I Will Just Leave This Here

On Tuesday wdef.com reported that the U.S. Attorney in Atlanta has just convicted a fourth suspect of sex trafficking.

The article reports:

Prosecutors say the ring compelled young women from Mexico and Central America to engage in commercial sex.

Severiano Martinez-Rojas of Mexico was sentenced to 24 years in prison.

Two co-defendants pleaded guilty to sex trafficking while a third admitted to harboring aliens.

“Sex trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery that exploits and traumatizes some of the most vulnerable members of our society,” said U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak.

The prosecution alleged that the ring lured the girls to the U.S. with faked romantic relationships, promising love, marriage and work.

They smuggled them into the country illegally, then used violence and threats to put them to work in a brothel.

A person who is here legally has the protection of the law. A person who is not here illegally may fear the law because they are here illegally. This is one aspect of the human cost of open borders. Making it harder to enter America illegally is one small step in fighting the battle against human trafficking.

The article concludes:

“Human trafficking is disgraceful and unacceptable. The sentence demonstrates the Department of Justice’s unwavering commitment to combatting these crimes,” said Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband.

“This sex trafficking enterprise was extensive and resulted in the abuse of young women and girls.”

Some Observations On The Election In Georgia Yesterday

Former Democratic House Speaker Tip O’Neill is credited with saying, “All politics is local.” I think that fact is partially responsible for the victory of Republican Karen Handel over Democrat Jon Ossoff in Tuesday’s special election in Georgia.

This was the most expensive U.S. House of Representatives race in American history. For those people screaming that we need to get the money out of politics, here are some numbers from an article posted at Hot Air today. As of the end of May, Republican Karen Handel had spent $3.2M. Democrat Jon Ossoff had spent $22.5M. Obviously this election was not for sale.

To add irony and a touch of chutzpah to this:

Candidate Ossoff stated in interview:

MARTIN: How do you feel about the money that’s been spent on this campaign? The Atlanta Journal Constitution published a calculation that said you and your opponent have spent or reserved over $40 million for TV and radio ads. Does that disturb you? What does it say about our political culture?

OSSOFF: The role of money in politics is a major problem and particularly the role of unchecked anonymous money. There have been super PACs in Washington who have been putting up tens of millions of dollars of attack ads in air for months now. When you have that kind of an environment, it’s necessary to raise the resources to fight back. I’m proud of the fact that my campaign has raised that money in small-dollar contributions, on average less than $50.

MARTIN: Although, it was your party that started the big spending. The Atlanta Journal Constitution also found your campaign and groups supporting it spent about $2 million more in ad spending than Handel during the runoff.

OSSOFF: Well, the overwhelming majority of money spent supporting my opponent has come from super PACs in Washington. And the overwhelming amount of money that’s been spent supporting my candidacy has come from small-dollar donors. But there’s no question that money in politics is a major problem, which is one of the reasons that we need campaign finance reform so that candidates and campaigns will spend more time talking to voters and discussing the issues and less time raising money.

Really?

On Friday, The Daily Caller reported:

Georgia Democrat Jon Ossoff has set a new national record for out-of-state fundraising in his bid for Georgia’s 6th Congressional District.

Only about 3.5 percent of Ossoff’s $15 million reported fundraising total came from within Georgia, according the Atlanta Journal Constitution. More than 14 percent came from California and New York.

Here are some of my observations on the election. The mainstream media again had it wrong–they predicted a much closer race or a victory for Jon Ossoff. The money in the election was not the determining factor–the voters looked at the candidates and made their choice according to what they knew. The media has totally lost contact with the voters–they have no idea what the pulse of America is.

The picture below sums up last night:

They just don’t look happy!

Common Sense Has Taken A Vacation

Yesterday Judicial Watch reported that only three United States airports require security checks on their employees. If Judicial Watch knows this, does anyone believe that people with nefarious intentions are not also aware of this?

The article reports:

In all of the cases, airport workers used their security badges to access secured areas of their respective facilities without having to undergo any sort of check. As if this weren’t bad enough, last month government records obtained by the media revealed that 73 employees at nearly 40 airports across the nation were flagged for ties to terror in a June 2015 report from the DHS Inspector General’s Office. The files identified two of them working at Logan International Airport in Boston, four at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and six at Seattle-Tacoma International in Washington State. Here’s the government’s explanation for letting the potential terrorists slip by; the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) didn’t have access to the terrorism-related database during the vetting process for those employees. You can’t make this stuff up!

