranchised when there is voter fraud. It is time for Americans to take action to protect the integrity of their elections. Voter ID laws are needed. When an area reports 105 percent turnout, there is a problem.

Bad Laws Have Consequences

There has been much made of North Carolina’s recent law that asked people to use the public restrooms and public locker rooms corresponding to their sex at birth. The law has since been replaced by a similar law. However, those in favor or making every bathroom or locker room open to anyone according to what sex they identify with at that particular moment have overlooked a few possible negative consequences.

On April 6th, WBTV posted an article about a recent incident at Central Piedmont Community College. The incident itself is disturbing, but the school’s response to the incident is even more disturbing.

The article reports:

A Central Piedmont Community College student was shocked to find a man in the women’s bathroom allegedly trying to take her picture under a stall door. She was equally shocked, she said, when she reported the incident to police and they told her what happened was not a crime.

Catherine Barker said she was in a stall in the first-floor women’s bathroom in the Belk Building on CPCC’s Central Campus when she suddenly noticed something that didn’t feel right.

“I noticed a person come through the vertical crack in the bathroom stall and then bend down, so I jumped up and went out the door and they were headed out the bathroom and I said ‘you look for somebody?’ and the guy started fumbling and mumbling with his phone and trying to get his phone away so I blocked him from the door so he wouldn’t get out,” Barker recalled days later in an interview with WBTV.

Barker said she grabbed the man’s phone and, eventually, led him to a campus security officer to report the incident.

But she said campus security officers told her there was nothing they could do.

“They said that there’s no proof that he has any pictures so they can’t do anything to him,” she said she was told by campus security officers.

The article goes on to describe the lack of action by the college:

Federal law requires colleges and universities to keep a daily log of all crimes—or incidents that could potentially be crimes—that are reported on campus. The requirement is part of a federal law known as the Clery Act, which is aimed at alerting those on colleges campuses about crimes that occur nearby.

Documents provided by CPCC security show Barker reported Monday’s incident in the bathroom to authorities as soon as it happened.  But a review of the school’s crime log the next day found campus security had failed to list the incident in its daily crime log. 

WBTV obtained access to the crime log after multiple security officials first refused to provide the log and, later, demanded to know why a reporter wanted to see it. The Clery Act requires a crime log be made available upon request to anyone who asks to review it.

Instead, the page for Monday’s crime log was blank with a message that said “no data for daily crime log.”

The article concludes:

Catherine Barker, the student who reported the man she thought was trying to take a picture of her while she was in a bathroom stall, said she no longer feels safe on campus.

“It’s just a really uncomfortable feeling to have somebody take that away – one of the most private parts of the day. And he’s not welcome there,” she said.

Barker said she tried to report this incident to Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department but was told CPCC’s contracted police agency, Allied Universal, has primary jurisdiction over the incident.

She said she has one message for college administrators.

“The administrators, first and foremost, made me feel unsafe,” she said.

We have heard a lot of ruckus from various sports groups about not being willing to come to North Carolina because North Carolina wants men in the men’s room and women in the women’s room (and locker rooms). What about the parents who don’t want to send their daughters to college in North Carolina because their daughters may not be protected on campus? The way the college handled this incident is a disgrace. There should have been a warrant to search the man’s phone, and he should have been arrested if the phone had incriminating pictures on it. Does anyone actually believe that this was the first or last time that the person attempting to take pictures in the ladies’ room had done that? Who will protect the students if he decides to go further than pictures? Would you send your daughter to college there?

 

 

The Cost Of Not Defending Your Culture

Generally speaking, western countries practice freedom of religion. Unfortunately, that is not part of the culture in many Muslim countries. As more Muslims immigrate to western countries, many of these immigrants tend to bring their lack of respect for other religions with them. A recent event in Australia illustrates the problem.

Breitbart is reporting today that an Australian named Mike, of Greek heritage, was assaulted while riding the train through “Muslim enclaves” in south-west Sydney.

The article reports:

Christians in Sydney, Australia, are being advised to hide their crosses after an Arabic-speaking gang shouting “F*** Jesus!” attacked a couple on a train while transport officers looked on from a “safe space” and did nothing.

