Party of Inclusion or Exclusion: Democrat or Republican?

One thing I must admit: the Democrat Party in general and Congressional Democrats, in particular, are masters at the art of communication: not only giving Americans complete narratives on everything politically that happens, but doing so immediately and thoroughly. Republicans just do not get that communication job done well.

An appropriate and current example of GOP failures in this is the lack of coordinated promotion of the really good things that have happened during the first two years of the Trump presidency: across-the-board tax reductions for Americans, a tremendous increase in GDP, personal and corporate incomes saw dramatic improvements, reduction of caustic government regulations, marked improvement in trade deals, cancellation of NAFTA replaced by a new agreement between Mexico, Canada, and the U.S. is much friendlier and fairer to the U.S. than was NAFTA, huge increases in federal revenue in spite of tax reductions, corporations bringing hundreds of billions of dollars back to the U.S. because of many of the above changes that resulted in major corporate expansions and the additional federal revenue, and the massive decrease in American unemployment with the number of Americans employed — including women and people of color — at the highest level in American history.

Gee: one would think Republicans would be shouting that information from every hilltop nonstop! But they haven’t. And the Republican Party paid a steep price for their neglect, losing control of the House of Representatives.

Meanwhile, across the aisle Democrats have kept pushing on the accelerator, ramping up their rhetoric comprised of nonstop attacks on everything Donald Trump, disregarding the unmistakable and undeniable positive changes for Americans while promising to undo all of these improvements when they regain power! You would think that Americans when confronted with those Democrat promises, the nation would run fast and far from the Democrat Party. But Americans apparently turned deaf ears and blind eyes to the increases in their payroll deposits, in the value of their 401K’s and IRA’s, and knowing Trump policies made those happened. One would think because of those and other great economic changes, Americans would have kept those in office who made all that goodness happen — at least in the House of Representatives. But that did not happen.

Many are asking: If things are so much better, why would Americans put Democrats back in control of the House? “Perception is Reality.” What perception of reality are those Americans seeing? The one painted with that amazingly effective brush owned by the Democrat Party, AND the way they paint it.

Democrats seldom fracture in support of their party causes. Even with the heartbreaks of the 2016 election, Democrats somehow found a way to stay on their eternal message: Democrats care more for Americans, stand up for racial equality, economic equality, gender equality, clean air, more government assistance, against racism, bigotry, social injustices, homophobia, Islamaphobia, xenophobia, and all those Americans — mostly white and mostly conservative — who either embrace those negatives or simply find themselves the target of Democrats who are simply sustaining the Democrat Party mantra.

AND IT WORKS!

Leading the Pack

Amid all those isms and phobias Democrats have taken authority over, their leading  cause and multi-decade calling card for their messaging is “Racism.” We are not going into a racism discussion today other than to simply illustrate just how effective Democrat Party messaging has been. (As an aside and in way of illustration, please note how fragmented and disillusioned did the Democrat Party appear immediately after the HRC presidential loss to Trump. As recently as 60 days ago, every political talk show was still pointing to the imminent death of their party that would last decades for lack of unity, party platform, a cohesive and binding message on which to campaign during the midterms, and there was NO party leadership. Yet they won.)

Surprising to many was the reappearance of that time-worn fundamental of 20th-century Democrats that has served their party well. They returned to what they have used so effectively through generations that many have used to rally a beaten football team or to invigorate a war-torn army: the basic tenets of who those beaten really are. For the midterms, Democrats went back to their roots, tweaked their message a bit, and rammed their values down the throats of unassuming and disoriented American voters: Identity Politics. Leading the pack of all the labels of Identity Politics was their always uniting cry: Racist.

Democrat messaging is fundamental again. Here it is: if you’re not an all-in Democrat, but are a conservative, libertarian, or an Independent, you ARE a racist. It matters not today if you are black. It’s wrong to be JUST black. You must own all the elements of Democrats’ Identity Politics and outwardly show them to all, or your scarlet letter is NOT just the letter “A,” it’s the word “Racist.” THEY and only they determine the criteria for labeling racists, who wears the label, and the timing for revealing the label. With their pummeling in 2016, they went quietly back to the war of Identity Politics, and immediately, every conservative became a racist.

But I’m here today to call them out: Democrats did not invent racism, but they perfected it as a Party. And they have weaponized the word “Racist” and its use.

Just Because you say I am Doesn’t Mean I am

Democrats claim that they have always supported equal rights for black Americans and that Republicans are racists who always oppose them. Both claims are flat out lies. From its founding in 1854, the Republican Party led the fight to end slavery and then eradicate the racist Jim Crow system that held blacks down right up to securing the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Democrats opposed the Republicans at every turn. So, let’s take an honest look at the history of civil rights in America.

On the legislative level, congressional Republicans proposed, and Democrats opposed, a series of Reconstruction-era laws intended to elevate blacks, in particular, to force Southern states to enforce the Constitutional amendments extending full civil rights and voting rights to blacks. These included the Civil Rights Act of 1866, the Reconstruction Act of 1867, the Enforcement Act of 1870, the Ku Klux Klan Act of 1871 and the Civil Rights Act of 1875.

In fact, Democrats consistently opposed legislative efforts to confer voting rights and other civil rights on blacks, including the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments to the Constitution, and even the 19th Amendment, which granted women the right to vote.

Here are the facts:

  • April 8, 1864
    The 13th Amendment banning slavery passed the U.S. Senate 38 to 6, with 100% Republican support amid Democratic opposition.
  • January 31, 1865
    The 13th Amendment banning slavery passed the U.S. House by a vote of 119 to 56 (with 8 abstentions), with all 103 Republicans voting yes, along with 16 Democrats. Republican President Abraham Lincoln signed it, sent it on to the states, with final ratification on Dec. 18, 1865.
  • March 27, 1866
    Democrat President Andrew Johnson vetoed a bill granting citizenship to blacks.
  • June 8, 1866
    The U.S. Senate passed the Republicans’ 14th Amendment guaranteeing due process and equal protection of the law to all citizens. Nearly all Republicans voted yes and 100% of Democrats voted no.
  • June 13, 1866
    The U.S. House passed the U.S. Senate’s version of the Republican-sponsored 14th Amendment by a vote of 120 to 32. All Republicans voted yes.
  • January 10, 1878
    U.S. Senator Aaron Sargent (R-CA) introduced the Susan B. Anthony amendment for women’s suffrage. The Democrat-controlled Senate defeated it repeatedly before the election of a Republican House and Senate that guaranteed its approval in 1919.
  • February 8, 1894
    The Democrat Congress and Democrat President Grover Cleveland joined to repeal the Republicans’ Enforcement Act, which had enabled blacks to vote.
  • May 6, 1960
    Republican President Eisenhower signed the Civil Rights Act of 1960, expanding protections for blacks in voting. In the House, the measure was approved by 89% of Republicans and 52% of Democrats. After a Democrat filibuster, the Senate approved it 71-18. No Republicans opposed. All 18 “no” votes were from Democrats.

A History of Shame

The Democratic Party’s militant arm following the Civil War was the Ku Klux Klan, of which prominent Democratic West Virginia Sen. Robert Byrd was a high official, as was Hugo Black, a Democrat who became a U.S. Supreme Court justice. For 88 years, Democrats in the South enforced a vicious Jim Crow system of outright discrimination against blacks, particularly measures aimed at preventing them from voting. They opposed Republican-sponsored civil rights legislation at the state and federal levels.

In 1964, a Republican U.S. Senate majority introduced and passed the Civil Rights Act despite a filibuster by Democratic senators. Similarly, Republicans led the fight for the Voting Rights Act of 1965, when 94 % of GOP lawmakers in the House voted for it, while 27% of Democrat House members opposed it.

Today, Democrats would like us to forget that they were the party of Jim Crow, the Klan, and racists such as Woodrow Wilson, the globally-thinking progressive who, upon taking office as president, promptly segregated the U.S. Civil Service and instituted policies designed to discriminate against blacks and other minorities. Democrats defended tooth and nail, a plantation-style racial spoils system right up to 1964, and then converted it into a federal version, with welfare policies that destroyed the black family and institutionalized dependence on government. To this day, the party promotes destructive, addictive welfare policies that keep its constituents dependent.

Summary

No one is born a racist. That is a learned character trait. We’ve written extensively here about Racism and its horrors through human history. Racism and racists are not peculiar to the United States, the South, or any other region of this country or any other. It is a developed trait that societies and groups take ownership of. And it will exist through our future as long as human nature is human nature: which means it exists permanently.