Now we learn that only three of the nation’s 300 airports—Atlanta, Miami and Orlando—require employees to undergo security checks before work, even though there’s an epidemic of illicit activity among this demographic. The unbelievable stat was delivered by DHS officials testifying at a Senate Commerce Committee hearing this week. In the aftermath of the Belgium terrorist attacks, the hearing was scheduled to address efforts in this country to prevent attacks on passenger and freight targets that could lead to mass casualties. The head of TSA, Robert Neffenger, told lawmakers that the agency has increased the inspection of employees five-fold in the last five months but admitted improvements must be made and the nation’s airports will provide a report by the end of the month assessing their vulnerabilities.

It might be a really good idea to correct this situation quickly.

Our History Is Not Perfect–But It Is Our History

When you look at history, you need to remember that you are a traveler in a strange land. The values and things we take for granted today may be very different from the values and things taken for granted at the time you are looking at. We also need to be very wary of people who try to rewrite history or remove parts of our history. Our history is our history–we can’t change it. We can learn from it, but we can’t change it.

Stone Mountain Park is Georgia is considered the “Confederate Rushmore.” The park includes an educational documentary “The Battle for Georgia – a History of the Civil War in Georgia.” The park is an education center dedicated to a very unhappy chapter in American history. Part of that history is the Confederate Battle Flag.

Yesterday Yahoo News posted an article about a request for a boycott of Stone Mountain Park in Georgia:

Democratic state Representative LaDawn Blackett Jones this week urged people to stay away from the park 10 miles (16 km) east of Atlanta because it flies three flags of the pro-slavery Confederacy alongside the U.S. and Georgia state flags.

Bobbie Smith of Fitzgerald, Georgia, who was camping at Stone Mountain with her family, called the boycott call “just stupid.”

Now let’s look at that statement for a minute and put it into context. Britain abolished slavery in the 1830’s. Slavery remained legal in many countries of the world until the end of the 20th Century. It is now technically illegal in all countries, although it is still practiced in some countries in some form with a different name. Before we talk about the ‘pro-slavery Confederacy,’ we need to consider that although slavery is a horrible thing, it was acceptable behavior in many circles at the time. Would the Representative have described 19th Century England as pro-slavery England? To deny that part of America’s history or to try to gloss over it is to deny where we have been.

The article further reports:

The park is on state land and run by the Stone Mountain Memorial Association. Spokesman John Bankhead said, “People on both sides of the issue say it (the flag) belongs in a museum. Here in Georgia, the Stone Mountain Park serves as that.”

The park is known as the “Confederate Mount Rushmore” for its 90-foot-tall (27-meter-tall) relief sculpture of three Confederate figures – President Jefferson Davis and Generals Robert E. Lee and Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson. The park describes it as the largest high relief sculpture in the world.

The thing we need to remember here is that the Confederacy was not evil. It practiced slavery, which was wrong, but accepted at the time. The Confederate States fought a war with the United States to preserve their way of life–not to take territory. The Confederacy is part of America’s heritage. Hopefully we have learned from the mistake made in accepting slavery and have done a better job of treating all Americans equally. Meanwhile, the hysteria about the Confederate battle flag is a bit overblown. One wonders what is behind the effort to erase this part of America’s history.

And All This Time You Thought Common Core Was About Education

Yesterday the Daily Caller reported that Bill Gates will shut down his Gates Foundation (and Carnegie Corporation) financed nonprofit educational-software company InBloom Inc. permanently.

This was the company that was going to compile large amounts of information on students.

The article reports:

The strategy driving inBloom had been to create a huge database connecting local school districts and state education bureaucracies with behemoth education companies.

To accomplish this goal, the nonprofit had hoped to provide a smorgasbord of data about students. What homework are they doing? What tests are they assigned? What are their test scores? Their specific learning disabilities? Their disciplinary records? Their skin colors? Their names? Their addresses?

The Atlanta-based company had originally signed up nine states for the database. It planned to charge school districts between $2 and $5 per student for the privilege of participating in the student data collection scheme.

The intrusive data collection of student information was not the only surprise in Common Core. (also note that the school systems would be paying for the privilege of having their students’ privacy violated)  Upon investigating the curriculum which is aligned to Common Core, parents found lessons that were age inappropriate, lessons that were historically inaccurate and slanted, and literature for junior high reading that bordered on pornographic.

A few states are already are already responding to parental concern about Common Core and are backing away from using the standards and curriculum. Hopefully all states will move in that direction and then move to set up standards that work for them.

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An Unusual Storm

The Associated Press posted a story about the cold weather and snow that has hit the southeastern part of America. This is a picture of our neighborhood in eastern North Carolina. The weather is unusual and has temporarily crippled the local area.

Photo: So - This is North Carolina - Today!

The article reported how people were impacted by the storm and how they coped:

Overnight, the South saw fatal crashes and hundreds of fender-benders. Jackknifed 18-wheelers littered Interstate 65 in central Alabama. Ice shut down bridges on Florida’s panhandle and the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway, one of the world’s longest spans, in Louisiana. Some commuters pleaded for help via cellphones while still holed up in their cars, while others trudged miles home, abandoning their vehicles outright.