That is a disgrace–both the attack and the lack of action on the part of the transport officers.

The article explains:

Mike, who asked for his surname to be withheld for fear he might be targeted, said that four men of Middle Eastern appearance ripped his cross from his neck, stomped on it, and rained kicks and punches on his face, back, and shoulders. Two women attacked his girlfriend when she tried to protect him.

Five uniformed transport officers watched the attack take place but failed to intervene, Mike claimed, leaving the police to meet the train at a later station.

“I was born in Australia of Greek heritage,” Mike told the Telegraph. “I’ve always worn my cross. For [them] to rip it off and step on it has to be a religious crime … It’s not on to feel unsafe in your own country.”

Mike went to Greek community leader and former Sutherland Shire Council deputy mayor Reverend George Capsis, who believes Christians in Sydney face growing persecution at the hands of Muslim gangs, about the attack.

“This is not an isolated incident,” said Rev Capsis, who explained that Mike was the fourth Christian to have come to him about a religiously-motivated attack in just the last six months.

An explanation was given for the behavior of the transport officers:

Sydney Trains defended the transports officers who stood by as the attack took place, telling the Telegraph their main responsibility is tackling fare evasion and that they are trained to observe from a “safe space” if passengers are assaulted.

“Why are ticket inspections deemed more important than passenger safety?” commented Telegraph journalist Miranda Devine.

“Surely, if taxpayers fund dedicated Transport Officers to ride the trains all day, they should be authorised to do more than just observe crimes and call police. Anyone can do that.”

Rev Capsis believes that, “If this keeps up, someone will be hurt.”

Wow. Just wow.

Why Policy Matters

The Los Angeles Times posted an article today about the stretch of wild brushland between the Rio Grande and the sprawling Texas border cities of Hidalgo and McAllen. That deserted piece of land was one a bustling crossing point for illegals coming into the United States. It is now very quiet.

The article reports:

Across the Southwest border, the number of immigrants caught crossing illegally into the United States has dropped dramatically. Fewer than 12,200 people were apprehended in March, a 64% decrease from the same time last year, and the lowest monthly number in at least 17 years.

…”We don’t really have a normal anymore,” said Castro, who has worked for Customs and Border Protection for nearly 20 years. She insists agents are not doing anything differently; the Trump administration’s executive orders are simply enforcing laws already on the books.

“Are you going to risk a 1,000-mile journey and pay $8,000 to be smuggled if you’re not sure you’ll get to stay?” Castro said, offering a reason she thinks fewer asylum seekers are crossing over. “I wouldn’t.”

Some of the reasons people are fleeing Mexico and countries south of there are the drug cartels and the gangs. It would make sense to work with some of the governments involved to clean up the drug cartels and the gangs. Unfortunately, that is very dangerous work, and the corruption runs deep. South American politicians who take on either the drug cartels or the gangs tend not to live very long. However, that is the answer. Ultimately, we need a wall to stop illegal immigration, but we also need a way to help stop the drug cartels and the gangs and to help the economies of our southern neighbors. We also need to understand that by not securing our borders, we are encouraging the drug cartels and the gangs to invade our country.

 

Forgetting Why You Were Originally Formed

Unions in America were formed to give working people a voice in their negotiations with their sometimes unyielding employers. Most of the demands unions were created to pursue are now covered by government regulations, and the role of unions in the life of the everyday worker is not what it originally was. Union workers pay their dues, and union officials live very well. Somehow I don’t think that was what the original intention was.

The Washington Free Beacon posted a story today about how the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) spends its money. For those of you who believe that big corporations provide the money in politics, some of this may come as a surprise.

The article reports:

Labor giant Service Employees International Union spent $60 million on politics and lobbying as well as $19 million on the Fight for 15 movement in 2016, and now finds itself laying off headquarters staff.

The union’s federal filing to the Department of Labor reveal that it experienced marginal growth in 2016, adding about 15,000 members from 2015. However, that increase did not correlate with financial growth as revenue fell by $17 million, fueling a $10 million budget deficit.

The union, which represents healthcare and public sector workers, spent $61.6 million on political activities and lobbying in 2016, roughly 20 percent of its $314.6 million budget, according to the filing.

