Slowly But Surely Things Are Changing

On Friday, CNS News reported that according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of people working for the federal government declined by 13,000 in 2017.

The article reports:

At the same time, overall government employment in the United States increased by 7,000 as the number of people working at the state government level and the local government level both increased.

The following chart is from the article:

I realize the chart is difficult to read, but basically, the intersect of manufacturing and government jobs took place about 1989. That is when government jobs began to outpace manufacturing jobs in America. It should be noted that every dollar spent by the government on employment or anything else is a dollar taken away from the private sector. Since the private sector is responsible for growing the economy and increasing employment, increased spending by the government is not a wise long-term strategy.

The article concludes:

Despite losing 1,000 jobs in September, the manufacturing sector has still gained 104,000 jobs in this year. In December, there were 12,343,000 employed in manufacturing in the United States. In September, there were 12,447,000.

Despite the gain in manufacturing jobs since the start of this year, government jobs continue to massively outnumber manufacturing jobs in the United States. As of September, the 22,337,000 employed by governemt in the United States outnumbrered the 12,447,000 employed in manufacturing by 9,890,000.

The first time government jobs outnumbered manufacturing jobs in this country was August 1989, prior to that–going back to 1939 (the earliest year for BLS’s sector-by-sector employment numbers)–manufacturing jobs had always outnumbered government jobs in this country.

Slowly, but surely, things may be getting back under control.

 

Banning The Burka

On Friday, the U.K. Daily Mail reported that Denmark is preparing to ban the burka.

The article reports:

Full and partial face veils such as burqas and niqabs divide opinion across Europe, setting advocates of religious freedom against secularists and those who argue that such garments are culturally alien or a symbol of the oppression of women.

The niqab covers everything but the eyes, while the burqa also covers the eyes with a transparent veil.

France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Bulgaria and the German state of Bavaria have all imposed some restrictions on the wearing of full-face veils in public places.

‘This is not a ban on religious clothing, this is a ban on masking,’ Jacob Ellemann-Jensen, spokesman for the Liberal Party, told reporters on Friday after his party, the largest in the coalition government, decided to back a ban.

This would effectively mean a ban on the niqab and the burqa, he added. Around 200 women in Denmark wear such garments, according to researchers.

I will admit to having mixed emotions on this. I can see the need to ban face coverings for security reasons–terrorism is made easier by people being able to cover their faces and their bodies. It is difficult to distinguish a man from a woman in a burka, and burkas have been used by terrorists to escape. For security reasons, a ban on the burka makes sense. However, I hate to see any religious attire banned, regardless of the problems with it.

Considering the influx of Muslims into Europe in recent years, banning the burka is probably a good idea for security reasons.

Watching The Spin

President Trump has ended the Health and Human Services (HHS) mandate that required employers to provide birth control for their employees even if birth control conflicts with their moral or religious objections. Before ObamaCare, employers were allowed to follow their conscience. If you worked for a Catholic organization, your medical plan did not cover birth control, and if you had a baby in a Catholic hospital, the doctors were not going to instruct you in birth control. It was simply the way things were, and most Americans got along fine under that system. ObamaCare changed that system. Now President Trump is changing it back to what it was, giving people the right to follow their conscience. Based on the outcry from the political left, you would think he was slaughtering women on live television. He is not depriving anyone of birth control–he is merely saying he is not going to force employers to pay for it if it violates their conscience.

Yesterday Breitbart posted an article about the controversy.

The article reports:

The new rule provides full protection for Americans with religious beliefs and moral convictions and acknowledges that the contraceptive mandate concerns serious issues of moral concern, including those involving human life.

Though left-wing groups claim President Donald Trump is taking away women’s birth control – which can be purchased for relatively little expense – the Obama administration itself actually exempted at least 25 million Americans, through various exemption allowances, from its own rule.

The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which represented the Little Sisters of the Poor in its case against the HHS mandatenoted the Obama administration had exempted large corporations such as Chevron, Exxon, Visa, and Pepsi Bottling from the rule, as well as the U.S. military and large cities like New York City.

The headline for the story covered at NBC News reads, “Trump Just Made It So Employers Can Refuse to Pay for Birth Control.”

Just for the record, this isn’t really about birth control–it’s about abortion. Under ObamaCare, the morning-after pill, which causes an abortion was included in birth control. This was the first step toward government funding of abortions.

Here are a few facts on abortion from the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ):

The fact of the matter is that 51 percent of Planned Parenthood’s yearly clinic income – their only self-sustaining revenue source – comes from abortion, 329,445 abortions.

40 percent of all reported abortions committed in the United States occur at a Planned Parenthood clinic, making it by far the largest abortion provider in America.

…Planned Parenthood’s latest report states that it performed “11 million services during nearly five million clinical visits.” So, now their abortion number jumps to 6.6 percent of clinic visits were for abortions. That’s right 6.6 percent of all visits to Planned Parenthood result in an abortion.

Digging a little deeper, Planned Parenthood claims that all those “services” it provides only go to 3 million women. So by it’s own admission, 11 percent of the women that visit a Planned Parenthood clinic in any given year obtain an abortion there.

What about some of the other “services” Planned Parenthood claims it provides? Prenatal services (those services provided to women who choose to keep their baby) account for a measly 0.28 percent off all services provided. Moreover, the 841 adoption referrals made by Planned Parenthood in their last reported year amount to a whopping 0.0076 percent of services rendered.

The outcry over the change in the HHS Mandate is born out of fear that the abortion industry will eventually be threatened by the Trump Administration. I need to explain here that I don’t want to see abortion made illegal. However, if an abortion is medically necessary, it needs to be done in a hospital. It does not need to be part of a multi-million dollar industry.

This Sort Of Thinking Might Be Part Of The Problem

How many of you reading this work forty hours a week? Fifty hours? How many of you would like to work less and have more free time, but you are encumbered by such nuisances as needing a place to live and liking to eat? Well, take heart, a college professor has an interesting observation on this whole ‘work ethic‘ thing.

Yesterday Townhall posted an article about a quote from Pennsylvania State University-Brandywine professor Angela Putman.

The article states:

Pennsylvania State University-Brandywine professor Angela Putman recently asserted in an academic paper that the notion “if I work hard, I can be successful” is merely a product of white ideology, reports Campus Reform.

Angela Putman conducted a study to critique and examine “ideologies within college students’ discourse that are foundational to whiteness.” Her resulting conclusion published on Thursday was that “meritocracy”, or the belief that people should rise based on the fruits of their own labor, is a “white ideology.” In her mind, this “white ideology” is unfortunately widely accepted in academia.

But, Professor Putman argues that professors can change this “ideology” by teaching students “how racism and whiteness function in various contexts, the powerful influence of systems and institutions, and the pervasiveness of whiteness ideologies within the United States.”

So according to this lady, the idea of meritocracy is “white ideology.” Interesting. It is really interesting that one of the few workplaces in America that is truly a meritocracy is the National Football League (NFL). According to the census, as of 2016, 13.3 percent of America’s population was African-American. In the National Football League, 67 percent of the players are black. The NFL is one of the true meritocracies in America and is largely composed of African-Americans. How in the world is the NFL meritocracy an example of ‘white ideology.”

The article further reports:

Putman believes that it is somehow a bad thing to teach students personal responsibility. Emphasizing a collectivist mindset, Putman puts forth the idea that Americans are falsely “socialized to believe that we got to where we are… because of our own individual efforts.”

This “ideology” she says, perpetuates whiteness and racism throughout society. Once students learn more about “white ideology,” they will hopefully “resist perpetuating and reifying whiteness through their own discourse and interactions,” and challenge systemic “manifestations of racism and whiteness.”

Until students learn the hidden dangers of believing in the value of hard-work and a positive attitude, “whiteness ideologies may be reproduced through a general acceptance and unchallenging of norms, as well as through everyday discourse from a wide variety of racial positionalities.”