There has never been, is not now, nor ever will be a utopian society that is racially blind as a country or people. That does NOT mean, however, that people cannot find ways to disallow racism from devouring their culture or society. Just as racism is learned, so can and should be its antonym: inclusion.

The inclusion of any kind that puts people together with people who are different from them — and those differences being “accepted”– destroys racism. In small part, in many small ways, we all do it every day: in our jobs, in our neighborhoods, in our social circles, and most of the time in our churches. How can such inclusion be possible? It happens only when people CHOOSE to do it.

Racism happens when people who have chosen to be racists reject the inclusion of others who are different in their lives. Racism happens when those who embrace the politics of Identity selectivity choose winners and losers — winners are included and losers are excluded — from their life circles. Racism happens when the attitude of entitlement is given to someone who has been allowed to possess a position of identity authority over another. And racists are those who unilaterally — or through some joint racist associates — force that identity authority on others.

When will racism that is the result of political identity end? I am sad to say, but I doubt it ever will. But I hold hope that we can water it down over time, and in doing so, cripple its effects on our generation, the next generation and beyond.

The only way to do so is to start at OUR home, in OUR family, in OUR circle of influence with OUR friends and extended family members, and with OUR fellow employees.

Today’s Democrats have used Identity Politics effectively for decades and have quickly reclaimed a significant piece of it today. But, as always, the only way anyone can use it is if/when others allow its effectiveness to control all or parts of THEIR lives.

You wanna’ stop it? Tell the next person that YOU know and YOU hear racially label you or someone you know, exert control over another because of race or ethnic differences, to STOP! CALL THEM OUT! Embarrass them in front of their peers, and let them respond.

Most Americans care dearly for the respect and comradery of others. Most Americans do not want to be alone. To that end, most Americans when exposed to the truth — the REAL truth and not a political narrative or political perspective with no foundation in fact — will do an about-face.

Try it — give them a chance!

It’s worked before. And it’ll probably work again.

 

 

Thanks to my college roommate, Jim, for his contribution to this story. For a more extensive, documented history of the Democratic Party’s historic opposition to civil rights for blacks, see The Truth about Jim Crow at: https://www.theacru.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/ACRU-the-truth-about-jim-crow_v2.pdf

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“She’s Baaaack!”

Yes, the “new” Speaker of the House of Representatives for the upcoming Congress has yet to be chosen. But odds are that former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) will receive the gavel from current and outgoing Republican Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI). Even though Pelosi hails from the “old school” Democrats and a new breed of even more liberal Democrats are populating the majority party in Congress, Pelosi is the odds-on favorite to be Speaker. How so? She has amassed the reputation of being the best fundraiser by far for her party, has shown through her years in office her total commitment to the Democrat Party, and probably too because she knows where all the Democrat Party skeletons are hidden! (She probably hid a few herself)

As we prepare for the changing of the guard, I thought it beneficial for us to take a look forward to a Pelosi Congress by looking back to the way the House under her leadership — and specifically as House Speaker — operated in years past. Yes, “She’s Baaaack!”

Nancy: Who Is She?

Nancy Patricia D’Alesandro Pelosi, born March 26, 1940, is an American politician serving as the Minority Leader of the United States House of Representatives since 2011, representing California’s 12th congressional district. She previously served as the 52nd Speaker of the House from 2007 to 2011, the only woman to do so. Her ascent to House Speaker also made her the highest-ranking female politician in the history of the United States. She is the odds-on favorite to replace outgoing speaker Paul Ryan.

A member of the Democratic Party, Pelosi represents California’s 12th congressional district which consists of four-fifths of the city and county of San Francisco. She served as the House Minority Whip from 2002 to 2003, and was House Minority Leader from 2003 to 2007, holding the post during the 108th and 109th Congresses under George W. Bush.  After the Democrats took control of the House in 2007 and increased their majority in 2009, Pelosi was elected Speaker of the House. After the Democrats lost House control in the 2010 elections, Pelosi was elected as the Democratic Leader by House Democrats and therefore the Minority Leader in the Republican-controlled House from.

During and after her tenure as Speaker, Pelosi was perceived as a contentious political figure, with Republican candidates frequently trying to tie their Democratic opponents to Pelosi and with moderate Democrats seeking to show their moderate bona fides by expressing opposition to Pelosi. Pelosi is expected to run for Speaker of the House of Representatives on the opening of the 116th U.S. Congress on January 3, 2019. If reelected Speaker, Pelosi would become the seventh individual to return to the Speakership on non-consecutive terms of office and the first since Sam Rayburn in 1955.

Scandals

Speaker Pelosi was mired in a host of scandals during her years in the House. It is fair to say, however, that Pelosi and other Democrats are not on an island which contains ALL Congressional and other D.C. scandals. But Pelosi’s illustrate really well the apparent “in-your-face” attitude from many lawmakers on the left.

We detail just a segment of some of her scandals here. However, probably the most visible, obvious, and talked-about scandal involving Pelosi was a legislative one. Who can ever forget this:

While the Obamacare incident was really bad, it is just one of many under the watch of Pelosi.

SunEdison

Nancy Pelosi’s husband bought up to a quarter million dollars of stock in SunEdison (a now financially troubled green energy company that has just recently emerged from bankruptcy) just weeks before it announced a major 2014 acquisition that sent its stock price soaring. SunEd’s 2014 purchase of wind energy company First Wind “further bolstered the reputation of the company,” wrote one market-watcher at the time. “Perhaps unsurprisingly, SunEdison’s stock soared 29% on news of this acquisition alone.”

Pelosi’s husband, Paul Pelosi, had invested just in time. He bought between $100,000 and $250,000 in SunEdison stock on Oct. 24, 2014, according to congressional financial disclosures. The company announced its First Wind acquisition on Nov. 17, just 3 weeks after Paul Pelosi’s stock purchase. Coincidence?

Pelosi has previously been accused of trading stock based on information gleaned through her official duties. A law passed in the wake of the SunEd controversy prohibits members of Congress from using nonpublic information for personal gain. Language in that measure was informally dubbed the ‘Pelosi Provision.’

“RailGate”

A report from the Washington Free Beacon revealed that Pelosi is alleged to have enriched herself and her husband, Paul, through her efforts to “steer taxpayer funds” to a San Francisco-area light rail project. Pelosi’s support for the project caused local real estate prices to escalate such that a large parcel of land owned by “high-dollar Democratic donor” Marc Benioff’s company received a huge profit upon selling it to the Golden State Warriors of the NBA. Pelosi’s husband is also a significant investor in the company.

Pelosi pushed for taxpayer subsidies for the rail project for over ten years, and that project did much to boost the real estate market in the area, according to commercial real estate experts. The report says that “liberal billionaire hedge fund manager” Tom Steyer — best-known for funding millions of dollars for national television ads promoting the impeachment of President Trump — may also have been further enriched through Pelosi’s efforts to provide federal subsidies to the project. Let’s see: Tom Steyer, who is a billionaire Democrat activist who hates Donald Trump, Nancy Pelosi, former House Speaker who wants her job back, and a financial windfall for both through the use of taxpayer subsidies. Sound familiar?

“AirGate”

Overall, according to documents uncovered in January 2011, Pelosi used US Air Force corporate aircraft for a total of 43 private trips, covering 90,155 miles, from January 1 through October 1, 2010. Previous documents show the former Speaker’s military travel cost the USAF $2,100,744.59 over one two-year period — $101,429.14 of which was for in-flight expenses, including food and alcohol. Purchases for one Pelosi-led congressional delegation traveling from Washington, D.C., through Tel Aviv, Israel to Baghdad, Iraq May 15-20, 2008 included: Johnny Walker Red scotch, Grey Goose vodka, E&J brandy, Bailey’s Irish Crème, Maker’s Mark whiskey, Courvoisier cognac, Bacardi Light rum, Jim Beam whiskey, Beefeater gin, Dewars scotch, Bombay Sapphire gin, Jack Daniels whiskey, Corona beer and several bottles of wine.
Previously uncovered internal Department of Defense (DOD) documents email correspondence detailed attempts by DOD staff to accommodate Pelosi’s numerous requests for military escorts and military aircraft as well as the speaker’s last minute cancellations and changes. For example, in response to a series of requests for military aircraft, one DOD official wrote, “Any chance of politely querying [Pelosi’s team] if they really intend to do all of these or are they just picking every weekend?…[T]here’s no need to block every weekend ‘just in case’…” The email also notes that Pelosi’s office had, “a history of canceling many of their past requests.”

