Human Trafficking: Tragedy!

It is shocking to look into the details of the human trafficking that has been occurring for centuries, is still occurring, grows in number and severity every year, and is occurring in every country on Earth, including the United States.

A good friend of mine is in federal law enforcement. He shocked me several years ago with the details of a federal investigation that was attacking “Sex Tourism.” I had never heard of it. It involved U.S. tourists — primarily men — who make trips overseas that purportedly are for business but are not. In Costa Rica, El Salvador and other Central American countries and in Southeast Asia the Americans fly in to conduct “business.” Instead, they stay in specific hotels that have room service menus. Food is not on the menu, however, boys, girls, women and even men ARE on the menu. The American “orders” off the menu.

Because of new international laws, U.S. federal authorities can now track these American sex=fiends into those foreign countries, arrest them on the spot, and without extradition bring them straight back to the U.S. for prosecution.

Selling people has always been a hidden, dark enterprise that is perpetrated in and from every country in the World. It’s not exclusive to any one demographic. Sadly, there are sadistic people who are happy “purchasing” other humans without preferences for those of specific sexes, ages, and ethnicities.

Not all — in fact, less than half — of those caught-up in human trafficking had any idea of what was happening until it was too late. Like Rebecca Bender. Rebecca was from a good middle-class family, was a good student headed for a great university after high school graduation. And then it happened:

The Basics of Human Trafficking

We today and tomorrow will explore the human trafficking that is so rampant in the World but is blowing up in the United States. There is so much information out there for us to digest we cannot do it in one session. It is so deplorable, we cannot even get our minds around the fact that human trafficking even exists.

Worldwide human trafficking statistics for 2018

  1. 51% of all victims of human trafficking are women aged 18 or older. The proportion of men being trafficked has significantly increased over the last 10 years – from 13% to 21%.
  2. Around 85% of all the victims are trafficked for labor exploitation, nearly 7% for sexual exploitation and just 1% for organ removal. Women and girls are 72% more likely to be trafficked for sexual exploitation than men.
  3. 28% of all human trafficking victims are children (around 20% of girls and 8% of boys).
  4. 63% of all convicted of human trafficking are male, and 37% are female.
  5. Around 43% of all documented cases were domestic, meaning the victim was trafficked with the national borders.
  6. India, Libya, and Myanmar are considered the most dangerous countries especially for women in terms of human trafficking.

United States human trafficking statistics

  1. More than 10,000 people become victims of human trafficking in the US each year;
  2. Women are approximately seven times more likely to experience human trafficking than men;
  3. The average age of the victims is around 15-17 years for sexual exploitation and around 20 for labor exploitation;
  4. It was estimated that Hispanic and Asian people are more likely to become victims of human trafficking;
  5. A marriage proposal is by far the most common type of recruitment tactics for sex slavery, whereas for the labor exploitation, the perpetrators most often just promise a good job;
  6. During Super Bowls and some other large events, there is a spike in sex trafficking, which is around 5 to 20 percent;
  7. California, Texas, and Florida had the most cases of human trafficking registered in 2018;
  8. According to the national human trafficking statistics, Atlanta’s underground sex economy is the biggest with the yearly profit of around $250 million.

Child Trafficking

“When a child has been recruited, transported, harbored, or received and some commercial element is introduced in the production of child pornography, then that individual (by federal law) has also engaged in child trafficking. Whether they work in strip clubs or sweatshops, these boys and girls are victims of human trafficking.”

The Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) defines “severe forms of trafficking in persons” as: “sex trafficking in which a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such an act has not attained 18 years of age.”

“The economic reality is that human trafficking is driven by profits. If nobody paid for sex, sex trafficking would not exist.”

Where do trafficked children come from?

Child trafficking victims, whether for labor, sex or organ trafficking, come from all backgrounds, include both boys and girls. They span a wide age range from 1 to 18 years old. Sex trafficking victims up to roughly 25 years old most often started as young as 14. Children are trafficked out of, or into the United States from all regions of the world and represent a variety of different races, ethnic groups, and religions. They may be brought to the U.S. legally or smuggled in.

Trafficked children can be lured to the U.S. through the promise of school or work and promised the opportunity to send money back to their families. Children are also vulnerable to kidnappers, pimps, and professional brokers. Some children are even sold to traffickers by their families, who may or may not have an understanding of what will happen to the child. U.S. born children are also trafficked within the U.S., coming from any racial group, socio-economic background, and come from or trafficked within both city and rural areas.

The Numbers Internationally

The (UNODC) United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime reports the percentage of child victims had risen in a 3-year span from 20 percent to 27 percent. Of every three child victims, two are girls and one is a boy.

Gender and age profile of victims detected globally: 59% Women – 14% Men – 17% Girls and 10% were Boys.

  • 600,000 to 800,000 women, children and men are bought and sold across international borders every year and exploited for forced labor or commercial sex (U.S. Government);
  • When internal trafficking victims are added to the estimates, the number of victims annually is in the range of 2 to 4 million
  • 50% of those victims are estimated to be children;
  • It is estimated that 76 % of transactions for sex with underage girls start on the Internet;
  • 2 million children are subjected to prostitution in the global commercial sex trade (UNICEF).

The impact

  • Human trafficking has surpassed the illegal sale of arms;
  • Trafficking will surpass the illegal sale of drugs in the next few years;
  • Drugs are used once and they are gone. Victims of child trafficking can be used and abused over and over;
  • A $32 billion-a-year industry, human trafficking is on the rise and is in all 50 states (U.S. Government);
  • 4.5 Million of trafficked persons are sexually exploited;
  • Up to 300,000 Americans under 18 are lured into the international commercial sex trade every year;
  • From 14,500 – 17,500 of those victims are trafficked into the United States each year.
  • The average life span of a victim is reported to be 7 years (found dead from attack, abuse, HIV and other STD’s, malnutrition, overdose or suicide)

In the United States, the largest group of at-risk children are runaway, thrown away, or homeless American children who use survival sex to acquire food, shelter, clothing, and other things needed to survive on America’s streets. According to the National Runaway Switchboard, 1.3 million runaway and homeless youth live on America’s streets every day. [5,000 die each year] It would not be surprising to learn that the number of children trafficked in the United States is actually much higher than 300,000.

Children are often targeted by traffickers as they are deemed easier to manipulate than adults. More money can be earned by younger girls and boys exploited in sexual exploitation, especially virgins. Pre-pubescent girls are reported to be injected with hormones to bring on puberty. Younger girls are expected to have a greater earning potential, and as such are in greater demand.

Physical and Mental Consequences of Trafficking for victims

  • Child victims of human trafficking face significant problems. Often physically and sexually abused, they have distinctive medical and psychological needs that must be addressed before advancing in the formative years of adulthood.
  • Child victims of exploitation can face a number of long-term health problems:
  • Sleeping and eating disorders;
  • Sexually transmitted diseases;
  • HIV/AIDS, pelvic pain, rectal trauma and urinary difficulties from working in the sex industry;
  • Drug addiction;
  • Chronic back, hearing, cardiovascular or respiratory problems from endless days toiling in dangerous agriculture, sweatshop or construction conditions;
  • Fear and anxiety;
  • Depression, mood changes;
  • Guilt and shame;
  • The cultural shock from finding themselves in a strange country;
  • Posttraumatic Stress Disorder;
  • Traumatic bonding with the trafficker.

Summary

We have barely scratched the surface in this story of just how big, far-reaching, and all-encompassing Human Trafficking is. Many saw the movie “Taken” starring Liam Neeson as a former CIA undercover agent whose daughter was kidnapped while on a trip to France with a friend. She was able to reach her father by phone just moments before the human traffickers abducted her. He made a trip to Paris, tracked down the traffickers, and was able to use his considerable CIA skills to get his daughter back just moments before she was to be spirited away into a Middle Eastern life as a slave that would have certainly ended in her death.

Real life seldom finds an ex-CIA dad able to save these children from human trafficking. And it doesn’t matter if these are young children, young adults, boys or girls, men or women, humans are being sold into slavery every day right under our noses. As you saw and heard in the story of Rebecca Bender above, there’s no “cookie-cutter” victim for traffickers. Just about anyone and everyone — especially young children, teens and young adults — are candidates.

Traffickers are professionals. They know their trade inside and out, know how to act swiftly, and know how to sway the minds of young people who most often see their worlds as only their world that exists right around them. Traffickers have learned how to influence their victims with anything at their disposal necessary to sway those trafficked into a life situation that changes them forever and that they never thought could happen to them.

Let me say this: the Trump Administration has taken demonstrative actions in President Trump’s first term — as he promised in campaigning — to take on human traffickers here in the U.S. and abroad working with foreign intelligence entities. Tens of thousands have been arrested and thousands of young people have been rescued. We’ll have more specifics including eye witness accounts in the next chapter of this drama that will play out tomorrow.

As horrifying and devastating as are these experiences, do you know what is more horrifying? The fact that you and I rarely if ever see or hear any national coverage about human trafficking. Ask yourself this question: Why is that? Is it because the victims are too young, too poor, or too unknown for the Media to spend the time and effort to give us their stories? Or is it because that same Media may have powerful people to protect by NOT telling these stories? In either case, our not seeing and hearing these heartbreaking testimonies sufficient to kick these rescues into high gear is in my opinion as big a tragedy as are those young people in the stories themselves.

Be back tomorrow and we drill deeper, uncover more facts and tell more stories, and challenge all to take a role in assisting all those in power in the U.S. and elsewhere who are taking up this cause to save our young people.

 

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“I’m Sick and Tired!”

There WAS food on the table last night for dinner. So I’m OK there. The house was clean, dogs were groomed, and I got to watch the last season episode of BILLIONS uninterrupted and the final round of the U.S. Open from Pebble Beach. Normally those would be the things that tick me off. Not this time.

I’m Sick and Tired of Washington D.C.! I’m sure that comes as no surprise to many of you. It makes NO difference if you’re liberal or conservative, Democrat or Republican, from a Red state or Blue state, you’ve got to be frustrated, too. So why don’t we together compile a list of all those things we’re Sick and Tired of?

“I’m Sick and Tired Of……”

Political Favors

There are PLENTY of examples we can point to that expose political favoritism in Washington. We all know about “the bridge to nowhere,” city libraries and highway exits and rezoning of a particular parcel of land. Though sad to admit, all those things are a part of life in the federal government. But sometimes, handing out favors turns into not tangible gifts, but gifts of political power. Let me explain…

Jerold Nadler (D-NY) is the head of one of the most powerful Congressional committees: the House Judiciary Committee. His committee rules on some of the most important legislative items that dramatically impact all Americans. Nadler late June 19, 2019, tweeted this:

My frustration is not with the tweet itself, but with the entire mindset behind it. Nadler represents the 10th Congressional District of New York. Here’s the “geography” of that district: includes parts of Manhattan’s Upper West Side, Hell’s Kitchen, Chelsea, SoHo, Greenwich Village, TriBeCa, the Financial District, and Battery Park City. In Brooklyn, the 10th District includes parts of Borough Park, Kensington, Red Hook, Sunset Park, Bensonhurst, Dyker Heights, and Gravesend.

If you know Manhattan, you know there are a lot of dollar signs behind the account numbers of thousands of the residents of Nadler’s district. That means there is a lot of might and power regarding all things political there. And all those with big bucks and power have great sway over Nadler.

Because of this, instead of simply reading the Congressman’s tweet and thinking, “He’s a good representative and cares much for the African American community and how slavery impacted them as long ago as 400 years and how they still struggle today,” I automatically think this instead: “I wonder which big givers to his campaign, Wall Street power brokers, and wealthy people of color in his district caved to political correctness and ‘suggested’ he make that statement in a tweet?”

It’s not just Nadler — it’s all over the Capitol, in members of both parties, and happens regarding every issue experienced in the lives of all Americans.

”I’m Sick and Tired of the Political Favors!”

Piling On

We’ve seen a large number of really good people get run out of D.C. for the most ridiculous reasons. Some call it “Piling On,” others call it “Scapegoating.

“Scapegoating” isn’t anything new. In Old Testament Israel, two identical male goats were selected: one was to be sacrificed to God, the other was taken by the High Priest who took the sins of the Jewish people and placed them on the second goat, which was then sent into the desert to where the goat would plunge to its death. One of the factors I’ve found fascinating about scapegoating is a theory that people who are scapegoated must behave in a way that those around them believe that they have “earned” the loathing of others. I couldn’t help thinking of Donald Trump and how he has become the scapegoat of the Left for nearly everything—even when he’s not connected to the situation. Unfortunately, the Left doesn’t realize that scapegoating not only wounds the victim but can be devastating to those who commit it.

Remember Minnesota U.S. Senator Al Franken? I liked Franken as a comedian in the SNL early days on Saturday nights. Serving in the U.S. Senate as a VERY liberal Minnesotan didn’t serve him well. Franken was literally run out of D.C. amid sexual “allegations” — not proven truths — several years ago for nothing more than allegations. He became a Democrat Party scapegoat to pacify the “Me Too” movement that has summarily attacked high-profile individuals for sexual improprieties. Though Franken’s allegations were shallow and unproven, he just “seemed” sleazy. That qualified Franken to become Dems’ scapegoat.

