Remembering Our Roots

On Wednesday, The Washington Times posted an article about the Second Amendment. There has been a lot of talk lately about the Second Amendment, but very little talk about the relationship of the Second Amendment and the U.S. Constitution.

The article reminds us:

The U.S. Supreme Court has twice ruled in the past 11 years that the right to keep and bear arms is an individual pre-political liberty. That is the highest category of liberty recognized in the law. It is akin to the freedoms of thought, speech and personality. That means that the court has recognized that the framers did not bestow this right upon us. Rather, they recognized its pre-existence as an extension of our natural human right to self-defense and they forbade government — state and federal — from infringing upon it.

It would be exquisitely unfair, profoundly unconstitutional and historically un-American for the rights of law-abiding folks — “surrender that rifle you own legally and use safely because some other folks have used that same type of weapon criminally” — to be impaired in the name of public safety.

It would also be irrational. A person willing to kill innocents and be killed by the police while doing so surely would have no qualms about violating a state or federal law that prohibited the general ownership of the weapon he was about to use.

With all of this as background, and the country anguishing over the mass deaths of innocents, the feds and the states face a choice between a knee-jerk but popular restriction of some form of gun ownership, and the rational and sound realization that more guns in the hands of those properly trained means less crime and more safety.

Can the government constitutionally outlaw the types of rifles used by the El Paso and Dayton killers? In a word: No. We know that because in the first Supreme Court opinion upholding the individual right to keep and bear arms, the court addressed what kind of arms the Second Amendment protects. The court ruled that the Second Amendment protects individual ownership of weapons one can carry that are of the same degree of sophistication as the bad guys have — or the government has.

The government? Yes, the government. That’s so because the Second Amendment was not written to protect the right to shoot deer. It was written to protect the right to shoot at tyrants and their agents when they have stolen liberty or property from the people. If you don’t believe me on this, then read the Declaration of Independence. It justifies violence against the British government because of such thefts.

Governments are the greatest mass killers on the planet. Who can take without alarm any of their threats to emasculate our right to defend our personal liberties?

The Second Amendment is there to protect us from a tyrannical government. Does anyone believe that 90 percent of the people in government would not become tyrants if the population were not armed?

The article concludes:

The president also offered his support for “red flag” laws. These horrific statutes permit police or courts to seize guns from those deemed dangerous. Red flag laws are unconstitutional. The presumption of innocence and the due process requirement of demonstrable fault as a precondition to any punishment or sanction together prohibit the loss of liberty on the basis of what might happen in the future.

In America, we do not punish a person or deprive anyone of liberty on the basis of a fear of what the person might do. When the Soviets used psychiatric testimony to predict criminal behavior, President Ronald Reagan condemned it. Now, the president wants it here.

The United States is not New Zealand, where a national legislature, animated by fear and provoked by tragedy, can impair fundamental liberties by majority vote. In America, neither Congress nor the states can outlaw whatever handguns or rifles they want to outlaw or infringe upon the right to own them.

The government can no more interfere with Second Amendment rights than it can infringe upon any other rights. If this were not so, then no liberty — speech, press, religion, association, self-defense, privacy, travel, property ownership — would be safe from the reach of a fearful majority.

That’s why we have a Constitution.

A government that prefers an unarmed citizenry is not a government I want to support.

Going Against Public Opinion In An Attempt To Gain Power

Yesterday The Washington Times posted an article about whether or not the citizenship question should be on the 2020 census. The article cited some interesting poll results.

The article reports:

Two-thirds of voters approve of a citizenship question on the 2020 census, and that includes a majority of Hispanic voters — despite claims by Democratic lawmakers that the inquiry would discourage participation in Latino communities.

A Harvard University Center for American Political Studies/Harris poll found that 67% of all registered U.S. voters say the census should ask the citizenship question when the time comes. That includes 88% of Republicans, 63% of independents and 52% of Democrats.

Most notably, the poll found that 55% of Hispanic voters favor the idea.

Also in agreement: 74% of rural voters, 59% of black voters, 58% of urban voters and 47% of voters who backed Hillary Clinton in 2016. At 44%, liberal voters were the least likely to favor the citizenship question.

At the other end of the scale, 92% of Trump voters and 90% of conservatives back the question.

The article concludes:

On Tuesday, White House counselor Kellyanne Conway challenged why the citizenship question should even be an issue on the census — which makes a variety of personal household inquiries. She faults Democratic critics.

“We’re asking people how many toilets in your house and you don’t want to know who’s using them? It’s absolutely ridiculous — and this is why the president is fighting for the question’s inclusion,” Ms. Conway told Fox News.

“The census is important, and as President Trump has mentioned, we spend about $20 billion on it. We have said it’s an important exercise. So why not get it right? The census in the past has been increasingly responsive to changes in American demography,” she continued.

“I would ask the Democrats —I hear they’re screaming rhetoric — I would ask what are you afraid of? Why wouldn’t you want to know who’s living in this country, and who’s a citizen and who’s not a citizen?” Ms. Conway asked.

The concept to keep in mind here is that there are a limited number of members in the House of Representatives. The number of Representatives a state has is determined by how many people in that state. Congress is supposed to represent Americans. States who have a large number of non-citizens are not entitled to more Representatives because they have a larger population. If that happens, American citizens are not fully represented. That is the reason the citizenship question needs to be on the census.

Supporting Patriotism

The Washington Times is reporting today that Arizona Governor Doug Ducey will be cancelling be the incentives offered in a deal with Nike in response to the athletic company scrapping plans for a Betsy Ross-inspired sneaker. Just as Nike is free to scrap its plans for the sneaker, Governor Ducey is free to withdraw his offer of incentives to the company.

The article reports:

The sneakers, featuring a U.S. flag with 13 stars on each heel, reportedly was canned after former football player and political activist Colin Kaepernick said the design could be seen as an offensive symbol of slavery.

…Mr. Ducey said the state was supposed to announce a deal with Nike but then “this news broke yesterday afternoon.”

Nike is an iconic American brand and American company. This country, our system of government and free enterprise have allowed them to prosper and flourish. Instead of celebrating American history the week of our nation’s independence, Nike has apparently decided that Betsy Ross is unworthy, and has bowed to the current onslaught of political correctness and historical revisionism,” the Arizona Republican tweeted.

“It is a shameful retreat for the company. American businesses should be proud of our country’s history, not abandoning it. Nike has made its decision, and now we’re making ours. I’ve ordered the Arizona Commerce Authority to withdraw all financial incentive dollars under their discretion that the State was providing for the company to locate here,” he said.