In investigations into Pelosi’s rampant use of military planes at taxpayer expense, documents further detail former Speaker Pelosi’s abuse of military aircraft when House Speaker. She provided sweetheart travel deals for her adult children. But it did not stop there. Members of the House are able to obtain permission from the Office of the Speaker for the use of military luxury and military-supported travel for congressional delegation trips. These trips, known as CODELs, exploded in number and cost under House Speaker Pelosi.

As a footnote here: 1) Pelosi complained to the Air Force that the jet first offered for her trips back-and-forth from D.C. to San Francisco was not sufficient for her needs. How so? It had to refuel during each trip. She demanded a replacement jet that could fly non-stop from Washington to the Bay Area. When her demands were made public, there was a huge outcry, especially in light of her abuse of taxpayer funds for her private jet flights.

So what have former and current House Speakers have and do about their air travel? Former Speaker John Boehner flew commercially. Current House Speaker Paul Ryan flies commercial between his home and D.C., skipping private jet usage. Incidentally, Air Force private jet flight for House Speakers IS allowed, but neither Boehner nor Ryan uses it.

There is nothing wrong with finding good investment opportunities or investing successfully in startup companies or even in real estate trading. That’s not what Pelosi and her husband did to get wealthy. The Pelosi family made most of their wealth through Insider trading. She is privy to information she wouldn’t otherwise have if not for her position in Congress, and she uses this so that her husband can create active trades which have made millions of dollars.

In the meantime, Pelosi leads the throng of Democrats who clamor for Trump to release his tax records. So, why doesn’t Pelosi give over her financial and tax records? Why doesn’t every Democrat who has a problem with Trump’s taxes bring out their own documents in a show of solidarity? After all, they’re more than content to spread Trump’s business every which way. People seem to forget that during the 2012 Presidential campaign, Pelosi and other members of Congress refused to release their tax returns and that was brought to light.

Facing questions about why she and other top Congressional officials won’t release their tax returns, Pelosi downplayed her previous demands for presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney to release his, calling the issue a distraction. Pelosi had strongly urged Romney to provide further disclosure of his tax returns. But while maintaining Romney should release more documents because of “custom” and “tradition,” Pelosi when facing media demands for HER tax returns said the issue “was trivial compared with economic issues.” She responded, “We spent too much time on that. We should be talking about middle-income tax cuts,” Pelosi said after answering two questions about the issue.

The Minority Leader faced questions about the issue after a McClatchy News report showed only 17 of 535 Members released their tax returns when asked.

Summary

Bringing back memories of these Pelosi scandals and the unethical if not illegal abuse of her position in Congress for personal enrichment for herself, her husband, and friends and campaign contributors simply leave a bad taste in the mouths of American citizens. Is it any wonder that the approval ratings for members of Congress hover close to single digits. And yet they still are re-elected again and again and go on taking advantage of political might and power at every opportunity. Why does its allowance continue?

It’s simple: Washington D.C. is so far removed from the sight and minds of most Americans, unless a scandal that negatively impacts Americans personally occurs, politicians are most often given a free pass. Shame on us! How can any of this be rectified if WE don’t do it? It is foolish to expect that someone who is allowed to cheat the system again and again with no accountability would stop cheating! Congressional actions by many that have been exposed prove that point. What is horrifying is to think that even with the multiple scandals we discover, how many remain unknown to us? Honestly, we’d probably all gasp if we knew.

We must stop burying our heads in the sand. Americans must begin to hold our elected officials accountable for all the improprieties they are guilty of and for all the financial waste of taxpayer dollars that are included. How?

  1. Term Limits. House members at the establishment of our government were elected from towns and villages for two-year terms. They would then return home to be replaced by local citizens for a two-year term in D.C. Without term limits, we watch daily as politicians become “career politicians” who make a lifetime of milking the system for every dime and bit of power they can get — AT TAXPAYER EXPENSE! We must stop the gravy train and get our officials back to just serving the people;
  2. Outlaw lobbying. Very few who serve in Congress leave Congress poor, or even in the same financial class as the day of taking their oath of office. Almost every member of Congress becomes a millionaire. How? In addition to personal enrichment when serving, most end their political careers as D.C. Lobbyists who open doors to the clients of D.C. firms who seek special access to lawmakers and those firm pay big bucks to receive that access. It is common for former members of Congress — who at most make $174,000 a year when in office — to make $1 million + per year as lobbyists;
  3. Tie the total compensation of every member of Congress to the total compensation for those in similar positions in the private sector. Base salaries in Congress may compare disproportionately to the advantage of those in the private sector. But when the expense accounts and health and retirement benefits are included, members of Congress have a much shorter path to financial security than their private sector counterparts — often guaranteed government income for life. Members of Congress should have NO different path to retirement and health security than Americans that are not in government;
  4. Members of Congress who violate any federal statutes or violate any tenets of their fiduciary responsibility to Americans in general, and their voting constituents in particular, should be publicly chastised, fined severely, and expelled from Congress for any multiple infractions. What specifically would comprise these infractions? The House and the Senate each have disciplinary and ethics committees already with written rules and written violation penalties defined. The details of any such infractions and any and all penalties assessed must be immediately made public while being investigated and after findings and whatever penalties are carried out. This process is critical. Without transparency to the public, the process would continue to be “prisoners guarding the prisoners.”

Will any of this happen? CAN any of this happen? The answer to both is “Probably Not.” Why? Congress has the power to write or not-write legislation, personally follow Congressional guidelines, and hold or refuse to hold themselves and fellow members accountable. It’s too easy for them to just push the ball down the road not making any waves. “Quid pro quo” is pretty much the everyday occurrence. Term Limits would stop that ball from rolling, but Congress would have to pass Term Limit laws. Do you think that will happen? It’s doubtful. After all: Congress gets to decide how much they make personally, how much they can each receive in personal benefits, and the budgets for their offices, including staff payroll. AND THEY JUST TELL US HOW MUCH WE NEED TO SEND TO THEM TO PAY FOR THESE!

Don’t forget: they’re not like you and me. When our checking accounts get emptied, we must wait until the next paycheck. If you’re a member of Congress and the “candy store” — the Treasury — gets empty, they just raise the debt limit and borrow some more money! You and I get to pay the bills AND PAY THE INTEREST ON THE MONEY THEY BORROW.

Sounds like a pretty good deal……for them!

 

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Bullet Points: “What If’s”

There are so many things happening in our nation today. Our country is flooded with unanswered questions. And our horizon apparently does not yet hold answers for each question. Hopefully, we can scrap together realistic answers necessary to move the U.S. forward instead of trying to keep the boat afloat in one place in troubled waters.

Very few of those questions cry any louder than the others for answers. But there are a few. Those that cry the loudest while remaining unanswered seem to especially trouble many Americans. Today we will chip away at a few of those.

What If…..

  • We don’t stop illegal Immigration? It’s anyone’s guess. But there are some things that are certain IF we don’t. Don’t listen to me; listen to some folks who have a better inside track than I
◊”Hospitals are closing across the country due to the burden of illegal immigration, college students find that summer jobs have dried up due to illegal immigration, and wages across the board are depressed by the overwhelming influx of cheap and illegal labor.” Elton Gallegly
◊”Secure our borders first. Let us know and let us make sure the American people know that we’re taking care of the important business of dealing with the illegal immigration into this country. You cannot begin to address the concerns of the people who are already here unless and until you have made certain that no more are coming in behind them.” Michael Steele

◊”Nearly 60,000 immigrants with arrest records — including 10 accused of murder — have been allowed to stay in the United States under the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) revealed. Twenty-one percent of federal inmates are suspected or confirmed to be non-citizens, according to statistics released by the Justice Department. According to the latest U.S. census, only 12.9% of the total U.S. population was foreign-born. That number will continue to rise if we don’t close the borders.”

◊”Illegal immigration is a crisis for our country. It is an open door for drugs, criminals, and potential terrorists to enter our country. It is straining our economy, adding costs to our judicial, healthcare, and education systems.” Timothy Murphy

◊”Besides taking jobs from American workers, illegal immigration creates huge economic burdens on our health care system, our education system, our criminal justice system, our environment, our infrastructure and our public safety.” Jan C. Ting

◊”The current practice of extending U.S. citizenship to hundreds of thousands of ‘anchor babies’ must end because it creates a magnet for illegal immigration into our country. Now is the time to ensure that the laws in this country do not encourage law-breaking.” Steve King

◊”Protecting national security amounts to looking for needles in a haystack. The work becomes more difficult if the haystack is larger. Restricting immigration generally, and illegal immigration, in particular, limits growth in the haystack and supports the protection of national security.