The obvious #1 Washington scapegoat is President Trump. History — when the history of the Trump presidency is completed — will detail just how “used” he has been by his opponents. Boy, could we chronicle a bunch of those attacks! But let it suffice to say that the Mueller Investigation that was instigated apparently with NO evidence, NO factual information in every other case necessary to initiate a counter-intelligence investigation is a perfect example of Washington finding someone to use as a scapegoat.

”I’m Sick and Tired of the Scapegoating!”

Random Law Enforcement

We just saw something akin to writing a wrong in U.S. criminal justice. The Clinton Crime Bill from the 1990s (that was pushed through in part by Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton) was a horrific example of “equal justice under the law.” African Americans were targeted by the terms of that law for decades: mass incarceration, laws enforced unequally against them compared to enforcement against Caucasians, horrifically expensive criminal litigation costs and sentences that were outrageously unfair, including “Three Strikes and You’re Out.” The new crime bill just signed into law repaired a huge portion of those criminal justice travesties. But the random enforcement of laws still exists and has simply become the elitists’ way of poking average Americans in their eyes with law enforcement wrongs.

Let’s look at a few.

Immigration Laws. Don’t get me started! Folks, I’m sorry. We have specific laws regarding every aspect of immigration in the U.S. — including illegal immigration. The U.S. legally allows 1 million immigrants into the U.S. with permanent status each year. That equals the total number of immigrants allowed into all other countries in the World each year! Yet, we do NOT enforce immigration laws.

How insane is it to know that each month this year, an average of 100,000 illegals have been apprehended at the southern border. That number does NOT include those that sneak across without detection. Yet Democrats will NOT agree to take any measures the professionals tell us are necessary to stop it. That’s insane!

We all know why Democrats won’t stop it: VOTES. A social media story has been circulating stating that “Democrats in the House of Representatives voted to allow illegals to vote in U.S. elections.” That’s NOT true. But….there WAS a bill that doing so was a part of.

“We are prepared to open up the political process and let all of the people come in,” Rep. John Lewis, a Georgia Democrat and hero of the civil rights movement, told colleagues as he led opposition to the GOP measure.

The 228-197 vote came as part of a broader debate on Democrats’ major legislative priority this year, HR 1, the “For the People Act,” which includes historic expansions of voter registration and access, as well as a major rewrite of campaign finance laws.

The measure would have had no practical effect even if it had passed.  Illegal immigrants  — and indeed noncitizens as a whole — are not legally able to participate in federal elections, according to the U.S. Constitution. But Democrats made it clear they desire to change that!

Drug Laws. Talk about mass chaos. Thirty-three states and the District of Columbia currently have passed laws broadly legalizing marijuana in some form.

The District of Columbia and 10 states — Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington — have adopted the most expansive laws legalizing marijuana for recreational use.

Those states have done so knowing that possession of marijuana anywhere in the United States violates federal criminal laws!

Does that not bother you? Someone somewhere in the U.S. government made a decision at some point in time for the Department of Justice to allow federal drug laws to be violated at will without any enforcement of federal laws.

There’s no need to go into the why’s about this: we all know. But don’t you think it would be smart and LEGAL for Congress to simply repeal any of the old federal drug laws that make marijuana illegal rather than have police simply wink at marijuana drug users sending them on their way?

Random Enforcement. This one bugs me more than the others. Two guys who committed the same crime, both have the same criminal record, are charged the same, appear before the same judge, and receive totally different sentences though they both committed the same crime! It happens every day in courtrooms of local, state, AND federal courts. Why is that?

Guy #1 has a friend who serves as a Deputy Sheriff who’s sister in the aunt of Guy #1’s girlfriend. That sounds stupid, I know. But it often is that ridiculous. Guy #1 gets a reduced sentence while Guy #2 who knows no one gets the book thrown at him.

“I’m Sick and Tired of Random Law Enforcement Instead of ‘Equal Justice Under the Law!’”

Fact-Checking

I hate them all! Why do they even exist? Of course, it’s because Americans are too stupid, too lazy, and too incapable to do a little research on our own. We MUST rely on the “experts” to check all the facts that are distributed daily in the national news.

Did you know that almost all of the Fact-Checkers are tied to some news outlet or news organization? Of course, they will not tell you that! After all, being a part of a news organization like, The Washington Post, would color the “facts” that are given on any topic seen less truthful, and more biased!

Here are the 10 top Fact-Checking websites as listed by the “experts:”

Politifact– PolitiFact is a fact-checking website that rates the accuracy of claims by elected officials and others who speak up in American politics. PolitiFact is run by editors and reporters from the Tampa Bay Times, an independent newspaper in Florida.  Politifact won the Pulitzer Prize. I don’t know about you, but that in itself is NOT a real recommendation.

Fact Check– FactCheck.org is a project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania. They are a nonpartisan, nonprofit “consumer advocate” for voters that aims to reduce the level of deception and confusion in U.S. politics. They monitor the factual accuracy of what is said by major U.S. political players in the form of TV ads, debates, speeches, interviews, and news releases.

Open Secrets– Open Secrets is a nonpartisan, independent and nonprofit, run by the Center for Responsive Politics, which is the nation’s premier research group tracking money in U.S. politics and its effect on elections and public policy. Open Secrets is a source for discovering how much and where candidates get their money. They also track lobbying groups and whom they are funding.

Snopes– Snopes has been the definitive Internet reference source for urban legends, folklore, myths, rumors, and misinformation for a long time. Snopes is also usually the first to report some national or international happening as being factual or not.

The Sunlight Foundation– The Sunlight Foundation is a national, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that uses the tools of civic tech, open data, policy analysis, and journalism purportedly “to make government and politics more accountable and transparent to all.” Sunlight primarily focuses on money’s role in politics.

Poynter Institute– The Poynter Institute is not a true fact-checking service. Here’s what the experts say about Poynter: “They are however a leader in distinguished journalism and produce nothing but credible and evidence-based content. If Poynter reports it, you can count on it being true.”

Flack Check– Headquartered at the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania, FlackCheck.org is the political literacy companion site to FactCheck.org. The site provides resources designed to help viewers recognize flaws in arguments in general and political ads in particular.

Truth or Fiction– Very similar to Snopes. They tend to focus more on political rumors and hoaxes.

Hoax-Slayer– Another service that debunks or validates internet rumors and hoaxes.

Fact Checker by the Washington PostThe Washington Post has a very clear left-center bias and this is reflected in their fact checks. Their fact checks are excellent and sourced; however, their bias is reflected in the fact that they fact-check right-wing claims more than left.  Otherwise, the Washington Post is a good resource.

Summary

Just to put it in simple terms: “I’m Sick and Tired of Washington D.C.!” The culture of the city is driven by politics, and because of that, Washington has always seemed “dirty” to me — not in the sense of needing a bath, but it seems to always reak of compromise, dirty deals, cronyism, back-alley negotiations, and trying to find new ways to get into the wallets of Americans.

In the 2016 Presidential Campaign, Donald Trump brought up the term “Drain the Swamp.” No name could possibly be more appropriate than that for Washington. Furthermore, as much as he has and is trying, Washington is so dirty and so evil, I doubt he’ll be able to totally drain the Swamp out of D.C. I don’t think any president can.

But, you know what: getting rid of the swamp creatures one at a time is a good way to start. He’s doing that. He’s turned the light on in the kitchen, and the roaches are scattering.

I’m sick and tired of his turning that light on only for one of the swamp critters to reach up and turn the light off! Those Swamp inhabitants sure like to keep it dark!

 

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Federal Abortion Funding

At TruthNewsNetwork, we have always felt obligated to address the major issues of the day throughout the United States. Illegal Immigration is the only issue that comes to mind that is possibly more important to Americans than the Pro Life-Pro-Choice discussion. Abortion is the most polarizing social and legal issue of the day. And it has been for decades.

Monday, June 17th, that conversation skyrocketed in the U.S. and around the World. Why? U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas surprisingly weighed-in about the Roe v. Wade case that made abortion legal in all 50 states. Most do not realize that what actually resulted in that ruling was the the legality of abortion was taken from the states and given to the United States. And that ruling by SCOTUS determined abortion is legal.

Monday, Justice Thomas in an opinion on an entirely unrelated case decision took a swipe at some of the reasoning of the 1973 Roe v. Wade opinion. An otherwise obscure case decided this week, Franchise Tax Board of California v. Hyatt, suggests that a majority of the court would not uphold Roe v. Wade today.

 And to stick another sharp stick in liberals’ eyes, it could also overturn same-sex marriage on the same basis. We’ll later in the week break all this down for you, but not today. Today, we are talking about abortion funding in the abortion conversation.

More controversial than the subject of abortion itself is the funding of abortions. The number one single abortion provider in the U.S. has for some time been Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood by its own numbers shows more than 300,000 abortions are conducted annually in their facilities. A majority of Americans reject the funding of abortions in any way using federal tax dollars. Planned Parenthood summarily insists that its abortion operations are conducted solely through private donations and do NOT rely on or use federal funding. Planned Parenthood discussions and federal tax dollar usage by Planned Parenthood is a conversation for another day.

Beginning long ago but growing much louder in the controversy over repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act, talk of defunding Planned Parenthood–essentially ensuring that Medicaid funds cannot go to the health provider service–has become deafening. Defunding Planned Parenthood, advocates say, would ensure that taxpayer money is not used for abortions.

People who disagree with defunding Planned Parenthood have a consistent response to that proposal–that federal money cannot be used for abortion services because of something called “the Hyde Amendment.” Let’s learn what the Hyde Amendment is, its history, and what exactly it requires.

The History of the Hyde Amendment

In 1973, the Supreme Court ruled on Roe v. Wade. With a 7-2 decision, the court ruled that a woman’s right to an abortion is protected by the Fourteenth Amendment. That decision legalized abortion in the United States, although states still have control over certain aspects–like at what point in a woman’s pregnancy abortion can be restricted.

The 1973 Supreme Court ruling in Roe v. Wade that legalized abortion in the United States set up the debate between pro-choice and pro-life advocates that is still going on today. Between 1973 and 1976 various attempts to prevent Medicaid funding from being used for abortions were introduced and failed. But in 1976, the Hyde Amendment was introduced by Congressman Henry Hyde. It was not any sort of stand-alone law, but rather a rider attached to the 1977 fiscal year’s Labor, Health and Humans Services Appropriations Bill.

There was a lot of back-and-forth and disagreements between the House and the Senate, and the measure went through a number of revisions before it was successful. Language that made exceptions for abortions in the case that the mother could die without the procedure was inserted, removed, and inserted again.

But eventually, the provision is known as the “Hyde Amendment” was passed in 1977. In essence, it prohibited any use of Medicaid funds for abortion, unless the life of the mother was endangered. The passage of the Hyde Amendment was seen as a big win for the growing pro-life movement, but because it’s a rider attached to an appropriations bill, it needs to be re-passed every year.

Legal Challenges

After the Hyde Amendment was passed, its legality was almost immediately challenged. The Reproductive Freedom Project, the Center for Constitutional Rights, and Planned Parenthood, representing health care providers and a pregnant Medicaid patient, obtained an injunction 40 minutes after the provision went into effect. Federal Judge John F. Dooling Jr. granted the injunction, setting off a legal battle that made its way to the Supreme Court. SCOTUS sent the case back to Dooling, who kept the injunction in place for that year.

While the Hyde Amendment worked its way through the legal system, it also underwent revisions in Congress. Because it needs to be passed again through an appropriations bill each year, there’s plenty of room to edit and refine the language. Eventually, language that allowed for exceptions in the case of rape or incest were added.

Harris v. McRae 

In 1980, the Supreme Court officially weighed in on the legality of the Hyde Amendment in the case of Harris v. McRae. Cora McRae was a pregnant Medicaid patient who challenged the legality of the provision. The court was asked to weigh whether the Hyde Amendment violated the right to privacy, the right to Due Process under the Fifth Amendment, or Freedom of Religion under the First Amendment. In a ruling neatly split by ideology, the court decided that the Hyde Amendment violated none of the above. According to Oyez:

The Court held that states participating in the Medicaid program were not obligated to fund medically necessary abortions under Title XIX. The Court found that a woman’s freedom of choice did not carry with it ‘a constitutional entitlement to the financial resources to avail herself of the full range of protected choices.’ The Court ruled that because the Equal Protection Clause was not a source of substantive rights and because poverty did not qualify as a ‘suspect classification,’ the Hyde Amendment did not violate the Fifth Amendment. Finally, the Court held that the coincidence of the funding restrictions of the statute with tenets of the Roman Catholic Church did not constitute an establishment of religion.

Although the text has evolved slightly over time, it’s similar to the original concept–federal funds through Medicaid should not be used for abortion services. The current text allows exceptions for if a mother’s life is at risk, or if a woman has become pregnant through rape or incest. Despite political majorities changing over time, and other legal cases brought against the provision, some version of the Hyde Amendment has passed every year since 1977.