Linda Moore spent 12 hours stuck in her car on Interstate 65 south of Birmingham before a firefighter used a ladder to help her cross the median wall and a shuttle bus took her to a hotel where about 20 other stranded motorists spent the night in a conference room.

“I boohooed a lot,” she said. “It was traumatic. I’m just glad I didn’t have to stay on that Interstate all night, but there are still people out there.”

No one knew exactly how many people were stranded, but some employers such as Blue Cross Blue Shield in Alabama had hundreds of people sleeping in offices overnight. Workers watched movies on their laptops, and office cafeterias gave away food.

The good news is that it will be above freezing in most places tomorrow and in the upper 50’s and lower 60’s by Saturday.

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Drug Testing Welfare Recipients

A friend of mine lost his job before Christmas and thankfully has recently found a new job. He is fairly high on the chain of command, and I was rather surprised that even when you are a responsible adult family man with a good work history, you are generally required to take a drug test before being approved for employment.

That situation entered my mind when I began reading about the idea of drug testing welfare recipients. Just as my friend was drug tested before he could be gainfully employed, should welfare recipients be drug tested before they receive taxpayers’ money?

Townhall.com posted an Associated Press article yesterday about the move to drug test people who receive money from the government.

The article reports:

Data show that about 8 percent of the population uses drugs. And before a random drug testing program in Michigan was put on hold by a court challenge, about 8 percent of its public assistance applicants tested positive.

In years past such legal challenges had a chilling effect on state legislatures, but that seems to have thawed.

Michigan’s program was halted after five weeks in 1999, eventually ending with an appeals court ruling that it was unconstitutional.

For more than a decade, no other state moved to implement such a law.

Drug use is a problem. If people are drug tested to get a job, why shouldn’t they be drug tested to be paid money from the government?

The article states:

This year conservative lawmakers in 23 states from Wyoming to Mississippi _ where lawmakers want random screening to include nicotine tests _ are moving forward with proposals of their own.

Romney, in an interview this month in Georgia, supported the idea. “People who are receiving welfare benefits, government benefits, we should make sure they’re not using those benefits to pay for drugs,” Romney said to WXIA-TV in Atlanta.

Newt Gingrich addressed the topic with Yahoo News in November, saying he considered testing as a way to curb drug use and lower related costs to public programs.

Drug use can prevent people from being responsible and holding down a job. Why should we support the drug habit of someone who would rather stay home and do drugs than work? I object to the idea of testing for nicotine–cigarettes are still a legal product–but I think testing for illegal drugs is a good idea. If people who want to be hired for a job need to be drug tested, why shouldn’t welfare recipients also be tested?

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A Taste Of The Misinformation To Come

Hot Air posted a story today aimed at clearing up one of the attacks on Newt Gingrich that actually has no basis in fact. It is an attack (and talking point of the left) that has been around for at least twenty years, and it is really nasty as well as being untrue.

The story is that Newt Gingrich divorced his wife as she law in a hospital bed dying of cancer. His daughter, Jackie Gingrich Cushman, has decided to set the record straight.

Ms. Cushman tells her story at a website called creators.com. She relates:

So, to correct the record, here is what happened: My mother, Jackie Battley Gingrich, is very much alive, and often spends time with my family. I am lucky to have such a “Miracle Mom,” as I titled her in a column this week. 

As for my parents’ divorce, I can remember when they told me.

It was the spring of 1980. 

I was 13 years old, and we were about to leave Fairfax, Va., and drive to Carrollton, Ga., for the summer. My parents told my sister and me that they were getting a divorce as our family of four sat around the kitchen table of our ranch home. 

Soon afterward, my mom, sister and I got into our light-blue Chevrolet Impala and drove back to Carrollton.

Later that summer, Mom went to Emory University Hospital in Atlanta for surgery to remove a tumor. While she was there, Dad took my sister and me to see her.

It is this visit that has turned into the infamous hospital visit about which many untruths have been told. I won’t repeat them. You can look them up online if you are interested in untruths. But here’s what happened:

My mother and father were already in the process of getting a divorce, which she requested.

Dad took my sister and me to the hospital to see our mother.

She had undergone surgery the day before to remove a tumor.

The tumor was benign.

As with many divorces, it was hard and painful for all involved, but life continued.

As have many families, we have healed; we have moved on. 

It would have been nice of the people who spread this story to mention that Jackie Battley Gingrich is still alive and was not dying of cancer–nor did she die! Unfortunately divorce is a part of our society, we need to get past the habit of condemning the people who have gone through it.

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