However, those figures may underestimate its political spending. The union spent $19 million on activist groups and public relations consultants to assist with the Fight for 15 campaign, which has successfully pushed for dramatic minimum wage increases in New York, California, and Washington, D.C., according to an analysis from the Center for Union Facts.

Who represents those union members who don’t support the causes and candidates that the union leaders decide to support? Do union members ever get a chance to vote on the causes or candidates the union will support?

The article further reports:

“The SEIU has transformed from a labor union into a subsidiary of the Left, spending millions of dues dollars on left-wing causes unrelated to collective bargaining,” Berman (Richard Berman, executive director of the Center for Union Facts) said. “Instead of fighting for workplace benefits, the union is going behind their members’ backs to bankroll Democrats and liberal advocacy groups.”

The International Franchising Association, a trade industry group whose members have been targeted by the Fight for 15 movement, said that political agitation and the expansion of membership ranks among fast food workers does little to benefit dues-paying members.

“Perhaps SEIU should spend more money helping workers it represents and less money attacking corporations and a business model like franchising that actually successfully lifts people out of poverty and gives them a ladder of opportunity to advance in their career,” spokesman Matthew Haller said.

I have no problem with unions spending money on political activities as long as the members of the union have a vote in which activities to support. Also, as long as unions are free to spend the kind of money they spend on political action, corporations should be equally free to do so, again at the discretion of their stockholders.

 

The Individual States Are Laboratories To Determine The Best Policies

For whatever reason, the Republicans seem to have a problem keeping their campaign pledge to repeal ObamaCare. For some reason, they just can’t seem to bring up any one of the many bills they passed to repeal ObamaCare in the past when they knew the President would veto the bill. They are behaving like cowards. The problem is not the Freedom Caucus; the problem is the establishment Republicans who, like the Democrats, love bigger government. At any rate, the states have shown the way to repeal ObamaCare.

On Friday, Investor’s Business Daily posted an editorial showing how various states have dealt with various aspects of ObamaCare.

The editorial explains:

In the early 1990s, several states adopted “guaranteed issue” (which banned insurers from turning anyone down for health reasons) and “community rating” (which banned insurers from charging the sick more than the healthy).

As with ObamaCare, these regulations banned insurers from denying coverage or charging people more because they were sick. Like ObamaCare, these reforms were popular with the public.

And, just like ObamaCare, they all caused their individual insurance markets to collapse, as premiums skyrocketed and insurers fled the markets.

So what happened?

Of 10 states that adopted ObamaCare-style market regulations, four repealed their “guaranteed issue” and “community rating” regulations altogether, according to a detailed analysis by Milliman in 2012.

New Hampshire, for example, adopted these protections in 1994. By 2000, only two insurance companies were writing individual policies in the state, and by 2001, only 3% of the state’s non-elderly population were enrolled in an individual insurance plan, down from 7.6% before the reforms kicked in.

The editorial goes on to explain that when the regulations were repealed in 2002 and a high-risk pool created for those with pre-existing conditions, more people bought insurance. By 2010, 8.5% of the population were buying on the individual market.

The editorial cites a similar experience in Kentucky:

Kentucky likewise abandoned these protections six years after adopting them, and after making various modifications in hopes to get the rules to work. When Kentucky first imposed guaranteed issue and community rating in 1994, there were more than 40 insurers in the state’s individual market. By 1996, only one was left.

Iowa and South Dakota also ditched their guaranteed issue and community rating reforms within nine years of enacting them. Washington weakened its guaranteed issue provision in 2000.

The editorial concludes:

These states show that repealing blanket “guaranteed issue” protections is politically possible, that it will restore the individual insurance market to health, and that there are other, better ways to take care of the sick.

The free market works every time it is tried!

The government does very few things well. Right now I can’t think of any of them. I am reminded of the Milton Friedman quote:

“If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in 5 years there’d be a shortage of sand”

We need to keep that quote in mind when Congress talks about expanding government programs.

The Truck Was Not The Only Weapon Involved

We have all read about the terror attack in Sweden yesterday. A man from Uzbekistan who reportedly supports ISIS ran a beer truck into a group of people at a crowded mall. Evidently he particularly aimed at children.

