News behind the news. This picture is me (white spot) standing on the bridge connecting European and North American tectonic plates. It is located in the Reykjanes area of Iceland. By-the-way, this is a color picture.
In recent days, fast-boats of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps have seized oil tankers in the Strait of Hormuz. This action has followed a series of other direct and indirect Iranian provocations, including attacks on shipping, Saudi oil infrastructure and U.S. assets in Iraq.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, a pair of Chinese long-range bombers joined two of their Russian counterparts and one of the Kremlin’s command-and-control aircraft in conducting a deliberate provocation in the airspace over islands claimed by South Korea and Japan. An extraordinary three hundred warning shots were fired in two separate instances before the intruders departed the area.
Make no mistake: These are probing actions designed to test the readiness and resolve of the United States and its allies. As with any bully, a failure to demonstrate both will result in more aggression worldwide.
This is a lesson we should have learned a long time ago.
Four men with suspected ties to the Islamic State militant group were captured on Tuesday by members of the Nicaraguan armed forces after entering the country illegally from Costa Rica, Nicaraguan police said.
The identities of three of the men matched those of suspects featured in an alert attributed to U.S. Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) warning that three possible terrorists had recently arrived in Central America.
In a statement, Nicaraguan police said two of the men were Egyptian nationals and the other two were Iraqi. The four were due to be deported back to Costa Rica, it added.
The Egyptians were named as Mohamed Ibrahim, 33, and Mahmoud Samy Eissa, 26, while the Iraqis were Ahmed Ghanim Mohamed Al Jubury, 41 and Mustafa Ali Mohamed Yaoob, 29.
The first three men were named in the HSI alert published by Mexican media on Monday, which identified them as possible members of Islamic State headed for the United States.
They were not coming here to improve their economic status.
The U.K. Mail reported yesterday that Rapid DNA testing reveals a THIRD of migrants faked family relationship with children to claim asylum during ICE pilot of the procedure in Texas.
The article reports:
ICE conducted the pilot for a few days earlier this month in El Paso and McAllen, Texas, finding about 30 per cent of those tested were not related to the children they claimed were their own, an official told the Washington Examiner.
The official said that these were not cases of step-fathers or adoptive parents.
‘Those were not the case. In these cases, they are misrepresented as family members,’ the official said.
…The official said that some migrants did refuse the test and admit that they were not related to the children they were with, when they learned their claim would be subjected to DNA proof.
ICE said the Department of Homeland Security would look at the results of the pilot to determine whether to roll out rapid DNA tests more broadly.
After President Donald Trump’s administration backpedaled on ‘family separation’ in the face of enormous backlash last summer, the number of family units arriving at the southern border has skyrocketed.
Current U.S. law and policy means that Central Americans who cross the border illegally with children can claim asylum and avoid any lengthy detention in most cases.
The Central Americans that have made the journey to the United States’ border are desperate, but we need to find a way to discourage them from making the journey in the first place. The initial step might be to revise our immigration laws to allow an orderly, less expensive way to enter the country legally. However, we can’t take in every economic migrant in the world. We need people coming here to help build the future of America–not simply to live off the largess of the American people. The influx of illegal immigrants is a drain on America in a number of ways. First of all, illegal aliens working under the table have a negative impact on the wages of low-skilled American workers. Second of all, illegal aliens are taking advantage of government welfare in America.–legally they are not permitted to, but many of them have found ways to get around the law. Thirdly, the children of illegal aliens are in our schools at our expense while their parents are not paying taxes and are sending money back to their home country–the parents are taking from Americans without contributing to the expense of educating their children. Finally, many illegals do not respect American laws–they broke the law in coming (or overstaying their legal stay) and feel no obligation to follow the rest of our laws.
We do need to make it easier for people to come to American legally, but we also need to bring people here who want to assimilate and to work to make America a better place for all of us.
Breitbart posted an article today about trade agreements between the United States and Qatar. It seems that there are air trade agreements that Qatar is violating. Those violations were allowed under the Obama administration. Qatar would like to see those violations continue under the Trump administration.
The article reports:
Open Skies agreements are executive agreements, similar to treaties, between the United States and other nations regarding international air travel, designed to foster free-market competition and a level playing field for international flights. From trade, to commerce, to tourism, Open Skies requires each participating country to provide non-preferential access to their airspace, and requires airline companies to compete against each other to in terms of offerings, quality of service, and low prices, without government subsidies.
Breitbart News has previously reported on several Arab nations that were violating their Open Skies agreements with the United States, illegally subsidizing three Persian Gulf carriers. The Obama administration did nothing, and a group of NeverTrumpers tried to convince President Trump to do nothing as well.
President Trump’s team had other ideas. In January 2018, the Department of State announced a deal with Qatar to end violations involving Qatar Airways, and in May 2018, Secretary Mike Pompeo announced a deal with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) addressing the remaining airlines, Etihad Airways, and Emirates Airline. These were hailed as significant victories for American workers and the president’s America First agenda.
But it appears there may still be trouble with Qatar. And someone from the Obama administration has been implicated, apparently operating behind the scenes.
In late April of this year, the CEOs of all three of the top U.S. airline companies – American, Delta, and United – published an open letter to President Trump as an ad in the New York Times and New York Post, entitled, “President Trump: Please enforce our trade agreements to support U.S. airline workers.”
The article then goes on to explain the involvement of someone from the Obama administration in this matter:
Then three other airline companies – FedEx, Jetblue, and Atlas Air – sent a letter defending Qatar to Pompeo and also Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao. The April 16 letter pushes back against “false claims” and touts the need “to set the record straight.”
However, according to materials Breitbart News reviewed, it looks like someone forgot to remove the metadata from the document, showing who wrote the document. Because the metadata shows the letter sent by FedEx, JetBlue, and Atlas Air was actually written by Jenny Rosenberg.
Rosenberg is a lobbyist. But she formerly served as assistant administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and at another time served as acting assistant secretary for aviation and international affairs at the U.S. Department of Transportation – both stints during the Obama administration.