◊Those are just some of the consequences by continuing to allow illegals by the tens of thousands into our country without the benefit of properly determining which are qualified to even be here and which are potentially dangerous. In the meantime, there are quite a few important people who have previously weighed in on illegal immigration, encouraging Congress to take action to do so, like former presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and even current Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) who said this in 2009: “People who enter the United States without our permission are illegal aliens and illegal aliens should not be treated the same as people who entered the U.S. legally.”

  • Scientists discover in 50 years that factually, there is NO such thing as “Climate Change” and that nothing Man could do would change the atmosphere and atmospheric conditions significantly enough to alter that which Nature does

◊Al Gore will certainly be proven to have been a psychopath with no factual basis for his “Global Warming” that morphed into “Climate Change” fraud perpetrated on a fawning political class of elitists. So too would be the “Ice-Agers” from the 1990’s who just as aggressively warned the then 3 billion Earth inhabitants that we were about to enter a new Ice Age that would destroy humanity and all known life on the planet: plants, animals, and certainly Man.

◊Mankind would have wasted trillions of dollars on scientific research, experimenting, unnecessary and amazingly expensive processes to “green the Earth” to stop Climate Change — trillions of dollars that could have been spent on feeding millions of dying citizens, providing unavailable and desperately needed health treatment to those from the most impoverished countries in the World, and reduced trillions of other dollars of expense for the development, implementation, and operation of superfluous environmental gadgetry like catalytic converters, “California emission systems,” and, by the way, the staggering governmental expense tacked onto tax bills for citizens of developed countries to underwrite these legal demands.

◊We could have had more trees and plants that would have enabled every country to grow more food instead of worrying about those trees and plants producing too much carbon dioxide that — as we all know — is the primary pollutant of Earth’s atmosphere.
◊I’m certain there are other ridiculous regulations and even societal cultures that would have differed had we known today that Climate Change was a fraud. Certainly the thousands of mostly highly-paid scientists that governments and universities fund with tax dollars and private grants to conduct Climate Change research could have altered their career paths to use those same dollars to research and develop cures and antidotes for a myriad of diseases that have for generations crippled and slaughtered people from all nations.
  • Senator John McCain (R-AZ) had cast the deciding vote FOR the U.S. Senate to take-up debate on the floor on the repeal/replacement of Obamacare instead of killing that debate and keeping Obamacare alive

◊It would have allowed Senators to — with the input of voters they represent — to as a group present, discuss, devise and develop alternatives that could undo the horrific elements of Obamacare that have cost Americans and the U.S. government hundreds of billions of dollars since Obamacare’s implementation.

◊The door would literally still be open to partnerships with existing insurance companies, health maintenance organizations, hospital groups, private and public retirement funds, and even government employee retirement funds to develop and implement group healthcare plans that would pinpoint citizens with segregated health needs for specific health conditions to provide state-of-the-art healthcare at specialized pricing to citizens for being in those specific groups. The federal and state government partnerships could assist those groups with costly conditions with partial underwriting that would spread those costs across a large segment of the population. That would automatically reduce the cost of individual healthcare across the board.

◊The American public’s opinion of Congress would have taken a strong tick higher. The American public no longer seems to just hold disdain for members of Congress — they actually distrust, on the most part, members of Congress and do not believe Congressional members are honest, hardworking, and committed to the People.

  • Barack Obama had not had all his educational records — high school, college, and law school — sealed along with all of his personal health records

◊The “birther” rumors that still run rampant in America and around the world even after his 8 years as President would have been quickly dispelled. Even now, experts who downloaded and professionally examined the “official” Obama birth certificate posted on the official White House website question its authenticity based on several of their findings.

◊Americans would never have grounds to question the official accounts of the history of the 45th President when those stories are “officially” added to the annals of all the U.S. Presidents in generations to come.

◊Far more of the legislative agenda items Obama and members of his Administration and Congress proposed during his presidency might have been passed and signed into law rather than being shelled because lack of trust of the President kept legislators from supporting those.

  • We find out that Extraterrestrial beings really exist and have for as long as people on Earth have been here and that multiple governments knew that and withheld it from citizens

◊We would know for certain we missed opportunities of aggressively exploring other worlds and those beings that live there.

◊We would have been able to learn from members of those worlds if there was technology available to make Earth a better place for its inhabitants, available known cures for earthly diseases along with possible immunity treatment for preventing diseases.

◊We would have saved trillions of military dollars allocated and certainly spent through decades for research, infrastructure costs, and security to keep information about extraterrestrials in secrecy unnecessarily.

  • What if Abortion is discovered to be killing a living human — that life actually begins at inception?

◊That would mean tens of millions of humans have been slaughtered needlessly through human history.

◊That would mean in doing so, the lives of individuals who could have performed amazing services to humanity in unthinkable ways would have been snuffed out in abortion clinics preventing services from being available.

◊That millions of men and women would have (by the definition at the federal and state level of murder) would have committed murder and been complicit in murder every time an abortion was carried out.

◊Tens of millions of people who could not have babies could have adopted those aborted children.

◊The there’s this ad:

I have no idea who told the producers of this commercial the content and structure of this ad would create an ad with a good message for Americans. But whoever did either never had or had lost any credible ability to reason. If not that, they were eaten up with inability to navigate through the possible emotional and mental responses that this ad would generate — and most of those would be explosive, and NOT in a good way.

Summary

We could each spend hours and even days thinking about and discussing “What If’s” in our lives and those from others lives. We are told by mental health professionals that it is unhealthy to obsess about such things — things we can in no way change. But you must agree that regarding some of the “What If’s” we mention above, humans have the ability to change them before they occur or prevent them from ever happening. How? By making different decisions — often long before each of these actually happen. Usually the the important events in our lives happen not because of one thing or just one occurrence. They almost always result from a chain of decisions that we make which all together result in the above outcomes or others. But they all result from choices, whether many linked together or sometimes just one.

No one (as far as I know) can actually tell the future. To that end, it is probable that before you die, you will (as will I) make many more decisions in our lives that if our children or their children look-on will be able to ask the “What If” question about our decisions. That’s an absolute of human life. And, unfortunately, some of those choices will not be good ones for us or others in our lives.

What does all this mean? We all should be more thoughtful, more learned, more precise in making our choices. I know: sometimes we must make decisions quickly. And when that happens, the decisions we made sometimes are not the correct ones.

It also means that we DO have the right and obligation to make tough choices, and to do our best to make sure they ARE the right choices, to the best of our ability. That is all that those close to us have the right to expect from us. And it too is the only justified right we have to expect from others. Sometimes our choices work out for the best and sometimes they don’t. But one good thing about humanity is that we all live in the same or similar type of body. We all have brains capable of reason. And we all can and should let reason prevail in the majority of choices we make.

Can we get control of those and choose to make those decisions good ones more often than they are bad?

What If we do?

What If we don’t? I think we have some examples of that detailed above.

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“Globalism:” The New World Threat

We at TruthNewsNet (TNN) have shied away from any discussion of the “new” buzzword being bandied about by the Mainstream Media and also liberal politicians: “Globalism.” The TNN gloves are OFF!

French President Emmanuel Macron  — who is under siege by citizens of his own country — literally attacked President Trump in a speech Sunday in Paris. Multiple world leaders had joined the U.S. President in France to mark the anniversary of Armistice Day, or as it is termed in the U.S., Veterans Day.

Here is the segment of Macron’s speech at the WWI Monument that has challenged the sensibilities and world leadership of the U.S.:

Patriotism is the exact opposite of nationalism. Nationalism is a betrayal of patriotism. By saying our interests first, who cares about the others, we erase what a nation holds dearest, what gives it life, what makes it great and what is essential: its moral values. I know there are old demons which are coming back to the surface. They are ready to wreak chaos and death. History sometimes threatens to take its sinister course once again.”

President Macron and U.S. globalists, please read the Webster’s Dictionary definition of “nationalism:” Loyalty and devotion to a nation — especially one’s own nation; a sense of national consciousness, placing primary emphasis on promotion of that nation’s culture and interests as opposed to those of other nations or “supranational.“ 

“Supranational” refers to “a type of multinational political union where negotiated power is delegated to an authority by governments of member states.”