We need to remove students from this professor’s classroom. What she is teaching them is not only divisive–it is harmful. She is essentially destroying the work ethic of her African-American students. The black culture is such that it handicaps black students immensely–if a black student does well in school, he is considered an “Uncle Tom.” How do we expect these children to succeed unless we are willing to change the culture of their communities? It is bad enough that schools in low-income black neighborhoods often do not have all the supplies and textbooks that they need, but no one should be adding to their problems by telling them that they are victims.

The Media Continues To Misinform

Townhall posted an article today about some ‘news reporting’ done by Chuck Todd on MSNBC.

The article reports:

Chuck Todd thought he had caught Roy Moore in a hot mic moment and sought to expose his ignorance of the Constitution. The MSNBC anchor shared the following soundbite, in which Moore, fresh off of his win in the Alabama Senate primary, told a reporter that “rights don’t come from government, they don’t come from the Bill of Rights, they come from God.”

The Declaration of Independence states:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

Our Constitution builds on this concept.

The article at Townhall concludes:

Thankfully, Todd doesn’t teach U.S. constitutional law in college. But, he does have a dangerous platform of millions of viewers to espouse his arrogant, elitist views.

Chuck Todd’s statement is one of many reasons we need to teach our children about the Declaration of Independence and the U. S. Constitution. Our freedom will only endure if those who inherit it understand what they have inherited.

President Trump’s Tax Plan

The information in this article is from Investor’s Business Daily and the Tax Foundation.

Investor’s Business Daily reports:

Among the most potent provisions in the GOP tax reform package unveiled Wednesday by President Trump are the big cuts in taxes on corporations and small businesses. Inevitably, they will be styled by foes as a sop to the rich and Wall Street. In fact, they’re one of the best middle-class tax cuts of all.

How we tax businesses is among the most distorted, costly and anti-competitive elements of our tax code. Today, U.S. corporations competing on the world stage face a top tax rate of 39%, compared to a 23% average for the rest of the world.

The proposed Republican tax reform would slash that to 20%, below the average. It would also shift the U.S. to a “territorial taxation” model, which keeps overseas profits from being taxed twice — once when the profit is earned overseas, and again when repatriated to the U.S. The U.S. is almost alone among nations in doing this.

Meanwhile, new rules would level the playing field between U.S.-headquartered companies and foreign-headquartered companies by keeping our rates low. This will keep companies from buying foreign companies and relocating their headquarters overseas to take advantage of lower rates.

Then there’s small businesses. Among other things, the plan cuts levies on so-called S corporations (small businesses and sole proprietorships, in which the profits go to the owner’s individual tax form) to 25%, thus giving many small business owners who now pay super-high individual tax rates of 30% or higher a big tax cut. It also lets businesses write off investments (except for structures) immediately. This would let companies recapture the value of their investments more quickly, lowering their tax bite now and boosting profits later on.

The article notes that the media generally portrays business and business owners in a negative light. They fail to realize that businesses pass the expense of taxes along to the consumers. We are the ones who pay the corporate taxes.

Investor’s Business Daily further states:

…A survey of tax-cut research by the Heritage Foundation finds 10 studies demonstrating that corporate tax cuts improve worker welfare by upgrading their skills, improving the equipment they work with, and boosting their pay.

Another recent study, this one published in August by economists Andrew Hanson of Marquette University and Ike Brannon of the Cato Institute, asserted that “recent tax reform discussions that propose a (corporate) rate reduction between 30% to 57% … would imply employment gains between 6% to 22% and wage increases between 15% to 28%.” That’s quite a gain, and a big reason why tax reform could put us back on the path to 3% average GDP growth.

Sadly, because of the relentless anti-business bias of the U.S. media, many Americans think corporations are “greedy,” and so they should be taxed to the gunwales.

The Tax Foundation reports:

  • Mr. Trump’s tax plan would substantially lower individual income taxes and the corporate income tax and eliminate a number of complex features in the current tax code.
  • Mr. Trump’s plan would cut taxes by $11.98 trillion over the next decade on a static basis. However, the plan would end up reducing tax revenues by $10.14 trillion over the next decade when accounting for economic growth from increases in the supply of labor and capital.
  • The plan would also result in increased outlays due to higher interest on the debt, creating a ten-year deficit somewhat larger than the estimates above.
  • According to the Tax Foundation’s Taxes and Growth Model, the plan would significantly reduce marginal tax rates and the cost of capital, which would lead to an 11 percent higher GDP over the long term provided that the tax cut could be appropriately financed.
  • The plan would also lead to a 29 percent larger capital stock, 6.5 percent higher wages, and 5.3 million more full-time equivalent jobs.
  • The plan would cut taxes and lead to higher after-tax incomes for taxpayers at all levels of income.

The Democrats will fight this plan tooth and nail. Why? Because under this plan states with reasonable tax burdens will no longer subsidize states with high tax burdens. New York, California, Connecticut, and Massachusetts (to name a few) all will have to re-examine their tax policies or they will see a taxpayers’ revolt.

I celebrate the end of the death tax. The purpose of the death tax is to redistribute wealth–that is not an American value. The money in an estate was taxed as it was earned. If land increased in value, so be it. A family should not have to sell the family farm to pay their taxes.

Democrats have never met a tax cut they liked. I expect this one will be no different. The other thing to keep in mind is that the worst nightmare for the Washington establishment is a successful Trump administration. These tax cuts would promote economic growth, which in turn would begin to lower the deficit. The Washington establishment cannot afford to have an outsider reach that level of success. Now if we could only cut the spending.

You can expect the Federal Reserve to begin to raise interest rates quickly in an attempt to slow economic growth. The Federal Reserve is also part of the Washington establishment that does not want an outsider to succeed.

Was The Obama Administration Using The Government To Spy On Americans?

The Washington Examiner is reporting today that former United Nations Ambassador Susan Powers requested the unmasking of more than 260 Americans‘ identities during the waning days of the Obama Administration. These were conversations captured inadvertently while non-citizens were being wiretapped (theoretically). Susan Powers is scheduled to testify before Congress in October.

The article reports:

House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., submitted a letter in July to Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats that said the committee was aware “that one official, whose position had no apparent intelligence-related function, made hundreds of unmasking requests during the final year of the Obama Administration.”

It is suspected that the official referenced is Power.

Power also was one of three top Obama administration officials named in subpoenas received by several of the nation’s intelligence agencies in May.

Power is not the first U.N. ambassador to make unmasking requests, but Fox News reports the requests fall in the low double digits.

Power will meet with congressional intelligence committees as part of their Russia probes and is expected to appear before the House intelligence panel in a classified session next month.

It will be interesting to see exactly who winds up taking the fall for the abuses or power that occurred during the Obama Administration.

 

President Trump At The United Nations

This is the link to the full text of President Trump’s speech at the United Nations.

Here are a few highlights from the speech:

Fortunately, the United States has done very well since Election Day last November 8th. The stock market is at an all-time high — a record. Unemployment is at its lowest level in 16 years, and because of our regulatory and other reforms, we have more people working in the United States today than ever before. Companies are moving back, creating job growth the likes of which our country has not seen in a very long time. And it has just been announced that we will be spending almost $700 billion on our military and defense.

Our military will soon be the strongest it has ever been. For more than 70 years, in times of war and peace, the leaders of nations, movements, and religions have stood before this assembly. Like them, I intend to address some of the very serious threats before us today but also the enormous potential waiting to be unleashed.

We live in a time of extraordinary opportunity. Breakthroughs in science, technology, and medicine are curing illnesses and solving problems that prior generations thought impossible to solve.

But each day also brings news of growing dangers that threaten everything we cherish and value. Terrorists and extremists have gathered strength and spread to every region of the planet. Rogue regimes represented in this body not only support terrorists but threaten other nations and their own people with the most destructive weapons known to humanity.

Authority and authoritarian powers seek to collapse the values, the systems, and alliances that prevented conflict and tilted the world toward freedom since World War II.

International criminal networks traffic drugs, weapons, people; force dislocation and mass migration; threaten our borders; and new forms of aggression exploit technology to menace our citizens.

To put it simply, we meet at a time of both of immense promise and great peril. It is entirely up to us whether we lift the world to new heights, or let it fall into a valley of disrepair.

