Dehumanization

No matter where we look in the World today, we see evil: in our neighborhoods, our businesses, our cities, our states, and pretty much throughout our country. Very few disagree that evil lives among us. But many of us see the evil acts taken by people and we automatically think — and sometimes say — “That person is evil.” Who can discount the fact that Adam Lanza (Sandy Hook School shooter), Seung-Hui Cho (Virginia Tech massacre), Omar Mateen (Orlando Nightclub), Stephen Paddock (Las Vegas), Timothy McVeigh (Oklahoma City) did not commit some of the most heinous acts in human history? No doubt those mass killings were pure evil. But were the people who committed those “evil” themselves or were just their ACTS of murder evil? Does/Can evil do evil by itself?

 

 

 

 What Is Evil?

“Evil: the force in nature that governs and gives rise to wickedness and sin.”

Can a person — a human being — actually be evil themselves?

Since World War II, moral, political, and legal philosophers have become increasingly interested in the concept of evil. This interest has been partly motivated by definitions of “evil” by laymen, social scientists, journalists, and politicians as they try to understand and respond to various atrocities and horrors, such as genocides, terrorist attacks, mass murders, and tortures and killing sprees by psychopathic serial killers. It seems that we cannot capture the moral significance of these actions and their perpetrators by calling them “wrong” or “bad” or even “very very wrong” or “very very bad.” We need the concept of evil.

To avoid confusion, it is important to note that there are at least two concepts of evil: a broad concept and a narrow concept. The broad concept picks out any bad state of affairs, wrongful action, or character flaw. The suffering of a toothache is evil in the broad sense as is a white lie. Evil in the broad sense has been divided into two categories: natural evil and moral evil. Natural evils are bad states of affairs which do not result from the intentions or negligence of moral agents. Hurricanes and toothaches are examples of natural evils. By contrast, moral evils do result from the intentions or negligence of moral agents. Murder and lying are examples of moral evils.

One school of thought holds that no person is evil and that only acts may be properly considered evil. Psychologist and mediator Marshall Rosenberg claims that the root of violence is the very concept of evil or badness. When we label someone as “bad” or “evil,” Rosenberg claims, it invokes the desire to punish or inflict pain. It also makes it easy for us to turn off our feelings towards the person we are harming. He cites the use of language in Nazi Germany as being a key to how the German people were able to do things to other human beings that they normally would not do. He links the concept of evil to our judicial system, which seeks to create justice via punishment—punitive justice—punishing acts that are seen as bad or wrong. He contrasts this approach with what he found in cultures where the idea of evil was non-existent. In such cultures when someone harms another person, they are believed to be out of harmony with themselves and their community, are seen as sick or ill and measures are taken to restore them to a sense of harmonious relations with themselves and others.

Psychologist Albert Ellis agrees, in his school of psychology called Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy. He says the root of anger, and the desire to harm someone, is almost always related to variations of beliefs about other human beings. He further claims that without holding those beliefs and assumptions, the tendency to resort to violence in most cases is less likely.

American psychiatrist M. Scott Peck, on the other hand, describes evil as militant ignorance. The original Judeo-Christian concept of sin is as a process that leads one to miss the mark and not achieve perfection. Peck argues that while most people are conscious of this at least on some level, those that are evil actively and militantly refuse this consciousness. Peck describes evil as a malignant type of self-righteousness which results in a projection of evil onto selected specific innocent victims (often children or other people in relatively powerless positions). Peck considers those he calls evil to be attempting to escape and hide from their own conscience (through self-deception) and views this as being quite distinct from the apparent absence of conscience evident in sociopaths.

Today’s Evil

For horror movie fans, Michael Myers is the epitome of evil. Millions have looked in since the mid-70’s to Jamie Lee Curtis‘ character through multiple episodes tried to elude the non-stop attempts of her brother Micheal to murder her in their hometown of Haddenfield. Michael in the Halloween series is a psychopath who continually escapes from mental institutions to hunt down his sister. In the process, he brutally murders dozens of unwitting innocents, but never is successful at offing his sister.

The “Michael Myers” character magnifies the thought that there can be and are people who are literally evil themselves. Whether or not people ARE evil, when the perception of others is that someone is not simply committing evil acts when they slaughter innocents but those acts happen because that person IS evil themselves, thinking that people ARE evil can become fundamental. And when perceptually labeling someone as evil, those perceptions, and decisions made from those, frame the mental and emotional foundation of that person. That opens a human nature can of worms.

Let’s “cut to the chase.”

Howard Dean

The former member of Congress who is a doctor, a former presidential candidate, former Democrat National Committee Chair, is a vocal anti-Trump pundit. In a recent MSNBC interview with several other guests, Dean illustrated how our today conversation about people being evil or people simply EMBRACING evil are viewed differently. Guess which way Dean applies “evil” to the President?

“I think in the end, Hope wins over Evil. But it takes a long time. Both of those work in humankind. That’s what this struggle is about: the struggle about Good versus Evil. And the President of the United States is Evil.”

Dean has in his opinion of President Trump taken the approach of not just assigning certain acts committed by the President as evil — Dean ascribes the President as evil.

M. Scott Peck in his book People of the Lie: The Hope for Healing Human Evil, uses the example published by Erich Fromm in describing evil in people who had necrophilia — which is “Obsessive fascination with death and corpses.” Fromm added to that definition of necrophilia. He broadened the definition of necrophilia to include “the desire of certain people to control others-to make them controllable, to foster their dependency, to discourage their capacity to think for themselves, to diminish their unpredictability and originality, and to keep them in line.” Distinguishing it from a “biophilic” person — “One who appreciates and fosters the variety of life forms and the uniqueness of the individual” — he demonstrated a “necrophilic character type,” whose aim it is to avoid the inconvenience of life by transforming others into obedient automatons, robbing them of their humanity.

Evil then, for the moment, is the force, residing either inside or outside of human beings, that seeks to kill life or liveliness. And goodness is its opposite. Goodness is that which promotes life and liveliness.

Christianity and the Bible

Where to begin? Evil was introduced to the World in the Garden of Eden. Satan — who many will say is the embodiment of Evil itself — introduced Evil for the first time ever in human history. Adam and Eve were both Satan’s targets. It is much simpler for those who do NOT believe in Christianity or the Bible or certain parts of it to simply ascribe evil itself to people — not just acts people conduct from succumbing to evil.

For humans who believe in God, that Jesus is God’s son, and that Jesus died to bear and forgive all of humanity’s sins (evil), it is makes much better sense to disassociate sin (evil) from the sinner and evil acts from the person who commits those evil acts. In other words, People are not evil — bad acts that people commit against others is evil.

President Trump after the racial violence in Charlottesville made it clear he understands the difference. Instead of terming racist people at Charlottesville as “Evil,” he plainly stated that ALL “racism” is evil and that those that embrace racism embrace evil itself. The President did NOT say “racists are evil” — just their racism.

Summary

Hopefully sharing the words, comments, definitions, and opinions of the “experts” on the subject of Evil did not bog you down. One thing is certain: in this vitriolic environment in our nation, it is imperative that Americans find a way to turn it down a notch or two. Americans must learn to recognize ACTS of evil do not necessarily happen at the hands of EVIL people. Rather, those acts are EVIL ACTS. Instead of letting anger at the evil acts or words of others morph into evil acts of violence, we must find ways to separate in our minds and hearts the acts from the people. Believing in ourselves that certain people ARE Evil dehumanizes them to us. Think about what that really means: subconsciously we are saying that a person is Evil itself and therefore has no hope for change, forgiveness for committing acts of evil, and therefore has no chance of reconciliation. Who are we to make such a determination about someone else…or even about ourselves?

How can we accomplish this? The simplest way is to allow one’s personal relationship with God to intervene. How to do that?

A “relationship” defines two-way give-and-take between two people. To develop and exist for some period of time, any relationship must be built on communication. A married couple that plans on spending a lifetime together must really know each other — the good AND the bad. How can they make that happen? In only one way: communication.

A personal relationship with God is exactly the same. Communication to share thoughts and ideas, asking and getting answers to questions, reading what God has said through his prophets and leaders through the Bible — these are all ways to communicate with Him. Going to a church is a wonderful way to interact with others who have the same or similar spiritual ideas. But attending church — no matter how good the music or the sermon — cannot be a substitute for a relationship with God. A true relationship with God must have the same foundation of a relationship between two humans: understanding of each other that comes only through communication.

For Americans to “turn it down a notch,” Americans need to find ways to communicate with each other on a personal basis rather than standing across towns and states, crying that others are Evil. Think about this: if someone feels that another person who has committed one of the horrible acts mentioned above is actually Evil in person, it is virtually impossible to find common ground or any hope of ever co-existing. In that instance, how can anyone expect for there to ever be any commonality or mutual understanding or respect to be developed? We MUST learn to separate “acts” of evil from those who commit evil.

There’s a difference. We must find those differences, find our commonalities, and put anger and hatred initiated against us by others aside and push forward together. We must stop dehumanizing others by calling them Evil: Separate evil acts from the people who commit them.

Play

“Trump Wins…Trump Wins!”

Seldom do we post stories from those other than our writers. However, my college Journalism advisor, Ron White, shared an extremely stirring and timely perspective written by Gerald F. Seib for the Wall Street Journal. We are sharing it with our extensive group of partners today. Enjoy!

Battle for the GOP’s Soul? Trump Has Won

Conservatives who disdained Trump and considered many of his views heretical are increasingly drifting toward him

In an indication that conservatives are adapting to Trump policies, 74% say Republicans are better than are Democrats at handling trade, and 70% say the same about immigration.

Regardless of the outcome of the midterm election, this much already has become clear: The battle for the soul of the Republican party is over, and President Trump has won.

Now, as the second anniversary of his election approaches, both of those opposition fronts have crumbled. For Republicans, for better or for worse, it’s Mr. Trump’s more-populist party now.

At the grass roots, Republicans have united behind Mr. Trump with surprising solidarity. In this campaign season, establishment GOP candidates have accepted his help and endorsement and, in many cases, mimicked his style and themes.

The furious Democratic opposition to Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh has galvanized even many Republicans dubious about Mr. Trump. They see him as a flawed but preferable alternative to a Democratic Party they dislike and fear, and appear to regard him as a useful shield against it.

Perhaps most surprising, conservatives who disdained Mr. Trump and considered his views on trade, immigration and national security to be heretical are increasingly drifting toward him. In one leading indicator, two conservative writers critical of Mr. Trump—Max Boot and Jennifer Rubin—have in recent days been attacked by other conservatives for their views.

“I do think Trump right now is winning,” says Peter Wehner, a conservative leader and former political aide in the George W. Bush White House who is a critic of the president. “He is consolidating. People are acclimating themselves to him.… The Kavanaugh hearing made it visceral.”

Frank Luntz, a Republican pollster who conducts frequent focus groups with voters around the country, says he also has been observing conservatives coalescing behind Mr. Trump—and bending to his policies.

“He’s redefined what conservatism means,” says Mr. Luntz. “I’m shocked at how many now support his trade policies. They support tariffs. On immigration, they were never for a wall. But now they are for a physical separation.”

Signs of this Trump dominance and conservative acquiescence are woven throughout a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll. Among Republican voters overall, Mr. Trump has an 87% job approval rating. Among voters who describe themselves as conservatives, his job approval rating is virtually identical at 85%.

Eight in 10 conservatives have positive feelings toward the president; by contrast, only 42% have positive views of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, largely responsible for placing dozens of new conservative judges on the federal bench.

In an indication that conservatives are adapting to Trump policies, 74% say Republicans are better than are Democrats at handling trade, and 70% say the same about immigration.

The question is how Mr. Trump, who as a candidate was openly critical of party leaders and conservative activists, has managed to establish this grip.

It isn’t necessarily because Republicans like his demeanor. In fact, many still are offended by that style. A third of Republicans say they don’t like Mr. Trump personally but approve of most of his policies.

Part of the embrace of Mr. Trump undoubtedly comes because the economy is humming along so well; Republicans are inclined to give him credit for that, and they want to be part of the trend.