Modern Day: H.R. 7

Recently, the Hyde Amendment has made it back into the news again, in the sense that there are moves being made to render it permanent. H.R. 7, also known as the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion and Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act” would codify the already-existing provisions in the Hyde Amendment and make the restrictions on federal funding permanent. It would also prevent women who are on military insurance or work for the federal government from using their insurance for abortion services.

The House of Representatives passed H.R. 7 on January 24, 2017, with a 238-183 vote. It’s unlikely to pass the Senate (similar bills passed the House in recent years and were not passed by the Senate) but if it does, it seems likely that President Donald Trump would choose to sign it.

Arguments for and Against the Hyde Amendment

There are plenty of arguments for and against the Hyde Amendment, many of which are tied to the general debate over abortion. The following lists are by no means conclusive. But like abortion, the Hyde Amendment remains incredibly controversial.

Arguments for the Hyde Amendment 

Advocates of the Hyde Amendment argue that it saves lives. The 40th anniversary of the original passage of the Hyde Amendment was in September 2016, and it was celebrated as having “saved two million lives” since its passage. Advocates argue that cutting funding for abortion prevents women from having abortions. Although it’s obviously difficult to quantify how many women would have sought abortions had they been able to, pro-life advocates estimate that if the Hyde Amendment was repealed, abortion rates would increase by roughly 25 percent.

Another argument in favor of the Hyde Amendment is that it is supported by the American public. Polling on the issue has varied widely–in fact, both supporters and detractors of the Hyde Amendment regularly make this argument–but it’s true that certain polls have indicated Americans are not in favor of using Medicaid funds for abortions. A Politico poll conducted in October 2016 found that 58 percent of voters are not in support of using Medicaid funding for abortion.

Even some pro-choice individuals are in favor of the Hyde Amendment, arguing that regardless of their personal or political beliefs on abortion, taxpayer money should not be involved. For example during the 2016 election, Senator Tim Kaine, in contrast to his running mate Hillary Clinton, was supportive of the Hyde Amendment. Kaine “stood with” Clinton’s efforts to repeal it, but said he was personally in support of the measure.

Arguments Against the Hyde Amendment

Critics of the Hyde Amendment point out that it is specifically intended to target poor women and women of color who rely on Medicaid. Hyde’s own statements when he introduced the measure provide some fodder for that point of view. He stated: “I certainly would like to prevent, if I could legally, anybody having an abortion, a rich woman, a middle-class woman or a poor woman. Unfortunately, the only vehicle available is the (Medicaid) bill.” Advocates of repealing the Hyde Amendment point out that abortion is expensive to pay for out-of-pocket, so many women who rely on Medicaid don’t have that option.

Those who support repealing the Hyde Amendment also point out that restricting access to abortion doesn’t necessarily lead to fewer abortions, but it leads to more unsafe abortions. They also point out that women who want an abortion but aren’t able to obtain one are more likely to fall into poverty than a woman who is able to. And given that many women who seek abortions already have at least one other child, that can be dire for entire families. Of course, traditional pro-choice arguments come into play when discussing the Hyde Amendment–including that women’s healthcare shouldn’t be a political decision.

Summary

Let’s face it: abortion is one of the most controversial topics of the day. And it has been for more than half a century. And it will still be half a century from today!

The typical argument if one reconciles abortion itself is the funding of abortions. The annual federal funding of Planned Parenthood has been a hot topic every year that I can remember. Most Americans cannot see any realistic explanation for any federal tax dollars at all to PP. Last year, the Government Accounting Office reported Planned Parenthood received approximately $500 million in federal funding for use in their services.

Planned Parenthood claims that of that roughly 1/2 Billion received from the government, not a single dollar goes to pay for abortion. They claim those funds are used in total for PP’s “other” healthcare operations. So what are those “other” PP services? Here’s their list:

  • Zika Education and Prevention
  • Transgender and LGBT Healthcare Services
  • HIV Prevention
  • Clinical Research
  • Online and Video Counseling
  • Mobile apps to support medical regimens
  • Planned Parenthood Generation Action college campus chapters
  • Men’s Health Programs

General Health Services:

  • Anemia Testing
  • Checkups for Sexual Health Problems
  • Cholesterol Screening
  • Colon Cancer Screening
  • Diabetes Screening
  • Employment and Sports Physicals
  • Flu Vaccination
  • High Blood Pressure Screening
  • Rape Crisis Counseling Referrals
  • Routine Physical Exams
  • Smoking Cessation
  • Tetanus Vaccination
  • Thyroid Screening
  • UTI Testing and Treatment

Pregnancy Testing and Services:

  • Pregnancy Testing
  • Adoption Services
  • Adoption Referrals
  • Fertility Awareness Education
  • Pregnancy Planning Services
  • Prenatal Services
  • Childbirth Classes
  • Postpartum Exams
  • Trained Staff to Discuss Options If You Are Pregnant
  • Trained Staff to Talk with You About Miscarriage

Birth Control:

  • Birth Control Implant
  • Birth Control Patch
  • Birth Control Pill
  • Birth Control Shot
  • Birth Control Sponge
  • Birth Control Vaginal Ring
  • Cervical Cap
  • Diaphragm
  • Condom
  • FC2 Female Condom
  • Fertility Awareness Method (FAMs)
  • IUD (hormonal, copper)
  • Spermicide
  • Men’s Sterilization (Vasectomy)
  • Sterilization (Essure, Tubal Ligation)

Emergency Contraception:

  • Birth Control Pills as Emergency Contraception
  • Morning-after Pill (Plan B and Similar Brands)
  • Morning-after Pill (Ella)
  • IUD (Copper)

Wow! That’s a lot of healthcare services.

But are these services not available already at other healthcare centers? Remember: Planned Parenthood self-claims to be the champion of women’s healthcare rights for low-income Americans. Are there not already other federally funded centers that provide these same services?

At last count, there are three kinds of health centers nationwide at which low-income Americans can receive all of the above health services through federally funded programs: more than 9,100 Federally Qualified Health Center Service Sites, approximately 300 FQHC Look-Alikes, and approximately 4,100 Rural Health Clinics (RHCs), or 13,500 clinics. None of these clinics provide abortion services.

Where do women receive abortions? Planned Parenthood has approximately 700 centers in total, of which they state “very few” provide abortion services. They do NOT release the actual number of centers that do perform abortions.

Let’s do the math:

  • the U.S. funds 13,500 public clinics nationwide at which Americans receive all types of health services, identical to those listed above offered by Planned Parenthood;
  • Planned Parenthood in total operates 700 centers, yet performs over 300,000 abortions per year. They report “a small number” of those 700 centers do abortions. If every PP center DID provide abortions, that would total an average of 14,000 per clinic per year.

Yet U.S. citizens provide $714,285 per year per each of those 700 Planned Parenthood centers — “just a few” of which perform abortions: “Planned Parenthood SAYS.”

“If it quacks and waddles, it’s almost always a duck. And the Planned Parenthood duck seems to be quacking — loudly!”

 

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The Credibility Gap in D.C. is Wide — and Getting Wider

“What we are witnessing in D.C. is a likely bloodbath at the polls in 2020.”

Let’s just step back, all take a deep breath, and for a moment reflect on where the United States really is politically. And we may be in a place that you don’t even realize we are. While we are reflecting, let’s forget about the great obvious and very visually good things that have occurred in the first 2 years of the Trump presidency: unemployment all-time records (on the low side), federal revenue all-time records, more jobs available than people to fill them, corporate expansion and new hiring exploding, tax cuts for corporations and the middle class, etc. Instead of going into the details of those accomplishments, let’s dig deeper and examine those things that have led to the path on which we find ourselves — the “foundation” that has been prepared on which those “good things” could be and have been based. Then we will look ahead to 2020 and look closely at how the current political climate will directly impact the election results in 2020. In doing this analysis, let’s look at these categories that are critical in the lives of all Americans:

  • Healthcare
  • Jobs and employment
  • Taxes
  • Immigration
  • The American Political Atmosphere

Healthcare

In 1992, I started a Medical Reimbursement Management Company in the spare bedroom of my home. It was just me, a card file, and a telephone getting started. Without bragging, let me say it’s been a really good ride. I have transitioned ownership to a son-in-law who came aboard as IT Director about 15 years ago. I’m telling you this to say, we know Healthcare from the bottom up — from the perspective of what drives every successful business in America: the $$$.

The U.S. — in spite of what you hear every day — does NOT have a Healthcare problem. The U.S. has a Healthcare “Finance” problem.

American Healthcare is among the best healthcare systems in the World. The current political climate finds politicians clamoring for “Healthcare Overhaul.” That is a dangerous path for the nation to walk down. Medical Services provided under the current healthcare system are amazing. Costs and Healthcare Services are two vastly different things. And politicians are crying for the wrong things to happen — and in many cases, I think purposely so. We need to LEAVE healthcare itself alone, but fight for “healthcare finance reform.”

This administration has initiated a so-far successful plan to fight for an across-the-board reduction in the costs of prescription drugs. The same drugs we buy in the U.S. are bought in other countries. Yet we pay monumentally more for most of those prescription drugs than do those in other countries. Why is that? Legislative lobbying. Lobbyists give perks to members of Congress who then pass drug price legislation that favor American pharmaceutical companies and their American retail sales prices. Their reasoning: drug companies contend they MUST cover their costs for research, testing, and creation of bringing new drugs to the market by keeping drug prices high in the U.S. While that is happening, they contend they can sell the same products overseas for a “more reasonable price.” That certainly sounds good to folks in Canada! And there are Detroit residents who take advantage of that and drive across the border bridge to Windsor, Canada — just a couple of miles away — to buy American pharmaceuticals at MUCH lower prices! Fixing Healthcare starts there, and we’ve already made a good start.

Secondly, medical procedures and product charges need to be based totally on a fee schedule: the price allowed for every medical procedure and product available and used by healthcare professionals. There’s already such a schedule in place that has been used successfully in the U.S. for decades. It’s a “Medicare Part B” fee schedule. Retail prices are not considered in that schedule. It includes only “allowables:” the prices that providers will be paid by Medicare and secondary insurance companies. That schedule is adjusted based on zip codes for providers.

Obviously, a heart bypass operation costs a surgeon more to perform in Manhattan than in Arcadia, Louisiana. A Manhattan surgeon, therefore, will get paid more for the same bypass than does a surgeon rural in Louisiana. And they’re fair prices.

There are many on the provider side in healthcare who scream “Medicare fee schedule rates are too low. We can’t operate at those prices!” Here’s what I KNOW from managing this for so long: if EVERY provider (physician and/or hospital) knows that for EVERY service they provide they will receive whatever the exact amount allowed on that fee schedule within a certain amount of time — like 45 days — they’ll jump at that opportunity ONCE THE FACTS ARE PUT IN FRONT OF THEM. I am certain of that fact.

Why are medical prices so high now? Because so many medical bills NEVER get paid at all. Medical providers are forced to jack-up all their prices, hoping that insurance companies will pay those too-high prices that will offset their losses for the services they provide that go unpaid!

A fee schedule WILL work IF we try it.

Jobs and Employment

The facts speak for themselves: unemployment in various segments are at all-time lows; there are more jobs available than there are people to fill them; corporate expansions are sky-rocketing; wages have begun to rise steadily; there are more people employed than ever before in U.S. history; domestic companies are repatriating profits being held overseas back to the United States and putting that money into capital markets for corporate growth and expansion. It’s the capital market system of free market ideas. And it works! “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” And it ain’t broke.

Taxes

Much of the good economic news in America is a direct result of the tax reductions under the Trump Administration, both for corporations and Americans personally. It is important to note that federal tax revenues have increased dramatically in the past two years, even with these tax cuts. How could that possibly be?

That’s the way a free market system works. Liberals wrongly think that reducing taxes automatically reduces federal income. But the exact opposite is true. Here’s how the process works:

  • In error, liberals think if taxes on corporations are lowered, those corporations will take that extra money and keep it as “profits.” That’s incorrect;
  • Corporations typically take that extra income and expand their operations, buy new equipment, add new buildings, market more aggressively to get new business, give existing employees raises, and add new employees as they attract new clients;
  • The same concept holds true for personal tax cuts. People who keep more of their own money buy new things, renovate their homes, buy NEW homes, buy NEW cars, travel more, etc. They seldom just stick that money in the bank;
  • When corporations and individuals have more money, they put more money into the free market. That in itself impacts the atmosphere of business and stimulates positive feelings derived from positive things happening. Growth happens in part just because consumer confidence levels rise.

Immigration

The U.S. is a nation of immigrants. But the U.S. is also a nation of laws. That fact seems to be lost to America’s lawmakers today. But it has served the immigration process well for 200+ years — until today.

Each year the U.S. Rewards 1 million foreigners legal status — mostly full citizenship — in the United States. In comparison, that 1 million number equals the total number of legal immigrants accepted into every other country on Earth — COMBINED!