Hot Air posted an article about the attack today giving a few more details.

The article reports that he also had explosives on board to detonate as part of the attack:

SVT also reported that there was a homemade explosive device discovered in the mangled wreckage of the truck, which was towed overnight from the upscale shopping district that on Friday afternoon became a scene of carnage.

With the attack, which also injured 15 others, Stockholm joined a growing list of major European cities where vehicle have been turned into weapons over the past year, including Nice, Berlin and London.

Europe (and America) need to reexamine their refugee programs. We need to welcome people to our countries who want to assimilate and contribute to the welfare of the country. We need to suggest other places for those who want to set up enclaves within our country or who support an alternative system of justice rather than support the U.S. Constitution. It really is not too smart to continue inviting people who want to come into Europe or America who want to destroy western civilization.

How Things Work

I received this in my email from a friend. I am not sure if it is true or not, but it makes a good point:

The owner of the Phoenix Suns basketball team,
Robert Sarver, came out strongly opposing AZ‘s new immigration laws.

Former Arizona Governor, Jan Brewer, released the following statement in response to Sarver’s criticism of the new law:

“What if the owners of the Suns discovered that hordes of people were sneaking into games without paying?

What if they had a good idea who the gate-crashers are
but the ushers and security personnel were not allowed
to ask these folks to produce their ticket stubs, thus non-paying attendees couldn’t be ejected.

Furthermore, what if Suns’ ownership was expected to
provide those who sneaked in with complimentary eats and drink?

And what if, on those days when a gate-crasher became ill or injured, the Suns had to provide free medical care and shelter?”

The March Economic Figures

The March Jobs Report was released today. Breitbart posted the numbers.

The article reports:

The United States created 98,000 jobs in March, and the unemployment rate dipped to 4.5 percent, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday.

The number to watch is the Labor Force Participation Rate. That number has remained steady. It needs to go up, and I suspect that it will in the coming months.

This is the graph of the Labor Force Participation Rate since 2008:

It is my belief that as President Trump begins to remove the regulatory burdens from American industry, the Labor Force Participation Rate will increase. That will be the evidence that we are finally recovering from the recession that we entered eight years ago. The original recession was not the fault of President Obama, but the actions he took during his administration were not actions that were going to facilitate a strong recovery.

Making America Energy Independent

There are a lot of entities that have a vested interest in preventing America from becoming energy independent. The obvious ones are OPEC and the Soviet Union. When you look at the money behind the anti-pipeline and anti-fracking movements, you will see a lot of Saudi Arabian money and a lot of Russian money. Why? Some scientists believe that the oil and natural gas resources in America reachable by fracking are larger than the oil resources in the Middle East. Fracking will quickly end OPEC’s monopoly on the world’s oil supply. It will also prevent the possibility of Iran at some point blocking the Strait of Hormuz. Thirty percent of the world’s oil travels through the Strait of Hormuz. Imagine the disruption of the world’s oil supply if that Strait was blocked. Right now, Russia is the largest supplier of natural gas to Europe. The pipelines run from Russia to Europe. Russia has been known to threaten Europe with shutting down the pipeline if Europe does not comply with Russia’s wishes. American oil and natural gas would also alleviate that threat. The environmentalists who are blocking the development of America’s fossil fuel reserves are serving as useful idiots for OPEC and the Russians. The elevated status these objectors were given during the Obama Administration is about to end.

The Daily Caller is reporting today that the Trump Administration is getting ready to open up new areas to offshore oil and gas drilling.

The article reports:

Industry sources familiar with the matter told Platts an executive order is in the works to rewind Obama’s decision to make large swaths of the Arctic and Atlantic off-limits to oil and gas drilling.

Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke told industry representatives the new drilling plan would be signed soon, according to Bloomberg. However, he gave few details on what the order could include.

The Department of the Interior’s (DOI) new five-year offshore drilling plan could take years to develop and would replace the Obama administration’s five-year plan finalized in November.

Like it or not, fossil fuel fuels the world’s economy. Until the free market is allowed to work to develop a reliable source of green energy, fossil fuel will continue in that role. The good news is that natural gas is an extremely clean-burning fossil fuel, and America has plenty of that.

