Priorities

Hot Air posted an article yesterday stating that the New York State Senate is getting ready to rid the state of a group of major criminals–people who text while walking.

The article reports:

As in Hawaii and some municipalities in, of course, California, it would impose fines between $25 and $250 on people for texting, browsing online, emailing or playing games on their cellphone while in a crosswalk.

Because obviously New York has no crime anymore and no serious wrongdoing that hasn’t already been addressed by authoriuties, police or parking cops will have plenty of time to watch the hands of everyone using a crosswalk in a state with about 39 million hands.

Of course, on paper such a rule might make sense. But is it government’s role to fight crime or combat select individual’s lack of common sense? And what about the impact on YouTube where, a friend informs me, many people go for repeated guffaws watching cellphone users walk into light-poles and water fountains?

“If they’re going to get killed crossing the street not paying attention,” said Lyles Press, “that’s their fault. I don’t see why you need to legislate common sense.”

Texting while walking is stupid–it takes a few seconds to stop walking and text what you need to text. However, I really think the New York State Senate has other more important issues it needs to address. In January of this year, The New York Post reported that more people are leaving New York than any other state. Shouldn’t the New York State Senate be thinking about laws that would make New York State a more attractive place to live? Shouldn’t they be thinking about ways to fight crime or end drug addiction or homelessness in their state? Darwin will take care of the people texting while walking, New York Senate, you might consider working toward making your state a better place to live.

Putting Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

The New York Post reported yesterday that in a commencement speech at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia, billionaire tech investor Robert F. Smith promised to pay off the student loans of the graduating class. Wow.

The article reports:

Billionaire tech investor Robert F. Smith stunned college graduates on Sunday as he gave their commencement speech — offering to pay their student debts despite it costing an estimated $40 million.

“On behalf of the eight generations of my family that have been in this country, we’re gonna put a little fuel in your bus,” Smith told the 400 graduating seniors at the all-male Morehouse College in Atlanta.

“This is my class, 2019. And my family is making a grant to eliminate their student loans.”

The announcement was initially met with stunned looks — before the graduates broke into cheers and tears at the largest gift ever given to the historically black college.

This is brilliant. The students were graduating–they had completed their studies–they had not dropped out. Now the students were faced with serious debt that they had accumulated in order to pay for their college education. Now they are free to pursue whatever career they choose without having that debt hanging over their heads. Paying off these debts not only helps the students, it helps America by making sure those student loans were quickly paid off. Wow.

The Ghost Of The Obama Administration

Breitbart posted an article today about trade agreements between the United States and Qatar. It seems that there are air trade agreements that Qatar is violating. Those violations were allowed under the Obama administration. Qatar would like to see those violations continue under the Trump administration.

The article reports:

Open Skies agreements are executive agreements, similar to treaties, between the United States and other nations regarding international air travel, designed to foster free-market competition and a level playing field for international flights. From trade, to commerce, to tourism, Open Skies requires each participating country to provide non-preferential access to their airspace, and requires airline companies to compete against each other to in terms of offerings, quality of service, and low prices, without government subsidies.

Breitbart News has previously reported on several Arab nations that were violating their Open Skies agreements with the United States, illegally subsidizing three Persian Gulf carriers. The Obama administration did nothing, and a group of NeverTrumpers tried to convince President Trump to do nothing as well.

President Trump’s team had other ideas. In January 2018, the Department of State announced a deal with Qatar to end violations involving Qatar Airways, and in May 2018, Secretary Mike Pompeo announced a deal with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) addressing the remaining airlines, Etihad Airways, and Emirates Airline. These were hailed as significant victories for American workers and the president’s America First agenda.

But it appears there may still be trouble with Qatar. And someone from the Obama administration has been implicated, apparently operating behind the scenes.

In late April of this year, the CEOs of all three of the top U.S. airline companies – American, Delta, and United – published an open letter to President Trump as an ad in the New York Times and New York Post, entitled, “President Trump: Please enforce our trade agreements to support U.S. airline workers.”

The article then goes on to explain the involvement of someone from the Obama administration in this matter:

Then three other airline companies – FedEx, Jetblue, and Atlas Air – sent a letter defending Qatar to Pompeo and also Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao. The April 16 letter pushes back against “false claims” and touts the need “to set the record straight.”

However, according to materials Breitbart News reviewed, it looks like someone forgot to remove the metadata from the document, showing who wrote the document. Because the metadata shows the letter sent by FedEx, JetBlue, and Atlas Air was actually written by Jenny Rosenberg.

Rosenberg is a lobbyist. But she formerly served as assistant administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and at another time served as acting assistant secretary for aviation and international affairs at the U.S. Department of Transportation – both stints during the Obama administration.

In other words, unless this document is a complete forgery or one of the CEOs’ personal secretaries happens to be named Jenny Rosenberg, an Obama White House political appointee is ghostwriting letters trying to persuade President Trump to ignore purported trade violations.

