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.,

As The Discussion About ObamaCare Continues…

The discussions on the repeal of ObamaCare are beginning. This is going to be interesting. The House and Senate have voted numerous times to repeal ObamaCare, but have never had to worry about the President agreeing with their efforts–so the votes really didn’t mean anything. Now the game is real.

Yahoo News is reporting today on the events surrounding the newly-elected Congress. President Obama met with the Democrats and Mike Pence met with the Republicans. President Obama wants to save ObamaCare as his legacy. Congress supports ObamaCare at its own risk.

You can find countless articles that detail the premium hikes and increased deductible for the average American, so I am going to skip those numbers. However, I want to remind anyone reading this about some of the history of how we got ObamaCare.

ObamaCare was passed in the Senate on the morning of December 24th, 2009. All the Democrats voted for it; all the Republicans voted against it. ObamaCare was signed into law on March 23, 2010. There was an election that year. The Republicans regained control of the House of Representatives, and the Democrats lost seats in the Senate. During the debate on ObamaCare, the Tea Party was formed. The political consequences of the law were all negative for the Democratic Party. (There was a serious loss of power by the Democratic Party at  the federal, state, and local level continued during the eight years of the Obama Administration).

ObamaCare was finally passed through reconciliation. That is the reason that it can be repealed through that process. Hopefully it will be. The government needs to get its nose out of healthcare and give the free market a chance to work. The private sector can find a way to attach healthcare to the person rather than the employer so that preexisting conditions will not be an issue. There are three things that are needed to make healthcare work in America–portability across state lines, tax breaks for low-income families to encourage them to get health insurance, and health savings accounts. I am sure there are other worthwhile suggestions, but those are my three.

Meanwhile, Democrats oppose the repeal of ObamaCare at their own risk!

Maybe The Hysteria Will Stop Now

Yahoo News is reporting today that Donald Trump has officially won the Electoral College vote. If is official–Donald Trump is our President-elect, to be sworn in January 20, 2017.

The article reports:

Washington (AFP) – America’s Electoral College on Monday confirmed Donald Trump’s election as the 45th president of the United States, unswayed by a last-ditch bid by die-hard opponents to bar the Republican’s path to the White House.

Six weeks after his upset victory over Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, Trump sailed as expected past the 270 votes needed to make his victory official, according to US media, clearing the way for him to succeed Barack Obama on January 20.

“Congratulations to @realDonaldTrump; officially elected President of the United States today by the Electoral College!” tweeted Vice President-elect Mike Pence as the results came in.

Under normal circumstances, the Electoral College vote is a little-watched, rubber stamp formality in which electors across the country officially cast votes for the candidate that won the popular tally in their state.

This time, however, Democratic activists casting the Republican as a threat to democracy staged a vocal campaign urging Republican electors to break ranks and refuse to vote for him.

When US voters cast their ballots on November 8, they did not directly elect the next president but rather 538 electors charged with translating their wishes into reality.

After a deeply divisive campaign, Trump won a clear majority of those electors — 306 — although his Democratic rival finished nearly three million votes ahead in the popular tally.

This signifies the end of the process of selecting the next President. Can we all please begin to work together to overcome the obstacles that we face? News reports today are an indication that terrorism is a real threat throughout the world, and we are not immune. The workforce participation rate is the lowest it has been since the 1970’s. Health insurance premiums are skyrocketing. We have real problems that we also have the capability to solve. Let’s solve them together.

 

Irony?

Diversity?

hamiltonIn case you are wondering what this is all about, Vice-President-elect Mike Pence took his family to see “Hamilton” Friday night. He and his family were booed as they entered the theater and lectured on diversity by the cast of Hamilton as they left. The whole episode was inappropriate and classless. The man wanted to take his family to a play–he did not need to be harassed.

There is a bit of irony in this situation. In March of this year, CBS News posted the following headline:

Broadway Union Takes Issue With ‘Hamilton’ Casting Call For ‘Non-White’ Performers

The article reports:

One critic said “Hamilton” takes a story that “valorizes dead white guys” and replaces it with black, Latino and multi-ethnic performers playing America’s founding fathers.

But as the blockbuster musical looks to expand to other cities, the casting notice with its call for “non-white” performers looks problematic to civil rights attorney Randolph McLaughlin.

“What if they put an ad out that said, ‘Whites only need apply?’” said McLaughlin, of the Newman Ferrara Law Firm. “Why, African-Americans, Latinos, Asians would be outraged.”

