Trying To Change The Cultural Norm

Yesterday CNS News posted an article about the discussion of whether or not we should allow drag queen story hours at public libraries. Where does free speech end?

The article notes:

Before our days, no one could ever have thought that we would have decayed to the point that drag queens would be reading to our three-year-olds. However, we have reached that point of absurdity. The maximizers of liberty have decreed that all must be permitted even though an overwhelming majority inside the community does not desire these lewd performances.

In a democratic society, where the people are supposed to rule, how does this angry majority defend themselves against the Drag Queen Story Hours and similar things that happen in their communities?

The article continues:

For this reason, some say liberalism has failed because its inner dynamism has pushed unrestrained and disordered liberty beyond the limits needed for society to function properly. A social consensus around certain moral norms that used to filter excesses is crumbling and coming apart. A tiny minority can now tyrannize over others in the name of liberty gone awry.

The problem with liberalism is that its value-neutral public square easily becomes a value-free place where a Ten Commandments monument and a Satanist Baphomet statue share equal space. Sacred text and pornography are equally qualified as literature. There is no notion of a moral right and wrong, save that defined by the exercise of freedom. Except when it threatens the physical integrity of another, anything can and must be tolerated. We must recognize any absurd self-identification or pronoun.

The article notes that there is a solution to allowing a total lack of standards to rule:

The only way to fight today’s destructive moral relativism is to have recourse to a universal moral law based on human nature and not individual whims. There must be a return to a natural law discussion that elevates the debate beyond the field of personal opinions and whims.

That is to say, there is a natural moral law, which Saint Paul says, is inscribed on the hearts of all men whereby all might know by reason those moral precepts that define the good in life. This law’s general precept, from which all the others follow, is that “good is to be done and pursued, and evil is to be avoided.” This law is valid for all times and all people in all places.

This law is not limited to Christians, although the Church is its best guardian. Throughout history, it has provided that rock of moral stability that favored human prospering. It is hardly a novel invention since American law and English common law are rooted in natural law traditions. It is not too much to insist that we might return to our roots.

It’s time to bring back common sense and community standards.

This Kind Of Logic Makes My Head Hurt

On Friday, CNS News posted an article about a recent statement by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.

The article reports:

Using money earmarked for construction projects to build a wall to secure the border “is bad for security of our border” and is “undermining our national security,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Thursday.

President Donald Trump’s decision to reallocate $3.6 billion to fund border wall construction is an “assault on Congress’s power of the purse,” Pelosi said in opening remarks at her weekly press conference:

“The President’s decision to cancel $3.6 billion for military construction initiatives makes us less safe by undermining our national security and the quality and life and the morale of our troops. And it dishonors the Constitution of the United States as the President negates the Constitution’s most fundamental principle, the principle of checks and balances, the separation of powers and his assault on the Congress’s power of the purse.

“The decision is bad for security of our border, for the security of our nation and the well‑being of our children.

How is securing our border bad for the security of our border?

It’s always about the children. What about the children who are in overcrowded classrooms due to the influx of illegal immigrants? What about the children who have contracted diseases because illegal immigrants rarely have the vaccines that American children have? What about the children whose parents are working for lower wages because illegal aliens will work for less?

The Democrat party has lost its way on national security. They are simply ignoring the negative impact of illegal immigration in order to promote a political agenda.

Hopefully The Mainstream Media Understands This Was A Joke

President Trump loves to excite the mainstream media. It doesn’t take much for him to make them totally crazy. Last night at a rally in North Carolina, he made a comment that I suspect may have that effect.

CNS News posted an article today about that comment:

Having some fun at the media’s expense, President Trump said Monday night he may have to run for a third term, so he’ll still be in the White House when the United States hosts the soccer World Cup in 2026.

Addressing supporters at a rally in North Carolina, Trump spoke of his meeting at the White House earlier in the day with Gianni Infantino, president of the world soccer governing body FIFA.

The U.S. is set to host the 2026 men’s championship, the largest event in global sports, in conjunction with Canada and Mexico.

“We’ve got a problem – it’s in 2026,” Trump said. “I said, well wait a minute. Under the normal rules, I’ll be out in 2024. So we may have to go for an extra term, OK?”

Needless to say, the crowd loved it.

There will also be a change in how the World Cup is hosted. The article reports:

The U.S. will host 60 games in ten cities including all the knockout stage games, while Canada and Mexico will host ten games each. It will be the first time in the competition’s almost century-long history that three countries co-host the event, which will see a newly-expanded roster of 48 national teams fight for the trophy.

An annual FIFA Congress in June 2018 handed the hosting rights to the North American trio, which saw off a rival bid by Morocco.

The United States has qualified for ten of the 21 World Cups held to date since 1930, reaching the quarter-final stage in 2002. The U.S. hosted the competition in 1994.

I remember the 1994 competition in Foxborough, Massachusetts–my daughters worked security for the stadium. At one point my middle daughter was watching the electronics equipment when a smart-Alec twelve-year old came up to her and said, “You can’t be security, you don’t have a gun.” She answered, “I don’t need a gun–I go to school in New York City!”

I am looking forward to the press reaction to the President’s statement.

The First Amendment Allows The Free Exercise Of Religion–It Doesn’t Restrict It

The First Amendment was designed to prevent the establishment of one religion sanctioned by the government. It was not designed to put obstacles in the way of people choosing to practice their religion.

Yesterday CNS News posted an article about a policy of the Trump administration designed to protect the rights of Americans to practice their religion.

The article reports:

Evangelical leader Franklin Graham praised Vice President Mike Pence for defending religious freedom at Veterans Affairs hospitals in a recent speech, where Pence said, “Under this administration, VA hospitals will not be religion-free zones.” 

In an Aug. 29 post on Facebook, Rev. Graham wrote, “‘VA hospitals will not be religion-free zones.’ Vice President Mike Pence spoke at the American Legion’s 101st National Convention yesterday about all that this administration is doing to help our nation’s military veterans.”

“He also addressed the issue of a current lawsuit in New Hampshire to remove the Bible of a World War II POW from a VA hospital’s ‘missing man’ table,” remarked Graham. “Vice President Pence said, ‘…under the last administration, VA hospitals were removing Bibles and even banning Christmas carols in an effort to be politically correct.