Would someone please explain to Mr. Kaepernick that history needs to be viewed in the context of its time–not the context of today. In the time of Betsy Ross, slavery was practiced all over the world. There was nothing noteworthy about it. Indentured servitude was also practiced. Mr. Kaepernick might want to take notice of the fact that there are countries today where slavery is still an acceptable practice. If he is so concerned about slavery and its ills, he might want to see what he can do to help the countries that practice slavery end the practice.

Kudos to Governor Ducey for taking a stand against misguided selective outrage.

 

When People Claiming To Be Anti-Fascists Act Like Fascists

Andy Ngo was beaten up at an Antifa protest in Portland, Oregon. The Washington Times reported the following:

Mr. Ngo, a right-leaning journalist who regularly films Portland’s protest activity, has written for the Wall Street Journal, National Review, RealClearPolitics and other publications.

Before the protest, Rose City Antifa had singled out Mr. Ngo in an online post promoting the “Community Self Defense Against Proud Boy Attack,” calling him a “[l]ocal far-right Islamophobic journalist.”

Video posts of Saturday’s clash showed a few dozen right-wing activists holding a rally while hundreds of counter-protesters marched in the street amid a heavy police presence.

Portland police, who urged protesters to clear the streets and stay on the sidewalks, tweeted that officers had been hit with eggs and milkshakes.

Police later declared the event a “civil disturbance and unlawful assembly,” warning that those who failed to disperse would be subject to arrest.

The Oregonian reported the following:

Police were lined up along the perimeter of the park before the attack, but no one intervened to break up the fight. Late Saturday, police reported that three people had been arrested, including one for assault, but it was unclear if that person had anything to do with the attack on Ngo.

Within hours, the footage of Ngo’s beating had spread far and wide on the internet, racking up more than a million views on Twitter alone. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas weighed in, calling for a federal investigation into the actions of both the mayor and the police.

…Assistant Police Chief Chris Davis said in a statement Saturday that the protests were difficult to handle due to their size and geographically-disparate nature, but did not comment on any of the violent incidents specifically.

“Demonstration events are very fluid in nature and the management of these events is complex,” Davis said. “There are hundreds of peaceful free speech events in the City in a given year that do not result in violence. Unfortunately, today some community members and officers were injured. We are actively investigating these incidents to hold those responsible accountable.”

I call shenanigans.

This is not the first time we have seen this. Police in other cities have been told to stand down as riots ensued. It seems that there are Americans who believe it is their right to destroy things and harm people they disagree with. Those Americans need to be in jail. The municipal authorities who are looking the other way when this sort of behavior occurs need to be voted out of office.

We Need To Pay Attention To What The House Of Representatives Just Passed

There was a time in the not-too-distant past when you could trust the running of the government to the people you elected and sent to Washington. They were paid to represent you; and as long as they didn’t wander too far off the main path, the system worked. Well, those days are gone. Legislation just passed in the House of Representatives has the potential to make you a criminal just for continuing on in the normalcy of your own private life.

Yesterday The Washington Times posted an article about some of the provisions of the Equality Act just passed by the House of Representatives. Among other things, women and girls would have to allow men claiming they were transitioning to women in their locker rooms and restrooms.

The article reports:

Far from merely expanding civil rights categories, it turns any recognition of the differences between the sexes or any preference for traditional sexual morality into actionable “hate,” creating fertile grounds for lawsuits.

“It is the most dangerous bill to freedom of speech and the free exercise of religion that has ever been proposed on a national level,” says Houston Baptist University Prof. Robert Gagnon, an expert in biblical sexual morality. “It will codify into law that you are a bigot, the moral equivalent of a racist, tantamount to being a member of the Klu Klux Klan, who must be shut out of society and, wherever possible, harassed and persecuted for your beliefs.”

In other words, it will criminalize Christianity, an ongoing process that got a big boost from the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2015 ruling on same-sex “marriage.”

This draconian bill passed by a vote of 236-173, with 8 Republicans joining 228 Democrats. Another 16 Republicans and 7 Democrats did not vote.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has actually endorsed it. When did destroying the moral order and paving the way for more lawsuits against businesses become part of the chamber’s mission? Pouring legal acid on a marriage-and-family-based culture will not lead to a more stable society of upwardly mobile consumers. America is only as prosperous as its families are strong.

The article concludes:

Unless we reassert the primacy of natural marriage and natural sexuality, “our battle will be a losing one,” Mr. Smirak writes. “Our churches will end up essentially illegal. Sooner or later.”

MassResistance, a parents-rights group, has compiled a list of likely outcomes. Here’s a tweaked version:

1. It will undermine the civil rights movement that black Americans fought for.

2. Churches will be sued or lose tax-exempt status if they don’t accept LGBTQ behaviors.

3. Schoolchildren will be forced to learn how to engage in destructive LGBTQ behaviors [in California, it begins in kindergarten].

4. Parents who oppose this will be charged with discrimination.

5. Private colleges will lose funding, grants and scholarships.

6. Public accommodations and small businesses will be forced to allow men into women’s bathrooms and vice versa.

7. Business owners will be forced to violate their freedom of conscience.

8. Hospitals, clinics and the armed forces will be forced to offer experimental and harmful transgender treatments — including surgeries.

9. Foster and adoption agencies will be forced to close, as has already happened to Catholic Charities in several liberal cities.

10. Men will displace women in sports events (already happening).

Scenarios like the following case would become common: A Texas father has been charged in a divorce proceeding with child abuse for not “affirming” his 6-year-old son as female. The mother renamed James as “Luna” and makes him wear dresses to school. The father says James is all boy when he visits him, and goes by “James.” The Equality Act would greatly enhance the mother’s insane quest to turn their son into a girl.

The mother also seeks to terminate the father’s visitations and to “require him to pay for the child’s visits to a transgender-affirming therapist and transgender medical alterations, which may include hormonal sterilization starting at age eight,” writes Walt Heyer, a former transsexual, in the Federalist.

Michelle Cretella, executive director of the American College of Pediatricians, describes the pediatric community’s encouragement of sex change and hormones for children as “institutionalized child abuse.”

The Equality Act would federalize such abuse, and religious faith won’t be a shield. Judges will see to that.

The bill is far more dangerous than most people know. It’s about time they knew — and told everyone they can, especially lawmakers.

This bill is the death knell for the family-based society that is America. If your Representative voted for it, please vote him or her out of office.

Chutzpah Unleashed!