Mr. Luntz says the Kavanaugh fight in particular made Republicans who had been put off by the president’s anger and insulting style begin to embrace those characteristics. “They have bought into Trump’s claim that nothing else works,” he says.

Among conservatives, Mr. Wehner says, the move back toward Mr. Trump has come at least in part because the price of fighting him has been high. “There were people willing early on to take him on and they got smashed and hammered at the base of the party and they shut up,” he says.

The party’s embrace of Mr. Trump is risky. The president isn’t just disliked but disliked intensely by a wide swath of Americans, who may be repelled by a party so closely linked to him. Mr. Trump also is pushing the GOP away from some positions that have defined Republicanism for decades, particularly on trade and internationalism. That will sow doubts among some past party members, including some in the business community, and compel a re-examination of what it means to be a Republican.

It’s also possible, of course, that this embrace is temporary, and will evaporate if the economy goes south and the party’s fortunes suffer.

Still, Mr. Wehner notes that Mr. Trump is changing the identity of the party in ways that could have lasting effects: “What happens is, Trump is changing the core base of the party, and that will eventually filter up to officeholders.”

Tamp it Down, Mr. President!

We heard it during his campaign. We hear it everyday on pretty much every talk show, every newscast, from every commentator: “President Trump is crass, he’s arrogant, he’s haughty, he’s self-absorbed, and he needs to stop using Twitter and attacking news media!”

With the arrest of the apparent bomb-maker of those bombs sent to 13 Democrat current and former politicians and to actor Robert DeNiro, the “speech police” immediately turned up the volume on their attacks of “Trump-Speech.” Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA) actually demanded that the President accept personal blame for the bombs, stating the bombs being mailed was a direct result of the President’s rhetoric.

The default thinking by many in America is that the President denigrates himself and his supporters with his constant attacks against those who oppose him. On “Fox and Friends” Saturday show, Ed Henry and Pete Hegseth actually got into an argument on air about it: Ed declared the President should “act more Presidential,” taking the tone and volume of his attacks against his opponents down a notch. Pete, on the other hand, maintained “He does it different, and that’s why voters elected him. He’s NOT traditional and he takes no personal attack without responding in kind.”

I, for one, have written numerous times and included in our podcasts that I would like for him to soften his rhetoric. I’ve stated that I do not like his messaging, but on the most part I like his messages.

Thankfully no one was killed, maimed, or injured from the mail bombs. In the aftermath of this terrorist scare, I think it’s fair for all to rethink our conversational methods and messaging regarding ALL things political. Let’s think this through together:

Messaging

  • It is easy for most people to speak directly from their emotions — positive or negative. The converse is true as well: It is hard for people to NOT react verbally directly from their emotions. Regarding political matters, the emotions seem to ratchet up almost naturally, often beyond levels tolerable to others;
  • Politics don’t create differences in people — politics exposes differences in people;
  • The political environment in the U.S. has morphed dramatically during the last decade. So has messaging methodology in the U.S. and around the world. Social Media has given everyone an easy outlet in which to share thoughts — often without restraint. Years ago on a college sports bulletin board, I labeled those that anonymously posted (no real names were required to post) who wrote nothing but non-stop attacks against that college’s sports teams as “drive-by shooters.” My doing so created quite a stir. How dare I label someone who was simply expressing their opinions? Think about this: having the ability to say anything with no restraint, no measure of truth or accuracy, and with no accountability opens Pandora’s box to unimaginable possibilities to fuel chaos. Anyone can say anything — and usually do.

What about Trump?

What about him? Everyone knows he’s from Queens, which is a pretty rough borough to live in. Folks there are known to be a little cruder than Manhattan-ers who call th Upper East Side home. It’s a very blue collar part of the Big Apple.

Trump grew up in that environment, but was a little different. His father was a fairly successful real estate developer. As real estate developers do, Trump’s father made some bad business decisions along with some pretty good ones. Trump learned his profession while watching the good and bad of the NYC real estate market by watching home runs but also the strikeouts of his father. In New York, real estate development is more prone to failure than to hitting the “big” one.

Professionally, Trump learned early how to maneuver through complicated business circles in NYC and used his upbringing as a major contributor to the way he operated in commercial real estate. That upbringing brought him abrasiveness, sometimes caustic rhetoric, and an intense commitment to entrepreneurship in one of the toughest industries in American in the toughest commercial real estate market in the U.S.

Trump has only been in politics for about 3 years. It should have come as no surprise to anyone that he brought all of that Queens “business” education with him.

Many in America  simply do not understand Mr. Trump. They dismiss all that “Queens” stuff, demanding that Trump act “presidential.” The problem is, acting presidential is what most previous presidents did — especially the last 4 of them. Doing so, Donald knew that while making many Americans feel warm and fuzzy, the only way Americans would elect him was if he continuously acted himself during the run up to the election. That meant the rough edges, crassness, boldness and lack of tact that had been his “partners” during his very successful business career would have to sit next to him flying in his personal Boeing 757 between campaign events. They’d have to be on stage with him and speak through him to his fellow Americans.

Donald Trump recognized that those Bi-Coastal, Potomac political elitists would in NO way support him. But he knew one more thing: the middle-class, fly-over Americans who had not had a president that supported them, understood their lives and their businesses, and had never pushed for things middle American voters had been crying for for years would understand him. His hope was as he spoke to them at these unconventional campaign rallies, they would see his heart, relate to his rough exterior, understand his Queens way of speaking, and would listen to what he promised he would do if elected.

They related to him…they believed his promises…they voted for him…and he won.

Why?

Why when elected did Trump NOT  move away from all the things that the media, political professionals, Hollywood darlings, and Globalists wanted to see replaced by the “traditional” personality of pretty much every other past president? After all, there’s plenty of historical evidence that shows how it works. It’s simple:

Trump knew that if he DID walk away from all those characteristics Americans saw in him, his speech delivery, his resistance to “traditional” politics and politicians and their elitism, those middle class Americans who live in fly-over country would abandon him. He desperately believed in the America of his youth, and he believed Americans deserved much more from their government than what they were receiving. He knew he must stick to who he really was. And he’s done so. That’s a big reason why his approval ratings among the public are higher than those of Obama at either of HIS two midterm election marks.

His Results

I’m certain he could change his messaging, could cancel his Twitter account, could go lighter on the press and the Hollywood elites, on mainstream politicians, and Democrats. He certainly could tamp it down. So why doesn’t he?

That answer is really simple and REALLY important. More important than the opinions of the political elitists in D.C., New York, Chicago, Miami, and Los Angeles are the opinions of 60+ million Americans who voted for him in 2016 because of one thing and one thing only: Donald Trump says publicly the exact things that the large majority of those voters wish they were saying. They feel exactly the same ways his tweets, interviews, and rally speeches portray his feelings! And one more thing: THEY TRUST HIM!

SUMMARY

Here’s the most important understanding of how Donald Trump is governing: his fundamental operating foundation is trust — trust from those who he works with, and his trust of all those he works with and works for. In this case, the trust he must have is that of American voters.

How can any politician gain that trust of his supporters? By fulfilling his promises — every one of them.

Trump made quite a few promises that many felt were outlandish while campaigning. Some of them indeed were outlandish, in my opinion. But in the opinions of fly-over Americans, their desperation at the hand of the 3 previous two-term presidents, and Trump’s matter-of-fact messaging struck a tone that they had never heard before. Every presidential candidate makes many promises. Few deliver after their inauguration. Voters were hopeful Trump would be different. And he has confirmed their hopes and has earned their trust by doing those exact things he promised to do.

Folks, his messaging methodology is pre-meditated and elaborately planned! Understand this: at 5:00 AM every day, newspaper writers, editors, television producers and political reporters all are awakened by their alarm clocks. They must get going, turn on the television or radio, and open their Twitter accounts. Why? THE PRESIDENT WITH HIS FIRST TWEETS SETS THE NEWS-TONE FOR EACH DAY…HE DIRECTS THAT DAY’S STORYLINE FROM HIS TWITTER ACCOUNT!

The most dangerous and deadly thing President Trump could do is change his messaging, the way he speaks to people (especially those in his base), and edits in any way the way he speaks about and to the numerous political opponents he has. 

He has in just two short years compiled MORE support amount his base and has expanded his base wider than Obama or Bush 43 were able to do. How so? HE PROVIDES RESULTS!

Prediction

November 6, 2018, is approaching. What is going to happen? Will the Republicans succeed in holding the House and Senate? Will Democrats take control of the House or maybe the Senate, too? Will Republicans add more House seats than they lose?

We’re not prone to make election predictions. But today we do: Republicans will either maintain their majority in the House or increase it, and they will expand their majority in the Senate.

I know, that’s bold. But TruthNewsNetwork is taking a page from Donald Trump’s operating manual and bucking the traditional: “the president’s party always loses House seats in his first mid-term election” — and predicting Americans who have watched all the good things that this President has accomplished in just two years will give him the things he’s asked for to enable him to complete his promises to them: a greater Senate majority and maintain House control for Republicans.

Sure, this could be a miscalculation. Sure, Dems could win control in one or both of the houses of Congress. But D.C. is a different place with different rules now. There’s a new sheriff in town. And he’s broken tradition, tried some different things, and they have worked and are working — FOR AMERICAN VOTERS.

That’s what will win: not the empty promises and untruths from the previous president.

Americans are not stupid. Americans know what empty promises sound like, especially when compared to fulfilled promises.

Keep America Great!

America’s Most Trusted News Source: The New York Times

I am a New York Times subscriber. Before you X-out of TruthNewsNet.org, please understand why I subscribe: the New York Times is the epitome of the mainstream media “Fake News” sources. I, therefore, am required to daily stay on top of the latest chapter of “Fake News.” So, every morning I choke down a cup of coffee and the latest drivel from the Times. It is ALWAYS entertaining while at the same time ALWAYS nauseating.

We could daily chronicle the latest examples of New York Times “Fake News” for our thousands of TNN partners — there are a plethora of samples every day. We don’t want to waste your time — so we don’t do that. But occasionally there are examples that cry for exposure. Today is one of those days with a couple of those “Fake News” stories in The Times that begs for exposure and discussion. Let’s get to it.

The NY Times Today

The Times broke an explosive expose’ of President Trump’s usage of cell phones for official telephone communications. A president doing so is not unusual nor unexpected. But The Times claims the Chinese and Russians are listening to each of those conversations:

WASHINGTON — When President Trump calls old friends on one of his iPhones to gossip, gripe or solicit their latest take on how he is doing, American intelligence reports indicate that Chinese spies are often listening — and putting to use invaluable insights into how to best work the president and affect administration policy, current and former American officials said.

Mr. Trump’s use of his iPhones was detailed by several current and former officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity so they could discuss classified intelligence and sensitive security arrangements. The officials said they were doing so not to undermine Mr. Trump, but out of frustration with what they considered the president’s casual approach to electronic security.

American spy agencies, the officials said, had learned that China and Russia were eavesdropping on the president’s cell phone calls from human sources inside foreign governments and intercepting communications between foreign officials.

(The underlined text is the subject of this segment)

The Times is very obviously — and even now with impunity — relying almost totally on “anonymous” sources, allegedly members of the Trump Administration for their “big news” stories about President Trump. In doing so, they apparently use as the default for the assumptions of their readers that everything their reporters say is believed. Therefore, truth in reporting is no longer necessary. Let’s break that down:

The phone usage details were allegedly “detailed by several current and former officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity so they could discuss classified intelligence and sensitive security.” In other words, current and former Trump staffers are voluntarily divulging classified information — at least according to the New York Times.

The Times wants you to believe that simply (in order to throw the President under the bus) they are embracing the real possibility of being jailed for committing multiple felonies in having these discussions with reporters. What benefit could there possibly be to take this risk?