The article concludes:

“In 2014, the Navy Exchange Service Command issued a memo for the removal of Bibles in Navy Lodge guest rooms following a complaint from the Freedom From Religion Foundation,” reads the letter. “The Navy reversed course and announced that the Bibles would be replaced.  Similarly, the Establishment Clause does not require that you remove Bibles from the Missing Man Table displays.  The mere presence of a Bible coerces no one.”

At the Manchester Veterans Affairs hospital in New Hampshire there is a “missing man” memorial table that includes a Bible. In May, the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, headed by Michael Weinstein, filed a federal lawsuit to have the Bible removed. The litigation is ongoing.

“That sectarian Christian Bible bolted down to that POW/MIA table at the Manchester NH VAMC is a grotesque gang sign of fundamentalist Christian triumphalism, exceptionalism and supremacy, indeed a middle finger of unconstitutional repugnance to the plurality and separation of church and state guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution,” Weinstein told the Military Times.

Weinstein is well known in the military as someone who frequently uses lawsuits to end religious speech. Barack Obama appointed Mikey Wienstein to be a consultant to the Pentagon to develop new policies on religious tolerance, including a policy for court-martialing military chaplains who share the Christian Gospel during spiritual counseling of American troops. These are some of the policies that President Trump is quietly undoing.

It’s Better To Owe Money To A Friend Than To Owe Money To Someone Who Is Not Your Friend

America’s runaway spending is a problem. So far no one in Washington has either the power or the will to bring that spending to a screeching halt. But at least we are being a little wiser in our borrowing habits.

CNS News posted an article today with the following headline, “Japan Surpasses China as Top Foreign Holder of U.S. Debt.” It would be better if we had no debt, but at least the majority of our debt is held by a country that is not out to destroy us.

The article reports:

In May of this year, the Chinese owned $1,110,200,000,000 in U.S Treasury securities and the Japanese owned $1,101,000,000,000. In June, however, Chinese ownership of U.S. Treasury securities rose only to $1,112,500,000,000 and Japanese ownership climbed to $1,122,900,000,000.

That marked the first time since May 2017 that entities in Japan have owned more U.S. Treasury securities, as estimated by the U.S. Treasury, than entities in China.

In May 2017, the Japanese owned $1,111,500,000,000 in U.S. Treasury securities and the Chinese owned $1,102,200,000,000. In June 2017, Chinese ownership of U.S. Treasury securities increased to $1,146,500,000,000 and Japanese ownership declined to $1,090,300,000.000.

Chinese ownership of U.S. Treasury securities, according to the estimates, peaked in November 2013 at $1,316,700,000,000.

…The Federal Reserve owns more U.S. Treasury securities than either Japan or China. As of June 27, according to the Federal Reserve’s balance statement, the Federal Reserve owned $2,110,256,000,000 in Treasury securities.

U.S. Treasury securities held by entities in Hong Kong are counted separately from those in Mainland China. According to the Treasury’s estimate, entities in Hong Kong owned $215,600,000,000 in U.S. Treasury securities in June.

Entities in the United Kingdom were the third largest foreign holders of U.S. Treasury securities after Japan and China. In June, entities in the U.K. owned $341,100,000,000 in U.S. Treasury securities.

The article concludes:

In explaining its methodology for estimating foreign holdings of U.S. Treasury securities, the Treasury explained that some countries have higher numbers because owners of Treasury securities from third countries “entrust the safekeeping of their securities” to institutions in these countries.

“Imperfections caused by ‘custodial bias’remain in the current MFH [Major Foreign Holders of U.S. Treasury Securities] table,” said the methodology statement. “Some foreign owners entrust the safekeeping of their securities to institutions that are neither in the United States nor in the owner’s country of residence. For example, a German investor may buy a U.S. security and place it in the custody of a Swiss bank. In both the SLT and the periodic surveys of holdings of long-term securities, such a holding will typically be recorded vis-a-vis Switzerland rather than Germany. This ‘custodial bias’ contributes to the large recorded holdings in major custodial centers including Belgium, the Caribbean banking centers, Luxembourg, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.”

It truly is time to cut our spending. We owe too many people too much money.

Slowly Dealing With The Problem

On Wednesday, CNS News posted an article about the number of border crossings in recent months.

The article reports:

The number of border crossings have dropped by 43 percent since May, acting DHS Secretary Kevin McAleenan said Wednesday.

Furthermore, the number of illegal immigrants in custody at border stations has dropped from 20,000 in June to less than 4,000 as of today.

“So those efforts are making progress – 43% reduction in crossings since May. We’re hoping to continue the progress in August. I’ll be going back to Central America next week to try to build on that with El Salvador and Panama and really address this problem as a regional effort,” he told “Fox & Friends” on Wednesday.

“On the first week of June, we had 20,000 people in custody in border stations. They’re having a difficult time managing that overcrowding. This morning we have less than 4,000, and they’re not staying with us very long. We’re able to repatriate the single adults quickly. The unaccompanied children are going to a better situation with Health and Human Services,” McAleenan said.

Speaking about the recent attacks on ICE facilities across the country, the acting director said, “It does appear to be targeted, and again, as you just noted, this is the fourth incident of violence or an issue at an ICE facility, and our top priority is the safety of our men and women who are out there protecting American communities.

Some Americans are being told that law enforcement is a bad thing. We have seen increased attacks on police as well as border agents. This is an undermining of the things that keep us safe. It is an attempt to bring anarchy to America. We need to educate our children to respect those in law enforcement. Without those who risk their lives when they go to work every day, we would have chaos in this country. We need to remember that.

Moving The Goalposts When They Aren’t Winning The Game

The Democrat loved the Supreme Court before President Trump appointed two Justices. They are concerned now because their allies on the Court are not young, and President Trump is still President despite their best efforts. So, since they can’t seem to get what they want honestly, they are trying to change the rules.

CNS News posted an article today with the headline, “Five Democrats Warn Supreme Court It Could be ‘Restructured;’ Urge It to Drop 2nd Amendment Case.” Wow. Talk about arrogance.