…To overcome the perils of the present and to achieve the promise of the future, we must begin with the wisdom of the past. Our success depends on a coalition of strong and independent nations that embrace their sovereignty to promote security, prosperity, and peace for themselves and for the world.

We do not expect diverse countries to share the same cultures, traditions, or even systems of government. But we do expect all nations to uphold these two core sovereign duties: to respect the interests of their own people and the rights of every other sovereign nation. This is the beautiful vision of this institution, and this is foundation for cooperation and success.

Strong, sovereign nations let diverse countries with different values, different cultures, and different dreams not just coexist, but work side by side on the basis of mutual respect.

Strong, sovereign nations let their people take ownership of the future and control their own destiny. And strong, sovereign nations allow individuals to flourish in the fullness of the life intended by God.

In America, we do not seek to impose our way of life on anyone, but rather to let it shine as an example for everyone to watch. This week gives our country a special reason to take pride in that example. We are celebrating the 230th anniversary of our beloved Constitution — the oldest constitution still in use in the world today.

This timeless document has been the foundation of peace, prosperity, and freedom for the Americans and for countless millions around the globe whose own countries have found inspiration in its respect for human nature, human dignity, and the rule of law.

The greatest in the United States Constitution is its first three beautiful words. They are: “We the people.”

…The scourge of our planet today is a small group of rogue regimes that violate every principle on which the United Nations is based. They respect neither their own citizens nor the sovereign rights of their countries.

If the righteous many do not confront the wicked few, then evil will triumph. When decent people and nations become bystanders to history, the forces of destruction only gather power and strength.

No one has shown more contempt for other nations and for the wellbeing of their own people than the depraved regime in North Korea. It is responsible for the starvation deaths of millions of North Koreans, and for the imprisonment, torture, killing, and oppression of countless more.

We were all witness to the regime’s deadly abuse when an innocent American college student, Otto Warmbier, was returned to America only to die a few days later. We saw it in the assassination of the dictator’s brother using banned nerve agents in an international airport. We know it kidnapped a sweet 13-year-old Japanese girl from a beach in her own country to enslave her as a language tutor for North Korea’s spies.

If this is not twisted enough, now North Korea’s reckless pursuit of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles threatens the entire world with unthinkable loss of human life.

It is an outrage that some nations would not only trade with such a regime, but would arm, supply, and financially support a country that imperils the world with nuclear conflict. No nation on earth has an interest in seeing this band of criminals arm itself with nuclear weapons and missiles.

…It is time for the entire world to join us in demanding that Iran’s government end its pursuit of death and destruction. It is time for the regime to free all Americans and citizens of other nations that they have unjustly detained. And above all, Iran’s government must stop supporting terrorists, begin serving its own people, and respect the sovereign rights of its neighbors.

The entire world understands that the good people of Iran want change, and, other than the vast military power of the United States, that Iran’s people are what their leaders fear the most. This is what causes the regime to restrict Internet access, tear down satellite dishes, shoot unarmed student protestors, and imprison political reformers.

Oppressive regimes cannot endure forever, and the day will come when the Iranian people will face a choice. Will they continue down the path of poverty, bloodshed, and terror? Or will the Iranian people return to the nation’s proud roots as a center of civilization, culture, and wealth where their people can be happy and prosperous once again?

The Iranian regime’s support for terror is in stark contrast to the recent commitments of many of its neighbors to fight terrorism and halt its financing.

In Saudi Arabia early last year, I was greatly honored to address the leaders of more than 50 Arab and Muslim nations. We agreed that all responsible nations must work together to confront terrorists and the Islamist extremism that inspires them.

We will stop radical Islamic terrorism because we cannot allow it to tear up our nation, and indeed to tear up the entire world.

We must deny the terrorists safe haven, transit, funding, and any form of support for their vile and sinister ideology. We must drive them out of our nations. It is time to expose and hold responsible those countries who support and finance terror groups like al Qaeda, Hezbollah, the Taliban and others that slaughter innocent people.

…One of the greatest American patriots, John Adams, wrote that the American Revolution was “effected before the war commenced. The Revolution was in the minds and hearts of the people.”

That was the moment when America awoke, when we looked around and understood that we were a nation. We realized who we were, what we valued, and what we would give our lives to defend. From its very first moments, the American story is the story of what is possible when people take ownership of their future.

The United States of America has been among the greatest forces for good in the history of the world, and the greatest defenders of sovereignty, security, and prosperity for all.

Now we are calling for a great reawakening of nations, for the revival of their spirits, their pride, their people, and their patriotism.

History is asking us whether we are up to the task. Our answer will be a renewal of will, a rediscovery of resolve, and a rebirth of devotion. We need to defeat the enemies of humanity and unlock the potential of life itself.

Our hope is a word and — world of proud, independent nations that embrace their duties, seek friendship, respect others, and make common cause in the greatest shared interest of all: a future of dignity and peace for the people of this wonderful Earth.

This is the true vision of the United Nations, the ancient wish of every people, and the deepest yearning that lives inside every sacred soul.

So let this be our mission, and let this be our message to the world: We will fight together, sacrifice together, and stand together for peace, for freedom, for justice, for family, for humanity, and for the almighty God who made us all.

Thank you. God bless you. God bless the nations of the world. And God bless the United States of America. Thank you very much.

We have a President who loves America and is willing to use our power and might to help move the world toward freedom and peace. It was a great speech.

Undoing The Linchpin

The dictionary defines a linchpin as “something that holds the various elements of a complicated structure together.” Theoretically, if you undo the linchpin of an item, the item will fall apart. Last night I attended a presentation by a group called America’s Remedy. This is a group of people concerned about the rapid growth of government overreach in recent years. As most of you know, the federal government is currently involved in many things that have no basis in the U.S. Constitution for federal government involvement. Our union was designed to be a union of independent states working together for mutual good, but retaining their sovereignty. Somehow along the way, the states have lost that sovereignty. America’s Remedy has the goal of educating people about that sovereignty and how to regain it.

The linchpin of the loss of state sovereignty is the Reconstruction Acts put into place after the Civil War. Another aspect of the loss of state sovereignty is the Fourteenth Amendment.

Section 1 of the Fourteenth Amendment states:

Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

The Fourteenth Amendment was the beginning of United States citizenship rather than state citizenship. It was a major part of taking power away from the states and giving power to the federal government.

Please follow the link to the America’s Remedy website to learn more about what has happened to the plan our Founding Fathers put in place for this nation and where and when that plan was altered.

Benghazi Drip, Drip, Drip

Fox News posted a story today that sheds some light on the reason the outpost at Benghazi was so poorly defended. It seems that decisions made by the State Department regarding security were not based on reality.

The article reports:

Brad Owens and Jerry Torres, of Torres Advanced Enterprise Solutions, say they faced pressure to stay silent and get on the same page with the State Department with regard to the security lapses that led to the deaths of four Americans.

They spoke exclusively with Fox News for “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” revealing new information that undermines the State Department’s account of the 2012 terror attack in Benghazi, where Islamic militants launched a 13-hour assault from Sept. 11-12 that killed U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens, foreign service officer Sean Smith and former Navy SEALS Ty Woods and Glenn Doherty.

The article explains that the State Department awarded the Benghazi compound security compound to a company in Wales that had no experience in diplomatic security. I need to say here that I am all in favor of allowing security companies to gain experience, but they need to start in a place that does not have a major terrorism problem.

The article continues:

According to Torres, the Blue Mountain Group came in 4 percent lower than their bid – and they challenged the decision, claiming the American company should have been preferred over the foreign one.

Torres said State Department contracting officer Jan Visintainer responded that the State Department had the “latitude to apply” that preference or not.

And there was more: The Blue Mountain Group hired guards through another company who were not armed.  

Problems soon arose. One month before the attack — in August 2012, with The Blue Mountain Group still in charge of compound security — Ambassador Stevens and his team alerted the State Department via diplomatic cable that radical Islamic groups were everywhere and that the temporary mission compound could not withstand a “coordinated attack.” The classified cable was first reported by Fox News.