Chutzpah is loosely defined as the quality of audacity, for good or for bad. We saw that quality illustrated in spades in some recent comments made by Hillary Clinton.

The Washington Times posted an article today that includes the following statement by former Secretary of State Clinton:

“Any other person who had engaged in those acts would certainly have been indicted, but because of the rule in the Justice Department that you can’t indict a sitting President, the whole matter of obstruction was very directly sent to the Congress,” the New York Democrat said while speaking at the Time 100 summit Tuesday.

Ms. Clinton said she has little faith in Congress acting, saying Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s efforts to investigate deeper into special counsel Robert Mueller’s report will be for naught against “the do-nothing Senate.”

“That has become a hotbed of cynicism unlike anything I have ever seen, and I served there for eight years and I know some of these people and they know better,” the former senator said.

Ms. Clinton added additional oversight investigations are necessary to prevent future attacks on American elections.

What about preventing future attacks on the civil rights of average Americans who choose to work for a candidate of the opposition party rather than the party currently in power?

The rules broken during the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s secret server have been listed before and can be found pretty much anywhere on the internet. President Trump did not purposefully destroy evidence that was already under subpoena. President Trump did not use bleach bit on computer hard drives. President Trump did not set up a secret server to conduct government business that would not automatically archive correspondence. President Trump did not mishandle classified information. Hillary, are you sure that President Trump used his power to avoid prosecution?

Foolishly Ending A Tradition

One of my favorite baseball traditions is the seventh-inning stretch and the singing of “God Bless America.” The tradition of singing “God Bless America”
began after 9/11. The Washington Times reported yesterday that the New York Yankees will no longer play the recording of Kate Smith singing the song. Now I will admit that having lived in Massachusetts for thirty-five years, I really don’t care what the Yankees do, but this is just political correctness run amok.

The article reports:

The New York Yankees‘ anti-racism efforts have extended to pulling from their seventh-inning stretch a famous recording of the legendary Kate Smith singing “God Bless America.”

Not because anyone has complained that the song is racist, but because Smith recorded other racially insensitive standards from and during the Jim Crow era.

The Yankees pulled Smith’s “God Bless America” from the rotation at the start of the season, but the New York Daily News reported the reason Thursday — “the Yankees were made aware of Smith’s history of potential racism.”

So can’t they get anyone else to record the song?

The article states:

“The Yankees have been made aware of a recording that had been previously unknown to us and decided to immediately and carefully review this new information,” a club spokesman said. “The Yankees take social, racial and cultural insensitivities very seriously. And while no final conclusions have been made, we are erring on the side of sensitivity.”

This is another example of judging history by the standards of today. There were a lot of things that have happened in the past that were not noteworthy at the time that are being taken out of context in hindsight. In order to truly evaluate history, you need to immerse yourself in the culture of the time you are studying. Insensitivity is not a crime–insensitivity in the past was not even considered insensitivity because there weren’t so many people running around being professional victims.

Keep the song. Let someone else sing it if you have to. Don’t end an American tradition because of political correctness.

 

The Power Of The Media Illustrated

This is the current polling from RealClearPolitics:

This is some recent economic news reported by The Washington Times on January 9:

Given the dazzling December economic data, it’s no wonder the press gave it short shrift. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the economy added a whopping 312,000 jobs, far more than the expected 176,000. After revisions, job gains have averaged an impressive 254,000 per month over the past three months. Job growth in 2018 (an average of 220,000 per month) passed that of both 2016 (195,000) and 2017 (182,000). Payrolls increased by 2.6 million in 2018, the highest since 2015.

The sunny jobs picture encouraged 419,000 new workers to enter the workforce and sent the labor force participation rate up to 63.1 percent. Unemployment rates among blacks, Latinos and women are at or near historic lows.

Job growth has also meant significant wage growth. Wages are up a stunning 3.2 percent from last year and .4 percent from November. December was the third straight month that the yearlong growth in nominal average hourly earnings was above 3 percent in nearly a decade; the last time we saw that trend was April 2009. Wages are also being given an assist by inflation being kept in check.

The article at The Washington Times concludes:

His (President Trump’s) astounding economic track record is their worst nightmare. It puts the lie to the nonsense Mr. Obama, the Democrats and the media have been shoveling for years: That anemic economic growth, high unemployment, the collapse of manufacturing and grotesque trade imbalances were the “new normal.”

It also pointedly demonstrates that the statist vision — radical wealth redistribution, socialized medicine, green energy chimeras, social justice enforcement, limits on free speech, private property and gun ownership, and the rule of the leftist mob — creates only tyranny, poverty, injustice and servitude. (Note the deflection: These are things the left claims to want to eradicate.)

Mr. Trump and his economic thunderbolt are exposing the left and its policies as irredeemably bankrupt, economically and morally. And that is perhaps the biggest reason why they must try to destroy him.

A lot of this economic news has not been reported. However, people do notice when there are more jobs available and there is more money in their paycheck. President Trump’s approval numbers are finally in positive numbers. The economy is booming. What would be the basis for most Americans believing America is headed in the wrong direction? Might it be the constant negative reporting from the media? Can you imaging what President Trump’s approval rating would be if the media were actually balanced? Just remember–the people vote. The media represents only a small percentage of votes.

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.

Something To Consider

Decisions that impact national security should be made on the basis of what is best for America. Unfortunately that has not been the case as of late.

On January 10th, The Washington Times reported:

President Trump has proposed spending $18 billion over the next decade to construct a new and improved border wall between the U.S. and Mexico. While some lawmakers have criticized the both the cost and the plan, a new analysis reveals the expenditure is relatively small compared to other federal spending.

“That $18 billion would equal just 0.0338 percent of the $53.128 trillion the Congressional Budget Office currently estimates the federal government will spend over that same 10-year period,” wrote Terence P. Jeffrey, editor-in-chief of CNSNews.com.

It also equals only 2.7 percent of the money the federal government will spend on the food stamp program, Mr. Jeffrey wrote. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program will eat up $679 billion in the 10 fiscal years from 2018 through 2027, according to budget office’s estimate.

He figured that this is 37.7 times as much as the $18 billion which would go to Mr.Trump’s proposed border wall.

The cost of the wall is also 0.34 percent of the $5.232 trillion which the federal government will spend on Medicaid over the next 10 years, and 0.26 percent of the $6.838 trillion allotted to national defense in the next decade.

So this battle is obviously not about money. We also have to realize that if either the Democrats or the Republicans were serious about border security, the wall would have been built by now. So why don’t we have a wall?