The article reports:

Five Democrat senators have filed a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court, urging it to stay out of a pending Second Amendment case and warning it that a majority of Americans now believe the “Supreme Court should be restructured in order to reduce the influence of politics.”

The case, New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. City of New York, is the first major challenge to gun laws since 2010, the senators said.

According to SCOTUS blog, the New York State Pistol and Rifle Association, representing gun owners who live in the city, are challenging the city’s ban on transferring licensed, unloaded guns anywhere outside city limits — including to a weekend home or to a shooting range.

The lower courts upheld those restrictions, so the gun owners took their case to the Supreme Court.

The article continues:

The senators argue that the National Rifle Association and The Federalist Society have “engineered the case” so the Republican-appointed majority will rule in their favor.

“[C]ourts do not undertake political ‘projects.’ Or at least they should not,” Whitehouse, Hirono, Blumenthal, Durbin, and Gillibrand wrote. “Americans are murdered each day with firearms in classrooms or movie theaters or churches or city streets, and a generation of preschoolers is being trained in active-shooter survival drills.

“In the cloistered confines of this Court, notwithstanding the public imperatives of these massacres, the NRA and its allies brashly presume, in word and deed, that they have a friendly audience [on the Court] for their ‘project.’”

Further, the Democrats argue that the gun-transporting restrictions have now been rescinded, making the case moot, yet the plaintiffs “soldier on” with their case.

“The judiciary was not intended to settle hypothetical disagreements,” the brief says. “Rather, the Framers designed Article III courts to adjudicate actual cases and controversies brought by plaintiffs who suffer a real-world harm.”

The Democrats also argue that the Supreme Court is increasingly “political” (now that it has an “engineered” Republican-appointed majority).

“Today, fifty-five percent of Americans believe the Supreme Court is ‘mainly motivated by politics'(up five percent from last year); fifty-nine percent believe the Court is ‘too influenced by politics’; and a majority now believes the ‘Supreme Court should be restructured in order to reduce the influence of politics,'” the brief says.

The senators conclude their brief with a warning about “restructuring” the court, an idea advocated by some of the Democrats running for president:

“The Supreme Court is not well,” they wrote. “And the people know it. Perhaps the Court can heal itself before the public demands it be ‘restructured in order to reduce the influence of politics.’ Particularly on the urgent issue of gun control, a nation desperately needs it to heal.”

Presumably, the court will not be “healed” until a majority of the justices are appointed by Democrats.

When they are out of power, Democrats tend to act like spoiled brats.

How Is This Helpful?

CNS News posted an article yesterday about recent comments by former President Obama about the shootings over the weekend.

The article notes:

Former President Barack Obama issued a statement Monday expressing grief for the families of the victims of the El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, shooting massacres and calling for people to reject language from leaders “that feeds a climate of fear and hatred or normalizes racist sentiments.”

“Even if details are still emerging, there are a few things we already know to be true,” Obama tweeted on Monday. “First, no other nation on Earth comes close to experiencing the frequency of mass shootings that we see in the United States. No other developed nation tolerates the levels of gun violence that we do.

…Second, while the motivations behind these shootings may not yet be fully known, there are indications that the El Paso shooting follows a dangerous trend: troubled individuals who embrace racist ideologies and see themselves obligated to act violently to preserve white supremacy. Like the followers of ISIS and other foreign terrorist organizations, these individuals may act alone, but they’ve been radicalized by white nationalist websites that proliferate on the internet. That means that both law enforcement agencies and internet platforms need to come up with better strategies to reduce the influence of these hate groups.

This is not helpful. We have had troubled people in our country since the founding of the country. While the media is focused on the shootings over the weekend, how many people in Chicago died during that same weekend? Why isn’t that mentioned? Hate groups are not the problem–mental illness is the problem. These individuals acted as individuals. There are indications that they were troubled before the shootings.

During his administration, President Obama perverted justice on numerous occasions. He was quick to condemn the police before the facts were known, and at the beginning of his administration he refused to charge the New Black Panthers with voter intimidation despite the fact that there was obvious video evidence. Undermining authority and unequal enforcement of the law creates a climate of unrest. Using the government against political opponents ( using the IRS to suppress conservative speach)  also undermines our republic

When History Isn’t Taught In Schools

Last week we celebrated Independence Day. It was the day that America declared its freedom from British rule. It was the day that Congress approved the Declaration of Independence.

The New American website includes what I consider the most important quote of the time period:

The deliberations of the Constitutional Convention of 1787 were held in strict secrecy. Consequently, anxious citizens gathered outside Independence Hall when the proceedings ended in order to learn what had been produced behind closed doors. The answer was provided immediately. A Mrs. Powel of Philadelphia asked Benjamin Franklin, “Well, Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?” With no hesitation whatsoever, Franklin responded, “A republic, if you can keep it.”

We are an imperfect nation founded by imperfect people. However, those imperfect people relied on basic historic principles to create a land that would promote freedom. They were constrained by the customs of their time, and acted accordingly. Many of the issues they did not address (because they were not considered issues at the time) have since been addressed. Unfortunately some of our Congressional representatives do not appreciate the history that gave us our freedom or that allows them supposedly to represent us.

On July 5th, CNS News posted a tweet by Representative Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.). This tweet was posted on July 4th:

The article notes:

Controversial Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) both “liked” and shared Pressley’s post on her Twitter page.

In her Twitter thread, Rep. Pressley argued that the “prejudices, biases & contradictions codified by our founding fathers is still felt today.” She continued to compare the detention of migrants awaiting trial to slavery, writing that “We continue to struggle as a nation to embrace our full history, one that includes family separation of black families at the auction block & today of migrants at camps.”

Writing for The Daily Wire, Josh Hammer rebuked the article, saying that its author was “profoundly ungrateful” and “affirmatively wrong to muddle and belittle the genius that was Thomas Jefferson’s drafted Declaration of Independence.”

Hammer added that the Declaration of Independence actually laid the foundation for the extermination of slavery:

“Slavery was not in any way a tenet of the American Founding; it was an institution manifestly athwart the Founding. The sagacity of the Declaration, in fact, was that it actually laid the seeds — the very codified foundation — for the eventual eradication of that most horrific of compromises of principle.”