McLaughlin believes the ad violates the New York City Human Rights Law, which makes it unlawful “for an employer… because of the actual written or perceived… race of any person, to discriminate.”

“You cannot advertise showing that you have a preference for one racial group over another,” McLaughlin said. “As an artistic question – sure, he can cast whomever he wants to cast, but he has to give every actor eligible for the role an opportunity to try.”

That is also the policy of Actors Equity, the Broadway union, which says, “…producers agree that auditions for all productions… will be conducted in such a manner as to provide full and fair consideration to actors of all ethnicities.”

…The city Commission on Human Rights said it has not received a complaint about the ad, and would not say if it is investigating.

In recent years, the city has fined restaurants for advertising for “busboys” and “waitresses” instead of “bus help” and “wait staff.” In this case, a source told CBS2’s Aiello the commission would likely work with the “Hamilton” production team to help it comply with city law if it takes issue with the ad.

People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones!

Things That Make My Head Hurt

John Hinderaker at Power Line posted a story today reporting that Vice-President-elect Mike Pence was booed last night as he entered a New York Theater to see the play “Hamilton.” It got worse.

The article reports:

The real outrage came at the end. As Pence got up to leave, one of the “Hamilton” cast members read a deeply offensive statement attacking the Trump administration on behalf of the play’s supposedly “diverse” cast. I doubt, of course, that the cast has any diversity at all. If it includes any conservative members, they remained silent. As the actor delivered his smug, superior attack on the incoming Trump administration, most of those in the audience applauded and cheered enthusiastically:

It used to be said that when a political party suffered a crushing electoral defeat, a period of introspection was appropriate. Don’t try to tell that to today’s Democrats. They have learned nothing, and, in their arrogant presumption, they have no interest in learning anything.

So let that sink in for a minute and consider the following. Scott Johnson posted an article on Power Line today about the likely choice to head the Democratic Party, Keith Ellison. The story reports:

Here is a man who was an active local leader of the racist and anti-Semitic cult known as the Nation of Islam until some time past his first attempt at political office as a Democrat, yet who has never acknowledged, accounted or apologized for his activities and expressed beliefs on behalf of the cult. Rather, as I recounted in the Weekly Standard article “Louis Farrakhan’s first congressman” (2006), Ellison has explained them away with lies and deceptions.

In her Jerusalem Post column “The Ellison challenge,” Caroline Glick builds on my research to elaborate on the meaning of Ellison’s rise for any decent Democrat with eyes to see. Joel Mowbray has more to the same effect in his Daily Caller column on Ellison.

Donald Trump does not have a history of discrimination. One of his Florida resorts was one of the first exclusive resorts in America to allow Jewish and black people, and he fought city hall (literally) to make that happen. He also hired the first woman to be the contractor at one of his New York skyscrapers. Kellyanne Conway is the first woman to be campaign manager for a major political party in a presidential race. Trump has met with Ben Carson to talk about ObamaCare changes.There is no reason for a rational person to believe that the Trump administration will discriminate against anyone. Donald Trump’s concerns about Muslim immigration are valid. Rational people understand that we want immigrants who want to assimilate–we do not want immigrants who do not want to assimilate. That is not discrimination–that is common sense. Keith Ellison has a history of discrimination, and he is being promoted to a position of leadership in the Democratic Party. The actors’ concerns are focused in the wrong place.

At any rate, the behavior of the actors in the New York theater last night is both unacceptable and ironic. When you consider that the play was about one of the Founding Fathers, it is ironic that they used that stage to harass a duly-elected official.

Necessary Changes In The Trump Transition Team

On Tuesday The Washington Examiner posted an article about changes to the Trump Transition team. Chris Christie has been replaced by Vice-President elect Mike Pence, and other changes have been announced.

The article reports:

President-elect Trump’s White House transition team has vowed to go lobbyist-free, after coming under criticism for staffing up on lobbyists despite campaign promises to fight the influence of special interests in Washington.

Vice President-elect Pence and the White House transition have signaled plans to clear out any lobbyists serving in official roles as they begin the 10-week transition process until Trump’s inaugration on Jan. 20, according to a report from Fox News.

Draining the swamp is not going to be easy–there are a lot of people who have a vested interest in maintaining the swamp–it has made them very wealthy.