Carroll Quigley one wrote:

“The argument that the two parties should represent opposed ideals and policies, one, perhaps, of the Right and the other of the Left, is a foolish idea acceptable only to doctrinaire and academic thinkers. Instead, the two parties should be almost identical, so that the American people can throw the rascals out at any election without leading to any profound or extensive shifts in policy. Then it should be possible to replace it, every four years if necessary, by the other party, which will be none of these things but will still pursue, with new vigor, approximately the same basic policies.” ~ Carroll Quigley

The Democrats and the establishment Republicans have a shared policy on open borders–they support them. The Democrats want voters and the Republicans want cheap labor. Until someone wants the safety of the American public, we have a problem.

The Numbers–Do They Actually Matter?

On January 6th, The Conservative Tribune posted an article about illegal immigration.

The article reported:

According to an Economist/YouGov survey, a jaw-dropping 93 percent of Americans believe that illegal immigration is a problem.

“A wide-ranging Economist/YouGov survey gauged the level of concern Americans have on the issue to find that only 7 percent of the overall public say illegal immigration is ‘not a problem’; 2 percent of Republicans, 7 percent of independents and even 12 percent of Democrats agree with the statement,” The Washington Times reported.

There are differences in how serious people believe the immigration problem is, but those who shrug off illegal immigration are few and far between.

“40 percent of Americans overall say illegal immigration in the U.S. is a ‘very serious problem’; 73 percent of Republicans, 38 percent of independents and 15 percent of Democrats agree,” The Times explained.

“22 percent overall say illegal immigration is a ‘somewhat serious problem’; 19 percent of Republicans, 21 percent of independents and 26 percent of Democrats agree,” the paper summarized. Another 24 percent of Americans said that it was a “minor problem.”

At the same time, the Economist/YouGov survey revealed some inconvenient results for liberals.

When respondents were asked if they trusted Republicans or Democrats to deal with border security, a higher percentage — 31 percent — said “Republicans.” Meanwhile, 62 percent thought Congress should compromise with the president to end the government shutdown.

It seems as if most Americans are aware of the problems associated with illegal immigration regardless of what the media is trying to tell us. A border wall is a good idea. However, we also need to do something about America’s very broken immigration system. Our current immigration laws have been exploited by major corporations to replace American workers with cheaper workers. This has been done not only on the low end of the pay scale, but also on the higher end.

On June 3, 2015, The New York Times reported:

Instead, about 250 Disney employees were told in late October that they would be laid off. Many of their jobs were transferred to immigrants on temporary visas for highly skilled technical workers, who were brought in by an outsourcing firm based in India. Over the next three months, some Disney employees were required to train their replacements to do the jobs they had lost.

Of course that was legal immigration, but it was a typical case of a corporation using a bad law to its advantage.

I don’t know if the wall will actually be built. It should be. The wall is opposed by Democrats (present and future voters–many illegals are currently voting in our elections) and Republicans (U.S. Chamber of Commerce members who support illegal immigration because it depresses wages in the lower sectors of the economy and increases their profits). We have reached a point where our representatives not only do not represent us–they have forgotten to represent the best interests of America.

Taking A Stand For America

Yesterday The Washington Times posted an article about a successful policy President Trump has instituted to deal with the problem of illegal immigrants.

The article reports:

Sierra Leone for years had thumbed its nose at U.S. officials, slow-walking deportations so badly that it earned its way onto Homeland Security’s “recalcitrant country” naughty list. Over the last two years of the Obama administration, Sierra Leone took back just 21 deportees.

President Trump took office vowing action, and one of his first executive orders instructed his administration to stop issuing visas to the worst-offending countries. The Sierra Leone government was targeted with sanctions in August 2017, and the change came quickly, with 44 deportees sent back that year, and 79 shipped back in fiscal 2018.

While much of Mr. Trump’s immigration agenda remains tied up in the federal courts or stalemated in Congress, he has made extraordinary progress on recalcitrant countries like Sierra Leone, cutting the number of deadbeat countries from a peak of 23 in 2015 down to just nine as of last month.

The number of countries on the at-risk list, or close to recalcitrant, also has been slashed, from 62 to just 24 as of May.

Long-time deadbeats such as Cuba, China and Vietnam are taking back hundreds more people, even though they remain on the naughty list.

Guinea earned its way off the list by increasing its acceptance of deportees by more than 1,200 percent from 2016 to 2018, while Eritrea went from 13 deportees in Mr. Obama’s final year to 62 last year. Myanmar rose from three to 40.

This is what protecting America looks like.

The article states:

Under Mr. Trump, six countries have already been slapped with deportee-related sanctions.

In each of those cases, the U.S. government said it would no longer issue business or tourist visas to government officials and their families — and warned that even broader sanctions could follow.

That got the attention of diplomats in the target countries, and elsewhere.

“Now these countries understand that the party is over and they — government officials in particular — will face consequences for blocking deportations,” said Jessica Vaughan, policy studies director at the Center for Immigration Studies. “The sanctions work.”

Even still, a massive backlog has built up of people waiting to be deported. China is the worst offender with more than 40,000 in the deportation queue, followed by Cuba with nearly 38,000.

More troubling is that almost all of them have been set free into U.S. communities, thanks to a 2001 Supreme Court ruling limiting detention to just six months in cases when the government doesn’t appear likely to be able to get the other countries to take them back.

That means convicted criminals are often released, including more than 30,000 of the Cubans, nearly 8,000 Vietnamese, nearly 4,000 Laotians and more than 2,000 Chinese.

Ms. Waldman called that a “remarkable public safety risk” that requires action by Congress.

Illegal aliens do not add to our country’s economy. We do need to change the immigration laws to make legal immigration to America more accessible to those people who want to come her and contribute to the American economy. We don’t need to have an open door for people who want to come here and take advantage of our generosity.

Do You Need Two Sides To Debate An Issue?

Do you need two sides to debate an issue? Evidently NBC News doesn’t think so. Yesterday The Washington Times posted an article about the debate on climate change.

The article reports:

NBC News has decided that climate change is no longer an issue that has two sides.

Sunday’s episode of “Meet the Press” with Chuck Todd featured an hourlong panel with lawmakers and scientists about the consequences of climate change. But at the start, Mr. Todd said his show is “not going to give time to climate deniers” and went on to inaccurately characterize the nature of the climate debate.

“Just as important as what we are going to do is what we’re not going to do,” he said. “We’re not going to debate climate change, the existence of it. The earth is getting hotter, and human activity is a major cause. Period.”