Again, history has to be viewed in context. Slavery was an acceptable practice at the time, and women did not have rights at the time. That has changed. As for the Indians, unfortunately it is the rule of nations that since man arrived on the planet that nations have changed hands because of force. Generally speaking, the conquered people assimilated into the new nation. Look at the nations of Europe and Great Britain to find multiple examples of that principle.

America is one of the freest nations in the world–our Bill of Rights protects that freedom. If Representative Pressley thinks the nation she is supposed to serve is so horrible, I would ask what legislation she has introduced to make it a better place.

Meanwhile, let us heed the words of Benjamin Franklin and celebrate our republic.

A Positive Economic Picture

CNS News is reporting today that the economy is doing better than predicted.

The article reports:

A record 157,005,000 people were employed in June, the most since February and the 19th record of Trump’s presidency, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on Friday.

And the economy added a strong 224,000 jobs in June, well above the estimate of 160,000.

The unemployment rate, the lowest in 50 years, ticked up a tenth of a point to 3.7 percent.

In June, the nation’s civilian noninstitutionalized population, consisting of all people age 16 or older who were not in the military or an institution, reached 259,037,000. Of those, 162,981,000 participated in the labor force by either holding a job or actively seeking one.

The 162,981,000 who participated in the labor force equaled 62.9 percent of the 259,037,000 civilian noninstitutionalized population. That’s up a tenth of a point from May’s 62.8 percent participation rate. The payroll taxes paid by people who participate in the labor force help support those who do not participate, so the higher this number, the better.

The participation rate reached a record high of 67.3 percent in early 2000; the highest it’s been under Trump is 63.2 percent.

In December 2016, the labor force participation rate was 62.7. It has moved between 62.7 and 63.1 since President Trump took office.

I love the fact that during a Republican administration, the estimates of jobs created is always low and economists are always surprised when the real numbers come out.

The article concludes:

And wages continue rising: In June, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 6 cents to $27.90, following a 9-cent gain in May. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have increased by 3.1 percent.

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, in a June 25 speech, said the economy has performed “reasonably well” so far this year, with continued growth and strong job creation keeping the unemployment rate near historic lows.

But Powell also mentioned “some ongoing cross-currents,” including trade uncertainty and incoming data about the strength of the global economy.

He said the Fed “will closely monitor the implications of incoming information for the economic outlook and will act as appropriate to sustain the expansion…” That could mean lower interest rates — or not, if the employment and job numbers remain strong.

Economic policies impact the economy. It matters who is occupying the White House. President Trump has proved that.

Be Careful What You Wish For

CNS News posted an article today about the upcoming appearance of Robert Mueller before the House of Representatives.

The article notes:

Be careful what you wish for, Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) told Fox News’s Laura Ingraham Tuesday night:

“Listen, it is not a good day for America, but Bob Mueller better be prepared. Because I can tell you, he will be cross-examined for the first time, and the American people will start to see the flaws in his report.”

Republicans have many unanswered questions about the scope of Mueller’s investigation, including the process leading up to the FISA warrant on Carter Page and when Mueller’s team learned that there was no coordination between the Trump campaign and the Russians.

Meadows said Democrats have courted Mueller “just so that they can harass the president” and keep the collusion/obstruction narrative going for political reasons.

Meadows predicted that Mueller’s testimony will “backfire” on Democrats.

Mueller, in his only public comment on the report, said it speaks for itself and he would have nothing to add beyond what is in it.

But “Congress has questions that go beyond the report,” Rep. Schiff told CNN Tuesday night:

“So we have any number of questions about the counter-intelligence investigation, and the role of the counter-intelligence agents within his team to questions about some of the prosecutorial decisions that were made. We have fact questions about some of the statements that are made in the report, so there are any number of issues that we wish to cover with him,” Schiff said.

So what about the questions some of the rest of us have:

  • How was the investigation team chosen?
  • Why was the investigation team composed solely of Democrat campaign contributors and in one case a lawyer who had worked for the Clintons?
  • Why was someone put in charge of investigating the President right after the President had rejected his job application? Was he expected to be objective?
  • Why did the Mueller Report totally ignore Christopher Steele, Bruce Ohr, Nellie Ohr, etc.?
  • Why was an unverified dossier used as the basis for a FISA Warrant?
  • How many attempts were made to place undercover agents in the Trump campaign?
  • Why were charges against Paul Manafort that had been deemed not worth prosecuting more than ten years ago suddenly brought to life again?
  • Why did the investigation look equally into both campaigns?
  • Did the report include the fact that the Democrats never allowed the FBI to examine their computer servers that they claimed the Russians had hacked?
  • When did Robert Mueller realize that there was no collusion between President Trump and Russia?

Those questions might make for an interesting hearing. I would be willing to watch that on C-SPAN.

This Is Good News

CNS News reported on Thursday that Pennsylvania has passed a law making Female Genital Mutilation as a first-degree felony in that state.

The article reports:

Currently, 32 states have laws against Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), but women and girls are unprotected in 18 states, including Pennsylvania.

Murt added, “My bill has been endorsed by the AHA Foundation, established by human rights activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali in 2007 to promote freedom from FGM, honor violence and forced marriages.”

He continued, “According to the group, more than 500,000 women in the United States are at risk of this procedure—166,000 women under age 18. The organization ranks Pennsylvania 11th in the nation for this risk, with more than 19,000 women at risk for the procedure, 6,000 of them under the age of 18.”

This is not a benign procedure. The procedure is painful and often done without proper anesthesia. The healing period is long and painful. The procedure can also cause frequent urinary infections in women. It can also cause problems in labor and the delivery of children. This is not an acceptable practice–it is barbaric. It should be outlawed regardless of its acceptance in some cultures. It is not acceptable in America.

As People See The Results Of Democrat Policies, They Begin To Wake Up

CNS News posted an article today about California’s vanishing middle class. Being middle class in California is not a successful long-term plan.

The article reports:

A survey recently released by the Public Policy Institute of California found that President Donald Trump is more popular in the deep blue state than the Democratic legislature.

Democratic consultant Steve Maviglio recently told the Los Angeles Times, “All they hear from Sacramento are proposals for more taxes and more spending for everyone except the middle class. And they rightfully wonder where the high taxes they already are paying are going.”