When the CEOs of American companies are asking the president to stand up for American companies against foreign interests who are undercutting American workers, someone who formerly held “senior executive positions” – that is how her company webpage biography puts it – to advance Barack Obama’s policy priorities is seeking to influence the President Trump’s White House, trying to persuade the current president that what is happening is consistent with his America First agenda, and that his Cabinet should ignore claims to the contrary.

If you are going to do something dishonest, it is wise not to leave your electronic fingerprints on it.

We Need To Re-evaluate Vaccine Requirements

There have been stories in recent years that childhood vaccines may cause autism. I have no idea whether or not this is true. My children were routinely vaccinated in the 1970’s with no ill effects, but I have no idea if today’s vaccines are the same as the ones given to my children. However, as more and more people decide to decline vaccinations for their children because of fear of autism, we need to look at the consequences of that decision (for all of us).

The New York Post posted an article today about measles in America.

The New York Post reports:

America has charted 387 cases of measles across 15 states since the beginning of the year — the second-highest number of reported infections since the disease was declared “eliminated” in 2000.

The number was topped only once before, in 2014, when 667 cases were reported by the same date.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s graph of year-over-year cases — updated every Monday — shows that 2019 passed last year in terms of outbreaks as of March 28. There were 372 cases confirmed by this time in 2018.

The states that have reported cases are Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Texas and Washington.

Outbreaks — defined as three or more cases — are ongoing in California (Santa Cruz and Butte County), New Jersey, New York (Rockland County and New York City) and Washington, according to the CDC.

Rockland County has banned unvaccinated minors from public spaces. The recurrence of measles in America is the result of two things–parents who refuse to vaccinate their children and travelers who brought the disease to America from foreign countries such as Israel, Ukraine and the Philippines, which currently have measles outbreaks.

We need to find a way to make the vaccine safer (divided into more doses?) to assure parents that it is a good idea to vaccinate their children. This is a public health issue. The other aspect of this measles epidemic is that we need to make sure we control our borders to insure that immigrants are not bringing diseases into this country that have been eradicated. We need to question both legal and illegal immigrants about their health history.

What The Media Didn’t Want To Tell You

Yesterday The New York Post posted an article about a recent shooting death in the New York City subway. The murder was gang related, but the NYPD wasn’t interested in having that information available to the public.

The article reports:

He’s an MS-13 gangster and illegal immigrant accused of murdering a rival on a subway platform — but you wouldn’t even recognize him on the street if the NYPD had its way.

Cops bent over backward Tuesday to shield alleged killer Ramiro Gutierrez from public scrutiny after his arrest for Sunday’s broad-daylight slaying in Queens — going so far as to feed reporters bogus information about his whereabouts and claim ignorance on his illegal status hours before President Trump’s State of the Union Address renewing his request for a border wall.

Gutierrez, 26, has been in custody since Monday for the execution-style killing of Abel Mosso, 20, in front of horrified straphangers.

But cops waited until 4 a.m. Tuesday to announce that he had been formally charged.

Then they called reporters Tuesday afternoon to say that he would be walked out of the 115th Precinct station house at 4 p.m. — only to sneak him out a back door by 2 p.m. en route to a courthouse in Queens.

The article continues:

Gutierrez’s NYPD rap sheet goes back to at least 2010, when he received a summons for disorderly conduct, according to sources.

He’s been collared on at least nine misdemeanors and four felonies, including for drug possession, sources said, noting that five of his arrests are sealed.

Gutierrez was out on $2,500 bail for felony conspiracy charges when he allegedly killed Mosso.

He was arrested last Dec. 11, and by Dec. 13 he had pleaded “not guilty” and posted bail, records show.

The arrest put him on ICE’s radar, but the agency was not aware he was in the US illegally until Tuesday, agency officials said.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders seized on Mosso’s killing to make the case for tighter border security.

“These things should not be happening,’’ she said Tuesday on CNN.

“We know that the crime and the drugs and those things drastically stop if you have real border security, and that includes a wall.’’

Coming to a city near you unless we get the southern border under control.

When You Give To A Charity, Know Where Your Money Is Going

Yesterday BizPac Review posted an article about the Association of Black and Puerto Rican Legislators, Inc., a group of black New York State legislators who run a charity to provide scholarships for black and Latino youth.

The article reports:

The caucus of black New York state lawmakers run a charity whose stated mission is to empower “African American and Latino youth through education and leadership initiatives” by “providing opportunity to higher education” — but it hasn’t given a single scholarship to needy youth in years, according to a New York Post investigation.

The group collects money from companies like AT&T, the Real Estate Board of New York, Time Warner Cable, and CableVision, telling them in promotional materials that they are “changing lives, one scholarship at a time.”

The group — called the Association of Black and Puerto Rican Legislators, Inc.  — instead spent $500,000 on items like food, limousines, and rap music, the Post found.

The politicians refused to divulge the charity’s 2017 tax filing to the Post despite federal requirements that charities do so upon request.

The article provides some insight as to where the money collected goes:

State. Sen. Leroy Comrie of Queens, the group’s number two, refused to come out when Post reporter Isabel Vincent stopped by his office. All of the politicians mentioned are Democrats.