In other words, unless this document is a complete forgery or one of the CEOs’ personal secretaries happens to be named Jenny Rosenberg, an Obama White House political appointee is ghostwriting letters trying to persuade President Trump to ignore purported trade violations.
When the CEOs of American companies are asking the president to stand up for American companies against foreign interests who are undercutting American workers, someone who formerly held “senior executive positions” – that is how her company webpage biography puts it – to advance Barack Obama’s policy priorities is seeking to influence the President Trump’s White House, trying to persuade the current president that what is happening is consistent with his America First agenda, and that his Cabinet should ignore claims to the contrary.
If you are going to do something dishonest, it is wise not to leave your electronic fingerprints on it.
Hot Air posted an article yesterday about a recent vote in the House of Representatives.
The article reports:
In the Democrats’ rush to pass HR1, a serious snag emerged for Nancy Pelosi and the rest of her party’s leadership. Republicans were able to force a vote on adding language to the supposed voting rights bill condemning the idea of illegal aliens voting in any elections. It simply read, “allowing illegal immigrants the right to vote devalues the franchise and diminishes the voting power of United States citizens.”
Sounds fairly basic, right? It’s already against the law for illegal aliens to vote in federal elections, though a few liberal municipalities have moved to allow them to cast ballots on the local level, such as in school board elections. Surely this is one area where we can generate some bipartisan consensus, yes? Apparently not. Out of the Democrats’ significant majority in the House, they only managed to find six people who were willing to support the measure and it went down in flames.
There are a few basic facts here that seem to have been overlooked. Illegal aliens are guests of America. They may have broken into the country, but they are guests. Do you let your household guests make decisions about how you run your household? Isn’t the running of the household left up to the permanent residents in charge? The fact that this amendment to HR1 did not pass tells you what HR1 is actually about.
I have written about H.R. 1 before (here, here, and here). If you are not familiar with the bill, please take a look at it. The bill is unconstitutional–Article 1 Section 4 of the U.S. Constitution gives the states power over elections. H.R. 1 would give the federal government control of elections. Federalizing elections would also make it much easier to tamper with the results–because elections in states are not linked together, undermining them takes a much more widespread effort and is generally not worth it.
If you truly care about preserving our republic for our children, you need to vote all the Democrats who voted not to prohibit illegal aliens from voting out of office. People who are not here legally should not have a say in how our country is run. An illegal voter cancels out the vote of an American citizen. That is simply not right.
The article concludes:
I realize this theme gets beaten to death in the early days of any primary, as the numerous candidates race to shore up their support with the base, but just how far left can they go? Opposing the idea of allowing non-citizens, particularly those in the country illegally, to cast votes in American elections is not a fringe or even particularly right-wing idea. It’s baked into the fabric of the national consciousness. Even beyond the folks who will eventually wind up running for president, each of these Democratic House members is going to have to answer for this vote when they come up for reelection themselves. (And particularly in the more purple districts, you can rest assured that their Republican opponents will make sure they do.)
Tack on their votes in favor of infanticide recently and you’ve got a large chunk of the party – not just their POTUS hopefuls – who are veering so far to the left that the GOP may end up having a much better season than anyone is anticipating. What’s up next for the donkey party? Shutting down all Christian churces as “hate groups?”
“I want to provide some perspective on the challenges facing our men and women at the Southwest border,” Karisch told the committee in his opening statement. “Though I cannot speak for all of the components of Customs and Border Protection, I can provide a first-hand account of the complex border-security environment and ask for your assistance in helping our frontline men and women.
The article includes some statistics to illustrate what is happening at our southern border:
Breitbart is reporting today that according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), more than 3.8 million people dropped off food stamps since President Donald Trump’s first full month in office.
The article reports:
The latest USDA data revealed that food stamp participation dropped to 38,577,141 in November 2018, down by 3,899,257 since Trump took office in February 2017, when 42,134,301 Americans received food stamps through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
Food stamp enrollment also dropped to its lowest level in a decade. The last time overall food stamp participation was this low was in November 2009, when 38,184,306 people were on the government dole, according to USDA data.
Overall food stamp participation had consistently declined since 2013 when the Obama administration was in power and enrollment in the program reached its highest levels in the nation’s history.
After 2013, SNAP enrollment plummeted once state legislatures passed laws requiring food stamp recipients to work, attend school, volunteer, or participate in job training for a set number of hours per week to receive benefits.
Another cause for the drop in food stamp participation was a proposal to tighten regulations regarding recent legal aliens. Food stamp participation by people who immigrated to the United States during the past five years has dropped by 10 percent. This is in response to a proposal that immigrants who received food stamps or other welfare benefits would not be granted permanent residency in the United States.
We cannot be the free lunch for anyone in America or the world who does not want to earn a living. Food stamps should be a temporary safety net–not a permanent solution. Work requirements and limitations on non-citizens using food stamps are a way to make sure the food stamp program is not misused.
All Americans were hoping something good would come out of the meetings between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. It was understood that China was holding a leash on Kim Jong Un and that he was very limited in what he could agree to, but we hoped. Holding the summit in North Vietnam was a stoke of genius–the message it sent was ‘your country can have this kind of prosperity if you behave well.’ Unfortunately the talks ended without an end to North Korea’s nuclear policy and with no relief in sight for the starving, abused people of North Korea.
President Trump abruptly walked away from negotiations with North Korea in Vietnam and headed back to Washington on Thursday afternoon, saying the U.S. is unwilling to meet Kim Jong Un’s demand of lifting all sanctions on the rogue regime without first securing its meaningful commitment to denuclearization.
Trump, speaking in Hanoi, Vietnam, told reporters he had asked Kim to do more regarding his intentions to denuclearize, and “he was unprepared to do that.”
“Sometimes you have to walk,” Trump said at a solo press conference following the summit.
