Leading By Example

This is the list of where President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump‘s $1 million dollar donation for victims of Hurricane Harvey is going:

The list is posted at the El Paso Times.

A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words–But It Can Be Edited

CNBC posted the following video on YouTube:

This is the caption underneath the video:

President Donald Trump Gets Snubbed By Poland’s First Lady Agata Kornhauser-Duda | CNBC

Wow. Sounds Awful.

This is the full video, also posted on YouTube (that the CNBC audience never saw):

And this is a classic illustration of how the media twists the news. Fake news on parade!

Leading By Example

Forbes Magazine posted an article today about the impact President Trump has had on the While House payroll.

Here are some of the highlights:

  • There are 110 fewer employees on White House staff under Trump than under Obama at this point in their respective presidencies.
  • $5.1 million in payroll savings vs. the Obama FY2015 payroll. In 2017, the Trump payroll amounts to $35.8 million for 377 employees, while the Obama payroll amounted to $40.9 million for 476 employees (FY2015).
  • Nineteen fewer staffers are dedicated to The First Lady of the United States (FLOTUS). Currently, there are five staffers dedicated to Melania Trump vs. 24 staffers who served Michelle Obama (FY2009).
  • Counts of the “Assistants to the President” – the most trusted advisors to the president – are the same (22) in both first-year Trump and Obama administrations. In the Trump White House, Steven Bannon, Kellyanne Conway, Omarosa Manigault, Reince Priebus, Sean Spicer and 17 others make salaries of $179,700. In Obama’s first-year, David Axelrod, Rahm Emanuel and twenty others held the title with top pay of $172,000.
  • The highest compensated White House Trump staffer? Mark House, Senior Policy Advisor, has a salary of $187,500. Mr. House is “on detail” from a federal agency which allows him to exceed the top pay-grade of $179,700. In Obama’s Administration (2009), David Marcozzi earned $193,000 “on detail” from Health and Human Services.

The article concludes:

At the nation’s founding, Ben Franklin said, “Diligence is the mother of good luck.” Although the White House personnel budget is an infinitesimal part of the $3.9 trillion federal budget, it could be a leading indicator of Trump’s commitment to cut waste, fraud and taxpayer abuse.

I wish we could pass this thriftiness along to Congress.

 

A New Low In Political Discourse

I really did not think that those who have decided to oppose President Trump because he had the nerve to win the 2016 election could stoop any lower. I guess I was wrong.

Mediate is reporting today about the latest production of Shakespeare in the Park in New York City. Shakespeare in the Park in the past has done wonderful things–Pirates of Penzance was absolutely awesome. Unfortunately they have forgotten that their purpose is entertainment.

Mediate reports:

Shakespeare in the Park, an annual summer program by The Public Theater that puts on plays by William Shakespeare in Central Park, kicked off May 23 with a performance of Julius Caesar.

But this rendition of Shakespeare’s tragedy comes with a twist — Caesar is played by a character that bears a striking resemblance to President Donald Trump.

…”The actor playing Caesar was dressed in a business suit, with a royal blue tie, hanging a couple inches below the belt line, with reddish-blonde hair — just like Trump,” Sheaffer (Laura Sheaffer, a sales manager at Salem Media) told Mediaite.

“I always go to Shakespeare in the park, but I wasn’t expecting to see this,” Sheaffer said, adding that the script was mostly loyal to the original Shakespeare, and that there was no explicit reference to the American president, though the intention was “blatantly obvious.”

In the scene before Caesar is assassinated, his wife Calpurnia begs him to stay away from the Senate, claiming she is having nightmares of his murder. According to Sheaffer, the actress playing Calpurnia bore a resemblance to first lady Melania Trump — replete with a “Slavic accent.”

Shaeffer also noted that in the scene, the actor playing Trump Caesar steps out of a bathtub stark naked, which she said struck her as disrespectful, and a “mockery of the office of the President.”

In the next scene the Trumpian Caesar is attacked by the Senators and stabbed to death as an American flag hovers overhead, according to Shaeffer. “They had the full murder scene onstage, and blood was spewing everywhere out of his body.”

This isn’t funny, it’s not entertainment, and it is not suitable for any audience. I don’t understand how this is acceptable as Shakespeare or as a political statement.

Some People’s First Amendment Rights Are Better Than Others

According to Wikipedia:

While the United States Constitution‘s First Amendment identifies the rights to assemble and to petition the government, the text of the First Amendment does not make specific mention of a right to association. Nevertheless, the United States Supreme Court held in NAACP v. Alabama that the freedom of association is an essential part of the Freedom of Speech because, in many cases, people can engage in effective speech only when they join with others

It is not too much of a stretch to say that this includes the right of a business to do business (or not do business) with whomever they choose (excluding national security issues and things like that). Is that still true in America?

Yesterday PJ Media posted an article about a recent poll of students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison regarding the rights of people engaged in business.

The article reports:

Students told ADF (Alliance Defending Freedom) that it was okay for a dress designer to turn down Melania Trump for political reasons. “You should be able to control your business in that regard, yeah,” one young man said. “I mean, it’s a free market, that’s what most conservatives want anyway,” another student chimed in. When asked if the dress designer has the right to do that, a young woman replied, “Absolutely.”

ADF also asked students what should happen if a church approached a Muslim singer for an Easter service. Students unanimously said that such a singer has a right to “opt out” of that arrangement. “That seems like such an unusual circumstance that they would want them … like a Christian church would force a Muslim singer to sing at their church if they didn’t want to,” one young woman said. Students agreed that no law should force someone to serve another person against their religious convictions.

But when asked if a Christian has the right to opt out of serving a same-sex wedding, the students hesitated.

The question behind this poll is something that is going to continue to arise in our country as we take in more refugees that choose not to assimilate and as Christianity is no longer respected in our culture. What about the Muslim who refuses to drive a truck that transports beer? What about the Muslim taxi driver that refuses a fare because the man is blind and has a seeing-eye dog? What about the checkout person at the supermarket who refuses to scan bacon? Generally speaking, these are employees–not the business owner. Does the business owner have to allow the limitations on their ability to do their job? If these people are given a pass on the basis of their religious beliefs, should Christians also get a pass?

One of the dangers of bringing people into America with a different culture and no desire to assimilate is that it opens the door for lawfare. Lawfare is the use of frivolous lawsuits to advance a political agenda. It is a primary tool of organizations like CAIR (The Council on American-Islamic-Relations) to bring American laws in compliance with Sharia Law. CAIR will create a situation to be used as a test case to further its agenda.

There was a recent instance of a situation where a person who spoke the language needed probably has prevented a lawsuit that was being planned (here). Please follow the link and read the story. We don’t know exactly what was being planned–whether it was a lawsuit or something more serious–but thanks to a lady who spoke the appropriate language, whatever was planned was stopped in its tracks!

America was founded on Judeo-Christian principles. Our culture (up until recently) was a Christian culture. Many parts of America still have a Christian culture. To attempt to bring an alien culture into America rather than assimilate as refugees is going to create problems and tension. You can only live in peace with people who choose to live in peace with you. Unfortunately there is an element in Islam that does not want to live in peace with anyone who does not follow the tenets of Islam. That is a problem.