While the president’s approval ratings are underwater with only 38 percent of Californians approving of his job, this pales in comparison to the state legislature having only 34 percent among likely voters having confidence in them.

With voters still anxious about a gas tax hike pushed through last year, recent suggestions of a $2 billion tax hike on everything from water to phones by California Gov. Gavin Newsom hasn’t eased that apprehension.

Newsom holds a job approval rating of 45 percent among likely voters with 29 percent disapproving and a 26 percent responding “don’t know.”

California’s fiscal policies are going to result in bankruptcy at some time in the not-so-distant future. The bad news is that the rest of the country will be required to bail them out. The major cities in California, San Francisco and Los Angeles, have areas that look like third-world countries–unsanitary conditions, homeless people living in tents, and needle-strewn streets. Diseases that America has not seen for decades are cropping up in these areas. Meanwhile, the state government continues raising taxes and doing business as usual. There will be a tipping point fairly soon. People are leaving the state in droves. The only thing keeping the population stable is the flow of illegal immigrants who are generally not contributing to the economic well being of the state.

I Can’t Believe He Said That

Yesterday CNS News posted an article that included the following:

Clapper told CNN the “logical thing to do” would be to wait for the Justice Department inspector general to finish his investigation into the FBI’s actions.

“Are you concerned here that these administration officials and the attorney general are doing this for political reasons?” host Jim Sciutto asked Clapper.

“Well, you have to wonder about that,” Clapper said.

“Is there a political dimension? This obviously complies with the longstanding request of President Trump that the investigators be investigated.

As far as I know…when I was DNI, I didn’t see anything improper or unlawful. And I think we’re losing sight here of what the big deal is, which is the Russians. That’s what started all this.

The predicate for this was what the Russians were doing to engage with the Trump camp. And now we know that there were dozens of such encounters or attempts, many by identified Russian operatives.

So to me, the kind of the implicit message here is, well, it would have been better if we ignored the Russian’s meddling, which I think would have been completely irresponsible.”

Talk about the pot calling the kettle black!

Let the record show that President Obama chose to ignore reports of Russian meddling until after Hillary Clinton lost the election. Let the record also show that the group conducting the supposedly impartial investigation of Russian meddling was made up of Clinton donors and Clinton supporters who somehow overlooked the role of the Steele Dossier in the beginning of the investigation.

I person wiser than I once said that if you want to know what the Democrats are up to, look at what they are accusing their opponents of. I suspect the the investigation now being carried out may turn out to be the proof of that statement.

 

 

Haven’t These People Read The U.S. Constitution?

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

Amendment II

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.

Let’s look at this Amendment in the view of history and context. All ten amendments in the Bill of Rights limit the power of government and protect the rights of the citizens. The Bill of Rights was added to the U.S. Constitution to ally the fears of a people shell-shocked by the abuses of King George. The people wanted to make sure they would be able to defend themselves against a tyrannical government in the future. An armed citizenry was one way of keeping the government in check. The colonists felt like they needed a way to keep the government in check at that time and in the future.

Today the right to bear arms is under attack.

Yesterday CNS News posted an article about Kamala Harris, a presidential candidate who is advocating for policies that undermine the Second Amendment.

The article reports:

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) told CNN’s “State of the Union with Jake Tapper” on Sunday that on her 100th day in office when she’s elected president, if the Congress fails to send her a bill with “good” gun control ideas, she will issue an executive order saying anyone who sells more than five guns a year must perform background checks on those they sell them to.

Harris also plans to direct the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) to take away the licenses of gun dealers who don’t follow the law.

…“What we’re waiting for is Congress to have the courage to act, and so let me tell you what I’m proposing. I’m proposing, one, that if, by my 100th day in office when elected president of the United States, the United States Congress fails to put a bill on my desk to sign with all of the good ideas or any of the good ideas, then I’m prepared to take executive action, because that’s what’s needed, action,” Harris said.

When asked “executive action to do what,” she said, “To do, specifically, for anyone who sells more than five guns a year, they will be required to perform background checks on the people they sell them to, and this will be the most comprehensive background check policy that has ever been had in our country thus far.”

When asked whether that can be done by executive order, Harris said, “Yes. Yes, it can. I’m also prepared to say and to direct the ATF to remove and take away the licenses of gun dealers who fail to follow the law, and, Jake, 90 percent of the guns that are associated with crime have been sold by 5 percent of the gun dealers. We need to take their licenses away.”

I believe that the proposal by Ms. Harris is exactly what our forefathers were trying to prevent.

There Is Something Upside Down About The Charges Made Here

CNS News posted an article today about  a recent comment by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.

The article reports what Speaker Pelosi said in a statement issued Sunday:

“Trump must take down his disrespectful and dangerous video” of Rep. Omar’s comment.”

This is the full statement:

“Following the President’s tweet, I spoke with the Sergeant-at-Arms to ensure that Capitol Police are conducting a security assessment to safeguard Congresswoman Omar, her family and her staff. They will continue to monitor and address the threats she faces.

“The President’s words weigh a ton, and his hateful and inflammatory rhetoric creates real danger. President Trump must take down his disrespectful and dangerous video.”

So what is this disrespectful and dangerous video? It is simply a video of Congresswoman Omar stating that “CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations) was founded after 9/11 because they realized that some people did something.”

So wait a minute. I am missing something here. First of all, CAIR was founded in 1994–not after 9/11. Second of all, how is showing a video of a person making a speech disrespectful and dangerous? The Congresswoman has stood by her words–she has not apologized for them or backed down in any way. Why is the video disrespectful and dangerous when it simply shows Congresswoman Omar making a speech? If the video is not edited in any way (no one is arguing that it was altered), whose speech is dangerous–the one saying the words or the one reporting the words? Is the problem with the speaker or the one reporting the speech?

The Truth Begins To Drip Out

If you depend totally on the mainstream media for your news, you might be unaware that there was government surveillance of the Trump campaign and the Trump transition team. There is a school of thought that believes that Admiral Mike Rogers informed President Trump that Trump Tower was under electronic surveillance early in the Trump administration and that is the reason President Trump began doing business from New Jersey. I suspect that will be confirmed in the coming weeks. Meanwhile, there was some very interesting testimony on Capitol Hill by Attorney General William Barr regarding surveillance.