Trump specifically said negotiations fell through after the North demanded a full removal of U.S.-led international sanctions in exchange for the shuttering of the North’s Yongbyon nuclear facility. Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters that the United States wasn’t willing to make a deal without the North committing to giving up its secretive nuclear facilities outside Yongbyon, as well as its missile and warheads program.
Removing sanctions without denuclearization would have been reminiscent of the Iran deal, which did not go well. Walking away was reminiscent of Reykjavik, which actually went very well (although it did not appear to go well at the time).
Let’s take a look at Reykjavik for a moment. Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev and American President Ronald Reagan met in Reykjavik on October 11 and 12, 1986. The purpose of the meeting was to explore the possibility of limiting each country’s strategic nuclear weapons to create momentum in ongoing arms-control negotiations. The two leaders failed to come to an agreement because President Reagan insisted on America having the freedom to develop the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI, mockingly known as ‘Star Wars’). SDI was still in the infant stages of its development at that point, but President Reagan wanted the freedom to develop it (and was willing to share the technology with Russia in order to create a situation where nuclear weapons owned by rogue nation states would be useless). Gorbachev refused to allow America to develop SDI, and President Reagan left the summit. The Soviet Union officially dissolved on December 26, 1991. The strong stand taken by President Reagan against the Soviet Union played a part in the end of the Soviet Union.
Hopefully the strong stand taken regarding North Korea’s nuclear program will also result in the dissolution of the tyrannical government currently in control of that country.
President Trump made a very generous offer to the Democrats in the House of Representatives today regarding border security on our southern border. Unfortunately it is a pretty safe bet that they will turn down the offer. So exactly what is at stake?
On January 7th Christopher Holton posted an article at The Center For Security Policy about the security threat on our southern border. It is a rather detailed article, and I suggest that you follow the link above and read the entire article.
There is no way to estimate how many jihadists may already have crossed into the U.S. from Mexico. But the time to play politics with the border issue is long past. The shallow sloganeering and race-baiting that have dominated the national debate about border controls should be recognized as what they are: hindrances to sane and sensible national defense measures.
…Mexicans trying to enter the U.S. illegally are often simply processed at the border and sent back. But Mexico won’t allow us to send citizens from other countries back through Mexico, and under U.S. law, they’re entitled to a formal deportation hearing. The immigration service lacks beds to hold them, so the vast majority of OTMs are released from custody and asked to voluntarily return for their court date.
• The recent migrant caravans originating in Central America have included “several SIAs (Special Interest Aliens), and potentially” known or suspected terrorists traveling toward the U.S. border.
• The U.S. Department of Homeland Security continues to prioritize the SIA threat as one of the top threats to the homeland because of the consistently “large number” of individuals from special interest countries that travel to the Western Hemisphere using illicit pathways.
• Written ISIS materials and publications have encouraged ISIS followers to cross the U.S. Southwest Border.
• DHS Border Patrol Agents “routinely” encounter SIAs at the border using routes controlled by transnational criminal organizations.
• Statistics on the number of known or suspected terrorists on routes to the border are often classified, but the threat posed by “the existence of illicit pathways into the United States” highlights that “border security is national security” as terrorist groups seek to exploit vulnerabilities among neighboring countries to fund, support, and commit attacks against the homeland.
• The report lists five open-source, unclassified cases representing the types of individuals and threats associated with illicit routes to the homeland. (CIS recently compiled and published a list of 15.) A number of heavily redacted cases are included in which biometric enrollment information uncovered suspected terrorists in 2013, 2015, and 2018.
• The frequency of international flights from special interest regions into Latin America and the Caribbean continues to increase due to economic and governance challenges in those countries that create an attractive environment for illicit SIA travel to the U.S. border.
• ICE Homeland Security Investigations is deeply enmeshed in investigations and operations throughout Central America to counter human smuggling organizations that move SIAs in Panama, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Colombia, and Brazil.
• The United States-Canada border “is also susceptible to exploitation by SIAs.”
It’s time for the politicians in Washington to stop fooling around and secure the border. The next terrorist attack in America will be on their hands.
The Washington Examiner is reporting today that U.S. Customs and Border Protection seized 52 bales of cocaine near Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands last week. The street value of the cocaine is roughly $30 million.
The article reports:
CBP officials said Puerto Rico is becoming an attractive smuggling route this year for cocaine and heroin headed for the United States. In 2017, CBP seized nearly 66,000 pounds of drugs in and around Puerto Rico, more than any prior year on record.
“Drug trafficking organizations have always sought to use the Caribbean as a route to smuggle both narcotics and migrants. The logistics to do so are intrinsically more complicated than traversing the southwest border,” Jeffrey Quinones, a spokesman for CBP’s Puerto Rico and Virgin Island outposts, told the Washington Examiner. “Nonetheless, we have seen cyclical increases in the quantity of narcotics brought to these islands and a diversity of means to conceal and enter the product.”
This illustrates the need to have secure borders surrounding our nation. Obviously these drugs would not be smuggled in unless Americans were using them, but the fact remains that the flow of drugs needs to be stopped. At that point we will have a much better chance of helping those addicted.
There is currently a migrant caravan headed toward the southern border of the United States. We are being told that it is a caravan of hopeless, innocent women and children fleeing danger and economic hardship. Well, let’s look at the pictures.
On October 19th, the U.K. Daily Mail posted pictures of the caravan. Let’s take a look at some of those pictures:
Look carefully–these are not women and children.
Why are they raising their hands and singing their national anthem? This is not a peaceful group of people seeking to immigrate to America–these are military age men coming illegally in a large group. Common sense says turn them back at the border.
Many years ago at a Marine Ball in New Orleans, I sat next to a young officer who had recently returned from Djibouti. I asked him what he had done there, and he responded very politely by telling me everything I wanted to know about Djibouti except what I had asked him. I wondered, but let it go. That was at least twelve years ago, and Djibouti is still an important place to the world’s most powerful nations. One look at its location explains why.