“We’re not going to give time to climate deniers,” Mr. Todd added. “The science is settled even if political opinion is not.”

Skeptics about some of the most alarmist climate-change scenarios drawn by former Vice President Al Gore and other Democratic and left-wing politicians bristle at the word “denier,” claiming it implies parallels to people who claim the Holocaust or the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks didn’t happen.

The article continues with the supposed justification for not allowing a second opinion:

Mr. Todd’s panel Sunday had non-scientists offering their opinions, including California Gov. Jerry Brown, Rep. Carlos Curbelo and potential Democratic presidential contender Michael Bloomberg.

“We need to stop covering the debate and start covering the story so that people see that this is real, and so that politicians take a more pragmatic approach and find solutions that are actually achievable,” Mr. Curbelo said about the one-sided discussion.

Other politicians applauded the well-parametered show, with Sen. Bernie Sanders who took to Twitter to offer “congratulations to Chuck Todd and Meet the Press for holding a serious discussion about climate change.”

“Will this be a breakthrough moment for mainstream TV?” the Vermont socialist asked.

How can it be a serious discussion if one side is censored?

Just for the record, below is an illustration of the Scientific Method as found at Science Buddies:

I don’t see anything on there that says don’t let anyone who disagrees with you speak!

When Congress Fails To Do Its Job, The Executive Branch Has To Do It

The Washington Times posted an article today about the Farm Bill that was recently passed. The House of Representatives added a more stringent work requirement to the Food Stamps Program, but the Senate eliminated the requirement. Thus the Farm Bill as it currently stands puts a 20-hour-per-week work requirement only on people between the ages of 18 and 49 who receive food stamps.

The article reports:

President Trump moved Thursday to tighten work requirements for people who receive food stamps, after Congress failed to include the proposal in a $400 billion farm bill that’s headed to the president’s desk.

The Agriculture Department said it is proposing a rule on Mr. Trump’s orders that would move “more able-bodied recipients” of food stamps back into working at least 20 hours per week.

“Long-term reliance on government assistance has never been part of the American dream,” said Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue. “As we make benefits available to those who truly need them, we must also encourage participants to take proactive steps toward self-sufficiency. Moving people to work is common-sense policy, particularly at a time when the unemployment rate is at a generational low.”

…Currently, able-bodied adults ages 18-49 without children are required to work 20 hours a week to keep their food-stamp benefits. The House measure would have raised the age of recipients subject to work requirements from 49 to 59 and required parents with children older than 6 to work or participate in job training.

The Labor Force Participation Rate currently stands at 52.9 percent. The Unemployment Rate currently stands at 3.7 percent. Wages at all levels have risen under President Trump. Inflation for 2018 is slightly over 2 percent. There is no reason anyone collecting food stamps cannot find a place to work for 20 hours a week or enter a job-training program that will help them find a job that pays enough for them to get off of food stamps. The Agriculture Department is doing the right thing in looking into strengthening the work requirements to collect food stamps.

Common Sense Begins

The Washington Times reported yesterday that President Trump plans to make a major change in immigration rules. The new rule would require immigrants to show they aren’t a public burden if they want to extend their visas or get on the path to citizenship. That sounds like common sense to me. America is struggling to take care of her veterans, and struggling to provide assistance to the people already here. Why would we bring in more people from other countries to drain our welfare system further?

The article reports:

The president’s backers said they expect Mr. Trump and his team to finalize the proposal. If anything, they said, it doesn’t go far enough to crack down on what appears to be rampant welfare use by noncitizens and their children.

“I think they’re going to implement them as is or with some tweaks. This is the kind of thing he was elected for,” said Steven A. Camarota, research director at the Center for Immigration Studies. “While there might be advocacy groups that object to that idea, the fact is most Americans think immigrants should be self-sufficient, so I think they’re on pretty strong ground.”

The center released a study this month calculating that a staggering 63 percent of households led by noncitizens use at least one welfare program. The rate for households led by native-born Americans is just 35 percent.

It would also be a good idea to begin to put a time limit on welfare programs. For instance, a person could not get housing assistance for more than 10 years or food stamps for more than 5 years unless they showed proof of at least part-time employment or job training. We cannot afford to continue to take money away from people who earn it and give it to people who didn’t earn it and think they are entitled to it.

A New Face

The Washington Times reported on Thursday that Kathy Kraninger has been confirmed as the Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and will serve for the next five years.

The article concludes:

Meanwhile the CFPB is still facing major legal hurdles.

Some federal judges have ruled that by placing so much power — including an independent budget that Congress doesn’t control — in a single director, the CFPB violates the Constitution. But a ruling earlier this year by the full U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia upheld the singe-director structure.

Let’s take a look at the inception of the CFPB. The CFPB is the brainchild of Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren. It was passed as part of the Dodd-Frank Act. The Dodd-Frank Act was Congress’ way of dealing with the housing bubble that caused the recession of 2008. However, the congressional solution was aimed at banks and Wall Street. It made no mention of the role that Congress had played in creating the housing crisis and made no effort to take responsibility for their actions or prevent a repeat of the problem.

In 1995 The Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) was changed, allowing Fannie Mae to purchase $2 billion of “My Community Mortgage” Loans, pilot vendors to customize affordable products for low and moderate income borrowers. Some of the things done to make the loans more affordable were low (or no) down payments and variable interest rates. Fannie Mae guarantees mortgages and then sells them to banks and investors. Banks were forced to issue sub-prime mortgages or pay large penalties. As more people took out mortgages, the price of houses rose quickly.  In 2005, 91 percent of Fannie Mae loans were variable rate loans. In 2004, 92 percent of Fannie Mae subprime loans were variable rate loans. Interest rates rose, gas prices increased, and people could not pay their mortgages. The subprime market collapsed, and foreclosures increased rapidly. Banks stopped making mortgage loans.

There were efforts made to stop this train. On September 11, 2003, The New York Times reported:

Bush administration today recommended the most significant regulatory overhaul in the housing finance industry since the savings and loan crisis a decade ago.

…a new agency would be created within the Treasury Department to assume supervision  on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government-sponsored companies that are the two largest players in the mortgage lending industry.

The Democrats opposed the reform. Barney Frank, a Democrat from Massachusetts, said that it would mean less affordable housing. Melvin Watt, a Democrat from North Carolina, said that it would limit the ability of poor families to get affordable housing.