CNS News posted an article today about that testimony.

The article reports:

Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) asked Attorney General William Barr at a Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing on Wednesday to “rephrase” his use of the word “spying” to characterize the government targeting the Trump campaign.

“I want to give you a chance to rephrase something you said, because I think when the attorney general of the United States uses the word ‘spying,’ it’s rather provocative, and in my view unnecessarily inflammatory, and I know what you’re getting at, because you have explained yourself in terms of answering Senator Graham’s questions and the questions of others,” Schatz said.

“Do you want to rephrase what you’re doing, because I think the word ‘spying’ could cause everybody in the cable news ecosystem to freak out, and I think it’s necessary for you to be precise with your language here. You normally are, and I want to give you a chance to be especially precise here,” the senator said.

The article continues:

As CNS News.com reported, Barr told Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) that “spying” occurred during the 2016 election.

“So you’re not suggesting though that spying occurred?” Shaheen asked.

“I think there was – spying did occur. Yes, I think spying did occur, but the question is whether it was predicated, adequately predicated, and I’m not suggesting it wasn’t adequately predicated, but I need to explore that,” the attorney general said.

“I think it’s my obligation. Congress is usually very concerned about intelligence agencies and law enforcement agencies staying in their proper lane, and I want to make sure that happened,” Barr said.

I suspect that by the end of next week we will know a lot more about the surveillance of the Trump campaign and Trump transition team. The news media being what it is, I suspect a lot of information on this subject will be in the Good Friday news dump because the media is hoping most people will be too preoccupied with Easter to see it.

Our Southern Border

CNS News posted an article yesterday detailing what is happening at the southern border of America.

The article reports:

Rodolfo Karisch, chief of the U.S. Border Patrol’s Rio Grande Valley Sector, told the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Oversight, Management and Accountability on Thursday, that the Border Patrol in his sector has intercepted illegal aliens trying to enter the United States “from 40 different countries, including Bangladesh, Turkey, Romania and China.”

“I want to provide some perspective on the challenges facing our men and women at the Southwest border,” Karisch told the committee in his opening statement. “Though I cannot speak for all of the components of Customs and Border Protection, I can provide a first-hand account of the complex border-security environment and ask for your assistance in helping our frontline men and women.

The article includes some statistics to illustrate what is happening at our southern border:

U.S. Customs and Border Protection has published a spread sheet listing the number of illegal aliens apprehended in each border sector in 2017 by their nation of citizenship.

Of the 303,916 who were apprehended that year along the U.S.-Mexico border, only 127,938—or approximately 42.1 percent—were from Mexico.

1,364 of the deportable aliens intercepted on the U.S.-Mexico border in 2017 were from the People’s Republic of China. Of these, 702 were intercepted in the Rio Grande Valley Sector.

564 deportable aliens from Bangladesh were intercepted on the U.S.-Mexico border in 2017. Of these, 304 were intercepted in the Rio Grande Valley Sector.

433 deportable aliens from Romania were intercepted on the U.S.-Mexico border in 2017. Of these, 94 were intercepted in the Rio Grande Valley Sector.

35 deportable aliens from Turkey were intercepted on the U.S.-Mexico border in 2017. Of these, 21 were intercepted in the Rio Grande Valley Sector.

It’s time to build a wall so that we know who is coming in.

The Catholic Church Gets It Right

The Catholic Church has been the leader in the pro-life movement ever since abortion was declared legal. They have set the example, and many other churches have followed. Not enough, but many. On Friday, CNS News reported that Archbishop Joseph Naumann, who heads the Committee on Pro-Life Activities for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), has stated that politicians voting to expand abortion must not present themselves for Holy Communion, and that while “we are not able to judge their souls,” we do know “there will be a Judgment Day.”

The article reports:

In his statement, A Concern for Catholics in Public Life, Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann, chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Pro-Life Activities, said, “Recent efforts to perpetuate and expand abortion in state laws have illuminated the deplorable actions of some Catholic public officials and advocates. Their efforts to support and even celebrate such legislation will result in killing many more unborn children, as well as the spiritual and emotional wounding of their mothers and fathers.”

“Advocating for intrinsically evil acts, like abortion, is a serious immoral act,” he said, “one that involves grave matter, the prerequisite for the commission of a mortal sin. While we can object to the actions of these public officials, we are not able to judge their souls. At the same time, we know there will be a Judgment Day.”

“Conscious and unrepentant mortal sin endangers our eternal souls and places ourselves on a path to Hell,” said the archbishop.

“To receive our Eucharistic Lord, while in a state of mortal sin, only further jeopardizes the eternal fate of our souls,” he said. “Sincere repentance, a conversion of heart, and a genuine effort to make amends for the harm caused by our sin, are essential to be able to receive God’s mercy.”

The archbishop heads the archdiocese of Kansas City.

The article concludes:

Archbishop Naumann concluded, “I invite all Catholics to pray for spiritual healing for all those involved in or advocating for legalized abortion. When we truly repent, God is always eager to lavish us with His mercy.”

Abortion is murder. It is a forgivable sin, but needs to be acknowledged as murder. Hopefully Archbishop Naumann’s statements and policy will cause some people to rethink their position on abortion.

What Happened To Ethics In Science?

Yesterday CNS News posted an article about research going on at the University of California at San Francisco. This research is so horrific I can’t even believe it is being done in America, much less being partially financed by the government.

The article reports:

The Department of Health and Human Services says it has granted a second 90-day extension to a contract it has with the University of California at San Francisco that requires UCSF to make “humanized mice.”

These creatures are made by implanting mice with human tissues taken from late-term aborted babies.

The HHS’s multi-million-dollar contract with UCSF that requires the construction of these “humanized mice” creates a demand–driven by federal tax dollars–for tissue taken from late-term aborted babies. According to an estimate it has published on its website, the National Institutes of Health (which is a division of HHS) will spend $95 million this fiscal year alone on research that–like UCSF’s “humanized mouse” contract–uses human fetal tissue.

Under the new 90-day extension, the contract—which the government calls “Humanized Mouse Models for HIV Therapeutics Development”–will run through June 5.