On Friday, the Center for Security Policy posted an article with the title, ” Arms Trafficking on the Rise in Djibouti.” So what is this about?
The article reports:
Attention was brought this week to the growing issue of arms trafficking in the East African nation of Djibouti, which has seen a spike in recent years. Driving the problem is the instability and ongoing conflict in neighboring countries such as Yemen, Somalia, and Sudan. The negative attention comes as Djibouti is trying to establish itself as a developed and economic upstart nation.
…Djibouti’s lack of internal conflicts, its surge of economic investments and its resulting economic growth, have all led to increased stability not present in its neighboring countries. Driving these positive developments are its access to both the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean, resulting in its labeling by some as the “most valuable real estate” in the world.
Another major component of Djibouti’s growth has been the military presence of several major world powers within its border such as the United States, France, China, and Japan. France was the first power to establish a military base there as the former colonial power in the region, although budget constraints will require them to close this in the near future. The United States has a strong military presence in Djibouti as the central location of its African-based operations known as AFRICOM. The only foreign bases of both China and Japan are in Djibouti, and India is looking to build a base there in the coming years. The main interest of these countries in Djibouti is the country’s strategic positioning near the Bab-el-Mandeb strait and the Horn of Africa.
…China has the largest presence in Djibouti, given its large development and business presence, and owns a significant amount of the nation’s debt. To this point, the United States sought reassurance earlier this year by the Djiboutian Foreign Ministry that Djibouti’s relationship to China would not overshadowed their agreement with the United States. Despite these assurances, concern over China’s heavy presence in Djibouti, and its ability to remain a neutral partner, continues to increase.
As Djibouti’s economy and international profile continue to grow, interest in the strategically located African nation will continue to increase from world powers and transnational criminals alike who look to profit from the country’s exponential rise.
Stay tuned. This growing country in one of the most unsettled regions of the world is very strategically located. The military buildup by foreign interests in Djibouti is not accidental.
The U.K. Daily Mail posted an article today about the number of illegal immigrants currently living in America.
The article reports:
A new study has found that the number of undocumented immigrants in the United States is more than double what was previously estimated.
Two Yale professors and an instructor at MIT Sloan School of Management conducted the extensive research and found that there are 22.1million illegal immigrants in the country.
The widely estimated number is thought to be around 11.3million, but researchers Edward Kaplan, Jonathan Feinstein and Mohammad Fazel‐Zarandi claim that is way off.
‘Our original idea was just to do a sanity check on the existing number,’ said Kaplan, a professor of operations research at Yale School of Management.
The article includes the following graph:
The article further states:
According to Yale Insights, the researchers also found the greatest growth of undocumented immigrants occurred in the 1990s and early 2000s. They also said the population size has been relatively stable since 2008.
‘The trajectory is the same. We see the same patterns happening, but they’re just understating the actual number of people who have made it here,’ said Fazel‐Zarandi, a senior lecturer at the MIT Sloan School of Management and formerly a postdoctoral associate and lecturer in operations at the Yale School of Management.
‘They are capturing part of this population, but not the whole population,’ he added.
All three researchers said they did not conduct the study with a political agenda, but know their findings will get ‘pulled and tugged in many ways’.
There are a number of ways to deal with this problem. Part of the reason it has not been dealt with is the fact that both Republicans and Democrats see a benefit to those illegal aliens remaining here. The Democrats see them as a potential future voting bloc, and the Republicans see them as cheap labor for their major corporate donors. Because of that, there is no incentive to close the border and figure out who is here. A porous border is a security risk, and the border needs to be tightly controlled.
The Preamble of the United Nations Charter states:
WE THE PEOPLES OF THE UNITED NATIONS DETERMINED
to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind, and
to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small, and
to establish conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law can be maintained, and
to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom,
That sounds really good. Unfortunately, they have fallen considerably short.
On August 22, CNS News posted an article about a recent statement by Idriss Jazairy, an Algerian national, is the Executive Director of the Geneva Centre for Human Rights Advancement and Global Dialogue. He has described the leveling of sanctions on Iran by the United States as “unjust and harmful.”
The article reports:
Idriss Jazairy noted that the U.S. itself – during the Obama administration – had supported the U.N. Security Council resolution which unanimously endorsed the nuclear deal known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
That underscored the illegitimacy of President Trump’s restoration of sanctions following his decision this year to exit the JCPOA, he said.
Jazairy pointed out that the other permanent members of the Security Council – as well as “all international partners” – were opposed to the U.S. move.
“International sanctions must have a lawful purpose, must be proportional, and must not harm the human rights of ordinary citizens, and none of these criteria is met in this case.”
The article further reports:
Jazairy’s appointment as “special rapporteur on the negative impact of the unilateral coercive measures on the enjoyment of human rights” was controversial not just because of the mandate itself, but because of his own record.
Until 2012 he had served as Algeria’s ambassador to the HRC, representing a government that is designated “not free” by the democracy watchdog, Freedom House.
In that capacity, he led African opposition a decade ago to taking a tough stance towards Sudan’s Islamist regime over the deadly humanitarian crisis in Darfur. (Wearing his later special rapporteur hat, Jazairy blamed the suffering of Sudanese people on U.S. sanctions, rather than on the regime, whose leader is wanted by the International Criminal Court on charges of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.)
Jazairy has accused Israel of international piracy (after the 2010 Israeli commando raid on a Turkish ship carrying pro-Palestinian activists to Gaza) and praised Libya’s Gaddafi regime in 2010 for its efforts “to promote human rights.”
What about the rights of women in Iran? What about the ‘fashion police’ in Iran who literally beat up women they think are not dressed appropriately? What about free speech in Iran? What about Iran’s violations of the Iran treaty?
It truly is time to leave the United Nations. The building in New York City, after some major repairs, would make wonderful upscale condos that would pay real estate taxes to the City. The lower levels of the UN building could be turned into parking garages, and all diplomats who have not paid their parking tickets could be deported. It would be wonderful.