Even If You Disagree–The Voters Voted

Yesterday Breitbart reported that the ‘never Trump’ delegates did not prevail in the rules committee of the national Republican Convention. Whether you support Trump or not, he won the votes in the primary election and deserves to be the candidate.

The article reports:

A last-minute plot to push a “conscience” voting provision through the RNC Rules Committee failed, virtually eliminating any options for the “Free the Delegates” movement to go forward and stop Donald Trump from getting the nomination on the convention floor next week. The rebels were trying to unbind pledged delegates for Trump to allow them to vote their “conscience” in defiance of state party rules.

“The Rules Committee has been going all day long,” Trump surrogate Scottie Nell Hughes told Breitbart News just moments after the Committee adjourned before midnight in Ohio. “They all got along and we are going to wake up in the morning to a unified Republican Party.”

…But the conscience exemption failed to such a degree that the rebels are left with seemingly no options to go forward.

“That actually failed 87 to 12,” Hughes said. “So people are still going to be bound by their state party laws.”

#NeverTrump could still try to get 28 signatures from Rules Committee members to force the “conscience” provision onto the floor for a full vote by delegates — where it would need 1,237 votes or more to pass — but that seems unlikely. Only 12 committee members voted for it, so why would 28 suddenly sign a petition?

That should end the matter. I think Donald Trump has shown good judgement in his choice of Vice-President.

Mike Pence has been governor of Indiana since 2013. He also served on Congress for 12 years. He has a reputation of supporting the Tea Party movement. Think about this for a moment–the Tea Party movement has been the bane of the Republican establishment’s existence since the Tea Party movement began. The Republican party has been very willing to take advantage of the energy and volunteers of the Tea Party, but has not wanted their politics. When the Tea Party formed and was heard, it became obvious that the Republican establishment was not interested in reducing the size of government or government spending–they were simply interested in changing who controlled the government and the spending. I think one of the reasons the establishment Republicans do not like the Tea Party is that the Tea Party exposed the hypocrisy of the Republican party. If Washington is to be cleaned up, the Trump-Pence ticket may be the one to do it.

I doubt there will be any major fireworks inside the Republican Convention. I am not so sure about outside.

Why Abortion Laws Matter

The American Center for Law and Justice posted an article today about Indiana’s new law about abortion. I am going to post most of the article because it is so beautifully stated.

The article states:

Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky joined with the ACLU to sue the state of Indiana over a recent law passed to prohibit abortions based only on the unborn child’s sex, race, color, national origin, ancestry, or disability, including Down Syndrome.

Claiming that the bill places an undue burden on women seeking an abortion and violates patients’ privacy rights, Planned Parenthood is once again challenging a common sense state law intended to protect the health and safety of women and children. Why? Because abortion is how Planned Parenthood makes money, even if that means standing up for the targeted and systematic elimination of innocent children with disabilities like Down Syndrome.

Governor Pence released the following statement:

I believe that a society can be judged by how it deals with its most vulnerable—the aged, the infirm, the disabled and the unborn. HEA 1337 will ensure the dignified final treatment of the unborn and prohibits abortions that are based only on the unborn child’s sex, race, color, national origin, ancestry, or disability, including Down syndrome.

Some of my most precious moments as Governor have been with families of children with disabilities, especially those raising children with Down syndrome. These Hoosiers never fail to inspire me with their compassion and these special children never fail to move me with their love and joy.

By enacting this legislation, we take an important step in protecting the unborn, while still providing an exception for the life of the mother. I sign this legislation with a prayer that God would continue to bless these precious children, mothers and families.

The article includes the following story:

I’m proud of Governor Pence and the representatives in Indiana. When he talks about families of children with disabilities, he’s talking about families like mine.

My sister, Mary Rose, was born in the late summer of 1989, exactly six weeks before I turned three. Months after she was born, it became clear that Mary was special – different from normal babies. While the diagnoses, tests, and many in the world would assess that Mary is ‘mildly to moderately retarded,’ ‘developmentally delayed/disabled,’ or ‘slower than normal kids,’ it is clear to anyone who encounters Mary that she was a gift from God, placed on earth to teach us all the true definition of unconditional love.

Although Mary doesn’t have Down Syndrome, many of her closest friends do. Others, including Mary, have similar genetic abnormalities that cause developmental delays. Although national research isn’t comprehensive, many studies reveal that somewhere between 80 and 95% of unborn babies with a prenatal diagnosis of Down Syndrome are aborted.