“The real purpose (of the charity) is to bring people to get over their apathy and out to Albany and get motivated,” the charity’s former chairman, Assemblyman Nick Perry of Brooklyn, previously said.

There has been no money used for scholarships in that past two years, the Post reported, citing sources. That’s even after the Albany Times-Union called outthe charity in January 2017 for meager spending in prior years.

The charity gave $36,000 of its $565,000 in revenue to scholarships in 2015. That year, it spent $85,000 on a concert with Eric Benet and Regina Belle, and $157,000 on food, according to the Times-Union’s analysis of its tax filings.

The group said that year it planned to double the amount of scholarships it gave, but it didn’t happen.

In 2017, its annual event featured the rap artist Big Daddy Kane.

Hopefully the Attorney General of the State of New York will decide that the spending habits of this charity are inappropriate and require this group to actually fund some scholarships. However, it’s New York, so I am not optimistic.

Americans Often Vote With Their Feet

Yesterday The New York Post posted an article about New York City’s shrinking middle class.

The article reports:

After decades of sharp income erosion in the face of relentless taxes, escalating living costs and wage reductions through technological changes, the full extent of this shocking exodus is laid bare in the latest US Census data.

That shows the city is losing 100 residents each day — with departures exceeding new arrivals.

“The rich in New York City are getting richer; the poor are actually getting richer, but not rich enough to be middle class,” said Peter C. Earle, an economist at the American Institute for Economic Research, who has studied other data, noting the expansion in welfare and entitlement programs.

Earle said it isn’t unreasonable to assume middle-class incomes are falling even faster in New York City than in other major US cities, because of the city’s high — and rising — housing and other living costs.

New York City’s middle class comprises 48 percent of city residents, with median annual incomes between $30,000 and $60,000.

Thirty-one percent make lower incomes, and the ranks of the rich account for 21 percent of New York City residents.

By contrast, in the early 1970s, about 61 percent of New Yorkers were ensconced in the middle class; today, fewer than half are.

Recently Amazon opened a facility in Long Island City that received an estimated $3 billion in subsidies, increasing the tax burden on city residents. Although increasing the number of jobs is a good idea, having the taxpayers pay for those jobs is not.

The article concludes:

National chain-store locations have plunged in the city by 0.3 percent, to 7,849, this year, according to the Center for an Urban Future. And a record 18 chains, including Aerosoles and Nine West, vacated all their city sites in 2018.

One sector doing a booming “business” is food pantries. Despite a city unemployment rate of 4 percent, New York food pantries report elevated levels of demand, especially during the holiday season.

More than 1 million New Yorkers now worry they won’t have enough food for their families, according to recent studies.

Unless something changes in the economic policies of New York City, the city will no longer be the center of commerce and art that it has been. The voters in New York City need to take a good look at where there city is going and make the appropriate political changes.

My Rant For The Day

The New York Post posted an article today about a speech made by Andrew Cuomo at a bill-signing ceremony today.

The article reports:

Gov. Andrew Cuomo stunned the audience at a bill-signing ceremony Wednesday by saying America “was never that great” as he mocked President Trump’s 2016 campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again.”

“We’re not going to make America great again,” Cuomo said while signing a bill dealing with human trafficking.

“It was never that great. We have not reached greatness. We will reach greatness when every American is fully engaged.”

…“We will reach greatness when discrimination and stereotyping against women … is gone. And every woman’s full potential is realized and unleashed, and every woman is making her full contribution … we have not yet fully liberated the women in this country, and we will, and New York will lead the way.”

I beg to differ. Let’s use Mario Cuomo as an example. His parents owned a store in South Jamaica, Queens, in New York City. He graduated from St. John’s University and St. John’s University School of Law, later becoming Governor of New York. A son of Italian immigrants who became governor of one of the largest states in our nation. I think that’s pretty great. Andrew was also able to get a good education and follow in his father’s footsteps. Whether or not you agree with his politics, Mario Cuomo is an example of a child of immigrants who was able to get an education and prosper. That is what makes America great. Andrew Cuomo needs to look at his own family history before he claims that America is not great. There are very few countries where what his family accomplished would be possible.

I Guess It All Depends On Who You Are Discriminating Against

Yesterday The New York Post posted an editorial about Harvard University’s discrimination against Asian applicants.

The editorial states:

Harvard University records unveiled Friday show the school engages in blatant, egregious racism in the name of diversity.

The info came out thanks to the lawsuit by Students for Fair Admissions over admission policies that discriminate against Asian-Americans. Perhaps the most damaging revelation was a 2013 internal Harvard study that concluded exactly what the suit charges — and the only action the school took was to suppress the research.

The documents also show how Harvard discriminates. To counter Asians’ tendency to do extremely well on traditional measures (test scores, grades and extracurriculars), it routinely rates them lower on soft categories like “positive personality,” being “widely respected,” likability, kindness, etc.