In 2005, John McCain warned of a coming mortgage collapse. He sponsored S.190 (109th), Federal Housing Enterprise Regulatory Reform Act of 2005. The Democrats blocked it. It was again brought up and blocked in 2007.

Opensecrets.org lists campaign contributions to politicians. Fannie Mae gave generously to insure that it would not be regulated. Some Democrats and Fannie Mae executives had ‘sweetheart’ loans from mortgage companies that were heavily involved in sub-prime mortgages.

So where am I going with this? The housing bubble was created by bad legislation. Bad legislation continues. In August 2016, The New York Post reported:

The Obama administration is doing its best to give the nation another mortgage meltdown.

As Paul Sperry recently noted in The Post, Team Obama has pushed mortgage lenders to offer home loans to folks with shaky credit, setting up conditions for another housing-market collapse.

Wasn’t the last one bad enough?

Credit scores of approved borrowers, for example, have been trending down, even as their debt levels have grown.

The Federal Housing Administration and government-sponsored “independent” lenders Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have been demanding lower credit standards — just as the feds did starting under President Bill Clinton, in pursuit of the same “affordable housing” goal.

Some borrowers need only put 3 percent down to get a Fannie Mae loan — even if the downpayment is a gift. Fannie also has started up a new subprime lending program.

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency recently warned that mortgage underwriting standards have slipped and now reflect “broad trends similar to those experienced from 2005 through 2007, before the most recent financial crisis.”

The Consumer Financial Protection Board (and Dodd-Frank) were not related to the cause of the 2008 recession–the recession was the result of bad laws. Both the CFPB and Dodd-Frank need to go away. They are nothing but a blatant example of government overreach.

The New House Of Representatives Could Be Very Interesting

The Washington Times posted an article yesterday that included some recent quotes by Congresswoman-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. The lady is obviously very impressed with herself. I wonder if she realizes that she is one of 435 members of the House of Representatives.

The article reports:

The New York Democrat told reporters on Friday that once again the U.S. is “at the brink, at the cusp of an abyss” that requires citizens of a special kind of mettle. She says that such an elite group exists — and that she and other newly elected Democrats are in it.

“This is not just about a Green New Deal, this is about a new deal for the United States of America,” the 29-year-old said at a “Sunrise Movement” press conference in Washington. “Because in every moment where our country has reached the depths of darkness, in every moment, when we were at the brink, at the cusp of an abyss, and we did not know if we could be capable of saving ourselves, we have.”

“We’ve done what we thought was impossible. We went to the moon,” she added. “We electrified the nation. We established civil rights. We enfranchised the country. We dug deep and we did it. We did it when no one else thought that we could. That’s what we did when so many of us won an election this year. That’s what so many of us did.”

I believe that if you look back at history, the Republicans passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The Democrats in the Senate staged a 75-day filibuster against the measure. I don’t think you can say that the Democrats established civil rights.

This is a picture of the voting taken from the govtrack website:

I look forward to many more interesting statements from Representative Ocasio-Cortez.

We Need To Learn From Past Mistakes

I live very close to a national forest–a very large national forest. Watching what has happened in California makes me wonder how safe I am here. However, I am also aware that controlled burns in the national forest here are a part of summer life. I should also mention that generally there is enough rain during the summer to make these burns safe. Unfortunately that is not always the case in California, and sometimes a controlled burn is simply not practical. However, there are other ways to clear out brush and possible fuel for a fire.

The Washington Times posted an article about the California fires on Friday. What has happened in California is horrific, and we need to do everything we can to prevent it happening in the future.

The article reports:

A national logging organization is offering support to President Trump following catastrophic wildfires in California and a political debate over the causes of the destructive blazes.

“President Trump blamed poor forest management for wildfires in California and throughout the West, and there is truth to statements he has made,” said Daniel Dructor, executive vice president of the American Loggers Council, a coalition of state and regional associations that represents independent contract loggers.

“It’s time to rise above political posturing and recognize that active forest management — including logging, thinning, grazing and controlled burning — are tools that can and must be used to reduce fire risks and help mitigate the impacts to landscapes,” Mr. Dructor said in a statement.

According to the council, some 60 million to 80 million acres of national forest are at “high, to very high, risk of catastrophic wildfire.”

Citing research from the U.S. Forest Service, the council backs such methods as thinning stressed trees and prescribed burns to reduce wildfires but said “only a small fraction of high-risk acres are being treated.”

Mr. Dructor advised the Trump administration and Congress to expand public-private partnerships to manage the problem.

The article concludes:

Loggers are America’s ‘boots on the ground’ to conserve our forests and reduce the risks of wildfire,” council president Chris Potts said in a statement.

We work in the woods every day, we understand forestry and see the dangers every day, and we know what needs to be done. Without forests, we are out of business. That’s why we’ll continue to work with Republicans and Democrats on needed reforms that will help to sustain our forests and protect our forests and communities from wildfire,” he said.

Lumber is a renewable resource. A properly managed forest can continue indefinitely. Good forest management will not only provide jobs and resources, it will create a healthy environment for wildlife and avoid the environmental catastrophe that the California forest fires have been.

Why We Need Concealed Carry

Yesterday The Washington Times posted an article about an incident in an Alabama McDonald’s.

The article reports:

Once again: The Second Amendment saves. 

The father, who hasn’t been publicly named, was leaving the fast food place on Saturday when a masked man walked in and began shooting.

The dad then pulled his own weapon and started firing at the masked shooter — becoming the shooter’s target in the process.

The father sustained life-threatening injuries, according to WBRC. His son is recovering from his own gun-related injuries. The masked gunman, meanwhile, died from wounds suffered during the incident.

Police aren’t sure what the masked gunman was after — whether he was trying to rob McDonald’s or shoot someone within the establishment. But what’s sure is the father is not going to be charged.

The thing that stopped the shooting from being a massacre was a good guy with a gun who shot the bad guy with a gun, Thank God for gun rights in America.

The article concludes:

Simply put: If it hadn’t been for that armed dad, the bloodshed would’ve been a lot worse. If not for his gun-toting self, the media reports on this would be a lot different, a lot more tragic, and the focus would be on how many were murdered, not saved.

“The shooting took place at the McDonald’s across from Princeton Hospital,” WBRC reported. “A masked man entered the restaurant when an employee opened the door for a father and his sons to leave. The masked man then opened fire in the restaurant. At that point, the father began shooting at the masked man.”

Aside from the father and one of his sons, nobody else was reported injured. Nobody else, aside from the masked gunman, was killed.