Why would you put security in a troubled area in the hands of people who are not armed?

The article concludes:

“Let’s just say there’s been a change at management at Department of State,” Owens said. “I feel now that, given that the politics has been taken out of the Benghazi situation, now that there’s no longer a candidate or anything related to it, a change of administrations, that actually, we have an opportunity here to fix the problems that made it happen.”

On the fifth anniversary, Torres said he thinks about the four families who lost a father, a brother or a son in the 2012 attack, and feels sorry “for not bringing this up earlier. For not actually being there, on the ground and taking care of these guys.”

I’m not sure the politics has been taken out of the Department of State, but I definitely wish President Trump luck in his efforts to drain the swamp.

Fifteen Years Later (Originally posted September 10, 2016)

This article was originally posted on September 10, 2016. Has anything changed?

This is the fifteenth anniversary of the day before 9/11. It is the anniversary of a day when Americans were going about their business—getting children ready to start school, beginning to put away summer clothes and get out fall clothes, and doing fall housekeeping. It was not in any way a noteworthy day. However, there were Americans who understood the threat hanging over us. Unfortunately, those Americans did not have the ability to wake up either our government or the American people.

John O’Neill was one of the people who understood the threat. In 1995 John O’Neill was appointed chief of the FBI’s counterterrorism section. When he arrived at FBI headquarters initially, he stayed there for three days. O’Neill was not very diplomatic, but he got things done. He also had the ability to tie loose ends together to see what was coming. Early on in his career, O’Neill became very interested in the activities of Osama Bin Laden to the point where his colleagues began to question his judgement [The Looming Tower by Lawrence Wright Page 237 (paperback)]. He retired from the FBI early in 2001 to become chief of security at the World Trade Center. I have heard stories of the evacuation drills he led at the World Trade Center that probably saved many people’s lives on 9/11. John O’Neill understood that the terrorists would try to destroy the World Trade Center again. He was right. Unfortunately, due to personalities in the FBI, he was no longer in a position to connect the dots and possibly avoid the attack on the Trade Center.

So where are we today? What have we learned and what have we done about it? One of the best sources on the failure of the Obama Administration to deal with terrorism is the book Catastrophic Failure by Stephen Coughlin. In that book, Mr. Coughlin details the Obama Administrations inability to understand the root of the threat; and therefore, its inability to counter the threat. I strongly suggest you read the book, but I will try to summarize the main points here.

In October 2011, elements of the American Muslim Brotherhood wrote the White House demanding an embargo or discontinuation of information and materials relating to Islamic-based terrorism. The letter was addressed to John Brennan, who at the time was Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism.  Days later John Brennan agreed to create a task force to address the problem by removing personnel and products that the Muslim Brotherhood deemed “biased, false, and highly offensive.” This move in effect allowed the Muslim Brotherhood to control the information given to the people charged with stopping the terrorism initiated by groups affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood. At this point, the 9/11 reports and other actual historic documents were altered to make them compliant with the new paradigm. (I thought only the Russians rewrote history.)

Just a note—Stephen Coughlin is no longer briefing the Pentagon and our law enforcement communities. His briefings were not in compliance with the standards the Muslim Brotherhood placed on such briefings and were no longer permitted. That fact along should give all of us pause.

There are some real questions as to whom President Obama listens to on matters of terrorism. Those same questions apply to Hillary Clinton. Would you have put someone with family ties to Hitler in an advisory role to Franklin Roosevelt during World War II? I realize you can’t choose your family, but would the FBI hire a secretary whose father was a Mafia Don to work in their domestic crime bureau?

There is substantial evidence that the upper levels of our government have been compromised by the Muslim Brotherhood. One of the most reliable sources for this information is The Center for Security Policy. There are many resources available on their website.

So as we look back on this time fifteen years ago, we need to realize that we are still in danger and that the danger we face is getting more serious. The attacks in Europe (reported and unreported) should awaken us to the dangers of allowing refugees into America without proper vetting and the dangers of allowing immigrants who have no intention of assimilating into American culture to set up enclaves within our country.

Unless we want to experience a terror attack far worse than 9/11, Americans need to inform themselves about the enemy we are facing. It is obvious that the government is not going to inform us or take care of us.

What Does It Cost?

From a friend on Twitter:I know it’s hard to read, but you get the idea. A country without borders will not remain a country for long. It’s time to reform our immigration policies to allow people to come here to work. Illegal immigrants should not be entitled to welfare benefits. We simply cannot afford to support them. If Americans want to support illegal immigrants through private charities, that is their privilege, but taxpayer money should go to those who are here legally.

Curiouser and Curiouser

Last Tuesday, The Daily Caller reported that Imran Awan still has a secret email account on the House of Representatives computer system. Mr. Awan has been banned from the congressional network because of a criminal investigation into the alleged cybersecurity violations.

I need to say here that in spite of this blog, I am not a computer person and am not in danger of becoming one. However, I saw “War Games” and remember the comment that programmers often put ‘back doors’ in their programs. I checked with my husband, who is a computer person, and he assured me that programmers do things like that. Therefore, it should not be a surprise to anyone that Mr. Awan set up a secret email account. The article notes that authorities shut down Mr. Awan’s known email account in early February. If The Daily Caller knows about the second account, do the authorities? Now that this story is out, when will the second account be shut down? Are there more accounts? What is being done with the information collected in these accounts?

The story gets even more strange. The article reports:

Imran Awan’s still-active email address is linked to the name of a House staffer who specializes in intelligence and homeland security matters for Indiana Democratic Rep. André CarsonCourt documents and emails obtained by TheDCNF show Awan used the address 123@mail.house.gov in addition to his standard imran.awan@mail.house.gov account.

He and two of his Pakistani-born brothers, as well as his wife, are at the center of an FBI investigation over their IT work with dozens of Democratic congressional offices. Authorities shut down Awan’s standard email account Feb. 2, and he was arrested by the FBI at Dulles International Airport trying to board a flight to his native Pakistan on July 25.

Authorities apparently did not realize Awan has a second account that is not linked to his identity. While his main email address began rejecting mail after it was shut down, the 123 address was still accepting mail Tuesday.

Why doesThe Daily Caller has better investigators than the government?

The article further states:

Until last year, email addresses were created by individual offices, but now members have to request HIR to set up new addresses. Carson’s office is not showing any concern that an indicted IT guy apparently set up a secret email address using the name of his deputy chief of staff, who is also his top intelligence staffer, and that the account is still active. Since the account was still accepting emails as of Tuesday afternoon, it appears Carson’s office has not alerted anyone of the security vulnerability.

I have a feeling that if someone (whoever that someone may be) successfully unravels all the threads in this case, they will have made major progress in draining the swamp that is Washington, D.C. (if they are able to stay alive). That may be the reason most of the media is ignoring something that is major in terms of espionage and national security.

 

This Just Gets Uglier

Some serious and relevant information has come out in the past few days regarding the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server and the documents that were not turned over to the people investigating the server. On Friday, I posted an article dealing with the information that the decision to exonerate Hillary Clinton of any wrongdoing was made before the investigation was complete. That is true, but I missed to root of the problem.

The following video was posted at YouTube on Thursday. It further explains what has recently been revealed:

Yesterday Andrew McCarty posted an article at National Review that pointed out some things that I had overlooked.

The article at National Review states:

The thing to understand, what has always been the most important thing to understand, is that Jim Comey was out in front, but he was not calling the shots.

On the right, the commentariat is in full-throttle outrage over the revelation that former FBI Director Comey began drafting his statement exonerating Hillary Clinton in April 2016 – more than two months before he delivered the statement at his now famous July 5 press conference.

The news appears in a letter written to new FBI Director Christopher Wray by two senior Senate Judiciary Committee Republicans, Chairman Chuck Grassley and Senator Lindsey Graham. Pundits and the Trump administration are shrieking because this indicates the decision to give the Democrats’ nominee a pass was clearly made long before the investigation was over, and even long before key witnesses, including Clinton herself, were interviewed.