An analysis by the plaintiffs’ experts of Harvard data on more than 160,000 applicants show how skewed the process has grown: A male Asian-American with a 25 percent chance of admission would have a 35 percent chance if he were white, 75 percent if he were Hispanic and 95 percent if he were black. (The legal brief didn’t outline a similar breakdown for females.)

This is not only unfair–it is unwise. By discriminating against students with strong academic skills, the college brings down the overall skill level of the students, resulting in a higher drop-out rate and lower grades in general. If the school wanted to maintain their reputation for excellence, they would be better off to admit the students with the highest academic achievement levels. This policy is not only wrong, it is detrimental to the academic achievement of the students.

 

The Second Amendment Saves Lives

Status

The New York Post posted a story yesterday about a shooting in a restaurant in Oklahoma City. A man walked into the restaurant and began shooting, injuring two people. A person in the restaurant who had a gun shot the gunman, killing him. The two people shot by the gunman are in the hospital recovering.

How long would it have taken for the police to respond to the incident? Would anyone have had a chance to call the police before being shot? How many people would have been shot before the police got there?

This is an example of the basic fact that the quickest way to stop an evil person with a gun is to have a good person with a gun at the scene. I am not supporting creating ‘the wild west,’ but there have been a few shootings recently where having an armed person at the scene saved lives.

We have the resources to put trained people in our schools with guns. There are a number of ways this can be done without breaking the budgets of the schools. One suggestion I have heard is to ask retired policemen or retired military personnel to stand guard a few days a week in return for tax breaks on their local taxes. There are other ways to do this, but that is one suggestion.

The bottom line is simple–having a well-trained, armed person at the scene of a shooting saves lives.

Sometimes The Double Standard Is Very Puzzling

The New York Post posted an article today about Bill Clinton. Although he is doing a lot of speaking at various political and charitable events, he is keeping a rather low profile. No so with his wife. According to Hot Air, Hillary Clinton recently tweeted:

If I were a Democrat, that would strike fear into my heart. According to an April 19th article at BizPacReview, Mrs. Clinton’s favorability rating is at 27 percent. The article reports that this is a new low for Clinton who dropped in popularity from 30 percent in August 2017. Just as a point of reference, President Trump’s rating was at 35 percent. I suspect it may have gone up in the past month.

Meanwhile, Bill Clinton seems to be relatively popular with the American people despite his past actions.

The New York Post reports:

As recently as 2016, the very liberal Joy Behar was dismissing the women who slept with Clinton as “tramps” on “The View.” Not that much has changed since the period in the ’90s when Maureen Dowd dismissed Lewsinky as being “nutty and slutty” and “a ditsy, predatory White House intern who might have lied under oath for a job at Revlon.”

A Rasmussen Reports poll taken in November 2017, a month after the #MeToo movement began, found that 59 percent of people believe the accusations against Bill Clinton. But you wouldn’t know it from the way he’s being treated.

Somehow Bill Clinton has escaped the wrath of the #metoo movement despite the believable accusations against him.

The article at The New York Post concludes:

It’s not hard to find worse men than Bill Clinton of course (Harvey Weinstein). It’s not even hard to find worse men named Bill (here’s looking at you, Cosby). But there’s a big difference between “not being the worst man in the world” and “being a guest of honor in an age where women are speaking out against assaulters like you.”

If Democrats want to hold Donald Trump accountable for his alleged misconduct, and we should, then we have to hold Democrats accountable, as well. Sexual harassment isn’t an important issue because it serves as leverage against another party. It’s important because it destroys women’s lives and careers. At least in Lewsinky’s case, we know the fallout from the affair rendered her suicidal. But Clinton seemed to go blithely on, largely beloved in spite of the way he abused his power.

Maybe this is the year we say enough. After 20 years, it’s time for Bill to go and take a long walk in the Chappaqua woods.

We should be so lucky.

Ever Wonder How Congressmen Become Millionaires On Less Than $200,000 A Year?

There are strong laws on the books to prevent lawmakers in Washington from profiting from their jobs in ways that are not ethical. However, there are no laws on the books to prevent the families of lawmakers in Washington from totally taking advantage of their relative’s position. Peter Schweizer has written a book titled Secret Empire which sheds light on some of the unsavory financial activities of some of our politicians.

Yesterday Fox News posted an article about the book discussing how laws and regulations can be used to enrich friends and family.

The article lists a few specific examples:

Schweizer said the Vistria Group, run by Obama’s best friend, Marty Nesbitt, drove the for-profit school University of Phoenix into the ground and then swooped in to buy it.

 “They come in, they buy it for pennies on the dollar and low and behold, the Obama administration says, ‘You know what, we think we’re going to let GI money float again back to the University of Phoenix,’” he said.

…Schweizer said the level of corruption extended to former Vice President Joe Biden and former Secretary of State John Kerry after both leaders negotiated with China on trade issues.

“At this time the sons, or in one case, John Kerry’s close aide, are involved in businesses that involve multi-billion dollar deals with the Chinese government,” he said on “Lou Dobbs Tonight.”

Schweizer claims that 10 days after Biden flew to Beijing, his son, Hunter Biden, scored a $1.5 billion private equity deal from the Chinse government.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and his wife, current US Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, are also mentioned in the book. The book details the couples close relationship to China through Elaine Chao’s family.