The unemployment numbers just released are good–they are not great because of some of the underlying factors. Investor’s Business Daily reported that in April the unemployment rate dropped to 3.9 percent. That is good news, but there are some other numbers that are cause for concern.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics found that the economy added 164,000 jobs in April, and the unemployment level dropped to 3.9%. It was 4.8% when PresidentTrump took office.
Since Trump took office, the economy has added a total of 2.7 million jobs, and since his tax cuts took effect we’ve seen an average 200,000 new jobs each month. Initial jobless claims are at decades long lows as well.
That’s unquestionably good news.
The report also finds, however, that wages rose slightly less than expected in April — with hourly earnings climbing at a 2.6% annualized rate.
…According to the Census household survey, the biggest contribution to the drop in the unemployment rate wasn’t people getting jobs — that survey registered a gain of just 3,000 in April. It’s due mainly to the fact that 410,000 dropped out of the labor force — and no longer count as unemployed.
The article cites some figures explaining changes in the Workforce Participation Rate in various age groups:
The population not in the labor force — they don’t have jobs and aren’t looking — has climbed a stunning 25.3 million over those years.
Think about it this way. If the labor force participation rate were the same today as it was in December 2000, the unemployment rate wouldn’t be 3.9%. It would be 10%!
Yes, many who’ve left the labor force over the past 18 years are baby boomers entering retirement. But that doesn’t come close to explaining the massive increase in labor dropouts.
For example, the labor force participation rate among 20- to 24-year-olds was 78% in December 2000. It’s just 71% today. For those 25-34 years old, the rate declined from 85% to 83%.
In contrast, among those 55 and older, the participation rate increased — going from 33% in December 2000 to 40% now.
From my perspective, there are a number of reasons for this change–the federal government has made not working too comfortable. Our safety net has gotten too comfortable for many people, creating multi-generational welfare recipients. We did go through a recession after the housing bubble burst, but we are coming out of that now, and it is time for people to resume their job searches. Another reason for the fact that the workforce participation rate is so low might be that we are graduating students from college with no marketable skills or with the idea that since they just graduated, they can start their careers at the top of the corporate ladder. Some of these graduates refuse to look for jobs outside of their chosen degree field or refuse to begin any place other than at the top. There is also the matter of whatever work ethic students may or may not have learned in college.
The economy is looking better, but we have a long way to go before we can be considered actually prosperous–we need to deal with the debt and we need to shrink government drastically.
John Kerry released the following tweet about the agreement:
Every detail PM Netanyahu presented yesterday was every reason the world came together to apply years of sanctions and negotiate the Iran nuclear agreement – because the threat was real and had to be stopped. It’s working! That’s why Israeli security experts are speaking out… Read their unprecedented letter in its entirety here: https://goo.gl/QQwB5k . Everything that PM Netanyahu laid out was exactly why we needed this agreement. It’s worth remembering that the early 2000’s – when his evidence comes from – was the period where the world had no visibility into Iran’s program. More and more centrifuges were spinning each month and the world wasn’t united like it is now: https://europeanmpsforjcpoa.com … There was no negotiation – and all of that changed with JCPOA. Blow up the deal and you’re back there tomorrow!
Kerry also met last month with German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, and he’s been on the phone with top European Union official Federica Mogherini, according to the source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to reveal the private meetings. Kerry has also met with French President Emmanuel Macron in both Paris and New York, conversing over the details of sanctions and regional nuclear threats in both French and English.
Would someone please tell John Kerry that he is no longer Secretary of State and has no business interfering in American foreign policy.
Not even Neville Chamberlain funded Hitler’s aggression to secure his infamous agreement with the madman. That innovation in treachery took one Barack Obama and his many enthusiastic servants such as John Kerry.
There is even more information about the treachery involved in the Iran deal in the New York Times article I posted about in May of 2016 (here). The Iran deal was supported by the European nations because it was financially advantageous to them. They either did not believe or were not concerned about the fact that Iran was planning to threaten them with nuclear weapons as soon as the restrictions in the treaty expired.
Senator Ted Cruz posted the following press release yesterday after Prime Minister Netanyahu gave his presentation explaining the Iran actually does have a nuclear weapons program:
“Today’s stunning revelations by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu powerfully demonstrate why the Obama Iran nuclear deal is not just unfixable, but truly catastrophic. The Prime Minister’s presentation was remarkable—unprecedented—and worth watching in full. Through extraordinary intelligence operations, Israeli agents captured over 100,000 secret documents and files from Iran. These Iranian documents prove that (1) for two decades, Iran has conducted a clandestine nuclear weapons program; (2) Iran lied repeatedly, and brazenly, denying that secret program; (3) the Obama nuclear deal was predicated on that edifice of lies; and (4) Iran is today in violation of that deal.
“The national security consequences of the Obama Iranian nuclear deal are twofold: First, America has allowed billions of dollars to flow to the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism, a nation directly responsible for the murder of hundreds of U.S. servicemen and women. And second, those billions of dollars have also propped up a despotic regime and provided vast resources for ongoing ballistic missile tests designed to enable Iran to launch a nuclear weapon on the American homeland.
“In light of these astonishing Israeli revelations, the course before President Trump is clear. As the President has said repeatedly, this deal is a ‘terrible deal,’ even worse than many previously realized. The United States should therefore withdraw immediately, re-impose crushing sanctions, work to encourage our allies to do the same, and do everything necessary to insure that the Ayatollah Khamenei never — never — acquires the nuclear weapons to make good on his pledge of ‘death to America.’”
I don’t know if Europe will join us in exiting the Iran nuclear deal–it is very profitable for them to stay in it. However, I think it is time for us to leave. Obviously, Iran has no problem telling us what they think we want to hear, and we have not been very good at finding out what the truth is.
Steven Hayward posted an article at Power Line today about a conversation with a supporter of green energy. The green energy supporter was speaking about a hotel they had invested in that had gone entirely to solar power.