Andrew McCarthy reminds us of one of his previous statements:

On April 10, 2016, President Obama publicly stated that Hillary Clinton had shown “carelessness” in using a private e-mail server to handle classified information, but he insisted that she had not intended to endanger national security (which is not an element of the [criminal statutes relevant to her e-mail scandal]). The president acknowledged that classified information had been transmitted via Secretary Clinton’s server, but he suggested that, in the greater scheme of things, its importance had been vastly overstated.

This is the statement we need to be looking at. This was President Obama telling the FBI to ‘stand down’ on the investigation. It was later revealed that President Obama had communicated with Mrs. Clinton on her private email server. It is quite possible that these communications included classified information. Therefore, if Hillary Clinton was guilty of mishandling classified information, so was President Obama. Therefore, the FBI had to find a way not to charge Mrs. Clinton with a crime (regardless of the fact that she had obviously committed one). The moral of the story is, “If you are going to do something illegal, make sure a very powerful person does it with you.”

Andrew McCarthy concludes:

Bottom line: In April, President Obama and his Justice Department adopted a Hillary Clinton defense strategy of concocting a crime no one was claiming Clinton had committed: to wit, transmitting classified information with an intent to harm the United States. With media-Democrat complex help, they peddled the narrative that she could not be convicted absent this “malicious intent,” in a desperate effort to make the publicly known evidence seem weak. Meanwhile, they quietly hamstrung FBI case investigators in order to frustrate the evidence-gathering process. When damning proof nevertheless mounted, the Obama administration dismissed the whole debacle by rewriting the statute (to impose an imaginary intent standard) and by offering absurd rationalizations for not applying the statute as written.

That plan was in place and already being implemented when Director Comey began drafting the “findings” he would announce months later. But it was not Comey’s plan. It was Obama’s plan.

And that is the reason we will probably never see Mrs. Clinton held accountable for her mishandling of classified information.

 

The Science Is Not In Line With The Objections

Using fracking to get natural gas from the earth has been controversial. It shouldn’t be–there is no scientific evidence that it causes any more problems than conventional drilling. There have also been articles in various media pointing to the fact that much of the anti-fracking literature and media in the United States is sponsored by either Russia or Saudi Arabia. Both of those countries have a vested interest in preventing America from becoming energy independent.

Steven Hayward posted an article at Power Line today about fracking. The article was actually about the possibility that New York Governor Andrew Cuomo would run for President in 2020, but the article contained some interesting information about fracking.

The article reported:

The scientific case against all the anti-fracking claims of the environmental/Hollywood left continues to collapse more fully than an undercooked soufflé. The latest piece of evidence is a report from Resources for the Future, a centrist environmental group that is one of the oldest environmental organizations in the country, founded way back in 1947 by Fairfield Osborn, who was actually a Malthusian alarmist, thus making today’s RFF a curiosity in that is perhaps the only environmental organization that moved away from the left over its history.

RFF has conducted a thorough review of the academic literature on the health effects of unconventional oil and gas production (which mostly means fracking) and passes along these key findings:

  • We review 32 studies that cover health impacts such as birth outcomes, cancers, asthma, and other health effects, including migraines and hospitalization.
  • We find that though many epidemiological studies used robust statistical methods to estimate changes in health outcomes associated with unconventional oil and gas development, all had weaknesses and many had significant shortcomings.
  • Due to the nature of the data and research methodologies, the studies are unable to assess the mechanisms of any health impacts (i.e., whether a certain impact is caused by air pollution, stress, water pollution, or another burden).
  • Even where good evidence is offered for a link between unconventional oil and gas development and health, the causal factor(s) driving this association are unclear.
  • Though we do not see strong evidence of impacts in the literature, a lack of data or rigorous analysis does not rule out the potential for any effects.

I know that there have been reported instances of polluted water in areas where fracking was done. However, in many cases, water pollution goes back to the time in America when factories, tanneries, and other industries were not closely monitored. There is a strong possibility that much of the water pollution attributed to fracking is actually the result of prior manufacturing or tanning practices in those areas. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has designated certain areas in the U.S. as Superfund Sites. I am sure that there are many more that have not yet been designated. Water pollution is a problem in certain areas of America and has been for a long time before fracking came along. It is to our advantage to monitor the fracking industry carefully to make sure it does not add to our pollution problems. It is also to our advantage to do what we can to clean up the pollution problems caused by lax standards in the past.

We Have Been Here Before

In 1968, there was unrest in America. In April, Martin Luther King, Jr., was killed in Memphis, and in June, Robert F. Kennedy was killed by a disgruntled Palestinian in the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles after winning the California Presidential primary election. It was a long, hot summer or riots and protests culminating in the Democratic National Convention in August in Chicago. The Democratic Convention was protested by Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) (after the fall of the Soviet Union, it was discovered that the SDS had been infiltrated by Russian agents), the National Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam and the Youth International Party (Yippies).  The purpose of these groups was simply to disrupt the convention. These groups were not unlike some of the groups operating today that refer to themselves as ‘the resistance.’

The Daily Caller is reporting today that a group of George-Soros-backed protesters is planning to show up in Phoenix to disrupt President Trump’s visit on Tuesday.

The article reports:

Although originally founded by activists not backed by donors, Indivisible’s website now states that the group “is a project of the Advocacy Fund,” a progressive advocacy group that receives money from the Open Society Policy Center, an arm of Soros’ Open Society Foundations. That revelation follows USA Today’s reporting in May that leaders of Indivisible and Women’s March met with Democracy Alliance, a Soros-led network of left-wing donors, to discuss funding options.

So what is this really about? George Soros is an avowed enemy of the United States. He is working toward one-world government where he and his friends would be in charge, and there would be no sovereign states as we know them. The freedoms we enjoy under the U.S. Constitution would be gone under the vision of George Soros.

The Republican Senators in Arizona, Jeff Flake and John McCain, are not supporters of President Trump, and cannot be expected to do anything to support his visit. It is also possible that President Trump will endorse the primary challenger to Jeff Flake while he is in Arizona. It is also possible that President Trump will pardon Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who has been charged with criminal contempt.

The swamp in Washington is deep and wide and extends out into the nation in many directions. Until President Trump makes some real progress in draining the swamp, we will probably see misguided or paid protesters making an effort to disrupt our country. If they protest peacefully, we need to leave them alone. If they destroy property or injure people, they need to be arrested. Eventually they will realize that breaking the law has consequences and either protest peacefully or go away.

President Trump And Afghanistan

I am sure much will be made about President Trump‘s changing his position on Afghanistan. At least he is willing to listen to those around him. I would like to leave Afghanistan behind–I have family members who have been there and may return in the future–I wonder about the wisdom of our involvement. However, there were a few things I heard in the speech the President gave last night that I thought were very encouraging.

Below are some excerpts from the speech with commentary:

That is why shortly after my inauguration, I directed Secretary of Defense Mattis and my national security team to undertake a comprehensive review of all strategic options in Afghanistan and South Asia. My original instinct was to pull out. And historically, I like following my instincts.

But all my life I’ve heard that decisions are much different when you sit behind the desk in the Oval Office, in other words, when you’re president of the United States. So I studied Afghanistan in great detail and from every conceivable angle. After many meetings, over many months, we held our final meeting last Friday at Camp David with my cabinet and generals to complete our strategy.

I arrived at three fundamental conclusion about America’s core interests in Afghanistan. First, our nation must seek an honorable and enduring outcome worthy of the tremendous sacrifices that have been made, especially the sacrifices of lives. The men and women who serve our nation in combat deserve a plan for victory. They deserve the tools they need and the trust they have earned to fight and to win.

He formed a study committee and actually listened to their recommendations. That is a trait of a good leader.

President Trump noted the lessons of Iraq, where early withdrawal of troops left a vacuum filled by terrorists. President Trump also acknowledged the role of Pakistan in international terrorism. He also noted that decisions have to be made on the basis of where we are–not where we would like to be.

The President further noted:

A core pillar of our new strategy is a shift from a time-based approach to one based on conditions. I’ve said it many times how counterproductive it is for the United States to announce in advance the dates we intend to begin or end military options.