This unidentified father deserves a hero’s award for quick and life-saving thinking. Once again, it’s a case of the Second Amendment saving untold numbers from disaster.

Yes,

It Really Is Easy To Commit Voter Fraud

Yesterday The Washington Times posted an article about an attempt to commit voter fraud in Texas.

The article reports:

The Texas Democratic Party asked non-citizens to register to vote, sending out applications to immigrants with the box citizenship already checked “Yes,” according to new complaints filed Thursday asking prosecutors to see what laws may have been broken.

The Public Interest Legal Foundation alerted district attorneys and the federal Justice Department to the pre-checked applications, and also included a signed affidavit from a man who said some of his relatives, who aren’t citizens, received the mailing.

“This is how the Texas Democratic Party is inviting foreign influence in an election in a federal election cycle,” said Logan Churchwell, spokesman for the PILF, a group that’s made its mark policing states’ voter registration practices.

The Texas secretary of state’s office said it, too, had gotten complaints both from immigrants and from relatives of dead people who said they got mailings asking them to register.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott vowed to investigate.

The article continues:

The applications were pre-addressed to elections officials, which is likely what left many voters to believe they were receiving an official communication from the state.

But the return address was from the State Democratic Executive Committee, and listed an address in Austin that matches the state Democratic Party’s headquarters.

The letter is emblazoned with “Urgent! Your voter registration deadline is October 9.” It continues: “Your voter registration application is inside. Complete, sign and return it today!”

On the application, boxes affirming the applicant is both 18 and a U.S. citizen are already checked with an “X” in the Yes field.

The mailing also urges those who are unsure if they’re registered to “Mail it in.”

A person answering phones at the state party declined to connect The Washington Times with any officials there, insisting that a reporter email questions. That email went unanswered.

Sam Taylor, spokesman for Texas’s secretary of state, said they heard from people whose relatives were receiving mail despite having passed away 10 years ago or longer. One woman said her child, who’d been dead 19 years, got a mailing asking to register.

“It looks like a case of really bad information they are using to send out these mailers,” Mr. Taylor said.

He said some of the non-citizens who called wondered whether there had been some change that made them now legally able to vote despite not being citizens.

Mr. Taylor said there is a state law against encouraging someone to falsify a voter application, but it would be up to investigators to decide if pre-checking a box rose to that level.

Pre-checking the citizenship box encourages someone who is not a citizen to commit fraud. The officials who sent out the mailing with the checked box need to be held accountable and sent to jail. Voter fraud will end much more quickly if it results in jail time.

I Guess Caring About The Welfare Of The Voters Is Old-Fashioned

The Washington Times posted an article today about the Democrat’s plans if they win the mid-term election. One statement is particularly revealing.

The article reports:

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said American voters will simply have to deal with the “collateral damage” that comes their way if Democrats craft economic policies in the years ahead.

The California Democrat recently sat down with New York Times columnist Paul Krugman in the Big Apple to discuss public policy. The event, hosted by the Jewish organization 92nd Street Y, included a portion on climate change that sparked the lawmaker’s pronouncement.

“We owe the American people to be there for them, for their financial security, respecting the dignity and worth of every person in our country, and if there is some collateral damage for some others who do not share our view, well, so be it, but it shouldn’t be our original purpose,” she said Sunday.

Her commentary came against a political backdrop in which the U.S. unemployment rate is at a 49-year low — 3.7 percent — in conjunction with moderate inflation.

Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said earlier this month, for instance, that Americans are enjoying a “historically rare” economic climate.

Wow. Representative Pelosi admitted that the economic policies will have “collateral damage.” If the Democrats understand that their economic plans will be destructive, why do they support those economic plans? Seems like a fair question. Note also that she predicts “collateral damage” to those who do not share our view. Does it make any sense at all to put this lady in a position of power?

American Sovereignty

Yesterday The Washington Times reported that the International Court of Justice has ordered the United States to lift some Iran sanctions. The Court wants to make sure that the people of Iran are not harmed by the sanctions. Does the Court want to set up another ‘oil for food’ program like the one in the 1990’s? It’s amazing how much money dishonest people made from that program while the people of Iraq starved. (article here)

First of all, what are the sanctions on Iran about? Iran is probably the largest source of money for terrorism in the world. Iran supplies weapons and military equipment to Hezbollah, Al Qaeda, the government of Syria, Palestinian terrorists, etc. It would be nice if Iran had a little less money to spread around. Iran has also partnered with North Korea and Russia in developing nuclear technology. This is not a country that is working toward peace.

There is also the matter of human rights abuses by the Iranian government. Homosexuals are dropped from buildings or worse. Dissidents are jailed and never heard from again. Fashion police roam the streets and beat women for being immodestly dressed. Human rights are not part of the Iranian government.

The sanctions are putting pressure on the regime. As the financial situation of the people worsens, they are rebelling against the totalitarian government. In this rebellion they have the support of America. If the International Court of Justice truly supported human rights and the humanitarian treatment of people, they would support the sanctions as a way to bring freedom to the people of Iran.

The article states:

The ICC’s David Scheffer responded in the Guardian by saying Bolton’s speech “isolates the United States from international criminal justice and severely undermines our leadership in bringing perpetrators of atrocity crimes to justice elsewhere in the world.”

Wahh.

In case the United Nations hadn’t noticed, this is the Donald Trump administration — not the Barack Obama wishy-washy White House. On globalism first, America second, this president doesn’t play that. MAGA, anyone?

The ICC, apparently, isn’t getting the message.

“The United Nations‘ highest court has ordered the United States to lift sanctions on Iran that affect imports of humanitarian goods and products and services linked to the safety of civil aviation,” NBC wrote.

And on that: “Ordered” seems a rather remarkable word. Better would be “begged.”

After all, what is the ICC to America? America may have helped establish this court back in 2002 — but that’s the extent of the relationship. America has not joined as a state party; the ICC does not dictate policy and procedure to the United States.

It’s almost a delicious anticipation to sit and wonder what Bolton will say to this ICC “order.”

Chances are, given his past and this administration’s bold “America First” dealings on the foreign policy front, it’ll be something like, Bite me, ICC.

That would be well stated, for sure.

I like having a President who not only stands up for American sovereignty, but is willing to support the quest for freedom in other countries.

Some Things Are Just Weird

Yesterday The Washington Times posted an article about Lanny Davis. Lanny Davis is the longtime friend of the Clintons who is now Michael Cohen’s lawyer. That in itself defies logic, but then it gets worse.