Certainly, there are people who do not like President Trump. Certainly, it is probable that not all who now work or did so previously in the White House are supportive of President Trump, his methodology of governing, his messaging, and some of his policies. But I find it ludicrous that any staffer would roll the dice on federal jail time to talk with reporters about the President’s conversations that are monitored by foreign governments. Their risking their personal freedom was not about the President giving the Chinese top secret military or intelligence secrets. In fact, they risked jail to simply tell Times reporters that Mr. Trump talked on iPhones!

And the New York Times expects YOU to believe that, too.

Real or Fake

It is extremely difficult to accept anonymous sources any longer. Multiple anonymously sourced stories in many Mainstream Media (MSM) reports have never been factually verified. Many have been proven incorrect. MSM editors have very obviously assumed that Americans are oblivious to the obvious: MSM who use anonymous sources do so to simply paint THEIR political narrative pertaining to Donald Trump. And they are now certain that Americans are either too busy, too distracted, or too stupid to pick up on their intentions.

The MSM excuses and justification for the continued use of anonymous sources is this: “If we are forced to publish news sources, much of what the First Amendment guarantees in Free Speech will be lost. Sources who fear retribution for telling the truth will no longer step forward. Media outlets will then be unable to — on behalf of all Americans — hold brutal and unethical governments accountable for their wrongdoing.”

Poppycock! There is a Whistleblower law put in place by the federal government that protects any of those “anonymous sources” from retribution of any kind IF they step forward. That law is to accomplish what MSM claims THEY must do: protect those who have real stories of real wrongdoing to report.

MORE New York Times Madness

The Times has taken this entire craziness in reporting to a new and vitriolic level. October 25th, they released an article in which the writer fantasizes about the President being gunned down by a Russian spy in cahoots with a Secret Service officer.

In an article published in the New York Times‘ Book Review, five writers conjured up fantasy scenarios about President Trump’s future with the Russia investigation.

One writer, Zoe Sharp, took liberal fantasizing to the next level and wrote a story that ends with President Trump being assassinated by a Russian agent. The Times’ editors illustrate the piece, titled “How It Ends,” with a Russian flag sticking out of a pistol barrel.

In the story, the Russian attempts to shoot the president, but his gun misfires. A Secret Service agent then offers his own pistol to the Russian:

The Russian waited until they were a few steps past before he drew the gun. He sighted on the center of the president’s back, and squeezed the trigger.

The Makarov misfired.

The Secret Service agent at the president’s shoulder heard the click, spun into a crouch. He registered the scene instantly, drawing his own weapon with razor-edge reflexes.

The Russian tasted failure. He closed his eyes and waited to pay the cost.

It did not come.

He opened his eyes. The Secret Service agent stood before him, presenting his Glock, butt first.

“Here,” the agent said politely. “Use mine. …” 

This assassination fantasy was published just one day before the media exploded with criticism for President Trump’s rhetoric after a series of apparent mail bombs sent to many Democrat political figures Wednesday, including one sent to CNN’s New York office.

It’s unbelievable that the newspaper formerly known as the premier newspaper in the Nation has resorted to whipping up soap opera stories to attract a crowd. And it is reprehensible they would do so in the caustic political environment in the U.S. Just imagine if Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity or Bill O’Reilly released a book during the Obama presidency that contained the Obama murder at the hands of a member of his Secret Service contingency. Americans would go nuts! And the MSM outrage would have been off the charts.

Summary

Here’s the sad proof of what’s going on, not just at the New York Times, but throughout Mainstream Media: readership is plummeting. Americans have steadily moved to instant 24/7 news through “quick” news stories, ditching the traditional methods of getting news: from newspapers. MSM outlets are fighting to survive as they watch their readership, ratings, and advertising revenue tank as their markets shrink.

So what do they do? They find ways to whip-up readers by finding the juiciest stories about the most controversial people and occurrences to keep those in front of sensationalist hungry Americans. And when there are not enough factual incidents to satisfy those American appetites for juicy news, THEY MAKE IT UP! Here’s how they do it:

Instead of a group of reporters with an editor sitting around a conference table at the paper and looking at the potential stories to go in the “next edition,” they sit around the conference table bemoaning there are not enough salacious happenings at the White House to entice their audience to wait breathlessly to grab that paper from the newsstand. They only have one option: create the story.

So, they come up with topics that will surely hook their audience members who are looking for ugly stuff about well-known people. The President is a crass, New York “bully” who is constantly taking shots at all those who disagree with him. He’s a perfect story subject!

“Hey, Billy. How about ‘investigating’ the rumor that Trump is using unsecured cell phones to hold conversations with foreign leaders. Certainly, the Russians and the Chinese are accessing those conversations to get dirt on the Administration so they can blackmail,” said Jim, the Editor-in-Chief.

Billy replied, “OK, Jim. I’m on it. When’s my deadline?”

“5:00 PM tomorrow. Don’t be late,” quipped Jim. Billy was Jim’s best political reporter and ALWAYS came up with some real dirt on politicians. “Get a good source or two on the cell phone stuff and let’s run with it.”

Billy calls everyone he can that currently works at the White House or the few that have left. None know anything about the Trump cell phone usage talking to foreign leaders. But Billy has a substitute plan: ANONYMOUS SOURCES! No one will know that if he writes a juicy story that makes the President look dumb or uncaring or simply as a buffoon too stupid to know the danger of doing something like that, he can credit his source as “anonymous,” and he’ll get a green light.

Having real sources at the New York Times — and probably many other MSM outlets — seems to no longer be necessary. That old journalistic adage that journalists formerly scoffed at: “Never let the truth get in the way of a good story,” appears to be the fundamental marching order of the Mainstream Media. Anonymous sources save the day.

With the two atrocious examples detailed above, unbiased Americans who are willing to accept the truth can at least accept the “possibility” above as more than just a fairy tale. In this crazy news environment in which 90% of all news stories about all things Trump are negative, keeping fresh “garbage” about Trump gets harder and harder. This necessitates the use of “anonymous sources” that probably are really “no sources at all” — just made-up to give reporters and editors security to get their payroll check deposit.

Is it any wonder that the New York Times is dying? Every day more and more Americans wake up and go “Hmmmm…..that’s just too hard for me to believe!”

More and more it’s hard to believe because more and more what they are seeing is NOT TRUE!

 

 

 

Play

Gumballs

Today’s story doesn’t work as a podcast: it’s totally visual. Watch this video and when finished we’ll talk.

Perspective

Perspective of any situation can drastically change the way people view that situation. The current American “debacle of the decade” is immigration. The Left has even narrowed that debacle to no longer be just immigration, but now it’s ILLEGAL immigration, too.

Here’s what the Left’s perspective of illegal immigration is:

  • Americans must be sensitive, caring, and charitable to anyone coming from any country, no matter the details of who they are, what their backgrounds are, or what their abilities are;
  • Americans owe all citizens of every other country on Earth free entry into the United States based solely on one thing and thing only: IF they want to come;
  • Any American who wants actual borders, border security, vetting immigrants — both legal and illegal — a border wall, and a legitimate legal immigration process that is mandatory for any immigrant to become a naturalized American citizen is a racist, Islamophobe, xenophobe, and is un-American;
  • Americans are obligated to — through confiscatory tax policies — underwrite the lives of any/all illegal immigrants. That includes free housing, free education, free healthcare, free transportation, free clothing and food;
  • Americans must agree to allow ALL people who reside inside U.S. borders to freely vote in local, state, and federal elections regardless of legal or illegal status or U.S. citizenship status;
  • Illegal immigrants have all the same rights as any and all American citizens.

Laws

American laws do not matter when it comes to all things dealing with immigration. It does not matter when, where, or how illegals arrive in the U.S. Their doing so — which obviously breaks multiple federal laws — is to be overlooked by law enforcement officials, members of local, state, and federal governments, and all Americans. It seems to many that liberal Americans — Democrats and other liberals — believe the “rule of law” in America is outdated, unfair, and no longer necessary and that it is OK to simply ignore.

Of course, those same Americans want to selectively decide which laws apply to whom and when, in total disregard of the lawmaking process.

Nowhere else is this more obvious than in the immigration process. It is amazing to the majority of Americans to watch as even members of government wink at illegal immigration and all the endangerment allowing it to continue causes Americans on a local level. Laws are meaningless.

In the “gumball” video, we see exactly how feeling obligated to and then trying to “fix” immigration World problems by opening U.S. borders to all can in no way can even touch the problems of billions of world citizens. No country on Earth has the ability or the resources to effectively impact the problems of most of Earth’s population.

Does believing that make Americans evil? Is it evil for Americans to refuse to accept the “no-border concept” as one we should adopt? Are Americans who insist on legal immigration and demand the federal government close our borders and stop ALL illegal immigration racist?

There are millions of political elites in the U.S. that categorically believe allowing only legal immigration is wrong, and that doing so is America shirking its responsibilities to “give” the U.S. to any and all who ask for it.

But how can anyone believe that and still believe in America? The entirety of the American concept and ideal is based on “liberty and justice for all,” the “rule of law,” and the U.S. Constitution as a roadmap for the establishment and maintenance of a system of laws that treat ALL people fairly and equally. In fact, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that the laws and provisions in the U.S. Constitution that detail Americans rights apply equally to everyone — even those who are NOT Americans.

Summary

There are no easy immigration answers. But there ARE American legal, Constitutional, and lawful answers for “illegal” immigration.

Who is responsible for the regulation of immigration?

Regulation of anything cannot happen without rules (or regulations) that are devised, implemented, and supervised by someone. In the U.S., there’s not just one person or one group that is responsible for this process. It takes the entirety of government.

Congress write and implement laws. The Executive Branch implements and operates laws. In the event of legal disputes, the Judicial System oversees the legalities of laws and the implementation of any Congressional penalties for violation of laws. That process includes courts, judges, a penal system, and the operation of every piece of the legal process.

That is simple enough. Why can’t many in the U.S. simply accept and abide by the process? THAT is simple: it’s a consuming quest for power and all that it takes to acquire and maintain as much power and might as possible.

That caravan in Mexico heading to the southern border of the U.S. is NOT an immigration problem. It is a “symptom” of the immigration problem. And those symptoms will not stop, but will only increase in number and severity unless and until those responsible for making the legal immigration process responsible for ALL immigration stop picking and choosing which immigration laws to enforce and which to simply wink at and turn a back to.

Who are the victims of this immigration mess we are watching in the U.S.? Honestly, EVERYONE directly and indirectly touched by illegal immigrants — and those illegal immigrants themselves — are victims of this process.

Think about this: if ALL immigration into the U.S. was allowed to happen ONLY LEGALLY, how would the landscape of immigration in the U.S. look? Far different than today.

  • There would be NO immigration detention centers;
  • There would be an insignificant number of border patrol agents;
  • No Americans would be injured or killed by illegals because none would be in the U.S. Kate Steinle and many other Americans would still be alive;
  • No illegals would be taken advantage of by employers who cheat with pay and lack of benefits by hiring illegals;
  • The American medical system would not be abused by uninsured illegals;
  • Local school systems would not be forced to underwrite education for illegals;
  • Local, state, and federal law enforcement resources would no longer be dominated by concentration on illegal immigration matters.

You watched the gumball video — you know the U.S. CANNOT subsidize the World and fix the economic conditions of the billions of Earth’s population who are mired in poverty by bringing them to the U.S. It is foolish for any to believe doing so is an obligation of Americans, is feasible, and remotely sustainable.

It’s time for Americans to accept this one fact: we can help many in the World who have far worse life circumstances than we do. But we cannot do so for very many more than the 1 million per year we have been allowing to come to the U.S. legally.

If we continue to allow it to happen, we will eventually find ourselves by sliding into economic devastation ourselves by simply exhausting our resources on others without first making certain we take care of the United States and its citizens.

The book is out on whether Americans will bow up and let that reality rule the day.

What Do We Do?