We will not talk about numbers of troops or our plans for further military activities. Conditions on the ground, not arbitrary timetables, will guide our strategy from now on. America’s enemies must never know our plans or believe they can wait us out.

I will not say when we are going to attack, but attack we will.

Another fundamental pillar of our new strategy is the integration of all instruments of American power — diplomatic, economic, and military — toward a successful outcome. Someday, after an effective military effort, perhaps it will be possible to have a political settlement that includes elements of the Taliban in Afghanistan. But nobody knows if or when that will ever happen.

Anyone who is acquainted with strategy in any situation understands the wisdom of not telling your opponent what your next move is going to be.

The President also showed that he has learned the lessons of Vietnam and other wars America has fought:

Finally, my administration will ensure that you, the brave defenders of the American people, will have the necessary tools and rules of engagement to make this strategy work, and work effectively, and work quickly.

I have already lifted restrictions the previous administration placed on our war fighters that prevented the secretary of defense and our commanders in the field from fully and swiftly waging battle against the enemy.

Micromanagement from Washington, D.C., does not win battles. They’re won in the field, drawing upon the judgment and expertise of wartime commanders, and front-line soldiers, acting in real time with real authority, and with a clear mission to defeat the enemy.

That’s why we will also expand authority for American armed forces to target the terrorists and criminal networks that sow violence and chaos throughout Afghanistan. These killers need to know they have nowhere to hide, that no place is beyond the reach of American might and American arms. Retribution will be fast and powerful, as we lift restrictions and expand authorities in the field. We’re already seeing dramatic results in the campaign to defeat ISIS, including the liberation of Mosul in Iraq.

War has to be fought to win. The people in the field understand what is needed and how to accomplish what needs to be accomplished. We need to let them do what they do best.

The President also understands how an alliance is supposed to work:

America will work with the Afghan government as long as we see determination and progress. However, our commitment is not unlimited, and our support is not a blank check. The government of Afghanistan must carry their share of the military, political, and economic burden.

The American people expect to see real reforms, real progress and real results. Our patience is not unlimited. We will keep our eyes open. In abiding by the oath I took on Jan. 20, I will remain steadfast in protecting American lives and American interests.

I look forward to the day when American troops are no longer needed in Afghanistan. However, I celebrate a President who understands that we need to fight this war quickly with the goal of winning. The harder we fight, the sooner we get to bring our troops home. I believe President Trump’s policies will make a victory and a return of our troops possible.

A Much-Needed Accomplishment

The Gateway Pundit reported today that President Trump has cut the federal debt. He has not only cut the federal debt, he has cut more from the U.S. Federal debt for a longer period of time than any other President in United States history.

The article reports:

When President Trump was inaugurated on January 20, 2017 the amount of US Federal Debt owed both externally and internally was over $19 Trillion at $19,947,304,555,212.  As of August 17th the amount of US Debt had decreased by more than $100 Billion to $19,845,188,460,167.

The article points out that the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) has performed audits since 1997 of the US Debt amounts outstanding.  In their analysis they show that when accounting for US Debt Held by the Public and US Intergovernmental Debt Holdings, the amount of US Debt has increased every year since their audits began.

This is the chart of that debt history shown in the article:

The debt nearly doubled under President Obama. It is long past time to bring government spending under control.

Losing Touch

It is no surprise to anyone living outside the bubble of Washington, D.C., California, or the Northeast that the mainstream media has totally lost touch with average Americans. There are a few general traits of average Americans that the media has forgotten. America was originally founded by people who were fleeing persecution and looking for religious freedom. There are still a number of us who consider religion an important part of our lives. Generally speaking, members of the mainstream media do not fall into that category. Many of the original British settlers to America were the second sons of their family. Under British law, they would receive no inheritance, so they set out to start from scratch in a new land. They understood the risks, but were willing to settle the new land. Personal responsibility and the risks included in that were part of our growth as a nation. The other trait that permeates our culture is cheering on the underdog. When someone is under constant attack or being bullied, Americans seem to rally to their side. That is something the mainstream media has overlooked in their frenzied attacks on President Trump. A recent article in The Conservative Treehouse illustrates that point.

The article states:

If you were to review how CNN and corporate mainstream media talk politics, well, according to their echo-chambered versions of President Trump, each week that passes is the worst week ever in presidential history.  Seriously, no joke. President Trump has been in office for 30 weeks, and 20 of those weeks have been called “the worst” by media.

However, if you actually engage with people living their lives and not focused on who the media blame for the latest round of horrid offenses; well, then you might recognize the scope of how over-emphasized and out-of-touch the media perspective really is.

CBS and The Associated Press each found themselves picking their corporate media jaws off the floor when they actually did ask people.  You know, ordinary people.  Folks like you and me.  The media didn’t anticipate the power of common sense to see through their BS.

There is also the analogy of the boy who cried wolf. Twenty of the thirty weeks President Trump has been in office have been described by the mainstream media as “the worst.” The seems more than a little over the top.

I am sure that the comments made in the video included in the article were a bit of a shock to the media. Here is the video:

The video is from CBS News. I am somewhat amazed that they were willing to release it.

Is This A Place We Want To Be?

I love Iceland. It is one of my favorite places to visit. Even though I truly hate cold weather, I still find the country fascinating. However, there is something going on there that troubles me deeply.

Herman Cain posted an article on his blog today about one aspect of medical care on Iceland.

The article reports:

Don’t tell me again about the moral imperative to denounce Nazis if you’re going to let this slide.

As Rob mentioned to me when we were discussing who would write this up, the essence of Hitler‘s eugenics program was to filter out children who didn’t have the traits deemed optimal for the Aryan race. Horrifying? Obviously. You’d have a fit if they started aborting babies for having brown skin, or – if there was some way you could tell – for being gay.

And you should have that fit.

But you don’t need to wait. You can have the fit right now, because Iceland is well down this road. There, expectant mothers are given blood tests to determine if there’s a likelihood their baby will have Down Syndrome. And if it looks that way? Well, the mothers are informed that most abort under these circumstances. No one wants a child who doesn’t have the perfect designer genes, you understand, so Iceland is now to the point where almost 100 percent of mothers who are told their babies will probably have Down Syndrome go ahead and have said babies killed.

And CBS News is congratulating Iceland for this rousing success.

The article quotes the CBS News story:

With the rise of prenatal screening tests across Europe and the United States, the number of babies born with Down syndrome has significantly decreased, but few countries have come as close to eradicating Down syndrome births as Iceland.

Since prenatal screening tests were introduced in Iceland in the early 2000s, the vast majority of women — close to 100 percent — who received a positive test for Down syndrome terminated their pregnancy.

While the tests are optional, the government states that all expectant mothers must be informed about availability of screening tests, which reveal the likelihood of a child being born with Down syndrome. Around 80 to 85 percent of pregnant women choose to take the prenatal screening test, according to Landspitali University Hospital in Reykjavik.

Note that they are not eradicating the disease by curing it, but rather by killing those who would be born with it. That really doesn’t seem like a solution to me.

CBS News further states:

Quijano (CBS News correspondent Elaine Quijano) noted, “In America, I think some people would be confused about people calling this ‘our child,’ saying a prayer or saying goodbye or having a priest come in — because to them abortion is murder.”

Olafsdottir (at Landspitali University Hospital, Helga Sol Olafsdottir counsels women who have a pregnancy with a chromosomal abnormality) responded, “We don’t look at abortion as a murder. We look at it as a thing that we ended. We ended a possible life that may have had a huge complication… preventing suffering for the child and for the family. And I think that is more right than seeing it as a murder — that’s so black and white. Life isn’t black and white. Life is grey.”

Wow. Just wow. I am appalled at the idea that you can eradicate a disease simply by killing those who have the potential to have it. One wonders how future generations will look upon this.

The Cost Of Kicking The Can Down The Road

Joel C. Rosenberg posted an article on his blog yesterday detailing the history behind the current crisis with North Korea. The article asks the question, “How did we get to the point that Pyongyang may have 60 warheads?” That is certainly a very valid question.