HHS also is still in the process of conducting the “comprehensive review” it announced last September “of all research involving fetal tissue.”

It’s bad enough that we are killing the unborn. Now we are using them for scientific experiments. That is beyond repulsive.

The Need For A Reality Check

Green energy is a wonderful concept. Energy in Iceland is almost entirely green because the country sits on a number of volcanoes that supply it with thermal energy. I’m not sure that I am willing to live on a volcano to get thermal energy, but that is one way to go green. However, the quest for green energy where there is not such an obvious energy source has not been particularly successful.

CNS News posted an article yesterday about the statement put out by Speaker Pelosi to recognize Black History Month.

The article has the entire statement, but I think the focus is interesting:

Democrats will be pushing a “For the People” agenda that will include raising wages by building green infrastructure.

“And we are pushing forward a bold, ambitious agenda For The People to make good on the promise of the American Dream for everyone by lowering the cost of health care and prescription drugs, raising wages by rebuilding America with green, modern infrastructure, and strengthening our democracy by ensuring that our government works for the public interest, not the special interests,” Pelosi said.

Let’s talk about rebuilding America with green, modern infrastructure. Green energy is one of the major special interest groups in America.

In 2015, The Washington Times reported:

Taxpayers are on the hook for more than $2.2 billion in expected costs from the federal government’s energy loan guarantee programs, according to a new audit Monday that suggests the controversial projects may not pay for themselves, as officials had promised.

Nearly $1 billion in loans have already defaulted under the Energy Department program, which included the infamous Solyndra stimulus project and dozens of other green technology programs the Obama administration has approved, totaling nearly about $30 billion in taxpayer backing, the Government Accountability Office reported in its audit.

The hefty $2.2 billion price tag is actually an improvement over initial estimates, which found the government was poised to face $4 billion in losses from the loan guarantees. But as the projects have come to fruition, they’ve performed better, leaving taxpayers with a shrinking — though still sizable — liability.

It’s a good thing Speaker Pelosi didn’t say anything about lowering taxes–maybe the increased wages with increased taxes will pay for the green energy.

This green energy idea has not been successful when tried before.

In August 2014 The Daily Caller posted an article about Spain’s attempt to convert to green energy:

According to a new report by the free-market Institute for Energy Research, Spain’s green energy policies have resulted in skyrocketing electricity prices, billions of euros in debt and rising carbon dioxide emissions.

“For years, President Obama has pointed to Europe’s energy policies as an example that the United States should follow,” said IER in a statement on their new study. “However, those policies have been disastrous for countries like Spain, where electricity prices have skyrocketed, unemployment is over 25 percent, and youth unemployment is over 50 percent.”

Spain began heavily subsidizing green energy sources, like wind and solar, in the early 2000s with its“Promotion Plan for Renewable Energies. The country used a combination of generous feed-in tariffs, green energy generation quotas and green power subsidies to boost renewable energy development in the country and lower its carbon dioxide emissions.

…But what seemed like a booming green energy economy on the surface was really becoming a costly way to help drive Spain into economic recession. By 2011, Spain’s electricity prices stood at 29.46 U.S. ¢/kilowatt-hour — two and a half times what electricity cost in the U.S. at the time.

President Trump has helped all Americans. We have the lowest unemployment among minorities that we have had in a very long time. Wages are going up, taxes are going down, and the workforce participation rate is climbing. I suggest that if Speaker Pelosi truly wants to help minorities during Black History Month she should support President Trump’s economic agenda.

The Workforce Participation Rate

Yesterday CNS News posted an article about the January Workforce Participation Rate. This is the number of people in America either working or looking for jobs. When President Obama took office in January 2009, the Workforce Participation Rate was 65.7. That number dropped to a low of 62.4 in September 2015 and began slowly climbing, reaching a high of 62.9 in September 2016. The number hovered around there for a while until finally reaching 63.2 in January 2019.

Here is the chart from the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

The article at CNS News reports:

The Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics said the economy added 304,000 jobs last month, higher than analysts were expecting.

The number of employed Americans, 156,694,000, was slightly below last month’s record (156,945,000), and the unemployment rate increased a tenth of a point to 4.0 percent.

But the labor force participation rate increased a tenth of a point to 63.2 percent — the highest it’s been on President Trump’s watch.

The CNS News article included an excerpt from the Congressional Budget Report released this week:

According to CBO:

Employment: Nonfarm payroll employment is projected to grow by an average of 148,000 jobs per month in 2019, a decline from 213,000 jobs/month in 2018 but “still a healthy pace of job growth at this stage of the business cycle.”

Unemployment rate: The unemployment rate, now at its lowest point since the 1960s, is projected to fall from 3.8 percent in the fourth quarter of 2018 to 3.5 percent by the end of 2019. The anticipated decline in the unemployment rate reflects a continued increase in the demand for labor, which will reduce the number of unemployed workers in the labor force this year.

CBO said the demand for labor and the resulting upward pressure on compensation also encourages people to remain in the labor force or rejoin it, making the labor force larger and thus moderating the decline in the unemployment rate.

Labor force participation: The labor force participation rate, which has hovered around 62.8 percent since 2014, is expected to remain close to that rate during the next two years.

CBO explained that the stability of the labor force participation rate in recent years reflects the balancing of two opposing forces: sustained economic growth, which continues to encourage additional workers to enter the labor force and currently employed workers to stay on the job; and long-run shifts in demographics (particularly the aging of the population).

Labor compensation. After several years of prolonged weakness, wage growth accelerated notably in 2018, CBO noted. Over the next few years, labor compensation is expected to rise further as employment remains at elevated levels and firms must compete for a relatively small pool of unemployed or underemployed workers.

In CBO’s projections, annual growth of the employment cost index for wages and salaries of workers in private industry averages 3.5 percent between 2019 and 2023, slightly more rapid than its 3.3 percent pace in 2018 and considerably more rapid than the 2.0 percent average from 2009 to 2017.

President Trump’s economic policies are working. If he is allowed to continue those policies with a Democrat House of Representatives, he will be re-elected in 2020, so prepare to see the House of Representatives attempt to roll back many of those policies.

Do The Statements Line Up With The Actions?