No one knows for certain how many illegals there are today in the U.S. nor how many are sneaking into the U.S. every week. What we DO know is that number is in the millions.

What else Americans do not know is why we have ANY illegals here for ANY reasons. There is NO good answer to that question. But there are answers — just no GOOD ones.

  • There have been (and always will be) a number of illegals who find their way into the U.S. That though a criminal act occurs in every other country as well. But nowhere else has there been near the number of illegal entries as there are in the U.S. Many foreigners want to come here. But the current environment of there being so many here illegally is unsustainable. Yet politicians — mostly on the Left — continue to (as they have for decades) resist correcting the legal process to stop illegal immigration.
  • There are immediate financial benefits for having illegals. Illegals primarily find manual labor, which often is handled outside the normal U.S. employment process. Illegals generally do not have social security status and therefore in large get paid without payroll deductions — social security, federal, state, and local taxes — which allows employers to Illegally skip reporting those as employees. Employers therefore can pay lower gross wages to illegals. That — no payroll deductions — in effect means illegals for the same jobs receive higher take-home pay than do their legal counterparts. And employers because of not paying the legal deductions save money with illegal workers.
  • Illegals will often work in menial tasks that many Americans refuse.
  • The primary reason for the continuation of massive illegal entries into the country is for political purposes. Those on the Left identify illegals as certain future Democrat voters. There are many who feel strongly that even right now, illegals in some states find ways to vote illegally in federal elections. Democrats feel certain that when they regain a strong majority in both Houses of Congress and the White House simultaneously, they will be successful at passing legislation to change voting laws to allow ALL illegals to vote in federal elections.
  • Dems are certain the current class of illegals will certainly vote for Democrats, thus assuring the continuation of their party and its liberal policies.

It is important to note that the Democrat Party depends for its very existence on the perpetuation of a “Dependent Class” of Americans. Democrats must have in their control those who maintain government financial assistance to survive. Those peoples’ reliance on Democrats obligates their support of the Democrat Party and their candidates. Otherwise, Democrats have no policy offerings at all to counter the current good economic climate in the U.S. that was initiated under Trump.

The American Political Atmosphere

Here’s where the nation is in real trouble. Not in my lifetime has there existed a political atmosphere so negative, so vitriolic, so full of hate and so divided. Those on the Left blame this president and his followers. Those on the Right blame the Left for their quest to move voters in the nation so far away from conservative ideals.

There is little respect for diversity of thought and opinion anymore. I remember in the early to mid-70s when at my university in the South, there was a modicum of respect for the opinions of those who would stand and speak in the Quadrangle at noon expressing their political opinions. Yes, there were those with differing opinions. And, yes, there was sometimes arguing that escalated between some of those. But I never saw hatred and total disdain.

In American politics, we have devolved from “differing opinions” to outright “hatred” for those with opposing political views. When else in American history has any organized group that purports to protest against those who speak at a Free Speech rally show up at that rally to NOT support Free Speech speakers, but to attack them? That is exactly what ANTIFA has been doing for 2 years. And at those rallies, members of ANTIFA are seen physically attacking conservatives. “ANTIFA” stands for “anti-fascists.” Yet ANTIFA’s goal at these rallies is to demonize Free Speech and those who support it.

Do you know what’s odd about their doing so? Most Americans think ANTIFA really represents their namesake! Most Americans think those conservatives against who ANTIFA demonstrate are the bad guys in this whole thing.

It’s not much better elsewhere in politics. Congress — where conservative and liberal ideals are supposed to be turned into laws to govern every aspect of American life — has simply discovered the comfort in doing very little as part of the legislative process so as to not cause any heartburn regarding legislation — that instead of the process that should result in lawmaking. Instead, they are content to either investigate, hold press conferences in which their only agenda seems to be to demonize all those with differing opinions and to be careful in what and how they do the little they do to make only as few waves as possible.

Meanwhile, the electorate is steaming with partisanship they parrot from their Congressional counterparts. The rule of the day in politics instead of mandating peaceful discourse and discussion of ideas is to attack all ideas and all those who espouse such ideas that differ from your own. Even in the ’60s with the Vietnam War the anger and hatred for those with opposing ideas were not nearly as caustic as those today. Political opponents are not necessarily Democrats and Republicans. Those just represent opposing political parties. The hatred and animus run much deeper: Female against Male, Heterosexual against Homosexual, Black against White, American against non-American, Pro-Life against Pro-Choice, etc. And the vitriol between all of these is the type that can and does often turn into violence.

To complicate matters, the Left hates this president. Because of their hatred, everything they do in legislation or other parts of the federal government is colored by that disdain for him. Their angst for Donald Trump is primarily driven by the election trouncing of their certain 2016 White House victor: Hillary Clinton. None gave any chance to the New York billionaire. But enough Americans with differing opinions gave him a huge electoral college whipping over Ms. Clinton. And the Left have not forgiven Trump and will not do so.

That’s why we find ourselves where we are today: in pure political pandemonium. Don’t get me wrong: governing continues. Good things are happening, and the void between the two versions of political thinking get wider and wider with each passing day. And every Trump victory morphs immediately into another pointed finger in the eyes of the Left.

So what’s going to happen?

  • The Trump victories that are heretofore numerous in as well are unexpected will continue. Americans love the fact that a candidate made promises which when elected keeps those promises.
  • “It’s the economy, Stupid!” as first uttered by James Carville just before the Bill Clinton victory in re-election in 1996 is still the major contributing factor in Americans’ approval of President Trump. Based on what we know today and expect for the next 2 years, that will continue.
  • “Take No Prisoners.” Donald Trump is bombastic. He always keeps his opponents wondering what he’s thinking and what is his next political step. One thing that is certain for all: when he takes action, it’s always decisive, quick, and widely seen. Those on the Left hate it, but there’s no way they can stop it short of impeachment or a 2020 victory in unseating this sitting President.

Summary

Prediction: Trump will NOT be impeached before the 2020 election. He will continue to fight hard against the Left in the same manner in which he has the first 2 years of his presidency. It will get uglier. More outlandish allegations will surface and be thrown against him. But in each, he will be vindicated.

Why is all of this so vile? There must be something to hide. The attackers must have things to hide.

Democrats really wanted President Trump to do something horrific during the Mueller investigation — so horrific that it would prove he is unfit to serve as President. Why else would Representatives Eric Swalwell (D-CA) and Adam Schiff (D-CA) continuously claim they had actual evidence proving that Donald Trump actually colluded with Russians who helped him win in 2016 and that he obstructed justice in doing so? That was the pair’s sharp stick. They expected the verbose billionaire from Queens to take their bait and do something — anything — to shut down the Mueller probe. Because they know Washington D.C. and the Swamp so well, they felt for certain that Mr. Trump had broken the law (like many who serve in Congress) and would be exposed for doing so during the probe. It didn’t happen. Why? THERE’S NO THERE THERE!

Play

“We Are the World, We are the People….”

Here we are: two years+ into the Donald Trump Presidency and STILL the United States media do not give this guy any credit. They  everyday still throw allegations of wrongdoing, insults regarding his hairstyle, the way he speaks, his skin color, his Queens accent — pretty much in every way a country’s media could demean someone. And when they do it, they laugh and snarl, kind of like they did shortly before Donald Trump announced he was actually running for president in 2016. They started laughing and making fun of him then. They haven’t stopped.

But things are a bit different now: Donald Trump has a political history. No, his political history is not one of his personal foreign policy accomplishments — at least no accomplishments from BEFORE he became President. His “pre-White House” political history probably exists only with his record of the hundreds of thousands of dollars he has contributed through the years to local, state, and national candidates whom he supported. Several of those contribution recipients have donned the Democrat mantle of “presidential candidate” and are on the campaign trail for their party’s nomination to take their former “contributor” — Donald Trump — head-on in 2020. And none have very nice things to say about him — but they took his money!

There’s a bit of irony there, don’t you think?

Let’s face facts: this President gets very little support in the U.S., Of course, the ardent Trump supporters in the United States support him. And contrary to how the State Media portray this president, most understand facts and numbers and know what he has done for the country in 2 years. But also, those “Trumpsters” still cannot reconcile the fact that the American Media — NY Times, WaPo, MSNBC, CNN, CBS, NBC, ABC, Huffington Post — give President Trump no credit for the economy, foreign trade, millions of new jobs, low unemployment across the board, more people employed than ever, etc. Almost daily there is a collective “SMH” you can almost hear across the nation. (For those of you in downtown Manhattan and San Francisco, “SMH” means “Shake My Head.)

Here’s what we’re going to do today: we’re going to take a look for yourselves at something as simple as Google, do a search, and see what’s important to the media in the U.S. and across the “Pond” regarding this President. It begins with his popularity overseas, takes a look at the domestic and European media portrayals of Mr. Trump’s just completed visit to the U.K., and then we’ll complete today’s offering with a story — a really GOOD story — about “Bubba” from Texas. And Bubba will help explain what the American State Media are missing about Donald Trump. Let’s start here:

Google

Take just a moment and Google this: “What is President Trump’s world favorability number?” I took that challenge, and here are some of the results I found:

“Trump is even more unpopular in Europe than he is in the U.S …”

“Trump’s Approval Rating Is Even Lower Globally, and He’s …”

“How Popular Is Donald Trump? | FiveThirtyEight”

“Trump Approval Worldwide Remains Low Especially Among Key …”

Notice the stories that Googles’ algorithm popped up with this specific search that had NOTHING to do with Europe. So President Trump’s favorability is low in some countries overseas. And according to media pundits in the U.S., that’s a really big deal. Meghan Markle spurned the President during his recent trip to Britain to celebrate the 75th anniversary of D-Day. Though an American by birth, she is now a married member of the Royal Family. Certainly, she was not a Donald Trump fan when he ran for president. And, certainly, members of the British press made very little about the comments made about the President and his response to hers.’ But not so across the Pond! America’s press went nuts with constant negativity about President Trump and details of his trip. Some even made fun of Melania and her attire!

Isn’t it a strange world in which the U.S. media would lambast the President while he makes a trip to the U.K. to join European government leaders and hundreds of World War II veterans celebrating the 75th anniversary of D-Day? Think about it: if the United States had not led the storming of Omaha Beach that day, most of Europe would probably be speaking German today. And the U.S. may have been also.

President Trump was actually applauded in the U.K. press. Not so in the U.S. Here’s a screenshot of a YouTube search with the search term “U.S. Media attacks of President Trump.” It may be too small for you to read, but basically, I’ll summarize the search findings: every story that comes up with THAT search sentence — rather than a video or story about the U.S. media’s attacks of this president — is about a video and/or story of PRESIDENT TRUMP ATTACKING THE MEDIA!

Are you surprised?

Wanna take a look at the headlines from the other side of the Pond — from European news outlets?

“Trump’s U.K. Visit Unites the British” 

Trump’s UK Visit: Trump, May discuss special alliance between the U.S. and the U.K.”

Nile Gardiner: Pres. Trump’s U.K. Visit Possibly His “Most Successful” State Visit

Here are the headlines about the Trump U.K. trip from U.S. Media outlets:

“Ignorant Donald Trump Remarks in Ireland Force Irish PM’s Clarification” (Rachel Maddow via MSNBC)

“Jeremy Hunt Calls Donald Trump a ‘Controversial President'”(Jeremy Hunt: RT )

“Day 1 Of Donald Trump Gaffs” (RT)

“Trolling Calling: Trump Gets ‘Baby Blimp’ Treatment In London”  (MSNBC)

President Donald Trump Causes Controversy In UK Visit”  (NBC News)

“Trump an ‘enemy of democracy,’ London protestor says | Trump’s U.K. Visit 2019 (CNBC)

Who Cares?

Let’s cut right to the chase: does anyone in America really care what people in Switzerland, Belgium, Turkey, Russia, or Lichenstein think about President Trump or any U.S. president? I know Barack Obama made it clear he wanted all of us to join all of “them” and become “Citizens of the World” instead of U.S. citizens. I would like for everyone to send me a $100 bill tomorrow, too. But just as certain I am that I will receive no $100 bills from anyone if I asked, I am certain none of us are going to become “Citizens of the World.” Donald Trump does not care to be the “President” or “King” of the World, either. I’m pretty sure Barack Obama would have liked that, though.

So why does anyone here care at all how the British or French or German media feel about President Trump?

It’s kinda like this for me: I love my wife. We’ve been married 44 years. Yes, her paint’s faded, her windshield has a few cracks in it, and her tires are constantly going flat. But you know what? I really like her THE WAY SHE IS! And, quite honestly, I don’t give a rip about what anyone else thinks about her, I think I’m going to keep her. Why? BECAUSE I LIKE WHAT SHE’S DONE AS MY WIFE, MOTHER TO OUR CHILDREN, AND NONNIE TO OUR 6 GRANDCHILDREN.

And I don’t care what anyone else thinks — especially not someone who lives in Zimbabwe!