The term is sometimes used to describe the European Union (EU) as a new type of political entity.

What’s the Point

Political elitists in the U.S. have gone crazy since President Trump proclaimed himself a nationalist. Why? Of course, leftists have revised the definition of the word “nationalism” to be “WHITE nationalism.” To do so means that someone with some power given to them by someone else authorized a group of political activists who despise conservatives and conservatism, nationalists and nationalism, to label anyone and everyone who supports nationalism as a “White Nationalist.” This should surprise no one since the Left’s fuel driving their boat is no longer cloaked in secrecy. It has been exposed: “Identity Politics.”

They have no real policies, no real political platform, no tangible proposals for improvement of anything in America. They have literally removed their masks worn for so long and have determined to launch headlong into anti-EVERYTHING our Constitution stands for. Removal of the masks reveals their hellish hatred for average Americans who believe in “an honest day’s work for an honest dollar,” and “Ask not what your country can do for you, but ask what you can do for your country,” and “Give me liberty or give me death.” They have flushed all of the democratic puzzle pieces that have since Plymouth Rock hooked together to complete the puzzle of pure freedom without oppressive government, liberty and justice for all, and equal justice under the law down the toilet of history that contains the wasted remains of utopian dreams of a perfect totalitarian world that has and will not ever succeed.  It’s the definition of insanity.

Macron’s France and most of Europe see Donald Trump as an aberration of reality that is certainly fleeting. Of course, they are looking at Trump and “his” USA through a prism of Socialist Elitism. Macron himself is dying a swift political death in his own country: his approval ratings plummet dangerously close to that of members of the U.S. Congress. His once “semi-conservative” political ideals have lit the Socialist fires that burn brightly through the European continent. Apparently, French leaders have put him on notice and his marching orders now include public humiliation of President Trump. That sounds a lot like those same fires burning brightly in the U.S.!

Speaking of Europe, how do the members of the European Mainstream Media think about our President and Nationalism? Here’s what they think:

Analysis by BBC North America editor Jon Sopel

Bonhomie and blows

Macron has provided a masterclass to other world leaders on how to handle Donald Trump – you cuddle up close, you flatter where necessary – but you use that to allow you to pack a big punch.

He also spoke about the very special relationship between France and the US, a move that might have had some in Downing Street choking on their tea.

In a cleverly crafted speech, he started with the entente between himself and the US president that some said was just too cordial. But then came the punches – and they were hard-hitting jabs, taking direct aim at Donald Trump’s policy agenda. On free trade, on the importance of science, on inequality – and Mr. Trump’s America First policies, pitting nationalism against patriotism. Macron said it is time to make the Earth great again — a shot at the famous campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again.”

The speech was punctuated by applause and cheering. This was an important moment in Europe, the U.S., and the entire world. Emmanuel Macron has emerged as a world leader who offers a competing and sharply different world vision to the US president – while all the time maintaining a bonhomie with him. That’s quite a political feat.

What about back home’s Mainstream Media?

The Washington Post:

“Ostensibly, Macron’s speech was a warning to Europe, which is itself seeing a rise in far-right nationalist, anti-immigrant, and anti-Semitic groups. In France especially, Macron’s own En Marche (“Working”) party is losing ground to the right-wing National Rally (previously known as National Front). Elsewhere in Europe, far right-wing Nationalist parties are seeing a resurgence in places such as Italy, Hungary, Poland, Austria, and Slovenia, among others.

And it’s not just in Europe, either. Far-right nationalist parties and politicians have also started gaining ground in Turkey, Brazil, and the Philippines. It’s been going on in Russia for a decade if not longer.

“History sometimes threatens to repeat its tragic patterns, and undermine the legacy of peace we thought we had sealed with the blood of our ancestors”

But while Macron was warning Europe about nationalism, sitting nearby was Donald Trump, who has himself proudly declared himself a nationalist and whose rhetoric, some of it anyway, echoes that of the far-right nationalist movement. And as Macron was railing against nationalism, Donald Trump, listening to the speech via a translator earpiece, sat “stone-faced,” as Reuters describes it.”

“Far-Right Nationalist” Politics

Has anyone defined what that is for you? Let’s break it down:

ANTIFA is supposedly “Far-Right.” They claim to be 100% for Free-Speech, to stand against white supremacy, Naziism, fascism, and anti-semitism. The rallies at which they most often show-up to protest are “Free-Speech” rallies. Wait a minute! Does that seem confusing to you?

ANTIFA — which stands for “anti-fascist” — was actually established as a branch of Naziism specifically for young Germans! Members of the “new” ANTIFA claim that is untrue. But try as they may, history cannot be re-written. And the actions of ANTIFA in the U.S. bear out the fact they really ARE fascists, really ARE against free-speech, not for it, really ARE anti-semitic, anti-immigrant, and anti-conservative! They are not right-wing at all: they’re FAR-LEFT! Far-Left, just like Nazis, Fascists, Communists, dictatorships and other totalitarian countries and leaders.

Keep the same name but change its meaning, and you are still who you were before.

These “far-right nationalists” mentioned in Reuters and the Washington Post are really NOT far-right — at least in the meaning that today’s Mainstream Media have determined “far-right” to be. They are primarily comprised of working-class citizens of foreign countries who have grown tired of living under the oppressive rule of Socialist governments who steadily and stealthily take more and more control of the lives of their citizens. These governments — through socialist policies in the marketplace, government controlled healthcare, their judicial systems, education, and their economies — have driven middle-class citizens into the streets to cry for fairness. Each day in Italy, Hungary, Poland, Austria, Slovenia and other countries, citizens slide further and further toward the depths of totalitarianism that historically has always sucked the life out of every individual, family, business, educational institution, and government agency totally at the whims of a small group of elitists who have successfully convinced an electorate to either believe and support those utopian fantasies or to simply look the other way.

Summary

Say what you will, Donald Trump — besides being crass, verbose, loud, uncouth, arrogant, narcissistic, and sometimes contemptible — is a really smart guy. He like no president in the history of U.S. presidents has discarded the pomposity assigned by “traditional” political guidelines and has initiated a process of “going for the jugular” in every press conference, interview, policy presentation, speech, and even casual conversations. I’ve said this previously, but he has masterfully crafted the ability to blur the actual substance of many of his comments. Most on the Left (that includes almost everyone in the media) look and listen to exactly what he says with no regard of context, historical references for those words, or his historical stated positions for any and every comment he makes. Some may call that “double-speak” or “purposefully misguiding” others, but one thing that is absolutely certain to this journalist: nothing he says is without specific meaning that sometimes has nothing to do with the exact words he says.

I’ve told you this before: when President Trump is (rhetorically) waving his left hand around in the air with a clenched fist and he tells the world that he’s got the greatest, shiniest, most amazing widget in that hand that will cure every illness, give every family on Earth free healthcare and personal income to take care of all of their needs, stop listening to what he is saying about the “goodies” in his right hand! What is REALLY going on at the time is happening in his left hand, tucked out-of-sight behind his back.

That’s the way he literally controls the Mainstream Media. Every news producer sets an early alarm clock to guarantee they catch President Trump’s first tweet of the day. His early morning tweets give those producers the news ideas that will set the news coverage for the day for every news article and show! While doing that, you can bet he’s not tweeting about all of the plans he is quietly preparing to roll out to the American public at the proper time. That proper time is determined NOT by the Media, as has been the case for past presidents, but is determined solely by him.

He’s really smart!

Don’t you think the Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama wished they could have hidden much of what their administrations were doing until they chose to reveal that to the nation? That doesn’t allege that nefarious things were being or are being hidden. That’s just saying that the news media will do anything at all to get a “scoop” on anything presidential AND to be the first to get it. Trump is the first president to pull it off.

The bottom line to this is that President Trump has found the heart of most Americans. More and more every day are coming to the realization that not only has he promised some outlandish accomplishments that will directly impact them in almost every area of their lives, but he has also made a bunch of them really happen! And that’s something few past presidents were able to achieve and that the news media cannot stand to see happen in a Trump presidency! Why? They want Trump to fail, simply because his successes so far — though monumental — do not fit their political elitist storyline. They cannot bear to be shown to be wrong.