Here are some of the highlights of the history reported in the article:

In October of 1994, President Bill Clinton cut a deal with North Korea in which Pyongyang agreed to “freeze and gradually dismantle its nuclear weapons development program,” reported the New York Times.

“This agreement will help achieve a longstanding and vital American objective — an end to the threat of nuclear proliferation on the Korean Peninsula,” Mr. Clinton told the American people.

“This agreement is good for the United States, good for our allies, and good for the safety of the entire world,” Mr. Clinton added. “It’s a crucial step toward drawing North Korea into the global community.”

In return, the Clinton administration gave North Korea $4 billion in energy aid.

In addition, the Clinton deal gave North Korea two nuclear power plants, for which American taxpayers helped foot the bill.

“This is a good deal for the United States,” Mr. Clinton said at the time. “North Korea will freeze and then dismantle its nuclear program. South Korea and our other allies will be better protected. The entire world will be safer as we slow the spread of nuclear weapons.”

Obviously, North Korea chose not to honor its end of the bargain. President Clinton would have done well to follow the advice of President Reagan–“Trust, but verify.”

The article explains that President Obama’s foreign policy toward North Korea was also not successful:

In February of 2012, President Obama was similarly duped.

Mr. Obama agreed to a deal in which Pyongyang promised (again) not to build nuclear weapons and stop testing long-range ballistic missiles.

In return, the Obama administration agreed to give North Korea 240,000 metric tons of food.

Experts warned the Obama team at the time that “it is naïve at best for the administration to herald a North Korean ‘commitment to denuclearization’ after the many years of North Korean actions definitively proving the contrary.”

Less than a month later, Pyongyang tested another long-range rocket in clear violation of the agreement, and a humiliated Mr. Obama had to suspend the food aid program.

Clearly, the policy of “strategic patience” (read: “do nothing and hope for the best”) run by Mr. Obama and then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has been a colossal failure.

Unfortunately, the North Korean model was used by President Obama as the template for the Iran nuclear deal. President Obama chose to overlook the fact that the North Korean model was a failure.

The article concludes:

If all this weren’t bad enough, it’s made worse by the fact that the insane Obama nuclear deal with Iran was essentially patterned — and sold — after the Clinton deal with North Korea. As I warned in this Fox News interview and elsewhere (see here and here), the ayatollahs in Tehran are working closely with Pyongyang on nuclear and missile technology. They’re also watching how the U.S. and the world powers handle a nation aspiring to become a nuclear armed power. So far, they’re learning the West can be played for fools, and a small but aggressive nation can build a nuclear arsenal without much fear of being stopped.

America does not want war, but we don’t want to be nuked by a third world tin-horn dictator either. It is unfortunate that Iran and North Korea have been allowed to progress as far as they have on their nuclear programs. We also need to understand that Russia and China are not innocent bystanders in this situation–both countries are not unhappy when America is put at risk. At this time we need to unite as a people behind a strong President. Otherwise, there is a good chance that this situation will escalate in the wrong direction very quickly.

Emulating Neville Chamberlain Is Never A Good Idea

Peace in our time is a wonderful idea. It would be nice if we could someday achieve it. However, I am not optimistic. There will always be bullies, people who sacrifice principles for power, the dishonest, the greedy, etc. These people cannot be dealt with peacefully. When people with these character traits are the leaders of countries, peace is not possible. Unfortunately, not all of our leaders understand that principle.

On Tuesday The Daily Caller posted an article about the deal reached between North Korea and former President Clinton that promised that North Korea would never develop nuclear weapons. We can see how well that deal worked out. President Obama negotiated a similar deal with Iran. That deal is following in the same direction as the deal with North Korea.

The article at The Daily Caller reports:

North Korea now has an intercontinental ballistic missile that can range most of the continental U.S., and a new Defense Intelligence Agency assessment suggests that North Korea has successfully miniaturized nuclear warheads for its missiles. The North is, according to a recent defense intelligence report, expected to be able to field a reliable, nuclear-armed ICBM as early as next year.

In the early 1990s, Clinton faced a growing nuclear threat from North Korea, but he ultimately chose diplomacy and deals over the application of military force.

“I was determined to prevent North Korea from developing a nuclear arsenal, even at the risk of war,” Clinton wrote in his memoirs. He decided to change course after receiving “a sobering estimate of the staggering losses both sides would suffer if war broke out.”

I agree that there would be staggering losses on both sides if war broke out, but did it occur to President Clinton that those losses would increase exponentially if North Korea went ahead with their nuclear program? As Ronald Reagan used to say, “Trust, but verify.” No one verified, and here we are.

I have no idea how this is going to turn out, but I am truly glad that Donald Trump is in the White House and not someone who is unwilling to confront a bully. This may well get ugly, but it is becoming obvious that in this situation, there is no diplomatic situation.

 

One Way The Trump Administration Is Cutting The Cost Of Government

On August 3rd, The Washington Times posted an article about the cost of illegal immigration. The article pointed out that the cost of deporting all of the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants would cost nearly $125 billion. However, the cost of the government services involved in allowing them to stay would be nearly $750 billion from taxpayers over their lifetimes. This represents a major departure from the past when immigrants came to America to earn success rather than to have the country support them. So what impact has the election of President Trump had on the numbers of illegal immigrants in America?

Katie Pavlich at Townhall posted an article today reporting statistics on one aspect of illegal aliens in America.

The article reports:

The Department of Justice released new numbers Tuesday afternoon showing voluntary departures and deportations of illegal immigrants are up by 30 percent. Here are the numbers between February 1 and July 31, 2017: 

Total Orders of Removal: 49,983

Up 27.8 percent over the same time period in 2016 (39,113)

Total Orders of Removal and Voluntary Departures: 57,069

Up 30.9 percent over the same time period in 2016 (43,595)

The court system has also streamlined a number of deportation cases to final decisions. 

I am not opposed to legal immigration. Controlling our borders and controlling who is allowed to come into America is part of the responsibility of the government. It would be nice if they took that responsibility seriously.

The article states the probable reason for the change in numbers:

DOJ officials are touting the numbers as a “return to the rule of law” under the Trump administration. For months the Department has been cracking down on sanctuary cities and Homeland Security has conducted a number of ICE raids to rid communities of violent criminal aliens.

Leadership in Washington makes a difference. There are a limited number of things the President can do without Congress, but in those areas, President Trump has accomplished a number of things that will help average Americans earn more and live better. One of the major problems with illegal immigration is the downward pressure it exerts on the wages of low-skilled workers. Corporations like illegal immigration because it provides labor at a lower cost than what they would have to pay an American citizen. Corporations donate to Congressmen, and Congressmen are slow to act on the problem of illegal immigration. That is an instance where an Executive Order from the President can get something done that Congress is not interested in doing.

 

 

Restoring Sanity To An Insane Area Of Government

In 1965 America‘s immigration policy changed significantly due to a law pushed through by the late Senator Ted Kennedy. In September 2009, Numbers USA posted an article about what those changes were and the impact they have had. Breitbart posted an article about the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act on October 3, 2015, fifty years after the act was passed.

Breitbart reports:

The Kennedy immigration law abolished the national origins quota system, which had favored immigrants from nations with a similar heritage to our own, and opened up American immigration visas to the entire world.

While about nine in ten of the immigrants who came to the United States during the 19th and 20th century hailed from Europe, the 1965 law inverted that figure. Today about 9 out of every 10 new immigrants brought into the country on green cards come from Latin America, Africa, Asia or the Middle East.

The size of the numbers also grew exponentially as well. According to Pew Research Center, 59 million immigrants entered the United States following the Act’s passage. Including their children, that added 72 million new residents to the U.S. population.

In 1965, according to Pew, the country was 84 percent white, 11 percent black, 4 percent Hispanic and less than 1 percent Asian.

In 2015, as a result of Kennedy’s immigration law, the country is now 62 percent white, 12 percent black, 18 percent Hispanic and 6 percent Asian.