Here’s what they’re all missing:

  • Does anyone think a stupid guy from Queens could turn a stake from his father into several billion dollars if he was stupid?
  • Does anyone think that same guy could build an enterprise from nothing into being the employer of several hundred thousand Americans and maintain it for 30 years?
  • Does anyone think that stupid guy could create and personally produce (while starring in) a multi-year #1 network television show?

Zig Ziglar is probably using that example in his career building seminars as an example of what someone — ANYONE — is capable of achieving if they only try and never give up.

The Leftist Media (and the Leftists in Congress) are just hacked off because — first of all — he beat their Star in her run for the White House in 2016. Secondly, they feel the way they feel because they do not understand how he operates, what his governing intentions are, and they certainly don’t understand this one thing about him: he makes promises and he KEEPS promises! They are not accustomed to seeing that in any national politician.

So they just stand back and throw rocks at him. Their fundamental premise is this: “He’s dumb, he’s stupid, he doesn’t know anything about politics, and we do. He simply needs to sit down, shut up, and let us tell him what to do and how to do it just like we have in the past.”

Donald Trump is NOT going to ever do that!

The Finish: Bubba

His name was Bubba. He was from Texas but he was in New York City and he needed a loan, So he walked into a bank in the Big Apple and asked for the loan officer.

He told the loan officer that he was going to Paris for an international redneck festival for two weeks and needed to borrow $5,000 and that he was not a depositor of the bank.

The bank officer told him that the bank would need some form of security for the loan, so the Redneck handed over the keys to a new Ferrari. The car was parked on the street in front of the bank.
The Redneck produced the title and everything checked out. The loan officer agreed to hold the car as collateral for the loan and apologized for having to charge 12% interest.

Later, the bank’s president and its officers all enjoyed a good laugh at the Redneck from Texas for using a $250,000 Ferrari as collateral for a $5,000 loan. An employee of the bank then drove the Ferrari into the bank’s private underground garage and parked it.

Two weeks later, Bubba returned, repaid the $5,000 and the interest of 23.07. The loan officer said, “Sir, we are very happy to have had your business, and this transaction has worked out very nicely, but we are a little puzzled. While you were away, we checked you out on Dunn & Bradstreet and found that you are a distinguished alumni from the University of Texas, a highly sophisticated investor and multi-millionaire with real estate and financial interests all over the world. Your investments include a large number of wind turbines around Sweetwater, Texas. What puzzles us is, why would you bother to borrow $5,000?”
The good ‘ole boy replied, “Where else in New York City can I park my car for two weeks for only $23.07 and expect it to be there when I return?”

Moral of the story: “just because he does things a little bit different than you do doesn’t mean he’s stupid! Just look at the results.”

Play

Pelosi-Schumer are “In the Box”

For the purpose of total transparency, please know I am NOT a Democrat. I am NOT a Republican. I am registered as “Other.” My state is one in which “Independent” is not a political category that is available for voter registration.

Honestly, in some ways, I am somewhat Libertarian, in some ways Republican, and though not inclined to support any current Democrat Party policies, on certain social issues I am antipathetic: not leaning Left and not leaning Right.

Whew! Now that we got that cleared up, let me make a statement to open today’s offering: The Democrat Party is in DEEP trouble! Its two leaders have gone totally off the reservation on which Reason resides. Nancy and Chuck are oblivious to YouTube’s capability to capture actual conversations in real time that often come up years later to haunt those who said those things. 

Besides that, both Pelosi and Schumer still act and talk like Americans are oblivious to all the things they say and do, and promises they break. (There has to be a reason for Congress’ approval numbers hovering in the teens) They’ve both been really good at showing the world their foolishness. But this time it is REALLY over the top.

“Nancy and Chuck Sitting in a Tree….”

By now everyone is familiar with the notification to Mexico by President Trump that unless Mexico stepped up to help take care of the flood of illegals through the U.S. border he would impose massive tariffs on Mexican goods. In all fairness, members of Congress — and not all are Democrats — balked at the possibility of Mexican tariffs. Concerns were primarily those for the negative impact tariffs would make on the U.S. economy.

They all looked for cameras so they could pontificate about the lunacy of such tariffs and how bad implementing those would be on U.S. foreign policy. Still, Trump restated, again and again, he was serious and would indeed assess tariffs, and that the first level — 5% — would become effective Monday, June 10, 2019.

Here was Nancy about the Trump lunacy regarding tariffs and Trump’s explanation:

Not to be outdone, the Senate Minority Leader stepped to the microphone to give the world his sarcastic analysis. Here’s what he said:

“This is an historic night!” Schumer said sarcastically in a Twitter post Friday night.
The president “has announced that he has cut a deal ‘to greatly reduce, or eliminate, illegal immigration coming from Mexico and into the United States,’ Schumer added, quoting the president. “Now that that problem is solved, I’m sure we won’t be hearing any more about it in the future.”

Even Beto added his thoughts:

“I think the president has completely overblown what he purports to have achieved. These are agreements that Mexico had already made and, in some case, months ago,” the former congressman from Texas said on ABC’s “This Week.” “They might have accelerated the timetable, but by and large the president achieved nothing except to jeopardize the most important trading relationship that the United States of America has.”

A Mexican government contingent rushed to D.C. to negotiate a resolution with the U.S. State Department. The furor from the Left crescendoed as the tariff implementation date got closer. Friday, June 7th, Mexico capitulated and the President announced a resolution had been reached.

Expectations were that everyone in Washington would breath easier knowing that there would be no tariffs and that Mexico would take-on illegal immigration on their side of the border. But Nancy and Chuck brought any glee back to ground level. They are NOT happy.

Seriously?

Here’s where my head explodes. Pelosi and Schumer are the most powerful people in the Democrat Party. They supposedly represent “The People.” If they do, then please answer these:

How do you refuse to respond to the non-stop illegal alien entries into the U.S., the massive drug cartel floods of opioids across our border, and human trafficking that is mind boggling?

Why do you — the Democrats — not take ANY emergency actions to stop the travesty down South? In fact, when the President when responding to Dems inaction has taken executive action to help ICE and Customs Border Patrol stem the tide of illegal crossings, Democrats have run to the most liberal federal court judge they can find to file grievances against the President. Why is that?

Why did you flatly refuse the President’s offer in early 2018 to protect those DACA recipients and to provide a massive number of interim visas so illegals could remain and take steps for permanent legal status?

Here’s what the President offered them in that proposal:

It offered up to 1.8 million DACA recipients and other “in limbo” immigrants legal status in exchange for doing away with “chain migration” and the immigration lottery used in foreign countries to determine those that would come to the U.S. for legal immigration. As part of the deal, Congress would fund the building of the southern wall/barrier.

Pelosi and Schumer didn’t even bother to make the President a counter offer. They just flatly said, “No!” Meanwhile, those DACA recipients that the Democrat Party had claimed as their own are still left out in the cold — still with tentative immigration status, and are here in the U.S. without citizenship or any way to get it, all thanks to Nancy and Chuck.

The results of their “No”

January 2018 through May 2019, 1,354,202 illegals were “apprehended” at the southern border — more than any previous corresponding period in U.S. history.

At least $200 Billion has been spent by the U.S. government to process and take care of those illegals. And that does NOT include the money spent by state and local governments and for healthcare!

Hundreds of thousands of pounds of opioids and other drugs continue to find their way into the U.S. craftily transferred into the U.S. between ports of entries to escape the notice of border agents. Thousands of children have been trafficked by the Mexican cartels.

Most horrible of all is that there is no way to know for certain how many Americans have paid for the Dems callousness in allowing this to continue. But it is certain that many paid with their health, their safety and security, and many paid with their lives. Crimes committed by these illegals have cost border states, counties tens of millions of dollars.

And why? Why do Democrats following the lead of Pelosi and Schumer continue to turn their backs on legal Americans, legal immigrants, and the rule of law? Why do they allow the continuation of lawlessness and senseless deaths of Americans at the hands of illegals or as a direct result of the opioids they bring into the U.S.?

I would never respond by saying that Democrats don’t care about the carnage and dollars poured down the drain of Illegal Immigration. Certainly, if they really do care, they don’t show it.

What is their objective, then? What can possibly be the desired end result that would cost Americans so much and still be worthy to continue this madness? Why would they not just turn their backs on the success by this President’s putting definite tariffs on Mexico if they continue to ignore international immigration laws, but then laugh at his doing so while denigrating his intentions in taking such action and maintaining he did so for “personal reasons.”

And last but certainly not least, why do they think so little of everyday Americans, acting like all Americans are too dumb to understand exactly what Democrats are doing?

The answer is simple: Nancy, Chuck, Hillary, Barack, Uncle Joe, Mayor Pete, Kamala, Beto, Kirsten, and every other Democrat of prominence today doesn’t’ care about the opinions of Americans; don’t care about what is best for at-large Americans and their specific needs; don’t care that Americans in a huge majority have labeled Illegal Immigration as the great problem in America today. 

How desperately do they despise Americans? Think about it: Hillary (when she thought no one was listening) called Trump supporters — which are comprised of Middle Americans — “deplorables.” And most Democrats feel that Trump supporters are uneducated, of low income households, and, more importantly, unsophisticated and are therefore incapable of understanding what’s best for them, their families, and the U.S.

And, of course, Democrats DO know what’s best for Trump supporters and everyone else on Earth.

Meanwhile, Democrats are consumed with two things: Indictments of pretty much everyone in the Trump Administration and the impeachment of the President. Nothing else matters — especially not you or me. Their all-consuming agenda: control every American, every corporation, every social organization, and every dollar. After all, they certainly know best how to handle all of those, don’t they?

I forgot: what box are Nancy and Chuck in together? Their box is not made of cardboard or wood. Their box is made of mirrors. As far as they can see, they’re the only ones in their box. When they look up, who do they see? Chuck and Nancy. When they look to either side, front or back, who do they see? Chuck and Nancy. No one else is viewable from their box, AND THEY DON’T CARE! You are insignificant, anyway.

We haven’t forgotten about you at TNN. You’re on our radar. This week we’re closely watching what goes on in D.C. And we’ll bring the truth of all that happens to you.

Stay close!

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How Dysfunctional is Congress?

Short Answer: VERY!

Not in my lifetime has the U.S. Congress been so slow, so inconsistent, and so unwilling to go about the People’s business. There is no doubt part of their job is to oversee the operations of the Executive Branch of the U.S. government. But that is NOT their primary responsibility.

The Constitution of the United States outlines the responsibilities and duties of Congress. Article I offers an overview of Congressional power, while Section 8 provides details about each duty. Section 8 includes a total of 14 paragraphs of information about all the duties, including:

  • Borrowing money on behalf of the country
  • Regulating commerce
  • Developing a uniform system of laws
  • Establishing the Post Office
  • Declaring war

Wow! That seems pretty simple, doesn’t it? Though those 5 tasks for the Congress set by The Constitution seem to be simple tasks, we all know there’s a lot to it. But, in all fairness, there are 535 elected people who are tasked to work together to complete those 5 things every year. And those 535 elected folks each have a staff comprised of dozens of workers to make certain everything necessary for the completion of those tasks is taken care of.

So why does Congress get so little done?

Congressional Actions in 2017 (2nd Half of 115th Congress)

In that most Americans doubt Congress does much of anything, Congressman John Shimkus (R-IL) argues that the U.S. House of Representatives is getting things done. The Congressman on his website published a list of the greatest accomplishments of Congress in 2017. Let’s look at them:

(If you want details of any of these bills, click on the hyperlink to be transferred to see the actual bill)

These ten Congressional accomplishments — according to Congressman Shimkus — are the MOST important Congressional accomplishments of 2017! Obviously, his list includes specific bills that originated in the House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate passed some bills, too. But it takes both Houses to pass bills that find their way to the President’s desk to be signed into law. Of those ten bills listed by Congressman Shimkus as THE significant legislative 2017 accomplishments, only two were actually signed into law! None of the others — including any that the U.S. Senate passed — even made it to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue for presidential signature.

Laws Passed thru 5/31/2019 in this the 116th Congress

Public Law Number Bill Number and Title Date
PL 116-19 S.1693 – National Flood Insurance Program Extension Act of 2019 05/31/2019
PL 116-18 H.R.2379 – To reauthorize the Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Program. 05/23/2019
PL 116-17 H.R.1222 – Target Practice and Marksmanship Training Support Act 05/10/2019
PL 116-16 H.R.1839 – Medicaid Services Investment and Accountability Act of 2019 04/18/2019
PL 116-15 S.725 – A bill to change the address of the postal facility designated in honor of Captain Humayun Khan. 04/16/2019
PL 116-14 H.R.2030 – Colorado River Drought Contingency Plan Authorization Act 04/16/2019
PL 116-13 H.R.276 – Recognizing Achievement in Classified School Employees Act 04/12/2019
PL 116-12 S.863 – A bill to amend title 38, United States Code, to clarify the grade and pay of podiatrists of the Department of Veterans Affairs. 04/08/2019
PL 116-11 S.252 – A bill to authorize the honorary appointment of Robert J. Dole to the grade of colonel in the regular Army. 04/06/2019
PL 116-10 S.49 – A bill to designate the outstation of the Department of Veterans Affairs in North Ogden, Utah, as the Major Brent Taylor Vet Center Outstation. 03/21/2019
PL 116-9 S.47 – John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act 03/12/2019
PL 116-8 S.483 – Pesticide Registration Improvement Extension Act of 2018 03/08/2019
PL 116-7 H.R.439 – National FFA Organization’s Federal Charter Amendments Act 02/21/2019
PL 116-6 H.J.Res.31 – Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2019 02/15/2019
PL 116-5 H.J.Res.28 – Further Additional Continuing Appropriations Act, 2019 01/25/2019
PL 116-4 H.R.430 – TANF Extension Act of 2019 01/24/2019
PL 116-3 H.R.259 – Medicaid Extenders Act of 2019 01/24/2019
PL 116-2 H.R.251 – Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards Program Extension Act 01/18/2019
PL 116-1 S.24 – Government Employee Fair Treatment Act of 2019 01/16/2019

Are you counting? 19 laws in 2019.