Regardless of what you see, hear, and surmise, this is an ongoing saga with much left to be written. And you can bet, at the end of the Trump presidency, he may have won a bunch of battles for the American people, but it will be middle Americans who win the war!

And European socialists are welcome to look-in and copy the Trump Agenda if they want to straighten out their globalist failures and follow the U.S. into greatness!

 

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“-ist” Word

How often during the last decade have you heard the use of the term “racist?” How often have YOU used the term “racist?” Have you spent any time considering its meaning and purposes for its use? Like it or not, agree with it or not, accept it or not, that term actually defines the parameters for the state of dispute and chaos in which the United States of America finds itself.

Some will argue that our 20th-century parents and grandparents did not spend much time thinking about or discussing race, equality and inequality, the social and political structure of racial divide in America, or what things should or should not be done to change political policy regarding racial issues. From time to time social and political events that popped up forced Americans to think through racial issues — mostly to simply try to find understanding for their varied ways racial issues showed themselves in public. Otherwise, it seemed that the “handling” of those were more often than not done at home, in a closed-door meeting with the boss, or — under extreme circumstances — on the street. Unfortunately, those “street” confrontations received most of the attention.

Do not for a moment think this story is in any way to diminish the existence of or the necessity to deal with any and all issues in our nation dealing with race that are daily escalating with little or no real resolution on the horizon. Americans MUST tackle these problems. But just like addressing other problems in our personal, business, or social lives, we must first define a problem before possible resolutions can be identified, discussed, with ultimate resolution.

How Do We Do That?

In 1980, candidate Reagan asked the American people a question that is now iconic political history. “Are you better off now than you were four years ago?” He knew the answer, and he knew that the overwhelming majority of Americans had an opinion about the right answer. Politicians of all stripes have tried repeatedly to re-create that stark, black and white choice. As is often the case, the power of an original line is lost when the moment in time is no longer right for the message. The message is again right.

America has a problem with race relations. It’s a human problem flamed by profiteers who gain from division either politically or economically — or both. It is not simply an American problem. Make no mistake, however, in a country where we once held blacks as property, placed them in chains, and subjugated them under the law, the stain of racism is on our soul and is still part of our modern culture. We are not born racists: we teach racism and pass it on or down.

Do we want to fix racism in this country? You bet. The overwhelming majority of Americans want it gone, and our government and numerous groups have fought from broadly different perspectives to combat it. The fight has ebbed and flowed, and we have found some success and some complete failures. Indeed, we cannot even agree on what racism is let alone how to wipe it from our culture.

On this we must agree; race relations in America are worse now than they were eight years ago. This is not to say that President Obama was the “cause” of poor race relations or that President Trump is the “cause” of poor race relations. It is to say that Obama’s prescriptions for combating racial injustice did not help, and his leadership on the issue served to fan the flames of racial mistrust. I promise you that was not his intention as some folks truly believe. Mr. Obama grew up black in America. His view was profoundly different from that of those who did not, and as President, he had a passion to expose racism and problems he had seen, fought, and perceived for decades. His had been a life of racial grievance, fighting “the man.” Then he was elected and became “the man.” His fight became all about exposing the world as he saw it. Was he wrong for that? We judge intelligent sounding public policy based on outcomes, not intentions. Mr. Obama made race relations worse, even if he was only wrong for all the right reasons.

Racism is real in America … and recently Newt Gingrich discussing escalating racial issues during the Trump Administration told white Americans that they could never really know what it was like to grow up black in America. He is right … dead right. Likewise, for many minorities, they don’t know what it is like to grow up white in America. Whiteness is not a ticket to success, nor is it a path paved by privilege. Every individual in this country has hurdles, and the absence of color surely removes one hurdle for non-minorities. Racism in America is worse not because white people are becoming more and more racist. Racism in America is getting worse because we are counting and dividing by race. We are promoting and hiring based on race. We are suing and being sued based on race. We are admitting and denying based on race — even that bastion of racial equality among Ivy League universities — Harvard. We are selling and buying distrust from our leaders, even in some churches, and family members based on race. With that distrust, we are accepting the false narrative that all whites are racists, that they have unchecked privilege, and that they seek to oppress, deny, and punish blacks for being black. Whites look at staggering black crime rates, gun violence, and anti-white militancy and they too fall prey to the false narrative that blacks pose a higher risk of being a threat just because they are black. Who can stop it? Not this old white guy.

All of this happens when the emphasis of our leaders and our public policy is on our color, rather than the content of our character or the measure of our accomplishments. We cannot and we will not succeed in a war on racism until we stop making and selling assumptions based on race – no matter our race. The best way to attack this problem is to move to a race-neutral society, where the government does not divide us by race. It is hard to build a United States in a country where we divide each other socially, academically, or legally based on color. We cannot be a United States when we demonize each other, attack the necessary fundamentals of civil society, and assume and sell the concept that law enforcement and the justice system are designed to oppress people of color. They are not.

Yes, racism exists in America. However, in a country where the last President was black, and Virginia, Ohio, and California are states he overwhelmingly won, we know that “color” is thankfully not the sole measure of a man by reasonable, responsible people. What we need now is to have more reasonable, responsible, color neutral people, governments, and organizations. Here is what is true: If you dislike or distrust someone because of the color of his or her skin — no matter what color their skin is — you may have a propensity to be racist, irrespective of the color of your skin.

The success of America is based on a simple formula that works across any color boundary. Get an education. Get, and stay, married. Raise your kids in a loving family to respect people, irrespective of color or faith. Promote education, and encourage civic activism and volunteerism in your local community. When we do those things, we will change our society. If, however, we continue down a path of broken families, broken communities, race-baiting, racial profiteering, and distrust there will be no United in our states. The answer is black and white, but it starts one household at a time, black and white.

How Can We Start That Change?

Academy Award recipient Denzel Washington chimed in on that topic the topic of racism and what Americans must do to tackle it.

Denzel is speaking to a reporter who asked Denzel how he thinks race relationships are in America. Denzel responded: “Race relationships have to do with race relationships. You’re white, or whatever you are, and I’m black, or whatever I am, and we’re standing here talking now. That’s how we get things done. You can’t legislate love. The President of the United States cannot legislate us into liking each other. We have to step forward and ask questions about each other and engage. There’s no law that says because I’m President you all gotta get along now. So it’s up to us.”

It sounds fairly simple and seems pretty easy for the Oscar winner Denzel Washington to reach out to the “other side” to open lines of communication to discuss all things pertaining to race. It’s another thing for everyday folks who live in Middle America to get started in that process — especially when every day it becomes more and more obvious to Americans that the nation seems to daily grow more and more racially divided.

A recent poll finds most Americans believe race relations in this country are bad. More than half of whites think so, and more than two-thirds of blacks. Even more troubling, 40 percent of blacks and whites believe race relations are getting worse. One possible reason: The poll found big majorities — 60 percent of whites and 71 percent of blacks — believe most Americans are uncomfortable discussing race with someone of another race.

But one group is helping blacks and whites break down the racial wall by breaking bread together. It starts out like any dinner party. But then, a difficult conversation begins. “Blacks don’t trust white people by and large,” said Linda, a black woman. “And whether you think it’s based on history is irrelevant.”

“I didn’t have black friends,” Curtis, a white man, said. “A couple of acquaintances, but never had them in our home, never in their home.”

They call themselves Chattanooga Connected: A group of blacks and whites who meet once a month to have dinner and talk openly about race. They were brought together by 75-year-old Franklin McCallie, a son of privilege whose family name is seen everywhere in town. He said he was raised to believe in the South’s segregationist order.

“I’ve used the N-word and I told some N-jokes,” McCallie says. “They were ‘less.’ They lived in less homes, they got off the street, they said ‘sir’ to me as a young man.” But in college, a conversation with a black student from a nearby African-American school changed everything. “He said, ‘You know where we eat lunch? My uncles and I, who fought in World War II for freedom and justice and the pursuit of happiness?'” McCallie recalls, becoming emotional. “‘We get on a bus and ride two miles out of town to eat lunch ’cause none of the stores we shop in will let us eat.'”

Curtis Baggett said the conversations around the dinner table can get uncomfortable – but that that’s a good thing. “I think it’s liberating,” Baggett says. “It was so freeing for the first time in my life to have a black man tell me what it really felt like to be walking around a grocery store, a mini-mart, and have the owner of the mini-mart follow him up and down the aisles because he didn’t trust him. I’ve never thought of that before.”