More than 4 in 5 unborn babies diagnosed with Down Syndrome are murdered simply because they have an extra chromosome. These children are never given the chance to show the world just how much potential they have.

Some mothers who are pressured to abort their child with Down Syndrome have refused, and the hearts of their communities are forever changed once their child is born.

But more often than not, those lives are lost forever. My heart breaks every time I hear these statistics because I know just how incredible these children are. I’m an example of a life forever changed because of their lives. I know from first hand experience just how much the world is losing every time a child is aborted because they have a disability.

Mary is the perfect example of this. Though not being academically “smart,” she’s more insightful and emotionally intuitive than most people I know. Though Mary may never discover a world-changing innovation, she is never forgotten by all who encounter her. Mary has a zest for life rooted in her ability to appreciate every person and opportunity that comes her way, and her inability to focus on tedious, superfluous details. She reminds us all of the childlike faith we once had.

Mary and her extraordinary friends have shaped the man I am today. Because of Mary, I always speak up for the underdog, squirming when I feel someone is unrightfully judging me or someone else. Because of Mary, I try to look past first judgments and impressions, and empathize with people I meet and situations I encounter. Because of Mary, I thirst for justice and appreciation of all human beings, no matter how diverse or different. Because of Mary, I recognize the incredible ways that the Lord uses His children whom the world labels as “slow”, “useless”, or “not viable” to show us His unfailing and unconditional love.

And because of Mary, I’m thankful for Gov. Pence and other leaders around the country who fight for laws to protect those with disabilities – to give them protection under the law.

When Planned Parenthood and its abortion allies sue to stop these laws, we all must realize they’re suing to end lives like those of Mary and her friends.

They think they’re on the right side of history. I wish they’d meet Mary so they know how very wrong they are.

This is the reason we need to take the profit out of the abortion industry. Abortion is a multi-million dollar industry, and because of the money involved, the industry wields a tremendous amount of political clout. All of us need to back up and think about what the abortion industry is about and whether or not we want the government to support it. It is time for all of us to rethink all of our abortion laws and move to make abortion something that is only done when absolutely necessary. We also need to reach out to those women who have had abortions and help them deal with the scars.

 

Equal Rights Means Equal Rights

Breitbart.com posted an article yesterday about a religious liberty bill passed by Arkansas this week.

The article reports:

Meanwhile, while everyone was focused on Indiana, Arkansas honored both the founding of our country and the First Amendment by giving legal standing to the conscience of the Religious. In the coming years, as the Left and media ramp up their attacks on Christians, it is going to be important for us to have a place to go if necessary.

The government forcing the Faithful into participating in the sacramentalization of sin (like a same sex marriage) is intolerable to people of many faiths. Now faithful Muslims, Jews, Christians and others have 21 states where they can escape persecution from those trying to tell us that the government forcing you to violate your religious conscience is equality and freedom.

As previously stated, “Everyone has equal rights, or no one does.

The campaign in the mainstream media against the Indiana law giving equal rights to Christians was unsuccessful because the new media exposed the lies. Not all of America actually heard the truth, but enough people did to blunt the anti-Christian lies of the mainstream media.

What Do Equal Rights Mean?

On Sunday the Independent Journal Review posted an article about Indiana‘s ‘Religious Freedom’ Act. There has been an outcry from gay and lesbian groups that say that the law will discriminate against them. I would like to point out that 21 states already have similar laws, and that the goal of the law is to protect EVERYONE’S rights.

When you open a business, you do not give up your First Amendment rights. According to the First Amendment you are guaranteed the right to practice your religion. There is also a right of association–you have the right to choose who you will do business with. Christians who hold a Biblical view on homosexuality have as much right to practice their beliefs as anyone else. The law in Indiana will protect these rights.

This is the map of the states that have passed laws similar to the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA):

RFRA Existing graphic

Incidentally, the RFRA was signed into law by former President Bill Clinton–not by a Republican.

The article concludes:

In other words, not only can the Christian owners of a bakery refuse to write an inscription on the wedding cake of a gay couple, but the black owners of a T-shirt business don’t have to print the KKK’s burning crosses on shirts, and Jewish owners of a gift shop don’t have to put Nazi symbols on coffee cups.

Everyone has equal rights, or no one does.