Estimates are that American taxpayers’ costs for funding Congressional operations were $4.4 Billion in 2009 — a decade ago! Current numbers simply “are not available.” But using realistic assumptions, it is credible to believe that number approaches $10 Billion annually. Look at what taxpayers received in Congressional services in legislative actions for the entirety of 2017 and the first half of 2019: 29 pieces of legislation plus the one big meaningful one: tax cuts. Do you feel like we’re getting our money worth?

So What is Congress Doing?

Great question. The #1 concern among Americans is dramatically and emphatically Illegal Immigration. Last week, more than 1,000 immigrants surged through the U.S. southern border near El Paso, Texas — the largest number ever encountered by U.S. Border Control and Protection, with the previous record being set in the month of April, which was 424. This unprecedented invasion spurred President Donald J. Trump to slap a 5 percent tariff on goods from Mexico in an effort to get the Mexican government to take seriously the problem of undocumented immigrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border.

The mainstream media, predictably, started lamenting on how the price of avocados for American consumers may potentially increase a few cents and completely ignored the $200 billion American taxpayers pay each year in illegal immigration costs. Not to mention the cost of illegal drugs on our youth, and the cost to education and health care on American taxpayers. So, let’s take a look at these dollars and cents.

According to a recent analysis done by Chris Conover, an American Enterprise Institute adjunct scholar, “all told, Americans cross-subsidize health care for unauthorized immigrants to the tune of $18.5 billion a year.”

Although current federal policy prohibits federal tax funding of health care to unauthorized immigrants through Medicaid or Obamacare, “rough estimates suggest that the nation’s 3.9 million uninsured immigrants who are unauthorized likely receive about $4.6 billion in health services paid for by federal taxes, $2.8 billion in health services financed by state and local taxpayers and another $3 billion bankrolled through ‘cost-shifting,’ i.e. higher payments by insured patients to cover hospital uncompensated care losses, and roughly $1.5 billion in physician charity care,” Mr. Conover wrote in Forbes.

Public education of illegal immigrants’ children is also hemorrhaging the American taxpayer, as, under federal law, all students are eligible to receive schooling regardless of their immigration status.

“Public education is where the real big cost comes in,” Randy Capps, the director for research for U.S. programs at the nonpartisan Migration Policy Institute told NBC News this year. “The amount of taxes that the parents pay on their earnings, that they pay through property taxes — passed through on their rent — it’s not going to be as much as is spent on public education for their kids and food stamps for their kids.”

The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) estimated it cost public schools $59.8 billion to educate the children of illegal immigrants, and almost the entirety of this cost, 98.9 percent, is borne by taxpayers at the local and state level, through property taxes, according to a 2016 study. At the time, the number of unaccompanied minors crossing the border from Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador were driving increased funding programs for students with Limited English Proficiency (LEP) — causing a major drain on school budgets. That was when 118,929 unaccompanied minors were crossing the border during the fiscal year. Already this year, 44,779 unaccompanied alien minors have crossed the border and 248,197 family units, according to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

More people have been apprehended illegally crossing the U.S.-Mexico border this fiscal year than in any year since 2009, according to the CBP.

Then there’s the human cost of the drug crisis. In fiscal 2018, the U.S. border patrol seized 480,000 pounds of drugs, including fentanyl, marijuana, and meth, on the U.S.-Mexico border. In January, the CBP saw the largest seizure of fentanyl in the agency’s history — seizing nearly $4.6 million, or 650 pounds, of fentanyl and meth from a Mexican national when he attempted to cross the border.

Drug overdoses, fueled by opioids killed more than 70,000 people in the U.S. in 2017, with fentanyl overdose deaths doubling each and every year.

And today we learned that ISIS has been sending English-speaking terrorists to sneak through Mexico to get to the U.S. And we have no idea how long that has been happening and how many have entered the U.S.!

Can Mexico do more? Absolutely. Mexico needs to do a better job securing its own southern border — which runs only 150 miles across. It also can do a better job cracking down on its domestic terror organizations — both the coyotes smuggling young children across the border and the drug kingpins. Lastly, Mexico could grant asylum to migrants within its own homeland. According to international law, if you leave a country seeking asylum, you are to seek asylum in the first safe country you arrive. Mexico is safe, and the Mexican government can address this.

Who has the legal requirement to take care of the flow of immigrants into the U.S.? Are there laws that regulate all types of immigration? Why are they not being enforced? If they are bad laws, shouldn’t they be changed?

The answers to all those questions are singular: the United States Congress.

Why Doesn’t Congress Act on Illegal Immigration?

The simple answer: They don’t want to.

For Democrats, illegal immigration assures them of millions of “potential” voters that are present in the U.S. Democrats feel certain that whenever they take back the power of the House, Senate, and the White House, they can pass legislation to legalize all those illegals. That gives them instant VOTERS! And they are certain they will be able to lump those in the same Democrat basket in which they have already relegated African Americans and Hispanics.

For Republicans, those in the House and Senate simply don’t want to rock the boat. On the most part, their driving purpose is to maintain the balance between Democrats and Republicans. Republicans know it’s just a matter of time for the Democrats to take control of the Senate and probably the White House. Republicans want to “not make waves” now so that when Dems are back in power, the “revenge factor” will not lead Democrat leadership to strip GOP members of the prestigious committee spots they currently now have.

Remember: Congressional membership is no longer about money like it was decades ago — it’s all about “Power.” With power, you not only control money — billions of discretionary dollars — but everything  else. Balance is the key.

Regarding the border crisis: now that Democrats have come around and dropped their talking point “there is no crisis at the border,” why don’t they just pass legislation to take care of the problem, fund the necessary items to underwrite the current issues, stop illegal crossings, and fund the border wall?

They can no longer blame President Trump. Remember his offer last year? All Democrats had to do in the deal Trump offered Congress was fund the $5.7 billion for partial construction of the southern border wall. In exchange, his offer included hundreds of millions of dollars in new humanitarian money for safety and health of illegal immigrants, it would allow Central American children to apply for USA asylum from their home countries, and it would create a three-year legal status for about 700,000 people now here under the Obama-era DACA program, and some 300,000 people here under humanitarian protections, who might otherwise become illegal immigrants soon.

Of course Dems rejected the offer. So Trump has watched as the crisis down South has reached epidemic proportions and is taking Mexico on in an effort to force them to stop the Central America flood of immigrants through Mexico to get to the U.S. His plan is to use tariffs on Mexican products that come to the U.S. It sounds reasonable to most. But not to Pelosi and Company.

Her patent refusal is sad but not unexpected.

But then Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky weighed in on HIS thoughts of the tariff proposal:

President Trump cannot win for losing!

Summary

Here’s the rub: President Trump cannot do it alone. Congress can! They could in a 30-minute session in the House and a 30-minute session in the Senate pass the necessary legislation to stop illegal immigration — if not completely then to a crawl — and give DACA recipients the peace of mind that though their parents brought them here illegally, they have stayed and can stay with government protection while they follow a path to citizenship. But they don’t!

The ball is in the court of the U.S. Congress. President Trump’s options are extremely limited. Many don’t like increased tariffs on China and other countries that are already in place. But they’re having positive results. Those on Mexico would hurt a bit, but their results would mean fair trade, which the U.S. has not had with most countries for decades. And if Mexico would simply honor their own immigration walls for their southern border and turn Central Americans away if not emigrating legally, our southern border crisis would subside!

Each American has only one thing to put into this battle: a vote — one vote. It would be a good thing (if you haven’t already) find out how your House member and your U.S. Senator feels, has voted, and will vote on any illegal immigration legislation issue if and when one comes to the floor for a vote. Let them know where YOU stand. And make some noise.

After all, they are allowing and even encouraging illegal immigrants to keep on coming! And they are making Americans who want the flood of illegals to stop feel guilty for wanting the government to simply abide by the law and enforce it.

After all of this, do you think there’s a possibility that many in Congress are just stupid?!?

 

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Socialism: Coming Soon to the U.S.A.

What is “Democratic Socialism?” What is/are the differences between “Democratic” Socialism and the everyday Walmart-version of Socialism? What countries on Earth are Socialist nations?

In the age of the hunger for Socialism to replace Capitalism in the U.S., Millenials are crying daily for the latter. But do they really know what they are asking for? It is abundantly clear that a huge majority of those Millenials we see marching in the streets of larger U.S. cities promoting Socialism at the expense of Capitalism have NO idea what the system they are demanding really is, what it does, how it operates, and even if it works at all anywhere. They certainly have no clue as to how the U.S. would look under Socialism.

As is normal in every American generation, these young “Socialist-wannabes” decided to rename their dreamed-for utopia to “Democratic Socialism.” So what is Democratic Socialism as compared to the normal version?

Democratic Socialism

Democratic socialism means that this political reality—the abolition of capitalism—to be achieved will be achieved and administered through democratic, as opposed to authoritarian, means.

DSA’s website (Democratic Socialists of America) explains: “Democratic socialists believe that both the economy and society should be run democratically—to meet public needs, not to make profits for a few. To achieve a more just society, many structures of our government and economy must be radically transformed through greater economic and social democracy so that ordinary Americans can participate in the many decisions that affect our lives.”

“Democratic socialists do not want to create an all-powerful government bureaucracy. But we do not want big corporate bureaucracies to control society either … We believe that the workers and consumers who are affected by economic institutions should own and control them … Social ownership could take many forms, such as worker-owned cooperatives or publicly owned enterprises managed by workers and consumer representatives.”

Every DSA member you talk to would articulate a different vision of the ideal future for America. This is probably true of Americans of almost all political stripes. It might be more useful to look at the work that DSA is doing and the policy positions they hold than to speculate on the specifics of the future world they want to create.

The DSA outlines three tactics it uses to shift the power structure in America. Two of them are “decrease the influence of money in politics” and “empower ordinary people in workplaces and the economy.” If the wealthy—or as Democratic Socialist Bernie Sanders likes to say, the 1 percent—control the economy and dictate the terms of people’s livelihoods, economic equality is impossible.

The DSA supports movements like Fight for 15 and Medicare for All, and backs institutions like unions and cooperatives, as vehicles for people to gain more economic power. Some DSA chapters also support public banks, tenant’s unions, and advocate for the homeless with the same aim in mind.

All of these tactics are ways to “seize the means of production,” meaning that working-class people play a larger role in the labor they perform and deciding the way they are compensated for that work, while bosses profit less from the work of their employees.

The third goal that DSA lists is to “restructure gender and cultural relationships to be more equitable.” Just as the rich have more power than those with less money, in the white, patriarchal society of the United States, white men have power and privilege that other groups do not enjoy.

In mainstream liberal politics, racial, gender, and economic liberation are often discussed as separate issues. Democratic socialists believe that all types of oppression have their root in the capitalist and colonial systems that dominate American life. The only politics to combat these forces, then, is “intersectional,” meaning that all types of oppression are taken into account. The only way to end this oppression is by a mutual struggle in which various oppressed groups fight on each other’s behalf.

Democratic socialists also see the struggle for equality as one that transcends national borders. For this reason, the group abhors ICE, stands in solidarity with Palestine, and opposes military imperialism. Among many groups on the left, you will often hear the phrase “No war but class war” used to sum up this position.

It is obvious to see that the “organized” socialists in America who are largely members of the DSA have very specific ideas of what our nation looks like. It is also obvious that they want a very different America! Of course it like many other political “ideals” that are floated as the perfect utopia in which we all should live, Democratic Socialists fundamentally demand the complete destruction of capitalism, which they view as pure evil. I cannot imagine what the United States would look like in that world. I have no doubt the destruction of capitalism would initiate a quick and dramatic death of the U.S. economy.

But there is “more” out there in the world of Socialism.

Plain Old Socialism

Socialism is the Big Lie of the Twenty-first century. While it promised prosperity, equality, and security, it delivered poverty, misery, and tyranny. Equality was achieved only in the sense that everyone was equal in his or her misery.