The New York Post reported on March 17th:

As Schweizer tells it, the Chao family fortune derives from the Foremost Group, a shipping company that Chinese native James Chao, a classmate of former Chinese president Jiang Zemin at Jiao Tong University, founded in New York in 1964. Chao remains Foremost’s chairman today, and his daughters Angela and Christine are the company’s deputy chairwoman and general counsel, respectively. Elaine Chao worked there in the 1970s, and has been quoted as saying, “Shipping is our family tradition.”

It really is time to begin again in Washington. The only people who should be allowed to stay in Congress are people whose net worth has not increased more than 10 percent during their terms of office. (Of course then you could make the argument that they simply did not take advantage of the opportunities around them!)

At any rate, it really is time to drain the swamp (and to understand that both political parties are involved in the swamp).

Lied To (Again)

Yesterday The New York Post posted an article about the Labor Department‘s December jobs report. I am probably not the only one who wondered why the jobs added number was lower than expected (I see signs of economic recovery all around me–new shops, new construction, formerly unemployed people going back to work, people getting bonuses, etc.). Well, it seems that there was more to the numbers than I thought.

The article reports:

But the number was kept artificially low by a seasonal adjustment that wasn’t comparable to the one done a year earlier, in December 2016.

And it’s unusual for one December’s adjustment to be so different from the previous December.

If the adjustments had been consistent, last Friday’s number would have shown growth of another 133,000. Add the growth that was announced (148,000 jobs) and the seasonal adjustment difference (133,000) and this December’s growth would have been a very, very healthy 281,000 jobs.

How to lie with statistics.

It gets worse:

There was another adjustment that made Friday’s job number look worse than it would have been.

In the December figure released last Friday, the government deducted 38,000 jobs that it thinks were lost but can’t prove were lost because they happened inside very small companies.

A year earlier, in December 2016, only 17,000 jobs were deducted for this reason.

Again, if Labor has simply remained consistent, December’s jobs gains could have been as high as 300,000.

As I’ve explained many times before, the government’s economic statistics are not expected to be completely accurate the first time they are announced — even though Wall Street and the media treat them like they are.

That’s why the government does numerous revisions.

I guess the only numbers we can actually believe are the ones in the final revision!

I Love This Story

This story is from September, but I love it so much I am posting it anyway.

The New York Post posted an article on September 7 about a Viking skeleton that has been discovered.

The article reports:

The remains of a powerful Viking — long thought to be a man — was in fact a real-life Xena Warrior Princess, a study released Friday reveals.

The lady war boss was buried in the mid-10th century along with deadly weapons and two horses, leading archaeologists and historians to assume she was a man, according to the findings published in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology.

Wrong.

“It’s actually a woman, somewhere over the age of 30 and fairly tall, too, measuring around [5 feet 6 inches] tall,” archaeologist Charlotte Hedenstierna-Jonson of Uppsala University, who conducted the study, told The Local.

And she was likely in charge.

The article concludes:

The Viking grave was first found and excavated by Swedish archaeologist Hjalmar Stolpe in the late 1800s.

But a few years ago, osteologist Anna Kjellström of Stockholm University noticed its skeleton had fine cheekbones and feminine hip bones, researches said.

They conducted DNA analysis and confirmed it was a female.

“This image of the male warrior in a patriarchal society was reinforced by research traditions and contemporary preconceptions. Hence, the biological sex of the individual was taken for granted,” Hedenstierna-Jonson and other researchers wrote in the report.

The research was led by the Stockholm and Uppsala universities.

I love this.

The State Department Announces

The New York Post is reporting today that the State Department has announced that America with be withdrawing from UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) because of UNESCO’s anti-Israel bias. This is long overdue.

In June 2012, I posted an article illustrating how some of UNESCO’s money is spent. The article featured a cartoon teaching Palestinian children that Jews are killing them. That is not a recipe for peace.

The article at the New York Post concludes:

But the Israel-Palestinian issue has been a major point of contention.

Last year, Israel removed its UNESCO ambassador after the agnecy stated that one of Jerusalem’s holy sites is specifically a “Muslim holy site of worship,” according to Reuters.

Senior American officials, including UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, have repeatedly denounced UNESCO, which the US also withdrew from during the Cold War under then-President Reagan.

Washington, which viewed the agency as mismanaged and used for political reasons, rejoined it in 2003.

Until the people who now live in the Gaza Strip do something other than to send rockets into Israel, I see no reason to recognize Palestine as a nation. The world does not need another terrorist state. In recent years we have seen rockets from the Gaza Strip aimed at civilian targets in Israel and tunnels dug to facilitate attacks on Israeli children. Western countries have funded these activities in the name of humanitarian aid. Unfortunately, very little of the humanitarian aid has gone to humans–it has been used to buy weapons and create tunnels to attack Israel. If the United Nations continues to support these activities, we will have no choice but to withdraw from the United Nations completely.