There are a reported 5000-10,000 Central American people just north of the Guatemala-Mexico border in a caravan headed toward the U.S. southern border. Their intention is to storm the U.S. border to gain entry into the United States. Think about that: a large group of foreigners is planning to en masse enter the U.S. illegally in hopes to obtain permanent residence. (See the Summary below for final comments about the “immigration caravan)

If you put that fact in the context of the first 150-years of United States history, it certainly would be viewed as an unbelievable paradox: “an argument that apparently derives self-contradictory conclusions by valid deduction from acceptable premises.” Just imagine how American leaders during the first century of this nation would have treated this move from the South: they would certainly have viewed it as an attempt to invade our sovereign nation, and therefore would have taken defensive actions to counter it — even military actions.

In the circumstances currently controlling the U.S., what are the American options?

  • Close the southern border;
  • Pressure Mexico and Central American countries to stop immigrants before they get to the U.S. border;
  • Legislatively (in Congressional emergency session) fix the immigration system.

What are the ramifications and possibilities of each? What Do We Do?

The Past: Americans Facing Illegal Immigration

  • Senator Bernie Sanders in 2015: “When you have 36 percent of Hispanic kids in this country who can’t find jobs, and you bring a lot of unskilled workers into this country, what do you think happens to that 36 percent of kids who are today unemployed? Fifty-one percent of African-American kids? I don’t think there’s any presidential candidate, none, who thinks we should open up the borders,” said Sanders.
  • Senator Chuck Schumer when asked his stance on changes in immigration: “I support further securing our borders; prohibiting hiring of undocumented immigrants by requiring job applicants to present a secure Social Security card; creating jobs by attracting the world’s best and brightest to America, and keeping them here; requiring undocumented immigrants to register with the government, pay taxes, and earn legal [status or face deportation.]” Source: League of Women Voters 2010 Candidate Questionnaire , Aug 11, 2010.
  • Senator Schumer’s 2010 stance on Sanctuary Cities and regulation of Immigration: “To create a reserve fund to ensure that Federal assistance does not go to sanctuary cities that ignore the immigration laws of the United States and create safe havens for illegal aliens.

            Dick Durbin
  • The border wall opinions of Dems including then-Senator Obama:  As a senator, Barack Obama once offered measured praise for the border control legislation that would become the basis for one of Donald Trump’s first acts as president. “The bill before us will certainly do some good,” Obama said on the Senate floor in October 2006. He praised the legislation, saying it would provide “better fences and better security along our borders” and would “help stem some of the tides of illegal immigration in this country.” Obama was talking about the Secure Fence Act of 2006, legislation authorizing a barrier along the southern border passed into law with the support of 26 Democratic senators including party leaders like Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, and Chuck Schumer.
  • Senator Dick Durbin, who says President Trump’s use of the term “chain migration,” is offensive and racist to black Americans, said something entirely different PREVIOUSLY about Chain Migration. In 2010, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) advocated on the Senate floor for ending the process known as “chain migration,” whereby newly naturalized citizens can bring an unlimited number of foreign relatives to the U.S., a term that he now claims insinuates racism. While asking Congress to pass the expansive and failed “DREAM Act” amnesty, which would start by legalizing millions of illegal aliens, Durbin touted the fact that the legislation at the time would have ended chain migration, preventing newly amnestied illegal aliens from bringing their extended family members to the U.S. “The DREAM Act would not allow what is known as chain migration,” Durbin said. “In fact, DREAM Act students would have very limited ability to sponsor their family members for legal status.”

When one reads the above bullet points from America’s recent political past regarding illegal immigration, it is impossible to believe this entire story is NOT setup strictly for political purposes. At this point, it is fruitless to point fingers to place blame on who is responsible for the obvious travesties that have been perpetrated in the American immigration system. What we need are some REAL answers, REAL plans, and REAL implementation with REAL accountability. It IS safe (and accurate) to say that illegal immigration laws and their lack of enforcement can be put at the feet of Presidents Obama, Bush 43, Clinton, Bush 41, and Reagan. These presidents during the collective 28 years of their presidencies each claimed an intense desire and commitment to tackle illegal immigration during their administrations — NONE DID SO. They each were against illegal immigration during campaigns for initial election but did nothing to stop it during their administrations.

Who is going to do that?

The answer to that question is simpler than you may think: the only ones that CAN do anything about it are those in the United States Congress — unless you toss the Justice Department into that basket with Congress. You see, there are plenty of immigration laws on the books that previous congresses have passed and were signed into law. The exclusive problem at our southern border is a product not of just laws, but the enforcement of existing laws. The Justice Department is woefully inadequate in the enforcement of U.S. immigration laws.

The hands of border patrol agents are tied; ICE agents are prohibited from taking all actions necessary to seal the southern border and bring offenders to justice for illegal entry; illegals have learned (primarily from smugglers) that U.S. border immigration courts are covered up with cases and that those courts cannot possibly process all illegal crossing perpetrators, which means those waiting for court dates are allowed into general population in the U.S. and are seldom prosecuted later. Congress refuses to provide the necessary funding to even make a dent in the illegal immigration problem that initiates at our border with Mexico. There are not nearly enough Border Patrol agents, ICE agents, immigration courts and immigration judges, holding and detention centers for illegals while they are processed, and the “big one:” funds to build the border wall.

Congress can do all of the above. And this President has given Congress the framework for an immigration bill that would do ALL of the above. But apparently, there are not enough members of Congress — Republican and Democrat — who have the political will to support President Trump in doing what he promised voters during his campaign and that American citizens largely support: stop illegal immigration by first closing our southern border. A BORDER WALL!

The Border Wall

Globalization was supposed to tear down barriers, but security fears and a widespread refusal to help migrants and refugees have fuelled a new spate of wall-building across the world, with a third of the world’s countries constructing them along their borders. When the Berlin Wall was torn down a quarter-century ago, there were 16 border fences around the world. Today, there are 65 either completed or under construction, according to Quebec University expert Elisabeth Vallet.

From Israel’s separation barrier (or ‘apartheid wall’ as it is known by the Palestinians), to the 2,500-mile barbed-wire fence India is building around Bangladesh, to the enormous sand ‘berm’ that separates Morocco from rebel-held parts of Western Sahara – walls and fences are ever-more popular with politicians wanting to look tough on migration and security.

In July, Hungary’s right-wing government began building a four-meter-high (13 feet) fence along its border with Serbia to stanch the flow of refugees from Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan. ‘We have only recently taken down walls in Europe; we should not be putting them up,’ was one EU spokesperson’s exasperated response.

Three other countries – Kenya, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey – are all constructing border fences in a bid to keep out jihadist groups next door in Somalia, Iraq, and Syria. Seven miles of the barrier have already been erected along the border at Reyhanli town in Hatay province – the main point for smuggling and border-crossing from Syria – the private Dogan news agency said. The fence in Turkey will eventually stretch for 28 miles along a key stretch of its border with Syria. But the Turkish wall pales into insignificance when compared to the multi-layered fence which will one day stretch 600 miles from Jordan to Kuwait along Saudi’s border with Iraq – a line of defense against ISIS.

There is no doubt that border walls do not absolutely stop those who live on one side wanting to get to the other side. And somehow some will always be successful. But when one objective considers that 65 countries either have or are building walls on their borders to stop illegal entry into their countries, there are obvious reasons and benefits for governments and their citizens to spend the huge national resources necessary for doing so.

No doubt the U.S. border with Mexico presents tremendous security challenges, and that a traditional brick-and-mortar wall does not make sense for part of that border. But a significant portion of it (according to experts) could be closed with a traditional wall. And that in combination with electronic surveillance and aviation security measures that are available, the U.S. could basically shut down the border and begin to improve our existing legal immigration process to better serve legal immigrants AND the American citizens already here.

Don’t Americans deserve that from our government? Is it unfair or callous for Americans to expect our government to enforce American laws? And if those laws are outdated, unjust, unfair and need to be changed, is it unfair for Americans to expect Congress to amend existing laws or implement new more appropriate immigration laws and the President to sign those new or amended statutes into law? Isn’t that what politicians ALL say when campaigning: “The most important role of a member of Congress is to first keep Americans safe?”

March 3, 2017

On this day, the TruthNewsNetwork (TNN) offered a realistic and workable framework for a plan to fix our illegal immigration process. The offered plan is a skeleton that would need a lot of “tweaks” and adjustments applicable to each impacted state, but it would be a tremendous starting point. I thought it beneficial to reprint just the bullet-point framework today:

  • Illegal Immigrants are granted a 12-month window to “get legal.” That “get legal” means this: they voluntarily register themselves and any family members with U.S. Immigration or Homeland Security.  This registration is simply the demographic and identity details for application into this “get legal” program.  Upon registration, they will then begin a formal “revised” 5-year application for U.S. citizenship.  This process includes the current requirements for citizenship plus a penalty payment of $2500 per illegal family member to be paid during this 5 year period along with normal income taxes due to federal, state, and local municipalities as applicable.  To be accepted into this program, they must provide proof of employment sufficient to support all those who are part of each application.
  • Upon completion of this process, each is eligible for U.S. citizenship on the same basis as those who have entered the U.S. legally who go through the normal immigration process.  If any registrants do not complete the process including payment of the penalty payment, they will immediately be processed for deportation and will not be eligible for re-entry into the U.S.
  • “Dreamers” (who are those who were brought here illegally by their parents) will be given a similar opportunity:  they will receive a 12-month window to “get legal.”  They will go through the same 5-year application process for U.S. citizenship but will not be obligated for payment of a penalty.  Upon completion of this process, each is eligible for U.S. citizenship on the same basis as those illegals above and also those who have taken the path of legal immigration.  If any Dreamers do not complete the process they will immediately be processed for deportation and will not be eligible for re-entry into the U.S.
  • Any illegals that fail to register in this immigration process during the 12-month period will be as they are identified processed for deportation immediately and will not be eligible for re-entry into the U.S.
  • Any illegals that do NOT complete the 5-year application process will be immediately processed for deportation and will not be eligible for re-entry into the U.S.
  • This process applies to ALL illegals, including men, women, and children.
  • After the initiation of this program, any U.S. employer who employs any illegals who do not have proof of entry into the 5-year application process will be assessed a $25,000 fine per illegal in their employment.  A second offense of such carries a $50,000 fine per illegal. Third offense and any subsequent offense carries a $100,000 fine per illegal and termination of their Federal Tax ID Number, which is required for businesses to operate legally in the U.S.
  • This system will be costly. But after a burdensome startup, revenue generated from legalizing these immigrants, getting them into the system in which they pay taxes, work and create legitimate income that goes into the U.S. economy, financial benefits will more than take care of the startup expense.
  • While U.S. Immigration will be charged with overall supervision of the program, this will be implemented and managed at the state level.  Funds for doing so will come through federal block grants to the states.  Each state’s immigration issues are not identical to other states, therefore states know better how to manage this process than the federal government.  Any state found to be non-compliant with any and all process guidelines that must be in this program will not only lose their block grants but will be subject to further financial penalties in other monies paid to them by the federal government.

Summary

That caravan full of illegals headed from Central America through Mexico to the U.S. prompted this story today. Have you wondered who is “driving that ship,” who is funding the 5000-7000 immigrants for that 2000-mile journey? Think about this: they all must eat, they all have biological functions that must be met, (primarily bathroom obligations) there are many children in the entourage and medical necessities along the way. SOMEONE IS FOOTING THE BILL!

Many think whoever is initiating and funding this trip are trying to impact the U.S. midterm elections — primarily in a negative way for conservatives running for office. But every day that objective becomes more and more unbelievable. Why? Do the math:

A good bike rider could travel 50 miles per day. Walking, an aggressive goal would be 20-25 miles per day. At that rate, the caravan can be expected to arrive at the nearest point of the southern U.S. border in 50-60 days. If there is an expectation of funders of the caravan of any significant border-conflict situation to occur before or during those midterm elections set for 13 days from today, there is no way that will be accomplished.

There must be some other reason or reasons for this caravan (and the other one that has just formed behind the first).

You know what: there are probably a dozen possibilities for the reasons and the timing for this caravan’s move north. Sadly, I seriously doubt that any of those reasons are legitimately to help Central and South American immigrants escape dangerous and unbearable circumstances in the countries they are coming from. They have been sold a pipedream of a “land of honey” in the U.S. where there is a government with open arms that will not only take them in, but house them, feed them, medicate them, educate them, and pay them to live in America.