Yesterday CNS News posted an article that reported the following:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Friday reiterated that “Democrats are committed to border security” after President Donald Trump agreed to a deal to re-open the government for three weeks while the White House and Democratic congressional leaders negotiate over Trump’s proposed border wall.

“And we have no complaint,” Pelosi said on Friday.

The article continues:

“We look forward to Congresswoman Roybal-Allard [D.-Calif.] taking the lead in terms of the substance from her standpoint as Chair of the Homeland Security Subcommittee and commend, again, our Chair of the Appropriations Committee [Nita Lowey (D.-N.Y.] for her leadership on this,” Pelosi said. “They bring knowledge, they bring perspective, they bring the enthusiasm of the consensus of our Caucus to that conference.”

So let’s take a look at Congresswoman Roybal-Allard for a minute. The Center for Security Policy put her on a list of “national security failures” – legislators who scored a total of less than 25%, based on all scored votes for which they were present. The Center’s findings indicate 149 Members of the House of Representatives and 46 Senators are national security failures based on their voting record in the 111th Congress.

It gets better. Opensecrets.org listed the details of the Congresswoman’s campaign contributions:

I am not sure that this is the most qualified person to put on the committee. California has been something of a shining example of the negative impact of unchecked immigration on a state’s finances and quality of life.

Somehow I am not looking forward to rational solutions to the problem at our southern border from the Democrats on the Homeland Security Subcommittee.

A Sobering Thought

Yesterday The Daily Caller reported:

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a bill Tuesday night, expanding abortion access and codifying a woman’s right to abort under state law.

Cuomo, a Democrat, signed the Reproductive Health Act on the 46th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, making good on his promise to add abortion protections to the state constitution, according to the New York Post.

Roe v. Wade gave women the constitutional right to an abortion under the 14th Amendment on Jan. 22, 1973. The ruling extended the right to abort up to the point of fetal “viability,” a slippery term that continues to foster debate as neonatal care advances.

The bill codified a woman’s right to abort under state law and removes abortion from New York’s criminal code.

The bill will also allow women to have abortions after 24 weeks in cases where “there is an absence of fetal viability, or at any time when necessary to protect a patient’s life or health,” according to the legislation. Nurse practitioners, physicians’ assistants and qualified health care professionals can provide abortions under the legislation.

Meanwhile, CNS News reported:

Last Thursday, Jan. 17, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals stated that undercover video footage filmed by the Center for Medical Progress (CMP), which showed Planned Parenthood employees discussing the sale of tissue from aborted fetuses, was “authentic” and “not deceptively edited.”

The federal appeals court also vacated an injunction by a district court, which had barred the Texas Health and Human Services Commission’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) from terminating Medicaid provider agreements with Planned Parenthood affiliates throughout Texas. The federal appeals court sent the case back to the district court.

…In 2015, the CMP, a pro-life organization, released several hours of undercover video footage that showed employees and doctors from various Planned Parenthood affiliates discussing potential research partnerships with individuals who expressed interest in obtaining body parts of fetuses aborted during the second trimester of pregnancy and paying a handling and shipping fee for those parts.

After the footage was released, the OIG sent Planned Parenthood affiliates a notice of termination of their Medicaid agreements. The OIG argued that the affiliates had violated “accepted medical standards, as reflected in federal and state law,” and were no longer “qualified to provide medical services in a professionally competent, safe, legal and ethical manner.”

The article at CNS News concludes:

CMP founder David Daleiden wrote that the court’s decision “vindicated” the CMP’s “citizen journalism work” by “debunking Planned Parenthood’s smear that the videos were ‘heavily edited’ or ‘doctored.’”

“Now, it is time for the U.S. Department of Justice to do its job and hold Planned Parenthood accountable to the law,” Daleiden added.

Since the videos were released in 2015, Planned Parenthood has claimed CMP’s footage was heavily and deceptively edited. Many mainstream news outlets have reported that the footage was altered or distorted, using, as the basis for these claims, a Fusion GPS report that was commissioned and funded by Planned Parenthood.

It’s amazing how the same names keep coming up.

In April 2016, Life News reported:

On average, Planned Parenthood receives approximately $500 million a year in taxpayer funds, as a GAO report indicated last year.

Theoretically, this money does not pay for abortions.

In September 2018l Live Action reported:

Taxpayer-funded abortion corporation Planned Parenthood has announced its political arms are joining other “progressive” groups to invest an “unprecedented” $30 million to influence who is elected to key state and federal offices in the 2018 midterm elections.

Does anyone else object to the idea that an organization that takes money from the federal government contributes to political campaigns?

 

Speaker Pelosi Has Jumped The Shark

CNS News posted an article today about a bill proposed by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. In an effort to continue to harass the President, Speaker Pelosi has introduced legislation that would require all candidates for president and vice-president to release their tax returns. There would be no requirement for candidates for Congress to release their tax returns.

The article reports:

The provision is part of H.R. 1—the “For the People Act”—which Pelosi introduced Friday.

A summary of the bill says that it includes a section titled “Presidential Tax Transparency.” This section, says the summary: “Requires sitting presidents and vice presidents, as well as candidates for the presidency and vice presidency, to release their tax returns.”

In 2017, when members of Congress were calling on President Donald Trump to release his tax returns, Roll Call asked all 535 members of the House and Senate to release theirs. As Roll Call reported at the time, 6 members did release their tax returns as requested by the publication. Another 6 had already released theirs elsewhere. Another 45 members, Roll Call reported, had previously and partially released their tax returns. But 473 members had not released their tax returns and did not respond to Roll Call’s request that they do so.

Rep. Nancy Pelosi was one of the members, Roll Call reported, who had not released her tax returns.

At an April 2017 press briefing promoting similar legislation that would have required the president—but not members of Congress—to release their tax returns, Pelosi said that president’s do not have a “right to privacy” when it comes to their tax returns.

I don’t mean to be picky here, but if Congress is willing to pass a law that states that candidates for president and vice-president have to release their tax returns, then Congress should have to release theirs.

I have a feeling that for the next two years the House of Representatives is going to spend more time working on laws to make life difficult for President Trump than it is making laws that will be helpful to Americans. That is truly sad.