Legal Plunder

Frederic Bastiat (1801-1850) was a French economist, statesman, and author. In 1850, he published a pamphlet called “The Law.”

The website which contains the translation of “The Law” includes the following statement:

As a Deputy to the Legislative Assembly, Mr. Bastiat was studying and explaining each socialist fallacy as it appeared. And he explained how socialism must inevitably degenerate into communism. But most of his countrymen chose to ignore his logic. The Law is here presented again because the same situation exists in America today as in the France of 1848. The same socialist-communist ideas and plans that were then adopted in France are now sweeping America. The explanations and arguments then advanced against socialism by Mr. Bastiat are — word for word — equally valid today.

“The Law” includes the following definition of ‘legal plunder‘:

But how is this legal plunder to be identified? Quite simply. See if the law takes from some persons what belongs to them, and gives it to other persons to whom it does not belong. See if the law benefits one citizen at the expense of another by doing what the citizen himself cannot do without committing a crime.

Then abolish this law without delay, for it is not only an evil itself, but also it is a fertile source for further evils because it invites reprisals. If such a law — which may be an isolated case — is not abolished immediately, it will spread, multiply, and develop into a system.

The person who profits from this law will complain bitterly, defending his acquired rights. He will claim that the state is obligated to protect and encourage his particular industry; that this procedure enriches the state because the protected industry is thus able to spend more and to pay higher wages to the poor workingmen.

Do not listen to this sophistry by vested interests. The acceptance of these arguments will build legal plunder into a whole system. In fact, this has already occurred. The present-day delusion is an attempt to enrich everyone at the expense of everyone else; to make plunder universal under the pretense of organizing it.

This statement pretty much describes the current tax system in America.

An article posted in The New York Post yesterday further illustrates this point.

The article in The New York Post states:

Americans spent more money on taxes than they did on food and clothing last year, according to data released earlier this week.

In an assessment of “Consumer Expenditures” for 2016, the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed the average bill for federal, state and local taxes was $10,489.

By comparison, Americans spent $9,006 on food and clothes, with most of that going toward food.

CNSNews.com first pointed out the findings. While it may not come as a surprise that American households are shelling out to Uncle Sam, the data showed that bill has risen sharply in recent years — the average tax bill rose 41 percent overall since 2013.

According to the BLS, federal income taxes rose from $5,743 to $8,367 in that period. State and local income taxes rose from $1,629 to $2,046.

The stats come as President Trump prepares to pressure Congress to pass tax reform. In a Missouri speech on Wednesday, he called for simplifying the system and lowering rates.

More importantly, what are our taxes being used for? Are they being used for purposes outlined in the U.S. Constitution? Are they being used strictly for national defense, or are they being used to prop up a political system in Washington that will never be satisfied with the amount of money it controls and will always want more money from the people who earn it?

The article in The New York Post states that the largest expense for Americans in 2016 was housing. It is time to let Americans who work keep the money they earn. Washington needs to learn to do with less.

When News Media Forgets To Check Facts

The New York Post posted an article yesterday criticizing Joel Osteen for closing his church to refugees from the hurricane in Houston. I don’t know enough about Joel Osteen to compliment or criticize his ministry, but I tend to get annoyed when criticism is unwarranted.

Boston 25 News posted pictures of Joel Osteen’s church at the present time. Would you seek shelter here?

Meanwhile, the church has posted on its Twitter page that it is coordinating with the city and collecting supplies to distribute to Houston area shelters.

The media loves to criticize anyone claiming to be a Christian. As I said, I am not familiar with this man’s ministry, but obviously the criticism in this case is totally bogus.

President Trump Does Something Good For New York State

The New York Post reported yesterday that President Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions have kept their promise to crack down on the MS-13 gang. The gang is known for terrorizing immigrant communities.

The article reports:

Of the 45 N​ew ​Y​ork​-area gang arrests over the last month by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Homeland Security, 39 were affiliated with MS-13, which has been blamed for a string of recent murders in normally placid Long Island, the feds said.

Those who are not charged with crimes will be processed for deportation, the feds said.

Authorities announced the arrests Wednesday as part of a newly formed task force aimed at MS-13 in New York City and Long Island.

The task force — dubbed “Operation Matador” — was put together in May following a high-profile visit by Sessions to Long Island to address MS-13’s growing presence in the suburbs.

Members of this gang are not people we want walking the streets of America.

The article lists some of the activities of MS-13:

MS-13, known for drug trafficking, kidnapping, human smuggling, murder and sex trafficking, was labeled a “transnational criminal organization” by the Treasury Department in 2012.

President Trump has made the streets of New York City and Long Island safer by simply enforcing the laws already on the books. Thank you, sir.

This Is Not A Surprise

If you are over forty, aren’t you glad there was no one around with a cell phone when you said or did stupid things? Unless you are a really amazing person, you have probably at some time in your life said or done something stupid, rude, classless, and just awful. If you tell me you haven’t, I would seriously doubt it. Unfortunately, in the age of cell phones, there moments can be immortalized and brought out at the most inconvenient time. It’s the modern-day equivalent of your mother showing your naked baby pictures to your boyfriend. Well, some new information has come out about a sneak attack using an old event.