Who could be painting such a rosey picture for those immigrants?

It could be smugglers, human traffickers, and drug cartels who see these immigrants as goods to be traded and targets, too. It could be rogue branches of governments from those countries who are using the pie-in-the-sky dream of the “easy life” to get rid of many of their poor and possible criminal citizens.

It could be members of the Mexican and Central American immigration specialists who see the U.S. as a hot-bed of financial opportunity for Latinos and who know American laws are certainly going to be changed or at least tightened up in the Trump Administration. And they see their honey-pot of fortune about to be shut down.

Whoever the source and whatever their reason, you can bet they are not driven by trying to give those immigrants to a better life as their motives.

What’s saddest in this entire story is it is doubtful that anyone in the United States that is in anyway supporting this caravan that on its own is putting the lives of thousands of immigrants at risk everyday is doing so for the purpose of helping these immigrants.

Sadly, the greed of human nature is driving this boat.

Also sadly, the reason the American border after 28 years of presidents who each had a good opportunity to fix this issue (and who at some point in their administrations had the legislative support to do so) did not take care of the problem.

That’s not an immigrant problem. That problem is purely an American political problem.

And it is certainly politically driven — as is almost everything of importance in Washington.

It’s certainly NOT “government of the People, by the People, and for the People.” It’s for political POWER!

 

 

Play

Question: Are you Better Off Today Than Two Years Ago?

As we approach the 2018 Mid-Term elections, the answer to that question is the only ones that should matter to Americans as they go to the polls to determine who will represent us in Congress the next two years. Regardless of what political pundits think and say, Donald Trump is NOT on the November 6th ballot. But what IS on the ballot are determinations of the success or failures of those in Congress during the first two years of the Trump Administration to work with the President to accomplish his legislative agenda. The policies contained in that agenda were those given as promises that would be fulfilled if voters sent him to D.C. Voters took him at his word. Did members of Congress? That’s the question voters must answer before they vote to either replace or return current members of Congress to their jobs.

I’m not here today to promote any candidates: Democrat or Republican. What I AM here today is to promote progress — progress toward fixing each of the broke systems in American government. Our government is TOO big, TOO political, TOO oppressive, and TOO costly. Our government reaches far too deeply into the everyday lives of Americans. George Orwell’s book told a story about “Big Brother” than many laughed about, “That will never happen in the U.S.!” Orwell hit the nail on the head.

Government bureaucracy is stifling the life from America.

I will say this: Candidate Donald Trump made significant promises while campaigning. Almost every Democrat — including the 44th President of the U.S. — scoffed and ridiculed Trump for made promises. Obama famously on one nighttime comedy show laughed at Trump insinuating Trump would NEVER be President. It was the spirit of that ridicule shared by almost the entire group of liberals in America that turned-on the light in fly-over country. Blue collar working Americans realized something: for the first time in the last few decades, there was someone who had a history of really getting a lot of good things done who wants to go to Washington and “fix it!” Those Americans created the Trump Presidency with their votes.

It’s been almost two years since the Trump election. Leftists line up to deride the Trump Administration policies. They scoff at almost all of those and promise to repeal them all, replace them with MORE big government, MORE taxes, MORE “Big Brother” control, and to “take care” of us all. They KNOW they can do a better job creating policies, running the economy, “buying” friendly countries around the World and downshifting back to Obama’s promise he partially kept: “Fundamental Change in America.”

Most Americans from that “fly-over” region of the country feel pretty good about what Trump has accomplished. They know that there would be MUCH more success to discuss if Congress had supported the President in his quest to fulfill his promises to Americans. Those Americans will choose who they want controlling D.C. in a few days.

When you head to the polling booth, why don’t you go armed with some facts? Why don’t you get the answer to the title question of this story before you pull that lever? Why don’t you get the answer to THIS question first: “What has the Trump Administration accomplished in just shy of two years?”

Let me help you with that answer: Listed here are 289 Trump achievements for America since January of 2017. You’ll probably be shocked at how long this list is. The article is long — longer than normal. But it’s full of FACTS. Feel free to download this story, copy and paste. Share it with everyone you know.

One of our taglines here is “Always without the Spin, just Facts in Evidence at TNN: the TruthNewsNetwork.”

Enjoy!

289

Economic Growth

  • 4.2 percent growth in the second quarter of 2018.
  • For the first time in more than a decade, growth is projected to exceed 3 percent over the calendar year.

Jobs

  • 4 million new jobs have been created since the election, and more than 3.5 million since Trump took office.
  • More Americans are employed now than ever before in our history.
  • Jobless claims at lowest level in nearly five decades.
  • The economy has achieved the longest positive job-growth streak on record.
  • Job openings are at an all-time high and outnumber job seekers for the first time on record.
  • Unemployment claims at 50 year low
  • African-American, Hispanic, and Asian-American unemployment rates have all recently reached record lows.
    • African-American unemployment hit a record low of 5.9 percent in May 2018.
    • Hispanic unemployment at 4.5 percent.
    • Asian-American unemployment at a record low of 2 percent.
  • Women’s unemployment recently at the lowest rate in nearly 65 years.
    • Female unemployment dropped to 3.6 percent in May 2018, the lowest since October 1953.
  • Youth unemployment recently reached its lowest level in more than 50 years.
    • July 2018’s youth unemployment rate of 9.2 percent was the lowest since July 1966.
  • Veterans’ unemployment recently hit its lowest level in nearly two decades.
    • July 2018’s veterans’ unemployment rate of 3.0 percent matched the lowest rate since May 2001.
  • Unemployment rate for Americans without a high school diploma recently reached a record low.
  • The rate for disabled Americans recently hit a record low.
  • Blue-collar jobs recently grew at the fastest rate in more than three decades.
  • A poll found that 85 percent of blue-collar workers believe their lives are headed “in the right direction.”
    • 68 percent reported receiving a pay increase in the past year.
  • Last year, job satisfaction among American workers hit its highest level since 2005.
  • Nearly two-thirds of Americans rate now as a good time to find a quality job.
    • Optimism about the availability of good jobs has grown by 25 percent.
  • Added more than 400,000 manufacturing jobs since the election.
    • Manufacturing employment is growing at its fastest pace in more than two decades.
  • 100,000 new jobs supporting the production & transport of oil & natural gas.

American Income

  • Median household income rose to $61,372 in 2017, a post-recession high.
  • Wages up in August at their fastest rate since June 2009.
  • Paychecks rose by 3.3 percent between 2016 and 2017, the most in a decade.
  • Council of Economic Advisers found that real wage compensation has grown by 1.4 percent over the past year.
  • Some 3.9 million Americans off food stamps since the election.
  • The median income for Hispanic-Americans rose by 3.7 percent and surpassed $50,000 for the first time ever in history.
    • Home-ownership among Hispanics is at the highest rate in nearly a decade.
  • Poverty rates for African-Americans and Hispanic-Americans have reached their lowest levels ever recorded.

American Optimism

  • Small business optimism has hit historic highs.
    • NFIB’s small business optimism index broke a 35-year-old record in August.
    • SurveyMonkey/CNBC’s small business confidence survey for Q3 of 2018 matched its all-time high.
  • Manufacturers are more confident than ever.
    • 95 percent of U.S. manufacturers are optimistic about the future, the highest ever.
  • Consumer confidence is at an 18-year high.
  • 12 percent of Americans rate the economy as the most significant problem facing our country, the lowest level on record.
  • Confidence in the economy is near a two-decade high, with 51 percent rating the economy as good or excellent.

American Business

  • Investment is flooding back into the United States due to the tax cuts.
    • Over $450 billion dollars has already poured back into the U.S., including more than $300 billion in the first quarter of 2018.
  • Retail sales have surged. Commerce Department figures from August show that retail sales increased 0.5 percent in July 2018, an increase of 6.4 percent from July 2017.
  • ISM’s index of manufacturing scored its highest reading in 14 years.
  • Worker productivity is the highest it has been in more than three years.
  • Steel and aluminum producers are re-opening.
  • Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P 500, and NASDAQ have all notched record highs.
    • Dow hit record highs 70 times in 2017 alone, the most ever recorded in one year.

Deregulation

  • Achieved massive deregulation at a rapid pace, completing 22 deregulatory actions to every one regulatory action during his first year in office.
  • Signed legislation to roll back costly and harmful provisions of Dodd-Frank, providing relief to credit unions, and community and regional banks.
  • Federal agencies achieved more than $8 billion in lifetime net regulatory cost savings.
  • Rolled back Obama’s burdensome Waters of the U.S. rule.
  • Used the Congressional Review Act to repeal regulations more times than in history.

Tax Cuts

  • Biggest tax cuts and reforms in American history by signing the Tax Cuts and Jobs act into law
    • Provided more than $5.5 trillion in gross tax cuts, nearly 60 percent of which will go to families.
    • Increased exemption for the death tax to help save Family Farms & Small Business.
    • Nearly doubled the standard deduction for individuals and families.
    • Enabled vast majority of American families will be able to file their taxes on a single page by claiming the standard deduction.
    • Doubled the child tax credit to help lessen the financial burden of raising a family.
    • Lowered America’s corporate tax rate from the highest in the developed world to allow American businesses to compete and win.
    • Small businesses can now deduct 20 percent of their business income.
    • Cut dozens of special interest tax breaks by closing loopholes for the wealthy.
  • 9 in 10 American workers are expected to see an increase in their paychecks thanks to the tax cuts, according to the Treasury Department.
  • More than 6 million American workers have received wage increases, bonuses, and increased benefits thanks to tax cuts.
  • Over 100 utility companies have lowered electric, gas, or water rates thanks to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
  • Ernst & Young found 89 percent of companies planned to increase worker compensation thanks to the Trump tax cuts.
  • Established opportunity zones to spur investment in left behind communities.

Worker Development

  • Established a National Council for the American Worker to develop a national strategy for training and retraining America’s workers for high-demand industries.
  • Employers have signed Trump’s “Pledge to America’s Workers,” committing to train or retrain more than 4.2 million workers and students.
  • Signed the first Perkins CTE reauthorization since 2006, authorizing more than $1 billion for states each year to fund vocational and career education programs.
  • Executive order expanding apprenticeship opportunities for students and workers.

Domestic Infrastructure

  • Proposed infrastructure plan would utilize $200 billion in Federal funds to spur at least $1.5 trillion in infrastructure investment across the country.
  • Executive order expediting environmental reviews and approvals for high priority infrastructure projects.
  • Federal agencies have signed the One Federal Decision Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) streamlining the federal permitting process for infrastructure projects.
  • Rural prosperity task force and signed an executive order to help expand broadband access in rural areas.

Health Care

  • Signed an executive order to help minimize the financial burden felt by American households Signed legislation to improve the National Suicide Hotline.
  • Signed the most comprehensive childhood cancer legislation ever into law, which will advance childhood cancer research and improve treatments.
  • The signed Right-to-Try legislation, expanded health care options for terminally ill patients.
  • Enacted changes to the Medicare 340B program, saving seniors an estimated $320 million on drugs in 2018 alone.
  • FDA set a new record for generic drug approvals in 2017, saving consumers nearly $9 billion.
  • Released a blueprint to drive down drug prices for American patients, leading multiple major drug companies to announce they will freeze or reverse price increases.
  • Expanded short-term, limited-duration health plans.
  • Let more employers form Association Health Plans, enabling more small businesses to join together and affordably provide health insurance to their employees.
  • Cut Obamacare’s burdensome individual mandate penalty.
  • Signed legislation repealing Obamacare’s Independent Payment Advisory Board, also known as the “death panels.”
  • USDA invested more than $1 billion in rural health care in 2017, improving access to health care for 2.5 million people in rural communities across 41 states
  • Proposed Title X rule to help ensure taxpayers do not fund the abortion industry in violation of the law.
  • Reinstated and expanded the Mexico City Policy to keep foreign aid from supporting the global abortion industry.
  • HHS formed a new division over protecting the rights of conscience and religious freedom.
  • Overturned Obama administration’s midnight regulation prohibiting states from defunding certain abortion facilities.
  • Signed executive order to help ensure that religious organizations are not forced to choose between violating their religious beliefs by complying with Obamacare’s contraceptive mandate or shutting their doors.