In the same way that a Ponzi scheme or chain letter initially succeeds but eventually collapses, socialism may show early signs of success. But any accomplishments quickly fade as the fundamental deficiencies of central planning emerge. It is the initial illusion of success that gives government intervention its pernicious, seductive appeal. In the long run, socialism has always proven to be a formula for tyranny and misery.

Socialism Ignores Incentives

A pyramid scheme is ultimately unsustainable because it is based on faulty principles. Likewise, collectivism is unsustainable in the long run because it is a flawed theory. Socialism does not work because it is not consistent with fundamental principles of human behavior. The failure of socialism in countries around the world can be traced to one critical defect: it is a system that ignores incentives.

Under socialism, incentives either play a minimal role or are ignored totally. In a capitalist economy, incentives are of the utmost importance. Market prices, the profit-and-loss system of accounting, and private property rights provide an efficient, interrelated system of incentives to guide and direct economic behavior. Capitalism is based on the theory that incentives matter!

Under socialism, incentives either play a minimal role or are ignored totally. A centrally planned economy without market prices or profits, where property is owned by the state, is a system without an effective incentive mechanism to direct economic activity. By failing to emphasize incentives, socialism is a theory inconsistent with human nature and is therefore doomed to fail. Socialism is based on the theory that incentives don’t matter!

“Pure” Socialism

In a radio debate several months ago with a Marxist professor from the University of Minnesota, the obvious failures of socialism around the world in Cuba, Eastern Europe, and China were pointed out.  At the time of that debate, Haitian refugees were risking their lives trying to get to Florida in homemade boats. Why was it that people were fleeing Haiti and traveling almost 500 miles by ocean to get to the “evil capitalist empire” when they were only 50 miles from the “workers’ paradise” of Cuba?

If perfection really were an available option, the choice of economic and political systems would be irrelevant. The Marxist on that panel admitted that many “socialist” countries around the world were failing. However, according to him, the reason for failure is not that socialism is deficient, but that the socialist economies are not practicing “pure” socialism. The perfect version of socialism would work; it is just the imperfect socialism that doesn’t work. Marxists like to compare a theoretically perfect version of socialism with practical, sometimes imperfect capitalism which allows them to claim that socialism is superior to capitalism.

If perfection really were an available option, the choice of economic and political systems would be irrelevant. In a world with perfect beings and infinite wealth, any economic or political system–socialism, capitalism, fascism, or communism–would work perfectly.

However, the choice of economic and political institutions is crucial in an imperfect universe with imperfect beings and limited resources. In a world of scarcity, it is essential for an economic system to be based on a clear incentive structure to promote economic efficiency. The real choice we face is between sometimes imperfect capitalism (but capitalism no less) and imperfect socialism. Given that choice, the evidence of history overwhelmingly favors capitalism as the greatest wealth-producing economic system available.

The strength of capitalism can be attributed to an incentive structure based upon the three Ps: (1) prices determined by market forces, (2) a profit-and-loss system of accounting and (3) private property rights. The failure of socialism can be traced to its neglect of these three incentive-enhancing components.

Prices

The price system in a market economy guides economic activity so flawlessly that most people don’t appreciate its importance. Market prices transmit information about relative scarcity and then efficiently coordinate economic activity. The economic content of prices provides incentives that promote economic efficiency.

Profits and Losses

Socialism also collapsed because of its failure to operate under a competitive, profit-and-loss system of accounting. A profit system is an effective monitoring mechanism which continually evaluates the economic performance of every business enterprise. The firms that are the most efficient and most successful at serving the public interest are rewarded with profits. Firms that operate inefficiently and fail to serve the public interest are penalized with losses.

Private Property Rights

A third fatal defect of socialism is its blatant disregard for the role of private property rights in creating incentives that foster economic growth and development. The failure of socialism around the world is a “tragedy of commons” on a global scale. The “tragedy of the commons” refers to the British experience of the Sixteenth century when certain grazing lands were communally owned by villages and were made available for public use. The land was quickly overgrazed and eventually became worthless as villagers exploited the communally owned resource.

When assets are publicly owned, there are no incentives in place to encourage wise stewardship.

Incentives Matter

Without the incentives of market prices, profit-and-loss accounting, and well-defined property rights, socialist economies stagnate and wither. The economic withering that occurs under socialism is a direct consequence of its neglect of economic incentives.

No abundance of natural resources can ever compensate a country for its lack of an efficient system of incentives. Russia, for example, is one of the world’s wealthiest countries in terms of natural resources; it has some of the world’s largest reserves of oil, natural gas, diamonds, and gold. Its valuable farmland, lakes, rivers, and streams stretch across a land area that encompasses 11 time zones. Yet Russia remains poor. Natural resources are helpful, but the ultimate resources of any country are the unlimited resources of its people–human resources.

Winners and Losers in Socialism

Socialism leads to the politicization of society. Hardly anything can be worse for the production of wealth.

Socialism, at least its Marxist version, says its goal is complete equality. The Marxists observe that once you allow private property in the means of production, you allow differences. If I own resource A, then you do not own it and our relationship toward resource A becomes different and unequal. By abolishing private property in the means of production with one stroke, say the Marxists, everyone becomes co-owner of everything. This reflects everyone’s equal standing as a human being.

The reality is much different. Declaring everyone a co-owner of everything only nominally solves differences in ownership. It does not solve the real underlying problem:  there remain differences in the power to control what is done with resources.

In capitalism, the person who owns a resource can also control what is done with it. In a socialized economy, this isn’t true because there is no longer any owner. Nonetheless the problem of control remains. Who is going to decide what is to be done with what? Under socialism, there is only one way: people settle their disagreements over the control of property by superimposing one will upon another. As long as there are differences, people will settle them through political means.

If people want to improve their income under socialism they have to move toward a more highly valued position in the hierarchy of caretakers. That takes political talent.

Under such a system, people will have to spend less time and effort developing their productive skills and more time and effort improving their political talents.

As people shift out of their roles as producers and users of resources, we find that their personalities change. They no longer cultivate the ability to anticipate situations of scarcity to take up productive opportunities, to be aware of technological possibilities, to anticipate changes in consumer demand, and to develop strategies of marketing. They no longer have to be able to initiate, to work, and to respond to the needs of others.

Instead, people develop the ability to assemble public support for their own position and opinion through means of persuasion, demagoguery, and intrigue, through promises, bribes, and threats. Different people rise to the top under socialism than under capitalism. The higher on the socialist hierarchy you look, the more you will find people who are too incompetent to do the job they are supposed to do. It is no hindrance in a caretaker politician’s career to be dumb, indolent, inefficient, and uncaring. He only needs superior political skills. This too contributes to the impoverishment of society.

Summary

Plain and simple, “Socialism ain’t gonna work!” It works nowhere on Earth and has always been unsustainable in any versions as it has been tried. It certainly won’t work in the U.S. Why?

Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher said in 2007, “…and Socialist governments traditionally do make a financial mess. They [socialists] always run out of other people’s money. It’s quite a characteristic of them.”

It’s surprising to me that Democratic Socialists like AOC, Bernie Sanders and others don’t understand that capitalism rewards those who work hard, work smart, and build businesses with which other Americans want to work. That’s the main difference between Socialism and Capitalism.

Under Socialism, entrepreneurship is dead, ingenuity is dead, and working hard to get ahead is dead.

Making it as simple as possible, in case you didn’t get it a few moments ago: “Socialism ain’t gonna work!”

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Who is “Below the Law?”

“I don’t know who needs to hear this, but the president is not above the law.”

— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) June 3, 2019

The Law

“Whoever knowingly and willfully communicates, furnishes, transmits, or otherwise makes available to an unauthorized person, or publishes, or uses in any manner prejudicial to the safety or interest of the United States or for the benefit of any foreign government to the detriment of the United States any classified information—

  1. concerning the nature, preparation, or use of any code, cipher, or cryptographic system of the United States or any foreign government; or
  2. concerning the design, construction, use, maintenance, or repair of any device, apparatus, or appliance used or prepared or planned for use by the United States or any foreign government for cryptographic or communication intelligence purposes; or
  3. concerning the communication intelligence activities of the United States or any foreign government; or
  4. obtained by the processes of communication intelligence from the communications of any foreign government, knowing the same to have been obtained by such processes—
Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.”
That’s the law — 18 U.S. Code § 798 — regarding the handling of classified information: the Law. By any understanding of that law and the penalty for breaking the law, when someone does so, their doing so is a heinous act against the U.S. Government that in doing so allows someone — anyone — to access potentially serious national information that could be damaging to the United States in any number of ways.

“Anyone:” Then there’s former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

(Follow along very carefully these next sentences:)

  • According to documents, Undersecretary of State Patrick Kennedy pressured a senior FBI official into de-classifying emails sent from Hillary Clinton’s illegal private server. The FBI official notes that Kennedy contacted the organization to ask for the change in classification in “exchange for a ‘quid pro quo.’ More specifically, “State would reciprocate by allowing the FBI to place more agents in countries where they are presently forbidden,” according to a conversation relayed by The Weekly Standard‘s Stephen Hayes. The FBI did not take Kennedy up on his offer.
  • Despite initial denials from the State Department, this exchange is entirely plausible. For one, State had plenty of expertise in the deployment of quid pro quo during Hillary’s years of enriching her family foundation by trading government access. Moreover, a senior FBI official has a lot less reason to fabricate a conversation about favor trading than a Clinton functionary has to pressure a senior FBI official into saving Hillary from criminal prosecution.
  • “Classification is an art, not a science, and individuals with classification authority sometimes have different views,” a State Department spokesperson said. No doubt this is true. So why did Kennedy wait until a criminal investigation was well underway to ask law enforcement to scrutinize that particular document at that particular time? Is it customary for undersecretaries of State to ask the FBI to alter the classifications of documents that just happen to protect political candidates at the center of a politically explosive investigation? Did Kennedy — a man who owes his high position to the Clintons — engage in this conversation on his own? Was he asked to do it? For months, law enforcement had attempted to contact him, and he ignored their inquiries. Why, according to FBI documents, did Kennedy only reach out to make this request?
  • What’s even more curious is that FBI Director James Comey didn’t consider this event — or, for that matter, the litany of other actions Clinton’s lackeys took to protect her — as a sign that there was, at the very least, an intent to influence the investigation. This is, of course, was just one revelation in the Hillary email scandal. It’s worth remembering that the illegal email setup was only inadvertently discovered through a congressional investigation into Benghazi. The server itself existed to evade transparency.
  • When caught, Hillary alleged that she “never sent any classified material nor received any marked classified.” This turned out to be a lie. Hillary claimed before becoming secretary she had merely wanted only one device “for convenience.” This turned out to be a lie. The FBI found that Clinton “used numerous mobile devices,” not to mention servers. Clinton — the most competent person to ever run for president, according to Barack Obama — claimed she didn’t understand how classified markings work. This was also a lie.
  • According to the FBI, Hillary sent 110 emails containing clearly marked classified information. Thirty-six of these emails contained secret information. Eight of those email chains contained “top secret” information. “We assess it is possible that hostile actors gained access to Secretary Clinton’s personal e-mail account,” Comey said at his press conference in July of 2016. He acknowledged this could have happened because Hillary and her staff were “extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information.” He also admitted that no competent foreign power would have left behind evidence of this hack.

Yet, for some reason, Comey would not admit that this is why U.S. Code makes mishandling information — not the intent of those mishandling it — illegal.

Those who ran Clinton’s server attempted to destroy evidence — government documents — after The New York Times reported on her wrongdoing. Probably another coincidence. Not that intent mattered to Comey, either. Before the FBI even cracked open their laptops, the Justice Department proactively gave immunity to the five people who could have testified that Hillary was lying. (One of these people, Cheryl Mills, later acted as Hillary’s lawyer.) The two Clinton aides with the most intimate knowledge about her email conniving were also given side deals.

Does anyone besides me see any conflict in the happenings detailed above and what Ms. Clinton said in her speech on Monday of this week and in her tweet: “…the president is not above the law?”

Then There’s Congress

Everyone knows that it takes an impeachment proceeding initiated from the House Judiciary Committee in the House of Representatives, then with that committee’s referral to the floor of the House followed by a successful House vote to impeach to start that process. If and when that occurs, the matter is turned over to the Senate for an actual trial on the merits. Obviously, much debate ensues during an actual trial. At the conclusion, the Senate votes on the charges. If two-thirds of the Senators vote to confirm the House resolution for impeachment, the President is convicted and removed from office.

We want to note here: there’s a process — a Constitutional process. That process requires charges, evidence of violation by the President of U.S. Constitutional mandate that states in Article II, Section 4: “The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.”

There’s a Constitutional process for impeaching the President, Vice President, and other “civil officers of the United States.” Certainly, Americans support everything within the Constitution, right? But let’s see what longtime Democrat and Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz has to say about what is being threatened by House Democrats right now:

“The mantra invoked by those Democrats who are seeking to impeach President Trump is that ‘no one is above the law.’ That, of course, is true, but it is as applicable to Congress as it is to the president. Those members of Congress who are seeking to impeach the president, even though he has not committed any of the specified impeachable offenses set out in the Constitution, are themselves seeking to go above the law.