The article reports:

Michael Cohen’s attorney has acknowledged being an anonymous source for the disputed CNN Trump Tower story and also admitted lying on TV about his involvement.

Lanny Davis told BuzzFeed News on Monday evening that he was a source for the story claiming that President Trump had personal prior knowledge of a controversial Trump Tower meeting with Russians — a story the Cohen camp has since repudiated.

“I made a mistake,” Mr. Davis said.

But the mistake traveled:

But as other news outlets wrote stories “matching” the CNN scoop, which if true would contradict the president’s repeated and public denials of any knowledge of the meeting, Mr. Davis was eagerly confirming the story to those other outlets.

The New York Post and the Washington Post each has publicly named Mr. Davis as their confirming source for their Trump Tower meeting stories, despite initial grants of anonymity.

I am willing to wager that at least half of the people in the country who heard the original statement have not heard the retraction. What Lanny Davis originally said was a lie–not a mistake–intended to make President Trump look bad. The lie traveled, and I suspect the truth has not traveled as far. This sort of lying is one of the reasons for the divisiveness in our country right now–there are an awful lot of Americans walking around believing the lies the mainstream media is telling them every day. When confronted with the truth, they become defensive. The damage to our country that the mainstream media is doing is almost incalculable. As they persist in their biased lies, I believe we will see the alternative media grow stronger (if the alternative media can tell the truth that is not being told). I look forward to the day when we have a media that tells the truth and lets Americans draw their own conclusions.

People Who Live In Glass Houses…

I was not upset that John Brennan’s security clearance was revoked. I was more confused as to why he still had it. It is highly unlikely that anyone in the Trump administration would seek his advice on anything. There is also the question as to whether or not John Brennan is working against the interests of a duly-elected President. The removal of the clearance was not political–it was practical. However, it seems that in the past there have been some instances when the revoking of a security clearance was questionable at best.

On Wednesday The Washington Times posted an article about Adam Lovinger, a Trump-supporting Pentagon analyst.

The article reports:

A Trump-supporting Pentagon analyst was stripped of his security clearance by Obama-appointed officials after he complained of questionable government contracts to Stefan Halper, the FBI informant who spied on the Trump presidential campaign.

Adam Lovinger, a 12-year strategist in the Pentagon’s Office of Net Assessment, complained to his bosses about Halper contracts in the fall of 2016, his attorney, Sean M. Bigley, told The Washington Times.

…“As it turns out, one of the two contractors Mr. Lovinger explicitly warned his ONA superiors about misusing in 2016 was none other than Mr. Halper,” Mr. Bigley wrote in his ethics complaint, which called the contracts “cronyism and corruption.”

Mr. Lovinger filed a whistleblower reprisal complaint in May with the Defense Department inspector general against James Baker, director of the Office of Net Assessment. The complaint also singles out Washington Headquarters Services, a Pentagon support agency that awarded the Halper contracts totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Every day, more of the witch hunt is being exposed.

Why Energy Independence Matters

The Washington Times posted an article today about Iranian military exercises in the Straits of Hormuz. The Straits of Hormuz is significant because 35% of all seaborne traded oil, or almost 20% of oil traded worldwide flows through the Straits of Hormuz. This is something to watch as the situation in Iran becomes more volatile.

This is today’s Dry Bones cartoon:

The Washington Times reports:

Iran’s navy sent dozens of small boats into the Strait of Hormuz on Thursday, dramatizing its ability to choke off the strategic Persian Gulf waterway — a move that could send global oil and U.S. gasoline prices soaring — and escalating the confrontation with the Trump administration for withdrawing from the 2015 nuclear deal.

U.S. officials said the naval exercise was Tehran’s way to show its capability to create a disruption in the waterway, through which some 30 percent of the world’s sea-transported oil passes daily. Officials at the Pentagon said they expected the exercise would last only a few hours, although it was unclear Thursday night whether it had ended.

“We are monitoring it closely, and will continue to work with our partners to ensure freedom of navigation and free flow of commerce,” said a statement by Navy Capt. Bill Urban, U.S. Central Command spokesman.

The development marked Iran’s latest escalation in response to Mr. Trump’s promise to begin reimposing harsh economic sanctions in the coming days that were suspended under the 2015 deal. One Pentagon source said the unexpected Iranian navy moves were meant to hammer home Tehran’s rejection of President Trump’s offer this week for direct, unconditional talks with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.

The article details the unrest in Iran:

It is an increasingly delicate moment for Mr. Rouhani, who faces protests in Iran over the nation’s struggling economy, weak growth and declining currency.

The Rouhani government has been rocked by a string of protests in cities across the country over the failing currency, mismanagement and investor fears of U.S. sanctions, the first wave of which is set to begin Tuesday. The Trump administration is pressuring Iran’s other trading partners in Europe and elsewhere to curb trade and investment ties as well.

A report by the official IRNA news agency said about 100 people took to the streets Thursday in the northern city of Sari and that demonstrations broke out in at least three other cities. The agency reported that none of the protests had official permission and all were broken up by police.

Iranian dissident groups abroad have detailed multiple demonstrations in recent days, with harsh police crackdowns in response. The Associated Press cited videos circulating on social media purporting to show dozens of demonstrators setting fire to police vehicles and shouting “death to the dictator.” The authenticity of the videos could not immediately be verified.

One way for a dictator to unite his people is to unite them against a common enemy. This may or may not work in Iran since many of the younger people in the country are more inclined toward western ideas than the ideas of the mullahs.

The article concludes:

“Any disruption of oil supplies in the Persian Gulf would be a major threat to the global economy and would hurt U.S. trading partners, thereby damaging the U.S. economy,” said Amy Myers Jaffe, who heads the Program on Energy Security and Climate Change at the Council on Foreign Relations.

U.S. domestic oil and gas production and export increases in recent years “have not reduced the U.S. need to police the free flow of oil from the Middle East,” Ms. Myers Jaffe wrote in an analysis for the think tank this week. “An oil price rise due to the loss of supply in one part of the world is reflected in U.S. price levels as well all other locations across the globe.”

Rockford Weitz, who heads the Fletcher Maritime Studies Program at Tufts University, said that in the Strait of Hormuz, Iran “could damage commercial shipping with relatively cheap anti-ship missiles, fast patrol boats, submarines and mines.

“Even threats and modest disruption to commercial shipping could trigger economic damage in the form of higher marine insurance rates, crude oil supply concerns and unsettled stock markets,” Mr. Weitz wrote in an analysis published by Tufts last month.

We live in a fragile world–keep praying.