Combating Opioids

  • Chaired meeting the 73rd General Session of the United Nations discussing the worldwide drug problem with international leaders.
  • Initiative to Stop Opioid Abuse and Reduce Drug Supply and Demand, introducing new measures to keep dangerous drugs out of our communities.
  • $6 billion in new funding to fight the opioid epidemic.
  • DEA conducted a surge in April 2018 that arrested 28 medical professions and revoked 147 registrations for prescribing too many opioids.
  • Brought the “Prescribed to Death” memorial to President’s Park near the White House, helping raise awareness about the human toll of the opioid crisis.
  • Helped reduce high-dose opioid prescriptions by 16 percent in 2017.
  • Opioid Summit on the administration-wide efforts to combat the opioid crisis.
  • Launched a national public awareness campaign about the dangers of opioid addiction.
  • Created a Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis which recommended a number of pathways to tackle the opioid crisis.
  • Led two National Prescription Drug Take-Back Days in 2017 and 2018, collecting a record number of expired and unneeded prescription drugs each time.
  • $485 million targeted grants in FY 2017 to help areas hit hardest by the opioid crisis.
  • Signed INTERDICT Act, strengthening efforts to detect and intercept synthetic opioids before they reach our communities.
  • DOJ secured its first-ever indictments against Chinese fentanyl manufacturers.
  • Joint Criminal Opioid Darknet Enforcement (J-CODE) team, aimed at disrupting online illicit opioid sales.
  • Declared the opioid crisis a Nationwide Public Health Emergency in October 2017.

Law and Order

  • More U.S. Circuit Court judges confirmed in the first year in office than ever.
  • Confirmed more than two dozen U. S. Circuit Court judges.
  • Followed through on the promise to nominate judges to the Supreme Court who will adhere to the Constitution
    • Nominated and confirmed Justice Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.
  • Signed an executive order directing the Attorney General to develop a strategy to more effectively prosecute people who commit crimes against law enforcement officers.
  • Launched an evaluation of grant programs to make sure they prioritize the protection and safety of law enforcement officers.
  • Established a task force to reduce crime and restore public safety in communities across Signed an executive order to focus more federal resources on dismantling transnational criminal organizations such as drug cartels.
  • Signed an executive order to focus more federal resources on dismantling transnational criminal organizations such as drug cartels.
  • Violent crime decreased in 2017 according to FBI statistics.
  • $137 million in grants through the COPS Hiring Program to preserve jobs, increase community policing capacities, and support crime prevention efforts.
  • Enhanced and updated the Project Safe Neighborhoods to help reduce violent crime.
  • Signed legislation making it easier to target websites that enable sex trafficking and strengthened penalties for people who promote or facilitate prostitution.
  • Created an interagency task force working around the clock to prosecute traffickers, protect victims, and prevent human trafficking.
  • Conducted Operation Cross Country XI to combat human trafficking, rescuing 84 children and arresting 120 human traffickers.
  • Encouraged federal prosecutors to use the death penalty when possible in the fight against the trafficking of deadly drugs.
  • New rule effectively banning bump stock sales in the United States.

Border Security and Immigration

  • Secured $1.6 billion for border wall construction in the March 2018 omnibus bill.
  • Construction of a 14-mile section of border wall began near San Diego.
  • Worked to protect American communities from the threat posed by the vile MS-13 gang.
    • ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations division arrested 796 MS-13 members and associates in FY 2017, an 83 percent increase from the prior year.
    • Justice worked with partners in Central America to secure criminal charges against more than 4,000 MS-13 members.
    • Border Patrol agents arrested 228 illegal aliens affiliated with MS-13 in FY 2017.
  • Fighting to stop the scourge of illegal drugs at our border.
    • ICE HSI seized more than 980,000 pounds of narcotics in FY 2017, including 2,370 pounds of fentanyl and 6,967 pounds of heroin.
    • ICE HSI dedicated nearly 630,000 investigative hours towards halting the illegal import of fentanyl.
    • ICE HSI made 11,691 narcotics-related arrests in FY 2017.
    • Stop Opioid Abuse and Reduce Drug Supply and Demand introduced new measures to keep dangerous drugs out the United States.
    • Signed the INTERDICT Act into law, enhancing efforts to detect and intercept synthetic opioids.
    • DOJ secured its first-ever indictments against Chinese fentanyl manufacturers.
    • DOJ launched their Joint Criminal Opioid Darknet Enforcement (J-CODE) team, aimed at disrupting online illicit opioid sales.
  • Released an immigration framework that includes the resources required to secure our borders and close legal loopholes, and repeatedly called on Congress to fix our broken immigration laws.
  • Authorized the deployment of the National Guard to help secure the border.
  • Enhanced vetting of individuals entering the U.S. from countries that don’t meet security standards, helping to ensure individuals who pose a threat to our country are identified before they enter.
    • These procedures were upheld in a June 2018 Supreme Court hearing.
  • ICE removed over 226,000 illegal aliens from the United States in 2017.
    • ICE rescued or identified over 500 human trafficking victims and over 900 child exploitation victims in 2017 alone.
  • In 2017, ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) arrested more than 127,000 aliens with criminal convictions or charges, responsible for
    • Over 76,000 with dangerous drug offenses.
    • More than 48,000 with assault offenses.
    • More than 11,000 with weapons offenses.
    • More than 5,000 with sexual assault offenses.
    • More than 2,000 with kidnapping offenses.
    • Over 1,800 with homicide offenses.
  • Created the Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement (VOICE) Office in order to support the victims and families affected by illegal alien crime.
  • More than doubled the number of counties participating in the 287(g) program, which allows jails to detain criminal aliens until they are transferred to ICE custody.

Trade

  • Negotiating and renegotiating better trade deals, achieving free, fair, and reciprocal trade for the United States.
    • Agreed to work with the European Union towards zero tariffs, zero non-tariff barriers, and zero subsidies.
    • Deal with the European Union to increase U.S. energy exports to Europe.
    • Litigated multiple WTO disputes targeting unfair trade practices and upholding our right to enact fair trade laws.
    • Finalized a revised trade agreement with South Korea, which includes provisions to increase American automobile exports.
    • Negotiated a historic U.S.-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement to replace NAFTA.
    • Agreement to begin trade negotiations for a U.S.-Japan trade agreement.
    • Secured $250 billion in new trade and investment deals in China and $12 billion in Vietnam.
    • Established a Trade and Investment Working Group with the United Kingdom, laying the groundwork for post-Brexit trade.
  • Enacted steel and aluminum tariffs to protect our vital steel and aluminum producers and strengthen our national security.
  • Conducted 82 anti-dumping and countervailing duty investigations in 2017 alone.
  • Confronting China’s unfair trade practices after years of Washington looking the other way.
    • 25 percent tariff on $50 billion of goods imported from China and later imposed an additional 10% tariff on $200 billion of Chinese goods.
    • Conducted an investigation into Chinese forced technology transfers, unfair licensing practices, and intellectual property theft.
    • Imposed safeguard tariffs to protect domestic washing machines and solar products manufacturers hurt by China’s trade policies
  • Withdrew from the job-killing Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
  • Secured access to new markets for America’s farmers.
    • The recent deal with Mexico included new improvements enabling food and agriculture to trade more fairly.
    • The recent agreement with the E.U. will reduce barriers and increase trade of American soybeans to Europe.
    • Won a WTO dispute regarding Indonesia’s unfair restriction of U.S. agricultural exports.
    • Defended American Tuna fisherman and packagers before the WTO
    • Opened up Argentina to American pork exports for the first time in a quarter-century
    • American beef exports have returned to China for the first time in more than a decade
  • OK’d up to $12 billion in aid for farmers affected by unfair trade retaliation.

Energy

  • Presidential Memorandum to clear roadblocks to construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline.
  • Presidential Memorandum declaring that the Dakota Access Pipeline serves the national interest and initiating the process to complete construction.
  • Opened up the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge to energy exploration.
  • Coal exports up over 60 percent in 2017.
  • Rolled back the “stream protection rule” to prevent it from harming America’s coal industry.
  • Canceled Obama’s anti-coal Clean Power Plan and proposed the Affordable Clean Energy Rule as a replacement.
  • Withdrew from the job-killing Paris climate agreement, which would have cost the U.S. nearly $3 trillion and led to 6.5 million fewer industrial sector jobs by 2040.
  • U.S. oil production has achieved its highest level in American history
  • The United States is now the largest crude oil producer in the world.
  • The U.S. has become a net natural gas exporter for the first time in six decades.
  • Action to expedite the identification and extraction of critical minerals that are vital to the nation’s security and economic prosperity.
  • Took action to reform National Ambient Air Quality Standards, benefitting American manufacturers.
  • Rescinded Obama’s hydraulic fracturing rule, which was expected to cost the industry $32 million per year.
  • Proposed an expansion of offshore drilling as part of an all-of-the-above energy strategy
    • Held a lease sale for offshore oil and gas leases in the Gulf of Mexico in August 2018.
  • Got EU to increase its imports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the United States.
  • Issued permits for the New Burgos Pipeline that will cross the U.S.-Mexico border.

Foreign Policy

  • Moved the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.
  • Withdrew from Iran deal and immediately began the process of re-imposing sanctions that had been lifted or waived.
    • Treasury has issued sanctions targeting Iranian activities and entities, including the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force
    • Since enacting sanctions, Iran’s crude exports have fallen off, the value of Iran’s currency has plummeted, and international companies have pulled out of the country.
    • All nuclear-related sanctions will be back in full force by early November 2018.
  • Historic summit with North Korean President Kim Jong-Un, bringing beginnings of peace and denuclearization to the Korean Peninsula.
    • The two leaders have exchanged letters and high-level officials from both sides have met resulting in tremendous progress.
    • North Korea has halted nuclear and missile tests.
    • Negotiated the return of the remains of missing-in-action soldiers from the Korean War.
  • Imposed strong sanctions on Venezuelan dictator Nicholas Maduro and his inner circle.
  • An executive order preventing those in the U.S. from carrying out certain transactions with the Venezuelan regime, including prohibiting the purchase of the regime’s debt.
  • Responded to the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime.
    • Rolled out sanctions targeting individuals and entities tied to Syria’s chemical weapons program.
    • Directed strikes in April 2017 against a Syrian airfield used in a chemical weapons attack on innocent civilians.
    • Joined allies in launching airstrikes in April 2018 against targets associated with Syria’s chemical weapons use.
  • New Cuba policy that enhanced compliance with U.S. law and held the Cuban regime accountable for political oppression and human rights abuses.
    • Treasury and State are working to channel economic activity away from the Cuban regime, particularly the military.
  • Changed the rules of engagement, empowering commanders to take the fight to ISIS.
    • ISIS has lost virtually all of its territory, more than half of which has been lost under Trump.
    • ISIS’ self-proclaimed capital city, Raqqah, was liberated in October 2017.
    • All Iraqi territory had been liberated from ISIS.
  • More than a dozen American hostages have been freed from captivity all over the world.
  • Action to combat Russia’s malign activities, including their efforts to undermine the sanctity of United States elections.
    • Expelled dozens of Russian intelligence officers from the United States and ordered the closure of the Russian consulate in Seattle, WA.
    • Banned the use of Kaspersky Labs software on government computers, due to the company’s ties to Russian intelligence.
    • Imposed sanctions against five Russian entities and three individuals for enabling Russia’s military and intelligence units to increase Russia’s offensive cyber capabilities.
    • Sanctions against seven Russian oligarchs, and 12 companies they own or control, who profit from Russia’s destabilizing activities.
    • Sanctioned 100 targets in response to Russia’s occupation of Crimea and aggression in Eastern Ukraine.
    • Enhanced support for Ukraine’s Armed Forces to help Ukraine better defend itself.
  • Helped win U.S. bid for the 2028 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.
  • Helped win U.S.-Mexico-Canada’s united bid for 2026 World Cup.