All branches of government are bound by the law. Members of Congress, presidents, justices and judges must all operate within the law. All take an oath to support the Constitution, not to rewrite it for partisan advantage.

It is the law that exempts presidents from being prosecuted or impeached for carrying out their constitutional authority under Article 2. The same Constitution precludes members of Congress from being prosecuted for most actions taken while on the floor of the House and Senate or on the way to performing their functions. The Constitution, which is the governing law, precludes Congress from impeaching a president for mere “dereliction” of duty or even alleged ‘corruption.’ Under the text of the Constitution, a president’s actions to be impeachable must consist of treason, bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanors.”

Consider Rep. Maxine Waters, (D-CA), who has said the following:

Congressman Waters said this the other day: “Impeachment is about whatever the Congress says it is. There is no law that dictates impeachment.”

It is she, and other like-minded members of Congress, who are claiming the right to be above the law. That is a dangerous claim whether made by a president or by a member of Congress.

So Hillary, members of Congress, and most in the Mainstream Media are claiming they are above the Law, who then would be considered to be below the law?

The answer to that is simple: anyone who disagrees with anything any member of the Democrat ruling “Elitist-ocracy” is certainly below the Law and obviously unworthy of the consideration of “Equal justice under the Law.” Who throughout history are some of those “folks?”

  • All those who fled the repression of European elitist members of the Ruling Class who considered anyone not deemed to be eligible for membership in their groups to be less than worthy of “Equal justice under the Law;”
  • African-American men, women, and children who were taken by slave traders in Northern Africa and sold in America had no rights and were certainly less than worthy of “Equal justice under the Law;”
  • Today’s working-class Americans who don’t live and work in Coastal American states or those several interior states comprised of like-minded elites who have garnered favor from the political elite “Overclass” are less than worthy of “Equal justice under the Law;”
  • According to Hillary and other Dems, everyone who did NOT vote for Hillary in 2016 but chose Mr. Trump instead is not only ineligible for “Equal Justice under the Law,” but are reprehensible human beings and deserve no consideration of the benefits of simply being Americans.

Summary

I know this may seem harsh today. But it is time for Americans to wake up and realize liberty and justice for all is about to be “liberty and justice for only an elite few.” And regardless of what the pundits on the Left want all to believe, those elites are NOT the current inhabitants of the White House. They are led by the defeated 2016 presidential candidate and all those who had surreptitiously created, implemented, and maintained her path to the White House so as to cover-up all the wrongdoing committed by her team and others comprised by a large number of very important government officials.

Even in the aftermath of two years of an exhaustive investigation into ridiculous allegations against this president, his staff, family, and many friends, those Elitists still shout in anger threats against all of those who are “below the Law” that support the duly elected president and the Rule of Law.

I never in my wildest dream we would ever see a day like this today. But it’s true: for at least the eight years of the Obama Administration, evil and deviousness ran rampant through the Capital and the Department of Justice in D.C. And the U.S. government was nothing more than a piggy bank for Elitists to tap for their evildoing. Taxpayers paid every dime for what they did. And our children will continue to pay that bill.

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Slippery Slope Target: The Constitution

Why the rush to remove monuments, change names of Universities and sports teams all the while denigrating their historical meanings?

Actually, what we are seeing is the fulfillment of Barack Obama’s major campaign promise when running in 2008: “To fundamentally change America.” Think about it: how could one change a nation fundamentally without altering its history? He did not say he wanted to alter the course of America or to change the processes in the U.S. Government. No, he wanted to fundamentally change America.

“Fundamentally” America was structured to operate as the most unique country on Earth. Our forefathers took the best of the political frameworks of European countries and added to it “liberty and justice for all.” They then memorialized that new type of government in the roadmap of roadmaps — the U.S. Constitution. That document and its contents are the fundamental backbones of the United States of America. Sure, people fight over whether or not the framers intended for it to be used in perpetuity as literally written or that it be a “living, breathing,” the process of laws that morph in interpretation to fit the inevitable changes in American life as they happen. But the argument today by some is to alter not the interpretations of the intent of the framers but to actually add, delete, and/or change phrasing and wording of the document.

That seems to be the justification used for the efforts to destroy offending monuments and statues and the removal of slogans and stone markers from places highly visible to the public. Which specific offensive historical reminders should be removed and which should stay? That remains to be seen. Of course, there are many that vigorously object to ANY removal, strictly for historical purposes.

To me, removing, hiding, or changing locations of these pieces of history is not the danger I am writing about. What petrifies me is the slippery slope America is now at the brink of sliding down into an abyss of societal culture never before experienced in America. So far the only thing that has prevented that slide is the strict adherence to the U.S. Constitution and the greatest judicial system on Earth. However, that too is under attack.

The “Intent”

What did the Framers envision the Constitution to be? I think the best way to answer that question is to list the items in Article 1 Section 8 (powers of Congress) and Article 2 Section 2 (powers of the President) of the Constitution. Here is the link:

http://www.usconstitution.net/const.html

Upon reading these sections of the Constitution, most people will be shocked to see just how little power the Constitution gave to the new federal government. The federal government is mainly responsible for dealings with foreign countries such as treaties, commerce, wars., and little else (immigration, coining money, etc.). Yet today, Constitutional “detractors” on the Left want to tear up the Constitution and start from scratch!

We’ve all heard about the Bill of Rights in the Constitution. Those are the first ten Amendments that are simply called the Bill of Rights. Thomas Jefferson and others involved in creating the U.S. Constitution had just after living under a European national government with top-down repressive and totalitarian operations for generations chose to move to a New World and establish a country that worked instead of top-down as a bottom-up governed nation.

The First Ten Amendments were the MOST important parts of the Constitution for those who had memories of awakening every day under that governmental oppression. Those ten amendments were written to make as easy as possible the understanding by all that the American people were creating a federal government that would operate using ONLY THOSE SPECIFIC RIGHTS AS GIVEN TO THAT GOVERNMENT BY THE PEOPLE. No other federal government rights were ever to be used unless and until they were expressly given to the government by the People!

An all-powerful central government had destroyed Western Europe. Those American settlers wanted nothing to do with that lifestyle then and certainly not moving forward in the new nation.

What Did the Framers Actually Think?

Let’s look at their OWN words:

On every question of construction carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates and instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text or invented against it, conform to the probable one in which it was passed.  —Thomas Jefferson

The first and governing maxim in the interpretation of a statute is to discover the meaning of those who made it.  —James Wilson, in Of the Study of Law in the United States

The basis of our political systems is the right of the people to make and to alter their constitutions of government. But the Constitution, which at any time exists, ‘till changed by an explicit and authentic act of the whole people, is sacredly obligatory upon all. … If in the opinion of the people the distribution or modification of the constitutional powers be in any particular wrong, let it be corrected by an amendment in the way which the Constitution designates. But let there be no change by usurpation; for though this in one instance may be the instrument of good, it is the customary weapon by which free governments are destroyed. — George Washington

Can it be of less consequence that the meaning of a Constitution should be fixed and known, than a meaning of a law should be so? — James Madison

The important distinction so well understood in America, between a Constitution established by the people and unalterable by the government, and a law established by the government and alterable by the government, seems to have been little understood and less observed in any other country. — James Madison

Our peculiar security is in possession of a written Constitution. Let us not make it a blank paper by construction. … If it is, then we have no Constitution. — Thomas Jefferson

To take a single step beyond the text would be to take possession of a boundless field of power. — Thomas Jefferson

How does all this compare to what some contemporaries in politics had to say about the Constitution?

Living political constitutions must be Darwinian in structure and in practice. Society is a living organism and must obey the laws of life, not of mechanics; it must develop.  All that progressives ask or desire is permission—in an era when ‘development,’ ‘evolution,’ is the scientific word—to interpret the Constitution according to the Darwinian principle; all they ask is recognition of the fact that a nation is a living thing and not a machine. — Woodrow Wilson, The New Freedom, A Call For The Emancipation Of The Generous Energies Of A People

The United States Constitution has proved itself the most marvelously elastic compilation of rules of government ever written.” — Franklin Roosevelt, President

It is the genius of our Constitution that under its shelter of enduring institutions and rooted principles there is ample room for the rich fertility of American political invention. —Lyndon B. Johnson, President

The words of the Constitution … are so unrestricted by their intrinsic meaning or by their history or by tradition or by prior decisions that they leave the individual Justice free, if indeed they do not compel him, to gather meaning not from reading the Constitution but from reading life. —Felix Frankfurter, Supreme Court Justice

This understanding, underlying constitutional interpretation since the New Deal, reflects the Constitution’s demands for structural flexibility sufficient to adapt substantive laws and institutions to rapidly changing social, economic, and technological conditions. — Stephen Breyer, Supreme Court Justice, Federal Maritime Commission v. South Carolina State Ports Authority

I cannot accept this invitation [to celebrate the bicentennial of the Constitution], for I do not believe that the meaning of the Constitution was forever ‘fixed’ at the Philadelphia Convention … To the contrary, the government they devised was defective from the start. —Thurgood Marshall, Supreme Court Justice

It can be lost, and it will be, if the time ever comes when these documents are regarded not as the supreme expression of our profound belief, but merely as curiosities in glass cases. —Harry Truman, President

If we’re picking people to draw out of their own conscience and experience a ‘new’ Constitution, we should not look principally for good lawyers. We should look to people who agree with us. When we are in that mode, you realize we have rendered the Constitution useless. —Antonin Gregory Scalia, Supreme Court Justice

Just talk to me as a father—not what the Constitution says. What do you feel? — Joe Biden, Vice President

The Thread of Commonality

Wow! All of those quoted above — those from the 1700s, the 1800s and the 1900s as well as this century — represent different perspectives and different understandings of the intent of the framers and the actual meaning of the Constitution. But, thankfully, they acknowledge the significance of our nation actually having a roadmap to American governing that is recognized as the greatest in the World.

But there’s on more commonality that runs very obviously through each: Opinion. Yep. Each of those who weighed in with thoughts did so based on opinion — THEIR opinion.

And who among us is any different?

Several things about the framer’s offerings are very obvious:

  • they recognized that they could not foretell the future and therefore could not imagine what legalities their great, great, great, great grandchildren would face but would still need the Constitution for guidance;
  • they acknowledged that events in the future would dictate the necessity of flexibility in interpretations demanded by contemporary and unimagined occurrences in American life at the time of its creation;
  • they knew there would, therefore, be demands for actual editing of their original constitution.

To anticipate exactly how to adjudicate these future certainties they knew was a possibility in the 18th century. They therefore brilliantly included the ability and the process to alter the Constitution. That process is called “Amending.” But because of the importance of the strictest adherence to the blueprint of governing they created, they purposely made the amendment process extremely difficult. Why?

They hated the political process and knew that if allowed, that process would destroy true freedom created by the Constitution. They knew that political partisanship would initiate continuous amending of the Constitution not to better serve the basis of the Laws of the People, but to only satisfy the hunger for political power for the elite. They had lived through that and knew it could NOT be allowed to devour this new nation.

Democracy or Republic?

The cries from partisan political parties for either a Democracy or a Republic for a description of the form of government established by the Constitution have gone back and forth for the life of the United States. The winds of the political party in power have determined which form is desired at the time.

Jefferson and Company knew this would happen. They made clear how the U.S. government would work. And they guaranteed Americans would live in a Representative Republic with the establishment of the Electoral College that governs the process of electing the U.S. “Executive in Chief,” the President and Vice President. Also, states are to determine U.S. Senators: 2 from each state originally appointed by each state’s governor but changed via Amendment to be elected by each state’s electorate, Members that serve in the “People’s House,” Congress, are still elected by voters from each House district in each state.

Today, the political Left doesn’t accept the structure of the Republic, rejecting it for instead a Democratic government. Why? In a pure Democracy, there ARE no federal representatives of the People. Each person gets one vote. That sounds reasonable, right? Consider this:

”IF” the U.S. was a true Democracy, every federal election outcome would simply be what those from the states of California, New York, Illinois, Florida, and Texas voted to be. Election results would be determined solely by the most heavily populated states and their voters’ desires. “Fly-over” Americans would have no say so at all in their government.

Without the Electoral College, Hillary Clinton would be President instead of Donald Trump. That was the choice of the U.S. popular vote when the Electoral College elected Trump in something of a landslide. The same happened in the Bush 43 presidential elections.

Summary

So what’s fair?

That answer is simple: NOT A DEMOCRACY.

Democracy is not freedom. Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to eat for lunch. Freedom comes from the recognition of certain rights which may not be taken, not even by a 99 percent vote.

True democracy is the tyranny of the majority. True democracy is mob rule. Thankfully we do not live in a democracy. We live in a republic. Article 4, Section 4 of the Constitution: “The United States shall guarantee to every state in this Union a Republican form of government….”

And living in this republic means that every voice matters, majorities do not rule, and those with the loudest voices do not automatically win.

The will of the People means ALL the People.

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