The article reports:
…Knowing that the sun actually goes down and stops supplying electrons, I asked the obvious question:
“So, is the hotel disconnected from the grid?”
You don’t need to guess what the answer was, and why the claim that any building is “100 percent powered by renewables” (like Apple) is the epitome of fake news. Whereupon this Klimatista explained that before long we’ll have these terrific batteries that we can charge up during the daytime to supply our electricity over night. Problem solved! The planet is saved!
Although electricity is indeed the best and most efficient form of power in the abstract, I’m always amazed that no one bothers to ask a simple question: assuming we can get the cost of better batteries down, and increase their functionality (charging time, etc), has anyone‚ Bueller? Bueller?—bothered to do the materials calculations of increasing our battery production at least 1000-fold (just for the United States)? Ever seen what a lithium mine looks like, let alone all of the other materials required for batteries? How many new lithium, cobalt, and copper mines are we going to need to scale up 1,000x?
The article then goes on to explain the negative side of green energy:
[E]nergy storage has a dirty secret. The way it’s typically used in the US today, it enables more fossil-fueled energy and highercarbon emissions. Emissions are higher today than they would have been if no storage had ever been deployed in the US . . .
I guess this green energy thing needs a little more work.
On its Corruption Chronicles page, Judicial Watch posted the following yesterday:
An open borders group that has benefitted from U.S. taxpayer dollars and is funded by leftwing billionaire George Soros launched a smartphone application to help illegal immigrants avoid federal authorities. The app, Notifica (Notify), is described in a Laredo, Texas news article as a tool to protect immigrants living in the U.S. illegally by utilizing high tech and online social communications. With the click of a button, illegal aliens can alert family, friends and attorneys of encounters with federal authorities. “Immigration agents knocking at the door?” the news story asks. “Now, there’s an app for that, too.”
The group behind the app is called United We Dream, which describes itself as the country’s largest immigrant youth-led community. The nonprofit has more than 400,000 members nationwide and claims to “embrace the common struggle of all people of color and stand up against racism, colonialism, colorism, and xenophobia.” Among its key projects is winning protections and rights for illegal immigrants, defending against deportation, obtaining education for illegal immigrants and acquiring “justice and liberation” for undocumented LGBT “immigrants and allies.” Illegal aliens encounter lots of discrimination, which creates a lot of fear, according to United We Dream. “We empower people to develop their leadership, their organizing skills, and to develop our own campaigns to fight for justice and dignity for immigrants and all people,” United We Dream states on its website, adding that this is achieved through immigrant youth-led campaigns at the local, state, and federal level.
United We Dream started as a project of the National Immigration Law Center (NILC), according to records obtained by Judicial Watch. Between 2008 and 2010, NILC received $206,453 in U.S. government grants, the records show. The project funded was for “immigration-related employment discrimination public education.” Headquartered in Los Angeles, NILC was established in 1979 and is dedicated to “defending and advancing the rights of immigrants with low income.” The organization, which also has offices in Washington D.C. and Berkeley, California claims to have played a leadership role in spearheading Barack Obama’s amnesty program known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), which has shielded hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens from deportation. “Ultimately, NILC’s goals are centered on promoting the full integration of all immigrants into U.S. society,” according to its website.
Both the NILC and its offshoot, United We Dream, get big bucks from Soros’ Open Society Foundations (OSF). In fact, both nonprofits list OSF as a key financial backer. In the United States Soros groups have pushed a radical agenda that includes promoting an open border with Mexico and fighting immigration enforcement efforts, fomenting racial disharmony by funding anti-capitalist black separationist organizations, financing the Black Lives Matter movement and other groups involved in the Ferguson Missouri riots, weakening the integrity of the nation’s electoral systems, opposing U.S. counterterrorism efforts and eroding 2nd Amendment protections. OSF has also funded a liberal think-tank headed by former Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta and the scandal-ridden activist group Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), so corrupt that Congress banned it from receiving federal funding.
Incredibly, the U.S. government uses taxpayer dollars to support Soros’ radical globalist agenda abroad. As part of an ongoing investigation, Judicial Watch has exposed several collaborative efforts between Uncle Sam and Soros in other countries. Just last week Judicial Watch published a special investigative report that exposes in detail the connection between U.S.-funded entities and Soros’ OSF to further the Hungarian philanthropist’s efforts in Guatemala. The goal is to advance a radical globalist agenda through “lawfare” and political subversion, the report shows. Much like in the United States, OSF programs in Guatemala include funding liberal media outlets, supporting global politicians, advocating for open borders, fomenting public discord and influencing academic institutions.
Last year Judicial Watch exposed a joint effort between the U.S. government and Soros to destabilize the democratically elected, center-right government in Macedonia. Records obtained by Judicial Watch in that investigation show that the U.S. Ambassador to Macedonia worked behind the scenes with OSF to funnel large sums of American dollars for the cause, constituting an interference of the U.S. Ambassador in domestic political affairs in violation of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. The cash—about $5 million—flowed through the State Department and USAID.
Make no mistake–this is an attempt to change the demographics and culture of America. This is an attempt to end the concept of American exceptionalism and the things that make America unique. One of the things to remember as the immigration caravan sits on the Mexican-American border is that many of the members of that caravan are MS-13 gang members lying about their age. Some members of that caravan have connections to terrorism which they will deny when questioned. There are in that caravan people simply seeking freedom and safety, but we have no way of knowing who is who. I am sure some of the people in the caravan would make a positive contribution to America, but we have no way of knowing which people they are. We need to change our legal immigration system to streamline the immigration process, but we also need to gain control of our borders. We are a sovereign nation. As a sovereign nation we have an obligation to provide safety for our citizens and to make decisions that will contribute to the economic well being of our citizens. Safety and economics are things that should enter into the debate on immigration. We need to show compassion, but we also need to encourage people to come to America who are willing to contribute their skills and talent to America.