McCallie acknowledges that the dinner parties aren’t likely to end racism in America – but they’re a start. “If it all stops at this house, it wouldn’t do that much more,” McCallie says. “It’s got to go other places.” People finally seeing each other, by talking face-to-face.

Summary

One thing is very obvious: people of different races and different color have varying differences, come from varying circumstances, and therefore have varying perspectives. I as a Christan feel strongly that as hard as it may be, it is more important than hard for us to find ways to open discourse with each other. The Chattanooga Connected example of doing so may seem simple, and even silly to you, but it illustrates one very important element in any racial reconciliation process that MUST exist: honest effort to communicate with the “other” side to honestly find similarities, differences, and develop sincere plans and even a timeline to push for common goals and objectives.

In one of the best racial movies of all time — A Time to Kill — Carl Lee in his jail cell after shooting two men who raped his little girl has a brief discussion with Jake, his attorney:

Until ALL of America gets to a place of realization that for ANY American racial reconciliation, we MUST learn how to — and commit to — begin honest dialogue with each other to define differences and similarities between us and unite to implement necessary changes to eliminate the fires of racism.

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Wanna Know Who’ll Win the Midterms?

Introduction

I received a bunch of feedback about the “tease” yesterday about today’s story. I simply thought your weekend news digesting before college football would be piqued by a few minutes away from the political fray we’ve all been immersed in for so long. Even though this story today is about the midterm elections, it’s outside of the hype of polls and polling data.

In our non-stop research I uncovered an interesting entity called FairVote. What is SO intriguing to us about them is that they are NOT pollsters, NOT political hacks, really are “non-partisan,” and a scientific analysis entity with no “dog in the hunt.”

As you go through the data, explanations of how they operate and look at their projection record, remember this: the political landscape of America is changing dramatically. In the last decade, in fact, it has morphed from something that is honestly a mundane practice of democracy to something that closely resembles a Barnum-and-Bailey circus! (At least it is certainly a sideshow) In way of explanation, all one must do is look back a couple of years at the 2016 presidential election and all the hoopla leading up to it to understand this: election projections are apparently NOT a science — even if there is science to enable reasonable and realistic outcomes. Why is that?

Does anybody reading this today not yet realize the zoo we call elections is without question an economic boon for every media company in America, whether that company is an actual news broadcast or reporting entity, a political lobbying firm, political party or Political Action Committee (PAC), or any entity in a support capacity for any of these. “Follow the Money!” Realizing that makes it a bit easier to understand why political polls, analysis, and projections are always all over the place: dollars drive results.

FairVote is a not-for-profit entity that uses scientific analysis methods (detailed below) that have resulted in some mind-boggling accurate results in Congressional elections — only in the House of Representatives. I found it curious they focus primarily on just House races, and not the Senate or presidential elections. But in their computations, they do use all previous federal election results to set a pattern that factors heavily in their calculations.

Enough of my drivel! Meet FairVote.

I’ll see you back here for a wrap-up.

FairVote and How it Works

FairVote’s methodology projects with high confidence only the very safest seats. With 435 seats elected every cycle, you might think that means 50 or 60 incumbents. Think again. This year they are projecting 374 seats with high confidence – that’s nearly 86% of House seats. Almost every incumbent seeking re-election can feel very confident about victory in November 2018, no matter who their opponent is, how much is spent, or what kind of partisan wave there might be.

 

To underscore our level of confidence, they made similar projections going into 2012, 2014 and 2016 in a total of 1,062 House races. They missed only one seat – that means their high confidence projections have an accuracy rate of more than 99.9%. The 2018 report shows the most ossified electoral landscape yet, being the first year they have projected more than 370 seats at this degree of confidence. The following map shows each congressional seat as an equal area. Only the yellow seats are in play; the purple seats are all safe enough to be projected with high confidence.

Seats_in_Play.png

In addition to the 374 high-confidence projections, FairVote also projects favorites for the other 61 seats, though at a lower level of confidence. There are an additional 40 seats that clearly favor one party over the other, but not enough to warrant a projection. That leaves only 21 true “toss up” seats that only very slightly lean to one party. When they projected all 435 seats in 2016, they were remarkably accurate, even in the lower confidence projections. Of the 56 seats FairVote did not project, but which favored one of the parties, they were right in 50 (89.3% correct). Of the 18 seats that were true “toss-ups” with only a very slight lean toward one of the parties, they were right in 12 (66.7% correct). That means the full projections were correct in 423 out of 435 districts (97.2% correct). Those projections were made more than two years before the 2016 elections.

 

What makes this all the more disturbing is that FairVote’s remarkable accuracy ignores all polls, all demographic characteristics of the districts, and ignores the incumbent’s voting record and any scandals. They use only the presidential election results (both in the district and nationally) from 2016, and the incumbent’s performance in prior elections. The only updates they make after receiving have that data is to remove incumbents when they announce that they will not seek re-election and to recalculate projections if a state redraws its district lines. FairVote explains their methodology in the report in detail, but the overwhelmingly important factor is a district’s partisanship, measured only by the relative presidential vote in that district.

The two-party preference has varied over the years from 54.3% for Democrats in 2008 to 53.5% for Republicans in 2010; in 2016 it was 50.51% for Republicans. The “incumbency bump” that shows the extra percentage points earned by an incumbent in a given year has ranged from a high of 7.7% in 2000 to a low of 2.8% in 2014; In 2016 it was 3.3% percent.

Their state-by-state analysis drives home the entrenchment of incumbents under the current system, underscoring why it was no surprise that more than 98% won re-election in 2016. In more than half of the states, FairVote project every single House seat. Every incumbent seeking re-election is projected as safe in a total of 27 states. Many of these are large states with multiple seats, including Ohio (all 16 seats safe), Georgia (all 14 seats safe), and North Carolina (all 13 seats safe). They project a majority of the seats in every state except Delaware and New Hampshire, which only have one and two seats respectively.

The way we elect representatives in Congress does not create a fair reflection of the voters who elect them. There are 19 states where FairVote has already called more seats for one political party than that party should earn according to its statewide partisanship. In fact, there are three states where they can already safely project that one party will earn at least three seats more than the state’s partisanship suggests they should win (North Carolina and Ohio for Republicans, and Massachusetts for Democrats). If using projections for every seat, fully 32 of the 50 states would disproportionately favor one party over the other in a 50-50 year.

As a whole, the national landscape tilts in favor of Republicans, with Republicans sitting on 208 safe seats, only 10 away from a majority, and 22 additional unprojected seats favoring Republicans. Looking at the “tipping point” median district, FairVote projects that Democrats would need to earn more than 55% of national two-party preference among voters to earn even a one-seat majority. That imbalance creates a core problem of accountability. Power is exercised most responsibly when those in power believe they might lose if they cannot keep majority support.

Summary

Before anyone gets emotional distraught or hillariously happy, please understand that these projections are based on logical facts derived from various scientific and historical events. They do NOT have any basis other than the past. They have no basis drawn from polls, campaign ads, current political events like U.S. foreign policy, the economy, or even on the immigration issues and policies now front-and-center because of the Central American caravan headed to the U.S. southern border.

Will there be a blue wave as Democrats have declared? Will there be a red wave that shocks most of America? Will Nancy Pelosi as she has famously declared in the last 48 hours take back possession of the House leadership gavel? NO ONE knows for sure — not Pelosi, Schumer, McConnell, Paul Ryan, FOX News, The New York Times, or any candidate, not even President Trump.

So what can you do about election results? There’s only one thing that matters, and one thing only: VOTE. Americans — both those Americans who vote and those who do not — will determine the outcome of this election as they have in every election.

The constitution of the House of Representatives is not the only political institution or office that is stake in these midterms. The U.S. Senate, governorships, and many local and state elections are at stake. The best shot for every American to have a say-so in the outcomes of each of these races is to VOTE.

And if you don’t vote, you have no right to complain about the results of these House and Senate races or any other race in your state or municipality.

Will the House race results prove to be another successful analysis by FairVote? Tune in Tuesday evening, November 6. We’ll all know for sure!

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“Birthright Citizenship” and the 14th Amendment

Donald Trump’s recent proclamation that he is opposed to so-called “Birthright Citizenship” for the offspring of illegal aliens born in the United States has set off hysterical cries of outrage and protest. This from the President confirms again that much of his appeal lies in the fact that he is willing to address taboo subjects in a way that the public—tired of candidates and elected officials who are bound by rigid protocols of political correctness—finds refreshing. The topic of “Birthright Citizenship” is a perfect example.