The article concludes:

Trump is expected to sign the order by the end of April, and it’s sure to draw legal challenges from environmentalists who’ve argued Obama’s indefinite ban on Arctic and Atlantic drilling can’t be overturned.

Obama used Section 12(a) of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, a 1953 law governing offshore drilling, in an unprecedented way, blocking leases in the Atlantic Ocean and the Chukchi and Beaufort seas.

Obama’s order took 125 million acres in Arctic seas and four million acres in the Atlantic Ocean out of future lease sales indefinitely. Supporters said the former president’s actions “permanently” banned drilling in those regions.

But the drilling ban is only permanent if Congress doesn’t change the law or Trump doesn’t move to test it in court. Past presidents have reduced the size of Section 12(a) designations but never fully repealed them.

The U.S.-held portion of the Arctic Ocean is estimated to hold 27 billion barrels of oil and 132 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. The oil and gas industry has struggled to access these vast energy reserves but new discoveries in northern Alaska have reinvigorated some interest in the region.

Energy independence is both a matter of national security and economic success. Cheap fuel prices will bring industry back to America. American labor costs may be higher than the almost-slave labor that exists in some countries, but American quality control standards are also high. Lowering energy costs (and lowering corporate tax rates) will be a positive step toward reviving an American economy that has not been doing well in recent years.

The History Of The Judicial Filibuster

The following is taken from a transcript of the Rush Limbaugh Show:

All that is happening today is that the Senate is being returned to the rules that lasted for 100 years prior to 2003.

The judicial filibuster was invented by the Democrats in 2003. The point is there was no filibuster anywhere… It’s not even mentioned in the Constitution. It’s a Senate rule. The Senate can make whatever rules it wants. The Democrats… I just listened to Dick Durbin. (paraphrased) They’re talking about decades and centuries of Senate tradition being wiped aside by these evil Republicans! The Republicans didn’t do anything but stand aside while the Democrats changed the rules. So all that’s happening is that Democrat rules that created filibustering judicial nominees are now being removed.

That’s all that’s happening. The Senate is being returned to normal. That’s all that’s happening. There is no great earthquake happening here. The Senate is not being forever undermined and changed. But that’s the media’s story, and so the Democrats are going along with it. The media’s devising all this strategy, and they’re showing by virtue of controlling the news how the Democrats should act and what the Democrats should say.

…The Senate has just affirmed the nuclear option on the Gorsuch confirmation. To prove the point that prior to 2003 judicial filibusters didn’t exist, look at Clarence Thomas! Clarence Thomas — after all of that crap that was his confirmation hearings — was confirmed to the court with fewer than 60 votes. So was Samuel Alito, and there have been others.

But in the modern era, those are two prominent justices confirmed with fewer than 60 votes. The filibuster didn’t exist. The Democrats invented the judicial filibuster in 2003 to stop the nominees to lower courts of George W. Bush. Harry Reid pulled it again in 2013 to include all presidential judicial nominations except those nominated for the Supreme Court. What McConnell has done today is not alter the Constitution.

McConnell and the Republicans have not nuclearized the Constitution. They have not actually triggered a nuclear option. That’s just words. All that’s happened here is that Mitch McConnell has returned to the Senate its rules that existed prior to the Democrats changing them in 2003. And, by the way, the Senate can make whatever rules it wants. And if a majority votes on the rules change, then it’s changed. The Constitution does not say anything about filibusters, because the filibuster was not actually invented until long after the country was founded and began operating.

So what is this actually about? This whole exercise was nothing more than a political game of chicken. I am still not convinced that the Democrats thought the Republicans would use the nuclear option. There will be Senate and House seats up for grabs in 2018. The recent track record of the Democrats in Senate and House elections is abysmal. It is hoped that all this fuss about the nuclear option (and forcing the Republicans to use it) will energize the Democratic voter base. It has nothing to do with the qualifications of Judge Gorsuch (and it doesn’t even have anything to do with Judge Merrick Garland). Judge Garland is a good excuse for the Democrats to throw the temper tantrum they are currently throwing. It’s all about the next election. That shouldn’t surprise anyone.

The Impact Of A President On The Economy

Reuters is reporting today that U. S. weekly jobless claims have recorded their biggest drop in two years.