Breitbart reported Thursday on some recent discoveries about an audio tape that was supposed to end the Donald Trump campaign for President.

The article quotes a New York Post story:

The infamous “Access Hollywood” tape — in which President Donald Trump bragged about grabbing women by the hoo-ha — was an inside job, leaked by an NBC News staffer on Billy Bush’s own “Today” show, multiple sources tell Page Six.

“The tape was leaked by the NBC News division, by somebody at the ‘Today’ show,” says one source. “NBC News knew for a while about the existence of the tape. Billy himself had told them about it. People in the news division became frustrated that ‘Access Hollywood’ was taking too long to air it and decided it had to come out.”

“Access” had been working on airing a sanitized version of the tape, which revealed Trump’s comments but protected Bush by editing out his. But the full tape, which was leaked to the Washington Post, featured Bush goading the president. The leak got Bush fired from “Today,” which was, according to the source, part of the plan.

“The leaked tape served a dual purpose: It helped get Bush out of the way — Matt Lauer didn’t like him and felt he was a liability — and NBC thought it would derail Trump,” says the source. “But all it did was crush Billy, and, ironically, his own network was behind it.”

This is an example of major media trying to bring down a presidential candidate. Fair and balanced? I don’t think so.

I am very grateful for the internet–I can read different news sources and form my own opinion. I don’t know how the mainstream media got so biased, but it is now no longer worth paying attention to. Hopefully more Americans will begin to realize that what they hear in the mainstream media is only a small part of any story.

This Might Wake Some People Up

Yesterday The New York Post posted an article about a new policy being introduced by President Donald Trump. The policy is part of President Trump’s efforts to get immigration under control and the make people  aware of the actions of some Illegal aliens.

The article reports:

President Trump plans to publish a weekly list of crimes committed by illegal immigrants in the Big Apple and all other sanctuary cities that do not cooperate with federal immigration authorities.

The list will inform citizens and others about “public safety threats associated with sanctuary” cities, according to an executive order Trump signed Wednesday.

“The [Homeland Security] Secretary shall utilize the Declined Detainer Outcome Report or its equivalent and, on a weekly basis, make public a comprehensive list of criminal actions committed by aliens and any jurisdiction that ignored or otherwise failed to honor any detainers with respect to such aliens,” the order said.

…The list includes serious crimes such as felony assault, rape, murder and terrorism as well as gun smuggling and witness tampering.

Americans who came here illegally have already broken our laws. Those that behave in ways that are a threat to an ordered society or a threat to American citizens should be deported immediately. The list will help make Americans more aware of how much of our crime rate in some cities is attributable to non-existent borders.

This Doesn’t Deserve The Attention It Is Getting

Yesterday John Podhoretz posted an article at The New York Post about some unfounded allegations against President-elect Trump reported by Buzzfeed. John Podhoretz is not by any stretch of the imagination a Trump supporter, and these are his comments about the allegations:

So the website BuzzFeed decided to publish a series of memos that have been floating around for months alleging all kinds of terrible things about Donald Trump.

Some of those terrible allegations have to do with efforts to influence the American elections and Trump. Some of them have to do with Trump’s personal sexual conduct.

…There is literally no evidence on offer in these memos or from BuzzFeed that any single sentence in these documents is factual or true. What’s more, we know most major news organizations in America had seen them and despite their well-known institutional antipathy toward Trump, had chosen not to publish them or even make reference to them after efforts to substantiate their charges had failed.

…“Publishing this dossier reflects how we see the job of reporters in 2017,” Smith (Ben Smith, editor of Buzzfeed) writes. This is an amazing thing to say, because if you think it through, it means publishing open libels and slanders is the job of reporters in 2017.

Fake news will become more sophisticated, and fake, ambiguous, and spun-up stories will spread widely,” warned an important American editor at the end of December 2016. His name: Ben Smith. His publication: BuzzFeed.

Every day we see new evidence of the threat Donald Trump as President poses to the status quo in Washington. It is amazing. It is not just Democrats–some high level Republicans would also like very much to discredit President Trump before he takes office. If he can be stopped before he takes the oath of office, President Trump won’t be able to interfere with the cushy lifestyles that Washington politicians have acquired through insider trading, rewarding large donors, and exempting themselves from the laws that they have passed. The Buzzfeed story has been claimed as a hoax (story here). However, this won’t be the last story we hear reporting horrible things about Donald Trump. I would love to be wrong about that, but I don’t think I am.

Is Medicare Going Bankrupt?

Yesterday The New York Post posted an article about the financial condition of Medicare. It seems that Medicare is really doing rather well.

The article cites some interesting statistics:

As the new Congress convenes, budget cutters are eyeing Medicare, citing forecasts the program for seniors is running out of money. But federal bean counters have erroneously predicted Medicare’s bankruptcy for decades. One reason: They don’t consider medical breakthroughs.

Another problem is medical ethicists like Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, who insist the elderly are a burden and that resources would be better spent on the young.