Remember when he first brought this up during his 2016 presidential campaign? Within hours of his mentioning it in the shadow of the “Caravan” in Mexico headed for the U.S., there has been more discussion (fueled by considerable popular interest) of this poorly-understood aspect of immigration policy than ever before. Whether or not one agrees with Trump’s immigration policies, one has to concede that he is advancing a national conversation on a critically important issue.

The issue is whether children born in the United States—even if their parents are foreign nationals who entered this country illegally—automatically become citizens. Current law supposes that they do—a concept termed “Birthright Citizenship.” Many people (in error) think this concept originated from the Constitution and have been confirmed in a U.S. Supreme Court decision. Not so.

Section 1 of the 14th Amendment—the Citizenship Clause—states that “All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.”

The 14th Amendment

The origins of this language are a bit hazy, but it must be remembered that the purpose of the 14th Amendment was to repair the infamous Dred Scott v. Sandford decision (1857) and recognize citizenship for the newly-freed slaves (but not members of Indian tribes living on reservations).  The language of the Citizenship Clause derived from the Civil Rights Act of 1866, enacted by the same legislators (the 39th Congress) who framed the 14th Amendment. The Civil Rights Act of 1866 conferred citizenship on “All persons born in the United States, and not subject to any foreign power, excluding Indians not taxed.”   Foreign nationals in the United States and children who become citizens of a foreign country at birth (by virtue of their parents’ citizenship) would obviously be excluded from this definition.

Yes, the language of the Citizenship Clause is slightly different than that of the Civil Rights Act of 1866, but there is no real evidence that the 39th Congress intended a different meaning.  In fact, the sponsor of the Citizenship Clause, Senator Jacob Howard (R-MI), stated that its language “is simply declaratory of what I regard as the law of the land already,” explaining that “This will not, of course, include persons born in the United States who are foreigners, aliens, [or] who belong to the families of ambassadors or foreign ministers.”

The record of the debate in 1866 is important and should definitely be recounted and considered in this pending issue for which President Trump is planning on issuing an executive order to end.

14th Amendment History

When Senator Lyman Trumbull (D-IL), Chairman of the Judiciary Committee (and a key figure in the drafting and adoption of the 14th Amendment) was asked what the phrase “and subject to the jurisdiction thereof” meant, he responded: “That means ‘subject to the complete jurisdiction thereof.’ What did he mean by ‘complete jurisdiction thereof’? Not owing allegiance to anyone else. That is what it means.”  Only U.S. citizens owe “complete allegiance” to the United States. Everyone present in the United States is subject to its laws (and therefore its “jurisdiction”), but only citizens can be drafted into the armed forces of the United States, or prosecuted for treason if they take up arms against it.

Senator Howard agreed with Trumbull’s explanation, saying:

I concur entirely with the honorable Senator from Illinois [Trumbull], in holding that the word “jurisdiction,” as here employed, ought to be construed so as to imply a full and complete jurisdiction on the part of the United States, . . . ; that is to say, the same jurisdiction in extent and quality as applies to every citizen of the United States now.

This communication from Senator Howard supports very strongly the conclusion that the Citizenship Clause was intended to mean the same as the Civil Rights Act of 1866—excluding children born in the United States to foreign nationals (that is, to resident aliens).

Hinging the entire debates over the Citizenship Clause in the 39th Congress admittedly presents some occasional inconsistencies and questions, leading reasonable people—on both the Left and Right—to disagree about the meaning of the Citizenship Clause. Conservatives scholars such as John Eastman, Lino Graglia, Edward Erler, and even former Attorney General Edwin Meese, have written in opposition to Birthright Citizenship. However, it is important to note that this point of view is shared by liberal scholars such as Yale Law School Professor Peter Schuck, who coauthored a book with University of Pennsylvania political scientist Rogers Smith, entitled Citizenship Without Consent: Illegal Aliens in the American Polity (1985) making the same argument now critical in this new “Trump debate.” Federal Judge Richard Posner has called the current practice of Birthright Citizenship “an anomaly” that Congress “should rethink” because it “makes no sense.” Judge Posner went on to state (in a published decision, Oforji v. Ashcroft, 354 F. 3d 609 (7th Cir. 2003)) that “We should not be encouraging foreigners to come to the United States solely to enable them to confer U.S. citizenship on their future children.” Posner volunteered that he “doubt[ed]” whether a constitutional amendment was necessary to change the current practice of birthright citizenship.

There are other respected commentators who take a contrary position. But a considerable body of scholarship supports the view that the Citizenship Clause does not compel Birthright Citizenship, and that the current practice could be corrected by legislation, pursuant to Congress’ power under Section 5 of the 14th Amendment and Article I, Section 8, Clause 4. Contrary to the claims of some (including the editorial page of the Wall Street Journal), amending the 14th Amendment is not required. In fact, such legislation has been introduced in the past—for example,  S.1351 (1993), H.R.1567 (2003), H.R.140 (2015)—and supported by Republicans and Democrats. That includes former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), who stated in 1993 that “no sane country” would grant citizenship to the children of illegal immigrants solely because they were born on American soil. In Oforji, Judge Posner stated that “I hope [H.R.1567] passes.”

Is There a SCOTUS Opinion?

The U.S. Supreme Court has never ruled in favor of Birthright Citizenship for the children of illegal immigrants. The case most often used to make a case for it — United States v. Wong Kim Ark (1898) —involved the offspring of a Chinese couple present in the United States legally. And the frequently cited language from Plyler v. Doe (1982)—a 5 to 4 decision written by the activist Justice William Brennan, hardly a strong authority—is only mentioned in a footnote!

Automatic birthright citizenship for tourists and illegal immigrants is an anomaly; the United States and Canada are the only developed countries in the world to recognize it. No European country does. American voters overwhelmingly oppose Birthright Citizenship, by almost 2 to 1 according to a recent Rasmussen poll.

Summary

Whether or not you approve of Donald Trump’s policies, methods of communication, divisiveness, arrogance, or just don’t like his hair, he has brought a very serious issue to the forefront. Birthright Citizenship applies to somewhere between 200,000 and 300,000 births a year in the U.S. to illegal immigrant mothers. Those infants are currently considered American citizens.

It is uncertain how many of those illegals actually come to the U.S. expressly to birth babies here to secure their citizenship. But it is beyond contention that most do so.

Those who cry that Americans who are against Birthright Citizenship are uncaring, ungiving, unkind, and selfish need to understand that those who feel that way are on the most part strict adherents to the rule of law. Those Americans trust the U.S. Constitution as written and amended and expect the federal government to — with the power that lies within every branch and agency — to uphold the laws of the U.S.

Once again, this travesty that is entrenched in misunderstood writings and assumptions derived from legal scholars could be done away with by the U.S. Congress simply doing their job: fix existing laws by changing those laws or simply passing new ones to replace those.

One should ask here: why has not Congress already corrected this issue? Do members of Congress in the Majority have a vested interest in the perpetuation of the continuance of Birthright Citizenship, ignoring the spirit of the U.S. Constitution?

Conspiracy theorists lay the blame for such at the feet of a class of political elitists who see doing so as a way to build and/or increase a governing majority who draw their political power from adding citizens in any way possible who hold an obligation to those who make such citizenship possible. Conspiracy theorists or not, the best way — and the only RIGHT way — to alleviate the question and inequities of Birthright Citizenship is for Congress to pass legislation.

And in the meantime, look for an executive order doing so from President Trump. Then look for the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to quickly attract cases from Leftist immigration attorneys to stop presidential intervention.

Oh…without Congressional action on this, it will be ultimately determined by the Supreme Court. There are now FIVE Constitutional “originalists” on the bench. Reckon how they will vote on this?

 

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Dehumanization

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

 

 

 

 What Is Evil?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Today’s Evil

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

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

Let’s “cut to the chase.”

Howard Dean

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

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

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

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

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

Christianity and the Bible

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

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

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

Summary

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The NY Times Today

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

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

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

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

(The underlined text is the subject of this segment)

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

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

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

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

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

Real or Fake

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

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

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

MORE New York Times Madness

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

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

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

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

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

The Makarov misfired.

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

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

It did not come.

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

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

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

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

Summary

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

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What Do We Do?

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

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

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

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

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

The Past: Americans Facing Illegal Immigration

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

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

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

Who is going to do that?

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

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

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

The Border Wall

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

March 3, 2017

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

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

Summary

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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