The article explains why they are traveling in a group:
Marching in a large group is expected to blunt the efforts of criminal gangs and cartels known to isolate and later rob immigrants, many of whom bring large sums of money to make the long journey north through Mexico. The caravan organizers, Pueblos Sin Fronteras, or People Without Borders, appeared to have concluded that it is safer for these people to travel together.
The article cites President Trump’s claim that Mexico is doing nothing to stop the flow of illegal immigrants and offers the following reply:
Mexico is doing something — with the help of the United States. Hundreds of millions of dollars in aid flow to Mexico every year, including funds for strengthening its border with Guatemala, where migrants generally cross.
One wonders how those funds are actually being spent.
On March 30 (updated March 31), Buzzfeed reported:
For five days now hundreds of Central Americans — children, women, and men, most of them from Honduras — have boldly crossed immigration checkpoints, military bases, and police in a desperate, sometimes chaotic march toward the United States. Despite their being in Mexico without authorization, no one has made any effort to stop them.
Organized by a group of volunteers called Pueblos Sin Fronteras, or People Without Borders, the caravan is intended to help migrants safely reach the United States, bypassing not only authorities who would seek to deport them, but gangs and cartels who are known to assault vulnerable migrants.
Organizers like Rodrigo Abeja hope that the sheer size of the crowd will give immigration authorities and criminals pause before trying to stop them.
“If we all protect each other we’ll get through this together,” Abeja yelled through a loudspeaker on the morning they left Tapachula, on Mexico’s border with Guatemala, for the nearly monthlong trek.
When they get to the US, they hope American authorities will grant them asylum or, for some, be absent when they attempt to cross the border illegally. More likely is that it will set up an enormous challenge to the Trump administration’s immigration policies and its ability to deal with an organized group of migrants numbering in the hundreds.
If America is such a horrible country (as stated by college professors at our top colleges every day) why are so many people trying to come here? Also, what can these people do to improve conditions in their own countries? We cannot take in the entire world and continue to support our own population.
Alan Dershowitz is a civil liberties attorney whose politics are generally left of center. He loves America, he loves the U.S. Constitution, and he is concerned about the direction in which the country is headed–not because of President Trump, but because of the intensity of the attacks on President Trump.
Attorney Dershowitz was recently interviewed by CBS News. Please follow the link and read the entire interview. It is very insightful.
“I think the investigation should end and I think the Congress should appoint a special non-partisan commission,” said Dershowitz. He said he thinks a Congressional committee would be too partisan.
“That’s the way it’s done in other western democracies,” he continued. “They don’t appoint a special counsel and tell them to ‘Get that guy…’ that’s what they did in the Soviet Union. Lavrentiy Beria, the head of the KGB said to Stalin, ‘Show me the man, and I’ll find you the crime!’” That’s what special counsel does.”
Dershowitz was quick to point out that he was not making a direct correlation between the United States and the former Soviet Union. “I’m not comparing obviously the Soviet Union and the United States. We have structural protections in our Bill Of Rights but it’s going down the wrong direction.”
“The issue of criminalization [of political differences] has not been subject to rational discourse,” said Dershowitz. “Democrats hate when they politicize and criminalize political differences against Democrats… when they did it with Bill Clinton. Republicans hate when they do it against their people… President Trump. But each one supports it when they’re against their enemies and partisanship prevails over principle. It’s very hard to have a reasonable discussion.”
Until politicians on both sides of the aisle begin to put the interests of the country above their political interests and the interests of their particular political party, I don’t think any reasonable discussion will be possible.
Attorney Dershowitz added:
Dershowitz said that citizens should fear the direction of this investigation for their own sake. He warned that today criminalization of political differences appears – now – to only affect presidents and political leaders. “Tomorrow it can affect you and me. If you give the prosecutor the ability to stretch the criminal law to fit a target, it’s very dangerous.”
Dershowitz said that special counsels are not the right way to approach criminal justice. “When you appoint a special counsel you give them targets and you say, ‘You better get that guy or the people around him…and we’re going to give you tens of millions of dollars. And if you come up empty handed you’re a failure.’”
Dershowitz said that if an ordinary prosecutor goes months without finding a crime then “that’s great, no… there have been no crimes committed.” He says not so with a special counsel. “Special Counsel always has the goal of ‘getting the people.’ They’re going to find crimes, or they’re going to manufacture crimes or they’re going to stretch the criminal law to fit the ‘crimes’ because they’re not going to come away empty handed.”
Dershowitz was asked what he thinks should happen now. Should Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein curtail the investigation? “I think Rod Rosenstein needs to say to the special counsel, ‘Do not investigate the private finances of the president before he became president; do not investigate his relatives; do not investigate his sex life.’ Don’t do – to President Trump – what Ken Starr did to President Clinton,” said Dershowitz . “It started with Whitewater and ended up with a blue dress. That’s not the appropriate way a special counsel should operate.”
I don’t agree with Alan Dershowitz on much, but in this case he is totally right.
Investor’s Business Daily posted an editorial today about the mathematics and science between the claims of global warming. The title of the editorial is, “The Stunning Statistical Fraud Behind The Global Warming Scare.”
Nothing wrong with that. Except, all their changes point to one thing — lowering previously measured temperatures to show cooler weather in the past, and raising more recent temperatures to show warming in the recent present.
This creates a data illusion of ever-rising temperatures to match the increase in CO2 in the Earth’s atmosphere since the mid-1800s, which global warming advocates say is a cause-and-effect relationship. The more CO2, the more warming.
The editorial includes some examples of how NOAA has altered temperatures to conform to their theory:
This winter, for instance, as measured by temperature in city after city and by snow-storm severity, has been one of the coldest on record in the Northeast.
But after the NOAA’s wizards finished with the data, it was merely about average.
…By the way, a similar result occurred after the brutally cold 2013-2014 winter in New York. It was simply adjusted away. Do this year after year, and with the goal of radically altering the temperature record to fit the global warming narrative, and you have what amounts to climate fraud.