The facts prove otherwise. New medical findings give plenty of reason for optimism about the cost of caring for the elderly. According to data published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, Medicare spending on end-of-life care is dropping rapidly, down from 19 percent to 13 percent of the Medicare budget since 2000. Living to a ripe old age shouldn’t be treated like it’s a problem. It’s a bargain. Someone who lives to 97 consumes only about half as much end-of-life care as someone who dies at 68.

Dr. Emanuel has some unique ideas about aging, which are stated in the article:

Why would we emulate Zeke Emanuel, age 59, who swears that at 75, he will forego all medical care and let death come quickly? “Our older years are not of high quality,” he insists. He’ll skip them. In The Atlantic magazine, he dismissed compression of morbidity as “quintessentially American” wishful thinking, and mocked seniors for trying to “cheat death.”

Keep in mind that Dr. Emanuel was one of the people behind ObamaCare who espoused the idea of limiting medical care for older Americans. That is one of the reasons it was so surprising that the AARP supported Medicare. They betrayed their own members.

The article concludes:

Too often, Congress treats Medicare as a piggy bank — raiding it when money is needed elsewhere. In 2010, Democrats in Congress paid for over half of ObamaCare’s spending by cutting Medicare. This year, Republican lawmakers eager to control federal health spending should avoid that error and instead focus on fixing Medicaid, the money pit program for the poor, where spending per capita is growing twice as fast as for Medicare. (I added the italics to this quote.)

Medicaid spending now tops $8,000 per recipient. That’s thousands more than is spent on people in private plans. And for all that money, studies show Medicaid isn’t improving patients’ health.

By contrast, Medicare is a success story. It has transformed aging, enabling older Americans to lead longer, more independent lives than our grandparents did. The average man turning 65 today will live five years longer than in 1970. Not just more years. Quality years. What a gift.

Medicare is partially paid for by payroll deductions from both the employee and the employer totaling about 2.9 percent, so Medicare is at least partially paid for. Medicaid is a gaping hole in our pockets that does not guarantee quality care to anyone. Healthcare in America is a problem that ObamaCare has made worse. Hopefully Congress and President Trump can come up with something that provides care for everyone who needs it, but also allows free market competition to keep the costs down for everyone.

Telling The Truth Can Be Hazardous To Your Job

On Friday The New York Post posted a story about calls for the resignation of Manhattan Board of Elections Commissioner Alan Schulkin. Commissioner Schulkin made the mistake of speaking truthfully to an undercover reporter for James O’Keefe‘s Project Veritas.

The article reports the Commissioner’s remarks:

“Certain neighborhoods in particular, they bus people around to vote,” he says on the tape. “They put them in a bus and go poll site to poll site.” Asked if he meant black and Hispanic neighborhoods, he nods: “Yeah, and Chinese, too.”

…“You know, I don’t think it’s too much to ask somebody to show some kind of an ID,” he says. “You go into a building, you have to show them your ID.”

And: “People think [opposing voter-ID laws is] a liberal thing to do, but I take my vote seriously, and I don’t want 10 other people coming in negating my vote by voting for the other candidate when they aren’t even registered voters.”

The article concludes:

A guy whose job involves trying to keep elections clean vents at a party about what he sees as a threat to clean elections. How is this a firing offense?

City Democrats would be wise to just laugh the whole thing off. After all, if they take away Alan Schulkin’s job now, lots of people will conclude he was punished for telling the truth.

Honesty used to be an asset in an employee. I guess if you work for the City of New York it might not be.

We Need To Protect Free Speech

On Thursday, The Washington Examiner reported on a proposal by Democrats on the Federal Election Commission to limit media coverage of the 2016 election. I am sure that fact that their proposal would only limit conservative news outlets is purely coincidental.

The article reports:

In a last-minute submission Wednesday, a top Democrat on the evenly split FEC proposed that the Thursday meeting of the commission begin the process to prohibit companies with foreign ownership as small as 5 percent “from funding expenditures, independent expenditures, or electioneering communications.”

Democratic Commissioner Ellen Weintraub said in her submission, “Given everything we have learned this year, it blinks reality to suggest that that there is no risk of foreign nationals taking advantage of current loopholes to intercede invisibly in American elections. This is a risk no member of the Federal Election Commission should be willing to tolerate.”

Under Weintraub’s proposal, entities that reach her foreign ownership target would conceivably be banned from advocating for a candidate’s election or defeat.

Several media giants have at least 5 percent foreign ownership, some with as much as 25 percent. Included is News Corp, which owns Fox, the New York Post and the Wall Street Journal. The New York Times also has foreign ownership, as do many politically active firms like Ben & Jerry’s.

That prohibition could include Fox commentator Sean Hannity or Wall Street Journal editorial. And, according to one analysis, because foreign nationals also are prohibited from making electioneering communications, those media would not even be able to mention Donald Trump or Hillary Rodham Clinton, even if just covering them.

This needs to be stopped before it even begins. Americans are smart enough to evaluate news sources. The government does not have to censor or filter news in America.