Defense

  • Executive order keeping the detention facilities at U.S. Naval Station Guantanamo Bay open.
  • $700 billion in military funding for FY 2018 and $716 billion for FY 2019.
  • Largest military pay raise in nearly a decade.
  • Ordered a Nuclear Posture Review to ensure America’s nuclear forces are up to date and serve as a credible deterrent.
  • Released America’s first fully articulated cyber strategy in 15 years.
  • A new strategy on national biodefense, which better prepares the nation to defend against biological threats.
  • The administration has announced that it will use whatever means necessary to protect American citizens and servicemen from unjust prosecution by the International Criminal Court.
  • Released an America first National Security Strategy.
  • Put in motion the launch of a Space Force as a new branch of the military and relaunched the National Space Council.
  • Encouraged the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) allies to increase defense spending to their agreed-upon levels.
    • In 2017 alone, there was an increase of more than 4.8 percent in defense spending amongst NATO allies.
    • Every member state has increased defense spending.
    • Eight NATO allies will reach the 2 percent benchmark by the end of 2018 and 15 allies are on trade to do so by 2024.
    • NATO allies spent over $42 billion dollars more on defense since 2016.
  • Executive order to help military spouses find employment as their families deploy domestically and abroad.

Veterans Affairs

  • Signed the VA Accountability Act and expanded VA telehealth services, walk-in-clinics, and same-day urgent primary and mental health care.
  • Delivered more appeals decisions – 81,000 – to veterans in a single year than ever before.
  • Strengthened protections for individuals who come forward and identify programs occurring within the VA.
  • Signed legislation that provided $86.5 billion in funding for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), the largest dollar amount in history for the VA.
  • VA MISSION Act, enacting sweeping reform to the VA system that:
    • Consolidated and strengthened VA community care programs.
    • Funding for the Veterans Choice program.
    • Expanded eligibility for the Family Caregivers Program.
    • Gave veterans more access to walk-in care.
    • Strengthened the VA’s ability to recruit and retain quality healthcare professionals.
    • Enabled the VA to modernize its assets and infrastructure.
  • Signed the VA Choice and Quality Employment Act in 2017, which authorized $2.1 billion in additional funds for the Veterans Choice Program.
  • Worked to shift veterans’ electronic medical records to the same system used by the Department of Defense, a decades-old priority.
  • Issued an executive order requiring the Secretaries of Defense, Homeland Security, and Veterans Affairs to submit a joint plan to provide veterans access to access to mental health treatment as they transition to civilian life.
  • Increased transparency and accountability at the VA by launching an online “Access and Quality Tool,” providing veterans with access to wait-time and quality of care data.
  • Signed legislation to modernize the claims and appeal process at the VA.
  • Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act, providing enhanced educational benefits to veterans, service members, and their family members.
    • Lifted a 15-year limit on veterans’ access to their educational benefits.
  • Created a White House VA Hotline to help veterans and principally staffed it with veterans and direct family members of veterans.
  • VA employees are being held accountable for poor performance, with more than 4,000 VA employees removed, demoted, and suspended so far.
  • Signed the Veterans Treatment Court Improvement Act, increasing the number of VA employees that can assist justice-involved veterans.

Summary

(Feel free to download the PDF file of this list. Find the link below)

So I’ll let Yul Brynner finish today’s story:

http://truthnewsnet.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/Trump’s-1st-Two-Years.pdf

 

A Refugee Crisis Is Real

Several years ago I spent several months on business in Switzerland, Germany, Austria, and northern Italy with a short stop in Southeast Asia. I have not been much of a world traveler, so much of the differences of culture in Europe and Malaysia impacted me — at least initially — the way one would expect. But what was common among all those countries was the way European and Malaysian natives viewed immigrants — especially refugee immigrants from the Middle East and Northern Africa — who are primarily Muslim.

I know: discussing religious issues — especially regarding Muslims — is a faux pas and journalists should not do that. But it is time for us to become objective, honest, and serious about immigration.

The “American” Refugee Crisis

Do we have an illegal immigration crisis in the U.S.? It depends on who you ask. First, it is important to remember during this conversation that the U.S. annually allows more legal immigrants into our country than do all the other countries in the world COMBINED. That number is 1 million per year. Illegal immigration is a totally separate matter.

Hopefully, Congress will in 2019 legitimately and honestly tackle outdated and obsolete immigration laws. It is imperative that this South and Central American refugee immigration flood to the southern border of the U.S. be addressed. In spite of promise after promise from politicians from every political party to “fix” immigration laws, NOTHING has been done. When asked why an immigration House bill would not be considered in the Senate, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) explained it by saying, “We cannot allow Republicans or President Trump to win on any legislation regarding immigration.”

Congress’s inaction on the matter so far can be blamed on (at least one party’s) identity politics and its elitist political agenda. That agenda has NOTHING at all to do with illegal immigrants and what’s best for them OR the United States. It’s partisan rather than humanitarian.

Who can forget the back-and-forth during the first year of the Trump Administration when Congress was supposedly poised to consider the southern border illegal immigration crisis? The fake news pictures showing illegal immigrant children being held in cages were passed around among different news outlets to whip up the emotions of Americans to hopefully result in an open-border policy being implemented. Later it was revealed those pictures of caged children were NOT taken during this presidency but during Obama’s tenure in office.

We have written extensively about the critical nature of restructuring our immigration system and the necessity to craft new laws and/or amend old laws to end the horrors experienced by those immigrants in getting to the U.S. and their ill effects. Those effects impact every sector of America, including economics, education, medical, social, and labor. NOT making corrections in immigration law is no different than NOT tackling problems in any other area of public life: Congress should recognize the problem, devise a fix, implement the fix and make sure it works, or watch the beginning of a slide of the U.S. backward.

Is this a cowardly or fear-driven concern? Absolutely not. While it is true that the United States is the wealthiest, strongest, and most powerful nation on Earth, the U.S. does not have the unlimited resources that are necessary to perpetuate the flow of illegal immigration into the U.S. Allowing it to continue as-is puts us on the path toward certain destruction.

For some European countries (and a couple in Southeast Asia), their citizens are standing watch as immigration — primarily from North African and Middle Eastern countries — are tearing their countries apart.

Under Angela Merkel’s watch, her country — Germany — has welcomed more than 1 million immigrants on the basis of a real humanitarian crisis. Most of those who have come to Germany are Muslim. And most of those have refused to assimilate into German culture in any meaningful way. That has created mountains of problems in the national sectors mentioned above.

The German medical community is really struggling. Recently, a German doctor wrote a letter explaining what medical professionals and others are experiencing. It’s scary at best. Here’s the letter:

Muslim Immigration issues in Germany

“Yesterday, at the hospital, we had a meeting about how the situation here and at the other Munich hospitals are unsustainable. Clinics cannot handle the number of migrant medical emergencies, so they are starting to send everything to the main hospitals.

Many Muslims are refusing treatment by female staff, and we women are now refusing to go among those migrants!

Relations between the staff and migrants are going from bad to worse. Since last weekend, migrants going to the hospitals must be accompanied by police with K-9 units.

Many migrants have AIDS, syphilis, open TB and many exotic diseases that we in Europe do not know how to treat.

If they receive a prescription to the pharmacy, they suddenly learn they have to pay cash. This leads to unbelievable outbursts, especially when it is about drugs for the children. They abandon the children with pharmacy staff with the words:

“So, cure them here yourselves!” So the police are not just guarding the clinics and hospitals, but also the large pharmacies.

We ask openly where are all those who welcomed the migrants in front of TV cameras with signs at train stations? Yes, for now, the border has been closed, but a million of them are already here and we will definitely not be able to get rid of them.

Until now, the number of unemployed in Germany was 2.2 million. Now it will be at least 3.5 million. Most of these people are completely unemployable.

Only a small minimum of them have any education. What is more, their women usually do not work at all. I estimate that one in ten is pregnant. Hundreds of thousands of them have brought along infants and little kids under six, many emaciated and very needy. If this continues and Germany re-opens its borders, I am going home to the Czech Republic. Nobody can keep me here in this situation, not even for double the salary back home. I came to Germany to work, not to Africa or the Middle East!

Even the professor who heads our department told us how sad it makes him to see the cleaning woman, who has cleaned every day for years for 800 euros and then meets crowds of young men in the hallways who just wait with their hands outstretched, wanting everything for free, and when they don’t get it they throw a fit.

I really don’t need this! But I am afraid that if I return home, at some point it will be the same in the Czech Republic. If the Germans, with their systems, cannot handle this, then, guaranteed, back home will be total chaos…..

You – who have not come in contact with these people have absolutely no idea what kind of badly behaved desperados these people are, and how Muslims act superior to our staff, regarding their religious accommodation.

For now, the local hospital staff has not come down with the diseases these people brought here, but with so many hundreds of patients, every day of this is just a question of time.

In a hospital near the Rhine, migrants attacked the staff with knives after they had handed over an 8-month-old on the brink of death, who they’d dragged across half of Europe for three months. The child died two days later, despite having received top care at one of the best pediatric clinics in Germany. The pediatric physician had to undergo surgery and the two nurses are recovering in the ICU. Nobody has been punished.

The local press is forbidden to write about it, so we can only inform you through email. What would have happened to a German if he had stabbed the doctor and nurses with a knife? Or if he had flung his own syphilis-infected urine into a nurse’s face and so threatened her with infection? At a minimum, he would have gone straight to jail and later to court. With these people so far, nothing has happened.

And so I ask: Where are all those greeters and receivers from the train stations? Sitting pretty at home, enjoying their uncomplicated, safe lives. If it were up to me, I would round up all those greeters and bring them here first to our hospitals emergency ward as attendants! Then they go into one of the buildings housing the migrants, so they can really look after them there themselves, without armed police and police dogs, who, sadly today, are in every hospital here in Bavaria.”

Summary

Let me set the record straight: I am NOT anti-Muslim. I am NOT Islamophobic. I am for LEGAL immigration.

So what’s wrong with this German immigration issue? German political leaders did NOT think through what such a flood of immigrants would do to its thriving infrastructure. Think about it: planning for certainties is one thing, but planning for UN-certainties is more important. Germany’s leadership in error assumed that North African and Middle Eastern immigrants would be much like Germany’s own citizens — would have the same or similar work ethic, social culture, desire to assimilate with others, respect for authority and the rights of others, etc. How wrong they were!

Germany’s immigration crisis began two years ago and remains unsolved to this day. The conditions for German citizens remains just as dangerous and dire as they were when the above letter was written. Angela Merkel has been unable to initiate an effective process to handle this crisis. And it is destroying Germany’s social, financial, medical, and political systems.

How is that different from U.S. immigration?

  • There are those that will say the big difference is that most of those flooding into the U.S. through our southern border are not Muslim like most of those immigrants in Germany. That’s true;
  • Some say most coming to the U.S. are looking for work as compared to those entering Germany who are not. That’s true;
  • MANY immigration pundits claim over and over on national television immigrants bring far more money into the U.S. than they spend of taxpayer dollars. That’s NOT-TRUE. In fact, according to the non-partisan Immigration Council:
  • The average household headed by an immigrant (legal or illegal) costs taxpayers $6,234 in federal welfare benefits, which is 41 percent higher than the $4,431 received by the average native household.
  • The average immigrant household consumes 33 percent more cash welfare, 57 percent more food assistance, and 44 percent more Medicaid dollars than the average native household. Housing costs are about the same for both groups.
  • At $8,251, households headed by immigrants from Central America and Mexico have the highest welfare costs of any sending region — 86 percent higher than the costs of native households.
  • Illegal immigrant households cost an average of $5,692 (driven largely by the presence of U.S.-born children), while legal immigrant households cost $6,378.
  • The greater consumption of welfare dollars by immigrants can be explained in large part by their lower level of education and a larger number of children compared to natives. Over 24 percent of immigrant households are headed by a high school dropout, compared to just 8 percent of native households. In addition, 13 percent of immigrant households have three or more children, vs. just 6 percent of native households.