“Clearly NOAA’s highly homogenized and adjusted version of the Central Lakes temperature record bears no resemblance at all the the actual station data,” writes Homewood. “And if this one division is so badly in error, what confidence can there be that the rest of the U.S. is any better?”
That’s the big question. And for those who think that government officials don’t have political, cultural or other agendas, that’s naivete of the highest sort. They do.
Since the official government mantra for all of the bureaucracies at least since the Clinton era is that CO2 production is an evil that inevitably leads to runaway global warming, those who toil in the bureaucracies’ statistical sweat shops know that their careers and future funding depend on having the politically correct answers — not the scientifically correct ones.
Who would have thought that research into climate science has reached the point where it is simply about money.
Kudlow spoke at length on the U.S. currency, including its appropriate valuation, saying he would like to see it “a wee bit stronger than it is currently, but stability is the key.” He said the president shares his views.
…He said the administration will pursue a “phase two” of Trump’s tax overhaul, seeking to make tax cuts for individuals permanent. Making the tax changes permanent would add $500 billion to the budget deficit, while tripling the amount of economic growth, according to a paper earlier this month from two Harvard economists.
The next phase, Kudlow said, should include a lower capital gains rate — and a rate that’s indexed for inflation. The top rate for long-term capital gains was left untouched at 20 percent.
Kudlow said he is “on board” with the duties Trump has imposed on steel and aluminum imports. He said he was encouraged by the president’s move to grant temporary waivers to allies including Canada and Mexico.
Bloomberg is not known for his support of conservative politics, so the article goes on to list some of the times that Larry Kudlow has been wrong or not supported President Trump. Be that as it may, Kudlow has been a supporter of reasonable economic policies in the past, and I am sure he will do a good job as economic advisor.
President Trump has been willing to shuffle his cabinet to get the most qualified people in the right positions. I think the choice of Larry Kudlow is a good choice.
The Conservative Treehouse posted an article today that erases any illusion anyone might have had that there are two political parties in Congress. There are two political parties in Washington–the anti-Trump agenda party and the pro-Trump agenda party, but the Republican and Democratic parties in Congress are generally one and the same despite the show they put on that they are different.
As evidenced by Big League Politics the Paul Ryan SuperPAC sent a mailer to Pennsylvania CD-18 voters touting Lamb’s favorable position on gun ownership rights:
This is the mailer:
The article explains:
The real motive, based on an honest review of history, is the professional UniParty apparatus knew that Democrat Conor Lamb needed a lift to offset the cross party voting that was reflected in the district voting (by over 20 points) for Donald Trump in 2016.
The DC Republican apparatus is quite comfortable losing their majority position so long as they are not forced to support Trump policies which are entirely against their financial interests. [How Mitch McConnell Crushed The Tea-Party]
It really is about money–in Washington power is measured by how much money you control. The more of taxpayers’ money Washington can seize and control, the more power they have. That’s why the establishment opposes the tea party movement and that is why the establishment opposes President Trump.
The article concludes:
The only threat to the financial interests of the GOP is President Donald Trump remaining in office and having to actually face carrying out a conservative Trump agenda in 2019 and 2020. That Trump agenda is entirely against their “establishment republican” interests.
The Paul Ryan mailer to elect a Democrat is just another example of how corrupt the entire UniParty political apparatus is within Washington DC.
Another illustration of the opposition to President Trump is seen in the number of Libertarian and new Republican primary candidates in the current primary season. Many of these candidates are funded by the Republican establishment and are there to replace conservative Republicans who support President Trump with candidates the Republican establishment can control. President Trump is not the perfect President, but he is not part of the Washington establishment and is not controlled by it. If you want to see things change in Washington, you need to support the people who will support the President’s policies. Otherwise, we will have more of special interest fleecing the American taxpayer.
In the book, Home Economics: The Consequences of Changing Family Structure, Nick Schulz presents data that shows the deconstruction of the nuclear family since 1960. Not only are people getting married later and less than they used to, in 2009, 41% of all births were to unmarried mothers.
This is significant, because, as explained in a study by Jane Anderson published by the National Institutes of Health, children and society are generally happier, healthier, and more successful when the nuclear family is intact. She points out that as societal norms and perceptions of marriage have changed – from something that’s healthy and beneficial to something that’s constricting and even harmful. Therefore, our culture has evolved to glorifying singleness — and even single parenthood — rather than embracing the nuclear family.
This has led to a higher risk of emotional distress, of psychological immaturity and social and financial immobility for many children who were raised in single-parent homes, which in turn negatively affects societies economically and socially.
This is not to say that this is the sole cause for young people committing acts of violence. This is to argue that the deterioration of the family has hurt society as a whole, and children, specifically.
…Furthermore, a study by the Social Science Department at UCLA cites a clear link between loneliness and isolation and delinquent behavior. Sociologist Adam Lankford actually argues that lonely, troubled childhoods are a direct causeof more mass shootings.
Fatherlessness, in particular, seems to play a key role in violence among young men. In fact, the majority of school shooters come from fatherless homes. Research by W. Bradford Wilcox suggests that boys who grow up in single-mother homes are twice as likely to commit crimes than those who grow up with a present father. Both sons and daughters are more likely to be depressed without a strong relationship with a father. Broken families, in general, create not only a higher threat of delinquency for children, but also an increased risk of poverty and social immobility. The breakdown of the American family hurts our adolescent who often grow to be hurt adults, which consequently leads to a cycle of pain and violence.
All of this said, correlation does not necessarily equal causation. It is difficult to say, empirically, that the breakdown of family and community causes these horrible acts of violence, but it sure hasn’t helped.
So, if we want to get real about talking about solutions to violence and crime in America, we need to talk about the truth behind these crimes and criminals. The glorification of individualism, of singleness, and of isolation has coincided with our culture’s embrace of moral relativism and rejection of absolute truth is doing more to damage our country and promote discontentment which can lead to violence than it is helping.