A Wise Governor

Arutz Sheva reported yesterday that Indiana Governor Mike Pence, while visiting Israel with his family, declined a dinner invitation from Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas. Governor Pence was also in Israel to discuss expanding economic ties between Indiana and the Jewish State.

Governor Pence has been a long-time supporter of Israel.

The article quotes some of the Governor’s statements in 2010 about Israel:

“I believe the Obama administration is the most anti-Israel administration in the modern history of the state of Israel and our relationship with her. Israel is our most cherished ally. The American people support Israel’s right to self-defense. The American people support the Jewish state of Israel, and the American people expect the American president to unambiguously do the same.”

“I’ll be honest with you: I never thought I’d live to see the day that an American administration would denounce the Jewish state of Israel for rebuilding Jerusalem,” Pence added. 

It is wonderful to see a state wanting to do business with Israel. Governor Pence obviously understands that Israel lives in a dangerous neighborhood and does need to defend itself. There is no other country in the world that would put up with rockets continually being fired at their civilian population and not respond forcefully. Israel has consistently tempered its responses.

A Picture Of The Next Two Years

Holly Robichaud posted a column in the Boston Herald today about the political landscape over the next two years.

The article lists the conservative Republican presidential candidates as follows:

The GOP’s extensive field includes Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Rand Paul of Kentucky, and Govs. John Kasich of Ohio, Scott Walker of Wisconsin, Mike Pence of Indiana and Louisiana’s Bobby Jindal.

While Cruz is no favorite of the D.C. 
establishment, his political backbone in working to stop the Obama agenda will be an advantage. Unlike Speaker John Boehner, Cruz embraces November’s message that Americans overwhelmingly reject Obama’s policies, including amnesty.

Paul should be red hot due to his appeal to younger voters, but his foreign policy and amnesty positions will hold him back.

Kasich, from a key electoral state, has served in Congress and been a Fox News host. As governor he created 45,000 new jobs and fixed an $8 billion budget deficit, and he’s someone to watch.

The article also mentions the moderate Republican candidates–Jeb Bush, Chris Christie and Mitt Romney. If the number of conservative candidates split the conservative vote, one of these men could win the nomination.

The article also discusses the Democrat field:

Incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will have to decide between being a Boehner clone — which will depress the GOP base vote in 2016 — and being a leader in fighting Obama’s destructive executive orders. If he chooses the latter, McConnell could play kingmaker in the primary.

Most Democrats understand President Obama has moved the country too far to the left, except our U.S. Sen. Lizzy Warren, who thinks the whole world is the People’s Republic of Cambridge. Ultraliberals will continue to rally around her as the rest of Democrats try to go mainstream to save the party from extinction.

If the conservative movement wants a presidential candidate in 2016, they are going to have to unite around one candidate, and during the next two years, they are going to have to show the country that they have workable ideas as to how to turn America back to the constitutional republic it was intended to be.

When Citizens Speak Out

A lot of Americans don’t pay attention to exactly what their government is doing, but occasionally something comes along that wakes everyone up. Common Core is an example of that. The Common Core standards were developed to provide national standards for students as they progressed through school. Aside from the one-size-fits-all aspect of the program, there were serious questions as to the age-appropriateness of what was being taught and the political slant. As people, particularly parents, become more aware of what Common Core is, the opposition to the program is growing.

The Daily Caller reported yesterday that Indiana has passed Senate Bill 91, a law ordering public K-12 schools across the state to stop using Common Core standards. Some other states (Iowa, Florida and Arizona) have tried to get around the opposition by renaming the program–Indiana simply threw out the program.

The article reports the Governor’s statement on Common Core:

“I believe our students are best served when decisions about education are made at the state and local level,” Pence said in a statement.

“By signing this legislation, Indiana has taken an important step forward in developing academic standards that are written by Hoosiers, for Hoosiers, and are uncommonly high, and I commend members of the General Assembly for their support,” the Republican governor added, according to the Star.

Massachusetts proved in the 1990’s that states can write their own standards and improve education in their individual states. It is a mistake to allow the federal government to control local education–parents and school boards should do that.

One aspect of Common Core that I think is often overlooked by its supporters is the amount of data collection on the students. I do not believe that this amount of data collection is necessary, nor am I sure that once the data is collected it will be kept sufficiently secure so as not to be a violation of the students’ and parents’ privacy. It is up to parents and grandparents of students to insure that American students get the best education possible. High standards are a good thing–federal standards dictated by Common Core are not.

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