The article reports:

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits declined 25,000 to a seasonally adjusted 234,000 for the week ended April 1, the Labor Department said on Thursday. The drop was the largest since the week ending April 25, 2015.

The prior week’s data was revised to show 1,000 more applications received than previously reported.

Claims have now been below 300,000, a threshold associated with a healthy labor market for 109 straight weeks. That is the longest stretch since 1970 when the labor market was smaller.

The labor market is currently near full employment.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast first-time applications for jobless benefits falling to 250,000 last week.

A Labor Department analyst said there were no special factors influencing last week’s claims data. Claims for Louisiana were estimated.

The four-week moving average of claims, considered a better measure of labor market trends as it irons out week-to-week volatility, fell 4,500 to 250,000 last week.

The article reminds us that last week’s data will have no impact on the March unemployment report due out on Friday.

The article further reports:

According to a Reuters survey of economists, nonfarm payrolls likely increased by 180,000 jobs last month after rising 235,000 in February. The unemployment rate is seen steady at 4.7 percent.

Thursday’s claims report also showed the number of people still receiving benefits after an initial week of aid decreased 24,000 to 2.03 million in the week ended March 25. The four-week moving average of the so-called continuing claims fell 7,750 to 2.02 million, the lowest level since 2000.

This is good news. The number to watch in the report coming out tomorrow will be the Labor Force Participation Rate. If the unemployment rate stays low as more people enter the workforce, then we are on our way to an actual recovery. The unemployment number was kept artificially low during the Obama Administration by not counting people who had given up looking for work. As those people begin to look for work, it is quite possible that the unemployment number will rise slightly. In order to get a true picture of what is actually happening to employment in America, you need to look at both the unemployment rate and the Labor Force Participation Rate. The unemployment rate needs to be low and the Labor Force Participation Rate needs to be high. I will be posting both of those numbers as soon as I get them.

 

The Nightmare The Opponents Of The Patriot Act Saw Coming

It would be nice to believe that we are a nation led by honorable men. In the past that has occasionally been true and I am sure that it will occasionally be true in the future. I am hoping it is true in the present. However, our Founding Fathers understood that we would not always be led by honorable men and set up the U.S. Constitution accordingly. The power was supposed to rest with the people–not with the government. The government was supposed to be responsive to the wishes of the people and accountable to the people. The framework was beautiful. Had we paid closer attention to following it, we would be in a very different place. I am particularly concerned about recent violations of the Fourth Amendment.

The Fourth Amendment 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.

The Patriot Act allowed for the collection of electronic data unprecedented in American history. The idea behind it was to prevent terrorist attacks. Some Congressmen warned that the act could be used to violate the rights of average Americans. Evidently they were right.

Yesterday The Gateway Pundit posted a story about electronic surveillance under the Obama Administration. Evidently that surveillance went far beyond what was necessary or legitimate.

The article reports:

Barack Obama‘s CIA Director John O. Brennan targeted Trump supporters for enhanced surveillance, intelligence sources confirm to GotNews’ Charles C. Johnson.

The surveillance took place between Trump’s election on November 8 and the inauguration in January, according to White House and House intelligence sources.

The focus was on General Mike Flynn, billionaire Erik Prince, and Fox News host Sean Hannity — all of whom had close ties to Trump before and after the November election and had helped the future president with managing his new diplomatic responsibilities.

Hannity was targeted because of his perceived ties to Julian Assange, say our intelligence sources. Hannity was reportedly unmasked by Susan Rice at Brennan’s behest thanks to his close relationship with Trump and Julian Assange.

Blackwater founder Erik Prince, a former CIA covert asset, has long criticized the CIA’s bloat and incompetence, including the Brennan-run CIA drone program’s failure to properly target terrorists rather than Afghan civilians. Prince has repeatedly called for restructuring the CIA and argued against Brennan’s tenure.

This is a violation of the Fourth Amendment rights of these citizens. At the very least, lawsuits are in order. More appropriately, people who authorized or participated in this need to lose their jobs and possible go to prison. In the Watergate Scandal, which is peanuts compared to this, people went to prison. That would also be appropriate here.