Numbers USA notes the range and scope of the reforms in the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act passed:

  • The 1965 revamp of the entire immigration system.  It ended 40 years of low immigration, got rid of solid numerical caps and opened up chain migration into every overpopulated country in the world, exploding annual immigration numbers. 
  • Massive expansion of the refugee programs in the late 1970s, opening up massive loopholes and encouraging a domestic resettlement industry that became a major lobby for more and more overall immigration.
  • The 1986 blanket amnesty. Kennedy’s skills may have been best seen here where he got legislators on our side to agree to the amnesty in exchange for enforcement rules that he made sure were written in a way that would not work.  Within a decade, he would be using the inability to enforce the 1986 rules as an excuse for why we needed more green cards and more amnesties. An example of Kennedy’s great skill was that he persuaded Ronald Reagan to enthusiastically support this bill.
  • The 1990 immigration act, which increased overall immigration by another 35%.  The first Pres. Bush was Kennedy’s co-partner, just as the second Pres. Bush was Kennedy’s eager co-partner in trying to force through another blanket amnesty 2001-2008.
  • The 1990 act also established the lottery whereby we randomly give away 50,000 green cards a year to people in countries picked because they have the least ties and cultural association with the United States, and which disproportionately are terrorist-sponsoring countries. This was something of a compromise for Kennedy who was able to ensure that during the first few years, much of the lottery winners would be illegal aliens from Ireland — his own ethnic group.
  • The H-1B visas which have enabled corporations to keep hundreds of thousands of American kids from getting a foothold in the high tech industry.
  • The total defeat of liberal civil rights champion Barbara Jordan’s blue-ribbon commission recommendations to reduce overall immigration and eliminate chain migration and the lottery in 1996.
  • Six mini-amnesties that passed in the 1990s, primarily aimed at specific nationalities.

In February of this year, Senator Tom Cotton and Senator David Perdue unveiled the Reforming American Immigration for Strong Employment (RAISE) Act, which would undo some of the damage done by the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act.

Yesterday Paul Mirengoff at Power Line posted an article about RAISE.

The article at Power Line reports:

Today, President Trump, with the two sponsoring Senators by his side, publicly backed the RAISE Act. Subsequently, at a press briefing, CNN’s Jim Acosta invoked the words on the Statue of Liberty, as he tried to debate White House policy adviser Stephen Miller on the merits of the legislation. Putting it nicely, Scott observed that Acosta was in over his head (Steve was more graphic).

This is the video of Jim Acosta debating White House policy advisor Stephen Miller (when did it become the job of the press to debate the White House policy advisor instead of simply reporting the news?);

The problem with our current immigration system is that it lowers the wages of of workers in jobs that don’t require a lot of training or education.

The Power Line article explains:

As Sen. Cotton has pointed out, wages for Americans with only a high school diploma have declined by two percent since the late 1970s. Wages for those who didn’t finish high school have declined by nearly 20 percent. Wage pressure due to immigration doesn’t explain all of this decrease, but unless the law of supply and demand has been repealed, such wage pressure explains a good deal of it.

The American Dream is at least as fundamental to our national identity as the “nation of immigrants” theme. The collapse of wages described above threatens to create a near permanent underclass for whom the American Dream is always out of reach.

The RAISE Act seeks to vindicate the American Dream while permitting historical levels of immigration. It does so by placing the priority on high-skilled immigrant — immigrants who won’t squeeze the wages of our low-skilled workers, but who instead will spur innovation, create jobs, and make America more competitive.

The article at Power Line concludes:

We can expect Senate Democrats to block the RAISE Act. But before they do so, Democrats should ask themselves how they expect to return to the good graces of the working class if they put the interests of foreigners ahead of the interest of working Americans at the lower end of the economic spectrum. How is this “A Better Deal”?

I was living in Massachusetts when Ted Kennedy died. A friend of mine who is a lawyer commented on how much damage Senator Kennedy had done to America. Because my friend is a conservative, I at first assumed he was referring to what was done to Judge Bork and some of the other ridiculous charges the Senator levied at various Republicans. It wasn’t until later that I began to look at the damage done to America by the 1965 immigration law that Senator Kennedy had pushed through. It is time to begin to undo that damage. Hopefully it is not too late.

One final comment from the article at Numbers USA:

He (a friend of the author of the article) also said that he believes that, despite all the liberal veneer, Kennedy was deeply beholden to the country’s banking titans and other globalist business entities who have so much interest in the free flow of international labor and in keeping the wages of Americans stagnant. (This was given credibility later when Kennedy was lauded for the great work he did to help the high-tech industry of Massachusetts to hire foreign computer programmers.)

The 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act illustrates the damage the ‘Washington swamp’ can do to average Americans.

A Necessary Step

Judicial Watch released the following statement today:

In a major shift from lax Obama-era regulations, the Trump administration is finally allowing customs officers to screen all cargo trucks entering the U.S. from Mexico and sources on both sides of the border tell Judicial Watch Mexican drug cartels are fuming. U.S. Customs and Border Protection is using X-ray technology and other non-intrusive tools to screen 100% of cargo trucks crossing the southern border after eight years of sporadic or random screening permitted under the Obama administration.

“We felt like we were the welcoming committee and not like we were guarding our borders,” said veteran U.S. Customs agent Patricia Cramer, who also serves as president of the Arizona chapter of the agency’s employee union. “The order was to facilitate traffic, not to stop any illegal drugs from entering the country,” Cramer added. “We want to enforce the law. That’s what we signed up for.” Cramer, a canine handler stationed at the Nogales port of entry in Arizona, said illicit drugs are pouring in through the southern border, especially massive quantities of fentanyl, an opioid painkiller that the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) says is more potent than morphine.

Approximately 471,000 trucks pass through the U.S-Mexico border monthly, according to figures published by the U.S. Department of Transportation. The busiest port of entry is in Laredo, Texas where 167,553 trucks enter the U.S. from Mexico monthly, followed by Otay Mesa in California (76,953), El Paso, Texas (58,913), Hidalgo, Texas (45,355) and Nogales with 29,439. Other busy ports include East Calexico, California (29,173), Brownsville, Texas (16,140) and Eagle Pass, Texas (12,952). Trucks bring in everything from auto parts to appliances, produce and livestock. In fact, a veteran Homeland Security official told Judicial Watch that cattle trucks passed without inspection during the Obama administration because Mexican farmers complained that the security screenings frightened their cows. “Our guys were livid that we were not allowed to check cattle,” the federal official said.

Frontline customs agents stationed along the southern border confirm that trucks containing “legitimate” goods are often used by sophisticated drug cartels to move cargo north. This is hardly surprising since most illegal drugs in the United States come from Mexico, according to the DEA, and Mexican traffickers remain the greatest threat to the United States. They’re classified as Transitional Criminal Organizations (TCOs) by the government and for years they’ve smuggled in enormous quantities of heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine and marijuana. Last year the Congressional Research Service (CRS), the nonpartisan agency that provides Congress with policy and legal analysis, published a disturbing report outlining how Mexican cartels move record quantities of drugs into the U.S. Because cartels move the drugs through the Southwest border, western states have become part of what’s known as the “heroin transit zone,” according to the CRS.

Federal law enforcement sources tell Judicial Watch Mexican cartels operate like efficient businesses that resort to “other more treacherous routes” when necessary, but driving through a port of entry in a cargo truck is a preferred method of moving drugs. Cartels station shifts of spotters with binoculars in Mexican hills near border checkpoints to determine the level of security screenings. “They know if we’re on the job, the level of screening that we’re conducting,” Cramer said. “The cartels watch us all the time.” Nogales is a favorite for cartel spotters because the U.S. checkpoint sits in a valley surrounded by hills on the Mexican side, where unobstructed views facilitate surveillance. “They see everything,” Cramer said. For years the cartel spotters saw that much of the cargo passing through the checkpoint was waved through, according to agents contacted by Judicial Watch.

We have no right to complain about the opiate epidemic in America if we are not willing to take the actions necessary to stem the flow of illegal drugs coming into the country.