So What’s the Problem?

Here’s a story that illustrates the immigration dilemma now faced by every American:

A miner operates a secret gold mine out in the country next to a really shallow river. The only way he can transport the gold that he mines to market is down that river. Everything goes well for a few months. But one day as he rows his heavily loaded boat up the river to market, he sees water pouring into the boat from below. The boat takes on water at an amazing rate and bogs down on the bottom of the shallow river. He cannot get his gold to market that day.

The next day, the miner tries again. This time he does not even get as far up the river as the day before. Holes in the boat quickly fill it with water and it bogs down again.

The miner secretly tells his friend about his mine and how successful he has been at finding gold. He explains to his friend what has happened to the boat and that holes in the boat have kept him from getting to market. His friend commits to join the miner the next day so the pair can get that gold to market.

They tried hard the next day. But they could not get the boat up the river to market. They tried the same thing over and over again. But after no success, the miner was forced to shut down and board up the mine and walk away — even knowing just how much gold there was in that mine.

The miner had to apply for financial assistance because he had no income. When he explained what had happened in his mining operation to the assistance agent, the agent asked him “Why could you working together with your friend not figure out a way to get the boat up the river to market?” The miner replied, “We tried, again and again, to get all the water out of the river so it would stop making the boat run aground. But even though we dipped and poured water out of the river as fast as we could, the river kept filling the boat up. We couldn’t stop the water.”

Conclusion

The story may seem a bit trite, but it gives a true picture of the immigration issue the U.S. is facing today. The boat represents the U.S.; the gold represents the goods and services the U.S. produces for its internal purposes as well as transporting to “market” — the rest of the World — that are sold for money to fund our internal and external operations for the good of the people. In this case, the “water” is the illegal immigrants that flood into our boat through holes in the boat.

Instead of plugging the holes, we continue to deal with the water in the river instead of making certain not too much of it gets into the boat. When that happens, the boat cannot get to market, we cannot process our goods and services, and before long we’re out of a job.

This really is simple: we don’t have a Muslim problem, we don’t have a Mexican problem, we don’t have a Central American problem, and we don’t have a legal immigration problem. We have far too much water in the boat that we are not prepared to handle. And that water — the flood of illegal immigrants — is running our boat aground.

Let’s stop simply bailing water out of the boat. We MUST plug the holes!

 

 

 

Play

Obstruction: “LOCK THEM UP!”

It has been obscene to watch Congressional committees subpoena witnesses to appear and to subpoena various government agencies for the production of documents regarding very serious investigations only to be stonewalled. Potential witnesses AND those who receive production-of-document subpoenas are NOT appearing and NOT producing those documents demanded by Congress. The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and The House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence are the two chief committees who have fought for testimony and documents from current and former Department of Justice employees and others which seldom see successful subpoena results. This is especially frustrating — not just for committee members, but for American citizens who expect Government to be not only responsive in providing evidence in these investigative matters, but to achieve expected results from the various investigations underway. For the seemingly nonstop obstruction of witness testimony and document production, Americans want not just answers, but results.

What can be done?

There IS Recourse

Following the refusal of a witness to produce documents or to testify, the Committee is entitled to report a resolution of contempt to its parent chamber. A Committee may also cite a person for contempt but not immediately report the resolution to the floor. In the case of subcommittees, they report the resolution of contempt to the full Committee, which then has the option of rejecting it, accepting it but not reporting it to the floor, or accepting it and reporting it to the floor of the chamber for action. On the floor of the House or the Senate, the reported resolution is considered privileged and, if the resolution of contempt is passed, the chamber has several options to enforce its mandate.

Inherent Contempt

Under this process, the procedure for holding a person in contempt involves only the chamber concerned. Following a contempt citation, the person cited is arrested by the Sergeant-at-Arms for the House or Senate, brought to the floor of the chamber, held to answer charges by the presiding officer, and then subjected to punishment as the chamber may dictate (usually imprisonment for punishment reasons, imprisonment for coercive effect, or release from the contempt citation).

The witness would have certain due process rights such as the right to counsel, to be advised of the nature of the charges, and to confront witnesses and compel them to appear. The witness could also resort to the courts, for example by seeking a writ of habeas corpus if wrongfully detained. If the dispute were over something like executive privilege, you’d expect the Executive branch to seek judicial intervention at the outset to head off the proceeding — but even then, at least Congress would get a judicial ruling on the privilege question, rather than being forced to rely simply on the Executive’s own interpretation.

Concerned with the time-consuming nature of a contempt proceeding and the inability to extend punishment further than the session of the Congress concerned (under Supreme Court rulings), Congress created a statutory process in 1857. While Congress retains its “inherent contempt” authority and may exercise it at any time, this inherent contempt process was last used by the Senate in 1934, in a Senate investigation of airlines and the U.S. Postmaster. After a one-week trial on the Senate floor (presided over by Vice President John Nance Garner, in his capacity as Senate President), William P. MacCracken, Jr., a lawyer and former Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Aeronautics who was charged with allowing clients to remove or rip up subpoenaed documents, was found guilty and sentenced to 10 days imprisonment. MacCracken filed a petition of habeas corpus in federal courts to overturn his arrest, but after litigation, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Congress had acted constitutionally, and denied the petition in the case Jurney v. MacCracken.

Statutory Contempt

Following a contempt citation, the presiding officer of the chamber is instructed to refer the matter to the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia; according to the law, it is the “duty” of the U.S. Attorney to refer the matter to a grand jury for action. However, while the law places the duty on the U.S. Attorney to impanel a grand jury for action, some proponents of the unitary executive theory argue that the Congress cannot properly compel the U.S. Attorney to take this action against the Executive Branch, asserting that the U.S. Attorney is a member of the Executive Branch who ultimately reports only to the President, and that compelling the U.S. Attorney amounts to compelling the President himself. They argue that to allow Congress to force the President to take action against a subordinate following his directives would be a violation of the separation of powers and infringe on the power of the Executive branch.

The legal basis for this position, they contend, can be found in Federalist 49, in which James Madison wrote, “The several departments being perfectly co-ordinated by the terms of their common commission, none of them, it is evident, can pretend to an exclusive or superior right of settling the boundaries between their respective powers.” This approach to government is commonly known as “departmentalism” or “coordinate construction.” Others argue that Article II of the Constitution requires the President to execute the law, such law being what the lawmaker (e.g. Congress, in the case of statutory contempt) says it is (per Article I). The Executive Branch cannot either define the meaning of the law (such powers of legislation being reserved to Congress) or interpret the law (such powers being reserved to the several Federal Courts). They argue that any attempt by the Executive to define or interpret the law would be a violation of the separation of powers; the Executive may only—and is obligated to—execute the law consistent with its definition and interpretation; and if the law specifies a duty on one of the President’s subordinates, then the President must “take care” to see that the duty specified in the law is executed. To avoid or neglect the performance of this duty would not be the faithful execution of the law, and would thus be a violation of the separation of powers, which the Congress and the Courts have several options to remedy.

According to a detailed study of Congress’s contempt power by the Congressional Research Service, this inherent contempt power has long been dormant. Congress has not sought to use it since 1935, perhaps because it is too unwieldy and time-consuming or is politically unpalatable. From time to time, partisans on one side or another argue that Congress should dust off this power and start arresting witnesses for contempt on its own rather than relying on the statutory process of a referral to the U.S. Attorney.

Summary

Here’s the bottom line for American citizens: as we reported in yesterday’s story and podcast, taxpayers fund the operations of Congress to the tune of $4.6 Billion a year. That number includes all of the legislative operations of the House and Senate, AND all of the other Constitutional functions relegated to the Congress — including implementation of all Constitutional and Congressionally passed laws plus (as the Constitution dictates) operational actions as agreed to by members of Congress that may be violated. Those “actions” include adherence to production and appearance according to legally issued and served subpoenas for all applicable persons.

The criminal offense of “contempt of Congress” sets the penalty at not less than one month nor more than twelve months in jail and a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $1,000.

But let’s be honest about all of this: there is a multitude of federal government officials that have been and currently are under subpoena for appearances and production of documents regarding governmental operations and activities that occurred in the professional lives of those subpoenaed regarding government operations. Those documents and sworn testimony expected to occur as a result of subpoenas are necessary for the legal and just operation of the U.S. government, through its various departments and agencies. The American government has the legal right to expect adherence to the terms of those subpoenas. And those subpoenaed MUST comply.

A “Sample” Scenario

Former DOJ Chief Counsel James Baker testified before Congress about numerous matters. Prior to that meeting, Congressman Jim Jordan spoke to FOX News about this entire matter, especially on the frustration of Congress about Rod Rosenstein’s resistance to subpoenas:

 

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is supposed to appear before a Congressional oversight committee next week. Mr. Rosenstein has continuously ignored (as has the entire Department of Justice) subpoenas issued for production of documents for more than a year that are needed to show DOJ justification for the application(s) to the FISA Court for authorization to surveil through electronic measures members of the Trump Campaign, possibly including the President. On multiple occasions with the subpoena of other DOJ documents, the excuse for non-production is for “national security” reasons. Some documents HAVE been released that when released prove they were not being held for national security purposes but because of their containing embarrassing information about the DOJ, the FBI, and the CIA.

Let’s suppose that when Deputy AG Rosenstein walks into that hearing, the sergeant-at-arms hands him a subpoena that compels him to in 48 hours or less provide those other documents to Congress AND to testify under oath regarding the information confirmed by others that he discussed his personal illegal surveillance of President Trump by wearing a wire while meeting with Mr. Trump. Rosenstein has (for any number of reasons, none of which are true for national security purposes) resisted personal testimony under oath and the production of all those documents. If he refuses to appear and produce within that 48-hour window detailed in that subpoena, have the sergeant-at-arms arrest Rosenstein for “criminal contempt of Congressional subpoena,” taken to jail and jailed per federal law.

“What good would that do?” You ask. It would send a message that FINALLY members of Congress have decided to stop just talking about doing their oversight job and actually DOING Department of Justice oversight!

It would:

  • certainly, result in the sworn testimony of Rosenstein;
  • that testimony would certainly result in additional information necessary to initiate further federal actions regarding criminal wrongdoing by those currently in U.S. government and probably some who have retired or been terminated;
  • jailing Rosenstein would send a resonating message to ALL who are part of the government that Congress is no longer willing to let the “tail wag the dog,” but the “dog” — the American People — demand the enforcement of federal laws — ALL federal laws. And when those laws are broken, (like ignoring subpoenas) legal penalties for wrongdoing will be immediate and harsh.

“If” members of Congress will grow backbones and simply do their jobs, Americans will finally see the truth. Americans will see just how evil the critters in the swamp really are.

Maybe then the President will be finally able to start draining that swamp he promised he’d drain if he was elected.

 

 

Play

“Lock Them Up!”

It’s crazy how many people who are legally subpoenaed by Congress to appear before its committees for testimony or to provide documents simply ignore those subpoenas and simply don’t comply. But what is crazier is that Congress does NOTHING to hold them accountable other than a possible vote to hold them in contempt. Even with that contempt charge hanging over their heads, NOTHING IS DONE!

What CAN be done — what SHOULD be done? We have the skinny on all that and more that we’ll talk about tomorrow at TruthNewsNet.org in our story and podcast titled “Lock Them Up!”

Make sure you don’t miss it: your mind will be blown, I promise!

Here’s a hint: make sure you don’t miss another story or podcast by logging your email on the bottom right of the site homepage. That will guarantee any time a new story or podcast is posted, you’ll receive via email a link to the story or podcast first thing the morning it goes live. No one else ever sees your email address, we don’t email you anything BUT such links, and we certainly don’t sell anything. You’ll just get notices!

Enjoy today’s “bottomless pit” story and we’ll see you tomorrow as we “Lock Them Up!”